Saturday, December 31, 2022

{ New Year Fun - 2022 Edition }

 Every year, on the last day of the year, I do this post.  It is a way of looking back on what we've done, where we've been and what has happened throughout the year.

2022 was good to us.  After 2 excruciating horrible years, in 2020 and 2021, 2022 came as a much needed break.  I embraced it full force, though not at first because I was kind of waiting for the next shoe to drop.  The first part of the year, things went well and I kept thinking.....ok, when does the bad part begin?
Which is not a way to live at all.  
So I changed my attitude and just started accepting what was, and what I didn't have control over.  I quickly realized that it's much better, and more joyful to live happy and not worry about what is to come, than to live in that constant state of anticipation.
I won't say I am completely 100% better at it, because when the new year rolls around, I still get that small niggly feel of "oh boy:.
But, my prayer is that the new year brings me and my family, as well as all of you reading this post, blessings and favor.  That we have a good year, filled with health and wealth and above all, joy.

With that said.....goodbye 2022, and hello 2023!!!

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!

January 2022
It is that time of the year.  We look at our bookshelves and see shelf upon shelf, filled with books of every genre, color and size. 
February 2022
The home is the heart of the family!

Have you ever met anyone who does not appreciate a well kept, tidy, comfy and warm home to retreat to at the end of a hard day?
March 2022

Officially it is not Spring until the 20th of March, but can you tell how eager I am for it to come around?
April 2022
Good morning sweet ladies, how was your weekend?

May 2022
April 30
Hello friends, welcome back to my blog.  I know it's been a while since I've come in to chat, but I had some time today, and took a few pictures yesterday, so thought it would be great to come in and do one of my usual homemaking posts. 
June 2022
Good morning everyone, and a very happy Monday to you all.   I hope you all had a fantastic weekend.

July 2022
Good morning everyone, and a very Happy Fourth of July!!!
August 2022


A few weeks ago, I mentioned the issue I was having with my wall double oven, and how I needed to get a new one. 

September 2022

Good morning everyone, welcome back to another Cooking Thursday.  

October 2022
October 2, 2022

“Birds teach a great life lesson. All you have to do is listen to their song.”
November 2022


I'm a few days late in welcoming the wonderful month of November.  I honestly thought that I was still in October, for some reason.
December 2022


Hello sweet friends, welcome back to my blog.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Putting Christmas Away


As much as I love the holidays, I get to the last week of December, and I am so exhausted and overwhelmed and over stimulated, that I count down the minutes until the beginning of the year.

I love spending time with my family, love the Christmas activities, church sermons, and the overall feeling of such a special time of the year.  However, there is always so much to do, so many places to be, and so many get togethers, that it's plain exhausting.

I used to leave the decorations and the tree up, until the beginning of the year, but the past few years, the day after Christmas, I bring it all down.   The clutter is put away, and everything is placed back to it's rightful place.

Does anyone else find themselves moving things around for the Christmas season?  

And when it's all put back in it's place, for some reason it always seems like the house is bigger.  Hahahah



This Christmas I got some really amazing gifts.  I did mention some in my Happy Homemaker Monday post.  I mostly got gifts that are practical or helpful for my every day life.

Things like massagers.....a body massager which has been the best thing ever for my shoulder tendonitis and my sciatica.  The eye massager which has also been wonderful for my sinus and headaches.  I got make up, a lip kit with balms and chapsticks and so forth.  A Christian embroidery kit with some sweet verses that I can not wait to work on.

I also got a shark floor vacuum, some chocolates, 2 new books and I bought myself a Kindle paperwhite.  I had the original Kindle, which is now ten or more years old, and no longer being able to download books or have access to the Amazon ebook store.  Bummer!!!

So I went ahead and got myself the Paperwhite, which I'm really enjoying.
Now, nothing will ever beat a real book for me, but I love the convenience of having hundreds of books at my fingertips, to take anywhere that I want.


Monday morning, the 26th, Curt and I went with my brother and sister in law, to our local Hobby Lobby for their sale.  We had been told that they would be having a 90% off sale, but it ended up being 75% off instead.  Still really good, and we were able to pick up a few items.

The first one, was this Advent Calendar for next year.  The original price is shown above, it was $149.99, marked down to $30.  The hardest part is to keep myself from actually getting into it now, and waiting a whole year instead.  Ooohhhhh it's going to be an issue, I can tell you.  Hahahah


We also got some stocking fireplace hangers.  Originally priced at $29.99, marked down to $6 each.  Great deal, and we got one for each of our stockings.

Curt also picked up Christmas lights, and some beautiful wooden polar bears.  I also picked up a checked black and white table runner for $3.  I'll show you that in a different post.
The other thing we got were some Christmas crackers.  I grew up with these, and it was something we looked forward to, as kids.  We couldn't wait to pop the crackers and get the toys that came inside.  But, it's been at 20 something years since I've had these on our Christmas table.

I find that it's more of a European thing, and not really something that is done here in the States, so I was so happy to see these.  They were originally $15 marked down to $4.  
We don't usually go for the after Christmas sales, but I'm glad we did this year.
After getting everything put away for next year, I brought down the tree, moved things back to where they belonged, got some things re-positioned or rather re-situated, and gave the house a good clean.  It feels so good to sit back and see it all tidy and cozy. 

Even though Christmas is put away, we still have New Year's coming up, and my niece Tiffany's baby boy Dalton, is turning one on New Year's eve.  So one more family get together, before we can wipe our hands off to another successful holiday season, and take a deep breath.



I have a few things that I want to get started with.  One of those is a Bible study on the book of Ecclesiastes.  I don't know why, but it was put in my heart while in prayer earlier this week, so I found a great study online, and ordered the book that goes along with it.

I'm quite looking forward to that.

Also, I have decided that along with trying to blog more this coming year, I am going to do a Blog 365.  Would you like to join me?
The way it will work is simple, we just have to make sure to post every single day, for the whole of 2023.  I know that sounds overwhelming and a bit crazy, but I don't mean like actual blog posts, though that is fine too.  I just mean something every day, it could be a simple pic of that day, something you did, or like or a sky picture, or sunset or whatever you want it to be.
I really am looking forward to doing this, to be able to get to the end of the year, and go back and see what we did every day.

I'll put my first post up on January 1st, and I'll actually add a linky for those that want to join.  Just so I can see who will be doing it, and therefore able to follow.  I'll also add all the blog links to those participating to the first post, and will do a sidebar list as well, that way we know who is doing it, and we can visit each other.

I do hope some of you will join in.  It will be fun, and I think it will also help us all to be more consistent in our blogging, at least for me it will really help to stay focused.

And that is pretty much all that is going on around here.  I am going to now sit, relax a bit, probably start one of my new books and then get some sleep.

Have a blessed night friends,

Monday, December 26, 2022

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 12/26/2022 }


Good morning everyone. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with your family. Mine was wonderful, although tiring because of the prep. I can't believe that it's over with though and we are pretty much in the last days of 2022. 
Wow!!! I hope you're all ready for the new year. I always feel a bit anxious as the new year approaches, since I don't know what it's going to bring. I guess I should be happy and excited, and I am in a way, but I always get a little weary too. Anyone else like that? 
Anyway, let's get right on with our last Happy Homemaker Monday for 2022. 
Have a blessed week my friends and may the new year, bring you and your family, blessings, health and all that you wish for. 
♥♥ The Weather ♥♥ 
It was so cold last week, in the teens and real feel got to -14. For the first time ever, we actually had frozen pipes, even though we take all the precautions. What a crazy ordeal. We have a nice week weather wise, coming up. Not too cold and not hot either, just perfect. 
Monday - Rain showers, 51  
Tuesday - Sunny/wind, 54  
Wednesday - Mostly sunny/wind, 69 
Thursday - Cloudy, 67  
Friday - Partly cloudy, 60  
Saturday - Mostly sunny, 66 
Sunday - Mostly cloudy, 66 
♥♥ As I look outside my window ♥♥ 
Grey skies, cloudy and rainy.  Just the type of weather I love. 
♥♥ Right now I am ♥♥ 
Actually sitting on the bed, the hubby is is snoring next to me, the dog and cat are sleeping too, so I'm working on this post, and just listening to the morning sounds. 
 ♥♥ Thinking and pondering ♥♥ 
About the new year, what is to come, what has already been. 
♥♥ How am I feeling ♥♥ 
I'm feeling good. My husband got me amazing gifts, but two of them are my absolute favorite. It's funny, as we get older, how our tastes and likes change. When I was younger, I loved getting clothes or pretty things, as I've gotten older, I prefer useful, practical gifts that make my life easier. 
With that in mind, my hubby got me a floor vacuum which is a life saver.......but he also got me a body massager and an eye massager. When I first saw the eye massager, I was a bit scared hahahah But oh my word, you guys. 
If you suffer from sinus headaches, migraines etc., this is amazing. It not only massages your eyes but also the temples, and it feels amazing. I had no idea I needed one of these until now. 
♥♥ Listening to ♥♥ 
The filter in the water tank. It almost sounds like a waterfall, and I love it. 
♥♥ On the breakfast plate ♥♥ 
Nothing yet, all I've had is a cup of coffee. 
♥♥ On the lunch plate ♥♥ 
We still have leftovers from Christmas. There is ham and turkey, rissois, potato casserole, broccoli and cauliflower with cheese and Bacalhau com Natas (Portuguese creamy cod fish). 
♥♥ On the dinner plate ♥♥ 
The next two weeks, my menu is mainly going to be Portuguese food.  Tonight I'm making a homemade Spaghetti Bolognese, Garlic Bread and a Salad. 
 ♥♥ What I'm wearing ♥♥ 
Still in my pajamas. Not sure, but I'll probably put on some jeans and a sweater later. 
♥♥ On my reading pile ♥♥  
My Bible. 
Last night, as I was praying, I felt in my heart that I need to read and do a study on Ecclesiastes. So that's what I'll be doing starting January 1st.
New year coming up, so new devotionals......Loving God, Loving Others and I have yet to pick my second. 
Also got two new books for Christmas which I'm very excited to read, one of them especially, which is Children of Ragnarok by Cindy Williams Chima. 
♥♥ On my TV this week ♥♥ 
The Expanse 
Homemaking vlogs 
Portuguese live TV 
Portuguese soaps 
♥♥ On the menu ♥♥  
Monday - Spaghetti Bolognese, Garlic Bread, Salad 
Tuesday - Chicken legs with rice, Chickpea Salad  
Wednesday - Calamari Stew, Portuguese Rustic Bread
Thursday - Layered Enchiladas, Salad  
Friday - Steaks, Fries, Rice, Fried Egg, Cabbage and Tomato Salad
Saturday - Frango guisado com espargete (Chicken Spaghetti) 
Sunday - Tater Tot Taco Pizza 
♥♥ Looking around the house ♥♥ 
The Christmas stuff is going down, starting today. Once Christmas is over, I can't stand to see everything cluttered anymore, so I immediately bring it all down. 
♥♥ To Do List ♥♥ 
- Happy Homemaker Monday post 
- Hubby wants to go Hobby Lobby for their 90% off Christmas sale 
- Figure out what is wrong with dishwasher (it stays stuck on wash cycle) 
- Take down tree and decorations 
- Laundry 
- Remove ground beef from freezer to thaw for dinner 
♥♥ From the camera ♥♥ 
I have no new pictures to share. I ended up not taking any at all during Christmas. 
♥♥ Devotional, Bible Verse, Prayer ♥♥ 
Father, help me to see that You are near. Help me to see that You are here. Thank You for sending Your Son to be my Savior — to save my life and to satisfy my soul. Thank You for sending Jesus, the Good Shepherd, to tend to my needs and take care of me. Thank You for this abundant life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. - Rachel Marie Kang

Monday, December 19, 2022

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 12/19/2022 }

Good morning everyone, welcome to a cold Texas. 
I'm putting this post up a little later than usual, just had to make a few phone calls first. So, it's cold, the grass is covered in sparkly dew, and we've had to turn the heat on.  
We are also without hot water since Thursday.  I mentioned in another post about the sound of water running behind the wall, that is directly behind my washer.  We had Jasmine's boyfriend's friend (well their friend), come out and take a look on Friday night.  He is a plumber.  He said what we have is a leak under the house, from the water heaters.  
So to stop that water running, we have to turn the heaters off, and only turn them on each night for about 20 minutes, so we can all take a lukewarm shower. Lukewarm wouldn't be bad in the summer, the problem is that our temperatures have dropped so much, that we basically get just cold water, so showers have been interesting to say the least.  I can't wait to have hot water again. 
He is coming over later this afternoon again, and he and Curt are getting under the house and hopefully fixing this issue.  
Anyway, after all that babbling, let's get right on with our post, shall we? I wish you all a blessed, wonderful week ahead. 
 ♥♥ The Weather ♥♥ 
We are heading into an even colder week, with a 49% chance of snow over Christmas weekend.  I am so excited for that and really, really hoping it happens.
Monday - Sunshine, 59
Tuesday - Mostly cloudy, 48
Wednesday - Cloudy, 47
Thursday - Partly cloudy, 39
Friday - Mostly sunny, 25
Saturday - Partly cloudy, 32
Sunday - Mostly sunny, 44

♥♥ As I look outside my window ♥♥ 
I'm sitting on the couch, and from here I can see both my front yard and the back yard.  There are birds out in the front and some out back eating from the feeder. 

♥♥ Right now I am ♥♥
Sitting on my couch, working on getting this post up as quick as I can. 

♥♥ Thinking and pondering ♥♥

My mind is filled with what needs to be done before the weekend.  I need to go run some errands this morning, but the minute I get home, I have to start my dough for the Christmas cookies, so it can chill until later.  Then I have to sit down and make a list of everything I need to do, so that I can spread it out through the week and not be left doing everything on Saturday.  There are things to bake and cook, presents to buy for the babies in the family, a meal plan to figure out, a grocery list to make and so forth.   


♥♥ How am I feeling ♥♥

A bit overwhelmed, but I think it will be ok once I get it all written down and on paper.  It's while it all sits in my brain that causes the anxiety.  I'm always thinking I'll forget to do something. 
♥♥ Listening to ♥♥
Portuguese radio station.   

♥♥ On the breakfast plate ♥♥

Had a cup of coffee with Peppermint Mocha and toast with butter and liver past. 

♥♥ On the lunch plate ♥♥

Made Beef Filled Crepes for dinner last night, and have leftovers, so will eat that. 

♥♥ On the dinner plate ♥♥

Creamy Cheesy Chicken and Potatoes, Salad 
♥♥ What I'm wearing ♥♥
Black leggings, long sleeved camo top.   

♥♥ On my reading pile ♥♥

My Bible, Matthew and Luke leading up to Christmas.
Paul David Tripp New Morning Mercies devotional.
Morning and Evening Devotional by Charles Spurgeon.   

♥♥ On my TV this week ♥♥

The Expanse. 
Homemaking, and Vlogmas vlogs on Youtube.
Christmas Period Dramas

♥♥ On the menu ♥♥
Will start working on the new menu, sometime this week, but for the next few days, this is what is on the menu.
Monday - Creamy Cheesy Chicken and Potatoes, Salad 
Tuesday - Pork Chops in Mustard Sauce, Mashed Potatoes, Steamed Broccoli 
Wednesday - Creamy Taco Pasta Bake, Garlic Bread, Salad
Thursday -   Homemade Pizza
Saturday -
Sunday -

♥♥ Looking around the house ♥♥

Kaia is asleep on the couch, snuggled under a blanket.  Elliott is sleeping on the carpet, in one particular spot where the sun is shining.  The house itself is clean and tidy, so not much to do today other than the usual daily chores.    

♥♥ To Do List ♥♥

- Happy Homemaker Monday post 
- Errands
- Gas up the car
- Make list of presents left to buy
- Make list of what needs to be done leading up to Christmas
- Make Christmas cookies
- Make Marmelada

♥♥ From the camera ♥♥
I just love this photo of Elliott.  He looks so comfy and relaxed.  

♥♥ What I'm creating ♥♥
Charlotte's Dream blanket.  
Christmas cookies for the family and for Curt's work.
Lists and more lists.   

♥♥  Devotional, Bible Verse ♥♥
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” - Luke 1:38

Sunday, December 18, 2022

{ My Sunday }


Good morning everyone.  It is so cold here, actually this whole week we are dropping temperatures and even have a 50% chance of snow for Christmas weekend.  
Oh if that happened, would be a dream come true for us all.  It's been more than a decade since we've enjoyed a snowy Christmas, it used to be a normal thing when we lived in Mountain Home, Idaho, but not since moving to Arizona and then Texas.
So this morning, I am heading to church, but before I get ready for the day, I thought I would come in and show you, kind of, what my day will look like.  It's been also a really long time since I've done one of these posts.
I'm trying to be more consistent with my daily posts, and sometimes that means just posting something simple like a look at your day, or the Five Senses Saturday I put up yesterday.  Anything to get you back into the habit.
Anyway, my older blog readers will remember these.  I'm sitting in bed, under the warm covers, and as always my furry babies are asleep snuggled next to me, under warm blankets.  They will kind of stay in this spot for most of the day, randomly getting up to go potty or eat their food, drink water, but then returning right to their little warm nests.  (I like to call them nests because they get right under the blankets, fold into a ball and sleep).

Here shortly I will get dressed, get on some make up and fix my hair, then head to church.  When I return home, I plan on getting some laundry going, tidying up the house and then hopefully just relax.  

For breakfast is just coffee and toast.   I'll throw in a frozen pizza for lunch.
Dinner will be Beef Filled Crepes, rice and beans, along with a salad. 

I've been just catching up on some Vlogmas on Youtube.  I do have quite a few other Christmas ones lined up, just as I shared on the previous post about Period Drama movies that are Christmas inspired.  
Also have some Portuguese Soaps to catch up on.  
In between all that, I often have a fireplace video playing on the TV, or some cute seasonal ambience.  

Saturday, December 17, 2022

{ Five Senses Saturday - 12/17/2022 }

I love my Five Senses Saturday, and although I don't post it every single Saturday, I still think it's a great way to review the past week. What I saw, what I touched, tasted, felt etc....


- M80 Radio online.  A radio station in Portugal that plays all the oldies that I remember
- My candle flickering, making a crackling sound
- The turtle tank's filter in the office
- My husband typing on his computer
- The clicking of my keyboard as I type this post


- My Philodendron hanging right next to my computer
- Kaia and Elliott sleeping on my bed
- My Christmas current read right next to me, it's White Christmas Pie by Wanda Brunstetter
- I found some old Christmas cartoons on Youtube, so popped that on.  Wow does it take me back.
- Today's devotional on my desk, it says December 17 - Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.  *Matthew 5:8*


- Fabric and Flour Sack Kitchen Towels for a project
- My computer mouse
- The Firestick remote to change videos on the TV
- The soft fabric of my winter pajamas
- The hot coffee mug


 No Knead Bread
- Coffee with Peppermint Mocha Creamer
- Roast chicken with potatoes and carrots, for dinner last night
- Biscoff Cookie dipped in a hot cup of milky tea
- Homemade bread with a slather of butter
- Lemon water



- My Lady of the Lake Mythologie candle
- A strawberry toaster strudel fresh out of the toaster
- Crisp morning air
- One of the kids making popcorn
- Fresh Linen wax melts burning

Friday, December 16, 2022

{ Blink and it's almost Christmas }


Anyone else feel like they blinked and we went from the 1st of December to the 16th?  I don't know if I skipped the first two weeks of this month, or what on earth is happening, but Christmas is next week folks.  Next.week!!

Guess who is not ready and hasn't finished shopping or preparing?  


Anyway, good morning on this chilly day.  It is currently 30 degrees with a real feel of 21.  I just finished my cup of coffee and not a minute too soon, as the mug has gone freezing cold.  Usually I would make another, but this morning I decided to have my coffee in my huge Christmas mug, so this will suffice.



The babies are laying next to me in bed.  Elliott is fast asleep and Kaia is still playing with her chew bone, but she will be under the blankets and asleep pretty soon.

That's what winter days are for right?  Snuggling under warm blankets and napping.  At least for the furry babies, I would love to join them, but I have a house to clean, so here shortly I will be getting up, putting on some warm clothes and starting my day.

I need to call our plumber this morning.  We started hearing water running behind the wall in the laundry room, which is never a good sign.  We turned off the water hoses to the washer and also turned off the water to the laundry room sink, but it's still running.  It's not exactly an expense that we want to have at this time of the year, but it's a necessary one.

Praying it's not something like broken pipes or leaks.





I have taken some pictures over the past few days, so going to share them with you.  I've been doing the usual homemaking and preparing for Christmas.  My vacuum decided to bust it's belt, so I'm out of a vacuum for the moment, until I make it to the store to buy another.  It means, that I've been sweeping, yes you hear right, sweeping my entire house.

It's not a fun job and it's hard work, but it made me stop and think about my grandmother and great grandmother.  They didn't have vacuums, they had brooms and elbow grease and they got right to work.  We have gotten so used to gadgets that take the hard work out of our daily chores, that when we have to revert to doing something the old way, we tend to turn our noses up at it.....and by we, I mean me.  

Who knew sweeping an entire house would be so humbling?  It sure makes me appreciate what we have, but also makes me realize how good we have it too and just how hard our ancestors worked.

It's gotten cold enough where flannel sheets have been put on beds, and summer comforters have been replaced by winter ones with Sherpa fleece.  Does anyone else find that they sleep better with winter bedding?


This time of the year also means, that any computer work I have to do, whether bill paying, blogging, editing photos, meal planning and so forth, is always and I mean ALWAYS done, with a Christmas movie of some kind in the background.
And usually, the furry babies are nearby, enjoying it too.  



Something else I've been doing lately, is sewing....or mending socks I should say.   I've talked many times about my grandmother Odete and how she was a seamstress.  How I worked with her, helping at her store, how she taught me how to sew by hand, by machine, how to rip seams (my absolute least favorite thing to do hahah ), and just instilled in me this love for this art.
She used to gently remind me that I would one day need it.  I would need to mend something, or make something.  That it was an important skill to have.  I may not have been too keen on it in the beginning, after all, I was about 11 when I first started helping her.  Of course as I grew up, I saw how right she was, and just how much I actually enjoyed being able to sew.
As I got busy with these socks, I remembered how she always had a thimble on her thumb.  I remember the way it looked and felt, and I remember trying to use one and how it constantly slipped off, leading to numerous needle pricks on my fingertips.  I did not enjoy that part, but we would just laugh about it.
Another memory that stayed etched in my mind, and I hadn't even thought of it in years, was the smooth rock she used to insert into the socks, to stretch them out and make the mending of the hole, much easier. 




It's funny how these little things stick with you.  Truth be told, it is much easier to throw out a sock with a hole and just buy another, but there's something so relaxing and so rewarding about sitting down with your sewing basket, and working at this little hole.  The needled sliding back and forth between the threads.

It is in these moments that I think about times gone by.  Moments with my grandmother and great grandmother Ema.  Cups of hot tea and biscuits dunked in.  Stories of their childhoods, places they had been, things they did.  Funny stories and sometimes heartbreaking ones filled with tears, as they remembered their parents and siblings.

How I miss those days, how I miss them both so much.  






I have sent out some Christmas cards, something I hadn't done in a few years, but just felt it in my heart to do this year.  

My days have been filled with goodness, from homemaking, to writing cards, to wrapping my own Christmas presents (I bought myself 2 new books on sale), ironing, homemaking, lighting candles and enjoying warm glow on early chilly mornings.

I've decorated a little, folded tons of laundry, washed floors, and swept carpets, wiped counters and chopped veggies.  

Watched Christmas themed series and movies, read books, read the Bible, read my devotionals, and braved the cold weather for errands.

I've snuggled my furry babies, prepared delicious home cooked meals and indulged in bites of yummy chocolate.

In other words, I have been living my homemaker life, as best as I can.

I know this time of year is hard for some many, but remember to take time to do the little things that bring you joy.  We can't have our loved ones here in physical presence, but we can have them in spirit and memory.  Do something they enjoyed, make something they loved eating, talk about them, it will make it easier, at least for me it does.

Now, I need to get off here, call the plumber and hope they can fix my water problem without breaking my bank.

Wishing you all a very blessed Friday!