Friday, October 31, 2008

One Way to Say Thank You

When I lived in San Jose, CA, (1997) I worked for Novellus as a temp. My starting pay was $10/hr. I worked as an assistant to the HR Director, stuffing packets for the new employee orientation, until one day I was in her office and overheard her discussing some trouble she was having printing reports. Curious, I asked her what the specific problem was. She was new to the position and did not know how to run the reports she needed using the Access based software. I asked her if she had a manual and took it home and read through it. (The fact that I would take a manual home and read it is a clue about my personality) :)

I came back the next day and showed her how to run the reports she needed. Suddenly I had a new assignment, working directly in her assistants office and my pay was bumped up to $12/hr. She needed more reports and before I left, my pay was up to $18/hr! She said "I don't know how to say thank you" to which I responded "Cash works for me!" :)

Today I got an e-mail from my boss saying that I have received a raise and at the end of the e-mail it said, "Thanks". I love tutoring and helping make Algebra make a little more sense, but I especially love a little extra money in my paycheck!

Thank you!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What Does Your Handwriting Say About You?

Since I was a child, I have always had terrible handwriting. In elementary school, I made all A's and a C in handwriting. I was the only child who was exempt from exams but had not been on the honor roll. There was no exam for handwriting. Go figure!

At any rate, I love to give gifts and send cards, but often I have been hesitant to do so because of the quality of my handwriting. Since we homeschool, I purchased a copy of my daughter's handwriting book for myself (they have a level for adults) and decided that perhaps there is some hope for me. :)

In searching for websites that would offer any advice on how to improve handwriting, I came across a handwriting analysis site. I wrote the sample they offer, answered a few questions and was provided with an analysis of my personality. I was amazed at how accurately the results reflect who I am!

Here are a few things that the test pointed out that you may find interesting:

I am an introvert. This is a surprise to those around me because I can be quite sociable. I do however find solace in being alone. It gives me a chance to reflect on my thoughts without being bombarded by outside influences.

I have withdrawn into myself and show my feelings only at times of great anger, extreme passion or tremendous stress. The scripture II Corinthians 10:5 comes to mind here. "...and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;" This is definitely an area I need to submit to Christ.

I am candid and direct. I don't offer my opinion a great deal, but will give it to you if you ask. What kills me is when people ask for my opinion and then get upset when I tell them what I'm really thinking. I'm still trying to figure that one out. One thing that I admired about my Paternal Grandmother, if you really wanted to know the TRUTH, ask her. Now with her you might get the truth whether or not you asked for it. :) LOL

So tell me what your handwriting says about you. Was there anything that surprised you ,but you know to be true looking at it on paper?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Feeling the Fall Fever

I love to decorate with pumpkins and this year decided that I would add a bale of hay to the mix. As I thought about it, I realized I had no idea where to find a bale of hay, so off to one of the local farm supply stores to see if they had any on head. Wouldn't you know it. They had a whole truck load!

My front porch area is small I only got one to start with. I was hoping to set it up diagonally but then it blocks the door. Oh well. I guess I will work with what I have.

One thing I love about fall is the great recipes that seem to go with it. While looking for a recipe for Pumpkin Bread I found a recipe for Double-Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake. I sure do hope it taste as good as it looks!

Have you gotten your menu together for Thanksgiving? Are you Christmas shopping yet? What special traditions do you have?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Learning to Knit on Double Pointed Needles

My next project in knitting in to learn how to use double pointed needles. I purchased some of the Clover Bamboo needles and found this pattern online.

I watched a video from Knitting Help and got to work. The pattern says to cast on 70 stitches. I thought that I was supposed to have an even number of stitches to distribute on the needles and so I cast on 72, to distribute between 3 needles.
I knitted the first row on my first needles and realized that I was using my yarn tail instead of the yarn from the skein ! Uggghhhhh! Well at least I hadn't gotten that far, right?
So I'm off to rip it out and start over. I'll be back with a bit more progress. :)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Too Cute

Last night as I was working, a student logged in wanting to do a lesson on vocabulary words. We came to the word literary and we discussed its meaning and how it directly relates to literature. My student apparently confused, says, "Oh, I thought it meant actually happening".

I, now confused, ask him to use it in a sentence. "Ummm, the book was so heavy that it would literary crush my hand if I dropped it." I responded and said, "The word you are thinking of is, literally.

What tickled me so about this is I too (coming from a Southern family) often said words wrong growing up. My grandmother used to pick these grape looking things and she always called them "Scuffanums". I was in the 11th or 12th grade reading a book for class when I came across the word scuppernongs and realized that is what she had been trying to say all along! Gotta love those Southern drawls and accents.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Oh No, It's Sabbath Again...

I ordered a book entitled Oh No, It's Sabbath again...And I'm not Ready!, because for the last few weeks my Sabbath preparations have been a bit less than desirable. I get on a roll and my clothes are ready by Tuesday and the next week I'm looking in my closet Sabbath morning for something that doesn't need to be ironed! So I ordered this book in hopes of gleaning some helpful information from someone who has been in my shoes before.

I am on chapter 1, and she is talking about the Proverbs 31 woman. She makes the point that the verbiage of the Bible and how it describes the Virtuous woman may not really resonate with us today because of how it is written, but the principle remains the same.

She rewrites it in today's terms. Here is what she says:

Who can find a woman with excellent qualities? For she is worth much more
than many BMWs.

Her husband has complete confidence in her; he does not lose any sleep.

Throughout their life together, she will only do good things for him.

She does not fear work if it will benefit her family.

She is always looking for a good sale, and occasionally she surprises her
family with a new delicious recipe

She wakes up early in the morning to get a good start on her busy day, and
she helps her family start the day right.

She thinks very carefully about how she spends her money; her financial
decisions always bring benefit to all.

She takes time to exercise and look after her health so that she can have the
energy she needs to serve her family.

She makes sure that everything she does will help her family. She keeps a
flashlight with fresh batteries nearby, just in case.

She makes clothes on her sewing machine and other articles by hand, because
she loves to please her family.

She picks out nice things to give to the Salvation Army to help the poor;
yes she is always willing to help others in any way possible.

When the cold months arrive, she pulls out blanket sleepers for her small
children to wear and enough blankets so that everyone is warm.

When she sews, she picks good -quality material that will last.

Her husband is successful on the job and in the church, because he has the
support of a wise and helpful woman.

Because of the good deals she find in the stores, she tastefully and
beautifully decorates her home without extravagance.

Her self-esteem is strong since she is in control of her household. The
future does not scare her because she knows she can face whatever comes.

She does not waste her time in gossip or in speaking nonsense. She speaks to
encourage, soothe, and strengthen. Her speech is always clean, and there is
kindness in her voice.

She is always doing something constructive and always finds a way to better
manage her household.

Her children always say nice things about their mother to others; her husband
lavishes her with praise:

"There are many fine women out there, but why have a two-door sedan when you
can ride in a Rolls-Royce!"

Being popular and beautiful isn't worth much. It is the woman who loves the
Lord who is truly valuable.

All one has to do is watch her carefully. The way she works, talks, and acts
shows how outstanding she really is.

I cannot even begin to explain how overjoyed my heart was when I read this. Not because I have arrived at being a Proverbs 31 woman, but because I can clearly see that path that God has laid out before me and I know that in His strength, I can and will be all of these things!

So if you are striving to be a Proverbs 31 woman and you have not quite arrived, fear not! You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you!!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Field Trip-Blue Bell Creamery

Today we took a field trip to the Blue Bell Creamery. No cameras are allowed inside the factory so I don't have many pictures to post, but we had an amazing time. I went to school for Chemical Engineering and this factory had ChemE written all over it. Batch reactors and all kinds of processes. I was in heaven! You could tell by the way that everything is done that a lot of thought went into the design and that they care about their employees.

I can't eat Bluebell icecream because I am allergic to milk(since my son was born). It aggravates my asthma something terrible. So I asked if they had anything non dairy and sure enough they had some popsicles in the freezer. You have not because you ask not!

Here are the kids standing in front of a model of the first freezer truck.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Field Trip-Texas Disposal Systems

Today we took a field trip to the Texas Disposal Systems. Now at first I was thinking to myself, why in the world would I want to visit a landfill, but getting to see exotic animals made it all worth while.

Now you may be wondering, just as I was, why in the world are there exotic animals at the landfill?? Evidently when deciding on fencing, the owners ruled out wood because it seems a bit to private. They ruled out a particular metal fence because it would look to much like a prison. The fencing that they finally decided to go with is the kind used to contain animals and so they entertained the idea of buying a few exotic animals. So there you have it-strange, but true!

I took far to many pictures to put them all here so I am adding a slide show. Enjoy!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Zucchini! Garden update

Today we harvested the largest zucchini I have ever seen in my life. As you can see it is practically a foot long and 9 1/2 inches around.

The kids went outside and got it and I'm not sure how I overlooked this thing. Perhaps it was camoflauging with the grass. At any rate it is really big and I'm almost afraid to eat it. :)

I'm going to cook it and see what it tastes like.

What's in your garden? Are you planting anything for fall?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Needles and Frogs

Today was the knitting class of my Knitting Hearts ministry. I really felt the pains of my busy schedule this week as I scrambled to prepare for this class. My first class (the crochet class) seemed so easy to prepare for. My class preparations were done well in advance and I had several hats made for demonstration.

The knitting class was altogether another story. My class was at 10 am this morning and at 8:30 am I was still trying to finish my demo hat! The first hat I started on Friday, was almost done with by Saturday afternoon and just when I got to the very end, I messed it up and didn't know how to recover. This is the part of the story is where frogs come in. I learned that in knitting, when you make a major mistake, you say "Rip it, Rip it" which of course it like the sound frogs make. So you guessed it, my first hat that I tried to make for the demo was "frogged"! And really it's not exactly honest to say my first hat. It would be more accurate to say the first trial of that particular hat!

When God first laid this ministry on my heart in February, I made a hat. In fact it was one of the very same hats that I attempted as a demo for this class. In February, the hat was a breeze and for some odd reason, the very same hat in September/October was quite a challenge! So I "frogged" several of those hats and went on to something else.

Today's class went well. We learned how to cast on, knit, purl and some students learned how to bind off. Most of the ladies seemed to favor crochet over knitting but are willing to hang in there until they get the hang of the stitches.

Here is a photo of my Pastor's wife working diligently on her stitches:

The fruit of her labor:

We've got the young girls involved as well. They are really enjoying learning the new techniques.

The goal is for 10 woman to commit to making 52 hats each in one year. As you can see by this picture, one has almost already filled her quota (in only a month's time)...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Homeschool Update

We officially started school on September 15th. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday Jasmine took the Iowa Achievement Test. My homeschool offers it to those who are interested. In Texas we basically have no requirements for homeschool such as testing and reporting, but I thought it would be nice to see how she faired as compared to other school children. I'll update once we get the results back.

This year Academics are not the main focus of our school year. Sounds strange doesn't it? Our main focus is Scripture Memorization, Character Building and Order. What good is it if my children can read well, do math in their hand, and build a spaceship if they are disobedient and disorganized?

This quote is one of our themes for this year:

Order is heaven's first law, and the Lord desires His people to give in their
homes a representation of the order and harmony that pervade the heavenly
courts. Truth never places her delicate feet in a path of uncleanness or
impurity. Truth does not make men and women coarse or rough or untidy. It
raises all who accept it to a high level under Christ's influence, a work of
constant refinement goes on. -{ST, July 8, 1908 par. 4}

Now don't misunderstand me, we are still doing academics, they are just not our focus. Jasmine is finishing up the Delta book of Math U See. She just completed lesson 30 and is taking the final 3 tests for Chapter 30, the review test for chapters 22-30 and the Final Exam. We plan to finish those 3 tests this week and begin with Epsilon on Monday.

Christopher is working on writing his letters on the dry erase board. It doesn't feel like "real work" when he writes them on the board. :)