Monday, July 25, 2016

Happy Homemaker Monday - 07/25/2016

Good morning everyone.

I want to start by thanking each and every one of you who left such sweet and kind comments on my Lola post.

We're still in shock, still grieving and I'm finding it extremely hard to get through the past few days.  I know it will take time but she was everything to me, and she's left such a huge hole in my heart.  :(

This is my first Happy Homemaker Monday without her laying next to me, and quite frankly, it sucks it hurts, it's just a really sad feeling.

Anyway, let's see what we have going on this week. 

The Weather:::
Sunny and hot.  Actually haven't had a good rainy day for a few weeks, but it looks like there may be some heading our way on Wednesday, Thursday and then Saturday.  Let's see how that goes. 

On my reading pile:::
With everything that has been going on, I ended up not putting up my review for The Daredevil Snared, but I'll have that up for you later today.  

On my tv:::
Portuguese Soaps
General Hospital
The American West
The Ghosts of Shepherdstown

On the menu for this week:::
Have meals planned until Thursday which is our pay day.  I have to work on the new menu some time today.
Monday -  Chicken Alfredo, Salad
Tuesday -  Tacos, Mexican Rice
Wednesday - Cheesy Garlic Pizza
Thursday - Out to dinner
Friday -
Saturday -

On my to do list:::
Laundry - Put all the clean laundry away.
Wash all my daughter's bedding.
Housework - Make beds
Tidy up and clean daughter's bedroom (she's away for the week so this is the perfect time to give it a good cleaning)

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
With everything that's happened, I still haven't made it around to getting the crochet owls done.  I'll be working on those today as well. 

Looking around the house:::
It's very quiet.  Curt has gone off to work and it's just me awake at the moment.  Soon my brother and sister in law will be headed off to work as well, and until the boys wake up, it will be just me, quietly sitting here.

From the camera:::
We buried Lola in our yard, under this beautiful tree.  I find myself spending time out there just talking to her, and then other times I can't quite do it.  But for the moments I'm out there, I am finding peace in my heart, it just helps talking to her.

On my prayer list:::
For us, as we get through this difficult time.
For my brother and sister in law, they're having a very hard time finding a house to rent in this area. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Rest in Peace Lola 09/25/2005 - 07/20/2016

Just coming in to tell you that about 2 hours ago I had to make the hardest decision of my life.

My little Lola is gone, she is now at peace and not in pain or suffering anymore.  For two days she had been hit with violent seizures, the medication wasn't helping and her poor heart couldn't take it.

Making the decision to put her down broke me.  I don't know how I'm going to overcome this.  If you've followed my blog for a while you will know how much she meant to me, to us.

We're all devastated at the moment.

I'm going to miss her so much :(


Monday, July 18, 2016

Happy Homemaker Monday - 07/18/2016

Good morning friends, hope you're all doing well and ready for a full week ahead. I can't believe that summer is almost to an end and in less than a month, on the 15th of August to be precise, the new school year begins.  Oh boy!!!

I'll have a 12th Grader and an 8th Grader.  Wish time would stop, it's going by way too fast.

Anyway, let's get on with our HHM.

Couple of you asked where you can watch American West, so I'm giving you the links to watch online, it has all the episodes that have already aired and as they come out they are added so keep checking back each week.

The American West (click on each episode and then select a link from the list)

The Weather:::
Sunny and a little breeze, which feels amazing.  Full week of sunshine and temps in the upper 90's and 100's. 

On my reading pile:::
Just finishing up The Daredevil Snared for a book review.

On my tv:::
Portuguese Soaps
General Hospital
The American West
The Ghosts of Shepherdstown

On the menu for this week:::

Monday -  Shepherd's Pie, Salad
Tuesday -  Roast Chicken and Potatoes
Wednesday - Spaghetti, Homemade Olive Garden Breadsticks
Thursday - Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas, Mexican Rice
Friday - Sausages in tomato sauce, Mashed potatoes
Saturday - Have to be in Dallas all day so will grab something while out

On my to do list:::
Laundry - Finally got my dryer, thank goodness, it had been 2 months and as much as I like hanging the clothes out to dry, with 7 people it's a lot of laundry.  Feels amazing to have the dryer back. Did all my laundry last night and today just have to put it all away.
Making some Banana Jam this afternoon.
Housework - vacuum, tidy up and dust etc.

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
Still have to make the owls for my friend and I really need to get on with it today. 

Looking around the house:::
My Nick is already up and playing Overwatch on the Xbox.  Jasmine and my nephew are still fast asleep but I'm sure they'll be up pretty soon. 

From the camera:::
We spent the weekend in Oklahoma city with my husband's aunt.  This pool is part of her apartment complex so we enjoyed some swimming and relaxing.

On my prayer list:::
This country, and the rest of the world.  We seem to be reaching the end of days, there is so much hatred, anger, disregard for human lives that it's quite frightening to even want to step out of the house.  May the Lord watch over us all.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Happy Homemaker Monday - 07/11/2016

Good morning everyone, how was your weekend?

Mine was so good, we spent Saturday at Fort Sill, went to the lake, swam, got some sun, and also checked out 2 of the museums on base.  It was such a surreal moment standing in Geronimo's cell.

Yesterday we hung out at home, and got to watch the UEFA Euro 2016 Final in which my Portugal played against France and WON.  I actually cried my eyes out, we had been waiting for a win like this for so many many years.  I'm one happy girl :)

Anyway, that was my weekend, hope yours was equally good, but now it's time for some Happy Homemaker Monday :)

The Weather:::
Partly cloudy right now.  The temps have been in the triple digits, it's so incredibly hot.  I think it's supposed to be very windy the next 3 days, so I know I'll have to keep up on my allergy meds. 

On my reading pile:::
I'm still getting through all my review books, it makes me smile looking at my reading pile, truly it does.  I have a review coming up on the 20th for The Daredevil Snared by Stephanie Laurens.  She is one of my favorite authors and I'm enjoying this one :)

On my tv:::
Portuguese Soaps
General Hospital
The American West - We watched the first episode and really liked it, even the kids, and I think it's such a great series to teach them all about American History.

On the menu for this week:::
We will probably be away this weekend, heading up to Oklahoma City and Tulsa area to attend our little cousin's 1st birthday.  I won't have to worry about cooking Friday, Saturday and Sunday night.

Monday -  Fettucine Alfredo, Homemade breadsticks
Tuesday -  Jambalaya, Salad
Wednesday - Baked Spaghetti, Foccaccia
Thursday - Jasmine Therapy and have to go check out some dryers, will grab something while out
Friday - Away
Saturday - Away

On my to do list:::
Laundry - Need to put away 2 baskets, and iron another load, put away etc.
Normal housecleaning, tidy up living rooms, vacuum, wash bed sheets etc.

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
This week I need to work on the little crochet owls for my friend.

Looking around the house:::
Very quiet, hubby has left for work and so has my brother and sister in law, it's just me and the kids and they're all still sleeping.  I think this time of the day is my favorite. 

From the camera:::
In Geronimo's cell, this is an autographed picture of him.  I am so glad I got to experience this little part of history.

On my prayer list:::
**My grandmother.  Last week she was moved to a sub-acute step down facility where she will continue to receive the care she needs.  It hurts knowing that she may never be able to return home but I know she is much better here getting the medical help she needs.  Please continue to pray for her. 

Something that inspires or brings a smile to your face:::

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Remember my Beauties by Lynne Hugo - TLC Book Tour

Paperback: 194 pages
Publisher: Switchgrass Books; 1 edition (April 18, 2016)

Imagine a hawk’s view of the magnificent bluegrass pastures of Kentucky horse country. Circle around the remnants of a breeding farm, four beautiful horses grazing just beyond the paddock. Inside the ramshackle house, a family is falling apart.

Hack, the patriarch breeder and trainer, is aged and blind, and his wife, Louetta, is confined by rheumatoid arthritis. Their daughter, Jewel, struggles to care for them and the horses while dealing with her own home and job—not to mention her lackluster second husband, Eddie, and Carley, her drug-addicted daughter. Many days, Jewel is only sure she loves the horses. But she holds it all together. Until her brother, Cal, shows up again. Jewel already has reason to hate Cal, and when he meets up with Carley, he throws the family into crisis—and gives Jewel reason to pick up a gun.

Every family has heartbreaks, failures, a black sheep or two. And some families end in tatters. But some stumble on the secret of survival: if the leader breaks down, others step up and step in. In this lyrical novel, when the inept, the addict, and the ex-con join to weave the family story back together, either the barn will burn to the ground or something bigger than any of them will emerge, shining with hope. Remember My Beauties grows large and wide as it reveals what may save us.


My Thoughts:

 I wanted to like this book, really really did.  I love horses and cowboys and western anything, and the cover itself  made me think that this was going to be a really good read for me.

It's not that the story was bad, it wasn't, but I found it a bit difficult to stick with it and to get into the story when it seemed that there was so much going on at once.  Busy is a word I would use to describe it.

So many characters, so many bitter and angry people, and then thrown in the actual horses thoughts and narration and it was a little distracting.

A story about a dysfunctional family, the drugs, the alcohol, caring for aged parents, and horses and a failing farm and a marriage on the line, a daughter struggling with drug addiction etc.

I think for me it would have been better if it had concentrated on maybe one particular character's struggles rather than feeling like every single person and animal needed to have a voice and to let us know what they were feeling and thinking.


Wednesday, July 06, 2016

After Alice by Gregory Maguire - TLC Book Tour

After Alice cover

• Paperback: 304 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (July 5, 2016)

From the multi-million-copy bestselling author of Wicked comes a magical new twist on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, published to coincide with the 150th anniversary of Lewis’s Carroll’s beloved classic.

When Alice toppled down the rabbit-hole 150 years ago, she found a Wonderland as rife with inconsistent rules and abrasive egos as the world she left behind. But what of that world? How did 1860s Oxford react to Alice’s disappearance?

In this brilliant work of fiction, Gregory Maguire turns his dazzling imagination to the question of underworlds, undergrounds, underpinnings—and understandings old and new, offering an inventive spin on Carroll’s enduring tale. Ada, a friend of Alice’s mentioned briefly in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, is off to visit her friend, but arrives a moment too late—and tumbles down the rabbit-hole herself.

Ada brings to Wonderland her own imperfect apprehension of cause and effect as she embarks on an odyssey to find Alice and see her safely home from this surreal world below the world. If Eurydice can ever be returned to the arms of Orpheus, or Lazarus can be raised from the tomb, perhaps Alice can be returned to life. Either way, everything that happens next is “After Alice.”


 gregory maguire

About Gregory Maguire

Gregory Maguire is the New York Times bestselling author of Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister; Lost; Mirror Mirror; and the Wicked Years, a series that includesWicked, Son of a Witch, A Lion Among Men, and Out of Oz. Now a beloved classic, Wicked is the basis for a blockbuster Tony Award–winning Broadway musical. Maguire has lectured on art, literature, and culture both at home and abroad. He lives with his family near Boston, Massachusetts.
Find out more about Maguire at his website and follow him on Facebook.


My Thoughts:

When I first read Alice in Wonderland, I remember being so captivated by the story and never wanting it to end.  I spent months, no, years, wondering what other adventures Alice could have gotten into and what would happen if other characters were to fall in the same hole.

I had NO clue that decades later, I would be reading a book that would answer those questions for me.

Here is After Alice, the story of Ada who is Alice's friend and who also falls down the rabbit hole, but after Alice.  By doing so, she begins her very own adventure.

But not only do we get Ada's side of the story, we also get to experience what the people left behind in Oxford, felt and did with the disappearance of the two girls.

It was such a delightful book to read, it made me want to go back and read Alice's story all over again.  Throw in a Victorian Era setting with all of it's manners, and customs and I was just in absolute book heaven.

I can't describe how much I enjoyed this book and it's definitely made me want to read more by Gregory Maguire :)


Tuesday, July 05, 2016

No Happy Homemaker Monday?


Good morning everyone.

I am sorry the Happy Homemaker Monday post did not go up yesterday, it was the 4th of July as you all know, and we were away for the weekend.  Honestly didn't get a chance to get on the blog, except to put up my Happy Independence Day post showing you all my beautiful tree.  If you didn't get a chance to see that post, it's right below this one :)

I'm not going to do a long post today, just wanted to come in real quick and say hi, apologize for the HHM post not going up and just show you a few pictures of our weekend away.

We didn't go far, and we didn't spend much money at all.  We stayed at the Letra, which is the Lake Elmer Thomas Recreational Area for Fort Sill in Lawton, Oklahoma.  It's only 30 minutes from us and it's such a beautiful area with tons of fun things to do with the family.

Had 2 cabins for 2 nights, and we went up with family, my in laws, Curt's Aunt, his cousin and her two kids, and I took my nephew with.  We had an amazing time, it was definitely needed to recharge and replenish the soul.

We don't get to do things like this very often.  You know know growing up we went away every single year, whether it was to the coast or to the Kruger National Park, but after being married, it's just not been something we've been able to afford to do.  I only wish we could get away once in a while because it does help with all the stress of daily life.

Anyway, I'll leave some pics down below, hope you enjoy them and hope you all had a great weekend yourselves :)








Monday, July 04, 2016

Tree Classics - Independence Day

Independence Day

Happy Independence Day!!!

For a lot of people, the 4th of July means barbecues with family, weekends away, celebrations, fun and fireworks.

For us as a previous active duty military family, Independence Day was always spent doing activities around the base and ending the night watching the fireworks.

There is always such a profound sense of patriotism when surrounded by the military, and I'm so glad that we were able to share that with our children and raise them in those surroundings.

Independence Day

Independence Day for me, personally has a very important significance, seeing that I was not born in this beautiful country. It IS after all my home, and has been for the past almost 18 years.  I honestly couldn't imagine living anywhere else.

So when I think of Independence Day, I think of the country that has taken me in, that has provided me a wonderful life and the opportunity to raise my children in a safe place.

With my children being born in this country, and their father being a retired military member, we have always taught them that this day is much more than simple fireworks and fun.

It is a day to reflect, to remember those who fought for their country, those who gave their lives in that fight and all of those alongside them who fought for this great nation's independence. 

Independence Day

We always decorate for the 4th of July.  Red, White and Blue lights are strung outside the house, flags line the drive way and the fence surrounding the house, banners are placed on the windows and inside, small pieces here and there remind us of what we're celebrating.

Independence Day

This year I have a beautiful Brentwood Glistening White Pine Tree that I have decorated with simple touches of red, white and blue.

This stunning tree stands 7.5' feet tall and has sheer white lights and is dusted with glitter.

It was my first year using a tree to help celebrate the 4th of July, and I'll tell you that it will now become a permanent fixture every year.  The white combined with the bows, the stars garland and the little flags makes a bold statement while keeping it simple.

Check out the other white Christmas trees available by going here

Independence Day

Now that we are no longer active duty and living on base, our favorite way to spend this holiday is by having family over for a big barbecue, enjoy some holiday inspired desserts, talk, have fun and tell the kids all about Independence Day, what it means, how it happened and why it is so important.

Our hope is that the love we have for this country will transpire onto them and they will one day pass it on to their own children.

Thank you to Tree Classics for sending me the beautiful tree in exchange for an honest review on my part. 

Friday, July 01, 2016

Forever Beach by Shelley Noble - TLC Book Tours

• Paperback: 416 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (June 7, 2016)

One woman struggling to hold on to what she has. . . .
One woman learning to forgive. . . .
Their lives entwined by one little girl.

Sarah Hargreave is anxious to finalize the adoption of her foster daughter, Leila. Once a foster child herself, Sarah longs to become Leila’s “forever” family and give her all the love and stability she was denied in her own childhood. When Leila’s biological mother suddenly reappears and petitions the court for the return of her daughter, Sarah is terrified she’ll lose the little girl she loves to the drug- addicted mother who abandoned her.

Having grown up in foster care, Ilona Cartwright is a lawyer who fights for the rights of children who have no one to fight for them. But to Sarah she is Nonie Blanchard, who grew up in the same group foster home as Sarah. They’d promised to be best friends forever, but then Nonie was adopted by a wealthy family, and Sarah never heard from her again. Sarah still hurts from the betrayal. But Nonie harbors her own resentment toward the past.

Mistrustful of each other, the two women form a tenuous alliance to ensure Leila’s future, but when Leila’s very survival is on the line, they’ll have to come to terms with their own feelings of hurt and rejection to save the child they both have come to love.


About Shelley Noble

Shelley Noble is a former professional dancer and choreographer and has worked on a number of films. She lives at the Jersey shore where she loves to visit lighthouses and vintage carousels. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and Romance Writers of America.
Find out more about Shelley at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.


My Thoughts:

 When I first received the book, the cover made me smile.  I was thinking that it was going to be a sweet, summery read, set somewhere on a  nice beach and filled with fun and love and adventure and all cutesy things.

I was not prepared for the emotional roller coaster I was about to embark on.

This story focus on a very important, serious and heart touching matter.  Adoption and Foster Care.

I couldn't hold back the tears at times, I felt like I was in the moment living through all these emotions and wanting so much for the main character to be able to keep the little girl she had grown to love.  Just when she thought the road was clear for her to adopt her foster child, the biological mother springs into action and proceeds to impede all her attempts.

I will be honest and tell you that this wasn't an easy read for me, not only for the fact that I was expecting something else, but mostly because of the contents of the story.  As a mother, I could never imagine the thought of someone trying to take custody from me or separating me from them.

Wonderful book!!!