Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Finally.....

Probably my favorite picture of all time........

My Three Favorite Men!!

No, it won't win any photography awards..but it is priceless to me. My son, Jordan - now the airman - My buddy, Tyler - now celebrating everyday in Glory - and my Hubbie, the rock that hold us all steady! Their expressions are genuine contentment and happiness!! (Tyler is holding the lighter...ready to roll out to the middle of the field and light some fireworks!!)
Thank-you, Lord..for this moment and the memory of it!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Thoughts....

Just a few things to ponder today...but, first - just so you will know:

I was making some hashbrown potatoes for Hubbie last night and these were the directions - straight from the package: Heat small amount of oil in the bottom of a skillet. Carefully add potatoes. Cover and let brown for 12-14 minutes, turning every 3-4 minutes. (don't miss this part) Skillet must remain covered entire time except while turning potatoes.

Really now.

Also, several have asked about this week's Friday with Friends -which just makes me happy. I am all for any chance to "chat with my friends"...however, I will out of town this weekend and busy with my brother for the few days before the weekend, so I think I will wait for next Friday for our next Friends together. PLEASE join in the following Friday and I will be looking for you! I hope everyone has at least one fun plan or two to celebrate our country's birthday.....even its something small:)

As for those things to think over......

I heard this short story and have no idea if it is true but, nevertheless, true story or fiction, it really stuck with me. An athlete was training to compete in the Olympics as a diver. He was an atheist and the only Christian influence in his life was the consistent witnessing of a close friend. (emphasis mine) One night, he made his way to the swimming pool for some extra practice. The lights were off but the gym had a huge sunroof and the moon was large creating just enough light.

The diver made his way to the highest diving board and stood on the edge. However, as he prepared to dive, he caught a glimpse of his shadow on the far wall. With his arms outstretched, his image looked like a cross and he was immediately reminded on Christ and his friend's words. He stood there and soon felt as if someone was talking to him....calling to him. In the next few minutes, right there on the diving board, the athlete bowed his knee and asked Christ to be his savior.

While still on the board, a janitor entered the pool area and turned on the lights. The pool had been drained for repairs.

For me, chills. We truly never know when...or where...our witnessing will affect others.

And, one more thing and I'm done. I mentioned yesterday the magazine life:beautiful and thought I would share from it. In this month's issue, when you open the front cover, before you even get to the magazine, there is a two page picture of a boat on a expanse of crystal blue water, the word SUMMER and then this paragraph:


When you lead, dear Lord,
I venture out into the great
beyond with courage and expectation.
A protected cove is safe, but you have called
me to live with passion. I may
encounter risks, but I know your
provision and care are enough.
Give me hope in your saving me from storms,
climbing mountains before me and finding
me when lost. I trust in you and I thank
you for the adventures in life that
make me who I am called to be.
Make my way purposeful and glorifying to you.
Provide me with all I need for the journey - your
perfect peace, joy unspeakable
and unwavering faith.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Moving

My Simple Woman's Daybook entry for Monday, June 28, 2010....

Outside my window.....are the beginnings of another beautiful summer (HOT) day! Summer has definitely settled in but, goodness, we do flip the calendar to July this week! And, I love summer weather so I am happy as a lark:)

I am thinking....about my brother and his upcoming move - yes, move! He and has family are moving again (this week!). I have really enjoyed their being so close during this past year and now they are moving across the country and I'm not sure how often we will be seeing each other again. I suppose this will be my excuse for travelling to California:)

I am wearing.....RED - yeah, not white. Getting ready to change into work out clothes...boo. Boo for having to work out - not the clothes. How do I develop a "love" for exercising???

I am remembering....how much work it is to move - not only the packing but also the planning and all the little details to tend to that just seem to keep popping up (did you call this one or that one???) Watching my brother take care of all those details reminded me how grateful I am that we are settled in for (hopefully) a good long while. I know several who are right in the middle of moving - even some blogging friends - and I'm thinking about you guys! Hope all goes well. Also have another friend thinking about the idea of moving (changing houses). We might go look at houses together - now, that is one part of moving that I LOVE!

I am reading....the latest issue of a magazine I've mentioned here before - Life:Beautiful. I really enjoy this magazine.

I am hoping....our weekend plans - well, all our plans for this week, come together. I hope to see my brother and sister-in-law for a bit more before the plane takes them off. I hope to visit friends for the long weekend. And I hope my bestest friend arrives in town for a great visit with her mom - and we can find a day to visit:)

On my mind...my children.

From the kitchen.....I'm needing to make some menus for grocery shopping later this week. Right now, the cupboards are kinda bare. With my still dieting and having been out of town for quite a bit these last couple weeks, poor Hubbie has really been making due with pitiful dinner choices. He never complains but I think I need to fix the man a decent meal or two:)

Around the house.....things are dusty. Grrrr - add to my list of things to get done today...or, at least, this week.

Plans for the week....well, time with my brother and looking forward to the festivities of this weekend and it is already time for my monthly Ladies Day Out. I'm always amazed how quickly another month goes by! This month we are headed to Old Towne Alexandria, which I have mentioned several times...no doubt, I really enjoy it!

One of my favorite things.....weighing-in and seeing the scale go DOWN. (Ok, maybe that's a bit superficial but, goodness, does it put me in a good mood! It might even motivate me to keep on exercising!)

Friday, June 25, 2010

My Favorite Fourth....and the Winner

Welcome to Friday with Friends....and thoughts/memories about Fourth of July. I hope you will join us - other friends that are talking together today are: Miss Debbie, Giggles, Mama Hen, Debbie (see my comments)..and maybe you.
I so want to share my favorite picture of all time (or at least, in the top two or three...) but the scanner is acting weird. Apparently it is low on ink but I don't want to print anything so why can't I simply scan?? And didn't I just get new ink? So frustrating - but off the point. As soon as I figure it out, though, I will include the picture.

What do I remember about Fourth of July as a kid? The usual - cookouts, fireworks - but especially "snakes"...do you remember these fireworks? They were basically a smoke bomb of sorts that uncoiled after it was lit, creating tons of smoke and leaving a dark black burn spot on the sidewalk where you lit it. Those black spots drove my dad crazy. He was not a fan of the snakes!

One particularly fun Fourth celebration, for me, was 1976....the nation's big birthday! Although we have always lived outside of the Nation's Capitol, we never joined the millions who headed downtown for the festivities. My folks were just not up for the madness - but our neighbors and good friends were:) And they took me along to celebrate this particular year. I had the best time. I felt so much older than my fourteen years - at least, 18 or 21:) - and was in awe of the crowds...and I do mean crowds...not to mention the fireworks were way more than over the top!

But my favorite Fourth memory will always be July 2006...the month before Tyler died. Of course, we had no idea that it was literally just weeks before Tyler would leave us and, although, he had certainly been sick...this day he was feeling great! He was thrilled to have friends over for the usual cookout and for all of us to go to the neighborhood school to watch fireworks. We navigated the wheelchair even through a field., had a perfect, clear night but, mostly, we were all together and just happy! And Tyler was happy:) He was leaving for camp in just two days and we were all excited about that! It truly was one of those evenings - one of those moments in life - that are just a gift from God...not necessarily planned but given to you as a gift. And it is a gift I will always treasure.
Now - I can't forget about the giveaway. I have to admit, I had a lot of fun with this. I just might be doing this again:) And so glad to meet two new friends, to hear from one friend that I've missed for quite awhile, and to enjoy everyone's comments. So, I put all the names in a hat (I let my brother draw a name) and the winner is
MAMA HEN!!
Congrats, friend. And thanks to everyone else for joining the fun...don't you just wish everyone could win:)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Freedoms: Don't Take Them for Granted

THANKFUL THURSDAY....and I set out my few patriotic things the other day. I was telling a blogging buddy (sorry for the repeat, Deb) that holiday decorating has certainly scaled back since the nest became empty:) but I do enjoy the few things I have - and especially this time of year! I did find a few cute things for the front porch this week at Michaels...all on sale and I do love a bargain:)

I love the since of pride - proud to be an American - that I feel when I set these things out...or even when I see others' flags, etc. I am thankful to be an American. I am thankful for the freedoms that are written into our constitution. I am thankful that those freedoms allow me to not necessarily always be "politically correct." Don't get me wrong...I don't try to be rude or offensive and I do try to respect others.

However, I am glad that my values and opinions don't often "gel" with the politically correct current of our day - and that I am able to express my views and stand up for what I believe. Granted, that may get harder and harder to do.....but I am thankful for this country.

And thinking patriotically - don't forget about 1- the giveaway! If you missed the info, go here to check it out and then just leave me a comment to be entered. Its that easy - and the winner will be drawn and announced tomorrow. And 2 - tomorrow's Friday with Friends...we are talking about Independence Day - maybe your plans this year, a great memory, or just your thoughts on the subject! Already some have told me they will be joining; I hope you will join us, too!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Riley Turns Two

The birthday party at Build-a-Bear was a huge success!! I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to share this with Riley..and her mommy and daddy! Here's a look back at the day in pictures.....

This how we started the day....just a bit overwhelmed by it all! So much attention focused on one little girl. I was wondering if she was going to enjoy it - but she warm up to it all and smiled, laughed and even joined in....with Mommy close by her side!


A place FULL of bears and she was totally entertained by the Zhu Zhu Pets (I think that is it??) cage!! Typical.

Yep, she's a nail biter!


Picking a heart for her bear. All of her friends picked TWO hearts - one for their bear and then one to place in Riley's bear....with much kisses. Cute.



Not positive what is going on here - I think we were shaking our bears (for some reason)! Or maybe the mommies are just doing the happy dance?!?! Is the little one with the curls just too cute, or what? Natural curls:)


Yes, it was quite interesting to keep all the two-year olds engaged and entertained....all at the same time but Stephen, the party leader, made the best of it. I think it was Daddy who said it was similar to "herding cats"!! Yep, that's about it.

Riley's favorite part - by far - of building a bear was the bath that she gave her bear after it was stuffed. She swished it and rubbed and washed it forever:)


I think the children liked the Chik-Fil-A meals and cupcakes as much as the bears!! They all sat still...and quiet...just eating away. The cupcakes were totally chocolate. Yes, Riley's three favorite foods are celery, cucumbers and chocolate (in that order!) :) She asks for chocolate several times a day - doesn't always get it but you can't blame a girl for trying!!


Daddy and Riley blowing out the candles!!
By far, Riley's favorite part about birthdays in general is singing Happy Birthday! Oh how I wish I could make videos on camera....I would love to hear her singing that right now:)


Happy Birthday, Big Girl
I just love this face!!









Tuesday, June 22, 2010

How Big?? So Big!

Don't forget about the giveaway....I'm excited to see several already joining in the fun:) If you missed it yesterday, just scroll down to the previous post. Also, just wanted you to know that you do not have to have a blog to leave a comment and enter the drawing. If you've never left a comment before, now is the time! I promise, I do not sell you information to any annoying phone solicitors.....your identity is safe with me - ha, just kidding. But I would love for you to be a part of the giveaway!

As for Friday with Friends this week, I am feeling patriotic....so let's share about the Fourth of July - either your plans for this year or a great memory of a past Independence Day celebration! I'll share my favorite family photo of all times:) I hope you will join us.

Just a couple photos from my trip - and tomorrow I'll share the birthday pictures (and then no more family album shots...at least for a few days)!! :)


Absolutely loves this little farm set. Basically takes the animals in and out...and in and out - but just beginning imaginary play. I think she looks so not like a baby here!! Did you know that if you measure your child at 24 months, you can double that height to see how tall they will be as an adult. My pediatrician taught me this and it worked spot on for my children. Of course, we measured Riley - so how tall do you think she will be??? (Her mommy is 6'1" and daddy is 6'4").


Who knew a couple slides inside the mall could be so entertaining?? But don't get me started on parents who drop their kids there and then leave them unattended!! It doesn't really matter how old your kids mights be, if they are bullies, they need constant supervision!




Oh yea - M&M World! We have a great time just walking into this store - and there were free samples even! This is Miss Roo with her mommy....and, for the record - Riley should be 5'10" when she grows up!! HA...everyone was just sure she would be so much taller. Actually, I think her mommy and daddy were disappointed?!?! but I think 5'10" is perfect! (don't ask how tall I am)!! :)
Yep, I miss her already!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Hope You'll Stick With Me

I have to apologize. I really do feel like a bad friend...or, at least, a lame blogger. I asked and asked everyone to check in on Friday for my giveaway news - and, then, I didn't post on Friday. I think that is pretty sad but I have to admit it was totally out of my control (trust me on this one.)

I would love to say it was because I was playing non-stop with one too-adorable cutie (which I was) or in the middle of 1,000 kisses (which I think we managed!)...but actually we were able to do some house projects for my daughter - not the least of which included dismantling the office area..and the computer..and moving it to another room in the house! No computer. No blog. And I really do apologize.

I was pretty excited about my first giveaway - which I am still doing and I hope everyone will keep checking the blog and will join in the fun.

Of course, first, I have to do a little Mimi-braggin':) Is she just too cute for words?? What a wonderful week I had and I will be sharing more photos later this week (just a heads up, Tammie). Miss Roo simply melts my heart - and is such the big two-year old now!! So thankful for the opportunity to be there for her birthday.

But - I am also excited to be doing my first giveaway. And I really hope everyone will join the fun......



These little cuties need a new home. They have been at my house for awhile but, alas, the bear population has begun to get out of control here and I thought I would share some with my friends. And with the Fourth of July right around the corner....I thought now would be the perfect time. These are all Boyds and would be so sweet among your patriotic things...or to share with a friend for the holiday.

There really are no "rules" to enter. Just leave me a comment and let me know that you would like to be entered in the giveaway. Its that easy.


I will put all the names in a hat, have draw Hubbie draw the lucky winner and will have the bears on their way to your house this weekend - so they will be there by the fourth. I will do the drawing on Friday morning - and announce the winner this Friday in my "Friday with Friends" post. (The topic for this week will be announced tomorrow....honestly, my brain is totally still in Riley mode....and Father's Day mode...and get the house back in order, etc. etc. mode!)
Please join the giveaway - and encourage your friends as well...then, I get to meet new friends:)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Bloomin' Beauties

Some of my favorite things (part three..and I'm almost done!)...but the hydrangeas are blooming and blooming like crazy! I just couldn't mention my favorite things without including them.

Last year, we attempted growing these beauties in pot on our deck. They are supposed to grow well even in pots but, for us, it was a bust. Not a single flower. Right after we moved in, a very good friend of Hubbie's gave us two bushes that we planted out on the patio.

The began blooming almost immediately - and have not stopped since. We so enjoy these huge, showy bloomers!! We must have mentioned them often because not too long after, he brought us two more!! Yeah...and thank-you, Tom!

Most of the plants are light pink - but we have one bush that gives us these dark pink blooms that, I think, are my favorite. I thought the color was determined by the soil...but they are all in the same garden. I have no idea - but I love it!

We have been hesitant to cut them - cause we just enjoy them so much while we are outside but I have been eager to have at least a couple in the house. And then when I came across this pitcher last week at the consignment store, I knew a hydrangea bloom would be perfect in it! So I cut one - that is one flower!


I really don't know what I love more - the flower or the so cute pitcher! But, I really do like them:) Just one more reminder about tomorrow. No Friday with Friends - but I do have an announcement (goodness makes me sound pregnant...and that is NOT it) but a surprise for the blog! Think giveaway. I hope you will come by.



Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Mom's Bed

Things that I love around my house (part two)......my bed! And I warned you this would be totally random - but let me explain. When we moved into our new house, we bought a king size bed! Married almost 25 years and - Bliss, I'm telling you. I suppose during those first five or so years of marriage, we were perfectly thrilled with our queen size bed. (Probably could have been fine with a full size....) Then, somewhere around year 10 or a bit more, things were beginning to get more uncomfortable. Sure, we had both added a bit of bulk, you might say, and it was getting crowded but - the snoring?!?! Please. And, after year twenty - not only was the bliss quickly evaporating but my back hurt every morning on our old mattress.



Hello...new, wonderful, roomy, back doesn't hurt a lick mattress that is pure wedded bliss! But that really is not the reason I love my bed. It is really more for the comforter set.
It was my mother's set that she had custom made just a few years before she died - so I guess it is a one-of-a-kind in more than one way. I don't suppose I would have ever chosen purple on my own - but I just love this purple. I love the plaid bedskirt and the cute accent pillows. The whole things is "just so my mom" and brings her to my mind just about every morning as I make the bed. And what a nice memory to start the day.

The cute little prim friend is mine (not from mom's house) and was a birthday gift from my sweet girlfriend. She reminds me of her, as well, and that makes me smile!!
I'm trying to visit your blogs and "keep in touch" while in Florida but if I miss your posts, please keep coming by...I love your comments. I hope everyone will come by on Friday - for my special (fun) announcement!


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Little Lights

A few of my favorite things...part one:)

I absolutely love night lights - and I have several throughout the house. Every evening just after dusk, Hubbie and I (ok..mostly Hubbie) go around the house, shut the blinds and turn on the nightlights. Nothing says "home" much more to me than the calm of those small glows around the house.


Like most folks, we spend most of our time in just a few rooms of the house (and yes the kitchen is one of them!) but I do not like for the rest of the house to be dark. The nightlights put off just enough light to make the house cozy. Not to mention, the lights themselves are just too cute!



I picked up these cutie on the clearance shelf at Cracker Barrel. I think of two things when I notice this light. One - it was the first thing I bought for our new home. In fact, I bought it when we were still in the rental waiting to move in - and it sat in a box for weeks (hard for me because I am always eager to display my new purchases!) - and I was excited to find "just the right place" for it when we moved in. And, two - I remember the gentleman at Cracker Barrel who helped me with my purchase. An older gentleman...so gregarious and friendly. We talked for a good twenty minutes as he rambled about his grandchildren and how much he loved his job (love it!). He went to great lengths to pack the light just perfectly so it wouldn't get broken in the move and was just so enjoyable.
That's what I call - letting your light so shine.....(yes, pun intended)!!

Monday, June 14, 2010

A Bit of An Obsession

Do you know about CraigsList?? and, if so, do you just LOVE CraigsList?? I have to admit I have a mild obsession with this site (in case you don't know, it is, in essence, an on-line yard sale....or that is the best way I can describe it!) It is a great place to look for jobs and I know alot of employers are using it to list openings...but I personally am hooked on everyone else's "stuff" that is for sale - of, even better, listed for free! I just roam through and look for the one perfect treasure.

And, this past weekend, I found it! ROCKS!! Yea boy - all the rocks you want for free! And we have totally been needing rocks. Not huge boulders and not little skipping rocks but good size rocks to line the bottom of our fence in order to keep one certain, nosy poodle inside the fence! Rascal LOVES to be outside and the hotter the better so these past days have been wonderful for him. I would like to just let him out and be able to walk away but, sure enough, if something just interesting goes by on the other side of the fence, he is out! But, not anymore. We scored with free rocks from CraigsList - and Rascal is not getting out:)

Personally, I've just never been so excited over rocks! If you haven't checked it out, its fun...but, I'm tellin' ya, it can get addictive. I suppose I will take a break though as I will be away from the computer (for the most part) this week. I'm off to Florida to visit my daughter, son-in-law and sweet Riley. Riley turns TWO this week!! Remember the birthday party at Build-a-Bear with all those two year olds! I'll let you know how that goes:)

I didn't want to totally abandon the blog so I have some posts loaded to share with you during the week - some of my favorite things around the house - but I warn you, they are totally random. But I hope that you will keep checking back because there is an announcement later this week........

So, keep leaving those comments and I will do my best to be stopping by to say hello as well. Have a wonderful, sunny, week, my friends!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

We were Disney's First Fans

Welcome to Friday with Friends!! Today we are talking about vacations:) I hope that you can join us...and, if you do, be sure to let me know so I can link you in and maybe one day I will even try to figure out Mr. Linky?? Friends joining today: Miss Debbie, Donna

When I think about vacations, I do remember several really special trips with our children, especially to Maggie Valley! If only I could upload all the family vidoes:) Ha, not really, but I might share about those one day in the future. But, when I was first thinking of this post, my memory went back to all the fun I had with my parents and brother while growing up. Vacation at our house always - and I mean - always meant Florida!

My dad was completely enamored - if not a bit obsessed - with Florida. It was one step from Paradise for him. I remember my mom trying once (maybe twice) to convince him to take the family to a different spot...just for a change...but nothin' doing. He lived for those two weeks every year! Ok, well, maybe a bit of an exaggeration but he really did love his Florida trips.

Every year, we loaded the family wagon and headed South. We would drive to Savannah, stop and spend the night, and the next head morning head into Florida - of course, stopping at the welcome center at the state line for the complimentary cup of orange juice as if to tell the world, "We're Back"!! In the very early years, we went to Daytona Beach and then it was Disney. I'm tellin' ya, we were going to Disney before Disney was even cool:) I remember before it opened, they had a scale model of this new "park" in the welcome center - and Dad was hooked!

Two things that I will always remember about the earliest trips: Dad always packed out the station wagon the best! We even had a small black and white TV that plugged into the cigarette lighter (remember those in your car?) and had a groovy frisbee like antennae that sat on the roof. I don't remember a thing we watched - could we possibly have gotten any reception?? - but I know I thought I was too cool with a TV in my car:) We also used to often have others travel with us - occassionally my grandparents and often a family friend, Mr. Creech, who was a co-worker of my dad's. One year, during our stopover in Savannah, Mr. Creech was robbed! Someone actually came in through the sliding door of the motel, stole his wallet (I think that is all), and I won't forget that trip.

One of the best trips ever was 1978..and we headed to Disney for New Years!! Going this time of year was fun by itself but we also took my grandparents. The best part of this trip, though, was the first time I remember our parents giving my brother and I some "freedom" to travel the monorail without them and to "hang out" some on our own. (Interesting side note I just remembered: when we were young and my parents would want to go out for the evening while on vacation...they would have the hotel call for babysitters! No joke. People you have never laid eyes on in your life would come hang out in your hotel room with your children!! HA...and we thought it was perfectly normal!) But, on this particular Disney trip, as teenagers, my brother and I feeling totally grown-up especially on New Years's Eve as my parents and grandparents went to their celebration and Scott and I went to the Magic Kingdom by ourselves!! We were too cool for school:)

I have just a few pictures from that trip.......


Yes.....we left Virginia and it was COLD - all the better for making Florida seem so perfect!
(and obviously my tendency for pitiful pictures started in the very beginning! At least now, we have digital and I don't "waste" so much film.)


And we quickly settled into vacation mode:) That's Mom, Scott, Dad and Grandma!


And my adorable Granddad!! You have to be totally cool (and know it) to relax on the beach in this style!!:) He was even known to pull off this look with dark black ankle socks!! I love that man:)
Yes...I was there too (didn't I have my eyes closed in the last photos of me??) and still with the hair!

My parents and grandparents - it really was a perfect vacation! We all such a great time. After swimming or playing or going to the park all day, we would always come back to our rooms and "get dressed for dinner" and enjoy great food! We were staying at the Polynesian which was brand new - Dad really did think it was Paradise!


And here are the partygoers on New Year's Eve. They went to the Top of the World - also brand new - and had a great time. Aren't they the cutest??? I will always remember this vacation. I'm sure it cost my dad dearly to plan such a trip...but the memories are priceless.

Pictures that Could Have Been So Cute!

Another picture warning (I'm tellin' ya, I'm not good at this at all!), but I really wanted to include some photos with this post and have tried and tried to edit them so they are even a bit better but to no avail. If anyone can help me with the crazy glowing "pet eyes" I would love any suggestions. But let me get on with my Thankful Thursday post....

I was able to have my nephews at the house all day yesterday. They are out of school now and their dad had to go out of town for the day yesterday and brought the boys this way and they spent the day with us. I've mentioned before that they move about alot (and, yes, they are moving AGAIN!) and I just don't see any of them as much as I would like and certainly not for long stretches of time - so, yesterday was a treat for me.

I think they had a good time, too. And I would love to think that is because I am a totally awesome aunt - but...no, they were IN LOVE with Emily's dog, Bailey. And Bailey was lovin' them, to be sure. Bailey is nothing but a huge marshmallow...cupcake...sweetie (or any number of other endearing names we can think to call her) and just loved the constant attention lavished on her yesterday.

What is it about a boy and a dog?? They played football together, wrestled, snuggled together while watching a DVD and, even shared some time reading books! Which leads me to the pictures - the boys look cute and Bailey looks cute - but scary with her glowing eyes! There has to be a way to fix that.

Red eye corrector does not help. I tried "pet eye corrector" on Picnik, and this was the result...






Huge black eyes - and even a green glow?!?! What to do. What to do. Let me know if you have suggestions but remember you have to keep it simple:)

Here is the original photo - oh boy. But, pictures or no pictures, I had a great day - hope you have much to be thankful for today! Please don't forget to join us tomorrow for Friday with Friends - we talking about vacations....your favorite place to visit or a special vacation memory.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I Peter 3:4

Yesterday was a bit busy - or busier than normal...and I didn't even think to get my post done. Goodness:) Among the usual things of the day and some extra cleaning for "company coming", I was making a meal for my friends, Paul and Nellie. I decided to make extra and freeze some meals, not only for them but your my Hubbie to have while I am out of town next week. It was a great idea but a lot of cooking. I will have to share my recipes with you next week. I tried some new ones and was super pleased with the tasty results.

I also had the panel discussion last evening, which I think went well. There was a good group there - perhaps not the seventy they were expecting but close to it - and a lot of positive feedback afterwards. I do like to talk:) and talking about Tyler, even better...so it was a winner for me.

Busy. I was thinking about being busy. Have you noticed if you ask just about anyone - man, woman, young, old - how they've been, the answer is as quick to be "busy" as it is "fine, thank you." This used to really bother me. It almost seemed as if there was some type of pride in being busy......the busier, the better. And I suppose there is some amount of self-worth in being productive and seeing tasks accomplished. Indeed, Christ even expects us "to busy about His business." I have really sought His help with my attitude about this.

I think it is the stress behind the business that is the real annoyance. The "hurried, rush rush and no time to even pause attitude" that often accompanies the to-do list. I wonder how often we miss opportunities to be a blessing - indeed, to be blessed ourselves - because we have rushed past opportunities without even noticing them or, perhaps, we alienated others in our day with our attitude. No doubt I am guilty of this.

Christ instructs us, as women, that it is a "meek and quiet spirit" that is an ornament of beauty. Quiet means calm...peaceful. Yes, all of our lives are busy; however, even in the business we must seek that calm and peace that not only draws men to our Savior but allows us to be aware of people and situations in our day that need us to pull away from our "to do" list and serve. I am seeking the Lord's help with this. I would love to know ways that you find helpful in trying maintain calm and create more peace.

Monday, June 7, 2010

What's On My Mind Today....

Simple Woman's Daybook for June 7, 2010

(For our topic for this week's Friday with Friends...keep reading. See "On my Mind..")

Outside my window.....it is a beautiful day!. I believe I said the exact same thing last Monday but I think today is even prettier than last week. All of this lovely weather just makes me smile. Granted it was hot over the weekend but last night's storm brought in some cooler air and I am enjoying this!

I am thinking....about our church's 29th anniversary that we celebrated yesterday. We have been a part of this church family over almost 26 years...and what a wonderful history and testimony the church has. Pastor shared some stories from the very early days yesterday - the first three or so years we were not there - and how exciting it was to hear...and see...how the Lord has used our pastor's faithfulness and has blessed our church so richly. Sometimes it really is good to think back "to the very beginning" - in any ministry, in your marriage, in your walk with Christ, in many ways - and see where God has led and all that He has done through us and for us.

I am wearing.....a white shirt. OK - last week, I thought it was a little funny...but there Mondays in a row is verging on goofy.

I am remembering....or trying to remember...all the little things that I need to pack. I enjoy picking up little things for people when I'm out shopping but I'm also famous for forgetting about them if I don't share them right away. I can never shop months ahead for birthdays, holidays, etc. I always find things months AFTER the date. I have some things for Riley but sure don't want to forget to take them to her..

I am going....to visit Miss Roo in just one week. It is hard to believe, I am going to help celebrate her SECOND birthday...how can it be?? Her mommy has planned a party at Build-a-Bear with ten of her little friends (all two year olds)....now that should be fun! I can't wait to see all of them. Riley seems to have healed completely - and beautifully - from her face injury and I praise the Lord for it.



I am reading....a devotional from Emilie Barnes. Have you read any of her many books - or even read her testimony? She really is a blessing - and her books are always good.

I am hoping....that I can stay committed to my diet while I am in Florida. I have really adjusted to this and it appears to be "working" but I don't want to be difficult while in someone else's home either. Oh (and Erica) I really do have to keep up with the exercising!??! Don't let me get lazy!

On my mind...just thinking about this week's Friday with Friends - I was so glad to see several join in this past week. I really enjoy reading your memories and learning a story from your past. I hope we will have another group of friends this Friday. With summer on its way, I'd thought we would share a thought about vacations - whether a special vacation from the past - with your family as a child or a place you love to visit with your own family now - or maybe even a vacation you are dreaming of one day:) Invite your friends to join! The more..the merrier:)


From the kitchen.....making some meals for Paul and Nellie. She finally came home from the hospital but it has been a very difficult adjustment. I've asked some others to help me with meals and, hopefully, they can get some good home-cooking for a change and even stock pile the fridge for a bit. Please continue to pray for them.

Around the house.....things are quiet - sometimes too quiet.

Plans for the week....meeting with a friend to discuss our new website and on Tuesday evening, I will be a panel member at a group discussion for the Capital Area Pediatric Palliative Committee (and think there is more in that title but that is the gist). I share Tyler's story with doctors and other medicl professionals from four area hospitals as a training tool. I've never really done something like this and not exactly sure what to expect - but I'll let you know how it goes. I'm for any chance to share about Tyler...but, as for the rest of the evening..????



One of the favorite things...


Looking forward to more days like these!!!!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Remembering School

Editors Note: Friends joining today: Miss Debbie, Linda C, Giggles, Joyfull (check out the hair! I love it...for obvious reason!)....you could be next:)


Welcome to my first Friday with Friends....I hope that by the end of the day, we can have several friends stopping by to chat and, perhaps, share a bit from the school days and their teacher. I know Miss Debbie has a post - check hers out and then share your own!

I guess a little background is needed before I get to my teacher......


Growing up, it was me and my brother. We are only 16 months apart and so were only one grade apart going through school. Elementary school - which for me was first through sixth grade - was wonderful. There was one bus that brought in about thirty kids from...well, I don't know where...but for the most part, the school was all neighborhood kids. We all walked to school (on our own), knew most of the families and spent the day with our friends.

My mom was a stay-at-home - as were almost all the moms - and, honestly, she welcomed us home every afternoon with snacks and milk.....and life truly was good.







My brother had, shall we say, the "larger personality" of the two of us and, although I was older, often, I was rather known as "Scott's sister"....but that was perfectly fine. We each had our own classrooms, teachers, etc. ,and both did well in school. Those early years were wonderful years for me!




It was during those "middle years" - eighth grade - that our family moved about an hour further out.....to the country, we called it! New school - new friends - new everything. And Scott and I attended the same school - Warrenton Junior High - and some of our teachers began to overlap. Being "his sister" was more of a challenge. I was not a "wallflower" by any means and don't even know that I was always compared to my brother.....unless, it was me who was doing the comparing. My brother was very smart, athletic, very popular and talented. I always felt challenged to "keep up."



(Yes, this me around that age - I think ninth grade here! Don't even get me started about my hair!) Anyway, it was during this time, that I had Miss Tomlinson as my AP English teacher. What a tremendous difference this lady made not only in my school year but in me, personally. Each one of her students were individuals - and treated and taught as such. And each one of us were, in her opinion, full of potential with wonderful talents and abilities. She not only expressed those things to us...but she helped us discover them and believe them for ourselves! I wish I knew "how" she did it but I really can't say - she was truly a gifted teacher.

One example - I enjoyed working on the school newspaper and did for quite a bit. Awhile into it, she asked me to be the editor of the paper. Me?? The team player that was plenty comfortable just following the leader - not being the leader! I turned her down - or so I thought. She was so highly confident that I could do this job that she gave me confidence...and I took the job. Not only was it alot of work but came with lots of fun, extra (out of class) privileges. I even would leave school to walk the paper downtown to be printed by our local newspaper....it was too cool.

Having someone (other than my parents and grandparents) believe in me, not just as an editor but as a student and as a person - especially during those wonderful middle school years - was monumental....and made a difference in me for a lifetime.

Here we are - my brother and I - with my grandparents......definitely, the head of my fan club:) With their love and encouragement from teachers such as Miss Tomlinson, I really did "blossom"!


One last picture from school days - this is me (still rockin' the hair), with my girlfriends now in high school. I'm guessin' the draw string at the waist thing must have been totally cool?!?! If you want to join in for Friday with Friends...just leave a comment and I'll link you in at the top! Have a great one.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Priceless Friends

THANKFUL THURSDAY - but, before I get to my post, just a reminder that tomorrow is Friday with Friends .... a chance for me to "sit and chat" with all my blogging friends. We will all be talking about and remembering a favorite teacher or maybe one who had a tremendous impact on us. I hope everyone will join in - I plan to grab a cup of tea and enjoy a glimpse in each of your's past:) Be sure to let me know if you joined in the chat...so I can link in your post. If you don't have that specific post - come join us anyway!!

This Thursday, I am thanking the Lord for my sweet, senior friends - Paul and Nellie. I have mentioned them both here several times but especially Nellie, lately, as she has been in the hospital for over two weeks now. What a treasure both of these special people are individually...and especially as a couple. They have been married over 63 years (that's an entire Thankful Thursday post all by itself!) They have known joy and sorry, prosperity and struggles, great health and youth, as well as declining health and old age. But they have faced it all together.

I love to hear their stories! It has not been until these last (latter) years that we became friends when Paul and Nellie began attending our church. How I wish I could have known them longer. But, we have enjoyed many afternoons together and they have shared memories a many - so cute to listen to them tell a story as they fill in the blanks for one another and finish each other's thoughts/sentences! They truly "have become one" and it warms my heart.

These last months - maybe more - they have both faced tremendous health struggles. Their physical strength is declining. There have also been disappointments, even heartbreak, over loved ones, financial burdens, tremendous family burdens and, seemingly, trial upon trial. But, at the end of the day, they have one another. No matter what life may have in store, it all comes down to their mutual love for their Lord and their love for one another.

On Sunday after church, we took Paul to the hospital. He was so tired. We decided to find a wheelchair to get him upstairs to Nellie's room - he didn't even argue. To see both of their faces light up as Paul made it to the room...worth a million bucks! To watch Paul shuffle to Nellie's side - past wheelchairs and walkers and bedside commodes - and ever so precariously lean over to share a sweet kiss....priceless!

These two not only share a sweet testimony - but are a sweet testimony to me! God has granted me a rich blessing getting to them and allowing me the times we spend together. If you think of them, please say a prayer for both of them:)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Curtains and God's Goodness


Yes, this is a picture of my curtains - my new curtains to be sure...but, really, it is a picture of much more because those curtains are a picture of God's goodness and love toward His children.

Since we moved, we have enjoyed settling in and fixing things to make our new house, "our home"! However, there are (or were) no curtains anywhere. The house did come with beautiful blinds so that wasn't an issue but I have been eager to find some curtains just to add that extra homey touch.

Well, who knew curtains could be so expensive?? Everything I "fell in love with" was too much and the more I looked for what I liked, the more discouraged - and impatient - I became. Sad, but true. It even seemed when friends came over and I would show them about - I would focus on my lack of curtains rather than all I did enjoy...and there is much to enjoy. But how quickly we can do just that - focus on the little things..the negative..while surrounded by abundant blessings.

But God is ever patient - and cares even about those little things! He is so good to me. But, I'm getting ahead of myself....back to the curtains. A friend helped me find some cute curtains that were just the right color in my family room - a black and tan plaid - and I ordered them from a catalog. They arrived on Thursday. They weren't perfect once I took them out of the package - the color was great but the length wasn't quite right and I really didn't like the valance but I was more than willing to "make do."

On our day out on Friday, we found rods (on clearance) that were perfect. But when we got home, Hubbie was not in the mood to hang curtains - grrr. But I had a sweet attitude (just had to throw that in.) And I could wait one more day. Then on Saturday morning, I did it AGAIN...I went yard saleing! Crazy, I know!! And that's when I found my new curtains. These curtain had been in a home when this lady moved in and they weren't her style. They were customed made valances, mounted on boards, professionally lined and gorgeous!! I oohed and aahed over them and then she said it...."you can have all those for five bucks, if you want them" WHAT?!? Sold.

Did I mention the curtains that I was going to learn to love from the catalog were $120 and here I got my heart's wish for five dollars!! I could go on and on about wanting to add some more red to the room and how this or that was exactly what I had been looking for....but really this post is not about curtains but about my Heavenly father.

He cares about even the little things. He cares about us, individually and personally, and as a Heavenly father, He wants to bless and give us gifts. How often do I not only leave Him out of the little things of my life - not even bothering to pray about "little things"? How often do I rush ahead of Him and take care of things (not just curtains) on my own and then have to learn to be content with my own choices - and miss what He might have done instead? When I see my curtains, I hope to be reminded that I can take all things to Him. I don't have to settle for "just good enough" and that God loves me as His dear child.


Just had to include one more photo of the family room 'cause Mr. Rascal was so cooperative...posing in his favorite spot while I took pictures!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

NOTE TO SELF......

I flipped the calendar this morning, and this was what I read -


Yes - I am choosing to embrace this day (challenges and all)!! Happy June, friends!!:)