Thursday, December 27, 2012

Thankful Thursdays- 12/27/12 - B vitamins

Ok, I know this one is not in the same vein as the other recent "Thankful Thursday" posts...but still, it is something I am quite thankful for. A long time ago (about 8 or 9 years), in a dark, dreary, depressed place I slugged along. 2 young girls, homeschooling, working part time...PMS lasting a week or more every month. It was not a very happy life (for me or for my family.) There was work stress, and money stress, and well, frankly, I was not a pleasant person to be around.

Then one of my friends suggested I try a B Complex. After all, B vitamins are water soluable, so I wasn't likely to overdose. Well, I tried some, and I wasn't as depressed, and I slept better, but something was still missing. Then I upped the dosage, and it was like the sun broke through the clouds!

How could such a small thing make such a difference? If you really want to know, ask me, I'd be happy to give you the scientific side sometime, but to not bore the rest of my readers, let's just sum it up like this "THEY WORKED!"

Depression is an ugly thing. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) isn't much fun either. While I won't say I never struggle with either one anymore, I will firmly state that I am SO MUCH BETTER than I was before. My family, they like PMS not taking over the house (& me) every month. They know if I've missed my B Complex, and they'll go get it for me.

Now, I'm not talking about just getting my US RDA, I'm talking about being serious about my health. What I take is a higher dosage than the RDA minumums, but it works for me. I know that the investment of money I spend on my B Complex has a great return. People call me things like "cheerful" again. I like that, I like it a lot. Sometimes God presents us with a tool to use. For me, B Complex is a God-given tool I use daily, to sustain me, to improve my quality of life, to help me be a better mother and wife.

If you've been in that dark place, let me encourage you to get more information about B vitamins. They just might be the tool that God uses to bring you back to the sun. You can find more info on my website at this link.

What is the tool God is giving you? Find it and use it!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Thankful Thursdays-12-20-12- Christmas!

This week I am SO thankful for Christmas. Not for the presents, or the food (even though they are both nice.) I am thankful for the baby who was born, wrapped in swaddling clothes, and placed in a manger.  I am thankful that He did not remain a baby, but grew and matured, and became my Savior, Christ the Lord. Words an never express how different my life is today from how it was before I accepted Christ as my Savior. Words would have a difficult time describing the difference since Christ became Lord of my life. But know this- I am forever changed because of the baby in the manger who became the lamb on the cross who rose again to save me!!!

Please allow that truth of Christmas to change your life as well!
I'll be praying for you!
Carol :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Thankful Thursdays 12-13-12 Fieldtrips!

Last week's thankful thing was: Fieldtrips! After our fun exploits on 12-12-12, we couldn't resist another fieldttrip, so on Thursday 12-13-12 we went with my Mom (Grammy Mary) to the Indianapolis Zoo. 

Now, don't get me wrong, we love the lights at the zoo for "Christmas at the Zoo," but we really wanted to see the animals too, so after lunch, we headed to the zoo. We did stay until the lights were bright (after all, that's only about 5pm these days,) but by then we were getting hungry, and a little tired.

The girls and I took turns with the camera, and we got several great shots. I'll include a few below for you to see. Why fieldtrips? Lots of reasons. The first one probably being that--- they are fun!...followed closely by --- they can be educational without being boring. No matter how many books you see of giraffes, lions, tigers, and bears (oh my!) it's just not the same as seeing them in real life. Questions abound on fieldtrips, and if you don't know the answers, you can usually find a helpful staff person to answer them for you. 

During our many, many trips to the zoo, I've heard questions like: "Mama, why are there 2 fences around the lions?", "How do you spell anemone?", "Can we get a pet starfish?","Why don't the giraffes match, why are their tongues blue...why do they like sweet potatoes???"

It really doesn't matter if your children are 2, 12, or 20, they have questions about the world around them. They like to explore (at least ours do!) and they want a chance to learn through doing. So the next time you're "unplanning" a day, why not try a field trip? The zoo, the fire station, the donut shop, the dry cleaners, the tire store...the possibilities are endless! Enjoy a fieldtrip with your family, you'll be glad you did!

Silly Giraffes!

The yoga-practicing flamingo

The mother elephant nudged her baby out just for my picture, wasn't that nice of her?

Arlene said "it would be nice if the cheetah would lay on top of the rock so we could get a picture." Nice of him to oblige, hope standing on the rock is ok --LOL!

Emily's picture of the tiger...pacing

Arlene's picture of the "weird" starfish

Arlene's pic of the bored, but warm, polar bear, I think he was waiting for his dinner!

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Waiting For His Heart - by Joy McClain

Where do you turn when your world is crumbling around you? I hope and pray you turn to God, the only One who never changes. When we see our world spinning out of control, we are faced with a choice, do we trust God, or not? My friend Joy McClain faced such a trial, which refined her faith in God, changed her life, and eventually led to the restoration of her own marriage. Her most recent book, "Waiting for His Heart" is a poignant telling of what God did in her life, while she learned to lean on Him for everything.

Perhaps you or one of your friends is struggling in your marriage. I highly recommend you get and read Joy's book. Probably your struggles are not as great as Joy's were, but I know God can use Joy's words to give you hope and encouragement that He will never leave you. 

Joy choose to commit to her marriage 100%, her commitment was a "No Matter What" statement. She learned that God's saving grace, His provision, and His unfailing love can carry you through when nothing else can. Joy waited 22 years for her husband to surrender his addiction to God. Her wait was long, her struggles great, but God spent the time teaching and refining Joy into the person God wanted her to be.

Often, we struggle in our marriages, not just because of what our spouse is doing or has done, but because we hold up our "ideal" as an idol. Joy shares her journey of learning how God can work in our own hearts to change us, and how that is SO vital to our relationship with Him. If our relationship with God does not come first, if we are not daily on our knees in prayer, asking Him to change us, then we have missed the point of this life. God grants us a peace that passes all understanding. But first, we must ask Him for it.

Life can be messy, relationships with our family can be strained, we can feel as though our lives are falling apart. Our choice is this: Do we turn to the Fixer of messes, the Mender of relationships, and the Healer of lives, or do we turn to our own understanding? Turn to the Healer! Allow God to do whatever work He desires in your life. Let Him lead you. Let Him work through your pain to touch and encourage the hurting world around you.

In the midst of some of her darkest days, Joy was used by God to give hope to other hurting women. Hope that God sees them, that He loves them, that He is taking care of them. 

"Waiting For His Heart: Lessons from a Wife who Chose to Stay" is a book about that hope, about healing, about transformation within our own lives and souls that brings us to the foot of the Cross, and heals us there. This small book, filled with God's love, will transform your heart if you let it. Allow God to pour hope and healing into your life through Joy's words. Thank you to Moody Publishers for their work to bring this book to the hurting. It is available for only $12.99 at many online retailers. 

Give the gift of hope to yourself or your friends this Christmas. Know that you are not alone in your struggles. God is right there waiting for you!

You can learn more about how God is using Joy, and how He continues to refine her life and faith at:

I received a complimentary copy of the book "Waiting For His Heart: Lessons from a Wife who Chose to Stay" in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

12-12-12 Fieldtrip !!!

Yesterday was 12-12-12. 

Did you do anything unusual? 

We decided we wanted to commemorate the day with pictures. We had a lot of fun! We surprised MANY of our friends, who, thankfully, all agreed to pose with us and our 12-12-2012 signs. 

It was our totally unplanned, spontanious afternoon. Anderson has a lot of really cool architecture, but that's not why we enjoy living here. We enjoy living here because of the people. Our friends are what made yesterday's photo-fieldtrip day possible. So, if you were one of our "willing victims" -THANK YOU!

It started out as a vague idea runing through my head early last week. Do something different on 12-12-12. Well, for those who know us, we're a little zany anyway, so to be DIFFERENT would require some thought! The 11th was also our last 'planned' day of school work before Christmas break, so I wanted it to be relaxed, not over-scheduled. We're all a little tired of focusing on Latin and Algebra.

So we piled in the truck, with the camera, small gifts for a few of our friends, and a lot of laughs. We spent the afternoon visiting some of our favorite people & places around town.

Below you'll find pictures of friends who we found at home, or at their businesses on our little jaunt yesterday. I hope you have as much fun seeing them as we had making the memories!

First stop, Simon's house. Kind of looked like a mug shot, so I told the girls they should be more creative later on.

Next, a visit with my friends Connie Combs, "The Mobile Seamstress." Her shop/office is in the PNC Bank building, 3rd floor.

A little silliness in the lobby of the PNC Bank building. 

Down the street to visit Todd Rimer @ element 212. We were going to take the picture with his wife Tammy, the CEO (and a great friend of mine,) but she was out working...hiring new people! Thanks Todd for being a good sport! (We DID plan this stop, I wanted a picture with their logo [the 212] in the background!)

More silliness, the lobby of the Union Building!

Outside the ticket booth of the Paramount Theatre! A favorite place of ours to go see concerts, or watch the Nutcracker ballet!

Across the street from the Paramount, in front of the "Three Graces" statues.

A short half-block later, we were visiting our friend Anna Hinton, owner of PIP Printing! (We highly recommend PIP! Anna & her team have served us well many times with printing and binding needs, and they're always quick, which is good, because I'm usually time-crunched when I drop a project off!)

A super quick stop at the Post Office, because they're busy, to mail a Christmas package. I know it's blurry, but the postmark is "Dec 12, 12"

Posing with "Miss Ann" in the Chidren's department of the Anderson Public Library. One of our all-time favorite places to go!

A "SURPRISE" attack on the Abels' household! Thanks Gavin, Peyton & Brady for being zany like us!

Our most crucial stop, the girls needed a picture with their "3rd Musketeer," Briyah, and her super-cute cousins Malachi & Zolie

While we were there, Arlene snapped a picture of my great friend Sharra Badgley & me!

Another "surprise" stop, at church. Our pastor, Bob Bell, being just crazy enough to join me when I asked "Hey Bob, can we borrow you for 60 seconds???" I wonder if he'll still be so accomodating next time I ask him-LOL!

Last stop, and probably my favorite picture of the day! Another of my best friends, Bethany Rielage (& her husband Todd.) 12-12 was Bethany's Birthday, so this is one of those pictures to treasure!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Thankful Thursday - Support Groups-12/6/12

This is a day to say "Thank You" to the Moms who organize and oversee our Homeschool support group, HSU. 

HSU (Home Schools United) has been a great blessing to our family for many, many years. We have opportunities to participate in field trips, roller skating parties, living history days, a Geography fair, and an Academic Fair thanks to these ladies and their hard work. This is what I refer to as the 'umbrella' over the home schoolers in our area. Not everyone belongs to HSU, but many families do, and it becomes a valuable resource. Getting emails about our own activity choices, plus notices about events happening in the neighboring counties is priceless. It would take me hours each month to search out all the activitites, used book sales, special programs and discounts offered for home schoolers. Because of HSU, I can instead spend that time with my children, because checking my emails or the message board only takes a few minutes.

Our girls have had many awesome, fun and exciting experiences through HSU. When did your child first... learn about the Romans? meet a Civil War re-enactor? learn to roller-skate? taste authentic French food? present a display about Hawai'i? learn to interact and make friendships with their peers? We have done all these things and more with HSU. Especially helpful for me, are the opportunities to see my fellow home educating parents. I miss my friends. Face it, we are often too busy with day to day demands to set aside as much time as we would like to work on our adult friendships. Through HSU,  at our parties, monthly skating, and the quarterly Parent's meeting I have a time to be refreshed. Time to hug my friends and catch up in a small way on what God has been doing in their lives. 

If you haven't consider joining a home school support group ( and you're a home schooler!) let me encourage you to do so. If you're not a home schooler, find support for yourself and your family through your church or organizations you belong to. Many PTA groups allow Moms and Dads a chance to meet and discuss parenting and educational ideas, not just the latest bake sale. Your son or daughter's sports team may have a "team Mom" position. Why not share that responsibility, and that blessing, with a few other Moms? Maybe Dad needs to carve out time to go to the monthly Men's breakfast at church---send him! 
Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another- and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:25