Monday, April 29, 2013

37 Things for 37 Years

In honor? of turning 37..... Wait a minute. Ummmm....huh? How did that happen? Where did the last, oh decade go? I just turned 30 right? Nope. Guess not. *sigh

Where was I? Oh yeah. In honor (still not sure if that's the right word) of turning 37, this post will be in the vein of others I've read. Some are things I've learned in my X years. Me? I learn something new daily, which is something I think we should all strive for. Learn something new. Even if that is something as complex as a new skill or a new word or a random fact. Your mind should continue to expand. And no, not the head expansion from too many compliments. This will be about 37 things I've seen. From the random to the "bucket list."

Sooooo, here's my list of things for the recent anniversary of my birth.

1. Many sunrises

2. Many more sunsets

3. The Leaning Tower of Pisa

4. A soft rain shower in the midst of a beautiful, bright sunny day

5. The Pantheon in Rome

6. A double rainbow

7. The canals of Venice, Italy

8. A lunar eclipse

9. The Eiffel Tower in Paris, France

10.  A rocket taking off (from about 2 miles away)

11. The Passion Play at Eureka Springs, Arkansas {Info found here}

12. Verona...where there actually was a Capulet family and a Montague family, although there is no record of the "star-crossed lovers" bit per Shakespeare

13. Rain coming down sideways. Happens in the Acores. We lived on Terceira for 3 years. Reason for the rain? The storms can move so fast that the rain doesn't have time to come down...straight

14. The Rosetta Stone at the British Museum in London, England

15. A dust storm in Saudi Arabia

16. The Louvre in Paris, France

17. A mountain whose top was covered in snow on a hot day in June (seen from a few miles away)

18. The Roman Forum

19. A wave of dust from cars flying down a dirt road

20. The Trevi Fountain in Rome

21. The first buds of flowers awakening in spring

22. Trajan's Column

23. Strangers of both sexes holding a door open for someone they didn't know

24. Tower of London

25. A circus with clowns and performers

26. Tower Bridge (the London Bridge from the song is actually not even in England although there are quite a few bridges in London that cross the Thames River)

27. A child's smile when they see their parent for the first time in 6 months

28. Arc de Triomphe

29. A spouse tear up when their military member gets off the bus after being deployed and in harm's way for months

30. Notre Dame

31. A mother and son reunited because of a wedding ceremony

32. Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida

33. Too many funerals (and not done by any means....the hardest ones are still to come)

34. EuroDisney in Paris, France

35. Leaves turning shades of red, yellow, orange, and brown

36. Circumstances and lives changed through prayer to Jesus Christ

37. The smile on my guy's face when we said our vows almost 14 years ago

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Menu for the Week...8 days instead of 7

We used to meal plan for the week on Friday evening or sometime Saturday for the following Sunday through Saturday. The problem was that Sunday night was either up-in-the-air or we had to get the stuff for it on Sunday. Not working. Sooooo we decided to switch it up to meal planning for Monday through Sunday. I will get the majority of Tuesday (errand day....Monday is DIY for now) and the "weekend" bits on  Thursday or Friday. Since we just decided that mid-week last week, we had to alter things a bit.....

For the week of 21st through 28th::

For the week of the 21st through the 28th:::

Sunday: Frito Pies

Monday: DIY

Tuesday: Asparagus with Chicken and Bow Tie Pasta (recipe found in a mag)

Wednesday: Baked Steak with Mashed Potatoes (hubby's grandma's recipe :-) )
Thursday: the pantry meal was--Cheesy Chicken Pasta from Velveeta with {boxed}Au Gratin potatoes and  sauteed broccoli
Note: We're trying to stop eating so much boxed and processed foods (other than some of the soups that I won't make from scratch) and the best way is a "Use it use" mentality. Not quite done, but getting there. :-)

Friday: Grill Night. This one was Cheeseburgers. We got one of the packages from the store, added hamburger seasoning and cheese from the deli. Put on wheat buns with Miracle Whip Hamburger Sauce (it's orange)....can't stand Miracle Whip, but LOVE this sauce. :-P and Orida (sp?) Crispers baked in the oven

Saturday: Pizza. We did a Relay for Life earlier that day. It was a long day and pop in a pizza was perfect for a nasty, rainy, thunderstormy night.

Sunday: A new (to us) restaurant.  We're currently in Europe, moving back to America soon, so we're working our way through restaurants we've heard of or seen or been told about before we have to leave. We're hoping to do a new one every week if we can.

What was your dinners like this week?

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Weaver

My life is just a weaving
Between my Lord and me.
I cannot choose the colors
He weaves so skillfully.

Sometimes He weaveth sorrow
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I the underside.

Not ‘til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Will God unroll the canvas
And explain the reasons why-

The dark threads are as needful,
In The Weaver’s skillful hands
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.

--by B.M. Franklin (1882-1965)

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Bible Stands

This is a hymn by Harald Lillonas:::

The Bible stands like a rock undaunted
'mid the raging storms of time;
It's pages burn with he truth eternal,
And they glow with a light sublime.

The Bible stands like a mountain tow'ring
far above the works of men;
It's truth by none ever was refuted,
And destroy it they never can.

The Bible stands and it will forever,
when the world has passed away;
By inspiration it has been given,
All it's precepts I will obey.

The Bible stands ev'ry test we give it,
for its author is divine;
By grace alone I expect to live it,
And to prove it and make it mine.

The Bible stands tho' the hills may tumble,
it will firmly stand when the earth shall crumble;
I will plant my feet on its firm foundation,
For the Bible stands.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Meal Plans? Why We Won't Go Back

About a year ago, I had started reading in blogs where the writer(s) would mention about making a weekly meal plan. Some went so far as to make a monthly one. I thought that they were....well, odd. How on earth can I plan a week's worth of meals when hubby can't decide from day to day what he wants. I started thinking about it though. Okay, the Lord kept nudging me.

Sooooo I tried it. It worked. For about 3 weeks. Then hubby went on a 4-month long business trip. I tried to keep it going for just me. I did. I could not do it for just lil' ole me. I did make casseroles and eat on them for a few days. But the weekly thing? Nope. Not after the first two weeks. Didn't happen.

Hubby returned; holidays came and went; the new year arrived. I was nudged again to start them back. So I brought the idea to hubby again. He remembered us doing the plans last year and liked the idea of not having to decide and shopping on an almost daily basis. Sooooo we started again. It has worked so far....for the most part. We have a large board on our freezer that is half cork and half white board. The right half of the white board is our meal plan with the dates on top. We try to meal plan on Friday or Saturday for the following Sunday through Saturday.

I've just been thinking that that has not really been working. Why? We figure out through Saturday. Sunday is church. Then we try to figure out on. the. day. what to do for that night. BAD idea. Well, live and learn. Hmmmmm....Time to change for this coming week.

Anywho. What was I.....? Oh yeah. We currently plan for the week on Friday or Saturday when we're scheduled to be home (Friday is grilling night :-) ). We plan the following week's menu and I'll do the shopping on Tuesday. It was Monday, but can't buy cold stuff perishables when you're not going to be going home (to a fridge) for 3-4 hours because of a Bible class. Sooooo that leaves Tuesday for now.

Our plan is that we have certain things we prefer on different days. Sunday is usually up in the air or something easy like nachos or breakfast. Monday I'm gone, so hubby's on his own for that day (it's our DIY night). Tuesday is an Easy Day (it's errand day for me). Wednesday or Thursday is New Recipe Night (I have TONS of recipes pinned on Pinterest. We also have a recipe binder, about a dozen recipe books (we got rid of over half of our books), and a stack of loose recipes. Oh! We also have a drawer that was once a part of the old card catalog (bought at a bazaar about 2-3 years ago) that holds index card size recipes. So we have plenty of inspiration. The other night is either a pantry meal or something I've done before that we like. Friday is Grilling Night. Saturday is New Restaurant Night. We have tons of restaurants around the area we haven't tried and we're running out of time, so this is our way to remedy that. {More info: We're moving from where we are now back to America somewhere (hubby's work will tell us next month sometime) in either September or October}

Here's our Meal Plan for last week (April 14-20th)::::

Sunday: Steak 'n Eggs (I had a steak leftover from the night before that we finished cooking all of the way through (it was half raw) and used it as a side for eggs and toast)

Monday: DIY

Tuesday: Loaded Taters (quick, easy, and toppings made to your own specs)

Wednesday: Chicken Marsala over white Rice (found on

Thursday: Leftovers (change from what we were planning b/c of the excess in the fridge)

Friday: Chicken Fried Rice (fried rice with chicken grilled by hubby, broccoli, and mushrooms)

Saturday: Friend's BBQ

--I take a picture of the menu each week, so that if we're stumped we can look back at previous weeks and get an idea.
--We write the menu in dry erase because well, life happens. We'll plan a week and then mid-week we have someone's going away that we choose to go to or a friend's BBQ they decided (or announced) at the last minute.
--I never take a picture of the week's menu until after the week is over.
--Having Pinterest and Allrecipes makes it a bit easier to keep the menu from the same-ole-cookbook that we have to flip through

I love the meal plan idea. We're rarely undecided on what to make because we've already figured it out. PLUS it's a whole lot cheaper buying food twice a week (we get the "weekend" stuff on Thursday so it won't go bad) as opposed to like before. And saving money is always a good thing :-)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Five Random Facts

I have been trying to catch up on a new {to me} blog. In the post I just read, she talked about five random facts about herself. I thought I'd do the same :-)

1. My favorite drink has changed over the years. Growing up it was Mt. Dew until I was about 24-ish. Then I got hooked on Diet Mt. Dew for the next 3-4 years. Then Diet Coke. That lasted until about 1 1/2 years ago when I learned about the dangers of fake sugar. Now it's a toss up between Coca-Cola and water.

2. By the time I finish my bachelor's degree, I will have had three different declared majors (Computer Science, Business, and Accounting). I decided on Accounting with a Business Minor.

3. It's taken me 19 years (with one class left) to get my first bachelor's degree. I did a semester at Winthrop University, decided I was tired of school, and took....13 years off.

4. For my bachelor's, it has taken three schools in order to complete it. Winthrop University, Community College of the Air Force, and now University of Maryland University College (mainly on-line if overseas like I am at the moment).

5. I was in the military (Air Force) for 4 years, which is where I met my husband. :-) It was his first base and my  second. 

What are 5 random facts about you?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Spring Here? Maybe

The calendar says it's been spring for a while. Right? Well, apparently the country where we live hasn't caught up to that. According to the locals that have lived here for years, this year has been the coldest spring in decades. Nice. It's also one of the oddest. One day it's nice and warm (as in maybe short sleeves, but a wind breaker), but the next it's chilly and you're grabbing sweatshirts. It is the typical spring weather in some ways: lots of rain followed by sunshine.

Either way, winter is past (no snow in our futures this or past season). That means time to put up the winter coats. I'm the type of person that doesn't like hanging something in a wardrobe (no closets here) that has been worn for weeks and will sit enclosed for months at a time. Ewwww. So, I've slowly been washing the coats that I can (the cloth-type ones) in preparation for their warm, toasty months of hibernation. Not all of them are done, but the most are. I just washed and dried three that I will be donating to aid those less fortunate. You'd think our coat/jacket closet wardrobe was empty, but not even close. Oh well! Looks like more purging for me. It is spring after all. :-)

Oh, you want proof of Spring? Okay :-)

These are flowers I brought home from the local outdoor, once-a-week market

Monday, April 15, 2013

I'm a Brownie Kinda Girl

Just found this on a blog today. It's cute and fun.

If all of the eight desserts listed below were sitting in front of you,
which would you choose (sorry, you can only pick one)! Trust me...this is
very accurate Pick your dessert, and then look to see what psychiatrists
think about you.

REMEMBER - No Cheating. Make your choice before you check the meaning.

Here are your choices:

1. Angel Food Cake

2. Brownies

3. Lemon Meringue Pie

4. Vanilla Cake With Chocolate Icing

5. Strawberry Short Cake

6. Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Icing

7. Ice Cream

8. Carrot Cake

No, you can't change your mind once you scroll down, so think carefully
about what your choice will be.

OK - Now that you've made your choice, this is what the

researchers say about you... SCROLL DOWN---No Cheating

1. ANGEL FOOD CAKE -- Sweet, loving, cuddly. You love all warm and fuzzy
items. A little nutty at times. Sometimes you need an ice cream cone at
the end of the day Others perceive you as being childlike and immature at

2. BROWNIES -- You are adventurous, love new ideas, and are a champion of
underdogs and a slayer of dragons. When tempers flare up you whip out your
saber. You are always the oddball with a unique sense of humor and
direction. You tend to be very loyal.

3. LEMON MERINGUE -- Smooth & articulate with your hands, you are
an excellent caregiver and a good teacher. But don't try to walk and chew
gum at the same time. A bit of a diva at times, you set your own style
because you do your own thing. You shine when it comes to helping others
and have many friends.

4. VANILLA CAKE WITH CHOCOLATE ICING -- Fun-loving, sassy, humorous, not
very grounded in life; very indecisive and lacking motivation. Everyone
enjoys being around you, but you are a practical joker. Others should be
cautious in making you mad. However, you are a friend for life.

5. STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE -- Romantic, warm, loving. You care about other
people, can be counted on in a pinch and expect the same in return.
Intuitively keen. You can be very emotional at times but a true person in
every way. You like to do things for yourself and help others learn about

6. CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH CHOCOLATE ICING -- Always ready to give and
receive. Very creative, adventurous, ambitious, and passionate. You can
appear to have a cold exterior but
are warm on the inside. Not afraid to take chances. Will not settle for
anything average in life. Love to laugh.

7. ICE CREAM -- You like sports, whether it is baseball, football,
basketball, or soccer. If you could, you would like to participate, but
you enjoy watching sports. You don't like to give up the remote control.
You tend to be self-centered and high maintenance.

8. CARROT CAKE -- You are a very fun loving person, who likes to laugh.
You are fun to be with. People like to hang out with you. You are a very
warm hearted person and a little quirky at times. You have many loyal
friends. You were meant to lead and teach others. A wonderful role model.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Search Engines

Everyone who is on-line has used a search engine at one time or another. And everyone has their favorites. My sister uses one called DogpileMost folks I know use Google. 
Google has become so popular that instead of saying "I'm going to search the internet for that info", it's "I'm going to Google that info." Yep, Google has become a noun and a verb. That topic is for another post.

The reason for this one is yet another blog I found. She created two search engines using this page to do so. The first one is Christian Homemaking/Womanhood Search Engine. That one she created "with results from [her] favorite websites such as Biblical Womanhood, Tammy's Recipes, Keeping the Home, The Sparrow's Nest and many others."

The other one is Frugal Search Engine. This one "searches [her] favorite deal websites and frugal blogs." And how many of us don't want to save money? Yeah, I have a feeling I'll be using this one a bit.

So, now you have two (three?) search engines in case Google is not exactly what you're hoping for. :-)