Monday, November 28, 2011

Five Years?!? Already?

Five years ago today, Brad and I spent a long day at the hospital...we played games, read books, slept, worried (him), crocheted (me)...anything to pass the time.
Finally, at 9:08 that night, our waiting was over and we held our precious baby girl for the first time.

Since that day, that little girl has brought us great amounts of joy, laughter, a few tears of frustration, and yes, even some gray hairs (well, mine at least. I think she might have been the cause of a few of her dad's hairs falling out!).

She began her life with a stubborn streak a mile wide - born a week+ late, and then only after much coercion, and then when she finally decided to come out she did so with a vengeance - and a bit of Curious George in her...this has not changed! In fact, she has only honed and grown these skills.
She began talking before her first birthday and hasn't stopped since, except, occasionally, to sleep for a bit (but not too long!)

Today she is an extremely smart, imaginative, curious, bouncy, and, still, stubborn little girl. But she's also a sweet little girl when she puts her mind to it! (And if she ever tells you she's shy, don't believe it! :D)
And we wouldn't trade her for anything!

And so, to my beautiful, energetic little princess:

Happy 5th Birthday!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Book Review: Couples Who Pray - The Most Intimate Act Between a Man & a Woman

Written by SQuire Rushnell and Louise DuArt, a husband & wife team; 164 pages, plus addendum (surveys for the husband and wife to take on how they feel about different factors in their current relationship). It addresses such subjects as: The Power of Prayer, Forgiveness, Prayer and Money, and 6 Steps to a Happy Marriage, giving real-life examples of couples who have taken the '40-day Prayer Challenge' -a challenge to pray together with your spouse for just 5 minutes out of every day for 40 days - and the outcomes - the differences in the lives of those who made the pledge and kept it.
When picking this book for review, I was very curious to see what the Authors would have to say on the subject. Though I come from a Christian, very church-oriented background, the subject of couples (and/or families) praying together was not widely addressed.
Though I did enjoy reading the book, and found it interesting reading about the 'celebrity' couples, such as actor and film director Denzel Washington & his wife Pauletta, Kathie Lee & Frank Gifford (among others), and their accounts of how implementing daily prayer together changed their lives, if I was looking for a deep, profound revelation of things I had never seen before, I did not find it in this book. In many ways, I found it very simple -not revealing new truths, but merely reiterating things I've known or heard about most of my life. And, while I realize that physical intimacy is a very important aspect of any marriage, in my opinion, there was a little too much emphasis placed on the physical benefits of increased prayer and commitment to God, and not enough on the Spiritual.
Still, I realize that many - possibly most - of the general population has not had the religious upbringing that I have had, and to them this book would be very enlightening. For that reason, I would recommend it to anyone seeking to better their relationship with their spouse, and in the process strengthen their relationship with God.

note: This book was supplied to me free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion.
For more information on how you can review books, click on the blue BookSneeze button on the right side of the page.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Food for Fall

The last couple of days, I've had a hankering for some good ol' cornbread.
So, today I was thinking, 'what to fix for supper?', and thought, 'I should make some cornbread'.

And what goes better with cornbread than a nice pot of soup?

Now, I'm not a big fan of fall. Ok, I'm not a fan of fall at all.

But soup is a nice fall food, and we like soup it was. (Too bad it wasn't a nice fall day! It's not quite as nice when it's 80 degrees outside, but I digress.)

I've never made soup with sausage before (except for gumbo, but that's a little different), but I had a package of polish sausage in the freezer that I had bought a couple of weeks ago when it was on sale for $1.89. So I got to thinking.

And this is what I came up with:

We're not really overly fond of polish sausage, but I thought this turned out really good. Not sure about the hubby, but he ate two bowls, so it must not have been too bad - you'll have to ask him what he thought! By simmering for a while, the potatoes cooked down some and made a nice thick soup.

12-14 oz polish-style sausage, sliced
1 small onion, chopped
2 T. butter or oil
4-5 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
2-3 T. beef soup base (or powdered boullion)
1 can tomato soup
8 oz. frozen green beans
6 oz. frozen mixed veggies
salt, pepper, garlic, dried parsley,basil and oregano to taste

Heat butter or oil in 4 qt. pot, add onions, saute until translucent and starting to brown on the edges. Add sliced sausage and brown, stirring frequently. Add 2-3 quarts of water and stir to deglaze pan. Add remaining ingredients, and simmer for an hour or so.
(I used approx. 1 t. garlic powder, 1/2 t. dried basil, and 1/4 t. or so oregano. I'm not big on oregano, so you could add more, or less, if you like.)
Could also be put in the crockpot after browning onions and sausage, just be sure to add water to deglaze the pan before you put it in the crockpot, or you'll lose a lot of flavor.

(note: I wouldn't normally use tomato soup, but happened to have a can and wanted to use it up. You can do the same, or a can of tomato sauce would probably be just fine. The soup will give a slightly sweeter flavor to the broth. The goal is not to be a tomato-y soup, just to give the base a little pizazz.)

Serve this with some nice, hot buttered cornbread (NOT the sweet kind. YUCK.), and you have a yummy fall-ish dinner!


Monday, October 10, 2011

Love...Without Limit

O Love That Will Not Let Me Go

O Love that will not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

O light that followest all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in thy sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.

O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.

(Written by George Matheson)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Let Them Eat Cake! (and look at it, too!)

Friday, my day was spent with sugar. And shortening. And dye. Lots of all of the above!
But, first, we had to make a little trip to Walmart to get a couple of things we needed. While we were there, we stopped by the toy department to find a birthday present for a certain little the future, I think that all trips to the toy dept. will be limited to times when the kiddos are NOT with me! Walking down the aisles, Jonathan would see trucks and cars (some from the movie CARS), and he kept looking at me with his little puppy-dog eyes, pointing at the toys and saying (in a pitiful little voice),
"mum, pwease? Dat! Pwease, mum?"

I gave up on the toys, grabbed a Thomas dvd for the present, and headed out.
There's only so much puppy-eyes a mommy can take!!

Anyway, back to the sugar.
Remember the certain little boy I mentioned?
Well, his name is Connor and he just had a birthday - he's 2 years old!
His mommy and daddy wanted him to have a Thomas the Tank Engine cake for his party, and since Bethany (our resident cake-decorator-person) was busy, I got to do it! :-) (She did make the cake- I just added a few minor details on the outside! :D)

4 lbs. of powdered sugar, 2 cups of shortening, and miscellaneous other somewhat good-tasting things later, here's what we came up with:

A work in progress

Almost finished

All done!
(Ju's one request was that she could have a piece of the traintracks at the party! :-) She has now decided that SHE wants a train cake for HER birthday. How very girly! Actually, she informed me that she wants Emily - one of Thomas's friends - on it, and Emily is a girl train, so it's ok.)

...and the side view. Yes, I know it's crooked. This was my first full-decor cake - You didn't expect it to be perfect, did you?

Bubby and the Birthday Boy - they were scooping the sand out of the sand-box and dumping it in the pool. Silly BOYS!

All in all, it was kinda fun. I might do it again - someday.
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Monday, September 19, 2011

PART 2: The Princess and Her Puppy-dog

This is a story of a princess and her puppydog.

The Princess

The Puppy

(Disclaimer: I am not calling my son a dog. However, said son likes to pretend he is a dog, crawling around the house and barking at people. A favorite game of the son and his sister is hims pretending to be her puppy - they roam the house and she gives him orders, pretty much the same as when they're not playing puppy. :-) Back to the story)

One day, the princess was eating an ice cream sandwich. She was feeling particularly kind that day, and she knows that the way to a puppy's [man's] heart is through his stomach, so she decided to share with her puppy. (Who had already eaten his ice cream sandwich)

[Or, maybe she just didn't want to finish it and decided to put it in her garbage-can of choice - the puppy. Whatever.]

Anyway, the princess fed the puppy the ice cream.

The puppy pledged his undying faithfulness to his beloved Princess. (At least until the next time she takes something from him) [which was probably about five minutes later.]

And with chocolate-smeared faces, the pair went off to find something else to destroy.

Until Mommy caught them and made them wash up.

The End.

Someone has pointed out that most of the pictures I post of Jonathan contain food. Really, he doesn't eat ALL of the time. Just most of it. :-)

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PART 1: The Princess and Her Hair

Ok, so I know none of your mothers ever did anything weird to your hair, right?

And of course, on the off chance that POSSIBLY your mother did something odd to your hair at some point, you would never do anything like that to your daughter. RIGHT?

Well, aside from parting it down the middle and pulling it back so tightly that my eyes slanted...
...and giving us the "goat-ears" hairstyle (side braids looped up to look like ears)...
...and the "whalespout" do (ponytail on top so it 'spouted')...
my mom NEVER did anything strange to my hair. :-D

And I, OF COURSE, would never dream of humiliating my dear, sweet little daughter like that.

Ha Ha...

Introducing: The Princess and Her Hair

Ever heard of rag curls?

Well, on a whim, I decided to try them.

The Rag-headed Princess

She thought it was pretty funny.

(I like this crrraaaazy hair!)

Now, I don't usually curl her hair. There is a reason for this - and it's not that I have some problem with curls.
You see, she has naturally curly hair; with a little water and some scrunching she has curls. The few times I have put her hair in curlers just to try it, it turned out all funky and frizzy/spiky. So we don't curl it.
Enter the rag curls.

The finished work.

Ok, it didn't turn out too bad, but probably not something we'll do too often.
However, notice the person in the curls.

Isn't she cute? :-)
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Friday, August 19, 2011

Did You Know?

Corelle is branching out - instead of just dishes, they now have a new line of HATS...

...but the 'Hat Hair' will almost make you cry!

Catalogs are great reading material.

Mommies make GREAT smoothies; if you try really hard, you can almost drink the whole thing without ever taking a breath!

Cowboys sometimes like to play with dolls...

...and they don't always have all their teeth.

Just a few things that I thought you might like to know! :-)

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Thursday, August 4, 2011

For All My Fellow Thrifters:

There is a very good reason why you should take your tape measure along when you go Thrift shopping!
Today, I ran into a little thrift store not too far away looking for some work pants for my hubby; it was nearly closing time, but on Thursdays this particular store has a sale where you can get everything you can stuff into a brown paper sack for $5.00 (used to be $2.50...but that's beside the point), so I wanted to catch them today for the sale.
So, being in a bit of a hurry, I looked through the men's pants rack, and found three pairs of nice pants in hubby's size. (I was almost wishing he was a bit larger - there were a TON of nice pants in a 36!!) So, anyway, I filled the bag with the pants, a few items for me, and some things for the kids (around 20 items in all), and went to pay.
Came home, threw most of it in the washer, then the dryer....
Pulled the pants outof the dryer, and went to measure them, as one pair, according to the tag, might need shortened - only to discover that the person who had previously owned them had had them ALL shortened. To 25". Yup, all three pairs. So, now I am the proud owner of three pairs of useless pants - unless dear hubby wants to start wearing capris for work! :P
So, THAT, my friends, is why you should take a tape measure along with you! (unless, of course, you're in a hurry, and wouldn't have time to use it anyway!)
Oh well, at .25 cents a piece, I guess I didn't waste too much money!
Besides, of the other items I got, one of them was a girl's Bonnie Jean dress, looks brand new - a beautiful soft cream with pink flowers - that will probably fit Ju next spring. It was worth the $5.00 by itself! And she loves it.
So I don't feel too bad.

Actually it's kinda funny.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Unexpected (Uninvited) Guest

'Twas a Sunday morning like any other; I got up, showered, dressed, got the dinner things together, started the cinnamon rolls to baking - nothing unusual about that.
But this was Easter Sunday.
So, of course I wanted it to be a good day, a special day for the kids.
I got the kids up, put the little one in his highchair and gave his breakfast, started dressing the big far, so good.

And then, it happened.
I went toward our bedroom, across the kitchen, going after a pair of sock for the little gal.........
And just as I passed the table, about to step into the bedroom, there, out of the corner of my eye, I saw something move.
Ok, so this is Louisiana. There is a great abundance of wildlife here. Bugs thrive. Lizards thrive-possibly due to the aforesaid bugs. Our house, much to my dismay, is inhabited by many different species of bug; lizards and frogs are not uncommon; the mice are trying to take over. I'm considering buying stock in a pest control company.
So, anyway, back to the wiggle.
It took a minute to register (by which time I had passed into the bedroom), but it dawned on me that THAT was not your ordinary wiggle.
So I went back for another look.
Sure enough. This little wiggler that had come to crawl - oops, I mean CALL, was not any of the previously mentioned wildlife.


Well, it just so happened, my kiddos had drug a glass canning jar out of the cabinet tio play with, and it was still laying on the floor where they had left it. The little snakey dude had found it and crawled inside to check it out - so I grabbed the dustpan and attempted to cover to top of the jar and lock him in.
So far, so good, right?

He escaped, and headed under the fish tank. At this point, I decided to alert the man of the house to our visitor.
So, armed with broom and mop, we poked around under the fish tanks, and, sure enough, out he came - headed staight for the bedroom; I cut him off at the pass, so he tried for the kitchen. The boss-man wonked him on the head the his handy-dandy mop, so he turned and headed for the back door. GREAT!
Unfortunately, as it happens in most trailers, to get to the back door you have to first pass through the laundry room.
Folks, my laundry room is also my pantry, and the room where everything in thehouse that doesn't have a permanant home goes to die.
Mr. Snakey-poo was well hidden.
I poked around for a bit, but no reptile.
Finally, the hubby, now armed to the teeth with shovel and garden rake began an assault on said laundry room.
And, after much digging and tossing, unearthed our friendly guest.
Oh, the whacking and pounding that did ensue.
To make a long story short, Mr. Snake ended up snake soup. Only the rake and one jar of apple butter were broken in the process! :)
And miracle of all miracles, Ju never did figure out what all the banging was about!!!!

And, we made it to Sunday School with 3 minutes to spare!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

So, What has Gillian been up to?

What have I been up to?
Oh, nothing much....

Just this:

See the first five from the left? Yup, that's what I was doing in February and March!

(Congratulations, Josh & Melissa! The wedding was beautiful - minus the bridesmade dresses, of course!)

And this:

(Just the jacket, not the dress)

And This:

Oh, yeah, and the jacket I'm wearing in the header picture. Plus, a few other things.
My sewing machine says it is tired of blue. My sewing maching says it is tired. Period.
My husband is tired of blue fuzz sticking to everything in the house. My children are tired of me sewing.

For some reason, they want to play outside.
I think I'll let them.
Bye-bye, sewing machine! ('til next week or so, at least...)

Sometime, remind me to tell you about our Easter Sunday visitor...the uninvited, unwelcome one.

Hope you all had a happy Easter (and Valentines' Day, and Christmas...)!!!! :-)