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.





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.



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.



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.



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.



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


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



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.”


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.




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?



By taking down the two window pieces, of course.


And putting them back.




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…




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.



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



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?!


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.



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



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!



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



And finally, the kitchen after.



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.”


Always a Parent

Our oldest son is leaving today for a business trip to New Orleans.  Because we don’t get out much, our family pretty much is living vicariously through him right now.  Upon hearing that he was going on this trip,

I said, “Say hey to Emeril and stay away from voodoo huts.”

Our neighbor said, “Make sure to visit the Tabasco museum.”

My sister (his aunt) said, “If you lift your shirt you’ll get beads.”

To which his grandmother (my mother in law) said, “I doubt you’ll get many beads.”

To which Tom (our son) replied, “I accept your challenge.”

And then I wonder why he doesn’t tell us things?!


And I don’t care how old he gets, I still worry.  Here is an excerpt from our texting this morning before his flight.  The writing in green background is me, the white background is our son.


Happy Friday, everyone :)






Happy 51!

I am 51 years old today.  How can I possibly be that age?!  That number does not match at all with how I feel, and I am very thankful that I feel years younger.  We aren’t having any festivities today as it was too difficult to coordinate everyone’s schedule so we have chosen a weekend later in the month, so I’m looking forward to that.  I wanted to share something my sister sent me.   I have printed it out and it lives on my desk and makes me smile.  I hope it makes you smile, too.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to attend the shenanigans!  Have a wonderful Thursday :)


31 days?

October is coming up and that means the 31-day writing challenge begins.  I thought about participating, but for goodness’ sake – it’s a major event if I manage two blog posts on consecutive days!  Happyone would be the one for that – 31 Days of Walking Happiness!  She’s way more consistent than me.

My husband just sent me these pictures.  The ship, El Galeón Andalucía, is on tour and docked where he is working.  It’s a beautiful ship, and HUGE!





I realize the pictures are huge too!

Today was a good day.  I finished work, read a while and then started tackling cleaning the screened porch.  It’s my favorite place but it needs some attention.  Hope your Thursday was a good day, too.

Happy Thursday!




Let’s All Be Brave by Annie F. Downs – Book Review

brave Let’s All Be Brave, Living Life with Everything You Have by Annie F. Downs was an enjoyable read.  I have read the author’s blog for several years now and her book reads much like reading her blog, personal and funny.  She takes you on a journey through her life; times when she has been brave and times when she has not.  She tells about the bravery of others and encourages us to be brave.  Miss Downs writes that being brave takes many forms, big and small.  Your brave will be different from my brave, or as she puts it, your map will be different than my map of where we are going and what we need to do to get there.

At some points I feel she is writing to a younger audience, which she is well-equipped to do, having already written two books for young women and heading college-age groups.  But there is  a bigger message, no matter your age.  You can be brave and do those things that you feel God calling you to do, no matter how big or small.

I felt that Miss Downs was brave herself in writing this book.  It took courage to write some of the personal stories she wrote, sharing her thoughts and feelings so openly in these pages.  All in all, a quick read, but a good read; one that will make you want to be brave and just do whatever it is you feel led to do.


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.”