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I am a mother who works full-time but who is also a chauffer, chef, seamstress, fitness instructor, teacher, maid, gardener, runner, organization expert, salesperson, secretary and wife. I love my family and life is always busy but fun! Come along with me for the ride:-)

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Three Things Thursday

This week is a holiday week and my internal clock is messed up.  You'd think I thought today was Wednesday but it seems like Friday LOL.  Well - another short Three Things for today.

1.  Bad things happen in threes - isn't that what they say?  Well I'm up to two so hopefully that superstition won't complete itself!  Took car to be serviced and asked about a warning light that comes on.  Google searches said simple things like brake pads slightly low, sensor messed up, etc.  Not for me - brake fluid leaking into master cylinder for a while that had corroded the sensor and rubber gaskets.  Cost much more than an oil change and tire rotation.

2.  Sunday, while trying to wash clothes in preparation for the week and for Cassie heading out to camp, the washer broke.  No biggie - Jeff fixed it for 60 cents Monday morning and I washed about five loads of clothes.  Then, Tuesday evening while he was washing clothes it started making a noise and when he opened the washroom door, the smoke came out into his face.  We had to turn on box fans to blow it out of the house and we were glad we were home because it would have burned down our house.  The transmission burned up so last night I bought a new washer.

3.  Okay - so it is amazing what entertains a wife with a new appliance.  My new LG top loading washer has a see -through lid and no agitator.  LOVE It.  BUT - I just had to watch it wash the first load of clothes LOL.  Amazing............if you have a newer washer you totally understand.  If not, then you'll just to wait until you buy a new washer..........or come visit me :-)

FINALLY...........my oldest comes home tomorrow.  I have missed her lively personality all week and can't wait to see her.  So glad she had had fun though.  This weekend is Bailee's ballet recital so we are tied up until late Saturday evening..........rehearsals, performance, etc.  Come see them - Pearl Upper Elementary Saturday at 4:00 pm - Cross-Tied Ministries Annual Ballet Performance.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Three Things Thursday

Short and sweet - three phone apps for you health nuts!

1.  My Fitness Pal - if you haven't gotten this app for your phone (I have an iPhone) - then you need to do so.  It has calorie / food log, an exercise calculator, a place for goals, you can add friends and it reminds you where you are with your goals!  If you're wanting to get healthy or lose weight, this is the app for you.

2.  Map My Run - another great app for running, biking or walking.  It uses a GPS to tell you how far you've gone and it lets you save your routes for future reference.

3.  RunKeeper - another great running / walking app.

If you decide to try one of these, please let me know how you like it (or if you already do, let me know).

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Thankful & Thoughtful Tuesday

Thankful - I'm thankful for healthy, happy, intelligent, loving and fun children.  They have both grown into wonderful young ladies that I'm proud of to say the least.  They always do their best no matter what - with school, money making endeavors (a $64 lemonade stand is pretty good), family issues (unfortunately they have to understand a lot of drama at their age), friends, etc.  They also love unconditionally.

Cassie is on the verge of becoming a teenager and is almost as tall as I am now.  She has tons of friends, never meets a stranger and just loves life.  Things have happened to her lately that actually have hurt my feelings more than hers and I am finding out that she has grown into quite a resilient young lady.   Resilience is a wonderful thing for a girl to have in today's world - because the world is hard and I've found that girls are mean.  Boys fight but they are playing again in five minutes.  Girls fight, it festers, they tell other girls and they are still fighting two months later.  That gossip thing is a killer!

Bailee has always been resilient - things roll off of her easily.  She never tells me anything - if she does it is in a very matter of fact way without drama.  Her main drama is her big sister Cassie - you all know how sisters can be LOL.  I've joked that Bailee is like a little old woman in a little girl's body - she is a child but she has a very grownup soul.  She has friends but her friends don't consume all of her life. She plays with everyone and gets along with everyone.  She has also come out of her shell this year.  Her teacher this year was also Cassie's fourth grade teacher.  At the last parent teacher conference she told me two things about Bailee that made me laugh but one really surprised  me.  (1)  Bailee always sits by her at lunch and without fail, always eats dessert first.  (2)  She said that Bailee actually talks more than Cassie did in the 4th grade. 

Parents can learn a lot from their children.  From Cassie I've learned to just have fun and let things go.  I have had some things happen to me within the last few years that have hurt me to the core.  But I've let go of the hurtful feelings and moved on - to friends and family who truly love me for me.  There is no constant comparison or competition or gossip.  Just love, understanding and peace - something I've needed for a long time.

From Bailee I've learned to eat dessert first.  I put myself first now - I eat right, I exercise, I've gained control of my health, I do things I love more, and yes - I eat dessert first sometimes. 

What about you...............what have you learned from your children?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Three Things Thursday!

1.  I've started a new online Bible study through Good Morning Girls about the Provers 31 woman.  The description of this woman is near perfection - as it should be since it comes from God's word.  It is overwhelming to read - especially for us working wives and moms.  Thankfully I have help with the domestic things listed - from the girls, from Jeff and from my sitter.  I slowly realized that I can't have it all done in one day the way I used to before I had children - I try to get some things done every day and then by Sunday be able to truly rest on the Lord's Day.  Do I think I'm perfect?  Absolutely not.  But I do strive to be the best I can at everything I do - I think that's all that anyone can ask of us.

2.  The girls have both done wonderful in school this year as always.  Cassie has done especially well considering that she hates to read.  She is taking Excellerated English and a higher math next year.  Bailee continues to love Venture and I don't think her brain / mind ever stops.  She thinks differently than most children and it's a good thing.  I always did and still do.  They are ready for the summer and a nice break.  TIme to swim, plays outside with friends, be a bum, go to the beach, go to New Orleans and just be lazy!  Don't you wish we got that from work every year?  At least for more than a one week vacation :-)

3.  One thing I'm loving lately is the Farmer's Market at the Fair Grounds.  If you haven't been, then go !!  Fresh vegetables and lots of organic items.  I can't wait for fried squash, tomato sandwiches (on GF bread for me), tomato pie, fresh peans and beans, cornbread, homemade jam, corn on the cob and watermelon.  We have planted tomatoes, squash and zucchini and I'm patiently tending my garden and waiting....

Having to eat Gluten Free has not been easy but one thing I have found that I love is a grain called QUINOA.

I cook 1 cup quinoa in 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups of light, FF chicken broth.  I don't add salt because the broth flavors it well.  While it's cooking I saute sliced squash, zucchini, onion, peppers, asparagus and other veggies in a small amount of canola oil.  I spice it up with Tony's seasoning and a little salt.  Then when the veggies are almost where I want them, I throw in some fresh shelled shrimp and cook until their pink.  Then I pour a can of Mild Rotel Tomatoes over the stir fry.  Serve it over the cooked quinoa.  YUM!!!

NOTE - you can also serve the veggie / shrimp mixture over grits and you have homemade Shrimp & Grits.  Jeff eats that ;)  

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Three Things Thursday!

Brief on a busy Thursday!

1.  I posted this yesterday but I've moved my book reviews and reading posts to a separate blog called For The Love of Books.  Go check it out.  BTW - blogging reviews about books after signing up with various publishing houses is a great way to get free books.  Some of the ones I use now also offer free e-Books which are great since I love my Kindle.  I never leave home without it :-)

2.  Today's scripture really spoke to me - a sign from the Good Lord Himself I believe.  So - I'm sharing it again here after posting it on Face Book.  Romans 12:12 ---Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 

3.  Rollercoasters are not my favorite ride at the fair - I avoid them if I can because I just don't think that my stomach is meant to be in my throat ;)  And I really don't think life is meant to be a rollercoaster - but it certainly is.  The devil enjoys making the rolling hills higher and turns faster - the more the better for him because it gets us off of the True Path that we are meant to be on.  We become off kilter.  Life is hard - it's stressful, it is fast paced, it is busy, it is crazy.............but it is so easy to just stop and slow down if we "Just Do It" like the Nike commercial says.  I try to do that in so many ways - I don't visit and run around on the weekends like I used to - I'd rather stay at home.  It also seemed that I was the one always doing the running because no one was running to me - I was running to them.  A good test for yourself is to think back and try to remember the last time you just were "there" - at home with your family doing something relaxing.  If you can't remember when - then you're overdue for a down weekend.  Just Do It!!

You'll be glad you did................

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

NEW BOOK BLOG !!

Since the amount of book reviews I post has increased I have created a separate blog for just those review.  This blog will remain for family, movies, and fun things while the reviews will be posted on the new blog - see below!  Happy Reading!

For The Love of Books

Friday, May 4, 2012

Arms of Love

By Kelly Long

Description

Northern Pennsylvania, 1777. Adam Wyse is Amish and no patriot, or so the core of his faith decrees. Yet two wars ravage his heart-the longing for the love of young Lena Yoder and the burning desire to defend the country that brought his religious freedom. When Lena's father is imprisoned for being a conscientious objector, Lena is left to raise her two siblings alone. She finds herself imprisoned between her beliefs and her attraction to the rebellious Adam-especially when Adam's older brother, Isaac, presents the opportunity for Lena to regain a sense of balance and rightness with the Lord. How will Derr Herr nurture these two strong hearts into a peace that is "not as the world gives" and bring their love to triumph over all?
Review
I regularly read Amish Fiction books (they are my favorite genre) and I have read Kelly Long books previously but I was not fond of this book.  I am giving it three out of five stars due to the fact that it is an Amish fiction but the storyline, the amount of tragedy and the fact that it was a “historical” Amish fiction tied to the Revolutionary War made it very difficult to read. 
It is set in 1777 and goes into detail about the Pacifists and the Patriots tying it with the Amish conflict of trying to remain neutral during the war but keep their religious freedoms at the same time.  There were parts of the story that did not mesh with other Amish novels.  Ruth, the non-Amish wet  nurse who is brought to help with newborn Faith, spoke only English but most Amish spoke mostly German with a little English.  There was no reference to any language barriers.  Because everyone in the 1700s didn’t not have electricity and they all cooked over a fire the differences between the Amish and other men becomes non-existent resulting in it being so easy to forget that this was an Amish fiction novel.
Also – there are always mild conflicts in Amish novels but usually the stories are heartwarming and give insight to their peaceful and simple way of life with an overall theme of faith, God’s love and love for fellow man.  However, Ms. Long touches on horrible child abuse, murder, hate, anger, superstitions that you don’t really understand and PTSD. 
Lena is the typical Amish woman – faithful, loves a wonderful man, hard working, giving and kind.  Her family has just lost their mother and Lena becomes the woman of the house along with Ruth’s help (the wet nurse).  Adam Yoder and his family are the most conflicted, heart wrenching Amish family I’ve ever read about.  The story makes you so sad that, as you read,  you wonder if anything is going to turn out to be good in the book’s end.  Things do turn out alright in the end but there is never any time reference so it seems that only days pass during this story when in fact it had to have been months.  Something that Ms. Long should consider in future novels.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 [...]: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Three Things Thursday

Every week in 2012 seems to be getting harder and harder - for everyone.  Lately I think people are losing their Faith and giving up or they are losing their minds.  So many things to pray about.  Pearl Policeman Mike Walter being killed and two of his fellow law officers being hurt in the same shootout with a child molester.  NFL players killing themselves when it seems that they have so much to live for in this life.  Elderly woman disappearing without a trace from her community (several of these lately).  People everywhere seem to be on a down spiral of hatred, intolerance, sadness, immorality, spitefulness.....but there is good to be seen too.  The city of Pearl and it's surrounding communities banding together to remember a loving, hard working father, husband, policeman and wonderful man from what everyone says.  His family is receiving an outpouring of help and prayers from people nation-wide.  This "three things" list could be a list of 10, 25, 100 even but here are just a meager three. 

1.  Life on earth is short.  Loved Marshall Ramsey's Serve and Protect post from yesterday.  It says it all - tell your family every day that you love them because it may be your last day or their last day on earth.  Live your life every day as if it is your last.  If everyone would life with that thought in mind, we would all be more courteous, more tolerant, more patient, etc.  Mike Walter loved his family - that's the one thing I keep hearing - he had a smile for everyone and he loved his family.  So - for today and everyday - have a smile for everyone you meet, love your family (even those that are sometimes unlovable), tell them you love them, love your neighbor, work hard, play hard, use the good china and crystal, wear that nice sweater you've been saving for a special occasion and kiss your mother if you're lucky enough to still have her:-)  Slow down and enjoy every moment because every moment is precious.

2.  This week I've learned that not everyone is tolerant of others.  They preach tolerance and equality for everyone but they don't have it in their own hearts.  I've been preached at (and cursed) for stating that you can love someone but not agree with the things that they do.  Apparently there are those who do not believe that or feel the same way.  Nothing I can do about it anymore than I could stop the hateful words they spit back at me or the names they called me.  I'm sorry that they feel that way but they are wrong.  God loves everyone - but the Bible still says that sin is sin and sin is wrong.  Everyone sins and no sin is considered "lesser" than another sin - but God loves us sinners anyway.  Just because I have that opinion does not make me a horrible person - it makes me a Believer in God's word.  If asked, I will always give my honest opinion at the risk of someone's ire or anger but I will always give it lovingly and prayerfully.  That is all I can do.  God has to do the rest.

3.  Thankful Thursday - I have jumped back and forth between "Three Things Thursday" and "Thankful Thursday".  So number 3 is to cover the thankful.  I am thankful for friends, family and loved ones who love me despite my shortcomings and I love them in spite of theirs.  I may not see you for days, weeks, months even - but I know you are there praying for me and thinking about me - and I always do the same for you.   If you are reading this, you are loved and you are appreciated even if I don't say it.  Have a Blessed Day - and I hope to see each of you soon.  Pray for me always and I'll do the same for you.

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