Monday, August 31, 2020

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 08/31/2020 }

Good morning my friends, and a very happy Monday to you all.

I want to start today by thanking each and every single one of you, who prayed for us over the past 3 months.  Our situation was resolved on Friday morning, and all I can say is WOW!!!

I have always believed in a God that is fair and just, and always, doing what is best for us.  He also has a way of going above and beyond what we ask for, especially when we are faithful to Him and love Him with all our heart.

Curt not only gets to keep his job, but in the meantime, he has moved up a step in his position which means a pay raise, and because we didn't know what our future held, Curt resumed his studies to finish his Master's Degree.  He still had some time left on his GI Bill.  Which means, now we will be getting school money as well, on top of his normal work pay.  It is a huge and I mean HUGE blessing from God.  We are so thankful for the prayers, and are very much looking forward to using the extra money for home repairs and paying off debt.

Unfortunately, all this is clouded as well by my mother in law's health.  She is in the hospital at the moment with some fluid around her heart.  They are looking at draining it sometime today, and hopefully she can go home this week.  My husband has been traveling back and forth from the hospital, they live 2 and half hours from us, while I hold down the fort here at home with homeschooling, driving daughter to work, pets and so forth.

It hasn't been easy, but it is what needs to be done right now, and we will push through this trial as we have always done.

Anyway, wow, I feel like I rambled a bit, let's get on with our Happy Homemaker Monday.

Have a blessed week friends!
xoxo
  




♥♥The Weather♥♥ 
Thankfully not as hot as it has been the past 2 months.  We did get some rain from the Hurricane, and really strong winds too, but nowhere near what the coast was hit with.  

Monday - Thunderstorms, 95
Tuesday - Thunderstorms, 87
Wednesday - AM Thunderstorms, 82
Thursday -  Partly cloudy, 88
Friday - Isolated Thunderstorms, 82
Saturday -  Partly cloudy, 86
Sunday - Mostly sunny, 88


♥♥How I am feeling this morning♥♥
Overwhelmed with gratitude, worried for my mother in law, and then Marley threw up a couple times.  What is it with dogs and throwing up once in a while?  He has always had a sensitive stomach, and since he's still a 3 year old puppy, he has a bad habit of chewing on things he shouldn't.  *sigh*


♥♥On my mind♥♥ 
Need to get things done around here, and trying to focus without my mind going full speed with a million other thoughts.


 ♥♥On the breakfast plate♥♥
Just had coffee and two pieces of toast.   


♥♥On my reading pile♥♥ 
Still in my book of Psalms in my Bible.

Still reading The Brothers of Auschwitz by Malka Adler.  It is SOOOOO good.  Review will be coming up next week.   


 ♥♥On my tv♥♥
 My Portuguese Soap *Quer o Destino*.
Study on the book of Revelation.


♥♥On the menu this week♥♥ 

Monday - German and Street Taco Bratwurst, Potato Salad
Tuesday - Paprika Beef Tips with Rice
Wednesday - Dad's Favorite Chicken, Spaghetti noodles
Thursday - {not sure yet, will use what is in fridge} 

Friday - *Grocery shopping*
Saturday - Away visiting my mother in law
Sunday - French Dips on a Budget, Potato Wedges


♥♥From the camera♥♥
I so enjoy watching nature.  We have a really tall pine tree, I mean TALL, it is about 30 feet high.  It is always filled with pines, and the progression as they grow is so beautiful to see.




♥♥Looking around the house♥♥
Both kids are asleep, hubby is at the hospital with his mom.  Marley and Elliott are both sleeping in my bedroom.  The house is quite dark, we had some strong storms around 2am, and are waiting on more rain throughout the day.

But the good side to that is that the temperatures have cooled off, so I can open the curtains and windows to let in some much needed fresh air. 


♥♥New recipe I tried last week, or one that we really enjoyed♥♥
For the first time in many many years, I tried a recipe from one of my new cookbooks, and it was awful.  I couldn't stomach it.  LOL   But you know, that's life, sometimes you try a recipe and it's not good, but thankfully 99% of the time, they are winners.


♥♥To relax this week, I will♥♥
Probably just read, and maybe try a nap here and there.  I have a very hard time sleeping when I'm stressed, or when Curt is away, so my sleep has been quite minimal the past week. 


 ♥♥Something I want to share♥♥ 
I absolutely LOVE looking in on old castles, mansions, homes from the Tudor times.  This one  is the very first home for Elizabeth I, when she was just 3 months old.  So interesting!   




♥♥On my prayer list♥♥
Praying abundant blessings over everyone that has prayed for our situation the past 3 months.
Praying for my mother in law Pat.  She faces some difficult decisions ahead.
Praying over our President, country and the rest of the world.


Thursday, August 27, 2020

{ Prayers for my mother in law Pat }



I've been pretty quiet on here.

I am trying very hard to get this post out without jumbling everything up.  At the moment, my mind is at full speed, thoughts swirling, constant prayers going up and trying to stay focused.

You know that a lot has been going on for us.  This year has been extremely difficult for many people, and we have also been thrown into the middle of that chaos.  Every family I speak to is going through a trial, a season, a desert, a phase that doesn't seem to have an end in sight.

Yesterday morning we got a phone call from my wonderful mother in law Pat.  The news she shared were not what we wanted to hear, not what we were expecting and so far removed from my thoughts, that I had to sit down on the couch in the office, and catch my breath.

Pat has been battling cancer for years, and I mean years.  Back in 2007 I made a post asking for prayers for her, she had just told us that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer.  We were shocked.  She went through surgery, chemotherapy and beat that cancer.  Was cancer free for 9 years and then 2016 it came back, she fought it again, and then returned again in 2017.

She has been a warrior, so strong, she leaves us in constant awe.

Unfortunately the cancer has spread, and she was given a Stage 4 diagnosis this week, if she does no treatments she has 2 months, if she goes through more chemotherapy she has about 14 months.

This is not a decision that is easy to make, and my heart totally breaks for her.  We want to be selfish and force her to do anything and everything needed to stay around longer, but at what cost?

I don't want her to suffer, I don't want her in pain.  So I'm asking for prayers please, for a miracle from the Lord to cure this horrible disease invading her body, but if it is her time, then prayers for comfort and peace for her, and for her sons, my husband and brother in law.

I will tell you, I am not ready to let her go.  I'm not.  But I can't be selfish, so I will support and respect her decision.

Just please, please send prayers our way. 

I am so sorry that I haven't been the best of bloggers.  I tell myself daily to get back on here and just write, write everything and anything because it helps to clear the mind and helps to get through life's difficult moments.......and yet I feel like I have this block when it comes to blogging.

I don't want to stop, I don't want to let my blog go after so many years, but what do I do when I can't seem to open blogger, type anything, or even feel like I am motivated to do so?  I don't have that answer right now, maybe when life calms down a bit I'll be able to get on with it as before, but for the moment I am truly just going with the flow. 

Please believe that I am trying my best, but I am also very overwhelmed with life right now, so much so that at times, I feel like I'm in the middle of the ocean, being pulled under and fighting frantically to stay afloat.

Life is just......life is just hard right now.

Thank you for the prayers in advance.  I will keep you updated. 

Blessings,
xoxoxoxo

Monday, August 24, 2020

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 08/24/2020 }

Good morning sweet friends, how was your weekend?

I had a wonderful one, very quiet, very restful, wish it would have been longer, but it is what it is, right?

I'm trying to get this post up as fast as I can because I am sitting here in my nightgown and still need to get dressed, get breakfast and get my daughter off to work.  She has finally decided that she wants to give driving a go again, thank goodness.

Hope you all have a fantastic week, thank you as always, for joining in every Monday, I appreciate it so much.

God Bless.




♥♥The Weather♥♥ 
Hot, and too hot for me.  I get so frustrated trying to do any kind of gardening because 5 minutes outside and I feel like I'm on fire.  Still very hot around here, but we did get a random thunderstorm last night that thankfully cooled things down a bit.  I don't know about you all, but we have had some strange storms lately, out of the blue, very strong and destructive, and gone just as quick as it arrives. 

Monday - 96
Tuesday - 96
Wednesday - 93
Thursday -  95
Friday - 103
Saturday -  101
Sunday - 98


♥♥How I am feeling this morning♥♥
I am feeling ok, slept pretty well which is always a good thing. 


♥♥On my mind♥♥ 
A huge to do list.  I also want to start a list of projects that need doing, room by room, so that we can start working on them slowly. 


 ♥♥On the breakfast plate♥♥
Coffee with chocolate caramel creamer.   


♥♥On my reading pile♥♥ 
I am now in the book of Psalms in my Bible.

I started The Brothers of Auschwitz by Malka Adler.  Within the first 20 pages I was sobbing, the ugly sob.  It is an extremely difficult book to read in the sense that it paints quite a vivid picture of the atrocities that were perpetuated against the Jewish people. 



 ♥♥On my tv♥♥
 My Portuguese Soap *Quer o Destino*.
Study on the book of Revelation.


♥♥On the menu this week♥♥ 

Monday - Chicken Biscuit Pot Pie
Tuesday - All American Cheeseburgers, Potato Wedges
Wednesday - Asian Chicken and Rice
Thursday - Smoked Sausage and Potatoes
Friday - Spaghetti and Garlic Bread
Saturday -Country Ribs, Baked Potatoes, Salad
Sunday - Fettucine Alfredo, Steamed Broccoli


♥♥From the camera♥♥
How absolutely gorgeous is this blanket looking?  



♥♥Looking around the house♥♥
The kids are still asleep, though Jasmine will be up soon for work.  Curt is teleworking and doing his college classes in the office, and I am in the bedroom with both boys Marley and Elliott, working on this post.
My bedroom window is open, because Elliott likes to sit in the windowsill, staring out at the birds.


♥♥New recipe I tried last week, or one that we really enjoyed♥♥
Not a new recipe but one that I hadn't made in years.  Traditional Portuguese dessert.  I will be putting it up on the food blog later, have a few recipes needing to go up.



♥♥To relax this week, I will♥♥
Read, crochet, garden.


 ♥♥Something I want to share♥♥ 
James I:  The first Stuart King of England.  Such an interesting history.  Hope you enjoy this one. 




♥♥On my prayer list♥♥
Still praying over our situation.  It's been a long 3 months desert, but we believe that God is still working it all out in our favor.  
Praying over friends and family going through difficult moments.
Praying over our President, country and the rest of the world.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

{ The Doctor of Aleppo by Dan Mayland - TLC Book Tours }

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Hardcover: 450 pages
Publisher: Blackstone Publishing; Unabridged edition (August 11, 2020)

In the ancient Silk Road city of Aleppo, a young American woman is sucked into the Syrian civil war engulfing the city. Relentlessly pursued by a Javert-like secret police officer, her only refuge is the rebel hospital run by a renowned surgeon.

In The Doctor of Aleppo, Dan Mayland, author of the bestselling Mark Sava spy novel series, pairs a thriller writer’s sensibilities with a gripping account of good people cruelly trapped in somebody else’s war.

”In The Doctor of Aleppo, Dan Mayland lends a human face and a compelling story to a tragedy too large and complicated for most of us to understand. A harrowing and unforgettable read.” —Dana Haynes, author of St. Nicholas Salvage & Wrecking

”Dan Mayland’s The Doctor of Aleppo grips you from the start. His keen storytelling lends insight into war and its brutality through this tale of hope and redemption.” —Judy A. Bernstein, author of Disturbed in Their Nests

”Dan Mayland’s The Doctor of Aleppo turns an unflinching gaze on the reality of modern warfare, fought in neighborhoods rather than a battlefield, where today’s ally is tomorrow’s enemy, and people struggle against all odds to maintain their humanity. A thriller that breaks your heart as it rockets toward its stunning conclusion.” —Gwen Florio, author of Silent Hearts

Purchase Links



About Dan Mayland

Dan Mayland is an author and professional geopolitical forecaster, helping nonprofit, private, and government organizations navigate a changing world. His Mark Sava spy series and his latest novel, The Doctor of Aleppo, were informed by his experiences in the Caspian region and Middle East. Raised in New Jersey, Mayland now lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and two children, in an old stone farmhouse he and his wife have restored. More information about Dan and his books can be found at danmayland.com.

Connect with Dan


REVIEW:

The book takes place in Aleppo, Syria during the Syrian civil war.  In a city fraught with turmoil, American Hannah is swept into the ongoing war.  Fleeing for her life, she finds safety in a local hospital and in the help of a local surgeon, Sami.

The book is filled with action and historical details, told through a brillian author who has dug, researched and brought to life an historical war story so real that you can't help but be pulled into every word, every page.  It is a story that left me on the edge of my seat, always thinking I knew what was coming, but never figuring it out.

Hannah is a dual citizen of America and Syria, her boyfriend Oskar is Swedish and their good friend Sami is Syrian. 

I didn't quite understand Hannah's motives, but I got the feeling that she was trying to escape her life back in the United States, while also following her dream as an aid worker in Syria.  There are so many ups and downs, twists and turns in this book, that not once did I get bored or feel like the story was dragging.

Dan Mayland used his experience in war torn Syria and interviews with local Syrian residents of Aleppo, to write a fictional story based on true events during 2012 and 2016.  There are some vividly explicit details which is expected from a war story, but for me I feel that they help paint a more realistic picture of the horrors that some people face when a country is falling apart.

If you enjoy thrillers and historical novels, then grab yourself a copy and add it to your bookshelf.

Thank you to TLC Book Tours and Blackstone Publishing for providing me with a review copy.



Monday, August 17, 2020

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 08/17/2020 }


Good morning everyone, come on in and sit with me a bit.  I have fresh hot coffee and some vanilla cake.

Sometimes I wish we all lived in the same neighborhood, and could just pop on over to each other's home's for a coffee and a chat.  Wouldn't that be wonderful?

Here we are, a new week, and today is the first day of school for us.  Oh goodness!!!

I have a senior.  I am not ready for it, really, I'm not.  My last baby about to finish his last year of school and then that is it, we close a chapter on schooling and little ones, and start a brand new journey.
I'm not going to think about that too much, or I'll start crying LOL

Let's just get on with our post like nothing is happening, shall we?




♥♥The Weather♥♥ 

Still very hot around here, but we did get a random thunderstorm last night that thankfully cooled things down a bit.  I don't know about you all, but we have had some strange storms lately, out of the blue, very strong and destructive, and gone just as quick as it arrives. 

Monday - 94
Tuesday - 93
Wednesday - 90
Thursday -  93
Friday - 95
Saturday -  96
Sunday - 97



♥♥How I am feeling this morning♥♥

I slept ok.  My sleep has been weird as well lately, this year is just a write off at this point Hahaha
I'm a bit tired, but overall I am fine.  


♥♥On my mind♥♥ 
The new school year and the fact that this is my last year teaching my littles. Bittersweet for sure.


 ♥♥On the breakfast plate♥♥
Coffee with vanilla creamer, and nothing else for now. 


♥♥On my reading pile♥♥ 
I am now in the book of Job in my Bible.

I am waiting on my new review book to come in, so will probably just read the Bible and grab one of my own books from my shelf.


 ♥♥On my tv♥♥
 My Portuguese Soap *Quer o Destino*.


 
♥♥On the menu this week♥♥ 

The new meals video is up on Youtube, you can watch it down below.  Friday I will be grocery shopping again, so will be working on the new menu this week. 

Monday - Galinha na Frigideira (Portuguese Red Pepper Chicken), Fried Potatoes
Tuesday - Fish Fillets, Tomato Rice and Creamed Spinach
Wednesday - Chicken Curry, Basmati Rice and Homemade Garlic Naan
Thursday - Corned Beef Hash, Roasted Zucchini
Friday
Saturday -
Sunday -


♥♥From the camera♥♥
 I can't wait to show you how far along this blanket is.



♥♥Looking around the house♥♥ 
This post is going up pretty late because I had to rush out to take Jasmine to work.  So, looking around the house, windows are all open, curtains are open as well and the brightness of the mornings has flooded every corner of every room.
I have some dishes in the sink from breakfast that I need to wash, need to change my bed linens and then vacuum and dust.


♥♥New recipe I tried last week, or one that we really enjoyed♥♥
Without a doubt, it had to be the Ikea style meatballs I made, they were delicious.
 


♥♥To relax this week, I will♥♥ 
Crochet and read. 


 ♥♥Something I want to share♥♥ 
You all know how much I love History and especially the Tudor Times.  I'm always on the lookout for documentaries or shows from that era.  Here is a short but quite interesting one of the Anne of Cleves House.  Hope you enjoy watching it as much as I did.




♥♥On my prayer list♥♥
Continuing to pray over Curt's work.
Praying over friends and family going through difficult moments.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

{ Week in review }

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𝑨𝒓𝒐𝒖𝒏𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒑𝒓𝒐𝒑𝒆𝒓𝒕𝒚

Curt and I love taking walks around our property.  As you know we have 3 acres, and there is always grass to mow, trees to prune, property lines to clear and keep clean.  It is an ongoing job, it never ends but we love it so much and are eternally grateful to God for this blessing.

Last week we took a walk to check on some of the fences and I grabbed my camera, as we headed out the door.

I used to have my camera at my side, we were stuck at the hip so to say.  But that was back when I was daily blogging.  To tell you the truth, I miss that.  Everyone has their cellphones lately and just uses those to take photos, which is fine in a way, but I am old fashioned and there is nothing like holding a proper camera in your hand.

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Have you ever just stopped to look at nature?

I mean really stop and take time to look.  Every detail, every color, every texture, it's so incredible.

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We have a lot of deer walking through our property, and deer tracks are a constant around here.  They seem to enjoy walking right up against the house.

Funny story, when we first moved in, our kids were a little scared of the noises they were hearing outside their windows.  They would often say it sounded like someone walking around etc.  Curt and I always told them it was just nature, or the tree branches scratching the window, or the barn cats and so on.

Little did we know there were actual deer walking around.

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The plans we have for our house and our property, are many.  Plans for crops, for turning the field into rows of blackberries and raspberry bushes.

More fruit trees, a bigger vegetable garden, a greenhouse, a potting shed and all sorts of other things.

If we could just snap our fingers and see it all come to life, would be great, but things take time and dreams move slowly.  And they do so in order for us to appreciate them the more when they finally stand before our eyes.

So we will get there one day, one little dream at a time.


 𝓐𝓻𝓸𝓾𝓷𝓭 𝓽𝓱𝓮 𝓱𝓸𝓶𝓮

Sometimes we need to face certain situations, go through the desert and trials to go back to our roots.  I've often talked about feeling like I've changed, fallen off the wagon, not quite the same I used to be when it comes to homemaking or doing the things I love.

Take crochet for example, I stopped crocheting about a year and a half ago.  For not specific reason, other than getting caught up in other things going on in my life.  The past few weeks, I have taken up crochet again, in an effort to calm my soul, to help me not focus on what is happening around us.

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It is a way to relax and calm me, and I had missed the feel of they yarn, seeing the stitches and rows of crochet coming together to form a beautiful pattern.

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This is my newest blanket, with a completely new color combination.  I thought about just making something quicker and smaller, but I've always had a huge love for these intricate blankets, and with summer coming to an end, I start thinking about warm blankets and feeling the weight on my lap, of the crocheted work I'm busy working on.

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Being a homemaker is who I am.  I don't just do the chores I have around the house, because they need doing.  I do them with love and because they make me happy.

Much like crocheting or cooking or baking, homemaking keeps me grounded.

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This past week was a bit of a strange one, in the sense that I wasn't quite feeling well.  Blech, I didn't want to say that again, it's like every other day I mention I'm not feeling great, you must be sick of hearing about it.  Truth be told, I'm sick of saying it hahaha

But I think it's just something I have to deal with during this time of my life.

Thankfully by Friday I was starting to feel better and more like myself.  I spent more time in the kitchen, made another of my grandfather's vanilla cakes, baked some homemade hotdog buns for one dinner and still managed to put home cooked meals on the table.

My family appreciates it and I much prefer home cooked food too.  On days that I'm not feeling too good, things take longer to do, dinner is slower getting on the table, but that is perfectly ok.

Last week I also finished a book and started another.  Approved a whole bunch more for Fall and Winter Book Tours, and am now looking forward to more books filling my shelves.  Is there such a thing as too many books?


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Elliott is growing quickly.  He is such a joy in our lives and I will be the first to admit, that even though I didn't want to keep him in the beginning, and wanted to find him a different home, I am so glad that we couldn't find anyone to take him.  He has brought humor and laughter to our home during difficult times.

Who would have guessed that I would have ended up loving a cat and that he would love me back just as much?

But I do, and can't imagine him not being in our lives.

Well dear friends, I would love to pour another cup of coffee, sit and talk to you for a while longer, but I need to get ready to go and pick up Jasmine from work.

I hope you are all having a restful weekend.  I will see you all tomorrow morning for our Happy Homemaker Monday.





Wednesday, August 12, 2020

{ Loving well in a Broken World by Lauren Casper - TLC Book Tour }


Paperback: 240 Pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (February 18, 2020)

How can we love our neighbors amid so much division and hurt?

Loving your neighbor as yourself would be easy if your neighbors were all people you understood, people you agreed with, people like you. But what about playground bullies, colleagues, refugees, online adversaries? They’re all our neighbors, and Jesus said to love them. Every one. But how?
Lauren Casper believes the key is the lost art of empathy, stepping into other people’s shoes and asking what if?what if it were my child? What if it were me? Casper helps us discover how to
  • identify our blind spots and tune our hearts to the stories around us;
  • seek and extend forgiveness with grace and humility; and
  • engage in diverse and meaningful relationships.
Following these steps will enable us to connect in simple but life-altering ways, to respond to conflict with grace, bring about needed change, and shine God’s unconditional love into a dark world.


Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Thomas Nelson

About Lauren Casper



Lauren Casper, author of Loving Well in a Broken World, is a writer, speaker, and advocate. Lauren’s essays, known for their vulnerability and personal story-telling style, have appeared on The Huffington Post, the TODAY show, Yahoo! News, and several other publications. Lauren serves on the board of her local Community Anti-Racism Effort; a non-profit dedicated to working toward an inclusive and equitable community. She makes her home in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia with her husband, two children, and one fluffy dog.

Connect with Lauren

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


REVIEW:
If there is a book that needs to be read right now, today, while we are facing such craziness around us, it is this one. 

Loving well in a Broken World focuses on recognizing the need for empathy, something that seems to have completely disappeared from many hearts, around the world.

I have often said that the problems we are facing today are due to a lack of empathy, a problem with each individual, a spiritual problem rather than a race or cultural issue.

We have all read the Bible and one of the most well known commandments is to love your neighbor as you love yourself.  As a Christian I know I need to do that, but I will be the first to admit that it is not as easy to follow through as you may think.

Lauren Casper brings these thoughts to light, and tries to teach us to have compassion, to have empathy, to not just look at the world around us and think that it is up to others to change it.  We have to look within ourselves and start by changing our own prejudices and generalizations. 

How many times have you turned on the news and thought "Where is the compassion and empathy for others?  Why doesn't anyone care about others anymore?" .

If each of us were to extend grace to the situations around us, we could begin to heal the world around us.

Casper encourages us to find our blind spots, to tune our hearts to the stories around us, to look at the internet with different eyes keeping in mind that although it is online, it is still real life, with real people behind the keyboard.

As Christians we are to be a light in this world, to offer compassion, to extend a helping hand  and to teach others how to be compassionate and loving.  If we flood more love and light into the world, we will soon remove the darkness that seems to have seeped into every corner.

Wonderful book.  I believe it should be on everyone's shelves this year.

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

Monday, August 10, 2020

{ And in the blink of an eye, I am 46 years old }


This was the first year that I feel like I blinked, and my birthday was upon me.

As I've gotten older, I haven't paid much attention to birthdays, they just don't seem to have the same expectations as they did when I was younger.  That's not necessarily a bad thing, I think we just change as we get older.

This year however, it feels like I celebrated Christmas, blinked and it was the 10th of August.

So here we are, 46.  Goodness!!!

What have I learned over the past year?

That I'm stronger than I thought I was.
That my faith was nowhere where it need to be, and the past few months have changed that. 
That I may not think or feel my age, but my body reminds me daily that I am no longer a 20 year old.
That jowls are to be embraced, whether we want to or not.
That I no longer enjoy a glass of wine as much as I used to.
That wearing shorts is not really for me anymore, I much prefer dresses and skirts.
That I am now the one squinting at the fine print, where it used to be my parents and as a child I would laugh thinking it was funny.


That God is, always has been and forever will be, the love of my life.
That now more than ever, joy and contentment is rooted deep within us and not in the outside world.
That I've always been a dog person, and still am, but God taught me that my heart has place for other animals too. 
That maybe I am a cat person without ever realizing it.
That life passes us quickly and we need to grab it tightly, enjoy every minute and not waste it on things that don't matter.


That every morning is a new beginning, and new mercy from God and a chance to start over.
That forgiveness is something we need to apply to others, but also to ourselves.
That nature is by far the biggest stress reliever and is free for all of us to tap into on a daily basis.
That family is everything.
That I have the choice to choose to be happy each day and to not let outside forces affect me.
That I have no control over unexpected events, but I DO have control over how I react to them.


That there is always a positive in each negative we face.
That my intuition is important, even if I think I have it wrong, it always ends up being exactly what I thought it would be to begin with.
That there is no perfect weight, embrace, accept your body as it is. 
That perimenopause will knock you around like you've never thought possible, but you can get through it.
That you shouldn't allow the enemy to steal your joy, don't give up doing what you love.

I know there are numerous other lessons I will continue to learn as I age and I can't wait to go through them, and learn them, no matter how difficult they may seem at the time.

Now let me show you what I got for my birthday.  With our current situation, I asked my husband not to buy me anything, but he was adamant that I needed something, so I compromised and told him to get me some yarn and some books.

For some it may seem trivial, not enough for a birthday or whatever.  But I have never been a girl that likes expensive things, expensive meals or outings.  I am perfectly happy just sleeping in on my birthday, being surrounded by my family and getting a few little goodies that I enjoy.

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You know how much I love my Gooseberry Patch cookbooks, and have been collecting them for years.  At our local Christian book store, they were having a huge sale on some of their books.  The cookbooks were all 3 dollars, and I was going to grab just 2  but my wonderful husband just kept grabbing LOL

Here are the ones I got:
Gooseberry Patch Slow Cooker to the Rescue
From Grandma's Kitchen
America's Comfort Foods
Super fast slow cooking
Secrets from Grandma's kitchen
Mom's very best recipes
Hungry is a Mighty Fine Sauce

The only fiction book I grabbed was this one from Amy Clipston.  It was on sale for a dollar. 

A Seat by the Hearth by Amy Clipston

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From my sweet girl, I got a new set of Winter Pajamas from Cath Kidston.  How beautiful are they?  I can't wait to for the weather to cool down so I can wear them.

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She also knows I love stones, and got me these two stunning ones.  How neat that the one on the right looks like a heart.

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She also got me this gorgeous tote bag.  What can I say, I have a healthy obsession with Florals and especially when they look like Cath Kidston.

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I also got this beautiful Leo bracelet  and a stunning necklace, from my daughter as well.

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I am so blessed with the family I have.  My sweet girl is also taking us to dinner tonight, her treat, for my birthday. 

So another year in my pocket. 

Welcome 46, only God knows what is ahead for me, but whatever it is, I will face it head on, with the help of God and the faith of a warrior. 

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