Thursday, July 31, 2008



Iris at Sting My Heart is using one of my favorite verses, in fact, the one that I use as my theme verse (in my left sidebar under profile). 1 Peter 2:9-10. This is her theme verse for today's Thankful Thursday. She is thankful for the relationship we have been called to with Christ and relationships with other people. This is a wonderful verse, reminding us of who we are in Him --what we've been called out of and in to. What a friend we have in Jesus! It's the best relationship we can have!

With that verse in mind, I so thankful for:

  • Being a friend of Jesus. I've posted this fact before, but it still blows my mind! Thank you Jesus, for calling me friend.
  • The new relationship my oldest sister now has in Christ. She got saved this year! The heavens rejoiced. Oh, thank you Jesus! Another one in Your Kingdom!
  • The relationship I have with my parents. I talk to my mother daily, see her as often as possible, talk to Daddy as often as possible, but don't see him nearly as much as I'd like. Thank you Jesus for my parents.
  • The relationship I'm developing with my girls as they grow older. It's important to me that God lives through me, that they might see what God is pleased with as a young lady.
  • The virtual relationship (over the internet) I've recently formed with women that just strike me as women after God's own heart. This is daily encouragement from the blogsphere.
  • The relationship I've been blessed to have with my accountability sisters in Christ. We meet every Wednesday morning to do studies together, talk, pray for one another, admonish one another, boost each other up, and support each other in many ways. Thank you Jesus for hand-picking us and placing us together. We need it and you knew it.

You've got to have something you're thankful for today, I know. Go to and read some others and/or leave your link there so that others might come by your place to see what you're thankful for.

Thank you Iris, for doing this. It keeps our hearts toward Christ, with a humble and grateful spirit.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Did you get that?
Today, I'm not running out on ya or being lazy. I discovered a blog, LauraLee's Lifesong, that is just so packed full of wisdom. As I was sitting here trying to figure out what God might want me to share today, the idea of featuring LauraLee came to my mind and wouldn't leave.
I stopped by her place this morning to just take a peek. You see, she received the same award I did (The Art Y Pico Award), and I wanted to see how God was using her in Blogland. I'm glad I did. She is packed full of wisdom from our Lord, and she shares it well.
I'd like for you to get to know her too. It is worth the click of the mouse, trust me. Just her first blog page has many posts you will take heart in. In my mind, sharing wisdom with you today meant being wise enough to send you to a wise woman that you will learn something from and grow in Christ because of.
So without anything further from me, I happily present to you Go there and meet LauraLee Shaw. You'll be glad you did.
Hope you have a great rest of the Lord's day.

Monday, July 28, 2008


Is this award not beautiful!! Talk about humbling!! Tracy, a precious blogger at Seed Thoughts (http:// thought enough of this new, amateur blogger and her posts to award me the Art Y Pico Award. What is this award and what does it mean? I'll let Tracy's words explain it to you. They'll do a better job than I would. Here's Tracy:
"It is the Art Y Pico award and it is given to those who inspire others with their creative energy and talents in writing, artwork, design or contributions to the blogging community. It originated here. What does the expression mean? Well, apparently it doesn’t exactly translate to English, but it loosely translates to, “Wow. The Best Art. Over the top.” (This was taken from the Art Y Pico blog.)"
I tell you, I'm just blogging at the encouragement of a friend I met at church, who is getting to be well-known in the blogging community I might add. She knew I loved poetry, and she shared the same love, and she thought I might have, well...something to say. I like writing and always have so I thought I'd look into it (which I did for a long time before deciding to jump in) and give it a shot. I really prayed about doing it though, because I didn't want blogging to take over my life like I knew it could, I didn't want to become addicted and neglect family or other priorities because of it, and I wanted God to be pleased with me doing it. Once I got all this down, things started to flow. God has given me a good handle on it (most of the time, and when I surrender my time and schedule to Him), and I think God is pleased with the content. I never even thought about real and regular readers! In my mind, this would just be a writing outlet and a hobby.
People really do read my posts, I soon found out. I'm still shocked by this! Then, I became a little more conscious of what I wrote, and thought well, if people are reading it, even if it's not that often, I'd better say something that they can use or be edified by, be pleased with, or at least get them thinking and/or praying about. I hope and pray that I'm doing that.
Tracy must think so, and folks, I am so honored and blessed by her heart and decision to name me one of the recipients of this award.
If you would like to investigate the origin of this award, go to
I will be looking at some of my favorite blogs and praying about whom I can share this same award with. It will be so hard, because there are so many great blogs I've come across.
Well, thanks again Tracy. You've made my day and my week. May God get all the credit for our gifts and talents. Without Him, we wouldn't be able to receive an award nor bless someone else with one.
Blessings to you all.




Quarterly, will host Bloggy Giveaways so that we can get to know each other better and have a chance to win some of the neatest stuff. I've only won some things once out of the two times I've participated, but it was such a neat experience. I read the blogs of some really nice and talented people out there, and I won a subscription to a magazine (never got it although I communicated properly with the person giving it), Luna Pads hankies (got that and love them! They came as a result of entering a contest that had giving to the needy as its goal.), and a patchwork pillow (never got this either, but we communicated back and forth a couple of times to ensure we had the right info., etc.).
Although I didn't receive all of my prizes, don't let my experience give this exciting event a bad rap. Most participants make good on their promises. And realistically, in defense of the people who didn't send out my prizes, people just simply forget or life just kind of takes over and...well, you understand, so I'm not bothered. It was so much fun regardless. With that, I encourage you to PLAY!!
First off, Robin, over at is hosting her own bloggy giveaway week with lots of prizes. Go there now to check her out. Look for the pink, white, and yellow BG icon, like the one above, and read on. She is giving away one prize a day, so you'll want to check back with her daily. Put her in your favorites or a reader so that you won't forget. She's looking for new readers and a reason to give something away! She likes doing that! There is always something interesting to read at Robin's place, and something to look at too, as she is a blooming or budding photographer.
After this, go to and see who else is there and what they're giving away. You're sure to find some interesting reads and some fun prizes. I wouldn't miss Bloggy Giveaways for anything now that I've gotten in on it a couple of times. I've happened upon some interesting reads that are now in my favorites, and this is really the neatest part of it for me.
So, what are you waiting for. It's a blog party, AND YOU'RE INVITED!!

MOMMY (or Mentor/Caregiver) MONDAYS #20

Do you believe that every believer (people who have accepted Jesus as Savior and believes every word in His Word) is commanded to "go?" In Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus commanded His disciples to "go" and make disciples of all nations. He even left them with the promise that He would be with them always. Who do you suppose (I know some of you already know the answers to this; just hang in here:)) Jesus was talking to? Was this a request of Jesus'?
Well, it was not a request, it was an emphatic command. You know, Jesus can do any job we have been privileged to do all by Himself. But He has chosen the fearfully and wonderfully made creation of His, us humans, to do what He wants and will get done. What a privilege!! We're getting to join Him in His work. Besides, if we love Him, we'll keep His commands. And remember, I just said that to take the Gospel to the nations was a command. God is so good, faithful, and just though, isn't He? He commands us to do something, but, He promises to be with us, to guide us, comfort us, speak through us, and anything else we need to get the task done. He would have it that no man would perish. He won't allow us to fail (even if we don't know the results or see the fruit of our labor) getting anything on His agenda done, if we just commit (and submit) to obey Him. This gives us confidence in the task. God is incredible!
Well, what does all of this have to do with the title? If God commanded us to go, did He mean our children too? Well sure! If you and I have children who have already commited their lives to Christ, even though they're not as spiritually mature as someone who has been walking with and obeying Christ for a long time, they still know more than someone who doesn't know Christ at all, so...God can use them, and..HE WILL. Wouldn't God be pleased, and wouldn't you love to see your children grow a heart to boldly tell others about Christ? Our first step is to teach them to love the very souls of others. Teach them to care about the eternal future of those around them. Pray to God that they grow a heart for sharing the Gospel and missions in some form or another. Then, teach them about this command in Matthew 28.
Missions, as you may already know, doesn't have to be trips to the remotest jungles of Africa or even to another city in the U.S. Missions can be in your neighborhood, and really, it should be. We don't want to miss the opportunity to minister to those around us and pursue just those far away. Everyone is not called to foreign missions, but EVERYONE is called to be a missionary, a carrier of the Good News, a lover of others' souls. You can do that at work, at school, on vacation, at church, etc. Do we convey this message to our children? Do we think, even without consciously thinking it sometimes, that missions is just for grown-ups? When we don't teach our children about missions, far and near, we cause them to miss great opportunities, we neglect to obey God as parents and Christian stewards of the Gospel, and our children miss out on sharing in God's work and the blessings that come with that. Missions work can be so easy, although it isn't always. Our children can do so much, and they can grow a heart to love it.
We feel that God has called us to go, as a family, on a missions trip in August. We are going to the state of Louisiana and partnering with another church there to go out and meet the needs, spiritual and physical, of a specific community there. We have commited to praying, as a family, about this trip and God's agenda and will concerning the trip and it's outcome. We have even decided to fast today, with the entire group of believers that are going. Usually I don't publicly admit that, but please use this information to pray with us. We are committed to HIM. I have young girls (one pre-teen, one new teen), although my boys are older teens and can understand better, and even they (the girls) understand so early the benefit of preparation to take the Gospel to unknown and/or unfamiliar territory. We have talked to them about missions and just recently, we talked about fasting-- doing it properly, how God strengthens you for it and the task ahead, when and how we were going to do it, and anything else about fasting I thought would be helpful. There attitude, because of Christ, was one of understanding and readiness to do it. All praises and honor to God.
I feel so spiritually happy that we are doing this as a family, the fasting just until 2:00pm today, and going on this trip. They are even growing in faith, faith that God will provide the provisions for us to take the trip and all that we need while we're there. They realize that we are in no financial shape to just go to the bank, withdraw all of the funds we'll need for the trip, and then go. But they do know that if God wants us to go, He will provide. In this truth, we are all confident. So, rather than focus our minds on what we don't have, we're focusing our minds on Jesus and the road ahead. It has been a sweet time in the Lord. We've even decided that if God closes the door for us to go, He has grown us so much through this process, and groomed us for something else. We've done a lot of individualized missions work or partnered up 2 or 3 of us, mostly locally in our city, but this will be the first time we will go out of town as a family for missions work. We're all excited!
My husband and I are praying that this will grow a tender heart toward God and things concerning Him, that our children will grow a heart towards missions, that they will see people through the eyes of Jesus (won't that change your perspective?!), that they will grow in grace and obedience. Will you pray with us as we pray these things as a family? Will you consider, if you haven't already, intentionally teaching your children about Christ's commands on their lives and ours, show them where and how they can fit in the missions , and praying that they have a heart for God and others? Will you pray that that heart for God and others will take them places outside of the "norm" or their comfort zones, but that God promises to be with them always? Will you teach them that God ALWAYS makes good on His promises, that it's all up to Him, not them, that they're to just trust Him and "go?" Will you pray these things today? It's always "the time" to spread the Good News. Teach them that this can be done literally anywhere.
I pray that you have fruitful family discussion time concerning this and other things today. May you be strengthened, convicted, and emboldened by the Holy Spirit to share the Good News of Jesus every opportunity you get.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Saturday, July 26, 2008



I found a really neat post at Ellie Kay's blog site that I thought you'd be interested in. Most of you know who Ellie Kay is, but for the ones who may not, she is a savings and financial stewardship expert that I have come to really respect. She is a wife, mom, and speaker. She and her husband have 5 children and she has learned to live on just her husband's income so that she could come back to the home. While this may not be for everyone, or may not be your season to do the same, Ellie will show you how to do it, if it ever comes up in your life, and she does it successfully.

I shouldn't leave out the fact that this (the above) is not all she speaks about. She talks to the average person about shopping wisely, saving, tithing, coupon-clipping, spending, etc. If you want to be a wise or wiser steward, check her out.

Anyway, I'd like to leave this link so that you can check out a post about how to be able to financially and successfully send your children to college. Hers is a personal account about how they're doing it with their children. It's worth reading and investigating (and discussing with your children) some of the helpful information she has there.

Click here.

It's the first post you'll get to, but there are some many more awesome things on her blog and website.

Friday, July 25, 2008


Am I excited or what?!!! Okay Robin at is just plain old getting pretty famous!! She is the creator of the 40 Words or Less Photo Challenge I like to play on Fridays, and she is the creator of Pensieve's Poetic License, giving any and every one a chance to learn about, read about, and try their hand at poetry, all in a comfortable, non-intimidating, non-professional atmosphere. She simply wants everyone to learn to love and/or appreciate poetry.

Well, she has "one-upped" herself this time. This girl has created a new poetry form. That's right. You heard me. She has joined the league of those who created forms like the clerihew, the haiku, the senryu, the limerick, the sonnet, etc. The list can go on and on. Hers is titled after her blog title--it is called the Pensieve. Here's the really neat instructions on how to write one: Robin says...
"What is a Pensieve? A titled, five-line poem; each line correlates to one of the five senses--sight, sound, scent, taste, touch--and describes the subject (title). The goal is for the reader to take on the poem as his own, being able to "experience" your subject through your words, by seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and feeling what you described. (If you're looking for an alternate definition of "pensieve" and found this post via a search engine, please click here.)
The style is reflective and should leave the reader with lingering thoughts. The name for this poetic form is somewhat of a play on words: the subject is word-drawn from a memory (from the writer's "pensieve" :) ) and reflected upon by both writer and reader, pensively."

Now that Robin has spoken, let's join her for the Pensieve debut. Let's try our hand at this new poetic form. Let's help our blogging buddy go down in H*I*S*T*O*R*Y!!!

Can you tell that this poetry lover and lover of the "take a chance" or "live your dreams" spirit is excited?!!! YOU GO ROBIN!!

Anyhooty, my 3, yes, I said 3 (because I spent an hour yesterday at the park focusing on this before I had to pick my husband up from work--I hope my little "stinkin" work reflects that I put some time on it anyway) pensieves are below. No, they probably won't go down in history like the artform might itself, but I sure had fun at the park!! Without anything further:


Nothing eyes had ever beheld would be as beautiful and magnificent!
She was to be a show-stopper, worthy of loud, vigorous claps.
Florally fresh roses and earthy hydrangeas would rain down her sides and overtake you.
Like Her Majesty, she was to be suave, smooth, regal, embellished, velvety.
While she never made the described debut, she won us over with her southern sweetness.
With big, silver flashlight in hand, I can now "escape" clearly in the dark
closet that pleasantly wreaks with cedar.
Quick! Close the book! Here comes the giant, thundering!
Punishment so near, I can taste it!
I cover the warm, bulb shield with my hand and crouch back. I think I'll go undetected.
He lifted his long arms with wand in hand, to command the players to play.
Wafts of dizzying freshness accosted the onlooker as the players rolled in.
The closer they got, the sound intensified, and it was pleasantly deafening!
They played so fiercely that the notes spewed forth what felt like...rain.
Oh taste and see that the Lord and His creation is good!
Guys, this was so fun for me! Robin, thank you, thank you, thank you! I never get away alone, and yesterday, thinking of what to do for this post, forced me to find just a window of opportunity to do just that, and it was so good. So, even if my pensieves are no good, my escape was well worth it!! Have fun as you go and appreciate others'.


Join us in a round of Friday's 40? Click here for complete details, but basically you have 40 words (or less) to respond to the weekly image--a caption or title, poem, word association, abstract, concrete--however it hits you. Write a post, then be sure to come back here on Friday morning to link your permalink, and after, visit the other participants to see their varied perspectives on the same image.

I'm always up for the challenge. Well, this one was a challenge for me. What can you say about it besides the fact that it looks absolutely refreshing!! It made me go pull out my pink water bottle (just a different shape than this one), and take a long, cool, sip. I needed that!!

So many cc's of summer chill

Bottled up inside me!

I'm skating on thin ice.

I'm walking the chalk line.

Be cool! Be cool!

It's all good.

I'm just waiting on someone who is deep enough to move me.

Okay, whew!! DONE!! Have fun! I sure did! Go to for more.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


What are you thankful for this Thursday? Iris at Sting My Heart reminds us that no matter how much the water rises, God always throws us a lifeline. Isn't that so true? There is ALWAYS, no matter what situation you find yourself in, and no matter how much trouble seems to last, something to be thankful for. Here's what I'm thankful for:
  • I'm thankful for the women's group we had last night. Two new women attended, and one said that she felt like there was HOPE for her before she left.
  • I'm thankful for the benefit of prayer. It makes a difference.
  • I'm thankful for the people at my church that don't just want to learn the Word, but apply the Word to their lives. We don't always do this do we?
  • I'm so very thankful for being cancer-free now for 9 years.
  • I'm thankful for our little, tiny humble abode.
  • I'm thankful for the promises God made in His Word, like providing us food and shelter. I'm glad that He makes good on anything He promises.
  • I'm thankful for simple things like toiletries and other things that keep us clean, fresh, and presentable. We take these things for granted, but these are really very important, and I'm thankful we can afford these things.
  • I'm thankful that God allowed me to be born and live in the USA.

Go to and look at what Iris and others are thankful for. You can even add your thankful post there. We'll be glad to share in your thankfulness. Bless you today.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


(Oh--you didn't even know that they enjoyed tea?)
If you enjoy a little tea trivia, read on and I'll tell you about the Russians taking tea and how it got to their country.
Linda Osborne, in her All About Tea Knowledge Cards, tells us that tea was an exclusive privilege of royalty in seventeenth-century Russia: the grueling journey from China by camel caravan raised the cost beyond the commoner's reach. This tea was carried in cloth bags; in the course of a year's worth of nights near campfires, it acquired a smoky scent and taste.
Smoked Russian Caravan tea is still popular, and Russians also drink Imperial Russian tea, flavored with bergamot. Available to all Russians after the Trans-Siberian Railroad opened in 1880, tea quickly became a mainstay of daily life, as exemplified by the samovar, the centerpiece of a Russian home.
The samovar is a metal urn with a heating ring beneath it. A teapot rests on top, and the tea brewed within it is very strong. Hot water from the urn dilutes the tea to drinking strength.
Traditionally, tea is served with lemon in Russia, and Russians often drink it with a sugar cube in their mouths, or after adding jam.
The Republic of Georgia began growing tea in the mid-nineteenth century, and tea production later spread to other areas on the Black Sea.
Hope you enjoyed that bit of history and trivia. It tells you who else is drinking tea and how, besides us Americans and the English in Europe.
Have a good week.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Cafe Chat- What are your priorities?

The question for this Saturday is a real thought-provoking one. I needed to think on these and pray to God, like I tend to do, about my priorities. I always want to have them in order, but the truth is, I don't always. It takes making God a priority for Him to set straight the rest of my life's priorities. Funny how every time I ask Him about my life and the way it should go and ask Him to order my steps, it works out. How about you?

I'm late this week on submitting my post for this, but when I found out what the subject matter was, I felt I had to post. I apologize for posting so late. Hope you get a chance to read it anyway. I can't wait to see everyone else's thoughts. So what is the question for this week?
What are your priorities?

Name what you think should be your first 5 priorities in life? Then order those priorities the way they actually are at present in your own life. Do they match up? Why or why not? If needed, what is one thing that you can do today that will help your two lists match up?

Don't we all like to think that we have our priorities straight? I mean who wants to admit that their priorities are really out of order? Some of us might admit to one or two things, but what if all of our priorities are out of order? Who determines that order in your life? I'm afraid that most of the time, before we realize it, we are the ones that determine the order. I know that's been the case in my life. I have to be transparent about that. Well, I'll list what comes to mind now, but I pray the Holy Spirit shows me what they REALLY ARE and what they REALLY SHOULD BE if currently, they don't match up. Here's where I think I am now:

  1. My number one, daily goal right now, is to just know and/or realize who God is to me and who I am in Him. That's big! Just knowing I'm not worthy of the free gift of salvation but God, in His goodness and mercy, extending that to me anyway, and not holding my past, present, or future sins against me (once I accepted Him) that just blows my mind! The enemy wants us to feel guilty about so much we've done, and he doesn't want us to live in that salvation. We're sometimes robbed of the freedom we have in Jesus; not free to continue to sin, but free to have our sins washed away, live to glorify Him, and start all over again.
  2. My next goal is to somehow in some way, daily pursue Him with all diligence. I try and take every thought captive. I try to do everything as unto the Lord. Sometimes I'm successful (because of Him and my submission), and sometimes I'm not. I also would say this is where I'm cognizant of having a regular prayer life or continual conversations with God throughout the day, as I think of things and/or as He puts things or people on my mind.
  3. Train my children in the way that they should go. Teach them when they wake up, as they go along the way, and when they lie down. Pray for them, bathing and covering them in prayer, letting them see me do things that God causes and/or calls me to do. I sometimes mess this up too. I sin and I have to ask for forgiveness. I've struggled with wanting to be perfect in front of them, not wanting to say or do anything wrong so that they can model that. They also needed to see that I wasn't perfect and that when I made mistakes, like I ultimately would, I needed the same Jesus they did to renew me, forgive me, and propel me forward.
  4. My husband. Precious thing. I should have him as #3, so this is where I think my priorities get out of order and I need the most help. God help me...really. He is God's chosen one for me and he is a gift. I love him and I study regularly who God would have me be as a wife (studying the Word, taking classes, giving classes, practicing it, etc.) to him, but I lose perspective and sometimes the desire to train up the kids will take precedence. I don't mean for this to happen, and sometimes, I catch myself and re-prioritize and re-schedule, but it does happen. He works and I don't, so I get to spend a lot of time on them. He has to rest and nap when he comes home, eat dinner, etc., so since he needs that time, I just do household things or...focus on whatever needs the children have right then. So, I have them all day, and then, if he has "checked out" on me, I deal with them again later. I do make myself available to him and try to minister to his needs, but I think this priority got out of order when he couldn't seem to prioritize his time with family. I sort of had to find something else to do since he was "checked out." He didn't want to be, and really wanted to find ways to pay attention to the family, but we haven't found one way or one schedule for him that's been totally successful yet...but, he's trying and he cares. God will show us, we believe.
  5. I try and listen to God's heart on where I should give, volunteer, participate, and things I should otherwise be a part of. I don't try and do everything, realizing that I can't and that there is not enough time. I believe God wouldn't have me half do a lot of things instead of doing one or just a couple of things well and right. I feel it's my duty and privilege to seek to do community and "life" with friends, church members, and neighbors if I can. I love taking the Word of God where he would have my feet or voice to carry it. I pray for opportunities-that I don't miss one, knowing that I could always give the excuse that I don't have time or no one came across my path. That will never be the case realistically. I sincerely want people to know Jesus. I love Him and I want others to also. This is where I focus on others outside of my family.

If there is anything I'm doing right or in an order He wants me to do it, it has been by His Spirit in me, my surrender, His convictions, my asking for them, and me asking Him to do what only He can do in me. I need His perfecting and transforming grace daily, but as I practice and think on the right things, as I surrender to Him, He gets to use me however and whenever He sees fit. I'm afraid that I disappoint Him more often than not, but I want to be in the practice and habit (more as I grow older) of obeying Him and looking more like Him everyday. I need to end by quoting the words of a hymn: "I need Thee, O I need Thee. Every hour I need Thee. O bless me now my Savior. I come to Thee."

Blessings to you all as we strive to prioritize.

MOMMY (Mentor/Caregiver) MONDAYS #19

I'm often thinking of things I can do to make lasting memories for myself and the kids that are done by the kids. After all, they will probably outlast me on this earth, and hopefully, they'll have children of their own. Those memories we make now, whether they're tangible or intangible, will last a long time. We want to be intentional about that. We want to leave good legacies that they can pass to their children. We even try to think of new things, that we've never done or maybe lots of people don't do yet, that they can teach their children.
I just have a few suggestions. Some of you may already be doing some or all of these things, but I thought I'd give you my little list. Please, if you have any suggestions, leave it in comments so that we all can share. I'd love more ideas. I love spending time doing things with and talking to my children.
  1. This is very popular, but buy your kids their own journal or diary. I think the boys would feel better if you called their's a "journal." Get them in the habit of writing in it as often as possible. Maybe buy two-one they can have for their own private thoughts and one they can have that they want the family to be exposed to.
  2. Interview your kids. Get inside their heads. Keep your own journal or notes on the answers to the interview. Do this at each stage or year of their life, after a certain age. You both can watch their growth physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. It matters what they're thinking.
  3. Do a family quilt (this is a great project for any family, but as a homeschool home ec. and memory project, this would be a plus.). Cut out squares and let everyone sew on, decorate, or write on them and then, put the quilt together. The problem with this one is, if you've got more than one child, who do you leave the quilt to? Well, I guess you'll have to do more than one:)
  4. Let the kids go into the kitchen and create their own recipe, whether it's something for dinner, a dessert, or an easy kid's lunch. Tell them to write the recipe in pencil on notecards, and as you watch and coach and as they tweak the recipe, they can erase what didn't work and write in what they discover does, until they've come up with something really good. File the recipes in a box they've decorated and use them often to show your appreciation.
  5. Plant a simple garden together and take pictures as everything grows. Herb gardens are very simple and herbs can be dried very easily. They can be used for decoration and in the kitchen in some of those recipes they've created. This is the project that keeps on giving. This can be done annually and you can always take advantage of the fruit of your labor. Taking pictures of the kids taking care of the garden would be great for a scrapbook too.
  6. Encourage them to write a children's story or book. They can use themselves as the main character or they can make it completely up. Tell them to envision an audience of really curious and anxious kids ready to hear a good story. Remind them that they never write for themselves (unless it's a diary entry) but for someone else's benefit. Let them color pictures for it.
  7. Use the above books when you take them to read at a local shelter, library, orphanage, or the like. Let your kids read their homemade books to the other children. This helps them give and share experiences with others. With this, craft things at home that you can take with you to give out to children. This is a project for the whole family.
  8. Have story night where the kids sit around and tell timed stories (use a timer) and everyone has their turn. The story can be serious, funny, or whatever. Call it a story marathon and see how many stories you can tell and how well everyone enjoys this. Kids will not forget this and will probably enjoy doing this with their own kids.

There are just so many more things I could come up with. These are some of my suggestions, but obviously, the internet, your moms group, your family members, your homeschool group, etc. has so much more. The goal is to make memories for yourself with your kids, make memories for them, and give them something to pass to the next generation. Oh yeah, and be intentional about it. Don't leave the ideas in your head. DO IT!! Have fun!

Have a good rest of the week.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Saturday, July 19, 2008


That cute little busy Robin over at has been bitten by the creativity bug again and she has created something cool and special--A Blog Hop! Because some could not attend the BlogHer Convention (?) in San Francisco (I haven't been blogging long enough to know how exciting the convention was supposed to be), she decided to party back home, so let's get together, why don't we, and party with recipes, meet-n-greets, and the like. Wanna know more about the purpose of this blog? Click on My Blog's Welcome Letter in labels. Wanna know some things (all true, but some peculiar) about me, click on Photos in labels. There you will see me, places I've been, my boys when they were little and more, but, you'll also get to see a list at the bottom of 10 things about me. That's where you'll see a picture of me at 18 (I'm far from that now) in my "back then, I thought I was pretty in mint green prom dress" picture. Oooh my, how times have changed, THANK GOD!! If you click on the "Miscellany" label, you'll see some interesting posts (I think there's a picture of hubby and I there too), AND you'll see how really raw (or green) and new to blogging I really was then. The post layouts and errors are terrible, but the content is probably interesting.
Anyhooty, I wanna leave you with this recipe. It's so easy to do and great for parties.
It's Neufchatel Cheese Dip
  • You just get 1 8oz pkg. of Neufchatel Cheese (It looks just like Philly Cream Cheese in the grey box)
  • Cut it in chunks into a sauce pan on med. to med. low heat (so it won't scorch)
  • Add one can of Ro-tel tomatoes and green chilies (you can get mild, med. or hot. I like hot.)
  • Melt and mix all ingredients together until cheese and Ro-tel are smooth.
  • Pour into a dipping bowl and use Tortilla chips

Variations on the above are to use Philly Cream cheese, of course.
You can add baby shrimp and chopped, green bell peppers to the mix
You can do half Neufchatel and half Velveeta
You can add finely chopped ground beef
I've had these and a couple of other variations to this dip and all of my family loves it! It's almost a contest on how experimental we can be to come up with a new variation when we get together back home.
Now get yourselves over to Robin's place to Blog Hop with other Hoppers and get to know some new folks!!

Friday, July 18, 2008


I love the picture submitted by Robin at for this week's 40 or Less Photo Challenge. It's so neat and heartwarming. Click on Robin's link to get all of the details, but it's as simple as looking at the picture, saying in 40 words or less what you think of it, and then submitting your thoughts. It's fun. Join us every Friday. Click on the link above to see what others think of the photo. Look for the 40 PC icon. Meanwhile here's what I have to say about the picture below:

"The time has come," the walrus said, "to talk of many things: of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--of cabbages--and kings--and why the sea is boiling hot--and whether pigs have wings." (Lewis Carroll)

I envisioned Granpa stopping by the wayside and telling his granddaughter fanciful stories. The picture reminded me of Lewis Carroll's quote of storytelling above. I used to quote this to my daughter all of the time, before her story time.

Have a fun Friday!

Thursday, July 17, 2008


“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”~ Proverbs 3:5 (ESV)
This is the theme verse that Iris from Sting My Heart chose for this week. Isn't it a wonderful verse to ponder on? Do we trust Him with ALL of our hearts? Can we? Yes, if God calls us to do it in His Word, with Him and in Him, we can do everything He has called us to do. I thank God for showing me how to trust Him and leading me to do so. Where would I be without it? Anyway, in keeping with our "trust" theme, I'm thankful for the following:
  • I'm thankful for a great husband that God has shown me through dating, engagement, and marriage that I can trust him. This is so important.
  • I'm thankful (and this should have been first on the list) that I can trust EVERY word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
  • I'm thankful that I can trust the writers of the Bible to have heard from God and wrote things that He impressed on them.
  • I'm thankful for the men of God mentioned in the Bible, who obeyed Him, trusted God, stood on His promises, and did such wonderful things that our lives, even today, in some way or another, were changed for the better because of it.
  • I'm thankful that I can trust that my immediate family will stick by me and love me.
  • I'm thankful that my children trust the work of God in me and therefore trust me as a parent to love them, lead them, and guide them.
  • I'm thankful that my friends trust me to be just that--a friend.
  • I'm thankful that my husband totally trusts me as a wife. That's a big deal. May God help me to keep his trust and be the wife that He has called me to be.

Aren't you just thankful this Thursday!!!!!

"Thank You, God, for the gift of trust and that we can trust You. Who else could we really trust if we didn't trust You? We'd be hesitant with anybody else, because there would be no assurance of REAL trust if we didn't have trust in You first. I thank You for all You've done for me, and not just in a pat or cliche' prayer kind of way. I really thank You that, if You let me see tomorrow, I can trust that You'll be God again, and again, and again, that You can be trusted to be who You say You are in my life and in the lives of others. I thank You for that assurance. In Jesus' precious, Holy name I pray."

Tuesday, July 15, 2008



I've talked about Oolong tea before (BTW, I love it--big surprise right!), and I've talked about the health benefits of tea in general, but lately, there has been a lot, especially over the internet, concerning the supposed "fat-busting" properties of wu-long tea. So you know what that means. In some circles, it's becoming all the rage. FYI, Wu-long and Oolong are the same. The words are used interchangeably.

So what about the information you've been seeing or hearing concerning this tea. With permission, I'm going to reprint an article from an expert on Wu-long (oolong) tea. You will be better informed afterwards. He ends the article with the same advice I've always given. No matter what reason/s you choose to drink tea, drink it mainly for the taste and enjoyment. Nothing can beat that. If you didn't like the taste of it, you probably wouldn't stick with drinking it, even if your goal was to lose weight and use it as a weight loss aid. With nothing further from me, here is the reprinted article:

Wu Long Tea and Weight Loss

Obesity is a serious problem in our modern world and we are always looking for an "easy fix" to help us shed extra pounds. One of the latest weight loss trends is wu long tea (also spelled oolong tea or wulong tea). Will drinking wu long tea really help us lose weight?

Wu long tea is not a new product - it has a long history going back hundreds of years. Wu long tea probably originates in China's Fujian province, but it is now produced in Taiwan, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, India, as well as in China. Due to its geographical position and mountainous terrain, Taiwan produces some of the finest wu long tea in the world.

The Obesity Epidemic
According to the American Obesity Association, obesity "is the second leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. Approximately 127 million adults in the U.S. are overweight, 60 million obese, and 9 million severely obese."

These numbers continue to rise every year. The health risks associated with obesity include cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, gallbladder disease, hypertension, liver disease, and stroke. In all, there are more than 30 medical conditions associated with obesity.

Obesity is not just an American problem. The World Health Organization (WHO) says that more than 1.2 billion people around the world are classified as overweight.

Wu Long Tea
Faced with these startling facts, it's no wonder that governments and individuals are focusing their attention on weight loss. Products designed to help us lose weight "effortlessly" are a big seller, and new weight loss methods are presented with alarming frequency.
So where does wu long tea fit in? Is it a fad or is there some basis for the claim that wu long tea will help us lose weight?

Scientific studies have established that tea is high in health-promoting polyphenols that may protect us against cancer and other diseases. Wu long tea is particularly high in "polymerized polyphenols" which according to a 2003 Japanese study helps to increase energy expenditure.
This study found that energy expenditure increased by 10% for a period of 2 hours after drinking wu long tea. This was significantly higher than the energy expenditure observed after drinking green tea.

Another Japanese study found that wu long tea can suppress lipid metabolism which has the effect of suppressing fatty accumulation and body weight increases. The study concludes that long-term consumption of wu long tea is beneficial for the suppression of diet induced obesity.
Health-promoting compounds such as polyphenols and catechins are present in all types of tea, but hand picked wu long tea is the best source because the pickers are selecting the best leaves from the tea plant. Machine harvesting is indiscriminate - older leaves and twigs are harvested along with the newer leaves.

All the tea on the Tea from Taiwan website is hand-picked and hand processed. If you are primarily interested in wu long tea as a weight loss aid (rather than a gourmet food item) we would like to recommend our Four Season Wu Long Tea. This is our most economical tea, but still an excellent hand processed wu long tea.

We would also like to draw your attention to our GABA tea. This is not wu long tea, but is a high grade tea that has been specially processed to increase the natural levels of GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid). GABA is an important amino acid associated with many potential health benefits including lowering blood pressure, relieving stress, and aiding in weight loss.

Wu long tea is not a miracle cure for weight problems. Weight loss involves following a sensible, healthy diet, and a change in lifestyle to include an adequate amount of exercise. Wu long tea may give you the extra boost to help in your weight loss plans, but it must be used as part of an overall strategy to improve your living habits.

If you'd like to read more articles, find where you can purchase oolong tea, and purchase tea products, go to They are exporters and educaters of oolong tea directly from Taiwan. Their business is based there also. Try oolong if you get a chance, just for the sheer taste and enjoyment of it. I believe it will become a regular in your tea cabinet. Have a good day and a good cuppa'!

Monday, July 14, 2008

MOMMY (or mentor/caregiver) MONDAYS #18

For something light and fun today, I thought I'd direct your attention to Thany over at Falling Out of the Wardrobe. She has a post called I WRITE THESE DOWN SO YOU CAN APPRECIATE YOUR LIFE BETTER--My Night Last Night. The post was funny, but so pitiful too. You just felt sorry for Mommy every step of the way. On the other hand, you could just feel her longsuffering and patience and love for family. You also start to appreciate, unless your schedule is like Thany's, your own life at home more. It's a short but good read. Go on over. Click on

Have a wonderful day and spend time with family if you can!

Saturday, July 12, 2008


It's time again, for me to share with you Ellie Kay's well-researched suggestions for saving in the month of July. If you're new to this Saturday post of mine, I try to do this segment once a month, usually using suggestions, tips, and proven methods from America's Family Financial Expert, Ellie Kay. She helps America shop smart and save in numerous ways. You can visit her at There is a wealth of information there.

I don't get any recognition or rewards for suggesting Ellie and her tips. In fact, I'm sure she doesn't even know I exist. I've just bought her books and used her methods over the years, and I know they work. If it works, I want to share it, especially if it will help us be better stewards of our resources.

So what exactly, are the things that you can save money on this month? Ellie says:

Craft supplies
Ground Beef
Hot Dogs
Summer Clothing (clearance)
Used Cars

Even with our "funny" economy, you should still be able to find pretty good deals on these items. I wish I could add gas/fuel to the list above, know how that is. In fact, you can't afford to drive out too far looking for deals on the items mentioned or you won't end up saving at all, unless it's a REALLY BIG or good DEAL (like on one of the major purchases) and well worth the drive. You do the math before you set out. Your local stores ought to carry a good deal though, on most items, without you driving too far out of the way and losing money in the way of fuel.

I went to our country's largest discount superstore today (I can't hardly stand to say the name because I am NOT a big fan of the store for many reasons--I, unfortunately, just can't afford to do major shopping anywhere else--yeah, they count on that too!), and it's true, there are sales on craft supplies and summer clothing. I found really good deals on tank tops, short-sleeved tops, leggings, and shorts for my girls today. I'm sure if you checked out your major craft stores, they'd have sales on too. I should look in Michael's or Hobby Lobby to see what crafts, supplies, and ideas I can find for my homeschool this fall. This would be a good time to stock up on that stuff.

This time, I won't make up a neat story using the items on the list, since I've talked (typed) so much already. Maybe I'll resume doing it next time. I pray and hope you find reasons to be a better steward of God's time and money. That's always my encouragement on these particular posts. He'll be pleased and you will be too.

Friday, July 11, 2008


For anybody visiting me that doesn't already know the deal on Pensieve's 40 words or less photo challenge, here's the quick scoop: You study the photo prompt given (courtesy of Robin at Pensieve), ponder over it a while, and then, in 40 words or less, write a caption, phrase, short story, poem, etc. that comes to mind. It's that easy folks. And it's fun!! We look forward to it on Fridays. When you finish reading my thoughts below the picture, go over to and check out all of the other participants.

"Think he might be dead boys? Who knows?! Kick his seat."

"No, I'm just exhausted. She's constantly riding my back!"

"Poor Spokes. He can't handle it."

"Let's go boys. No use wasting time and spinning our wheels here."

Have fun today!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

THANKFUL THURSDAY (in place of Thursday Potpourri)

Usually, if I do anything at all on Thursdays, it's Thursday Potpourri, just kind of a hodgepodge of subject matter that I found interesting or fun. It has been my "off day," kind of. Well, to bring more meaning to Thursdays and give one more opportunity for us all to be thankful, I've made the decision to make a permanent switch from Thursday Potpourri to Thankful Thursday. You can still view my posts from Thursday Potpourri in archives or the label that says the same name. From here on out though, it's Thankfulness for me! How about you join me and we all do the same! There is literally always something, even on our worst days, to be thankful for. Iris, at Sting My Heart ( created this meme for the purpose of reminding us to be thankful on more than just Thanksgiving. She wants us to be mindful of being thankful weekly, well, on our blogs, but really daily in our lives.
There is usually a theme on TT, but she says for this week, there is no theme that she could come up with, so she wants us to just be "plain thankful," as she puts it. That should be easy right? Nothing to think about. Just let your mind and heart be thankful. I'll bet you'll be flooded with things to say. Here's what I'm thankful for (I don't know if there is supposed to be a set amound of things to be thankful for so, I'll take my cues from Iris' post and just do 9.):
  • I'm thankful for the hearts of my children who have decided to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
  • I'm thankful for my sister's salvation just a few months ago
  • I'm thankful that my mother is a living testimony of God's grace and mercy after having been run over by a car.
  • I'm thankful that I live in a free country, where I'm free to worship my Lord and Savior (so far) without persecution.
  • I'm thankful for my special, private time with the Lord. I sometimes wish I had more of it.
  • I'm thankful for hymns and praise and worship (and other types of Christian genre) music. It lifts my spirit and focuses my attention and affection on an Almighty God.
  • I'm thankful for the gift of giving. I love to give whatever God has provided and prompted me to give. The more you give, the more you grow in your heart toward giving, and ultimately, you give more.
  • I'm thankful when people's needs are met and God gives me the privilege to find out about it and bless His name because of it.
  • I'm thankful that Jesus calls me FRIEND.

What are you thankful for today? There is plenty to choose from:)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008



Okay, you probably already know what an acrostic is, but just in case you don't, it's a poetry form where you write a word going down, like this


and then you insert a word or words next to each letter (the goal is to keep the words beside each letter down to a minimum like 1-3) that talk about or describe your acrostic word. Give imagery. So if I were to use the sample above, I would write:

Tantalizingly delicious,
Exquisitely hand-curled,
All I need!

So today, that's what I want to do. I want to mix poetry form and tea theme. I've done this before, but used a different poetry form. I'll do some that I hope you enjoy, and I'd like for you to try it too. Leave yours in comments. Your acrostic should be words for your favorite tea, tea ware, or tea moments. Now, don't be intimidated. Acrostics have got to be the easiest poetry form out there.

Green liquid
Ready to steep
Evening sips
Noticeably refreshing

Try porcelain
Engraved flowers
Assorted heights
Cold to touch
Undeniably beautiful
Perfect vessel

Plan ahead
Arrival of friends
Ready to chat
Tea abounds
Yall come back!

Alright readers and acrostic lovers, YOUR TURN!! Get creative!
(All of the letters of your acrostic word are supposed to be bigger or bolder than the words next to them, that describe them, but Blogger is only letting that happen on some of the words as you can see, and doing what it wants to do on others, although I did them all the same way. If somebody knows a trick that can fix that problem, let me know.)