Saturday, May 18, 2013

Daybook # 1 for 2013

Thanks to Peggy for hosting The Simple Woman's Daybook!


Outside my is partly cloudy.

I am thinking...about an email that a dear friend sent to me and my sister late last night.  I wish that she lived closer as she is such a strong and positive Christian friend.

I am thankful...that I am having some time to myself this weekend as the boys are on their final Y-Guides Spring Outing this weekend at Camp Sea Gull!

In the kitchen...take out.  I'm home alone and I am enjoying something from outside the house tonight!

I am wearing...stone colored capri pants and a teal knit top.

I am creating...this post.

I am where I hope!  Other than to grab my take out for dinner.

I am wondering...what is happening with our AC.  I think that we may need a new thermostat, at least that is all I hope it is!

I am reading...Unlocking the Kingdom by Jeff Dixon.  

I am sleep in in the morning.

I am looking forward to... watching the baby birds (I think that they are House Finches) grow in the nest that is attached to the wreath on our front door.  Right now they are just little brown fuzz balls.  I hope they make it!

Around the is quiet.  It's just me and Oliver (our Cairn Terrier) this weekend.

I am pondering...what this summer will be like with Ivan.  He is 9 and changing all the time.  

A favorite quote for today..."Sometimes it is better to lose and do the right thing than to win and do the wrong thing." - Tony Blair

One of my favorite things...Downton Abbey!  Oh my, I watched the first episode of season 1 this afternoon and am totally hooked.  I fear that I will have to spend some money to get caught up before season 4 starts in January!

A peek into my day...reading, take out for dinner and some wine.  

I will try to post a picture of our birds when J gets home with the camera tomorrow.  : )

Friday, April 26, 2013

6 Takes...I didn't say that they would all be quick!

--- 1 ---
I turned 40 last Saturday.  I'm doing OK, thanks for asking.  In fact, I am doing great!  J and I had a chance to grab lunch together last Friday and have a mini-date.  I was talking to him about my impending birthday and I realized why this birthday was not hitting me like a ton of bricks, as I had been warned it might.  I'm exactly where I want to be in life.  I'm a happily married wife.  I'm a mom, something that was in serious question 10 years ago, and I mostly like who I am.  Perhaps at 50 I'll be able to say I totally like myself...we'll see!
--- 2 ---
Over Ivan's winter break we traveled to Disney World for a week.  It was a blast!  It was a different trip than the previous two.  Ivan is more opinionated and at times moody.  The World only exaggerates our best and worst qualities and Ivan is no exception to this truth.  However, the trip really represents a shift for me and how I look at Ivan.  That week really showed me how much he has grown up.  It's time for me to stop thinking of him as a little kid.  He is still a kid, but tween is right around the corner and I need to get prepared.  It's time for me to stop sheltering him so much.  I need to be willing to share more information about events around the world - age appropriate, of course.
--- 3 ---
My Bible Study Class concluded this week.  We will reunite in early September.  I always feel like I enter a small desert without the accountability that my Bible Study provides.  However, I did order several books that were recommended by my Moms in Prayer group at school.  I am hoping to improve my prayer life while I take a break from Bible Study this summer.  We'll see if I can be disciplined enough once school is out to get up early and have my quiet time.
--- 4 ---
I say it EVERY year, but my how time is flying!  Third grade is almost over!  Oh my, my kid will be a Fourth grader next fall.  Whoa.
--- 5 ---
J is hosting a rather lavish dinner party for me tomorrow evening.  When he first mentioned it I was less than enthusiastic, but now I am really looking forward to it.  He is serving surf and turf (Fillet Mignon and  Lobster).  Yum....
--- 6 ---
Sadly, Ivan is running a fever today.  Nothing too high like he experienced in January, but still it's hard to watch him not feel well.  Any prayers you could spare for a quick and complete recovery would be very appreciated.  Thanks!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Friday, February 01, 2013

Duct Tape

This past Sunday the pastor at the church we are currently attending gave a phenomenal example about how God intends for us to bond with our spouse through love making.  I am recording it here because I think that it is a great example for us to use with Ivan when the time comes to have "those" chats.

Pastor Patrick has been giving a sermon series called "Love Makers" for the past several weeks.  He has covered many topics about love and marriage etc.  This weeks sermon was on sex within marriage.  He covered a lot of areas of this topic in a wonderful and humor filled way.  The one I was most intrigued by was the one using Duct Tape.

He started by telling us how if you can't fix something with duct tape, then it likely can't be fixed.  Then he stuck two clean pieces of duct tape together and showed us how when you try to pull these two pieces apart it is nearly impossible.  In fact, he was unable to do so.  All of his pulling resulted in the two pieces staying firmly together, but tearing along the edges.  That is the way God intends for us to be in marriage - bonded so tightly and purely that nothing can separate us.  That bond is strengthened through our physical act of love making together.  It is God's plan that we will marry our spouse and be pure and clean like a fresh piece of duct tape.

Then he took a piece of duct tape and ran around the sanctuary sticking it to several items, sweaters, rugs, walls etc.  Each item making the duct tape less sticky and less likely to stick to the next item.  Finally, when he placed the duct tape to his own clothing, it fell off with only the slightest touch.  By being stuck to so many other items, it had lost its purity and was unable to stay stuck to anything.  It's Gods plan that husband and wife share that special time making love, but He made that time for married people - not just your latest girlfriend or boyfriend no matter what society tells you.

I pray that J and I are able to share this with Ivan when the time is right.  It is a vivid picture about how much stronger our bond will be with our spouse if we save that special moment for them and them alone.  

Thursday, January 31, 2013


Ivan and I were working on homework yesterday afternoon and having a rather difficult time navigating through his history project.  J was sitting in the living room reading the newspaper.  Ivan and I finally got through the rough patch and went on to make the most of a difficult time.  An hour or so later, J came into the kitchen and gave me a hug and a kiss and whispered in my ear.  He told me how much he appreciated the work I was doing with Ivan on his project.  He also said that he knew that it wasn't always appreciated by Ivan, but that he appreciated the work I was doing.

I'm putting this little piece here so that I can come back to it when I am feeling UNappreciated around these parts.  Which, as the only women in this house, can be fairly frequently!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Happy Fall Break!

Today is the first day of Ivan's Fall Break.  He is off from school for the next three days.  I think that we were both ready for a little freedom from our rigid school routine.

This morning when I rolled down the stairs at 7:07 I was met by a sweet surprise.  The lights were out downstairs.  I knew that Ivan was awake and downstairs, I had heard him closing a cabinet door only moments before.  When my feet hit the bottom step he jumped out and yelled "Happy Fall Break, Mommy!"  Then he showed me that he had fixed me breakfast (my choice of granola bars displayed on the kitchen table) and a glass of water.  Since this is what he sees me eat almost every Sunday morning - one of the few days he sees me eat breakfast - this was an appropriate breakfast selection.  He had also made me a lovely poster reading "Happy Fall Break!" that was pinned to the cork board in the kitchen.  It was a very sweet start to what I hope will be a fun Fall Break.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Hungry? Try one of these...UPDATED for 2012!

Here are some recipes that we are loving over here. All are "new" to us in that I have only been making them since the New Year started. If you try one and enjoy it, let me know!

I have been posting most of my new recipe finds over on Pinterest.  Come and take a look!

Pepperoni Rolls.  I've made this three times since I pinned it to my Pinterest board a few months ago.  It is one of Ivan's favorites.  When he sees it on the menu board, he gets so excited.  I like to make this tomato sauce to dip it in.  Mmmm.  Enjoy!  (9/14/12)

Navy Bean and Smoked Sausage soup - a clear winner with J. This has become his favorite soup. It makes a ton, but the leftovers are really good too. (3/1/10)

Fire-Roasted Tomato Chipotle soup - this is now one of my favorite soups. I really do not like tomatoes as a general rule so this was a risk for me to try. However, fire roast those things and I LOVE them. We have found that the tortilla chips are completely unnecessary but smoked cheddar is a must. Good stuff. (3/1/10)

Chicken Divan - my sister has been raving about this dish for a long time now. I finally tried it a few weeks ago. It's good, not great. A little heavy to have in the regular rotation, but we made two and now have one in the freezer for an easy meal one evening. (3/1/10)  I feel compelled to add:  I made this again last night with much more appealing results.  I used a little less curry than it calls for (personal taste) and a different and more appealing wine.  Oh, and a roasted chicken that I got on sale at the grocery store.  All of these minor changes added up to a much more satisfying meal!  So now I can heartily recommend this meal...go and enjoy.  (11/23/10)

Teriaki Chicken with a side of snark by TirienneAnne - I made this for dinner tonight. It was delightful. I served the chicken and sauce over brown rice (family preference) and sauteed some snow peas and tossed them into the bowl as well. A definite keeper! (3/1/10)

Shrimp Tacos from Southern Living September 2009 issue - we tried these on the Fourth of July and they were delicious! If you try them feel free to make the batter as follows: 1 egg, 1 cup beer, 1 cup flour, and 2 tsp. fajita seasoning. Don't forget the Mexislaw adds great flavor and crunch. (7/24/10)

Emeril's uber rich and oh so good BBQ shrimp.  Wow, and double wow.  This was so scrumptious I can't even explain how authentic it tasted.  Well worth the effort, which wasn't as much as you would think.  Try it, you'll love it! (8/28/10)

Ellen's Tex-Mex Stuffed Peppers.  I found this recipe on one of my favorite blogs last month and finally got around to trying it tonight.  It made a ton of food so I hope the leftovers are as good as the original!  J and I enjoyed it and I plan to make it again soon.  Perhaps next time making it in two dishes and sending the second dish to my parent's house.  Try it, you'll like it!  (10/11/10)

New England Clam Chowder.  What a warm and creamy treat.  I used inexpensive, canned chopped clams to help keep this affordable.  A great bowl of warmth on a cold Sunday afternoon.  This was easy and quick.  Yum. (10/17/10) 

Seared Duck Breast.  J made this last year for Christmas and we decided to make it again this year.  Wow and double wow.  That pretty much sums it up folks. (12/25/10)

As you can clearly see I love to search for recipes on The Food Network. They have so much variety and it's easy to search. I love to serve soup on Sunday evenings so that is why there are many soups recipes. Bon appetite!

Saturday, September 01, 2012

In the groove again...

I can't believe it but Ivan has been in school for three weeks now.  His first day was August 13.  He appears to be enjoying his new teacher, Mrs. Perry.  She has taught third grade at his school since 1998, so she knows how things run and what to expect from third graders.  J and I really like her too.  She is loving and kind, but clearly in control of her classroom.  I foresee another good year for Ivan.

On another note, Ivan finally reached his $127.32 goal and purchased the Hogwarts Castle Lego set.  He earned the money to do so by saving his birthday money, doing his weekly chores for which he is paid a (very small) commission, and by picking-up pine cones in Nana and Papa Wayne's yard.  We pay him a penny per pine cone and I think he has picked up something like 5000 in the past couple of months over there.  I wish I were exaggerating.  He has been saving right along since March when he decided that he really wanted this Hogwarts set.  J and I have tried to help by offering him opportunities to earn an extra $.50 here and there.  He has been very disciplined with his savings and has denied himself many times when we have gone to Target or Wal-mart and he has seen something less expensive that he wanted in the moment.  However, whenever I would say "It's fine with me if that's what you want to spend your money on, but remember it will take XX dollars away from your savings for the Hogwarts set."  Hogwarts won every time and now it is finally here.  He is putting it together as I write this.  1200 plus pieces of pure
Lego joy for my little boy.  

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Most Improved!

Last night was Ivan's swim team banquet.  He was named the Most Improved 7-8 boy for this season!  All of that hard work he put in paid off, and a couple of 1 breathers didn't hurt either.  Way to go son.

edited to add:

August 19, 20012 - Tonight was Ivan's tennis team banquet.  Coach Jim awarded Ivan the "Coaches Award" for the 8U group!  Ivan had an AWESOME attitude win or lose every single match.  He worked really hard this summer on improving his tennis game too, but I think that the good attitude put him on top for this award.

Proud Mom over here.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Quick Takes #4

--- 1 ---
I can not believe that a week from tomorrow, we leave for our annual week at the beach!  This is the big family trip of the year.  My parents, my sister and her family are all there.  It is a week of fun, sun and chaos!  You never come home rested but it is always fun!

--- 2 ---
One week until the 2012 Summer Olympics officially begin!!  Our family is Olympic junkies.  J will watch anything if those 5 rings are involved.  Ivan and I are a little bit more discerning, but not much.  My sister and I swam competitively as kids and teens, so our whole family will be watching the swimming while we are at the beach together.  I can't wait!

--- 3 ---
J will be moving to a new job on Monday.  He is still with the same company, but in a different position.  He will now be a Project Manager as opposed to a People Manager.  The job came with a nice raise and extra bonus opportunity.  J is excited to be in a challenging new role, but I know that he is a bit nervous as well.  Neither of us loves first.  Sadly, J will be travelling on business during the beach trip this year.  With the new job and all the timing is not right for vacation.  

--- 4 ---

We are having a great, but busy summer this year!  Ivan is on the swim team at our local pool, and on the tennis team too.  Those two teams have kept us hopping this summer.  Plus of course he had VBS and a week of basketball camp.  I don't believe in over scheduling Ivan's summer, but these were all things that he wanted to do and has enjoyed them immensely.  Now that we are almost done with swim team (this was our final week) we are really just down to tennis from here on out.  Also, as he gets older I see that he can handle more activities without getting overwhelmed.  

--- 5 ---

We are continuing to "church shop" this summer.  We gave our official resignation at the beginning of summer to our old church.  It's been more difficult than I would have hoped, but in the end it will be worth it because we will be where God wants us to be.

--- 6 ---

Wednesday we celebrated our 7th Family Anniversary Day!  We went to dinner at a local fondue restaurant at Ivan's request and enjoyed being together.  My Mom and Dad gave us a lovely keepsake book with all of the emails and pictures that we sent home while we were in Kazakhstan that summer.  It's a real treasure.

--- 7 ---

J and I have begun to plan our surprise trip to the "Happiest Place on Earth" .  Our code name for the trip is Las Vegas.  We have booked a hotel room and secured park tickets.  Now we are trying to plan for our dinner reservations, so that when we are 180 days out I can call and get our tables reserved.  We are planning to give this to Ivan as a Christmas gift this year.  We will be travelling during his winter break in February.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Swimmer of the Week!

Today Ivan was named as the 7 - 10 year old boy swimmer of the week for our summer swim team!  He works so hard at every practice.  He may never be like Michael Phelps, but he sure tries hard.  The coaches were particularly impressed with how diligent he is about counting his strokes into the wall in backstroke every. single. time.

Way to go son!