Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Simple Thoughts on 'Resolutions'

I've been thinking about some New Year's resolutions that I would like to make.  We all know that statistically most resolutions only last a few days, if that long.  I really think that I want to make some changes and maybe now is the time to do it.  If I write it on my blog it will be a tangible reminder that I really should stick to them, well maybe, LOL, we'll see!
Anyway I have made some through the years and have never ever stuck with any of them so it would be interesting if I kept a list of them here as a constant reminder to myself.  I have a few things in mind so I'll have to make a list and put it on my sidebar, then I will mark them off as I slowly (or quickly) break them!!LOL  Of course Christopher and Katie will be my constant reminders because they keep an eye on everything and call me on things if need be!
I'll be interested to read what others are thinking about making resolutions, maybe blogging about it is just the incentive I need!

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

To view Peggy's and many other ladies daybooks click here.

My Daybook for...
Monday December 28, 2009...
Here in Kentucky...

Outside my window...We have just a covering of snow on the ground, the roads are clear though but it is bitter cold here in Kentucky.

I am thinking...that I cannot wait for everyone to get over their illnesses, we've had someone sick since Christmas day and I don't do well with others vomiting so I'm so eager for it to stop!

I am thankful for...for a wonderful Christmas day, just being with family, what an incredible blessing!

I am wearing...warm comfy clothes to go brave the cold since I have to go out and get a couple of things.

I am remembering...a wonderful Christmas day, lots of sweet memories and oddly enough none of those memories involve a present at all!  Lots of talking, laughter and hugs!

I am currently reading...I've had no time to read at all!  I have some new books from the library I'm eager to start though!  No fiction reading until the after Christmas clear out is done!

I am get my house back in shape very soon and get our meals planned, lots of kefir, veggies, fruit and kombucha, time to get the junk out and the good stuff back in!

On my mind...wondering when the vomiting in the house will stop, I'm so ready!!!  I'm thankful Chris or I neither one have had it, at least we can take care of the others!

Noticing that...time is passing way to quickly, where do the hours go?

Pondering these words...this too shall pass.

From the kitchen...simple healthy meals, right now we're just keeping things light

Around the house...Christopher is in the shower, Katie is on the couch and Dan is on his way home and will be home with us for the next couple of days, I'm so thankful because hopefully he can just relax and heal.

One of my favorite things...organizing, I just love to have things nice and orderly.

From my picture journal...

This is too cute, it's an ornament my dfil made when he was a child, such precious items!

Sunday, December 27, 2009


     I truly think the big guy deserves his rest now!!!     
As the years have gone by we've experienced some interesting Christmas'.  The first year we were married my cousin, who was my age and one of my best friends, was found dead on Christmas morning, devastating for our family.  Then one Christmas three of us had the flu so only two of us were well enough to visit family for Christmas.  This was the Christmas of sickness again but also trying to get here and there with all the food, etc. on time.  We had to deliver gifts and food on Christmas Eve but also our Tommy was sick at his apartment, turns out he has pneumonia, so we made him some homemade chicken noodles soup, Katie made him a loaf of bread and we had to drop those off too.  Christmas night Dan threw up in the middle of the night.  Then last evening Katie and I were just doing a bit of after Christmas shopping at Hobby Lobby and she was feeling kinda bad.  Well, we went to Arby's to get Dan and Chris a sandwich and then went to KFC to get their holiday meal, it's a good buy and we would have leftovers for today, when she really started feeling sick.  I tried to pull out of the drive-thru and make it to another darker parking lot but she couldn't wait, she started being sick in the car all over herself, the drinks for Dan and Chris, our purses and me.  Poor thing was feeling so bad, she's still feeling sick today and has thrown up a few more times.  I had to come home and clean the car out the best I could, I have a bad gag reflex so it's hard to for me to clean up that stuff, but Christopher had a headache and I knew Dan was still feeling a bit bad so it was up to me.  I've got some of the laundry going now after washing most of it last night and I've got the car windows down to air it out.  Unfortunately I'm not feeling great myself but am pushing myself to keep going because I had thawed a turkey out to fix today so I've at least got to get that made.  
We did have a very good Christmas day seeing all of our families, except poor Tommy and I'm just kinda glad the busyness is behind us and we can just get things calmed down a bit, sometimes all of the rushing just really wreaks havoc with our systems so it's time to get on track with some fresh veggies, fruit, kefir and kombucha.  I'm eager to get all the Christmas things packed back up and get the house aired out and sanitized.  I pray I can stay healthy enough to do it all.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Simply Exhausted...but in a good way

 Now this is my kind of shopping!!!!!

Well, we just got back from our annual Christmas eve/day grocery shopping trip and I am so tired!  We have to get so much but thankfully our Kroger had most of what we needed on sale, I allocated $200.00 but it came to only $139.00, that was a blessing but truly without all of their specials and b1/g1 it probably would have come close to the original amount.
We make food for hubby's family's Christmas Eve party and then have to make 7 breakfast casseroles for Christmas morning at his mom's and my mom's.  We don't get to be at my moms when they have the casserole but will be there later in the day for all the goodies and festivities.  It's a busy day going here and there but we don't mind at all, just love being with added bonus is that our Tommy will be with us all day, what a treat!
For Christmas Eve we will make:
White chocolate/m&m's/pretzels
No bake oatmeal candy (we call it oatmeal peanut butter candy)
Chocolate Dipped Potato Chips
Velveeta/sausage/picante dip
Pumpkin cheesecake
Sausage Crescent roll-ups
HVR cheese puffs (Hidden Valley Ranch but we make our own copycat powder mix)

Christmas morning:
Breakfast casseroles
Sausage Crescent roll-ups
Pumpkin cheesecake

Katie's making 6 loaves of her yummy homemade white bread for gifts.

We are doubling and tripling these recipes so we'll have enough to feed a ton of people, we never really know how many will be there on Christmas Eve so we need a lot of food.
Tomorrow we'll post pics of the food we get made.
I'm just thankful that shopping trip is finished for the year!

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

To view Peggy's and many other ladies daybooks click here.

My Daybook for...
Monday December 21, 2009...
Here in Kentucky...

Outside my window...lots of pretty puffy snow with some new flurries falling softly, very overcast.  It's very cold here in Kentucky and is to be getting colder each day until Christmas. 

I am thinking...about how blessed we are to be surrounded by family, family is just everything to me.

I am thankful for...a sweet dear husband that is so caring to his widowed mother, he takes such good care of her and calls her 3 times a day just because it's comforting to her.  She lives alone now with diabetes and it helps her to know she'll be receiving these calls, just check-ins to make sure she's okay.  He's such a sweet gentle man with a heart of gold.

I am wearing...white long sleeve cotton top and brown jumper

I am wonderful it is to receive forgiveness when you say things you shouldn't, no one can understand you like your family understands you and loves you anyway....sometimes you just can't imagine why!!!LOL

I am currently reading...actually I'm tickled because Christopher is putting the ESV Bible on my ipod for me, right now it's really tough to concentrate while reading the Bible because of the depression still lingering but to have the earbuds in and listen to the Word being read is just wonderful.

I am hoping...that in the midst of all the hubbub we can all remember that Christmas is really only about Him, the one that came so we may be cleansed.

On my mind...friends and family that are having medical issues right now, so many to lift up to Him, the ultimate Healer!

Noticing that...this Christmas since we've shaved so many things off of our to do list we are enjoying the simple things so much more.

Pondering these words...Be still and know.  So important right now.

From the kitchen...not sure about supper just yet but Katie's busy fixing her white chocolate pretzel m&m treats, fudge, oatmeal peanut butter candy

Around the house...a few gifts still to finish and wrap, some tidying and preparing goodies for Christmas

One of my favorite things...I've said it before but I'll say it again, hearing my Tommy's voice when he calls...he moved into his own place a year ago and we're so proud of him, I just love to hear his voice!

From my picture journal...
Katie's yummy little treats...

Friday, December 18, 2009

Simple Christmas

We've discovered that a simple Christmas means a lot of time to do the things we want to do and not necessarily doing the things we think we're 'supposed' to do.  I find that when you're not worrying about keeping up with the jones' or trying to please others we can enjoy the things we really like to do.  So many years we've spent making sure to do everything others wanted us to do and thinking it was necessary, such a waste of our time!

When we are gone from this earth the things I want folks to remember about me is that our home was a welcome place to visit and they were made to feel at home.  I pray that our home will be a place that is a place where Christ and His love and grace are shared, indeed I pray that our home would be a place where we would welcome Christ Himself right in the front door with no hesitation.  This makes for an interesting idea if you start looking around your home doesn't it?  How pronounced is the position of your TV, ours is sadly the main attraction in the living room because that's how Dan wants it to be but when Dan is not home we could put a cover over it as a reminder to not worship 'the mind-numbing electric idol'.  Also, do we have items in view that tell the way we are or the way we truly would like to be.  Maybe a life change is in order, maybe we need to take a good look at how we are truly living.  I pray that we all take a good look at our lives and work towards keeping the focus on the One, the One who came for us that first Christmas Day.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Simple Christmas Gift Ideas

This year we lost my father-in-love back in June, it was sudden and I'm sure most of us have not even dealt with it completely just yet.  I think this is part of the reason that we're really simplifying Christmas this year, maybe I should say we're putting the focus where it should be, on Christ.
I wanted to make some things for gifts very frugally but with the remembrance of Dad for all of the family, these are the ideas I used.
First of all, he was in WWII so it was a full military funeral, actually he also had been fire chief years ago so they also did the 'last call' at the end of the funeral, this was the most touching thing I've ever experienced, amazing.  After the service the fellow veterans came over with a bag that had all the spent shells from the 21 gun salute, we decided to make some keychains with these.  We were able to send a few in Christmas cards to some of the fellows in the family that couldn't make it up for the funeral.   

Also, I dried all of the flowers from the funeral and scattered them with some other potpourri and we're making some little sachets with these for the ladies, just something with for a little remembrance of dad and all that transpired.  It may sound like it's just bringing up sad times but the sadness will be there anyway because we have to face it and not flee from it, these things will just add a personal touch to Christmas.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Simple Christmas Ideas

Years ago in our old home Tommy and Christopher went to the neighbors yard and picked up some tiny pinecones from her tree, they gathered a bunch of them.  Also they gathered some fresh pine needles from my moms yard.  We took some tiny clear glass balls and pulled the tops off.  We soaked the pine cones in water and put them inside the glass balls while they were wet, it was a little difficult to get them in, then we stuck some of the needles in.  We left these to dry for quite a few days and it's an amazing thing to see because you have this puffy pine cone inside this glass ornament, kinda like a ship in a bottle because everyone wondered how we got them in there!
We then put the top back and on wrapped some raffia into a loop to hang and wrapped the remainder around the holder, this is the result:

Now that we've moved away from that neighborhood and that neighbor with the pine cones has passed on, we still have remembrances of it and a piece of nature to trigger the memories.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Simple Christmas Ideas

For years now we've been making a lot of our own Christmas gifts, a few years ago I made everyone in the family and type of shawl just for cuddling in, I called them 'hugs'.  I picked out the yarn for each person individually and crocheted them here and there until I had one for every family member, even the men.  These were not meant for wearing out somewhere, just for putting around you to stay warm.
Of course I used a soft comfy chenille yarn that would be very warm to put around your shoulders, my boys really like theirs and used them around our home, sometimes while homeschooling.  It gets pretty cold in our home without a wood stove or fireplace so if they were reading or writing it kept them warm.

This year Katie is making some pretties for all the girls, I really love them and secretly hope she's making me one also!  I'm making a few things but must not say because some folks read my blog that will be on the receiving end!!

I love a homemade gift much better than anything bought, it's just the thought that someone went to all that trouble to make something for you that is just very touching!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Simple Christmas Ideas

I've really gleaned so much from other blogs about simple Christmas gifts and have applied some to my own gift list.  Personalized gifts are so appreciated and treasured forever, I love the ones I've received and have made a few for family also.
A few years ago I gave my sweet in-laws an ornament tree for Christmas like this, actually this is the exact one I ordered from

Every year I give her little photo ornaments as Christmas gifts to fill it up, I use these little photo frames that we get at Hobby Lobby, usually on sale after Christmas to use the next Christmas:

What's really important I think is to get frames that are of different textures and colors but not specifically Christmas frames, this way she can keep her tree out all year long.  These frames aren't very expensive and it's something we can give her to add to her tree every year.  The ornament tree itself comes with a star at the top but there is also a replacement finial that comes with it for all year.

This is just one of the gifts we give, I'm sure she's expecting them every year but she never knows who's pics will be in the frames, since I have all of her old photos I can make copies and give her photos from years and years ago.  This is a fun gift idea for anyone I think, something that grows throughout the years and can be passed down and added to.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Simplifying Christmas

I came across this meme and think it's a wonderful idea!  You really should go to her blog and read about her thoughts on keeping Christmas simple.  I love the way she puts it, you can have a very joyous wonderful Christmas in a very simple way.
I really believe we've taken all the joy away from Christmas with all the overspending, keeping up with the joneses and worrying whether folks will be happy with their gifts.
I'm actually amazed when I hear of people being upset by what 'gift' they got, children throwing fits because they didn't get what they wanted, etc.  Do we remember that a gift is a gift, it's that simple, it's not something that is expected it is a gift so whether we like it or not we should be so thankful that someone cares enough to give us a gift.  If the gift is just an exchange gift at work, etc. maybe it's time to stop the madness and quit exchanging gifts, all of it has totally gotten out of hand.

The very first Christmas gift was Jesus, He didn't come in a flashing bright light from space in a shower of fireworks in a big ceremonial way.  No, He was born very simply to a simple woman in a simple manger, couldn't have been any more simple and pure.

May we grasp the concept of simplicity this and every Christmas and practice it every day of the year, none of us are promised tomorrow, let's enjoy today with stress, worry or anger.  Peace to you all.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Simply Overwhelmed, Yet Still Finding the Joy

 This is such a sweet scene, oh to get back to the days of simplicity and families simply enjoying one another!

Wow, sometimes life just decides to throw you some curves and it's hard to keep up!  Today is just not a great day for me, too much to deal with and unfortunately my depression has not lifted completely so I'm feeling overwhelmed with the overload.  Our Christmas preparations are very simple so it's not the season that's so difficult for me, it's just that the smallest things drive you crazy when you're dealing with the effects of clinical depression.
Thankfully most of my days are actually very good and I don't deal with it all day but I think today with the steady rain and different issues I've had to deal with things just start to pile up until you're overflowing and the result is lots and lots of tears.
Dan actually spent the morning with his mother, she had her nephew visiting from Arizona and really had a great visit, they don't get to see one another often so I was glad they were able to visit her.  The rest of us had things to do around the house, we are trying to finish up some Christmas gifts, plenty still to make but we are making some progress.
Oh we saw some of the prettiest Christmas lights this evening on a short drive across town, some people really go all out don't they!?  How wonderful that we get to enjoy their hard work!
This year we've decided to decorate simply, our front door has a grapevine wreath with clear lights that I got specifically with a brown cord to match the grapevine, it's just the wreath and lights...simple but pretty.
We have candles in the windows, just a simple bulb in each one.  It's pouring down rain today but tomorrow evening if it's nice I'll take a photo and post.  We don't have our tree yet as we get a cut tree, with all this rain I'm not sure when we'll get one but probably after the weekend when the weather clears up.

I think this is a cute link, some people are so witty!

The first photo is a house all pretty!!!!......

This is his neighbor!!!!  I know there have been other ones like this but I really think this is cute!  Simple yet eye-catching!!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Click here to go to Peggy's daybook

Monday, December 7th, 2009
Judy's Daybook
Here in Kentucky...

Outside my window...cloudy with a little bit of sun, very cold!  We had flurries this morning, the first snow of winter!

I am thinking... I'm a little confused as to where the last year went, it seems the older I get the faster time goes, I seriously cannot believe it's another Christmas season already and then it will be 2010!  Wow

I am thankful for... well this morning I'm overwhelmed with the blessings we've been showered with, God is so good.

I am wearing... gown still, it's warm!....sshhhh!

I am remembering... Decembers as a little girl, oh we had such an innocent wonderful childhood!

I am going... just to the post office, not sure for the rest of the week

I am currently reading... the Dearest Dorothy series, found these online at the library and they are so cute!

I am hoping... to get all those gifts finished!

On my mind... my mom is teaching Katie oil painting and when they take breaks she's teaching her how to play the hammer dulcimer, then maybe Katie can teach me...LOL.  I have my mom's first dulcimer but don't know how to play!

Noticing that... I really need to work getting my household cleaning schedules in order, things are not getting done as I would like

Pondering these words... Jesus is the light of the world.  Wonder why anyone would choose the darkness?

From the kitchen... cheeseburger soup, Katie's whole wheat bread

Around the house... coffee is brewing, Katie is washing dishes while listening to Christmas carols, Dan surprised us by being off again today but is gone now to take his sweet mom to the store, Christopher is busy with business issues

One of my favorite things... doing this daybook each Monday, Peggy is such a blessing to us all!!!

My Katie in the car with her Peppermint Mocha Latte and her Delta hat on that her daddy got for her, it's very rare to see her with a hat on, she's a girly girl through and through!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Simply Living for Him

Living for Him is simply about that, living for Him every moment of every day.  On my sidebar I have posted what my blog is about and that is exactly true.
Years ago I was all about doing what everyone wanted me to do, I wanted to please my friends, my parents, my teachers, my family, I just felt like if I could please everyone they would like me and believe me I tried very, very hard.  I was a people pleasing person and felt I was letting everyone down if I didn't act a certain way or do things exactly the way others did it, it was very important for me to make sure and be what everyone wanted me to be.
I actually lived this way for many, many years.  Even after our children were born I wanted to make sure and do everything the way others thought we should.  
We lived in a very tiny house with only two bedrooms and one bath and I just knew that my in-laws were very disappointed because we didn't have a bigger home or more money to have nice cars, etc.  The small town we lived in was very nice although it was a town of old money and it is well known for a place for the rich to live, people would build million dollar homes on a tiny piece of land just to live in this town.  Of course we were not rich, nor did we live among them since we lived in the part of town where older smaller homes were, we lived on a dead end street with just a few neighbors and woods behind our home, it was a perfect setting to raise our littles and our neighbors were elderly and so sweet, we spent a lot of time visiting on porches while my littles did puzzles, etc.
For three years Dan had to work out of town, flying back and forth every week from Kentucky to the Dulles airport outside of Washington, DC so we had some very lean years while he was working out of town, this was supposed to be for only 6 months but when you work for the airlines you learn that their time line is much different from everyone else.
It was during this time that I developed clinical depression, directly as a result of being a single parent all week, working at a nursing home, teaching at mothers day out at our church and babysitting after school.  It was a rough time because we were literally having to keep up two separate homes, us in Kentucky and Dan in Virginia. 
Needless to say all that comes to a head and you realize something has to give, sadly it was my health...clinical depression affects not just your psyche but also your physical health.  I quickly went downhill and it took weeks and weeks to finally get to where I could function normally, which was not the normal I was up until then, I doubt I'll ever be that way again.  
It was during this time that I realized I was living for everyone else, we tried so hard to please everyone without thinking about living for Him, what a huge mistake.  I was brought to my knees during my poor health and realized that I had it all wrong, I needed to live for Him, not others.  Reading that I think 'well duh!!!' but it was a complete turnaround for me.  I began to make decisions based on the Word and stopped listening to everyone else, suddenly our lives started to slow down and things became much more peaceful...that's a lot of pressure you know, trying to please everyone!  
I now make sure that my decisions are not based on what everyone else is doing, I do not care at all about entertainers, actors, etc.  These are people just like us, we are to never put anyone on a pedestal, whether it's a preacher, priest, the pope, whatever, these are humans just like us.
It is Christ alone that I bow down to.  Today, tomorrow, every day for the rest of my life I live only to please Him.
The interesting part to this story is that none of the people we were trying to please really seemed to care one way or another, my in-laws loved me anyway no matter what, after we made our complete change of attitude they actually seemed to respect us and our decisions more and realized that they no longer had a say in how we lived our lives and raised our children.  
I'm so thankful that I was brought to my knees, it has helped me so much in life, our decision to homeschool was shot down by everyone except my brother, everyone else thought it was crazy.  Well, our grown children are some of the most respectful, kind and caring people I've ever met.  My one suggestion to those raising their families now or in the future is to focus only on Him, He will guide you to where you need to be.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Simple Thoughts on Christmas

Are you getting caught up in the Christmas fun yet?  Oh, how I love this time of year, I have ever since I was a child.  Our Christmases were very simple back then, growing up in the 60's & 70's were not times of excess so our gifts were heartfelt but simple.  It seems that in the 80's & 90's things really starting spiraling out of control with the spending and gift giving, those were our years for babies and our parents wanted to spoil them and got them lots of pretties, we did the shopping for them and they enjoyed watching the kids open the gifts, such fun!
You'll notice I asked if you're enjoying the Christmas fun, in the midst of all the twinkling lights, tinsel and trees I never for a  moment forget what it's truly about, Christ is center in every day of my life so of course He is the reason for this season.  I think it's a wonderful time of year and so enjoy making cookies, candies and presents, the miracle of Christmas is simply that, isn't it?  A miracle.  
That God would choose a simple girl to carry His Son is a lesson in how God sees each and every one of us, I believe that He sees greatness and the capacity of mighty works in each of us, but we must remember to do all for His Glory never, ever our own.
I pray you will find the peace, love, hope and joy that this season of celebrating that baby, born in a manger, our Savior Jesus Christ!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Bekah Tag

Tag from the Unworthy Maiden (My sweet Katie!)

Do you like to write? Yes

Favorite Books? Anything by Jackie Wellwood, Kathy Herman, "how to" books on doing things the old ways, Nourishing Traditions, Debi Pearl, Carolyn Mahaney, etc.

Do you compose music/write songs? No, but I really like to listen to them :)

Do you like Poetry? Yes

Loved someone so much who made you cry? Yes, but cry in a good way.

Broken a bone? No

Been on a boat? Yes

Fallen asleep at school? Yes, oh how boring school was to me.

Did you sing today? No, I hummed though, I'm a hummer just like my little mama.

KFC, Popeyes or Church's? KFC, I've never been to the other two.

Chick-a-flick or What-a-Burger? Ummmm, Chick-Fil-A :p

Starbucks or McCafe? STARBUCKS!!!!!!!!!!

What's your favourite time of year? Autumn! I also like Christmas time though:)

Do you ever talk to yourself? Yes, and sadly I also answer myself.

Do you have a favourite treat you like to buy on occasions? Starbucks is our treat.

Do you believe the Bible is the literal word of God and is infallible? Without a doubt.

What's your favourite sport? I like to watch ice skating and watch 'football' with Chris and Katie but I'm not really a sports person.

What colour is your Ipod? Black, because it's a hand me down, if I could choose it would be orange, my favorite color!

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? I'm not much of a traveler, I'm very content to be home. 

If you could go to any fictional place, where would you go? Definitely Hobbiton!

Do you love to write or do you just like writing? Or do you write at all? I LOVE writing!

What do you want to be when you a grown-up? I'm already grown up and I'm living my dream, wife and mommy!

Favourite animal? Llama, they just seem so innocent and gentle.

Favourite Song? Give me Your Eyes by Brandon Heath...hands down my favorite right now!

Do you like school? I hated school, guess that's why I wanted our kids to be homeschooled, such freedom!

Are you a people person? I'm very shy with anyone but family, always have been.

Do you like to talk? I love to chit chat, yes, love learning new things from others but detest gossip, don't pass it on and will stop you if you try to gossip to me.

Favourite food? Fried chicken, probably because we had it multiple times in a week growing up, it's my comfort food.  We only have it occassionally. 

Hobbies? Reading, crafting, sewing, crocheting, decorating

Favourite Author? I love books so my favorite authors change constantly.

Favourite weapon? small pearl handled

Is this a fun tag or are you getting bored? Kinda fun

Do you like Hannah Montana and all those girly people and movies like high school musical? I'm not a teen but even if I was I would have to say no.

What are you scared of? granddaddy longleggers

Favourite flower? lantana

Colour of your eyes? green

Yep, that's more than you ever wanted or cared to know about me, huh?LOL

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

To go to Peggy's daybook.... 

November 30, 2009
Simple Woman's Daybook
Here in Kentucky...

Outside my window... cloudy, chilly, misty and getting dark, I'm a little late with this today because it's already 5:45pm 

I am thinking... how wonderful our Thanksgiving was, always enjoy being with family!!!

I am thankful for... my sweety hubby and three incredible 'grown' kids, yeah they're adults now but they're still my babies!!!  

I am wearing... green gingham jumper, white long sleeve top, comfy Reeboks

I am remembering... how much I have to be thankful for, I love Josh Groban's song 'Thankful', it's so true, you really have to listen to the's the link to the youtube video:

I am going... nowhere, have lots to do to prepare for Christmas and it all involves lots of handcrafting so we'll be busy

I am currently reading... through one of my favorite Christmas planning books, Better Homes and Gardens American Christmas Crafts and Foods, perfect Christmas ideas!  Here's the pic, click on it and it will take you to the amazon page:

I am hoping... to get our Christmas decorating finished this week, except for our tree which we won't get until the middle of the month

On my mind... working very hard to accomplish the goals I have set for myself

Noticing that... life seems to be slowing down with the earlier darkness in the late afternoon, very nice and peaceful

Pondering these words... Gifts from our hands and hospitality from our hearts represent the American holiday tradition.  From the beginning of my book I'm reading.

From the kitchen... well, lots of errands were run today so we just picked up sandwiches.

Around the house... Dan is home from work and watching a bit of TV, Christopher and Katie are sitting in here with me while we discuss our next trip out in a few minutes, just up to the local drugstore, then home for the night.

One of my favorite things... just simply listening to Christopher and Katie, they're very interesting and intelligent people, I learn so much from them!

From my picture journal...
Two sweet cousins that are crazy about one another!!!  Katie and Randi Michelle, my sweet brother's little daughter, on Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Simple Gifts

Christmas has become a time of enjoying the simple things here at our home.  Years ago it was buying all the big toys for our little ones but our kids are now adults so the gifts are much different.  We do no go all out at Christmas, we love to decorate but even that has been simplified through the years and I've found that less is better.  I love all the overdone Christmas homes but for our home it's just pretty simple and peaceful.  We get a cut tree, decorate the front door with our homemade wreath and maybe put a few lights outside, even that has been cut down dramatically because of the time it takes to do it all and keeping things plugged in everywhere, just too much.
We also make a lot of our own gifts, we make candles, soaps, homemade crocheted items like dishcloths, ponchose, scarfs, afgans, shawls, etc. and also we make some items in our woodshop that we personalize.  Lots of gifts going now and plenty to be made, the busyness in our Christmas season is usually handwork and of course lots of cookies, candies and homemade goodies from Katie's kitchen!
The more busy and complicated the world gets the more I desire to simplify and get very quiet, life is peaceful and very, very good.  This whole season is about one thing and one thing only, Jesus...the ultimate gift.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Simple Days

The beauty of living the simple life is having time to do the things you want to do instead of always doing what you have to do.  Less stuff means less stuff to take care of, which means more time to do what you want to do.  Life can get so complicated and sometimes we forget that we need to be in charge of our time, if that means saying no to someone then we must do it.  Our priorities it seems are always being challenged, folks want to rearrange your life to suit them and that is something that we must make sure we never let happen.  Being a keeper at home is a very busy life, as soon as you clean something it gets messed up again, laundry is an ever growing monster that we have to keep corralled or it will get out of control.
We raised our kids to know how to take care of themselves and their belongings, sometimes we all get lax in this but truly keeping things caught up means you will not get overwhelmed with it.
I'm not a person that shops on black Friday, I guess I would if I needed anything but truly nothing is that important to me that I have to get in that mob of people.  We don't go shopping just to go shopping, we go when we have a need, even our Christmas shopping is very streamlined because the items we want are not in our local stores so most things need to be ordered online.  The beauty of that is having it delivered right to your door, which makes it simpler still!
I love the simple life and am still working on making sure I don't let things overtake me, I love the pretties of Christmas and could go crazy with decorating but I don't because I really likes things very, very simple.
Life is good and God is in control.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I pray your day will be blessed with lots of joy, hugs and blessings! It's so nice to have a day dedicated to just spending time with family. God Bless! Judy

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Simply Yummy Recipes - Pumpkin Cheesecake & Sweet Potato Casserole

Last year we watched Paula Deen make this and Katie decided to try it, it is without a doubt the most delicious thing you will ever eat, creamy and pumpkinny!!! For this recipe just go to and go to Paula's recipes. You may never want pumpkin pie again!

Sweet Potato Casserole

3 c sweet potatoes (we bake our first, then spoon out the inside)
1 c sugar
2 eggs
1/2 c melted butter
Mix together and put in buttered baking dish.
Top with:
1 c brown sugar
1/3 c flour
1/3 c butter
1t cinnamon
1 c pecans (chopped, but not too fine)
Mix these together and put on top of potato mixture.

Bake for 30 minutes at 350.

Enjoy! We always have to make two of these leaving the pecans out for those non-nut loving family members!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Sustaining Marriage

My Dan and I have been married for over 27 years, actually have known each other for almost 30, in those years we've had so many ups and downs it really has been like a roller coaster. Whenever people ask me how you stay married that long I imagine they want it summed up in one little word but it's truly not that simple is it? Of course if it was simple people would never get divorced, everyone would stay married forever, but marriage takes work....lots and lots of work, anything worth having in this world takes work and marriage is so worth it.
There are some words that come to mind to describe our marriage:
Putting your spouse first
Biting your tongue
Knowing when nothing is the right thing to say - in other words 'shut up'
Overlooking faults - we all have them, why point them out?

We went to a marriage seminar at our church years ago and it was an incredible insight into the marriages of the other couples at our church. One couple, the wife was our music director wanted to know how to make your husband clean out the garage. Another lady wanted to know how to make your husband do what you tell him. But the most interesting was a friend that talked about how lazy her husband was and how he wouldn't do what he was supposed to do to take care of their home, yard, etc. Just sitting there I found it incredible that these people could be so very selfish, they were thinking of self, not their spouse and to criticize your spouse is horrible but to do it in front of others is simply unacceptable!
When we walked out of the seminar after going through the booklet and listening to the teaching couple talk I asked Dan what he got out of it. He said "That I'm not a very good husband"...I laughed and said I was thinking I'm not a very good wife!!! Instead of looking at the faults in the other we were noticing how much we were not doing for the other, I think that says a lot about how we treat one another in our marriage. The other always comes first.

We've never been people that make a big deal out of birthdays, anniversaries, etc. We have always told our kids that we treat each other special every day of the year, putting gifts on credit cards that will take years to pay off is not something we would dream of doing. Not only does our budget not allow for such things but this is just another way of complicating life. We've watched so many friends marriages break up over money problems, we don't have a money problem in our marriage because we don't have that much money anyway!!! We've always lived on one salary and that has to stretch, these days it's stretching tighter and tighter!!! (but that's another post altogether!!!LOL)

I believe a huge part of marriage is to sacrifice for the other, in this I mean that I want Dan to have the nicer automobile and he wants me to have the nicer one, by nicer I mean the newest, we always buy used and drive as little as possible and keep them until they are beyond mechanical repair without a huge amount of money and then we donate them to Goodwill. Our goal is not have a car payment at all but if we do it will be a small amount monthly and paid off as soon as possible. Having every new thing that comes along is not something you can do on a tight budget so we wait until something is years old before we get one, I just got an ipod but it's a hand me down from my son after he got a new one with his birthday money, not a big priority with me
but I'm tickled to have one now, it's kind of old so may not last long but I'll just wait until one of the kids buys a new one and once again be happy with my hand me down.

My final thing is that we laugh every single day!!! There has always been much laughter in our home, not in making fun of someone but just laughter because these people I live with are funny!!! Dan has been making me laugh for almost 30 years and my prayer is that we continue for 50 more years!

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Click the image to visit Peggy's blog.

Simple Woman's Daybook
For Today November 23, 2009
Here in Kentucky...

Outside my window... foggy with a hint of sunshine breaking through the clouds

I am thinking... how wonderful that Dan took off work today to surprise us!!!

I am thankful for... Christ, without Him, my life would be nothing.

I am remembering... yesterday would have been the 50th birthday of my cousin that died when we were 22, so many wonderful memories to be thankful for!

I am going... nowhere today, tomorrow we'll need to get the fixins for Katie's Pumpkin Cheesecake, the only thing we have to make for Thanksgiving!

I am reading... The Other Side of Darkness by Melody Carlson, interesting book!

I am hoping... to get my list for today finished, plenty to do after the weekend

On my mind... so many blessings!

Noticing that... Contrary to what I thought years ago, life gets better with age. Now at 49 I see things so differently, I truly don't sweat the small stuff!

Pondering these words... "It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord" Psalm 92:1

From the kitchen... cheeseburger soup and Katie's homemade bread

Around the house... projects going for Christmas gifts

One of my favorite things~ getting up early, such a good way to start the day!

From my picture journal...
another one of our signs we make.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Are we Living for Him or Simply Existing?

Life can get so complicated that it seems we sometimes forget that we're supposed to be living a joyful life, I see very few people today that truly look as though they're enjoying life at all. I know there are burdens that we all bear but do they have to stay with us every second of every day? Do we have to show our burdens in our countenance to the world? Is there a way to put on a facade without being insincere?
To live life with a constant scowl cannot possibly be showing the love of Christ to the world can it? Of course we are not to just show the love of Christ, we are to tell the world about our risen Savior and the forgiveness of sins through His sacrifice and share the wonderful promise of love, peace and hope that we can have only through being united to Christ.
As Christians are we trusting in the sovereignty and goodness of God daily or are we carrying so many burdens that what we show the world is a knocked down, dragged out, over doing it person who forgets that to be filled with the Spirit of God we must open the Word and drink in the words and open our hearts in prayer to Him.
I choose to trust Him today, I don't want to be that person that is barely existing because of the burdens I carry simply because I choose not to place them at the foot of the cross.
Let's thrive in our hope and knowledge of Him today! He is in control.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A Simple Season of Giving Thanks

I started to think of all the things that I'm thankful for today, unfortunately I was only thinking them and not writing them down so my brain went into overload and I've forgotten most of it but some things are never far from mind.
Being thankful to me means so much more than counting the 'things' I have, truly I love my pretties and I enjoy my time saver items but if they were gone I would just go on with life and not look back, but the things I'm truly thankful for are not things at all.
I of course am blessed to have a roof over our heads, food, heat, etc., but those things can all be taken away in a heartbeat and could be replaced and we would feel no different. But the things I'm thankful for could not be replaced, they are beyond priceless to me and I love beyond measure.

These are my treasures:

Christ, His Love and knowing Him is simply incredible. I could live without Christ but it wouldn't be much of a life, no, I never want to be without Him.

My sweet hubby, as far as I'm concerned he's perfect, he may have his faults but I learned long ago to overlook those. His love shines in so many ways, he's a wonderful husband, son, brother and seeing the love he has for our children, expressed so outwardly, simply makes me love him more each day.

Tommy, what joy, my first child and first taste of what motherhood really was, I cherish every moment with him, loving hearing his voice when he calls and am so very proud of him, he works very hard and is such an incredible man and so very funny!

Christopher, such fun!!!, our bonus son, I wondered if I would have any love left over from Tommy to give him....but quickly found out that loves just multiplies and your heart just grows with it, I enjoy every second with this fine young man who has taught me more about truly being a Christian than I ever taught him and keeps me laughing!

Katie, the icing on our cake, such a sweet, kind and loving young lady. We all fell in love with her instantly and all of us have always been totally overprotective of her, I don't apologize for that at all! Katie shows kindness to everyone, she's always smiling and would never say a mean word to anyone, not even in jest. Oh, how I've just watched and learned from her as Christ shines through her beautiful countenance!

My parents, I could go on and on about them but just let me say that I adore both of them, they've taught me how to love, laugh, forgive and overcome any obstacle!

My siblings, Rick, Randy and Rhonda. Rick and Randy used to tell me I was adopted because my name is Judy...doesn't start with an R...but even though they harassed me endlessly I love them and then our Rhonda was our bonus also, I was 12 when she was born so we all fell in love with her and fought over who got to hold her....such a sweet young woman!

My in-laws and sibling in laws and family...I have been so blessed with having an incredible relationship with my in-laws, no complaints at all!

Our extended families and friends, we have such fun when we are with any of our family, such love and joy!

None of the things above could ever be replaced, they are who they are and I cherish each one of them. We lost my father-in-love in June and this will be our first Christmas season without him, oh how we'll cry because we miss him so, but after the tears there will be laughter and joy because that's what he would want, he loved his family and was always smiling, and wouldn't you know that God gave him a great-grandson before he died that he could hold and love, that little boy will be our hope and joy this Christmas in the midst of the tears, God is so good.

These are what I'm thankful for yesterday, today and forever. It's all pretty simple isn't it? The things that matter the most are not even things!