DebCorner

an ordinary blog

Author: Deb (Page 1 of 2)

Another Fabulously Ordinary Day

Bunnies!

My daughter built a bunny habitat complete with shredded paper. She’s been diligently taking care of her bunnies nearly all day. She’s even taken one to bed with her tonight.

Math and Magic

My oldest son spent nearly the entire morning programming and drawing in Scratch a meter to reach his goal of purchasing the outrageous builder subscription on Roblox. He did loads of math learning how to divide his monetary goal up evenly, and how long it’d take him mowing lawns while giving to God and saving.

He then moved onto making magic wands (or swords?) with Legos. That sweet boy tried to wave his wand to make all my pain go away.

Imagination to Design

My younger son and I had a lovely conversation at bedtime revolving around how to go about designing things. He now aspires to this Roblox subscription and is noodling what shirts to make. How do you imagine something and make it real?

… and Poop

I get asked a lot of questions throughout the day. However, my favorite question, by far, was this: “Does God poop?”

I responded, “No, but if he does, it’s perfect.”

Dot Journal

Purple Dot Journal By Artist’s LoftTM – $5 from Michael’s
At this price point, it’s a great deal. I like the size too. My favorite pens are the Pilot G-2 gel inks. They do bleed through the pages ever so slightly. The hardcover is on the softer side of things, it has some give. I love that it has two ribbon bookmarks and that there’s a table of contents style to the first several pages.

*I don’t do affiliate links or for-reward reviews.

I originally was going to review several journals here, but I’m realizing that will take a really long time. I’ve been using this journal for my first bullet journal and I’m enjoying it. I think I’ll get a blue one next time.

Update: I posted my review on Michael’s website.

Imitation Game

I finally got my “round to it” and watched The Imitation Game with Benedict Cumberbatch on Netflix. I have to admit that the actor more than the story line is what grabbed me.

The movie was gripping – a very well told story. Turing was so obviously autistic it was painful. The homosexual twist was not exactly shocking, but I was pleased with how it was covered – not lewd/crude, but matter of fact and certainly not central. Although the movie could have ended much earlier than all the homosexual political stuff – however, I do understand why Hollywood included it. I can’t fault them for using their medium for political agendas.

This is definitely an adult movie for many reasons, but mostly because it’s slow and complex. Kids won’t necessarily be able to follow it. I liked it, and would probably watch it again sometime.

Cumberbatch was great in this role. I do like that actor. He’s not overly handsome, but he is a really believable actor. I find that skill level fascinating to watch.

42

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams has the answer, and it’s 42. This is a great and fun book. I’ve never read the rest in the series, but I want to!

There are a number of theories why the answer to “life, the universe, and everything” is 42. My favorite is that’s it’s ASCII for “anything you want it to be.”

The number 42 also happens to be the ASCII code for the asterisk ‘*’ which is a wildcard character indicating any number of characters or even an empty string in programming. This could be interpreted as the answer ‘anything you want it to be’.

Wikipedia

The real answer is far more mundane.

Douglas Adams was asked many times why he chose the number 42. Many theories were proposed… Adams rejected them all. On 3 November 1993, he gave this answer:

The answer to this is very simple. It was a joke. It had to be a number, an ordinary, smallish number, and… I sat at my desk, stared into the garden and thought ’42 will do’ I typed it out. End of story.

*

Kindle Fire HD 8 MoKo Cases

To help with our educational goals (and make use of my giant Kindle library), I purchased 3 Kindle Fire HD 8 tablets on Prime day for the children. I also got these MoKo cases. Both products are great!

My Review of the cases on Amazon:

We got three of these cases. The cases are sturdy, fit well, the kids love them, and they’re pretty. Who could ask for anything more?

Incidentally, my giant Kindle library is largely due to a BookBub subscription. That service is brilliant!

I had a heating pad on for a while, and then got very chilled when I took it off. I commented as such to my son, and then said I needed to get a jacket, “even though that’s ridiculous in this heat wave.”

My wise son replied, “Go outside, Mom.”

LOL! 😆

I did! Much better now, thanks.

Calendar, Journal, and Puzzle Books oh my!

The collection that sits on my night table struck me funny. My logic puzzles book, my bullet journal for tasks and homeschooling stuff, my calendar for the usual scheduling needs, and my prayer journal.

I sometimes wonder if I should combine all of those journals into one, but I’m not sure that I want to. I like the compartmentalization.

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel

I took the kids to the $1 movies today. I LOVE that this type of thing is still around! It was either Alvin and the Chipmunks Squeakquel or the Secret Life of Pets. We’ve seen the Pets movie, and I really didn’t like it enough to watch it again. So, Alvin it is!

This movie was cute, slap-sticky, and laugh out loud funny. I was entertained even though it was a little ridiculous. It’s a kids movie! 🙂

My kids enjoyed the movie, laughing and carrying on for a little while afterward. I’m shocked they didn’t go on and on about the fart scene, actually. They loved the helicopter and bad-guy confrontation stuff at the end.

I did roll my eyes a bit at their cheeky handling of bullying and body image issues, but on the whole, it wasn’t totally terrible. There are only two things I didn’t like and wish could have been different:

  1. The oversexed up girl chipmunk group. They could have been cuter and less sexy, and it would have still worked well.
  2. The insinuation that you can’t be in sports and music at the same time. This movie was down on sports pretty hard. I was a band geek, and I still didn’t like how horribly the sports team guys were portrayed.

I don’t do stars, tomatoes, thumbs, or anything. I enjoyed the flick, but probably wouldn’t watch it again.

I am the Bowl

I loved this sermon message!

I am the bowl, and the fruits of the spirit are put into me by God. Gifts!

The fruits of the spirit are not goals to reach for, they are evidence of God’s spirit in you. If you’re focusing on these qualities as goals, you are seeing where you fall short – your failures. If you are seeing them as evidence of God’s grace… well, that’s a whole different ball game.

Have a listen!

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
– Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)

Real Genius

It probably wasn’t a genius on my part to let my young crew watch this movie, but they enjoyed it all the same. It did have quite a few parts that made me cringe and hope they didn’t really pick up on what was going on. I know I didn’t realize all THAT was in this movie when I was their age.

I like the reviews over on Common Sense Media. I probably should have checked there first instead of scrolling Netflix for something that didn’t sound boring.

The kids are 12, 10, and 9. I know. I know. A little young. Common Sense Media suggests 13. They handled it just fine though. The boys loved the explosions, fire, the hole through everything on campus, and, of course, the popcorn.  They also loved the potty humor. Of course, they did! All 3 of them did, actually. I’m surrounded by potty humor nearly every day movie or no movie.

As for me, I still really enjoy Real Genius. It cracks me up even more now looking at all that 80’s!

Try Not to Laugh

This is an appropriate title for my first stab at a reaction video complete with video editing!

Enjoy!

I created the video capturing with OBS – my husband/son introduced me to this tool. I edited the video with Adobe Premiere Pro and created the intro/outro with Adobe Spark. All the while getting near constant input from my son on how to actually do it all! I have experience in graphics editing and Photoshop, but nothing to do with videos. That’s a whole new world!

Update: My son (12) uses the free version of Resolve for video editing, and states that “it is the best editor in my life.”

Custom Sidebars and Blogging

I had more fun playing with the WPMU custom sidebars plugin today than doing any actual writing for the blog. There’s now a different sidebar for the post pages that doesn’t include the long string of Instagram pictures. Post pages are probably never going to be long enough to warrant all of that.

I then realized I didn’t have a search function on the site. So, I added one and then I added a custom sidebar for the search results. Oh yes, I do find this stuff loads of fun! This is good because when I’m not homeschooling or mothering, websites are my job!

Speaking of blogging, I’m considering moving the more blog-like posts from my professional website over to here. This is the blog. That is more of my living business card. Of course, that means I’ll need another bucket for my more geeky posts.

For now, I’ve been slowly adding in bloggable posts from my collection in Evernote. Some of them may very well have been published to this blog in one of it’s earlier iterations. When I do add those posts, I backdate them for when they were originally written.

God’s Weapon

Jesus could have struck down Satan any way He chose. After all, He was the Son of God with an endless arsenal. But, instead, He engaged the enemy with the only weapon that guarantees victory: the sword of the Spirit, or the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17).

What would Jesus do? Use the Word of God!

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. – Ephesians 6:17 (NASB)

I don’t know about you, but I don’t think of weapons and battlefields in everyday life. That is unless I get trapped into yet again arguing with a strong-willed child. That definitely feels like a battlefield!

There is no weapon more powerful than God’s Word.

So, if you find yourself on a battlefield feeling alone, don’t lose heart and don’t reach for the wrong weapon. You are not alone, and you have the best weapon ever! God’s Word is the weapon that will bring you victory, comfort, and provision.

What weapons do I normally reach for? Overeating, yelling, running away (me time!), or drinking. Yeah – those don’t work so well at all! What about when I lecture the kids on what is right? What about when I am right!? Those never really work so well either.

I really need to do a better job of using God’s Word in my daily life rather than only having it as something I read and study. Lord, help me do that better.

If you don’t follow Jennifer Rothschild’s blog, you should! Her writings often encourage while convicting me. These excerpts are from her article The One Weapon You Need to Fight Any Battle.

My son discovered we have both Sprite and lemonade. He loves mixing those two. He’s all excited and asks me, “Mom, what’s your favorite mix.” I’m sure someone will call my bad parenting skills to the stand, but I at least I answered truthfully – “vodka and cranberry juice.” I love my boy! He nodded his head and responded rather seriously, “Ah.” LOL

Crochet Techniques

I recently spotted a short video clip of a woman crocheting on Instagram (embedded below). It struck me how very differently she holds her hook, yarn, and wip from how I do things. (wip = work in progress)

A post shared by B.Hooked Crochet (@bhooked) on

She has this overhanded hold on her hook and a way of twisting the hook to pick up the yarn that was beautiful to watch. It also seems a more relaxed hold on things as compared to my style. I don’t think her left hand (the yarn hand) does anything other than be there for the yarn to run through.

I hold my hook much like a pencil in my right hand. Then, I work the yarn with my left hand over the hook as I hold my wip along with the weaker fingers of my right hand. I found this little series of photos I took back in January 2010 that shows a little bit of my hold. (The animation is thanks to Google Photos.)

Crochet in Action

I wonder if my technique is odd? I wonder if her technique is better? I wonder if I can change my style so drastically?

I gave it a whirl. I had to laugh at the pretzel my fingers turned into. It’s like I was first learning crochet all over again! I think I might persist though because it is a much more relaxed hold and it’s far less tiring on my hands. I could crochet even more!

That’d be cool.

Decisions

I’ve been trying to narrow my blog’s focus to one topic. That’s hard! Maybe my corner is meant to be more of a journal. A simple place for me to practice my writing and remembering what I learn along the way.

In that vein, I want to define the boxes into which my writing will fall into. I’ll use categories to hold these boxes of thought. I’ll try to stick to those boxes.

In pondering tags,  I found this article on WordPress helpful. I think I’ll take the tact of treating tags as a unifying set of subcategories based loosely on the topic being covered.

Category and Tag Ideas:

  1. Bible Study
    1. books of the Bible
    2. fruits of the Spirit
  2. Crafting
    1. crochet
    2. sewing
    3. cross-stitch
  3. Humor
    1. topics (ie. animals, homeschooling, etc.)
  4. Organized
    1. GTD (getting things done)
    2. services
  5. Opinions
    1. books
    2. movies
    3. games
    4. services
    5. products
  6. Ramblings
    1. topics (blogging, web admin, shower thoughts, etc.)

I didn’t order these ideas for any particular priority or preference. I’m simply brainstorming. Although I will try to stick to these 6 categories, I did not make an exhaustive list of tags. That list will build over time organically.

I’ve built many websites over the years, and I’ve dabbled in blogging for only a little bit longer. I’m considerably more experienced and skilled at building websites, than blogging. I look forward to learning more as I go along.

Organizing Batteries

We might have a few batteries…

I’m working on my blog, and I hear my daughter helping my son with a computer glitch of some kind: “Oh! All you have to do is Alt-Carl-Delete.”

15 minute yoga book

15 Minute Yoga

It only took me about 45 minutes with figuring things out and all the kid interruptions. I did finish!

Meanwhile, my son injured himself falling off the kitchen counters. He forgot we have a step stool. Sigh…

Yoga is dangerous on more than one level, apparently.

Joking aside, I really like the approachable nature of this book, and although the moves aren’t simple for this total yoga novice, it was easy enough to follow and I feel like it is in the realm of accomplishable.

The book I have didn’t come with a DVD, but here’s the link should you want to get this yourself: https://www.dk.com/us/book/9780756629267-15-minute-gentle-yoga*

*This is not an affiliate link.

Magic Ring

I’m learning new skills!

This is known as the magic ring. It’s a way to start working in rounds, which I do a lot of with these Christmas ornaments.

Gem Bag

My son purchased a gem excavation kit, which came with a small gem bag.

He determined the bag was too small and asked for my assistance in making a new one.

He picked colors and sewed up the sides, and I helped with the drawstring.

I love the results and he does too!

My First Christmas Ornament

I wanted to make something fun and meaningful for Christmas. I’m giddy at how well this turned out!

I used scrapped t-shirts for filling, but I think I’ll use standard polyfill next time – it’s lighter. I also re-wrote the pattern some to make it less confusing. I had no less than 5 false starts! That got a little frustrating. Next improvements are to get a smaller hook and improve how I start the rounds (another pattern rewrite).

Making Your Loudest Voice Calmer & Your Truest Voice Stronger (excerpt)

This is an exceptional article. Here is the portion that spoke the loudest to me.

At my loudest, I was heard the least.

At my loudest, I felt the most pain.

At my loudest, I caused the most hurt.

At my loudest, my voice was most voiceless.

In those agonizing moments after my tearful, over-the-top meltdown, I’d frantically rummage through the junk drawer looking for my car keys. I needed to get away—far, far away.

One night I made it all the way out to the car. I was in my pajamas and my skin felt cold against the leather seats. I was shivering as my barefoot stepped on the gas pedal.

But I could not leave.

I went back inside to get my children. I gathered them up, one in each arm. I remember how they cried in confusion and fear. I made it to the door and realized I could not leave without my husband either. And I could not leave without my beloved calico cat, Callie. I could not leave my people.

Something needed to change.

I needed to find my voice—my truest voice—the one that could be heard … felt … and understood.

Source: Making Your Loudest Voice Calmer & Your Truest Voice Stronger by Rachel Stafford, the Hands Free Mama.

The author speaks of writing in journals, which is something I do myself. It really is incredibly helpful! If writing is not for you, and you’re curious about other ways to help you stop yelling, then check out The Orange Rhino – it’s another great resource.

Focus on One

A friend shared with me an article from this e-book*, and it really struck me.

Focusing on one task means that you simply choose one. Forget thirty. Forget ten. Choose one thing that you can do and do it…
One is a powerful number.

She goes on to describe a few scenes that could have come straight from my home. Scary and reassuring, actually.

One idea I never really fully considered though is in how I  choose the one thing I focus on doing next.

When you are able, choose the one thing that makes the biggest impact. I know you can’t always do this…

However, when you have the opportunity to start with that, do it.

Take housecleaning for example. The one task in house keeping that makes the biggest impact for me is picking up all the clutter in the main living spaces. Long time ago, I gave up on the picture-perfect (and even slightly attempted) organized play room. I have a bin in the living room to throw everything into that doesn’t belong in the living room. I take that to the kids room when it is full, dump it on the floor, and charge the kids with the task of putting their things away. It takes many days, and I often step in to help here and there. The point is that my main living spaces are not cluttered.

Even knowing this, I often choose to start the laundry or tackle the dishes first. Then, I look around exhausted and feel overwhelmed by all the clutter. For me, I need to start with the clutter.

The author, Jenny Herman, had a pretty cool blog which also had a nifty “The Power of One”** compilation. Fantastic stuff.

One final thought that keeps resonating with me is when Jenny Herman wrote:

Focusing on one does us no good if we are going it in our own strength. We need to look to God for our strength.

One of my favorite verses is Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

I can do ONE thing through Christ who strengthens me.

And then…

I can do ONE MORE thing through Christ who strengthens me.

Just keep going.

One thing at a time.

* The e-book was linked, but that link is no longer available. I believe it was called “Well Planned Homeschool Avoiding Common Back to School Mistakes.”

** The blog post is no longer in existence, but she now has a book on Amazon for $3. I haven’t purchased it, and this is not an affiliate link.

Interesting Bible Study

I’m reading my Chronological plan in ESV, and my “real” Bible is NIV. This really isn’t a big deal, but I’ve grown to love the ESV translation. So, I decided it was time to buy an ESV Bible. I got a lovely purple ESV Bible with only one column and no red letters to distract – it is all God’s Word, after all.

It is odd to have a Bible without any notes and highlights in it! I decided to go through my old Bible page by page and transfer my notes over. This turned out to be an odd little Bible Study:

  • Why did I highlight that passage?
  • What does that note mean?
  • What is that reference that I wrote down?

It has been very, very interesting! I finished this little project yesterday. It took me all week!

I knew I had some Bibles from when I first became Christian hiding around somewhere. I decided to dig them out, and go through those as well. My first Bible is interesting – I highlighted the gist of the stories – not really significant scriptures for growth or understanding. I was just learning the story back then. Now, my notes take apart the stories, include original language notes, and life application notes. I never really realized my growth like that before – kind of cool.

My favorite notes to come across are the hearts, stars and letter P’s I drew in. I didn’t know I hearted so many verses! The stars I drew were verses that impacted me in some way. The P’s are promises of God. It is such a joy to find and re-read these verses.

My new Bible is already becoming a rich landscape of all my learning thus far, and there’s so much more in there!
I just love it.

Whether you get a new Bible or not, pull your trusty companion out sometime, and go through it page by page seeing again all that you marked, learned, and loved. You’ll be blessed by it.

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