icRKphJXQm-ezth8lntKydifkDg The Loose Screw: January 2011

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Chad went skiing!

Last Sunday, January 23rd, Jeff took Chad for his first time skiing-very exciting!!  One of the many ski resorts in our area, Alta, has a great program-Ski Free After 3.  Every day of the week, it is free to ski from 3 until the slopes close at 4: 30.  The only cost is rentals if you don't have your own equipment, which we don't (probably would be smart to look for used skis).  Equipment rental is very reasonable at $10.  So if you show up at the ski rental shop at 2:30 and get all ready to go at 3,  you have 1 1/2 hours of skiing.  For a brand-new skier, that was plenty of time!!  They use a tow-rope on the beginner slope, and it was a lot of work (mostly for Dad) getting Chad up that thing! Then there were all the times the skis fell off, or Chad couldn't get up by himself, etc.  Jeff had a great workout!  Chad had a lot of fun-he wasn't overly enthusiastic, asking when he could go again, but seemed to enjoy himself.  Our older kids didn't ski for the first time until we moved here, and they love it.  They both want to learn to snowboard next.  It is an expensive sport, but the different ski places offer some great deals for students early in the season.  Jeff grew up skiing in Minnesota, which is different from skiing here he says, and together we skied when we lived in Nevada.  I loved it, but it is on my naughty list of things I'm not allowed to do anymore since my spine surgeries.  Oh well, I do love it when the kids and Jeff can go.  Here is a picture of our newest ski bunny: 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Bible in 90 Days Update-Day 21

It is day 21 of 90 in the Bible in 90 Days program.  We are in 2 Samuel now, and I have  to say I am really enjoying this! Originally I did not think it would be going this well.  I thought it may be too much reading per day to get much out of it, but I'm learning SO MUCH, and remembering so much!  I've never read through the entire bible, and it feels great to be doing it, something I've wanted to do but never stuck with.  Before starting the 90 days, I figured I would get into a routine with a time of day that I always did my reading; that hasn't happened.  I'm still reading whenever I get the chance, pretty much any time of day, but usually in the evening after my hubby has come home and dinner is cleaned up. I have found, however, that I am not getting much other reading done, either fiction or non-fiction, except the few pages I try to read in bed before I fall asleep.  But, not reading my other books for 90 days is completely fine with me to accomplish this goal! I can already tell that I will be getting so much more out of sermons and bible studies because of reading through the bible.

 I already knew the main stories of the books of the bible we've read so far, but never to the depth I know them now.  Some of the chapters (Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers mainly) were rather boring with all the laws and family breakdowns.  Now it is getting more exciting.  Some of my favorite verses from the reading so far:
Deuteronomy 6:5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
Joshua 1:9 Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. 
This last verse, Joshua 1:9 is written down on a list I keep to read when I am discouraged by my limitations and pain from my disease.  It is very comforting to me. 

Go to http://www.biblein90days.org/ for more information on this great program.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Sweet 16 and Driving!

Well, it has happened.  We are a household with a teenage driver.  Alyssa turned 16 last week, and got her license the same day.  Actually, she passed the tests before her birthday, she just had to wait until her birthday to go get her license.  I had never heard of that before, maybe it is just a Utah thing-we tend to do things a little different here sometimes ;) 

Now, Alyssa is not our oldest child. Nick is 19, and just hasn't gotten around to the driver's license thing yet-he prefers a unicycle to get around.  Good exercise, makes people smile, but not the best transportation in the winter!!  He is actually planning on working  on getting his license soon. 

Alyssa is such a blessing.  I never imagined my baby girl would turn into such a caring, beautiful on the inside and out, responsible, respectful young lady.  She loves the Lord, and makes sure everyone knows about Him.  How awesome is that??  She was a spitfire, sassy little girl, and we all expected a rebellious teenager.  I'm not saying she is a perfect angel, of course she has her moments as she is navigating these rough child-to-adult waters. But- I ENJOY spending time with her.  I LOVE spending time with her.  The past 16 years have been a joy. 

On to the driving-no matter how good of a driver your child may appear to be, it is downright scary to watch them go off the first time alone, in the car.  I felt sick to my stomach.  Of course we all want to protect our children, and part of them growing up and becoming independent are these steps.  But, wow.  I never expected it to be so hard!!  You see your little girl sitting there in the driver's seat (she is only 4'11" by the way), and you just want to turn back time.  It has become easier this past week, with each solo trip she has taken.  I've prayed a lot more this week, that is for sure!!  But, as hard as it is, I do look forward to watching this beautiful young woman God has entrusted to me grow and learn and mature even more.  What an exciting time of life!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


January 12, 2011-I've been invited to try Time4Learning for one month in exchange for a candid review. My opinion will be entirely my own, so be sure to come back and read about my experience. Time4Learning is an online educational program that can be used in many ways including as a homeschooling curriculum or afterschool tutorial. Find out how to write your own curriculum review for Time4Learning.

We are starting in the next few days, so check back in a month for the review.  Here is the website: http://www.time4learning.com/

Friday, January 7, 2011

Book Review-'An Amish Love'

January 7, 2011- 'An Amish Love' is a compilation of three Amish novellas by Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, and Kelly Long.  I enjoy reading Amish fiction, and this book was a treat! I have read each of these authors before, and they did not disappoint in this book.

There is a glossary of Amish terms at the front of the book, and then the first novella is 'A Marriage of the Heart' by Kelly Long.  This is a sweet story about Abigail Kauffman and Joseph Lambert, who were forced into a sudden marriage.  The story follows them as they struggle to find love in their relationship. 

The second novella is 'What the Heart Sees' by Kathleen Fuller.  Ellie Chupp was blinded in an accident, and her boyfriend left her soon after.  When Christopher Miller returns to town after a five year absence, a new romance begins.

'Healing Hearts' by Beth Wiseman is the final novella in 'An Amish Love'. After a one-year separation, married couple Levina and Naaman Lapp are together again.  Will their marriage endure what this separation has done to their relationship?

Along with the helpful glossary at the front of the book, the back of the book has a reading group guide for all three novellas, as well as several Amish recipes.  I would definitely recommend this book!.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their Booksneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year!

January 3, 2011-My first post of the New Year.  I'm hoping to post more this year, I'm thinking shorter but more often.  This past year I've linked up with several encouraging homeschooling Moms who blog, and they have been an inspiration. 

Our holidays were nice and quiet-ahhhh.  We of course would have loved to spend them with our families in California or Minnesota, but it didn't work out this year again.  Times are tough and it is expensive for a family of five to travel!  So, it was just the five of us.  Nick came home from school in mid-December for a 2 1/2 week break!  He just went back to Clearfield last night.  It is looking like he may finish up his certification within the next month or so, then hopefully a job and an apartment will be next for him. 

So, today was back to the regular routine of homeschooling and activities.  I didn't make any resolutions this year, just loose ideas of what I'd like to do better.  With chronic illness, I think I beat myself up enough throughout the year when I can't do what I planned to, so why make it worse on myself with resolutions?  Some things I"d like to improve this year are:

Food/menus/meals: I already started this last year, and I've done pretty well.  I'm trying to make home cooked dinner from scratch most nights.  We stopped eating fast food (except for the occasional big treat) a few years ago, and aside from frozen pizza and leftover nights, I'm trying to not use any prepackaged, processed foods for our dinners.  I'd love to make out menus far in advance, but I buy each week based on what is on sale, so it doesn't work out well to plan too far ahead. 

Budgeting/couponing: I'd like to get a tighter reign on our budget, and keep better track of my savings using sales, rebates, and coupons. I don't want to have to use Credit cards at all (had a few emergencies last year that we had to), and work on using Dave Ramsey's plan to pay down debt and increase savings.  I'd also like to completely pay for Christmas gifts with earnings of gift cards, etc. from rebates, surveys, points earned in various programs.  This past year, I earned about $200, which was just a little short of my goal of covering everything. 

Exercise:  This is a very vague one.  I'm really not supposed to exercise in any way, except pool therapy, which is too expensive. The fear is all the hardware in my neck and upper back and base of skull-there is just way more than there should be, and the neurosurgeon worries something will break.  But, I can handle very short walks or pedaling a stationary bike for short bursts.  So, I'm going to try to do that more often.  My semi-regular diet of steroids puts on about 5 lbs. each round, and in the past few years I've gained about 25 lbs. from my normal weight.  That may be a losing battle, but who knows? 

Reading/Bible: I want to continue reading more and watching TV less.  I'll continue reading one fiction book at the same time as at least one non-fiction book (mostly bible studies).  I also want to spend more time in the bible this year, and I think I'm off to a good start!  I'm participating in The Bible in 90 Days!
Today was the first day.  I'm on a team of several other women and one man, many of us are homeschooling moms. Many have blogs. Some are living in other countries-China and Africa are where two participants live. We have a mentor, who is encouraging us and I'm enjoying getting to know her as well. We check in with each other and are getting to know each other along the way. It is a lot of reading to get this done in 90 days, so obviously not much 'studying'.  What I'm looking to get out of this, aside from reading through the bible completely, is to make a better habit for myself by spending a large chunk of time daily in the bible.  I'm really excited about this!

That's all I can think of at this time, not that there isn't a lot more rolling around in this head of mine!  This year should be an exciting one in our family, with lots of changes, especially for our oldest two, Nick and Alyssa, as they navigate these older teen/young adult years!