Thursday, August 29, 2013

What to Give for a 50th Birthday?

I could not think of something "good" to give Greg for his 50th Birthday this past January.  I wanted something he would not forget ~ that he would really enjoy ~ that he had never gotten.  And then it hit me......he watches Nascar on some Sundays and he has never been to a race.  It helped the decision when Allen told me that he wanted Nascar tickets for his birthday.  

SO, we got 4 Nascar tickets to the Labor Day Weekend Race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.  Allen got 2 tickets for him & fiancĂ© Jennifer and we got 2 tickets for Greg & Will for their birthdays.

The campsites are picked out.  The RV is full of diet approved snacks & drinks.  The fans are ready to go in the morning.  I hope they have a fantastic time.  I am praying it doesn't rain and ruin what they have looked forward to for 8 months!  (there is a 60% chance of rain)

Amy, Granny and I are going to tough it out....tomorrow we are getting pedicures (my first ever....and my reward to myself for reaching my first 25 pounds lost!), shopping for wedding stuff ~ Allen & Jennifers wedding is in one month, and I am sure a trip to Mall of GA is in the plans. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


In the very creative combination of words when my 29 year old son was 2 or 3.......
2 years and many hand stitches later.....
the binding was completed last night!
to wash it
tag it
and enter in the fair in one month!
And if you haven't figured out the creative combination of words.....its done and finished ~~~~

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

She Really Tried! And Almost Succeeded!!!!!!

My Sister and I, and Greg all learned how to ski together one summer many years ago ~ ahem....decades ago.  And then spent many hours at mainly Lake Lanier in GA, skiing.  Greg learned how to slolome  ~~~~ I never could do just one ski! 

A couple of summers ago, we decided to try again after a many years haitus ~ it was not successful.  But Greg wants to try again, when the weight loss is over.

A couple of weeks ago ~ we wanted Amy to try/learn.  She gave it an A+ effort.  She got above the water several times...but not to standing all the way.  She didn't quit or admit defeat, but honestly just got too tired to go on.

She was going to try again the next day, but the weather got cooler so we didn't risk it.

That's cousin Samantha behind her in the water....she was helping with getting skis on, getting the rope, and offering lots of encouragement!

Overall, a successful day~

Friday, August 23, 2013

Book Review for NetGalley

"I believe this is the first book I have read by Suzanne Woods Fisher ~ but it won't be the last!  This is not they "typical" Amish book or storyline.  The story centers around the blended family of Rose Schrock.  Rose needs to find a way to support her family which includes her children & a crabby, critical mother in law.  She decided to open a Bed & Breakfast in the basement of the home she is living in.  Through the story, you can follow Rose's inspiration to open the B & B, with the help of her neighbor Galen King.  You can witness her struggles to keep her mother in law content, to guide her children as a single mother, and to care for the guests at the B & B.  The story also has some interesting subplots concerning a "shady" horse trader, her stepdaughters job in the English world, her attempts to right the debts from her deceased husbands sketchy business dealings and more!  I am already looking forward to book 2 of this series!"

Donna J

This book was given to me for free, in exchange for my honest opinion and review.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Gratefulness & Excitement

After I did my book review the other day ~ I got an email from someone at the Publisher.....they offered to send me the first 2 books in the series so that I could read them!  That was awesome!  I am looking forward to getting my package in the mail ~ of course, now I do know how the story ends....but I can find out how it all began!

Many, many thanks!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


The weather here can't make up its mind ~ which could happen for the next 3 months or so.  Yesterday was hot ~ 90's hot, today so far is cool, cloudy & rainy!  Which is a good time to sew or quilt!

Speaking of quilt ~ I spoke too early last time, I wasn't on the last side.  But it "appears" that I now have 3 blocks left to complete!  I am so ready for this project to be done!  While in VA and driving home last weekend, I finished hand quilting a baby size quilt for the fair ~ its a cross stitch zoo animal one like I made Robert last year.  And we got Allen & Jennifers quilt professionally machine quilted last week.  It was worth every penny!  Now, I have 3 quilts to trim and bindings to sew on ~ not too hard but it it tedious.

2 of our sons now have new jobs!  We are thrilled for them.  Allen is going to work for a "locating" firm ~ they locate all the sewer/water lines for road construction, new building, pipes, etc.  They are contractors for the county in GA.  Jennifer works for the same company.  This will mean a pay raise for him....which will be awesome, especially since he is getting married the end of Sept.!  Rob has been searching for a job also and got one working for a plumber.  He worked for one several summers ago, so it won't be totally new to him!  Amy Kate finished her internship with Target and is now in the training phase of the job.  Unfortunately, she can't train at the store she will be employed at, so she is training on the coast and Andy is in Hattiesburg in school.  Just 6 more weeks and then they will be past this phase of life and together again.

On the diet front ~ we are still losing!  Over the 2 weeks we didn't get to the dr  because of travel...we lost 9+ pounds together!  Total we are over 50 pounds ~~~ in 6 weeks!  We've bought a few shirts and were able to get smaller sizes.  Greg took some shorts to the lake that had been too small and now they are too large!  Exciting!  One discovery I have made is that diet Orange Sunkist tastes very similar to my favorite drink in Honduras, orange Mirinda.  Yum!

We are starting to clean up some drawers and cabinets in the kitchen.  I've got so much stuff in there that is never used.  I am going to put most of it in a box, stick it in the garage pantry and see if I need any of it between now and the spring.  If not, its all going into the church garage sale!

Enough for now!  Time to get something done!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Book Review

This book review is for NetGalley ~ I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion of the book.

"Glittering Promises" written by Lisa T. Bergren

"I quickly realized when beginning this book that it was a continuation of  a previous book ~ which almost made me stop reading.  It did seem like pretty quickly, all the main players in the book and how they relate to each other was explained.  I am so glad that I continued ~ this book had so many twists & turns, plots, subplots, and excitement.  Without giving too much away.....there was a kidnapping of 2 folks, romance, a family death, an attempted murder, betrayal, love, and lots of ancient history thrown in for good measure.  From the previous book, you would understand how Cora came into the lives of the Kensington family.  In this book, she grows closer to her family.  Mr Kensington makes some decisions about the controlling interest of the mine.  Pierre and Will each bid for Cora's affections ~ only one will win them.  Cora's faith and her love for her family & friends is tested.  My attention was captured and held throughout the book ~ I was sorry to see it end.  If there is another following ~ I will be reading it."

Donna J

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Stalking the Hummingbirds

And this stalker was to start stalking the redheaded woodpecker~that bird is huge!

Monday, August 12, 2013


We went to Ikea today in Atlanta ~ oh my....what an awesome store!

My son described it as a 2 story Sams club....I would further describe it as 2 Sams on the bottom floor topped by 2 more Sams.  That place is huge!

We happily wandered through bedrooms, kitchens, living rooms, bathrooms, closets,  gadgets & gizmos.  And we brought back some goodies!  And their new color, many page catalog!  I think I am ready to gut our kitchen and design my own ~~~~~ now I just need the money, the time, and the manpower!

I am sure this won't be our only trip!

Weekend Fun!

This weekend was Allen & Jennifer's wedding shower/cookout at my Moms house.  We spend all day Saturday shopping for it and doing last minute crafty things.  It turned out great and about 50 people attended.  Greg grilled us hamburgers and hot dogs.  We also served potato salad, raw vegies, baked beans, and various chips.  Greg and I went the low carb route and ate a burger & hot dog and raw vegies.  Oh yum, I ate some carrots!

Besides being blessed with many wonderful gifts ~ we also got to visit with family we haven't seen in a long time and meet lots of Jennifers family! 

Cousins...Matthew, Megan, Amy, Jennifer, Allen, Becky, Aaron Missing ~ Dan & James
Mt greats...Ben, Drew, & Hailey

Amy with cousins Becky & Megan
The Happy Couple....Jennifer & Allen

My Niece's!  Becky & Megan

One of my secret projects....They both love GA Bulldogs & Atl. Falcons ~ I incorporated the colors in a quilt top.

Its unfinished but is going to be done this week by a friend of my mother in laws.

Cu[cakes for her brother & almost new sister

TA DA....cupcakes!

Another satisfied cupcake eater...who really couldn't be bothered for a picture in the middle of eating icing to pose!

Another secret project finished ~ Allens Eagle Scout Album!

Greg gave them a basket of many spices!

little cousins watching the gift opening.

Granny got them a apple green mixer!

new grill ~ lots of yummy meals will come from this!

lots of lime green goodies for their kitchen
Allen would do the whole house in red and black if Jennifer let him.  However, she chose bright green and black for the kitchen colors.  I took it as a challenge to find green kitchen goodies ~ came up with ~ plastic spoons, spatulas, colander, measuring cups, measuring spoons, little containers with green lids, placemats & napkins, a pitcher with a green lid and crocheted green dishcloths and black dishcloths. 

they had a wonderful time & left here with a car packed full of goodies.  They also received some gift cards to use for more household items.

It was a very fun Sunday afternoon surrounded by family and new friends!

Now its time for this gal to go visit her Aunt & then we are on an Ikea store mission....we've never been and are ready to explore!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Its back to school time.....No, not at our house!

Every where we go ~ there are huge aisles of back to school supplies.  While we don't NEED any, its still fun to look.  And this is a great time to buy our goodies for packing the shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child.  Crayons, pencils, scissors, notebooks, etc., can all be found for really cheap prices.

I've been shopping with a friend for lunch box stuff for her little ones.  They are starting school tomorrow and are so excited to meet their teachers this morning.  There are lots and lots of ideas and boards on Pinterest for "out of the box" lunches ~ not just sandwiches, chips, and a treat.  Great inspiration can be found there.  These would have been great ideas to use for Amy, had she gone to school....she is not a big sandwich person anyway and one everyday would have terrorized her.  Dollar Tree and Walmart have small, inexpensive containers for dips, tiny crackers, plastic containers with dividers, and freezer packs to keep everything safe!

Last night our town hosted a Back to School Bash.  Our church was contacted to see if we wanted to set up a booth for handing out church information.  We decided to hand out flyers for the church, pencils & snowcones for the kids/adults.  Since this was a first for the city, we had no idea what to expect.  The event was advertised to run 4-6 and the "vendors" could set up anytime during the day.  We went up to the church and help crush ice for the treats and got to City Hall about 2:30.  Set up was pretty easy.  At about 3:30 the masses started arriving and kept coming till 6.  It was very steady and at times a bit overwhelming.  And to say the place was packed, is an understatement.  And most everyone was giving away something....certificates for free food, pencils, notebooks, toothbrushes/toothpaste, lots of candy, many bags of popcorn, piggy banks, free cookies & sweet tea (mcallisters ~ my favorite, but I didn't indulge), and more.  Kroger was there, set up directly across from us, and they had fruit roll ups, goldfish crackers, boxes of candy, protein drinks, and the new caffeine free coke zero.  It was a fun time....the time flew by, we got to talk to and hand out over 250 snowcones, the highschool band played, the cheerleaders cheered, and everyone had a great time!

If they do it again next year....Amy wants a booth and she wants to give away cupcakes and her business cards~looking to expand the baking business.

Our prayers for this school year ~ for students & teachers ~ are for diligence, hard work, fun learning, healthy classrooms, safety, and compassion.  I know one little life that is going to change tomorrow when she starts kindergarten, but she will have a blast and bring sunshine and laughter to her classroom!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Busy, Busy!

We've had some busy days here and then some wonderfully long, slow, relaxin' days.

Amy had 4 cupcake order for this weekend.  So she was baking 1 batch of each....lemon with lemon icing, chocolate with chocolate icing, vanilla with vanilla, and a new one...peanut butter with pb icing!  These were for 3 birthday parties and a shower for my new daughter in law (got married in March).  I washed lots of dishes, pans, and mixing bowls for her & resisted the temptation to lick the chocolate icing off my finger and wash it instead ~ Donna 1 / icing 0!

2 wonderful ladies gave this shower for AmyKate at church last Sunday.  They did an old fashioned "pounding"....where the bride is blessed with many pantry items & staples for her kitchen.  The timing was perfect because they will be moving into their new apartment tomorrow or the following day!  AK and Andy were blessed with giftcards, canned goods, paper products, storage containers, spices, plastic wraps, baskets, clothes detergent, baking products/mixes, etc.  I appreciate my church friends for blessing AmyKate and Andy.   Now they have lots to fill their cabinets with!

I've got several projects I have been working on for Jennifer and Allens shower this weekend at my moms.  As I told Allen yesterday ~ I have some awesome gifts for you.....none of which are on your gift registries ~ and the best thing is, he won't be able to guess what they are.  And just on the off chance that he may read this blog post ~ I can't share with anyone!  I am excited to see his reaction to these gifts.  All will be very special to him!  And I've got goodies for Jennifer too!  Now I just have to safely get these treats to GA.

Greg and I are still doing great on our diet!  I've lost 19 now and he is right at or above 30.  Personally, I don't think its fair that guys can lose faster and more than gals ~ just my opinion!  The dr. said after 5-6 days on this diet we would get energy and feel better.....honestly, it took a good 3 weeks for me to notice I had energy.  We've been swimming for exercise and yesterday, we dusted off the treadmill and got to walking.  We could walk outside....but its 97 degrees with 100% humidity ~ its hard to walk to the mailbox and back in that.   We did get an emergency food list to use on our travels next week.........I am most excited about the green beans and carrots on the list!  Yum!  Just the anticipation is enough to keep me going right now!

I've got lots of pictures from this weekend....but can't download them.  Honestly, does any like Windows 8? 

Update.....I published this, got out of all my programs and HEY, there is the screen to download my pictures.....this is so confusing!  Here are some shots of the goodies and fun!

Amys cupcakes are GORGEOUS!

Bluebelle came into visit ~ the back of her hutch was falling apart and Greg built a new backing!

Cupcakes for the shower

Goodies for AmyKate and Andy!

beautiful table setting by the hostesses

Tie Dyed flowers made of marshmallow fondant

2 squirts!  Ragen and Kaytee Beth!  Love these girls!

bucket of spices from Greg and I

canning jar lotion & soap dispensers!

Apron made from some of Andys great grandmothers fabric.

baskets/bags of blessings!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Pinterest Ideas Completed!

We've been busy with accomplishing some ideas I found on Pinterest.
Seeing these ideas completed is awesome!
A "School Teacher" Goodie Basket for a new teacher friend!

 The basket contained bottles of glue, glue sticks, a water bottle & powdered drink mixes, hole punch, post it notes, rulers, crayons, pens, hand sanitizer, page markers & Tylenol!  And the recipient of this basket loved it ~ when else can you give a recent college graduate a basket of elementary school supplies!  This was a fun gift project!
My new spice "rack".
 We spent last weekend putting all of our spices into mason jars. And labeling the contents.
They fit great on the shelves that Greg built for me.  And they are very handy to have on the counter!
Greg routed the edges of the shelves for a fancy edge!
I read you can use the lids from Parmesan containers onto Mason Jars. 
Gregs new "coffee bar" ~ we made a special spot on the kitchen desk for his coffeepot, coffee canister,
and his work travel mugs are in the cabinet above the pot!

My household Crate
 My crate contains coupons, take out menus, new recipes to try, monthly folders for our receipts, my recipe/homemaker binder, clipboard for grocery shopping.  This is on the desk beside the coffee bar.

I've also put some command strip hooks on the inside of cabinet doors and hung up our stainless steel mixing cups.
Organization is fun!  And in these cases was free, since we already had everything.
Oops, we did have to buy the brackets to hold the shelves up ~ we needed 4 & got them at Home Depot.  About $6 for 4.
I am linking up with
Farmgirl Friday Bloghop

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Reflections of a Mother

A friend of mine posted this on Facebook last night and I thought it was excellent.  I reposted it on my wall and am sharing it on here today ~

Reflections of a Mother

I gave you life, but cannot live it for you.
I can teach you things, but I cannot make you learn.
I can give you directions, but I cannot be there to lead you.
I can allow you freedom, but I cannot account for it.
I can take you to church, but I cannot make you believe.
I can teach you right from wrong, but I cannot always decide for you.
I can buy you beautiful clothes, but I cannot make you beautiful inside.
I can offer you advice, but I cannot accept it for you.
I can give you love, but I cannot force it upon you.
I can teach you to share, but I cannot make you unselfish.
I can teach you respect, but I cannot force you to show honor.
I can advice you about friends, but cannot choose them for you.
I can tell you the facts of life, but I can't build your reputation.
I can tell you about drink, but I can't say "no" for you.
I can warn you about drugs, but I can't prevent you from using them.
I can tell you about lofty goals, but I can't achieve them for you.
I can teach you about kindness, but I can't force you to be gracious.
I can warn you about sins, but I cannot make you moral.
I can love you as a child, but I cannot place you in Gods family.
I can pray for you, but I cannot make you walk with God.
I can teach you about Jesus, but I cannot make Jesus your Lord.
I can tell you how to live, but I cannot give you eternal life.

Author Unknown

Our Children back l-r James, Allen, Jennifer, Amy Kate, Amy Lynn, Katie front l-r Will, Andy, Rob, Bryant
So to my own children I would add to the above ~ your never too old not to need your parents, your parents do know  more than you by virtue of the fact they have lived longer, our warnings/admonitions are usually because we have been there, done that, and made the mistakes you are about to make, & no, we don't have to just sit back and watch you make them ~ if we don't warn you or advise you then we haven't done our jobs as parents.  We ask questions because that is the only way to find out answers.  We pray daily for you and for you to lean on the Lord for His guidance and His directions and not rely on your own knowledge & the world.