Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Greaat Pumpkin!

I loved the flat pumpkin. Looked just perfect to sit on!
What a fun day at the pumpkin patch!
We can't wait to go back to the farm to see the babies in the spring!
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Monday, October 18, 2010

Happy Homemaker Memories . . .

Welcome to Happy Homemaker Monday hosted by Sandra. Today I am a little short on time so I am posting without Sandra's template. Let's see how many topics I remember.

The weather in my neck of the woods: Cooler mornings, warm afternoons and cooler evenings. Fall is in the air and leaves are showing up around my door.

Things that make me happy: Holidays everything about them. The planning, the cooking, the shopping, the people! I am just smiling!

Book I'm reading: Finished all my review books at least for today and reading a novel donated to the girls halfway house called Tangerine by Marilynn Griffith. It's a page turner.

On the t.v.: As always nothing.

What am I cooking for dinner: Not really sure we need to do a major grocery shopping. Have no idea when that will happen. But I have shrimp in the freezer and chicken. Maybe tortilla soup if I can stop and get a ripe avocado. Yum.

On my to do list: laundry, finishing up unpacking boxes brought home from storage and moving things around in my 'small space'.

New recipe I want to try: The photo's speaks for it.

I found this at Monica's it is from Taste of Home. These are called apple nacho's I am planning on making them for a Fall party for our apartment ministry.

In the craft basket: Aprons to finish once I un-bury the sewing machine, a quilt to finish binding only have about 12 inches to go might get that done quicker.

Looking forward to this week: I always look forward to Tatooed Hearts and Sunday Worship. I love my boys.

Tips and Tricks: Just figured one out. My memory isn't what it used to be. I didn't get past the weather. So I opened a new window and put up Sandra's last post. Now I am going back and forth between windows reading her topic questions then typing them in my post. It's working for me today! FYI be sure and save every few minutes just in case!

Favorite Post and New blog: I found a great craft project over at Tator tots and Jello it's a really cute blog too. The post is a tutorial showing how to make black spiders out of beads.
I loved it I am going to make some for our apartment Trick or Treat event.

No words needed photo:

Don't forget to help Stamp out Hunger donate to a food drive in your community.

Lessons I learned this week: I have words from The Word hidden in my heart. Some forgotten. I need to work at memorizing scripture. When I was helping the boys last Wednesday they were working on verses I should have been able to recite too. Need some practise!

On my mind: Working on calendar for apartment ministry and finding time for required activities around our ministry and holiday activities.

Scripture or Devotional: We loved You so much that we are delighted to share with You not only the gospel but our lives as well. 1 Thessalonians 2:8 (paraphrased)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Beyond the Brady Bunch

Beyond the Brady Bunch Hope & Help for Blended Families by Ray & Debbie Alsdorf
I enjoyed this book. I have never experienced the trauma of divorce or the struggles of blending a family but I have had many friends that have been through both.
I wish I had been able to share with them some of the truths brought out in this book.
Blending a family is far more messy and complicated than any television show portrays. Beyond the Brady Bunch is a heart book, not a how-to book. Christians who find themselves in the midst of step family life often feel hopeless and far from God, struggling with grief and unforgiveness. From personal experience, the authors have found that all the how-to steps in the world don’t work if there isn’t first a heart change. Speaking with honesty and vulnerability they share their mistakes and how God dealt with their hearts. The book will help stretch hearts, minds, and homes past the image of “perfect” and another "happily ever after” into the hope of God’s promise to restore, heal, and rebuild.
I really liked what Dr. Gary Smalley had to say about the book . . .
“This book is a treasure chest of encouragement, hope and inspiration for the blended family. It has been said that some families cannot blend, they can only collide. Not true. The Alsdorf family have “collided” well. They are the real deal and a beautiful picture of a fantastic blended family.” -Dr. Gary Smalley
It is indeed a treasure chest of encouragement. The book includes personal stories and stories the Alsdorf collecting from friends and other couples they have met through ministry.
Each chapter includes sound Biblical truth and each topic is discussed and then referenced back to scripture.
Toward the end the Alsdorf's even included a chapter titled From the other side our children speak where they interviewed their children and then included their perspectives.
I found an excerpt of Chapter One here. I would highly recommend this book. Even if you have not experienced divorce or death of a spouse you may know someone who has. This is a great book to give to a friend struggling with blending a family.
I am going to donate my copy to our apartment ministry library. I know that many families can benefit from the sound advice and encouragement found in Beyond the Brady Bunch.
You can purchase online at Amazon and Christian Book (dot)com
And also at Family Christian Book Stores. (click on the bold colored words to go directly to the links).
I received this book to review from B&B Media. Thanks to Karen Davis for offering this book.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I finally made a desperate phone call!

Well actually I really didn't call but back in the day I would have. I actually just got up the nerve and drove down to a cheap $10.00 haircut place that is actually $13.00 for a cut and blow drying started at $10.00. Yes I said started at $10.00 at one of those cheap places!
Now if I had a lovely 'up do' like the one photo'd or if mine would do that then I would not have resorted to desperate measures.
But alas it was desperate measures I had to take. The jury is still out on whether I like my hair or not.
Mainly because I had made a huge mess in the bathroom this morning trying to find some barette's or pins or something because my bangs just weren't cooperating today.
And btw I was in a rush and didn't clean up the mess I made. Which I forgot to mention included all the electrical devices I own trying to find something that would work.
But, I did get two compliments today on my hair so I guess it turned out o.k.
And then when I came home and finally checked the computer I saw that Rachel Anne suggested cleaning up, straightening out and sorting through all our hair stuff. And so even thought I made a huge mess this morning I get to get points for cleaning it up.
And I really do need to sort through all that stuff anyway and figure out what I need to keep. Don't need all those hair scrungies anymore because there won't be any pony tails here again!
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Friday, October 8, 2010

Cupcake Challenge Part Two

Cupcake Challenge secret ingredient revealed.

I really wasn't sure how these would turn out but they are great. I am so pleased. I struggled with this all week trying to find a recipe and finally ended up adapting from the good 'ole Betty Crocker cookbook! You will have to look really, really close but inside the cupcakes are crushed Fruit Loops.

Like I said I searched for a recipe and found a great one that used orange, lemon and lime zest but I never got to the store for the fruit.

Now about myself and why I chose the secret ingredient.

  1. Probably a lot of people would think I am a little Fruit Loops. My husband and I are volunteer chaplains at a prison for teen age boys and girls. (seperate facilities for each) In fact the cupcakes are going to the boys tomorrow and they will love them.
  2. I tend to 'wing it' a lot with my cooking and baking and when I saw the Fruit Loops used on an episode of Chopped I knew I wanted to try it. On my budget many times I have to 'wing it' and make substitutions. The reason for the Fruit Loops. I happened to have them because I used them for a project for our 'apartment ministry' and I needed to figure out a way to use the rest of the box. Now I can share the recipe with my Mom's of Preschool group.
  3. And, one of my favorite things to do is to take an item and re-purpose it. The fruit loops were perfect to try and re-purpose.
  4. I love cake especially bakery and wedding cake. My icing is a buttery wedding cake recipe and it turned out perfect.

So that is about it for this little Fruit Loop girl. Please com back and visit next week Amy's challenge is our closets. Oh wow!

Lovely Fall Scentsy Wickless Candle Giveaway! over at Proverbs 14 Verse 1 this is what June said about these wonderful Wickless Candles.
"Homemaking is a beautiful thing. It is so exciting to be able to go about your day and create a beautiful, peaceful home for each and every single one of our family members. I know that one of the ways that I personally love to do that is by creating an ambiance in the home. I will turn on some low classical music or hymns, turn on some glowing lights and maybe light a candle or two.
As keepers of the home, wives "set the stage" for comfort and hospitality. Fragrance is a big part of this, and a lot of us light scented candles. However, because of the safety factor we limit candle time. But now all that can change-- let me introduce you to Scentsy! Scentsy uses a light bulb to melt wax cubes in a small plate, making it much safer than an open flame. They also have 80 incredible scents from which to choose that makes a better selection than an air fresheners from the store!Safety is one of the major benefits of this product. No burning means no smoke in the air. The fragrant wax is chosen because it melts at a lower temperature and won't burn a child if they were to stick their hand in it. The warmer itself feels like a coffee mug when it is hot.
We got our warmer system kit in the mail and tried it out. I could not believe how wonderful they made my home smell! Fragrance is a powerful thing as it conjures up old memories and new--and with Scentsy you will be glad to know that these fragrances last a LONG time (even after you turn it off), and is much better than your average candle! The great news is that it is safer than candles and that is is important if you have lots of little ones like I do. I remember when I used to lament about not being able to use many candles but Scentsy really solves that dilemma. All you need to do is put a few blocks of wax on the top plate, turn it on and enjoy!
There are also small openings on the sides where the light can shine out of and reflect beautifully on the walls, the reflection on ours actually looked heart shaped. Our family likes to dim the light of the room to experience and enjoy the natural, calming ambiance that Scentsy creates.Scentsy also carries holiday warmers, fragrance foams, room sprays, do-it-yourself kit warmers, Scentsy bars and bricks, and my favorite-the Scentsy Buddy--a stuffed animal for children containing one of Scentsy scents packs inside!
Now, Toni Swayze, who is an Independent Consultant for Scentsy has generously offered a free warmer system to one of my readers! That's right---take a look:
This warmer is just beautiful and oh-so cozy for decorating your home just right in time for fall! It will also come with three amazing Scentsy bars--Maple Butter, Clarity and Eskimo Kiss that can be reused until the fragrance is gone. "
Click here to go by her blog and see the great photo's and check out the Scentsy website too.

Did you say cake? No I said . . .

Cupcakes. Actually it was Amy that said cupcakes. And I am accepting her challenge.
I have pulled together my ingrediants . . .

Except for the secret ingredient that I am not sharing. Yet.
And I got . . .

a major tool. Isn't she pretty. (not actually mine but this was a pretty photo. I'll have to make one of my little cobalt blue girl). And I made a plan. And then. It happened.
Blogger decided to act up and not let me load the best of the photo's! I bet your thinking it is the photo of the finished product. Nope I have to tell you it isn't.
I'll show you later but let me tell you why no cupcakes yet.
I got a phone call from . . . (insert photo when blogger decides to cooperate)
my sweet grandbaby that is 2 and once I deciphered his words . "eat mexican food GiGi". The cupcake plan went awry. At least until after I eat lunch.
So come back because I know you want to see the finished product.
BTW I will be taking my lovely creations to a birthday party tomorrow. More on that later too.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Stairs, Door Knobs and Chair Backs a Small Thing

Today Rachel Anne over at Home Sanctuary suggested a Small Thing. Clean these . . .

Beautiful but without the budget to have one of those nice little ladies around I sure wouldn't want one.

This is a little more my style. In fact it reminds me of the staircase in the house that we lived in when our children were young. See the arched doorway? Well ours was a door way to a closet that was under the stairs. It was the neatest closet. I stored all my holiday decorations there. I sure do miss that closet and that stair case.
But that is a rabbit and I must get back to the Simple Thing at hand. What Rachel suggested was picking up those items that you leave at the foot of the stairs. You know the shoes, toilet paper, errant books, clean clothes. All that stuff you come across during your daily activities that need to go up.
Well I no longer have a stair case. My nemesis is . . .

The backs of these chairs. And . . .

Door knobs! Yep. Door knobs.
My Cowboy has this habit of going to a dollar store and buying something for the car like windex or I don't know just stuff and he has the habit of walking in and leaving the sack hanging either on the above chairs or on a door knob.
Today I removed and put away: fix a flat, dryer sheets and gum. That was only from one door.
The bar chairs were nicely displaying the bag from the dry cleaners.
Now I can see and enjoy my lovely vintage door knobs while I count the points that I have been collecting this week by doing the Small Things. Well actually I don't have any vintage door knobs I found that cool photo on the net. But it is nice to dream.
If my calculations are correct I now have 140 points! WooHoo!

Tablescape Thursday Tales of Christmas Past

Welcome to my Tale of Christmas Past Tablescape . . .
I thought I would share with you today a little luncheon table I set up for Cowboy and our daughter and the grandbaby last Christmas.

I chose the simple, cute & whimsical really, really cheap grocery store dinnerware . . .

It is a little hard to see but the dinner plates and the salad plates and the mugs were markdowns from Kroger. They were marked down because the handle of one mug was broken. But that worked fine for me because I set an even cheaper plastic cup on that place setting and planned if for the baby!
  • I added some old little fruit dishes and juice glasses that were cheap too in their day they came out of oat meal. (I wish they still did that) If you look closely again the baby's is slightly different. I got these from my mother and she only had three matching bowls. (We didn't eat much oatmeal) The fourth I found at a shop.
  • The green leaf plates are some of my favorites. I only have 4 they are Vintage Pier One! I say Vintage because I bought them over 20 years ago. Vintage sounds snazzier than old! Love them. I used to have a platter but I broke it. Darn it.

I thought the little candy canes added a little more fun so I put some in the mugs then tossed a couple on the table.

BTW I really didn't have a plan I just pulled together pieces that I love that were in the same color them. And, the meal was Taco Beuno!

I didn't really plan this table for a post but since I had this photo I thought I would share it.

I am at a little of a stand still in making tablescapes. I have run out of ideas with the few dishes that I currently have in our little apartment. (The rest are in boxes in storage)

I actually realized when I found this photo that this dishes are here. Maybe I'll drag them out this week and do a different tablescape for next week. Hmm.

We'll see come on by anyway I'll have something to share even if it is only a 'Dream'.

And don't forget to visit Mary for lots of inspiration! Have fun setting your table.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Home Sanctuary Simple Things

Yesterday I joined Rachel Anne over at Home Sanctuary for the first time in months. I think my life is finally settled down a little and I can think about making my Home a Sanctuary. Yesterday Rachel suggested saying "Yes" to God. I posted about it yesterday but I want to follow up here. You see what I am saying yes to is actually two things. It starts with my other blog My Journey Back. I have felt for a long time that I should make some changes to there. I would love you to come by there and visit. It isn't a homemaking blog and I post very little about decorating. I do join a few weekly meme's. On Monday's I always try to write about our ministry or another ministry or post a book review. On Tuesday I have been writing my thoughts about being a Titus 2 woman. There are a few other meme's I join but mostly I write about My Journey to getting closer to God. It was actually a few months ago that I said 'yes' to God and began a blog dedicated to book reviews. And I posted a photo illustration of where I want My Journey to go and what I want it to be about. Simply said it's theme is explained like this WIJIT which means Where Is Jesus In This.
I haven't been keeping up over here at My Home Sanctuary but yesterday I made a commitment to say 'yes' and be much more regular about posting here. I hope you like what you see and read and I hope you will decide to follow.
I love to decorate. I love to visit other blogs for ideas. Every Monday I join Sandra for Happy Homemaker Monday. And I usually try to post something in Blue too and join Smiling Sally.
And I also try to visit Rachel and get some inspiration. Today she inspired me to take stock in my cleaning supplies. And so I did. I was out of comet. One of my old stand by's. And I needed windex. I use a lot of windex. One of my must have's is pop up wipes. Love them.
Rachel asked everyone to share one of their favorite bathroom cleaners. Here's a photo to illustrate mine.
Opp's well no that is my little happy house. Isn't it cute? Here's my favorite tool.

My trusty mop. I have a mop for floors and a mop I use to clean the toilet and the tub. They are they kind you take apart. I have a different mop head for each use. I know it sounds a little weird but it sure does save the back. I do my tub and my toilets regularly so they are pretty easy to scrub and believe me the mop makes it so much easier no bendin' a stooping!

This month I am trying to keep track of points because I want to enter Rachel's give away. And so after yesterday and today I have logged a big 'ole 90 points. Woohoo! Watch out girls I am sayin' yes and givin' you a run for your money this month!

Christmas Storybook--Book Review

What an adorable book.
I received a copy from B&B Media Group.
I think you will love this book it would make a great gift.
The story is really sweet and it is interactive.....
Here's part of one of the pages
Mary will have a baby.
Point to Mary in the picture.
The baby will be God's son.
Pretend to rock a baby.
Mary was glad to be a mommy to Jesus.
Smile a big smile.
Each page is so sweet and ends with a little prayer.
This book is recommended for children up to 3 yrs.
This book is part of a series of 7.
You can go to David C. Cook for more info. about the others.
Many thanks to Karen at B&B Media for offering this book for review. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Say yes . . .

Yes Lord . . . Yes Lord . . . Yes Yes Lord . . . today I was challenged by Rachel over at Home Sanctuary. It has been a really, really long time since I have participated in her suggestions to make your Home a Sanctuary one small thing at a time.

In fact you probably don't even know that this blog is here because of Rachel. The name of this blog was inspired by Rachel. There was a time that I was posting fairly regularly here and following her suggestions. But the last few months have been so crazy for me that I have neglected my time here.

And so, today at Rachel's suggestion I am hoping that I can say 'Yes' and make a commitment to spend my time here with you.

My desire for My Home Sanctuary is to share with you my home and how I am trying to make it a sanctuary. I love decorating. I love cooking. I love reading. I love getting inspiration from other bloggers. And I love learning new things.

I love being a Happy Homemaker on Monday and everyday. And I hope that you'll begin to come here often.

I want to share with your what I am learning. Even though I am a more 'mature' woman. That means I am over 50 I know that there are still many things I have to learn. Mostly because I know that God is continually doing a makeover on me. Just about the time I think everything is running smoothly I realize because he has brought to my attention that there is an area of my life I need to work on. And over at My Journey Back I try to share what God is teaching me. So, I would love it if you dropped in over there and maybe leave me a comment and let me know you've come by.

And I hope you'll become a regular visitor here and join me in saying "Yes Lord". And if you need inspiration or encouragement to work harder at making your home more of a sanctuary then join me over at Rachel's for some encouragement and inspiration.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Happy Homemaker Monday Oct.4, 2010

Sorry there is so much space between photo's blogger has been giving me fits! Please stay around and enjoy!

The weather in my neck of the woods: We are being blessed with wonderful fall weather. Almost even a little chilly but beautiful.

Things that make me happy: My Blog

Book I'm reading: Maverick Heart by Loree Lough

What's on my TV today: Music

On the menu for dinner: Well it was gumbo but no okra. So cooking up some Steak and Potato Soup, Caesar Salad

On my To Do List:Finish put away last weeks Laundry (shhh. Please don’t tell!)

New Recipe I tried or want to try soon: Gratin Onion

Does this not look so yummy? I found it at Closet Cooking his kitchen is like a closet; I love his blog name.

In the craft basket: Aprons and quilts to finish.

Looking forward to this week: Tatooed Hearts on Wednesday and maybe lunch with my daughter, the grand baby and my mother on Friday.

Tips and Tricks:Fold and put away each load of laundry when it is out of the dryer. Otherwise you end up like me having some to put away the next time!
My favorite blog post this week: Monica hosted her daughters group Little Keepers group and shared it here.

Blog Hopping (a new discovered blog you would like to share with the readers): This is a really great cooking blog I found a while back each month they post a photo to share for your desk top. Go over and check out Chocolate & Zucchini.

No words needed (favorite photo or picture, yours or others you want to share):

Lesson learned the past few days: That sometimes with some people now matter how hard you to try to get along it doesn’t matter or make a difference. Sometimes you have to give up and move on.
On my mind: A really bad situation that I have to get out of.

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses: We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only The gospel of God but our lives as well . . . 1 Thessalonians 2:8
Sandra is the wonderful hostess and creator of Happy Homemaker Monday stop over and visit for more posts.

Blue Monday

A different kind of Blue Monday . . . Enjoy!

First a Blue backpack to carry a few books that I have read lately and they are all our Monday color of the day Blue!

First a new Max Lucado book. This one was great filled with stories about people that changed another persons life. It is a small little gift book and quick and easy to read. It would definitely make a great gift!
Nest I loved this novel. The dog on the cover looks just like my dog. If you want a fun read I would suggest this one. I am keeping my copy but I am buying one for my sister who is a novel reader and dog lover.

And my last little Blue book was a fun children's book. It is a great little story about a dog that wants to be a 'helping dog' for a handicapped person. I know when my little grandson is older he will love this little story book.
Thanks for coming by and visiting. And if your interested go over here to my other blog to read the reviews. There is a tab at the top of the page that will take you to the reviews.
And don't forget to go over and see Smiling Sally for more Blue.
Enjoy your Blue Monday.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Homemaker Challenge

I found the most fun new idea over at Amy's

Each Friday she is going to suggest a challenge and she gives us a week to complete it. Then we post about it. I cannot believe how she has started this. See below.

Oh my word the girl wants us to bake! So I am off to turn on the oven. Dust off the cookbook. Dust of the kitchen aide and make something delicious. Photo's to follow.

Wanna join the fun? Go back up to the top and click on Amy's name and you'll end up at her really cool blog.