Monday, December 28, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, December 28, 2009...


Outside my window...looks like we might get a shower this morning. It's in the 60's, but the weatherman says it'll be in the upper 40's tomorrow. Brrr!!!

I am thinking...of all the packing up of Christmas decorations that I'll hopefully start today. It's so much stuff, and I've enjoyed having it out, but it's time to go back to the attic till next Christmas.

I am thankful...for the lovely Christmas we enjoyed, remembering the birth of our Savior, and for my 2 precious children who had birthdays yesterday: my daughter A turned 20 and my son E turned 10.

I am going...nowhere today. Too much stuff to do at home.

I am wearing...a red housedress for now, will change after posting this.

I am remembering...my daughter's face when she opened her present. I'd wrapped a keyboard stand in red paper with a big gold ribbon on top, and it reminded us of the Red Rider BB gun in the movie "A Christmas Story". She looked at it and wondered why we would give her a keyboard stand if she has no keyboard. I brought out the large box from my bedroom and her face lit up as she understood.

I am creating...a list of things that need to be done around the house.

I am reading...Genesis for morning devotions, and Puerto Rican Cuisine by Oswald Rivera, which my son R got me for Christmas. He loves giving me cookbooks because he loves my cooking.

I am hoping...the weather stays cool but not cold.

On my mind...decorating the home.

From the learning rooms...we've taken it easy these last few days of celebrating, but reading needs to start again.

I am noticing that...I'm getting more and more forgetful. If I don't write things down I forget to do them. Old age?

I am pondering these words..."Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content." - Helen Keller.

From the kitchen today...pot roast in the crock pot.

Around the house...laundry to fold, and Christmas decorations to pack up.

One of my favorite things...is my new camera, although I'm still having trouble getting the card read by the computer. It works when my son puts it in but it won't work for me. Hmm....

A few plans for the rest of the week...New Years Eve is on Thursday, and we'll be going over to grandma's again. Other than that, it should be pretty quiet.

From my picture journal...sorry, couldn't get it to work this morning. I'll try again later. :-(

Wanna join in the fun? Visit Peggy at the Simple Woman's Daybook. God bless.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Humorous Picture of Christmas

From Church Laughs at ChristianityToday.com:

A little girl came home from Sunday school waving a paper for her mother to see. "Look Mommy," she exclaimed, "Teacher says I drew the most unusual Christmas picture she ever saw!"

Her mother took one look and had to agree with the teacher. Hoping her daughter could explain her creation, the mother asked, "Why are all these people riding in the back of an airplane?"

"Well, Mommy, that's the flight into Egypt."

Accepting that, mother asked another question: "Who is this mean-looking man in the front?"

Her daughter answered quickly and knowingly: "That's Pontius, the Pilot."

Looking at the picture even more closely, the mother said, "I see you have Mary and Joseph and the baby. But who is this large man sitting behind Mary?"

"Can't you tell?" the little girl asked, beginning to shake her head in disappointment. "That's Round John Virgin."


Kids are funnier than any comedian! Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Mid-Week Review

My son keeps telling me, "It's almost time, Mommy." I finally told him he'd reminded me enough. But I can understand his excitement. Today is Wednesday, tomorrow is Christmas Eve, then the big day. Time sure has flown!

Monday was spent doing some laundry and running errands. I picked up the turkey at grandma's in the morning, and E stayed when he realized his two cousins were there. JC is almost 12 and Jr. is 11. E turns 10 on Sunday so they're all in the same age group and love playing together. That was fine with me, because it meant I was able to spend some time alone with my daughter A. We had some nice conversations. Later, when I went to pick up E, my daughter and I stopped to visit with the newest member of the family, little Nicholas born Dec. 10. He's such a precious little thing! I'm glad we were able to stop by and see him, since his mommy won't be taking him out for awhile yet.

Tuesday I started cleaning up floors, dusting and vacuuming. E helped alot, since he wanted me to finish early and take him back to grandma's for another day with his cousins. I wasn't too sure about taking him, though. He woke up with a nasty cough and stuffy nose. I gave him some medicine and he felt better, so I took him over to get a much needed haircut, then over to grandma's. I returned some books to the library and continued my cleaning. I was able to get alot done, which was nice.

Today is baking day. I baked a pecan coffee cake and 2 dozen chocolate cupcakes. I also marinated a pork shoulder and I'm getting ready to brine the turkey. I washed and styled my hair today, because tomorrow I'll be busy making pork, turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes, rice with pigeon peas, and bread. We have Christmas Eve dinner at my mother-in-law's house with my hubby's brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandmother, etc. It's a lively time and my kids so look forward to it.

I don't think I'll have time to get on the computer the rest of this week, so let me take this opportunity to wish everyone a very merry Christmas: May God bless you with the joy of the season, which is the knowledge of the One who left His place in heaven to be born a baby so that you and I could be saved. Happy Birthday Jesus!

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, December 21, 2009...

Outside my window...it's 53 degrees which is cold by Florida standards. Overcast with a bit of a chill, it feels like Christmas to me.

I am thinking...about all the last minute details as we prepare to celebrate that wonderful event, Christ's birth.

I am thankful...that we can celebrate our Savior's birth freely. I think of our brothers and sisters in Christ living in countries where this is not possible. :-(

I am going...to pick up a few things at the grocery store, run over to grandma's to get the turkey, and hopefully get my youngest son a haircut.

I am wearing...a Florida Marlins t-shirt and light blue capris with blue and white striped socks my sister got me for Christmas last year.

I am remembering...how beautiful the children looked as they sang "Happy Birthday Jesus" in church yesterday.

I am creating...a warm home environment for my family.

I am reading...Genesis for morning devotions, John for SOAP devotions (though I've slacked here a bit, shame on me), and finishing up Anne of Avonlea. Such a sweet book.

I am hoping...to have a restful and relaxing Christmas with my family.

On my mind...wonder if this cooler weather will stick around long?

From the learning rooms...no school for 2 weeks, so we'll just be reading which E and I both enjoy.

I am noticing that...my son is reading on his own more often. Thank You Lord!

I am pondering these words..."The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"—which means, "God with us." - Matthew 1:23.

From the kitchen today...spaghetti and meatballs, always a favorite.

Around the house...cleaning, laundry is close to caught up, and time together.

One of my favorite things...is the days right before Christmas. The cooking, baking, laughing, anticipating...it's just so much fun!

A few plans for the rest of the week: We'll go to the library tomorrow to return some books, then preparing for Christmas Eve which we have at grandma's house. Hispanics celebrate "Nochebuena", which literally means good night, and we open our presents to each other at midnight. Then Christmas day we have just our family at home.

From my picture journal...my hubby surprised me with a Sony Cybershot in hot pink for my birthday which is so cute, but the computer isn't reading the memory card and my son is still sleeping. Guess it'll have to wait till he wakes up.

Wanna join in the fun? Visit Peggy at the Simple Woman's Daybook. God bless.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Upgrade Mentality

"But strive first for the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today's trouble is enough for today."
Matthew 6:33-34

Recently during the morning news program, I noticed that many furniture stores had commercials running. I figured since the economy is so bad, people aren't shopping for furniture for the holidays like they used to, and the furniture stores are getting desperate. Offers for "no payments till 2012" flooded the screen, along with pictures of beautiful sofas, dining tables, and bedroom sets.

This got me thinking about my own living room furniture. We purchased our living room set a year and a half before we moved into our house, when we lived in our condo. The living room in the condo was smaller, so we bought fewer pieces. Since the furniture was new when we moved into the house, we weren't going to get rid of it even if the living room looked a little empty. Now, though, my furniture is almost 11 years old. Maybe it was time for a fresh new look. I began scouring the Internet looking and drooling over gorgeous modern pieces that made my furniture look so old and worn.

This morning it hit me. The media is always making us feel as though we're inadequate if we don't upgrade. Unless we have the latest in technology, and that means phones, computers, television and media equipment, and unless we've spent thousands of dollars bringing our home up-to-date, and unless we purchase new furniture every 5 years and revamp our wardrobe at least every six months, we will be miserable because we aren't enjoying a fully upgraded life. So we look around and feel like absolute failures if anything we own isn't following the current trend or the latest fad. We become depressed, and the only way out of that depression is to do what the media tells us, and upgrade.

The Lord reminded me of the verse in Matthew 6:33-34. He had me look at everything I have with different eyes. God has provided for my family this past year despite my being out of work. Not only has He provided what we need, He's gone and given us a bunch of what we want, too. Let's face it: our needs consist of food, water, clothing, and shelter. Anything more than that is icing on the cake. It's wants. No one dies for lack of a 60" flat screen TV. If you don't have all 10,000 channels on your cable or satellite network, you're not missing out. No one is less of a person just because they don't own the latest everything.

As I looked at my home, I realized every room is furnished with comfortable furnishings in good or very good condition. Each of us has a bed to sleep on (well, Mommy and Daddy share a bed, but it's a big one so we don't complain ;-). There's a large dining room table that's 10 years old, but it looks brand new and is large enough for family meals or family game night. We have sofas in two rooms, the living room and the family room, so we have plenty of seating for a family of 5. But what's most important in our home are the intangibles. We're healthy. We love being together as a family. There's joy in our home because the Holy Spirit is here with us, guiding and making sure we lack for nothing. We have peace in our home. We treat each other with kindness and work together to keep everything running smoothly (even the stuff that's outdated).

I was deeply convicted as the Lord showed me that I was being ungrateful. I'm thankful for all He has given us, even what the world or the media would say is worthless because it's old (not that 11 year old furniture is old). I'm thankful for His sacrifice, which provides me with more than a store ever could. I'm thankful that this life is not all there is, and that He is preparing a room for me in His Father's house. The furniture there will never grow old, or faded, or out-moded. The upgrade that Jesus offers is eternal life in heaven so long as we put Him first. Now that's an upgrade I'll trade everything in for.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today (My Birthday!), December 14, 2009...

Outside my window...it's a balmy 73 degrees, cool, not overly humid, just a lovely, sunny South Florida day.

I am thinking...I still can't wrap my mind around the fact that it's my birthday. Didn't I just have one of these last December?

I am thankful for...one more year of life with my family in which the Lord has taken such excellent care of us. I'm thankful for my husband who bought me a cool Blackberry phone over a month ago because he was getting ready for my birthday early. I'm thankful for my children who are all home right now, right where I want them to be. I'm thankful to my oldest son for the collection of classic movies on DVD (including some Jane Austen which I absolutely love), and my youngest son who got me the book "Sense and Sensibility" with his own money. I'm thankful my little girl got such good grades this semester (2 A's and 2 B's, including a B in physics which was a difficult class). I am so blessed.

I am going...to finish up Christmas shopping today, I hope. I try to never go this far into the month with loose ends but one gift had to wait till my daughter was back home.

I am wearing...one white and one purple tank top (the layered look), a pair of brown shorts and sandals. I'll change out of this in a little while.

I am remembering...the Christmas program at a local church this past Saturday. Even my son, who hates sitting for long periods of time, was fully engrossed and loved the songs and messages.

I am creating...well, nothing today. I get the day off 'cause it's my birthday. :-)

I am reading...Genesis for morning devotions, John for SOAP devotions, and I'm halfway through Anne of Avonlea.

I am hoping...to start baking this week. My neighbors get baked goods for Christmas which they always receive with a smile.

On my mind...the Christmas show the children will be putting on this coming Sunday. We rehearsed yesterday, and the children sound like angels. Even one of the teenagers, a young man about 18 years old who helps us out, was in tears because it was so beautiful. I know the Lord will be pleased to hear the children sing Happy Birthday to Him.

From the learning rooms...it's the last week of school, then 2 weeks vacation. My son is so excited!

I am noticing that...birthdays aren't nearly as exciting in my 40's as they were in my teens and 20's. I hope that's not a trend.

I am pondering these words..."Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools suffers harm." - Proverbs 13:20.

From the kitchen today...boneless turkey breast in the crock pot. It's like I'm cooking, only it takes 5 minutes to throw everything in the crock pot and have a delicious meal 5 hours later, so it's like I'm not cooking!

Around the house...I'll take it easy today and allow some pampering. ;-)

One of my favorite things...is hearing my 9 year old son sing Happy Birthday to me. It went like this: "Happy Birthday to you, you're a hundred and two. You look like a monkey and you smell like one too." How can you not love that?

A few plans for the rest of the week: baking for the neighbors, Happy Birthday Jesus party at Awana, Christmas party at Cub Scouts, library has Holidays Around the World this Friday, so as usual, plenty to do.

From my picture journal...roses I received from my lovely daughter.





Motherhood is the hardest, most rewarding job anyone could have. Thank You Lord for giving me the blessing of being a mom.

Wanna join in the fun? Visit Peggy at the Simple Woman's Daybook. God bless.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Observing My Senses

For Today, December 12, 2009...

I am seeing...overcast skies, some rain though very light, and the sun doing it's best to creep out from under the clouds. I think the sun will win.

I am feeling...thankful because my daughter is home, because our cousin gave birth to a healthy baby boy, and because one of my dearest friends is rejoicing now that her son is home from Iraq. Praise God for our soldiers, and thank You Lord for bringing Tony home safe.

I am tasting...bacon, egg and cheese biscuits. Homemade, not the fast food stuff.

I am hearing...my oldest son snore. He worked last night so he's sleeping in.

I am smelling...bacon throughout the house, which is one of my favorite scents. :-)

It takes just a moment to stop and observe what's going on around you. Won't you join me?

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Week in Review

It's been sort of a prep week, since so many things were going on, preparing for Christmas. Of course, I feel like my week is always about lots of things going on!

Monday was an errand day. I bought my son's teachers scented candles so he can give to them next week when they have their Christmas parties. I like being done with my shopping and decorating, but it always seems like there's just one more thing to do. I think that's why so many people stress at Christmas time. I try my best not to, otherwise the enjoyment of the season is gone.

I stayed home Tuesday to do clean up and laundry. My oldest son R took his car in for an oil change since it was his day off from school and work. Hubby had noticed the car was leaking oil so R had the dealer take a look at it while they were doing the oil change. Turns out there was a part in the transmission that had cracked, but thankfully it was covered under the extended warranty. I picked R up from the dealer, picked E up from school, ran over to the library to drop off some books, then thought about how easy it is to plan things our way but God has other ideas!

Wednesday I had to take both my boys to school. I take E to school everyday, but R's car wouldn't be ready till Thursday and renting a car seemed like an unnecessary expense, so I drove him the half hour to his school. Thankfully one of his best friends goes to the same school and was kind enough to drop him off at work after school. Hubby picked him up after work at 11:00pm. It seems like a hassle, but I'm glad my family has the ability to help one another. Wednesday night was Awana and Bible study. Pastor Dan was on a roll - I know many people like going to church to have their ears tickled, but I prefer to hear where I need to improve and what I need to change. It's those challenges that get my heart pumping as I understand God's will for my life more clearly.

Thursday was special in 2 ways. First off, our cousin gave birth to her third child - we have a new little baby boy in the family! Praise God, the little one and his mommy are both doing well. I spoke to my hubby's aunt (the baby's grandma) in the morning to congratulate her, then to our cousin in the evening when she was feeling better. Can't wait to meet the little guy! The hospital is a bit out of the way, so I'll wait till they get home to see them.

The other reason Thursday was so special was because my daughter came home! She actually arrived while E and I were at Cub Scouts, so it was even sweeter to come home and find her here. I just cannot express the happiness I feel when my family is home. It's an overwhelming blessedness.

Unfortunately for my son, his car was ready Thursday but not until 5:30pm. He had to be at work at 4:00, so he had no choice but to wait till Friday to pick up his car. That actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

Friday morning my son R accompanied me grocery shopping, since I had to drop him off at the dealership to pick up his car and it's just a few blocks from Walmart. We had a nice time together; my son is 22 years old, a quiet young man, but I enjoy his company because we have lots of fun conversations together. After we were done I left him to get his car and came home. A little while later he came with his car and a big grin - not only was the repair under warranty, but since he had to wait so long to get his car back, the dealer decided not to charge him for the oil change! God is so wonderful! It reminded me that when things don't go our way, rather than complain we need to wait and see what God is up to. He loves to surprise us!

My mother-in-law and sister-in-law are back in town this weekend, and the kids in Children's Ministry will be preparing for their song that they'll be singing on Sunday December 20. As usual, plenty to get done, but oh, thank the Lord for the busyness of my life!

God bless, and have a great weekend.

Prayer Request

Michelle Duggar, mom of TLC's "18 Kids and Counting," gave birth yesterday prematurely to their 19th child, a little girl they named Josie. The baby wasn't due until March and had to be taken by c-section. You can read about it here. Please lift this precious baby and their family in prayer, as she only weighs 1 lb. 6 ounces and is in the neonatal ICU. May God bless them and give them strength through this difficult time.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Baby, It's WHAT?!?

I love compilation CD's. I can listen to one type of music by various artists without having to buy each individual CD by each performer. I especially like Christmas compilation CD's. I have several: all Christian artists, all children's versions, Disney, modern songs, traditional carols, etc. Last year I purchased Now That's What I Call Christmas 3, which I like because it's got 2 CD's, one with traditional music by original artists and one with today's artists singing some newer and some traditional songs. It's a nice variety.

The other day, as I was driving to pick up my son from school, I popped the CD in and began listening to the songs. One song in particular caught my attention. I've heard it many times before, but I never listened to it. The song is called "Baby It's Cold Outside" and it's recorded by Dean Martin. Here are the lyrics, for your evaluation (the words in parenthesis are sung by a girl and the rest is sung by Dean Martin):

(I really can't stay) But baby it's cold outside
(Got to go away) But baby it's cold outside
(This evening has been) Been hoping you'd drop in
(So very nice) I'll hold your hands they're just like ice
(My mother will start to worry) Beautiful watch you're wearing
(My father will be pacing the floor) Listen to the fireplace roar
(So really I'd better scurry) Beautiful please don't hurry
(Well maybe just half a drink) Put some records on while I pour
(The neighbors might think) Baby it's bad out there
(Say what's in this drink) No cabs to be had out there
(I wish I knew how) Your eyes are like starlight now
(To break this spell) I'll take your hat your hair looks swell
(I ought to say no no) Mind if I move in closer
(At least I'm going to say I tried) What's the sense of hurting my pride
(I really can't stay) Baby don't hold out
(Both) Baby it's cold outside

(I simply must go) Baby it's cold outside
(The answer is no) Baby it's cold outside
(The welcome has been) How lucky that you dropped in
(So nice and warm) Look out the window at the storm
(My sister will be suspicious) Gosh your lips look delicious
(My brother will be there at the door) Waves upon a tropical shore
(My maiden aunt's mind is vicious) Gosh your lips are delicious
(But maybe just a cigarette) Never such a blizzard before
(I got to get home) But baby you'd freeze out there
(Say lend me a comb) It's up to your knees out there
(You've really been grand) I thrill when you touch my hand
(But don't you see) How can you do this to me
(There's bound to be talk tomorrow) Think of my life long sorrow
(At least they'll be plenty implied) If you caught pneumonia and died
(I really can't stay) Get over that old doubt
(Both) Baby it's cold
(Both) Baby it's cold outside

Now, I have to be totally honest. When I listened to the lyrics my first reaction was, "That's sexual harrassment! This guy's nothing but a predator! How can they play this stuff at Christmas?" So I looked it up and found that the song was written by Frank Loesser in 1944 and was originally performed at parties with his wife. His wife was called "The Mouse" and he was "The Wolf" who tried to get the girl to stay with him based on the fact that "it's cold outside." It occurred to me that at the time these lyrics were probably fairly innocent (I wasn't around yet so I can't tell for sure). Yet in today's lingo this could get a guy arrested.

What did this song say to me? I realized how times have changed. Yes, this song is played all during Christmas (though it doesn't ever refer to the holiday) and throughout the winter months, yet most people haven't really paid attention to the lyrics. I skipped the song altogether once I started listening to it because I found it offensive, yet no one in the 1940's thought anything was wrong with it. The song was composed just 65 years ago. That may be a long time for some, but it's less than a century. Yet our minds decifer this very differently from how our parents/grandparents did. Times are a-changin', and sadly not for the better. We have to be alert to what we listen to, and what our children listen to, because even the golden oldies aren't so golden anymore.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, December 7, 2009...

Outside my window...the sun is trying to peek out from behind the clouds, but it looks like there won't be much success today. It's overcast, which hopefully will keep the heat index down.

I am thinking...of my son's possible solo in church. The children will be singing "Happy Birthday Jesus" and my son E is hoping to get the solo. He has a very sweet voice and loves to sing. It would make me so happy to watch my little boy stand before the entire church to sing.

I am thankful for...my dear friend who stopped by yesterday afternoon. I haven't seen her in a couple years even though she lives just a half hour away. She's hardly ever home, running around doing errands for others or working with her son. It was wonderful to see her again.

I am going...to the post office, then to pick up some stocking stuffers for my kids and presents for E's teachers. I usually have all this done by now, but really all I need are a few last minute items and I'm done.

I am wearing...a purple 3/4" sleeve shirt, jeans and sandals.

I am remembering...the Christmas movies I was watching this past Saturday on Lifetime channel. I typically don't watch this channel because the movies tend to be depressing, but at Christmas they have some very nice ones.

I am creating...nothing today. Too much other stuff to get done.

I am reading...Revelation for morning devotions, John for SOAP devotions, just finished Anne of Green Gables yesterday (what a lovely book!) and hope to get Anne of Avonlea from the library tomorrow. I'd borrowed it before but since I hadn't read Anne of Green Gables parts of it didn't make sense. I hope to enjoy it more now.

I am hoping...to find everything I need this week so I don't have to go shopping anymore other than for groceries.

On my mind...my husband's cousin is going in for her c-section this week. I'm praying everything goes well. This is her third child, and we don't know what it is yet. I'm kind of glad, it's always fun to be surprised. My daughter is due home this Thursday, the same day as the c-section. Makes it all the more exciting.

From the learning rooms...E got 5 B's for his science fair project (Woot!!) and his progress report shows he's doing well also. I'm so thankful.

I am noticing that...the air is filling with the joy of Christmas. You know how everything just feels different this time of year? It's a change, sometimes subtle, but definitely pleasant. It's the reason we wish it were Christmas all year long.

I am pondering these words... "It's always wrong to do anything you can't tell the minister's wife. It's as good as an extra conscience to have a minister's wife for your friend." - Anne of Green Gables. Talk about accountability!

From the kitchen today...steak, fries, veggie, salad.

Around the house...since my friend was coming over yesterday I pretty much cleaned everything up. Just some laundry, vacuum the rugs, and that's it.

One of my favorite things...the smell of the air in the morning after it's been raining and a cold front has come in. The air is crisp and clean and delicious.

A few plans for the rest of the week: a little more shopping to do, Prep and Landing tomorrow on ABC, Awana and Bible study on Wednesday, daughter and new baby cousin due to arrive Thursday. Mother-in-law and sister-in-law due back from their trip on Saturday. Busy week, as usual.

From my picture journal...my snowglobe collection.


Wanna join in the fun? Visit Peggy at the Simple Woman's Daybook. God bless.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Observing My Senses

For Today, December 5, 2009...

I am seeing...a cloudy fall day. It doesn't feel a whole lot like fall, because the latest cold front hasn't come in yet. It's due tomorrow, so we'll probably see rain today.

I am feeling...good after last night's growth group study. It was the last for the year, and great to get together one last time with these ladies whom I love.

I am tasting...the pancakes and sausages we had for breakfast. Yum!

I am hearing...the Phineas and Ferb marathon. Later I hope to hear Christmas cartoons.

I am smelling...well, I'll tell you what I'm NOT smelling, pine tree. It's what I miss most from not having a real tree, but then again the smell of the real tree gave me a sinus headache, so it's not so bad.

It takes just a moment to stop and observe what's going on around you. Won't you join me?

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Week in Review

This has been a slow, relaxing week. I don't get a whole lot of those! I love when I'm ahead of the game and can take it easy.

Monday I had to do a lot of grocery shopping. There was hardly any meat in the freezer, nothing for breakfast, cupboards were bare after all the Thanksgiving day cooking and feasting. My daughter had gone back to school the day before so I went and got much grocery shopping done. I also got some laundry done Monday and Tuesday.

Tuesday was bathroom cleaning day. I tidied up a bit too, looking forward to watching "Prep and Landing" on ABC with my boys. Then the awful news: our Christmas cartoon got pre-empted because President Obama had a speech to broadcast. I was so upset! I had looked forward to that cartoon for weeks, and now it was bumped to next Tuesday. My son was bummed too. So we did the next best thing - we put in our Charlie Brown Christmas DVD. When I say I wanna watch cartoons, I mean it!

Wednesday we had Bible study and Awana at church. I was glad to be back at church; it's how my batteries get recharged. During the day I swept the floors and kept everything neat. Dinner was in the crock pot which made life easy.

Thursday I baked oatmeal coconut chocolate chip cookies. They are sooooo good!! My son doesn't know it's got all this "healthy" stuff in 'em, otherwise he wouldn't want to eat them. He loves my homemade cookies :-).

I've taken advantage each day to read Anne of Green Gables. What a sweet precious story! I feel like a little girl reading it. Today I did more grocery shopping because Winn-Dixie had some good buy-one-get-one-free sales. After putting everything away I sat back down and read a couple more chapters :-).

After I pick up my son from school today I'll review for tonight's growth group study. It's the last of the series and of the year. Studying the book of Proverbs has been a great learning experience. I'm glad we did this awesome study.

Hope everyone has a great weekend! God bless.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Nativities

Nativities, I believe, are an essential part of the Christmas landscape, whether inside or outside the home. My pastor always harps on the fact that today's Nativity scenes are inaccurate. The manger where Mary placed the Christ child was not a little bassinet; it was a feeding trough for the animals. The "barn" was actually a cave carved into a mountain. And as for the wise men, the Bible never mentions them by name or even tells us how many were there. We just know there was more than one because it's in the plural. They didn't show up to see Jesus till much later, when He was toddler. Still, I love my Nativity scenes and the remembrance they give of that very special day when God came into the world.

This is the first Nativity I ever purchased. I ordered it by catalog so I didn't know exactly what it would look like. I almost cried when I saw it. It was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen. It's now been with me about 18 years.

This large Nativity is my favorite. I got it from my House of Lloyd sales. Only hostesses could get them, so it was very special to me. I didn't realize when I saw it in the catalog that it was 15 inches tall. It has so much rustic detail, it's just lovely. The small Nativity in the corner I've had for 14 years. It was one of the first items I bought from House of Lloyd, and I've treasured it for many years. I used to put it with my Christmas village, but now I put it next to my favorite.

Now in my village I have my acrylic Glistening Chapel and an acrylic Nativity to match. This Nativity is actually an ornament for the tree, but I love how it's the same material as the church which makes it look like a set. It looks very elegant in the village.

This is the largest one piece Nativity in my collection. It was the last Nativity I got from my party plan sales. It's a full 18 inches tall and weighs a ton. It has a prominent spot in the bookcase in the living room.

This is my only musical Nativity. It plays "Silent Night" (another misconception, since anyone who has given birth knows there's nothing silent about it). It's only about 8 inches tall but it's got a solid wood base and the figurines are very well crafted and detailed.

Here is my newest Nativity, a gift from my sister last year. I call this the Gold Nativity; I think it's easy to see why. Not noticable in the picture are the colored stones in the individual pieces that makes them look even more elegant. I put this Nativity in the dining room next to the china cabinet.
Of all my collections these are my favorites. Yes, the snowmen and the penguins and the Santas are all nice, but only these Nativities are reminders of the true Reason for the Season.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Worship, Unplugged

My daughter and her best friend were at one of the pastor's house this past Thanksgiving weekend, and an impromptu worship session broke out. They were recorded, and the performance is now on youtube. Check them out here. JB is on the left, the pastor's daughter is in the middle, and my daughter is on the right. The song is He Loves Us as recorded by the David Crowder Band. Enjoy!

'Tis The Season

This year it took all day Friday, most of Saturday and some of Sunday to get the house decorated for Christmas. So much work, and oh, so worth it!

First things first, our Christmas tree. We've had an artificial tree for the past 3 years, and it has been wonderful. It's not that I don't like real trees, they just don't like me. My allergies would act up so bad around Christmas time, and finally I realized the problem was the tree. We got this one at JC Penney one Black Friday, the price was reduced from over $300 to $119, and it has paid for itself. It's prelit, which I'm very thankful for. It used to take a couple of hours just to get all the lights on the tree, then go back and make sure there were no spots that weren't lit, and by the time it was done I didn't want to see the tree anymore! Now it takes 10 minutes to get it up and lit. My daughter puts the decorations on; all I do is add the ribbon and the angel. We positively love our tree!

For 10 years I sold Christmas decorations through party plans, first with House of Lloyd (Christmas Around the World) and later with Kingdom Treasures. I was able to amass a very large amount of decorations, which I like to set up by collection.

This first is the Freezeman Family. Actually, the littlest one isn't part of the original Freezeman's, but we needed an extra so that it would represent our family. They're all decked out for skiing, but they stay indoors thanks to South Florida never getting any snow!


I love Christmas villages. This is part of the village that is in the living room. It goes around the corner and has houses, bridges, a lake, lighthouse, and about 5 churches.

The village in the dining room is my favorite. It's all gingerbread houses and snowmen. We call this Christmas in Orlando because it reminds me of a theme park!

Another collection: The Lloyds. House of Lloyd did this family over a period of several years, first releasing Floyd and Flossie. When these became popular, House of Lloyd came out with Grandma Flo, Grandpa Lloyd, and finally the kids, Hip and Hop. I purchased the chairs at Big Lots. The heads are porcelain, while the bodies are mostly fabric, though there's some porcelain on the bottom to help them sit up. Everyone who comes into my home falls in love with this family of Christmas rabbits.

Mind you, this is just a sampling of all the decorations in our home. Amazingly, I paid very little for all these pieces. Since I was a hostess and later a demonstrator for the company, I was able to get these pieces free. All I paid was tax and shipping. It was an easy and inexpensive way to decorate my home. Not only that, I helped decorate the homes of several family members - these pieces made excellent gifts! I miss those days, but sadly with mass retailers like Wal-mart it's very difficult to do these types of parties anymore. Still, I enjoyed it while I could, and now I have a beautiful home and lovely heirlooms for generations to come.

I'll be posting more pics later on, so stay tuned!

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, November 30, 2009...

Outside my window...mid 60's, sunny, warm but not hot or humid. This is why I live in South Florida. The weather is just perfect today.

I am thinking...of the wonderful Thanksgiving weekend we had. So much to be thankful for.

I am thankful for...my Savior, my daughter being home this weekend, a fun and plentiful Thanksgiving feast with family, the house already decorated for Christmas, an awesome message yesterday at church, the list goes on and on...

I am going...grocery shopping this morning. I usually go on Fridays, but there was no way I was going to the stores on Black Friday. I stayed home and decorated. Now there's nothing to eat at our house :P.

I am wearing...a grey long sleeve shirt, jeans and sandals which I will change for flats in a little while. I went to Winn-Dixie with the sandals and my feet were freezing.

I am remembering...Christmas when my older kids were little. Seems like such a long time ago.

I am creating...Christmas memories - or at least that's my goal.

I am reading...Hebrews for morning devotions, need to get back to John for SOAP devotions, Anne of Green Gables (and really getting into it), and Who is Stealing the 12 Days of Christmas? by Martha Freeman with my son. It's a funny holiday story.

I am hoping...to finish wrapping presents today. I think I need one more gift to buy and I'm done - Praise the Lord!!

On my mind...the new Christmas cartoon that will air tomorrow on ABC called Prep and Landing. It's by Pixar, so it must be great. Haven't seen a new Christmas cartoon in ages.

From the learning rooms...back to school this morning. We'll be reading alot of Christmas books, both from our collection and the library.

I am noticing that...many of my neighbors have put their outdoor decorations and I've only got half of them up. Gotta get moving!

I am pondering these words..."But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for see - I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord." - Luke 2:10,11.

From the kitchen...tilapia today. Something fast and easy.

Around the house...all the decorating is done, so just a quick cleaning is all that's needed. Oh, and of course, laundry.

One of my favorite things...is reading to my son. We both enjoy that bonding time.

A few plans for the rest of the week: back to Awana on Wednesday and Cub Scouts on Thursday. Friday is our last small group meeting for this year, and we'll finish our study of Proverbs with the topic Justice vs. Injustice. I'll miss meeting with these lovely ladies.

From the picture journal...I'll have to take pictures of the house all decorated. The tree, which my daughter trimmed, is stunning. I just love Christmas!!


Wanna join in the fun? Visit Peggy at the Simple Woman's Daybook. God bless.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Let's Start Giving Thanks!

Thanksgiving is still 2 days away, but I thought I'd start giving thanks today. It's never too early.

1 - I'm thankful that I'm done cleaning the house. It looks gorgeous! Someone give me the Good Housekeeping Seal, this house looks like something out of a magazine. It was alot of work, but very satisfying.

2 - I had to run to Publix to get sugar because I hadn't realized I was almost out. While there I found Pumpkin Spice pudding! Jello only sells this flavor during the fall, so I stock up, but this year I hadn't found it anywhere. Just this morning I was telling my oldest son how disappointed I was not to have any pumpkin spice pudding this year. I bought 8 boxes. God loves me! I also found Duncan Hines cake mixes on sale. Publix has flavors Walmart typically doesn't have, so I stocked up on those too. I like to bake cakes for my neighbors as Christmas presents, and they like to receive them, so it's a win-win situation.

3 - I'm thankful that my daughter is coming home a day early! I was expecting her tomorrow night, but instead she'll be here tonight! Joy!!!

I'm gonna go make my son something to eat, and continue to thank the Lord for all His blessings. God is soooo good!!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, November 23, 2009 (the Monday before Thanksgiving)...


Outside my window...the sun is trying to peek out from behind the clouds, the breeze is still cool, and the neighbor's cat is prowling for lizards.


I am thinking...about preparations for Thanksgiving which will be here at our house this year.


I am thankful...for my family being together at Thanksgiving. My daughter is due home on Wednesday. To have us all under one roof is what this holiday is all about.


I am going...to wrap a few more presents, get some laundry going, change the sheets on all the beds, clean the family room and kitchen, all while listening to Christmas carols. Busy, busy, busy.


I am wearing...a pink tank top and pink shorts. Still warm enough outside for light clothes, and it's more comfortable to clean this way.


I am remembering...that I have to go to my mother-in-laws this afternoon to pick up our turkey.


I am creating...a Thanksgiving home.


I am reading...1 Timothy for morning devotions, John for SOAP devotions, and Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. I started reading Anne of Avonlea but without reading from the start it's a bit confusing. This time I'm starting from the beginning.


I am hoping...to have everything ready by Wednesday when my daughter comes home.


On my mind...it's hard to have anything but Thanksgiving and Christmas on my mind right now. I'm so excited for both!


From the learning rooms...E turns in his science project today. It's a short school week, which makes my son veeeery happy.


I am noticing that...stores have started their Black Friday specials before Black Friday. I guess the economy has hit them hard.


I am pondering these words..."Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." - Proverbs 22:6. I always write this verse to new moms.

From the kitchen...baked chicken, and rice with corn. Let's get the fall meals rolling!

Around the house...so much to do, so little time. This will be the only time I sit down today.

One of my favorite things...is decorating my home for the holidays. I look forward to it the entire year.

A few plans for the rest of the week: cleaning and laundry today and tomorrow. I hope to get some shopping done tomorrow also. Wednesday is dessert day; I will be baking a strawberry cake and making coconut rice pudding for Thanksgiving. Thursday is the big day. Lots to do and enjoy. Friday starts the decorating frenzy. It takes 3 days to decorate my home for Christmas. Saturday one of my dearest friends will host a Christmas Around the World party at her home with leftover pieces that she never sold. It's gonna be a busy week, but in a good way.

From my picture journal...


The Thanksgiving turkey my son E made last year. So cute!


Wanna join in the fun? Visit Peggy at the Simple Woman's Daybook. God bless.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Observing My Senses

For Today, November 21, 2009...

I am seeing...the palm trees swaying in the warm breeze. It's warmer today than it's been all week, but it isn't humid, which is nice.

I am feeling...happy knowing most of my Xmas shopping is done, but sad because my extended family is so far away. I miss my siblings.

I am tasting...spinach dip with crackers left over from last night's growth groups. This one was from Publix. So refreshing!

I am hearing...my boys.

I am smelling...not a whole lot, because my nose is a bit stuffy. Not sick, just allergies again.

It takes just a moment to stop and observe what's going on around you. Won't you join me?

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Week in Review

It's been a week of shopping, wrapping, sneaking and hiding. Makes me feel like I'm on some kind of secret mission! It's also been a week of preparation. Thanksgiving dinner will be at our home this year, and while we aren't expecting as big a crowd as other years, I still want everything to be comfortable for those who will be here.

Monday I spent deep cleaning my bedroom. Lots of dust accumulates in there and both hubby and I suffer from allergies, so while I clean up regularly a good cleaning once a month is necessary. I also got some laundry done which I'm trying hard to keep caught up. I'm almost there.

Tuesday I tackled the kids rooms. My daughter is away at college, so my oldest son sleeps in her room while she's gone. This makes E very happy, because he says his big brother snores and keeps him awake! This also means both rooms had to be cleaned up good, though the boys room is always messier. I think that's genetic.

I had spoken to my oldest son about Dad's Christmas present. Hubby is sooo hard to shop for! He's very picky about clothes and shoes, and as for everything else he doesn't give anyone a chance to shop for him because whatever he wants he goes out and buys himself. Well, R and I came up with a gift we're sure he'll like (not saying what it is; just in case) and since it was on sale at Costco we agreed to go buy it on Wednesday. R goes to school on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays, and he didn't work on Wednesday so it was the perfect day. Or so we thought.

Wednesday morning I got up early to get E ready for school, and hubby stayed in bed. Since his schedule varies, I didn't think too much of it. As E and I got ready to leave, hubby told me he was working late that night so he was going to sleep in. I figured sleeping in meant he wouldn't leave for work till 11:00 am or noon. He got up, exercised, then woke R up to cut the grass and do some much needed yard work. Normally I'd be very happy about this, but I wanted him out of the house so I could go shopping for him!!! I decided to keep my cleaning schedule going and deep cleaned in the living room, moving furniture, dusting everything, scrubbing the area rug clean, till it all sparkled. Still hubby didn't leave. At 1:45 I left to pick up E from school. Even my oldest son was perplexed; how were we going to get Dad's gift? The sale would end on Saturday, R had school and work both Thursday and Friday, and it was looking like we'd have to pass on this present. When E got home he told me about a report he needed to print on the computer. This posed a problem - there was no ink in the printer. That's when R came up with his brilliant plan. Go to Wal-mart to pick up an ink cartridge, then run to Costco which is only about a mile away and buy Dad's gift. R gave me cash and promised to help E with homework and keep Dad occupied while I ran my errand. It actually worked out better than I'd anticipated.

Hubby asked me to pick up some stuff for him while I was at the store. Good, that would give me more time in case I got delayed. When I got to Wal-mart, it turns out they didn't have the ink cartridge I needed. So I called R and asked him to find out what other store I could go to, since I didn't want to drive all around wasting gas just to find one item I needed. In the meantime I checked out the sale section at Wal-mart, and found something that I think R will really enjoy (again, not saying what it is). The price seemed really good; I would later find out comparing prices on the Internet that it was 90% off the actual price, so I got it for a steal!! As I was getting ready to check out, R called and said I could get the ink cartridge either at Office Max or Office Depot. Both are just blocks away from Costco, again to my advantage. So off I went to Office Max, then to Costco to buy Dad's present. While I was there I bought him his favorite breakfast cereal, since he'd run out. That way if he asked where I'd been I could answer honestly that I'd been to Costco. I got home satisfied with my shopping expedition - I'd managed to get 2 presents instead of just one.

I figured I could wrap both presents on Thursday, when R went to school and Hubby went to work. Well, only one of those scenarios became reality. R left for school, but Hubby worked all night and didn't get home till 5:30am, so he didn't have to go to work till later on in the afternoon. I didn't want the presents in the car - too much risk of Hubby going to look for something. I took E to school, then waited till Hubby was fast asleep and snuck both presents in the house. Hubby's present I put in my daughter A's room, because I knew he wouldn't go snooping in there. R's present I left in the living room and proceeded to give the dining room a deep cleaning. When Hubby got up I showed him what I'd gotten R, and wrapped it up. One down, one to go. Except Hubby didn't leave the house till I went to get E from school, and I knew I couldn't let E see the present because he's not very good at keeping secrets. So the gift stayed safely tucked away in A's room.

This morning I dropped E off at school and went to Winn-Dixie to start my grocery shopping day. I like going to Winn-Dixie early; there's less people so I'm in and out in less than half an hour. When I got home I was surprised that, once again, Hubby was still there! Not another night shift, I thought! But no, it turns out he was waiting for me to come home so I could wrap a gift for one of his clients - a very nice dress shirt that the client had admired on him. So I got a box, packed it up, then pulled out the wrapping paper. And wouldn't you know it - the paper I had saved to wrap up Hubby's gift I used up on this other present and now I was out of wrapping paper!! Can anything else go wrong?! Understand, it's very important that this gift get wrapped. If Hubby has the slightest inkling that there's a present for him in the house, he'll tear it apart looking for it. He's very much a kid in that respect. Besides, if E saw it he'd spill the beans. No problem, I was going to Wal-mart again anyway, I'd just pick up some more wrapping paper. Finally, after getting several other errands taken care of, I was able to wrap Dad's present. I have to say, all this sneaking around is not good for my nerves!

Hubby's gonna change the oil in my car tomorrow (Saturday) so I may be stuck at home most of the day. Not good, since I was hoping to go shopping at a big outlet mall before Thanksgiving. Sunday I'm teaching Sunday school, and after that we'll be at a cousin's baby shower. Plus E's science project has to be finished this weekend so he can turn it in on Monday. Never a dull moment in our house!

God bless, have a wonderful pre-Thanksgiving Day weekend! :-)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Kids Say the Funniest Things

"Shortly after our family began having nightly devotions—which isn't easy with a precocious four-year-old daughter and an impish two-year-old son—my daughter asked, "Mommy, when are we gonna get together with Daddy and Austin to talk about God and have family commotions?"

From Church Laughs at Christianity.com

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, November 16, 2009...

Outside my window...it's 67 degrees and a cool breeze is blowing. Skies are overcast but it doesn't look like we'll get any rain. Looks like what fall should look like in November in South Florida.

I am thinking...about the holidays. Alot.

I am thankful...for more things than I can list. For my Lord who gave His life for me. For the life in Him that He's given me. For the family He's blessed me with. And for friends, old and new.

I am going...to start my right-before-Thanksgiving house cleaning. Top to bottom, all around. This is gonna be big.

I am wearing...my pink "Got Jesus?" t-shirt, baby blue capri's and brown sandals. It's fall, but I can still dress light.

I am remembering...past Thanksgivings and the fun we had.

I am creating...a shopping list for Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas gifts left to purchase.

I am reading...Galatians for morning devotions, John for SOAP devotions, and A Simple Christmas by Mike Huckabee. Picked it up at Costco. It has 12 short Christmas stories, some funny, some sad, all inspirational.

I am hoping...to be productive this week.

On my mind...the women in my growth group. What an awesome bunch of ladies. I must keep them in prayer, especially one whose son was recently shot in a hold up. His spine was severed, and doctors say he'll never walk again. He's only 24 years old. I know my God can do miracles no doctor can do, and that's what we're praying for.

From the learning rooms...we'll be putting together the science project board this week.

I am noticing that...while my cold is gone the cough seems to want to stick around. It's getting annoying.

I am pondering these words...from BarlowGirl's new CD Love and War, the song is called Love is Marching: "Everyone will pass. And when we've breathed our last can we say, We have lived for more? And did we live to die for love?"

From the kitchen...the oven is cleaning today (whoever invented self cleaning ovens: Thank you!!) so I'll be making chicken stir fry in the electric skillet with white rice.

Around the house...prepping for Thanksgiving which will be at my home this year. Starting with bedrooms and working my way through.

One of my favorite things...is cooking Thanksgiving dinner. Well, truthfully, cooking any dinner that my family appreciates brings me joy.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Awana and Bible study on Wednesday. Cub scouts have a Thanksgiving feast on Thursday, and I signed up to bring the stuffing. Friday growth groups, it's the next to last study. Saturday I hope to go to the largest outlet mall in South Florida to pick up some quality yet inexpensive Christmas gifts for the young ones in the family. We have 5 little cousins ages 3 and under, and another on the way. Such a blessing!

From my picture journal...



My son E at the Cub Scout car wash fund raiser. He worked hard but enjoyed it so much he's promised to wash my car this weekend. How great is that?! Thank You Jesus for such a loving little boy.

Wanna join in the fun? Visit Peggy at the Simple Woman's Daybook. God bless.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Observing My Senses

For Today, November 14, 2009...

I am seeing...a neater house. Had plenty of things to pick up and put away. Once that was done, ahhh.

I am feeling...a cool breeze coming in through the window. Finally some fall weather. I was tired of the air conditioning being on in November.

I am tasting...roasted red pepper hummus on roasted garlic melba toast. I could eat this stuff forever.

I am hearing...the ceiling fan above me and our neighbor's pool filter.

I am smelling...the sweet smell of outdoors, cool air and grass. Nature at its best.

It takes just a moment to stop and observe what's going on around you. Won't you join me?

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Week in Review

Ever had one of those days when you feel like you didn't stop once yet you didn't get as much accomplished as you'd like? This was one of those weeks. I've been busy but I'm still behind on so much.

One good thing for this week: the weather. This morning was a nice cool 57 degrees, and the high should stay in the 70's. No humidity either. It's so nice to be able to open the windows without it feeling like the inside of a 450 degree oven. I love this time of year.

I've gotten a bunch of Christmas shopping done. I look for sales, then when I bring stuff home I wrap it right away so I don't have to think about it later on. The closets are getting filled, but I still have so much left to buy! Most of what I've purchased is for the kids. One present for grandma, one for Daddy, and everything else is for my children. Oh, except the Christmas shoe box. We do one or two Christmas shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child each year. You can learn more about Operation Christmas Child and Samaritan's Purse here. It's a very worthy cause and a great way to teach the little ones the true meaning of Christmas.

I did a ton of housework, yet the house isn't where I like it to be. It seems that no matter how much cleaning and organizing is done, there's always room for more. Laundry is another item on my "never gets caught up" list. How can such a small family dirty so many clothes?! There's only four of us in the house now; where does all this laundry come from? It's a neverending cycle.

I've also begun purchasing some of the food items for our Thanksgiving menu. Thank the Lord my husband, his brother and his sister all get turkeys from work. One less thing to buy! Of course I've been looking through the circulars for sales on everything else. I try to buy a little each week so I don't have a huge grocery bill during Thanksgiving week. Got the stuffing, potatoes (russets for mashing), some spices, cake mixes (I buy Duncan Hines but I jazz it up my way), aluminum baking pans which were on sale at Wal-mart, and chicken stock from Costco. I have to make up the rest of the shopping list because believe it or not, Thanksgiving is less than 2 weeks away! Time is flying by, that's for sure.

Tonight is growth groups, and we'll be looking at instruction verses correction from the book of Proverbs. Sunday my son's Cub Scout troop is having a car wash to raise funds. Another busy weekend. Maybe I'll be able to slow down after that? Probably not.

Have a blessed weekend everyone.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Proverbs Thought of the Day

"Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
but those who hate to be rebuked are stupid."

- Proverbs 12:1


I've never met a person who enjoyed being disciplined. Yes, I know many Christians will tell you they appreciate when someone tells them they are on a wrong path because this will help them get right with God. It's the right thing to say, after all.

Appreciation is not enjoyment, however. No one says, "I love it when my shortcomings are pointed out. Nothing like knowing the world can see my flaws. What better way to start the day than to have someone tell me about my faults." Let's face it, we can accept correction, we can be thankful for it, we can use it to our benefit, but we don't LIKE it.

And that's okay. Hebrews 12:11 tells us, "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." We can acknowledge that we don't like being disciplined because the truth of the matter is, it hurts to be reminded of our sinful nature. We like to believe that now, as followers of Christ, we always get it right. To be shown our mistakes isn't pleasant. But as this verse tells us, when we accept that discipline we receive peace. Accepting discipline also brings us wisdom. Proverbs 19:20 tells us, "Listen to counsel and receive instruction, that you may be wise in your latter days." It's like taking nasty tasting medicine. Yes, it's yucky and probably leaves an unpleasant aftertaste, but once the medicine kicks in and the symptoms are relieved, we can appreciate what it did for us.

This Proverb tells us that to hate discipline is to be stupid. That's because when we don't accept discipline we can never move past the area where we struggle. Let's be open-minded and open-hearted as we accept that which hurts for a moment but keeps us joyful for a lifetime.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Time for a Laugh - Accentuate the Positive

The elderly pastor's wife was known for her ability to make positive comments about every facet of her husband's Florida ministry. The church choir, however, consisting as it did of seniors in their 70s and 80s, had defied positive but truthful comment.

She finally solved the problem one Sunday morning. As the choir members filed into the choir loft, she leaned over to me and remarked, "Aren't they walking well this morning?"

- From Church Laughs at ChristianityToday.com

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, November 9, 2009...


Outside my window...it's breezy, sunny, and beautiful. It doesn't feel like 79 degrees thanks to the cool breeze.


I am thinking...it'll be windy the next few days, as we keep an eye on Hurricane Ida out in the Gulf of Mexico. Don't quite know yet where it's headed.


I am thankful...for my family, my home, and my God who keeps us all together.


I am going...to the post office to send out a package, possibly Costco for some more Christmas shopping.


I am wearing...a navy blue polka dotted sleeveless blouse, light blue capris and sandals. Not your typical fall attire, I know, but it still isn't cool enough in South Florida to break out the warmer clothes.


I am remembering...people I went to elementary school with who have found me on Facebook. It's great to see how well they've turned out.


I am creating...hopefully a Thanksgiving menu this week. I like to get that done ahead of time so I can buy all the supplies.


I am reading...1 Corinthians for morning devotions, John for SOAP devotions, and Anne of Avonlea just for fun. I never read this book as a child and I've always been curious about it. Found it at the library.


I am hoping...to get all my Christmas shopping done soon.


On my mind...Christmas music. I can't wait till the radio stations start to play Christmas carols!


From the learning rooms...finishing up the science project, and lots of writing assignments.


I am noticing that...despite having such warm weather, this is the first hurricane this season to come near us. Thank the Lord they've stayed out in the Atlantic and haven't disturbed us.


I am pondering these words..."I am only a Benjaminite, from the least of the tribes of Israel, and my family is the humblest of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin. Why then have you spoken to me in this way?" - Saul, 1 Samuel 9:21. God uses those whom we least expect Him to use, because it is for His glory, not ours, that we are chosen.


From the kitchen...ham steaks and rice with peas.


Around the house...there's plenty of laundry to do, yet again.


One of my favorite things...is Christmas carols. Oh, did I already mention that? ;-)


A few plans for the rest of the week: no school on Wednesday which is nice. Gotta see about finishing up as much Christmas shopping as possible.


From my picture journal...

We call this Trick or Treat cake. In the fall Duncan Hines comes out with a fudge marble cake that's orange and chocolate. It's so yummy and pretty, I make one every year. This one disappeared within a day or two.



Wanna join in the fun? Visit Peggy at the Simple Woman's Daybook. God bless.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Proverbs Thought of the Day

Chapter 7 of Proverbs is the warning against adultery. The last verses of this chapter stand out to me:

"Now then, my sons, listen to me;
pay attention to what I say.
Do not let your heart turn to her ways
or stray into her paths.
Many are the victims she has brought down;
her slain are a mighty throng.
Her house is a highway to the grave,
leading down to the chambers of death."
- Proverbs 7:24-27


This brings to mind the story of Stephen Phillips, the ESPN sportscaster recently in the news. Stephen Phillips was married for 19 years, lived with his wife and 4 children and had a great career. He had an affair with a co-worker, a 22 year old young woman who was not willing to end the relationship. She began making harrassing phone calls to Mr. Phillips' wife, and even showed up at her door. Once the story broke out, the wife filed for divorce, is asking for custody of the 4 children, and Phillips has lost his job. He may not be literally dead at this point, but he'll probably say he feels like his life has ended. Too bad he didn't heed the words of these verses.

A few moments of pleasure has led to a lifetime of pain, a family destroyed. When we give in to our desires for illicit pleasure, the consequences are devastating. How can we avoid a similar tragedy? Stay in the Word daily. Stop and think: what does God say about this? Make the right choice, and live with a clear conscience. Because no one wants to be in Stephen Phillips' shoes right now.

Observing My Senses

For Today, November 6, 2009...

I am seeing...the sun shining and the palm fronds blowing in the breeze. It's starting to feel like fall (finally!) with the cool breezes.

I am feeling...excited because we're going to the movies today to see Disney's A Christmas Carol.

I am tasting...a toasted buttered bagel and my morning cup of coffee.

I am hearing...the whirr of the computer motor and cartoons in the background.

I am smelling...not a whole lot; my nose is a bit stuffy this morning. Allergies, I think.

It takes just a moment to stop and observe what's going on around you. Won't you join me?

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Week In Review

I guess it's been a pretty quiet week, if you don't count THE YANKEES WINNING THE WORLD SERIES!!!! Sorry, I'm a native New Yorker, from the Bronx no less. I'm so happy for them.

This has been a mostly stay-at-home type of week, for which I'm so thankful because I needed time to get stronger after having bronquitis. I'm doing much better now, thank the Lord, though I still have a bit of a cough. Nothing could beat my daughter coming down for the weekend to help in the healing process! She and her roommate were homesick and decided to surprise everyone, and what a pleasant surprise it was! I miss my little girl so much. I only wish I'd been able to give her lots of hugs, but I didn't want her to catch my virus. Still, just having my whole family under one roof made being sick all the more bearable.

I spent the days catching up on cleaning and laundry. What with jury duty one week and being so sick the next, my chores fell way behind. It feels so good to look around at my house and it's back to the way it's supposed to be. I spent alot of time on the phone with a dear friend of mine who I'd been trying to get a hold of. She was traveling and called me when she got home. It was so good to hear from her.

Yesterday I baked chocolate chip cookies. The weather is getting back down so that it's in the low 70's in the morning and low 80's in the afternoon, with little humidity and light breezes. This sounds like summer to some but it's typical fall for us. The winds are picking up too, which makes it feel even more like autumn, so baking is definitely on the agenda. I loooove how the house smells when I'm baking! And chocolate chip cookies are my family's favorite. Yum!

I went grocery shopping today and started buying for Thanksgiving. I don't like to buy everything the same week, because then my grocery bill seems astronomical. Instead, I look for sales and buy a little something each week. Today Wal-mart had Stove Top stuffing for $.78 a box, which is great since it had been $1.68 for the past few months. I take Stove Top stuffing and jazz it up with extra onions, celery, sage, rosemary, thyme, raisins, and ground beef. Man, does it taste good!!! I also bought oven bags for the turkey, and coconut milk for my coconut rice pudding. This is a typical dessert in Puerto Rico (where my family is from) for the holidays. My daughter loves it. I can't wait till Thanksgiving - my daughter will be home, we'll have a feast with the family, then decorating for Christmas!! It's my favorite time of the year!

This weekend we'll be going to see Disney's A Christmas Carol. Matter of fact, if we get out of Bible study early enough tonight E and I might just go catch it at 9:20pm. Oooh, I just love this story! I hope everyone has a blessed weekend. God bless.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Proverbs Thought of the Day

"Do not enter the path of the wicked,
and do not walk in the way of evildoers.
Avoid it; do not go on it;
turn away from it and pass on.
For they cannot sleep unless they have done wrong;
they are robbed of sleep
unless they have made someone stumble.
Keep your heart with all vigilance,
for from it flows the springs of life."
- Proverbs 4:14-16, 23


Advise for my children.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, November 2, 2009...

Outside my window...it's a balmy 77 degrees. Weatherman says we'll be seeing temps go back down to normal in the next few days. I hope so. It shouldn't be 77 degrees in the morning. Maybe at noon, but not now.

I am thinking...about the myriad things on my to do list.

I am thankful for...my daughter's surprise visit this weekend. I was sick with bronquitis, but I can't think of a better remedy than to have my children home with me. What a delight!

I am going...grocery and Christmas shopping this morning. I didn't go grocery shopping on Friday because I was feeling so sick, so I need to get that done today. And as for Christmas shopping, I'm a bit behind. I usually start in September but this year I didn't get started till October. I've got some catching up to do.

I am wearing...a church t-shirt, jeans and sandals. Comfy stuff for my shopping trip.

I am remembering...a great teaching about the occult and how the enemy is making his agenda popular in our culture today. Great stuff.

I am creating...my Christmas shopping list. I want to be done shopping before Thanksgiving so I can enjoy the holidays at home, not in the stores.

I am reading...my Bible and nothing else right now. I need to go to the library and get some reading material.

I am hoping...my son E doesn't catch the virus going around our home. He's the only one who hasn't caught it.

On my mind...Thanksgiving. It's less than a month away!

From the learning rooms...we've done the 3 trials for the science fair project, and so far the anti-bacterial dishwashing detergent is in the lead with the most long lasting suds.

I am noticing that...I went past the 300 mark of posts on this blog. Woot!

I am pondering these words..."Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I'm found. Was blind, but now I see." Thank You Jesus.

From the kitchen...easy chicken and stuffing in the crock pot that didn't get made last week.

Around the house...the work never seems to get done. Always something to keep me busy.

One of my favorite things...is holiday recipes. I love seeing what other people serve on the holidays and copy the ones that sound yummiest!

A few plans for the rest of the week: the usual. Grocery shopping, library run, Awana and Bible study, Cub scouts, growth groups. I can't see fitting anything else into this busy schedule.

From my picture journal...I tried to download one but Blogger is not working with me today. Maybe later.

Wanna join in the fun? Visit Peggy at the Simple Woman's Daybook. God bless.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

How Do I Want To Be Taught?

Picture this: A firefighter is invited to an elementary school assembly to teach the children about fire safety. Parents and teachers are present also. The firefighter begins talking about the importance of owning a fire extinguisher. He explains what they are, how they work, and even has several fire extinguishers, in different sizes, to show the children. He teaches them how to operate a fire extinguisher and gives a demonstration. Everyone is amazed and pleased with the presentation; but you notice something is missing. The firefighter never spoke of the dangers of fire. So you approach the firefighter and ask why there was no explanation of how to avoid fires, the damage a fire can do, and ways to escape a fire if you don't have a fire extinguisher handy. The firefighter says he doesn't like to talk about those things; they're negative and if the children don't find the presentation fun he may not be asked to come back to the school. Would you accept this as a reasonable answer?

Would it be wiser instead, if the firefighter taught that playing with matches is okay so long as you have a fire extinguisher handy? Because, after all, he wouldn't want children to be deprived of the lessons they can learn from fires. Keeping them too far from fire and not letting them experiment with it won't help them with lifes lessons. After all, fire is everywhere, right? Since it can't be avoided we might as well let the children investigate it for themselves, so long as they're careful. Would a parent be more comfortable with this concept?

Of course, if the firefighter brought in pictures of severely burned children, and screamed at them about how fire is evil and they should stay as far away as possible from fire or they might get third degree burns and die, many parents would become furious. Kids would be so traumatized they wouldn't want to go to a barbeque ever again.

None of these scenarios would be correct. The proper approach would be to instruct children in the dangers of fire if not used correctly. They would be told NEVER to play with matches under any circumstances. That while fire can be of good use, such as for cooking, it is not a toy to be played with. Yes, teaching a child the proper use of a fire extinguisher is good, but so is explaining that they must leave the premises and call 911 immediately in the event of a fire. Parents would agree that this is a well rounded teaching, one that the children would benefit from.

So why is it so many people go to church and only want to hear the good things the Bible tells us? If the preacher tells them each week that God loves them and wants the best for them, that's enough. If every Sunday is filled with beautiful pictures of heaven and God handing out blessings and keeping His children out of trouble, the church is packed. The preacher needs to be careful what he says, otherwise his flock will be offended and won't come back. No one wants to hear anything negative.

And if the preacher says it's okay when you sin because God forgives, that's even better. All you have to do is remember to say you're sorry every night, and God is faithful to forgive. If that same sin keeps popping up day after day, well what do you expect? God knows we're not perfect. He knows we make mistakes. He loves us and forgives us and that's all that matters.

But is this a well rounded, balanced teaching? It's not to say that God doesn't love us; He does. He wouldn't have sent Jesus to die for us on the cross if He didn't. It isn't that God doesn't want to bless us and keep us safe. He's our Heavenly Father. He wants to shower us with His best. But as our Father He also expects obedience from us. We aren't perfect, but He expects us to do our best for Him. We need to hear about the good AND the bad. We need to accept that we are sinners.

Instead of getting angry at the preacher because he pointed out something in your life that needs fixing, take that word as one coming from the Lord, and start making changes. Don't just live life as a free ride with a God that is handing out blessings and forgiveness. Acknowledge what He's done for you and show your appreciation by living a life worthy of being called His. Hearing all the "pretty" messages won't help you become the person He wants you to be. Listening to the good, the bad and the ugly, will teach you to appreciate who you are in Him.

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Week In Review

Monday - The day began with me sneezing so much I was sure my nose was gonna fall off my face. Since we'd been to the park the day before for our church's Volunteer Appreciation Picnic, I figured it was my allergies. I had plenty to do around the house, especially laundry. I'd fallen behind on everything thanks to jury duty the week before, so I had alot of catching up to do. By the end of the day my throat was feeling scratchy. I chalked that up to allergies, too.

Tuesday - The sneezing calmed down, but my throat was sore and I had a dry cough. Now I knew it wasn't just allergies; my husband had caught a cold and was feeling pretty miserable, and obviously I'd caught it. I didn't focus on it too much, though. Hubby had been to the doctor the day before, but basically all he has is a virus. I loaded him with Theraflu which helped him sleep. It was what his body needed, because he hadn't been able to sleep for 2 nights. Once he got some rest he began to feel better.

Wednesday - As hubby got stronger, I got worse. The coughing made my back and chest hurt. I was wheezing by the end of the day, requiring a nebulizer treatment. The stuffy nose was coming back too. I knew it wasn't the flu; I've had the flu before and this was coming on too slowly. But I had a low grade fever the entire day, so I knew my body was fighting off something. Thankfully there was no Awana due to a pastor's conference. I wouldn't have been able to go anyway, but this way my son wasn't disappointed.

Thursday - Bad night's sleep. Even with the vaporizer in the room I was congested. I knew at this point I couldn't fight this one on my own. I called the doctor and was able to see her in the early afternoon. Turns out, not only do I have bronquitis, but I'm anemic again. That explains why I'm feeling so weak and why this virus has hit me worse than my hubby. Antibiotics, nebulizer treatments, and some vitamins should help knock this one out. Still, I went to E's Cub Scout meeting. He earned the Bobcat badge and a badge for the first campout. He was so thrilled. The kids went in costume because it's 2 days before Halloween. I let my son dress up for Halloween so long as it's not anything evil. This year he's Bumblebee, one of the Transformers.

Friday - Slept better last night, though I still feel pretty weak. I'm also not as hungry as I usually am, but I think it's all the medicines that make my stomach feel yucky. I'm so thankful E doesn't have school today (it's a teacher's planning day). I hope to get plenty of rest today, because tonight is growth groups and I want to be there. I know, I should stay home and rest, but our group is so great I hate to miss it. Pray that I have the strength to get there tonight for our study of Proverbs - tonight it's joy verses anger.

I'm hoping for a restful and healing weekend. We have baptisms on Sunday at church, which is always a special time. I'm also teaching in children's church this week, so I want to feel better. I love teaching the children.

Have a blessed weekend everyone!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Proverbs Thought of the Day

"Better is the poor who walks in his integrity
Than one perverse in his ways, though he be rich."
- Proverbs 28:6

How is success measured? Most people will tell you that success is the equivalent of a person's monetary value; if you have lots of money, you're successful. If you possess real estate, you're successful. A striving business, a promising career. All these things spell "success".

Yet we forget the words found in Luke 12:20 - "But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?'" We can acquire many things while we are here on earth: money, material possessions, what the world would call "riches". But what are they worth once we leave this life? In heaven they are worthless. Those that put all their energy into gaining riches, regardless of how they do it, find in the end that these riches will do them no good, and someone else will enjoy it all once they're gone.

Does this mean we shouldn't have money? No. Does it mean we can't own anything? Not at all. But these shouldn't be the things we are after in life. Why not follow the advise found in Proverbs 22:1 instead? "A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, loving favor rather than silver and gold." Those are the things that money can't buy. They're priceless.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Proverbs Thought of the Day

"He who is full loathes honey,
but to the hungry even what is bitter tastes sweet."
- Proverbs 27:7

Ever have a big, delicious meal and eaten so much that you have to pass up on dessert? Even your very favorite treat becomes unappetizing on a full stomach.

On the flip side, ever been so hungry you'd eat just about anything? My mom would wait till we were starved before introducing a new food. She knew if we were hungry enough we'd try it, and have a better chance of liking it.

The same goes for our hearts. When Jesus fills that space inside us that only He can fill, we don't need to go searching for anything else. We're full and content, like a baby after 20 minutes of nursing. There's that smile that comes from a feeling of satisfaction. A full heart is a happy heart.

Then there's the heart that doesn't have Jesus. There's a big empty hole that aches, and try as we may to fill it up with something else, like relationships, money, careers, and the like, nothing sticks. So we look for other things in hopes that they'll work: alcohol, drugs, or other illicit pleasures. These activities leave a bitter taste in the mouth, yet people continue to go back to them. Why? Because of a hunger that can't be satisfied. A hunger that can only be quenched by Jesus.

Are you hungry? Really hungry? Have you found that none of the things you've tried takes that hunger away? Then give Jesus a chance. You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.

From ChurchLaughs.com

Too Funny...


Monday, October 26, 2009

My Early Birthday Gift

This is one of those stories where everyone says "Awwww" at the end. The good kind of aww.

As I've mentioned before, my husband works in the food industry. I tell him that as long as people eat, he has a job. For the most part this has been true; his sales may fluctuate from one month to the next but there's never been a time when he hasn't been able to make enough money to pay the bills. We're very thankful for that.

Still, the economy being what it is, his company has looked for ways to save money. Recently they switched cell phone companies. The contract the company had with Cingular expired, and they decided to go with Metro PCS. Yes, the service is less expensive, but it has its drawbacks.

As sales supervisor my husband has several salesmen working under him who he speaks with regularly while on the road. He also speaks with clients, supermarket owners and managers. So he spends alot of time on the phone. The issue he began having with the new service company is that inside the stores (especially in the freezer section, where most of his products are) he couldn't get a signal. This meant that his sales force couldn't get a hold of him, nor could his customers. He was also embarrassed every time someone from the competition was around and saw my hubby having to walk out the store just so he could make a phone call. It was hindering his productivity, and he wasn't happy.

At home, we've had Sprint for our phone service for several years and are happy with them. My hubby spoke with his bosses and asked if it were possible to switch his work phone over to our home phone service, with the company paying him whatever they were paying Metro PCS. He explained the problems he was having, and the company agreed to his request. So my hubby called Sprint and worked out a good plan with them that would work for his job and our personal phones.

A couple of days after he'd told me about this, I received an email from Sprint verifying the purchase of a new phone. Sprint has my email address on file, so anytime a change is made they send me an email. Since my hubby had already told me he was adding his work phone to our account, I figured he was upgrading his phone also. I printed the email without really reading it, and left it on his nightstand. When hubby came home, he asked what the paper was for. I told him Sprint had emailed me a confirmation of his order and I'd printed it for him. He became very serious. "Why did they email you? I'm the one that placed the order." I explained that my email is the one they have on file. "But I never told them to email anything. What did they have to do that for?" I told him Sprint's system does it automatically, whether he requests an email or not. I couldn't understand why he was so upset about it. Then he told me. "I was buying you a new phone for Christmas, and Sprint ruined my surprise." Since I hadn't read the email, I didn't notice there were two phones ordered, one for him to use for work and an additional one. It was so sweet! I laughed because he was pouting like a little kid all because his surprise was discovered.

Now that I knew about the phone, my hubby asked me to fill out the paperwork for the rebate offers. Turns out, to qualify for the rebates the phones need to be activated by November 14. Since that's exactly a month before my birthday, we agreed the phone would be an early birthday gift. I get to learn how to use my burgundy Blackberry Curve now, and hopefully I'll have gotten the hang of it by the time my birthday rolls around. Thanks for my early gift, honey!