Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year!







How do you celebrate the new year? Do you go out and celebrate until after midnight? Do you have friends over and celebrate at home? What are some unique ways of sending the old year out and welcoming the new year in?



We aren't late nighters anymore. Of course our girls are. But we also get up very early in the morning, and the girls usually don't. Lauren will be going to church with her "guy" friend. I say that because when asked if they are dating, she always replies, "we are talking". How ever he bought her a pair of Coach shoes for Christmas. And although he is working in Jackson, Miss for a little while, he made a special trip home last night to stay until Tuesday morning early so they could spend New years eve together. His church is having a special New Years Eve service, so she is going with him to that and then to a friends for a get together, so that leaves Megan, Noah, Andrew and I. Megan will insist on staying up past midnight. Noah is clueless and will be asleep by 9:00 at the latest. Andrew and I have been up since before 5:00 this morning, so we will be tired.
I was looking for different ways to celebrate without staying up half the night. I was thinking maybe we could celebrate with Italy. Italy is six hours ahead of us, so that means at 6:00 our time it is midnight there. So we could have a meal and some *Christian Champagne*(see below), toast in the new year at 6:00 and pretend we are in ITALY!! Which is somewhere I would love to visit anyway.






Of course, tomorrow, we will be having the traditional Black eyed peas cooked with ham hocks and greens. I don't like cooked cabbage so we always substute with greens. I will make a pan of cornbread and we will feast on the meal of the gods, or at least Andrew and I will, maybe Noah will try it also, but the girls wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole. What can I say, they don't know what is good. I grew up eating this way, not just on the new year, but every week. We had beans and peas and greens and other fresh veggies for the garden. In fact, I lived on that kind of thing. Meat was never a big thing for me until I married and Andrew wanted to eat meat. Don't get me wrong, we had meat, but I preferred veggies.






Other than that, we will probably sit around and relax and enjoy the day. We may get out for a little bit and let me take some photo's with my new camera. I am going to try to start a photo journal of the kids, taking a photo of them every day of the year. Then at the end of the year, putting them together in a book for them, entitled Noah 2008, Megan 2008, and Lauren 2008. That way they can have something to look back on in the years to come.






If you have any suggestions of how to ring in the new year or spend new years day. Please share with me, either in a comment or a link to your post where you tell about how you will spend the new couple of days.






Today's Inspiration



We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives... not looking for flaws, but for potential. ~Ellen Goodman






My New Years Blessing for each of us






May the New Year bring each of us peace, prosperity, happiness, and love.



May we accomplish all we set out to accomplish, and become everything that we dream of becoming.



May we find contentment and fulfillment in the areas God has gifted us.



May we learn from the failures of our past, and move forward with a new determination, passion and inspiration, toward the goal of becoming the best that each of us can be.






God bless each of you!!



*Christian Champagne*
1-2 liter Ginger Ale
1- jug White Grape Juice
The mix is almost a 1:1 ratio, you can adjust it to your taste
The white grape juice offers the non-alcoholic "champaign" and the ginger ale gives it the bubbles of champagne.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

100 Mile Diet


Have you seen THIS? It is so awesome! I would love to be able to do this. I am hoping to get the book this week. I heard them on a podcast (follow this link to listen) talking about it and their experience. I love the website and all the content. Check out your 100 miles.


Thursday, December 27, 2007

New Year preparations

I rarely make new years resolutions, at least not serious ones. Because I know that resolutions are usually forgotten after the first week or so into the new year. But because we are moving into a new year, I like to think of new beginings and plan the direction of the year ahead.

I am coming out of what I call"my three year funk". For the last three years I have gone through something... I am not really sure what. A trial, a dry place, a funk... whatever it is, and whatever the reason for it, only God knows, I hope that I am at the end of it. And I feel like there has been a re-awakening of sorts. I feel more alive and in touch with things than I have in the past three years. My mind is clearer, and my feelings and emotions are more balanced. I feel positive and have made positive changes in my life. First of all, I have lost 15 pounds and am working to lose more. I am exercising again, and I am making plans. However, one of my favorite saying is: "We make plans and God laughs." Not that He is laughing at us, but he is amused that we can make plans about a future that we have no idea about. I know that God supplies our needs and many times He gives us our WANTS also. He has for me many times in my life. So I don't mean, don't make plans, just make plans prayerfully and understanding that even the best laid plans go astray, and sometimes God has some detours in mind along our journey. And it is in those detours that He teaches us the lessons we need to learn in our lives. I know that He has been trying to teach me things over the past three years, and I hope I have been a good student and learned the lessons well. I know that I am a different person today than I was three years ago. I have different priorities and different aspirations. God is an amazing God and He will continues to strive with me, even in my frailties and humanity and carnality. He is still a loving God who is patient with me even when I don't get the lesson at first. Thank you God for being my constant companion.



I read a book by Robert Fulghum last week. It is his newest work called, What on Earth Have I Done. I have always appreciated his wit and wisdom. In an interview I heard with him, he said that when he was in seminary, he was told to keep his eyes open and try to be useful. Really, isn't that a great piece of advice...Keep your eyes open to those around you and what is going one around you---and do what you can to be useful in this world. I just thought that was great advice for all of us to follow. Be sensitive to those around you and use what you have been blessed with to be useful to others.



Again a new year is coming, and it offers each of us an opportunity to start fresh. All the things you wanted to do, but haven't, well now is your chance. My husband's job has moved us around some through the years and I always enjoyed moving to a new place. It offered so many possiblilities. It afforded me the opportunity to become anything I wanted to become, in the sense that the people I would be meeting didn't have any idea about me. There were no preconcieved ideas or notions about how I was suppose to act or what kind of personality I possessed. So I could become anything I wanted to be. When you are in one place all of your life, and people know you, they know your past, your mistakes and all your failures, sometimes they tend to keep you that person. The person you have always been. So it is hard to change in that type of environment. But new places, new people and a new life, offers opportunity to change without all the criticisms.



We have been in Arkansas for three years now. The three hardest years of my life. Three of the worst years of my life. Not saying anything against Arkansas, just that my time here has been difficult due to this trial I have been going through. The best thing about the past three years was the birth of my son. I suppose God knew that I needed something wonderful to help carry me through the hard times I was facing. Of course, my family is always something wonderful in my life, that goes without saying.

So with the new year approaching, I am contemplating the year ahead and thinking of ways to make my life more like the life that God intends it to be. I am going to search for the person that God wants me to become and hopefully come closer to that image that God imagined when he gave me life. I know that the past three years have been my training time, God has been teaching me, correcting things that weren't right about me, removing things from my life that didn't belong. Yes, it has been hard, and painful at times. I have cried and felt desperate at times. But through it all God was always there with me encouraging me and telling me that I could make it through. And with His help I am...

Words of Wisdom
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

My Sweetheart


Here is a photo of my hubby, that I took with my new camera that Santa brought me! Thank you Santa!

The best Christmas ever...

Merry Christmas everyone. Just wanted to post a link to this wonderful old time Christmas story that we listen to every year on NPR. Follow the link and listen...Hope you enjoy it as much as we do each year. It has become part of our Christmas tradition.
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5028755

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Sunday memories

On December 18, 2007, Robert Thomason, my father-in-law, passed away. He was 79 years old. Several months ago he had a stroke and while in the hospital receiving treatment for the stroke, they discovered he had cancer on the brain. Then they discovered that he had it in other places also. Basically it had already spread beyond treatment.

The funeral was yesterday in my husband's hometown in Tennessee. We drove in on Friday afternoon for the family visitation and stayed until after the funeral yesterday. My sister-in-law's church had a meal for the family and after we ate we decided to pack up and head home. We got home about 9:00pm last night.

Andrew's dad was always kind to me and he helped us some through the years when we needed help. When we were first married and Andrew got out of the military, we returned to his hometown. Andrew's dad bought a house for us to live in. I was always very grateful for his kindness. I will miss him. I just wish I could have had the chance to tell him one last time---Thank you!

This is the second loss for my family this year. In June my grandmother passed away. I miss her so very much. She was so many things to me in my life...She was a wonderful Mawmaw and she gave so much to me through the years. She was patient, loving, kind...If I could have ten minutes with her now---I would just want to say Thank you for all you were in my life, and all you gave to me...you will live on in so many ways in my life. Each time I make homemade biscuits, I will think of the many times as a child I watched her need the dough and roll out the bicuits. She always gave me some of the dough so I could make a little biscuit. She would put it in is own pan and cook it for me. Of course, it would always be lumpy and hard, because I didn't know how to do it like she did. Even now, although I have learned to make a pretty good biscuit, they still aren't as good as Mawmaw's. And never will be.

There are so many memories just like that one, that will forever shape the person I am today. She played a big part in my life, and I would just like to say Thank you Mawmaw...you were the best!!! Although you didn't accomplish great feats by the worlds standards, you were just an ordinary woman, living an ordinary life. You were an outstanding grandma that offered so much more than you realized. There are so many things, little things each day, that keep you alive for me. The memories of you are little treasures that I like to find in my ordinary day. Thank you for giving them to me...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Thoughtful Tuesday

I got this in an email from someone dear to me. It really touched me and made me think. I wanted to share it with everyone. Enjoy this Thoughtful Tuesday post.
HOW IS IT WITH YOUR SOUL?
I meet regularly with a few friends and we ask one another that question. How is it with your soul? In other words, at the core of your being ... what is going on?
It's a bigger question than, "How are you feeling?" It includes body, mind and spirit -- everything. How would you answer that question today? How is it with YOUR soul? Are you caring for it?
After all, you care for your body. Do you care for your soul, too?Do you FEED your soul?
I'm told that a hummingbird flaps its wings some 50-80 times a second. It must eat constantly to work that hard. It takes tremendous energy simply to live.
We, too, must feed our spirits if we intend to be healthy. It may include prayer or meditation or the practice of other spiritual disciplines. Or taking classes and reading books that not only teach,but uplift and inspire.These are only a few of the ways we feed our souls, but without constant nourishment, our spirits will grow weak and listless.
Do you REST your soul? In our multi-tasking lives, sometimes the best thing we can do is to do nothing at all. Just to sit quietly long enough to let our souls catch up with our bodies.Charles Darwin said, "If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once a week.
"What rests your soul? Poetry? Music? Enjoying the beauty of nature?This is a wonderful world we live in -- a world full of wonder. Can you find ways to rest your soul?
Do you CHEER your soul? Use one of the greatest gifts you have been given is a gift of laughter. And it is a gift we never use enough. A woman diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis told me how painful the disease had become. Debra said that no drugs would touch thedevastating pain. "At times I prayed to die because I did not think Icould go on this way," she said."In 1996 I began seeing a doctor who gave me the most important prescription that I ever could have received.
He excused himself from the room. I watched him walking back and forth in the hall; he seemed to be in deep thought."The doctor came back in with this prescription. He told Debra to get some funny movies and to begin laughing. If she didn't feel like laughing, then she should smile. If she didn't feel like smiling, she should smile anyway. He said that it would increase the endorphins in her brain to help with her pain. She did just as he suggested. She smiled constantly. Her children teased her about the fake smile, but she told them that it was going to get rid of her pain.
And it did. Of course, not all of her pain is gone, but her newly acquired habit of laughing and smiling has made it manageable. And now Debra says that she takes only a fraction of the pills she used to consume, and that she would feel abnormal without a smile.
Someone beautifully said, "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass -- it's about learning how to dance in the rain.
"How is it with your soul? That may be the best question you can ever ask yourself.-- Steve Goodier

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Happy little girl

Megan loves horses! She has always loved horses as long as I can remember. So this past Saturday she got to start riding lessons. Saturday she took a private lesson with just her and the teacher, but yesterday started the group lesson. She will be taking on Tuesday evenings. A friend of hers is also taking the same day, so they are going to have a blast. Megan has never been more happy in her whole life. This is something she has wanted to do for so long. I am so thrilled for her. We went yesterday and bought some english riding boots for her. You would have thought that she had just been given a treasure. She was beaming! A smile from ear to ear! I hope that she will continue to enjoy them and do well. She is hoping that this summer she can participate in some of the shows at the arena where she takes lessons. We will see.

Lauren is getting ready to go to work. And Noah is up and going.....He woke up before 6:00 this morning! I was hoping to have a little me time after Andrew left for work, but "little man" is going strong.

I need to do some shopping soon. Lauren is going to be off on Friday, so maybe she will stay here and watch Noah while I go do some Christmas shopping. I am trying to figure out what to get Noah. We bought an organizer for his room the other day and made his bed into a "big boy" bed. I bought canvas organizers to put his books in and made a little reading corner for him. I took out the book shelf and rearranged his room so he has more room to play. I am going through his things and taking some to Goodwill to make room for things he will play with. But with this whole toy recall, and China situation, I don't know what to buy anymore. So I think we are going with bigger items; like a spring horse, an easel, and a few other things not made in China.

Need to get going on the day. Start Megan's school and do some housework.

Thought for today

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”
Maria Robinson

Friday, December 7, 2007

Christmas time...again?

Well, the tree is up and what decorations are going up, have...I think. I really wanted to do more, but haven't had the time lately. Was hoping hubby would put up the icicle lights on the front of the house and I want to finish the front door decor, but other than that...when there is a two year old in the house, we are just glad the tree is still up...anyway...

No my son is not a terror nor is he unruly, but he is a boy and he is curious, so who am I to stifle his curiosity? Within reason of course. He has taken a liking to the Christmas balls on the tree; the GLASS Christmas balls on the tree...Let's just say, there are fewer glass balls on the tree than when we first put the tree up...and we will leave it at that. He hasn't learned to differentiate between a ball you throw and one you DON'T throw...

Anyway, lists have been made, but shopping is yet to be done. I am hoping to get some done next week. But things have been crazy around here the last couple weeks; like that is anything new. So I haven't done any shopping, none, not the first gift or stocking stuffer, nor have I wanted to fight those crowds to try to do any shopping. I did buy a box of Christmas cards the other day, (where did I put those things?), I am sure that we can get them into the mail before Christmas, sometime. I am just not that into the commercialized part of this holiday. I have reached a point to where I would rather wait until after Christmas to have Christmas. Just do the celebration of the Birth of Christ; which is why we have Christmas, isn't it? Anyway, have a special celebration of Jesus' birth without all the merchandizing and commercializing of the holiday. Then after all the huppla was over in the malls and shopping centers, and WAL-MART, then I will go buy the things my kids want, but no one else in my household is buying this "new" tradition that I am pushing to start in our home. I believe that when my kids are grown, that is what I am going to do. Of course considering I am 41 and I have a 2 year old... I will probably be in a nursing home somewhere unable to even feed myself, much less get out and do some shopping!!! Oh, lighten up, it's a joke!!!!

We also have 5, count them; 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 puppies left to sell. I wish I could down load photos right now, because they are the cutest bundles of fur you have ever seen. I just know that everyone of you would be calling to buy one, if you could only see them.

Today is Friday, I do have things I need to get done before I go back to work tomorrow. Laundry, dishes, beds to make, floors to scrub, toilets to clean...But I don't want rub it in anyones face that I am having all of this fun by myself...I am just not one to be showy and I don't like to brag...so I will try to downplay my excietment about all that I will be doing today.

I will end this crazy post now. I need to get moving with Tae Bo so I can get my shower and get the kids started. Today Clifford is coming to the library preschool story time, so I need to get on with things so we will be on time. For those of you who don't know who Clifford is, well, I feel sorry for you. Clifford the big red dog has been around since I was young. I loved him as a child and now Noah does also.

Thought for Today
M. Scott Peck:
The truth is that our finest moments
are most likely to occur
when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable,
unhappy, or unfulfilled.
For it is only in such moments,
propelled by our discomfort,
that we are likely to step out of our ruts
and start searching
for different ways or truer answers.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Putting up the Christmas Tree

When do you put up your Christmas trees? Some people do it the weekend after Thanksgiving, some do it Thanksgiving evening while the family is all gather together. Others wait until closer to Christmas. We have for years, put our tree up the first weekend of December. So we made that our family tradition. Since I am working on Saturday's now, I suppose Andrew will get everything down from the attic on Saturday and we will either put it up Sat night or Sunday between services. Sometimes I really don't like working Saturday's, in fact, most of the time I detest having to work on Saturday's...family time and all of that...a post for another time. Anyway, we always put up the tree and listen to Elvis Christmas songs while we decorate. This year, our living room is smaller than we have had in the past, so I am trying to decide the best arrangment for the tree.
I have also asked the girls for their Christmas lists...I suppose I need to get started on the shopping thing. I have come up with a few ideas for Noah, and am looking into a few gifts that I will give to others. Noah doesn't play with toys as much as I would like for him to. You know some kids just don't play with toys like others. Lauren was one that didn't really play with her toys that much. She had loads of them, but her favorite things weren't toys. Megan on the other hand, loved toys, dolls, barbies, Polly pockets and all of that. She is still my one child that loves to play. Noah loves to play with things that he sees us using--pots and pans, wooden spoons, telephones, pencils and pens...and other items that he sees us using throughout the day. He will play with his little trucks some, and he loves to read his books. He likes to line things up in a line, like dining chairs or his trucks. So along with the many toy recalls over the last few months, I am having some trouble deciding what to get him. Toys from China are definately off the list, so what does that leave? I want to get him a small guitar, because he is always trying to get Andrew's and Megan's to play. I want to get him an organizer for his room so we can organize the toys he does play with. I would like get him some type of riding toy, because he loves bicycles. Everytime we go through the garage to get to the car, he runs for Megan's bicycle. Anyway, those are a few things I have in mind for Christmas. But nothing is finalized yet, and all things are up for reconsideration as the shopping days become fewer and fewer.

I am still suffering with a sore throat. Whatever it was that I had over the weekend is back. My throat is sore and I am very hoarse. I can hardly talk. I feel tired but no other symptoms other than that. Hopefully I will get over it in a day or two.

Thought for Today
May you have
the gladness of Christmas
which is hope;
The spirit of Christmas
which is peace;
The heart of Christmas
which is love.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

American Girl Doll

If you have girls, you have heard of American Girl dolls. These dolls are great and both of my girls have enjoyed them through the years. My youngest still enjoys them. She showed me something she had found on the internet yesterday. If you haven't seen it---take a look. They have also recently opened a new American Girl Boutique and Bistro in Dallas, and one in Atlanta. We are hoping to make a trip there in the spring. Megan was unsure of which doll she wanted to buy when we go, but now after seeing the video of the Oprah Show, she knows it will be Mia. Also check out the holiday picks.

Decision '08

As you can see from my sidebar, I haven't decided who I am going to support in the presidential election. But when you think about it, we still have 11 months to make a decision. Is it me, or does it seem like this presidential election cycle started much earlier than the previous years? Maybe I just didn't pay that much attention before. Of course, my choice will be a Republican, not just because I am a registered republican and have voted that way from the beginning, but because most republicans are more in line with my beliefs on the issues. Being that I live in Arkansas and I was here during part of Mike Huckabee's time a Governor, I favor him because I feel he did a great job in the state of Arkansas. I like that he is a Christian and puts his faith in God first and makes decisions based on those beliefs. He isn't afraid to stand for something. He is conservative and comes closer to the values that I hold dear, than any other candidates. Fred Thompson on the other hand, is also a republican, from the same town in Tennessee that my husband is from, and is conserative also. I liked him in the Senate, I like the sound of his voice, he sounds presidential, and I must admit, I loved him as Authur Branch on Law and Order. When I watched TV that was one of my favorite shows. I know those things seem superficial comparied to the issues, but gut feelings and personal feelings account for something also. I know you don't elect a president on those things alone, but it is a start. I have a leaning toward Huckabee and Thompson, so over the next few months I will continue to watch and read more about each candidate and make an informed decision before casting my ballot.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Home Again...jiggedy-jig...

Well we made it back home from Tennessee Thursday evening and I worked Friday and Saturday. Thank goodness, Andrew has been in the cleaning mood! He has cleaned the house, washed the dishes and done the laundry everyday!!!! I told him that he needed to take vacation more often, so he can do a few things around the house!!



Work was horrible on Friday. More mail than anyone can ever imagine. I didn't get home until around 6:00 or so. Saturday I went in earlier and got back to the post office around 3:30, but stayed until after 5:30 putting up things for the regular carrier on Monday. I have to work again on Tuesday and I know it will be bad again. It was cold both days I worked. It was damp yesterday and I woke up during the early morning with a sore throat and not feeling good. I feel like something is swollen in the back of my throat and when I swallow, it feel like a knife slitting my throat open. So I didn't go to church this morning. It is raining and 43 degrees right now, so I want to stay warm a cozy and nurse this sore throat so I won't get sicker.



Andrew's dad is staying in a rehab/nursing home facility in Tennessee and we got to visit with him some while there. He was able to come to Andrew's sisters house for Thanksgiving, but I could tell that he was worn down and not doing well. He is walking with the help of a walker, and seems weak to me. He has put on some weight, but I think it is due to the steriods they are giving him. He is getting ready to start a chemo pill soon and I have a feeling it will be very hard on him. I wish we could be closer to spend more time with him. I know when my grandma got down, I wanted to be near her and let the kids be with her as much as we could, which wasn't enough. Because when the end comes, it is to late then. If you are going to do something for someone, or want to build memories to carry with you, you must do it while you can. No matter how much you do for someone, or spend time with them, when they are gone, you always have regrets. I wanted Andrew to be able to spend time with him and talk to him while he is able to understand and communicate. I told him that he needs to talk to him and if there is anything that he wanted to ask or say, he needs to do it now. Sometimes people spend the rest of their lives with regrets because they didn't say or ask things they wanted to. I have lost several people in the last few years that were very dear to me, and you always regret something. So if you are blessed with time and know that time is short, use it wisely, for you shall never pass this way again...



Well hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving holiday. And we are all looking forward to Christmas season. I think we are going to try to put the tree up next weekend. We need to figure out where it is going to go. When we bought the tree;which I might add, is rather large: we lived in a larger house. But now, well, space is limited and we may need to downsize our tree. We will see when the time comes.



Well, I am trying to work on MPM and maybe will have it posted tomorrow. For now, I am going to leave you with this:::
Thought for Today


Sydney J. Harris:
Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Thanks giving week

I am going to forego the Menu Plan Monday today since we will be gone most of this week. We are leaving tomorrow morning to go to Tennessee to be with Andrew's family for Thanksgiving. We will be coming back on Thursday evening because I have to work Friday and Saturday! UUUGGGHHHH!

Today I am going to be thankful for this day and what God has blessed me with today. I won't think about yesterday and its failures or worry about tomorrow and what it may bring; but for today, I will live today to its fullest!

Anyway, for those of you who I have asked to pray for my father-in-law, I appreciate your prayers. For those who don't know, Andrew's dad had a stroke a few months back and while he was in the hospital recovering from the stroke, they discovered he had cancer. He has taken radiation and will be starting a chemo drug soon. He was recently in the hospital for a blood clot and just last week for pneumonia. He is now in a rehab/nursing home to build him back up before starting the chemo. Please pray for him. Even in the best case scenerio he was only given months... so it doesn't look good right now. Please pray that the Lord will strengthen him and keep his spirits up and keep him from suffering.


Thought for Today
Joan Baez:
You don't get to choose how you're going to die. Or when. You can only decide how you're going to live. Now.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Happy Birthday to ME!!!

Yes, I can't believe it, I am 41 years old today! Turning 40 was hard, but not near as hard as anticipating turning 41. Because suddenly you realize it doesn't stop at 40, but you keep getting OLDER...Then you start thinking the next big one is...dare I say...50! No offense to those of you who are already 50 or older, but if you remember back to 41, and how you felt about turning 50... well that is where I am now. I know when I get there, it won't be as bad, at least I hope it isn't.

I had to work today, and I must say that the Christmas mail has begun! It was horrible! Catalogs and sale papers from everywhere, selling everything imaginable. I can't believe that anyone could possibly need so much mail! I was an hour and 45 minutes later leaving the Post Office than on normal days due to the high volume of mail. And the bad thing is it only gets worse before Christmas! To make matters worse, it now gets dark so much earlier and it is almost dark getting back to the Post Office. I could go into the long speech about the horrors of consumerism and how we are destroying our society with our insatiable appetite for so much. And how we work so hard to pay for all this stuff that we never have time to enjoy, and how we are slaves to our stuff...but I won't bore you with my soap box today, I will save the planet another day.

When I got home Andrew and the kids had me a wonderful meal of crab legs, shrimp and sausage with mushrooms all boiled in crab boil seasoning. And then some wonderfully, sinful chocolate cake and some sparkling grape cider. That we drank from champagne glasses and toasted to ME!! Even little man got into the action he drank from a glass champagne glass just like the rest of us, without breaking it!
Then they gave me some wonderful gifts of cologne; (Red Door, my old standard), money; which is always a great gift, and my 18 year old got me, well, some unmentionables; which I desperately needed. And they gave me great cards with lots of love enclosed! All in all, a great birthday! Even if I did have to work. But coming home to my loving family, was worth the long, hard day!

Well, my daughter; the 18 year old one, the one that is becoming an adult before my very eyes; opened her own checking account today! All by herself. She has been wanting to for a while and today she finally did. I have to say am very proud of the young woman she has become. I am proud to say that I am her mom. Even though, I still have to stay on her about her room! Which right now it is a big mess.

Well, time for bed. I have photo's I want to post, but we are having computer issues and I can't get them to download right now. I am trying to correct the problem and will post photo's ASAP.
Thought for Today
forty is the old age of youth; fifty is the youth of old age. - French Proverb

Monday, November 12, 2007

Menu Plan Monday



Well my menu plan Monday isn't going as well as I had hoped. I still don't have the week figured out. Not because of a lack of ideas, just a little laziness on my part and sick kiddo's on top of it. So here's what I have so far.

Sunday: Tuscana soup and garlic bread

Monday: Sub sandwiches with left over Tuscana soup and I made the most wonderful (if I do say so myself) Apple crisp. The recipe will be at the end of this post.

Tuesday: Braised cajun chicken breast with
cheese and spinach tortellini and a veggie

Wednesday: Smoked Tuna quesadilla's with tortilla chips and salsa dip

Thursday: I have to work and it is also MY BIRTHDAY! So I am
NOT COOKING!

Friday: Red Beans and Rice with sausage and cornbread

Saturday: Something in the slow cooker with left overs on Sunday.

Deidre's Apple Crisp

4 cups apple slices, peeled

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup oats, rolled (raw)

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup butter (one stick melted)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup caramel sauce

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Peel and slice apples into small chunks and place in glass baking dish
Cover the slices with the lemon juice.
Mix dry ingredients together except for walnuts
and pour over apple chunks.
Melt butter and add vanilla and pour evenly over the dry ingredients.
Top with chopped walnuts
Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes
Drizzle caramel topping over top and eat warm.

I must have really been craving something that was in this, because I thought it was delicious! Even my picky eaters thought it tasted good. This is definately a keeper for us. I had some apples that needed to be eaten and I was craving something like granola or nutty/crunchy/gooey so I just redid an old recipe for Apple Crisp. Try it and let me know how it turns out for you.

If you want any more ideas for Menu Plan Monday click on the MPM photo at the top of the post and view what lots of others are doing this week.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sickie Sunday

This morning our house has a few sickies in it. Megan is fighting allergy and had a temp last night. Noah has also had watery nose and sneezing for several days, and Lauren woke up with a sore throat. So I suppose it is no church for us this morning. Andrew had to go into work today to get the schedule for this new project worked out on the scheduling program to show the owners tomorrow. So I am sitting here trying to plan my menu for the week. Last weeks menu changed slightly with the decision to get pizza on Thursday night and the wonderful gift of deer meat from a co-worker. I fixed the most awesome deer roast in the slow cooker. Andrew brought the meat in Thursday evening and I cleaned and cut it and put it in the slow cooker with a large bottle of spicy italian salad dressing. It cooked over night and I added whole new potatoes and large chunked carrots with garlic and pepper with some Tony's. It cooked for 24 hours and was it delicious!!! I served it with cornbread and everyone loved it. So thank God for an almost free meal.

Saturday was a work day and it was a free for all. I fixed Chicken Ceaser Salad and Andrew and I at it. It tasted really good. I use to love italian dressing on my salad, but ceaser has become my new favorite.

I have to work Thursday and Sat this week. And the day after Thanksgiving and Sat next week. Then the following week I work Tuesday and Saturday. I also have three dr's appointments in the middle of it all.

Gotta run for now. I will post again later today.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Everyday Food

Have you seen these Everyday Food magazines. Yes, I know they are by Martha Stewart, but really what did she do that so many others haven't done, and just didn't get caught? So regardless of how you feel about Martha, (I personally still like her products and ideas), lets be real, she's good at what she does. Anyway, I have seen these magazines before, but never bought one. One day while garage-sale-ing, I ran across a stack of them, in perfect condition, for .25 cents a piece. I grabbed them all. And they are great! I love them! Of course I love cookbooks anyway, but never do I buy a cookbook that doesn't have photo's for every recipe. I am a visual sort of gal and I need visual inspiration to get me motivated for anything. So when I just see a list of ingredients and no photo to show what it is suppose to look like in the end, forget it---blah, blah, blah... I get bored quickly. But these Everyday Food magazines are great! And the recipes are just what it says, everyday food. Unlike some of Martha's cook books, where everyday people have to take out a loan to buy all the ingredients needed to create one of these extravagant meals, these recipes call for...everyday ingredients. And they include great color photo's and great tips also.

I realize that I don't get out much and since I no longer watch television, my sources of information are limited and some would say that I am sheltered; but... did you know that you can line open ice cream containers with plastic wrap before putting the lid back on and it will prevent freezer burn?

Well, I didn't know this. I learned about it in one of these magazines. Another thing I didn't know was that people actually kept ice cream in their freezer long enough to get freezer burn. For some reason we never have that trouble in our house. We never keep ice cream that long...hum...but if we ever do have that problem, I now know how to solve it!!

So, check out the web site, and next time you are in line at Wal-Mart, pick up one. I am sure that like me you will be pleasantly surprised by them. I am just hoping to run across another stack for 25 cents a piece, instead of the $2.95 they usually cost. Or you could just go to the web site and check out what is online. Either way, happy cooking!

47 Shopping days before Christmas!

Today there are 47 shopping days left before Christmas! Wow! How did that happen? Have I done any shopping? Ask anyone who knows me well, and they can tell you. The answer is NO!! Are you kidding! What fun would it be to be prepared and have it all done early, before the crazy rush! Who doesn't get an inward thrill out of racing around the day before Christmas trying to find something on your child's list, only to discover the only one left has been stepped or chewed on by another child. And who doesn't get a kick out of running short on wrapping paper and tape and having to use the Sunday Comics held in place by the last few staples in the house and some left over yarn from the scarf you made for your Aunt Lucy.

Well...it really isn't that bad, but I am a last minute kind of girl. I use to go shopping the day after Thanksgiving, but I just never got into the thrill of getting up at 2:00 am and standing in line for 4 hours with 300 other people all trying to get the ONE Game Boy the store advertised for $5.00 in order to get people into the store. I would rather pay twice what something is worth than to go through all of that!

The last time I shopped the day after Thanksgiving for Christmas was in 2004, when we lived on Padre Island. Lauren and I got up before daylight and hit the stores. I ended up buying things we really didn't need. I spent more money than I normally would have spent, and still didn't get much Christmas shopping done. So I swore off those crazy shopping days when everyone is out looking for a bargain. Except for Christmas Eve, and I'm not out looking for bargains, I am just out trying to get the necessary items that I have put off getting up until then. I have to have a little excitement in my life!

Besides, this year, I have to work the day after Thanksgiving. So while all you bargain hunters are out there stalking some great sale, I will be putting more sale papers and catalog's that promise great savings, into your mailboxes to tease you with the allure of something great!
Happy Shopping---47 Shopping days left until Christmas! But don't let that stress you, there is always the day after Christmas Sale!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Today I didn't get as much accomplished as I wanted. The day just got away from me. It has turned really cool, with freeze warnings for the area tonight. burrrrrrr....

Megan has been after me for several days to make some boiled cookies, so tonight I gave in and made them. I don't like to make them because when I do, I eat to many!!! Tonight I had three. I am going to forget that they are here and NOT HAVE ANYMORE! What are boiled cookies, you ask? Well, only the best of chocolate and peanut butter mixed together...yummmmmy!
Boiled Cookies
2 cups sugar
1 stick butter
4 TBS cocoa
( I use liquid hersey syurp, about 6 or 7 squirts)
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup milk
bring these ingredients to a boil for 4 minutes
then remove from heat and add
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 1/2 cups dry oatmeal
Stir together until well mixed and quickly spoon onto wax paper of foil.
Allow to cool and harden
Eat and enjoy
Makes about 22 cookies
This is my Mawmaw's recipe. She use to make these when we were kids and I just loved them. Still do, but I don't make them much anymore because I just can't stop with one, or two, or three, or.........Sometimes I could eat a whole batch. And I wonder why I need to lose 40 pounds!!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

Well it is that time of the week again. I haven't been very good about planning my weekly menu, but I have enjoyed reading others who do. So I am going to try it this week.
(Megan has been wanting me to fix "little pizza's" I haven't done them in a long time so we decided to do finger foods today.)
Monday : Biscuit pizza's, bar-b-que meatballs and some form of veggie
Tuesday: Tuscana Soup and garlic bread
Wed: Hot dogs and oven fries
Thurs: Homemade sub sandwiches and chips
Friday: TBD
Sat: I work so it is hubby's job to fix: probably take out of some kind
Sun: something in the slow cooker
Well, I know it isn't all planned out, but I do have a start. This isn't how I usually cook, but in the past few months, I have been in a cooking slump. I use to be the Mom that cooked a four course meal, sometimes twice a day.(when hubby use to come home for lunch) But, since I was pregnant with Noah and had him, my cooking has gotten less and less elaborate and unfortunately less healthy in favor of something quick. I hope to find the "joy of cooking" again start cooking more healthful and creative meals. But for now, at least no ones complaining and there is always something to eat.
Follow the Menu Plan Monday graphic at the top to find a link to Organizing Junkie and see what tons of others are doing this week in the kitchen.

If God had intended us to follow recipes,He wouldn't have given us grandmothers.~Linda Henley


Quote of the Day

I found this great quote at Orginary Mom's blog and it spoke to me and the way I have been feeling about my life lately. So I have attached it below. Hope someone else out there is moved by it also.
“Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast - you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.” ~ Eddie Cantor

Saturday, November 3, 2007

A Wedding

Well it was back to work today. I really dreaded it, after being off for two weeks, I didn't want to go back. But all went well. It was a light mail day and no large packages. And I really knew God was smiling on me when the people I usually pick up out going packages from, met me at the truck with their packages, so I didn't have to climb the hill and carry a load back down. So that was great!! I got home by a little after 4:00 and wasn't tired or sweaty. The weather was just shy of wonderful. The sun was out and there was a simi cool breeze blowing. The temp was just at 70. The only thing that could have been better was the temp could have been just a little cooler, but I won't complain. Not today, anyway!



I talked to one of my oldest and dearest friends on the phone this evening. Well she isn't old, but I have known her since she was born. Our families have been neighbors for several generations and have been like family to us. Her mom babysat for me some when I was young and I babysat for her and her sister when they were little. When I started back to college in 1996, I think, she had just graduated from high school and we went to college together. We have been close ever since. Anyway, she is very special to me. She is getting married!! She asked me to be her matron of honor! I am so excited. I feel young again. I was in several weddings when I was younger, but it has been years since I was asked to be in a wedding!!! The wedding is next October, and we are looking for dresses. She has decided on the colors, and she is letting each of the attendents decide on the style that she will wear, as long as it is formal, that is. So I am looking for a dress. I found one that I love online, if I can find one in the colors that she is using, and it is not to expensive I would like to get it. Or one near that style anyway. I will try to attach the photo below. Anyway, we have just started the hunt, so hopefully we will find what we want.

Isn't it beautiful. You can see it and others at www.latterdaybride.com. And no we aren't Morman's. We just liked this site because they offer more modest style choices.

Hubby went to the store and bought shrimp and crab legs. We cooked them with some sausage in crab boil and Tony's seasoning. We ate and ate until we could stuff ourselves no more. We both love seafood. When we lived in Corpus Christi, we would eat crab legs often, and never got tired of them. We don't eat them much here due to the cost. But tonight we both agreed that we like to move to the coast and live off of crab legs, shrimp, lobster, fish, oysters, and other seafood. Throw in a little salad, some sushi for hubby and some occasional chocolate, and it would be heaven!! What more could you ask for to eat? So now I am stuffed from supper and declaring that I am going to lose 40 before next October. I will be slim for Daphne's wedding!!! Now to plan how I aim to accomplish this feat. Think, Think, Think...(as Pooh would say)...

Well that is about all for tonight. I finally got Little Man down for the night. And I am hoping to get a little reading in before falling asleep. I am currently reading, A Year By The Sea, by Joan Anderson. I have read it before, but felt the need to do so again. I also have A Walk on the Beach and An Unfinished Marriage, by her, waiting to be reread. I enjoyed them the first time around about two years ago. It must be something about fall...Anyway, check them out from your local library and enjoy a little retreat of your own.

I will leave you with this thought:

God gives us our relatives - thank God we can choose our friends. - Ethel Watts Mumford

Some of you may get a chuckle out of this one! And if you don't---lighten up a little bit!!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Friday Felicities

1. Cool Fall mornings
2. Hugs from my little ones
3. puppy breath
4. losing 5 pounds
5. being able to breathe through my nose!
If you want to participate in Friday Felicities please click on the Mr Linky below. If you want to read the origin of Friday Felicities click on the photo above.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Thursday's news

Okay, so Lauren just left for her weekend to St Louis, and Megan and Noah and I are feeling a little lonely. Or at least I am feel a little lonely. I watched her drive out of the driveway and thought of myself at her age and well, we don't want to think about that, so I quickly made myself busy doing something else. So anyway, we are getting ready to run to the library. I have some books that are due and for lack of something better to do today, we will spend a little time there.

When Andrew gets off we are taking Megan and Noah to The Purple Cow to eat supper then maybe a trip to Barnes and Noble bookstore. Just a little outing in an otherwise boring weekday.

I start back to work on Saturday. I'm not liking it very much, but thank God for the job! Thats all I have to say about that !

I am getting ready to get another perm in my hair. I haven't had one in almost two years. I did get a root perm for just the top portion of my hair earlier this year, but it is gone! My hair really does hold a perm well, except for the top, because it is so long and the weight of it pulls it out. I miss just washing, gel-ling and going. I like the bohemian look. Lauren calls me a hippie, because of the way I wear my hair long and down. And I suppose there is some hippie still in there somewhere, but usually when women get to a certain age; I won't mention what age that is; surely older than I am...they usually start wearing their hair up if it is long. I do wear it up, to church and other places, mostly since I had Noah, because it is easier when pulling and tugging on a little one not to have hair hanging down in the middle of it all, however, I want to get a perm so I can start wearing it down again. So, I usually go back to Louisiana to a lady that I trust there to do it. Did I mention that I don't let just anyone perm my hair? Anyway, there are three women in this world that I would trust with my hair and two are in Louisiana; one in DeQuincy and the other in Walker, near Baton Rouge. The third is in Kentucky. Why you ask do I not trust many with my perming? Well I don't cut my hair. I don't even trim the hair, so you can see where perming could be harsh on your ends. And that is where these special people come in. They know just how to work magic to make sure the ends don't burn or split. I get a perm about once every year, year and a half. I have gone almost two this time with the interjection of a root perm. And I am very careful not to do anything that would damage my hair. I air dry, most of the time, condition, condition, condition... Anyway, I got a recommendation for a lady here in Arkansas and I have been trying to get a hold of her today, but no luck. Hopefully I can get it done before Thanksgiving. This will save me a trip to Louisiana that I can't make right now. So hopefully this lady will work out.

Well, hubby called and he is actually off early and on his way home!!!YEA!!!! So I need to get off and get ready for our family night out.

Just an update. The nose is doing well. I bumped it the other day, trying to kill a misquito on Noah; don't ask; anyway, it hurt for a little while and I fretted for a while worried that I had damaged something, but it appears to look the same and works as well. So I suppose it is okay. I still plan to post photo's when Lauren returns. I should have had her take them with my camera instead of hers.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Still here

Yes, I am still here, and yes I know that I promised that I would post photo's of before, during, and after the surgery, and I will. The problem is my daughter Lauren, who took the before and during photo's with her camera, has been working or gone so much in the last week, that I have hardly seen her, much less had the chance to have her send the photo's to my computer and upload them here. I will just as soon as we have a couple minutes together. Which may be after this weekend, because she is going to St Louis for the weekend. It is hard to adjust to having an adult-child. You don't have the say in their lives like you use to, but you have the worry. Anyway, I will post photo's asap.



My parents have been staying with us for the last two weeks while I went through the surgery and recovery. They are leaving today to go home. I hate to see them leave. I also go back to work on Saturday; uugghhh! I really don't like working on Saturday. It takes away any family day that we have to do anything together. Sunday's are full and Andrew works long hours during the week, so with me working Saturday, we have no time at all to go or do anything, and it really starts to wear on you.



I don't have much to post right at the moment so I will leave you with something I found on http://mylittlefella.blogspot.com/ it really ministered to me. It is truly where I am at today and have been for some time. Hope it blesses someone else like it did me. Thanks Lori for the reminder that God is always there and He hears our prayers, even though His answer may not come when and how we think it should.


Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried;

Quietly, patiently, lovingly, God replied.

I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate...

and the Master so gently said,

"Wait."

"Wait? you say wait?" my indignant reply.

"Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!"

Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?

By faith I have asked, and I'm claiming your Word.

My future and all to which I relate

hangs in the balance

and you tell me to Wait?"

I'm needing a 'yes', a go-ahead sign.

Or even a 'no,' to which I'll resign.

You promised, dear Lord, that if we believe,

We need but to ask, and we shall receive.

Lord, I've been asking, and this is my cry:

I'm weary of asking!

I need a reply.

Then quietly, softly,

I learned of my fate

as my Master replied again,

"Wait."

So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut,

and grumbled to God,

"So, I'm waiting...for what?"

He seemed then to kneel, and His eyes met with mine...

and He tenderly said,

"I could give you a sign.

I could shake the heavens and darken the sun.

I could raise the dead and cause mountains to run.

I could give all you seek and pleased you would be.

You'd have what you want, but you wouldn't know Me.

You'd not know the depth of My love for each saint.

You'd not know the power that I give to the faint.

You'd not learn to see through clouds of despair;

you'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there.

You'd not know the joy of resting in Me

when darkness and silence are all you can see.

You'd never experience the fullness of love

when the peace of My spirit descends like a dove.

You would know that I give, and I save,

for a start,

But you'd not know the depth of the beat of My heart.

The glow of My comfort late into the night,

the faith that I give when you walk without sight.

The depth that's beyond getting just what you ask

From an infinite God who makes what you have last.

You'd never know should your pain quickly flee,

what it means that My grace is sufficient for thee.

Yes, your dearest dreams overnight would come true,

but oh, the loss if I lost what I'm doing in you.

So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see

that the greatest of gifts is to truly know me.

And though oft My answers seem terribly late,

My most precious answer of all is still

"WAIT".
Author Unknown

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Back from the abyss

Well, I survived the surgery and most of the recovery. I go back to the dr tomorrow to have the stitches taken out and the splint taken off. And get the first real look at the results.
The surgery went well, according to the dr. I was out and don't know how well it went. But I do remember little snippets of things after the surgery. They shot me up with demerol afterward and I couldn't pull myself out of it for most of the rest of the day. I slept in the recliner all that evening and the following two nights.
Yesterday I got up and actually rode to the store with my daughter and sat in the car while she went in. I didn't take any pain meds yesterday at all, not even tylenol. Today I got up and started doing little things around the house, nothing major. I am still unable to lift anything over ten pounds and can't do anything that could injur my nose.
Noah has done so well with all of this. He hasn't cried for me much and when he would wake up and cry for me, they would tell him that I have a boo boo and can't get him. Then he would ask for his sister or mawmaw. So he seems to understand. He will come close to me and we will give "easy sugar" and he will carefully and lightly kiss my cheek. I am so glad that he has done so well. I will have to be very careful for some time that he doesn't bop me in the nose or throw something my direction that may hit me in the nose.
I will take after photo's tomorrow and post the before, during and after. It really wasn't that bad during. I didn't bruise and swell nearly as bad as I thought I would. So the photo's aren't so gruesome.
The weather is wet, rainy, and cold! Just as I feared; straight into winter weather without so much as a layover in fall.
Well, there isn't much going on around the home front. My parents are here and helping with the little ones. The puppies are growing and getting everywhere. Another week or so and they will be finding new homes, I hope. I am hoping to have the house routines back to "simi-normal" conditions in a few days.
I will be working on the new addition to my blog where I spot light someone who has been special in my life. I am working on the who's, what's, why's, and how's of it. So keep checking back.
I would really like more feed back from those of you who read my blog. I know I get emails from some of you and you tell me you are reading my blog, but I would really like to get more comments on the blog from each of you. So if you would, please leave a note to let me know you where here visiting.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Menu Planning...

Thanks to Joyful Mother I found Laura's blog and this Menu Plan Monday. I think I am going to try it. I have never been one to plan my meals ahead. But lately I have been feeling the need to organize things and streamline my life. I have heard so many people say that it save them time and money to plan a weekly or monthly menu. I think I will start with a weekly menu. I followed the links to those who are participating in MPM and found some great ideas. I will try to sit down this week and work on mine. We will see what happens. If you are interested in trying it I recommend you check it out also. There are some really very organized ladies out there that I could really learn from. Because the Lord knows that I need to be more disciplined and organized in many areas of my life.

Today's Encouraging words
Don't wait for something big to occur. Start where you are, with what you have, and that will always lead you into something greater. ~~ Mary Manin Morrissey

Give away

Joyful Mother is giving away copies of Amy Grant's book, Mosaic, Monday morning, so go by and get your name in the drawing. I did.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Contentment

Contentment-when someone is contented they have a feeling or behave in a way that shows satisfaction with their possessions, status, or situation. How often in our society do we experience these feelings? We live in society that is constantly wanting more. More things, more money, more friends, more houses, more clothes, more food, more pleasure, more entertainment, more, more, more... The media tells us that we need more things, newer things, newer versions of the same things we currently have. Nothing is actually made to last for long in our world. Most things are disposable. Our attitude is "throw it out, get a new one", "easy come-easy go". We are driven by consumerism. If you don't believe me then all you need to do is sit down for an hour or so and watch television (strictly for research purposes), flip through some magazines, get onto the internet, go through your mail. Believe me, I know about the mail... I deliver hundreds of catalogs, fliers, and sale papers every week. All of them are trying to sell you more, more, more. And we are buying into it. Literally, buying into it...The numbers of people in America suffering from debt are staggering, and growing larger everyday. We no longer own our possessions, they own us. We buy new things and spend our lives trying to pay for them. We work so many hours that we never enjoy our things, however, we are compelled to buy new things. Continuing the cycle of debt. At the rates that Americans are going into debt, the new retirement age will be Death, because we will never be able to afford to retire. I see this cycle in my own life and am trying to put an end to it. I see the lessons that I have taught my children through the years, and cringe. I have often quoted the saying, "youth is wasted on the young, and wisdom on the old." The youth are strong and healthy but have no sense, and when you get older and gain the wisdom then you are to broken down to use it. I would love to think that we could live two lives, one in which we learn and the second one in which we use the wisdom gained in the first life to live the way we should. But I do not believe this is so, and I must try to undo some of the ill that I brought about by making poor choices.

Philip Gulley, a wonderful writer that I enjoy reading, and I highly recommend, has a segment on WFYI, Indiana's PBS station called "Porch Talk". One of these segments was called Contentment. I highly recommend you follow the link and listen. We could all stand to be a little more like the lady he is refering to in this piece. If you are truly caught up in consumerism, then take a break from it for a week. Don't buy anything, except what is absolutely necessary for your survival that week. If you succeed that week, try another one. Soon you will realize that more things won't bring the happiness or contentment you are seeking. Things will just add to the clutter of you life and the stress of your debt load. Lets all just try living with less and on less and maybe just maybe we will find more, more contentment, more joy, more true happiness, and more time to do the things we truly enjoy in life. Maybe the saying is true, "Less IS more".

Today's insiration

"Mini-Vacation"

Five Minute vacations...Several years ago I read about this technique. A way to unwind, rejuvenate, and calm yourself is to take 5 minutes and visualize something wonderful, look at a beautiful photo or landscape, listen to beautiful music, and for 5 minutes in the middle of your hectic life you can be on vacation. I was skeptical at the time, thinking that 5 minutes couldn't possibly make that big of a difference. However, I have since learned how important these little "mini-vacations" can be in my life. I have one "mini-vacation" on my way to work. As I am driving on 430 which takes me to my job, there is a point as I round a curve and look ahead, and the river comes into view. Small swells of hills lie on either side of the highway and as I approach the bridge, the sun is usually just rising into the sky and reflecting on the water. A fine mist floats just above the river and I can look around and see Pinnicle Mountain in the distance on one side, and The Big Dam Bridge on the other. Houses are perched upon the highest points above the river in my rear view mirror and they remind me of photos I have seen of distant places, and for those few moments I am on vacation. I soak up the sunshine and feel the excitement of something out of my normal routine. For that moment in time, I forget where I am going, all the worries that may have kept me up the night before, and I forget what lies ahead. I am in the moment. Taking in the sights and the smells coming in through my opened window. Making note of a boat on the water, or a bird swooping down to catch a fish. I feel all the feelings of a child looking onto such a scene, and try to draw in as much as I can through all of my senses. And then it is past, and I pull into the turn lane to take the exit to my job. But I am different somehow. I feel freer, lighter, that anything could be possible now. And no matter what I face after that, I can deal with it much better. I feel calmer when I get to work and can enjoy the day in a way that I couldn't have otherwise. So I have found other places, and ways to experience that same feeling of a "mini-vacation". One of them is listening to music. There are some pieces of music that give me those same sensations. Try it sometimes. When you are completely stressed out and ready to stroke, find something that appeals to you and take a 5 minute vacation and see if you don't feel better afterwards. Let me know what you would appeal to you and cause you to feel as though you were away on vacation. I would be interested to hear how you spend your "mini-vacation".

Today's Inspiration
Stress is the trash of modern life - we all generate it but if you don't dispose of it properly, it will pile up and overtake your life. ~Danzae Pace

Friday, October 12, 2007

Friday Felicities

My Friday Felicities
~cool mornings
~spending time with my honey
~laughing with my kids
~feeling content
~walking barefoot on the beach
~watching the sun rise over the mountain
~snuggling

Arkansas State Fair Time

I am in a real funk today. I don't know what it is, maybe hormones, who knows these days. But for some reason I just couldn't get going today. It is 3:30 in the afternoon and I am still in my pj's. I don't know what happened today. I folded a couple loads of laundry, did some dishes, made the bed, but not much else. I did manage to feed the kiddo's and the pups, but don't ask for much more than that. Tomorrow is work day for me, so I just decided to go with the funk and relax today. I will however, have to get up in a few minutes and start supper. I think it will be crawfish fettuccine with alfredo sauce and a veggie. That is fairly easy to throw together.
A week from today, my surgery will be over and nothing left but the crying. Hopefully the pain won't be to bad. I figured that I carried and delivered three children, surely I can deal with this. It isn't like they are pulling a watermelon through my nose or anything. We shall see...I will post before, during, and after photos for those of you who can handle it.
Fall, maybe here... This is the Arkansas State Fair time. I am not sure when we will try to go. But I do want to go at least to see the exhibits. I want to see the livestock; especially the goats; and I enjoy the arts and crafts. Tuesday Megan, Noah and I went to the farmers market and we met a lady there with goat milk soap. I bought the lemongrass and honey soap. I love the smell of it! Anyway, she is going to be at the fair with demonstrations of her soap making. So I would like to see that. She invited us out to see her at her home and she would show us how to make it. I just might take her up on that. I have wanted to make goat milk soap for so long. Anyway, she is at http://www.arkansassoapcompany.com/ if you want to stop in and buy some soap. Her name is Kelli, tell her that Deidre' sent you. And if you are interested in the Arkansas State Fair follow this link.

I have been thinking about people that are very special to me and have made a lasting impression in my life. I was thinking of doing something to honor them. So starting in a couple of weeks, I am going to take a few moments to pay honor to one each week. So stay tuned for future developments in this new endeavor.
Thought for Today
The miracle is this – the more we share, the more we have.
- Leonard Nimoy

Monday, October 8, 2007

Photos






Here are the photos that I promised. They are from Noah's birthday and the puppies. They were born on his birthday. I will take current photos, (they are now almost 4 weeks old), and post later.

What's cooking?

What's for supper? Don't you hate when you can't decide what to fix for supper. I get so tired of coming up with meals for my family. We have such different taste in our household. Yes, I am one of those that will cook different things for each child because of their likes and dislikes. If you make your kids eat whatever you cook and they do it, well, congratulations! But mine won't. Yes, when they were very young, they would eat what was cooked, but now that they are older...It is a free for all for meals. There are a few things that I cook that we will all eat, very few. But I can't cook those over and over again. Most of the time there is a main item; say pasta; that everyone will eat, but the veggies are different and the meat is different for someone. Like when we eat salmon, Megan eat fish sticks or chicken instead of the salmon. So you get the idea. So deciding what to cook can be a pain sometimes. I enjoy cooking when I am inspired, but on a day to day basis, after the laundry and school work is done and I have had a crankie toddler pulling at me all day, well, let's just say, I am not inspired to cook. But I still have hungry mouths to feed. And hubby comes in wanting to eat, so I suppose I need to find something to cook. Hummmmm....lets see....

Well, while I am thinking about that I will leave you with this this:
Today's inspiring words

William A. Ward
Four steps to achievement:
Plan purposefully.
Prepare prayerfully.
Proceed positively.
Pursue persistently.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Getting rid of stuff...

I will start with a correction: I think I miswrote the title of the audio book I am listening to, the correct title is It's Only too Late if You Don't Start Now; How to create your second life after 40 by Barbara Sher. Anyway, I have been listening to it and it has helped me in my thinking. I am actually starting to relisten to it, for the things I may have missed. So if you haven't read or heard it, I suggest the audio version. I got it at the local library and I put it in my car, so when I am driving I can listen to it.

I have been thinking about things lately. I have been reevaluating my life and the way I live. I have alway been a pack rat of sorts, not a to the extent of needing a psychatric help or anything. But, I do tend to keep things well beyond their use; (just in case you know, someday I might need it or there may be a use for it that I can't think of right at the moment. And boy would I hate to get down the road a few years and realize I really could use it now, and then have to go buy a new one...) Sound familiar to anyone? Well, anyway, I have been thinking seriously about downsizing and getting rid of a lot of things that are stored up somewhere, or that we aren't using. But the task seems monumental and I just can't seem to get started on it. And when I do, then I run into the problem of what to do with it? I can't throw perfectly good things away... ( when there are so many poor, hungry people in another country that could use it...) I just can't seem to get that which was engrained into my head in childhood out. So with that in mind, I have given a lot of things through the years to Goodwill or to someone I know who could use whatever it happen to be that I was getting rid of at the moment. But I also have my mom on the other side, saying: "You shouldn't throw away any of the kids things, those are their memories, and they might want to show them to their kids." This coming from a woman who never threw away anything of mine or my brothers. If something was broken, she couldn't just throw it in the trash, she had to burn it. She never gave anything of ours away, because she felt like it was giving part of us away. Well, I am not that bad. I do throw broken things away and I do give things away. But that guilt is hard to get past. But my rationalization for that is...by the time the kids get older and have kids of their own, they won't want this stuff they have now, the kids will have so much new stuff, they couldn't care less about this from my kids childhood. With a few exceptions, like for instance, special stuffed animals or dolls, or small trinkets that meant something special to them. But my kids have had so much stuff through their lives that it would require a whole house just to tore all of their things. Which brings me to a point... We have a double garage; can we park in it? NO! Why can we not park in it? To much stuff... We have a 12x24 foot out building behind my parents house in Louisiana full of what...MORE STUFF! But if that isn't enough, we pay $50 a month on a storage facility here in Arkansas for what??? Yet more stuff!! Some of this stuff, hasn't seen daylight in years. Some I packed away when we moved to Kentucky in 2000, and it is still packed away, only we are moving it around with us with every move, and paying good money to store it. We have far exceeded the value of the stuff in storage fees through the years. WHY you ask? For the life of me I can't tell you. This is one thing that I have been contemplating lately. Why do we have so much stuff? Why would we need so much stuff? Like I said, it is just the idea of having to rid ourselves of it that is the hard part. It isn't parting with it, but just going through it all and deciding what goes and what stays, that is the real problem. To compound that, well, there are these little thing called SPIDERS!!! I hate them. And we have brown recluces and black widows here. And I have seen them in the storage shed that we rent. (Just in case you don't know about them, I have included a link to each, enjoy!) So I am deathly afraid of them, and I don't know just how to go about cleaning the shed out without encounting one. Did I mention that I am VERY afraid of spiders? Anyway, so those obsticles have kept me from doing anything about the junk. BUT, the time has come...

... the Walrus said,"To talk of many things: Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--Of cabbages--and kings--And why the sea is boiling hot--And whether pigs have wings."

"But wait a bit," the Oysters cried,"Before we have our chat; For some of us are out of breath, And all of us are fat!" ..........................

Sorry, I got a little side tracked there...

As I was saying, the time is here to make some changes...and getting rid of the stuff is a first step. So I have called a consignment shop and I will be taking clothes, clothes and more clothes that we no longer need, or can't wear; mostly the latter, to get rid of. I am planning a yard sale soon to rid myself of more stuff, and then what doesn't sale will be taken to goodwill. Then when I get the garage cleaned out, Andrew's job is to go to the storage shed, since I am a wee bit afraid of spiders, and bring the stuff back here a few boxes at a time, and I will go through them and do the yard sale/goodwill thing again. And what noone would want, or for whatever reason isn't usable, will be thrown into the trash, (sorry Mom!) without guilt! Because once I am freed from the stuff in my life, then I will be lighter and happier, Right?
"Of course you will dear."
So these things have been on my mind and one day I happened upon a podcast. While I am working at the PO, I listen to my ipod and one of the podcast that I like to listen to is
The Story from American Public Media. If you haven't heard it before I put a link to it, you should go visit the site. Anyway, there was one called, My 500 things (follow the link to listen), and it really got me inspired and interested. The guy took inventory of his things and decided, like me, it was time to downsize. So he wants to get down to 500 things that he owns. It was really inspiring and eye opening for me maybe that is just me, but I recommend everyone listening to his story.
So now that I am working on getting rid of this junk in my life, I am also looking around at other things in my life that need to go...and a really big one is about 40 pounds. Literally, I need to get rid of about 40 pounds. So I am working on that issue. Maybe my next blog entry will be about that. Or maybe just about some radom thing that is going on that day. I am still planning to post the photo's of the puppies and of Noah's birthday. I am getting around to it.

Fall is on the way, I would love to take a trip up east and see the wonderful fall colors, but since I can't I suppose these will have to do...










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