Friday, 7 April 2017

Pamela's Daybook: April 6th

Today: I have a sweet 6-year-old running around my house.  (When I helped with Morgan's kindergarten we had tea parties every week.) I couldn't think how to make Carmon's time special. He loves to do crafts, but they are built into his curriculum. I finally hit on something he loves -- He spends Wednesday night with us so he's here on Thursday.  He loves it.  He sleeps on the floor by my bed. Yes, we have two other beds, but he wants to be in our room. He wants Pawpaw to make his bed though -- he makes it neater than I do. Pawpaw usually makes his breakfast, but he wasn't home this morning so I fixed him biscuits and gravy. You know, the Bob Evans kind that you thaw the gravy in the microwave and frozen biscuits that are ready in 24 minutes. 

Thankful for:  Fresh fruit. I'm always happy when it's time for fresh fruit. We've already had some spring fruit although it's still a bit "winterish." Won't be long though until it's soft and more flavorful. 

Latest Obsession: To Do cards from Levenger. I found them because other companies are making 3x5 cards out of cheap paper. My pen drags on them and they feel nasty, too. The Levenger cards feel good and writing is smooth. They sell "pocket briefcase" for them too, which provides a good writing surface. They no longer sell the one I have -- in light blue. It's the little things that make me happy!

Praying for:  Dan and Tammy -- They lost their daughter, Katie, this week. She was in her thirties and leaves behind a son and daughter. It's so heartbreaking. We aren't supposed to bury our children.

At my writing desk: Pretty lazy this week -- recuperating from last week's frenzy! I should get to see the first quarter of the new curriculum, Word Alive! this month. I'm working on quarter six this week, hoping to get all the writer assignments out.

I'm reading:  Still reading "Killing Jesus" by Bill O'Reilly. It's an amazing book, yet so gruesome. Really puts the Easter story in context for me.  

My Amazon wish list gets longer and longer. There are so many I want to read right now. I'm trying to get out of my comfort zone when it comes to reading. Any suggestions for my next nonfiction book?

Favorite Quote:   Nobody can be uncheered with a balloon. Winnie the Pooh

Pastor Danny shared that when he went to see Zane at the hospital he always took him a balloon. Not because they cheered Zane directly, but because it was one way Zane could bless others. The balloon always found a home -- with a child visiting or in the hospital, or sent home with one of the nurses for her children. 

Monday, 3 April 2017

Pamela's Daybook: April 3rd

Last week: It was the craziest week in the Kuhn household. RB and I both had deadlines. He did way more than his share of meal preparing, cleaning up and running errands. Then I had some unexpected medical tests, and he insisted on taking me, dropping me off at doors and feeding me while we were out, then making special trips to town for medicine.

Latest Obsession:  Lavender soap made by Beth Jones. If you are ever in Alexandria, stop and see her store, Soap and Sunshine Apothecary (113 N Harrison St. Alexandria, IN 46001). I've used many of her products and have never been disappointed. Beth's attention to detail is evident. If you like natural products, you will be pleased with everything Beth offers at Soap and Sunshine

Thankful for: Emily had two weeks of Spring Break. We snatched her away for one of those days. Jonathon was working a twelve hour day, so we picked her up before breakfast and kept her until almost 9:00 that evening. Of course, our day included Barnes & Noble and Maggianos.

Praying for:  The family of Dr.Tim Crouch -- his wife and children, brothers and sister. Tim was 57 and died unexpectedly. “God blesses those people who grieve. They will find comfort” (Matthew 5:4).

At my writing desk: I wrote and wrote and then wrote some more. I had a deadline -- and you know me and deadlines. I was one happy girl when I finished. I'm blessed to love my career choice. Even in what seems to be an impossible deadline, I enjoy the process.

I'm reading:  "Killing Jesus" by Bill O'Reilly. I'm only in the second chapter, but the historic background supports the truth of God's Word.

I'm continuing to work towards my goal of reading fiction, and I'm surprising myself to find out I'm enjoying it. I've been choosing titles by recommendation. I read "The Daughter" by Jane Shemitt. I just started "White Dresses" by Mary Plum Peterson. I was so surprised to find it is set in Indiana, partially in Muncie and Ball State University. 

I'm finding joy in: My foam yarn wrapped eggs Morgan made for me. They are in my tablescape and I smile every time I walk past. 

Favorite Quote: A smile is the light in your window that tells others there is a caring person inside. Denis Waitley

Monday, 20 March 2017

Pamela's Daybook: March 20st

Last week: We made a quick trip to Pennsylvania to see my daddy. We had such a nice visit -- complete with snow, although not the 14" we were promised. It was nice to spend two evenings with my sister Melodie and brother-in-law Steve, relaxing around the fireplace. On the way home, we met my brother Craig for a 3-hour meal. Becky was sick and not able to come.  

Latest Obsession: Starbucks Strawberry Acai Refresher. Have you tried it? I enjoyed one -- that's right, only one. Then I made the mistake of looking it up and guess how many sugar grams it has. 20! I'll just be happy to put some strawberries in my Awake tea. 

Thankful for: RB -- he just did the dishes so I could work on my Postmark List!

Praying for:  A Florida teenager who is missing. I had a soul-satisfying discussion with my friend, Chris, about prayer and the importance of praying specifically. 

At my writing desk: I left my computer at home last week, so I worked double when I returned. Sometimes a little break makes my thoughts clearer. 

I'm reading:  "Black Rainbow: How Words Healed Me. My Journey through Depression" by Rachel Kelly.

I'm finding joy in: Crocheting a blanket for someone special. I pray for the little-one-to-be when I pick up the blanket to add rows. 

Favorite Quote: 
Sometimes we need the salt of tears to remind us how to savor the sweetness of life. Lysa TerKeurst

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Pamela's Daybook: March 8th

Yesterday:  RB had a teacher to review in Indianapolis last evening, so I tagged along. I do that as often as I can -- especially if there's a Barnes and Noble nearby. I didn't take my computer so used the old fashioned pen and notebook. In 4 1/2 hours I wrote enough that I had to wear my brace when I got home. But it was a delightful time, sitting beside a window with the sun warming me. 

Last evening was the first time I've been to the Castleton Barnes and Noble for a while. I enjoyed seeing the needlework group that meets there. There's one man who does beautiful counted cross stitch. The others are ladies and they knit, crochet, etc. 

Latest Obsession: Rifle Paper Company notebooks. I was first introduced to the Rifle Company through their notecards. They have a set of three slim notebooks with packaging that makes me smile. Gel ink glides on the pages so it's a delight to write in them.

Thankful for: Yellow tulips. RB bought me yellow tulips Saturday. They are on my desk in one of my mother's vases. 

Praying for:  Oh my, so many to pray for this week. The Shelter: Postmarked list has so many serious requests. Our friends, Michael and Kim Matlock's house was hit by a tornado this past week. Thankfully the roar woke Kim and their three sons (Michael was at work), and they were able to get in a closet just seconds before it hit. 

At my writing desk: Writing on joy today.

I'm reading: I'm reading fiction! "Healing Ruby" by Jennifer Westall. Westall leaves a huge cliff hanger on this book. So I bought book #2. This leaves another cliff hanger. So I bought book #3, thinking it was the last book in the series. Oh, I was wrong. And the worst part is book #4 isn't out yet. It's been a while since I really liked a fiction book. 

And have any of you purchased President George Bush's "Portraits of Courage?" It's beautiful, and the stories poignant. These are courageous men and women who fought for our country -- for my family and yours. Reading it fills my heart with gratitude and love. 

I'm finding joy in: Sunshine! Life just seems to sparkle more when the sun is shining. My daddy always sang to my mother, "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy 
when skies are gray..." 

Favorite Quote:  When I think about my ideal free day, it usually involves going into London and sitting in a nice coffeehouse with cake and coffee, but I would probably still have my notebook in my pocket. Jonathan Stroud   

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Pamela's Daybook: March 1st

This week:  Sunday was Writers Group meeting for our church. I had two other members speak about blogging. It was so interesting to hear additional perspectives for what we do. We didn't have time for the free-writes, but distributed the exercise to the group to complete this week. A free-write is writing on a topic for five minutes without stopping. I used "Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring" as the topic. 

Thankful for: Empty containers. We are striving to downsize. Each emptied container is one step closer to our goals. My practice -- for years -- was to use colored containers because I thought it looked neater than seeing the "stuff" in them. I gradually changed to clear boxes because it's easier to see what's in them. I just use colored for seasons (red-Christmas, orange-Thanksgiving, etc.).

Praying for:  Carson -- a 3-year-old with cancer, currently in Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh. I have an address if you'd like to send him a card.

At my writing desk: "Writing is the painting of the voice" (Voltaire). My paint brush has been busy!

I'm reading: I'm reading fiction! "Healing Ruby" by Jennifer Westall. Also "66 Ways God Loves You: Experience God's Love for You in Every Book of the Bible" and a writing book. I've also sent some samples to my Kindle. I've found I save money by reading a sample to see if it's something I want to read.

I'm finding joy in: Strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries. While eating them this morning I thought about the Fruit of the Spirit. Trying to make each one evident in my life: "Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. To these I commit my day" (Max Lucado).

Favorite Quote: Joy is the holy fire that keeps our purpose warm and our intelligence aglow. Helen Keller

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Pamela's Daybook: February 21st

This week:  This is a busy one. Usually, I try to conserve my energy by only getting out a couple times during the week. This week, I'll be out every day. Thursday I'm planning a five-hour evening at Barnes and Noble. It's been a while and I'm like a kid at Christmas. Friday night I have a date!

Thankful for:  Ronda. I get deep tissue massages every two weeks. Due to our crazy schedule, I've had to put it off another week. So thankful I can get there today. Besides loosening me up, I love talking with her for the hour.

Praying for:  My friend Anne. Anne is part of Shelter: Postmarked group, and sends cards each week. Right now she's had a difficult time.Through it all, she has reached out to others. Anne is one of the most caring people I know.

At my writing desk: Last week I took most of the week off from the curriculum and did some blog work. I've been neglecting both of them. 

I'm reading: I just finished Jesus Prom: Life Gets Fun When You Love People Like God Does. It was challenging, humorous at times, and very real. How many times do I walk around people who need some love? Too many, I'm afraid. Jon Weece says, "Jesus loved verbs. Verbs like love, come, rest, learn, hear, die, give, and go. So wouldn't it make sense that the people who claim to follow Jesus would love the same verbs Jesus loved?”

Of Hygge cozy joy: Crocheting a baby boy afghan. There's something cozy about crocheting -- especially while praying for the baby that will be cuddled in it. I'm just making a big granny square, so I can even read while I'm crocheting.

Favorite Quote: Relationships rise and fall based on each person's willingness or unwillingness to die to self.  Jon Weece

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Pamela's Daybook: February 15th

Last week:  Someone in my home broke the "no kissing while you're sick" rule, so I succumbed to RB's cold. I kinda like my own pain, and not being able to breathe was the pits. I'm good as new this week. 

Valentine's Day: We've started a tradition with our friends, Ben and Sue, to celebrate Valentine's Day together. So we took a bit of a road trip and met them on Monday. Last night we had a tiny party for the grands. Heart-shaped pizza was the main entree. 

I planned on sharing some of the things Emily did for her Jonathon, but didn't get that done. She planned the "14 Days of Valentine." She hung 14 hearts, folded into envelopes, with 14 treats or activities for them. You can see a few of them in the pictures.  

Thankful for:  God's Word: 
When I discovered your words, I devoured them. They are my joy and my heart’s delight. (Jeremiah 15:16). Somedays I just need to "pig out" on the Word. 

Praying for:  Noel and Betty Scott. Betty has been in the hospital for a long time. They both need prayer for strength. 

At my writing desk: We're getting close to rolling out the new children's curriculum for Herald and Banner. Emails and phone calls between us has been constant as we hammer out the last few things. 

I'm reading: I just finished Big Mountain, Bigger God: When you are weak He will carry you, by Cindy Mullett. We serve a big God who is with us when the mountains are insurmountable, or if they crumble at our feet.  

Life is easy, when you're up on the mountain,
And youve got peace of mind, like youve never known.
But things change, when youre down in the valley,
Dont lose faith, for you're never alone.

For the God on the mountain, is still God in the valley,
When things go wrong, He'll make them right.
And the God of the good times, is still God in the bad times.
The God of the day, is still God in the night. (Lynda Randle)

Of Hygge cozy joy: Planning a cozy reading session this evening. Not sure what I'll be in the mood to read.  I have about 8 started. I guess it will depend if I want entertained (novel), I want to learn (nonfiction), or if I feel like researching (many books, same subject). 

Favorite Quote: “Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” Charles William Eliot

Monday, 6 February 2017

Pamela's Daybook: February 6

This week: We celebrated birthdays Saturday. It was Camron's 6th birthday, and today is Sarah Morgan's 9th birthday. We all met at Bird's Barbeque to eat, then went back to Melanie's home for dessert -- Batman cake for Camron and pink sprinkled doughnuts for Morgan. It's always fun to watch the Clemens' cousins together, and to catch up with Shawn's mother, Sheryl, too. 

Looking forward to: We have a lot going on this week. Every day we are doing something outside of our home. I'm hoarding Saturday for an at-home day. Today is our last writing class at Heartland Christian School. RB has been teaching essay, and I am teaching short story. We've been getting some great work. 

Thankful for:  Plumbers!

Praying for: I'm praying for so many today. Those on my Shelter: Postmarked group list, a friend of RB's whose teenage son is having heart surgery today, for Herald and Banner's staff...the list goes on, but God hears them all. 

At my writing desk: I wrote twenty-four activities in the past four days, plus a few other things. I met with two other leaders from our writers' group to plan meetings for the next three months. 

I'm reading: I've read eight books so far this year. Standing out from all others is "The Insanity of God: A true story of faith resurrected" by Nik Ripken. It's an amazing story of God working in the midst of intense persecution. So compelling and, at the same time, hard to read. 

Of Hygge cozy joy: Burning Scentsible Scents Sugar Pumpkins today. First time I've used this brand, but they were 70% off. I'm sold! It's burning straight across and smells amazing. 

Favorite Quote: Don't you ever give up in freedom what we would never give up in persecution. Nik Ripken

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Pamela's Daybook: January 19

This week: Monday was a special day for RB and me. Emily (our teacher) and our grandchildren had the school day off. Thinking Melanie probably needed a change of scenery, they all came to lunch. Lunch was tailored to the kids -- Grandma Arnold's sloppy Joes on homemade rolls, mac and cheese, and Bing cherries. It was one of those soul-satisfying visits with books being a big topic. RB, of course, keep them filled with coffee drinks. I heard something about sugar and cinnamon (shudder). 

Looking forward to: Since our families now have grown kids and grandkids, we like to be at our own homes at Christmas. Craig, Melodie, and I decided that we would wait until January to get together. We meet in Walnut Creek and stay at Oak Ridge Inn. My daddy comes, too, and we have a delightful time together.

Thankful for: My father is feeling better. He was so weak and sick last week. He told his doctor, "I have to get better so I can go on vacation." The doctor provided an arsenal of medicine to help him, and each day he is gaining strength.

Praying: I'm praying for a dear friend's son, David. You know if Satan can't get our young people to sin, he traps them into becoming too conscientious about their faith. In a church we used to attend, we had a man who frequently said, "He's a mean old devil." 

At my writing desk: Racing towards my March deadline. Carving out time for blog writing and a bit of "fun" writing. I'm trying to make time for other activities and enjoying family. Hopefully, I can break the habit of feeling like I need to accomplish something every. single. minute. 

I'm reading: A Book! You know, like the ones you can hold in your hands and turn the pages. I went to the library so Melanie would have something different to read as she recuperates -- came home with two huge stacks. I found a Jodi Picoult book from 1995 I haven't read. On my Kindle, I am reading Ann Voskamp's "The Broken Way." It's slow reading because I like to digest her poignant writing style as well as content.

Of Hygge cozy joy: A little five-year-old, cuddled up to me, sleeping by my bed, and giving so much joy! I love teaching him kindergarten and listening to him read.

Favorite Quote:

Wounds are what break open the soul to plant the seeds of a deeper growth. ― Ann Voskamp 
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Friday, 13 January 2017

Pamela's Daybook: January 13

In our lives:  The first thirteen days in January brought celebrating, praying, and listening.

Celebrating: When Emily was eleven years old, she received a "best ever" birthday present. Our first grandson, Ethan, was born. Emily and Ethan share a birthday with Elvis Presley. 

Auntie and Ethan

Shawn, Melanie, and their teenager, Ethan

Praying:  We've spent time praying for Melanie since December. She had a herniated disc and has been in intense pain. God led them to the Spine Clinic and this past Monday she had laser surgery. God has helped her through it all. She's back home, but we are all wondering how we'll keep her down for three months. It's neat that her friends and neighbors have provided several meals for the family. Those of you who know Melanie know how many meals she's made for others. It's fun to see her "bread" come back. 

Listening: I'm a news junkie, so I'm enjoying the Cabinet hearings this week. Today, I've been listening to Wintley Phipps. RB was invited to a meet and greet luncheon where Wintley spoke. Amazon Prime has several albums of his music and I've been blessed by his "Amazing Grace," "How Great Thou Art," and "Just As I Am."

At my writing desk: I met my December 31st deadline for curriculum a week early. I was so happy.  I took the next week off to spend a week with my daddy in Indiana, PA. I did take my computer, but my time was spent cleaning out files, etc.

Thankful for:  Living close to my daughters. I had a 5-year-old with mischief in his eyes and a heart as big as the moon staying with me while his mother was having surgery. I was able to attend all the grandchildren's programs. This year they (and Melanie) were in a production of "A Christmas Carol." 

I'm reading: "Hygge: A Danish Concept of Cozy and Simple Living." Noah Nielsen (It's free for Kindle Unlimited.) (If you want to see 17 books -- plus a few -- books I want to read this year read: Click Here.

                                                     Blurb from Amazon:
"Fed up with the hectic pace of modern day living? Well then, curl up with this book, a cozy blanket, some hot chocolate and learn how to embrace the Danish concept of cozy and simple living...Hygge will allow you to create closer bonds with your loved ones, enjoy the simple miracles in life which occur each day and enjoy the winter instead of dreading it!"

Favorite Quote: It is in the quiet crucible of your personal, private sufferings that your noblest dreams are born and God's greatest gifts are given. Wintley Phipps

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Faith Filled Friday

Thursday, 12 January 2017

17 Books I Will Read in 2017 (Plus a Few)

A Country Between (Stephanie Saldana)

Avid Reader: A Life (Robert Gottlieb)

News of the World: A Novel (Paulette Jiles)