Thursday, April 28, 2011

Living A Life Of Purpose

Illustration depicting thought.Image via Wikipedia
Have you ever wondered what your purpose in life was? If there was a particular cause or reason your are alive for? I've wondered about it from time to time. The thought comes to mind and I think about it a while. Then, as usual, life gets busy and I lay the thought aside, thinking that for now I'll continue my casual, daily Christian walk with no great focus on a "plan" or "mission". But I've come to think about it a lot more lately. And this time I find myself shoving aside some of the things that has distracted me in the past.

I've been talking to God about my purpose for a few days and this devotion was a helpful insight, right in line with my thoughts and prayers.

"If your life was condensed into one short sentence - what would be said of you? How our lives are summarized depends on the choices we make each day. We have the tendency to become distracted with cares and responsibilities. Those distractions keep us from our primary purpose - pleasing God." 

Reflection & Prayer
Devotion Focus: PURPOSE

Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this; He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Psalm 37:5-6 

How will you be remembered? What is one sentence you could use to summarize your life so far? What might God want to change your life so that your life summary will be different? 

Excerpts taken from Busy Mom's Bible

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

How Does Your Garden Grow?

I've got my work cut out for me. I have a back yard that just screams for attention! I have small garden plans and look forward to getting started. Here is what I have to work with... oh, and don't judge me too harshly on these photos. I work full time, go to school, run the household (all the shopping, paying bills, most of the cooking and cleaning). I just haven't had the time to get to this part yet. ;-)

This shot is the far left corner of the back yard. The chain link fence needs some cleaning of all the vine overgrowth, as well as something done with that old rusty burn barrel. This corner will be the focus area of the garden. I'm thinking something with some height growing back there or some other way that might create some privacy. You see... the view I have from the back yard can be seen in this wider shot of the back yard below.

We have a lovely view of a 4-lane highway, complete with overpass over the highway. :(

I have this area in the back of the yard and some space along the wall of the detached garage you can see in the picture below.

So tell me... is it any wonder I never come back here to spend any time? Not real fond of watching traffic speeding up and down the highway. I'm hoping to change all that though and make some use of the space. I'm am starting to search for ideas, tips and inspiration. 

I just have a couple of little things I have to keep in mind...
This is not MY property but rented property (with approval for some gardening). That being said, of course I need to be thrifty and not put a lot of money into this. I just want something better to look at and use, but not sink a lot of money into property I don't own and will leave one day.

Anyone have any ideas? Pictures? Tips? Websites? Anything gardening to share with this newbie?
I'm hoping to grown a few vegetables (tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers) as well a floral gardening area to. I'd love to hear your ideas and welcome them!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Getting To Know You - Sunday

The Questions:

1. do you weigh yourself?
2. what's the nastiest thing you've ever eaten?
3. snail mail or email?
4. do you have any irrational fears...what are they?
5. do you play an instrument?
6. would you rather be bitten by a snake or attacked by a bear?
7. do you ever go braless in public?
8. today i am thankful for........................?

My Answers:

1. Do you weigh yourself?

Rarely. I know I'm staying about the same or if there is a change by my clothes and that's all I need to know. Numbers do not always indicate "health", not to the extreme people use them. And I choose health before obsession. :)

2. What's the nastiest thing you've ever eaten?

I have tasted a lot of things I didn't like but "nasty"? Hmmm I'd have to say a recent smoothie I tried. It was a mixture of a lot of good stuff but when you have fiber husk, and chia seeds not ground it's a nasty texture in your mouth.

3. Snail mail or email?

Email is convenient. You can access email from almost anywhere these days. But I love receiving a REAL LETTER from a friend or loved one in the mail box.

4. Do you have any irrational fears...what are they?

I don't know what's rational or irrational to any of you but I'm afraid of heights - terrible! To the point of getting queasy and feeling butterflies in my stomach even watching a movie with a scene from high up and the camera is looking down - Cliffhanger just about did me in.

5. Do you play an instrument?

Not now. I took piano lessons for 2 years in high school and loved it but never stuck with it after that.

6. Would you rather be bitten by a snake or attacked by a bear?

Bitten by a snake. It may or may not kill me but I know the bear would for sure. And a snake bite is less violent and would have to be less painful than being torn apart.

7. Do you ever go bra less in public?

Never. I could not pass that test.

8. Today i am thankful for........................?

my family - we're all close and get along (no family squabbling), my job - so many people don't have one, for a beautiful sunny day today

Run over to MannLand and link up and play along!


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Getting To Know You - Sunday

It's time for this week's edition of Getting To Know You!

Here are the questions...

1. what inspires you?
2. what was the last thing you bought yourself?
3. would you rather watch a movie in a theater or from the comfort of your own home?
4. household chore you don't mind doing?
5. coffee or tea?
6. what could you eat every day and not get sick of??
7. what's the last book you read?
8. do you think you look you "look" your age?

And here are my answers...

1. what inspires you?

Progess, my family, and seeing the good things others do... that inspires me to do and give as well.

2. what was the last thing you bought yourself?

About a month ago I finally decided on my "joint-occasion" gift. Some years I choose to combine my Jan 20th anniversary with my Jan 23rd birthday (or for something bigger I might have been dreaming about I might add in Valentine's Day on Feb 14th *wink*). This year I decided on a new 42" Vizio LED TV and a new stand for the living room. LOVE IT! :)

3. would you rather watch a movie in a theater or from the comfort of your own home?

I enjoyed the theater for years but I really do enjoy the privacy and comfort of my own home now. Is that I sign of getting older? (yikes!)

4. household chore you don't mind doing?

I don't mind laundry. Most of the actual 'work' is done by the machines. I love the smell of fresh laundry from the dryer. And the folding is something I can do... while watching a movie from my home if I want to. :)

5. coffee or tea?

I hate tea! But I LOVE my coffee! My sweet hubby fixes and brings to me my morning cup every morning to get me going. Then I will have 1 or maybe 2 more cups through the day at the office. He only likes one brand and 'flavor' (Maxwell House Columbian Supreme) and I love it too. But I wouldn't mind experimenting (like I have at the office) with some other brews with a new Keurig. That is on my gift list now. :)

6. what could you eat every day and not get sick of??

I have gotten tired of a lot of stuff over time that I have been stuck on. So I don't know if anything would last indefinitely. Lately though I have had to have my piece of Sourdough bread toasted with butter at least once a day. I love that stuff!

7. what's the last book you read?

The last book I finished was Darkest Hour, the 5th in the Cutler series by V.C. Andrews
. Love her stuff! Now I'm reading Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst.

8. do you think you look you "look" your age?

I suppose. I don't think I look older. Maybe somedays when I'm not feeling my best and don't fix myself up but mostly I do.

It's your turn! Stop over and link up at MannLand5 and play along! Have a great day and week! 


Friday, March 25, 2011

Smile! You may be on Candid Camera

I am convinced the post office in my small town is messing with me.

When I receive a package that is too large for my post office mailbox, I receive a key in my small box for a large lock box that holds my bigger package - 
similar to this one...
Easy enough to see that you need to obtain your package from locker #18, right?  

Twice now, in the last two weeks, I have received a key like this one in my mailbox for parcel pickup...

After the second time (yesterday), I almost looked around for the hidden cameras, as I started trying to unlock random lockers, hoping my un-labled little key will fit one of them. Do they really not see the problem with continuing to use and un-labled key? Or do they really just not care that I have better things to do with my time than stand around going from locker to locker trying to find one that matches my key???

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Love-Hate Relationship

I have to admit... I have an obsession with magazines! Not just any magazine but my faves that I've share with you before. I love to lay back, relax and de-stress with some good magazines. I love to read a good book but my magazines serve a purpose (or two) that a book cannot.I got the two newest issues of some of my subscriptions yesterday.

They are a great source of inspiration. I love looking through Country Sampler or Better Homes & Gardens if I'm needing some home decor ideas. Taste of Home and Food Network magazines give me some great recipes to try when I'm tired of fixing the same old things. And then my crafty side loves Paper Crafts.

I also like that I can finish articles of the magazines in a short time. A book goes on for a while, and I love that a story takes a long time to end. But when I have short break of time here and there... say a break at work or while sitting in the doctor's office waiting room... I like to get finished with an article and get my brain thinking on it and how to act on what I've read. 

But there is one thing I HATE about my magazines! These little guys...
 I can't sit and enjoy a minute of my magazines until I go through each one... at least 2 (maybe 3 times) and pull out all the reply cards and inserts in each one. I can't stand that a magazine can't lay flat on the table where I'm reading, because of a card a few pages ahead raises the pages. Crazy pet peeve, I know but it's one that makes me crazy! I don't know anyone else that feels this way about them.

Does this bother anyone else but me? Do you have any unusual pet peeves that you feel you are the only one that deals with them?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

It's Back! Getting To Know You Sunday!

Keely @ MannLand5 has revived the always FUN 

"Getting To Know You Sunday"

Here are the questions...

1. if you won the title of miss america, what would your platform be?
2. outdoorsy or indoorsy?
3. pajama's out in public..classy or tres tacky?
4. what's your favorite room in your house?
5. nook, kindle, or book?
6. would you rather wear the same outfit for a week or not brush your teeth for a week?
7. what's your favorite blog at the moment?
8. lately i've been daydreaming about.........?


Here are my answers...

1. If you won the title of miss america, what would your platform be?

World Hunger. I'd love to see world peace and it's something definitely worth the fight. But something I felt like I could hands on participate in and make a difference at, would be World Hunger.

2. Outdoorsy or indoorsy?

Both. I grew up playing in the woods and camped when I was little as a girl scout. I love relaxing indoors and watching a good movie or scrapbooking or making cards. But then again if I had a choice of a vacation to a busy crowded beach or a secluded cabin in the mountains, I'd choose the cabin. So... Both. :)

3. Pajama's out in public..classy or tres tacky?

Tacky. Unless they so closely resemble something like sweats, or knit capris or something. Those would be okay. 

4. What's your favorite room in your house?

Living Room. It's where we can all be together most comfortably and I'd prefer to not have the movie pizza or popcorn in the bed. :)

5. Nook, Kindle, or book?

I LOVE to read! I'd read any of those if it's a really good book. But I am loving my eReader right now. I have a Pandigital color screen eReader and it's awesome!

6. Would you rather wear the same outfit for a week or not brush your teeth for a week?

Didn't say we couldn't clean the outfit, just can't brush our teeth. So the outfit it is!

7. What's your favorite blog at the moment?

Famous People blog = The Pioneer Woman (Love Ree Drummond!)
BloggyFriend blog = A Professor's Wife (Steph is so personable and fun!)

8. Lately i've been daydreaming about.........?

Having a bigger house. I want a big open living room/kitchen area with a kitchen big enough to have lots of people around me while I cook... and the TV within view while I try all the great stuff I see on Food Network!

I'd love to Get To Know You more too. Link up on Keely's blog and join in!
Happy Sunday and HAPPY SPRING!

Friday, March 18, 2011

My Handwriting

After being MIA for a little bit, I have a fun post to share with you! Life kind of over took me for a bit. Stressful days at work that were nearly unbearable and school on top of that left me little time for ME. Things are getting back to normal though. Work is actually FUN again! I didn't think I'd ever hear that come from my mouth. :)

Steph at A Professor's Wife shared this fun post about a week ago and I couldn't wait to do the same. My life/work revolves around typing at a computer so actually writing this out was fun. I don't have any cute little doodles to share like Steph did with hers though (that gal has some talent!) ;)

For the “Show Me Your Handwriting” blog exercise, write the following on a piece of paper:

1. Your name and blog name
2. Your blog URL
3. The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.
4. Favorite quote
5. Favorite song
6. Favorite band/singer
7. Anything else you might want to add
8. Tag/invite your fellow blogging buds to participate!


Monday, January 10, 2011

Secret Dinner - Easy Turkey Pot Pie

So my hubby doesn't like ground turkey. He's the typical Meat (aka Beef) and Potatoes guy. I mentioned once fixing something with it and he made a horrible face and said "NO!" So I said okay and let it go. Well I DO like ground turkey. Not only is it healthier, it can be seasoned and taste good too.

So I was looking around last night for something quick and easy to fix for dinner with the pound of hamburger I'd taken out of the freezer. I ended up on and found a recipe for "Easy Hamburger Pot Pie." It sounded good and was the perfect comfort meal for a cold January day. So I edited it some and here is MY recipe for Easy Turkey Pot Pie (with ground turkey). Sshhhh don't tell him I used turkey instead of ground beef. He LOVED it! I am still laughing inside. 

I like to try new things. Him... well, not so much. He's not a complainer at all. He'll eat what I fix because it's there, he's hungry and well fixed for him. Just when he's not real crazy about something he really makes no comments at all.

So last night he tasted it and said "this is good". He ate a little bit more and said, "this is something new you've tried that I really like." SCORE! So here is what I made.

1 pound of ground turkey
2 tsp of onion flakes (onion powder or chopped onion would be just as good)
1 tsp of salt
1 1/2 tsp of pepper
2 tsp of beef bouillon granules
1 can of carrots
1 can of green beans
1 can of sliced potatoes
1 can of creamed corn
1 can of cream of chicken soup
2 cups of Bisquick baking mix
1 cup of milk
2 eggs
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brown ground turkey with salt, pepper and onion flakes. In a large mixing bowl, mix together all the canned vegetables and soup with the beef bouillon granules. 

Add cooked turkey and mix everything well. Pour into a 9" X 13" baking dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.

In a medium mixing bowl, mix the baking mix, milk and eggs. Poor evenly over the top of the meat and vegetables.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

Sprinkle shredded cheese on top of crust and return to oven for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

After my hubby went to bed last night I broke down and told my son about the turkey in the pot pie. He didn't care never would have. I told him I wanted an honest un-biased reaction from his dad before I told him. We just finished off the leftovers for lunch today and my son asked me, "have you told dad yet about the turkey?" I told him no but I would... at some point.

Hubby enjoyed it today as much as last night. I have other "secrets" I'm going to experiment on him with. For instance. Who can honestly tell one brand of normal yellow mustard from another? I can't. He swears he can. I'm going to use the more economical store brand of mustard and fill the French's container that is almost empty. We'll see if he notices. I'll let you know.

Do you have a family member with a brand name or food quirk that you think is "all in their head"?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Project 365 Weekly Wrap Up

  • I hope to do 2 to 3 postings a week but I'm not sure how realistic that plan is. I start back to school on Wednesday next week, Yikes! So anywhere from a couple times a week or a weekly photo wrap up post. This post is the first set with 8 photos to have me up to date from January 1st to today. Here are Photos 365-1 through 365-8.

365-1 January 1st: New Beginnings
 This wooden wall hanging was a Christmas gift from a good friend. And was the perfect mindset for the New Year. The bottom part that is not visible says, "Today is a gift, that is why we call it the present."

365-2 January 2nd: Remembering our Roots

 The stoneware crock on my entertainment center.

365-3 January 3rd: Simplify - Focus On the Important Things

 This is a set of three small wooden primitive print buckets. I thought the focus on the "Simplify" was perfect for me as I want to de-clutter not only areas of my home but my life as well.

365*-4 January 4th: Time Flies
 I explored some creativity on this one. These are all elements from my scrapbook supplies. The numbers are all metal mailbox plates with white numbers on pastel pink and blue backgrounds. I altered the colors to make a black background with a hint of the pastel colors on the numbers, instead of the white. Then framed the 11 with another metal scrapbook embellishment. I'm not sure how visible it is on this smaller web version but I used a Wind effect, pulling from left to right to produce my Time Flies theme. If you can't see the Wind effect, open the picture full size in another window to view larger.

365-5 January 5th: Peace in the Storm
 We are having some COLD, Snowy weather here in northeast Kentucky. But the colors I added to this church... against the dreary sky... give a  calm, peaceful feeling. Not to mention the peace that can be found inside that church. :)

365-6 January 6th: Illusions of Innocence
 My 10 year old, 15lb cat Beanie is mostly lazy, as all cats are. But he can sure fool you too when he's feeling his cheerios!

365-7 January 7th: Small Town History
 The photo above is the oldest building in our small town along the Ohio River. Built in 1926, it was originally Ford Motor Agency with the showroom floor in the windows in the bottom left section of the photo. My little town is just across the Ohio River from Portsmouth, Ohio. You can still see the directions in large painted letters & and arrow at the top of the building directing people to the US Grant bridge leading to Ohio.

365-8 January 8th: Through the Eyes of a Child
Hayden was fascinated with his ability to sit on the stairs at my mom's house and look down over the dining room and see everyone from above.

  • Week one down. Fifty-one more to go. I'm looking forward to prettier and warmer weather the get out and get some nice unique shots.
After not being able to sleep at all last night, today was a lazy day for me and I used it to upload, crop, and edit the week of photos. Enjoy your weekend and stay warm! 

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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Project 365 2011

I'm thankful for all the good days, good friends and many blessings of 2010. Even the difficult people and stressful days has taught me some things.
I am learning to be content where I am and know that I am where I am supposed to be right now, in my work and in my life.
I will strive each day in 2011 to look for things on those difficult days, around those difficult people that I am supposed to learn and grow from.


I am participating in the 2011 Mommytography 365 Project For this year long project I will be taking an image a day, and posting to my blog weekly, to get me out shooting, using my camera and learning new things with it daily. Anyone interested in photography can join in, no need to be a Mommytographer. We have teens to adults, male and female, as well as people from all over the world. Come join the fun!

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