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February 2014
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April 2014

april menu plan.

April 2014 menu

Best thing I could have done for managing our family dinners and family life is plan a menu for an entire month. It works so well for us. Because I can see out for the whole month, we are eating different foods everyday of the month, new recipes are thrown in here and there, I have something to go by when I head out to do the shopping for the week, and it just, plain, makes life easier for us.

Our menu plan is where I schedule date nights for Jeff and I, breakfasts for the Elevate volunteers at church, and small group desserts. In addition, I often schedule boy scout events that will impact what is being served for dinner.

These menu plans have been such a blessing!

This month I've added a couple new side dishes of vegetables, enter in corn and carrots to the menu which we don't each much of - especially carrots. Otherwise, a pretty normal menu. We do have a friend coming over for Sunday afternoon lunch/dinner, and we're gonna' invite friends to either a Friday or Saturday dinner also this month.

right now.


right now I'm considering this painting for over our master bed and deciding on what size I want.

right now I'm pinning indigo blue elements for our master bedroom. I'm keeping the gray walls, all of our wonderfully blue quilts, even the red elements in the room - but adding more indigo blue. It's a good plan.

right now we'll be heading to an engineering firm, with John and Jarrod in Boy Scout uniform to begin discussions and drawing up plans for their Eagle Scout projects. The engineering and architectural firm is donating their services. How amazing is that!

right now homeschool co-op is coming down to the last six-weeks or so and I'm so excited for the upcoming break on Fridays.

right now I am almost done with my chronological album project but hit a slight snag because there are a couple years I scrapbooked so much one year fills an album. So, I need more albums.

right now I am coveting my date nights with Jeff. They are gold in our life. Because of his job (read: boss) we've lost our once a week lunch dates so don't let anyone move in on our dates...or else!

right now I've walked more miles in the month of March than the month of February but no where near what I'd hoped.

right now, and hopefully for the rest of the year, I'm reading through the Bible using a 'read thru the Bible in a year plan' and I am lovin' it. The Lord is showing me so many things in His Word.

right now I am so excited a long ago friend has re-emerged in my life and we had a great beginning lunch date of re-connection.

right now I really need to take more photos of our everyday life. It makes recording life so much easier.

right now I'm planning a photo book of our weekend trip to north Georgia, Smithgall State Park and Anna Ruby Falls. I'm not sure what company I'll use for the book: Artifact Uprising is a definite possibility. But, so is Blurb and of course, Shutterfly.

right now I'm relieved that my first colonoscopy procedure is over and I have the all clear (for 10 years hopefully!)

right now I purchased new tea towels, dish towels, and dish cloths, trashed our old dingy ones and organized our 'towel' holders. I love organizing things. It always feels like a huge accomplishment and frees up my mind for other things - can't explain it - it just does.

right now life is busy but good with Boy Scout Eagle projects, service activities and church, finishing up 10th grade homeschool over the next couple months and planning a relaxed summer.


project life 2014 | week 12


I was flipping through my Project Life album from last year and I gotta' say that I really like how I changed things up, used more color, but still kept it pretty darn simple and clean. While this week isn't like last year, I'm considering changing things up over the next couple weeks to see how it goes, and then decide if I need to move back to my minimalist, clean, and simple life for this project.

But, for now I kept it super simple. A favorite technique is writing on my photos with a title and a subtitle with a divider line between. I've done it before this week and I'll do it again.


It's pretty obvious I worked on my two-pages at different times because my fonts are not 'the same' over both pages. Rather than go back and change them I'm living with it and moving on.


Templates, and overlays are all Cathy Zielske and Ali Edwards - my go-to girls for digital Project Life.

Our week was super busy! I was off two days of work for a colonoscopy prep and procedure. Jeff and the boys made a bunch of money this weekend mowing lawns (and picked up a couple more mowing jobs) but it was a long weekend of...moving lawns. After this weekend's John is just shy of the plane ticket price to San Antonio for their trip to stay with their sister Ashley for a month - so he shouldn't have any worries of paying his own way.


So glad I've been able to keep up with this project, once again documenting an entire year of our lives in the making.



anna ruby falls.


As part of our weekend trip to north Georgia and Smithgall State Park is was first on our list of 'things to do' - See Anna Ruby Falls. Check. We hiked the rigorous, lung- evacuating, excruciatingly painful trail to the top (of the trail) within the Chattahoochee National Forest...Don't you just love saying Chatt-a-hooch-ee? For a girl from Florida who is accustomed to other Indian names like Homosassa (my home town), Withlacoochie, and Weekie Wachee Springs - Chattahoochee rocks the name saying.


The trail up, which was paved with railings as needed and lovely, long, benches for those folks who needed a breather from the steep trek. Of course, I didn't need to sit on any of those benches.

For more that 5 minutes at a time.


A hobo we came to on the trail up.

Who looks suspiciously like my son John. But, just couldn't be - I'm sure.

Oh, wait!

It was John.

Waiting, patiently for his mum to catch up.



Plenty of tiny waterfalls and free flowing clear crisp waters to tease our senses for what was to come.


Jeff had the Canon Rebel T3, and he can usually capture some really good pictures.

Like this one. I did nothing to this photo because it was perfect as is.


The trip up, for me, truly was gruelling. I wasn't sure I'd make it. My heart was racing. My lungs screaming. Truly screaming!

They were yelling at me to stop. Enough! But, I plowed the trail and forged on.

At the top I was a happy person again.

Because on the trail up I was not a happy person.


And then my sons come back down the trail while I was still heading up the trail and they share that the falls truly are breathtaking. And when I ask them how much further they joyfully tell me it's just around the corner.

Sigh of relief.

But, then they inform me, which brought tears to my eyes, that the rest of the trail is even steeper than what we'd already walked.

Defeat crept in and wanted to take hold.


And then I saw Anna Ruby Falls and all the pain melted away.






John can take pretty darn good photos!



The trek back down was slow and easy. Lots of laughing - on my part. Lots of smiling on my part. And tons of silliness from the boys.


And an occasional stop for more photos of more beauty that we so enjoyed.

project life 2014 | week 11


Oh my, finally uploaded photos from our weekend at Smithgall State Park and all I can say is amazing, stunning, and unforgettable! Just so no one says anything about the so few photos for Week 11 - I'll be putting a book together of our little, much-needed, spectacular weekend getaway. Anything about this week was overshadowed by the weekends excursions - in particular Anna Ruby Falls which are most of the photos for the week.

I am still using Cathy Zielske templates, a Cathy Z notecard, and Ali Edwards overlay embellishments.


Pretty spectacular, isn't it? The hike up to the falls was gruelling and I had to stop quiet often to catch my breath. I was one angry woman (not nasty - but just not my joyful self) climbing up the steep trail. But, coming to the top and seeing Anna Ruby Falls made the pain so very worth it! Stunning! And the walk down was fantastic!!!!


It was a great weekend.

Oh, and I'll post more pictures soon!!!!

smithgall state park, georgia


We enjoyed a weekend this month at Smithgall State Park in northern Georgia (Helen, Georgia). I've got a couple of posts planned and this first one is the state park itself, where we stayed for the weekend.

Can I say, gorgeous!

The cottages this state park boasts are downright amazing.

















Although the cottages were not cheap it was so worth the price. Sure, this wasn't a true family camping trip but with the temperatures cooler in north Georgia this time of year, and that was where we were headed for the weekend, Hoosier Man made the decision that we were going to stay dry and stay warm. So, rather than set up tents and battle downpours (which we would have done tearing down camp on Sunday morning), we rented a delightful log cabin, cottage, that took our breath away and still leaves us in awe.

The cottage we stayed in was three bedrooms (one king size and two full size beds), two bathrooms, a laundry room, dining room, very large, fully-stocked kitchen, living room and family room. Televisions in the master bedroom (which we didn't use - but it was cool that it had it), and one each in the living and family rooms. A gorgeous fire place - which I wish it was colder - to have been able to light. Everything was high end (ie. televisions were flat screen, drinking glasses were stemmed glassware, etc. And everything was spic n span, sparkling clean!

We met one of the park attendents who was super nice and showed us around the other cottages, sharing about the park. Our cottage used to be the state parks' executive chef's residence when the park had more money and used to serve meals to the visitors staying in the cottages.

The other cottages are closer together and would be a great place for a retreat of friends to gather.

Just a really wonderful experience and great place to stay.


50 in my 50th year | what I've been reading

I'm steadily reading through 30 new books in my 50th year.  What a wonderful accountability this list has been to expand my horizons, read new, and different books. Yep! I still read and re-read my favorites, J.D. Robb's In Death series, but I read other genre, and new books I've never read.

Over the past month I have read four new books. I've enjoyed every one of them!

Joseph, A Man of Integrity and Forgiveness by Charles Swindoll. I've had this on my shelf for years and to be honest I may have read it long ago when it first came out but reading it (again) was brand new for me. I'm in a different place in my relationship with Christ then I was 15 years ago. Amazing, amazing story and the man, Joseph.

A Beautiful Mess, a Photo Idea Book by Elsie Larsen and Emma Chapman. From cover to cover, full of awesome photo taking ideas. Some super simple, some really outside of the box, some, to be honest, I'll never do, but I loved the writing style and the ideas.

Black List by Brad Thor. Really, really good. I've been reading Thor's Scot Harvath series, but realized I'd somehow missed reading this one when I picked up the next one in the series, Hidden Order, from the library, and also realized we already had a copy at home and I hadn't read it either, so, I'm reading it now. Anyways, Black List is dramatic and absolutely believable! And scary to even think about.

Co. Aytch, A Confederate Memoir of the Civil War by Sam Watkins. I read this out loud to the boys and we enjoyed this memoir of the life of a private in the confederate army, out of the Tennessee regiment. Watkins, writes his stories 20 years after the end of the war, so much is from memory long ago, but he does a great job capturing life as a private and a soldier. Amazing book!

I'm moving right along with my 30 new books in my 50th year and at this rate I'll be finished well ahead of schedule. Again, my list has been great motivation.

On my nightstand (so to speak): Hidden Order by Brad Thor; To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee; and Esther, a Woman of Strength and Dignity by Charles Swindoll.



50 in my 50th year | Read thru the Bible



I love the Word of God. But, you know what? I have never read through the Bible in a Year. I have read the entire Bible I am sure - but not intentionally reading through the entire Bible for the pleasure of reading a really good Book.

I have a Bible Reading Plan tucked away in my Bible which proves that I made a really good attempt one year, quite awhile ago, but never finished the year out reading through the Bible.

On my 50 in my 50th year list, near the top of the list, is Read through the Bible. This list has been very motivating and has, in a way, held me accountable to accomplish some things in my 50th year that I've wanted to do, in some cases, for years. In other words, things are happening! Things are getting checked off the list. I'm following through with my list. It's been very fulfilling, invigorating, exciting.

So, I Googled Bible Reading Plans and found one that I liked. I really liked the idea of reading according to the Law, History, Prophesy, etc. so that's the way I went.

Bible Reading Plan
Bible Reading Plan

Because I'm behind for the year, I've doubled, or tripled my reading depending on time. My goal is still to read through the Bible in my 50th year. Something I'm also doing is taking notes while I'm reading; asking questions; highlighting verses that speak volumes to me; or, just meditating on verses. This takes more time, but I think it is important to get more out of His Word than just reading. And time flies crazy like when I take my time reading and take notes.

Reading the Bible is exciting, enjoyable, and enlightening.

I found this on Pinterest (couldn't find an original source).

It is one of the reasons I read my Bible!