Friday, November 30, 2012

this & that

I can't believe it's the last day of November! This month has flown by, even faster than usual it seemed, but it has been a very, very busy month, and I don't think we could cram another thing in. Our November is going out with a bang .....
We spent 3 hours in the doctor's office yesterday, and she finally took care of Nathan's ingrown toenail...hence the slipper! He really did great with the procedure, and after getting a good night's sleep, he says it feels much. much better! I am very thankful that he made out so well.
  • I have spent the majority of this week decorating, cleaning, organizing, and shopping {online of course!}. We can't get our tree until the end of next week because Window World is coming on Wednesday to install our windows and I want to get that done before doing the tree. I hope to have everything else finished by then though. I did finally order candles for the windows from more cords!!!!!!! They should be here by then as well.
  • Tonight, we had movie night. Peter & I watched Christmas Vacation, and Nathan & Kayla watched ELF. I'm anxious to watch it too! I'm going to DVR some other Christmas movies that we don't have to watch over the next few weeks.
  • I fixed my December calendars today {I have several that I use}......December is slammed!!!!!! I am going to try to take "one day at a time", otherwise, I'm not sure I'll make it through December sane. We leave for Florida in 12 days for the Senior Trip!!!!!! Everyone is sooooooooooo excited!
I have been trying to get out this week to get a picture of the moon, but it hasn't worked out. It has been amazing! I started my Thankful November posts with a picture of the clouds, and had wanted to end with another awesome look at God's beautiful creation. Although I didn't get a shot of my own, I copied this one from the web to share. This same moon  that I stare at each night, can be seen by Logan in the wheelhouse of his boat down in the Gulf, hundreds of miles away. I am thankful for an awesome God who watches over us, no matter where we are. I couldn't think of a better way to end my month of thankfulness.

November Moon

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thankful November: Day 27 & 28

As I was writing the last post, I was thinking how thankful I am for all the "little things" in my life that I enjoy every day! Things like scented candles and pretty wrapping paper, simple things I take for granted, but things that make me happy. The other thing I am thankful for, is being able to buy gifts for my family and friends, and to be able to give to others {Toys for Tots, Union Mission, Food Bank, and others who have a need}.

signs of the season.....

If you had asked me a week ago if I had Christmas in my bones, I would have said NO. Everywhere I turned, people were decorating and asking if I was ready for Christmas. Really, can we celebrate Thanksgiving first?? It just seemed way too early to be buying our tree, or to be hauling out the Christmas decorations, with pumpkins and Pilgrims still on display. I wasn't even in the mood to listen to Christmas music, or go Black Friday shopping{actually, I hadn't even written a gift list yet}. I just think it gets earlier and earlier every year. While the Halloween decorations are being moved to the clearance section, the Christmas stuff takes over, and this is before Halloween is even here! Then there is Thanksgiving, the most under-rated holiday of the year, one of my family's favorite holidays, a day that is becoming quite overlooked. Black Friday is creeping in on my beloved holiday, little by little, I can see it becoming a major shopping day instead of the most perfect day to spend with those you love. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving, just cooking, eating, relaxing, watching football, and spending all day together as a family.

Yesterday, I was finally ready to switch gears and start thinking about the holidays. I revved up the Christmas music, and wrote up a gift list and actually took advantage of a few "cyber-monday" deals that were still going on. I spent all day doing laundry, cleaning, organizing, and catching up on some things I had neglected. I made a pot of chili for dinner, and cleaned out the fridge & freezers, and I even packed away the pumpkins! It was a good day! :O)
my favorite!!

I did pick up a few things while I was away on Monday. I found some pretty wrapping paper. I kind of went with a red/white/silver theme this year. I LOVE wrapping paper, I love wrapping gifts....I am not a fan of gift bags, although they can we spruced up with some pretty ribbon & tags.

I also found the perfect Christmas cards....I LOVE Christmas cards. I can't imagine not sending them, and I won't hold it against you if you don't, but you should! LOL Don't you just love getting Christmas cards? I do! I've posted before about my photo card envy, but, I've gotten over it {not really, but I just as well}, but my family is not the photo card kind of family. So, I enjoy looking for the perfect Christmas cards, writing and sending them and displaying all the cards we receive.
{{{LOVE}}}....another great find @ Walmart!
I am not the biggest Walmart fan, but I've had a few good finds there lately. I really liked the pumpkin candle I bought last month, so I checked to see what they had for the holidays. I bought this one:
BH&G Spiced Apple Wreath....smells wonderful!!
We've started buying a Christmas movie each year, and Amazon had an awesome deal on ELF on blue-ray, so I ordered it. I confess, I don't think I've ever watched it!! Maybe just clips, but not the entire movie, so I'm anxious for movie night! Our favorite movie is Christmas Vacation, which we'll watch several times over the holiday.

So, as you can see, there are now signs of the season here at our house. It's a good thing I'm getting into the spirit, because it's less than a month away, and our calendar is already jammed packed!!!!!!!!!


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thankful November: Day 24, 25, & 26

Day 24: I am thankful for good memories.
Day 25: I am thankful for good health. There are so many people that I know who are going through a rough time time right now, with sickness, tests, hospital stays, and recovery. I am thankful for my health, and that my family is relatively healthy as well.
Day 26: I am thankful for online shopping. Much less stressful than going to the mall!!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Simple Woman's Daybook: November Edition

Outside my's cold!!!!brrrrrr

I am thinking...lots of stuff! My mind is literally whirling with all the things I need to do....

I am thankful...for the time spent with my family this week.

In the kitchen...made wings & sweet potato fries for dinner today. YUM!!

I am wearing...jeans & a tee

I am creating...I'm actually in the idea stage, getting ideas for decorating for Christmas this year.

I am going...back to the eye doctor tomorrow.

I am wondering...if I should just get glasses instead of contacts.....I was hoping to wear contacts, which I tried this week, but I've prettty much decided to go with glasses instead. My vision is worse in my left eye, so I'm wearing two different lens strengths and I still need my reading glasses to read/ computer, which is kind of defeating the purpose for me. I guess I'll decide tomorrow, after talking to the doctor again.

I am looking forward to...getting our Christmas tree!!

Around the needs to be done, planning to decorate this week, need to finish painting in the kitchen {it's only taken me 6 months!}, and we are going to paint our shutters a different color {since we are getting new windows, thought we'd spruce up the shutters}.

A favorite quote for today...
Pinned Image

One of my favorite things...Scarves!!!
My latest buy......a black & white chevron scarf {& denim jacket} from.....Walmart!
Too cute {& cheap} to pass up!

A few plans for the rest of the week: eye doctor tomorrow, then hopefully the rest of the week to clean and get some decorating done, some online shopping, along with the daily routine of laundry, cooking, bill paying, etc.....

A peek into my day...we had breakfast together {we rarely all 3 have breakfast together}, church, then football! After losing 2 weeks in a row, the Bears won today, beating the Vikings 28-10. They are now 8-3.....btw, welcome back Cutler!!!

Thanksgiving 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

Mom and Dad hosted our Thanksgiving dinner again this year, with help from my sister, Julie and I. We had 13 for dinner, plus a take-out for Peter's mom, and plenty of left-overs.
Take a peak at our Thanksgiving!
I made place cards for the tables
***making my most favorite Thanksgiving dish.....the dressing.

some parade watching
our NEW tradition: paper plates!!!!!!!
So, after all these years, we finally wised up and bought throw-away dinnerware. We'll never, ever, ever......use china again! We are even talking about ditching the casserole dishes next year, and baking in throw-away aluminum pans. :O) The tables looked so pretty, and we spent very little time cleaning up afterwards.
mashed potato & iced tea maker
my nephew DEREK
check out his amazing clay creations!!!
He is so talented!!

My sister JULIE & cousin CURT
CURT & his wife HEATHER
(they live in AL and hadn't been home in a few years)
their daughter LILY

their youngest daughter MARLEY & their Gran (LIZ)

the perfect ending to a perfect day: FOOTBALL


Friday, November 23, 2012

fall getaway

Peter and I finally got away for a few nights last weekend. Earlier this summer, I had started looking at places we could go, and I suggested Annapolis. We had thought about doing a little road trip from there to Baltimore, to see Peter's aunt and uncle, and then a day in D.C. Hurricane Sandy came and postponed all of our plans, but we still wanted to get away before the holidays. We left last Friday morning and got home Sunday evening, and here's what we ended up doing:

FRIDAY~ We left home early Friday morning and hit the road.... {all morning, I kept feeling like I had forgotten something back at home....}. While Peter took the car to be inspected, I spent a few hours in Walmart shopping and getting an eye exam for the first time.... {contacts or glasses UGH......more on this later}. We had a quick lunch at Famous Dave's {where I realized I had forgotten to pack camera!!!, but I borrowed Logan's later}, then more shopping. We met up with Logan and Lindsey for a little visit before heading to dinner at Outback, then a movie.
 FLIGHT w/ Denzel Washington
{notice the FREE movie ticket...bounce back from using my Regal Rewards card}
The theater was full, even though I thought the lines outside meant everyone was there to see Twilight! We always, always sit in the last row at the top, so I thought it would be quite an adjustment sitting in the 3rd row {the only seats left!!!}, but we actually loved it. Remind me though, to skip the plane crash movies three weeks before flying! Anyhow, I ended up loving the movie, but want to do a review post later. We stayed at Holiday Inn Express, getting a great deal using Priceline.

SATURDAY~ After breakfast and packing up the car, we hit the road and drove to Baltimore to see Peter's Aunt Stella in the hospital. The drive was nice, it was a gorgeous fall day!
We found the hospital with no problems {thanks again GPS}, and went up to Aunt Stella's room. Uncle Louis was so glad to see us, and we were so glad we had made the trip there to see them. It was a sad visit as Aunt Stella had failed so much, and Uncle Louis was so sad/tired, a very pitiful situation, but he was trying to do everything he could for her. It was a bittersweet visit, but we are very thankful we got to spend that time with them, although I don't believe she was aware we were there. We sat and talked for an hour or so, then we took Uncle Louis downstairs to get some lunch, and caught up a little more. We said our goodbyes, and even though we all three left in tears, it was a visit I'll always cherish. Peter and I talked on the drive back and we both thought she didn't have much longer to live. Early Tuesday morning, we got a call from Uncle Louis telling us the she had passed away.

We were staying in Ocean City, MD that night, so we headed that way, stopping along the way to do a little more shopping. I had booked another room with Priceline, another Holiday Inn Express & Suites. We checked in, then started looking for a restaurant for dinner.


Peter chose an all-you-can-eat seafood buffet. He was in heaven! It was pretty good, especially the snow crab legs.
We had a balcony with a view of the ocean and the city......

SUNDAY~ We had breakfast in the restaurant downstairs, and after taking a look around, we started our drive back.

this hotel would be an awesome place to stay during the summer, as the boardwalk trolley comes right past here

It was nice to get away, especially before the hustle & bustle of the upcoming holidays!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Pie of the Month: Peanut Butter

So I've mentioned before that I much prefer cooking over baking. It's not that I don't love dessert, I would just rather spend more time on cooking a good meal, than baking. I do, however, love, love pie...pretty much any kind of pie. While making a pie for Thanksgiving dinner yesterday, I got the idea to do a "pie a month" challenge, hoping to a.) try a few new pie recipes, and b.) at least make dessert once a month. Mom was making the traditional pumpkin pie, and Heather (my cousin Curt's wife) made a pecan pie. I decided to make Nathan's favorite, Peanut Butter Pie (with turns out, is Curt's fave too). It's a super easy recipe, but I thought I'd share the recipe anyway.

Peanut Butter Pie

1 baked pie crust
3/4 c. powdered sugar
4 T. peanut butter
1 small instant vanilla pudding (mix according to pkg)
Cool Whip whipped topping
Reese's Cup (for garnish)

Blend sugar and peanut butter with mixer until the size of small peas. Place in bottom of baked/cooled crust. Mix pudding according to pkg, and spread on top of peanut butter mixture. Chill for about 1/2 hr. then w/ spread whipped topping and garnish with Reese's Cup. Keep refrigerated.




Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thankful November: Day 20 & 21


Day 20: I am thankful for my community. I love living in a small town, where everybody knows everybody!
Day 21: I am thankful that another huge need in our community was finally met yesterday. After years of waiting for funding for a much needed seawall, Governor McDonnell, Congressman Riggell, Col. Olsen with the Corps of Engineers, and several other officials, along with our mayor and council, met yesterday to sign an agreement to fund the cost of the jetty project.
The whole town came out to support this much anticipated day!!
Gov. Bob McDonnell
we made the news!!!
the kids came to sing some patriotic songs to our visitors....

Monday, November 19, 2012

my senior............

When Logan graduated in '06, I thought I had all the time in the world until Nathan's grad year......where did those 7 years go?????  I can't wait to see what God has in store for Nathan. :O) We are so proud of our boys!

summer mornings....

little things.....having coffee on the patio be grateful........ doing this 30 day scripture writing plan for JUNE...... ...