Friday, October 24, 2014

#104 Are we there yet?

I ask the question -- are we there yet.  What I mean when I say this is this -- when will this be OVER???  Every single day there are new challenges.  Big and small -- but none the less challenges.  I home school my two boys (teenagers mind you) who I've home schooled since they were babies.  They have never stepped foot into a public school or private, for that matter, for a full or part-time education.

My oldest is 17 and he has struggled all his life with academics.  Comprehension, math, spelling, vocabulary -- you name it -- he's had an issue with it.  My youngest, who is 15, does not struggle academically but just does not have a love for learning -- it's more like -- lets get it over with so I can do what I really want to do.  His biggest struggle is talking -- you see, he stutters and no matter what is done -- therapy, encouragement -- he does not follow those things that are given him to do to improve.  He continues to do the things that are keeping him in that habit.

People think that home schoolers are the smartest and brightest kids because of the one-on-one assistance that they receive at home.  Well I would agree perhaps 90% of the time.  But guess what -- if you have a child that no matter how much you put into them -- that child chooses to do his or her own thing -- decides that what is being said to them is not really relevant to them at the moment -- then guess what -- know matter how much you put into them -- they will only receive that which they choose to receive. 

Are we there yet?  They are in the 11th grade -- one has a desire to go to college.  The other is struggling with high school -- so college is hard to see at this point.  Are we there yet?  Today it looks bleak -- but tomorrow things will look up!  I'm trusting God know matter what it looks like -- I know that all things will work together for the good.  I'm encouraging myself -- and perhaps someone else.  Nevertheless, this too shall pass and I'm looking forward to the future.

Until next time...

Thursday, October 16, 2014

#103 Bottle Art

As you can tell, I love to garden.  It's my most favorite hobby.  I've been looking into working now to prepare for spring.  One thing that I've been fascinated with is bottle art.  These are some images that I found on-line that I love:

Wild Birds Unlimited Bird Feeders
These bottle trees, however, can be very expensive.  From $20-200 on up.  I looked into purchasing one from Amazon or having Brian make me one out of lumber and pegs (like the one above).  

I also saw at Wild Bird Unlimited these beautiful birdhouses made from PVC that run $120-and above.  I thought if I was to purchase one I could just just attach pegs to them and add my bottles but with it already starting off expensive and the thought that I still needed to work on it by adding pegs was a little disheartening.

Well this was my solution.  At a antique shop I found 3 bottles under $5 and I found some "PURPLE" (my favorite color) plastic garland.  I had been thinking about what I could use at home to make my own inexpensively and relatively quickly (without drills and pegs).  My shepherds hooks came to mind.  So this is what I came up with.

I love it every time I look out.  I can perhaps add more bottles and more white shepherds hooks.  But I think it turned out pretty neat so far.  I love how the plastic garland sparkles with the sun and how the bottles add an artistic flair to this sculpture. If you have never seen bottled art -- this may look ridiculous -- but it's garden art -- you've seen it first here -- HA!!  Come back often, because I will be adding to it, especially when spring and summer rolls around next year.

Until next time...

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Friday, October 10, 2014

#102 A Little Fall Decorating!

It's that time of the year!  What time is that you ask?  Well my husband calls it that "Cozy" time when we start thinking about the holidays and of course I start thinking about my "B-I-R-T-H-D-A-Y."  We truly enjoy the holidays.  I don't have many fall decorations but I do enjoy adding a few touches hear and there to the house.

My first fall touch is added to the front door.  My purple door is decked out with my annual leaf wreath.  I found this at a estate sale years ago and I love how it looks on my purple door.

I love putting out my pumpkins.  Not the real kind -- just pumpkins I've received or found second hand.  This one I received from my sister and it's actually cookware.  I've done soups in it but it's a beautiful piece to display in the fall.  I've put inside some smoked flavored almonds from Trader Joe's in little snack containers for easy snacking.

Smoked Almonds from Trader Joe's
My other pumpkin is a little wicker basket that I have on my entry way table.  I believe I picked this up at an estate sale as well.  I've had it for a long time and I store all types of things in it.

We are very casual people but I do enjoy having a little formal fun with my dinning room table.

And last, but not least, I will be turning 49 on October 29th!!!

Woohoo!  I feel blessed and thankful for all the Lord has done and is doing in my life.  Enjoy this cozy time of the year!

Until next time...

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

#101 Let's Do The Twist!!!!

4 Year Happy Nappy Anniversary!!!!

In celebration of my 4th year being natural...

I thought I would share one of my favorite hair styles.  Havanna Twist with Yarn.  You can check out my YouTube Video here to see how this is done (click underneath the pics):

Also, if you want to check out my hair journey you can also check out that video (click underneath the pic):

Until next time...

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

#101 If You Want Organic Vegetables and a Beautiful Landscape, You Have to Work For It!


 My Favorite Thing For September -- Gardening during the Fall and Winter
For a Beautiful Spring

At the end of each month, I try to remember to post my favorite thing for the month.  For September (which by-the-way flew by) it would be preparing for Spring in the garden.  It's that time of the year!  FALL!!!  I'm in the process of working on the garden for the Spring.  What I do now will affect what my garden looks like and the type of rewards I will reap in my organic vegetable garden come Spring 2015.

So my vegetable garden is getting ready to get a major overhaul.

 Before Vegetable Garden Bed


After Vegetable Garden Bed


Potential Plan for the new Bed
This is a smaller version of what we want to make Rosemaryt garden Site

I always wanted something you could walk into.  My husband built a screen house and a shed -- so I have no doubt that he can pull this off.  So I'm super excited about gardening next year.  Of course, I would like it a little bigger and longer to fit the entire length of the fence so I can actually put either stepping stones or gravel inside to walk in and make it a more productive space.  I will show MY actual pictures next year.  Thank you Rosemaryt for allowing me to use your picture.

I started a new garden bed.  I needed my vegetable garden to not have a lot of flowers in the bed.  So I moved my Snowball Viburnum in my new garden bed:

Here is what my Snowball Viburnum looks like in the Spring:

Snowball Viburnum

Here's the new bed I started:

Snowball Viburnum (right), two Hydrangeas (middle), Hibiscus (center)
It may not look like much now -- but underneath the layers of mulch is sheets of cardboard and my black gold compost.  It will break down and decompose over the fall and winter and come Spring -- watch out!!!  Don't ever think there's nothing to do in the fall and winter -- there's plenty to do to get you ready for Spring while all the while getting your hands dirty and bringing a smile to your face.  This work to me is "Oh so relaxing."

Until next time...

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

#100 Are You Looking For Peace & To Quiet Your Spirit?

Back in November, 2012 I featured books that encouraged me for a healthy lifestyle.  You can check out that post here:  My Books Post  One of those books was written by a women named Jackie Trottmann.  At the time, I did not know her and I read her book over and over and thoroughly enjoyed it.  It was called "The Freedom to Eat."  I read the back of the book and found out that she resides in my hometown of MO.  WOW that was different!  I quickly emailed her letting her know how much I enjoyed her book.  Fast forward 2014 -- we are now good friends and we encourage each other regularly.

I wanted people to listen to her testimony on the Be Empowered Show and how she found calmness and a quietness to her spirit.  This is a very encouraging interview but one not to miss if you are looking for that in your life.  Jackie's Interview & Testimony.

She also has a meditation cd that will help you to become still and clear the clutter from your mind.  Her meditation cd is Christ centered -- no spooky chatter that you're not sure of what your saying -- she uses the scripture "Be still and know that I am God. (Psalms 46:10.)"  You can also find her website entitled Guided Christian Meditation with everything from her blog and other information here:  Jackie's Website.

You can find her cd here:  Jackie's Meditation CD.

Jackie's updated book "The Freedom to Eat" is in the eyes of many publishers at this time.  So when that time comes, I will definitely be getting my copy and I will let you know how to get yours.

Until next time...

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

#99 Bland Food Made Fabulous!

No, I'm not a Vegan -- but I enjoy cooking Vegan recipes.  I love to try new recipes -- therefore I'm constantly running across people that make bland food taste "FABULOUS."

One such person is Brown Vegan  You can check her out at this link:  Brown Vegan's Website.

When I try recipes, I try to pick something that is a favorite of my family but made in a healthier way.  I tried a recipe on her site called Buffalo Cauliflower (remake of Buffalo Wings).  They were a hit in my household.  I've also shared it with friends and their 12 year old daughter kept coming back for more.  Go figure! 

Here's the recipe if you are interested:

Buffalo Cauliflower

by Brown Vegan
Prep Time: 10
Cook Time: 40
Ingredients (Serves 4)
  • 1 large head of cauliflower, broken into bite sized pieces
  • ½ cup rice or all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup hot sauce
  • 1 tbsp vegan margarine, melted (Earth Balance is a good butter)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt, garlic powder and water.
Mix in cauliflower, being sure that all the pieces are coated.
Place cauliflower on a baking sheet in a single layer (use parchment paper or oil to prevent it from sticking).
Roast in the oven for 15 minutes.
In a small bowl, mix together the hot sauce and margarine.
Transfer the cauliflower to a large bowl.
Pour on the sauce, being sure to coat all the cauliflower pieces.
Place the cauliflower back on the baking sheet and roast for 18-25 more minutes.
Let it cool for 10 minutes and serve with vegan ranch dressing.

Another person whom I've enjoyed on-line for her Vegan food is Jill with Simple Daily Recipes:

This lady will crack you up with her wit in the kitchen.  She is very good at making everyday meals simple and healthy.  Her kids are her tasters and it seems like the whole family has a great sense of humor.  I was inspired to cook up a big pot of lentils and to try a bunch of recipes from her stash using those lentils.  I tried (or will be trying):
  • BBQ Lentils and Baked Potato Wedges
  • Lentil Tacos
  • Italian Lentil Meatballs (had this on the list the same week but didn't cook it -- the family were a little burnt out with Lentils at that point) but I can't wait to try it...

I would definitely check out her YouTube channel Simple Daily Recipes and pick a recipe that you might want to try.  You will leave inspired to try something new -- I can promise you that.

Until next time...


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Friday, August 29, 2014

#98 August My Favorite Things -- For Summer!

I try to share at the end of each month a few of my favorite things.  It's been a great August and some of my favorite things for summer has been -- HERE GOES:

Homemade Kombucha Pops

Because I make my own fermented Kombucha tea (you can find out how I do it following this link How I Make Kombucha Tea) -- I thought it would be fun to make my own Kombucha pops.  These have been so delicious in this 90+ degree weather.

Homemade Ready-Made Salads

Nothings better then already having lunch prepared ahead of time.  I've made ready-made salads for when I need to grab and go -- or just to eat in a pinch.  I used spinach, chickpeas, one hard boiled egg, tomatoes, onions and mushrooms (but you can use a variety of combinations).  Layer each ingredient one by one on top of each other in a mason jar or a recycled jar and place in the fridge.  When your ready, grab a homemade dressing of your choice or a store bought favorite and enjoy!

Homemade Pickles

I've shared this recipe before -- which is from a friend Chris.  These pickles are delicious and I have made at least 12 jars so far this summer.  My husband eats them as fast as I make them.  Made from cucumbers from my garden here's the recipe:  Pickle Recipe.

Pepperoni Deep Dish
Outside Sight & Sound Theater -- saw "Jonah"

We had to squeeze in a last minute vacation to Branson right before school started.  We had a blast.  You can't go on vacation without eating some yummy food.  Enjoyed the Old Chicago Pizza and Pasta place on the Landing.  Also if you have not seen Jonah in Branson -- it's a must see!!!  I felt like I was at a New York production!  WELL DONE BRANSON!!!!

These are a few of my favorite things...

Until next time...

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

#97 She's Real or Is She?!?!

You heard of plastic surgery because someone wants to fix their nose, lips, jaw etc.  But what about someone wanting to look like a spit image of a Barbie doll.  Valeria Lukyanova, 23 was interviewed face-to-face and was said to look like the closest you will come to an alien encounter. According to a Yahoo News Article.


I was on my way to sending out a email to a friend on my Yahoo account when I ran across an article regarding a 16 year old (below) who has transformed herself into a human Barbie (even though she says that she has not gone under the knife). 

Lolita Richi, a 16-year-old from Ukraine
Lolita has a 20-inch waist, a 32F bra size, and wears color contact lenses to emulate the wide-eyed doll-look of her fictional idol According to The Psychology of a Human Barbie Article.  I had to blog about this.  What in the world is wrong with people that they HATE what they look like to the extent of looking like a plastic doll? 

Who can you blame for this?  The parents would be my answer.  She is 16 -- where would you get the money to transform yourself into a doll?  And unfortunately it won't stop there.  She's 16.  She has a lot more growing and developing -- so I would hate to see her at 30.  She's going to have to do so much more because we all go through the change -- and unless you deal with it naturally with exercise and good healthy practices -- all the knife cutting in the world will just make you look faker and faker.

I have always enjoyed using this Barbie doll as my Facebook Avatar:

Why -- because I'm a natural (she's natural), African American and I love the look!  But I would be totally crazy to try to transform myself into this image "FOR REAL!!!!"  I'm sorry but we have too much fake hair, eye lashes, boobs and on and on going on already in the world to have to resort to this.  Nothing wrong with wanting to look beautiful (all in moderation :-) -- but I'm just saying -- what's wrong with what God has given us?  If we would just feed it right and dress it up right and hit the gym or sidewalk every now and then, we would perhaps feel better about ourselves on the inside and it would carry over on the outside.

Just my two cents -- we all have ours.  That's mine.

Until next time...

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Friday, August 15, 2014

#96 The Most Important Time!

I have made time to go to the gym, which is "ME" time.  I have made time to spend with my boys, my husband, my family and friends.  But what about time with God.  That time is off and on, sporadic and not as consistent as I would like.  I have now put that time as first place time in my life.

Before I place one toe out of my bed, I get to feed myself spiritually.  I have an app bible that I use and I'm going through the bible one chapter at a time.  WOW!!!!  It has been awesome.  From there you can't help but pray over what you have just read regarding things in your life.  For instance, in my neighborhood a young man, by the name of Michael Brown, was shot and killed by a cop in Ferguson, MO.  This incident was seen all over and brought forth a lot of outrage and sorry for what was taking place.  There was, and to this day still is, looting going on all over that area and surrounding areas (as a result of this incident -- or just an excuse to do so).  It has been one teachable moment for this homeschooling momma -- you better believe it.  I prayed for the parents of this young man and especially for his momma.  She was seen on the scene of her child's death and she was overcome with grief and disbelief.  You see, this young man was suppose to start college soon, but here he laid dead. 

While reading the book of Luke ch. 7 it talks about Jesus raising a Widow's son.  Verse 12 -15 says:

"12 A funeral procession was coming out as he approached the village gate.  The young man who had died was a widow's only son, and a large crowd from the village was with her.  13 When the Lord saw her, his heart overflowed with compassion.  "Don't cry!" he said.  14 Then he walked over the the coffin and touched it, and the bearers stopped.  "Young man," he said, "I tell you, get up."  15 Then the dead boy sat up and began to talk!  And Jesus gave him back to his mother."

Immediately I began to pray for that young man to be raised.  If Jesus can do it for that momma, He can do it for any momma.  He is no respecter of persons.  I'm aware that it's according to His will.  He will have compassion on whom He will have compassion.  After all He is God.  But I'm looking for God to do something supernatural.

Getting up everyday and having my quiet time with the Lord is the BEST thing that I have done -- PERIOD!  My day is brighter (even in this dark world), I feel a sense of accomplishment throughout my day with whatever else is in front of me because I know I have the most important thing done.  When we pray -- we are giving God permission to work on our behalf and on behalf of others.  So it's important that Christians everywhere do this on a daily basis.  If we don't pray -- all HELL breaks loose -- literally.  When we seek the face of God for our situation, our neighborhood, our world -- He hears and answers prayer.  I am a believer -- I've seen the results of prayer too many times in my life.

Let's keep the most important thing as the first thing we do -- LET'S PRAY!

Until next time...

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Thursday, August 7, 2014

#95 Showing Up Is Half the Battle!

Do you have a problem being consistent?  Do you say you are going to do something and then when the time comes to do it you back out because you don't "FEEL" like doing it?  Do you have a gym membership that you are paying for but you are not showing up?  Giving away FREE MONEY!!! 

This quote is on the outside of my gym!!

Why is being consistent such a problem for many people.  Am I always consistent?  No -- I wish I could say I was.  When it involves other people I am quick to try to be as consistent as possible.  For instance if I make plans to meet with a friend -- I make it my business to keep my plans.  Just today I visited with a girlfriend and my boys went as well to visit with her boys -- it rained cats and dogs and my entire being was wanting to stay home and pull out a good book and just curl up in bed and read.  I could have easily called and rescheduled -- but it is my goal to be a keeper of my word -- especially if I have know good reason other then the excuse "I don't feel like it."  And I want to be known as a person who does what she says she's going to do.  I don't want to be labeled in a negative way.  So I guess I care what others think and say about me -- yes -- my character is important.  It's a reflection of who I am -- who wants to be known as always late, liar, inconsistent -- the list goes on and on...

But what about being consistent to myself?  Keeping up with my bible time, and prayer.  Keeping up with eating a certain way -- things people cannot see -- but I'm aware of.  Oh it's easy to not be consistent to yourself because you are not being held accountable for those things by others.  When I'm consistent with these things I feel 100% better about what I do for the rest of the day -- when I'm not -- I know that I'm not being the very best to myself as I could be.  So why is it so hard to be consistent in those things?  I believe it's because it's easy to get caught up with the habits of checking our smart phones and everything else we get in the habit of doing -- but then -- check it out -- those things are just habits.  We can form new habits.

This year I joined Gold's Gym and I started when lots of people joined -- in the month of January!!!  Well I'm happy to say that I'm STILL GOING and I've turned into a regular Gym Rat now.  I love going to the gym and I'm definitely getting my monies worth.  No one is watching -- no one is keeping record -- it's a habit that I'm doing for me and I feel great about it!  Now I just have to work on my quiet times at home.  It can be done -- and I will make it happen.  That's the best thing I can do for myself. 

Let's make time for the most important things in life!

Until next time...

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Thursday, July 31, 2014

#94 I'm Back -- and Refreshed!

Hey all, 

I've missed posting to this blog on Friday's but I'm so glad I took off for awhile.  I realize something that I always knew but rarely take advantage of  -- when you get yourself revitalized -- then you can be better for yourself and others.  So I'm back refreshed and rejuvenated in hopes to continue to encourage others.  I want to say -- GOD IS SO GOOD!  He helps us in so many ways -- we have no idea -- all the things that He is working out for our good in the spiritual realm.  I know I just lost about a third of you -- but hear me out...

I have watched God answer prayer that ONLY He could do.  Open doors that only He could open.  I remember posting in my blog post entitled "My Annual Review" (Check it out by pressing this link) about my testimony of leaving my church of 13 years to find another church home.  That was in May of last year.  I can happily report that God has truly blessed me and my family.  My oldest son has done a complete 360 and is serving the Lord in a way that I did not see coming.  He's playing the drums as well at our new church and just has really found his place there.  This is a work that only God could have done. 

I also mentioned in that same blog post that I was thinking about joining a gym.  BAM -- I'm on it!  I've been a member now of Gold's Gym since January of this year and I absolutely love it.  Yes I'm still going (not like those who start at the beginning of the year and slowly stop going) -- I plan on getting my FULL moneys worth.  I would have never thought I would love YOGA -- but I go to Yoga twice a week, cycle once a week, step and abs class once a week and so much more.  I talked about "ME TIME" and I've found it at my gym.  Go figure!  I love it!

I took a weekend by myself and spent it at the Hilton Garden Inn.  There I spent time with the Lord and was able to go away for a minute and get out of the four walls I'm in all the time (my home).  I think this is very important when you home school and your job and life takes place at home.  It was especially important for me this year since we did not go on a family vacation.  My weekend was spent enjoying Jesus and just chillin!  I brought my candles and favorite bubble bath and soaked the night away!  The next day I took a lovely stroll on the Chesterfield Valley Levee Trail.

All in all I had a wonderful time away and I'm glad I took the time off.  I'm looking forward to sharing with you all the things that the Lord is doing and sharing with me.  Thanks for coming back and sharing in my journey of health and all the other things I share!  God bless you.

Until next time...

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