Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Working in my yard

With all the rain we have had lately everything is so green, flowers are blooming and I've had an itch to work in the yard. It's been interesting seeing what plants/flowers are springing up from various places throughout our yard. We bought our house in the fall so everything was dying and we weren't aware of what treasures we had.

These cannas were dying when we moved in - we knew they were here but they didn't look near as beautiful as they do now! In our neighborhood we have underground lines. We love this! It's really nice because we won't have to worry about our power lines getting knocked over by falling trees during hurricanes but there are these big ugly green boxes in front of everyone's yard...most people have planted things in front of them to try to "pretty them up."

Aren't these flowers beautiful? I love the leaves AND flowers on this plant.
This is our front bed where we removed a very large azalea bush from in front of the living room window right after we moved in. When we did that though it revealed cable boxes and ugly wires that go to our neighbors house next door. We've been staring at that "mess" for nine months and we finally went to the store this past weekend and got this piece of lattice work to cover all the wires. I went back yesterday and picked out a passion vine (still in the pot in front of garden) that I'm going to plant by the trellis and have it grow up that trellis.
These are the unique flowers on the passion vine. They are absolutely gorgeous! There are several buds all over the one I purchased - I can't wait to see all these flowers opened up.
While I was at the store yesterday I decided to pick up these two pieces of trellis and this jasmine plant. I planted these in my backyard between my house and the neighbor's house just for a little privacy. This jasmine will grow up all over this trellis and smell so good! I love the way it smells and the pretty white flowers that come up all over it.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Molehills and mountains

I can't begin this post without first giving praise to my Heavenly Father and thanking Him for the air I breathe, the food I eat and the life I live each and every day. I continue to be amazed at how much He takes care of us and provides in so many ways. I have truly felt His loving arms wrapped securely around me carrying me from one trial to the next lately. When things seem the darkest I look back and see where I've come from and realize that there is light at the end of this tunnel and I am getting closer to the light.

The latest blessing is our finances. After climbing our way out of debt - a seven-year climb mind you, we purchased our new home back in August 2008. We were scared to death obviously because of our history. Everything was falling into place though and we kept trudging forward. We made it through the holidays just great, bills paid, took a couple of trips, everything was still okay.

Then in January we hit a molehill and for the next couple of months it grew into a mountain. Fortunately we had some money in reserve and we were able to take care of this situation, but now we had no more reserve money. What would we do now? Even though I'm not normally a worrier...this last month I had to fight the urge to dwell on this fact...WHAT IF?? Everytime "WHAT IF??" starts entering my head I try so hard to say instead "Okay Lord, I'm giving this to you, YOU are in control and YOU said not to worry because YOU will take care of me and I trust in you!"

Here's the amazing, awesome part! We came into some money - I can't go into the details because my husband is a private person and would prefer I not share that on here - but it is truly a miracle that we received this large amount of money!! It was completely unexpected!

Now this weekend I get to go car shopping and pay for my new (used) car with CASH! I am so excited. We were looking on Craigslist and online at used car lots last night. My dream car has always been a convertible Mazda Miata but with 6 kids of course that was a little out of reality - but not now!

1993-1997 Mazda Miata photographed in Montreal...Image via Wikipedia

I told Greg I wanted to see if we could find one for less than $3000. He looked at me like I was crazy. Hmph! I found one for $3950....I emailed it to my husband....he's a smooth talker...hmmm, let's see if I get my Miata?

To be continued.....

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Plant your gardens

Assorted flowers in Park Seed Company GardenImage via Wikipedia

A friend sent this to me...wanted to share with you:

How to Plant Your Garden
First you come to the Garden alone,
While the dew is still on the roses...


  1. Peace of mind
  2. Peace of heart
  3. Peace of soul
  1. Squash indifference
  2. Squash grumbling
  3. Squash gossip
  4. Squash selfishness
1. Lettuce be faithful
2. Lettuce be kind
3. Lettuce be patient
4. Lettuce love one another

  1. Turnip for meetings
  2. Turnip for service
  3. Turnip to help one another
  1. Thyme for each other
  2. Thyme for family
  3. Thyme for friends

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Looks can be deceiving

I called Greg one day last week as he was getting ready to leave work and asked him if he would stop by Publix on his way home and buy some milk. When he came home he surprised me with a bouquet of flowers he had purchased from Publix as well.

I love flowers - not specifically roses, but all kinds of flowers. Anything with color will suit me just fine. When I first took off the wrapping from around the bouquet, I was slightly surprised that Publix was selling them. To be quite honest there was a lot of color but they really didn't look up to Publix's standard (if that makes sense without coming across as putting my husband down...because I am certainly NOT doing that - I LOVED the fact that he surprised me with these flowers!!) I cut the ends off, arranged them in the vase and placed them on my dining room table.

Let me just tell you something - over the last few days - these flowers have opened up and become absolutely stunning! Wow, I wish I had taken a before picture so I could show you the transformation!!
You just have to imagine everyone of these flowers "closed up" when I placed them in the vase...and that's what I saw at first. Now that everything has opened up, I have something truly beautiful don't I?
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My daughter & her boys

No words needed here...aren't they a beautiful family?

Saturday, May 16, 2009


We went shopping for a lawnmower on Mother's Day - you can read more about that here on my other blog. While we were out shopping I told Greg I wanted to pick up a pool for the dogs. We have labradors and they love the water.
As soon as we started putting water in the pool our puppy, Raven, jumped in and was sticking her head under the water trying to find things. We watched them and laughed at her antics in that pool for over an hour. Dakota decided to stick his head in the water with Raven.
Jet walked around and around the pool trying to get in and Raven would follow him around. She was inside, not letting him get in. He is looking at us like "can't you do something with this brat?!"
We probably should have bought two of them so Jet could play too. Poor guy, he's so big (and fat!) she runs circles around him. We have to make him get out and run and play now. He won't even run after his toys anymore because she takes them from him. It's as if he's saying "Why bother, she's just going to take it anyway..."
Raven trying to pick up the hose while the pool is filling up...
She's a pesky thing but she brings us lots of laughs!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Toon-ful Tuesday - can you hear Him?

This is a personal one for me....I have to "remind" myself why I don't hear from Him as often as I'd like to...perhaps I'm not listening as well as I should?

Toon-ful Tuesday (my favorite verse!)

I LOVE this all-time favorite I quote on a daily basis.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Crowned LilyImage by Creativity+ Timothy K Hamilton via Flickr

Happy Mother's Day! I pray all of the moms reading my blog have a wonderful day!

My son and husband took me to breakfast this morning (Saturday) and then took me to go buy a new cell phone. I am a texting "queen" and my old cell phone I've had a little over 2 years was starting to mess up on me...which was causing me lots of frustration over the last couple of months.

I received the best present ever - a new Samsung Delve smartphone - it's a touchscreen type of phone and I now have unlimited email and internet access. I have spent the better part of the day playing with my new toy and trying to figure out how to work it - I LOVE IT!!

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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Diamonds & Blue Topaz

The SPRING IN BLOOM NecklaceImage by jewelsbyldesigns via Flickr

I've never considered myself a materialistic gal. In fact I've always tried to make sure I don't get attached to "things" by routinely weeding out and getting rid of my stuff.

If I haven't worn something in my closet over the last year I give it to Goodwill. Books that I don't read within a year or two I re-sell on eBay or Amazon. Less is best because that's just less I have to dust around and find a place for.

BUT...don't ya hate that word 'but'...BUT I found out a few months ago that a few things really meant a lot to me and I have actually been mourning the loss of these items.

My husband likes giving me jewelry. He has given me lots of jewelry throughout our 14 years of marriage. My birthstone is Blue Topaz. Greg has given me rings, necklaces and earrings with blue topaz and diamonds in them. I had so many beautiful rings I couldn't wear them all at once and I chose to wear my two favorite ones most of the time.

After we moved into our new home back in August I looked in my small jewelry box to get a ring I had not worn in a while. It was gone. I looked all over for it and couldn't find it. After further inspection (over the next month) I realized every one of my diamonds/blue topaz jewelry pieces was gone! All my earrings, necklaces, rings...all of them. We talked about this with my mom, because we had been living in her house before we moved out, and there was another family member living there at the same time that I suspected had taken all of these items. This family member is now in jail - on another charge unrelated to my jewelry - but he denies taking anything of course.

I keep telling myself it's just "things" and to let it go...but it's really hard - those items were hand-picked from my husband for me and really meant something to me. I just don't understand why people think they have the right to take what's not theirs...BUT that's a post/soapbox for another day isn't it?
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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Mother's Day

Tina made me this cake last year for Mother's Day. Isn't it beautiful? The only problem is when she made it she lived in California and I lived in Florida...she tells me it tasted great! Hmmm, wonder if I'll get another cake from her this year now that she lives closer?! (HINT HINT)

With Mother's Day right around the corner I can't help but get just a wee bit excited at the thought of having a whole day that is mine, just mine to do whatever I want to do. As excited as I get at the thought of my day, I really do try to keep things in perspective by remembering those mothers around me who will not get a "day off" so to speak:
  • the young 20-something mom in my church who has two small boys and her husband was killed in a freak accident last year.
  • the 30-something mom in my circle of friends who was completely blindsided this last year when her husband was arrested for child pornography and hauled away to prison
  • my own daughter in Hawaii with 3 small boys 5 yrs old and under - her husband may or may not be back from sea duty on Mother's Day
  • a wife and mother in our church whose husband was just deployed 2 weeks ago to Afghanistan for the next year
  • then there's the 3 young children I taught in Sunday School a few years ago - even though we don't attend the same church anymore I think about those precious children every holiday, especially Mother's Day...their Mother died suddenly and unexpectantly. She was only in her 30's and she left behind 3 small children who adored her and were completely devastated when she went home to Jesus.
I can't help but remember those three children every Mother's Day. It helps to remind me to cherish all of the years I have had with my own children and grandchildren and not take one minute for granted.

Two years ago on Mother's Day a group of my friends (all moms) and I gathered our children together and after we had all gone to lunch with our families we took our children and met at the bowling alley for an afternoon of bowling and pizza...just the moms and kids on Mother's Day. That was a great afternoon and what a way to spend Mother's Day...doing what I do best - just being a mom!

What are your plans this year?
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Wordless Wednesday: Thank you God for my friend

I praise God that after a rough year of chemo, my best friend has survived her 2nd bout with cancer and is still here....blessing everyone she meets.

At this year's Relay for Life event - CJ, looking healthy and beautiful!

In October 2008, getting close to finishing up her chemo...

At Relay for Life 2008 - right before CJ started chemo....

For more Wordless Wednesday posts, visit 5 Minutes for Mom
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Spoiled Dogs; Neglected husband

There are many varieties of commercial dog foo...Image via Wikipedia

One of Dakota's chores is to feed our dogs every evening. Greg feeds them every morning. I feed Greg and Dakota...there is plenty of food in the cabinets and refrigerator. Oddly enough, Dakota goes to feed our dogs last night and tells me "mom, there's not enough food left to feed both dogs."
See where I'm going with this??

I don't look in the closet where the dog food is kept - ever - because there is no need for me to look in there, so I had no idea we were running out of food. I will say, on Greg's behalf, he is normally very good at keeping up with that but he's been extremely busy at work lately and a little preoccupied.

Anyway, last night I told Dakota to mix up the cup of food with water and we would divide it between the two dogs and I would just get some more food today. Greg came home from work late and I sat at the table chatting with him while he ate his dinner. Once he was done eating we sat there and continued talking.

While I was listening to him I got up and pulled out a couple of chicken breasts from the refrigerator and popped them in the microwave and started cooking some rice and boiling some carrots. Greg gave me a strange look and asked me what I was doing. I told him I was making the dogs breakfast. He said "WHAT?!" LOL

I have to back up a little bit and explain why my dear husband would have this reaction -

My sweet husband and I have just recently been teasing back and forth about the fact that he gets up every morning and makes his breakfast. This is something he has just started doing in the last few months. For several years he has preferred to throw a Hot Pocket in the microwave or a Pop Tart in the toaster and be on his merry way. But the last few months he has started making bacon, eggs, toast, biscuits, breakfast pizzas, etc every morning...and if I'm awake he brings me a plate in bed. When he brought me a plate last week, he said "Okay, there is something wrong with this picture...I'm the one going to work and you are getting served breakfast in bed."

Why don't I cook breakfast for him? Several reasons...
I don't mind cooking for him; in fact I enjoy cooking. But he likes to experiment and try new things and that's pretty much the only chance he gets to cook is breakfast time because I cook all the other meals. He wakes up way before he has to be at work so he is not rushing around - he has plenty of time in the mornings and if he ever doesn't have the time and needs my help he just asks and I am there to pitch in. We only live 2 miles from his office so he could come home for a home-cooked lunch every day if he wanted to (when I am more awake) but he chooses not to do that. I never expect him to cook anything for me in the mornings. If he does, that's nice. If he doesn't, I make my own - we eat different things anyway. I eat a lot of oatmeal and fruit and yogurt and he doesn't eat any of that type of stuff.

So now, back to the whole line of thinking was to make it easier on the dogs (and Greg) in the morning. They were going to be hungry like they are every morning and they would be prancing around begging for their food. If he didn't feed them he would constantly be tripping over them the whole time he was trying to get ready for work. I thought if I went ahead and prepared their meal ahead of time, Greg could pop it in the microwave to heat it up and go ahead and feed them and then I could get to the store today to buy some more dog food. Once I explained it to him that way he understood and thanked me!

I happened to be up this morning and took care of the dogs myself and I must say...they have never eaten quite so fast before...guess they enjoyed their breakfast of rice, chicken and carrots! While I was heating up their food, Greg was making breakfast for us...biscuits and eggs - I enjoyed my breakfast too!! :-)

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Monday, May 4, 2009

Stanky Leg

At our annual Relay for Life events one of my friends is the DJ. He does a great job at this keeping people motivated throughout the night and offering a variety of songs for young and old alike. We enjoy doing group dances like the Electric Slide, ChaCha Slide, Chicken Dance, Superman and a few others. This past weekend during our Relay event, he introduced this song - Stanky Leg. He admitted that when he heard this song he thought it was the most ridiculous song he's ever heard but he figured the kids would like it...boy, was he ever right (on both counts!!)

This song is STUPID!!!!! But the kids went crazy and they KNEW this dance!
Check it out -

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Was it Mother's Day this past Sunday?

I had such a relaxing day Sunday. Yes, I skipped church. Yes, I laid in bed until 10:30 and just watched TV. My husband got up and made breakfast that morning and delivered it to me in bed. I ate and snuggled back down into the covers and drifted back off to sleep.

Dakota had a friend spend the night Saturday night. We decided to take the boys out the beach around noon for a few hours. I went from laying in bed to laying in a chair on the beach and listening to my iPod. I needed the rest...especially after staying out so late Friday night at Relay for Life and then being gone all day Saturday driving to Tallahassee and back. What I didn't count on was my sweet husband waiting on ME throughout the day - he was just as tired as I was.
When I am really tired this familiar verse runs through my of my favorites:

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

Matthew 11:28

Prayers for this family

When I posted about Relay for Life, I mentioned this young girl, Jackie and told you I would tell you more about this family later. Jackie got cancer when she was around 5 years old (I think that's how old she was) and even though her cancer is gone the damaging effects from her chemo have been long-lasting. She has had to have several surgeries and other procedures over the last 7 years...all of which have created mounting medical bills.

Through it all, the family has remained upbeat, positive, supportive, and charitable within the church and community. Our children's director at church recently nominated the family for a local contest called Extreme Dream Makeover. The family won! They won $5000 for their own and $5000 to giveaway or donate to a charity.

What they didn't expect was to be blessed by a local carpenter/home improvement company with a home makover! Majors Home Improvement came in and updated the family's home! This was a miracle to say the least!! Shane (shown in the picture below on the left) and Melissa have 5 children and they are living in a 3 bedroom 1 1/2 bath home. One of the improvements Majors Home Improvement did was to install a shower in the 1/2 bath so now that is a full bath - that means a lot to this large family.

It seems like they are just getting blessed all around doesn't it? So why am I asking for prayers for this family? Shane got involved with the Relay for Life events because of his daughter Jackie's fight with cancer. He has been the DJ for most of the Relay events in town for several years now. He keeps people motivated in the wee hours of the night when everyone is tired of walking and ready to give up. Now it looks like Shane is going to be needing some motivation. Last week, three days before our Relay, Shane had surgery to remove a lump from his neck. He is going back this Wednesday to get the final results and find out his next course of action. The doctors are saying it is lymphoma.

This young father and sole provider of 5 children needs prayers right now...will you join me in praying for a miraculous healing?
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Relay for Life - recap

Our Relay for Life event was this past Friday night. When I posted about Relay for Life last year I told you how I got involved in this annual fundraiser and about my best friend CJ's longtime battle with ovarian cancer. At this time last year she was diagnosed with her 2nd recurrence and was to begin chemo again. We were not sure what the future was going to hold for her or if she would even be with us this year for Relay.

I praise God that she has beat it AGAIN and she is here and thriving!

The theme of this year's event was "Holidays." Our team chose Columbus Day and one of the crafty men on our team built this...

This is Jimmy (Mr. Crafty - the man who built the ship) - he is saluting the survivors as they begin the Relay and walk by in the first lap known as the Survivor's Lap.

CJ is on the left side holding the banner and the young girl on the right side of the banner is Jackie - she is Dakota's age, a good friend of ours and a cancer survivor herself. I will tell you more about her family in another post - they need lots of prayers! They are leading the Survivor's Lap

This is CJ's beautiful family

This is my dear friend, Mardi who was a huge help this year! This was her first year helping us with won't be her last - she did a great job!!

Last but not goofy husband -

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