Weekly Quote

"The Gospel is a woman's first and most important discipline, for it is the source of godliness."
~ Barbara Hughes, Disciplines of a Godly Woman

Weekly Memory Verse

"According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness,
through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.." 2 Peter 1:3

Friday, July 30, 2010

Project Organized Home-Sink Remodel

Well, we had to tear out the old cabinet in the bathroom because the sink had leaked so much that the bottom of the cabinet was rotting out, and we can't have that with my son's allergies. Not to mention, it was looking not so great! So, we decided that instead of replacing the cabinet, we would get a pedestal sink. That would give us less chance in the future of having mold grow around the sink. They are really affordable too. The only problem, was that our bathroom has ceramic tile for the floor, and there wasn't any under the cabinet. So, hubby and I did our first tile project! They didn't sell our tile anymore, of course, so I picked out tiles that I thought looked nice and would still go with the rest of the bathroom. We still need to get new baseboards up, but you get the idea! I also just happened to have bought miss-tinted paint two weeks ago, that almost identically matches the wall color in here! So, I was able to paint the wall behind where the cabinet was for free! How nice to not have to paint the whole room a different color!

I love the tiles, and it kind of looks like a tile rug under the sink instead of a carpeted one! When we get the money (if we ever do) I want to put matching glass tiles around the outside edge of the mirror. I also need to get a towel rack and toothbrush holder up on the wall. I'm very happy with it though. It's taking me a while to get used to not having a cabinet there, but it will be very healthy for my son!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook-7/27/10

Well good Tuesday morning to you! This post takes me so long, and I've noticed that I haven't gotten one up in a while. I was up early this morning though, and already knocked a few things of my list, so I'll atempt one today! For more daybook posts, go to Peggy's Blog and enjoy all that you have time for!

The Simple Woman's Daybook-July

For Today...July 27th, 2010

Outside my window~ the grass is breathing a sigh of relief from the rain yesterday, and begging for more. The heat has been so bad this year, and the grass is trying to die early. It may get it's wish though, because there is more rain in the forecast today.

On my mind~ Everything that needs to be done for our trip in 11 DAYS!

I am thankful for~ the Lord giving a friend at church a healthy baby boy, this past Friday. When we first moved here, it was just her and her husband, and now they have two little boys! God is good!

From the learning rooms~Trying to decide if we should start on the 2nd like we had planned, and the public schools in our county are, or if we should wait until we are back from our trip. Either way, I'm going to be getting it all put together and organized this week. I can't believe I have a 5th grader this year!

From the kitchen~ ahh, my beautiful and clean kitchen! I think we are going basic tonight with turkey sausage links, mac n' cheese and mashed potatoes. I am spending the remaining days leading up to our trip, eating everything we can out of the cupboards, fridge, freezer and deep freeze. It will save money, and I will have less food that will go to waste.
I am wearing~ an almost hot pink shirt and brown gauchos. They are perfect for busy days around the house, because they are technically pants, but they are loose and flowy like a skirt.

I am creating~ packing lists for our trip, so that we don't forget anything in the last minute craziness!

I am going~to a dear friend's house for a lunch date. Can't wait! The kids enjoy themselves just as much as I do. They don't need kids their own age to play with to enjoy themselves. They just love having someone who loves them, and is friendly and takes real interest in them. Most of their fun stories, aren't what they did with their friends, but what some of the older fun gentlemen and ladies joked with them about after church!

I am reading~ Disciplines of a Godly Woman, Bringing up Boys, and I have Bringing up Girls in the mail right as this very moment!

I am hearing~ the kids argue over what they are going to watch on Netflix this morning. This is an every morning routine. It's hard to find one show that will make all 4 kids happy. I must admit, I love Netflix instant streaming video though. We use it through our Wii console, and I go online and pick movies or tv episodes that are appropriate for them, and put it in a queue. Then they can turn on the Wii, go to Netflix and select what they want to watch from the queue right on the television screen! Just great!

A few plans for the rest of the week~ oh goodness, how I can I just list a few?! *Laundry, laundry and more laundry*packing lists*suitcases out*last minute vehicle maintenance*mow and trim the yard*haircuts*I could go on and on!

From my picture journal~

For the most beautiful pictures of my home state that you will ever see, go to this website, and stand in awe of God's beautiful work!

I tell you, we are so close now, I can hear the mountains calling me! It's been 6 years since I have embraced their beauty and sheer tranquility. I AM SO READY!!!!!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Move It Monday

I am so sorry to my dear Monday Fans! I just could not get things together today and get a post up. I'm thankful that you allow me to be such a sporadic blogger! I always said when I started this blog, that I would control it, and not allow it to control me. I've stayed with that, even if I thought it would mean very little followers. My goal when I started this blog, was not to have a long list of followers, but to enjoy any that I wound up having. In fact, I prefer fewer followers, because I feel I can be more faithful to them. I don't have time to pull up hundreds of blogs a day, I don't even have time to pull up my own so often! So anyhow, thank you to my faithful bloggers for allowing me to be unfaithful!

I overdid it last week preparing for company and the trip, so I took it easy this weekend and it carried into today. I was all over the place, and can't say that I really accomplished any one certain task. I did however, maintain the progress I made last week and have set some good goals for this week as a whole. I've listed some under my tasks list on my sidebar, and will fill you in on others as I do them. One of my main goals is to wash ALL the laundry in the house and have none left undone when we leave. I want to come home to a refreshing and clean home. I know how much time it takes to unpack, go grocery shopping, pick up mail, pay bills and get back into being at home, so I don't want any housework staring me in the face as well. I don't want to have to have a vacation from my vacation either! We want things to go as smoothly and wonderfully as possible from start to finish. So, I feel the best way to prepare for that, is to have a plan and execute it as well as possible weeks before the departure date! We are spontaneous people by nature, but with 6 of us in the family, something this big needs a little organization!

So, this week will be packed with stuff to do, and I may venture off my normal posts and bring you some of the crazy things going through my head instead, we'll see! Happy already over Monday!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Weight Loss Wednesday

When I talk to moms who want to lose weight I hear one very common question..."What about the kids and their sweets? They shouldn't have to suffer just because I'm on a diet, should they?" My answer..yes and no! The truth is that your children don't need the high levels of sugar, fats and preservatives either. Just because they may burn of enough calories to not get fat, doesn't mean it's okay for them. Their little bodies are growing so rapidly and there is so much going on with them on a cellular level. Unhealthy food does not help their body to make healthy cells. However, I do think that having desserts occasionally and teaching them how to have a balanced diet is a VERY GOOD thing! They will have to make their own food choices when they move out of the house and if they are taught well, they should succeed with making their own wonderful food choices, and keeping that balance. So, here's a couple of my favorite kid friendly desserts that won't hurt your diet or healthy lifestyle either!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies

3/4 cup granular sugar substitute
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup creamy trans-fat-free peanut butter
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup sugar-free jam, any flavor

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix sugar substitute, egg, and vanilla together with an electric mixer on low for 3 minutes. Add peanut butter and baking soda. Mix on medium until dough comes together, about 30 seconds. Form dough into 24 (2 teaspoon) balls and place on baking sheet 1 inch apart. Gently press your thumb into the center of each to make an indentation. Fill each indentation with 1/2 tsp jam. Bake until lightly browned on the bottom, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

There are 2 cookies per serving, and each serving has only 140 calories, 11 grams of fat, 6 grams of protein, 1 gram of dietary fiber and only 210mg of sodium! So easy, so cheap and so yummy!

Now, we use natural peanut butter for sandwiches and such, but I haven't tried it for this yet. I intend to soon, because I don't like buying regular peanut butter, but I'm just not sure how the natural with do with this. If you are a stickler about it, try it and see! Otherwise, just use your normal brand making sure that it doesn't contain any trans fat.

Mexican-Style Chocolate Bananas

1/3 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 medium bananas, peeled and cut into 8 pieces each

Heat chocolate in a small skillet over low heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Add cinnamon and stir to combine. Holding 1 piece of banana by the end, dip it into the chocolate mixture to coat the other end. Place it, chocolate end up, on a clean plate. Repeat with remaining banana pieces, coating the pointed ends of the four "tip" pieces (gently reheat chocolate if necessary). Serve or place in the refrigerator until chocolate hardens, about 15 minutes.

A serving size is a half a banana, 4 pieces. Each serving has 130 calories, 5 grams of fat, 1 gram protein, 2 grams dietary fiber, and NO sodium!

Of course having 4 children, I have to double this recipe, but it's a favorite! Once again, very affordable and very quick for a homemade dessert!

Now please, I would like your input..what kind of recipes would you like to see next week. Breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks, desserts...let me know!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Move It Monday

Another Monday joins us, or are we joining the Monday?! Either way, I hope to hit on head on. Mr. Know it All has a piano lesson tonight, so I need to have dinner planned...like now, and I need to get moving! So much to be done today, per usual. I didn't do too bad last week, but I hope to do even better today! I need to get started right away on the tote of clothes I opened and left sitting in my son's closet yesterday. I pulled out a new but old skirt that I can finally fit into again, and wore it for church! YAY! It's one of my favorites. A beautiful black, three tiered skirt with red flowers. It flows so beautifully! I need to go through the rest of the tote and see what else I can wear and get it put back away, so my son has his closet again. We kind of run low on closet space in this house, so I use part of his for storage. So, anyway, that's first, then I need to:

*Wash Dishes

*Do a load of towels

*Mop the kitchen floor

*Put away already clean laundry..oops

*Wash a load of hubby's work clothes

*Work on organizing my vanity

I do hope it is a very productive day, I need some productivity. It would be nice to fit some exercise in, but time will tell. My muscles could use two days off in a row though. I've been working them hard. I'm starting a new water intake thing today, so I know that will help my energy level, but it may sabotage my weigh-in on Wednesday. Health before scale though, right?! Have a great Monday, and keep it moving...don't allow those Monday blues to sneak in!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Weight Loss Wednesday

Here it is Wednesday again...boy the days are just flying by aren't they?! I'm not going to complain right now though. I want the days to fly by right out of this heat we're having! I've never tolerated the heat well. I don't know if it's just how God made me, or if growing up in Colorado where your body has to be cold tolerant and not heat tolerant, is to blame. I know our bodies adapt to our environment, but when you hide in the air-conditioning, it hinders that process I think! lol
Well moving on, I've lost 3.8 pounds this week! Yes, a very successful week indeed! I think there is one main thing that helped me this week. Focus. I stayed focused on the goal this week. Not just the numbers, but the whole idea that I want to be healthy and I want to look good. Over eating, not exercising or eating the wrong foods is not going to get me to that goal or keep me there either. I do think that was the main difference from the last not so great two weeks that I had. I also found a new food item that has really helped me this week, so I'm going to share that with you....

I made a delicious veggie tray and kept it in the fridge. When I emptied one section, I got out more from the drawer and cut it up and put it in the tray. This way, I always had fresh veggies at my fingertips. Quick and tasty! If I was hungry, I'd get it out and eat a few. Sweet tooth, got this out and ate some until my craving went away. Broccoli is my favorite, so I had to refill it quite often! This is so handy though, because I'm not one to have to wash, cut and prepare broccoli every time I'm hungry. Normally, I'd just find something else to eat, and I assure you it wouldn't be as healthy! A couple times this week, I also got out this tray and snacked a little before dinner. It kept me from eating too much of the dinner. I was pretty full before I even had dinner done.

I love having ranch dressing with my veggies and salads, and I've never been able to give that up. I've tried all other kinds, and I can't find anything else that even compares for me, so you can imagine how happy I was to find this! A lot of the store bought light ranch dressings, or fat free are not healthy at all. Some are even worse than regular ranch dressing...sometimes it's better to take the high fat and calories than the junk they put in it to reduce those things. But this...oh, this is good stuff! Half the fat and calories than regular dressings, but no high-fructose corn syrup, no preservatives, gluten free and no MSG! Plus, it has probiotics. How many, I don't know. But it's better than anything else I've found so far! I found this at our local Ingles in the produce department. It was above the packaged salads. It has to be kept cold, so you won't find it on the regular salad dressing shelves.

Have a wonderful week, grab a glass of ice cold water, and have a drink to good health!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Move It Monday

Good Monday Morning Everyone! I am making my special Monday morning breakfast, and trying to get a good start to the day! I have so much to do today, so I will definitely have to push myself to stay moving. The kids are going to have to be moving it today too, because they made a mess of their rooms this weekend and Daddy layed down the law for what they are to accomplish today! So far, my list looks like this...

*Wash Dishes_DONE

*Clean Counters_DONE

*Sweep & Mop Floor

*Vacuum Dining Room

*Wash The Boy's Clothes_DONE

*Leslie Sandsone's Walk at Home Routine_DONE

*Clean up Front Yard & Driveway (I might have to enlist the kid's help on this one)

I hope to get all this accomplished today, and I pray for few distractions. I hope you all have a wonderful Monday, and start the week off on the right foot!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Project Organized Home~The dining room

Well, as promised, here are the pictures of the dining room. It is so wonderful to finally say "yes, it's completely finished and I love it. There's not one thing I'd change about it." I liked it when I finished it the first time, a couple years ago. But, for me, a couple years with the same room is almost a lifetime! lol My husband used to say that my personality changed with the wind when it came to the house. Always a new color, or new accessories. Once, he jokingly said that I had painted one room so much, he could actually feel the walls moving in closer on him! So, this room was way overdue for a change. I showed you pictures a while ago of some freehand painting I did in there, but I wasn't happy with it. It was too much. I like clean lines and neat and tidy rooms. If there is too much going on, or too many colors, it just feels like clutter to me. I have yet to decide if I just have extreme perfectionism or maybe a mild case of OCD! It really seriously does affect my mood greatly if a room is not clean and tidy....and to be perfectly honest...my whole house is not clean and tidy most of the time. I'm hoping as I finish decorating the house just as I want, it will help motivate me to keep it picked up. Plus, as I lose this weight, I'm PRAYING it will give me more energy to pick up after these messy kids! So, anyway here goes...

Now, I can't reduce the size of these pictures until I pay to renew my Windows Home & Student, so I hope these don't take too long to load for you guys. Sorry.

This has always been my problem wall, ever since we bought the house. There was dead space under the stairs, and I couldn't ever get this wall to look neat and tidy to me. Finally, I ripped the wainscoting off the wall under the stairs, and hubby built me this bench. I made some cushions and pillows for it, but the very back wall above the stairs was still tan and the wall underneath was green, and the side of the stairs was white...it just looked awful to me. So, I had the dining room paint color matched, and I painted the wall going up the stairs the same green. I also painted the side of the stairs tan, instead of white, and now they look much better. I also bought those beautiful flowers from Target, and placed them on the side of the stairs, along with all over the room! They are so cool! They look like metal, but they are plastic, and they stick out from the wall, and give dimension, I wish the pictures could show it! I also bought some wall stickers from target and put them on the bench to bring in more of the orange, brown, tan and red colors I added to the room. Same thing with the 3 new throw pillows. I got them 10% off at Target as well.

I bought the middle ceramic piece at the thrift store, because it matched the colors of the room and was pretty good in size. The other's I already had, and just moved them from the other side of the room. The wall hanging, is now on the bookcase. I couldn't see it before when it was hung on the wall, and it's special to me. My best friend gave it to me when we still lived in Kansas, and it's titled "The Master's Hand"

Let's see..I already had the Last Supper, as you know. Hubby bought me the new plaques that are on each side. They tied in ALL the colors of the room, and they are so beautiful. Once says "faith, hope & love" and the other says "believe, dream & imagine." The room wouldn't be what it is without them tying it all together. He also bought me the decoration under the Last Supper, and you can see below what it says. We were at Target getting buns for the cookout on the 4th, and I saw these. I wanted them so bad, but didn't have the money, and he was kind enough to buy them for me. These were the first things I got for the room. (except the paint) Everything else I changed came later. That's the best thing to do when decorating, is to pick a favorite thing or things, and design the rest of the room around them! I brought in the table and vases from another room, so that was free. They haven't been together as the set of 3 for a while, so it's nice to have them together again. My table flowers were from spring, and they are so pretty, I can't get myself to put them up. They'll probably stay until I bring out the fall flowers. The fall flowers will match better, but I just love these.

This isn't a very good picture, but this is what the room looks like from the landing of the stairs. I also changed the curtains. It was free too. I took the swag off the kitchen window, and it looks great in here. More of that orange, red tan, brown. I should of gotten one up close for you. This swag is soooo beautiful in color and design. It's very shiny too! The sheers were already there, I just took down the green tab-top curtains since I painted this wall green now, instead of the tan that it was. It's so nice to have the whole room one solid color now. So peaceful to me. So that's it. I wish the pictures could do it justice, but this will have to do. I am so happy with it. Now I have the living room done, the dining room done, the kitchen is almost there. We re-did it at Christmas, and it just needs a touching up. I want to paint it yellow so bad, but the living room is yellow, and I really don't want to paint the kitchen again, so I'm hoping some new accessories
will satisfy my need for change in there!

Thanks for stopping by again. You all have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Don't Worry

Am I the only one who worries about a fellow regular blogger, when they don't post in a while? Well, if you are like I am, and was worried when I went AWOL, don't worry...I'm okay. It's just been a crazy week. Last Friday night, my friend and neighbor brought his daughter over for me to watch, because his wife's father had a stroke, and they needed to go the hospital. He died a few hours later. The funeral was Saturday, and the whole family is taking it really hard. They were a close family and it just breaks my heart that death has to be a part of life. The good news..the wife and the pastor are convinced that he was saved, so praise God for that! I just pray that those in his family who weren't (and I know of several) will use this as a wake-up call, and realize that if they want to see him again, they will need to accept Christ as their personal savior.

Then, when not with my neighbors, I've been painting...that's why the new background on this blog. Have you ever woke up and just decided that something had to change?! Well, I do more often than I'd like to admit, and that's what happened this week. I had wanted to do something different with the dining room for quite some time, and I've done a little thing here, and a little thing there...but it wasn't working. I woke up one morning, walked into the dining room, and decided that today was the day to fix the whole thing. I went to the store and bought paint and painted the whole room. I also bought accessories and changed curtains and went the whole 9 yards. It took me all day every day, but it's finally done. All the way done, and I'm so happy with it. I can't wait to show you pictures tomorrow. I'm sure they won't do it justice, but you'll get the idea. More tomorrow!

We also spend Monday together as a family. Hubby got the day off for 4th of July, and so he had his first "weekend" in months. We took full advantage of it, and went fishing! I'll have pictures of it on my private blog later, for those of you who have access to it. It was so nice to spend the day as a family...so nice. Sorry about being "missing" this week, but there was just too much going on to write. I hope you'll forgive me!

Weight Loss Wednesday...on a Thursday

This week I lost exactly 1 pound and little as it may be, it allowed me to reach another goal. I have now lost...

Isn't that exciting! I am very happy to have reached this point. It gives me great confidence for reaching my next goal, which is my halfway point of 25 pounds. I'd like to lose 10 more pounds before we leave for our trip, but we'll see. That may be too tall of an order for the way my life has been going lately. It is certainly obtainable though, so time will tell. We leave for our trip in 4 weeks and two days...Lord Willing. If there's anything I've learned in life, it is that the Lord will ALWAYS have the last say!

I thought about whether I should have a tip or a recipe today, and I decided to have a recipe. So here goes. Today's recipes come from the "What the Bible Says About Healthy Living Cookbook." Snacks are important and can keep us from overeating at meals. They also keep the metabolism rolling...waiting more than 3 hours between meals can slow it down. Here's a healthy snack and low in calories when consumed in moderation. It can also be wrapped up and kept in a purse for those emergency times when you can't get home and don't want to stop at the drive-through!

Granola Bars-makes 9 bars

Dry Ingredients

1/2 cup walnuts

1 1/2 cups granola (homemade or store bought)

1 cup rolled oats

3/4 cup dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, cherries, etc)

1/2 cup oat flour

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Wet Ingredients-

2 eggs

1/3 cup honey or maple syrup (honey is better)

2tbs extra virgin olive oil

1)Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and generously oil an 8x8 inch baking pan.

2)Chop the walnuts or nuts of your choice and add to a large bowl.

3)Add the remaining dry ingredients to the bowl and mix to incorporate.

4)In a separate bowl combine the wet ingredients and mix to incorporate.

5)Pour the egg mixture into the granola mixture and stir until all the ingredients are coated. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.

6)Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until light brown.

7)While the pan is still warm, cut into 9 squares.

*Experiment with other dried fruit, such as chopped apricots, dates or plums.

*Experiment with different nuts, such as pecans, almonds or peanuts.

*For a dessert, increase the honey to 1/2 to 2/3 cup...and for a real dessert, crumble the granola bars on top of Honey-Glazed Pears*

Honey Glazed Pears-makes 4 servings

4 unpeeled pears(any variety)

1/4 cup apple juice

1/4 cup honey

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp cinnamon (optional)

1)Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

2)Cut the pears into bite-sized chunks and place them into an 8x8 inch backing pan.

3)Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl and pour over the pears.

4)Cover the pears and bake for 20 minutes.

5)Remove the cover and baste the pears with the pan juices. Bake, uncovered for an additional 25 minutes, or until the pears are tender.

6)Serve the pears warm or at room temperature.

*Variation-use 4 bananas instead of pears. Peel the bananas and leave whole. Bake, covered for 20 minutes, basting once during cooking.

I have found that making an occasional healthy dessert really helps keep me from wanting to binge on unhealthy desserts. It took a while for me to accept fruit as a dessert, but my body LOVES it. When I do eat cake, or donuts, it almost makes me feel sick. It's hard to believe I used to shove so much of that into my body. If we would just listen to our bodies, very carefully, they will tell us what is good for them!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Well, I try to always focus on the non-material things to be thankful for, but today will have to be an exception. We have been blessed with a new vehicle, and I am certainly thankful for it! It came at the right time, and it's just perfect for our current needs and it's beautiful in my eyes!

I still can't believe we got it. I just kept thinking in my mind, about how cramped we were in the van when we went to Texas last year. Plus, most of you know the issues my van has, and what we went through with the engine a couple months ago. I really worried about whether it we be okay all the way across the country and back. It's so new of a vehicle, that if it broke down on us, hubby couldn't fix it. We'd have to have the dealership and their computers and we don't have the money for that. I started thinking about how great it would be to have another Suburban. SO much room for the trip, and hubby's already completely rebuilt one before, so we know he can work on it, if it breaks down somewhere out of state. I just didn't know how I would sell my van, and find one in time. Then I saw this beauty, and it's in my FAVORITE color for a vehicle! I've been dreaming of a midnight blue SUV for quite some time. I called the banker to see what he could loan on one so I would know how much we needed to sell the van for, and within two hours, I had the money in hand to buy this truck, and hubby just happened to have enough time between service jobs to go look at it, and say that we wanted it! For now, we don't have to sell the van, unless his work hours decrease majorly. How nice it is to have two vehicles for the first time since we've been here in Georgia! I ran the battery dead on accident, and when we got in "Big Blue" as we call it, to go to church, no start! Normally, that would mean that we miss church, but last night we were able to just get in the van and go! What a blessing two vehicles are!

So, I praise God for supplying our needs and I am so thankful for this beautiful vehicle. Did I mention that it has matching navy blue leather interior?! I was wishy washy about going to the gym the other night, because I still didn't feel good, and I decided to go. Hubby looked at me and said, "you're just going to the gym so you can drive your truck, aren't you?!" I smiled and had to admit "yes!" I do, I love it. I'm not a complete flowery girl. My dad was very active in teaching me about cars, and motorcycles and building things. I learned to enjoy those things because I loved spending time with him, and having common interests. So, I love my truck that just barrels down the road, and I love the loud sound of the exhaust when I stomp on the accelerator! Most of all, I love that this trip to Kansas seems to really be falling into place. 5 more weeks to go, and what a joy it will be!