My Friends ~ You Guys are the Best!

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!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I Made a MISTAKE....and a PARTY to tell ya about!

 There is just no other way to say this, other than,

I Goofed!

I was so embarrassed to receive this ~

Danielle said....

Cheryl, I saw your post about the swap. I don't know how to say this other than to just say it, I was your partner and not Julie. I didn't make anything in the swap, but thought the Harvest pillow and pumpkin was perfect for you. I am glad you liked everything. 

So, I went to Danielle's blog

and said...

Danielle, I am soooo very sorry!!! I don't know when I got my wires crossed! Because I knew you had my name, but have no idea when I "switched" to Julie....duh...too many late nights, I guess!!!

I will make amends on by blog right away. Again, I am sooo sorry.

Have a very blessed Thanksgiving! 

Again, Danielle, I am so sorry!  And I loved, loved everything you sent!
Now for the PARTY
My friend, Linda @ Prairie Flower Farm  is offering a free download….AND, she is having a party!  

One very blessed someone will be receiving a 
Winter All Year Long Quilt Kit! 

Now hurry and go sign up!;)

Thanksgiving Blessings!

The Simple Woman's Daybook, 11/24 and Gratitude Challenge Day 24

New followers, WELCOME!  Make yourself at home.  I will be by your blog as quickly as I can and return the follow.  The last two days have been busy, but I have noticed you and can’t wait to get to know you better!

Outside my window...  we have a cool front moving in, so it is noticeably cooler tonight, great sleeping weather!

I am reminding myself ~ it isn’t necessary for me to have an opinion on every little thing.

I am thinking...  ~ I should be up “doing” instead of “sitting.”

I am thankful for...  ~ fresh plowed dirt between my toes ~` making ice cream with the kids during the summer ~ walks in the pasture with my honey ~ the smell of leaves burning ~ the call of a whippoorwill

(Noticing a pattern? ~ I think my mind is racing past winter and jumping head long into spring!)

(Just click to read more gratitude posts.)

I am wearing...  ~ Pajamas

I am remembering...  ~ fun holidays from years past.  The faces around the dinner table have really changed.

I am praying … ~ everyone has a safe Thanksgiving Weekend  

I am going.... ~to be STAYING home on black Friday *it's a tradition!

I am currently reading...  ~ my Bible, but I found an older book, I read several years ago (and have been looking for it forever!) and Friday I am going to start it.  I’ll give you the name next week.

I am hoping...  ~  to see both of the two new grandbabies Thursday

On my mind...  ~  G.R.A.C.E. and a tiny feather.

Noticing that...   ~  The separating of the wheat and the tares has begun.

Pondering these words…  ~ “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”  Php. 4:8

From the kitchen...  ~  I think there is a piece of cold pecan pie left…hmmmm
Around the house...  ~ I am creating gifts (buckets of LOVE)

One of my favorite things… ~  the smell of Oatmeal Cookies baking

From the Learning Room… ~  We are on VACATION for a few days.

A picture to share… ~
Eat more beef!
Have a very blessed Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My Fall Swap and Thirty Days of Gratitude Challenge ~ Day 23

Recently, I took part in a Holiday Swap hosted by the lovely Parsley @ Seasons of My MindMy swap partners were Mollye (I had Mollye's name) @ Miz Mollye
and Julie (Julie had my name) @ Julie's Creations

Before I say anything else, I have to tell Parsley how much I enjoyed this swap and I want to say THANK YOU!!! You were so THOUGHTFUL to host this! Also, I am so sorry I didn't get this post up yesterday (our due to post day). Life often gets in the way of my blogging!

We had the choice of a Fall Holiday box or a Christmas Holiday box.  You know I love FALL!
Okay, are you ready to see what I got?!!! (Oh, and my pictures aren't the greatest. I really need a new camera. But you will still be able to *see* enough to "ooooo and aaaah")

The box Julie sent was AWESOME! Everything was wrapped in fall tissue. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of that, as I was too busy tearing into the goodies!

The above photo shows most of what I received! Missing is a lovely brown coffee mug, which says "Hot Coffee". It is already in use. Also missing is the CANDY...I have no idea where that bag of candy went....she said, slyly. Actually, I had a lot of help!

I love the little handmade pumpkin!  Isn't it adorable?!

And my metal star....LOVE IT!  It will never, ever be packed away!!

This little guy is so sweet!!  I'll have a fight when my little granddaughters discover his "Tweetness".

(sorry about the glare)

But the "glare" is from the lovely fall sticky note pad!

And this is another favorite!!!  I'm sure Julie made this little Harvest pillow.  It is lovely and fits right in our country/primitive lifestyle.

And I received a copy of Martha Stewart Living! 

I'm not done yet!

Did you notice the lovely maroon napkins I used as liners under my gifties?  They also came from Julie!  Beautiful color!

Julie, I love everything.  No one could have done better!

Thank You!

Today, I am thankful for the wonderful, thoughtful, caring people I have met on the Internet!  It is an amazing Community of Friends!

Blessings and hugs to each of you!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thirty Days of Gratitude ~ Day # 21, 22 ~Giveaways and a Freebie!

Be sure and go by Brenda's and checkout all the gratitude posts!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I am thankful for the sense of smell!  Our house is already beginning to smell like the holidays.  Being able to smell familiar foods is such an amazing “comfort.”  Plus, I have cinnamon candles burning everywhere!

When you smell certain foods, do your memories of past holidays come flooding back?

Monday, November 22, 2010

I am thankful for HELP… read that right.  Grown DD # 2 picked up the “boys” yesterday afternoon and they all spent the night at her house.  I love all my kids/grands, but nearly 20 hours of “peace & quiet” is heaven sometimes! 

P.S.  I made her a chocolate pie to repay her thoughtfulness!  She had said, she wanted a whole chocolate pie just for “her” for Thanksgiving.  Well, on Thanksgiving we will have Apple, Lemon, Pecan and Pumpkin, along with a Four Layer Chocolate Pie….so, she got her plain old chocolate pie today! ;)

Also, very thankful honey hunk was not “badly” injured yesterday.  One of the horses managed to kick him.  It was just a glancing blow on his right hip.  Thankful he didn’t catch it in his rib cage!

Notes of Interest:

Christian has free shipping for the next week or so…actually I think it goes until about December 6 – be sure and check.  You have to spend $35 to get the free shipping.  If you need the code for the free shipping, just let me know.

CB is also offering Pilgrims Progress (the e book version) for FREE!

Eagle Wings is hosting a giveaway, in celebration of reaching follower #100!  Be sure and go by and enter!  Aren’t those little red chicks cute as can be?!

Johanna Parker is giving away an original Snow Man Candy Holder!  Be sure and go by….you’ll love him!

 Briana is giving away FIVE sets of the DVD Making Herbs Simple Vol. 1 and 2.

I still need to post my swap pictures....I'm working on getting that done!!!


Meet Me On Monday and other news!

New Followers....Hi, make yourself at home!  It is so good to *see* you!

I am running behind….you know the feeling?  Getting ready for Thanksgiving, we had company over the weekend, trying to “clean” (okay, that is nearly an impossibility) and attempting a little online shopping when the boys aren’t LOOKING over my shoulder!!!  And we have a minor stomach virus going on. :(  Plus, my reader's list says I'm not following any blogs! arrrggghh!  (It is MONDAY after all.)

Anyway, to get caught up, I will probably be posting a little through out the day….just check back.  I promised to blog about a few giveaways, I have one new freebie, and today is the day I am suppose to post pictures of our Holiday Swap hosted by Parsley. Go by and see all the cool swaps!  These are some seriously talented ladies (not including myself).

Meet Me on Monday

(Be sure and go by Java’s and link up with your own answers!)

Today’s Questions:

1.  How many pillows do you sleep with?

One king size, but I am considering purchasing one of those new pillows that is suppose to stay cool all night.

2.  Where will you eat on Thanksgiving?

Everyone is coming to our house, for a total of (TADA!) 22.  I am really praying for nice weather, so all those who are not essential to putting the meal on the table can entertain themselves OUTSIDE!

 3.  Had you rather go to a party or host a party?

I'd rather sleep!  Sorry, I am so not a party animal!

4.  How many purses do you own?

Three or four, but I usually carry the same one until I wear it out!  I am a creature of habit....(or does that translate as boring? LOL)

 5.  What is your favorite seafood?

Shrimp, preferably fried!  However....since the big oil "spill" seafood has not been at the top of my "want list."  But if anyone is going to Red Lobster, I'll go for the garlic cheese biscuits.  Just saying!


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thirty Days of Gratitude ~ Day # 20 and a FREEBIE!

Today’s gratitude is going to be short and sweet!

I am thankful our Heavenly Father gave the wisdom to Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg, it took to invent the printing press! Not only did this make the Bible widely available, but think of all the marvelous works of literature we have because of Gutenberg.

I love to read, so naturally I think the printing press is one of the greatest inventions of all times….(even better than PB & J sandwiches!).

Be sure and visit Brenda (just click on the button at the top!) for more gratitude posts!

And speaking of food ~ the lovely ladies over at The Gooseberry Patch are offering another FREE cookbook! This time it is full of mouth watering meatloaf recipes!

25 Meatloaf Recipes by Gooseberry Patch                                                                                                                                   

Praying you have a blessed weekend, my friends!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thirty Days of Gratitude ~ Day # 19

And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee.
 Psalm 39:7

(I am here, Father....)

      Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock,
and it shall be opened unto you:

Mt 7:7

Seems like I am always asking ~ sometimes seeking ~ a little slow at getting around to requires more of me. 
(Did I actually admit that, out loud?)

Today, November 19th, one of the things I am most grateful for is God's Word and HOPE.

 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The same was in the beginning with God. 
All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 
In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

~ John 1:1-5

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.


Yesterday, was a particularly upsetting, unsettling day.
We all have them.  It was my turn.

I woke up, to learn one of my oldest online friends passed away.  While it was expected, I was having trouble accepting.  My lifelong friend (our mothers had been best friends growing up/our sisters are best friends) died of the same cancer seven years ago.  While I don't fear cancer, I dislike even the word itself.

Then a call from my daughter-in-law..... their doctor had ordered some tests on our  8 year old grandson, Brennon,....for cancer.  I didn't think I would be able to breathe.

And then I learned things like our U.S. Senate is still pushing Senate Bill 510.  For you who may not know, this would make it illegal to grow your own garden, raise your own meat, save seeds, have dairy cows or goats ~ all in the name of Homeland security.  Evidently, we are as POGO says, "our own worse enemy."  Actually, he said, "We have met the enemy and he is US."   
Pogo was ahead of his time.

Anyway, I felt so overwhelmed.

Your comments helped so much! 
(Thank you!)
God's Word helped even more.

By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.~ Romans 5:2

(This is my scripture, for today (at least).  I am claiming it.)

Daughter-in-law called late last night.  Brennon's test were negative.  Remembering to breathe.  Remembering to thank God....
over, and over.

 This Thanksgiving will have an even deeper meaning, than it would have a few days ago!  I shall rejoice and be thankful in all things!

"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." 

"So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me."

~ Hebrews 4:16 and Hebrews 13:6

"And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity."  

~ 1Co 13:13 

Please, click on the button and read some of the other gratitude posts.  Let your mind be renewed and your heart refreshed.
(I feel like this is written in "bits & pieces".  Pieces of my life the last 24 hours.  If it is incoherent, so am I.  But I am confident in Hope and in HIS Word.  I am blessed!)

May you each have a very blessed weekend!

Also linked to "Thanksblogging" today. ~ Cheryl

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Animal Antics & A Note

Dawn @ Guiding Light Homeschool suggested I add the hounds (dogs) jumping over the fence from yesterday's post to her Animal Antics meme.  I didn't want to list just the hounds, after just blogging it, I am offering up this little "ditty."

Please visit Dawn and link up to Animal Antics!

I am trying to put some "things" aside, so I can do a Thirty Days of Gratitude isn't a good day, but that will change.  I am a child of the KING of kings, the LORD of lords, God will grant me peace in all situations.

I am concerned for a friend that is going through all kinds of difficulties with two of her grown children.  She is also raising a granddaughter and there are some medical issues they are trying to get to the bottom of.  If you would, please lift "Bren" in prayer today.

Also, the Senate voted for "Cloture" on Senate Bill 510 late last night.  I feel this is a terrible bill and we need to let our senators know.  The vote last night was not good.  Please pray that nothing outside of God's will would be accomplished in our legislative branch and that the blinded eyes of our congress would be opened.

In the meantime, go by and read the latest posts in the Thirty Day Gratitude Challenge!  They will make your heart soar!  Just click on the button.

(I'm back.  This is the edited addition.)

Today, (Day # 18), I am thankful for the friends I have made through blogging!  We are from different spots around the globe, we have a variety of interests, some have big families, and some are empty-nesters.
There are those of us who live in the country and there are those who live in big cities, some are SAHMs and some are out there pursuing careers,
we are FRIENDS

A confession for today ~ 

Our GOD is an Awesome GOD!