Increase

I’m trying something new this year.  Instead of making a long list of New Year’s Resolutions (I think I made like 15 of them last year and kept a grand total of none of them) I am going to try an Un-resolution.  I first heard about My One Word (the Un-resolution) on the Eric and Mandy show on Air 1, a radio station my family listens to quite a bit.  The idea behind My One Word is that you select a single word to define the new year.  After thinking taking the first week of the 2012 to reflect a little, I chose the word “Increase” as My One Word.

Why increase?  Well, as I mentioned in my last post, I feel like I got a little overwhelmed and lazy the last half of last year.  I didn’t write or blog nearly as much as I wanted, wasn’t working out, wasn’t even working around the house as much as I should have been.  However, this is a new year and my focus is going to be on increasing my work in a number of areas.  Some things I would like to increase in 2012 include:

  • Work outs – getting back on track as well as increasing time and intensity
  • Writing – increase my number of blog posts as well as increasing my lesson writing
  • Involvement – increase my participation in youth group activities and increase support of my Sunday School girls in their high school extracurricular activities
  •  Improvements around the house – increase my time spent on organization, cleaning, and household improvements
  • Reading and Games with the family – increase the amount of time we spend on these activities as a family

The best part of choosing the word “Increase” as My One Word?  If I gain weight this year, I can still claim victory since the numbers on the scale will have “increased”!

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She blogs too…

Recently my daughter and I were talking about one of my friends (no, not behind-your-back-gossip talking, just talking) and I made the following statement:

“She blogs too.”

While she didn’t actually say this out loud, I am pretty sure this is what my daughter was thinking:

“Mom, ‘too’ means ‘also’ and so maybe you just mean to say ‘she blogs’ because you haven’t touched your blog in over 3 months.”

Ouch.  At least she was smart enough not to say it out loud.

Of course, she would have been right to be fair…I haven’t posted since the middle of September.  Wow.  I remember last summer sitting at the computer and thinking about how much writing I was going to get done during the fall.  For the first time since I had become a mother, all three of my children would be attending public school.  Sure, I was starting classes in the fall too, but that was just two days a week.  That meant I was going to have 8 hours a day, three days a week all to myself. Just thinking about how much I was going to get done made me smile.

Ha.

Well, you see how well that plan worked.  To be fair, there was a good deal of time wasted by me this fall.  Sometimes reading for pleasure, sometimes watching Netflix, sometimes just staring out the window enjoying the quiet.  I also spent a lot of time on school work – I must have forgotten how time consuming homework and studying could be.  Of course, there was housework and running errands and preparing for Sunday School and Bible Study.  What I’m trying to say is that a lot less writing got done last fall then I thought would.

But…it’s a new year…so it’s time for some new goals.  I think I’ll be a little less ambitious this year.  Instead of aiming for a post a day this year, I think I will shoot for a post a week – 52 seems a lot more doable than 366 (leap year!).  Besides, that way if I somehow manage to write 2 posts a week I will have exceeded my goal by 100% – who wouldn’t like to earn a 200%???

Happy New Year!

And you thought Frontierville was just a game…

Last weekend we were given 5 chickens from friends of ours.

These chickens weren’t intended to be pets…their fate was the freezer.  I will spare you the details on how we spent our Saturday afternoon last week.  Let’s just say that I am thankful we live out in the country and leave it at that.  Well, once we cleaned up from our day, I thought my pioneer-woman experience was finished for a while.  Oh, how wrong I was…

At the beginning of this week, we noticed our water pressure gradually declining.  At first I was a little concerned that our well was drying up – the drought is pretty severe here, and we have heard of a few people having this problem.  Tim wasn’t worried about that, however, and instead said he thought the filter on our pump needed changed. Tim needed a little help from our landlord changing the filter, so this morning our landlord went out to the pump house to make the change.  As they were talking, our landlord noticed that our water pump was running but was barely getting any pressure.  He called in a professional and after about an hour of tinkering, we learned that our pump was dead.  No big deal right – we do have a number of major home improvement stores in the area.  Oh yeah, there’s just one thing…

You see, our well is old enough that it takes a special kind of pump.  A number of smaller supply stores carry them, but not the big chains.  And did I mention that the smaller stores don’t open on Saturday.  Ha.  That’s right…our old pump was lying on the dusty ground beside of the pump house and a new pump can’t be purchased until Monday.  How fun is that!

Our landlord, of course, felt horrible about this.  They brought us lots of bottled water and told us to use their showers as long as we needed.  However, there were a couple of issues we needed to address at our house.  For instance, we had a sink full of dirty dishes from breakfast, lunch, and some miscellaneous baking Rebecca did this afternoon.  Also, we really didn’t want to run next door every time we need to use the bathroom.  What to do, what to do?

Well, Tim remembered that the water faucet on our shed is attached to our landlord’s wellhead rather than ours.  So, he ran an extra long hose from that faucet to our back door.  He brought in a bucket of water and boiled water on the stove for me to use for washing dishes.  Then there was the bathroom situation.  He has been filling up buckets and using water from those buckets to flush the toilets.  After numerous trips to fill buckets and lugging them back inside I think it is fair to say that we will both sleep well tonight!

How We Labor on Labor Day

School is in full swing for everyone here in the Cobb family.  But Labor Day means a three-day-weekend.  How did we spend it?

I have a big Anatomy test on Tuesday…so most of my Labor Day has been consumed by Studying notes, flashcards, and my text book.

Tim brought home lots of grading this weekend…so he is spending most of Labor Day on the computer, inputting grades and touching up lesson plans for the week.

Goldie is choosing to spend the afternoon showing the sticks and pine cones in the yard who is boss.  She also protected us from a sinister looking (?) passer-by on a bicycle.  Good Dog.

The weather today is dramatically different from the past several weeks – still sunny, but temperatures are only in the high 70s and low 80s.  So, Timothy and Linden spent a good deal of time outside practicing their soccer moves. (Rebecca decided to spend the day with friends, so I guess she will have to post her own pictures of her Labor Day!)

HAPPY LABOR DAY!

Ten-Year Fishing Trip

When our oldest turned 10, my parents established the tradition of a ten-year birthday trip.  Since she was the first grandchild, the trip was a complete surprise and she had no say in where we went.  My mom and I took Rebecca to Chicago for 2 days, where she got to visit the aquarium, have dinner and shop at the American Girl Store, and stay at a hotel for the first time.

Rebecca, age 10, posing with one of her American Girl Dolls in Chicago

Since Timothy was almost 7 when Rebecca turned 10, he had three years to plan his trip.  He decided early on that he wanted to go on a fishing trip, he just didn’t know where.  Unfortunately, Timothy turned 10 two days before we moved to Louisiana.  With all the changes and transitions that came along with moving, his ten-year trip had to be postponed.  He was very understanding about the situation since he knew he was going to get his trip – he just didn’t know when.

This year, on his eleventh birthday, he was finally rewarded with his fishing trip!  We had cake and ice cream and then packed up my dad, Tim, and Timothy and sent them to Lake Calcaisieu in Southern Louisiana for a two day fishing trip.

Here are the boys right before they left for their trip.

This is a picture of the living room area of the lodge where they stayed – I definitely wouldn’t call this roughing it!

The boys arrived at the lodge Monday afternoon, but didn’t have to go fishing until Tuesday morning.  That left them some time to take in a few games of pool at the lodge.

Of course, it wasn’t all fun and games on Monday. Here is a picture of my dad giving Timothy a refresher course on casting.

He looks pretty confident – I think he has the hang of it!

Here’s Timothy getting ready to go out on the boat the first day.  Notice that it is still dark. See, this is exactly why I will never be a great fisherman – the fish get up way earlier than I do!

Here fishy-fishy-fishy…

Success!  This wasn’t Timothy’s first fish of the day, but it was his first redfish.  What a great catch!

The boys were given orders not to come home with an empty cooler and they didn’t disappoint.  Here is Timothy with the catch from the first day.

Day 2 – back on the water.

Taking a pause during casting for a photo opportunity.  This picture was taken by my dad, notice Tim in the background taking a picture from the other side – in addition to ordering the boys to catch lots of fish, they were also ordered to take lots of pictures.  My mom and I must be pretty scary, because they didn’t let us down on either request!

End of day 2 – here is Timothy with the day’s haul.

Even though he had to wait an extra year for his trip (poor planning by me and Tim for moving right around his birthday!), he agreed this trip was definitely worth the wait.  All the boys had a great time and they brought home lots of fish and lots of pictures!

Summer Travels, Part 2

In my last post, I shared a little about my week at Glorieta, New Mexico.  A little less than 12 hours after I got home from New Mexico, I was back on the road again – this time with the whole family as we headed north to Indiana and Michigan.

Our first stop was West Lafayette, Indiana to visit Tim’s family.  We stayed with my father-in-law and spent 3 days visiting with him, my sister-in-law, brother-in-law, and two nephews.  While there, we got to watch both of my nephews play baseball.

That’s my oldest nephew, Noah, pitching in one of his games.

After a few days in Indiana, we headed even farther north to Michigan to visit with friends we haven’t seen since moving last year.  We spent the first few days with the Taplin family.

Rebecca got in a little time with Maddie – who has grown way too much since we left.

We had a campfire and roasted marshmallows Wednesday night.  Most of the kids relaxed by the campfire on the swing.

Maddie took my kids for a tour of the farm and introduced them to this years piggies.

Linden and Brett spent lots of time swinging.

After getting very little sleep the night before, some of the kids crashed in the living room for a while and watched a little tv.

We also spent a few nights at Lake of the Woods in Decatur at my parents’ camper.  The kids were really looking forward to swimming while we were there – Tim and I decided to pass on that since it felt like the lake had just thawed!

The kids had just tested the water and determined that it was just fine for swimming!

This is where they spent most of the morning.

Friday night, Rebecca spent the evening at church at the annual Faith Girls’ Party.  She was really excited that they were able to plan the party for the weekend we were visiting.  The theme this year was Red Carpet.

Here is a picture of most of the girls dressed in their Red Carpet finest.

Melissa and Rebecca (home school buddies) dressed up at the party.

Of course we had to eat at some of our old favorite restaurants during our visit.  We made it to Mancinos, Chinn Chinn, and Culvers.

Concrete shake and cheese curd…YUM!

Sunday morning (our last day in Michigan) we decided we needed a picture with the Cobb and Taplin kids.  We decided to line them up youngest to oldest, Missionary Kids style!

Can you believe it – we got the majority of the kids to look at the camera!

I think David had a little too much Cobb family fun this week – what do you think?

Of course, we had lots of fun visiting with our old friends.  As usual, I didn’t take nearly enough pictures while we were there!  Early Monday morning we loaded up the van and headed south, making a quick stop in Camby, Indiana to meet the newest member of the Lawyer household – who is absolutely adorable, by the way.  After a much too quick visit, it was back in the van for another 11 hours of travel.

This is pretty much the way we all felt by the end of our vacation!

Linden’s World

When we first moved to Louisiana, Linden experienced a total personality switch.  Gone was the self-confident, outgoing little girl from Michigan.  In her place was a quiet, shy little girl.  Oh, she could still scream and throw a tantrum with the best of them, but she was extremely quiet and clingy whenever we would go to church or anywhere else.  At one point this fall she put her hands on her hips, glared at me, and yelled, “you ruined my life by making me move to Louisiana!”  Good times.

We started the school year in August with Linden being home schooled for Kindergarten.  The less said about that, the better.  Let’s just say that about 9 weeks into the school year, we knew it wasn’t working.  Even though I had heard some not-so-great things about the local school, Tim and I decided Linden really needed to be enrolled in Kindergarten.  It has been a huge blessing.  She is completely over her shy phase – her teachers from Church are constantly commenting on how she is out of her shell and talking and playing with the other kids.  She has made huge strides in reading and writing in the few months that she has been in school.  She was even selected as Student of the Month in her class for February.  She only has 15 students in her class, which is really great for her.  She is also attending speech classes, which are already making a difference.

Linden waiting for the bus on her first day of school

This winter, Linden also participated in Upward Cheerleading.  Even though she said it was “boring”, she enjoyed it and we really think this helped with breaking through her shyness.  She was in a squad of 8 girls, all Kindergarten and 1st grade.  The girls cheered for the Kindergarten-1st grade Upward basketball teams during the 7 game season.  The girls cheered on the sidelines and also performed a halftime cheer each week.

Linden and her squad getting ready to perform a side line cheer

Linden and her squad cheering for the players as they were introduced

Linden and her squad getting ready for their half time cheer