Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving with Friends~

It is different being so far from family during the Holidays, but after 6 years, you'd think I would get used to it. 

This year we were blessed to be invited 2 different places for Thanksgiving dinner, but we had accepted the first offer, so we had to decline the second.

We went to the Pickron's home and shared lunch and a lazy afternoon....then Kay and I ventured out to Walmart at 10 PM for a bit of Black Friday shopping. My cart was FULL, but I ended up only buying a few things. I had picked up a gridle that I thought was $9 but it turned out to be $18, still a good deal, but not good enough! :) I also put back a 1600 piece box of Legos. Although the extra pieces would have been fun, I think we do have enough floating around! I was disappointed to miss a good deal on a 600ct. sheet set. But that's all part of the adventure, I guess!

Kids excited to spend the day with friends~

I made Kay carve our turkey! I took lessons! ;)
Dan's boss gifted us a turkey and we had our friend, Danny, owner of Pork Barrel BBQ, smoke it for us. It was DELICIOUS!!

Smoked Turkey
Turkey gravy
Green Bean casserole
Sweet Potato Souffle
Cranberry Sauce
Homemade bread and jelly (by Kay)
Fruit Salad
Pumpkin Crunch
PB Bars

My plate along with a glass of sweet tea! :)

Dan couldn't keep his eyes open all afternoon and the cat (Spigot) joined him for a snooze.
Right before I took this picture, Dan was sleeping and the cat jumped from the back of the sofa onto his chest. It startled him a bit, but he went back to sawing logs~

The kids had fun riding 4-wheeler, playing Wii & Xbox, card games and in the evening they made a fire and played outside.

Us adults watched part of a video series by Ray Vanderlaan and surfed the internet, napped, ate food and chatted.  :)

Today I am dragging a bit from the late night, but I am determined to get SOMETHING done. Next week Good News, the group Dan sang with in PA is coming for the Prison Crusade and some of them will be sleeping next door and spending the days here. So I need to get my house in order and start thinking about food! :)

Today is a special day for Dan and I. 16 years ago he asked me the biggest and most life changing question of our lives....Will You Marry Me?? :) Of course I said yes! I had no idea at the time how God was going to bless us. I think of how young and immature we were and how much we DIDN'T know and I just thank Him for being by our sides on this journey! Looking forward to another 16 years!! :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Baking Day~

Today was pie baking day. I was going to make the crusts yesterday till I realized I didn't have Butter Crisco. I called Mom to see if it mattered if I used regular and she didn't know, so since these are for something special, I decided not to risk it! :)
So after church last night we stopped and picked some up.

My Mom gave me her recipe and taught me how to make pie crusts when we were in PA in August. The first time I tried them by myself at home, they turned out really nice, so I was a little worried that it was beginners luck! :P

Blend 2 c. butter Crisco with 6 c. of Pie and Pastry flour (I bought this bulk in PA).

Blend till the Crisco is pea sized.

Then add 1 1/4- 1 1/2 c. water. (I used about 1 1/4 c.)

And this small ball .......

........made 6 pie crusts! :) AND they all turned out fine! :)

I made 3 wet bottom shoofly pies for the GEMS auction on Saturday.

And one pumpkin pie for fellowship meal on Sunday.

And I still have 2 crusts in the freezer for later!
I also made Banana Bars that will be cut up and sold individually.

We leave first thing tomorrow morning to help unload the truckload of furniture that is coming from OH and IN and get everything set up and ready. :) Then Saturday is the sale! Pray with us that sufficient funds are raised to keep supporting the chaplains that are volunteering in the prisons! This is an important fundraiser for GEMS!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

31 Days to Clean~ Day 19

Today's Challenge~ Clean ceiling fans

When we moved here, we had one ceiling the living room. Over the last year or so, we added 3 more. I just love having a way of circulating air especially when the house gets hot in the summer time. We put one in the kitchen over the table, one in our bedroom and one in Tamara's bedroom. Someday we would like to put one in Danny's room, too, but it will have to be one of the smallest fans available because of where his light fixture is. We found the others on clearance at Lowes and Walmart, so maybe one day we can find one more. :)

I cannot believe how dusty fans get. I don't know if it was in part due to our old AC unit we had. About 2 months ago we got a new unit installed, and I haven't cleaned the fans since, so I'm wondering if we will see a difference. I guess time will tell.

The kitchen fan....


Our bedroom fan...


I didn't get Tamara's fan cleaned yet. We were "kidsitting" yesterday and they were playing in her room. I didn't want to shower them with dust!! :)

I am again taking a break with my 31 days till next Monday and I will pick up where I left off.
The reason....I unexpectedly was able to get tomato's yesterday, so today I am canning salsa and I also have to bake pies and some other things for the GEMS Benefit Auction on Saturday. We are leaving early Friday morning to set up for the auction and will be spending the night in Tallahassee, so everything has to be done by tomorrow night! 

See ya Monday~ :)

Monday, November 7, 2011


Ok, so maybe it's all the rage, but after hearing the success story of a close friend, Dan and I decided to try this program, C25K. We asked the kids if they'd like to join us. They both agreed, though Tamara was a bit skeptical...she does not like exercise, but she does love joining the rest of us in whatever we are doing, so she couldn't say no! :)
 So, last Monday was the first day of our first week! OUCH!! Talk about hurting muscles. The first week you walk briskly for 5 minutes, then jog for 60 seconds, walk for 90 seconds, jog for 60, walk for 90, and so on, till you have walked for 25 minutes. We usually end up walking more like 30 minutes all together.
 Each day we went a little farther meaning we picked up the pace a bit. The kids did GREAT with jogging....they and Dan could stay well ahead of me, but they would so kindly jog back to me to make me feel like I was keeping up! :)

Tonight was our first night of the 2nd week....walk briskly for 5 minutes, then jog for 90 seconds and walk for 2 minutes and so on, for 25 minutes again. It's amazing how the first week prepares you for the second. The first week I thought there would be no way I could jog for 30 seconds more each time, but it was do-able!!

It takes us the "5 minute brisk walk" to get from our driveway to the end of our dirt road.

Then we jog across the highway to the paved part of Parrish Lake Rd. That is where we finish the rest of the program, then walk back in our road. Tonight we were still jogging when we got to the dirt stretch, so we made better time! :)

Dan and the kids getting ahead of me! :) But I can handle it! I'm doing what I can! :)

And here they come!! :)

This stretch of the road is very deserted. Tonight we saw about 10 deer, a wild cat of some type...we were too far to tell....probably a coyote or bobcat!?? 
Then we saw an armadillo crossing the road, so Danny ran up to it and kicked it. If you are familiar with armadillo's, you know that jumping is their defense mechanism (not sure why??) Well, when he kicked it, it jumped up in the air and right into the looked HILARIOUS!! Wish so bad I had the camera ready!! :) (You might think that sounds mean, but they have hard protective shells! I don't think it hurt it!!)
Oh, and we also saw some cows out on the road!! :O Oops!!

This is going to get intense, but I am determined to stick it out!! The first week I didn't notice any weightloss, but after I ate supper and took a shower, I weighed myself....and I was down almost 2 lbs.....and that was AFTER eating supper. I am not going to allow myself to weigh again till Friday morning! :) Hope to be pleasantly surprised!! :)

31 Days to Clean~ Day 18

Today's challenge was to clean my microwave, stove and refrigerator. It hadn't been real long since I did this so they weren't in too bad of shape....well, the microwave needed help!! 



And the stove top needed some cleaning and scraping...



I never did get to the fridge. I must add that to my list tomorrow! 

Tomorrow morning the kids and I are going to the second week of the Reptile Education Co-op class. We are taking a friend's two daughters along while she goes to run some errands and then they will come here for lunch and the afternoon. 
My challenge for tomorrow is to clean all 4 ceiling fans in the house....and they need it!! :O 

I'm loving all this work that is getting done, but for some reason I am lacking the motivation like the first few weeks! :P But I shall keep plugging away!! :)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

31 Days to Clean~ Days 15-17

This week has been a lot fuller than last and I just simply did not have time to blog every day.....but I did get my goals done each day~ So here is a brief overview~ :)

Day 15- Wednesday
My job was to clean out the kitchen hutch. The top part wasn't so bad....just take all the dishes out, dust the shelves and clean the glass. Then put everything back.

The bottom half took a long time! :P So much stuff!! I added some of my Tupperware bowls to my yard sale boxes and threw out lots of used tablets and old papers! Much better!! :)

The left half is hubby's school books, etc. I let that alone! :)

 Day 16~Thursday

Today's challenge was to go through the kids dresser drawers and weed out clothes that no longer fit and organize them!!

I don't have any pics of this....but lets say, especially in a certain young man's room, things have improved drastically!! :)

Day 17~ Friday
Today's challenge was to organize my kitchen drawers. This job didn't take too long since I had done some of them a few weeks ago. In fact, a few of the drawers I didn't even touch that day....and I have no BEFORE pics!

 I will try to do better this week with before and after pics.... :)

 This week I get to clean the fridge, microwave and oven, dust ceiling fans, clean out and organize my kitchen CUPBOARDS, and clean out Danny's closet. I will take a break on Friday since we will be going to Tallahassee all day to set up for the GEMS 16th Annual Benefit Auction.

Go check out our facebook page and "Like" it!! :) This will keep you up to date on the events and happenings of the North FL prison ministry!! :)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

31 Days to Clean~ Day 14 (yesterday)

I am having a hard time getting back into the groove after taking some time off!! :P
 Yesterday's challenge was cleaning off my front porch....and I accomplished it...just didn't get pictures.

I'll give you a word picture~ There was an empty box, 3 old towels used to wipe down the remnants of wetness in our pool before we put it away for the year, 2 pair of water shoes that were there to dry out from our last trip to the beach, a couple small sticks and an empty flower pot. We only have one entrance to our house, so this is our "front door" and our "back door".

 I don't know about you, but when I had a real back door, it was usually messier. A convenient place to throw stuff out and take care of it later. If I ever have a back door again, I am going to make a goal of not doing that! :) But since I don't have a back door, I need to make that my goal at my front door!!

November Challenges:

1-Clean Porch
2-Kitchen Hutch
3-Kids clothes Dressers
4-kitchen drawers

7-microwave, stove, fridge
8-dust all ceiling fans
9-kitchen cupboards
10-Danny's closet
11(break- set up for GEMS auction)

14-Tamara's closet
15-wash windows inside and out
16-organize booksehlves in hall
17-master closet
18-laundry closet

21-dust ALL baseboards
22-List leftover Tupperware on Ebay
23-25 finish walk in closet organization

28-put away Fall decor and bring out Christmas
29-Open part of garage
30-Making food for company!! ALL DAY!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

GA Visit~

October 21, after our field trip, we finished packing up our clothes and some food and loaded the van. When Dan got home from work, we started our 1 3/4 hour trip to south GA to spend the weekend with my sister Chris and her family.

 I didn't take many pictures, but this was Saturday evening before Heidi and Cody had to go in to the restaurant.

We also went to the restaurant, not to work, but to enjoy the rewards of their work!! :)
I highly recommend checking out the Family Table Restaurant in Pelham, GA!!  :) :) If you leave hungry, that's your own fault!! 

It is buffet style.

This was my meal....along with a piece of PB pie that barely made it on the edge of the picture!
Fried chicken, shrimp creole, sweet potato's, southern peas, mashed taters, pork roast, salad, macaroni salad and a roll.

And Dan's meal....

The kids sat with their cousins across the room from us.

After closing time, these cousins had fun wrapping silverware for the next week!! :)

Downtown Pelham~

We had such a relaxing weekend! 

Thanks to Dwayne & Chris for all the meals and the good talks, and to Tyler & Cody for giving up their bed for us!! :)