Monday, November 30, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook



To go to Peggy's daybook....http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com 



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 words...here'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 foodnetwork.com 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:
Laughter
Compromise
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!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Oh no! Eggo's Waffle Shortage!!! A Simple Solution

I've been searching the web this afternoon just for something to keep me occupied so I don't start reading and doze off, I did not sleep last night (which happens sometimes) and I don't want to take a nap today or I'll not sleep tonight either. I was looking around at some of my favorite blogs and oh how I love to see how everyone decorates their pretty homes, I especially enjoy country decorating with some primitive thrown in. I enjoy looking at the primitive decorating but I detest crows and don't care for some of the darker colors used in the decorating, I like things a bit brighter. Anyway, I so enjoy looking at others choices for decorating and it gives me some really good ideas of my own, someday I'll take some photos of my decorating and put them on this blog.
The point of this post is a bit more newsy than me perusing blogs, I also noticed that the third most searched for words for today are about Eggo frozen waffles. If you've not heard or seen, which I saw at our local Kroger the other day, they had some problems with their production so it will be quite awhile until they Eggo's are back in the freezer section of the stores. I decided to check and see what people are saying about this and found it interesting that this is actually a stumbling block in peoples lives!!!!...some of the parents said they didn't know what they were going to do because that's all their kids would eat for breakfast....one lady said they are going to ration them so their children only have half each morning so they'll last longer!!!

I find this incredibly interesting since the majority of our population here in the US live for their gadgets and kitchen gadgets rank right up there as some of the most purchased items, truly a waffle iron can be found for less than $10 just about anywhere and you know as well as I do that most folks have at least one in their pantry that they've probably never even taken out of the box! Makes you wonder if they even know that a frozen waffle is just a waffle that's been cooked and then....frozen, pretty simple huh? So let's see, we throw some flour, eggs, oil and a couple other ingredients in a big bowl, mix it up, heat up the waffle iron and just keep making them until you run out of batter...let them cool and put in a freezer bag to be heated up later in a toaster. And you can even cut up some blueberries, chocolate chips, strawberries or make them with buttermilk and you have some Eggo waffles, except much better and healthier if you use your own ingredients and control the sugar content, etc. Not only that but it's always nice to have homemade and it's especially great on the budget, and think of all the packaging that is not being thrown in the landfills.

Doing a google search brings up over 932,000 recipes so really you can really go crazy with this, even making them a savory instead of a sweet.

Part of the simple life for me is making meals from scratch and making them with simple ingredients, what could be simpler than making a waffle? Yep, pretty simple stuff and amazing to me that people are actually stressing over the lack of Eggo waffles....I can see being concerned about a shortage of milk, eggs, meats, veggies, fruit, etc....but a shortage of frozen waffles, simply amazing!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Simple Cozy Meal

For supper tonight Christopher requested a shepherds pie, but he also wanted a broccoli casserole so that's what we're having, simple yet filling.

I love having shepherds pie simply because it's just so easy to put together and it's got Dan's favorite ingredients in it, ground beef; potatoes and cheese!


Our Shepherd's Pie

  • 1 lb ground beef, browned
  • app. 6 med. potatoes, peeled, cooked and mashed with butter & salt
  • a hunk of cheddar, we shred our own and they like a lot of cheese
put ground beef in deep baking dish, pile potatoes on top, put shredded cheese on top and bake until cheese is melted.


Our Broccoli Casserole

  • 1 bag frozen broccoli (we prefer fresh but can't always get it)
  • 1 sleeve Ritz crackers
  • 1/2 lb Velveeta
  • a bit of butter
Cook broccoli, drain and put in baking dish. Put little pieces of Velveeta all over, sprinkle crushed crackers over and dot with butter, bake until bubbly.

Normally we would not make these two together as it's quite rich, but it's a simple meal and as we had a late lunch we'll only be having small servings of each.
For dessert we might have a clementine, they're so good right now!

I love meals that we can throw together with things we already have in the pantry and of course I love one dish meals, very easy once you get everything precooked, then we just have the baking dishes to wash. We don't use our dishwasher so we like to keep our dirty dishes to a minimum.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Simple Read - Friday Afternoon Club Mysteries


These are excellent books by Cyndy Salzmann, if you don't know who she is you can visit her website at http://cyndysalzmann.wordpress.com/. She's full of insight on organizing and I love that she's quick to say that 'the key to making a home a haven is daily dependence on God'.
This is so true! I am quick to say that I know I must die to self daily and pick up the cross, I want to be an empty vessel for Christ to use and if I'm full of myself how can I invite Him in, no, it's all about being filled with Christ.

These books are about a group of ladies that meet each Friday for some 'girl' time, I'm not a person that's ever felt the need for 'girl' time but then again I've never met such a group of ladies as these! The books are filled with humor and mystery and I really enjoy being with this group of ladies, they are eclectic and yet seem to compliment each other, I guess that's what friendship is all about.

I read the first book and am currently reading the second, at the rate I'm going I'll have it done before bedtime. I've got laundry going and have been to the grocery but still have some chores to attend to. It's a rainy, chilly day here in our part of Kentucky, the perfect kind of day to just cuddle up and read....once those chores are done....most of them....well, okay some of them....I'll do a couple...how about one?....okay just let me get back to my reading then!!!!LOL

If you are looking for a bit of fiction humor by an excellent Christian author then this is the series you're looking for, I give this series:







10 welcome candles

(1-okay 10-awesome)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Simply Following Him

When I was two years old my parents divorced, I didn't see my father again for 28 years. Due to different circumstances my older brothers and I never saw my father or knew anything about his life. We lived with our mother (who is the sweetest woman in the world), and were loved by our extended family, my mother had 8 siblings who all went on to have large families of their own, needless to say we were never at a loss for familial love! (one of moms sisters died before having children, she was married and died as a result of a fire at their home).
Anyway, the boys and I never did without anything and our growing up years were as normal as any other family throughout the sixties and seventies, our mother was an excellent homekeeper and worked very hard so we could live in our home with yard and woods as far as the eye could see. We didn't have a lot of extras but then again I don't think most folks did back then, everybody was just getting by and working to support their families.
When I was 9 my mother married my step father and when I was 12 my baby sister Rhonda was born, such joy our family had never known!!! Rhonda brought such fun and joy to us and as we all struggled through those teen years we had some ups and downs but made it through pretty well unscathed.

Fast forward to 1990, when I was 30.........
My stepfather and mother divorced, it was amicable and was simply the thing that needed to happen. My older brother decided at this time that he would find our father and I guess see if he could somehow go about starting the process that would heal a lot of deep wounds. Well, he found my father and reintroduced him to my mother, when I was 30 I was their maid of honor in their wedding and they have been married now for 19 years.

Growing up I would have never, ever thought this would happen, our lives were just completely separated from my father and I would never have sought out my father, I was a very stubborn (claiming to be Christian.....oh yes, I certainly was) young lady and didn't 'need' my father in my life. Oh such anger and I believe I allowed to continue compounding until I was so very 'self righteous' I suddenly stopped talking to my mother. If she was going to do this then I would have nothing to do with her, I was also pregnant at the time but will not say this was prego hormones, no this was downright stubbornness. That's right, this sweet little woman who would have then and would now lay down her life for me, I decided that I would not forgive her for forgiving my father for leaving us. Do you see the twist here? She, the woman that had been scorned and left to raise three children alone!!!, was able to forgive because forgiveness was what she had to do....why?....because Christ forgave and if Christ could forgive, who was she to hold onto anger and be unforgiving.....and yet I purposely would not speak to her and was very cruel to her, all because she did what the scriptures say we must do. Yes, that sweet little woman was able to take all of those years of hurt and just lay them at the foot of the cross....and get this!!!!-she didn't take them back....as so many of us do. She forgave and that was that. Such an incredible example of a godly woman I had!!!

A few months later I got over my little childish tantrum and realized that if she was happy I should be happy, she had done everything for me so now it was time for me to give that back. I've watched my father be an incredibly loving husband to my little mama and grandfather to my children, but most importantly that sweet man stood in front of me and allowed me to say horrible things to him, never once saying anything back but 'I'm sorry', I guess you probably realize now that my father was also now a Christian and the rest is history, yes, we've had some sadness in our lives as we've dealt with losing loved ones but our family unit is stronger than ever and the whole reason why is because we all are....simply following Him.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Click the image to visit Peggy's daybook.

For today November 16, 2009,
Here in Kentucky...

Outside my window...bright sunshine, the woods are looking very sparse, no leaves left on the trees.

I am thinking...how much I'm enjoying having an i pod, it's a hand me down from my son but so nice, incredible device isn't it? I grew up during records, then we got 8tracks, then cassettes and then I was amazed at CD's, now I can have thousands of songs on this little tiny device and the sound is incredible. Of course I don't know thousands of songs, I think I've got about 42 on it!LOL An ipod definitely shows that technology can simplify our lives!

I am thankful for...a surprise this morning when dh didn't get up for work, he took the day off to surprise us!!!

I am remembering...my phone call with my Tommy last night, he's such a funny guy!

I am going...today to the library and post office, then just the usual grocery visits for fresh items

I am reading...through the Christmas Country Sampler magazine, also the Christmas Country Accents magazine, I love all the country decorating for Christmas

I am hoping...to get my signs listed on our website today, to get a Christmas gift started for my Tommy

On my mind...how refreshing our little drive was yesterday, it's always nice to get away for a little bit and clear those cobwebs, always does me some good

Noticing that...life is finally getting back to normal after my bout with clinical depression, I'm so very thankful

Pondering these words..."It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord..." Psalm 92:1, we should remember this every day, not just once a year!

From the kitchen...pork roast, broccoli, Katie's homemade bread, potato casserole

Around the house...lots of work in the garage (our woodshop) today, trying to organize all those stencils and signs

One of my favorite things...listening to Christopher and Katie, they are very funny!!!

From my picture journal...
One of my favorite signs that we make.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Simple Days


Today and yesterday were days of being in the car all day running errands. We live a ways from town so there's no way to get there quickly so we spend a lot of time traveling. I do not enjoy these days very much, I'm a homebody and always will be!!! I love being at home and taking care of things here, working on our home business or just sitting and chatting with Christopher and Katie....we spend a lot of time sitting and chatting!!!! Dan is a watch TV kinda fellow, he's happy to be sitting in front of the TV watching Kentucky Wildcat Basketball, westerns, and he loves those disgusting emergency room shows that are so very gross!!! He is a sport guy and can watch them all day. Through the years I've had friends that have said 'how can you stand for him to be sitting there watching TV all day', my response is very simple....as long as he's home with me it doesn't bother me at all, that's just his thing. Dan would never dream of stopping at a sports bar or anyplace else, he either stops to get something for his sweet little mama if she needs something or he might stop at the store to get a treat but he always comes straight home....so how on earth could I complain about him watching TV...I love him being home!
Now we are finally home and Katie is making us Chicken Parmesan (Christopher's request) with salad and Panera asiago cheese bread. Being home is so wonderful and the fact that Dan is so eager to come home everyday means that our home is a good place to be, that makes this keeper at home very happy!!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Simple Seasons of Life

Do you ever wake up some days and wonder how you got to be the age you are and when did life turn around so suddenly? Today is one of those days for me. Dan is gone to take his mom to the Dr. and run some errands. Since his dad passed away suddenly in June, Dan and his sister and brother have made themselves available whenever she needs them. I just sometimes wonder when life changed so suddenly, it's a strange place to be taking care of your children and your parents, of course we don't mind at all and when the time comes for my parents to need help we will be there for them also, that's just how it is with us, family is everything.
Dan's parents grew up and lived in a small little town all their lives, his dad rode the bus to work and his mother never got a drivers license. Interestingly enough, neither of her brothers have ever had a drivers license either. Anyway a few years ago his parents moved out to a more rural area to a condo and really loved living there, Dan's dad did have a license and they had their own car so they were able to go as they pleased.
Dan's sweet mama is now living there but with no transportation so one of her kids takes her wherever she needs to go. They do dote on her because they love her so much, and she is so very appreciative. The kids and I try to make meals and take to her also as I know she doesn't really feel like cooking just for herself.
Dan does a lot of stopping at the store for her as it's on his way home from work and his sister is there a lot also and spends the night and takes her places.
I love that Dan cares so much about his mother, that's a wonderful trait to have in a husband I think. His compassion and caring are a couple of reasons I fell in love with him in the first place and I'm so proud of him for taking care of his mother.
We have a lot of love in our family, we always have and we appreciate every moment and any blessings the Lord bestows on us, we are certainly unworthy of it all. This is a new season of life but I'm finding that it's not difficult at all, if you love someone you take care of them, it's that simple. Putting Christ at the center seems to give you the calm, peace and hope you need when life makes a complete turnaround on you, knowing He is there with us is what calms every storm and allows us to grow in the midst of it all.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Simple Read - Jacques and Cleo Mysteries by Gilbert Morris

I just finished reading this series this evening. These books are set in the Alabama Gulf Coast and I really enjoyed the setting as he described it, simply beautiful.
Jacques and Cleo are two cats that live with a menagerie of other critters after being transported from Memphis TN.
The setting is great and the storyline is pretty good, I think I've gotten so used to having a good sense of suspense and intrigue from the other books I've been reading that these didn't seem quite as mysterious.
The books are written very well and I enjoyed the whole premise of them, unfortunately at the end of the last book I didn't feel as though the series was ended, I hate when that happens. I found that I had some questions that were answered and really felt like there should have been a fourth in the series.
All in all it was good, there was some humor and of course had a good Christian theme to it, meaning all the good folks were Christians and the rest just a step away from being brought in the fold.
I'm ready to move on now, I have some books by Linda Hall that I'm going to start tonight, we'll see if they are good, I've read some of her books before and liked her writing style.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Click the image above to visit Peggy's daybook.

For Today, November 9th, 2009...
Here in Kentucky...

Outside my window.....dark clouds in the sky, overcast but warm. Definitely looks like Fall outside, the trees are almost barren and grass is losing it's lushness!

I am thinking.....how we take for granted the smallest things in life
, like a bed to sleep in, running water, remote controls for everything! I grew up being the remote control!!!...back when we had to manually change the channels, it was always the kid's job!

I am thankful for.....today, specifically for our son Tommy, what an incredible blessing he is to us! Such love we have for him!

I am wearing.....lavender calico jumper, lavender top and sandals...too warm for socks and shoes

I am remembering.....the excitement we felt when we moved into this home, we are people that appreciate the smallest of things, just having a deck to stand on to watch the stars at night out here in the country, we could never see them with the city lights!

I am going.....no plans for the week, hopefully just a couple of trips to the grocery for fresh items

I am reading.....well, I finished the first two books in the Sophie Trace series by Kathy Herman and can't wait for the next one to come out! Right now I'm
reading the Jacques & Cleo series by Gilbert Morris, it's a pretty good series but I seem to miss the suspense and mystery from the other books I've read recently.

I am hoping.....to finish up taking the photos of our signs and open our website very soon!

On My Mind.....really just the need to get things organized an
d in their place, I'm getting there but it's a process that takes awhile and a lot of effort!

From the learning rooms.....our homeschool days are over but we're constantly learning, I am enjoying reading some dear Christian ladies blogs and trying out some of their ways to organize, menu plan and most importantly the upkeep!

Noticing that.....everything seems so much quieter in the fall, even inside our home, just a few small noises here and there. We're not folks that leave a T
V on all day so our days are pretty quiet, very nice!!!

Pondering these words.....'Bloom where you are planted', I constantly have to remind myself of this, I must enjoy today and not fret about tomorrow. My home may not be the ultimate farm house that we want, but I'll enjoy it 'today' and be grateful!

From the kitchen.....we made brownies last night for those with a sweet tooth during the week, tonight we'll be having leftovers from the last week, one of those 'you choose' meals!

Around the house.....very quiet today, my Katie is feeling sick with a headache, Christopher is busy with his 'things' and I'm just trying to be quiet and stay close to Katie in case she needs me, Dan will be home soon after running an errand after work for his sweet mom.

One of my favorite things.....sitting down and watching the Road to Avonlea series, we've been watching these for years and have almost all of them on DVD now, the story lines are great and it's just such an excellent wholesome show, it's definitely our favorite series of all time. The only channels we really watch are Food Network, TLC (love the Duggars!!!), Travel channel, Create and Fox Soccer Channel (for Christopher and Katie's Europea
n 'Football' games). We don't watch sitcoms, etc., they've just all become so ridiculous...just trash!!! So we enjoy our DVD's, that way we choose what we watch!

From my Picture Journal.....
Our Katie covered up with her 'Nani' bear (Nani plays for Manchester United) with her Manchester United scarf folded up on her head, this is the way you see Katie every time they're playing!!! We just think she's so cute!!! Odd, but cute!!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Simple Treasures

I think sometimes about the choices we make in life. I know a lot of people that are really into their things, they say they couldn't live without their ipod or PDA, etc. Thinking along these lines really make you start to notice how folks live their lives and where they put their priorities.
I'm a people watcher, one of my favorite things used to be going to the airport while Dan was working and just watching people walk by, it's a curious thing to see all these people walking every which way, you wonder if they are flying away on vacation, visiting family, work or are they just coming home. Sometimes my curiosity would get the best of me and I'd start a conversation just to find out about people's lives, I'm content with my life but always curious about others!
Years ago I had a friend who had inherited a ring from her grandmother, the diamond in this ring was well over 2 carats and she was very concerned about keeping it safe. She put the ring in a safe deposit box at the bank to keep it safe, I wonder if she ever took it out and wore it or just kept it locked up at the bank. She worried about it so much she couldn't enjoy it, kinda strange, huh?
I've never been one for jewelry, I wear my wedding ring and sometimes wear my charm bracelet and earrings, which I love not because they're expensive because they're not, I love them because Katie made them all for me, I've got enough earrings that I could wear a different pair every day for 2 months thanks to our resident jeweler! These are things I enjoy, I don't treasure them I just enjoy them.
I know people that keep all of their jewelry locked up in safes or safe deposit boxes because they're worried about them being stolen, these same people take their little 5 year old out and put them on a school bus (not knowing the driver) to send to school without blinking an eye....of course my point is that our children are gifts, we are not to throw them on a bus and send them away.
Through our years of being parents we've had many, many, many people tell us that we are overprotective of our children, I don't think that's possible, they are given to us to protect, nurture, love, teach and enjoy, we always enjoyed having them with us wherever we went...and still do, they are our best friends! I know others feel differently but every time I look at one of them I have that same wonderful feeling I had the moment they were first placed into my arms, they are our treasures here on earth! What could be sweeter?!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Simple Homekeeping

Life has been very unorganized these last few weeks, with my bout with depression things just seemed to have gotten out of hand. Katie is an excellent homekeeper and keeps things so tidy but the problem was our master bedroom. Our master bedroom is on the first floor and it's pretty large compared to the rest of the house but we this is also where we have the computer and desk, which means people in and out all day. Well, I like things a certain way so I told everyone that I would get our room straightened out when I was able to do things and have a clear mind. My bout is over so now it's time to get moving. I've spent the day clearing out some spaces, moving things to their proper place, making soap (because Christopher was almost out and needed some), took pics of our signs, did some things in the kitchen for Katie, cleaned out closets and then cut up potatoes, carrots and onions to put in a cooking bag in the oven with stew beef, Katie made some of her yummy white bread (per Chris' request), so that's what we're having for supper.
Lots to do when things go undone for awhile, but it could not be helped and I don't feel guilty at all, sometimes you can only do what you can do. Tomorrow we rest and enjoy spending time together and I plan to spend some time in the afternoon updating my home management binder and crocheting some Christmas gifts.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Titus 2 Thoughts

In reflection, I think it's interesting to note that as older women, the things we are to be teaching as per scripture is first of all as Jesus said to love God, and to love one another. Then we are to teach how to love our husbands, our children and to take care of their needs, laying ourselves down for them. Next is to keep our homes, physically clean and tidy and spiritual in guarding what comes into and against our homes and family. As described in the article, most women seem to be teaching about theology and doctrine etc., first instead of the things described in scripture about homekeeping. It would be weird for me to teach a class of men how to do the many things I take care of during the course of a day. I think that's part of why God has given men & women so many different talents. He has his part to do in the family relationship and she has her part to do to keep things up & running.
The breakdown occurs when sin is allowed in, focus is on self, instead of laying down ourselves for others and respect is lost. As we all know we are bombarded with the theme, it's all about me these days. I'm saddened but not surprised when people have trouble distinguishing between roles, respecting and honoring them.

These are just from some of my notes on Titus 2, I cannot remember who wrote it but I really find it so very important for those of us that are keepers of our homes.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Simple Choices for the Home

Years ago Christopher started have some sensitivity to different products so I decided to see if I could do some research and figure out how to make things with the least amount of ingredients, especially nontoxic. It's amazing what you can find when you start researching on the web, back then there were not as many sites as there are now but I found enough between the web and the library to start making things that would be less irritating to our bodies as a whole. It's amazing what is in lipstick, eye shadow, mascara, soap, shampoo, cleaning products, personal items, etc. that we would never think to put on our bodies as individual ingredients, it's just out of control.
There are some products that are specifically organic and chemical free but I felt that if I could make them myself I could not only cut down on the chemicals coming into our home but also it would be cost saving.
We now can make our own soap, laundry detergent, dish washing detergent, cleaning products, food items, etc. Making it all from items that most folks would generally have in their home. Baking soda is an incredible thing, it goes in a lot of our homemade cleaning items.
This really opened our eyes to the things we could make from scratch and we've really gone crazy with it, we also make a lot of our own clothes, dishcloths, feminine products and most of our food from scratch.
Our goal is to one day be totally self sufficient and lower our outgoing garbage to nil, reusing items is a given with us but we always know we can do better.
These simple choices are what works for us and we're always striving to do better for ourselves, the environment and our fellow man, we want to have a better earth for our future generations.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Not so Simple Read - Deadline/Dominion/Deception by Randy Alcorn

These images are from Randy Alcorns website, you can purchase the books at http://epm.org/books/fiction-index.htm .
Deception
Deception, is a spin-off of Randy’s first two novels, Deadline and Dominion. Ollie Chandler is a brilliant and quick-witted homicide detective with exceptional deductive skills and street smarts. He's a police department legend for his off-beat methods that solve crimes and coax confessions. Read more...

Deadline
Deadline is the story of a politically correct journalist forced by tragic and mysterious circumstances to come to terms with his own mortality. In the process he must also deal with the consequences of his skewed perspectives on life, family, morality, and religion. Intended for believers and unbelievers. Read more...

Dominion
In the footsteps of his best-selling novel Deadline, author Randy Alcorn tells an exciting story filled with drama. The characters are so real you'll never forget them. Read more...

I have been extremely impressed with this series, I like to read fiction but also to be challenged and to learn something along the way, that's why I love Christian fiction, it always reminds me of things that need to be brought to my attention.
This series by Randy Alcorn has been one of the toughest I've ever read, because it put me in situations I've not been in. I was shown life in the inner city that I've heard of but probably would never have seen. I learned about the inner workings of gangs, their jargon and the hierarchy and a glimpse of the anger and hatred that sparks such violence. I was shown life as a detective, complete with all of the 'Dick Tracy' jargon and saw the violence that is commonplace in their life. I was shown life as a newspaper reporter and how what is written can spark such deep emotions, some good and some so very dark.
The depth in these books has to come from some serious research, it shows and you are pulled into their world and feel their emotions and fears. Not every author can accomplish this so it's incredible that I felt this in all three books of the series.
I'm a Caucasian 49 year old woman that has not seen much of this in my life, it's just that I've always lived in Kentucky, just outside of town or in the country. My life before children was a computer operator/computer room manager back in the late 70's and early 80's and that company was also out of the urban areas, since then my life has been about raising/homeschooling our children and keeping our home while Dan works, I did work for short times as a NA in a nursing home with my mother (we loved our jobs!) and a teacher at a MDO program at our former church and babysat occasionally. We've driven through Cincinnati going to Dr. appointments at Children's hospital, so we've seen the inner city, just never saw any of the real life there.
These books took me to a place I would probably never had gone, we all of course have our own problems, worries, concerns, fears and troubles but these books not only put me in the lives of those I've never known, the truth is in the fact that through all of it the hope of Heaven and life eternal with Christ is the ultimate experience. I was also given a glimpse of Mr. Alcorn's fictional view or Hell and I know without a doubt that I don't want to go there, but maybe more importantly...and what we were really to see, is that we must show God's love to all we meet...because not only do I not want to go to that Hell, I would not wish that upon my very worst enemy.
I'm glad I read this series and I'm glad to move on to something a little less intense, but I'm a different person from having read them and I will never, ever go back to the person I was, I'm certainly changed forever.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook


FOR TODAY, November 2nd, 2009
Here in Kentucky...

Outside my window... a beautiful sunny afternoon, the trees had a workout the past few days with wind and rain, now the leaves are all but gone.

I am thinking... how wonderful it is to live where we experience all four seasons very richly, this has been the perfect year for weather. We had a fairly cool summer, a few weeks of autumn and now are getting very cool temps and ready for winter, I love all the seasons, I'm always ready for the change!

I am thankful for... a husband that may not agree with me being adamant about certain things, such as homeschooling, but allows me to do what I feel strongly led to because of my strong faith.

I am wearing... white long sleeved top and my green gingham jumper

I am remembering... just looking for today, no time for looking back today

I am going... to a mass tonight that is for my dfil, Dan's family are catholic, tomorrow is all about working on our home business, which means a trip to the hardware store, then just trips for the post office to drop off orders and maybe the library to pick up books

I am reading... finished the last Randy Alcorn book yesterday, WOW, and now have started on the Sophie Trace trilogy by Kathy Herman, I'm loving it already!

I am hoping...to get quite a few batches of soap made this week, have been behind on my projects and need to catch up

On my mind... the fact that my second child will be 23 tomorrow! It's amazing to me how quickly time goes. What an incredible blessing that young man is to our lives!

From the learning rooms... new soap recipes

Noticing that... things have really slowed down in our home with the cooler temps

Pondering these words... stop looking to yesterday in guilt or anticipating tomorrow with anxiety

From the kitchen... will be takeout today, since we'll be going out tonight (which is extremely rare for us)

Around the house... lots of tidying and continued organizing, it's amazing how scrambled things can get when I'm out of action for awhile. It's all my fault because it's mainly my stuff, I just need to dig in and get it done!

One of my favorite things~ hearing the words 'I Love You', dmil just called and before we hung up we voiced that to each other, as I do with all of my loved ones, some folks think it's just redundant to say it, I couldn't agree less, we all need to hear those words as often as possible!

From my picture journal... this is one of our new wooden signs we're making, I love decorating with these signs, we also sell them in our online store.
To view Peggy's blog, click here