Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Santa's Workshop

One of the big changes we have made in the past few years was moving into a bigger house. I have my own room! Not just the bedroom that I share with Mr. PJ, but my own office/sewing room/sanctuary. This time of year it feels like I'm in Santa's workshop.  Nothing crazy in production now. I recently finished a Christmas quilt. I'll try to post about it soon. Also making scarves for the kiddos. Not that it gets that cold here, but they are fun to make. The kids always like it when they get something made especially for them.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Write that down.

Turning 30 scared me, but life went on.
We found a great home and made a great big move.
my teaching assignment changed and I was faced with the challenge of teaching an advanced placement course.
Time to write wasn't being found, but now things have settled down.
I was thinking that I should start a blog to write about life and then I remembered I had this one right here.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Fabulous Five Friday Update

  1. This week I am grateful for- My little bit of vacation time. My summer has been jam packed with  summer school, workshops, institutes, and training's. This past week was the first one I was able to spend at home with my two little ones. We have had a blast playing, enjoying each others company and ignoring most household chores. Basically we have been having a staycation which is fun and cheap.
  2. This week I enjoyed- turning my backyard into a water park. The kiddie pool, water hose, and backyard slide offered exciting and hilarious relief from the heat.  My children love the water and their giggles are so contagious. 
  3. This week I learned-  How hard it is to be a woman in other parts of the world. I have been reading Half the Sky, a very well written book about ways in which women are still oppressed around the world and what type of programs help them. It is a very graphic book and I can only read a little bit at a time before I start crying and wanting to adopt all of the little girls in the world. but I am plowing through. We cannot make the world a better place until we face the realities of what holds us back.
  4. This week I accomplished - pretty much nothing and it was flipping fabulous.
  5. I am looking forward to -  finding our next home. We have been house hunting for a few weeks, made offers on two homes and didn't get either one. Am I disappointed? Yes, very much so, but I know that means the right place is still out there waiting for us to find it. Right now most of our evenings consist of doing a drive by on different homes to see where they are located and if we want our realtor to schedule a showing. My son told us the other evening he likes falling asleep in the car. I am ready to start packing.  
I totally swiped the idea for todays post form upward not inward, but I had to because I just love it. I think their five question questionnaire is an excellent exercise in self reflection. You can do it too! You can also check out How the ladies at upward not inward answered their questionnaire by going to their site here. What is going on in your world this week? You can share your own reflections there or in the comments here. I hope everyone has a blessed weekend.

Take care,

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Sunday, July 7, 2013

Yummy! Yummy! Guest Post!

Hello Readers,
  If you have been reading Rendered & renewed for a while you will know that I am not always the queen in the kitchen that I imagine myself to be. Today we have a guest post from Angela Gilmore. She blogs on Working on/Working Mom,  a great Mom blog if you have a chance to read her. 

How I plan a Vegetarian or Vegan Dinner

I almost always start my meal planning with either a vegetable or carbohydrate in mind and then I build out from there. Try to get a protein and a veggie in each meal with an optional carbohydrate and meal planning will be a snap every time!

 Here are some examples:
• Spaghetti (carb) with soy meatballs (protein) and a side of roasted cauliflower (veggie)
• Soy ravioli (carb and protein) with a mixed green salad (veggie)
• Brown rice (carb)  with veggie stir fry (veggie) and tofu (protein)
• Pasta e fagioli (carb and protein) with a side of broccoli (veggie)
• Ziti (carb) with tomato sauce and a side of cannellini beans, green beans and cheese (protein and veggie)
• Veggie burger (protein) on a whole wheat bun (carbs) and a side of green beans (veggies)

Finding ways to match carbs, veggies, and protein makes creating meals super easy. Here is a 
list of go-to ingredients that I always have on hand:

• Pasta of all varieties (whole wheat when possible) – spaghetti, ziti, shells, rice pasta
• Brown or basmati rice
• Potatoes such as sweet or white
• Hamburger or hot dog buns

• Broccoli
• Cauliflower
• Spinach
• Green beans
• Salad greens
• Mixed frozen veggies
• Peas and corn

• Beans – all kinds (canned and dried)
• Tofu
• Veggie burger
• Soy products like ravioli, edamame, and hot dogs

When you break your meals down into these simple components it makes going out to dinner easier as well. For example, If you want to get pizza get it with veggies, if you get a salad ask to add chick peas, if you are going out for Italian and you just want a big bowl of pasta ask to add beans and veggies on the side. 

If you can’t get a protein and veggie into each meal, or you know you are going out for dinner and want to splurge, load up on your protein and veggies during lunch. One of my favorite things to eat for lunch is a huge salad full of greens and beans. 

Vegetarian and vegan eating can be super easy and healthy; just keep you favorites on hand and mix and match!

Angela Gilmore

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Monday, July 1, 2013

Cha Cha Cha Changes......

I know I am naturally resistant to change. I remember as a child my Mom telling me that, "just because you don't like change isn't going to stop it from happening." So, I plan. If I know change is going to happen I will carefully research all of the options and proceed with caution. I have to prepare myself mentally, cover all my bases and when I feel I can anticipate the outcome, then I can embrace whatever is going to happen. Childbirth was certainly was of those major life changes that I planned for. Recently a friend and I were comparing the school year to childbirth. There is anticipation and preparation before the students get there. The hard work, stress and pressure of the school year could be compared to drawn out labor pains. Summer the final relief of the labor. Top that off with Graduation seeing our students go off into the world to make their way. The school year, spanning from fall of one calendar year to the summer of the next, is a mental and emotional roller coaster. The school year has come to a close. Summer school has finally ended. As much as I need this break, I have not been able to unwind, shift gears, adapt to the change. I have been frantically making to-do lists, telling myself that summer is fleeting and is never long enough to get things done. I know that in a week or so I will adjust and be able to unwind. In the meantime I feel like the most ridiculous person ever. What teacher can't immediately enjoy summer vacation? How do you adjust to change?

Take care,

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Saturday, June 22, 2013

How many times do I have to tell you?

Copyright Mrs.PJ 2013- FOREVER
Laundry goes in the hamper, not in front of the hamper.

copyright Mrs.PJ 2013-FOREVER
If you don't pick up your books they might get peed on or the baby might eat them, or worse, both.

copyright Mrs.PJ 2013-Forever!
I don't care if it is bright blue and tastes like sugar, it is not candy, so don't eat it.

copyright Mrs.PJ 2013- FOREVER
Seriously, that is not how you operate the toilet paper roll.
(At least he got it off the floor.)

copyright Mrs.PJ 2013- FOREVER
I don't care what it looks like, the tub plug is not a pacifier so spit that thing out!

copyright Mr.PJ 2013- FOREVER
Please stop putting the potty seat on your head and announcing that it is a hat.
It is most definitely not. 

Thank you for letting me vent. I am going to go scrub the bathroom now.
Happy cleaning,

PS - What room in your home elicits the most nagging? Comment in the comment section below.

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Friday, June 21, 2013

Fab Five Friday Round 2!

Here we go again. I was worn out last weekend trying to meet the demanding requirements for that dang Leibster Award. This past week I have been busy with work and domestic duties, so now the chance to unclutter my mind with the fab five. Remember, I totally swiped the idea for this post from upward not inward, but I had to because I just love it. I think their five question questionnaire is an excellent exercise in self reflection. You can do it too!
  1. This week I am grateful for-  My Mom's talents on the organic farm she operates with  my Stepdad. They sent us a big box full of awesome goodies and our bellies couldn't be happier. We are talking about homemade pickles, jelly, bread, and honey from their own bee hives. They sent us loads of fresh veggies and inspired me to cook from scratch one night.
  2. This week I enjoyed- My children. Just hugging those tiny people somehow has the magical power to make any day fantastic. I might be a little weird, but I love the way my tiny tots smell. Not to mention the way they crack me up when they play together.
  3. This week I learned- That my strengths are Creativity and Caregiver. You can find your strengths by taking the online quiz at  Just scroll down until you see the pink box. I am reading the book right now. I was skeptical at first, but now I am totally into it and a believer.
  4. This week I accomplished- Creating a new dinner from scratch! I was inspired by the fresh veggies my Mom sent (see question 1) and the picture on the box of linguine. We had warm pasta with fresh chopped tomato, fresh basil, a dash of garlic salt, italian dressing and olive oil. We also had garlic bread that I made with slices of the homemade stuff my Mom sent. It was a party in my tummy and I think everyone else enjoyed it too. 
  5. I am looking forward to - My son's soccer practice tonight. He is just so cute in his jersey. It is adorable watching three year olds trying to stop a goal. So Proud :)
You can check out how the ladies at upward not inward answered their questionnaire by going to their site here. What is going on in your world this week? You can share your own reflections there or in the comments here. I hope everyone has a blessed weekend.

Take care,

Please, pretty please, click, clickety, click. Thanks so much!
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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Awwwwww, how sweet is that?

Another Mommy blogger, Angela at Time With A&N, nominated me for a Liebster Award! That is so nice of her to do. I have to admit that I am thrilled anytime someone comments on my posts, so to be nominated for an award for new bloggers is extra exciting. To accept this nomination I have to perform the following six tasks.

  • Link back to the blog that nominated you.

Time with A&M, where Angela, a fellow teacher shares the woes of balancing motherhood and life. 

  • Nominate 5-11 new blogs with fewer than 200 followers.

I nominate The Truth About Mommy, for her brutal honesty.

I nominate Raising the Light, and the awesome ladies who post there about faith and family.
I nominate Super Punk Rock Mommy, for the fun of it.
I nominate Working On / Working Mom, for the tremendous effort she has put into her most recent food challenge.
I wanted to nominate The Deliberate Mom, because she is just one of those cool Moms that everyone should know, but I just checked and she officially has 202 followers. I'm nominating her anyway! (Check her out anyway.)

  • Answer the questions posted for you by your nominator.

1. What's your dream career?  Winning the Lotto.
2. If money wasn't an issue how many kids would you have? Shouldn't this question be "If your  husband wasn't an issue...?" I kid, I adore the two I have, periodically think about throwing in a few more when these are potty trained, but I don't think we should worry about new babies for a few years and then see how we feel about it then.
3. What's your favorite vacation? The ones that haven't happened yet, when we get to take the kiddos all over the place. With that one rainy camping trip to Enchanted Rock being a close second place. Actually when I was in college I went on a really cool two week trip where we learned Geography by doing Geography. Once when we were dating, Mr.PJ took me to Pensacola Beach, it was kinda romantic. I like getting away and this is not an easy question.
4. If you could go visit anywhere where would you go? Everywhere. Seriously, as a Geography nerd I get excited about a lot of places. Except the really violent and sandy ones. 
5. Where did you meet your significant other? I met Mr. PJ the old fashioned way, in a bar. Some of my friends were playing in a band there. Mr. PJ was there. We met, talked and the rest is history. Actually the rest is a story for another post one day.
6. How long did you date before you were married? We dated six months, he was on deployment for the six months after that, he came back and we moved in together, we got engaged and then married a year after that. I was 22 when we got married and I'm still kinda crazy about him, even though he can drive me crazy sometimes.
7. How long have you known your longest friend? My sister, her whole life, 25 years in July. My longest not related by blood friend, Estelle, has it really been 12 years?
8. When was your last date night with your husband? Some may not count this, but we just got done with a season of co-ed softball. We are on a team for my campus and every Wednesday night for the past several weeks has been a game night. Thank you to my awesome Mother in law for babysitting. Thank you to Mr.PJ for that epic grand slam in the last game of the playoffs. It was very romantic. Go Treefish!
9. Where do you live? In a cute little two bedroom, one bath, fixer upper that we are quickly outgrowing. It breaks my heart that the home we started our family in needs more TLC than we can give it. I know we are going to have to make a decision soon about what we want to do, but it is just hard for me because I have been in this home longer than any other single place in my life. 
10. If you could only eat three things what would they be?  Well, being vegetarian, my diet is already kind of restricted. I'm going to go with.......dang this is a hard question. I say carbs, dairy and home cooking. I'm sorry, I really love food and I can't pick just three favorites. 
11. How long have you been blogging? Since January, so six months. I'm really enjoying it. 

  • Share 11 random facts about yourself.

  1. I gained close to fifty pounds with both of my pregnancies. I lost it by nursing and running around like a chicken with its head cut off while attempting to take care of all of those tasks that we call life. 
  2. I am a Hurricane Katrina victim. At the time we were living in my home state of Mississippi and  most of the Mississippi Gulf Coast was wiped clean. We were lucky our home was still there, but with five feet of floodwaters nearly everything inside was ruined. I can honestly say that we have been nothing but blessed since moving to our current home. It did take me a long time to get over the shock of being forced to move because of the storm.  I still want to cry anytime an area hit by a  natural disaster is on the news.
  3. My son and I were laying on the couch snuggling the other night. My husband walked in and told him it was time for him to get a shower. He responded, "Um, I'm not done with Mommy yet." I hope he never finished snuggling with me.
  4. My daughter took her first steps earlier tonight! We were at the little dude's soccer practice and she took a step towards her Daddy.  How cool is that? Fact number four- I was nervous about having a daughter, but I could not be more delighted. 
  5. I cloth diaper and nurse my babies. I know that there are people out there that think I am crazy because being a working mom takes up a lot of time and so does pumping and washing diapers. I feel like in a way, that is time I'm giving back to my kids. I know it is not for every family, but it works for us. 
  6. I pretty  much neglect every other aspect of homemaking duties all week long. My most hated chore is washing dishes. When we do move, I hope we can get a place with a dishwasher. My home is usually embarrassingly filthy.
  7. I was an adult before I got serious about my faith and religion. I think that that is one of those topics that will be a longer post for another day. I do have to say I enjoy reading other blogs that post inspirational stuff. It helps keep me on track.
  8. My Godson has downs syndrome. His Momma is one of my closest friends. We have known each other since before we started having kids and we met at church. His downs was a surprise, but he couldn't have a better family and he is a great little kid. I hope our kiddos are always as close as they are now. 
  9. Sometimes I have a hard time relating to other adults, especially if I let myself be judgmental, which I hate doing. I mean, it is easy to make a quick assumption about someone, but then I always feel guilty later on. When I see someone doing something that I think is dumb, I just want to write them off, even though I know that is not the right thing to do. I have been working really hard on having more patience and being intentionally nice to people even when I don't want to. 
  10. When I was a freshmen in college I saw a girl get killed in a drinking and driving accident. A drunk driver hit her car and fled the scene. They caught him later, but I watched the girl die in the arms of her friend. 
  11. My husband and I are kind of opposites. I'm vegetarian, he is not. He will have a beer with dinner, I don't drink. I went to college, he went to the military and then trade school. He smokes I don't. We both love each other madly, tolerate each others craziness, keep each other sane and I hope that he knows how much I love and respect him. I hate it when I realize I'm nagging him about stuff.
  • Create 11 questions for your nominees.  
  1. What is your favorite family tradition?
  2. What quality about yourself do you want to improve on?
  3. What prayer do you say the most often? 
  4. Who inspires you?
  5. Who is your favorite author and what was the last book that you read?
  6. Which radio station do you listen to / what is your favorite music genre?
  7. What are you sick of making for dinner / what is your most hated chore?
  8. Which blog do you read the most and why?
  9. What are your hopes for your kids when they grow up?
  10. Have you ever paid to see a movie in the theater more than once or what is your favorite film? 
  11. Where do you see yourself in ten years?
  • Contact your nominees and let them know you nominated them.
Done! Whew, that was a beast of a post. It took me two days to do. Nominees, I wish you good luck.

If you made it through this extra long post, go the extra mile and click below to vote for me. Thanks!
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Friday, June 7, 2013

Fab Five Friday

I totally swiped the idea for todays post form upward not inward, but I had to because I just love it. I think their five question questionnaire is an excellent exercise in self reflection. You can do it too!
  1. This week I am grateful for- My awesome hardworking husband and my sweet kiddos. The love I get at home helps me survive the roughest days at work.
  2. This week I enjoyed- Getting to see the Seniors get ready to leave for the graduation duty. I didn't have to actually go to graduation this year (alright, I'm grateful for that too), but getting to help them get ready and seeing them all dolled up was exciting. 
  3. This week I learned- I am done with speculating. Life is interesting enough without playing the "what if ..?" game. I need to trust in God more and work with the challenges I already have before me. 
  4. This week I accomplished - Getting my classroom packed up and my sign off sheet done early! It only took five years for me to figure out how to get on top of that.
  5. I am looking forward to - AP Human Geography. I will be teaching it next year for one class period and I am thrilled. It is a great opportunity to work with student who are eager to learn and for me to approach the material in a new way. I normally teach regular World Geography which is different.
You can check out How the ladies at upward not inward answered their questionnaire by going to their site here. What is going on in your world this week? You can share your own reflections there or in the comments here. I hope everyone has a blessed weekend.

Take care,

Please, pretty please, click, clickety, click. Thanks so much!
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