Thursday, April 30, 2009

Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome

My son was diagnosed with Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome when he was rushed to the emergency room this past October just a day after his 18th birthday. His heart started racing and would not slow down.

By the time he reached the hospital, it was beating at more that 200 beats per minute. They tried twice using the paddles to shock his heart back into a normal rhythm, and after an iv was able to get him stabilized.

Of course they did a drug test because when they see a teen with a high heart rate, drugs are usually the culprit...but not so in this case.

We didn't realize just how serious it was until the nurse told us that if he had waited any longer to get to the hospital, he would have died. Also, his age also played a factor in his survival...if it had happened to someone in their 30's or 40's, they would have died right on the spot.

After many, many hours in the emergency room, he was moved to the Cardiac ICU floor...he was the youngest patient on the floor. After several tests, the doctor concluded that he had Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome. If you want to read more about it, click here.

The heart has electrical my son's case, he had an excess of electrical circuits.

WPW Syndrome can sometimes be controlled with medication - beta blockers, but the doctor felt that surgery was needed in his case. Fortunately, open heart surgery is no longer necessary and a less invasive type surgery - Catheter Ablation can be performed.

What is Catheter Ablation:
(copied from The American Heart Association)
"Once a CA is scheduled, patients usually stop taking medications previously used to try to control the tachycardia because on the day of the procedure, the electrophysiology (EP) doctor often needs to start an episode of tachycardia to determine what type it is and where it is coming from. After discussing risks and benefits of the procedure and giving informed consent, the patient is brought to the EP laboratory. Local anesthetic is used before catheter insertion in the groin and perhaps in one side of the neck, the elbow, or the area under the collarbone; 3 to 5 catheters are often used simultaneously. Once catheters are in the veins or artery, fluoroscopy (x-ray) is used as they are moved toward the heart and positioned in strategic locations. Recordings of the heart’s electrical activity are made from inside the heart. After tachycardia induction, a special ablation catheter is then maneuvered so its tip electrode is in contact with the abnormal tissue. The location of this ablation target is determined by a process called mapping, in which the ablation catheter is moved from spot to spot until the appropriate area is found. At this point, RF energy is turned on and, if the catheter location is correct, the tachycardia is eliminated (Figure 2). Testing is performed to see if tachycardia can be initiated again and the procedure is repeated if necessary. If tachycardia cannot be reinitiated, catheters are withdrawn from the body. The procedure usually takes 2 to 4 hours. In experienced laboratories, most types of SVT can be cured in over 95% of patients. "

My son did very well with the procedure, and after it was completed, was able to move off of the Cardio ICU floor into a regular room. You do have to lie still for a long period of time to prevent bleeding at the site in the groin.

He was released from the hospital a day after the operation.

However, the following month, he started having symptoms again, a racing heart...not to the degree that put him in the hospital, but enough to make him panic. The cardiologist gave him a 30 day heart monitor to wear... No other abnormal heart rhythms occurred while wearing the monitor. We all could breathe a sigh of relief.

Now, 6 months later, another episode sent him back to the ER. The doctors decided to try him on beta blockers after keeping him for observation, they sent him home. The next day, he was again back in the ER. The beta blockers lowered his blood pressure too much and he bottomed out. Doctors took him off the meds and he scheduled an appointment at the cardiologists office for yesterday.

At the cardiologist, they discovered more electrical circuits that were not removed during surgery. Also, they decided that he could not tolerate the medication as they already gave him the lowest dose possible. Now the only other alternative is surgery ---- again.

We are going to speak with the cardiologist today or tomorrow and schedule his surgery, which will take place in 1-3 weeks. I am just praying that this will be the last time.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Preparing Your Fields for the Rain

God has laid this on my heart for days to post. I have to be honest, I have been fighting it. I didn't want to do it. I am not an eloquent writer...I kept telling God, I don't know what to say. But He kept pressing me. Each night I would hear the words over and over..."prepare your fields for the rain".

What does this mean? If you have ever seen the movie, Facing the Giants, you will remember the scene where the coach was in his office...wondering if he should stay or go, wondering what does God want him to do, and feeling...lets just say....really down. A man walks into his office and quotes Revelation 3:8 - I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

The coach walks into the hall after the man and tells him that his has been praying to God, but hasn't seen him working. The man then tells the story of how two men had fields and both had been praying for rain, but only one of the men actually prepared his field for the rain. Which man do you think received the rain? The one that prepared his fields....

God wants to pour down on us, but we have to be ready to receive it. When praying to God, don't pray half heartedly...believe that NOTHING is impossible for God to do in our lives. Believe it....share it....

This is a lesson that I am still learning. I think that is why God wanted me to share this.

I have gone thru my share of troubles....but I serve an awesome God who has been right there with me every step of the way.

What are you doing to prepare your fields for the rain?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Update on My Upside Down Tomatoes

I have my tomato plants hanging right outside my back door on the patio. In the mornings, I go and check on them. Call me strange, but I like to smell the leaves. It reminds me of my grandma's and the large gardens she used to have.

The plants are starting to outgrow their containers, and we are going to transplant them into five gallon containers. We will cut them the same way we cut out the jugs...with a hole in the bottom and insert the plant in the bottom upside down. Then we will fill the container with more soil.

The great thing about using a five gallon container is there is enough room at the top to plant something else if you wish...I'm not sure what I'll plant yet and will have to do some additional research.

I'm actually going to pick up my containers today. I posted on our local freecycle and a couple of people have some five gallon containers that I can have...nice. If you are not familiar with have to check it out. It's a great way to give away some things that you no longer need and use and pick up things that you can use. Click here to find a freecycle group in your area.

Also, for free containers, you can check the following:
Walmart Bakery (frostings come in these containers)
Burger King (pickle containers - just ask them)
Local Chinese Restaurants
Local Bakeries

Just remember to clean them thoroughly before use.

I'm off to do some baking. I have a friend coming into town tomorrow, so I'm doing my baking early.

Have a blessed Tuesday!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Saying Good-bye to the Debit Card

A couple of years ago I wrote an article for Associated Content weighing the pros/cons of cash vs. debit cards. Click here to go to the article.

Since the writing of the article, we have slipped back into using a debit card. I can vouch that you WILL spend more using a debit card instead of just using cash. We have finally made the break from the debit card and will be going to all cash again. It is much easier. You know how much cash you have to spend and once it is gone, you are done. Plus, you don't have the worry about writing down receipts in your checkbook or the possibility of missing writing a receipt.

So, how do you go to cash? It's easy....use the envelope system. If you are unfamiliar with this, check out Dave Ramsey's

Here's how it works: We have a separate envelope for categories used each week.
For instance, our categories include: groceries, "blow" money, gas, eating out/entertainment, and a miscellaneous fund.

Each payday, we will fund our envelopes with the cash. When the money in the envelope is gone, you are done spending.

This has worked very well for us in the past, and I'm glad to be making the change back to this system again. Let's face it, when you have cash, it makes it a little harder to turn it loose. You will look and question each of your purchases a little more closely.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Prayers Please, My Son is in the Hospital

Another crisis has reared its ugly head today. My 18 yr old son, who is currently living with his dad a 100 miles away, was taken to the emergency room this morning with a racing heart.

He has a condition (I hope this is right) called Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome or WPW. He was diagnosed in October of last year and had heart surgery to correct the problem. When he was brought into the ER last year, it was so severe, that they had to shock him twice to try and get his heart rate down. The nurse and the doctor plainly told us if he had waited even 30 mins longer to get to the hospital, he would have died. They said if it had happened to someone older, it would have killed that person instantly.

So, I feel very blessed that my son arrived at the hospital in time. We were told that the surgery would take care of the problem, but as you know, nothing is 100% for sure.

In November, he felt that his was was racing - not as before, but enough for him to panic. He also was very dizzy and of course any strenuous activity just completely wore him out. He was put on a heart monitor that was linked to the cardiologist...this was done for a month. Nothing happened during the time he had the monitor..we hoped it was all behind him.

Now, six months after the first episode and heart surgery, he is back in the hospital. I have not been able to make it to the hospital today, but if they keep him tomorrow, I will be driving there. His dad is with him and will be with him all day. Fortunately, he is NOT in the Cardiac ICU as before and is in a regular room.

I am waiting to hear from his dad to see how his ECG (electrocardiogram)turns out and if they found anything. He did say that the doctor was optimistic that surgery would not be needed and that hopefully they would be able to control his condition with medication.

The medication (beta blockers) will be something he will probably have to take for the rest of his life.

If you could please keep us in your prayers, I would be grateful. It is difficult for me, as a mom, to be so far away from my child.

Thank you.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Branson, MO is Great for the Whole Family

Recently, my husband and I went to Branson, Mo for the weekend (a quick getaway). We weren't really sure what to expect. I knew Branson had lots of shows and expected it to be a city that catered to the over 50 crowd.

Wow, was I surprised....there is SOOO much to do there - from waterslides and go kart dinosaur museums, and train rides. Oh...don't forget all the cool nature stuff to do, after all, it is in the Ozark mountains. There is boating, fishing, hiking, etc.

The downtown scene is really alive for the younger adult crowd with shops, live music..and it's all on the river.

We had a blast! We went to the damn and the fish hatchery (FREE). The fish hatchery is right on Lake Taneycomo. If you have kids, it's a great field trip/learning experience. It was a beautiful sunny day in the mid 70's..perfect for being on the lake. My only regret is that we didn't have a boat to go out on the water. Oh well, maybe next time.

We visited the Butterfly Palace...once again-great place to take the kids. We got to meet and talk with the entomologist. The butterflies fly all around you, but they ask you not to touch the butterflies, let them touch you. Here's some pictures of the butterflies we took.

The item that the butterfly is sitting on is a yellow kitchen sponge submerged in....GATORADE! That's right...gatorade.

However, be prepared to come up with some cash....the Butterfly Palace is $18.00 each for adults. I'm not sure what is price for childrens' admission.

We will definitely plan and go again when we can take the kids....I know they will have a blast.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Money is Tight...

Today has been a pleasant day. It's been in the 80's and I have the windows up and a good breeze is blowing thru.

It's been kinda quiet today, my son and hubby slept in and I grabbed a cup of coffe first thing this morning and sat on the back patio just enjoying hearing the birds singing.

Money is a little tight right now...not a big thing, but a bit frustrating. My hubby's paycheck was shorted quite a bit over the past two weeks. Co. forgot to pay him his holiday pay and his overtime. So, he is not a happy camper right now. But this too shall pass.

I have a VERY limited amount of money to spend on groceries this week. But I really don't mind. It challenges me to be really creative with our menu planning and looking for good deals at the store. Luckily, we still have lots of meat in the freezer, so I only need a handful of items to round out our meals. Some things are essential that I buy toilet paper. You know, that's something you just don't want to run out of..hehe.

We will be fine...have been here before and I'm sure that there will be times that we will be here again. God always provides so I'm not worried. I have a roof over my head, food in the house, gas in the vehicles, healthy children, and a husband that loves me very much. What more do I need?

I will leave you with that. I hope everyone has a blessed Friday and a wonderful weekend!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Enjoy Your Children

We have a tendency when our children are small of being in the "I can't wait" mode.
What I mean is I remember when my children were babies, first it was, "I can't wait until he's old enough to hold his own bottle", then it was "I can't wait until he can crawl", then..."I can't wait until he can walk"; " I can't wait until he can talk".

Now my oldest is 21 , middle is 18 and my youngest is 15 and I wonder..where has all the time gone?

Each day is precious with your child...yes, even when he throws the remote or your cell phone in the toilet, or when he sticks a peanut butter sandwhich in the dvd player. Actually, these are the times that when you look back, you remember with laughter..."Can you believe that he did this?"

I can remember when my middle son talked my youngest into drawing all over his closet door with crayon and chalk. Yes, he did this just to get his little brother in trouble...and poor little brother's excuse was - "He TOLD me to do it". Wow, what teachable moments these are if we can just get past our anger.

I remember when my oldest got a gash in his forehead because his buddies thought is would be fun to play frisbe with a shingle that had fallen off the house during the storm....( was fun to get those stitches!)

Or when my middle son was at school and during P.E. he ran into a wall and knocked a tooth out. (hey, he was in a race!)

And how could I forget when my youngest at the age of two decided to lock himself in the car and refused to unlock the door!

Of course, there were sweet moments youngest two boys would have "brother day"....this was a special day where they would just spend all day together playing games, etc.

I love my boys and as I look back there are times when I wish I could have enjoyed "Today" instead of always looking towards "Tomorrow" you know what I mean?

Enjoy everyday with your children...because once that day is gone, you can't get it back. Your child will NEVER be the age again that they are today.

I hope everyone has a blessed Thursday.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Playing hookie today....

Well, we all played a little "hookie" today. My husband came home a little after 8:00 this morning and is off tonight. So, we decided to go to a baseball game. I cancelled school (yeah...they had to twist my arm..LOL) and off we went.

I love going to see a good baseball game in the spring. However, I'm not much for watching one on T.V. It's just not the same.

Today was a PERFECT day for baseball. It has been sunny with a beautiful blue sky...and it was 76 I said...PERFECT! And on top of that our team won 7-2!

Sorry I don't have any pics to post, but I forgot to take my camera.

I had already done my deep kitchen cleaning, my morning chores and a load of laundry, and pulled weeds in the flower now that we are home Blake and I can just relax.

Usually I bake bread on Wednesday, but I'm going to put it off until tomorrow as I still have a loaf already.

I hope everyone has a blessed Wednesday.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Sorry I didn't get to post my pics yesterday. As I said, I haven't been feeling to well lately and frankly, I was just in one of those "weepy" type of moods. I'm sure some of you know what I'm talkin' about.

Today started off much better, got up and dressed...the sun was shinning outside, birds were chirping and I had my contemporary Christian music playing over the T.V. I was able to get my morning routine chores done and my Tuesday Cleaning done (thoroughly cleaning the bathrooms), and homeschool has been completed and worked checked.

I went to Goodwill and purchased two dresses (I only wear dresses now...maybe I'll post about that at a later time) for a whopping.....drum roll please.....$8.00!!!!
I love going to thrift shops! I am hoping to find some canning equipment there, but so far, no such luck.

Anyway, here's recipe, instructions, and photos for my homemade cinnamon rolls. Hope you enjoy them. Also, please leave me a comment sometime...I'm startin' to feel pretty lonely.


1 cup warm milk - about 70 to 80 degrees
1/4 cup warm water - about 70-80 degrees
1/4 cup softened butter
1 egg
1 tsp salt
4 cups bread flour
1/4 cup instant vanilla pudding mix
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp dry active yeast

1/4 cup softened butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon (sometimes I use more..just depends on your taste)
4 oz. softened cream cheese
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 tsps. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Place the first nine ingredients in your bread machine and select the dough setting.
When it is finished , turn dough onto a slightly floured surface. Roll into a rectangle about 17 in. by 10 in. (doesn't have to be perfect.)
Spread with butter; sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon.

Roll up , jelly-roll syle, starting from a long side.

Pinch Seams to seal.

Cut into approximately 21 slices...sometimes I usually slice into about 18.

Place 12 slices, cut side down, in a greased 13 in X 9 in baking pan and 9 rolls in a 9in sq baking pan. other pan isn't square.

Cover; let rise in a warm place until doubles, about 45 minutes.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for about 5 minutes.

If you want them frosted, just beat frosting ingredients in a mixing bowl and spread on your cinnamon rolls.

You won't believe how great these smell while baking in the oven.


Monday, April 20, 2009

Monday, Monday......

It's great getting away for a small vacation, but I really look forward to getting back home. And since I was busy getting ready to go last Wednesday, I didn't get to do any baking, so I'm trying to do some "catch-up" baking today.

Here's what I've got going on in the kitchen today:

Cinnamon Rolls - (goodness, I just love the way these smell when they are baking!)

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies

Pineapple Coconut Bread

I'll try and post some pictures of the goodies later when they come out of the oven.
I wish there was a way you could SMELL them on the computer...but oh well....

On another note, I'm feeling really blah today. Don't know what's wrong...who knows, it could just be hormones. I guess I just need to get past it.

Since it is Monday, and Monday is bedroom cleaning day...I have stripped and re-made the beds, dusted everything in the bedroom and decluttered anything that happened to be laying around.

I got my morning cleaning routine done - wipe down tables, counters (kitchen and bath), wipe down toilet seats, and sweep the kitchen floor. I also went ahead and swept the living and dining room floors as well. I have two inside dogs and it's that time of year for shedding. I think I could make a whole other dog from the dog hair that I swept up this morning.

Blake and I have gone over History and Biology this morning and he is off to the computer to do his Health.

My hubby went into work at 8pm last night and got home about 8:30 am this morning, so he is beat and has headed off to bed for some much needed rest.

Well, I've got laundry to reboot (today is laundry day) and baking to be done!!

Hope everyone has a great Monday and I'll try and post some pictures later.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Prayer Request..............

Good Morning Ladies,

I do not normally post on Sunday. But I have a prayer request. I have had a menacing headache going on four days now. It is really putting a strain on me and my ability to function normally.

I have suffered from migraines, but this does not feel like a migraine. My migraines are usually centered in my right eye...the doctor calls these ocular migraines.

However, this headache hurts all over, but feels like someone has taken a baseball bat and hit me in the back of my head.

I did take a "strong" pain reliever last night, and it did give me some relief, however, it completely knocked me for a loop and I could not function. I have to be able to function...I can't be laid up somewhere all the time.

So, I am aksing for your prayers that this headache will cease. And if any of you know of some additional remedies other than medication, that will be appreciated.

Thank you and I hope you have a wonderful Sunday.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thursday Ramblings and Pet Pictures

Good morning!! It is a sunny day here and it's going to be warm! I love warm spring weather, but the heat of summer wears me out. No sooner has summer began that I am looking forward to the crisp cool air of fall.

I know we shouldn't be wishing away our days, but it seems that way sometime. You hear yourself say..."Oh, I can't wait until it gets warmer" and then it's "I can't wait until it gets a little cooler" "I can't wait until Christmas"..the list goes on and on.

I don't really have anything "brilliant" to post today, just some ramblings.

My husband and I do not have any kids for the next few days, so we are sneaking away to spend a couple of days together...woohoo!! It has been awhile since we have done this....and we are both looking forward to the break.

My mother-in-law will be house sitting and pet sitting for us while we are gone, so I spent time yesterday making sure that the house was clean and ready for her visit.

I actually should be finishing up my packing and taking my shower instead of blogging, but here I am (we are leaving in a little over an hour... )

So, I 'll just finish up here....

Here are some pictures of my fur babies that will be staying here...

This is Peanut...he just turned 9 years old. He is such a smart should see the things that he can do!

This is our pomeranian, Mitzi, or as I call her...Miss Barksalot.

We have one indoor cat whose name is Bear. Bear is a female, but we named her when she was a small kitten thinking that she was a he. Bear is the sweetest and will be a year old next month.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Spinach Artichoke Dip

I usually bake on Wednesdays, however, since we are leaving tomorrow...I'm trying to keep a clean kitchen and not doing any baking today...besides nobody would be here to eat it!

The following recipe for Spinach Artichoke Dip is one that always gets requested. I have been making it for years now. It is a standard at all get togethers and I never come back with any left.

My husband requests it often and could sit and eat off of it in one sitting if I didn't put it away.


1 tbsp. oil
1/4 - 1/2 cup chopped onions
1 (10 oz) pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 large jar of marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
8 oz sour cream
8 oz pkg cream cheese
2 cups monterey jack cheese (you can use mozzarella if you cant find mont. jack)
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese (not grated)
crushed red pepper flakes - about 1 to 2 tsp (optional)

In a large skillet, heat oil and saute onion until tender. Add chopped spinach and artichokes over medium heat for about 2 minutes.

Add sour cream and mix well.

Add cream cheese and mix well.

Add 1 1/2 cups of mont jack cheese and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese...stir until cheeses are melted and blended.

Add crushed red pepper flakes to taste.

Pour mixture in a 8 X 11 ungreased baking dish.

Sprinkle remaining mont. jack cheese and parmesan cheese on top.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

Take out and enjoy with your favorite crackers!

Upside Down Tomatoes

I'm going to be running around today trying to get things done. We leave on a mini-vacation (2days) tomorrow. Even though it is short, it will be nice to just get away for a bit.

I'll be doing some short posts throughout the day (I hope)..if I don't get to them, I'm sorry.


Have you ever seen those commercial for Topsy Turvy Tomato Planters. You know, those are the ones where you can plant the tomatoes upside down.

My husband has been fascinated with doing that. Last time the commercial came on we watched it. They went thru the spill talking to people who owned them, how easy it was and how abundant the tomatoes were. My husband was all set to place his order....that is until they showed the PRICE. On TV it was 2 payments of, get this, $19.99!!! But wait, you get not one Topsy Turvy, but two! Still $19.99 for each was ridiculous.

I guess the frugal side of me is starting to rub off on my husband because he decided there was no way he was going to pay that. He went online and found how to make the same thing out of milk jugs. You can also do it with large plastic containers.

But since I had been saving my milk jugs anyway, he fashioned some hanging containers out of them. I only had 1/2 gallon containers. I imagine that when the tomatoes get larger, we can transplant them.

It was easy to make. Just cut off the top portion of your jug, then cut a small square at the bottom. Insert your tomato plants upside down thru the bottom after filling the jug with your "dirt". Hang and water as necessary.

Your tomatoes plants will start to grow upward, but when they start producing tomatoes, gravity will take effect and they will hang back down.

We only have two plants right now...we'll see how it goes and maybe add more. I know you can do it with cucumbers and peppers too!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Pillowcase Dresses

Making a pillowcase dress is fun and easy. You have the option of using a traditional pillowcase or using fabric that measures the same as pillowcase.

A couple advantages of using a pillowcase are 1) it is already hemmed and 20 the only cutting to done is for the top of the dress.

However, if using fabric rather than a pillowcase, you will have many more fabric designs to choose from and you can create a longer dress if you child is tall.

Below are a couple of pictures of two dresses that I made for my 9 year old step-daughter. The pictures did not turn out that well. Also, please keep in mind...I am still a beginner when it comes to sewing.

The first one is made from a standard size pillowcase. Around the neck line, the elastic is sen in the casing and the ribbon ties are also sewn on the front and back and then tied at the shoulder.

The second is not made from a pillowcase, but from material purchased at Walmart for $2.00/yd. This dress took about 1 yd of fabric. I told Kaylin that I would make her a dress and she could pick out the material....she chose pink panther. It is one of her favorite cartoons. This one I embellished with lace. Instead of wearing it as a dress, she decided she wanted it to be a nightgown....oh well, works for me.

You will notice that the neckline is different from the first picture. Instead of elastic in the casing, I threaded the ribbon thru the casing. This was done in the front and the back with it being tied on the shoulder.

I'm thinking with a little practice, that I would like to make and sell these on do you think? I could just buy the material and embellishments and sell the pattern and materials as a kit...hmmm.

If you have any questions, just leave me a comment and I'll get back with you.

I hope everyone has a good is cold here again. I can't believe I had to turn on the heat!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Tour of My House

Here's a tour of my home. I absolutely love my home. We have been here just about 5 months. At first I wasn't sure if it could "feel" like home...but now I feel so comfortable here.

So, here we go.....

Here's the front of the house. We just put up window boxes a few weeks ago. I have always wanted window boxes...and now I finally have them.

When you come in the front door, you come directly into the living room.

Here's what it looks like from the dining room..the front door is to the right of the photo.

And this one is taken from the front door.

The dining room is open to the living room. The item standing next to the fireplace is my husband's wader dryer. And yes....we just got done playing Monopoly.

Here's a picture of the kitchen which is also open to the dining room. This is the first time I have ever had a breakfast bar...

Next to the kitchen is the laundry room

We have one bedroom that connects off of the kitchen. It is used by my stepdaughter and we also use it as our computer room.

On the other side of the living room are the other three bedrooms.

My step-sons' room

This is my son's room...he is on his bed doing his schoolwork.

And here's a picture of our bedroom. We just bought the bed frame. The walls are painted a dark red.

Here's our tiny master bath...really tiny, but functional.

Now, if you go out of the master bedroom and back down the hall toward the living room, the hall bathroom will be on the left. It is a large bathroom with plenty of counter space and it has a large linen closet as well.

I'm trying to upload picture of the bathroom, but is having some problems.

Sorry you won't get to see my bath....but oh well...that was the last room.

If you head out of the bathroom, you'd be back in the living room

Hope you enjoyed the tour.

Making money with CashCrate

I love staying at home and being a wife, homemaker and mom. However, there are days when I feel deflated because I am not contributing financially to our family.

Cashcrate is a great way to earn a little extra money by spending a few minutes each day on the computer. It won't make you rich, but it's enough for gas money or groceries or that little something extra you've been wanting.

CashCrate is legitimate and I have received "real" checks from them as payment.

Their program consists of completing offers and surveys. I must tell you that I do not complete anything that asks for a credit card. There are plenty of "free" offers and surveys without having to use a credit card.

If you have any questions about this program, please let me know in a comment and I'll get back to you promptly.

I've included CashCrate's link so you can get started immediately!!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Pancakes for breakfast

I make pancakes a lot for breakfast. Matter of fact, that is what we had for breakfast this morning.

Before, I always relied on ready made pancake mix such as Aunt Jemima, or I used Bisquick and the recipe that was on the box. You know those pre-made mixes can get expensive. I just never knew that it was so easy to do yourself.

I have adapted a recipe that I found to make it my here it is:

My Yummy Pancakes

2 cups milk
2 medium eggs
2 Tbsp oil
1 to 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
3 cups flour (I just use the bread flour that I already have)

In a med to large bowl, mix the first 7 ingredients. Beat with a fork or a whisk.
Add the last 3 ingredients. Beat again. Mixture will be lumpy.

In a skillet or a griddle, heat on medium heat and melt a spoonful of butter or use a little oil to grease it.

When heated, drop about 1/4 cup of batter...if your skillet is large enough you can cook two or three at a time. As your pancake cooks, little bubbles will begin to form. When the pancake has plenty of bubbles and the top is beginning to dry out, it's time to turn it over to the other side and let it cook.

Repeat until all the batter is used.

The above recipe will usually make enough for 3 pancakes each for 7 people.


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Cloth Diapering and a new venture...

In an effort to help with our finances, and still be able to stay at home, I have become an affliate for Kelly's Closet.

Kelly's Closet is the Web's Premier Cloth Diaper Store.

Just check out all Kelly's Closet has to offer:

Cloth Diapers
One-Size Cloth Diapers
All-in-One Cloth Diapers
Pocket Cloth Diapers
Fitted Cloth Diapers
Prefold Cloth Diapers
Flat Cloth Diapers
Diaper Covers & Diaper Wraps
Cloth Diaper Packages
Cloth Diapering Accessories
Cloth Wipes & Accessories
Wet Bags & Pail Liners
Diaper Pins & Fasteners
Swim Diapers
Training Pants
Make Your Own Diapers
For Mom
Nursing Bras
Nursing Pads & Creams
Menstrual Care
New Mama Care
For The Home
Changing Pads
Washcloths & Burp-pads
Natural Laundry
Natural Skin Care
Earth Mama Angel Baby
Baby Gear
Baby Carriers
Sun and Swimwear
Baby Basic Layette
Leg Warmers
Baby Feeding

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Faith, Fear, Worry, Peace

I am writing this from the heart. I apologize beforehand if doesn't make sense or if I start to ramble (I have a habit of doing that)...o.k., here it goes.

A dear friend called me the other day. She is going through some stressful situations in her life. While talking with her, it made me take a good look at myself and how I handle stress in my life and how I need to handle it.

I am a worrier, I admit it. My husband even says I worry too much. I do. I try not to, and I think I'm getting better. But it leads me to question "Why do we, as Christians, worry"? No matter what situation I have been in, God has been there and has met my needs. He has always provided for my needs. (You need to be able to discern between needs and wants).

Matthew 6:25 NIV

25 "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?

What does worrying about anything do? Absolutely NOTHING!

I looked up the definition of worry...

Worry: to torment with cares, anxieties, etc.; trouble; plague.

To that's a strong word. When you worry, you are tormenting yourself. That isn't what God wants....that is Satan using fear in our lives.

Matthew 6:27 NIV

27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

I believe that fear is an emotion that Satan uses to get hold of our lives.

How do we overcome this fear and worry? By prayer and getting into the Word of God.

Isaiah 41:10 NIV

10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:13 (NIV

13 For I am the LORD, your God,
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
I will help you.

I have been in situations that at times, I felt hopeless. Worry and fear dominated by days. I still struggle with it. We are not perfect and we have human emotions. I have faith that no matter what is going on in my life, that God is there. He wants to hear from us. We NEED that communication with HIM.

Prayer....Pray each day that God will take the fear and worry out of your life. Ask God to keep Satan out of your day. Pray for peace over your situation.

Romans 15:13 (NIV)

13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

2 Thessalonians 3:16 (NIV)

16 Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.

It is with this that I leave you for the day.

I pray that God's love and peace washes over you today.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Today's Freebie and Contest Giveaway

I have a long post I wanted to write today, but it will just have to wait until tomorrow. I woke up today feeling a bit under the weather ...stuffy nose, sore throat, headache and just generally groggy. Doesn't make a good combination for writing a serious post.

I want to make sure I come across well and coherent, so I will try and post tomorrow.

To give you a sneak peak, I want to talk about Faith, Fear, Anxiety, and Peace. It is something that has been on my heart.

So, I will leave you today with a give away and a freebie.

De of Oh Sew Dollin' is having a grand opening giveaway. All you have to do is visit and sign up for this sweet Annie Doll.

You can automatically download the pattern for this little cutie right away so you can get started on making your very own Annies.

Monday, April 6, 2009

A Day in the Life of Me...

Thought I would share what my day today is like. I'll be updating the post throughout the day.

I woke up late this morning - 7:34. I haven't been sleeping well as alergies have kicked in and my nose gets stuffy at night making it difficult to sleep.

My cats always greet me as I open my bedroom door. They are ready to be fed. I have 3 full grown cats and 6 kittens. I am trying to find a home for the kittens as soon as possible as they are slowly destroying my house.

After feeding the kittens, the next thing I HAVE to do is make coffee. Yes, I'm one of those people that absolutely must start my day with a cup of coffee. I have a Gevalia Coffee Maker that has worked great for a few years now.

Time to do my daily routine:

Wipe down kitchen counters, sweep kitchen floor

Wipe counter and toilet in hall bathroom

My son keeps his hamster in the bathroom at night because he is too noisy.

Cleaning the master bathroom

Time to check the computer pooped out on me this morning. Had to wait to check email.

It's now a little after 8:00 time to get dressed before Brian gets home from work. Here's what I'm wearing today (I've gone to all dresses and skirts) Sorry the picture is sideways.

It's 8:30 and time to get Blake's schoolwork written out for the day

It's now 1:00 and I just got back from taking hubby to the dentist...we left about 10:30 this morning - he had to have two teeth pulled.

Now it's off to get prescriptions filled. Blake was on his own for lunch today.

2:00 - back from pharmacy. Time for me to eat lunch...starving.

Since I didn't get to finish making the bed this morning...I only stripped the sheets, I need to put on fresh sheets.

All done, much better. Don't forget to clean the mirrors, windowsills, and ceiling fans.

Now, time for a quickie clean of the kitchen. Took all of 5 minutes.



Oops! Forgot to unload the dishwasher...better do it now.

It's now about 3:20 pm. Since our homeschooling was disrupted today by going to the dentist, I'm going to go over some school work with Blake.

4:00 school is done - yea!

Time to take laundry out of dryer (I put it in this morning), fold and put away.
Just had one load to do today.

Here's a picture of hubby relaxing on the couch.

Laundry is all put away. On to dinner. Tonight I am just making vegetable soup and cornbread. I don't use a recipe for the soup, I just throw in whatever I have on hand. Here's all of laid out on the counter....

After putting everything in the pot, I decided to work on my coupon binder while dinner is cooking. I have lots of coupons that I need to cut and organize.

Dinner is done. Time to eat.

After eating, time to tidy up kitchen...again.

Wow, now time to relax. It's about 6:30 and I'm going to just chill out with my hubby and watch some t.v. Blake is on the computer. Later I'll take my shower and get to bed about 10 pm.

I hope everyone has a good evening, go and enjoy it with your family.