Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year 2012!

When the time was right, the sea parted, the walls fell down, the lions went hungry, the sun stood still, the star appeared, the waves were calmed, the stone rolled away, the Lord ascended... And when the time is right, the King of Kings will return. God is never early and He's never late--- He's always right on time and His plans for you are good.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Happy New Year!! May God's plan for you be fulfilled ... May you always be prosperous. May your future be bright! Thank you so much to all of the bloggers out there. I love reading about your lives and your thoughts and your dreams. Thanks for sharing a slice of your world with us... And thank you to all of the followers and readers who leave the nice comments, It can really make a girls day.....It is truly inspiring!

God Bless,
Amy Jo

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas 2011

This was the kids opening Christmas presents. As you can see Bentley really wanted in on the action.
This was at our Christmas dinner.  Aunt Teresa sitting at the table. Time for some girl talk...

My Mom...

Franks cousins Valerie and Elizabeth. ( mother and daughter)

Aunt Judy. I didn't get a lot of pictures because my batteries died. But everyone else did, so all is not lost. All the men were there. They stayed outside playing horseshoes and enjoying the beautiful weather.

My friend Heather sent a whole box of goodies that she was giving me, with my Mom. This cheese plater is one of the items in the box. I thought it was so pretty.

She gave me this beautiful rose picture.

This handpainted bucket...

And then she made me these mitten ornaments and the lace christmas tree with jewel topper... There were also pillow cases and a dress and blouse. Thank you Heather you really do know my taste! Now that Christmas is over I have been busy trying to get everything in order around here.... What a job.:) I hope all of you had a blessed Christmas..

Amy Jo

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Party Tomorrow

Well, tomorrow is the day I have been looking forward to for weeks. All the family is coming over for Christmas. We are not having a traditional meal. My husband will smoke meat and I will make baked beans and desserts. Every family will bring a dish and an ornament. We do not buy for every family member. It is way to expensive. Instead we buy an ornament and I number each package. Everyone draws a number and then picks the package with their number on it. It is so much fun and it doesn't cost anyone a fortune. We eat, and catch up on everyones lives. The men usually play horse shoes and sit outside and talk about man stuff. The women congregate in the house. And the cousins run around playing. Living in Florida the weather is generally warm for Christmas, tomorrow it should be in the high 80's. Maybe a little to warm. I hope all of you have a very special and wonderful Christmas! If you can't spend it with your loved ones I pray that you have memories to warm your heart. I know their are a few people that have passed away from our family over the last few years. Members that will be greatly missed tomorrow. And their memories are sure to warm our hearts this Christmas.


Amy Jo

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The First Day of Winter

Winter must be cold for those with no warm memories. ----The movie "An Affair To Remember"

Amy Jo

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Time

I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitible time, the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creature bound on other journeys.----Charles Dickens

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Bentleys First Week Home

Well we survived our first week together, and I say survived because we had some rough spots!
But somehow this little guy is already a part of our family....
Oh, how could he not? With a face like this.
Him and Levi are really starting to love each other.
"You know I am really sweet, don't you Mom?"
After discovering jumping in the non heated pool may not be a good idea..... He decided he better just take a nap :)

Amy Jo

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas, That Magic Blanket

Christmas-- that magic blanket that wraps itself about us, that something so intangible that it is like a fragrance. It may weave a spell of nostalgia. Christmas may be a day of feasting, or of prayer, but always it will be a day of remembrance-- a day in which we think of everything we have ever loved.---Augusta E. Rundel

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Gift Suggestions:

To your enemy, forgiveness.
To an opponent, tolerance.
To a friend, your heart.
To a customer, service.
To all, charity.
To every child, a good example.
To yourself, respect.
--Oren Arnold

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Beautiful Decor

source: Romantic Home Magazine

"If you have been afraid that your love of beautiful flowers and the flickering flames of the candle is some how less spirtual than living in starkness and ugliness, remember that He who created you to be creative gave you the things with which to make beauty and gave you the sensitivity to appreciate and respond to His creation. Creativity is His gift to you and the "raw materials" to be put together in  various ways are His gift to you as well. ----Edith Schaeffer The Art of Homemaking.

Amy Jo

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

12 Days Until Christmas!

We are in the home stretch! I don't know about all of you but we have been baking and shopping. Decorating and getting cards ready and taking care of Bentley.... He is the main present for us this year. Christmas is such a wonderful time of the year. I wish the spirit of Christmas resided in everyone year round. The thing I love most is, it seems we are just droning along all year...and then Thanksgiving comes and all of a sudden, everything changes. We are truly putting everyone else before ourselves. We think of the things that they want and need. We think of little surprises that will make them smile and be happy. And the funny thing is it makes us happier than any other time. Giving away really is better than receiving ever is. I guess our Lord said it best: "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give unto your bosom." Luke 6:38   So may all of your gift giving return to you in happiness, not in more possessions, but true happiness!

Love to you all,
Amy Jo

Monday, December 12, 2011

Look Who We Adopted

This is Bentley. Isn't he cute? This was his baby picture.

He flew in from Atlanta yesterday... We were all so excited. From the moment we picked him up it was as if he new he belonged to us. 

He doesn't whine or cry when we put him in his cage. He never acted scared for one minute. Even after flying on an airplane. He is a brave little guy.

Who isn't crazy about a bow....

The kids are in LOVE!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas is a State of Mind

Christmas is not a time or season but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas. ----Calvin Coolidge

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Warmth and Joy of Christmas

From home to home, and heart to heart, from one place to another. The warmth and joy of Christmas, brings us closer to each other. ---- Emily Mathews

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Tidings of Comfort and Joy

Gloom we have always with us, a rank and sturdy weed, but joy requires tending.----Barbara Holland

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas Decorating and Baking Going on Here

So the Holidays are here, and it is the most wonderful time of the year! I have been decorating over the last few days.  This is our front door. I got these bells at a thrift store.

This is our dining room . This  little tree I bought at an antique store.  It was so pretty. A little old lady had made it. When she passed away her son sold it to the antique store.

It is one of the most pretty trees, I have seen. I have had it for 3 or 4 years now.

Our living room tree.
And my bedroom. I am not sure I love this tree.... I love the decorations though. I found it on clearance sell at Michaels. I don't know.... it is going to have to grow on me.
So cute!
My husband wanted whole wheat peanut butter cookies tonight. I have been baking all evening.
I decided to try these as well. They are Almond chocolate chip cookies. These are gluten free. They are delicious! Here is the recipe:

1 Cup almond butter (unsalted)
3/4 cup sucanat
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt
3 oz. chocolate chips.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir ingredients until blended and add chocolate chips.  Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes. That is it! These cookies are super good!

You may need to let them set a few minutes before taking them off of the baking sheet. They tend to crumble when to hot.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Live In Each Season

Live in each season as it passes; breathe air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each. Let them be your only diet drink and botanical medicines.-----Henry David Thoreau

Friday, December 2, 2011

LegoLand, Winter Haven Florida

On Monday we went to Legoland with our homeschool group.

If you are with a homeschool group it is only $5.00 to get in.
We couldn't pass that up. I took my niece Sophia with us. This southern bell is made out of Legos.
Buddy the lego kid.
This is my friend Heathers little boy. His name is Levi, too.
There were tons of things throughout the park that was made out of Legos.
This is Ethan, Heathers youngest child.
Darth Vader made from Legos.
R2 D2 made from Legos.
An old lady feeding the pigeons. She talked and was so cute.
This is a Tourist.
Levi and Sophia zooming by on a ride.
They had all of the major cities made out of Legos. It was really cool.
This octupus looked so neat!
Levi driving the boat while Ethan relaxes. :)
Levi and Sophia
A life size Ford made out of Legos.
Life size elephant made out of Legos. I told the children, after going here they should always have ideas, for building with their Legos!

Amy Jo