About Me

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Mysteries, polka dots, California Rolls, TJ Maxx, cozy blankets, rainy days and getting the first spoonful of peanut butter out of the jar make me smile. Spiders, rude people, cold fingers and toes, baby leashes, people that don't wrap their packages before going to the Post Office, poison ivy and Math (pretty much all of it) make me want to scream. My perfect day would be spent with my wonderful husband and sweet girls- watching movies in our jammies! Of course, having the movie theater to ourselves would be great, too. Please pass the popcorn and M&M's.:) I am saved by the grace of God. He is my constant companion and hears my every prayer. What a blessing! I'd love to hear from you! Lori at toosillysisters@cox.net

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

On and off the Menu

  Panera took their Tortilla Soup off the menu.  I live on it.  Only 5 WW points and absolutely delightful.  Please bring it back, Panera.  Garden Vegetable with Pesto is just not the same...

Some of our dearest friends have also been taken off the menu- of our social calendar.  We are hoping they hurry back, too.

The weather here is stifling hot.  Snow cones are a necessity.  Coconut and Strawberry Cheesecake are my current faves.  Wonder if I can try all the flavors before Fall.

This picture reminds me so much of the 70's.  It's awkwardly wonderful.  

Honey Cinnamon Pretzels at Mellow Mushroom.  Served hot.  Crazy delicious.

Roasted Vegetable Salad.  Croque Monsieur sandwiches.  Scones. Croissants.

Not only was the food delicious but I loved their blackboard.  If I had one like this (below) perhaps I would be motivated to plan better and cook more often.

Ballet workshops.  She doesn't want me to watch.  My heart aches but I still sneak pictures when I can.:)

Precious friends.  You can't buy them at the store.  They are a gift, pure and simple.

Finally got to see Brave.  We really liked it but I'm at the point in my life where I completely sympathized with the Mom.  I must be getting old.

It's going to be a trilogy!

We finally got a Fresh Market.  Even my husband is excited- I think more so than me.  We have been frequenting the baked goods.  The cupcakes are unreal.  Katie has already asked for them for her birthday, instead of a cake.  I have my eye on the sunflowers (below).

I can't seem to stay away.  I do believe the lemons are calling my name.

I will be purchasing steamed shrimp in the near future.  With Old Bay seasoning.  Ina and I will get together to make her famous cocktail sauce.  (Sad that this hot weather hasn't dulled my appetite.)

Giddy over a grocery store.  Yep, I'm getting old(er).  But that's ok.

Happy colors.  

Found my old Country Home magazines.  Why in the world did they stop publishing it?  Reading them is just as good as any comfort food.

I loved Cottage Living, too.  So sad it's days are over.

Snookie, our cat, guards the front door.  More than usual.  He wants to play with these little sweet peas.  Not on my watch, Mister.

We have grape and cherry tomatoes coming out our ears.  Someday I will learn to can.  In the meantime these two will try something else.

I can't get over the colors that God has created.  Even if you don't like tomatoes, you must appreciate their gorgeous, red hue.  Stunning.

A road side stand.
Homegrown, organic tomatoes.
Darling little girls.

It was SO hot that I made them come inside.  I didn't want them to end up looking like tomatoes!

Perhaps they can sell Zucchini bread in the Fall.:)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Nancy Today, Face Painting and Try a New Hair Style!

Meet my new friend, Nancy.  She's charming in a real, quirky kind of way.  She always wears a hat (that's why she states "so you know where you are") and she has her shirt inside out in this video.  Love. It!  I stumbled upon her when we were studying molasses.  Go with her to the pond to see tadpoles, visit the dump with her (more like a Goodwill), watch the sunrise and listen to her sing "How Great Thou Art".  She will lift your spirits and make you smile.:)

 Library end of summer celebration.  So proud of my sweet volunteer.  She was the last one to leave out of 50 children.  She offered to stay and sweep up the popcorn.:)

Here she is painting faces.  Love the look on the little boy's face above.  Sweet smile!  The little boy below wanted an American flag, then he wanted a mustache and then a pizza!  He didn't want to leave! (And she was afraid she wasn't doing a good job??)

I'm branching out and exploring new hair styles for my ballerina.  It's all about sectioning, bobby pins and a spray bottle.  I've had some help here.  The lady is amazing.  Patient, clear instructions.  I believe this is the beginning of a lovely friendship.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

I'm a Girl Scout Survivor.

It took me many, many years to get over my fear of sewing.
I just knew that needle was definitely going through my finger during the puppet craft in Girl Scouts.  (Whatever happened to that puppet?  Did I even make one?)

Somehow I still earned the patch? 
(Notice there is no sewing machine.)

Don't even get me started on camping.
Oh, alright.

I refused to use the latrines for the whole weekend.
(What can I say- I was blessed with an amazing bladder.)

I stayed up all night. every night. to make sure no spiders got in my sleeping bag.  Truth.

I washed my hands with a bar of soap stuck in a pair of old pantyhose.  Rinsed with water dripping from an upside down milk carton.  Oh, the freshness.

No one took a shower.

Here's my patch (above).  I can show it off after all these years.  I survived.  I'm a camping survivor.

Those girls look like they are having fun.
(I believe they had a shower and flush potties.  Perhaps some bug spray for the spiders, too. )

But back to sewing.
Which I do love now.  See, there is hope!

Joann's has awesome sewing classes for kids.  These cuties were able to enjoy some this summer.  Not only that, they were often the ones there!

Before you register, be sure to check for 1/2 price coupons.  Joann's also has special days you can sign up for classes for 1/2 price or Buy 1 get 1 FREE.

I believe it cost $17.50 (with my 1/2 price coupon) for this 3 hour class.  Not bad, especially for a private lesson!

The girls made appliqued cupcake t-shirts.  Super cute.

They also made quilted pillows.

I could take pictures of them all day.

I'm so glad my cutie is not afraid of the sewing machine.
Wonder if we'll ever attempt camping.

Doubt it.

The Company by Chuck Graham Book Review

About The Company:
A meteor strike plunges the world into darkness. A stranger to the village of Brigos Glen restores power and light, supplied by three businesses, known as “The Company,” located beyond the forbidden mountains. The stranger reveals a plan so the Brigons can maintain the power and share the light with outlying territories, which remain shrouded in darkness.
Now, seventy years later, The Company summons six Brigons, including the young engineer Sam Mitchell, to attend a conference in the mountains of the forbidden Outlands. 
Responsible for compiling a report about Brigos Glen from his five companions, Sam learns how managers and villagers largely ignored the plan or compromised it to self-interest, forsaking their duty to share the light. They also took for granted The Company responsible for generating and transmitting the power.
In an ordeal fraught with failure, revelations, and judgment, Sam discovers the true identity behind The Company and learns the fate that may befall Brigos Glen . . . that is, unless he can stop it.

About Chuck Graham:

Chuck Graham's legal career as an attorney in private practice spanned more than thirty-one years. He represented many local, national, and international clients, acquiring intricate knowledge about the often-overlapping structures of the corporate world. He also worked against those seeking to create racial division, including the Ku Klux Klan. He has served as a member of the state bar of Georgia since 1979 and an instructor to attorneys and judges through the Institute for Continuing Legal Education (ICLE). He received the Medallion of Appreciation from ICLE.
Chuck is also a speaker and the author of Take the Stand (Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1996) and the compilations, A Year of Encouragement (Xulon Press).
In 1997 he founded Ciloa (Christ Is Lord Of All), a ministry devoted to sharing God’s encouragement with the world and teaching those who follow Him how to encourage others. Today Chuck serves as executive director and principal author of A Note of Encouragement, a weekly e-zine reaching 175 countries.

My Thoughts:

The Company, by Chuck Graham, is unique in that it seeks to entertain as well as educate.  It grabs your attention at the very beginning by replaying the agony of the Last Days on earth.  The world is destroyed but a few people manage to survive.  There is not much hope for the future until a voice is heard one evening in the darkness.  It says, "Would you like some help?".  Hence, the journey begins.  Chuck Graham has created a "parable for our time" in the pages of this book.  It's a work of fiction that speaks the truth of the Bible.  The Trinity (God the Son, God the father, and God the Holy Spirit) is a concept many seek to understand and through this story they may be better able to comprehend it.  I found it to be a bit like The Shack (William P. Young) in that it will appeal to fiction lovers but it also carries a Christian message.  It would be an excellent book for Bible study and would also make for intriguing discussions for a book club!

Watch the trailer below...

*I was given a copy of The Company from Litfuse Publications in exchange for my honest opinion.  No other compensation was received.*

Monday, July 16, 2012

Strawberry Soup

Disney's 1900 Park Fare is where I first experienced the magic that is Strawberry Soup.

*I was tickled pink to discover a recipe for it!*

You will need:
 2 cups strawberries (no hats, please)
1 cup OJ (We used Silk's Fruit and Protein and it was YUM)
1 cup vanilla yogurt (Use what you have- strawberry or another fruit flavor would be great, too.)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
whipped topping

In a blender, combine all ingredients (except whipped topping) and process until smooth.

Pour the soup into bowls and top with a bit of whipped topping.

Like I said, use what you have.  I think that a bit of raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and frozen banana would make a nice soup, too.

My little chef was such a happy helper.

I just can't leave her alone with the whipped topping.


Faith and Other Flat Tires Book Review

Back Cover:

At age twenty-one, Andrea Palpant Dilley stripped the Christian fish decal off her car bumper in a symbolic act of departure from her religious childhood. At twenty-three, she left the church and went searching for refuge in the company of men who left her lonely and friends who pushed the boundaries of what she once held sacred.

In this deeply personal memoir, Andrea navigates the doubts that plague believers and skeptics alike: Why does a good God allow suffering? Why is God so silent, distant, and uninvolved? And why does the church seem so dysfunctional?

Yet amid her skepticism, she begins to ask new questions: Could doubting be a form of faith? Might our doubts be a longing for God that leads to a faith we can ultimately live with?

My Thoughts:

   Faith and Other Flat Tires is the story of one woman's journey to find the Lord.  From her earliest years in the jungles of Kenya, Andrea Palpant Dilley was raised to know and love God, but life got in the way.  Her parents, as Quaker missionaries, were subjected to episodes of harsh reality (death, guerrilla soldiers) and this also impacted the family.  Somewhere along the way, Andrea began to question her faith.  Why does God allow suffering?  Why does God seem so distant?  When their family moved back to the U.S. school, friends, jobs, etc. only managed to draw her further away from church.  The search for answers became a quest that almost threatened Andrea Dilley's very existence.  
   Faith and Other Flat Tires, Andrea Dilley's memoir, was an engaging and introspective story of a young woman disillusioned with life.  The pages flowed easily as she visited the past that made her who she is today.  Reflections are so perfectly described- it was like a movie running in my head.  At times I could almost feel her sadness, emptiness and frustration (trying to recover her faith, find love) but I also experienced her joy, love and sense of belonging.   Her life experiences are honestly and very intelligently shared with her readers.  There are parallels to Pilgrim's Progress throughout the book and she holds nothing back in an attempt to show the road she has traveled.  There are no lectures, just the reality that we all question and search for answers at times.  

*Read the first chapter of Faith and Other Flat Tires here.

Andrea Palpant Dilley grew up in Kenya as the daughter of Quaker missionaries and spent the rest of her childhood in the Pacific Northwest. She studied English literature and writing at Whitworth University. Her work as a writer has appeared inRock and SlingGeez, and Utne Reader, as well as the anthology Jesus Girls: True Tales of Growing Up Female and Evangelical. Her work as a documentary producer has aired nationally on American Public Television. She lives with her husband and daughter in Austin, Texas.

*I was given a copy of Faith and Other Flat Tires from Zondervan and Handlebar Marketing in exchange for my honest review.  No other compensation was received.*

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Freebies and some Great Deals

I love sharing a good deal.
Especially with my besties!
Even though we don't see each other every day over coffee at Starbucks (wouldn't that be fab!) we can still fill each other in on what's new and exciting.;)

A FREE calendar at Staples.  Desk size.  Big!  Great for everyone!  Right by the register. (You have to mail in a rebate. Easy.)

FREE drink at Starbucks!  Their new Refreshers.  Tomorrow (Friday) from 12-3.  I'm going for the Lime.  Mmmmmm.  

*FREE KIDS HAIRCUTS* (K-6th) in the month of August at JCPenney's Salons!  (Already booked my appointment!)

Cutest OWL backpacks EVER at Very Jane.  $12. 50!!  I may have bought 3 or 10.  So cute!  Only good for 15 more hours (as I type this) so hurry your little self over there!

Precious little headbands at Very Jane.  Bought a bunch- even one for myself!  $3.95!  What? (15 hours left on this deal, too.)  Birthday gifts and stocking stuffers...

Any great deals you would like to share?