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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Car seat help...

When we were getting ready to go to China to bring Elizabeth home, we knew we had to have a car seat for her when we got back home. I had NO idea what the rules and regulations were about car seats. After several problems with two different car seats, we finally found one that installed easily and was highly recommended by everyone we know. While we did know that Elizabeth needed to be rear facing until she was 1, we weren't sure about the other requirements. Thankfully I found this website called Car-Safety.org. They share LOTS of information about car seat safety. So if you are like I was, this site will provide much needed help to you.


Yes, Elizabeth is almost 13 months and is still rear facing. After reading this, on the Car-Safety.org site, I think she'll remain rear facing for a while.


ADDED BIT OF REALLY GOOD ADVICE: Susan P. over at A Place Called Home shared this in the comment section.
I wanted to let you know that my son is a firefighter and around here they take all kinds of car seat safety classes. They are always ready to help at the Fire Station to check your car seat for safety, show you how to properly install, all the things you need to know and I like that they are so "hands on" about it. Maybe you could call your local fire dept. to see if they do this too.

This is DEFINITELY a great service that firefighters offer!! In an email with Susan, she said to be sure and call your fire department first to make sure that they do, in fact, offer this service. Thank you SO much, Susan!!!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Book Review- Aunt Jane's Hero


Oh y'all!! I just finished the BEST book!! It's called Aunt Jane's Hero and it's by Elizabeth Prentiss. A lot of you will know Mrs. Prentiss from her book Stepping Heavenward or her hymn More Love to Thee, O Christ.

Aunt Jane's Hero is about a lady named Aunt Jane and the people that she loves in her life. This book was a wonderful example of being content no matter what your station in life and reminding Christians to follow Jesus at all times. Though the world may look tempting every once in a while, the Lord's ways are always best and lead to joy.

Ooooh. I don't want to say too much- I want you all to experience it for yourselves. I love getting to know the characters in a book so wonderful as this, but I also hate to see them go, too, when the book is over.

I feel like Aunt Jane has been a friend to me during the reading of this book. Perhaps you will feel the same way, too.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Cleaning cabinets...


We have white cabinets. White cabinets show dirt very easily and, therefore, need to be cleaned more often. I used to DREAD this task until I discovered that a bowlful of warm soapy water, a wash cloth and a little elbow grease can clean the cabinets much more quickly than I was cleaning them before!!! I just add a touch of dishwashing liquid or liquid handsoap to my water and start cleaning away!! They are clean in no time now!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Look what I just found...


Yep... Victoria's website is up and running, ladies!!!!

Oh, and I should let you all know... I discovered this good news over at Smilnsigh. Go pay her a visit!! :)

A simple cup of tea...


I don't know about y'all, but a simple cup of tea can change me from feeling frumpy to feeling feminine in one sip. Why is that? Is it because I must pause to drink it? I can't just gulp it down like a soda. Or is because it is served in a pretty cup? Is it the enchanting aroma? Whatever it is, I love it.

Enjoying a cup of tea is just what I needed today. I woke up tired. I felt unkempt. I simply poured a cup of my favorite tea (Chai has been my favorite for about 2 years now), visited a lovely feminine blog, Homeliving Helper, and voila! I'm feeling much more ladylike than I was half an hour earlier.

For me, I enjoy keeping my home in order when I feel more feminine. I want to make sure that even the little things are straightened or cleaned- not just sloppily done simply to be able to check it off my "to do" list that day. When I feel more ladylike, I make sure that even the little things about ME are straightened, as well. For example, I make sure my hair is in place, my clothes are neatly pressed, my earrings are on, I'm smelling fresh and clean.

A simple cup of tea can lead to a clean home AND a more lovely feeling wife and mother! Imagine that!!

What makes YOU feel more feminine? Please share!! If you blog about it or have blogged about it before, please leave a link for all to enjoy!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Me? Sew?


Shoved in the FAAAAAAR corner in my bedroom, where no one else can see it but me... sits my sewing machine. Yes. It's true. I own a sewing machine. I did not buy it, mind you. A very sweet lady at my church found out I didn't have one and she bought it for me. I've tried to sew a few things here and there, but I just don't seem to "get it". So, there it sits... in the corner... with fabric and old homeschool material piled on top (goodness, I have GOT to clean that corner!! LOL!!!)


Alas! What is THIS? Well, it's a sewing machine case (as if you can't read)!!! A friend of mine recently was telling me about some sewing lessons that she is going to take and I could probably get involved in the lessons, too!! I decided I needed to purchase a case so that I could carry it to and from the lessons. I found it at Walmart for only $17.83!! I can't wait!!

Maybe, just maybe I'll actually learn to sew!!!!! And hopefully that horribly cluttered corner will be neat and tidy, too!!

Monday, May 21, 2007

A wonderful find- online sermons!!!


Until about a month ago, our family had to use "old-fashioned" (haha!) dial-up in order to get online. YIPPEE we are now high speed and LOVING it!!

Having high speed opens up a whole new world of the internet that we have not be privy to before. I've really enjoyed being able to view the YouTube videos that bloggers post on their blogs. I've LOVED being able to share music on my blog AND hear it on others' blogs as well. I think my FAVORITE thing so far that I've discovered is ONLINE SERMONS!!! Y'all!!! How WONDERFUL!! What a blessing!!!

Have you not been listening to them??? Oh my!! Be sure and go to to One Place or Sermon Audio and you'll find TONS of wonderful sermons to listen to. What a blessing to be able to listen to some wonderful teaching from all over the world!! So today, when your homekeeping is finished for the day, the children are napping, and your crock-pot is cooking away, sit back and listen to a sermon online! What great encouragment as we grow in the Lord!!

Friday, May 18, 2007

EXTRA!!! EXTRA!!!! The latest on Victoria Magazine...



Imagine... Victoria Magazine FINALLY back in your mailbox!!! Did you EVER think this would happen??

Here's the website, too!!!

Show and Tell Friday- Teddy...


This is my first time participating in Kelli's Show and Tell Friday! What fun!

Please allow me to introduce you to my dear old friend, Teddy. My Grandma and Grandpa gave him to me my first Christmas, uh, a FEW years ago. Tee hee!!

Teddy was always with me when I was little. He was my favorite stuffed animal. He even went to college with me!! No joke!! Now Teddy lives with us and has his special place on my dresser. :)

Teddy is a boy, yes. But WHY, you ask, is he wearing a dress? Well, apparently when I was little, I felt bad for him having to go around naked all the time, so I put some doll clothes on him and just never took them off!

Thank you for stopping by for my Show and Tell Friday with my Teddy!! For more Show and Tell Friday, please go visit Kelli!!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Cooking with Elizabeth...


Yep, that's my cutie girl!!!! She's sportin' a sweet apron made for her by her Aunt Amy!! Thank you, Aunt Amy!!!

Today, amongst the regular Thursday jobs around the house, Elizabeth and I decided to make Rachael Ray's Super Sloppy Joes for lunch. Remember, our big meal of the day is lunch, so that's why we were cooking this in the middle of the day.

Here's the WONDERFUL recipe! For those of y'all that still open a can of Manwich, try this!! It is super simple and VERY tasty!!!!

Super Sloppy Joes
Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
1 1/4 pounds ground beef sirloin
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon steak seasoning blend, such as McCormick brand Montreal Seasoning
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cups tomato sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 crusty rolls, split, toasted, and lightly buttered

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil and meat to the pan. Spread the meat around the pan and begin to break it up. Combine brown sugar and steak seasoning. Add sugar and spice mixture to the skillet and combine. When the meat has browned, add onion and red peppers to the skillet. Reduce heat to medium and cook onions, peppers, red wine vinegar and Worcestershire sauce with meat for 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce and paste to pan. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to simmer and cook Sloppy Joe mixture 5 minutes longer. Using a large spoon or ice cream scoop, pile sloppy meat onto toasted, buttered bun bottoms and cover with bun tops.


We also decided to make oven potatoes to go with this. It's a super simple dish, too! The hardest part is chopping the pototoes!!

Oven Potatoes
5 medium sized red potatoes
1 large onion (I used Vidalia today... I wonder why...)
4 garlic cloves (or more if you LOVE garlic like we do!!!)
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt
Pepper

Wash potatoes and leave the skin on. Chop into bite sized pieces and put on a cookie sheet. Chop onion into bite sized pieces and place that on the cookie sheet, too. Rough chop garlic and toss those pieces on top of the potatoes and onions. Drizzle with about 2 T of olive oil, sprinkle to taste with salt and pepper and lightly toss it all together with your fingers. Place in a preheated 400 degree oven and bake for about 45 minutes. Half way through, take them out and toss them around to make sure they are cooking evenly on all sides. Enjoy!!!

So... what are you serving your family today?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Vidalia Onions...



It's that time of the year- VIDALIA ONIONS ARE HERE!!! I LOVE these sweet onions sooo much! Mr. U and our son BOTH bought me 10 pounds of Vidalia's... so I now have 20 POUNDS of Vidalia onions in my kitchen. WOOHOO!! What can I make? What can I make?

Soo... today we will be having Vidalia Onion Pie. Yummmm... Here's the recipe...

Vidalia Onion Pie
3 medium Vidalia Sweet Onions
1/2 cup butter
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup sour cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne red pepper
1 9-inch pie shell, unbaked
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 450 F. Thinly slice onions. Saute onions in butter until soft and transparent. Combine eggs, sour cream, salt, pepper and cayenne red pepper until smooth. Pour onions into pie shell, then pour egg mixture over onions. Sprinkle with cheese.

Bake at 450 F. for 15 minutes, then lower oven to 325 F. and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned and set. Serve warm.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!


Happy Mother's Day to all moms!! Enjoy this wonderful day with your family!! And be sure and call your own mother!!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Homemaker- Paul Overstreet


In Queen of the Castle, a wonderful book that I reviewed on Wednesday, the author makes reference to a song by Paul Overstreet called "Homemaker" from his CD entitled Sowin' Love. Well, it got to me. What were those lyrics? So, I had to google it and here's the sweet words that I found.

To me she is a beauty queen
I love to watch her on the screen
In our home movies
And when she sings around the house
She's got a voice that knocks me out
She is my favourite singer

But you won't see her on T.V.
Or hear her on the radio
Worldly fame is not her aim
And she's the first to let you know

CHORUS: She wants to be a homemaker
It's her dream to raise a family
And give her love to just one man
And I thank God it's me
I'll never underestimate her
'Cause she could take this word and turn it on
But she takes her love
And makes our house of home

She can't afford to spend her day
In a old soap opera haze
She's much too busy
At night she puts the kids to bed
She's makin' sure their prayers get said
Before she lays down with me

It's plain to see
That she's not seeking glory on this earth
'Cause she believes in honesty
And the joy of giving birth

(REPEAT CHORUS)

Mr. Overstreet, thank you for encouraging homemakers everywhere!!!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

A Tribute to Old Fashion Girls

I found this just this morning over at Mrs. Wilt's nest. Absolutely lovely.

Note: I do not know all the movies that are featured in this clip. If anyone can name ALL the movies, please let me know. There are some that I would love to see!!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Book Review- The Queen of the Castle



Y'all!!! I just read a WONDERFUL book!! It's called Queen of the Castle- 52 weeks of encouragement for the uninspired, domestically challenged or just plain tired homemaker by Lynn Bowen Walker.

Why do I think it's so good? Read what Mrs. Walker says on page 5 of her book about homemaking. This is what I think about homemaking, too. It's more than just a clean home or homemade food. It's about... well, just read what she says here...
Homemaking involves people. It encompasses loving our children, nurturing their creativity, and helping them recognize their unique gifts. Homemaking is encouraging our husbands, admiring their finer qualities, and praying for them when they're going through a rough time. Homemaking is being a people tender, a "family manager," as author Kathy Peel calls it. It's caring about the people who enter our world and nourishing them with kind words, food perhaps, and a listening ear. You and I can change the lives we touch. We have the capacity to bring love and laughter and encouragement to those who enter our homes. It's a huge job.

My time to sit down and devour books has greatly decreased since we came home with Elizabeth. Homemaking is my favorite subject and all the books I have seen lately are thick and time-consuming. Queen of the Castle is broken down into 52 chapters. I can read one chapter in a sitting and actually feel like I accomplished some reading that day!! Plus, Mrs. Walker is so very real and encouraging in this book. While Martha Stewart comes across as larger than life, Mrs. Walker comes across like a sister- she KNOWS what it's like to try to juggle the demands of life and still somehow find time to clean her home, make homemade cookies, do special holiday projects with her family, etc. She's made mistakes and learned from them and she's had successes, too, and wants to share both with her readers.

Queen of the Castle has some really wonderful ideas for holidays and seasons, how to handle leftovers, flea market tips, etc. And she has some INCREDIBLE recipes in the book, too!!! Wait'll you see the recipe for French Dip in the Crock-Pot (page 225)- SOOO easy!!! Oh, and the chocolate butter (page 175). Yes, you read that right, CHOCOLATE BUTTER!!!!! And there are MORE excellent recipes, too!!!

I also really like all the wonderful quotes she has throughout her book (plus all the new words she teaches as the book goes along!!!). I think my favorite quote is from page 32 in her book...
C. S. Lewis once said, "A housewife's work...is surely in reality the most important work in the world. What do ships, railways, mines, cars, government, etc. exist for except that people may be fed, warmed, and safe in their own homes?... We wage war in order to have peace, we work in order to have leisure, we produce food in order to eat it. So your job is the one for which all others exist."

What I like most about Queen of the Castle, though, is the constant reminder to spend time with the Lord. There is Scripture throughout the book continually pointing readers to the fact that we exist, ultimately, for our Lord and Savior. We take care of our homes for Him and because of Him. I have other homemaking books, but this is the only one that comes to mind that talks about the Lord and takes us back to our relationship with the Lord. I appreciate this more than anything.

In the busyness of life these days, I welcome a book that points me to Jesus Christ, but that also encourages me in my calling as a wife and mother- as a homemaker. I am blessed, indeed, and Queen of the Castle reminded me of that blessing. Thank you, Mrs. Walker, for a lovely book.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Lovely day...


Today has been such a LOVELY day!! This is the kind of weather that I am SURE Heaven has all the time! :)

We woke up to cool weather. A cup of hot coffee felt mighty good in our hands this morning. After Miss E's morning nap, we headed off to meet some friends for lunch. By the time lunch was over, it had warmed up and the sky has been soooo blue with beautiful puffy white clouds scattered about. There is a breeze blowing and you can hear the birds chirping "Glory to God! Glory to God!!". If you stand in the sun, you'll get too hot, but on our back porch, it felt juuuust right.

Elizabeth and I decided to take the advice of Heather and Mrs. B and give my sad ferns a haircut and fertilize and water them good!! After that, little miss took her nap while I enjoyed the outside weather but from the INSIDE of my home- I opened the windows while I cleaned!! I LOVE having the windows open!! Not only does the house get a good "airing out" but I love the feeling of having the outside inside.

Such a lovely day, indeed!!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Blog Design Giveaway!!!!


Everyday Mommy is giving away a blog design in honor of Mother's Day!! Here's what she says...

"Have you been itching for a new look for your blog? Need a fresh design to inspire you? In honor of Mother’s Day Everyday Design is giving away a free Typepad or Blogger design! You may enter your own blog or the blog of a friend. Just grab the button above, write a brief post and link back to this post. The winner will be chosen at random on May 13th. Entrants must have either a Typepad Plus Level or New Blogger account. Please be sure to leave a comment with the URL of your entry."


So don't wait!!! Head on over and register to win!!!

Friday, May 04, 2007

I need YOUR help...

Have any of y'all watched "Dora the Explorer"? HAHA!! My title sounds just like something she would say!!! LOL!!!

Anyway... I DO need your help. Last October I posted about wintering ferns. I was SO excited and KNEW that I would be able to successfully keep my ferns big and beautiful all winter long.

Boy was I WRONG!!! They are brown and dead. Do y'all know of ANYTHING that I can do to help them? Are they doomed for the woods behind our house????

Any help y'all could give would be most welcomed!! :)

Thursday, May 03, 2007

A productive day...


Today has been very productive so far!! Don't you just love days like that? Mr. U was able to be home a bit this morning and that allowed me to get some things done here while he watched Elizabeth.

So far today, I have mopped the kitchen and dining room, vacuumed the entire house, cleaned the master bathroom and that includes scrubbing the walls in the shower!!! Woohoo! You know, now that I have typed that out, it doesn't look like I've done much, but believe me, it IS!! I just have two loads of laundry to do later this afternoon after I get back from running errands. Aaaahhh, I LOVE getting my home into shape.

I love taking care of my family. I love making our house a home. Thank you, Lord, for letting me have my dream job- a wife, mother and homemaker. I am so blessed.

So why the roses at the top of this post? First of all, I think they are absolutely beautiful. They are called Queen Elizabeth and, of course, remind me of my Elizabeth. Secondly, they are just so feminine looking and I love having pretty, feminine things in my home. Next, they look so happy and bright and make me think my home is smiling after such a good cleaning. Last, they remind me of the Lord's kindness toward us to give us such lovely things and how I often don't take time to notice them. He is good and does good. Always.

So take some time today, if you can, to tidy up your home. Take some time to notice the gorgeous things the Lord has created around us that we often take for granted. But most of all, take some time to sit down with the Word and spend time with the Lord.

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