DIMPLES DIARY – WEEK OF JULY 22, 2023

THE HEART OF SUMMER

Hey Friend! I guess you might say we’re in the heart of summer over here in Northern Indiana, and it’s everything we could hope for. We’re soaking up the sun and time as much as possible, especially since school starts in a few short weeks.

Don’t even get me started on my feelings about school starting near the beginning of August! I fumed over it when my boys were in school, and I’m still fuming over it now that I have grandboys in school.

When you think about it, we have precious few summers to enjoy with them. So it’s especially important to me to take the time to spend with my Littles even if I’m not getting everything done that I want to, and even if some days I’m more of a referee than a lifeguard. 😉

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GRANDKID CHRONICLES

On days when the boys are here and we don’t swim, we visit the library or play mini golf. We also took a day and had an ice cream lunch at the cutest little Amish ice cream shop set back a long gravel lane.

But the thing that has kept them occupied for hours on end, quite literally, is creating designs with fuse (a.k.a. Perler) beads. The toucan below is the 7-year-old’s latest creation, and he’s mighty proud of it.

These will come in mighty handy for inside winter activities too.

After starting out by piecing together beads and boards from Hobby Lobby, I bought this bead kit at the beginning of summer, and they love it as it comes with lots of beads and templates to make it easier for them to create. We’ve already had to restock certain color beads, and I highly suggest ordering directly from the Artkal company. The shipping takes a bit of time, but there are many colors to choose from.

And even if you don’t order from them, their website has many free patterns for cool designs, including 3-D projects your Littles will love.

WHAT’S ABOUT TO BE HAPPENING

The Holloway house is about to EXPLODE with out-of-town guests. Starting this week, we’ll host family for the next three weeks, a different family each week. I told you… EXPLODING!

I have already started cooking and freezing some meals, including two large trays of lasagna, and I’ve made three batches of my favorite Pork Carnitas recipe. There’s still a lot to plan and prepare, but I hope to get a menu plan written out this weekend to take the chaos out of my head and put it onto paper.

And on top of all this cooking and prepping for guests, I got called for jury duty and have to appear for jury selection this coming Monday. 😠 Despite calling and sending an email, I must appear in person on Monday to see if I can wrangle my way out. What a pain and the loss of another prep day!

Do you think that the obligation I have to grandchildren and out-of-town guests arriving on Tuesday will get me out?

WHAT I BOUGHT

Disposable dishes will be my best friend, and I’m smitten with this wooden, plastic cup holder with a slot for a marker so everyone can remember which cup is theirs. Genius! Here’s a similar, more rustic one from Amazon and another from Jane

I also came across this article, from the same place I got the cup holder came from, on The Best Foods to Feed a Crowd. It really simplifies things and has helped me narrow down the menu choices.

WHAT I WORE

I threw on an easy breezy outfit last Monday to run a giant tray of homemade macaroni salad to the church for a funeral dinner. Yes, MORE COOKING…and I should have doubled the amount, but I didn’t! I know better, too; when in doubt, double it.

I wasn’t staying for the funeral, but one doesn’t want to walk into a venue like that looking like a degenerate. My shirt is older, but my pants and sandals are still available (linked in the photo caption).

pants XL || sandals (I wear these constantly) || shirt old similar; long sleeve

WHAT I READ

If you’re looking for a light-hearted summer read, The Lost Girls of Ireland, the first book in the Starlight Cottage Series by Suzanne O’Leary, might be just the book. It’s a heartwarming and captivating tale about a woman and her daughter finding their way after they’ve lost everything and must move to a run-down old cottage in a small Irish village.

If you want something a bit deeper, I listened to Becoming Mrs. Lewis on my last solo trip to Tennessee. It’s based on newfound journals and poetry by Joy Davidman and dares to imagine the details of the improbable love story between her and C.S. Lewis. It will leave you wondering if that was the way it really happened.

WHAT I ATE

Even though I was crazy tired of cooking, we still had to eat, and I had a couple of balls of homemade pizza dough in the freezer, and we LOVE homemade pizza. I wish I had a place for a pizza oven, but a pizza stone or the grill must do.

This pizza is a twist on a margarita pizza with a simple tomatoey base and sliced fresh mozzarella cheese, and then I added some crisped prosciutto and fresh home-grown basil. I love to drizzle aged balsamic over the top too. It was DELISH!

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

This Dimples Diary has been heavy on the food theme, so I thought I’d run with it. 😉

I started to share a thought I had been pondering about scripture, but it was just getting too long, so I decided I’ll work on it a little and give it its own post.

And now I’m having trouble narrowing down this week’s whirlwind of thoughts because my mind works overtime. It’s one of the reasons I started this blog, to share what I felt God was laying on my heart.

But sometimes, my thoughts are a lot to process, not because they’re so profound but because I think things in circles. I also feel inadequate for the task, so I take the easier way out, and that’s to write about other things, like fashion or food.

I blame it on menopause brain, but I heard something recently that got me thinking. It was an Instagram post that asked viewers if they’d ever been trying to pray or read the bible, and a thousand other thoughts kept popping into their heads. Of course, the answer is a thousand times YES!

She said, “That’s spiritual warfare.

DING! DING! DING!

Have you ever set out to do something good, and yet you think of so many reasons why you can’t do it? Or perhaps, another thought sneaks in, and suddenly that idea is pushed far back in your brain.

Those thoughts could very well be spiritual warfare because, of course, Satan doesn’t want us to do Godly, kingdom things.

It’s important to be spiritually discerning because sometimes, the roadblocks on our course of action actually keep us from taking a certain path.

But if what’s holding you back are the negative thoughts in your own mind, it’s time to battle through it. I read another thing just this morning that said, “Make your mind a disciple of Jesus.

How do we do that and quiet the chaos in our minds? Well, let’s do what the disciples did – spend time with Jesus.

Listen to His teachings – READ THE WORD

Talk to him – PRAY.

Spend time with Him – BE STILL and LISTEN.

That’s the only way to renew our minds and have the faith to step out and do what God asks. For that matter, it’s the only way we’ll know WHAT He’s asking us to do.

You have a big ole’ BLESSED WEEK!

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6 Comments

  1. Judy Hunter
    /

    Sounds like such a fun summer! Love your ideas for crafts with the kids. It has been over 100 for a month in Texas and we need a craft for indoors in the AC area. Enjoy your company!

  2. Gale Bowen
    /

    I recently read “Becoming Mrs. Lewis” also. It started me on a journey to read everything I could by and about Joy Davidman and CS Lewis. Of course, I couldn’t read EVERYTHING since he was so prolific. Theirs is quite an interesting story.

    But mainly, I wanted to thank you for the encouraging words to spend time in God’s word and in communication with Him. In the last few weeks, I bought a new type of Bible study to try (The James Method, verse mapping). I bought lots of resources, stickers for journaling, lists of verses to map. It is all just sitting on my desk. I even have a daily reminder to sit down for a quiet time. It just doesn’t happen. I asked God in my prayer last night, why? Why do I not get to it? And today you answered that question. Honestly, I knew the answer, but your reminder was just what I need to remember we are in warfare! There is no room for slacking. Thank you, Paula!

    • Paula
      Author
      /

      You’re right Gale, theirs is an interesting story. It was the reference information and inspiration information at the end of the book that had me wondering if Joy was really as “innocent” of falling in love with Lewis or whether her motives were more direct. What did you think after reading more info?

      And you’re welcome. We all struggle with that confusion.just spend time with God and don’t over complicate it.

      Hugs,
      Paula

  3. You are a brave woman…three weeks in a row with family? Wow! I dread holiday meals with only ten of us! But, I’m betting you have everything organized and deliver on the goods! As for jury duty, maybe they’ll call or text you the day before saying you’re not needed. That’s what happened to me. I’ll cross my fingers for you.

    I have really been struggling lately and needed your “pep” talk. I try to pray every night, but sometimes, I just give up and say, “God, you know what I’m going through. Amen.” I know that’s not the way to pray. But, some nights, that’s all I can get through. I try to make up for it during the day the next day. I think He probably gets tired of me at times because I’m constantly yammering on and on about something to Him.

    Have a wonderful week with all of your family!

    Marsha

    • Paula
      Author
      /

      Hey Marsha, I don’t have it all organized, but it usually all comes together.

      As for praying, God understands. We put so much pressure on the act prayer, but it’s literally communication with God (an all seeing all knowing friend). When we can’t think of words, just sieve time in His presence. Isn’t there done corny saying that goes something like, “true love is not having to say anything at all.”? 😘

      Have a great week!
      Paula

  4. Shayne Cripe
    /

    That solo cup holder, what a great idea. I’m checking them out!

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