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Friday, April 29, 2011


If you are  a teacher be sure to take advantage of the local discounts coming up in your area this week.  May 2-6, is Teacher Appreciation Week.  

A few discounts are at THIS LINK.  As a homeschool mom, I have never been declined a teacher discount using my umbrella school's teacher ID card or letter from the county stating that I homeschool in the current year.  I'll add others as I discover them this week so check back!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Royal Wedding: William and Kate April 29, 2011

If you're getting up early to watch the Royal Wedding, HERE is the schedule of events.  I'm going to start watching at 5:00 a.m. with my hot tea in hand.  Scones or crumpets, anyone?

I watched Prince Charles and Diana's wedding in 1981.  I remember that I was traveling with my auditing team and we were staying the week in a hotel out of town.  I got up early to watch it then, too, before we had to start work.    

I caved and got up early to watch the wedding.  It really was lovely.

Albin Polasek Sculpture Museum Winter Park FREE through April 30, 2011

My friend Virginia, whose friend Emily, sent this to me yesterday. Sorry for the short notice since it's been free all week long.  I have never been to the Albin Polasek Museum but have passed it frequently ever since I have lived in the Winter Park area.  Check it out.  A great homeschool field trip or morning/afternoon date.  

             Monday April 25 to Friday April 29 — 10:00 AM until 6:00 PM

Saturday April 30 — 10:00 AM until 12:00 noon

Artists paint in the Polasek’s sculpture gardens and at other locations through­out Winter Park. Works will be on display and for sale as soon as they are completed and dropped off at the museum’s wet room. Stop by to see and pur­chase works produced during this year’s Winter Park Paint Out.

Details at THIS LINK.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Dresscue Me Saving Women One Dress at a Time / Planet Green Channel 465 or 1465

I was in our local Goodwill shop this week seeking Ebay inventory and spotted this as I walked in the door. Since I, of course, had my camera in my purse, I snapped a photo so I'd remember to check it out when I got home.  

I looked online and found that it is a new TV series on Planet Green which I don't recall ever watching myself.  In the Orlando area, that's channel 465 or 1465 (HD).  I have not seen this program yet but it looks interesting.  If you like fashion and wearing pretty clothes on a sensible budget, check it out.  Details are at THIS LINK.  It premiered Tuesday, April 19, at 10:30 p.m., so set your DVR if you're not up that late.  

By the way, I did pick up some Ebay inventory while I was in the store...$15.58 for all of this.  Three books, some dishes and a few collectibles.

I'll update next week as to whether any of it has sold.  :)

4.26.11:  The round cookie press SOLD

Monday, April 25, 2011

Homeschool Education: Is It For You?

I homeschooled our older son from grade 5-12; our younger son from pre-K through 11th grade (one more year to go).  Beginning in high school, they each have taken two courses each year from outside teachers with quite a bit of independent work during the high school years.    The most time consuming parts of homeschooling for moms is the younger years, grades K-8 and even then, it's not all day every day.  A bit of organization, a lot of prayer and a love for your children are the main requirements.    

I have several blog posts about homeschooling and education in general.  Check them out if you are interested.

Homeschooling is not for everyone but the plusses outweigh the minuses in my book.   I highly recommend it for all families to at least give it a try, especially when the children are younger.  Do the research and ask questions of other moms who have walked this road.    You won't regret it.  :)

Virginia is a  good friend of mine and a prolific blogger, author and teacher.  For those who homeschool, or those considering it, check our her free e-book, The Real Life Homeschool Mom, now offered online at THIS LINK.

To view a list of her other blogs and read a little more about her, go HERE.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day / Good Friday

Yes, I know it's Earth Day, but Good Friday is FAR more important.   Spend some time pondering the wonderful and amazing gift that God gave us in His Son Jesus and that He willingly gave His life for us so that one day WE could live forever in heaven with Him.  If you have not received him yet, let this be the day that you do.

1John 5:13 
These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life. 

In Christ Alone
by Keith and  Kristyn Getty

In Christ alone my hope is found

He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save
'Til on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again
And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life's first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
'til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand

To listen to this beautiful song, sung by the composers, go to THIS LINK.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Spring Gardening / Cultivating Germinating Seeds

A friend planted a small blackberry bush in our yard and the tiny flowers have now turned to blackberries! Here is the 2nd one, not quite ripe yet  (first one was eaten by ants since it was on the ground).

Spring is in the air and I've finally gotten around to planting seeds. 
Flowers from three flats are in the ground as well.  
Here are a few of the petunia plants.

Using this seed germination kit, I also planted beans, peas, tomatoes, chives, parsley and basil.

I used to do this even when I lived in a condominium with a tiny yard, so here goes...

A few are sprouting after just one day!

UPDATE 5.3.11
2 weeks later...

I had my husband and two sons hoist these large terra cotta pots from the back yard.  We put them in the front yard to the side near a basketball hoop that is rarely used anymore.   We filled them with soil and put the seedlings in.  They surround the little blackberry bush which is still producing a little fruit each day.  :)  I also planted marigolds around the pots to keep bugs away.  We'll see how the garden grows!

Garden 5.25.11
3 weeks later...

Garden 6.15.11
...4 weeks later

I've been cutting basil and parsley; lemon balm and rosemary are doing great.  I apparently planted the green beans too late, but picked these green peas this morning.  :)

Lots of green tomatoes, but no red ones yet. 

More flowers...

These replaced the petunias which accidentally were mulched over by someone
who was tidying up our yard and raking leaves.  He replaced them all for me though.  :)

A new yard flag for the front.  :)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Decluttering: One Small Project at a Time / Bathroom Drawer & Cabinet

I reached for something in a lower drawer in our bathroom and I could not even see what was in there.  This has actually happened several times this week.  So, since I had some spare time in the morning while my son was at a clas, I just plopped myself down on the floor, dumped everything out of the drawer and went to work. About 45 minutes later, this...

looked like this.


I cleaned out 5 more drawers and the cabinet under the sink!
Reorganized and wiped down.

I threw away quite a bit, donated a few items and moved a few items to another storage area where they should have been in the first place. Now, I can see exactly what is in each drawer, everything in it has a current (not expired) date on it and is within easy reach.  One step at a time...

Friday, April 15, 2011

Winter Park YMCA Healthy Kids Day April 16, 2011

Join us for
Healthy Kids Day 2011
Winter Park YMCA
Lakemont Avenue
Winter Park, FL 32789

Saturday, April 16
Everyone is invited to join us for our
Annual Healthy Kids Day

Kids Obstacle Course
Summer Camp Registration
Camp Wewa Games
Meet n' Greet Swim Instructors
Parent/Child Relay Games
Safe Start Survival
Giveaways & Prizes
Pool Games & Activities
Refreshments & Food
KID ID Safety & Fingerprinting

Fun for the entire family!
Everyone will be entered in a raffle to win a free youth sports registration, swim lesson and personal training.
Members & Non-Members are Invited
Brings your friends and family!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

BOOK STUDY: Twelve Extraordinary Women / Anna The Faithful Witness

by John MacArthur
Chapter 7--  Anna: The Faithful Witness

Luke 2:38
She gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.

Virtually all faithful believers in Israel were already expectantly awaiting the Messiah and looking diligently for Him at the exact time Jesus was born.  The irony is that so very few recognized Him, because He met none of their expectations...

Anna is the final witness of Israelites (Mary and Joseph, shepherds, and Simeon were  the others).  They were all humble unremarkable people.  All we know of Anna is recorded in three verses in the Bible--Luke 2: 36-38.  It appears from the text that she may have heard Simeon blessing Jesus and understood what was happening.  Nevertheless, she did understand and did not keep it a secret.

Description of Anna from the three verses:

  • A prophetess--Not a fortune teller or an "office" in ministry,  but one who spoke the Word of God
  • Of the Tribe of Asher--Her tribe was known for its rebellion in the Northern Kingdom.  The fact that she speaks the Word of God exhibits the grace of God in her life that kept her as a faithful remnant.
  • A widow--Widows in this time period typically led a life of extreme poverty.  Her devotion to prayer and fasting attest to her complete dependence on the Lord which was a regular part of her life.
  • She spoke of Him to all--She was able to identify the true worshipers (those looking for redemption) and sought them out to tell them the Good News.

Anna is not mentioned anywhere else in the Bible.  These three verses are her legacy for all eternity.  

In Sunday school in church we are reading Francis Chan's book Crazy Love.  I highly recommend it. Last week's lesson included thoughts about our life here on earth and in view of 10,000 years (much less, eternity), and what a speck it is on a timeline.   Although at least 84 years old, Anna's life "in the Bible" is such a speck, yet her godly example speaks to us today.

Do you / I speak the Word of God to others regularly? or just our own opinions or thoughts?  

Do you view yourself as a remnant in this culture in which we live?  Thank God for His grace, if so.  I can attest to being a remnant in my family as my parents were not Christians growing up (my dad finally accepted Christ at 81 years of age).  As far as I can tell, from our extended relatives there are very few Christians. Add that to the fact that I am adopted and I regularly thank God for saving me and keeping me faithful to pass that legacy on to our children (and extend His grace to other family members also).   We, like  Queen Esther,  each have a specific place and purpose in this time and age.

Do I / you regularly pray as though dependent on God for our very breath of life? or do we only pray that way when in a crisis?  or are we so comfortable with the status quo? 

Do you / I speak of the Lord in our everyday life? or just with other people we know are believers?  Getting out of our comfortable-ness and reaching out to others will keep you on your knees asking to be salt and light in a dark world.  The dark is a scary place sometimes but the Lord is our light in the very darkest places, even when other lights go out (as Galadriel might say).

I am part of a ministry to younger women called Titus 2 Moms where older women teach the younger (of course, they teach us, too).  It is good to see in the Bible, older women than I am that teach me as well.

Just for Fun Photos / Red Hat Society

Just some random photos while running errands yesterday...

This is a beautiful lake  and park I passed on the way home.

In downtown Winter Park there was a group from the Red Hat Society coming out of the Morse Museum.  I always smile when I see these ladies on their outings.  They always look like they're having so much fun!   You can join when you're 50.  Mmmm....  Personally, I love red and purple together. :)

If you don't know the story of the Red Hat Society, go to THIS LINK.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Outline from Titus 2 Moms Talk on YOUR Family Budget 4.6.11

Here are the slides from my PowerPoint presentation at our Titus 2 Moms group last night.  Email or call me if you have any questions as this is such a broad outline and most of the information was from me speaking...


Tithe  (10% of GROSS, start with 5%, or $___ amt. and gradually work up to 10%); Give $$, services, products...

Save (10% of GROSS, start with 5%, or $___ amt. and gradually work up to 10%) 

Steward / Spend (80% of NET to be conservative)

One day a week, Wednesday or Thursday, at our house, gather everything you need in one place; allow one hour to carefully work on this

Tithe to the Lord

Save i.e. pay yourself

Pay bills; Tonya’s “painless” accrual method of paying larger bills; index card system

When bills are due, pay online rather than mailing 

Use as many bank accounts are needed to keep things separate. We have 11 accts. at 2 banks (4 in our family, two of us have home businesses), checking and savings for specific people/uses, with NO BANK  FEES


       FREE online service
Passwords for all accounts needed 
Easy to do taxes
Graphs to show trends
Easy to monitor transactions and see where you are spending too much
       No input of data needed; it's done automaticallyOR buy Quicken / Intuit program and keep everything totally separate and off the internet


TITHE and GIVE-- trust God to provide for your needs; it is not presuming on Him if you are managing your $$ wisely; give to Him and others generously

SAVE-- a % or $ amt. each week!  Christmas $$, special purchases, emergency fund, extra cash; envelopes

STEWARD-- you can have fun and not be extravagant; “where is the $$ to pay for this?” 
Avoid  temptation--Wal-Mart, Target, internet, “sales”
Use Coupons, shop on sale, buy in bulk
Another source of income?


Are you giving to the Lord’s work?

What needs to change in the way your family spends the $$ that God has provided to you?

Work on ONE new good $$ habit at a time and ask the Lord to help you.  Do you have a spending addiction?
Parable of the Talents (it's not as little as you think)
= 3,000 shekels
= 60 minas
= 34.3 kilograms 
= 75 U.S. pounds

Used as a measure of weight and money.  If in today’s money an ounce of gold = $1,200, (actually, it's closer to $1,400 an ounce) one talent is worth about $1,440,000 (each of us has at least that much money pass through our hands over our lifetime, even with low-moderate income)

Sources:  Easton's Bible Dictionary, Wikipedia
What we all want to hear from the Lord one day...
Matt. 25:21 
... ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. 
You were faithful with a few things, 
I will put you in charge of many things; 
enter into the joy of your master.’

Manage your $$ well over your lifetime. It's a journey with ups and downs but the Lord is there with you all the way.

Me (private help)
Ellie Kay   (She's kind of like the Beth Moore of finances)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Dinner Doctor / Chicken & Wild Rice Recipe

I tried a new recipe last night--Chicken and Wild Rice Recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks The Dinner Doctor.  The same author, Anne Byrn,  has written another cookbook you may be familiar with titled The Cake Mix Doctor (I think that was her first one).   I just discovered that she makes a Gluten Free Cake Mix book also!

The recipe was quite tasty and VERY easy to make... I had all the ingredients on hand in my pantry.

I boiled three large chicken breasts and then tore it all into small pieces... I had bought Sam's Club's store brand, Member's Mark, chicken last time. The chicken breasts were HUGE so I only needed three.  Tyson breasts are significantly smaller.

Next, I put all of these ingredients into a large bowl--Cream of Celery soup, green beans, long grain & wild rice (with its seasoning packet), water chestnuts, mayonnaise (3 squirts from a squeezable bottle) and 1 1/2 cups of broth from the cooked chicken.  I'd much rather use fresh broth than the salty canned broth in stores.   The recipe called for pimentos and I did not have any so I chopped up a small yellow and a red pepper for color.

Mix it all together in the large bowl.

By the way, here is the cookbook (one I actually use!)  and the recipe...

Pour everything into a large 9 x 13 casserole dish and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

I had some leftover broth which I put in a quart mason jar to use another time. If I haven't used it in 2 days, I'll freeze it.

Here is how the casserole looks when it is done.

And at our dinner table.  Goes great with some red strawberries (see my red lipstick rule) and blueberry muffins.  Mmmm...

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