Category Archives: A little of this and that

Lest You Think We May Be “Normal”….

Family

One of my friends does a weekly “confessional” on FB and shares a bit of the reality of her life and asks others to join on in.

So in the spirit of that I thought I would give you a look into our little lives, and lest you think we may be “normal”…well sit back, read along and be transformed in the truth! 😉

I let Karlena eat the chocolate snack she got from dance class on the way home in the car. I know it is right before dinner but it was this tiny kit kat bar..how much trouble could it cause? Well after our 3 minute car ride she was covered in melted chocolate, even getting it on her brand new tights. That’s what I get apparently.

Today we took our dog Sydney to a “spa day” aka she needed a trim and a wash and mama ain’t got no time for that so let’s pay someone else $30 to do it for me day. She was soft and fluffy and clean, And then it rained (because of course) and someone aka Gabriel let her outside and left her outside for a long time…and she is no longer clean nor fluffy. She basically smells like wet dog. Ahh good times.

Speaking of dogs, ours is shedding at an incredible rate (lest the reason a haircut seemed appropriate). It is as though she births 15,000 small rabbits each day all across our main living space. They tuck themselves in each nook and cranny that they can find and hide there until I can vacuum. I have done so the past 2 nights and am frightened at how much I am picking up. Will this end before graduation in May, please tell me it will.

My 2 youngest children speak in a slightly British accent. I am not sure where it came from as it doesn’t always show itself. I call it Minnesota British. It is really quite unique and I can’t even begin to describe it…but if you are ever around my kids listen to them say something about “the last morning” and you will know what I am talking about.

Oh did I mention that I have a SENIOR this year and I am basically doing my best to hold it together before he ditches our family all together for life! Ok maybe that is a little extreme but when he is moving 7 hours away I am guessing that we won’t see him very often. And can I say that this whole transition phase is also not fun. He needed a copy of his medical records for college, I call and can’t get them because he is 18.

I know, I know the rules, but such a hassle, especially when he is working or in school from 7:45am to 7pm most days. We have all of his Power of Attorney and Health Care Directive/HIPPA docs prepared so that if something ever did happen we could make decisions for him…but we have to pick a date when he isn’t working and we are free and can find a Notary that isn’t one of us and get the darn things signed.

On my list of things to do. Along with painting those stupid shelves. I know kids we don’t say stupid but right now I am over those shelves and wishing they would paint themselves.

Anywho…

Oh and speaking of toy rooms, ours is incredibly clean right now which only means they are not engaging in playing with toys and likely spending too much time playing video games instead. But sometimes when I need 20 minutes to write a ridiculous blog post, I just let it slide. You understand right?!

Oh and a little behind the scenes to the picture above…Isaac looks like he was in a drug induced stupor (he was not)…and Dominic is, if I remember correctly, grabbing my “bumper” as Elijah would call it trying to make me laugh. Always a good time happening around these parts.

So there you go. A look into our wild and wacky and sometimes weird but hardly “normal” lives.

Life These Days

Last week was a rough one. After I wrote that post our furnace broke. I am not kidding. Thankfully it was (I think, we don’t have a bill yet) an easy fix. And we had heat again by that evening.

And the weekend didn’t get much better when Dominic came home about an hour after he left for the office with the stomach flu. Yuck for him. He was in bed all day and only started feeling better by Sunday afternoon.

As for now, we are all healthy and SO ready for Spring…which by the looks of it may be right around the corner. A girl can hope can’t she?!

forecast

I mentioned in my post last week that I am “fasting”, if you will, from spending money (on myself mostly) that isn’t classified as “necessary”. I felt convicted that I maybe had been a little too “loose” with my purchases as of late.  So I got an accountability partner and told her that I wasn’t going to spend money on myself until after Easter.

Then a picture of this blouse came in my inbox.

Shirt

And it is only $29 and in my favorite color and it’s called the PERFECT BLOUSE..and they only have a few mediums left (justify, rationalize)…ultimately I didn’t buy it. I sent a picture to my friend, said I was struggling but wouldn’t buy it. We talked about self-control and how it is times like these that help us to be more thoughtful about our purchases. It was hard for me but it is good.

A few hours later I got an email from Melanie at Unexpected.org that I had won a giveaway she had earlier this month!

This beauty from Trades of Hope came in the mail yesterday…like a little love letter from God.

Trades of Hope

Speaking of Melanie’s blog…if you haven’t ever read it – start with this post about her Overdramatic Family . It had me busting a gut, much needed laughter for my Thursday!

It has been 6 months since my PRK surgery. For the last month I have been on Restasis eye drops. My eyes haven’t gotten to where they would like to see them, and I was showing symptoms of chronic dry eyes (which makes no sense because they NEVER feel dry)…but I figured it was worth a try. The pharm companies are charging a RACKET for these drops. $187 for 1 month and not covered by insurance. Can you even believe that?!

But they seem to be making a difference, so I am continuing for a month and will check things out again in 3 months. Currently I am 20/15 in my right eye and 20/20, with random blurriness at times, in my left. Overall I am really happy with my results…but to get 20/15 in both eyes would be ideal.

I had an opportunity to review a few pieces of ViBella jewelry  and share a bit of my story over at their blog this week. Their company represents transformation and I loved sharing a bit of my transformation journey with them!

ViBella

I have a big list of things that I need to get done this weekend, mostly projects that I have started and never completely finished. I did a toy room redo, which I will blog about once it is all done. I have 2 long shelves I need to paint and then once they are hung, I would be finished. I just need to paint the darn things.

In addition I started painting my sunroom and am almost done, but after my fall 2 weeks ago I didn’t ever get back to completing it. It WILL be done this weekend.

On my to-do list is also sleeping, because this week and last have left me exhausted.

And I guess that’s all I have for now. Nothing much of substance but at least a record for myself of all we have had going on recently! 🙂 Happy Weekend friends!

Grandma Gertie’s Caramel Creme Sandwich Cookies

Caramel-Creme-Sandwich-Cookies

In the spirit of sharing and receiving some wonderful cookie recipes I am sharing my all time favorite Christmas cookie recipe. This one is so good that I don’t know why I don’t make it all year round. It is my dad’s favorite cookie and a recipe from his mom whom I never had the chance to meet. But I think that I would have loved sitting down with her and a batch of these wonderful cookies.

For the dough:
1 cup butter softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg yolk
2 1/4 cup flour

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy and add egg yolk. Slowly add the flour until mixed. Then put the dough into the refrigerator to chill for at least an hour.

Once chilled roll the dough into 1 inch balls and roll in sugar. Press flat on a cookie sheet. (I use a small cookie press with a little design on it) Bake for 8-10 minutes @ 325 degrees. Remove from sheet and cool completely before frosting.

Frosting:
2 Tbls butter – brown in a sauce pan on the stove
Add 1 1/4 cups sifted powdered sugar
Add 1 tsp. vanilla
Mix together and then add a Tbls of milk, one at a time until thick. (Usually just 1-2 necessary)

The frosting will be almost like a carmel-like consistency. Find 2 cookies of a similar size and frost the bottom of 1 cookie and press it together with the bottom of another cookie.

And what you are left with are sugary, wonderful bites of goodness! I am telling you these are RICH but wonderful and will sure to be a hit at your Christmas parties!

I hope you try these cookies and if you have any questions in the process please contact me!

What is your favorite cookie recipe at Christmas? I’d love for you to leave a link/recipe in the comments below! Maybe I will find a new favorite!

Merry Christmas friends!

Photo Credit: via

Some Goings On

Thanksgiving

I can’t believe that Thanksgiving is tomorrow! How did November whiz by so fast?! We are hosting this year again but it will be a much smaller group. I am just excited to spend time with both of our parents, and get geared up for Christmas decorating…my favorite!

Since I don’t have anything really profound to share with you right now I thought that I would just give you a peak into some goings on here recently.

  • Isaac gave blood at school yesterday for the first time. I didn’t even know it was happening, but he heard about it and being 18 and all, he went ahead and signed up. I seriously just love his heart. I am so proud of the man he is becoming. And I get a little twitchy when I think about the fact that in a few short months he will be moving out.
  • I did a bunch of my Thanksgiving prep in advance this year. I have worship team practice tonight so I won’t be at home to do it then, so the cranberries and applesauce are ready, the elements of the stuffing are ready to go and the turkey is all set to be put in the roaster early on Thursday morning. I will do the mashed potatoes before I leave tonight and will rewarm them in the crock pot. The other dishes will be made in the morning tomorrow. The only thing I haven’t figured out yet is a bread product. Not sure what will happen there, I need to figure that out! 🙂
  • Speaking of stuffing, next week I will share the recipe that I am using. It is a recipe that I have changed and doctored for the past 2 years and it is AMAZING. I am more excited about the stuffing than anything else. This year I am making it in individual muffin tins to try that…I will let you know how it all turns out!
  • I was invited to speak at our local MOPS group next Tuesday. The speaker they had lined up went on unexpected bed rest and they needed someone short notice. Heather, who takes our family pictures, sent me a text 2 nights ago asking if I would come and share with them about hospitality and why as women we often feel we have to have it perfect to invite people into our spaces. Since that has been something that has been on my heart since Allume, I felt confident that I could come up with something. I have been praying that God would give me His message to share…I haven’t written anything down yet though. I better get on that!
  • I have most of my Christmas shopping done, even found a couple of deals early that I thought I would have to get tomorrow so that is nice. Although I am one of those crazies that loves being out on Black Friday…I try to be extra friendly to the people working and make it a fun experience. So I will probably go out just because! 🙂
  • It is snowing here today, and I am not happy about that. My parents were supposed to head to our house today…but that may be delayed. Snow before Thanksgiving should be banned. It has been a COLD November and I am nervous about how the remainder of the winter will be!  Sometimes I think living in the south would be nice…but then I hear stories about leeches in bathrooms and roaches in microwaves, and am thankful that because of the cold we don’t deal with that here!
  • Most of all I am thankful this week. God has blessed our family in so many ways and while we don’t always live in full gratitude, our hearts seek to acknowledge the blessings on a daily basis. My prayer for you is that your Thanksgiving would be safe and happy and full of wonderful food and time with family!

A Few Minor Changes

There are going to be a few changes here at The Riches of His Love….

Let me explain.

I started blogging on my other blog The Smith Family Journey in 2008 after a miscarriage, one that I wasn’t dealing well with and I used writing as a way to heal. Then I started posting updates about my family and it became a little online journal.  I didn’t have time to scrapbook and my blog allowed me the opportunity to post pictures and make memories for my family.

Every once and awhile I would post a review or a story about my faith walk.  Then last November when I was asked to be a part of the God Sized Dream Team I felt I needed a space that could be used just for my “faith stories”. And in December this blog was born!

I have had a hard time keeping up with 2 blogs over the past 11 months and my family blog has taken the worst of the neglect.  I have decided to stop posting there (for now) and make this space here my “home”.

That means that not only will I share stories about me here, I may from time to time share about my family updates as well.  I will also be doing some reviews and giveaways in the coming months as I have partnered with a publishing company that has lots of Christian books, movies etc. available for review.  I promise that anything I share is something I believe in and would feel comfortable sharing with my little children.  I also promise that this space won’t be overfilled with review posts.

Since 2008 I have made less than $100 in “blogging income”.  That is NOT why I blog! 🙂 I have signed up with several affiliate sites in the past and just got tired of having to try so hard to push a product for an $0.08 payout! 😉  So at this time there won’t be a lot of that here. But it is always fun to get something free for review – so that is likely the most of what I will share.

Finally as I mentioned before I am making a commitment here to share an “Impact Opportunity” with you around the first of each month.  I believe strongly in giving back and there are so many organizations and people that could use our help. I know you will be blessed by them as well

So if you have been with me awhile — I hope you will stay in spite of these changes. And if you are new here – Welcome!!  My family is one of the biggest reasons I have this space to begin with so I think it will be a good fit to combine the two spaces into one home.

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