Friday, August 31, 2012

Follow Friday Four Fill-In

Happy Friday!  It doesn't feel like a Friday, though, thanks to school being cancelled on Monday on account of a little tropical storm that came by.  Now we have another 3 day weekend to totally throw my internal calendar off.  Let's focus on Friday right now, shall we?  I'll do some Friday fill-ins, hosted by Hilary at Feeling Beachie.

This week’s statements:

1. I love to ___ but I hate to ___
I love to sing but I hate to have an audience.  Let's face it, it's not encouraging to see their faces when folks hear me :P

2. __ makes a day better
Chocolate makes a day better.  'Nuf said.

3. They Didn’t Think I Could ______, But I Did
They didn't think I could make it on my own, but I did!  And I do!

4. Warning: ______!
Warning:  Hurricane season is not over!  Don't sit back just because Isaac has come and gone.  This is the busiest time of the year for the tropics.

Five Question Friday

Do you ever wish for peace and quiet, then when you get it you miss the noise?  That's how I feel right now. My two older kids are at work, my youngest is with his dad, and I have the house all to myself.  Blissful silence...only, it's TOO quiet.  I want my babies back home :'(.  It's all good, though.  They'll be back soon enough.  In the meantime, how about some Five Question Friday, courtesy of Mama M over at My Little Life?

1. What do you enjoy doing the most with your spouse?
Seeing as I'm no longer with my spouse, is it alright to talk about what I enjoy not doing with him?  I enjoy not fighting with him everyday.  I'll leave it at that.

2. How do you eat your taco? From the top or from the side?
From the side, of course.  That way you get an equal mouthful of meat and toppings.

3. Have you ever shut off the basement light and ran like a fool because you knew someone was down there and would get you?
Hehe.  That would be extremely funny, since we don't have basements in Florida.  South Florida is swamp land.  Everglades.  This terrain wouldn't support a house with a basement.  It would sink.  In which case, heck yeah I'd run!

4. If you could change one thing about you what would it be and why?
I wish I could be more trusting.  I don't have a lot of close friends because I don't feel like I can trust people.  Unfortunately I've been burned in the past and it affects how I see people now.

5. What age do you think is appropriate to have the "bird and the bees" talk with your children?
I think it's different with boys and girls.  Girls mature faster, and they also start seeing body changes that are more, shall we say, traumatizing than what boys go through.  With girls I'd say between 9 - 10 years old they need to know some of the stuff that's going to be happening with their bodies so they don't wake up one day thinking they're dying of some horrific disease.  Boys, not so early, unless they're overly "precocious".  Each child is different, and each circumstance is different.  Environment has a lot to do with it too I think.  Children attending big city schools will probably need to be told things sooner than, say, a homeschooled child.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thursday Thoughts

I'm sitting in my dining room, sticky and uncomfortable after having given Molly her much needed bath.  If it was hot and humid before, now that we had that tropical storm roll through it feels like a sauna outside.  Just taking the dog for a 15 minute walk leaves me feeling weak from the heat.

 - Here's something to be thankful for:  while we were focused on Tropical Storm/Hurricane Isaac, tropical storm Joyce, Hurricane Kirk and TD #12 all formed, and all stayed in the Atlantic Ocean.  If they all go on the same path, this could be a much better hurricane season than anticipated.

 - I joined my daughter this morning for what was supposed to be a 40 minute oil change on her car.  It turned into a 1 1/2 hour wait.  It bothers me when my schedule gets knocked out of whack like that.  Oh well, at least we got to have Chick-fil-A for lunch :).

 - We stopped off at the library to return some books after school.  Only the library is now closed on Thursdays.  Or maybe it's always closed on Thursdays and it's the other library that's closed on Mondays.

 - I also made a trip to Barnes and Noble this week, to purchase The Adventures of Tom Sawyer for my son E who will be reading it in school.  As I looked at the books in the Required Student Reading section, what should I find but volume one of the Complete Adventures of Sherlock Holmes!  I am a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes, Tommy and Tuppence, Hercule Poirot and all those classic English whodunits.  I've been wanting to buy Sherlock Holmes to add to my own library instead of always borrowing it from the public one.  Now I can pick up volume one whenever I want.  I'm a happy camper :D.

 - We started our first official night of Awana last night.  I get to work with the third grade girls.  These are the girls that were Sparks last year and have graduated to T & T so it's a new experience for them.  My girls from last year have moved up to fourth grade, and they were begging to stay with me.  It made me feel so loved!  I still see them every week, since T & T, which runs from third to sixth grade, all meet together.  We just split the girls up for book time, but even then we're all in the same room.  Still, it was sweet to have the girls ask for me, and to know that I made a positive impact in their lives.

 - I'm gonna have to get my son yet another pair of uniform pants.  Before school ended last year I bought him 2 new pair of pants to replace 2 pair than no longer fit.  A couple of weeks before school started again I told him to try on all his pants to see if they fit.  He brought me 2 pair that no longer fit, and said the other 3 were fine, so I bought him 2 new pair.  Last week, he put on one of the old pair, and to my surprise it looked like he was gonna walk through flood waters.  This kid is growing faster than I can keep him in clothes, and he's only 12 years old.  Not to mention, his dad bought him a pair of sneakers at the beginning of the summer size 8 1/2.  I bought him new sneakers for school, size 9.  I think he's gonna be a big boy.

I'm sure I can think of lots more things to share, but I can't concentrate right now.  I want a shower.  Molly is now inside after her bath.  It's my turn.  Good night.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Chats on the Farmhouse Porch

It's time to join Patrice and Wendell on the front porch for our weekly chats.  Stop on over at Everyday Ruralty and join us.

1. What's the last thing you baked?
I baked pork chops yesterday.  As for sweets, I baked some brownies not too long ago.  I'm looking forward to fall and less humidity so I can bake more often.

2. What's your favorite thing about fall?
Just about everything!  I love the colors of fall, I love how the humidity subsides and the weather becomes more pleasant, I love pumpkins and apples and baking, I love Thanksgiving and Christmas shortly afterwards.  It's my favorite season.

3. What's your favorite room in your home?
That's actually a tough question.  I like my house.  Quite a bit.  If I had to pick a favorite, right now it would be the living room.  My recliners are there, and they are my favorite chairs.

4. Who handles bill paying in your house?
That would be me.  It's always been me.  Having studied bookkeeping and enjoying organization, it was the logical choice.

5. Tell whatever you'd like to share with our chatting friends.
I'm very thankful that tropical storm Isaac is gone from South Florida, and although my yard was flooding for awhile, I'm thankful the waters have receded and my yard doesn't have a lake in it anymore.  I'm thankful for everyone that said a prayer for our safety.  It's nice to know we're loved :).

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Half way through the week, I've gotten half the outdoor furniture back outdoors.  We've gotten a couple of days of sunshine (not including the quick shower this morning) and while the ground is still pretty saturated, at least the flood in my yard is gone.  There's a couple of new lakes in the neighborhood, courtesy of tropical storm Isaac, but I think they'll be receding soon too.  For now, let's get some hodgepodge questions done.  Thanks to Joyce, From This Side of the Pond, for this blog hop.

1. Americans will celebrate Labor Day this coming weekend. Do you know what we're actually celebrating? (without consulting your friends Google or wikipedia, ahem) What's a project you're currently 'laboring' over?
I can't say if this is the same in the States, but in Latin American countries labor day is known as "el dia del trabajador", or Worker's Day.  It's a day to appreciate all the work that is done by our parents, spouses, children, community.

2. Labor Day also signals the unofficial end of summer for most of us...what summer food will you miss the most? If you're in the southern hemisphere feel free to substitute winter for summer.
What if you live in the middle?  Summer doesn't exactly end in South Florida.  It gets replaced with hurricane season, then tourist season, then love bug (or mosquito) season.  One of the great things about living here is, you don't need to give up any of the summer foods or activities we love.

3. A well known proverb states, 'It's easier to seek forgiveness than ask permission.' Your thoughts?
I don't know about whether it's easier, but it's certainly wiser to be forgiving.  "For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You." - Psalm 86:5.  Not only that, but it's also necessary.  "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." - Matthew 6:14-15.  However, doing something you know is wrong and expecting people to just be "forgiving" is a wrong attitude.

4. Food critic, film critic, book critic, art critic....which hat would you most like to wear?
I don't understand art, and I'm not a big movie buff, so those two get crossed off the list.  That leaves food and book critic.  I love eating, and I love reading.  I'd have a hard time choosing.  I think if I really had to, I'd pick books first with food as a close second.

5. When you were a kid, who (besides your parents) was your favorite adult?
That would be my aunt Eloise.  She was the coolest adult because she'd listen to me, talk to me, joke around with me, and treat me like a person, not like a kid.

6. The astronaut, Neil Armstrong, passed away last week. He was regarded as a hero by many generations of people all around the world. Do we still have modern day heroes? What makes someone a hero?
Character qualities and integrity are the two most important traits a hero can have.  Money, fame, celebrity...those things don't make heroes.  A person can be relatively unknown to most but still be a hero to those around him/her.  Yes, there are modern day heroes.  Sadly, they are few and far between.

7. I never get tired of __________________.
I never get tired of thanking Jesus for salvation.  I don't know what my life would be like right now if it weren't for my relationship with the Lord.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
The church where my daughter interns was supposed to do a promo this past weekend for a couple's retreat.  They were going to give out roses to all the ladies.  Those roses were in my home on Friday, ready to have little notes attached to them on Saturday, when we found out church services were cancelled thanks to tropical storm Isaac.  Since the flowers wouldn't last for a whole week, they were returned to the person in charge at the church office, who let us keep whatever we wanted.  Here is one of the arrangements (my favorite, in fact):

Have a blessed rest of your week.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, August 28, 2012...

Outside my window...the blue skies and sunshine are a very different view from the rain, wind and flooding we had just yesterday from Tropical Storm Isaac.  There was tons of water in our yard that thankfully has receded.

I am thinking...about the folks in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle who are feeling the effects of now Hurricane Isaac, and what awaits them with this soggy storm.

I am thankful...that the Lord protected us during the storm.  We never lost power, and while our yard did start to fill up with water, it never got into the house.  We were safe and sound the whole time.

I am blow dry my hair once I finish with this post.

I am wearing...a BarlowGirl t-shirt, jean skirt and black flip-flops.  It's currently 84 degrees out, with 78% humidity, so it's hot and sticky.

In the kitchen...we had baked pork chops, baked beans, string beans and salad.

I am creating...nothing right now.  We've been too busy preparing and un-preparing the house for tropical storm Isaac.

I am my family is doing with the storm so close.  I have an aunt and cousins living in the Florida Panhandle.  I pray they're safe.

I am reading...still on Sixteen Brides, but I'm over half done with it.  I know, it's taking me a long time to read, but again, prepping for a storm takes a lot of time.

I am daughter is okay.  She texted me that she cut her finger.  Ouch.

I am looking forward to...another 3 day weekend - Labor Day.  We have nothing planned, but I love it when we have 3 day weekends!

I am hearing...the Duggars.  There's a 19 Kids and Counting marathon.  It's one of the few times I watch network television.

Around the house...there are a few flower arrangements.  Roses that were to be used for a couple's retreat promo at church never got given out thanks to tropical storm Isaac, so we were allowed to keep a bunch of them.  Roses are so pretty!

A favorite quote of the day..."You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving." - Amy Carmichael.

One of my favorite watching hour after hour of the Duggars.  Nope, I don't get tired of them!

A few plans for the rest of the week...we have Awana tomorrow night, and that's about it.  I'd like to get some bowling in sometime this week.  We need the exercise!

Here's a look into my me, this explains so much.

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

Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday Quiz About Me

Happy Monday!  This great blog hop is hosted by Heather at Acting Balanced.  There are 4 questions to answer, then the option to add a fifth question to be answered on my blog.  Won't you give it a try?

1.  When was the last time you tried something new?
I'm actually gonna try something new today!  I bought a Jennie-O frozen boneless turkey breast with gravy that I'm gonna make in the oven for lunch.  I hope this thing is good!

2.  What’s a belief that you hold with which many people disagree?
I believe in the Biblical model for marriage between one man and one woman.  I know this isn't the popular view in today's world, but then again, Jesus wasn't popular in His time either.

3.  What kind of music do you enjoy listening to?
I usually listen to contemporary Christian music.  I'm also a fan of oldies, which for me would be songs of the 80s.

4.  What piece of advice would you give to a beginning blogger?
Don't try to be like other bloggers or copy what everyone else is doing.  The beauty of your blog is that it's yours, and there is no rule about what it has to look like or what you can post.  If all you want to do on your blog is share recipes, go for it.  You decide.

And my fifth question:

5.  What kind of adverse weather conditions do you have to deal with where you live?
South Florida is a wonderful and beautiful place to live.  I love my little town with the dairy farm behind us.  But we have to contend with hurricanes every now and then, and the tornadoes they can create.  Thankfully hurricanes can be monitored and we can prepare for them up to a point, but they can be quite destructive.  We are grateful Tropical Storm Isaac is gone, but as of yesterday 3 deaths in Florida were attributed to it.

Move it Mondays

First off, let me say, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for your prayers!  We are seeing what's left of Tropical Storm Isaac, wind, rain, and an occasional peek of the sun when the skies clear.  It'll most likely look like this all day as the outer bands come through, but I'm thankful that the worst is over and we can, once again, breathe a sigh of relief.  We will continue praying for the folks in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle as the storm makes its way up the Gulf.  It's still a tropical storm (praise God!) but it's expected to intensify now that it's in the warm Gulf waters.

What's the plan for today?  Well, I'm having my breakfast right now:  two eggs scrambled with onions and orange pepper, and a Pillsbury biscuit.  I'm not going to be doing any outdoor work today, even though there's plenty to do, because the wind and rain will continue on and off today.  There's plenty to do indoors, especially since school has been cancelled.  Yesterday E and I played a game of Parcheesi, maybe we can get the older kids to join in today (they had to work yesterday).  The floors need vacuuming again (thank you Molly) and there's always something we can take care of, though I'm keeping the day more relaxed.  It's an extra day off, and we plan to enjoy it!  Have a blessed Monday everyone!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Tropical Storm Isaac

In case you haven't heard, there is a tropical storm named Isaac entering the Florida Straits.  We are on the alert, getting ready for what is to come.  South Florida is under a tropical storm warning/hurricane watch.  That means we are expecting tropical storm conditions within the next 24-36 hours, and could possibly experience hurricane conditions within the next 36-48 hours.

Living in Florida means we know what tropical storms and hurricanes entail.  We are more lax when it comes to anything under a category 2 hurricane, but we also get ready for what may come.  Tropical storms are nothing to sneeze at; sadly, 3 people are reported dead in Haiti because of Isaac.  There are preparations that need to take place, and I've been getting us ready since yesterday.

We have enough canned tuna to last the entire hurricane season, along with a couple of cans of chicken.  There's bread, crackers, Nutella, peanut butter, cookies, granola bars, canned vegetables, canned beans, cereal, and several cases of water.  I brought in the patio furniture, locked up the shed tight, picked up all the small items in the front yard, and brought the garbage tanks into the garage.  The flashlights have batteries, and I will be charging phones shortly.  I think we are as ready as we are gonna get.

The question of putting up storm shutters came up, and I decided against it.  Now, before any of you starts going ballistic on me (that means you, sis), I have been watching the news and Hurricane Central all week, and from what we're looking at, even if the storm becomes a hurricane (which it is forecasted to become tonight), my area will only get tropical storm force winds and lots of rain.  I've been through hurricanes Katrina and Irene which were category 1 hurricanes, and we didn't put up the shutters.  Yes, it was windy, but we were okay.  For a category 2 hurricane, like Wilma was, we most definitely put the shutters up, but I made the call to not do all that work and live in the cave conditions that shutters produce.  We will be praying and trusting God who is bigger than the storm to keep us protected.

I ask my friends in the blogsphere to keep Florida in prayer.  Please pray for the folks in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and everyone that can potentially be affected by this storm.  Prayer is a powerful thing.  "Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, And He shall hear my voice." - Psalm 55:17.  Thank you, and may God's blessings be upon you.

Observing My Senses

For Today, August 25, 2012...

I am seeing...the beginning of Tropical Storm Isaac as the outer bands are reaching us.  This system is so large that the center of the storm is in Haiti but we're already seeing the rain, and winds are picking up.  It's gonna be a soggy weekend.

I am feeling...a bit frustrated with myself, because I should have brought in the patio furniture yesterday but I didn't think we'd be getting this weather so soon.  I figured we'd get everything done today because the storm would start to come in on Sunday.  As my son would say, epic fail.

I am hearing...sausages sizzling, the tick-tick of the toaster oven, and rain hitting against the windows.

I am tasting...nothing as of yet, but I will be tasting some yummy pumpkin spice Eggos shortly.  They are so delicious!

I am and sausages and hash browns and roses.  I'm sitting next to 250 roses that our church will be giving out tomorrow at the service to promote a couple's retreat.  I hope people actually show up for church; the weather could keep a lot of folks home.

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

Friday, August 24, 2012

Follow Friday Four Fill-In Fun

I'm joining Hilary over at Feeling Beachie again this week for some Friday fill-ins.  Why not give it a try?

1. I hate ____
I hate okra.  Plain and simple.  I think it's the nastiest vegetable on earth.

2. I have never been to ­­­­____
I have never been to Hawaii, but I'd sure like to visit there one day.

3. The hobby I love the most is_____________ and one day I will ____________________.
The hobby I love the most is scrapbooking and one day I will take a class so I can learn the harder techniques.

4. My favorite store to shop at is______________because_______________________
My favorite store to shop at is Kohl's because they have really nice clothing and household items at good prices and they play music I enjoy.  (I hate going into a store that's playing rap music; it gives me a headache)

Five Question Friday

It's finally Friday!  Wow, what a week!  School started on Monday, and Tropical Storm Isaac formed, and now as it strengthens and threatens to become Hurricane Isaac, it's a bit too close for comfort.  Some computer models show it going towards the west coast, some show it more inland, but it doesn't matter because this system is so enormous it would cover the state of Texas.  We're not quite so big, so it's a sure thing we're gonna be affected one way or another.  So, to keep my mind off of it, I'm joining Mama M at My Little Life for a little Five Question Friday.

1. If you could have been (could be) any profession you wanted (brains and $$$ no problem) what would it be?
My dream would be to be an interior designer.  Money would have to be no problem; unless you're a big name designer to celebrities or on television, it's not a very high paying profession.  But how satisfying to help a person find ways to use their space efficiently while still making it beautiful and welcoming!

2. How often do you clean out your car?
If you looked at my car right now you'd think I just pulled out of the dealership.  I clean out my car daily.  I do NOT want food wrappers, or school papers, or toys, or clothes, or anything in my car.  My car needs to be neat and clean, just like my house.

3. Do you wish there was such a thing as fashion police or are you deeply relieved?
Haha, fashion police would probably be on my tail constantly!  I live in flip-flops and I don't care if that's a fashion faux pas.  Here in Florida that is standard footwear.  I like my clothes to go together but I don't keep up with the latest trends.  I try to keep my hair styled but with the humidity it's almost impossible.  Ditto on the makeup - who wants to wear makeup when it's 90% humidity out?!

4. What's your go to food/drink/activity when stressed?
Chocolate seems to have a relaxing effect ;)

5. If you had twins, what would you name them?
The question doesn't specify twin gender, so since my younger brother and sister are twins, I'll go with boy/girl.  Remember the Rugrats TV show?  The twins there were named Phillip and Lillian, and they were nicknamed Phil and Lil.  I'd do the same thing.  I'd name my twins Matthew and Madison, and call them Matty and Maddy.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thursday Thoughts

 - If you haven't been watching the news, and the weather report in particular, then you may not know that a tropical storm has formed in the Caribbean and it is headed this way.  My way.  Towards Florida.  Tropical Storm Isaac is currently south of Puerto Rico and is headed west at 13 miles per hour, over warm waters which will nourish it into a hurricane sometime tomorrow.  We are preparing ourselves, though we've gone through category 1 storms in the past, and in South Florida we refer to them as "kite flying" weather.  I'm more concerned about the people in Haiti.  There was that earthquake that left hundreds of thousands of families homeless, who are currently living in tents, and I can't help but wonder what will happen to them if this system goes through like all the computer models show it will?  Please keep the people of Haiti in your prayers.  Haiti is the poorest nation in the entire Western hemisphere.  This weak hurricane could leave them completely devastated.

 - My oldest son brought home something that has me smiling.  Eggo has come out with a new seasonal flavor of waffles.

Pumpkin Spice.  Can I get a "Whoop Whoop!"  I love pumpkin spice anything, and these waffles are A-MAZING!  The smell in my kitchen just from putting them in the toaster oven was enough to get me excited, and I loved the taste - pumpkin and cinnamon together are the perfect combination!  These aren't going to last in the stores or in my kitchen, so I'm gonna have to stock up (or figure out a recipe to make them myself!).

 - School started this week.  My baby boy is in seventh grade.  I'm still not sure how that happened.  He seems to have grown overnight.  I look at old pictures of him, just a couple of years ago, and the difference is astounding.  He had such a baby face!  Now he's almost as tall as me, wears a size 9 shoe and is rapidly turning into a teenager.  I don't know if I'm ready for my baby to be a teenager.  Has anyone figured out how to slow down time?!

 - Our Awana pizza blast was last night.  We were jam-packed!  It was wonderful to see familiar faces, and even more exciting to see new ones!  One of the churches in our area dropped their Awana program this year because it was too expensive :'(.  We expect kids from that church to sign up with us.  It makes me sad when churches cut programs like Awana because they think they can't afford it.  In my opinion, you can't afford NOT to have programs like this for the children.  Remember Proverbs 22:6?  "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is grown he will not depart from it."  God commands us to teach the children so that they will follow Him in the future.  When we eliminate programs that help instruct the children in the ways of the Lord, we can't complain later on because these children turn into adults who no longer care about going to church or living godly lives.

 - On the menu for today:  meatloaf, mashed potatoes, veggies and salad.  I have to make enough food so that we can all three of us (my son R, my daughter A and myself) can have it for lunch, my two oldest can pack some to take to work for dinner, my youngest son E and I can also have it for dinner, and maybe, just maybe, have some left for E's lunch tomorrow.  It's just four of us in the house but I feel like I cook for an army.  All because I'd rather have them eat a home cooked meal and not fast food.

 - I'm also gonna make what Alton Brown calls Pocket Pies.  I buy pastry discs:

and fill them with fruit.  I love fruit pies, especially apple, but my kids are not big fans of them.  My daughter loves blueberries, but I can't have berries because of my allergies.  This way I can make different flavored pies and we all get to eat what we like in small portions.  I hope everyone enjoys them.

Well, I'm off to finish cooking, then start some serious hurricane planning.  I have furniture in the backyard that will need attending to, some items that need to go to the dump and can't wait till after the storm, and of course what meals to prepare if the electricity goes out and my electric stove doesn't work.  Dear Lord, please keep this storm far from Haiti and far from us!  Have a blessed day.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Chats on the Farmhouse Porch

I spent the morning cleaning bathrooms (we all know how fun THAT is) and I'm getting ready to make our lunch/dinner (lunch for those who are here at lunch time and dinner for those coming home later), but first how about spending some time with Patrice and Wendell on their front porch?  Let's get together at Everyday Ruralty.

1. Are you a list maker? (grocery, to-do, goals, etc.)
Oh my word yes!  If I didn't make lists I'd forget half of what I want to accomplish.  I have to have a grocery list or else I'll forget what I need to buy.  I have a list of my monthly expenses that gets marked once everything is paid.  I'm a bit OCD when it comes to organization, and lists make me happy :)

2. Do you have overnight guests often?
I rarely have overnight guests.  Occasionally my nephew would sleep over but now that he's 14 I think he's over that.  I don't have the space for overnight guests, unfortunately.  No guest room or sofa bed or fold-out or anything like that.

3. Where is your laundry room, or the area that you keep your washer and dryer?
My washer and dryer are in the garage.  I wish I had a laundry room inside the house.  It would help with keeping the machines clean.

4. How are you with tools? Power tools?
I'm pretty handy if I have an instruction manual or someone explaining how to use it.  I'm certainly not afraid of power tools, but safety first!

5. Tell me something that will make me smile. Please.
Knowing that Jesus loves me always makes me smile.  I hope it makes you smile too, because He loves you as well.

Wednesday Hodgepodge

It's Wednesday (already!) and time for my Wednesday Hodgepodge post, courtesy of Joyce over at From This Side Of The Pond.  I hope you'll join in for some mid-week fun.

1. Aloha! On August 21, 1959 Hawaii officially became a US State...have you ever been? Upon arrival would you prefer an orchid or a hibiscus to tuck behind your ear?
Happy Anniversary Hawaii!  I haven't had the pleasure of visiting the beautiful state of Hawaii, though I'd love to.  I don't know if I'd prefer an orchid or a hibiscus - both are lovely flowers.  Surprise me!

2. Since we're talking tropical...what's your favorite food or beverage made with pineapple?
Anything with pineapple delights me, they are my favorite fruit!  I love pineapples grilled - talk about absolutely delicious!

3. Do you believe in soul mates? Explain.
I believe people can become soul mates.  I believe people can like each other, enjoy each other's company, and in time develop a relationship so close that they can finish each other's sentences and such.

4. Share a memory about the house you grew up in.
I grew up in the Bronx, in New York City, during the 60s and 70s when the city was at its worst.  Buildings were being burned, gangs were abundant, drugs flowed, and we lived in an apartment building that had fungus growing in the walls and rats the size of cats.  We finally "upgraded" to the projects when I was 15 years old.  Sadly, any memories I have of the homes I grew up in are unpleasant.

 5. Are you comfortable with silence?
Yes, for awhile.  Then I start to miss the chatter of my kids.

6. You spot a giant spider on your bedroom wall...what's your next move? (all spiders are giant, right?)
We don't get "giant" spiders.  Typically we get tiny little fuzzy ones or Daddy-longlegs.  When I see them on the walls or floor, they get a close encounter with the bottom of my shoe.  I have no issues with killing them if they are on my turf.

 7. My idea of fun does NOT include_____________.
Riding on roller coasters.  I've never liked them, and as I get older they seem less and less enjoyable.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
After all the work I did yesterday moving furniture and redecorating (see post about that here) I was so exhausted I couldn't keep my eyes open.  I sat down in the living room on one of the recliners to listen to my daughter tell me about her day in training.  Next thing I hear is my daughter saying, "Mom, Mom, wake up!"  I had dozed off as she was talking.  I was that tired.  Boy, did I have a good night's sleep after that!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Another New Look

Back in July when my kids moved back home, I had to figure out how I was going to fit a two bedroom apartment into my already fully furnished three bedroom home.  The bedrooms weren't too hard, but the living areas were more challenging because I hate clutter and can't be comfortable in a house with stuff all over the place.  By the same token, I didn't want to load up the garage with so much stuff that we couldn't even go into it, especially since my washer and dryer are in the garage.  So I worked in the living room and came up with this.  It worked at first; I figured it was the best that could be done.  But I didn't like it.  There was too much furniture, it didn't match anything, it felt cluttered...I couldn't figure out how to fix it and it was driving me nuts.

This week I started my yearly Back to School housecleaning.  Each year when school starts I go room by room and give a thorough cleaning to get the house ready for fall decor which will be coming up in about a month.  Yesterday I cleaned the kitchen and family room.  To give an idea of how the family room looked, you can check it out here.  Today was dining room and formal living room's turn.  I started out with the dining room, moving chairs, dusting, cleaning, and leaving it fresh.  I moved on to the living room and started cleaning the sofas, removing pillows and cushions so I could vacuum under and around them.  Now, in the pictures my living room furniture doesn't look bad.  In reality, the colors have faded - a lot.  The sofa and love seat are 13 years old, and after all that time they certainly aren't as fresh as they once were.  I realized that I was taking care of these old, faded pieces, while a new sofa was in the garage gathering dust, and possibly more since it's been so humid out.  I decided then that a change needed to be made.

I went to see my oldest son R who was in his room, and told him, "I have an idea."  To which he answered, "Uh-oh."  Sweet boy.  But when I told him what I wanted to do, he readily agreed and came to help.  This is the end result.

 The "new" living room has the family room furniture.  Since my son's TV and gaming systems are in there, it made sense to put the recliners in the front room where we're spending more time lately.  This is the view from the dining room.

Here is the view from the front door.  I like that my curio cabinet is actually visible now.  Before, it was blocked by the old love seat.

This is the view from the hallway.  I put the recliners facing the TV since that's what's gonna happen anyways.  I prefer to have the chairs face the sofa, which is more comfortable for conversation, but let's face it, my kids will be here playing Super Mario.

Here's the family room.  The sofa is taupe microfiber.  My daughter had gotten the pillows at Costco and the colors work wonderfully, since I have my red wall.

One thing I couldn't keep was the area rug.  The one that was in here was moved to the living room, and the one that was previously in the living room didn't work colorwise with this furniture - the rug has lots of blue which matched the old furniture.  I'm thinking of selling the old furniture together with the area rug.

This is the view from the dining room.  I put the love seat on the diagonal, making the room look more open. It confused Molly at first, but I'm sure she'll get used to it soon enough!

And there you have it.  I'll need an area rug for the family room, and I would like to change some of the artwork so it works with the furniture arrangement, but all in all, a good days work with excellent results.  Of course, I popped my hip with all the furniture moving, so I'll be in a bit of pain for awhile.  I don't care.  To me, it was worth it.

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, August 21, 2012...

Outside my window...after an early morning thunderstorm the heat index is through the roof!  Despite our high being 90 degrees, thanks to the humidity it feels like we're in the triple digits.  It's very lovely to look at from inside my air conditioned house, but I don't want to be out there!

I am, the 20 year anniversary of Hurricane Andrew is this week.  Hard to believe it's been 20 years since that category 5 storm came through and caused so much destruction in South Florida.

I am thankful...for my son's homeroom/civics teacher who proclaimed to the class that she is a Christian (yay!) and my son says she is amazing!  First day of class and already he was telling me all about Miranda rights and how even officers are not above the law.  She must be a great teacher to get them to memorize so much in just one day!

I am rest for awhile.  I did a lot of work this morning, redecorating the house again.  Pictures forthcoming.

I am wearing...a white tank top (I was wearing another top over it but it's all sweaty so I removed that layer), black capris and black flip-flops.

In the kitchen...I made my version of bourbon chicken (without bourbon) and white rice nice and early because my daughter said she'd be home for lunch.  Then she texted me that she wouldn't make it because she only got a half hour for lunch today (she's doing some training).  I guess she'll have it for dinner.  It was delicious, by the way.

I am creating...a more comfortable home, less furniture, better configuration.  I feel so much better now that the house isn't as cluttered.

I am wondering...if tropical depression #9 is going to reach us.  It's expected to become Hurricane Isaac within the next couple of days.  It appears to be headed towards Cuba but there's no telling yet if it'll come to Florida or go into the Gulf of Mexico.  My son says he'd like to see it disappear into the ocean.  I agree.

I am reading...Sixteen Brides, still.  I read a little everyday, but what with school starting up and daughter with her new job and doing all sorts of work in the house, there isn't much time for reading :(.  I do read my Bible and devotions each morning, though.

I am hoping...the pain in my index finger subsides.  I'm really not liking this arthritis thing.

I am looking forward daughter coming home and seeing all the work I've done in the house.  She's gonna be so surprised :D.

I am be content with what the Lord gives me, which is way more than I deserve.

Around the house...I'll need another post to show all I've done today.  I'm gonna try and get it up today, though I have to admit I'm super tired.  Moving furniture is hard work, even with my oldest son doing most of the lifting ;).

A favorite quote of the day..."Nobody ever outgrows Scripture; the book widens and deepens with our years." - Charles H. Spurgeon.

One of my favorite things...decorating without spending money.  I like getting a whole new look in my house without spending a dime!  There used to be a show on HGTV that taught that - Decorating Cents, it was called.  I miss those types of shows.

A few plans for the rest of the week...we kick off our Awana year tomorrow with a pizza blast - that'll be fun!  I'd like to get some bowling in, but that depends on homework load and everyone's schedule.

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

Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday Quiz About Me

School is over for today, my son met 2 of his teachers and likes them both, I gave the kitchen and family room a good cleaning, and now I can relax doing my Monday quiz, courtesy of Heather at Acting Balanced.
I get to answer 4 questions, then ask one of my own for you folks to answer.  Here we go:

1.  If you found a $100 bill on the floor at the mall, what would you do?
If I found the money (without seeing someone drop it) I would pick it up and give it to my church.  I did this once with a $20.  The way I see it, it was an unexpected gift that I get to pass on to someone else.

2.  What is one thing a friend could do that you would considering ending your friendship upon finding out?
Lie.  Especially about me.  Honesty is extremely important in friendship; if I can't trust a person I can't call them my friend.

3.  When was the last time you had to say your 'sorry?'
There was a girl in my Awana class that was pulling out her eyebrows.  I happened to catch her doing it and told her to stop.  She was so embarrassed she began crying.  I felt terrible, because it wasn't my intention to embarrass her, just to get her to stop.  Thankfully she's a forgiving child.

4.  In your words, define 'perfect.'
God.  He is the only perfect being.  Nothing else even comes close.

And now, my question (which doesn't follow the line of questioning above at all):

5.  Car, van, SUV, pick-up truck - what do you prefer to drive?
I loved my SUV.  It was tall so I could see over the small cars, had lots of space, and yet still handled like a car.  Unfortunately it ate gas like a teenage boy eats everything in sight, and with the cost of gasoline these days, it wasn't a wise vehicle choice.  I drive a 4-door sedan now, that I fill up once every 3 weeks.  I miss my Montero Sport, but the Sonata is the right car for us now.

Move It Mondays

Good Monday morning, and what a special Monday it is!  Today is the first day of school here in South Florida.  The kiddies are waking up with a not-so-happy face because summer vacation is over :(.  But I think they're secretly glad too.  They get to try out their new school supplies, see their friends, and get back into their routine.  Truth is, we all crave routine, and it'll be nice to get into mine again, too.

I got up this morning and made breakfast for E and me.  I'm having one fried egg and two slices of honey wheat toast with my coffee.  I'm trying to cut down on snacks, so I have to have a good breakfast.  Once I'm done here, I'll get dressed, take my son to school, and stop off at Winn-Dixie to pick up some items that Walmart didn't have in their store.  Once I get home, I'm starting my fall cleaning.  Even though it isn't technically fall, I always do a top-to-bottom cleaning of my house, room by room, starting with the kitchen, the week school starts.  It helps me forget that my little guy isn't at home with me :(.

South Florida is supposed to get a bunch of thunderstorms this week, and we're keeping an eye on a storm out in the ocean which is trying hard to become tropical storm Isaac.  Gotta keep on the look-out!  I hope y'all have a great Monday and a blessed week!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Observing My Senses

For Today, August 18, 2012...

I am seeing...hazy sunshine, but then again it's still early.  Hard to tell what the weather will be like today, other than hot.

I am feeling...triumphant after bowling my best score yesterday, 113.  I know, to good bowlers that doesn't seem like much, but to someone who is only just starting to break 100, it's phenomenal.

I am son eat his breakfast, the ceiling fan's whir, and not much else.  Daughter has already left for work and youngest son is asleep, enjoying the last couple of days before school starts up again.

I am tasting...nothing as of yet.

I am smelling...some sandwiches my oldest son is making to take to work.  It's cheaper than buying food.

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

Friday, August 17, 2012

Follow Friday Four Fill-In

Here it is, the last Friday before school starts.  My son is inconsolable :(.  Summer vacation seems to have flown by, and we didn't get to do as many things as we'd have liked thanks to the intense heat.  But hey, it'll still be summer weather here in South Florida even with school, and I have my Follow Friday fill-ins to keep me smiling.  Why not visit Hilary at Feeling Beachie and join in?

This week’s statements:

1. I ___ so much __ in a day
I sweep up so much dog hair in a day.  Our dog Molly is shedding, yet again.

2. I don’t like ____ but I love ___
I don't like scary movies but I love comedies.

3. When I watch_______ I ­­­­____
When I watch my daughter sing and play guitar at church I get all choked up.

4. I have ________in my wallet.
I have pictures of my kids in my wallet.  From when they were little.  They will forever be my babies :).

Five Question Friday

Happy Friday y'all!  Time for some Friday fun with Five Question Friday, courtesy of Mama M at My Little Life.

1. What's the one thing you buy every time you walk into the store?
Vanilla yogurt covered raisins.  I go through a bag every week.  That and ice cream bars.  My boys go through a large box in a matter of days.

2. If you had a day all to yourself how would you spend it?
More than likely with a good book.  I love reading and rarely get to read a page without interruptions.

3. Are you a speed limit driver? If not, over or under?
I try very much to stay within the speed limit, though I will go over more often than I care to admit.

4. What's your favorite dessert to make, homemade or from a mix??
Pumpkin spice cake with cream cheese frosting.  I use a mix, but I adjust it to my liking.  The best part of using a mix is not following directions ;).  If you want to make this really yummy cake, the recipe is here.

5. Would you rather have a spider or a mouse scurry across your face (no copping out and saying "neither!!")?
Spider, absolutely.  I can squish a spider.  I'd have to be buried if a mouse ran over any part of my anatomy.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thursday Thoughts

 - I was looking at the story on the drought the other day, and was surprised to see South Florida listed as extremely dry.  That must be a mistake.  We have gotten rain regularly all summer long.  Not light drizzly rain, oh no.  Heavy duty thunderstorms and downpours no less than 3 days a week.  Maybe the weather people should take another look at their maps.

Despite this inaccuracy, I follow the weather reports diligently because we're in hurricane season (one of the four seasons here in Florida; the other three are tourist season, love bug season, and summer).  Tropical Storm Gordon has formed in the Atlantic, but thank the Lord it will stay in the Atlantic and cause no threat to land.  There's a tropical wave coming off the coast of Africa that we need to keep an eye on, but thus far we've had no hurricanes threaten our borders.

I know some folks think of living in Florida as too dangerous because of the hurricanes.  The way I see it, no matter where in the United States you live, there will always be some sort of weather phenomena that needs our attention.  It could be hurricanes along the east and Gulf coasts, or it could be earthquakes on the west coast.  It could be tornadoes or severe drought in the Midwest.  Come winter, it might be blizzards and freezing temperatures.  Honestly, I'm quite content living in Florida.  The hurricanes give plenty of alert time to get ready, and praise God we haven't had anything come near us the last couple of years.  We might get hit this time, or maybe not.  We'll just have to keep our eyes open.

 - I'm wondering if I should try my hand at extreme couponing.  Food prices keep going up, and now with the drought they're only gonna get worse.  I've watched a couple of the coupon shows but I'm not impressed.  Not that getting all that food and stuff for almost no money isn't a great accomplishment; it's just that I can't see stocking my house full of things I will never use nor eat.  One episode had two sisters getting anything and everything they could for free or almost free, including shelves filled with diapers though neither sister had any children.  Another episode showed a family of 5 with a stockpile that could easily last for over a year, if it didn't expire before that.  If you ask me, that's just as wasteful as buying the items and throwing them away.  What good does it do anyone to have all these things just lying around instead of being used or eaten?  I would applaud them for giving the extras away to a food bank, a nursing home or an orphanage, but to keep it, and worse yet, to continue to add to it, just because it's free?  I don't see the benefit of it.

 - The other day I was looking at my living room trying to figure out where I want to put the Christmas tree this year.  What, you think Christmas is that far away?  Let me remind you we are already halfway through August.  Time goes by very quickly.  Besides, if I think of Christmas, the heat won't seem so oppressive.  Did you know that's how The Christmas Song got written?  During an excessively hot summer (much like the one we're experiencing now) Mel Torme decided the best way to stay cool was to think cool thoughts.  He started writing on a piece of paper, "Chestnuts roasting...Jack Frost nipping...Yuletide carols..." and shortly thereafter the song was born.  Nothing like Christmas to make us feel cooler and warmer at the same time :).

 - I finally started a book on my Nook again.  It's called Sixteen Brides, and I decided to start reading it because I downloaded it August 2011 and after having it for a whole year I should be ashamed at not having read it yet.

 - Oh look, another thunderstorms approaches.  I should get off the computer and read for awhile.  Once the storm passes, I'll work on next week's meal plan.  Have a blessed day everyone!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Chats on the Farmhouse Porch

Wanna know something funny?  One of the reasons I love this blog hop is because of the picture.  I love the swing on the porch, and how nice it looks against the colors of my own blog ;).  Why not pull up a chair, pour yourself a tall glass of Southern sweet tea, and join Patrice, Wendell and the whole gang for some chats at Everyday Ruralty.

1.  What was your biggest fear as a child?
Mice.  Rats.  Our apartment became infested with them.  They were everywhere, and they horrified me.  Even to this day, the sight of a mouse will send me into a frenzied panic.

 2.  Who taught you to cook?
My mom.  Her method was different from other moms.  Rather than be in the kitchen with me, she would go to the bedroom and give me instructions.  As I finished one step I'd run over and ask what to do next, and she'd tell me what to do and I'd do it.  She preferred this hands-off approach, probably because she knew if she was in the kitchen with me she'd grow impatient and start doing things herself.  It worked so well I did the same thing with my own kids.

 3.  Do you have a lot of books in your home?
Not as many as I'd like.  I do have quite a few but I'm a book lover.  I can read for hours.  I've got a nice little collection on my Nook too, but neither collection is larger than my son's.  My oldest son R has boxes of books.

 4.  Wendell asks:  Do you like carrot cake? Patrice says frosting is good on top. If you like that cake, what kind of frosting do you like best? On top? Hmm. I guess you wear it like a hat.
I l-o-v-e love carrot cake!  I've made it and added pineapple to it.  Oh.My.Word.  Insanely delicious!  As for frosting, I've tried it with vanilla and with cream cheese, and cream cheese is definitely the winner.

 5.  What's did the last funny t-shirt you read say? (It doesn't have to reflect your personal feeling about the topic, just be funny and family friendly.)
My son has a t-shirt that says, "My mom thinks I'm cool."  That's one of my favorites.

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Good Wednesday morning, and happy half-way-thru-the-week!  It's been kind of busy for us, getting ready for school which starts on Monday and trying to enjoy the few days of vacation left.  Today calls for grass cutting early, since we're supposed to get rain this afternoon.  Let's start the day with some hodgepodge, courtesy of Joyce over at From This Side Of The Pond.

1. I included this quote (attributed to William H. Danforth) in my blog post on Monday..."The best cure for a sluggish mind is to disturb its routine." When was the last time you 'disturbed your routine' and how'd you do it?

I feel like my routine gets disturbed quite regularly :P.  I'm a schedule type person - I like to have everything planned out and clear.  Life isn't like that.  Just this Monday my routine was knocked out of whack when my son informed me his car had gotten towed and I had to take him to get it from the impound.  It took longer than expected and my whole morning was shot.  It happens; it gets dealt with, and life goes on.

2. What's your favorite fried food indulgence?

I haven't had this in, like, forever, but I would say fried ice cream from our local Mexican restaurant.  I'm lactose intolerant, and I have gallstones, so eating ice cream and having it fried is not in my health's interest.

3. Did you have an allowance as a kid? What did you do with it? Do you give your own kids an allowance?

I neither had an allowance as a child nor did I give my own children an allowance.  Money should be earned; that's how it works in the real world and it's best to learn that lesson early.

4. What's something you wish you knew more about?

I'm a learner by nature so knowing more about anything interests me.  Right at this time I'd like to understand newfangled electronics more (like smart phones and such).  I often feel like a dinosaur when my kids talk about what their phones can do, and me with an "old-fashioned" Blackberry.

5. Is there anything you feel too old to do anymore? If so, what?

Oh yeah.  Riding on carnival rides.  My body doesn't respond well to all the twists and turns like it used to.

6. What's a song you think has a great first line?

Don't Stop Believing, by Journey, has a first line that catches your attention and makes you want to hear the rest of the song.

Just a small town girl, livin' in a lonely world 
She took the midnight train goin' anywhere.

7. Who are you writing to/for when you create a blog post. In other you write, who is the audience in your head?

Anyone that wants to read it, I guess.  My hope is that my blog posts encourage people to follow Jesus, to get to know Him, to realize Christians are not different or better than anyone, we are folks like everyone else, sinners who have good moments and bad moments, but we place our faith in a Savior who will never leave us nor forsake us.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I'm amazed at how I multi-task.  I don't think about it much until I'm trying to get things done (like this blog post, for instance) while my daughter talks to me about her day yesterday and I plan in my head what needs to get done for the day...God must give moms a greater attention span than "regular people" so we can wear all these different hats at once.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, August 14, 2012...

Outside my window...the sun is blaring, the humidity is high, the heat index is high, and the grass needs to get cut.  Of course, no one wants to do it, myself included.  It's too hot out.

I am thinking...of my son, and how bummed he was yesterday.  His car got towed the night before and we had to pick it up from the impound.  Poor boy, he wants to get financially stable again but he keeps running into walls.

I am thankful...that I can be there for my kids when life's blows knock them down.

I am vote today for local stuff, including the lifting of a ban on pit bulls.

I am wearing...a mint green top, blue skirt and black flip-flops.  It's 84 degrees out but with a heat index of 77% it feels like 94, and it's only gonna get hotter.  Oh, and we're supposed to get rain today.

In the homemade sauce is cooking away in the crock pot.  We're having meatballs and ravioli today - yum!

I am organized back pack for my son.  School starts on Monday.

I am wondering...what is God up to right now?  He put a desire in my heart to bring one or two children from the orphanage where my daughter works to my house for Thanksgiving.  I mentioned it to her, not thinking it was possible.  Yesterday she said yes, we can invite a couple of children for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and my heart desires it even more.  God is up to something, of that I'm sure.

I am reading...a couple of devotions, and still working through Genesis with E.  I need to go through my Nook and start reading something else.  I just wish my eyes wouldn't get so tired so quickly.

I am son enjoys school this year.  He's moving to the middle school building for 7th grade.  I'm thankful he's in the same school he's been in since kindergarten.  They move to different buildings on the same grounds.

I am looking forward to...Awana starting up again.  I miss my girls.  Awana begins August 22nd.

I am learning...that even when things don't seem to go the way I expected, God is still in it.

Around the house...the daily vacuuming must be done.  Molly got her bath a couple of days ago but she's still shedding a ton.  Gotta take a look at the laundry situation too.

A favorite quote of the day..."We do not understand and then obey: that is instruction. We obey by faith, and then we understand: that is illumination." - Warren Wiersbe.

One of my favorite  Of all colors.  They give beauty to a landscape.

A few plans for the rest of the week...bowling, bowling, bowling!  Three of us have bowling shoes now, and we plan on getting use out of them!  Thursday and Friday are my daughter's days off, but Thursday I have a doctor's appointment and Friday E and I are volunteering at our church to get folks to sign their kids up for Awana.  Still, we can bowl!

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

Monday, August 13, 2012

Monday Quiz About Me

Big thanks to Heather at Acting Balanced for coming up with this fun blog hop.  There are four questions to answer, then I will give you a fifth question to answer here on my blog.  Are you ready?  Here we go:

1. How was your weekend?
It was pretty quiet, actually.  Which is just the way I like my weekends :)

2. What is your favorite kind of candy?
Anything with chocolate.  And peanut butter.  That's one of the greatest combinations in the world.

3. If I say the word 'high' what do you think?
How high?  Ain't no mountain high enough?  No, the word high makes me think, "For the LORD Most High is awesome; He is a great King over all the earth." (Psalm 47:2)

4. What are you most looking forward to about Autumn?
An end to this excessive humidity.  Maybe a breeze.  I know the temps won't go down but if it wasn't so humid it would be bearable.

And for my fifth question:

5. Do children in your area wear uniforms for school?
In my town all the kids from pre-k to high school must wear uniforms, even in the public schools.  My son wears a t-shirt or polo shirt in yellow or blue with the school emblem, and either navy blue or khaki pants.

Move It Mondays

Good morning to all!  This is gonna be short, since the day has already started off on one of "those" notes.  I just found out my oldest son's car got towed last night and we'll have to go pick it up.  He was parked where he always parks when he goes to his friend's house, which apparently is a no-parking zone, and yesterday they decided to enforce the law.  So now I have to drive my son to pick up his car, after I make a deposit at the bank because J couldn't find the time to do it himself.

It's also time to do some back-to-school shopping.  Thankfully I had E check his pants and the ones I'd bought most recently still fit.  He needs a couple more pairs of pants, which I'll pick up at Target since their uniform pants are the best quality.  He also needs some sneakers.  J bought him a pair of Nike's that cost $120 and are white.  No way he's wearing that to school.  I need to get him something cheap that can get ruined in a month without hurting my pocketbook too badly.

The day may start on a sour note, but I'm still gonna sing praises to my Lord and Savior.  Have a blessed day everyone!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Observing My Senses

For Today, August 11, 2012...

I am seeing...the sun evaporate the rain water left over from yesterday.  We got lots and lots of rain all day yesterday, but today we have loads of sunshine, which means it's gonna be a steamy hot day.

I am feeling...the need to check on the tropics regularly.  Hot summers means hurricane activity will be on the rise, and it's necessary to be prepared.

I am youngest son getting up.  He's the first of the three this morning.

I am tasting...nothing yet.  Breakfast shortly.

I am brewing, biscuits baking, sausages frying.  It's nice to smell breakfast smells, but what I long to smell is fresh air.  The summer has been so hot and humid that the windows have been tightly shut and the air conditioner regularly on.  I hope autumn makes an early appearance this year.

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

Friday, August 10, 2012

Follow Friday Four Fill-in

Welcome to another Follow Friday Four Fill-In Fun, brought to us by Hilary at Feeling Beachie.  Please join me for some challenging fill-ins!

This week’s statements:

1. when I was little my mom  _____
When I was little my mom taught me to crochet, but I was never really good at it.

2. ___ is my favorite condiment
Mrs. Dash is my favorite condiment.  The others tend to be too salty for my taste.

3. I don’t like to celebrate____ because____
I don't like to celebrate Valentine's day because getting a gift "just because" is much more meaningful.

4. My ­­­­­­­____takes up more space  _____ and I can never__________
My plastic containers take up more space than what's available in my kitchen and I can never reclaim the space I lost when we remodeled.  That's what I get for letting a man help design a kitchen he never uses :P

Five Question Friday

Happy Friday y'all!  I'm doing some grocery shopping today (these kids are eating me out of house and home!) and it looks like it's gonna rain.  Ugh.  Don't like going out in the rain.  Oh well, I've gotta deal with it.  But first, I'm gonna answer a few questions - five to be exact - courtesy of Mama M at My Little Life.  Won't you join me?

1. Thunder storms- love them or hate them?
I love 'em - so long as I don't have to drive in 'em.  I especially like them at night.  For me a thunderstorm is like God's lullaby.

2. Do your kids get back to school clothes?
If they've outgrown them, yes.  My youngest son is the only one in school (well, my oldest is going for his batchelors but he can buy his own clothes) and he tried on his uniform pants yesterday.  Three out of five still fit.  Which means he now needs 2 new pairs of pants and some new sneakers just for school.  There went the budget :P

3. Do you golf? Do you watch it?
No.  And no.

4. Showers or baths?
Definitely showers.  I can't picture myself swimming in my own sweat and dirt. :P

5. What's the strangest meal you ever ate?
Hmm, strangest thing.  That would have to be my mother-in-law's chow mein.  She adds hot dogs to it. *gags*  Oh, and her spaghetti "sauce," which is actually ketchup with worchestershire sauce.  Can you tell I don't care for her cooking?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Thursday Thoughts

I've been awake now for a little over an hour.  That's not normal for me.  I'm a morning person; typically I'm awake by 6am and out of bed before 7am.  It gives me time to eat my breakfast and read my devotion in a leisurely manner.  My day feels more productive the earlier I get up.

This day has been different.  I awoke at 3:20am needing to use the bathroom.  I was fine when I got up.  Then, out of nowhere, my nose started leaking, I was getting stuffed up, sneezing, eyes tearing...major allergy attack, and I don't know what triggered it.  Figuring whatever it was would leave my body eventually, I went back to bed, but kept having to wake up to blow my nose because (a) I kept sneezing and (b) my nose was constantly dripping.  I finally realized I had to get up and take some meds or else I'd end up ripping my nose off my face.  I took a Benadryl and administered nose drops.  The first round of drops did nothing; I had to blow my nose and add more nose drops which took at least another 20 minutes before I could breathe again.  The last time I looked at the clock it was 5:20am, then slowly but surely, as I chatted with my Father, I fell asleep.  Oh, what bliss!  I heard my daughter get up to feed Molly which gave me even more comfort, since I didn't have to get up and do it myself, and I dozed off again.  I finally got up at 9:15 this morning, still feeling groggy but unable to stay in bed any longer.  I've had my breakfast and coffee but I still feel like the anesthesia hasn't worn off :P.

Here are some more happenings from the past week:

 - I didn't mention what happened last Saturday as I was desperately trying to forget.  Friday night my daughter gotten the call that the orphanage was hiring her.  She asked if we could go shopping for jeans the next day.  I saw no problem with that; she works in jeans and a polo which the orphanage gives her, and her jeans looked a bit worn, and anyway she deserved it!  So the next day after lunch I ask which mall she wants to go to, and she mentions an outlet mall in our area which is very large and has great prices.  I thought it was a good idea.  There are over 300 stores (and the mall is still expanding) so I was sure we could find whatever she needed.

When we arrived, I was surprised to see the parking lot jam packed and cars roaming around looking for someone to follow back to their parking spaces.  I was puzzled as to why the mall was so full.  Then my daughter tells me, "Oh, it's tax-free weekend."  What?!?!  I'd forgotten all about that!!!  I NEVER schedule shopping trips during times like this when I know the malls will be overflowing with people.  How could she not have mentioned that to me?!  This mall has the largest parking lot I've ever seen and still there was no place to park.  It took 20 minutes and 2 stolen parking spaces (it annoys me to no end when people see you're going for a parking space and they rush to get there first) before we found a spot way out in Timbuktu.  Of course, that wasn't the worst of it.  Despite how large this mall is, it was wall-to-wall people, and the air conditioning couldn't keep the place cool enough, so my very sensitive nose was picking up body odor all around.  I wanted to leave so badly, but I didn't want to do that to my little girl.  She was on cloud 9 thanks to having received an internship from our old church and her new job within days of each other, and I couldn't ruin her excitement by saying, "Mama's having an anxiety attack and we need to get out of here."  I measured my breathing, spoke as little as possible, and pushed on.

Thankfully she wasn't as thrilled as she thought she'd be, surrounded by crowds like we were.  We went to a couple of stores, including the Gap store where she didn't find anything to her liking.  Then we reached the Levi store.  As she said, "If I can't find jeans here I might as well give up."  She did - two pairs of really good quality jeans at $49.99 a pair.  We walked around a little afterwards per her suggestion, but it wasn't long before both of us said, "Let's get out of here."  I'm glad our little expedition turned out successful, but it's a reminder to me to check what day it is before I rush to the mall again :P.

 - I ordered bowling shoes for myself and my son E which shipped yesterday.  Once they come in we'll be visiting the bowling alley often.  With my daughter working now she won't be able to join us as often, which is too bad, but E and I can enjoy a couple of games a day.  School will be starting soon, so we may as well make the best of the time we have left.

 - We had our Awana leaders meeting last night at church.  Lots of fun activities are in store!  My son is done with Awana; our church only does the program to sixth grade, and he'll be entering 7th this month.  Still, he wants to help out, so he joined me for the meeting and suggested a family movie night as an activity for after the Christmas recess.  The pastor loved the idea, and E was so happy he'd made the suggestion.  I love that our children's pastor loves the kids so much.  He really takes their ideas into consideration.

That's the "interesting" stuff going on here with us.  Hope your week is just as fun!  God bless.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Chats on the Farmhouse Porch

In the last 15 minutes I've watched it get cloudy, pour down rain, and get sunny all over again.  There's something to sit on the porch and watch!  I'm inside, though, where it's cool and dry, but you can join our friends Wendell and Patrice for their porch chats at Everyday Ruralty.

1. Do you like to sing? What kind of music are you likely to sing?
Why yes, I do like to belt one out every now and then!  I especially like to sing in the car with the radio.  My choice is praise and worship songs.  Worshiping the Lord with music is one of my favorite pastimes.

2. Do you watch soap operas (daytime TV), or have you ever?
Many moons ago I watched All My Children, when my son was a newborn and I was home with him.  I watched it on Soapnet for a while after that, but I got sick of it.  Soap operas are the same thing over and over again: marriage, infidelity, divorce, scandal.  Thanks but no thanks.

3. Do you wear glasses or contacts?
I've worn glasses since I was 15 years old.  I did wear contacts for awhile, but I suffer from dry eyes which made them very uncomfortable.  I now wear my glasses for everything but sleeping.  I have astigmatism, and I'm both near and far-sighted.

4. What's your favorite easy meal when the weather is hot?
Anything in the crock pot.  It's the best invention since sliced bread.  You throw all the ingredients in the pot, turn it on and walk away.  No babysitting the meal, no kitchen getting overheated because of the oven, and in a few hours you have a delicious meal.  This is my favorite when the weather is cold, too.

5. Tell me something about the past week.
Well, let's see.  Within the last week my daughter was offered an internship, accepted, offered a job, accepted, started her internship and began orientation for work.  It has been an exciting week for her, which in turn makes it an exciting week for Mama.  We've gotten lots of rain, an amazing thing considering so much of the country is bone dry.  Our summer has been very hot and very wet, and this past week was no exception.  We've been to the library and that's about it; the weather hasn't been favorable for going out, and I was trying to keep to my budget.  All in all a very blessed week.

Wednesday Hodgepodge

It's the middle of the week already, and time for some Wednesday Hodgepodge courtesy of Joyce over at From This Side of the Pond.  Joyce is continuing some of the Olympic questions.  Won't you join us?

1. In an effort to combat obesity, the mayor of NYC has plans to ban the sale of large sugary drinks (anything over 16 oz.), initially in restaurants, movie theatres, and street carts. Corner stores would also be affected if they are defined as food service establishments. You can read more here. Your thoughts?

I appreciate the mayor's concerns and his goodwill, but I believe he's going about it the wrong way.  Taking something away as training is what we do with toddlers, not adults.  Adults need to be educated.  It's easy to say to a toddler, "You can't have this," hide it and eventually the toddler will forget about it.  Take something away from an adult and the adult will find another way to get it.  Isn't that what prohibition taught us?  Mr. Mayor, you have a good heart, but I think this method will leave you sadly disappointed.

2. Art festival, music festival, food festival...which would you most like to attend?

Food festival, definitely.  I'm not an artsy-fartsy type of person, and I've already been to music festivals, so a food festival would be a nice change of pace.

3. What are you irrational about?

Irrational?!  I'm not irrational about anything!  Ask my kids!  (No, wait, don't ask my kids).

My daughter says I'm irrational about how I organize the shopping cart at the grocery store.  I place all the frozen items on the left, refrigerator items on the right, pantry items in the middle and non-food items at the end.  She says the cashier doesn't care about how neatly I organize the shopping cart because they pack things willy-nilly.  I disagree with her.  I think I'm totally rational.  It's the cashier that's being irrational.

4. Do you feel confident you'll have a comfortable retirement?

I don't know if my retirement will be comfortable according to some people's standards, but I hope that I will be content with whatever the Lord gives me, whether it's a condo on a beach, a home with a large garden, or a space in a nursing home.  It may sound irresponsible to some people, but I'm not stressing about my retirement.  I'm trusting the Lord to take care of my future.  "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." - Matthew 6:34.

5. What's been your favorite Olympic moment so far?
(Not ever, just in the 2012 Summer games.)

I'll be honest, I haven't been consistent in watching the Olympics this year.  I catch some games here and there but I'm not glued to the TV or any such thing.  I've watched some swimming, track and gymnastics.  Last night I watched Pearson win gold for Australia and was happy for her.  US took silver and bronze and thanked God for their success.  I enjoyed watching that.

6. What would you label as the messiest room in your house?

Right now that would be the garage.  Since my kids moved back home and brought all their things with them, I've had to put them in the garage until my son saves up enough money to get his own place.  It's not messy, more like cluttered, with boxes piled up and a sofa next to the pool table.  Inside my house it's kept mess-free.  My kids would say I'm irrational about that too.  But what do they know.

7. Do you follow your heart or your head?

I always follow my head.  I have to think things through and find the logic in everything.  I wish I was more of a follow my heart type person, but I've learned that God created me this way, as an intellectual and a thinker.  I also know that in important matters, He does move in my heart and I can trust Him.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

My daughter had orientation yesterday for her new job at the orphanage.  She spent the entire day learning about what you can and cannot do with the children, how they must be treated and handled, that sort of thing.  And I suddenly wished I could bring a couple of them home with me for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas.  I don't know if that was just a whim or something God is speaking to me about.  Do I follow my head or my heart?  I choose to wait.  Wait on the Lord.  He'll let me know.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, August 7, 2012...

Outside my window...the rain seems to have ended finally, and the sun is shining.  The leaves are moving, which means there's a breeze.  Unfortunately that breeze is probably hot so it's not very refreshing.

I am thinking...about school starting up, my daughter starting her new job today, and how quickly this year has gone by.

I am thankful for...all the blessings my Father showers me with each and every day.

I am the library later on today to return some books.

I am pj's.  I've gotten in the habit of doing my daybook before getting dressed.

In the kitchen...there's chicken and stuffing in the crock pot which should be ready around lunchtime.

I am creating...meal plans on a regular basis again.  When it was just me and E at home, it was easy to whip something up quick.  With 4 of us at home now, it takes more planning if I want to have healthy meals ready on time.  It's also necessary so I don't go over my food budget.

I am wondering...what my daughter's schedule will be.  As a child care professional she'll most likely work from 3pm - 11pm.  Thank God she works about 15 minutes from home.

I am Bible and devotions, the Costco Connection magazine, and thumbing through the Ikea catalog - not that I'm planning on buying anything, it just arrived in the mail so I thought I'd take a look.

I am least some of my son's school pants still fit him.  He's growing faster than I can keep up.

I am looking forward to...decorating for the fall.  Fall colors are my favorites.  I have lots of orange candles and pumpkin decor that I love and can't wait to start putting out.

I am let go and let God.

Around the house...I'm having to vacuum daily because Molly is shedding again.  Yesterday I cleaned my bedroom, dusted and vacuumed, and cleaned up the boy's room some.  Today my daughter has asked me to vacuum the dog hair in her room since it's her first day at work (praise the Lord!).  I'll also be washing bed linens today since I did all the other laundry yesterday.

A favorite quote for the day..."Nothing paralyzes our lives like the attitude that things can never change. We need to remind ourselves that God can change things. Outlook determines outcome. If we see only the problems, we will be defeated; but if we see the possibilities in the problems, we can have victory." - Warren Wiersbe.

One of my favorite things...summer vacation.  And it's coming to an end! :(

A few plans for the rest of the week...we have an Awana leaders meeting at church tomorrow.  Library today, and if possible some bowling later on in the week.  Church on Sunday.

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

Monday, August 6, 2012

Monday Quiz About Me

Here's a fun way to start the week:  a blog hop, hosted by Heather at Acting Balanced.  Here's how it works.  There's four questions to answer, then you have the option of adding a 5th question for your visitors to answer.  Think you can manage it?  Then hop on over!

1. Where do you go to get your news?
I get the news from the internet.  I rarely turn on network television anymore, even for that.

2. What Olympic level skill do you have (e.g. One could be a world-class paper clip bender)?
Quick cleaning.  I can get the entire house tidy enough for company (even mother-in-law clean) in less than an hour.

3. If I say the word, 'intellectual,' what do you think?
Someone whose conversations involve more than just the weather.

4. Who in your family do you look the most like?
I've been told I look like my mother and my late grandmother (mom's mom).

And my 5th question for the week is:

5.  When does school start in your area?
School starts in 2 weeks here in South Florida.  August 20 is the big day.