a little snooze

I curled up in bed along with Little Miss, the two dogs, and the husband and snoozed this afternoon.  I snoozed in the middle of the day!!!  That never ever happens!!!

I snoozed!

Granted, it was for five minutes but a snooze is a snooze.

The snooze was brief but the cuddling lasted a while.


Now the house is clean and ready for Community Group and I am now sitting down to do some schoolwork.  Well, evidence shows that I visited bloggyland instead.

Last night I started thinking through our final 10 weeks of the school year.

I stopped breathing.

Well, maybe not completely but I am pretty certain you could have called it hyperventilation.

Oh Mylanta!  As guilt was trying to open the flood gates as I snuggled in bed today, I took  a deep breath and announced, “this is just the kind of day we need before the crazy storm of busyness arrives.”

The husband and I started making a plan of how to get through these next few months.  Well, not just to make it through but to actually thrive.

Restful Sunday afternoons are certainly a good place to start!






Taking a Break

We are taking a break from our daily routines, being home, and attending school.

The first part of Spring Break was extremely low-key with the exception of the three hour wait at the Passport office with all three kiddos.  I had no choice to take them.  We were there b/c it has been five years since we originally applied for their passports.  FIVE YEARS!!!  I am so in shock.  I am also in shock over the pages and pages filled with stamps from various countries our children have traveled.   I assumed that the state department would keep the old passports but I was informed that they would mail the new AND old passports to our home.  Yay!  I am tickled that our children will have a record of where they have visited.

Now we are spending a long weekend in Amarillo hanging with Aunt EJ and Uncle Lynn.  We are catching up on reading, iphone games, playing games, and spending time with our sweet loved ones.  The indoor pool is entertaining as well!

For our Knightly family, Spring Break marks the starting line for a rather long marathon of spring/summer events.  April and May are busy, busy times for families with school-aged children.  Our fam adds preparing for the summer in a foreign country so you can easily witness bedlam.

Both girls are on tournament leagues for basketball, occupying most of our weekends.  I am making a very quick trip to Zambia the end of April to set up the commercial kitchen I will be using during the summer.  I will be meeting with the manager of our new lodge and unloading my food and kitchen items from the containers.  Shortly after I return, the husband will head out for his 13 weeks abroad.  The children and I will join him about 2 1/2 weeks later.  Ending the school year for meas a teacher  involves many things. For our family, May will be filled with concerts, parties, projects, etc, etc.  While these are all very exciting events, we find ourselves easily exhausted, knowing that when that final school bell rings in June, we don’t get a break but are forced to find more momentum to complete the jobs set before us in Zambia. Weariness is a constant battle!

So….we are enjoying a pause in the dailies before the storms come.  We are very expectant of what the Lord is doing this spring and summer.  What an honor to be a part of it.


Little Miss amazes me in a variety of ways.  She is athletic, smart, musical, and just FUN!  She rarely lacks energy and is typically willing to accept adventure.  Today we were watching a recording of “The Amazing Race.”  I could read her emotions as she watched the teams compete in daring water adventures.  I asked her, “Would you like to do all of that?”

Her answer was an enthusiastic, “YES!”

I believe her.

I definitely believe her.

Along with her longing for adventure comes a desire for instant gratification.

With a desire for instant gratification comes a lack of patience.

She comes by all of this rather honestly.

Yep, like her momma!

I have tried my hand at numerous endeavors.  Due to the whole practice and commitment thing, I didn’t exactly excel in many areas.

Little Miss has attempted several things and unlike her momma, she has succeeded.

I am a proud momma.

There are, however, times when she does indeed need to push hard and practice, practice, practice!

This mainly applies to playing the piano.

She is not a big fan.  She is a big fan of playing the piano when it is easy.

We were discussing how she easily gets distracted by new pieces and wants to play ones she has perfected.

She told me that “practice does not make perfect.” She said her coach told her that “perfect practice makes perfect.”

I interjected and shared a quote I recently heard:  “Practice makes progress.”

And that my friends, is what we want.  That is what we want in all areas of our lives.

May Little Miss AND my other children remember that fact and work hard for progress.  Little by little.

May I remember that too!  I so often want to do something PERFECT, not focusing on the process of becoming who I am created to be.  And although we are called to be “perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48), we also know that the pursuit of perfection is a journey – and a struggle.  The apostle Paul described it as “straining toward what is ahead” (Philippians 3:13).  Straining is painful, but it is worth the effort.  “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.  Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:11)

So here’s to piano practice, the pursuit of perfection – and the joy of progress.

She caught my eye tonight….


We call her Gran









We celebrated the life of this beautiful lady tonight.

She is my mother-in-law.  My husband’s mother.  My children’s grandmother.

We all call her Gran.  I often look at her and think that she should be called Grand.  She is that GRAND!



She is amazing!  Of course the greatest thing I think she ever did was give birth to this one…


She also did something amazing when she handed him over to me to have and to hold.

I heard that you marry your in-laws.  Not sure exactly what all that entails but for me it means I have been accepted into the husband’s family and am blessed daily by their love and support.


Yesterday my heart was overflowing with gratitude for the moments I have with the ones I love.

Opening my thankfulness flood gates felt so refreshing.  Felt so so so so good.  So right!  Like I was created to praise the Creator.  :)

I was poking around A Holy Experience blog again today and stumbled upon the March Joy Dare for March.

I decided to dive back into giving thanks publicly.

Gifts worn

-My wedding band!  It symbolizes that I am one with an amazing man.

-A smile!  Today my lesson was on all the muscles in our bodies (condensed version of course for four year olds).  We practiced smiling then frowning using muscles.  Smiling certainly feels better!

-Long hair!  I am grateful that my hair is semi-healthy and long.  :)

Gifts Hard to Give Thanks For

-Times of separation from the husband.  I HATE HATE HATE being apart from my man!  I have to confess that even though I loathe being apart for long periods of time, I am always strengthened and renewed a bit spiritually.  I become a better woman.  A better wife.  A better mom.  After being better at those things, I am just BETTER when he returns!

-My job.  My intent is not to open up this topic in a negative manner.  NOT AT ALL!!!  It has taken me five years to truly view my role as a working mom as a gift.  It somehow makes me stronger, more disciplined, and more grateful for my role as momma.  I would certainly welcome being a full time Mom as a lovely gift but I have accepted my lot and strive to find joy in the situation.







Gift Catcher

Tonight as my husband dashed out in the cold (yep, down in the teens here in Texas again) to check on our finicky hot water heater, I noticed he had slipped a headlamp around his head.

At that same moment I was feeling so overwhelmed by the goodness in my life.  Goodness JUST FROM TODAY!  I was counting gifts.  Wait!!!!That was suppose to be last year’s endeavor!  :)  So maybe Ann Voskamp is right.  A habit.  Giving thanks has become a habit in my life.

Oooooh! It feels so good!

Back to the headlamp…..

As I realized how handy that lamp was attached to my husband’s head, I started to think that I have a desire for  a head gear of sorts.  A camera, a recorder of sorts attached to my forehead, recording these moments.  These gifts.

My mom dancing in the kitchen with my teenagers to  the  “Frozen” soundtrack.

Best little buddies dressing up and giggling uncontrollably.

My niece and oldest daughter playing Mexican Train with my mom at the breakfast table.

Eleven year old hands rolling out homemade pizza dough.

The smile on my nephew’s face when he showed up on my doorstep today.

My parents breaking bread at our dining room table with us TWICE today!

My dad surrounded by three dogs as he sipped coffee on our white couch.

My husband plopped down in front of the fire carefully studying the pages of the scrapbook I created while away this weekend.

My 15 year old niece hopping in the drivers seat this afternoon and driving off with her mom seated close by guiding, teaching her.

The smile on the husband’s face when he walked through the door this evening.

My father singing hymns along with me tonight.

My daughter’s blond braid pulled over her left shoulder.

My other daughter’s curls hanging long and golden on her torso.

My daughter’s feet crossed, gently moving.

The Lad rushing in the living room, freshly showered with wet, uncombed hair.

My husband carrying Little Miss all snuggled up in blankets to her bed.  Yes, she is eleven.  I never want to forget!

So many events that come and go in a blink of an eye.  My creator has gifted me with each and every one.  Today I sit here reflecting on the gifts of PEOPLE.  Memories of each moment are fleeting.  Once again, I am embracing these as gifts.  Gifts indeed.

If I did possess a “gift catcher” maybe these are a few shots that would have been captured…

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8th grader, dance, and growing up way too fast….

Pumpkin was invited to join her sweet friend, KK, in preparation fun.  VERY kind gesture!  THANKS to her family!

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I can’t wait to hear all about the fun at the dance!  What fun memories being made!!!



Have you been watching the Olympics?

We have enjoyed the freedom of watching bits and pieces as we please thanks to our DVR.

A first for me?  Watching curling.  I was fascinated with the shoes.  My son was quite appalled that I resorted to looking up all sorts of things about the sport.  Did I mention I was quite interested in the shoes?

Shooting range a part of the biathlon in the Winter Olympics?  I must confess I was not aware of that.  I guess I was unaware that there was any sort of biathlon in the Winter Olympics.  I am watching it as I type.  I am learning so much this year.  My memories of the winter games pretty much consist of the Russians figure skating.

I feel so horrible for ANY and ALL of the athletes that have some sort of catastrophe in their event.

I love reading the names of the athletes from other countries.

Much to my husband’s dismay, I never knew Sochi existed.  And yes, I have even been to Russia.

How many photographers can you cram into one space?  I giggled when I caught a glimpse of 100 plus lenses peeking out from a sea of coats.

My children were quite interested in the numerous languages going on at the same time during the curling matches.

Snowboarding.  I was raving over how the athletes could even steer themselves into the stand (or whatever they call that place they stand and wait for their score) and stop on command.  For this uncoordinated gal,  that appears to be quite the accomplishment!

I am interested in all of the sibling/family connections in the olympics.

Luge?  Wow!  90mph.  I would surely puke.

I love spotting the American flags on our athletes.

I am amused that I have shown this much interest in things happening in Sochi.

I hope my children will take away a few lessons from the games.  Never give up.  Get up, keep going.  Take responsibility for your performance.  Speak respectfully of your opponents.  Mentioning over and over that hard work is key.  Being proud of your personal performance.  I could go on and on.

So….that is my very uneducated commentary on the Winter Olympics 2014.

You are welcome.

Just a bit of random…

We had early release at school today so the instructional staff could attend STARR Training.  Oh standardized testing how I love thee!  Not really.  I am grateful that I do not teach a testing grade.  I am also grateful for all of the educators who do teach testing grades.

The sun came out today.

My new student has had three happy days.  I am seeing small bits of progress and am excited about his personal potential.

Little Miss made zucchini shrimp bites out of the stir fry I served for dinner tonight.  Crazy gal.

Played combat UNO with the fam tonight.  We laughed a lot.

I love time with them!

Lately I have come across several articles and videos about modesty and teenagers.  I am feeling compelled to assure that I am being a good example and teacher for her.   I am on the hunt for guidance in building her up and teaching her of being pure in every single form.  She has done nothing to cause fear or doubt that she will not choose wisely when it comes to modesty and purity.  Well, except for the fact that she is a female teenager.

My exercise routine is remaining steady and I find it a true habit now.  If only I could make eating completely clean a true habit!!!  I am a lover of food.  It is a curse.

I received my flight schedule for both my trips to and from Zambia.  I am THRILLED to announce that my mother-in-law will join me for the quick trip in April to set up my new commercial kitchen and organize the food for the summer.  The children and I will go again the day school gets out in June.  I am excited to be planning TWO trips.

This weekend my mother started to clean out her file cabinet.  She found all sorts of goodies.  My favorites include my wedding file and printed copies of all the emails we sent her when I was a young momma.  The first email was actually announcing the birth of our firstborn!  It was fun reading my thoughts and activities of those early days of motherhood.

It has been way difficult to wake up on these cold mornings.

Pumpkin is chomping at the bit to buy a dress for the 7th/8th grade dance coming up soon.

Basketball season is over and track season is upon us.



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