Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sweet Dreams ~ Sweet Babies

My friend Bernie @ On My Own had a post the other day about babysitting for a neighbor who's baby was too sick to drop off at Daycare. She wrote about how good it felt to just sit and hold a sleeping baby again.
I couldn't agree with her more! I loved all those years with my own five babies, and then I was Blessed to have two grandchildren.

Here's Jayden:

And then I was lucky enough to have all this joy again with Mia!

And every once in awhile I was especially lucky to have them both at once!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Blogging Gives Great Recipes!

I have gotten some wonderful recipes while visiting the blogs of others. There are so many wonderful recipes for muffins, breads, cakes, and cookies, not to mention main meals. I haven't tried them all yet, but the ones that I have tried, I've been very happy with the results.

Lately I had been looking for some good recipes for my slow-cooker. I love using a slow-cooker because you can prepare everything in the morning, and then just go about your day (and usually there's just one pot to clean up)! I usually put the slow-cooker away for the Summer as we cook on the grill outdoors more often then, and I need the precious counter space it takes up to set up for parties, but once Fall rolls around the big pot comes back out and I start hunting for recipes.
You don't have to look very far when you are blogging. I came across all sorts of good recipes for soup, and loin of pork (one of my favorites!), and chicken, and beef.

I especially look for EASY when searching recipes, and I came across a great recipe for pot roast thanks to Jane at Frugal Fine Living, her blog is a font of information with many tips on how to live a frugal life. You can see her recipe here.

This is what I used:

And this is what I used:
(Okay, this time I did have another pot to clean because I made egg noodles for those who refuse to eat vegetables! And I made a substitution to the original recipe, instead of using cooking sherry I used cranberry/cherry juice [found in a recipe book].)

The results were fantastic! Everyone said they loved it and they really did all seem to enjoy it.

And we had peach cobbler for dessert. I got this easy recipe from Barb at Bella Vista, Barb's blog has wonderful recipes and she shares her many creative decorating and crafting ideas with her readers too. You can get her peach cobbler recipe here.

Here are my ingredients:

And here were the results:
(I made a bigger cobbler than the recipe called for so I did a recipe-and-a-half)

I don't eat peach cobbler, but everyone that did eat it said that it was good! And I promise you that it was a very easy recipe to make!

I still have many more recipes left to try, and once I do I'll be posting the results for you!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Kissing Cousins

"A cousin is a ready-made friend for life." ~ Anonymous

"Cousins are different beautiful flowers in the same garden." ~ Anonymous

"Cousins by chance, friends by choice." ~ Anonymous

"In my cousin I find a second self." ~ Isabel Norton

"Cousin to cousin we'll always be
Special friends from the same family tree." ~ Anonymous

"Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold cousins together." ~ Woodrow Wilson

Please visit my friend Lauren at Doodles by Lauren, she's having a giveaway of one of her beautiful children's art creations. Lauren is a very talented artist who's work I admire and I have been lucky enough to acquire custom artwork by Lauren for my granddaughter Mia:

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday Favorites ~ Fall

This past weekend we started getting the house ready for Fall. I really love Autumn and we've been having such beautiful weather lately. Ray did a lot of Fall cleaning outside and I did some decorating on the porch outside, and I wanted to get started inside too.

I put away all my 'pink' and my pastels, and I packed away my summer decor. Then my daughter Ellie was kind enough to gather together all my Fall decorations from wherever they were scattered around the house (some were in the outdoor deck boxes, some were in the basement, and the rest were in the attic).

I had long ago given up decorating the house with scare crows and such as my children are all grown, but then my grandchildren came along and we started once again with visiting pumpkin farms, buying Halloween costumes, and decorating the house for the holidays.
I wanted to start by decorating the front window, Ray had washed the outside of the windows but I needed to do the inside.
Here are my luxurious lace curtains. Well, they are actually shower curtains that I bought on sale from the JC Penney catalog. They were supposed to be our 'let's make do with them until we can afford better', but that was seven years ago!

Okay, let's see what we have here. No beautiful views of mountains or meadows, but it's the street where I live and I love it!
The windows actually aren't all that dirty, so a little spritz with glass cleaner and a quick swipe and I was good to go!

I remember Wanda had a beautiful video on one of her posts on her beautiful blog Moments Of Mine, it was of a shower of leaves falling and I wanted to try and replicate that.

Not quite Wanda's beautiful Fall scene, but I made the effort, and Jayden and Mia liked it!

Okay, time to pull the shower curtains back in place!

And now I have to motivate myself to get busy on the rest of the house!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Living Grateful

Donald Latumahina wrote ten simple tips to become a grateful person. I am going to list his tips but if you want to read the whole article you can go here.

1. Realize how rich you are.

2. Realize what a healthy and prosperous life you have.

3. Realize what a Blessing it is to live in peace.

4. Open your eyes to see the good things in your life.

5. Maintain a "good things" journal.

6. Understand that there are positive things behind all the bad things that happen.

7. Have a special session of gratitude.

8. Meet positive people.

9. Focus on giving.

10. Decide to be a grateful person.

For the most part I agree with this list and I already do most of these things, except for the 'grateful journal' and realizing that there are positive things behind ALL the bad things that happen. That's a hard one for me, I understand that there are positive things behind SOME of the bad things that happen in life, but it's hard for me to understand the positive in ALL the bad things that happen (for instance, The Holocaust, I see no good behind the murder of millions, and I have no understanding of anything positive behind genocide).

But the biggest tip on this list that I have to try and follow is number nine ~ FOCUS ON GIVING.
I don't think my problem is that I'm ungrateful, I think my problem is more that while I am so very grateful for my Blessings, I don't act grateful.
I am grateful but I don't live grateful. I don't just need a change of heart, I need to act, I need a change of lifestyle. I just wrote to a friend this morning that I tell God all the time how grateful I am, but I'm wondering if He's getting tired of the lip service.

Last night I took five (not one, not two, BUT FIVE) 'spiritual gift' tests. Suffice it to say that I am spiritually bankrupt!

I'm going to admit something about myself here. I go to many, many uplifting blogs, wonderful people write such deep, astounding, prayerful posts. And others leave deep, profound, and prayerful comments. These people all lead good and giving lives. And they put me to shame.
In comparison, I make me feel bad about my life. And in the past, I would have done anything to avoid these people, blaming them for making me feel bad about myself!
Not this time. This time I am going to make an effort to change me. I'd be grateful for a prayer or two.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Window Washers

Ray and Jayden were busy bees outside this past Saturday. Ray did lots of yard work, he finished closing up the pool, and he and Jayden also washed the outside of the windows on the house.
Jayden did a good job soaping up the windows.

And he did a good job hosing them off.

Ray used the Windex Outdoor Starter Kit, he said one cloth washes twenty windows, it leaves the windows streak-free, and he said it was very easy to use. We were really happy with the results!

"Ray, don't forget the awning!" (He loves when I play the role of superviser! I'm surprised he didn't turn the hose on me!)

Jayden soon tired of this chore and decided to go next door to do some climbing.
I think he was trying to give my Aunt Florence and myself a heart attack!

Maneuvering his way around the garden hose.

"Look Aunt Florence! I'm holding on with only one hand!" (Doesn't Florence looked thrilled with that trick?)

Making his way to the end. Umma says, "Don't even think about turning the corner, Jayden!"

Whew! He's finally making his way back!

Here's one of Ray's tomato plants... is still giving us a bounty...

...and there's still more to come!

Now that the 'boys' were done with their work outside, it was time for me to begin mine. The windows were now clean and shiny, but the furniture out on the front porch was a mess and needed a good cleaning...

...and a nice dressing for Fall.

I love this little decorative 'Nut House' pillow and there are many times that I think it's most appropriate for our house!

And now into the 'nut' house for a little snack. My sister Diane had dropped off these wonderful cupcakes to celebrate my daughter's birthday the day before, she got them from a bakery in Manhattan. They are so delicious and so rich. (There's also a little of Ellie's Birthday cake left, but I had enough of that already!)

Now which one should I choose? I love coconut, but I'm in the mood for chocolate.

I settled on a chocolate chip one, and I enjoyed it with a cup of coffee (with French Vanilla creamer added of course!).

There's lots more ~ 'wish you girls were here to share them with me!