Sunday, December 6, 2009

Letters to Santa

We worked really hard on our letters to Santa this morning!



Little Guy concentrating....




Big Boy sure had a long list!





I'm SO proud of Big Boy!!  He wrote his entire letter by himself and never gave up!!  Little Guy decorated his with a picture of Santa (that happened to look a whole like a head on sticks....sorry Santa!).

I just love the Christmas Season!!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The harsh truth revealed itself this week.

It is the beginning of the end.  We must all deal.  We must all face it.  We must all have Faith.

Pappa's time is nearing.  The awful disease that racks his body has taken control, once and for all.  It robs him of his dignity.  It robs him of control.  It robs him of moments, breathes, smiles.

It robs us all.

For Big Boy, it has taken the lessons he was to learn.  He started many lessons only to have them cut short.  Many truths about the pride, the role, the job he has inherited as the first grandson.  He will not be learning those lessons from his Appachan.  He will have to search uncles and Daddy for those.  He will most certainly lose out on something in the gap.  He will have a few memories, vague, distant and foggy.  Maybe some that have clarity, though likely those will be the funeral, the emotion, watching the pain his family has to endure.  It etches into your mind.  I have those memories from his age and sadly, fewer before it.

For Little Man, he may not remember at all.  He may have few memories of the smile, the laughter, the pride and love.  For Little Man, there is just not enough time.

For my precious husband, it is the stark pain on his face that is so very hard to bear.  It is the recognition that the time is nearing.  That he will soon become a son without a father here on Earth.  It is so hard to watch.  Because words cannot comfort.  Touch does not connect.  It is a reality we must all endure and he is the first of us. 

I want to wrap them all in my arms, to ease the pain and wipe away the tears.  I pray that God, and it is always God, that lends his strength to us all.  That He comforts Pappa in his time here and shortens the time of suffering.  That He leads us through this process.  He opens His Doors. 

We are confident where Pappa will be.  His Faith is strong.  He has the Knowledge.  He knows.  The sadness we endure is only momentarily, before we remember the glory in knowing where he is.  God will be there to meet him.  God will take him home.  Too soon. 

But he will be Home.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

In the busy-ness of the Season

In the busy-ness of the Season, I hope that you all take time to breathe and enjoy the wonder of it all.


These are the favorite ways that I like to spend my time during the holiday season






I would LOVE to host a Christmas breakfast for friends and family this year!!  Doesn't that look yummy?



LOVE these burlap wrapped gifts and the chocolate brown ribbon!




I've already filled bowls full of ornaments, fruit and bling! 




So inviting...

Photos courtesy of Southern Living.com.  Full of great ideas for the holiday season!!  What are you doing to decorate for the Season this year?



Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Works for me Wednesday




Need a tip on how to bathe your little ones?  What REALLY works?

I can't take credit for it.  My Super Hubs actually thought of this one.

We outfitted the boys' shower with this beauty:





Works like a dream!  I just pull it off the holder, spray them down, soap 'em up and rinse 'em off!!  Simple!  Easy!  Genuis!! 

Great idea HONEY!! 

Join some other genuis peoples on over at We Are THAT Family for more Works for Me Wednesday!  Have Fun!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Get that Crockpot Going!!

Blessed with Grace


What sounds good this week?  It is fall, y'all!  My favorite time of year!!!

So that means it is CROCKPOT season! 

This week I'm busting out the crockpot and getting going on this recipe for Tuesday!  Think of us all fat and happy around the dinner table tonite.....OK...let's go for happy, minus the fat! ;)

White Chili with Turkey
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
2 (4 ounce) cans canned green chile peppers, chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
ground cayenne pepper to taste
ground white pepper to taste
3 (15 ounce) cans cannellini beans
5 cups chicken broth
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack

Combine the onion, garlic and ground turkey and saute for 10 minutes, or until turkey is well browned.  Add to the crockpot and toss in all the other ingredients, except cheese.  Stir well and cook for 6 hours on low setting.   Top with cheese and ENJOY!!




Join the rest of us on over at Blessed With Grace for another wonderful TMTT!!  Happy Fall Y'ALL!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Everyone needs a little Super Hero

We had a little Halloween celebration down town last weekend.  LOVED it!  The boys really enjoyed themselves.  It was safe and so much fun!!


Batman AKA Big Boy enjoys a little treat!



Super Heroes awaiting the bouncy house!  By far, their favorite part of the street festival!


Pony rides came in a close second for favorite things to do!





Train rides were definitely a huge hit!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Before & After PARTAY!!!!!!!!!!

I promised and yes, I eventually deliver!!

I told you all about a little paintin' party fixin'-up Super Hubs & I took on, right?  Well..... HERE IT IS!!

I'll admit that most everyone is a better decorator than I.  But sometimes, just a few times, I really get it right.  And this time, I got it right.

A quick before:




Note the plain white backgrounds...





Kitchen area


Family Room


Kitchen



Our kitchenette office corner



Family Area

The gold color is Bungalow Gold and the darker color is Cayenne.  Both are from Valspar.  We did use the same primer for both, which was tinted with the gold color. 

Honestly, it is SO warm and inviting now!  I'm not sure if you can tell from the pictures but we have a very large open kitchen and family area.  The darker colors have helped to bring them together and it is very cozy. 

I did re-do the top of the entertainment center.  I just got the two vases, added some more greenery and dried arrangements.  I still don't like the clock next to the other round thing-y but it'll do for now.  And yes, I have a lot more decorating on the walls but it takes me FOREVER!  I hate to confess it but this is the first paint job in these rooms in SEVEN years!  It's been "custom builder rather flat off white" for years now folks....give me some time for those decorations huh?! 

I finally think I have a little something worthy of Sarah's Before & After Party over at Thrifty Decor Chick!  Join me and a bunch of other thrifty decorating chicks....just don't compare me with Sarah because that lady is a Decorating Goddess!! 




Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tempt My Tummy Tuesday!


Just a couple of weeks ago, we had a wonderful little baby shower for my sister-in-law.  Baby Joshua is due to come to us around Christmas so we celebrated a little!!

I made this fantastic fall dip for the occasion.  It is SO.  VERY.  YUMMY!!  It looks great on any harvest table and I guarantee it'll be the hit of any party!  We're having a little Pre-Hallow's Eve party with the boys and their friends on Friday and you can be certain I'll be serving this one! 

Pumpkin Harvest Dip

1 can pumpkin
1 tub whipped cream
2 Cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 pkg. softened cream cheese

Mix well and serve with graham crackers or gingersnaps.  OH YUMMY!

Enjoy this great recipe and many more over at Blessed With Grace

Happy Fall Y'ALL!




Saturday, October 24, 2009

A little research is needed...

Oh my bloggy friends....

I NEED you!

I need help with my new work routine.  My new life routine.  My new life.

ACK!

So we've been at this for about 3 weeks now.  Boys are doing really well in school.  Of course, Big Boy is the overchiever that he is.  Straight Gold Stars.  Nothing else is acceptable.  In fact, yesterday he had continuous meltdowns because he wasn't allowed to be the leader.  You know.  Because he is...The Leader.  (his words...not mine!).  So it is even more apparent that our little A-type personality continues to develop.  Our parenting challenge continues to be teaching him to let go and just be.  It is a challenge.  He doesn't let go easily.

Little Man on the other hand....umm....not so much into pleasing others, let's just say.  Not straight Gold Stars.  I'm not saying that's bad....just waaayyy different than Big Boy.  He doesn't mind doing things his own way and certainly, if that doesn't fit what the teacher wants that day, well then.....so be it!  So we're trying to figure out how to keep him motivated in a much different way. 

No matter, they are both doing great in such very different ways.  I really thought it would be this way.

Me on the other hand?  Not as great!  I caught a lousy cold this week and have been ExHauSTeD!  It's been awful.  The new job is great though.  Huge.  Enormous.  A LOT different than life one month ago!  But a good different. 

I sat down at the computer this morning though to catch up and do a little research.  My bloggy friends, y'all ROCK when it comes to organizing and getting the proverbial shiiiitte together!  And I need your advisement!!  So I'm searching for ways to organize this house and home for two full-time working parents.  What works.  How to get ourselves prepped for the week, and how to keep it going all week long.  Five days is a millenia sometimes, ya know?! 

I'm starting with meal plans.  Gotta get that going.  Otherwise, KFC stock will increase dramatically, thank you.  And how to get these clothing issues sorted through.  Boys have uniforms.  I have a uniform.  Super Hubs has a uniform.  So how do we have 7 loads of laundry to do?  UGH!!

Any ideas my friends?  Can you help me out??

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Trash to Treasure

I have been working on a few projects and here is one.

LOVE this treasure!! 


I took a wide black frame, purchased at Michael's on sale for $4 my friends.  SaWEET!!!  Added a little bit of fabric to the back with a bit o' Mod Podge....that stuff ROCKS my friends!!!  It goes on beautifully and that lovely green fabric is going nowhere folks!  Then spray painted the letter J for our last name and glued that on. 

Easy peasy!!  My idea of craftin'!! 



Hook on up over at Reinvented with my friend Kimm.  She's got so many more wonderful little trashy treasures!  ENJOY!!!

Are you wondering?

If you read my blog....and ahem, obviously.....

Anyhoo....y'all are probably wondering what's going on around here?  I've been a bit more than absent these past few days. 

Sorry folks.

Major life change.

I said MAJOR life change!

I got a job.  Another job.  And not just another job.  But a Monday through Friday kinda job.  Replaced all those other jobs I've been doing. 

What was I thinking? 

Actually, I was approached a few weeks ago by the hospital where I work, asking if I would take a nurse manager position.  Then they made it worthwhile, if yaknowwhatImean....  And I thought about it.  And we prayed about it.  A lot.  And decided in these economic times, we would do it.  I say we because it is such a HUGE change in our family that it truly had to be a family decision. 

We looked at schools for the boys and have found a fantastic Christian school in which we enrolled them.  They've been there for two weeks now and LOVE IT!  Really love it!!  And they are learning a lot, and having a ball with the other kids.  I kinda feel bad they haven't had that.  We have playdates but honestly, they are such social little guys that this is really fitting for them.  And I'm still in mourning over not being able to homeschool at this time.  I really wanted to.  But alas, we decided not to at this time.  It is always there if we want it and we may take advantage of it at another time in our lives.

We made this decision for many reasons, one is the financial aspect of it all.  Let's face it.  These are lean times and nursing is a great profession.  But also, in our grand master plan (our plan, not God's and we fully understand that....)  we may move again to be closer to family.  They live several states away.  And this opportunity would make me much more marketable in that endeavor, should we ever do it.  Always nice to have options.

And mostly, we prayed and truly felt that God put this into our lives at this time for a reason, His reason.  I'm not quite sure what that it is.  It may not be for me.  It may be for someone else.  Who knows?  He knows.  I fully trust that.  I fully trust that He will lead me through and that I will do my best to follow. 

I will be continuing the blog but maybe not quite as often as before.  I may not participate in as many carnivals and memes as I have.  But I'll keep y'all up to date on what is happening in our little world.  And I do have some terrific new pictures coming soon on the painting we've been doing and some of the cute little things I've gotten together.  I PROMISE!!  Coming soon!!! 

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday!



Today's WFMW is all about our favorite cleaning products.  Or favorite ways to clean. 

Me?  I use a variety of products.  This is by far, my favorite:


Smells WONDERFUL!  Cleans great! 

If I'm feeling a little environmentally conscience....and sorry folks, but sometimes convenience just outweighs my desire to save a plastic bottle.....then I just simply use vinegar and water.  Or vinegar and baking soda.  Or vinegar.  You get the point.

If you want to see my favorite ways to use vinegar, you can go here

But mostly, if I just get myself in the mood, I can clean like a mad woman.  But I gotta be in the mood.  This always helps me get in the mood! 

How about you?  What gets you in the mood to clean?  What works for you?

Let me know and then head on over to We Are THAT Family for more great cleaning tips on this edition of WFMW!!



Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My new FAV-O-RITE product!!

Oh.  WOW!

Like....WOW!!!!!

I have a NEW favorite product, y'all!!  And YOU will love too!!!  I'm going back for more colors tomorrow....

It's Chalk Ink---



This fantastic new item is just what I used to write on my chalkboard painted door thingies....you know, those baskets.  And I LOVE IT!!  It goes on just like a magic marker.  Beautiful!! 

This stuff is wonderful!!  Smooth, easy and totally erases just like chalk.  Only better! 

I got mine at Michaels with a handy-dandy 40% off coupon.  Try them--I PROMISE you'll like  LOVE them too!!

Head on over to Kristen's for more WFMW tips and lovelies.  Always a great bunch of stuff over there!!  Enjoy!!!! 


Monday, September 28, 2009

Falling Into You

I spent the better part of Friday finally getting the house all glamourized for Fall. 

I really like LURVE (as my TDC friend says....) Fall!!  Except for the weather here in hot, steamy Florida!  It's still 92 degrees around here.....yes, at the END of September!  That's NUTS!  We are getting a 'cold front' soon...it'll be more like 83 degrees instead.  Sigh.

But at least in the house, it is all cozy, pretty and ready for the harvest.







Join us on Metamorphosis Monday over at Between Naps on the Porch  and Rhoda's Southern Hospitality for more wonderful Harvest specials!


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fantastic Fall Food


I'm jumping on board with everyone over at Life as Mom for some fantastic Fall Foods.

It doesn't get chilly often here in Florida. Rarely and not for another month or two actually. So jumping into fall foods at this point just seems, well, a bit premature.

However, it IS my favorite time of year. I've got the fall decorations out and am creating things as we speak...err, type. So I'm sticking this wonderful recipe into the crockpot today. It'll give us that wonderful fall feeling and terrific fall tastes. It is YUMMY!



Beautiful Beef Stew
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 pounds cubed beef stew meat
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 onion, minced
4 cups beef broth
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 bay leaves
salt and ground black pepper to taste
3 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons cold water
1 cup frozen peas
Combine the flour, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in a resealable plastic bag. Place the beef in the bag and shake to coat.
Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat; brown the beef in the hot oil and remove to a plate lined with paper towels. Add the onion to the remaining oil and cook until browned. Pour the beef and broth into the crockpot. Stir in the rosemary, thyme, and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Add remaining ingredients, except peas. Cook on slow for 6-8 hours. Add peas in last 45 minutes. Serve with warm, crusty bread.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday!


OK...so we've got 93 days until CHRISTMAS!

That's right folks. I said it. Christmas!

Have you started your shopping yet?

Are you one of those planners or are you the "wait until the day after Thanksgiving" or are you the last-minute, rush kinda person?

I'm a planner. Drives me absolutely nuts not to plan. Have to have an idea. Like two months ago.

SH on the other hand, likes to do all his shopping starting about December 23rd...IF he's planning ahead. Most times, he closes the stores on Christmas Eve.

Which drives me batty. I'm home cooking up a storm and he's running out and about for "just one more thing". It's an annual tradition at our house.

So I thought I'd pull out my favorite online shopping haunts to help you get started on your holiday endeavors. Here are some of my favorites that yield the very best bargains:

fishingfordeals.com This is probably my favorite. Start here to get tons of coupon codes, deals from all over the web, connections to all your favorite online stores and some really great bargains. I found Disney pajamas for the boys here 3 years ago and they are still wearing them today!!

DealsofAmerica.com is another site that yields high bargains. They have a little something for everyone. And check out the info on Black Friday! They really do a great job of letting you know what is coming!!

dealtaker.com Check out their forums to find the very best info on bargains! It's terrific!

slickdeals.net Again--find the forums to get all the latest bargain info. All of the best deals are usually passed on from bargan shopper to shopper. Make friends!!

And if you are me, you always check Craiglist.org to see if your list can be filled by someone else wanting to rid their attic of extra stuff.

So have you started your Christmas shopping yet? Where are your favorite bargain stops?? Let me know and then head on over to We Are THAT Family for great Works For Me Wednesday tips!

Monday, September 21, 2009

It was MAGICAL!

Sorry for the long delay in posting folks. Been a bit distracted with....life. And little time. Last week was B.U.S.Y! I really need to improve my "write a lot, post it later" method of blogging.....

I wanted to share some pictures of our birthday trip to Walt Disney World.

It's evident that the boys really had the MOST fun ever! And yes, we adults did as well! It truly is a magical place! More so when you get to experience it with your children, as they see things that you don't. It was a wonderful day, not too hot, a little rainy and overcast, busy but not slammed-packed. Make sure to check out Disney's WHAT WILL YOU CELEBRATE? It's full of great options on how to plan your trip to The Mouse--and celebrate any occasion! Big Boy got a button that stated he was celebrating his birthday! They wrote his name on it and honestly, all the park employees (and many strangers) would should out "Happy Birthday!" as he walking by! He felt like a King!! And Little Man got his own button that stated he was celebrating and those employees would ask him "What are YOU celebrating?". It opened up a lot of conversation throughout the day and made him feel so special as well!















We've decided Big Boy was truly born the right time of year for a great vacation!