Home for the Holidays, by Thomas Kincaid

Friday, October 31, 2008

Show and Tell Friday

Kelli, over at There's No Place Like Home is hosting another Show & Tell Friday. I decided not to show you any trinkets and such but to introduce you to my cats, Timmy and Sunny.

Oh, sure, they look like peaceful pussycats right now, but that is during the day...At night, they are both holy terrors! Right about mid-night, when all is quiet in the house, Timmy and Sunny are suddenly beset with devilish energy. They jump. They run. They pounce. They knock things over. And then, as if that wasn't enough, they start knocking on our bedroom door.

Pat, pat, pat, pat....BANG! BANG!! BANG!!!

They want to come in....So, we get up, groggy and half-asleep, to open the door. In the pussycats come. They run and jump on the bed! They want to be rubbed. So, we pat them a little and then roll over to go to sleep. Not in your life! Timmy will usually settle down, but not Sunny. He jumps on our faces, paws our noses, tries to eat our feet. So, we unceremoniously, throw them both out of the bedroom.

Pat, pat, pat, pat....BANG! BANG!! BANG!!!

We let them in. They run and jump on the bed. They want to be rubbed. We're too tired, so they play on our faces. We throw them out.

And the whole darn thing begins again.

Then, somewhere near dawn, the darling little furrballs become tired and sleepy. They curl up at the foot of our bed and off to sleepland they go.

BUZZZZZZZZ!! It's the alarm clock!! Time to get up!!!

But not for the tired little pussies. They roll over and go back to sleep all day. They need their rest ... so they can KEEP US UP ALL NIGHT AGAIN!!!


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Who is this cutie? Just one of many trick-or-treaters that came to Teri's Halloween Party last Saturday night (you can visit Teri at Joyful Liberation).
Above is Teri (in the blue) and Melissa and another cutie. Teri always comes up with the funnest activities to do. Our family always tries to get in on the fun, if we can.
Some wonderful, spooky goodies at the buffet table...
And some witches brew...

There were lots of people and I should have taken more pictures, but I was having too much fun!
There was also a spook-house that the older kids put together in the garage. Teri and I tried to get out of going in there (neither of us like to be spooked), but we finally were coerced. There was a scary-looking alien in there and lots of growling children!
Sarah went as a rockstar (I told her this had to be a modest rockstar).
Robert was a ninja.
Fun, fun, fun!

A Family Update

I was trying to upload a bunch of pictures of a wonderful Halloween party we attended this past Saturday, as well as a sweet, little family Halloween dinner we had for ourselves on Monday night, but there seems to be a problem with Blogger and pictures right now. So, I guess I will just make this post an update on our family concerns.

Thanks to all those who have said prayers for us during our time of unemployment. We've had good days and difficult days since Mark lost his job. The challenge has been to re-think Mark's career path, since he has decided that his days in sales are over. Even before the lay-off, Mark was dreaming of doing something less stressful than worrying about quotas and all the pressure pinning down clients. Currently, he is pursuing trying to get a job in education, on either a high school or college level. His degree in Sports Science/Exercise Physiology and his plentiful experience in coaching elite young athletes would make him a perfect candidate for a teaching/coaching position. He would love to do this for a career. There seem to be openings locally. We are praying we may find a fit.

Unforunately, teaching is not a lucrative career. So, I am currently training with Internet Transcribing Services to do transcribing of tele-conferences and seminars, etc. at home. I pray that a part-time income and my husband's full-time job will cover our bills, be somewhat recession-proof and keep us in this nice neighborhood where we are currently living.

I hope that you are enjoying your Autums. I am looking forward to visiting everyone's blogs tonight, when I will have some personal time again.

God bless you and your families.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Happy Sunday

Dear Friends,

I hope that you are having a nice, peaceful Sabbath. I use this day to ponder the week's events, to evaluate where I am compared to where I would like to be in my various roles in Life, and to gear up for the week ahead. I love to count my blessings, for there are many, and to ask for strength to shoulder the burdens I am carrying.

How do you spend your Sundays? What makes them special for you and your family? How do you prepare for the week to come?

Have a lovely, blessed day!
Elizabeth P.S. (Stop by tomorrow for pictures of a wonderful Halloween party we atteneded!)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Show and Tell Friday

It is Show & Tell Friday again over at Kelli's There's No Place Like Home.

Today, I am showing you a beautiful miniature that originally belonged to my mother and was given to me after her death. I love it dearly.
It is obviously from England - my mother was a devoted Anglophile. And, to me, it represents the sentiments of my mother's heart. She had such a longing for hearth and home, but she married a career military man, who moved our family about every two years. We had no roots, no place where we could return. When my mother became disabled in her middle years, her craving to just stay someplace grew even stronger, but life didn't work out for her in that way. Now, I like to think of her off someplace in Paradise, in a little cottage like that above, by a stream, with some of our family cats and lots of the birds and wildlife she used to love...waiting for the rest of us.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Beautiful Hymn

My friend, Ruth, over at Visions and Revisions (link), posted the words to a beautiful hymn that is sung in her church. I fell in love with the words. So, with Ruth's permission, I am posting it below:
I sought the Lord, and afterward I knew
he moved my soul to seek him, seeking me;
it was not I that found, O Savior true;
no, I was found of thee.

Thou didst reach forth thy hand and mine enfold;
I walked and sank not on the storm-vexed sea;
'twas not so much that I on thee took hold,
as thou, dear Lord, on me.

I find, I walk, I love, but oh, the whole
of love is but my answer, Lord, to thee;
for thou wert long beforehand with my soul,
always thou lovedst me.
Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Whew, I'm Back!

Hi, Friends!

I thought that you might like to see this little guy I purchased on super sale for $5. I got him on Friday at one of my favorite places in the Salt Lake Valley, Gardner Village. The children and I spent the afternoon there with some dear friends. Unfortunately, my photos didn't turn out from the adventure.

I got really sick Friday night and was in bed the whole weekend. Yesterday, I dragged myself out of bed to have a family outing (the children are home from school on Fall Break). We kept it inexpensive, but had a lot of fun. Then, I went back to bed.

Today, I am up and mildly productive. I am trying to stay positive and up, thinking thankful, abundant thoughts about our current situation. I'd be lying if I said that I don't worry at all. The economy has me very concerned. We know many companies related to the industry my husband was involved in (home automation - impacted by real estate, construction, etc.) which have gone bankrupt. One year ago, we wouldn't have believed that could happen. We don't yet know what we personally will do, but believe that the Lord will somehow provide.

These are very difficult times for a lot of people.

Well, the leaves are beginning to turn here on the foothills of the mountains. It was 35 degrees this morning. So, the frost is definitely on the punkin'!

Have a great day!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Hi, Friends!

This is just a note to let you know that I have come down with a really bad cold and will not be posting until probably Sunday night. At first, I was functioning despite feeling bad, but now I feel like I've been hit with a baseball bat. So, I'm off to bed!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I still find each day too short
For all the thoughts I want to think
All the walks I want to take,
All the books I want to read,
And all the friends I want to see.
John Burroughs

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

~Simple Pleasures~

I like a simple little house
With flowers by the door,

An ample larder for my needs

And not much more in store.

I like a window toward the sun
And doors that open wide,
The trickle of a bath for birds
With feathered friends beside.

I like a tidy nook inside
Where my books and slippers lie,
A cup for tea, a magazine,
A warming hearth nearby.

I like some trinkets on the sills,
White ruffles at the panes,
The comfort of a sturdy roof
To shelter me from rains.

I like the cozy ambiance,
A place of sweet retreat
Where life unfolds along the way
And each new day's a treat!

-Virginia Borman Grimmer
(borrowed from Kelli at There's No Place Like Home)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Simple Woman's Daybook

Peggy over at The Simple Woman has the following meme going:

For Today...

Outside my Window...
it is overcast, but all the snow is melted from the ground.

I am thinking...how nice it is to be cooking over a warm stove inside when it is chilly outside.

From the learning rooms...unfinished novels, Twilight and Dracula for October.

I am thankful for...oh, so many things...God, faith, family and the chance to begin anew everyday!

From the kitchen...carrot & zucchini bars, chicken enchiladas, oatmeal raisin cookies and possibly more.

I am wearing...thrift store jeans that look like new and my warm, yummy pink sweater that Beth gave me for Christmas.

I am reading...the end of Dracula, gothic novel that is so much better than the movies.

I am hoping...God will carry us through these uncertain times.

I am creating...wonderful kitchen smells for my children to come home to.

I am hearing...CD of "The Purpose Driven Life".

Around the house...lots of laundry and two big, ole pussycats who follow me around everywhere.

One of my favorite things...Vanilla Hazelnut herbal tea with lots of cream and sugar.

Plans For The Rest Of The Week...
Spending time with hubby, fixing up the house, getting together with friends, exulting in the season!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

I'm sorry. I don't know how to put a picture at the bottom of a page! :(

Carrot & Zucchini Bars (For Trish)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t ground ginger
1/4 t baking soda
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/2 cups shredded carrot (about 3 medium)
1 c shredded zucchini (about 1 medium)
3/4 c packed brown sugar
1/2 c raisins
1/2 c cooking oil
1/4 c honey
1 t vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees. In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, ginger, and baking soda. In another large bowl stir together eggs, carrot, zucchini, brown sugar, raisins, oil, honey, and vanilla. Add carrot mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until combined. Spread batter in an ungreased 13x9x2 inch baking pan.

Bake about 25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Frost. Cut into bars.

Cream Cheese Frosting: In a bowl beat one 8 oz package softened cream cheese and 1 copy powdered sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Sitr in 1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel.
(Recipe from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Favorite Things Monday

Sarah over at Everyday Elegance invited me to be a part of "Favorite Things Monday". This is when and where we share "one of your current "favorite things" that cheered you up when life got you down".

I was feeling kind of blue today and so, I cuddled up with my son Robert and watched a football game. I was feeling pretty good after that, so one of my favorite things that cheers me up is a good cuddle and some quality mama time.


Friday, October 10, 2008

The Last Flowers of Fall

Well, we picked the last flowers in our yard while we were harvesting the rest of our garden's vegetables and fruit. It was bittersweet for us, because we loved our summer. But the first snowfall is coming tomorrow and the harvesting of flower and food had to be done now or never...

I thank any and all of you who offered prayers in behalf of our family this week. My husband and I have mostly stayed happy and positive, while re-thinking our lives. Currently, we are contemplating a complete change...Mark would like to leave sales of any kind. He is tired of the stress associated with those types of jobs, especially in a worsened economy. He is considering becoming a teacher. His degree in Sports Science/Exercise Physiology, as well as his experience as a national classed athlete, qualifies him to coach track & field at some nearby school. I think he would be very good at that. The pay would be small, but we could supplement it several different ways that we are still discussing.

We can still use prayers and we are deeply grateful for them.
God bless,

When the Frost is on the Punkin

by James Whitcomb Riley

WHEN the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock,
And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin' turkey-cock,
And the clackin' of the guineys, and the cluckin' of the hens,
And the rooster's hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence;
O, it's then the time a feller is a-feelin' at his best,
With the risin' sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest,
As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and goes out to feed the stock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

They's something kindo' harty-like about the atmusfere
When the heat of summer's over and the coolin' fall is here—
Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossoms on the trees,
And the mumble of the hummin'-birds and buzzin' of the bees;
But the air's so appetizin'; and the landscape through the haze
Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days
Is a pictur' that no painter has the colorin' to mock—
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

The husky, rusty russel of the tossels of the corn,
And the raspin' of the tangled leaves as golden as the morn;
The stubble in the furries—kindo' lonesome-like, but still
A-preachin' sermuns to us of the barns they growed to fill;
The strawstack in the medder, and the reaper in the shed;
The hosses in theyr stalls below—the clover overhead!—
O, it sets my hart a-clickin' like the tickin' of a clock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

Then your apples all is gethered, and the ones a feller keeps
Is poured around the cellar-floor in red and yaller heaps;
And your cider-makin's over, and your wimmern-folks is through
With theyr mince and apple-butter, and theyr souse and sausage too!...
I don't know how to tell it—but ef such a thing could be
As the angels wantin' boardin', and they'd call around on me—
I'd want to 'commodate 'em—all the whole-indurin' flock—
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.
(It's suppose to snow here tomorrow! ~ Hugs, Elizabeth

Monday, October 6, 2008

Sautee/Puree: Sneaky Veggies

Hello, Sweet Friends!
Today, I'd like to show you something that I love to do with my garden's fresh veggies (or any veggies on sale that I can fine - and, yes, my garden is still producing!). I like to chop them all up together (without the flowers)....carrot, onion, zuchs, yellow squash and tomatoes, add garlic and salt and...
I sautee them and then I puree them. I then use the pureed veggies in homemade spaghetti sauce, taco filling, stews and soups, meatloaf, all kinds of yummy recipes. I love to freeze this pureed combination, too, for later use. My children aren't the wiser (they HATE zuchini by itself) and they get extra veggies.

I know that the wife of Jerry Seinfeld has a book out about puree-ing veggies and adding them to brownies and cakes and all sorts of things. I'm not that brave. But, hey, in regular foods it works just fine.

Note: Do not add sauteed greens, such as kale or spinach, to spaghetti or taco sauces, it turns them dark and wierd looking.

Have fun!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Favorite Things Monday

Sarah over at Everyday Elegance invited me to be a part of "Favorite Things Monday". This is when and where we share "one of your current "favorite things" that cheered you up when life got you down".

H.m.m.m You mean, other than chocolate?

I like to cuddle up with a good book and one of my pussycats. So, here is a picture of Sunny, one of the purring fluff-balls that I cuddle with. They always make me feel better.


Friday, October 3, 2008

Mark took me for a walk up at the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon, to Brighten. There is a lake there, called Silver Lake, that has one of my favorite walking trails.
Plaques have been set out along the trail, offering facts about the plants and animals who make their habitat in this wetland.
The day was overcast and easy on the eyes. The explosion of gold among the aspens was a brilliant contrast to the dark green of the pines.
Several small streams lead to the lake. Ducks and fish are bountiful.
The trail consists of part boardwalk, part dirt path.
A beautiful Stellers Jay followed us around part of the lake, hopping from limb to rock to branch just ahead of us. Was he looking for a hand-out?

A noisy squirrel descended a tree trunk and let us have it with all her wrath for disturbing her rest. Alas, she was too quick for me to take a picture of her.
Isn't it glorious?

With a happy, thankful heart,

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Show and Tell Friday

Well, it's October and time to get the Halloween decorations out! Above is my beloved little "Punkin Head". I rarely pay full price for anything - I am quite the bargain hunter. But she was an exception. I bought her last year for $13 and she is worth every penny! You can click on her to make her larger.
Isn't her pussycat cute?
Above is a sweet little, crow pail I found at my favorite thrift shop last week. I had been wanting something with crows on it. Cost? $1!
Have a very Happy October 3rd!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A Blessing in Disguise

Yesterday, my husband called me from the road with the news that he had just been laid off from his job as salesman for a home automation company. This company makes its money from new home construction or the renovation of existing homes, both of which have practically ground to a halt here. Times are very tough and they are tightening their belt, so to speak.

...I consider this a blessing.

Several months ago, my husband was switched from salary to straight commission and, of course, most of his impending sales went dead in the water, as the economy worsened. We have been living on fumes. However, now my husband can pull in unemployment benefits, while taking the time to look for a good job. Our budget will be tight, but we can do it.

I always believe, and I know I may sound like a Pollyanna, that when the Lord closes a door, somewhere else he opens a window. In fact, I've been memorizing a scripture that says this:

"We know all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28)

So, there we have it from the Big Guy. He didn't say that "some things work together for the good", but "all things" do.

In the past, when I was working, I suffered both a lay-off and also one circumstance where my boss didn't really like me too much and sought to fire me. In the first instance, I had faith that the Lord would somehow bless me, despite a somewhat depressed job market in LA, to find just the right job so that I could still save money for my upcoming wedding. The job that I finally did get was about the best possible scenario I could have ever hoped for. In the second instance, I became medically disabled with a pregnancy and my boss had to pay me disability until after the baby was born, at which time I no longer worked out of the home. Likewise, I know that somehow this course of events will bless our lives, despite my husband's specialized field of knowledge and the worsening economy, as long as we keep our minds and hearts open to the Lord's promptings.

So, despite the "bad" news, both my husband and I are at peace and hopeful for the future.

If you wouldn't mind remembering us in your prayers, I would deeply appreciate it. I will keep you informed as to what is happening.


A Young Blogger

For those of your who may not already know her, my daughter, Sarah, has a wonderful blog called The World and Its Roses. She posts her original poetry, fairy houses and favorite artwork on this blog. Please stop by and say hello to her. She would love to hear from you.

(You can click on the blog name)