May 28, 2013

Homemaking on Tuesday!

Life has been very, very busy. Now that my father has passed, my mom has to sell their house, the sooner the better. So we have spent the weekend cleaning out Dad's things, getting rid of furniture, and cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. While we have been at my mom's, nothing has been done over here. I realized this morning that my DCF support worker will be stopping by for her quarterly visit, so I had to stay home from Mom's to take care of some things around here.

First on the agenda, however, is grocery shopping, so that means menu planning, as best as I can.  This week's schedule:

Tuesday - therapy at 7pm - grilled chicken, roasted potatoes, green beans
Wednesday - Halos at ?, working at mom's, youth group - looks like fast food or Friendly's
Thursday - scouts at 7 pm - kielbasa and beans, coleslaw, cucumbers
Friday - husband camping - baked ziti, salad, bread
Saturday - husband camping - chicken soup, rolls
Sunday - pot roast, potatoes, carrots

Notice the last four are one pot meals and all can be made in a slow cooker if need be. That way if I am  spending the day at my mother's I can get it started before I leave.

Now to make my list...

May 20, 2013

Happy Homemaker Monday May 20

Good morning everyone. This is not an exclamation point day. I am feeling a little melancholy as I was looking at photos from my father's funeral. It was lovely. We were well cared for and well fed. We saw some very old friends, lots of current friends and family, and each other's friends. We gave  him a good send off. I will write more below. Meanwhile, my house is a mess and it is time to get back to the living and that means homemaking. Visit Sandra for more Happy Homemaker Monday and lots of inspiration.

The Weather
It is very humid today and warm, but gray and dreary. The sky is getting brighter so I am hoping to see some sun. I would like to stop by Dad's grave sometime soon but it looks like rain all week, hopefully leaving us with a beautiful Memorial Day weekend.

Right Now
I have a load of laundry going, I have a very messy house around me, but it is quiet as I am the only one home. The dog is sleeping downstairs, the cat is sleeping somewhere in the house, and I hear the washing machine and a few birds outside.

About my dad and his amazing life. He did not have an easy time of it. He had some depression and anxiety and a terrible temper in his younger years. As a child I was afraid of him. He never hurt me - I just got an occasional spanking - but I was afraid of that temper. But, with the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ as I grew older I was able to feel and give forgiveness to him, and he deserved it. He was our biggest advocate, and cared for the friendless. His biggest concern was for the one who needed it most, and he always understood and never judged.

He was a musician - he played rhythm guitar, but his voice was his true instrument. He started out in rockabilly and cut a record with MGM in New York City. It made the top 20, but I am not sure which year. He then turned to country music and cut an album in Nashville when I was about 4 years old. He decided not to pursue a career, however, because he did not want to put in his dues to establish himself at the risk of his family. He did have a band, however, and played weekends at various places near home for years. My mom played bass guitar and sang with him. He even made it into the Country Music Hall of Fame in our state.  For awhile he was a deejay at a couple of local radio stations, and met some big names in country music such as Barbara Mandrell, but he eventually became an insurance agent, which is what he did until he retired.

In spite of his colorful life, he recently told my husband that he got the most satisfaction from his insurance career because he was able to help people when they really needed it. 

We celebrated his legacy at his funeral. My daughter sang Amazing Grace as my son and nephew accompanied her on my father's guitars. My nephew played and sang Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing. Both my youngest son and my daughter played the piano. His musical talents skipped a generation, but all of his grandchildren are musical and/or artistic.

On My Reading Pile
The book of Revelation.

On My TV
Finishing up Glee, Madmen season 5, and nothing new. We have The Iron Lady and What Dreams May Come from Netflix. My kids are thrilled that we started Netflix streaming again: two have started watching Dr. Who and my oldest can start up American Horror Story again.

What I Found While Surfing the Net
Side B of Dad's MGM record (which is better than side A):

And with the help of my son, I have started putting up my dad's album, one song at a time:

On the Menu
I want to copy Sandra's menu, it looks delicious, but here is mine:

Monday pasta, salad, bread
Tuesday chicken in gravy on egg noodles, peas, salad
Wednesday kielbasa, beans, potato salad
Thursday pork roast, roasted potatoes, green beans
Friday tacos, rice, salad
Saturday boys are camping, girls are taking Mom out for her birthday to the Cheesecake Factory!
Sunday chicken soup

On My To Do List
sheets - must wash sheets
pick up
tomorrow I go to Mom's to help go through Dad's things

In the Craft Basket

Looking Forward to This Week
Helping mom clean out her house and move on with her life.

Looking Around the House
is not pleasant at the moment.

From the Camera
Dad attributes the turning around of his life to his time in the Air Force. He also loved Danny Boy, so we made sure both were present at his funeral.

Two of my sons and my nephew who served as pallbearers:

On My Prayer List
My mom, kids, my cousin whose husband passed away last night from pancreatic cancer, my friends whose mom/grandmother passed away Thursday morning, my girlfriend whose son has a serious brain tumor.

Bible Verse

"...I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die..."

John 11:25-26

Have a great week.

May 13, 2013

Happy Homemaker Monday May 13

Good morning everyone. I feel like I am living in an alternate universe. My father passed away on Friday night, and now there is so much to get done, and yet life on this earth goes on for the rest of us, and today I am faced with huge piles of laundry, grocery shopping, etc. Do not feel sorry for me, I am not sad, but more on that later (but not too much more, for this post is about homemaking!). Visit Sandra's blog for more Happy Homemaker Monday and lots of homemaking inspiration!

The Weather
It is a beautiful day. After some needed rain this weekend, we have clear blue skies. The high today will only reach about 59 degrees, so it is light jacket weather.

Right Now
I am formulating my to do list in my mind (really should write it down), listening to the washer running, and am alone with my thoughts.

About my dad and the experience of watching him die. I know Sandra and her readers are women of faith, so I feel comfortable telling you that it was obvious that my father was passing on to a beautiful place. And that he saw that beautiful place, or perhaps those that came to guide him, because I saw the look on his face. And so I, my mom, and my sister are at peace. Happy for him that he is happy and no longer suffering. Sad for us that we will not see him for awhile, but we do know that we will see him again. I am also feeling full of gratitude for the love of my friends, family, and Savior that is surrounding me. I feel it very strongly.

On My Reading Pile
Still the New Testament - we are about to start Revelation. And I have to shout out to my wonderful co-teacher who offered to teach all of the lessons this week. Even though I will still be at class, I can just be there and enjoy listening to her without having to take the time to prepare anything ahead of time.

Other than that, I don't have anything in the works.

On My TV
For some reason we have three Netflix movies: Rise of the Planet of the Apes (half watched that one), My Summer Story (my daughter said it was dumb), and The Iron Lady (still have to watch). Glee on the internet and Mad Men season 5 on Netflix.

What I Found While Surfing the Net
This is my latest bookmark: roasting zucchini and carrots

It looks delicious but I haven't tried it yet. 

On the Menu this Week
Not a lot of cooking here this week:

Monday Fast food at the mall because we will be suit and dress shopping
Tuesday A big pot of soup/stew. I will be feeding my mom and nephew as well as my brood so I think soup and rolls is the way to go.
Wednesday Will probably be food out since we are on the go from school on.
Thursday We will be fed by the good women of our church. I believe the menu is linguine with clam sauce, baked ziti, salad, bread, and some kind of chocolaty dessert.
Friday We will be fed by more good women of our church that will be more potluck.
Saturday I will figure it out when the time comes. We might still be hanging with my family.
Sunday See above.

(not very helpful to you, I'm sorry for that)

On My To Do List
Laundry, laundry, laundry, grocery shopping (for breakfast and lunch items, see above), order flowers, haircut, pick up the house.

Looking Forward To This Week
Seeing friends and family and celebrating my dad's life. He was a musician (weekend musician, as they say) and even cut an album in Nashville in the late 60's. So we have been uploading his music as well as his photos so that we can display and play them during calling hours. He has passed on his legacy to his grandchildren. All five of them are an artist of some type - most are musicians. Every single one of them will be performing and/or speaking at his funeral. I am sure he will be pleased.

Looking Around the House
There is some picking up to do, but my good husband tried to keep things under control while I was with my mother this weekend.  It could use a vacuuming but that probably won't happen today. And my refrigerator desperately needs cleaning. Maybe next week.

From the Camera
Not from my own camera obviously, but from my computer. Dad.

On My Prayer List
My kids, my mom, my sister, my in-laws (my father in-law is quite upset about my dad's passing), my friends' mother who is in very bad shape (and they just lost their father about a month ago.

Bible Verse

"...I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."
John 8:12

May you have a blessed week.

May 6, 2013

Happy Homemaker Monday May 6

Hi Everyone! It is nice to be back. I have been away so long that I forget about posting until I get on my computer and go on Facebook or Google Reader (which I need to do something about soon). This past week has been a rough one for me. I am finding life completely overwhelming and I know that I need to draw closer to the Lord to help me through. And I know I am not alone - everyone I know faces incredible trials and hardships so we need to be there for each other. That is why I love following Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom. She is uplifting and inspiring, even when she is struggling with things. Join her for more of Happy Homemaker Monday.

The Weather
Oh, is it ever BEAUTIFUL today! The skies are clear blue, there is a warm breeze coming through my windows, and there are leaves on the trees! They are tiny leaves still, but they are there!

Right Now
My oldest is off hanging with friends as it is his day off, my daughter had her AP test in psychology today so she stayed after for a celebration that it is over! She has the car so I do not need to pick her up, yay! My two younger boys stayed after for track and field practice so I will have to get them at the middle school (which is closer) at 5:45. So, it is quiet, oops, scratch that, daughter just walked in!

Last Tuesday when my father saw his doctor she told him it was time for hospice care. He finished radiation a month ago and his body is not recovering. He continues to lose weight, he has been struggling with pneumonia and blood clots, and he is losing strength. Thursday the hospice nurse came over to talk about his care and have him sign papers, and one of his legs was swollen, which may be another blood clot. So this may be quick, then again, it may be a long and agonizing process. Somewhere in between would be ideal.  My mom works part time two days a week and she would really like to continue. She can use the income (it is going to get really tough once my dad passes) and she will need the break. So, I have volunteered to be with my dad for those two days. I am not good at this kind of thing. Once he gets incapable of helping himself it will be tough for me. He is diabetic and I am not looking forward to having to give him needles, but it hasn't come to that yet, and maybe it won't have to, because he will get to a point where he will no longer have to be on insulin. And that is why last week was so hard. We had to explain to them, because he is worried about his swollen leg and that it might lead to amputation, that he would not withstand surgery. To have to tell him that there is nothing more they can do, nothing more they can fix, was a very, very hard thing.
But, the good news is that we had our parents over for my husband's birthday, and my dad was able to come. He didn't want to at first, but my sister (love that woman) and her husband (love him too) helped get my dad in the car with his oxygen and his wheelchair and he came. He and my husband's father need each other, and neither wanted to be here without the other. My father in-law is not in good shape either, although he does not have anything that is killing him, he does have lots of things that are wearing out.

On My Reading Pile
Too many things to mention! We are in 2 Peter in the New Testament - almost done for the year.

On My TV
Just Glee and Mad Men season 5.

What I Found While Surfing the Net
This is an interesting concept, and one that I might try:  cleaning your face with oil at One Good Thing by I love her blog and have found many great things to try, and she posts every day. On Saturdays she revisits an old post which means that you will see the best of the best on that day, so check her out.

On the Menu
I love this feature because it forces me to face dinner planning - something I am very rarely in the mood for.

Monday pasta with meat sauce, salad
Tuesday grilled salmon, coleslaw, rice, salad
Wednesday fast food
Thursday grilled chicken, roasted potatoes, green beans, salad
Friday leftovers/pizza, salad
Saturday possible Mother's day dinner with family
Sunday depends on Saturday!

On My To Do List
Saturday I worked hard cleaning the house, so today I am taking it easy. I have one load of laundry in the dryer now, dinner will be a snap, and I have to take my youngest to his piano lesson at 7.

I need to work on my seminary lesson for Wednesday because tomorrow I will be helping a client set up Quickbooks - work, wohoo!

Looking Forward To
Having time to read again this summer! We live such busy lives that I love the laziness that comes with summer. Now that my two oldest can drive, and my two youngest will spend most of the summer at scout camp (one as staff and the other as a CIT), I will have LOTS of time on my hands. Cannot wait!

Looking Around the House
There are some things to put away from yesterday's get together, but it is clean! I made up a batch of laundry detergent which is sitting by my kitchen sink. My daughter is now napping on the couch with the dog, and I have two bags full of fruit that I need to cut up and refrigerate. Not a bad day.

Homemaking Tip
Sandra has deleted this category, but I have one today, so I want to share. I have previously posted about the wonders of using the powdered Oxyclean on white laundry. I used to put items in a five gallon bucket and soak them for a couple of days until I got around to washing a load of whites. This can be problematic in the summer when we are all sweating more and staining our clothes. I have discovered that I can soak an entire load in the washing machine effectively! I put whatever clothes I want to soak in the machine, pour in two scoops of Oxyclean (this is a lot and this much may not be necessary, but I haven't experimented on using less), and start the wash cycle on hot water. I set the timer for 15 minutes, giving the washer time to fill with water and agitate awhile to get the Oxyclean working. Then I pause the washer and let it sit from about 4 hours to overnight. Next I restart the washer, letting it finish the cycle, rinsing out the oxyclean. Lastly, I throw in more clothes if necessary and run a regular wash with laundry soap etc. It works! Everything comes out clean and stain free (depending on the stains, Oxyclean works great on food and blood stains), and whiter too.

From the Camera
I have replaced the candy on my windowsill:

On My Prayer List
My kids, my father and mother, my in-laws, my friend and her children.

Bible Verse
Discovered this today in seminary and loved it:

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope unto a resurrection by Jesus Christ from the dead,

To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you"

1 Peter 1:3-4

I love the reminder that there is a place reserved in heaven for me!

Have a wonderful week everyone!