Friday, December 25, 2015

Book Review ~ Christmas at Pebble Creek

Christmas at Pebble Creek (The Pebble Creek Amish)

Christmas at Pebble Creek by Vannetta Chapman is a quick read and a short story electronic book only which I later found was an exclusive bonus from The Pebble Creek Amish Series.  It was a teaser for me, leaving me want to know more about the characters Grace Miller and Adam Lapp which one can if you read the three full novels:
A Promise for Miriam, A Home for Lydia, and A Wedding for Julia.   I guess if one had read the first three this would be a nice welcome back.  I enjoyed reading about the outings which required snowshoes, the church gathering and seasonal celebrations.  I definitely would like to check out the author's prior books in this series. This was a perfect read during this time with the busy holiday season.  Another bonus with this book are the recipes which were served during their celebration.

What have you been reading? I am linking this up to Art@Home's linky party. You can click on the icon below to find other book reviews or if you write book reviews you are welcome to join in on the party and add your review for others to enjoy.








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Monday, December 14, 2015

Happy List~ Work

I LOVE where I work. The atmosphere is the very best. We definitely have a lot of fun.  My team was very late to start with the planning, we have had a lot of new hires and system problems and time just slipped by.
Polar Express (above won)
 
 We get into the holidays and teams compete with one another.  .
I have plans in the works for next year. Already.
 
This was so cool, our management and IT worked on this one together. They synchronized the lights and music with one another.

This is what I saw once I stepped off the elevator.
 
Friday it was announced that I will be my team's new Team Lead.  I know it will be a lot if work but I am excited. It will let management see my leadership abilities and get me a step closer to where I want to be with the company. I  so over the moon, finally at a college degree level job. I can cross that off m 55 x 55 list.
 
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Friday, December 11, 2015

Book Review~ Starting from Scratch


Starting from Scratch



This time of season is the perfect time to read Starting from Scratch by Stacy Gail. The main characters are Lucy Crabtree and Lieutenant Sully Jax.  The two used to be married and the Christmas prior was when Sully announced his plan to go on another tour of duty and promised it would be his last.  Lucy was so angry with him and did not send her love when he left.  Sully saved his unit during an IED attack but was injured and lost his memory.  He could not remember Lucy when he woke and asked for a divorce.  The book is how Lucy was beginning to move on but was so hurt from losing the man she loved she dedicated herself to a cookie baking business. The business was just starting to take off during the holiday but Sully came back and she had difficulties focusing, she could not deny how much love she still has for him, but she had to guard her heart because he breaks it every time she see him. 

Sully realizes something inside of him could not let Lucy go and he craved her sweet cookies.  Every time he took a bite he finds love for Lucy as well and it was not just her cookies if you know what I mean he was enjoying.  There were a few steamy chapters but tactfully done.  They realize they both want to rebuild their life with one another.

This book, I had a hard time getting into it at first.  It was too cliche in the beginning for me but it ended up being an okay book. 

What have you been reading? I am linking this up to Art@Home's linky party. You can click on the icon below to find other book reviews or if you write book reviews you are welcome to join in on the party and add your review for others to enjoy.




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Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Semi-Wordless Wednesday



Every year we place our Hawkeye Ornament on the tree as well as the Cubs and the Bulls.  This year we added a Hawkeye stocking an Hawkeye Bear.  It has been a great year for sports for us in our house.  The Cubs had an outstanding season and our Iowa Hawkeye's Football as well.  It really angers me how people do not give the Hawkeye's the true credit they deserve.  They may not have star players but they are a star team and what is football but a group of players working together.  If you are a Hawkeye hater, keep hating because we are just going to Shake It Off!

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Saturday, December 5, 2015

Confessions

FRIDAY CONFESSIONAL at HIGH-HEELED LOVE

It is Friday and you all know what that means? Yep, you guessed it, time to fess up. Come join the fun over at Aubrey's High-Heeled Love. She host this little party every Friday.

I confess...

It has been awhile since I confessed.  The last time I posted a confession was in September.  Sorry Aubrey.

I confess...

Next Friday I will have a Literary Friday post because I finally finished a book.  It has been awhile since I posted and linked to this party as will Sorry Ricki Jill.

I confess...

Diabetes is what I am going to be treated for.  No shocker with the medicine and nutritional counseling I may lose that weight which will help me with the diabetes too.

I confess...

With me being treated for diabetes it has put my husband back on track and that I am grateful for.  His numbers have been very high.

I confess...

Today we are going to begin our Christmas decorating and I am so into the season this year.  It has been a long time since I have been excited for Christmas.  Next Saturday I have a lot of things planned for Taj celebrating Christmas too.

I confess...

I am very close to having my guest bedroom/toy room done now.  I still need to hang the wall decorations, finish the pillow cases and throw pillow and purchase the headboard.  After the first of the year I will definitely have a reveal.  My husband had to go to Des Moines yesterday for work.  My Mom met up with him and gave him the remaining shirts I needed and handkerchiefs for the gifts I am making.  She also gave him my quilt.  I just love it so much.


I confess...

I wish it was King size now so I can have it on my bed.  My pillow cases and throw pillow will be made out of five of the fabric prints in the quilt.  This bedding will be very special to me when I am done.  The quilt my Mom made and the throw pillow will have a couple of my Dad's handkerchiefs on it.  The room will be sentimental to me (except for the toys, which will be moved to Christian's room when he moves out which is no time soon.)

What do you have to confess about?


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Thursday, December 3, 2015

December Goals





It is a blog hop, so click on the Monthly Goal button and you will see those who play along post as well. Come join along!
Monthly Goals


RECAP OF NOVEMBER GOALS
  • Complete one book. FAIL I did not even open a book or turn a page.
  • Plan a complete Thanksgiving Dinner for the family.  SUCCESS
  • Participate with Black Friday Shopping.  SUCCESS We hit some great deals too!
  • Complete Christmas Gift paintings.  FAIL Nope, not even one back drop.
  • Begin to decorate for Christmas.  FAIL None yet.
  • Celebrate three of our children's birthdays...yes that is right Ethan, Christian, and Emily have birthdays in November. Christian and Emily are consecutive days on top of it.   SUCCESS
  • Make some Christmas ornaments with Taj. SUCCESS We made TMNT ornaments.    
  • Complete the throw pillows from my Dad's shirts.   FAIL Nope, I did not make it Des Moines
  • Complete the small hallway off the foyer. FAIL  Nope, we painted one wall in the bedroom though.  Ha ha ha
I did not do much of my list in November but the birthday celebrations and Thanksgiving were great!
 DECEMBER GOALS

  • Complete the paintings for Christmas
  • Complete decorating the house for Christmas
  • Bake some goodies for Christmas
  • Keep going to the doctor to figure out what is wrong with me.
  • Complete the pillows for Christmas
  • Celebrate Christmas 
  • Celebrate my last Birthday in the 40's.

What type of goals do you have this month?

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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

TMNT Ornaments


As long as Taj will allow me, I want to start a tradition with my grandchildren and since Taj is my only grandchild he is the only one who is going to be doing this little project.  I am starting a tradition to make Christmas ornaments with my grandchild every year.  This year I found this on Pinterest.

This is going to happen this year.Great craft for my TMNT boys:

The directions were simple but I did not think a four year old should be dealing with hot glue, nor would he be patient enough for glue to dry so I used different supplies.  I used the four green glass ornaments but I picked up red, blue, purple, and orange washi tape.  I thought this would be perfect for a young child.  I also picked up adhesive google eyes. 


I have different plans for the red and the white ornaments.  I am trying to decide if I should wait for next year or to make them on my own this year.  I guess time will tell.  :P
I cut a piece of the tape long enough to wrap around the ornament and then Taj and I pressed it onto the ornament.  Then I took the google eye and showed Taj where to place the first one after the initial eye, he needed no help.  He wanted to play with them. 


I added red ribbon to hang the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (TMNT) ornaments onto the tree.  Taj took them home to hang on his tree.  He was so happy which made me happy.  
 

This was a Easy Peasy project to do with a four year old.  It was quick and perfect for a busy little boy.

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Monday, November 30, 2015

Gratitude

I have so much to be grateful for...

●A wonderful husband who watches over me. He makes me laugh, he is my strength, he is my best friend.
●My boys, all I know love me.  I feel lucky to have a close relationship with Matthew, Joshua, and Ethan. Maybe someday Christian will get his moods in control and develop a relationship but for now he needs to work on his self.
●My mother, she has always gone the extra mile for us.
●My father coming to me in a dream. I will always cherish it. I still feel his peace and happiness.
●I am grateful I have three sisters, although we are not close any longer, I am  lucky to have siblings.
●I am lucky to have Kera and Emily in my life.  It was a rough start at the beginning but I am happy how our relationship has blossomed.
●I am very fortunate to have the loving friends I do have.  You all mean the world to me. I have been very blessed in life to have many friends and love keeping in touch with you all.
●I am lucky to work for a good company.  The company and management actually do care.
●I am lucky to have a grandmother still living. She misses my Dad so much. I do not think she will ever be able to find peace with it. I can not believe in a week she will be 93.
●I am so lucky to have a wonderful grandson. He surely is a gift in our lives.


Our Thanksgiving was a good one. I typically make a couple of side dishes, veggie/relish tray, and the pies. This year I made the entire dinner. Due to Christian not listening I ended up cooking two turkeys, a 14 pound and a 9.5 pound.  I also cooked a ham.  Yes, a lot of meat.  We also had, mashed potatoes, dressing, green bean casserole, macaroni and cheese, bourbon baked beans, and dinner rolls. We also had our pies.  We ate and enjoyed one another. We played games and no drama!

I let the kids take as much as they wanted for leftovers after we had leftovers on Thanksgiving night.  We still had a lot of turkey leftover.  We had turkey sandwiches the next day and I thought I must find something else to do with all of this turkey so I found these and modified the recipe.

TURKEY TURNOVERS 
 

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups of shredded turkey
  • 1 cup of turkey broth
  • 3/4 cup of frozen mixed vegetables (defrosted)
  • 1/3 cup of flour
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 4 scallions diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 package refrigerated pie crusts
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon milk
Directions:
  1. In a large skillet melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and celery cook 4 to 5 minutes.
  2. Sprinkle flour on top of onion mixture. Cook and stir for 1 minute.
  3. Gradually whisk in turkey broth and half-and-half.
  4. Add cream cheese, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon so that it melts and blends into the sauce. Cook until the mixture is bubbling and thickened, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Stir in chicken and mixed vegetables. Remove from heat.
  6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray or use foil liner.
  7. Unroll pie crusts and use a rolling pin to roll them thinner.
  8. Use a bowl that's about 5 inches across to cut a total of 8 circles.
  9. Place filling(as much as you can and still be able to fold over the dough and seal it) on one side of a circle of dough.
  10. In a small bowl, whisk together egg white and milk. Use your finger or a small pastry brush to wet the edges of the dough with egg wash so that they will stick together. Fold dough over, pressing to seal edges. Press around edges with a fork.
  11. Repeat with remaining dough circles. Place on prepared baking sheet and brush tops with egg wash.
  12. Place in oven and bake for about 17 minutes or until golden brown.

I made additional filling and used more shredded turkey to place into ramekins and placed some extra pie crust over the top of the ramekins and baked along with the turnovers.  I crimped along the edge of the ramekin and posted a fork in the center of the crust.  I also placed the egg wash over the crust.


The next night I made Turkey Enchiladas 
Turkey Enchiladas
(source
I found the recipe on Pinterest and you can click here to find it.  It is the easiest enchilada recipe I have made and it was a hit.  I did add one ingredient it was one small can of diced green chilies.  I made two batches and it was a huge hit.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

November Catch Up


I am sorry I have not been posting too much lately.  I have not had a lot of time for computer time.  I do read blogs and comment from time to time from my phone but actually sitting down at the computer has been limited.

2015 has been a year of finding myself and becoming healthier.  I do not know if I have succeed but I definitely have been trying.  I finally went to the doctor last week.  Yeah, I know It is barely November and I finally decide to go to the doctor.  I have been struggling with the weight all year.  After going to Yellowstone and walking and realizing how much I really am out of shape made me kick it in gear and try.  I am fighting depression, my feet swell by night, I get dizzy from time to time.  Once in a while my heart will race.  I find myself thirsty more often but do not drink more because I am urinating more.  On occasion my kidney will hurt as well.  My feet, mainly toes hurt and tingle like needles are poking me and after standing on them for awhile then it feels like someone is crushing my toes.  My muscles ache and my joints hurt.  When I sit at work and get up to help someone or go to the bathroom, I hurt so much I have to hold on to something for my first few steps.  This has been going on since August and yes, I finally went to the doctor.  Due to all of this, I have not felt like posting a whole lot.  I just do not want to post boo hoo things always or negative. 

Blood has been drawn and I go back December 3rd to talk about it it.  The day before I went I used Todd's glucose reader and took mine.  140 after fasting all night, this is high but my AC1 is 6.1 and averages 128, which is on the high end of pre-diabetes.  6.4 is medical diagnosed diabetic.  A lot of my symptoms are diabetic but not the muscle aching.  My eg levels for my kidney test is stage 2 of kidney damage.  This is not a total bad thing, according to what I read, they will have to just monitor it yearly and I should stay away from the ibuprofen which I use a lot for my knees.  They also tested for hypothyroidism.  This may explain why the muscles ache and the feet swelling but it came back on the low end of hypo close to normal.  I have no clue what is wrong with me, except the doctor did note in his letter we are going to discuss possibly putting me on Metformin which is for diabetes.  The biggest thing on the letter that hurt was seeing Morbid Obesity.  I expected the obesity but the morbid just killed me.

Okay, now we are caught up with the negative things.   I have had some fun things going on.  A couple of weekends ago, Taj and I made Pilgrim Hat Cookies.  It was very much like the Witch Hat Cookies, only we used yellow frosting and Rolo Candy instead of Hershey Kisses.  We had a lot of fun. 

 

This weekend is our Taj weekend and I plan on making TMNT ornaments.  Watch for a fun post with him.  Well I need to get back to prepping for Thanksgiving.  I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving. 


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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

November Goals





It is a blog hop, so click on the Monthly Goal button and you will see those who play along post as well. Come join along!
Monthly Goals


RECAP OF OCTOBER GOALS
  • Complete one book.  SUCCESS I am
  • Work on cleaning out my closet and purging. SUCCESS I am loving the closet.  I purged a lot of clothing and made one of the shelves an additional place to put my shoes. 
  • Post about my Living History Farms day. SUCCESS You can read about it by clicking here.
  • Go to the Madison County Covered Bridge Festival.  FAILED I was not feeling well the weekend of the festival.  We will definitely do it next year.  I have to because it is on my 50 x 50 list, PLUS I really want to go.
  • Make over guest bedroom/toy roomSUCCESS As soon as I pick up my quilt my Mom made I will post pictures of the room.  I cannot wait to see my finished quilt. 
  • Make over small hallway off the foyer. In Progress  This room was more difficult to do because we had Taj a little more than normal.  It will be completed this weekend and I will post pictures then. 
  • Make throw pillows for the love seat.  SUCCESS on some and others still needing me to get to. We picked up the throw blanket when we were in Yellowstone this past Summer.  I love the look of it on back of the love seat.  It makes me happy when I see it and remember the great vacation we had.
  • Make throw pillow and pillow cases for the guest bed.  In Progress  I have the material washed.  I just need to sew them.
  • Make throw pillows for my boys and sisters from my Dad's shirts.  In Progress  I have some of the pillows completed but not all.  I needed to pick up more shirts my Mom put aside for me.  I will post pictures once I am all done with them this month.  I even made an extra three, two for my nephews and one for my Grandma.
  • Complete one painting.  SUCCESS I had begun my seasonal painting but I had to start over.  When I went back to my project two of the canvas were destroyed.  I believe one of the cats got to them.  I was not a happy camper but I completed the background for the entire series and Spring is complete.
  • Begin to work out again.  In Progress  I did the last three days of the month.
  • Take 30 minutes each day to do my daily devotions.  In Progress I feel really good about this one, not only was I able to do better on this one I also began a program to read the Bible in one year another thing on my 50 x 50 list.
I have to be honest, time since vacation is just flying by.  I am trying so hard to make this year a healthier me but I have to admit, I am very blue.  There are days I just cry.  Noah Christian is wearing me down.  I know I am not alone, Todd feels this way too.  We wake up and fear what type of mood he is in.  Will he be able to handle the day or will we be dragged into school or worse the law because he has made bad choices?  I try to give my worries to the Lord and it seems to work at times but what is wearing me the most is how deeply disrespectful he is.  This Friday he will be 16 and I still have not allowed him to get his driving permit.  He is angry with me for this, but as I told him, I have to know he will be safe and make the right decisions when he is behind the wheel.  He feels he is above rules and does what he likes, how am I to know how safe he will be OR how safe others will be when it was just last month he was mad at a girl who would not get out of his seat and he chose to pour her coffee over her.  I just feel this is one battle I have to stand my ground.  With all of this turmoil, it is very hard for me to work out and stay on task.  November's month goals are important for the holidays and the family. 

NOVEMBER GOALS
  • Complete one book.
  • Plan a complete Thanksgiving Dinner for the family.
  • Participate with Black Friday Shopping.
  • Complete Christmas Gift paintings.
  • Begin to decorate for Christmas.
  • Celebrate three of our children's birthdays...yes that is right Ethan, Christian, and Emily have birthdays in November. Christian and Emily are consecutive days on top of it.
  • Make some Christmas ornaments with Taj.   
  • Complete the throw pillows from my Dad's shirts. 
  • Complete the small hallway off the foyer.

What type of goals do you have this month?




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Monday, November 2, 2015

Halloween

Halloween is a big thing at our house and we watched Taj on Halloween.  He told us several times through out the day and night how this was the BEST HALLOWEEN EVER! 
 Above:  Papa a.k.a Todd  carving the pumpkin.
Below: Taj helping me make some Halloween goodies.
While he created he asked me if I could be one of his best friends.
I just love this kid.
 We made Witch Hats, Broom Sticks, and Bones
 
 Above: I painted a pumpkin for Taj.  He was very happy with it.
Below: is the carved pumpkin.
 We scaled back on our yard a little.
We did not add the strobe lights or the fog machine this year.
We also did not add the scary music.
Taj was way too scared of what we did have.
 
 
 
 
 
 We did add two new additions.
Above the jumping spider.  Todd placed it by the door.
It jumps out and the eyes begin to glow and it makes this creepy noise.
Many people scared when it jumped at them.  
Below we added eyes to our bedroom window.
I love love love the eyes.
 
 Our costumes this year:

Ethan and Madi: Flynn Rider and Rapunzel
 Joshua and McKenzie plus some coworkers:
Final Fantasy Four.  Joshua is the one is purple and black sleeves.
McKenzie is in red.
 Kera: Catwoman
 Me: The Joker, Taj: Batman, and Todd: Robin
We also dress up at work and my team was People of Walmart.

One of my guilty pleasures is watching Dancing With Stars.  I just love this season until one of my favorites was voted off last week.  Last week was the Halloween Theme and the this team dance NAILED it and my little favorite who was kicked off just shined in this number.






I hope you all had a great Halloween Too!

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September Goals