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 | 2 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:

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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

HHM – 8/25/2014

Happy Homemaker Monday VintageHere we are again on another Monday!  For now, Monday is still my favorite day of the week!!  I guess my control freak nature needs the quiet of a Monday where I can restore order to the house after a weekend with everyone at home, when chores kind of fall to the wayside.  That said, we did get the lawn (what is left of it?!!) mowed, and I cleaned up the back patio and yard area.  We have white oaks (or live oaks?) in the back yard, and they shed little twigs and branches and leaves like crazy.  I also have some kind of nut/black walnut(?) tree – which feeds the squirrels, but they sure make a mess on the ground with the shells from the nuts they eat.

Anyway, to get ready for the week ahead, I am joining Sandra in Happy Homemaker Monday again:

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

I am out of poptarts!!  :-O

So, coffee and a blueberry fruit bar (Aldi brand) for me.  I will probably eat a banana or peach after I finish typing this post.

On today’s to do list::::

Laundry.  Monday’s have kind of become my laundry day of preference.

Otherwise, just puttering around, wiping down counter tops and a checking for areas that needs dusting, maybe swishing a toilet clean…

Currently reading::::

Mary Tyler Moore’s autobiography, After All.   My husband got it for a quarter at a local thrift shop, thinking I’d enjoy it since our family likes the Dick Van Dyke Show.  I tend to regret reading biographies about actors most of the time – and in this case, I again am finding out that MTM was not the person I wanted her to be, granted her Catholic upbringing made her more moral than most of the actors I’ve read about in the past (my biggest disappointments in this area were Grace Kelly and Gary Cooper).  But her Catholic upbringing also made her “dislike” God, or maybe I should say disregard Him later in life.

On a happier note, Mary Tyler Moore really was an optimistic, talented and honest person.  She talks openly about her regrets in parenting (she neglected her son when he was a baby/toddler to pursue her acting career) and her marriages.  Right now, in the book, I am at the part where she begins working on The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

On the TV today::::

Sophia the First … for MiMi.

The weather outside is::::

Hot.  Hot.  Hot.  Summer finally showed up.

On the menu this week::::

We are eating from the pantry/freezer this week – or at least until payday on Thursday.  I have egg noodles for some kind of creamy casserole … spaghetti-fixings with garlic bread and salad … left-over potato casserole with turkey slices … beans and rice with kielbasa.

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

make homemade bread in the bread machine to satisfy my carb craving!!

In the garden::::

my herbs are dying … I think I overwatered.  :(

Favorite photo from the camera::::

MiMi had her Open House for K-4 last Friday.  She starts “school” tomorrow (Tuesday) – she’ll go 3 mornings a week (Tues, Wed, and Fri) from 8 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.


Homemaking tip::::

Most people know vinegar is a pretty awesome and inexpensive and natural cleaner … but I recently read it can also kill weeds in your garden.  You mix it with a little water (larger concentration of vinegar) and spray it on weeds.

Visiting with blog friends (blog you want to share, blog post that caught your eye)::::

Being the ordinary Hausfrau that I am, is it surprising that I read a blog called Ordinary Inspirations (chasing after beauty in the mundane)?!!  :)

Praying for::::

My friend Jen is starting 2 weeks of oral chemotherapy.  Her oncologist found a new tumor on her liver – she faces surgery AGAIN in 2 weeks.

I have a few job applications in at various pharmacies.  I am still waiting for the paperwork from my school to apply for an externship at Walgreens.

PRAISE – our rent check from our house in Missouri showed up on Saturday afternoon!!  Now I’m waiting for the rent deposit from our duplex … plus we sold the property manager our fridge that we’d bought for the kitchen as it didn’t have one.

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

We sang this hymn at church yesterday and it was almost like I was reading the words for the first time:  

And Can It Be

1 And can it be that I should gain
An int’rest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain?
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! how can it be
That Thou, my God, should die for me?

Amazing love! how can it be
That Thou, my God, should die for me!

2 ‘Tis mystery all! Th’Immortal dies!
Who can explore His strange design?
In vain the firstborn seraph tries
To sound the depths of love divine!
‘Tis mercy all! let earth adore,
Let angel minds inquire no more. [Refrain]

3 He left His Father’s throne above,
So free, so infinite His grace;
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race;
‘Tis mercy all, immense and free;
For, O my God, it found out me. [Refrain]

4 Long my imprisoned spirit lay
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quick’ning ray,
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free;
I rose, went forth and followed Thee. [Refrain]

5 No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him is mine!
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own. [Refrain]


Posted in Happy Homemaker | 4 Comments

Projects and Plans and Problems




I don’t even know where this past week went.  It was the big kids’ first full week of school (last week was just a 4-day week).

We had lots of errands to run – but in between, I managed to finish a project I’ve been planning since before we moved:  I didn’t get a complete “before” picture, but I painted a plain brown book case white …




and then I got the idea to paint the INSIDE of the bookcase a different color.  Something I’d happened to see on Pinterest.

The bookcase belongs to the girls, and Annie Belle’s new bed/comforter set is this color scheme:



My plan was to paint the shelves of the bookcase a lilac color – but the paint section had a pre-mixed, small can of a lovely plum for $3 … and that sealed my decision to go darker (the white is just satin-finish spray paint).




And here is the FINISHED PROJECT (minus books and accessories):


Miriam also managed to play outside in her “sand box” some – the 50 lbs of playground sand was a “gift” from Dan’s co-worker who is moving.  I just put it in a big rubbermaid container!




Thursday we had to buy MiMi’s school supplies … I was thankful I didn’t have to get them at the same time as A & A’s because school supplies add up – even though I got most everything I needed at Aldi (MiMi’s class requires diaper wipes for snack clean up, plastic baggies, cups, and other things I can get there!) and Dollar Tree.

Today (Friday) MiMi had her Open House for K-4, which begins next Tuesday!!

Tonight, the big kids had a school/youth group fish fry at our pastor’s home.  There was a contest for any one who wanted to dress up as a hillbilly.  Annie-Belle won 2nd place (a $15 Taco Bell gift card!).



PS For those who said a prayer that our rent check from Missouri would show up … it still hasn’t!!!  I finally talked to our property manager Tuesday (after leaving a message for her to call me last week!!) –  and the problem had NOTHING to do with our new address/old address.  Apparently, the realtor’s computer program rendered our account EXPIRED because we’d initially signed with this realtor in July of 2013 and had a “1 year contract,” based on the computer entry, which  expired July 2014.  :(   It was a “glitch,” and the realtor has adjusted the computer to an indefinite contract … however, I’m wondering if we even want to stay with this realtor in the future – although for now we have renters in the house that plan to stay a while.  What bothers me most is my realtor didn’t even apologize … even after I told her we had to scrape together a mortgage payment this month.  :(

My husband is working overtime tonight until midnight (a 16 hour day!!) … it is shifts like this which keep us afloat, so I’m thankful … but still, things like that shouldn’t happen!!



Posted in Annie-Belle, Family, home improvement, MiMi | 5 Comments

HHM – 8/18/2014



I am doing a quick link-up with Sandra’s Happy Homemaker Monday to get my day started (at 10:40 a.m.!!) … It’s about time!!  ;)

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

shaking things up this morning … added a fresh, juicy peach to my normal poptart!!

On today’s to do list::::

root touch-up (Fun, eh?!?!) … but I caught a glimpse of my part from the top yesterday & IT IS TIME.

Currently reading::::

Alone, Yet Not Alone.   For some reason, this book is stressing me out…It is a Christian book, based on a true story.  The empathetic in me is in über-feeling mode, and the premise of 2 little girls taken by Indians while they know their father and brother were killed by them is just absolutely breaking my heart – and not knowing what happened to their mother and other brother as well.  I am sure the story will have a happy ending as the girls have a strong faith in God … but I can’t imagine …

On the TV today::::

Disney Junior shows are baaa-ack today (probably due to back to school) … during the summer, Disney Channel showed all their teeny-bopper shows (that annoy the life out of me and I don’t let my kids watch!!) during this time spot.

Last night I watched a review of Downton Abbey on my PBS channel … ready for the next season (6?!) … in January.  *sigh*

The weather outside is::::

nice … pleasantly hot but comparatively, we’ve had such a mild summer!!  It rained/stormed last night and cooled things off (and watered my flowers and lawn, thank you!!)

On the menu this week::::

yeh, here I am again … although I do have a LIST of about 10 meals that I have the ingredients to make on my fridge.  Guess we’ll just be surprised by what I pull out each night!!  ;)

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

probably waste my time catching up on Facebook.

Favorite photo from the camera::::

My kids on the first day of school last week compared to them just “yesterday”:

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Praying for::::

my friend Jen as she continues with experimental chemo treatments in an effort to save her life!

my job search (got my first rejection letter from our local Target pharmacy today … but at least it allows me to strike them off my list!)

also – despite my sending a “change of address” notice to our property manager in Missouri in early July, she sent our rent check for our house to our OLD address … and the check STILL hasn’t shown up/been forwarded.  Our mortgage payment was due last Friday – and we count on that rent check to pay it.  :(   I have to finagle money around today and call our mortgage company.  PLEASE PRAY this check shows up SOON – as well as the deposit return on our old duplex.

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



Posted in Happy Homemaker | 4 Comments