Friday, 27 May 2016

Pamela's Daybook: May 27th

Today: Feeling a bit down today. I spent several hours going through some of my mother's correspondence last evening, and I'm just missing her. After reading one letter I thought, "I need to ask her about that." I may need to eat cookies...

At my writing desk: This will be one of the I'm-writing-because-it's-my-job days. I know from experience once I get a few sentences written I'll get inspired. 

"There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed." Ernest Hemingway

In the mail:  I found handmade Mother's Day cards my sister and I made our Mom. She was in Philadelphia for nursing school. I was five years old. The great thing is that, young as we were, our personalities showed. Melodie cut a beautiful flower garden from a magazine for the front of her card. Me? The girl who at three chased Melodie through the house with a dead rabbit? (There are movies to prove it!) Yep, that girl cut out a running bunny for the front of hers. The letter was sent with a five cent stamp.

Praying for:  One of my favorite friends. Physical issues are keeping her from enjoying something she's been looking forward to. 

Thankful for:  A Mother's heritage of encouraging others.

I'm reading:  My reading time was almost non-existent this week. I need to dig something up to inspire me -- and get me to Pennsylvania. Reading in the car makes the trip go faster. 

Postmarking: I'm still working on this week's list. It's my evening "playtime."

Favorite quote: 
 But behind all your stories is always your mother's story, because hers is where yours begin. Mitch Alborm

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Pamela's Daybook: May 26th

Today: Nothing exciting here today, but here's the thing -- these are my favorite days. A candle lit, me working, RB working, stopping for lunch, etc. 

At my writing desk: I planned to work on curriculum extra so I could take three days off next week. I'm toying with the idea of leaving my computer at home while we're in Pennsylvania over the holiday. I may have withdrawals!

I didn't accomplish as much as I had hoped. Today was the Awards Rally for the International Accelerated Christian Education Convention. Our school, Heartland Christian School, was there and it was so interesting to see them receive their awards. The kids (and teachers!) work hard and it's good to see them rewarded.  

In the mail:  9 outgoing - 4 incoming: 1 from Rhode Island, 2 from Texas, 1 from Pennsylvania.

Praying for:  Nancy Sharp, a friend of a friend, having a heart transplant. Wife, mother, grandmother... Also praying for the family who donated the heart.

Thankful for:  Fresh strawberries from my strawberry patch.

I'm reading:   I was reading John 4 this morning and loved how The Message wrote verse 34. The King James says, "He told me all that I ever did." The Message says, "He knows me inside and out." 

Postmarking:  Requests are coming in for this week. One thing this ministry has shown me is how much suffering is out there -- all across the social classes and age groups. Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad (Proverbs 12:25).

Favorite quote:  What consumes your mind, controls your life. (Unknown) 

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Pamela's Daybook: May 25th

Today: One of those days I'd like to sit in the sun and read. That whole "being responsible" thing keeps me inside, hitting the computer keys. RB has meetings at the University all day, so I can hear things banging around in my head. I need an internal file cabinet to separate the ideas.

At my writing desk: Working on preschool age Abram and Lot today. I think we all need a friend or family member like Abram. Lot selfishly chose the best land, but when he needed help, Uncle Abram was ready to help.

Whenever I am in a Christian Book Store, I look to see if they carry any of my books. I was in one this week and found quite a few. It made me smile. It's not just seeing them in a store (although that's fun), but it's that they are still being published and used.

In the mail: Empty mailbox! What price was a stamp when you were born? A first class stamp was 4 cents the year I was born.

Praying for: Our students at Accelerated Christian International Convention.

Thankful for: The impact the State and International Student Convention had on Melanie and Emily. In two years I'll have a grandson going. 

I'm reading:  I received an email from the book I told you about yesterday with the wrong rating. I was reimbursed for the full amount. That's good service! I'm an eclectic reader, so the "Twelve by Twelve" book looks interesting. It's about a successful physician who lives in a 12 x 12 cabin without electricity or running water -- two things necessary to my survival! 

Postmarking:  I sorted a box of my mother's correspondence last evening. The interesting thing to me was to see how she wrote to people of all ages -- young to elderly. 

Favorite quote:  Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud. (Maya Angelou) 

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Pamela's Daybook: May 24

Today: Still smiling over a picture Melanie sent me yesterday. Our Camron is simply adorable. He was cuddled up to me the other day and said, "You smell good." 

And, it's National Escargot Day. Anyone have snails on your menu? 

At my writing desk: I got everything accomplished yesterday except for the chapter. I think tomorrow I'll start with that. When I first started writing, I got up at 4:00 and wrote for three hours before the girls got up. That's not going to happen at this time of my life. But I'm thinking of getting up just one hour earlier. My clearest writing is done before noon.

In the mail: 3 pieces of mail -- an open house invitation, and some fun new note cards, too.  

Praying for: My niece's (Pammy Jo) husband and family. Their grandmother went to heaven and some of the family are traveling to South Dakota.  

Thankful for: A fun night at Barnes and Noble. Honestly, those six hours fly by.

I'm reading:  I need to find a Biography for the Book Club I belong to. Any ideas? 

I order a lot of books through Amazon Marketplace. I've never had an issue. Yesterday a book rated "very good" arrived in less than acceptable condition. I messaged the seller. I only paid a penny for it plus 3.99 shipping, but if we don't hold sellers accountable, we'll all start getting books in an unacceptable condition. They did send me a free book. 

Postmarking:  I'm sending three out today, and have ten I started on last night to send tomorrow. 

Favorite quote:  Kindness is just love with its workboots on. ~Author unknown

Monday, 23 May 2016

Pamela's Daybook: May 23

Today: It's a Barnes and Noble and Michael's day! 

At my writing desk: Three hours of curriculum, daybook, and a chapter in another project. Also some promotion of my blogs.

In the mail: I got several pieces of happy mail last week. I had one envelope with teeny tiny writing that made me smile. I knew without looking it was from my sweet sister!

Praying for:  The Knuth family who lost a son in a motorcycle accident yesterday.

Thankful for: A good private school my grandkids can attend. Last Thursday I attended their graduation/awards night. The kids do so well in their studies.

I'm reading:  Oh my, y'all will just laugh when you hear what I've been reading.  This girl who won't read fantasy or time travel, etc. just read a book that included gnomes and giants. I was too far into the book when they popped up. Most of you will know why "Piano Girl" spoke my name. Plus, it was free. I was halfway through when it said Part One was finished and I could purchase Part Two. For real?!! Yep--for real. I was thankful for Amazon Prime that let me read it for free.

Postmarking: There are so many hurting people on our list this week. I'll start sending cards from the list tonight. You, my dear readers, are welcome to join our team or send the address of anyone you think needs some encouragement -- kids through adults.

Favorite quote: 
 Joy is prayer; joy is strength: joy is love; joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. Mother Teresa

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Pamela's Daybook: May 12

Today: It's a Barnes and Noble day!

At my writing desk: Three hours of curriculum.  I have a few hours to make up, but I'll do that tomorrow. I do get more done at Barnes and Noble because I'm not thinking about laundry or a dirty kitchen floor. 

In the mail: Happy mail yesterday was sent to RB -- a thank-you for participating in a faculty development session.

Praying for: Emily. She went back to teaching today. I'm not sure how she's going to endure it except through strength from God. Unfortunately, she's not finished with her day when school dismisses. Emma has a visit with her dad, and then a therapist visit. 

Thankful for: An answer to prayer for my brother-in-law and sister.  The kind of answer that will splash over and bless a lot of people.

I'm reading:  I'm rereading "The Gift of a Letter" by Alexandra Stoddard.  
“An inspired letter can be as riveting as a stare. It can move us to tears, spur us to action, provoke us, uplift us, touch us. Transform us. When written from the heart, letters are dreams on paper, wishes fulfilled, desires satisfied. Letters can be powerful.” Alexandra Stoddard

Postmarking: Sending two today. Both with pink and orange paisley tissue-wrapped "prizes" tucked inside.

Favorite quote: 
 "Letter writing is an excellent way of slowing down this lunatic helter skelter universe long enough to gather one’s thoughts."  Nick Bantock

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Pamela's Daybook: May 11


Today: While I'm not happy Emily is in pain, it's a treat to have her curled up here. She thought she would go to the school at noon for a case conference, but realized she couldn't walk from the parking lot to the meeting site. She's calling in to do her part. Don't tell anyone, but I think I was a tad (or bigger) bit happy Jonathon had to work.

At my writing desk: Called in sick. Ha! Maybe mental health -- RB told me he really liked my outfit. I looked down to discover a purple, black, and white skirt with a red and burgundy paisley top. I changed my mind after I had put my skirt on, but my brain didn't tell me to wear a different (i.e. matching) top. We had a good laugh. 

In the mail: I don't remember getting the mail yesterday. Do you have a favorite go-to brand of note cards, or do you use a variety? I have favorite brands (Rifle Card Company, Paper Source, Papyrus), but for economic reasons I use other brands. However, I draw the line at super cheap envelopes. 

Praying for: A couple whose 8-month-old baby was smothered by a blanket while sleeping. 

Thankful for: Camron -- He gave me seven kisses Sunday when I kissed him good-bye. Made this Mawmaw's heart so happy.

I'm reading:  Lysa Terkeurst's post -- "Devastated But Not Destroyed."  
 In the midst of our own devastation, Lysa reminds us that "God is a Redeemer. A Healer. The Author of hope. The Pathway of restoration. The great I AM."

Postmarking: I worked on some cards this morning while visiting with Emily. If time, Emma and I are going to work on some after school.  

Favorite quote:  
"We must exchange whispers with God before shouts with the world." Lysa Terkeurst

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Pamela's Daybook: May 10

Today: This is an at-home day. Dreary outside, but the candles are lit and it's cozy in here.

At my writing desk: Whatever. It seems more like a reading day than a writing day. Maybe I'll take a mental health day!

In the mail: Happy mail from Michigan and Maryland. One of them included a deliciously long letter.  

Praying for: My Emily. She inherited her Pop's back issues. She was acting silly last night and put her back out. 

Thankful for: My pinterest pin that went viral -- 7.7k almost overnight. One near and dear to my heart -- Affirm a Child.

I'm reading: Excerpts from "The Life Giving Home" by Sally and Sarah Clarkson. Melanie sent some pictures of a few of the pages about letter writing. "In the lilt of each loop, the way we dot our i's and cross our t's, we infuse ourselves into our words. The very act of writing tends to bring out a greater depth of emotion in us, and it communicates to the receiving individual that we are invested personally in this gesture." 

Postmarking: I worked on some cards last night at Barnes and Noble. I found a box of cards to buy, too. By Paperstyle -- a new brand to me. You Make Me Shine.

Favorite quote: 
"What happens most is developing the habit of noticing and appreciating the gifts we are given and learning to express our gratitude, love, encouragement and support in the most gracious and effective ways possible -- in the words we speak, type, or write by hand." Sally and Sarah Clarkson

Monday, 9 May 2016

Pamela's Daybook: May 9

Today: Barnes and Noble for five hours. Enough said!

At my writing desk: Finish June Banner article and have-to writing. I'm racing the clock so I can do some fun writing at the bookstore. Fun writing is something I'm not under contract or obligated to do.

In the mail: Happy mail! A special Kate Spade package from my friend, Eleanor. We live in the same town, but she knows just how much I love my mail, so pays postage to send it.

Praying for: Family coughs! RB, Emily, Melanie, Ethan, Morgan, Camron -- that's quite the list. It seems to just hang on and on and on.

Thankful for: Memories from yesterday's blessings from my daughters and husband, text messages from my sons-in-law and so many friends. I am blessed.

I'm reading: Just started "Comedy Writing Secrets" by Mel Helitzer. "When the mouth is open for laughter, you may be able to shove in a little food for thought" (Virginia Tooper).

Postmarking: Starting on the list for this week. Planning on taking a few notes with me. We sent over 100 cards out this week.

Favorite quote: "Dinosaurs don't read. Now they are extinct" (Sign outside a bookstore).

Friday, 6 May 2016

Pamela's Daybook: May 6

Today: Today includes a trip to Hobby Lobby. That's a day-brightener! The trip includes CVS and the post office -- not nearly as fun. I'm waiting for the new stamps to come in. Have you seen them? Vintage trucks. I don't like to put flower stamps on my cards to men. There's an awesome tiger stamp out, but they give a donation to the wildlife society so they cost more. 

At my writing desk: Working on a Mother's Day post. Thinking about my June article for The Banner.

In the mail: A two and a half page typed letter from Massachusetts, a note from Virginia, and a thank-you from Urbana, Illinois. RB is doing much better about bringing in happy mail. Ha!

Praying for: Four little girls who are facing their first Mother's Day without their mother. 

Thankful for: Sunshine! It's just beautiful today. 

Creating: Decorating my envelopes, wrapping wee parcels. 

I'm reading: Downloading "Rules" by Cynthia Lord. It's a Newbery Honor Book Award recipient. "Rules" is a young people's book, but Emily thought I'd like it since I just read "The Eagle Tree."

 Wrote 13 cards last evening. I'll mail them today.  I have three I need to have weighed.  I have a postal scale, but I'm still not sure on anything over 2 ounces, or over 1/4" thick or one that won't bend. 

Favorite quote: 
"Unselfish and noble actions are the most radiant pages in the Biography of Souls." David Thomas

Linked to: 

Coffee Shop Conversations

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Pamela's Daybook: May 5

Today: Moving slow, but from the looks of my to-do list, I need to get a wiggle on.  RB is in Marion for a meeting. 

At my writing desk: I'm reading aloud today. It's amazing how many errors you find when you say the words instead of just reading them.

In the mail: Written on one of the cards I received this week -- "Thank you for listening." Alfred Brendel said, "The word listen has the same letters as the word silent."

Praying for: A friend who lost her mother this year. Sunday will be a hard day for her. 

Thankful for: God's Word: "Thy words were good, and I did eat them; and thy words were the joy and rejoicing of mine heart" (Jeremiah 15:16).

Creating: Does making heart-shaped waffles count? Many years ago, RB's roommate in college took him to his home.  Karl's mother made waffles with chicken gravy. RB still asks for it from time to time.

I'm reading: Reading the May/June issue of Bible Study magazine. I noticed an article on "Revealing the Wonder of the Bible." It's Sally Lloyd-Jones on writing for children. I'm making myself wait until I get to it. 

The focus of this issue is on the Gospel of Mark. Cheilca Hitunen wrote, "Mark weaves together stories to present Jesus as a particular kind of Messiah -- a Messiah of action, who gathers disciples, heals the sick, teaches with authority, debates the religious leaders, and overcomes evil forces. Jesus' actions manifest the kingdom of God that he proclaims."

 Sending a card to the friend who lost her mother this year. Last year was the first Mother's Day after my mother went to Heaven. My friend, Eleanor, sent me a gift -- shelter for my heart.

Favorite quote: 
“The more you study the Bible, the more you'll love its author." (Anon)

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Pamela's Daybook: May 4

Today: A quiet day at home with RB. We do our own thing -- but together. I'll ask him for a word I'm trying to think of.  He reads me an email he's received. We work, quietly, listening to "He makes all things beautiful in His time..."

At my writing desk: Writing and blogging isn't all about writing and editing manuscripts. I spend many hours answering emails and Facebook messages, researching, and reading and commenting on other blogs. I'm never bored!

In the mail: Four pieces of "fun mail." A graduation announcement, two thank-you cards, and a note card designed to brighten my day -- it did!

Praying for: Heartland Christian School kids at state competition. They have worked diligently, and it's already paying off with three awards in writing short stories and essays.

Thankful for: My Postmarked group of ladies and children.  

Creating: I had a blast creating postcards at Melanie's yesterday. We made a major mess on her dining room table with sequin flowers, paper, washi, small lace doilies, punched music notes and circles, etc. Landon is finished with his work for the year, so he manned the laminator. 

I'm reading: Finished "The Eagle Tree." Amazing read.  I was almost finished when I thought it was going to end like a Jodie Picoult book. I love her books, but the endings kill me. Hayes wrapped it up nicely. I wanted to read some of his other books, but two of them are about fire, and I don't do fires, as some of my readers may well know...

Here's how you can make the fun postcards we made yesterday:

We used 4"x6" laminating sheets, but the directions said to use packing tape, so if you don't own a laminator, you can still make them. Put your decorations down however you desire. We learned as we went -- like using a return address stamp on the back of the doily, etc. Once they are laminated, place an address label in the center front of each. It was easy enough for Camron to do.  (Pictures below)

Favorite quote: 
“The kind of life I want is to be a person who would get a personal note every day.” Sara Zarr

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Pamela's Daybook: May 3

Today: Hmm...what should I do today?  Oh, right -- VOTE! And when I'm done, I get to head to Melanie's for a couple hours. 

At my writing desk: Curriculum

In the mail: Not much.  I tell RB it's his responsibility to bring me happy mail. Sometimes he doesn't fulfill his responsibility.

Praying for: A wife dealing with her husband's alzheimer's. "We remember their love when they can no longer remember."

Thankful for: "
Hymns that focus on peace: "There's a peace in my heart that the world never gave;" "Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth;" "Peace like a river;" "Peace, perfect peace."

Creating: A fun project with Melanie and the kids. Check in tomorrow to see it!

I'm reading: I've had some books recommended to me I'm looking forward to reading. One is, "We Are Afghan Women," by the G. W. Bush Institute.

Postmarking: I found a new tuck-in for my cards -- Colorful Blessing messages by Christian Art Gifts. They are 3"x4" cards with a message or Scripture to color, or can be sent for the recipient to color. I was delighted with them. Only $4.41 for 44 cards -- 10 cents each.

Favorite quote: 
"Peace is not the absence of trouble, but the presence of Christ." Sheila Walsh

Monday, 2 May 2016

Pamela's Daybook: May 2

Today: Today is Rhonda day -- she loosens me up so my neck doesn't creak every time I turn my head. I'm going to have to make my own sunshine, because there's no sun until Thursday.

At my writing desk: A little bit of this, a little bit of that...

In the mail: RB picked up our mail and woohoo -- three letters and a postcard. I saved them until I could sit and enjoy them.  Heather sent me this quote from Monet: "Everyone discusses my art and pretends to understand, as if it were necessary to understand, when it is simply necessary to love."

Praying for: The family of a ten-year-old boy who found a gun and shot himself, and for the chaplain ministering to the family.

Thankful for: The sermon by Pastor Danny -- God Always Finishes what He Starts.

Creating: Emma and I worked on two projects Saturday. We also had a tea party with hot chocolate. Actually I didn't read the pods right and it was mocha. I didn't ask if she was bouncing off the walls when she got home.

I'm reading: Still reading "Eagle Tree" by Ned Hayes. You may have to use some filters, but for me it's been an important read. I've learned more about trees than I knew there was to learn. I have to force myself to put it down. In fact, it was in my purse calling to me yesterday afternoon at the Anderson Children's Choir and Youth Chorale. Three of my grandchildren were singing (singing beautifully, incidentally). I may or may not have been a tad bit bored when they sang in different languages.

Postmarking: I added a new member this week, and that's always exciting. We send 134 cards out last week. We have some heart-breaking needs this week, and I'm so thankful for my ladies who not only send cards, but pray for the recipients, too.

Favorite quote: 
"Buy the new book. Wear the old coat." Austin Phelps