HHM – 9/29/2014



It’s Monday … and not only that, it is still my favorite day of the week!!  Right now it is my “day off” as I am in an externship for 80 total hours as a pharmacy technician at a retail pharmacy.  I “worked” this weekend – and last Sunday – and now I am only working Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday for the next 2 weeks – and I’ll be done (and ready to get a job, hopefully!!).

Today I’m joining Sandra again for HHM:

Breakfast time, what is on the plate this morning::::

coffee and a poptart … same old, same old (though on the mornings I’ve had to go to work, I’ve had oatmeal and a banana!!)

On today’s to do list::::

get oil changed in my van


catch up housekeeping (although my house is fairly clean from the scrubbing I gave it last Friday as my in-laws were here over the weekend!)

Currently reading::::

Enough (10 Things we should be telling teenage girls) by Kate Conner

On the TV today::::

Miriam’s cartoons

The weather outside is::::

WONDERFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Sunny and warm – a beautiful fall day!

On the menu this week::::

today – chicken pot pie

this week:  chili & frito “salad”, smothered pork chops (crock pot) with potatoes, and probably pasta one night (spaghetti) … and not sure what else.

If I have a few minutes to myself, I will::::

just sit and read or waste some time on fb or maybe watch a show like Criminal Minds on TV.

New recipe I tried, or want to try this week::::


In the garden::::

my herbs are still growing (this time).  I can’t tell if I don’t water them enough or too much?!!!

Favorite photo from the camera::::

not IN the camera … but in my pictures file from ONE YEAR AGO:

Sept 2013

Praying for::::

me to get hired somewhere – while I wouldn’t mind to work for the retail pharmacy I am doing my externship with, I also have an application in to a hospital pharmacy that might be a better fit for me (???  God only knows!!!) … and I should know if I have a chance for that job in a week or two.  Lots of little details with this hiring process to work out in God’s time (certification and license to get here SOON!)

I have a VERY SPECIFIC, personal prayer request that I need an answer to today or tomorrow!!!  It is one of those things that make you sick in the pit of your stomach even though you know SOMETHING has to work out … I just don’t know what that something is.  Yet.

My friend Jen continues to do her trial chemo treatments.  Sounds like she had a good weekend, but she takes treatments again today.

There is a real estate agent missing from our area … she went to show a house last week and disappeared (her car with her purse in it were in the driveway of the house – so it is apparently a kidnapping!!).   Also, a conservative lobbyist in MO that I knew of through our old church’s wife has been missing for months.  Disappeared in the middle of the night – without a trace.

Bible Verse, Devotional that is resonating me with at the moment::::






Posted in Happy Homemaker | 1 Comment

Brain Dump Friday:



After three 6-hour shifts for my externship as a Pharmacy Technician this week, I have a day off!!  I really like it so far … though there are times when our pharmacy was SO busy – people lined up at the front, people lined up in the drive-thru, and the telephones ringing!!  I am learning from some very competent people … and the motto seems to be “Be Calm and Pharmacy On”.  In school, we learned the term “pharmacy speed”, which just means moving quickly but efficiently … and I’ve seen that in action this week!!  And the people I work with do it with a smile and positive attitude, which makes all the difference in a busy work environment.

The pharmacist I am working for is great – and yesterday I found out she is a Christian as well, as the tech on duty with me yesterday is her pastor’s wife!!  I had a feeling she was a Christian … but you know how you can’t really ask in a “professional setting.”  While I doubt I will get a job at this pharmacy, at least my externship experience has been positive so far, and the staff have all been very supportive of my efforts to learn and work with them.

So, I’m learning A LOT, and I’ve also applied for my Pharmacy Technician state license, the next step in getting ready to work in the pharmacy world.  I also am incredibly thankful for a friend here who is helping me out with MiMi.  She has watched her during the times when she isn’t in pre-school for very little pay.  What a blessing she is available!!  And her daughter is 5, so MiMi has loved being with them, too.  AND I’ve avoided bigger day care expenses since I am not getting paid right now.

ANYWAY ……….. on to the heavier things of life:

Because of the upcoming changes in our lives as I enter the work world again, Daniel and I have been having some conversations about our expectations (mainly mine because I do not want to burn out again by working outside the home!).  And we’ve been discussing our kids.  Mainly our teenagers … and recently, the question is:  have we been too easy on them??

Because I am a SAHM, I just go ahead and do a lot of stuff the kids could be doing because I like to and I like it done a certain way … and I am just glad to do it for my busy family.  HOWEVER, it isn’t just that my kids aren’t doing a lot of chores (they know HOW!!  but they really have a limited amount of chores they are required to do), but the question is are they taking things … and ME … and their dad for granted??

We’ve noticed some laziness and complacency on the part of one kid.  This one disregards or excuses a lot of things that she is asked to do.  For example, getting up in the morning.  At her age, she should be doing it on her own!  But we check up on her because if she runs late, we all run late.  And she just putters along at her own speed.  Also, with chores, she does the bare minimal, which isn’t disobedience since she does her assigned tasks, but she doesn’t do more than that.  She doesn’t look around and see what else she could help with that she knows how to do (for example, a basket of laundry is in the living room for 2 days … and instead of folding it, she just moves it from one corner of the room to the other …).

Then another of our kids has decided he doesn’t like basketball any more.  His goal is to get a job … which is noble and good … but he’s been playing ball for years now, and even did the conditioning work outs over the summer.  We are at a point in the season, where if he was to quit, it would have to be now.  We are trying to get at the crux of reason he wants to quit too … and some of it is the method that his main coach uses has the opposite effect on our son!  For example, the coach will tell him he’s a terrible shooter – or he’s not giving his best at leg lifts – or he’s dribbling way too high … and by saying something negative, he’s challenging our kid to CHANGE.  However, to Drew (may as well say his name!!), all he hears is that he stinks at dribbling and he’s a lousy shooter.  You see, Drew THINKS he is working hard and doing his best.  *sigh*

I think part of his problem is discouragement … and so at first, our inclination was to NOT let him quit.  We don’t want QUITTERS in our family!!  And then we got to thinking about it.  Basketball is optional.  If we force him to stick to it, he may be miserable all season, and so will we.  He’ll never play because his coach reads his attitude.  Is it fair to the team to have a negative player in their midst??  Is it fair to the coach to have to deal with our problem?  So, now we are leaning towards letting him quit with the disclaimer that he MUST get a job and his grades need to be up-to-par (but we have to think up consequences if that doesn’t happen!!  and that can’t be making him go play basketball again – ha!).

In conclusion, we’ve decided it comes down to 2 things for us right now:  the heart and character.  BUT this is where we’re questioning our failures??!  I know a part of parenting is instilling GOOD character into our kids … and as Christians, it is instilling godly character.  And most of all, I want my kids’ hearts!!  I want them to want to do what is right because THEY want to!!  But that choice – to change or not change – is up to them … not me.  I can force outward obedience, but I can’t change their hearts.  I can only pray to that end.

This morning, an acquaintance shared that her daughter’s (teen) best friend had taken her own life last night … and that puts my own issues into perspective.  I am glad that overall, our kids seem happy and want to get good grades and enjoy life and go to church and do right.  BUT I want so much more for them!!  I want them to know what a life lived outside their own world is so much happier than just living for one’s self.  While I have zero experience with suicide, I kind of wonder if a person isn’t self-absorbed – whether in how awful their problems are  or the outward influences of, say, a bully – then suicide isn’t even an option??

Anyway … deep thoughts.  I just want my kids to be ok.  Which is what my husband and I are talking about right now – we can only do so much.  We can lecture, we can be an example, we can apologize when we make mistakes, we can spend time with our kids, we can allow them or not allow them to do things … but ultimately, we can not control how they will turn out.  There are no magic formulas, which stinks, because I am all about fair and equal cause-and-effect, and that just isn’t the case in life.  We all have choices.  God gave us a free will.  And I’m glad He did.  BUT it might be easier if kids were programmable robots?!  But it wouldn’t be nearly as interesting …  ;)


Posted in basketball, every day life, Family, Pharmacy, sports | 6 Comments

Happy Homemaker – 9/22/2014



It’s FALL, ya’all!!!  Actually, if you’ve known me for a while, you know my horrible secret:  while I like the changing seasons and the pretty leaves on the trees, I really don’t like Fall.  Yeh, I know … it’s not right.  (I also don’t like pumpkin-flavored stuff … sorry, un-American, I know!!)

So, if you still like me and want to be my friend despite my autumn aversion, here’s my HHM for the day!  Joining Sandra again this Monday morning.

Breakfast time, what is on the plate this morning::::

Take a BIG GUESS what I’m having … a Dunkin Donut from our newly opened DD in town????  Nope.  Bacon, eggs, and biscuits?!  Nope.  A poptart and coffee – yep!  :)

On today’s to do list::::

so, so much!!!  Laundry catch-up.  Last week was SUPER BUSY as was the weekend.  Re-cap can be read in my previous post.

Also, our 13 year old daughter has a podiatry appointment today.  While I thought she just had really bad posture, a teacher mentioned her gait/walk to me the other day …. only because she had some foot issues that caused her to walk “funny” too.  And so, at a recent sports physical I mentioned it to our pediatrician, and she agreed that Annie-Belle has no arches/flat feet that cause her to walk with her feet slanted inward (if that makes sense?).  So, she may be a good candidate for some inserts, especially for her PE class and now basketball practice. AND bless the child’s heart, her feet are size 11 wide, so good shoes (that are cute, too!) are hard to find!!  So maybe we can get some pointers on shoe shopping (I foresee $$$$$, but she is worth it!).

Currently reading::::

A book I won from a blog-  ENOUGH:  10 things we should be telling teenage girls by Kate Connors.

On the TV today::::

NOTHING.  Well, MiMi’s cartoons for a little while.

The weather outside is::::

coolest morning since May … 48°F at sunrise!  (not that I was awake, the news reported that).

On the menu this week::::

I’d better plan this out today.  I am doing an externship at a pharmacy and will be “working” from 9 am to 3 pm on Tues, Wed, and Thurs.  I know I won’t feel like cooking – so looking for crockpot ideas!!  The planning ahead part is what I am not good at.  Add this to my “to do” list for today.

If I have a few minutes to myself, I will::::

give myself a pedicure.  For my externship, I “worked” for 8 hours yesterday … and there are NO CHAIRS in the pharmacy!!!  (well, there was ONE, but it was the pharmacist’s!)  Anyway, I need a good foot massage.  :)

New recipe I tried, or want to try this week::::

this week I just want to survive without getting take-out food or pizza or whatever … so I think I’ll stick to what I know.

In the garden::::

my re-planted herbs are growing … maybe they’ll make it this time?!

Favorite photo from the camera::::

Saturday’s drive over the Boston Mountains.


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Homemaking tip::::

I am beginning to think that I need to give up on being creative in the kitchen right now.  While I like variety in my meals, I think we’re going to have to stick to the tried-and-true oldies for a while until I get used to not being home all day, every day.  We may just need to find a week’s meal planning that works and stick to it for a while.

Praying for::::

My friend Jen, who is on trial-drugs for her cancer.   She is at John Hopkins today (she lives in the D.C. area) for evaluation and some serious discussions with her doctors.  She developed sepsis over the weekend and was admitted to the hospital.   She is talking about end-of-life issues … like when you know you’ve fought long enough and it is time to stop treatment.

While it doesn’t seem near as serious in light of that, I am praying for a job for me – and continued provision for our finances.

(Our rent deposit came in – and let’s just say it was a horrible shock – the property manager had told me at our walk-through when we moved out that he foresaw taking about $40-60 out for “touch up paint” … and instead, they took $200!!!!  I just don’t have the gumption to call him … and our lease said the return of the deposit was at the “discretion of the landlord”.  I know I have the right to demand receipts for the work they supposedly did … and if I have time today, I may pursue it?  In fact, I may send him an email and see if I get a response.  :-/ )

Bible Verse, Devotional that is resonating me with at the moment::::

I am so blessed!!!!!



Posted in Happy Homemaker | 8 Comments

At the Corner of Healthy & Happy

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This post will be a little backwards as I will start with the events of TODAY and go back to yesterday and the day before…

So, it was a truly lovely day here in NW Arkansas today.  I had to drive to Ft. Smith at noon to go to the test center where I’d take my Pharmacy Tech Certification Board (PTCB) exam … and that’s about 50 miles over the ridges of the Boston Mountains.  I didn’t so much enjoy the drive there as I was still cramming conversions and formulas and suffixes of medication names in my head, but the drive home was lovely.  It was me and a bunch of crazy Hog fans on their way to Fayetteville to watch the Razorbacks play Northern Illinois (I think)??  In any case, Arkansas won 54-14 … so I’m sure those fans drove home happy, too. (Andrew and some of his classmates and teachers worked a concession booth for the game – it is one way they can fund-raise for their Senior trip, so he was witness to the victory as well.)


Well, I wasn’t so confident.  I had taken 2 on-line practice tests … and I had failed them both!!!  Like, I missed 31 out of 90 on the official PTCB practice test.  However, I crammed for days – until I had a severe migraine for a few hours on Friday … but it was all worth because

I DID PASS!!  (Well, prelimilarily; I get the official results in 1-3 weeks along with my certificate if my test wasn’t somehow altered drastically)




So, anyway …

on Thursday, our oldest child – Drew – turned 16!  IS THAT REALLY POSSIBLE!!?

I brought cupcakes to school … and the kids were able to enjoy them with their al fresco lunch (I love that their school allows them to eat outside when the weather is nice!!)

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On Friday, several things happened – besides my migraine, which I knew was brewing the minute I got up.  BUT no rest for the weary – MiMi had to go to preschool, and I had to go meet up with a pharmacist who is going to be in charge of my externship (80 hours unpaid job-shadowing experience) at a local retail pharmacy (you can guess which one!!).  I ended up staying for 2 hours … so only 78 more hours to go!!

This means, I will be working Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday for the next 3 weeks as well as some time on the weekend to include 8 hours tomorrow.  Such is the life of the pharmacy tech … people needs their meds every day of the week.  Actually, I don’t have to work on weekends for this externship (since I’m working for FREE, it is up to me how long I want this to go on), but I want to get done in about 3 weeks instead of dragging this on for 5 or 6.

Thankfully, I was able to pick up MiMi from school and go home and crash for 4 hours to rest my weary head.  BECAUSE that evening, Drew and an exchange student friend of his were having a shared bowling-birthday party.  And lucky me was the chaperone.   But it was fun to watch the kids bowl … and I tried to get in some test studying as well – believe it or not.

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So, our joke is (with this exchange student … he’s from China … obviously his name is DANIEL) that Drew is a “bad kid” because he gives his mom such a hard time!!  When I volunteer at the cafeteria at the school (which I did again this week, too), some of my kids’ friends come around and talk to me for a few minutes … and of course, we tease and cut up.  So, Drew apparently picked up the nickname “Bad Kid” as evidenced by the cake that Daniel brought!

And the thanks I get for putting up with about 15 teenagers at a loud bowling alley for 3 hours … well, see for yourself:

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And now … I’m hopeful to go to bed and NOT dream about compounding medication and drop-rate formulas for IV solutions and Medicare Schedule A and Schedule II drugs …



Posted in birthday, Drew, NW Arkansas, Pharmacy | 3 Comments

Happy Homemaker – 9/15/2014



God has granted me a few extra days (weeks?!) of being at home.  At this point, having finished my Pharmacy Technician course over a month ago, I thought I might be working by this time or at least doing my externship … however, despite efforts on my part, NOTHING has happened conclusively.  BUT I do – hopefully – have things in the works!  Until then, I am enjoying every hour that I still get to be AT HOME full time.  :)

And so I’m joining Sandra – on this Monday, which continues to be my favorite day of the week!!

Breakfast time, what is on the plate this morning::::

Coffee … and a poptart!  Well, and a strawberry yogurt chocolate bar (mini one) that I get at Aldi.  A taste of Germany – a generic version of the Yogurette:


On today’s to do list::::


tidy up kitchen

work on on-line career development course (a free course offered by the institute that I took the Pharmacy Tech course through)

STUDY for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) exam, which I am taking on Saturday, September 20

OH – and my son turns SIXTEEN on Thursday!!!!   I need to kind of plan what we are going to do for him.  He didn’t want a “party” so it is just the family.  BUT we still want him to feel special.  16 is a big deal … at least it is to me!

Currently reading::::

DUST by Patricia Cornwell

On the TV today::::

not much … I’ve taken to watching re-runs of Criminal Minds during the afternoons if MiMi is otherwise occupied.  I like the whole “profiling” thing they do on there … I love to analyze people!!

The weather outside is::::

cool and rainy:  66° … it is supposed to get up to 79° today, but we’ll see.

On the menu this week::::

I need to plan!!  I’m seeing things like baked spaghetti and chicken chili in our near future.

If I have a few minutes to myself, I will::::

catch up on facebook or read …

In the garden::::

I don’t have a garden as such … but I replanted my basil, parsley and dill since they all died after my last attempt.  :(

Praying for::::

my friend Jen – she is having a chemo treatment today – I think she has 9 more to go with this experimental treatment.  God willing, they will be effective, but if not, she will not be taking any more treatment.

God’s provision – either through a job for me or continued overtime hours for my husband.  Also that our deposit return will arrive this week – I finally got in touch with our old property manager and he assured me we’d have it by the end of the week … but I’m skeptical these days!

Bible Verse, Devotional that is resonating me with at the moment::::

Already shared this once over the weekend – but it is the theme of my life right now!!




Posted in Happy Homemaker | 2 Comments

Week in Review – 9/12/2014

So, what’s going on in our tiny corner of the world??!  Well, a lot if you consider the contents swirling around in my head …

As far as actual progress … no news about my externship at Walgreens (80 hours unpaid job shadowing).  Of course, in my head it is looking something like this:

My optimistic Career Counselor:  Mr. Walgreens Area Manager, I have an externship candidate you need to place…

Mr. Area Manager:  Oh, great … yet another externship flunky we have to babysit … no one is hiring … why did we ever agree to work with your institute!  But, ok … I’ll talk to my pharmacists and see who can take this person.

Pharmacist at store #1:  Nope, don’t have time … It is flu shot season and my techs are too busy to do this right now.  

Pharmacist at store #2:  I took the last externship person.  It’s someone else’s turn!

Pharmacist at store #3:  Why should I take her?  I can’t hire her anyway … don’t waste my time or hers … 

Pharmacist at store #4:  Ugh …


That’s probably – hopefully – NOT what is happening … but if you know me, I like to think “worst case scenario”!!  ;)  No one really wants me anyway and all that.  (You’d think I would have gotten over that way of thinking in Junior High!)

But in the meantime, 2 other things have happened:

1.  I am schedule to take the national Pharmacy Technician Certification Board exam next Saturday.  I was a little anxious I wouldn’t have child care for the test day, or Dan would have to take time off (the test site is in a city 50 miles away), but now it is not an issue.  It’s a 2 hour, 90-question test.  I’ve talked with an acquaintance who is a pharmacist, and she says her techs had no problems taking the test!  They said if you can read and comprehend, you can probably pass!  :)  I do need to study up on my calculations, and I have a sample test I can take this coming week.

2.  I have applied for a job I am really slightly optimistic (if not realist) about!!  I won’t know anything until at least October … and if it is looking good, I’ll share more later!  Just please say a prayer for me about this.  It SEEMS right – but then again, so many things we thought seemed right turned out to be very wrong.

It seems like the theme of my life the last few years has been WAIT and TRUST GOD’s TIMING.  Meanwhile, stay busy, don’t worry, just pray.  a lot.

Otherwise, I am juggling the kids’ schedules.  Poor Drew got a lecture from his coach about being late for basketball practice on Thursday when I had to be 10 minutes late because I was driving Annie-Belle across town for her theater class at overlapping times.  Daniel was working overtime, so we were doing the best we could.  Oh well … it was a good lesson for Drew about respecting authority even though they were (seemingly) not being fair or didn’t know the whole situation.  He did keep his mouth shut … and said his run after the lecture was extra fast because he was blowing off steam!!  :)

The other thing I work on daily is being content and being calm.  I’m not always succeeding  … but I am trying.  I have found that being thankful for what we have is effective in driving away the discontent.  This is a prayer I say often:

10636255_10152368955516961_1429006911302715099_nSaturday I plan on relaxing … Daniel doesn’t have any overtime (he worked 12 hours last Saturday!!), and it will be good to spend a day with him.  And it will be good for him to get some much needed rest as he did work a 16 hour day on Thursday.

Happy Weekend!!



Posted in every day life | 2 Comments

HodgePodge – 9/10/2014



I seriously considered coming to my blog several times yesterday and today to whine about how much I lack time to complete any task well or how I can’t even get around to something I enjoy:  blogging …

But I couldn’t find the time to get around to blogging!!

To spare everyone a post about the above topic, I’ve decided to join Joyce this week for Hodgepodge. That should be considerably more interesting!! and uplifting!! If I can actually complete and publish that post, that is.

1. On Thursday we pause to remember a dark day in history-9/11. Will you mark it in some special way?

We usually put up the American flag on our porch.  This brings back so many memories of the days after 9/11 when it seemed every house in our neighborhood was displaying the flag in memory of those who lost their lives and in support of our country.

2. Do you ever/still…listen to an actual radio? Watch a videotape (VCR)? Look up a number in a phonebook? Refer to a paper map while traveling? Set an alarm on an alarm clock as opposed to your phone?

I do listen to the radio – usually American Family Radio – in my van or in the kitchen on occasion.

We do still have VCR tapes and a VCR player, so YES, on a rare occasion, I will watch one.  I do have several phone books in my kitchen and I have used them on rare occasions, too.

I still have one handy-dandy Rand-McNally atlas in each of our vehicles …

And I set my trusty alarm clock beside my bed with my phone as a back-up (it is usually on its charger in the kitchen).
3.  Is it ever a good idea to discuss religion or politics with people you don’t know?

Sometimes a conversation will lead to politics or religion … and I think if you are very cautious you can discuss these topics, even if you disagree.  I try to be non-confrontational and very careful when I do.  As a Christian, I sometimes can’t help but discuss my faith – although for me, it is a relationship NOT a religion.  :)

4. What’s a dish you haven’t eaten all summer, but come September find yourself craving? Have you made it yet this month?

potato soup

5. What’s something you know nothing about?

brain surgery… among many, many other topics!!

6. September is Classical Music Month. Do you like classical music? If so, what’s your favorite piece?

I like classical music okay… I don’t listen to it often, but do have a few CDs of it. My favorite pieces is an opera by Mozart, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.  

7. What’s the oldest thing you own?

This really got me to thinking!!  I do have my Oma’s wristwatch.  It was one of the first things she bought for herself, after she had her first job, after World War II was over.  Probably around 1950.  It is a wind-up watch – but its leather band is not original. The most significant thing  about it is that I have a portrait of my Oma – taken around 1955, and she is wearing that watch in the picture!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

As I alluded to, this week has been a doozy already!  While I was home all day Monday, and I even got a lot done, I just felt like I’d been playing catch-up all day.  And Tuesday, I woke up feeling like I had a lot more to do.  I don’t know if it is knowing that I might be working again sometime soon that has put me into this panic mode that I suddenly need to accomplish everything I have ever even thought about doing … and attack my house cleaning with a vengeance, even though I know my house won’t be clean again next week – or even by the time my 3 kids and husband have been home for any length of time!

Tonight my older daughter told me she was sorry I was so angry all the time … and it is hard for her to understand, I am not angry, I’m just on edge somehow. There are still several things up in the air until our “new normal” is finally complete.  I am waiting to hear about an externship I applied for at a pharmacy (the manager has been out of town), I am waiting to get a date to take a national certification for my new career field, and I am waiting on some money that has yet to come in from our old rental (the security deposit).

Anyway, it will all come together in time.  We will adjust and adapt and carry on once I get a job, and we will be okay!  :)



Posted in Hodge Podge | 9 Comments

Busy Days and a Recipe

EDIT:  gonna link up with Sandra today for


(You should go over and check out her Slow Cooked Sirloin recipe!)


Busy week, busy days …

and this was supposed to be an easy, short week since we had Monday “off” for Labor Day.  But in reality, we spent Monday at a rainy Silver Dollar City for several hours (thankfully, we were able to see 2 gospel singing shows, and MiMi was able to ride her favorite rides).  We ate a late lunch with Daniel’s parents and were supposed to leave in plenty of time to get home “early”.


Of course, our best laid plans seldom turn out the way I anticipate!!  We picked up a nail in our van’s tire somewhere, and thankfully noticed it before we left Daniel’s parents’ house before embarking on our 95 mile trip home.  That meant running to the Wal-mart tire center on a short-staffed holiday … and when all was said and done, we got home by 9:30 p.m.

MiMi is going to school 3 mornings a week now – Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday.  That means up early (for us) and out the door!!  I worked in the school cafeteria again this week, so we also ended up staying at school until 1 or 2 p.m. each day.  That leads to feeling like this by the time we get home:

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Today started with a midnight text from Daniel’s contact for overtime work … if he could get up early, they had work for him!!  So, he slept til 3:30 a.m. and went in to work at 4 a.m. to get 4 hours of overtime in before his work day started!  Thankfully, he is a morning person.  And they asked him to do it again tomorrow (Friday).

Since he will be exhausted when he comes home, and tonight is Annie-Belle’s theater class, and Drew is sick with a cold, I figured something “quick and comforting” was due for dinner.

I seldom share my recipes because I’m not a great or original cook … but I saw this one on Pinterest and decided tonight was perfect to try this:




INGREDIENTS:  put in crock pot in this order -

4-8 potatoes, depending on how many you are feeding, washed, peeled, cut into pieces

1/2 to 1 onion, diced

1-2 packages kielbasa or smoked sausage (I used turkey sausage), cut into pieces

2-4 cans of green beans (I drained mine)

salt & pepper to taste

red pepper flakes, optional

and I poured some chicken broth over the whole thing for some liquid (you could probably just use water)




Cook on low for 6 hours.

I love one pot meals!!







Posted in holiday, recipes, slow cooking | 5 Comments

Hodgepodge – 9/3/2014



My baby girl is at preschool this morning (K-4) … and I have a few quiet moments.  I am avoiding vacuuming and laundry, so here I sit!!  I figured I may as well write up a Hodgepodge post as opposed to just rambling away as I tend to do sometimes.   ;)

Well, OK, I still may ramble just a bit!!

1.  What’s something you wanted to do this summer that you never got around to actually doing?

We really wanted to go to Colorado this summer.  BUT alas, I started too late into looking for a resort within the time share organization that we are a part of … and I couldn’t find anything to accommodate all 5 of us in an area we wanted to visit.   And that’s how we ended up in Texas this summer.

Next summer, Colorado:  here we come!!

2. Share a favorite memory of your own back -to-school days as a child?

My mom did do the “first day of school picture” at least during my elementary years, so I do have a picture of me with my teacher (in my lovely 1970’s style clothes!!) from those early years.

2nd grade:

Scan0001 (2)

3.  What’s one chore or daily task you prefer doing ‘old-school’ ?

As much as I hate washing dishes, there are certain things I feel like aren’t really clean unless I wash them by hand instead of throwing them into the dishwasher.  Especially pots and pans – not a fan of my pans being in the dishwasher.
4.  Share something you’ve learned in life through the ‘school of hard knocks’?

I feel like I often learn things “the hard way”!!!  Story of my life!

Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.  I have learned a lot.

Most of the things I know about God right now, it seems to me like He had to knock me over the head with.  Things like the fact that HE LOVES ME (yes, He loves everyone … but that He would want to have a personal relationship with ME still blows me away).
5.  As a child, did you mostly bring or buy your lunch for school? What was your favorite thing to find in your lunchbox?

The metal lunch box with its matching thermos was such an important part of my elementary life!!!!  I remember having a Muppets lunch box – with ANIMAL on one side (only because they didn’t put the Swedish Chef on lunch boxes or the 2 sarcastic judges, those guys were actually my favorites!!).  My mom packed my lunch most days – bologna was a big favorite back then – with mayonnaise (it is a wonder I never got food poison!) or peanut butter and banana slices.

My mom is German so the whole lunch box concept was foreign to her for at first (German children usually are done with school by lunch and go home … at least when she was a child).  Anyway, she’s put my sandwiches not only in a plastic baggie, but she’d often wrap that in aluminum foil as well!   As if I was gone on some long journey and my food needed extra preserving – probably why I didn’t get food poisoning with all that mayo I ate!)
6. Football season is upon us which has me wondering… how big of a sports fan are you (not just football) ? On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being ‘I scream at the players through my television screen‘ and 1 being ‘is knitting a sport?’ where do you fall in fandom? 

I am about a 7 or 8 in sports … I grew up in a college town (Knoxville – GO VOLS!!!) and now live in a college town (Fayetteville, AR – WOO PIG SOOIE!!!), so I think it is just part of me.

My husband is a sports fan – mostly baseball (St. Louis Cardinals) and the Iowa Hawkeyes (he’s from Iowa, obviously) – so those are the things I have to know a little bit about or else I sometimes can’t follow his conversations!

7. Share a favorite quote you think might inspire students of all ages at the start of a new school year. 


8.  Random Thoughts for today:

I have been taking a free on-line course in something I never dreamed I’d even be remotely interested in – but it is about “Career Development”.  As a 40-something mom re-entering the work force, I realize I am so out of touch about how to get a job, how to promote myself (do I have anything left to offer??!), and such like.

Anyway, the first chapter of this course has been somewhat of a therapy session for me!  It is all about “making a new start”.  And for those of us who are older and “starting over”, it takes us through all the “stages” of change as they define them:

1.  grief/loss

2.  uncertainty

3.  break-through!!

4.  excelling!!!

I think I am still at stage 2, but I sure have worked my way through stage 1 in the last 2 or 3 years … It was just reassuring to read/learn that this actually is somewhat NORMAL!  AND my instructor wrote me a nice note that he really appreciate my “real life” experience sharing in the assignments he gave about experiencing these stages.

I am now ready for stage 3!!  Any time now!!  :)


Posted in Hodge Podge | 5 Comments

The Weekend Update

(title inspired by SNL on TV Land this morning … that channel has a WEIRD variety in their line-up!!)

So, life here has suddenly turned into a circus again!!  Now that MiMi is back in school (albeit only 3 mornings a week), I am again on my daily rounds of dropping off and picking up kids from various activities at various times of the day!  Thankfully – blessedly – we actually have 3 vehicles that run right now (what a difference a year makes!!).

Those of you who have followed our saga for years know that I have this love-hate relationship with an old 1996 Buick that once belonged to my husband’s grandparents.  After sitting at a mechanic’s shop since last Thanksgiving, we now have it back (at great cost), but IT RUNS without dying at random intervals (called “phantom stalling”).  The problem was some sensor (as well as a leak in the cooling system, which was a result of sitting through a harsh winter for many months!!) – which was NOT the sensor we’d paid a great price to fix with another mechanic sometime last year.  But whatever.  It has no heat, no a/c, but my husband can drive the 4 or 5 miles to and from work each day, leaving me with our van – and our soon-to-be (depending on the price of insurance!!) licensed driver/son with our trusty, old Saturn Vue.

So, just for the record for my own on-line diary here, this is what we’ve been up to this past week:

Tues & Wed – MiMi started back to school, and I was asked to return to my old “job” (school cafeteria volunteer) while another volunteer had cataract surgery.  I “worked” from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. those days.

Meanwhile, Annie-Belle began basketball practice this week after school.  She really prefers volleyball – but since we don’t have a team accessible, she is joining her friends for a new sport – mainly for the exercise and for the social aspects (and who knows, maybe she’ll grasp basketball strategy and learn to enjoy the game!).   She also has PE each day at school, so she is really getting her work-outs in!!

As for her theater class, she had a “showcase” last night (Friday) and performed in several skits with her classmates (actually, that is her teacher in the middle):


Drew continued with conditioning with his coach this week – but starts true basketball practice next week.  On to a new season!!  While the girls have 22 players that will be divided into 2-3 teams, the boys have far fewer participants (though for Drew that could mean MORE PLAYING TIME!).  :)   Both teams are a combo of the Christian school and local home schoolers.

My application for an externship with Walgreens was approved, and I am moving on in the process.  This includes a background check, a physical and several vaccinations since I am working the “health care field” (to include a TB test and a Hep B vaccine).  I also had to get a tetanus booster … and I’ll just say I now remember why babies are so cranky after they get shots – my shoulder still hurts, and it has been 3 days since I got the shot!

While there is no guarantee of employment after my externship, my “career counselor” is trying to get me in at the location of my choice for a good chance.  An externship entails 80 hours of job shadowing at a pharmacy – unpaid, of course.

Otherwise, I also applied to the Pharmacy Tech Certification Board (PTCB) to take the national certification test.  This isn’t required for most retail pharmacy jobs … but from what I am thinking, I have a feeling I will burn out on a retail job some day due to the customer service side (which I am no longer good at!).  My goal these days is to get a job at a hospital, preferably the VA where my husband works … and they do require the certification and experience.

I never imagined myself as mapping out a “career” for myself.  BUT we’ve talked to a few “financially savvy” people and prayed about it, and there is no other way we can make it after all the past losses we’ve had in my husband’s career …  God has given me the ability to work, organize, and be strong enough to tackle a job, and so I am moving on until He closes doors.  My biggest concern/prayer point is that I do not compromise my family/children and their care.  BALANCE is the key!

I saw a quote recently about life sometimes not turning out the way we planned it … but turning out exactly the way GOD planned it!

This is where I am … I think I know deep down inside that I have the ability to do more than just stay at home.  It is just that I love being at home!!  And I definitely agree it is one of the most sacred callings a mother can have.  I am thankful for every day I was able to stay home with my kids.  There can’t be any guilt – or regret – now as I move on to working outside the home again.  This is the situation, and God willing, it will help our family achieve some goals – such as getting out of debt, helping our children with college, and even helping Daniel and I get to a place where we can buy another house – and most of all, something I miss doing:  be able to bless others by contributing to special missionary offerings again or giving a friend or even a complete stranger a blessing through a financial gift, a meal or a token.   I know it has meant so much to me – however humbling – to be on the receiving end these last few years – but I prefer the giving end!

And those are my Saturday thoughts.

Tonight my boys are going to a local Arkansas Naturals baseball game with some guys from church while we girls do something “girly”.  Annie Belle is on a crafting streak right now and may need a few supplies for her latest project.  I am taking a free career development course with my on-line school … and I have assignments due!  Ah, the life of a student.  ;)

It is a holiday weekend – and everyone is off on Monday!!  We’ll be visiting the in-laws for the day.  Happy Weekend!



Posted in Annie-Belle, basketball, budget, Drew, Family, holiday, provision, Random Thoughts, school | 2 Comments