Saturday, October 31, 2009

Sound of Sleigh Bells Winner!

Oh I so wish I had a copy to give each and every one of you, but I don't unfortunately. If you do plan on getting a new book soon, I would recommend this one, you will love it.

I used to select a winner and came up with:

#19 Dru - Garden of Dreams

Congratulations Dru, please email me at bourlandcs [at] msn [dot] com, with your address so I can get the book out to you.

Friday, October 30, 2009

It's been a long day......

Hi there, come on in and sit with me for a few minutes, I promise I won't take up too much of your time, I am kind of in a hurry because in 15 minutes the Ghost Adventures Live show begins.....7 hours long. Yippee!

But feel free to grab a donut, I just made those and they are DELISH.

I'm sitting here on my bed with my laptop on my lap and I just finished prettying up my blog, what do you think? Do you like it?

Can you believe we are the end of October and almost at the end of another year? Goodness it doesn't even seem true.

Everyone here is looking forward to Halloween tomorrow and the kids are super excited because daddy is going to be home to take them trick or treating, something that being military hasn't happened in at least 4 years.

The house is decorated, the pumpkins are carved and now all that is needed is to buy the candy to hand out. We all have costumes, yes my friends even me, I'm a witch, though I don't know how that came about since I'm the sweetest person you could ever find *snicker*

I also have to get groceries tomorrow morning, I should have gone today but my car is not running, again. I'm so frustrated with that vehicle and I'm hoping my wonderful husband can figure out what is wrong with it this weekend.

Later tomorrow I'll be back with more to chat about and some pictures too, I'm sure you're dying to see me in my outfit LOL

Until then I leave you with this image of the project I'll be working on tomorrow afternoon....tell me these are not the cutest crocheted birdies? The amazing Lucy at Attic 24 ROCKS!


Oooh my show is about to start and I still have to dry my hair, gotta run.

Are you watching scary shows too for Halloween or is that something you don't particularly like? How about telling me what you do for Halloween, your costume this year, or traditions?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Slow Cooking Thursday!


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.

Slow Berry Cobbler

Credit: Paula Deen

* Filling:
* 1 bag each (10 oz): frozen blueberries, strawberries, raspberries - if you have fresh ones, of course - use them!
* 1/2 cup biscuit mix (like Bisquick)
* 1/3 to 2/3 cup sugar - to taste
* Topping:
* 2 1/4 cups Bisquick
* 1/2 cup sugar, divided
* 2 tsp cinnamon
* 1/2 stick butter (4 Tbsp), melted
* 1/2 cup milk

1. Mix berries, baking mix and sugar together and put into slow cooker (I spray it with non-stick spray first).
2. Mix baking mix, half the sugar (1/4 C), butter and milk, drop dollops on top of berries in pot.
3. Mix together cinnamon and remaining (1/4 C) sugar and sprink on top of dough.
4. Cover and cook 3 to 4 hours until puffy, golden brown dough and bubbly fruit.
5. Yummy hot with ice cream!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Sound of Sleigh Bells Review & Giveaway!

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Beth Hertzler works alongside her beloved Aunt Lizzy in their dry goods store, and serving as contact of sorts between Amish craftsmen and Englischers who want to sell the Plain people’s wares. But remorse and loneliness still echo in her heart everyday as she still wears the dark garb, indicating mourning of her fiancĂ©. When she discovers a large, intricately carved scene of Amish children playing in the snow, something deep inside Beth’s soul responds and she wants to help the unknown artist find homes for his work–including Lizzy’s dry goods store. But she doesn’t know if her bishop will approve of the gorgeous carving or deem it idolatry.

Lizzy sees the changes in her niece when Beth shows her the woodworking, and after Lizzy hunts down Jonah, the artist, she is all the more determined that Beth meets this man with the hands that create healing art. But it’s not that simple–will Lizzy’s elaborate plan to reintroduce her niece to love work? Will Jonah be able to offer Beth the sleigh ride she’s always dreamed of and a second chance at real love–or just more heartbreak?

I LOVED this book, I don't think I have enough words to tell you how much, not only because it was so well written and kept me engaged from beginning to end, but because it's Cindy Woodsmall. I mean who doesn't know Cindy Woodsmall?

The whole book is pretty much about forgiveness and letting go of the past. It's something not easy to do, I think we have all had situations where we've found ourselves at an impasse, trying to keep going from some major happening in your life but not exactly knowing how to.

I think for me as well, something else that made it such a good book was the fact that it's about the Amish and you all know what a great love I have for Amish things.

Now the cover can throw you off a bit and have you thinking that it's primarily a Christmas book, but it's not really, it's a great read for any time of the year.

Well written, lovable characters, great life lessons, it's go it all and guess what?

I'm giving away a free copy to a lucky reader.

All you have to do is leave me a comment. I will draw a winner on Saturday.

The giveaway is open to all US residents.

Now if you can't wait and would rather just go ahead and get yourself a copy, you can go here. Don't forget to check out Random House too, they have wonderful books.

This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Exercise, Exercise, Exercise!


At this point you probably thinking I'm talking about the body exercise, aerobics or something else....but, I'm actually talking about the Military Exercise kind, the one that wakes you up at 5 am with this loud male OR female voice over the base speakers "EXERCISE, EXERCISE, EXERCISE".

It's annoying to say the least but I always have to laugh too, I mean it's kinda sorta ridiculous LOL

Anyway, there's an exercise going on right now which means 100% ID check, no matter where you go, if you walk into the BX, the shoppette, the commissary, come in the gate or just walk to the loo, you're bound to have someone standing there waiting for your ID.

Oh well, what can we do?

So let me tell you what's been going on here, I know I said I would blog more and them BAM we all got sick and then last week I had Parent/Teacher Conferences and just a lot of things going on.

I'm proud to say that our Jasmine made the Principal's Honor Roll, how awesome is that? WE are so happy and so extremely proud of her, she works very hard and it shows when she brings home those report cards full of nothing but A's.

Little Nicholas is doing extremely well too, he also brings home straight A's and his First Grade teacher wants to start giving him harder work because she feels he's getting bored with what the rest of the class is doing.

You know it makes me smile and it also makes me glad my children are not like me in that sense. No you can laugh but honestly, I wasn't the straight A kinda student and my parents can vouch for that LOL I passed and never failed but there were hardly ever A's and sometimes hardly B's LOL

I think though that I'm blessed in the way I was raised because as long as we did our best and showed that we were applying ourselves to our school work, my stepmom and dad NEVER forced us to bring home just A's, or threaten or bribe.

I've done the same with our kids and I don't push them to get A's, just be the best they can be and to try their hardest in their school work, thankfully they're both very intelligent.

Oh boy, I sound like a one of those gooey moms LOL

Anyway, we got some Halloween decorating done around here and carved our pumpkins this weekend, I didn't get pictures though, by the time I remembered, I was elbow deep in pumpkin guts, not exactly the best time to grab the camera.


Hubby is working day shift this week which I absolutely love. He's been a great help to me, he takes the kids to work in the mornings and I just pick them up in the afternoon.

It might not sound like much but just the fact that I can take my time in the morning and not feel so rushed even if for just one week, is a blessing.

I wish I could stay and chat more but I need to get dinner started and my last load of laundry put away. A woman's work is never done is it?

Hope you're all having a wonderful Monday!

Happy Homemaker Monday!


The weather in my neck of the woods:
Nice and cool and I couldn't be happier, we had really hot weather this past weekend so I'm glad we're going back down.

One of my simple pleasures:

On my bedside table:
Night World by L. J. Smith - The same author of the Vampire Diaries. Love this series, just picked up the 3 books at Walmart yesterday.
Thirst by Tracey Bateman - Another vampire novel that I'm reading for a review on the blog.

On my TV:
Little House on the Prairie Season 7

On the menu for tonight:
Good Ol Shepherds Pie, is there anything more comforting?

On my To Do List:
Mop and sweep

New Recipe I tried last week:
Nothing, it was just family favorites

In the craft basket:
Some little puppets for the kids for Christmas, some Wrist Warmers for me and Jasmine.

Looking forward to:
Cooler temperatures....oh and Halloween....and Thanksgiving....and definitely Christmas LOL

Homemaking Tip for this week:
Do a load of laundry everyday, don't leave it all until the weekend or the only thing you'll want to do is run far far away.

Favorite Blog Post of the week (mine or other):
Didn't get any blog reading done last week, it was a busy busy time around here.

Favorite photo from last week:

Love this pic I took in the corn maze


Lesson learned the past few days:
That there's nothing wrong with slowing down and if you don't mop that floor right that second, guess what? It will still be there the next morning (unfortunately hahahahah)
Take your time, pace yourself, the world is not going to end if you decide to sit down for a few minutes with a cup of coffee.

On my Prayer List:
All my friends and family
Troops overseas
Friend of mine going through Breast Cancer

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:
Many are the woes of the wicked, but the LORD's unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in him.
Psalm 32:10

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Slow Cooking Thursday


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.
Credit: FamilyFood

Suzie's Sloppy Joes


3 pounds 95% lean ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/4 cups ketchup
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons prepared mustard
3 tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons chili powder
Toasted hamburger buns


1. Cook and stir ground beef, onion and garlic in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until beef is browned and onion is tender. Drain and discard fat.
2. Combine ketchup, bell pepper, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, mustard, vinegar and chili powder in 4 1/2-quart CROCK-POT® slow cooker. Stir in beef mixture. Cover; cook on LOW 6 to 8 hours. To serve, spoon mixture onto hamburger buns.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Jimmies Rock Band for Kids

So a few weeks ago I got a package in the mail with all these cool items inside to review. Unfortunately being sick put everything on hold but now that we're back to normal, I want to tell you all about The Jimmies.

You know that I have two children, a 10 year old girl and a 6 year old boy, so for me they were the perfect test subjects, it also helped that Jasmine had a friend over at the time.

I popped in the DVD and they loved it, they enjoyed the music, they dance, they truly had fun with it.

Now here's a little more about this band, just in case you're wondering.

Winner of a 2009 Oppenheim Portfolio "Best Toy of the Year" Award and a
Parents' Choice Award Winner, The Jimmies' debut album "Make Your Own Someday"
was named one of the TOP TEN BEST KIDS ALBUMS OF THE YEAR on more than 12
different lists. The Jimmies have received rave reviews from outlets including
Time Out NY Kids, School Library Journal, Zooglobble and Cool Mom Picks, among
many others. Recommended for ages 5+ lyrically, but the beats will have all
toes a tappin.

Let me tell you not only are they cool songs because I actually enjoy them too, but the videos are so much fun to watch.

Like Bedhead

Cool to be Uncool

If you want to check out more of their videos, you can go here OR you can order their CD by following this link.

The verdict: Big Thumbs up from kids and mommy too.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Happy Homemaker Monday!


The weather in my neck of the woods:
Feels great today, we're finally going to go down to the 80's and I know most of you in the colder states are laughing right now, but 80 degrees in Arizona is winter LOL

One of my simple pleasures:
Watching the portuguese TV channel on my laptop. I love being able to connect with my culture and hear the language and see the food and the music that I love.

On my bedside table:
Night World by L. J. Smith - The same author of the Vampire Diaries. Love this series, just picked up the 3 books at Walmart yesterday.
Thirst by Tracey Bateman - Another vampire novel that I'm reading for a review on the blog.

On my TV:
Little House on the Prairie Season 7

On the menu for tonight:
Roasted Lemon Chicken....portuguese dish, I'll have the recipe on the food blog tonight.

On my To Do List:
Mop and sweep
Change bed linens
More Halloween Decorating

New Recipe I tried last week:
Garden Soup, it's this wonderful portuguese soup chock full of veggies. My kids love it and it's pretty much the only soup they will eat for leftovers the next day.

In the craft basket:
I've pulled out my crochet yarn again and I've got some wonderful projects lined up. Some little puppets for the kids for Christmas, some Wrist Warmers for me and Jasmine.

Looking forward to:
Halloween where my husband is actually home and able to go with us. It's been years since he's been able to enjoy Trick or Treating, but such is the life of the military.

Homemaking Tip for this week:
Do a little bit each day, don't leave all the cleaning for the weekend or it will be completely overwhelming.

Favorite Blog Post of the week (mine or other):
Loved this post at Maya Made "Wedding Gift".

Favorite photo from last week:

Pumpkin Farm on Saturday. Love watching my kids smile and laugh and I get double doses of those when we take them out to do something they enjoy.


Lesson learned the past few days:
That it's ok to ask for help. I usually hate asking anyone for anything, even my husband. I tend to think that my job is to take care of the house and put food on the table and even if I'm sick and not feeling up to it, it's still my job and I shouldn't ask anyone to help. WRONG!
There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking for a little helping hand, it doesn't make me any less of a wife or mother.

On my Prayer List:
All my friends and family
Troops overseas
Friend of mine going through Breast Cancer

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:
With his mouth the godless destroys his neighbor, but through knowledge the righteous escape.
Proverbs 11:9

Saturday, October 17, 2009

It's pumpkin time!


It's that time of the year again, fall is in the air and everywhere you look there's pumpkins and gourds and apple butter. It makes me smile....truly smile and thank the Lord for it all.

We headed back to the Tolmachoff Farms just like we did last year, for pumpkins and the petting zoo and the corn maze......and for all the amazing preserves and syrups, like the Toasted Pecan and the Blackberry Syrup that makes pancakes that much more special.

The minute I see that jar of Apple Butter and Pumpkin Butter, I start imagining warm homemade bread slathered with these butters, nothing says Fall like it.

Fair warning, this is a photo heavy post, but I just have to show you all the pictures I took this morning, so sit back and enjoy. BTW, you can see the rest of the pics here.


Jasmine loved this donkey.....


Nicholas? Not so much....this is what happens when you know how to read, he saw the sign "Animals may bite" and that was it...he didn't want to get too close LOL




How adorable is this pig?


I love corn, I love the taste, I love the color, the texture....everything about it.


Time for the corn maze....we were stuck there for over an hour and eventually just gave up and asked for the way out LOL


Corn mazes are NOT that fun when you're out there in 102 degree weather. That's right.....102 degrees, how ridiculous is that?


I wanted so badly to bring these little ones home with me, my goodness they are adorable.





Why is it that this sight makes me deliriously happy?




My poor kids get so red when they're out in the heat.


It was a fun morning, but way too hot and by the time we paid for the pumpkins and got in the truck, we were just ready to come home to an air conditioned house.

While everyone relaxed, I threw together a big pot of soup, it doesn't matter that it's hot outside, nights are starting to cool down and there is absolutely nothing like a bowl of hot soup brimming with veggies right?

Go on over to Full Bellies, Happy Kids and get the recipe for yourself, it's super easy to make and so so good.


Have you been to your local farm yet? Have you picked your pumpkins?

Here's another question, do you buy pumpkins just for carving or do you also roast them and make pie and soup and toasted seeds?

The dishes are done.....

You know how it goes? The minute I say I want to start blogging daily something comes along and puts a stop to it.

We've been sick with the flu but we're all finally getting over it, thank goodness.

So, here I am, trying to get back into the blogging, yet again, we'll see how long it last this time.

Anyway, the dishes are done, the house is tidy and we're heading out to the farm to pick pumpkins and get some of that wonderful Apple Butter and some more flavored syrups.

Is there a better time of the year? I love the Fall and even though here in Arizona we don't really get to see the changing of the seasons, I still pretend that I'm somewhere with the cooler temps and the falling leaves.

I'll be back later with pictures for you all, for now, I'll leave you with one of my favorite songs.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Slow Cooking Thursday


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.

No-Name Chili Recipe

This Chili Recipe is for the crockpot. Leftovers can be refrigerated and re-heated, or frozen. Why is it called No-Name Chili? Because I couldn't think of a name for it!

What You Need
• 2 pounds ground beef
• 1 large onion
• 1 large green pepper
• 1 large jalapeno pepper
• Chili powder to taste
• Garlic salt to taste
• Salt to taste
• Pepper to taste
• Sugar to taste
• 2 cans crushed tomatoes
• 1 can tomato puree
• 1 can kidney beans
• 2 cans chili hot beans

What To Do
1. Brown beef on the stovetop.

2. In grease from beef, saute chopped onion and green pepper.

3. Mix beef, onion and green pepper and add spices; let stand for 1 hour.

4. Place beef mixture into crockpot and add remaining ingredients.

5. Cook 7-9 hours on low.