Saturday, January 31, 2009

We should seize every opportunity to give encouragement. Encouragement is oxygen to the soul.
-George M. Adams

Friday, January 30, 2009

SuperBowl 2009

Are you ready for some football??? Yes, I know...I've sorta made it clear that I'm not a big sports fan and, truth be told, I'm not a loyal fan to any team really...but, if you're going to watch the game...you might as well choose a side! So, why the Steelers? I'm cheering for Amy.

I met Amy at Camp Friendship - the same camp for kids with cancer that my son attended and LOVED - the year after Tyler died. She had the exact type of brain tumor Tyler did. I was instantly drawn to her love of life attitude, her playful spirit, her smile and the sweet way she bonded herself to the "underdog"!! Amy was a true Steeler fan!! Her Make-a-Wish trip took her to meet the team and a life-size poster of the quarterback is proudly displayed in her family room. It hasn't even been a full year since Amy joined Tyler (and too many others their age) in Heaven and I have been thinking about her mom a lot this week! Hannah's testimony is sweet and like all grieving moms she is trusting the Lord to help her through one day at a time.

So, this Sunday..I'll be rooting for the Steelers!! What about you? And does anyone have a great menu plan for the game...something new and interesting? I've been thinking about it - but so far, I've got nothin'! Please share your ideas...and have a great weekend! GO STEELERS!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Burden Bearers

Thankful Thursday....and I have to let everyone know that I (finally) received a call from my doctor and the scan was CLEAN! Such an answer to prayer and I truly want to thank everyone for your prayers, kind thoughts and inquiries...which actually leads me to my Thankful Thursday thought today - burden bearers.

I opened my email box yesterday and there was a quick note from a friend asking about my scan and reminding me that she is praying for me! Such a simple thing - but sent to me exactly when I needed it and a blessing that she, no doubt, wouldn't even realize. And there have been many that have lifted me up in prayer...through my cancer, through Tyler's illness and in those dark (dark) days after his death...and through numerous other days - even the "routine"! These sweet friends supporting me are my burden bearers.
I read a devotion once that used that term - taken from the four friends who carried their invalid friend on a mat to meet Jesus - and I love it. God has placed many such burden bearers in my life and I am so grateful for each one of them. What a wonderful blessing!

We are all called to be burden bearers....Galatians 6:2 "bear ye one another's burdens..." Doing so may actually require sacrifice on our part - whether our time, our resources or more - but often it is as simple as an email, a phone call or even hug. Heeding this scripture not only allows us to be used as a blessing but, no doubt, we are richly blessed in return. Thank you, Lord, for all my sweet "burden bearers."

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snow Thoughts

Yes, we finally got some real winter weather..as opposed to just cold! And we are expecting even more. I know the kiddies are all enjoying a snow day - my 18 year old kiddo, however, was not impressed that they still expect you at work!! Before I get into my post, let me just ask you...are those some of the sassiest winter boots you've ever seen??? For a conservative someone like myself, they are pretty fun! And I get to "play" when I wear them!

With the weather as it is, while I was doing my devotions, I decided to look up all the verses that contain the word SNOW (you see the connection, right? I'm telling you, my mind does not think deep!) I was surprised at actually how many there are but the one that struck me today was Proverbs 31:21 "She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet."

When the weather changed and the storms came, the Proverbs 31 woman had no need to be afraid. She was not worried. Why? I think one good reason for this can be found a little further down in the chapter in verse 27.."she looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness."

The Proverbs 31 woman had been busy and making good use of her time. She had made warm clothes for her household - perhaps making even the cloth itself. No doubt, she had food stored and ready to prepare even if the snows kept her from getting out. And I'm sure whatever she used for warmth, she had plenty of supply stockpiled to keep her home warm and safe for her family.

What a blessing that I do not have to sew all of my family's clothing by hand or grow all of our food! But there is much to be done. I LOVE being a stay-at-home mom; however, I find myself at a very interesting time in my life. I am on the very edge of becoming an "empty-nester" which means, among many things, I will be a stay-at-home - minus the kids! (Not by choice, of course, as my sweet Tyler would only be 16 now...but let me stay focused!) This means much more of my time is "my own"! This should be a very interesting change for me and I am excited to see what God has in store....however, I am still accountable for the way I use my time.

God gives me so many hours each day - each week - and I need to be a wise steward of those hours. I want Him to help me prioritize my to-do lists, and to guide my decisions on how to spend my time each day. And when the unexpected "snow storms of life" come along, I will be prepared and have no need to fret or be afraid. Maybe I will even enjoy winter a little bit more (just a little bit).

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Snow Day....Finally!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Check it Out

At the Well Blog Button

A Need to Speak

I said it myself and I've seen lots of others express it...but blogging is fun!! This past week while blogging I got a new recipe (which was posted by Amy just for me - how sweet!) and I can't wait to try. It is for chicken spaghetti! I also saw the neatest idea for reusing out-dated and/or unwanted picture frames. Shannon always has great decorating ideas and I have a closet of frames that I am anxious to repurpose! Oh, and I learned that baby Harper is breathing almost on her own....praise the Lord!! Is she just too precious sleeping on her tummy or what?

Blogging is fun. Communicating is fun...and I believe God made us to be communicators and with the desire to so. When I was a little girl, the phone was just becoming more than just a piece of business equipment and more of a way for housewifes like my mom (who were HOUSEwifes in a much truer sense of the word than stay-at-home moms today!) to communicate with others. Fast forward through cordless phones, cell phones, text messages, facebook (?!?) etc....even to blogland! Isn't it great!

As with anything..there is perspective and need to heed caution. We were created to communicate with our Heavenly father. Our natural desire should be to "early seek Him"....to call out to Him and have Him speak to us in return. Are those my first thoughts in the morning? or am I anxious to get on the computer? When difficulty or challenges come up throughout the day, am I seeking the chance to get alone with Christ? or is my first inclination to call a friend? Phoning a friend is not wrong - nor is the computer - what can go wrong, is the priority each has in my life. My own challenge is to recheck my priorities and ask God to show me where any changes may need to be made.

That said, one more interesting blog that someone introduced me to this week...."At the Well". It is be an encouraging spot for Titus 2 women...here is a copy from their blog stating some of their goals:

"Gathering At the Well"older women are to encourage the younger women
"Reflections on the Home"to be homemakers and busy at home
"To Raise Them Up"to love their children
"To Have and To Hold"to love their husbands and be subject to them
"Reflections on His Truth" to teach what is good... to be reverent in behavior, chaste, discrete"

Sounds interesting to me! The site should be up and running in a week or so...and there will be give aways! Just thought I would share! Happy Happy Monday to all my blogging friends!


Friday, January 23, 2009

Calling all Inventors

I spent a couple days this past weekend house hunting with my brother. True fun...I mean, looking around other people's houses - for free! I love it! While we are touring through one home (it was an empty one), I kept hearing this beeping/alarm type noise every time I walked through the laundry room?!? Turns out..it is the realtor's new-fangled device that her husband bought her for Christmas. Seems he was tired of looking for her keys and this nifty gadget hooked onto her keys and every time you whistled (or apparently made much of any other noise), it would beep in response and - voila - found keys!! Pure genius, I'm telling you!

I don't have too much of a problem with keys but my reading glasses...now that's another story!! I don't know what the trouble is but my glasses are always in whatever room I'm not!! And remembering to bring them with me when I go out - ridiculous! I've been known to have my friend read entire restaurant menus to me because I can't see a word without those things (thanks, friend!)

So, if there are any brilliant minds out there who could adapt this new gadget to work on glasses....go for it!! I wouldn't even mind if it looked like those ridiculous blue-tooth things that I promised myself never to be seen with....I'd do it! My solution right now is to simply buy fifty-three different pairs of glasses and leave them on every end table, night stand, counter and bookcase (etc. etc) that I own......but, truthfully, that's not even really working!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Winter Thanks

Quick update and additon for Thankful Thursday - my scan went well today. There was only one glass of barium to drink - instead of the usual two - and it went down as smooth as milk....okay, like sour milk but, at least, I finished it!! No results until next week but I so appreciate everyone's kind comments and prayers.

Thankful Thursday...and in a continuing effort to weaken my grumblings about winter, I will be grateful. During these bitter cold months, I am grateful for:

***wood burning fireplaces - with gas logs becoming more and more popular, the real deals, when you find one, are so nice! Oh, and especially,

***sitting next to the super large fireplace at Cracker Barrel - while having lunch with my hubbie!

***my new Keurig coffee maker (a Christmas gift) and making my own lattes at home

***those "extra 15 minutes" in the morning - when you're really awake but can't open your eyes - snuggled in flannel sheets!

***tights!!

***cozy, winter sweaters.....however, why is it that everyone tells me winter clothes are better because they hide more?? My bulky winter clothes just make me look...well, bulkier!

***comfort foods - like Hubbie's all-time favorite..shepherd's pie!! If it all goes together on the plate, he's lovin' it!

***our new Wii game....I am really (REALLY) bad but its so much fun and since its so cold, we can "play" inside - in front of the tv even! - much more guilt-free! Who would have ever thought I would be thankful for anything remotely "video game" related? But I really like it. Maybe I'll go play a little tennis.......

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Different Scan

Last night, we are all in the kitchen getting dinner on the table when my sweet daughter notices an appointment reminder on the fridge that says PET/CT scan...Thursday at 12:30. She begins to stress/panic and asks me what wrong with the dog??? Why is Rascal having a CT scan?? Oh, Honey. The PET scan is for me....and has nothing to do with pets - more about the type of technology used for imaging my lovely insides!

So..I'm not raising rocket scientists (thankfully, oldest daughter married one...) but I do have a scan tomorrow and would appreciate your prayers. This is a routine - if anything is truly "routine" - scan done every four-six months to check my lymphoma.

I have noticed while browsing blogland....there are many prayer requests among friends - many that are very serious. What a privilege it is to "bear one another's burdens" in prayer!

I've also noticed the weather is really goofy. In the last couple days, there has been snow directly to our north...to the west..and even directly to the south - in North Carolina!! but we saw not a flake! Not that I'm really sad but it was strange. And could it be any colder??!! When you think temperatures in the 30s are, "hey, not so bad!!" that is NOT a good thing!

If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind? - Percy Bysshe Shelley

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Happy Tuesday...and Happy Inauguration Day!! If you have followed my blog or know me even just a little bit, you undoubtedly know that the Obama/Biden ticket was not the one I supported during our election. No, I did not support Obama. However, he is now the president of our country and I truly believe as a Christian American citizen, I must now support President Obama. (Is that easy for me to say....not really, but I do believe it is true.) By supporting my president - as Scripture tells me to do - I also support this country.
I love my country.....and it is, indeed, in need of support and the best thing I can do for this nation is pray. Often I am overwhelmed with the needs of our nation. Can my prayers really make a difference? No doubt Nehemiah felt much the same way when he saw the need in Jerusalem; however, God used his humble heart and willing spirit to, indeed, make a difference - Nehemiah rebuilt Jerusalem's wall in only 52 days! It all began with a prayer in Nehemiah 1. As Christians, lets commit to pray - not only for our country but for our new president, vice president and those he puts into office with him.
Truly.....God bless America!!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Getting to Know You!!

Today marks my 100th post...how exciting this blogging experience has been for me. I have especially enjoyed making new friends and getting to know so many of you. I so appreciate all of you that regularly visit my blog and leave such kind and encouraging comments. I thought I would use today's post to let all of you get to know me a little more (I once read one gal's 100th post with 100 random things about herself.....100 things!! I couldn't come up with ten!) But, here are some odd, but true, thoughts about me...

Top Three Pet Peeves

*talking on the cell phone while driving (and, yes, I even do this - pathetic!)
*officers running radar and stopping speeders by stepping into the middle of the road to flag them down.....I've seen this even on the interstate!
*leaving the toilet seat up (I know its the oldest one in the book...but it drives me crazy - and they know it!!)

Three Things from my "Bucket List"

*visit Dr. Charles Stanley's church in Atlanta and Paula Deen's restaurant in Savannah (not necessarily in the same trip)
*publish a children's book
*lose fifty pounds (yea, maybe sometime before I die.....)

Three Random Things about Me

*I tend to be bit OCD...(but my seasonings are not alphabetized - only my flavorings are!)
*I met my husband while we were both working at the police department and he was my boss..(its not quite as creepy as it sounds but it is always an attention getter when meeting new folks)
*Right after my daughter (our first-born) arrived, she was rushed off to ICU and I really didn't get a chance to see her. Naturally, I was asking everyone to tell me about her and all they were talking about was her red hair! Seriously...I didn't believe them (not my husband, not the doctor, not the nurses!)- apparently red hair is in the family three generations back - and I literally made a fool of myself disagreeing with them. For the record...she - and her hair - are beautiful!!


Three of My Favorite Things

*Double stuff OEROS....actually, just make that COOKIES!
*Mornings! (major Morning person)
*Talking about Tyler - sharing memories (like the one about his 13th birthday!)

Three of My Best Memories

*Well, there's that 13th birthday party of Tylers, but I already mentioned that, so
*Our honeymoon trip to Barbados.....
*Family vacation to Maggie Valley (a dot on the map in the NC mountains)
*The view from the Eiffel Tower

Three Things I'm Looking Forward To

*Going to visit Riley
*The first time I see my boy in that Air Force uniform!
*HEAVEN.....I can only imagine!!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Just a thought for today..as I prepare for my 100th post tomorrow! My, how the time flies by!! Have a wonderful Thursday..and stop back by tomorrow!

It isn’t the big pleasures that count the most; its making a great deal out of the little ones.
-Jean Webster

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Don't Worry - Be Happy (Part 2)

On Monday, I shared how memorizing scripture is helping me deal with worry in my life. Admittedly, this is slow for me - somewhere between middle age, chemo and grief, my brain (and especially my memory) some days barely functions! But I'm pluggin away at it and, I suppose, that is the point.

One more thought - from our pastor's message - that I wanted to share in order to defeat the worries. We really only worry about those things we truly value - and value the most. We don't find ourselves worrying over things that don't really matter to us. For instance, I have not lost one minute of sleep, giving thought to who will win the Super Bowl. Sports?? Just not that important to me.....now, what dip I will eat at the Super Bowl party?!?!?

Get out that list of top five worries from the other day and examine it. No doubt, those five "things" are highly valued by you. Are they valued by God? When I looked at my list, I wanted to know, "Do I share the same priorities as my Savior?" After reading the list with that it mind, honestly one thing on my list seemed so trivial..although I've been spending a whole lot of thought time and worry on it. I might as well take that off my list! It was a great chance to try and put some things in perspective.

Hope you have a great Wednesday..Don't Worry - Be Happy!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Erica

Happy Birthday, Erica!! Today is my step-daughter's 30th birthday and I want to wish her the sweetest day ever!

Her father and I met when she was just a little thing - five years old - and I am very (very) blessed to have watched her grow and become the beautiful woman, wife...and Mommy to Riley!!..that she is today! She is a joy to both of us.

She is a little stressed about "leaving her 20s" but if for no other reason than the next 30 years will have Riley in them....I can say for sure, it only gets better! Enjoy your day sweetheart - we wish we were there!! Love ya, Erica.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Don't Worry - Be Happy (Part 1)

Last week during my devotion time, I was studying the topic of worry - not only what causes me to worry but, more importantly, what I can do in order to turn those cares over to the Lord. Then at church yesterday, our pastor's message was about - you guessed it - worry! I love it when that happens....surely there is something God wants to teach me. Although I've never really thought of myself as a "worrier", it seems the older I get, the more this is a problem.

Here is one thing I did..and am working on. Write down on a piece of paper, the top five things that I worry about most often. These could be specific things, if you like, but I simply listed general ideas (for instance, you could use "health" or "aging parents" or "finances"...) and then study your Bible and find one or two specific verses for that particular worry. Try to be a specific as you can. I was so encouraged to find the verses so perfectly designed for my needs. Write these verses out on 3x5 cards, perhaps with the associated worry labeled at the top, and begin memorizing them.

When worry starts to creep in during the day, get out your cards and busy your mind - and defeat the devil - with memorizing. Soon, you won't need the cards and you will be "armed" and ready when the worrying begins.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Good Sunday Morning

Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.
Isaiah 51:11

Friday, January 9, 2009

Life is Good!

Just for the record...everyone at our house has their own bed and sleeps in it...including the dog! Ok....most of the time! Rascal does wake us every morning at 6:30 (I'm telling you, he is better than an alarm clock) and gets to sleep at the foot of the bed until 7:00. But, usually he sleeps in his own snuggy bed and loves it.


Apparently, my sweet son - who has been sick the last two days, poor thing - let Rascal on his bed and...indeed, Someone was quite pleased with himself! In Rascal's world, life doesn't get much better than this! Oh, to simply enjoy the little things in life!! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Fun for Valentine's Day


Here's something that looks like a lot of fun...a Valentine swap! Somewhat like a secret sister from the blogging world - but you don't have to have a blog to join the fun! Tomorrow is the last day to sign up though...so hurry over here if you are interested!

My Little Brother

Thankful Thursday...and, yea, I am so excited today. A little background, first. I have one brother....its just me and him! (Ok..I do have two aunts and an uncle, with spouses, but.....) Both of our parents, as well as our grandparents, have gone on to Heaven - with my sweet Tyler. We are only 16 months apart and have always had a good relationship. I love this guy! As we get older, we have gotten even closer...and I love that, too. The only problem - he and his family move and travel and experience a lot of the world....lots of fun for them. Hard for me to see them very often.

My brother and his wife were married ten years ago in Moscow and since then have lived in Kazakstan, Amsterdam, Tampa (not too bad), Germany, Texas (where they are now).....but, now - and the reason I am so excited this thankful Thursday - they are moving to Virginia!! Not only the very same state where we were both born and raised...but the one I still live in!! YEA!! He will be living only about two hours from me.

That's two hours as in I can get up in the morning, drive out to visit for the weekend or even the day, and drive home kinda two hours!! I am so looking forward to spending time not only with my favorite brother (you've always been my favorite!) but also his wife and my two nephews! Yes, indeed, I am thankful this Thursday!

Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero.
Marc Brown

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Financial Blessing

I know there is a wide array of opinions among Christians concerning credit cards - to have or not to have...to use or not to use. Some are completely against them and some view them as very convenient as long as they are managed, while others think of them as a necessity (like a cell phone necessity). The point of this blog is not to offer my opinion on credit cards or credit, in general; however, for my husband and I...we believe the Lord would strive for us to be debt-free and we do not have any credit cards - fine.

Funny, every year the devil loves to revisit this temptation around the holidays. His tactic is always the same - lies ("you need this"..."just one small card"...) but is the master of deceit and makes his lies sound as if they might make sense ("the economy is so bad"...."you're able to handle credit after all these years"...."everyone else"..and blah, blah, blah)!! That is the way Satan always works - the same old lies just refashioned, twisted and turned. It doesn't take long before you start thinking, "Welll..." but, STOP! When Satan gets me to where I begin to doubt, I always ask the Lord if He changed His mind. Usually I know the answer before I even ask!

Back to my post.....we did not get a credit card - and we all had a very nice Christmas - and what a blessing to start 2009 realizing we had NO credit debt!! This week, we received a financial blessing...an unexpected blessing...from the Lord. I wish I could share the details but that's not the point of this post either. I just wanted to use today to give Him all the praise. He is so very good to us!

Taco Soup

Yes, I changed the background...again! That last one, after Christmas, was just too busy for me. Hopefully this one will last for a bit. I so appreciate everyone's kind words and thoughts for my quick recovery. I am definitely feeling better - well, actually. Thank you so much. I've actually had more energy than I thought I would and have finished putting the Christmas things - and all the snowman - away for another year. It feels good to have the house "back in shape"!

Today, I did some subbing in the library back at the kid's school and even treated myself to some antique browsing this afternoon....ALWAYS good medicine. Tonight for dinner, I put together a soup I found on Amy's blog (if you haven't visited her blog, she has a wonderful story going about her little boy's liver transplant) under a comment section awhile back. For the next couple weeks, I am trying some new recipes to try and update my menu lists abit. This soup was TOO easy and served up great with grilled cheese sandwiches. This is a direct copy from the blog..I did drain the can of corn but not the beans and I added a little bit more tomato juice - mine was a bit thick. I love her last comment about the Fritos...cute.

2 lbs. ground beef
1 can kidney beans
1 can pinto beans
1 can shoepeg corn
1 can rotel
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 can (coke can size) tomato juice
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 envelope ranch dressing mix
Do not drain any cans....just open them all, dump in a crock pot, and simmer all day. This is really meaty and good. We like it with Fritos and shredded cheese....because we're health nuts! :)

Monday, January 5, 2009

As you know, I have always been a fan of Monday mornings...and this particular Monday I am just so grateful to be out of bed!! I had the worst stomach flu this weekend and was sicker than back in the chemo days...needless to say, my brain is slow working today and I could not get my thoughts together for a post.

So let me just share my heart's delight! This is Miss Riley Jane's new year photo and, yes, she just started wearing bows in her hair...what a big girl she is!! If ever there was a reason for dragging yourself out of bed - for loving life in general - it is a precious little one like this! Riley and her parents live way too far from us...in Florida...and, my oh my, how we miss her every day!

I hope she made you smile, too. Hopefully, my brain will be up off the couch as well tomorrow!

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

I love the beginning of New Year…the sense of a new beginning or a fresh start. (Maybe that’s why I’ve always been a huge fan of Mondays!) And I love the idea of resolutions for a new year; however, I am surprised how often I hear people say they’ve given up on resolutions...”why bother when you will just fail in two weeks!”

I think the devil just might be thrilled if all us Christians didn’t even bother - didn’t bother to try and better our marriages…or didn’t bother to be more of the parent, sister or daughter that Christ would have us to be…or didn’t bother to examine our hearts and ask God to help us – ANEW - to be more like Him, to let our lives reflect His grace and goodness and to allow us opportunities to minister for Him in the year ahead.

I love the following quote from Dr. Bob Jones, Sr., which says:

It is no disgrace to fail;
It is a disgrace to do less than your best
In order to keep from failing!

Just as a toddler learning to walk is encouraged by her parents to get up again and keep trying after each tumble to the ground, our Heavenly Father not only is encouraging us to try again but is pleased when we do so. I think all of us should make some resolutions – or resolve to try again – and set some goals…and then use 2009 to “press toward the mark.” We may stumble or even fall, but that’s okay. That’s good place to pray – and then, try again!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Again!?!

So my little buddy, David (who's birthday is December 26th), his mommy and I were talking with some other little friends of ours at the dessert fellowship last night, when David proudly announced, "I'm FOUR now!!"

His mommy said, "That's right! His birthday was last week...it was on the day right after Christmas!"

David said, "AGAIN!! That happened to me last year, too!!"

Well, big guy...I can just about guarantee you that it's gonna happen to you again next year, too!!

Happy New Year


Almost four months it has been that I have been "bloggin"..and I have so enjoyed meeting so many friends and hearing your stories, visiting your homes (through photos), and getting to know you! I wish all of my friends a beautiful New Year's Day!! I am excited to see what the Lord has in store for all of us in the year ahead....God bless!