Hello, again!

Howdy!  I am actually writing a post!  Yay!  With many exclamation points!  Yay!

Okay, enough with the silliness! (bonus exclamation point for ya).  Things have been busy around here.  My work slowed down at the end of December so that gave me time to open an Etsy shop for cookies, something I have been wanting to do for a while but didn’t have time.

I got my first order a couple weeks ago.  The customer who ordered them was very, very nice.  Even though I have packaged and shipped cookies before, I was nervous about it this time because there were three dozen, and I’ve never shipped cookies that someone actually paid me to make for them!  Believe me, that package was sent with massive prayer covering!  They arrived intact, and in fact, the customer left a review for me that said it was packaged like Fort Knox!  Yay!  More exclamation points!

dryingcookies

Here are some of the cookies as the icing dried.

My neighbor and I haven’t been walking but I’m ready to just bundle up and go.  I miss being out in the fresh air and sunshine, even if it is cold.  We use the woodstove in the basement to heat our home and it makes it a little too warmish to use the treadmill down there.

I was hoping for a measurable amount of snow, but we only have had dustings a couple of times.  The winter’s not over yet, though, and I’m still hoping.  Some of you might remember my post from last year about my snowman flag – well, I hung that flag back out two weeks ago and now I’m just sitting back waiting for snow.  Or for my snow-hating neighbors to take down my flag.

I am currently in the middle of reading a very good book for review.  I hope to finish it tomorrow and then you’ll know about it, too.  Oh yeah – I was contacted by another company to review books for their authors – of course I said yes!  Because I apparently don’t have enough to do….

I have also been finally selling stuff on eBay.  We can finally move all of this stuff that has been taking up real estate in our home.  It is proving to be a challenge, though.  I just love some of the old stuff that I come across and have trouble letting it go.  Where exactly is the line between hoarder and collector?!   Actually, I’m thinking of starting an Etsy shop for vintage items because we have a whole lot of beautiful vintage stuff that would be better showcased there.  Because I apparently don’t have enough to do….

Anyway, just wanted to catch you up on happenings here.  If anybody needs cookies, my Etsy shop is Cookiesbykaren – yes, all one word – Etsy doesn’t put spaces in shop names.  You will recognize the cookies there as ones I’ve featured on my blog before.  Sometime this weekend I hope to be adding mitten cookies.

I hope everyone has a wonderful rest of the week, and for those of you with snow, could you please send some my way?  Happy Wednesday :)

 

No Need To Git Preachy by Gerald P. Jackson – Book Review

preachy

This book is subtitled Parables for the Twenty-First Century.  In this book Mr. Jackson has written short entries pertaining to lessons we can learn from everyday life.

I wanted to like this book, but in all honesty, I had trouble keeping focused while reading it.  While some of the entries were good and held my attention, I thought that many of them wandered and I found myself trying to find the conclusion and purpose of some of the stories.

I also felt that the stories that he chose to begin the book with should have been relegated to further into the book, after the reader has had a chance to take in some of his messages.  The reason for this is that, while we all know children can and will say anything, the (very light) potty humor that he started the book off with (in his defense, he was repeating things that children had said), made me hesitant to continue reading.  It did get better though, and some of his points were valid and well stated.

If you read this book, stick with it.  There are some gems here, but you have to look for them.

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

It’s A God Thing Volume 2 – Book Review

itsagodthing2

It’s a God Thing 2 is another compilation of stories of how God has worked in the lives of everyday people.  This book is just as enjoyable as the first It’s A God Thing book.  Some of the stories will bring tears to your eyes.  When I received this book I had intended to use it more or less as a devotional and read a story a day, but that didn’t work out as the stories were so good, once I started reading I couldn’t stop!  I recommend this book to anyone who wants an easy, uplifting read that confirms the fact that God is indeed with us.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

 

Welcome, 2015!

Happy New Year to all of my faithful readers – all three of you!  Just kidding – Happy New Year to everyone.  May 2015 be a year filled with blessings for all.

Happy New Year, y’all!

 

 

We Interrupt this Blogging Break for a Post!

Hello again!  I have missed writing and time goes by SO fast!  I will recap briefly what we’ve been up to.

My husband is finally home and is no longer working out of town.  He has been home almost a month now, and I’m so glad.  This house took WAY longer than anyone expected it to.  There were many setbacks, but the Lord was in control and it eventually got done, and my hubs is finally home for good.   Here is the finished house.  These are pictures of pictures so they are kind of fuzzy.  Sorry about that.

house1

house2

house3

 

Near the end of October I ran a 5K with our sons.  As always, we had a great time, and Starbucks afterwards was our reward.  Here is my standard post-run red-faced picture.

IMG_1074

 

And here’s a picture my smarty-pants son took as I was stretching afterwards.  In my defense, I was careful to have my spandex-covered posterior aimed away from any eyes, but my sons thought it was funny anyway.

IMG_1076

 

My neighbor and I were walking pretty regularly until it got cold.  Now I’ve been back on the treadmill.  I’d like to invest in some warm clothing for walking though, because I miss being outdoors in the mornings.   Here is a picture of a little turtle we saw on one of our walks.  That is my index finger next to it to give you an idea of how little the turtle was.

turtle

 

Then there was Thanksgiving, which as usual was very nice.  It was the four of us plus a neighbor who was by himself this Thanksgiving.  We all had a good time.  But I forgot to get pictures!  I can’t believe I did that.  I ALWAYS get Thanksgiving pictures.

And my picture collage.  Now this is interesting.  I got a bunch of frames with the intent of creating a family picture collage on the wall.  I arranged them just so on the floor first until I got an arrangement I liked, then I hung them on the wall.  I wanted to live with how they were on the wall before I put any pictures in the frames to make sure I liked them.

Well, it’s been way too long now and the people whose picture came in the frames are still hanging on my wall.  When my son walked in the door for Thanksgiving he just kind of stared for a minute and then wanted to know who these people were!  Then, while he was here Thanksgiving weekend I went through pictures and was trying to decide which ones to put up.  This caused a problem because the ones I liked of them, my sons said they didn’t like.  The ones they liked, I didn’t.  So, these strangers are still living in these frames.

I have promised myself to have something in the frames other than these strangers by this weekend.  One of Jerry’s friends came by a couple of weeks ago and bless his heart, he glanced at the pictures but didn’t say a word.  I, of course, was totally mortified when he left.  These people have been on my wall so long now I’m forgetting about them!

Meet my faux family.

fauxfamily

 

Now we’re quickly moving on to the Christmas season.  Well, most everybody else is already in it.  We usually wait until two weeks or so before to decorate, so we will be doing that this weekend.

So, that’s about it.  Between working, my wonderful husband being home, and having strangers hanging on my wall, it’s been kind of busy around here.  And now you’re caught up.  Happy Monday, everyone!

 

 

 

 

Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary – Book Review

dictionary

Oh, where to start with this review!  So many adjectives to use to describe this book – wonderful, detailed, beautiful, informative… I love this Bible dictionary.  It is so much more than just a dry, boring dictionary.  The illustrations are wonderful.  I read this dictionary like a novel – starting at the beginning and being fascinated all the way through.  The definitions are so detailed also.  For instance, the word “dress” is defined not just as “garments” but is actually broken down into the different types of garments that would have been worn during biblical times.  Many of the entries are like this, detailed, and with illustrations.  There are pictures of modern day biblical sites as well as archeological findings made.

I use Nelson’s Study Bible, King James Version, as my daily reading bible and Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary is just the perfect companion.  This book is a must-have if you study the bible at all as it will give you a much better insight into the history of Bible times.  I very, very highly recommend this big (1224 pages!) book.  You wont’ be disappointed.

 

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Andywear Plays Again!

andywearpic Andywear.  I love that name.  That’s what our son calls himself online when he is participating in the Extra Life charity event, which he is doing again this year starting tomorrow.  Participants play video games for 24 hours straight and raise money for a children’s hospital.  You can choose which hospital you want to play for and he has chosen Children’s National Medical Center in Washington D.C.  This is because his brother had a two-week stay there as a baby and Andy himself had to be checked out there as a 2-year-old.

His goal this year is $300.00.  He met his goal last year and hopes to meet it again this year.  My job during his 24 hours of gaming time is to keep him in food, beverages and moral support!

There is a link below to his site where you can read more about it, donate, or watch his game play live if you want.  He is still having some technical issues getting the live feed working, but hopes to have it resolved soon.

Happy gaming, son!  We are proud of you.

Extra Life – Andywear

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith – Book Review

nestingplace

 

The Nesting Place, subtitled It Doesn’t Have To Be Perfect To Be Beautiful, is a book about making your house a home no matter what your circumstances are.  I have read Myquillyn’s (The Nester) blog for many years.  This book is a compilation of all of her experience and stories about how she arrived at the conclusion that it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.  Whether you live in a rental home, an apartment, a home that isn’t everything you dreamed, or even if you ARE living in your dream home, she gives tips and tricks for creating an atmosphere that reflects the people who live there.

I will admit that I only started recently believing her philosophy myself and I must say that I am having fun.  It is very freeing to put objects in your home because YOU like them and they bring YOU joy; not because of what other people will think.  I admire her choices and her quirkiness in decorating.  I’m not quite to her level yet, but I’m getting braver!

In the book she proves that you don’t need a lot of money to make your house beautiful and a place that is welcoming for your family.  She uses tree stumps for tables, but she might very well change those out for something else later.  Nothing is static, nor should it be.  She shows that your house should be a reflection of your tastes and your personality, and as those things can change, we can be free to change our decor to reflect our changing tastes.

I found this book enjoyable and informative, and maybe – just maybe – I’ll feel a little more comfortable putting those nail holes in the walls!

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Cleaning

Andy and I left Tuesday morning to go to Oxford, Maryland to clean the house that Jerry is building.  This is what we do – he builds ‘em, and his wife and son clean ‘em!  We usually allow three to four days to clean a house but this time we only had two, due to Andy’s work schedule.  It was a very long two days and I’m writing this in a brain fog, but it was also fun.  We play music and generally have a good time while we’re cleaning.

Tuesday was spent cleaning windows, and nothing but windows.  Most windows we clean have the panes between the glass, but this house did not.  The homebuyer chose grids outside of the glass, so each individual pane had to be washed.

Can  you guess how many panes of glass we cleaned Tuesday?  843.  Yes, we counted them.  843 panes to be washed, stickers removed where necessary, sticker adhesive removed where necessary, scraping errant paint spatters where necessary.  I have a sizable bruise on the top of my right leg because as I folded the windows in to clean the outsides, I would rest them on my leg while cleaning them.  After about seven hours of this I got smart and used a drywall bucket to prop the window frames on.

Andy accidentally dropped his razor blade into the commode while he was scraping paint!  He subsequently had to go fishing.

andyrazor

 

 

Here is a picture of the front of the house.  Do you see the window directly above Andy’s head? (Andy is standing in the doorway).  Guess how you clean that one?

housefront

 

By taking down the two window pieces, of course.

jerrywindow

And putting them back.

jerrywindow3

 

 

The garage is actually in front of the house.  It is a long, narrow lot that the house is on.  There are two sets of steps on the front of the house, one coming from the garage.   There is an archway going from the garage to the house.  Community ordinances dictated that the garage had to be attached to the house.   Speaking of archways…

frontview2

 

 

Jerry built this archway at the top of the steps to give the house a little more character instead of just a straight, square opening.  I really like it.

arch1

 

This is the view from the side of the house, standing under the garage archway.

sideview

 

Gratuitous picture of my handsome, talented husband.  Sorry, couldn’t resist.  *Note my red Tahoe behind him?  Note the water I walked through to get stuff out of the back of it?!

hubster

There is a deck off of the upstairs master bedroom.  This is the view from there.  It was pouring rain yesterday when I took this picture, so I didn’t go out on the deck, but you can see the view.

topdeckview

 

This is a picture of the garage and archway, taken from an upstairs window, through the screen.

garage

 

I was planning to really pay attention to what I ate this week because we have a 5K coming up Saturday morning, but by night time, I really didn’t care!  Tuesday night we stumbled into Denny’s at 10:00 to finally eat dinner, covered in drywall dust and smelling of Goo Gone.  Last night we went to Golden Corral.  Let’s just say I didn’t make the best choices at either place, but I’m totally okay with that!

Here is the kitchen before cleaning.  We clean the kitchen last because it is our central area to keep cleaning supplies so they’re not scattered throughout the house.  We clean top to bottom (literally – ceiling to floor, top floor to bottom floor).  When the kitchen’s clean, we can collapse!

kitchenbefore

 

Here’s the living room.  Andy did a nice job cleaning the wood floor.

livingroom

 

And finally, the kitchen after.

kitchenafter

 

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to take a nap.  *Yawn*  Happy Thursday!

Forever Christmas by Robert Tate Miller – Book Review

foreverchristmas Forever Christmas by Robert Tate Miller is a a wonderful book.  I couldn’t put this book down and read it in a day.  Although the book is not very long, my reason for reading it in a day was because it kept my interest and I couldn’t stop reading until the end.

In Forever Christmas, Andrew Farmer is a successful literary agent who puts his career ahead of his marriage.  Although he loves his wife, he doesn’t realize just how much until he loses her.  He is then divinely given the gift of time, three days, to do things differently but he must also give his wife Beth a very special gift and only has the three days to figure out what that gift should be.

This is a very touching story and I admit that it brought tears to my eyes a couple of times.  The story will make you think about what your priorities are and to treasure every moment.

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”