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31 Days Unplugged – Day 20 – Our Nighttime Routines

19 Mar

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Haven’t we drastically changed our daily routines and habits so far this month?  Spending my days unplugged has really made a difference in my life and my home.

One thing that I haven’t changed so far, or asked you to change, is my nighttime routine.  In the beginning, I was spending a lot of time online at nighttime, quickly scrolling through Facebook and snapping pictures with Instagram.  I was like a crazy person in front of the computer!  I could probably be compared to a person opening a bag of chips and stuffing their face after a day of fasting.

I realized after a couple of nights of this how wasteful this was of me.  I was neglecting my husband and my children, and also losing valuable time with God.  I also saw that there was really nothing on Facebook or Instagram that I wanted to see. So, after I thought about this a bit, my nighttime bingeing routine quickly changed.

I could never totally give up Facebook.  When I do check Facebook for a few minutes at nighttime, I usually do have a message that needs to be returned.  I manage a page for this blog as well as my husband’s business page, and those things have to be tended to.  I can see the need for Facebook and think it would be unrealistic to give it up completely.  However, it isn’t something that should rule my life or my time.

I will remind you of the first Bible verse that we memorized, which I have repeated over and over to myself throughout the month:

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Challenge #16 – When you check your social media sources at nighttime, allow yourself only 15 minutes.  Set a timer if you need to, and spend the rest of your night doing something more meaningful.  

For some, this might mean spending time reading, doing some housework, watching a movie with your spouse, going for a nice walk, or playing a game with your kids.  The possibilities are endless!  Good luck!

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Monday Praises Ya’ll!

14 Oct

I will just tell you all, I have had a wonderful weekend.  I got to spend Friday and Saturday with some of my best friends at the Women of Faith conference in Charlotte, and it was AWESOME.  Then yesterday, Jason was ordained to be a Deacon at our church, and that was a wonderful experience for our family. I pray that God will work through him for our community.

Today, I want to praise the Lord for knowing just exactly who I needed to spend my life with.  My husband is a wonderful, Godly, patient, kind, funny man.  Most importantly, he is a wonderful daddy. He has his flaws, as we all do, but I do love him so much.

God sure knows exactly what he is doing.  I met Jason when I was 17 years old and he was 19, and I knew immediately that we would spend our lives together.  I know that sounds strange for a 17-year old to know, but I really did. I know God put us together at such young ages because he knew we would need each other to survive the wild stages that we both went through. I think that He needs us for something later on, something bigger,  and that was the only way we could make it through those years.

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. Proverbs 16:9

Don’t you love it when God’s plan becomes clear to you, even years later?

Jason and Charlie checking on a fire from yesterday.

Jason and Charlie checking on a fire on Sunday.

Lord, I thank you so much for providing me with Jason, a perfect fit for me.  Your plan is awesome, Lord, and so much more than I can ever imagine.

Make sure you check out Walk Humbly With God today for some more Monday praises.  Have a great week, everyone!

Blueberry Pie and The Honor System

25 Jun

My Husband and I both had to work this past Saturday morning.  Luckily, we were both done by lunchtime and when I got home, he said he had a surprise for me!  Yay! I can usually figure out what his surprises are, but this one really had me stumped.  We got in the car and headed to wherever the surprise was.  We ended up in the next town over, Pilot Mountain.  He was taking me blueberry picking!  There was this cute little blueberry farm that he had driven by on his milk truck route and he thought I would like it.  Of course I would!  I love doing stuff like that!  So, we pull in and there are 2 people there, none of whom work there.  We just grab a little bucket and start picking.  It was hot, but we had a lot of fun eating berries and throwing them at each other!.  When our bucket is full, we head back, but there is still not anyone in sight that works there.  Well, there is a table set up with scales, plastic bags, a metal box, and a piece of paper.  The paper says “The Honor System:  You pick them, weigh them, put them in a bag, and leave your money in the box.”  So we did!  I thought that was pretty cool!

Apparently, I was tricked because, little did I know, Johnny had been wanting a blueberry pie, which I have never made before.  Of course, I wasn’t going to tell him that.  And it turned out freaking fabulous!  So, here is my recipe.  I apologize for the measurements.  I tend to not measure things.  I just guess and add and pour, but I will try to get as close as possible.

4 pounds of blueberries!

4 pounds of blueberries!

These were some big berries!

These were some big berries!

 

So to start, if you are using fresh berries, you need to wash them of course.  I assume everyone knows this, but I also forget that not everyone has blueberry farms 15 minutes from their house.  If you buy them from the store, I would recommend washing them anyway!  Now, I’m not going to get into the pie/sonker/cobbler thing (that’s a whole other blog) but, I had just bought a deep dish pie crust and I really wanted to use it, while I really felt like the blueberries would work best in a sonker/cobbler setting.  I filled the pie crust with blueberries.  I really don’t know how many it was, but if I had to guess, I would say 6 cups.  Next, you mix together 1/3 cup sugar, 1/4 cup light brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon cinnamon.  I just poured that over the berries inside of the pie crust and kind of tossed it around until all the berries were coated.

 

Next step is the topping.  This is just a crust, you could use another pie crust if you wanted, I just didn’t want to go that route with this one.  I melted 6 tablespoons of butter a mixed in 1 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of sugar.  I also added some cinnamon and quick cooking oats to it, just to be fancy.  (Reminder:  I don’t measure, so what I am writing on here is just a guess of what I used.)  Mix everything together until it is pasty.  It shouldn’t be runny.  More like a cookie dough.  You kind of have to drop it onto the top of the blueberries in the pie crust as evenly as you can.

That's what it looked like before it was cooked.

That’s what it looked like before it was cooked.

 

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.  You can’t cut it immediately, it needs time to set up.  This pie is so good!

Finished Product!

Finished Product!

 

 

 

Sometimes I let him do what he wants.

Sometimes I let him do what he wants.

 

That’s why you shouldn’t cut it immediately.  But, he was going to terrorize it anyways!  It was a great Saturday!  I also got a new planter from my Dad and got my chicks and hens planted (This is what I call that plant, although I have heard several other names.  I do know it is one of the only plants that I can successfully multiply!!!)

So cool looking!

So cool looking!

 

 

 

 

 

Our Winter Getaway

4 Mar

Whew, life has been busy for us lately!  Between Jason’s work, turning over the duplex, family obligations, and many, many other things, I have been feeling like our little family has just not been quite together.  I decided a few weeks ago that we needed to get away for a quick weekend at the beach to just enjoy each other without all of the distractions of everyday life.  Since it is still technically winter and pretty cold, I found a great resort at Myrtle Beach that features 2 indoor water parks.  While it was a little strange for us to be at the beach this time of year, we had an absolutely wonderful weekend!

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Charlie and Maddie were so excited!  We have been telling them for a couple of weeks that were were going to the beach, so they were happy that the day had finally arrived.

Charlie and Maddie were so excited! We have been telling them for a couple of weeks that were were going to the beach, so they were happy that the day had finally arrived.

It was cold but still sunny and gorgeous.  We were very cold running back and forth between the two water parks!  Luckily, all of the water was heated.

It was cold but still sunny and gorgeous. We were very cold running back and forth between the two water parks! Luckily, all of the water was heated.

There were tons of birds on the beach and floating in the water.

There were tons of birds on the beach and floating in the water.

Jason and Maddie-Jason is always so photogenic.

Jason and Maddie-Jason is always so photogenic.

We went to Broadway at the Beach Saturday night and had dinner at the Key West Grill.  There were pirates everywhere so Charlie loved it!

We went to Broadway at the Beach Saturday night and had dinner at the Key West Grill. There were pirates everywhere so Charlie loved it!

After playing at the water parks all day on Saturday, we went to Broadway at the Beach for an early dinner.  We had a wonderful meal at the Key West Grill.  Because of the time of year and the odd hour that we were eating, we were almost alone in the restaurant!  For anyone who has been out to dinner with a 2-year old and a 3-year old, you will understand that this was ideal.  My only regret is that I ordered a cup instead of a bowl of she-crab soup.  It was so good and Maddie ate half of mine!

Feeding the fish and ducks.

Feeding the fish and ducks.

Maddie was afraid of all of the seagulls that were walking around us. She refused to walk by them, so Charlie scared them all off.

Maddie was afraid of all of the seagulls that were walking around us. She refused to walk by them, so Charlie scared them all off.

 

Charlie on a T-Rex.

Charlie on a T-Rex.

Riding the cars at the "Pavilion."

Riding the cars at the “Pavilion.”

A few of the rides from the old Myrtle Beach Pavilion have been moved here.  Charlie and Maddie loved riding the cars.  Jason and I kept telling the kids, “When we were little the Pavilion…….” and finally it hit us that we were old!  Myrtle Beach has changed a lot since were were little kids.

Charlie in his new bed that Jason created for him.

Charlie in his new bed that Jason created for him.

We had such a great time this weekend.  I started to get the after-vacation blues when we got home today, then realized that I don’t technically have to go to work tomorrow and I got over it!  I am so blessed to have the husband and kids that I do, and we live a really great life.  I am so thankful for that.  Sometimes it just takes a weekend to get over life!

 

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Like A Kid Again

21 Dec

The great thing, I am learning, about celebrating Christmas with children is that the excitement and impatience that I once had as a child has returned, although in a slightly different way.  Remember when you were a small child and counting down the days to Christmas, and finally Christmas Eve would arrive and that night would go on FOREVER?  It would be so hard to go to sleep knowing that Santa could be downstairs at that very moment, putting out your presents.

As I have gotten older, I have lost those feelings.  Christmas has turned into a holiday of stress and spending.  Jason and I both have divorced parents, and my dad lives almost 2 hours away.  We dreaded the driving, the constant eating, and quite honestly were just exhausted when it was all over.

Now, with Charlie and Maddie here, things are looking up for us this Christmas.  Charlie will be 3 in May, so this Christmas he will really know what is going on.  We have cut out spending Christmas Eve in Mt. Airy with my family and will instead make the drive home that night so we can wake up at home.  I think I will be so excited to see Charlie’s face that I will wake him up  on Christmas morning!  I can’t wait.  Maddie is only 10 months old, so she won’t really know what is going on yet, but I am looking forward to dressing her up for church on Christmas day.

The best thing about having children is that they force us to quit being such adults, for at least a little while!

Our Decline to Redneck Chic

2 Jun

Jason and I have talked about getting a pool and having a whole outdoor kitchen for a couple of years.  Now that Charlie is here and is ready to go, we just couldn’t hold out any longer.  After discovering on Friday morning (procrastinators that we are) that there was not an empty hotel room on the North Carolina or South Carolina coast, we decided to go for it. We got up Saturday morning and went to Wal-Mart, where we bought a ring-pool.  This is a pretty big swimming pool, 16 feet in diameter and about 3 feet deep, that holds itself up like a big balloon.  It is in the backyard so no passer-by can see that we virtually have an above-ground pool.  Jason had to take it all the way to Rednecktown, getting out the plastic chairs and strategically placing them around the pool, along with a card table.  I had to stop him when he started planning the deck he wanted to build around the pool. 

No matter what others may say about us, we love our redneck pool.  I spent Charlie’s Memorial Day nap floating around, reading the latest copy of Southern Living.  Jason flew around the pool on his lawnmower, waving every time he went around. It was redneck heaven. 

Charlie has only been in once.  Perhaps I am a bit skittish from his first dip in the pool when he flipped his float over and I almost jerked his arm out of socket trying to get him out of the water.  Then there’s also the sunburn factor.  I mean, how do you other mothers stop worrying about your precious babies new, perfect skin?

I definitely need to pray that this pool doesn’t move me in the opposite direction from my quest to the like the Proverbs 31 woman.  Nowhere in Proverbs 31 does the Proverbs 31 woman lounge in a swimming pool.  Where am I going to fit this into my schedule?