Friday, December 10, 2010

Here is my baby sleeping. I know most of you have seen a sleeping baby before. So you might be asking yourself why this momma of 5 children is taking a pictures of her baby sleeping. Well, it goes like this. This baby doesn't sleep without his mommy very often. I'm amazed that he's still sleeping right now in the same exact spot at this picture! It's been over 5 minutes! It's been almost an hour now. See, this particular cutie is breastfed (as all mine were at this age) and the only spot he prefers is snuggled on my booby or actually breastfeeding. Any other position just will not do for this little man. So if I can get him to sleep while me NOT holding him, that leaves my hands free to take precious pictures while I can!

Hence, why I kept him in the carseat. I know it's not good for his spine to stay like that. He won't be like this very often. We came back from the store getting some groceries. We were out of a few necessities. Now this momma can write this blog post and then get something to eat before it's time to feed again.

Look at this little cutie. I caught her sitting in this basket drawer but by the time I came back with the camera she was standing. This is her favorite play time now. She takes the kitchen towels out of this and then takes the lining out. You can see it off to the left of the standing princess. Then she'll sit in it and then sing. LOL. Such the cutie! This wicker basket drawer thingy I got when we were stationed in Japan. I bought it out in town at a Japanese store. It was like a Japanese version of Target with many floors. This store had 3 or 4 floors. It's been some time ago and I don't really remember which it was. I've used it for various things in my home throughout the years. Right now it serves to hold my kitchen dish rags, kitchen hand towels, and the top drawer is just a baby bib drawer.

I just HAD to take a picture of this cute little outfit! My little slugger! Both of my handsome men. The only one I'm missing in this picture is the 8 year old slugger. He's not into mom taking pictures of him anymore. The only way I can get him in a picture now is to be with his little brother whom he absolutely ADORES! But he was too busy watching the movie on tv to be bothered with a picture. Kids.

She is only 14 months old, but she is just as much a toddler as my 2 year old is. She just can't talk yet.

I am finding that it is harder than I thought having a baby and a 1 year old. This is the closest of my babies in years. It's just shy of 2 years between this girl and the 2 year old. (She's almost 3.) But this time, I have 2 babies. One can walk, thank goodness, but can't go down the stairs by herself. And only because I don't want her falling so I haven't been letting her. She climbs onto the tops of all the tables. She scoots chairs to where she wants to go. She climbs to the tops of the back of the couch. Anywhere she can get her little leg up to, she's up on. I'm so thankful that she still naps. She is only napping once a day, but I still need her to take that one to give mommy a break. Daddy is still off so having him home has helped tremendously! But I need to figure out how to keep the home from being a wreck, laundry kept up, and keeping up with the needs of my 2 babies and diapers changed on all 3. Whew! That sounds like a lot even without the extra cleaning that needs to be done on top of that! Right now, we are only sweeping the kitchen and dining room, mopping, and vacuuming the downstairs. That's it! That's all we have time for. Dishes are like 2-3 loads a day! Which that won't be so many once Daddy goes back to work. (Two weeks from now.)

So in light of the upcoming schedule with Daddy going back to work, I am going to try to get little guy on a routine. I did it with baby girl, but I also stopped breastfeeding her and switched to formula in her second month. Way too early, but I had to have surgery. So with this one, I want to keep at it as long as possible. Sometimes I think it would just be so much easier and I could get so much more done around the house if I just switched to formula and brought the swing out of the garage. But then I realize that I wouldn't be as bonded with him and my milk supply would dwindle. Both things I am not ready to battle yet. I think in a month or so, around the 3 month mark, I could start introducing more. My milk supply is so sensitive that I need baby to be on me for the first few months in order to establish a good strong supply that won't diminish later when changes to the routines happen. The only thing is that waiting that long is hard for me. I want to get up and get stuff done and get the errands done and keep up on the organization and cleaning. But I have to rest and not try to be supermom.

Okay folks. Baby is starting to stir and I still need to grab a bite to eat. Love y'all. And don't forget to take some time out of the busy shopping, decorating, errands to run, and just BE with your loved ones!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

It’s All in the List by Daryl Hoole

You can bring order out of life’s chaos by making lists. The best way to talk about the benefits of list making for successful home and life management is to simply make a list of the many benefits. So, here goes:

A list . . .

* Allows you to put the pressure on paper rather than on your mind. In other words, instead of feeling the weight of so much to do on your mind, it helps to “set it down,” so to speak, on paper or an electronic device.

* Does not change all that needs to be done, but writing it down can help you feel more in control of the situation.

* Helps you get to your appointments on time. One’s mind is not intended to be a calendar.

* Helps you keep things from “falling through the cracks.” From an efficiency perspective, a sharp pencil is better than a sharp memory.

* Keeps track of where and when something needs to be done—it can prevent double scheduling.

* Is something to check off so when you go on a trip you take everything you need. It can be a serious problem to open your bag and find you left your prescription medicine at home.

* Is a storehouse for ideas. Ideas, like birds, fly in and out and can become lost unless you catch them and “cage” them.

* Is only as good as it is read.

* Has no magic in it. It works only when you do.

* Helps you direct your efforts and focus on whatever task is at hand. It’s an anti “spin your wheels” technique.

* Drives you to get things done. In the words of William James, “Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.”

* Enables you to see the beginning and the end of your work. Knowing where to start and when to stop is a favor you can bestow upon yourself.

* Makes it easier to prioritize your tasks. According to Stephen R. Covey, “The key is not to prioritize your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”

* Can be a procrastination deterrent. Personal discipline can be cultivated, and a list can be an aid in such an endeavor.

* Gives you a track to run on. Even if you run a bit behind, you’re still on track. Someone quipped, “I have good news and bad news. The good news is that I’ve finished my list; the bad news is that it’s yesterday’s list.”

* Provides a plan from which you can arrange your life to suit the situation. Elder Dallin H. Oaks put it well when he said, “Plan specifically so you can implement flexibly.”

* Is therapeutic. Crossing items off can energize and motivate, providing a sense of satisfaction, fulfillment, and peace. (Sometimes it can provide encouragement to list things that you’ve already done, just to cross them off. It’s evidence that you are productive.)

* Helps you to follow through, carry out intentions, and keep your promises which may include returning what you borrow.

I saw this on Mrs. Teresa A. Haley's blog; Practical Housewifery. If you haven't yet visited this blog I encourage you to do so.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Here is my most wonderful hubby completing a project that I started before I gave birth 5 weeks ago. I didn't finish painting the foyer. So here he is completing the painting before we decorate the tree this weekend. The color is Cafe Latte by Glidden. The mirror I got at Ross. I've been reading on the blogs that a lot of you decorators get your gorgeous goods at Home Goods. So I went online and was disappointed that you can't order from them. The store locator says the nearest one is like a 45 minute drive away. I know what I'm doing next week. I'm going to make a trip out there and see if it is worth the drive. I mean, we have a ton of Ross stores around and quite a few T.J. Maxx stores also. Are the things in Home Goods a better selection? Let me know.

Here is a snapshot of baby Aidan's growth over the past few weeks. We've been really busy just sitting here breastfeeding that I haven't had a chance to take many pictures of him. (Much less me get dressed most days.)

3 weeks: 9lbs 2oz.

4 weeks: 9 pounds 10 oz.

5 weeks: 10 pounds 4 oz.

At this point my previous babies were already snug in their 0-3 month clothes. This little guy is just barely fitting them. He's such a cute little guy! I'm so smitten with him. I'm trying to wrap my mind around him being our last baby. I don't know where I stand. Whether or not I'm ready to be done having more adorable babies. I am but at the same time I'm not so sure.

I know many of you are all done decorating your lovely homes for the holidays. We are working slowly here. I am not able to get much done with a little one that doesn't sleep unless on the boob snuggling or nursing. So my time with him actually laying down in the play yard is spent helping hubby with the home. He isn't use to doing everything so I try to help him as much as I can until little man lets me. There is dishes to unload or load into the dishwasher. Clothes to wash for all of us and of course the cloth diapers and cloth wipes to wash too. Which is what I should be doing right now instead of posting here. There is a load of diapers waiting to be washed right now. Hang on here and I'll get the first cycle started and I'll be right back.

Okay. Done.
Thank you for sticking with me even though I haven't been posting daily or even weekly. I have been reading yours though. I can sit here and breastfeed and scroll through my list of updated blogs one handed really well! It's just really time consuming to type out a post one handed. Lol. Especially with pictures. And as my family can tell you, I am a visual type person. I like pictures!!

Merry Christmas y'all! Don't forget to take a time-out from the stress from the holidays and spend with your loved ones.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Look at my newest cutie! My little Halloween baby. I am so in love with this little guy. He is already teaching me to slow down. We are learning each other. He had a posterior tongue tie that we had clipped when he was 5 days old. Now we are finally getting the breastfeeding down really good. I'm no longer hurting when he nurses and he's gaining weight. Yay! Baby Aidan is awake and alert more. He calms when he hears my voice. He also sleeps without me holding him for more than 5 minutes about once a day too. Which helps me either get 1 thing done or get some bread ready to bake. He is such a lovely little boy. Can you tell that I am in love with my kids?!

This is a Christmas gift that I am knitting for my precious little 1 year old baby girl. Can you tell what it is? It's a Dachshund Balloon Animal from Lion Brand Yarn's website. It is a simple knit. If you are a beginner, then you can definitely knit this one up. I have ordered some wool filling for it so that my baby girl will have something to play with that isn't full of chemicals. It won't be harmful for her and even the littlest one will be able to play with it without harm to his little body also. So win-win for me!

I'm revamping my home. More homemade and less chemicals. Simplifying. Right now I'm reading Simplicity Parenting. I've been using less store bought cleaning supplies and using environmentally friendly cleaning supplies from Shaklee, but now I'm going even further and will use mostly homemade cleaners once I run out of what I have. As for the store bought, I will keep my Simple Green and bleach and will give away the rest that I have. I have a lot too. When my neighbors move, they give me all their cleaners. (The movers are not allowed to pack up and ship chemicals.)

I've got all the makings for homemade laundry detergent. I'm waiting on all my makings to make homemade soap. I should be receiving the rest sometime this week or next week. I can't wait to try my hand at making homemade soap. I plan to give some for Christmas gifts to the parents this year. I was planning on knitting some dish cloths to go with their homemade soap as gifts, but I'm not sure I'll get it all knitted that I want knitted for gifts. They may be late gifts. We'll see. This year is a more handmade/homemade Christmas. It goes in line with my new simplifying way of life I'm slowly incorporating into my home.

What are your plans for Christmas gifts this year?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

What do you want your home life to convey to others? Do you want a warm and inviting, cozy and comfortable, or clean and sterile home? The way you care for your home can say a lot about you and who you are. Why do you keep home? Why do you stay at home? What is your motivation?

My home is not the cleanest there is. Nor is the most organized that it can be. It is definitely lived in. I have a loving family that lives here. Fully lives here. I'm not the kind of mom that has the kids in a million activities that are outside the home. I am not spending a lot of my time in the vehicle driving from one place to another. We truly spend our time here at home. The kids might be outside playing with the neighborhood kids or they are playing inside with each other. Or they are relaxing watching a movie or a favorite cartoon. The point is, we love being home.

I love to get ready for the different seasons in our home. There are pumpkins here and there. Little fall leaves grace shelves. Fall scents fill our home with our Scentsy wax warmer. Since I've gotten our warmer, I have been in total love with it!

I have been rereading some of my favorite homemaking books also. Right now I am reading Home Comforts The Art and Science of Keeping House by Cheryl Mendelson. I would like to leave you with some of the wisdom that pours from this book.

Making a home attractive helps you feel at home, but not nearly so much as most of us seem to think, if you gauge by the amounts of money we spend on home furnishings. And going in for the nostalgic pastimes- canning, potting, sewing, making Christmas wreaths, painting china, decorating cookies- will not work either. I count myself among those who find these things fun to do, but I know from experience that you cannot make a home by imitating the household chores and crafts of a past era. Ironically, people are led into the error of playing house instead of keeping house by genuine desire for a home and its comforts. Nostalgia means, literally, "home-sickness".
What really does work to increase the feeling of having a home and its comforts is housekeeping. Housekeeping creates cleanliness, order, regularity, beauty, the conditions for health and safety, and a good place to do and feel all the things you wish and need to do and feel in your home. Whether you live alone or with a spouse, parents, and ten children, it is your housekeeping that makes your home alive, that turns it into a small society in its own right, a vital place with its own ways and rhythms, the place where you can be more yourself than you can be anywhere else.

You can enjoy keeping house. No one is too superior or intelligent to care for hearth and home.

Each of its regular routines brings satisfaction when it is completed. You get satisfaction not only from the sense of order, cleanliness, freshness, peace and plenty restored, but from the knowledge that you yourself and those you care about are going to enjoy these benefits.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Here are the pictures as promised. Above is my breadmaker. It is showing the dough rising. Actually this is when it was finished rising. Below are the rolls rising again for another 30 minutes with a towel draped over them to keep the draft off of them.

Here is said towel. It is a flour sack cloth from Wal-mart. Very handy towels to have around. I've used them for drying dishes, straining tea when making hot tea from loose herbs, and for wiping dirty faces and hands while eating. I do have 4 kids around here.

And here they are finally done. Baby girl and I enjoyed ours after they cooled a bit with some organic strawberry jelly we saw at Costco. They were devine! And also the perfect size for Hubby's sandwiches at work.

I love how they connect and then tear apart. I know. The small things are what amuses me. I will share the recipe here. I saw it on the blog I shared the other day with you. Down-to-earth.


I'm making these again today to make sure of my amounts. I'm pretty sure this is what I used yesterday. I rarely use written recipes so this is just from my head. If there needs to be a change, I'll let you know later this morning.

Recipe for bread rolls in the bread machine
• 3½ cups bread flour - can be white, wholemeal, rye, grain - whatever. If you use a heavier flour you'll need to increase the amount of water used.
• 1 teaspoon salt. Please use good salt, not table salt. Even cooking salt is better than table salt.
• 1 tablespoon butter
Put all the above in your bread machine bucket.

In a teacup add and mix up:
• ¾ cup lukewarm water
• ½ tablespoon sugar
• 2 teaspoons yeast

• plus another cup of warm water - I can't tell you the exact amount of water you'll use. That will depend on your flour and the weather. Start with the 1¾ cups and you might have to add more.
Mix the ingredients in the cup and allow to stand for 5 minutes. You want your yeast to prove - it will look like this:

If the yeast doesn't froth up, it's dead and you'll have to buy new yeast. Always store your yeast in the fridge, it will keep longer. When the yeast is frothy and bubbling, add it to the dry mix, making sure all the sugar is either dissolved or added to the flour mix. Turn your machine on to the "dough" setting and let it mix the dough.
When it's finished, remove the dough and roll it into a long cigar shape - about 12 inches long. Cut into about 8 pieces for large rolls or 12 pieces for small rolls. Take each piece of dough and work it with your hands into a nice round ball. Place all the balls on a baking tray, add seeds, polenta or a criss-cross and allow to rise for about 30 minutes - depending on the temperature in your house. If you can put them in the sun they'll only take about 10 minutes to rise.
Turn on your oven so it's hot when you put the rolls in. Bread has two types of rising - one is from the yeast you use, the other is called "oven lift" - you get this when you put properly proved bread dough into a HOT oven. The heat immediately starts to lift the bread. That, my friends is what you want. Adding dough to a warm oven won't give you the same result.
Good luck with your rolls, everyone.
OOPS - ruralinspirations has just reminded me I didn't tell you about the temp for baking these rolls. As I said, put the rolls into a HOT oven (that is one that has been sitting on at least 200C for about 10 minutes). Then cook on 200C (395F) until they're golden brown and you can smell baked bread.
I tested the above recipe and everything is fine. Just monitor the water yourselves as it's always a bit different. Pictured below are today's bread rolls, just out of the oven.

Happy baking everyone!

A wonderful blog. I'm still reading through the past posts. I have yet to reach the beginning.
I still haven't downloaded those pictures off my camera! I feel more and more blonde the older I become. Or is it the more pregnant I am? I wasn't able to finish my grocery shopping that I had planned for yesterday. So hubby was nice enough to get a ride to work again today so that I could have the truck to finish up. (And he overslept this morning while his friend was waiting outside. Poor guys.) We are really going to enjoy this weekend! I am behind on laundry. I'm looking forward to it in an odd sort of way. I normally do not enjoy laundry, but the whole process of sorting and washing, hanging outside on the line, bringing it in to fold... is sort of growing on me now that I've started doing it this way. I try not to use the dryer. But when I'm really tired and need something quick, I'll throw it in the dryer so I can get through it quicker. I won't be making any bread today. I won't be home to watch it while it rises. And since I didn't get everything bought yesterday, once I get home, I'll have to start one of the meals right away and then finish cleaning up the kitchen while it cooks. Not my ideal, but whatever I have to do to make it work.

Our pantry is in our laundry room. And I've recently found an old bag of potatoes rotting. We've had an awful lot of fruit flies flying around and just could not figure out where they were coming from. Found them! So sometime this afternoon, I have to drag everything out and completely wipe out all the shelves and get rid of anything else that might be old or expired. I have a lot to get done today and I'm still really tired. A nap might be in the plans later on. I'm still working on a knitted pattern for my Swiffer. I modified one I found online and the pattern I was working with was sideways to the way I wanted it to run. So I frogged it and will start over.

Well, I hope y'all are having a wonderful day today.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Good morning blogger land! These pictures are from 2 years ago at a pumpkin patch that I took the kids to. I really want to go again, but it's an hour or so away and this year and last year I am having on and off again contractions and don't want to go that far away from home. So we're planning on going next year with Daddy this time. He was gone that year that we all went.

This morning the place is a mess. I was too tired last night to clean up the kitchen after we ate. I am still really tired this morning too. Not sure what all I'll get done today either. I got the food put away but that was about it. The living room isn't picked up so that needs to be done also. Cloth diapers are sitting on the couch from yesterday when they came out of the dryer. There are still clothes in the dryer that need to be brought out, folded, and put away. The clothes in the washer need to be put in the dryer. So much to do today. I also plan on going to Walmart to buy a different color of cotton yarn for my knitting. I want to knit a pad for my Swiffer. Instead of buying the wet Swiffer pads and throwing them away, I am going to make some pads that I can reuse. I also want to price the stuff that I need to make laundry soap and cold-pressed soap. But before I go anywhere, I need to get dressed out of my pajamas, kids dressed out of their night-night clothes, and get this house put back together! I took some pictures yesterday of the rolls I made yesterday and of my dishcloth I'm knitting so I can show you what I've been up to. So sometime this evening I'll get them on my computer so I can post them tomorrow.
Yesterday, I had a sign that the birthing of this baby is fast approaching us. I've been waiting for my "signs" to let me know that the process has started. So I was excited when I got one of my signs!! Since explaining my "signs" might be a little too intimate, I'll save you the descriptions! I'll just keep calling them my signs, since that is what it is to me. Even though my guess date is 2 weeks away, my signs also tell me that baby could be within the next 2 weeks. So I doubt I will make it past 2 weeks from now! So that is positive news for me!! Yay!! I could jump up and down with joy. I'm so ready to hold my new bundle of joy.

I hope that everyone has a wonderful day today. I am going to get myself going so I can start my day. I like blogging here first thing. It gets my thoughts in order so that I know what I need to do for the day.
When is your favorite time to blog?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Good morning. My morning is already going. The kids are awake and trying to get moving. They are just chilling on the floor and the couch right now waking up. The baby is climbing all over this floor bear that I bought for my son when he was her age about 7 years ago. I still have on daughter sleeping in. She's only 2 1/2 and doesn't have to wake up yet. She fell asleep on the couch before bedtime last night. She might be growing.

There are a lot of catching up to do around the home today. The dishes need to be washed. I didn't do them yesterday. The floors need to be swept and mopped. All the trash needs to be gathered and taken outside to the trash cans for trash day tomorrow. And laundry needs to be started. Busy busy day ahead. I also have bread to make, more knitting on my dishcloth, dinner to prep, and compost bin to water and roll around. I don't need to vacuum because my sweet husband of mine shampoo'd them yesterday. I am not sure how much of this I will be able to do today. Being hugely pregnant has zapped a lot of my energy lately even though I want to get it all done. Sometimes I just get tired before I can get to everything.

Now as promised... a blog I have found. It's a gold mine of information about homemaking. I've been reading through her past posts and I still haven't gotten to the beginning. She is based in Australia. The name is Down to Earth. You will learn so much on her blog. She's working on a book too.

Well, I'm off to start my breakfast and to get going with my day. I hope everyone has an enjoyable day today and is learning something new.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

I'm still here. Still waiting for baby to make his appearance. I'm 37 weeks now. I will write more tomorrow with pictures. I have found a wonderful blog that I have spent the last few days going through and reading. Very inspirational. I will share it with y'all tomorrow. Thank you for staying with me. Lots of changes going on both physically, mentally, spiritually, and with the house. Lol. Its the nesting in me going on. I am nesting both our lives and with fluffing the house getting everything ready for another baby to share it with us. The kids are really excited for baby to get here also.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

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Member's Newsletter | October 2010
A Very Lily® Halloween

Lily has been crafting a very special brew this Halloween. In preparation for her annual Halloween party, she is working up a delicious treat. Lily knows that all parties need both snacks and style. She's all set in her witchy costume and has some great decorations to boot.

For all of your Halloween celebrations this year, you can crochet a holiday Lily doll and liven up your house with these great new patterns. Jump into the festivities and have a blast!

Witchy Lily

Witchy Lily (crochet)

Just in time for Halloween,
New free patterns from Lily Sugar'n Cream!
Bag and Spider
Crochet these and all of your holiday projects
with Lily Sugar'n Cream!
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To complete your Halloween preparations, download these patterns from the Lily Sugar'n Cream pattern library.
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Wishing you a safe and exciting Halloween,
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Saturday, September 04, 2010

Backyard Homesteading

So I have had this need to get back to basics. I want to say that it is God calling me to do this. Where else could it come from? I'm not talking about just gardening. I'm talking about chickens (which I cannot do where I live), gardening, canning, preserving, using less energy... things like that. Becoming less dependent on the world and more self-sufficient.

I am starting with gardening since that is the easiest to start with. I am making a compost bin from a garbage can. Thrifty! In between birthdays, births, and holidays, I will buy the wood to make the container style garden beds. I'll make 1-2 beds that are 8x4. Then get the soil added and prepared for spring. I'm already saving our milk jugs to start the seedlings indoors for early spring. Another thrifty idea I got from searching around on the internet.

I've got a list of what I want to plant for the spring. For vegetables, I am planting green beans, sugar snap peas, crowder peas (My grandmother grew and canned these. They were by far my favorite!), carrots, potatoes, onions, garlic, corn, bell peppers, and of course, tomatoes.

For fruits, I would like to plant strawberries, apples, and maybe some berries around the fence perimeter. For the apples, I need to find if there is a dwarf tree version that can be planted in a container. I can't plant trees in my housing area. It's against our lease. We rent here. Same goes for animals. Actually, I think we can have rabbits, but Husband is allergic and I highly doubt he would eat rabbit meat. Lol. To be honest, I am a little hesitant about trying it myself.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Here is more from my book I'm reading right now. If you don't know what book it is, refer to the previous post before this one.

If you're exhausted emotionally and/or spiritually, check these points:

  1. Have you rearranged your life to make God first- living in his presence and allowing plenty of time for worship, thanksgiving, his Word, and asking him about things?
  2. Have you settled into the best church available, and made your fellow believers second in your life? Are you especially loving a few of then at such a close range, in a "small group," so that you can exchange your joys and burdens and needs, get counsel from them, and be held accountable to them?
  3. Have you a plan for reaching those around you for Christ? Are you giving yourself away to the physical and spiritual needs of others?
These three priorities, in this order, will probably give you all the spiritual and emotional stamina you need. But if you say "yes" to these three and your job still exhausts you, you may be in the wrong job.
Work is God's plan for us, so we must find the work that best suits our gifts. We will probably shift in our lives from one type of work to another; that's good. Circumstances may cause this, or maybe those time-capsules going off inside, opening up new interests and gifts.
The source of your money is never your job. If it were and you lost your job, you might have a nervous collapse. No, the source of your money is God. He owns it all; he distributes it as he pleases; and he has promised over and over to take care of the physical needs of every one of his children.
God is always our source! The life of faith demands that we do his will first- before we concern ourselves with supply. That is, before we concern ourselves with supply of money, physical energy, time, or any other need. In the Christian life it's not "seeing is believing"; it's "believing is seeing." First seek "His kingdom, and His righteousness," and after that "all these things shall be added to you" (Matt 6:33).

Now that is how I want to live. I'm not there. At. All. But this is where I want to be. I don't want to be exhausted emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Who does? And life seems to be continually throwing road blocks that I need to overcome. Of course I need God more now that I did last month, last week, or even yesterday. But he will always be there for us as promised. And I love that. I love knowing that I can go to him whenever I need to. I don't have to wait for an opportune time. Every time is the most opportune time.

Bless y'all and love y'all!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Has anyone read this book? The Gentle Ways of the Beautiful Woman A Practical Guide to Spiritual Beauty by Anne Ortlund. Three bestselling works complete in one volume. Disciplines of the Beautiful Woman, Disciplines of the Heart, and Disciplines of the Home. I've had this book for quite a few years now and it is one of my go-to books when I need a pick me up. Sometimes I need a restart and this book is just that book that I love to go to. Do you have a go-to book when you need a restart or a kick start?

Here is an excerpt from the book:

This is what separates the winners from the fool-around-ers: setting your face toward truly making God the number one priority of your life.

...Let me suggest four ways; his Spirit will teach you many more.
First, practice his presence. Jesus did! He said, "Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me?" (John 14:10). Yes, Jesus was special; he was part of the Trinity; but he tells us also to abide in him! So we get our clues from Jesus: when we abide continually in the Father, the words that speak won't be spoken on our own initiative; the Father within us will do the works.
Live your life consciously before him, moment by moment. Trust him to help you do it. Psalm 16:8 says, "I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken."
Second, jealously guard a daily quiet time spent alone with God. Jesus did! He sent the multitude away- and prayed (Matt 14:23). When our three babies were age 2 1/2, 1 1/2, and brand new, I found my days were just one succession of bottles and diapers, and I got desperate for times with the Lord! Normally I would sleep like a rock, but I said, "Lord, if you'll help me, I'll meet you from two to three A.M." I kept my tryst with him until the schedule lightened; I didn't die; and I'm not sorry I did it. Everybody has twenty-four hours. We can soak ourselves in prayer, in his Word, in himself, if we really want to.
Third, seek the Lord in occasional longer hunks of time. Jesus did! In Luke 6:12 he spent an entire night in prayer, because he felt the need- he, the Son of God! How much more do we need these extended times with God? Ray and I take one day a month, usually, to go out of town and pray, think, check our schedules, evaluate where we've been, see where we're going, discuss how we're doing as a wife, as a husband. The time is too short!
And fourth, be diligent in your attendance of public worship. Jesus was! Luke 4:16 says that "as was His custom, He entered synagogue on the Sabbath." Certainly the Son of God wasn't going to church "for what he would get out of it." Maybe it was often than the best. He went because he pleased the Father in all things. Be committed to public worship of God every week whether you feel like it or not, whether the preaching is great or isn't! We go for what God gets out of it. He wants us to be there, not via television or radio, but personally with the Body of Christ (Heb. 10: 25).

I truly get so much from reading this book. I highly recommend it if you don't already have this. It is a little treasure for your bookshelves! As I read more, I'll share more juicy tidbits that will help your journey in Christ. Bless y'all and love y'all!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Don't you hate it when "life" happens? Well, "it" happened to me. I am 29 weeks pregnant with our 5th baby. I went last week to take my routine 1 hour glucose test. I failed it for the first time. So I now had to take the 3 hour glucose test. Well, I failed that one too. So now, for the first time out of 5 pregnancies, I am diagnosed Gestational Diabetic. I have a new diet I need to follow. I have to test my blood sugar levels 4 times a day. And so far, my numbers are still high.

So in light of my newfound way of life for the next 2 months at least, I am posting these beautiful pictures of our flowers. They are no longer in bloom right now. They are so pretty though. Doesn't God make such beauties in our lives? You just can't focus on all the road blocks that are thrown at you. Focus on the blessings of God will serve much better.

This picture is the best! I can see myself sitting beside this and just relaxing and letting the worries of life just melt away. This is at our Sea World. We just love that place. We have season passes for 2 years. We will be going quite a lot. The kids love it!

Sunday, August 01, 2010

I can't believe I'm doing this. I am selling my embroidery/sewing machine. The money is going towards my class that I need in order for me to take the state licensing exam. Here is the link to ebay if you are interested. It's a Janome Memory Craft 9500. I have extras that are coming with the machine also. I just do not have the time to sit down and do the crafting that I want to do. I tell myself that I will have time when I'm older and the kids are grown and having families of their own. Please take a look at my machine.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Another giveaway y'all!

Check out Miss Janice over at her blog and be sure to enter for her fabulous giveaway! Being from the south myself, I am definitely entering too.

G.R.I.T.S. ROCK Giveaway!!!

Yes, we are G.R.I.T.S.--Girls Raised In The South! And, we do love grits y'all!!! Grits is a comfort food that has helped many a Southerner through tryin' times. Grits are "King" at the Waffle House and they are also a favorite on the tables at wedding receptions, funeral receptions, and posh Southern soirees. Just like the other well-loved Southern comfort food--macaroni and cheese, grits is a Southern lady's blankie!

Exactly what is grits? Grits is made of hominy and hominy is the dried kernel of corn after the hull and germ have been removed.

My giveaway is all about Grits!!! I love grits prepared any style...plain grits with real butter, grits with cheese, or shrimp & grits. When The Queen of Southern Cuisine, Paula Deen was married, the classic combo of shrimp & grits was served to guests at her wedding in martini glasses. Now my daddy would have said that was too high-fallutin' him!!! I love it though...shrimp & grits served in a martini glass! I prepared Paula's recipe last night and we all loved it!!!

Here's some proper Southern grits etiquette for all y'all who live outside the South:

~Grits should always be served on a plate...along with your eggs and bacon and eaten with a fork; unless they are served alone, then you may use a bowl. Of course, they may also be served in a martini glass for a posh presentation!
~Grits are always eaten with a fork, 'cuz they should be thick enough not to run through the tines.
~Never put syrup on your grits--this irritates us Southerners to no end!
~Don't even think about putting sugar on your grits!!! Good Lord.
~Ketchup on your grits? ma'am, that's very Waffle House!
~Don't you dare eat instant grits...don't you dare!
~Don't call grits "cream of wheat"--again, very irritating to Southerners!

Recipe for Paula Deen's Shrimp & Grits:
2 servings cooked grits
2 tblsp olive oil
1/2 cup diced tasso ham*
2 tblsp diced onion
2 tblsp diced green peppers
20 medium to large shrimp, peeled and de-veined, with tails on**
1-2 tblsp white wine
1 cup heavy cream
Salt & pepper
Green onion tops, chopped
*Tasso ham is a cajun ham found outside of Louisiana. You can substitute salt pork, pancetta, or prosciutto.
**Miss Janice takes the tails off the shrimp before serving

Cook grits according to package directions; set aside and keep warm. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add tasso and saute until crisp. Add diced vegetables and saute until onions are translucent. Add shrimp and saute for 30-45 seconds, or until pink. Remove from the pan and set aside. Deglaze the pan with a little white wine. Slowly add the cream and let reduce until thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add grits to martini glasses and spoon the shrimp & sauce on top. Enjoy!

The Giveway...
First up, I'm giving away an apron just like the one I'm wearing today. It's too cute y'all! I get a LOT of compliments on it everytime I wear it!!! G.R.I.T.S. is printed in large pink and green letters and "Girls Raised In The South" is printed below in smaller pink and green letters. Pink & Green...Southern and preppy!!!

Next...I get so many emails from readers asking advice on 'How to be a Southern belle'. To help y'all start Southern Belle 101, I'm offering these two books by Deborah Ford.

"The G.R.I.T.S. Guide to Life"...The unspoken rules and rich traditions that makes Girls Raised in the South so unique! If you're not from the South and would like to learn more about being a Southern girl, this is the book for you. Or maybe you were raised in the South and now you live Lord-knows-where and just need a refresher course on Southern traditions. Love this book y'all!

Another book by Deborah Ford, "Puttin' on the G.R.I.T.S., A Guide to Southern Entertaining"--is a must-have for those who want to know how to be the perfect Southern hostess. From Potluck to Thanksgiving Dinner, this book has all the tips & ideas to help you plan the perfect social event!
It wouldn't be proper of me NOT to include some grits!!! And, they are Dixie Grits. Yes ma'am they are!

*Please note that I'm not giving away Jean Paul y'all...just the grits sitting next to him!!!

Rules for the Giveaway:

~For one entry--you must leave a comment on this post.
~For two entries--you must be a follower of my blog or let me know if you are a new follower.
~For three entries--you must post about my giveaway on your blog.
~For four entries--you must be a follower of SocialGraces101 (that's me y'all) on Twitter or let me know if you are a new follower.
~For five entries--you must tweet about my giveaway.

Good luck to everyone! I'm taking some time off be be with family this week. This giveaway will end at 12:00 midnight E.S.T on Friday, July 30th and will be announced on Saturday, July 31st.

(Remember, enter on her blog!)

Friday, July 23, 2010

What are your plans for the weekend?

I am redecorating our home. I'm doing one room at a time and have decided to start with the most important room in your home. The entryway/foyer. This room sets the tone for the rest of the home when you walk in. What about when your guests walk in? What do you want them to feel? How do you want to feel or your spouse at the end of a long day? My entryway is not as grand or as big as I would like, but it is still big enough to do something with. I am starting by changing the wall color. When we moved in, all the walls were one color. Arizona White. Which is just short of a dingy white, if you ask me. I'd rather have stark white walls. However, we didn't get to choose. I've slowly over time painted some of the rooms. The kitchen is a soft buttery yellow color. Then we found the color on clearance that our oldest son wanted for his bedroom. So we bought it right then! Then I saw another clearance gallon for our bedroom. I liked it until I gave birth at a birthing center and they had the exact same color! (Yuck!) So now I can't stand the color.

I decided on Cafe Latte by Glidden. It's such a nice neutral color. I can easily add the other colors and have it coordinate. I was looking for a table for one of the walls at Ross and found the perfect mirror instead for the wall. Yay! I love it when I find a goody! I'll most likely head to Home Goods to find a table for my entryway. I'd really like a Bombay style table. I am so excited to start this project.

I'd love to hear what you have planned for the weekend. I hope to finish the painting by this weekend. We'll see.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


What does this mean to you?

There are a few women that I truly admire for their entrepreneurship abilities. Martha Stewart, Oprah Winfrey, Mary Kay, Jenna Jameson, Bethenny Frankel, among many others that are not so famous.

Today, a friendly blogger I follow, did a review of Bethenny's accomplishments. She did such a splendid job that I am just going to leave her review for you to read here. The Life of a Suburban Princess is the blog I'm referring to. Here's what she had to say:

She attended the Natural Gourmet Culinary Institute in New York to become a chef. After she graduated, she formed BethennyBakes, a company that provided wheat-, egg-, and dairy-free baked goods, meals for private clients, and a custom-meal delivery service. The company ceased production upon the launch of Frankel's Skinnygirl brand in 2009. (SP - She was creating allergy-free baked goods when this sort of thing was unheard of! She herself says she built her company out of rubble!)

Bethenny was one of 16 candidates in The Apprentice: Martha Stewart. She made it to the series finale before losing to Dawna Stone. (SP - How amazing is that?! To even make it onto the show is a huge accomplishment!)

Bethenny is currently one of the seven women featured on Bravo's series The Real Housewives of New York City. On June 10, 2010, Bravo TV aired a series spinoff, Bethenny Getting Married?. The show follows Frankel through the planning of her wedding and life with Jason Hoppy. (SP - Imagine being so interesting! If cameras followed me most days there would be a lot of footage of the dishwasher being loaded, laundry being folded....)

In March 2009, Frankel's first book, Naturally Thin: Unleash Your SkinnyGirl and Free Yourself from a Lifetime of Dieting, was published by Fireside. (SP - My own book is in the works so I know what goes into it - to be picked up or approached by a publisher is huge!)

In December 2009, Her second book, The SkinnyGirl Dish: Easy Recipes for Your Naturally Thin Life was published, also by Fireside. (SP - Her first book was such a huge success the market warranted a second one!)

She released an exercise DVD, Body by Bethenny, in spring 2010. (SP - I dont have the time, energy or motovation to put an exercise dvd on let alone make one!)

The Skinnygirl Rules, an audiobook read by Frankel, was described as a summary of the first two books.

She is currently working on two more books, A Place of Yes, and Naturally Fit Pregnancy, as well as a skincare line. (SP - remember when she told KKB she comes from a place of yes? At that moment my entire view of Bethenny changed!)

On June 10, 2010, her new series, Bethenny Getting Married?, had the highest ratings of any series debut in Bravo history with over 2 million viewers. (SP - I havn't even watched my own wedding video!)

Bethenny posed nude for PETA in September 2009. The photo was featured on a billboard in Times Square as part of animal rights group PETA's anti-fur campaign. (SP - No one wants to see me pose nude, not even for a cause!)

Just 3 weeks after giving birth Frankel posed in a size-4 swimsuit for Us Magazine. (SP - I would love to be a size 4!!!)

Once again, thank you to Wiki for making me look like I know a lot more than I really do.

If I had this cheeky little bod I would wear a bikini too. Everywhere.

In the middle of all of of this Bethenny has come out with her own drink and a new brand!

I have invested some time into getting my own drink off the ground and let me tell you, it isn't easy!

I am picturing something like this in pink and green with my logo on the side!

Bethenny graced the cover of People last week - the first Housewife to do so.

If you have seen her new show you will know just how hard Bethenny works. She did not come from money or fame...she simply worked hard her whole life to get to this place. In a time when so many people think everything should be handed to them Bethenny has earned every dollar she has made with her drive, ambition and hard work.

She is a great example of what we can accomplish when we set our minds to it!

Have a fabulous day!