Tuesday, December 31, 2019

{ New Year Fun - 2019 Edition }


Well friends, here we are, end of 2019 and the end of another decade.  It's quite surreal to even be inching closer to the beginning of 2020.

Every year, on the very last day, I do this New Year Fun meme.  It is a way to look back on the previous months, what you were blogging about and what was going on.  It's quite simple to do, so if you want to join in, by all means do so :)

Post the first sentence of your first blog post of each month. You can also add a favorite picture from each month.

Happy New Year everyone!
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{ Clifty Farm Country Ham - Blogger Recipe/Product Review }


When our country hams first went on sale back in 1954, it soon became evident that curing and selling country hams was to become a family tradition.

Truman Murphey, the founder of Clifty Farm, grew up down in the country around Paris, Tennessee. Truman remembered the day when every farmer cured his own hams.

Today, Truman’s grandson, Michael, is now overseeing the family business, replacing his father Dan, who passed away in 2016. Michael started working in the business as a teenager and is now president of Clifty Farm Country Meats. As a matter of fact, the whole Murphey family is deeply involved in carrying on the Clifty Farm family tradition.

About a month ago, I was given the opportunity to receive some Clifty Farm Country Meats Ham, and to come up with a recipe or two for the 2019 Blogger Recipe Contest.

Monday, December 30, 2019

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 12/30/2019 - Goodbye 2019 }

Good morning.

Well here we are, the last day of 2019.  Every year, as we inch closer to saying goodbye and welcome a brand new year, I sit and think about how quickly it has flown.  I always think this one was faster than the previous, but in reality, I think from the minute I became an adult, every day, every week, every month seems to wiz right on by.

But, here we are again, about to say goodbye to 2019.  I see and hear a lot of people talk about how this was a horrible year for them, but I have to say that for us, it was filled with blessings, surprises and good things.  Health wise, financially, emotionally, it has been a good one, and I only have God to thank for that.

As we go into 2020, my wish for myself and my loved ones, as well as for all of you and your families, is that it is a year of blessing, of love, understanding and coming together.  I feel that our world is fractured in so many ways, families are torn apart, violence and anger is prevailing above anything else and people have become bitter, angry, judgemental and uncaring.  The words empathy and sympathy seem to be a long forgotten memory, just something scribbled on a dictionary many eons ago.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

{ Shinesty Christmas Pajamas - AD }


Last year I had the pleasure of working with Shinesty, when they sent us some really cool suits and dresses to celebrate Christmas.

This year, we were sent some matching pajamas and oh my goodness, did we enjoy these.

First though, you are probably wondering what is Shinesty, what they're about, what they do and what kind of clothes they have.

We created Shinesty for one reason and one reason only:

To bring you the most outlandish collection of clothing the world has ever seen.
When worn correctly, the right clothing can make Mike Tyson's albino tiger purr like a kitten, blow the minds of boringly-dressed onlookers, or be a major contributing factor in the creation of a small human that looks strikingly similar to you.
Whether you are searching for a rare retro piece, enough neon to blind the 80s, or simply something that would make Chuck Norris weep with pride, Shinesty is here to help.

Stay Weird and Shine On


The pajamas are the 50 Shades of Santa, both for men and women, and let me tell you, they are so comfortable to wear that we ended up wearing them all day long.


They are 95% polyester and 5% spandex.  Super comfortable, super stretch and not overly warm either.  Truly perfect for sitting around on Christmas day with your family.

Head on over to the website and check out their products.  There is so much to pick from, from different holidays like Christmas, Halloween, NFL, Beach Party and so much more.  There are also matching outfits for dogs, how adorable is that?



Thank you to Shinesty for providing us with the outfits in exchange for an honest review.


Disclaimer:  Please keep in mind that the website is not geared towards children, as there are  few items on there better suited for adults.  I wouldn't want anyone to think that I'm willingly sending them to a website that may offend them in any way.




Monday, December 23, 2019

{ Happpy Homemaker Monday - 12/23/2019 }


Good morning friends, and a very happy Monday!

Can you believe that this is the last Happy Homemaker Monday before Christmas?  How quickly this year has flown by.

We have had my younger brother staying with us this past weekend and it's been a lot of fun, but as with any gathering there is a flurry of activity and busyness.  We are all heading to breakfast this morning, then they will be returning to my other brother's house for the rest of the week, until they go back home to South Africa on Saturday morning.

I still have a lot to do today and tomorrow, so let me get this post up and get on with the day.  Hope you all have a wonderful Monday and wishing you and your families, a blessed wonderful Christmas. 


Monday, December 16, 2019

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 12/16/2019 }

Good morning, from a very chilly Texas.

I opened the door for Marley to go potty this morning, and was slapped in the face with the coldest of icy wind,  definite chill to the bone.   Hubby is off to work, and I am going to sit down and get this post up, then brave the cold and go to the pharmacy to pick up our med.

Have a wonderful blessed week, friends!!! 


Sunday, December 15, 2019

{ And Christmas shopping is done }

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Christmas right after you buy a house, is tough.  Like really tough!!!

Christmas right after you buy a house, and a kitchen sink decides to clog, followed by your garbage disposal needing to be replaced, is tough.  SUPER tough!!!

But it's doable, and the key is not spending a lot of money, going back to basics, and really focusing on giving inexpensive gifts that come from the heart.

When I was young I loved Christmas, I never knew what I was getting and opening the presents, really was a surprise.  Some gifts we absolutely loved, others we weren't too thrilled about (I'm talking about the socks and underwear), but still, Christmas was magical, the cooking, the wrapping, the anticipation for midnight to roll around.

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The years went by, I got older, I had children of my own, and times have changed.

I find that nowadays, buying gifts is not only so much more expensive, but it's incredibly difficult.  People tend to buy what they want throughout the year, and some even splurge right before the holidays, which in turn makes it hard to know what to give.

And we're not even going to talk about kids today and how they are all technology obsessed and no longer interested in the things that we were, back in the day.

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This year, I decided that I would take that pressure off my shoulders, buy what I wanted to buy, and not worry about so and so's lists.  I don't know about you, but it got pretty disappointing knowing exactly what you were getting, and everyone else knowing what they were getting as well because it's what they asked for.

Where is the magic in that?  Where is the fun, the surprise?

I ended up spending a fraction of what I usually spend, still bought a few thing for each person on the list, and am now done wrapping, it's all under the tree and I can relax.

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I feel that we are losing everything that means family.  Everything that we grew up with, that brought us together at this time of the year, is being destroyed, neglected and put to the side.

I even see friends putting Amazon boxes under the tree.  Maybe I'm too old fashioned, but it honestly breaks my heart.

I'm determined to keep Christmas as close to my childhood, as possible.  For as long as I can, I will continue to wrap gifts, give the things I want to and know the recipient will like, and not focus so much on the materialistic side of the holiday. 

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Days have been shorter, darker, and much much colder.  We are deep into the throes of Winter, without the snow of course.

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In the meantime, our kitchen sink is functional again.  Praise the Lord, I was feeling the stress there for a few days.

And.......the first coat of white paint has been put on a kitchen cabinet.  Yes, it's happening friends. 

I have a lot of plans for my kitchen.  If you've followed me for a while, you know that when we first moved into the house, much as I loved the size of the kitchen, I have never really liked it.  I wanted a white kitchen, and I also can't stand the fact that they used laminate as backsplash.  The counter tops just run straight up into the wall and it drives me insane.

So, big plans for the kitchen.  I'm not remodeling, aside from doing the kitchen floors which need to be replaced.

I'm merely painting, redecorating and changing a few things. 

My idea?  A Rustic/Farmhouse kind of kitchen. 

It will take some time, but I am already starting on it and hopefully within a few months it will be exactly how I've envisioned it for many years.

I am now going to tackle a pile of laundry, fresh out of the dryer, put it all away and then head out to pick up Jasmine from work.

I will be back in the morning for our Happy Homemaker Monday, until then, stay warm and cozy and have a blessed rest of Sunday.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

{ Drying grapefruit slices and slowing down }


There's a nip in the air, ice on the grass and a slowness that comes with Winter.  I stand at the kitchen window and watch the deer slowly creep around the back of the property, down the driveway, then take a leap over the fence and dash off into the woods across the street.

Little House in the Big Woods!!!

I don't know why that thought popped to mind, other than the fact that I adore Little House on the Prairie, but maybe it's my deeply ingrained wish to go back to simpler times.   

Birds chirp,a woosh of wind whips by and everything seems to move at a much slower pace.

It's that time of year.  I used to think that I was a summer girl, through and through, but I've since discovered that I seem to be more of a, every season kinda gal.  The trick is to enjoy each as they come, make the most of it, and dive full force into each season.  But, yet, if you were to ask me which of the four I love the most, aside from the bitter cold weather, it would have to be Winter.

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The past few days I have spent in my apron.  It pops over my head first thing in the morning, and doesn't come off until I'm done with the dinner dishes, kitchen is clean, and I'm headed to the shower.

Old fashioned?  Maybe, but I've been called worse, believe me.

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I've been wanting to make another orange garland for my fireplace, and my tree this year.  I had one that actually lasted for quite a few years, but it did get to the point where it became moldy, and so we had to part ways.

Since then, it's been on the back of my mind, it's just been a matter of finding the time to do it.

I don't have oranges at the moment, but I do have a big bag of grapefruit that my mother in law sent over.  And so, grapefruit garland it is.

I've been slicing and drying for two days, and today I'll finally get to sit down, thread some twine through it and hang it up.  You'll have to wait until tomorrow to see how that turned out.

But while I was slicing the grapefruit and decorating the house, using the trimmings from the tree, I decided to get one of my simmer pots going.  It has been years, and I mean years, since I've done one, it was back in Arizona, so that will tell you something.

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Yesterday I mentioned how I love using the tree trimmings to decorate the house.  There's something about bringing the outdoors, indoors, that I love.  It makes you feel closer to nature, that and the fact that you can't beat the smell of fresh pine wafting through the house.

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I've kept my tree very simple this year.  I used to love a full tree, shiny ornaments, all sorts of colors, tinsel and garland and so on.

As I've gotten older, I've switched to a more subdued tree, that I like it even more.  A tree does not have to be flashy to be beautiful, at least in my opinion.  That's not to say that you can't decorate yours however you wish, it is after all personal preference, and you do what makes you happy, that is all that matters.

I would also love to say that at this point, I'm done Christmas shopping, but the truth is that I have bought one single present, that's it, just one.  This weekend  we will finally head out and get the shopping done, as I'm itching to wrap, get it under the tree and call it good.

That slowness that I love about Winter?  I don't equate Christmas shopping or anything surrounding the holiday, as slow and relaxing.  If anything it is busy, rushed, stressful and too focused on flashy, big and better.  Maybe I'm over it all, or maybe I've just gotten wiser as I've aged.

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Wintery cold days also mean tummy filling, home cooked meals.  Last night's dinner was Hot Sesame Pork, you can find the recipe over on the blog, but I'll link it for you here too.

And to end off my slow kind of day, a disaster in the kitchen.  Curt and I looked at each other and just started laughing.  Our first obstacle as home owners, no more calling in maintenance and waiting for someone to come out and fix it.  It's us, all on us. 

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It's not the first time that my kitchen sink has clogged up, it's been an ongoing issue since we've moved into this house, it clogs at least once a year, they come out, unclog it, I'm extra careful about what I put down the disposal, and then it clogs again.

It happened again yesterday afternoon, right as I was prepping dinner.  I tried unclogging, I tried a plunger, I tried everything I could think of and nothing worked.  When Curt got home from work he tried as well, and usually he can get it unclogged, but for some reason, instead of unclogging it just started leaking out of the bottom of the disposal.

Next thing I knew, there was an inch of water under the sink, water on my floor, Curt's shoes soaked through and a soaking wet kitchen rug.

It's still not fixed.  I have to wait until hubby gets home from work this afternoon so that he can remove the disposal, take a look at it, and see if he can fix it.  I'm thinking we may need a new garbage disposal.  Thankfully you can get a pretty inexpensive one at Lowes. 

But this whole thing got me thinking about the old days, the simpler times were garbage disposals were not even invented.  We survived without one, our sink was just a proper normal sink where you washed dishes, and never in a million years did you think of throwing any kind of food down the drain.

So is it really worth it to have a disposal?  To deal with these headaches?  Or is it maybe time to ditch it?  I would live just fine without one, and I think that this may just be a project for the very near future.  Ditch that disposal and go back to a normal proper sink.  Yes, I think that is on my list.

For now, I will be using my laundry sink which thankfully is across the kitchen, on the opposite wall.  I do my dishes in there, and then for dinner we will probably go out with my brother in law. 

I need to get up off this bed, get dressed, go tackle my kitchen and start making some gift lists so that I'm prepared tomorrow.

Have a wonderful blessed Wednesday!

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

{ The little routine that I love so much }

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You know that saying "You don't know what you have until it's gone?".

I've felt that over the past few weeks, or rather, month and a half.  The routine that I love, that I thrive on and need in my life, was swiftly pulled out from under my feet. It came unexpectedly, but as all things that come from the Lord, it was done in a way that woke up my soul, and put a fire under my behind.

Truthfully, had the landlord not pulled a fast one on Curt and I, we would have still be sitting here, renting, paying off someone else's home and not even thinking about it, at least for the next two years.

When this all went down, I was frustrated and angry at first, then just submitted to God and let it go.  My life then became a flurry of paperwork, signing this and initialing that, and just getting by with the barest of chores around the house.

I saw it crumbling around me, not in a fast and unexpected way, but more like a slow crumbling, a piece here and there and there was nothing I could do about it.

What this whole process has taught me is that, even though I've always thought that I do well with or without a routine, I really do flourish and grow when I am in my home, homemaking, pottering around, following the daily monotony of life that I've created around me.

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My older brother left a few days ago, my younger brother is in Dallas this week, Curt's brother is in Oklahoma visiting friends, this home is OURS, and life has slowed down.

The minute I felt that weight lift off my shoulders, I jumped right into my much loved routine.

Usually I'm up super early, quickly dressed and off to make breakfast for our house guests.  I don't have anything going on this week, so my mornings are have been slow, just as I like them.  Comfy slippers are slipped on, and warm cozy pajamas are left on for an hour or two, as I sip my first cup of coffee.

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Doing dishes by hand and taking my time, has been a blessing.  Another one of those chores that you take for granted until you don't have the time to do it.  Lately it's been a 'throw all the dishes in the dishwasher and keep moving', kinda thing.  But being able to sit at the kitchen sink, feel that warm water on my hands, slowly wash the dishes while enjoying nature right outside my window......is pure bliss.

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The temperatures have dipped, it's been overcast and cold, and everyone seems to go into a mid day slump.  Naps are taken on couches, covered by big fluffy blankets, while Christmas lights twinkle in the background.

I've set my house to order, vacuumed and carpet cleaned, dusted and moved things around, and my house is starting to look like a home again.

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I've been working on lists, gift lists, Christmas food and menu planning for the next two weeks.  I have to tell you, even the grocery shopping took a backburner and I feel like I haven't done a proper, in store, good shop in a long time.  I'm so excited to do that this Friday.

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I've also been working on decorating inside, using Christmas tree trimmings from my own tree, backyard and Lowe's.

When we picked up our tree this past weekend, I asked the guy who was wrapping it, to please wrap up all my trimmings.  It's an inexpensive way to add some nature into your home and to make it look more cheerful.

I will take photos and show you all how it's coming along.

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It's just gone 8:00 AM, though you wouldn't know it by how dark the house looks.  I'm about to go make a fresh cup of coffee and a big bowl of oatmeal with dates, nuts, cinnamon and a drizzle of cream. 

I have grapefruit slices drying in the oven for a garland that I plan to hang on my tree, I need to take out my pork for tonight's Hot Sesame Pork and noodles dinner, I need to start prepping my kitchen for painting and I am hoping to watch some more Hallmark Christmas movies, though I may start with the newest one on Netflix, A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby. 

I promise to take you all along with me as I go about my day.  Hope you all have a blessed Tuesday, thank you for always stopping by even when I'm not actively blogging as much as I want to.  I always say that I don't blog for the comments or the engagement (like most bloggers in this day and age do), but the truth is that your sweet words mean the world to me, and give me the incentive to keep sharing my life here in blogland.  So for that I'm eternally grateful :)

Monday, December 09, 2019

{ Zapata by Harper McDavid - TLC Book Tours }



• Paperback: 356 pages
• Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing (September 25, 2019)

When engineer Avery McAndrews is offered a last-minute assignment to the rough and tumble border town of Zapata, Texas, she doesn’t think twice. Used to pushing past stereotypes, she’s sure this project will earn the long-awaited promotion.

Instead, she’s thrown in the crossfire between warring drug cartels and soon discovers that her captor, Javier Ramos, is more than just a power hungry drug lord. He’s crazy.

As lead attorney for the cartel, it’s Alejandro DeLeon’s job to manage Javier. But this time, Javier’s cruelty reaches epic proportions, and Alejandro finds himself wanting to risk everything to save Avery.

Running for their lives with Mexico’s underworld at their heels, Avery and Alejandro discover unintended and intensifying emotions, feelings neither sought and neither seem prepared to control…


Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

 

About Harper McDavid

As a child, Harper McDavid watched her mother ride the rollercoaster of writing books, swearing she’d never do it herself. But some things are just hardwired, and luckily for Harper the world has moved on beyond typewriters and ten-pound manuscripts.

Harper’s gritty romantic suspense incorporates her own background in science and engineering and work experience along the border. The result is a collection of brainy hard hat-wearing heroines that occasionally swap out their coveralls for the little black dress.

Harper is the mother of three daughters and lives in the foothills of Colorado with her husband, two dogs, and a fat cat. Her free time is spent traveling the world in search of that next story and perusing her local library for funny book covers.

Find out more about Harper at her website, and connect with her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.


My thoughts:
I wasn't sure if I would enjoy this book, the whole drug cartel subject is not something I'm particularly interested in.  But, I live in Texas and the book takes place in Zapata, Texas, so that caught my attention.

It's always fun to read a book that is set in your State.

I was worried that the drug element would completely overtake the story, but was surprised to find that I really enjoyed the story.

Yes you are completely thrown into a world of drugs, arms, and danger, but you are also privvy to a budding romance that you can't help but root for.

Avery is not used to the crazy dangerous world near the Mexico border, and she is not one to focus on the negatives.  When she's offered a job in Zapata, a border town that is known for drug cartel wars, she thinks she can handle it.  After all, she is just there to do a job as an engineer.

But things quickly take a turn when she is kidnapped by the crazy cartel drug lord, Javier.  Not only is he a no holds barred, dangerous drug lord, but he seems to be off his rocker. 

Avery finds herself in a scary, complicated situation.

In comes her Knight in shining armor, none other than Javiers own attorney, Alejandro.

When Alejandro meets Avery, the urge to protect her is more powerful than his own fear of safety.

I loved the pacing, loved the blossoming romance and the craziness of the drug cartels thrown into the mix.  For a debut novel, Harper did amazingly well.  I think her Border Series is sure to be a success.

Thank you to TLC Tours and the publisher for providing me with a review copy of this book, in exchange for my honest review.



{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 12/09/2019 }

Good morning friends, come on in and have a coffee with me.  How was your weekend?

Mine was good but as always, super busy.  I am desperately seeking peace, quiet and some rest.  Thankfully this week, I am going to get just that.

Matter of fact, I started taking some photos for the blog, two days ago, and I'm continuing today.  So tomorrow you will have a normal Sandra post.  Yay!!!

I'll probably be daily blogging this whole week, so stay tuned for that.

It is but 6:00 AM here, super dark outside still, but I am getting this post up real quick, because then I need to get ready for the day.  I have to drop my brother off at the car rental place as they're heading to Dallas for the week, and then I have to rush home and take my daughter to work.  Busy, busy as always.

Hope you all have a beautiful blessed week ahead!!!




The weather outside is::::
The weather has been pretty nutty.  One day it is super cold, the next day it is 73 or 74.  Go figure!!!  At the moment it is 63.         

Monday - Mostly Cloudy and Windy, 64
Tuesday - AM clouds, PM sun, 51
Wednesday - Mostly sunny, 57
Thursday - Partly cloudy, 54
Friday - Mostly Sunny, 60
Saturday - Sunny, 62
Sunday - Mostly sunny, 61


On the breakfast plate this morning::::
I am trying, key word trying, to finish my coffee.  I put in some Peppermint Mocha but really not enjoying it.  I couldn't figure out why, until I realized that I picked up the International Delight brand and I don't like.  I much prefer the Coffee Mate.  Oh well, won't throw it out, will have to finish it, but yuck.              


As I look outside my window:::
Still dark out there, so can't see anything, but I do hear the owls on the trees outside.       


Right now I am::::
Working on this post, sitting in my warm comfy bed, and watching a vlog on the tv.              


As I look around the house::::
There are boxes with Christmas decorations, boxes with Fall decorations needing to be closed and put away.  There are a ton of old gaming systems like Nintendo and Sega laying around as well, as the family has been enjoying those.
Honestly, looking around my house right now is stressing me out, my carpets need desperate cleaning, the house needs dusting and organizing.  I need to do that today as I've been so incredibly busy and running around, that I haven't had a chance.            


On today's to do list::::
Laundry....Have a load in the dryer that I need to fold and put away.           
Cleaning....We have our tree and got all the decorations up.  I just need to clean up and make sure all the empty boxes are put away.             
Cooking.....Probably tuna salad for lunch, and dinner will be Chicken Curry.  I actually made the curry yesterday afternoon because my chicken really needed using up.  I just made the curry and then once it was warm, popped it in the fridge for tonight.             


On this week's to do list::::

Monday - Take brother to rental car place, take Jasmine to work
Tuesday - Take Jasmine to work.
Wednesday - Day off, hoping to start on some house projects.  
The rest of the week, is pretty easy, and I'm hoping to get a lot of posts up, lots of photos and a lot of homemaking.


On the menu this week::::
Meals are planned until Friday, I'll be grocery shopping then, so this week I need to work on a new menu.

Monday - Chicken Curry and Rice
Tuesday - Hot Sesame Pork
Wednesday - Spaghetti and Garlic Bread
Thursday - Fried Chicken with Milk Gravy, Macaroni and Cheese, Mashed Potatoes
Friday -  Poor Man's Steak, Mushroom Gravy, Roast Potatoes
Saturday -
Sunday -


Currently reading::::
Don't have any new books to read at the moment, waiting for some more review books to come in.



On the TV this week::::

Youtube:
Vlogmas on Youtube
True Crime

I'm not even sure, but I do plan on catching up with my shows this week.      


What I am creating at the moment::::
Rozeta CAL from Lilla Bjorn.  Basically nothing else at the moment. 


Prayers, Inspirational Quotes or Devotionals::::

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. JAMES 1:17


* The past few weeks I have had to go in and delete links that are NOT related to Happy Homemaker Monday.  Folks, I have asked repeatedly to not add random links to other posts on your blogs, or just a link to your blog in general.  It is a lot of work for me to sit and go through and manually delete them from the linky, and it's also incredibly rude to the other participants who are just looking for the Happy Homemaker Monday posts.  Please be respectful!!!


Wednesday, December 04, 2019

{ We did it, we closed on the house }


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Oh my friends, I am beyond happy right now.

At noon today, my husband and I closed on this house, it is now ours.  The feeling is surreal, I still can't believe that we own our own home, that we never have to move, that we can do whatever we wish and that we finally can put down roots for our ourselves and mainly for our children.

Its been a long month and a half, the stress, the back and forth of paperwork, the worry, and thrown in, family coming in from overseas.

To say I'm physically and mentally exhausted, is an understatement.

But, I am forever grateful to my wonderful God who has not only provided this beautiful home for us, He managed everything, moved mountains and has done things that we are still shaking our heads at, in disbelief.

I have so much, but sooooo much to tell you all about, but don't have the time right now.

I just wanted to come in and thank all of you who have prayed, send positive thoughts and indirectly followed our journey.  It means the absolute world to us.

I promise that soon, very very soon, I will be back to full time blogging again, and you will get to follow us on our new chapter, changing, painting, pulling carpets here and there, and making this home truly our own.

We are off to celebrate.  Much love to you all, sending all of God's blessings to you and your family.


Monday, December 02, 2019

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 12/2/2019 }

Good morning friends, welcome back to my blog.

I hope you are all still around and haven't disappeared, like I have.  I am missing my blog so much and just wishing that things were back on track.  As it is, I will only be returning to full time blogging around December 29th because that is when the last family members leave.

Until then, it is going to be as it has been, just my Happy Homemaker Monday posts, unless I find a spare minute to come in and put up a quick post.

So much has been going on, I may actually do a quick update tomorrow, and catch you all up on what has been going on around here.

For now though, let's get right into today's post, as I need to get dressed and out the door in the next hour, to take my daughter to work.

  




The weather outside is::::
Pretty cold at the moment, 30 degrees.  The rest of the week we will stay in the 60s although there does seem to be a 70 degree day thrown in there.  So weird.       

Monday - Mostly Sunny, 57
Tuesday - Sunny, 63
Wednesday - Mostly cloudy, 62
Thursday - Sunny, 70
Friday - Mostly Sunny, 57
Saturday - Partly cloudy, 61
Sunday - Partly cloudy, 69


On the breakfast plate this morning::::
I am finishing up a cup of coffee with White Chocolate Raspberry creamer.  I don't know if I will eat anything for a while, maybe some toast later.            


As I look outside my window:::
The sun is just starting to rise and it looks beautiful.  There is frost on the grass and ice on the car windshields.  Our Christmas lights are still on, and I need to turn them off here shortly.     


Right now I am::::
Just sent hubby off to work, and am now quickly typing up this post, while also thinking about what I'm going to wear and all that I need to do today.            


As I look around the house::::
There are boxes with Christmas decorations, boxes with Fall decorations needing to be closed and put away.  There are a ton of old gaming systems like Nintendo and Sega laying around as well, as the family has been enjoying those.
Honestly, looking around my house right now is stressing me out, my carpets need desperate cleaning, the house needs dusting and organizing.  I need to do that today as I've been so incredibly busy and running around, that I haven't had a chance.            


On today's to do list::::
Laundry....No laundry, all laundry was done over the weekend.           
Cleaning....Carpet cleaning, put away Fall decorations, bring out the rest of the Christmas decorations and put those boxes away as well.  Give the house a good dusting.  Sweep and mop kitchen floors.           
Cooking.....Not really sure what we will do for lunch.  Dinner is Gnocchi Bolognese, Garlic Bread and Salad.           


On this week's to do list::::
  1. Take Jasmine to work and pick up. 
  2. Closing on the house either tomorrow or Wednesday.  
  3. Last minute shopping with my brother before he returns to South Africa 
  4. Drop off brother at airport on Thursday morning, then drive an hour over to my mother in law's to see her and my father in law.  They've both been dealing with health issues so we are going over to spend a few hours with them before returning home.
  5. Schooling with Nick.
  6. Find some time to go see my younger brother at my other brother's house.  My brother Bruno and his family just arrived yesterday morning and will be here until the 28th.  



On the menu this week::::
Monday - Gnocchi Bolognese, Garlic Bread, Salad
Tuesday - Probably out to dinner to celebrate house closing
Wednesday - Beef and Broccoli with Sesame Noodles
Thursday - Away at in laws for the day, Jasmine and Nick will be home and will order pizza
Friday -  Chicken Curry and Rice
Saturday - Panda Express Chow Mein
Sunday -Fried Chicken, Macaroni and Cheese, Fried Okra


Currently reading::::
Stay by Catherine Ryan Hyde.


On the TV this week::::

Youtube:
Vlogmas has started.

To be completely honest with you, I have not watched any television for about 3 weeks now.  I have so much to catch up on, but just don't have the time.    


What I am creating at the moment::::
Rozeta CAL from Lilla Bjorn.  Creating a Christmas atmosphere around the house.


Prayers, Inspirational Quotes or Devotionals::::

Prayer Starter: Father, help me to always be a person of integrity. Help me to honor You by keeping my word and doing what I say I’ll do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

* The past few weeks I have had to go in and delete links that are NOT related to Happy Homemaker Monday.  Folks, I have asked repeatedly to not add random links to other posts on your blogs, or just a link to your blog in general.  It is a lot of work for me to sit and go through and manually delete them from the linky, and it's also incredibly rude to the other participants who are just looking for the Happy Homemaker Monday posts.  Please be respectful!!!


Monday, November 25, 2019

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 11/25/2019 }

Good morning sweet friends, hope you're all doing well.

It's been a week since I've posted on the blog, things have been insane around here.  Aside from the house stuff, my older brother flew in from South Africa, last Friday, to spend Thanksgiving with us and to surprise my other brother.

They hadn't seen each other in 11 years, so the reunion was so sweet to witness.  I'm blessed to have been able to watch it unfold before my eyes.

On Sunday the 1st of December, my younger brother and his family are also arriving from South Africa, and they will be spending Christmas with us.  For the first time in 11 or 12 years, all four of us sibling will be together in the same place.  So exciting!!!

So yes, lots has been happening here.  House wise, we are on the last stretch, the repairs have yet to be done and we are predicted to close on the house in exactly a week.  I don't know what the seller is thinking, I just hope they get what needs doing, done, within the next few days.

Actually, I know that God is in control and it will all be done and dusted in plenty of time.

Right, let's get going with our day, I have a lot to do.  I will put up a post this week with photos of Thanksgiving, but aside from that I really don't know how much I'll be around.  Apologies for that.

Anyway, enough talking.   




The weather outside is::::
Though it's been pretty chilly, today we are expecting a bit of a warm up.  It also looks like half the week we will have temperatures in the 70's, how weird.  I get so frustrated with the constant change in temperatures, as it just causes health issues and everyone around is sniffling and cold.  Crazy weather!     

Monday - Partly cloudy, 68
Tuesday - Partly cloudy and wind, 77
Wednesday - Mostly cloudy, 52
Thursday - Rain, 48
Friday - Thunderstorms, 71
Saturday - Partly cloudy and win, 63
Sunday - Sunny and wind, 49



On the breakfast plate this morning::::
Just had coffee with Peppermint Creamer.  I'll have some toast later.          



As I look outside my window:::
The sun has risen although it's cloudy outside.  I always enjoy this time of year, early mornings, golden light and frost shining on the grass.   



Right now I am::::
Just said goodbye to my husband, he is off to work.  I am sitting in bed with Marley, and working on this post, while trying to catch up on youtube videos.  I'm about a week behind so have lots to catch up on.          



As I look around the house::::
I need to tidy up a little, with family over there's always a bit more to tidy up.  My kitchen needs some work today, I have dishes from last night's dinner, in the sink just waiting for me.          



On today's to do list::::
Laundry....I have a load of whites to wash, everything else is done.           
Cleaning....Basic every day chores, also want to vacuum the carpets.         
Cooking.....We have leftover Lasagna and Chicken Stroganoff, so that's lunch taken care of.  Dinner will be Chicken Pot Pie and a salad.         


On this week's to do list::::
  1. Need to pull the turkey's out of the freezer today, and find some room in the refrigerator for them to thaw. 
  2. Cook all the sweet potatoes so they're ready for the casserole and pie. 
  3. Make pie dough for Thanksgiving pies.
  4. Shell out more pecans for the pie.
  5. Pull out the serving tables and get the table ready for Thanksgiving.



On the menu this week::::
Monday - Chicken Pot Pie and Salad
Tuesday - Family Burrito Bake, Steamed Broccoli
Wednesday - Spicy 3 Pepper Fettucine with Italian Sausage
Thursday - Thanksgiving
Friday -  Leftovers
Saturday -
Sunday -


Currently reading::::
Stay by Catherine Ryan Hyde.


On the TV this week::::

Youtube:
Homemaking Vlogs
Hallmark Christmas Movies

Will also be watching some classics for this time of year, like Planes, Trains and Automobiles and some National Lampoons Vacation, Christmas Vacation etc.  


What I am creating at the moment::::
Rozeta CAL from Lilla Bjorn.     


New recipe I tried or want to try this week::::
Nothing new on the meal plan, just sticking to good ol' favorites.   


Favorite photo from the camera:::: 




Prayers, Inspirational Quotes or Devotionals::::

1 Kings 8:56

"Blessed be the LORD who has given rest to his people Israel, according to all that he promised. Not one word has failed of all his good promise, which he spoke by Moses his servant."


* The past few weeks I have had to go in and delete links that are NOT related to Happy Homemaker Monday.  Folks, I have asked repeatedly to not add random links to other posts on your blogs, or just a link to your blog in general.  It is a lot of work for me to sit and go through and manually delete them from the linky, and it's also incredibly rude to the other participants who are just looking for the Happy Homemaker Monday posts.  Please be respectful!!!


Monday, November 18, 2019

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 11/18/2019 }

Good morning friends, hope you're staying warm.

How was your weekend?

Mine was wonderful, aside from the usual homemaking chores, we harvested our pecans and the rest of the weekend was spent relaxing.  I even took a nap on Saturday afternoon which is something I never do.  I'm not a napper, I find that if I do nap during the day, I wake up in a super foul mood lol

Anyway, I hope you all have a wonderful week ahead.  We are expecting some small repairs to be done to the house, by the seller, and we're hoping that they get to it sometime this week.

Well, let's see what we have going on around blogland, shall we?   



The weather outside is::::
Though it's been pretty chilly, today we are expecting a bit of a warm up.  It also looks like half the week we will have temperatures in the 70's, how weird.  I get so frustrated with the constant change in temperatures, as it just causes health issues and everyone around is sniffling and cold.  Crazy weather!     

Monday - Sunny, 73
Tuesday - Mostly Sunny, 76
Wednesday - PM Rain,70
Thursday - Showers, 62
Friday - AM Showers, 50
Saturday - Sunny, 57
Sunday - Sunny, 65



On the breakfast plate this morning::::
Coffee with Coconut Creme Creamer.  I'm not sure what I'll have for breakfast, just not really feeling like eating anything at the moment.        



As I look outside my window:::
The sun is rising and it's casting the prettiest of orange light all around.  Fall is one of those seasons that make sunrises even more stunning than usual.  I don't know if it's the reflection of the golden light on the frost outside, but it looks absolutely magical. 



Right now I am::::
I just got hubby off to work and while he was driving off, 3 huge deer came running through our property and took off across the road, into the trees.  I always love this time of year because it's when we see a plethora of deer running around.

I am sitting in bed and working on this post, also forwarding some home related emails to my husband, watching a vlog on the tv and thinking about what I need to do today.         



As I look around the house::::
Everything is bathed in an orange glow.  My Autumn tree is lit in the corner of the dining room, making it all look so cozy and warm.        



On today's to do list::::
Laundry....Just have some kitchen towels that need washing.  Although I did all my laundry this weekend, the basket is full again.  What on earth?         
Cleaning....I want to give my carpets a good clean.  It's been a few weeks and with the constant influx of inspectors and different people in and out, they need a good cleaning.       
Cooking.....I'll be making the kids and I some Grilled Cheese sandwiches for lunch.  Dinner will be Portuguese Chicken and Rice.       


On this week's to do list::::
  1. Put up the pine garlands on the windows
  2. Perimenopause doctor's appointment, this afternoon
  3. Clean Carpets
  4. Make pie dough for Thanksgiving pies



On the menu this week::::
Monday - Portuguese Chicken and Rice
Tuesday - Sheet Pan Pepperoni Pizza
Wednesday - Bio's Almondegas (Great Grandma's meatballs), Fries
Thursday - Onion and Potato Soup, Sandwiches
Friday -  Easy Chicken Pot Pie, Salad
Saturday - Hot and Spicy Lasagna, Foccacia
Sunday -Brunch (Bacon, Maple Sausages, Eggs, Biscuits and Gravy)


Currently reading::::
Stay by Catherine Ryan Hyde.


On the TV this week::::

Youtube:
Homemaking Vlogs
Hallmark Christmas Movies

Haven't had much time for actual TV watching or catching up on any shows.


What I am creating at the moment::::
Rozeta CAL from Lilla Bjorn.     


>New recipe I tried or want to try this week::::
While meal planning for the next two weeks, I pulled out my Pampered Chef cookbooks and jotted down a few meals or desserts that I wanted to try.  One of those was for a really easy and quick homemade carrot cake.  I made it yesterday and it was divine.
I'll share the recipe sometime today. 


Favorite photo from the camera:::: 






Prayers, Inspirational Quotes or Devotionals::::

♥♥♥ Curt's stepfather is still gaining strength so that he can have his heart surgery.  He did get to go home from rehabilitation on Friday, so that's wonderful news.   
♥♥♥ My mother in law, she is continuing her infusion treatments for breast cancer.
♥♥♥ Our home buying journey.  The inspections went amazingly well.  As you know, we are using a VA loan and have now been conditionally approved.  It basically means, they just needed some more documentation sent in before giving the go ahead to close on the house.
However, there are some minor repairs that the appraiser wants done before closing, basically the whole trim around the house needs to be peeled and repainted.  Our back patio overhang is super old, the paint is peeling and there are some rotten wood planks.  Hubby and I had full intentions of redoing it, but it's not up to us, so the VA wants the seller to replace all that wood and repaint it all.

This all needs to be done within the next two weeks, so we will be on them to get this done as soon as possible.  Thank you all so much for the prayers you continue sending our way.  We are ever so close to owning this home, and it really would be a dream come true. 


* The past few weeks I have had to go in and delete links that are NOT related to Happy Homemaker Monday.  Folks, I have asked repeatedly to not add random links to other posts on your blogs, or just a link to your blog in general.  It is a lot of work for me to sit and go through and manually delete them from the linky, and it's also incredibly rude to the other participants who are just looking for the Happy Homemaker Monday posts.  Please be respectful!!!

Sunday, November 17, 2019

{ Harvesting Pecans }

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Typically, we like to get the Pecans harvested as soon as they're ready, which for us could mean middle of October, but usually very beginning of November.

However, with all the craziness happening around here, it is not something we had a chance to do, until yesterday.

_MG_6831

We've been blessed with 6 Pecan trees on the property.

When we first moved into this house, I had no clue we had so many, and the first year we didn't even realize there were pecans to harvest.  The second year we had quite a bit to harvest and we got as many as we could.

What we also didn't realize is that Pecan trees don't produce a huge crop, every single year.  So last year we were all set on harvesting and were quite disappointed not to see many at all.

_MG_6834

This year however, we have an abundance.  Two of our trees put out a huge crop, enough that last week, my husband went out back to check on the trees and came back after an hour, with a full box.

Yesterday we decided that we needed to take some time and get out there, so we could gather as many as we could before they went bad, and before the squirrels went through them.

As it is, one of the trees was depleted and all that was left were a bunch of shells scattered at it's feet, with half eaten pecans.  Those silly squirrels!

However, there were still plenty to harvest.  We spent, maybe two hours and came back in with boxes full.  I have never seen so many pecans in my life.

_MG_6835

_MG_6836

The job is far from over, I now need to cure all these pecans.  If you don't cure them, you run the risk of mold growing and the nuts being inedible.

Now that we've harvested them, they will need to be placed in a single layer, on a surface that allows for good ventilation.  They will have to sit like this for about 2 weeks, and then we will shell them, freeze some, make pies, make pecan milk and all sorts of goodies.

_MG_6832

These are the kind of chores that some people will turn their noses at, wonder why bother with all this work, just go to the store and buy them.  Absolutely, if you're willing to pay over 6 dollars for a small bag of pecans.  I don't know how much they are where you live, but I've always found pecans to be incredibly expensive, it's almost heartbreaking paying that much for a small bag of crushed pecans.

When you have an abundance that the Lord has blessed you with, you use it.  You make the effort, you harvest and cure and then enjoy the rewards.

For us, it's just part of living in the country, of homesteading so to speak.

It's not easy work, and after harvesting for just a few hours yesterday, my lower back was killing me, but it's work that I do with a smile on my face. 

If we are blessed to stay in this house, Curt and I have so many plans for the property, and I can not wait to take you along.

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