Thursday, December 31, 2009

I Confess - I'm THAT one

I hate to admit this. But Hubbie and I ventured out to the stores for the first time "post-Christmas" on Tuesday evening. It really has not been that long since Christmas' however, all the madness had died down (I think that lasted about 24 hours?!?) but there were still bargains galore to be had. We really weren't shopping for anything - Hubbie just had a few returns to make (this is a pre-scheduled post-gift opening event...but that's another post) and we were browsing. What?? the bathing suits were out! Yes, I know this happens every year but I still get caught off guard. I was expecting the Valentine's cards and goodies but swimwear?

So I rolled my eyes several times. I might have made a few sarcastic comments (who me?) and then.....I can't believe I'm saying this - I bought one. Really now? Who buys a bathing suit in December?? Me!! I have the worst time finding a suit that fits all my criteria and/or expectations but this one did and, you know, if I waited to buy it until spring, they would be gone. Right??

I did NOT however try it on at the store. Goodness, who needs to peel off layers of sweaters, tights and corduroy to try on a swim suit!! But I will never ask again - who's even buying this stuff??? Oh, and I did buy a new winter coat (for a great price)....surely that even things out! :)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - or not!

One thing I've noticed about my Wordless Wednesday posts...they are rarely very "wordless"!! Can I really share some of my favorite pictures and not say anything?!!? (can I really ever just not say anything!:) )

But I do love sharing some pictures and want to use my blog as a place to save some of them. AND, I got that scanner for Christmas - thanks, sweetie! I think for the new year I am going to start Foto Friday (cutesy name, right!) and start getting my pictures on the computer. Foto Friday doesn't completely exclude words - shew - and I can share some thoughts.

I also want to use my blog more in the new year to remember some of the richness - blessings, encouragment and conviction as well - from God's word I get from reading and studying each week. This will be primarily for my benefit (because I can't seem to remember a tenth of what I want to remember) but I hope it will be a blessing to others as well. So, I will start doing that on Wednesdays instead. Maybe something like - A Word for Wednesday?!?? (I'll think of something.)

I've just been thinking how I want to best use this blog in the new year. The new year?? Can you believe its almost here. I do like to make goals for the new year (don't know if they are resolutions per se) but I haven't given that tons of thought yet.....but I do know I want to spend more time with this sweetheart!!

Miss Riley is 18 months already!! I just love her:)


Miss Roo!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Christmas Wrap-up

Yes...a wrap-up, the pun was intended! I spent yesterday getting everything back in the boxes and everything dusted, vacuumed and relatively put back together. For me, it is a WONDERFUL feeling! I love my holiday decorations but I really like everything back in its place...which is funny since we moved to the new house three days before Thanksgiving and then really just put Christmas things out. So nothing actually had its "right place" but I am having a great time finding just those perfect spots (at least for now)! And we even have storage in our new home and don't have to haul all the Christmas boxes to the storage facility...hoorah!!

I suppose I've also really been needing the sense of calm that comes when everything is back in order - at least on the outside. This holiday season came with some very difficult trials and situations for my family and for me personally. Our silent night, holy night seemed to be anything but....more like a howling, ugly storm! I really battled with self-pity - thinking "its not fair...Christmas shouldn't be like this" but God met me and reminded me Christmas is not about me and my fairy-tale dreams of a Hallmark card holiday. As I began to purposely re-focus, God blessed our day in many special ways.

We were surrounded with love by family - even those who couldn't be physically here at the house. The weather did not keep us from travelling to my brother's house in the afternoon for Christmas dinner. And the day was beautiful and comforting in many ways. I write this to remind myself...as the days and weeks ahead are certain to be filled with continuing challenges and heartaches. However, I never walk alone.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas in Heaven



We miss you sweet, Tyler. Merry Christmas!!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Matthew 1:18-25

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

The Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.

But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,

Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:

And knew her not till she had brought forth her first born son: and he called his name JESUS.


Merry Christmas to all my friends and family. May the true reason of Christmas be most meaningful to you this year.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Too Cute..

photo from the internet
It's almost here! I am totally with these two - a nap would just about perfect today! Sure hope your "to do" list is just about "wrapped" up!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Saving the Best for Last

The stockings are all hung.....the presents are wrapped...the cards are all sent - I think, that leaves...

Baking!! And with snow in our forecast (and maybe lots of it), it is a perfect time to bundle in at home and keep busy in the kitchen! Some ideas I have (of course, I can always change my mind...) are: haystacks (I love these but have never made them myself), fudge, ginger cookies and oreo balls!

Seriously need to schedule some extra exercise time!! Maybe I'll be building a snowman (probably not)!! Have a great weekend -

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Bell

THE BELL
I KNOW WHO I AM
I am God's child ( John 1:12)
I am Christ 's friend ( John 15:15 )
I am united with the Lord (1 Cor. 6:17)
I am bought with a price (1 Cor 6:19-20)
I am a saint (set apart for God). (Eph. 1:1)
I am a personal witness of Christ .(Acts 1:8)
I am the salt & light of the earth (Matt 5:13-14)
I am a member of the body of Christ (1 Cor 12:27)
I am free forever from condemnation ( Rom. 8: 1-2)
I am a citizen of Heaven. I am significant ( Phil 3 :20)
I am free from any charge against me (Rom. 8:31 -34)
I am a minister of reconciliation for God (2 Cor 5:17-21)
I have access to God through the Holy Spirit (Eph. 2:18)
I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realms (Eph. 2:6)
I cannot be separated from the love of God (Rom 8:35-39)
I am established, anointed, sealed by God (2 Cor 1:21-22 )
I am assured all things work together for good (Rom. 8:28 )
I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit ( John 15:16 )
I may approach God with freedom and confidence (Eph.. 3: 12 )
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13 )
I am the branch of the true vine, a channel of His life ( John 15: 1-5)
I am God's temple (1 Cor. 3:16). I am complete in Christ (Col. 2:10)
I am hidden with Christ in God (Col. 3:3) and justified (Romans 5:1)
I am God's co-worker (1 Cor. 3:9;). I am God's workmanship (Eph. 2:10)
I am confident the good works begun in me will be perfected. (Phil. 1: 5)
I have been redeemed and forgiven ( Col 1:14).
I have been adopted as God's child (Eph 1:5)
I belong to God
Do you know
Who you are?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Oh, Yes He Did

How do I know my Hubbie truly loves me?? Well - here's one more way I will tuck away to remember....

Saturday night, we are coming home from our Sunday school Christmas party. We had a great time! I had taken some dip in the crock pot and had said pot sitting at my feet so Hubbie's driving could not "accidentally" tip the pot over:) Getting out of the van, I awkwardly lifted my foot up over the crock pot, caught my heel in the hem of my skirt totally losing my balance and completely wiped out on the garage floor. It was not pretty - but I really was not concerned with my pride at that point because my wrist was KILLING me!! Oh my goodness - hurt!!

Good news - it is not broken! (I cannot fathom how much an actual broken bone must feel..never had one!) Bad news - at this point, it is useless!! I can do NOTHING with that wrist...and did I mention it, it is the right wrist and I am right-handed??? Frustrating does not begin to describe how I feel...

Anyways, back to my sweet Hubbie. Today, I am supposed to be attending an annual Christmas luncheon that a friend does every holiday. It is an amazing spread - all homemade dishes that she does completely solo - and something I look forward to each year. But I can barely dress myself...much less get my face on...and all hope was gone of fixing my hair. And do you know - that sweet man of mine - blew my hair dry AND flatironed it!! Can't believe it myself. And it looks good enough to leave the house:) Too good to me, I'm tellin' ya!

I'm off to that luncheon!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

A Day Late - but Still Thankful

Yes, it is Friday but this is my "Thankful Thursday" post, as yesterday was fun - and special - for me. We (Hubbie and I) went to get our tree!! Seems rather ordinary but it was a big deal for me.

When the kids were young, going to get the tree was always an event. We drove out to our favorite Christmas tree farm and walked up and down all the rows in search of just the perfect one. After finding "it"...the boys helped their dad cut it down, which was totally cool for them. This tree farm also had a nice greenhouse where you could warm up, enjoy cider or hot chocolate and cookies and (the best) they always had baby rabbits to cuddle! It was an all day event that we always looked forward to!

After Tyler died, this was one tradition that we just could not seem to manage - especially Hubbie. He has not helped pick out a tree (not even really cared about the tree actually) for the last three years. Yesterday......it was his idea to go find a tree and his enthusiasm was high! We didn't go to a farm but found a beautiful nursery that I could have spent hours browsing through - it was amazing!! We did find a perfect tree - and, this morning before he left for work.....he said we were decorating it tonight. Mind you, that was never his favorite part even when the kids were little. We'll have fun, though. (And, after this weekend - all the preparations around the house will be done!! :) )

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

My Sweetie

I mentioned this week was Hubbie's birthday and I rarely have pictures of him...so just a few for "Wordless" Wednesday! (Erica had several cute ones on her blog!)

The best thing about "getting older"....being a Poppy!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Looking for New Ideas....to Eat!

Today was the last day of Bible study for this semester - and (shockingly!) we ended with a brunch! Any excuse to get together and eat:) I am such a fan of breakfast casseroles...and there were so many to choose from this morning...I was lovin' it! I even found one with grits and sausage...yumm-o! I must confess - I LOVE grits! I know - you either love 'em or hate 'em but I love 'em! I also had a wonderful hot fruit compote....

So many wonderful ideas for holiday meals! What are some of your favorites for the holiday meals??

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Weekend: Williamsburg, a Birthday and some Snow

Our first winter Monday with snow on the ground! That's right, we had snow this weekend - it wasn't too terribly much and didn't interfere with church yesterday so I can handle that, I suppose:) And it did not interfere with our ladies' outing on Saturday which I am so thankful for!

There was a group of 29 ladies from the church that went for the day to Colonial Williamsburg - about two hours from our area. Although it didn't snow, the weather was very wet, cold and rather yucky but everyone really seemed to have a good time. We visited historic downtown (this is where we all realized our hair was pretty much "done" for the day....goodness, many of us were quite wet!), lunched at Olive Garden (what a great job they did getting us all served!), shopped at the Yankee Candle Outlet store - an amazingly fun place to shop - and shopped some more at the Outlet Mall!! A stop for dinner was in the schedule but the ladies all voted to skip dinner in order to keep on shopping:) I was so happy, and fortunate, to be a part of planning this day. It was a lot of fun. Several have asked to do it again; hopefully, this will be something we can continue.

We came home to a parking lot full of snow:) Most of the ladies had driven to the church; my husband, however, had dropped me off that morning - and while he was waiting for the bus to return, he cleaned the snow off just about all the cars. He is a keeper, I'm tellin' you! Yesterday was his birthday.....I sure hope he had a wonderful day - all the cards, calls and gifts reminding him how much he is appreciated and loved!! Oh, and he got his medicare card!! HA:)

After a fun weekend, time to get back on track tackling that ever-growing December "to do" list!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Posting Again!!

FRIDAY....the first Friday of December - and
*two weeks since my last (real) post
*two weeks off of the computer (which has actually been a nice thing - I do enjoy the convenience of the computer and emails and blogs......I just am not great at managing my time when I get on the computer - how does 45 minutes go by so quickly??)
*two days before Hubbie's birthday!!

*one week since we have been in our new home
*one week of lovin' our "new life" in Gainesville:)
*one day before the Ladies' Day Out trip at church (more about that next week! There are flurries in the forecast for tomorrow - grrr! - praying that all the ladies will be able to make it.)

*no tree in the family room...yet
*no cards in the mail..yet
*not one present wrapped (er...or bought!)

But that's okay!! Life has been full, busy, good and blessed!! Hoping to share more in the days ahead. Praying that your December is off to a great start as well!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

HAPPY THANKSGIVING
"In thankfulness and humility, we acknowledge,
especially now, our dependence on One greater than ourselves."
President George W. Bush - Thanksgiving proclamation two months after 9/11

Friday, November 20, 2009

Discovering Yummy Things

One of best things about blogging is discovering so many fun and beautiful blogs (so many creative ladies out there!)....reading encouraging posts, seeing how similar life is even when individual lives can be so different....and getting new recipes:)

My friend, Donna has been sharing pumpkin recipes this week. Did I mention pumpkin is one of my favorite foods?? She has several yummy ones here and I thought I would throw in my two sense...or one I would love to try. I found this recipe at a new blog I discovered this morning - such a nice site with an etsy shop and even a country store. It was here.

This looks similar to what my mom used to make and call dump cake. But Pumpkin Crunch Cake sounds so much tastier!:) I know this will remind me of her. Hope everyone has a yummy weekend.

Pumpkin Crunch Cake~
1 yellow cake mix
1 can pumpkin
1 can evaporated milk
3 eggs
1 1/2 cup sugar
4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup melted butter
whipped topping

Combine pumpkin, milk, egg, sugar,pumpkin pie spice, and salt in bowl. Pour into pan.
Sprinkle dry yellow cake mix evenly over pumpkin mixture. Sprinkle pecans over top. Drizzle melted butter over everything. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. Cool completely and top with whipped topping.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

At Last........

THANKFUL THURSDAY....and just one week before the "big" Thankful Thursday!! A few blessings from this week for today, though.

**Thankful for my friend, Hannah, and her husband having Hubbie and I over for dinner Tuesday night. What an enjoyable evening - and the london broil on the grill was beyond yummy. I really don't cook alot of beef but Hubbie SO loves it and, yes, he had about three helpings...totally lovin' life at that meal!!

**Thankful for Donna who so helped me focus and organize my thoughts this week. She is such a sweet friend - and my brain is total mush lately?!?!?

And LAST, but not least....

**This is the LAST week we will be in our cozy apartment. If all stays on schedule, we go to settlement on Monday. Hurrah.

**Last night was the LAST time we will have to trek down to church (from the apartment) for the mid-week service. With our area's traffic, it is a LONG trip. Grrrr.

**Today is the LAST treatment in this latest round of maintenance treatments to keep my lymphoma "away"! Praying for clean scans in a few weeks.

Hope your day is blessed as well!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Its Almost Time!!

Turkey Time, that is!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My Favorite Season is..........

Well...here it is Tuesday evening and I've almost forgotten to answer my own question. What a goof - on Tuesday mornings, I'm out the door earlier than most days for Bible study and, then, well the day gets away from me. I did like reading everyone's comments about the seasons - isn't God so good to give us all the different seasons?

I do like fall. I love: flannel sheets (and flannel jammies), the smell from fireplaces when I go out to walk the doggie (and how cute he looks in his little argyle sweater), all the yummy-flavored creamers that make me want to keep drinking coffee, and I like my fall/winter wardrobe so much better than my summer one.........but,

I have to admit, I LOVE spring the best!! The daffodils (and yellow forsythia) beat out even the beauty of fall leaves any day for me! Its no secret that I really don't like winter but knowing - because of God's great faithfulness - that spring is just around the corner helps me survive those long, too cold months. Spring totally renews me...emotionally, physically and spiritually.

Now...I just have to remind myself of that when winter digs in its heels all too soon around here!! Thanks for all your comments.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Leaves or Daffodils


I was just curious...........I was reading my recent issue of Country Living magazine this weekend and came across this quote:


"Fallen leaves lying on the grass in the November sun bring more happiness than the daffodils." - Cyril Connolly


So I was wondering...do you agree or disagree?? Not that I'm getting too deep...just which season is your favorite? I'll share mine tomorrow! Have a beautiful Monday:)

Friday, November 13, 2009

A thought to ponder over the weekend - hoping it is a great one for everyone.

The LORD hath done great things for us;
whereof we are glad.
Psalm 126:3

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Random Blessings This Week

Thankful Thursday.....and today I am thankful

*for sweet little Sarah's first birthday yesterday! She, her brother and sister and her mommy and daddy are among our dearest friends - and what a sweetheart she is!

*we finally have a settlement date for our new home....there could actually be light at the end of the proverbial tunnel!

*the group of 6-8 tiny birds that gather on our small balcony every morning - they are so pretty with their pale yellow heads (no I don't know my birds at all) and just remind me of God's faithfulness.

*we have over 20 ladies signed up for our first ladies' day trip at church (that, yes, I am organizing and so did not want it to be "a flop"...little faith, I know)

*my best friend is going to be a "Mimi" in just six days - baby Sophie is on her way - and now I won't be the only grandma among us:)

*my Precepts Bible study this semester - very intense and, yes, a bit more of a commitment than I had realized..but so rewarding and exciting - digging deep into the word on your own!

*that life is just plain good!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Honoring All Those Who Have Served.....and Those Who Are Serving Now!!

I am so proud of you!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Grateful in the Waiting

What a blessing it was to open my blog and find so many had lifted prayers on my behalf yesterday. I sincerely thank each one of you. My day spent with Paul and Nellie was not without its struggles but it was a day well spent and much enjoyed. These two have been married just a month shy of 63 years...and what a pair! We laughed a lot and shared some tears (things did not go exactly as we had hoped with the testing..but there are still chances to get some limited driving privileges) but I just enjoyed being with these sweet Christians.

I also heard that Carter was able to go home from the hospital. I'm not sure all that is happening regarding treatment, etc....but, at least, they are all home. The hospital is just so yucky!!

I started last week with some thoughts regarding thankfulness....if for no other reason, than to keep my own perspective. As Christians, we are to be thankful - always. On Thursday, I mentioned how clearly the Lord has been leading us - but, of course, not all days are like that. In fact, just recently it seems that the clear path we were walking so confidently suddenly came to an end. I found myself thinking more often than I had in a long time, "Which way now?"

When this happens, we are often quick to think there must be a mistake (on our part...or even the Lord's??) Did I misunderstand His leading? I know, personally, it doesn't take long for me to become anxious, fearful....even cranky! And so soon after the confidence of the day before. Then I received an email from a casual friend. It wasn't even specifically to me but to a group of us but it so taught me. She was also in a time of waiting to hear God's voice - to sense His direction. She said, "I often ask God why I can't hear him. (That is a definite WAIT). So I am waiting, hungry for instruction and direction. Exactly....the silence isn't a mistake or God's leaving or any such concept but was simply a time TO WAIT.

And, even in the waiting - maybe especially in the waiting - we are to be thankful. Thankful for past direction and victories. Thankful that our God is faithful and we are never alone. Thankful that His timing is always best and that as our Heavenly Father is only wants the best for us. I came across this quote in an on-line devotion...and this week, its my motto.

Learning to be thankful - even when we cannot see, hear or understand what God is doing or how He is working - is authentic thanksgiving.


Monday, November 9, 2009

Monday Morning Request

It has been a beautiful morning already this Monday morning...and the forecasters are promising a beautiful day today. I don't have much time this morning and today should be a long one but I wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a beautiful week - and, if you should think of me today, I'd ask that you whisper a prayer on my behalf. My heart is heavy-burdened today...particularly with five requests. Most I cannot share.

I would mention a little guy named Carter - five years old and has the same tumor, a brain stem glioma, that my Tyler had. He was admitted to the hospital late last week with pneumonia. His latest scans show a significant, and quick, growth of his tumor. Please pray for him and his family - all Christians.

I'd also mention my "senior friends"...Paul and Nellie. They have many different needs and concerns - particularly with their health but others as well. Nellie had her driver's license taken away until her health and ability to drive could be evaluated and this loss of independence has been devastating for her. Today I take her for the first step of this evaluation process. Honestly, I do not know the best outcome for this but I pray for real wisdom as well as compassion for all those involved in this process.

My other requests are much more personal...and very heavy. We are privileged to bear one another's burdens. And, as I am able, I will give the Lord all the glory as prayers are answered. Have a wonderful Monday - and a wonderful week, too!

Friday, November 6, 2009

The New House!!


So.....here it is.........our (soon-to-be) new home-sweet-home!! We are so excited!! Praying this week goes smoothly toward closing next Friday. Have a happy weekend!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Leading to Move

THANKFUL THURSDAY...and first of all I'm so glad I posted those chubby cheeks yesterday! I received notes from several friends who said they will pray our Thanksgiving trip works out - well, yeah!! Thanks.

Today I am thanking the Lord for His clear direction and leading - especially during this move. Actually, we were not specifically looking for this house or even to move. Hubbie and I are (or WERE) professional house hunters - we just made a bit of a hobby out of looking at homes for sale. It's fun. Along the way, I've fallen "in love" with lots of homes but Hubbie not so much. We were out looking at a cute neighborhood and the for sale sign had gone in the yard just the evening before when we first saw our new home......yes, I loved it - and, this time so did he!! And we had a contract 48 hours later!

From the first phone call and through out the following weeks.....during each decision and every phase....we so clearly saw God's hand in deciding to move. His timing has not been exactly our timing :) (did I mention, I'm somewhat impatient and I hadn't thought we would need to rent for a few weeks) but His blessings have been adundant all the way.

Our new home is still local - far enough away to sense a "new beginning" but we will still be able to attend our church and keep in touch with our friends and family. It is the perfect house for us - a single family house with a townhouse size yard! And, did I mention it is so absolutely cute! :) We feel beyond blessed - and we are anxious to see how God is going to use this move and this new home....so that we can be a blessing to others as well.

Hopefully - a picture tomorrow! Have a terrific, thankful Thursday!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Chubby Cheeks!

Wordless Wednesday.......

I'm praying that all works out so we are able to go away for Thanksgiving...and smooch those chubby cheeks!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Thankful Season

When I flip the calendar to November (or should I say IF I had a calendar not in storage to flip), I think of two things:

1 - It is no longer that the holiday season "is just around the corner" but, in reality, the holiday season is here! How can that be?? I'm not sure if I missed its approach because I couldn't set out any of my decorations..and help set the mood - or if my mind is totally over packed and the fact of the holidays was pushed too far back in some corner of my brain. But, nevertheless, I am completely unprepared!! and,

2 - This is the thankful season. I know that every season (of the year, of life....) can be and should be one to be thankful - but I'm glad we have a time to purposefully reflect and be grateful. With all that has been happening in my and Hubbie's life (and family), we have seen God working, providing, leading/directing and blessing - and I want to be careful to be thankful.

I came across the quote from Dr. Stanley that I shared yesterday and thought it was the perfect place to start. No matter what else I may give thanks for....all is nothing without God's gift of salvation that "absolutely transformed my life." As a christian, there are still stressful days - some very stressful days - there are still hurts, sorrows, worries and challenges. The difference is a Heavenly Father that goes with me through each day, whether sunshine or stormy......giving guidance, encouragement, hope, peace and confidence. I thank Him for loving me, dying in my place and for walking with me each step of this way.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Welcome November - the season to be thankful

Phase one of the move is done! The boxes are out of sight...if just for a few weeks! We had a busy, yet productive, weekend and are already enjoying our homey (temporary) condo. There were a few questions about our move which I want to answer and share with everyone this week. We just got our internet up and running - so, not much for today...although I have much on my mind and heart. God has been so good!

Just a thought to reflect on today....and more about His goodness and my gratefulness tomorrow!

A person with a thankful heart
is one who's had an experience with the Lord Jesus Christ
that has absolutely transformed their life.
- Charles Stanley

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Abbey Knoll

THANKFUL THURSDAY ....and I am so thankful for this house that we have called home for over fifteen years. When we moved here, our children were one, three and five. I remember, as we left the old house, thinking, "this is the house where all of our children were born" but, my goodness - this is the home where we raised our family! Many a milestone has been observed here, many (many) a memory made and just so much of life has been lived within these walls. And I truly thank the Lord for it all.

As I mentioned, the van will come tomorrow and load up all of these boxes and all of our stuff. And, while I appreciate that it is "stuff"...there is a lot "attached" to that stuff for me.

Our bed - that was such a great place to snuggle with sleepy little ones early in the morning....that was a good place to sit and have "one of those talks"....that could easily be turned into a fort or even an occasional trampoline!

The kitchen table - where fifteen years of family dinners have been shared. We talked, and laughed, and fussed. Sometimes corrected or reprimanded. Sometimes encouraged. And sometimes just ate - but always together. We've enjoyed many a great meal there - and endured several flops, as well.

The dining room table - that has been the place to celebrate so many life events....birthdays, graduations, holidays, special days and any other chance to "get out the good dishes"!

The couch....goodness, I had no idea how many memories I associated with our couch until I began to jot down these thoughts for today! I am so grateful for every morning we gathered there for family devotions before school. All of the guests we have entertained there. The times we have gathered around - just being together as a family. The naps taken there and all the sick days that have been made so much better snuggled under the yellow quilt on that couch. The list is too long.....

I thank the Lord, today, for this house. This neighborhood (that's a whole other post) - the neighbors we have known and the ones we currently enjoy so much. This home! And I am also grateful for the beautiful new home He has given - and look forward to all the new memories to be made.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

BOXES!

Today is supposed to be "Wordless Wednesday" and I took some great pictures to give you a glimpse of my world....not that I would normally give anyone a look inside when things are as they are....but, I've misplaced (hopefully packed) the cord to upload the photos! So, let me see if I can just give you a little idea.

Think boxes. Then think more boxes. Now, think just a few more boxes. Boxes stacked three and four deep in every corner. Boxes completely covering all floor spaces, except for a few very narrow paths that barely fit my less than narrow body.

Then on the counters imagine a jumble of cleaning supplies, various household items, tissues for never-ending sinus issues and two coffee mugs (yes!)...

And there you have it - home sweet home. Well, at least for the next two days. The moving van comes on Friday.....let the adventure begin - and let the boxes be gone!!! (More thoughts on our move tomorrow!) Have mercy.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Opportunity

We are in the middle of a Bible conference at church this week (well, until Wednesday) and what a blessing the preaching has been for me. Just a few notes to myself from last night -

Opportunity - each of us is given opportunity....every day. TODAY I have an opportunity to live for the Lord, to seek to know Him more and to be faithful with all that He has entrusted to me. Each day...as well as each "stage" of life...I want to purposefully use the opportunity I have. Whether a busy stay at home mom with three preschoolers, a new empty nester or perhaps, some day, even a widowed senior...there is no need to wait until a "better time" but, instead, look for the opportunities that are mine right now.

I also want to be careful not to make excuse (also known as whining) for not using the opportunity of today. No matter my age, my situation, my circumstance or any other reason, right now is the best opportunity I have - there is no promise of a better time down the road and I will never have the chance of yesterday again. I want to be faithful today.


I know these notes have really been for myself and I did not elaborate or fully explain them - but I pray that your today will be a great day....and that I will intentionally seek the opportunities that Christ has given to me this day and will use today to honor Him.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Apple Recipes for Fall

When life gets stressful..think food! That always seems to be my motto (some say working out really helps but, no, I tend toward baking..and eating! That could be part of the problem) Anyways, with fall in the air I'd thought I share a few apple recipes I am really wanting to try - and will if I ever get my kitchen unpacked. Let me know if you beat me to it - they sound so yummy.

Apple Bread
(my aunt used to bake the most amazing, moist apple cake but since I lost the recipe I keep trying ever recipe I can find to make something even close....this looked promising!)

1 1/2 cups chopped pecans, divided
8 oz. sour cream
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 TBS vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups chopped, peeled Granny Smith apples
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 - Toast 1/2 cup of the pecans in oven at 350 for approximately eight minutes, until fragrant.

2 - Beat sour cream, sugar, eggs and vanilla for two minutes.

3 - Stir together flour, baking powder, soda and salt. Add to sour cream mixture. Stir in apples and toasted pecans. Spoon batter into greased and floured 9X5 loaf pan. Sprinkle with remaining pecans, pressing into batter.

4 - Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean. May need to shield with tin foil during last 10 minutes to prevent over browning. Cool in pan 10 minutes. While cooling, bring butter and brown sugar to a boil over medium heat; boil one minutes. Remove from heat and spoon over bread. Cool completely (about one hour). Can be frozen for up to three months.




Skillet Fried Apples
(my boy, Jordan, could make a meal out of these!)

3 TBS butter
5 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced (about 2 1/4 pounds)
2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tsp apple pie spice

1 - Melt butter in skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining ingredients and saute 15 to 20 minutes until apples are tender.

THAT'S IT!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

A Funny for Friday

I thought a little humor was in order for today...at least, for me. Right now, my world feels not only turned upside down but as if it is hanging that way and being thrashed about by hurricane winds! Everything that gives my life stability - not the least of which would be order, a sense of direction, etc. - has been removed...goodness. What a crazy time -

So, I thought I would share this cute story I heard on the radio the other day. A good chuckle always helps!!!

A lady called in and shared this story: each time she and her three-year old grandson get in the car, they like to play a game called "What does the animal say?" She "quizzes" him with an animal and he makes the animal's sound for her. She had gone through her usual repertoire and was running out of ideas. Then she thought of the perfect idea to "stump" him (maybe ending the game?) and asked, "What does a shark say?" And in his best movie voice-over tone, he said "Dun Duh....Dun Duh...Dun Duh"!!!

You can't outsmart a three-year old!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Beach Blessings

THANKFUL THURSDAY...I truly am grateful for the days that Hubbie and I had to get away to the beach. Yes, God's majestic hand of creation is very evident along the shores of the ocean...and a genuine sense of serene calms your soul and really lends itself to drawing closer to Him....and I appreciate all of that from our trip. However, God really blessed our time to be away...to be together without all the details "of life" that so easily steal our time and zap our energy. This new phase of "empty-nesting" is a learning experience - as with all the phases of life - but God is showing us the blessings - and even some of the rewards.





I am so thankful to have this "hunk" :) to spend this next phase of life with..........

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Hilton Head 2009

As promised, some (very random) pictures from our recent trip to Hilton Head Island. One thing I have noticed, for sure, that travelling with just the two of us....our vacation photos are not nearly as cute, fun or interesting as they were when the kids were with us. Love my hubbie dearly, but he just does not "do cute" that well!! :) (I might have even heard some down right moaning towards the end of the trip when I'd break out the camera again.....nah, I doubt that!) I can only take so many shots of him.....so, we have pictures of

BIRDS!! The seagulls are actually cute...and not at all people shy!


Early on..and still being a good sport. Could be this is one of his favorite spots! At the end of the island (the "toe"!) there is a harbor...we love to spend time there - eating, shopping or chillin' in one of the many rockers:)


No - I have no idea who these kiddos are....but I watched them play one morning while we were out walking - and I was so caught up remembering the many trips to the beach with our own little ones. Such great memories of our two little red heads and their tow-headed brother!! Life was so good. Our boys LOVED to play - like these guys - in the little of channel of water left behind when the tide goes out.



This is how Hubbie and I usually pulled up to the harbor........NOT!! Oh my goodness, every time you think you've seen the best yacht ever - the next day, there is one bigger or even more amazing!! (Do people really live like that???)

My dad was a hibiscus lover!! These reminded me of him!!



Why does he always tan so easily??



I really like this picture - and I actually took it out a window through the glass. It was the view from the restaurant....and the seafood was as great as the view!!
Thanks for looking through my photos - maybe just a couple more tomorrow!!

Tony's 21!!

I do have a few pictures from the beach to share but that will have to wait until tomorrow - today we have a birthday to celebrate! My brand new son-in-law celebrates today!! Happy Birthday, Tony!

As most know, Hubbie and I have two daughters - such great girls, sisters in the truest sense of the word and in so many ways...so much alike! Technically, they are "half sisters" which doesn't really mean much in the sense of family - I just throw that in to prove what I've said all along..."Totally like your dad!!"

What is so interesting to me is how much alike their husbands are?!? Similar in physical presence but even more so in temperament. Both computer brained?? Laid back. And really boys at heart:) And they love our daughters - and we love them!

We are blessed to have a new son-in-law. I hope this day - which is a busy one in many ways - is very special for him!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Thoughts from Hilton Head 2009

Happy Monday - and the start of a new week! I just love Mondays!! We did make it back from the beach but, no, the computer did NOT get fixed while we were gone. I'm still using this laptop from my daughter which is actually working out fairly well (the keyboard is still either really small or my fingers are really fat!) I do have a few pictures from our vacation that I hope to post tomorrow (or maybe Wednesday)....today, just a few things I learned from the beach:

1 - At home, here, we have something I've always called "Indian Summer" - after a stretch of cool (or very cool) days, there is a surprise, sudden revival of summer with really warm temperatures that is so fun and enjoyable. It is a phenomenon that I have loved ever since I was a kid. Okay - I don't know what they call it at the beach but "Indian Summer" at Hilton Head is HOT!! The first few days we were there, it was 90 degrees with total humidity....and, no, I did not pack for that. I even did some sweating (and I DON'T sweat!)

2 - A drenching hot day in Hilton Head is still bliss!!

3 - Maybe its age...maybe its "size" or maybe its both!.....but there comes a point when you really should no longer perch (or wedge) your backside atop a skinny bicycle seat. Just not pretty!

4 - Going with the logic of "I don't know any of these people" (ha), I did it anyways. We rented bikes and rode the beach. Did you know they actually have extra wide seats?!? I don't know what I looked like....but we sure had fun! Note to self: be sure to ride against the wind on the way out! Whew.

5 - Activities that could be considered exercise are actually fun at the beach - that is so unfair. We took alot of walks on the beach - some for just walking and others for working out - and I just love walking along the water's edge.

6 - I actually told my hubbie (TWICE), "I really don't feel like shopping anymore!" What happens to a person at the beach!?!?

7 - The dogs playing at the beach are absolutely adorable. And as cute as my pup may (or may not) be, I don't picture him romping the waves and chasing balls on the beach. He is not welcome at the condo complex we stay at - imagine that!! - so he stays home; although I don't think he misses us nearly as much as we might miss him. He was spoiled!!

8 - Coming home from the beach and getting sick is extra miserable...two cases of "its not fair" makes the pity party even worse. Okay, so I'm not that sad yet but I have been really pretty lousy ever since we got home and now I have shared it with my hubbie. Goodness. Hopefully, this will be a healthier week for us.

Pictures to post soon. :)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Dreamin' of the Beach

As I was driving through the neighborhood this afternoon, I noticed the leaves are really starting to turn. Several all almost completely bright red. And the evenings definitely have a briskness to them (perfect for our evening stop at Starbucks for that lite pumpkin latte!!). Oh..so fall - but I'm headed to the beach!! How cool!

Hubbie and I head to Hilton Head tomorrow for several days. The weather should be perfect and water still a nice temperature (not that I would ever get IN the ocean but I love to walk the edge of the beach and splash my feet). There will be no crowds - in the restaurants, on the beach, or in the stores! And I have lots of books and other reading material to simply laze the day away!! I can't wait.

Oh, and the computer, we believe, did not exactly crash but is broken. Yep, that's what they said. But it is going to the computer doctor while we are away and I should be sharing lots of great photos when I return. Praying everyone has a wonderful week!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Computer Woes

I woke yesterday morning - to a crashed computer!! How rude - oh, and how frustrating! And, doesn't it seem like just weeks ago this happened before. I actually had some thoughts ready for posts this week - but not sure when I will be back and posting (I'm just borrowing this laptop) - I did, however, want to tell everyone hello!! Praying that it is a great week for everyone - and that the computer is up and running quickly!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Apple Dumplings

I had a group of friends at the house last night for a jewelry party. I don't usually "do" those in-home sales parties - not that I have anything against them...I just don't have alot of success with them (something like yard sales!) But last night was a lot of fun - folks actually showed up (always a plus!) and I get lots of free jewelry! I always enjoy fixing some snacks and sweets to share and wanted to remember this recipe that found on Mrs. H's blog - so I thought I'd share it today. These are her apple dumplings but if you look through her blog, she has so many yummy recipes! I want to try about twenty!! The dumplings were a huge hit and so perfect for a cool, fall evening.


The Pioneer Woman's Apple Dumplings

2 granny smith apples
2 tubes refrigerator crescent rolls
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 can of mountain dew soft drink - really!
cinnamon

Peel, core and slice each apple into 8 slices. Unroll crescent rolls. Roll an apple slice in each crescent roll and place in a buttered 8x13 inch pan. Melt butter, add sugar and barely stir - you want the butter and sugar to be grainy and lumpy. Add vanilla; barely stir. Pour butter mixture over crescents. Pour mountain dew around the sides of the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Enjoy!!!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

More than You Ever Wanted to Know About Em

THANKFUL THURSDAY....As promised, in honor of her birthday - some random thoughts and things about Emily (21 in fact!) that make me love her so!!

1 - My pregnancy and my delivery with her were a piece of cake - as much as being pregnant can be a piece of cake. Of course, she was my first and so I didn't actually realize or appreciate this fact at the time - but, I so do now. In fact, things went so well (minus that pesky pre-term labor and complete bedrest), I couldn't wait to be pregnant again! Mercy.

2 - She is a true to the core animal lover! She loves 'em all but especially dogs...and especially one overgrown pup named Baby Bailey (the word Baby here used VERY loosely!)

3 - She has the movie Enchanted completely memorized and can quote it along with the DVD..as you watch it for the 1000th time. Is this really necessary?

4 - She is seriously directionally challenged. Seriously. When giving directions in the car, turns are not right or left but are "driver side" or "passenger side"!

5 - She can fix her hair in more ways than I can even dream up to do my hair - straight, curly, up, down, to the left or right or somewhere in between. When she was little, I would check books out of the library with step-by-steps to fix it in new ways - especially creative braids.

6 - The girl knows how to accessorize - and why does my every day jewelry always look like a million bucks on her??

7 - She totally rocks stilletos...and wears them all the time (and I do mean all the time)!

8 - She can not tell time - unless its digital..but that's not really telling time, Em..that's just reading numbers!

9 - She has a super sense of humor, and

10 - She makes me laugh (alot)..which is a good thing.


11 - She is so much like her Mimi that it is sometimes scary:)


12 - She is a true "grazer" when it comes to eating - and eats everything out of the box...including all my cereal!

13 - She is a vegetarian but she does makes a mean pan of brownies....and some pretty tasty pasta. After that....well, I don't know! ha ha

14 - She is such a better driver than when she started. I suppose all of us are - but, when she started, she was bad and I am not exaggerating! She had an accident just a week or so after driving on her own (what were we thinking) and hit the one and only car parked in a large parking lot. Were you aiming for it??

15 - She likes decorating - yeah! This is a new passion and we have so much fun with it together. Her new house is really super cute and I'm so proud of all she and her new hubbie have done with it.

16 - She is a bit of a dare-devil - LOVES rollercoasters and other things that involve heights. She wants to try bungy jumping. Are you kidding me??

17 - Road trips with her are never boring. Long but never boring - mainly because we have to make a pit stop every 20 minutes (not kidding).

18 - She tends to be sarcastic - no really, you do. :)

19 - Growing up, she was never really athletic but she has recently gotten into running and I'm impressed! Of course, she just found out she has arthritis in her knee but she does her best. Who has arthritis at 21?

20 - She is a survivor and an over-comer! She has a sweet life but has also faced a lot of difficult things...things that are hard for folks much older and wiser than she...but she is continually growing, maturing and becoming a beautiful woman. She makes my heart happy!


and 21 - she will hate this picture (ha), but....it makes me laugh and just says so many things!! I love you, sweet girlie!!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

EWomen's Conference 2009

The conference last Friday and Saturday was a great weekend. I really enjoyed the speakers - there was even a time during Karen Kingsbury's talk where she recognized grieving moms..imagine that!..which was very special. As much as anything, I really enjoyed the time spent with my girlfriend (from my college days, even!) and her family! We spent the evenings at Deb's parent's house - what a sweet testimony both her parents have....both faithfully serving the Lord wherever the Lord has them with such sweet spirits!

Thanks, Mr. and Mrs. Kellogg...for taking me in again - just like old times!!


Debbie and her mom


The conference center was pretty packed. It doesn't look like it from this picture but we could actually see really well (although the screens were nice, too!)...but I liked being up a bit higher - it wasn't quite as loud. So, how do you know you're really getting old?? You use ear plugs during the praise and worship band!! (Yes, Em...I did!) It was really loud! This picture is during Amy Grant's concert - and, no earplugs! :) She played her own music on the guitar, which I really enjoyed.


There were several speakers during the conference - Stormie Omartian, Karen Kingsbury, Nancy Leigh DeMoss and do you recogonize this speaker?? Candace Cameron Bure - or maybe you remember DJ Tanner on Full House! (again, showing my age!) She was super cute...and what a great testimony!



OK - so we caught Mrs. K mid-blink (sorry about that) but I included this picture to ask, once again, why do I seem so crazy tall around my friends?? I not really THAT tall but my friends must be really short because I always seem to be towering everyone!



What a sweet family - thanks guys!! Hope to see you again before another 10 years rolls by!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Em's Birthday Dinner

UPDATE...for some more fun pictures of Em - and her cute sister - check here!!


Here are some pictures from our celebration with Emily on her birthday. Well, I don't have pictures from our day of shopping...but, last night we had dinner at a new restaurant - and it was really nice. So glad I found it!



Dante Ristorante - yes, very Italian! In this restored Victorian house - it had so much charm and character. Our service was excellent and, yes, the food was really good. Hubbie and I both had lasagna and Em and Tony had seafood dishes. I'm not a huge fish fan - but I even like Em's talipia.


Of course, there was dessert - which they surprised us with :) and there was plenty of chocolate to be enjoyed...to be sure!


She is just too cute! (Her cashmere sweater is new!)




Ok - so this is just me being too goofy. But this gorgeous arrangement of flowers were the decorations in the bathroom! I was impressed. I even snapped a picture (yes, thats my reflection in the mirror!??) which is a bit dorky, I know!


Miss Em and her hubbie, Tony! I love you, Em. Happy Birthday!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Em Turns Twenty-one!!

A special wish for my little girl (author unknown)....I hope that this day is everything perfect for you!! You fill Dad and my hearts with more joy, pride and love than we could ever imagine!!
How could it be so long ago
You were just a babe in arms
Melting everybody's heart
With all those baby charms.
How could the years have gone so quick
It seems like yesterday
When you were just a little girl
Running out to play.
Did somebody put forward
The precious hands of time
And turn our little daughter
Into a woman so sublime?
For here you are today
All grown up - and lovely too
A warm and gentle person
So special through and through.
And all those childhood charms you had
Have grown with you each day
And made you much more special
Than words could ever say.
So Em, may all the dreams
You hold within your heart
Come true and bring you happiness
From which you'll never part.

Congratulations on your 21st Birthday
I love so much, Mommy
(More special thoughts on my "baby" this Thankful Thursday....)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Bound for Roanoke

I am excited about my plans for this weekend - Friday and Saturday, I will be attending the Extraordinary Women conference in Roanoke, Virginia. The speakers for the weekend include Stormie Omartian, Candace Cameron Brue, Karen Kingsbury, Anita Renfroe and Nancy DeMoss. I can't even pick one as a particular favorite I'm looking forward to hearing - they are all so interesting.

I will be meeting a girlfriend (my college roommate) that I don't often get to vist...and we are doing the weekend together! What a special treat...and I'm looking for God's blessing as well. I hope everyone has a great weekend - and that things are drying out in Georgia!! (If I can ever remember my camera, I'll try to get some pictures!)

By the way, when I get back...someone is having a birthday?!?!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

(She'll Be) Leaving on a Jet Plane

THANKFUL THURSDAY....and such a wonderful answer to prayer! I have been praying that my daughter could get a new job and get away from the childcare work. She loves working with the little ones and has enjoyed her chances to work in a couple different preschools, but for a variety of reasons, her dad and I really felt something totally different would be great for her. Of course, we all know entry level jobs in a new career don't just come along every day - especially since she has not been able to finish getting a degree. So, we prayed...and, yes!, God provided.



She was hired last week as a flight attendant!! Her dad and I are, yes, very proud of her, and also so excited for all the possibilities that lie ahead for her! Oh, and did I mention that there are family perks?? Her husband - AND her parents - can fly for free!! Oh yeah.


I really saw God's leading these past few weeks - opening and closing all the right doors that led to this opportunity. And, today, I want to thank Him. I love you, sweetheart!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - a Favorite

Miss Roo and Her Poppy!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Things to Hate and Things to Love

I finally persuaded Erica to keep a blog going....and she is doing such a great job of it. Daily updates on my sweet granddaughter - even her first real boo boo! - and great pictures, too. We love getting our daily Miss Riley news!

The other day, Erica had this cute meme which I thought I would share.....mainly 'cause I'm short on time today. Its simply five things I love and five I hate!

Five things I love:
mornings - I know, really goofy to a lot of people...but the perfect time of day for me!
spending time with my children - just being together is great...although way too much ice cream is consumed
pumpkin anything - and right now, its those lattes at Starbucks but just about every magazine lately has a new pumpkin recipe
sharing stories/talking about Tyler!
going out to lunch with my girlfriends


Five things I hate:
winter - I try to embrace it with yummy, hot drinks, comfort foods and cozy quilts but, truly I hate the never-ending cold
exercise - again, I try...but I just hate it
these extra (??) pounds that just won't ever go away - see previous entry
when Hubbie is not feeling well - he is NOT a good patient (grumpy!)
finding a 2-inch long black hair on your breadstick while eating out - GROSS!!

Have a great Tuesday~

Monday, September 21, 2009

Stressbusters

The gathering At the Well today is a discussion about stress..or specifically, dealing with stressful days. The contributing writer today is a mother of seven! - so, well, she has totally different stress than I do; but we all have those days!! And, no doubt, we all have our favorite stressbusters. I know exercise is supposed to be wonderful for de-stressing but, for me, that just doesn't happen. Ugh.

Eating...now that's another story! I have a whole list of favorite foods - from comfort casseroles to sweet desserts or even flavored teas or coffees - that I love to fix (and then eat) on a stress-filled day. Of course, I'm only more stressed the next morning when the reality of all those extra calories sets in - leading to thoughts of more exercise!

But, really it is the cooking and baking that I enjoy so much - and not so much the eating. Now I have a few tried and true favorite recipes that I can get busy with in the kitchen and, then, I share with neighbors or other friends - especially my senior friends. I try to keep the ingredients on hand so I am prepared and, with a few good cds playing, my time in the kitchen is great therapy.

As crazy as it sounds, one of the best stressbusters for me is cleaning and organizing. If my "world" is straightened, life is so much easier for me to handle..and, if it is organized, then life is just plain good. The more stressed I am, the deeper I clean - strubbing baseboards or reorganizing the entire laundry room. I don't really understand the reason this works but I am often tired afterwards, so maybe that counts as exercise for me!!

One more thing that never fails to make me smile, lower my blood pressure, and just makes life good is spending some time with children. If I could only hug Miss Roo's neck every day - spend just thirty minutes playing with her (and then send her home to Mommy once she got cranky!), I don't think I'd ever be stressed again! But, she lives hundreds of miles from here. I do enjoy my class of preschoolers on Wednesday nights....and love, love being with David, Rachael and Miss Sarah! They just make my heart happy!!

It certainly will be interesting to link up to the well and see what is working for everyone else! Have a stress-less day!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Something to Think About

"God's people have no assurances that the dark experiences of life will be held at bay,
much less that God will provide some sort of running commentary
on the meaning of each day's
allotment of confusion, boredom, pain, or achievement.
It is no great matter where we are,
provided we see that the Lord has placed us there,
and that He is with us."
--John Newton
(emphasis mine)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Blessed to be his mommy!!

THANKFUL THURSDAY......Thank you, Lord for allowing me to be Tyler's mommy!!
My brain really cannot get a grasp on the fact that this too-cute for words red-headed boy would be turning 17 (yes, 17!) this weekend! I don't suppose there are birthday parties in Heaven but I do believe those who are waiting for us there are aware of things happening here on earth....and I hope that, as we remember Tyler's birthday - and truly celebrate the day God introduced us to Tyler!! - he will know how much we miss him...and how very much we love him!!
My goodness...that baby just makes me melt!!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Gingered Apple & Peach Crisp

The weatherman tells us that this exceptionally warm weather is about to leave and the more fall-like temps are on their way. Hopefully, this will help inspire me more for fall. Yes, the pumpkin lattes at Starbucks are helping but the weather, I think, is confusing me!?! So many are talking about decorating - great candles, pumpkins and the whole nine yards - but I just can't seem to get into yet.

I did like idea that Lynette had to share some favorite fall recipes. I'm looking forward to some kitchen inspiration. I even pulled out some of my own favorites - was even ready to link up and share on her blog....then I re-read her post and noticed she didn't want dessert recipes. What?!? Of course, that is exactly what I had to share today. Oh bother.

I'll share it here anyways....I love this dish. It smells like fall to me - with apples and ginger - but you can make it in the microwave (yeah) and not heat the whole kitchen up...just in case the weather is still goofy!! If you have any creative, fall ideas for cooking - by all means, share them!

Gingered Apple & Peach Crisp

4 medium granny smith apples
1 can (15 oz) sliced peaches in heavy syrup, drained and chopped (reserving juice)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/4 cups vanilla wafers (approximately 32 wafers)
1/2 cup whole unblanched almonds, chopped
1/2 cup quick oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup butter, melted

For filling, peel, core, and slice apples. Cut apple slices in quarters, arrange in bottom of deep baking dish. Drain peaches, reserving 1/2 cup of syrup; set aside. Coarsely chop peaches and sprinkle over apples. Add cornstarch to reserved syrup and whisk. Pour over peaches and apples. For streusel, chop vanilla wafers and almonds and combine with oats, brown sugar, flour, and ground ginger. Add melted butter and mix well. Sprinkle mixture evenly over peaches and apples. Microwave on HIGH 12-15 minutes or until apples are tender; turning dish after 6 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped topping, if desired.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Leesburg

Thanks to everyone for all the nice comments/best wishes on our anniversary yesterday! Hubbie and I had a really nice day together. We browsed a lot of antique stores and shops but didn't buy a thing! I know, hard to believe....but we just enjoyed the day!

Leesburg definitely has the quaint factor.....



and way too many cute places to eat!! Luckily we went out for a big breakfast before getting there - but that didn't stop me when we found the bakery:) The cookies were delicious and the cupcakes were the size of softballs - not kidding.

Isn't this restaurant just a charmer??



And I am a true sucker for gorgeous hanging baskets...and they were everywhere! (Not to mention..these shutters are too cute!)



Today - Bible study starts again after a summer break. I am looking forward to seeing all the ladies again (the study I attend is held at a different church than my own and is a bit of a drive so I don't see most of these ladies outside of Bible study).....as well as getting back into scheduled study. Funny - at the end of the semester, I'm ready for a break and then I'm so excited to get back into it.
This semester I'm taking a Kay Arthur DVD study on Ephesians. I've heard only great things about her studies and can't wait. Anyone else participating in a Bible study this fall?? No doubt, I'll be sharing some of what I learn in the weeks ahead....please, do the same!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Twenty-four Years....and counting!

That's right - 24 years ago, today, my sweet dad walked me down an outdoor aisle made of crushed shells...to join the handsome (albiet skinny) man that he - and my mother - would give me away to!! It was an absolutely gorgeous day for our outside wedding in the garden of a historical plantation not far from my parent's home. The grounds were beautiful and the fall mums were already in full bloom. The site runs along a busy road on one side - and I remember the cars honking to celebrate us as they drove by....so fun!

Honestly, the day was just about perfect. I guess the only small "snafu" would be that the cake table, although under the canopy, was placed a bit too close to the edge and the backside of the cake was in the sun. When we walked around back for the cutting...well, it was melted. Still yummy, though!

Fast forward twenty-four years..........we are spending the day together in Leesburg, a historic town not too far from home. It is supposed to be another beautiful weather day and we are still excited to be together!! Now - if just a few cars would honk at us while we are out walking around! :)

I just love this picture of my handsome daddy!! I was as proud to be on his arm as he was of me! I sure wish it wasn't fuzzy...did I mention a scanner is on the top of my Christmas list?!?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Don't Forget to Remember

This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in our resolve for justice and peace. America has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time. None of us will ever forget this day. Yet, we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world.
remarks from President Bush (emphasis mine)

I read a very convicting post last night with regards to 9/11.....the day that we all declared would never be forgotten - in our own lives and in the life of our nation. Yet, I think many - if not most - of us have forgotten. Sure - if we cause ourselves to reflect, we can remember where we were and what we were doing when the attacks occured; but, do we really remember so as to be impacted by those horrific events. Truthfully, and sadly, I can't say that I really do.

I believe the key is just that - we need to cause ourselves to remember. Some things we want to forget - or, at least, set aside. Its more comfortable that way. Other things, we don't necessarily want to forget but our minds are filled with so many things, that those events, memories and the lessons learned from them get "pushed aside."

Just as the Israelites pulled stones from the river bed in order to erect a memorial - a tangible reminder of what God had done - we need real reminders of where God has lead us, what we have learned and how we have been blessed. Whether it is a public event, something experienced by only a few friends or family, or even a private time between just you and God....we must cause ourselves not to forget.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Journey

THANKFUL THURSDAY today finds me awed by the leading hand of my savior. Along this journey of a christian life, there are many roads traveled, turns taken and paths made but, along them all, we have the promise that God not only walks along side us but He also goes before us directing the way.

Psalms 37:23 "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord; and He delighteth in His way."



Not only is this promise a great security - it is also very exciting!! To be sure - as we go through life, there will be some roads along the way that are dark! Perhaps that can't see your hand in front of your face kind of dark - yet, we never walk alone. I remember an exercise from a drama class I took my senior year of high school (really, I remember way back when!) where we had to be blindfolded and led by a classmate through the halls of the school. Our teacher said that the only way it would work would be for us to completely trust the one doing the leading. Although I don't guess she was a christian, she was preaching a sermon there!! During the darkest of times, God holds my hand tightly and guides my steps.

Other times, there may be more light...or I may see more clearly - but just enough for the next few steps. I suppose most of our walk is this way. God illumines our path but only as far as we need to know. This way we don't run too far ahead or get too distracted by whats up ahead - and we walk by faith.

There are, however, some paths that are so bright and the way so clear....and it is exhilarating!! We used to do quite a bit of hiking. Some of those mountain trails can seem to go on forever and, more than once, I've thought, "I'll not do this again" but then you make it to the top and the field or the view stretches out before you in all of its splendor! It is beautiful and energizing - and I think I could hike for two more days! (yea, right)

These past couple weeks have been just like that for me. God is leading us and doing exciting things - several things! - in my life. His hand of direction has been so clear.....and we are eager to see all that lies ahead. I hope to share some of His goodness in the days ahead but so wanted to thank Him for His leading and all that He is doing in my life - on this Thankful Thursday!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Just a Few Snapshots of the Week!

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY - we all had such a good time with Jordan!

Jordan's favorite restaurant is Cheesecake Factory.






































We had fun at
Dave and Busters

Apparently Guitar Hero is
VERY serious business....












Before heading to the gun range..

Dad really was happy that day
although you just can't tell it here -

Tony, on the other hand..
VERY HAPPY!





And...back to business

(yes, us at the airport at 0500 hours - ugh!!)