Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 in the rear view mirror...

As I ponder 2013 a few things stand out in my mind. A few events. A few lessons learned. A few cries and a few laughs. 

The year started out with both kids divorced, nursing broken hearts. Hubby and I a year 'wiser', closing the gap between us and 50. As a family we grew a bit closer as we felt each other's pains. Respecting one another's need for healing solace. Sometimes in the company of each other, but respectful of that need for quiet, healing, loving company. 

My daughter, always the one to look her Goliath in the eye and state 'I don't fear you' left the security of our home and took a job in N. Carolina for the first 1/2 of the year. From there she's moved on to reside close to new friends - 11 hours from our help. (Scares me to death.) She's not ready - if ever - to move back home. I worry constantly about her. She has shown signs of healing which I am so thankful for. It's my prayer she will continue to heal. I really miss my Brat. She's my BFF. I've shared many laughs and tears with her. I miss her immensely. 

Our son let a Return Missionary move in with him towards the beginning of the year. One he befriended while serving in our area. He was a blessing. He encouraged our sweet handsome son to attend the Student Ward with him. He helped him return to the living. Since that time he has met a young woman he desires for his eternal soul mate. They've tentatively set a date for March to be sealed in the Orlando Temple. 

I've learned silence is golden. Though so hard sometimes when you want to give or be hugged. I've learned that even with 27 years of marriage I shouldn't think my Hubby a mind reader. (I'm slow, I know.) I've learned we are all a product of our surroundings. Good and bad. 

As I look towards 2014 my hopes are for joy to be the main ingredient in the lives of my family. Joy accompanied with unconditional love. I hope we may all become more steadfast in living the Gospel. I hope the fruits we reap are the dreams we've sown. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Lost Handwriting…

I recently was looking through some old cards and enjoying the beautiful handwriting of my mom and her two sisters. They all three write alike to the untrained eye. I can tell the subtle variances. This got me to thinking about my own handwriting and how bad it has become – then of course to how this might have happened.

When I was younger – like, much younger! – I used to write my name over and over and over. I’d write my high school name, our mascot, my class – I just loved to “doodle”. I used to write my grandma, my friends, and don’t forget the boyfriend! If I had a dollar for every time I wrote “Tonya loves [the Hubster]” I’d be a rich woman today!! I think I had decent handwriting. Of course, back in the day, we wrote our reports – no typing allowed; so I had ample opportunity to write. And it never bothered me.

Today, I never write. I type everything – all – day – long! I don’t write anyone letters – I email. I don’t write checks to pay the bills – it’s done online. I rarely have the opportunity to write. Because of this my handwriting looks horrible now. It’s become scribble! When I do write at work it’s to hurriedly jot down a reminder note from the boss. Most times I can’t even read it! Imagine – not being able to read your own handwriting! The shame of it! I ask the universe – Has anyone found the lost handwriting I’m looking for? I know it can’t be too far. … Can it?

No, I don’t think so. For the past two weeks I’ve made a point to write more often during the day and to take my time doing so. The key is taking my time and racking my brain back to elementary – how do you make a cursive Q? Never did master that one. Any-who, it somewhat resembles my old handwriting. I figure another week and I’ll be back to my old handwriting self. I also have told myself to write letters instead of emails. Then I realized that most of my emails are work related. Nothing against my co-workers, but I just am not going to take the time to handwrite all my replies to them. BUT… I can write letters to my grandma. To my mother. To my daughter. To my friends. And to my sweet Hubster! Besides, who doesn’t like getting snail mail that isn’t a bill or solicitation? By the way – that could be another hot topic we could discuss – never mind, don’t get me started on the USPS!

To my fams and peeps – if you’d like a handwritten letter – give me a holla! Oh, and make sure I have your snail mail address!

Love y’all!

p.s. While looking for a cute picture to put with this post I learned there is a National Handwriting Day!! Holy Cow! Did y’all know this? Geez, I’m bummed I missed it. Any-who it was January 23rd. Maybe next year… I wonder how I will celebrate it next year…??? Ideas?

Sunday, February 17, 2013


Ok. I know I'm slow but really why didn't y'all tell me just how great this site is??!!! I've ordered a few times already. I just love the deep discounts. For me. For my home. For my Brat. And for the day IF I EVER become a grammy! If you haven't checked zulily out, you really should! For reals!!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Laughing children

Tonight I heard a sound that I've missed terribly for the past 2 months. The sound of my children laughing together. Now that my daughter lives in NC I don't get to hear her and my son laughing together. It doesn't matter what mood I'm in - when I hear them start laughing together it just brings so much joy to me and warms my heart. Tonight my son came over and we were able to FaceTime with her. It was soooo good to see her beautiful face and listen to her and her brother going back and forth and laughing. It was so wonderful I soon found myself overwhelmed and began sobbing... {Sigh} What a mush I am. I've always felt that children's laughter is musical - even grown up children....

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Pinterest Pin: Slow Cooker Boiled Peanuts

If you live in the South then you know how YUMMY boiled peanuts are. And how time consuming it is to make them at home. Personally, I'd never heard of boiled peanuts before moving to the South. Roasted peanuts, yes, but not boiled. My preference now? Oh, boiled by far!!!

I've tried making them at home before but it's really a drag because it takes a long time to process them. And, like you, my time is precious. For quite sometime we've just relegated ourselves to purchasing them from the occasional 'Boiled Peanut Vendor'. We have our favorites and those that have been deemed 'no repeat'. Hey, it takes talent to get the right amount of salt! :D

Some time ago I seen a Pin on Pinterest for making them in a slow cooker. This week I spotted green peanuts in the produce section and brought 5 pounds home determined to try the slow cooker method. I have two slow cookers: 6-qt. and 7-qt. I put about 2-1/2 pounds of well rinsed green peanuts in each cooker (they were both full - to the rim almost), topped them off with water, and gave each a whole cup of sea salt. I'm telling y'all success lies in the right amount of salt! I did this last night about 6-pm. Set both cookers on High and left them. About 11, Hubby was concerned about leaving them on High during the night because the house smelled like BOILED PEANUTS. (Go figure!!) So he turned them down to Low.

Because I'm 2-weeks plus with a UTI and couldn't sleep, at 3-am they went back up to High - how dare he interfere with my test anyhow! - and by 10-am this morning I couldn't resist any longer. I scooped a plastic cup full and went out on the back steps and started my taste test. SHUT THE BACK DOOR!!! Oh my, I have one word for y'all - YUMMM-MYYY!!!

So glad I finally tried this!!! I'm not really one to 'follow' recipes obediently but these are so easy you don't have to be precise with how many pounds and how many cups... But I do recommend not skimping on the salt! :D Yes, I know these are probably a heart attack in the waiting with the salt, but honestly, they are BOILED PEANUTS FOR GOODNESS SAKES!!! :D

By the way, they were enjoyed today during General Conference!

Much love to y'all!

Monday, August 6, 2012

No more dieting! Changing the way I eat.

"Experts say making small change-ups to your day is one of the best ways to lose." (,,20543929,00.html)

I just read this in an article and I completely agree with it! Diets fail me. I have tried the Atkins diet - and was told by my doc to never do it again. Yep, he sure did! My body requires carbs - as does yours! The Atkins diet restricts consumption of carbs. Rather than my body burning the fat as this diet claims it does, my body was burning my muscles. Less than two weeks into it I couldn't bear to move one muscle because my muscles would go into spasms. Every muscle was being affected. I was concerned (and freaked out!) so I called my doc. Thats when he said stop, eat some pasta and do not do this diet ever again. That was the BEST bowl of 'puh-sketti' EVER! :D

Now I am watching my intake rather than "dieting". My biggest weakness? Cola and chocolate. What am I doing about it? Well, I was restricting myself to one Coke a day. And I bought the fun-size Snickers. With the itty-bitty bars I didn't feel so guilty if I ate 3 Snickers bars in one day. That's only 128-calories as opposed to a full-size bar at 280-calories! Love it!

But I failed recently. I was off work for a week and a half. Before I was off I had lost a total of 13-pounds (in about 9-10 weeks) but I didn't hit the gym during that time (well, one time, and that's all) & I didn't restrict my Coke intake. During those 12 days I quickly found 3 of those pounds. YIKES!!! BUMMER!!! I am now newly motivated to re-engage and get those 3-pounds lost again.

Back to the carbs -- don't think you have to restrict yourself from carbs when trying to lose the weight. Studies have proven there are good carbs as well as bad, evil, hip-hugging ones. You just have to educate yourself and make smarter choices. You can't go wrong with whole grain. They even help you lose weight because of the fiber and the "Resistant Starch" contained in them. I love reading and my topic of choice lately: GOOD CARBS. :D

Monday, July 9, 2012

Working Out -- Part III

I'm still working out! It's amazing! I've never lasted this long in the past. Forgive me, but I am proud of myself. It's not been easy. Many times I've wanted to say, "I QUIT!", but here I am, 9 pounds lighter - and much stronger! I actually feel muscles in my tummy and in my upper arms! It's so awesome!

What's been easy:

  • staying under 2000 calories a day
  • cardio - treadmill & elliptical are good
  • accomplishing something i couldn't do when i first started
  • feeling abs under the layer of blubber for the first time ever
  • keeping up with Hubby when clearing a fallen tree - even "out working" him :-)
  • the pride my hubby & kids have for me for sticking to it
  • going to the gym with Hubby & The Brat
  • having my trainer tell me they talk about my dedication

What's been not-so-easy:
  • staying under 2000 calories when eating out - restaurant food is soo fattening :-(
  • the workouts! they are killers! planks - squats - wall seats... (Ugh!)
  • being pushed further and harder each time
  • sweating - i detest sweating! it's not been fun riding home all sticky
As you can see, the good out weighs the not so good! Yeah!

I hope in another month, I'm another 7-9 pounds lighter!

You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great. - Zig Ziegler