Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Simple days and Slouchy Hats!

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Hello friends, come in and sit with me for a little.  You know let's pretend we're outside on the deck, under the umbrella with tall glasses of Iced Tea, shall we?

Have you noticed how the seasons are changing?  I think Fall really is here, at least in my neck of the woods.  I've been enjoying watching the trees changing colors, some are in full Fall transition, others are still as green as can be.

Makes me think of us humans, some are more than ready for Fall and others are holding on tight to the last days of summer.

I have a photo heavy post for you today, I thought I would do a quick review of the past few days, and what I've been busy with around here.

For those of you wondering, Lola is still doing ok, so far so good.  I'm doing ok too, I'm feeling much more relaxed and not so stressed out and worried.  Thank you again for all the prayers.

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Sunday we had a brunch with the family.  It was so delicious, I can't even begin to tell you.  I am a huge breakfast person and could easy eat it every day, for lunch and dinner.

I haven't forgotten about the French Toast Casserole, I just have to edit some photos today and can finally post the recipe on the blog.  I know, I am quite horrible at updating the food blog lately, aren't I?

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Miss Lola likes to be around people, so during the brunch she came to sit between my niece and my sister in law, and within a few minutes, this is what she looked like.  LOL

It was so funny.  She was actually trying to keep her head up straight, and if you can notice she's tilting to the left.  Hahaha

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Before long, my niece was laying on her and she was just in Heaven.

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We enjoyed brunch out on the deck.  It was wonderful eating outside, chatting and all the while watching the changing trees around us.

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Monday was a good start to the week.  I don't like very busy days and I think it is one of the reasons why I tend to start feeling overwhelmed.  When I start falling apart, I KNOW that I need to step back and take it easy.

I just don't do well with very busy schedules and chaos.

My to do list from yesterday was completely ticked off, I managed to get everything on there out of the way.

I've been asked before how I do everything and still have time to crochet or read.  I can only tell you that I stick to a routine, albeit not strictly because I do change things up if need be, but for the most part my days are pretty similar.

Mornings I get up early, enjoy my coffee and toast and either see hubby off to classes or work.  I catch up on my Portuguese soaps while I enjoy my breakfast, and then I head upstairs to change out of my pj's and get ready for the day.

The very first thing I do is usually my bed, followed by tidying up the bedroom, then I move onto Nicholas' room and do the same in there.  I open curtains, open windows and then move onto the kitchen.

Unload the dishwasher, reload it, and then get the lessons ready for the day.  By that time I need to start thinking about lunch, and also doing a quick clean of the bathroom and living room before my niece and nephew arrive for schooling.

Our afternoons are spent with school stuff, and by 4:30pm I start getting dinner going.  We usually eat around 5:30pm, the latest 6pm.  Then I do dishes again, clean up the kitchen and depending on the days of the week, I can either go take my shower throw on my pjs and relax for the rest of the night, or we have to get Jasmine off to Tae Kwon Do.

On those days, we don't get back home until 9:15 and then it's time for showers and relaxing.

If you're wondering where crocheting and reading or watching one of my shows fits in, then I'll tell you that I usually will do either of those when the kids are busy with a test, or working on something.  I will stay nearby and watch while I do my own thing.  I also get most of my crochet done at night while watching tv with the hubby.

Hope that answers the questions, and if you do have any others, feel free to ask, I don't mind answering. :)

Beautiful clouds

So yesterday morning began with me enjoying a cup of coffee out on the deck. The sky looked beautiful. I love skies with lots of clouds.

Morning coffee

I also got hubby's lunch ready for him to take to classes.

Hubby's Lunch

The rest of the day went pretty much like I described above.

Now, to show you the slouchy hat. These are so easy to make, I am using Julie's pattern, so go on over and check it out if you want to give it a try.

These are so quick to crochet, I can make one in about an hour, and so far I have made 4 and have a few more to make for me and my sister in law.

I asked the girls to model them for me, and they quickly obliged.

Girls Slouchy

These two beautiful girls make me smile.  I can't believe how grown up they are.

Jasmine Slouchy

Since then, I have made a charcoal colored one for Jasmine, she wanted a black one but I don't have any black yarn so went with the closest to it.  It looks amazing, and I'll have to get her to model that one for me.

Tiffany Slouchy

Tiffany has also requested a green one, and that one is almost finished.  I started it this morning and need just 4 rows to finish it off.  I'm telling you, these are fast.

But I'll show you the others when they're done.  I am hoping to make a grey one like the one above, and a pink one and white for myself.

I wish I could stay and chat more, but I need to get the school stuff ready to go and I haven't had a chance to plan anything yet, as the school site was not loading this morning.

I hope you all have a fantastic Tuesday, sending you much love and blessings :)


Monday, September 15, 2014

Happy Homemaker Monday - 09/15/2014

Morning my dear friends, I hope you've had a wonderful weekend and are ready for the week ahead.

Monday morning!  Can you believe it is Monday already?  I was sitting here this morning thinking that I still needed to go and see all of the HHM participants from the last one, and then it hit me that it is Monday again.  I actually woke up thinking it was Sunday LOL

What a disappointment when my husband reminded me of the day it was.  Oh well, let's make the best of it right?



Breakfast time....what is on the plate this morning::::
Usually just a cup of coffee and toast, but this morning, along with my huge cup of coffee, I am also having one of the homemade donuts.

Looking around the house::::
Jasmine is the only one still asleep.  My husband is up and finishing some homework on his computer before heading to classes for the day.  My Nicholas is sitting next to me on the couch, playing a game on his laptop.  I need to give the kitchen a good tidying, as well as the living room too, but otherwise, it is not too bad around here.

On today's to do list::::
Laundry.....technically I don't have any, since it's all been done, there are some clothes in the hamper and I think enough for a load, so I may throw that one in so it doesn't accumulate.
Cleaning.....Kitchen needs tidying and there are dishes to be done, living room needs picking up and I also need to vacuum it as Miss Lola is shedding, bedrooms need beds made and tidying up and vacuuming as well, bathrooms need the daily cleaning which consists of swishing some cleaner in the bowl and wiping down the counters.
Homeschooling.....prepare lessons this morning, boys have a Math test to do, girls have a Geometry portfolio that is due.
Crocheting.....finishing a slouchy hat.
Cooking....tuna salad for lunch, ribs with baked potatoes and salad for dinner.

Currently reading::::
The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon.

On the TV today::::
Portuguese Soaps - Beijo do Escorpiao, Mulheres
Not sure what else, we'll see what hubby wants to watch tonight

The weather outside is::::
It was 40 degrees this morning, it's actually starting to feel a little chilly in the early mornings and nights.  The rest of the week looks like it will be in the 80's.

On the menu this week::::
The menus for the new two weeks are comprised of very easy, very simple meals.  As I stated before our finances this month took a big hit with my husband's college, so my usual budget for food had to be dropped as well.

Monday
D:  Ribs, baked potatoes and salad
Tuesday
D: Maple Sausage Spaghetti
Wednesday
D:  Potatoes O'Brien with Smoked Sausage
Thursday
D:  Fettucine Alfredo
Friday
D:  Cheesy Garlic Pizza
Saturday
D: Seafood Subs for hubby, myself and Nicholas...Black Forest Ham Sub for Jasmine, chips
Sunday
D: Onion and Potato soup, Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

If I have a few minutes to myself, I will::::
Watch my soaps live, finish my slouchy hat, visit blogs or watch something.

New recipe I tried, or want to try this week::::
I know a lot of you have asked about the German Pizza, but I still haven't gotten around to making it.  I may just find the recipe and post it for you all.  This week I have no new recipes to try.  I will be posting the French Bread Casserole this morning over on the food blog.

One of my simple pleasures::::
Reading about the pioneer days, how they lived their lives, what they did and especially how the homemakers went about their chores.

Favorite photo from the camera::::
Love these two :)


Visiting with Blog friends (blog you want to share, blog post that caught your eye)::::
Another week of no blog visiting.  Or rather, no new blog visiting, I did manage to get around to some of you and leave a quick comment but didn't get much done in the form of reading.  Hoping to get some minutes today to do that.   

Praying for::::
Continuing to pray for our financial situation.
Praying for my little Lola.


Bible Verse, Devotional that is resonating with me at the moment:::: 


PLEASE, don't add links to this list that are not part of the Happy Homemaker Monday. I've asked numerous times, and I'm frankly quite tired of having to remove links to other posts that shouldn't be in this list. Please be respectful of my request!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Feeling Blessed!

Enjoying the beautiful afternoon

After such a hard day yesterday, and the last few weeks too, I can say that today for the first time, I felt relaxed and extremely blessed.

I am certain that these feelings were brought on by the amount of kind words, sweet comments and prayers you showered upon me, after my very raw post yesterday morning.

I have gone back and read it a few times, and I think the feeling of despair is quite palpable.

You know, this is one of the reasons why I love having my blog, because on it, I can truly be myself.  All the beauty and happiness, ugliness and heartbreak, dreams and goals and everything in between....right here on these pages where I can go back and read through and remember where I was, what I was doing and how I got to where I am.

I love that.

I want to thank you all so very much for lifting me up in prayer, believe me when I say that I felt it and I woke up this morning feeling that no matter what may come my way, I have wonderful friends surrounding me, and I have the Lord right there with me, giving me a helping hand...... and that my sweet friends, is all that matters.

Lola

I didn't get very good sleep last night, I kept waking up to check on little Missy above.  Thankfully she has been ok since and is acting her normal chirpy self.  I am happy, I am relieved, but I am not letting my guard back down because I do know that these things can happen just out of the blue and when we least expect it.

Good thing is that through this time, I have come to a place in my heart where I feel that if they are to continue happening, we will deal with it, we will help her as best as we can.  This is not the end of the world and it is certainly not something to fall completely apart on.

I'm learning, slowly, but surely :)

This morning, as Curt headed to work, I got busy with my normal homemaking chores.  Laundry was tossed around, dishes were done, counters wiped down and floors swept and mopped.

Bella

All the while, Miss Bella sat nearby, enjoying the sun coming in through the window, and keeping a sleepy eye on what I was up to.

She is getting so very old, her back legs are giving her problems, she has lost a lot of her hearing and we can see her health declining....but she continues to be the sweetest girl on earth and we love her dearly.

I worked a little on our budget notebook, stapled the grocery receipts to the menu plan/grocery list notebook and was still working on that when my hubby returned home.

He walked into the kitchen, gave me a big hug and asked me to put my shoes on because he was taking me to the Farmer's Market.

We didn't buy anything as we arrived a bit late and some of the vendors were already packing up, but we walked around a little and chatted. He then decided to take me over to the thrift store just for a look around, again we walked out without buying anything, nothing really caught my eye.

But here's the thing, even though we didn't buy anything, we still enjoyed every second of it. It is something that we love doing, being able to spend time alone and talk and really give our relationship the attention it needs.

When you're raising young children it is often very easy to put the marriage last, as we worry about everything and anything other than it. It does cause a lot of strain and sometimes you start feeling that you're growing apart.

When we were still in the military, I often felt that I didn't get any time with my husband, but since he retired we have made a huge effort to concentrate on us and our marriage, spending as much time as we can together and I can tell you, in all honesty that we are as much in love now as we were when we first got married. Matter of fact, our kids have joked quite a few times that we act like we are newlyweds. I'm fine with that :)

Clothesline

I hung my tablecloths and kitchen goodies outside to dry.

Clothesline

I love watching them flapping around on the clothesline, and I figure I better enjoy it now because here shortly we won't be able to do that anymore once the cold weather sets in.

Homemade Donuts

Filled my Dessert Plate with some yummy homemade donuts.  Oh these are such a huge temptation but I can't help it, especially when eaten along side a cup of coffee.

Homemade Donuts

While I was in the kitchen, I also got an Overnight French Toast Casserole in the refrigerator, as we are having a Brunch with the family tomorrow.

Overnight French Toast Casserole

I will share the recipe tomorrow on my food blog, so if this is something you think your family would enjoy, just keep an eye out.

Once I was done with all my work inside, we sat down and watched the new Doctor Who episode. I was asked quite a few times if I am liking the new doctor, and honestly, I am. I didn't think I would and when Peter Capaldi was announced as the new doctor, I was quite upset about it. As the new episodes have been airing though we've quite enjoyed him and so far are liking his portrayal of the Doctor. We'll see how it goes as the series continues.

We also watched the new show that premiered yesterday, called Z Nation. It's a zombie show much like Walking Dead, and so far the first episode was pretty good. My husband says it is like Walking Dead but on steroids LOL

I'm not one to sit in front of the TV all day though, so those two episodes were more than enough for me, then I needed a break and out to the deck I went with a few goodies under my arm.

Reflecting

Today's reading landed on the page "The Joy of Trusting God's Plan".  Could that be any more poignant for all the trials and tribulations I am currently going through?  My goodness.

And people still say God never shows signs.  They are literally everywhere, we just need to open our eyes and not close ourselves to them.

We struggle because we choose the hard way, or at least, I struggle because I choose the hard way, and by that I mean the way of trying to do things and control things by myself.  Time and again I fail, time and again I am shown that is not the way to do it, but yet, time and again I fall back to old habits.

I think I will forever be learning this lesson, actually I wouldn't be surprised if by the time I move on to my Heavenly home, I have yet to conquer this completely.

But boy does it feel so much better when I feel even a slight inkling of what it would be like to trust in God completely and let Him take all the burdens.  So why is it so hard to do it?  I don't know, but I am trying to find out.

Quiet reading time

I always feel so much better when I am reading and learning and spending time in His presence, just wish I would do it more often.

Knitting

After reading for a while, I set the book down, and got some knitting done. It felt glorious outside, not hot, just perfect weather, the sun shining, the shade under the umbrella, birds chirping loudly from a nearby tree and my pugs playing in the grass.

You know life is so difficult at times, but I have always found that if I just go outside, everything seems to be so much easier to bear. It's like the fresh air makes my mind think clearly and the problems that seemed like a huge Mount Everest just a minute ago, inside the house, now seem like small hills easily overcome.

Anyway.....

It is now 9:30pm, and I am outside again, typing up this post....but this time it is pitch black, and the only sounds are those of crickets in the distance. Beautiful 60 degrees, no wind and the stillness of the night to keep me company. You know if I could, I would plop a sleeping bag on the grass and sleep outside....problem is, I don't think I could handle all the creepy crawlies that skitter around the grass. GROSS!!!

I'll stick to my nice warm bed, but for now, I will indulge in the moment and the pretty perfect night around me.

If I could, I think my wish would be to have you all right here with me, around my patio table, with a cup of coffee or tea, a plate of cookies and warm chatter. Yes, that would be lovely :)

Friday, September 12, 2014

When it rains.....right????



I had a pretty difficult day yesterday, aside from all the grocery debacle, there were other things going on which I don't want to go into here on the blog.

I was hoping and praying that today would be an easier day and that I would have a sense of peace and calm and no worries.

That didn't happen, as we were woken up this morning to Lola having a seizure.

Remember when she had two back in 2013?   She had one beginning of January and then another in May?  Then she stopped having them, and now it's been a year and 4 months since she had any.

This morning caught me completely off guard.  I hadn't slept much, I was up most of the night tossing and turning and was not prepared for this again.

It is truly heartbreaking when you see your pet go through this.  I think all in all the whole seizure is traumatizing for both pet and owner, but the moment they start coming out of it, for me, is especially difficult because she doesn't recognize me, she doesn't know where she is, she doesn't even respond to normal trigger words such as TREAT.

I am completely overwhelmed right now, I feel like I am under attack spiritually and it's been non stop, slowly draining me. 

To put it nicely, I am a total mess this morning and I have dark circles under my eyes that I am sure can be seen from outer space.

I am now trying to think back on yesterday, what did she eat, what did we feed her, did she get a hold of anything that we didn't see, did she overheat, did she stop breathing in her sleep.  What brought this on?

All questions that I need answers to and of which at this moment I don't have any.  I honestly feel so run down and tired and emotionally drained this morning, that I am forcing myself to put one foot in front of the other and just get through the day.



Of course today is also class day for hubby, so my rock, my pillar of support is not here and..........I just don't know.

Tomorrow will be a better day.  I am allowing myself to cry, I am allowing myself to question why, and then I'm washing my face, putting on a smile and lifting my head as high as it can get.

I WILL make it through all the obstacles currently at hand.

If you feel inclined to, I wouldn't say no to a prayer thrown my way.  I do so appreciate you all and there have been so many times that I have been in need of support and prayer and words of wisdom, and you have always come through for me.

Gosh I actually feel frustrated with myself for feeling so beat down, I know I'm strong, but sometimes even the strong feel helpless.

Right....going to get a cup of coffee and get ready to face the rest of the day!!!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

One of thoseeeeee days!


 There's days where from the minute your feet hit the floor, everything falls into place, things run smoothly, your hair is looking amazing, your clothes fit like a glove, you feel beautiful and strong and ready to face the world.....and it all culminates in you slipping back into bed at the end of the day with a huge sense of accomplishment.

And then there's days like today.

Need I say more??!?!?!?

One of those, where from the get go things just don't run right, but you keep pushing through and thinking "oh it will get better, that was just one thing that went wrong".  The day progresses, and so do the mishaps.

Usually I find myself wishing the day to end, and it never seems to, does it?  It's like the bad days are often the longest ones.

Today was supposed to run pretty well, I knew I had to get groceries, I had everything planned and ready and worked out and was all set for a good, albeit busy kind of day......you know, trying to fit grocery shopping and housework and laundry in between schooling 4 kids, easy peasy.

I don't know folks, but nothing went as planned, I don't want to go into details, but I will say that I ended up sitting outside the grocery store with the food in the car, for close to an hour.  Then I had to drive 15 minutes home to drop everything off, asked the girls to please put the freezer and refrigerator items away for me, and walked right back out the door to drive another 15 minutes back to the base to go pick up my husband.


As I was heading home the first time with the groceries, I started developing the worst headache ever, like those headaches from hell, no doubt brought on by tension.

By the time I was back home for good, it was 3:30pm, thankfully the kids all did their work by themselves as best as they could so I didn't have to worry about that.  It helps when you have a 15 and a 17 year old at the house to keep the younger ones on track.

I got to work on the groceries and the headache not only persisted but seemed to grow every minute.  It was also around this time that I realized I had no clue what I was doing for dinner, so Oven Chili Dogs it was, quick, easy and about all I could handle for tonight.

It was also Tae Kwon Do night and as much as I wanted to skip it, we had to take Jasmine.  And the headache persisted.

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So after dropping her off, we came back home, I threw on my slippers and headed straight outside.  I plopped on one of the chairs, propped my feet up and just inhaled deeply, allowing all the stresses of the day to just melt away.

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There is something truly magical about being outside in the fresh air and sitting quietly, absorbing all the goodness that nature has to offer.  The gentle swaying of the leaves on the trees, the scent of the earth as the sun is setting, the beautiful light, all of it helping to diffuse the stressed soul.

My husband told me to stay home and he would go pick our daughter up, thank goodness.

After a bit, I came back in, had a super long hot shower, made myself a cup of hot coffee with some Caramel Creamer and headed to bed.

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That is where you will find me at this precise moment. I have taken some Ibuprofen, I am waiting for the headache to subside and am about to watch the new episode of Haven, which premiered tonight, then I'll probably finish my documentary on the Unknown History of England's Domestic Servants.

I am hoping that after a good night's sleep, tomorrow will run so much better than today.

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Slow Cooking Thursday - 09/11/2004

Good morning everyone, welcome to another Slow Cooking Thursday.

As the weather gets cooler, I know that those crockpots are going to be working more, at least that is how it usually goes in my house :)

With that in mind, it's time to pull out all those amazing slow cooking recipes and start whipping up some delicious meals for the family.

cookingthursday


BBQ Ribs

BBQ Ribs Slow Cooked to Perfection

Pork Ribs
Diet Sprite
Garlic Powder
Salt and pepper
Paprika
1 bottle of Barbecue Sauce


Cut the rib rack in half and then season both pieces with the garlic, salt and pepper and paprika.  Place them in the crockpot and add sprite.  I usually add about 2 cups.

BBQ Ribs

Cook on LOW for 8 hours.  About an hour before the time is up, I pour in some barbecue sauce.  I don't measure, just eyeball it, but I would say about 1/2 cup, just spread it over the ribs to cover them nicely.

When done, remove from the crockpot, place on a foil lined baking pan and pour on the rest of the barbecue sauce.  I just use my hands and smear it all on there

BBQ Ribs

Place under the broiler for about 3 to 4 minutes.  Keep an eye on it, you don't want to burn it, just give it a nice dark brown color.  Serve immediately.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Living....

That is just what I've been doing the past two days.  Just living, doing usual stuff around here and not really having much time for anything other than that.

I do realize I didn't even get a chance to pop in yesterday to say hi, and much less to go read up all the Happy Homemaker Monday participants.  I will do that tomorrow as I have a much slower and not so busy day, planned.

How are you all doing?  I do hope everyone is well, healthy and happy.  We are doing ok here, just very busy, very stressed financially and I feeling quite drained emotionally too.

But you know what I realize in the middle of all this chaos?  That it always happens the minute I start trying to get closer to God.  Without fail, I will be tested, I will have things go wrong and I will be pushed to my breaking point.

Unfortunately with as many times as it happens to me, you would think I would be some expert at this life thing, and recognize the signs immediately.  Truth is, I am not, and I don't.  So I stumble and I fall about and cry and feel completely helpless for a few days until I see it for what it is.  I'm just thankful I do at some point see it, right???  :)

Right!!!

Now let me quickly show you what I've been doing, I have just a few moments from the past two days.  I can't stay very long and chat, as we need to head to Tae Kwon Do.

::::  We have found our groove homeschooling wise, and things seem to be running pretty smooth.   One thing I do is keep a folder with the lessons planned for every day, I write down everything we do for each subject and even page numbers in textbooks or things that need to be printed out.

Helps me keep track of what we're doing throughout the year.

Lesson Planning


::::  Lesson planning.  I don't do this for the girls, seeing as one is 15 and the other 17, they are old enough to get their stuff done completely on their own.  I do supervise and help here and there and basically make sure they are getting their work done, but I don't plan anything.

With the two boys it's different, I plan everything, I even get their stuff ready in their workbooks.  They are younger AND they are boys and they tend to try and gloss over everything.  If it were up to them they would just browse through the text, skip right on over anything to be done in their books and move on.  Big no no.

Truthfully, it IS a lot of work for me, but it makes things run so much smoother that I just can't not do it.

Lesson Planning

::::  I tried a new soup for lunch, yesterday.  I had bought it a while ago and never got around to trying it.  It was actually pretty good, I think I would buy it again.

Soup

::::  Sat down this morning for some coffee and a little knitting, with a certain project in mind.

Morning coffee and knitting

::::  After two cups of coffee I was knitting right along and finished what I was making.  Didn't take me too long but oh my word, the result is adorable.

Morning coffee and knitting

::::  A Mug Sweater, complete with mittens and a little pocket.  I am so in love with it, I can't even begin to tell you.  It has got to be the cutest thing ever.

Mug Sweater

Look at the little pocket?!?!?!?   Hubby says it is perfect to hold candy canes in the winter.  I tend to agree.

Mug Sweater

And because it knitted up so fast, I am going to make another tonight, and who knows, maybe a few more, might even give one away here on the blog.

Being that this was the first, there are quite a few things that I'm not exactly happy with, just some minor errors here and there but it is still the cutest thing ever.

What do you think???

Oh and by the way, I am always asked how I drink out of a mug with a cozy, and for me it's not an issue.  I usually fold the top down where I'm drinking and have never had a problem.  Besides I love drinking out of a mug with a cute little cozy around it.

Alright now I really need to skidaddle on out of here before we're late for Tae Kwon Do.

I'll be back in the morning with a Slow Cooking Thursday post.  :)