Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wednesday Ramblings

~ Today is just BEAUTIFUL. This is perfect Kelli weather...70s, blue skies and plenty of sunshine. This kind of weather makes me so happy...I can open the windows and let out the funk and in the fresh air, my kids can play outside with only jackets, and it helps my flowers perk up (my all yellow daffodils are just lovely).

~ This morning I had my first fake "I'm too sick to go to school" incident. I told her that if she was that sick then she needed to stay in bed all day with no TV and no playing outside. She went to school.

~ Tomorrow Rondell and I are participating in a Passover Seder meal at Josh and Katie's house (our Small Group leaders). We participated a few years ago, but I'm excited to do it again because I've learned so much since then. Josh and Katie always show a video that goes through the meal and its meaning and this year so many things stuck out to me when I watched it since I went through the life of Moses last year with BSF. There are so many things that point to Christ in the meal...just amazing. I'm excited to learn more.

~ I had some yummy fruit pizza today...I have to get the recipe from my co-worker.

~ Rondell and I started cleaning our room yesterday as a part of Spring Cleaning. Our room is the dumping ground and it shows...there's so much to do in there (including creating a new filing system...suggestions?). I moved a humidifier that I thought had been emptied...WRONG...not pretty. Part II of "tackle the master" takes place tonight.

~ Finally, another good Lost episode.

~ My husband now follows my blog...I love it!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spring Cleaning Motivation

Good morning! Today is going to be a sunny day (and I hope it's going to be sunny where you are too!).

I found this blog (here) yesterday and I had to share it with you. It is jammed packed with great tips, just in time for Spring Cleaning.

So, check it out...and then let's get cleaning!

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook - Monday, March 29, 2010

For today...

Outside my window...
gloomy, but be sure to look at the forecast I posted below...things are looking up.

I am thinking...of all the things I want to do this week. Because of the beautiful forecast I would like to get some deep Spring Cleaning done. Today I am going to take some time and create a list...because you know I love lists.

I am thankful for...Sunday naps.

I am grandmother, Granita. Yesterday would have been her 80th birthday (EDIT: My Daddy corrected me to say that she would have been 79). I miss her dearly and think of her often. There was nothing like her laugh (and her biscuits!).

I am reading...Beth Moore's book...still (I know).

I am hoping...that I actually get things done on my To Do list...lately time has gotten away from me.

Pondering these words..."Do what you know to do and let God take care of the rest." This was the main theme of yesterday's sermon given by one of our pastors. I tend to worry, control and plan to a fault. This gives me the guidance that I need...'do what I KNOW to do', meaning to follow what God has lined up for me, not what I have planned or what I attempt to control. This doesn't mean that I sit back and just let Him to all of the work, I have things to long as they line up with Him. And as long as I follow His guidance I won't have to worry because He will take care of the rest.

From the menu planned (aahh). I do think we may do hamburgers on the grill tonight.

Around the's getting cleaned. I know that Kelly's Korner had a link party about cleaning tips so I'm going to check that out. I will also be able to do one of my favorite things this all of the windows.

A few plans for the rest of the week...besides clean...Thursday Rondell and I are participating in a Passover meal with our Small Group and then Saturday we're going to our friends Robert & Amanda's church for an egg drop. They are dropping eggs from a helicopter...the kids should really love that.

What's in your daybook?

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Now this is a forecast I can get excited about:

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Mexican Food Night

If you've been reading this blog for a while you know my love for Mexican food (and my quest to find the BEST sour cream chicken enchiladas!). Last night some friends came over and when we arranged the date I decided that I would do a Mexican food theme. My sweet Jamison got into it as well and even checked out a book from her school library on how to prepare Mexican food.

On the menu: hard/soft tacos, cheese quesadillas, steak fajita meat (I'll post the recipe later...super easy), pico de gallo, guacamole and chips...and for dessert, apple crisp (you can see that recipe here).

First Jamison and I made pico de gallo and guacamole using The Pioneer Woman's

Jamison made a sign for the door...I love her enthusiasm about things.

Robert & Amanda and baby Robert...we really love these guys. They used to go to our church, that's where we met them, but now they go to a church closer to their home. We don't get to see them nearly as often as we would like.

I was very excited not only to have Robert & Amanda over, but I was also excited because they enjoyed my food (am I the only one who gets nervous about that?). Robert had four plates of food and then above is what he had for crisp topped with vanilla/chocolate ice cream and chocolate sauce. I think he enjoyed himself...that makes me happy!

Their daughter Abigail is the same age as Jamison and these two are like two peas in a pod.

Their daughter Emily is about a year older than Caleb but they played very well together. Emily even came back in the door to give him another hug before leaving.

There were quite a few silly moments.

Here's Caleb telling baby Robert that "it's going to be a little OK" because he was crying.

We have a fun night and can't wait until we can see them again!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Thanking God on Friday!

~ I am thankful for friends...

* Friends who stop by your house and drop of a brand new Bible and a little note all because you mentioned to her your new love for the ESV Bible (thank you Janna!).

* Friends who are willing to pick up you and your children to take you to church because your husband has to work mandatory overtime and you guys only have one car right now (thanks Angela).

* Friends who are coming over on a Friday night to hang out and eat Mexican food (can't wait to see you Robert & Amanda).

* Friends who always listen (so many to thank).

* Friends who take beautiful pictures for you which lead to fun ideas for your kitchen (thanks Lyndsey).

* Friends who bring you gifts from other countries (thank Kristina).

Thank you God...for friends!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Clearing The Clutter

Do you have areas in your house where things continue to pile up? I have four...our entertainment center, our fridge, our microwave, and the counter space next to the door to the garage. Last night Rondell and I cleared off all of those spaces and found a home for each and every item.

Here are two pictures of all of the stuff we pulled off of those surfaces and then put on our table to sort through:

I put items that belong either upstairs or in the basement in boxes so they could be carried to those locations and then put away (I still had my Valentine banner on the counter that needed to go into the basement...I know!).

I threw away a lot of stuff:

Now, it's all clean and all of the surfaces are clear of clutter:


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My {Future} Kitchen Wall

A lot of the walls in my house are bare and I'm trying to change that. One wall that really bothers me is in my kitchen. I have tried putting a bulletin board there with fun pictures made by the kids, but it just wasn't working for me. I've seen those Family Rules (like this one) around blogland and thought about doing that for a bit, but I don't know if that will work either.

Then it hit me...THIS picture:

It was taken by good friend Lyndsey and when I saw it on her blog I fell in love. I can't fully explain it, but it is a picture that really stands out to me...the classic watering can and a touch of snow.

So, what am I going to do with this on my kitchen wall...a Seasons collage! The above picture will be my Winter picture and this will be my Summer picture:

This was also taken by my wonderful friend Lyndsey...right in my backyard. If you've read this blog for a while you know my love for sunflowers. I asked Lyndsey to take some pictures of some sunflowers that Rondell bought me and she agreed...and I love it!

I am in the process of finding a picture for Fall (I have one in mind) and I am going to take a picture (or maybe ask Lyndsey again) for my Spring photo.

After we repaint the walls this summer I will frame all of them and then hang them on the bare wall...hopefully bringing it to life!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Friend Makin Monday - Spring

I haven't done FMM in what feels like forever, but Amber had some fun questions so I thought I'd join back in on the fun:

1. Favorite things about Spring: Seeing all of the green again, opening my windows and being outside.

2. What I'm doing for Spring Break: Working :(

3. Favorite Spring flower: Tulips. When my mom lived in Cleveland she planted them just for me...yup, she's a great Mom! I have some in my yard now that were already here when we moved in.

4. Do you have a garden? Yes, and this year we're (that's me and my sidekick Mama) expanding and trying to grow veggies. We are both really excited.

5. If so, what do you grow? In the past just flowers, but this year we're also doing tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers.

6. Do you do Spring cleaning? Yes, and I actually like it. There's something about a deeply scrubbed and clean house...priceless.

7. What is your weather *really* like right now? {Just b/c it's "officially" spring, doesn't mean that it feels like it for some of you} Right now it's cool and rainy...I don't think we're out of the cold woods yet.

8. Snapped any weather related photos lately? Share one with us! Here are my daffodils and tulips trying to come up:

9. What's your favorite thing to do on a sunny afternoon? If it's sunny and hot I'd love to be at the pool...otherwise, just being outside at home with Rondell and the kids is the best thing to me.

10. Favorite TV show right now? Lost...even though it's letting me down this year I still want to know all of those answers they keep promising so I continue to tune in every Tuesday.

The Simple Woman's Daybook - Monday, March 22, 2010

For today...

Outside my window...
dark and rainy. It's supposed to rain today and tomorrow but then we're supposed to have sunshine. I {heart} sunshine.

I am thinking...about my garden plans. Now that the snow has cleared (and hopefully will not be returning) I can see all that needs to be done. I've already started with some cleaning up of the yard but there is plenty more to do. My mom (my gardening partner in crime) came over this weekend to look around and to discuss our plans. This year we are planting a garden with tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers. I have also been looking at some different flowers to plant [like Vinca and Allysum (sp?)].

I am thankful...for talks with my husband on the way to work. Since we carpool we have lots of time to chat, but most mornings, since it's so early, there's not a lot of conversation. But this morning we had a nice talk about plans for our home and things we want to get done this week.

I am praying...still for less distraction and for more motivation.

I am reading...So Long Insecurity...still. I should be done this week. I was also trying to read through the Bible and I realized that it was too much reading, even for me. So, I'm going to finish Beth's book and then dive back into 1 Kings. That's the plan.

I am creating...lots of stuff in my head but for some reason not in real life. I had all of these sewing and card making plans for the weekend and...nothing. That's where the prayer for motivation comes in. I need to manage my time better so that I can do the things that I love.

From the kitchen...simple meals this week and on Friday we're having Mexican food night with our friends Robert/Amanda & family. I'll be on the lookout for recipes for fajita meat.

Around the house...there are things laying on counters, on the fridge and on the microwave that need homes. That is one of the tackles Rondell and I will do this week.

A few plans for the rest of the week...continue cleaning, hanging out with the family and having dinner with great friends.

What's in your daybook...come on, you know you wanna share!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Thanking God on Friday!

~ I am thankful for the sunshine. I can't express enough how much I need the sun. This week the weather has been just beautiful and I have been eager to enjoy each and every minute. It has lifted my mood, I have been able to open windows, we have been able to play outside and yesterday I was able to do some yard cleaning. Priceless.

~ I am thankful for Isaiah 41:9-10. I came across it while reading Beth Moore's book and it was a wonderful reminder about God's presence in my life.

~ I am thankful for Rondell's motivating words to me yesterday. This encouraged me to get outside and tackle a major yard clean up project that I've been wanting to do for a while. I clipped all of the dead decorative grass that we have in our backyard. Usually the new grass just grows in between the dead grass and I end up getting frustrated by how it looks. I discovered (duh) that I could clip the dead stems before the new growth begins. Genius! It was a lot of work (I have to get our clippers sharpened), but well worth it.

See the brown "sticks" on the left of this picture...this is what I cut down, except that there was A LOT more and there's more on the other side of the deck.

This is what the grass looks like in bloom, but see the brown at the base...that's what would bother me. And actually this picture doesn't show how much the brown was incorporated into the green. It will look so much better now.

~ I am thankful that I got to stay at home one day this week and enjoy my kids and my home. It was refreshing.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My Day As A Stay-at-Home Mom!

Every once in a while I get to stay home on a regular day (not a holiday or vacation day) when my aunt is unable to come over. I'm always a little nervous and excited all at the same time...wondering if I'll be able to entertain Caleb and get Jamison ready for school, but excited about the challenge and getting the rare opportunity to be a stay-at-home Mommy.

My day sort of started at this time. I had actually been up for about 45 minutes to get showered and get Jamison dressed. This was the time that we actually made it downstairs.

I got Jamison breakfast (cereal) and we were off to the bus stop. I didn't have time to pack her lunch so she had to buy today.

Then I got to hang out with this guy...and watch a little Thomas (but I do think I forgot to brush his teeth...hmmm).

And teach him how to make Kool-Aid...or so I thought. Apparently he makes Kool-Aid with Aunt Roni all the time (she does make the best Kool-Aid, so he's learning from the master). He went to reach for a spoon so he could get his taste to make sure it was OK. He told me it was "delicious."

I also got to do some things around the house in my quest to fall in love with my house, again:

I love well-stocked...well, pretty much anything. I love a well stocked pantry, linen closet, emergency car kit, and containers. I filled up my sugar and flour containers and I love it! Now we are ready for some baking.

I also "cleaned up" the outside of our fridge. I like having things on my fridge but it was getting a bit out of control and cluttered. Above is the side before. And here's the front before:

Here's the after:

I can't say that it now has less stuff but it is "straightened up" a bit.

At school Jamison makes a calendar every month and I love to display it. It used to hang on a bulletin board in the kitchen, but I took the board down because it was no longer working for me. So, I'm glad I was able to clear some space to put it on the fridge.

Here's the front. I moved the Family Calendar to the front so that it is more visible.

I was THRILLED to be able to casually make dinner instead of rushing to make a meal. I made chili and this time I was able to take the time to cut up veggies to put in it and I had time to allow it to simmer. Priceless.

Of course the highlight of the day was when this guy came home.

Lastly, we were able to get outside and work on our scooter skills...

...our jump rope skills...and we got reacquainted with our neighbors.

It was a GREAT day and I can't wait to do it again!

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook - Monday, March 15, 2010

For today...

Outside my window...
cloudy and cold. It has been rainy the last couple of days, but tomorrow is supposed to be sunny with a high of 55...I can't wait.

I am thinking...about lunch, I'm really hungry for some reason. Today I have leftover buffalo chicken dip that I made over the weekend!

I am thankful...for our DVR. This allows us not to be stressed if we are unable to watch a show right when it comes on. It makes for some fun late evening TV watching, without commercials.

I am praying...for less distraction.

I am reading...1 Kings. I am quite behind in my quest to read the Bible in 90 days but I'm not giving up. I've decided just to pick up where I left off and keep going. I'm also still reading the Beth Moore book, yes still.

I am that I need to send out to a few friends.

From the kitchen...chili, chicken tetrazzini, chocolate chip cookies and maybe BLTs.

Around the house...I cleaned out the kids' clothes and now I have quite a few items bagged up for donation.

A few plans for the rest of the week...Tonight I'm going to the store and then we'll probably go out for ice cream (yes, the Oreo cheesecake ice cream is AMAZING!), I'm off tomorrow so I'm going to hang out with Caleb and probably take him to the library, and then piddle around the house the rest of the week.

Share you daybook here.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Menu Planning Help!

I came across this wonderful post here (I saw it linked on this blog). I know that I am trying to improve my meal planning and that some of you have said that you need to do the same. I thought this was a great tool to share with you. I love how the menu is attached to the grocery list so you know what you need for each meal. It never fails that I almost always forget that one item needed to make (fill in the blank).

The kids are going out of town this weekend so I'll have some time to really plan out how I want to utilize the sheets and see what will work best for our family.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


So lately I've been thinking about you ever do that? Not in a depressing way, but in a motivational way. I've been thinking about where I am and where I want to be and the steps in between. I think "OK,'re 33 and are you in the place you are supposed to be or want to be?" There is something to be said about being content with what God has given me but I know I can also get complacent. I don't think God wants me just to sit back and just go with the motions but to do the things that are in my heart.

This always takes me to my 101 Things in 1001 Days and how I need to stay on top of it. There are a few things that I've completed recently (11 in all):

~ The kids' bathroom (seen here)
~ Learning to make homemade pizza

And there are some things I want to complete in the near future:

~ Finish my Christmas scrapbook (I mean's March!)
~ Work on trying a new recipe each month
~ Create and maintain a useful bill and budget system

I also really want to:

~ Buy and learn to maintain (meaning, not kill) a house plant
~ Read up on how to start and grow a successful garden (I want to plant tomatoes and jalapenos)
~ Organize my entire house. I know this sounds major but my personality goes well with organization and routine and it really would benefit my sanity to have order in my home.
~ Figure out how to sew a dish-mat (like this one)
~ Relax a bit as a parent
~ Save for vacations (not just Destin, but we also want to go to Atlanta and Chicago...oh and I have a trip planned to Vegas with my girlfriends)
~ Memorize Scripture

I could go on...

When I'm thinking about Life I'm trying to figure out why I'm not doing these motivation (that's a nice way of saying lazy), fear, no time (who am I kidding), wondering if I'll succeed...I'm not sure which one, or if it's a combination of all of them.

What I need to remember is this...I can do ALL things through Christ to strengthens me (Philippians 4:13). He is not limiting me, so why should I limit myself?

So, today...I'm going to Google (what would we do without Google) "how to start a tomato garden."

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tuesday's List - Spring Wish List

Jessica has asked us to talk about our Spring Wish List today. Oh how I can dream:

I would love to have a Pandora bracelet. They are so classy yet fun at the same time. It is something that you can dress up or wear with casual attire. I have eyed a few charms that I would love to have.

I would love to have an iPod touch because I love music. This way I could download all the music that I like and have it all stream together.

This item is my "way out there" dream...a craft room, like the one pictured above. I love the color scheme and the light that is coming into this room...making for a very cheerful place to do what I love...crafting. Rondell and I have talked about adding another room onto our house above the garage, but that will be much later. Recently I saw this post and I love how she used the space she has to create an area just for her. It has inspired me to expand my thoughts on my basement space.

What's on your wish list?

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook - Monday, March 8, 2010

For today...

Outside my window...
SUNNY!! Did you hear me, sunny! I see blue skies and sunshine and I am beyond excited. It's supposed to get up to 50 today which will feel like a heat wave.

I am thinking...about being outside. I need to look around my yard to start planning for the things that need to be done this Spring.

I am thankful...that I had the opportunity to see my sister compete in her gymnastics meet. She has such natural talent and made it to the finals for vault. Renee showed me some pictures of another performance she was in and there's one that I need to print off of her on the beam. Amazing!

I am praying...for a Christ-like attitude. I feel myself being more negative and critical and that's not an attitude I like to have.

I am reading...2 Samuel. I was trying to read the Bible in 90 days and I have gotten really behind. Now I'm back on track and I'm currently reading about David.

I am also still reading the Beth Moore book but I just haven't made the time to sit and really get through the pages. I hope to get it finished soon.

I am creating...nothing. I have so many ideas and I need to just get to it and get them done. I did make a card for my MIL's birthday over the weekend.

From the kitchen...Last night we had hamburgers on the grill (taking advantage of the sunny days), breakfast tonight and baked ziti tomorrow. We need to go to the store.

Around the house...the kids' rooms need to be cleaned (I swear I say this every week). It is really time to go through their clothes because the pjs Caleb had on last night were a bit small! I also need to clean out the fridge and we're going to clean under the stove.

A few plans for the rest of the week...go outside, try a new flavor (Oreo Cheesecake) at our favorite ice cream place, and the kids are going to Cleveland for the weekend so Rondell and I are going to hang out, relax and probably watch a movie or two.

Share your daybook here.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Thanking God on Friday!

~ I am thankful for Gospel music. There is nothing like a good Hezekiah Walker, Fred Hammond, Marvin Sapp or James Fortune song. These songs can be truly uplifting and motivating. I'm also thankful for Pandora so that I can listen to them all at once.

~ I am thankful that it was slightly warm enough for Rondell to put steak on the grill...yum!

~ I am thankful that Rondell's friend Brian is improving. It doesn't seem as though he's completely out of the woods but he's definitely better than he was earlier in the week.

~ I am thankful for the sun. It's supposed to be sunny all weekend and I'm so excited. It's still supposed to be cold but that doesn't matter to me as long as the sun is shining!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Valentine's Day - The Late Edition

I know it's after the fact, but the computer died right after this and I want to share with you what we did on Valentine's Day.

Our Small Group had a get together at Josh and Katie's house (they are the facilitators of our group). Everyone brought either an appetizer or a dessert. We sat around, munched and laughed a lot.

The ladies (well, some of them...not everyone could make it)...Britney, Angela, Tonya, Debbie and Katie.

1/2 of the spread...bruscetta, taco dip, ham & cheese puffs, & strawberry cream cheese sandwiches.

We also had chocolate cover strawberries and pretzels. I made a banana pudding (it was still in the fridge when I was taking pictures).

It was a nice, fun and relaxing evening...good friends, my hubby and yummy food. I love Valentine's Day!

Oh, I have to show you Katie's pantry that Josh built for her (he's finishing their basement and this is in one of the rooms):

Nice! I {heart} any kind of pantry.

Front Door Reveal

It's done, it's done...and I can't be happier with the results. It didn't take long to tear down the curtain, paint the door and then add the film.

Here's the door before:

Terrible. The bottom of the curtain room was broken, leaving the curtain hanging. Then the curtain itself was just dingy where even a wash wouldn't help. The door was also painted a peachy color (in flat paint, which isn't good when you have kids).

See the curtain hanging...real fancy, right?

Here's the top of the rod and how it was supposed to be attached at the bottom.

Here's the door after:

Not the best picture because the lighting is funky, but here she is! We (and by we, I mean Rondell) painted the door and then added the film...that's it. I think removing the curtain also allows more light to come in.

Here's what the film looks like on the windows. It was pretty easy to install. For about 2 days we had no curtain and no film and you could see right into our house, but now we have a little privacy. I'm very happy with the way it turned out.

We (there I go with that we again) painted the door a different color than our walls because I wanted it to pop a little. The door is more of a "coffee with cream" color (and this is where I should be able to say it's ... from Behr, but I forgot to grab the name of it. When I do I'll update the post).

So, there you have it...sprucing up the front door and giving my home a little TLC. Next up, the stove...pulling it out, praying nothing is living under there and cleaning under and behind it. We also need to clean the filter for the vent and find a good cleaner for the stove top.

How are you showing your home love today?