Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 - Reflections of a Year Gone By

I've thought about this post and run it through my mind a hundred times.  Reliving some of 2011 is difficult and painful.  It's been a year of ups and downs, with downs dominating much of the time.  There have been times when I thought I was Job, getting hit with bad news at every turn.  Still, I have seen the hand of God in my life, even in the worst moments, when I thought I'd reached the end of my rope.  There were plenty of times when I thought I'd write about it on my blog, but then I'd sit at my computer, and I couldn't.  I wasn't ready to.  Now, as a new year is ready to begin, it's time to record the year's events so that I can look back and be reminded of God's faithfulness and His promise to never leave me nor forsake me. (Hebrews 13:5)

 - We refinanced our house in January.  Let me back track a bit.  We looked into selling our house to an interested party back in October 2010, with the intention of moving to Central Florida where our daughter was in school and our oldest son was considering moving to because there are more job opportunities.  The deal fell through, but my husband decided we should refinance our current home, take some of the cash out of our equity, and use it to buy a new house.  With the savings we already had we could buy a house free and clear and rent out the house in South Florida.  I didn't like the idea of refinancing our house and increasing our debt, but my husband had already decided he didn't want to sell our current house, and with it being rented out it would be paid for, which meant it was an investment.

 - I spent a few days in Central Florida in February, where we found a couple of houses we liked.  One was a foreclosure, the other a short sale.  This is very common right now due to the economy.  We decided to put in an offer on the foreclosure home, but were outbid.  We then put in an offer on the short sale home, and our offer was accepted by the seller.  We were on our way.

 - Several months later, after packing up our house and waiting patiently for an answer, we found out the house we were trying to buy had 3 investors that couldn't come to an agreement on the cost of the house.  We continued looking at and bidding on houses, but were outbid each time.  By May it was clear to me this was not the direction God wanted us to take.  My husband, on the other hand, was trying to find any possible way for me and the kids to move.  I say me and the kids, because he'd decided he wasn't going to move up with us.  His job had originally been sending him regularly to Central Florida to work, and it was the reason we were looking there in the first place.  Now he was telling me he wasn't going to be traveling up for work very often, nor did he want to.  He intended on renting the South Florida house to his sister and living in it with her.  I argued repeatedly that we wouldn't be able to afford what he wanted to do, but he would get angry and start yelling, so I dropped the subject and left it in God's hands.  I knew if He wanted it to happen it would, and if He didn't, no matter what we did it simply wouldn't work out.

 - My daughter's lease on her apartment would be over in July, and with no other prospects I told my husband I was going to find another apartment for her.  My oldest son would be moving up with her.  I cried bitterly at the thought that both my children would be leaving, but I accepted it and did what I could to help them with their move.  We found an apartment just 15 minutes from the university, with plenty of room for both of them and very affordable.  We would be back to help them move in and get settled.

 - June, July and August were a blur, with us traveling back and forth from South Florida to Central Florida and back. It was a difficult time for me, trying to keep my youngest son busy and entertained, helping the older kids get everything they needed for their new place, and dealing with a cranky husband.  It was during this time that I discovered why my husband was so intent on us moving to Central Florida at any cost.  He was having an affair.  If that wasn't enough, when I confronted him about it, he acted as though I was making a big deal over it.  He never showed any remorse nor made any attempt to fix the marriage.  I was devastated.

 - Thankfully God has placed people in my life that love me, pray for me, and help me in those moments when my world seems to be falling apart.  I sat with my pastor and his wife, and told them what was going on.  Pastor Frank gave me biblical advise, but he didn't stop there.  He gave me two phone numbers: one for a lawyer (a Christian one in our church), and a counseling center.  It was overwhelming at the time, but I'm so glad he gave me those numbers, and thankful the Holy Spirit gave me the strength to call.

 - I spoke with the lawyer to get legal advise.  I just wanted to know what my rights are and what the law in Florida states.  It took longer before I made the appointment to see the counselor.  By the time I got in to see her, I was an emotional mess.  I was being filled up with anger, bitterness, confusion and distress.  Through counseling I was able to deal with the emotions I was feeling, It was helpful to understand I was grieving what was clearly the end of my marriage.  My husband was unrepentant and unwilling to make any changes, and I was unwilling to continue living this way.  There was no longer any trust, and after all the emotional and mental abuse I'd been put through I knew it was time to put an end to it.

 - It took a couple of months but Thanksgiving weekend, while I was in Central Florida with my children, my husband moved out.  Even though I knew it was coming, it didn't make it any easier.  It was especially hard to have to explain to my youngest son that his father no longer lived at home.  He knew we'd been arguing, and he was aware Mommy wasn't sleeping in the same room as Daddy, but it still caught him by surprise.  Again, the Lord has been with me, and my son has been dealing with the situation much better than I'd expected.  And although I've cried more tears in the past 6 months than I have in the past 6 years, the Lord has given me peace.

 - I was settling in to the idea of being a single mom.  I'd decorated the house for Christmas and made plans for the month.  I went to bed the night before my birthday feeling pretty good.  Then, at 10:30pm, just an hour and a half before my birthday, my daughter woke me to say my sister had called her.  They were taking my mother to the hospital with chest pains.  I was in a daze.  I told my daughter we needed to pray, though it was probably nothing.

 - I woke up several times during the night and prayed.  Then in the morning I texted my sister to see what was going on,  I was sure mom had gas or something simple like that.  Instead I was shocked to find my mother had had a mild heart attack.  As the week progressed, we found out my mom had complete blockage in one artery and partial blockage in 2 more.  Before we had a chance to react Mom was scheduled for open heart surgery.  I was so far away, unable to be with her, wondering how a 74 year old woman would handle such delicate surgery, and wondering what else could possibly happen?  But again, the Lord was with us, and Mom is back home after a triple bypass.

During this time, I've learned more and more to lean on the Lord.  Yes, there are times when I'm sad and depressed.  There are moments of despair as I'm overwhelmed with all that has happened in a short amount of time.  Yet I remember Job, who lost everything, including his children, in a matter of minutes, and still he never spoke against the Lord nor sinned with his words.  The Lord blessed Job with double of everything he'd originally had because he was faithful.  The Lord has already done so much for me, I have no doubt He will continue to walk with me through this ordeal.  There will be difficult moments in my life in 2012, but I also believe God will bring blessings to me and my family this year because He is good.

"Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!"

 -Psalm 34:8

Observing My Senses

For Today, New Year's Eve, December 31, 2011...

I am seeing...the sun shining brightly as another beautiful South Florida day begins.

I am feeling...thankful for all God has done for me and my family, thankful to see 2011 end, and hopeful 2012 will bring many new challenges and adventures.

I am hearing...cartoons.  My son just woke up.

I am tasting...a whole wheat pita with hummus.

I am morning cup of coffee.

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

Friday, December 30, 2011

A Quick Prayer

Five Question Friday

Well, Christmas 2011 is gone, and today is New Year's Adam (because we all know Adam came before Eve).  Sunday sees the start of 2012, and I'm looking forward to it.  2011 was a difficult year for me, as I'll be posting about when I can.  I'm hoping for much better in 2012.  In the meantime, how about some trivia?  Visit Mama M at My Little Life to take part in the fun.

1. What's the oldest piece of clothing in your closet?
A pair of black slacks that I've had forever but still fit.

2. How many random blog readers have you met?
I've actually never met any of my random blog readers.  None live in my area.

3. Do you let your kids stay up till midnight on New Years Eve? (Or, if you don't have kiddos yet, did you get to stay up until midnight as a child?)
Yes, if they're willing to stay awake.  I don't force them to, though.  I have trouble staying awake myself.

4. What are the gas prices where you live?
Last time I filled up the tank it was $3.16/gallon.  Better than it was all summer, but still too high IMO.

5. What is one resolution that you know you should do but are too afraid to try?
I don't do the resolution thing.  I try to have realistic goals, but I don't wait till New Year's day to start on them.  Now, is there something I should do but I don't?  Probably try to turn my blog into more of a career. I know it's possible, but I'm unsure if that's the direction to go in, hence my fear.  Let's see what happens in the next few months.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, December 27, 2011...

Outside my's dark, there's a breeze but it's still very warm.  Too warm, IMO.

I am thinking...about the birth of my two youngest children, 22 and 12 years ago.  What a blessing to have these 2 children in my life.  Happy birthday to my daughter A and my son E.

I am thankful mother who is recovering from open heart surgery at home, my kids who share a birthday today, my oldest son who was able to drive down and spend Christmas with us, my cousin who invited us to spend Christmas Eve with her and her friends and my aunt and uncle.  Life is not perfect, but there is still so much to be thankful for.

I am bed soon.  It's almost 9pm.

I am wearing...a yellow tank top, jean skirt and flip-flops.

I am grown up my son looks at 12 years old.  He's still my baby, though.

I am praying...for the Lord's guidance, so that I don't make decisions based on my wants but on my needs.

I am daughter and son have enjoyed and continue to enjoy their birthday.

I am pondering these words..."Thank the Lord when trouble comes, His love and grace expressing; Grateful praise releases faith, turns trials into blessing." - Egner.

From the learning rooms...still no school, till next week.

From the kitchen...since it was the my kid's birthday, they got to choose where we would eat.  They agreed to have Cracker Barrel which we love.  The meatloaf was out of this world!  E asked for an ice cream cake this year, so we had an Oreo cake.  Yumm-o!

I am reading...The Vigilante's Bride whenever I get a chance.  My kids take up all my time and attention.  And that's just fine with me.

On my oldest son who will be driving back to Central Florida tomorrow.  I miss him already.

One of my favorite things...the joy and laughter on Christmas morning.

A few plans for the rest of the son will be leaving tomorrow, which makes me sad.  Thankfully I still have my daughter and youngest son to keep me company.  I have to go to Kohl's this week - I have $30 in Kohl's cash that I don't want to expire.  The year will end on Saturday, but we currently have no plans.  If we stay home, that's fine.

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

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, December 20, 2011...

Outside my window...darkness, except for the Christmas lights.  This time of year is so pretty!

I am thinking...about how the internet was so unimportant to me 15 years ago and is so necessary now.

I am thankful...that our internet service is up and running again.  Someone was fixing something and knocked our service out.  We felt so disconnected!

I am bed in a little while, but first I think I'll watch a Christmas cartoon.

I am pj's.  It's almost 8:30 at night, I've already showered and can relax now.

I am noticing...the weather is drier and the breezes are nice, but it's not as cold as other years.  I wish we'd get some 50 degree weather.

I am praying...for my mom.  Her heart surgery is scheduled for tomorrow morning.  Praying for her, the doctors, my siblings, and for us.

I am mother's surgery goes without a hitch and with no complications.

I am pondering these words..."Jesus offers us peace and rest.  No matter how difficult our life may be, God asks us to come unto Him, for He will carry our every burden, our every stress, our every anxiety."  - Kristy-Lee Lawley, Light (devotional)

From the learning rooms...we are on break, and enjoying it immensely!

From the kitchen...we had beef empanadas (patties) which my kids love.  We also baked a couple of cakes for our neighbors.  Yesterday I baked 2 and delivered them.  Today I baked 2 more but only delivered one.  The neighbors weren't home.  Hopefully we'll see them tomorrow.

I am reading...The Vigilante's Bride.  Just started it today.  And of course my Bible.

On my mind...there can't be anything on my mind other than my mom's surgery right now.

One of my favorite things...the comfort I find in Scripture.

A few plans for the rest of the week...we'd like to go bowling tomorrow, since my daughter got a coupon for a free game :).  We have tickets to our old church's Friday night service.  Saturday we're going to spend Christmas Eve with my aunt, uncle, and cousin.  Sunday is Christmas of course!  There's a Christmas Day service as well that we will attend, because it would be silly to celebrate Jesus' birthday but not go to visit with Him!

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

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Observing My Senses

For today, December 17, 2011...

I am seeing...a blue sky and palm trees swaying in the breeze.

I am feeling...sadness, because my mother will require bypass surgery and she is very upset over it.  Terrified, actually.  We are praying fervently.

I am daughter singing praise songs.  It helps to praise the Lord in these circumstances.

I am tasting...nothing right now.  Had a bagel thin sandwich, just salami and mayo.  Not too much of an appetite.

I am smelling...cupcakes that just came out of the oven.  Taking some to my son's Sunday school class tomorrow.

It just takes a moment to observe your surroundings.  Wont' you join me?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday Four Fill-In

I was invited by Hilary over at Feeling Beachie to join in on this Friday meme.  Let's see how well I do!

1. ____ is my ideal winter night.
Cuddled up with a book and some tea

2. I don’t remember the last time I ___ but, I really want to.
Had a manicure and pedicure

3. I will never turn down __________
A free meal!

4. To save money I like to ____________
Check the weekly circulars, then prepare a menu for the following week and purchase only the items needed for that menu.

Five Question Friday

Happy Friday!  I'm counting down the days till Christmas (it's 9, if you haven't noticed) and it gets more and more exciting!  So in honor of this special season, let's answer some Friday questions courtesy of Mama M at My Little Life.

 1. What's the best Christmas present you've ever received?
I've gotten some really nice stuff over the years, but I have to say the one I've enjoyed most, even though I didn't ever think I would, was the Nook I got from my sister last year.  I was sure I would never use an e-reader because I like holding a book in my hand and turning pages and turning back to pages I'd read, etc.  Let me tell you, once that Nook was in my hand I got accustomed to it REAL fast!  I absolutely love it now!

 2. Worst/Funniest White Elephant gift ever received?
Funniest - I got a make-up kit from my husband's cousin, the same one I'd given her when she graduated high school one year earlier.  I recognized it immediately.  Didn't mention it to her of course.  Why let everyone in the family know I'd been re-gifted something worth $60?

 3. Is your Christmas tree plain and simple (white lights and matching ornaments) or is it wild and crazy (colored lights with lots of ornaments collected over the years)?
My tree is wild and crazy.  There are white and multi-colored lights and so many different fun ornaments it takes a good while just standing there looking them over.  Many of them are funny, like the Santa dressed in Bermuda shorts (this is Florida, after all).  Others are sentimental, like the ones my children made.  And others are inspirational, such as the nativities.  It's a diverse tree, just like God's family.

 4. "How" do you iron your clothes? The old fashioned iron/ironing board way, the shower, back in the dryer, etc.
I use the iron and ironing board.  I guess I can't get away from the old-fashioned way of doing certain things.

 5. How much baking do you do for Christmas and what are your "must make" items? (I'm looking for recipes here, peeps...)
I like to give my neighbors bundt cakes for Christmas.  I use Duncan Hines cake mixes but I jazz them up to make them special.  I have 6 that I'll be baking for them this week, plus cupcakes for friends and church.  I also baked chocolate chip oatmeal cookies which we all love.  I'd bake more, but I end up eating a lot of it if I do, and let's be honest, I don't need the extra calories.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, December 15, 2011...

Outside my's cloudy and overcast, but not humid.  It's breezy too.  It almost feels like fall.

I am thinking...about my mom, who is in the hospital.  She had a mild heart attack.  They're running tests to see what the appropriate treatment is.  At age 74, it's a longer recovery if she were to need surgery.  We're praying that won't have to happen.

I am thankful...for another year lived.  Yesterday I turned 48 years old.  Somedays I feel 84 ;).  Other days I feel 24.  I'm just grateful to the Lord I've lived this long.

I am watch Prep and Landing, the Disney Christmas DVD my oldest son R gave me for my birthday.  He also gave me a Muppet Christmas CD.  He knows his mama so well. :)

I am wearing...a yellow tank top under a yellow short-sleeve hoodie, jean skirt and flip-flops.  It's about 73 degrees out today.

I am nice my hair looks after a nice cut.  My ends were so damaged I looked like I was wearing a cheap wig.  It looks so healthy and pretty now.

I am praying...for healing for my mom, and for a dear friend's grandfather who is also in the hospital and not doing too well.

I am hoping...this time in the hospital will be a time of spiritual reflection for my mom.

I am pondering these words..."What makes humility so desirable is the marvelous thing it does to us; it creates in us a capacity for the closest possible intimacy with God." - Monica Baldwin.

From the learning rooms...tomorrow is the last day of school, then E is off till January 2.  He is so excited!  They had career day at school yesterday, and he enjoyed learning about different careers.  He especially was impressed with the police officers and karate teachers.

From the daughter is making chicken and dumplings in the crock pot.  Mama gets a vacation from the kitchen again!  Yesterday, for my birthday, we had dinner at Cracker Barrel.  Oh, was that yummy!  Now I'll need to go on a diet again. ;)

I am devotional and my Bible.

On my mom, of course.  She lives in NY and I live in Florida.  I wish I could be there to help my sister out.

One of my favorite things...Christmas cartoons.  Whether it's new ones like Prep and Landing, or the old classics like the Grinch or Charlie Brown, I just love feeling like a little kid when I watch them.

Here's a picture thought I'm sharing...
My little girl, and...

My boys.

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

Monday, December 12, 2011

Meet Me On Mondays

It's time for my weekly Meet Me On Mondays post!  Brought to us by Java at Never Growing Old.  Why don't you join us and make your Monday a bit more fun?

1. Tomorrow I'm going to _________?
Clean bathrooms.  Not very inspiring, I know, but guess what?  Everyone's always happy that it gets done.

2. Pudding or Jello?
Pudding.  Chocolate or coconut are especially delicious.

3. What book are you currently reading?
Just my Bible, and a small devotional called Light.  I've kept busy with Christmas activities and haven't opened my Nook in a while.

4. What is the first concert you went to see?
It was a Jose Jose concert in NYC, at Radio City Music Hall.  Jose Jose is a Mexican ballad singer.

5. What is your current weather?
It's probably about 77 degrees under cloudy skies.  We got some rain a couple of hours ago, and it looks like we're not done yet.

Move It Mondays

Happy Monday folks!  It's a rainy Monday here in South Florida, which reminds me of that song, Rainy Days and Mondays always get me down, only I'm not going to let the rain get me down.  I'm thankful for Mondays, because they are a day like any other if we have the right attitude.

Yesterday we went to our church's Christmas pageant, where lots of singing went on and we were reminded of the true reason for Christmas: celebrating the birth of our Savior.  I'm super thankful to our Lord for leaving His place in heaven to come to earth and die for me.  It gives me reason to live a life of gratitude.

I don't have a lot planned for this Monday.  I finished the laundry and I'm caught up today (yay!), and I vacuumed this morning only to have our dearest Molly come through and leave more doggy hair everywhere.  Oh well, we love her anyways.  I made Southwestern chicken soup today, though not to warm us up.  It's in the upper 70's here and will continue to be the rest of this week.  I just thought soup was perfect for a rainy day, and we all love it so much!

My daughter and I watched Elf a little while ago, and we're gonna watch another Christmas movie's Christmastime!  Hope ya'll have a blessed week of remembering the reason for the season.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Observing My Senses

For Today, December 10, 2011...

I am seeing...clouds covering the skies.  More rain expected for today and maybe tomorrow.  Too bad the temps are still in the 70's and low 80's.  I'd like them to go down for Christmas.

I am at having my daughter home, and sadness that my oldest son isn't here.  Hopefully he will be home for Christmas.  I don't think I could handle Christmas without all my babies near.

I am youngest son and daughter talking.

I am tasting...pancakes and syrup.  My son E insisted I make them for "his sister".  Sure, no problem.

I am smelling...breakfast scents.  My favorite meal of the day.

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

Five Question Friday

Well howdy folks!  Yes, I know, it's Saturday.  Ya'll know I've done this before, posted a day late.  Yesterday I enjoyed shopping and gift wrapping with my daughter who got home from college Thursday afternoon.  I can't begin to explain how thrilling it is to have my baby girl here!  I forget about everything else when my chickies are nearby.  But I will answer my Friday questions, even if it is out of schedule.  Have a blessed weekend everyone!  And if you want to join in, visit Mama M at My Little Life.

1. What is your favorite Christmas cookie?
Tough question for a cookie lover like me!  I love anything that has chocolate in it, hence my favorite would be chocolate chip or chocolate frosted or just plain chocolate cookies!  Italian cookies are also divine and very Christmas-y.  Great, now I want to start baking!

2. What's your favorite holiday movie & why?
Oh man, another tough one!  I love Christmas movies!  My favorite?  Let's see, I love the original Miracle on 34th Street because in my book, it's kicks off the Christmas season.  I love The Christmas Story because it makes me laugh (Ralphie!!).  Christmas Vacation is another one that has me in stitches no matter how many times I watch it.  But the one that really tugs at my heartstrings is the Charlie Brown Christmas Special.  "That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."  Yes Linus, yes it is.

3. Is there a gift that you bought for your kids that you wish you hadn't after they opened it?
I can't recall anything that they haven't enjoyed at the moment.  Of course there's always stuff they get that they absolutely HAD to have that gets thrown to the wayside just hours after opening it :P.

4. What is the messiest room in your house right at this moment?
The garage.  There's boxes on top of the pool table from stuff we received from Amazon and ThinkGeek.  I'll need to go out there and get that organized.

5. What is the furthest you have driven for the holidays?
Central Florida.  It's a 4 hour drive that is definitely worth it.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, December 6, 2011...

Outside my window...the weather is totally opposite from the rest of the country.  It was 71 degrees this morning, and it's probably about 77 now.  Everyone else is getting cold weather but us.

I am thinking...about Christmas being more than just decorations and presents.

I am daughter is almost done with this semester.  She's finishing up her final exams and is due home Thursday.  Yay!

I am pick up my youngest son from school in a few minutes.

I am wearing...a yellow short sleeved hoodie, jean skirt and gold-toned sandals.

I am pretty a house can look with less decorations.  It doesn't take much to bring a house to life at Christmastime, just lots of love.

I am oldest son gets lots of days off this Christmas so he can spend more time at home.

I am pondering these words..."The coming of the Christ child is not a quiet, intimate event; it is a bold action by God to rescue His lost children from the enemy." - Light, a 4 week Advent devotional.

I am praying for...a deeper and closer relationship with God.

From the learning rooms...haiku.  Japanese poetry.  I am not a fan of poetry. :P

From the tacos!  Oh, I love those so much!

I am reading...nothing other than my devotional and my Bible for now.

On my aunt and uncle.  I'd like to spend Christmas with them for a change.

One of my favorite things...baked goods at Christmastime.

A few plans for the rest of the week...Awana on Wednesday, my daughter comes home on Thursday, maybe a trip to the mall on Friday?  Not to shop, just to walk around and spend time with my little girl.

Here's a picture thought I'm sharing...our Christmas tree.

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

Monday, December 5, 2011

Meet Me On Monday

Happy Monday!  I'd love to meet and get to know you, and for you to get to know me.  Here's a way to get started:  visit Java at Never Growing Old and join in on this fun meme.  Have a great week!

1. Monday's are _________?
Blessed!  Just like every other day of the week.  It's not the day that's bad, it's our attitude.  Let's be thankful for each and every day!

2. What is your favorite kind of milkshake?
Vanilla.  Or something with peppermint.  But mostly vanilla.

3. What monthly bill do you most dislike paying?
The cell phone bill.  Seems like Sprint has trouble making their bills easy to understand.

 4. How many email addresses do you use on a regular basis?
Just one.  I don't have a need for more than that.

5. What color lights are on your Christmas Tree?
I have strands of multicolored and clear.  The multicolored give it a festive look, and the clear make it bright.  I love the combo!

Move It Monday

Wow, it's the first Monday in December!  This year has gone by in a flash.  Preparing for Christmas when I can still taste the Thanksgiving turkey has kept me busy, but I'm thankful that I have the energy to do it!  Here's what I accomplished today:

*Wiped down bathroom
*Vacuumed and mopped 3 bedrooms
*Vacuumed and mopped hallway, living room, dining room
*Vacuumed and mopped family room, moved some furniture
*Cleaned kitchen, mopped
*Made beef empanadas
*Went to library with E to return and take out books

The decorating is done.  I got new icicle lights for the outside of the house.  They're multi-colored instead of the standard white ones.  It was my kid's idea, and a great one - I like the look!  I kept the decorating much simpler this year.  I want the focus to be Christ and His perfect gift instead of whether I have enough ornaments on the tree.

Have a blessed week everyone!  Jesus is the Reason for the Season!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Observing My Senses

For Today, December 3, 2011...

I am seeing...the sun stream through the window this bright Saturday morning.  It's a cool 73 degrees out and the wind is blowing, keeping the house comfortable.

I am feeling...hungry.  Good thing I'm also having breakfast. ;)

I am hearing...Star Wars: The Clone Wars.  A cartoon my son enjoys.

I am tasting...pancakes and bacon.  Oh so yummy!  It made my son very happy too.  It's his favorite breakfast.

I am smelling...the clean fresh air coming in the windows, Log Cabin syrup on my pancake, and my morning coffee.  I love the smells of home.

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

Friday, December 2, 2011

Five Question Friday

Hi folks!  It's been a busy week of decorating and tree trimming and exterior light installing to get ready for Christmas, and I haven't been on my blog as often as I like.  Oh, but my house is looking so pretty!  I love this time of year.  I love decorating at any time, but Christmas is so special!  Still, I knew I had to take a few minutes to post my Friday Five.  You can too - just hop on over to Mama M's at My Little Life to join in the fun.

1. What is your favorite Christmas decoration in your house?
Wow, that's a tough question.  See, I sold Christmas decorations through House of Lloyd for several years, then through Kingdom Treasures a couple more years, so I have decorations galore.  So many of them have special meaning, it's hard to pick a favorite.  Two come to mind that are particularly special:  a Nativity scene that I got for a party I did which is stunning, and the Lloyds, a ceramic family of rabbits all decked out for Christmas.  There's Grandma Flo, Grandpa Lloyd, Floyd and Flossie, and their kids Hip and Hop.  Of course I have about 7 Nativities in different sizes, Santas by the dozens, snowmen, polar bears, and my all time favorites, penguins.  I'm telling you, I love decorating for Christmas!

 2. Do you finish your Christmas shopping early or are you a last minute type?
I try to finish as early as possible.  Nothing is more annoying to me than to try and shop during the Christmas holiday.  The stores are packed, customers are rushed and tired and oftentimes nasty, sales clerks are exhausted and's not what I like to call the Christmas spirit.

 3. When do you turn on your heat?
When it gets cold ;).  And here in South Florida, that'll happen a couple days in January.  I think the longest we've ever had the heat on has been 5 nights straight.  Definitely not more than a couple weeks during the entire winter.

 4. Do you ever wish your blog was private?
There have been times, when I read of folks who steal information from a blog to post it as their own on another blog.  I've never had an issue though, thank the Lord, so I've chosen not to go private.  I enjoy reading other people's blogs; it seems only fair to let them read mine.

 5. Do you put your deodorant on before of after you put on your shirt?
After.  Even the "invisible" ones can leave a stain if the deodorant isn't completely dry before getting dressed.  I figure I'm better protected this way.

Have a blessed weekend!