The Porch Light copyright by Revka (2006-2010). All rights reserved.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

10-20-30 Meme

MIntheGap of MIntheGap and Weekend Kindness has chosen me to complete the interesting 10-20-30 meme created by author Mary DeMuth whom you can find at Relevant blog. He wants to know what I was doing 10, 20, and 30 years ago.

10 years ago I was twenty years old. I was studying Music Education at Pensacola Christian College (I never did put in the practice that I should have!), enjoying being engaged (to the man I didn't marry), and planning my wedding (the one that never happened). I worked as a proof reader and as one of the college switchboard operators. I lived in town that year and enjoyed the freedom of not living in the dorms "residence halls." That was also the year that the College Choir, of which I was a part, had the opportunity to be recorded as back up for a gorgeous song, "The Majesty and Glory of Your Name" by Tom Fettke, sung by Ray and Ann Gibbs. I cannot describe how it felt to be in the recording studio, knowing I was part of something that would be absolutely beautiful.

20 years ago I was ten years old. My mom was in the early stages of being pregnant with my little sister - Sarah and I are almost eleven years apart. I was having fun being a tomboy and a bookworm. I had the same teacher for fifth grade that I had in second grade. I didn't know that I was attending my last year at VCS, the school I had attended since starting school in 2nd grade at age seven. This was the year my friend Michelle and I sang a duet for the school's gong show. We were gonged, which did hurt my feelings. *smile*

30 years ago I was one month old - my days were probably filled with eating, sleeping, and dirtying my diaper. I obviously don't remember anything from that year.

I'd like to know what the following bloggers were doing 10, 20, and 30 years ago: Karen, Linda, Heather, Robyn, and Lani. As always, if you don't have the time, please don't worry about it. *smile*


Monday, October 29, 2007

Fall Bloggy Giveaway - updated 10/30/07

Just so you know, Rocks in My Dryer has her Fall, Y'all! Bloggy Giveaway going on. More than 200 bloggers are already participating, and the Mr. Linky only went live this morning!

Over at RS Designs, both Linda and I will be participating. I'm giving away a blog design package valued at $100. Linda's post is not up yet, but when it is, I'll provide a link to her giveaway as well. Linda is giving away two design packages worth $60 each. We will announce our winners on November 4, so if you want to enter for a chance to win, make sure you do so no later than November 3.

Visit Rocks in My Dryer to surf all the great giveaways going on this week.


Tag: Magical Flying Carpet Ride

Awhile back, Frank slapped me with this fun tag. *smile* Here's my story (it's more than a paragraph):

I was groggily stumbling down the dark hall when I stumbled over something. What could it be? There was nothing on the floor when I went to bed; I had made sure to pick up the house before retiring for the night. I felt around and picked up something metallic. As my fingers wrapped around it, two lights, one pink and one blue, appeared. In the lights were two semi-transparent ... people? What on earth?!

"We are the Genie King and the Genie Princess. We are here to grant you one wish. However, there are a two stipulations you must take into account when making your wish:

  1. we cannot take away anyone's free will.
  2. there are some wishes that even a genie cannot grant."
Utterly perplexed, I stammered out the first thought that popped into my head, "I wish that everyone on Earth would accept Christ as Savior!"

"I'm sorry, but that would take away their free will. We cannot grant that request. Make another wish, please," the Genie Princess replied.

"Um, I wish I were a highly disciplined individual."

"I'm sorry, but discipline only comes with self-denial; there are no short cuts. You aren't very good at this, are you? Try again," the Genie King's voice was kind and rather amused.

"Well, I reckon money is a safe wish. I wish that my family had enough money to be comfortable but not so much that we are corrupted by the love of money."

"Your wish is granted."

Both the genies and the lamp disappeared, leaving me to wonder if the whole thing had been a dream. I stumbled back to bed, my reason for getting up completely forgotten. I would figure it all out in the morning.

1. Write a short paragraph about your visit by the two Genies and include a link to the blog that passed on the Genie Symbol to you.
2. COPY the Rules and ENTIRE List below and post it on your blog.
3. List down your wish.
4. Place your name below the last name on the list and pass on the Genie Symbol to at least 5 other bloggers.
5. Please put up either one (or both) of the Symbols of the Genies on your blog to show that the Genies have visited your blog:

Genie PrincessGenie King

Genie Princess Genie King

The Genie King and the Genie Princess have visited:

Mariuca would like to wish for happiness and success.
Adrian would like to wish for good health and happiness.
Emila would like to wish for happiness and success.
Trinity would like to wish good health for Jan’s brother and Yah and Wan and success
MPG would like to wish for love and peace
Jean would like to wish for stress free work environment and happiness
Cbenc12 would like to wish for health, happiness and luck for my family and friends and me too!
Paris Beaverbanks would like to wish for more publicity! Hooyah! (taps swollen head)
Giddy Tiger would like to wish for longer weekends and never-ending holidays!
Shooi would like to wish for peace on earth, love, good health and happiness.
Chinnee would like to wish for happiness and good health forever!
Hui Sia would like to wish for love, health, wealth and happiness.
Chew Lee would like to wish hubby for a successful business venture in Singapore.
Anggie would like to wish for dream and wish come true.
Revka wishes for enough money to be comfortable but not so much as to be corrupted by the love of money.

Welcome aboard the Magical Flying Carpet for the Ride of your Life!


I will tag Linda, Tanyetta, MaryAnne, Robin, and Jen.


Friday, October 26, 2007

Freebie Fridays

My friend Karen is most well known for blogging at Thrifty Mommy; however, she also blogs at Little Fun; Little Learning, A Healthy Balance, and Celebrity Pictures and News. Whew! I'm tired just typing all that! (Never mind the fact that I attempted to write for four blogs at once myself.)

Karen has had a great idea; she has created Freebie Fridays, a meme devoted to, well, free stuff - of course! *laugh* As if it weren't good enough that she is doing this herself, she is inviting everyone to share their freebie finds and is providing a Mr. Linky at her post so that we can easily find all the free goodies.

Since I love to try new snacks, I searched for free snack samples and found an offer for a free sample of your choice of two Simple Nutrilite bars: Chocolate Crisp or Cherry Almond. They both sound yummy. I think I'll have to try the chocolate bar.

Visit Freebie Fridays at A Healthy Balance to see what other freebies have been posted.


Time to Buy a Home?

clip art courtesy of

If you've been thinking about taking the plunge and buying a home, this just might be your opportunity. In many areas of the country, such as the Scottsdale real estate market, there are more houses available than there are buyers, making this a buyer's market where sellers, desperate to sell their homes, are willing to make concessions they would not consider in a seller's market.

The recently lowered interest rates are also enticing to potential buyers, but lenders have tightened their guidelines in an attempt to cut down on their risk of customers defaulting on their loans, making it more difficult for wannabe buyers to qualify for a loan.

If you are thinking about purchasing a home, here are some steps you should take now:
  • look at your credit report to see what is in it so that you can correct any mistakes before going to a lender.
  • determine what you can realistically afford to pay each month. (Don't forget that figure should include a monthly escrow for taxes and insurance.) The bank may be willing to loan you more money than you feel you can afford. Don't accept the extra money; living within your means is one way to avoid financial difficulties, which could include foreclosure.
  • determine how much you can put down on a house. There are programs to help first-time home buyers acquire a home using very little of their own money, but there are normally extra fees attached which will raise the monthly payment.
  • research the different mortgage types available: ARM, fixed, no interest, balloon.
Homeowner is an exciting status to achieve, but be smart and don't create trouble for you and your family.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

I Recommend Spot Shot Carpet Cleaner!

You want to know why? Read this post, detailing Baby Bear's misadventure yesterday. I bet plenty of you have been in the same boat.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Yes, I've Lived Under a Rock

I know practically nothing about Van Halen. I have heard the name and assume that they are some kind of rock band? (I guess I could Google the name to find out more.) I have a sneaking suspicion that many people know about this group and would love to have Van Halen tickets.

Once upon a time I listened to pop rock, country, and similar genres, but this is completely out of my experience. I actually prefer to listen to old-time Christian music now - hymns and other such songs. I find that kind of music very uplifting and soothing.

What kind of music/which artists do you enjoy and why?


Sunday, October 21, 2007

Addictive Occupation

I love my design work. I love it so much it doesn't even feel like work. On the contrary, many times, it feels as though I am assembling an intricate jigsaw puzzle. How big should the header be? Does the navbar look better above or underneath the header? One sidebar or two? What design best fits this site's purpose and personality?

I enjoy this kind of puzzle. In fact, I would have to say I'm a bit addicted to blog design. Which, in light of the fact that my business is designing blogs, is a very good thing. I know that when you do what you love, you can actually look forward to working, and when you enjoy your work, you will usually do well at it.

Sadly, many, if not most, people trudge through life tied to a job that, at best, they dislike. Having been on that side of the fence as well, I highly recommend finding a job doing something you enjoy doing.

Do you have a hobby that you find addictive? Have you ever considered turning it into a business?


Accessories for a Chrysler 300

I don't know about you guys, but the Chrysler 300 isn't exactly my kind of car - too cool, I guess. *smile* But if you happen to own one and are interested in upgrading its accessories, you really need to take a look at Wood Dash Experts, Inc. They offer just about any Chrysler 300 accessory I could imagine - everything from dash kits to grills to rims ... you get the picture.

Like I said, the Chrysler 300 doesn't quite fit my taste. I've been in love with the 1969 Corvette, preferably in white, for over a decade. I told Mr. Incredible that is certainly my dream car because that is the only place I will ever own one. *laugh*

Do you have a dream car?


Good Memories

We had a busy time of it yesterday. We spent all day away from home helping my mom and sister move to a new house. It was a lot of work, but it was also nice because all of my siblings, except for the one in Texas, were able to be there with their families, and we had a lot of fun together while working. At the end of the day, the guys grilled out on the grill at the new home, and we all got to relax and enjoy having most of the family together.

On the way home, Mr. Incredible and I reminisced about our memories from when we were dating and engaged. I really don't remember a whole lot about those times. That sounds rather odd, but that's just the way my memory works. Certain things stand out, but there were many memories that Mr. Incredible referenced that I simply could not recall.

I did, however, enjoy revisiting the past. Talking together called to mind events and things that are forever tied to tender feelings. I will never forget our first date, which got rained out. Instead of playing tennis, we walked around the mall talking for a couple of hours - much better for building a relationship than playing tennis would have been. I also remember how significant the pearl necklace, bracelet, and earrings my parents bought me to wear at my wedding seemed. All brides must have pearls, you know, and those pearls meant that I was really getting married!

I cherish the memories Mr. Incredible and I have built and continue to build together. Although there are painful memories, most of our memories are filled with warmth, love, and laughter. I pray it will always be so.

What are some of your favorite memories?


Friday, October 19, 2007

Update and a Question for the Guys

Wow! Time has slipped by in a hurry this week! Since I didn't have any assignments pending and had two big design projects to complete, this blog kind of fell by the wayside.

Big things have happened over at RS Designs this week. After designing for everyone else, I finally created a custom design for my own site. I think it is beautiful with a sense of understated sophistication, rather like a well-bred lady. (How's that for a descriptive simile? *smile*)

Not only have I redesigned the site, but I have also streamlined the pages so that navigation is much more user-friendly, and I have added three design packages in addition to the A la Carte menu previously featured. (Here's a tip: if you think you may ever want a custom design, subscribe to the newsletter - the form is in the sidebar - because I offer big subscriber-only discounts from time to time, and subscribers will be the first to know of upcoming contests or new products. I just sent out a great package discount offer to my subscribers today.)

There is one more piece of news that I would absolutely love to share with you, and as soon as I can, I will. Trust me when I say this is big news for RS Designs!

As you know, I am now creating pre-made templates to sell. I plan to offer designs for men as well as for women. I've thought of creating a golf themed template featuring Nike golf clubs, a NASCAR themed template, a business-like template with a thin striped background, a patriotic design, and a few other masculine-seeming designs.

Here's my question for you gentlemen (though you ladies are welcome to offer your input as well). What would appeal to you guys? Do any of those ideas sound good? What would you like to see in a blog design?


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Basket Site Grand Opening

If you like baskets, you might like to browse Kathy Johnson's Longaberger site. Not only does she have lovely baskets, but she also sells other decorative items, many of which are perfect for Christmas. She told me that her grand opening is today, and I thought some of you might be interested in viewing her wares.


Sunday, October 14, 2007

One Year of Blogging

Break out the party hats and noise makers! I'm celebrating one year of blogging here at The Porch Light. I published my first post on October 14, 2006, and haven't stopped since.

I have written a lot in one year - this post is #466 if the post management area calculated correctly. That's a lot of posts! I am thankful for each one of you that stops by and takes the time to read what I write. I have enjoyed getting to know some of my most frequent commenters and treasure the friendships that have been developed.

Do any of you have suggestions for the direction this blog takes in the following year? Do my paid assignments detract from the blog? Are there any particular types of posts you would like to see more? Please leave me any suggestions you have to offer.

Here are a few some of my favorite posts from this year:

October, 2006:

November, 2006:

December, 2006:
January, 2007:
February, 2007:
March, 2007
April, 2007:
May, 2007:
June, 2007:
July, 2007:
August, 2007:
September, 2007:
October, 2007:
Some of my favorite categories are Quotes, Photos, and Frugal Tips.


Saturday, October 13, 2007


photo courtesy of

I'd like to share an analogy that occurred to me recently.

We all know that whether a watch is a Jaeger LeCoultre or a Wal-Mart special, it serves one primary purpose - to tell time. We Christians are like that watch: no matter what our outward appearance or our social standing may be, our lives serve one primary purpose - to glorify God.

When a watch battery is depleted, the watch can no longer keep accurate time. Likewise, when our spiritual stores are depleted, chances are good that we will more often sin and fail to glorify God. The good news is that, unlike a disposable battery, such as a watch battery, our spiritual battery is rechargeable. However, the only way to recharge that battery is to connect with the Source of our power (God) by reading His Word and talking to Him in prayer.

Too often, I fail to recognize just how imperative it is that I take the time each day to recharge and instead allow other activities to crowd out my time of spiritual refreshment. When that happens, I inevitably become spiritually weak and am easy prey for temptations that come my way. I no longer consistently fulfill my purpose of glorifying God. It is only when I resume regular quiet times with God that I once again have the power to resist temptation.

Are you finding yourself more often succumbing to temptation? Perhaps your spiritual battery, too, is in need of recharging. If that is the case, the good news is that you don't have to wait to reconnect with God. He is always available and is always eager to fellowship with His children. Take time now to return to the Source of your strength.


When Grandparents Visit

This is what it looks like when little girls play outside with Grandma. *smile* (Actually, she fell and landed on her face, but that wasn't Grandma's fault.)

This is what a little girl looks like when her grandparents have to leave. I don't know if the lighting will allow you to see the one tear in each eye.

When I was growing up, my one living grandmother was in the northern U.S. while we lived in the extreme south. We didn't see her often, and I never felt really close to her. I think grandparents are one of God's blessings to the younger generation. I'm glad we live close enough for our girls to know their grandparents.

How well did you get to know your grandparents?


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Pastel de Tres Leches

Our church had its Homecoming recently, and one of my friends brought this Pastel de Tres Leches - Three Milk Cake, a milk-soaked sponge cake. It was absolutely delicious! I asked for the recipe, and Argentina invited me to come to her house to watch her make it. She is Guatemalan, her English is limited, and her recipe is in Spanish, so she thought it would be easier for both of us if I actually saw how it was made. Yesterday, I took her up on her offer, and we had a lot of fun. I wrote down the recipe and asked her permission to post it. She said it was fine, so I am sharing this delicious dessert with you.

Pastel de Tres Leches

13 eggs (room temperature), separated
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla
3 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 c. flour

Milk Syrup

1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 can evaporated milk
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup grape juice or 1/2 cup milk

Toppings (your choice)
Cool whip or real whipped cream
Cocoa powder
Fresh fruit - peaches, strawberries, etc.
Maraschino cherries


  • Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 13x9 inch baking dish.
  • Separate eggs. Place egg whites in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, beat together egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla
  • In a small bowl, sift together flour and baking powder.
  • Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  • Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the yolk mixture and the flour mixture into the egg whites until blended.
  • Pour batter into prepared dish. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  • Let cool completely.
  • Combine the Milk Syrup ingredients in a bowl and mix until well blended.
  • Once cake is cool, use a knife or fork to poke several holes in the top, taking care not to tear the cake. Slowly pour the milk syrup over the cake, pausing as needed to let the cake absorb the liquid.
  • For best results, let cake sit in refrigerator overnight.
  • Before serving, spread whipped cream or Cool Whip over the top. Add additional toppings as desired. I put coconut and maraschino cherries on my cake.
Note: to make real whipped cream, beat a small container of heavy whipping cream on high speed until soft peaks form. Add confectioner's sugar to taste (usually 2-3 Tbsp.).


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

My Blog Is Loved

Or so The New Parent says. *grin* I am honored and surprised each time I receive an award like this. This blog is, after all, just me - plain Jane, boring me. So, thank you, Frank, for loving my blog enough to choose me for this award.

Frank spiced up his post by detailing 5 ways to spread the love and asked his nominees to write their ideas for loving others. (Great idea, Frank.) I'd like the spread the greatest love of all: God's love for fallen man.

  1. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. - John 15:13
  2. For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16
  3. No man taketh it [His (Jesus) life] from me, but I lay it down of myself. John 10:18a
Just those three verses demonstrate how very much God loves us sinners. All of mankind - past, present, and future - was condemned to die for our sins. God, in His great mercy, chose to send Jesus to give His life so that we could live. There is no greater love. The question remains: what will you do with that love? Will you accept the costly gift of life so freely offered you?

I love many blogs but am choosing to bestow this recognition upon the following:
  • Kelly and Karen of Thrifty Mommy - an interesting and informative blog about frugal living - you girls put a lot of effort into your blog, and let me assure you that your readers appreciate it.
  • Holly of Seeking Faithfulness - I really hope you keep blogging! I love visiting your blog, knowing that I will find warmth and wisdom there.
  • MInTheGap - challenging and conservative, this blog is right up my alley. MIn is certainly not afraid to tackle tough issues.
  • BooMama - she is an absolute riot! It is a rare visit when I do not find myself laughing.
  • Lizzie of A Dusty Frame - evidence of God's refining fire, Lizzie challenges me to look beyond people's facade to see the hurt behind the smile. Her blog also makes me consider how I would handle her situation - certainly not with the grace she exhibits!


Monday, October 08, 2007

Weekend Fun

Not only did we go to the beach on Friday, but we also had company come to visit - Mr. Incredible's parents. They, too, went to the beach on Friday, mainly so Dad could do some fishing. They actually crossed paths with us as we were leaving the beach.

We had a great visit with Mr. Incredible's parents. Mom and Dad spent Friday night and most of Saturday with us. They got to our home Friday evening just as I finished putting supper on the table - perfect timing. The girls were so excited that Grandma and Grandpa were there. It seemed the noise level immediately tripled as they all began clamoring for their grandparents' attention.

I was pretty happy with the house. I had gotten all the rooms picked up with the exception of the mountains of laundry that needed to put away. I just piled the clean laundry in a corner - no way I could get it all done before Mom and Dad arrived. Oh, well. At least the bathroom was clean. Even the shower faucets had been scrubbed. It felt good to have the house in better order than normal. If I can keep it like that (or better), I will be happy.

Mr. Incredible's mother loves to go to garage sales, and a nearby town was having a community yard sale on Saturday. We all loaded up and went there, but rain had started falling by the time we arrived, and the yard sale was no where to be found. Mr. Incredible took us by an old mill nearby. The scenery was absolutely beautiful, and I had my camera with me. Take a look.

Grandpa and girls (wish we had Grandma in there)

beautiful home overlooking the pond

fall scenery

old mill house

So what did you do this weekend?


Saturday, October 06, 2007

"Different" Does Not Automatically Mean "Bad"

I love classically designed wood furniture. The richly warm tones found in many oak and maple pieces make me feel more at ease than the sleekly aloof character of black lacquered furniture, and I prefer my gracefully curving sleigh bed to the stark designs of modern platform beds.

Those furniture preferences are reflections of my style preferences: brown over black; comfort over sophistication. Yet I admire others whose style is the opposite of mine. I can appreciate the beauty in the furnishings of a starkly angular, modernly designed home, and I can admire the sophisticated lady who always looks as though she had just stepped off the stage of a photo shoot for a fashion magazine.

How silly would it be to dislike someone for not sharing my exact taste in furniture, clothing, or design? Yet all too often we find nothing absurd in disliking a person simply for being different from us: a different race, a different religion, a different outlook on life. Before we decide we don't like someone, we need to make certain that we are not basing our dislike on superficial circumstances. (I am not saying that all beliefs are correct. I am only saying that we should not dislike people merely because they are different from us.)


Friday, October 05, 2007

We Ditched the Kids!

Howdy, Y'all! *grin*

This week has not been a normal week. School didn't go so well. The kids kept wanting to do other things. So I decided that we would repeat this week's lessons again next week.

The beautiful weather kept luring the girls to play outside. That was actually great for me. They have plenty to keep them occupied outside: a swing set, three slides, a playhouse, a sandbox, and a couple of ride-on toys they love. {Last Christmas, Grandma and Grandpa gave them a John Deere Gator. The Gator was chosen over the Disney Princess convertible because if a girl rode in the back, the Gator would hold all three girls. (I know they aren't supposed to do that.) Mr. Incredible would have loved to have given them the Dale Earnhardt Jr. car, but I told him that was taking things a bit too far.} It makes me happy to see them running and having fun playing outside.

Changing topics, Mr. Incredible and I had a blast today. He had two vacation days he has to use before the end of the year; now he has one. Yep, he took today off work, and we left the girls at a friend's house while we went to the beach. We took our time and made a few stops: the NASCAR collectibles store (for Mr. Incredible), the teacher's supply store (for me), Burger King (for our growling tummies), and a typical beach supplies store (to buy a boogie board). When we finally reached the beach, we only had about 1 1/2 hours to enjoy the water, but as it turned out, that was plenty.

The surf was rough! We could not stay in one spot but were constantly being dragged sideways and in toward shore. That last bit was a good thing, considering how strong the current was today. The water would be about 3 feet deep one moment and then 7+ feet the next. A few waves tumbled me head over heels, and even Mr. Incredible got tumbled one time.

It may not sound like fun, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I didn't have to worry about keeping an eye on the girls, trying to keep them safe from strangers and rip currents alike. Instead, I was able to just relax and enjoy being at the beach with Mr. Incredible.

How has your week been?


Thursday, October 04, 2007

Needed: Packing Advice

clip art courtesy of

Now that we have children, we use our knockoff Samsonite luggage more often than before. It used to be that when we spent the night at Mr. Incredible's parents' or grandparents' home, we could throw our clothing and other essential items in a medium size flight bag. Then Pookie was born, and we graduated to a small suitcase. Now that we have three girls, it takes a large suitcase, a small wheeled suitcase, and a flight bag to hold all of our essentials. That's just for an overnight stay! When we leave home for an extended period of time, we have even more luggage.

Mr. Incredible and I get tired of lugging around all those suitcases. Does anyone have any tips for packing lighter? Or is this just the way it is?


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Favorite photos

I love having my digital camera! It amazes me how many photos can fit on one tiny SD card. We bought a 1gb card, and I haven't run out of space on it yet. The problem is downloading and sharing all the lovely photos I take. *grin* For your viewing pleasure, here are some of my favorite photos. (Click 'Read More' link to view photos.)

Beautifully puffy cumulus clouds over the mountains

Sunset view at our campsite

Sunset sky - "Red at night - sailor's delight; red in the morning - sailors take warning."

I love flower closeups.

These wild blackberries (?) were all around our camp site.