Monday, November 12, 2012

Home Comforts

For me, home is wherever my family is. That being said, having a homey home is very helpful. Having a clean, organized, well-run home is not only comforting and relaxing, but also better for the entire family’s health and well-being. I’ve recently started reading Cheryl Mendelson’s Home Comforts: The Art & Science of Keeping House, and even in the beginning pages, the author hits the nail right on the head:

Would you like to read more? Join me over at Finding Beauty where I give you ten simple ways to make a house a home.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Be a Lady! and a link-up

I am not what you'd call a feminine woman. Or at least I wasn't. Back in school I was a tomboy. I even had a boy-like haircut back in my really really uncomfortable years (in my own defense, I *detested* that haircut the minute I stepped out of the salon and literally prayed every night that my hair would grow overnight). I was not petite (I didn't prefer "big boned" either). I didn't have long fingers. My feet were big. I can't even remember when I started wearing make-up. I despised wearing skirts and blouses.

Now that I'm an adult, I'm still not petite. I still don't have long fingers (although I've stopped biting my nails). I still have big feet (size 10, y'all!). Now, I believe God has called me to some of the hardest jobs He created...that of wife, mother, and woman in general (at least in today's day and age). In that role, I have become more feminine than I've ever been. And it's something I'm still working on.

I'm not afraid of skirts anymore. My work-outside-the-home job requires uniform, so skirts aren't an option there. But skirts and dresses (especially sundresses in the summer) are no longer my nemesis. My hair is now long and curly (thank you, mommy and dad for giving me those curly genes!), and although it's in a ponytail much of the time (especially summer: thick, hot hair + midwestern humidity = sticky, hot mess), I love to wear it half up. I'm hoping to get one or two Lilla Rose flexi-clips or hair sticks sometime (I'm considering becoming a consultant too!). I wear a little make-up from day to day, and I've sought out make-up tips and tricks specific for my coloring. I even have a Pinterest board for make-up, hair and nails, and another for clothing and shoes.

All of these things are, I believe, easy little things almost every woman can do no matter what season of life they're in. Now as a brand new mom, I wanted nothing to do with anything but stretch pants and a (hopefully) daily shower. {smile} But I am trying to make a point of getting a little "made up" each and every day. It's sort of like FlyLady's getting dressed to your shoes: putting those little finishing touches on can really lift your spirits and make you feel like you're ready for anything.

None of this has to cost major coinage either, friends! I buy my make-up at Wal-Mart, not Estee Lauder. Most of my clothes come from Goodwill, not Macy's or Coldwater Creek. I do look at certain clothing magazines and modest feminine websites to see examples of what looks good together. You can pair up pieces from different shopping trips...just know what you have in your closet already. Keep it to basic pieces that you can mix and match, or add simple "flair" with a scarf, belt, brooch, etc. If there's something special you just can't get off your mind, save up for it or put it on your Christmas or birthday list.

Ladies, the Master Creator made us women to be women. It is very possible to accentuate our femininity without "baring our all" for the entire world to see. Be the woman God created you to be.

Today I'm linking up with Finding Beauty:

P.S. Check out Finding Beauty starting in November, when I will be a weekly contributor on Mondays (visit every day for other writers as well!).

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Good morning, friends! Can I tell you something? An old high school friend posted on Facebook last night about not liking to cook. About liking the idea of cooking, but not the act. She asked for opinions from people who love to cook...she asked if there was any way to learn to like cooking.

This got me to thinking. I enjoy cooking. I might even go so far as to say I love cooking. Some days are worse than others, at least for now, because I'm still working outside the home. Some days I get home just in time for the kids to be "starving", others I'm not home in time for dinner at all. But the days I get home with time to spare, I love to prepare a meal for my family. I'm not very ambitious with food however, which is sad. But when you have a set (read: limited) food budget, it's hard to try out a new dish...even if it turns out perfect, if the family doesn't like it then you are stuck, scrambling to throw something together so the masses get fed.

So...why cook? Why love to cook? Why love putting different ingredients together to create a completely different taste? Is it all about the food? I will admit that certain flavors just push me over the homemade garlic cheese bread?


But is it just the food? Flavor is important, of course. But the bottom line is we use food for nourishment. We need it. Our bodies need it to survive. I enjoy cooking because it nourishes my family.

In that same line of thinking, I enjoy reading the Bible because God's Word nourishes my soul. When I feel all dried up, I look to The Ultimate Source, the River of Life, to water my parched heart. When I just can't operate anymore because I'm simply starving, God gives me life-sustaining chapter and verse, an all-I-can-eat buffet of absolute truths.

So yes, I love to give my family nourishment. Whether that nourishment comes in the form of family dinner, hugs and kisses, a bedtime story, teaching my children the Word of God, a safe, relaxing, tidy's my God-given job.

Today I'm linking up with Raising Homemakers and A Wise Woman Builds Her Home:


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Home Keeper?

Oh friends, what an adsolute slacker I've been! This poor blog suffers so much!

That's not to say I haven't been on the computer. Can you say Pinterest? Or facebook, or my overstuffed email inbox. You name it, and I've been a slacker.

It is time for me to step back. I can't say take a break, because I haven't been posting anyway. Maybe "take a break" is right, but in regards to the computer in general. I've always been a proponent for technology-free homes, but it's so easy to get sucked in, isn't it? There's always one more email, one more status update, one more pin to pin. I do believe that technology can be a useful tool. Self-control, however, is so very important, and that's something I lack. Matthew 26:41 tells us:"Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak". I'm so very, very weak.

My family is suffering. Suffering, and I didn't even notice. Proverbs 27:23 says: "Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds". They were suffering, and I didn't even notice. While the older children are doing okay, Bean has just been a terror (and I say that with all the love a mom could have). I know she wants me...she just wants me to be with her, not on the computer with her, not talking on the phone with her. Just with her. Her behavior is so different when that happens.

My husband has a new job, which he's had for awhile now, but this month marked the beginning of turnaround. This means two things: 1) he's working a gazillion hours every week, and 2) he's on midnights. So when he's home, he's sleeping (or at least trying to). I've neglected him and his needs. I've been snappy with him when we do speak. 1 Corinthians 13:5 says: "Love is not self-seeking, it's not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrong". I think the past few weeks I've just done the opposite of whatever the Lord has told me to do.

Philippians 2:3 tells us: "Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves". I have been selfish. I have not humbled myself at all. Oh Lord, help me to serve my family and in turn serve You. I don't need to be a miracle worker. I don't need to have perfectly folded clothes in the dressers.I don't need to have the shiniest kitchen sink on the block. But I do need to love my husband and children. I do need to manage the home. I do need to be the heart of the home, or rather, to allow God to be the heart of the home through me. It is written that I "be humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love" (Ephesians 4:2).

For any of you who have struggled or are struggling with this same thing, be comforted. Not only are you not alone here on Earth, but the Heavenly Father is with you always as well, waiting for you to turn to Him and ask for forgiveness. He gives it freely, friends.

Today I'm linking up with Deep Roots at Home

Tuesday, October 02, 2012


Good Tuesday morning to you, friends. I'm sitting here in a quiet house (until Bean wakes up, anyway) drinking coffee and...not worrying.

You see, last night the transmission went out on our only working car. Yup, our only remaining working vehicle no longer works. A great friend rescued me and loaned us her van to use for the remainder of the week, barring urgent need for her. Before this happened, Daddy and I got into a teeny tiff, over nothing really, because we're both tired, and he's working extra long hours, and I was just cranky. We also got something in the mail yesterday concerning the accident we had on vacation back in July, which we thought was taken care of and apparently isn't yet.

Yesterday just had bad juju in general.

But this morning, I woke up with Casting Crowns Praise You In This Storm in my head.

And a couple different verses:

Matthew 6:24 (NIV) says: "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

Proverbs 21:9 )NIV) says: "Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife."


Did I ever worry last night. And quarrelsome is an understatement. No one wanted to live with me last night, let alone my own husband, I'm sure.

Truly, ladies, two of the hardest things to do in life are not to worry, and to be loving and respectful to our husbands 100% of the time. And yes, of course everyone is going to make mistakes (thank you, God, for grace). But the most important earthly thing is our husbands and children. And the most important heavenly thing is to be pleasing to God and to bring Him glory.

Lord, help me today and every day to live the life you want me to live. You are my strength when I have none, my patience when I have none, and my courage when I have none. Hold my tongue when I would rather bite back, and teach me how to be a blessing to my husband at all times, even when we're cranky, because that's when he (and I) need it the most. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Today I'm linking up with Time Warp Wife:

Sunday, September 30, 2012

What's the Proper Use?

I feel nauseous.

I feel nauseated.

I know there's a right and wrong way to use it in a sentence, but I sure don't know which is which.

But that's not the point.

Actually, the point isn't even that I feel yucky. This past week was sort of odd because Daddy had to be up and at 'em very early a couple days. Because our van isn't running, I got up early to drive him so I would have a car to get to work. So he's been sleepy. I've been sleepy.

I figured the odd hours had a lot to do with feeling under the weather, but Friday night was rough. The baby was cranky and threw a pool toss ring that knocked me square in the forehead. Jacob began to feel a little stuffy and runny. Daddy's back was killing him from sitting in an odd position at work. Thomas (the one who had RSV when he was a baby and I was told would have the poor immune system for his kid years, if not his whole life) was the only one who didn't feel sick at all. I began to feel nauseous and a little light headed around 8:15pm. I was laying down by 8:45 and asleep by maybe 9:15! That almost never happens!!

Saturday morning was a little better, although I had a small headache. Add in some coffee and a few late errands, and the day was half over! I hate when that happens! Then all of a sudden, I laid down on the couch while Bean was napping, and I was dozing off. A short nap later, and the nausea kicks in again.

By that time, I had almost a completely wasted day, nothing planned for dinner, and I didn't feel any better! I also hadn't started laundry, so today I'm bringing my A Game!

When you're The Mama, what do you do when you're under the weather? Do you have a support system to completely take over? Do you just do the bare essentials until you feel better, then play catch up? Do you rely on take-out? Tell I'm not the only one!!

Today I'm linking up with Blissful & Domestic:

Blissful and Domestic

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Am I Raising a Homemaker?

I do not have a Type A personality, per se. I'm a little on the control freak side of the spectrum (ahem...depending on who you're asking), but I'm definitely not Type A. There are certain things, however, that I feel the need to's something I'm working on, because I'm never in control - God is (not to mention that it makes tasks really difficult to give to someone else to handle!).

For example, I have a certain places for every dish in the kitchen. If something isn't where it's supposed to be, if it isn't where I can go straight to it and grab it when needed, it irks me.

When cooking, I want to get things done. Period. I like being in the kitchen, but I almost always have a house full of starving kids, and adults as well. Get in, get cookin', and get it on the table, STAT.

And laundry? I wash certain things together or separate. I fold things a certain way. I put things away in certain places.

So when my 4 year old Bean asks to help me fold laundry, it takes AN ARMY to get my not-quite-type-A self to say, "Sure, come on up and help!" (she stands on a dining room chair to reach the basket on the table). When she asks to help put her clothes away, I cringe as she piles things randomly on the shelves. She often wants to help me stir, anything from chocolate milk to cookie dough to the beef mixture to stuff into canneloni roma.





But I want her to not only learn these skills for her future, but also to understand that while they feel mundane and repetative, they are vital to the smooth running of a household. I want her to understand that although she will most definitely go through seasons in her life, God designed her to be a keeper of the home. I want her to realize that while everyone in the home adds to the feel of the home, it is the wife, the mom who ultimately sets the tone. Not necessarily "If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy", but that she lends her quiet, gentle spirit to the home and creates a welcoming, relaxing place...a haven for her husband and children to come home to every day and be content in the peacefulness of home.

I'm still learning, myself. Some days I'm completely unsuccessful. Some days I wonder why anyone would want to come home to this place. But the Lord extends me grace time after time, and teaches me something new every day. He gives me renewed strength every day to handle whatever trials I might face.

So I stop. I let Bean fold clothes. I let her help me clean the bathroom. I let her wipe down the walls, and stir the pancake batter, and sweep the piles, and vacuum (okay, she doesn't vacuum yet...she's actually scared to death of it). And I really really try to let her see me doing these things with contented joy. I'm doing this not for man's happiness, but for God. I want her to know that her worth lies not in man's opinion of her, but God.

Today I'm linking up with Raising Homemakers and A Wise Woman Builds Her Home:


Monday, September 24, 2012

Happy Monday!

Are those two words supposed to be used together? Happy Monday? Are we sure?

Well yes, I figure any day I wake up is a good day...a happy day.

Plus, during my morning perusing of Facebook, email, and my daily/semi-daily blogs, I came across this deal from Child Training Bible.

I will be honest with you: paying the $9 for the CTB is a stretch in our budget. But I've wanted one for awhile now, not only to have something to reference for my children, but also for myself! I'm not a new child of God, but I'm still a learning child of God (aren't we all?). There are some many times I've needed to dive into the Word for some problem I'm experiencing...a feeling I'm having trouble with...and I just don't know where exactly to turn.


Now I'll be able to reference His instruction for us any time I need it. And boy, do I need it!

So...this weekend was filled with laundry, football GO WILDCATS!, and gorgeous fall weather. That's actually about it (isn't that enough??). Thus starts another week. Our older son is having just a few problems at school and is home for today and tomorrow, so I'm home with him today. Have I told you recently how *badly* I want to homeschool??

Blessings to you this Monday morning, and this week as a whole.

Today I'm linking up with The Better Mom:

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

9/11 - We Remember

{sigh} What to say on this day? As I sit, watching one of the (sadly) few specials on tv, tears bubbling over, that's the only thing that can come to my mind: what on earth does one say on this day??

Carry on, USA. CARRY ON.


And never forget.


Friday, September 07, 2012

Despicable Me

Good day to y'all! How has your week gone? Hopefully fast, and TGIF to ya!

It's not too far through the day, and already, I've been a struggling mama. I'm not sure what's wrong - did I sleep well? Did I wake up on the wrong side of the bed?

Actually, my side of the bed sits against the wall - so I have to crawl over to my husband's side to get I never get up on the wrong side :)

My mood makes me think of the theme song to one of our kids' favorite movies: Despicable Me. You know, "I'm having a bad, bad day. If you take it personal, that's okay". Yeah, that's me today.

Enough of the comedic breaks. My heart's been hurting. For little reasons:

* My daughter (yes, the recently four year old daughter) has had a back-talkin' mouth on her lately.
*I haven't been able to keep up on the dining room table after only a few days.
*A friend helped me make a family budget that we just haven't been able to stick to.

This makes me think about wanting to quit my job and stay home with my babies, which will never happen if we can't get control over this monster.

The Lord calls us to be keepers at home. So why can't I? The bitterness sometimes gets to be too much and just overflows. Typically this leads to more bitterness (at myself this time) because the Lord also says that if we are wise with a little, He will know we can be trusted with much (Luke 16:10). I'm not being wise with what little we have! Our little bank account is often overdrawn, our little house is often a shambles, I am sometimes more disgusted that I have to go to work instead of being grateful to have the job (so many people are still out of work!). How selfish am I?

(sigh) I know sulking and self-pity isn't going to help me at all. I need to make something to eat for The Bean, get her down for a nap, and utilize that time to dig into God's words of encouragement. When I am full of self-doubt, time with my Creator is the only thing that satisfies. It's all this thirsty heart needs.

Today I'm linking up with Our Simple Country Life (even though it's Friday)

Our Simple Country Life

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

"Hot Spots"?

Happy Wednesday, y'all! Today is actually my Thursday, simply because tomorrow is my Friday. And because of the holiday, I didn't work Monday, which makes today my Tuesday as well...have you gone cross-eyed yet? Either way, I know my work-outside-the-home week is almost over, and that makes me almost giddy with excitement! Post-holiday weeks are always the worst at work, so I'm always happy to say I lived through another one.

On to the topic de jour: hot spots. We all have them...every single home. I don't care if you're cluttered and unkempt or a minimalist with next to nothing. Every home has a hot spot (just because it's under control doesn't mean it's not still just means it's, well, under control). My hot spot (ahem, or my main one) is the dining room table.

This is not at all a picture of my table, sadly.

We have a few problems with our table. One, it's large. It's a round table with two leafs in. Two, our dining room is not large. It's not really even its own room, as it's joined with the living room. It's also long and narrow, so the table has to be pushed up against one wall so people can walk through the room. So half of the seating for the large table isn't being used. Third (and most important)? Clutter.

Oh how there's clutter.

Our kitchen is also small (did I mention this is a house meant for one, maybe two people? And we're five the math and it's not pretty). I use my bread machine enough that it's out all the time. And let me interject your thoughts for a moment: Yes, I cheat and use my bread machine for the dough mixing and rising parts of bread/rolls/pizza crust/etc. I may dislike much of the technology available these days because it's so addictive and easily obsolete, but some of it really does make life easier. And I *can* make bread without it...unlike some kids doing math without a calculator. {rant over} So the machine stays on the corner of the kitchen table at all times.

The remainder of the clutter? It's just that...clutter. I fold laundry there, I put my purse and notebook down there when I walk in the door from work, kids papers from school get set there, mail gets put there, you get the idea. I have made it my goal to keep on top of this area by making it habit to just deal with stuff as it comes. There is no other way about it. Very little of this is trash. It's just stuff that needs a place other than the table.

Here's the thing about so many people living in such small quarters: you get to realizing how much stuff you really have. And truly, much of our stuff (furniture, knick knacks, books, etc.) is out in the garage. The furniture is all mom's. Since this was supposed to be more temporary than it's turned out, we didn't even bring most of our stuff inside. That means that this is stuff we've accumulated since we've been here.

Not. Good.

So I'm hoping that much of this will find its place in a "giveaway" box, which will then find its place in the back of the van to get taken to goodwill. This is the only solution I see. Once it's gone, staying on top of this "hot spot" will be the only solution.

Do you have your own hot spot? Or two? What area in your house gets the most abuse, and what's your method of dealing with it?

Today I'm linking up with Raising Homemakers

Monday, September 03, 2012


Happy Labor Day, y'all!! What are your plans for the day? Do you save your barbecuing for the holiday, or just over the holiday weekend?

Today is my youngest daughter's birthday - the BIG 4!! I can't believe that 4 years ago was our first day with this little piece of magical babyness:


This sweet little bean, when asked what she wanted for her birthday, simply requested "a crabby patty and fries" (code for McDonald's, thank you Spongebob) and "a cake with candles to blow like this {insert candle-blowy face here}". We don't have the extra funds for a trip for the whole fam to Mickey D's, so we're making our own "crabby patties" here at home, and a strawberry birthday cake, complete with candles (cooling on the counter now!).

I can't begin to describe how much joy this little one has brought into our home. Even on her crabby days, she's such a little spark plug!

She woke up this morning to birthday balloons, which she hasn't stopped playing with yet!

Happy birthday, GinaGina! I thank God every day for allowing me the privilege of being your mama.

In other news, today marks the beginning of some changes. I will be "playing" with the layout of the blog, so if you come here and things are a bit, uhhhh, messy, please forgive me (and don't let it keep you from coming back in a little while!). And aside from having a 4 year old in da house, there are some changes taking place at home as well, which I will blog about in the future. I am also, for the first time ever, participating in a link-up with The Better Mom!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sacred Sunday

The LORD is my fortress,

protecting me from danger,

so why should I tremble?

Psalm 27:1

Happy Sunday, y'all!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Guess Who's Here??

Yes, it's ME!! (I bet I had you goin' huh?)

Life is just way too busy to blog, isn't it? Which makes me sad, because I'd sort of hoped this would turn into a sort of journal for the kids (and maybe us!) to look back on and relive memories. Alas, sometimes it's all I can do to work, keep the house somewhat presentable (and I've been failing at that portion lately too), and keep the husband and kids fed and happy. Are ya pickin' up what I'm puttin' down??

Tonight, however, I've got kids scattered all over the neighborhood with friends, the husband is fishing; so it's just me and the Bean at home. So instead of cleaning up the dinner dishes like a good little Sally Homemaker, I decided to try out a recipe I found on Pinterest recently.

Sadly, they didn't turn out near as pretty as they look in the picture, and they're sort of...dry...I guess. Granted, I used coffee mugs, not ramekins, but I can't imagine that making a ginormous difference. Okay in a pinch, but I think I'd rather just make regular cookies. Plus, it's rarely just me and one other person in this house, so single serving anything just doesn't make sense.

So how's the weather in your neck of the woods? We are in a bee-you-tee-full weather pattern here - highs in the 80's and lows in the 60's (58 degrees tonight!). This sort of weather always comes just in time, right after a week-long heatwave (or, uhm, a month or so)...letting us know that it will not stay a sweltering fry-an-egg-on-the-sidewalk *hot* forever, no matter how long it's been like that. Our windows have been opened, and baby we're blowin' the stink off! Sadly, we're also letting the flies in too. Much as I love the slammin' of a screen door, the in-and-outs of the kids must send a signal out to flies everywhere. And I must get a little over-anxious in my fly swatting efforts, as I thought I broke my finger on the windowsill earlier while smacking one of 'em. But all bodily injury aside, I think we are fly-free for now!

Lastly, school starts next week. Yes, next week!! The kids are all registered and everything, and actually excited to go back. Since my dreams of homeschooling have yet to be realized, they'll start back in a week and two days. This summer has gone by so fast! Our vacation was a trip to West Virginia, then to Georgia, but it's a very...uhm, interesting story that I'll leave for another day.

For now, I have a Bean to get to bed, some shorts to replace buttons on, dishes to wash up, and a crumby floor to vacuum. My plate is full, but my cup runneth over - I hope yours does too!!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Howdy friends!

Lawsy mercy, has it been hot here in the good ol' Midwest! Yesterday we broke a record high set way back ( don't recall an exact year), today will likely break another record (this one from further back in 1874!), and they're calling for triple digit temps through the weekend, with no rainfall in sight. Our little patch of heaven (aka, our smallish, last minute garden) is crying. Actually, it's doing quite well for it being so dry because we are watering like crazy. Some nearby towns have called for voluntary water conservation, but nothing so far here.

Yesterday, the husband and I finalized plans to Atlanta, Georgia for a huge family reunion (on his side). We just have to find a way for our daughter and her son to get there, and we'll be set! This has put a frightening image in my head, however, of...well, me! Is this the motivation I've been looking for to finally stop eating like I'm hypoglycemic and need to eat 24/7? Or if I eat 24/7, it just has to be lots of fruits and veggies, with some lean meats, low fat dairy and complex carbs for good measure? See?? I know how to do it, it's just getting up off my fat bottom and get movin'!! Cheer me on, would ya? Lately I've been feeling like 10 pounds of potatoes in a 5 pound bag. I know the heat plays a part, but still!

On another note, please please please send your prayers up for the people and land in Colorado. We have several family members and friends that live in the state, altho9ugh none (as of yet) have been directly affected. And as one of our favorite places to visit, we are saddened by the loss of such beauty in nature. I have been diligently praying our almighty God to send down rain, to calm the winds, to protect the firefighters and to allow people to reach safety...a lot to ask, but this is God we're talking about!

The Hubster is playing at the coffee shop tonight, so I'm trying to get Bean down for a nap this afternoon. She's against it, but maybe she'll do quiet time. Other than that, we have no solid weekend plans (other than the usual laundry). We were contemplating a trip up north, but I think because of the heat, we've put that on hold.

Whatever you're doing this weekend, have a wonderful couple of days, and stay cool!!

Sunday, June 03, 2012

New Talent

Hello friends! After reading the title, you might think I'm going to tell you about a talent I've discovered I have.

Au contraire!!

I'm speaking of a fantastic bluegrass group that Patrick and I had the pleasure of seeing this weekend. The Gateway Ramblers.

A coffee shop run by some friends, PBC Photography and Creative Cafe, had their first Friday Night Spotlight on Friday. It's an intimate music program made specifically for local talent. My husband's band, Flat Earth Society, is actually playing there at the end of this month! To say I am excited is an understatement!

So we went to check it out and it was fabulous! Our friends weren't kidding - we should've gotten there earlier to snag a comfy chair! It was a great turn-out for the first night. (Please excuse the blurry pictures to follow...iPhones are okay for close-up shots, but horrific for anything further away).

The Gateway Ramblers

The band consists of 3 guys around Patrick and my ages. They claimed it was their first gig as a trio, but I'm not sure I believe that. Not only was their music magnificent, but their voices melted together like buttah.

Meet Will Miskall. He is (uhh, obviously) the stand-up bass player. He also sings {sigh} high tenor. And to prove my previous point about their voices: it took me maybe 3 songs to actually figure out which of the guys was singing which part. Amazing! On a sidenote, Will's wife (and I apologize, I can't remember her name for the life of me) was there with their newborn baby. His wife is sweet as can be and their baby girl is just a doll!

Second (in no particular order) is Ben Smith. He is definitely in my top five best amateur gutarists. He also sang, and although I didn't get to talk to him during the break, he seemed to be the crack-up of the group :) Great with the crowd, and a really local guy, living in the same town as they were performing.

Last but definitely not least, Mr. Troy Brenningmeyer playing the "weird slide Dobro guitar" (thank you John Denver). He sang some as well, mostly harmony. Patrick and I also got to speak with him during the break, first to warn him that we might have to kidnap him until he plays for some of Patrick's songs, and second to have a gander at their sound system. Troy was such a champ for humoring us by sharing how they had things hooked up. He's also a really local boy.

These guys were just so down to earth and a great start for Friday Night Spotlight. The entire thing was a great success, and I'm looking forward to going again! If you're in the area, come check it out. It's a great evening out (or a great way to start your evening out, if you're younger and less tired than me). ;) Also visit PBC's website to view more upcoming events, find their hours, rent out their event room on the upper level, or schedule them for a photo shoot!

Friday, June 01, 2012

Hey Jude

Hello friends!

Today I'd like to take the time to remember someone very near and dear to my heart. It's a little odd, because I never had the honor to meet this woman, but I feel like I know her through all the stories I've heard and pictures I've seen.

Judith McCarthy Truax

This lovely woman is the mother of my husband, Patrick. She was born on today's date in 1942. She went to be with our Savior on March 24, 2001. Too early. Too early for her husband, my father-in-law Terry. Too early for her children. Too early for her grandchildren, and now great-granchild. Perfect in God's timing, but for us left here without her? Not so much.

Jude and *awesome* picture :)

Jude lived a full life in the time she was here. Although she left behind some heartbroken family, she also left wonderful memories. I never had the privilege of meeting her. Her family tells stories of her with such love, like it was yesterday.

On an adventure. Sorry for the far away picture.

Jude and Terry raised the fine man that is my husband. I wish I could have met her. Happy birthday, Jude. We love you.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Bring On the Rain!

Hello friends! How is the weather in your neck of the woods? It's very cool and rainy here today. Last weekend it was in the upper 90's and fairly humid (although nothing too awful to bear), but a cool front came in last night bringing rome rain showers with it. The windows are open and the sound of gentle rain is wafting through the house. Beautiful

As promised (albeit a little late), let me tell ya all about my wee little garden! I'm so excited because we haven't had a garden for a few years (and that attempt didn't work out too well, although I'm not sure why). This one was tough to start because the garden location was all grass. That was a WORK OUT. 6 days later and my blisters are almost completely healed, and the manual turning of earth is all but forgotten.

Here is the short list of crops I'm hoping to harvest later this season:

~corn (Honey and Cream Hybrid)

~cucumbers (Burpee picklers)

~watermelons (Crimson Sweet)

~pumpkins (Jack-o-Lanterns)

~peas (Sugar Snap)

~tomatoes (I purchased this seedling earlier this season & can't remember what type it is)

So far, I have sprouts from some of the corn, pumpkins, and watermelons. I think I see a couple peas also, but it's hard to differentiate between sprouts and weeds when they're just poking through :)

This is the beginning of a hopeful journey to simpler living. Really, having a garden and producing your own veggies (and fruits if you're lucky) is not at all simpler than trekking to teh grocery store and picking something off the shelf. However, I will know where these came from. I will know what was put on (or not put on) them. I will know that these veggies didn't use any energy sources (besides my own:) to get from garden to shipping across the US or any oceans to get here!

On another garden note, I found this on Pinterest a few days ago:

Source: via Kelly on Pinterest

This. Is. Brilliant. I'd love to have strawberries, but they take room, spread like wildfire, and usually the birds get them. This solves one of those dilemmas, at least!

What's your garden look like? What do you hope to harvest?

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day Wishes!

A happy Memorial Day to all of you! Although this day/weekend is known as the "official" start to summer (and boy, has the weather lived up to it!), let's remember what the holiday is really about - a time to reflect on and honor those who sacrificed everything, up to and including their lives, while defending our country.

I was down with some sort of tummy bug for a couple days, but I'm feeling better today (and I'm off work, so yippee for that!). Although the neighboring town has a Memorial Day parade, I had lots of excuses not to go. Patrick has worked, like, 16 hour days this weekend and slept in. Thomas was out late with friends last night and slept in. Plus, it's way hot outside, and I'm a wimp. So inside we stay. We do have plans to barbecue later this afternoon! I'm well prepared with burgers and dogs, potato salad, corn on the cob, party potatoes, chips, and drinks. I made cupcakes yesterday, but that just doesn't seem right. We needs something "summer"...watermelon and strawberries spring to mind!

Tomorrow I'm going to tell you all about the garden I finally got planted! A little late, but hopefully we will still reap the benefits of homegrown goodness! Until then, have a happy and safe Memorial Day!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Balancing Act

Today is my Friday! Wahoo! And tomorrow is the older kids' last day of school (what?? How did that happen?!?). I'm glad to be back at work, but at the same time, not at all.

You see, I took an involuntary hiatus from work because of some really careless and forgetful stuff involving our taxes, which affected my professional license. Really careless. So I was not allowed to work until that was all taken care of and the proper documentation on file. (The moral of that preface is to never let things slide! At least not the really important things). But this time off led to, well, time off. Time to actually be here at home with my children. To be here when the older ones got home from school. To be able to bake bread, or a more involved dinner, or a dessert. (I believe that God allowed me that time too so I could take care of Dexter and be a little more attentive to him in what turned out to be his last days). Of course, we had a couple pay periods with no pay, and that hurt (and still hurts)...badly...but God provides in one way or another, as He always does.

photo credit

Now that I'm back to work, however, it's like I'm having to relearn how to perform the juggling act of the working-outside-the-home mom. And truly, I never had that juggling act mastered in the first place! Thanks to Money Saving Mom, I have discovered the Motivated Moms app.

First I thought "Ugh...just another list to make me feel like I'm behind in everything!". But this isn't the case! It's a very streamlined format and it lists different things for you to do every day. If there's a task you don't need to do, it can be hidden so you don't have to deal with it. (It was so very hard for me to hide the "feed pets" task. Tear.) You can also add a task, no matter if it's a one-time thing or something you want to repeat daily, weekly, etc. It also has a daily Bible reading option, and includes quiet time and exercise on the daily tasks (moms need those reminders sometimes - at least this mom does!). And if you're not into apps, they have a paper version as well! (Yes, both the paper version and the mobile app cost a few bucks. However, sometimes it's worth a few bucks to have someone make that list for get your home sparkly and your mental clutter is reduced too!)

So far it's working out great. And as long as the Lord would have me work outside the home, I'll be diligent in both my jobs. It is His Will.

Today I'm linking up with:


****I was in no way compensated for this impromptu review of The Motivated Mom app. I'm fairly certain they don't even know who I am, let alone that I am reviewing their app :)****