Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, November 29, 2011...

Outside my window...it's dark and the temperature is dropping.  We should be in the upper 50's by tomorrow morning.  That's cold by South Florida standards.

I am thinking...about my life, how even in the midst of storms I am blessed beyond measure.

I am thankful...that tomorrow is the last day of hurricane season, and Florida didn't get affected by any.  Thank You Jesus!

I am going...to watch a Christmas movie on TV or DVD.

I am wearing...my sleeping garb.  I showered, washed and dried my hair, and I'm ready to hit the sack.

I am noticing...the dryness in the air today.  It was rainy and humid yesterday.  It's like I'm in a whole other place.

I am hoping...my daughter gets done with her research paper in time.  It's one of her last assignments of the semester.

I am pondering these words..."When joy and prayer are married their first born child is gratitude." - Charles Spurgeon.

I am praying for...my family, my friends, my health, and a peaceful Christ-centered Christmas.

From the learning rooms...lots of math, fractions and decimals, and geography.

From the kitchen...since I was busy decorating the house, I kept it simple: burgers and fries.  The burgers were done on the indoor grill pan, and the fries were cooked up in the oven.

I am reading...a great devotional handed out at church this Sunday.  It's an advent devotional called Light.  I really am getting into it, as I want to immerse myself in Scripture this Christmas season.  I finished The Frontiersman's Daughter during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.  It was a great read!

On my mind...changes that have happened, and the peace of the Lord.

Around the house...I've gotten lots of decorating done already.  The tree is up and it's beautiful.

One of my favorite things...decorating for Christmas.  This year I want to keep it simpler.  Every year I decorate like I'm moving to the North Pole.  This year I want to focus less on the decorating and more on the meaning of Christmas.  Yes, I know the meaning of Christmas, but I often get caught up in the whirlwind of shopping, decorating, baking, cooking, and I lose perspective of what's really important.  It's not about what I can do.  It's about what He's already done.

A few plans for the rest of the week...I want to put up the outdoor lights tomorrow.  Hopefully the weather will hold up (the weather lady said it's supposed to).  Awana tomorrow night, then we're pretty much free the rest of the week to watch more Christmas movies.

Here's a picture thought I'm sharing...Cinderella's castle in Disney World, Florida.

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

Monday, November 28, 2011

Meet Me On Monday

Happy Monday!  It's been a busy day today, as I did laundry, cleaned house, and began putting up the Christmas tree.  Thanksgiving has come and gone, and it was wonderful.  Now to prepare for the celebration of Christ's birth, but first, how about a Monday post?  To join in, visit Java at Never Growing Old.

1. I really need to clean my _________?
Bedroom!  It's a dusty mess!

2. What food makes you think of Christmas?
Coconut rice pudding.  It's a staple in the Puertorican home at Christmas.

3. If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be?
Hmm, let's see.  I was pretty hot when I was 22.  Of course I didn't have kids yet.  I'll say 36.  By then I had all three of my precious children.

4. What was your first paying job?
I did data entry at Chemical Bank.

5. Have you read the Twilight series?
Nope.  I'm not into that vampire/werewolf genre.

Have a blessed week!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Observing My Senses

For Today, November 26, 2011...

I am seeing...the sun shining through the blinds on a spectacular day.  God is blessing us with a bright sunny day!

I am feeling...excited!  We'll be leaving to Magic Kingdom in a little while.  My youngest son doesn't know it yet. Wait till he finds out!

I am hearing...my daughter the chatterbox. ;)

I am tasting...Honey Bunches of Oats, with pecan clusters.

I am smelling...sausages, biscuits, coffee, the typical morning fare.

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

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thursday Thoughts (On Friday)

This is a post I usually do on Thursdays, but I was busy preparing our Thanksgiving day feast so I decided I'd leave my random thoughts for today.

*Yesterday was one of the best Thanksgivings ever!  Certainly the most relaxed one I can remember.  It was just me and my 3 children.  We had turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn, salad, lots of gravy, and crescent rolls.  It may seem like a lot, but it was probably about half the amount of food I usually make.

*Since my son works in a grocery store, our turkey was really cheap.  All the employees got a $5.00 off coupon, so our 12 lb. turkey only cost $2.61.  Too bad it isn't that cheap all year long!

*I brined our turkey as in other years, but for some reason it was juicier and tastier than ever.

*Thanksgiving is usually a very hectic time for me.  We have about 20 people over, and I do most of the cooking.  I also have to get the house ready, move furniture, set up additional tables and seating, clean every nook and cranny...it takes days to get ready for, and by the time I sit down to eat I'm exhausted.

*This year it was just the four of us.  The only thing I did ahead of time was brine the turkey and bake a cake.  Everything else was prepared at a leisurely pace, and we sat down to eat at about 3:00pm.  The house was clean but not perfectly neat, yet that was okay.  We got up for seconds (or in the case of my son R, thirds) and talked and laughed and watched Lemonade Mouth on TV.  Then we crashed on the sofa.  It was awesome.

*We took our dog Molly for a walk around the pond behind my kid's apartment building.  The grounds here are really beautiful and well kept.  E and I were thrilled to see big fish in the pond, then we saw a family of turtles!  Big ones too, at least a couple of them were about 2 feet long.  They came up to the edge and swam around.  It was so neat!  There were cranes too, and we enjoyed seeing God's creation up close.

*My youngest son E found his older brother's costume bin.  R gets dressed up for Halloween since he works at the store.  He's been Batman, Robin, and Dr. Wylie (from the Megaman video game).  E started dressing up in his brother's costumes and had us rolling on the floor with his antics!  He is such a funny little kid. He had a blast too, watching our reactions.

*Today's plans are simple.  We're gonna go see the new Muppet Movie at a local theater at about noon, since R has to go in to work at 3:00.  After that we're gonna hang out at the apartment.

*Tomorrow's plans are even better.  We have tickets to go to Disney's Magic Kingdom to enjoy the Christmas decorations there!  My two youngest kids and myself will be having an early birthday celebration since our birthdays are all in December.  I am so excited!  I love Disney, and I love Christmas.  The two together is like having cake and pie on the same plate!!

So much to continue being thankful for.  Thank You Jesus, for the life You've given me.  It's not perfect; there are trials and turmoil and disappointments along the way, but there is also joy in the knowledge that You are with me and have blessed me beyond measure.  God is good, all the time!

Five Question Friday

Happy day after Thanksgiving!  I hope everyone's Thanksgiving day was filled with gratitude for our many blessings.  We live in a free country, where there is abundance.  We often don't realize it, but we have countries very close by to us that are in extreme poverty.  Americans can have a day of thanks with a table filled to the brim with enough food to feed several families.  More food than some Haitian families will see in a month.  Think about it.  Be thankful.

Our Five Question Friday this week is about Thanksgiving (how appropriate).  If you want to join in, visit Mama M. at My Little Life and have some fun!

1. Is there a special dish you prepare that you are famous for?
My kids will tell you it's my stuffing.  I take regular Stove Top stuffing (I personally like the Savory Herbs one) and jazz it up.  I'll add some onion, celery, sage, rosemary, thyme, raisins, and either sausage or ground beef.  I kept it simpler this year and left out the raisins and meat, but it was still killer.  My husband's family says their favorite part of the menu is the ham, and the desserts.

2. Are you (did you) go Black Friday shopping ?
No Black Friday shopping for me!  I boycott the stores the day after Thanksgiving.  I especially will not go to a store that begins their sales on Thanksgiving evening.  Don't they get it?  Thanksgiving is a time of being with family and showing gratitude for what we have, not a time to be drooling over things we don't have and can't afford but we'll charge up the credit cards anyway.  If it were up to me, I'd eliminate Black Friday altogether.

 3. What are your strangest holiday traditions?
Strange, hmm.  Some of my decorating seems over the top to some people.  I decorate A LOT.  But I wouldn't call that strange.  I can't think of anything, probably because the stuff we do doesn't seem strange to us.

 4. Pecan or pumpkin pie? (She actually asked "Apple or pumpkin?" I just T-giving'ed it!)
This is a big debate with us.  I love all kinds of pies.  I think pumpkin pie should be a staple at any Thanksgiving meal.  We don't have it at ours, though, because no one else likes it.  My daughter is all about pecan pie, I am an apple pie lover (warm with a scoop of ice cream, yum!), and my son E is all about chocolate.  So we had pecan pie and chocolate cake yesterday, and there's chocolate cream pie and apple pie in the fridge for today.  I guess we can't ever have enough pie!  Thankfully my oldest son will pretty much eat anything.  I don't know where we'd put another dessert.

 5. When will you put up your Christmas tree?
Traditionally our Christmas tree goes up the day after Thanksgiving.  This year, however, we aren't home, so the tree will go up this coming week, Monday or Tuesday.  I love having the tree out as long as possible, and since it's a fake tree we don't have a problem with it drying out.  Looking forward to decorating it!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

What I'm Thankful For

A sweet friend of mine from church has been doing a daily post on Facebook on what she's thankful for using every letter of the alphabet.  I thought it was a great idea, but she got started at the beginning of the month and I was away.  I've entered a few thankful thoughts on her Facebook page but I thought I'd do something similar here.  Ya'll can do it as well if you have time, or just meditate on what you're thankful for today.  I feel like thankfulness makes our day much more pleasant.

A = my sweet daughter A.Y.
B = the BEAUTY of creation
D = His DEATH on the cross
E = the gift of ETERNAL life, and my son E.N.
H = HEAVEN - worth looking forward to!
I = He is the great I AM
K = KINDNESS He shows me everyday
L = LOVE - that's what it's all about
M = the MIRACLES He's performed in my life
N = NATIVITY - the true meaning of Christmas
P = the PEACE that surpasses all understanding
Q = the QUIET, still voice of God
R = my oldest son R.A.
S = His STRENGTH is made perfect in my weakness
U = the UNITED States of America, and UNCONDITIONAL love
V = VACATION time in Central Florida!
W = WHERE would I be without Jesus?!
X = the eXtraordinary women He's put in my life 
Y = the YUMMY food we get to eat all year, not just on Thanksgiving day
Z = ZION, where I will one day be with the Lord

May your Thanksgiving Day be filled with gratitude for all the blessings in your lives.

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all!  May the Lord bless you!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, November 22, 2011...

Outside my window...the sun is drying off all the rain from the past couple of days, and the weather is sweet and cool.  Perfect for giving Molly her bath.

I am thinking...of President Kennedy, who was assassinated this day 48 years ago.

I am thankful for...so much!  I've been thinking of all I have to be thankful for, and it's humbling.  God is so good, so generous, and so loving.  Thank You Lord Jesus, for all of my blessings.

I am going...to continue packing and preparing for my trip tomorrow.

I am wearing...a light blue top, blue and white prairie style skirt, and white flip-flops.  Last time I checked, it was 70 degrees out so I dress light.

I am noticing...how dark it gets.  By 6:00pm it's totally nighttime.

I am hoping...the weather holds up and we have a dry day tomorrow.  I hate driving in the rain.

I am pondering these words..."Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it." - William Arthur Ward.

I am praying for...a thankful Thanksgiving and a wonderful time with my children.

From the learning rooms...E gave his science project presentation yesterday, and it went well.  Tomorrow is a special day for 6th graders, sort of a field day with flag football and outdoor fun all day.  He's really looking forward to that.

From the kitchen...the standard for Tuesdays:  tilapia.

I am reading...still on The Frontiersman's Daughter.  I've only gotten about halfway through because with my daughter home and preparing for our trip I just haven't read as much as I like.  Of course I read my Bible everyday.

On my mind...the drive, which is 4 hours long, and the traffic, which I pray will be light.

Around the house...I'm gonna clean both bathrooms, give the floor a quick clean as well, and wash Molly's bedding.

One of my favorite things...Thanksgiving, and turkey!  With stuffing and mashed potatoes and gravy and corn and biscuits and....

Here's a picture thought I'm sharing...

This was in my neighbor's front yard on Saturday - a hawk!  And it had killed a pigeon (that's all the feathers around it) and was eating it.  When we got a little closer it flew away with the bird carcass.  What a sight that was!  My son E was especially thrilled to see this incredible bird.

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

Monday, November 21, 2011

Meet Me On Mondays

It's time for another Meet Me On Monday entry!  Let's thank Java at Never Growing Old for this fun meme.  Give it a try - you might just get hooked!

1. I wish I had more time to _________?
Pack!  We're leaving for Central Florida in 2 days, and I need to get everything done already!

2. What is your favorite kind of soup?
Right now, it's Italian lentil and pasta soup.  It's so hearty!

3. Where will you eat Thanksgiving dinner?
At my kid's apartment up in Central Florida.

 4. What is your favorite time of day?
Mornings.  I'm a morning person.  I have lots of energy in the mornings, so I can get lots of stuff done.

5. Did you start Christmas shopping yet?
Yes!  And I'm almost done too!  I always try to do my shopping early because I hate the crowded stores at Christmastime.  Folks forget the true meaning of Christmas, which is a shame. :(

Move It Mondays

Happy Monday folks!  I've accomplished much today.  My daughter went back to Central Florida this morning, but it wasn't as hard to say goodbye since E and I will be driving up on Wednesday to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with her and my oldest son R.  I've been packing and preparing, and doing a little Christmas shopping and wrapping too!  I think I'm back on track with my Christmas shopping.  There's a couple things I might still get, including the new Diary of a Wimpy Kid book for my son, but that'll wait till next week.

This week, as an early birthday present (since my youngest son, daughter and I all have birthdays in December), we'll be spending a day at Magic Kingdom enjoying the Christmas decorations!  I'm really looking forward to that!  We also hope to catch the new Muppet movie while we're there.  Many activities to enjoy!  In the meantime there's lots to finish up here.  This is my list to accomplish in the next couple of days:

*Finish packing
*Clean bathrooms
*One load of laundry
*Bathe Molly and wash all her doggy stuff (she's coming with us!)
*Return books to the library

Hope everyone has a productive week, and mostly a very wonderful Thanksgiving!  God bless you all!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Observing My Senses

For Today, November 19, 2011...

I am seeing...the sun start to go down on a nice day.  It didn't cool off as much as I'd hoped, but after a rain shower this morning the breeze picked up and it was nice in the shade.  The sun was blazing, though.

I am feeling...eager for it to be Thanksgiving so I can be in Central Florida with my kids.

I am hearing...Phineas and Ferb.  It's such a funny cartoon!

I am tasting...Little Caesar's pepperoni pizza.  We were in the area so we picked one up.

I am smelling...Crazy Sauce and Crazy Bread, courtesy of Little Caesar's.

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

Friday, November 18, 2011

Five Question Friday

It's a dreary looking Friday today.  The rains started yesterday and are to go on until later on this afternoon.  The good news is, rain always comes before a cold front, and our temperatures are supposed to get back down again.  This week has been hot and humid, with temps in the mid to upper 80's.  With this cold front we go back to the 70's which is much more appealing.

Here I go with my 5 questions for today.  If you want to join in, visit Mama M at My Little Life.

1. Do you have a go to song that always puts you in a good mood?
Praise and worship songs always get me in a good mood, but this time of year it's Christmas carols.  I mean, who can't smile while singing Jingle Bells or Frosty the Snowman?!

 2. Are you a real Christmas tree kinda person or do you go with a real fake one?
Due to my allergies we go with a fake tree that already has lights in it.  Less mess, faster to put together, and no sneezing and wheezing.

 3. What are you thankful for?
My relationship with Christ.  Three great kids.  Family and friends.  Church.  And the fact I'll be spending this Thanksgiving in Orlando this year.  Sometimes change is good.

 4. Which fashion fad from the past do you wish you could wear today?
The one fashion fad I hoped would come back were prairie style skirts - and they did!  Now I own 3 of them and there's nothing else I can think of that I'd like to see come back.

 5. Do you wait until the "low fuel" light comes on before you fill up the gas tank?
No.  I've always been told that is bad on the car's fuel injection system (whether that's true or not I don't know) so I wait till the tank is just under a quarter and get it filled up.  Thankfully this new Sonata is way more economical than my Montero Sport was.  I fuel up every 3 weeks now.  With the price of gas nowadays, that's a big blessing.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fall in South Florida

One of the reasons I love living in South Florida:  You can still plant flowers in November and enjoy their colors, fragrance, and beauty.  Don't you just love soaking in the majesty of God's creations, even if they're in a small flower pot?

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, November 16, 2011...

Outside my window...the weather is being deceptive.  It's mid-November, but it feels like mid-May.  The temps have gone up, and although the humidity is down from yesterday, it doesn't feel like fall anymore.  I want the cooler temps to come back!

I am thinking...about my little girl who is coming home today for the week.  Yay!  I'm so excited to see her, and praying for her safe arrival.

I am thankful for...Miss Sarah Josepha Hale.  She rallied the presidents for 17 years and worked for 40 years to have Thanksgiving declared a legal holiday.  Just goes to show how one person can make a huge difference if they persevere.

I am going...to do some quick cleaning around the house before my daughter gets home.

I am wearing...a black, tan and white top with a paisley print, black capris and brown flip-flops.  It's 76 degrees and sunny out.

I am noticing...the stores all decked out for the Christmas season.  Big Lots has tons of great stuff at really good prices.  I got E a little puzzle based on the movie Santa Claus is comin' to town.  It was one of my childhood favorites.

I am hoping...my daughter has a safe and uneventful trip home.  She's about 4 hours away.

I am pondering these words..."It's better to suffer for the cause of Christ than for the cause of Christ to suffer."

I am praying for...my daughter's best friend JB who went on a job interview this week.  Praying God's will for her, so she is in exactly the place He would have her to be.

From the learning rooms...E turned in his science project today.  Finally, it's done!  We've started our new character study today, sincerity vs. hypocrisy.  A good character quality to have.

From the kitchen...tilapia.  Yes, again.  We're eating more fish lately.

I am reading...The Frontiersman's Daughter.  I haven't had a chance to read too much, but so far it's pretty interesting.  And of course my Bible.  Today I was reading from Jude.

On my mind...Christmas, Thanksgiving, gift wrapping, food preparation, you know, the standard stuff for this time of the year.

Around the house...I need to vacuum again and basically just tidy up.  The house is pretty much in order.

One of my favorite things...Awana - that's tonight!

Here's a picture thought I'm sharing...me and my siblings.

That's my brother, myself, my sister and her husband.

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

Monday, November 14, 2011

Move It Mondays

Happy Monday folks!  It's a bit dreary out this morning, like someone turned off the sun because of it being Monday.  The weekend was gorgeous; sunny, cool, breezy, low humidity.  So pleasant to have the windows open and the breeze blowing in.  Today it's cloudy, a bit more humid, not very breezy, and we're expecting a high of about 83 degrees.  It's supposed to stay in the mid 80's all week till we get a cold front on Friday.  I'm a little bummed about it.  I really liked the weather this past week, but I'm thankful I'm not shoveling snow!

My daughter is coming home this week (yay!) so I'd like to get some stuff done around the house.  Actually, the house is looking pretty good.  This is what I have planned for today:

*Two loads of laundry
*Vacuum and mop floors
*Work on my daughter's Christmas present

I purchased something for my daughter which is only partially done.  It's gonna be very personal and hopefully something she really enjoys.  I won't say what it is, though, so it can be a surprise.  Don't you just love surprises?!

Hope everyone has a wonderful Monday, and a blessed week.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Observing My Senses

For Today, November 12, 2011...

I am seeing...another b-e-a-utiful South Florida morning.  It was 60 degrees when we got up this morning, and is probably only a few degrees higher now.  The breeze is crisp, the sun is shining, it's definitely fall - finally!

I am feeling...tired lately, thanks to Daylight Savings Time.  I'm dozing off in my chair at 8:30 at night.  I hope my body adjusts to this soon.  I'm up before the alarm clock goes off and asleep before the chickens. :P

I am hearing...my son play with his Beyblades.  They're like tops, but much more sophisticated than the ones we played with when I was a kid.

I am tasting...the coffee I had this morning.  In a little while I'll be tasting some yummy holiday tea.  I got Candy Cane Lane this week, which has a peppermint candy cane taste to it.  Scrumptious!  Or maybe I'll have some more gingerbread spice tea.  Both make it feel like the holidays.

I am smelling...the wonderful smells of fall in Florida.  Folks plant flowers, myself included, to keep the air smelling nice.  I got some purple petunias on my front porch that are so pretty, I like to catch a glimpse of them through the window.  Marigolds in my backyard planter also smell like fall to me.

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

Friday, November 11, 2011

Five Question Friday

Happy Veteran's Day Friday to all!  It's a gorgeous day here in South Florida.  A cold front is coming through, meaning our temps are down into the 60's.  Yeah, I know, some of you have had snow already.  Don't hate me.

E and I are gonna work on his science project today, but I thought we'd get some Friday questions in first.  If you're interested, visit Mama M at My Little Life to participate.

1. What's the last thing you spent too much money on?
Wow, that's a tough one, mainly because I'm so thrifty (or as my kids would say, cheap).  The only thing I spend too much money on is gas, and thankfully our new car is much more economical than the 6 cylinder Montero Sport I had before.  I can go three weeks without having to refuel.  That's a blessing.

2. What celeb chef would you want to make you dinner?
It's a toss between Miss Paula Deen and the Neely's.  The Neely's barbecue dishes look amazing, and Miss Paula Deen's desserts make my mouth water.  Perhaps I could have them both? ;)

3. Where do you hide things when visitors pop over or do you let them see the real deal?
I'm too OCD about my home's neatness to have to hide anything when folks come over.  Anything out of place makes me twitch.

4. Who is your oldest living family member?
That would be my mom's sister Carmen, who recently turned 95 and is in very good health despite her advanced age.  God bless her.

5. What is your favorite DQ treat and/or Sonic drink combo (ie: cherry vanilla Dr. Pepper)?
There isn't a Sonic near us so I haven't ever eaten at one (though there's one a couple blocks from my kid's apartment; maybe next time I'm up there), and DQ is for ice cream treats as far as I'm concerned.  Their blizzards are delish!  Too bad I'm lactose intolerant. :P

Happy Veteran's Day!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thursday Thoughts

The week has flown by.  This is what's going through my head right about now:

- Tomorrow is Veteran's Day.  It's not just another day off of school or work.  It's a day to be thankful for men and women who put their lives on the line for our freedom and protection.  Let's be thankful to these brave service folks.

- I had the privilege of teaching during Counsel Time at Awana yesterday.  God is so good to allow me to teach His precious children.

- Tomorrow we're gonna tackle that science project and hopefully be done with it.

- I've done very little Christmas shopping this year.  I'm usually more than half-way done by now.  I'm running late, but I'm still pretty organized (I think; I hope).

- I'm praying for Mrs. Michelle Duggar who is expecting her 20th child.  Her last pregnancy was very difficult due to pre-eclampsia, her baby was born extremely early, and a few months later she had to have her gall bladder removed.  That's a lot for a body to go through.  I pray she's healthy and strong so she can carry this new little life to full term.

- I'm also praying for the Maxwell's, who are going to be grandparents again - twice!  Their son Nathan and daughter-in-law Melanie especially need prayer.  Melanie has had 5 pregnancies, all have been challenging, and they are currently raising 2 beautiful little girls.  I'm praying this pregnancy will be a much easier one, that her body will respond well to treatment, and that they are blessed with a healthy baby.  The Maxwell's 2nd son Christopher and his wife Anna-Marie are expecting their first blessing.  What an exciting time for this family!

- My sister, brother and brother-in-law are still at Disney World.  I'm so glad they're having the time of their lives!

- I tried a recipe for Italian lentil and pasta soup today.  It is sooo delicious!  I had 2 bowls for lunch, and another for dinner.  It has no meat in it yet tastes meaty and hearty.  It's also very healthful - lentils have lots of iron and fiber.  I'm gonna have to make this more often.

It's been a long busy day/week, so I think I'll go relax for a bit.  After I clean up the kitchen. :P

Good night everyone!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Food ABC's

I found this on my sister's blog, which she got from here.  I figured it was worth a try.

A is for Apple. What is your favorite variety? 
 I love so many different types, but right now my favorites are gala apples. Tender and yummy!

 B is for Bread, regardless of nutrition, calories, or whole grains, what is your favorite type to have a nice big piece of?
I love multi-grain bread and French bread from Publix. Their bakery makes it so delicious, and in the mornings when it’s fresh out of the oven…mmmm. 

C is for Cereal, what is your favorite kind currently?
 Kelloggs Smart Start. It has 100% of the daily recommended iron, which I need because of my anemia, and it tastes really good with vanilla almond milk.

 D is for Doughnuts, you might not currently be eating them but what kind do you fancy?
 I’m happy with a plain cake donut, but right now Dunkin’ Donuts has pumpkin glazed cake donuts which are perfect for the season.

 E is for Eggs, how would you like yours prepared?
 Over-easy or scrambled. Or in an omelet, with lots of veggies and cheese.

 F is for Fat Free, what is your favorite fat free product?
 I’m not a fan of any fat-free foods. In my opinion, they’re not only fat-free, they’re flavor-free as well. I prefer to eat less of the real stuff than eat more of the tasteless variety.

 G is for Groceries, where do you purchase yours?
 I shop at our local Winn-Dixie for produce and meats because they have the freshest product at the most reasonable price. I shop for bulk items at Costco whenever possible, but with only 3 of us in the house now it’s not always the best choice. For the rest I shop at Walmart because it’s cheap. I like Publix because of the selections and the cleanliness of their stores, but their prices tend to be on the high end.

 H is for Hot Beverages, what is your favorite hot drink?
 I have to have my morning coffee everyday to avoid a caffeine headache. For the holidays there are some really nice herbal teas available; I got some gingerbread spice that is exceptional.

 I is for Ice Cream, pick a favorite flavor and add a fun topping.
 I love Haagen Daz vanilla swiss almond, and Blue Bell’s Homemade Vanilla. I don’t do toppings, though if I had to pick it would be sweetened condensed milk. Of course the calories would go through the roof which is why I avoid it.

 J is for Jams and Jellies, do you eat them, and if so what kind and flavor?
 I don’t eat jellies because most of them are made from berries which I’m allergic to, and the others are just too sweet. Grape is okay I guess. 

K is for Kashi, name your favorite Kashi product?
 I’ve never tried any of their products. They’re a bit too pricey for my taste.

L is for Lunch, what was yours today?
 Fried chicken tenders seasoned with Kirkland Organic No-Salt seasoning (which is amazing, by the way), Stove Top stuffing, corn and a salad. And a Butterfinger mini for dessert.

 M is for microwave, what is your favorite microwave meal/snack?
 Hot Pockets. The pepperoni pizza one. I don’t care for it, but my kids love them.

 N is for nutrients, do you like carbs, fats, or proteins best?
 I like my carbs. It’s true. Pasta, rice, breads, cereals, I love them. I’ve had to learn to eat them in moderation, of course, but that doesn’t change the reality of it. They are my comfort foods.

 O is for oil, what kind do you use?
 Olive oil, unless I’m baking, in which case I use corn oil.

 P is for protein, how do you get yours?
 Usually from red meat or fish. I have to have these because of my anemia, to boost my iron intake.

 Q is for Quaker, how do you like your oats?
 Sprinkled with cinnamon on top. I like plain oats myself. I’m not big on all the flavored stuff.

 R is for Roasting, what is your favorite thing to roast?
 Anything. Pork, ham, chicken, turkey, pot roast, veggies…I don’t think anything brings out the flavor of food more than roasting it.

 S is for Sandwich, what is your favorite kind?
 Turkey and swiss, with lots of lettuce, tomato, red onion, black olives, pickles, and Italian dressing.

T is for Travel, how do you handle eating while traveling?
 I usually eat light when we travel. I find if I’m running around doing stuff and I eat a heavy meal it drags me down. I prefer to eat a salad or a sandwich as opposed to a big meal.

 U is for Unique, what is one of your weirdest food combos?
 My oldest son and I like beef stew with a side of ranch dressing.

 V is for Vitamins, what kind do you take?
 One-A-Day Women’s vitamins and an Omega-3 supplement to help with my eyes which tend to be dry.

 W is for Wasabi, yay or nay?
 Yay, but not too heavy. I like spicy, not 5 alarm fire.

 X is for X-ray, what would we see in your stomach right now?
 My lunch (see l is for lunch above)

 Y is for Youth, what food reminds you of your childhood?
 Yellow rice with corn or Vienna sausages mixed in.

 Z is for Zucchini, how do you prepare it?
 In my Mexican style chicken and vegetable soup.

Obedience Vs. Willfulness

My son E and I have started doing a character study every 2 weeks to help us develop godly characters.  As his mom it's my responsibility to teach him; as a child of God it's my responsibility to make sure I'm doing the things I teach.  This first half of the month we are studying obedience, defined as, "Quickly and cheerfully carrying out the wise direction of those who are responsible for me."  In my son's case, it means obeying his parents.  In my case, it means obeying the Lord.

To help incorporate this character trait in my own life, I found these 5 principles to put in practice.

1 - I will obey my authorities immediately.
2 - I will have a cheerful attitude.
3 - I will complete all that I am expected to do.
4 - I will not complain.
5 - I will go the extra mile.

Admittedly, numbers 2 and 4 are the ones I struggle with most.  However, if I am to be the woman God has called me to be, and if I'm to be the mom who sets the right example, then it's something I'm going to strive to achieve.  Lord, help me!

A Special Wish

I want to wish my sister Laryssa and her husband E.D., who is the BEST brother-in-law in the whole world, a very Happy and Joyous 9th wedding anniversary!  They are currently at Magic Kingdom in Disney World celebrating this special day.  I love you guys, and I hope today is the Best Day Ever!!!

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, November 8, 2011...

Outside my window...it's starting to drizzle.  I hope we get some rain but not too much.  There were areas in South Florida that got flooding a couple weeks ago.  Wouldn't want to see that again.

I am thinking...about Michelle Duggar, and her announcement that they are expecting baby #20!  What great faith they have.  After having a preemie with so many complications, I wonder if I'd be ready to have another little one so soon, but they are trusting God and praising Him for this blessing.  I want a faith like that.

I am thankful...for the wonderful time I had with my siblings and my children this weekend.  So many old memories recalled, so many new memories made.

I am going...to clean another bathroom after this quick break.

I am wearing...a black blouse, grey skirt and flip-flops.  It's currently 75 degrees and cloudy out today.

I am noticing...how our dog Molly gets stomach issues anytime her schedule is changed, even slightly.  I have to take that into account whenever we plan anything.

I am hoping...the weather in Central Florida is nicer than here.  My brother, sister, and brother-in-law will be at the Disney parks all this week.  I really want them to have a great time.

I am pondering these words..."When you keep your eyes on Christ, everything will come into focus."

I am praying for...God's will to be done in my life.

From the learning rooms...we'll be preparing the project board for the science project this weekend.  I need to get pictures printed, and find some nice construction paper for decorating.

From the kitchen...it'll be tilapia today.  Something quick and simple, since there's still so much to do around the house.

I am reading...nothing yet.  I finished One Imperfect Christmas and loved it!  Now I'm charging my Nook to decide what I'll be reading next.

On my mind...Thanksgiving.  It's just a little over 2 weeks away.  Where has the time gone?!

Around the house...I did quite a bit yesterday.  Four loads of laundry, floors, kitchen, cleaned the rug Molly had her "accident" on (thankfully it cleaned really well and there's no sign of her mess), and now today I've cleaned one bathroom done and one more to go.  I also did a little work in the front yard, pulling weeds mostly, but it looks like the rain won't let me do much else outside.

One of my favorite things...Christmas carols.  I've got them playing right now.  As far as I'm concerned, it's never too early.

Here's a picture thought I'm sharing...my kids the day we arrived, playing video games.

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

Monday, November 7, 2011

Meet Me On Monday

Okay, I just posted that I was going to get moving on cleaning that rug, but I thought I'd answer some questions before I got started on that task.  No I'm not procrastinating!

1. Are you excited for the holidays or are you dreading them?
I'm excited because I get to be with family and because I get to decorate my house and watch Christmas movies and listen to Christmas music, but I also dread how commercialized Christmas has become and how the focus is on the presents and not on Jesus.  I hate how store clerks aren't allowed to say Merry Christmas and have to say Happy Holidays or Season's Greetings instead.  It takes some of the joy out of the season if you can't acknowledge the reason for it.

2. Do you hit the snooze button or get right up?
I get right up.  I'm a morning person.

3. Do you still have your tonsils?
Why yes, yes I do.

4. What was the last piece of candy that you ate?
A Twix candy bar from my son's Halloween stash.

5. Do you shop at thrift stores?
No.  There aren't many in my area.

Now it's your turn.  Hop on over to Java's blog, Never Growing Old, and let's meet this Monday.  Have a blessed weekn.

Move It Mondays

And what a Monday it's been!  I've been non-stop all day, getting caught up.  This weekend was spent with my sister, brother, and brother-in-law in Central Florida where we had a WONDERFUL time together!  I'm so thankful to God for bringing them here where we could make new memories as we remembered old ones.

Friday I took my son E to the doctor in the morning because he kept complaining of a sore throat and his nose was so stuffy he couldn't sleep.  I didn't want to get caught far from home with a sick little boy, so I decided to play it safe.  His pediatrician said it was nothing more than a bad cold, praise the Lord, and it gave us the opportunity to leave on our trip early.  I'm glad we did!  My siblings are staying at a hotel in DisneyWorld, a good 45 minutes from my kid's apartment.  We wouldn't have been able to spend as much time with them on Friday night if we'd left later in the afternoon.  Instead we got to eat dinner together in Downtown Disney, where we talked and laughed for hours!  I'd forgotten how much fun my brother and sister can be.  My kids got a big kick out of some of the stories we told too.

The next day we picked them up and brought them to the kid's apartment so they could see where their niece and nephew are living.  While we were there we played a couple of games of Apples to Apples (our favorite family board game), then went to dinner and a show at Medieval Times.  We had a blast!  While they are serving a dinner, which consisted of tomato bisque, garlic bread, half a roasted chicken, spare rib, herb baked potato and apple turnover, you get to watch a medieval story unfold.  The performance was amazing, and my brother really got into it!  He was cheering our knight on like it was for real!  I was so happy to see him enjoying himself so much.

Sunday we went bowling after church, something my daughter wanted to do because she's taking a bowling class in school and her uncle E.D. is a bowling aficionado, so she wanted to get a chance to show off her skills.  Their scores were tied!  It was great fun, but then E and I had to leave.  I hated saying goodbye, as did my little boy (he got all teary-eyed), but we were also very grateful for the time we spent together.

Unfortunately we got home to some unpleasant news.  Our dog Molly had an "accident" in the house.  This is something extremely out of the ordinary.  She'd only had one accident before, and it happens to be that both times she's had accidents it's been when we're in Central Florida and she's alone with someone.  I don't know if it's because she misses us, or if it's because her schedule gets disrupted.  Both times she went on the family room rug, and it was runny.  Dad had to clean up the mess, which he wasn't too happy about.  The rug is outside waiting to be super cleaned - that's my next task for today.  This is what I've accomplished so far:

* Unpacked and put away all our trip gear
* Vacuumed and mopped hallway, living room, dining room, kitchen and family room
* Washed and put away 4 loads of laundry
* Dusted in dining room and family room
* Cleaned up kitchen
* Moved a bench from the backyard to the front yard
* Made lunch/dinner
* Picked E up from school  

Now it's off to clean that rug, then help my son with his homework.  Very busy day, yes, but I have my happy memories to keep me smiling, and with Christmas music in the background (I know, I know; I start early) my chores aren't a burden at all.  Hope everyone has a pleasant Monday and rest of your week too!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Five Question Friday

Good Friday morning to everyone!  I'm getting an early start on our trip this morning.  My son kept complaining of a sore throat and stuffy nose, and since he'd had strep throat last month I was afraid we might be looking at a relapse.  So I took him to his pediatrician this morning, who examined him and found it was just a bad cold.  Since he's technically sick, I decided to keep him out of school today and get on the road earlier, missing the traffic later on.  But before I do, here's my attempt at Five Question Friday!

1. What movie do you love to quote?
I usually quote cartoons, actually.  Mostly Spongebob Squarepants.  I guess I watch more cartoons than movies, LOL!

2. Have you ever ridden a motorcycle?
Are you kidding?  I haven't even learned to ride a bike!

3. What's your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
Play a board game with my kids, or read a book snuggled in a comfy chair.

4. Do you prefer a bunch of small gifts, or one really big, (expensive) gift?
I think I like the bunch of small gifts better.  It's fun to open up something and be surprised.  The more opening, the more surprised, the more fun!

5. Do you ever lose track of days and show up somewhere wrong?
No, menopause hasn't caused that much brain damage yet, LOL!!

Now, hop on over to Mama M's at My Little Life for your own Five Question Friday.  Have a blessed weekend!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thursday Thoughts

Here's a peek into the thoughts roaming my head this Thursday afternoon.

 - I've begun packing for our trip tomorrow.  At least the clothes and shoes are packed, and the portable DVD player is being charged.  So many things have to be left for the last minute: toothbrushes, deodorant, hair care, etc.  That'll have to wait till tomorrow.

 - Another thing I have to do tomorrow: prepare Molly's food and label it.  Dad is staying with her, but since E and I are the ones that always feed her, Dad doesn't know when she eats or how much.  I'm just gonna make it as easy as possible.

 - My siblings will be staying at one of the Disney World resorts, so we get to spend some time with them there.  Disney is my favorite place in this world!  I can't wait to see my brother, sister, brother-in-law, and Mickey!

 - Of course, it means I have to drive.  I don't like driving.  I think that's why I haven't been able to sleep well the last few nights.  I wake up after a driving dream and can't get back to sleep.  I've made the trip before, I just don't enjoy driving, especially long distances.  This is about a 4 hour drive.

 - The weather has been spectacular here in South Florida ever since the rain stopped.  The temps are in the mid 70's to lower 80's, humidity is very low, and there's a cool breeze blowing.  I've been able to keep the windows open most days, enjoying the sweet smell of fall.  It's my favorite time of the year, except for the allergies.

 - Speaking of which, I had to buy my son Zyrtec for his allergies.  The poor boy was so stuffed up yesterday, and Sudafed just wasn't cutting it.  Praying this stronger medicine does the trick for him.

 - I measured my youngest child the other day, and was surprised to find he's passed the 5 foot mark.  He's 5 feet 1/2 inches tall.  He's turning 12 the end of next month, and is one of the taller boys in his class.  It's surprising because his daddy is only 5'4".  Of course the men in my family are much taller.  I wouldn't be surprised if E passed his older brother, who is 5'8".

 - Next Wednesday I have the privilege of teaching during counsel time at Awana.  I'll be teaching on obedience vs. willfulness from 1 Samuel chapter 15.  I'm so looking forward to it!

 - I was trying to do a graph for E's science project on Microsoft Works.  (I have an old computer, okay?)  I prepared the information for Samples A-G, but I couldn't get the graph to include Sample G.  Come to find out, the graph only allows for 6 entries and I have 7.  Either I have to find another graph program or this will have to be done by hand.  Ugh!

Hmm, it's passed 4:30 now.  Time to warm up dinner, then help my son with his homework.  Have a blessed rest of your week!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, November 2, 2011...

Outside my window...the sun has appeared after many days of rain and clouds.  The breeze is cool, and the day is gorgeous.

I am thinking...about my upcoming trip to see my brother, sister, and brother-in-law in Central Florida.  We're so excited!

I am thankful...for my son feeling better this morning.  He had a slight fever and headache yesterday when I picked him up from school.  We've been praying, and thankfully his body seems to be fighting off whatever it is.

I am going...to get organized around here.  I'm gonna have to start packing soon.

I am wearing...a teal top, teal/brown/white skirt, and tan flip-flops.  That's the beauty of living in South Florida.  Flip-flops all year long.

I am noticing...that cooler temps are arriving sooner than usual this year, not just here but in the rest of the country.  A cold winter in South Florida is a good thing.  The cooler the water gets, the less hurricanes next year.

I am hoping...my siblings have a good time at DisneyWorld.

I am pondering these words..."A successful person is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him." - David Brinkley.

I am praying for...a safe drive up to Central Florida with no rain, a fun time with my family, and my youngest child to continue to feel better.

From the learning rooms...I'm looking forward to the science project to be over and done with!  We finished the actual experiment.  Only the raw lentils grew; the rest became moldy and stinky.  Now it's just finishing up paperwork and preparing the board.

From the kitchen...ground beef and rice.  My family's favorite meal.

I am reading...another free Nook Book, One Imperfect Christmas.  If you have a Nook, download this heartwarming story.

On my mind...the drive up to Central Florida.  We're a good 3 1/2 to 4 hours away.  I hate driving, but I'll do what it takes to be with my siblings and my kids.

Around the house...I gave Molly her bath yesterday.  Twice.  After giving her a good scrubbing, I left her outside while I cleaned up her bed and vacuumed the room.  She decided to dig a hole in the dirt to lay in.  :P  I got most of the floors cleaned.  Today I've gotta get a load or two of laundry and finish the floors.

One of my favorite things...a cool breeze coming through open windows.

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


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Words That Inspire Me

“But now, this is what the LORD says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” (Isaiah 43:1–2)