Thursday, November 26, 2009

Give Thanks

Thank you so much for reading, subscribing and commenting on my blog.  I am so thankful for the new friends I have made through this blog, the old friends that I am able to keep in touch with and the blog community that allows me a much needed outlet to record my thoughts.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.  

I hope you get to relish in time spent with family and friends! 

May your turkey be juicy, your potatoes un-lumpy, your cranberries sweet and your pie crusts perfectly flakey.
And if it is the opposite of all of those, don't worry, it really is about the much needed time we get to spend with those we love.  

If you can't be with those you love this holiday and you are lonely for them, I have said a special prayer for you today.  

  Regardless of what you eat today or who you are with, my biggest wish for you is that you see God's richest blessings overflowing in your life! 

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I Really Should Be Cleaning or something...

I should be cleaning.
Or baking.
Or shopping.
But I feel a little lazy.
So, I'm blogging. 

Feeling lazy when I have 11 family members coming to my house for dinner tomorrow night. 7 of them staying with us for a few days.  Am I crazy or what?!?!?

I guess that is the beauty of family - comfort. Comfort in the fact, that if I don't get something just right, they will still love me and still just be happy to be together. 

  • B is feeling so much better. I just hope it is not one of those flu bugs that comes and goes.

  • My mother and my husband cleaned my garage. Can I just get a hallelujah here? Praise God, I love a clean garage.

  • My husband FILLED my entire van and took so much stuff to the dump.

That is the other thing I love about family coming to visit - you get stuff done that you have been putting off forEVER!

  • I have ordered and received my Christmas cards. I am just a little proud of myself. That just never happens.

  • I got Hubby an ice cream maker for his birthday and can't wait for him to make his first batch. He is working on it now!

  • I am getting ready to order my first ever side of grass-fed beef from a local farmer! Woo Hoo - so excited about that.

  • My pastor convinced me asked to be in a drama this weekend at church. Yeah, same guy who got me to do the pie eating contest. I really am doing some things that are way out of my comfort zone.  Isn't that they best way to serve Jesus - he really always seems to do amazing things with me when I serve out of my comfort zone.  Anyway,  I can speak publicly, no problem, but this drama thing has me a little nervous. Not that I'm not dramatic in many ways, believe me. I've just never acted in a play or drama. A.Leetle.Nervous.Indeed. Luckily, it will be a light weekend at church. I'm hoping. 

Okay, so enough randomness. That is just so how I am feeling lately. Random.

What's up with you?  Anything on your mind?  

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What I Learned This Week - Travel, Breaks, Sickness

1.  I learned this week, well really last week, that I don't like it when Hubby travels. He really doesn't travel that often so when he does, I am all out of sync.  I try to remember that many husbands travel every week and others are away serving in our armed forces - some in foreign lands.  So, it's then that I get over myself and make the best of it. 

I certainly have the utmost respect for women (or men) that run a family without a partner.   I grew up with a single mom and I know how hard it can be.   Anyway, he is back now and we are back on track here!

2.  The holidays come faster every single year.  It seems like I just put the decorations away.    I love Christmas but everything that comes with it stresses me out a bit.  I am trying very hard to prepare earlier this year so I don't find myself running around on December 23 trying to find the last great gift for someone!

3.  Sometimes blogging is not my priority.  I love it.  It's fun and I don't see myself giving it up but sometimes (like last week), I just need to take a break.  That is why I will probably never be a big time blogger. 

4. I hate when my kids are sick.  B has the flu this week and she is pitiful.   I am hoping it's all better before our 7 guests show up on Wednesday! 

For More Lessons Learned hop on over to Musings of a Housewife

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Where Is My Blog Mojo?

When life gets busy most bloggers seem to be able to turn those events into hysterical blog fodder. I am just the opposite. It's like I can't even form a coherent sentence.

Often, I just have to wait until my brain slows down enough to get back into a blog groove. That's kinda where I am this week. 

It seems that I have a million things to talk about and nothing to say.

Do you ever feel like that?

**Free Christmas Cards**
I will make this post more worth your time, though.  I just ordered 50 Christmas cards FREE!  High quality, 5x7 photo cards - FREE.   Yup. Free.   I read about it at Such the Spot and she linked me to Hopelessly Flawed where she has the scoop.    Now you can order yours!  Before Thanksgiving, ya'll!   Your friends will oh and ah and wonder just how you get it all done. 

*update to my card ordering process.  I did pay a very minimal amount for shipping - $3.19.   Just to be completely honest.  And I am just passing this info along because I think it's a great deal.  That's all. 

**Oh, and also when I first placed my order, I went back in the account to review it, only to realize that I actually ordered only ONE lonely Christmas card.   Uh huh - one card, shipping included.   So, I had to create a new account for Hubby and create another card and order again (50 this time) because I had already used the coupon code.   And so it goes...this is just the way my week has gone.  
The good news is, my creative juices were flowing better the second time around and I made a better card! 

O' Happy Day!
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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

She Turned Nine Yesterday

She turned 9 yesterday.
It seems more like she was just born yesterday.

What can I say about my girl?
I imagine any mother would speak of their children with great love.
One word that comes to my mind when I think of my eldest child is admiration.
I admire who she is growing up to be.

She ...
Has a heart that belongs first to God.
Is a  Daddy's Girl.
Has a Sing-Songy attitude.
Is a Beautiful Dancer.
Has a Quick Wit.
Is a Lover of Life.

My heart just aches with the love I have for her.

I am hard on her sometimes.  I don't mean to be but I just don't ever want the potential she has to be squashed by an attitude of just getting by.  I try to challenge her to be the very best she can be.  I love her regardless, but I still feel it's my job to push...well, maybe not so much.  What is it with daughters and mothers?   

People compliment my daughter all the time.  She shares the love of God with more people than I do.  She speaks with love and honesty and without fear.   She is a good friend to many and wants to be a good friend to more.   She is polite, sweet and beautiful.   She has great compassion for people and animals. 

I am truly humbled that God would trust me with such a precious package.   That he gave me such a gift  -  to be her mother -  is proof alone of how much he must love me.   

Happy Birthday my baby girl!  You are a blessing beyond words. 

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Monday, November 16, 2009


As I was tucking B in tonight, she asked me if she would be waking up to streamers all over her bed.  It's a tradition that we copied from friends. The night before the kid's birthdays we sneak into their rooms and decorate it with streamers.  Downstairs we decorate their chair at the table and put a Happy Birthday sign up in the kitchen.  I think I stole that one from my sister in law.  

Honestly, I was thinking of skipping the streamer part until she said something.
Because I'm tired, y'all.

After I put her to bed and was running around picking up the house, I thought about just how important traditions are to our kids. I know that I remember fondly the pies my mom baked at the holidays and as a teenager, opening presents on Christmas Eve.   Traditions provided comfort and security for me during times when those things were otherwise lacking.

It can seal our family together.
Bonds our hearts to one another.
Provide memories we will look back on and smile about.
Helps us grow into the adults we are.  

I was so excited when we started our own little family to have our own traditions.  I might have started one too many in my excitement as a young mommy,  but the ones that matter seem to stick.  

So, tired as I might be...I'm headed up to my almost 9 year old girl's room where I will be putting streamers up.

It's tradition.

Tell me your favorite family tradition. 
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Friday, November 13, 2009

Compassion Bloggers in El Salvador

The Compassion Bloggers were in El Salvador this past week.  Read all about their trip at the Compassion Bloggers Blog.   I love to read the stories of when one of these bloggers meets a child they sponsor.  I love to see how Compassion is changing the lives of these children and their families.

I love getting the letters from our own Compassion child.  It would be an amazing blessing to actually go to Peru one day and meet him. 

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Friday Roundup

PSSST.   I just realized today is ,you know, Friday and the date has a 1 and a 3 in it.

Not that I'm superstitious or anything.  I'm just telling you so that you don't do anything that you normally wouldn't do today like go skydiving.  Maybe save it until tomorrow.

Rain and Cold
It has been rainy and windy and cold here for 4 days now.   North Carolinians are not used to this, y'all.  We need our blue skies and 70 degree weather in November to be happy.   Well, to be happier.  We're actually a pretty happy lot as far as states go, I think.   It just seems people get cranky without their sunshine.  Okay, I get cranky.  

I went to one of those "gold parties" yesterday.  I sold junk - tangled up herringbone necklaces and bracelets, an old coin ring and old ring settings.  She gave me $304.  Cash money.  Crisp new bills.  I promptly went to buy Christmas presents so I would not spend it on otherwise silly things like a new faucet for my bathroom that I really don't need but want because I am in the home remodeling mode now.   Okay, that seemed to be the longest sentence about too many topics ever.   Anyway, if you have old gold and it is sitting around waiting for you to do something with it and you get invited to one of these parties - go and sell your gold.    I was positively giddy. 

Chewing on Shirts
Bubby has been chewing on his shirts since starting Kindergarten.  Any ideas on what might be causing that?   It seems like a nervous habit but it could turn out to be expensive.  I wonder if he does it to keep himself quiet in class.  The teacher said another little boy does it, too.   hmmmm. 

Since it's been COLD here, I decided to turn on my fireplace.  Last year I had it cleaned because of this terrible smell exuding from it every time I turned it on.  Well, it's still there.  And it gives me a headache.  And the repair guy tells me he can't find anything wrong, no carbon monoxide, no dirt and as a matter of fact, he can't smell a thing.   So, turns out my fireplace is just fine in it's off mode with some candles burning on the mantle. 

 Happy Friday everyone,  I hope your weekend is awesome!

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Christmas Carol Review

My son was invited to a birthday party yesterday since the kids were out of school.  It was at the movie theater. I did not even know that there was a private party room there. It was a fun party, although it looked to be lots of work for the parents. If I'm going to pay that much money for a party, I don't want to work that hard, ya know?

Anyway, the movie they chose to see was the new Christmas Carol in 3-D so, my daughter and I decided to stay and see the movie as well.   I was a little concerned about the ghost images and how my 5 year old son would react. Wouldn't you know it's just like a boy to not act scared in front of his friends, though.

The 3-D was awesome. Doesn't any movie in 3-D just seem better? I think the story was close to Charles Dickens original tale and that Jim Carey did an amazing job.  He seemed to be created for this role!   It was a weird mix of animation and real life but very well done.   

The ghost images are a bit scary for the younger kids but mine seemed to sit through it without too much covering of their eyes and jumping in my lap.  If your kids are prone to being easily frightened, I might skip this one.  My kids also did not understand much of what was going on.  The imagery and underlying lessons from Charles Dickens were way over their heads.   I had to explain a lot to my 8 year old. 

All in all, it was great to see this classic story again and to introduce my kids to it outside of the Mickey Mouse and Scrooge McDuck version. 

Carol Quote

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Favorite Vacation Spot

I've been wanting to join in on Genny's Talkin' About Thursdays for sometime now.    Today she is talking about favorite vacation spots. 

Well, any vacation is a good one, I say!   Living in North Carolina we have pretty quick access to the beach and the mountains.  Both are a short drive and end up being some of the most beautiful places I've ever been.   We go to our favorite beach each July and I do love that time with my family.  It is the most relaxing week of our year and we look forward to it so much.   


Oh, those pictures look so divine right about now.  We are getting some high winds and rain right now.  It is dreary, wet and cold.  

I enjoy Disney, too.  It is not a relaxing vacation at all, though.  Just pure FUN!

For More favorite vacations spots visit Genny at My Cup 2 Yours.  Share your favorite spot, too!
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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thank you.

We appreciate your sacrifice and your family's sacrifice.
We pray for the soldiers away from home right now
and pray that you are safely reunited with your loved ones very soon.  
Thank you.  

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Pie is Not Meant to Be Slurped

I learned this week that pie is meant to be eaten slowly.  Enjoyed with a fork.  Every bite savored. 

It is not meant to be slurped.  Not meant to go in your nose and you definitely should not try to consume an entire one in 90 seconds against 5 men.  Beasts, I tell you. 

For some crazy reason...I'm crying peer pressure, I was strong-armed convinced to participate, in my husband's absence, in a pie eating contest.  Against 5 grown men.  Big men.  One was a football player for crying out loud. 

It was all for a good cause.  At least, that's what they told me.  We had a tailgate party at church this weekend.  What were we tailgating for you might wonder?  For the heck of it.  We tailgate for every sport known to man, why not for church?  It was a great opportunity to hang out and get to know each other better.  So, that's what we did.  We hung out and then people laughed at the only woman in the pie eating contest.  It was not a good time.   I think there are even pictures to prove how embarrassing fun it was.  Maybe I can find them and destroy show them here in another lifetime

All in all, I learned another lesson - So, let it be said in right here in black and white.  That I will never.  Ever.  EVER.  Participate in a pie eating contest again.  It was in my nose, it was the longest 90 seconds of my life and I almost threw up about 3 times.   I'm not sure I will ever look at apple pie the same again.   

I will say that my pie was the neatest of them all and if there were a prize for NOT making a colossal mess, I would have won, thankyouverymuch. 

For More lessons learned this week head over to Musings of Housewife

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Skip the Non-Stick

A friend passed along this link to me this morning. It's from the Enviromental Working Group about the dangers of cooking with non-stick cookware.

It's not news to her.  It's not news to me.  It may not be news to you.  But it might and that's why I'm posting it.  Cooking on non-stick cookware is not as safe as we are led to believe.  Many countries have actually banned the use of non-stick cookware.  Banned - as in no use, deemed as dangerous to the public, not good. 

I haven't cooked with non-stick for 15 years.   Even when we travel to a vacation house, I take my cookware. Yes, if you don't already know, we sell a line of premium stainless steel cookware.  I'm not writing this post to sell you anything but rather as a public service announcement of sorts.   I know eating off of non-stick can't be avoided in restaurants and well, neither can a lot of things.   So, that's something I have to just live with and make eating out a treat, not the norm.

How do I cook eggs?  With a smooth stainless steel frying pan and a little butter.  The best part is that the eggs taste amazing.    I taste the eggs, the butter and anything I put in them - not whatever else comes from the actual pan. 

 Isn't stainless steel harder to clean?  Yes, a little harder, but I usually put some water in the pan right after I cook something that sticks and it easily slides out by the time the pan cools and I am ready to clean it.  I'm willing to spend a little more time cleaning to forsake eating chemicals from my cookware. 

My personal choice for cookware is the highest grade of stainless steel I could find.   I personally feel like it is worth the expense for a lifetime of healthier cooking for my family.    But that's just me.

Please please please know that  I am, by no means, judging what you cook with - just passing along some  information that I find worth passing along.

Judge for yourself.
Why You Should Skip the Non-Stick
Safer Cookware to choose From
What is PFOA? - the stuff on non-stick cookware

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Saturday, November 7, 2009

Linked Up

Some posts I loved this week and wanted to share.    Happy Saturday everyone!

Change at the Gremlin Wrangler
Yes Edward, There is a Santa Claus at Little Bit of This and That
Reverse Blessings at Fill My Cup
My Name is Kellie...and I'm a Co-Dependent Blogger? at La Vida Dolce

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Friday, November 6, 2009

That's Just How We Roll

Paint that is.
Get it?  How we "roll"?  Paint roll-er? I really do entertain myself some days.

Anyway, we did it. We painted the family room and kitchen these last two days. Warm Pantina. Don't you just love the name? It's actually a discontinued color from Sherwin Williams. I really just wanted something lighter in those rooms, so I found the paint color that is throughout the rest of the house (foyer, hallways, etc.)and just got the paint two colors darker than that.

I LOVE it! Mostly, I LOVE Hubby for being such a good sport.
I think it was this that finally just drove him to start the job.

I was having a really hard time deciding.  So, he picked it for me and it just happened to be the one I described above which was my first instinct.  I decided it was a sign and went with it.

Here it is.  We still are painting trim so don't look at that part.  

And yes,  it really is a different color of yellow than what was in there.  You just can't tell from the pics but it is way more neutral than it shows here.   The biggest difference is in the family room, though where it was a deep sage green and now it is this warm patina color.  The picture was not turning out right, though so I can't show you now.   I'll do a before and after sometime next week.

Stealing Cars
In other randomness, I almost stole another woman's van from Home Depot.   That is the downfall of having America's most popular mini-van.  It looks like everyone else's.  So, when I pressed the button to open my car door and it was open (guessing she forgot to lock her van) I just jumped right in what I thought was my van.

Then I looked around and it seemed strangely unfamiliar.  The same...but different.  The interior of the van was EXACTLY like mine but I noted while sitting there, trying to shove place my key in the ignition, that I did not have a red umbrella or go to Jimmy Johns for lunch.    Then I saw it - My van across the parking lot and I freaked out just a little bit.  I was on the phone with my mom and she was very concerned I would get arrested or beat up for trying to steal someone's car.  So, I hurried and got out of the wrong van, into the right van and just died laughing. 

Strangely enough, this is not the first time it has happened.  I even have magnets on the back that will help distinguish it but obviously, I wasn't paying attention to those.    I need something like a fancy luggage tag that people use to tell their suitcases apart from other peoples at the airport. 

I volunteered to cook a turkey to bring to a party tonight.   This morning, I went to the grocery store to pick it up and guess what?  Yup - they are all frozen solid right now.  The fresh ones don't come out until about a week before Thanksgiving.    Turkey breasts will work just fine, don't you think?  ;) 

I'm glad it's Friday.  Really I am. 

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Color My Walls

Look what I got yesterday!

New carpet in my family room and stairs!  Yippee!!!  I have been waiting for carpet for awhile now. We DESPERATELY needed to replace our 10 year old, 2 kids, 2 dogs, builder grade carpet.  I will admit that I was embarrassed by it.  A year ago we started the process of getting new carpet and then the economy tanked so we put the brakes on large purchases.   But my hubby knows a guy who knows a guy and we got a very good deal just in time for family at Thanksgiving.

Now I need to paint, though.  The paint just looks old and my kitchen and family room are two different colors.   I just think that making them all one color will make the space look bigger.  So, I'm on a mission to find the perfect color now.  Got a favorite?   Besides Tobacco Road.  It doesn't look right in the rooms - already tried.    The family room is green and the kitchen is yellow, by the way - very warm and cozy.   I'd like to stay warm but lighter.   Okay, so tell me your favorite. 

Oh and here is a little I Love Lucy episode where she is trying to hide some new furniture she bought from Ricky.  So funny!  

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Making My List

When I am making my lists of things to do during the week... 

Yes, I do make lists.

Most of the time.

Anyway, when I'm making the list and looking over my calendar, I don't insert things like,

  • Monday, 2:00 - Worry about...
  • Wednesday, 4:15 - Stress out about...
  • Thursday, 5:30 - Get mad about...
  • Friday, 8:00 - Doubt...

Yet, these things that are not on my list  -these things that have no place on my list - some days they take up so much of my time.

What will worry, stress, doubt and anger add to my week?  Nada.  As a matter of fact, they take precious time and energy away from the things that I could be doing that actually add value to my life.  Like time with my family, time reading a good book or my bible.  Time with a friend or my mom.

No wonder I don't list these things among the dance lessons, meetings and parties.   Because my intention is not to spend time doing them.   Every day I pray my intentions will become my actions.

Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Luke 12:25 and Matthew 6:27.  It's apparently so important He had to mention it twice.  ;) 

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Monday, November 2, 2009

Random Q & A

I've got lots of posts in draft but none that are ready to go.  I need to clean my bathrooms and run some errands, so I guess I won't be able to spend time blogging this morning.   I did get this meme from Kellie at La Vida Dulce last week and it seemed fun, so here it is.  Play a long if you want in the comments or on your own blog.  Let me know if you did! 

1. What's the last state you visited other than your own? Oklahoma.  Hubby was in a wedding and we visited with some family.  Beautiful wide open state.  Lots of college pride going on in that state, too.  Maybe even more than North Carolina if that is possible. 

2. What's your middle name? Janel.  I go by my middle name and it has been confusing my entire life. 

3. What is something you don't like...even though everyone else seems to? Creamer and sugar in my coffee.  I like coffee fresh and black.   I do like non-fat lattes - no sugar. 

4. What's the first costume you remember dressing up in for Halloween? A clown.  My mom made the costume. Actually, my mom often dressed us as Hobo's.  It was cheap and she would put these little corn cob pipes in our mouth, make us a knapsack on a stick and fashion some sort of beard for us.  I guess it's probably not PC to dress up as homeless people anymore because I don't see many Hobos these days.  As a matter of fact, my kids had never even heard that word. 

5. Have you ever played a sport?  Yes, as a child I tried softball and basketball.  It really is better that I don't play sports.  I am girly girl to the core and sports are just not for me.   I hide from balls when they are thrown at me - they hurt!  I do enjoy a good workout, though but that is because nobody is throwing anything at me. 

6. What is a talent you have that people might not know about? Apparently, I have some leadership skills that others see and trust in me.  I just don't get it. 

7. What's the last thing that made you laugh out loud? My kids.  They are hysterical and they laugh all the time.   Hubby and B were playing a game last night and she was winning.  He was carrying on about how she was beating him and she said to him, "Oh, poor baby, are you gonna go call your mommy now?"  I could not help but laugh out loud. 

8. Are you an oldest, middle, or youngest child? I'm the oldest. It is a bit of a curse trying to control the world. :)  No really, my two younger brothers called me "little mom" for most of my life.  I married the youngest of his family - now that is a fun dynamic in a marriage.  

9. What's the best thing you've had someone say to you lately?  I love you, Mommy.

10. What are you wearing right now? Lounge pants and a t-shirt.  My favorite outfit!

Happy Monday, friends!  Make it a good week.

May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.  Psm 20:4 NIV

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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Prom Queen, A Ninja and Too Much Candy!

One Prom Queen (her creation),

One Ninja (his dream),
And one glorious Halloween night of good spooky fun...

Ends with an OBSCENE amount of candy. 

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