Monday, December 29, 2008

Sniff Sniff....Is it really over?

It is hard to believe that Christmas has come and gone again. We work for, months... to make everything just "perfect". We shop, plan, bake, decorate, wrap and more.

Our houses are beautiful and our kitchens smell of gingerbread and cinnamon. Then in a matter of is over. We sit there in the mist of balls of discarded paper, tape and those ever loved gift bags looking around at the shell shocked zone wondering what just happened.

Then we vow, or at least I vow, to not kill myself next year and to make it a more simple Christmas. I always have the best of intentions but somewhere around the 15th all of my common sense goes out the window and I start frantically making plans, doing additional shopping that was not planned (or budgeted), baking more than I anticipated and stress stress stressing about the "perfect" Christmas.
On December 26th, when I magically regain my senses and I have all of my wits about me again, I begin to plan next year. Yes, you heard me right. I tell myself that this commercialism is going to stop and everyone is going to realize that it is Jesus' birthday and we are celebrating that wonderful gift.

Oh to think that a King in all of His glory would step down from his wondrous throne to be born a baby of a virgin girl. To be born in a stable to parents who had nothing to speak of as wordly posessions. To walk this earth,living to die. My darling Christ, the sacrificial lamb of the world was born on this night. Why do we need to complicate that?

But 2009, this year's Christmas, I think people will stop and realize this. I think they will be forced to. The economy has crumbled and we have not even seen the tip of that iceburg. There will be no extra money for the "extras" that we think are so necessary for a "perfect" Christmas.
For the first time in...well, forever, I may actually stick with my vow for the simple, truly perfect, Christmas. My three gift max per person rule will apply in full force. And if you are outside of my own personal nest then a one gift per person rule will apply. It is not about the gifts!!!! It is about being together, spending time togehter, and pondering that most wonderful gift from so many years ago.

Are you sad that your Christmas is over? Well let's not be. Let's vow today, together to make it a year to remember when we tell those retailers, NO WE WILL NOT BE TRICKED into a commericalized Christmas. This is the birthday of our Lord and we will place Him first.
Then on Dec. 25th of this year when we are sitting there in the midst of a not so big at all pile of discarded paper and bows we can sigh and say

"this was the perfect Christmas".

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Present

Wow Ladies! It is almost here! Christmas! I love Christmas! I love the sounds, the lights, the decorations, the smells, the family, the friends, the smiles....

Oh I could go on and on.

So what are your plans? Are you , like me filled to the brim each day with a list a mile long of things to do, people to see and parties to enjoy?

Sunday we went to church for our annual Christmas play and dinner. Our church is the sweetest little church on the planet! It is an old fashioned small church. We had our younger sunday school class' Christmas play (Jesus the Light of the World), followed by the older children reciting from the Bible and playing the piano. Then we all headed next door to share a meal together. It was delicious. Then as everyone was leaving hubby passed out the goody bags for each and every person, young and old. Inside the bag you find an apple, orange, nuts, candy, and gum. They are in brown paper sacks....just like the goody bags from my childhood.

Today of course it was back to church where we warmed up leftovers from Sunday and then after eating we all made up the baskets of food for the needy. Now these are not small food baskets. They contain about four boxes of food for needy families. We also include gifts for any children in the family. It is such a joy to give back to God's people.

Saturday we will go back to church and pick up our own Angel Food menu items from this month along with two of the food baskets to deliver to people that we know in town.

Saturday afternoon we will head out to my dad and his wife's, Nana, for our family Christmas gathering. Nana goes all out for this and bakes for days and days. And then we eat and eat and eat. After we eat and open gifts and eat again and open gifts again with the rest of the family that come later...she sends us home with bags and boxes of more goodies. YUMMY!

Sunday we will head back to the church where we will have regular service and prepare for the final week of christmas. It is going to be a joy this year. I myself have bought up a lot of baking items and will be preparing lots of goodies for my friends and family. Tonight I fixed two cherry chip cakes with cream cheese icing and a batch of brownies for the two lovely gals of mine to take to school tomorrow for their Christmas party. I love that we are blessed and are able to send our children to a Christian school where they actually have a CHRISTMAS party and not some holiday party.

The evening before Christmas Eve hubby, me and the gals will be heading to my moms for an overnight stay where we will wake up at her house on Christmas Eve morning and have a breakfast together and exchange gifts. It is sure to be a good time. Then it is off to my sister in laws for Christmas with hubby's family.

Christmas day for the first time in years we have nowhere to go and I am loving it meeces to pieces! We will get to wake up on Christmas morning and stay in our jammies while we open gifts then eat our breakfast casserole that will have been setting up overnight in the fridge. Then we will lounge around watching Christmas movies and just being together. AH what a good time will be had!

So what are you planning with your family this year for Christmas?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Cooking up some love!

It's that time of year when we ladies spend the majority of our time in the kitchen.

We shine this time of year. Our culinary skills are put to their test as we make cake after cake and cookie after cookie and a few pies here and there.

There is a party here and a party there....everywhere a party and these paries need FOOD!

Not just the parties either, our own homes must be filled with goodies at the very fingertips of all who grace our door.

Our chldren and our hubbies are spoiled rotten this time of year too. We fix everyone's favorite holiday treat. Why? Because we love them "meeces to pieces"! The way to show that love is by showering them with sugar!

It is also a great time to spend with our children in the kitchen. They can help to roll the cookie dough, mix the cakes, load the filling into the shells and more. My daughters are a great help to if only I can get them to help clean up...hmmmm.

This is also a time of year for big family dinners. Those kind of "feel good" dinners full of comfort food. After all we must "bulk up" for the winter months ahead...right? At least that is what I am telling myself.

The dinners at my house this time of year include all of the favorites. We have lots of turkey dishes, mashed potatoes, dressings, roasts, mac n cheese, country hams, yeast rolls, biscuits, breads, lasagnes, stews and chilis. YUMMY
This time of year we spend time with family. Just being together seems to be enough. Finally people are spending time at home and just "being".
I love winter time for the simple reason that it forces us to spend time at home.
So mom's grab those aprons, dust off those recipes, grab your favorite mixing bowl and most comfy spoon and get to work.
Cook, bake, and love that family of yours!
It is Christmas!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Back from trip, reading, cleaning and striving for simple life....

We are back from our Thanksgiving trip. We had a wonderful time! We went to Nashville, TN.
It is a tradition in our family to head down there every Christmas season.
We went to Opry Mills some good deals....and saw Santa at Bass Pro....they always have a great Santa.
We were going to camp but the weather turned cold here and we had to winterize the camper before we had a chance to go so we stayed in an inexpensive hotel outside of town. It was clean and sufficient for our needs.
We saw ICE....a world carved by ICE...this year was the last year for the theme of Grinch. It is loads of fun but it is a little on the pricey side. I would gladly give up this part of the tradition but the kids won't dream of it. So we do without in other ways to be able to see ICE.
We always eat dinner at the Rainforest Cafe. We don't have one near our home so this is always a treat for the girls. They love it when the animals come "alive" and it "storms" in the restaurant. It is only once a year and it is something that thekids really look forward too. They understand that Nashville and the things we do there is all part of their Christmas presents.
We also visited Trinity Broadcasting Network's Trinity City. It was beautiful....and everything there is free...the movies....the tours....everything. Thank you Jesus that they are able to bless families in that way.
With all of the fun we had it is still so good to be home. Even the girls seemed to sigh a comfortable sigh when we walked through our door.
Home....there is no place like it.

Once we got back home, I dug in the fridge and got out the leftovers of our 23lb Tom Turkey. I chopped it up in the food processor and added mayo, a little garlic powder, salt, pepper, and relish. It made a yummy turkey salad. I then baked up some fresh rolls and opened a can of pork n beans. We had a nice dinner together and everyone ate their full. I made enough turkey salad to last us for several lunches this week.
Today I am going to take the leftover dark meat that I didn't use in the salad and mix it with some frozen mixed veggies and cream of mushroom soup and back it in the oven with a cracker crumb topping. I am going to pair it up with some dressing from Angel Food Ministries. (Once again I give a shout out to Angel Food Ministries! If you don't order your food from should!) We will also eat the leftover rolls from last night's dinner. I will wait until later in the afternoon to cook though because after our large breakfast of sausage, gravy, biscuits and eggs we are all full to the brim.

Our church only has Sunday evening service so I will spend today getting caught up on a couple of household tasks and resting. I do have a baby shower to go to today but other than that I will be able to devote my entire day to my family and God.
House cleaning: Each week I change the sheets on the beds. I recommend that you spray your mattress and pillows with Odo-Ban (I get mine from Sam's Warehouse). And let it air out all day long then put your clean sheets back on in the evening. I have this thing about clean beds. I get the willy nillies when I sleep in a hotel bed or in anyone else's bed but my own because I don't know if they take the same pains that I do to keep the bedding clean and germ free. :-) Before we left for Nashville, I stripped the beds and sprayed them and let them air out while we were gone.
Another one of my "things" is the bathroom. I cannot stand a dirty bathroom. Now this is an ongoing challenge at my house with two kids, a hubby and me. I seem to be the only one that feels this way about the bathroom so I am constantly picking up and cleaning up behind my family. I keep the sink, counter and toilet clean with a general cleaner such as Lysol or PineSol. Then I spray these two with Odo-Ban which kills germs like you would not believe. Our tub is a bathfitter tub so I have to be careful about what I use to clean it. Once I am finished cleaning I take a lint free cloth and shine the faucets. The floor of my bathroom is old tile and even when clean it can look dirty. Plus it is white so it is constantly dirty. I take bleach water and pour on the floor and let it sit then I mop it up.It is the only thing that keeps it clean. Also about once a month I have to get on my hands and knees with an old toothbrush and scrub the grout between the tiles. But I know that my bathroom is clean and germ free. That makes me happy.
What are some of your Pet Peeves in your house? We all have them. The certain areas that simply must be kept clean or we loose our marbles.

Tomorrow is library day. Every Monday we head to the library here in town and load up on books to read during the week. I am an avid reader. Some people say that they don't have time to read. I simply don't understand that. I will make time. Of course I don't watch TV much at all so that helps. I will also stay up an extra hour after everyone goes to sleep if need be just to read my books. I like to read books about pioneering days and books about the old days. I like Janet Oake and of course I love Little House books and to read them with my kids. I also get my fair share of self help books about canning, cooking, farming, and taking care of my home. I enjoy reading these and get lots of good ideas from them. Today I will spend some time reading to the kids a couple of the books that we haven't read yet this week so they are ready to go back tomorrow and get replaced with new ones. I hope that I am cultivating a love of reading in my kids. It is a way of escape to other worlds, times, people and places. We can learn so much through books....I just love them.

I don't know how people can watch tv all the time. I have friends who it seems that their entire lives are surrounded by what comes on tv each night. They have their "shows" and they don't miss them. I would venture to say that they spend at least three hours a day watching tv...if not more. Now these are working women who are already away from their home for at least 8 hours a day. I just don't understand. I also know ladies who are SAHMs and their tv's never turn off. They are always on. It is a sad thing to see how people have wasted their lives away simply staring at a box. Think about it the next time you are watching tv. Your body goes in a sort of "sleep mode" and your eyes are fixed staring at a box in your living room. Idle hands.... my dear ones....idle hands. Imagine what you can be doing with that time. Why you could be playing a game with your children. Sitting with them while they play the piano. You could be talking to your husband, if you are lucky enough to have one that agrees with you regarding the TV...mine does not. He is one of those who sits and watches that box....constantly. When he gets up I check the chair for an egg....I figure one of these days he is bound to lay one as much as he sits. :-) But I can only choose for myself and my girls....he has to choose for himself. All I can do is pray. He says that my blogging is just the same....but I disagree. When I blog I write and read and learn ways to make my home better. It is not like watching tv....and I don't spend nearly the same amount of time on it either. Anyway back to what you could do instead of watch could be READING....ah those of you who can't find the time to read.....TURN OFF the TV. Spend time talking with your family, read with your family, BE with your family. Actually looking AT each other instead of at that box. Now don't get me wrong...I watch TV sometimes but mostly it is old movies with my kids and of course this time of year....Christmas movies.

Maybe if we stopped watching tv we would have time once again to visit with neighbors. We would have time to be the wives and mothers that God has called us to be. This world is so fast and so crazy....we need to make it a point to purposefully wind back the clock to a time more simple. I want my kids to grow up knowing the value of hard work, a loving mother who actually cooks for them, cleans for them and takes care of them. A mother who is seen busy at all times. I want them to recognize that it is only through hard work and prayer and reverance to the Lord that it is possible to be happy and healthy. We have lost this in the world today. People think they can just buy their way through. My children will learn to make do....sometimes out of necessity. I want them to know how to take a little and make a lot. They see me making bread instead of buying it, making biscuits instead of "popping" open the can. They see me grating my soap and making my detergent....not putting a bottle of Tide in my cart. They see me putting on the same clothes I have for years or the occasional $3 skirt at the Family Dollar if I have treated myself. They see me putting on the same tennis shoes because I only buy one pair a year....then they see the old pair be used for camping.
Now I am not perfect by no means but I am striving for perfection through Christ. I want them to have the gumption to strive for that when they get older too. Sometimes it is hard because my hubby is very worldly and he is a frivolous man. It is a good thing I guess that God paired us together...without him I would probably be on the extreme side and viewed as too "pioneer". Without me he would surely be in the poor house with his spending and would have a lazy modern way of thinking without me to add my sprinkle of striving for the "old ways".

So ladies make it a point to strive for the simple life. Strive for the hard working way of doing things. Don't take the easy way out. Take your loving mother hands and turn back the hands of the clock of father time to the good old yesterdays of our great great grandparents. Start at home and together we can make a change in this world of push a button, gotta have it now, stare at a box in your living room people.
We have to choose to live this way. Which way do you choose?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

My 23lb Tom Turkey is out of the oven and sliced and waiting patiently on the serving tray to be all "gobbled" up. I must say that my turkey is the bomb! Hubby calls it my famous turkey.

I have my dressing in the oven. It is full of sage, giblets, celery, onion and turkey broth. Yummy! I will let it get cooked thoroughly then I will take the foil off and let it get a little crunchy crust on top. Oh I can't wait to dig in!

Also on my stove boiling is fresh sweet potatoes. Soon I will go up and mash them with sugar and butter. Then I will top them with a butter, brown sugar and flour crumble topping and stick it in the oven. Yummy to the second power!

We will also be having mashed potatoes, green beans, yeast rolls, gravy, veggie casserole and more!

And guess what???? It is just the four of us so we will have the great leftovers for the next week. Dawlin' it don't get no better than that!

For dessert we are having pumpkin roll, pumpkin gooey cake, and some turkey shaped chocolate cup cakes. So good!

We decided to spend Thanksgiving here at home instead of going anywhere to extended family. I find at this stage in my life I long to just be home with my own family at the holidays. It is a good thing. Right now the house is full of the lovely scents of dinner and the children are playing in the floor. Hubby is kicked back in his easy chair and we are all watching Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (happy 150th bday Macy's!)

The girls are lovin to help me fix dinner. It is a wonderful thing to have my children in the kitchen with me. In doing so I am cultivating a love of cooking and taking care of their future families. I am sure their one day husbands will thank me for taking the time to include them.

Soon we will be sitting around the table together enjoying the feast I have prepared. I love to feed my family. I love to spend special days with them.I love to baby them and create these wonderful memories with them.

After dinner we will spend the day together. We will watch movies and keep baking up those wonderful memories that we will store always in our heart.

I am so thankful for my family and I love them so very, very much!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Finances, Menus, Angel Food and More...

Now that I am feeling like my old self again...thank you Jesus!...I am getting back into the "groove" of things.
We had angel food delivery yesterday...yummy! I must give a shout out to angel food ministries. If you guys are not ordering your food from them yet....I must ask what in the world are you waiting for?
:-) Angel food is awesome...for $30 you get a box of food that feeds a family of four for 1 week. You can view their December menu on their website and find a host site near you. I plan all of my meals around my angel food and I supplement them from the grocery with sale items.
Since I have been going to doc after doc.....after doc, our finances are... well... depleted. So I am going to have to really buckle down these next couple of months to get back on our feet. Thank goodness that I already purchased all of our Christmas gifts so I don't have to worry about that.
:-) I am going to have to be creative over the next couple of months though. I cleaned out the pantry and freezer so that I would know exactly what food I have on hand. Other than to get a few items for Thanksgiving and Christmas dishes and milk/bread we will not be shopping at all. To stay out of the stores completely means to spend no money.
Today I fixed cinnamon rolls for breakfast and we had burgers and tater tots for lunch. The girls and I made a lemon cake with orange cream cheese frosting...yummy. Then they made peanut butter chocolate chunk cookies. I wanted to share with you my recipe for burgers....
2lb ground chuck
1 lb mild sausage
pepper and salt to taste
2 T minced onion
1T canadian steak seasoning plus 1T for topping
1/2 T garlic powder
Mix ground chuck and sausage with minced onion, steak seasoning, and garlic powder. Patty beef mixture into thin and large round burgers. Place in hot skillet and cook until one side browned and then flip. Sprinkle burgers with candadian steak seasoning while frying. Cook thoroughly. Add cheese, if desired.

Friday, November 21, 2008

My hubby

Today I want to dedicate this post to my hubby. I am so thankful for him in my life. He took me to the hospital Monday morning and he stayed with me the entire time. Even though it was as stimulating as watching paint dry, he never left my side.

We have had our ups and downs in our years of marriage but we always managed to make it through. There were times that I really thought we were not going to make it. There were times that I felt I was all out of love. It is those times when you have to let God do the loving for you.

Thankfully it is much better now. We have been through so very much. There were many times when I was broken and completely wounded, it is during those times when it seemed that he was his strongest and could carry me through. Other times he was the broken and wounded one and it was I would would carry him through. You see we have always been able to help each other to stand.

I thank God and give Him the glory that my darling hubby is growing in his relationship with Him. He is still a baby in Christ but he is growing. He is realizing a little each day the importance of placing Christ first. He goes to church every Sunday and helps me with my Sunday school class too. He feels perfectly at home in our little church and all of the wonderful people there are good friends now to him. He also listens to Christian music a lot and has favorite songs. He mentioned to me today that he missed the modern song service at our old church which is several miles away. We decided that we would go there and visit at least once a month. It was hubby that brought up that the past that wouldn't have happened. He is growing and I am so very thankful.

I will continue to pray for this darling husband of mine. I know that God isn't finished with him yet. I think God has great things in store for him. With a good dose of self confidence I think hubby will do amazing things in the name of Jesus.

So today I dedicate this post to my darling hubby. I am a very blessed lady to have this darling man on my arm!
Hubby is also a very good father. The girls love him very much. We all look forward to having him home with us.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Complete Healing and Back to Normal

Well gals I am back from the hospital. I am so excited to let you know that I do not have epilepsy! :-) My blood pressure is running low and I am also having some sort of "stress spells". Well I must tell you though that since I am now off that crazy medication and it is all out of my system, I feel like my old self again! I am so happy and I give God the glory for this healing! I believe that He is the reason and nothing else. Thank you Lord for my healing and I give you all the praise!
Now I can get back to doing what I LOVE to do and that is "baby"ing my family! I absolutely adore taking care of my children and husband. I love cooking and baking and filling their home with loving touches.
Today I had to get to the grocery and stock up on some needed items for Thanksgiving and also to supplement this month's angel food which will be in Saturday.
This evening I baked peanut butter chocolate chunk cookies for my darling family. Hubby loves the smell of cookies baking in the oven. It wasn't long before he was pouring a tall glass of milk and diving in.
I was so excited to see my children today! I missed them so much! Oldest is being so sweet...I catch her just looking over at me and I can tell that she missed me. Youngest keeps telling me over and over that she loves me. Oh how good it is to be home again!
When I was going through this illness I wasn't sure exactly what the outcome would be. It got so bad at one point. Now that the medication that was working against me instead of helping me is gone I am getting back to normal. But going through this has made me realize that it can all be taken away so quickly. We only have this one body and we need to take care of it. Do not take it for granted. The little things that we do daily mean so much to our families. We as mothers and wives are the heart of the home, hubby is the head but we are definitely the heart. Jesus created us for that very important purpose. I am so glad that I am a mom and wife...I wouldn't want it any other way.
So will you baby your family today?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A tribute to my girls...

This pix here is from my oldest's room. This was taken before we took her posters down. We decided her walls were getting too "cluttered". But you can see from the shelf that my daawlin' oldest child has her share of awards!

She is truly a gifted child. We are so very, very proud of her! Last year not only did she complete the most amount of work than any student in the school but she had a GPA of 98.9! She also received the trophy for Bible memorization for the year. She has competed in several pageants and competitions...sometimes she has taken away first, sometimes not...but she has always had fun fun fun.

Our oldest is a unique see she isn't really my oldest child at all. She is really my middle child. But she is the oldest child here with me. She really has had a lot of growin' up to do in her short 10 years. She has been through a lot. She started out life as the youngest child. Then after the death of my dear Victoria she became an only child. Finally when our youngest child came along, she fell into the position of oldest child.

She is very sensitive and caring. We find that she is quite lazy and can be very mouthy....we are working on these things :-). She is smart...oh so smart but since she has this lazy streak in her she will zoom through her studies and sometimes make little mistakes. So there are goals we are trying to achieve...she is working very hard on these.

We love our oldest/middle child so very much!

This is my youngest child's room....she is our wild child! She keeps us hoppin' and makes things interesting around here!

We like to say that Victoria hand picked her up in heaven and sent her down for us just so we would stay real busy and maybe not miss her so desperately.

When she was born she had a strawberry mark on her back. We say this is where Victoria kissed her before Jesus sent her to us.

Our littlest child....oh such a dear one. Her Papaw Danny says she is "sweet as sugah and mean as a snake!" I must say this sort of does describe her well.

When she is playing you will most likely find her with her high heel shoes on (she absolutely adores shoes....I mean gals she is only 5 and the child has a love affair with shoes), a hat of some sort on, a purse on her shoulder, her sunglasses on and she will be struttin' around her room talking to this dolly and that dolly while she is preparin' breakfast at her little kitchen.

She loves to color and to "read". She likes to write her letters and numbers. She is doing very well in school and I think she will follow in her sissy's footsteps in academic excellence.

Our youngest has had her fair share of awards and trophies as well. She has a few tiaras and ribbons too. She will gladly show them to you if you ever do stop by for a visit.

She likes to cook and help out in the kitchen. She has an almost remarkable memory. I could go on and on about the qualities that shine in this adorable little bundle of joy. Oh and I cannot forget this little child of mine absolutely loves matter what kind of animal....she loves 'em. I wonder if she will be a vet when she grows up? hmmm

Last I would like to wish a very very happy birthday to my dearest first born, Victoria. Born in 1995 you would have been 13 today. "Oh my goodness....13 years old. How would we have celebrated? We would have certainly had us a big Big BIG party! ThirTEEN years old! I can't imagine! But to me you will always be my darling little five year old girl I held in my arms. I love you Victoria and I miss you oh so very very much. I know that no matter what kind of birthday party I would have given you here it does not compare with the birthday party that I am sure Jesus gave you in heaven today! One day my darling little girl I will be there too and together we will celebrate. Together we will dance for Jesus! Together we will fall down and worship at His glorious feet! Oh I can't wait baby girl! "

"We went to your grave today...we dressed up the vase for Christmas with beautiful red holly and evergreen. We put a big red bow on the front. We gave you a pooh bear balloon and tied it to the vase that said Happy Birthday. Someone had already been there with a birthday balloon and a teddy bear. You were so loved by so many. Your little sister....the littlest one....colored you a picture and left it there for you. Of course maybe you saw all of this from heaven? I don't know. But I know that there is the last place I saw you and so there is where I go to honor your memory."

"One day I will lay there beside you and our bodies will sleep but our souls will rejoice together in Heaven with our Father who loves us both even more than we love each that's a whole lot of lovin'!"

Friday, November 14, 2008

Keepin' It Goin'

Well gals....I am just a few days from my hospital stay...ughh. The docs are taking me off my meds to prepare so I am trying to take it easy but I want to make sure everything is in order before I go. So I look a bit like the lady in my picture here for a few minutes, then I crash in my bed for an hour....then look like the lady in the pix again...then crash in the bed again.

Isn't it funny...when I tell hubby and the girls that it is time to get the house cleaned again (once a week we do a thorough clean up together) they all look at me and say..."we just did it last week!" Even hubby doesn't understand that it has to be done over and over and over again. :-)

Each day the beds have to be made only so we can crawl into them that evening and back out the next morning to make them again :-). Of course the laundry is a given and it is an obvious thing to the family that has to be done as well as the dishes, but as far as the sweepin and moppin and dustin and toilet scrubbin....well "didn't we just do those last week?" :-)

I absolutely cannot stand a dirty house. I cannot relax knowing there is stuff that needs to be done. It will drive me absolutely bonkers. I know if when I am in the hospital next week everything at home isn't spic and span it will drive me crazy knowing I will have to come home and do it.

There is nothing better than coming home to an absolutely clean house....have you ever heard of "moppin yourself out the door"? In order to enjoy a vacation I literally have to do that. Now I don't try to kid myself...I have children...two of them little critters runnin' around in fact. And a dog...and a cat....oh and a hubby. Now this means that my house can stay...well "messy". I am constantly picking up this or needing to pick up that. I am constantly hollerin' for the girls to straighten up this mess or that mess....and usually....they don't :-)
If you gals are like me then I consider you a kindered spirit. I figure one day when my children are grown I will have my house clean and it will stay that way. But then I will wish for those messes again, won't I?
I am so blessed to have my darlin' girls and loving hubby here with me. Even if the house doesn't stay straighted up and neat and tidy. I would rather hear them playing in the other room then not hear anything in a perfect little home.
Sometimes though I just wish something would stay where I put it! Except for the always seems to stay where I put it, and the clean laundry that is waiting to be doesn't seem to move either :-)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

It's almost Christmas!

It's almost here! I love Christmas just "meeces to pieces"! Christmas is the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Other than Easter...honey it don't get no better than that. And I really thing that this year Christmas is going to be much, much better. You see I think that Christmas is going to be about Christmas. Since people don't have the money that they have had in the past to be so flighty with their spedning ....I feel that this year gifts will come from the heart. People will focus more on Jesus and less on the commericalism of Christmas. Like the picture on my post shows the little girl surrounded by gifts....oh how we think that is the way Christmas should be. But in the "good ole days" children were lucky to get one toy. They usually got an orange, a few nuts and a few candy sticks in their stocking. They might get a handmade toy from dad or some handmade dresses for their doll from mom.
Mom would spend several days making special cakes and pies...these were considered part of Christmas for the family. The children looked forward to these delicious they didn't get them during the rest of the year...except for maybe one or two pies for Thanksgiving.
I have finished decorating the house for Christmas. We wanted to get it done before I am admitted to the hospital this coming Monday. Hubby got all of the outside decorations up and this past Monday I finished getting all of my indoor decorations ready. Monday night the kids, hubby and I put up the Christmas tree. I know it seems early but with everything we have going on it will allow us to be able to enjoy the remaining days of November and December together without stress of having to do anything as far as decorating and such.
And believe it or not girls....I have all of my presents wrapped too! I am still waiting for the guys presents to come in from LTD....the items are on back order...ughhh. I hope they come in with time to spare.
I am working on several handmade gifts for the ladies of the family that will take a lot of time but I am taking them with me on my hospital trip next week so I will have plenty of time to work on them there. If all works out I will at least have my wits about me enough to work a few hours a day on the projects. I have one complete and I have four more to go.....phew.
The children's gifts are done...finished....complete. Hubby and I are not getting each other gifts this year so that is easy. We will fill each other's stockings as santa's helpers but that will only cost a few dollars so no big deal there.
So this year I see people turning to an old fashioned Christmas. And I welcome it with open arms. Homemade candies, cookies, cakes and gifts will be handed out instead of yet more store bought items that no one needs or really wants.
Thank you Lord for hard times that bring us closer together and when we have no where else to go we find ourselves on our knees and there we meet you.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Mama's Apron

Do you have an apron? Don't you just love it "meeces to pieces"? I can be tired and feel so underqualified until I pick up my apron from the hook in my kitchen and tie it around my waist. Once it is on I am transformed into "super mom"....I can then leap the tallest bread pan in a single bound, climb the highest meringue, and soar the largest layer cake. With my apron around my waist I feel the kindred spirit of all those mama's that came and went before me guiding me on through the daily care of my home, husband and children.
If you don't have an apron, I encourage you right now....this very minute to go and get one! And don't just hang it up for looks either! It is for wearing and wearing every day! And heavens to Betsy don't get one of those silly little frivolous aprons...why those lacy little uncomfortable things....they aren't aprons, I'm not quite sure what hey are...but they are not aprons. Get you a good old fashioned comfortable apron. Now it can be pretty...nothing wrong with pretty. Pretty is as pretty does but make it practical too. I mean it has got to be comfortable enough to wipe the occasional tear from your children's face when they fall...and the occassional tear from your face throughout the day...I mean we are women after all and the tears do fall. They have to be sturdy enough to handle wash after wash after wash. They have to be comfortable because you will wear them from the beginning of your work day until the end....not just in the kitchen. Once you get used to your apron you will find that you depend on it throughout the day. And be sure to get one with pockets. I find that I use my apron pockets for a great many things. There are times they hold nails, thumbtacks, clothespins, and more. You may prefer a waist apron but not me, I am a full apron wearer myself. My favorite is a blue and white pin stripe apron. It has served me well for years and it is very comfortable.
So come on gals.....join the apron army. You will be glad you did.
Oh and what about us working moms? Well when I get in from the office the first thing I do once I shed my work shoes is grab my apron from the hook in the kitchen. I may be forced to work outside of my home during the day but once 5:15 hits and I walk through that back door into my kitchen....I am all mama and all home. We can be both. We all want to be and would love to be stay at home mamas but don't beat yourselves up if you can't. I can't either gals. So we just have to pick ourselves up by our bootstraps and work with the lot that has been given to us. That just means that we have to work that much harder. And God will reward our hard work! Take pride in knowing that you can do your hubby by bringing financial assistance to the home and don that apron when you get home and lovingly care for your home just like the stay at homes do. You too can do it! Don't let anyone tell you any different. Working moms are just the fact they just have to work that much harder at home- add in all the days chores at 8 hours of work outside of home....whew.....well at least there are no "idle hands" there!
So grab that apron girls and get to homemaking!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thanksgiving Memories

Thanksgiving is coming soon! What do you and your family do on this special day?
This has always been one of my favorite holidays. Maybe it is because it doesn't involve any commercialism. It is just simply family and friends getting together to spend time together.
The traditional meal in our home has always been the following...
Roasted Turkey with Gravy
Sage Dressing with Giblets
Corn Pudding
Sweet Potato Casserole
Broccoli Casserole
Mashed Potatoes
Yeast Rolls
Pumpkin Roll
Pecan Pie with Whipped Cream
I love Thanksgiving. I have so many things to be thankful for in my life. My darling husband is number one! I am so thankful for him ! He is so sweet. God has has truly given me a darling man to take care of me and I thank Him so much for giving him to me. Of course my three beautiful daughters. They are so darling. Each one is so different and unique. Two of them live here with me and one lives in heaven with Jesus. I love them all "meeces to pieces"! I am thankful for my home, the warmth in the winter, the cool air in the summer.I am thankful for food on my table. I am also thankful for our jobs. I praise God for keeping each and everyone of us together and safe. He is so worth of our praise and thanksgiving!
This year we will be celebrating Thanksgiving with just our family. We had originally thought we were going to go out of town for the long weekend but we are unsure if we will be able to financially swing it. Even if we can't go away for the entire weekend....we will definitely go away for the day. Whether we are at home or away in the camper....we will still have our Thanksgiving dinner and we will still be spending our time together as a family.
Isn't it wonderful to celebrate a day that is all about just being thankful?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Ahhh Camping

Oh to be camping I sit here tonight posting this blog to you I have my heater pointed right at me. I have my blanket pulled up round about me. I am trying to keep sipping liquids in hopes to flush out this icky Kentucky Ohio Valley cold I have. It wasn't that long ago that I was sitting around the campfire roasting marshmallows with my family next to our camper.

I absolutely adore camping. I mean I love it "meeces to pieces"! I love the smell of the wood burning in the campfire. I love just sittind and watching the flames dance back and forth. I love watching my hubby as he chops the kindling and adds a few more logs to the flames. It also makes my girlie heart skip a few beats when his muscles flex as he moves that axe!

I love waking up in the morning and fixin my family biscuits and "camping gravy". (This is the sausage gravy that comes in a pouch that you heat up in the boiling water...the kids call it camping gravy) Lord knows mama ain't gonna make her own gravy none to often while camping...I have been known to a few times though.

Then it is off to ride bikes or hike or just chill out with a book. Oh to camp is to be free! Free from work, free from home (and home WORK), free from the phone and the computer, just free to enjoy your family. This is a time when you and your family talk and play games together.

This here is our you can see I am just a little spoiled...

If there is one thing that I insist on....that is my bathroom. Ughhh if there is one thing I cannot stand it is Otter Creek Park's bathrooms (this is a place where we camp sometimes). It is a nice place to camp that is close to home but gals their bathrooms...well lets just say...well lets just not say.
My little camper has a full bed, two twin beds and a table that folds down to a bed. We have a full bathroom and a full kitchen. Of course there is heat and air. The pix makes it look a little smaller than it is but it is not real big at all. Big enough for us though. I would tell ya how many feet but I would get it all messed up....that's hubby's thing. I just know it has a bathroom...and a bed...and a stove...a sink and a microwave. Hee hee.
Oh and air conditioning. Which is really cool when it gets hot...get it "cool". ha ha
Well I am going to close this here post for now and watch some tv and try to stop coughing long enough to get a little bit of sleep.
God bless and God bless America

Monday, November 3, 2008

Come on in....part two...

Hello Again! Welcome back! I wanted to continue giving you a tour of my little homestead here in KY. I am bringing you up on the back porch...that's where all the friends come in. See my previous post. This is a star and sign that hangs on the back porch.

Continuing on our tour in the kitchen where we left off. This is the windo right above the sink. It is one of those garden windows where you can grow herbs, etc. It has two windows on each side that open up which makes for a nice breeze when the weather allows. But as you can see mostly it just store somes of my junk :-). As you can tell from the previous post and this last pix of the kitchen.... I am lovin me some Americana! The walls are blue and there is the cutest uncle sam border up at the top. The cabinets are old and maybe one day I will get my kitchen remodeled but for now it is fine and I am happy in my little, warm, cozy kitchen.

This clock is hanging in the living room right off of the kitchen. As you can see it says "Victoria" which is the name of our oldest girl who lives with Jesus now so it is one of my fav pieces. If you look real close you can catch a glimpse of a portrait of my two daughters on the wall. This would be youngest and oldest that you hear me talk about in my posts. Aren't they just adorable?! I just love 'em to pieces.

Also in the living room you will find our Betsy Ross upright piano. I try to teach myself to play; I have a few do it yourself books. My daughter took lessons and still plays some. When our youngest gets a little older I am hoping she also will take lessons. I love to hear people play the piano. Above the piano on the wall you will see two of my five framed Jesus prints. These are some of my favorite things. I enjoy these because it shows a human side of Jesus that you usually don't see in prints. I will work on getting a close up of these prints for you guys on a later post.

This next pix that you see is an anniversary gift from hubby for our fifth anniversary. It is a quite large, although you can't tell from this post, print of the lion laying down with the lamb. It is hanging in the dining room which adjoins the living room in the front of the house.

Above is the centerpiece for fall on the dining room table. As you can see I repeated the same gourds and faux fall leaves from the kitchen but in very tall glass vases, these stand about two and a half feet tall. The dining room table seats six. We don't usually eat in here unless we have company over or unless it is a holiday or on certain weekend dinners. The chair pads are white and are very hard to clean. One day I will get them reupholstered but for now it is what it is. The dining room table is beautiful but is not functional for everyday use. We use our good ole kitchen table for every day eating.

Now this little picture here is quite special. This is a curio cabinet that is in the dining room it is on the other side of the table opposite the china cabinet. This cabinet holds some of my darling Victoria's most prized possessions. Here you will find her Prayer Pal, her Mickey doll, her autograph book, so much more. It is a wonderful place to keep all of the special memories that we hold of our lives together. There is much more than this of course but this little cabinet houses a lot of what we want people to be able to see when they come into the house.

I can't let you leave the tour today without sharing with you my floors. These are my beautiful hardwood floors that you will find throughout my entire upstairs. I am very proud of them and that is why I had to take a picture and show them to you!

This is our largest bathroom upstairs. As you can see it has some remnants of the late 60's when the house was built. Thank goodness for bathfitters...our bath and shower have joined this century.

And isn't this just the cutest little bathroom tool set you ever did see? The soap and lotion dispenser actually work like they are supposed to as well! It is a Big Lots find....gotta love that!

Now look at these two gorgeous gals here. Yep you guessed it....these would be mine! At the end of my hallway you would find this portrait. This is an airbrushed portrait done about five years ago. Wouldn't trade it for the world. :-) I am so blessed.

And this is my lovely bedroom it is at the end of the hallway. The little sign above the bed says "Always kiss me goodnight".
This is our nightstand beside the bed. The lamp is so darn cute and I have little antique teddy bears around the room. The picture on the stand is my darling Victoria. I have little glimpses of her throughout the home. Little memories of her surround me.
Well thanks for stopping by again today. I will finish up the tour tomorrow with the kids rooms and a tiny glimpse of the family room. I will try to give more pix when I get the home decorated for Christmas.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Welcome...Come on in!

Well here it is...I promised it earlier today and here ya go!

As you pull in the driveway you will see that we are definitely an active family. There will be several bicycles tucked here and there. This time of year there is a pool with a winter cover....quite the eye sore...but come back in the summer and we can jump in! Our mini schnauzer, Buddy, is sure to be greeting you about this time with bark after bark. He is sure the guard dog. No one enters this driveway without him letting us know about it!

The front door is decorated for fall. But if you are one of our friends you will not be walking through this door. Our friends come to the back!

Only salesman and people who don't stop by often come to the front door. But if you do happen to stop by and ring the door bell at the front....we will still let you in ;-)

But as a friend you will more than likely be coming in back here. This is our back porch and all our friends enter back here. Just be sure not to let the dog out...or we will be chasing him forever.

Once you step through the door you will come right on in to the kitchen. As you can see we are still decorated for fall.
Our center piece is just guords and faux fall leaves in a simple crystal globe.

Stop by tomorrow and we will see the rest of the house. Right now I have to head on out to church!