Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Is Fall just around the corner?

12:59 PM 6 Comments
Signs of Fall

Well folks, last year I felt like fall was taking forever to arrive, matter of fact I don't even remember seeing any leaves turning or the trees changing color until much later in the year, and by later I'm talking middle of November.

This year it seems to have arrived much sooner, I took a walk around my front yard a few days ago and was shocked to see Fall staring me right in the face.

I grabbed my camera, snapped a few pictures and thought I would share them with you today.

Maybe you're neck of the woods is experiencing an early Fall too or you are longing for cooler temperatures, whatever it may be, I hope this post brings you a smile.

Signs of Fall

Signs of Fall

Signs of Fall

Signs of Fall

That's one of the perks of country life, at least for me, being able to step outside and be completely surrounded by nature.  No cars, no buildings, no loud crazy noise, just birds, grass, trees, butterflies and stillness.

See, sometimes I need that stillness to calm my soul from all the craziness that seems to ensue behind the home walls, the responsibilities of homemaking, the child rearing, the day to day worries and struggles.

Signs of Fall

Signs of Fall

I highly recommend you just step outside once in a while, throw everything off your mind and just sit in the silence.  Don't think, don't worry, don't fret, just BE!!!

Signs of Fall

Signs of Fall

Signs of Fall

I'm looking forward to Fall, I won't say it's my favorite season like for some, because if I have to be honest, I like every season, I think each one brings it's own beauty and appeal.  But that's just me.

Well I hope you enjoyed these few glimpses of fall.  I have to get ready to leave and pick up my husband from work.

Being a one car family is frustrating at the time, but we don't want to get into any more debt and so we make do.  It works for the most part, I only really need the car every two weeks for groceries and then I try to get all my errands done the same day....OR if there is a doctor appointment or something come up. 

Anyway, I have to get going so I best end this here.

Have a wonderful Wednesday :)

Fire Brand by Diana Palmer - TLC Book Tour

6:59 AM 2 Comments
http://tlcbooktours.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/51WMlmQc-2L._SX315_BO1204203200_.jpg


Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: HQN Books (August 30, 2016)

He’ll risk his whole heart to save her from the past

Gaby Cane was always a bit afraid of her attraction to Bowie McCayde. Even when she was fifteen and Bowie’s family took her in, she had sensed his simmering resentment. Now ten years later, she’s an aspiring journalist who can hold her own with any man professionally, the dark shadows of years gone by far behind her. Then Bowie strides back into her life—only this time, he needs her, and the pull of loyalty to his family is too strong to ignore.

When Bowie asked Gaby to help save his family’s Arizona ranch, he never expected the girl he once knew to return transformed into a stunning, successful woman. As they work together, Bowie is shocked to find that her innocence and beauty stir a hunger he can’t deny. But the rogue rancher can sense something holding her back, and he’s determined to uncover the terrible secret Gaby is fighting to keep hidden…

***********************************

About Diana Palmer

The prolific author of more than one hundred books, Diana Palmer got her start as a newspaper reporter. A New York Times bestselling author and voted one of the top ten romance writers in America, she has a gift for telling the most sensual tales with charm and humor. Diana lives with her family in Cornelia, Georgia.
.

Connect with Diana

Website | Facebook



***********************************

My Thoughts:

I've been a huge fan of Diana Palmer, for many years.  I've always enjoyed her books and found her stories to be well written and just my kind of reading.

In this latest from Diana, we meet Gaby and Bowie, childhood friends.  At one point Bowie's parents took Gabby in and while they got along, she always felt that Bowie was none too thrilled at having her share his home.

Many years go by and they are once again thrown into the same orbit, only this time Gaby has developed into a beautiful man and as much as Bowie wants to deny it, he can't fight the attraction between them.  Problem is, Gaby has a secret and he is determined to find out what it is and to do whatever it takes to keep her safe.

This is your run of the mill romance story and if you're a fan of the genre you'll certainly enjoy it.



Monday, August 29, 2016

Happy Homemaker Monday - 08/29/2016

5:53 AM 10 Comments
Good morning everyone, how was your weekend?

Mine was quite busy.  On Saturday we helped my brother and his family move to their new house, I'm so excited for them, after 6 months of living with us they finally have their own place and feel like they are back on track :)

Yesterday I spent the day getting my house back to normal, as with anytime we have family staying for a long period, I have to shift things around to make room.

You know it's strange, I'm happy to have my house back to myself, but I miss them and it feels so strange being just us 4 again.  Change is always a bit difficult at first.

Anyway, let's see what is happening the rest of the week.



On the weather front:::
We've had so much rain lately which is wonderful but the mosquitoes are out in force.  I have been kind of hoping the rain would stop but it looks like we have more on the way.  It's 70 degrees right now and it's only 7am....goodness.  Rest of the week seems like more rain with some sunny days in between.

On my bedside table:::
Cup of coffee
TV remote
Devotionals
Allergy medicine
Kleenex

On my TV:::
I'm watching Paranormal Witness while I type up this post.  I'm trying to clear out my DVR list and I'm quite excited because I've been on a Hallmark Movie binge this past weekend and have recorded a ton of movies.  After I'm done with this episode of Paranormal Witness, I have the Mystery Woman movies to watch.  Can't wait.

Thinking and pondering::::
Running a mental list of what I have to do today which is quite a bit. 

Listening to::::
The TV.


Favorite Youtube Video last week:::
My favorite channel on Youtube is Foolyliving.  Andrea is an American married to Hadar who is Israeli.  She moved to Israel about 5 years ago and together they have a 3 year old boy called Rafael, and just a few weeks ago Andrea gave birth to their little girl Abigail.  I just love this family and really enjoy watching their vlogs and seeing Israel and how things are done there. 


On the menu for this week:::
I'm back cooking for just us 4 and it's going to be an adjustment yet again, after cooking for 8 for the past couple months.  I am looking forward to it though, it's much easier to try out new recipes as well when it's not as many people.

Monday - Chicken Egg Rolls, Sesame Noodles
Tuesday - Teriyaki Steak, Rice
Wednesday - Zucchini and Maple Sausage Pie
Thursday - Slow Cooked Sticky Chicken, Basmati Rice
Friday - Portuguese Pork Chops, Potatoes
Saturday - Out of town
Sunday - Monterey Chicken, Mashed Potatoes


On my To Do List:::
Schooling with the kids
Kitchen....unload dishwasher and reload with breakfast dishes. Sweep, mop.
Bedrooms....make beds, open curtains and blinds, open windows, tidy up.
Bathrooms....clean toilets and sinks.
Laundry....one load of washing to do, one quilt, Jasmine's laundry
Carpet clean
Bake Orange and Lemon Bars


Looking forward to:::
Seeing family this weekend.   


What I plan on doing for myself this week:::
I'm feeling the crochet itch again and I want to remake some of my blankets that I sold back in Idaho.


Favorite photo:::
This is an old photo, from many years ago when I did a giveaway for Lucky Leaf Pie Fillings.  I recently ran across it while looking through my food blog, and think it's such a pretty picture that I had to share.



Lesson learned the past few days:::
That even if I don't think I'm old, I feel it LOL
We helped my brother move this Saturday and I'm still feeling it today, mostly on my feet but it's probably because I wore very flat flip flops which at the time seemed like a great idea, they were comfortable, but boy do my feet hurt now. 


Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:::
 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Happy Homemaker Monday - 08/22/2016

5:41 AM 10 Comments
Good morning friends, I sure do hope you've had a good weekend.  Mine was quiet, not much going on and that is a good thing because I haven't been feeling too well.  Allergies are kicking my behind right now.

Anyway, let's see what we have going on this week, shall we?


On the weather front:::
The temperatures have been amazing the past week, all 80's, some rain, and cooler weather.  I've been able to turn off the AC for the whole day, open windows and let in the fresh breeze. Looks like this week we are going to be in the low 90's with maybe some rain a day or two.


On my bedside table:::
Devotionals
My coffee right now
Lotion


On my TV:::
Hubby and I are all caught up with Supernatural, now we need to find something else to watch.  I'm thinking we may do Stranger Things, or Dark Matter.


Thinking and pondering::::
Oh goodness, my husband's work situation, though I have to tell you that I'm not worried about it at all, I know it will work itself out.  He's already put in for numerous job so I know something will come up.


Listening to::::
Capital FM while I type up this post, then it will be vlogs.


Favorite Youtube Video last week:::
I have found such wonderful vlogs.  I'm sure I've mentioned them before, but one of my favorites are the SacconeJolys.  Jonathan and Anna are professional vloggers raising 2 of the most adorable kids EVER.  If you've never watched them, you have to give them a try. 


On the menu for this week:::
My meal plans have been quite boring the past few months, I haven't been able to really try new recipes or post them on the food blog.  The reason being that I'm cooking for 7 people every night and I have to stick with easy, filling and meals that stretch far.  So I'm sorry if my menus always seem to be the same thing or boring items, but it's just for another week or 2 until my family moves into their own house :)

Monday - Mexican Lasagna
Tuesday - Roast Chicken, Mashed Potatoes
Wednesday - Bacon Spaghetti, Foccacia
Thursday - Have to pick something up for dinner, busy day
Friday - Four Cheese Lasagna, Cheesy Garlic Bread, Salad
Saturday - Pork Chops, Fresh Broccoli Salad, Rice
Sunday - Bratwurst, Sauerkraut, Potato Salad



On my To Do List:::
Schooling with the kids
Kitchen....unload dishwasher and reload with breakfast dishes. Sweep, mop.
Bedrooms....make beds, open curtains and blinds, open windows, tidy up.
Bathrooms....clean toilets and sinks.
Laundry


Looking forward to:::
Labor day weekend, we are heading up to Oklahoma City to Curt's Aunts house, she is moving but wants to throw a little party at her old place.  Will be fun. 


What I plan on doing for myself this week:::
I honestly don't know, I am thinking try to get some reading done maybe?  


Favorite photo:::




Lesson learned the past few days:::
The lesson I've been relearning, hasn't been the past few days, but more like the past 2 months.  July and August have not been good months for us, a lot and I mean a LOT has gone on.  What I keep having to relearn is that some things are out of my control and the more I try to hold on and do things my way, the more things fall apart and become harder to get through.
I've had to really open my eyes, yet again, and focus on the things that matter, the things that are within my reach, and everything else has been put in the Lord's hands and left alone.  It's like night and day when you give up that control and learn to wait and not panic. 


Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:::
 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

My days....

1:25 PM 9 Comments
My days

Have been filled with rain and a lot of homemaking.

It's Wednesday afternoon, just after 2:30pm, and I'm sitting down to chat a little with you and show you some pictures of what I've been up to.

Hope you're ready for a lot of pictures :)

Rain::::

My days

My days

The loud thunder roaring across the skies and thousands of rain drops washing down.  I do so love a good rain shower, when the house gets all dark and you can light candles and then watch the rain beating against the windows.

We had a bit of rain last week and have some more coming in later today and the next few days.  I'm ready for it.

My days

My days

My days

Enjoying the outdoors::::

We've been working on our yard, actually I have a bit of a funny story to tell you, albeit quite frustrating for hubby and I when it happened.

So last month we got a notice in the mail from the city saying that we need to get rid of the weeds in our yard by a certain date or we would be charged 200 dollars a day.  Quite ridiculous if you ask me.  Anyway, hubby and I were quite perplexed as our yard is mowed, doesn't look bad, there are no weeds that we could see etc.  We continued to just do what we do and figured everything would be ok.

A few weeks ago we got a notice from the post office about a letter that needed to be picked up.   When we picked it up we noticed it was from the Municipal Court, which is never a good thing.  In it was stated that my husband had to go to court on a certain date for failure to clear weeds in the yard.  Again, we were completely confused as to what they were talking about because the whole 3 acres are mowed and nothing is out of place.  Since he had to go in to the City Hall and enter a plea before the court appearance, he went and actually spoke to the city worker who not only sent the letter but was taking us to court.

Turns out, there is a WHOLE horse field right next to our house that apparently belongs to us and we had no clue.  The realtors never mentioned it when we moved in, we were never shown a map of the lot and we have been here for a year and a half.

My husband and the man actually hit it off, talked for over an hour and the whole misunderstanding was resolved, the charges were dropped and we gained a whole acre of a horse field we had no clue about LOL

My days

My days

What a blessing it is to be near family who quickly pitched in to help us get that field under control and the weeds and grass cut down.

We wouldn't have been able to do it without them.  My father in law brought in his tractor and a bush hog and within 30 minutes it was all done.  I'm sure you can tell by the pictures, that my husband had quite a good time riding the tractor around.

My days

My days

Homemaking::::

I gave my house a good cleaning on Monday.  Just woke up with determination and motivation and set right to work.  Feels so good when I'm doing what I love and knowing that I'm making a cozy safe place for my family.

My days

My days

With the rain we've been having, I made a huge pot of vegetable soup, and when I say huge, I mean huge, I actually pulled down my big pot.  I used tons of veggies and also threw in a ham bone I had in the freezer.  It was a delicious and I still have some leftover soup frozen for a quick lunch.

My days

One of my favorite soaps brands, Mrs. Meyers.  I've actually had a bit of a hard time finding the cleaning products at my commissary, I need to look at Walmart next time I go in and hopefully I can find them there.

My days

I bought these scented candle melts at one of the local farm stores.  It smells amazing!!!

Birthday gifts::::

My birthday was last week as you know, and some years we don't have the finances for a lot of birthday presents, but we always try to get something for each other, and I'm talking about my husband and I because we always make sure the kids are taken care of.

This year is a bit of a tight one so my husband let me pick a few things I wanted and I really wasn't looking for anything extravagant, just a few bits and pieces I liked.

We went by our local Booksamillion and I got a few cookbooks and devotionals.

My days

I love Stormie Omartian, she has some of the best devotionals and books around.  I was looking for a devotional that included prayers for my children and I struck gold when I found this one (after about an hour of looking through all the shelves).  What I absolutely adore about this one is that they are prayer couplets, which means on the left page is a prayer for myself and on the right is a prayer for my child where I just add their name in the blank space.  Love it!!!

My days

Also picked up this 365 Devotions and Prayers book called Grace for Each Day.  I started last night, so tonight I'll get to read Day 2 and go from there, so excited about this one too.

My days

Then I picked these up as well, oh and all of these books including the devotionals, but except for the magazine, were on the clearance marked down shelves so the most expensive one was the big Taste of Home Cookbook which was $7.  Score!!!!

I've been wanting some new meal ideas and I think these will be very helpful, I'll be using them to plan my next menu which is coming up next week :)

Skies::::

As summer starts coming to a close, I tend to look towards the skies more because they take on a whole new look.

My days

This was the moon last night, what a beautiful sight to see don't you agree?

My days

Anyway, I am sorry I have so many photos up on this post, but I know y'all don't mind.

It's now almost 3:30pm and I need to get some dishes washed, maybe watch a vlog or two on Youtube and then get started with the dinner preparations.

Hope you're all having a fantastic week so far, stay blessed :)

Monday, August 15, 2016

Happy Homemaker Monday - 08/15/2016

6:26 AM 12 Comments
Good morning friends, how was your weekend?

I had a good one, though I always feel like it's not long enough.  I could have used another day off, to be honest.

But, here we are, another Monday and today marks the first day of school for this year.  I'm looking forward to it, but also not because this is Jasmine's Senior year and next year she'll be off to college and leaving us.  It's a bittersweet moment for sure, I can't even believe we've reached this point in our lives, feels like she was starting Kindergarten not too long ago.

Anyway, let's see what we have going on in our Happy Homemaker Monday!!!



The weather.....
We had a bit of rain last week, actually had 2 days where we saw some thunderstorms.  They didn't last very long, but it was enough to cool things down a bit.  This week we're looking at a cold front (or so they say here in Texas, because 80's is not cold to me lol).  We should be seeing a whole week of 80's and looks like a rainy one too. 



Right now I am....
Still in bed, it's only 7:13am.  It's quite dark today because it's cloudy, so I have my candle on and am just sitting here enjoying the quiet morning. 


Thinking....
Of my to do list for today, everything I need to get done, first day of school, getting Jasmine's permit tomorrow, needing to take pictures of some of my birthday haul from hubby which are cooking books and some devotionals too. 


On my reading pile....
First Star I See Tonight by Susan Elizabeth Phillips.
 

On my TV.....
Portuguese Soaps
Vlogs
General Hospital
Supernatural Season 11



On the menu for this week....
This will be the last menu including my brother and his family.  They are moving out on the first, so I'm working on the next menu for just the 4 of us.  Much as I love cooking, when you have to cook for 8 people every night, it becomes a bit of a chore hahaha  I'm looking forward to making meals for just as 4 again.

Monday - Meatloaf, Macaroni and Cheese, SteamedBroccoli
Tuesday -  Chicken Stew, Salad
Wednesday - Steaks with Pepper Sauce, Rice, Veggies
Thursday - Slow Cooked Pizza in a Pot
Friday -  Chicken with Green Peppers, Mashed Potatoes
Saturday - Homemade Pizza
Sunday - Spinach Sausage Dip, Corn Chips, Homemade Naan


On my to do list today and this week....
All the laundry is done, except for some bed sheets that need to be washed.  Have 2 shirts to iron and one pile of clean folded laundry to put away.

Homeschooling - Not much to do today except for get the kids folders set up, and they each have to go through their lessons and answer a few questions.  Tomorrow they will officially start the full lessons.
Clean bathrooms
Tuesday - Hubby has the day off, we are going to get Jasmine's permit and I also need to get my new driver's license.
Thursday - Jasmine's therapy appointment


In the craft basket....
Nothing at the moment.

  
Looking forward to this week....

School starting and trying to get back to a better schedule.  By this time of the summer, we are all, and I mean even the kids, ready for a more structured routine. 


Looking around the house....
It's quiet.  Living room needs to be tidied up, the kids always stay up late and make quite a mess in there.

   
From the camera....
My gorgeous girl got her hair colored on Friday.  When she first asked for this color I wasn't quite sure I liked it, but I'm one of those moms that believes in letting them experiment with their hair and have fun.  By the time the hair dresser was halfway getting this color on, I was falling in love with it and now?  I'm absolutely besotted with this color.  It is GORGEOUS and I think it suits my girl so well, this is her, this is my Jasmine, spunky and fun and beautiful. 



On my prayer list.....

My husband.  We found out that come October 1st he is being laid off along with a few others from work.  It's a worry but I'm certain that God has a plan and another job in store for him.  Please keep him in your prayers, he's already applied for a few open positions on base and if he could get one of them, it would be wonderful.  :)
Still praying for my daughter, it's so hard being a teenager in this day and age.


Bible verse, Devotional....


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Well Hello 42!!!!

11:04 AM 13 Comments
_MG_3359

I am now the answer to the universe.....or so my husband and children say.  ;)

Yes, it's my birthday, I am so blessed to be able to celebrate another year.

42!!!!

It seems just yesterday I was entering my 40's and now I'm 2 years in and wondering why time is flying by so quick.  It's been chaotic and crazy, scary, fun, amazing and joyful years and I really can't wait to see what is in store.

_MG_3364

I'm starting to notice more wrinkles on my face, more lines, more scars, more LIFE.  Every single dimple or imperfection is a testimony of my story and I really wouldn't have it any other way.

_MG_3421

I'm comfortable with me, I'm comfortable in my skin, I'm happy with how I look and what I've achieved and everything that I have gone through.  

It's made me the woman I am, and so I look forward to yet another year under my belt and whatever life has to offer.

_MG_3435

So Happy Birthday to me as I continue to rock my 40's!!!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

It's in the mundane tasks....

6:30 AM 4 Comments
_MG_3293

The simple moments.

When you're standing at the kitchen counter, in your robe, in the early morning hours, making a cup of coffee and a slice of toast.

_MG_3286

When you're washing the dishes by hand and mindlessly standing while the warm water pours over your hands.

_MG_3302

Or when you're folding laundry, the mountains and mountains of never ending laundry.

It's in those moments that I find myself realizing that everything that seems like an insurmountable object in my path, means absolutely nothing when you're in the Lord's grace.

The worries, the fears, the feelings of not being in control, or the overwhelming sense of being on a roller coaster with no end.  Those feelings, every.single.one.of.them mean nothing but what we make of it.

_MG_3299

I'm not saying that problems don't exist, or that there is no fear and worry or pain.  Of course all of those are legitimate feelings, but it's what we do with them that can either push us through the day to keep fighting, or hold us stuck in place in sheer panic.

So as I go about my days lately, I focus on the mundane tasks at hand, and anytime my mind starts drifting into a problem that I've handed over to God, I immediately push it out of my mind.

It's not always easy, oh my goodness, it's actually almost impossible at times to let your mind go right back to old bad habits.  But, I'm making an effort to push through and push them away and it's been working miracles in my well being, mentally and physically.

_MG_3298

As I type this up, a huge thunderstorm is brewing outside.  The thunder is loud, the raindrops are heavy and it reminds me of my soul when I let problems get the better of me.

I choose to believe that the drowning sound of the rain on the roof, is almost like God hammering away all my worries and fears, all the negativity surrounding me and my family.  And boy does it feel good to think that way.

I've been struggling, you all know that, but I also know that you've all been praying for me and my family and I can't tell you how much that means to me and how thankful I am.  I haven't seen huge changes or resolutions to some of the issues, but I have noticed some signs here and there that God is working on my life, and I'll take it.

No matter how small the change may be, I will gladly take it and accept it and smile through it.

_MG_3312

As I work through this not so good phase in my life, I'm turning to those things that always make me feel better.  I'm reading again, I'm crocheting, I'm homemaking and I'm decorating and crafting and blog posting. 

I'm not going to make any promises because life is crazy at times, and school IS starting next week, but I really do want to continue staying focused on these things, because after all they are what brings me the most joy.

Being a homemaker!!!!