Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Gift giving

My family (in-law) has started doing things (gift giving in particular) differently these last few years.

For such a long time we would exchange gifts at Christmas and it was lots of fun, but really, how do you shop for family members you only see a few times a year??? It had gotten really hard (and somewhat expensive as my husband has 5 brothers and 2 sisters plus spouses and children, and grand children (now)).
But these last few years (as we "mature"??) we have started giving homemade gifts. One year I crocheted all the sisters scarves. They were lovely (if I do say so myself...). I have also made salsa, soaps, cookies, crocheted pot holders, beef jerky ( a real hit with the brothers!!), lotion bars and other things which I cannot remember ("maturity"?? Maybe...) .

The homemade gifts I have received have given me as much pleasure as a well thought out purchased gift. I love the fact that someone spent time and effort on a gift. And I have very talented sister-in-laws!!! =)    I can't wait to see the loot from this year!!!!

Army Man and I are always thinking on what to make for Christmas. We try to keep it real and interesting. This year Army Man was promoted to E-6 and at his promotion "gathering" a co-worker/friend of his had brought some dip his wife made for the occasion. As soon as Army Man dipped his chip and tasted that dip he knew this was what we were doing for family this year. He has some kind of sixth sense like that. Very intriguing.....  but I digress (as usual...).

This year we are  giving "Texas Caviar"  to everyone for Christmas.  I am from the south. I have lived in the south my entire life. Well, except for those 3 years we lived in Wisconsin!! I had never seen or heard of this stuff, but Army Man was smitten with it so we will share it with the family!!

The recipe is as follows.

2 cans black-eyed peas
1 can each-- shoepeg corn, black beans
2 (2.5 oz) cans sliced black olives (opt.)
2 (4 oz) cans chopped green chili peppers
1 bunch green onion, finely chopped
3 tomatoes, finely chopped
1 large bell pepper, finely chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 (16 oz) bottle Robusto or Zesty Italian Dressing
Drain all canned stuff well. The drier, the better.
Mix fresh and chopped veggies together.
Pour dressing over the mixture.
Refrigerate over night for best flavor!
Serve with tortilla or corn chips.

*Great for a party or pot luck!!*
Enjoy!! =)

I do not know how many words that was. I'm sure there is some way to count them....not really interested. My point is I have written out that recipe eight times. My hand has begun to cramp today. It was much easier and quicker to type it out. And I'm sure there was a  way I could have printed off the recipe on these pretty cards, but I like the thought of having hand written recipe cards.
One day my great nieces and nephews can ponder the handwriting of their crazy "Bretta the Great" (which is what the "Greats" call me!!).
Or not.
I really just didn't have the time (or ability) to figure out how to print off the recipe on the cards I had already purchased!!
That was the last part of the family Christmas gifts! I had already made the dip, put it in mason jars with a burlap square and tied raffia around the jar and bought tortilla chips to include in the bag!!
If my camera was working I would take a picture....
I am now all done with our extended family gift giving!!!

Now to get started shopping for my kids!!!! Nothing like waiting 'till the very last minute to shop!!! =)


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas wish list....

Two blogs in one day!!!! Sorry, but he asked and I have an answer.
 Although I am fairly certain this is me living in a dream world!!! Who has $1600 to spend on a camera??!?!?!?!!

Here is the link Army Man!!!

Christmas Traditions....nearly burnt my house down!!

I'll admit it. I have a fake Christmas tree.

I actually have several fake Christmas trees.

My mom (whom I love dearly) lived through a house fire when I was 4 years old. She lost everything except her family in that fire. It was an electrical fire, so her fears may seem unreasonable, but to her a real Christmas tree and the threat of fire was just too much. We always had an artificial tree while I was living at home with my parents.

My thoughts on live Christmas trees is: I don't want to cut a tree down just to have a live one in my house for a month. I would rather buy one that can be planted.  I know I sound like a "tree hugger". I probably am more than most of my peers, but I just don't see the point in killing a tree for a few weeks of having a live tree smell.  I can burn a candle or something for that.
That being said, my youngest has requested a live tree for next year.....

That has nothing whatsoever to do with my Christmas tradition that almost burnt down our house!!!

So, when I start decorating our home for Christmas, I usually go all out. I think I may have mentioned that in an earlier post... I love lots of twinkling lights and decorations. But one of my favorite things is to make a fresh potpourri...
I use orange peels (that hopefully came from an orange I've eaten....just being real here. My fruit intake is way lower than it should be!!). I put them in a small pot of water and add cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. You can use allspice, but I am currently out... I never measure anything so it is a little different each time!!
I like living adventurous.....
Oh, and add water as needed throughout the day! Yes, this is important!!

Last Saturday, we (my whole family, including Army Man who had just returned from a 2 week training) had planned on spending some time in town (Woo Hoo!!!). We did a few things around the house first. You know, like laundry and stuff. I had turned on my little Potpourri pot thinking I love it to smell good (and Christmasy) while we are trudging through mountains of laundry...
When it was time to leave for town (and lunch at Cheddar's and ShOpPiNg) (!!!) we hurried out the door because we are all starving by now!!

We spent a few hours waiting on our oil to be changed, (so annoying...and really starving now!) did a bit of shopping, ate a late (ok, really late) lunch, and went to see my mom-in-law for a bit.  We had a great family day together and came home all relaxed and ready to spend our evening watching a Christmas movie!

We entered out house and a smell of burnt crispness greeted us!!!! It was awful!!!! We had to open every door and window in our living area to help air out the smell. It was 40-something degrees outside!!! My little pot may never recover and had we stayed any longer I think our house (or at least the stove and kitchen) would have caught on fire!!!!  

I haven't been able to bring myself to make my fresh potpourri since then. It is now Tuesday, and my little stainless steel pot is still not completely clean. I really did a number on that thing. Army Man has scrubbed that thing Every. Day. since is discouraging. As much as I love the smell of that stuff, I am wondering if I should be trusted...

I may need to invest in a little crock-pot with a timer or auto shut off...


Monday, December 9, 2013

Christmastime Funk....

I know that for many people Christmas is a very sad holiday. I personally know several people who have lost loved ones around this time of year and it is difficult to get in the holiday spirit. My grandmother (who I never knew) passed on December 22nd the year before I was born. Christmas is hard for my dad. He always puts on a smile for his kids and grandkids (and great-grandkids), but his heart is hurting. He loved his little Irish mama.

I am usually ready to start decorating our home before Thanksgiving. I am a huge Christmas fan!! I love the magical feeling of rightness and peace!! The feeling that people are nicer and more friendly. The feeling that for one small moment, all is right with the world...
But Army Man has firmly stated that under no circumstances will our house be decorated for Christmas before Thanksgiving. I'm fairly certain that he would be perfectly happy if we decorated the house on Christmas Eve and remove it all the day after Christmas!! Bah Humbug!!! I have used my powerful skills of persuasion to always be able to decorate by the first of December. He does have backup on oldest son was born on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving of the year 2000. Thanksgiving is his very favorite holiday!! He LOVES it when his birthday falls on Thanksgiving!!
I digress....

This year has been different for me...

With the incredibly difficult Fall my family has gone through, I am having hard time of getting in the Christmas spirit myself this year. I have not lost a loved one near and dear to my heart. But I could have lost something just as precious.   These circumstances have given me a new perspective on Christmas. Yes, I still love all the hoopla, but us this year the hoopla will be minimal....the emphasis will be on relationships.

For the first time ever, we are on purpose leaving our extended family (moms, dads, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, the "greats"). We are taking our family of five camping!!! Well, "cabin-ing", that is....We are going out of town (away from our extended families) to a cabin near the beach for the whole week of Christmas!!!

We are so very excited to simplify this year.

My family needs this time of togetherness to get perspective on those things that are really important.  Even our Christmas tree is smaller this year.    
Side note.....A small tree still holds the magic!!
I usually have 3' trees in all of the kids bedrooms and 2' tree in their bathroom and our regular 7' tree in our living area. I usually put lights on our very large porch (by myself)(refer to the 2nd paragraph)!!!  I also leave my shopping to closer to Christmas day...I LOVE getting out in the craziness to do all of my Christmas shopping!!! I'm pretty sure it stems from my days of working in retail... ;)  I saturate myself with Christmas music and movies.

I just wasn't into all of that this year....

BUT....I went ahead and put up one of the small trees in our living area. As I felt my kid's excitement and watched the joy on their faces as our space transformed, I just couldn't help but feel a bit of the Christmas spirit.  They are truly an example of forgiveness, complete innocence, and joy!!!

I have begun my annual traditional Hallmark Christmas movie marathon!!! I  DVR  EVERY Christmas movie and watch them throughout the day. The cheesier and more romantic the better!!!! =)   It has really helped get me in the groove of Christmas!!
I watched an older Christmas movie yesterday because two of my three kids were sick and we could not go to church. Actually, I watched two of them! It was "Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus" and "Meet the Santas" with Steve Guttenberg and  Crystal Bernard. (I had forgotten how much I really like both of these actors!!). That was the turning point for me!!! I had already watched several Christmas movies with my kids, but this one turned the switch.... I heard myself humming Christmas carols this morning!!!
I've got my groove back!!! =)

I know it can not possibly be that easy for most people, but for me (the writer of this particular blog) it was!! I am happy to say that I am officially in the Christmas spirit!!! I am jamming on our TSO and other Christmas CD's (yes, I am old school and still use CD'S!)!!!
I am ready to spend some quality time with my family in a secluded cabin near the beach!!! I am ready to focus some serious time on my husband, my kids and my Savior--the only reason we celebrate this season!!!

Hope you all have a Very Merry Christmas!!!


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

November = Thanksgiving (Thanksgiving Day!!!)(LOTS of pics!!!)

I do realize it is December.....this is what happens when you take time off of school.  My whole schedule has been turned upside down and inside out!!!
But in the best of ways!!!!

We are off of home-schooling for the month of December!!!


I am a little excited about this. Can you tell??
I have a funny story about needing a brain break and shaving legs.....maybe I'll share it another day! ;)


Turkey In The Hole

I don't have pictures of it,(well, actually, I have pictures, but my technologically challenged self cannot figure out how to move them from the Blackberry to my computer!!! Grrrr!!! If by some miracle I get it figured out, I will update this post!!) but on Wednesday morning (the day before Thanksgiving) we dig a 3'L x 3'W x 4'D-ish hole.
We start a fire and load it up with wood.
We add wood ALL day!!  LOTS of wood!!! (again, I do have pictures...)
Enough to fill the hole with coals.....lots of wood!!
Wait...I already said that!!!
My kids were very helpful and hauled the wood from various parts of our yard down to the hole, of course, using my mower and dump cart made the job way more fun!!!!  As night comes we are always worried that we did not burn enough wood...will there be enough coals?
It is a lot of hard work, but the flavor of the turkey is so worth the effort!!!
In a fierce yell-----"FIE-YAAHH!!!!" 
So, here is the fire around 8pm, still large chunks of wood that need to break down to smaller coals!!

 Oooooohhhhhh......sparks!!!!  My kids LOVE these "quiet" fireworks!!!!

 Getting the "seasonings" prepped for the turkey!!!

 Yep! Getting ready to stuff this bird with ice cubes, fruit and butter!!  Yummy!!!!!
The other turkey was filled with ice cubes and "Rubusto" Italian Dressing!!! Yummy!!!

Then we rub butter on the outside of the birds and wrap them in 10 layers of heavy duty foil 
(shiny side out).....

Time to go check on the fire....again!
 I got a light streak!!!! Woo Hoo!!!!

 My Truly girl chillin' by the fire before bed!!

 My Thoene goofing off by the fire before bed!!!
(Well, he doesn't look like he is goofing off, but I'm sure he is!!!)

 My McCoy freezing his rear before bed!!!  
It actually was very cold this year!!  Around 33* by this time of night!!

 My super handsome Army Man!!!! =)   LOVE him!!! Adore him!!

 Black and White fire......oooooohhhhh

 Cartoon fire....hey! The kids asked!!

 Another fire streak!!!! =)  Fire provides much entertainment!!

A very hot shovel with sparkly thingys!!!!

Now the rest of the party begins!!!!  Time to put the turkeys in the ground to cook all night!!!
 Our hole is filled to the brim with coals....this pic does not do it justice!!!
And the blue-ish colors is the smoke....

 Putting the turkey on the special long-handled shovel (that we use once a year!!) we can safely put them in the fire that is reeeeeally hot!!

Put both turkeys in the coals.....looks kinda like creepy mask!!

This is a pic with a flash.... turkey in the coals!!!

 Beginning to cover the turkeys (that are now covered in coals) with dirt to complete the process and seal in that heat!!!

 This is labor intensive so all hands on deck!!!
At this point it is about 11:00pm....the kids wanted to see the turkeys go in so we got them out of bed (they actually prayed about it!!)(sneaky kids!!). Of course, we made them do some work (in their jammies no less!!).  Character development!!!  And, many hands make light work and all that!!! And, it was really cold so they needed to be moving about!!!!

                                                                 Good morning!!!!
  It is 7am and I got up to put the ham in the oven 
(Army Man will not put a ham in those coals...). The whole yard was covered with frost!! 
Very unusual for this time of year here in SOUTH Alabama!!! But it was very beautiful...and crisp!!!

 The kids (and company) are completely fascinated with uncovering the turkeys!! 
The visitors were a little skeptical!!

 Oooohhh, the dirt is still warm!!! Even though it is freezing outside!!! 

 Where are they??? I know we put them in here!!!

 Yay!!!!!  There it is!!!!!  

 Using the mower and cart to haul those turkeys back up to the house!!! =)
That is my awesome, hardworking daughter!!! (and her older brother watching her work...hmmm)

The smell emanating from this turkey is amazing!!!  
Making me drool a bit just looking at this picture!!!

We hosted both sides of our family this year and a family from our church!!  
It was a lot of fun!! We had about 30 people over!!! 
And may I just say that they did not eat enough!!! I am still eating left overs!!
 It is Monday for crying out loud and it doesn't appear that I will be done any time soon!!!

 Cutie Baby Easton!!!!

 Kid table!!! 

 My cutie baby niece McKynzie!!! AKA Punkin'

 A rousing game of Red Light, Green Light after eating such a huge meal!!!!

Cutie kids with "Uncle Dave"!!!  He is not really an uncle to any of the kids in this pic, but he loves kids and always has a game ready to help them have fun!! He is great with the kids!!

All in all we had a great day!!! I think everyone that was there had a great time!!  I know I did!!! Of course, after every left  the party was on.....

and by party,

I mean, NAP!!!!!! =)



Psalm 69:30
I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.

Monday, November 25, 2013

November = Thanksgiving (Day 22-25)

May I make a suggestion??   Good!
*** If you have not done so, please go back and read my Blog post for "November = Thanksgiving  (Day 1-5)". It will give some insight to the tone of my November Blog postings for this year!!!
Thanks!!! I hope you get something from what you read here and that God will speak to you through His Word!!! =)


1 Corinthians 16:14
Let all your things be done with charity {love}.

For all of his rantings and ravings at the church at Corinth, Paul loves this church and it's people.  He want s for them to serve in love, worship in love, submit in love, teach in love, do ALL things in love.
This can be a new prayer for me...that I will do all things in love.

Psalm 36:7
How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.

What can I say??? The Lord has proven Himself over and over and over again to me in these last few weeks. His mercy is new every morning. He has turned my mourning into gladness. weeping into joy. I can trust Him in everything knowing He only wants what is best for me. I am just praying that I can put Him first in everything!!

Psalm 37:39-40
But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble. 
And the LORD shall help them and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.

Even before Christ came to this earth to give us a way to have righteousness before God this Psalmist is speaking of salvation and righteousness the Lord gives to those who ask!!! He gives strength and shelter in times of trouble.
We can trust in Him because His words are true. He will be the victor and He will deliver us from the wicked!!

In 2 Corinthians 6 - 9 Paul is just encouraging these people that he loves. He rejoices that they took his first letter to heart and made some necessary changes.
How much more must God be pleased when we read His Word and make changes in our lives to honor Him!!!! =)

Just one more!!!!  Scripture is changing my life y'all!!! =)

Psalm 40:5
Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order to thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.

Every day I am amazed at God's care for the little details of my life. His thoughts of us cannot be numbered. He is an awesome God and I am so glad He is my Savior. As I strive to put God first in all that I do, I pray that the things I do are pleasing to Him.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

November = Thanksgiving (Day 20, 21)

1 Corinthians 10:31
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

A good reminder for put Christ first in all things.
This chapter in Corinthians is talking about eating the meat that has been offered to idols. How that it might offend some non-believers.
If we are doing all to the glory of God we need not be concerned about offending those around us.
At this point in my life I am more concerned with putting God first and pleasing Him most.

Psalm 22:19
But be thou not far from me, O LORD: O my strength, haste thee to help me.

I am so very thankful that God hears the cry of His children and hurries to help!! He is never far from me and only wants what is best for me.
He is an awesome God and mighty to save anyone who calls upon His name.
I have called on Him and he heard me.
He has answered the cry of my heart.
He is healing my soul.

Psalm 23
The LORD is my Shepherd: I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me, they rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou annointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

He is my shepherd and I am His sheep. He knows what I need and when I need it.
He will protect me, find me, keep me safe, feed me, heal me, be with me through any valley (even death) that I will go through!

There is great comfort in that.

He has heard the cry of my heart and has the power to heal my soul.
He is restoring my joy and the joy of my Salvation!!


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

November = Thanksgiving (Day 13 - 19!!!!)

Sorry Folks!!! I really have been a bit of a slacker in doing this!!! I really just didn't realize how long it had been since my last post!!!
I will not bore you with all the details, but God has been so good to me, my husband and my family!!! I cannot thank Him enough!!!
Psalm 5:3
My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.

~~Anyone who knows me well, knows that I am not a "morning person"!!I just do not function well first thing in the morning...
These past days, however, have been different. I have been alert enough to pray with Roger EVERY morning!! (Even at 5 AM!!!!)
It is needful for me to start my day with Jesus.
For so long I would just go about my day with no thought of communication with my Savior! I can no longer do that!
I can see now, too much is at stake.

Psalm 16:8-9
I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.

~~As I seek to focus on God and put Him first in my life, I rest in hope knowing He is always with me. He is at my right hand.
He will be with me in the battles, in the rest, in the victories, in the good and bad times. He will keep my in perfect peace and I "shall not be moved."
It does make me glad.
It makes me rejoice.
It makes me want to sing!!

Here is the song I wrote....maybe one day I will record it.

Your Grace Is Amazing
1. My soul was lost    and all alone.    
My strength had failed     my joy was gone.
I trusted You      to hear my cry,    
to heal my heart    and let me fly.
CH.          I see Your grace,     so amazing!
               My soul has joy,      my heart has wings!
               I seek Your face,    because Your grace      is amazing!

2. My heart was broken     and undone.     
You sent Your own      Beloved Son
To save a sinful        soul like me.       
My eyes are open,       now I see.

3. Now I am free     to live again.      
My soul’s released      from sin’s dark stain.
I count it joy      to suffer loss      
because of Jesus       and the cross.

4. He’s brought me through     a fiery trial.     
I’ll seek His face      each day and hour.

He’ll get me through      to a place of rest.    
He wants for me       the very best!


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

November = Thanksgiving (Day 12)

A new question..."Did you love God enough today?"

It is no longer enough to just have a good day. We have had plenty of those and it wasn't that good as it turns out!

>>The most important thing is:
Did we have a godly day?
Did we love God enough to seek His face? To say His name? To give Him praise? To not commit habitual sin? To see the need for Christ in others?

My prayer is that we strive to keep God first in ALL things and not to forget! It is so easy to get into a habit of forgetting.
Our flesh is weak.
The great news is that God is always ready to forgive when we have lost our way or stepped away or stumbled and fell.
He is always ready!

Psalm 4:3,4 & 8
3.But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto him.
4. Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.
8. I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD,  only makest me dwell in safety.

Resting in God's safety tonight.


Monday, November 11, 2013

November = Thanksgiving (Day 11)

Psalm 3:3
But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter of my head.

I cannot explain to you how very good God is. I cannot explain to you how He has answered the prayers of my heart and lifted my spirit. I cannot explain to you how He has healed my soul and restored a broken relationship.

I can only tell that He is and He has!!!! 

He has protected me when I was weak. He has given me rest when I am weary. He has restored my joy. He has given peace that passes understanding. He has lifted my head and held me up many times. He has healed, answered, loved, given grace, mercy and forgiveness....He has not stopped. He is long-suffering (patient) and kind. He wants what is best for me, my husband and my family.

I must give Him the glory for the great things He has done!!!

Today is Veteran's Day.....

A day set aside to honor those that have fought (and are fighting still) for our country and freedoms.  I do so hate to see those people who are vehemently criticizing our military for the poor leadership decisions they have to obey.  Our men and women join to serve our country. They are selfless and brave. They obey the orders given to them (they are trained to). If you don't like the way that works you are welcome to go live in a different country!! I, for one, am glad that I won't have to fight if the battle comes to our lands. I won't have to fight for others either. Our military will fight for us!! I know that things have changed. I know how political these past wars have been. But I am so very glad to be an American. There is no country like ours. Anywhere. If you hate it here and the way things are done, you are welcome to leave.

I appreciate the military. My husband was without a job for 9 months (before the "big" job crash!!) and he rejoined the National Guard. He has been full time for 3+ years now and I am thankful for his job. I am thankful for the military. I am thankful for those who serve--past and present. I  am a proud Army wife and I support my husband and I am proud to be a part of something larger than I, even in the smallest way.


Had breakfast for of my hubby's favorites!!
Made Oatmeal Waffles!!!! SUPER YUMMY!!!

2 eggs
2 C. oatmeal flour (ground old fashioned oats!!)
3/4 C. canola (or melted butter...yummy!)
1 3/4 C. Milk
4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
(I add about 4 T. of brown sugar to this. Just because I love it!!)

**Heat waffle iron. Combine dry ingredients. Add the eggs, milk and oil. Mix well to batter consistency and smooth. Pour batter (I use a gravy spoon!) onto center of hot waffle iron. Cook about 5 minutes or until the steaming stops!!

(Recipe from:: )

Sunday, November 10, 2013

November = Thanksgiving (Day 10)

As I have mentioned before (it bears mentioning again), this year my focus for giving thanks is on Scripture.
Were it not for scripture, I would not be a functioning woman today. I would be a shell of a person. I would be hopeless and broken.
I have found strength in the words of our Lord and through reading His Word I have found peace.

Excerpt from my journal on   22 Oct 13 

"1 Corinthians 1:10
Now I beseech you brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgement.

I have decided to read 1st and 2nd Corinthians all the way through. I'm not sure why, except that I have been finding so many nuggets of great truth in there that it seemed like a great place to start.
I know Paul is speaking to the church in this passage, but shouldn't a marriage be unified too??
Shouldn't we both speak the same things (especially to our children!), have the same mind and be in the same judgement??

Roger has always liked to say "We are one."
And we are!!
But now we are unified in our desire to be godly; to seek God first in all that we do; to give God the glory for what He is accomplishing in our marriage and in our lives; to be one!!!"


Saturday, November 9, 2013

November = Thanksgiving (Day 9)

Psalm 94:11
The LORD knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity.

2 Corinthians 10:5
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

Vanity: nothing....
Vain: empty, foolish, useless.....

Wow. This is an area that I have struggled in for a long time. However, these last weeks I have been working on giving my vain thoughts to God and not letting my imagination (which is overactive!!) take over my feelings, attitude and life.
Thinking vain thoughts can do a lot of damage to relationships. It is much better to pray, quote Scripture and talk it out than to just let the thoughts take over!!!

If all my thoughts are focused toward God and pleasing Him I will not have "time" to imagine vain things.

My knowledge of God is:
1.He loves me.
2.He wants what is best for me. Always.
3.He wants me to bring Him glory.

There are more, but I will stop here!!  =)


Friday, November 8, 2013

November = Thanksgiving (Day 8)

Psalm 119:165
Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.

Psalm 124:8 
Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.

I just have to say, that God Almighty gives perfect peace beyond understanding!!!

***On a side my husband (who took a day off of work) started building our kids a "tree fort"!!!! Our kids have been dreaming of this day since the first time we looked at this property!! My daughter said, "Finally!! Our dreams are coming to pass!!" funny!!!!

 Everyone pitched in and helped build this totally awesome triangular tree fort!!! =)

 Hold it steady for dad, guys!!!!

 Oh so worth the wait!!!!   They will have many hours of fun on this!!! =)

Picnic lunch in the tree fort!!!! Hooray!!!!

My and my Army man!!! 

Is it me? Or is the sky in south Alabama just gorgeous today?!?!!!!
Fall is my favorite time of year!!! =)


Thursday, November 7, 2013

November = Thanksgiving (Day 7)

On this day, I am going to post three verses. Mainly because it's my blog and I can if I want to!!
HA!   ;)
But, also, because on this day (10-21-13) in my journal (yes, I am now keeping a journal....who'd-a-thunk it?!?!!) I struggled and won!!! We had a major victory, and the Lord gave me all of these verses on the same day!

Psalm 86:5
For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.

Psalm 126:3
The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.

Psalm 66:20 
Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.

Like I said, a great victory was had on this day for me. My journal reminds me of this and I am glad. I want to remember what God has done for me. I want to remember from where He has brought me. I want to praise Him for the mighty work He has done in my life!! He has heard the cry of my heart and is healing my soul!!
One day I may blog about the song He gave me (yes, I wrote a song!!! Miracles never cease!!), but not yet.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

November = Thanksgiving (Day 6)

Psalm 141:8
But mine eyes are unto thee, O God the Lord: in thee is my trust; leave not my soul destitute.

During this time of "change" I have been frantically reading Psalms. I've read them completely through about 3 times (in a week!!) and now I am slowly going back through from the beginning and gleaning from God's Word the comfort that my soul needs.

The Psalmists had ups and downs just like we do.

It really is not a matter of "if" you will have a rough time of it, it is a matter of "when".

The choice comes when we decide if we will let our rough times determine our trust in, praise, and obedience to an Almighty God or will we let our rough times bring us down into the pit where we can do nothing.

I choose to trust. God has not left my soul destitute! He has returned my joy!!


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

November = Thanksgiving (Day 1-5)

I feel kinda bad that my last blog was a rant, and this will begin to focus on giving thanks. Oops! Maybe I should have been more focused on giving thanks the last time I wrote something!!

I had a major life changing event take place in my life on October 14th (hence the great length of time between posts!!), and while I will not go into details about it (ever. don't ask.), know that from this point forward my blog may be different.

For those of you that actually read it, my original intent was to focus on giving thanks (you can look in the archives)(I think). The blog sort of morphed into a day in the life of me. And now, while it will still be about a day in the life of me, it will be more God-focused.
God, the Creator of the universe, cares about me (and you!!). How can I not acknowledge what He has done for me!!

Last year for the month of November I posted something I was thankful for on Face Book everyday...this year, I am going to have to give credit where it is due and post Scripture.
If it weren't for the Word of God (the Bible) I would probably not be where I am today. It has healed my heart and soul. It has turned my mourning to dancing (or gladness because Baptists Do. Not. Dance.)  ;)  and my weeping to joy.
For this month of "Thanksgiving" I am going to post those (King James) Scriptures that have helped me most.

Since I am already late (and I do apologize for that)(refer to  the part about a major life change) I have to do the first 5 here.

So, here goes....(anything in parenthesis is mine, not scripture)....

Day 1   Safety in the Lord   (this passage sustained me for many days)(and still does, really)
Psalm 91:1-5,11-12, 14
1.He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2.I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
3.Surely He shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
4. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: His truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
5. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night and the arrow that flieth by day;
11. For he shall give his angels charge over thee to keep thee in all thy ways.
12. They shall bear thee up in the hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
14. Because he has set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

Day 2   Charity is LOVE  (I read this every day)
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
4. Charity suffereth long (patient) and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself (boast), is not puffed up (proud).
5. Doth not behave itself unseemly (dishonor others), seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked (angered), thinketh no evil (keeps no record of wrongs).
6. Rejoiceth not in iniquity (does not delight in evil), but rejoiceth in the truth;
7. Beareth all things (protects), believeth all things (trusts), hopeth all things (hopes), endureth all things (perseveres).
8. Charity never faileth.......

Day 3   Secret to perfect peace   (who doesn't want peace?)
Isaiah 26:3
Thou (God) wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

Day 4   Only God   (my new focus in life is pleasing God)
Psalm 62:5
My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.

Day 5  Trust God  (He has my complete trust in ALL things)
Psalm 56:3-4
3. What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.
4. In God I will praise his word, in God have I put my trust; I will not fear what man can do unto me.

This is not a Scripture, but an amazing song that helped me immensely

How deep the Father's love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon the cross
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed to hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom [x2]

  • Blessings!!!!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Pardon my rant...

You've been warned.
I must rant.

I really do not like that word. Rant. It denotes negative feelings and scenes of shouting in my mind. However, rant I must.
It probably doesn't help that I am an emotional roller coaster (for a few days anyway!).

Rant #1
I do not know why I torment myself by shopping at WalMart.
Is the supposed saving of money? I never leave without spending at least $200.00.
Is it the ease of access? Really, if they would keep the shelves properly stocked I would not have to keep looking for things at other stores!
Is it the friendly atmosphere?? HA! You know I jest!
Is it the one stop for shopping I am seeking?
Is it the high quality customer service? HA! You know I jest, again!

Today I found my self there and getting more stressed by the minute. It's bad enough that I am spending my Saturday grocery shopping (it feels like work), but also to have spend the large part of it waiting in line to check out because the lady in front has to do two transactions.
.......because of the rules of her "benefit" card.
Even that wouldn't normally bother me so much. I have been on WIC. I know there are lots of weird little rules for these types of programs. But this particular lady did not know the rules stating the transactions (for certain foods I guess) could not go over $20.00.  Her soda, large bags of chips, and huge birthday cake would be more than $20.00. So the cashier very patiently explained (several times) how to be able to pay for her stuff by doing two separate transactions.  REALLY??? I thought those "benefit" cards were supposed to be used by families in need to buy healthy foods that you would normally not be able to buy....fruits, veggies, rice, and such.
Real food not JUNK!!!!

Rant #2
Parking the buggy.
How hard is it to push your buggy into the other buggies in the parking thingy??? 
So many people don't do this simple courtesy. As a result only 5 or so buggies are in the thingy and it is "full". SO annoying!!! 
If everyone will just take two seconds and push in their own buggy (and the other ones....because you know there will be others!!) all the way into the lane many, many more will fit and we probably wouldn't have stray buggies roaming around the parking lot avoiding cars and trucks while just looking for their parking thingy!!!!  

Today, I actually got to witness someone else who finds this annoying push his buggy and essentially all the other ones into a tight little line!!! It made me ~almost~ leap for joy!! I know his wife thought I was crazy, but really, I thought I was the only one who did this!!! I thanked him. What else could I do? Break out into a spontaneous happy dance?? I don't think so. Then my husband would think I was crazy (more so than he already does!)!  But then, my husband did the same thing!! Woot woot!!! I LOVE THAT MAN!!! =) 
One day, there will be three more people (my kids) pushing all the buggies in and maybe we'll start a revolution back to common courtesy!!!!  

Rant #3
Google + Community guideline/rule violators.
Really??? You are going to fuss about being called out when you are not following the community rules? When you decide that what you "feel" needs to be considered more than the owners or moderators of these communities it is time for you to move on or moved out. Go start your own community!! It bothers me that people break the rules, get caught, then fuss about the rules. Grrrr.  Every community has their own set of guidelines/rules. You know that going in. Some are pretty specific (for a reason), some are general, some are downright liberal. 
If you join a community, please try to at least put forth an effort to follow the rules.  

There. I feel better!! =)

I have forgotten the other things (sigh) so this will have to do for now.....I will try to not rant again.....for a while anyway!!HA!!  ;)


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Dr. visit....

For many years we did not have health insurance! (Gasp)

We could not afford it. (Sound familiar?)

This was way before the Affordable Health Care Act (AKA ObamaCare). Not that it is going to help anyone. In the end none of us will be able to afford anything!!!! =/

When your insurance premium per month is equal to or more than your rent/mortgage I just think that's a bit much. Especially on our (at the time) social service income!! We did have to eat/feed three kids, put gas in the car and pay our power bill. So instead, we paid for chiropractic care out of pocket and prayed for health. I must tell you that for those years we never had any major or minor health issues.  God answered our prayers!!
My kids did not have ear infections. Head colds only lasted for a few days. Overall we had extraordinary good health!!!

Then my husband re-enlisted into the Army National Guard. Now we have healthcare through the military.
While I enjoy having the insurance for healthcare (and vision, and dental--thankfully including orthodontics!!), now we cannot afford chiropractic care and our insurance does not cover it at all. Grrrrr... I believe because of this lack of chiropractic care my children have gotten more colds and ear infections than they have had their entire lives!!!! Grrrrr...... We can't win for losing!!!  I have insurance that will pay for them to see the doctor, but we see him way more than we used to!!

We have the best pediatric doctor!! He is so funny (in a reserved kind of way), he always listens to my kids, looks at the bionicles/Legos/drawings/books they take in to show him AND he always remembers that we home school so I don't need a "Doctor's Excuse" for school!! He also looks a bit like Dan Aykroyd!! Bonus!!!
Yes, I am a Aykryod fan! I know he is a bit bizarre, I don't care!! =)

Today we had to go back for an ear infection check. I knew she was feeling better, but he wanted to recheck (maybe because she has had so many ear infections in the last few years...since we stopped chiropractic care!!).

I rarely remember to take my kids go back for a recheck!! (Bad parenting??? Maybe. But I know when my kids are feeling better....)

At the end of our visit our doctor had a big grin on his face and said this would be the highlight of his day because he got to see someone who had gotten better!!!   =)  I was happy for him.
On the way out I realized the he really does not get to see well kids that much. Even if they go in for a well check-up they end up crying because of shots and such. =(  

So next time take your kids (and I will take mine!) back for the recheck and give your pediatrician something to smile about!!!


Monday, October 7, 2013

Boiled Peanuts!!!!!

Around our neck of the woods it is very clear (or dusty) what time of year it is!!!!  To most of the people in our side of the hemisphere it is fall. Well to some it may seem like "early" winter. I  mean really? 48 inches of snow!!! Yikes!!!
 But here it is peanut pickin' time!!!!!

We live in the peanut capital!!  There are peanut fields everywhere. Miles and miles of peanut fields. They are ALL harvested about the same time. We also happen to live within a mile or so of two peanut factories (very noisy 24 hours a day)!! Which means for us regular folks lots of dust, sneezing, watery eyes, drippy nose and ........................................BOILED PEANUTS!!!!!

Who boils peanuts you ask????

WE DO!!!!

For those of you in foreign lands my best regards to your some monkey brains are a delicacy, to others it may be types of bugs, to others baby snakes cut out of the ..... (maybe I watch too much Indiana Jones!!)

*Side note....Army Man and I can have whole conversations in Indiana Jones (and The Princess Bride AND 13th Warrior) dialogue!!!! Fun times!!*

Back on topic......around here boiled peanuts are a delicacy of the nth degree!!!  Not an expensive delicacy, especially if you know some local farmers that will let you "glean" after harvest, but a delicacy none the less!!!! =)

It is a process that takes a goodly portion of the day if done properly.

Peanuts grow in the ground like potatoes (not every one knows that!!)(so if someone {my Army Man} tells you they grow on trees they are lying).

Since they grow in the ground they are very dirty when they are harvested (not like corn or tomatoes). After you glean them (or buy them raw in the shell) you take them home and wash them.
Wash them again and again and again.
Really, you wash them until the water runs clear. Now, if you had a really great friend (you know who you are!!) who gifted you with some of her gleaned peanuts they may already be slightly less dirty, but you still wash them again and again!!!

I cannot stress this enough!!

Then you cover them with water add salt to taste and boil for a long time (hours and hours it seems!!). Until the shells are slightly not hard and the peanuts on the inside of the shell are soft. Add water as needed and maybe a bit more salt. Some say you can't salt them enough. I disagree. They can be salted too much. There is a fine balance and it is hard to achieve perfect saltiness, but it is key to a happy boiled peanut experience or to having to start all  over with dirty peanuts!

I have only achieved this perfect balance a few times in my life.

There is a man at Sadie's Flea Market that has it down to perfection and I will gladly pay his price to get some of his boiled peanuts!!!!!

So, as I am typing this out at 1:40 pm CST my big pot is full (well, half full) of peanuts boiling (hopefully) to salty perfection that my family will enjoy tonight!!!!


P.S.  If you have never tried boiled peanuts, I highly recommend you come south to get your first taste. There is something inherently wrong about eating boiled peanuts from a can in the grocery store. You need to find a shack on the side of the road to get the taste of REAL boiled peanuts!!! It is well worth the trip!! =)

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Farm girl???

The title "Farm Girl" brings to (my) mind images of the movie, The Princess Bride. LOVE that movie!!!! I'm not sure why, but every time I think it (farm girl), I hear Buttercup in my head saying, "Farm boy, fetch me that pitcher." Or "Farm boy, polish my horse's saddle. I want to see my face shining in it by morning."  Classic.
 I do realize that she says farm boy, but my brain can easily translate that into farm girl...not that she would be in love with a farm girl.....    Well.....whatever.
My point is.....I hear that phrase in my head every time I say farm girl, which bring me to the reason for this blog.

I have discovered that I am not a farm girl...=/

I do live an 6.5 acres purchased for the making of a hobby type farm. My kids love the creeks and yard and I love my house and the view from our porch. Especially when my Army Man has just cut the grass!!!  God has been good to us.

I think, though, I may have been a bit hasty in my description of "future small farm wife" in my Google profile...I enjoy planting flowers and I enjoy vegetable gardening (in the spring) before it gets too hot to be outside (when you reeeeally need to be outside weeding and such!!) and buggy.I don't think that qualifies me to be a farm girl.
I like my air conditioned inside when it is hot outside.
You cannot farm inside.

These are our heirloom pumpkins. We have been shaking off the grasshoppers while the chickens roam around nearby....hopefully they will have some leaves left on them!!!

We have chickens. And while I love looking at them and watching them (and photographing them!), I don't really care to be near them. They are funny to watch, but they freak me out a little.  Unpredictable.   Now, my daughter picks them up and snuggles with them, but all I can think is...they poo everywhere!!!! =/
At least Bella (our dog) seems to have a designated area for necessities and we NeVeR see her business in the yard!!!! =)

I do like the idea of having cows, but as I learned from the chickens the idea and the reality are very different. Not sure how I will do when we actually have cows roaming around in what is now our yard.  Cows get very big.  Their poo is very big (although good for gardening!!)
Not even sure I will be able to eat the meat we get from our own cows because I will have watched them "grow up"!

Shocking! My poor Army Man!!! He has his work cut out for him!!!

I like to sit our our porch and take in the's a lovely little piece of land that we have and we do enjoy it!!