" For God himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything." Acts 17:25

About Me

About Me

About Me

Welcome...I'm delighted that you chose to visit! I started this blog in March 2010 and I am so happy that I did. It has made me more aware of the many ways that God is blessing my life. I have made some special friends who bless,teach,encourage,and entertain me! My desire is to be an encouragement to you. I hope you will tarry for a while and that you will come back to visit often.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

headed to the beach!

Well, we are headed out for our annual “week-at-the-beach” family vacation on Sunday. There is no internet at the house we rent, so this will the last post for a while.
I wanted to leave you with a reminder of how great our God is and how much He cares about us. I’m not sure how I feel about “ The Message” bible, but I saw this on the sidebar of My Pink Life a few days ago. On a day when I was feeling a bit overwhelmed, it encouraged me to think of my Heavenly Father in this way.

God's love is meteoric,
His loyalty astronomic,
His purpose titanic,
His verdicts oceanic.
Yet in his largeness
Nothing gets lost;
Not a man, not a mouse,
Slips through the cracks.
Psalms 36:5-6 Message Bible

I hope and pray that it is a wonderful week in your part of the world. I pray that you will be reminded over and over what a wonderful Savior we serve, that you will be blessed in sweet, and unexpected ways, and that the overflow of God’s love in your life will bless others. I will miss hearing from you and hearing about you.... my blogging friends! I’ll have much to share when we return.

Friday, June 25, 2010

the camping trip that almost wasn't!

The topic for this week’s Friday with Friends (Jennifer at Trading Ashes For Beauty) is the 4th of July. When our kids were small, we did a lot of tent camping. The first 4th of July camping trip we took was when our boys were ages 3 and 5. We decided to go to the mountains in our state which is about a four hour drive. Back then, we drove a Toyota station wagon and we packed it tight. We didn’t know the mountains were such a popular destination for the 4th, so it never occurred to us to make reservations. We took off as soon as J got home from work on the third. We pulled up to the state park where we were planning to camp only to find out it was full. We had no idea where else to go! The ranger mentioned a private campground down the road. We went there just to be told that it was full, too. What in the world were we going to do? It was 10 P.M..... we had two tired little boys who had been looking forward to camping all week and we didn’t have a place to set up our tent. I guess the man saw how pitiful we were and felt sorry for us because he finally said, “Well since you are tent camping, I do have a little half-site available if you want it.” We said, “We’ll take it!” Turned out to be perfect. Just big enough for our tent and car and the picnic table that was already there. Boy, were we grateful! We had a great time on that trip. We hiked, saw fireworks, roasted marshmallows in our campfire, and our youngest son caught his first fish! We went back to that campground many times after that....but always with reservations!! :-)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

i like mine well done!

I cooked cubed steak for dinner last night. It reminded me of something that happened a long time ago. J and I had been married about 3 years and had recently moved from the town where I grew up and where we met and married to the city where we live now. His parents and grandparents came from the coast for a visit.
I wanted to make something special for dinner on Saturday night. So, I decided on country fried steak, mashed potatoes, green beans, and “hand squeezed” biscuits! I was quickly browning the steak and removing it from the pan. It would be returned to the pan later to finish cooking in the gravy. J’s grandmother, who was very sweet, but had no trouble speaking her mind, was standing beside me, watching every move I made. (As you can imagine, that was pretty unsettling----- a 3 year cook being monitored by a 40 year cook!) Anyway, as I was browning the steak, she, not knowing the plan, said ”You can cook mine a little more, if you don’t mind!” :-) Stumbling over my words, I explained my plan and then we both had a good laugh!
She was a dear lady and J loved her very much. That was the only time she ever visited our home. I’m so glad I have such a distinct memory of that time together!

Monday, June 21, 2010


This was our dinner Saturday night, When I fixed my plate, I thought the colors were so pretty... I couldn’t wait to take my first bite! I’ve been planning to share this chicken recipe for a while. Funny thing, the last time I made it, I left out an ingredient. (Those of you who read about my Derby Pie disaster can stop laughing now!) So, I didn’t want to post a picture of a mistake. I mean, my goodness, the name of the recipe is Poppy Seed Chicken and I forgot the poppy seeds!!! Ok, you can all stop laughing now! :-)
Well, I made it correctly this time. You’ve seen the picture, now here is the recipe...easy and delicious!

3 boneless chicken breasts (boiled {with 1 tsp salt} and cubed)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 8 oz sour cream
1 stack Ritz crackers
1 stick margarine
2 tbsp poppy seeds

Spray 13x9 baking dish with Pam. Place chicken in dish. Mix soup and sour cream. Spoon onto chicken and spread out evenly. Melt margarine. Add crushed crackers and poppy seeds. Mix well. Sprinkle on top of soup mixture. Bake at 350 for 30 mins. or until light brown.

Hope you enjoy it!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

the handiwork of God

I received this in an email back in March and saved it. I saw it in my inbox today and thought I would share it with you. If you are not familiar with Louis Giglio, he is a powerful and dynamic speaker and founder of Passion, a Christian conference ministry that focuses on college students. This is a quote from someone sharing about watching Giglio's DVD message, "How Great Is Our God".

"He (Louie) was talking about how inconceivably BIG our God is... How He spoke the universe into being... How He breathes stars out of His mouth that are huge raging balls of fire... . Etc. Etc. Then He went on to speak of how this star-breathing, universe creating God ALSO knitted our human bodies together with amazing detail and wonder. At this point I am LOVING it. And I was remembering how I was constantly amazed during medical school as I learned more and more about God's handiwork. I remember so many times thinking... 'How can ANYONE deny that a Creator did all of this???'

Louie went on to talk about how we can trust that the God who created all this, also has the power to hold it all together when things seem to be falling apart..how our loving Creator is also the one who sustains us.

Then he started talking about laminin. Here is how Wikipedia describes them: 'Laminins are a family of proteins that are an integral part of the structural scaffolding of basement membranes in almost every animal tissue..' You see... Laminins are what hold us together.. LITERALLY.. They are cell adhesion molecules. They are what holds one cell of our bodies to the next cell. Without them, we would literally fall apart. And I knew all this already. But what I didn't know is what they LOOKED LIKE.

But now I do. And I have thought about it a thousand times since ... Here is what the structure of laminin looks like.... AND THIS IS NOT a 'Christian portrayal' of it.... If you look up laminin in any scientific/medical piece of literature, this is what you will see....

>Now tell me that our God is not the coolest!!! Amazing. The glue that holds us together..... ALL of us.... Is in the shape of the cross. Immediately Colossians 1:15-17 comes to mind.

'He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created; things in heaven and on earth, visible And invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is bef
ore all things, and in Him all things HOLD TOGETHER. ' (Colossians 1:15-17)

Call me crazy. I just think that is very, very, very cool. Thousands of years before the world knew anything about laminin, Paul penned those words. And now we see that from a very LITERAL standpoint, we are held together... One cell to another... By the cross. You would never in a quadrillion years convince me that is anything Other than the mark of a Creator who knew EXACTLY what laminin 'glue' would look like long before Adam breathed his first breath!!"

If that doesn't move us to praise, if that doesn't confirm the greatness of God, if that doesn't remind us that He Is Lord.....I don't know what will!!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

drum roll, please......ta da!!

Okay, here it is... the refreshed kitchen window! As I started gathering the things for the shelves, I decided new curtains would be nice, too.

So, I found some cute fabric with.....guess what?....daisies!.... at Hobby Lobby and I am very happy with the results. So, here's the tour.....

The picture above is the whole view....including the apple cookie jar that holds my utensils and some fresh picked tomatoes on the counter!

Here is my sweet fat hen sitting on her eggs. Remember the verse says, "Within this house may love abide and bless all those who step inside."
I already had the plate and pitcher. I bought the pitcher a long time ago. It has been sitting on a high shelf that runs along my kitchen wall and the plate was a gift several years ago. It's a Blue Ridge pattern.

I already had the jars and the picture was my 2009 calendar from my desk at work. It is done by Marjolein Bastin, the artist. She does nature paintings with scripture. I had saved it because I loved the pictures and hated to throw them away. I found the frame... a perfect fit which is amazing since it is 5x5... at one of our local antique malls. I plan to change the picture each month. This months verse is "Come and see what God has done, how awesome His works! "
Ps. 66:5

Found this cute copper tea pot at another local antique mall and just had to have it. I loved the shape and the blue and white ceramic handle. Decided it was perfect standing alone!

And, of course, there had to be daisies. Bought the basket back in Feb. You can't tell but it has a wooden lid with a hinge... like a very small picnic basket. It was already holding the daisies just somewhere else. Found the simplify sign at Hobby Lobby on the 66% off aisle!

The basket of apples was already sitting upright on this shelf. I just turned it on its side so the apples spill out and put the larger apple alongside.

The "HOPE" sign hangs from the shutter knobs. I like that the "O" is a button! Cute!

Here's a close up of the curtain fabric. I was afraid it might be too busy, but the more I look at it, the better I like it!

Well, there you go! I am very happy with the change. Happy that I didn't spend much money, happy that I was able to reuse some things I already had, and happy with the freshness of the new look. It makes me smile every time I look at it!

As I was posting this, I thought how this project reminds me of what God did for me. I was a sinner, dressed in filthy rags.When He saved me, He clothed me in the righteousness of Christ. He renewed me, He changed who I am, changed the way I look to Him. Now, it pleases Him to look at me for when He does, He sees His Son. I will never understand why He loved me so, but I will always be grateful that He did and still does!

"But God showed His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Rom 5:8 "For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by His life."Rom 5:10

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

thirty seven and counting

Today is our 37th Anniversary. These flowers were delivered to me at the office this morning. That was a lovely surprise! Tonight, we went to a new seafood place here in town. Our table was by the windows looking out over the lake which was nice. The food was delicious.... fried shrimp for J, grilled shrimp for me. So, it has been a happy day!
God has certainly blessed us through all these years. He has given us joy in the happy times and grace to endure the difficult times. He has proven His faithfulness over and over again. I haven't always understood what He was doing, but I have always known that He is good and that His plans for us are good... ALL THE TIME!!!
So, Happy Anniversary to us....38, here we come!!!

Monday, June 14, 2010

happy flowers, happy occasion!

At our former church, I was the church hostess for about 8 years. In that position, I had the opportunity to decorate for many events. It was one of my favorite things to do. In the last 6 years, I haven’t done much of that and I have missed it. When I posted the pictures of the daisies I received for Mother’s Day and so many people commented that they love daisies, too, it reminded me of a very special event a few months ago....before I was blogging.
Last July, my sweet girl and I hosted a bridesmaid luncheon. The bride, the daughter of one of my life long friends, is really more like another daughter to me and a sister to my sweet girl. She chose daisies as her wedding flower, so, of course, that was the theme of the luncheon. We used a restaurant in a quaint town a few miles south of our city. It is an old home converted into a restaurant. It has nice features like tall windows with lovely window treatments, hard wood floors, and dark furniture with antique pieces here and there. That combined with a nice wrap around porch made for some pretty pictures.

I found the perfect fabric for tablecloths at Walmart. Along the hem were the words "All Things Grow With Love". We bought the votives at the dollar store and glued the ribbon and daisies on them for favors.

More ribbon and daises adorned the linen napkins. I was very pleased with the freshness of the flowers I bought for the small vases we used down the center of the table. They seemed to be smiling at us!

Our lunch was delicious and pretty... quiche, fruit and salad.

The owner made the pound cake for the strawberry shortcake herself.
It was not on the menu, but she wanted us to have something special.

It was a special day for a special young woman. We were blessed to be a part of her wedding. She has now been married for almost 11 months and is very happy. That is the best blessing of all!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

there's really no comparison....

...my daughter's dress is more beautiful, more elegant, more sophisticated. But, at the time (37 years ago in a few days), mine was just what I wanted...simple, pretty, and made by my mother. She put two patterns together to get the style I wanted. She sewed seed pearls, by hand,in the middle of each flower in the lace that covered the bodice.....

.....and trimmed the sleeves and the hem. She labored for hours
using the same sewing machine that she used to make my
baby clothes.

I asked her to try it on...... just so I could see my daughter
in the dress her grandmother, that she
never knew, made for me. It is old and a little yellowed in places and it is back in the box in the attic.
But seeing it again, feeling it again, remembering
the love and care that it represented, I was overwhelmed,
anew, with gratitude for my mother and the gift from God
that she was to me.
Now, I know how she felt as she prepared
for her only daughter's wedding. How I wish she were here to help me
prepare for mine.....

Thursday, June 10, 2010

sand and sun.... and shrimp!

This week's topic for Friday With Friends is favorite vacations. Ours is coming up in a couple of weeks... I can't wait! My husband grew up on the coast and his favorite place was the island just over the bridge from the city where he lived. Every year, we rent a house there for a week J and I are there all week and our children and their families come and go as their schedules allow. We always have a wonderful time and because our children grew up going there, we have lots of memories of this beach.
We ride the waves, play frisbee and bocce ball on the beach, ride bikes, take walks, do puzzles, play games, watch TV, and we eat well! We take turns cooking.... I finally got smart about that a few years ago! :-) The main event of the week is going shrimping. We use a seine, a large net that is 100 ft long and 7 ft wide and attached to pvc pipe. J and our sons are the ones who usually go in the water with the net, but we all enjoy gathering the shrimp once the net is laid flat on the beach. Most people have never seen anyone seine, so we usually have a crowd watching and asking questions. When we go at night, we wear head lanterns.... and we look so COOL! I am so glad it is dark and no one can see us! :-) We have caught as many as 60 lbs and as few as 5 lbs. We never know what will happen... that's what makes it such a GREAT ADVENTURE!
Every year, I thank God for the opportunity to go, His provision that makes it possible, and that our children want to spend this time together as a family. We are very blessed. We take tons of pictures every year. I will be blessed, this year, to have the privilege of sharing them with you, my new "blogger" friends.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

sometimes being "crabby" is a good thing!

I made one of my favorite things to eat last night... crab salad! I found the recipe about 20 years in an eating light cookbook. I made it the first time for a ladies luncheon at church. It was a hit and I have been making it regularly since then. It is delicious anytime, but especially in the summer because it is cool and light.My experience is that it is better when made several hours ahead and refrigerated. That gives the flavors time to blend.

Here is the recipe if you'd like to try it:
12 oz imitation crab meat, flake style (it is REAL white fish with crab seasoning)
6 green onions, chopped (the white part of the onion)*
1 stalk celery, chopped
2-3 tbsp mayo (according to taste)
2 oz (give or take) cooked spaghetti pasta
dash salt and pepper

While pasta is boiling, cut up pasta into small pieces. Add onion,celery, salt and pepper. Stir until well mixed. Add drained and cooled pasta, mix again. Add mayo, mix again. You may garnish with dried chives or some of the green tops of the onions or serve as is... which is what I do most of the time.
* I gave this recipe to a friend and found out a year later she was chopping up the green part of the onion and putting it in the salad. So, I wanted to make that part clear ! :-)

Here is a close up, so you can really see what it looks like.

I just looked through that cookbook. This is the only recipe in it that I have ever made. No matter, it was worth buying it to get this one... it is a winner!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

the weekend..... continued

If you haven't read the previous post, please read it first. This will make more sense that way!
We went to two "Queen of Hearts " stores. They were huge and had lots of good "stuff"! Don't you just love the names of these places... "Green Bean Exchange", "Runts", "Queen of Hearts"?

This is the "great place to eat" where we didn't get to eat because it wasn't open on Saturday.
Beautiful old house... loved the sign out front....

Bought this for our spare bedroom. Love the picture, don't care for the frame, but for $4, I can paint it!

Going to use these to hold candles at our daughter's wedding reception coming up in Sept. Priced from $1-$2.50...couldn't pass them up!

We'll use these in the church somewhere...got them both for $14.

The bookends I found for my sweet girl. She plans to paint them, but they are iron, so they are nice and heavy. And she loves tulips.... great find!

The wire basket is for extra toilet tissue rolls for the hall bath we just remodeled. The "coffee can" will actually hold my splenda and the "Eggs" plaque will rest on the shelf with my fat little hen. (BTW, I am still working on that kitchen window project. I'm trying to get one shelf just right. I promise I'll be sharing the final result soon!)

So, there you have it....... the whole story. Well, except for one last thing. On the way home, my friend asked me, "What was your favorite thing?" And then we both said, at the same time..."the garlic rolls!" Of course we were kidding....... at least I think we were !?!? :-)

can you say u-turn?

We had a wonderful weekend! The hotel was lovely with the friendliest and most helpful staff. We met some very nice people who were eager to suggest places for us to shop. However, most of them didn't give the best directions. Hence, the title of this post! They told us right when it should have left, they told us left when it should have right, they told us "you can't miss it" but of course we did because the sign was small or hidden by trees (or the name of the place had changed) and the"great place to have lunch" wasn't open on Sat! So, we made a lot of u-turns!
The funniest thing happened at the "Green Bean Exchange", which we found when we were looking for "Runts" on the right when it was actually on the left and we made a u-turn....... Anyway, when we checked out, we asked about the "largest antique mall in the state" (which was the main reason we were in the area) and the young man said, "Oh, they closed about 5 years ago!" My friend and I looked at each other and started to laugh. We had prayed at breakfast that God would direct our way and He obviously was doing just that! So much for our plans... He had better ones.
We had a great time browsing and shopping at the places He found for us, we had the best bread (garlic rolls) at "Ippolitos", a local Italian place, delicious Mexican food and live music at "La Parilla", and we relaxed in our spacious suite with a large screen TV where we watched movies because "Letters to Juliet" wasn't playing at the two theaters near us (2 u-turns to find those!). As always, it was a fun time and we did indeed make some memories!
So, here are some pictures.....

We found these in the bath when we arrived in our room... pretty nice for $54/ night, I thought!

The entrance to "Ippolitos". Those garlic rolls were large, round, twisted, parmesan cheese dusted, savory delights. I love bread and since I have been trying to lose weight, I haven't had anything like that in a while. I entertained the thought of canceling my entree and just ordering more rolls!

The first of two "Green Bean Exchanges" that we discovered. Found bookends that my sweet girl had asked me to look for here.

Well, blogger is acting goofy and won't let me add more pictures. So, I'll try again later. One last thought... isn't it wonderful that God, in His grace, allows u-turns?

"If my people who are called by my name shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins, and will heal their land." 2 Chron. 7:14 Praise the Lord!

Friday, June 4, 2010

we are outta here!

My friend and I are headed out of town this afternoon to spend the weekend "antique shop hopping"! It is one of our favorite things to do. I booked a great hotel with all the "niceties" for $54/ night at hotels.com.... a gift from God! We have directions to "the biggest antique mall" in the state (or so they say!) and a few smaller shops. We will browse until we are hungry and then we will look for someplace original to eat. God always directs us to the neatest places..... we have never been disappointed. Another friend recommended the new movie "Letters to Juliet", so we are planning to see that, too. We never spend a lot of money.... we don't buy the "real" antiques, but we sure have a great time looking and spending time together. The spending time together is the really important thing. The trip just gives us the opportunity to do it! Some really funny things have happened to us on these trips.... when they do, my friend says "we are making memories"! I should have pictures to share and a movie review (and maybe a funny story to tell!) on Monday..... I hope you get to do something YOU enjoy this weekend! :-)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

never too old to swing!

We have been enjoying these all week and there are many more blooms to come. I love pulling in our driveway and seeing them smiling at me!
About 7-8 years ago, J bought a swing for me for Mother's Day. We have really enjoyed it. In case you didn't know, we are big swingers! ha! ha! Last fall, the squirrels (those delightful little critters!) chewed on the fabric and pulled out the stuffing for their nests! It has looked pretty pitiful since. So, this spring, we started looking for new cushions. Whoa! they are expensive.... $199. So, I thought of trying to make some, but J wasn't crazy about that idea... not sure he thought I could do it correctly. Anyway, last Friday, an Ace Hardware sale paper came and, believe it or not.... drum roll, please... they had a bigger swing (three seats instead of two) for only $99! So, J picked it up, put it together and here it is.......
We have been swinging all weekend! J placed it close to the gardenias so we could smell their sweetness and away from the tree that the squirrels jumped from. So, maybe it will be safe for the summer and we will put the cushions in the garage in the fall. Our son took the other swing, so they get to figure out what to do about cushions. :-)