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 hoping...to 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

Christmas


     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 family...an 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)
Fudge
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 remembering...how 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 ornament-trees.com:

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 decorated....so 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 pistol...lol

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