Just a few of My Random Thoughts

I have a zillion thoughts or so it feels like running through my head and lots of stuff I want to share on my blog but alas I have not made writing a priority.

I just took a peek at my blog and *gasp* I have one post. ONE.  A single post for 2017.

So I'm going to do a Random 5 style update.  I miss my Random 5 posts.

1) 2016 was hard.  I lost two uncles, my beloved cat and my brother.  Never mind the celebrities that died in 2016 people (and an animal) that I love are gone.  I wrote a blog post sitting in my drafts called Saying Good-bye but I couldn't bring myself to post it.

Here are a couple of family pictures with my brother.  This first one is from the late 80's  In order: my dad, my brother, me and my sister.

My dad with his three kids

This one is the family portrait taken at my wedding.  Look at how proud my mom was and look how tall my brother is!

2)  Turtlegirl seems to be settling in well away from home at college.  I miss her so much and I am looking forward to her being home for Spring Break.  Here is my baby from when she was home on Christmas break.

Turtlegirl home form college for Christmas Break

3) Since we lost Lacy unexpectedly in July we've been keeping a closer eye on George.  He gave a us a bit of a scare because he seemed unwilling to walk.  Suspected arthritis.  Here he is chilling at the vet.  And yes it is arthritis.  He's doing much better now that he has some medicine to help with it

George didn't seem to upset by the exam room.

4)  I attended a wonderful women's pre-lenten retreat a couple of weeks ago. The topic was Restoring the Image: Women, Beauty and the Church. Some of my zillion thoughts I want to blog about are directly related to the retreat and how I am trying to have more beauty in my life.

5) The 2017 Homeschool Review Crew year is fully underway! Last week the Crew reviewed Home School in the Woods Project Passports.  I'll be posting a review here myself.  We're studying Egypt and Supergirl is loving it!

6) Speaking of the Crew,  I just received last week a product that the crew will be reviewing called Color My Conversation. I've started digging through the Instructor guide and I am so excited to use this with Supergirl. I think all of us at my house will benefit.

The Crew will be reviewing Color My Conversation from Northern Speech Services


More than just Valentine's Day!

Today many people celebrate. People eat chocolate, send cute little cards, and plan romantic dates.

 We don't just celebrate Valentine's Day today!

My family celebrates today as well but we celebrate something else.  Something much more special.  It's all about Love.  Eternal Love.

7 years ago on Forgiveness Sunday my family was received into the Eastern Orthodox Church.  My husband and children were baptized and the six of us Chrismated.  This took place before Liturgy and at Liturgy we had our first communion.

On February 14th we became Orthodox!

Forgiveness Sunday marks the beginning of Lent.  During the special vespers service we transition into Lent.  It's a beautiful service.

This year Forgiveness Sunday falls a little later in February.  On that day we'll remember that liturgically that is our anniversary.

Today my husband and I will have a little date.  We'll eat steak and shrimp and watch an episode or two of Doctor Who.  (I'm thinking the Christmas Special with River Song sounds perfect). Yes we'll celebrate Valentine's Day but as we enjoy our steak and shrimp we'll also be thinking of something much deeper and far more important.

In Him we have Eternal Life


Five Minute Friday: Crave

Some friends of mine from the Homeschool Review Crew like to participate in the Five Minute Friday link up hosted by Heading Home.  The idea is to set a timer and write for 5 minutes. This week's word is "Crave".


The first thing I think of when I hear "crave" is food.  Food cravings. Craving is not just wanting but has the connotation of needing. When I can tell I am getting dehydrated I don't say that I crave water.  I say I need water.  But when I say someting like "I am craving Chex Mix" it is not just meeting a need such as hunger but meeting some type of psychological need?

I've heard it said that craving specific foods may indicate that your body needs something that is in those foods. I don't know if that is true or not but I know that when I say I crave something it is more than just an intense "want".  I don't just want the Chex Mix.  I can't be sure that I need the Chex Mix but other snacks are just not going to satisfy the way a handful of crunchy cereal snack.

Five Minute Friday: Tess's Thoughts on CRAVE at CirclinThroughThisLife.com #fmfparty

Craving isn't just about food though.  I sometimes crave some aspect of Divine Liturgy.  This week I've been listening to my Church's CD because I wanted, no, needed, no was craving the beauty and worship of Divine Liturgy.  Something about hearing the familiar voice of my priest and familiar hymns meet this need more than listening to Ancient Faith Radio.

When thinking about "crave" I also thought about it terms of relationships.  A young child craves the attention of her parents. She both needs and wants the attention. I found myself craving some extra time with my husband.  Life's been crazy.  We've been stressed and I was craving some simple time alone.  Just Honeybear and me snuggling on the couch watching Netflix.


Come join in the fun! Click on the button below to read more thoughts about "Crave"



Personalized Name Meaning Gifts from CrossTimber {Review}

Christmas is right around the corner and now is the perfect time to be thinking about a special personalized gift for the loved ones on your list!

Members of the Homeschool Review Crew have had the opportunity to choose from a variety of name meaning gifts including a Personalized Framed Plaque with Name Meaning and Bible Verse from CrossTimber. I want to share my experience with all of you.

CrossTimber review at CirclingThroughThisLife.com #hsreviews

Before I could order, I had to choose. I was torn. We were given the opportunity to review ONE gift. How was I going to choose? I could not make up my mind. I started by emailing John at CrossTimber.  I shared with him that I was having a difficult time making up my mind. I have four daughters so I didn't want to pick one of them and not pick the others so I went in a different direction. I gave John my husband's name and my name. A couple's name plaque would be nice! My niece had gotten married only a few weeks before so I asked about her name and her new husband. Maybe I would get them a framed plaque.  But wait we have a young godson. This could be a most excellent and meaningful gift for a godparent to give to a godchild.

I felt bad for giving him so many names. I really wanted to see what name meanings he had and what verses he would use. That information would help me pick my review product.  My list didn't daunt him at all!
First off, we LOVE sharing name meanings, and always have!  In fact, that’s why we made our very first name gifts for some peers who tried to convince me they were my enemy… so I blessed ‘em with NameCards!   http://meaning.name/RE/driversed.html  That said, here are some name meanings!!
He didn't just give me the name meanings! He also gave me the Bible verse that he would use for each name. I liked that.  I liked seeing the connection between the meaning of the name and the verse that would be printed with it. He also made suggestions of which design and size might work best for each name!  I did appreciate having some direction when looking over all the different choices available.

I still struggled with what to choose and came back and asked about more names as well.  John at CrossTimber was very patient and very quick to respond to all of my emails.  I even asked about surname research.  This what he said:
Ah, surnames!  Most surnames, we can research, but some are so far removed and altered from their roots that it’s difficult to nail down a very accurate meaning.  In those cases, we often suggest a strong family Bible verse in place of the meaning.  However, that’s not the case for {lastname}. 
Finally I decided that I could not choose just one item. We discussed different options for ordering more than 1 item that has the same name and design. When my cart did not reflect the savings I was expecting, John reassured me that he would manually make the adjustments and send me an invoice.  He got my total to me very quickly and I was able to pay using PayPal which I really appreciated!

Remember I asked about surnames?  And he had something for my last name.  Here is what he had:

Surname  Name Meaning with Bible Verse from CrossTimber #hsreviews

*sh* don't tell but we ordered one for ourselves and two additional ones since I could get them for just $5 each to give as gifts! I will have to get frames for these.

Speaking of frames.  The other items I ordered?  I chose the Frame Artist's Choice option for each of them. The Frame Artist will choose a frame that compliments the design you choose.  Originally I thought I might just order prints for everything but then I realized that for just $5 more per plaque I could have them choose a frame that would compliment the color and style of the design I choose and I would not have to go shopping for a frame myself.

Here are a couple of frames that I received that I really like. These are my two favorites!

Redwood Decorated Frame of the Name Plaque with Meaning and Bible Verse from CrossTimber #hsreviews

Frame Artist's Choice for Name Meaning Plaque with Bible Verse from CrossTimber #hsreviews

Here is the gift that John from CrossTimber really helped me with.  He suggested the design.  I think it turned out fabulous!

Personalized Framed Plaque with Name Meaning and Bible Verse! Read he review at CirclingThroughThisLife.com #hsreviews

CrossTimber is a Christian family owned and operated business. In addition to the Personalized Framed Plaque with Name Meaning and Bible Verse they offer personalized mugs, name cards, bookmarks and even music boxes! The customer service is better described as customer care. With all of the email exchanges I didn't feel like he was trying to sell me something more but that he really wanted to help me choose something I would love.

I recommend getting your favorite beverage and spending some time checking out the website. I found the Name Meaning Articles fascinating. I also recommend reading about Driver's Ed which is how CrossTimber got started!

My husband and I are so pleased with our order that I am considering ordering more items to give as gifts!

Name Meaning Gifts from CrossTimber  #hsreviews

Click on the Banner below for an opportunity to win your own Name Meaning Gift!  *Giveaway hosted and sponsored by CrossTimber*

CrossTimber 2016 giveaway

Take a moment and read about what the other members of the Homeschool Review Crew have to say about the gifts they received from CrossTimber.

Personalized Framed Plaque with Name Meaning and Bible Verse {CrossTimber} Reviews

Find CrossTimber on Social Media

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/meaning.name/
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/crosstimber

Crew Disclaimer


George: Give me your attention!

I am generally too wordy for a wordless post but I'll keep the words to a minimum!

I present to you the lonely cat who demands attention.  Want to work?  Better give him attention first.  He's going to hold the computer hostage until you give him what he wants.

Happy Mid-Week!