Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Let's Be Honest...

I miss this!

Bring on windows, blue skies, fresh air, playing outside, gardening, grilling out, sunshine...I'm ready :)

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Simple Woman's Daybook - Weekend Joy

For today...

Outside my window...SUNNY!  It looks like it's going to be our only sunny day this week so I'm going to soak up every minute :)  I'm grateful that my office space has a window.

I am thinking...about my wonderful weekend.  It was relaxing, productive, sunny, and time well spent with friends...some of my favorite things.

I am thankful...for all of the wonderful help I had on Saturday when I picked up Girl Scout cookies for Jamison's entire troop.  Five moms and their girls all made the time to come over and help sort and organize.  I felt such a wonderful sense of community and it made the task easy to manage.

**This is a fraction of the delivery...there's plenty more on the other side of my dining area**

In the kitchen...Rondell made his famous (to me) chili.  It is absolutely delicious!  We also recently purchased glass containers to store our food in and over this next week we are planning on getting rid of all of our plastic containers.  I am so excited about that...I guess it's the little things.

I am favorite long sleeve shirt.  It's charcoal of my secondary favorite colors (along with orange).

I am become a co-leader for Jamison's Girl Scout troop.  This is something I never thought I would do but it is becoming more of an interest of mine and I'm so grateful that I am able to help.

I am wondering...about this blog and where I'm going with it.  Most days I have nothing, but at the same time I miss it.  I also realize that I don't take enough pictures...and what's a blog post without pictures.  I really need to pray about whether or not to continue.  In a lot of ways it keeps me connected to those precious friends who I've met through blogging, but I'm wondering if now we can also be connecting in other ways...emails, texts, letters.  I'm not sure...

I am reading... Unglued and it is fantastic so far.  I see it being placed in my 'must read again and again' pile.

I am looking forward to...Spring Break!

Around the's filled with Girl Scout cookies.  It is going to take a while to get all of Jamison's boxes sorted and delivered.

One of my favorite things...snail mail.  I'm working on getting into the habit of sending 'just because' mail because it's a little forgotten.  How fun to open your mailbox to find a little token of someone's appreciation. I love it and plan to do it more often.  I sent out a few last week :)

A few plans for the rest of the week...library, cleaning Jamison's room, reading to Caleb's class and spending less time checking my phone ;)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Friday Randoms

~ So yesterday was Valentine's absolute favorite day of the year (even over Christmas and my birthday!).  Typically I send out cards and spoil my friends and family...I love it.  But this year I had nothin'...gasp.  I even bought Valentines for my kids to pass out at school (nothing against store bought, I just like to make them).  I'm giving myself a little grace this year though.  I'm thinking of having a random day as my "Valentine's Day...The Sequel"  How fun would that be?

~ I gave up Facebook for Lent.  If I'm being totally honest, I should have given up all social media...but Facebook is a good step.  It takes up too much of my time, allows me to let untruths creep in, and my focus needs to be on Him and my family.

~  With that, I'm really looking to fill that time with His Word.  I've been listening to sermons by Louie Giglio and I'm really enjoying them.  And I'm going to start Beth Moore's Breaking Free.

~ I lost 20lbs!  I'm so thrilled and it motivates me to kick it up a notch :)  I still have a long way to go but I'll take this victory!

~  I've been trying to get to the post office to mail some goodies for two weeks!!!  What is it about the post office that it makes me drag my feet?  I'm going tomorrow...rain, sleet or snow (which in Ohio we could get all the same day).

~ I recently ordered these 50 Promises cards from Summer.  I hope this helps me to memorize Scripture and it's great to have these reminders right at my fingertips.

~  I finished a book!!  I've neglected my love for reading and a friend let me borrow this and I was instantly hooked.  I've never read any of his books, but after reading this one I may just have to go and pick up another.

~  Enough random...Happy Friday Friends :)

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For today...

Outside my window...sunshine!  I can't tell you how much sunshine brings me JOY :)

I am thinking...still about friendships.  I'll have to elaborate about that one day.

I am thankful...for today's sunshine.

In the kitchen...busted!  I have no meals planned for this week.  Our weekend got away from us and we didn't even go to the store.  I think Rondell and I will do some fast planning tonight.

I am for a few people who have ordered them from me.

I am BSF tonight.  It was cancelled last week due to weather.  This year will be my last year for a while, as the upcoming studies are ones that I have done before.  It will be strange not going there on Monday nights next year.

I am reading...Safe Haven!  This book is really should read it.  I always have to read the book before seeing the movie...anyone else like that?

I am hoping...that Spring arrives sooner than later.

I am looking forward to...reading my book tonight after BSF...always a sign of a good book.

I am learning...that my security is in Him and Him alone.  It's a daily struggle.

Around the house...there's a new basketball hoop in our driveway.  Hopefully there will be time to break it in a little this week.

A favorite quote for today...'I have to make the choice every day to invite God's Spirit to interrupt my fleshly tendencies so that I can have gentle answers that turn away wrath.'  This is from an article written by Lysa TerKeurst that my friend Angie sent to me.  Definitely pondering these words today.

One of my favorite things...Twizzlers.

A few plans for the rest of the week...Finish up Valentine's Day prep, continue to purge my home, finish my book, volunteer in Jamison's class, and parent/teacher conferences.

Happy Monday :)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Ten on Ten

Ten on Ten is another one of my absolute favorite posts.  I usually only participate when it falls on a weekend since during the week I'm at work all day (can we say bo'ring pictures!).  So I'm always thrilled when I see the 10th falling on a weekend...and because March copies February I'll be back at it again in March :)

Here's my February 10:

Once a month I volunteer in my church's office.  This may be my last Sunday as we've been praying about moving to a church closer to our house...though we very much love New Life.

 No matter how much I fight it, I realize that I am a peanut butter snob.  JIF is my PB of choice.

 Home and time to fold laundry...I think I folded a total of 5 baskets.

Checking out Girl Scout Camp info.  I think we'll stick with day camp again this year.

 A little ROY G BIV with Jamison's hair twisties.

 A little movie date with one of my favorite homies.

 Jamison filling out her Valentine list...for friends near and far ;)

 Hanging out with this cutie...she was an only child this weekend as Caleb was with Paw Paw.

 Working on some cards for my friend's mom.

 His and Hers bowl of Kraft Cheese and Macaroni...we really know how to get gourmet around here :)

Thanks for stopping by and I'll see you next month :)

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Simple Woman's Daybook...Returns

One of my favorite posts when I was blogging regularly was The Simple Woman's Daybook.  As I ease back into the blogging world I'm going to start with comfort...and these posts are comfort for me.

Happy Monday!

For Today:

Outside my's overcast and cold!  This year we are having a normal winter, but because we did not have one last year (I think it may have snowed once) I think everyone's system is in shock.  I must admit that I'll be one happy camper once Spring arrives.

I am thinking...about friendships.

I am thankful...that my mom came over last night to watch the Super Bowl with us.  She's a huge football fan (as is Rondell), so it was nice for Ron to have someone to talk stats with.  I enjoy the game, but I don't get into all of the details.  Plus last night I had to enter all of the Girl Scout cookie orders for Jamison's troop, so I didn't see much of the game (sniff...I wanted San Fran to win!).

In the kitchen...Rondell cooked up a spread!

Chicken for our Chicken Sliders

I'm good for saying to Rondell "ooh, look what recipe I found.  Doesn't that look good?"  Hooks him every time.  On Saturday I showed him this recipe from the Pioneer Woman's blog and he instantly made plans to make it for the Super Bowl.  He had four flavors...Italian, BBQ, Asian, and mojito lime (my favorite).  I'm so blessed to have a man who loves to cook.

I am wearing...yellow!  I love it.

I am the post office tomorrow to mail some cards my friend's mom ordered and a little something for a sweet friend.

I am reading...nothing.  I have been quite the slacker when it comes to reading lately.  There are a couple of books on my nightstand that I'd like to read, but I haven't made the time...I need to do that.  Do any of you have any good suggestions.  

I am looking forward to...taking Jamison to a play in a few weeks.  One of our local high schools is putting on The Little should be a lot of fun.

I am learning...that I need to give my kids much more grace.

Around the really in the need of maintaining.  Emotions have been a wreck, the house is in disarray, and things on the To Do list need to be check off.  

One of my favorite things...supportive teachers.  Jamison has been having some emotional meltdown issues at school again and her teachers have been amazing in trying to help her resolve this challenge that she faces.  It's always comforting to know that my kids are being cared for by people who truly care about them.

A few plans for the rest of the week...spend time reading to my kids (Caleb and I started the Magic Treehouse series), clean (I was under the weather last week and so my chores suffered), work through my fear of my sewing machine and maybe attempt to sew on Jamison's Girl Scout patches, witness one of my friends become and American citizen, and clean :)

I hope you all have a wonderful week.

If you want to post a Daybook entry, join in here.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

How Did This Happen?

How is he SIX already?

This kid definitely keeps me on my toes like nothing I've ever experienced...but I wouldn't trade him for the world.  I love him more than words could ever say.

From the very first moment:

Till forever:

To read more about my overwhelming love for this little man read here and here :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Fresh Start

Well hello Friends...long time no write!

Hello 2013!  Hello Fresh Start!

I'm so grateful for the fresh start of this new year!  I don't usually get into starting new just because it turns January 1, but for some reason this year I feel a little more renewed.

I am looking to focus on the path that He has set before be more purposeful, take more action, give my all & maintain:

MAINTAIN:  To provide the upkeep or support of; to sustain or support; to keep in an appropriate condition or operation.

This is my Word this year.  I'm adding this to my list of Words:

For me, there's nothing like a well-maintained home, a well-maintained relationship, a well-maintained family,  well-maintained health habits, a well-maintained budget, etc.  

The word maintained continued to be placed on my heart though initially I thought of it as an odd Word and it didn't, at first, seem to have a whole lot of action associated with it.  But as I prayed on it, reviewed its definition and thought about what it means in my life I realized that there is in fact quite of bit of action that is involved with maintaining.

It takes time and purpose to remain in His Word to maintain a relationship with God...

It takes action to maintain a home and make it welcoming to family and friends...

It takes sacrifice and dedication to maintain a healthier lifestyle (I've lost 12 pounds...woot, woot!)...

So maintain, for me, doesn't mean sitting and letting things be...but it's about doing and building things up.

That's what I'll be doing :)

PS...Hi Mom!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Hello 4th of July...and Hello to a New Tradition!

I'm joining CuppaKim & Katygirl today in a 4th of July link up :)

 For the last couple of years we have gone to a local parade with friends in the morning and then later in the afternoon we would go to our church which used to put on a huge carnival-like event and then everyone would watch the fireworks that were set off close by.

Last year our church decided not to have its big event and we decided to stay home.  At home, we realized that we could see a local fireworks show perfectly from our driveway (like we could see them well AND hear them!).  We said then that we should have a get together for the 4th and then watch fireworks from our house.

This year we invited a few neighbors over for some fun, food, and fireworks.  We started small this year because 1. it was our first year to have this gathering and 2. we had just gotten over having serious power outages (us included) in our area and we didn't want to go all out since there was the potential of the power going out again.

It ended up being a good time.
 There was a water balloon fight!
 My husband...the Baby Whisperer...lovin on Miss Lily.
 We let off some smoke bombs and firecrackers.
 One of my neighbors gave us some huge sparklers...those were a lot of fun. 
 Thinking cool thoughts as we waited for the fireworks to was 100* that day.  It was a really good show...sorry no pictures :(

Overall we had a great time and can't wait to do it again next year!

*BONUS*  I was supposed to make these cookies on the 4th but my neighbors brought a lot of desserts to I didn't end up making them.  I made them yesterday for a cookout that we attending and they were a hit!  I saw the idea here and just used break and bake cookies (because that's how I roll).  You should try right now!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Summer Fun List 2012

This is our first year making up a Summer Fun List and man are we excited.  Everyone pitched in to create the list...even my mom (*see "wash Gramma Lee's car"*)!

I wanted to do something so that we can be purposeful about our time during the Summer and not look back in September and wonder what we did with all of our Summer free-time.  We picked a lot of things that we normally do, like the spray park and the Summer Reading Program.  We also added a few "new-to-us" items, like the drive-in and making S'mores.  
I posted this list on Facebook and it was sadly reported to me that The Beach Waterpark is now closed...sniff.

We have already checked some items off...some we did before we actually created the list because that's just how we roll.
Play of Caleb's choices.  He loves playing the "older" games with Dad.
Another Caleb item...building a train track in the driveway.
This item we did before the list was made (and already checked it seen in the pic above) when we celebrated National Chocolate Ice Cream Day (thanks Kim)
We will be spending lots of time at the library.  Jamison has already completed her first round of the Summer Reading Program.

One of the things I look forward to the most during the Summer is going to the pool.  Last year was the first year we did not get a pool pass and we ended up visiting a bunch of different pools.  We liked the idea so much that we decided to do it again this year.
Our first stop on our pool hop was one that we had never been to before.  While it was fun to try something new, it wasn't the best pool that we've been to and I'm not sure we'll go back.  
Our next stop was to our closet pool...the one we will probably frequent the most.  Jamison was here for a birthday party and Caleb and I stayed to hang out.  We ended up hanging out with a friend of mine (Jamison is good friends with her daughter) and her family.  Caleb really enjoyed attacking Mr. Dave in the water!
One of the last items we checked off was to fill up our new backyard pool.  Rondell put it on an incline so we ended up having a shallow end and a deep end...LOL.

We can't wait to check more items off of the list!  Did you create a Summer Fun List?

Friday, June 15, 2012

This is THE Day!

10 YEARS!!

Here's to many more decades My Love!


Wednesday, June 13, 2012


 First, I must preface this post by saying that I am not a writer.  I am not someone who can sit down at the computer and write a deep and eloquent post...and that's OK.  I say that because if this post seems jumbled or does not flow well that is why.

But today I have something that I want to share...something that has been on my heart...something that I don't have a conclusion about.  Perhaps you can give me some feedback.
On my heart lately has been what I feel is that lack of mothers encouraging other mothers.  I am finding too often that there is more comparison and less uplifting.  I am coming across moms, some of which I consider friends and others I come across in passing, who have the tendency to take little jabs at other moms regarding their they are behaving, what they have on, what activities they are involved in, etc.

I had one person, someone who I like, compare Caleb's energy to the hyper activity of a dog.  While I hope that she did not mean it to hurt me, it stung and left me wondering (and worrying) about Caleb's energy level and how other people view him.

I know of a teacher who totally and unlovingly criticized the child of a friend of mine, giving her little hope that her son will do well in school that following year.  Wouldn't it have benefited her (and her son) for the teacher to give encouraging words and guidance to assist in the child's development?
 Now don't get me moms we should be confident in who we are in Christ and ultimately our joy comes from Him.  But I also believe that He gives us people in our lives to also encourage us and help us to be the kind of mom He planned for us. 
So this is what I have been praying:

~ That I am not tearing anyone down with my words or my actions
~ That I am an encouragement to other moms with my words and by my actions
~ That moms feel the urge to using loving words when interacting with other moms
~ That we, as moms, humble ourselves in our thinking about how children *should* be
~ That we share Scripture with one another to fill our spirits

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.  1 Thessalonians 5:11

Are we?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Destin Baby!

It's here...the post about our Destin trip!!!  Better late than never right?

For those of you who have been around the blog for a while, you know that we LOVE Destin.  It was a place that we kind of discovered by accident.  We knew we wanted to travel to Florida, but didn't want the drive to be too long.  I ended up going on Florida's website, just looking at different areas and Destin caught my eye.  I then called my sweet friend Jodie and asked where she and her family vacationed in Florida...Destin!  She then gave us the recommendation of where to stay and the rest is history.

My posts regarding Destin don't change much from year, to year, to year, but that's OK with us...we like comfort and tradition.

So here I am to recap Destin might wanna grab a snack :)

With the exception of the first year we have always stopped in the Nashville area on the way to Florida.  The first leg of our drive was pretty uneventful.
We didn't hit a lot of traffic...the other side of the highway was not so lucky.
The clouds were just beautiful!
This year we decided to stop at the Neely's restaurant to try out their BBQ.  It wasn't the best I've ever had, but it wasn't bad.  Their sweet tea was amazing!!!
Rondell's step father's daughter (you following me) goes to school in Nashville and stopped by to have BBQ with us and hang out at our hotel.  I love Shallonda!

We continued on the next day...
Since I take the kids out of school in order to go Jamison usually has a little homework to do while we're gone.  This year she had quite a few assignments and even had to take a test!  She never complained...I am so proud of her.
This is always the best part...driving over the bridge that leads into Destin :)
I think I always take this picture when we first arrive.  For the last 3 years we have stayed in the same condo it feels like home.

We arrived right at dinner time so we just ate, unpacked a little and relaxed...gearing up for the next day.
I read The Hunger Games...and ended up liking it.
The iPad kept the kids occupied during down moments.

We spent almost everyday at the pool:
Both kids are taking lessons right now and they were much more comfortable in the water this time.  We still had to keep floaties on Caleb because he's a daredevil.

Jamison's comfort level improved tremendously from last year...last year she was still scared to put her face in the water.  This year she was actually swimming with her entire body submerged.  Again, I'm so proud of her. 
Rondell getting ready to attack...
The water shooters were a hit again this year.

I never tire of this view!
A little Connect Four poolside.

I never tire of this view either!

We hit the beach a few times.
It was pretty windy and the waves were a little high...but we just made sure to stay at a safe distance.
By far my favorite view (and this picture is unedited...)

I love my beach babies :)
The water is just so clear!
This year we grilled hamburgers and brats.  Rondell's shirt is very fitting :)

The beautiful evening sky.
One morning Rondell woke up early and picked up donuts.  They hit the spot.
Rondell loves BBQ...hence the shirt in the earlier picture.  His dream is to one day travel the country and visit cities that are known for their BBQ.
He has been determined to find a place in Destin that he would give the 5-star Chef Boy RD rating.  This year we tried Jim 'N Nick's.  It was pretty tasty!  They had this one item on the menu called Pig in the Potato Patch.  It was a potato topped with pulled pork, bacon, butter, sour cream, scallions, and BBQ!  And on top of that they had these cheese biscuits that were I'm hungry.
Our go-to lunch has been Honey Baked Ham on Hawaiian Rolls...easy and so tasty.  I just put the little sandwiches together and throw them in the bag to take to the beach or the pool.
This is definitely a mom always makes a wonderful seafood meal.  Lobster tail, garlic peel n eat shrimp, potato and salad.  Words.can't.even.explain!  This is by far my favorite meal on the trip.  When I posted this pic on Instagram my Vivienne knew exactly what it was...I may have mentioned this a time or two :)
Jamison chowing down on her fav...popcorn shrimp from Whale's Tale (Hi Carrie)

Here's our last day at the beach:
**Unedited**  Well, all of the pictures are, but I point it out here because I'm just amazed at how beautiful the beaches are.

I just love that my mama comes with us!

I had to get a visor because the sun was really hard on my eyes and cheeks this year.  I would wake up and my eyes would be swollen from being in the sun.

Caleb had to get a new DS while we were there because he left his on the floor of the van and we got sand in it from bringing sand into the car from being at the beach.

This year we got to visit with my friend Joanna.  We met through blogging and have become fast friends.  She lives in Panama City, which is about 45 minutes from Destin.  We first met up in 2010 when she and her family came to our condo to visit us and hang out for the day.  They are the ones who introduced us to Publix's key lime pie.  Last year her girls were sick so we weren't able to get together.  We were thrilled to be able to hang out with them this year:
Jamison showing Kayla and Kelsie a multiplication technique.
I adore her.  **See my swollen eyes?**

We usually only go out to eat for dinner once or twice while we are in Destin.  Other nights we cook in the condo.  We tried The Crab Trap last year and loved it and went back again this year.

Don't they look excited to be there :)
Last year we connected with the manager of The Crab Trap, Lynda, because Jamison's guidance counselor's brother (are you following me) is the owner...small world.  We were excited to see her again this year...she remembered us!  She spoiled the kids with souvenirs.

Our last two days were overcast and rainy, but by that time we were all kind of pooped from all of the swimming so it was nice to have a change of pace.  One day we headed down to the harbor to walk around and have lunch.  This was our first time visiting the harbor:

I will say that the cloudy skies made it easier to leave :(
And while we love is always good to be home :)