Thursday, December 17, 2009

Little Things like Marshmallows and Clothespins

Little things have made me smile this Christmas season.

First is our little Christmas tree. Keith and I love it, but Paige and Leah weren't happy that we didn't put up our big tree. The other thing that made me happy were these little clothespins that I found and then covered in scrapbooking paper to make them more Christmasy. I'm hanging our Christmas cards from a jute string along our bannister. I really like seeing them there in the foyer.

Then lastly, these little marshmallows are my other little treat this year. I found a recipe for homemade marshmallows. I added some crushed peppermint candy to the mix. Here is a peek in the bag at my little marshmallows. I didn't cut them very exact as you can see. They are tied and tagged and ready to go to our neighbors house to top off a mug of hot chocolate.

I've been meditating on this scripture this Christmas. I pray it blesses you too.

But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive the full rights as sons. Galatians 4:4,5

Merry Christmas from our house to yours,
I pray you enjoy the little blessings of life and know the big love that God has for you.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The World at Your Feet

Last night Leah's school hosted Geography Night for 100 5th and 6th graders who signed up to take a walk across Asia. The school brought in this huge National Geographic floor map of Asia. We went to 8 different regions of the map and learned so much. All I could think of was my blogger friends. We had an overview of Mongolia and I thought of Daja. Then The Philippines ~ Hi Charity.

Here are a few snapshots from the night:

Students from the High School's Council of International Affairs were the host of each station and shared information on the culture, religion, forms of government and demographics of different countries in Asia.

This is for you Charity:

This is for you Uncle Ron:

It was a fun way to learn and really be hands on or "feet" on and experience Geography in a different way. From what I understand National Geographic has 3 of these maps....Asia, Africa and The United States. But I think the best way to learn Geography is to start blogging!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Neighbor Steve's Man Christmas

Christmas decorations at our house this year:
(click on picture - it helps)

Christmas at Neighbor Steve's House:

Neighbor Steve was serious about decorating for Christmas this year. Last Saturday his Christmas man dream came true. He backed this big, bad green monster into his driveway.

Steve's brother-in-law and niece prepare to put up lights:

Neighbor Steve (who is afraid of heights, but not heavy machinery) coaches from the ground:

Paige takes a turn on the lift:

A bird's eye view from the treetops:

After an entire day of ups and downs in his big green lift, Steve and his wife cooked a scrumptious pot of gumbo and had the neighbors over.
It's the beginning of a
Merry Christmas!

(We even got snow flurries in Houston today!)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Keen on Quinoa and Finally Forty

I just discovered Quinoa (keen-wah) recently. It is easy to make and very good. It has many health benefits as it is high in protein and other nutrients. It is not a grain; it is a seed. We eat it at least once a week. YAY, my girls will even eat it. Have you had it before? Here's the scoop on it:

I buy it out of the bulk bins at the grocery store. You can also find it boxed in the rice section of the store.

I usually buy about a scoop plus a little more at a time. Before you cook it, rinse it thru a fine strainer. Then add it to your pot of water. If you are using a cup of dry quinoa then put 1 1/2 cups of water in the pot. Toss in some salt. I also add a bouillon cube for flavor. You can add mushrooms, spinach or whatever you like to this too. Bring to a boil, lower heat low and place the lid on and let it absorb the water. It is done when you see a white little rim form around each seed.

This is what it looks like when its cooked.

It makes a great side dish.

My other favorite side dish: Sweet potato fries. I just cut up sweet potatoes or yams in to fries. Toss with olive oil and then sprinkle with chili powder. Lay out in a single layer on a pan and bake. I have a convection oven so at the end I turn on convection roast to get them a little crispy. They are sooooo good.

Finally, I share this:

My friend Karen is FINALLY FORTY! I flew to Birmingham, Alabama last weekend to attend her birthday party and celebrate. Our other friend Janet surprised us by flying in from Virginia. Trust me when I say SURPRISED! Karen and I were sitting at her kitchen table in our pajamas drinking coffee and eating bagels (and bacon) when the phone rang. It was Janet. She was at the Birmingham airport. We jumped in the car still in our pajamas and drove to get Janet at the airport. These are two of my dearest friends. We met over ten years ago when we lived in the same neighborhood in Birmingham. I'm blessed to have them in my life.

Joy, Karen & Janet

Happy Birthday Karen!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Coupon Clipping is Back In Style Article

If you are visiting my blog after reading the article from The Houston Chronicle and Ultimate Woodlands


I'll give you a quick tour of my blog so you can go straight to the post you came here to read.

If you are looking for ABC's of Couponing go click here.

If you are looking for the recipe for homemade laundry detergent click here.

If you are looking for the post on how to save money on your electric bill click here.

Other money saving ideas can be found at each of those links.

Feel free to take a look around.

If you come here often and wonder what is going on. Well, go read this article about my couponing efforts.

If you have a money-saving idea. Write it in the comments.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Wedding in New Orleans

Last weekend Buster and I drove to New Orleans. We attended the wedding of one the men from his office. It was in beautiful, Historic St. Patricks Church in downtown New Orleans. This church was founded in 1833. I forgot to take a picture of the outside of the church and found this on the church website:

The interior of the church: Isn't it a beautiful church to be married in.

This is a picture of the Port of Baton Rouge where the bridge crosses over the Mississippi River.
You have to drive over a lot of water when your driving thru south Louisiana.

The Atchafalya River Basin: It looks like that for miles and miles.

(from the internet)

The Beautiful Bride Noelle:

Me and my groom:

Keith and I don't go to many weddings anymore. I guess we're at the age where most of our friends are married. So it is a real treat for me to attend a wedding, I love weddings.
We wish Josh and Noelle a happy life together. Thank you for letting us share in the beautiful beginning of your marriage.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


My sweet Paige turned 14 on Monday.

I wish you could meet Paige in person. She is such a blessing to know.

She is growing into a beautiful young woman.

I'm so proud of you Paigie-pooh.

Please indulge me as I take a stroll down memory lane.

Paige at 8 months old:

Paige at 4 years old:

Always has time for Daddy:

Wasn't she just the cutest. OK. back to the here and now~

Paige at 14 years old:

Leah giving Paige her gift
(a day early because she couldn't wait):

It's a Snuggie!

She had a great birthday at home with us and tomorrow she

is lunching with friends to celebrate some more.

Happy Birthday Paige!

I Love you,


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fetch - A - Prayer

Have you prayed today? So many times we get busy with our lives and forget to take the time to pray for ourselves and others. Sometimes prayer seems overwhelming and we just don't know what to say.

God gave us a promise in Romans 8:26.... that His Holy Spirit will help us in our weaknesses, because sometimes we don't know what to pray, but his Spirit interceeds for us. (Remember in our weakness He is strong.)

I have a new widget on my sidebar from Prayer Central
It is called Fetch-a-Prayer.

You just fill in the information on the spaces provided and it searchs out a scripture and composes a prayer for you to pray. The photos that are included with the prayers are beautiful and reflective.

Give it a try.

Prayer Central is a great prayer resource. Go have a look around.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Artist in Residence (or a few doors down)

This is Amy ~ my neighbor. She's an artist and her painting was chosen to be on the Wildflower Festival poster this year. The Wildflower Festival is an annual event in our community. She also has an Etsy shop with lots of pretty paintings in it too. Go check it out:

The Lion's Club copied her painting onto a poster and all the proceeds from today's sales went to charity.

It was a beautiful day in Texas. Hope you had a great weekend in your corner of the world.

OK. I just realized I'm wearing the same shirt in the last post too. I do have other clothes really. But this is one of those go-to shirts so comfortable and brown. Yes, brown I'm loving it right now. It goes with everything plus this is Texas and if the temperature drops below 80 degrees we just have to wear our long-sleeved shirts or shirt in my case.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

So I was sitting in this meeting

and my hand goes up like this:

And then I end up with a bunch of this in my garage....

Also this totally unrelated event happened:

I have this thing about volunteer opportunities.....I fall for them.

Over the last few weeks, I've been pretty distracted by other things.

Our community decided to change National Night Out to October because well, you know, it's so blazing hot in August in Texas and it seemed like a good idea. Except this October day we broke a record heat temperatures. It was about 95 degrees with 90% humidity, but we had a nice NNO anyway. This past year I volunteered to be the Neighborhood Coordinator. This was our neighborhoods first time doing any National Night Out event. (The stuffed shirt on the table represents Buster who was away on business that night.) I kept it pretty simple and just asked everyone to bring a snack or dessert to share. We had 25 adults come out and a bunch of kids running around. So I was very pleased with the first event. A representative from our Community Association and a Sheriffs Deputy came by to visit us and talk about crime and being safe and I heard somebody mention taxes and you know that kind of stuff.
Then I go to a meeting at Paige's new school and raised my hand. That is how the stuff ended up in my garage. I volunteered to help coordinate class craft projects for an upcoming dinner/auction fundraiser. I don't have to actually do each of the projects. We have some great room moms to help, but my new friend Robin (who also raised her hand) and I sat down and came up with the ideas and then went shopping. The picture you see is just some of the projects we purchased. I'll show you the finished projects when they get done and ready for the auction. They are going to be so cute.
There's been lots of other great stuff going on....Like helping Moms in Touch groups (Yippee) get started for the new school year and planning some events.
Oh, and I'm starting a new business. I am establishing a Mobile Notary Service business. More on that later.
So all that to say this...
I love doing all of these kinds of things, just can't seem to get my blogging in when I'm in the middle of them.
Don't think I'm giving up on blogging. I'll post when I can and if I've missed a post or two of yours I do apologize. I'll catch up. Oh, and if you happen to see me in a meeting, will you please gently tell me it's ok and to put my hand down. :0

Sunday, October 4, 2009

It's all Greek to me

Up until this weekend just about everything I knew about the Greek Orthodox religion and Culture I learned from the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding. ~ Love that movie.

But this weekend I asked Buster to take us to the Greek Festival in Houston. The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Houston, Texas hosted it's 43 Greek Festival. This is a four day event and thousands come. They claim it is the original Greek Festival in the United States.

This Houston Greek Orthodox community began with a handful of Greek immigrants back in 1917.
We had a great time watching the Folk Dancers, eating Greek food, touring the Cathedral and shopping in the Greek market.

Here are some pictures from our afternoon enjoying all things Greek.

Inside the Cathedral...

A member of the church gave us a brief history of the Greek Orthodox Faith. It was so interesting. She was so knowledgeable of early Church history. I would love to talk with her more.

Beautiful stained glass:

Looking up you see this:

The Greek Folk Dancers:

The non-Greek food eaters having pizza:

Mine and Buster's Gyro's: Yum Yum!

My purchase from the Greek market... This apron was only .99. I love aprons anyway and when I saw this one for 99 cents I couldn't pass it up. It has some olive brand advertisement on it. It's all written in Greek, but I thought it was fun.

We heard lots of OPA's!!! and had lots Fun!
Buster even missed an afternoon of College Football on TV to go. He wasn't real happy about that. But we went to Pappa's Burger on our way home after the festival and the Houston Texan's cheerleaders were there. So that made up for it I guess haha.
Trust me he wouldn't have been shouting "Opa" if he stayed home and watched his team play. Let's just say the Georgia Bulldogs were........the ηττημένος. *

* loser