Monday, March 20, 2023

Weekend Recap - Backroads, Babysitting and Some Visitors

Happy Monday, friends!
It's a cold Monday here in Texas!
36 degrees to be exact...brrr!!

David and I had a great weekend. 

Moving backwards from yesterday,
we went to church early,
then took a drive to one of our favorite
restaurants about an hour north,
where we had some down home cooking,
of meatloaf, mashed potatoes and green beans.
I mean, it doesn't get more homey than that!

I had to snap this picture as we took
a back road home.
David and I have always loved traveling down the backroads,
but that's a entire set of posts we could go down,
but don't have the time right now. 

Once we got back, we basically had coffee,
watched a series on tv and had a very restful day.

Saturday we had the privilege of keeping this little guy.

His mommy and daddy were going to a wedding,

so we got to play with Asa for a few hours.

What a joy!

He is a few days shy of 10 months old

and is so curious about everything.

And everything goes in the mouth right now,

because he has 10 teeth!


Here are mommy and daddy, 

once known as

Collin and Morgan 😀

(a baby changes everything!)

They are the cutest couple

and so much fun to be around

with their personalities.

The rest of the weekend was spent admiring these

visitors we have had for a few days.

They came last year too and we never tire

of watching them.

They have camped out on the shore just by the boat

for a few days.

I'm sure they will set off on their next adventure soon,

but for now, we are enjoying them.

Today I am spending the day

taking care of household things,

such as food inventory, meal planning,

grocery list, laundry, and 

hopefully cheering David on as

he begins demo work on the old shed.

We're making progress around here,

which feels great!

Well I'm off to start the day 😀

Until Next Time...


Wednesday, March 15, 2023

What's On The Table and Other Catching Up Things


What's on the table this week? Well it's a cake platter of store-bought cinnamon rolls that I bought when David and I took a trip to Sam's this week (which can be dangerous). 

I was doing really well with sticking to the list, until we got to the bread/tortilla/baked goods section. 

I spotted them, David wanted them and somehow they ended up on our table for the week. But you know what? I'm not a fan. They don't have that great of a flavor, so I've only eaten one. The kids loved them, so they will get eaten, but from now on, I'll just make them instead of buying them. 

Speaking of kids...last night we had our weekly family dinner and it was wild 😀 Two teething baby boys and two girls with allergies from all the pollen. Two sets of parents who aren't getting much sleep these days. One 7 year old who sleeps great and never gets sick, but wants to spend quality time, no matter how much chaos is going on. Two grandparents who collapsed on the couch when they all left. 

I fixed 3 pans of chicken enchiladas, homemade Spanish rice and some really spicy Mexican cheese dip I picked up at Sam's. We had plenty left over so everyone got to take some food home with them when they left. I love it when I can send my kids home with stuff. 


David finished off a huge project we've been dreading the entire time we've lived here, which was cleaning out the old storage shed, organizing his workshop and moving his mother's stuff in storage over to our building until we can get another one. Lots of work! But it's finally done and now all that's left is to demo the shed and buy the new one. 

The bathroom project has been put on hold while the weather outside is so nice and will resume once the shed is torn down. But that's ok, because I am so thrilled that it's been cool and perfect weather for David to be doing all of this. I think we have one more week of cooler weather and then we will be back to hot and humid. That's when it's great to have indoor projects!


David had a great interview last week and yet this week has been quiet. This is week 5 and up until this point, his phone has been very busy with people contacting him. He has yet to apply to one job on his own. All of the interviews and inquiries he's had, have been people wanting him to apply and send in his resume, once they found out he was unemployed. 

In the meantime, we are praying for clarity as each opportunity arises and asking God to eliminate anything that we need to avoid (and he has!). 

Over the years God has protected us from so many jobs that have come across our path and then turned out to be lots of trouble later. We've been able to look back and thank him for protection. That's what we are praying for this time, as well. 


The budget is going surprisingly well! Having your income cut in half is certainly a challenge, but not impossible.

I've only ordered two books in 5 weeks! That's a record! And they have totaled less than $20. We've eaten out about once a week, but very frugally, so no guilt there. 

The bills have been paid since the beginning of March (for the entire month), we still have money in our wallets, the bank, and another check coming in soon, so we are doing well. 


I have been trying to go with the flow these days and just work on purging, cleaning and organizing something each day.  It's taken me this long to acclimate to the "new normal" of having David at home during the day, which means all of my routines have had to adjust and merge with his. I have walked around lost on many days; not knowing what to work on next. That sounds ridiculous, but I'm just being honest. 

In seeking what God would want me to learn during this time, I've come to the conclusion that he's stretching me and teaching me to seek him for the daily agenda and let go of what I deemed as important for each day. Some days that has looked like work and some days it's looked like rest. 

I have surrendered my schedule, my agenda, my need for structure and routine - all to God for these days, because I don't want to miss what he wants to show me during this time. 

In the meantime...little by little, I'm starting to feel the itch to get back to writing, which is so exciting. It's my passion. It's what lights that spark in me and I've missed it for the past few years. 

I'm slowly working on things, careful to not toss myself into chaos or a self-induced stress mindset, which I can so easily do. 

I'm following the direction the Lord is leading and as always, I believe all of this cleaning, organizing, purging, etc. he has me doing, will serve me well in my writing, in the future. 

Well, that's all the catching up for today. I have some errands to run and then some downtime this afternoon, which I'm really looking forward to.

I hope your day is full of all the good things today holds!

Until Next Time...


Monday, March 13, 2023

Homemade Bread and A Weekend Recap


Happy Monday, friends! It's early morning and as I sit here typing, something is rattling on my desk and my dog, Banjo, is snoring on the carpet in my office. So much for a quiet start to the day 😀 But, we shall prevail with the weekend recap, because that's seems to be what I do on Monday mornings. 

This weekend found me cooking on Saturday again. In fact, I was up at 5:00 a.m. Saturday making the dough for homemade bread. I intended on doing it Friday night, but forgot, so I got started bright and early the next day, to give it time to rise before dinner. 

I doubled the batch this time and made one big loaf and two smaller loaves to share. It turned out delicious, as you can see from the picture. 

Then, in honor of my dad's birthday this past week, I made a pot of beans. 

My dad was known for his beans and bbq, so when we cook beans, we think of my dad. 

These went into the crockpot and simmered all day, which is not the way my dad cooked beans.

He cooked them on the stove and no one else touched them. He took pride in watching over the beans, making sure not to stir them too much. They cooked for hours and always tasted the same, every time, with his spice combination of chili powder and I don't know what else.  Here's to you, dad!

Next, I put a big roast in the 2nd crockpot and let it simmer all day in my favorite marinade. If you haven't tried this, grab a bottle next time you want to cook a roast and you will not be disappointed. I use half the bottle and save the other half for next time. 

This is the only spice and liquid you will need and your roast will come out tender enough to fall apart and have all the savory flavor you could want. 

After setting all the cooking in motion for the day, I spent the rest of Saturday deep cleaning my dining, kitchen and living room. Mopping, moving things, cleaning baseboards, rearranging and putting it all back. I love a good Saturday of cleaning and what I call "loving on my home." It just feels good at the end of the day to sit back and enjoy a clean floor and a shiny space. Setting out a nice candle on the table and everything feels fresh and new. 

While I was making the inside of the house shine, David was outside still working on getting the building ready to demolish. He cleaned everything out of his workshop and was able to throw much away that wasn't ours and make room for actually being able to use the workbench for projects. Isn't that what every man dreams of...his own workshop? I've always wanted him to have one and I consider it a little bonus blessing that God gave us, when he led us to this house. 

Saturday evening we sat down to a delicious meal of roast, beans and homemade bread, but just as I was getting the plates ready, I realized I had completely forgotten to cook the potatoes! We always have mashed potatoes with roast and I just didn't even think about it until it was time to eat. Uggg! Oh well. There's always next time. 

Sunday we spent the morning doing some things for David's mom and taking her to lunch. Since she lives in an assisted living, we don't eat with her very often. But she was determined to get out for awhile, so we went to lunch and stopped by Kroger to grab some things she needed. It was a short outing, but hopefully lifted her spirits a bit.

On our way home we got a frozen coffee drink, which I haven't had since David lost his job over a month ago now. I've been watching every penny we spend, so frivolous drinks have not been on the list of what to spend money on. It was delicious, of course. 

The rest of yesterday was spent relaxing, watching tv, reading and eating leftovers for dinner. The perfect way to end the weekend.

Speaking of's a peek at what I'm getting in the mail these days 😀

Hmmm...are we seniors yet? I don't know but I think I might actually want this book, regardless 😀

And with that I'll say...

Until Next Time...


Friday, March 10, 2023

Runaway Cows, Millie Day and Some Outside Projects


I've been a little short on photos this week, so this morning I stepped out on the back porch to take a picture of the lake, turned my head and saw this...real life. 

I mean, the lake is real life too, but so is renovation when you buy a fixer upper. 

Last weekend we borrowed this trailer from a friend so we could empty that ugly building right beside it and tear it down. 

This has been such a hideous eyesore since we moved here, nearly three years ago, but we were renting and it wasn't ours to get rid of. But now it's about to be history!

David will continue working on that today, while I clean and cook, run to the bank and attempt to do some other projects that have been on the list this week.

Yesterday was Millie Day, so we had the 3 girls all day.

Millie Day is always filled with food, crafts, dance parties, outside play and snacks. It's been extra exciting since David's been home. Yesterday he started a fire in the firepit, which thrilled Ella and Addie. Emmy stayed inside with me and she read her latest book to me. We both agreed that we don't like smelling like smoke. 

Later that day, while we were taking a little break from playing outside (did I mention it was 81 degrees?), I looked out the kitchen window and saw 4 cows on the street outside our front gate! That's not something you see everyday, so I yelled for everyone to come see! We quickly got shoes on and headed outside, but the cows were already heading into the woods and we never saw them again. 

We know of a man who has cattle on the next street over, so David called the police to report the missing cows. By the time the police and animal control got there (which only took 5 minutes), the cows had disappeared deep into the woods.  Later we put the girls in the car and took a drive to see if we could spot the cows on some nearby roads, but they were nowhere to be seen. Oh well! It was exciting for a bit 😀

I'm glad the cows moved on, though I would have loved if the girls could have seen them up close. But it reminded me of a time, many years ago, when some horses got loose from a nearby farm and David was helping round them up and ended up with some broken fingers. We definitely don't need any broken bones right now! David has a job interview today, so he needs to be in good shape 😀

Well, I'm off to start the day of cleaning the house and enjoying a productive weekend, I hope. Although, when there are outside projects going on, I feel like cleaning is kind of useless, but it's nice while it lasts. 

Have a wonderful weekend my friends!

Until Next Time...


Wednesday, March 8, 2023

What to Do With a Leftover Pie Crust?


Is this really a topic to write about?
Why yes, I think it is!

Because don't we all have a left over roll of pie crust dough

at one time or another?

And wouldn't you like to know what to do with it, if you did?

Well, I had to google the ideas, but once I did,

it all made sense!

Take the breakfast sausage in the freezer,

sauté it with some butter and onion,

throw in some spinach,

until soft.

Pour the meat mixture into the pie crust

(which is already in the pie plate).

Beat 4 eggs with some milk,

pour over the meat mixture in the pie plate,

and top with lots of cheese.

Bake at 350 until done.

And breakfast is served!

And delicious.

And now I know what to do with a leftover pie crust.


Until Next Time...


Monday, March 6, 2023

A Photo Recap - What a Beautiful Weekend!

Hello Friends! It's another new week and I thought I would just share 

some pictures from my phone for the past few days.  

Saturday evening I made Tollhouse cookies.

I made a batch for the weekend and 

put two baggies of dough in the freezer

for another day of craving cookies.

While the cookies were baking,

I snapped a picture of the living room.

With the lighter colored furniture,

the room looks totally different,

but it's growing on me.

I love the evening sunlight just outside these doors.

David and I have been tracking this baby duck all week.

He's been playing in the lake all by himself for days.

He floats around and then bobs under water

before surfacing in a completely different spot. 

We love it when we have visitors in the lake!

We've had some gorgeous mornings this past week!

I had to get a shot of the blue sky.

David took the girls for a boat ride on Thursday.

They love to work the paddle while David steers. 
I saw them going in circles at one point.

Friday night Collin, Morgan and Asa stopped by

to grab some packages.

It was such a beautiful evening

so we sat on the porch and talked for awhile.

Here's Asa and PawPaw sharing a laugh together.


Sunday was church, home for lunch,

and some purging of an outside storage

building that we are about to tear down.

It's a big job that we've been dreading,

but it's one more step in the renovation process,

so the finished product will be worth the hard work.

This week will bring more of the same.

Today is grocery shopping,

more outside work,

and making a big pot of minestrone soup for lunches this week.

We will also be celebrating my "baby's" birthday.

Collin will be 24 this year!

I can't believe it.

I still want to squeeze him,

every time he walks through the door.

Which I do, of course. 😀

I'm sure there will be plenty of pictures to share!

Until then...I wish you all a great week

filled with (hopefully) spring-like weather,

family time, friends you love,

and lots of good food. 

Until Next Time...


Tuesday, February 28, 2023

A Job Update and Stocking Up


I thought it was time for a job update and an honest look at how everything has been going the past few weeks. 

Today is officially 3 weeks since David was let go. We are doing great, although we have our moments of anger and disbelief that people can be so deceitful and lie to your face, while smiling at the same time.

As the weeks have gone by, we've been able to piece things together and have realized that my husband was most likely fired because he was making too much money and on track to bonus for the 4th time in a year. This often happens with big companies. It's all about their bottom line and the guys at the top are greedy and don't want you getting in the way of the budget. 

So, just like that, they can make up an excuse and did you know that in Texas they don't have to disclose any reason for you being fired? Isn't that the most unfair thing you've ever heard of? They can just give you any lame reason, pack your box and change the course of your life in a moment's time.

But..what they meant for evil, God has used for good!

If I'm repeating myself, I'm sorry, but I have to say that my husband needed to be gone from that place and in the past 3 weeks, he has rested, been able to connect with many old friends and colleagues who have reached out to him with job leads and already has at least two companies that would hire him TODAY, if he were ready to accept.

We've been able to look back and see God's favor in so many ways and for that, we are so grateful. 

As far as the money situation...

We had money in savings (still do- haven't touched it) and have been doing fine with what was left in our checking after the last pay check. He has severance pay coming in (what we are calling "hush money"), so that is paying the bills for now. Hush money means that they give you a severance, tell you not to talk about anything for 6 months "or else" and that's that. Though I sound bitter about it, I'm actually grateful, but again, just another tactic to keep you under their thumb of control. 

However, I recently used our credit card points to acquire gift cards that allowed me to totally stock up on pantry items, snacks, dog food, paper goods and fill the freezer with meat. Where there's a will, there's a way! 

I've gotten the budget down to paying all the bills and still having a good amount each week for groceries, gas, and extra needs as they arise.  Life is good 😀

We've had many talks about this situation and both agree that it's such a blessing to be gone from that job. Now we have to guard our hearts from dwelling on the schemes of men and focus on moving on to better things, with more wisdom and with David earning the respect he deserves. 

I firmly believe that if you look, you can see God's hand in most circumstances (not talking tragedies here). And what you do with that information gained, while looking for God, will be the difference in how you move forward. 

I share all of this to honor what God is doing in our life and because...

"He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God." 2 Corinthians 1:4

And I love the Passion Translation the most...

"He always comes alongside us to comfort us in every suffering so that we can come alongside those who are in any painful trial. We can bring them this same comfort that God has poured out upon us."

Over the past few weeks, David has been able to minister to random people he's come in contact with (because of the job loss) and has had conversations centering on the Lord, that he never expected. 

That's what life is all about, whether dealing with job loss or not. Connecting with people and pointing them to the Source of Life, which is Jesus. 

When this is all said and done, we will look back and see the hand of God in so many places and once again, marvel at his goodness and for that, this will all be worth these temporary trials we are going through.

If you are going through a trial right now, I encourage you to talk about it with trusted friends and look for God's hand in every little detail.  You never know how God will use your testimony to minister to another's heart. 

Until Next Time...


Monday, February 27, 2023

Testing Recipes and Some Ready-to-go Mixes

It seems that when I'm home on Saturdays, I like to cook. This week was no exception.

In fact, I was like a little test kitchen this past weekend; trying out two different batches of brownies, to see which ones I liked. 

I recently saw a recipe that called for yogurt in place of the oil, so I thought I would try it to see if I could make the brownies a bit more Weight Watcher's friendly. The only problem was that I only had low fat yogurt and not the Greek yogurt it called for. But, I made a batch and they came out horrible! It was like eating a glob of mud.

 So, I threw them out and reverted back to an old recipe I've had for years and finally...a good brownie...fat and all! 


While the brownies were baking, I decided to put a few ready-made mixes together, to have on hand for next time. This is one of my favorite things to do! I used to make all kinds of mixes on Saturdays and have them in the freezer or pantry until I needed them. 

This is so much easier to do, once you have the ingredients out, instead of taking time to pull out all the stuff, every single time. Plus, if you package them in a cute bag, with a tag, they make great gifts or the perfect addition to a gift basket.

The brownies came out thick and soft, but firm enough that they don't crumble. They were perfect!

This is the book the recipe came from. I've had this book for years and it is full of mixes and recipes, for the kitchen, as well as cleaning and other household concoctions.

Not the best photo, but I was too busy to write out the recipe and instructions, so I just snapped a shot to share here.

When I make the bags of mix, I make a tag with the instructions on it, that way I don't have to refer to the cookbook again, or if I give the mix away, it's already there to pass on. 

I always enjoy making these mixes, so I think I'll do more in the near future. In the past I've made Chocolate Chip Banana Bread mix, Easy Chicken Pasta mix, Beef Stroganoff mix and many others.

It's a fun way to stock the pantry or have on hand as a quick gift if you're putting together a basket or get invited and want to hand the hostess something. 

Either way, it's a "work smarter, not harder" type of task and the rewards are delicious!

Take care and I'll see you in the next post!

Until Next Time...

Saturday, February 25, 2023

We Are So Proud!

On Thursday night, David and I got some exciting news...
our oldest son, Ted, was chosen to be
inducted into his hometown's 
Walk of Fame
as the first Christian artist on the walk,
and for his career achievements
as a worship leader,
Christian artist,
music producer,
and mixing engineer.

Needless to say,
we are so proud!

 There will be an official ceremony
in March,
and afterwards,
Ted's picture and bio will be placed
in this hallway at City Hall,
and he will have a star on the 
Walk of Fame
outside the front steps.

This hallway and the walkway
carry the names of 
all the people from this little Texas town,
who have gone on to make a name for themselves.

You might recognize some of them,
such as George Jones,
Tracy Byrd,
Don Rollins,
Jennifer Wrinkle,
Billie Jo Spears
and Clay Walker.

It is quite the honor to be nominated

and voted in, by the committee

and the City Council.

It's been about 6 months in the making

and we finally got the news this week.


So yesterday we bought donuts,

told Collin and Morgan

to meet us at Ted and Alex's house,

and we surprised Ted with the news.

He was shocked, humbled, and so surprised!

He never suspected that this was ever a possibility.

He was equally shocked to find out that all of us

had managed to keep a secret this long! 😅

Many years ago, we stood on these steps

for the very first Walk of Fame ceremony

and Ted was about 16 or 17 years old.

His dad was a City Councilman

and several of our friends were being


We never dreamed we would be back

to watch our own son

get his very own star on the walk.

But here we are.

What an honor.

We are so proud of Ted

and how hard he's worked.

He's a man of integrity

and diligence

and to see him being honored for 

putting in the effort and accomplishing his dreams,

is more than we could ask for, as parents.

But mostly, having a son with great character 

and love for the Lord,

that's really all that matters.

Obviously I will share pictures of the ceremony

once it happens.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Until Next Time...


Friday, February 24, 2023

Babies Everywhere and A Pinecone Contest


Babies, babies, everywhere! That's what this week has been 😀

The first picture is our newest grandson, Calem.

His mommy sent this picture to me earlier in the week.

He is 4 months old now and is so sweet.

He smiles the minute anyone smiles at him 😀

This was Family Dinner night.

After we eat, we all move to the living room 

and play with babies.

Here's a picture of Asa Miller sitting up.

He is 9 months old today!

I can't believe he's moving toward his 1st birthday already 😢

He is also such a happy baby and his giggles are the best!

And even though this picture is blurry, 
I wanted to show a glimpse into Calem's daily life.
He's basically adored by his sisters
and can't have a moment to himself 😂

Speaking of the girls...

yesterday was Millie (and Pawpaw) day

and David organized a "pine cone" contest

for them.

They were to go through the yard collecting pine cones

and he would pay them a penny for every one they collected

and put in their pile

(see their names on the fence?).

Here's Ella working hard and of course,

Addie (the baby) deciding she wants no part

of this (after she stopped at 5 pinecones) 😀

Emmy's pile was getting bigger!

Ella was getting tired.


Emmy ended up winning with a total of

105 pinecones!

Ella came in 2nd with 25

and Addie had 5.

David doubled their money so their earnings


Emmy - $2.10

Ella - $.50

Addie - $.10

They were thrilled and talked all the way home

about adding their money to their piggy banks

and what they could buy with their earnings.

The end of their time was spent playing on the swings, riding their
jeep and having me spray them with the water hose.

When Emmy took a turn on the jeep,
Ella asked if she could water the plants,
so here she is watering the roses.

Afterwards, we went inside,
had a snack and I read a new book to them
while they ate.

Then I played a game of "hot potato" with them
and musical chairs.

They loved it!

Millie Day has been a tradition since Emmy was a baby (7 years now)
and I suspect will go on for many more!

I've got two boys to play with, so I can't stop now!

But the end of the day...
let's just say I'm tired!

But, it's a good tired 😀
and I wouldn't trade it for anything!

Have a great Friday!

Until Next Time...

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Sometimes You're Fancy and Sometimes You're Not!


Mondays have become my grocery day, so that was my task yesterday (along with laundry and other odd jobs). 

So, after breakfast, I headed out to the grocery store to pick up some things for family dinner on Tuesday. I always try to turn the phone ringer down very low or even put it on silent, so I don't get calls in the store. One of my greatest pet peeves is to see women walking around the store, telling their life story while all of the rest of us are forced to listen. It drives me crazy!

I was just about done with my shopping, when I happened to look at my phone and see a text message from our next door neighbor, inviting us to dinner that night. It sounded like a great idea, so I had to make a quick decision about what to bring. I'm so glad I was already in the store and hadn't checked out yet!

I took a quick detour over to the bakery department and grabbed a Sock It To Me cake and called it a day.

That night we walked through the back yard to their house and had a delicious meal of roast, mashed potatoes and green beans. The beans had an extra touch, which our friend said was a recipe of her mom's. She sauté's bread crumbs in butter and you sprinkle the crumbs over your green beans and let me tell was so delicious! I will definitely be adding that to my next batch of green beans!

The dinner was so nice and casual and so was the dessert 😀

I didn't even try to disguise the cake by taking it out of the container. I just brought it along - as is - and set it on the counter and had no shame 😀

After dinner we sat at the table eating store bought cake and some Polish donuts (my friend is Polish) that she happened to find at HEB and were still in the box on the table, along with the cake. 

Nothing fancy, nothing by scratch (except the meal) and yet the fellowship was so much fun and everything was delicious. 

Sometimes you have time to get fancy and bake and sometimes you get a last minute invitation and you do your best not to come empty handed.

Either way, it's the fellowship that counts, whether it's over Polish donuts or Sock It To Me cake. Just eat and enjoy. You can be fancy on another day. 😀

Until Next Time...