Tuesday, September 30, 2014

How the floor is holdin' up

Two years ago I blogged about my new kitchen floors.  We used stick on tiles with a special grout and today I had someone leave a comment asking me how they've held up!  I thought I'd give some feedback to anyone looking to use them on their floors!  {With a little announcement at the end.}

Here is a photo I took today!  They are holding up really well!  The ONLY issue we have with them is that we get intense direct sunlight through our windows, which you can kinda see in this photo {cloudy today}:

The heat does soften them a little but none have peeled up or have been replaced.  Only issue is that we have two little trouble spots that we need to adhere down again but I'm lazy and haven't done it. Just the tip of the corner is raised up and because of it, it's scratched.  But you can't tell unless you're down looking...  

So ya!  They are doing great!  I still love the look!
And I definitely recommend them!

So my announcement...
Comments on my blog are tough to reply to because I don't know if the person will come back to see my reply! So I decided to start a Facebook page just for that reason!!  It's interactive and can allow for discussions that can't otherwise happen.  Plus, I can share my blog updates too!  It a really great tool that many bloggers use so I thought I'd get with the times!

If you have a Facebook account, I'd invite you to "like" my page to get my updates in your newsfeed.  Thank you so much for your support and encouragement!!

APE on Facebook

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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Happy 18 years together!

Many years ago I was 19.  I moved back to my hometown in New Brunswick after living in Toronto for 3.5 years.  I looked up some old friends and Jay was one of them.

We first met back in Junior High and I had a big crush on him but he was far from interested!  But when we met at Wendy's back in 1996 {hence the high wasted jeans above!} to catch up over Frosty's, something changed.  I was now living on my own working full-time as a receptionist.  He had been an exchange student and just returned the same summer as me after a year abroad.
photo from google search
He later joked and said it was like the Noxzema commercials.  Do you remember their catch line?  "Noxzema girls get noticed."  haha!  Personally I think it had to do with the fact that I had my own apartment!
photo from google search

September 28th was when we met up at Wendy's and the date I like to go by because we have been pretty much together ever since... minus a few moves and deployments!

Here we are 18 years later.  Still together.  We still like each other.  And still dating.

*sigh* I sure love this guy.  22 years of friendship.  18 years of dating.  15 years of marriage and 9 years parenting together.

Grateful for his love, his support and his friendship!
And reminiscing today!
Praying for many more years together!

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Friday, September 26, 2014

Colorful bible time

This week during my bible study with Good Morning Girls, the host Courtney Joseph {Women Living Well} shared a post that got me super excited!  She introduced us to a talented woman Gypsy.Mama.NC {click HERE for her instragram feed} who pretties up her bible and notebooks with lots of color and stickers and washi {craft} tape!  It's like my cardmaking world colliding with bible time!  Be still my heart!

Courtney has shared the idea before, of using colored pencils for keywords but I guess I never thought outside the box and use color in other ways.  I decided to start adding color to my bible and journaling STAT!  I'm not even using stickers and other embellishments but man does it ever make a difference!  I can group like ideas together.  Points jump off the page!

Gettin' my color on!
I'm not as fancy Gypsy.Mama.NC but it's still super fun!  Just a little color really makes the page more inviting and easier to read!  Here's my notebook:

Aside from this new-found joy, I just learned about journal bibles this week too!  Maybe I'm the last to know about them but my friend Kathy just enlightened me!  They are designed with an extra column for notes.  My wheels got turning and I thought... what a great idea to take to church!  I am ALWAYS doodling and writing notes on the church bulletin so what a great alternative!  Just gotta add that to my Christmas wish list!  In the meantime, I started a board on Pinterest if you want to see some creative ideas!  Not sure I would use watercolor but it sure looks amazing!!!
View as shown on CBD's website.

Funny how little things like this can really make a difference in the daily routine of things!  I look forward to slowing down and just having this time to color and pray at the end of my study time.

Anyone else see this and get just as giddy?

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Potty-training blues

Back in February of this year, I wrote this wonderful celebratory post about my third monkey being potty-trained.  {Click HERE to read it.}  Sadly not much has changed in 7 months - except he's older.  At 4 1/2, he still won't initiate going to the bathroom himself.  I have sought help from so many friends and much of the advice is the same... to give him time, take the pressure off and one day he'll start doing it on his own.
{photo from morgueFile}

TMI - don't read if you don't like reading about poop.  Sharing only to encourage others in the same boat!
I did back off but my sweet little cupcake still won't say when he has to go!  I usually tell him to pee and wash his hands before snacks and meals.  He stays mostly {pee} accident free if I do this but doesn't go on his own... ever! 
As for #2, the usual is that I hear "Moooooommm!  Colin pooped." from another child.  I yell: "Colin get to the bathroom."  I follow him and discover he only pooped a little and he finishes on the toilet.
{Tip:  I have a little bin next to our toilet for lightly soiled items so I can do a separate pre-wash.  If there is too much poop, I actually throw the undies away.  I hate the rare big messes and since he has so many pairs of underwear, this works for us!}

There are days I get so frustrated.  I've done all I can to guide and help him.  Why can't he just go on his own?!  I did the reward charts.  I even went through a period where I disciplined him.  But nothing worked!  I have been patient and I KNOW it is NOT from lack of anything on my end.  Ugh!  When will that little switch flip in his brain?!

I was having a bad accident-filled day recently.  He actually pooped, it went down his leg and smeared on his bedroom carpet after another child stepped on it.  It was nasty.  And I was fed up.  I decided that I better resort to discipline again and gave him a stern warning!  He was just being plain lazy!  He had to know that he pooped!

Later, that very same day, my friend Tami emailed me with information that she thought might help me from a book she recently read.  {Strange coincidence huh?  The day I wanna be tougher on Colin, an angel appears - ha!  Lucky kid!}.  She knew of my frustration because I had vented to her many a time!

The information was from the website: "It's No Accident".  They suggest that accidents are related to constipation!  I don't want to say too much now because I haven't read the book, but if you are struggling like I am, check out the website and see if you see your situation described on there.  I know that much of what I read was pretty familiar to me so I ordered the book right away!  *fingers crossed*

Excerpt below from Amazon that describes what's on the back cover:
Link to Amazon HERE.

"Here’s a reality sure to shock parents: Our nation has a silent epidemic of toileting troubles. No one posts on Facebook, “My kid wet the bed again,” yet accidents, bedwetting, and urinary tract infections are rampant and on the rise.

These messy and embarrassing problems — stressful for parents and children alike — are typically dismissed (“Kids are kids”; “She’ll outgrow it”), misdiagnosed, or undertreated. That’s because most parents and many pediatricians are unaware of a research-proven fact: Virtually all childhood potty problems are caused by holding — poop, pee, or both.

What’s behind the holding? In this eye-opening book, Dr. Steve Hodges explains why millions of potty-trained kids are clogged with poop and holding pee, problems related to the Western lifestyle, pressure to toilet train too early, inadequate potty-training follow-up, and misguided school policies.

Dr. Hodges helps families recognize the subtle signs of holding and offers research-based strategies for resolving the wetting episodes and infections related to constipation. Parents and kids will cheer: No more wet undies or bedsheets!"

Hopefully I will learn a lot and be able to share more advice about this very frustrating part of parenting!  I think it's really hard to be a Mom of a kid who isn't fully trained because I'm afraid of being judged as a bad Mom.  And I don't want my son to be labeled a lazy or bad kid because of it either.  It is encouraging to me to know that it really could be a medical issue and I really hope I find some answers to help my babe.

Linking to the Time Warp Wife for her link up party as women encourage one another!  

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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Coconut oatmeal cookies

Today was a warm humid day here in Southeastern CT but I was in a Fall baking mood!  My daughter discovered how much she loves coconut so I found a recipe for coconut oatmeal cookies HERE on Lil Luna's website via Pinterest.

I didn't change the recipe at all but now that I've had them I will definitely make again and add nuts or chocolate chips.  They taste like sugar cookies with more texture and the coconut flavor is subtle but noticeable.

Per the directions, I didn't just spoon them onto the baking sheet.  I rolled mine into balls about 1.25 inches wide and slightly flattened them with my fingers.  I also baked them for 10 minutes.

Ingredients & Instructions {per Lil Luna's website}
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 - 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 cups oatmeal
  • 1 cup coconut
  1. Cream together butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla. Set aside.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.
  3. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix well.
  4. Spoon onto greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. ENJOY!

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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Tailgate Swap

We did it again!  Friends and I got together for another tailgate swap!  "A what????", say some newbies to my blog.  Well I know a very generous group of people who share items they no longer want before donating!  Hence, the name... one person's junk is another person's treasure.
I blogged about it before in July 2013 and January 2014.  {Click on those dates to read those summaries and get more details on what it's all about.}

14 of us pulled in with our junk in the trunk.  ha!  We met at a local park so the kids could play and we could shop.  We walked around and found lots of "treasures".

Here's some of the stuff I got:

Some people no longer used certain seasonal decor while I hate spending money on it!  Score!

I don't understand people who part with this sort of stuff.  It's my world.  If I could purr....

And this basket with a metal handle!  Love it for my living room!

Bows and wrapping paper!  Yay because I like wrapping gifts.

I found some great homeschool stuff...

V is learning to type using a free website but I thought I'd try this CD-ROM instructor too!

Some fun stuff for me!  Crafty bits and toiletries.

And even a couple new shirts for me!

See... you just never know what things you're sick of or don't use anymore that might be useful to others!

After we were done, many of us drove straight to a local donation center with our leftovers!  Yay for sharing and yay for clearing out the clutter from our homes!

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Friday, September 19, 2014

Hi-dilly-ho, neighborinos! -Ned

I wasn’t always one of them Jesus follower types.  In fact I rather enjoyed making fun of the Ned Flanders of the world and don’t even get me started on street evangelists! 

I remember when I worked at a call center I made fun of a particular co-worker reading his bible.  There were usually 3 or 4 of us who worked the overnight shift so it was slow.  While some of us liked to chat, there was one guy, Mike who used this time to read.  What a dork… he read a bible and double dorkness… at work!  Another co-worker and I were really mean to him.  We talked back and forth using the Lord’s name in vain in jest.  We talked about that g** d*mned caller and J***us it was cold in there, all the while laughing.  We thought we were funny.  I don’t remember Mike’s reaction to be honest, but I know he didn’t confront us.  After all, we were being light-hearted and it was all in good fun of course.  *rolls eyes in retrospect*
me. 15ish years ago
Fast forward a few years when I came to faith in Jesus myself.  Ned Flanders {cheery, upbeat, happy, kind, dorky} is the perception, but most believers would fully admit that we are FAR from perfect.  We are not worthy of God’s love… whether it’s because of things we’ve done or how we’ve treated others… like me being so utterly disrespectful and short-sighted about the way I treated Mike for reading a bible. 
photo from morgueFile
I understand now.  The bible is key for us believers.  It’s where we learn about God’s character, history of the faith, and how we should live.  It’s poetic and inspiring. It is so powerful and has totally changed me.  So once I understood this, I felt I had to apologize to Mike. 

photo from morgueFile
I looked up his name in the white pages online.  There were only six or so in the town I used to live in so I started dialing.  I don’t remember how many I called til I got him, but I reached him! 
He remembered me.
He remembered my taunting.
I apologized and he accepted my apology without hesitation.
Slate clean.  
Guilt lifted.

And that’s just how this Christian thing works.  I mess up.  I admit it.  I apologize.  I move on. Forgiveness is a powerful thing.

photo from morgueFile
I mess up all the time and am grateful for God’s continued love and for those amazing people in my life who put up with me even with my flaws.  Love and forgiveness are the key messages from Jesus.  Tis rather simple when you get past all the human rituals and religion that turns so many off.

If you know me, you know I like to talk.  {Ahem… hence this blog!  Gets me thoughts out of me head!}
And sometimes I put my foot in my mouth.  Or I say too much when I should be quiet.
Some say I’m confrontational but I like to clear the air and get that dang elephant out of the room.  
I’m often misunderstood.

WORK IN PROGRESS But I’m a work in progress and this week I was reminded about that in my bible study. {Because I am now that "dorky" person who reads her bible every day. Ha!}  
We read through 1 and 2 Peter and here’s a goodie in the New Living Translation {NLT}:

…make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” ~ 2 Peter 1:5-8

photo from morgueFile
Did you catch that or was it all goobily guck because you were speed reading?  {I have NO idea how I know people skim… *wink*}  But knowledge comes from reading God’s word.  And while I learn, there is growth in moral character, self-control {I’m working on it!}, patient endurance {another work in progress}, brotherly affection with love for everyone {I’d like to think I love people better now in my old age} and do you see that word in red?  The more productive and useful I’ll be in my knowledge of Jesus?  I saw that and got so excited because of my blog name! 

So when you see people reading the bible, it’s probably because they are building that knowledge so they can grow spiritually and be more productive and loving human beings.  That’s exactly why I’ve been doing an online bible study called Good Morning Girls for the past three years!  
It's easy for me to look back and remember the girl I once was, because she is so very different from the person I am today.  Grateful for God's word and how He's changed me to be a more loving person, and how He continues to work in my life.

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