Saturday, January 31, 2009

{ A day of Thrifting }


We had an easy quiet morning, the kids are feeling so much better and I'm sure it's not just the extra TLC I've been showering on them, I'm sure your prayers have had a lot to do with it :)
So I thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

It's starting to heat up around here again, so we're back to short sleeves and flip flops....YAY!

While I got the car cleaned out and ready to go, the kids had fun playing with a bubble blower. It's always amazing to me how happy and thrilled they are with something as simple as bubbles.



We took off around noon today to go out to lunch at one of our favorite all know Cracker Barrel, it's inexpensive, it's delicious food and it's the kind of place that we could stay lost in for hours and hours. There's something about that place, perhaps the old remnants of years gone by, the burning fireplace, the antiques hanging from the roof and the homey atmosphere.

After a great lunch, we took off in search of a few more thrift stores.

I'm sure by now you all know that The Cardinals are playing tomorrow and it's absolutely NUTS around here. Now, I'm not a football fan, I don't ever watch the Superbowl but I can't help but root for The Cards, I have to support the place I'm living in right? No? Well I'm doing it anyway and besides the stadium is like 5 minutes up the street, I've showed you all photos before.

Anyway, lots of cars and people with Cardinals gear and then we see this on the street corner:


The sign says "Honk for your Cards" and you should have heard the honking going on LOL It was hilarious.

I'm sorry this one is a little blurry but we honked a heck of a lot and he got all happy, I thought this expression is hilarious.


After visiting two thrift stores, we decided that we would just head back to the Goodwill again. Look, I'm no snob and I don't mind thrift stores, but when I walk into one and it smells funky and everything is dirty and over priced, I just get frustrated and want to leave.

We lucked out again, Goodwill was having another 50% off, so I was one happy camper because now I'm going to show you what I got and you won't believe how much I paid for it all.

This is what I got....2 huge 1 lb white yarns, a small bag of pink yarn, that cute wall country clock that says "love one another", a white ceramic colander which I LOVE, a really cute plate, a wire basket and mason jars (I'll show you underneath what it's for), that adorable little pig with the basket of apples, a prim shelf, 3 lantern candle holders, tea lights and 2 pillow cases.

I also got some really cute tops for myself, NEW with the tags on, two pairs of capris, a pair of shorts for Nicholas, 3 dresses for Jasmine and some new curtains for the kitchen. ALL NEW with price tags still attached.



Now I know you're wondering how much I paid for it all right? Well, I paid $15. LOL

Yeah I know, I couldn't believe it, $15 for everything and I think I did pretty well and found very cute things.

So now let me show you why I wanted the wire basket and all those mason glass jars. See a while back I was looking at one of my favorite sites online Country Home and I saw an idea that I just HAD to make. But I didn't have what I needed and then I forgot about it, but I remembered it again a few days ago, so I've been on the lookout for everything.


Based on this idea, here's a close up showing the salt shaker.


Here's another view, I have my forks, knives and spoons in each mason jar, then I have the salt and pepper shakers and some napkins. It sits in the middle of my kitchen table and I think it will make it so much easier during mealtimes for everyone.


And here's a closer look at my little lantern candle holders....I absolutely LOVE these.


All in all I think it was a great day and I'm happy with my finds.

I think the key to thrift store shopping is to go in with an open mind and to really look, take time to get in there and look through the many things available. Half of the items I got today weren't visible, they were behind and underneath others.

Anyway, it's late and I'm about to go take my shower and then hubby and I are getting into bed and watching Fireproof together. I can't wait!

Have you watched the movie yet? What did you think?

Friday, January 30, 2009

{ Coming up to Breathe }


I've managed to climb out of the kleenex pile and take a breather, a much needed breather.

I don't have much to share with you today, I think my brain has taken a break, it's needing rest, it's needing restoration and I think I'm on the road to getting that now that my beautiful children are well on the road to recovery.

So today was a quiet, easy, unplanned, do whatever you like day for the kids. And me? I was the caregiver, the nurse, the cook and the provider, I ran myself ragged, I poured numerous cups of juice and handed out various kinds of snacks. But it's worth it, because they're feeling better.


My sweet boy playing with his cars



Miss Bella napping near Nicholas. One thing I love about the pugs is that no matter where the kids are, they are near them and especially when they're sick.


Miss Lola stayed by Jasmine's side


My beautiful girl spent the day in her bedroom, laying on her bed, watching tv, reading, crafting and just relaxing.




When the kiddos are sick, mommy lets them pick their own lunch....


o now that it's evening and they're bathed and watching a movie, I'm going to finally sit down and relax with my crochet.....but first, here's a quick recipe for you. Rotini with Chourizo and Bacon. Yum Yum!


Thursday, January 29, 2009

{ Nurse Calling }

If you're anything like me, when the phone rings and you see certain names and numbers on there, you get nervous. So it went this morning when around 11 am, I was just about to start mopping and the phone rang, knowing that it's probably a telemarketer, I just wandered over and took a peek at the caller ID.

The number on there was from the kid's school and right away my heart clenches, I don't know what it is, but the minute any call comes in from that number, my mind immediately goes to "what if's".

So I pick up the phone and it's the school nurse informing me that Jasmine's teacher had sent her down to the Nurses Office with a sore throat, sore stomach and a headache. She asked me if I wanted her to just give her tylenol and see how it goes or if I wanted to come and pick her up seeing as she has been sick this week and was home yesterday because of it.

If this had been any other time, I probably would have told the Nurse to go ahead and give her the medicine and keep an eye on her, BUT being as both kids have been sick this week I felt it better to pick her up. I did go ahead and grab Nicholas too....apparently he was just going to recess. He comes walking around the corner with his little backpack on, a runny nose and coughing. Yep....I made the right decision, so they're both home for the day.

I'm a very protective mother, I don't like knowing that I'm not in control when my children are not feeling well, so having them both with me at home where I can keep an eye on them, is just what we all needed.

So that was my day, surrounded by kleenex, clingy miserable kids, blankets and teddy bears, medicine, soup and juice. I'm exhausted right now, it's hard enough when one child is sick but when they're all at the same time, it's double the work for little ol' me.

I have to tell you earlier today I felt quite overwhelmed, because at one point I had laundry needing to be switched from washer to dryer, the dishwasher open with dishes waiting to be loaded and I had both kids crying at the same time and asking me for different things. I literally felt like I couldn't breathe, like I wanted to just dig a hole and climb in and come out when everyone was feeling better.....and then I remembered this book that I absolutely love, "Diapers, Pacifiers and other Holy Things".

In one Chapter the author says "If you faithfully wipe your child's runny nose, I will give you a mansion." LOL

Which of course we know is from Luke 19:17 "Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities."

It always reminds me that in order for me to be responsible for big things, I need to be faithful in the little mundane ones.....far too often as a mother and wife AND especially military wife, there are many times that I want to throw my hands up and give up, cry out "UGH, enough, I don't want to do this anymore". You know when you're having a super bad annoying, everything goes wrong, kinda day?

But this book always snaps me back to reality, when I feel that way I grab it and I page through it and see things like:

God entrusts you with little things to teach you faithfulness in big things.

God wants you to see that each little thing you do can have eternal impact.

WOW! Yes, Yes and YES! Everything we do matters, even the little things which we think of with no significance, like cleaning runny noses and scrubbing toilets, if your motive is right.

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving."
Colossians 3:23, 24
And that's what I try to do everyday! I don't always succeed and I don't always remember this, but I try.

I did get a chance to sit down and do some crochet for Valentine's Day. Curt and I don't do anything specialy, as you already know, but I do usually make little chocolates for the kids Teachers and a nice dessert for dinner.

This year though, I'm going to take a page out of Bella Dia's book and make this adorable Crocheted Heart Garland. I've had my eye on it for so long, but alas my crochet skills were non existent. So glad I can do it now.

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I'm going to stick with red, white and pink hearts for my garland and I've already made one and started the second. I couldn't believe how easy and quick they crochet. It's the perfect project for when you want to get rid of leftover yarn.

(click each thumbnail to enlarge)

Here soon I need to get the kids in the bathtub and ready for bed, I've decided to keep them home from school tomorrow, no sense in having them go back only to get called by the nurse again. Baths and pj's, milk and medicine and off to bed early, I'm sure with some good rest over this weekend they'll be healthy and ready to return to school on Monday morning.

Tomorrow it's payday so I'll be out all morning, thank goodness that Curt is home to watch the kids. So I'll be out getting groceries, running errands and picking up lunch and whatnot. It's usually an exhausting day but it feels good to come home and see the cupboards and refrigerator overflowing with food.

Anyway, I think I've babbled enough for today, hope you're all having a wonderful Thursday night. Stay warm and stay safe and God Bless!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

{ Slow Cooking Thursday }

All my slow cooking recipes are now online and starting today, I will add all the recipes shared weekly to my online site too. So if you're wanting to find ALL the slow cooked recipes that have been shared since the first SLOW COOKING THURSDAY, here is the link for you.

Don't forget to add your name to Mr Linky and a link back to your SCT post so others can come by and see your recipe too.

As always, share your slow cooking recipes but if you REALLY REALLY don't have one and still want to participate, then you can share any kind of recipe.

With Superbowl just around the corner, here's a great recipe for the day.

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Bacon Wrapped Hotdogs

1 pound bacon
1 pound hot dogs
1 box brown sugar

Wrap bacon around hot dog pieces and secure with toothpick. Place in crock pot and pour brown sugar over them. Cook on high 3-4 hours or until bacon is brown.

You can also make hotdog bites, by cutting the bacon in half and the hotdog pieces into 1/4's...wrap the bacon around and secure with a toothpick before placing in the crockpot.

{ Are you hungry? }

Because dinner is served and if you need the recipes they're over at the food blog.


{ Hear me Croak }

woke up this morning sounding like a drunk frog, I kid you not, it's the weirdest sounding voice ever, so there will be lots of hot tea with lemon and honey throughout the day.

Good morning everyone, I hope you are all snuggly and warm and staying away from those crazy snow storms. I do envy you, you know that, it's times like these that I miss Idaho the most and can not wait to return soon.

Last night was interesting, both kids woke up a couple of times screaming and crying with bad dreams. It seems to go in spurts with them, months will pass with peaceful sleeping and then they'll both go through a week or so of on and off again "night terrors". I know they say it's normal for kids to have these, but it's very frustrating for the parent. Not because I'm being woken up every hour and getting literally no sleep, though I admit that it's draining, but because I feel helpless and there really is nothing we can do to stop these dreams, but pray.

Everytime they have a bad dream, we snuggle in bed and say a little prayer asking God to protect them and to watch over while they sleep. It does help!

I'm curious though, do any of you out there experience the same thing?

Today I have both kids home with me, after a restless night with no sleep, they are exhausted and both with sore throats, glassy eyes and runny noses. I hate this time of the year, their school is in a constant cycle of sick kids, pneumonia, bronchitis and ear infections are running rampant. So here they sit, in their pj's, snuggled under the blankets with these miserable expressions on their faces. There's plenty of chicken soup, juice and hugs to go around.

I'm thrilled to see so many of you wanting to Pray along with me for our husbands. It truly is the best gift we can give them and especially during the month of February which is all about love :)

So now tell me something. Do you celebrate Valentine's Day with your husband? Do you go out to dinner or a movie or buy each other gifts or cards? Do you make it a special day?

I'm ashamed to admit that we don't, we just never celebrate it in any special way. Sure we'll tell each other "I love you" and "Happy Valentine's Day". But as far as exchanging gifts or anything, we just don't. Tell me we're not the only ones out there?
And if we are, I guess I have to change that LOL

As much as I want to stay and chat more, I have little sick ones to take care of, so I'll leave you with this little prayer that I got off one of my devotionals, it goes with the Prayers for our Husbands.

Father God, I want You to know
that I want to be a friend to my husband.
I want to fulfill the role for which I was made.

Let my husband know that my desires for him
from my friendship with him and not
from wanting
to take away his freedom.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

{ Good Afternoon }

Come on in and sit with me, I have hot coffee waiting. It's kinda nippy outside, I got up this morning and when I went to let the pugs out, I couldn't believe how cold it felt. Now bear with me, I know when I tell you it was 40 degrees you'll laugh until you sides hurt, especially knowing that so many of you are dealing with negative degree temps.

The sun was just starting to come up and it was absolutely beautiful, actually breathtaking, so I took that moment to look into the distance and say a little prayer for a good day, a day of productivity, a day of health and a day of joy protecting us from any negativity that may try to step in our path. It felt good!

After dropping the kids off at school, I came back home to dishes in the sink and a load of laundry waiting to be switched from washer to dryer. I really need to make more use of my clothesline, but I tend to use it more in the summer and not so much in the cooler months.

So here's what else I've been doing this morning......

No matter how cool it is outside, I can't help but open the kitchen window. I love the scent of fresh air and the sound of the chirping birds outside. There's nothing like the morning air is there?

After having some breakfast, I had to make a quick run to the library to return my books and of course, browse through the new releases section. Which means, I come home with more to put in my basket.

On the list this time:

The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards
In the Woods by Tana French
The Likeness by Tana French
The Saddlemaker's wife by Earlene Fowler
The Ghost Towns of the West

Back home, it was time to clean the fridge and reorganize in there. I'm very anal when it comes to this LOL No really, I am. I like all my stuff neat and tidy and items of the same category together. I just can't function when I open the fridge door and see the ham near the strawberry jelly or whatnot.

Weird huh?

Stepping back outside, I got some more lemons off the tree. I tell you it's overflowing with them and the branches are tipping down, some of them almost touching the ground.

To have seen this tree a couple of months ago, and to see it now, is just unbelievable. But it's taught me a valuable lesson, that no matter how bad something may look on the outside, there's beauty underneath just waiting to break through.

I tidied up the couch, the kids have made this their favorite spot in the house. That is where they snuggle under the blanket with their toys, watch tv, draw, rest. Even the pugs have started loving the blanket, it's not unusual to find one of them laying there taking a nap.

Washed, folded and put away all the kitchen towels

And now I am going to sit back, have a cup of tea and read a little of my devotionals.

Who knows what I'll be doing in an hour or two, probably puttering around the house again, cleaning or organizing, but for now, I am choosing to relax and surround myself with the love of God.

Oh and before I forget, starting February 1st, I'm going to start a 31 days of prayer for my husband. You are more than welcome to join me. Every day I'll list a prayer and you can just pray along with me.

You know that I feel that behind every wonderful blogging woman I have come to know, there is an amazing man, they are the ones working in the background. The ones providing for our families, fixing what is broken around the house, giving us a hug when we're down, listening to our bad days, putting up with the constant flashing of cameras in their eyes (admit it, you tote that camera around just as much as I do LOL).

So I think they need to be recognized and admired and acknowledged for the wonderful husbands they are and what better way to do that, than to devote a whole month of prayer to them. Will you join me?

{ Tips on Tuesday }

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Do you have a tip on cooking, cleaning, homemaking, kids, marriage, travel or anything that you would love to share? Feel free to join in!

It's the time to start planning the family vacations, but it's always hard when you have to take into account something inexpensive AND interesting for the kids. So here are some tips for travel:

1 - For Car travel, here are some fun things to keep them entertained

2 - One thing we do on long car trips is to print out a map of our destination and the route to get there, the kids love crossing off the towns as we drive by and it gives them a sense on how close we are to arriving.

3 - Check out
Traveling Series, you can find info on anything to start your vacation planning. From Camping basics to traveling checklists and even currency converter.

4 - Traveling USA is another great resource for vacation planning. You can even find a whole section on traveling with your pet, how cool is that? You no longer need to leave your friends at home with someone else, you can take them with you.

5 - And here's another one,
All Traveling Kids Family Vacations. Chock full of info.

Planning a trip can be exhausting for the parents and it can become overwhelming when you're trying to take into consideration the expenses and all the thousands of places you could go....but that's why I always use these kinds of sites, at least I have fun while doing it.