Monday, February 22, 2010

The Purchase...and My Crazy Mixed Emotions

So, I did promise pictures of our latest fun purchase....which, somehow, seem a bit petty to me. Perhaps I feel this way after the messages from yesterday at church - I'm not really sure. Our pastor finished a series about the end times with a sermon about Heaven. Heaven. A topic so dear to every Christian heart, I suppose, but even more so when "part of your heart" is there. It was a message filled with hope and encouragment; yet, for some reason, I have been so heavy hearted since then.

I LOVE - that Tyler is there...and experiencing all that awaits us in Heaven.
I HATE - that Tyler is there...without us.

I LOVE - the assurance that we will know (and be known) - and long to see Tyler once again.
I HATE - the possibility of more separation here in order to gain Heaven.

It is hard to explain. However, I suppose even the apostle Paul felt this total mix of emotions....desiring Heaven, yet torn. Enough with my feelings for the day. I did say I would have pictures........



TA DA...we (finally) bought a pool table. We like to think of it as "big kid" fun. Mind you, I have NO idea how to play pool but we have already had alot of fun trying to learn something about the game. I do know that whenever my husband scratches on the last eight ball - I win!! I might still have all my balls on the table - but I win!! We have wanted a pool table for quite awhile but had zero room for it in our other house so we are excited to get one...and look forward to a lot of fun when everyone is home! (My Jordan is really good at this game!!)

I would actually have more pictures but WHY is loading photos from blogger so time consuming and frustrating?!?!? Does anyone else have this problem? I want to place them in a certain place in the post but, oh no, they place themselves wherever they want!! UGH. My hats off to those of you who can post zillions of beautiful photos in a single post. I'd be here all day. But you got the idea:)

Friday, February 19, 2010

A New Andy.....and Cupcake Heaven


Last week this time, I was headed out of the house...just to get out of the house. (Thankfully, there has been no more snow and the week has been a tad more "normal".) I ended up having lunch with a girlfriend, eating way too many fries which I normally can pass up....totally blaming my cabin fever...and then browsed a few antique stores. It was such a nice afternoon. I even found a too cute purse which is unusual for me. I tend to have a hard time finding a purse I like; who knew - I needed to be looking in the antique stores?!?!
Then on Saturday, Hubbie and I went out again. We scouted around a small historical town not far from home. When I say small, think a couple streets - but we had a good time on those few streets. We found a new Mexican restaurant - locally owned and very delicious (remember, I'm not a huge Mexican food fan...that whole "all the food running together on the plate" thing) and then an old house converted into an antique store. All the different rooms each had somewhat of a theme. I discovered this sweet little Andy and just couldn't leave him there.....I think his "wish" was for me to take him home:)
And - then - we discovered it! Yes, we found Cupcake Heaven!! And, it was heavenly. Cutest little cafe (think tea room of sorts) with 12-13 varieties of homemade cupcakes and several fancy coffees to go with!! What more could I ask for?? I had a cookies and creme cupcake but definitely think I need to return once a week for the next three months in order to try them all!! Cupcakes are definitely not just for kids anymore!
We picked up a few other things at one other consignment store and then bought something totally fun for our new house. But, you will have to wait until next week to see what that was (basically until I upload some more pictures..ha). Have a wonderful weekend. I am looking for some serious melting to take place......please!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Would You Share a Bite with Mimi??

Some days are just better if I say nothing at all - then I think, "But I've gotta blog!!" HA - so, instead......just a little somethin' to make me smile!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Stop the Drama

I am reading through the Bible with my church this year. I love the discipline of this; however, I have to admit that reading "categorically", as we are this year, has been a bit of a challenge for me. Each day there are several chapters to read according to the divisions of the Bible - the law, history, prophecy, etc. - but we only read each category once a week. Think of reading one chapter a night in six or seven different novels. Yes, I know the Bible is all one book and all "goes together" but my thinker has a hard time stopping and starting in the middle of great Bible stories...especially the Old Testament ones.

That said, instead of trying to process the entire passage I'm reading each time - often, I ask the Lord to show me something through just one verse....and He always answers (if I'm listening). For instance, not long ago, we were reading Isaiah 29-33. For me, that is five chapters of "heavy" reading. However, this verse is among those chapters.

Isaiah 32:17 "and the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever."

Peace....beautiful. Before our adorable Miss Roo was born, her mommy (our daughter) was a middle-school English teacher. Teasingly, we all used to wonder why anyone would teach middle schoolers?? Goodness, the middle school drama - and there was never a lack of it. Drama, of course, is not limited to middle schoolers....think teenage girls - and, now, there are even tremendous drama queens in elementary school. There is drama in the workplace, the neighborhood, in politics and, well you get the picture. In fact, our society seems to be driven by drama (don't even get me started on reality tv and feeding off of other's drama)!

However, this verse in Isaiah tells us righteousness brings peace....quiets the drama and calms the soul. Surely that should be the pursuit of our homes. We may not be able to stop all the drama that surrounds us but our homes can be a sanctuary from all the drama. Leave your drama at the door might well be a motto. Our homes may not always be quiet - in fact, I love the "noise" of family....whether its teenagers laughing with their friends, toddlers and other little ones giggling and running about, or babies "singing for their supper"! (In fact, I miss many of those sounds.) But our homes can still be characterized by peace.

The next verse (18) says, "and my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation..." As we hunger and seek after righteousness in our homes - individually and together as a family - we can create a refuge from the world's drama....a place of real peace.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

God said No

Just some food for thought.......

I asked God to take away my habit;
God said No.
It is not for me to take away, but for you to give it up.

I asked God to make my handicapped child whole;
God said No.
His spirit is whole, His body is only temporary.

I asked God to grant me patience;
God said No.
Patience is a byproduct of tribulations;
It is not granted but is learned.

I asked God to give me happiness;
God said No.
I give you blessings; happiness is up to you.

I asked God to spare me pain;
God said No.
Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares,
And brings you closer to me.

I asked God to make my spirit grow;
God said No.
You must grow on your own,
But I will prune you to make you fruitful.

I asked God for all things that I might enjoy life;
God said No.
I will give you life,
So that you might enjoy all things.

I asked God to help me love others, as much as He loves me;
God said...
Now, you are getting the idea.

Monday, February 15, 2010

It was Sweet!


I went totally "crazy" yesterday and wore pink to church (among the sea of red!) and I actually had a girlfriend tease me about "falling for the Hallmark holiday" - you betcha! I love Valentine's Day! She told me the tired line about not needing a day to tell her sweetheart she loves him.....neither do I, but what fun that there is such a day! A chance to do something silly, or fun (or even romantic) for the ones we love - and just because!.....I can think of a lot "worse" holidays. So, if this is a Hallmark invented holiday - thanks, Hallmark!

Hubbie and I had a wonderful day - and my sweet kiddos made me feel very loved as well. The flowers came with a beautiful card and were from all the kids (including my special guy in Heaven).....


I made Hubbie meat and potatoes (definitely says "I love you" to him) and we exchanged gifts. He gave me that smaller pale pink cake stand on the table - love it! I wish those flutes came out better in the picture - they have red and pink Valentine wishes on them and are too cute. I forgot the sparkling juice but we toasted tea just as well - ha.

We finished the day off last night watching "Sense and Sensibility" on PBS! Can't get that man to watch a "romantic" DVD to save my life - but he is a sucker for PBS dramas...and even Jane Austen! Too cute. I hope your Valentine's Day was filled with super sweet moments with all those that you love.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Frozen Falls

These pictures were sent to my husband. They are supposedly Niagara Falls completely frozen over! Honestly, I have no idea if they are the real deal (I'm sorta doubting it) but as crazy as my mind is getting from feeling "stuck" in this house...I'll believe just about anything! Including thoughts like: all of this snow will never melt....we will never see the green grass again....if I don't get out of the house, I'll die....I'd give anything to live in Africa (the Carribbean, maybe, but Africa could be a stretch)....and, my personal favorite, if summer ever does get here, I will never complain about the weather again!!

I brain is going a bit stir crazy - so, today I am getting out of the house. Don't know where exactly I am going, but I'm there:) 'Cause you just never know.....Niagara Falls could freeze over - its CRAZY weather out there!! Keep warm, friends.

the caption says, "just how cold and how long was it that cold".....Indeed!!!



So, I have been silly today - but isn't that the coolest picture??

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Some Little Things


Yes, this is a picture of my oatmeal scotchies - long gone! - that I could not upload the other day (the batteries died in the camera) but I like the little sign on my counter that I've set out for Valentine's this week....

Love the little things in life
This week's Thankful Thursday is "dedicated" to the little things in life....
** our gas fireplace - I know I've mentioned this one before, but we are so enjoying our fireplace...especially these past days when the winds are literally howling outside. We also get a kick of the dog laid out within inches of the screen..just soaking up the warmth.
**having Hubbie home during the day and not a list of errands to run (like a typical Saturday)..just enjoying being together and we have worked on a few projects around the house which are always more fun done together.
**getting caught up on filing and "paperwork"....all the pieces of paper that are slow to be put away...all neat and orderly - I love it.
**no problems with electricity - not all of my friends have been as fortunate. One girlfriend was without power and water (has a well) for three days...and, of course, her hubbie was stuck out of town when the airports all closed. She was burying refrigerator items in the yard under the snow to salvage what she could and she and her kids were melting snow on the edge of the wood stove in order to fill the toilet tanks so they could flush! I'm tellin' ya - nothing on the pioneer woman! FYI - it takes about ten inches of snow to make one inch of water?!?!?
**my Keurig coffee maker - I'm really not a coffee connisseur but I drink it in order to enjoy all the yummy creamers, etc. that you can put in it:) Don't really know a thing about brewing coffee but this Keuring makes a great cup every time - too easy.
**our ever faithful mailman.....if you could see the challenge it is to get to each mailbox!
**email (speaking of mail)...and opening mine and finding an email from Jordan - totally makes my day!!
Ah, well - I could go on but I'll stop there for today. Enjoy a little thing today - this Thankful Thursday.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I Thessalonians 5:18

"In everything, give thanks......"
It snowed last night. Again.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Busy in the Kitchen to Pass the Time

Staying at home and inside for so many days...I have had some fun in the kitchen - baking and trying new recipes. None of the new meals were complete flops but some were better than others and I want to share them here - especially so I can have them filed somewhere for easy access in the future.

Thai Peanut Chicken was pretty good but not sure I would use the recipe I had again. Thai cuisine is something new for Hubbie and I but I've only tried this one recipe. The flavors were okay; we really don't care for baked chicken too much and that was this recipe. Any good Thai recipes??

Creamed Chicken over Biscuits was a hit for Hubbie. He likes anything that bascially goes together on the plate - one dish suppers, casseroles of any kind, you get the idea. Me, not as much. Even Mexican meals tend to be a little "slop"py on the plate for me - but, this creamed chicken which filled his plate was just his style so I guess I'll make this one again.

1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
3 cups cooked, chopped chicken breast
2 cups frozen vegetables, thawed and drained
1 cup toasted sliced almonds

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour and add broth, cream, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix together and cook until thickened (this took longer than I thought). Stir in chicken, peas and almonds. Heat through and serve over hot biscuits. (I made homemade biscuits - total bust. I would use frozen ones.)

I also had a new recipe for Poppyseed Chicken - but, really, nothing (so far) beats the recipe at Heritage Schoolhouse. The recipe here is fantastic! Last night, I made Oatmeal Scotchies. Nice sidenote...I was POSITIVE I had all the ingredients but in my typical fashion, I was missing one thing - and this time, it was the oatmeal! Not much of an oatmeal scotchie without oatmeal - so, Hubbie drove me to the Target on the icy roads just to get oatmeal. So sweet - and he really doesn't like oatmeal...even an oatmeal cookie. But, he LOVED these cookies:) Even he was surprised. So this recipe is a keeper. Turns out, the recipe is right on the back of the butterscotch morsels bag but I'll file it here as well. I also think these cookies would be devine with added coconut or, perhaps, a mix of butterscotch and chocolate morsels! Yum.

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar (I actually used Splenda blend and they were delish)
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups quick or old-fashioned oats
one 11 oz. bag of butterscotch flavored morsels

Preheat oven to 375.

Combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon - set aside. Beat butter, sugars, eggs, vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in oats and morsels. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for two minutes and remove to wire racks.


I think I'll go have another one just now with a glass of milk. And I have a few more new recipes to try this week:)

Monday, February 8, 2010

At Least, One of Us Had Fun in the Snow:)

I had thought I would do my daybook entry today...but all of my entries seem to settle around one thing - snow! It seems to be consuming our thoughts - our days! - lately. So, in an effort to maintain my good attitude - or at least squelch my poor attitude (enough already!), I'm just sharing a few more snow photos:)

I actually was outside yesterday - and shoveled snow! Probably should get that one down on the blog for memory's sake. I will admit the dogs are totally entertaining in the snow. I don't really have any pictures of our little Rascal....he barely ventures out of the garage - its cold out there and that is one smart puppy! The big one, though, would stay outside all day!

Hopefully,these will be the last of snow photos. They were taken on my cell phone and are not the best quality but want to share them with my family suffering in Florida (those chilly 50 degree nights are just getting to them!) Puhlease. Although my daughter told me she has never built a snowman in her life....her life! Is that the saddest or what?
"Can I jump? or just ski down??"
"I KNOW this is where I usually "mess with" the birds???"
Seriously...does she have the cutest face, or what??

Talk about cute?? My studly, hard-workin Hubby!!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Our Blizzard

The snow has finally stopped!! And, my goodness, did it snow! The weatherman just said they recorded 32 inches at the airport (not far from here!) All I know is there is ALOT of snow:)

And let the shoveling begin...... Actually, Hubbie has been working in stages since last night but this one was hard to keep up with. (Just for the record, I am very supportive - and keep the fire going (its gas:) ) and the hot coffee coming!!) Am I brave, or what??


I tried to get pictures but it is just white everywhere...well, because it is simply snow everywhere you look!!

Even the strong and sturdy evergreens are groaning - and I have no idea how our bushes are fairing down under those inches - no feet - of snow!

The snow is even too much for the dog - ha! (How does one "take care of business" like this??)
And I won't even get started on another storm headed our way for Tuesday. Are. You. Kidding. Me. It is going to be a long - uh, I mean, cozy weekend:)





Friday, February 5, 2010

Some Valentine Fun

So I am assured that the blizzard is on its way...so far today, the snow has been anything but impressive. So, no snowman - at least, not yet. We did get out - before we get "stuck in" - and found some fun bargains for the house and, so, I have to appreciate the snow for that:)

Since I have no snowmen pictures, I thought I would join Mama Hen for her super cute Valentine meme. So, here goes:

1. Describe your valentine in five words or less:
dependable, faithful, steadfast, handsome and "old-school":)

2. Best valentine present you ever received? I really have got nothin' here (we don't usually give gifts) but I'm going with the stuffed bumble bee?!??!

3. Worst valentine present you ever received? a card

4. Your favorite valentine candy? dark chocolate - hands down!!

5. Would you rather receive chocolate or flowers? Flowers

6. A dress-up candlelight dinner out or a movie snuggling at home? Dinner out - especially the dress-up and candlelight kind!

7. Your favorite romantic movie? Shall We Dance (I think, maybe, in another life I was a ballroom dancer:) )

8. Your favorite romantic song? I have no idea. Pathetic, I know. But my valentine, honestly, is not a music appreciator and romantic songs??? I don't know.

What about your valentine - why not join in the fun? I think some of the questions were hard:)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Snowmen!

Thankful Thursday.....and I am thankful today for snowmen! Yes, I am trying to have a better attitude about all this snowy weather (you know, MORE is on the way?!?!) but it is a little more than that. I had such a good time with my little preschoolers class at church last night! And we talked about snowmen....and, boy, were they excited! It was alot of fun.


Have you noticed no two snowmen are alike...each as individual as the one who made it? We had fun talking about how God made each one of us unique and special....and that we are "wonderfully" made - they had fun with that, too!!
Just being honest here, but I struggle quite a bit with self-image - I think many women do. It is so easy to teach these little ones how special they are and exactly as God created them....and yet so difficult for me to grasp that truth for myself.
I told Hubbie that IF the big snows come this weekend, we are going out to make ourselves a snowman! Not only did he like it...he said we are going to the mall tonight because he needs boots - who would have guessed it??! I hope each snowman I see will be a gentle reminder that God loves me....just the way He created me.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Caramel Pecan Bars

Last weekend when I was snowed in, to beat the boredom, I baked these:

Caramel Pecan Bars!!

1 cup butter
2 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsps. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsps. baking powder
2 cups chopped pecans

1. In a saucepan, heat butter and brown sugar over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. In a mixing bowl, combine the eggs, vanilla and butter mixture. Combine flour and baking powder; gradually add to the butter mixture. Stir in pecans.

2. Spread into a greased 13X9 baking pan. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes ot until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out with moist crumbs and edges are crips. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Dust with confectioners' sugar, if desired (I did not). Cut into bars.

Definitely a good way to "sweeten" another snow day. Since it is only the two of us, I halved this recipe and it worked great. If you love nuts, these are for you. I feel certain I found this recipe some time back on someone's blog but I honestly have no idea...if it was yours, thanks!! (and let me know.)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Where is Spring??

A Simple Woman's Daybook: Feb. 1, 2010

Outside my window....there is snow - again! Yes, it is beautiful as it is coming down. Yes, I enjoyed a "snow day" at home with Hubbie. Honestly, though, I have had my fill of snow. I am dreaming of daffodils, yellow forsythia and spring!!

I am thinking...about my Valentine's party I have planned for next week. Who says those are just for kids??


I am thankful for...God's promises of Heaven and knowing one day I will see Tyler and many others once again!


I am wearing...something to work out in. I am actually going to work out this morning - and three times this week...if it kills me (and it just might!)

I am remembering...my sweet friend, Tammie - another grieving mommy. Her three-year old, Ben, went to Heaven two years ago next week. I know these days leading up to that Heaven birthday are painfully filled with so many memories.

I am going...to the grocery store today and none too soon. The cupboards are looking pretty bare.

I am reading....back issues of Better Homes and Garden magazines that Susan gave me before she moved. I've never really read this magazine - and I don't know why because I am really enjoying all the decorating tips, hints and ideas.

I am hoping..the possibility of more snow this week is just a joke!

On my mind....Tyler - and Ben, and Nick, and Amy, and Andrew, and Mallory.....

From the kitchen...I am trying several new recipes this week. Could be a good thing, or..a not so good thing??

Around the house...there are hardwood floors that need to be cleaned - again. Thank you snow. Oh, and the cold weather gear that never seems to make it from "in front of the fireplace to dry out" to the coat closet where it actually belongs!

Plans for the week...a "Paint your Heart Out" for our Ladies' Day Out this month. No, I am not artsy or creative - at all - but painting pottery with your friends sure sounds like a lot of fun.

One of my favorite things...my down comforter. It was originally my mother's and is the sink down into and get lost kind that is so wonderful - especially on these bitter cold winter nights. Not only is it incredibly snuggly but it brings back wonderful memories of Mom!