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Friday, September 30, 2011

NEW MOVIE: Courageous Is In Theaters Now / Dads and Their Priorities

The much talked about movie Courageous has just been released.  It is based on the book by the same title written by  Randy Alcorn and produced by the creators of Fireproof




I love the subtitle:  Honor Begins At Home. You can go to THIS LINK to watch the opening scene.  


A few theaters where it is showing in our area:
  • The Winter Park Village 20
  • Altamonte Springs 18
  • Amstar Stadium, Lake Mary
  • Oviedo Marketplace 22
  • West Oaks 14
And more.


A review from Plugged In:
Fatherhood isn't for the fainthearted. It's a calling every bit as demanding—maybe even more so—as being a, say, fireman or policeman. That's the life lesson Adam Mitchell, an Albany, Ga., deputy sheriff, learns in Courageous, Sherwood Pictures' follow-up to Fireproof.... It's time for God's love and principles to win the day and make a few good fathers great fathers. 


Let me know if you see this movie and what you thought about it.  I'd love to hear your comments.


Take your husband, your sons and encourage your single men friends to attend as well.  I hope to take my husband and sons to see it soon.  Maybe even a father/son outing for them next week.  :)

By All Means, Speak Up!

Are you a quiet type of person that doesn't want to make waves?  Do you let people walk all over you and just pretend nothing is wrong?

Or do you speak up when something is not right and you are being taken advantage of?  Of course, there is a right way to do this and not be insulting or rude.  Be kind, but speak your mind when it is necessary.
Moms at home are often left to handle the day-to-day management of the entire household.  This can include repairs, bills, children, food, purchases large and small...the list goes on and on.  Sometimes a third party such as a repairman / serviceman is in error and to save your family $$ or to ensure that the job is done correctly, you must speak up.

This happened to me recently with RotoRooter.  We have used them for several years to put Root-X in our toilets. This product is excellent at keeping tree roots at bay.  In our dry season here in Florida, tree roots will often find their way into the underground pipes causing clogs or stop-ups that may require major excavation to clear.  It's a minimum of preventive maintenance that we have found to work well in warding off  what could be a major expense.    This product comes in a small granular form which requires the tech to use a mask and carefully put this in our toilets each summer. They will not sell it to a consumer unless THEY put it in.   We have had them do this for the last 3-4 years.

As a side note before we used RotoRooter we had a sweet neighbor who was a plumber GIVE  us copper sulfate crystals for this purpose.  He had snaked our lines a few times and told us that this would help us tremendously and we might not have to have the lines snaked for quite awhile if ever.  After he moved out of state,  I could not find the copper sulfate available for sale to the general public but RotoRooter recommended Root-X as an alternative.  I had no idea how much our old plumber  saved us over the years until he and his family moved away!  Wow!   Anyway, before he left he gave us a three year's supply of the blue crystals. The good thing about the crystals is there are no fumes and anyone can put them in.  1/4 cup of the crystals have to be put in each toilet once a month.


After three phone calls to RotoRooter (the tech was too late for the first appointment), a technician arrived at our home.  We had been quoted 3x that the price for the service call would be about $50.00 which is what is has been for the past few years.  This tech wanted an additional $40.00 for the application process.  I called the manager while the tech was here and explained that  there was no mention of an application fee during any of my phone conversations with his office.   All he would do is credit us $10.00 for the misunderstanding.  The tech then did his work and left.

A day or so later RotoRooter sent a customer service survey in which I explained what had happened and that I had been disappointed with the service and communication.  The manager called me and said he would credit the additional $30.00.

Particularly in a business situation, always speak up when you know something is not correct, and speak to the person who can actually make a difference.  In this case, it was the manager first, then the corporate office (via the email survey).  Be nice, but be firm, and state clearly and concisely what has happened.  There is no need to be silent when you are trying to be a good steward of the household income.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

FREE BOOKS

Can't seem to upload a photo to Facebook so I'll do it this way.  If  you live near me and want any of these books, let me know.  Click on the photo to enlarge it so you can see the books more clearly.

Titles:

  • Cliff's Quick Algebra 1
  • Dare to Raise Exceptional Children  / Clint Kelly
  • Cultivating Habits of the Heart
  • Nancy Drew: The Hidden Staircase
  • Damaged But Not Broken / Larry Burkett
  • Ten Years of Design Excellence / Ceramic Tiles of Italy Across America
  • Lightposts for Living / Thomas Kinkade
  • How to Find God, Living Water for Those Who Thirst
  • John Adams / David McCullough
  • American Notes / Charles Dickens
  • Peterson First Guides, Solar System / Jay Pasachoff


Titles in blue have been requested.



National Coffee Day 2011 September 29, 2011

I'm headed out this morning for a few errands so I think I'll stop by one of these coffee shops for a free cup.   In our area, Barnie's, 7/11  and Krispy Kreme are participating.  Everything I've seen so far indicates that Starbucks is not, but I bet if you ask them, they would give you a free cup.  Enjoy!



For a list of some establishments offering free coffee, go to THIS LINK.

P.S. Dunkin Donuts FREE coffee day is October 14 [at least the one by our house is celebrating that day] so mark your calendars!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Swagbucks Quick Tutorial

I learned about Swagbucks in the summer of last year.  I used it every once in awhile and by December was able to rack up about $50 in Amazon gift cards which was helpful at Christmas time.  I love shopping online and much prefer it to heading to the malls.  You can redeem them for all sorts of gifts cards and other items as well.  One friend  actually got enough Apple gift cards to get a Macintosh computer!

All you do is click the link  in the righthand column of this blog (under the PINTEREST link) to sign up, then
install the toolbar in your browser and use it to search the web as you would normally search. I have it installed on Firefox.  I would also put it on Safari which I often use as well but Swagbucks does not support Safari 5.1 yet.    Randomly this cheerful sight will pop up and voila! you've just won some Swagbucks which are automatically credited to your account.  [ I just won these searching for Winn Dixie...



...and this one searching for WTLN a few hours later.]



There are lots of other ways to earn SBs which you will see once you enter the site.  When you reach the total for the item(s) you wish to redeem, you then do so by going to the Swag Store.

Just for fun, I'm going to see how long it takes me to win 450 SB (Swagbucks) as a casual user.  I redeemed 450 for one $5.00 Amazon gift card on Monday and reduced the total to 5.  Right now,  I already have 41.   I have an online business so I am often on the web.   I'll update this post when I reach 450.

Oh, and don't forget that on your birthday, they give you an extra $50 SB.   Mine is in October, so I'll be watching for  this soon.   :)

Swagbucks Updates:
October 3     87 SB

Cell Phones for Soldiers / Help Our Troops Call Home

Cell Phones for Soldiers
MISSION:  Help our troops call home




I heard about this organization a few weeks ago.  What a practical way to show our thanks to the military overseas serving and protecting our country.  You can donate a phone and/or money, print shipping labels and erase your cell phone data from the website at the informational link below.  The Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are approaching and soldiers love to hear the voices of their loved ones during these times.  Donate to this worthy cause today.


How it works:

Cell Phones for Soldiers hopes to turn old cell phones into more than 12 million minutes of prepaid calling cards for U.S. troops stationed overseas in 2008. To do so, Cell Phones for Soldiers expects to collect 50,000 cell phones each month through a network of more than 3,000 collection sites across the country.

The phones are sent to ReCellular, which pays Cell Phones for Soldiers for each donated phone – enough to provide an hour of talk time to soldiers abroad.


Donate A Phone
It's simple and FREE! Every phone you donate will help increase the amount of talk time we're able to provide to our troops!
When donating your cell phone(s), please keep in mind:
  • You can help the charity even more by applying your own postage.
  • If you pay for the postage, we can put more money toward calling cards for our troops!
  • Donated cell phones are sold to a company that recycles them.
  • The money we receive from recycling cell phones is used to purchase calling cards that we send to troops in need.
  • Minimize weight and save on postage by mailing cell phones only.
  • Batteries, chargers and accessories are not required but gladly accepted. 
For more information, go to THIS LINK

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Using Your Entertainment Club Book 2011 / Orlando Edition / Payless Shoe Source

On Friday I ran into Aldi's for a bag of groceries and decided to stop at the Payless Shoe store in the same shopping center.  I had been wanting to purchase some comfortable closed toe flats to wear with jeans and slacks in black and dark brown and had not had time to shop for them yet.  I literally only had about 15 minutes, so I went in and described to  the saleswoman what I was looking for.  She immediately directed me to the correct aisle and stood there and helped me as I tried on several pairs until we found one that fit just right.  I had only expected to find black ones if any, due to  my time constraints.  Thankfully, when I asked about dark brown, they had them and she knew right where they were!!   That has to be the quickest shoe purchase ever.   :) :) :)



While at the cash register  I recalled that I had seen a coupon for Payless Shoes in the Entertainment Club book but I did not have it with me.  There are actually four on pages G25-G28.  They are date sensitive.


 I asked what other discount cards they accept:  Disney, AARP and AAA.  She did not know if the keychain Entertainment Club card would work or not, so before I gave her any of the other cards, she scanned it. It worked! AND it discounted the entire purchase 20%.  :)

NOTE:  I am not certain if using the card invalidates one of the date sensitive coupons in the book. 



Savings on this purchase:  $8.60

TOTAL SAVINGS TO DATE:   $20.09


[only about $10.00 away from  the book paying for itself and it's been less than one month that I've had it]

Monday, September 26, 2011

Juilliard School of Music New Student Presentation in Orlando October 2, 201

Just heard about this from our umbrella school.  I do not recall that representatives from Juilliard have visited Orlando previously.    If you have a gifted high school music, drama or dance student, you might want to make plans to attend this informational meeting at Edgewater High School this Sunday, October 2.



Juilliard in Orlando — Special Presentation Sunday, October 2, 6-8 p.m.
Representatives from the Dance, Drama, and Music Divisions of The Juilliard School will be in Orlando with a presentation for prospective students and their families. Following the presentation about the School and its admissions and audition process, there will be a Q & A and an opportunity to speak with the representatives. Please note that this program is open to the public and free of charge, you may pre-register HERE.

See You At The Pole / Global Day of Student Prayer Wednesday September 28, 2011

See You at The Pole is the slogan for Global Student Day of Prayer typically meaning to meet at the school flagpole as a unified showing of faith and support for each other.  This year it is THIS Wednesday, September 28, 2011.  Check your school organizations to see what time Christian students within your campus are meeting to pray God's will to be done on their school campus this year. You are not alone in your faith although there is an evil one who would have you believe so.  






From their WEBSITE:
   
Do you ever feel alone on your campus? Do you sometimes feel you’re the only Christian around? Is it tough to reach out without standing out? But your heart is to reach your friends for Christ, so what do you do?
Well, what if you gathered with other Christians around the flagpole at your school on the morning of September 28 and laid this petition before God, "Father, may Your will be done on my campus as it is in heaven”?

What if all of you really meant that prayer? What if your youth pastor stood ready to help you make this a reality?

How would that change your school? How would that change the lives of your friends and fellow students?
See You at the Pole™ can provide a powerful connection between you and the other Christian students on your campus to pray and reach out all year long.
Let See You at the Pole™ be a kick-off for you to truly make a difference this year. Take your place in history with millions of other students on this Global Day of Student Prayer.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sunday Worship : The Grace of Welcoming

I played with seven children in our church nursery this morning so I missed today's sermon and will have to listen to it online.  HERE is a link to our pastor's blog to read a summary and HERE is a link to the audio version.



Title:  The Grace of Welcoming

Scripture:  Romans 14: 1-15:7

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fun Food for the Weekend

In case you're wondering if I ALWAYS cook fairly healthily, the answer is NO, but that I try to as much as I can.  Sometimes the family really wants something that I can hardly put in my mouth but as a "treat" for them, particularly my husband, I'll fix something like the franks and beans meal below.  Now, I don't mind a good hot dog [I'm partial to Nathan's brand] but I try to not make them very often unless we are grilling outside.

A simple fun meal...

Sauté the sliced hot dogs first [adding sliced onions in the mix makes it even better], then add the canned baked beans [we use Bush's exclusively] and let them simmer for about 30 minutes or so.

Then open a can of corn kernels and a square of cream cheese.  Sounds strange, but it really is delicious.  Warm these up slowly so the cream cheese does not scorch.   A dear friend who was a missionary in Honduras taught me to do this and my family loves it.


Pop a loaf of garlic bread in the oven to bake [or make your own fresh] and make a salad with lettuce and whatever FRESH ingredients you have on hand [I have to have something fresh.].  I used lettuce, cucumbers, sliced almonds, tomatoes, spinach, feta cheese and raisins for this one.  

Voila!  Easy, tasty ... great for a quick meal while you're watching the football game with friends and the family.  Man food!  Kid food! They'll love it.


Pin It

Friday, September 23, 2011

Free Entrance to National Parks TOMORROW Saturday, September 24, 2011

It's a bit warm here in Florida, but if it's cooler in the morning or where you live, go visit your local national park tomorrow. [And mark your calendar for November 11-13]  There is no entrance fee for those that normally charge fees.  

In Florida, those five  NATIONAL  parks are:

  • Canaveral National Seashore
  • Castillo de San Marcos National Monument
  • Dry Tortugas National Park
  • Everglades National Park
  • Gulf Islands National Seashore
 For more information, go to THIS LINK.




Free Entrance Days in the National Parks


America's Best Idea - the national parks - gets even better with several fee-free days at more than 100 national parks that usually charge entrance fees.*
Mark your calendar for these upcoming fee-free days in 2011:
  • September 24
    National Public Lands Day is the country's largest single-day effort to spruce up parks and other open spaces.
    Worldwide Day of Play
     encourages children to get up and get active. The flagship event, hosted by the National Park Service, the National Park Foundation, and Nickelodeon, takes place in Washington, D.C. at President's Park.
  • November 11-13
    Veterans Day weekend
Making the fun even more affordable, many national park concessioners are joining the National Park Service in welcoming visitors with their own special offers.
Here's a tip - many of your 395 national parks NEVER charge an entrance fee. So start Planning Your Visit!

*Fee waiver includes: entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees. Other fees such as reservation, camping, tours, concession and fees collected by third parties are not included unless stated otherwise.

HOME BUSINESS: Selling on Ebay Questions and Answers #1

A friend asked me to consider writing about some of my experiences selling on Ebay in addition to the tutorials I  have HERE on this blog.  I'll try to do this every now and then for a time in a Q & A format.  Let me know if you have any specific questions so I can address them here.



                    What made you decide to start selling seriously on Ebay and Amazon?

There were actually a few reasons:

1.  My husband had purchased a Mac computer and I could not stand to see it just sitting on the desk not "earning its keep".  Macintosh computers really do work great but they are a bit pricey.  We are definitely a multiple Mac family now.

2.  We needed some extra income for homeschool materials and also really desired to take some family trips together. It was very important to us that I stay home with the children and I prayed about how to accomplish what we wanted and do that as well.  This, it seemed, was the Lord's answer to that prayer request.    The income from Ebay combined with that from my piano lesson business took us on a wonderful "splurge" family trip to Washington State and  British Columbia the first year I began.  They have also paid for  trips to North Carolina, Tennessee and Washington, DC over the years.  All of our homeschool materials were paid for as well as some of the tuition at our umbrella school.  I always use the $$ to cover all of our Christmas shopping and expenses.

3.  I knew of the experiences of two friends at church who had been selling on Ebay.  One woman was already a major PowerSeller selling children's clothing and was also a homeschool mom at home like me making $1,000+ each month; the other was a man who sold part-time but had recently earned enough by selling four little Gunsmoke action figures to take his wife on a short European trip for their 25th anniversary.

4.  I love learning new things and have a "bent" for business.  I had been in the corporate world specializing in accounting and finance for 8 years before having children. I also find  computers fascinating and extremely useful if harnassed wisely. I have to admit though that  originally,  my two sons taught me everything I knew about computers up to that point.  They always seem to know all the up-to-date tekkie info. :)  I am constantly reading and enjoy trying new things.  When I first began, being a reader, I checked out every book at our library that I could find about selling on Ebay.  Trial and error taught me a lot, too.



What were your first incentives to keep you selling?

That one is easy.  My very first two sales were for two items that I had purchased at yard sales for literally 50 cents each.  One was a Tiffany black velvet ring box that was damaged and one was a commemorative Coca-Cola / Holiday Inn bottle filled with soda.  I sold the ring box for $52.00 and the soda bottle for $50.00.  $102.00 for $1.00 investment was all it took to get me started.

I've had several instances like this, often just stumbled upon although I have now have a reasonable library of reference books and of course, the internet to research. When you're dealing with collectors, especially one who is looking for a specific item, you can almost guarantee a good return on your investment.     Collectibles is now the largest and most profitable category in my Ebay store.


How much do you spend on inventory?

I started out not paying more than $1.00 for anything that I sold as funds were much more limited then.  Even now, being the frugal mom that I am, I rarely spend more than $5.00 on an item to resell.  I have purchased a few things for $25+ but only if I am certain that I can at least double what I paid for them (and I did).  I started my business officially by taking $100 out of our savings account and using it to shop at garage sales.  I replaced that initial $100 within one week and the business has been self-sustaining ever since.  I probably average purchasing about $50 - $75 worth of inventory each month.  The Lord has blessed me with three consignors as well.  If you'd like to see what is in my store, click on the Ebay link in the right-hand column of this blog under the tab MY HOME BUSINESSES.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Leftovers: Roast and Mashed Potatoes Morphs Into Vegetable Beef Stew

I really dislike to waste food, especially if I've been the one that prepared it in the first place or paid good money at today's prices.  With our reduced family size (from four to three most nights) I still have a difficult time periodically preparing too much food.  Often I just freeze the leftovers or someone takes them to class or work for lunch, or I eat some of it for lunch as well.

I'm trying to get better at "morphing" one night's meal into another day's lunch or supper.  This week I made flank steak with onions in the crockpot similar to THIS recipe  plus garlic mashed potatoes and carrots on the side.  Sometimes I make a pot pie out from leftover beef (another blog post some other time).  I decided to make beef stew this time.  [I had been to the dermatologist that morning and had two freeze sprays on my face + one biopsy, so I needed some comfort food.]

Remember to layer the flavors first by sautéing onions and garlic and then adding the other ingredients.



Add whatever you have on hand.  The items that I added were:  diced tomatoes, corn, green beans (all canned but fresh is even better), leftover garlic mashed potatoes, leftover glazed carrots, frozen chicken broth [I had cooked a chicken a few weeks ago and froze the broth], the leftover flank steak ...



...and my secret ingredient Knorr Vegetable Recipe Mix.  This makes any soup taste GREAT.  The fact that most of the ingredients had been cooked previously REALLY layered the flavors.  If you are sick, use chicken instead of beef and LOTS of vegetables.  I call this my "Get Well Soup" and make it every time anyone is sick (as well as when we just want a good soup).  :)


I let it all simmer for 1 1/2 - 2 hours ...



and served it with cheese toast made from homemade bread and fresh red grapes.  Just slice a few pieces of cheddar cheese and put on top of the sliced bread. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.  Remember to moisten the baking sheet with Pam or something similar.


I put about 4 chunks of meat into the freezer and there was still a little bit of the roast shreds and gravy left in my casserole dish.    It went right into a Tupperware lidded bowl to freeze for next time.  :)


Our dinner for the evening.


My husband and son each had THREE bowls of this stew and said it was really, really good.  My husband even said  I could make money selling it.  :) :) :)  This pot  of stew would normally make enough for about 12+ large bowls of soup if my family had not been so hungry!  After we ate, there was enough for all of us to have a bowl for lunch the next day.

Enjoy!



Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Taking Meals to Others in Time of Need / Take Them a Meal.com

I'm sure most of you have heard about this site but just in case...    Take Them a Meal  was introduced to our church a year or two ago as a way to handle the organization of meals to the sick, new moms, families with recent deaths, etc.  What a fabulous time saver!  I have called or emailed so many over the years, then re-called and re-emailed...  Learning about this site helps SO much.  Particularly when various events are close together.

The site is takethemameal.com


All you do is  go the site, CLICK the tab to create a schedule, fill in the needed information and voila!  That's all there  is to it.  You can give as many details as you need-- the address, phone number of the recipient and any special instructions i.e. allergies, how many are in the family, etc.

Reminder emails are automatically sent to you (if you are the administrator) AND the person signed up to bring a meal, and dates are deleted as they pass.  People can indicate what they are bringing and then check the site so that there are no duplications.  I can't tell you how much time this has saved me in even just the last couple of years.

The "Southern" tradition of taking food to someone in need is a generous and personal way to show someone that you care.  I hope you, your church, your co-workers and friends can make use of this excellent time-saving site and bless new parents, a mourning family or a family where there is sickness in the household.



TIP #1:  I am testing this site for  snack sign-ups for a ladies group that I participate in as well.  There is a link on the set up page for MORE THAN ONE MEAL PER DAY and I named them SWEET, SAVORY and SWEET OR SAVORY.   We'll see how that goes...

TIP #2:  The administrator need not feel guilty if the schedule does not fill up each day.  A younger woman who had set up a meal schedule contacted me once and was very upset that some of the days where meals were requested were blank.  Not sure who said this originally, but this is a case where  it is what it is.   If the schedule  is set up for people within an office or a church, a blanket email can be sent to make others aware of this, but the preparation of meals is from the goodness of someone's heart and cannot be forced.  Don't take it upon yourself to make all the meals begrudgingly.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Frustration : Looking at Problems from a Different Perspective



From my windowsill:



Sometimes doors seem to be shut but you really just need to look at the situation from a different angle.  The photos of this little squirrel trying to get sunflower seeds out of a bird feeder (not a squirrel feeder) which hangs high up on a palm tree in our front yard illustrate trying something different to achieve results.  Yes, this is the SAME squirrel. I watched him the other day from our dining room window try to get the seed 

from the top...


from the bottom...

and after knocking seed from both of those angles, went to the ground to get the seed.



This is a small feeder and does not hold much seed.  This little guy was determined to get every single kernel he could.  If he had given up after seeing that the bird feeder above was too high to reach, the squirrel would have gone away hungry.  Sometimes we need to do the same when we have a dilemma or a problem.  Step back and look at it from a different perspective.   Other people are helpful in doing this as we truly can't always see the forest for the trees especially when we are in the midst of them.  The door may not always be as "shut" as we think it is.


ROMANS 5: 3-5
And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, 
knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 
and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;  
and hope does not disappoint, 
because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts 
through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.















=========================================


What's for Dinner?


  • Fish sticks (I RARELY make these but my husband has been craving them)
  • Hush puppies
  • Homemade macaroni and cheese casserole
  • Green beans
  • Leftover fruit salad



Monday, September 19, 2011

Decluttering: One Small Project at a Time / Bathroom Shelf / Gift Wrap

We have two bathrooms in our home--one in our master bath with considerable storage underneath the sink; the other is used by our son(s) and any guests we may have.   It has a large closet for storing extra toiletries and a few other items as well.   I cringe when I look in the closet of the latter, especially  the bottom "shelf" which is the floor.  I had organized the three other shelves at the beginning of the summer and can find whatever   I am looking for easily on those.

The floor was just a huge mess of gift wrap, boxes, tissue and ribbons.  I was finding myself buying a new bag instead of searching through this clutter for a suitable bag, tissue or ribbon. What a waste of $$.

No kidding, this little job that I had put off for MONTHS only took me about 30 minutes.

Here are the "before" photos...



After I completely emptied the area and wiped it down...


I dumped everything on our family room floor and sat there while the football game was on on Saturday afternoon.  I threw away only a small amount of what was in the pile and put about 7 items in a donation box.  Everything else was completely clean and useable.


I got a colorful red bin from the garage and a large  shopping bag and started organizing.

  • Ribbons in the Rubbermaid box
  • More ribbons, bag stuffings, cellophane and bows in the large shopping bag
  • Gift bags and colored tissue in the red bin
  • Large boxes stored flat against the red bin and the wall

 I even labeled the items so that when someone wants  to wrap a gift for me they can easily find what they are looking for.  :)


Next time I see something like this I won't put it off for so long.  
Ah... continually organizing the house, one area at a time..  


The Most Important First Chore of Each Day: Make Your Bed Each Morning

This is my opinion but I think many of my friends might agree that the most important first chore of the day is to Make Your Bed as soon as you can after you get out of it.   That really sets the mood for the rest of the day.

When I get up, the bed often looks like this:


In 5 minutes, it can look like this:



My husband gets up pretty early (5:30 a.m.) and I try to get up at least before he leaves (6:30 a.m.) and get the bed made.  I'm sure it affects his disposition to show a little industriousness before he goes out for a 45-minute drive to a  hard day's work.  If you have children at home, teach them to make their beds as early as possible.  It doesn't have to be exactly like you make it, but tidy.  It also helps them get a move on to whatever they need to be doing--showering, dressing, eating breakfast, homework, heading out to class... I have always required this of our sons and they both do a great job.

If the bed is made, you're less likely to fall back into it (moms at home) but just start the next day's task.  Mine is usually a morning walk and getting breakfast or starting laundry.

A pretty bedspread or comforter (they're even easier) and a few throw pillows make the look pretty.   The one on ours is from Bed, Bath &  Beyond and was bought with one of their 20% off coupons, saving us a bundle.  The bed is usually the largest piece of furniture in a bedroom, so give yourself a boost in the morning and make your bed when you get up.  You'll be amazed at how it affects your overall mood to walk in and out of the room and see it clean and neat rather than a mess.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sunday Worship the Lord

Isaiah 25:9

                            ... This is the Lord, we have waited for Him; 
we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Hospitality / Spontaneous Time With Your Friends

I'm trying to be more hospitable.  We have company periodically and the teenagers come for game nights every now and then.  I don't often get to see my girlfriends (just girls, that is) so I am especially trying to be creative in getting together with some of them.  Some of my getting together times are during the day while my husband is at work and my younger son is at college classes.  Some of it is during the home Gator games that my husband is attending with his cousin this year.

Last Saturday night I had two college friends over for dinner [I made stromboli] to celebrate a birthday of one of them.  We had a great time together.  I've had some of the younger women from our church over for a couple of hours lately to visit and talk, each on different mornings.  One came with her young daughter and I thought it would be fun to have a little "tea party" to make her feel comfortable while we talked.  It was very easy and took all the stress out of "entertaining".    We sat in the living room for a couple of hours and had a really nice visit together.

Ingredients:

  • One card table
  • One white fringed throw
  • 3 cloth napkins
  • 3 coffee / teacups
  • 3 luncheon plates
  • One platter
  • Storebought decorated sugar cookies
  • Sliced apples
  • Fresh coffee & cream
  • Fruit juice


Very simple, but a little attention to detail  for a guest or two in your home makes them feel loved and welcomed.  Entertaining doesn't have to be complicated and your house doesn't have to look perfect.  Just find a quiet spot for 2-4 friends to sit and chat and enjoy each other's company.




The ornaments of your house will be the guests who frequent it.  ~Author Unknown
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