Monday, February 28, 2011

Zumba Women

Yech...they're all just so utterly ugly! ; )

So the Hot Z Team from Waco paid our little town a visit this past weekend. It always amazes my big city sister (far left) that I choose - willingly choose - to live in a town that is one hour away from a mall and 15 minutes away from the closest Wal-Mart. (Sometimes I wonder about that myself....) Anyhoo, it doesn't take long for her to realize that within this tiny community are some great, big 'ol hearted people that I've come to know and love. I do love to visit the big city, but coming home to this slower pace of life is always a breath of fresh air!

Zumba Sisters
The beautiful thing was there were ages from 20 - 70+ all dancing together.

I'll be honest and say that although I verbally committed to get "Zumba Certified", I'm getting gun shy about taking the official step and signing up for the certification class. I'm still rolling around the questions of Do I have the time? Is it something I really love to do? I'm a working mom. I have to choose my commitments wisely, you know.
We shall see......

Sunday, February 27, 2011

There's Very Few Times.....

...when I'm surprised. I usually can see it coming, or I can assume something is going on, but very rarely am I just plain shocked.

This past Saturday, I was still asleep when Grace woke up. (She's much like her early riser....Sophie & I are the snoozers.) Normally, she'd grab a book and read in bed. But for some reason, I could hear her little footsteps in the living room. I, she's playing school or drawing.

Little did I know.

When I finally got up, I opened my door to find this.

Grace had grabbed all the laundry from the dryer and folded it neatly. She left all my clothes in a pile, all daddy's clothes in a pile, and all of Sophie's clothes in a pile by her door. It literally made my heart melt! (It also made me wonder....was she trying to say I needed to get busy on the housework?? I don't know.)
This sweet girl. Almost 7 and already trying to be "momma". Now if I can just teach her how to make breakfast.....

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Spiritual Maturation

Have you ever gotten to the point in your spiritual walk where you felt like you were on a treadmill? You are are walking.....but you aren't exactly getting anywhere. Alot of work, no change in scenery. The same footsteps, just retread and retread and retread.

That's where I feel I am. There was a point in time, a year or two ago, where my scenery was changing. There was a world of unanswered questions which women like Beth Moore or reading of the faithful actions of Abraham in the Old Testament or even my relationships helped me discover some of the answers. I had moments of just leaning on my faith. Building muscle in an area that had really never been used before.

But then it just stopped. I was walking. I was reading. I was doing. But everything around me just stayed the same. I was hearing the same thing....seeing the same things.....repeating the same things.....and then came the realization.....

it's me.
I'm not going deep enough.

I've been doing the checklist. Bible reading for the day? Check. Sunday School/Church? Check. Helping out in ___ Check. Discussing Christianity with other Christians? Check.

My God longs to meet with me in a place that's beyond the location I'm at right now. I feel Him begging me to get to know Him better.

I realize my words do not possess the power of the authority in Christ.
My relationship with Christ has been very one note. But I hope for a sonnet.....

Lord, I ask for You to meet me where I'm at right now and lead me where You want me to go. Psalm 25:5 "Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long."

Friday, February 25, 2011

Lovin' Me Some Lentil

Okay.....I won't lie. Sweet Potato and Lentil soup sounded yyyeeeeccchhhh. After searching for a healthy dinner that was smack full of protein minus all the beef, I reached for Alicia Silverstone's recipe from her Kind Life book.

Then, I had to find the darn lentils. What were they? A leafy green? Rice? I had no idea (shame!). A quick google and I realized the obvious - beans! So in the bean section, I found an entire bag for 97 cents. Certainly nothing good was gonna come from under a buck. Right?

I was wrong. After cutting, chopping, and throwing a few ingredients in the crock pot, 6 hours later, my hubs and I walked into the best smell our kitchen's had in a while! The sweet potato lentil soup was a hit. I'm actually calling mine a chili, because our version was a little thick and we ate it with crackers.

All in all? Flo's Lentil Love will hang around for a while!

Sweet Potato & Lentil Stew
3 cups sweet potato, peeled & chopped
3 carrots, chopped (I used about 10 baby carrots)
1/4 onion, chopped
2 cans chicken broth
1 1/2 c. lentils
1 tsp salt
tsp pepper
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp minced garlic
Add all to a slow cooker. Low heat 5-6 hours. Serve w/crackers. Salt/pepper to taste.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Facelift, Anyone?

I've been blogging now for, hmmm, close to 4 years. WOW! I thought it was high time to give my bloggy a much needed facelift. A huge thank you to Julie Farber of Deluxe Designs! She took my few requests and turned them into fabulosity! In the words of dearest Annie, "I think I'm gonna like it here!"

Altard Workshop

Being that this was my first time to redo a piece of furniture without just 'eyeballin' it, I figured I better take an easy piece to work with. I used this little chest....really of no significant value to me....and if I totally messed it up, I wouldn't shed any tears!

The process started by sanding it with a hand about power in your hands! The last time I sanded, I did it by hand. This was easier and quicker, for sure!

The ladies in the workshop all painted our pieces together. It was fun being around other women who were interested in the same topics I was : paint color, how much to distress, to glaze or not glaze. Plus, they were so interesting - some were preacher's wives, teachers, home schooling moms......lots of good conversation!

Here's the piece after two coats of paint. The color terrified me - I knew I needed to glaze it to tone it down a bit!
GLAZING!!! AARRGHHHHH!! It was much harder than it looked. The Altard workshop showed us how to glaze with a paintbrush, not using a rag to wipe off.
I don't think I was very good at that technique.

The big door's glaze looks terrible! : ) Once glaze is on, you have a very small amount of time to work with it before it's too dry to mess with anymore. I was near tears when I saw my (lack of) handiwork on this piece. I honestly expected more of myself! Thankfully, the Altard geniuses encouraged me that the first time working with glaze is the gets easier the more you do it.

All in all, it was a very informative workshop. I learned to basics, and I also realized that maybe some of her techniques aren't exactly the way I would do them on my own. I'm ready to take another piece and work on my skills! Maybe one day, I'll be selling my finished pieces on this blog......hopefully!

The BEST part of my trip? Getting to stay with my former college roommate and seeing her precious daughter. So good to stay in touch with lifelong friends!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Grandma's Teacakes

My dad once told me, in a moment of nostalgia, that when he was growing up, my grandma cooked all three meals for her 4 hungry boys and husband from scratch and every dinner had a dessert (from scratch, natch!). Some of my best memories of her are her sheath cakes....her corn casserole....her mashed potatoes...and these beautiful tea cakes.

It's a process. The whole rollin' the dough bit.....but every now and then, I'll get an urge to revive these beauties.
Recalling memories while I roll.

I hope my daughters will have memories of me making things from scratch. Not that cookies from the roll aren't anything special, but I think it's good for a little girl to see the process.
The work. The results.
It's also good for them to see me mess up. As I was making this batch, it called for buttermilk. In my haste, I grabbed the whipping cream carton and poured it right in! I didn't realize the mistake until after we took a bite.....and instead of crisp, they were soft. Oh well!

Sweet Grandma's tea sweet, sweet lady.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Day and a Half People!

While I was gone creating this master-less piece at my furniture painting workshop (GLAZE is HARD people!!) ......I came back to a new child......

.....a toothless child.
She told me it was loose right before I left. I figured, eh.....a few days, weeks maybe, and it'll be out. Nope. That tooth didn't even make it past the weekend. She wiggled it out the next day. I'm excited and sad at the same can that be??
She quickly got out her tooth fairy pillow....

And on top of that, Boog raced in a Duathalon. Hmmmm...when he goes out of town, the girls and I usually curl up, veg at home, or play innocently outside.
When mommy leaves, it's apparently 'GAME ON' for fun.

I had fun at my painting workshop, but I realized I will be needing several practice runs at the glazing technique before I am ready to say "viola". I bought a good brush, and I'm ready to tackle the challenge!

Thursday, February 17, 2011


When we teachers hear the word "workshop", we usually tend to go running the other way. (Unless it's a realllly good one!). But I've never been more excited to attend a workshop than I am now. Saturday, I am attending a painting workshop from a fellow blogger at ALTAR'd designs. For 9 hours, I'll be painting, sanding, glazing away.....learning the strokes to create beauties such as these......(all photos courtesy Altar'd blog).

Plus, as a bonus, I also get to see my dear friend from college, Stephanie. So ready for that! Thank you to my hubby for watching the girls and letting me have a little painting time.....

Sunday, February 13, 2011

G'bye Muffin!

My Own Veggie Stir Fry
(fresh spinach, summer squash, red bell peppers,
zucchini, and butternut squash)
Every year, around this time, I realize along with millions of others that my Pioneer Woman cooking days are gonna have to be over lest I start looking like this.....
This is nothing new. Regular gym goers dread this time of year. But they all know it soon passes as the commiters lose their commitment. Last year, I was starting to hit P90x hard and strong. It really hit me the hardest. After 7 weeks, I felt fabulous, but the one hour everyday thing was getting to me. I'm commited, but that didn't feel natural to me (although I really did feel the strongest I've ever does work, if it works for you!)

So, now I'm coming up with my own FloX version of working out. A little of all things I love: yoga, squats & leg workouts, incorporating my favorite PLYO video from P90, Zumba, and running. Why not? And while I'm at it.....I've been taking a serious look at my diet. Alicia Silverstone's The Kind Life book has intrigued me. Not to be a vegan, but to eat closer to the earth ......
So tomorrow, I'll be trying out one of her recipes: Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup
Notice I said "I". My hubs will probably eat it, too, but I'm for sure my girls will turn their noses......I'll tackle that challenge later.

But really. Less junk. More natural. Forget "fortified" with vitamins, just eat the stuff that has vitamins in it naturally! I'm hoping my skin, energy, and body will thank me.

Pioneer Woman - goodbye for now. Sniff......

Friday, February 11, 2011


Jedi Trainer Angela
I hesitatingly write this post. In fact, I hesitatingly think about this post. I hesitate all over it!


My sister's like....Master Yoda Zumba Instructor. She looks fab, she's a great instructor, and she loves it. Strike that - she Luuuuvvvvssss it. Forever she's been trying to get me to get certified and start leading a class. And for forever, I've got it, hesitating. For so many reasons, but it all lead down to one: I'm scared.

I taught a few classes of kickboxing at A&M, and I love working out. But I'm scared I'll get into this thing and it will take over my life. Or I'll be really bad. It's that little sister thing in me....I don't want to stink at something my sister's already been labeled "great" at doing. Do I have the time? etc. etc.

But as my husband said...... why not? Why not take an opportunity lead others to a healthier lifestyle and do it all to great music?

So it is with this post (and a fellow friend who's getting certified with me in April!) that I take the leap into Zumba world. I am a Jedi in training...without the light saber thingy. I guess I can use my Zumba tassles as a weapon....gotta get those hips moving.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

My Favorite

After watching the....ahem, interesting...rendition of our Star Spangled Banner by Christina Aguilara, I was reminded of how beautiful this song can be sung. My all-time favorite version is this one by Faith Hill at the Super Bowl. BEAUTIFUL!!! Sophie loves it, too, because she's asked me to replay it four times now.... : )

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Daddy B-Day!

My husband turned 33 Sunday. For a little over two months now, we get to enjoy being the same age. Then I turn 34. It stinks when the man I'm married to will ALWAYS be 10 months younger than me.

I Made Pioneer Woman's Upside Down Cake for Him
This cake was low-cal - only called for one stick of butter.

Getting Ready...


Sweet Hugs!

I'm blessed to have him as my husband!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Snow Pillow!

"Snow Pillow" was the first thing out of my little one's mouth when she saw all the white. When you're out of school for 4 out of the 5 days of the week, snow is a welcome break! It forces you to get your kiddos outside, instead of keeping them cooped up. Our children were COOPED up! So when we woke up to this picture above - we were ecstatic!

My favorite part was seeing my girls in their "gear". Something about chubby baby faces in tobaggans is adorable! (Why do we call them tobaggans btw? Why not just hat?)

We started off the week with my husband having the flu. Then he got better, and I went down with the "semi-flu". (One finally gets up, one goes down!) Thank goodness all this sick missed our children! By the time the snow got here, hubs & I were... 90%!
Sophie Not Knowing What to Think About it All

Mommy & Sophie (Grace was at her cousin's!)

We did quite a few things this week.....
like pullin' people out of ditches
(my husband's favorite pastime - really. He loves it!)

We visited Mimi's and Grace Made SnowAngels

Daddy Gave Sophie A Shovel Ride

Still Not Knowing What to Think About It

Cousins Making A Snowman

And we did ALOT of this - Big Breakfasts....

I'm sure when we're in school in July, making up for these missed schooldays, we'll be grumpy. But for now, this Winter Vacation has been a welcome break!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Uganda Bound!!

Amazima Ministries
Well, it's done. Deposit sent....passport being renewed ( hadn't used that sucker in ten years!)....shots needed (gulp)....and a very, very, very settled Flo. I had been unsettled for the past six months. I knew I wanted to go, but for some reason couldn't commit. I finally said yes, and it feels like a burden has been lifted. It'll be hard to leave my girls for 12 days, but I can't wait to have an experience to share with them......and hopefully take them there one day.

We are headed to Amazima Ministries in Jinja, Uganda. Amazima operates a sponsorship program for orphans to receive food, care, education, and Bible study/fellowship. It also offers a feeding program that provides a hot meal to over 1,200 people daily.....all started by a 20-something year old girl named Katie. (And here I thought I was too young to make a difference.)

I'm traveling with a group of young women I know, as well as, others I have yet to meet. Honestly? My fellow Uganda bound friend, Jenna, said, "I'm more worried about re-entry than anything else." Re-entry back into our lives. Where there's plenty of food to go 'round. Where I can blow $100 at (fill in the blank) on things I don't need. I guess I can't concern myself with that now. I'm concerned mostly with getting paperwork settled, getting my funds together, and my heart prepared for this mission.

If anyone so wishes to be a part of this mission, your tax-deductible donation will help not just cover costs, but help fill my suitcase with items such as Tylenol/Motrin, lice shampoo, soap, etc. to leave with Amazima Ministries. If you can't go, your $ will be blessed!

To donate:
Designate a Team Member: Florence Ferrell
Trip: Uganda July22-Aug 2

Thank you! God bless!

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