Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Happy Tuesday :)

Hope you're all having a Blessed day.

We had a so so weekend, ended up not doing anything but puppy sitting which turned out to be a big pain in the behind.

I have chewed up shoes, my living room area rug is ruined and the dog went potty all over my house.  Oy, not my kind of long relaxing weekend.  Oh well.

Here's just a quick look at some of the things I was doing this weekend:


Started the Ministry of Motherhood Book Study.  Up bright and early at 5am, while the house is still quiet and everyone is still sleeping and sat down with my cup of coffee.


Making homemade biscuits


Sat on my bed and indulged in some Lifetime and Hallmark movie watching.....


And have thrown myself into one of the most ambitious crochet projects so far.  A big Granny Strip blanket for my bed.

It's huge, it's heavy and I wasn't really planning on those colors, just wanted to use whatever I had in my yarn stash, but the more I crochet, the longer it gets, the more I see the stripes forming, the more I'm loving it all.

It will take me a long time to finish, but I'm in no hurry :)

P B and J Bars

Got a craving from my sweet tooth and headed to the kitchen to make some P B and J Bars

It was a crazy weekend but I did manage to get some things done.

Don't forget tomorrow I'm starting the 31 Days of Prayer for my Husband.  You are more than welcome to join along, you don't have to post anything on your own blogs but you can if you want :)  Just make sure that if you're praying too, that you leave your name on Mr Link each day.

I'm off to work on my crochet a little more, have a wonderful night :)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day

My father in law Douglas Bourland....we miss you dad!

“It doesn’t take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle.” -Norman Schwarzkopf

I hope you are all having a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.

For many, it's just 3 days off work.  For others, it's the numerous sales going on at many stores.  But for many like myself, it's the moment to pause, to reflect and to think about the men and women who have served, who have lost their lives giving the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom of this country.

For us, it's the daily reminder as we watch our husbands put on the uniform and head out the door, or say goodbye as they travel across the world to fight for our children, for our rights, for our freedom.

Please take a moment today to think about and to say a prayer for not only the troops that have passed on, but for the Veterans and for the Armed Forces who are currently serving.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Ministry of Motherhood Book Study

I am a firm believer in the fact that God leads us to certain places, sites, people and I am absolutely sure that it wasn't by mere chance or accident that while browsing around the internet today, I happened to land on Good Morning Girls.

If you were to ask me how it happened, I can tell you that I have no clue.  I can't even remember what I was searching online, where I was going or how I ended up on that website but I'm SO very glad I did.

What I do know is that I was just thinking that I would love to find a good Bible Study or some sort of Christian Book Club that I could do during the summer.  Low and Behold, I found it.

The girls over at Good Morning Girls and over a thousand ladies from all over the world, are joining together, reading Ministry of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson and doing the Book Study, holding each other accountable and supporting one another.  I don't have the book but that's ok, the girls say you don't need to have the book to follow along.

Unfortunately for me, the study started 2 weeks ago, so I've already missed the first two weeks, now I could have just said "Oh well too bad, maybe next time", but then again that's exactly what Satan would love me to do right?  Turn my back on the Lord and his word.

Not going to happen, what I HAVE decided to do is start the study this week and just follow along, instead of finishing up with everyone on August 15th, I'll just finish up at the end of August :)

The first week was all about learning how to use the S.O.A.P method for studying scripture.

What does S.O.A.P stand for?
Scripture ~ writing down the Scripture passage for the day and focusing on it.
Observation ~ Writing down 1-2 observations from that Scripture passage. What do you hear God saying to you?
Application ~ How does the passage apply to you right now in your daily life?
Prayer ~ Write a prayer based on the passage ~ be honest!
I'm sure you can still go on and join in with the rest of the girls, I just don't want to be rushed or feel like I'm trying desperately to catch up and given that I want to devote as much time as I can to each week, I would rather go it alone.....but here's the thing, if any of you out there want to join me, feel free to.  I will put up a Mr Link every Saturday when I share what I have learned that week during the Study. 

I've made a binder for myself to use and printed out one of the Cover Sheets that the GMG have available.

Cover Sheet 1
Cover Sheet 2
Cover Sheet 3

To see the Reading Plan for yourself, just click on the link below and print out the sheet, it shows you every single week, what to read and what to expect for the next 3 months.

Ministry of Motherhood Reading Plan

In the book Sally Clarkson talks about ministering to our children and or she calls them, our "in home disciples", I love that. 

Sally and her husband refer to their plan for ministering as “Life Gifts,” because as they explain, passing on a spiritual heritage to our children is a gift to both the parents and children. Using the “GIFT” acronym, we have a glimpse into their plan:

G – Gift of Grace
I – Gift of inspiration
F – Gift of Faith
T – Gift of Training
S – Gift of Service

With that purpose in mind, we will also be given G.I.F.T pages to print out each week.

Here's the one for week two.

G.I.F.T.S. Print-Out
Every week they will also give out the Weekly Studies to print out, thankfully you can also find them all on one page which makes it so much easier for those of us starting late :)

Here are all the Weekly Studies you'll need:

Week 1 S.O.A.P. Print-Out
Week 2 S.O.A.P. Print-Out
Week 3 S.O.A.P. Print-Out
Week 4 S.O.A.P. Print-Out
Week 5 S.O.A.P. Print-Out
Week 6 S.O.A.P. Print-Out
Week 7 S.O.A.P. Print-Out
Week 8 S.O.A.P. Print-Out
Week 9 S.O.A.P. Print-Out
Week 10 S.O.A.P. Print-Out
Week 11 S.O.A.P. Print-Out
Week 12 S.O.A.P. Print-Out

Here is also a great little video by the book author Sally Clarkson where she talks a little bit more about the book and the study :)

So there you have it, I will begin this week and next week Saturday the 4th of June, I will do my first post about it and share what I've learned this week. Hope you get to join in too and if you can't or don't want to, that's fine as well, maybe you can just read my weekly posts and follow along on my journey through the next 3 months :)

Don't forget to go on over to Good Morning Girls and read all the wonderful posts on this Book Study.  You can also check out their message boards, you can find a group to join for this study or you can just connect with other women reading along on this Ministry of Motherhood.

I can't tell you how excited I am to get started, I'm going to purchase the book too even though I don't need it for this study, but I am really dying to read it.

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

God's Wisdom for Mothers

God’s Wisdom for Mothers was created to give timeless wisdom and guidance for Scripture meditation and application with 11 categories (62 subjects) pertaining to motherhood. Topics include God’s Wisdom with Children, God Delights in Mothers Who . . . , God Walks with Mothers Through Heartache, Adversity, Worry, and many, many more. Included are pages at the back for prayer lists and personal study notes.
This book is a spiritual pathway to help every mother become all she can be in the eyes of God and her family.

My Thoughts:

Scripture organized into themes such as God's Wisdom, The Crown of an Excellent Mother, God's Wisdom with Children and so forth.

I don't know what else to say about it, it's not really a Bible study, it's more of a small collection of a few verses but it's a great inspirational and uplifting.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review blogger's program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission.

Too Rich for a Bride by Mona Hodgson

With a head more suited to bookkeeping than a bridal veil, Ida’s dreams include big business- not beaus. Ida Sinclair has joined her sisters, Kat and Nell, in the untamed mining town of Cripple Creek, Colorado for one reason: to work for the infamous but undeniably successful businesswoman, Mollie O’Bryan. Ida’s sisters may be interested in making a match for their determined older sister, but Ida only wants to build her career.
Under Mollie’s tutelage, Ida learns how to play the stock market and revels in her promising accomplishments. Fighting for respect in a man’s world, her ambition leaves little room for distractions. She ignores her family’s reservations about Mollie O’Bryan’s business practices, but no matter how she tries, she can’t ignore the two men pursuing her affections—Colin Wagner, the dashing lawyer, and Tucker Raines, the traveling preacher.
Ida wants a career more than anything else, so she shrugs off the suitors and pointed “suggestions” that young ladies don’t belong in business. Will it take unexpected love—or unexpected danger—for Ida to realize where her priorities truly lie?

My Thoughts:

I loved this book, even though it's the second in the Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek Series, I didn't feel like I missed out on anything or was left in the middle of some plot point without knowing who was who.

The author did a great job of detailing the way of life during that time period, makes you feel like you are right there in the middle of it all.

Ida is the main character, she moves to Cripple Creek to work for businesswoman Mollie O'Bryan and while she loves the independence and the intricacies of being a business woman in a world where it's not acceptable, but soon enough realizes that everything is not roses and Mollie is not really the person she thought she was.

She is also being pursued by Colin Wagner, a very handsome attorney and Tucker Raines, the traveling preacher who is in town to take care of his family.

It's a book about perseverance and love and faith and I enjoyed every single minute of it.

I received this book from the Waterbrook Multnomah Blogging for Books program for the purpose of reviewing it. All opinions were my own and not influenced by the publisher or author.

Saturday, May 28, 2011


5:30am found me slipping out of bed and slowly dragging myself into the living room.

I don't usually get up that early but for the last week I have been up bright and early to watch the Casey Anthony Trial.  What can I say?  I have been following the story since the very first day and I just want to see it all unfold.

This morning though, one of the reasons I was up that early is that we're puppy sitting for one of hubby's troops.  A very cute blackish pug called Neessa.  Very cute, very NON house trained, very NON night sleeper and very NON disciplined puppy.

Oh boy!

Do I even need to explain the stresses?  Friday night I was up literally all.night, got absolutely no sleep at all so by the time morning rolled around I was just exhausted and found myself fighting a headache and sleep all day long, it has just been stressful.

Maybe hubby and I are just getting too old for changes, we just enjoy the life we have right now with our kiddos and our two pugs, we all have a certain rhythm we follow, a quiet relaxed movement that has been completely thrown upside down by the presence of this puppy in our home.


She's mighty adorable but we are counting down the days until Monday.

So with all this stress and change and no sleep, last night I literally zonked out at 6:30pm.  Yes folks, I was out cold, fell asleep sitting up in bed watching a show on the DVR, by the time I woke up, the DVR had turned itself off and some infomercial was playing.  Ha!

Started our day with a batch of blueberry pancakes::::


Checked on the garden and was mighty pleased with the tomatoes:::::





after some minor cleaning and tidying up, the afternoon was spent watching movies and crocheting with a pug on my lap and two more surrounding me on the couch::::


Had a simple dinner of Grilled Bratwurst and am now about to sit down and watch the first part of the new Australian Series from Tim Winton called "Cloudstreet".  Check out the website to find out more about it, or you can watch the trailer on Diary of a Stay at Home Mom's Facebook.

And while we're on the subject of TV shows, do you want some more to watch???

Then let me share a few, but before I do, do you know that there is a wonderful little surprise for us Jane Austen fans coming out this year?  Yes, it's called Modern Pride and Prejudice.   Check out the website for more info, I'm so excited to watch this one :)

On my computer, I also have Emerald Falls and Sisters of War to watch, both telemovies from Australia. 

Also waiting for me to have a few minutes to watch, is the ITV cops and crime series "Vera".  I'm also still very much enjoying The Hotel from Channel 4 in England, what a fun show :)

And with that, I say goodnight, I best get off here.  Have a wonderful night everyone!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

{ Cooking Thursday }

Morning everyone, sorry this is going up so late, I haven't been able to get into my blog all morning. Blech!

Anyway here we go:

Roasted Potato Wedges

Roasted Potato Wedges

Potatoes, quartered  (the amount depends on how many people you're cooking for)
2 teaspoons olive oil
Breadcrumbs with Italian Seasoning (if you only have plain, just add some oregano, garlic, salt and pepper)
Parmesan cheese
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 475 F.

Combine potatoes and oil in a medium bowl, tossing to coat.   Add enough breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese, toss to coat.

Roasted Potato Wedges

Place the potatoes on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil and coated with cooking spray;  discard any remaining breadcrumb mixture.

Bake for 20 minutes or until brown and crispy.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Don't Breathe a Word by Jennifer McMahon Blog Tour

Once upon a soft, summer night in a small New England town, a 12-year-old girl named Lisa went into the woods behind her house and never came out again. Before she disappeared, she told her little brother Sam about a door—hidden among the ruins of an old town long forgotten—that led to a magical place. A place where she would meet Teilo, the King of the Fairies, and become his queen. Sam didn’t believe in fairies, ghosts, or anything supernatural back then, and now, 15 years later, he still doesn’t. It’s one of the many things that his girlfriend, Phoebe, loves about this practical, sensible man. Sam doesn’t have bad dreams, doesn’t avoid the shadows, and does not fear the dark. Instead, he helps her ignore her own dark nightmares. But a series of eerie occurrences—beginning with a mysterious phone call—begins to challenge Sam’s hard-headed realism. Could there be a world beyond their own and is Lisa somehow a part of it? As events spin out of control, the couple finds themselves falling deeper into a vortex of evil and terror. And suddenly Sam is reminded of a terrible promise he made years ago . . . a promise that could to destroy them all. 

My Thoughts:

Now when I first got the book I honestly thought it was going to be more of a teen fantasy read and while I have enjoyed a few in that genre before, I really wasn't in the mood for another, but I decided to just stay with it and see where it took me.

I was pleasantly surprised in that it actually turned out to be more of a psychological thriller with twists and turns and extremely well written.

If you love a good book full of mystery and drama and one which leaves you guessing until the very last page, then this is definitely the book for you.

The characters were great, the plot was excellent and it was also kind of a creepy book with some moments a little disturbing at some points but I think it just made the story, definitely kept you hooked and wanting to know more until the very end.

Great book!

 TLC Book Tours provided a proof copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions are mine alone.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Homeschool Curriculum for new year


Children's ages:  12 and 8

We homeschool our children, albeit through Connections Academy which is an online public school, it is STILL homeschooling.  It was not an easy decision to make, matter of fact it took many months of praying for the right way to go and asking the Lord to show me if this was what we needed to do.

Most of you who have read my blog for a while know full well the problems we were experiencing in their previous public school, not only education wise but bullying by other children AND teachers and it came down to a safety issue and the realization that the school environment was not only not safe for the kids but was holding them back from being all they could be.

So the decision was made and when Winter Break came around back in December, we pulled the children from their school and enrolled them in Connections Academy.  They did their last 4 months of school at home.

It was THE best decision we ever could have made and looking back now, we have no regrets and nothing but amazing things to say about the whole process.

It's been a journey, a crazy, sometimes hectic and overwhelming journey but totally worth it.

With that out of the way, school for this year is done.  Our children have excelled, have soared and have truly enjoyed learning at their pace.  They both did extremely well and have been promoted to 3rd Grade and 7th Grade.

The materials for this year have been mailed back and we're awaiting the new ones to come in.  So let's look at what they'll be doing next year......


Nicholas - 3rd Grade
Core Curriculum and Electives (Home Life and Portuguese Language)


Art 3
This course focuses on arts and crafts inspired by the four seasons. drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, bookmaking, and techniques for creating crafts and fiber arts.

Educational Technology and Online Learning 3
keyboarding, creating and editing a word processing document, adding graphics to a document, using the Internet to research various curriculum areas, sending and receiving e-mail messages, using a database, creating a multimedia project, and creating, saving, and printing a document.

Language Arts 3 A and 3 B
Writing skills, reading skills, learning the five stages of the writing process—prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing.

Math 3 A and 3 B
Mathematical concepts that are organized according to the following categories: number and operations, algebra, geometry, and data analysis. Within each category, concepts are developed through the mathematical processes of problem-solving, reasoning, communication, connections, and representations. Hands-on learning of measurement by finding length, capacity, weight, mass, time, and temperature using the appropriate tools and units.

Physical Education 3
Each week the student will learn one or more new activities. In addition, the student will learn the importance of nutrition as it relates to health and physical fitness. The student will learn life skills throughout the curriculum.

Science 3 A and 3 B
The life science units describe and analyze components of the the living world. The Earth science unit describes Earth's features and the changes it undergoes. The student will also explore different careers in science and the scientific method.
In this course, the student will design an experiment to discover what plants need to survive, make a model of a cave, and delve into many more exciting experiments.
In this course, the student will create a model to investigate how simple machines work, investigate why the moon's shape appears to change during the month, and delve into many more exciting experiments.

Skills for Success
Skills for Success is a web-based learning program that provides skill building and practice to acquire their state’s learning standards.

Social Studies 3 A and 3 B
The student will explore a variety of communities, past and present, from around the world. Short stories, biographies, poetry, case studies, songs, and other resources emphasize the role of the individual in the community, as well as the influence of geography on communities.


Home Life
In this course, the student will choose from a selection of project-based activities designed to develop skills for daily living. Topics will include a variety of activities appropriate for all grade levels.
Home Life has been designed to allow families with multiple students to work together on a series of home-based projects. These include cooking, crafts, sewing, home maintenance, family outings, and genealogy.

Portuguese Language
Nicholas wants to learn Portuguese and since it's not offered as one of the electives in Connections Academy, I'll be teaching him separately using other tools.


Jasmine - 7th Grade
Core Curriculum and Electives (Home Life and Middle French I and II)


Art 7
The student will begin his journey with a review of the art elements and principles, basic drawing and perception techniques, as well as methods to analyze, interpret, and judge artworks. Then the student will refine his technical art skills while learning to use various methods of visual communication.

Educational Technology and Online Learning 3
using electronic media to create a report, using business applications, developing a slide show, and applying information gathered from the Internet.

Gifted and Talented Language Arts 7 A and 7 B
The student will enhance his skills in writing through grammar, mechanics, and language development. 
The course will explore informational text, short fiction, biographical text, and persuasive writing. An award-winning novel is also included in the course to provide the student with an introduction and enhancement to such skills as predicting, clarifying, summarizing, and questioning, as well as identifying plot development, cause-and-effect relationships, setting, and characterization. The student will read The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis.  The course will explore poetry, speeches, folktales, fantasy, and myth and the student will also read Dragonwings by Laurence Yep.   Gifted and Talented Literature Study 7 Through their own curiosity and attentive questioning, leaders serve as partners in inquiry with the student, helping him work with other students to discover meaning in a reading selection and to build interpretations. The process reaches its fullest expression in Shared Inquiry discussion, where leaders and students think and talk about an interpretive question that arises from a particular story. Using LiveLesson® sessions, the student will interact with peers twice during each unit for Shared Inquiry and presentation of personal writing.   Health and Physical Education 7The Health and Physical Education course will guide students through material that will promote healthy, active lifestyles. Health topics include issues that are relevant to the age group, such as mental and emotional health, conflict resolution, and bullying. Students will also be immersed in the prevention and avoidance drugs, alcohol, and tobacco.    Math 7 A and 7 B
In this course, the student will use the four operations with decimals, fractions, and integers to solve equations and inequalities. The student will simplify expressions with exponents and rational numbers. In the study of number theory, the student will further strengthen his skills as he solves problems involving factors and multiples by using divisibility tests and prime factorization. 
The student will graph linear and nonlinear relationships, identify slope, and explore translations. In the study of statistics, the student will create, analyze, and interpret different data displays.  
Science 7 A and 7 B
During the opening unit of Science 7 A, the student will review the scientific method and practice the process of completing a lab report. Throughout the Earth science units, the student will investigate the properties of rocks and minerals, study patterns in Earth’s atmosphere, and compare Earth to other bodies in the solar system. Throughout the life science units, the student will describe the structures of living things and explore how living things interact.   Throughout the life science units, the student will describe the structures of living things, explore how living things interact, and learn about various human body systems. While completing the physical science units, the student will investigate the physical and chemical properties of matter, compare and explain different types of forces and motion, and describe various forms of energy. 

Skills for Success
Skills for Success is a web-based learning program that provides skill building and practice to acquire their state’s learning standards.

Social Studies 7 A and 7 B
In this course, the student will study the history, geography, and culture of the western hemisphere and the historical period of medieval times to today. Prentice Hall's Medieval Times to Today and World Studies: Western Hemisphere provide the basis for the course content. 
The student will complete a comprehensive study of the history, geography, and cultures of the United States, Canada, and the countries of Latin America. 


Home Life
In this course, the student will choose from a selection of project-based activities designed to develop skills for daily living. Topics will include a variety of activities appropriate for all grade levels.
Home Life has been designed to allow families with multiple students to work together on a series of home-based projects. These include cooking, crafts, sewing, home maintenance, family outings, and genealogy.

Middle French I and II
This course begins the adventure of Tony and Lisa, who are trying to find their missing grandfather. The course will also provide some relevant, constructive examples of how the student can use the language in real-life situations that may require communication in French with native speakers.  Middle French II continues the adventure of Tony and Lisa who are still trying to find their missing grandfather.


Apart from the core curriculum and the electives there are a few extra things I will be using this school year.

Beginning with Nicholas who immensely dislikes cursive writing, I have found a great online site called Handwriting Worksheets where I can add in my own text for him to practice.  I've found that if I incorporate the things he most loves, like video games etc, he is much more eager to get in there and practice the sheets.  Take a look for yourself.

Handwriting Worksheets

I'm also going to be ordering this Bible Based Program.  Telling God's Story Year One Combo from Peace Hill Press.

The Telling God’s Story, Year One Combo Pack gives you everything you need, all in one purchase. In the Combo Pack for Year One, you'll find one copy of each of the following:

*Telling God’s Story, Year One: Instructor Text and Teaching Guide
*Telling God’s Story, Year One Activity Book: Student Guide and Activity Pages
*Telling God’s Story: A Parents’ Guide to Teaching the Bible, the user’s manual which gives an overview of the entire twelve-year curriculum, and helps parents understand the Bible better for themselves.

To add to that, I'm going to also use this online site where I can get both Old and New Testament, coloring sheets from the OT and the NT as well as these handy Study Questions in PDF format.

As for reading, we'll be hitting up the library as often as we can, but I'm also wanting to get this collection of books to help the kids have fun learning history.

You Wouldn't Want to Be an American Colonist: A Settlement You'd Rather Not Start
You Wouldn't Want to Be at the Boston Tea Party!: Wharf Water Tea You'd Rather Not Drink
You Wouldn't Want to Be a Civil War Soldier!: A War You'd Rather Not Fight
You Wouldn't Want to Be a World War II Pilot!: Air Battles You Might Not Survive
You Wouldn't Want to Live in a Medieval Castle!: A Home You'd Rather Not Inhabit
You Wouldn't Want to Be Sick in the 16th Century! (You Wouldn't Want to...)

and many many more, you can find the rest of the books in the series here.   And if any of you have any of the books and are wanting to get rid of them, I would love to buy them off you.  :)

I'm sure I'll be adding a few more things here and there and I'll let you know what and give you more links if available :)

A Jane Austen Education by William Deresiewicz

Former Yale professor William Deresiewicz has been reading, teaching, and writing about Jane Austen for decades; now, at the conclusion of his academic career, he describes his almost lifelong personal encounter with an author whose insights transcend those revealed by mere scholarship. A Jane Austen Education illuminates the novelist’s craft by showing how her mastery of everyday relationships still speaks to our times. Deresiewicz’s unconventional memoir helps explain Austen’s extraordinary appeal among readers otherwise immune to classic literature.

My Thoughts:

The first thing that caught my attention was the cover.  I've said many times before how I'm a very visual person and especially when it comes to book covers and the cut out paper doll captured my attention from the beginning.

The next thing that caught my eye was that it was a book about Jane Austen's novels written by a guy.  A guy???  While I'm sure there are many male Jane Austen fans, I just wasn't expecting one to write a book about it.

The author begins by explaining that he didn't care at all for Jane Austen books and for the author herself, he found her quite boring and dull actually and didn't think she was a good writer at all.

The book is broken down into chapters and each chapter focuses on each of the Jane Austen novels and he takes us step by step showing us what each book eventually taught him about himself and his own life.

I really enjoyed this one, I mean how many of us have read the books and watched the movies and wondered about having a man like that in our lives, have dreamed about those times and those encompassing loves and lives, but to see a man actually do it too I thought was refreshing and it gave me a whole other insight into the lives that Jane Austen has touched and continues to touch to this day.

Highly recommend this one.

To check out more blog tours, click here.

 TLC Book Tours provided a proof copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions are mine alone.

Monday, May 23, 2011



It's therapeutic, at least to me.

I don't see housework as a chore, I tend to take great pleasure in making my house a home for my family.

First thing, getting rid of this ghastly sight in the kitchen sink,


after the dishes and giving the sink a good scrub down, I watered the flowers on the window sill, then set about clearing out some clutter from the counters, reorganizing, getting rid of stuff we don't need and don't use.  Kitchen looks and feels so much lighter and fresher.


and then I spent the whole day puttering around.....


First thing on the list, stripping down the bed linens and all into the washer they went


While those swished around in there, I got to work sorting through all the laundry.  I think this is a very accurate depiction of what you'll see daily around here.


I love these laundry bags, they make sorting so much easier and it's all color coordinated, all I have to do is dump the whole contents into the washer and get it going.


While in the laundry room, I looked into the pantry which is IN the laundry room and I just had to smile.  I don't think you can ever have enough mason jars, do you?


After sorting the laundry, I started a batch of homemade cookies and cream ice cream, complete with the oreo cookies.  I love hearing the churn, churn, churn as the machine works on the counter.


Got the chicken marinating for dinner.  I grilled a whole chicken the Portuguese way, all that goodness is Piri Piri Sauce and I added a little bit of white wine too.  Covered it up with plastic wrap and it sat in the fridge for about 3 hours, then placed it on the grill and got it nice and crispy.


While the chicken marinated and the laundry washed, the kiddos and I sat down for an afternoon snack....our ice cream was at the soft serve stage and it was delicious.


Spent the afternoon, ironing, folding and remaking the beds with the clean fresh linens and by the time I looked at the clock it was time to throw the chicken on the grill, make a quick salad to serve it with and set the table.


Now THIS is a Frango no Churrasco (Portuguese Grilled Chicken).  It smelled divine while it was grilling and it tasted unbelievable.  I still have a breast and a wing leftover which will be used for a chicken salad for tomorrow's lunch.


Some may think of housework as a chore or an annoyance, I choose to enjoy it and give it my all and the truth is that after a full day of doing my cleaning and tidying up and cooking, I always end the day in a good mood.

Right now, I'm sitting in bed, ready to turn off this laptop and read for a little before turning in for the night.

Have an early morning as I'm getting up before dawn with my hubby to give him a hug and kiss and wish him good luck on his 6 month PT test.  These military tests are extremely strict right now and I feel awful for the guys, they work so hard at staying fit but still walk into the test a total nervous wreck.  Please keep him in your prayers.

I wish you all a wonderful good night and blessings.

Happy Homemaker Monday


The weather in my neck of the woods:
66 degrees outside and still windy.  I don't like the wind it totally messes with mine and my little one's allergies.

Things that make me happy:
Being a homemaker

Book I'm reading:
The Missing by Beverly Lewis - finished The Secret last night and started book 2.  I'm loving this series :)

What's on my TV today:
Vanished with Beth Holloway

On the menu for dinner:
Frango no Churrasco - Portuguese Grilled Chicken

On my To Do List:

Laundry - Ironing
Housework- mop floors, change bed linens

New Recipe I tried or want to try soon:
Roasted Potato Wedges

In the craft basket:
Crocheted Dishtowels

Looking forward to this week:
Booking our cabins for this summer

Tips and Tricks:
Got nothing this morning

My favorite blog post this week:
Morning Glories at Maya Made

Blog Hopping (a new discovered blog you would like to share with the readers):
Dutch Harbor Dirt - if you love Deadliest Catch as much as I do, then you'll really enjoy this blog.  The author works at one of the hotels in Dutch Harbor and gets to mingle with the crews of the boats.  Love his photos too :)

No words needed (favorite photo or picture, yours or others you want to share):

Lesson learned the past few days:

Well if you read my blog then you will have read my latest post titled "These Lines on my face".  I finally had the realization that I'm more than ok being in my skin, being who I am.

On my mind:
Summer vacation
Hubby's PT test tomorrow morning

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:
I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.
Psalm 119:10

Sunday, May 22, 2011

31 Days of Prayer for my Husband

Do you remember when I did this back in 2009???

Well I've decided to do it again starting the 1st of June.

We pray for ourselves and for our family, we pray for friends and for world peace and for so many other things in between, but I feel that the one thing I often neglect to pray for is my husband.  Not to say that I don't, but I don't think I give it the time and attention that he deserves.

So starting June 1st 2011, I'm setting off on another month's long journey to pray for my husband.

If you participated in the last one then you know how it works, but if you didn't, here's a quick run down.

Every day I will post the Prayer for that day along with a few scriptures.  I will also have Mr Linky up.  All you need to do if you're joining in, is pray for your husband that day and add your name to Mr Link just so that we can see how many wonderful women are out there praying for their husbands.

That's it, that's all :)

I will have the prayers on the blog's facebook page as well, as a reminder.

So what do you say?  Will you join me in praying for the wonderful men in our lives.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

These Lines on my face

I went for a haircut this morning.

I was trying to grow my hair out, thinking that I wanted to sport the long locks I used to have years and years ago, but truth be told, I guess either because I'm getting older or because I want easier or maybe even because I've grown and changed and don't like the things I used to.....I couldn't do it.

The long hair is just not me anymore, it's not the woman I've become and so, I headed out the door this morning to chop it all off and go back to shorter again.

One of the perks too is that with much shorter hair, it's easier to color and color I must for you see, I'm only about to turn 37 years old but my head is splattered with salt and pepper hair.

Distinguished, a sign of maturity, call it whatever you may, but I'm not ready to accept it yet, so every few weeks I attack it with a simple bottle of hair dye and at least for those moments I can con myself into believing that I have nary a white hair upon my head.

As I was snapping away with the camera, trying to capture the different angles of my hair cut, I was not aware of my expression in a lot of these photos.


I think this one captures me and who I am, pretty well.
I love fun, I love laughing but I'm guarded about who gets to see that side of me, it's always so close to the surface and yet hidden.

I spend a lot of time in deep thought, about my life, about my children, about the future and the past.  I think I like thinking....HA!

And then I came across this one, as I was working on the photo processing in Photoshop, my first instinct was to grab the little bandaid icon and wipe away the lines on my face, the wrinkles I can already see, the imperfections that I tell myself are there.

And then I stopped.  Dead in my tracks, and a single tear actually dripped down my cheek.

This is me folks, this is who I am and suddenly this song jumped to my mind:

All of these lines across my face
Tell you the story of who I am
So many stories of where I've been
And how I got to where I am

And more tears followed because for the first time in my 36 years of life, I am seeing me as a woman, as a mother, as a wife and I think about everything that I've been through to get to this point in my life.

Some of the happiest moments when I married my husband, when I gave birth to my children...... some of the most heart wrenching, heart breaking dark times when I had two miscarriages, when I lost my wonderful greatgrandma and uncle and grandfathers and the current family situation going on......but everything that I've ever been through culminated in this woman above.

The wrinkles, the lines, the eyes which I've always thought are the window to the soul.

Why would I want to hide who I am?  I know that sounds like I'm contradicting myself seeing as I go through such great lengths to cover the gray hairs, but to me, hair is one thing, face is another.  Your face doesn't hide your emotions or who you are.

I don't want to hide behind a fake facade where with a stroke of Photoshop magic I am sporting the face of a 20 year old.

I don't want to forget everything I've felt in my 36 years of life.

I don't want people to think that I don't cry, that I don't have sad moments, that I don't get dark circles because I'm tired.

I want people to see me for who I am, wrinkles, flaws and imperfection....

I'm perfectly imperfect and I wouldn't want it any other way.