Friday, September 28, 2007

My parents...

I am so blessed. This past Sunday, September 23, my parents celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary. 40 YEARS!!!!! Can you believe that?

In a day and age of quickie divorces, these two have stayed the course. They haven't had an easy time, either. Aside from the fact that they had three children (two of which are very strong-willed!!!), both of them have dealt with major health issues. They could have easily given up and walked away thinking, "I deserve better than this!", "I don't have to do this kind of stuff!", "I want to be able what I want to do!!!". But they haven't. They have truly modeled a godly marriage to my brother, sister and I.

Are they perfect? No. But they sure have given me an earthly example of what unselfish love looks like. I am so blessed, indeed.

I love you Dad and Mom!!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Healthier cleaning products...

A dear lady left a comment on one of the posts yesterday asking for recommendations for safe, non-toxic cleaning products while she is pregnant. PLEASE forgive me, but I do not remember who asked! I cannot find the comment either! Oh dear!!

I did a little research and it all led back to my favorite cleaning ingredients plus a fresh smelling ingredient- vinegar, baking soda and lemons!!!

Here are some sites that give wonderful information about cleaning with these products:

Vinegar Tips

27 Ways to Clean with Baking Soda

3 Homemade Natural Cleaning Products

Vinegar, Baking Soda and Lemon Cleaning Resources

As with anything, please check with your doctor or midwife before using any products while pregnant.

Happy cleaning!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Passionate Housewives: Desperate for God

Oh ladies!!!! A wonderful new book will be out soon!! Jennie Chancey (Ladies Against Feminism) and Stacy McDonald ("Raising Maidens of Virtue") have collaborated on a new book entitled "Passionate Housewives: Desperate for God".

Here's a little bit about it from Mrs. McDonald's blog...
Have you struggled to reconcile God’s vision of virtuous womanhood with worldly myths that marginalize and mock the role of the homemaker? Do you wrestle with cultural messages that demean the homemaker’s calling and exalt instead the emotionally androgynous power-woman—the wife whose worth is measured only by the degree of her ambition, the shape of her body, or her money-making skills? Such is the image of the “desperate housewife” that the modern media, culture, and feminism are promoting with great energy.(You can read more here.)

I so look forward to reading this book!! The only problem is that I have to wait about a month until it comes out- oh dear!!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Crock Pot Lentil Soup

We LOVE lentils here in our home and I was so excited to try a recipe from a friend. She makes the BEST lentil soup!! Her secret? Ham hocks.

Now, I know that most of y'all probably don't think twice about using ham hocks in cooking. But I've never used them before and, quite frankly, I was a little scared of them. I'M NOT JOKING!!!!! They are used a lot in Southern cooking, and though I am Southern, my mom never used them in cooking. I just didn't know what to do with them.

Well, I'll tell you what!! I definitely know what to do with them now! They flavored this soup sooo beautifully! If you haven't used them before in cooking, try it! You just may LOVE the flavor!!!

Crock Pot Lentil Soup

1 bag of Lentils, rinsed and soaked overnight
1 onion, diced
4 stalks of celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 cloves of garlic, diced
2 smoked ham hocks
5 cups chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste

Add all ingredients to crock pot. Set on low and cook for 7 hours. Serve with fresh baked rolls.

6-8 servings

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Simple Pleasures...

Don't you just love it when you are "walking" through blogland and you come across a post that just makes you smile?

Recently, I read a post entitled Simple Pleasures over at Hope in Laodicea. Here, the author, Ingrid Schlueter, talks about how the simple things in taking care of her family make her so very happy.

I love this quote,
"There’s something in most women that God placed there that if given the chance, really thrives on the simple work of serving our families."

The entire article is so encouraging! Be sure and take time to read it.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

What a lovely day!!

This morning, Mr. U and I decided to go to a local park for our morning walk. Elizabeth was MORE than happy to get out in this cool weather and enjoy her stroller. The temperature was 58 degrees when we arrived and the skies the clearest blue.

After we walked, we headed over to the children's play area. Mr. U held Elizabeth and slid her down the slide. Then he climbed to the top of the slides and gently let Elizabeth slide down to me. I grabbed her about 1/3 of the way down the slide (it was a short slide, too) because I was worried she would be scared. Silly me. She was all smiles and held her arms out to daddy to slide again!!! We'll be heading back to the park soon so she can slide more.

As we were leaving the park, I spied the first "official" sign of autumn- the leaves!!! Finally I found some leaves around here that have changed to their glorious fall colors!! Yippee!!! Now... I just need a hot mug of apple cider and I'll be set for today!!!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Fall is on it's way!!!

The weather this morning is a sure sign that fall is on it's way. HOORAY!!!

I walk two days a week with a dear friend at a nearby school. We were both quite surprised this morning when arrived at the walking track to find how chilly it was!! Shivering, we walked and talked and were both VERY excited to have left those 100 plus temperatures and have this lovely cool weather to welcome us outside.

The windows in my home are wide open right now and I can smell that nice "outside" smell drifting in on the breeze. Today is a busy day with homekeeping duties, meeting good friends for lunch and running errands, but I am SO happy to be doing these on a much cooler day!!

What are your plans today?

How is the weather where you are? Can you tell that fall is on the way?

Friday, September 14, 2007

How Clean is Your House?

Just to let you know, our family is usually a little behind times when it comes to TV shows. So I won't be the least bit surprised when y'all tell me that you've been watching this show for years!! What show? "How Clean is Your House?" on BBC America.

Last night was the first time I had seen the show. These two ladies, Kim and Aggie, went into a DISGUSTING house to help the lady get it cleaned and taught her how to keep it clean. I was shocked that the house was soooo dirty!! However, I loved learning the cleaning tips they gave (like using lemonade to remove hard stains in the toilet!!!). They really gave the house a good scrubbing and the lady was SO happy with the end result.

Another interesting thing I learned about was about...well...I hate to share such icky things... but... dust mite fecal. UGH!!! Kim and Aggie kept referring to all the germs that dust mites carry and how they leave their fecal (albeit microscopic) all over the house!!!! MY STARS!! I could barely go to sleep last night!! All I could think of was the dust mites on my pillow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have no idea how this dear lady's home got to be the horrible condition that it was, but, ladies, make sure that you are taking care of your home so that it never gets to that point! Please!!!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Just in case you've ever wondered...

Just in case you've ever wondered, when a recipe for roasting chicken breasts says to "rinse and pat dry" each breast, please do so.

The recipe was simple.
"Rinse and pat dry" chicken breasts. Place them in a roasting pan and drizzle 2 teaspoons of olive oil over them. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in a 400 degree oven 45-55 minutes until juices from chicken run clear.

I learned a hard and smelly lesson this morning. I thought "Why should I pat the chicken dry? It's going in the oven. The heat from the oven will make the water evaporate." WRONG!! Why? Because when you roast chicken in the oven, you always use some olive oil, too. The mixture of oil and water in the oven caused a whole lot of smoke!!!! There wasn't enough smoke to make the smoke alarms go off (thank the Lord!!!), but the oven is VERY dirty from the chicken popping all over the place!!!!

So, the chicken breasts are finally done. They don't smell nor do they look funny. All that's left for me to do is to do is to let the chicken cool down and shred it.

Oh, and clean the oven. Can't forget to do THAT today!!

Lesson learned.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Yes, I am alive...

Hi y'all! Yes, I am alive and well. I just needed a little time off from blogging. I do apologize for not sharing that beforehand. Very rude of me indeed. Please forgive me.

I'm going through a blogging slump. Last week I found myself thinking "I should blog!!" but then couldn't, for the life of me, come up with anything to blog about. I think I just needed a mindless week to do my day to day jobs, put Melissa & Doug puzzles together for the millionth time, play with the Tupperware Shape-O ball yet again and just watch Elizabeth have a joyful time eating spaghetti and meatballs while feeding HERSELF!!!!

So, here I am, back and semi-refreshed and ready to visit y'all's blogs!! I'm still in a fog about what to blog about, but I'm sure if the Lord wants me to share something, then He will make it clear.

Have a blessed day and be SURE and spend time with the Lord today!! What an honor it is to be able to open His Word, sit at His Feet and truly KNOW the Creator of the World!!!!


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