Friday, November 30, 2012

Follow Friday Four Fill-In Fun

Happy Friday!  Here's my challenging post for the week, the Friday four fill-ins hosted by Hilary at Feeling Beachie.  They appear simple at first glance, but they can get pretty complicated!  Here we go:

1. I have always dreamed of ____
I have always dreamed of traveling and seeing new places and cultures.

2. My ___ is my ____
My home is my haven that I get to share with those I love.

3. I love to ____ when I ____
I love to scrapbook when I get the chance.  I wish I'd get the chance more often.

4. I will never forget ____ with ____
I will never forget labor and delivery with my three kids.  I don't think any mom ever does.

Five Question Friday

Welcome to Five Question Friday, the blog hop that asks 5 questions every Friday, and I answer them.  Simple, right?  Then hop on over to My Little Life and join in.

1. What do you give teachers for gifts?
If it's lady teachers I might get a scented candle or gift basket, but typically a good gift is a gift certificate to Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts.

2. Do you text? One finger texter or total pro?
I do text, quite frequently since it seems to be the only way to communicate with kids nowadays.  I use my thumbs for texting.  Both of them.

3. Do you give back during the holidays? If so, in what way/which is your favorite charity?
Yes, I do make an effort to give during the holidays (and the rest of the year, because needy people are needy all year long).  I like giving through Samaritan's Purse.  This worthy organization is run by Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham.  They help people all over the world who are in need.  Check them out.

4. If you would've been the sole winner of the 575+ million dollar Powerball jackpot, what would you have done with all that money?
I'd give most of it to a worthy charity.  See question #3.

5. Will you please take just a moment to spread the word and pray about my friend's missing family members? There still is no news, and I can't imagine their pain and worry. Facebook prayer page: Prayers for Trista, Shy and Matt.
You got it.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Okay, I'm late.  It's Thursday.  But in my defense, I've been crazy busy decorating the house for Christmas.  I haven't even taken pics to post because I've been running around till I run out of energy (I'm no pink bunny).  I'll try to get back on schedule by getting my Hodgepodge post up, even if it's late.  You can too, if you hop on over to Joyce's, From This Side of the Pond.

Four hodgepodges til Christmas in case you were wondering.

1.  With that being said I think I need to dive right in to some Christmas related questions, don't you? Which do you prefer-pretty gift wrap with a bow or a pretty gift bag with/without a bow?  What percentage of your holiday gifts are currently (as in right this very minute) wrapped in some form or fashion?
I like gifts that are wrapped and topped with a bow.  Bags are nice too, but there's just something about stacking boxes under the tree that makes me smile.

All my gifts are wrapped.  They are all purchased too.  I have some books on order that haven't shipped, but otherwise I'm done.

2.  What is one item on your Christmas list this year?
The new Tim Hawkin's DVD, Push Pull Point Pow.  Tim Hawkins in the funniest comedian I've ever heard/watched.  He's a Christian, so none of his comedy contains foul language or sexual innuendos so common with today's comedians.  And yet he's hilarious.  I told my kids if they don't get me this DVD I will disown the three of them.

3.  What makes a home?
The people.  I can be at home in a dump so long as my babies are near.

4.  Motown founder Berry Gordy celebrates his birthday on Hodgepodge Day-November 28th. Are you a fan of the Motown sound?  If so, who's your favorite Motown artist and/or song? Here's a list in case you're stuck.
I was a fan back in the day, when I was a kid.  Not as much now.  I prefer rock music.

5.  Red or green-which one is more prevalent in your closet?
Green, definitely.  It's my favorite color.  I like pretty much all shades of green.  Well, except neon.  That's a bit loud.

6.  True or false-bacon makes it better? If you answered true, what's your favorite dish made with bacon?
True!  I like bacon with my breakfast, bacon on my burgers, bacon wrapped around pork tenderloin.  The flavor is like no other.

7.  Share a favorite holiday memory.
When my two older kids were little, we'd go to grandma's house for Thanksgiving and come home late enough that both were asleep or almost asleep.  Once they were in bed, I'd get to work decorating the house.  The tree would go up and get decorated, all kinds of decor would appear, and the stockings would get hung with a surprise inside.  I loved hearing them get up in the morning, hearing their oohs and aahs as they went through the house, then cheer as they found a special something (usually a cassette tape of Christmas music) in their stocking.  I can't do this anymore, since the tree is much bigger and it takes me a couple of days to decorate the house instead of a few hours, but it's a memory my kids and I still treasure.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
December is almost upon us, and so are birthdays.  My sweet brother-in-law has a birthday on the 13th, then mine is on the 14th.  My nephew's birthday is on the 19th.  We'll celebrate Jesus' birthday on the 25th, then my daughter and youngest son will have their birthdays on the 27th.  No, they aren't twins.  My daughter A turns 23 and my son E will be 13.  They are exactly 10 years apart.  For us, December is an especially special month.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, November 27, 2012...

Outside my's a little warmer today.  Or rather, the humidity is up so it feels warmer.  The temps have been steady these last few weeks.

I am thinking...of my friend whose son just got back into the States after spending 9 grueling months in Afganistan.  Praise God he is back safe!  I'm thankful to God for His protection, and to this young man for putting himself on the line to protect my freedom.

I am thankful...that my youngest son's science project got chosen for the science fair!  We worked hard to get it done and turned in on time, and his teacher said it was solid and great.  I'm so proud of my little boy!

I am do my hair in a little while.

I am wearing...a blue paisley top, jean capris and flip flops.  It's 77 degrees but the humidity and dew point are in the 60% range which makes it feel warmer and stickier.  Plus I was putting up Christmas lights so I needed something comfortable to wear.

I am noticing...a pain in my neck.  No, literally.  My neck muscles are sore from all the Christmas decorating.  I could really use a massage.

In the kitchen...we have leftovers.  It's leftover day.  My son, however, doesn't want leftovers.  He feels he deserves to dine out because of his science project going to the science fair.

I am creating...a warm and cozy home.

I am reading...very little lately other than my devotions.  I've been real busy decorating.

I am hoping...the lights look nice.  It took a couple of hours to get them strung around the roof line.

I am looking forward to...a friend's baby shower this weekend.

I am son singing.

Around the house...I've got my tree all set up and lit, the little village on the table next to it, everything looking festive and Christmas-y.

A favorite quote of the day..."Christ is not valued at all unless He is valued above all." - Augustine.

One of my favorite things...hearing my children sing.

A few plans for the rest of the week...Awana starts up tomorrow again.  Saturday is the baby shower, and church on Sunday.

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

Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday Quiz About Me

Welcome to my Monday Quiz post.  Hilary at Acting Balanced provides 4 questions, then allows me the option of adding a 5th question.  You can link up at her blog to join in.

1. Do you decorate outdoors for the holidays?
Yes!  It's a lot of work but worth the effort.  I love seeing houses decorated with lights.

2. What is the best thing about office Christmas parties?
Not having to work and actually getting to know your co-workers.

3. Gloves or Mittens?
Wow, I can't remember the last time I used either ones other than for gardening, and of course those would be gloves.  Ah, the benefits of living in South Florida!

4. What do you think of Secret Santas?
They can be fun, as long as the people involved are mature about it.  We had a secret Santa at work once and one of the employees insisted on writing up a list of what he wanted because he didn't want to get cheated out of a good present.  It was downright ridiculous.

And now for my question:

5. Did you or a guest bake your Thanksgiving dessert, or was it store bought?
I baked an apple crumb pie that was to die for!  Honestly, even my picky kids enjoyed it.  We also had a store bought gingerbread train kit for my kiddos to put together.

Move It Mondays

Happy last Monday in November!  The month is almost gone, Thanksgiving is but a memory, and Christmas decorating is in full swing.  I've decorated the inside of the home, but I still have the outside to go.  It won't happen today, though; today was shopping day.  Grocery shopping.  I usually go on Fridays, but there was no way I'd be caught in the madness of Black Friday.  So I got caught up with food shopping and I also gassed up the car at $3.39/gallon.  It's cheaper than it's been, but it still takes $50 to fill up the tank.

So after a trip to Winn-Dixie, Walmart, and Costco, I came home and put everything away just to start lunch.  We had fried chicken, stuffing, corn on the cob and salad.  Yum!  I have a happy tummy :).  I'm gonna clean up in the kitchen, then I'll be leaving to pick up my son from school in an hour.

I got a call from a dear friend today, which made me smile.  She was out of town visiting family and just got back, so we got interrupted twice.  It's still nice to get calls from old friends.

Hmm, maybe I can start putting up those lights this afternoon.  Let's see how much homework my little boy gets.  My sons and I can go out and do this together.  Have a blessed Monday, wherever you are.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Observing My Senses

For Today, November 24, 2012...

I am seeing...the sunlight as it streams in through the window all over the kitchen counter.  I see a half decorated Christmas tree in the living room.  I see decorations that bring good memories and bittersweet ones.

I am feeling...the cool breeze coming in through the kitchen window.  The stickiness of my fingers that got syrup on them.  The joy of seeing my house decorated for the holidays.

I am hearing...the coffee maker do its job.  Birds chirping in the trees.  And silence, because my offspring are still asleep.

I am tasting...bacon, waffles, coffee, syrup.  In that order.

I am smelling...very little.  The boxes that came down from the attic were covered in dust, causing my allergies to spring to life.  Thank goodness for Benadryl.  I would have had a sleepless night otherwise.

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

Friday, November 23, 2012

Follow Friday Four Fill-In Fun

I'm thankful that Hilary is back after Hurricane Sandy interrupted her life.  As she gets her home back in order, I'll join in for some Friday fill-ins.  If you care to give it a try, visit her at Feeling Beachie.

This week’s statements:
1. I put ___ on a hot dog
I put brown mustard and either relish or onions on a hot dog.  Which isn't often, since hot dogs don't do well in my tummy :(

2. when it___ I ____
When it is sunny and warm out I wish we had a barbecue so I could cook outside.  What kind of person lives in South Florida and doesn't have a barbecue?  This one right here.  Hopefully I'll remedy that soon.

3. If my house____then I would be able to___
If my house were larger then I would be able to foster kids.  I need extra bedrooms.

4. If I was getting married tomorrow I would _______________ differently so we could ________________differently now.
If I was getting married tomorrow I would choose differently so we could live differently now.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not filled with regrets.  I just know now that I should have been more discerning.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

To all my family and friends, may the Lord fill your homes with blessings this Thanksgiving Day and always.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Chats on the Farmhouse Porch

Now that I've got my baking done and my turkey in the brine, I think I'll relax with a cup of tea and some chats on Patrice's farmhouse porch.  Please join us at Everyday Ruralty.

1. What's the last thing you baked?
That would be the apple crumb pie that came out of the oven a few hours ago.  The kitchen smells heavenly when there's an apple pie baking!

2. What's your favorite condiment?
Mrs. Dash.  I like that it gives good flavor without a ton of sodium.

3. Do you have a smart phone, dumb phone, or no phone(we're talking about cell phones)?
I have a Blackberry that's 3 or 4 years old, meaning it was smart when it first came out but isn't anywhere near as smart as the phones that are available now.

4. Do you have a favorite card game?
Does Uno count?  As far as card games with regular decks of cards, I'd pick gin rummy.

5. Tell me ten things you're thankful for - please:)

1 - Salvation through Jesus Christ.
2 - My two sons
3 - My beautiful daughter
4 - My siblings
5 - My mom who is still with us after having heart surgery last year
6 - My home, which I get to share with my family
7 - My church family
8 - The beautiful state of Florida where I get to live
9 - Creation
10 - Electricity (you don't know how much you need it till you don't have it)

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Happy day before Thanksgiving!  I baked an apple pie that left the kitchen smelling scrumptious, and the turkey is in the brine.  Time for some Wednesday Hodgepodge, hosted by Joyce, From This Side of the Pond.

1. Turkey-love it or leave it?  White meat or dark?  What's your favorite thing to make using leftover turkey?
First off, love turkey!  Especially since I learned to brine it - what a difference it makes!  I prefer white meat both when it comes to turkey and to chicken.  I plan to make turkey pot pie with the leftovers, if my kids don't attack them first to make sandwiches.

2. Gotta burn off all those carbs the day after a holiday feast so which would you rather do-run a 10K or climb a mountain?
Ugh, exercise! ;)  If I had to choose, it would be the 10K.  I'd much rather run on flat land than try to climb anything.

3.  Do you feel like social networking has made your relationships better or worse?  Explain.
Social networking is cool, it keeps me in touch with family that's far away and I've found some friends from school that I may have never found again any other way.  You just have to be careful.  Some people put way too much personal information on those sites.

4. How do you find and express gratitude for the hard things in your life?
I remember what Jesus did for me on the cross.  No matter how bad things may seem, they're never as bad as what He had to suffer for me, and thanks to His sacrifice I know things won't stay bad forever.

5.  In the US, the day after Thanksgiving has been dubbed 'Black Friday'.  Is most of your holiday shopping done live and in person, or is it done more through the magic of the Internet? How do you feel about stores opening at midnight Thanksgiving night? Will you be out amongst the masses on Friday?
I will most certainly NOT be among the Black Friday shoppers.  I think it's a travesty, making hard working folks leave their homes and family to work in stores so retailers can show a good profit margin.  Maybe that's why our economy is so bad - we've put more emphasis on money than on people.  My own shopping is done before Thanksgiving even rolls around, some online and some in the stores.  The presents are purchased and wrapped already except for a couple of books I ordered that won't be released till next month.

6.  Speaking of the color black-which black item in your wardrobe would you say is your favorite?
That would probably be my black pencil skirt.  It goes with everything, making it a perfect go to item in a pinch.

7.  What do you appreciate about your life today?
I appreciate my relationship with Jesus.  I appreciate my family, those that live near and the ones that are far. I appreciate my church family.  I appreciate the men and women who are far from their families today because they're fighting to protect my freedom so that I can enjoy Thanksgiving with my family.  There is just so much to be thankful for.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
To all the servicemen and women who won't be home for Thanksgiving this year, thank you.  Thank you for your sacrifice.  Thank you for your selflessness.  You are in my prayers each day.

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, November 21, 2012, Thanksgiving Eve...

Outside my one of the most beautiful days yet!  The sun is shining, the sky is blue, the breezes are blowing, and it is simply lovely out.

I am thinking...of all the things I have to be thankful for.  It's a very long list!

I am thankful for...God's goodness and grace.  His blessings which are innumerable.  And the fact that we can have a day dedicated to thanking Him for all these things.

I am brine my turkey today.

I am wearing...a blue long sleeved top, black capris, and flip-flops.  It's 73 degrees out, the kind of weather I like best.

I am noticing...all the little things I can be thankful for.  Those seemingly insignificant things, or the ones I take for granted.  Like a comfortable bed to sleep on.  A pantry filled with food.  A smile.  A wave.  All these things bring a little more sunshine into my everyday.

In the kitchen...there's tilapia, fried plantains, rice medley, and salad.  I'm keeping it light and simple today, because tomorrow will be a heavy eating day!

I am creating...the brine for my turkey.

I am reading...Unglued, and I probably will be for a few weeks more.

I am son is having fun today.  There's no class, just football the entire day.  He's been looking forward to it!

I am looking forward to...four days of family fun, giving thanks and decorating for Christmas.

I am hearing...tilapia sizzling in the pan.  Lunch is almost ready.

Around the house...there's not much left to do other than finish the two loads of laundry in the washer and dryer.  I've been getting the house ready since Monday.

A favorite quote of the day..."Strength, rest, guidance, grace, help, sympathy, love - all from God to us!! What a list of blessings!" - E. Stenbock.

One of my favorite things...homemade apple pie.  I'll be making one today.

A few plans for the rest of the Christmas shopping is pretty much done, so I won't be going out into the madness called Black Friday.  Instead, I will enjoy a quiet Thanksgiving at home, then spend the next 3 days decorating the house for Christmas.  This is my favorite weekend of the year.

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

Monday, November 19, 2012

Monday Quiz About Me

Welcome to my Monday Quiz post, courtesy of Heather at Acting Balanced.  Heather provides 4 questions, and I get to ask one question for my guests to answer on my blog.  Are you ready?  Here we go:

1. What are you thankful for this year?
That my two older kids don't have to work on Thanksgiving and we can all be together.

2. What was your special dish that your parents made for you while growing up?
My mother's lasagna was something we looked forward to.  She had to be in the mood, though.  She'd make her own sauce and shred her own mozzarella, and for a family of 6 it meant a lot of work.

3. How long are you willing to wait for someone before you give up?
For someone to what?  To show up when they are expected?  A half hour.  To call?  Maybe a little longer.

4. What is your favorite quote, poem, song lyric or prayer?
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths." - Proverbs 3:5-6.

And my question:

5. New recipes for Thanksgiving, or tried and true ones?
I'm sticking with the tried and true menu that my family loves.  Turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn on the cob, salad, and crescent rolls.  You can never go wrong with the family favorites.

Move It Mondays

Happy Monday before Thanksgiving!  It's a week of thankfulness - what are you thankful for?  Today I'm thankful that both my older children will be off from work on Thanksgiving Day, so they can spend it relaxing at home with food and fun!  There are no 3 people in the world I'd rather spend my Thanksgiving Day with.

So for today, I've started getting the house ready.  I cleaned both bathrooms, vacuumed but haven't mopped yet because I paused to give Molly a bath.  She'd been digging in the backyard and had gotten quite filthy, but now she's as pretty as a peach.  Her bedding is in the washer, too.  I washed towels today, and tomorrow I'll be washing the people bedding ;).

In the kitchen I've got a pot roast in the crock pot and rice in the rice cooker.  The pot roast is ready; I put it in last night and it was done this morning.  I made it the easy way - potatoes, carrots, and Lipton Beefy Onion soup mix.  No muss and no fuss.  It allows me to get more things done around the house if I don't have to worry about cooking.  I moved the turkey from the freezer to the fridge to start the defrosting process.  I brine our turkey a la Alton Brown, and that will happen Wednesday night, so the turkey needs to start defrosting already.

I organized the presents in my closet last night.  Honestly, I just look for stuff in the stores, and when I find a good bargain or something I know my kids will particularly love, I go ahead and buy it, bring it home and wrap it right away.  Then I stash it all in the closet where I forget at least half of what I've bought, LOL!  There are 6 presents for my son R, 6 for my daughter A, and now 11 for my youngest son E (my daughter got him his present last night and she wrapped it up & put it with the others).  I've also got some books ordered for him from Amazon.  I think I've done pretty well this year.  I've purchased all the gifts without using the credit card so I won't have any balances to cry about for months on end.  There's a nice amount of presents and they're all paid for - yay me!  I made a promise to the Lord that I would do all my shopping without getting into debt, and I intend to keep my word.

It's noon, which means it's lunch time, which is a good thing because I'm starved!  Have a wonderful and thankful Monday.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Observing My Senses

For Today, November 17, 2012...

I am skies trying to peek through all the clouds.  It's supposed to rain today thanks to a low pressure system that's been hovering around Florida all week.

I am feeling...thankful already, even though Thanksgiving is 5 days away.

I am sweet son's voice, and sausages sizzling in the frying pan.

I am tasting...nothing yet, and I'm getting really hungry.

I am smelling...biscuits in the oven and sausages on the stove.

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

Friday, November 16, 2012

Follow Friday Four Fill-In Break

Our dear Hilary over at Feeling Beachie just got her power restored on Wednesday.  Hurricane Sandy wrecked havoc in her neighborhood, but thankfully they are back up and running.  Of course there's still much clean up work to be done, so there's no fill-ins this week.  Instead, let's continue praying for those affected by Hurricane Sandy, especially the folks who are waiting to have their power restored.  You don't realize how vital electricity is till it's cut off - trust me, I know.  Blessings to all.

Five Question Friday

Mama M is enjoying some fun time in Orlando, Florida (Disney World, yay!) so I got my five questions off of Pamela's blog, Troop Petrie.

1.  What snacks/drinks do you eat at the movies?
None.  I refuse to pay the astronomical prices for some popcorn and soda, especially since popcorn ends up messing with my digestive system and I don't drink soda anymore.  All the other stuff is so unhealthy I don't want to touch it.  We eat before going to the movies, and if it's an extra long movie, I'll bring some vanilla yogurt covered raisins with me.

2.  What's one food you refuse to try?
Mushrooms.  There's something about eating fungus that sounds unappetizing.

3.  What's your favorite nail polish color?
I like pinks, reds, and bronzes.  I totally dislike blue, green, orange, all the wild colors that are in style now.  I must be getting old.

4.  What is your favorite Thanksgiving tradition?
Watching Miracle on 34th Street.  To me it kicks off the holiday season, starting with Thanksgiving Day and the Macy's Parade and ending on Christmas Day.  It's such a heartwarming movie too.

5.  What are your least favorite words in the English language?
Two words I can't stand to hear my children say to me:  "Yeah, but..."  Their insistence on contradicting my instructions irritates me to no end.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Chats on the Farmhouse Porch

Thanks once again to Patrice and Wendell for entertaining us on their porch!  It's a lovely day, so I think I'll join up with them at Everyday Ruralty.

1. What's your favorite Thanksgiving side dish? For anyone not in the US, what's your favorite fall side dish?
Hands down, my family will say it's the stuffing.  And yes, it's stuffing.  As in, in the bird (though I make enough to fill a dish and bake it alongside the turkey).  Here's the thing:  I take Stove Top stuffing and add additional onions and celery, fresh sage and thyme, and raisins.  Then, instead of making it with water and margarine, I use chicken stock and butter.  Oh my, I can't wait!

2. What's the first thing you do when you have a headache?
Depends on the type of headache.  If it's a sinus headache I typically turn to my allergy medicine or sinus medicine.  If it's a migraine, I take 2 Tylenol and go to bed - do not disturb me under any circumstances.

3. Do you like to "people watch"? (Observe people in public while waiting for something or relaxing)
Not really.  I guess since I don't like to be watched I feel uncomfortable watching.  I try to bring some reading material if I have to sit around so I don't have to watch anyone.

4. Where's your family most likely to eat for a day to day meal? (Read= not holiday)
The dining room or the kitchen counter.  My youngest son likes eating in the family room or dining room, and my daughter will occasionally eat in her bedroom, as will her brother.

5. Tell me about your plans for Thanksgiving Day. Or tell me something special you will do soon.
Thanksgiving Day will be spent here at home.  I'll be brining the turkey again, so that will start the night before.  We'll watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in the morning, prepare the meal in the afternoon, watch Miracle on 34th Street, play some board games, and relax as we enjoy each other's company.  There'll be no Black Friday shopping for us, so we can nap if we want to or stay awake, whichever is to our inclination.  I'm really looking forward to it!

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Welcome to Wednesday, and to the Hodgepodge, which took some time off thanks to Hurricane Sandy.  It's back, and you can join in by visiting Joyce at From This Side of the Pond.

1.  What rule of life should never be broken?
Jesus taught us two rules; two commands in which all the commandments would be met.  "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself." - Matthew 22:37-39.  These rules should never be broken.  I can only imagine what a wonderful world this would be if they were always obeyed.

2.  What's your favorite family recipe?
I think my favorite recipe that I make very similar to how my mom taught me is baked ham.  I like using the cloves and the pineapple, though I don't add the maraschino cherries.  There are many recipes my mom taught me that I've modified over the years to suit my family, so it's hard to call them true family recipes.

3.  Is the media manipulative?
Absolutely!  Depending on which television station you watch or newspaper you read, you will always get a one-sided story.  It's very unfair to the public, but after all the media is run by humans, and humans are easily persuaded.

4. Hubs and I saw Skyfall last weekend...are you a fan of the Bond films? If so, who's your favorite Bond?
I have watched many of the Bond films, though I haven't watched them in years.  I've always liked Roger Moore.  He gave the character a distinct sense of humor.

5. What is one thing you hope people never say about you?
That I don't care enough.  I'm an introvert, so sometimes it's hard for me to show people that I care.  I don't want anyone to think I'm selfish and uncaring just because I don't always know what to say or how to express my feelings.

6.  What's a nearby tourist attraction you'd like to see, but haven't gotten around to visiting?
I've lived in South Florida since 1987, and I've never been to Key West.  Hopefully when I decide to go it'll still be there ;).

7.  Where's your favorite tree?
All over the beautiful state of Florida.  My favorite trees are orange trees.  They have dark green foliage, which contrast the color of the oranges perfectly.  And the smell!  Oh my word, it's absolutely delicious!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
I've got a nice little stash of Christmas presents already wrapped and waiting in my closet for the Christmas tree to make its appearance.  We always put our tree up the day after Thanksgiving.  Have you counted?  It's only 8 days till Thanksgiving - just over a week!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, November 13, 2012...

Outside my window...the sky is overcast which helps keep us cool.  The breezes are blowing and it's a nice fall day.

I am thinking...about Thanksgiving.  It's only 9 days away!

I am thankful...for more than I can relate.  My family, good friends, a home, a pantry filled with food.  Most of all, I'm thankful for Jesus.

I am find out where my oldest son is.  He was here just a few minutes ago.

I am wearing...a yellow jacket with a yellow camisole underneath, jean skirt and sandals.  It's 79 degrees out.

I am noticing...Christmas lights already.  I'm anxious to decorate too, but could we at least get passed Thanksgiving?!

In the kitchen...I made chicken fajitas.  I made them because I'm trying to use up some of what's in the pantry, and because bell peppers were on sale at Winn-Dixie.  The thing is, I wanted to use up a bottle of marinade my son had bought as well.  It's Balsamic Herb.  They were the sweetest fajitas we've ever eaten, but honestly, they were delicious!

I am creating...a mental picture of how I'm going to decorate this Christmas.

I am reading...yeah, still reading Unglued.  I'm on chapter 5.  I took the assessment test for the book, and it turns out I'm a Stuffer Who Builds Barriers.  That means I hold things in, like anger and disappointment, then keep people out so they can't hurt me anymore.

I am son gets his turkey coupon from the store.  Last year's turkey cost him under $3 and it was so juicy and delicous!  It was a 14 pounder too, not a scrawny little thing.

I am looking forward to...spending Thanksgiving with my family, and decorating for Christmas!

I am hearing...our dog Molly growling at something outside.  I didn't see anything so I don't know what's upsetting her.

Around the house...I need to clean up some areas where Molly drooled after her morning walk. :P

A favorite quote of the day..."I may not always understand
The way that You may lead,
But, Lord, in faith I’ll clasp Your hand
And trust You for each need. —Dean

One of my favorite things...the smells in the kitchen when I'm baking.

A few plans for the rest of the week...Awana tomorrow, grocery shopping on Friday to finish up what's needed for Thanksgiving and the rest of the week, and church on Sunday.

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

Monday, November 12, 2012

Monday Quiz About Me

It looks like it's gonna be a rainy day in South Florida.  Very different from the dry weather we've been getting the past couple of weeks, but my plants are loving it!  Here's a fun blog hop - Heather at Acting Balanced provides 4 questions, then I get to ask one of my own for you to answer on my blog.  Are you up for it?  Here we go:

1. What is your favorite kind of soup?
I like most soups, but I'm very partial to lentil soup.

2. When was the last time you saw snow?
1986.  That's the year I moved to Florida and have not seen snow since.  There are moments when I wonder...but they don't last.  I like my snowless existence.

3. What is a must have trait if someone is going to live with you?
They must like my cooking.  I will not have anyone living in my house that doesn't like what I prepare.

4. Who was your favorite James Bond?
Hmm, it's a toss-up between Sean Connery and Roger Moore.  Sean Connery was a debonair Bond, while Roger Moore added a slightly humorous side to the character.

And now my question:

5.  Christmas trees:  real or artificial?
We had  real trees for years, and I kept noticing that my allergies would act up in November right after Thanksgiving and go away after New Years.  I finally had to accept the fact that the problem was the tree.  About 6 or 7 years ago we got our first pre-lit artificial tree, and while my daughter has complained about it every year, I love it.  It's almost time for a new one, though.  Most of the lights on this one have gone out, never to brighten our tree again. :P

Move It Mondays

Happy Monday!  It's officially 10 days till Thanksgiving - the countdown has begun!  I did some grocery shopping on Friday and bought some of the food items for the big day, so that I wouldn't have to get everything in one shot.  Besides, this is sale time, and I'm stocking up!  I have 17 boxes of Stove Top stuffing in my garage because it's going for half price right now, and even cheaper at our local Publix.  I've also got about 12 boxes of several varieties of Duncan Hines cake mixes which are also buy one get one free.  Those I'll use to make cakes for my neighbors as Christmas gifts.

Today is a no-school day, as we honor our veterans.  We owe so much to their bravery and hard work.  I'm having my breakfast now, a pumpkin spice Eggo waffle with 2 slices of bacon and my morning coffee.  I'll be doing a little cleaning soon, but mostly I want to focus on helping my son E finish his science fair project.  It isn't due until next week but all he needs to write is the conclusion and then he can turn it in early.  Of course I have to wait till he wakes up; there's no getting up early on a school free day!

My daughter will be gone most of the day for work and a training.  I think it'll be a quiet day, but who knows? It can change at the blink of an eye!  Have a wonderful day everyone.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Observing My Senses

For Today, November 10, 2012...

I am seeing...cloudy skies but no rain.  We haven't had rain in two weeks, since Hurricane Sandy passed us by.  The weather has improved drastically - humidity is down and the highs have been in the 70's or low 80's.

I am feeling...great after having found some excellent deals at Walmart!  I went through the toy clearance aisle and found expensive board games reduced to $5, and a couple of Zhu Zhu Pets playsets, one for $5 and the other for $1.  I love finding bargains!

I am hearing...just the whir of the computer and the refrigerator.  Oh, wait, I just heard my youngest son's voice.  He's awake.

I am tasting...hash browns, sausages, a fried egg and my morning coffee.  I took a break from my pumpkin spice Eggo's today.

I am smelling...the clean fresh air coming in through the windows.  Since Sandy came and went, I've barely turned on the a/c thanks to the gorgeous breezy weather.  That's a bonus - a lower electric bill is sure to come this week!

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

Friday, November 9, 2012

Five Question Friday

My allergies have been bugging me as of late, so I took a Benadryl a little while ago.  It's making me sleepy, so I'm gonna go ahead and get my Five Question Friday post done before I conk out.  You can too - just hop on over to Mama M's at My Little Life.

1. If you had c-section do you wish you would have had vaginal? Or vice versa?
I had 3 c-sections, and I wish I could have had all vaginal.  Recovery time with c-sections is murder.  I didn't dilate so after 15 hours of contractions they went ahead and cut me open.  I was totally bummed.

2. If vaginal did you go drug free?
Three c-sections, the first two I was put under, the third I had an epidural.

3. Did you have any complications?
With my last pregnancy I had placenta previa so it was a delicate situation, but thank God nothing serious happened.

4. Who was in the delivery room with you?
For the first two, no one.  They were emergency c-sections and no one was allowed in the OR.  For the third c-section my husband was in the room.

5. Did you document your labor and delivery? (Photos, videos, etc.)
I refused to have pictures taken of me during labor (let's face it, women don't look or feel their best at that time).  Since no one was in the delivery room with me for the first two I have no pictures of those deliveries either.  I do have pictures of the third.

6. Pick the birth story of one of your children and tell us ALLLLLLLL about it!
Okay, well, I'll try to make this a quick recap.  My oldest son was born on his due date.  I had just stopped working on Wednesday, and my water broke early Friday morning, about 2 am.  The amniotic fluid was gushing, to the point that I arrived at the hospital and soaked the entry floor.  I was so embarrassed!  I was taken upstairs and put in a bed with a monitor on my belly.  It was uncomfortable, and I was in pain, and when I was checked I was at 2 centimeters, which told me this was gonna take a long time.  And it did.  My son wasn't born till 5:01pm.  I wasn't allowed to walk around to help my contractions because my water had broken.  I couldn't move around much because of the monitors.  To help with the pain I was given Demerol, which made me feel so light-headed I couldn't open my eyes but I still felt the contractions.  It was so uncomfortable, and felt so unproductive.  If I'd known then what I know now, I'd have opted for a home birth!  Of course once I woke up (still in pain and unable to move) and saw my gorgeous son, I forgot about the whole ordeal.  He was worth every minute of it.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Last month my youngest son was struck by a stomach flu that made him miserable.  He spent one entire night throwing up.  It would come upon him so suddenly he couldn't control it long enough to get to the bathroom, which meant there was puke in several areas of the house.  Among these was the bed skirt on my bed.  

I remember well how sick he was when, after dinner, he said he didn't feel well and wanted to go to bed.  His stomach was hurting, but I didn't know if it was just a matter of an upset stomach or a virus, so I had him go to bed early and I retired at 10pm.  An hour later I heard my poor son throwing up violently.  As I turned on the light I realized there was throw up all over my bedroom floor and sheets, and the bed skirt.  At that hour I had to get up, take everything off the bed and throw it in the wash, while cleaning up the bedroom and kitchen floors.  It was not the pleasantest of nights.

I had to wash the bed linens twice in order to get the yuck and smell out, then I put them in the dryer.  To my horror, when I pulled out the bed skirt it was in shambles.  It had gotten torn up, probably in the washer, then it shrunk in the dryer.  It was useless at this point; I had no choice but to throw it away.

Thankfully the actual comforter hadn't suffered any malady, but it was short and didn't cover the bed properly.  The bed skirt had covered the box spring, but the comforter only covered the mattress.  I figured I'd have to get a new skirt if I could find one, or a new comforter set.  This created a problem:  I've been trying to get away from using the credit card.  I used to use the credit card for everything, but I was finding myself overspending, something I wanted to get away from.  By using the debit card I'm forced to stay within my budget, which is great, but a new comforter set for a king sized bed was certainly not in the budget.  I decided to leave it in God's hands and let Him provide for us.

A couple of weeks ago I got a Kohl's Yes Pass, one of their discount cards, in the mail.  I've always loved the household items at Kohl's and their prices are also right up my alley, which is great.  I sat down and crunched some numbers, and figured out that I could spend no more than $125.  Obviously that is a paltry amount for bedding for a king sized bed, but I had already made a promise to God that I wouldn't use the credit card other than for groceries and gas which I pay off at the end of the month, so I knew I had to keep my word to Him.  What made it even more difficult was that I didn't want to have to buy new curtains.  The curtains in my room are fairly new and in excellent condition; having to purchase new ones was out of the question, but that meant I'd have to find bedding in the same burgundy and green so that it would match.  It seemed like there were a lot of obstacles, but I trusted my Father and went with my discount pass to my favorite store.

And God did not disappoint!  Take a look at the comforter set that I got:

Isn't it gorgeous?!  The colors are slightly lighter than those on the curtain but they still work well.  The set brings the bed skirt, comforter, two king sized pillow shams, two European pillow shams, and two decorator pillows.  But wait, there's more!

It's reversible!!  The top look is a tropical motif, while the bottom is a more contemporary style.  They are both lovely, and I have trouble deciding which I love most!

Now, here's the best part.  I've seen comforter sets like this in stores like Bed Bath and Beyond for upwards of $400.  Clearly that would have been way over my budget.  The regular price for this complete set at Kohl's is $299.99, but they were having a 50% off sale, so the price was marked down to $149.99.  Add to that my 20% off discount, and the price was further reduced to $119.99!  With tax the total came out to $127, just $2 above my budget, which bugged me but not enough to turn it down ;).  The other great thing is that the skirt works perfectly with my old comforter set, so I can keep it too and interchange them whenever I want.  God honored my desire to stay within a budget and not get into debt, and He gave me a beautiful bedroom to boot!

Chats on the Farmhouse Porch

Welcome to another friendly chat day with Patrice and Wendell at Everyday Ruralty.  With the weather here being in the upper 60's, breezy and filled with sunshine, I think it's the perfect place for a porch day.  Join us!

1. Are you planning on doing most of your Christmas shopping in stores, or online?
Good question!  I've done some shopping online and some at the stores.  I look for specials in the stores, and if I can find prices better than Amazon then I shop at the stores.  Otherwise, I love the convenience of going online from the comfort of my home and saving on gas :).

2. Have you ever been to a bonfire?
No, I haven't.  I've lived in the city or suburbs all my life.  No bonfires allowed here :(.

3. What would "simplifying life" mean to you?
Getting rid of satellite TV.  There's nothing on television worth watching, anyway.

4. Tell me about one blog you really enjoy reading.
Well, there's Everyday Ruralty of course.  But I guess you mean other than this one ;).  I love reading the Lockwood Family's blog (you can read about the Lockwoods here).  They are a missionary family living in and preaching the Gospel in Baja California, Mexico.  It's a very encouraging blog.

5. Have you ever had someone who isn't in your family, but felt just like family?
When I was growing up, there was an elderly lady that took my dad in when he first moved to New York.  We called her Grandma Carmen even though she wasn't related to us.  She was as sweet as anyone could be, very loving towards us.  She passed away many years ago but I still have nice memories of her.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, November 6, 2012...

Outside my's overcast and humid.  A cold front is coming through tonight, which means humidity will be up a bit and we might get some rain before the evening.

I am thinking...of the election, and who will win.  I know one thing for sure:  no matter what the outcome, God is in control.

I am thankful for...the honor and privilege of voting for the candidate that best reflects my own values.

I am vote today!  Just waiting for mid-morning when, hopefully, there will be a shorter line.

I am wearing...a mint green top, green skirt, and flip-flops.  It's 74 degrees out, comfortable even though it's a bit humid.

I am noticing...the night light that's still on.  I need to turn that off.

In the kitchen...easy chicken and stuffing in the crock pot.

I am creating...a stash of Christmas presents in my closet.  No peeking!

I am reading...still on Unglued by Lysa TerKeurst.  I'm reading it as a study so I'm taking my time.

I am hoping...I can find some jeans for my son who is growing faster than I can keep up.

I am looking forward to...the end of the elections, which means no more political ads!  They make me sick!

I am son playing a video game and my daughter practicing on her guitar.

Around the house...everything is in pretty good order.

A favorite quote of the day...“In short, ours is a peculiar country with a unique history.  What is best in America can be traced back to our Judeo-Christian heritage.  What is problematic in our nation is our departure from that heritage.”- Dr. David Gibbs Jr. (from the book “One Nation Under God”).

One of my favorite things...crock pot cooking.  Whoever invented the crock pot, Thank you!!

A few plans for the rest of the today, Awana tomorrow, and that's all that's planned right now.

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

Monday, November 5, 2012

Move It Mondays Update

I've gotta post this and give some praise to God for His goodness!

On Friday, as I was doing my grocery shopping, my car radio started acting weird.  It was playing a CD, when suddenly all the controls froze.  The CD player was still working, technically, because the CD was still playing, but I couldn't get any of the controls to work.  I couldn't raise or lower the volume, I couldn't take the CD out, I couldn't switch to radio; it simply would not respond.  When I got to Walmart I turned off the car and hoped that when I came back the radio would have reset itself and would work.  Quite the opposite happened; the radio was completely dead.  It wouldn't turn on or anything.  Worse yet, the CD was still in the player and I had no way of getting it out.

I knew I'd have to take the car to the dealership to see if the radio was still under warranty, since the car is just 15 months old, but I didn't have time on Friday, and I certainly didn't want to go during the weekend when the dealership is packed.  It wasn't anything urgent, so I decided to wait till Monday.  Saturday I went out shopping and to dinner with my daughter, and the radio didn't work.  We went to church yesterday morning, and still nothing.  I was prepared to spend the morning getting the radio fixed.

This morning, as we got ready to have breakfast, my son E and I prayed and thanked the Lord for a new day, for the food He'd provided, and while I was at it I prayed for the car radio to be fixed and not to cost me anything, since I wasn't sure the warranty would cover the radio.  I got in the car, turned the key, and to my shock and surprise the CD started playing right where it had left off on Friday before getting stuck!  I pressed the button to remove the CD, and it popped right out!  The radio works, the CD player works, everything works as though nothing had ever happened!

It reminded me of Jesus' words, "You have not because you ask not." (John 16:24).  It's not that God can't do for us what we want, it's that we don't ask Him because we think our request is too menial, not important enough to bother God.  But He wants us to approach Him with all our requests, all our desires, and trust that He will take care of them.  He certainly took care of my car radio!  Thank You Jesus, for Your kindness and generosity!

Monday Quiz About Me

I'm taking a break to post my Monday Quiz post, courtesy of Heather at Acting Balanced.  Four questions are provided, with the option to add a fifth question for you to answer on my blog.  Here we go with this week's questions:

1. What is your favorite thing about November?
Why, Thanksgiving of course!  I love a holiday that isn't about getting, but all about giving.  Giving thanks for blessings is a beautiful thing.

2. What was the last thing that you bought that you regretted soon afterwards?
I think too much about purchases beforehand so I don't often regret.  I think in this case it's a video game I bought my son for Christmas which he now says he's not that into.  I think once it's in his hands, though, he'll get excited about it.

3. What is your go to snack food?
Raisins.  Specifically, vanilla yogurt covered raisins.  I always have them on hand, they are yummy and nutritious.

4. Do you believe that newspapers should charge for their online content?
Only if they take all the ads out and charge only for actual news.  If I have to pay AND see the ads, it's not worth it.

And now my fifth question:

5.  When will you start decorating your home for Christmas?
Unlike department stores that were already putting up trees and wreaths in October, I wait till after Thanksgiving.  The very next day.  I have lots and lots of decorations, and I enjoy putting them up and seeing them for as long as I can, so they go up when everyone else is at the Black Friday sales.

Move It Mondays

Happy start of the week!  It felt nice to get an extra hour's sleep, courtesy of Daylight Savings Time having ended yesterday.  I'm currently fixing breakfast, and I have a full day ahead of me, but I'm wondering how it's gonna play out.  See, I have to take my car to the dealership because my radio died on Friday.  Just stopped working.  And with my new Wow CD in the cd player!  That needs to get taken care of right away!  I just don't know how long I'll be there.  I'm hoping the problem is minimal, like something got loose and just needs tightening.

On the menu today is pasta with meat sauce.  The meat sauce is already made, so it's just a matter of cooking the pasta and heating up the sauce.  There's cleaning to be done, as usual, and my son E and I have to work on his science project.

Much to do this first Monday in November!  Have a blessed day.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

In Six Words

This morning my devotional challenged me, "If you had six words to express what Christ has done for you and can do for others, what would you say?"  I thought of so many things:  salvation, freedom, access to the Father, hope for the future.  I decided to sum it up in these six words:

Jesus has given my life purpose.

What about you?  How would you answer that question in just six words?  Think about it for a while.  Have a blessed day.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


Daylight Savings Time ends tonight.  Don't forget to turn your clocks back one hour before going to bed (if that applies where you live, of course).  An extra hour's sleep in the morning will be well appreciated!

Observing My Senses

For Today, November 3, 2012...

I am seeing...sunshine everywhere!  It's a gorgeous day again, the sky is a lovely shade of blue, and there's not a cloud to be seen.

I am feeling...the breeze coming in through the windows.  I love when I can open the windows and turn off the a/c.

I am hearing...cartoons.  Saturday mornings haven't changed since I was a kid.

I am tasting...a Gala apple.  Fall is apple time :).

I am smelling...the leftover smells of breakfast:  syrup for the pancakes, sausages and bacon.  Morning comfort food.

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

Friday, November 2, 2012

Follow Friday Four Fill-In Fun

It's Friday, time for my very challenging fill-in post courtesy of Hilary at Feeling Beachie.  Seems these fill-ins get tougher every week.  Can I do it?

1. Growing up _____
Growing up in New York was no fun for me.  I would have preferred the country to the city.

2. Wouldn’t ____ be wonderful?
Wouldn't snow in South Florida be wonderful?  My kids would give that a resounding YES.

3. If I hadn’t _____, then I never would have _____.
If I hadn't moved to Florida, then I never would have learned to drive.  That's one benefit of NY - plenty of public transportation.

4. When I _____, I like to _____.
When I shop, I like to go early to avoid the crowds.  This is especially true when it comes to Christmas shopping.

Five Question Friday

It's getting late, and I don't want to wait till Saturday to do my Five Question Friday post!  You still have time - link up at Mama M's, My Little Life.

1. What terrifies you the most?
Rats.  I can deal with most critters, so long as they don't land on me or touch me.  But rats, I can't even see on television.  Matter of fact, I'm thinking about them now and I'm starting to shiver.

2. Favorite fall/winter drink?
Right now it's pumpkin spice tea.  I found it at our local Winn-Dixie, and it's delicious!

3. Do you and your spouse have the same political views?
My spouse and I aren't together, but yes, he basically would ask me how he should vote so it's safe to say we have the same political views.

4. What was the last book you read? Was it any good?
I recently finished reading Hurricanes in Paradise and enjoyed it very much.

5. Do you look forward to the snow each winter? Why or why not?
My kids always look forward to snow, and they've been disappointed every year.  I think the last time it snowed in South Florida was in the early 1970's, and I don't see it happening again anytime soon (watch us get flurries this year just to shut me up, LOL!).

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Sale Alert!

If anyone you know has video games on their Christmas list, and you live near a Target store, take advantage of the sale they have going on till November 3rd:  Buy any 2 video or PC games, any system, any price point, and get 1 free!  That's right, free!!  I went ahead and bought 3 video games priced at $49.99 each (they are new releases) and paid $100.

Don't have a Target near you?  You can still get select titles at the buy 2 get 1 free deal at  What are you waiting for?!