Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year!

If you are familiar with my blog, you know that New Year's Eve is my favorite night of the year.    It is a chance to reflect back on the previous 365 days and although I always have some regret, I mostly am thankful and blessed.  New Year's Eve is also the time to look ahead to the next 365 days and how I will fill them.      At 56 years of age, soon 57, It's more important to me how I spend those days.  I've used the term "finish well" - "focus on what's important" - etc. but it all means that I realize how fast time goes and there are so many things I want to do in my life!  I have the job that I will retire from I hope - I have my home - I get to travel - and so what is left to do is more about having fun, staying healthy, and helping others!

In 2015 I did not . . . 

Lose weight

Read books

Live healthy

Manage stress well

In 2016 I will . . . 

Read  - My sister and I are using our book club to play BINGO - a card full of different types of books to find and read.  Such fun! 

Improve Health - Exercise three times a week, Get eyes checked, Dental visits, cook healthy meals.

Blog - Post weekly.

Attend church regularly, read the Bible, and pray.

Have fun - I will do craft projects, sew, color, and allow myself time to do these things!  Each week!

Help others - I will support Heart Choices Pregnancy Center, DVACK by donating supplies for women/children, and a baby doll ministry with my niece in New Mexico.  

Lastly - one of my intentions for the new year comes in the form of a challenge I made to my sister and that is to come up with one word that describes what you want to work on.  This was easy for me as 2015 was a year of stress at work and stress in relationships.   I thought and prayed on what one word I would choose.  Gentle.  That's what I wanted to see in myself that I was not seeing now.  Gentleness.  I tend to let things build up - then my response can be aggressive - or I tend to respond without thinking things through.  Either way - I am the one who ends up stressed by that.  

All of these items on my I WILL list won't just happen unless I have a plan.  I do.  I will be sharing that more in my weekly blogs.  

Do you have a resolution for the New Year?  I'd love to hear!  I'll sign off now - going to take a nap - and then fix tacos for our New Year's Eve meal (exciting huh! - hubs request).  Then plan to watch football, the ball drop in Times Square, and start a good book!  Book #1 for my New Year - At Home in Mitford!  

Have a blessed and Happy 2016! 

And here's a few of my blessings . . . 

Thursday, December 24, 2015

So this is Christmas . . .

I have been whistling Dixie . . . no I mean Christmas songs around the house for two weeks now.  "So this is Christmas" is one of my very favorite - feel good - Christmas songs.   "So this is Christmas . . . da da da da da da . . . yes I haven't even known the words until this morning!  I pulled up a you tube video of Celine Dion singing it - and the words are on the screen as well! 

Christmas music is one of the best parts of the season for me . . . this music - like no other genre - can cause me to have a mixture of feelings . . . sadness, happiness, carefree, nostalgic, hopeful . . .

   And so Merry Merry Christmas  . . . And a Happy New Year
   Let's hope it's a good one - without any fear . . .

That line jumped out at me this morning - between my make up and my hair spray - "without any fear".   Our great nation is just plain scary right now . . . fear seems to prevail in our hearts.

   And so this is Christmas. . . and what have we done
   Another year over . . . a new one just begun

   And so happy Christmas . . . we hope you have fun
   The near and the dear ones . . . the old and the young.

    Merry Merry Christmas . . . and a happy new year
    Let's hope it's a good one - - - without any fear.

So I ask you - - - What have you done?  As a nation we are a mess . . . but around here I have been watching my friends do RACK - random acts of Christmas kindness . . . bombing parking lots with candy canes . . . leaving change on the pop machine . . . small gifts of thank you . . . donating food to the food shelter . . . giving toys to children . . .

That is one of my goals for the New Year is to find a need and fill it . . . won't you join me?   Share how you are making a difference . . . I know you are!

So This is Christmas

When I am afraid,  I will trust in you,  In God, whose word I praise.  In God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?
(Psalm 56:3-4)

Thank you for hosting the tour Sprite Writes!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

O Christmas Tree

Is Christmas coming?  With Kansas temperatures this week hanging in the 70's . . . in December . . . it is hard for me to feel "Christmasy".  My tree has stood in it's corner with lights for two weeks now and finally tonight ornaments were added.  Decorating the Christmas tree takes me back through all 56 years of my life in the span of about 30 minutes.  I remember the Christmas trees that we grew up with at home and the ones at my grandma's house and I even remember one "real" tree out at the farm at Grandpa Ab's.    Then I move forward to the 3 trees that I have had in my married life . . . plus a couple of real trees thrown in between.  Bringing out the tree in those days was cumbersome and hard work.  I would climb to the top of the highest point in our Glen Elder home, move decorations around, and drag down the huge boxed tree.  Then once decorated the box had to go back up to that high spot until after Christmas . . . It was quite the project . . . but those were special days with kids at home to help.  One of the first things I always did with the kids was to make a red and green paper chain and it decorated our home on more than one years. . . . Now I have my most favorite artificial tree - it is smalll but still 6 foot tall. It fits just right in the corner of our basement family room.  It was part of our Glen Elder home as well as here in Beloit for the last four years.  But this time . . . the tree has a handy closet right here in the basement where it can reside all the year through with its lights intact.  Gone are the days of climbing to the top of a closet - it's just a simple 8 foot carry from the closet!

Many changes through the years - - - but one constant - - - for at least the last 35 years - - - and that is my box of ornaments . . . you see I don't have a "themed" tree unless "my life" is a theme??  The red apple ornaments from Mrs. Goth's and Mrs. Clausen's 1st and 2nd grade class crafts.  The construction paper ornaments with child's picture in the center.  Several flocked deer because they reminded me of my trees as a kid and a couple of flocked angels too.  Throw in some angels that were big craft projects in the 80's and 90's and of course a white felt dove that came from my mother in law's tree as a keepsake.  A few newer ornaments from time to time . . . and that's done.

It's funny . . . I remember the years of kids wanting to help . . . and I in my OCD tendencies days had a hard time with that . . . but they helped.  Great memories.  Then they grew up and didn't want to help but they were there watching me . . . great memories.  Then they were gone . . . that first year was hard to decorate the tree by myself . . . I believe, if I remember right . . . I called them to let them know I was decorating alone . . . Now I enjoy standing in the hubs's view of the TV decorating it by myself and showing him each ornament and adding a "do you remember this one?" and "Remember when Todd made us this?" or "This one was taken when Casey had a perm".    

No matter which tree it was, or what stage in life I was in to decorate it . . . there was something nice about getting it done and sitting in the room in the dark enjoying the lights!

Chistmas begins . . . Do you have a tradition for getting your tree up and decorated?

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Why do I fight this sleep thing???

I love the readathon and plan and dream about it for days . . . actually for six months . . . once one ends I'm ready to go again!!  But darn it if I don't fall asleep while reading!!!  I even asked Mr. Google today why???   I think I know . . . #1 I have sleep apnea and need to get it treated so I'm tired . . . #2 I take several medications that make you drowsy . . . #3 I relax and that's all it takes???  or #4 and I haven't researched this yet . . . but maybe I -gasp- have reached an age where the small print is hard for me to read - even with great glasses and updated prescription . . . should we say Large Print???

So - I promise myself to fix some of those things before next April.  

1. What are you reading right now?  I am really enjoying Sod and Stubble by John Ise.  It is a pioneer story of the truest kind, in fact was more of actual diary notations than it was intended to be a book.  The Ise family came from Germany and eventually came to "western" Kansas . . . Downs and Osborne Kansas to take hold of some free ground.  Little did they know how much of Kansas was really Out West yet.  

2. How many books have you read so far?  None completely - but a chapter of Colossians, four chapters of The Winter Street and a couple of Sod and Stubble.  Plus one chapter of In Pursuit of God.  

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? I'm going to go back and forth between Sod and Stubble and the Christmas book, Winter Street.

4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?  Quite a few - self made - so who can I blame but myself.   I really have vowed to be able to set aside EVERYTHING next time for 24 hours.  That means hubs will not be getting any honey do jobs that he needs my help with, it means no guests, it means no phone calls, it also means no plans for Sunday so that I can sleep as needed.  I love it that you can make the readathon your own, but just once I want to take in the full experience of being all alone with my books.

5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far - - - I'm always amazed at how many people join in.  And especially happy to share one more picture from my granddaughter Rachel's first readathon at six months of age.  Her big sister came home to visit today and so she got to read the 4th and final book with her tonight:  Guess How Much I Love You.

Reading with interruptions . . .

Not quite how I planned my morning to go for readathon . . . but basically my plan is always not to plan . . . I took a short nap . . . and because I had a pot of soup on . . . and was home for a change . . . I decided to invite my mom down for soup . . . her visits are usually short . . . she has places to go . . . today we enjoyed a longer chat . . . looking at doll clothes she made for me . . . and washing her car . . . so I return to read just to find that my phone has locked itself up for some reason . . . But not before my daughter Casey sent me four pics of she and her six month old Rachel as they participate in Dewey's 24 hour Readathon . . . they make me proud!

Her reading choices for today include Brown Bear, Brown Bear What do you See?  and I Like it When! Thank you for participating in your first ever Readathon Rachel!!

Good morning my fellow readers . . .

Coffee is brewing . . . smells so good . . . I slept away my headache last night . . . I'm set to go today with my books laid out.  As I mentioned in my previous post - I have a few books to choose from.  I'll be starting my day with the Bible and prayer time - One Minute Prayers for Women by Hope Lyda.  I've been taking a few minutes each morning to sit and read from this book.  Short and powerful prayers.

Here is my spread . . . including books on Kindle.  

I'm also a rah-rah girl as my toddler son used to call the cheerleaders!   Go Team Sycamores!

Happy Reading Friends!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon is here again!

It is one of my favorite days of the year!  24 hours set aside to spend in books, online talking about books, meeting new friends, reading new blogs, taking fun challenges, and possibly even winning a prize!  You can read more about Dewey's Readathon here.

Many will set goals . . . I have no goals . . . just to read for the 24 hours - minus the time that I must take out to rest and get some sleep.  Or my job will suffer on Monday.

These are the books I plan to read . . . The Bible . . . In Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer . . . Sod and Stubble by John Ise, The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen, and Winter Street by Elin Hilderand.  Winter Street is one that my sister Tami and I will read together for the readathon - - - a sweet, short, Christmas novel - what could be better!

My favorite parts of the Readathon are the anticipation . . . which means for me that I finish all the household chores by Friday evening and then I declare it Readathonville . . . I like the first hour with my fresh coffee and time spent in God's word and in prayer . . . I enjoy checking each hour to see how my sister Tami is coming along . . . afterall I have her to thank for telling me about the readathon several years back.   I think it's fun to check out the readers' blogs . . . I'm always looking to find a really good one to follow.

This year I'm adding a twist . . . I asked my daughter if she thought the busy new mom of a 5 month old would like to participate in the readathon . . . she would of course love it . . . but knew that it would not be happening for her this year.  But I did throw out the challenge for her to read to my granddaughter four books throughout the day.  She eagerly took me up on that challenge!    Next I will be challenging my 13 year old granddaughter who is not a stranger to Dewey's . . . in fact a couple of years ago she was here with me and so we joined in together - made a trip to the library for her - - - and like she always does . . . made reading with grandma fun!  I think that since she is a busy preteen . . . with volleyball, a best friend, and a lab named Mandy to keep her busy . . . I will challenge her to one hour of reading throughout the weekend . . . and maybe grams will provide her own prize!

I had better sign off - get this posted. . . three more days of work and housework to have done by 9 p.m. Friday evening . . . that's when I declare it Readathonville and I stop with housework, yardwork, etc. . . . and just plain enjoy!  

My readers . . . 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Celebrating the Red, White and Blue! Times two!

My favorite holiday (yes including Christmas) has become the 4th of July!  Not because I put my country before my Lord - because I don't.  #1 reason - I love summer.  #2 reason - I love a barbeque.  #3 reason - I love the decorations.  #4 reason - I love the sounds of firecrackers around the town.

But - as I mentioned in the title of this post - - - I also have come to love Labor Day as well!  For all of the same reasons as above . . . minus fireworks . . . but also because these are two patriotic days to celebrate our country and our freedom as well as the hardworking people that have made our country so prosperous.    Labor Day signals the end of summer to me.   Which can make me "blue" . . .

It has become a tradition in the last five years or so for family to be here at home for both of these grand weekends.  So I'm excited for that!

Better start planning the menu and some fun activities . . . how will you spend Labor Day 2015?

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Good-bye Summer

This will shock most who know me . . . but I'm ready for summer to fade away and Autumn to arrive!  Cooler weather, less yard work, Dewey's Readathon, and the beginning of the holiday season . . . (That doesn't mean I don't have a plan to celebrate the "last summer holiday" - Labor Day . . . and I will blog about that later.)

 Recently I decided I wanted to bring back the old fun in the book club I share with my sister, Tami.  She agreed and we plan to spend the next Sister Weekend reading!  If you are familiar with Dewey's Readathon you will know that it's 24 hours of reading mixed with hourly challenges and the chance to win prizes for entering.   It's the best part of October every year!

But I am feeling nostalgic and want to bring back some other things that were fun a few years back.  2012 was a great year for me.  I also got into blogging then and had a lot of fun with it.  That reminded me of the fun I used to have with Trish's Pin-It Do-It Challenges.  Find things on Pinterest that you would like to try and then blog about your results!  Sure hope Trish does an Autumn Challenge 2015! 

As I write this short blog post - I'm watching an episode of Extreme Weight Loss which once again puts it right there in my face - the need to take off extra pounds for a healthier lifestyle.  I am nostalgic about that also as I was able to have successful loss of 30 pounds a few years back and since then have gained back some.    Time for some walks in the countryside and tours around on my bicycle!  Maybe even a hike or two this fall.

It's soon a new season yes - and I welcome the change.  It was not my best summer by far.  How will you be spending your Autumn days?  What do you like best about this time of year?   Do you decorate your home for Fall? 

I'd love to hear!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Let's do the MASH . . . the retirement MASH . . .

Day #3 of Bout of Books Readathon.  I plan to READ tonight!  I also took the challenge to do the MASH game by Sarah at  Rocky Top Real Talk.  My sister and fellow blogger from Just One More Thing suggested we change it up with our choices for retirement!

So here is how my Retirement Mash turned out:

I shall retire in a MANSION on MYRTLE BEACH and will love having our 12 grandchildren visit, (which is twice the number that we currently have btw)  . . . and I will drive around in my CHEVROLET TRAVERSE because I guess I will have enough money to finally buy one?    My hobby will be HOMEMAKING, which is just great with me although I did think it would be fun to host random Vacation Bible Schools for small groups of kids . . . AND lastly I will read 5 books a week!

That was a fun challenge - can't wait to see what tomorrow's challenge finds us doing!

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

A huntin' we will go . . .

For books that is! 

The second challenge in the weekly Bout of Books readathon is from The Book Monsters! 

Book Scavenger Hunt:
1. A Book that begins with “B”  (for Bout of Books!)
2. A book you’re planning to read/currently reading for Bout of Books
3. Blue Book(s)
4. Books from your favorite genre!
5. A book on your TBR shelf, or your full TBR shelves

I had a great time running up and down stairs to look through my books.  When we moved in 2012 I left a huge supply of books at our small town local library - so my one book shelf plus one children's book shelf is all I have left.  Then there are books tucked in a crock upstairs that are my TBRC (to be read crock) and a few stacked on my dining room table.  Here is what I came up with:

Book that begins with B - Well since I have a small personal library - I had to move over to my kids's bookcase and look for B books - I quickly found some of their favs.   Benji, Fastest Dog in the West; Big Bird's Red Book; Baby Mickey's Toys; and Baby's First Book.  Now I can read these myself but I decided to use technology - so I asked my daughter if I can Facetime with my granddaughter some time this week and I will read her a book - - - she's 3 months old - so I'm not sure how it will go!

A book I'm planning to read for Bout of Books - The one I am presently reading is An Irish Country Doctor by Patrick Taylor.

A Blue Book - This was hard again also.  I found an old book of James J. Metcalfe's Poem Portraits.  I love this book as it was my Grandma Wheat's.      
Inside is an inscription dated Dec. 17, 1952.    My grandma's birthday.  The book was given to her from her dear friend Mamie.  Mamie was a dear part of my childhood, also. 

Books from my favorite genre - Pioneer Women

I have always loved to read Pioneer stories and Janette Oke was my first introduction to that.  The Calling of Emily Evans has been my best read to date.  Although. . . I reread it earlier last year and it didn't intrigue me in the same way.  Why does that happen?

And a book on my TBR shelf or crock -

A book that is waiting just for me is by Joyce Meyer.  Secrets to Exceptional Living.  I have been talking about a final beginning again of living a great life.  I have been thinking of my goals for 2016.  Tami, my sister and I have been planning a weekend to read and brain storm about our plans for a new year.   This book promises to help - Transforming your Life Through the Fruits of the Spirit.  I am excited to begin!

This was a fun challenge!  

Monday, August 17, 2015

Grab a book . . . let's read.

Just a quick post to say that I am excited not only for the ReReadathon that I have talked about in September, but to discover a week long readathon beginning today:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 17th and runs through Sunday, August 23rd in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 14 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog.


Has anyone read these?  What did you think?

An Irish County Doctor by Patrick Taylor

The Girls of August by Anne Rivers Siddons

Until the End of Time by Danielle Steel

The bout of books readathon also includes daily challenges - the first one is called the Fictional World Travel Challenge:  I must say I flunked . . . however, An Irish Country Doctor - as you can guess takes place in the emerald hills and glens of Northern Ireland.  I can't exactly join the challenge to tell about 3-6 books - but I am enjoying learning a little bit about the Irish in my first read!  

Thank you ladies for the chance to join in!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

“Tomorrow when I awaken, the slate will be clean, and a new day will stretch before me. God's mercies are new every morning.” ― Lori Hatcher

God's mercies are new every morning, great is our faithfulness O Lord, great is our faithfulness.

I have written about starting over, and New Years Resolutions, and focuses, and goals many times in my blogging life.  Seems I am always "starting over" - and as Oprah used to say - it gives us a chance to get it right. 

I have only had a small bit of success when starting over.  My favorite time was when I started on Nutrisystem in 2012 and for the next year I basically did it right.  I followed the plan and lost weight, exercised, and felt great.    Even if I had a bad day and even when I was off of the plan for part of that time, I still felt like I was doing things right.  It was a good time in my life.

Alas, I don't think life is always meant to be just that "right" all of the time.  I have more than a blessed life that I give thanks for each day.  However, I am restless with the way I am using my time, the relationships I have, the way I handle myself at times, and yes, about my weight/health.  

Recently I have gone through a very rough period of doubt and fear.  The valleys are not fun, but certainly can be educational.   So, it's not a new year, or a new month, or my birthday, or any special date.  I still plan to end tonight in prayer and Bible reading, and look ahead to God's mercies tomorrow morning.    Once again if you will humor me, I will begin a do-over.  Please check back to see the lessons learned from a summer of unrest . . . maybe they will help you when you are faced with the same.  

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Sister Weekend #2

Welcome to my lonely blog spot!  I won't dwell on why there have been no posts . . . whether I have had writer's block . . . been too grumpy to write . . . or too busy with new granddaughter . . . all are true . . . but not a reason.  So . . . moving forward.

In January of 2015 my sister Tami and I started something new - Sister Weekends.  We had the first one at her house in southeastern Nebraska.  It was a huge success . . . healthy eating . . . great conversations . . . nice guest room . . . and much fun with sewing, painting and crafting!

The 2nd Sister Weekend is scheduled for August 29 - 30.  I came up with the idea that we needed to use this chance to be together to ramp up another fun idea that we started many many years ago!  Our sister-shared book club.

Tami quickly found the ReReadathon sponsored by Bex at Armchair by the Sea and we decided to join in!    It runs from September 7 - 20, 2015.  Rules are to read or re-read a favorite and post about it!  Sounds perfect for Tami and I.  We both are signing up today!

Now that I'm back to writing - blogging - - - stay tuned for me to catch up with what has been going on in my life in 2015.  And join us for a readathon of fun in September!  I know Tami and I are planning to talk books, share books, and read books on our Sister Weekend #2!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Health is Wealth

I've had some personal motivation once again to focus on health.  A little nagging pain in my chest that comes and goes . . . and family and friends who are facing some challenges as well . . . it has made me think.

About ten years ago my mom, who is now 78, was told by her dr. that she needed to get her cholesterol down.  He told her to follow the American Heart Association diet plan and to walk one mile a day.  Now . . . my mom is one of those smart, disciplined, women who do what the dr. says.  Dr. ordered it . . . she did it . . . and dropped 11 pounds.  Now - it was 11 pounds that she didn't need to lose and that wasn't the purpose, the purpose was to lower her cholesterol.  Funny how that happens . . . you expend more calories than you take in . .. voila . . . weight comes off.  She also stuck to the AHA diet which is lean meats, vegetables and fruits . . . another step in taking off some pounds.

So as I think about my own struggle . . . it has been years of ignoring what I am well educated in . . . proper nutrition.  My life's work is geared around health and well mostly poor health.  I know better than to eat whatever I want and what sounds good and for wrong reasons.   I can tie it to poor life choices that I eat to cover up.  I still find it to be my best reward in life . . . but it stops now.

I got to truly enjoy having a granddaughter at age 44 and for the next 12 years I have been a young and active grandma.  I have been in swimming pools and on swing sets, down slipper slides, and I have shopped, crafted, hiked, rode bikes with, and generally enjoyed every minute of those years.  And now I need to be able to travel even further to see her . . . as well as other family . . . and hike in the Yellowstone National Park.  

Here's the catch . . . we are starting over now with another wonderful little granddaughter who is due to be born within the next few weeks.   Will I be able to keep up with her?  I need to!  I want to!

This is my motivation as well as just wanting to feel better.  Less aching back and hips.

So . . . I decided today . . . if it was good for my mom . . . I'll do it the American Heart Association way as well.

I was eager to blog my new strategy.  I don't apologize that I've had previous posts that sound similar because all we can do is to start again.  There has to be an answer out there for me . . . I have to be able to put behind me the reasons I hang on to food . . . My health depends on me getting exercise back in my life . . . so please join me if you would like to . . . start by checking out the American Heart Association's website.  It is awesome!!  It is full of education, information, healthy food ideas, and a simple plan for eating.   Plus many videos on cooking tips and healthy projects to be a part of!  I'll keep you posted on what I learn there!

Now let's get movin'  

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Inspiration on Monday: Baby Shower and the like . . .

I'm so excited that Trish at Love, Laughter and a Touch of Insanity is hosting something special for us on Mondays.  I became a fan when my sister introduced me to Trish's Pin It - Do It a few years back.

Rules are:

a forum to share things that we’ve created and things that we are doing to help inspire others. Posts about projects in progress, finished projects, tutorials, and how-tos are all welcome. Feel free to share recipes, crafts, lifestyle, organizing, and DIY tips, and any other idea that can spark inspiration.

Babies are on my mind . . . we are having a new little granddaughter in about 7 weeks.  Our daughter is having her first!  If you instantly think pink . . . it ain't necessarily so . . .

Casey is the typical "tom-boy" . . . although the tom-boyish ways were replaced to some extent when she grew up and fell in love and got married . . . but not to the point that she would design a nursery around everything pink!     Her colors are just perfect . . . gray, teal with a touch of yellow . . .

At a recent family shower I helped with some of the decorations and gave my first try at constructing a "diaper cake"    I quickly jumped on Pinterest for directions on how to build one.  I found many, many styles and ideas with both cloth and disposable diapers.  I quickly ran upon the cake I wanted to try.  Using about 60 newborn sized diapers, big rubber bands, some ribbon, bows, confetti, and a crystal plate to "serve" it on . . . I came up with this:

I eventually added another teal bow as a topper and an owl - to stick with the owl theme that has been chosen for the baby also.

This project was exciting to me as I was able to read directions and follow them, creating exactly what I intended to make!  

Following the shower, my daughter confiscated all of the ribbons and used them as "tie-backs" on the curtains in the nursery.

And although I can't take personal credit for these projects . . . I have truly enjoyed watching my little girl spend hours preparing a special room for her little girl who will arrive soon.  Miss Rachel Lee is due to meet us on May 18, 2015 or sooner or later :)

Not sure if the idea for the peg board was a Pinterest idea or thought up on her own or given as a tip from a friend . . . but my daughter determined to do this early on and followed through.  Notice the picture frame in the top left corner . . . specially made by the new mom - using ribbon, etc.  Love those little hair bows and head bands hanging in place.  

My daughter is a high school/college math teacher and one of her students created the "Welcome to My Crib" sign.  

Thanks again Trish for allowing me to join in the fun on Creative Mondays!  Even on a Tuesday!

Monday, March 9, 2015

We're not in Puerto Vallarta anymore Toto . . . but it was great fun!

Back home in Kansas . . . after having my toes in the water . . . and my toes in the sand . . .

This is God's beauty and it's unbeatable . . . but closely behind is this view for me . . . 

The pool that is beachside . . . you can see the swim up bar - - - which I did  - - - I spent a lot of time here - the first two days of vacation were overcast a bit - but the last three days were filled with clear skies and sunshine and about 85 degrees.  

I need to reevaluate my bucket list in life . . . but I was able to cross one item off and that is to swim in an infinity pool . . . We had made plans last fall to go to the Ozarks for a stay on a lake with infinity pool but I decided to have my gallstone removed instead . . . it was a good choice . . . 

Here I am at the infinity edge . . . water slightly runs over into another pool and is recycled through.

Another fun sight at the pool was this:  

Being a fan of reading . . . I loved finding three people - all alone in the pool one morning - - - reading . . . the third one isn't in this picture . . . 

Another couple of highlights for me - the Mexican Beach Party!  I quickly find myself though wanting to know how and when and where did all of this party come together . . . If I could retire I would become an event planner as a hobby . . . and I have my own assortment of Mexican items to use.  Last year I did an entire table setting for a church fund raiser . . . with spanish theme . . . I love the colors . . . 

Don't get the chance often to enjoy a little beach dress and great food on the beach.  Indian dance performers entertained with a ritual and then dancing to great music was the end of the night.

Another special evening event was titled "Tipsy Sweets" - - - can you make a guess what that was all about??

If you guessed desserts and alcohol you would be right!  Loved the dessert options all over the resort . . . small mini cheese cakes of all flavors, fruit tarts, strawberry delights, fruit kabobs, chocolate mousse, and banana creme brulee spoons . . . yum!  Two of our new friends are seen at our table, Roger and Donna Barrett and Steve and Pam Lilly . . .  Fun times!  Again . . . I took note of the table decorations and the idea of "tipsy sweets"!!

Hubs had a couple of fun picks . . . Fishing on the S.S. Minnow on a 3 hour tour . . . a little worry for me . . . but lots of fun for the guys and gals that went along!

And a sunset cruise through the Banderas Bay ended our vacation stay.   Other than several "Mexican minutes" delay while waiting on our boat to arrive . . . the evening was fun . . . I was happy to endure the cruise which was rocky . . . with no sign of dizziness!

The fishing crew!!

And our long awaited cruise liner!!

Time to go home!!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Three hour tour ...

Blogging by the beach is a new experience...

This week Clay and I got to take a trip sponsored by a specialty company tied with his job.   This morning is our next to last day. Hubs is out on a three hour tour ...  3 hour fishing tour that is but brought to mind ...

I'm spending a couple hours beach side alone in my thoughts.  
My sister says we sit for hours and stare at waves because we can.... 
And we can't in Kansas/Nebraska!!!

It's been fun to have a reason to blog again but it is my goal to keep it up with everyday thoughts and everyday feelings, experiences, with real life.

I'll write again before we leave beautiful Puerto Vallarta!  
Where would you go if someone else paid the bill?
Thanks again Verdesian!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Sugar and spice...

And everything nice.... That's what most people are made of...

Going on vacation always reminds me of this good thing.  In our real worlds we or at least I tend to focus on the negative... The frustrating...the news on TV is usually about the mean, the hurt , and the stupid.    And as I set to travel I prepare myself to get away from these things and ignore people as much as possible.

Waiting to board a ride to downtown Puerto Vallarta, a couple from Nebraska struck up a conversation with us.  It quickly led to our kids we left behind at home and they "got it" how my huge sombrero sun hat and "fit over" shades were embarrassing to them.    Just kidding. Both of our kids understand my fair skinned dilemma.    Nice people.

Made a new friend last year on a trip to the Dominican Republic. We knew common people and so it was easy to spend time with her and her husband. Ran into them later in the year and so good to reconnect!  Traveling gave us a bond.  We are here in Mexico together now.  Nice people.

Here on the resort I have been treated with kindness and respect.  Of course that's the staff's job right?  

This morning on way to the ocean I was invited to play basketball with four nice native young men. I politely declined but they were serious and so kind.   Nice people.

Spent much time at the pool.   It would seem no one can tell how uncomfortable I can be in a swimsuit ...  Very nice man in hot tub asked about where we live and shared good advice for traveling to his home near Myrtle Beach.  A bucket list item for me!!  Nice person.

Is it just me that needs this reminder and affirmation that people are still mostly good?  Is that why we go on vacations?  Does anyone share my sentiments?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Oh the weather outside is frightful ... Let's go to Mexico!

Thank you to hubs' work for a little mid-winter getaway!!  The snow is blowing and filling up the runway here in south Kansas  and it looks like they are clearing a walk way for us to the plane.  Yes I said walk way outside where it feels like 8 degrees to a small plane.  Oh well part of the adventure right!??

Destination Puerto Vallarta.    Just like the Love Boat!!!  I remember one of my favorite TV programs  as a young person and they often docked in Puerto Vallarta.   We will see mountains and beach.    A little different landscape than normal.

Last year the trip was to Punta Cana,  Dominican Republic and we are so thankful to be included in again this year.

As a planning person I am focusing on true rest for myself.   Time alone with God and hubs.  A few nice new friends to hang out with.   Little shopping in the village and chance to meet the locals.   Some good food and great pools. One big "bucket list" item to check off is to swim in an infinity pool!

I'll keep you all posted but right now I had better go help scoop the runway!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Randomness vs. Intentionalism

Ha!  Did I just create two new words?  But I jotted these two terms down today because one is where I am finding myself lately . . . and the other is where I want to go.

Explanation . . . One of my co-workers and I try to cheerfully refer to a certain amount of paper work that ends up on our desks each day as our "randomness" . . . meaning that nobody wanted to take the time to deal with it so they send it to our department and we must dig our way through it . . .

Definition of random:

     Made, done, happening, or chosen without method or conscious decision.

That is how I have been living lately, randomly, certainly not methodical, and with no conscious decision in several areas of life.  I don't feel my best when living this way.

Definition of intentionalism:

     Oops, I see that intentionalism IS a real word, but it has nothing to do with what I thought . . . soooo I change that to intentional . . . and the definition is "having an aim or plan"  BINGO!

Couple these two words with a quote I ran across this week that basically said "anyone can decide to lose weight . . . but you have to then move . . . "  

This made sense to me and it's not a new concept . . . make a good plan, set a goal to aim for,  and then do it!!    Talk is cheap . . .

So . . . tonight I will finish up this blog . . . and go to sleep . . . no bedtime snack . . . tomorrow I am getting up and having coffee and a muffin . . . enjoy my day at work (spent quite a bit of the weekend at work) so the randomness won't frustrate me as much tomorrow . . . and best of all . . . counting down to Tuesday when the hubs and I take off for a little vacation . . .

Puerto Vallarta . . . here we come . . . I have a plan, I "intend" to have a great time!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

To blog or not to blog . . . really isn't the question.

I say that because I have not been intending to drop the blog - I have missed it terribly - and so - I'm back on and I'm looking at new ideas to write about!   The original blog began after we made a big life change and moved to Beloit after living a few miles down the road for 25 years.  I had much to write about but found that after a year or so I was just struggling.   I think that as bloggers we might sometimes put too much pressure on ourselves to "entertain" via the posts . . . and so I'm back to using it as I first intended . . . a quiet place to share my blessings.  I'll show you what I mean very soon as I will be writing about some of this and some of that . . . but for the moment . . . CRISIS has arisen and must be dealt with!!!

Our big screen TV has died, quit, I was just settling in with my morning cup of coffee when I heard great frustration and agony from the family room downstairs . . . hubs had no TV . . . so I have about ten minutes to shower and we are off to the "city" to buy a new one . . . can't be without ya know!!

Happy Weekend to all of my followers . . . (Tami)

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Moving on . . .

Happy New Year to you!  I hope you had a great New Year's Eve and New Year's Day!  We did a very low key celebration - - - meal at home and quiet movies, reading, lots of napping, and a little crafting as well.

Ran across an old favorite of mine - The Oprah Show - dated back to 2007 as she no longer has her syndicated show but shows old reruns on her own network OWN.  Weight loss was of course the theme for January 1 on every show on the TV it seemed and I quickly was reminded that I don't have 150 or 200 or 400 or 500 pounds to lose - I need to lose 50!  Good reminder for me as I finished my first "walk" of the year on the ole' treadmill . . . I challenged my sister Tami to a one mile walk . . . a small challenge for both of us . . . or so I thought it was for me . . . but it has been since 2012 that I exercised faithfully.  In those days I took off 30 pounds (gained back 20) and walked and jogged on the treadmill at a really good clip!  Along with a weight training program at that time, I felt much stronger and was ready to try some hiking in the Colorado Rockies . . .

Today was much different . . . I have some progressive back problems and that alone made walking painful and tiring . . . but I'm happy that I did do a half-mile - - - in 12.2 minutes - - - and I'm off and moving . . .

So this is how I share with you one of the three focuses I have for 2015 - - - Eating the right foods in the right portions and exercising for my health.  I will lose 50 pounds and then I will regroup and learn how to stay at that weight for the rest of my days . . . I'm not looking to put on a bikini and go to the beach - ha!  I'm looking to still be able to go shopping with my sister and be able to stay on my feet, I'm looking to be agile and energetic to help with the new grandbaby coming in May, and to be the best that I can be at my job and in taking care of my home and hubs!    If I continue on like I have been . . . these things will not happen.

I have no fancy quotes to share and no brilliant diet plan . . . it's not a deep dark secret out there that anyone is keeping . . . stop eating so much and get your butt out of the recliner and exercise.  

My health - - - is #1 this year.  Stay tuned and I will share my progress and my discoveries!    I will also share  more on the other two areas that I will focus on this year . . . #2 is my faith walk and my spiritual walk . . . #3 is to find fun!    All three of these "focuses" for me will contain several parts - - - as "health" means eating the right foods and exercising in ways that I will stick with it and enjoy it!  It also involves being better with dental check ups, physical exams, and of course skin and hair care!  And who can be healthy without ridding their lives of unnecessary stress??  So . . . wish me well as I look into all of these areas!

Back later with an introduction to what I am doing for the Lord in 2015!!

What is your #1 for 2015?

Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Year's Eve 2015

Just a quick post to wish you all a properous and peaceful Happy New Year 2015!!

As I have posted before, New Year's Eve rivals Christmas Eve for me with anticipation and excitement and a feeling of good will . . . I realized tonight as I got sleepy and napped in the recliner most of the evening that maybe it's the "idea" of New Year's Eve that I love the most . . . the thoughts of a clean slate and a second chance and a clean new page to fill with great memories.   I enjoy "wrapping up" the old year both at home and at work . . . straightening, cleaning, and organizing the home after Christmas and finishing the last projects at work and making a fresh to do list for January 2.

Last year I declared to do no resolutions but to do a list of things to focus on . . . I chose 7 I think it was and really that was too many areas to really zero in on and make big changes.  This year I am sticking with the "focus" idea . . . but my areas are limited to . . .

Awww stayed tuned until tomorrow or the day after possibly as I work on that post :)  Three areas that I need and want to work on . . . can you guess?

How did you celebrate the New Year's eve? and want to share your plans for 2015?

Happy New Year - - - And I'll leave you with these thoughts . . .

Happy New Years module.jpg 
A wise person once said....

OK, so you probably have heard that before. But it does seem appropriate as we move from one year to another to look at some good thoughts and well wishes on this most renewing of holidays. So here you go:

"Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right."
Oprah Winfrey

"Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man."
Benjamin Franklin

"To have the kind of year you want to have, something has to happen that you can't explain why it happened. Something has to happen that you can't coach."
Bobby Bowden

"People are so worried about what they eat between Christmas and the New Year, but they really should be worried about what they eat between the New Year and Christmas."
Author Unknown

"The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul and a new nose; new feet, a new backbone, new ears, and new eyes. Unless a particular man made New Year resolutions, he would make no resolutions. Unless a man starts afresh about things, he will certainly do nothing effective."
Gilbert K. Chesterton

"Youth is when you are allowed to stay up late on New Year's Eve. Middle age is when you are forced to."
Bill Vaughn

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
Mark Twain

"May all your troubles last as long as your New Year's resolutions."
Joey Adams

"Let our New Years resolution be this, we will be there for one another as fellow members of humanity, in the finest sense of the word." 
Goran Persson

"Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an 
invincible host against difficulties."
Helen Keller