Friday, November 30, 2007

Victory is Mine!

I found this book cover this morning and thought how appropriate! The battle is over and I have come out the winner! This morning as I was reading email, he came downstairs. He came over to where I was sitting and pulled me up to my feet, wrapping me in a hug. I started to cry, of course! It had been 48 hours since I touched him must less talked to him. When I pulled back to look at him, and wait for his apology, yes...I was still bound and determined to get one. He told me he loved me and I kinda cocked my head and I'm pretty sure my left eyebrow went up. He started laughing and wanted to know why he always has to be the one to apologize. I explained to him because you're the one that was an ass. Sweetie! He laughed and said Oh yeah, right. I'm sorry. So I sent my husband off to work with a hug and a kiss and an I love you. And he left dreaming of what he thinks will happen tonight. Yeah, we'll see. Anyway, thank you all for your strong words of encouragement. I hesitated saying anything because no one likes to air their dirty laundry in public. But I'm glad I did. I'm human and pettiness and childish behavior is not foreign to me and I think it's better for you to see the real me instead of some fake persona.

Ok - now I have a few announcements. One is that Debra at The Bunny's Bungalow is having a giveaway. It is a wonderful package and if you mention that I sent you...I get another entry. So please run over there and mention my name. Thanks a bunch!! Also, don't forget about Robin's giveaway. Today is your last day to enter. You can enter here or from my sidebar announcement.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketAnd Miss Dena gave me a wonderful award the other day which I did not forget about; I just had to bitch a little yesterday. This is such an honor for me especially coming from Dena. Her heart is so pure, I just love her. She's the kind of person who, when you see her (or read of her for that matter) you just want to reach out and hug her with both arms and all of your heart. And now it's my turn to pass this award on. And I would love to pay it forward to Lori of All You Have to Give. I read her blog as soon as I'm done typing my post for the day. She is such an uplifting person. Her walk with Christ is truly inspiring. She's a good wife, a great mother but most importantly she remembers her role as a daughter of our Lord. Please join me in visiting Lori today. I have no doubt you will be inspired!

And one last thing. About "the argument." This was a tiny tiff that my husband and I had. It was not marriage-shattering. But it was real, nonetheless. And that's why I mentioned pettiness and childish behavior. See, in the blogworld, you only see what others mention. Not that anyone is lying. But, I'm sure that there are little instances and actions that people don't necessarily want to reveal. I have to thank Brenda. She said in her comment to me yesterday that she was glad I wrote what I did. Her image of me was "a beautiful angel in some another place that has a perfect life." And I think that most people feel that way. LOL! Not about me. HA, that's not what I meant. I meant that most people read blogs and see the perfection of others on the page. They don't see the mom screaming at her kids to get ready for school. They don't see the wife ignoring her husband for days because he won't pick up his laundry. They don't see all of the impurities of daily living. It's good to be humbled. I'm no angel. FAR freaking from it. So reach out to others. Be good to one another. Try your best to change what you don't like in your life. But remember that everything looks good in Maroon and White. And your own life probably isn't as bad as you think.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Stubborn and Pigheaded

Yeah, that would be us. Yesterday morning my seemingly caring husband and I, his seemingly devoted wife, had a fight. And we haven't spoken since. Over what you ask? Well isn't it obvious? It's the same fight married couples have been having since the dawn of time. He won't put his dirty clothes in the hamper. But that's not what bothers me the most. That's not what caused me to say, uh-huh buddy. I'm not giving in this time. The self-imposed conversation embargo stems from the fact that he thinks it's my job to pick up his clothes. Because...and I quote...what else do you have to do?

What else do I have to do? WHAT ELSE DO I HAVE TO DO?? Well let's see. I am the primary caregiver to our children. I have laundry, housecleaning, cooking, grocery shopping and homework to do. I have his lunch to pack because I'm that idiot. I'm the fool who gets up with him in the morning to finish packing his lunch. See he doesn't take a lunch bag to work. OH NO. He takes a 9 qt. Coleman cooler to work. And it's never a sandwich in there. So every morning I get the containers of food out of the refrigerator that I have packed for him, his snack cakes, his crackers, his bag-o-chips and silverware and pack his lunch. Then I fix his coffee. I make sure he has an extra pack of smokes (shut up, I know it's a bad habit.) And why do I do this? It's the same reason that no one in this house knows how to fix a plate of food. I do this because I care. I enjoy making his life a little more comfortable. Oh and
then at the end of the day, I'm expected to give him a little sugar.

I know that this man works hard. He works outside. Not a bad deal in the spring or early fall when the sun is warm and there's a nice breeze in the air. But in the dead of summer with high humidity and no breeze or the dead of winter with below zero temperatures and tons of sucks. And he works a lot of overtime. So I enjoy making his life at home a little nicer. But, he labors under the delusion that because I "don't work" (yeah, right buddy) that I should wait on him hand over freaking foot. And you know what the funny thing is? I would and I do. Just so long as he appreciates it. Yesterday's little comment sent me right over the edge.

Now normally, because I hate fighting, I would have spoken to him when he got home last night. I would have presented my feelings on the matter, listened to his sorry-ass excuse of an apology ('what do you want me to say...I'm sorry? I'm sorry'), accepted it and moved on. But this is not the first time he has made comments like that to me. As if I'm am some sub-standard person now because I don't have a job outside of the home. And while I know in my heart that he doesn't truly feel that way...enough is freaking enough. Now generally, he's very appreciative. He always compliments my cooking (which btw he still did last night but it was to the kids while I was in the kitchen getting a container for the left-over sauce.) He will tell me the house looks nice. And so on and so forth. Which is precisely the reason why I tend to let his little snide comments go because I know that it was said in the heat of an argument and is really not how he truly feels. But did you ever reach a breaking point? Yesterday morning I did.

I watched Joel Osteen last night on TV. He talked about loving one another as today was your last day on earth. He talked about being the bigger person and letting things go. He talked about how it's not always about being right, it's about serving God and others as He serves us. And his devotional in my inbox this morning? Same thing. So I cried and repented to God and then cried some more. But then I got composure before Kenny saw me and stuck to my guns. Stubborn, pig-headed,
not at all Christian-like. And I thought about turning around this morning to say I was sorry when he picked up his lunch and started to head out the door. But he never even looked my way. It has now become a battle of wits. I think that tonight when we watch Grey's Anatomy, I'll put on a teddy.

Blessing of the day: I'm blessed to have a marriage that I know will sustain this.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Boycott 'The Golden Compass'

I don't know if any of you received the email about how 'The Golden Compass' is an anti-religion movie geared towards kids this Christmas season. But I did. And then I checked out Snopes before I passed the email along. Kari at Just Livin Large did a post a while back about all of the Christmas movies out there right now. She mentioned that she had heard some controversy about it but hadn't done any research yet. So of course, I told her all about it and thought I would share my findings with you as well. If you check the Snopes link you can read all about it.

But to sum up - DON'T GO SEE THIS MOVIE! How terrible that the movie industry thinks nothing of promoting a 'feel good Christmas movie' for kids when the origin of this movie is about the author's hatred of God. How can you hate something you don't believe exists??

I have always been passionate about God and my right to worship Him. But I love this country of ours and you have the right NOT to worship if you so choose. What I have a problem with is Hollywood masking atheism as a 'children's Christmas movie.' I don't mince words. I call a spade a spade when I see fit. If you want to create a movie based on your hatred for my God, that's your right. But then advertise the movie as it is. If you're so passionate about your belief or disbelief as it were, why are you hiding the premise of your story? Let me put it this way. If I ever wrote a screenplay about my love of God and my belief in Him, I would never market it as having agnostic or atheist undertones only to drop the 'bomb' on unsuspecting viewers during the movie. Ha-ha, gotcha! Nope, that's just not my style. I'm proud of what I believe and Who I believe in. Why hide it? I'd rather my movie flop at the box office than to compromise my integrity or beliefs for the sake of the almighty dollar.

So now you know the premise behind this story. I won't be seeing this movie and I will continue trying to persuade others from not seeing it. I do not want my hard earned dollar supporting this man. Because I know that I everything I have comes from God. And he doesn't believe in Him.

Blessing of the day: I know I'm blessed because my faith tells me so!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A Follow-up Idea Post

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketI had quite a few people ask me about the gravy I make along with ham. So I thought I would share what I do, in case anyone else was wondering. Growing up, my father never made ham gravy. But Holly's mom always did. And she would save me some every time she made it. I would get a call on Easter, Christmas and at least one other time through out the year that she had something for me. I knew what that meant and would rush over. Now my husband isn't a big fan of it. I guess he's just not used to it. And my kids assumed they weren't either. But, while I can't make Kenny try it, I can them. And lo and behold, they loved it.

I always layer pineapple slices on my ham. I pierce a few slices with some whole cloves. (Sssh, don't tell Kenny. He's convinced he doesn't like cloves either. Little does he know...) Then with the juice from the pineapple, I make a glaze with brown sugar and yellow mustard. Baste your ham with it and add just a little water to the bottom of your pan. Continue to baste as you normally would. Now you make the gravy for ham just as you would for any other roast. Heat a sauce pan, add a few tablespoons of butter, a few tablespoons of flour and make a roux. Add the drippings from the pan, whisking and bring to a boil to thicken. You might want to add a smidge bit more pepper but probably not salt. And that's it. It's delicious!!

Kenny and the boys found my menu last night and asked me if this was all I was planning on making for Christmas dinner. I was puzzled and asked yeah, why? Well where's the sauce?? We always have sauce and ravioli. Aren't you making that too???????? Now here's the deal about the sauce. I make it every year for Christmas. But last year, as I was putting together the rest of the meal I realized that I had a ton of food and rather than waste it, I saved the sauce (which I make a few days beforehand,) froze it and then we had it for dinner a week later. I had plenty of other food and it wasn't missed (or so I thought.) But I was reminded by my 'loving family' that we're having a 6 more people for dinner this year. And Austin complained it's his favorite part of the dinner (and if you ever saw my son eat, you'd laugh too because EVERYTHING is his favorite part.) But they talked me into it. So I'll be adding sauce and ravioli to my menu.

Kenny asked me to double the amount of mushrooms that I make because he wants to make sure that there's enough. Which is code for: I want like 15 for myself so you better make a lot! And I decided to change my asparagus dish just a little. Normally, I snap the ends of the asparagus off, make bundles of six and wrap them with a strip of bacon. I brush a pan with olive oil and then roast them in the oven until the bacon is crisp. Once out of the oven, I sprinkle some Romano cheese over them. But with 20 people eating dinner, that's a lot of bundles! So this year, I will chop my bacon, fry that up and saute my chopped, blanched asparagus in the drippings. So I'll have the same components but neatly served in a bowl. Much better. Some of you asked about the oranges and olive oil. It is fairly new to our family. My cousin Roni's husband Bobby taught us that dish. It's Italian, not Greek and is really quite excellent! You may not think so, but trust me...try it. Just add your orange segments to a bowl, drizzle with a little EVOO and add some fresh cracked black pepper. Yum-O!

Blessing of the day: I'm blessed to have good eaters in this house and a great teacher (my father) on how to pull it all together!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Christmas Menu

(not my table, but isn't it pretty?)
Now that I have officially declared it Christmas in this house, I decided to plan my menu. There'll be a full house for Christmas dinner so I want time to tweak and finalize, not rush and throw together. I'm anticipating at least 20 people, so do you see why I need to plan now? This is my menu so far:

Appetizers: Bacon crisps, stuffed mushrooms and eggnog
Main course: Ham, asparagus bundles, mashed potatoes with ham gravy (on the side of course,) cauliflower gratin and orange segments with olive oil and black pepper.
Dessert: Various cookies and a birthday cake for Jesus

My mother always baked a cake for Jesus' birthday. A simple reminder of what we're really celebrating. It was always a white cake with white icing to symbolize the purest Light which came into the world. Why not start that tradition in your home?

Now, about the eggnog. I used to always make my own. My Paula Deen recipe is excellent. The only thing I changed was the alcohol. I always used Cap't Morgan Spiced Rum. And really, it's delicious, but time consuming. The other day at the grocery store I found this: Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket And for as good as it is, it's worth it's weight in gold. Buy a few cartons, pour them into a punch bowl and call it a day! You can add some more Southern Comfort, I'm sure. But with all the wine that normally flows through this house on Christmas, it's really not that necessary. Plus the kiddos can have some.

Please share your Christmas traditions. It's never too late to start a new one.

Edited to add: My mom sent me this email this morning and I thought I would share it with you. I honestly don't remember always using a chocolate cake...but maybe we did (and do) and my memory is slipping!

Julie, This is how you should do a Jesus B/D cake. If you remember I had 3 angels (my children) And always the red candles. I never had a star, but that is a good one to add.
Love, Mommy

Round Cake: Make a round cake to represent that Jesus' love has no end.

He loved us so much that He sent His only Son to die for us. (John 3:16)

Cake Flavor: The cake should be chocolate or a dark color to show the sins of the world.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Rom 3:23

White Frosting: The white frosting symbolizes Jesus' purity and how He washes away all our sin white as son. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Psalm 51:7

Angel Decoration: Use an angel to represent the bearer of the good tidings, or good news of Jesus' birth and that we can continue to bring that good news to others.

But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. Luke 2: 10-11

Star Decoration
: A star on the cake represents the Star of Bethlehem that led the wisemen to Jesus.

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him." After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the eastwent ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. Matthew 2:1-2, 9-10

: Place twelve red candles on the cake to remind us of the blood that Jesus shed as to forgive our sins, twelve months of the year. Lighting the candles reminds us that Jesus is the light of the world.

Blessing of the day: I'm blessed because I have parents who taught me the true meaning of Christmas!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Still Celebrating...

C 4
So, the decorations went up inside yesterday. All but the tree and the outside lights. But that will be done today. My Our intention was to put it up yesterday along with the other stuff. Kenny and Austin went to buy more lights for outside and our staircase and Jesse and I were to decorate the inside while they were gone. But because I was at a complete stand-still for about an hour yesterday afternoon, wondering how the heck I was going to decorate my mantle, things got pushed back. I sat cross-legged on the living room floor, head resting on the coffee table trying to figure out what to do for a good hour. Between the coffee table and the mantle, I was almost to the point of tears. I was bound and determined that this year I was not putting up every decoration I own. The house was not going to look cluttered. It was going to look "pretty." But because I was going for a different look - the entire 'room scape' had to change. And I couldn't quite figure it out. Finally, Jesse said "take the Santa sleigh and reindeer down and put it somewhere else if you don't like it there." WOW! What a novel idea. One that truly never occurred to me because that's where it always went. I moved it and things started coming together.

Kenny came home with the garland for the banister and the lights. Up went the stairs and then company came. Kerry and Greg came down. Then Holly and Bill. We played Pictionary, Taboo and Guesstures. We had a great evening. But the Christmas tree still waits to be on display. Oh well. It'll happen today and then I'll take pictures. Or better still, my mom will have to because the cable for my digital camera isn't working. All and all, I'm pretty pleased. Greg even said that it looked like Martha herself stopped over. Now I'm not so naive that I think my house looks like Martha Stewart had a hand in decorating it. But he doesn't know any better, so it was a genuine compliment.

Unfortunately, between decorating and company, again I haven't been around to visit everyone as I should. And today isn't looking much better. My brother and his family are home from SC and today we'll have cake for my nephew's 18th birthday!! It was last Tuesday but they weren't here to celebrate. Then we have to finish the decorations. BUT, there is no Steeler game on today (they play tomorrow night) so maybe this evening I'll have some time. If nothing else...the celebration ends tomorrow and back to the grind we go. The kids still have another day off from school, but Kenny returns to work and the regular routine must begin again. Have a blessed Sunday, everyone!

Blessing of the day: I'm blessed to have good friends who drop over at the drop of a hat. It tells me they always feel welcome and prior arrangements are never necessary.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Decorating Day!!

C 14
Well it's 8:30 in the morning and all the men in my house are sawing logs. Even though today is Decorating Day, they are still choosing to sleep. Whatever! Sorry boys, but that's about to change. They hate decorating day. Could it be because I have a million decorations? Could it be because
I become some deranged Nazi about where and how things are supposed to go? Could it be because I yell and scream at them to get up off of the ground and start helping, only to rearrange what they do? No. I'm perfect. I'm completely rational and sane. It's them. They're lazy. And they have no Christmas spirit. Whereas my demeanor is perfectly in tune with the Christmas spirit (hangs head in shame.)

I try, really I do. never works out. Something invariably sets me off and it's never a good scene. BUT - I'm going to give it my best effort today. After I drag their butts out of bed that it is...

Friday, November 23, 2007

The Celebration is Over and is About to Begin

C 15
So, the dinner has been eaten, the laughter has endured and our blessings are still plentiful. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I was a little nervous. I had never made an entire Thanksgiving meal by myself. Normally, between my sister, my sister-in-law and myself we each make a few things and the meal comes together. Well this year, my sister stayed in South Carolina for Thanksgiving since she will be coming up at Christmas. And my brother and his family traveled to see her and her family. So I was going to make the entire meal. And like I said, I was nervous. But I tried to put things into perspective. I make Christmas dinner by myself. But I guess because I was used to that meal, it never seemed daunting. This one did. But I think I pulled it off. We had the turkey and stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potato casserole, broccoli-rice and cheese, mixed vegetables, green bean casserole and biscuits. Plus cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie, compliments of my parents.

Kerry and Greg came down (the boys' mom and fiance) after dinner and we played games all night. It was a wonderful day and I am so thankful that we were all able to share in it. It'll take me a while to get caught up with all my please wait for me. I'll be around, I promise. But it's time for a little more fun - I think the boys and I will play a few more games. Because it's all work tomorrow. The Christmas decorations go up!!

Blessing of the day: I'm blessed to have time to play with my children. They won't be little forever.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Old Fashioned Thanksgiving

Good morning everyone! I have quite a few things to accomplish today. I need to pick up a few things at the grocery store, finish my garland and fabric balls, get the stuffing ready, make up a few dishes tonight, clean the house, etc, etc. But I'm sure that everyone can relate to that! So I will be a little scarce today and tomorrow. May everyone have a marvelous Thanksgiving (or Thursday for that matter, if you're outside of the states) and may you be enriched by the blessings of our Lord.

The Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving
(Edgar Albert Guest, 1881-1959)

It may be I am getting old and like too much to dwell
Upon the days of bygone years, the days I loved so well;
But thinking of them now I wish somehow that I could know
A simple old Thanksgiving Day, like those of long ago,
When all the family gathered round a table richly spread,
With little Jamie at the foot and grandpa at the head,
The youngest of us all to greet the oldest with a smile,
With mother running in and out and laughing all the while.

It may be I'm old-fashioned, but it seems to me to-day
We're too much bent on having fun to take the time to pray;
Each little family grows up with fashions of its own;
It lives within a world itself and wants to be alone.
It has its special pleasures, its circle, too, of friends;
There are no get-together days; each one his journey wends,
Pursuing what he likes the best in his particular way,
Letting the others do the same upon Thanksgiving Day.

I like the olden way the best, when relatives were glad
To meet the way they used to do when I was but a lad;
The old home was a rendezvous for all our kith and kin,
And whether living far or near they all came trooping in
With shouts of "Hello, daddy!" as they fairly stormed the place
And made a rush for mother, who would stop to wipe her face
Upon her gingham apron before she kissed them all,
Hugging them proudly to her breast, the grownups and the small.

Then laughter rang throughout the home, and, Oh, the jokes they told;
From Boston, Frank brought new ones, but father sprang the old;
All afternoon we chatted, telling what we hoped to do,
The struggles we were making and the hardships we'd gone through;
We gathered round the fireside. How fast the hours would fly--
It seemed before we'd settled down 'twas time to say good-bye.
Those were the glad Thanksgivings, the old-time families knew
When relatives could still be friends and every heart was true

Blessing of the day: I'm blessed to have a million things to do for Thanksgiving. Because that means I have family visiting, good food for our bellies and a warm house.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

No visits due to migraine!

Good morning everyone! Yesterday morning I drove up to my mom's to bake cookies for my cousin's upcoming wedding. And then after I came home I started making dinner.... and a migraine kicked in. I should have known better. I had the slightest start of a headache before I went to my mom's but I contributed that to not having enough coffee. It started gaining momentum and then by 5 o'clock last night it was in full swing. I think this constant change in weather around these here parts is the culprit. So I did not get around to visiting everyone last night. Sorry about that. I always feel so bad when I don't visit on a daily basis. Not because I think everyone will wonder where I am; I just like visiting. I gain such encouragement and find great ideas from everyone. But alas, my head was pounding and I was down for the count. So I will try to catch up today. But I'm probably going to miss the idea of the century or the wittiest of banter because I will inevitably miss someone. Dad Gumm It Blob!!

I do want to thank everyone for your comments yesterday. It was such a nice surprise to see all of the words of encouragement and heartfelt hugs from everyone this morning. Good people!

Since I didn't read last night and consequently didn't come up with an idea for a post this morning...I'm leaving you with a card. Cop out maybe, but what's a girl to do?? Click on the link below, allow the card to load and be sure to mute my music.

Somewhat creepy but hilarious Thanksgiving Card

Blessing of the day: I'm blessed because I have health insurance which enables me to get my prescription for migraines.

Monday, November 19, 2007

So Long, Father Jim

Yesterday at mass, Father Jim announced that December 2nd will be the last mass he officiates at Holy Family Parish. The bishop has reassigned him to St John Newman in Wexford. I think this came as a huge shock to him. And he doesn't really have any answers for us as to who will be his replacement.

I am upset and confused. Confused at my own feelings but I explain that later. I'm upset that he's leaving right before Christmas. And I always got something out of his homily. It was never long but Father always said that was because if you talk longer than 5 minutes, you're repeating yourself and losing the attention of your congregation. He held the attention of his parishioners including my kids. And I'm so afraid that his replacement won't be able to do that. I don't want church to become a chore for them. Or me for that matter. When we were still St. Joseph's (before the reunification with Sts. Cyril and Methodius) our priest was Father Rishel. He was wonderful! He baptized me, officiated over my first confession, my first holy communion and my confirmation. I had hoped that he would would marry me. But that was not to be. After the reunification when the 2 parishes of New Brighton became Holy Family, Father Parsons was our resident priest. And, God forgive me, he was AWFUL! We even left Holy Family for a time. When you walk out of church completely pissed off (sorry that's the best description) there's something wrong. But we returned after he was transferred and Father Orr came. He was better than Father Parsons but he was no Father Rishel. He was our advocate for Kenny's annulment. But I think he forgot about that. Kenny's annulment proceedings were actually archived because he failed to follow-up. It wasn't until Father Jim came that we found that out. He took over and within 3 months it was completed. He married Kenny and I in the church on Nov. 12, 2004. And he baptized my children. They made their first communion and confirmation under him. And for that, he will always be special to me.

There are things about him that I do not like. That's just human nature. And I was going to tell you my reasons. But there's really no point in getting into that right now. You take the good with the bad because the good far outweighs the other. In his homily yesterday, he talked about how the priest has no face. He's not white or black, good looking or disfigured, tall or short, fat or thin. Because it's not about him. The church's foundation was not built on the appearance of the priest. It was built on and centered around Jesus Christ. And that is all that matters. So see, even now he's a good shepherd. Gathering his flock and guiding them as He directs. I don't know how I will make it through his last mass with us. Because that too is human nature. And I'm going to miss him, nonetheless.

Blessing of the day: I'm blessed to have a wonderful priest these last few years to guide me on my path with Christ. God Bless you, Father Jim.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sunday Grace

Grab a box of Kleenex and listen to the wisdom of a 13 year old boy. We could all learn from this little guy. He was calling in to a radio station where his own pastor is the host. SNIFF!

Blessing of the day: I'm blessed because I am saved. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him may not die but have everlasting life." John 3:16

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Spotlight Saturday

Good Morning Everyone! Today is Spotlight Saturday! There are so many wonderful and interesting people blogging today there's no possible way you can keep track of them all. And visiting everyone is so hard to do. But I give it my best effort. And along the way, I find new bloggers by visiting people on someone's blog roll, by the comments they leave on blogs including my own. Tammy passed this award on to me and I was so touched, to be part of a community. If you have a favorite blog, new or old, that you love to visit why don't you use this button and have a Spotlight Saturday of your own. Get the word out on these blogs and the talented people behind them!

Today's Spotlight shines on Laura of Life in the Slow Lane. I found Laura by a comment that she had left on my post from Thursday. I took a trip over to her place and had a wonderful time! She's a long time blog reader, new blog author. And talented! Let's see, she bakes. She sews. She's into crafting and all things vintage. Now come on! What's not to love?
Take a trip over to Laura's today and tell her I sent ya!

So here's my unofficial Welcome to Blogging, Laura. It's so nice to have met you!

Blessing of the day: I'm blessed to be surrounded by friends. Those who lift you up, comfort and pray with you, rejoice with you and stand by you in times of sorrow. I'm blessed to have met you all. "Dear
friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God." 1 John 4:6-8

Friday, November 16, 2007

What's in a Title?

Here's a fun little tag that anyone can play. Just go to AMAZON.COM, click on BOOKS, then ADVANCED SEARCH, type your first name in TITLE, then choose a cute or meaningful book cover and then POST it.

The book I chose is called Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously! A book about a woman, who keeps a blog, and decided the rat race wasn't fulfilling her passion for life. So she quit and started cooking! Sounds pretty familiar to me!

And I just couldn't resist posting one more video clip from The Carol Burnett Show. Last one I promise. A Classic!

Blessing of the day: I'm blessed because of groceries. I'm blessed because I can afford to go shopping, blessed because I am capable of bringing the groceries into the house and blessed that my father taught me how to cook.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Comic Relief

I sent this to a few people in an email this morning. But I got to laughing so hard that I had to share it with everyone. I'm not sure what's funnier - Tim Conway's acting or watching Harvey Korman try not to laugh. Enjoy everyone! Be sure to pause the music on my sidebar...

Blessing of the day: I'm blessed because I remember when comedy was clean and families could sit together and watch TV.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

7 Things About Me and a New Award

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketFirst I need to thank Joy from The Joy of who gave me this award. It is such an honor for me especially coming from her. She is such a sweet and genuine person; a great friend and wife, a caring mother and honest businesswoman - Joy's name is the perfect description for her.

I want to pass this award on to Barb at The Life and Times of a SuperMom, Rosemary at Rosemary's Attic and Angela at The Voluptuary. All three women are super sweet but so genuine about everything. I don't think a fake bone exists in their bodies. And I love that about them!

Now on to the Seven Things About Me. I was named by Nancy at Knitting Paths of Life a while back and just recently by Anita at Prairie Dreams. It's hard for me to do this type of meme because I rarely hold anything back. I tell you all everything whether you asked for it or not. Because I ramble on and on you would think it would be easy. Well it's not. So here goes nothing:

1. I have slight touch of OCD when it comes to this one thing. If something touches my right side, something must
then have to touch my left. Freak, I know. But seriously, say you tap me on my right shoulder, tap tap tap. I swear it leaves an impression, an indentation of sorts until I touch my left shoulder, tap tap tap. It's a feeling of being balanced. I can't explain it. But that would be the fastest and least messy way of driving me insane. Touch one side of me and then don't allow me to touch the other side. Yep - HUGE FREAK. I know. Can't help it.

2. I am notorious for getting my finger or thumb stuck in something. For instance, a pop bottle, a roll of tape, a bowling ball! Yep, you read that right. Holly and I went bowling years ago. And when I was picking out a ball, I found this little, teeny tiny 6 pounder. My thought was I could hurl it down the lane. WRONG! I tried it out and my thumb got stuck in the hole. I tried to hide it from her but alas I couldn't it get it off. I plopped this ball and thumb down on the desk and asked the attendant if he could help me. Once he stopped laughing, he found some lotion or baby powder (I can't remember anymore it's been so long) and that worked. POP! My thumb popped out and I ended up having to bowl with a 10 pounder (common size for me now but not back then) because my thumb had swelled so much.

3. I love the beach. I know that you probably already know that but to what degree? I adore the water. It might be because I'm a Pisces. Or it might be that I live in western PA where the closest body of water is Lake Erie and that's 2+ hours away. I don't know. But I NEED to live by the water. It is my dream to someday be able to look out my bedroom balcony at the ocean. And not just for a week on vacation. There is something about the ocean that I can't describe. But I have to be near it.

4. I'm allergic to cats. Yes, I know. I have 6 of them. But, if you get a kitten, when they have no dander, by the time they develop it, you're immune to it. Now if I walk into your house with cats, new dander so to speak, I'm terribly allergic. Hives, itching, sneezing, the whole nine yards. And even if I got a long-haired cat as a kitten I would still be allergic. Long haired cats mess with me big time!

5. I'm afraid of heights. Not in the way you're thinking though. I can (and have) stand at the top of the Empire State Building and look down and think nothing of it. I have looked out the crown of the Statue of Liberty (which is no longer an option in the wake of 9/11) with no problem. I have no problem climbing up anything, but don't ask me to climb back down. A few years ago my cousins and I went to McConnell's Mills. We trekked up this rocky hill and picnicked on this plateau overlooking the falls. It was beautiful. Until I had to climb back down. I was completely frozen in fear and my cousin John had to put my arms around his neck while I leaned into his back to lead me back down the hill.

6. I'm a smoker. Terrible, yes. Expensive, you're telling me. Harmful to myself and others, I know. But it is a habit that I can't break. And the reason why you ask? Because I don't want to. Now how sad is that? But I like to smoke. I like holding the cigarette. I like the cool 'hit' I get when I inhale (I smoke menthol.) IT'S A TERRIBLE HABIT. So I pray for the desire to quit. That's first. If you don't want to quit, you won't. So, say a prayer for me that I'll have the desire to quit. Then once I have the desire, I'll pray for the will power to do it.

7. I have a tattoo and a half. Don't laugh, it's possible! My first tattoo was a flower toe ring. It was adorable! It was a yellow flower with purple accents and green ivy to make the 'ring.' The man told me to keep it moist for the first few days. I put Neosporin on it. Logical, right? Wrong. Neosporin is an antibiotic. It pulls out everything foreign in your body. Including your brand new tattoo ink. So it's very faded now, barely noticeable in fact. So when I went to get the one on my back (my cousin Sherry drew me a beautiful dragonfly that ended up looking like a butterfly when he was done) the guy told me - Keep this moist for a few days. I said ok, like with Neosporin. His head almost snapped off. 'No, that...did you put that on your toe??' Yeah why, I asked. And then he told me. I guess he meant like A&D ointment or Vaseline. Well I wasn't taking any chances the second time around so I bought the Tattoo Goo at a ridiculously high cost just to be sure! I'm proud to say that the Butterdragonfly on my back is still there and it's not faded!

Now, I'm not going to assign this meme to anyone. But please, if anyone hasn't done this, it can be really fun. Not just for the reader but for the writer. Unless you're an open book like me and can't come up with anything new.

Blessing of the day: I'm blessed to have friends like Holly in my life. She sent Bill to work (Kenny's BF who works with him) with a package of pie weights for me, The Bible on cassette and The World's Bible Handbook by Robert Boyd. Little things that she had or found while shopping that she knew I would like. She's my best friend and I love her!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Special Offers and Grand Opening!

Good morning everyone! Nunnie's Attic is joining the masses. We've opened our brand new Etsy shop, Nunniesdollhouse! My mother loves dollhouses and is quite passionate about hanging art inside the ones she creates. Her new Etsy shop has a variety of different framed prints and pictures for your dollhouse. And in true Grand Opening style, we want to offer everyone a special deal. For every 2 prints that you purchase, you'll receive one free of your choosing.

We're also offering another opportunity for the crystal Christmas tree that so many of you loved. For every purchase you make in the attic, we'll send you the Christmas tree as well. You can buy some Christmas gifts and keep the tree for yourself! Or if you're feeling especially generous, of course you can give it away too. But why would you want to?
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Please take a minute and browse the attic and our brand new Etsy shop. And remember, you're never limited to the pictures showing in Nunniesdollhouse. She does custom orders as well. So if you have a family portrait you'd like to hang in your dollhouse living room, a cherished family heirloom that you would like to see hanging, etc - just email my mom at and let her know what you're looking for. She'd be glad to assist you in anyway. Thank you everyone for allowing our passion become our business!

Blessing of the day: I'm blessed to be in business with my mom!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Flea Market

Christmas Tree With RedBirds
This past Saturday, I went to the Indoor Flea Market again with Kerry (the boys' bio mom) and her fiance. I forgot to bring my camera which come to think of it, wouldn't have mattered because our computer isn't recognizing the driver for the camera all of a sudden. So, I have pictures stuck in there that I can't retrieve anyway. Shame too. I found HUGE fairies that Karla would love. I found tole trays that Robin would love. Of course I found a million things that I would love to own but I was very good. I spent $20 and "layed away" a few loverly dishes from Dana's booth. You can see them here. Everything on that shelf is mine. HA! She was nice enough to mark them sold and I will bring her the money next week. I'm all about the transferware these days. And this particular set of dishes has ROOSTERS on it!!

As I mentioned before I am going to make apple cinnamon garland this year for my Christmas tree. I have all of the applesauce and cinnamon I'm going to need. I found jute twine on Saturday for a buck. I decided I want glittered pinecones on this garland. And I found about 2 1/2 dozen pinecones. Funny thing. I asked the young girl there how much for the pine cones. At first she told me $.25 each. I thought that was a little high for pinecones. She then asked her father who must have been talking to his wife on the phone. And I could tell by the tone of his voice he was none too pleased that HE was working the booth and SHE wasn't. He told me I could have them all for $2 (MUCH better than the $7.50 the daughter wanted.) As she was putting them in a bag for me she asked if the wire rack (that I'm saying looks like something to keep logs in) was included and I of course thought he was going to say no. He quietly and a little persnickety-like said "if she wants it - give it to her." I wanted. So the moral of the story is girls - don't send your husband out to do a job if you aren't going to be happy with the results. He sold me something for $2 that I'm sure his wife and daughter would have charged $10 for.

I found 3 bags of red ball garland that I'm going to use as the "cranberries" because I decided I wanted those on this garland too. 3 bags for $3. Not bad. And I finally own a cake plate. I have said for years now that I need one. Any woman will understand that. But for one reason or another I have never bought one. I found this woman selling a brand new, but discontinued cake plate from Home Interiors. It's cream colored ceramic and has a red ribbon is intertwined around the edge. It's beautiful and it was only $10. I know how much those cost. So I was pretty pleased. And on my way out the door I found this 16x20 painting of a hen in a black frame. "HENS" painted so prettily below the hen herself. They were asking $5. I only had $4 left and again - go to the man working the booth. The daughter, probably 16, wanted to ask her mom. The son, probably 12, said very matter-of-factly, that's FINE! So all in all, I had a great shopping experience and I learned that I like to deal with men better!!

Blessing of the day: I'm blessed to live in a country where my freedoms are protected by the men and women who fight for them, for me and for this country. God bless the veterans! (I love you Daddy!)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Two Awards and Giveaway Winner!!

Wow! The final count for the giveaway was 140 entries! That's absolutely amazing!! Thank you to everyone who entered. Because of the overwhelming response, those of you who didn't win will have another opportunity to get this tree. Details on that later.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketBefore I announce the winner I wanted to thank a few people who have honored me with some awards. First, I would like to thank Joyce at Brookside Cottage who gave me the "Golly, You Make Me Jolly" award. This is such an honor (and a relief actually) for me because I love Christmas SO SO much and the feelings the Holy Season evokes and I'm grateful that you lovely bloggers aren't sick of me and my Christmas posts already. Thank you again, Joyce and it is my honor to pass this on. I would like to extend this award to Linda at Restyled Home, Melissa at The Inspired Room and Joanne at The Keeping of Christmas. These ladies are so wonderful in their attempt to help everyone this holiday season from taking the stress out of decorating to remembering the 'true reason for the season.' So Linda, Melissa and Joanne, this award is for you because "Golly, You Make Me Jolly."

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketMy second award is The Friendly Site graciously given to me by Sharon at Rose of Sharon, Dena at Swaddle Cottage and Brenda at Country Romance. I am so blessed by you lovely ladies that it is entirely my honor to make you feel welcome and at home when you visit me. Passing this award on to other friendly bloggers isn't as easy as you would think. Everyone is friendly - not a wicked one in the bunch. So how do you pick just a few? I would love to give it to everyone (and trust me, in my heart I have) but please allow me the honor of giving this to: Alexandra at Silver Bell Cottage, Jo at Neere and Dear Creations and Tammy at My Gentle Retreat. These ladies have reached out to me in 3 different ways but still touched my heart the same. You 3 ladies are so very friendly, I had just had to bestow you with The Friendly Site award!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketSo now without further ado... Congratulations to Cynthia of Springmont Cottage. You are the lucky winner of our giveaway!! Please be sure to email your home address to us so that we can send this out to you in plenty of time for Christmas decorating.

Thanks again to everyone who entered and be sure to check back this week for another chance to receive this beautiful tree for FREE!

Blessing of the Day: I know that I am blessed because this upcoming Holy Season reminds me of the greatest gift One could ever give.
"And it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well ..." Charles Dickens, "A Christmas Carol"

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Gratitude Gala and Spotlight Saturday

Good Morning Everyone!! It's 5:30 in the morning and I'm wide awake. Stinkin' time change!
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Angie at ScrapnMomsMoments is hosting a Gratitude Gala (it started yesterday) and goes through today. I can't think of a better privilege than showing your gratitude for the blessings in your life. As you know each day I enter a Blessing for the Day. But today I'm going to take it one step further.

I need to share my gratitude for my parents. I hear the horror stories of childhood for some people all of the time. It truly makes me sick to hear of what they had to go through. My childhood could not have been any more fantastic than it was. I was surrounded by loving parents, great siblings and the most wonderful extended family known to man. When my father lay in the hospital with a ruptured bowel, we were almost certain he was going to be taken away from us. That was in January of 1992 and praise God, he's still with us. My sister wrote an article for the local paper about him. And she referred to the lessons in life that he taught his 3 children: Respect for God, Respect for Others and Respect for Oneself. My parents have been married for 46 years this past April and were (are) the greatest role models a child could have. May God continue to bless them with Good Health and Prosperity. I love you Mommy and Daddy!

Gratitude must also go to my blogging friends who have renewed a spiritual awakening in me. I used to joke that if it weren't for bad, I would have no luck at all. My mother hated that! But as I mature, I realize that my success in life has nothing to do with luck. The blessings in my life come from God alone. And when something doesn't work out the way I wanted, I now realize that God must have another plan for me. Everything happens in His time and I have to trust that His plan is far more perfect than mine. And I've come to appreciate the little things more: a warm house, a cool breeze, the smell of the ocean, the roar of a campfire, good-night kisses from my boys, the generosity of strangers and the familiarity of old friends. Praise God for all that you have for it all comes from Him. May His blessings continue to surround and uplift you!

Which brings me to Spotlight Saturday. I received such a warm response to my suggestion of spotlighting a blog that inspires me. And I would love it if you did the same. Share a blog that is special to you. Maybe it's the stories he or she shares. Maybe she has the best ideas for turning trash into treasure. Maybe it's simply the feeling you get when you visit. Please share with me the honor of Spotlight Saturday and allow others to experience what you have. I'm looking for a button to use, so if anyone knows of a good HTML coder...hint hint.

Today's spotlight is on All You Have to Give. The owner of the blog is Lori and I just adore her. She inspires me everyday. She is so earnest in her walk with God. You can't help but feel rejuvenated after reading the words she so eloquently puts down in writing. Not everyone can express themselves through writing. I know that I stumble and ramble and a lot times there is no cohesiveness to my posts. Lori never seems to have that problem. A good wife and mother and a true Christian at heart, I am blessed to have found this little piece of her. Please take a minute and read her story. I know that you will be blessed as well for having done so.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketAnd one last thing (geez louise this is a long one today, huh) remember that today is the last day to enter my giveaway. We will draw a name tomorrow morning using the random number generator. I can't believe that I received 132 responses and there's no way I'm cutting up that many slips of paper. Be sure to check back tomorrow to see who the winner is and Good Luck everyone!

Blessing for the day: I'm blessed to have a friendship with my boys' biological mom. Our ability to put the past behind us and get along is a blessing to them. And that's all that matters.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Old Toy Trains

C 13
I rearranged my playlist this morning because of this song. It has so much meaning to me, I had to do an entire post around it. As many of you know, my boys are not my biological sons. They came to live with me when they were 7 and 8 years old. Just little boys back then. That was right about when I heard this song for the first time. Maybe I heard as a kid, but I don't remember. And our first Christmas together as a family was so special to me. I've told you all about some traditions in my family. Now let me tell you about one in Kenny's that will live forever in our home.

When Santa arrives in your neighborhood, he knows that little boys should be in bed or he won't be able to leave any presents. Now you could be decking the halls all night, losing track of time, so how do you know Santa is almost ready to visit your house? By the walnuts, of course. When all 8 (or 9 depending on the visibility that night) reindeer land the sleigh on your roof, Santa throws walnuts through your ceiling letting you know he's ready. You must run to bed and quickly fall asleep or he can't come in. Now when I was a little girl, I could never stay up through Midnight Mass. So he never had to throw the walnuts in my house. I was already asleep. But the boys tend to stay up through mass. So this is Santa's way of helping Mommies and Daddies out.

The first time the walnuts came flying through the ceiling, the boys were still wide awake. But the minute they hit the floor, they ran over to us-said g'night-luv you and ran up the stairs. Falling over each other like Ralphie and Randy in The Christmas Story. It was the cutest thing I had ever seen. And don't you know what was playing in the background? Old Toy Trains. Coincidence? I don't know. But the lyrics say: Little boy don't you think it's time you were in bed. To this day, when I hear that song I cry. It's a happy cry. But also a reminiscent, sad cry of when my boys were little. And even though my boys are 13 and 14 now, Santa still throws the walnuts. And he will as long as they live here.

Blessing for the day: I'm blessed to have these little boys in my life. My family is complete. (Except for the grandchildren I hope to have - WAAAY off in the future!)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Spotlight Blog and Thanks!

First of all cats and kittens, let me just say WOW! I have, at the present time, 110 entries in my giveaway. I feel like Sally Field; You like it, you really like it. Keep referring your friends and I'll keep entering your name. Remember you have until Saturday evening to post about it and enter. And if I may be so bold, please refer them to our webstore Nunnie's Attic, Inc. too. Maybe someone will find just that perfect gift for the hard-to-buy-for person.

Secondly, I wanted to mention 2 blogs this morning. One I have known about for a while and have loved since day one. And one I just found through the comments on my giveaway. I was thinking of doing a weekly Spotlight Award for blogs. As you can see by my blogroll, I have a ton of people whom I love to visit. And they have some of the same friends and some different ones as well. I would really love to get your help on the matter. If you have a favorite and would like to shine a spotlight on it, please let me know. I have just found so many comforts and tips and ideas through all of you, I thought it would be great to share these blogs with everyone. Let me know your thoughts and I'll see what I can come up with.

So without further ado, on with the spotlight. The first is Joanne at The Keeping of Christmas. I just LOVE this little blog. As you all know, I am a HUGE fan of Christmas. Not just the commercial aspect but the true meaning behind it. And I love her title. It reminds you to keep Christmas in your heart all year long. Not just the month of December. She has fabulous ideas and she shares them so freely. I think I start all of my comments in her blog with "clapping my hands here." Thank you, Joanne for your Christmas spirit and your kind heart!

Second spotlight of the day goes out to Kate at Our Red House. I must apologize to Kate. I didn't visit her site (like I thought I was doing) because after reading her comment on my giveaway blog, I took a trip over to see Mary at Little Red House. HA!! Mary and I have been friends for a while now and I guess my weak brain saw "Red House" and just assumed. Isn't there a saying about never assuming???? Anyway, I realized my mistake this morning. And I just loved Kate's blog. She has fabulous tips from list making to homemade sprays to recipes and crafts. See the beauty in blogging? Fabulous new friends. Great new ideas. All because great minds think alike.

Please take a minute and visit these fabulous ladies today.

Blessing for the day: I'm blessed because I have laundry to do. Laundry means my family has clothes on their back and enough to go around.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

For Bloggers Only

You all know my love of roosters. We were searching the attic the other day and came across this darling Rooster Lantern. We decided to put it up for sale and offer it to our special blogger friends only. When you enter our store, click the link for "Our Products" and then you'll see the category "Bloggers." The rooster is in that section of the attic just for you, my friends. We have more than one so don't worry about it selling out.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Product #: 38176
Description: Warm up any wall with vintage-style candlelit charm! Crowned by a proudly crowing country rooster, the scrollwork wall bracket securely cradles an enchanting leaf-motif candle lantern. Deeply burnished copper finish enriches any decor!

Candle not included.
Bracket: 10 1/2" x 3 1/2" x 17 7/8" high.
Lantern: 6 5/8" diameter x 11 1/2" high.
Retail Price: $39.95
Price: $25.00

54 left in stock

Don't forget about our giveaway. If you haven't already you can enter here for a chance. And if you post about it on your blog and refer your friends here, I'll enter your name in again for each person who mentions you. But remember, it has to be on this page only. Good Luck everyone!

Blessing for the day: I'm blessed to have my husband. Every day he leaves at 5:15 AM and works until at least 6:30 on most days. He works hard for our family and I know that I'm blessed to have him.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Christmas Giveaway

Good Morning!! Here comes my favorite part of a giveaway. I love entering them (although I never ever win) but I think I enjoy hosting them more. The deadline to leave a comment (on this entry only) will be Saturday, November 9th. We'll draw a number (if we can figure out how to work that generate-a-number thing) or a name (if we have to resort to slips of paper) on Sunday morning. Be sure to tell your friends. And for everyone you refer to our webstore, Nunnie's Attic, we'll enter your name again into the drawing. So be sure they know to give you the credit for the referral. And be sure they enter on the right post. Good Luck everyone!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Blessing for the day: I am blessed to have met you all through this venue. You each bring something special to my life. May that be a renewed sense of spirituality, great crafting ideas, friendship and fellowship or humor. I know my life is blessed to have you in it.