Thursday, December 31, 2009

Good-Bye 2009 With Gratitude and a Sigh of Relief

Since I am away from my own laptop over the holidays, I will close out this year without a picture. I wrote in my journal this morning that 2009 was a year of testings. Then I picked up the book I have been reading by Amy Carmichael each morning and she was quoting Job 23:10-"When I am tested, I will come forth as gold."

At the onset of this year, I knew it was a year in which my thinking would need to shift. My word was "New Wineskins." I have found this to be true. I look at my life differently. I need time to ponder the hows of this before I write about it.

I am grateful for my family's health and blessings this year, when so many lost so much. I am grateful for God's word, my mainstay. I am grateful for my Yada Prayer Sisters, whom I don't know what I 'd do without. I am grateful for my home and my husband and the blog sisters who encouraged me over the past few months.

It is with a mixture of gratitude and a sigh of relief for new beginnings that I say Good-Bye 2009.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Corners of My Heart

Throughout the last few years, I have added things I love to little spaces and corners of my home. This dress form was one of my delightful discoveries at TJ Max. The scarf has a lot of meaning to me. God gave me a picture for the ladies' conference I spoke at in the spring and it had to do with a scarf for every woman. That's for another post.
The point is that my heart is filled with love for my home and it is sometimes hard to leave it for a length of time. But there is something else that holds a larger claim to my heart- my family. Thus bags are packed and all is nearly ready for hubby and I to leave for the holidays. So blogging sisters I will be taking a break until the New Year, unless an opportunity arises for a quick blog hello.
Have a blessed holiday season.

Friday, December 18, 2009


Every year I tape the cards we receive over the archway leading from my kitchen. They used to fill this side and the other side facing the kitchen as well as the inner doorposts. I fear another handwritten tradition is slowly dying.
A great new tradition, however, is emerging. We got several picture cards of families this year. I do love opening these!
I am smiling this morning as I post this pic. A cozy fire is going as you can see, my art room has actually been used this season, along with a few of the supplies that you see hanging over the door. I am finishing up my last project today.
And I just taped up a bunch of new Christmas cards that came in the mail :)
Life is good.
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Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Delights

What are the things that delight you during the holiday season? I love the lights, which you already know by now. Getting together with family, finding the perfect gift, hearing from a far-away friend, new pictures of the granchildren, Silent Night, nostalgia, and Christmas movies top my list. I'm sure I'm forgetting something :)
Here are a few of my Christmas movies:
  • Sleepless in Seattle
  • The Christmas Shoes
  • Borrowed Hearts
  • While You Were Sleeping
  • A Season for Miracles
  • Christmas in Canaan- added this year.
  • And I love this movie but don't know the name. It's like a Wonderful Life only the female version with Marlo Thomas and I've only seen it air twice in many years.

KaileenElise inspires more delights. Check out her blog on my list of blogs visited.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Today's Believe

Yesterday's BELIEVE hangs on my wall. Today's BELIEVE was a gift from one of the women in my prayer group. When I went into my photos to look for something to post, this blurry pic stood out to me.
Sometimes our faith feels a bit unsteady and things are unclear, but just because the clouds have moved in, it doesn't mean the sun isn't in the same place. Once the storm passes, the sun will shine again.
Two words...Hold On.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Dare to Believe

I had a lot of busy work to do yesterday so I moved everything I could into my living room. I spent the day accomplishing many tasks while going through a ton of Christian programming that I had DVR'd in 2009. I must say it was a day of refreshing and I was able to make space on my DVR.

Today I have computer work to do. Gotta love a laptop and wireless internet. I have 11 hours of Joel Osteen (the full hour with worship music) to go through. I may not be giving it my full attention, but a few minutes ago I did hear Joel say, "Dare to Believe."

I was a bit low on my faith before yesterday, but there is something about a quiet day with few phone calls and many encouraging words to build up one's hope once again.
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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Messy Attitude=Stress

I've been reading some information about the ph balance in our bodies, so I decided to try a few new veggies and fruits. I read that adding Bok Choy( I had to ask at the grocery store what it was) to a fruit smoothie would add alkaline balance to my diet. I'm a tea and muffin kinda gal for breakfast, but determined to try something new.

So I put my fruit, chocolate almond milk and a leaf of bok choy in my new blender, which I haven't used much since I bought it. Pushed smoothie. So far so good. Then I turned the blender cup to take it off the base, only it turned wrong and when I picked it up the smoothie remained on the base, the cupboard and on everything in vicinity.

Muttering, no, exclaiming my complaint, I tried again- after cleaning up my mess and securing the bottom of the blender cup. Ahhh, success. I poured the rich, tasty drink into a glass and began to enjoy it while I cut up veggies for my crockpot. Reaching for the cutting board, my arm hit the glass containing my smoothie. It tipped over, depositing half of the contents down the side of my cupboard and onto the floor before I could right it. I rescued half because of it's thick, slow-moving texture.

By this time, I was not in a good mood. Having many food sensitivities, I began to question my new choice for breakfast. Then I said, "Is this the way this day is going to go?"
A quiet answer crept into my mind from a CD I'd listened to the day before. Joyce Meyer was saying how sometimes it's our attitude toward things that cause stress in our lives.
Whoa, wait a minute. It's only a drink, not a major crisis. As I cleaned up the mess for the second time, I began to clean up the mess in my thoughts as well.

While I lay on the table having a massage yesterday ( because I have been having much trouble with my neck and shoulders), the therapist made a comment about how the smallest things can be an irritation when we have a problem in our back.
The smallest thing can be an irritation when we have a problem in our attitudes. Let me change that- my attitude. Time for an adjustment.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Quiet Sunday Afternoon

The phone is unplugged, hubby napping in the recliner, Christmas lights sparkling in the window, Runaway Bride on TV, and my address book before me - my Sunday afternoon as I worked on Christmas cards.

I know some are giving up this tradition but I am not willing to do so. Nothing fancy but inside many, will be tucked a personal letter. It may be the only time of year we connect.

Here are a few examples:

A grade school friend living in Colorado, who tracked me down several years ago. She is not a computer person and we may only write a couple times a year, Christmas being one of them. She will tuck in a picture of her horses .

The family we met camping in Bar Harbor probably 10 years ago. They live in Switzerland. Every year I recieve a card with pictures of their family and I send one in return.

A friend who lives in my home state but 4 hours away. We can't seem to get together personally so once a year we catch up with our letter inside the Christmas card.

My cards are written, some sealed, others awaiting the handwritten letter I will place lovingly inside for one more year.

Friday, December 4, 2009

2010 Vision Map

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, I took some time to play. It has been years since I made a life map. It used to be a regular part of my life. Recently, I got inspired by the collages we did for the Joy Diet.

They used to be called Life Maps. Now I think they are called vision boards or dream boards. I'm not sure so I called mine a Vision Map.

I simply got a pile of magazines, a poster board, scissors and a gluestick. I turned off my head and went throught the pages cutting out pics and words that jumped out or connected with me. Ouila'. A vision map is born.

I love mine. This may sound strange, but I put it on the wall in my closet. This bedroom closet was never properly finished, thus no clothes hang in it. The closet contains a stand with an extra quilt for cold nights, a hamper, and vitamins (because it is a cool, dry place). I open the closet several times a day and my Vision Map is there to inspire me!

I must give a bit of credit to my daughter. She used to hang her past maps or artwork in her closet, so it caused me to think outside the box.
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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Sharing Christmas Projects

I've been working on a Christmas scrapbooking project over the last few weeks. Two weeks ago I went to a friends house to work on mine while she worked on hers. The sun was shining and inspiration was flowing as we shared ideas.

Today another friend came over with her bags full of pictures and pages and ideas. We diligently scrapped the afternoon away. At 6:00 we both gave up as weariness overtook us. This creativity on demand can be tiring. :)

I'd love to show you the results but my family might be peeking. After completing the 3rd album, I want to go back and change the first one now. The only problem with that is it needs to go postal soon. Is it always like this? Never completely satisfied? I know in writing classed they told us to rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. It's a bit more difficult to do this with scrappin. But where there's a will, there's a way!
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Monday, November 30, 2009

A Solid Decision

I love lights all year round! So you can imagine that Christmas lights are one of my favorite holiday items. This year, however, I made a decision not to put our tree up. We have an artificial tree with a mixture of ornaments the kids made when they were little and new ones purchased over the years. It's beautiful but a lot of work to set up. I put my village around the bottom of the tree, which lights up too.

Since we will be traveling during the holidays, I felt we could get by without it this year. I did this once before and regretted it. So this time I went out and bought lights to put throughout the house. The pic above is my office. I have purple lights in my bedroom, gold in the art room and icicle white lights in the living room. This way I still get the sense of Christmas without all the work of putting the tree up and taking it down. I thought it through. If I miss the tree terribly, I've decided that I can put it up for the month of January when I have more time. Why not?
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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Who's the Title Holder?

My brother, John, concentrating on his next move.

Sis-in-law Cynthia grinning, probably after one of those megapoint words.

Cynthia's letters in the first game in serious need of help.

What happened to me? I used to hold the title for winning in scrabble. The competition has gotten fierce! :)
Who's the title holder now?

Friday, November 27, 2009


Final week of the Joy Diet- Feasting.

Last year this time, I was in sunny New Mexico with my daughter and her family. Chili peppers were a part of the visual feast that I enjoyed. What a colorful area of our country!

This year I was treated with an early morning phone call from Amber on Thanksgiving :) Thus the feasting began.

Next a scrabble game with my brother and his wife. She would want me to tell you how she wiped us out! I cooked the turkey the day before so I could enjoy a leisurely morning.

Dinner went without a hitch. My mother even told me that my stuffing was almost as good as hers!

We got an evening phone call from our 6 year old granddaughter. She was giggling and telling us all about her Thanksgiving when I heard her dad in the background saying, "Who are you talking to?" We had a great laugh over this. She was at her other grammy's house and decided to call us-long distance. :)

We, then, called to see how our grandson was feeling. His fever had broken at noon. (See previous post) So glad.

Our evening was topped off by a great chat with our 13 year old granddaughter in NM. After this we watched a movie and went to bed.

I had a feast of smiles throughout the day.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I am excited about my brother and his wife arriving today. I have been having scrabble withdrawal pangs :)

My excitement, however, is tinged with sadness. My son called this morning and my grandson has a fever and a cough so they are not coming. :( It's nearly a five hour drive. There is so much flu going around that they dare not take a chance that it may be a cold. I am sad for us and them. But a friend shared with me early this morning in the midst of a tragedy in their family that,
"Everything happens for a reason."

I'm not sure I buy that philosophy as a blanket statement. Yet as a Christian, I do believe that whatever happens, God has a plan for me and those I love. Close but a slight difference.

I am grateful for my family today and all of our blessings.
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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy 40th!

Happy Anniversary to my hubby of 40 years!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Quote Chain

I was reading my daughter's blog this morning where she shared a quote that meant a lot to her right now (see Disrupted by Change under my favorite blogs). A quote I have in the front of my Bible jumped into my mind.

"God always answers in the deep, never in the shallows of our soul." Amy Carmichael

Do you have a favorite you'd like to share? If you blog about it, please post a link or simply share here.
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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Heart Connection

I admit, once again, that I skimmed some of this chapter of the Joy Diet on Connection. Too many other things are vying for my attention right now. I do, however, love the subject matter. I have worked hard maintaining connections and keeping friendship channels open over the years. I believe that friendships are vitally important in a woman's life.
"There are friendships that are for a reason, some for a season and others for a lifetime."
I have found that to be true.
The gals above are in my Bible Study. We laugh together, pray together and share our hearts at times.
I could write my own book about treasured friends that I have both near and far, and how each one differs and brings something unique into my life.
I am a blessed woman!
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Monday, November 16, 2009


Less time blogging, more time praying for my family today.
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Saturday, November 14, 2009

November Sunset

We have had such gorgeous weather this past week for November that I would be remiss not mentioning it. Every evening the sunsets have been amazing. I took this pic from my front yard last night.

Friday, November 13, 2009


This week's Joy Diet theme is laughter. I admit that I skimmed some of this chapter, partly because of time and partly because I was a bit disappointed with it. I only laughed once through the entire reading of it.
It takes a lot to make me laugh. I guess I am a normally serious person, so I cherish laughter. I could ramble on about the things or people that make me laugh, but my goal was to keep this short today.
So for right now, the Gilmore Girls are my source of laughter. I am watching my first season and loving it. It's quirky and funny and moving. I hope every season is the same way.
When I uploaded my photo I realized I got a thumbnail, but decided to keep it. It marks my need to let laughter grow in my life on a daily basis.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Today's Smile

This is me smiling today at you today!

Yesterday was a day that made me smile. My flour came in to cook with, gluten-free and with the help of a friend's recipe, I made a walnut bread and it came out great! I wrapped a few Christmas gifts, did laundry and a bunch of stuff and still managed to watch 2 episodes of Gilmore Girls before I went to bed. :) And I had a prayer answered for someone special to me.

A special thank you to a sister blogger who emailed me and after I replied to her, I took my own advice.

On top of all that the weather has been gorgeous this week!

What is making you smile today?
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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Love Perfect Gifts

Note to daughter: no enlarging this photo. :)

Don't you love finding the perfect gift? I ordered from this website for the first time(can't tell you which one, because she'll peek). I always get a bit nervous giving my credit card info to someone I've never heard of. Then I forgot to ask how long it would take to arrive, so I found a phone number and called. I actually got to talk to a real person, which was reassuring. My order had already shipped! I got it a few days later.

I waited until the perfect moment to open it and I was not disappointed! Ooooh, I love it! And I think she will too. Nothing huge, just handpicked with love.

I wish all my Christmas shopping were so easy.

Friday, November 6, 2009


The theme of this week's Joy Diet was Play. As usual, it wasn't what I thought it would be, but it was the first time throughout my journey in this book that I actually underlined something. For me that is unusual- if I love something or it hits me I underline. That's for another post.

Let's get out of the way what I didn't like. I couldn't get into her constant referral to our life stuff as a game. That said...

I liked the idea of our focus coming from two points of view, seeing the big picture and then our small steps and really thinking about the steps we are taking- are they leading us into our big picture? I've been paying more attention to my thoughts lately and this worked into that somehow.
Watching every little step I take could get rigid and constricting, if she hadn't taken us from there into flow. My favorite statements were in this section and they reminded me of a treasured scripture taken from Matthew in the Message paraphrase.

"Learn the unforced rhythms of grace."

So when I did my vision card this week, I let it flow.
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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I did it, I did it!

Did you read my post yesterday? I actually did it. I wanted to experiment in making my own rocks- See
I eventually want to buy some.
Anyway, I have a long to do list so I decided to cut something out. I stayed away from facebook and I shopped for a few groceries in our local market instead of my usual trip to town. I figured that I saved at least an hour so I could play. It turned into two hours by the time I found everything I needed to work with, but I had fun. I'm hoping this time of play will open up my creativity for the Christmas project I will soon be tackling

Take a Peek

What's behind the door? I love the door itself, enough to stand still and take a picture of it, enough to stare at it with awe. The doors and entryways in New Mexico are gorgeous. That was one of the things I loved about the state. But the truth is that doors are entrances to a world beyond.
I am pondering this morning. There is a scripture in Psalm 30 or 31 that says God has good things stored up for me. I bet His doorway is something to behold :) How many times do I look at that verse and enjoy the beauty and even take a mental picture but never enter to see what's inside. I have enough on my plate, not enough time to enjoy all that I have.
What doorways beckon to you? What if you and I did something differently today? What if we choose to cut something out of our scheduled tasks, place our hands on the latch, and pull gently.
Even a peek inside is a start.
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Monday, November 2, 2009

Moonlit Magic

When my children were little, my husband and I would accompany them to each house as they "Trick or Treated" in our small community. They grew up and times changed. The school took over the halloween party and the kids all attended. We've had one small visitor in years declaring trick or treat.
Because halloween fell on a saturday this year, we decided to skip our annual soccer weekend trip for the grandkids in favor of going door to door with them on halloween.
What a delight it was! Even though they live in a big city area, their neighborhood is like a small community in itself. Nearly every neighbor went all out, some more than others. In my pics you can see that one neighbor created a haunted house right in their driveway. The kids were so excited.
There is also a lighted wagon for those who choose to go that way.
We walked along with other moms and dads under the moonlit sky. Memories flooded me of when I was a kid, the feeling of walking in the dark night, bravely knocking on the door with expectation of a tootsie roll or some small sugary token.
Times have certainly changed. my grandkids got large candy bars and baggies filled with candy. There was one tootsie roll in the whole bunch and it was certainly not the size I used to get.
I'm not a fan of the actual holiday and know that some frown on participating in any form, but this moonlight magic was priceless.
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Thursday, October 29, 2009


No vision card for this week's post and I'm posting a bit early because we are leaving tomorrow to travel downstate for the weekend.

This week's Joy Diet consisted of treating ourselves on a regular basis, giving ourselves "permission." I have been learning to do this as a way of de-stressing and besides I'm worth it :)

Pictured above are a few of my treats.

The dishcloths are a regular gift from Jo, a friend of mine. I have a drawer full of them which makes me smile every morning when I pull out a fresh one for the day.
The netflix are Season 1 of "The Gilmore Girls." Another friend, Barb, recommended it to me. So every chance I get, whether lunchtime or an hour in the evening I am smiling my way through this quirky, delightful show- only on DVD 2.

Chocolate is a guilty treat for me. I love chocolate and for years I forbade myself to have it due to fibrosistic breast disease which seems to be aggravated by caffeine. Every time I would put a piece in my mouth it was with fear and guilt. I don't know when that changed, but now I am eating organic dark chocolate- a little each day- and loving it. No guilt, no fear. Enough of that already. There are so many foods that I can't have due to allergies so until I find something that delights me as much as this treat, I am giving myself permission. I love this chocolate with Candy Cane tea!

Other treats for me are a good book always, a phone call from NM, lunch with a friend and movies for sure.

I still work on the guilt issue associated with taking time out for me. It must be a girl thing, but for the most part, I enjoy my treats.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Stick Your Nose in the Daisies!

A few years ago, I took some photos of McKenna smelling flowers. Those photos quickly became favorites of mine. So this summer when my daughter and Ken were home we stopped at a beautiful place to take pictures. I wanted Ken to smell the flowers so I could have the pics to go along with the others. At age 13, she wasn't into it at the moment and I was trying to persuade her.
All of the sudden her mom said a bit forcefully,"Stick your nose in the daisies!"
We all cracked up and she did just that.
I am laughing as I type, because I feel like there are times in my life when a gentle "stop and smell the roses" just doesn't get through to me. This is one of those times when I need a forceful,"Stick your nose in those daisies!"
I can still hear her now. Definitely a joy note.
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