Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A September Spent...

Well, the end of September is here and a new month will be coming in short order. I know that I have not done monthly summaries in quite sometime; but, I do think that it helps me to realize that I did accomplish some things and the month didn't zip by unproductively.

So, what all happened this month?

Well, I spent 9 days in Florida beginning on the 9th. One of my dear friends was getting married and my sister and I were both bridesmaids in her wedding. I spent almost all of my time in Florida up until the wedding doing wedding things for/with the Bride. After the wedding however, I had the opportunity to spend more time with my family. We played some games, went to some museums, and went walking around downtown while I was there. I got to shop with my Mom (which is always fun) and got to visit with my Gram. We also ate dinner at Gram's house on Sunday. My Mom and I also met half-way (between where my parents live and my DH's parents live) to have a nice lunch with my MIL. We also had a girls' night and my mom, sister, and I went out to dinner and then to see a movie. When I had to leave it was sad and I once again wished that my DH and I still lived in the same town as they do.

My DH has been taking his comprehensive exams for his PhD this month. The tests have kept him really busy preparing and pretty stressed. He took his last test yesterday morning and now all of the tests are over with. Praise the Lord! It is all over except for the wait of finding out the grades. I am so proud of my DH, not just for his smarts, but for the fact that he has realized that he has been spending more time studying than he usually does (therefore I have been spending more time alone) and he made it possible to set aside several evenings so I can have his undivided attention.

Since I got back from Florida, I have been spending a great deal of my time decorating for fall. As any of who have read any of my recent posts know, I have been having a blast decorating and trying not to go overboard on the pumpkins.

I have also been canning some over the last week. I canned 6 pints of Pear Honey and 4 1/2 quarts of Applesauce.

I also started a photography class this month. I am really enjoying it and I look forward to bettering my pictures. I have already learned a ton of stuff and it is only two weeks into class. Today my DH and I are going to do my next homework assignment, which is taking pictures of fountains.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Pears, Apples, and a Big Pot...

Well I hope that all of you had a great weekend. My weekend went by very quickly, as most of them do. I turn around and it is Monday again. Today is such a sun shiny day and this morning it actually felt a bit chilly. It won't stick around long though in about an hour it will probably be burning hot out there. I can at least open all of my blinds and let the sunshine pour in though.

On Saturday I went to training to be a small group leader with the Truth Project. The Truth Project is a really neat study done by Focus on the Family. It is a 12 week home study that serves as a starting point for viewing life from a biblical perspective. It is a really valuable study and there are small groups all around the country going through it. If you would like to learn more about it or would like to get involved, head on over to the Truth Project website. Have any of you every heard of or gone through the Truth Project?

Here is a promotional video clip about the Truth Project.

Yesterday my DH and I went to church and then he had to study for his last comprehensive exam (which he is taking right now). I spent the day doing this and that around the house. I also made applesauce from Honeycrisp apples. I was very happy with the way it turned out.

I made applesauce from Honeycrisp apples last year and my DH ate it up so fast that I made more this year. I think that I might make another batch before the apple season is over with.

I also canned some pear honey on Thursday. Now I just need to make the jars look cute. They make great little hostess gifts when they look really cute.

Today, I have the children that I watch coming over for the afternoon. I have got to get my house back together and do my FlyLady cleaning for the week. What all are you doing today?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Fall Exercising...

While I was in Florida last week, my mom and I discovered a new workout program by Leslie Sansone. I have been doing the workout for about a week now and I really do like it. It is a Walk at Home program that lets you choose how long you want to walk. So far I have walked 1 mile for three days and 2 miles for two days. I really like the thought that if I don't have 30-45 minutes to devote to exercising each day I can still walk a mile in about 15 minutes. I have a hard time exercising on a consistently on s regular basis; but I think that even if I only walk a mile, it is better than not exercising at all and I have fun while I am doing it.

If this is something that you might be interested in check out the Walk at Home website. I purchased my exercise DVD's at Ross for $4.99 a piece (it is cheaper than it is off of their website), if you think that you might like to give Walking at Home a try.

Have you ever done any of Leslie's workouts?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Going Back to School...

(I took this picture on a day trip my DH and I took with my parents in August.)

Well, in May I finally graduated from college. This was very important because I promised my Dad that I would finish my degree whenever I got married. Also, I only had four classes left to finish when my DH and I moved from Florida to Texas. So two years later, I finally finished. However, in college I was a dual major and did not get to take any fun classes, no yoga or art or anything. So, now that I am finished with my degree, I am going back to take the classes that I really wanted to take. I am taking them through the Continuing Education side of the local community college and I am really enjoying them.

This summer my DH and I took a beginners ballroom dancing class and had a blast. Since the class finished we have been going to local ballroom dances. It is great exercise and now we actually know how to dance.

This semester I am taking a photography class. I am really excited about this class. I have always loved to take pictures (especially of flowers). I will have to share some of the pictures that I take and keep you posted on how things are going. I am really wanting to learn about lighting and effects. When my DH and I have children, I want to be able to have great pictures of them without always having to pay someone to take the pictures.

Now I am off to do my homework.

I hope that your Thursday is full of sunshine and happiness!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Final Fall Touches...

Well, I do believe that I have finished decorating for fall. Come late October, I will put out my Pilgrim couple and my Indian couple, but for now I am done.

I went to Hobby Lobby today in search of two items: one for the dining room table and one for the coffee table. I had several different specifications for what I was needing (okay wanting).

First, it couldn't be a pumpkin. My DH encourages me to decorate for the fall because he knows that I love to do it. However, he did request that I not buy any more pumpkins because I already have a ton of them.

Second, it had to be easy to move. Since it is on the dinner table it will get moved every other day as I change out the tableclothes and on the coffee table because it is my multi-purpose table in the house. I am always using it for something.

Third, the coffee table decoration couldn't be breakable. I watch a 16 month old (J.) three days a week and he is very curious about stuff.

So that being said, J. and I set off in search of some fall treasures at Hobby Lobby.

I found these cute little acorns.

They added a little something extra to one of the end tables.

This is some of the best potporri. It smells of cinnamon with a hint of pumpkin and it has so many neat textures and shapes. The bowl (holder) is made of little metal leaves and looks great on the coffee table.

This vase is really rustic looking. It added height and some subtle color to the dining room table.

Thanks for finishing the fall tour of my house.

I hope your day is blessed!

Yummy Pumkin Chocolate-Chip Muffins...

Yesterday morning I tried a new recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate-Chip Muffins. I found the recipe on Julieann's blog, My Daily Life as a Wife and Mother, and they looked so good I decided to make them for breakfast right away. I even baked them in these cute little pumpkin paper liners. (it is officially fall at my house and pumpkins are the main theme.)

They were delicious. The muffins weren't the "basically ate a cupcake" type of muffins, they were a subtle sweet so you could really taste the pumpkin in them and the chocolate (my favorite part) was semi-sweet so they were just perfect. They were really simple to make and don't call for a whole lot of strange ingredients.

If you want to get the recipe, click here.

Thanks for sharing the recipe Julieann!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere...

Well, last night my DH helped me decorate for fall (or at least he told me whether or not it looked good as I was going along). I was so very excited to decorate and I only wished there there was such a thing as "Fall Music" to listen to while I placed pumpkins and leaves around my house. I mean decorating the Christmas tree just isn't the same without some sort of jolly, jingling tune playing, right? Anyway, I am still going to get something for the center of my dining room table and the coffee table. I am going to go shopping for the little wheat pillars and something besides pumpkins to fill in the gaps.

So now for a tour of my recently decorated home...


This is the entry table.

This is a close up of the welcome sign and squirrel votive holder.
The sign says:
"Whether you come in to visit or just to rest
when you enter our home

may you be blessed."

The bookcase in the living room. (Sorry the picture is crooked.)

The sofa with my fall paisley pillows on it.

The armoire.

A side table.

Another side table (in a crooked picture).

The sideboard in the dining room.

The door at the end of the hall.

My fall aprons.

Fall hand towels.

Thanks for taking the fall tour of my house. I hope that you enjoyed it.

Quiet Strength Review...

Yesterday I finished reading Quiet Strength by Tony Dungy and I was sad that the end of the book had come.

I grew up watching pro-football (NFL) with my Dad on Sunday afternoons during football season. In the NFL, as with most professional sports, athletes have a great deal of athletic talent and "earthly" success, yet their lives often fall apart because they are looking for fulfillment in the wrong places. Some athletes and coaches, however, have found fulfillment through their faith in God.

Tony Dungy is the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts. He has used the position God has given him to be an example of what is really important in life. Dungy writes about his faith, the ups and downs of his life, and football. I don't want to give away too much of the book's content, but I encourage you to buy it for yourself or your spouse. You will be encouraged by Dungy's integrity and challenged to make your faith a real part of your life.

Here is an excerpt from the Epilogue where Dungy writes about what is really important in his life:

"Touching lives. Building a legacy-- not necessarily on the field but in those places that most people will never see. Trying to be faithful in the position God has given me. I love coaching football, and winning a Super Bowl was a goal I've had for a long time. But it has never been my purpose in life. My purpose in life is simply to glorify God." -pg. 301

Dungy has a new book coming out in February 2009 title UnCommon. To find out more about UnCommon, click here. To Find out more about Quiet Strength, click here.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Fall is Finally Here...

Happy fall to all of you!

Today is the first day of Autumn and I am really excited because that means that it is time for me to pull out the pumpkins and leaves. Decorating for fall is one of my favorite time to decorate for. Today I am finishing packing up my summer decorations, cleaning well before I put out my fall decorations, and then DECORATING. How very fun!

My DH is in the middle of his doctoral comprehensive exams. He has been really busy preparing for them and come next Monday it will all be over. I am really proud of him though. He is halfway finished and feels like he has done well.

This next week I will have more "alone" time than I usually do because my DH is having to study after dinner. But, I am hoping that I will be able to get a whole lot of things finished. I am wanting to rent the movie "Maid of Honor" since I don't really think it is my DH's cup of tea. Have any of you seen it? Is it any good?

I will post some pictures on the progress of my decorating. I hope that your first day of fall is a beautiful one.

Check out the poll on the top right side, I would love to here your opinion.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Be Back Soon...

Hello to all of you! I am very sorry about the lack of posting around here lately. I have just gotten back from a trip to visit my family and after I get everything around the house back in order I hope to be a more regular participant on my own blog.