Wednesday, July 29, 2009


The above clip is from a British comedy show called, "Keeping Up Appearances." My friend Les should like this. If I remember, she enjoys British comedy.

I haven't really planned this out, nor have I thought it out, so I apologize if this seems scattered and unorganized.

The phrase, "Keeping Up Appearances" seems to often have negative connotations. I was thinking about it while preparing for my high school reunion. I was thinking back to the people I hadn't seen in the past 20 years, as well as the people I had seen at the 10 year reunion. It is funny how an event like that makes people act. I mean, I haven't seen this one lady for YEARS! Why is important that she convince me that she can keep house better than June Cleaver, or that her hubby is at the top of his company? Why is important that I make sure that people know I WANT to stay home with my children and that I make an outstanding lemon cake?

It spreads through blogs, emails and Facebook, too. We just can't stand for someone to think that we aren't better....period.

I was talking to a good friend of mine about one such incident with a person. She asked, "Do you think that she does all that she says she does?" (Now, before anyone gets huffy, I have had this conversation with at least 2 different people concerning 2 different people. You might think you know who it is, but really, only 2 of you know of this conversation. If you don't say anything, nobody will know. ;) )

So, anyway, they asked if I thought that this woman had it all together the way she says. Um, in a word? NO! I mean first off, in one of these cases, I have seen evidence of the daily struggles, the normal life, that this woman lives....though she tries to shove that under the rug, so to speak. For the other case, just watching and listening (i.e. reading) showed cracks around the edges. In one case, you have all talk and little walk. In the other, you have some of the walk and a whole lot of stumbling.

Why do we do that? Why isn't it OK for someone to know that, despite the fact that I have cleaned off my counter for Making a Happy Home Monday once, that I have to clear off the counter about 3 times a week....and THAT is only because I don't want to do it for all 7 days.

I know of a lady who wouldn't buy generic soda because, "We just don't do that."

I mentioned my attempt at gardening once to a friend I was catching up with. I was immediately trumped by another person as to what she is about to do with the produce of her garden. I, personally, wasn't bragging. I hadn't had the chance, yet. No, I was just thrilled to death that I had something planted. But, the way she talked, you would think she had pooped her own fertilizer. LOL.....THAT is funny. But, it was hitting a bit below the belt. GET IT??? OMG'sh ROFLMBO!!!!!

OK, when is keeping up appearances good and necessary?

The answer is simple.

It is necessary, I think, when you are a Christian.

I'm not saying to keep up the wrong appearances. I'm not saying to brag about what you have going on. BUT, when you claim to be a Christian, you are being watched. Judged. Scrutinized. Everything is put under a microscope.

I'm not bitter. That is as it should be. You can't be a good witness if you only talk the talk, but don't walk the walk. I try, with God's help, to walk the way I should. It is hard in some....ok in MOST cases.

Let me give you 2 examples of what has happened to me in the past 6 weeks.

Drinking. I'm not talking about water, I'm talking about alcohol.

I don't think that drinking is a sin, per se. It depends on who you are, why you do it and how you act when done. I enjoy a few things....margaritas and Hot D@mn shots. BUT, I am on the worship team. We have been asked not to drink. Why? Because when I am in leadership and someone sees me with a drink in my hand, it doesn't necessarily set a good example. Let's take it further. If an alcoholic sees me, as a leader, with a drink in my hand, then I have mislead him/her. God tells us not to mislead our brother.

If I go somewhere and my hubby or my friend has a drink, that is fine by me. If I am in my home, with my hubby, and I choose to have a drink, that is fine. But, few of the people I come into contact with will ever see a drink in my hand. It is the appearance I choose to keep.

Another situation happened at the swimming pool at the Y. This little boy came up to me and my kids.....he looked vaguely familiar. But, remember, I was director for our church's Sunday School program (over 150 kids), teacher at a local school, and home room mom for 2 of my boys (getting to know all their classmates). I hadn't a clue where I knew him from.

Normally, when a wayward child attaches to me and mine, I would rather they just splash away and let me have my fun. I mean, really? I have to watch my own sweet angels, I'm not getting paid to watch your brat cherub while you sit and sun. I watched the boy swim off to his guardian....still wondering where I knew him from. Then I heard him say, "She was my Sunday School teacher at church."

AWWWWW......there is a certain appearance that goes with that. Hypocritical? Probably a little bit. I mean, as a Christian, I should have the same countenance in every situation. But, I am human and I often forget that people are watching and looking for certain behaviors and mess-ups.

It was a humbling moment, to be honest. It hit me that no matter what MY environment is, I need to wear my heart on my sleeve. That is the only way people can see the Jesus that I know is there.

And, that's all I've got to say about that.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Hey, y'all. My friend, Lisa, has this cool blog carnival called "Tempt My Tummy Tuesday."

I'm not as diligent as I would like, but I try. :)

Anyway, a lot of us bloggers get together and share recipes and tips for the kitchen. I hope you will join us.

For my entry I would like some feedback. I hope Lisa doesn't mind (email me, girl, if ya do), but I'm going to kind of piggy back on her carnival.

I would like to know what all you do for sack lunches....specifically for school-agers. You can link to some or your blog posts, or just leave comments. (comments may be easier, now that I think about it.)

I have 3 boys in school this year. They are in grades 5, 3 and kinder. My 1st and 3rd are picky eaters (the 3rd being pickier.)

School lunches (through the cafeteria) are expensive. They are over $3 each. Fortunately, we are in a position to not qualify for free or reduced lunch. So that means that anytime my boys want a "hot plate," we must pay. In order to keep from spending a pretty chunk for lunch, we have told the boys that we will buy them 2 lunches per month. Anything else, they must pay for out of their own allowance.

I feel this is more than fair, especially considering that most of the lunches, the boys wouldn't eat. Also, they would more than likely walk away hungry, as they wouldn't eat the whole thing.

That being said, we make a LOT of sack lunches.....up to 15 per week.

I'm always on the lookout for new ideas. Something easy to fix, easy to eat, filling, healthy...I don't mind desserts. We send juice. We don't do high fructose corn syrup. But, it does seem like we fall into a PBJ rut.

Thanks, in advance, for sharing your ideas.

Monday, July 27, 2009


Hey, y'all!

As summer winds down, our activities are on the rise. Still lots of swimming, but there have been trips, concerts, school preps....all sorts of things.

My hubby and I just returned from Boston this past weekend. Today, my hubby and 2 oldest boys are on their way to church camp. I have been busy cleaning, laundering, making new chore charts and a few holiday things. (I will share more on that stuff later.)

Today, I want to dive into Making a Happy Home Monday. I would love for you to join me. Funny, I thought that this would take off a little bit know? Moms helping to hold each other accountable...helping to inspire and encourage. I guess I'm somewhat unique in my desire to be a better housekeeper. Either way, thank you to those who read and do share. I will "TRY" to add Mr. Linky again, for the 2 of you who do link up. ;) If it shuts it down, I will remove it.

For today's edition, I have continued my work on my kitchen. I really need to get through the kitchen. With the holidays fast approaching, ( "guffawed" a few weeks ago, but now, you have to admit, it is coming quickly) I need to get rid of some kitchen clutter. I have secured several new kitchen assets over the past year that has made the area a bit harder to work in. I'm still able to cook, but when i start my baking and candy making, I NEED SPACE!

I want to create a baking center. I have about 150 cookie cutters in various locations. 100 of them are in a box. The rest are in various drawers. We use the big, metal cutters for sandwiches. It's a LOT more fun to eat a sandwich in the shape of an oak leaf instead of a square. I have over a dozen of the holiday/seasonal cutters like that. (You know the ones....the Wilton, metal, rubber grip) The box has everything.....alphabet, numbers, shapes, holiday various sizes. So fun if I decide to make window cookies.

hmmmmm.....quite a rabbit trail, huh?

SO, ANYWAY *embarrassed chuckle*. I give you another kitchen cabinet. On the bottom, I had several serving pieces, and some glass measuring cups. Above that, a garlic roaster, various bowls, a vase with coins, above that, matches, candles, 2 crystal bowls, broken Christmas ornaments that needed mending, a baggie with small crystal-type beads for ornaments.....just a mess.

Now, it looks better.

Tell me what you think? Won't you join me?


Sunday, July 26, 2009


I will get into more detail later. I will share pictures then, too. I just wanted to say, first of all, that we are back.

Secondly, I wanted to share a huge highlight!

We went to the Old Manse in Concord Massachusetts. It was owned by the in Ralph Waldo.

Nathaniel Hawthorne rented it and wrote some of his works.

Henry David Thoreau planted a garden there.

Cool as all that is, there is a beautiful, 1864 Steinway. It is a square grand (much like this picture). Oh heart jumped when I saw it. I got to play a chord on it.

NO, I didn't have to sneak in to touch it. It is, in fact, one of the only items you may touch. Pianos need to be played to keep it in good condition.

The lady giving us the tour asked if anyone played. Well, I do....I have played for over 30 years. However, I get a little freaked when I know someone will be listening. (I never had that trouble when I was a teenager, but I was a lot better then.)

Needless to say, I couldn't just leave and admit that I didn't even touch the great instrument.

We have decided to go back in a few years. I have told my hubby that before we go, I'm going to continue practicing a few bars of Moonlight Sonata. (I have it memorized, but still don't like to play in public.) And, when they ask, I will be ready.

PS....obviously, I haven't yet figured out how to post a picture on my new computer. It's an Apple MacBook Pro. SO...I'm calling on my friend Catey. Girl! I need some dummy directions, please!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


My friend, Lisa, hosts a blog carnival called Tempt My Tummy Tuesday. It is a lot of fun. A lot of folk get together and share recipes, tips and other kitchen ideas...I hope you will join us.

For my entry, I'm doing hamburgers... yes, the same hamburgers I promised to do last week, but since hardly anyone reads anymore, you don't know that, do you?



3 pounds 85/15 ground beef
1 can chopped jalapenos
a few tbsp tomatillo - green chile salsa
salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder

Put all ingredients into a bowl. IF you should choose to use a lower fat beef, you will need to add some oil. Mix, with your hands, all the ingredients. Form into 1/4 pound patties. Grill to desired doneness.

For a topping, I diced some roasted green chiles (not the canned, these were from Hatch and have a much better taste) and some onions. I heated this mixture. It was YUMMY! on top of the meat. The meat had a nice flavor without being too spicy.

Monday, July 13, 2009


**So what totally blows is that I had this post done before one o'clock. I worked on getting it up. As soon as I tried to put my pictures in, the blasted thing completely froze. I had to leave and didn't have time to reboot...until now. (Yes, Honey, I KNOW that I have a nice new computer, but I couldn't get the pics downloaded onto it, so I'm using the P.O.C. for the post.)**

Hey, y'all. As always, I start with the line of "Sorry I've been so long." It has been a crazy summer. I'll blog about it later.

Before I forget, if I don't get on here for awhile, it's because we are going out of town. We have our Boston trip, church camp, trip to west Texas.....all that going on between Monday and the 31st. I will be busy packing. It is hard enough to get everyone ready, but having to do that with the idea that 2 will be in S. Texas, 2 in W. Texas and 2 in Boston.....hmmmmmm.....interesting. So, if you don't see me for the next 3 weeks or so, don't worry. (Knowing me, though, I will be on to just to say, "hi.") you remember all those pictures I posted on the last blog? Well, this entry, and the next few, will be a follow up to this. In fact, if I work like I want, I will get more done, post it, but schedule my blog to publish it over the next 2-3 Mondays. (Did you know you could do that?)

Today, I have taken on one cabinet. It is the junk cabinet. It is still the junk cabinet, but it is "de-trashed" and a lot neater. This cabinet holds hubby's coffee grinder, filters, a nebulizer, meds, coffee cups, OFF, sunscreen....various bulky items that need to be out of the kids' reach.



ANOTHER ANGLE (because I'm not above embarrassing myself)


Friday, July 10, 2009


So, I know I said I would do this a lot. I don't want to have to keep to a rigid schedule on blogging. I will pop in with faves when they cross my mind.

Today's favorite has to do with music.

It is so hard to pick favorite music. I have favorite groups....and they are usually my favorite WHEN I'm listening to them. :)

One man (duo) I want to focus on is Gershwin...mostly George, though Ira is involved in this also. George, the younger brother to Ira, was a composer. His pieces are simply wonderful. Ira, was a lyricist. They worked together on many things that are on the below playlist.

Turn up your volume, kick back and listen. These are all great......the ABSOLUTE fave on this list is: Rhapsody in Blue.

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


OK....I haven't weighed in on my thoughts on MJ. Don't know that I had a lot of them, quite frankly. I will say that, though saddened, I was not devastated as so many seemed to be.

Was it Sharpton who said something like, "He was not a freak. He was a genius."

Really? Do those statements have to be exclusive? I think he was both.

I wasn't a fan. I wasn't NOT a fan. (Does that make sense at all?) I enjoyed a few songs. I twirled to "Bad." That was one of our funnest routines. (And yes, "funnest" IS a word and is grammatically correct.) I have (had) nothing against the man-child though he was a freak. He was.

No really......

He was!

AND, he was a genius! There will never be another like him. Just like there will never be a group like the Beatles. There will never be another Mozart. There will never be another.......~LL~! :) (Not saying I am a genius, though I feel that fact must be debated in some circles. LOL)

He was a freak. (I liked his music better when he was black. I DO think he was a lot prettier in the middle of his career. (See above picture.))
Adults should not behave around children the way he did. I heard on a radio talk show this morning that he (the host) did not consider MJ a pedophile because he had a stunted emotional IQ. How interesting? It was further stated that when MJ was interviewed, that he truly seemed to NOT understand what all the fuss was about. All I know is "SHAME ON THE PARENTS WHO LET THEIR KIDS OVER THERE UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES."

"But, ~LL~. How would they know?"

Yeah....really? A man? A grown man? A very rich, busy and well-known musician, wants to spend the night with your 10 year old son? Ummmmmkay!

The sadness I feel is in the fact that I do not know what his walk with Christ was. Did he go to Heaven? Did he go to hell? You can't always tell by the way a person acts. (Sad, huh?) But, we are to look at the Spiritual fruit that a person shows. I don't know of much....I didn't see any. Did you? I'm not trying to start a debate here. I really want to know.

Another angle.....after he died, I kept hearing of these investigations and an autopsy. Nobody could understand how a "healthy" 50 year old man would suddenly kick off.

Really? Healthy? Hmmmm......I guess maybe physically he could have been.

Well, that's all.

Have a great evenin', y'all!

Monday, July 06, 2009


I know I'm late.....and I'm sorry. Busy weekend, busy never ends.

First an update. We did get the A/C fixed. Some insulation had gotten sucked up into something and was preventing the air from moving. We got it all taken care of and now it works better than to keep the temp at about 68....even when it's 105 outside. WOOT!

The dinner came off wonderfully....burgers. I'll share the recipe tomorrow....burgers, brats, kraut, chilies, queso, guacamole, devilled eggs, homemade ice cream, peach cobbler....YUM!!!

Yesterday after church, I took the boys to the Y for a swim. My 4 year old is so cute....thank goodness. He was floating around in his life vest snarling and baring his teeth pretending he was a shark. It was really cute until he swam up and bit a lady. I am not joking. Fortunately, he didn't draw blood.

Also, this past weekend, the same cute kid may, or may not, have broken his thumb. We will be getting it checked out. time for Making a Happy Home Monday.

So much to post. So much I want to conquer. So much I want to take care of before the holidays start. (See sidebar for countdown to The Great State Fair of Texas....that is how much time I have.)

I am in the middle of a project right now.....bookshelves. I really should take pictures. I forgot to do a before, but I can do a middle and finished. There are a lot of books in DS #1's room that need to be put into #3's and #4's room. Then, I need go through MY classroom library, currently in the garage, and put some of those books in #1's room. During that time, I need to pull the books for #2 and put them in HIS room. Meanwhile, I am emptying the bookshelf in #3's and #4's room pulling the adult books (no...not adult as in XXX, just novels and such) and either donate, pack or put on my reading list. *sigh*

No...the pictures I want to share are of my kitchen cabinets. This, my friends, is hard for me to do. It's embarrassing. But, I think that sharing these will help me to work on this. They are terribly cluttered. I need a day, or three, of JUST ME working on these. My hubby has told me that sometime in the NEAR future, he will take all the kids out of the house for a day so that I may get stuff done. I look forward to it.

The goal is to organize. There are some items that I could get rid of, but for the most part, I don't think I will. There are a lot of things that I only use once or twice a year, but I NEED them once or twice a year....things like a cookie press, candy thermometer, certain cookie cutters....

The organization needs to go as far as the pantries and stockpile shelves.....a lot of what I keep on the counters (because I don't have room elsewhere) needs to be put out of sight. WISH ME LUCK!!!

Bottom 2 shelves of pantry
Top 2 shelves of pantry
cabinet with big stuff: trash bags, toaster, extra lunch boxes, dehydrator,)
Drinking classes, cups (it usually is a lot more cluttered, but a lot of cups were in dishwasher)
Casserole dishes, griddle, electric skillet, chopper
(UGH!) plastic storage containers
*hiding under a rock* box of cookie cuttters, BAKING CENTRAL (pie plates, cake pans, cake domes, cookie press, crock pot, spring form pans, big grill spatula and tongs)
another view of the above
crap....pitchers, thermos, the bottom has serving trays...not used often, but all used during holidays
plates, serving dishes, paper plates.....matches? money? glue? candles? I don't know.
"Pharmacy" ~ bug spray, sunscreen, nebulizer, allergy meds, box of OTC's, coffee mugs, coffee grinder
Pots and pans, Food Saver
(um.....sorry), this is in my laundry area, which is in the entry way to my son's room....this is where I keep some stockpiled items and, quite obviously, more crap

Man....that was painful. As I was going through and labelling these pictures, I really saw the problem that I have. I hope to tackle this soon....I will post my progress as I get stuff done.

Friday, July 03, 2009

ANXIETY I was going to post another favorite, but I just need to dump.

Let me preface this by saying that I am at a key time in my cycle (sorry if TMI), so that totally alters my outlook. I'm sure most of you ladies understand.

Last night, I had a mini-breakdown......I suddenly needed to go through the book case in my youngest boys' room NOW! First, we had to breakdown the bunk beds. It seems that the hooks on which the mattress frame sits are broken....I thought only 1. Nope....THREE of them are jacked up. SO, we had to get that going. (That was another point of panic. I don't want my kids sleeping on a bed that could collapse...especially when one is on the upper bed.)

Getting that out of the room, I needed to tackle the books...I started at 8:30 last night. I know, I know....but I get a little irrational at this time of month. I got 2 shelves cleared out for the kids' picture books to go from one set of shelves to this. The bottom shelf holds the books that DH and I need out or want to read soon. I have 2 to go up in the attic (just can't let go) and one to go into my garage with my other teaching materials. I also have a huge pile to go to the library for donation.

I need to get the bed fixed and put back in the room. I need to transition books.

BUT, the thing that is driving me nutso right at this moment? It is 1:45. I have company coming in 3 hours. I haven't gone to the store yet because our A/C is out....our A/C is out and our temp is 103.....right now. We've been getting up to 105 for the past 3 days. I have a service call in.....several companies say it will be Monday. Yuck. This one place *might* be able to get us fixed today. SO....I sit and wait. Sit and hope that they can fix the A/C. Sit and hope that DH (who has the boys at a movie) will get home in time for me to go to the store. Sit....with this knot in my stomach.

Nobody can really do anything to help me. It's just my normal, monthly psychotic behavior. Tomorrow will be better. But for now....for the next several hours, I will just silently go crazy.

ON A TOTALLY UNRELATED NOTE: I got the cookbooks out. Over 20 pounds of books/magazines out to the few. The faithful. I hope you enjoy them.

I will be back in a day or 2. I need to go play the piano.


Wednesday, July 01, 2009


Hey, y'all. I'm asking that you add this little girl to your prayer list! Her name is Shaylee and she was mauled (on June 4) by a pit. She is the daughter of a cousin of a blogger friend of mine. Go to CammiesThoughts (in my sidebar) or click here.

Anyway, here is a website with pics (before and after) of Shaylee. Go to: Miracles in the Making.

Be warned....this is graphic!