My Friends ~ You Guys are the Best!

Friday, December 10, 2010

It's Friday! Isn't it?

Hello, friends! 

Won’t you join me for a cup of tea…..maybe coffee, or hot chocolate?

It is a busy time of year, much busier than I (now) enjoy!  Could be it is an age thing, maybe! ;) LOL

We enjoyed having two of the grandkids with us this past week.  And because they were here, we had other grands that visited. I loved every minute, but most things pertaining to Christmas had to be put on hold. (I’m not complaining, just explaining, once again I am behind.)
Josiah (Joey)

Michaela (Mac)

All of which, leads me to stop and think….and think….

How do we go about assigning priorities in our lives?  If Christmas is all about who we say it is….how have we arrived at this point, of busyness and commercialization?  But all this reflection and deep thinking will have to wait….maybe in January, when the days are less busy and I have more time to study and ponder.  For now, they will remain tucked in my heart, waiting for another day.

The giveaways at Frenchy’s are still open until tomorrow.  If you haven’t entered, be sure and go by.  My candle giveaway can be found here.

To “House On the Corner” ~  Donna, I didn’t get his tag number.  I was too busy keeping a close eye on Larry, with my arms outstretched, trying to keep him on the south side of the highway, but all the while keeping a close eye on his eyes and ears….wasn’t sure what I planned to do, if it started looking like he was going to charge…but, I certainly was WATCHING HIM!  I was amazed to look up and see a cell phone pointed our way!  Wonder if he had video capability?  Hmmmm

If you are wondering what we are talking about, checkout Wednesday’s post.  (I should have signed it, Buffalo Gal.)  LOL

New Followers, If I haven’t returned your follow, please leave me a comment saying so and I will be by to see you as soon as possible.  In the meantime welcome!

To “Cranberry Morning” ~ I visited your SoapNSuch!  I loved looking at all the different soaps.  I was drooling ….especially over the Apple Peel.  It is lovely and I’m thinking it smells heavenly!  I’m putting it on my birthday “wish” list….it’s in January!

To everyone, sweet Linda at Prairie Flower Farm is having a party.  Be sure and go by.  You will be blessed!

One more….if you are a little stumped at what to give you’ll be blessed to visit Momza’s post on the Four Gifts.

Okay, I probably won’t be blogging again until Monday.  I am going to make an effort to get caught up, so I won’t be feeling twinges of guilt over what I haven’t gotten done.  I will be thinking of all of you, occasionally checking the comments, and maybe a quick peek at some of your blogs!  (A girl has to take a break, right?)

Praying each of you have a wonderful weekend!  May we stay focused on WHO Christmas is about and not on the “busyness” of the holiday!


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Lazy Wednesday Walk ~ Larry Boy

Oops!   You caught me being LAZY.  Well, not really....a) I need to be busy and b) I feel awful not so great!  Anyway, I know most of you are BUSY, too!  So, here is your chance to be lazy....or an energy conservationist!

If you would like to join in on a Lazy Wednesday Walk, all you have to do is find an old post and link it up! That way you can participate without thinking of something new!  Now isn't that easy? (And lazy)

Wednesday's Walk

It started like any other day . . . . .

You may remember, I mentioned I had to go to the bank and grocery store? Sounds simple, right?  DD#2 went with me...or I went with her since my van is "ill" and we decided to run to the little town just west of us about 11 miles...little, no stoplight, little.

On the way over there, on the highway in a low spot between two hills was a buffalo. I immediately knew who owned this rogue!  His owners live at the top of one of the hills. So I called said signal...I love cell phones. While I am attempting to get a hold of the owners and entering into panic mode, we are also trying to keep "Larry" (his name) off the highway. He is already nervous as a grasshopper in a chicken coop and insisting on darting back and forth across the highway. Mind you, I have never seen so many 18 wheelers on this little highway before!

So, while he is kind of off to one side, we do some darting of our own up to the owner (Walt and Penny)'s house. They’re not home ~ naturally!   However, in their driveway I could get a signal. So I called Penny's cell and asked "Where are you?!" To which she replied.... Ada (Ada is about 17 miles east). I told her what was going on. This is when I learned Larry's name. She said, "Well, I have an appointment in a few minutes. Just try to keep him off the highway." Well duh....sure!

So we go back down the hill where traffic is picking up. Another friend stops....a friend who graduated with DS #1 and is rather "dizzy". She uses her SUV to help try to block Larry on one side of the highway ~ it didn’t work. Two more *neighbors* stop. One had heard a buffalo was out on the highway via the CB from a trucker. (Probably, the same trucker who was busy taking pictures with his cell phone!  No doubt, this was probably the first buffalo loose with three women ~ one overweight, beyond middle age woman ~ chasing a buffalo up and down the highway he had seen that day.)

Between all of us, with DD standing in the middle of the highway trying to slow traffic, one of the neighbors managed to cut the fence enough to hopefully put Larry back in the right pasture. It took a while and Larry refused to use the hole made for him....instead he jumped the fence (I didn't know buffalo could jump either).

Finally, the fence had to be wired back and then we proceeded on to the bank and grocery like normal’ people.

You city dwellers have no idea what you are missing!

Blessings & hugs,
~ Be sure and click on the Lazy Wednesday Walk button and visit some of the other lazy blog people.  LOL ~

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Blessed is the Man - Andrew Hodkinson

I hope this will bless you this cold fine day!

I am busy pouring candles and trying to stay warm!  But I will try to post a little later.  

In the meantime, my friend Sister Tipster is hosting a wonderful giveaway!  So head over to Tellin' It and follow the instructions.  This DVD would make an excellent Christmas gift or a great resource to hang on to!

Be blessed!

Monday, December 6, 2010

(Bloggy) Progressive Dinner

Welcome to the appetizer and drinks portion of the 

You’ll find more recipes for appetizers and drinks at Cooking During Stolen Moments.  Be sure and checkout her recipe for

Pizza Pie Bites!

Our favorite appetizer is the (old) faithful cheese ball and it is so easy!

Cheese Ball

1 large pkg. cream cheese (warm to room temp.)
8 oz of mild cheddar, grated
Garlic powder to taste
Dash of seasoned salt
1 tsp. of your favorite steak sauce

Chili powder

Thoroughly blend the first five ingredients; shape into either logs (2) or a ball.  Roll in chili powder.  Place in refrigerator.  The flavor will blend nicely in about 2 hours.

You can also add ½ cup finely chopped nuts (unless you have picky kids like mine)

Serve with crackers.

We love this spiced tea ~

Spiced Tea

3 large tea bags
2 cups sugar
1 gallon water
3 cinnamon sticks
1 sm. Can frozen orange juice
1 pkg. lemonade mix (Kool-aid)

In a large pan combine water, tea, sugar, and cinnamon sticks.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.  Remove from heat, remove cinnamon sticks and stir in orange juice and lemonade mix.

This is wonderful on cold winter evenings!


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Happy Monday Everyone! Only 19 days 'til Christmas!

Hey, New Followers....

 I'm happy to see you here!  I'll try to get around to everybody's blog and follow you back real soon.  As you can imagine, this is a busy time of year for the candle business!


Java (Never Growing Old) is up and blogging once more after having a bout with Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo…..something that is terribly unpleasant.

Be sure and go by and visit or link up with Meet Me on Monday!

Here are the questions for this week.

    1.  What is your favorite kind of cheese?
Hmmm….I like cheese.  My favorites would include ~ Colby, Pepper Jack, Mild Cheddar, Mozzarella…..Did you know Mozzarella Cheese was originally made with Yak milk?  Just saying.

  1. What size is your bed?

Ours is just a regular…full size.  We have had the king size and it was nice, especially when the kids were younger and migrated our way when they didn’t feel good or a dream had awaken them.  But they finally out grew that phase and we like the full size better.

3.  What is your most overused phrase?
I have two!  Are you kidding?!!!  And…(my favorite put off phrase), “we’ll see.”  Then of course there is, "Would you please quieten down?!!!"

4.  Green or purple grapes?
Purple!  They are definitely the best.  But I like green apples.

  1. Shower, morning or night?
If it is at night, it’s a nice long relaxing bath.  If it is in the morning it is usually a quick shower.

Our Holiday Bliss this weekend consisted of lots of Christmas Music and working on Christmas cards.  The boys (plus cousins) did enjoy some cups of loaded hot chocolate.  They added whipped cream, peppermint sticks and marshmallows.....all at one time.  I stuck with hot apple cider with cinnamon sticks.

I posted another quick (and inexpensive) Christmas idea on Homemade Country Christmas


I found another free ebook that you might find interesting.


The week of giveaways continues at Frenchy's!
 The candle giveaway is still open, if you would like to go by and leave a comment.


Thursday, December 2, 2010

WHAT?!! ~ Holiday Bliss ~and a Super Giveaway!


Let me get this straight.  You’re telling me, Baby (the youngest horse) ate my peppermints?  Really?

Do you want to stick with that story?

Baby would be the one in the middle.  All of our horses love peppermint! 

But I suspect, Baby wasn't the only one with minty fresh breath!!

Be sure and visit Brenda for more Holiday Bliss!  Why not tell us what you are doing?

Today, I actually took time to sit down and place orders for those things that needed to be ordered.  I am so happy….that’s over with!!!

Tonight the boys want to make Puppy Chow….maybe!  What, you don’t make Puppy Chow for you family?  We only make it during the holidays and it is a real treat.  The rest of the year, I hide the powdered sugar.;)  If you do not have the recipe, here it is.  So easy, they can make it themselves!

Puppy Chow

6 cups Crispix cereal
½ cup peanut butter
½ cup butter
12 ounces chocolate chips
1 ½ to 2 cups powdered sugar

Melt peanut butter, butter and chocolate chips together in a heavy skillet over medium heat; stirring continually.  Place measured cereal in a large bowl and pour the chocolate mixture over cereal; mix until well blended.  We place the powdered sugar in a super large plastic bag, add cereal mixture and shake (or we have used a large ice cream bucket with a lid).  Store in an air tight container.

Yesterday, we received some disturbing news (a good friend’s grandson was killed in a car accident).  Needless to say, I was kind of on auto-pilot the rest of the evening.  So the boys enjoyed hot chocolate with marshmallows and watched Christmas movies.

Tomorrow, grown daughter #1 (and family) is coming down.  She and I plan to do some shopping….without kids!  They are planning on staying for supper (dinner) …which will be beans and Frito-chili pies!

Remember to go by Frenchy’s  Le Chateau des fleurs 

and take part in the 


Here is a picture of some of the holiday candles that will be a part of today's (12/3) Giveaway!

Also linking up to:

Go by and share some comment love!;)
~  And ~
Mommy's Idea

Be sure and go by and see all the Friday Fragment posts at Mrs.4444's Half Past Kissing' Time!


Holiday Bliss ~ December 2nd!

It's December 2nd!  I can hardly believe it.  Where has 2010 gone?  It seems just a few days ago we were trying to put the pool up, finish setting out plants in the garden and getting ready for summer.

But with Thanksgiving come and gone, it is time to look ahead
and embrace the Season of CHRISTmas!

Brenda over at Garden of Learning
who hosted the November meme, "The Thirty Days of Gratitude Challenge" is now hosting Holiday Bliss
The ideal is to blog about what you are doing or planning for the upcoming Holy-Days, along with what is going on in you life.

Happy Hanukkah! I know that most of you don't celebrate this holiday, but we attempt to, so I pray that the LORD ministers His grace to you and draws you close to Him during this time of re-dedication and light.

Hanukkah began at sundown tonight, December 1, and lasts for the next 8 days. The last day is Dec 9th. 

We begin to observe Hanukkah three years ago.  At that time is was more of a Social Study Lesson, about other cultures, their holidays, or (since we were doing in during December) how they celebrated Christmas.

Then last year we did a study on the Biblical Feasts of the LORD and as we finished up the fall feast days, it was only natural to celebrate Hanukkah.  After all, Jesus (Yeshua) celebrated Hanukkah, therefore why shouldn't we?

 Over the next few days, I will be sharing more about Hanukkah.
 The boys really get into the story of Hanukkah! is after midnight...*Yikes*....I just want to tell you a little about our family how weird we are how and why we do somethings.

After I got married, my family thought we should spend the holidays with them.  Fortunately, I had a very understanding mother-in-law and our families only lived a few miles apart.  Many years we were able to visit with both families.  When the kids came along, often we would have everyone at our house.   Trouble would arise when it was "our" turn to go to my aunts.

I made a promise, I would never require my children to be at our house for any holiday.  I am blessed that the three grown kids live reasonably close.  Our oldest daughter and her family live about 60 miles away (but she homeschools, too, so we switch kids back and forth throughout the year).  The other two both live about 9 miles from our place.

I cook on Thanksgiving.  Sometimes it is just us, usually DD#2.  This year everyone came, however, our son and his family ate dinner with his in-laws, then joined us and the grands spent the night.
Christmas is much like Thanksgiving and is pretty casual.  We have a good meal, wonderful fellowship, share gifts with the boys who are still at home and sometimes other members show up later in the day.

January 1st we all get together and enjoy the day!  No one feels the need to hurry to be somewhere else.  We usually do a "theme" meal and everyone contributes - one year we did Italian, we've done Mexican, cooked out when the weather was nice, and even ordered a 4 or 5 foot sub from Subway (which was really a hit with the kids!).

It is my (humble) opinion, we put too much pressure on ourselves and others during this time of year, if we aren't very careful.
And in doing so, we loose sight of what this season of celebration is all about.

One of the things we are doing this year is ~
Through the Any Soldier program.

Another annual event is having all the GrandKids spend the night the last Friday before Christmas Eve.
(This year we will have to switch to Monday because of the Church Christmas program.)

We enjoy hearing their stories and giving the "cousins" all a chance to be together.  Their parents get the opportunity to finish up shopping, put toys together or just rest!  We have pizza, popcorn and movies.  Sometimes we do a craft they can give their parents.  Mainly, we have FUN!
 It is my favorite time of "togetherness"!

Now for some NEWS ~

 I had an email this morning from Linda at Prairie Flower Farm and I won the Winter All Year Round Quilt Kit!

Linda and her precious daughters are also the ones offering the 

If you have never visited Prairie Flower Farm, you are missing out!  Go by and see, you'll love it!

Since I will be linking this to the December 2nd meme, I need to let you know, on Friday, December 3rd

I will be the featured blogger for the GIVEAWAY on Frenchy's blog Le Chateau des fleurs

She is Hosting GIVEAWAYS each day for a week ~ Dec.1 thru Dec. 8th

Be sure and go by!

Now, I am off to bed....

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The End of a Challenge, a New Season, and a Gift for YOU!

~ Day 30 ~

Today marks the last day for The Thirty Days of Gratitude Challenge!

Deciding what the post today, the last day of the Thirty Days of Gratitude Challenge, has been somewhat of a struggle.  At one time I had decided to post how thankful I am for meeting so many new friends!  And I am.  You will never know how inspiring your posts and comments have been.  I appreciate both so much.

  I have learned so much from each of you.

I was dreading the end of the Challenge…but we are destined to enter a new season!

I am grateful, Brenda had the foresight to see this day coming and decided to do another meme!  And just as the Gratitude meme helped to keep me focused on what is truly the Heart of Thanksgiving, I know Holiday Bliss will do much the same for this New Season we are now embracing.

Tomorrow evening at sundown marks the first day of Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights.  Because Hanukkah falls at various times….not always the first of December, this year’s beginning is of special interest.  As we approach the celebration of the birth of our Messiah, what better way to welcome the Light of the World….then with the Festival that speaks of LIGHT?

And just as the Maccabee family rededicated the Temple, now is a wonderful time to rededicate our lives to HIS service.

“What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?”  1 Cornithians 6:19

(There is a little song that is based on this scripture….it will be playing in my head the rest of the day!)

And as we enter this NEW Season, I have a surprise for you….
my sweet friend, Linda @ Prairie Flower Farm, along with her daughters, has compiled a cookbook.  It is full of delicious CHRISTmas Cookies recipes!  You can download it free and share it with your friends and family!

Be sure and stop by Linda's and leave her a comment.  It was so thoughtful of her and her girls to take the time to do this!


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thirty Days of Gratitude ~ Day # 28

Today, I am thankful for the Fruits of the Spirit, especially the ones that work in me....when I ALLOW them the opportunity.  

It ain't easy (being me), as they say!

 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."  

Galatians 5:22-23

Our human nature fights against yielding and bending to the Fruits of the Spirit, but when we do, life is so much easier, so much better.  We are able to move within that rhythm of grace that only comes from God. 

(file photo)

In a way, it reminds me of riding a horse.  When you first get on and the horse starts to take a few steps, it feels awkward.  Then he moves a little faster and it is uncomfortable, a little unsettling.  However, once he hits his stride and you are moving with the horse (rather than fighting the ride), there becomes a fluid movement that you and the horse share.

God's grace is like that, when we join HIS "flow" ~ HIS rhythm ~ and allow HIS 
FRUIT to be made manifest in us.

(file photo)

Blessings (and Happy Trails to You!),

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thirty Days of Gratitude ~ Day # 27

If you haven't gone by Brenda's site, please do so.  Just click on the above picture.  The gratitude posts this month have been amazing.  I am truly blessed each day by the different ladies/families posting.  You will be also.

Today, I am thankful for God's provision for warmth.  I am not a fan of cold weather, so I really appreciate a nice source for heat.

May each of us be kept warm, not only by a cozy fire, but by the love of our Heavenly Father and may we pass that Love on to others.


Friday, November 26, 2010

Thirty Days of Gratitude ~ Day # 26


Today I am thankful for body snatchers 
What?  You don’t know a Rescue Specialist?!  I do.

Her name is  

At least, that is what she goes by online.  In order to protect the innocent (and keep Shoshanna from being swarmed by countless crowds of people), I will keep her true identity to myself.  But she lives in Texas in close proximity to a rather large Army base… 

it’s a big state.

Sho is a MOM and a GRANDMA….I’ve lost count of how many “grands”.  (I have trouble keeping count of my own brood.) 

  She is a STEP-MOM and a FRIEND. She is a student, working on her master’s.   

She is of JEWISH descent and is a CHRISTIAN.  She’s a TWIN (she was born in a swamp, but that is another story!).  She lives in TEXAS, her mother and siblings live in Missouri.  She is former MILITARY….

All these things make up who Shoshannah IS today.  Read a little farther, you’ll understand.

A few years ago, Shoshannah started a  
tradition.  She decided, since she generally cooks for a small army on the holidays, why not add another plate or two?

Indeed, why NOT?  Why not fill these additional place settings with STRANGERS?

“I was a stranger, and ye took me in:”  
(from Matthew 25:35)

Why not share their THANKSGIVING meal with soldiers far from home?   
(Shoshannah knew first hand how that felt.)

So, kids in tow, Sho began her search for the “right” stranger. The one God wanted to use her family to bless.   

You might be asking, where on earth does one go to find the “perfect stranger”?  Sho can tell you…..the grocery store!  To be more specific, the FROZEN FOOD isle….. “you’ll find your ‘stranger’ searching through the frozen turkey dinners, eyes a little glared, expression a little sad ~ as if their mind is a million (or few hundred) miles away.”

As Shoshannah’s children have become adults, the “HONOR” of becoming the RESCUER has been passed down.  Sometimes, they go in twos.  This year, Sho’s youngest (Mack, who is a college freshman), had the DUTY.  Off to the grocery store!

Frozen Food ~ This year’s “stranger” was Robert.  He was far away from family.  For one day, Robert became a member of Sho’s family.  He wasn’t much older than the one who was sent to RESCUE him from the frozen food isle.

 “For I was hungry, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:”

~ Matthew 25:35 ~

Today I am thankful to know there are people like Shoshannah and her family.  People who care enough to open their hearts and their doors to others.  For at least one day a year, they throw “caution” out and ask,

“Why not?”

Whether it is a soldier or just another individual
each day, we are given the opportunity to show

God's LOVE.
I am thankful to know my friend, Shoshannah.

For more posts about GRATITUDE, visit Brenda's blog (just click on the picture below).
You will be blessed!


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thirty Days of Gratitude ~ Day # 25

Alright, already ~

I’ve probably already told you I love autumn and that Thanksgiving is my favorite, favorite holiday about a million times…

And I have told you how thankful I am for the beautiful fall weather we have experienced this year….

You are probably thinking, “I hope she has a point….a new point would HELP!”

In the wake of all this rush and busyness, I want to just stop ….and today (Wednesday) I did! I had dreams of a spotless house, a wonderful meal, and boys who aren’t fussing with each other would also be really high on my dream hit-parade list!

I was busy, working on the house, early dinner preps and the boys were at it….(too much free time, probably). I realized I had to “get out.” And I did.

I removed myself and went to the garden. It’s nearly dead now….a few flowers, one lone okra bloom, some late lettuce, a honeydew melon that didn’t mature ~ now burst with seeds scattered around and a few hundred cherry tomatoes that didn’t get picked before being over taken by frost. I took down the gazebo’s covering, picked up odd and end tools and gathered an array of “stuff” that had been left to litter the ground around the table and chairs. I ended up on my knees picking at the “stuff”….it was easier then bending over. But, I needed the time on my knees….isn’t it amazing, God still meets “us” in the garden. HE knows our every care and HE shares that “care.”

My house will never be perfect, some days it is difficult to find “the path.” But it’s not a house, it is a HOME.

Thanksgiving dinner will not likely look like those on the cover of some food magazine; nor will my table be that of a beautiful “Tablescape” and they are lovely. Rather, I hope to get my table cleaned off. We’ll be using the “Country China”…Chinet. We will feed twenty-four family members (with an extra one or two most likely). The members of our family span Four Generations….the oldest 92, the youngest 3 weeks.

While the food won’t be “pretty” it will be “pleasing”….much of it organic, grown in our garden. Everything will taste good – familiar and comforting. It will remind us of how “mama used to do it” or the time Aunt Billie forgot the cranberry salad. WE will recall old memories and make new ones….with the youngest generation. We will be thankful.

We will be noisy, hopefully no fussing or bickering (the boys are normally on their good behavior when we have company), but with the noise of giggles, laughter, stories and perhaps a few tears.

No matter how cool the temps, the grands will spend time with the animals. The horses will get extra apple wafers (we call them “Trigger Treats”), the goats will get extra pats on their backs and the dogs and cats will be loved to (near) death. (Did I tell you someone gifted us with yet another two pups? They look like a Lab mix. I think they are going to be big. No, we don’t need six dogs…but what is the alternative? )

The new pair of pups, Daphne and Rocky.

The carpet didn’t get shampooed…but that’s okay.  With ten grandkids, something is bound to get spilled….NO worries, the carpet won’t be spotless…maybe next week.

But hey….I have a super clean garden!  And a much better attitude….it is not perfect, but we are working on that, too.

And right now, I’m thinking a bunch of hugs from some of my favorite little people is better than the perfect house!

Today I am THANKFUL for treasured memories, both new and old.

Happy Thanksgiving!