Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Dark Chocolate S'mores = Decadence

So, since we have a big group of family visiting from Canada this week, two of whom are fresh off the boat from Iran, we thought we'd have a little fire in the backyard and do some good ole fashioned American s'mores. Since I was the one delegated to get the ingredients, I decided that a little decadence was needed - I'm typically not a big fan of s'mores because I don't care much for milk chocolate...yes, I'm a choco-snob. I got Hershey's Special Dark chocolate bars for those of us who have refined taste buds and plain old Hershey's for the rest of the folks (who couldn't tell good chocolate from tree bark...just sayin'). I have to say, I've never enjoyed a s'mores quite like I enjoyed the 2 I ate last night! On my list of "quick, yet decadent desserts," Dark Chocolate S'mores.

Monday, December 29, 2008

A Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside My Window...Sunshine! It's cool and crisp.
I am thinking...What a blessing it is to be able to have the windows open in late December!
I am thankful for...My husband, my kids, the end of the Christmas season. Have I mentioned I love, love, love my new job? My boss gave me a gift of $100, plus he paid me for the full day on Christmas Eve and I only had to work half the day. What a generous man! I've only been working for him for 3 weeks but I think he and I will get along just fine. In addition, he wrote in the Christmas card he gave me, "Thank you for your positive addition to our team. May God bless you and your family this Christmas and in the New Year." Hmmmm, God? Does he believe?

From the learning rooms...there's no learning going on around here! Well, maybe a little from "Life's Big Book of Lessons."

From the kitchen...hmmmmm, not. so. sure. Well, I do know that I will be hosting my 3rd, yes you read that right, my 3rd turkey dinner of this year on New Year's Eve. That's turkey and all the trimmings. uggghhh! We have LOTS of family here from Canada and my MIL wants to treat them to a turkey dinner. I guess it's good practice...insert whimpers and moaning here.

I am wearing...polka-dot pj's and a pink slippers!
I am environment with less stress and more God - which equates to more peace.

I am the kitchen to get my second cup of coffee.
I am reading...nothing, but I want to read "A Tree Grows In Brooklyn" maybe I'll start next week.

I am hoping...for a week of mind-renewing peace and happiness

I am hearing...the kids interacting with Dora The Explorer. It's just amazing watching them grow and learn.

Around the house...a little laundry, a little vacuuming, a little tidying-up to be done

One of my favorite things...besides the hot cup of coffee, a good book that just captivates me so much I can't put it down.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...we are hoping to get to go to Boca Raton this weekend to visit Dan's cousin.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...Katie & Sophie playing in the surf at Playa Linda beach...YESTERDAY!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Mom, This One Plays Weird Songs

I went shopping for Christmas decorations yesterday. I decided to buy a couple of lighted wreaths to hang up next year. While at Home Depot, the kids fell in love with those little plastic snow globes; you know, the ones that you push the button and they play holiday music and little Styrofoam snowballs fly around. Well, the girls chose a princess one and I chose the Peanuts one for Adam. He managed to break it before we left the store and had to settle for a Rudolph one instead. On the way home Adam says, "Mom, I don't like this one, it plays weird songs!" Come to find out, it does play songs that are "weird' because they are all the songs from the old Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer claymation thing. Claymation gives me the creeps, always has. Just sayin'...

So, today we went back to Home Depot to pick a few things for our clothesline-improvement project and we let Adam exchange his snow globe for one more fitting his generation... Mickey & Minnie. This one plays "The First Noel" of which Adam has labeled "the most wonderful Christmas song ever!" This kid cracks me up!

Friday, December 26, 2008

So Long Santa!

Part of me loves the magic of Christmas, the other part of me very strongly "dislikes" the whole "holiday thing" in general. My family has never been into holiday get-togethers, and typically when we do get together I end up being referee to some unnecessary conflict. This year wasn't so bad though. I only had to talk one person down from the ledge and there was no begging on my part, it was basically, "come down if you want to." I've learned a lot this year, such as:
1. what I can and cannot control, 2. I can't change reality, and 3. the fact that it's not my responsibility to "keep the peace." These revelations in my life have liberated me in ways that words cannot even express. My new-found mantra this year, "It is what it is!" I hope all of you had a very Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Chocolate Charms

Ok, so my cookies were a big hit at the cookie exchange yesterday! So, here's the recipe for Miss Martha Stewart's Chocolate Charms. (all of you who ate them may be tempted to go and purge yourself when you see there's a half pound of butter in them, but that's what makes them oh-so-good!)

Chocolate Charms

2 cups flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa, plus more for dusting. I used Hershey's Special Dark cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temp.
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Sift together flour, cocoa, & salt. Set aside.
With electric mixer, beat butter & sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes
Add vanilla & scrape down sides of the bowl
slowly add the flour mixture scraping down sides of bowl if necessary. Do not over mix, stir just until flour is incorporated. Put dough onto plastic wrap, flatten into a disk and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 325F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment
using a spoon, form dough into 1-inch balls; place on baking sheet
Bake until firm, about 20-25 minutes, rotating halfway through.
Cool completely, dust with cocoa powder just before serving.

Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temp. for up to 1 week.

Makes about 3 dozen
A Simple Woman's Daybook

A Simple Woman's Daybook for today...December 22, 2008

Outside my window...Sunshine!

I am thinking...When's my mom gonna get here so I can go finish my Christmas shopping?! She was supposed to be here already!

I am thankful for...healthy kids, my new job, kind of getting to sleep in this morning, the 3 cups of coffee I've had already!

From the learning rooms...teaching my babies about the true meaning of Christmas.

From the kitchen...I may make ham & bean soup with the leftover ham bone from our early Christmas celebration with my mom, dad, & sister on Saturday. Other than that, ummmm, not. so. sure

I am wearing...jeans, a burnt orange cable knit sweater I just got from Kohls. I'm loving this sweater. I may have to go buy a couple more in different colors. Also wearing the kitty slippers.

I am creating...not a thing!

I am the scrub store to buy new scrubs - one size larger; then I'm going to buy 3 last gifts.

I am reading...Paula Deen's "Holiday Baking" special edition magazine that Lisa gave me for my birthday.

I am hoping...for a magical Christmas with my family.

I am hearing...all three of my kids playing together nicely... wonder how long that will last!

Around the dad hung a curtain rod in my family room on Sat. and I hung curtain panels that I got from Bed Bath & Beyond. Silk panels that were originally $60 a piece, I got for $10 a piece. So, for the first time in 6 years, the 140 ft long sliding glass door in my family room has a covering!

One of my favorite things...a nice, hot cup of coffee that I get to drink while it's still hot.

A few plans for the rest of the week...celebrating Christmas!

A picture thought I'm sharing... This is my sister on my shoulders. We were just being kids. This was a nice moment. Things are often times way too serious between my sister and me.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Yum! Is The Word

Have I mentioned I have a minor addiction to baked goods? I made this orange cranberry bread tonight. Yummmm! I wonder if this is why my hiney has grown a size since May. Anyway, I really made it to take to work tomorrow and I had to taste it to make sure it was good.

Dinner As An Art Form

Does this make you wonder that I have way too much free time? This was tonight's dinner. I roasted this chicken upright - you just shove the bird down onto an empty soda can and voila! I got this idea from some guy on TV who grills chickens propped up on full (opened) cans of beer. It's nice because the whole chicken gets browned just like a rotisserie chicken. Anyway, when I took her out of the oven she was so nicely posed I couldn't resist adding the green bean "flare" and taking a picture. Do you think she's showing a little too much breast?

If you want to duplicate this, just heat your oven to 425 F, season your bird with a combo of salt, pepper, olive oil, lemon juice, & garlic (just kinda mix it all together in a bowl and rub it inside the bird and under the skin). Prop her up on a can of your liking - either full or empty, pat dry with paper towels, rub down with olive oil, & bake for about an hour. Let her rest for 1o minutes before cutting.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Adam, Will You Go Close The Chicken Coop?

Adam just wouldn't/couldn't fall asleep last night. I finally let him lay on the couch with me and watch Bizarre Foods With Andrew Zimmern. He kept asking me, "Mommy, what does that taste like? What is that? Can you take me there so I can try that?" Yeah, the guy was in Japan. Anyway, around 10:00pm I brought Adam to my room where Dan was laying in bed. Dan looked at Adam and said, "Adam, can you go close the chicken coop door for me?" Adam replied, "what? At night? No way! I can't go at night! The coyote dogs might eat me up!" That cracked me up!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Where Has The Day Gone?

It's 7:30pm and this is the first chance I've had all day to sit down and write. I was running late this morning. I still have a couple of gifts to buy (insert whimper), and I have a metric ton of baking to do. I love holiday baking, but since my lovely children have graced me with their presence, I don't have the time or the energy to do as much as I want. I've also grown a pant-size this summer and for the first time in my life I have to think twice before eating too many of my favorite baked goods (insert another whimper).

I went to Panera today to get a gift card and while we were there Sophie asked me for a "donut" so I bought her a scone, which she managed to pulverize into a million crumbly pieces in the backseat of my car. When I picked A&K up from school, Katie thoroughly enjoyed every one of the larger crumbs from that cinnamon chip scone. So, it wasn't a total loss. Yeah, I'm not opposed to letting my kids eat off of the car floor, it just means less vacuuming for me. I'm sure I lost my mom badge long ago for much greater offenses. Besides, I have to admit, I ate a few of the bigger pieces before Katie got to them...that scone cost me 2 bucks!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Got It Figured Out!

So, I took the Christmas tree ornament project down from the shelf and got it figured out. My initial "design" was way too complicated for me let alone a 4-year-old. They still need to be embellished with their "ornaments" but take a look... Not bad! They really had a lot of fun stringing the beads in between the tree's "layers". Adam found a skull-shaped bead in the mix and happily exclaimed, "look mommy! I found a pirate bead. I'm going to put this pirate bead at the top of my Christmas tree!" Um, no sweetie. We'll save that "pirate" bead for another project. I finally convinced him that a star would be more appropriate.

On another note, my kids all got letters in the mail from "Santa" this week. They were THRILLED. Santa asked them to remind their mom to leave the "good" cookies and not the "diet" cookies. We have a dear friend who wrote the letters, so he really knows all about the kids and was very detailed about the areas where they've been "naughty and nice" which really floored the kids! Katie was so excited to learn that Santa was going to make our house his first stop this year! Our friend lives in east Orlando, near Christmas, Florida, so He went to the post office there so the letters would be post-marked "Christmas." It was a real treat for the kids and something for the "box o' memories."

The whole Santa thing, I have learned, is unavoidable; and since I've learned to choose my battles in life, I've "allowed" Santa to be a part of Christmas. I am adamant with my kids that Christmas is Jesus' birthday and they each get 3 gifts because the three Wise Men brought Baby Jesus 3 gifts to celebrate Hiss birth. But, how does Santa fit into this? Well, Santa was a very kind old man who wanted to share God's love by giving gifts to little children on Christ's birthday. Yeah! Somethin' like that. I think I'm pretty much done with Christmas shopping except that I need to find something for my dad. He is so hard to shop for. I hate to give gift cards! I want to give everyone something they'll love and they wouldn't get for themselves. Still have 11 days to go. I have to admit, I am more in the Christmas spirit this year than any other year since I've had kids. Although, I still haven't put the ornaments on my tree. I have good intentions to decorate, sing songs, read books, do crafts with the kids, bake cookies, bake and decorate cookies with the kids, etc. etc. etc. But what can I say? Life is out-of-control-all-consuming with just the day-to-day.

The job, AWESOME! The doctor sees about 6 patients a day. I see 9-10 super easy patients. It is so absolutely laid-back compared to my previous job. The assistant and the office manger help in every way possible. I am finally reminded of the definition of TEAM. I could not be more pleased! The doctor and the office manager both say that all of this is "serendipitous" but you and I know that this is God's divine appointment for me.

So, all's well here. I am absolutely going to embellish the tree with ornaments today and hopefully get my Christmas cards ordered - if I can get a picture of these three rascals all looking the same direction and smiling. I have a feeling there'll be some bribery involved...but it's for a good cause.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Little Progress

Well, I have finally put the lights on the Christmas tree, and while doing so the tree shed about 821 needles! So, I'm thinkin' this is the last year I'm doin' a real tree. Bah Humbug! I've been less than excited to decorate the tree because what goes up must come down. I really am less than thrilled about having to pack everything away after Christmas. Again, Bah Humbug! Anyway, yesterday I attempted to make ornaments with the twins. Uh huh, I'm a little over-ambitious because first of all, the ornament design came from my head (sometimes good, sometimes bad, this time, BAD). Second, I didn't make a prototype, so as I was trying to instruct them, I was also trying to figure out how my design was going to work. Not. So.Good. That little project is shelved until further notice. Maybe on Friday we'll make snowmen ornaments - this idea came from the Internet, not Sue's crazy, over-ambitious, any-thing-can-be-done with 2 four-year-olds, mind. I'll keep you posted. I'm off to the new job, actually looking forward to it. Have a great day...

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook~

Outside My Window...there's a fine covering of frost
I am thinking...'Tis The Season To Be Jolly
I am thankful new job, my supportive family, my friends
From the learning rooms...ok, we ARE going to get these sun catchers made this week. We are also going to make our Christmas ornaments.

From the kitchen...who knows?
I am wearing...Jeans and a beige sweater, and the infamous black and pink kitty slippers - I really don't like cats, but the kitty slippers were more cute than the doggie slippers.
I am creating...Christmas ornaments, still working on that Monkey sock. I WILL finish it this week.
I am get a haircut this week
I am reading..."Climbing The Mango Trees" It's going much slower than I had hoped. I pitched a fit (over the course of 2 months) to get my library to order this book for me, and it's not as interesting as I had anticipated. Maybe as I continue reading it will get better.
I am hoping...I'll have a wonderful week, without conflict or chaos. I'm also hoping I'll get the Christmas tree decorated.
I am hearing...Adam. He's complaining that something in his pants is hurting him. The girls are asleep - ahhh, sweet silence. Not for long, I'm late in waking them.
Around the house...W-O-R-K, nothing new there.
One of my favorite things...chocolate cake covered in chocolate ganache
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: I'm working on Wed. & Thurs., other than that, it' going to be a slow week - I hope.
Here is a picture thought I am sharing... This was an attempt to get a Family Christmas Picture

Friday, December 5, 2008

Sweet Stuff

Well, now that the job situation is under control, it's time to get out of my funk and start doing some holiday baking. I have several new cookie recipes I want to try. Thin and crispy oatmeal chocolate chip are among the first on my list. My dad is always talking about these cookies that his friend's mom used to make way way back. He has lost the recipe, and being the pessimistic fatalist that he is (along with everyone else in my family), he thinks it's impossible to duplicate that recipe. Nothing motivates me more than hearing someone tell me something can't be done (most especially if it's my dad doing the telling). So, game's on! I'll keep you posted.

On another note, we had some discouraging news from Dan's dad's cardiologist. Dan's dad is having atrial fibrillation (AF) and his MD has put him on blood thinners to prevent a stroke. He had a triple bypass 4 years ago. Upon learning of the AF, Dan's dad told him that he knows he won't be here much longer. Scary stuff! The most scary, he's not saved and he doesn't speak english. When opportunities have arisen for me to "gently" witness to him, nobody would translate for me because they said it would just start a fight. So, I'm just praying... It really bugs me that we're now at that stage in our lives that we have to face the unavoidable mortality of our loved ones.

And on a more positive note, I do feel like God could use me to bring this new dentist to the knowledge of His saving grace. I asked a coworker if the doc goes to church, she quickly replied, "no." We'll see where that goes.

I decked some halls today. I put some very pretty evergreen garland with red velvet hydrangeas on my mantle today. I also put some poinsettia garland over the top of my big mirror in my front entry. So, a little de-funking is going on around here. I thought that once I got this new job I would instantly feel better. Well. I. don't. I know things take time, but I'm not sure that I'm still sore about the two (previously noted) creeps. It's just really hard being a working mom. Don't get me wrong, I like to work, it's all the other "details" that need to be worked out as a result of my working. Such as childcare - especially if the kids are sick, housework, meals, baths, etc... It's also very draining to be new-on-the-job. It really requires a tremendous amount of energy to prove myself worthy/proficient/efficient/trustworthy, among other things, the first couple of weeks. Although, these are my rules. Nobody expects as much from me as I expect from myself.

Anyway, stay tuned for a very interesting, but slightly disturbing story about Katie, a dead mouse, & an almost-empty water bottle...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A Breath Of Fresh Air...

I had my working interview at an office 15 minutes from home yesterday. It went very well. Halfway through the day the office manager offered me the job and cancelled another working interview they had scheduled for another hygienist today. This office is a breath of fresh air! It's very laid back, the patients are great, the dentist is a little hard to read, but most are. He is very dedicated to his patients, and his staff, I am told. He leaves me alone to do my own thing. There is only 1 dental assistant and she helps me every chance she gets! The dentist even sent home cupcakes for my kids. The most lovely thing about the holiday time in private practice is all the sweets that get sent to he dentists by the specialists they make referrals to throughout the year. Yesterday he received a big box of the most beautifully decorated cupcakes from this little cupcake shop in Mt. Dora. He insisted that I take all the leftovers home for my kids. Very thoughtful I must say.

So, a prayer request...please pray that I will quickly adjust to the "ways" of this doctor and I'll learn to read him. Also, that I'll quickly understand the treatment-planning process for the cleanings.

Monday, December 1, 2008

A Simple Woman's Daybook


Outside My Window...a breeze rattles the trees, a bit of sunshine highlights the grass, and gray rain clouds are scattered throughout the sky.

I am thinking...God is faithful and "He who began a good work in me is faithful to complete it."

I am thankful for...the hope that is in Him. Knowing that I am never alone, "He Will never leave [me] nor forsake [me]. "

From the learning rooms...we are going to make Christmas ornaments this week. Still need to make the sun catchers from last week.

From the kitchen...ohhhh, I haven't planned that far yet, I'm afraid it's going to be one of those weeks!

I am wearing...jeans and an elbow-length t-shirt

I am creating...the mate to the Monkey sock. Still. The holiday threw a "Monkey" wrench into my knitting. I'm 1/3 of the way through and I'm committed to get through the 2nd 3rd of the sock between today and tomorrow.

I am drop A&K at preschool and then to Publix for groceries. I have my accountability group tonight.
I am reading...still reading "Climbing The Mango Trees" I don't think I've read any since last Monday.

I am LOVE this new dentist and his staff. I also hope they love me.

I am hearing...the clinking of spoons in bowls, which means A&K are being good children and eating their warm oatmeal!

Around the there ever a day without cleaning? I'm planning to do some Christmas decorating this week. I am hanging evergreen garland around my fireplace mantle, for the first time ever. I'm putting the tree in the formal living room this year because there's just no room in the family room. So, I'm doing the garland in the family room to add some "Christmas Magic" to the room where we spend most of our time.

One of my favorite things...Alfred Hitchcock movies. I love the "old fashioned" suspense minus all the immorality that today's movies offer.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: I have my working interview on Wednesday. I'll work from 8:00am to 3:00pm - that's the interview. Pray for me to have discernment and for me to be able to adjust quickly to the office setting and equipment so I'll be able to work efficiently and comfortably.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...Sophie just fell asleep sitting in the chair; so sweet!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Post Thanksgiving Blues

So, after the BIG Thanksgiving gathering we had at our house, I didn't have it in me to make the s'mores brownies for our 2nd Thanksgiving gathering at Dan's Uncle's house today. You need to know that if I don't feel like making a chocolaty dessert, something's wrong! Something is bothering me and I can't quite put my finger on it. My family is healthy, my marriage is good, I have a job interview on Wed. - it's not like I don't have any hopes for finding a new job, at least I have an interview scheduled. Hmmm. Not. Sure. It bugs me when something's eatin' at me and I can't figure out what it is. It could be the job seems like each time I find myself in an o.k. place about the job situation, I get another letter from them. The mail man left a card for a registered letter for me yesterday. Why don't they just leave me alone? You know, I didn't argue, fuss, or fight when they told me I was dismissed; maybe those who are behind this are trying to stir up the conflict they didn't get from me at that time. Spiritual warfare! The enemy is hard at work, but the Bible tells me,
"Yes I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor ruling spirits,
nothing now, nothing in the future, no powers, nothing above [me], nothing
below [me] nor anything else in the whole world will ever be able to
separate [me] from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus, [my]
Romans 8:38-39 NCV

That makes me feel better. There is nothing the enemy can do to me as long as I have Christ. I need to dwell on this for a while...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I have to say, it was quite a relief to wake up this morning and know that I don't have to go to work. The only stress to deal with is the usual "expected" stress of being a mom of 3. Praise God!

Yesterday morning when I woke the twins up for preschool, I picked a sleeping Adam up from bed and he pulled his knees up to his chest and brought his hands up to his face...I had a sweet flashback of him as a little baby. It made me sad. I said, "Adam, don't grow up. You're my little baby, I don't want you to grow up." He said, "mom, if I don't grow up I won't ever go to college; then I'll never learn how to read!" So sweet and innocent. Katie is crackin' me up with the facial expressions she makes when she's talking, especially when she's tattling on Adam. She is so interested in Art and so good for her age. She so enjoys coloring pictures and she has a neat imagination. Sophie is so cute, she says she loves "Tate" the best, but Adam is her friend. She can't pronounce the "k" sound, so everything with that sound comes out "t", so she calls Katie, "Tatie", but lately she's been calling her "Tate"

I have a lot to do today to prepare for the holiday. Where to begin? That whole 1-room-a-day thing doesn't work for me because once I leave the room, children begin to trash it again. I long for the day that housework isn't done in vain. How glorious it will be to clean the house and have it stay clean for more than 24hrs. But, then that will mean my babies are all grown up :( I think Sophie and I will go to Starbucks after we drop Adam & Katie off at school this morning. May as well celebrate with a mocha!

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside My sunshine and a brown hillside - Florida's only evidence of Autumn
I am thinking...I need to get my house ready for company (insert whimper here)
I am thankful husband, my kids, our health, our parent's health. All the provisions that God allows us in these desperate times. I'm thankful for an interview I have next Wed. with a dentist here in Clermont, 15 minutes from home. I'm thankful for God's faithfulness! I'm thankful that Dan's dad is still alive, 2 years ago he sat at the Thanksgiving table and said that would be his last Thanksgiving. 4 years ago, 1 month before Thanksgiving he had a massive heart attack. A&K were only 4 months old. I'm so thankful that he's still here, watching his grand kids grow up.
From the learning rooms...hopefully we're going to make sun catcher's today or tomorrow, and we're going to work on spelling our last name.
From the kitchen...pot roast for today, Tues., & Wed. will be pretty low key. Wed. is "pie day" - I'll be baking my "blue ribbon" pecan pie, and pumpkin pie, of course. Thanksgiving at our house, home- grown turkey with all the trimmin's. Saturday we have Thanksgiving at Dan's uncle's house, which is my favorite part of Thanksgiving, because all I have to do is show up and eat! I do bring dessert. This year it will be homemade s'mores brownies.
I am wearing...Jeans and a plum striped Henley
I am creating...monkey socks...still
I am going...C-R-A-Z-Y
I am reading..."Climbing The Mango Trees, A Memoir Of Childhood In India" It's all about food, of course.
I am get some of the monkey (sock) off my back this week despite the crazy holiday stuff.
I am hearing...The t.v. from the other room. Sophie is watching Spongebob, my least favorite cartoon, but I don't hear her, so that means she's very occupied by the t.v. or she's doin' somethin' bad. I guess I'll find out soon enough.
Around the house...dirty floors, an unfinished redecorate of A&K's room - having a boy & girl in the same room offers quite the decorating challenge! I need to move one dresser out, another in, make a clothing transfer from dresser to dresser, and make & hang big colored polka dots on the walls. My obsessive-compulsive nature wants this to be done by Wed.
One of my favorite mocha from Starbucks, it's really my favorite if I get to drink it in silence while it's still hot. You moms know where I'm goin' with this.
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: besides what I've already written, not much.
Here is a picture thought I am sharing... awwww! They do love each other despite all the fighting!

Friday, November 21, 2008

One Monkey Down, One To Go!

I finished one of the Monkey socks last night. See! These aren't great pictures, but you get the idea. Not bad for my first attempt at making a "real" sock. I have to say, it's one of the most comfy socks my foot has ever worn. I'm struggling with my selfish little self to actually give it away. It took me like a month to knit. I'm so rotten! I am going to give it away though, because deep down inside I know it's better to give than to receive. I just hope it doesn't take me another month to knit the mate. At this rate, if I want to knit Christmas presents for more than one person I'll have to start knitting in February in order to have everything done by December.

Anyway, this is knit with Dream in Color Smooshy Sock Yarn in the "Into The Mystic" colorway. I got the yarn from my friend's cute little yarn shop check it out.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

God Is So Good!

So, I got fired on Tuesday. I can't say I didn't see this coming, but I have to admit my pride is a little hurt. I've never been fired from a job. My take on the situation is that I was so resistant to the Lord's gentle counsel telling me that it was time to move on from this job He had to get a little aggressive with me and take the choice away from me. The sad part is that I wanted the opportunity to tell them they could take their job and shove it. Not very Christian of me I know, but I'm a work in progress. Funny thing, Tuesday morning before work, I was reading my bible, looking for a little insight for the day. In "The Message" Proverbs 16:14 reads: "An intemperate leader wreaks havoc in lives; You're smart to stay clear of someone like that." That one sentence made everything alright for me and I was almost prepared for what that day eventually held for me.

Dan is actually glad this happened. He never liked where I worked anyway. He just supported me because he knew how important it was to me. He's an awesome man. Props to my man Dan!

Yesterday I updated my resume, and wrote a new cover letter for it (it's been 8 years since I've even looked at it). Just as my resume was completed and almost 24 hours after I was terminiated from my position I received a call from a friend, who by the way, I had already asked if she knew of anyone looking for a hygienist and she hadn't. She was calling to tell me she got a call that day from a dental office in Clermont looking for a hygienist 2 days a week. I called the office today and it sounds like a perfect match for me. I will have a working interview on Dec. 3. I can't help but see the Lord's hand in this. God is so faithful to me; I am so unfaithful to Him and I don't deserve His mercy or His grace. Yet it overflows and I am continuously so abundantly blessed by Him.

All of this has led to my baking another batch of Snickerdoodles, because the batch I baked on Monday, well they never saw Tuesday. I shared, a few. A little bit of emotional baking and consumption of said baked goods is happening around here. But, it's all good. I'm thinking tomorrow I'll do something ooey, gooey, & hugely chocolate.

Monday, November 17, 2008


Have you heard of them? A lot of folks from the south haven't. I was born in Michigan and lived there until I was 11. I can't fully remember how I learned about them, but when I try really hard I get a strong feeling I learned about them in Brownies.

Well, I made Snickerdoodles this morning...I ate them for breakfast and lunch. In case anyone wonders how I keep my girlish figure, I eat dessert first. I eat less food that way.

Snickerdoodles are like a soft, buttery sugar cookie that is rolled in cinnamon and sugar before baking. Here's the recipe:

2 3/4 cups flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup (2 sticks) butter at room temp.

1 1/2 cups plus 2 Tbsp sugar

2 large eggs

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. With an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy (about 3 min.) Mix in eggs. Gradually mix in flour. Stir only until all the flour is incorporated.

2. Stir together cinnamon and remaining sugar in a shallow bowl. Shape dough into 1" balls and roll in cinnamon sugar. Space 2" apart on parchment lined baking sheet.

3. Bake cookies 7-9 minutes - until edges are beginning to brown.

*This recipe adapted from "Martha Stewart's Cookies"

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Mom! Adam Said He's Not Going To Marry Me!

This morning as we were piling into the car, Katie and Adam were bickering back and forth (very typical of those two) and I felt compelled to ask what the problem was. Katie exclaimed, "Mom, Adam said he's not going to marry me when I grow up!" To that I replied, "um, that's a good thing because brothers and sisters don't marry each other." Katie then said to Adam, "When I grow up, you're not going to see me get married, but I will let you see my baby." Okay! These kids are 4 years old and they're talking about marriage and babies.

These kids have been especially cranky today! I can't wait for bedtime. 2 hours and counting...

A Soothing Tongue...

As I've gone through my day today, I've had a constant struggle in keeping my thoughts captive. I'm still struggling with this issue from work on Thurs. I'm trying not to dwell on the negative, but it's stinkin' hard not to feel angry. I am someone who wants conflict resolved quickly and without any casualties. So, as I anticipate what my work day will be like on Tuesday, I feel a menagerie of emotions. I know I will be having a meeting with my boss and the before mentioned "creep" who wrote me up. I want so much to die to my self and just be a perfect vessel for the Holy Spirit. I don't want to misrepresent or disappoint my Lord. So, I'm praying for peace of mind, clarity and purity of mind, and a soothing tongue. Proverbs 15:4 says, "A soothing tongue is a tree of life, but perversion in it crushes the spirit." Ephesians 4:29 says, "Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear." May I meditate on these two verses and keep my thoughts and words acceptable to God.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Employee Of The Month

So, remember that forboding feeling I awakened to this morning? Yeah, this was the worst day I've had at work in almost 8 years. It's a long story. The jist...well I was assertive, said something to someone who I felt needed to hear what I had to say, I said it mild-mannered (although they claimed otherwise), and...I've been put on 90 day probation for insubordination, and termination has been threatened. I guess I didn't learn much from my study this morning. Why am I so dense? Why couldn't I just let the creep be the creep? Why'd I have to jump into the creep-hole with them?
Today was one of those days where I would rather have stayed at home with fighting children, dirty laundry, dirty dishes, that weird, unidentifiable "thing" I found in the corner of the playroom, and the occasional "potty" accident among other things.
Okay, so in the midst of my tearfully telling Dan what happened at work today, Adam shouts out, "hey mom! what's employee of the month?" Dan cracked up laughing as I replied, "it's sure not me sweetie." I guess every gray cloud does have a silver lining.

Shut Up and Pedal!

I've really been struggling with the situation at work and some issues with my babysitter. I'm having a hard time letting go and letting God. I am working again today and have awakened to an uneasy feeling. Someone told me on Tuesday that pain is very hungry; and pain must consume pain. Often times a person in your life who is causing you a great deal of pain are themselves in a great deal of pain and they are creating pain in you for their pain to consume. Is that clear as mud? It was very enlightening to me. It helps me to have a little bit of compassion for the people who are causing me grief.
When I did a short Bible study in Proverbs this morning I was reminded to, "trust in the Lord with all [my] heart and lean not on [my] own understanding." Proverbs 3:5 There was an illustrative narration in my study by an unknown source:

At first I saw God as my observer, my judge, keeping the things I did wrong, so
as to know whether I merited heaaven or hell when I die...but later on when I recognized God, it seemed as though life was rather like a bike ride, but it was a tandem bike, and I noticed that God was in the back helping me pedal. I do not know just when it was that He suggested we change places, but life has not been the same since. Life without my God, that is...when I had control I knew the was the shortest distance between two points. But when He took the lead, He knew delightful longcuts, up mountains, through rocky places, and at breakneck speeds! It was all I could do to hang on! Even though it looked like madness, He said, "pedal!" I worried and as anxious and asked, "where are you taking me?" He laughed and didn't answer. I started to learn to
trust. I forgot my boring life and entered into adventure. And when I'd say "I am scared," He's lean
back and touch my hand...I did not trust Him in control of my life at first, I thought He'd wreck it.
But He knows bike secrets. He knows how to make it bend to take sharp corners, jump to clear high rocks, fly to shorten scary passages. And I am learning to shut up and pedal in the strangest places, and I am beginning to enjoy the view and the cool breeze on my face with my delightful, constant companion, my God. And when I am sure I just cannot do anymore, He smiles and says, "pedal."

I long for the day when I can be in this place. To be more trusting of my God, to remeber that He's in control, that He will get me through the rocky places, that He is a great navigator of all things difficult.

May He bless you today and may you allow Him to take the front seat.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Want To See My Monkey?

This is a progress picture of the Monkey Socks I'm knitting for A&K's teacher.

It's a fun and simple pattern. Not sure they'll be done in time for Christmas, but I'm trying. It's hard to fit the knitting into all of the things I "have" to do. I'd like to let everything else go and just knit...but, well, you know...

My husband asks me, "can't you buy a pair of socks for like $5? why do you go through all the trouble to knit them when you can buy them?"
Dan most always chooses the option that makes life easiest.
For me, it's not trouble, it's fun. Learning to knit was a great accomplishment for me because I'm left-handed, and well, let's face it, the majority of the world is right-handed, thus all the books and teachers are too. So, I'm proud that for once in my life I follwed through and learned how to do something that I had always thought I would never learn because it would be too hard or too much work. If I could reach, I would pat myself on the back.

Love is...

Last night at bedtime Adam was over-tired and quite cranky. He insisted that he didn't need to was his sticky hands before going to bed, actually he very angrily shouted "I am NOT washing my hands!" Understanding that he is just very tired, I left his room to put Sophie to bed, came back and found him all snuggled up in his bed. I asked "Adam, did you wash your hands?" He said, "no!" I said, "oh Adam, you don't love your momma" He said, "oh yes I do, I do love you mommy" Teasing him, I said, "you don't even know what love is" he said, "yes I do, love is when you kiss and hug your mommy and daddy. I love you and I love daddy, but really I just love you, because daddy gives slimey kisses and you give the best kisses." Out of the mouths of babes...

I worked yesterday. I left work in a blue mood. We have a supervisor who is very critical and seems to find joy in correcting and/or controlling others. It's hard to have a joyful spirit in an environment like that. My workplace used to be my respite from all the work I do at home. Now, with the exception of the people I am helping, I feel unhappy going to work. We all know what that's time for a change. I'd love to find a part time job with a good Christian dentist here in Clermont.

I love being a Dental Hygienist, but I'd love to own a little tea & cupcake shop. It would be so much fun. Maybe when my kids are all grown up. Speaking of kids, take a look at these cuties...

Adam & Katie at Epcot
Sophie making pizza

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook~November 10th

For Today...November 10, 2008

Outside my a sunny day, a view of Sugarloaf Mountain, a Persian Lime tree that needs pickin'

I am thinking...I have a metric ton of housework to do today

Fom the learning rooms...I want to work with Katie on spelling her last name. Adam, well I need to work with him on perfectin his penmanship a little more.

I am thankful husband, who washed a sink full of dishes for me last night, my children, and a sweet 30 minutes I got to hold and rock Sophie at 3:00am this morning.

I am wearing...jeans, a black t-shirt, pink and black kitty slippers.

From the kitchen...there's some leftover spaghetti for lunch, I am making Shepherd's Pie for dinner. I have some gooey chocolate chip cookies waiting for my afternoon snack/reward. I'll be making Thai peanut chicken, and maybe chicken pot pie later in the week.

I am reading...The Alchemist

I am hoping...that I get my laundry room spotless and perfectly organized before I have to pick up Adam & Katie from preschool this morning.

I am creating...Monkey Socks for A & K's preschool teacher for Christmas.

Around the house...little things to be picked up in every room. I was bound to my bed on Friday with some terrible stomach bug, we went to Disney on Saturday, to Dan's parents yesterday. All of which means my house has been terrorized by small children and neglected by me for three days. Not. Good.

One of my favorite things...peace and quiet with a little side of something ooey, gooey, & chocolately.

A few plans for the rest of the week...tonight is my Ladies Accountability group. I'm working Tues. & Thurs. Wed. I'll get stuff ready for a special little girl's yard sale, and I may update my resume.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

This is my Captain Jack Sparrow!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

So Sad

This is a sad day for me. I am so disappointed that the majority of this great nation would put a man into office who calls himself the "American Messiah." Maybe it's just me, but I find that so errogant! I'm not a sore loser. He played a better game. I am just saddened by the fact that the ecomony, gay rights, & the right to abort babies from their mother's womb, among other issues, seem to reign supreme in many hearts; when it is He, our Father in heaven, "who so [loves us] He gave His only begotten son that none should perish but have everlasting life" John 3:16. He and his values should reign supreme. Maybe I'm too legalistic. So sad.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Daily Grind

I'm off to work this morning. Today is the one day a week that I get paid to work, and I don't have to work as hard as I do at home. I'm a Public Health Dental Hygienist, at the moment. Things at work haven't been so great lately. Budget cuts, politics, know how it goes. It makes me sad because I've had this job for almost 8 years and I have truly enjoyed working in the public health arena. But, all things change and I have to learn to move with the changes or be stuck in a very bad place. I read the book "Who Moved My Cheese?" a few years ago. I can't remember the author's name. A good book that teaches how to accept change.

On another note...the kids are all ready for school. A&K have had their breakfast and they're dressed and ready to go out the door. Sophie has a tummy ache this morning. She goes to the babysitter on the days I work. She has a best friend that she gets to play with when she goes to the sitter so she's happy to see me go to work.

I just looked out my window to see a cloudy day, but my heart just smiled as I saw our chickens have jumped over the fence and are pluckin' around in the yard. There must be lots of bugs this morning. It's gloomy this morning, but the chickens add a bright, beautiful splash of color to the yard.

so, my time has come...I'm off to the "trenches" wish me luck.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Banana Bread Recipe

I love this recipe and I've been using it for years. It reminds me of the dentist who used to work at the clinic with me. He loved banana bread. He's with the Lord now, but almost every time I make this I think of him.

You can add walnuts if you like. You can also omit the spices and add semi-sweet chocolate chips for a really yummy chocolate banana indulgence!

Preheat oven to 350F

1 stick butter

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

3 small ripe bananas, mashed

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups AP flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Mix all dry ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, mix until blended. Add mashed bananas and vanilla - mixture will look curdled.

Add dry ingredients to wet and mix just until combined. Do not overmix. Pour into a buttered loaf pan and bake for about 35-45 minutes or until golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.


A New Day Begins

A friend, she knows who she is, suggested that I begin a blog because I have a whole lot of interesting things going on in my life. So, this is for you T.

My kids, twins: Adam & Katie (4), and surprise child: Sophie (2) keep my days full of drama, excitement, messes and laughter. As I am writing this I hear uncontrolled laughter from the other room as someone has turned on the central vaccum and they are "cleaning." The Vaccum just went off and I heard Adam say, "good thing we cleaned up." That could mean they vaccumed the excess of Cheerios that got spilled at breakfast, or it could mean they spilled the fish food all over the kitchen floor and they are covering their hineys. Either way at least they are trying to help.

I decided to make english muffin pizzas for lunch. When I told Adam he said, "well, do you have flat english muffins?" Yes. "Do you have tomato sauce?" Yes. "Do you have cheese?" Yes. "The white cheese?" Yes. "The sprinkley white cheese?" Yes. "Then come on mom, let's make them." He never misses a detail.

We went shopping with their dad (Dan) on Sat. and Adam & Sophie went to one store with Dan, and Katie went to another store with me. My cell phone was off and Dan couldn't find me when he was finished. Adam began to ask Dan, "where will I get a new mommy, and where will I sleep?" I'm afraid to say that I think Adam got my gene for excessive worrying.

I have all the ingredients ready to make a nice loaf of banana bread today... that will be my afternoon snack. I'm hoping to get some knitting accomplished today. I cast on Monkey Socks from yesterday and I am hoping to finish them by the 2nd week in Dec. They are going to be a Christmas gift for A&K's preschool teacher.

I'm off to make pizza.