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April 2017
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June 2017

what I learned this spring

Today I am joining [and linking up] with Emily P. Freeman (I love how she uses the P in her name) sharing what I have learned this spring.


Homemade Gyros with homemade Tzatziki sauce is easier to make than I imagined and taste just as amazing as restaurants. And, the Tzatziki sauce tastes even better the next day after it has had time to marinate. Two reasons I shied away from making Gyros. Lamb and Tzatziki sauce. Then, I had this idea to make a greek-style meatloaf using lamb and ground chuck sliced thin for the Gyros. Brilliant. Using a hot house or English cucumber, or removing the seeds from a cucumber before grating is necessary for the right texture, consistency, and taste for the Tzatziki sauce. A paper towel works just fine for wringing out the excess water from the cucumber.


Having studied the book of James many times over the years, while studying it again recently, I realized there is always... always... something else God wants me to learn. I almost came to the study of the book of James with the She Reads Truth community, grudgingly, because somewhere in my disheveled, dimwitted, ignorant thoughts were, "I have already done this before." Boy, was I wrong!


A new front porch beneath a flourishing oak tree built loving by my husbands hands means so much more to me than having a porch built professionally. Not that I'd know what it feels like to have a porch built professionally because it was my husbands hands with the help of our sons that built our front porch. And, it is beautiful. And, inviting. And, well-built. So well built in fact, when we recently had tornadic storm activity in the area, I called Jeff and [jokingly, of course] told him a tornado went through. The house is gone but the porch is still there.


Although my sons are beyond the homeschooling age, I still have the opportunity to make an educational impact in my grandchildren's lives by reading aloud to them. When John and Jarrod were homeschooled I read aloud all of their required reading from 7th-12th grade. I regularly commiserate with myself the loss I experienced when I no longer homeschooled, or more importantly had the opportunity to read aloud. But, this summer all my grandchildren will be here for a visit and then three of my grandchildren will only be a couple hours away. I decided reading aloud was going to be our regular ventures when they come for visits. Jeff put up three book ledges at the entrance to the hallway, specifically for children's books.


I really can memorize scripture. If someone told me that at my age I would be memorizing scripture I would have laughed out loud. I have a terrible memory for all things, especially words. But, this spring I memorized Chapter 1 in the book of James. I kept the 'how' of memorizing scripture simple. I wrote out the chapter on index cards and attached them to a ring for easy of flipping the cards. Then, I began to read and recite, read and recite, read and recite...


 Salads in a Jar truly do last a week. I finally got my act together and tried Salads in a Jar. I would prepare the salads on Sunday evening for the entire week. The last salad of the week was almost as fresh as the first jar. I did learn that preparing simpler salads would keep me on track easier than the more elaborate.





52 Weeks of Giving | 20


I love love these posters. So much so I got a set of three, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, for our home. The Lord of the Rings has such a big place in our lives and hearts. In John and Jarrod's 11th grade year, I read aloud all three books in the trilogy for their British Literature class. It was a-mazing for all three of us!


lovin' these days | may edition


While I don't like the price, I do however, love this Shibori Indigo abstract quilted wall hanging and I know just where I'd hang it in the bedroom.


Not usually a fan girl of gold I adore this Love Never Fails scripted art.


Ever since we visited the Caddy Shack rescue sanctuary in March my love for tigers was revived from its dormant state and when I saw this black and white tiger print - again, I know where it will go.

For over the bed I have my eye on a couple of prints but cannot for the life of me pin down which one I'd like to hang, or maybe even a large print of one of my own photographs of clouds would work too. But, first up, this one:



This print is Minted for West Elm.


Love this mug! Would go nicely with my growing collection of mugs


I've been attracted to Bohemian jewelry lately, probably because it is reminiscent of fair trade jewelry, free and rustic, and simple, yet - boho. This set is gorgeous!


This blue turquoise necklace...gorgeous!


Lightning and Rain. Two of my favorite things. Love these mugs. And, would go so nicely with my mug collection.


I really like this rug from World Market for on the new front porch, but, it isn't in stock right now and I don't know what there turnover rates are. I can't decide if I want a more neutral color palette that this rug aligns with: aruba, grays, black or go bold: aruba, black, lime green, orange, etc.

41x7y00zmUL__AC_US218_On my front porch we have aruba (turquoise) and black long-lasting, lifetime guaranteed, patio furniture and I have my eye on a 9-foot aruba Sunbrella plus stand for shade and even rain deflection.



right now | may


right now I am flushed from the Psalms of Ascent from the last few weeks as my devotional in the early days of May. I never knew! I spent quite a bit of time in the Psalms of Ascent and I came expectantly. I leave, changed. Again, I just never knew. I joined She Reads Truth for the next couple of months' devotions beginning with Psalms of Ascent Now I'm in the book of James - and next Romans.

right now I have joined a Tuesday evening Bible study. Two ladies, who I adore, from my small group, have joined as well. It will be nice for some additional weekly conversation, maybe getting to know them better - and prayer. More of prayer.


right now we, Jeff and I, celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary. 23 years. Marriage is hard - and rewarding, and hard. But, man, when it is good it is very good. Like when we are meeting each other's needs with things like, acts of service.

right now I have been eating Salads in a Jar each day of the week and have been for a few weeks, yet, I still love each one. I wondered if I would get tired of eating salads but because they are made ahead of time it is like I am eating a salad made by someone else. Doing some changing up and going with more greens and vegetables, no meat, no cheese (well, maybe cheese:)


right now I am gathering children's books, old favorites and new ones, and I am going to display them on the book shelf ledges for my grandchildren who, soon, will be frequenting our home. While I will only have a week or so, initially, with my grandchildren I am planning on doing some reading aloud. From homeschooling, reading aloud is the one thing I miss the most.

right now I am back on track to finish 100 New Books in 2017 with a recently read genre I generally avoid, young adult (YA) fiction. Legend, by Marie Lu, YA, but reminiscent of the dystopian trilogy, The Hunger Games. I have read the Hunger Games trilogy and even the Divergent series and, generally, I can only take so much YA, but this is really good and didn't have the feel of YA. I also read the book, Killing Lincoln by Bill O'Reilly, and so many more.


right now after seeing Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Jeff and I are totally up on 'I am Groot'.

right now I am anticipating a house full that first week in July when my heart will be full as well. My daughters and my grand children will invade our home. I. can. not. wait. #heartoverflowing

right now another weekend of Boston Butt cooking is over. Jeff spent 24 hours plus prepping cookers, smoking buts, cleaning cookers, and transporting cookers. It is a long, tiring experience. But, the best part: we purchased two butts to give away!


right now my front porch went up! It is beautiful.

right now working through a new normal with Jeff on an out of town jobsite. I need to make a list of what I hope to accomplish such as finish decorating bedroom, another purge of clothes, organize bathroom closet, organize office in preparation of 'the invasion of family' - in a really good way, etc...

right now I purchased a spiralizer, a friend recommended and uses. We are a zucchini loving family. I imagine the possibilities: Chicken Parmesan with Zucchini Noodles; Zucchini Pasta with Roasted Red Pepper Chili Sauce...

right now life is good. 

Project Life 2017 | Week 20


I took some time yesterday to complete my Project Life 2017 Week 201 2-page layout. I wouldn't say pocket page scrapbooking is my favorite way to scrapbook but it is pretty close to favorite. This was not necessarily an event-filled week but it was full. From Mother's Day to the culmination of a weeks worth of solid labor-intensive, back-breaking work from Jeff and with help from the boys, our front porch is complete.


It is gorgeous!


Digitally, I used thick days of the week abbreviated brushes. Love them. Plus, word labels. I've decided they are going to be my go-to digital embellishment. I love them, too.

Every day I came home from work I was welcomed with more accomplished on the porch. Giddy.


And, there it is. My porch. Sorry, our porch.

stories 2017 | how we do may


Today I am sharing a super easy digital 6 x 8 page titled, 'how we do may'. I grabbed a photo of Jeff and I, added white digital cardstock, used Traveling Typewriter font, and told our May stories. Now granted, May is not over yet but I included those things that I knew were absolutely happening.

I love the 6 x 8 size. I have been drawn to it more and more. It means less embellishments which stresses me out anyways. Because I stick at placing embellishments (although, I have figured out some essential design skills such as placing embellishments together in an uneven number, or using a visual triangle for placement. Also, if I have less photos, that is a plus with the 6 x 8 size, too. This, however, does not mean that I will be 'scrapping' (pun intended) the 12 x 12 size for the 6 x 8, but it does afford me greater options.

Digital supplies: white digital cardstock, One Little Bird Designs; stamp, Ali Edwards Design

Friday, with a cup of coffee | 24


Around the web, Friday, with a cup of coffee...

We mothers need to hear this one loud and clear.

A wonderful essay on a simple reminder...a small step.

Go ahead and cry. I did. Poured buckets of tears. Jarrod was standing behind me bawling, too.

Because this bohemian kitchen is dreamy and beautiful and I never get tired of perusing it. While the tile appears a deep teal it is actually green. I would love a turquoise backsplash in my kitchen. A girl can dream.

As my grandchildren living close draws closer I envision times of spiritual teachings being passed from grammy to grandsons regularly and maybe putting some of these ideas into practice under spiritual training.

What would happen if your kids went without computers, or television, or phones, without technology - for awhile? I wonder if you'd try it, and see.

When words hurt and how to respond.

Mom's please watch this.

Just don’t say you’re a follower of Christ if you’re actually just following your own heart