Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Do My Eyes Deceive Me?

Conversation with my 9 year old son as we were on our way to church Sunday morning:

E: What color is a bald eagle's head?

Me: White. That's why they're called bald eagles. Their heads are white making them look bald.

E: I just saw two.

Me: What? Where?

E: Up on a tree. We just passed them.

(We drive by a cow pasture on our way to church. It's a big field and there are some trees there).

Me: That couldn't have been a bald eagle. There are no bald eagles in Florida.

E: But I saw it.

Me: No, you must have seen something else. A hawk, maybe.

E: But it had a white head and looked just like an eagle. I saw it.

Me: No honey, bald eagles live on the Pacific coast in mountainous regions. Besides, I think they're endangered. You must have seen something else.

Today I received our local town paper. Right there, on the front page, was a picture of two bald eagles who have made a nest precisely in the tree my son said he saw the eagles. Apparently E wasn't the only one who saw them and they've been getting some attention. So it turns out my son was right, he saw two eagles. And Mom had to eat crow.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tackle It Tuesdays

What did I tackle today? Floors. Floors leading from my bedroom to the garage, which means thru the hallway, living room and kitchen.

The TV in the master bedroom blew. It was scary. Looked like lightning went through the inside of it, only it wasn't raining or anything. It just zapped and died. Thing is, this TV is about 7 years old, so it isn't one of those new lighter-than-air flat screen TV's. It's a big ole monster that weighs about the same as a full grown elephant, give or take a pound. My husband and son tried to get it out of the wall unit but it was too heavy. Hubby had to bring in another guy to help, but even then it was too heavy to carry, so once it was out of the wall unit it was put on the floor and dragged out to the garage. Oh, if only I'd known what they were doing so I could put a blanket or something under it! The guys didn't think of that, and the tile floors had scuff marks all over because of it. So, a scrubbin' I would go. Thankfully the scuff marks came off without TOO much effort.

Never a dull moment.

Tackle It Tuesdays is hosted by Susan at 5 Minutes for Mom.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, September 28, 2009...

Outside my change in sight. Hot, humid, lots of mosquitos. Not much rain these days, but excessively hot.

I am thinking...about our small group starting up this Friday, and the 21 ladies that signed up! Wow! I never had a group that large! This is why God had me take that leadership class this month. I need all the knowledge I can get.

I am thankful...that after over a year, I'm still a stay at home mom.

I am wearing...brown tank top, brown and white shorts, sandals. Too hot to wear anything else.

I am small my kids once were. I see kids I used to carry having children of their own now, and it reminds me of when I was a young mother. How time flies.

I am creating...or at least I want to create, a tighter schedule so I can get more things done in less time. Can I do it?

I am going...well, I was going to take the TV set to the repair shop, but it's soo heavy my hubby will have to get a couple of guys to load it into the car.

I am reading...Luke for devotions, and Emma by Jane Austen. It's actually pretty funny (early 19th century humor).

I am hoping...E and I can finish Lunchbox and the Aliens before Tuesday when it goes back to the library.

On my mind...gotta get all the dust out from behind the bedroom wall unit while I can. That piece of furniture is so large and heavy, but hubby moved it to try and get the TV out. Now I can get back there and do some serious dusting.

From the learning school today! So E and I will be doing lots of reading.

I am noticing son is growing by leaps and bounds. He is taller than his great-grandmother, and he's only 9! She's very petite, but still, he's grown 1/4" this summer. And he hasn't even hit his growth spurt yet!

I am pondering these words..."But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts." - 1 Thessalonians 2:4.

From the kitchen...tacos!

Around the house...tidy up, wash linens, put away laundry.

One of my favorite things...lemonade. Refreshing!

A few plans for the rest of the week: The TV in the bedroom died yesterday, and my hubby is desperate to get it fixed, so gotta find out how that'll get done. Awana on Wednesday, Scouts on Thursday, and our first small group meeting on Friday. Prayers for our women's group are requested!

From my picture little one in his Scout uniform. I couldn't resist posting another one:

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

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Observing My Senses

For Today, September 26, 2009...

I am seeing...the sun radiate thru the window. We had some rain this week but this weekend it's supposed to just be sunny and HOT! Thank God for air conditioning!

I am feeling...itchy, because apparently it's mosquito season and they are everywhere! Don't believe that story about mosquitos only stinging once and dying - they are vicious blood suckers and don't die until they've sucked so much blood out of you they explode. At least that's how I'm feeling right now.

I am morning coffee and pigs in a blanket. I like making these because they're so simple. One can of Pillsbury biscuits and one can of vienna sausages. That's it. Yum!

I am son reading as I type. There he is, over my shoulder, reading and giggling.

I am smelling...the sweet scent of a 9 year old boy. Oops, sorry, 9 1/2 years old.

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

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Week in Review

Another week gone by! My how time flies!

Monday I got up early and got to cleaning my bedroom. So much dust accumulates in there! The wall unit takes an hour to clean, but once it's done it looks great. Finished laundry, got everything pretty much under control. Love it!

Tuesday we went to the library to drop off some books that were due. I'd finished Mansfield Park by Jane Austen, and as I'm reading all her books I wondered when I'd find another one. God knew how much I was enjoying them, and I found Emma at the big library! I was surprised; usually I find the classics more readily at the small library closer to our house. But I'm not complaining! I'm enjoying this novel so far. It's a bit of a comedy, different from the other Jane Austen books I've read.

Wednesday was church. I'd invited one of the ladies from my small group to sign up her boys for Awana, and she joined me for that and Bible study. Our home church doesn't have anything for children during the week, but a local Baptist church does. I think it's so important to instill a love of meeting together in our children. She was thanking me over and over, because she learned alot in Bible study and her kids are excited about learning too. I was feeling so good about it. We were getting ready to leave when we realized: it was pouring rain! My son E said it was because I'd forgotten the "magic" umbrella. Whenever I bring my umbrella with me it doesn't rain; I'd left the umbrella so it stands to reason the rains would come. Thankfully my friend IR ran to her car while I stayed with the boys and got a couple umbrellas and we were able to get to the car dry. She's such a sweet dear friend, I'm glad we were able to spend this time together.

Thursday was E's first Cub Scout meeting:

Yes, he's excited about it! He's in Webelos I, which is for kids in the fourth grade. I'm excited and anxious to see how he handles this; we are not campers by any means. Give me the comforts of home anyday! Sleeping with bugs is not our idea of having a good time, but I'm hoping as he sees other kids enjoying it he'll take a leap of faith. Boy Scouts teach good moral values along with camping and other activities, which made the decision easier. And of course my son begged and begged to join. New adventures coming our way!

Fridays are my shopping day. I've been complaining the last month about our Wal-mart which is doing extensive remodeling. It's part of Project Impact, where all Wal-mart's will be revamping and moving things around to attract customers to different areas that maybe they never paid attention to before. It's a mad house in there now. Each week some other department has moved or changed, and it's like going through a maze trying to find anything. I leave with a headache every time I go. I was so thankful for my Winn-Dixie which is always the same and I know where everything is. So guess what I found this morning when I went to my wonderful Winn-Dixie? That's right - they're remodeling!!! Ugh!!! Can't we just leave well enough alone? Oh well, at least Winn-Dixie is smaller, and the employees are so helpful. They happily direct their customers to find whatever we need as the work is going on. Wal-mart employees, unfortunately, seem as lost as the customers! I'd gotten home, finished putting everything away, made lunch for me and hubby, and was just done eating when I got a call from the school: E wasn't feeling well. Hmm. I kind of suspected what it might be, and I was right. He was constipated. He's feeling much better now, but I'm gonna have to put my foot down and get him eating more fiber. Just think, in another 3-4 years he'll be eating me out of house and home and I'll wonder how I worried about stuff like this. Life's funny that way.

I'm praying for a quiet, restful weekend, for myself and all my friends. God bless you!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

No Thanks

The first day of school, my son came home saying, "We can't use 'thank you' in the bathroom."

"What do you mean?" I asked.

He explained, "There's a sign on the bathroom door that says, 'Please do not use—thank you.'"

- From Church Laughs at

Tackle It Tuesdays

What have I been tackling? Today it was bathrooms. Well, typically on Tuesdays I do bathrooms. I like to maintain something of a schedule, because it helps me feel organized. After that, I tackled lunch/dinner. We usually have a big lunch and either a light dinner or leftovers from lunch. I cook plenty so that my oldest son can take food with him to work as opposed to spending money on junk food. After school my youngest and I tackled the libraries. We have 2 in the area, and had to return books to both. I've been reading Jane Austen's books and loving them. I read Sense and Sensibility first, then Pride and Prejudice. I found Persuasion and Mansfield Park at the library last month and was glad, since the first 2 are usually the only ones available. I was returning Mansfield Park today and was thrilled to find Emma, which I'd never seen at the library. Score!!! The only one I'll be missing after that is Northanger Abbey. Jane Austen's books, set in Georgian times (before the Victorian era) are so beautifully written I could read them over and over. I may just ask for them for Christmas!

Wow, I guess I tackled quite a bit today after all! How about you?

Tackle It Tuesdays is hosted by Susan at 5 Minutes For Mom.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, September 21, 2009...

Outside my window...cloudy with a chance of, no not meatballs, HEAT!! It's gonna be a scorcher today and probably the rest of the week, though the remnants of what was hurricane Fred will be felt here in the next few days.

I am thinking...about Vintage Wisdom, the new series that will be starting at church. It's a study on the book of Proverbs, which is one of the most thought provoking books in the Bible.

I am thankful...for yesterday's celebration at church. Nine year anniversary! I had so many new kids in children's ministry - what a blessing!

I am wearing...a dark blue polka dotted tank top, light blue capris, sandals. As you can guess, it's not fall here by any means.

I am remembering...a dear friend that moved back to PA years ago. I was extremely sad when she left, but I'm thankful I can still call her my friend.

I am creating...hmm, nothing as of yet.

I am be cleaning my bedroom today.

I am reading...Luke for devotions, and a biography on Charlotte Bronte, the author of Jane Eyre.

I am hoping...the flu that's going around doesn't stop here. E came home feeling poorly on Friday. Thankfully lots of prayer and Motrin, he's feeling much better, but R has had a nasty cold for days also. It's that time of the year.

On my mind...E's Cub Scout meeting on Thursday. I've gotta buy his handbook today.

From the learning rooms...E does not like writing one bit. So different from his mama! I need to find a way to get him to put his ideas on paper. He's a smart boy and can express himself well, he just doesn't like to write. Period.

I am noticing that...daylight is getting shorter and shorter, even though the weather hasn't changed much. It used to stay light till 8:00pm, now it's dark by about 7:30.

I am pondering these words..."Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" - Esther 4:14b

From the kitchen...baked pork chops.

Around the house...finish the laundry started yesterday, ironing, master bedroom cleaning.

One of my favorite going to the salon to have my hair done. I like being pampered once in a while.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Awana and bible study on Wednesday, Cub Scout meeting on Thursday. It'll be E's first; we'll see how it goes.

From my picture journal...getting the house ready for fall (this is my kitchen counter):

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

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Observing My Senses

For Today, September 20, 2009...

I am seeing...beds that didn't get made this morning because we were running out the door to get to church on time, and by the time we got home and had lunch I figured, let it be. One day out of the week won't kill me.

I am feeling...blessed after teaching 15 kids in our first class and 52 kids in the second. It's our church's 9 year anniversary and we had alot of newcomers. Praise God!

I am tasting...white rice and fried eggs. Comfort food, mmm...

I am son as he finishes up his homework. He kept putting it off and now has to get it done.

I am smelling...warm air. It's hot out again and I turned up the a/c for awhile because it was running non-stop even though it was set to 80 degrees. House is getting too stuffy though. I'll have to adjust it again.

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

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Week in Review

Monday saw loads and loads of laundry. Hubby got back from his trip and boy was there clothes to wash! Thankfully I got most of it done. Just seems like no matter how much laundry I do, it never gets fully caught up. Why is that? It's okay, I was stuck at home anyway. Hubby's car was giving him problems, so he had to take mine to work. At least he left me plenty to do!

Tuesday, hmm, what did I do Tuesday? Can't remember. Must be getting old. Oh yeah, small group leader's meeting! All the small group leaders got together to go over the curriculum (the church will be doing a study of the book of Proverbs called Vintage Wisdom that runs 9 weeks) and everything involved in home growth groups. I'm hoping it will be a very strong study.

Wednesday was kitchen and family room cleaning. These are the two rooms that need to be tended to the most, since we spend most of our time there. Wednesday night was Awana for E and I had my last leadership class. Again, lots of conviction, and a new focus on how to teach both women's groups and children.

Thursday I went to E's school to find out about Cub Scouts. His teachers last year kept pushing me on the issue of him being involved in some sports or activity. Even though he's in Awana they felt he needed another outlet. I disagree; I feel too many extra-curricular activities take the focus away from school where he's already struggling. However, my nephew is in karate and my husband has been told time and again by his family that E should be in karate also. I know many people are in favor of kids being in martial arts; I'm not. It's too violent. Yes, I've heard all about how it teaches children discipline and isn't really violent because the students are taught that this is about self defense. I've also seen kids use their martial arts training in ways that they aren't supposed to. Well, E came home with the Cub Scout information and was practically jumping out of his skin he was so excited. So I went to his school (which is were the Scouts meet) and was very impressed with the activities they are taught and how it is family oriented. I also like that they meet once a week, on Thursdays, and have outdoor activities during the year but not every week or even every month, so it won't be too distracting and E can also focus on school. I'm praying this is a good decision.

Friday. Ah, Friday. Tonight some ladies from my summer small group are coming over for a Girl's Night. We'll have dinner (I've got a pot roast in the crock pot) and watch a Tim Hawkin's DVD. If you haven't heard of Tim Hawkins, check him out here. Tim is a Christian comedian, so he's funny without being vulgar. Not too many of those around these days. I think this fellowship night will be good for everyone, encouraging as well as fun.

All in all, another blessed week. Thank You Lord for all of them.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Children's Ministry - Why I Approve

As a child, I attended a church which had no separate area for children. Kids were expected to sit with their parents during the service, which lasted 2+ hours. Many people grew up in churches like these, and still consider this the best way. "Children should be with their parents at all times," they say. Let me give my perspective on this.

I plainly remember sitting in church for what seemed to me to the the BORINGEST 2 hours that could possibly exist. Most of the time I spent getting smacked upside the head because I was turned around looking at what other little kids were doing and giggling in the process. Other times I was just being annoying, not because I wanted to be but because after awhile I was tired of sitting there listening to some guy talk about stuff that I didn't understand, and stuff I didn't need to be listening to; yes, all Scripture is God-breathed but let's be honest, there are certain parts of the Bible that are not for children under the age of 12 (Leviticus, for example). I got nothing out of it other than a dread for having to go again, and the hope that maybe I'd be sick or something and couldn't go. It wasn't until I was 13 or so that I actually started listening and paying attention to some of the service.

As a mom I took my children to a Catholic church which also had no separate service for children. My kids loved it as much as I had :P. They dragged their feet and hoped it would be over soon. Even when we started going to an English speaking service (I thought maybe they didn't like the Spanish version) they understood it a little better but still absorbed nothing of what was being taught. I know; I'd ask them questions and get the "I just landed my spaceship and don't understand your earthly language" look.

When I accepted Christ I purposely sought a church that would have teachings that were appealing to my kids. One of my daughter's schoolmates recommended the church we attend now. I was a little surprised (and admittedly apprehensive) when I was told small children weren't allowed in the sanctuary. My son was then 4 years old; the older kids were 14 and 17 and could come to the adult service. I went ahead and left him in children's ministry, all the while worried whether he was scared, getting beat up, crying, etc. After the service I ran to pick him up and found him all smiles. He liked being with the other kids, and they were all safe and well taken care of. I felt much relieved.

As the weeks and months went by, I was amazed at how much my son was learning. It was simple stuff really, but since I was still learning myself I didn't know yet how to teach my kids. Children's ministry gave me direction as to what my children were capable of learning. At age 5 I was surprised and thrilled by a conversation I heard my son and his cousin having in the backseat of the car. My nephew JC said something (don't remember what it was) and my son E told him, "You shouldn't say that JC, Jesus doesn't like that." My nephew, being 2 years older and feeling offended that his younger cousin would reprimand him so, said to E, "What do you know about Jesus? You don't even know where He is." To which my son answered, "Of course I know where He is. He lives in my heart." I got tears in my eyes when I realized my son had asked Jesus to be Lord of his young life.

My son is now 9 years old and has a tremendous faith in Jesus. As I saw the importance of children's ministry in his life, I felt the Lord leading me to serve in this ministry, and for the past 4 years I've been one of the lead teachers for elementary school students in our church. I still marvel at how much these young children want to learn about Jesus and how eager they are to participate in activities and memorize Scripture. They leave church filled with teachings instead of bored and restless.

Now, there's one thing that must be made perfectly clear: children's ministry is NOT a replacement for parent/child Bible study. Just as church should not be the only place we read the Word, so it should never be the only place our children hear the Word. It is a parent's responsibility to teach children about the Lord at all times. "Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise." (Deuteronomy 6:6,7). What I believe children's ministry does is instill a love of meeting together in our children, rather than a wish of church being "done already". If they have a sense of belonging, if they find friends in their class, if they learn things they understand because it's taught at their level, they will want to come back and learn more. And isn't that what every parent wants?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Children's Grace

My friend Bob was trying to teach his daughter, Jenny, how to say grace before meals. After a few weeks of coaching, Bob decided Jenny was ready to say grace all by herself.

Jenny started out fine, thanking God for her mommy and daddy and brother and sister and for the rolls and the salad, etc. She ended with a big, "Thank you, God, for the spaghetti!" and lifted her head.

The tradition in Bob's house, though, was to end each prayer with "In Jesus' name, Amen." So Bob prompted Jenny, "In … "

At first, Jenny seemed confused. Then she proudly exclaimed, "In tomato sauce. Amen."

- From Church Laughs at

Monday, September 14, 2009

What is THAT?!?!

At least, that was my reaction when I saw this peeking at me from my living room window:

Now, here in South Florida we have lizards, geccos as they're also known, and they're pretty small. Typically they're no more than 4" in length. But this face I knew belonged to something bigger. So I checked it out from outside:

Mind you, this is a baby iguana. I've seen the big ones, and they can be as long as a baby gator. We have a canal about 7 or 8 blocks from our house and it's chock full of 'em. Once in a while they roam around, especially when it's been raining as much as it's been here. They're looking for drier ground. They don't usually come this far, though, so I was surprised to see the little guy outside my window. I don't go near them; you never know how they'll react to strangers. What attracts me is how colorful these creatures are. I'm glad to be able to share this wonderous animal with you.

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, September 14, 2009...

Outside my window...skies are beginning to get overcast. We've had the rainiest summer I can remember, and it isn't done yet.

I am thinking...about the mountain of laundry my hubby brought back home. Just when you think you're all caught up.

I am thankful husband arriving last night safe and sound from his trip.

I am wearing
...a green t-shirt, khaki capris and brown sandals.

I am remembering...friends from school (elementary, intermediate and high) who are now finding me on facebook. I hadn't heard from these people in years. Good to see how well they're doing.

I am morning devotions.

I am try and get as much of this laundry done today as possible.

I am reading...Luke for devotions, Mansfield Park by Jane Austen.

I am have my small group ladies over this Friday for a girl's night in. The Lord has been convicting me for not attending to these fine women who are my friends and sisters in Christ. Just because small groups are on hiatus doesn't mean we can't reach out to one another in love.

On my mind...E's school project: a diorama of something that represents Florida. I'm gonna have to get some Play-doh.

From the learning rooms...had open house at school last week. Kids will be doing alot of writing this year, as they will be tested on it in February.

I am noticing that...the mornings have been cooler even though the afternoons are still humid and in the 90's. Could it be autumn approaches?

I am pondering these words: "You can take away everything that I've been holding, you can take away the sun. You can take away the very air that I've been breathing but you can't take away my God." - by MikesChair (Christian band).

From the kitchen...homemade lasagna. It's my husband's favorite.

Around the house...have I mentioned laundry yet? Finish autumn decorating and take pictures now that the camera is back.

One of my favorite decorating the house according to the season. Nice change of pace that makes the house feel new again.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Small group leaders meeting tomorrow, Awana and Bible Study on Wednesday, and get-together with ladies on Friday. Sunday our church is celebrating our 9 year anniversary with baptism and all kinds of activities for the kids. I'll be teaching in children's ministry so it should be lots of fun.

From my picture journal
...gotta get the camera back and take some pics. I'll get that updated this week.

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

God bless, have a great week.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Observing My Senses

For Today, September 12, 2009...

I am seeing...a dark and gloomy day. It has rained daily since Tuesday and more rain is on the way. Thankfully my son was able to cut the grass this morning - it was starting to look like a jungle out there!

I am feeling...some pain in my thumb, still. I thought I'd sprained it, but I'm beginning to think it's arthritis. The pain comes and goes, and it's mostly in my knuckle. What makes it difficult is that it's my right hand, making it painful to write.

I am tasting...burgers and fries made on the indoor grill. Even though this is South Florida and technically we can grill outdoors year-round, it's been a very rainy summer and most people haven't had as many outdoor grilling days as other years.

I am hearing...thunder in the distance. The storm alarms will be going off soon in the park across the street, and we'll be seeing and hearing the rain fall before long.

I am smelling...the lingering smell of burgers. That's the problem with indoor grilling - the smell stays around for a long time.

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

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Week in Review

It's a week of remembrance. Remembering things that are painful but we must never forget - those that died during the 9/11 attacks. Those lives were not meaningless; to forget would show cruelty and heartlessness.

Monday - Labor Day. Since we were in Orlando visiting my daughter, we had to adapt to her schedule. It was a totally unplanned, last minute visit, so we were happy to go with the flow. I wasn't expecting flag football in the front yard of the church, though! We visited my daughter's church on Sunday, and I was pleased to see so many young people. She feels right at home, since the majority of the congregation are either college students, young singles or young couples. They do lots of activities together, including flag football in the large front yard of the church. Thankfully it was a nice breezy day, and I sat with a lovely young lady and chatted as we watched the game. It was a nice way to spend the morning and part of the afternoon. E and I left later on in the evening, but we thanked the Lord for the time we were able to enjoy with A. Unless the Lord orchestrates another visit (and He just might!), we won't be seeing each other till Thanksgiving, so this visit was much appreciated.

Tuesday - After vacation comes...LAUNDRY!!! Lots of it. But it's okay. I love being home and taking care of my family, and that includes doing laundry. I also gave the family room a major cleaning and began decorating for fall. Orange candles everywhere reminds me of warm glow, and pumpkins make me think of pie. Yummy!!

Wednesday - We had Awana for E and Bible study for me. This was the 2nd week of the leadership class I'm taking, and once again the pastor didn't disappoint. I'm actually seeing things happen that apply directly to topics we've gone over, and I'm just amazed at how God puts us in specific places to hear what needs to be heard to help others. I'm speechless at His Mightiness.

Thursday - My oldest son started classes. He's enrolled in a technical school because the computer courses he wants to take are very expensive at the university and unlike A, he wasn't offered any scholarships. The technical school accepted his college credits, so he can get his degree in 2 years. I'm glad he's back in school studying something he likes. The store he works at is also great because they work with his schedule, which is important as he needs to keep working. I took it easy for the first time in days; I was tired from the trip and then coming home and not stopping for a second. Besides, it has rained every single day since we got back from visiting A, and rainy days make me wanna stay inside.

Friday - I got up early this morning and went to see my favorite hairstylist. I got quite a bit of hair cut off. I don't wear my hair short, but I also don't wear it very long. After age 40 hair, just like everything else about our bodies, starts to change, and I'm not just referring to color. The texture of my hair has changed alot. My hair is naturally curly, but now it gets frizzy very quickly, which means I need to give it more attention, otherwise I look like I just got out of bed all day long. This means the longer my hair is, the more time I have to spend styling it and caring for it. It gets dry very quickly, and the humid weather doesn't help. So I cut it just below my shoulders (collarbone length), and within 2-3 months it'll be long again. My hair grows like a weed! I love how it looks; after cutting off the ends my hair looks shinier and healthier. Plus my boys told me I look pretty. What more can I ask?

It's Friday afternoon, and I'm going to spend some time with my little boy. In honor of 9/11 the children were allowed to wear a red, white or blue shirt instead of their uniforms, and E wore his "I *heart* NYC" t-shirt. E wasn't even 2 years old when 9/11, but it's important he learns how it changed our country. Please keep our soldiers in prayer. They are fighting to keep us safe; they deserve that and more.

God bless and have a safe and happy weekend.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Joy of Homemaking

I'm a homebody. I'm also a morning person. I love getting up early in the morning to prepare breakfast and tidy up my home. There, I've said it.

I get the strangest looks when I make these statements. Women have been perceived for so long as living meaningless lives if they don't have a "career" and choose to be "just" homemakers. Staying home has been made to appear as degrading, mindless work that no intelligent woman would care for.

Why have we bought into this? I worked for many years and listened as working moms complained of being tired all the time, of not being able to get things done, of not having time for themselves because all their spare time was spent in household chores or getting children from here to there. Some women worked overtime so they could hire a cleaning woman to come over and clean their homes because they were too tired to do it themselves. This seemed contradictory to me. I personally lamented the fact that Saturdays were spent doing laundry, grocery shopping, and cleaning the house, because I couldn't get everything done during the week. The only real day of rest was Sunday, when we could do things as a family, but all I ever wanted to do was veg out in front of the TV because I was so exhausted.

Now, I won't say that my days are spent in leisure. There is much to be done to keep a household running. My family depends on me to keep the home not just clean but also comfortable and presentable; clothes washed and ironed; meals prepared on a budget that are healthy and still tasty; be nurse and doctor when someone is sick; teacher when homework needs to be done; giver of advise, laugher of jokes, sympathetic shoulder. I keep busy each and every day. The difference is, I'm able to get everything done and still have time on Saturdays to play cards or board games with my kids. I can drive up to my daughter's school spur of the moment and spend a weekend with her without worrying about everything I left behind that needed to get done but didn't. I can be the homebody that I am and enjoy it because I don't have to run to my job where there are 100 different problems that need to get solved. Best of all, I can have my quiet time with God without checking the clock because I've gotta be done by a certain time or else I'll be late for work.

I will say this: there have been adjustments made to my lifestyle. We don't eat out very often. Even an occasional pizza has to be looked at from a budgetary point of view. I don't have a new outfit every other weekend. I'm more careful what I buy, even at the grocery store. "Do I need it, or do I just want it?" has become my new mantra. But these adjustments haven't been life threatening by any means. They haven't even been slightly painful (well, maybe the shopping part...). It's a small, small price to pay to be able to enjoy what I've always wanted to be: a stay at home mom and homemaker.

I would say to women out there who hate their jobs and are tired of working outside the home, forget what society tells you is acceptable. So what if our culture says staying at home is brainless, fruitless, thankless work? I can tell you, having been on both sides of the spectrum, that is a complete and total lie. Homemaking is fulfilling, joyful work if you allow it to be. All you need is the right attitude. Believe that what you're doing is beneficial to yourself and your loved ones. It's worth it to your family.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tackle It Tuesday

I tackled the family room yesterday. I really did. You'll just have to take my word for it.

My hubby is out of the country, and he took the camera with him, so I can't take any pictures. I moved furniture, dusted, vacuumed, and polished for half the day, till the whole place was shining. I have lots of fall stuff out already, but I have to get my son to bring down my box from the attic that has the rest of the fall decorations. He's not going to be too happy; he hates going up into the hot, stuffy attic, especially when the weather's been so muggy. Oh well. It's just one box. Wait till Christmas. Then it'll be all morning bringing down boxes.

Tackle It Tuesdays is hosted by Susan at 5 Minutes For Mom.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Praying Before Meals - This is too cute!

Our three-year-old grandson, Daniel, stayed with us while his parents went on a weekend trip. As usual, we bowed our heads as my husband prayed out loud before all our meals. Daniel watched curiously each time his grandpa prayed.

On the day his parents came to pick him up, we all sat down at the table to have lunch. Just as his daddy started to pick up his sandwich, Daniel shouted, "Wait, Daddy, we can't eat 'til Grandpa reads his plate!"

From Weekly Church Laughs at

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, September 8, 2009...

Outside my window...typical day in South Florida: blazing sun in the morning, thunderstorms in the afternoon. It'll be this way through September, and probably most of October. I don't mind, so long as we don't get hurricanes...

I am thinking...of how easy it is to gain weight when you're on vacation. I was gone 3 days and gained 3 pounds. Can you imagine what would happen if I were gone 2 weeks?!?!

I am thankful...that we arrived home safe and can get back to our normal schedule.

From the learning rooms...E is back in school this morning. He enjoyed the break, though.

From the kitchen...I'll be making lots of ground beef, E's favorite. Tacos, sloppy joes, ground beef & rice, meatballs, you name it he loves it.

I am of my daughter's university t-shirts, brown and white shorts and sandals.

I am hoping one notices this daybook is a day late due to Labor Day weekend (oops, I gave it away!).

I am unpack and do a lot of laundry. I mean A LOT!!

I am creating...a fall look for the family room. This room is already furnished in fall colors: the sofa and chairs are olive green and the drapery is red, gold, green and blue stripes. I just need to add a few little details.

I am reading...Mark for morning devotions, Luke for SOAP devotions, finished Persuasion by Jane Austen and will be starting Mansfield Park by the same.

I am hearing
...the clicking of the keyboard, and nothing else. Blessed silence.

Around the room cleaning and decorating, sweep everywhere, and of course laundry.

One of my favorite surprising my daughter with a weekend at her school. Okay, this was the first time I ever did it, but it was so much fun!

Here's a prayer request I'm sharing...on this whole President speaking to the children issue: I have no problem with President's speaking to children, or reading books to them (many have already done it); just don't mix your agenda into the message. Pray for wisdom for our President, that he may speak to the children about topics concerning children (staying in school, not using drugs) and keep the adult agenda for the adults.

Here's a picture thought I'm sharing...okay, I said I'd post a pic of the dining room, but hubby took the camera along with my memory card! I guess I can't show it off till he gets back from his trip. Sorry!! Have a blessed week.

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

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Observing My Senses

For Today, September 6, 2009...

I am seeing...clouds rolling in as the Central Florida sky goes from partly sunny to partly cloudy. Yes, that's right, Central Florida. I'm in my daughter's dorm, the next best thing to being in heaven.

I am feeling...thankful that the Lord orchestrated this weekend so I could be with my little girl.

I am tasting...and seeing that the Lord is good, all of the time. In a little while I hope to be tasting Subway :-)

I am son sniffle. The one drawback is that his allergies have gotten worse here than back home. Benadryl seems to have helped a bit, though.

I am smelling...Dolce and Gabbana perfume. It's JBs favorite.

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

Friday, September 4, 2009

What Does My Child Want?

When I was a boy in my father's house,
still tender, and an only child of my mother,
he taught me and said,
"Lay hold of my words with all your heart;
keep my commands and you will live.
Get wisdom, get understanding;
do not forget my words or swerve from them.
Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
love her, and she will watch over you.
Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom.
Though it cost all you have, get understanding.

- Proverbs 4:3-7

We've heard the story of how Solomon, when asked by the Lord what he wanted, instead of asking for riches or fame, Solomon asked for wisdom.

Solomon answered God, "You have shown great kindness to David my father and have made me king in his place. Now, LORD God, let your promise to my father David be confirmed, for you have made me king over a people who are as numerous as the dust of the earth. Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?"

God said to Solomon, "Since this is your heart's desire and you have not asked for wealth, riches or honor, nor for the death of your enemies, and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I have made you king, therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, riches and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have." (1 Chronicles 1:8-12).

God, pleased by this request, granted him what he asked plus what he didn't ask. We admire Solomon's request; such a mature young man! How did he know to ask for wisdom instead of riches?

Solomon answers that question himself, in Proverbs 4:3-7. When he was but a small child, his father told him repeatedly to get wisdom. He made it clear that wisdom was more important than any amount of money: "Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding." (v.7). This was something Solomon heard from his father David so often, that when His Heavenly Father asked what he wanted, he automatically requested what his earthly father had taught him to treasure: wisdom.

What do we teach our children to desire? When a father is always admiring the new cars his neighbors have, the new pool installed by the guy down the street, the promotion and pay raise everyone else is getting at the job, he shouldn't be surprised when his son desires to make lots and lots of money. When a mother puts down other girls because they aren't pretty enough or dress in expensive clothes or get their hair and nails done every week, she can expect her daughter to be superficial. What our children hear from us day to day, whether directly or indirectly, tells them what we think is important, and consequently it's what becomes important to them. What if we told our children everyday that the most important relationship they'll ever have is with Jesus? What if we tell them we want them to be followers of Jesus all their lives? What if we model that lifestyle to them? David let his son Solomon know what was truly important; are we doing the same?

The Week in Review

Surprises were in store for this week - we never know what the Lord will come up with!

Monday - Second week of school. E really likes his teachers. I like that they don't load him with homework. We're reading together which is more important. I did some intense cleaning of the dining room. It took a good 4 hours between interruptions to get everything done, but I'm pleased with the results.

Tuesday - My plan was to do some maintenance cleaning (bathrooms, kitchen, etc) but instead I headed out to a technical school with my oldest son. They showed us some options, and I'm praying my son will make the right choice. I ran to the library with my son E in the afternoon, with the sole intention of returning books. Came out with 5 books and 2 DVD's. Two Jane Austen books I'd been looking for, Persuasion and Mansfield Park, were finally available and I couldn't resist. I also got a biography of Charlotte Bronte, author of Jane Eyre. I like reading about the authors of books I like.

Wednesday - I did my maintenance cleaning as planned, then started on the living room. My living room is more like a reading room. It's nice and quiet and gets good light, so my oldest son and I enjoy reading there. I got most of it done, but Wednesdays E gets out of school early, plus we had Awana to get ready for. I joined a Bible study group for leaders in the church. Was I ever convicted! Now I know why God wanted me there - so much for me to learn!

Thursday - Kitchen cleaning. A good solid two hours non-stop cleaning cupboards, countertops, appliances, floors, then decorating with fall colors. I'll save that picture for my Daybook (makes you come back, hehehe).

Friday - My hubby is leaving today for 10 days to his native country. He's taking alot of clothes and toys for the poor, which makes my son E very happy. I mentioned to my friend Naomy that I'd be alone this weekend, and she told me she was driving up to Central Florida for the holiday weekend. Would E and I like to join her? I hadn't even considered going away for the weekend, so I told her I'd get back to her. I spoke to my hubby, who said I should go. I called my daughter, who said she could accomodate us at her dorm. So, spur of the moment (very unlike me, I can assure you), we are on our way to spend the holiday weekend with my daughter and some great friends! God worked it out for us so we wouldn't be lonely. I love how He plans for us and we don't have to move a finger!

I may not be blogging this weekend, but I'll be sure to get everyone caught up when I get home. Have a blessed Labor Day weekend!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Only A Mother Would Know

"One day my mother was out, and my dad was in charge of me. I was maybe 2 1/2 years old. Someone had given me a little 'tea set' as a gift, and it was one of my favorite toys. Daddy was in the living room engrossed in the evening news when I brought Daddy a little cup of 'tea', which was just water. After several cups of tea and lots of praise for such yummy tea, my Mom came home. My Dad made her wait in the living room to watch me bring him a cup of tea, because it was 'just the cutest thing!' My Mom waited, and sure enough, here I came down the hall with a cup of tea for Daddy; and she watched him drink it up. Then she said, (as only a mother would know), "'Did it ever occur to you that the only place she can reach to get water is the toilet?"

Courtesy of my sister-in-law. Too funny.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tackle It Tuesdays

Actually, I wasn't able to tackle anything inside the home today. I went with my son who is looking at different schools (technical and college), so that's what we tackled today. Things don't always go as planned, but they still have to be tackled!

Yesterday I tackled the dining room, and made it more autumn-ish.

The candleholders were a gift from a dear young girl I worked with. I got them the Christmas of 2007. The pumpkin candy dish is from Kingdom Treasures, which I used to sell. I have a candle in it instead of candy, because they have less calories ;-).

This is the view from the family room. I took everything out of the china cabinet, cleaned it all and cleaned the inside of the cabinet, then put everything back. That's what took the longest. I purged a bunch of stuff that ended up in the drawers on the bottom; when I'm tidying up I tend to throw things in drawers then forget to take them out. Now the cabinet has more usable space, which is what I like.

Living room is next; I hope to get to that tomorrow or Thursday. I love fall cleaning even more than spring cleaning, because it means the holidays are coming!

Tackle It Tuesdays is hosted by Susan at 5 Minutes For Mom.