Monday, February 28, 2011

Friendship Waltzes In...

It happened on Wednesday.  I realized that I had misplaced a special bracelet.  It was nowhere to be found.  The last time I remembered wearing it for sure was on Sunday.  Thursday I looked.  Friday I looked -- baffled by the fact that it hadn't shown up yet.  As a rule, I don't take my jewelry off and lay it down -- unless on my desk, or put-away on my dresser, and it wasn't in either of those places.  Saturday, I wasn't at home much, and didn't really think about it.  But this morning... Well, this morning I would've put it on to go to church, but instead, I was reminded that it is still missing.  Again I was sad.

The bracelet was a Mother's Day/Birthday gift.  A charm bracelet.  I received more charms at Christmas, and was on my way to a lovely collection -- each charm significant in some way.

On Twitter, I wrote: 

*  Next task: going through the kitchen garbage to see if I dropped my Pandora bracelet there.

*  No Pandora bracelet amidst the coffee grounds & chicken bones. Phooey. Where on earth can it be?

*  I know we're not supposed to "hold tightly" to things of this earth... but am I the only one who sometimes DOES?

Sweet Charity (also known as Cha Cha) at Sit Relax and Read commented that she wished me luck - she knew from experience that this was hard (and she was right).

Later, I found another Twitter message from her: "Just prayed 4 U 2 remember whr U left it..."  I was struck at her thoughtfulness in sending me these words.

I knew that Cha Cha was having a Sentimental Sunday, and I commented that I would not be participating (with a linked post) because I was too busy feeling sentimental about my bracelet.  I told her that I felt silly being so upset by this.

Moments later, I found this in my e-mail: "If it did not bother you, you would not be a good steward of what you have.  You know it is not your real treasure but it is a symbol of some of your real treasure's love for you.  My heart does ache for you, and I do hope you find it.  ~Cha Cha"

I was reduced to tears -- crying a little bit for my lost bracelet, and a lot in gratitude for this sweet friend who took the time to send me some encouraging words.

Sometimes friendship waltzes in 
through the back door
and is standing in your kitchen
before you even have time to put the water on for tea.

Friendship can come to us in surprising ways!
Blogger friendship is a blessing.

 Please visit Cha Cha.
She's a gem!

03/03/11 UPDATE:  My bracelet has been found!  My dear daughter just pulled it out of a large bag of candy I had purchased to make banquet favors!  The bag sat here at the foot of my desk, was on my desk at church for a week, and came home again with us last night.  My daughter discovered the bracelet just now as we were finishing up the favors.  Thanks to Cha Cha, Suz, my family, and others who said a little prayer.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Saturday Adventure on the "Beaten Path"

My sweet hubby and dear daughter have long shared Saturday Adventures.

For many years now, our Saturday mornings have begun with taking our son to karate lessons.  Once he got a little older, and spent time as a karate helper as well, it was no longer necessary for us to sit on the sidelines observing the class.  This soon became errand-running time for my hubby.  And when our daughter wanted to ride along - it became "an adventure."  When the kids were little, Mommy stayed home to breath a little.  But now, I'm ready to enjoy the adventures.

I prefer to be a follower, and not the leader on these trips.  Through the years, I have come to realize that my sweet hubby is an "off the beaten path" kind of shopper.  He likes to find interesting, out-of-the-way, hole-in-the-wall, Mom-and-Pop kind of places.  I like to go with what I know.  What's close.  What's sure.  But, that said, I trust my husband's instincts about his chosen "path", and we go with it.  I know there are places that I never would have visited, things I never would have seen were it not for him (like the "ends of the earth" in Hawaii when he jumped off a cliff, leaving me [his new bride] waiting far above -- but that's a different story for another time).

I'm not sure why I just told you all of that since today, our stops were Kohl's, Super Wal-mart, lunch, and the thrift bakery.  My kind of places.  On the beaten path.  My territory.  Even so, I couldn't wait to see what the adventure would hold.

1st stop: Kohl's. (LOVE Kohl's!)
Today, we purchased:
* two men's fleece pullovers on clearance
* two men's turtlenecks on clearance
* one men's colored t-shirt on clearance
* two large-handled Food Network mugs on clearance
(hubby is always noticing how small mug handles are for his hands)
* one "life is good" wall accent (which totally stopped me in my tracks) - 50% off.

Our receipt said that we saved $122.10.  Get this - we paid only 28% of what all this was worth.  Love that!   
Life is good on the beaten path!

Dear daughter was in the market for a Coca-Cola t-shirt.  I do not know why.  But, she doesn't ask for much - so when we spotted Wal-mart, I said, "Let's stop."  (Okay, I was leading a little.)

2nd stop: Super Wal-mart. (Glad we stopped!)
* One Coca-Cola t-shirt (Score!!)
* Manwich was cheap.
* Craisins were cheap.
* New work-out bag for my son (cheap-ish)

Next stop: lunch.  Lovin' these shiny poly-coated tables.  Great reflections!  I know -- I'm so easily entertained.

This afternoon, I enjoyed watching a movie with my daughter: "Nanny McPhee Returns."  Yes, the Nanny McPhee movies are a bit odd - but there is something about them that grabs me hook, line, & sinker every time.  The whole time we watched the movie, we wondered if there was supposed to be some connection between this family, and the family in the original movie.  Hanging in there until the end paid off - it's a sweet & surprising connection.

Loved an easy dinner of something we call "Breakfast Pie" around here.  It's a variation of Bisquick's old "Impossible Pie."  An easy dinner after a great day is just the ticket.

What special things did you do today?
Any adventures?
Do tell.

Friday, February 25, 2011

"My Husband Rocks" Friday ~ 1

My sweet hubby.  That's what I always call him on this blog.  He doesn't want the blog to be about him - much.  But, he is MUCH a part of my life.  So, I suppose it was inevitable.

When I read about "My Husband Rocks" Friday over at Katy Lin's blog, I had to check it out.  You can read about how "My Husband Rocks" Friday got started HERE.  You can see a list of "My Husband Rocks" participants HERE.  The whole idea sounded like a good idea to me.

I am so thankful for how my husband and I balance one another.  Things that are emotional for me are not a big deal for him.  Things that upset him are, generally, not bothersome to me.  Which means, when one of us is at a low point, the other one is there to encourage and support.  Again and again.

A task was set before us this week.  Something that normally I would tackle.  This time, however, it seemed overwhelming to me.  Overwhelming to the point, that I'm pretty sure I would've been immobilized.  My husband, however, stepped up to the task before I could even express my discomfort over it.  I am so thankful for how he "reads" me.

To some people this task would not have been a big deal -- but understand that it was to me.

I'm so thankful for my husband, and how well he knows me.  He really has me figured out.

Daisypath Anniversary tickers

"The Great Adventure"

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sleepless in Seattle

Well, okay -- not Seattle, but you get the idea.  It was a sleepless night for me.  For no reason in particular -- just everything in general.  A lost treasure.  A friend's anguish.  An event to plan.  A decision to be made.  Jobs in jeopardy.

Usually sleep is my escape.  There is nothing I like better than laying down at the end of a busy day, and putting it all out of my mind while I drift off to dreamland.  But, sleep eluded me last night. 

I prayed.  Then, I prayed some more.  I counted backwards.  I started with a higher number, and counted backwards again -- all things that usually work if there is any hesitancy on my body's part to sleep.  Not last night.

Just yesterday, I read this great quote...which I have since tried unsuccessfully to find again.  I remember the quote -- not the site.  (How bad is that?)  Anyways, the quote had something to do with worry keeping you from sleep.  The idea was that if that was the case, you should GET UP, and do something productive rather than laying there worrying.  (UPDATE:  I had to keep looking - it was driving me crazy.  The quote was found at Quote Garden and is from Dale Carnegie: "If you can't sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there worrying.  It's the worry that gets you, not the lack of sleep.")

So, I got up.  I'm pretty sure I didn't do anything productive.  I had a cup of tea, I answered some e-mails.  Did a little tidying up around here.  Okay - maybe a little productive.  And then, when I could keep my eyes open no longer, I went back to bed, and slept immediately -- for about 2 hours, until it was time to get up.

Oh, today's going to be a l-o-n-g day.  I find myself thinking about "rest" already.  This song came to mind: "My Soul Finds Rest ~ Psalm 62", and I knew exactly which picture I wanted to include in this post.

My Soul Finds Rest ~ Psalm 62
 My soul finds rest in God alone, My Rock and my salvation,
A fortress strong against my foes, And I will not be shaken.
Though lips may bless and hearts may curse,
And lies like arrows pierce me,
I’ll fix my heart on righteousness, I’ll look to Him who hears me.

O praise Him, hallelujah, My Delight and my Reward;

Everlasting, never failing, My Redeemer, my God.

Find rest, my soul, in God alone

Amid the world’s temptations;
When evil seeks to take a hold
I’ll cling to my salvation.
Though riches come and riches go,
Don’t set your heart upon them;
The fields of hope in which I sow
Are harvested in heaven.

I’ll set my gaze on God alone,

And trust in Him completely;
With every day pour out my soul,
And He will prove His mercy.
Though life is but a fleeting breath,
A sigh too brief to measure,
My King has crushed the curse of death
And I am His forever.

O praise Him, O praise Him, hallelujah, hallelujah,

O praise Him, O praise Him, hallelujah, hallelujah,
O praise Him, O praise Him, hallelujah! hallelujah!

May your soul find rest in God alone today.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Matthew 6:25-34

"Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life,
what you will eat or drink;
or about your body, what you will wear.
Is not life more important than food,
and the body more important than clothes?
Look at the birds of the air;
they do not sow or reap or store away in barns,
and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are you not much more valuable than they?
Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
And why do you worry about clothes?
See how the lilies of the field grow.  They do not labor or spin.
Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor
was dressed like one of these.
If that is how God clothes the grass of the field,
which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire,
will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?'
or 'What shall we wear?'
For the pagans run after all these things,
and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness,
and all these things will be given to you as well.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will worry about itself.
Each day has enough trouble of its own."

Worry doesn't add a single hour to our lives
(as the scripture says),
but worry can rob us of our JOY.
Let tomorrow worry about itself!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Photos From a Snowy Morning

Last week, it seemed as if spring had arrived here.

Crazy teenage boys (never saw him before in my life) were seen hanging out car windows and "WooHoo-ing" with joy.

We knew, of course, that it was way too early -- but one can hope, right?  With the exception of the rather large piles of snow plowed into our front yard, all of the snow had melted!  The driveway was officially no longer a skating rink.

But -- yesterday was "back to reality."  We got hammered.  The roads were covered, slippery, and slushy.  A normally twenty-minute drive took me fifty minutes.  The expressway traffic was at a slow crawl - about 10mph.  Parts of the interstate were later closed due to so many jack-knifed trucks.  One article called it a "jack-knifed truck forest."  There's a mental picture for you.

Of course, this morning, the tendency was to want to stay in jammies inside where it was warm.  But...that's not where the pictures were.  Outside, it is a beautiful, sunny day.  And, the more that sun shines, the quicker all the icy pictures melt away and get missed.  I couldn't let that happen now, could I?  Here are some of the shots I was able to get.

My Sweet Shot:  Love the untouched snow below, the pattern above.
Sweet Shot Day

And...just for fun!
Stay warm wherever you are, and have a great day!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Epic Fail ~ Don't Take God for Granted!

Today in our Adult Bible Fellowship class we talked a little about missed opportunities.

Someone shared an e-mail from a friend (meant to be shared).  It was about being downtown, and running into someone who was unemployed, and looking for a way to pay for formula for his baby.  Money was given, because the giver interpreted the request as genuine.  The giver mentioned in the e-mail that he had a tender heart for hungry children.  A phone number and address was offered to the giver - a way of saying "thank you, I will repay."  The giver declined, and asked the man to pay it forward when he could.  The two men parted.

The e-mail went on to say that moments later, the giver realized that he had missed an opportunity.  You see, at church, we've been talking a lot about always having an answer ready when people ask about the hope that is in us (I Peter 3:15-16).  The giver didn't mention his tender heart for hungry children to the man.  He didn't mention God.  Nothing.  It wasn't until the man walked away, and the giver had time to reflect, that he realized he'd missed his opportunity.  In the quickness of the moment, he hadn't reacted as he'd hoped to in such a situation.

And I
was so convicted,
thinking about
my little list of 7
posted HERE.

Didn't mention God.
Epic fail (as my kids would say).

Because, you see, God is at the very core of who I am.
He's in my little profile "blurb" at the top left of my blog.
I guess I made an assumption.
And yet -- really?
Not ONE mention in a list of 7?
He should've been my ONLY mention in a list of 1.

HE is the reason that I even FOUND my wonderful hubby of 18 years.
HE is the reason that we HAVE two amazing kids,
and that we HAVE the freedom to homeschool.
HE is the reason I was blessed enough to GO to college, and complete a degree.
HE is the reason I got THROUGH math classes, and LOVED my job.
HE is the reason that I am blessed to BE a SAHM, and love on my kids all day.
HE is the reason we were LED to a vacation spot that we dearly love.
HE is the reason that my sweet hubby HAD a sweeter granny
who taught him about baking.

Enough said?
Mmmm, probably NOT.
But - at least now, I have given HIM the credit for everything that is my life -- and for the HOPE that is in me.

Where is your hope?
I am a sinner, saved by grace.
My hope is in the Lord.
You can read more HERE.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Imagine My Surprise!

What a nice surprise.
When I checked my blog comments this evening, there was a message from Veronica saying that she was awarding me the "Stylish Blogger Award!"  I had only seen a little chatter throughout the blog-world about this award - so I wasn't sure what to do, or who to thank.  I did a little "research."  Here's what you do!   

** Thank the person who awarded you (of course).
I would like to thank Veronica at Veronica Victoria Chronicles.   
Thanks so much!  You made my day!
I tried to follow a trail back to a place of origin to express thanks there as well.  It looks like that is a l-o-n-g trail.  If anyone has information on who started this award, I'd love to know.

** Tell 7 things you may not know about me.
1.  I have been married to my sweet hubby for 18 years.
2.  We have two children (teens) whom we homeschool.
3.  I have a bachelor's degree in Family and Child Development, but have only ever worked (before kids) in the accounting field.
4.  I hated math when I was in school, but loved working in accounting.
5.  As a kid, the only job I ever dreamed of was being a mom.  As it turns out, I got that job (without so much as an interview!), and love it the best!
6.  My favorite vacation is at the beach -- and our family loves the North Carolina beach.  It is affordable.  But, if money were no object, I have a feeling we would vacation in Hawaii regularly.
7.   I love to bake, but my sweet hubby is a far better baker than I.  (Today, he made The Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon rolls!)

** Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers. 
Oh my, this may prove a challenge.  There are so many great blogs out there.  I realize that some of the blogs I will list are "well established," and don't need accolades from me to gain readers.  That said, they are still "new to me" and I am appreciative of their example to me.  Perhaps you have already heard of some of them.  I hope that others will be new to you.  Please pay them a visit!  Meet a new friend.  Share the love.  You get the idea.

** Contact the bloggers, and tell them about the award.
{This part will keep me busy & out of trouble for a while, ay?} 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Inspiration for Spring

Yesterday, I stopped in at Michaels with my 50% off coupon -- and was inspired.
Lots of goodies were on sale, and this is what I ended up with.

This great decorative plate.
Crushed shells, shell balls, and a spicy vanilla candle.

Do you see where this is going?  No?  Stay with me.

How about this?
I covered the indented area of the plate with crushed shell,
and added the shell balls.


Take away a shell ball, and add the candle.


If you're into balance and symmetry...


There's was lots of leftover crushed shell,
so I added some around this candle as well.

As I look at these photos, I'm realizing that
I have totally been inspired by
Sarah at A Beach Cottage.
Check out her monochromatic decorating style.
It's totally inspiring for life at the beach.
{Let's not talk about the fact that I live in the midwest
 -- and we're still not done with winter!}
As my kids would say: WHATEVER.

Tidy Mom I'm Lovin It Fridays


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Craft: Ribbon-tied Brag Book

Well, this is the first time I've ever shown a craft on my blog.  I am not a terribly creative person by nature.  I'm more of a show-me-exactly-how-and-I'll-make-one-too person.  So, that said, please understand that I am taking no credit for this project -- only showing my version of it.  I believe that I first spotted the idea in a scrapbooking magazine.  I wish I could remember which one - so I could give credit.  If anyone knows - please leave me a comment, and I will gladly give credit.

The instructions are oh so easy.  I've been trying to work a few more hand-made gifts into my Christmas giving the last few years, and these were the handmade gift for 2010.

Here we go...

Supplies needed:
1 pack badge holders - found at office supply stores.  (Horizontal or vertical doesn't matter, however, it would be easier to get photos into the wider opening of the horizontal holders.  The badge holders I found were rather rigid.)

Narrow ribbon.  You can mix & match, have a theme, or stick with one particular type of ribbon -- totally your choice.

Line up your badges.  Each badge has a pre-punched hole at the top.  (You may have to poke the plastic tab out.)  It doesn't matter which way they face.  However, I do make sure that the front and back are turned inward - meaning the slot where you slide the picture in is facing the inside.  This way, no pictures can slip out.

Cut your ribbon, leaving it long enough to tie a knot and have some leftover.  Slip it through the hole in each badge, and tie that knot!  Please note:  tying the knot tightly insures that the book's pages will stay lined up neatly -- however, it also makes it a little more difficult to slip photos in.  Try a happy medium.  Do this with several ribbons, until you like the look.  Remember, you can use one type of ribbon, or a happy rainbow of colors/styles -- your choice.

When you're done - it should look something like this.  Leave the ribbons a little on the long side so they "flop" a little.  Then, trim the ends at an angle, or in a "V" cut - as you prefer.

TaaDaa!  A sweet little wallet-sized, ribbon-tied brag book.
Just the perfect size to carry in your purse.
OR leave it out on a table at home.
So cute either way.

Thirty Hand Made Days


Sometimes life is busy.
Sometimes the business of life has a way of pulling a family in so many directions
that it doesn't feel like you're ever really ALL TOGETHER
-- at least long enough.
And I start to get discouraged.
Frustrated that the time together is too quick
and not filled with enough "quality."
(I think I am starting to feel the pangs of my kids growing up,
and going their own ways, doing their own things
-- things not specifically related to our family.)

Last night, I pulled a book from a shelf.
It was a book about Christ-centered homemaking.
I grabbed it - perhaps thinking that it would help me
get back to a place where I felt our home (our family) was doing okay.
Or at least confirmation that we were "normal."

I read a few pages, and then turned to a page where a bookmark had been inserted.
Not a bookmark, really.  An envelope.
Interesting choice.
Probably from the same birthday that earned me this book, I thought.
I turned it over and read this:

And it grounded me.
It served as a reminder that
whatever twists and turns our family takes,
however imperfect in our "timing"
to be all together in the same room,
it all comes back to love.

Beach Cottage Good Life Wednesdays

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Color Therapy

Monday was just black and white.  Well, there was gray - come to think of it.  And a little bit of the blues.  And it's not just me.  I've seen it on other peoples' blogs.  It's in the air.  Winter Blues.

My word is JOY.  Not BLUES.

Nevertheless, blues is what I've got.  I need some balance - some other colors.  Are you with me?  Here {from the archives} is some COLOR.





Blue. {Can we agree that we've got "the blues" covered?}



"And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing.
Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable,
and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.
Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise."
Philippians 4:8 [New Living Translation]

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines Day!

Dear Friends,
Thank you
for all of your support
and encouragement
along the bloggy way.
Have a love-y day!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Simple 7-year-old Moment

A simple moment during a busy evening.
Dinner out with the sweet birthday girl ~ our niece.
Presents and cake.
The balloon man.
A great concert.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

On Being Thankful...

The other day, a friend posted this on facebook:

"What if you woke up today
with only the things
you thanked God for yesterday?"

--which begs a question...
well, several in fact.

Would you have your family beside you?
Would you have your home?
Would your home be cozy during these winter months?
Would you have your friends, your church, your job?

<<Insert here all the things that you did not give thanks for,
but that you're taking for granted will be there for you tomorrow.>>

Just something to think about.
I definitely realized how much I take for granted,
and am trying to be better at expressing my thanks to God
-- daily.

By the way,
what about the sunrise?
Would the sun have risen today?

{Except for my watermark, this is a completely unedited photo of
this morning's sunrise over my back-yard-neighbors' rooftops.}
I'm certainly thankful that SOMEONE
thanked God for the sunrise yesterday!
Was it YOU?
Thank you!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Love With Abandon

Many years ago, our Pastor/Friend used this expression: "Love With Abandon."  Three words - yet they spoke volumes to me.  

Abandon is defined as "freedom from constraint or conventionality."

When I saw a plaque with the words shown below, I asked, (and hinted, and reminded) my dear hubby that I really wanted it for Christmas that year.  {It now hangs in our kitchen!  He's a really good hint-taker...}

Live each day.
* as if there's no tomorrow.
* do the best you can with what you're given.
* dance like no one's watching.
* sing like no one's listening.

Forgive everything.
* everything.
* not just the convenient stuff.
* not just the little things.

Love with abandon.
* tell the people you love that you love them.
 * don't hold back.
* don't hesitate.
* don't wait.
* tell them more than once.
* do it again tomorrow.
* and the next day.

artwork credit:

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Matthew 6:19-21

19Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth,
where moth and rust doth corrupt,
and where thieves break through and steal:
 20But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt,
and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
 21For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

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