Saturday, October 30, 2010

Waiting For Another Rendition Of "Harper Valley PTA"........

Halloween 2010 was definitely a success for this "Valley Girl"......

{P.S. - if you eat all that candy, your "teef" will look like this above too!}

FRIENDLY DISCLAIMER: Wondering what to do with all your candy wrappers from your Halloween candy? Neeley's Girl Scout troop is participating in a fundraiser through TerraCycle where we send in recycled candy wrappers -HELLO FREE SHIPPING!!! :) - and they send us money. How cool is that? They send us big prepaid shipping envelopes so all we have to do is drop it in the mailbox. If you are willing to help out our Troop, message me at and I will tell you how. We would really appreciate your support. The 18 girls in the Troop are hoping to save up for an end of the year camping trip to the Swiss Chalet or Pax Lodge or somewhere equally awesome before many of us leave Europe. THANK YOU in advance!!!!!


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

If You Give A Girl A Pumpkin........

(I have no idea why some pics came out sideways. They are not saved sideways on my computer. Anyone who knows how to fix this in blogger, feel free to share.......)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

'Bout Due For An Update.....

~ Hey Ash! What in the world have y'all been up to lately? ~

{Yep, that's the message I received just the other day, and well...I guess it's 'bout time for a Bowden Brigade update......}

~ Have I mentioned more than 4,297 times that I am a Girl Scout leader? Yep, LEADER!! This year that is. Ask me again next year. LOL Yep, this "job" required about 40+ hours a week which I didn't originally expect so that takes up most of my time. I those girls but sometimes my laundry and dishes and even my own family must come first, ya know what I mean? :)

~ I have been subbing a TON! Makes for one happy mommy when it comes to Christmas shopping. Have I mentioned I am almost finished with my Christmas shopping. that I think about it I may be about halfway through. Yahoo!!!!

~ Other than subbing and leading my 18 awesome GS Juniors, I am still "trying" to schedule my workouts, read books "for fun", work on my fitness coaching certification, and finish this degree. I am taking one class this semester and it is KILLING me. You will notice from some of my past posts that my online boutique is doing very well and I am discovering some really great products out there. Need any gifty ideas? Yep, I've got 'em!! That part helps take care of the KILLING part you read about from my class above. That's the good that comes with the bad. :)

~ Neeley keeps me busy these days too. She is involved in cheer, Girl Scouts, Newspaper Club, Theater Club, RB Singers (basically Singing Club), and the Gifted Education program. Whew-wee!! Yes, I am exhausted just after typing all that. Thankfully, all of these activities are here on our post and after school at the school so it's not much of a drive or effort. It just takes time....precious, precious time. Does anyone else feel like this year is going by way too quickly??

~ Ronnie is still in Never Never Land. :( But he comes home soon and we will all be together again. I need my flock under one roof, and this go 'round has been a doozy with things to take care of. I have become quite the Mrs.-Fix-It....let's just keep it at that for fear that my blood pressure will spike again.

~ I know I'm a crazy military wifey because I am constantly working on our place. I have come across some really great deals lately and our place is ever changing. :) That's okay, it's so refreshing to add a curtain or two here or there, or put down a new rug, or move around a piece a bit. LOVE it...very therapeutic to me.

~ We're ALREADY in winter mode here. Temps are in the 30's, it's rainy and very nasty out. BUMMER in the worst way. And we've heard that this is going to be a miserably long and very yucky winter. Oh, how I long for the beach.........

~ We haven't taken too many trips lately. Mostly just because we haven't really had the time to. But I've been looking at a few of the USO trips coming up and thinking I might have to try to surprise Neeley with some fun soon. Have I told you how much I our USO? They offer the best trips!!

I have a ton of other things to tell you but that may just take away from my next few posts, so I'll stop here and let you digest this much-anticipated info. LOL Isn't our life so interesting? Yep, worthy of it's own soap opera episode. NOT! :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Amazing Achiever Alert

~ So proud of our "AMAZING ACHIEVER"!! ~

Neeley was invited to a ceremony and reception due to an award she was given by her teacher. Each month, the teachers pick a Student of the Month and also recognize those students who have done something "exceptional" in the classroom.

She was so excited to receive this invitation she couldn't even wait for the event . . . all smiles!!

We had no idea what she was being recognized for (yes, I know that's not grammatically correct, but stay with me here...), we just knew she was invited for achieving something.

There were such yummy goodies offered at the reception which took place first. What a treat!

Then it came time for the awards........... the school counselor handed them out.

Neeley was recognized for always going "ABOVE AND BEYOND" in the classroom. It always makes me beaming mommy proud when my kiddo is recognized for doing something other than the normal academic achievements in the classroom. I love it when they are recognized for doing something good or trying something new. Sometimes they just need that little boost of encouragement. And, she has all A's for the time being. Yahoo!! Because this has already been some kind of year in the classroom and in the GE program.

~ So proud of our baby girl!! ~

And also proud that she chose to wear her "TEAM JACOB" shirt for the event. LOL

Monday, October 18, 2010

Taking Butternut Squash To A Whole New Level

Y'all know I LOVE a good bloggy-blog when I see one. I lurk and I creep and I am on the 'net way more than I should be. But I ALWAYS . . . well usually . . . find a good book recommendation, a new product I am dying to try, or happen upon a good recipe.

And now the angels were singing when I made a new recipe the other day. Thanks to Designer Wife and her wonderful hubby, I always find such inspiration. I made their Butternut Squash Pasta With Rosemary, Mushrooms, & Brown Butter the other night and even Neeley declared it the best meal ever. You really must try it. And now I have lots of ideas of how I would like to tweak the recipe some to make variations of it. But for a yummy-good-for-the-heart-and-tummy meal, I wouldn't change a thing. Neeley even took it in her lunchbox in a hot thermos to school the next day and said it was just as great as the first time.

So, give it a try . . . and tell me what you think. You won't be disappointed! ;)

P.S. - I owe y'all a family update in a big, big way very soon.......

Friday, October 15, 2010

Check out my new BLINGY-BLING!!

What girl doesn't deserve a GORGEOUS pair of diamond stud earrings!?! :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

LOVE my RevolveR Journal

You know I ♥ a good journal. Check this out! You can have one too!!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Whatcha Readin'?

My heart is full these days. I think I have finally found my missing link here in Stuttgart. I FINALLY started participating in the wonderful experience that is PWOC (Protestant Women of the Chapel) here, and I wish I had done this much earlier. It has taken me over a year to finally get to a point where I felt like I knew enough people and knew enough about myself but still needed more to make it a point to go. And now I need to make it a priority.

I have joined a Bible study group that is following this study guide by John MacArthur on the book of Romans. So far, LOVIN' IT!! Romans can be a toughie sometimes, but it has been music to my ears and so heart filling and good for the mind, body and soul to hear of Paul's themes of grace, truth, and redemption. And to fellowship with some very amazing ladies.

So tell me...what is your favorite book of the Bible??

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my window... the sun is shining and I am thrilled!

I am thinking... that this is a crazy busy time of year and I often forget to sit back, take a deep breath, and appreciate the moment.

I am thankful for... family and friends who keep me sane...well sometimes.

I am wearing... my comfy tshirt and pj pants since I'm home cleaning and organizing today.

In the learning room... I just finished reading Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy. LOVE it!!

I am remembering... how sick of school I am...once again!!

I am going... to pick up Neeley from school here in a bit.

I am currently reading... lots of Girl Scout stuff and Management, 9th ed., by R. Daft.

I am hoping... that this year is going to be a much easier, smoother year for us in so many ways.

On my mind... way too many to list...but first, I wish I had 24 more hours in the day.

Noticing that... I need to restock my supply of healthy snacks and fruit.

Pondering these words... Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation. - Brian Tracy

From the kitchen... White Chicken Chili smells so good in the crock pot.

Around the house... the laundry is piling up all around me. :)

One of my favorite things ... that first cup of coffee in the morning.

From my camera...~ um....the latest pics I took were for Girl Scouts and I swear I can't find my camera anywhere. :(

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Besties...Together At Last

Neeley received the most precious gift in the mail the other day.

Is that not the cutest thing you have ever seen? She has REALLY been missing her bestie, Caroline, so this couldn't have come at a more perfect time.

Oh, these two girls have had tons of fun in their short lil lives. They became besties at the ripe ol' age of 16 months when we moved back to Arkadelphia and they have been best friends ever since.

For your viewing pleasure, and just for ol' time's sake, here are a few pics of the girls together over the years. Kinda brings a *tear* to my eye. PRECIOUS!!

I know I have many, many of the two of them together, these are just the ones I have saved on this particular hard drive. Such cuties!! :)

Thanks again to the Cissell's!!!!

Friday, October 1, 2010

What Makes You Tick??

What are those things that keep you going day after day? Is it a good cup of coffee? Maybe a delicious meal? Or what about your dream job? Does your family keep you doing what you do? Or do you have a group of close friends as your support network?

Whatever it is, or even who it may be, you must find something in life that keep you going. Something that gives you purpose in life. That special something or someone that makes each and every day of your life just a little bit more meaningful than the last.

I love my little family dearly. My husband and daughter are my constant in a world of uncertainties. I also love a good cup of coffee, and a very productive working rainy day that forces me to stay inside and work. A really good book inspires me. I love to read about people and their stories. I tend to have an artsy-craftsy side to me so I delve in to all kinds of crafty goodness when I have the time. I also love to learn from others and enjoy reading and perusing their work. Traveling is a great time as well. Meeting new people and seeing new places always makes my heart happy. And, last but not least, physical fitness along with personal well-being and an overall positive, inspiring, motivating influence on others is what drives me day after day. I like to think that I wake each and every day with a smile on my face, ready to face the world and make changes, one body at a time. I don’t necessary want to take the world by storm, but would rather enjoy knowing that I have made a difference in the life of another. I give God the glory each and every day for these times in my life.

Sometimes, some things can happen that involve these things that can rock your boat or your world per se, even if just a bit. We suffer through broken friendships and broken relationships and there goes something we had in common. Or maybe we find out something about our favorite author, actor or painter that we do not necessarily agree with. Perhaps our dream job turns out to only be a dud job.

What must we do if this happens? When life hands you lemons, you make lemonade, right? We take these experiences in life and we make something positive out of it. We have all been through rocky relationships with friends and family members, some mended, others not. And that is okay. That is what makes us who we are today.

When something changes in our life, we simply find a different way of living. We may not change our likes or dislikes, our tastes, or our trends. And we really should not change who we are in the big picture. Instead, we just find a new something or someone to love in life. We take up a new hobby. We find another good book to read. We get out there in the world and meet new people and see new places, both near and far. We do not allow these times in life to shut us down, or we should not anyway. Life is for the living, and we have come to realize that for the most part. We hear it enough throughout our lifetimes, that I’m sure there is no possible way for us to ever forget it. It is forever ingrained in our hearts and minds.

So tell me…what is it that makes you tick?? What helps you to wake up each and every day with a smile on your face, ready to take on the world?