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June 2012
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August 2012

diy l homemade vanilla coffee syrup

i'm a coffee drinker. i drink several cups of coffee a morning. and i always add two splendas + french vanilla coffeemate creamer (or the comparable walmart brand which is usually cheaper). seriously, we go through creamer like a cow delivers milk. if my georgia boy jarrod gets his paws on the decadent stuff the creamer runs through our household like rushing waters at a dam opening.

so when i saw elsie + emma's recipe for homemade coffee syrups i knew it was something i wanted to try. mostly because it was super easy.

i really wanted the jars with the spout like is used for olive oils but when i went to the craft store all they had were these old-fashioned, large milk jug jars. loved them. i purchased one round and one square-shaped. some burlap. some string. a very old tag, hidden in my 'tag' bin, completed the decorations for my jar of homemade vanilla coffee syrup.

here's what i did: in a medium size sauce pan i added 3 cups of water and 3 cups of sugar on medium heat stirring constantly until the all the sugar dissolves. and stir just a few minutes more. remove from heat. i added two spoonfuls (a tablespoon-size) of clear pure vanilla extract and stirred well.

i had to immediately try it out. it is divine. it is a strong enough vanilla-sugary flavor that i didn't need to add anything else to my coffee.

my next homemade coffee syrup: caramel - oh my!

today i love l july edition

i am still searching for bedroom decor. and have purchased some items. seems i'm leaning heavily towards red and want to change up making sure blues are included and i'm seriously considering a golden yellow accent since i'm no longer in the red accent stage. found 1 and 2 at overstock. love the mix of colors and would look awesome in the room adding in enough blue. 3 is a dream and is on sale right now. i don't have a phone with app to take those instant photos so this would be a wonderful change up from my either of my canon's. and it's on sale right now. would be a great christmas present to tuck away. and it's on sale right now!!!

4 i love!!!! they are already on my bed. they are amazingly soft. the perfect color. they fit my oversized mattress exactly. the flat sheet is huge, covering both of us and can be tucked in on all three sides. love these flannel sheets. i know you're think flannel in this hot summer. but we love them and while my other 'cheap' flannels from walmart were soft we sweat all the time. we haven't sweat once with these sheets. so comfortable. and the color is perfect.

5 i'll be teaching this study in the fall and i can't wait! i've been away from leading bible studies for over a year and it's time to return.


5 new recipes

for august i have 5 new recipes planned. i can't wait to try them, especially the one this week - but all of them look fantastic and i'm excited to add them to our august menu which i'll work on this week.

1. the first is from barefoot in the kitchen. i found this food blog most recently and i like alot of the farings she offers.

Mexican unstuffed bell peppers 2
these spicy mexican un-stuffed bell peppers look wonderful. i don't like my peppers overdone and mushy so i've hesitated making stuffed peppers (although i know i'd love all the inner flavors) because they get so mushy. but this recipes looks like i can control the crunch better for the vegetables. so i'm looking forward to trying. i'm sure the entire clan will love this one.

2. next up is a spicy, sweet pan-fried tilapia. not sure how this one will go over because one of the georgia boys isn't a fan of fish - but he said he doesn't mind fried fish. i think he's meaning breaded, fried fish but i'm goin' with just the fried to try and get this on the table. it looks amazing!

picture the recipe has this chili lime marinated tilapia with a sweet and spicy mango salsa that looks divine and i'm itchin' to try. hopefully there will be awesome flavor that packs a powerful punch and my hatin' fish, georgia boy will love it.

3. not a main dish but a side. or a snack. this the girl who ate everything bloomin' onion bread looks amazing too.

packed with green onions, monteray jack cheese, butter. and butter. this bread will go over nicely with the georgia boys.

4. i have seen this picture on pinterest:

and have wanted to try it forever. i've made several dishes from the barefoot contessa and this baked lemon chicken breast looks awesome. i've got some of the fresh herbs on my window sill and the flavor of lemon and chicken go so well together i'm sure this will be a big hit.

5. last is from simply scratch. a jalapeno popper grilled cheese.

there are probably hundreds of recipes out there for jalapeno popper grilled cheese sandwiches and i've perused many of them but i've really had my eye on this one from simply scratch. love how the recipe going together looks. just looks really good. we adore poppers and i know the boys will get a kick out of this sandwich. all my boys.

those are the five new recipes that i can already taste just thinking about them. of course i'll share when we've devoured them and tell ya how they were.

hello monday l new challenges


hello the story. this is the new bible curriculum we will be doing this year for homeschool. i originally had pilgrims progress on the schedule but our church is doing the story this year and i love max lucado + their is a teen edition with dvds

hello homeschool. we start their 9th grade year this week. so excited.

hello two crafty projects. i'm determined to make them this week.

hello goodbye. we have to attend the funeral of a wonderful, loving, awesome lady that we have known for 12 years. and we will miss her greatly.

hello schedule. we are going to be back on a tighter schedule with homeschool beginning this week; i will need to begin working up a weekly schedule.

hello new recipes. i have five planned for this month. and one for this week.

hello stormy weather. lovin' all the rain we've been getting. unfortunately it is muggy, and extremely hot in the long expanse between showers. 

hello pool. will i see you this week.

hello weigh in and tape. the beginning of the month is this week and i will be weighing in and taping. just really hate this part. but i missed july's and i need to get back on track in august.

hello monday. i like that i've returned to welcoming the week in.

i'm linking up with lisa 

lookin' back

someone posted this picture on facebook challenging everyone if they knew what it was a picture of. duh.

speakers at a drive in movie theatre.

i'm sure there are many of the young generation today who have no idea what a drive in theatre is unless maybe they are a fan of the musical grease.

when i saw this picture a flood, well a trickle anyways, of memories came back.

stanley. i'm not sure what my parents were thinking in the early '70s, although i think we saw stanley because it was the movie before the feature presentation, we got two movies for one. we intended to watch the strongest man in the world.

thank goodness we ended with that movie. because stanley was the horror of horror flicks and probably was the culprit to my never-ending fear of horror flicks. stanley was about revenge. revenge using poisonous snakes. simply, a guy, an indian, takes revenge on everyone who did him wrong using his beloved, poisonous snakes to do it. two parts of the movie i distinctly remember: the guy, the indian takes out one enemy by putting a swimming pool full of water moccasins in the guys swimming pool because the indian knows it is his enemies habit to head straight for the diving board and dive in without even glancing at the water.

the second scene i remember was the ending. the snakes turn on their 'master'. i suppose a fitting ending to revenge. it'll always bite you in the patookie.

i know we watched other films but stanley and the strongest man in the world are the only two i remember. probably my selective memory (that i'm thought to have).

but i do remember the popcorn too. not theatre popcorn. homemade popcorn.

my mom would pop several batches of homemade popcorn and dump it in large brown paper grocery sacks. i'm sure we took drinks too but i don't remember the drinks. just the popcorn. we enjoyed popcorn and a movie in the confines of our car listening to the movie through those speakers in the picture above.

taking the georgia boys to a drive-in movie (there is one still a couple counties southwest) is something i've wanted to do.


it was an unusual birthday for the boys as both hoosier man and i had to work. but we had plans to celebrate the boys' 15th birthday the entire evening. we hijacked their best friend Hunter to join us for the evening, surprising the boys too and getting a sharp scream when they realized Hunter was coming along when we went to pick him up. We headed for Richmond Hill and Jump n Jack, a fairly new establishment - fun zone with laser tag and arcade games galore. We were only planning on a couple of games of laser tage before heading for dinner but the owner of Jump n Jack's is a friend of Jeff's and he had one of his employees give each of them a $20 gift card to use in the arcade. it was like a special birthday present for them all. they really had a bunch of fun.

the boys chose olive garden for dinner. not a bad choice. we didn't have a long wait because it was after 7pm and it was a thursday. we played 20 questions, going around the table several times, throughout the meal, and just chatting before going home to have the boys open presents. of course they made out like bandits. Legos from each other and their friend. their big sister elizabeth gave them ipods, head phones, charger, and a gift card to the app store. they were in awe!!! our gift rocked too. we got them pump action bb guns with a 'laser' scope. its a bigger, more sophisticated bb gun then their first one, made for older teens.

it was a good evening celebrating their 15 years

etsy window shopping

cocoBeans has lovely crocheted dishcloths in many colors. love these things. would love them in many, many colors. all my window shopping recently at etsy was spurred on by the few finds from elsie larsen's window shopping for her new house. we don't have quite the same tastes but i love window shopping etsy looking for the unusual - and the wonderful. and to dream about the lovely finds and where they would go in my home.

wind and willow makes so so wonderful wooden bowl sets. i love this salad bowl set. especially since we eat alot of salad. how fun it would be to serve them in this set. i love the 'neon-ish' pink base. it's not overwhelming. they make lovely little bowls that would make beautiful planters too.

hello bedroom!!!! this would go in our master bedroom. perfect colors. this is on my list to possibly make someday but i'd need hoosier man to cut strips of wood in a bunch of various sizes. but pretty cool. this modern-wall art is by art glamour sligo. awesome pieces in their shop.

this is actually a coaster made by miniart. i love the typewriter type and the off-centered nature of the type. i actually see this as inspirational for a piece of wall art. nice reminder to see myself as Christ sees me rather than how i (or others) see me.

joy mirror by hearty designs. i thought at first it would be awesome for christmas decoration and it would but i love the reminder year round too. and the colors work for any room - even our bedroom (but i think i'm acquiring plenty other pieces for our bedroom - don't want to over crown.)

could you imagine all these pieces worn on the wrist together. i could!!! oh, it would be awesome. and they look so easy to make. i want them all and more. these button bracelets are made by bucket full of trinkets. and such a cute shop name.

i would love any and all of these finds. but isn't it fun to just window shop.


john. just days old. he was a big boy for a twin. 6 lbs 2 oz.

jarrod. days old. 6 lbs. 7 oz. another big boy.

together through the years. best pals. confidants. playmates. joys. so much fun. my God knew what He was doing when He surprised us with twins 15 years ago today.

not much has changed. still big boys 5'11" and 5'10". still confidants. still best pals and best friends. still playmates. still joys to our hearts. still make us laugh. but they also have grown into godly young men who love the Lord. who serve others faithfully and serve the Lord. they are playful and fun. kind-hearted. strong leaders. tender. gentle giants. they work hard, albeit sometimes grudgingly but what kid doesn't. they still play with Legos and guns preferring to be the hero instead of the villian. they love being homeschooled. they love to swim. and to read. and love their mommas cooking.

what a wonderful 15 years we have been blessed with.

road to alaska and boy scouts camp

livin' in alaska and enjoying weekends that take them outdoors, seeing the glorious scenes our fair state of alaska has to offer. i'm livin' in alaska through the photos my daughter elizabeth is taking and lovin' every minute.

another page for their road to alaska album. i don't think this is the last page but it sure is close. i think i still have some alaska or canada pictures yet to scrap. plus all the journaling that i need from elizabeth.

the boys and hoosier man attended boy scout camp this month at camp rainey mountain in north georgia. they attended classes for six merit badges but we think they only came home with 5 maybe even just 4. a couple of the badges require some additional work. they would not have come home with even four if they had not done alot of the preparation such as a 90-day physical fitness log, visit a museum with indian artifacts, or make the moccasins john made. camp is a great opportunity to get a bunch of merit badges all at once.




eklutna lake, alaska (photo by my daughter elizabeth, my budding photographer)

sometimes i enjoy solitude

sometimes i am pleased with my weight loss and other times I’m still very discouraged

sometimes i could really use a hug

sometimes i just want to read, read, read and do nothing else

sometimes i wish i could enjoy reading anything and everything

sometimes (ok a lot of times) i would like to have girlfriends that just want to hang

sometimes i make hot onion dip just for me

sometimes i see something i’d like to make or create and I know I don’t have the abilities to

sometimes in the summer i wish it was winter

sometimes i envision traveling the world

sometimes i am discontent but most of the time i am content

sometimes i go days without being in the Word and I don’t know why because i enjoy it immensely

sometimes i miss my girls and grandkids so much i just cry

sometimes i think about giving away all my scrapbooking supplies and just go all digital and then I think about how much I spent on them