I'm a Christian SAHM, homeschooling, Air Force Wife. We have 2 extremely active kids, Jasmine and Nicholas....and two pugs, Lola and Bella. It's crazy and hectic at times but we live a simple, good life, surrounded by the love of God.
As much as I love getting away, and enjoying a change in scenery, there is nothing quite like returning home to my belongings and my family.
I find a sense of comfort and peace in being surrounded by my every day chores, my routine and usual humdrum of daily life, maybe because I'm a creature of habit.
Now that's not to say that I struggle with change, I really don't, and I'm quite an easy going person who just goes with the flow and adapts as needed. But there are certain things in life that I crave and need in order to be content.
Cooking, homemaking, taking photos of my day, even the simple task of hanging clothes out to dry, are all puzzle pieces that complete my heart.
I came back with a full heart, filled with so much love for my niece and great niece, and a replenished soul as only some time away and near the ocean, can do.
I jumped right back into my routine, my cleaning and my general taking care of my home and family. It's a little strange falling back into the swing of things, but I love the familiarity of it all :)
Not much has changed around here, unless we take into consideration the return of the moth filled trees. It's a normal occurrence very summer for us. The first year I noticed it I actually thought they were spider webs, which conjured up in my mind horrid visions of dog sized spiders running around.
Boy was I happy to find out I was wrong. HA!
Another thing that has changed, is my breakfast, or sometimes lunch. While in San Diego I visited a Portuguese Market and was able to get some Marmelada (Quince Jam).
Growing up, one of my favorite sandwiches was quince jam and cheese and I know it may sound a bit gross to some, but it's so good. I bought a small tub for myself and have been indulging in this yumminess with a hot cup of coffee.
After about two months of not doing any crochet, I got the itch again and quickly grabbed my current WIP, the Cosmic Cal.
I was but 3 rows before the end of Part 2, so while catching up on Call the Midwife yesterday afternoon, I finished Part 2. I had forgotten just how gorgeous this pattern was, so it was quite a treat being able to work a few rows.
While taking the photo, I stood back and smiled at the amount of complete blankets I have in my basket, and this is not the whole collection either, as I have some laying around in different spots.
Some may call it old fashioned, but I truly couldn't imagine living without being surrounded by all my crochet goodies.
So as I've stepped back into my role as mother and housewife, I am embracing it all again and counting my blessings that I'm able to do this full time.
I apologize for the lack of Happy Homemaker Mondays the past two weeks, but as you already know, I was in San Diego and didn't have my laptop with me. I surely did miss sharing this Monday feature with you all though and am so happy to be back home to do it.
We have just a few weeks left before school starts again, can you believe that? I'll have a 10th grader, my word.
Have a lot coming up in the next few weeks though. This coming weekend, my beautiful daughter returns home and she's bringing her boyfriend with to stay for two weeks. We have never met him in person, so are very much looking forward to doing so.
Once he leaves, I have but a week to prepare for my stepmom's arrival from South Africa. I haven't seen her in 10 years, and she's coming for the month of August, so I'm delighted to be seeing her soon. School starts while she's here, oh boy.
I'll only really get a break from visits and hosting, in September. So, as you can see, lots going on and lots planned for the next month.
But, let's get right into our Happy Homemaker Monday. I hope you all have a beautiful blessed week!!!!
The weather.....Scorching hot here in Texas. This upcoming week we will be seeing highs of 108. I can't folks, I just can't. I have found that the older I get, the less I can handle hot temperatures like these. Let's pray that we don't all melt, shall we?
Right now I am....I am sitting on my couch, listening to Jasmine's birds chattering away as I have just uncovered them for the day. It's very quiet, hubby is off to work and Nick is sleeping.
Thinking....About what I need doing this week in preparation for my daughter's boyfriend's visit. Also thinking about my to do list for today, there's so many things I want to get done but truthfully, didn't sleep well last night and am moving at a snail's pace this morning, so we will see just how much I actually accomplish.
Something fun or interesting that happened....I was blessed to be present during my niece's labor. Having gone through it twice before myself, it is a completely different feeling when you're watching someone you love go through that pain, but what a beautiful and absolutely breathtaking moment watching a life come into this world.
On my reading pile.... Have received quite a few more books in for review. I have to say that I'm quite pleased with the list I have to read, there's a mix of genres and fantastic books on my shelf, at the moment.
On my TV.....With the World Cup finally over, I'm back to catching up on favorite shows. At the moment though, I'm trying to catch up on the vlogs I've missed the past two weeks. Who knew that just two weeks could accumulate such a huge stack of videos? I'm also still watching Call the Midwife and there are a few other Period Dramas that I'm wanting to get through as well. As always, if I find something interesting, I'll share with you and add it to my lists here on the blog.
On my to do list.... Iron and put laundry away Carpet clean
In the craft basket....Nothing at the moment.
Looking around the house.... It's actually clean and tidy so I don't have much to do in the sense of cleaning. My windows are all needing cleaning though, so I may tackle that sometime today, probably this morning before it gets too hot this afternoon. Devotionals, Bible verses, Worth sharing.... Love Steven Furtick, actually first heard of him through my brother Paul, and ever since then, I've been truly enjoying all of his messages. He is a breath of fresh air, young guy, very relatable, but with powerful messages to get across. Just thought I would share one of his videos below, because it truly was a light bulb moment for me and I hope it does the same for you. :)
No one can stop God from blessing you (except you) | Pastor Steven Furtick - YouTube
From New York Times bestselling author Melanie Dickerson comes an inspired retelling of the beloved folk tale Aladdin.
Orphaned and alone, Aladdin travels from the streets of his Arab homeland to a strange, faraway place. Growing up in an orphanage, he meets young Lady Kirstyn, whose father is the powerful Duke of Hagenheim. Despite the difference in their stations, Aladdin quickly becomes Kirstyn’s favorite companion, and their childhood friendship grows into a bond that time and opposition cannot break. Even as a child, Aladdin works hard, learning all he can from his teachers. Through his integrity, intelligence, and sheer tenacity, he earns a position serving as the duke’s steward. But that isn’t enough to erase the shame of being forced to steal as a small child—or the fact that he’s an orphan with no status. If he ever wants to feel equal to his beautiful and generous friend Kirstyn, he must leave Hagenheim and seek his fortune.
Yet once Aladdin departs, Lady Kirstyn becomes a pawn in a terrible plot. Now, Aladdin and Kirstyn must rely on their bond to save her from unexpected danger. But will saving Kirstyn cost Aladdin his newfound status and everything he’s worked so hard to obtain?
An enchanting new version of the well-known tale, The Orphan’s Wish tells a story of courage and loyalty, friendship and love, and reminds us what “family” really means.
Melanie Dickerson is a New York Times bestselling author and a Christy Award winner. Her first book, The Healer’s Apprentice, won the National Readers’ Choice Award for Best First Book in 2010, and The Merchant’s Daughter won the 2012 Carol Award. Melanie spends her time daydreaming, researching the most fascinating historical time periods, and writing stories at her home near Huntsville, Alabama, where she gathers dandelion greens for her two adorable guinea pigs between writing and editing her happily ever afters.
This is my kind of book, it's got everything that I absolutely adore.
If you love fantasy and Aladdin and enchanted tales, this is the book for you. I've always enjoyed the story of Aladdin but it's so much fun seeing it told from a different perspective and really giving the character depth and personality.
Melanie Dickerson is a master at retelling old favorite tales, and I was super excited to read this spin on such a well known and beloved fairy tale character, such as Aladdin.
It was like reading a retelling of such a well known story but seeing it through different eyes, where we get to really understand who Aladdin is, where he came from and how he struggled to reconcile his past as a poor orphan forced to do things he didn't want to, with the man he is today.
The story did start off a little slow but once it picked up, it was so enjoyable that I couldn't put it down.
I am currently in San Diego, California, and have been for the past two weeks.
I had mentioned it in passing, a few weeks ago, but wanted to come in and show you the reason why there have been no Happy Homemaker Monday posts, or any posts in general.
It's been a whirlwind around here, from our arrival, to my niece's labor and the arrival of little Miss Eva, my great niece who is absolutely gorgeous.
I've taken numerous photos already and still plan on taking a few more before we leave on Friday, but just wanted to come in and say a quick hi to let you know that I haven't completely disappeared from the blog, just haven't been able to get on and do anything.
Honestly, I thought that I would have been able to blog daily from San Diego, but the baby has kept us extremely busy and between me, my niece, her mom and dad and brother, and baby's daddy, we've taken turns taking care of the little one.
My last baby was 15 years ago, and it's easy to forget just how busy you are the first few days with a newborn.
Anyway, I really wanted to show you beautiful Eva, so here she is. She was born on July 2nd, at 5:03pm, weighing 7 pounds 15 ounces, and was 21.2 inches long.
Paperback: 352 pages Publisher: Thomas Nelson (June 26, 2018)
Just as Jeremiah Goodbye is set to meet his fate in the electric chair, a tornado tears down the prison walls, and he is given a second chance at life. With the flip of a coin, he decides to return to his home town of Nowhere, Oklahoma, to settle the score with his twin brother Josiah. But upon his escape, he enters a world he doesn’t recognize—one that has been overtaken by the Dust Bowl. And the gift he once relied on to guide him is as unrecognizable as the path back to Nowhere.
After one jolt in Old Sparky, Jeremiah sees things more clearly and begins to question the mysterious circumstances surrounding the murders he was accused of. On his journey home, he accidentally rescues a young boy who follows him the rest of the way, and the pair arrive at their destination where they are greeted by fearful townspeople. When the Black Sunday storm hits the very next day, the residents of Nowhere finally begin to let the past few years of hardship bury them under the weight of all that dust.
Unlikely heroes, Jeremiah and his new companion, Peter Cotton, try to protect the townspeople from themselves, but Jeremiah must face his nightmares and free himself from the guilt of flipping the coin on those men who died.
Filled with mystery and magic, What Blooms from Dust is the story of finding hope in the midst of darkness and discovering the beauty of unexpected kindness.
Purchase LinksAmazon | iBooks | Books-A-Million | Barnes & NobleAbout James MarkertJames Markert lives with his wife and two children in Louisville, Kentucky. He has a history degree from the University of Louisville and won an IPPY Award for The Requiem Rose, which was later published as A White Wind Blew, a story of redemption in a 1929 tuberculosis sanatorium, where a faith-tested doctor uses music therapy to heal the patients. The Angels’ Share is his second novel, and he is currently working on his next historical, All Things Bright and Strange. James is also a USPTA tennis pro, and has coached dozens of kids who’ve gone on to play college tennis in top conferences like the BIG 10, the Big East, and the ACC.
I absolutely love history and so, tend to gravitate towards anything history related. Some eras and incidents throughout our history, I find more interesting than others, and the Dust Bowl is one of those.
This story takes place during that time period, where we meet Jeremiah, a man who escaped execution and has a few scores to settle.
Jeremiah returns to the town of Nowhere, with a clear objective in mind, but on the way encounters a family selling a child. Unable to walk away, he ends up taking with him the little boy they were trying to get rid of.
In the town of Nowhere is his twin brother Josiah (the person responsible for Jeremiah going to prison and almost being executed), and Ellen, his wife, who also happens to be the woman Jeremiah loves.
What follow is a story of heartache, longing, revenge, anger, and a town trying to survive through some of it's bleakest moments.
About Where Hope BeginsPaperback: 368 pages Publisher: Thomas Nelson (May 22, 2018) Sometimes we’re allowed to glimpse the beauty within the brokenness . . . Savannah Barrington has always found solace at her parents’ lake house in the Berkshires, and it’s the place that she runs to when her husband of over twenty years leaves her. Though her world is shaken, and the future uncertain, she finds hope through an old woman’s wisdom, a little girl’s laughter, and a man who’s willing to risk his own heart to prove to Savannah that she is worthy of love. But soon Savannah is given a challenge she can’t run away from: Forgiving the unforgivable. Amidst the ancient gardens and musty bookstores of the small town she’s sought refuge in, she must reconcile with the grief that haunts her, the God pursuing her, and the wounds of the past that might be healed after all. Where Hope Begins is the story of grace in the midst of brokenness, pointing us to the miracles that await when we look beyond our own expectations. Purchase LinksAmazon | iBooks | Books-A-Million | Barnes & NobleAbout Catherine West
Catherine West writes stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. When she’s not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border Collie for long walks or reading books by her favorite authors. She and her husband have two grown children and one beautiful granddaughter. Catherine is the winner of the 2015 Grace Award (Bridge of Faith) and the Romance Writers of America’s Faith, Hope & Love Reader’s Choice Award (The Things We Knew). Her most recent novel, The Memory of You, released March 2017 and Where Hope Begins releases in May 2018. Catherine loves to connect with her readers and can be reached at Catherine@catherinejwest.com.
I started the story feeling like I wasn't being captivated by any of it, the characters, the setting and the story in itself. As often happens with some of my favorite books, the beginning seems to try and steer me in a different direction, but when I persevere, I'm often finding myself loving the story and happy that I didn't give up in any way.
The topics this story focuses on, are also not an easy thing to get through, but I believe that God places certain topics, stories, testimonies, movies or people in our path, at the time we need them the most. It is in these instances that we end up learning the biggest lessons in our lives.
Savannah is a woman broken, a woman with incredible grief and hurt. She is running from God, running from the pain of past incidents and trying to escape it all in her parent's home.
What she ends up doing, is learning to have a semi amicable relationship with her estranged husband, facing all her past demons and above all learning to love herself.
The book deals with some pretty deep and serious issues, like depression and anxiety, grief and hurt and adultery.
That may deter you from reading the book, but please don't let it because the story ends up developing such an amazing character in Savannah, but also teaching us, the readers, a thing or two about life and the way to face it in a faith filled and open hearted way.
Good morning friends, hope you all had a good weekend.
Mine was good but tiring, I feel like I've been on the run since Friday morning and have yet to really relax, sleep in, enjoy my weekend etc.
I want to start by thanking you all for the continuous prayers for Nick, he is doing SO much better, it warms my heart to see the changes already happening in him. :)
Saturday we dropped off my Jasmine at the airport, she flew to Michigan to visit her boyfriend and his family for the next few weeks. I hate having to kiss and hug her goodbye and I always feel like I'm going to start crying. Oh goodness, momma's life right?
The weather.....It's been pretty hot still, but thankfully we got a nice storm last night and it's cooled things down a lot.
Right now I am....I am watching some vlogs on the TV, while I type up this post. Just finished my coffee and I'm still in my pajamas as well, but it's not even 8AM so I'm not worried about needing to rush and change out of them.
Thinking....About what all I need to do this week. We are more than likely leaving for San Diego. My poor niece is so miserable at this point. She is 39 weeks pregnant and is swollen, sore, in a lot of pain and to top it off she has also developed the pregnancy rash called Puppp which is absolutely horrible to deal with. She is a centimeter and a half dilated and 50% effaced so we are hoping and praying for things to move along this week, so she can find some relief. Please keep her in your prayers.
Something fun or interesting that happened....Hubby and I have been wanting to go to church for a while, and we moved here to Texas 3 years ago, with the intention of finding a church to join. You know how it goes though, time flies and then you and end up not doing it. But I felt such a strong urge to go to church this weekend, and so Sunday the hubby and I went to a church just up the street from us. They were very friendly, we enjoyed being there, but it's a very small church and not many young people around, and we are mainly looking for a church with a youth group that we can get my son into. We plan on visiting a few more around here, until we find one we like.
On my reading pile.... The summer list, the review is later than planned because there was a delay in the receiving the books.
On my TV.....Vlogs at the moment, and the World Cup starting at 9am. Portugal play at 1pm and it's a pretty important game, they need to win to be able to proceed to the next phase.
On the menu for this week....
Monday - Chili Dogs
Tuesday - Hamburger Helper, Cauliflower with Cheese sauce
Wednesday - Tacos with Spanish Rice
Thursday - Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Friday - Pizza
On my to do list.... Iron and put laundry away Clean and tidy up house Start packing for San Diego
In the craft basket....Nothing at the moment.
Looking forward to this week....Hoping to make it to San Diego and have a baby girl to love on and take lots of pictures of.
Looking around the house....I have my essential oil diffuser going at the moment, it smells amazing in here. I also have the air conditioner turned off (I turn it off every morning and only turn it back on later in the afternoon if it's too hot to handle), the back screen door is open and so is the front door. The house just needs a bit of tidying as it was a bit of a flurry of chaos getting my daughter off for her trip.
I just wanted to come in real quick and thank you all for the prayers, the advice and the support you've shown me here on the blog, on Facebook, Instagram and even private messages.
The past few days have been extremely difficult for us and our son.
I don't want to talk too much about it, for various reasons, but mainly because I don't want to expose too much on here in regards to my son, he is 15 and he does deserve some privacy.
I will say that after going through this with my daughter, it's easier to understand the process, it's easier to understand what he's going through and we've learned how to talk to him, and how not to approach this subject. It also helps that Jasmine is able to relate to what he's feeling and is also able to help us understand where he is coming from.
When you have a child that is showing signs of depression, that tells you that they feel insignificant or worthless, there is a trigger that happens inside us. I want so much to drill into him that all of those things are not true, but what I believe and what he feels, are two very different things.
Anyway, all of your prayers, along with all the prayers he has been receiving and the church lists he's been added to, prayer chains and so forth, are starting to show in his behavior.
One thing we learned was not to push too much or constantly hammer on things, he talks to us when he is ready and that has been really good to see. He is opening up, he is expressing his feelings, he is wanting to spend more time with the family, he is out of his room for hours at a time where before we could not get him out of there for longer than it took for him to eat dinner.
We still have a very long process ahead, but we've all pulled together as a family and we've told him as well that we will ALL get through this together, just like we did with Jasmine.
At first I asked "why me again? I went through it with Jasmine, why do I have to go through this with Nicholas?".
But I am no longer thinking that way, I'm praying for my son, I'm praying for me for wisdom, to know how to approach him, to know the right words to use when talking to him, to be patient, to have strength and more than anything, for the Lord to work in my son's heart to show him that he is an important part of this family and very much loved.
So, thank you all for helping me through this process. I will try to keep you updated on what is going on, and any day now, Tiffany will be having her baby so we will be headed to San Diego, so I'll definitely be blogging more from there and sharing photos etc. Nick is coming with me, he has agreed to go and I think it will be a wonderful change of scenery for him.
So often with teens just a change of place and change in routine, helps them so much. I'm hoping this trip is what he needs to start feeling somewhat better.
Lord, I pray Your emotional, physical, and spiritual protection over my son. Keep evil far from him, and help him to trust You as his refuge and strength. I pray You will guard his mind from harmful instruction, and grant him discernment to recognize truth. I pray You will make him strong and courageous in the presence of danger, recognizing that You have overcome and will set right all injustice and wrong one day. Help him to find rest in Your shadow, as he lives in the spiritual shelter You provide for him. Let him know that the only safe place is in Jesus. Amen!
Good morning everyone, hope you're all having a good Monday morning so far.
I'm doing ok. We have some family issues going on, this time with Nicholas and I really need some prayers for my son. I don't want to go into details but he seems to be suffering from depression as well and I'm extremely worried about him at this point.
Having gone through a horrid ordeal with Jasmine's depression and anxiety, it seems that the past is repeating itself and I'm at a loss. We just need a lot of prayers right now.
The weather.....It's been pretty hot but looks like we'll be in the lower 90's this week, with possibly a thunderstorm midweek.
Right now I am....Have the World Cup soccer on the TV, have laundry going and I'm trying to get this post up for you all.
Thinking....About what is going on with my son. We are trying to help him through this and will do whatever we need to. It's so hard when they're 15 years old, the hormones are raging and there's so much going on in their heads. He is very withdrawn, doesn't want to get out of his room or do anything, it's almost a daily fight with him. Friends, I'm honestly terrified at this point.
On my reading pile.... The summer list. The review will be up this Wednesday.
On my TV.....The World Cup and that's pretty much it for the next month.
On the menu for this week....
Monday - Chipotle Burrito Bowls
Tuesday - Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Fries
Wednesday - Spaghetti with garlic bread
Thursday - Chicken Pie, Salad
Friday - Vegan Burgers, Onion Rings
Saturday - Pizza
Sunday - Leftovers
On my to do list....
Finish all the laundry Carpet clean Going with my sister in law to a doctor's appointment Start packing for San Diego
In the craft basket....Nothing at the moment.
Looking forward to this week....Nothing really, and I'm sorry if I seem a bit off today, I'm just so stressed, anxious and worried. We're dealing with some serious issues and I am struggling to keep myself calm and cool headed through it all.
Looking around the house....It's clean and I don't need to do much, which is a good thing because I got no sleep last night and I'm absolutely exhausted this morning.
A few days ago I was out back and kept wondering why one of my flower hanging baskets was looking so bare. Where was it all going and why did it look so messy in there, like it had been ripped at with bare hands.
Few hours later, I realized exactly what had been happening. See the bird above? It had been flying back and forth between my basket and the tree about 20 feet from our back door.
It wasn't rushing, it wasn't fluttering about in a hurry, it was just content slowly picking at the moss, flying back to build it's nest and then returning. This went on for a couple of days, same thing, over and over and over, and you know what? It took quite a while for it to be happy with the amount of moss it needed, but it got done, at a slow and steady pace.
A few days later I was in the backyard watering my plants, when I saw this guy slowly making it's way through my grass.
I have no idea where it came from or where it went after it made it's way through the long yard, but I have no doubt that he got to where he wanted to go.
And so, I've kind of been doing the same the past few days. For some reason I've always been the kind of person to get things done quickly and efficiently, even folding laundry I always feel like I'm quickly doing it.
The other day I deliberately took my time folding the clothes as I removed them from the dryer. One piece at a time, slowly, folding, not rushing and at first I felt so weird but I continued to deliberately move slower and what I found is that I actually enjoyed the process a lot more.
I honestly think at lot of our daily stresses are self imposed, and I'm speaking for myself here, I would never dream to presume what others are thinking or feeling.
So slow and steady is going to be implemented more often, especially on the days that I have no outside appointments or commitments.