Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Painting Days and an Award...

Hey everyone! I hope that all of you are doing well. My mom and I have just about finished with our painting. All that we have left to do now is to paint the trim around two doors and 5 doors to paint. I will have to take some pictures to share the progress. We put the living room back together this evening and it looks really good.

Julieann has given me a blogging award. Thanks Julieann! It is my first blogging award and I am very excited about it. In response I am supposed to give the award to 10 other blogs.

Blogging is something I thoroughly enjoy doing. I enjoy posting things about my life, but I also enjoy socializing with all of you through your blogs. Just in case you don't receive an award, please know that I still enjoy reading your blog and think it is "cool".

The rules for this blog award is:
1. Put the logo on your blog
2. Add a link to the person who awarded you
3. Nominate 10 other blogs for this award
4. Add links to those blogs
5. Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs
6. Give a reason why you consider their blogs cool.

The ten blogs that I think are cool are...
Making a House a Home
There is No Place Like Home
Life on Sylvan Drive
This One Will Be Heard

The Sparrow's Nest

I will post the remaining award winners when I get back to my own computer and have their web page's links.

Have a blessed day!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Florida News...

Hello friends! It has been a very busy week and I have been absent from posting (which I greatly enjoy doing). I have actually already gone to Florida and am currently at my parents' house and internet access here is pretty sporadic.

My grandma (often referred to as Gram) fell a little over a week ago and hurt her back pretty badly. My mom has been taking care of my Gram and trying to get things ready for Thanksgiving all while working full-time and so I thought (with my DH's encouragement) that I should come to Florida early and help out. My Gram really can't move around much so I am going to straighten her house tomorrow for her.

I helped my mom paint the downstairs yesterday and this evening. When I get my camera (which my DH is bringing), I will post some pictures.

I would appreciate prayers for my unspoken request and my Gram's health. Thanks so much for all of you prayers and encouraging words. They mean a lot.

I want to continue on with the list of things for which I am grateful.

  • My DH's understanding and encouraging heart.
  • Having the knowledge that God is sovereign and powerful.
  • Our church family in Florida. They continue to pray for my DH and I even though we are away.
  • For the technology (at least some of it) which enable me to blog and talk to loved ones across the miles.
  • The cool weather in Florida and the beautiful days since I've been here.
  • Quality time with my Mom and sister this afternoon.
  • The cheaper gas prices for the holidays.
I hope that all is well with all of you. May your week be blessed!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Little Access...

Hello everyone! I just wanted to let all of you know I may or may not be posting often over the next few weeks because I will have very limited internet access.

I hope that all of you have a great week!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Savory Pumpkin Seeds...

Thanks to all of you to your prayers. I would greatly appreciate it if you could keep my request in your prayers in the weeks ahead.

Last night I made some toasted pumpkin seeds. I found the recipe in a magazine, ReadyMade. The magazine, in my opinion, isn't very good and most is filled with tacky ideas. I am a Southern Living magazine type of girl and ReadyMade is no where close. Anyway, to get off of that rant...

There were two recipes provided. One is sweet and one is savory. We really liked the savory ones. It was a bit spicy, due to the cayenne pepper, for kiddos but it probably won't be too spicy for most adults.

Toasted Sweet Pumpkin Seeds
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
2 teaspoons canolo oil
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Toasted Savory Pumpkin Seeds
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
2 teaspoons canolo oil
3/4 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1. Heat two teaspoons of canola oil over medium heat in a large skillet.
2. Add pumpkin seeds, stirring to coat with the oil. When some of the seeds start to puff, add the spice mixture of choice and stir to coat all seeds.
3. Toast until seeds start to pop and turn golden brown, four to five minutes.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Heavy Heart...

Today my heart has been heavy. I have spent most of the day in an ongoing conversation with God. I know that most of you are Christians and I ask that you would please pray for my unspoken prayer request.

"Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with
My righteous right hand."

~Isaiah 41:10

Happy Fall Giveaway Winner...

Thanks to all of you who entered. It is fun to make new blog-land friends. It is very nice to now be acquainted with all of you. I hope that all of you have a Happy Fall.

Ladies, we have a winner for the Happy Fall Giveaway... (low drum roll please)

Judi Estes!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Happy Fall Giveaway...

*** This post is remaining on the top of the blog until the giveaway is over with, please scroll down for newer content. Thanks!***

I have seen many different people host giveaways on their blog. I have always seemed to miss blog landmarks to have a giveaway for, like blogversaries and 100th posts. In spite of all of this, I going to host a giveaway anyway.

In celebration of fall, I am hosting a "Happy Fall Giveaway" this week. I picked up a few little fall treats for the home including: a little bag of artificial acorns, a oatmeal raisin cookie soy candle, sweet cinnamon pumpkin anti-bacterial hand soup, and a dozen fall beverage napkins.

If you would like to enter the giveaway, just leave a comment on this post or in the CBox. If you would like a second entry, tell others about the giveaway on your blog and then leave another comments on the giveaway post so I can enter your name a second time.

The deadline to enter the giveaway will be next Sunday night, November 9th, at midnight. I will announce the winner on Monday, November 10th.

Have a Happy Fall!

Low-Key Sunday...

Today I am feeling a bit under the weather. I woke up with what seems to be some sort of sinus thing and my body just doesn't feel good. My DH and I have spent the afternoon watching Ken Burns's The War. So far we have watched 3 of the 7 segments. Hopefully I am better by tomorrow because I have a ton of stuff to do.

I wanted to continue with my list of things for which I am thankful.

I am thankful for...

  • My inlaws and the good relationship that I have with them. I know that this isn't often the case for many people.
  • My friends where I live. S. and E. have both been great encouragements and friends to me and I appreciate their friendship.
  • Our church family and the place that we have there.
  • Our home and happiness and blessings which fill it.
  • A. and J. - They bring such joy and laughter to my life. Kids just crack me up sometimes.
  • My country and those who have gone before to bring the freedom I enjoy today.
  • Beautiful days that scream the glory of God.
I would love to here what you are thankful for.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Caramel Apple Goodies...

Hello to all of you. I hope that your day is starting off very well and that it continues the whole day through.

Yesterday I made caramel apples to bring up to my DH's work. I had made some last year and they a hit. So, this year I decided to bring some again. It is fun to see how people light up when you bring stuff like that to the office, professionals get kind of excited.
This year I made little pumpkin tags to hang on them. I had wanted to a stamp that said "Happy Fall" on it, but a pumpkin was all that I could find. I made the tags from little tent gift cards and cut them in half. I used an embossing powder to make them look a little nicer. I wrapped them in just plain saran wrap (for the plain caramel apples, I sprayed the saran wrap with cooking spray to keep the carmel from sticking to it) and tied them off with a ribbon.
This year I made four different types of apples: plain caramel, caramel pecan, caramel salted peanuts, and caramel chocolate chip (my personal favorite). I wound up making 20 medium apples (5 of each type) using 4 bags of caramel bits and I had enough leftover to make 2 more very large apples. The caramel bits melt a whole lot faster than the cubes and you don't have to unwrap them. My grocery had them in the baking section (with the chocolate chips and coconut), not on the candy aisle. I uses the mini-morsels chocolate chips and they work really well. A tip though is to let the apple cool for a minute before rolling it in the chocolate chips because if the caramel is too hot it will melt the chips. I learned that the hard way.
If you would like to give them a try, the recipe for melting the caramel is on the back of the bag. After you melt the caramel all there is to do is dip and roll (if desired). It is great to mix types of toppings like a turtle apple with pecans, chocolate chips, and caramel.
Caramel apples are one of my favorite fall treats. What are some of your favorite fall treats?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day...

Well the day is now upon, November 4. As you already know, it is election day. I must admit that for the last several months that my heart has been troubled. I have worried about the outcome and what is at stake. Personally, the deciding factor for who I voted for was the candidates' view on the sanctity of the unborn life. While other issues may have further proved that I made the right choice, the need to protect the defenseless unborn is what it boils down to for me.

I have had fear in my heart, worrying about the election results. However, in the Daniel Bible study I have been going through, God brought me to a verse that has given my heart peace. In Daniel 4 this phrase shows up three different times (v. 17, 25, 32).

"The Most High rules the kingdom of men
and gives it to whom He wills."

This phrase in correlation with everything else that I have been learning from Daniel has reinforced in my mind a truth that my mind often forgets, God is in control of everything. I hope you can find peace and comfort in this verse, the way that God has allowed my heart to be at peace.

The election results, which we may find out tonight, are according to God's will and the outcome will not surprise Him. May our hearts rest in that knowledge.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

November Newness...

Happy November to all of you! November of 2008, can you believe it? I am certainly surprised that it is once again time for Thanksgiving. It seems like not too long ago my parents were here visiting last November.

I am very excited about this month. Many things will be going on keeping me on my toes. Not that I need to mention it, but it IS fall and it actually feels like it outside. So as you can tell, I am very happy.

Well, not to ignore the elephant in the room, but in just a few days our next president will be elected. Continue to pray for our nation, the voters, and our leaders.

This month, I am really praying for God to help me with my time management. It seems like most days I throw on my workout clothes to bring my DH to work (we share a car) and I have every intention of doing my workout and getting a shower in the morning (because the children that I watch come over in the afternoon). At the end of the day, I am still in my workout clothes and haven't had a shower. This leaves me taking my shower for the day right before I go to sleep and all day I looked like a "who-da-thought" (as my mother and I would say). Needless to say, this has also limited the amount of crafting I get done. I am praying that God would show me what needs to be changed and give me the energy to wake up early to get a jump start on the day.

My DH and I are taking a day trip this month. I am excited because that means that we will get to eat at either P.F. Chang's or Cheesecake Factory for lunch. I am not sure what all we will do, but getting away for a day will be fun.

I have almost finished my sister's placemats and will be starting on several little Christmas presents for the children I watch. I am hoping to get several different projects knocked out. I also had this really cute idea for an item for my Etsy store (that I am trying to get opened).

This month holds the birthdays of the two men of my life (that is excluding my Savior, the time we celebrate His birth is next month). My DH and my dad both have birthdays this month and their birthdays are only 3 days apart. I already have both of their birthday presents and cards so I am feeling on top of things.

This month also holds Thanksgiving which is such a wonderful time of family fellowship and reflection on the things we have to be grateful. This year is also very special because it is the first time that my DH and I will get to spend Thanksgiving with our families. We spent the Thanksgiving we were dating at our respective families' homes. Since we got married and moved to Texas, we haven't been home for Thanksgiving. So my DH and I and our families are very excited. My Aunt who lives in Germany is also getting to visit for Thanksgiving. So we are really going to have a great time.

Keeping with the spirit of Thanksgiving, each week in November I want to post a list of 7 things that I am thankful for. I would love for you to join me by listing things that you are thankful for in the comments.

I am thankful for...

  • my salvation and the comfort of knowing God is in control of my life.
  • the wonderful husband that God brought into my life, I couldn't have asked for any better.
  • my Mom, who is one of my closest friends and prayed for who I would marry from the time that I was a baby.
  • my Dad, who is a great man and has strived to make sure that my sister and I were important to him.
  • my sister, whose friendship I treasure and am so very proud of.
  • my Gram, who has made sure to make my sister and I feel special and loved through the years.

"Enter His gates with thanksgiving
and His courts with praise;
give thanks to Him and praise His name."
~ Psalms 100:4

Saturday, November 1, 2008

October Reflections...

Goodness gracious, October came quite quickly and then went even faster. I am seriously wondering how on earth it is less than a month before Thanksgiving. My how time is flying.

This month has been a month of answers and a month which has, in and of itself, presented new obstacles. The areas of my DH's work, health, and life in general.

My DH finished his Comps at the very end of September which left us wondering for the better part of the month what the outcome of them would be. On the 17th he got the results and passed his major section with distinction. I am so very happy and proud of him. My DH has also applied for 3 jobs (2 in Texas and 1 in Chicago). We are hoping for one of the two in Texas because we really don't want to have to move any further from our families than we already are. He has already done a "job talk" for the job at my DH's current employer and we would like to not have to move. So, the end of the month leaves us wondering what it is that God has in store for us.

This month my DH and I were supposed to go out of town for a long weekend getaway. In the end, we decided not to leave town due to the cost of driving, eating out, and lodging. We wound up just spending the weekend at home doing things that we are normally to busy to do. We played Frisbee golf, went antiquing, played games, and just relaxed.

My photography class is moving right along. I actually only have one more class meeting. I have learned a lot and my DH says that he can see it in my pictures. The biggest thing is practice makes perfect and I haven't really had a whole lot of time to do that.

I have exercised pretty consistently this last month (except for this past week). I can tell a difference in my posture. My clothes are still fitting the same and I haven't stepped on a scale. I am sticking to my original goal of exercising to be healthy and not getting discouraged about weight loss (or the lack there of).

I have decided that I am not going to have a pie swap like I had wanted to. I think that it would be very fun, but almost all of my friends are from different social circles and don't know each other. I became bogged down trying to figure out the correct guest list and the month just slipped away. Oh well, I will have to start planning it for next year. My mom showed me a magazine article about a soup swap. Maybe I will host one of those in January, we'll see.

In regards to apples and my household, this next week I will complete my apple projects for the year. I am planning on making caramel apples for my husband's co-workers. I did this last year and everybody was real appreciative. Right now there are 20 Granny Smith apples sitting on my kitchen counter just waiting to dipped.

God is teaching me a whole bunch on trust. My mind worries about this and that, but I think that I have really been able to just remind myself of who is in control. I am currently going through the Daniel Bible study by Beth Moore. God has just revealed himself to me through the stories from Daniel and it couldn't have come along at a better time in my life.

The verse that best represents this month for me would be:

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart;
and lean not to your own understanding."

~Proverb 3:5