Friday, December 31, 2010

Five Question Friday

Happy New Year! I actually started this post yesterday, but between company and everything else going on, it didn't get finished for today. So here is my Friday Five, on Saturday:

1. How long does your Christmas tree stay up?
Till this weekend. It's been up since the day after Thanksgiving, which is long enough.

2. Do you have plans for New Year's Eve?
We had some family members over to welcome the new year. Not too many people, though. Most of my husband's family is sick with the flu. Which is not the best way to start the new year, but hopefully they'll be better soon.

3. Do you have any New Year's resolutions?
I don't make New Year's resolutions. I believe they're a set-up for failure. Instead, I try to live a more Christ-like life each day. It's a daily, not yearly, challenge, but one worth taking.

4. How did you spend New Year's Eve when you were younger?
In bed. My family didn't celebrate New Years or any other holiday. We lived a boring life.

5. What was the best way you've ever spent New Year's Eve?
I just want to be with loved ones. I'm not into the big parties or loud outdoor activities. Give me a good DVD with my hubby and kids and I'm content.

Hope everyone's New Year's Eve was memorable. Have a great first day of 2011!

To join, visit My Little Life.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, December 29, 2010...

Outside my window...the bright sunlight is deceiving; it's only 54 degrees out. It isn't as cold as it was yesterday, though. It was 38 degrees when I got up in the morning! It's a pretty day, though, and it'll warm up as the day goes on, which is nice.

I am thinking...of all the work that needs to get done now that Christmas is over.

I am thankful...for the lovely present my sister gave me: a Barnes and Noble Nook! For those unfamiliar with the Nook, it's the equivalent of the Kindle. I was able to download the ESV version of the Bible - for free!! I'm totally loving this new gadget. Thanks sis!

I am going...to start putting Christmas decorations away. It'll take me about 3 days to get everything back to its original state. I've got alot of work ahead of me.

I am wearing...my jammies. Okay, okay, I'll go change in a minute.

I am noticing...how mature my children are. They amaze me.

I am currently...trying not to catch the flu which my hubby's entire family is suffering from - including my hubby.

I am reading...In His Steps by Charles Sheldon...on my new Nook!

I am waiting...till next week to spend my Macy's gift card - the malls are too packed right now!

On my mind...much that will get done this coming month, with the Lord's blessing.

From the learning rooms...it's vacation time still, and we're resting the brain.

I am pondering these words..."There's a holy, high vocation needing workers everywhere; 'til the highest form of service, 'tis the ministry of prayer." - Woodworth

Around the house...as Christmas decorations get put away, much cleaning and dusting will get done. There's so much to do!

One of my favorite things...spending one-on-one time with my kids, and getting together with them to play board games.

A few plans for the rest of the week...basically, we need to get the house back in order.

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

I'm Back!

Wow, I can't believe I've been gone almost a week! Life has been very busy in our home. Christmas Eve, Christmas, and my kid's birthdays - my two youngest were born on December 27, exactly 10 years apart. Lots of celebrating is done in our home in December.

Yesterday I had a mama/daughter day with my little girl which was great. We went shopping at a large outlet mall. It took 1/2 an hour to find parking, which is incredible since this place has an enormous parking lot and I've NEVER had trouble finding parking. The place was packed, and I was glad when we got out of Gap where A spent a couple of gift cards and we left. Note to self: Don't go to the mall the week after Christmas. The stores are packed but not with merchandise, just people. I was glad when that was over.

We went to Kohl's afterwards, because my hubby gave me some gift cards and I also had $20 in Kohl's cash that needed to get spent this week. I love Kohl's; I always find the nicest things, both clothes-wise and for the home. I got a pretty red blouse, black top and a great blazer, but again there wasn't a big selection like other times. I still have a little money left on my gift card so I'll go back when they get more stuff in.

Then we treated ourselves to dinner at Olive Garden. Well, we didn't really treat ourselves; my hubby gave me a gift card for that, too. It was so nice to sit there chatting with my little girl as we had dinner, just the two of us. Those are the special moments that live in our memories as times we drew closer together.

Today we're gonna start packing up Christmas decor. It takes several days to get everything back in place, and I need to get started early since I'll be driving my daughter back to school in a couple of weeks. I pray everyone had a very special time this Christmas. May the memories live on.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thankful Thursdays

It's Thankful Thursday, and I'm thankful for unexpected miracles. Those are the best kinds!



I went by my mother-in-law's house this past Tuesday to pick up the turkey for Christmas Eve dinner. She keeps it in her freezer and I pick it up so I can defrost and roast it. My daughter was with me as we went out to the Florida room where my mother-in-law keeps an extra freezer. My daughter is home from college for Christmas. She's very understanding; she knows money isn't abundant right now and because of plans we have for next year we had to keep a strict budget when it came to gifts. As I was pulling the turkey out of the freezer, I heard A say, "Hey, look at this!" From behind a table she pulled out a guitar. Now, A is very musical. She plays acoustic, electric and bass guitar, along with keyboard and anything else she can get her hands on, so when she got hold of the guitar it didn't surprise me. I figured it was one of the grandkids' toys, but she seemed very interested. She asked her cousin about it, and was told the guitar belonged to her grandfather but it was broken. "What's broken about it?" she asked, and was told the guitar didn't work because it was missing strings. My daughter immediately said she would take the guitar home and try to fix it. Now I was surprised; why was she so insistent on fixing this guitar?



Well, it turns out the guitar was something my father-in-law picked up at Goodwill for $50. It's an Ibanez acoustic/electric with a built-in tuner. All it needed was new strings and batteries for the tuner, plus a good cleaning. It's in immaculate condition and sounds beautiful. It's also worth 6 times what my father-in-law paid for it! My hubby told his dad he'd pay him for it since no one else in the house plays guitar, which made him very happy, and my daughter gets a $300 guitar for Christmas which made her very happy. God is so wonderful! It's Jesus' birthday, and we're the ones that get the gifts. We are so blessed.


This month Thankful Thursdays is hosted by Iris at Grace Alone. Have a blessed Christmas.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, December 22, 2010...

Outside my window...the sun is blaring, and the weather is pleasant. It's 57 degrees out this morning, and today will be the warmest day of the week. Temps will start going down tomorrow, and a cold front is expected for the weekend. Yay!

I am thinking...of all the blessings my Father has showered us with.

I am thankful...for a God who loved His creation so much He was willing to die for us.

I am going...to add a baked ham to our Christmas menu, at the request of my niece, sisters-in-law, and hubby.

I am wearing...sleeping clothes. I'll change in a little while, but these sweats are too comfy.

I am noticing...how much my daughter's voice has improved. God has gifted her with an amazing singing voice that has grown even richer. What joy that she has chosen to use this gift for the glory of God!

I am currently...wrapping up this post.

I am reading...my Bible in the morning, and occasionally a book by Mike Huckabee called A Simple Christmas. I read it last year and totally loved it.

I am waiting...for some great things to happen.

On my mind...the new year.

From the learning rooms...it's vacation time, and my son has taken advantage of it. He spent Monday at his friend's house, yesterday at grandma's, and today he's going to grandma's again to play with his cousins. I'm glad he has this time to spend with them.

I am pondering these words..."But he was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed." - Isaiah 53:5.

Around the house...I have some laundry to fold, then menu planning and prep. It'll be a wonderful Christmas feast!

One of my favorite things...Christmas, and what it truly means.

A few plans for the rest of the week...I'll be baking tomorrow and cooking up a storm on Friday! We have our large family get-together on Christmas Eve, then have an intimate family time on Christmas day. As my son says 20 times I day, "Can't wait till Christmas!"

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

Monday, December 20, 2010

Move It Mondays

It's the week of Christmas, and things go into high gear now! At this point I don't know where we're gonna have Christmas Eve dinner, but I do know I'm gonna be cooking it. We're going a little off the beaten path this year. I'll be making baked ziti and meatballs for Christmas Eve dinner, along with a turkey and stuffing. There's plenty to get ready, so my list for today looks like this:

*Laundry
*Grocery shopping
*Clean bathrooms

The countdown has started! Have a blessed week remembering the true meaning of the season: Christ is born!

Observing My Senses

For Today, December 20, 2010...

I am seeing...cloudy skies, though the sun is trying to peek in from behind.

I am feeling...joyful because my family is together once again.

I am hearing...a game show in the distance.
I am tasting...cinnamon raisin toast.

I am smelling...clean floors, thanks to Murphy's Oil Soap.

It just takes a moment to observe your surroundings. Won't you join me?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Five Question Friday

It's another Friday, but this one is special (as my son pointed out this morning): it's exactly one week till Christmas Eve! We're so looking forward to celebrating the birth of our Savior. For now, though, let's answer some fun questions for my Friday Five:


1. Do you regift...and if so, do you have a regifting horror story?
I do regift - perfumes usually, since I have alot of allergies and perfumes aggravate them. I've had others regift to me; I know because they've given me back stuff I've given them. That would be my horror story, I guess. I must not have chosen well if the item is returned a year or two later :P

2. Do you know what you are getting for Christmas this year?
Yep. My hubby isn't good at keeping secrets, and this year he just took me to the jewelry store and had me pick out what I wanted. That's okay; I know I'm gonna like what I'm getting!

3. Who brings the most gifts in your family, you or Santa?
"Santa" brings a stocking stuffer and the rest of the presents are from each other. The only one at home that believes in Santa is my youngest son, not because I've told him to but because he insists on believing. Personally I refuse to give an imaginary character all the credit for our hard work and money. Besides, Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Christ, not the jolly fat man. Santa is a fun story but that's what it needs to remain.

4. What store do you love to buy jeans from?
New York and Company. Their jeans are made for women, not teens.

5. Christmas meal: Big, All Out Meal or Snacks and Apps?
All-out meal. My family wouldn't settle for less.

Have a wonderful weekend prepping for the big day everyone!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, December 14, 2010...

Outside my window...it's C-O-L-D!!!! I can't believe it was 36 degrees this morning and is only 49 degrees now. We're in South Florida! It shouldn't be this cold!

I am thinking...where has the time gone?

I am thankful...that the Lord has given me another year to celebrate, and that He never thought I was too far gone that I wasn't worth His time.

I am going...out to "linner" with my family (too late for lunch, too early for dinner) for my birthday.

I am wearing...a white sweater over a light blue button down shirt, blue jeans and socks.

I am noticing...how easily the weather fluctuates here. It was in the upper 70's on Sunday, the low 50's yesterday and the 30's this morning.

I am currently...trying to keep the house warm.

I am reading...my morning devotions. That's pretty much it for now.

I am waiting...till I pick up my youngest son from school before I open my birthday presents.

On my mind...how blessed I am. The Lord has been very good to me.

From the learning rooms...my daughter is done for the semester and is back home (yay!) and this is E's last week of school. Vacations are welcome!

I am pondering these words..."Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “ Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” - Luke 2:10-14.

Around the house...nothing much to do today other than some laundry, which I already finished.

One of my favorite things...the Charlie Brown Christmas special.

A few plans for the rest of the week...we're hosting my nephew's graduation party. He graduates from college this week, and his party will be in our yard on Saturday. Hope it isn't too cold!

Wanna join in the fun? Visit Peggy at the Simple Woman's Daybook. Have a blessed week.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Move It Mondays

Happy Monday everyone! And what a great Monday it is (for me, anyway). My daughter is due home tonight, and I'm soooo looking forward to seeing her! It's also my brother-in-law's birthday, so Happy Birthday E.D.!!! It's the one day in the entire year when he's older than me LOL!

To get ready for my daughter's arrival tonight, I'll be

*Washing all the bed linens
*Dusting (especially in her room)
*Baking a cake for her best friend's family (they don't know it yet!)
*Getting some laundry done

Excitement is in the air, and I'm breathing it in with pleasure!

Move it Mondays is hosted by Kristilea at In The Lord's Path. I pray everyone has a productive day and a blessed week.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Observing My Senses

For Today, December 11, 2010...

I am seeing...the sun streaming through the blinds. After a fairly cold week with temps in the 40's in the morning and 60's in the afternoon, we'll be in the 70's today and tomorrow. Then the next cold front will hit us with temps in the 30's and 40's. It's hard to keep up with the weather here in South Florida!

I am feeling...excited for what's coming. No, I don't mean Christmas. My daughter comes home on Monday and will be home for a month! Joy!!

I am hearing...Spongebob Squarepants in the family room, and the wind rushing through the trees outside.

I am tasting...scrambled egg and bacon on half a toasted hoagie. That should keep me going for a while. Yum!

I am smelling...the sweet smells of outdoors coming in through the open windows. This is the best time of the year; the air conditioner is turned off, and cool breezes keep us comfy.

It just takes a moment to observe your surroundings. Won't you join me?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Five Question Friday

Happy Friday to everyone! Do you know it's 15 days till Christmas? I know because my 10 year old reminds me of it often. Let's talk about Christmas today, shall we?

1. Do you open presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?
Both. We go to grandma's house on Christmas Eve and open presents that the family gives to each other. My husband has 5 brothers and sisters, and my in-laws have 9 grandchildren plus nephews and nieces. We try to give a little something to each child - an easy task if you shop months in advance looking for specials like I do.

Then Christmas Day we spend at home opening our presents to each other. I like that we can spend one day with the extended family and one day just us, an intimate family Christmas. It gives us 2 special days instead of just one.

2. What is your favorite Christmas cookie (or candy)?
Oh my! Anything with chocolate falls under the category of "favorite". I've always loved Ferrer Roche with the hazelnuts, they are incredible! Typically we have plenty of cake around Christmas, because I love baking. As a matter of fact, we have a dark chocolate cake in the kitchen right now :D

3. What's the worst Christmas gift you've ever received?
Hmm, I don't remember. I usually get something I really like, but if it's something I can't use I re-gift so nothing goes to waste.

4. Christmas song that you love?
Oh Holy Night and Oh Come All Ye Faithful are two of my absolute favorites. I love when we do these songs at church. I also love The Christmas Song sung by Nat King Cole. He had such a rich and sentimental voice, perfect for Christmas carols.

5. How many trees do you put up?
Only one, a 7 foot artificial pre-lit tree we got at JCPenney 3 years ago. It's in our living room. If I had room for more trees I would probably want to add more, but there's be no place to put another one. I think Christmas trees are so beautiful, though not nearly as beautiful as the tree that held my Savior. The tree itself isn't as special as its meaning.

Why not have some Friday fun? Join in at My Little Life. Have a blessed weekend.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

What's Up Wednesday

I figured today I'd give an update on stuff going on around the house. What better time than mid-week, right? Today's update is on Christmas.

I love Christmas. It's a special time of year and I want to enjoy every moment of it. I find that I can't do that if I'm in the stores trying to find a gift for someone or a last minute something or what's on sale...you know the drill. It takes the fun and joy out of Christmas for me.

How do I remedy this? I get my shopping done as early as possible. Most people can't believe I have about 90% of my shopping done by Thanksgiving. Anything I haven't managed to get by then I order online. It's so much easier and there's no crowd to contend with. Plus, I find things that might not be in the stores. The only hassle some people site is shipping charges, but I find most websites waive the shipping costs if you order over a certain amount. I love Amazon.com for their Free Super Saver shipping. Any order over $25 ships free for certain items, and I make sure those are the items I'm shopping for! The other option I like is Walmart's Site-to-Store. I place an order on walmart.com and have it ship free to my local store. When I'm in there doing my regular shopping, I stop off at the Site-to-Store counter and pick up my order. No line, no waiting.

So here we are, December 8, and my shopping is done. I have some items that should be arriving this week ready to be wrapped, but the hard work is done. Now, on to baking!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, December 7, 2010...

Outside my window...it's black as pitch. I should have called this my Simple Woman's Nightbook.

I am thinking...about my daughter, who still has a couple of finals to go.

I am thankful...the Lord gave us His Word to teach us, discipline us, and guide us closer to Him.

I am going...to dress warmly tonight - it's supposed to get down to 39 degrees in South Florida!

I am wearing...a grey hoodie, lavender sweater over a pink striped button down shirt, jeans, and (get this) brown flip flops. My feet aren't cold, the rest of me is! LOL!

I am noticing...how bundled up we Floridians get when the temps go below 60 degrees!

I am currently...working on some important stuff with my hubby. Details later.

I am reading...nothing more than my Bible. December is a really busy month, no time to sit and read :(

I am waiting...another week and then I won't be 46 years old anymore. I don't like that. I've enjoyed being 46.

On my mind...new things for the new year.

From the learning rooms...E is memorizing Bible verses so well, I am amazed! Thank You Lord for the work You're doing in my son's life! He is excited about scripture memorization!

I am pondering these words..."Christmas isn't about a day on the calendar. Christmas is about hope and the journey to get it." - Dr. Bob Barnes.

Around the house...I still have another load of laundry to do, but yesterday I got really caught up. Yay me!

One of my favorite things...the warm penguin socks my sister gave me for Christmas. They are gonna be on my feet tonight!

A few plans for the rest of the week...just the usual stuff.

Wanna join in the fun? Visit Peggy at the Simple Woman's Daybook. Have a blessed week.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Move It Mondays

Happy Monday! I've started moving it already today, bright and early. I guess the chill in the air energized me, or maybe it was the fact that I finally got my new Social Security card so I could get my license renewed. I got up this morning, started dinner in the crock pot, dropped E off at school and yes, I got my license with just over a week to spare! Praise the Lord! I'm so glad that's done. Now on to bigger and better things!

Yesterday we hosted a birthday party for our cousin's son's first birthday. We have a large yard so it was held outdoors, and the weather was perfect for it. I'm glad we didn't have today's weather; it's 50 degrees but with the wind chill it feels like 46! Not good for little ones to be outside in that chill. It was lots of fun, but today I need to get the house back in order, so I'll be cleaning all the floors (again) and getting laundry caught up (again). How I love my busy life!

Move it Mondays is hosted by Kristilea at In The Lord's Path. Have a blessed week.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Observing My Senses

For Today, December 4, 2010...

I am seeing...another clear blue South Florida sky.

I am feeling...the cooler weather coming in through the windows. I've been looking forward to this!

I am hearing...the pressure cleaner as father and son finish cleaning the roof.

I am tasting...nothing yet. Breakfast in a moment :-).

I am smelling...cinnamon rolls just come out of the oven. Yum!

It just takes a moment to observe your surroundings. Won't you join me?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Five Question Friday

Happy Friday ya'll! Here's a look into the (holiday) mind of a wife and momma after a long and busy week.

1. What's on the top of your holiday wish list and why?!
I just want to have my family at home. I want to be a blessing to them and be blessed by them. I love my family.

2. What is your favorite Christmas gift from the past?
My daughter and my son. Both were born December 27, a couple days later but close enough to be called Christmas gifts from my Father.

3. If you had life to do over, what would you be when you grow up?
An interior designer. I love decorating my home and giving others ideas for theirs. I've been asked to help decorate other people's homes and I've always been thanked for my ideas.

4. When do you put up your tree?
The day after Thanksgiving. It gets decorated that weekend. Since it's a fake tree we don't have to worry about it drying out or anything, so we can enjoy it all month long.

5. What is your favorite Holiday?
It's a toss up between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I love Christmas more, but Thanksgiving is a very close second. To me, the two flow together smoothly, because both holidays represent thankfulness.

Come on, join in the fun! Just visit Mama M at My Little Life. Have a wonderful and blessed weekend.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thankful Thursdays


Here is a picture of our Christmas tree in our home:


And here is an even more beautiful picture of what a tree bore for us:

"Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed." - 1 Peter 2:24

I am thankful for Jesus, who left His precious home and came to us, to be born as a child, to live among us and experience our lives like us, and to die that we may live. No present under the tree is more valuable than that.

What are you thankful for? Join in thankfulness this month with Iris at Grace Alone. Have a blessed day.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, November 30, 2010...

Outside my window...the sun is blaring and there's a light breeze. It feels more like late spring than late fall. A cold front is supposed to come in tomorrow and change that. I can't wait!

I am thinking...how blessed we are that hurricane season is over and we got no hurricanes this year.

I am thankful...for everything. God is so great!

I am going...to be doing lots of clean up around the house today.

I am wearing...a brown and pink shirt, jeans, and brown flip-flops.

I am noticing...summer doesn't want to leave us just yet.

I am currently...caught up decorating. Finally! I started on Friday and finished yesterday.

I am reading...James for morning devotions, and nothing else. I've been too busy decorating.

I am waiting...for a phone call.

On my mind...my daughter, who has 2 papers to finish this week and is preparing for finals. We're diligently praying for her.

From the learning rooms...E is learning the "powers" (10 to the 5th power, that sort of thing) and says it's so easy. I'm glad he catches on so quickly.

I am pondering these words..."Gossips and talebearers set on fire all the houses they enter."

Around the house...finish laundry, clean outdoor furniture, vacuum. Hubby was going to take the day off and power clean the roof, but Walmart gave them extra freezer space so he's off to work.

One of my favorite things...my Christmas tree. It's so gorgeous!

A few plans for the rest of the week...back to normal again. Library, Awana, Cub Scouts. Sunday is going to be busy - we're hosting a birthday party for a cousin's son who turns 1.

Wanna join in the fun? Visit Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook. Have a blessed day.

Move It...Day After Monday?

Yes, it's Tuesday. I moved a lot yesterday, though, just didn't have time to update.

My driver's license expires on my birthday, which is 2 weeks away. Since I renewed it online the last time, I'm required to renew in person this time around. I gathered all my documents and went over to the DMV early yesterday morning. I was so glad to see the place was practically empty! I got called right away, gave my paperwork to the clerk, had my eyes checked, and it looked like I was just about done.

It's never that easy though, is it?

When the clerk tried to get my information on his computer, he couldn't find it. He reviewed my documents and told me what the problem was: my social security card had my maiden name, and my driver's license has my married name. No big deal, I said. Here's a copy of my birth certificate and my marriage certificate. It's been enough documents these past almost 21 years to prove that I am who I am and I've always gotten my license with these papers. Sorry, they told me. Turns out now everything is linked to my social security number (I guess for security reasons; too many identity thefts). I had 2 options: either change my driver's license to my maiden name, or go to the Social Security Administration office and get my name updated there.

At first I thought, does it really matter? I'm the same person after all! But it does matter, because all my other paperwork (home title, credit cards, etc) are in my married name. If I'm asked for a picture ID, it won't match any of my other papers, and I'll be in trouble. So I had no choice: I went grocery shopping, got home, put everything away, made and ate lunch, then went to the SSA office and, after an hour of waiting (I consider I made good time), I changed my name on my ss card to my married name. Now I have to wait 24-48 hours for the system to be updated and I can go back and get my license renewed.

So it was a hectic but productive day. I hope today is productive too. Just not as hectic ;-).

Move it Mondays is hosted by Kristilea at In The Lord's Path. Have a blessed week.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Friday Five

Hope everyone had a super Thanksgiving! In the spirit of the holiday, here are my Five Friday questions. You can join too - just visit My Little Life.

1. What is your favorite part of a Thanksgiving meal?
Is it okay to just say "the food"? I love the flavors of Thanksgiving. We have turkey and ham, mashed potatoes and stuffing, mac and cheese, corn, salad, rolls...okay, I'm getting hungry again!
Okay, my favorite - I'm gonna say the stuffing. I love stuffing, and not to sound like a snob or anything but everyone seems to love my stuffing.

2. Are you a host or a guest for Thanksgiving this year?
Hosting. It's easier since I do the majority of the cooking anyway. This way I don't have to cart the meal to anyone's house.

3. When you think of one Thanksgiving tradition, what comes to mind?
Watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. Even if I don't sit and watch it the whole time, just catching bits and pieces makes it feel like the holidays have begun.

4. You have two pieces of pie in front of you and you HAVE to eat one...do you choose pumpkin or pecan?
Oooh, that's a tough one. I love them both! But I guess I would pick pumpkin just because it has less sugar so I can have a bigger piece!

5. Are you a Black Friday Shopper?
NO WAY!! I HATE shopping the day after Thanksgiving! It's an absolute nightmare! Instead I stay home and begin decorating the home for Christmas. It takes me a full 3 days to get everything done so I try to start as soon as possible.

Have a great day after Thanksgiving everyone!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

This week, at our pastor's suggestion, we made up a Thankful poster and wrote different things we're thankful for. Let me share what we've got so far:

I Am Thankful...
1) For my family.
2) For my new haircut (that was me :)).
3) For free turkeys.
4) For the food.
5) That my sister comes home (that was E).
6) For Jesus Christ.
7) For medicine that takes away headaches :(
8) For E making the A-B Honor roll!
9) For E getting 3 awards: honor roll, perfect attendance, an citizenship.
10) For not being stick in a car anymore :P (that was my daughter -it was a long 4 hour drive home).

I hope you can take the time to express thankfulness too. It's so refreshing to the soul to see our blessings and give thanks for them! Happy Thanksgiving!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Thankful Mama

This is my youngest son, winner of the Citizenship Award, Perfect Attendance Award, and the A-B Honor Roll Award (he got straight A's and B's). I cannot begin to express how thrilled and grateful to the Lord I am for my son's accomplishments. E has worked really hard this year and it has paid off. What a way for Thanksgiving Eve to begin!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, November 23, 2010...

Outside my window...I'm hearing a helicopter overhead. It's probably the news chopper, since we live fairly close to one of the expressways. I'm hoping there isn't an accident.

I am thinking...of all the preparations needed for Thursday, and my little girl who'll be home tomorrow (yay!).

I am thankful...for my Savior, for my family, for the comfortable life He's given us, for the nation we live in, for my church family, for my extended family...oh my, the list goes on and on!

I am going...to get as much done today as possible, so that I can start baking tomorrow.

I am wearing...a mint green shirt, jean bermuda shorts and white flip flops. Hey, it's 75 degrees outside.

I am noticing...the chopper is still flying around.

I am currently...looking at cars for my daughter. She's going to need one, and we want to get as good a deal as possible for a safe dependable car.

I am reading...2 Timothy for morning devotions, and not much else. It's been pretty busy around here lately.

I am waiting...patiently for our Thanksgiving day feast!

On my mind...a multitude of plans, and changes, and all God is preparing us for. He's so good!

From the learning rooms...I've been invited to E's award ceremony tomorrow. Only parents of children who are getting awards got invited. I'm so thrilled! My son got straight A's and B's on his report card! Thank You Jesus!

I am pondering these words..."Thou who hast given so much to me, give me one more thing - a grateful heart!"

Around the house...finish floors, laundry, and clean bathrooms.

One of my favorite things...Hello, Thanksgiving!! LOL!!

A few plans for the rest of the week...we'll be prepping for Thanksgiving, hosting Thanksgiving, then 3 days of Christmas decorating. It's my favorite time of the year!

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

Monday, November 22, 2010

Move It Mondays

Actually, it should be Move It All Week this time around! We're hosting Thanksgiving at our house, so there's plenty of planning to do. This morning I have my hair appointment so I'll be off shortly to get my hair cut. Then it's cleaning floors throughout the house. So much to do, so little time!

Our pastor gave us a cool idea. Put up a poster board in the kitchen or wherever it'll be seen by everyone, and have everyone write what they are thankful for. Have a pen or marker nearby so when a thankful thought comes to mind it can be written down. I hope to have lots of thankfulness listed by this Thursday!

"And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." - Colossians 3:17
Have a blessed Thanksgiving week! Move it Mondays is hosted by Kristilea at In The Lord's Path. God bless.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Observing My Senses

For Today, November 20, 2010...

I am seeing...bright sunshine and blue skies. It doesn't feel like autumn here in South Florida. It's more like early summer. I hope that cold front gets in here soon.

I am feeling...a bit down because my daughter is sick and I can't be with her. I miss her so much.

I am hearing...Spongebob Squarepants.

I am tasting...nothing at the moment. Breakfast was about an hour ago.

I am smelling...which is a good thing, since all I did yesterday was sneeze and not smell anything. Not a good day for allergy sufferers.

It just takes a moment to observe your surroundings. Won't you join me?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Five Question Friday

Talk about random! This week's 5 questions come from all directions - making it just a little strange, but fun none the less. Here are my answers for this week:

1. What Christmas song do you loathe?
I don't think I loathe any Christmas song, though I admit I like the more traditional Christmas carols more than the newer songs. But loathing? No way.

2. Do you and your significant other cuddle at night or sleep on opposite sides of the bed?
We sleep at opposite sides of the bed because even with the air conditioning on and a ceiling fan my hubby is sweating, meanwhile I'm under a comforter freezing. Guess that makes us polar opposites?

3. Have you ever had surgery?
Well yeah, that's how they got my three munchkins out of my belly. Other than that, no.

4. When do you typically have your holiday shopping done?
I try to have it all done before Thanksgiving, because I loathe shopping in December when the stores are packed and nothing can be found anywhere. I much prefer to be at home during the holidays, enjoying my family, listening to much loved Christmas songs, playing board games, that sort of thing. As of today, 6 days before Thanksgiving, I probably have over 90% of my shopping complete. Yay me!

5. If money were not an issue (and you HAD to pick something), what would your ultimate luxury item be?
Giving a boatload of cash to Operation Christmas Child. I would feel much better giving the money to children in need than buying some trinket for myself. After all, I've got all I ever needed or wanted. God is soooo good.

Why not join in the fun? Just jump on over to My Little Life. Have a blessed weekend.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thankful Thursdays

It's exactly a week before Thanksgiving! What am I thankful for? And can I get it all in one post?

Let's see. I'm thankful:

1) My daughter will be home for Thanksgiving.
2) My hubby gets a free turkey from his job.
3) My hubby has a job.
4) This is the busiest time of the year for my hubby at his job as a supervisor for a food distribution company.
5) The weather seems to want to take a turn and give us cooler temperatures.
6) We're going to the Cub Scouts Thanksgiving feast tonight - we get to start being thankful early!
7) I've got at least 90% of my Christmas shopping done, and I've managed to get some really great deals by searching out sales. Woot!
8) I got a $25 Amazon gift certificate for some surveys I did online which helped pay for my hubby's Christmas present.
9) For my family.
10)Most of all, I'm thankful for my Savior. None of this stuff would matter if I didn't have Jesus. None of it is worth more than the love of my Lord.

What are you thankful for today? Why not share it at Women Taking a Stand? Have a blessed rest of your week.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, November 16, 2010...

Outside my window...the sun is shining brightly, there's a cool breeze but not cold. Temperatures have been a bit weird lately; some days cool and fall like, other days really toasty warm. I hope it stabilizes soon.

I am thinking...about our Thanksgiving menu and what still needs to be bought.

I am thankful...my God never leaves me nor forsakes me.

I am going...to call my hairdresser today. My ends are dry and need cutting.

I am wearing...a yellow short sleeved hoodie, jean bermuda shorts, and flip-flops. In mid-November. It's strange even to me.

I am noticing...a calm and peace in my heart. Thanks, Lord.

I am currently...done wrapping all the presents I've bought, but I still need to catch up on purchases. Looking for sales everywhere I go.

I am reading...Ephesians for morning devotions, and still working on an Agatha Christie mystery.

I am waiting...to hear from the Lord.

On my mind...my daughter will be coming home next week for Thanksgiving (yay!) and then the decorating starts.

From the learning rooms...lots of math lately. Word problems mostly.

I am pondering these words..."Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life." - Proverbs 13:12. Such a beautiful verse.

Around the house...2 loads of laundry still need to be folded, and bathrooms need cleaning.

One of my favorite things...spending time with my children.

A few plans for the rest of the week...Thursday is the Cub Scouts Thanksgiving feast. We're looking forward to that.

Here's a picture thought I'm sharing...I found this ornament at Target and had to get it for my son R. The reindeer is sitting on a game console, so of course I put it on top of his XBox 360. He got a kick out of it!

Wanna join in the fun? Visit Peggy at the Simple Woman's Daybook. Have a blessed week.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Move It Mondays

Happy Monday to all! I'm late in getting my Move it Mondays post in because I've been doing lots of laundry. It piles up really quick! I went to Target this morning and got some more Christmas shopping out of the way. I got home and the laundry drill started right away! I changed all the bed linen and washed that, too.

This weekend I started cleaning my closet. I like decluttering at least once a year, since I hate to have junk around taking up space. The closet needed to be cleared out for another reason: that's where I keep the Christmas presents, nice and wrapped! Most of what I got this morning is already wrapped and put away.

This afternoon, E and I hope to take a walk in the park after he finishes his homework. I'd also like to bake a cake or some cupcakes so he can have that as an after-school snack. It's always nice to start the week with fresh baked goods.

Move it Mondays is hosted by Kristilea at In The Lord's Path. Have a blessed week.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Observing My Senses

For Today, November 13, 2010...

I am seeing...cloud filled skies, but they're white clouds, not rain clouds. The trees are swaying in the breeze.

I am feeling...warm and fuzzy inside. I awoke at 5:30am and decided to spend my early morning with my heavenly Father. That was so sweet.

I am hearing...a lawn mower in the distance, and birds chirping.

I am tasting...Smart Start cereal with almond milk. A new favorite.

I am smelling...the fresh air coming in through the windows. I love this time of year; the air smells clean and fresh, there's little to no humidity, mornings are cool and delicious. It's my favorite time of the year.

It just takes a moment to observe your surroundings. Won't you join me?

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Friday Five

For more fun Friday 5's, visit My Little Life.

1. What is the most physically painful thing that has ever happened to you?
Passing a kidney stone. I'm not kidding, it hurt worse that labor pains and c-sections. I never want to go through that again.

2. How much sleep do you get at night?
Typically about 8 hours, though lately I tend to toss and turn in the middle of the night which is annoying.

3. How long did you believe in Santa Claus? How did you find out that he does not exist?
Growing up in a Jehovah's Witness home we never had Christmas and never believed in Santa Claus. I missed out on alot.

4. What was the last movie you saw in a theater?
I think it was Despicable Me. Yeah, that's right, we went while my daughter was home, just before they took it out of the theaters. Funny movie.

5. What do you wear to bed?
If it's very warm out I wear a long t-shirt or one of the cotton day-dresses my husband has brought back from his native Nicaragua. If it's cold, sweat pants or pj pants and a t-shirt.

Have a blessed weekend everyone!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, November 9, 2010...

Outside my window...the sun is setting on a beautiful day.

I am thinking...about my sister and brother-in-law who are celebrating 8 years of married bliss. Congratulations you two lovebirds!

I am thankful for...God's will in my life.

I am going...to finish eating my ham and salami sandwiches and then I'm going to wash my hair.

I am wearing...a black and white jersey top, jeans and flip flops.

I am noticing...the less I worry about stuff, the faster God reveals His will to me.

I am currently...behind on my Christmas shopping. I need to get on the ball here.

I am reading...1 Corinthians for morning devotions, and not much else just yet.

I am waiting...for Friday.

On my mind...Dr. Barnes' message on worry. What a great teacher Dr. Barnes is.

From the learning rooms...the science project is done! And E doesn't even have to turn it in till next week! Yay!

I am pondering these words..."Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance." - Psalm 42:5.

Around the house...I got a whole lot done today! Now just need to finish the laundry.

One of my favorite things...a clean house.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Thursday is Veterans Day, so there's no school or Cub scouts. E and I will have to figure out something fun to do ;-).

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

Monday, November 8, 2010

Move it Mondays

It's a beautiful Monday morning! The sky is cloudy which keeps the temperatures cool, in the 60's. It really feels like fall! I'm enjoying this very much. I love sunny days, but I also like cool autumn days, so I hope to really take advantage of this one!

There's plenty of stuff to be done around the house. Today my schedule looks like this:

Swiffer floors
Mop wherever necessary
Fold 2 loads of laundry
Tidy up bathrooms
Help my son finish his science project

I've also got phone calls to make. I don't like making calls to companies; answering services with "press one for yes and two for no" are so impersonal and take FOREVER before you get an actual human being, but it's gotta be done. I've got 2 done already, I need a couple more to go.

Move it Mondays is hosted by Kristilea at In the Lord's Path. Praying you all have a blessed week.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Observing My Senses

For Today, November 6, 2010...

I am seeing...the most beautiful blue sky I think I've ever seen. It's just absolutely gorgeous!

I am feeling...nervous, excited, apprehensive, but I must rest in the Lord. Once I'm in His arms I'm at peace.

I am hearing...the wind blowing the palm trees around. The windows are open because we're in the low 60's today (yay!) and it cools off the house.

I am tasting...a Baby Ruth mini. I love chocolate!

I am smelling...the fresh air coming in the windows. Such a sweet aroma.

It just takes a moment to observe your surroundings. Won't you join me?

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Friday Five

It's Friday, and what a gorgeous Friday it is! I wish I could freeze today's weather so it could be like this everyday! Sunny, cool, breezy, skies of blue - this is what I live in South Florida for!

So here we are again, and here are my Friday Five for today:

1. If you could have any talent and turn it into an occupation, what would it be?
That's easy: interior design. I love decorating my home, moving things around, changing, adjusting, turning four walls into a comfortable haven for my family. To be able to do this for others as well, would be a dream come true.

2. Would you rather have a house at the beach or a cabin in the woods?
Hmm, that's a good question. I can see the advantages of both, and I can also see the disadvantages. If I had to choose, I'd probably go with the beach house. Less chance of critters getting in the house.

3. Is there any meaning or reasoning for the names you chose for your child/children?
For my oldest son, his middle name starts with and has many of the letters of my name. My daughter's middle name is the feminine version of her father's name. My youngest son was named by his siblings; my daughter picked his first name, and my son picked his middle name.

4. What is your guilty pleasure? (I know we've done this one before, but I'm guessing people's "guilty pleasures" change frequently. At least, mine do!)
Haagen-Daz vanilla swiss almond ice cream. I could sit and eat an entire pint of it by myself. I know; I've done it. Suffered for it later, but I refuse to say it wasn't worth it.

5. Do you live in a house that is deep cleaned or straightened?
I spend alot of time trying to deep clean my home, yet I'm never quite satisfied. My children say it's because I'm OCD. I say it's because I hate nasty odors from filth, and clutter, and disorganization. Is that the definition of OCD?

Wanna take a crack at it? Visit My Little Life for the Friday Five questions. Have a blessed weekend.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, November 3, 2010...

Outside my window...the sun is peeking out after a quick (though fairly heavy) morning shower. I'm hoping the rain is done for the day; I'd like to clean up the back patio.

I am thinking...about what the Lord is trying to teach me, and why I have such a hard head that I can't see what it is.

I am thankful for...my online bible devotional group, who encourage and pray for me. I'm also thankful for my Sunday school bible class which teaches and convicts me. I need both of these so much.

I am going...to finish painting baseboards at some point in time. I don't see it happening this week, though.

I am wearing...a yellow top, jean capris and flip flops. It's 75 degrees outside. Yeah, I know, it's November, but we're in South Florida, remember?

I am noticing...my prayer life can easily go up and down if I'm not properly focused. That's something I can't let back-slide.

I am currently...thinking about cleaning out the garage, but it's been too hot to be out there. In the meantime I think I may tackle closets.

I am reading
...Romans for morning devotions, and yet another Agatha Christie mystery.

I am waiting...to see if the rain is over before I try to do any yardwork.

On my mind...change. Which way is it going? Don't know yet.

From the learning rooms...the science project is almost complete. As a matter of fact, I think we'll be done by this weekend.

I am pondering these words..."May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." - Romans 15:13.

From the kitchen today...ground beef. Probably with rice.

Around the house...I have 2 loads of laundry to put away. I really want to get some fall cleaning done too.

One of my favorite things...chocolate. I don't think I have to go into detail.

A few plans for the rest of the week...Awana tonight, Cub scouts tomorrow, don't know what we'll do this weekend.

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

Monday, November 1, 2010

Move It Mondays

Welcome to the first Monday in November. This year has gone by so quickly; I feel like it was just January and we were putting away Christmas decorations, and now it's almost time to put them up again! My hubby expressed my sentiments the other day: "November is a fun month." Christmas shopping, Thanksgiving, Christmas decorations go up right after Thanksgiving; it's a busy month, in a good way.

I've already got quite a bit of Christmas shopping done. I love to be ahead of the game! It irritates me to go into stores in December because they're packed with people fighting over stuff and being rude to everyone because they HAVE to get the latest whatever. I prefer to get my shopping done early and enjoy the season. No shopping will be done today, though. E is at home today and tomorrow because of teacher planning days, so I hope we can get some of his science project done. I also plan to:

Fix beds
Tidy up and sweep the rest of the house
Clean my bathroom
Fold one load of laundry

There's always something to do around here! Hope ya'll have a blessed week.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Observing My Senses

For Today, October 30, 2010...

I am seeing...another beautiful but waaaay too hot South Florida day. It's supposed to start cooling off tomorrow. I hope so.

I am feeling...God in a special way. He's preparing me for something. I'm not entirely sure what that something is yet, but I feel Him taking me there by the hand, and it's very comforting.

I am hearing...my son and nephew playing. My nephew stayed over last night. He's 12 years old and my son's best friend. What's more important, he's developing a love for Jesus that truly excites me.

I am tasting...breakfast. Scrambled egg, one slice of bacon, hash browns (I love Simply Potatoes; makes my life so easy!), and coffee. Mmm....

I am smelling...my boy's room. It's a little stuffy in here, but not too bad. Think I'll open a window.

It just takes a moment to observe your surroundings. Won't you join me?

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Friday Five

I found another 5 Friday question meme over at My Little Life. Let's have some fun with this, shall we?

1. If you could be a fly on any wall, which would you choose?
I don't know that I'd want to be a fly on any wall. If I'm not there to hear it, it must not be meant for me to know.

2. Do you budget your Christmas shopping or just get it done without budgeting?
I most definitely budget. If I didn't we'd go broke real quick.

3. What is the craziest fad diet you have ever done?
The Slim-Fast shakes. What gave me the idea I could live on those nasty things forever?!

4. Is there a TV show that you have seen every episode/season of?
The Duggars. Whether it's 17, 18 or 19 Kids and Counting, I've watched them and loved them all.

5. What one song always pulls at your heart?
I Can Only Imagine by MercyMe. I get teary-eyed just thinking about it.

Have a great weekend everybody!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thankful Thursdays


Today I want to share a poem I read in my devotions that came at just the right time, and I'm thankful that God provides these words at just the right time. This poem is by Amy Carmichael. Enjoy.

Our Father knows what's best for us, so why should we complain?
We always want the sunshine, but He knows there must be rain.
We love the sound of laughter and the merriment of cheer,
But our hearts would lose their tenderness if we never shed a tear.
For growing trees are strengthened when they withstand the storm,
And the sharp cut of the chisel gives the diamond grace and form.
God never hurts us needlessly, and He never wastes our pain,
For every loss He sends to us is followed by rich gain.
And when we count the blessings that God so freely sent,
We'll find no cause for murmuring, and no time to lament.
For our Father loves His children, and to Him all things are plain,
So He never sends us pleasure when the soul's deep need is pain.
So Whenever we are troubled, and when everything goes wrong,
We know God's working in our hearts, to make our spirit strong.

This month Thankful Thursdays is hosted by Lynn at Spiritually Unequal Marriage. Have a great day.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, October 26, 2010...

Outside my window...there's alot of cloud cover. Looks like it might rain, though the weather lady said probably not until tomorrow. Guess we'll have to wait and see.

I am thinking...of God's will, and what He wants to do next in my life. Am I open to His changes? I sure hope I am.

I am thankful for...Scripture. My life manual. I'd be lost without it.

I am going...to continue polishing floors today. I did the bedrooms yesterday, and they look fabulous!

I am wearing...a black and white top, white capris and white flip-flops. Interestingly enough, it's the same thing I was wearing last week when I wrote my daybook.

I am noticing...that change is in the air, though I don't know what exactly it is or where it's going.

I am currently...working on floors. I really want the house to look nice for the holidays, as it looks like we'll be having company here for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I am reading...Acts for morning devotions, and still devouring Agatha Christie mysteries. Just finished another one yesterday.

I am waiting...to see what the Lord is going to do next. I'm not good at waiting. I think that's why the Lord takes His time, to teach me patience.

On my mind...my hubby working in Central Florida while his co-worker recovers in the hospital from a heart attack. It makes me realize just how blessed I am.

From the learning rooms...the science project progresses. The cucumber seeds have sprouted, the green beans are a bit slower but it looks like they'll sprout as well.

I am pondering these words..."And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." - Romans 8:28.

From the kitchen today...leftovers. I made extra ground beef yesterday so we're good for today.

Around the house...floor polishing, door painting, laundry washing.

One of my favorite things...reading. I'd much rather read a good book than sit in front of the television.

A few plans for the rest of the week...same ole same ole. Library, Awana, Cub Scouts. J should be home on Saturday, Lord willing.

Here's a picture thought I'm sharing...E at his first paintball party. I was so worried he'd get hurt, but he didn't. He had a great time with his friends, and experienced something new. I'm glad he had fun.

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

Monday, October 25, 2010

Move It Mondays

Good morning to all, and happy Monday. It's really quiet around here today. My hubby had to go to Central Florida again, this time for a week. The reason is a sad one; his co-worker who handles that territory had a heart attack. Thankfully he's in a hospital, he's awake and alert, and the doctors are running tests to see what caused it and what damage has been done. We're praying he can get home soon.

In the meantime, I have things to do here at home. I've had breakfast (cream of wheat, a banana, and coffee), and dropped E at school. For today, I hope to

*Fix beds
*Sweep and polish wood floors in bedrooms
*Get a couple of loads of laundry done, including bedding

It will be a quiet week, but I'm thankful. I need quiet time with God desperately. He's preparing me for changes, though I don't know what they are as of yet. Have you ever experienced that? God alerting you to changes He's planning, without going into detail? It's a learning process for me, to be still and wait on Him, but it's what I hope to do. He's in control.

Move it Mondays is hosted by Kristilea at In The Lord's Path. Have a blessed week everyone. Happy Monday!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Observing My Senses

For Today, October 23, 2010...

I am seeing...a dark rainy night.

I am feeling...tired after a long day of errands, laundry and a paintball birthday party.

I am hearing...my son singing in the shower. He had a great time playing paintball, but boy is he filthy!

I am tasting...light and fluffy chocolate birthday cake. Yum!

I am smelling...pizza and cake. Typical birthday fare.

It just takes a moment to observe your surroundings. Won't you join me?

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Friday Five

Here's some neat questions I found on another Friday 5 website. I thought I'd give these a whirl:

1. Do you still have your senior yearbook? Where is it?
Yep, it's in the living room on the bottom shelf of a book/curio cabinet.

2. What souvenir did you bring back from your last trip?
A t-shirt for my oldest son. I usually don't buy stuff when we go on trips. I just take pictures.

3. What visible signs are there of your most recent injury?
I got a nice black-and-blue just above my right knee. I was climbing the ladder to paint around the kitchen window and was just a little too close to the granite countertop. Needless to say, it hurt like crazy.

4. What’s the neatest wedding favor you’ve ever seen?
I have yet to see a "neat" wedding favor. The only one I've ever liked is from my sister's wedding.

5. What do you do with playbills and movie-ticket stubs?
Trash 'em. I hate clutter.

And that's my Friday 5 for this week. Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Health-Wise Wednesdays

I weighed in at 132.4 lbs today. I'm thrilled that I'm maintaining my weight between 131 and 133 each week. Maintenance has been tough for me in the past; keeping a close watch on what I eat has helped me overcome that.

And how do I keep watch? By measuring calories and food portion size. It also helps to make meals that are low in fat, like in my trusty crockpot. Here's a recipe for jambalaya that has only 193 calories per serving, only 8 grams of fat, is filling and nutritious, and is easy to make. Can you beat that?! Not with a stick.

Homemade Jambalaya

6 chicken tenders, cut into bite sized pieces
1 polish kielbasa sausage link, sliced
1 medium sized onion, chopped
1 medium sized bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
1 14oz. can diced tomatoes (no salt added)
1 14oz. can diced tomatoes with chilis
1 tbs. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. Creole seasoning
1/8 tsp. ground red pepper
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined

Put all ingredients except shrimp into crock pot on medium for 5-6 hours or high for 3-4 hours. Stir in shrimp and cook an additional 45 minutes. Serve over white rice.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, October 19, 2010...

Outside my window...is a perfect South Florida day. The temperatures are in the 70's, the breeze is cool, the sky is blue and the clouds are puffy white. I love this time of year!

I am thinking...about my friend and some challenges she's facing right now. Praying for guidance for her family.

I am thankful for...my family, my home, and my wonderful God who gives these things to me.

I am going...to finish painting today. Everything's done except for behind the fridge. I can move that and be done this morning. Yay!

I am wearing...a black and white top, white capris and white flip-flops.

I am noticing...that my youngest son is getting tall. He's 10 years old and is the 2nd or 3rd tallest boy in his class. He just got measured in school and he's 4'10". When did he get so big?!

I am currently...pretty caught up with laundry, which is nice. Of course that doesn't last long.

I am reading...Acts for morning devotions, and another Agatha Christie book. I think I'm gonna get a couple more at the library today.

I am waiting...no way, I'm not waiting anymore. I've started Christmas shopping. I've got 3 presents done so far. I need to get moving, though. It's already October!

On my mind...my hubby's possible trip to Central Florida tomorrow. He's not too excited about it.

From the learning rooms...it's science project time. This year we're doing "Do Frozen Seeds Grow?" We have cucumber and green bean seeds in the freezer right now.

I am pondering these words... "Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus." - Acts 4:13.

From the kitchen today...steaks, done in the crock pot. That way I can focus on other stuff without worrying about cooking.

Around the house...after painting, the next project will be polishing floors.

One of my favorite things...is crock pot cooking. I love coming home and the house smells delicious.

A few plans for the rest of the week: library, Awana, Cub Scouts, and E has a birthday party this Saturday at a paint-ball park. That should be interesting.

Here's a picture thought I'm sharing...I got these on clearance at Lowe's. Isn't the bear cute? I put them out to surprise hubby, and boy was he surprised! He got home when it was already dark, and thought the thing was a possum! It made him jump out of his skin!! LOL!!!

Wanna join in the fun? Visit Peggy at the Simple Woman's Daybook. Have a blessed week.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Move It Mondays

Good Monday morning to all! Today is gonna be a great day, because God is in it. I have lots of stuff to do, so now that I've had my cream of wheat breakfast and dropped my son off at school, I'm hoping to get a bunch of things done. This is my to-do list for today:

Fix beds
Fold 2 loads of laundry
Clean bathrooms
Fix lunch
Mop floors

I'm almost done painting. Since the only area left is behind the fridge, I've decided to dedicate today to some major cleaning and leave the last of the painting for tomorrow. Of course I still have to paint baseboards in the kid's rooms, and closet doors and trim in the rest of the house, but that should be quick and easy. Hope everyone has a blessed and productive week!

Move it Mondays is hosted by Kristilea at In The Lord's Path. God bless.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Observing My Senses

For Today, October 16, 2010...

I am seeing...a new sunshiny day, and painted walls! I'm almost completely done - just need to paint behind the fridge! Then there's baseboards that still need painting, but I can get that done quick.

I am feeling...elated that most of the painting is done, and my house looks bright and cheery and fresh and new. Just in time for the holidays!

I am hearing...someone watering plants outside, and kids playing soccer in the nearby park. The windows are open because it's a cool and crisp morning. Our neighborhood is a peaceful one, thank the Lord, so the sounds outside are sweet.

I am tasting...eggs, bacon, cinnamon raisin toast and coffee. My morning pick-me-up.

I am smelling...cinnamon and raisins. If that doesn't conjure up pictures of a warm home, I don't know what does.

It just takes a moment to observe your surroundings. Won't you join me?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thankful Thursdays

Today I'm rejoicing for the families in Chile who saw their loved ones come out of the mine alive and safe. I cannot imagine the last 70 days for them. First, not knowing if the miners were even alive, and then wondering if the rescue efforts would work or if they were never going to get out. The joy and relief in their faces said it all. God was there with them the whole time. My prayer is that He be glorified in this, and that those who don't know Jesus will seek Him at this time, realizing how fleeting life can be and how desperately we all need a Savior. Nothing happens by chance; I hope they all see this and reach out to Him.



Thankful Thursdays is hosted this month by Lynn at Spiritually Unequal Marriage. Have a blessed rest of your week.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Health-Wise Wednesdays

I'm back down to 131.8 lbs. this week. I think with all the painting I've gotten extra exercise and I haven't been adding calories, which explains the 2 lb drop. Still, I'm in my "zone" and I'm feeling good, which is what's important.

In the spirit of autumn, and because Jello Pumpkin Spice pudding is only available during the fall, I'm going to post another recipe, this for an easy-peasy-lemony-squeezy type of pie. If you don't like baking, or just don't have the time, this is for you.

Creamy Pumpkin Pie

1 and 3/4 cups cold milk
2 packages Jello Pumpkin Spice pudding
1 tub (8 ounces) Cool Whip, thawed
1 graham cracker crumb crust

Pour milk into a large bowl. Add pudding mixes. Beat until well mixed (mixture will be thick). Immediately fold in Cool Whip. Spoon into crust. Refrigerate for 4 hours.

And you're done! This is easy enough to make in the morning and have ready by lunch time. Happy Fall Ya'll!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, October 12, 2010...

Outside my window...the clouds are looming. Looks like it's gonna rain. Of course, here in South Florida, that might mean a 10 minute downpour and a sunshiny day. We'll just have to see.

I am thinking...about my grandfather. Today would have been his birthday. He died in 2002 just a few months shy of his 100th birthday.

I am thankful...my daughter is okay. She was having some pains in her chest, but thankfully it turned out to be a pulled muscle. No basketball for awhile.

I am going...to continue painting today. I got more done yesterday than I'd planned, for which I'm also thankful.

I am wearing...a navy blue shirt with a lavender paisley design, black capris and white flip-flops. It's 76 degrees outside, so still pretty warm.

I am noticing...the living room looks brighter with the lighter tone of paint. I'm glad I went lighter; with the dark accent wall it would have looked like a dungeon with darker paint.

I am currently...painting the living room and kitchen. I have one long wall in the living room to do today, and the walls by the garage door in the kitchen.

I am reading...John for morning devotions, and I finished both Agatha Christie books. Time for a new one!

I am waiting...for my son to finish getting ready so I can take him to school.

On my mind...the holidays. They're coming up, you know.

From the learning rooms...E is having trouble with word problems again. He was doing well in math, but he got a very low grade on one test. It's one step forward, two steps back sometimes, but I'm hoping we can work on this.

I am pondering these words..."In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." - 1 Thessalonians 5:18.


From the kitchen today...baho. It's a Nicaraguan beef stew made with lots of root vegetables. My hubby commented he'd like to eat it so I'm attempting to make it in the crock pot. Hopefully it will be delicious!

Around the house...I'll be doing some laundry, oh, and did I mention I'm painting?

One of my favorite things...the smell of good, quality paint. It smells like a new house.

A few plans for the rest of the week: I'll be painting, painting, and in between other stuff, painting. I have walls and baseboards to paint so it takes a while. I'm loving it though! Library today, Awana tomorrow, Cub scouts on Thursday. Typical week, if it weren't for the painting!

Wanna join in the fun? Visit Peggy at the Simple Woman's Daybook. Have a blessed week.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Move It Mondays

I'm here bright and early posting my Move it Mondays post because it's gonna be a busy day! It was a great weekend with my daughter at home, but now it's back to business - painting business, that is! I want to have everything completed before the holidays, and it's a lot of work. Little by little I hope to be finished in a couple of weeks.

I'm having my egg-cheese-bacon-on-an-english-muffin breakfast, and I'm gonna get dressed in a few minutes to take my son to school. Once I get home, the plan is to:

Have my morning time with God
Clean kitchen
Fix beds
Start painting living room
Get lunch made
Continue painting living room

Thankfully the laundry got caught up yesterday, since my daughter brought hers home and needed to take back clean clothes. It meant everything got washed, so I'm good for today. It's gonna be a busy couple of weeks, but I'm excited at the thought of having a freshly painted home for the holidays.

Move It Mondays is hosted by Kristilea at In The Lord's Path. Have a blessed week.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Observing My Senses

For Today, October 9, 2010...

I am seeing...the sun streaming through the window, making the new colors in my dining room pop!

I am feeling...great joy because my daughter is home for the weekend. An unexpected blessing!

I am hearing...birds chirping. The weather has been pleasant, especially in the mornings, so I'm able to open the windows and let fresh air and sweet sounds come in.

I am tasting...water. I try to have 8 glasses a day. Sometimes I make it, sometimes I don't, but at least I try.

I am smelling...fresh, clean, un-air conditioned air. It's a nice change of pace.

It just takes a moment to observe your surroundings. Won't you join me?

The Friday Five

Time for some Friday 5 - on Saturday!! Okay, I'm a day late, but that's happened before. I'm just glad you all are patient!

1. Have you ever dressed up as a Disney character?
I haven't, I've never dressed up as anything, but my daughter has. She had Princess Jasmine and Pocahontas costumes when she was little.

2. What was your favorite Disney movie growing up?
I love just about everything Disney, but I think my favorite growing up was The Brave Little Toaster. They would show it at school during assemblies, and all the kids would be so quiet and well behaved!

3. Which Disney character can you relate to the most?
Mary Poppins, because we're both Practically Perfect In Every Way (NOT!! LOL)

4. Have you ever been to a Disney theme park?
Many, many times. The advantage of living in Florida is DisneyWorld, and we went almost every year when the older kids were little. Even my youngest son has been there at least 5 times and he's only 10 years old.

5. When does someone become "too old" for Disney?
Never. That's the beauty of Disney. It's fun for all ages.

Join the fun at the Friday Five. Have a blessed weekend.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Thankful Thursdays

It's a cool, crisp day! This morning it was 69 degrees out, and for South Florida, that's cold!! I'm so very thankful that the weather has cooled off. I know for many, 69 degrees is far from cool, but for South Floridians it's important in more ways than just enjoying nicer temperatures or being rid of humidity. We live in hurricane country, and hurricanes love the warmth of the South. The warmer the weather stays, the better chance of hurricanes forming and gaining strength. By the same token, the colder it gets, the faster the waters cool off and the less likelihood of a hurricane getting too strong or even coming our way. Subtropical storm Otto is out in the ocean, but thanks to these wonderful breezes it looks like he's gonna stay out there, and that is such a blessing and something to be very, very thankful for!

This month, Thankful Thursdays is hosted by Lynn at Spiritually Unequal Marriage. I pray you all have a blessed day.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My "New" Dining Room

I'm finally able to post some pictures of my "new" dining room. It's been so cloudy outside that all the pictures kept coming out dark. Even now they seem a bit dark, certainly darker than the room actually is, but I'm not complaining. The days have been cooler and breezy, which is just fine with me.

Okay, let's take a look at the before picture. I'd painted the dining room last year an apple green. It was pretty, but the paint I'd used was some left over from painting the bathroom 8 years before, so it wasn't the best looking paint. There wasn't enough paint for touch-ups either, so it wasn't the best paint job I'd done. Still, I enjoyed it for the time, as it made the dining room look cheery:

The problem now was that the green didn't work with the new accent walls in the living and dining room. Since our floor plan is open concept, all the colors need to work together. They don't have to match, but a cool green with a warm red? It wasn't working for me at all. So I decided to use some of the red in the dining room and bring the drama from the other rooms in here too. I brightened the rest of the walls with a very light maple color, and here's the result:

This is a better view. The accent wall against the curtains is gorgeous, and I love that the dining room looks so elegant. Now it's really a "formal" dining room.

I also wanted to draw some attention to my table centerpiece. The candleholders I got as a Christmas gift the last year I worked from one of the girls in our office. I found the candles at Kohl's for under $5 each, along with the pumpkin centerpiece which was $9.

My table, along with the rest of my home, is very ready for fall. I really like that the colors on the walls reflect my favorite season! Of course they'll work the rest of the year, but these colors make the home cozy and warm, and isn't that what we all want?

Health-Wise Wednesdays

Today I weighed in at 133.8 lbs, which is still between 130 and 135 so I'm good. I don't want to focus on whether I gained or lost, but rather that I stay in a healthy range. Weight can fluctuate, especially for women, so fretting over a few ounces one week can derail months worth of successes. Can't let that happen, for sure!

I've decided to include a recipe this week, one that's easy to make and healthy as well. Yesterday I made one of our favorites, Southwestern Chicken Soup. It takes all of 30 minutes to prepare, and the best part is that one serving has 250 calories. It's got lots of veggies and is very filling. Hope you try and enjoy.

Southwestern Chicken Soup

1 lb. chicken breast tenders, diced
1 tsp poultry seasoning (I use Mrs. Dash Grilling Seasoning for chicken)
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium sized zucchini, small dice
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 - 14 oz. cans diced tomatoes with green peppers and onions
1 - 8 oz can tomato sauce
2-3 cups chicken stock (depending how thick you like your soup)
1 can mexicorn

In a hot soup pot, add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add chicken to pot. Season with poultry seasoning, cumin, and salt and pepper to taste. Lightly brown chicken on each side. Add zucchini, onions and garlic. Cook vegetables with chicken 5 - 7 minutes to soften. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce and stock. Bring soup to a boil, reduce heat to medium low. Cook for about 5 minutes, then add mexicorn. Stir, turn heat to low for another 5 minutes. Serve with corn chips, shredded cheddar or pepper jack cheese, or sour cream. For a spicier version, add 1 -2 chipotle in adobo peppers with the vegetables.

Eating healthy doesn't mean eating tasteless. Try this soup on for size, and see if it doesn't become one of your family's favorites too!

Pumpkin Spice Cake

I'm breaking one of my rules and giving a cake recipe - one of my all-time favorites. This is a recipe that is so easy, and most people won't believe it comes out of a box because it is so delicious. Trust me though, it's wonderful!

Pumpkin Spice Cake

1 package Duncan Hines Spice Cake Mix (I've tried other cake mixes, but Duncan Hines works best)
1 package Jell-o Pumpkin Spice pudding mix (only available in the fall)
4 large eggs
1 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour bundt pan.

Combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, water and oil. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour into bundt pan and bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cake cool before frosting. My favorite frosting for this particular cake is cream cheese, but buttercream works great too. Even a simple sugar glaze would be fine.

I've had people who say they don't like pumpkin absolutely rave about this cake. Remember, Jell-o Pumpkin Spice pudding is only available now in the fall. If you don't see it in the stores, tell the store manager you want it. I usually get a dozen boxes because once it's off the shelves, you won't see it again. Try it, and let me know what you think. I'll bet it becomes one of your favorites, too!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, October 5, 2010...

I am seeing...a very cloudy day. It feels like fall outside, and I'm enjoying that.

I am thinking...about the holidays coming up. It's my favorite time of the year!

I am thankful...I was able to finish painting the dining room yesterday. Just a few touch-ups and I can put everything back where it belongs.

I am going...to Costco later today, and to vote for some town officials.

I am wearing...a mint green shirt, white capris and white flip flops. It's cooler outside, but still warm enough to dress like summertime.

I am noticing...a change in the weather. It's been crisp and cool in the mornings. That's a good thing; the cooler the weather, the less chance of hurricanes.

I am currently...done painting. At least for this week. I hope to start up again next week.

I am reading...John for morning devotions, and another Agatha Christie mystery, The Big Four.

I am waiting...till I get some stuff caught up around the house before I continue painting.

On my mind...my friend Kristi and her appointment this morning. Praying everything works out well for her.

From the learning rooms...it's Hispanic Heritage Month, so we're going to be doing a report on a famous Hispanic. Haven't decided who yet, though.

I am pondering these words..."I would rather be in this chair knowing Him, than on my feet without Him." - Joni Eareckson Tada.

From the kitchen today...Southwestern chicken soup.

Around the house...need to put all the dining room furniture back in it's place, clean bathrooms and get some laundry done.

One of my favorite things...a finished project. What a sense of accomplishment!

A few plans for the rest of the week: library and voting today, Awana and Cub Scouts. Looks like my daughter will be coming down this weekend. Can't wait!

I'll have some more pictures later, after I get all the dining room back to where it should be!

Wanna join in the fun? Visit Peggy at the Simple Woman's Daybook. Have a blessed week.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

I'm At It Again - Painting!

That's right, I'm painting again. This time it didn't start as my idea, though. Our master bedroom hadn't been painted in 9 years, and J said he was growing tired of the sage green. I thought it was pretty, but I could see the paint needed updating. I got a bunch of paint samples from Lowe's and brought them home to see what worked best with the furnishings. At the same time J told me he was going to Central Florida to work at some stores and would be gone for about a week. I thought it would be a perfect time to do the painting - since J is asthmatic, the smell of paint bothers him. I could do all the painting and the smell would be gone by the time he got home. So that's what I did.

When he left on Sunday, the bedroom looked like this:

When he got back on Friday, it looked like this:

Here's the view from the other side of the room:

In case you can't see much difference, let me show this view, of painting in process. The previous color was sage green; the new color is called Faint Maple. It's a taupe color, or what I like to call cafe con leche.

Because of the large wall unit in my room that I couldn't move because it's so heavy I wasn't able to finish the entire room before J got home. However, the paint samples I'd brought home started me thinking. The main living area, except for the dining room, hadn't been painted in over 5 years and was starting to look drab. I wanted to do something dramatic. I'd always loved the look of one wall a different color from the rest of the room, but couldn't find any combination of colors that worked well with the flooring we had. Just this March, though, we put in wood floors and new baseboards. I went through the paint samples and made my decision. I started in the formal living room, and came up with this:

The color is called Rare Sienna. Depending on the time of day, it might look more orangy or more red, but basically it's a kind of rust color (remember that Crayola crayon color burnt sienna? Pretty much like that). As soon as I started putting it on the wall I fell in love. The color is so beautiful! I couldn't stop at just this room, so I moved into the family room:

Since the furniture in our home is a golden maple color, it looks spectacular against the darker red tone. Here's a view of the kitchen:

The best part was J's reaction when he got home. R and I were sitting in the family room when he came in. We were expecting to hear him say something when he saw the living room. Instead, he went straight to the bathroom! J drove straight down from Central Florida, making no pit stops for 3 1/2 hours. He ran past the living room wall, into the bedroom, yet noticed absolutely nothing! We didn't know what to think, but R said, "Don't worry. The minute he walks out of the bedroom he'll be facing the family room, and he can't help but notice it then." Sure enough, J walked out and said, "Whoa!" R and I couldn't stop laughing! J came into the kitchen, looking totally surprised, and said, "I didn't know you were painting." I told him to turn around, and he let out another yell when he saw the living room! He turned back to me and said, "I thought we were going to paint the bedroom!" Nope, he still hadn't noticed! So I told him to go into the bedroom, and he was even more surprised than before! I asked how it was that he'd walked through the house and hadn't noticed or even smelled anything. Truth is, there's very little paint smell in the house. I bought Valspar paint from Lowe's, and it doesn't leave any lingering smell. It goes on smoothly too. Of course, J had other things on his mind when he came home - he needed a potty break! But he was all smiles as he looked at all that had been done while he was gone.
So, am I done? Not by a long shot! The rest of the walls in the main living area need to be painted, and the dining room will get a fresh coat too, since the garden green in there now doesn't work with the other colors. After seeing the Rare Sienna in the rooms, I've decided to go lighter on the rest of the walls so the rooms don't look too dark. The new color that'll be going on is called Churchill Hotel Maple. It's a much lighter shade than the Faint Maple in the bedroom, more like a beige color. I know it'll freshen the place up quite a bit. The darker wall will serve a purpose too - a dark accent wall recedes, giving the impression of a larger room. It tricks the eye into thinking the space is bigger than it really is. I can already see the difference, and I'm loving it! There'll be more pics to come as I continue to beautify my home. Stay tuned!