Friday, June 21, 2013

Bits of This & That

I've been in a writing slump. I've been enjoying the living part of life, but not really the retelling part. My poor blog has suffered neglect, but I haven't lost sleep over it. Through the years I've come to realize that my blogging ebbs and flows and I'm ok with that.  

I tend not to be a chatty person. Ok, sometimes you can't shut me up and I do enjoy an audience, but I tend to dislike small talk. If we sit down together I want to talk about something substantial, not just hear about what someone had for lunch, unless, of course, your lunch was note-worthy.

I'm rambling. 

Anyway, I read this post and commented about the Lord's provision in my son's life.  After I did that I thought to myself, "Wow, I should share more of those small tidbits of daily life. I enjoy when others do; it helps me get to know them. Why does everything have to be substantial?" 

I do realize my last post on taco-flavored ice cream was not substantial. :)

So here's the comment I shared. Maybe it will encourage you to recognize the small ways the Lord has blessed you recently.

A couple of days ago someone in the drive-thru at McD’s in front of my son paid for his meal. He thanked the Lord for a free lunch since he’s trying to save all he can for college in the fall. Then he went to work (a used bookstore) and a woman was interested in a Christian book entitled, Dinner with a Perfect Stranger. It’s one of my son’s favorite books and has a strong gospel message. He encouraged the lady to get the book, but she hesitated because of money. He said he really wanted her to have it and he bought it for her. He wanted to pass on the kindness and plant a seed. He came home and shared, “Well, I didn’t have to buy my lunch, but I spent my lunch money to share the gospel.” Sounds like money well-spent.

That was this, now on to that...

We went to see Monster's University as a family this morning. I loved Monster's Inc. and I loved Monster's U. just as much. Missed those guys, Sully & Mike.  It was entertaining to watch my son who is off to Uni in August take in all the stereotypical people/antics of the first week of college.  He said it made him nervous. Ha!

I'd also like to say that it sure is fun eating movie theater popcorn at 11am. Feels like you're getting away with something!  (yep, not substantial.)

One more bit...

I've spent the afternoon on Etsy. I would love to sell some quilts and other handmade items, but Etsy is a little intimidating. 

Basically, anything new to me is intimidating. 

I wanted to see what was selling out there to inform my creative choices. It's a little overwhelming, but I would still like to give it a try, hopefully, in the next few months. We'll see.

Summer - where you get to slow down enough to enjoy some bits of this & that!

Hope you're enjoying them too.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Today the girls had a writing assignment that asked them to come up with a new ice cream flavor that makes them think about their favorite foods.  This is what Tara wrote:

What would you call your flavor?


What would it look like?

It would be purple. (her fave color)

What would it taste like?

It would taste crunchy, cheesy, and beefy. Then, at the end, there would be a burst of hot sauce.

Write a slogan for it.

Are you sick of vanilla, chocolate and all those other plain flavors? Then try tacotastic! It tastes like an actual taco and you can even put taco toppings on it with our new tacotastic topping machine. Just call 1-800 - ***.****. Just call 1 - 800 - ***.****.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Comfort Food on Sunday!

Check out Angie's Home Cooking for delicious comfort food!
Perfect for Sunday.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Spiritual Self-Help from a 20th Century Minister

Quote from D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899 - 1981)

I say that we must talk to ourselves instead of allowing "ourselves" to talk to us!  Do you realize what that means? I suggest that the main trouble in this whole matter of spiritual depression in a sense is this, that we allow our self to talk to us instead of talking to our self.  Am I just trying to be deliberately paradoxical? Far from it.  This is the very essence of wisdom in this matter. Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself?  Take those thoughts that come to you in the moment you wake up in the morning. You have not originated them, but they start talking to you, they bring back the problems of yesterday, etc. Somebody is talking.  Who is talking to you?  Your self is talking to you. Now this man's [David in Psalm 42:5, 11] treatment is this; instead of allowing this self to talk to him, he starts talking to himself.  "Why art thou cast down, O my soul?" he asks. His soul had been depressing him, crushing him. So he stands up and says: "Self, listen for a moment, I will speak to you." Do you know what I mean? If you do not, you have had but little experience.

The main art in the matter of spiritual living is to know how to handle yourself. You have to take yourself in hand, you have to address yourself, preach to yourself, question yourself. You must say to your soul: "Why art thou cast down" - what business have you to be disquieted? You must turn on yourself, upbraid yourself, condemn yourself, exhort yourself and say to yourself: "Hope thou in God" - instead of muttering in this depressed, unhappy way. And then you must go on to remind yourself of God, Who God is, and what God is and What God has done, and what God has pledged Himself to do. Then having done that, end on this great note: defy yourself, and defy other people, and defy the devil and the whole world, and say with this man: "I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance, who is also the health of my countenance and my God."

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Word Picture for Grace

Not to lessen the awesome and true nature of grace, but I read this quote yesterday from the (in)courage calendar and it brought a smile to my face.

My definition of grace? I was standing lone, in puddle of mud, when God picked me up and set me in a flowery field, let me rest, and gave me a strawberry milkshake to drink.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Hodgepodge 6.5.13

1. Have you learned more from success or failure? Explain.

I've learned from both - what works and what doesn't work. Isn't it great that God gives us the capacity to learn in many different ways if we're open to doing so.  

2.  What did you call your grandparents when you were growing up? If you have children, what do they call your parents? If you have grandchildren, what do they call you?

I called them Grandpa and Grandma. My kids also call them Grandpa and Grandma. Grandbabies are not on the way yet.  I have "tried on" the name "Gigi" or "GG."  My nieces and nephews have a hard time with "Aunt Angie."  Wish I had had a nickname from the beginning.

3.  You're invited to a luau.  In keeping with that theme, what dish will you bring to share? 

We just had a luau-themed birthday party at our house! I might bring a chicken/pineapple kabob recipe we used at the party, but I would definitely bring along my swan inspired watermelon! Got a quick snap at the end of the party, but earlier the melon was full of fruit and enjoyed by all.

4. Besides Jesus, what one person's life story do you think everyone should know about?

This is a tough one. I have tried thinking up a great answer and I'm sure other participants will come up with great answers, but I can't think of one overriding person we all should know about. In the end I think we should be interested in other people's stories. It's important to remember everyone has a story to tell and if you are a follower of Christ, we all have a redemptive story to tell. I LOVE hearing about what the Lord has done in the lives of people I meet. 

5. "Don't sweat the small stuff." Agree or Disagree? Why?

Uh...I usually sweat it all. (control freak much?) I think that you should not sweat a lot of the small stuff, but in some instances if you sweat the small stuff then it won't turn into big stuff. The trick is knowing the difference. 

For example, I don't sweat the quality of chore completion in my children as they are learning, but I do sweat it later down the road if they are trying to do a half-hearted job. I want to raise responsible, thorough and see-it-to-the-end kinds of kids. Make sense?

6.  June is National Rivers Month. When were you last on a river? What's the prettiest river you've ever seen? What's a river you'd like to see? 

We usually picnic on the Potomac River down by the monuments once or twice a summer, so it's probably been a year since I've been near a river.  

I grew up blocks away from the Illinois River so I have a great respect for the power and beauty of that river.

I would love to see the Nile River. 

7.  Speaking of rivers-paddling, fishing, swimming, or bird watching safely from the shore? Which activity would you choose? Yes-you have to choose. 

Hmm, paddling is ok, fishing is ok. Swimming - blech (give me a clean pool, please.) Bird watching = nap.  Let's go with paddling.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

We live in the boonies, y'all. So imagine our surprise one morning recently when the dog started barking like crazy and we look out the window to find a HUGE turtle walking across our driveway.

He stopped dead in his tracks when Tara plopped down beside him. 
Must have never seen a big purple girl before. :) 

He was a dried up crusty looking turtle who really didn't seem to enjoy the attention.

We thought we'd rescue him so Dad got the work gloves and tried figuring out how best to pick him up.

He tried biting Mark, but just wasn't fast enough. 
Catching a ride in the wheel barrow down to the creek was a detour he was going to have to take. 
Bon Voyage, big guy!

See what others have to say over at Joyce's blog.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Happy Anniversary!

Two of my favorite people are celebrating their second wedding anniversary today, 
my daughter, Ashley and her husband, TJ.

As a parent we very often wonder what our kids will turn out like as adults. Will they love the Lord? Will they be responsible? Will they make wise choices? Will they be hard-working? Will they be fun to be around? Will we like who they marry?

TJ and Ashley are all that and more!

As they embark on their adult life and beginnings of a family we are filled with joy. They do love the Lord, take responsibility, try to make wise choices, work very hard, and are great fun to be around.  We love TJ like our own son! (sometimes more - ha!)

I'm so happy for them today, but since they live thousands of miles away, 
I'm a little sad too. We miss them very much!

If you'd like to wish them "Happy Anniversary!" head on over to her blog, Ridges and Ripples.

My outdoor-loving kids!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Yummy cookies!

Last week I baked about 550 cookies, most of them for an event at church. I did this last year and remembered that you can't bake cookies in your house for days on end and expect your family not to hover. The smell of freshly baked cookies is difficult to resist.

So I baked them a batch prior to starting my marathon on Monday.

On Thursday when I was finished with the baking for church I noticed that the family stash had one lonely cookie left in it.  The church cookies needed to survive in my house until Friday afternoon so I baked two more batches for the family - one chocolate chip and one Butterfinger.

I certainly could have just made the Chocolate Chip Cookies (they were completely gone by Saturday!), but I love my newest recipe Butterfinger cookies. They are nutty, chewy, and a little crunchy around the edges.

For me they are the perfect cookie.

So I guess I baked my family a batch and myself a batch.

Yesterday I worked a 12 hour day and I must admit I thought about the Butterfinger cookies back home  during many of those hours. I used the bait of these tasty cookies to hold me back from scarfing down the delectable treats we set out for volunteers/staff: doughnuts, muffins, brownies, cake. I maintained a healthy eating day (yay, me!) and rewarded myself with ONE Butterfinger cookie at the end of the day.

It was ever so sweet.

Interested in giving them a try? You can find the recipe on my cooking blog here.


Saturday, June 1, 2013

First Days

Anyone who knows me knows how much I LOVE a first day... first day of the week, first day of the month, first day of the year. I just love them!
(Sorry all you Monday-haters!)

I love fresh starts.

I often need fresh starts.

I have been looking forward to today, June 1st, for about a week now.

Our children's department hosted a very large event last night. The week and a half prior I have been working my tail off, mainly just surviving, as I know many of my co-workers have been, as well.

Today feels like a fresh start. A place to breathe again.

Over the past 5 months my husband has been traveling a lot. He's been gone up to three weeks at a time and I've had to single parent and keep up a farm on top of all my other responsibilities.

He's home now for a while.

So I have room to pursue the things I enjoy.

I am filled with anticipation for the summer months when there is a little extra time to carve out projects and adventures with my kids.

However, I know that I often get to an "end-of-summer" and feel like I wasted so much of my time. It flies by just as quickly as the other months of the year, doesn't it?!

A slow down is what I need.

As I've thought about summer I realized that although I have tasks I want to accomplish, more than anything I want to spend time with the Lord. I want to slow down enough to really soak in the Word and sit in His presence.

It's time for renewal.

I'm still plugging away on my Siesta Scripture Memory Team Verses. Is anyone out there participating with me?

My verse for June 1-15 is 2 Corinthians 5:9

Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him.

I wrote out a prayer request this morning asking the Lord to help me be singularly focused on Him this summer.

I figured that's the only way to find renewal, refreshment and a fresh start.

Do you enjoy first days and/or fresh starts? What desires do you have for summer?