Friday, September 19, 2014

Show and Tell Friday - 09/19/2014

 
Good morning my friends, how is your Friday going so far?

I must say that I am so happy to see this day come around, I am looking forward to this weekend, not just because we get more family time, we get to relax, but also because Sunday we have the Air Show at the Base.

One of our favorite things to do as a family, no doubt.

Right, but we're not here to talk about that, we are here for the Show and Tell, so let me get right into it.

Show and Tell

What you see above, are my journals.  I started keeping a journal before I was married, I was in South Africa and in a long distance relationship with my husband.

There was so much going through my mind and I felt that I needed a place to jot it all down, to get it off my chest and on paper, sometimes wishing that if I saw it written down that I could solve the problem easier.

After we got married, I continued writing in my journals, because then I was in a new country and pregnant and a new military wife, with a lot of things to learn and figure out.

Writing was always a way for me to do that.

So I continued with my journals.

Show and Tell

They are very dear to me, and I love going back to read what I was thinking and feeling during different moments in my life.

I kept a journal too when my husband was deployed, and in one of those journals I have this letter that he wrote me from overseas.

I try not to read it very often because I find myself so overwhelmed and emotional that I can't help but cry.

Show and Tell

The journal above is from South Africa and this one contains all my thoughts and dreams and hopes and fears when we were in a long distance relationship. 

It's funny when I read it sometimes, I was a young girl without a lot of experience of the world.  Some of my worries were quite pathetic, to me now, but at the time they were all consuming and frightening.

I love reading the progression of our relationship.  Every little word on these pages has a story to tell, from giddy excitement of a late night phone call, or a letter received in the mail, or a little spat that we got into.  Everything leading up to our wedding. 

Show and Tell

This journal above, contains most of my thoughts and experiences from my first year in the USA, my little Jasmine, wanting to get pregnant again, friends and family and so forth.

Show and Tell

And some little hands got a hold of my journals, many years ago, and decided to scribble all over them.  I can't even get upset because I know it wasn't done intentionally to destroy them, and I can still read what I wrote.  It is, after all, a little memento from when my children were babies.

I will treasure that forever!!!!

Once I got my blog, my journaling kind of disappeared, or rather, changed.  I now do most of my writing and venting and talking on the blog, though it will never be the same as an actual journal where you know you can say everything that is on your mind and get personal without other people reading or knowing.

That part I do miss, and I've thought about restarting my journal writing, aside from the blog, I would love to have a book with everything that I can't say here on blogland.

Maybe that's what I'll do.....go journal shopping one of these days.  :)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Looks like Fall!

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It is past 10pm and here I am, writing this post up.  It is the only time I could steal a few moments to sit down and compose something.  Goodness, time is something that I feel I've been running out of lately..

Every moment counts though, so I make do with what I have, and if posting late at night is the only time I have, then that will have to be it :)


Had a big thunderstorm last night and woke up to everything wet outside, the sky full of clouds, which remained throughout the day, making it really look like the perfect Fall day.

It immediately makes me think of Gingerbread and lattes, and especially the McDonald's Pumpkin Spice Lattes which I love.

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My husband decided to surprise me with one, on his way home from work.  I love this man.

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Lunch today was very simple, some grilled cheese, ham and pepperoni sandwiches and some yummy grapes on the side.

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They really were delicious and I've been enjoying my fruit lately.  It's weird but I got through stages, I could go for months without caring much for fruit, and then suddenly I am eating it every single day and just can't get enough.

Go figure!

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As the day wore on, the clouds dispersed, and by the time the sun started to set, it was bright in all it's glory, shining through the branches of the trees and setting everything aglow.

Definitely one of my favorite times of the day, the natural light is gorgeous.

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I love how quickly the trees seem to be changing, from day to day, that fast.  Or maybe it's just that I'm no longer used to so many trees around me, having lived in Arizona for so many years with nothing but brown and dirt around me.  Makes you appreciate things.

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One of the other signs that things are quickly moving, are the leaves I am finding all over the grass.  I can't wait to see the leaf piles.

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I pulled out all my Autumn cookbooks and am already looking through them in search of soups, stews and all things pumpkin.  I think tomorrow I may just whip up a Gingerbread Cake.....yes, I think that is on the agenda, for sure.

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Not much else was done today, aside from normal homemaking chores and homeschooling, so I don't have a lot to chat about, just really wanted to come in and say hi.

My laptop battery is about to die, so I better get on out of here, besides, I am super tired and my warm comfy bed is calling my name.

I will be back in the morning with a Show and Tell, I'm sorry I missed it last week but had a lot going on.

Good night friends and God Bless,
Sandra
xoxoxoxo

Slow Cooking Thursday - 09/18/2014


Good morning, here we are on another Thursday.  I am sure glad to see it pop around and know that tomorrow is Friday.  I've been looking forward to the weekends more lately, as I know I will have some time with my husband, something that doesn't happen much during the busy weeks.

Here is the recipe I chose for today's Slow Cooking Thursday, hope you enjoy it.



Slow Cooked Honey Garlic Chicken
Slow Cooked Honey Garlic Chicken


1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
3 garlic cloves, chopped or grated
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup honey
fresh basil, shredded, for garnish


Place the chicken in the bottom of a 4-quart slow cooker. In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, soy sauce, ketchup and honey. Pour over the chicken and cover.
Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or high for 3 to 4 hours. Remove chicken, place on a plate and tent with foil to keep warm. Transfer the remaining sauce to a saucepan and reduce down over medium heat until desired consistency is reached. Serve over the chicken and garnish with fresh basil.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Simple days and Slouchy Hats!

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Hello friends, come in and sit with me for a little.  You know let's pretend we're outside on the deck, under the umbrella with tall glasses of Iced Tea, shall we?

Have you noticed how the seasons are changing?  I think Fall really is here, at least in my neck of the woods.  I've been enjoying watching the trees changing colors, some are in full Fall transition, others are still as green as can be.

Makes me think of us humans, some are more than ready for Fall and others are holding on tight to the last days of summer.

I have a photo heavy post for you today, I thought I would do a quick review of the past few days, and what I've been busy with around here.

For those of you wondering, Lola is still doing ok, so far so good.  I'm doing ok too, I'm feeling much more relaxed and not so stressed out and worried.  Thank you again for all the prayers.

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Sunday we had a brunch with the family.  It was so delicious, I can't even begin to tell you.  I am a huge breakfast person and could easy eat it every day, for lunch and dinner.

I haven't forgotten about the French Toast Casserole, I just have to edit some photos today and can finally post the recipe on the blog.  I know, I am quite horrible at updating the food blog lately, aren't I?

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Miss Lola likes to be around people, so during the brunch she came to sit between my niece and my sister in law, and within a few minutes, this is what she looked like.  LOL

It was so funny.  She was actually trying to keep her head up straight, and if you can notice she's tilting to the left.  Hahaha

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Before long, my niece was laying on her and she was just in Heaven.

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We enjoyed brunch out on the deck.  It was wonderful eating outside, chatting and all the while watching the changing trees around us.

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Monday was a good start to the week.  I don't like very busy days and I think it is one of the reasons why I tend to start feeling overwhelmed.  When I start falling apart, I KNOW that I need to step back and take it easy.

I just don't do well with very busy schedules and chaos.

My to do list from yesterday was completely ticked off, I managed to get everything on there out of the way.

I've been asked before how I do everything and still have time to crochet or read.  I can only tell you that I stick to a routine, albeit not strictly because I do change things up if need be, but for the most part my days are pretty similar.

Mornings I get up early, enjoy my coffee and toast and either see hubby off to classes or work.  I catch up on my Portuguese soaps while I enjoy my breakfast, and then I head upstairs to change out of my pj's and get ready for the day.

The very first thing I do is usually my bed, followed by tidying up the bedroom, then I move onto Nicholas' room and do the same in there.  I open curtains, open windows and then move onto the kitchen.

Unload the dishwasher, reload it, and then get the lessons ready for the day.  By that time I need to start thinking about lunch, and also doing a quick clean of the bathroom and living room before my niece and nephew arrive for schooling.

Our afternoons are spent with school stuff, and by 4:30pm I start getting dinner going.  We usually eat around 5:30pm, the latest 6pm.  Then I do dishes again, clean up the kitchen and depending on the days of the week, I can either go take my shower throw on my pjs and relax for the rest of the night, or we have to get Jasmine off to Tae Kwon Do.

On those days, we don't get back home until 9:15 and then it's time for showers and relaxing.

If you're wondering where crocheting and reading or watching one of my shows fits in, then I'll tell you that I usually will do either of those when the kids are busy with a test, or working on something.  I will stay nearby and watch while I do my own thing.  I also get most of my crochet done at night while watching tv with the hubby.

Hope that answers the questions, and if you do have any others, feel free to ask, I don't mind answering. :)

Beautiful clouds

So yesterday morning began with me enjoying a cup of coffee out on the deck. The sky looked beautiful. I love skies with lots of clouds.

Morning coffee

I also got hubby's lunch ready for him to take to classes.

Hubby's Lunch

The rest of the day went pretty much like I described above.

Now, to show you the slouchy hat. These are so easy to make, I am using Julie's pattern, so go on over and check it out if you want to give it a try.

These are so quick to crochet, I can make one in about an hour, and so far I have made 4 and have a few more to make for me and my sister in law.

I asked the girls to model them for me, and they quickly obliged.

Girls Slouchy

These two beautiful girls make me smile.  I can't believe how grown up they are.

Jasmine Slouchy

Since then, I have made a charcoal colored one for Jasmine, she wanted a black one but I don't have any black yarn so went with the closest to it.  It looks amazing, and I'll have to get her to model that one for me.

Tiffany Slouchy

Tiffany has also requested a green one, and that one is almost finished.  I started it this morning and need just 4 rows to finish it off.  I'm telling you, these are fast.

But I'll show you the others when they're done.  I am hoping to make a grey one like the one above, and a pink one and white for myself.

I wish I could stay and chat more, but I need to get the school stuff ready to go and I haven't had a chance to plan anything yet, as the school site was not loading this morning.

I hope you all have a fantastic Tuesday, sending you much love and blessings :)


Monday, September 15, 2014

Happy Homemaker Monday - 09/15/2014

Morning my dear friends, I hope you've had a wonderful weekend and are ready for the week ahead.

Monday morning!  Can you believe it is Monday already?  I was sitting here this morning thinking that I still needed to go and see all of the HHM participants from the last one, and then it hit me that it is Monday again.  I actually woke up thinking it was Sunday LOL

What a disappointment when my husband reminded me of the day it was.  Oh well, let's make the best of it right?



Breakfast time....what is on the plate this morning::::
Usually just a cup of coffee and toast, but this morning, along with my huge cup of coffee, I am also having one of the homemade donuts.

Looking around the house::::
Jasmine is the only one still asleep.  My husband is up and finishing some homework on his computer before heading to classes for the day.  My Nicholas is sitting next to me on the couch, playing a game on his laptop.  I need to give the kitchen a good tidying, as well as the living room too, but otherwise, it is not too bad around here.

On today's to do list::::
Laundry.....technically I don't have any, since it's all been done, there are some clothes in the hamper and I think enough for a load, so I may throw that one in so it doesn't accumulate.
Cleaning.....Kitchen needs tidying and there are dishes to be done, living room needs picking up and I also need to vacuum it as Miss Lola is shedding, bedrooms need beds made and tidying up and vacuuming as well, bathrooms need the daily cleaning which consists of swishing some cleaner in the bowl and wiping down the counters.
Homeschooling.....prepare lessons this morning, boys have a Math test to do, girls have a Geometry portfolio that is due.
Crocheting.....finishing a slouchy hat.
Cooking....tuna salad for lunch, ribs with baked potatoes and salad for dinner.

Currently reading::::
The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon.

On the TV today::::
Portuguese Soaps - Beijo do Escorpiao, Mulheres
Not sure what else, we'll see what hubby wants to watch tonight

The weather outside is::::
It was 40 degrees this morning, it's actually starting to feel a little chilly in the early mornings and nights.  The rest of the week looks like it will be in the 80's.

On the menu this week::::
The menus for the new two weeks are comprised of very easy, very simple meals.  As I stated before our finances this month took a big hit with my husband's college, so my usual budget for food had to be dropped as well.

Monday
D:  Ribs, baked potatoes and salad
Tuesday
D: Maple Sausage Spaghetti
Wednesday
D:  Potatoes O'Brien with Smoked Sausage
Thursday
D:  Fettucine Alfredo
Friday
D:  Cheesy Garlic Pizza
Saturday
D: Seafood Subs for hubby, myself and Nicholas...Black Forest Ham Sub for Jasmine, chips
Sunday
D: Onion and Potato soup, Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

If I have a few minutes to myself, I will::::
Watch my soaps live, finish my slouchy hat, visit blogs or watch something.

New recipe I tried, or want to try this week::::
I know a lot of you have asked about the German Pizza, but I still haven't gotten around to making it.  I may just find the recipe and post it for you all.  This week I have no new recipes to try.  I will be posting the French Bread Casserole this morning over on the food blog.

One of my simple pleasures::::
Reading about the pioneer days, how they lived their lives, what they did and especially how the homemakers went about their chores.

Favorite photo from the camera::::
Love these two :)


Visiting with Blog friends (blog you want to share, blog post that caught your eye)::::
Another week of no blog visiting.  Or rather, no new blog visiting, I did manage to get around to some of you and leave a quick comment but didn't get much done in the form of reading.  Hoping to get some minutes today to do that.   

Praying for::::
Continuing to pray for our financial situation.
Praying for my little Lola.


Bible Verse, Devotional that is resonating with me at the moment:::: 


PLEASE, don't add links to this list that are not part of the Happy Homemaker Monday. I've asked numerous times, and I'm frankly quite tired of having to remove links to other posts that shouldn't be in this list. Please be respectful of my request!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Feeling Blessed!

Enjoying the beautiful afternoon

After such a hard day yesterday, and the last few weeks too, I can say that today for the first time, I felt relaxed and extremely blessed.

I am certain that these feelings were brought on by the amount of kind words, sweet comments and prayers you showered upon me, after my very raw post yesterday morning.

I have gone back and read it a few times, and I think the feeling of despair is quite palpable.

You know, this is one of the reasons why I love having my blog, because on it, I can truly be myself.  All the beauty and happiness, ugliness and heartbreak, dreams and goals and everything in between....right here on these pages where I can go back and read through and remember where I was, what I was doing and how I got to where I am.

I love that.

I want to thank you all so very much for lifting me up in prayer, believe me when I say that I felt it and I woke up this morning feeling that no matter what may come my way, I have wonderful friends surrounding me, and I have the Lord right there with me, giving me a helping hand...... and that my sweet friends, is all that matters.

Lola

I didn't get very good sleep last night, I kept waking up to check on little Missy above.  Thankfully she has been ok since and is acting her normal chirpy self.  I am happy, I am relieved, but I am not letting my guard back down because I do know that these things can happen just out of the blue and when we least expect it.

Good thing is that through this time, I have come to a place in my heart where I feel that if they are to continue happening, we will deal with it, we will help her as best as we can.  This is not the end of the world and it is certainly not something to fall completely apart on.

I'm learning, slowly, but surely :)

This morning, as Curt headed to work, I got busy with my normal homemaking chores.  Laundry was tossed around, dishes were done, counters wiped down and floors swept and mopped.

Bella

All the while, Miss Bella sat nearby, enjoying the sun coming in through the window, and keeping a sleepy eye on what I was up to.

She is getting so very old, her back legs are giving her problems, she has lost a lot of her hearing and we can see her health declining....but she continues to be the sweetest girl on earth and we love her dearly.

I worked a little on our budget notebook, stapled the grocery receipts to the menu plan/grocery list notebook and was still working on that when my hubby returned home.

He walked into the kitchen, gave me a big hug and asked me to put my shoes on because he was taking me to the Farmer's Market.

We didn't buy anything as we arrived a bit late and some of the vendors were already packing up, but we walked around a little and chatted. He then decided to take me over to the thrift store just for a look around, again we walked out without buying anything, nothing really caught my eye.

But here's the thing, even though we didn't buy anything, we still enjoyed every second of it. It is something that we love doing, being able to spend time alone and talk and really give our relationship the attention it needs.

When you're raising young children it is often very easy to put the marriage last, as we worry about everything and anything other than it. It does cause a lot of strain and sometimes you start feeling that you're growing apart.

When we were still in the military, I often felt that I didn't get any time with my husband, but since he retired we have made a huge effort to concentrate on us and our marriage, spending as much time as we can together and I can tell you, in all honesty that we are as much in love now as we were when we first got married. Matter of fact, our kids have joked quite a few times that we act like we are newlyweds. I'm fine with that :)

Clothesline

I hung my tablecloths and kitchen goodies outside to dry.

Clothesline

I love watching them flapping around on the clothesline, and I figure I better enjoy it now because here shortly we won't be able to do that anymore once the cold weather sets in.

Homemade Donuts

Filled my Dessert Plate with some yummy homemade donuts.  Oh these are such a huge temptation but I can't help it, especially when eaten along side a cup of coffee.

Homemade Donuts

While I was in the kitchen, I also got an Overnight French Toast Casserole in the refrigerator, as we are having a Brunch with the family tomorrow.

Overnight French Toast Casserole

I will share the recipe tomorrow on my food blog, so if this is something you think your family would enjoy, just keep an eye out.

Once I was done with all my work inside, we sat down and watched the new Doctor Who episode. I was asked quite a few times if I am liking the new doctor, and honestly, I am. I didn't think I would and when Peter Capaldi was announced as the new doctor, I was quite upset about it. As the new episodes have been airing though we've quite enjoyed him and so far are liking his portrayal of the Doctor. We'll see how it goes as the series continues.

We also watched the new show that premiered yesterday, called Z Nation. It's a zombie show much like Walking Dead, and so far the first episode was pretty good. My husband says it is like Walking Dead but on steroids LOL

I'm not one to sit in front of the TV all day though, so those two episodes were more than enough for me, then I needed a break and out to the deck I went with a few goodies under my arm.

Reflecting

Today's reading landed on the page "The Joy of Trusting God's Plan".  Could that be any more poignant for all the trials and tribulations I am currently going through?  My goodness.

And people still say God never shows signs.  They are literally everywhere, we just need to open our eyes and not close ourselves to them.

We struggle because we choose the hard way, or at least, I struggle because I choose the hard way, and by that I mean the way of trying to do things and control things by myself.  Time and again I fail, time and again I am shown that is not the way to do it, but yet, time and again I fall back to old habits.

I think I will forever be learning this lesson, actually I wouldn't be surprised if by the time I move on to my Heavenly home, I have yet to conquer this completely.

But boy does it feel so much better when I feel even a slight inkling of what it would be like to trust in God completely and let Him take all the burdens.  So why is it so hard to do it?  I don't know, but I am trying to find out.

Quiet reading time

I always feel so much better when I am reading and learning and spending time in His presence, just wish I would do it more often.

Knitting

After reading for a while, I set the book down, and got some knitting done. It felt glorious outside, not hot, just perfect weather, the sun shining, the shade under the umbrella, birds chirping loudly from a nearby tree and my pugs playing in the grass.

You know life is so difficult at times, but I have always found that if I just go outside, everything seems to be so much easier to bear. It's like the fresh air makes my mind think clearly and the problems that seemed like a huge Mount Everest just a minute ago, inside the house, now seem like small hills easily overcome.

Anyway.....

It is now 9:30pm, and I am outside again, typing up this post....but this time it is pitch black, and the only sounds are those of crickets in the distance. Beautiful 60 degrees, no wind and the stillness of the night to keep me company. You know if I could, I would plop a sleeping bag on the grass and sleep outside....problem is, I don't think I could handle all the creepy crawlies that skitter around the grass. GROSS!!!

I'll stick to my nice warm bed, but for now, I will indulge in the moment and the pretty perfect night around me.

If I could, I think my wish would be to have you all right here with me, around my patio table, with a cup of coffee or tea, a plate of cookies and warm chatter. Yes, that would be lovely :)

Friday, September 12, 2014

When it rains.....right????



I had a pretty difficult day yesterday, aside from all the grocery debacle, there were other things going on which I don't want to go into here on the blog.

I was hoping and praying that today would be an easier day and that I would have a sense of peace and calm and no worries.

That didn't happen, as we were woken up this morning to Lola having a seizure.

Remember when she had two back in 2013?   She had one beginning of January and then another in May?  Then she stopped having them, and now it's been a year and 4 months since she had any.

This morning caught me completely off guard.  I hadn't slept much, I was up most of the night tossing and turning and was not prepared for this again.

It is truly heartbreaking when you see your pet go through this.  I think all in all the whole seizure is traumatizing for both pet and owner, but the moment they start coming out of it, for me, is especially difficult because she doesn't recognize me, she doesn't know where she is, she doesn't even respond to normal trigger words such as TREAT.

I am completely overwhelmed right now, I feel like I am under attack spiritually and it's been non stop, slowly draining me. 

To put it nicely, I am a total mess this morning and I have dark circles under my eyes that I am sure can be seen from outer space.

I am now trying to think back on yesterday, what did she eat, what did we feed her, did she get a hold of anything that we didn't see, did she overheat, did she stop breathing in her sleep.  What brought this on?

All questions that I need answers to and of which at this moment I don't have any.  I honestly feel so run down and tired and emotionally drained this morning, that I am forcing myself to put one foot in front of the other and just get through the day.



Of course today is also class day for hubby, so my rock, my pillar of support is not here and..........I just don't know.

Tomorrow will be a better day.  I am allowing myself to cry, I am allowing myself to question why, and then I'm washing my face, putting on a smile and lifting my head as high as it can get.

I WILL make it through all the obstacles currently at hand.

If you feel inclined to, I wouldn't say no to a prayer thrown my way.  I do so appreciate you all and there have been so many times that I have been in need of support and prayer and words of wisdom, and you have always come through for me.

Gosh I actually feel frustrated with myself for feeling so beat down, I know I'm strong, but sometimes even the strong feel helpless.

Right....going to get a cup of coffee and get ready to face the rest of the day!!!