Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, July 31, 2012...

Outside my window...is another bright shiny South Florida morning, no breeze whatsoever so it's probably hot and humid again.

I am thinking...about August, and hurricane season, and storms starting to brew in the Atlantic and Caribbean.

I am thankful for...my God who calms the storms.

I am going...to the movies this morning to see Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for free.

I am wearing...a blue polka dotted top, jean capris and black flip-flops.  It's 81 degrees out, with 74% humidity and 73% dewpoint.  Yeah, it's pretty hot out there.

In the kitchen...bacon and eggs for breakfast, meatloaf patties with mashed potatoes later on :)

I am creating...a menu for next week.  I'll have to go grocery shopping tomorrow because Molly is almost out of food.

I am wondering...if my daughter will hear from the orphanage today.  We know they've been calling her references, and I'm so thankful to our friends and pastors for giving her glowing recommendations.  Hopefully she'll get a call soon.

I am reading...well, I tried to pick up a Nook book I'd started reading some months before, but I just can't seem to get into it.  I think that one's a dud.  Time to start a new book.

I am hoping...August is storm free so we can do some fun summer stuff before school starts.

I am looking forward to...autumn, and less humidity.

I am learning...more from God's Word everyday.

Around the house...I need to finish folding laundry, and even though I vacuumed yesterday there's dog hair all over the place again :P.  The bathrooms need cleaning also.

A favorite quote for the day..."The remedy for discouragement is the Word of God. When you feed your heart and mind with its truth, you regain your perspective and find renewed strength." - Warren Wiersbe.

One of my favorite things...lemonade from Chick-fil-A.  Fresh squeezed, not the powder stuff.  So good!!

A few plans for the rest of the week...we have a worship night at church tomorrow, and after that I don't have anything planned.  I have to keep to the budget which means hold off on spending till next week.

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

Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Quiz About Me

Good morning, and welcome to Monday Quiz About Me.  In this blog hop we are offered 4 questions to answer, then given the option to ask a 5th question to be answered here on my blog.  I like the concept of making this personal!  To join in, visit Heather at Acting Balanced.

1. What is your favorite Olympic sport?
Figure skating during the Winter Olympics, gymnastics during Summer Olympics.

2. What is the healthiest meal you've eaten this week?
London broil cooked in my trusty crock pot.  With onions and rice.

3. What is the unhealthiest meal you've eaten this week?
Probably that frozen pizza we had for lunch yesterday.

4. What jewelry do you wear every day?
I have one silver bracelet that I typically don't take off because it's hard to put back on again.  Other than that, the jewelry comes off as soon as I walk in the door.

And my 5th question is:

5.  What are you having for breakfast today?
I'm having oatmeal, made with almond milk and a dash of ground cinnamon and brown sugar on top.

Have a blessed week!

Move It Mondays

Happy Monday everyone!  It's a cloud-filled Monday in South Florida, though the clouds are the puffy white kind, not the grey and filled with rain ones.  That can change at any moment, as we Floridians know too well.  It's currently 80 degrees out, 82% humidity, and we're not supposed to get rain today.  Huh???  How can you have 82% humidity and no rain?!  Of course, as my youngest son would tell me, "When the weatherman says it won't rain, you'd better pack your umbrella!"  I always keep an umbrella handy, just in case.

One concern I'm having is that we're entering the month of August this week, and that's one of the busiest storm months.  True to form, there are 2 systems in the tropics right now, one a tropical wave and the other a low pressure trough.  While neither may turn into a threat, it's best to keep our eyes peeled.  The weather this summer (the entire year, actually) has been unseasonably warm, and there's nothing these systems love more than warm water.  I'm hoping and praying that any storms that form stay out in the ocean and don't threaten any land masses.

So, what's in store for today?  For starters, I read my daily devotion and 1 Corinthians chapter 7 which we're studying in Sunday school.  I'm frying up some sausages for E's breakfast - sausages are his favorites.  I'm thinking I want oatmeal today.  I make my oatmeal with almond milk instead of water, which is super delicious, and sprinkled with a dash of cinnamon and brown sugar on top.  A delightful treat for the morning!  Afterwards, I'm going to tackle some laundry.  Probably 2-3 loads.  The menu today calls for oven baked crispy chicken wings which is a family favorite, with noodles and a salad.  Shortly thereafter I'm off to the doctor's office for my yearly checkup.


I know, it's necessary to get checked out and make sure all my parts are working properly, and my doctor is a sweet lady, but that doesn't make it any more pleasant.  I've got to be there early too; I'm still under J's health insurance which changed to a new insurance company, so I've got to bring in the information that I don't have :P.  Supposedly the new insurance cards were sent out, but here we are at the end of the month and we haven't received them.  Hopefully the doctor will work with the paper J was given at work, otherwise it'll be a wasted trip.  With the price of gas being what it is, that doesn't make me happy.

But hey, I'm not going to let little things like that get me down!  It's Monday, another great day, a day to be thankful because we're alive!  God bless y'all, have a wonderful week.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Observing My Senses

For Today, July 28, 2012...

I am seeing...a bright sunny morning, and a palm frond coming down, reminding me that there are a bunch of palm fronds in the yard that need to be cut up and put in the garbage can.  They fell off after yesterday's rain.

I am feeling...rushed this morning.  E's dad called at 7:15am to say he'd be here to pick him up in half an hour.  Poor kid, he was startled out of his sleep.  The thing is, he'd asked his dad the day before what time he should be ready, and they'd agreed on 10am.  So E had no reason to get up early.  He begged his dad and convinced him to wait till 10am.  Of course, that doesn't change the fact that we're all jumpy now.

I am hearing...the dishwasher.  I forgot to turn it on last night.  Oops.

I am tasting...nothing yet.  Breakfast is cooking.

I am smelling...buttermilk pancakes.  My, but they smell amazing!  Sausages will be sizzling soon, and I have to get the coffee brewing.  This is why I love mornings so much!

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

Friday, July 27, 2012

Follow Friday Four Fill-In

I'm happy to welcome Hilary at Feeling Beachie back for this week's Follow Friday Four Fill-in Fun.  The concept is simple:  4 statements, fill in the blanks.  The concept may be simple, but the actual practice is much more challenging!  Why not give it a chance?  I dare you ;)

This week’s statements:

1. I learned how to make _____ in ____
I learned how to make lasagna in my mother's kitchen.  Along with almost everything else.

2. I have always wanted to ____
I have always wanted to visit Washington DC.  One day...

3. My purse always has a __________and _______________.
My purse always has an umbrella and it's the smart thing to do when you live in Florida.  We get sudden rain showers out of nowhere regularly.

4. One day when I am ____________I am  going to _______________________.
 One day when I am more financially able I am going to visit Washington DC.  See #2.

Five Question Friday

Happy Friday folks!  Yesterday I mentioned going to Lion Country Safari to spend the day.  It looks like that won't happen.  Both my kids woke up with stomach aches and have spent a good part of the morning in the bathroom.  I'm waiting to see if they feel well enough to go to the science museum instead.  Meanwhile, how about some Five Question Friday?  To join in the fun, visit Mama M at My Little Life.

1. What is the funniest thing you saw on Facebook/twitter this week?
Needs no explanation.

2. What is your favorite Olympic event?
Winter Olympics = figure skating, summer Olympics = gymnastics

3. Do your kids to chores around the house? If so, what are they and how old are the children? Do they get paid for them?
My children are 25, 22, and 12 years old.  They don't have specific chores, they just know they all have to pitch in.  My oldest son does mostly outdoor work, like cutting the grass.  Everyone is responsible for keeping their own areas clean.

4. If you get bad service/food do you complain or keep quiet?
If I get bad service I don't complain, I just won't go back.  I don't know if the server is routinely rude or just having a bad day.  One complaint for bad performance can cost that person their job, and while excellent service is expected from servers, we are all human.  Now, if the food is bad and I can't eat it, I will speak up.  To my memory, though, that's only happened once.

5. If you could pick ONE frivolous item for your home, what would it be? (massive room sized closet? swimming pool? greenhouse? etc...)
For me, frivolous would be a pool.  I know, in Florida swimming pools aren't frivolous, but when I consider all the work and expense that goes into maintaining a pool, it's more responsibility than I want.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thursday Thoughts

I'm sure we've all heard the expression, "The Lord works in mysterious ways."  I've come to realize this isn't true.  It's no mystery to Him; He knows exactly what He's doing.  And if we pay attention, we can see His hand at work and understand the reasoning behind His actions.  We've had some experiences of late that have proven this.

 - My daughter A graduated last May and got her degree in creative writing with a minor in religious studies. It has always been her desire to work in ministry, preferably music but wherever the Lord leads her is fine.  She'd been looking into different churches to see if any were looking for worship leaders or anything to do with music, but she found that most churches don't want to hire women for those positions.  Even as she spoke to some folks in the church, they discouraged her from going into those kinds of fields which broke her heart, because she feels that God gave her this talent so that she would use it for His glory.

 - When she came home after graduation, A began applying to all different companies looking for work.  Her biggest disadvantage is that she has absolutely no job experience.  Zero.  Zilch.  Nada.  Her father wanted her to focus on her studies and keep her GPA up so she wouldn't lose her scholarships, and quite frankly no job was going to pay enough to cover the costs her scholarships were paying, so it was best she not work.  Unfortunately this has had a negative effect on her job hunting now.  She couldn't even get a job at Chick-fil-A.  She went on several interviews but nothing came of any of them.

 - There was one place she was thinking of applying - a local children's home/orphanage that is a Christian ministry.  She'd volunteered there in past summers and really felt led to this place.  I told her to volunteer first and pray about it.  Many of the children at this orphanage aren't orphans in the true sense; they are in this home because they've had to be taken from their homes, either because their parents can't or won't care for them.  These are children who already feel rejected and unloved, their futures uncertain.  I explained to my daughter that  taking a job there just to get a paycheck would be the wrong attitude; if she decided to leave and the children had become attached to her, what would they conclude?  That they aren't worth anyone's time.  I wanted her to be sure this was what the Lord was calling her to do.

 - We watched as A went to interview after interview, applied for job after job, and the doors kept closing.  In the meantime she did volunteer work at the orphanage and continued to be drawn to the work that was being done there.  A friend of hers from our old church who works there now encouraged her to go ahead and apply for a position.  After discussing it with her friend, with me, and praying about it, she decided this was where God was leading her, and she put in an application.

 - A week went by with no answer.  She commented to another friend, a girl who worked at the orphanage but now works at our old church's office, that she'd applied but hadn't gotten a call.  This friend spoke to someone at the orphanage and told them about A.  Lo and behold, my daughter was called in for an interview.  She was told she'd get called for a second interview, and that call came before she'd even gotten back home.  She had her interview with HR, then interviewed for yet another position, and before she left she was given an address to a lab to get her drug testing done.  As I told my daughter, they don't send people out to have drug tests done unless they intend to hire, since drug tests cost money.  Basically she's "hired pending test results".  We are so excited, because one of the things she was told was that they need someone with musical talents to help with their music program.  See how nicely God worked that out?

 - But it doesn't end there.  I had been planning, since the beginning of the week, to take my youngest son and daughter to Lion Country Safari today (my oldest son has to work).  I found out yesterday that A has to take some paperwork to the orphanage today.  The offices open at 9am, so by the time she got out there, turned in the papers and got back home, it would be close to 10am.  Lion Country Safari opens at 9:30am, but it's a good 1 1/2 hours drive.  We'd miss out on so much, it didn't make sense to go today.  So we decided, maybe tomorrow will be better.

 - As I thought about it, I checked their website and found that Lion Country Safari has a water park area.  I hadn't seen that when I first looked on the website, but it changes things.  My son E doesn't have sandals - typically when we go to the parks he wears sneakers.  That gives me today to get to the store and get him some sandals, plus I can do my grocery shopping for the week and not have to worry about that either.  Once again, my plans got changed, but I see how God did it so that we can enjoy our time at this park even more.  Isn't the Lord sweet in His dealings with us?

Stop and look, listen, pay attention.  God's ways aren't all that mysterious.  He does what's best for us, even when we don't know what that is.  Have a blessed day.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge

It's the middle of the week, time for a Wednesday Hodgepodge post, courtesy of Joyce at From This Side of the Pond.  We've got some interesting pre-Olympic questions again this week.  Hope you join in!

1. The Summer Olympics officially begin this Friday...will you be watching? If you could see just one event in person which one would you pick?
You know, I can't say for sure if I'll remember to watch the Olympics.  That doesn't sound very enthusiastic, I know, but the truth is I rarely watch network television anymore.  There just isn't anything good on TV.  If I could watch one event in person, it would most likely be gymnastics.  Though to be perfectly honest, I don't know anyone that is competing.  Not even from the US team.  I should be ashamed.

2. Do lazy days make you feel rested or unproductive?
For me, lazy days are unproductive days.  I always feel like I should get something done everyday, even if it's just a small dent in my to-do list.  If nothing gets done I get upset with myself.

3. July 25 is 'officially' Threading the Needle day...can you sew? On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being not at all and 10 being Betsy Ross-like, how would you rate your skill with a needle and thread?
I'd probably give myself a 4.  I can do the basics, hemming and sewing on a button, fixing a seam, that sort of thing.  My mom did teach us how to sew and crochet, but I was never skilled at it.  I made clothes for my sister's dolls and even those ended up looking "homemade" (but not in a good way).  My youngest sister is the gifted one when it comes to sewing.  She would be up there in the 8-10 range.

4. Threading the Needle can also mean to walk a fine line between two things or issues (think awkward social situation). When was the last time you had to 'thread the needle', figuratively speaking?
During a Sunday school class, the leader decided to dedicate a couple of Sundays to Calvinism vs. Arminianism.  I know there are some people who are strongly one or the other.  I can see good points on both sides, but I told everyone I believe what the Bible teaches and not men's doctrines.  It was uncomfortable to me to have folks trying to pin me into one category or the other.  I was glad when that class was over.

5. Kidney, pinto, black, or navy-your favorite bean?
I would have to go with pinto beans, though I like most beans.  Except kidney beans.  My mom made them so often I can't stand them anymore.

6. Have you ever hosted a garage sale? Was it more success or bust?
I've never hosted a garage sale, nor have I shopped at one.  Not that I'm against garage sales.  I wanted to have one last year but hubby was totally against it.  I don't know if it would have been successful, though.  We live in a cul-de-sac, with very little traffic.  I'd have to put up a lot of signs to get anyone near us.  As for attending garage sales, I never have cash on hand, so I don't stop for fear I'll like something and I won't have any money on me to buy it :P.

7. What makes you roll your eyes?
Folks who have an answer for everything, even if it doesn't make sense.  They must always have the last word and consider themselves authorities on every subject under the sun.  Gimme a break.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
I called my local hair salon yesterday to make an appointment with a girl who's cut my hair the last few times and has done a pretty good job of it.  I found out she's not there anymore, so I went ahead and made an appointment anyway, with another girl whom I don't know.  Was that the smart thing to do?  I have the attitude of "it's just hair, it'll grow back," but is that how I really feel?  Now I'm not so sure.

Chats on the Porch

Today is a very special day over at Everyday Rurality.  Patrice and her horse Wendell are celebrating the first anniversary of Chats on the Porch.  Isn't that wonderful?  I only found the chats last week but I love the fun and simplicity of it - and I love how Wendell gets his chance to chat as well!

In celebration of this occasion, Patrice will have a daily giveaway with one question.  It's party time, and all the questions will relate to partying on the porch.  I hope you'll all join in and celebrate!

1. What food would you bring with you to the party? Bring enough to share!
The weather across the country has been so HOT that a casserole would be too heavy.  Out of the question.  I'm assuming there would be outdoor cooking so the kitchen doesn't turn into an oven, so I'd marinate a whole fryer (cut up, of course) in Italian dressing to put on the grill.  Following that same theme, I'd then prepare a cold pasta salad, consisting of tri-color rotini pasta, black olives, chunks of salami and mozzarella cheese, tossed in Italian dressing to tie in with the grilled chicken.  Anyone for seconds? ;)

Remember, there's a giveaway everyday.  Don't miss it!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For today, July 24, 2012...

Outside my window...wait, I can't see outside my window.  The heat is so intense outside, the windows are filled with condensation.  It must be a real scorcher after last night's rains.

I am thinking...how do I forgive people that hurt me and show no remorse whatsoever?

I am thankful for...the Holy Spirit, who intercedes with groans too deep for words when we ourselves don't have the words to pray (Romans 8:26-27).

I am wearing...my pajamas.  I'll put on "real" clothes shortly ;).

I am going...to see about doing some laundry today.  I don't know that I want to go outside in this heat.

In the kitchen...I'll be trying out a new recipe for southern fried chicken.  If it's good I'll post it.

I am creating...a couple of scrapbook pages with pictures of my cousin's children.  They're school pictures which are small so I "enlarge" them with scrapbooking.

I am wondering...how my daughter's interview will go today.  She has a job interview at a local Christian orphanage.  We've seen how God has closed many doors, and believe that He is the One that has opened this one.  We'll have to wait and see.  Prayers appreciated.

I am reading...less than usual lately.  For some reason I just can't get into a book right now.

I am hoping...my daughter gets this job, and my son can find full-time work.

I am looking forward to...a trip to Lion Country Safari this week, the Lord and weather permitting.

I am learning...that forgiveness is not about healing others, but healing myself.

Around the house...I need to vacuum the floors.  Again.  And probably a load or 2 of laundry.

A favorite quote for today..."I prayed fifteen years for the conversion of my oldest brother. When he seemed to be getting further and further away from any hope of conversion, I prayed on." - Reuben Archer Torrey.

One of my favorite things...mango trees brimming with fruit.

A few plans for the rest of the week...youth group tomorrow night, a trip to Lion Country Safari on Thursday, and that's about it.  Unless the Lord sees fit to change or add on to our plans, of course.

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

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday Quiz About Me

Good morning, and Happy Monday to all!  This is a blog hop that gives us 4 questions to answer with the option to add a 5th question of our own for visitors.  I hope you'll join in at Acting Balanced.

1. What are your favorite pizza toppings?
Pepperoni and bacon for the meat portion, onions, green and red peppers for veggies.

2. What is the strangest name you've ever heard for a child?
This one my daughter told me about.  It's spelled La-a.  It's pronounced Ladasha.  Instead of writing out the "dash" part, her mom just put a hyphen, expecting everyone to know what it meant.

3. What is the best vacation you've ever gone on?
We spent 2 weeks in Orlando with a super saver type pass that allowed us to go to Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, Aquatica, SeaWorld and Wet and Wild parks for 14 days.  It was a park hopper pass so we could go to all different parks in one day.  I came back so tanned I hardly recognized myself.

4. What is your favorite quick summer meal?
Burgers on the grill.  Or anything else on the grill.

And now for my question:

5.  What is your favorite board game?
In my house, it's Apples to Apples.

Have a great day!

Move It Mondays

Welcome to a new week - if you start counting weeks on Monday.  My youngest son says the week starts on  Sunday because that's how it appears on the calendar.  Either way, it's Monday, a new day, another soggy day in the Sunshine State :).

We hadn't gotten any rain since Thursday, but yesterday we got some serious thunderstorms again.  I woke up late Sunday morning because the thunder kept me up for several hours during the night, which meant we missed Sunday school.  It poured down most of the day till the evening when it began to clear up, but once it got dark we could hear the thunder rolling in again.  This morning is dull and dreary; it's already rained some and it doesn't look like it's gonna be done anytime soon.

I guess that makes it an indoor day once more :P.  We've spent a lot of days indoors this summer, either because of the rain or because of the intense heat.  Although our temperatures have stayed in the upper 80s, rarely getting past 91 degrees, the heat index has been consistently 75 - 76 degrees.  When the dew point goes above 75 degrees, well that's when it starts to get stifling, and that's what the weather has been like pretty much the entire summer.  It's currently only 79 degrees, but our heat index is 75 degrees, making it feel like we're in a sauna.  Thank the Lord for air conditioning!  I don't know if we could survive in this weather without it.

So, what do we do when we're stuck indoors?  Of course I've always got things to do, bathrooms to clean, floors to mop, etc.  But we can also play board games, and I would really like to do that.  We played Mexican train dominoes the other night and had a blast.  Maybe we can play Taboo, or Tri-Bond, or Scrabble.  I enjoy playing board games, and so do the kids.  Our only problem is deciding which one to play!

How I would love to send some of our rain to the Midwest!  It saddens me to see how dry it is, and here we've gotten rain every week, and not just a few drops either.  I just pray the Lord would see fit to send rain in that direction.  Those folks really need it.

Have a safe, happy, and productive Monday - God bless!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Yummy Pancake Recipe

I love pancakes.  My whole family does.  Pancakes was one of the first things I learned to make when my mom taught me to cook at the tender young age of 9.  I experimented and learned a lot about following recipes.  Even when the recipe was on the back of a box.

My mom always bought the Aunt Jemima buttermilk pancake mix that had all the dry ingredients and all that was needed was an egg, some milk and a tablespoon of oil.  In time the mixes began coming with everything included, called "Complete", and needed only water.  I tried those mixes, but the pancakes tasted like cardboard and quite frankly, I don't like cardboard.  I kept buying the mix my mom always bought, known as "original".  At times it was hard to find; I guess most people go for the easy mix so stores don't carry the more "complicated" version.  Then I started to notice a difference.  Maybe it's just me; maybe the original mix sits on the shelf too long, but the pancakes just didn't taste the same.  They were flavorless.  Yes, I could smother them in syrup, but I don't like that option.  I prefer pancakes with a little syrup, not syrup with a little pancake.

Of course, I could always make my own pancakes from scratch.  There's plenty of recipes on the internet, and I had one in my cookbook at home.  So, what was stopping me?  Truth is, I'd make pancakes from scratch once before, and I was disappointed.  They tasted bland.  I thought maybe it was the flour, but I didn't want to spend money on buying some specialty flour only to be disappointed again, so I gave up on the idea.  Then recently I was watching an old episode of Good Eats, where Alton Brown made his own pancakes from scratch and explained (as he is well known for doing) why he used each specific ingredient.  I was surprised to find he uses all purpose flour just like I had, but he did use one significant ingredient that I hadn't used.  Buttermilk.  "Duh," I thought, "of course, you can't make buttermilk pancakes without buttermilk!"  So I decided I'd give it a try.  I bought a quart of buttermilk, found a recipe in one of my cookbooks, and went for it.  Oh.My.Word!  These are real pancakes!  And you know what else is incredible?  They are so easy to make!  Honestly, I don't see why anyone would eat those cardboard imitations when it's so simple to make the batter yourself!  If you don't believe me, here's the recipe.  Try it.  I assure you, you will never go back to box mixes again.

Buttermilk Pancakes

Dry ingredients:
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Wet ingredients:
1 beaten egg
1 1/3 cups buttermilk
1 tablespoon cooking oil (I used canola)

In a bowl sift together all the dry ingredients.  In a separate bowl combine the wet ingredients.  Add the wet ingredients all at once to the dry; stir till blended but still lumpy.  DO NOT OVERMIX.  Pour about a 1/4 cup of batter onto a hot buttered griddle.  Cook till golden brown, turning to cook the other side when pancakes have a bubbly surface and slightly dry edges.  I got 7 - 6 inch pancakes from this batter.  Super simple and super delicious!

Observing My Senses

For Today, July 21, 2012...

I am seeing...a bright new day, and what appears to be a breeze - the branches on the palm trees are swaying slightly.  We haven't had much breeze these hot and sticky days, so that's a welcome sight.

I am feeling...some pain in my elbow.  I have arthritis in my right elbow, and of course that's the one I constantly am bumping into something.  Why does it always happen that way?!  This morning it was the pantry door. :P

I am hearing...nothing.  Well, except for the computer fan.  And occasionally my son snoring.  His snoring has calmed down some since he got home.  I think the rugs in the apartment made his allergies worse.

I am tasting...the most delicious pancakes in the world.  No, really.  I made them from scratch.  They're amazing.

I am smelling...Log Cabin syrup, bacon, and coffee.  The perfect start to a Saturday.

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

Friday, July 20, 2012

No Follow Friday Four Fill-In

It's with a heavy heart that I won't be doing my Friday Four Fill-in this week, because our host, Hilary at Feeling Beachie, lost her beloved cat Alex this week.  Anyone who has a pet knows how much we love them, and how they become a member of the family.  Saying goodbye to them is sad and painful, so Hilary will be taking a break as she mourns the loss of her precious pet.  May the Lord comfort the family of Alex the cat.

Five Question Friday

Happy Friday!  Actually I'm having trouble with this Friday because, for some reason, it feels like Saturday.  I hate that feeling!  I hope my mind adjusts soon.  How can I enjoy Friday if I totally skip it?!  Maybe doing my Five Question Friday post will help.  Today Mama M is away on vacation (good for her!) so Kate over at Kate's Life is hosting.  Hop on over and join in!

1} What do you call them- flip flops, sandals, thongs, or slippers?
In my neck of the woods, we call them flip-flops.

2} Are you a "my kids can do no wrong" kind of mom or a "Johnny punched you? Well what did you do to him first?!" kind of mom?
I love my kids, and I know what they are capable of, but I also know that kids are kids.  So I question and get as many details as possible before passing judgment.  I want to be fair, and that means none of the above statements would be right.

3} Would you confront a good friend that looked/looks down on your husband/significant other?
I would have trouble considering someone who looks down on my spouse a true friend.  It's one thing to ask if I'm okay or if my friend feels I'm being treated badly to show concern.  It's a whole other issue to look down on someone.  We are all equal in the eyes of God.

4} Biggest pet peeve?
People who are talking and every 2 minutes ask, "Know what I'm saying?" because if I didn't know what you were saying I'd say it.  And another thing, use proper grammar, would you? :P

5} What's your favorite take out meal?
Probably Little Caesar's pizza, because a pepperoni pizza costs $5, which means I can feed a crowd for little cash. :)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Thursday Thoughts

It's pretty late now, and I'm exhausted.  We decided to go to the zoo again today because it's the first day in about a week that there's no rain.  It was really hot, though.  I mean steamy hot.  When we first got there it wasn't too bad, especially in the shade.  Whenever it got to be too much we'd go into one of the air conditioned exhibits.  But after a while it felt like we were in a sauna.  I mentioned going to see my aunt and uncle to the kids, but my daughter pointed out that we were sweaty and stinky, not the most pleasing appearance.  I will say, though, all in all we had a good time.  We love the zoo, learning about the animals and seeing God's amazing creation.  Unfortunately my allergies are acting up :P.  I think a Benadryl is in order.

It's been a long day, so this post is gonna be short.  Have a restful evening.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Chats on the Farmhouse Porch

Oh my word!  I just read the funniest, absolutely cutest blog hop post ever!!  I encourage you to head on over to Everyday Rurality and read here so you can see what I mean.  While you're there, I'm gonna go ahead and answer their blog hop questions so I can have some fun too!

1. What's your favorite room in your home?
That would be the family room, because it's where my family hangs out.  We hang out in the living room too, so I like that room a lot.  We eat and play board games in the dining room, so that's another cool room.  Come to think of it, I pretty much like my whole house :).

2.  If you could go anywhere on a vacation, all expense paid, where would it be?
I'd love to go to our nation's Capitol.  There's so much to see and learn.

3.  Were you a girl scout or in any similar program?
I wasn't.  I didn't join clubs or anything in school.  I was very shy.

4.  What's your favorite frozen treat?
I love ice cream, but since I'm lactose intolerant it doesn't love me back :(.  I have found a treat I like:  pineapple coconut fruit bars.  They are so delicious and refreshing!  They're also the next best thing if you can't have ice cream.

5.  Are you NASCAR or the elderly lady with the pillbox hat when you drive?
I am definitely NOT a NASCAR driver.  Then again, I'm not the elderly lady either.  I'm a cautious driver when I'm in the city because in South Florida folks drive like they own the expressways.  There's too many cars and not enough roads.  Once I'm out of South Florida I drive faster but still cautious since I have precious cargo in my car:  one or more of my kids, and possibly our dog.

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Yay!  I'm thrilled that I found a mid-week blog hop that has interesting questions for this week.  The Olympics are just a week away, so the questions are Olympic themed.  Try it with me:  head on over and visit From This Side Of The Pond.

1. The summer Olympics begin next week and London is playing host. If you had the chance to go in person what (non-Olympic) London site would you most like to visit?
Wouldn't it be the coolest thing to visit the home of Miss Jane Austen, and see the desk and chair where she sat and wrote my favorite novels, Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice?!  I know it's just a simple cottage, and there are so many lovely castles to see in England, but to be in the same house Jane Austen lived in!  Oh I know, it's not in London proper, but if I were able to go to England I'd want to see the countryside, not the big city.  I'd like to see how the aristocracy and the gentry lived.

2. What is something in your life right now that feels like an Olympic event?
Raising kids.  Well, technically the two older ones are raised (they're 22 and 25) but they never stop being my kids, and they still come to me for advice or just to have someone to talk to.  The youngest is 12 1/2, quickly turning the corner into the teenage years, and if that's not an Olympic event, well, it should be.

3. What's your favorite supper to prepare and serve when it's too hot to cook?
I live in South Florida - it's always too hot to cook, LOL!!  If I let that be the deciding factor we'd never have a hot meal!  I don't think it's necessary to heat up the whole house to prepare supper, though.  There's barbecue, which is delicious, and there's my other favorite invention, the crock pot.  With either method a yummy meal can be prepared with little effort and great results.

4. July 18th is National Get Out of the Doghouse Day...when was the last time you were 'in the doghouse?'
I don't recall the last time I was in the doghouse.  Well, except when my husband was living at home, but it was more along the lines of he wanted to put me in the doghouse but I didn't fit, what with him taking up all the space.

5. What television commercial do you find particularly irritating or inappropriate? You may not answer with 'all of them'. I know some of you were thinking about it.
I don't watch much network television.  We mostly watch Netflix, which has the advantage of no commercials.  If I had to pick something off the top of my head, it would be any of the Super Bowl commercials.  They try so hard to go over the top, they often go over the top.

6. Share one interesting piece of news from the year you were born.
The most interesting piece of news of 1963 was also the saddest - the assassination of President John F.  Kennedy.  I was born 3 weeks later.

7. What's the best part of your average day?
Being as I'm a morning person, I'd have to say mornings.  Getting up, reading my devotions, preparing breakfast, looking out the window at a new day, enjoying the quiet in the house before anyone else wakes up, makes mornings my special time.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
I had so many plans in my mind for this week.  Thunderstorms were not in the mix.  We've had some pretty severe storms which threw a wrench into my plans, reminding me that I'm not the one in control.  I have to accept that God will make changes to my plans for my good, and that's okay.  

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, July 17, 2012...

Outside my window...the thunderstorms are over and the sun is shining brightly.  Last night's thunderstorms were fierce!  I've never heard continuous thunder like that.  It's such a relief to see blue sky again today.

I am thinking...what a way to make a girl feel old - it's my baby sister's 39th birthday.

I am thankful for...a safe home that keeps us dry and protected during thunderstorms, and a God who keeps us safe and protected from life's storms.

I am wearing...my jammies.  It's pretty early still.

I am going...to meet a friend for coffee at Starbucks after lunch.  I haven't done that in a long while.

In the kitchen...I was thinking of making a chicken and pasta dish, but instead I'm gonna make chicken with rice since I've got some beans already prepared that need to get eaten.

I am creating...nothing right now.  I was creative a couple of weeks ago, so now I'm on break ;)

I am wondering...if the lightning did any damage in my neighborhood.  I haven't been out but I know the storm was right over us and the lightning was striking very close.  Too close for comfort.

I am reading...blogs a lot lately.  I still haven't finished my book, but I'm getting closer to the end.

I am hoping...for a little less rain for us and a little more rain for those States that haven't gotten much this summer.  It's been a very hot summer all over the country, but we've gotten rain regularly thank God.  Other States haven't been quite so rained on.

I am looking forward to...going somewhere on Friday, whether it's the zoo or a museum.  Something fun and educational.

I am learning...to live in a house that has much more "stuff" than I'm accustomed to.  It's gonna be like this for awhile.

Around the house...I got lots done yesterday, most of the floors, one of the bathrooms.  Today I have the other bathroom to clean and finish the floors.  Maybe a load of laundry while I'm at it.

A favorite quote for today..."Talk what we will of faith, if we do not trust and rely upon Him, we do not believe in Him." - Antony Farindon.

One of my favorite things...spending an afternoon bowling with my kids.  We did that yesterday.

A few plans for the rest of the week...an outing of some sort, depending on the weather.  A run to the library for more books - E is reading quite a bit this summer.  Maybe some more bowling.  Youth group on Wednesday, church on Sunday.

A peek into my day...actually, a peek into my memory.  Ferry Point Park in the Bronx, a park I visited as a child.

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

Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday Quiz About Me

"Here are FOUR QUESTIONS that everyone can answer and then you have the option to add a fifth question of your own for those who are visiting your blog to answer in the comment section, along with commenting on the four standard questions you answered!"  I like that idea, because it makes this quiz personal - everyone's fifth question is different!  If you'd like, go over to Acting Balanced and give it a try!

1. If you could be on a reality tv show which one would you want to be a part of?
This is the easiest question to answer - I'd be visiting the Duggars in Northwest Arkansas so I could be a part of their show, 19 Kids and Counting!

2. You have the power to create one law, what would it be?
Is it possible to create a law that limits the amount of laws created?  If so, that's the law I'd create.

3. How's your weather today?
Right now it's 80 degrees, though it feels much hotter because of the humidity.  It's cloudy, and looks like we might be getting more rain.  It poured a couple of hours ago.

4. Other than the country you currently live in, where would you want to live?
Why would I want to live in any country other than the good ole US of A?  I love my country!  Okay, if you insist... I think I would like to try living in Spain for awhile, so I can see where my ancestors lived.

And now, my question.  Along the same lines as question 4,

5. If you could live in any state in the US, which would you choose?
I absolutely love living in Florida, and can't imagine living anywhere else - except maybe Georgia.  If I couldn't live in Florida that would be my next pick.

Move It Mondays

Happy Monday folks!  It's a lovely morning here in South Florida.  We got lots of rain and lightning and thunder yesterday, and right now it's hard to tell what's gonna happen today.  There's patches of blue sky but there's also cloud coverage, just like yesterday.  I have a suspicion it's gonna be another wet day.

With that in mind I think today is a good day to do indoor stuff ;).  Thankfully I got caught up with laundry on Saturday, though we all know "caught up with laundry" is a relative term.  It just means I don't need to do laundry today.  But the floors need cleaning; Molly hasn't been shedding as much lately which is nice but she's still a drooler, and the spots on the floor need to be removed.  Other than that, and a quick clean of the bathrooms, the house is in good condition.

I've started some sauce in the crockpot for baked ziti.  Once I made my own marinara sauce I couldn't stomach the jar stuff anymore.  It's so simple, too.  In a crockpot I put 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil (I just eyeball it), 2 - 28 oz cans of crushed tomatoes (I use Contadina but any brand will do), one tablespoon of sofrito (a Puertorican mixture of onions, green peppers, garlic and cilantro or parsley or whatever herb you like), one teaspoon each of oregano, basil, and salt, 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and one bay leaf.  Stir, cover, set on low, and in 3 hours you have homemade sauce.  It takes long to cook but once you turn on the crockpot you just walk away and let it take care of itself.  Prep time is under 5 minutes and worth every second.

Since it looks like today may be a wash out, it looks like the perfect day for bowling.  I took a survey for the bowling alley so I can get a free game on top of the two paid for ones, so that should keep us busy for awhile.  My only concern is the arthritis in my right elbow.  The pain can become fierce, especially when I pick up something heavy.  I have to use the lightest bowling ball which doesn't afford me as many strikes, but it's necessary to avoid pain and possible injury.  It's a fun exercise, though, and we all enjoy playing and laughing together.

I hope you all make the most of this Monday.  God bless, and have a wonderful day.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Observing My Senses

For Today, July 14, 2012...

I am seeing...clouds, but not the rainy kind.  Those past through early this morning, leaving a quick drink for my plants and trees.

I am feeling...grateful for my home, my kids, my life.  God is so good.

I am hearing...my oldest son get ready for work.

I am tasting...my morning cup of coffee.  I only drink this one caffeinated drink per day, but oh how I enjoy it!

I am smelling...a toasted English muffin with turkey and salami that's right in front of me, waiting to be consumed.

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

Friday, July 13, 2012

Follow Friday Four Fill-In

I know I've said this before, but it bears repeating:  I LOVE my Friday fill-ins!  It seems so easy but it really gets my noggin exercising early in the morning!  You can too, just head on over to Hilary's at Feeling Beachie and give it a try.

This week’s statements:
1..My day always starts by ____
My day always starts by reading a devotional.  I like Our Daily Bread.  It gets my mind focused on what's important.

2.  I prefer ___ to ____
I prefer flip-flops to any kind of footwear.  I practically live in them.

3.  I never thought I’d __________ until I __________
I never thought I'd enjoy an e-reader until I got a Nook for Christmas.  Now I'm hooked.  This thing is amazing!

 4.  I wish I could ________ for ________________
I wish I could go to Puerto Rico for Christmas.  It would be so neat to be on the island for Christmas, even though so many of my loved ones are gone or have moved away.

Five Question Friday

Happy Friday!  Wow, it seems like just yesterday I was saying Happy Monday!  This week has gone by pretty quick.  I'm answering my Five Questions today, and hope you'll join me.  Just hop on over to Mama M's at My Little Life.

1. What's your view on men wearing sandals (yay or nay)?
When I lived up north and the weather was cold most of the time, summer would roll around and some men would put on sandals.  I thought it didn't look very manly.  It was strange to see men's toes after they'd worn closed shoes for so long.  Now that I live in South Florida and the weather is warm all year long, seeing men in sandals is an everyday thing, and for me, it's just footwear.  I say yay.

2. What song do you love but are embarrassed to admit?
Why would I want to admit it, if it's something that embarrasses me?

Oh well, no matter.  I love songs by Barry Manilow.  Mandy.  I Write the Songs.  You know, the stuff they play in elevators.  Now please don't tell anyone.

3. What summer camp should they make for moms?
The kind where sports activities are held at the mall.  Sprinting from store to store.  Using math skills to find the best bargains.  Geometry to fit all our purchases inside the trunk of the car.  Time management as we get the shopping done with enough time left over for a mani/pedi and maybe even get our hair done.  I bet I could get Camper of the Year at Mall Camp.

4. What is the most romantic song? (Not necessarily your favorite or your wedding song...)
(Hmm, do I want to refer back to Manilow here? Nah).  The most romantic song I've ever heard is Walking Her Home by Mark Schultz, and if you've never heard it I suggest you head on over to youtube for a listen.  Bring tissues.

5. Do you have an embarrassing pregnancy story?
Another embarrassing question.  Do I sense a pattern here?

Okay, embarrassing pregnancy story.  I guess this counts, even though I was in labor, since I was still pregnant.  With my first pregnancy my water broke while I was still at home.  It wasn't a lot, more than a trickle but not much more.  I rushed to the hospital, stepped into the lobby, and SWOOSH.  Water gushed out like it was Niagara Falls.  Thank God it was like 3am and the lobby was empty, because my pants were soaked and so was the floor.  All I could do was tell the receptionist over and over, "I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry."  She was very understanding, said not to worry, those things happen all the time.  Yeah, right.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Last Stop - The Boy's Room

The last room that got changed is the boy's room.  My sons have shared this room since we moved here; well, since E was 4 months old and he moved from our bedroom to the boy's room.  At that time R was 13 years old, so the bedroom was appropriate for the two of them.  Or, as appropriate as a bedroom can be for a 13 year old teenager and an infant.  I tried to make it boy-like for the two of them to enjoy.  Here is what I came up with:

The bed is a trundle bed.  We got this bed for them when E was 2 years old.  Our initial thought was to get bunkbeds for them, but when we went to the furniture store my toddler (who we call The Monkey for a reason) started climbing all the bunkbeds they had set up and jumping on the top bunk.  Yeah, we were sure bunks were out of the question.  A trundle bed was much safer :).

Here's the thing:  what was appropriate when R was 13 is no longer appropriate when he's 25.  Let's face it, he doesn't fit in a twin bed anymore.  And that's why I was glad when he moved to Central Florida and got grown-up furniture.  But with his sister moving back to South Florida, and his hours at the store getting cut, he couldn't afford to stay there on his own.  He asked about coming back home, and I immediately told him yes.  This is, and will always be, his home.  That meant, though, that the boy's room had to change into something that would be a good fit for a 25 year old, that afforded him privacy while being shared with a 12 year old.  This is how we've achieved that:

My son's bed is a queen size bed, identical to his sister's bed.  The twin bed with the trundle was taken apart and put in the garage for the time being.  On the wall where the small bed was we put his chest of drawers.  That was my daughter's idea; we didn't think it would fit, but when she suggested it we measured and found it would work.  Not only the chest, but the nightstand fit under the window just fine, too.  But there's more:

There's a narrow piece of wall next to the closet in their room.  For that space we'd gotten these shelves where the boys put their video games and movies, but they wouldn't fit with R's bed, so I moved them to the dining room.  However, once the bed came into the room, I realized there was still space for narrow storage, so I brought in this Ikea shelving unit that R had bought and had in his apartment.

His shelving unit is taller and fits all his collection of video games neatly and doesn't block anything.  I also like the fact that, since the bedroom furniture is a dark tone and the bedding is neutral, the blue walls work just fine with everything and I didn't have to repaint.

There is one piece of furniture that, unfortunately, doesn't match the rest but had to stay in the room.

The wall unit has all of E's clothes, school supplies and such, and there's just no other place in the house to put it.  The garage is filled with everything else that didn't fit in our house, and I don't want to sell it because at some point R will move on and E still needs a place to put his things.  Thankfully it still fits in the room, regardless if the color matches.  It looks good, and more importantly, my boys are happy with it.  Oh, and I'm happy too, because it's neat and orderly and that's how I like it!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom

"We have little control over the circumstances of life. We can't control the weather or the economy, and we can't control what other people say about or do to us. There is only one area where we have control--we can rule the kingdom inside. The heart of every problem is the problem in the heart."

 - Warren Wiersbe

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, July 10, 2012...

Outside my window...the sun is shining, and although the temps are not excessively high it's still toasty warm.

I am thinking...of a friend who's having a birthday today :)

I am thankful...for free movies at our local theater!  We got to see Kung Fu Panda 2 today.

I am going...to get some laundry done.  It accumulates very quickly.

I am wearing...a multi-colored top, jean skirt and black flip-flops.  It's 89 degrees out, but with the humidity it feels like 97.

I am noticing...my youngest son is now taller than his sister, which is pretty upsetting to her since he's 12 and still has a lot of growing to do.

In the kitchen...I tried a new recipe for a homestyle chicken bake.  My son picked up the recipe card from Publix.  It's similar to the chicken bowls at KFC.

I am reading...the same things I've been reading for weeks.  I feel like I'm never gonna finish this book.

I am wondering...if the orphanage my daughter applied to will give her a job?  We're praying for God to open doors for her.  She really wants to start working.

I am hoping...my son can start working full-time at the store.  Part-time won't allow him to get a new car, which he needs.

I am looking forward to...a visit to the museum or zoo this week, depending on the weather.

Around the house...I did one bathroom yesterday and part of the floors.  I need to get the other bathroom cleaned, plus laundry, and the family room.  Always plenty to do at our house.

I am pondering these words..."Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested." - Francis Bacon.

One of my favorite things...feeding my family healthy meals and having them tell me they enjoyed it.

A few plans for the rest of the week...free movies tomorrow morning, youth group tomorrow evening.  A trip to the science museum or the zoo on Thursday or Friday, depending on the weather.  We're supposed to get rain again sometime this week.  I'd like to go bowling again; we had a great time yesterday, and with the $29.95 summer pass we get 2 games per day for up to 4 people all summer long, so I really want to take advantage of it!  Sunday is church, and it's my turn to bring goodies for Sunday school.  All in all a blessed week.

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

Monday, July 9, 2012

Monday Quiz About Me

Hi there!  Here's a fun way to fight the Monday blues - a little quiz about me!  With this quiz, there are 4 questions for me to answer, then I ask a 5th question for you to answer!  Are you game?  Join in on this quiz by visiting Acting Balanced.

1. What are two must haves when you go on a road trip?
Bottled water, and Goldfish crackers to snack on.

2. What is your favorite amusement park ride?
I'm not real big on the rough and tough rides.  I did enjoy the Spiderman ride at Universal Studios, though.

3. Post favorite picture from the last six months?
A view of Biscayne Bay - we were at the Miami Seaquarium.

4. What do you (did you) call your grandparents?   If you are a grandparent what do your grandchildren call you?
Being Puertorican I called my grandparents abuelo and abuela, Spanish for grandpa and grandma.

And now, here's my question to you:  How many States have you been to?
I came up with 6:  New York (where I was born), New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, and Florida (where I now live).

Happy Monday!

Move It Mondays

Good morning to all, and Happy Monday!  Oh, I know there are some out there who make a face at that statement, who think the words "Monday" and "happy" don't go together in a sentence.  People who are always saying how much they dread Mondays.  Let me ask you this:  Would it have been better if you hadn't woken up this morning?  What if Sunday had been the last day of your life?  Not a very nice proposition, is it?  I say we celebrate Monday, and be thankful God has given us a new day!  And if that doesn't work for you, look on the bright side:  tomorrow is Tuesday!

It's a bright, sunshine filled morning; there's sausages frying on the stove, biscuits baking in the oven, coffee brewing in the coffee pot and towels being washed in the washing machine.  My, but I sure do depend on my appliances!  Can you imagine 100 years ago, women were waking up much earlier than I did (7am) to get the fire going for breakfast and to get water from the local stream or canal to wash clothes?!  There was so much work that had to be done just to get a simple meal, yet life was lived at a slower pace.  Today we want stuff fast, instant everything, and we don't stop to appreciate life because it's zipping by us and we don't even see it.  Something to think about today.  Stop for a minute and admire a cloud; watch children play; don't just turn on your MP3 player, sing along with it.  Life is short; experience it fully.

We got tons of rain yesterday - I mean a whole lot!  We went to church in the morning and the sun was shining, and by the time service was done it was pouring, there was lightning and thunder and winds, the whole nine yards!  It called for an indoor day, and we stayed and relaxed after a morning of fellowship and worship.  Speaking of worship, my daughter sang and played guitar again, and she sounded wonderful.  Makes this mama so happy to hear my little girl worshiping the Lord!

I'm hoping the rains hold off this morning, at least long enough to give Molly a bath.  Molly's a big dog who doesn't like getting wet, so bathing her inside the house is out of the question.  If it's raining then getting her bath outside will be impossible too, so I'm praying God will give me a window of dryness after breakfast!

I read a great devotion this morning, about giving God the glory for the good in our lives.  It's easy to think that our achievements are a result of our own doing, but it's God who prompts, prevents, provides and protects.  Thank You Lord for Your blessings and the amazing life You've given me.  I have so much to be thankful for!

Plans for today include bowling - I got a coupon for $5 off per person for games/shoes, so for the 4 of us that's $20 off which is a good deal.  Before that though, it's Molly's bath and vacuuming, plus finishing up the load of laundry.  A productive and fun day, that's what this Monday is!  I hope your Monday is just as great!  God bless.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Observing My Senses

For Today, July 7, 2012...

I am seeing...the sun bursting in through the windows as another hot and sunny Florida day begins.  I wonder if we'll get any rain today?

I am feeling...the coolness of the air conditioner.  I can't imagine not having it right now.  The weather has been intense during the day with the sun glaring down on us.  Nights are cooler but not cool enough to sleep in.  Thank You Lord, for air conditioning!

I am hearing...nothing but the a/c unit.  The kids are all asleep.

I am tasting...toast and coffee.  Keeping it real simple.  That, and I need to go grocery shopping :P

I am smelling...sausages frying on the stove.  My son's favorite item on his breakfast plate.

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

Friday, July 6, 2012

Follow Friday Four Fill-In

Ah, my Friday Four Fill-In!  The one that makes me think!  I missed this one last week too, since I was driving a good portion of the day.  Join me in this fun brain twister.  Head on over to Hilary's at Feeling Beachie.

1.       I ___ wear___
I rarely wear makeup during the week.  If I have to go somewhere important or meet someone I will, but otherwise I don't bother.

2.     I have had a lot of ___
I have had a lot of childhood memories recalled to me recently.  A friend invited me to join a Facebook group for people who grew up in the South Bronx.  Pictures of areas I frequented as a child have taken me back to a place I'd long forgotten.

3.     Public speaking makes me__________.
Public speaking makes me want to crawl under a rock and hide.  I hate speaking in front of people and have them looking at me.  Unless it's children.  I can get in front of a group of kids and speak just fine.  I guess in my mind they're less judgmental and more forgiving of mistakes.

4.     My car always has_______because_______.
My car always has to be clean because I'm a neat freak.  I don't like finding papers, or food containers, or anything else in my car that doesn't belong there.

Five Question Friday

Happy Friday y'all!  I was just thinking how, at this same time last week, my daughter, youngest son and I were cleaning their apartment, and their dad and older brother were already on their way with a truck full of their furniture and belongings to our home in South Florida.  So much has happened since then; I had to rearrange furniture, find places for things, throw out empty boxes, give items to Goodwill...the list seems endless, but now I can enjoy my home again with my children.  I'm a happy mama.

Last week I didn't get to do my Five Question Friday post due to the move, so I'm even more excited to do it now!  If you wanna give it a go, visit Mama M at My Little Life.

1. Is love at 1st sight possible?
The only love at first sight I believe in is the love a mother feels when she sees her newborn baby.  I personally do not believe in love at first sight between a man and a woman.  I believe in intense like at first sight, and lust at first sight, but true love, the kind that stands the tests of time, is based on trust and understanding, and that's not something you get when you first meet a person.

2. How did you choose your pet's name?
You know, I can't explain it, other than she looks like a Molly.  When she showed up at our doorstep that's the name that came to mind.  My daughter was thinking of a name and asked, "What do you think of Maggie?" and I immediately responded, "I was thinking more like Molly."  My daughter's face lit up and she said, "Yeah, Molly's good!"  I think that just like God sent her to us and put her at our front door, He gave us the name as well.

3. What are you considering giving up (cable, home phone)?
I already got rid of the land line (home phone).  If it were up to me I'd get rid of satellite TV too.  We watch more Netflix than network television, and Netflix is cheaper.  It's not my decision, though.

4. How much do you pay your babysitter?
Praise the Lord I don't have that problem anymore!  My youngest son is 12 1/2 and I can leave him alone for short periods of time.  Now that the older kids are here, if I have to leave him with them it's not a problem.  I don't know what we paid babysitters in the past; they were always family and my husband would pay them.

5. How "young" is old enough to babysit?
While maturity plays a big part in this, I would say 14 is a safe age for most babysitters.  I would want to know them very well before leaving my kids with them, though.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Another Very Special Award

I have been blessed with a very sweet, special award.  The Liebster Blog Award is for those of us with fewer than 200 followers, because we love to write about our loves, likes, dislikes, experiences, thoughts, and so forth, even if there aren't a million people out there reading them :).  Blogging is my way of being creative and doing something I love to do:  write!  So I'd like to thank Janice at Janice's Footsteps for honoring me with this award.  Thank you for thinking of me Janice!

For starters, Janice has prepared 11 questions for me to answer.  Here I go, part 1 of my award acceptance:

1. What is the 1st book you fell in love reading? How old were you?
There are many books that I've enjoyed reading, though none as much as when I first picked up my CEV - Contemporary English Version of the Bible.  I was close to 40 years old by then.  I'd always read traditional versions of the Bible, but never a paraphrase.  There was a great deal that I hadn't understood before that suddenly became crystal clear.

As a side note:  I didn't start reading Jane Austen till 3 years ago, and all I can say is, I'm sorry she died so young before she had a chance to write more.  Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice are two of my favorites that I could read again and again!

2. Describe yourself in 3 words?
Born Again Christian.

3. Last good deed you did? For whom?
I let some friends store their stuff in our garage while they found an apartment.

4. Favorite male character (movies)? Female?
Male character:  Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice, played by Colin Firth.  Female character:  Marianne Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility, played by Kate Winslet.

5. Worst book ever read? Did you buy it or was it a gift?
Wow, that's hard for me to answer.  I don't think I've read a book I didn't like.  I may have started reading a book and lost interest because the story wasn't what I expected, but I don't think that makes it fall under the category of worst book ever.

6. When do you usually read? Morning,afternoon, evening, middle of the night?
All of the above.  I'm an avid reader.  I read books, magazines, internet articles, blogs, anything I can get my hands on.

7.Book store, delivered to your mailbox, or library?
I love going to the bookstore!  It's like a toy store at Christmas, so much to see, so little time!  The library is great too, though our 2 libraries are pretty small.  I've also ordered books from Amazon when it's priced right, but Barnes and Noble or Books A Million is great just for the ambiance.

 8. Paperback or kindle?
There was a time when I would say nothing but a real book.  Then my sister gave me a Nook.  And to the Nook I am hooked!  The following year I gave my two oldest kids their own Nooks.  It's that good.

9. Meaning behind your blog name?
Four years ago I was going through a lot of transitions.  Our dog had gotten sick and the vets couldn't figure out what was wrong with him; we had no choice but to put him down.  A month later my daughter left for college, and 2 weeks after that the company I'd worked at for 11 1/2 years had gone bankrupt and I was being laid off.  I don't like change, so going through all of this all at once threatened to send me into panic mode.  I realized I had to learn to accept change rather than fight it or get depressed.  To help me understand my feelings I decided to start blogging.  Hence, Accepting Change was born.

10. Do you trade books for others or do you hoard them on shelves?
I've never thought about trading books.  I tend to write notes or highlight my books which makes them more personal.

11. What is the 1st thing that comes to mind when I say the word "POPSICLE"?
Those orange Creamsicles my mom loves and I never liked.  It's her personal favorite.

Step 2:  Write 11 things about myself.  Here's what I come up with:

1.  I'm an avid reader.  My kids often tell me I spend more time reading than anything else.  I don't know if they say that as a compliment or to get me off the recliner.

2.  Even as a youngster I loved reading.  We would get a reader in school to be read chapter by chapter, and I'd finish it within the first couple of days we got it.  Then I'd read it again with the class.

3.  I love classic literature.  Books of old have charm to them.  I especially like classic English literature.  Jane Austen's books are my favorite, but I also love Jane Eyre.

4.  When it comes to mysteries, nothing beats a good Sherlock Holmes mystery.  I also enjoy reading books by Agatha Christie.  I guess these can also fall under the category of classic English literature.

5. I've come to love Christian fiction.  I've read a few that take place in the late 1800s - early 1900s and I find them fascinating.

6.  Instructional books, Bible study help books, biographies, historical literature, all are books that catch my attention.

7.  I don't like gory books, with a lot of violence and blood.  I don't like movies with that kind of story line either.  It's just not my taste.

8.  I prefer to watch the movie before reading the book.  If I read the book first, 9 times out of 10 the movie will fall so short of the book it turns out to be a huge disappointment.  If I see the movie first, it helps me picture what the characters are like, and I can change it mentally if the actor doesn't fit what I'm reading.

9.  I'm not a big magazine reader, though I do read them in the bathroom.   What can I say, I'm an intellectual wherever I go.

10. E-readers are provision from heaven.  To be able to carry a library of books in my purse, and have it weigh less than a pound, is a love gift from God.  I'm addicted to downloading free books from Barnes and Noble.  I can change the font so the letters are bigger on those days my eyes are tired.  If I had to choose between my Nook and eating, I'd fill up on water and keep reading.  Just sayin'.

11. I'm very thankful for my books.  They keep me learning, growing, and entertained, unlike television, because there's nothing good on TV anymore.

Whew!  That was quite a task!  Now on to step 3.  I have to choose some folks to pass this privileged award to.  My choices are:

My sister, Laryssa at Living in my Magic Garden
My friend Shirley at Shirley's Stories
My friend Kristi at In The Lord's Path

I've picked these folks because they used to blog quite a bit but have gotten busy and put blogging on the back burner.  I'm hoping to get the inspired again.

I'm almost at the end!  Step 4 calls for my asking 11 questions for my nominees.  I'll be honest; I swiped some of these from other blogger's questions.  Hope they don't mind!

1. When did you discover your love of books?
2. Where do you read the most?
3. Can you read while listening to music or while the TV is on?
4. What do you eat for breakfast?
5. Why did you decided to start blogging?
6. Goodwill or Salvation Army?
7. Chocolate or Vanilla?
8. What is your worst habit?
9.  Cats or dogs?
10. Do you have a favorite author?
11. What type of music do you enjoy listening to?

And there you have it!  This was quite an undertaking, but I'm very appreciative of my award, so Janice, thanks again!

Next Stop - The Dining Room

This should have been our first stop, since it's the room that got its "makeover" first.  The dining room is typically sparse, just the dining room table and china cabinet...well, take a look:

Granted, these are not the most recent pictures.  The walls were painted, and the chandelier got updated, but the basic idea is there - not a whole lot of furniture.

At the time I kept my scrapbooking supplies in the dining room because that's where I would do my scrapbooking.  I got tired of seeing it there, though, and since the organization unit has wheels, I decided to put it in a closet and take it out when I wanted to use it.  That meant even less clutter, which made me happy.

So you get the idea, right?  Simple, clean, uncluttered.  The fact that there was little furniture in there made it the perfect place for storage, but I still had to keep it as uncluttered as possible, just for the sake of my sanity ;).  Here are the results:

Since I had to empty out the boy's room of extra stuff so R's furniture could fit, it meant taking the shelves with the video games out.  I put one on either side of the china cabinet, filled on with E's video games and R filled the other with his movies.

This table was in the living room, but I needed space to put R's television and gaming equipment.  Thankfully this table is the same wood tone as the dining room table, so it works nicely.  What I'm glad about most is that, although I've added furniture to the dining room, it was kept to a few pieces so it doesn't look overdone.  There's still space to move around, and we can use the table for meals or board games.

One more room to go, stay tuned!

Thoughtful Thursday

I hope everyone enjoyed the celebration of our Independence yesterday.  We were invited to our friends' home, the B's, who had a great barbecue of burgers, hot dogs, sausages, pork chops, chicken, corn...you name it, it was there.  I didn't get to eat much, since my stomach wasn't feeling at its best.  I've had to accept the fact that I'm not the same person I was, physically speaking, 20 years ago, or 10 years ago, or even 5 years ago.  Things change; people change; bodies change.  I used to sit and drink a tall glass of milk every night before going to bed and not think about it.  Now I'm lactose intolerant; that same glass of milk will give me excruciating pain and bloating.  I was a skinny twig who could eat like it was a competition and not gain a pound.  I loved it back then!  If I try to do that now, well, let's just say the results would be less than desirable.

I've found that I can't sit and eat a large meal like I used to.  It might be because of the gallbladder stones.  It might be that my digestive system doesn't work as quickly as it used to.  All I know is, yesterday afternoon I ate some potato chips before lunch while I watched Poirot on Netflix, then I had a grilled burger with onions, pickles and ketchup, some seasoned fries, and then, just because I wanted to, I had a piece of brownie.  And suddenly, I wasn't feeling so good :P.  My stomach felt like I'd eaten a few bricks and they were swirling in there.  I had to sit for awhile to let my stomach settle (after drinking some bicarbonate of soda) which made us late to the barbecue.  Then I had to eat small portions and pace myself.  I had one Colombian sausage with a scoop of potato salad and a scoop of cole slaw.  Afterwards I had another sausage and a little cole slaw again.  I didn't want to have another burger after the first episode, and I knew a hot dog would be killer, so I stayed away from them.  For dessert I had a piece of dutch apple pie someone brought.  I didn't feel bad after that, but even though we ate at 7pm and didn't go to bed till midnight, this morning my belly feels like it's filled with lead.  I guess I'm gonna have to take it extra easy today.

We were able to see the fireworks display from our friend's house; they live a short ways from a city park that puts on a great show with lasers and everything.  Thankfully we had Off spray because the mosquitoes were on high alert!  We were especially grateful that the evening was much cooler than it's been these last few days and nights.  While the temps themselves haven't been really high, the humidity has been killer.  It was in the mid 80s last night, but there was lots of cloud cover, and the breeze was sweet.  Our days have been in the low 90s but with the humidity it feels like 99 degrees.  The heat becomes unbearable.  I do hope it cools down a bit; we'd like to do some outdoor activities, but in this intense heat it's not possible.

I'm hoping to take our dog Molly today for her rabies shot and to get her license.  We've put it off too long - her license expires on Saturday.  She's not going to be a very happy dog, I'm afraid.  Oh well.  It's for her own protection.

Have a blessed Thursday!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, July 3, 2012...

Outside my window...the sun is setting, it's almost night.  It's hot and humid and will probably continue to be for the rest of the summer.

I am thinking...of how very blessed I am :)

I am thankful for...my children being with me, a safe move, an organized home, a pantry full of food, a roof over our heads.

I am going...to take a shower in a few minutes.

I am wearing...a black and white top, black and white skirt, and black flip-flops.  A bit monotone, I know.  It's been in the low 90s today but with the humidity it feels like 96 degrees.

I am noticing...some fireworks going off, and it isn't even the Fourth yet.

In the kitchen...I made marinara sauce for our cheese raviolis, and along with that the choice of shrimp or chicken.

I am reading...my devotions in the mornings.  I haven't gotten to reading much else.

I am wondering...when this heatwave is gonna end?  We didn't have a true winter, spring felt more like summer, and summer is turning out to be a real scorcher.  I'm hoping the weather will take a turn soon.

I am hoping...that this heat doesn't spark hurricanes.  They love warm water, and the ocean is at optimal temperatures right now.

I am looking forward to...finding fun stuff to do that isn't outdoors.  I don't know if we could stand the heat!

Around the house...I've done furniture moving, rearranging, redecorating, and it's looking pretty good!  I wasn't sure it would work, but thank God all is fitting in beautifully.

I am pondering these words..."Many of us suffer from temptations from which we have no business to suffer." - Oswald Chambers.

One of my favorite things...air conditioning!!  That is provision from God right there!

A few plans for the rest of the week...Molly needs to go in to have her yearly rabies shot.  I'm not looking forward to that :P.  We don't have any other fixed plans for this week, and that's just fine with me :)

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

The Formal Living Room

Our home has the typical formal living room, also known as the front room, the first room you see when you walk into the house.  It's been used mostly as a reading room since it's quiet and comfortable for that purpose.

On the wall to the immediate left of the front door I had this bookshelf/curio cabinet, strictly for decorative purposes.

The living room contained one sofa, one love seat, the coffee table and end tables, and a few other decorative pieces.  I kept it sparse because I hate clutter.

With the kids coming home and bringing their living and dining room furniture, I came upon a dilemma.  The dining room table could be taken apart so it doesn't take much room in the garage.  But once you put in a sofa, love seat, ottoman cubes, TV stand...there was no space to move in the garage, and the mess was giving me a panic attack.  Time to redistribute and redecorate!

Thankfully the kid's furniture is similar in color to the one in our living room, so adding the love seat from their set was not a problem.  It fit pretty well in that corner, facing the other love seat.

I moved the bookcase to the wall behind the formal love seat and set up a second entertainment area.  This equipment all belongs to my son R; he has the XBox, the Wii, his DVD player with multiple speakers, and I think his Playstation is there too.  The television is his as well.  Now he can play his games or watch movies in this little used space, and the garage isn't as overcrowded as it was before.

There's one more room that got a makeover, so stay tuned!