Thursday, March 31, 2016

What I'm doing

On my bedside table:
I've got your number by Sophie Kinsella
Suave Body Lotion
Alarm clock
Nail polish

On my watching list:
Orange is the New Black Season 2
Kings and Prophets
Home Fires

Latest interests:
Documentaries and movies on the Wild West

On my mind:
Children's State Testing next week
Son and daughter's birthdays coming up
Family Reunion in May
Yard work

Favorite crochet corner

To enjoy everything around me
To make Indian food
To budget, to stick to it, to pay off our debts as soon as possible
To make South African food

A pretty yard
A menu plan for the next two weeks
A comfy home for my family
An effort to be patient with my teenage daughter

Cooking on an open fire

Looking forward to:
Heading to the Renaissance Faire this weekend
Getting the school testing over and done with
A yummy cottage pie for dinner
My son and daughter's birthday

My Easter chocolate
My current books
Watching movies with family
Almost being done with school

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Chit Chat, photos and updates


Good morning everyone :)

I'm sure you're quite shocked to see a post from me, well, I thought it was time to get my butt in here and say hi, have a little chat, tell you what I've been up to or what I have coming up etc.  I do hope you're ready for a post filled with pictures and lots of babbling.

It's cloudy and rainy here today, we have a huge storm headed our way which is supposed to bring hail, winds and even some tornadoes.  I'll be praying that it's not as bad and that the tornadoes stay nice and far from our area.

Tuesday, March 22

It's 7:24 am and I'm still in bed.  I need to be up soon and start my cleaning and normal daily chores, but for now, it's still kind of dark and with this rainy weather, one does not really want to get up and do much.  As I sat here, I figured that it was the perfect moment to come and have a little chat.

Tuesday, March 22

So grab a cup of coffee and sit down with me for a bit.

Now, what has been happening the past few weeks?  Nothing exciting, nothing that bears mentioning, just normal living and going about our business.

The kids are growing fast, Nick is about to turn 13 years old, can you believe that?  I feel as if just last week I was sharing photos on my blog of him as a little toddler running around in his diapers, and now here he is about to enter the teen years.  When this happens, I will no longer have little ones and I'm not quite sure how to feel about that.

Tuesday, March 22

Jasmine is about to turn 17, she just took her ACT test yesterday.  If you're not aware what it is, it is the National College Admissions test.  Fingers crossed!!!

She is about to finish her Junior year, and then next year it's Senior year, graduating and all that fun stuff.  I am definitely not ready for that.  We're looking at doing Concurrent Enrollment this coming year, so I've been trying to figure that all out, contact the local colleges etc.  Oh my word, I knew this day would come but now that it's staring me down I just want to run in the opposite direction.

Tuesday, March 22

Tuesday, March 22

Spring is in full force!!!!

My yards are covered in Grape Hyacinths, the birds are chirping away happily, the weather has warmed up considerably and the days are longer.

Tuesday, March 22

We've been working hard on the yards, we have the family reunion coming up in May and last year we didn't have a chance to really do anything with the house.  This year, we are trying to pretty the outside up, put in some plants, an area for a fire pit etc.

Tuesday, March 22

Tuesday, March 22

Above, I have Blackberries and Blueberries growing, and below, some of my favorite flowers, Hyacinths and Daffodils.

Tuesday, March 22

They boys have been hard at work too.  We've been laying down some edging leading towards the fire pit area.

Tuesday, March 22

Tuesday, March 22

Power tools and boys go hand in hand right?



We've been watching tons of movies, like I said in my Happy Homemaker Monday, mainly because our internet service went out last week Thursday and we were without until Monday night.

It's always quite funny watching all the kids with no wifi, they literally don't know what to do with themselves.  Makes me think of when I was their age and had no internet at all, I didn't need it, I didn't have cellphones or tablets or laptops or any of that junk, and I still managed to have a good childhood.

Kids seem to be so obsessed with all of this stuff that they can't seem to function without.

Anyway, we watched quite a few movies.  The one that stands out the most to me was The Green Inferno.  If you haven't watched it and like stories to do with the tribes of the Amazon, cannibalism etc, then you will enjoy it.  It was quite shocking in some parts but overall a very good movie.

Everest was another that needs to be watched, what a wonderful movie.

We also watched The Night Before (a comedy), it was pretty funny.  Robert The Doll was a waste of time, the girls picked it because it looked quite scary, but we ended up laughing through it because of how ridiculous it was.

Last night I watched Cleveland Abduction.  I picked up Michelle Knight's book on Saturday and read it in one day, it was such a wonderful book, hard to get through at some points because of the horrible things that monster did to the girls, but Michelle is such an inspiration.  I wanted to watch the movie, and though it was ok, it was nothing like the book, but then again they seldom are.  If you really want an insight perspective into what happened, do read the book, there is so much in there that was left out of the movie itself.

I've also started watching Orange is the New Black.  Now, as a Christian I will tell you that I held off watching it for a very long time and mainly because I thought it was going to be all just women with women and that kind of stuff.  It's not, I mean there are some scenes in there about it, but it's mainly about these women and how they have to adapt to prison life, what they do to survive and make it through their long sentences.  I'm enjoying it.

Book wise, like I said above, I read Finding Me by Michelle Knight.

I also picked up The All Girl's Filling Station Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg.  Love her, she's so funny.

And The King's Curse by Phillipa Gregory.  So excited to read this one, love the author and love anything Tudor and King Henry VIII.

Those 3 I got at Booksamillion, they were on the sale racks and were $6 and $5 each.  Cheap and I can't pass up a good book.

From the library, I have The Last Midwife by Sandra Dallas, I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella, The wind through the keyhole by Stephen King and Innocence by Dean Koontz.

So yes, lots of good reads.  I go through stages where I don't read anything for months and then suddenly the urge kicks in and I'm just soaking in as many books as I can.  I will let you know what I think of these as I get through them.

This weekend we are planning to head to a Renaissance Fair.  You know how much my family and I love it and we haven't been to one since Arizona, so we're itching to go.  My brother and his family have never been to one so it will be a nice thing for them to experience.  I'm quite looking forward to it, even though we'll have to drive about an hour and a half out.

I also need to start birthday shopping, Nick's birthday is on the 11th of April and Jasmine's is on the 25th.  The week of the 11th though, both kids will be doing their end of year testing, so it will be quite a few busy 3 days.

Nick doesn't want a birthday party, matter of fact if he could just get by with no fuss whatsoever, he would be ecstatic, but I'm thinking I may take him to laser tag which I know he loves.

We are throwing a little party, get together for Jasmine though, she's turning 17 and we haven't done anything for either of them in many years, now that we are closer to family we would love to do something special for them.

Anyway, that is basically what I've been up to the past few weeks, nothing exciting, but I do wish I had more time to come in and update, especially now that the kids are getting bigger and will be out of our house in the blink of an eye.

I hope you've all been doing well, thank you again for always coming in and saying hi and leaving comments, it really does mean a lot. 

It's now 8:30 and I really need to get out of this bed, dressed and my day started.  Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone, and I'll see you all back here soon.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Happy Homemaker Monday - 03/28/2016

Morning friends!!!

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend.  Ours was very good, lots of family time, a barbecue, laughing, cooking, Easter lunch and loads of movies in between.

I am going to try and get this post up as quick as I can because our internet has been on and off since Thursday night.  It is so frustrating.

Anyway, cracking on real quick.....


The weather.....
It's a little nippy this morning, even though we get into the upper 70's and 80's during the days, the mornings are still a little cold. 40 degrees right now and a high of 72 later.

Right now I am....
As always, at this time of the day, I'm in bed.  I do have the heater going for a bit because my bedroom is absolutely freezing. 

That I have the internet people coming between 9 and 12 and I really don't like it when they come over for things like internet and my husband is not home.   I always feel like these are the things that the men are better to deal with, but alas, without stable internet since Thursday, it needs to be looked at.

On my TV.....
This weekend we watched quite a few movies, pretty good ones.  Let's see if I can remember them all.
Paper Towns
The Night Before
Green Inferno (really good, but very gross)
Everest (brilliant movie)

On the menu for this week....
I will have to come back to this one, my Meal plan is nowhere near me at the moment.

Monday -  Chipotle Burrito Bowls  
Friday -

On my to do list....
House cleaning....bathrooms, living rooms, bedrooms.
Color my hair

Tidy up the house
Try to get the kids caught up with school, they weren't able to do anything on Friday

Looking forward to this week....
Nothing really specific going on, although we want to try and get to the Renaissance Festival this coming weekend.

Looking around the house....
Oh boy, a full weekend of activities and fun means a house that is looking really banged up. 

From the camera....
Took my camera outside and really enjoyed photographing the birds.  This guy was not scared or shy at all, he would just sit there on the fence looking at me.

On my prayer list.....
My brother has an interview this morning with an employment agency.  I am praying really hard that he is able to find something this week or the next, he is starting to feel quite stressed about it as you can imagine.
For my Jasmine, she is doing her SAT's tomorrow morning.

Bible verse, Devotional....

Monday, March 21, 2016

Happy Homemaker Monday - 03/21/2016

Good morning everyone, hope you're all doing well and ready to get on with this new week ahead.

I had a very busy weekend, worked hard out in the yards and am a bit sore this morning, but aside from that, I'm doing quite well.  I absolutely love the week leading up to Easter and am looking forward to celebrating with family.

Today, I am planning on putting up a blog post with some pics and some updates, or rather a bit of a catch up on what I've been doing around here.  I also want to work on a new template, I'll see what Headers I already have and if I want to use one of those, or I may just make a new one, change the background etc.  I'm thinking something a bit more Spring/Summer like.

Right, time to get on with this post......


The weather.....
Cold, I mean like 30 degrees cold.  What on earth Texas???  We had upper 80's a few days ago and then got frozen over on Friday night and it's still a little nippy.  I'm not sure what is up with this weather but it's confusing me and it needs to just go right back to warm.    At the moment it is 34 degrees but feels like 27, and later it's supposed to be 71.  Rest of the week we'll be seeing 80's again.   

Right now I am....
In bed, have the heater on because this room is so cold.  I'm drinking my coffee, being a bit lazy, typing this post up and thinking of what I need to get done today. 

About life, about what is going on around us, what I want to get done etc. 

On my TV.....
Finished Jane the Virgin, and tonight is the new episode, but Jasmine and I will watch it tomorrow, together.  I'm watching out for a few other shows that are starting soon in the UK, and still working through my DVR list.  Two more weeks and we're saying goodbye to the Dish and I am telling you, we will not miss it.

On the menu for this week....
I have meals planned until Thursday, then I need to get groceries done but I'll work on the new meal plan today

Monday -  Chicken Fried Steak, Gravy, Mash  
Tuesday - Cottage Pie, Salad 
Wednesday - Sticky Chicken, Rice
Friday -

On my to do list....
House cleaning....bathrooms, living rooms, bedrooms.

Vacuum, dust
Change bed linens

Looking forward to this week....
One more week closer to being done with school for the year.  Have a busy time coming up with College testing for Jasmine and end of year testing for both kids, a Renaissance Festival to go to, a Reunion coming up etc.

Looking around the house....
Needs some TLC, especially since my main focus was on the outside this weekend, but I'll get the inside done today.

From the camera....
Seem to have gotten the urge to read again, and have been enjoying some all time favorites, along with some new books from the library

On my prayer list.....
Still have my brother on the prayer list, he is waiting for a job and is starting to get stressed out and a little down.  I'm praying that the right job comes along for him. 

Bible verse, Devotional....

Monday, March 14, 2016

Happy Homemaker Monday - 03/14/2016

Good morning everyone, hope you've had a wonderful weekend.  Mine was actually pretty good, surrounded by family and time out just relaxing, it was exactly what I was needing.

Things haven't been easy for me lately, I have a lot going on, hence my distance from the blogging and lack of posts.  Maybe I should do an actual update?  Yes, I think later today I need to come in and have a little ol' chat with everyone about what has been on my mind.

Right now, it's time for our Happy Homemaker Monday, and by the way, if you've turned your clocks forward like we have, you're probably just as tired as I feel this morning.  That extra hour may not seem much, but oh my word, I'm dragging today.  Anyway, let's get on with it......


The weather.....
Supposed to have a really warm week coming up, and I believe a day or two of rain as well. 

Right now I am....
Laying in bed, I just got up and made coffee for my husband and he is off to work.  I'm still in pj's, drinking a cup of coffee and typing up this post.  I don't feel very well, I don't know if it's the time change or what, but woke up feeling a bit nauseous and my stomach is hurting a bit.  Hoping it goes away. 

That it's Spring Break this week so I have 4 kids in the house.  Hoping they don't eat me out of house and home.  T

On my TV.....
Been clearing the DVR list.  I'm still planning on getting rid of Dish, but we have a family reunion in May and my husband suggested we leave it until after, and then go ahead and turn it off.  Two more months and then it's gone.  I don't really mind because I have so many places to watch online.
I've been hooked on Jane the Virgin though, my daughter actually got me into it, so as soon as this post is up, I'll be catching up on some vlogs and then watching it.

On the menu for this week....

Monday -  BBQ Brats, Potato Salad, Chocolate Cake with Mint Frosting
Tuesday - Brown Sugar Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans
Wednesday - Crockpot Salsa Chicken, Rice
Thursday -  Crockpot Sloppy Joes, Fries
Friday - Chicken Fried Steak, Gravy, Mash and Salad

On my to do list....
House cleaning....bathrooms, living rooms, bedrooms.


Looking forward to this week....
Spring Break, not having to worry about school and just relaxing with the kids. 

Looking around the house....
It's Monday which always means that it needs some serious picking up and tidying up after the weekend.

From the camera....
Gorgeous horse belonging to one of the neighbors

On my prayer list.....
My brother, for a job to come through for him.
For my husband and I, we are going through a rough patch.

Bible verse, Devotional....

Monday, March 07, 2016

Happy Homemaker Monday - 03/07/2016

Good morning everyone, how was your weekend???

Mine was quite, uneventful (which is a good thing), but also quite relaxing.  The family and I watched a few movies, a few shows and just enjoyed each others company.

It's Monday morning which means work and school.  My nephew is going back to school this morning, he is actually really enjoying public school at the moment and wants to stay and not do homeschooling anymore.  We are a little surprised but happy for him that he is enjoying the school so much.

My sister in law has a job and today is her first day, so exciting.

Hubby is back at work this morning, and my kiddos will be back at schooling too.  Just a usual Monday morning around here.  I'm about to get this post up, then watch a few vlogs, catch up on this weekend's Ghost Adventures and then start my day.


The weather.....
Had really warm weather, actually I can't complain because the temps have been in the upper 70's, though yesterday and today, we have cloudy skies, and we are also supposed to see some rain this week. 

Right now I am....
In my bed,  Lola is sleeping next to me, Bella is sleeping in her bed on the floor, and I'm enjoying a cup of coffee.  It's gone a little cold but nevertheless, coffee is coffee right? 

About all that I need done today, we've also decided to get rid of Dish.  We got rid of it a few years ago, then got it back up when we moved to Texas, but honestly, the longer I have it, the more I realize that it's such a waste of money because we watch pretty much one channel and one show, which is Walking Dead.  Just not worth it.

On my TV.....
Right now I've actually put on the new Ghost Adventures from this weekend, to watch while I work on this post.
Have Long Island Medium, a couple Lockup Raws and a few others on the DVR to watch.

On the menu for this week....

Monday -  Orange Chicken and Rice
Tuesday - Chili, cornbread
Wednesday - Crockpot Salsa Chicken, Rice
Thursday -  Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Veggies
Friday - Pressure Cooker Beef Stew

On my to do list....
House cleaning....bathrooms, living rooms, bedrooms, change and wash bed linens

Looking forward to this week....
Some rain which is always welcome. 

Looking around the house....
Needs some TLC, I've tried to keep it clean but with 8 people is most near impossible, so I'm hoping to give it a good clean and pick up today.

From the camera....
Really love this photo of Bella in the early morning light.


On my prayer list.....
My sister in law as she starts work today, hoping she enjoys it and is not very nervous.
My brother, that he gets a job soon.

Bible verse, Devotional....

Sunday, March 06, 2016

What on earth am I doing???

There's moments where I feel like the worst mother in the world, as if nothing I do is right, as if I haven't taught them all they should know by now, or I'm messing things up so badly that they will never be productive and successful adults. And then I have to stop and remind myself that what I'm thinking, in that one moment of weakness, is nothing more than the little mom voice in my head creating doubts where there should be none. I have a girl who is about to turn 17 and a boy who is about to turn 13, and to me, they are the most amazing human beings on this earth.

When I try to talk to her and she back talks, rolls her eyes, tells me "I'm not talking about this right now", I sometimes want to grab her and shake the teenage attitude right out of her tiny body. When my son throws hormonal attitude my way like huge waves crashing on the beach, I want to look up at him and tell him that just because he towers over me, I'm STILL his mother and I can climb up his lanky body and deliver a smack like he's never felt before. But I don't, because believe it or not, I don't hit my children, I've never laid a hand on either of them....oh sure, when they were about 4 or 5 I slapped their behinds ONCE, but I've never felt that laying a hand on them was the answer to anything and certainly not a way to gain their respect.

So yeah, I've sometimes felt like I'm doing it all wrong and have questioned God on why he would think that entrusting me to take care of these children and raise them, and nurture them, was a good idea......but then things will happen that show me that I'm the right mom for them, and no one else would do. Their well being is the one thing on this earth that motivates me to get up every morning and try the best I can.

I suck at times, not gonna lie, and I'm far from a perfect mother, but when I look at them and see how smart they are, how funny they are, how they're home and not out doing drugs or drinking or hanging with the wrong crowd, I'm reminded that I actually did an OK job with these two, and that if OK produces such brilliant human beings, then I must be doing something right.

And in those times when that nagging little doubt creeps in and I start panicking about my job as a mom, a quick prayer shot up to the Lord, and a glass of wine bring me right back to reality

Friday, March 04, 2016

No time to breathe!


Or at least that's what it feels like lately, just an overwhelming sense of business and no time to relax, breathe, take a moment to myself etc.

But it's normal, it's what happens when you have 8 people living under one roof.  I have to say though, it's been easier this time because we have a much bigger home and lots of space for everyone.  Still, I find myself constantly busy, doing this and doing that, cooking and cleaning and laundry and taking walks and spending time with the family.  It's busy, but it's a blessing that I'm very happy to receive.

I've taken numerous photos the past few days, as Spring starts coming to life around us, I can't but grab the camera and try to document it.  Be ready, a lot of pics incoming.


I've been trying to decorate as I go, the latest addition was in my bedroom and it's a very simple decorating trick but one I love.  I got the big S and the C from Hobby Lobby and painted them black, and I had two picture frames laying around that I didn't need.  Paired them together, and there ya go.


When I took this picture my Poinsettias were still doing well, unfortunately we had a huge windy day and it not only knocked everything over, but threw them clear across the yard and tore them apart.  Poinsettias, no more.  Bummer!!!


From the same windy day, I ended up with my car looking so filthy, so I gave it a good wash the other day and organized the trunk too.  I have two baskets sitting in there, which helps a lot when I buy groceries to bring them into the house.


My safe haven, the one place I know I can go to just to get away from the craziness.


I feel like I'm cooking constantly, and always in the kitchen, and granted breakfast is usually toast or oatmeal or cereal, some days you need a little extra something, so pancakes are the go to.  I can make a huge stack and fill everyone's tummies.


This cute mister, I was so worried that the dogs wouldn't get along, but from the very first day they are fine with each other.  What a huge relief off my chest.  Jax is such an adorable and lovable dog, though sniffy and extremely curious which means he is always up on the pug girls, smelling and trying to play etc.  They don't care, well, I should say Lola doesn't care, Bella gets a little irritated and growls a bit, but only to get him away and then she's fine.  She IS older though and I don't think she has the patience to be messed with.


The butterflies have started showing up, and it's such a sweet blessing.  It's one thing I noticed when we moved into the area, our yards are always filled with tons of butterflies, big and small, and all colors and patterns.







We've been taking walks down our country road and I am loving every minute of it.  Nothing but land, trees, birds, nature, farm houses and tons of horses.  There is something so calming about breathing in the fresh air and not being surrounded by neighbors and cars and pollution.


This is one of my favorite houses down the street, this wooden gazebo overlooks the river, and when you sit it next to that beautiful red barn, it is a dream scenario for me.  I keep telling hubby that we need to buy this house and build a gazebo just like that.  haha


I guess now that I've typed this up and put it in words and pictures, my blog title no longer makes sense.  Or maybe I just realized what I need to do to breathe when I feel overwhelmed........step outside and take a walk.

Yes, that is exactly it.  Yesterday I actually took 4 walks, two in the morning, one in the afternoon and one after dinner.  It felt so good!!!

Anyway, thank you to all who still come by and read and leave comments, it means a lot, and yes I do read every comment even if I don't reply or post much lately.

Well I'm feeling a little hungry and I have leftover chicken and potatoes from last night's dinner, so I think I'm going to warm up a plate, eat and watch some vlogs while I wait for General Hospital to start.

Have a beautiful, beautiful Friday friends :)