Thursday, October 30, 2008

Lots Going On

It's been a busy week around our place. Lots of little things have been going on and of course I'm going to use that as an excuse for my lack of posts :-) Seriously, after mom went home last week, it seems like tons of things started to happen. The weather turned pretty chilly here in TN and when that happens, there's always plenty to do outdoors in preparation for winter.

I had a huge task in pulling down all of the lovely morning glory that had taken over our deck railing. They just weren't dying quickly enough and our deck looked more like a botanical garden that an actual deck. It was pretty but very irritating to try and navigate. I didn't tell Jeff how many morning glory seeds fell to the ground as I pulled it all up. Should be fun to watch it next spring. He only thought it came in thick this year!

I'm also trying to organize my photos so that I can start scrapbooking them. I'm terrible at buying supplies but then never doing anything with them. I decided that was crazy and that I need to stop being so lazy. I had forgotten about all the digital photos I have to sift through so I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed. I even had some photos on my cell phone that I had forgotten about. I had Jeff remove the micro sd card from my phone and download them so now I'm all set. I've even got supplies pulled out and an album for each of the girls. Now I just need to make time to sit down and work on them.

We're finally almost finished with our tile flooring in the bathroom. I've finished sealing it and now I just need to get the room painted so that we can finally put the toilet and sink back in. It'll be so nice to have my bathroom back!

We have a Reformation Day celebration going on this weekend at church and the girls are really excited about that. I'm hoping it's not too cold on Saturday so that we can all enjoy ourselves. This is always a fun time of year for me. Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday and this weekend officially kicks off the countdown to then! I can't wait to roast a big ole turkey!

That's about it for now. What have you guys been into?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Granny and Me Craft Day

A few weeks ago, my mom came down for a visit and brought lots of projects for the girls to do with her. The house was upside down for a few days but they had a blast. I've determined that we need to do lots more of this. I don't think I cleaned anything for at least three days, which was quite liberating for me!

Mom made sure to carefully instruct Caroline

The result were these cute little Christmas trees

They made the trees with felt and buttons. They attached a twig to the bottom to make the tree trunk.

Later on, they worked on making scarecrow pillows. Logan runs when I get the camera out so I only got a picture of her pillow.

Logan's handiwork

Mom also helped Logan and I make costumes for a party we attended this past weekend. I guess I should say that mom pretty much made the costumes herself. She worked really hard and they turned out well. Logan did sit still long enough for me to get a picture of her at the party.

The force was with her......

Thanks mom! We appreciate all of your hard work and we really enjoyed ourselves!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

That's One Way To Diet

Today we went to a local Mexican restaurant after church. As we were eating, I started to play with my straw. That's when I noticed it. Big pink lipstick stains were all along the rim of my water glass. I immediately started laughing because that's the only thing I could bring myself to do. You see, I don't wear pink lipstick and those weren't my lip prints!

Needless to say, I was totally grossed out and couldn't drink any more of my water. In fact, I couldn't even finish my lunch. I think I threw up in my mouth a little!


Friday, October 17, 2008

Wanted: Yummy Recipes

We've been on a real salad kick recently. One night a week, that's all we have for supper. I make this huge bowl of spring mix greens, fresh strawberries, mandarin oranges, dried cranberries, grilled chicken, feta cheese, and the most important ingredient, candied pecans. We were buying pecans at the store but decided we'd try our hand at making them at home. The first batch I made were pretty good but not restaurant quality. I rolled the pecans in egg white and then a sugar/cinnamon mixture and baked them. Good, but not as good as O'Charleys (they have my favorite candied pecans). This week, we decided to try another recipe to see if we could capture the flavor we were looking for. Jeff made them this time by first baking the pecans, letting them cool, and then boiling the sugar/cinnamon mixture. After it was boiled, he coated the pecans with the mixture and laid them out to cool. Again, they were good but not what we were looking for.

Rather than looking through tons of recipes, I'm wondering if you've made them. If so, would you care to share your recipe? These things are so good that people eat them as snacks at Christmastime. I'm also looking for homemade egg nog recipes so if you've got one of those, pass it my way. I'm planning to have both of these and would love to perfect the recipes by the time December rolls around. I'm also wondering if you could make a pecan pie out of candied pecans. Have you tried it?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Love Those Freckles

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

That's What Friends Are For

A few months ago, my sweet friend K made me a beautiful necklace. She and I have been on a journey of sorts. We started trying to live healthier and using each other as motivation. In doing this, we became close friends. This has been a real blessing to me because I left my best friends behind when I left my hometown seventeen years ago. As the years passed, we just lost touch because we lived a few hours apart. I have really missed having those relationships but I also realize that people change and their lives go in different directions.

I am so thankful for K and look forward to many years of laughing really hard, crying equally as hard, and just general fellowship. I wanted to share a picture of the necklace and remind you to be thankful for those friends in your life.

The circles each have an inscription on them: Strength, Focus, Imagine, Passion, Integrity, and Discipline.

I love it K! Thank you so much for your friendship and encouragement. You are truly a blessing from the Lord.

Time Keeps Slipping.......

My mom is visiting from West Virginia for a few days and has roped the kids into several different craft projects. I hope to share plenty of photos in the coming days. In the meantime, my kitchen looks like a war zone. The kitchen table is covered with buttons, sewing needles, glue, scissors, craft paint and paint brushes, two sewing machines, and plenty of fabric and felt. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to cook in there again (that's a good excuse, isn't it?).

Our garden is dying out but the tomatoes are still hanging on. Every morning when I peek out the window, I see another ripe one hanging there waiting for me to come get it. The leaves are falling off the trees and the yard is scattered with them. My deck is covered with morning glories that just refuse to die out. I really need patio furniture covers for all the stuff out there.

It seems like just yesterday that we were getting everything ready for summer and now it's time to winterize everything. Honestly, where does the time go? It seems like I blink and a year passes. For the next few days, we're gonna kick back and enjoy all the crafty goodness going on over here. All of that other stuff can and will have to wait. I'm trying to remind myself to take time to enjoy life because in an instant, it passes and you can never get that moment back.

Ten On Tuesday: Band Edition

10 Bands/Artists that Remind You of High School


  1. Guns N Roses ~ Patience was my favorite song.
  2. Cinderella
  3. Poison
  4. Winger
  5. Bon Jovi
  6. Bryan Adams
  7. Skid Row
  8. Aerosmith
  9. Def Leppard
  10. Warrant

For more TOT's go to the official site.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Just for Jenny

This one is for my best girl, Jenny. This is her favorite animal. She's always talking about spider monkeys. So, here you go Jen!

Week in Review

I haven't done a weekend reflection in a long time so I thought I'd try and pick that back up again. It seems we all got busy at the same time and lots of people are not posting regularly. That's nice to know because I was feeling guilty. Quite honestly, starting a new homeschool year has really taken up a lot of time. With Logan going to co-op on Mondays and Caroline having piano, I'm swamped that day.

Tuesday is grocery shopping day so that's what I did. I'm trying to start my diet again so I've got to start doing some healthy cooking. It's amazing how terrible you feel once you go off the WW diet and back to your old eating habits. Sometimes I really over do it and it makes me sick. So, that's my goal this week. I'm hoping to find some new recipes and get back into the swing of things. I lost 17lbs but have gained about 5 of it back. What a difference 5lbs make!

We spent the next couple of nights visiting a local costume store. Our friends are having a murder mystery type party so we needed to look for our get ups. The party is two weeks away and I sill haven't decided on a costume. I really need to get with it!

As usual, every time a football game has been on, I've been watching it. I'm telling you, the only reason we have cable is so that we can watch football! Too bad our UT Vols are terrible this year!

Friday night we had family movie night. We watched The Matrix and really enjoyed it. Caroline didn't really get into it but she's a bit young to "get" it all. We're planning to watch The Matrix Reloaded tomorrow night and will soon rent the third one. Speaking of movies, we watched a couple of others this week. The Bucket List was one of the best. We really enjoyed it. We also watched Made of Honor but it wasn't as good as I expected. The Duchess and Nights in Rodanthe is next on my list. I just finished reading Nights in Rodanthe and the book was very predictable. I've heard the movie is the same way and that I should save my money. Have any of you seen it? What are your thoughts?

Saturday, I took off about 1:30 and met a friend at the mall. We shopped for about five hours (lots of window shopping) and ate some yummy shrimp at Red Lobster. I was good for a few hours but started to feel pretty sick. I ended up coming home early but still had a wonderful time! It's so nice to get out with a girlfriend from time to time. Thanks K! It was fun.

Tonight, my mom's coming in for a visit. We are very excited and she has big plans for us. She has several craft projects lined up for the girls. Mom is very crafty and I'm sure the girls will really enjoy helping her. She'll be here for a couple of days so hopefully I'll have some pictures to share next week!

What about you guys? What was your week like?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Holiday Beverages

A few years ago, we went to Lancaster, PA on vacation. We had always wanted to travel to Amish country and I had read enough Beverly Lewis novels that I felt like I was already familiar with Lancaster and the surrounding area. We spent about four days up there and surprisingly enough, the Amish culture was not what we expected. We had allotted most of our time to learning more about the Amish and only saved one day for the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire. After returning home, we talked about how we wished we had reversed our plans and spent more time at the Renaissance Faire than in the Amish towns.

The Renaissance Faire was a blast. More people than not were dressed in period clothing (performers and customers). There were things going on all over the fairgrounds and by the end of the day, we still hadn't seen everything. The girls were able to hold baby dragons. We watched a few jousting matches and several plays. The coolest thing, by far, was the human chess match. Queen Elizabeth and her court walked around the fairgrounds and were in character the entire time. There wasn't a moment that anyone was out of character. It was very neat.

At the end of the evening, we watched the closing ceremony and then were ushered to a winery on the grounds. There we were treated to a free wine tasting. This winery put out so many yummy wines that you really did need to take part in the tasting in order to figure out what you wanted to buy to take home. If they had a wine of the month club, we would have joined for certain! In the end, we ended up bringing home six yummy bottles of wine. I think my favorite was a blueberry wine but there was also one called Quilter's Delight that was quite nice. All of the bottles we brought home were holiday flavors. We enjoyed them at Thanksgiving and at Christmas with our family and friends.

So this year, as I prepare for Thanksgiving, I'm wishing I had some wonderful tasting wines. I'd like to have a special one for Thanksgiving and another special one for Christmas this year. As usual, I am seeking your suggestions. What do you serve, as a special drink, with your holiday meals?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Blog Tour: A Constant Heart by Suri Mitchell

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

A Constant Heart

(Bethany House October 1, 2008)


Siri Mitchell


Siri Mitchell graduated from the University of Washington with a business degree and worked in various levels of government. As a military spouse, she has lived all over the world, including in Paris and Tokyo. Siri enjoys observing and learning from different cultures. She is fluent in French and loves sushi.

But she is also a member of a strange breed of people called novelists. When they’re listening to a sermon and taking notes, chances are, they’ve just had a great idea for a plot or a dialogue. If they nod in response to a really profound statement, they’re probably thinking, “Yes. Right. That’s exactly what my character needs to hear.” When they edit their manuscripts, they laugh at the funny parts. And cry at the sad parts. Sometimes they even talk to their characters.

Siri wrote 4 books and accumulated 153 rejections before signing with a publisher. In the process, she saw the bottoms of more pints of Ben & Jerry’s than she cares to admit. At various times she has vowed never to write another word again. Ever. She has gone on writing strikes and even stooped to threatening her manuscripts with the shredder.

A Constant Heart is her sixth novel. Two of her novels, Chateau of Echoes and The Cubicle Next Door were Christy Award finalists. She has been called one of the clearest, most original voices in the CBA.


In a world of wealth, power, and is the only forbidden luxury.

“Trust was a valuable commodity at court. Traded by everyone, but possessed by no one. Its rarity was surpassed only by love. Love implied commitment and how could any of us commit ourselves to any but the Queen? Love implied singularity and how could any of us benefit another if our affections were bound to one in exclusivity? Love was never looked for and rarely found. When it was, it always ended badly.”

In Queen Elizabeth’s court where men and women willingly trade virtue for power, is it possible for Marget to obtain her heart’s desire or is the promise of love only an illusion?

A riveting glimpse into Queen Elizabeth's Court...

Born with the face of an angel, Marget Barnardsen is blessed. Her father is a knight, and now she is to be married to the Earl of Lytham. Her destiny is guaranteed ... at least, it would seem so. But when her introduction to court goes awry and Queen Elizabeth despises her, Marget fears she's lost her husband forever. Desperate to win him back, she'll do whatever it takes to discover how she failed and capture again the love of a man bound to the queen.

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Constant Heart, go HERE

This was a pretty good book. It was hard to get into at first and I grew very frustrated at the constant struggles Marget faced. It seemed like every time she made progress, there was one more set back right on her heels. It was a roller coaster of emotion and there were times that I had to put the book down and walk away. If I could have gotten my hands on the queen, she would have died early on in the story! Overall, a quick and easy read with a pretty good story line.

If you'd like my copy (which is an advanced reading copy), leave a comment and I'll draw a winner on Friday, October 10th.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Do Unto Others

About a month ago, our neighbor came over to recruit Logan to stain the wood fencing around her pool. We assessed that this would be a pretty simple job and well worth what the neighbor was offering to pay her. I pitched in and helped her a little but for the most part, Logan did the job in just a few days. I was pretty amazed because there was quite a bit of fencing to do. She was tickled pink to make some money to take on vacation with her and as an added perk, the neighbor told her she could jump in the pool anytime she wanted. This particular neighbor is a very nice single lady in her early 40s. We're always dog sitting for her or cutting some of her grass. We even like to bring her garbage can up for her after the trash truck is through with it. We really enjoy being a blessing to her and are always looking for more ways to be a blessing to those around us.

The neighbor on the other side of us just completed a new fence installation. She came over and assured us that she was not putting it up because she wanted privacy from us but rather she wanted to keep her outdoor dogs from invading our yard. I thought that was very sweet of her. She's a young single gal and we are trying to find more ways to be a blessing to her.

All of this got me thinking.....what could we do to be more of a blessing in our neighborhood? What do you do? Do you have good relationships with your neighbors? Got any creative ideas for us?

Friday, October 3, 2008

Grown Up Night @ the Beach

L to R: Our pastor and his wife, Eric & Lindsay, Georgia, myself, and Jeff

While we were in Corolla, the adults got together and went out for supper one night. We had a great time and I fell in love with my shrimp wellington. It was the most wonderful shrimp I've eaten to date. This restaurant was right on the ocean and the view was wonderful. It was a bit breezy and there seemed to be a family of flies that absolutely loved our table! We had a wonderful time and after supper, Jeff and I enjoyed several rounds of shuffleboard. I think he beat me every time!

Is it too soon to say that I'm ready to go back?

Got A Stain?

I am always on the look out for great products and last week, I was able to try one that is sure to become a staple in our house, all thanks to MomCentral. We have children and as most of you who have children know, there is always a mess to clean up. That goes with the territory. Our youngest daughter can't sit at the dinner table without getting half her food on the table cloth, in her chair, or on the floor. And when it comes to spilling things on the carpet, well, that is a given around here.

My normal reaction to cleaning up a carpet spill is to drag out the big old carpet cleaner. It's so much work to get it all ready to go, just to clean up one little area. A few days ago there was a chocolate stain that needed to be cleaned up. Instead of the running for the carpet cleaner, I grabbed a bottle of Spot Shot. I had never used it before but was happy to learn that it is non-toxic, biodegradable, and safe to use around our kids and our pets (and we have a lot of those). I sprayed the Spot Shot on the stain and then started to blot it with a clean rag. Instantly, the chocolate started to come up. A few more sprays and five minutes later, you couldn't even tell the chocolate was there! It even removed the chocolate smell that was in the carpet. I was pretty impressed. It's funny but I can't wait for another spill because I know what little bit of work it takes to get it up now. The best part of all of this is that there is also a product called Spot Shot Pet that is said to eliminate all those pesky pet smells. I can't wait to try it!

You can buy Spot Shot in a spray, which is what I used, or an aerosol can. You can find it at most major stores, in the cleaning supply aisle. If you'd like more information before buying this product, check them out at the Spot Shot website. It's well worth trying!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Where Has My Mind Gone?

You know you're loosing it when:

~ You go out to pick up pizza and when you get home you realize you have your pants on inside out.

That's exactly what I did tonight! Can you believe it? We ran out and got the pizza so that we could watch some football. As I sat on the couch, I happened to look down and realized something looked strange about my pants. Upon further investigation, I did have them turned inside out. And I wore them into the pizza joint that way! And there were people sitting inside eating!

I think I'm loosing it!