Monday, December 31, 2018

Make It Monday ~ Aliviah's Christmas Afghan

At my Church we have a "Guardian Angel" Program.  The adults sign up to be a "Guardian Angel" to a child in the Church, the "Angel".  The purpose is mainly to pray for your Angel throughout the school year and to give them secret gifts upon occasion.  It is kinda like a Secret Sister but with adults and children.

This year my Angel is Aliviah, the sweetest little girl.  (shh... don't tell her I'm her Guardian Angel)

I decided that I wanted to crochet Aliviah an afghan for Christmas.  So I did :)

I found the sweetest yarn to use for such a sweet little girl.  Red Heart Candy Fair Isle, a variegated yarn.

 I went with my go-to granny squares and bordered with White.

I crocheted a scalloped edge to give it a little bit more girly finish.

I packaged the afghan up and made sure that she received it.  Each stitch was crocheted with love, thoughts and prayers.


First Book of the Year ~ 2019

Sheila, over at Book Journey, is once again hosting "First Book of the Year" fun!

My "First Book of the Year" will be:

From the bestselling author of The Girl From the Train, comes another compelling coming of age story of delayed love, loss, and reconciliation in WWII-era South Africa.

Lettie has always felt different from and overshadowed by the women around her– this friend is richer, that friend is more beautiful, those friends are closer. Still, she doesn’t let this hold her back. She works hard to apply her mind, trying to compensate for her perceived lack of beauty with diligent academic work and a successful career as a doctor. She learns to treasure her friendships, but she still wonders if any man will ever return her interest.

Marco’s experience in the second world war have robbed him of love and health. When winters in his native Italy prove dangerous to his health even after the war has ended, he moves to South Africa to be with his brother, husband to one of Lettie’s best friends. Marco is Lettie’s first patient, and their relationship grows as she aids him on the road back to restored health.

What is your "First  Book of the Year"?


Sunday, December 30, 2018

Scripture Memory Verse ~ 12/30/18

This Week's Memory Verse:
  Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:28 NIV


Saturday, December 29, 2018

Weekly Weigh In ~ 12/29/18

My goal for the past couple weeks was to maintain.  I'm fairly pleased that I only gained a smidge over Christmas.

My plan for 2019:

My plan for 2019 is to lose 50 lbs.  1 lb. per week.  That's what I'm striving for!

I'm going to be using to track my food and exercise.  It is very much like WW online but FREE!

Food:  My plan is to cut out snacking and junk food and only eat at meal times and have the occasional cheese stick for snack.

Exercise:  I'd like to try to get at least 4 workouts in using the Leslie Sansone walking DVD collection that I've added to over the years.  I'll start out "walking" 2 miles which takes approximately 25-30 minutes.

On to the WEIGH-IN:

Highest Weight Ever ~ 297.0

12/28/18   ~  282.8

Total:  -  14.2

How was your week?  What are your fitness goals for 2019?


Friday, December 28, 2018

First Lines Friday and 56 ~ 12/28/18

(I'm still reading the book below but these are new lines)

Today's "First Lines" and "56" are from:



He'd been explaining away the chemistry between them.  He's been telling himself he could manage it.
 Page 56

Nora flipped to the next page, an information sheet that the adoption agency had no doubt given to John's parents.

Also linking up to:

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Thankful Thursday ~ 12/27/18

~Last Thursday was Kaylee's turn to have her Christmas Concert.  She joined the Community Band after graduating high school last spring.  It was so much fun to hear her play the song "Let It Go".  She HATES that song!  lol :)

~Sunday evening after Church, we went Christmas Caroling.  It was threatening to rain but we went out anyway.  It was surprising how many people DIDN'T open the door to hear us sing :(  But so many did and one house even offered us a tray of cookies :)  Wasn't that sweet!?!

~We spent Christmas Eve at my Aunt Donna's with the extended family.  It was so much fun!  The younger kids all got to open their presents from us so that we could watch.  The ladies in the family also do a jingle exchange.   Bring a gift, get a gift.  I got a candle, neck massager and aloe infused fluffy socks.  We had dinner and then had good quality time with family :)

~Christmas was wonderful!  I, as usual, couldn't sleep and woke everyone up at 5 am!  lol  I'm like a kid and was too excited to wait any longer to begin the festivities!  After presents were opened, I took a nap before the cooking began :)

~The girls each got a Ukulele  and spent all day on youtube watching videos to learn how to play.  At one point they were both in Kaylee's room learning chords together.  It made my heart happy to see them doing something together.  It didn't last long though before they started arguing!  lol

I could go on and on about Christmas but I'll stick to five :)  I'm looking forward to the New Year!

What are you thankful for today?


Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Wednesday Medley ~ 12/26/18

Come join Terri @ Your Friend From Florida every Wednesday.


National Candy Cane Day is observed across the United States each year on December 26.
In 1844, a recipe for a straight peppermint candy stick, which was white with colored stripes, was published. However, some stories tell of all white candy sticks in much earlier times.  There are folklore tales of the origin of the candy cane, yet there is no documented proof of its real beginning. It has been mentioned in literature since 1866 and was first known to be mentioned in association with Christmas in 1874.   As early as 1882, candy canes have been hung on Christmas trees.
1.  Are there candy canes left in your house right now?  Did you hang some on your tree?  Do you even like them?
We do hang Candy Canes on our Christmas Tree.  They are still there even though the number is dwindling :)
2.  Without a graphic, today is also National Thank You Note Day!  I like receiving that thank you note in the mail for a gift I have given.  Are you good about getting thank you notes in the mail after Christmas (or any occasion calling for a note)?
I love receiving notes and letters in the mail (something other than bills) but I think it is a dying art.  I don't really send thank you notes for  Christmas gifts because I make sure it is known how much I appreciate and love the giver at the time of the giving :)
3.  How are you feeling on this day after Christmas?  Tired, let down, still glowing?  I have felt all of those at one time or another and sometimes all of them at once! Tell us about it.
We had a relaxing Christmas Day at home with presents and dinner.  I love the week between Christmas and New Years!  Everyone is home and I start anticipating putting up a new calendar for a New Year!
4  It is "tradition" to leave the tree and decorations up until after January 6th, to honor the Epiphany. When will your boxes be packed and put away until next year?  Are you, like me, thinking about doing it right now?
As soon as Christmas Day is over, I'm ready to get the house back to normal but it usually has to wait until the Saturday after Christmas when I get the time to take everything down and put it away.
5. Looking ahead to New Year's Eve, do you have plans?  Have you ever celebrated big in New York's Time Square? Would you even want to be there?
I love the New Year!  We'll be going to by brother's house for shrimp in the evening then coming home to "maybe" try to stay up for the ball to drop.  I've been to Time Square on a normal day and it was packed.  I don't think I'd ever want to be there on New Year's Ever.  I'll just watch the show on TV!
6. Tell us something random about your week so far!
I've loved the Christmas traditions and family time this week, but I'm ready for some downtime and normalcy.  I crave routine...


Monday, December 24, 2018

What I Am Reading ~ 12/24/18

Today I'm reading:

After a devastating heartbreak three years ago, genealogist and historical village owner Nora Bradford decided that burying her nose in her work and her books is far safer than romance in the here and now.

Unlike Nora, former Navy SEAL John Lawson is a modern-day man, usually 100 percent focused on the present. However, when John, an adoptee, is diagnosed with an inherited condition, he's forced to dig into the secrets of his ancestry.

John enlists Nora's help to uncover the identity of his birth mother, and as they work side by side, this pair of opposites begins to suspect that they just might be a perfect match. But can their hope for a future survive their wounds from the past?

What are you reading?


Sunday, December 23, 2018

Scripture Memory Verse ~ 12/23/18

This Week's Memory Verse:

While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

Luke 2:6-7 NIV


Friday, December 21, 2018

Merry Christmas 2018

I wanted to take the time today to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!

I don't know how much time, I'll have to post until after Tuesday...So...


First Lines Friday and 56 ~ 12/21/18

Today's "First Lines" and "56" are from:



Finding oneself at the mercy of a crazed gunman isn't all fun and games.
 Page 56

John studied her in a way that caused her pulse to throb in her neck.

Also linking up to:

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Thankful Thursday ~ 12/20/18

~Laken had her Christmas Band Concert last Thursday evening.  It was her very first concert performance and she was a bit nervous!  She started playing the flute last year (lessons only) but this was the first year she was able to be in Concert Band.  We got her all gussied up and she did great!  I love going to Christmas Concerts.  It makes my Christmas so much jollier :)

~I actually took the time to paint my fingernails!  I used to get manicures at a salon but gave that up due to the cost.  Now, I usually keep my fingernails cut short but they have gotten a little bit of length to them recently.  I really wanted to paint them a nice, Christmassy red but only have summer colors  :(  I finally picked out a pale pink from my collection and gave them a few coats :)

~I've been "off" for quite a few weeks, as my cousin Steph had broken her collar bone and was off work.  Monday was her first day back to work, so I'm back on duty.  I get Dex ready for school and he gets on the bus with Laken.  Damon gets to hang out with me and Kaylee for the day on M-W-F.  He is such a ham :)

~I rejoined to track my food and exercise.  It is a lot like WW online but FREE! 

~My Mom, Laken, Kaylee and I have started making cookies and fudge for Christmas.  So far we've started with Sugar Cookie cut-outs.  Today we're making Chocolate Chip Cookies and "Almond Joy Cookies" (a recipe I found on Facebook).  We're also making Nut Horns, M&M Cookies, Chocolate Fudge and Peanut Butter Fudge.  :)

What are you thankful for today?


Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Wednesday Medley ~ 12/19/18

Come join Terri @ Your Friend From Florida every Wednesday.

1.  Wednesday, December 19, 2018, is National Hard Candy Day! So the first question today is to ask if you enjoy hard candy, especially the kind we usually see during this festive time of year?  What is your favorite?  Which hard candy brings up the best memories for you if any?
I like Hard Candy (or as we call it:  Hard Tack) but not as much as the hubby does!  I like the fruity flavors and he likes the black licorice.

2.  Holiday shopping!  Are you finished? If you could spend an entire day in just one store, which one would it be and why?
We are finished!  And all wrapped!  Some people are going to hate this answer and I, myself have a love/hate relationship with WAL-MART!  The sad thing is that I go in for just a few items and am in there forever!  Sometimes it feels like an entire day :)

3.  What holiday dessert describes you and why?
This is a funny question!  lol  I guess fudge.  I little bit solid and a little bit squishy!  haha

4.  What is your least favorite holiday side dish?
Ewww!  Any vegetable but especially the pickled eggs!  Argh...even the smell!

5.  Now be real!! There is one on almost every tree. What is the ugliest tree ornament you have ever seen?
I participated in a work ornament exchange a few years back and received the ugliest "rustic owl".  It doesn't make it out of the box :)

6.  Tell us something random about your week!!
We started making cookies and fudge last evening.  We spread it out over a couple days.  The hubby wants to make extra fudge to take into work so we still have that to make...  Slowly but surely, we're getting there!


Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Tuesday 4 ~ 12/18/18

This meme looked like it would be fun to participate in!
Head over to Toni's Tuesday 4 to get the questions each Monday.

About Christmas Chapter 2

1.   Do you drive through your neighborhood to look at other people's holiday decorations?
Not ever year.  In fact, so far this year we haven't.  We've only seen the houses that are decorated on our normal travels.

2.   Are you counting the days to Christmas with excited anticipation or dread?
Excitement!  Al the presents are bought/made and wrapped.  Only thing left to do is bake the COOKIES!

3.   When was the last time you had a photo taken with Santa?
I was very shy as a child so I don't think I EVER had my photo taken with Santa...

4.   Do you make a Christmas list for your family or friends?
No, I don't.  Nobody has ever asked me for a list.  I guess I'm an easy person to buy for!


Book Review ~ Seagrass Pier by Colleen Coble

 In a secluded corner of Hope Beach, one woman must decipher a stranger’s memories . . . before they cost her everything.

Elin Summerall was one of the lucky ones. Not only did she get a heart transplant, but the donor was a perfect fit. A miraculously perfect fit.

But when Elin begins having violent flashbacks—and vivid dreams of being strangled—she realizes that she has been the recipient of more than just a new heart . . . Elin is remembering her donor’s murder.

Her strange affliction has attracted some unwanted attention: from the press, from the authorities . . . and from the killer himself. Now, living alone with her young daughter and aging mother, Elin is being stalked—by a man she’s only met in her nightmares.

The police are dubious of her story, but one off-duty FBI agent agrees to help her: Agent Marc Everton.

Now, in a remote cottage on Hope Island, Elin and Marc must probe the secrets buried in her borrowed heart. And there’s no time to waste. One man is desperate to silence her—before she remembers too much.

My Thoughts:
Colleen Coble does not disappoint!  This book was so interesting.

I always love revisiting places I've read about in prior books of a series.  This is the 3rd book in the Hope Beach series and I loved them all.

There was an interesting plot of  "cell memory", where the recipient of a transplant has memories that belonged to the organ donor.  I don't know how much credence I give this theory but it made for interesting reading.

There were times throughout the story where I just couldn't believe that the main characters weren't more scared or leery.  There many threatening notes but the characters kept plugging away like it was nothing.

I enjoyed the plot twist that dealt with Josie, Elin's daughter.  I'm glad things came together the way they did.

This was a great romantic/suspense/mystery.  I can't wait to see what is next from this author!


Monday, December 17, 2018

What I Am Reading ~ 12/17/18

Today I'm reading:

Lucy Scarpelli, an Italian dressmaker from New York, befriends socialite Rowena Langdon as she's making her summer wardrobe. It's an unlikely friendship, but one that Rowena encourages by inviting Lucy to the family mansion in Newport, Rhode Island. Grateful for Lucy's skill in creating clothes that hide her physical injury, Rowena encourages Lucy to dream of a better future. One day Lucy encounters an intriguing man on the Cliff Walk, and love begins to blossom. Yet Lucy resists, for what man will accept her family responsibilities? Rowena also deals with love as she faces a worrisome arranged marriage to a wealthy heir. And Lucy's teenage sister, Sofia, takes up with a man of dubious character. All three women struggle as their lives, and those of each unlikely suitor, become intertwined in a web of secrets and sacrifice. Will any of them find true happiness?

What are you reading?


Sunday, December 16, 2018

Scripture Memory Verse ~ 12/16/18

This Week's Memory Verse:

But when the set time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.


Saturday, December 15, 2018

Weekly Weigh In ~ 12/15/18

At this point of the year, with the Holidays and goodies upon us, I'm basically trying to maintain.

I have been able to exercise again which is great!  My foot is feeling so much better.

On to the WEIGH-IN:

Highest Weight Ever ~ 297.0

12/14/18   ~  281.6

Total:  -  15.4

How was your week?


Friday, December 14, 2018

Print Only 2019 Reading Challenge

I found another 2019 Reading Challenge that should be an easy one for me.

As I only read print books, every book I read will count :)

I'm going to go for the 41+ = Collector’s Edition level

Go sign up!


52 Books in 52 Weeks Challenge ~ 2019

I've decided to join a book challenge in 2019!

Sign up HERE.

It lends really well to the 2019 Goodreads Challenge where I'm also going with a goal of 52 books in 2019.

I'll be keeping track of my books read over at Goodreads.

What bookish challenges are you participating in next year?


First Lines Friday and 56 ~ 12/14/18

Today's "First Lines" and "56" are from:



New York City
Summer 1895

Lucy's eyes shot open.

Something was wrong.

 Page 56

Sofia had suffered enough drama for the day with Mrs. Flynn arguing with Lucy.

Also linking up to:

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Thankful Thursday ~ 12/13/18

~We went to a new-to-us Christmas Tree Farm on Saturday.  We had a great time!  There was a gift shop by the parking lot but to get to the trees we got to take a wagon ride up on the hill.  There were rows and rows and hills and hills of Christmas trees to pick from.  To make it even more festive, the temperature was only around 25F.  But...there were blankets on the wagon to snuggle under :)

~The girls got some Blue-Raspberry Kettle Corn at the Christmas Tree Farm.  It was yummy :)  Luckily, they got two bags of it so we could all share :)

~As if we hadn't been out in the cold enough Saturday, that evening was our little town's Christmas parade.  Kaylee is in the Community Band so we stood outside and waited and waited and waited for the parade.  Finally, it started and we got to see the band and the Santa float.  But it was freezing!!!!

~Later that night while trying to get warmed up, the hubby and I watched my very favorite Christmas movie, "White Christmas"!  After I warmed up a bit I decided to work on the Christmas gift I'm making while we finished the movie.  It was a wonderful day :)

~I finally had a day where I was able to check off all 5 items on my "5 to Thrive" checklist!  I actually got a workout in and was able to mark that off the list :)

What are you thankful for today?