Friday, July 31, 2009

Thanking God on Friday

* I am thankful for family. The kids are visiting their grandparents up north, Nana and Papa D, this weekend. I'm thankful that they are willing to take on the kiddies for a weekend. Also, my cousin Amber and her best friend Kiana are coming to visit this weekend for their annual "go to Kelli's and do nothing trip." Seriously. This tradition started 6 years ago when they decided to come and visit when I was 8 months pregnant with Jamison. I was so sick that we ended up not doing anything and they LOVED it. They loved not being on a schedule and being able to relax. So, that's what they do every year...they come to stay with us and we do nothing. We play games, watch movies, have ice cream and chill out. This year we are going to go to the Ohio State Fair, but just to eat.

* I'm thankful for the bond I have with Rondell. Two weeks ago we turned in Rondell's car (he had a lease) and started going with just one car to aggressively attack some bills. Because of this we've had to come together to really make our new arrangement work (we already car pool to work so it wasn't that much of a change in that sense). I think because Rondell and I are able to work well together (because of our bond) that this will go smoothly for the next few months that we're down to one car.

* I'm thankful for good friends. I went to my friend Tonya's house this week because I needed to talk. She listened and advised and it was wonderful. She even made strawberry shortcake!

Tonya and I last summer.

* I'm thankful that my meal that I talked about in the post below turned out OK. I will make it again and probably add other seasons to make it really fitting for my taste. It was also really easy...nice!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

What's for Dinner Thursday

Tonight's dinner is a new recipe that I'm trying. I can't take any credit for it, I got it from Kelly's Korner. Check it out here. I love enchiladas so I'm always up to try a new recipe. I'll let you know how it turns out and don't forget to stop by Joanna's so see other great recipes!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tender Moment

Last night was a trying night for me. Caleb had no nap so he was miserable and ended up going to sleep at 6 pm (with me praying that he would stay asleep all night...he did). Then I had an uncomfortable moment with Rondell's step father (he judges my parenting a little more often than I would like and it just makes me...well angry).

After all had settled down and the house was quiet, it was just me and Jamison. She had been telling me that she wanted a life verse like the one I did for Caleb (see it here). This led to a conversation about what I feel a life verse means to a person and I explained why I chose the one for Caleb and why I've chosen Proverbs 31:27 for myself. I think she understood.

I thought this was a great moment to share my faith with Jamison. I want my children to develop their own relationship with God, not my relationship with God, but it's also important to me that I model what that relationship should look like.

I asked Jamison to think about what she wants God to help her with and that I would help her pick a verse that closely fits what's in her heart. So far she's talked about God giving her energy and that He loves her and she loves Him. I'll let you know what she comes up with.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Simple Woman's (Long) Daybook - July 27, 2009

For today...

Outside my window...the sky is blue and the weather is perfect. If only I could be out there today, but there is always this evening!

I am thinking...about all of the things that I want to get done. I am usually an all or nothing person and when I have ideas I want them all done at one time. But that just overwhelms me, so I need to make some changes. I need to take things one day and one project at a time (seems like I've talked about this before) and stop trying to do it all at once. So, I've decided that I'm going to pull out my notebook (yea!) and break down all that I want to do in a way that won't overwhelm me. How do you tackle projects?

I am thankful for...great neighbors who have cool tools and a willing husband. Our neighbor let us borrow his chainsaw to cut down a tree in our front yard.

Goodbye old tree...well, I guess I don't know how old it is. It's been "sick" for a while and it was just time for it to go. Plus is was causing some major damage to the trim of our house.

Rondell getting some instruction on how to use the chainsaw. Easy there big guy. don't have gardener on staff? You must get one!

Even a big man needs a ladder from time to time.

"Dust in my eyes!"

From the kitchen...In keeping with my menu planning (#6 on my list)
Tonight: Chicken and dumplings (thanks to Aunt Roni)
Tuesday: Leftovers
Wednesday: Quick meal (going to a friend's house)
Thursday: Chicken enchilada casserole (this a new recipe...#61 on my list)
Friday: Pulled pork and fries
Saturday: Dinner with cousins

I am reading...Shepherding a Child's Heart. It is by far one of the best books I've ever read. I'll do a review when I'm done.

I am praying...for some assistance with some decision-making.

Around the house...laundry needs to be put away, I still need to mop under the stove and fridge...

One of my favorite things...a great sermon. The founding pastor of our church gave the sermon yesterday and it was great...very moving, Biblical, and fresh.

A few plans for the rest of the week...My mom is coming over tonight, Wednesday I'm going to meet with my friend Tonya, and Friday Jamison leaves for Cleveland and my cousin and her friend come in for their annual weekend visit.

A picture I'm leaving you with...My babies.

What's in your daybook? Participate here.

Friday, July 24, 2009


I was really inspired by this post today. For me, being organized helps my brain function better and a nice system like this that is simple, efficient, and colorful would be really helpful. Now I'll have to try this Kelli-style. I'll keep you posted.

Thanking God on Friday

* I am thankful for rainy days. Even though it keeps us inside, it makes for a productive week. I was able to sit and tackle a few small things that I've wanted to do, like move all of the kids DVDs.
* I am thankful for good times with friends. We were able to get together with friends this week and it was really nice to be able to catch up and have a good time. I truly enjoy spending time with friends.
* I am thankful for my friend Lyndsey who let me borrow Finger Lickin Fifteen. It gave me a chance to have a few good laughs and save a couple of bucks. Thanks Lyn.
* I am thankful that the founding pastor of our church will be giving the sermon on Sunday. He was gone by the time I started going to New Life and it will be cool to hear him preach. I've heard such great things about him.
Why are you thankful, tell me?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

There's Nothing Like Newer Friends Either

Yesterday Rondell and I had some of our favorite people over for dinner. Sara/Elliott and Ben/Laura are members of our Small Group (Elliott actually leads the group) and some of the first people we met when we started going to New Life and joined our Small Group.

Summer is a really busy time for all of us, so it was nice to get our schedules together to have dinner. Rondell grilled brats, hot dogs and the rain. Bless his heart. The kids played and we got to enjoy each other's company.

Here are Elliott and Sara. They have three beautiful children...Isabelle, Madeline, and Samuel.

Ben and Laura. Their girls are simply adorable...Ellie and Jane.

Here's an attempt at a kid picture...Jamison, Isabelle, Madeline and Samuel.

Here's a cute picture of Laura and her girls, Ellie and Jane.

Elliott being entertained by Caleb...he's so patient, Elliott that is.

I made strawberry shortcake for dessert. This is the way Sara's mom makes it too and so she was really excited. That made me happy. ***Recipe below.
Here are all the kids together (except stubborn Caleb)...Jane, Samuel, Isabelle, Jamison (laughing), Ellie, and Madeline.

There's nothing like newer friends to give you great advice, a little laughter and support!

Strawberry Shortcake

I thought I'd share the strawberry shortcake recipe that I made for my friends last night. I can't claim it...I got it off the box of Bisquick. This is how my mom has always made it and it is yummy.

Also, since Joanna is showing a dessert for her "What's for Dinner Thursday" I thought I would too.

Strawberry Shortcake
4 cups of strawberries, rinsed and sliced
1/2 cup of sugar
2 1/3 cups of Bisquick
1/2 cup of milk
3 tbs of butter, melted
3 tbs of sugar
Combine strawberries and sugar and set in fridge so they can get juicy!
Mix together Bisquick, milk, butter and sugar.
Spoon mixture onto non greased pan. Makes about 6 shortcakes.
Cook at 425 for 10-12 minutes.
Spoon strawberries over shortcake and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

There's Nothing Like Old Friends...Even During Sad Times (2)

I've written this kind of post before and I still believe that it's true...even during sad time, there's nothing like old friends. I would say they even make the sad times feel a little better.

Recently one of my mom's long-time friends was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. Mommy and Gloria have been friends since college and are in the same sorority so I've known Gloria all of my life. They had lost touch over the past few years but have gotten back in touch.

On Saturday there was a get together at Gloria's house and people traveled in from all over. It was so neat to watch these ladies reminisce about old times and look at pictures from back in the day. Joy was in the air!

This is my mom's crew from her college days...Aunt Althea, Sandy, Gloria (Aunt Glo), and my mom.

Here's a picture of a picture of my mom, Aunt Al, and Gloria. Gloria has in framed, sitting on her table.

Mommy and Althea. Best girlfriends! Mommy was going to give Althea her kidney (now that's a friend), but some of the testing didn't match the criteria. Althea did receive a kidney from a co-worker and is doing much better.

Sorority sisters (can you see them laughing)...Sharon, Al, Glo, Mommy and Juanita Brazil.

The next generation...Synita. This is Juanita's daughter. She is in the same sorority as my mom and her friends. It was nice to get back in touch with her and now we can keep in touch through Facebook (technology!).

Aunt Al giving the kids some love.
Like I said, it was a great time...lots of laughter, story sharing, love, and joy! Can't beat it.

Monday, July 20, 2009

I Was Featured...I Was Featured!!!

Courtney over at Beautiful Mess has started featuring a blog of the week and guess who she picked first...ME. Can you believe it, me neither. I'm so honored I'm speechless (and that doesn't happen too often). You must go over and check out her blog (and her little Noah). She is a sweet, fun and God-fearing woman!

Thanks Courtney!

The Simple Woman's Daybook - July 20, 2009

For today...

Outside my skies, sunshine and cool. It's been pretty cool here lately. This week calls for chance of showers almost everyday.

I am thinking...of the little things that I want to get done this week. Time to pull out the notebook and update my To Do list.

I am thankful evening out with friends! Lyndsey and I currently work on the same floor and a few years ago we worked for the City Attorney in a diversion program. Dave worked with us managing a different program and we became friends. Lyndsey, Dave and I have lunch together about once a month and we've been talking for a while about going out to dinner with our spouses. We finally made it happen last night (thanks to Lyndsey's assertiveness!). It was nice getting together with everyone and having nice adult conversation. We went to Buca di Beppo to eat and the food was wonderful. I even had a little Sangria.

Here are Lyndsey and Josh.

Here are Dave and Amanda. They had the most beautiful outdoor wedding.

Here's the dessert Rondell got. Can you see the huge spoon? I'm not sure how he was supposed to eat with a huge serving spoon.

Here's the chocolate cake that Lyndsey/Josh and Dave/Amanda split. I don't know if you can tell by the picture, but this piece of cake was HUGE!

From the kitchen...roast, mashed potatoes and green beans tonight and tomorrow, hamburgers/hot dogs on the grill tomorrow and chicken enchiladas on Thursday. I'm trying to plan out my meals.

I am reading...Last week I finished Following God with All Your Heart. It was a pretty good book with a lot of great principles. The main point that I took away from it was to stay in God's Word. Not just skimming or breezing through, but really being IN the Word and absorbing what God is saying. There is guidance in the Bible and I need to use it instead of trying to make decisions alone.

This weekend I read Finger Lickin Fifteen. I love Janet Evanovich books and my friend Lyndsey let me borrow her latest installment. This book made me laugh out loud. It is definitely a lightweight read for entertainment.

My next book is Shepherding a Child's Heart. I have heard wonderful things about this book and I can't wait to dive in and obtain some knowledge because my kids are out.of.control. OK, I'm being a little dramatic but they seem to be all over the place right now, calling my name 1000 times a day, fighting, whining, etc. I'm sure this book will give me some great information.
I am get some areas in my house cleaned, closets, entertainment center shelves, etc.

I am be more like Christ.

Around the house...things are kind of out of sorts since we were busy all weekend. Laundry needs to be put away, the floor needs to be mopped... But since it will be rainy this week I'm sure I'll get some things done.

One of my favorite things...individual time with each child. This week I was able to have some alone time with Jamison and Caleb and I just savor those moments.

A few plans for the rest of the on my To Do list, some friends are coming over for dinner on, that's about it! I like those plans.
Go here to participate in the Daybook.

Friend Makin Monday: Vacations

Today Miss Jolanthe at No Ordinary Moments is hosting FMM since Kasey is still on her wonderful vacation (and is doing a great job keep us posted on her travels). Be sure to check out Jolanthe's blog because she has adorable children, great ideas and she likes to read (with a nice book giveaway here and there!).

So, today Jolanthe has us discussing vacations:

This task has two parts {numbered ever-so-nicely for you}. You can do either one or both ~ it's up to you!

1. Tell us about the best {or worst} vacation that you've ever taken.
2. Tell us FIVE places/vacations that you would like to take at some point your life. It doesn't have to be next year...maybe it's the vacation of a lifetime or somewhere you just dream of going years from now.

1. Destin, Florida 2008 was the best vacation EVER! This was the first family vacation we'd taken and we were all so excited. I searched for a while to figure out where we should go and in my search I saw pictures of Destin and fell in love. Shortly after that I talked to my friend Jodie and she told me that's where she and her family had been on vacation for the past two years and they loved it. I was sold.

We rented a condo and decided to drive. My mom went with us so it was nice to have 3 drivers (even though Rondell did most of the driving). It was also nice to always have someone in the back to take care of the kids. They did great on the drive and because of that we decided to drive straight through...16 hours!

We had a great time. We swam in the heated pool, went to the beach, tried to fly a kite, shopped at the outlet mall, took naps, laughed, and the biggest highlight for me...swimming with a dolphin. Also while we were there we had the best meal that we made ourselves. We had crab, lobster tail, shrimp, salad and baked potatoes. We recently tried to recreate that same meal. We also ate out at Pompano Joe's...yum!

Our plan is to make this an annual trip.

The view from our balcony.

Here I am swimming with a dolphin...truly one of the best moments of my life.

2. Here's my list of 3 vacations I would like to take at some point in my life:

1. Arizona...I want to meet my blog friend Amy and see the Grand Canyon.

2. Denver, CO...I've seen pictures from other people who have traveled here and I would LOVE to see those mountains. It just looks like a beautiful and peaceful place to go.

3. The Caribbean...I'd love to go with just Rondell and just relax with no worries.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Back to the Basics

I love Simple Mom. Have you checked out her haven't? You must! Her site covers a lot of subjects close to my heart...organization, parenting, making your house a home, and more.

She just started doing a series called Back to the Basics and I have decided to participate. Her first "challenge" is to create a family mission statement. She gives tips on how to create one and even has 20 questions for you and your spouse to answer in order to give you some guidance. Rondell and I are going to have a date soon to answer these and come up with a statement fitting to our family (#71 on my list).

This week's "challenge" is menu planning. I have struggled with trying to do this for quite a while (which is why it is #6 on my list), so I was excited to see this in the series. With that I have planned out our meals for the next week. Here it is:

Sunday: Dinner with friends (I lucked out!)
Monday: Pot roast, mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls
Tuesday: Leftovers
Wednesday: Hamburgers and Hot dogs, with strawberry shortcake for dessert (we have friends coming over)
Thursday: Chicken enchiladas
Friday: Frozen pizza
Saturday: Easy dinner (mac and cheese or sandwiches)
I'll let you know how I do.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Thanking God on Friday

* I am thankful for a great deal that I got on Real Simple. You can read about it here so you can be thankful about this great deal too!
* I am thankful for self revelations. In this post I talked about how my kids need structure and I realized yesterday and I also need structure...routine. I just need to accept that for the most part I like things to be in order and that I get a little crazy and flustered when they aren't. With that, I am embracing my need to routine.
* I am thankful for my mom. She really helped me out this week and I'm grateful daily that she decided to move here...she's such a blessing.
* I am thankful for the blog world. I get so much inspiration, motivation, friendship, etc. just by reading what others are doing. It's great to read about organizing cabinets, or how someone dealt with misbehavior, or a fun craft idea for the kids. I am constantly printing things off to read about and try and put into practice. Thanks blog friends!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Simply a Great Deal

I clicked on this blog today and the top post was about Real Simple being on sale over at Amazon for $5 for a year-long subscription...Yes, $5. You must check it out if you like this magazine. In the store ONE is $5, so this is simply a great deal. I just had to share with my friends.

I didn't even finish looking at the lady's blog...I'm sure it's nice.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

What's in My Heart?

My friend Becca over at The Texas Darlings tagged me with a really creative tag that made me really think. Here's the challenge:

"With as much Creativity as you can muster, show your heart in:
a picture, a poem, a song, a quote, an item of clothing, a place, and a Disney princess"

This picture definitely shows my kids. I love the way I'm looking at Caleb in this picture and I look at Jamison the same way on a daily basis. I'm amazed that God has blessed me with wonderful children, that they are growing right before my eyes and at how much I love them. This picture captures it to me.

Proverbs 31: This isn't exactly a poem but it captures things that God requires of me as a woman. It's inspiring and I try to live it out daily.

"All they can say is no.": This is a quote I learned from my mother and it gives me the courage to just go ahead and ask.

This isn't my shirt but I have some like it. I love T-shirts. I'm all about comfort so T-shirts are my thing. The yellow, of course, if for the happiest color on Earth!

Now, while I love being at home...this is my place. Destin, Florida. I've only been once and I'm already in love. The beaches are so clean, the condo was perfect, the vacation was relaxing. I can't wait to do it all over again, year after year.

I'm not big into the Disney Princesses, but if I had to pick I'd say Ariel. She appreciated the little things, even a fork. She made sacrifices (her voice) to go after the desires of her heart. I want to be like that. She also left her entire family to be with the one she loved and I can relate since I left Cleveland and didn't return mainly because of Rondell.

I tag:




Wordless Wednesday - My New Addiction


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tackle it Tuesday - Summer Survival Guide

I have wanted to create a binder for Jamison that is filled with activities and ideas of things for her to do during the summer. It would help Jamison continue her learning and also help Aunt Roni with ideas of what to do during the day.

I finally got it mostly done and I'm so excited.

Here's the cover.

Inside I have a routine for the day so that there's some structure. My kids need structure. Jamison's Kindergarten teacher also sent home some great items...a summer journal, writing pages, suggestions for activities, great ways to keep learning, etc. I eventually want to put some of those in page protectors (Target was out).

Here's another suggestion sheet for things to do at home.

I have a section in the notebook for handwriting. I found a place online where I can create writing pages for Jamison. Her school practices Dnealian handwriting and since most books I've seen have block lettering, this program works out great and I can personalize them. I also have a notepad in there that will help with spacing her letters.

This is the activities section. Each week I'd like to have a different theme. The first theme was space. You can read about a funny story regarding her study of the planets here.

So, for the most part the binder is complete. I will add more activities as the summer goes on and as Jamison comes up with suggestions. I'm excited that this has been tackled!

Monday, July 13, 2009

You'll Never Guess...

**Update: Rondell was OK with my purchase...I don't usually make purchases like this without him, but I had to jump on this deal! Here's to more scrapbooking!

...what I got today!

Yup, that's right...I, Kelli, have a Cricut. I was at home today getting ready to cut coupons and going through the adds when I saw that Michaels had a WONDERFUL sale. This baby was only 99.99, and if you know Cricut, you know that's a great deal. I don't need the big fancy machine (nor can I afford it). I called my friend Allison, my Cricut expert, and she said it's the perfect machine...I thought she had the bigger one, but she has the same one. I'm so excited I don't know what to do.

Now I just have to wait until Rondell gets home to see...

The Simple Woman's Daybook - July 13, 2009

For today...

Outside my window...another sunny Monday. Again, it's supposed to be nice all this week. My plan is to go to the pool after work tomorrow. Now I just have to get Rondell on board :)

I am thinking...about how great it felt to rearrange my kitchen cabinets yesterday. Now my spices are in a bigger cabinet instead of being all squished together and the kids' items are mixed in with ours instead of being in their own cabinet. Now we just need to pull out the stove and fridge to sweep and mop underneath.

I am thankful for...Rondell's mom. She takes the kids when I need her to and it gives me time to get things done. I was able to be very productive yesterday while they played in the kiddie pool at her house and had ice cream.

From the kitchen...lasagna. I made lasagna last night and so we'll have that tonight and tomorrow for leftovers. And last night my MIL sent over smoked turkey wings and mashed potatoes...YUM.

I am reading (finishing)...Following God with all Your Heart. It's taking me a while because we've been busy or by the end of the day I'm just sleepy. It's a great book and I should be done this week and then I can start on my new James Patterson.

I am hoping...for another weekend with nice weather.

I am praying...for my children. First, for their fighting. They have been fighting like crazy lately and it has to stop. I also just pray for them to grow up to be God-loving, strong, assertive, young people.

Around the house...I need to wash the walls. There is a lot of dust and they need to be wiped down.

One of my favorite things...a Sunday nap.

A few plans for the rest of the week...I hope to get to the pool tomorrow and work in the yard this week. I need to repot some pots where the flowers didn't do too well. I also would like to go for a walk this evening.

Friend Makin' Monday - Favorites

Today's FMM is being hosted by Mamarazzi because Kasey is still on her amazing vacation (you really need to check out all that they are doing). She does a cool Favorite Things swap, so her topic for today is our favorite things. Here is my list (in no particular order):

1. Baby wipes. I loves these things. I use them for more than diaper changes. I wipes faces, tables, spills, etc. I carry them in my car and in my purse. They are a quick and easy way to get cleaned up.

2. Notebooks. If you've been reading my blog for a while this comes as no surprise. I have a weakness for notebooks, and I am picky about the style. I like a good spiral notebook with a clear cover, preferably with color. I use notebooks for my many lists that I create, jotting down information that I need, etc. This is another thing that I carry with me at all times.

3. Giordano's pizza. This is the best pizza I have ever tasted, hands down. I can't wait to get to Chicago so that I can enjoy this favorite.

4. The pool. I love my pool, well it's Dublin's pool, but it's the pool that we go to. It's so relaxing and fun all at the same time. I hope to squeeze in some pool time this week.
5. Bag balm. I have used this stuff for years. It's really for cow utters, which I know sounds gross but it is a great moisturizer...especially if you're dry like me. I mainly use it on my lips, but it also works on dry patches. I have a big can in my room and then one little can that I carry in my purse. It is a must-have for me.

6. Colored pens. These make me happy and my lists and notebooks much more fun. I am always trying to find new colored pens. My favorite pens are by Pilot...Precise V5 and V Razor Point, extra fine.
7. The color yellow. It's just such a happy color. It's makes my day brighter.

8. Coke. This is my drink of choice. Most people after a long day need a margarita or a glass of, I'll take a nice cold Coke!

9. The Bible and reading. If I have a question, the Bible has an answer (even if it's an answer I don't want to hear!). I also just love to read in general. The newest James Patterson is in at the I forgot to add to my Summer Reading List.

10. The picture scream KELLI. Sunflowers, a nice clean vase, notebooks, colors, a sunny window...these are a few of my favorite things.