Quiet and common notions...shared here...with you! Of life ~ our hearts and our home.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What to do on a rainy day?

We've asked  Dick and Jane to come out and play.



I love these books.  Always have and always will.



Caleb was so excited that he got to "paint" their pictures.  We hung the pictures up to dry in our laundry room.  All, of course, while Aubrey was sleeping.  But, that's okay.  She was invited to go for a "car ride", later in the day.

In one of the books it shows where Dick and Jane constructed a "red car" with two table chairs, lying down end to end.  So, we had to make one, too!  I just so happen to have a lid with a handle on it that attaches or hangs itself over the seat of the chair.  Perfect for the steering wheel.  ;)



Now, this is sign of a true gentleman in the making.  Caleb seems perfectly happy and at peace, to be within the hands of a female driver.  Go. Aubrey. Go.


My Life Motto:  You get creative when you have too! 


Dick, Jane, Sally, Tim, Puff, and Spot - ya'll come back and play - again.  Anytime! Would you?


: : What do you like to do on rainy days with your little ones?  What are some of your creative ideas?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Lemon Cream Dessert

I've already placed my dibs for what I'm taking for our Easter Dinner, this coming Sunday. 

 I pulled this recipe out of my recipe box, the other day, and thought to myself - oh my!  This recipe is almost not readable anymore.  But, one thing is for sure, it is the most edible thing you have ever had ... if you're a LOVER of lemon. 



I went to Taste of Home's website to get the picture of it (though not a very good one) and the recipe link for you to get a better look for yourself..

** My sister and I have this thing going on - depends on who makes it...as to if it gets chopped nuts in the crust (the recipe calls for walnuts. My sister won't use any!).  I am the one who goes nuts, with the nuts!!! and I like to use chopped pecans.  I think it makes a HUGE differance as to how it turns out. 

So yummy.

~Photo: Courtesy of Taste of Home~

**Of course, I should tell you that- besides the addition of pecans - I've changed up some of the filling ingrediants.  I use two -8 oz. softened cream cheese and 2 cups of powdered sugar.

Monday, March 29, 2010

They make me smile!!

They've come...they've come!  The cheery, springy, yellow daffodills. 
They make me smile.


We've had a pretty good weekend.  With a lot of action-packed activity going on... like:


Woman's  Equip meeting/breakfast at our church

(in which,) Daddy got to spend some "one-on-two" time with the little ones

Trip to the park - to check out our new *Christmas* wagon


Shopping (oh, what bargain's!)

Haircuts for my two handsome boys


sewing/studying

Mouse guest - lunch entertainment (with pictures to prove it)

The starting of colds and sinus congestion - again!





Yellow is certainly a color of cheer.  And that seemed to be the theme word for my weekend.  It was a good one...once again.  I know I say this alot - but I am really blessed.  I have friends (more then I ever thought) that are so fun to be around and talk to.  A family who is growing and growing up - so quickly.  A loving husband who is sensitive the Lord and is just showing more and more evidences of that grace in his life - that provokes me to be of the same mindset.  I cannot ask for more.

Other then...

I wish and  I pray that my son would grow in sensitivity towards his sister.  But he's two yrs old and she's one.  And, that is a whole nother subject.
As much as he likes to rough and tumble with her - all of the time.  It's no wonder this is where I find her...


literally climbing fences.

While Caleb is smelling pretty, yellow daffodils (yes! he slows down enough to do this)... Aubrey is being her usual busy little self and getting herself - into a situation.  I kidd you not.  Need I say anymore?

They make me smile!!  those cheery, springy, yellow daffodills...

Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday's Finds: {no. 11/10}

Saints.

Who are the saints?

And, I don't mean the guys who won the Superbowl, last football season.


What is a saint?
I asked a friend, this week, if she has a hard time seeing herself as a saint?  Her response was similiar to my idea or (orginal) answer.  Here is what she said.   "...I don't see myself as a saint. Just a sinner who desires to fall more in love with her Lord each and every day. I always picture someone who is a saint as a person who devotes their whole life to Christ. I definitely don't feel I am there...yet! But, I'm learning and growing and I guess that is important, too!"  I would say the same thing, and...

I would have added in my orginal thought/answer that, a saint is someone who "over time" has earned that title through seasons of trial or hardship.  They have endured in their faith.  They have "wisdom" under their belt.  They are seasoned.

Uhmmm.  Not necessarily so.  We can't earn favor with God.  I know that.  But as you can tell... I sorta believed that.  Here are just a couple of verses that use the word saint to describe believers in Christ Jesus.

"To the saints in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus".  - Ephesians 1:2

"To all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons." - Philippians 1:1b

"As for the saints who are in the land, they are the glorious ones in whom is all my delight." -Psalm 16:3
"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints". - Psalm 116:15
You say, what an interesting thing for a Friday's Finds?  Yup.  It is.  I've been thinking about this all week, wondering how I could tie this all in.  And I've decided it was one of those heart discoveries that needed to be revealed.  Well,  let me say it this way.  I didn't realize it needed to be discovered until it came to light in last Sunday's message at our church.  It was conivicting, to say the least, as I sat there - realizing my idea of what a saint looks like (my above discription) and what it truely means to be a saint, didn't coincide.

Our pastor had us do an exercise of looking to our left, and looking to our right.  Seeing all of those gathered around us.  "Those are the Saints!!", he said.  Then he continued,  "Now.  If you were to take a pocket mirror and hold it up in front of your face...you will see a saint."  I squirmed.
I really have a hard time believing that I am a saint (based on my definition).  But, get this.

He continued, "No matter how old you are in age, nor how young you are in age.  No matter if you're the newest born-again believer on the earth or the oldest.  We are all saints. Because we've come to saving faith in Jesus Christ."

I found this definition in the back of my Bible that reiterats this thought. Saints:  Those dedicated to God and set apart for his service.  All who believe in Jesus, regardless of their character or spiritual maturity.

I tell you.  I felt free, knowing I will never "measure up by my own standards".  No guilty feelings allowed. It's nothing I can do now or deeds done in the past to declare me a saint. It's all by his grace. 

Grace Alone. 

We are his redeemed people. His chosen.  His Beloved. His Children.

 Saints.  

It still feels weird to say. There are many, many days when I don't feel very saintly.
Yet, if that's how God see me? ... then I can say it with confidence, "I'm a saint."


Now, how is that for a Friday's Finds?  Interesting, eh?   And, I bet you're all gonna be walking around, today, humming the tune;  "Oh when the saints, go marching in...".  Won't you?   Come on.  Join me.

Have a great weekend, everyone!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Some things just still amaze me!

Like when I look at my husband of nearly five years... and realize he could have picked anyone else in the world!  Instead - he chose me to be his wife and that he loves me.  That amazes me.

What amazes me even more, was how God in his Sovereignty arranged all of that (before time began - he knew!). He arranged our meeting through eHarmony.  He put all of those teeny, teeny details in place to make it ALL come together...so intentionally. 

I look at our two kids and think about how crazy it is that these two blessings are of our own flesh and blood.  They look like us, act like us... reveal things about us.  All because two people fell in love!  And that amazes me, too.

Can you tell I'm feeling a little blessed this morning?  Changing the subject just a little... still amazing facts, though.

I am so grateful today that I do not have to go to Jury Duty.  I was summoned a couple of weeks ago and PRAYED very hard that I would not have to go today. Although I was resolved to go - graciously.  My hubby was willing to make sure that I found the courthouse okay and that he would stay home from work with the kids, etc. Things like this - It just makes me nervous.  I have enough trouble "judging" people.  Why would I want to do it on purpose? 

So, yesterday afternoon, as I read the words on the computer screen  YOU DO NOT HAVE TO APPEAR (or whatever it said - although it meant I didn't have to show up) - I sat there with tears streaming down my face - in utter amazement- that once again, God has heard my heart's cry.

Now.  For a few totally random things that simply amaze me:
  • that our little ones will wake up at 5:30-6:00 AM and somehow think that's okay
  • when all else fails, that "you can get creative when you have to" (one of my many life motto's)
  • my hubby with his "Mr. Fix-It" skills...somehow it always involves "a lightbulb", no matter if its technology, the rain spout, the kitchen sink or my sewing machine
  • that I can currently drink regular coffee anytime of the day or night and it doesn't bother me
  • people are interested in what I'm doing with Bags by Bevy... and they're placing "orders"...WOW!
  • that I'm afterall -down deep- grateful when Scott insists I go to bed at a decent hour instead of me burning the candle at both ends.  I'm coming around... I'm coming around.  Amazing.  Isn't it?
And the most fun fact I am currently amazed about is this... is how quickly Caleb and Aubrey are retaining information.  Like learning to sing songs and recite Bible memory verses.  How they come to insist that we read the Bible before bedtime or after morning breakfast.  I LOVE how their little minds are so impressionable and how that it's my/our responsibility to encourage how and what influences their thoughts, their understanding, AND their actions.  I can't control their actions or responses to life...just shape them.

They are born sinners.  They daily reveal that I'm still a sinner - but one who is saved by grace. And that my friend, is Amazing!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Clifford Blanket


I wanted to post about this sooner...but never got around to it.  This is Grandma Susie (Scott's mom)- who recently moved here from VA.  At Christmas-time, she gave to Caleb a yard and a half of this Clifford fleece...and said, we'll do something with this, down the road.

Well.  The day has come!! 







Are not Grandma's the best?!?!?!? 

"And so is my Quippord blanket"...says Caleb.  It gets used for everything, but sleeping.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Spring has sprung...

To celebrate the official arrival of Spring... here is one way I've decided to do it.  Check this out!!!  And,



 ~Fun, Summer Fun~

is right behind it.  I know, but let's enjoy spring first...

You can see more of these two bags, up close and personal, right here on Bags by Bevy!!

************

We've had a wonderful weekend.  Although Scott and the little ones stayed home from church yesterday due to their runny noses and little coughing's... here and there...they still got to play outside - all weekend.
Laundry was hung on the lines - several times over.  Scott got a chance to study. I got a chance to sew.  Plus, I got to start thinking about my flowerbeds... my so-called green thumb is getting itchy.

When I asked Scott how this weekend "blessed" him - his reply was... well, you fed me and you didn't leave me.  That always makes for a good weekend.  Doesn't it for you? 

I would have to say this weekend was pretty darned - perfect.

One thing.  We missed out on, was going to Rita's Water Ice on Saturday.  Which I'm still a little dissappointed about that.   

Friday, March 19, 2010

Friday's Finds: {no. 10/10}


It's coming!!!!!!!!! 

Both the little ones have been enjoying every minute, that they can, outstide - these past couple of days.  I've been enjoying it, too.  Discovering little beauties popping up everywhere - today's Friday's Finds.  The fresh air!!  And now...

the runny noses...

the little hacking cough-ing...

the begging - to go outside some more.

Yes!  It's coming!!!

May God bless your weekend.   The opportunity lies before us... to make it be a blessing for others. Somehow.  Some way.

: : What does that look like for you and your immediate family, this coming weekend?

Ben - update!

Here is the most recent update on Ben, and the most encouraging.  Continue to keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

From John & Francette:


It was a good day for Ben. He was transferred from the ICU at Hahnemann to
Moss Rehabilitation Hospital . He appreciates the freedoms he gained from
being out of the ICU.
Ben has made progress mentally the last three days. He is being weened off
the drugs and his brain is healing. Ben was able to recall all kinds of

facts and he was able to write down important matters he wanted us to
address now that he has awoke from a month-long slumber.


The doctors at Moss are hopeful that Ben may regain use of his legs. Ben's
legs twitched today involuntarily. These spasms are not proof of a
recovery, but they offer hope.

Ben showed a sense of humor that we dearly missed, and he said "Thank You"
in so many ways, including saying "Thanks" out loud and writing notes
saying "Thank You". He seemed upbeat and positive about his present condition.


We are all grateful for your prayers and thoughts and phone calls and
cards. Please pray that Ben will be strong enough to endure 3 to 5 hours of
physical therapy/day; that he remains positive about his situation and that he makes good
use of his time at Moss.


We'll send an update soon. Thanks again. John and Francette



** There are many, many other prayer concerns as well - among our friends and family.  Including fellow blogging friend, Chasity, from the Wild Raspberry.  Please keep her sister Shauna in your prayers this week.  This all goes well with my post from yesterday.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Let yourself have a good cry.

I'm not sure as to why I feel so compelled to write this message today.  But I do.  I suppose it may be the many friends and families (myself included) who are feeling the weight of so much physical, emotional, and even relational stress right now.  May this only be an encouragement to those who read.  For all I know, it might not even make sense to anyone, but to myself.  Which is totally fine... I needed this reminder, today.

***************

I don't drink.  Maybe a glass of wine on very, very rare occasion.  So, rare I cannot even remember the last time. (but that's neither here nor there).

We all know tears.

We've all cried our boatloads, our buckets...our eyes out.

We've all had those moments of abounding pain, shearing loss, devastation, upheaval of life, looming (large) questions, temptations to lose sight, our faith shakes, we're consumed with...

Worry.

Fear.

Anxiety.  You name it...

Jesus is standing near.  His arms are outstretched and his hands are cupped as though to catch your falling tears.  He is quietly drawing you near with his presence, asking you... pleading with you - to cry.  Cry those tears into his hands.  Tears are a language that God understands.     Don't let them fall, wasted on the ground.

Friend.  Remember how he turned the water into wine - at the wedding feast in Cana?


Likewise for you.  He wants to take those tears in his hands and perform a miracle by turning your tears, your water into wine!  There is Joy to come!! 

Drink deeply of this new wine.  Overflowing Joy. (not overflowing tears)

Refreshing and Satisfying.

No fears, worries or concerns.

It's ALL in his hands. By turning your story into his Story!!  You're mess into his Message!!


:  : Will you let him do that, for you?  Go ahead.  Let yourself have a good cry.  It's okay.  He's waiting and ready to restore...YOU!

Also.  A good passage of Scripture to read - actually two - is Zephaniah 3:18 and surrounding verses.  And then flip back to Psalm 126.  These verses have been especially meaningful to me as I've reflected on what I've just shared with you all.  Again, may just one person be encouraged today.

-The song lyrics (Tears are a launguage) that I linked to, were especially meaningful to me after my Dad passed away, so unexpectedly.  My sisters and I grew up singing this song, together - along with our Mother - for various church functions and family events. 

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

More Bag Sales...

I've had a couple of recent sales & inquires...here of late.  These pictures just do not do these two bags justice.  Seriously.

~Northwoods Calling~
(Sold!)

This one I never even bothered to post on Etsy.  A friend, from church, bought this one as a gift for her Mother-in-law.


~Plum Pretty~
(Sold!)

This one I almost didn't get posted, before it sold.  It was only up a couple of days.  Thanks to my Mother-in-law who saw me working on this one & decided she "needed" this bag.  Actually, I believe it's for a gift for one of her friends in VA.   Thank you, ladies!!!! 

~My Yellow Rose of Summer~
(my own personal overnight bag)

This is what makes making Bags by Bevy so much fun.   I used my Overnight Bag as my purse for Sunday...just for something different.  And from that, someone from church has asked me to "possibly" fill an order for them for about 4-6 bags come next month.  I'm still waiting to hear of her confirmation to this.  Yikes!!  Does anybody want to babysit really, really bad???

Keep an eye out, on my etsy, for some *NEW* bags in a couple of days.  Spring and Summer style... You're gonna love!!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

In as little as a cup of coffee!!!

We were completely and utterly out of coffee at home, one morning.  I knew by my hubby's calculations that we were getting close.  Very close. Go figure!  He LOVES crunching numbers. Has he ever told you that?  Well if not.  I just did. 

Anyway. I planned to go do our monthly grocery shopping that following Saturday.  We agreed that I should do our monthly Costco run this particular afternoon and get our usual fare of diapers, wipes and coffee.


BUT, that wasn't until the afternoon!  I would like some coffee first thing in the AM -please and thank you!!

I was thinking to myself, that morning, as I busied myself around the kitchen.  At least Scott will get himself a cup when he gets to work - no matter how raunchy it may be, it's still coffee.  I have to wait until I get home from Costco to brew a cup... or several. ;)

Does it sound like I'm just a tad bit addicted, to coffee?  Well, I was excited I wasn't getting a headache (yet!)... so, right there was proof enough... I guess, I'm not.

Finally getting out the door. I dropped the kids off at friends and went on my way.  All the while, I was trying to imagine the good pleasure of someone handing out FREE coffee at a random redlight...or, maybe if I could scrape enough spare change out of my wallet I could quick whip into Micky D's for an emergancy coffee stop!... or, maybe I should have asked the next door neighbor's if they had an extra cup (because, I sure could smell their coffee brewing, in the morning).  No!  I'm not addicted.

 I obviously had to wait it out.

I waited patiently, for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.  ~Psalm 40:1 (KJV)

I began my trek into Costco.  When out of my periphial vision I noticed a table set up just off to the right, of what looked like FREE coffee and doughnuts.  The doughnuts were gone!  (that was totally fine with me) but, there was coffee!!!!!!!!  They must've had an early-bird promo going on, promoting their brand of coffee... and I was the tail end of the event.  Because....

While I helped myself.  I thoroughly enjoyed that hot, cup of coffee (by the way) while continuing to navigate myself around the CRAZY, BUSY store.  I realized as I peered over towards where the table was set up...you know, hoping for that second cup...that the table was GONE!!!  Everything was gone.  I looked at my empty cup and realized - No!, I wasn't dreaming.  He supplied.  And I just hope I didn't completely take that Scripure out of context there...with Ps. 40:1.

But, even in as little as a cup of coffee,  my needs were met.  God allowed me to have a little of something I "wanted" that morning.  Just enough. And I didn't need any more then that.  He is so faithful to care about the teeny, teeny details of our lives.  Isn't he wonderful?

I share that with you all, today, just as a practical reminder of how I know that ... "His mercies are new every morning. Great is thy Faithfulness".  See, I'm still...just clinging.




: :  Are we too busy to see that even in the little things of our lives... that he cares a great deal?  Even if it is for just a cup of coffee? 


I hope not.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Beware! Even this may feel cluttered...

Hi! Welcome back.  Congratulations goes out to Laura (S)!... on winning The Olde Summer Kitchen Giveaway!  She chose... well, I don't know?!?!  She didn't say.  Laura. Would you please let me know which item you would choose?  And also, please email me your mailing address, so that it can get mailed directly to you from Heather at The Olde Summer Kitchen.  Thank you!  for you participating.  You're going to love this product. ;)

**************
To reiterate my thoughts on cleaning... and how much I hate to clean.  I will say, that as much as I "like tidy" and as much as I can't stand clutter, I still struggle, even in these two areas.  And. Yes! there is a His, Hers & Ours - type of clutter.  (Which makes this topic even harder to cover).  I'll just stick to what I'm primarily responsible for...

Last week, I enjoyed reading the challenge from the Simple Woman's blog regarding - Sloth Syndrome.  If you haven't seen her post, you should take a moment to read it now.   What do you think?  Do you agree? 

I like to say this phrase, with tongue in cheek; My house may not be ready, but my heart is - Come on in!!  And, I don't know if that is just a 'cop-out' phrase to ignore areas that need attention, or what?  Sometimes  I struggle with knowing where the boundry line is. Obviously motives are mixed here. Somedays It means people don't get invited over at all because my house isn't tidied up enough.  Some days it means a lot of elbow grease is needed so that I will have people over.  That said.  Bottom line.  If I need to clean really, really bad, then I'll usually invite friends over and that means some serious cleaning is in store. ;)   Just don't show up all at once & unexpected...please!  Regardless.  I do find myself often telling friends, "Come on over.  Stop in anytime, I'm always home."  - giving myself the challenge to be able to welcome friends inside without cringing.

I love going out to Lancaster, PA. I get so inspired going out there. Everywhere you turn - on a beautiful day, no matter the season- you'll see rows and rows of laundry hanging on the lines.  There are always floor rugs hanging over porch railings... And if you look close enough you're bound to see some young lady up on a ladder, washing windows.  As if washing their windows were a part of the everyday routine of cleaning.  Most likely, it is.  I think it's great...

Makes me wonder... and the Simple Woman eluded to this.  Is it the example we've learned from, mainly our own mothers, who we've gotten our cleaning habits from??  I'm just asking.  Is it a generational thing?  I will tell you I had one grandmother who was not so tidy and would rather be outdoors... doing farm life.  And the other grandmother that as far as I know...never even drove a car, and kept herself indoors - doing housework - always tidy.
Somehow, I do believe that life habits do have a way of filtering themselves down through the generations.  Does that mean it's okay?  Not if laziness is involved.  And, again I think the Simple Woman spoke pretty clearly about this in her post.

I loved all the comments I've already recieved in regards to your own cleaning habits.  I appreciate knowing that I'm not the only "pebble on the beach" in this area. We all approach our responsibilites differently. And there is so much more that could be factored in here.  Like, what if your a full-time mom, part-time student and you have a job outside of the home - all at the same time?  I think it's important to remember God's grace in this sort of season of your life... and not to go down roads of condemanation. 

Here are some of my cleaning methods.

I think one of things that matters to me, most, is the immediate living areas.  What gets noticed the minute you step in the front door?   Have you ever done this?  Walk into your own house.  Pretend that you've never met the lady of the house before... look around "her" house, as though you were a guest... and, what do you think?  What do you see?  Would you honestly really feel at home, welcomed and at peace?

If you happen to have a front porch or foyer area... this is a very crucial area to saying Welcome! to your friends and family... as they enter your home.  I admit, I've been getting a little antsy about the looks of our front porch here of late.  I keep trying to think of ways to make it look a bit more "welcoming"... not for more clutter, but for our guests to feel like "we care" about what our home is all about.  Not necessarily about what they'll think.  Again, I admit motives may be mixed, here.

I'm torn to the fact...that kids are kids and there will be toys.  This has been a hard thing for me to "handle" in becoming a mom.  All of the toys.  But, one thing that I have insisted on is that for sure at the end of every day (if not some or several times, during the day)...that ALL the toys/books/etc. get picked up and put away.  For sure - out of the kitchen.  No toys, stay for long, in the kitchen or left on the stairs.  This, in turn, teaches our littles, one the issue of respect for others and two, a way for them being responsible to "helping do their part" in keeping our home clean and comfortable.

Coats/jackets get hung in the closet or in the laundry room.  Now, why this matters to me, I'll never know... when in my own bedroom I struggle to keep "my clothes" from piling on the bedside chair.  I'm just humbly being honest with you all.

Shoes get put side-by-side....uhmmm! this also is one of our biggest problems and my frusteration.  I'm still trying to figure out a good way to keep our shoes contained to ONE area.  And, I'm just as guilty.  We have our little places, but they still feel like they're all over the place.

My dishes (for the most part) get done every night before going to bed.  That is so I'm not waking to an unfinished job task from the day before.  There is nothing worse then coming downstairs to be greeted by dishes that are begging to be washed -just so that your little ones have bowls/spoons to eat their breakfast with, that morning.   For some reason, I'm okay with emptying the dishdrainer in the morning.  I guess its something that I can do while half-awake... and IF the little ones are still asleep (which anymore, these days, they are both guilty of waking up the rooster)...than I appreciate the challenge to see how quietly I can put the dishes away. ;)  Yeah! I like to make it feel fun...

So, You're wondering... "No mention of a dishwasher?"  that's right.  I'm it.  And it depends on which mood I'm in for that day as to if I'm a Speed Queen, Whirlpool or Hot Point.

I think I clean "deeply" when the bug bites or when someone something bugs me about it really bad.  Like, I'll clean the bathroom... if and when I have an extra minute and no one's interrupting me at that precise moment. Meaning, I acutally was able to close the door, do my thing, and clean the bathroom.  I call that multi-tasking and that feels good too. ;) 

I clean up after myself, as I'm cooking or baking. I try to remember to put something back (right away), after I'm finished using it, to it's intended place of keeping... rather, then getting to it later.  And, by all means... trash cans get used in our house.  I remember that was something my mom would "hound into us" as kids... by saying, "There is a trash can in every room.  Use it!"

I don't really like this about myself, but it's true.   "Keeping Tidy" looks so good, and feels so satisfactory...and somehow that's enough. But really?  I have to ask. How dare those "lace curtians" (a.k.a. spider webs) find themselves hanging there?  Or those dust bunnies - Who said they could crawl under there?  I didn't order or invite them.  And, so the menial task of keeping up with regular household cleaning remains a challenge and even possibly a change of heart.

I just want to say one more thing.  I think if you can feel at peace (NOT COMPLACENT) in your home... then you're probably doing a pretty good job, as far as your cleaning habits are concerned.  What is the standard or boundry lines, for you, in your own home?  What really matters to you and for your family? 


: :   Even this post feels so cluttered to me....  I'm really surprised that you read all the way to this point.

Hey! I just want to know... What have you implemented into your cleaning schedule that helps you keep on top of things?

 I think I may have answered my own question...  I'll just stick to what I'm primarily responsible for - and, spray a little more room spray!! ;)  What do ya think?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday's Finds: {no. 9/10}

I love my Bissell!!  This is the BEST find in all of the world... in regards to "back in the day" household must-have's.

Welcome to today's Friday's Finds!



Yesterday's Post and today's -Friday's Finds- are one in the same for today.  If you missed my post, yesterday on, "Okay, It's time to come clean"... then you've missed reading about a great Giveaway opportunity from The Olde Summer Kitchen.

Maybe you were all too busy cleaning... to be reading my blog...;)

Click here to read the post.  And you have until the end of today (Friday night at 10:00pm EST) to be a part of this fantastic giveaway.  Don't forget to leave a comment with your choice selection included. 



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Also, another thing I would like to mention is the undeniable feeling of  peace I've been having. It's just completely overwhelming.  Thank you all, so much,  for your rallied support and prayers from the other evening's post...Just Clinging.  I greatly appreciate it - ALL!!  I was so amazed at your outpouring of response, phone calls and prayers. ;)  We shall see.  It's all in HIS HANDS!!!


Have a wonderful weekend, everyone.  Giveaway winner will be announced on Monday!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Okay, it's time to come clean!! {Including a Giveaway!}

It's time I came out of the closet and share something you've all  been wondering. 

 I hate to cleanI'll do tidy.  I have to be tidy I cannot stand clutter... and items seemingly out of place.  But.

These are true words, from out of my mouth, the day we moved from our last home to the one we're living in right now:


"Uhmm, it's pretty bad when you're cleaning supplies are dirtier then the house your supposed to be cleaning".
In my own defense, I kept my cleaning supplies in a back porch/"garage" type area... but I know I hardly ever used them.  And yes!, the bottles of cleaning solutions were very dusty, dirty.  Not the sort of thing you would see from someone who cleans on a daily basis.


These don't look so bad now.  And, no! I did not clean them up for the picture.  I just don't like to clean. Period!  I mean CLEAN as in "work-out-get sweaty-tackle it all down"-sort of clean. 

It doesn't mean I don't ever clean. I do.  But, we'll save my methods for another time...

Sheessh!  My mom tells me she has extended family whose weekly cleaning included dusting off and wiping down the canning jars down in their basement.  Uhmmm.  NOT me!!


These are pretty much the two/three cleanings agents that I use. (I included the rag) Oh, and I do sweep the floors on a regular basis. 




However, there is one item that I would like to say really belong's in a Friday's Finds segment.  And that is my Bissell.  This one was called the Flowergarden. Which is no longer available in Bissell's line of products.

 This is the BEST find in all of the world... in regards to "back in the day" household must-have's.

Funny story here:  My mom found this Bissell for me at our local thrift store.  Knowing that I LOVE retro-style of stuff (this brand has been around forever!) - I believe she got this sweeper thinking I would enjoy "using" it.  (ahemmm).  At the time and house we were living in... It wasn't practical.  And Scott "begged me" that we should get rid of it by sending it back to the thrift store.  I think he felt it was just taking up space in the closet.  We weren't using it, due to a lot of hardwood floors.  Plus, it was just another thing we'd have to move... when we moved.

After moving... yeah! as you can see, we kept it...and now we find ourselves with two little ones who just LOVE to drop their food during meals (most times intentional)... and, oh, our dining room is nothing but carpet...It's been the most handiest "tool in the shed".  I say it that way, because I think I see Scott using it as much if not more then I do. 

He has told me on more then one occasion, "Thank you for NOT listening to me - and for insisting that we keep this thing around".  I honestly think my biggest fear was that my mom would "find it again" in the thrift store and make comment about - "coming across a second Bissell" - I could just hear her saying; "It looks like the one I just gave you... Could you use a second one?"

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Now, when I really, really want to feel like I've cleaned... and have done a good job about it.  I'll just start spraying some of this room spray around the house, and WOW!!!!!!!!!  this stuff has been such a lifesaver for me.   It's strong, but authentic.  Two little spritzes to a room goes a long, long way, at least in my humble opinion... and the whole house begins to smell fresher, tidier and CLEANer!!  My current favorite is the Apple Danish Strudel.  Yumm! 




I love this product so much that I wanted to share it with all of you!  So much so, that Heather, from The Old Summer Kitchen has graciously agreed to give one special reader a choice, of either one room spray or a candle - your choice of scent and or color (value of up to $15.00).  

Did you get that?  You're part of a Giveaway... today and tomorrow only!!  This giveaway ends Friday Night at 10:00 PM - EST. 

So, go browse her online shop and then come back here to comment, (for one chance to win!) letting me know which item you would choose. 

Oooohh!  This just gets me so excited to roll up my sleeves, get busy and start tackling - something!  Anything! 

Her lamp does not go out at night...Proverbs 31:18b

Maybe I'll light a candle, so I can find my way to cleaning closet...


No. To be real and with all jokes aside, I need to ask.  Have you always found it easy to keep your house spotlessly clean?  Or, is simply "being tidy" enough for you?  Where do you draw the line with cleaning? Not going overboard and getting Obsessive Compulsive about it...or, Do you honestly need to show some more intentional effort in keeping a cleaner/neater house? 

Before we sweep the subject under the rug... let's talk about it some more, next week.  Will you join me?


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Just clinging...

Just clinging... to the ONE who is Faithful beyond any and all of our comprehension.  I wasn't going to post anything today.  But, I felt I needed to share of what little I know... and leave it in his hands.

I was reading my friend, Melanie's post...Our Faithful God!  I was actually in the middle of leaving a comment, this afternoon... when the phone rang.  It was not any news that I wanted to hear.  I was praying - so hard- that I wouldn't recieve this phone call.  But I did.

"You're PAP-test came back abnormal.  We need to do further testing."  says the Dr.  ((gulp))

Yesterday I was at a Dr's appointment for Aubrey - a well check visit.  Good-ish report for her, although there are some milk allergy concerns that we'll need to get blood work done, for her, now.  The Dr. and I got talking about Caleb - even though it wasn't an appointment for him, nor was he even with me.  But the Dr brings up some "serious" concerns that she has about him... that "he might be showing signs for Autism".  She didn't say he has it...no testing has been done to confirm anything.  But. Nonetheless, I'm still reeling.  This was factor number one.

Number two was the phone call that I just got about myself.  This is not the first time it came back abnormal - and in the past, things have "healed" themselves.  I was totally unprepared to hear that this time they'll need to do an actual biopsy, to see what is really going on.  I called Scott right away, to let him know... and when I asked him how his day was going, he said "ahhh...not so good".

Number three. I'm not sure when it happened,  maybe yesterday?? I'm not sure. But here two clients were killed in a head on collision.  Both - father's leaving behind families of young children.  Scott knew the one gentleman fairly well.  They were not co-worker's, of Scott's, but clients of the office that Scott works for. 

This news makes mine feel so insignificant.

So, all of this was told me as I was leaving a comment to the blog post by Melanie - where she was relating the Song "Great is thy Faithfulness".  I love this song.  [Everytime I sing this song - I think back to our wedding.  We asked that it be sung as a congregational song.  I can just remember being so aware of God's faithfulness in my personal life, our relationship as a couple and to all of our church family and friends.  I am so glad that we have hope as Christians, and we can sing about this hope... Because his mercies are new every morning.]

I admit...tears were flowing.  I've realized that this afternoon, I've been reacting to life rather then responding to the Creator of life.  Yes! he blesses and he takes away.  He is Faithful to sustain us...when we don't see his hand, we need to trust his heart.

 I'm trying.  I'm just clinging to truth... knowing that He is in control of all things.  And I am not.

Please pray.

1.) that the suspicion's of the Pediatrican are just that, regarding Caleb.
2.) that my biopsy which will take place middle of April - will be benign.
3.) for these two wives, families, co-workers, etc.  as they process, endure and begin a time of healing.

May God's Faithful Hand be extended...through you're thoughts and  prayers.  Thanks so much.

Ironically, not long after things settled down.  I sat down to do some sewing - while the littles were napping.  I always like to listen to our local Christian Radio station during that free time to myself.  AND!  Guess what song was playing?!? 

Yep!  "Great is thy Faithfulness."  Need I tell you, the tears started to fall again....

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Turning an undeserved "ugh into an unexpected and welcomed "hug"!

I can think of several times where I've tried to take the opportunity to transform someone else's "ugh" by making them feel "hugged".  And, even times where I've felt it reciprocated.   I'll just leave it at that.

I think you all know what I mean by this.  We're all called to be encouragers...you know.

What about you? How has this happened for you? Has someone else ever taken an undeserved "ugh", in your life, and in turn left you with an unexpected and welcomed Hug? 

How have you consciously made effort to "help make someone else's day"?

 I would love to hear your stories!! 

(Note to my hubby:  No accolades here, please. ;) I say this, because we just joked about it...too funny!)

Monday, March 8, 2010

"Just Because"

...is what I called my Saturday Morning Ladies Breakfast. 

We had a wonderful time.  Me especially...just because...this is what I love to do.  I've been wanting to "do this sort of thing" more often.  Having others in my home (Our home, now that I'm married) has always been a natural bent in my life.  I don't mean to sound like I'm bragging... I really don't.  I just enjoy "serving" others - behind the scenes, if you will.  And if it means from out of my kichen then so be it.

I mentioned being nervous, in my Friday post.  I was a bit.  And I thank you all, for your vote of confidence.  I've just been feeling so out of practice, here of late.  Getting married (going on 5 yrs. now) and having two little ones... sure changes the "opportunity" factor around a bit.  Not that Scott and I (and kiddo's) haven't entertained in "our home", since.  Moving several times in those 5 yrs. can also make a difference.  We do entertain, mostly immediate family, and we love doing it. 



But this event was special for me.  It ended up to be about 10 ladies, 11 with myself (obviously not all pictured), mostly ladies from our caregroup at church.  And, this is just something that we needed to do.... I only hope to host this type of thing more often.  I mentioned the other day, maybe even monthly.

I served: Egg Souffle * 2 different types of Quiche (Spinach and Mushroom, Bacon and Mushroom) * Fresh Fruit and Fruit Dip (I combined softened cream cheese and Marshmallow Fluff) *
Cinnamon Rolls * Homemade Doughnuts* Juice * Coffee




My one friend (and I told her not to bring anything) brought along a Cherry Breakfast Cake.  It was very, very good!!  Thank you, Tina.



I tried to keep it as simple, as I could.  I really, honestly didn't feel stressed. Your prayers?!?  I know it helped to have Susie, my mother-in-law, come by on Friday while I stepped out to get a few things from the grocery store, and then she stayed a while longer after I got back so that I could get this breakfast casserole together.  (front left, in 9x13 pan)  I apologize that I didn't get pictures taken until everything was already
 "being enjoyed".  ;)

Here is the recipe for this Breakfast Casserole/ Egg Souffle.

~Egg Souffle~
1lb. sausage, browned and drained
12 slices bread, cubed or torn up
3 cups grated cheese ( I used a combination of White Chedder and shredded Yellow American)
 Combine or layer (starting with the bread) in greased 9x13 baking dish.

8 eggs beaten
1-2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. dry mustard
 3 cups milk
Combine and pour over sausage/bread mixture.

1-2 cups crushed cornflakes
3-4 tbsp. butter, melted
Sprinkle of "secret" spice.
Pour over top.  Refrigerate overnight.

Bake at 350* for 45 minutes.  Or, I baked it at 300* for an hour and (approx.) 15minutes.


I have one secret ingredient.  I usually like to sprinkle a little paprika on top for some added flavor/color.

Well.  ONE TIME (here is the true secret)...  I was making this Egg Souffle...just because... to take into work that particular morning.  From time to time, I liked to surprise my fellow co-workers with Bevy's cooking... and this was one of those times.  I had to get up extra early, throw this in the oven to bake while I was getting ready for work.  I don't think I was too awake that morning... because, like I said, I always sprinkled some paprika on top, so I grabbed the spice container and went to town - shaking it on.  Only to get a strong whiff of cinnamon instead.  UHHHH!! Too late. I had grabbed the wrong container.  I decided to take it into work like that, anyway... and wouldn't you know?!?!?  It was the HUGEST HIT.  Now, I make it this way all of the time.


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What a fun time for just being together... as friends, and as sister's in the Lord.   I am especially grateful to my sister, Rachel, and brother-in-law, John, who were so willing to host my hubby and two little ones, at last minute notice, for breakfast, around their own table...amidst their hectic schedules...just because.
Caleb and Aubrey thoroughly enjoyed their morning playing, with the cousins, as well.  It gave them opportunity to get out of the house, too.  What a wonderful weekend....


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Prayer Update on Ben!

Yesterday, I recieved this email update on Ben.  Would you please continue to keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

"A few of you have asked to hear how Ben is doing and how he has responded

to his surgery.
It is still too early to tell. The spine surgeon states it was a success,
which means that the titanium rods will support his back. We were hoping
that the back surgery would reduce swelling around his spinal cord and that
he would regain feeling in his stomach and legs. That hasn't happened yet.

A combination of the head trauma and the sedatives and painkillers and
anti-psychotics make it impossible to guage how much Ben understands what
is going on inside Ben's head. We see glimmers of hope but we just won't
know much for another two weeks or more. It may take longer than that.

We ask you to pray that we are patient with the hospital and with Ben's
progress. We also ask for wisdom regarding the selection of a rehab
hospital. And let's not forget to pray for a miracle. We would love to see
Ben walk again.

We, as a family, feel uplifted by your prayers. Thank you."
John and Francette

Friday, March 5, 2010

Friday's Find: {no. 8/10}

Today finds me "wondering" about my daughter, here.  Looks like a train wreck ready to happen...


Train-ing wheels?


Way on the heels of the Winter Olypmics...
maybe she thought "speed skating" was going to be her new gig.  I don't know.  I just thought it was really, really cute.

###########
Jumping off track to a totally different subject.

Today I'll be doing some speed skating, around here, myself.  To the tune of having a desire of mine (for some time now) finally come to a reality.  The desire being to branch out in various forms of hospitality.  Here is one way.  I will be getting ready to have several ladies (as many as 10, if they all come) in our home for a breakfast/get together, tomorrow morning.  I just would like to get as much preperation done today, as I can, so I can "enjoy myself" right along with them. 

That, right there, is a big deal for me...an area where I can easily struggle with.  Relaxing & enjoying.

I really enjoy this blog and I love how {she} encourages us, in the realm of hospitality, to keep it simple.    I'm really excited about this opportunity to share my home and a meal with others.  Just because. 
I'll let you know how my Saturday morning goes.  Deep breath... Bevy, deep breath. 

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Duck Feet!!

Just by the title of this post - you've got to know this is post is (or maybe) going to quack you up, laughing at me or you're going to turn and run - saying this gal is weird. 

My feet are a sore spot in my life.  I HATE socks and shoes... I just absolutly NEED to run around barefoot all of the time.  Therefore, I pay (not alot for shoes, obviously) for it by inheriting rough and calloused feet.  It's a no win situation.

In the last two years, I've discovered a growing virus called Planter's Warts (*please read this link - great information) - on the bottoms of my feet.  If you've had any of these little guys you know just how painful they are.  The worse part is that they run right along the areas where most of my foot is flat to the floor... some days it's really, really bad. 

[Need I tell you that I am the worst person in the world to go see a Dr.  Scott is often after me to get an appointment set up.  And well, I guess they don't hurt too bad - you know - cause I haven't done that yet.  He can't stand when I pick at my feet.  He says it's like a fingernail on a chalkboard.]

But, I will go see a Chiropractor.  Some of you might be saying "they're all a quack".  Not I.  He is one Dr. I have a lot of respect for.  And he knows A LOT more about a persons health then just doing adjustments, etc.  And so, the last time I was there to see Dr. Keith.  I asked him what he would do for Planter's Warts.   

He starts laughing... and vowed I would do the same when I heard what he was about to recommend.  One of the reasons I even brought this up was because when these things hurt so bad - I find I just honestly don't feel good. It affects how I walk and therefore that in turn affects my posture and other areas in my body

Olive Leaf Extract (Cream form) and Duct Tape.  He said his 10 year old son had the virus spread from his feet, to his hands and then even onto his face.  Dr. Keith said they did the cream and duck tape just to his hands and the virus went away in the other areas as well.  In just a matter of a couple weeks, it was gone!

When I went to the health food store to get the Olive Leaf cream.  The store clerk knew immediately what I was talking asking for and quickly added - "you need duct tape!".  Apparently, the tape is what suffocates the warts.  And really that must be the only thing that will.  She also shared her own story and experience of doing this regiment with one of her kids.  Interesting!!



I don't know if I have the tape wrapped correctly around my feet, but none the less, now feel like a true duck with real to life Duck Feet. ;)  My kiddo's think it's funny watching me waddle around the house in so called fashion.  They're getting used to it now, but at first thought I had a 'booboo' on my feet.  This is where socks have now become my friend... but let me tell you, they (my feet) get SO HOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I've decided to at least give it a chance... at least before summer sets in. Do this while I still "have to" wear socks and shoes... and hopefully my feet will return to normal in just a few weeks... and I go on without this in my life.



: : Has anyone else heard of this?  Have you had (or heard) results?  Tell me I'm not "a quack" for doing this... somebody, please.  I just want to try anything and I'm finally at the point - where I'm willing to do it. 

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

HOWDY!

Well, wha-da' know. It is that time for Bevy's other half.....Howdy!......Did ya miss me?


I hope everyone one is well and in good spirits. What a month it has been. Traditionally I have always found that the month of February is SOOO SSSLLLLOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWW. For it being only 28 days (unless it is a leap year for 29) it had always seem to take next to forever to get thru. I must admit, I think in my life this has been the quickest Feb. I recall. We have had an action packed month.


Before I forget, I did want to bring an April Fool's idea to light. If you go back and read 2/18 there was a comment from Christine in reference to what Aubrey had done to our keyboard. In the comment the post is referring to an April Fool's idea......Christine, I think I know where you're going with that idea, and must admit that would be a good one. ;)

It just happened to remind me of a computer April Fool's that was pulled on a manager of mine, years ago. With all the settings in Microsoft Windows, the wallpaper and active desktop were all set to WHITE. This caused the system to boot into a WHITE screen instead of the standard Windows screen. Of course nothing could be clicked on because everything was 'whited out'. I guess this was an answer for the Blue Screen of Death that you get in windows at times (Anyone have one of those lately?).

Well, it was a good prank, except, my manager was NOT in a good mood that morning, and luckily he did have a since of humor. I was not working under him (DAVE) at the time; but from what I understand it did lighten him up a little and laugh. Just if any one gets any ideas, just make sure you have the keystrokes memorized to return the system to normal scheme, cause everything is white, and thus you can not see what you’re doing.

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OK, now that we have April fools covered.....I am happy to report we are all healthy again. What an issue going back and forth with the stomach bug here. Oh, which brings me to...remember in my last HOWDY!, I mentioned we were planning to host a family from church for dinner one afternoon?? Well we were blessed to be able to follow thru with that; however, a couple of days later we received an email from them asking about the 'bug'. Bevy and I both had the same reaction when we read the subject line in the email (I was at work and Bevy was at home) and we both could not believe it.

During the whole BUG cycle we had been cleaning, washing, and washing, cleaning thru it all. There was one night the kids went thru everything, so yes we stayed up and did laundry at 2 in the morning. We had gone thru and removed everything that had anything to due with BUG contact and ran it thru the ringer.......Only to get an email that the family, we had dinner with, had caught it. From the sounds of it, they were able to 'cycle thru' it rather quickly and things seem better now.

We had been over it for about three days before the dinner, and had decided we had been well long enough and enough time had passed to let everything "die" (especially from the cleaning). Well, I guess, our guess was wrong, and our guests got sick. Again (I know they read this blog) we are so sorry, but were glad to see ya'll at church this past Sunday and everyone doing better.

 In case you did not know.....one of Bevy's dreams is to have a small B&B one day. She loves hosting, and we had a blast with our hosted family for dinner. We look forward to getting together again one day.



Can anyone tell me how to sew on a button? Honestly, I can do it; however, the button will come off about after the second time it is washed. If you didn't read the post, "Button. Button. Who's got a button?" then you have no clue as to what I am talking about. I will say this though, MommaMindy in her comment has an idea, but I hope Bevy only implements it for the kids. I am not growing taller, so thus the only way I can outgrow my clothes is by getting bigger, and I am big enough. ;) ...thank you



Well, enough of my ramblings, but on a side note, while I have been writing I have been giving my kids cheeto's, and I must say....they are cheeto freaks. It is rather hilarious to watch hear them when I pull the bag out of the snack cabinet. I will let Bevy comment/post on them with cheeto's though.


Hope everyone has had a chance to read the four part 'intentional marriage' posts from over this past month. If not, here they are:  PART 1,  PART 2 , PART 3.  and, shhhh! the secret NOT so secret PART 4.

Everyone, have a MARVELOUS month. Love God with all your heart, mind, spirit, and strength.

By the way, this life is not a rehearsal. Read your B*I*B*L*E (BASIC INFORMATION BEFORE LIFE ENDS) and PRAY every day.


Until next month!!!!
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