Friday, December 20, 2013

A New Vacuum Cleaner...

We moved into our new home a little over a year ago.  When we packed up and left our old house, many things were either give away or thrown away- including our cheap vacuum cleaner.  So when we moved in last December, we needed a new one.  In the middle of having to get a bazillion things for the house, the last thing we wanted to do was research a good vacuum cleaner. So off to Walmart we go and we buy the cheapest vacuum they had.  And BOY was it obvious!!!!  Did a horrible job of sucking up dirt, let out little puffs of dust as I vacuumed, and it was heavy!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Y'all can imagine my joy when I finally got a new vacuum cleaner- a Dyson DC41 Animal Plus!!!!!  Mr. U pulled it out of the box and started assembling it for me.  He said it was easy to assemble.  Me?  Meh.  I don't do assembly very well. Once he finished, I plugged that baby in and WHEEEEEEEE started vacuuming.  (Amazing, isn't it, how a new cleaning product can suddenly get you into deep cleaning mode?? Or am I the only one?)

My first thoughts of the DC41 Animal Plus was that it was heavy!!!!  Yes, probably as heavy as the cheapo one I was getting rid of.  BUT the heaviness of the machine appears to mean better suction and FLUFFY carpet when I was done!  Yes, our carpet looked fluffy!!!  Even the stairs!!  I used the wand to finally vacuum all my stairs!!  I'm sure I will not win homemaker of the year for the fact that I never vacuumed my stairs before!! We used a Shark Swivel Sweeper for stairs before this Dyson.   Also, the chord, I discovered, is VERY long.  So long that I kept getting tripped up on it.  Oh and there's this little flap at the top of the vacuum......

... when you need to put the vacuum in upright position, this little flap turns into a suction machine!!!!  I'm not sure why it does that, but it sucked my hair into it the first time I stood the vacuum up and it was turned on!!!!  After that, I clearly avoided that!!!!  And lastly, I found the Dyson kind of awkward to get to stand up.  You have to push it in stand up position and push a little further than you think is necessary until you hear a "click" and then you know it's locked in place.  I wasn't careful a few times and thought I had it standing up properly and then BOOM it fell over backwards.  I learned quick. 

So what do I LOVE about the Dyson?  HOLY MOLY does this thing fluff up carpet!!  And you wouldn't believe the stuff I vacuumed up!!  And the vacuum gets sooooooo close to the edge where the carpet meets the wall.  LOVE THAT!!  With the old vacuum, I would have to sweep that section and then vacuum it up- no joke!!  I also LOVE that the hose extends far enough for me to leave the vacuum at the bottom of the stairs while I vacuum each stair.  Oh, and I also love the fact that the vacuum transitions from carpet to bare floor with zero effort.  I do nothing, no flip to switch at all!  I just keep on vacuuming carpets AND bare floors!!!  

Y'all be sure and tell me what you love/hate about your vacuum.  And, if you are interested, you can learn more about Dyson cleaner here at Argos

Happy vacuuming, y'all!! 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

My girls.....

Yep, they are growing up.  Too quickly, I might add.  Elizabeth is 7 and Caroline is 3.  And they both insist that I add the "and a 1/2" to each of their ages.  It's been FOREVER since I added that 1/2 to MY age!!!!

Monday, December 09, 2013


It's another cold, very rainy day here in Georgia.  I'm wondering just how many days the Lord will give us rain???  A little sunshine would most certainly perk all of us up.  So what's a mother to do?  Why, bake something special, of course!!!  

Today the girls and I decided to make Schoolhouse Gingerbread from Pleasant View Schoolhouse.  Her recipes never disappoint.  The link goes straight to Anna's recipe.  I didn't have enough sugar, so I had to substitute brown sugar instead.  Brown sugar has molasses in it, so I didn't need to use as much molasses as the original recipe. 

Happy baking!!!

Schoolhouse Gingerbread
Combine and beat until smooth:

1 c. brown sugar 
3/4 c. molasses
1 c. oil
3 eggs

In another bowl mix:

3/4 t. salt 
1 t. ginger
1 t. cinnamon
2 c. flour
2 t. baking soda

Add to first bowl, then stir in:

1 c. boiling water.

Bake in a prepared 9x13 pan  at 350 for 25-30 minutes.  Mmmmm.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!

I've so very much to be thankful for, but nothing compares to knowing Christ!! 

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Mrs. U

Friday, November 15, 2013

Cursive- Are You Teaching This to Your Children?

Cursive handwriting is apparently an issue with this new Common Core.   Are you teaching your children to read and write cursive?  Or if they are in public school or private school, are they learning it at school? 

Not only is cursive a beautiful art, but it is necessary to know in order to read many of our historical documents in our country.  This article shares about a school girl that could not read a letter from someone who had written in cursive. 

I have always loved writing in cursive.  I've always considered it like art.  You must take your take to make it beautiful.  Do I always write in cursive now?  No.  I find printing much faster these days.  But as a homeschool mother with a child in 2nd grade, I am currently brushing up on my strokes so that I may teach her how to write in cursive in January.  (Shhh. Don't tell her. It's a surprise!  She's been working very hard on writing very neatly so that she can learn cursive. She's been dying to learn for a year now!!!). 

So are you making sure that your children learn cursive? Why or why not?

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Are you serving your children from a heart of love?

From Nancy Leigh Demoss...

(noisy children in background)
“All right. We have five minutes for a Bible story, and then you kids are going to bed! (pages turning) Let’s see . . . ‘One day God told Jonah . . .' Franky! Get over here and sit down!”
Nancy Leigh DeMoss: You may be teaching your children the truths of the Bible . . .
“‘God told Jonah to go to Nineveh . . .' Sarah! I can’t wait till you kids are in bed!”
Nancy: . . . but are you doing it out of love? The apostle Paul says, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.”
If I’m teaching others God’s Word, but I don't have love, what does Paul say? I'm just making noise.
“Uhhh! I’m trying to read here!”
Nancy: Are you serving from a heart of love? Ask God to fill you with His love. Ask Him to love others through you.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

My favorite all purpose cleaning solution...

I've been having issues with the skin on my hands for some time now. It is mostly my right hand and fingertips.  I've narrowed it down to the cleaning products I've been using.  I HAD to change something to get the cracking, bleeding, itching to go away.  NOTHING worked to bring relief. 

I've gotten rid of all store bought cleaners and am making my own all purpose cleaner now.  The recipe below doesn't do well on mirrors or glass, so I simply added a pump spray to a bottle of rubbing alcohol and that works like a charm!!!!  Cheap AND doesn't bother my skin!  Love that!!!

Of all the all purpose cleaners I've tried, this one has been the best!  It's great that I can mix it up quickly, it does a good job of cleaning, AND it smells great!!!

Natural Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner

In a spray bottle mix:
  • 1 tsp borax
  • 1/2 tsp washing soda
  • 1 tsp liquid castille soap
  • essential oils as preferred
Then add 2 cups of warm water. Distilled is best, but any water that has been boiled will work. Cover bottle and shake well. Use as needed.

What works for you??  

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Texas Trash- funny name but a FANTASTIC dip!!!

 We recently had this yummy dip at a Bible study.  DELICIOUS!!  Catchy name, too, no?
Texas Trash
2 cans refried beans
1 cup sour cream
1 block (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 packet taco seasoning
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cups monterey jack cheese, shredded
(I used about 3 cups cheese)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Put refried beans in pan.  Mix together cream cheese, sour cream, and taco seasoning.  Layer on top of beans.  Top with both cheeses.  Bake for 25 minutes or until hot.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Ok, so I'm trying to do a little bloggy makeover here.  It would seem, however, that I messed up my HTML years ago and can NOT get this blog looking like I'd like.  If anyone could point me in the direction of someone that could help me (preferably for free), I'd be so grateful!!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Have You Been in The Word Lately??

Love For a Bible Not Read: A Call For Biblical Literacy  
Are our churches full of biblical illiterates???

...Fewer than half of all adults can name the four Gospels. Many Christians cannot identify more than two or three of the disciples. According to data from one research group, 60 percent of Americans can’t name even five of the Ten Commandments. Americans may demand that the Ten Commandments be posted in the courthouse, but they seem unable to remember what exactly they are... (read the entire article by Dr Mohler here).

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Bryant Breakfast Casserole...

Elizabeth may be only 6 (7 next month, she is quick to add), but she LOVES cookbooks.  She even enjoys READING the recipes!!  Yep, a girl after my own heart.

Recently her daddy bought a new cookbook for her from King's Blooming Rose called The Maiden's Menu- Recipes for the King's Blooming Roses.  She found a wonderful breakfast casserole for us to try and, boy, was it delicious!  We WILL be having this again!!!

Bryant Breakfast Casserole

1 pound sausage or hamburger, browned and drained (we used 1/2 pound sausage)
6 eggs
2 cups milk
2 cups bread cubes
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dry mustard

Add salt and mustard to beaten egg-milk mixture.  In a 9x13 casserole dish, layer bread cubes, sausage, and cheese.  Pour egg mixture on top.  Refrigerate 6-8 hours or overnight.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes and serve warm.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Martha Washington's disposition...

From Revive Our Hearts...

Martha Washington faced a lot of challenges while being married to our nation’s first president, but she didn’t let circumstances control her emotions. Here’s what she wrote to a friend:
I am still determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may be, for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances.
Are you carrying around seeds of happiness or of misery? Left to ourselves, we usually choose misery. That’s why we need God’s grace. He can plant seeds of contentment and joy in our hearts that will last through any difficulty.

The apostle Paul said, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” We can say the same thing when we realize that a wise, loving, sovereign God is controlling every circumstance of our lives.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup...

A recent find through Pinterest!  I've tried many recipes from Pinterest.  Some great and some, uh, well, not so great.  But that's part of the fun!!! 

This recipe?  Mmmmm.  It's one of the GREAT recipes!  And to top it off, not only does it taste really good, but it's fast to make, too! Toast up some thinly sliced baguettes and rub some fresh garlic on it when it comes out of the oven and you've got a meal!! (Of course, dessert afterward never hurts, either!!)

Listed below is the original recipe.  I put my one change in parentheses.  

Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup 

(original link)


2 whole large Cloves Of Garlic Minced
2 Tbl Olive Oil
2 10¾ oz Cans of Condensed Tomato Soup
¼ cup Sun Dried Tomatoes, chopped or 2 Tbl Of Sun Dried Tomato Paste
2 cups Half-and-half
2 cups Chicken Stock
1 tsp Onion Powder
1 Tbl Italian Seasoning
½ tsp Salt
½ tsp Pepper
1 whole 9 Oz Package Of Cheese Filled Tortellini (I used a 15 oz package)
½ cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese, for garnish


Saute garlic with the olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat until golden brown.
Be sure to keep an eye on it so it doesn’t get too brown or burnt.
When the garlic is done, add tomato soup, tomatoes, half and half, chicken stock and spices.
Bring to a simmer.
Once simmering, drop tortellini into the soup. Cook according to the package directions.
After tortellini are cooked, ladle soup into bowls and top with Parmesan cheese.

Monday, April 01, 2013

Hello blogging world!!

Oh my.  It's been a while since I've blogged.  The past year has been a crazy one full of changes and the blog was the last thing on my mind. 

After much prayer, Mr. U left the ministry.  For now.  We do not know what the Lord has in store, but last January (2012) he started working for a computer company.  He's always loved computers but never dreamed the Lord would have him doing it full time.  This involved us leaving the town we lived in for 14 years just outside Augusta, GA, and returning to where we grew up- Atlanta.  We NEVER thought we'd be living here again, so imagine our surprise when the Lord worked this out!!! 

When Mr. U started his job in Atlanta in January of last year, the girls and I stayed in the parsonage until  September.  The church was very nice to let us stay there that long.  We moved in with my parents in September and closed on our house (our FIRST house!!) in December!!  We are finally homeowners!!  It's been a loooooong journey, but we are SO happy to be all together AND to own our own home, too!!

I hope to share any good recipes I happen upon or maybe even homemaking tips.  I DO love making our house a home!!

Happy Homemaking!!!


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