Friday, August 31, 2007

Potpourri Friday

Do we really have a three day weekend ahead? I have been looking forward to this for a LONG time! I plan to spend a great deal of it in my sewing room, finishing old projects and starting some new ones. And I love Monday mornings when I don't have to go to work. I don't ever sleep in because I don't want to lose one precious minute of a day off.

It will be quite a different weekend than last weekend - what a fun whirlwind it was. We had out of town guests whom we hadn't seen in a long time. It was so fun to visit with them. They were here bringing their daughter to college so they were busy too. We kind of passed coming and going, but we did get some good visits in. We also attended a 50th wedding anniversary party. I don't think we see too many of those these days. It was a special dinner in a nice restaurant and it was such a lovely evening. Many good memories were shared and it was so nice to be a part of it.
On Saturday I accompanied my husband to a horse training demonstration. I didn't really mean to. But he loves this particular horse trainer, Clinton Anderson-The Horseman Downunder, and watches him on tv. All. The. Time. One evening I noticed a phone number you could call to subscribe to his newsletter. So, being the supportive wife that I am ;), I thought I would do that for him. Well next thing I know we receive two free tickets in the mail to his demonstration coming to our area. husband was thrilled and assumed the other ticket was for me. After all, I was the one who got them. I guess. So off I went to spend 8 hours in a very hot barn to learn how to train a horse. It actually was quite entertaining. Training horses reminds me a lot of training children. Lots of positive reinforcement but also meaning business when rules are not obeyed. Except horses are a lot bigger. It was 104 degrees outside and this barn/arena was not air conditioned. I was positively melting. But my husband was in horse heaven. And I actually learned a thing or two myself. So all in all, it was a good day! Then on Sunday we got up early and drove to the mountains. It was very chilly in the mountains and this time I froze all day. We attended church with my in-laws, and then went to my brother-in-law's 50th birthday party. On the way home (our three daughters and two sons-in-law went with us) we stopped in a little town for pizza and this place had two pool tables. And we were the only patrons in there. So we had our very own little pool tournament. We had a blast but got home really late! I was totally and completely exhausted come Monday morning. Not such a good way to start a week.

This week I finished an old project that I started years ago. I was cleaning out my fabric and organizing it into piles when I found an old wall-hanging top I had started probably 10 years ago. I had actually made two and I sold the one I finished in a Holiday Bazaar. I never finished the one I intended to keep for myself. Well, I got inspired when I realized there really wasn't that much more to do on it. So last night I put it all together, and as we were watching the first BSU football game of the season (I am so not a sports fan, but BSU has captured my interest) I did the final hand-quilting and attached all the cute little buttons.
Don't look too closely, there are a lot of mistakes in it - it's one of the first quilting projects I ever did. But what a good feeling to finish an unfinished project! This weekend I am going to start a new Christmas project. Many years ago I cross-stitched Christmas stockings for each member of our family. They were truly a labor of love. Maybe when I do my Christmas decorating I will post a picture of them. I always intended to give them to the kids when they left home. But after they started getting married they told me to keep them - they couldn't bear to break up the set of 6. I didn't mind that a bit! Last year was Jayson and Andrea's first Christmas so I made them some quilted stockings for them to hang in their home. This year I am going to do the same for Michelle and Brad as this will be their first Christmas. Here is a picture of what they look like: They really are fun and easy.

This week I received a very thoughtful award from Mayhem & Miracles.

This award is given to those who "are an encouragement, a source of love, someone who has impacted you in some way, and has been a Godly example to you. Five Bloggers who when you reflect on them you get a sense of pride and joy... of knowing them and being blessed by them." Thank you so much Mayhem & Miracles! You are always so affirming and sweet. I really like your blog and I can totally understand how you got this award. Now it's my job to pass it on to 5 others. I usually don't pass these on because it is SO hard to choose only 5. I think all of you are worthy of a Blogger Reflection Award or I wouldn't be spending so much time with you! But this time I will try to follow the rules. And if you already have this award just consider yourself doubly blessed.
1. Gail at More Than A Song Gail is absolutely hilarious and in her humor she always, always, always drives home a point to ponder. She has a very quick mind and remembers lyrics to every song ever published!
2. Angie of The Knightly News.
God has recently used Angie to minister to my heart during a difficult situation. She is so kind and sweet and has words of wisdom that she shares willingly. She, of course, gives all the glory to God.
3.Mindy of Mindy's Life. Mindy is new to blogging and this would be her first award. Way to go Mindy! Mindy is a busy mother of 4 and she babysits too. Mindy is definitely one of my "pride and joy's" because I practically raised her - she is my baby sister!
4. Julie at Living By Grace. She is an encourager to women and always gives me something to think hard about. She loves the women God brings into her life and takes her responsibility towards them very seriously.
5. And Antique Mommy is such an excellent writer and her thoughts always stick in my mind for days. She really is awesome.
So girls, you know the routine, but in case you don't here are the rules:
1. Copy this post.
2. Reflect on five bloggers and write a least a paragraph about each one.
(I know. I know. I REALLY DO think these women have specific qualities that make them GREAT, but I have a baby crying every ten minutes in the background. I have to hurry. Plus this way, you can go see for yourself why I picked these sweet ladies!)
3. Make sure you link this post so others can read it and the rules.
4. Go leave your chosen bloggers a comment and let them know they've been given the award.
5. Put the award icon on your site.

Hey everyone - have a wonderful Labor Day Weekend. I won't be back blogging until Tuesday because you know, I'm going to be in my sewing room!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Thankful Thursday

Iris at Sting My Heart does us a great service every week. Every Thursday she hosts "Thankful Thursday" and gives us all an opportunity to highlight the areas of our lives we want to give thanks to God for. This week she has emphasized the topic of "mercy" and I couldn't be more thankful. For you see, God has been working with me and on me and through me to learn a very valuable spiritual lesson in my life. The funny thing was, I thought the lesson was for someone else. Surprise! I discovered instead that I was the student. Sometimes I wonder why God continues trying to work with such a hard-headed, strong-willed, opinionated and stubborn creature such as me. And then I remember that in His word He promised to "bring to completion the good work He began in me".

Here are some of the details. I was praying for someone. And I came up with a really great plan that I told God He should do. I just knew it would accomplish His purpose and it would be a wonderful Hallmark ending to a messy problem. I just KNEW He was going to take my suggestion and maybe even thank me for it. And I instructed several other people to pray for the same thing. Oh, the arrogance of it all! And when it didn't happen the way I had orchastrated I was hurt and disappointed and angry. I asked my husband to pray for me and the bad attitude I was developing. (Another thing to be thankful for - a praying husband!)

Thank God for His mercy! I could still feel His love for me even in the midst of stubborness and rebellion. He just patiently waited for me to understand. And he sent friends to help me along the way. Thank you Angie, you will never know how your encouragement spoke to my weary heart!

So today I have learned a great spiritual truth - God is God and His ways are not my ways - and more importantly MY ways are not HIS ways. I can't say I didn't already know this - but I sure wasn't acting like I knew it. I am so thankful today for God's great mercy towards me. I am still praying for the person and the situation. But my prayer has changed - I am no longer telling God how to handle it - I am simply trusting that He will.

Friday, August 24, 2007

A Book Meme


I found this fun meme on somebodies blog the other day. Doesn't that sound terrible? I feel SO BAD because I cannot remember where! I always want to give credit where credit is due. But I simply cannot remember. It must have something to do with the fact that I am old. Or that I am tired. Or maybe both. Anyway, if you recognize this meme, please, please, please let me know and I will give you recognition. And a million apologies.

What are you reading right now?
The Kite Runner - hasn't been quite what I thought it was going to be, but it is holding my attention. I hardly ever read non-Christian books (I don't like the hopless feeling I always have after reading them) but I had heard so much about this one and I am really interested in reading about other cultures. It has excellent writing, and a good storyline. It does have a very harsh event in it - not for the squeamish. Maybe I'll give a review when I finish it.

Do you have any idea what you’ll read when you’re done with that?
Well, I literally have a 3 foot stack of books beside my bed - hopefully one of those. But you never know, I might find something else I have to read first! I have a real bad habit of picking up books whenever I go to Walmart, or the mall, or the grocery store for Pete's sakes!

What magazines do you have in your bathroom right now?
Yorkshire Terrier, Holiness Today, and Western Horseman. Now that's an interesting assortment, dont'cha think!

What’s the worst thing you were ever forced to read?
I wasn't forced, but I did try to read a Louie Lamour book because my husband loves them. I really didn't like it and I never did finish it.

What’s the one book you always recommend to just about everyone?
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers - absolutely the best book ever written!

Is there a book you absolutely love, but for some reason, people never think it sounds interesting, or maybe they read it and don’t like it at all?
I am always trying to get my husband to read my books. I just know he will like them - but he is not much for fiction and plus if I tell him about the book then he really has no desire to read it because he thinks he already knows all about it.

Do you read books while you eat? While you bathe? While you watch movies or TV? While you listen to music? While you’re on the computer? While you’re driving?
I do like to read while I eat, during a bath (except I love hot water and I usually overheat), while my husband watches tv, not during music or the computer and gasp, I have been guilty of reading while driving -but that hasn't happened hardly ever. Once I memorized 2 Timothy chapter one while driving home from work.

When you were little, did other children tease you about your reading habits?
I was teased ALL. THE. TIME. I LOVED to read and my brother and cousins could not understand it. They tormented me. I didn't care. I'll bet it's why I'm smarter than them today LOL!!

What’s the last thing you stayed up half the night reading because it was so good you couldn't’t put it down?
I'm not very good at staying up past my bedtime, even to read. But I did stay up to read Rejoice by Karen Kingsbury. It has a very sad part in the book and I knew it was coming. I knew I was going to need some private time to cry - so my family wouldn't make fun of me!

If this sounds like fun to you, please do it on your blog and let me know so I can check it out!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Potpourri Friday

I have been in a strong "sewing mode" recently and haven't been reading as much as I was earlier in the summer. But I found two new books yesterday that I bought and added to my 3 foot tall stack beside my bed :grin:! One was Summer by Karen Kingsbury. This one is the latest in a long series. When I get hooked on a series I can't rest until all the books are read. I think the only series I have never finished was the Left Behind series because I started struggling with how drawn out the storyline became. The second book I bought was one I have read about on a lot of blogs - The Kite Runner. I don't usually read much non-Christian literature because it always leaves me with such a hopeless feeling. But I have heard so much about this book that I am going to give it a try. It has something to do with Afghanistan and I love learning about countries and cultures in modern day settings. I think the more we know about each other the better we will get along.

This has been quite a fun week at our house. This year 3 of our good friends from college all have brought daughters to attend the university I work at. And my daughter is a senior here this year. So it's kind of like reunion week for us. We are trying to ignore the fact that this appears to make us older. I don't think so. It seems we look just the same as we did 25 years ago. That's what we all think anyway. And nobody has told us different. And we dare anybody to try it.

It hasn't all been fun this week. I got a speeding ticket on Wednesday. I was on my way to work and running a little bit late. I got clocked doing 59 mph in a 45 zone. I didn't realize it was a 45 zone. I thought it was a 50mph zone - which meant I still knew I was speeding. But I was running late, and there was no other traffic, and it is a country road. But the officer assured me that it was my lucky day because had I been going 1 mph faster my ticket would have doubled. Yep, I felt lucky alright!

I have added some new projects to my Christmas sewing. You blogging friends keep inspiring me by all the lovely projects you are doing. I will take some pictures and post more about it next week. I have the patterns, the fabric, and the desire. Now all I need is the time!

Our Wednesday night ladies group has one more week of our book club that we have enjoyed immensely this year. We did The Beach House and Castles in the Sand, both written by Sally John. They are excellent books and sparked some really great discussion in our group. We are then going to move into Beth Moore's newest study - Daniel - Life of Integrity, Words of Prophesy. We are all looking forward to this study although I think it is going to be a little harder than the others we have done. I did hear some exciting news this week - Beth Moore is coming to Boise in May. I already bought my ticket as I think they are going to sell out very quickly.

As I promised yesterday, I am going to post a great recipe for salsa/guacamole that I have been making for a few weeks now. It is really easy and really tasty. Here are the ingredients for

Yellow onions, jalapenos, tomatoes, limes, and cilantro.

First I dice up my tomatoes. I prefer to use Roma tomatoes because they are not quite as juicy, but today I had fresh garden tomatoes to use and they tasted really good. I usually use about 6 roma tomatoes but this can be adjusted for however much salsa you want to make. This isn't a scientific recipe by any means - just add and delete to your preference!

Then I chop up cilantro really small. I used to try to peel the leaf from the stem before I cut it up. Then a Hispanic friend told me how she just cuts up the stem too - in really tiny pieces and it works great and adds even more flavor. It was alot easier to do that then to de-stem it.

Then I dice up about a half an onion in really small pieces. I'm not a big onion lover - it's the texture I don't care for. So if they are really small pieces, I don't notice them as much. Toss these into the bowl with the tomatoes and get ready to add

Jalapenos baby! Usually I add about 5 or 6, but these babies were so hot I only used two! I always cut out the seeds because that is where most of the heat comes from. But again, adjust the amount to your family's tastes. I have found that the store bought ones don't seem to be as hot as the garden grown variety. Mix it all up in a bowl and then do this:
Squeeze the juice of two limes all over your ingredients. This is a really important step. It not only tastes good but it does something special I will tell you about later. A secret cooking tip that will impress your guests! Promise.

Stir it all up in a bowl and enjoy all the festive colors! You can just leave it like this and serve it as salsa if that is what you want. But I love to go one step further and turn it into guacamole. For this you need to add avocados. Peel them and mash them with a fork.

It looks kind of gross but just slide it into the salsa and voila! Guacamole that will knock your socks off!

Remember the secret tip I was going to tell you about? Here it is. The acidic nature of the lime juice will keep the avocado from turning brown. Your guacamole will look pretty much longer than any other guacamole recipe. It really works. And if you have added a little too much jalapeno and the salsa is a little hotter than you prefer, the guacamole seems to "turn down the heat".

The thing about salsa is that you don't want to make it too far ahead of time. After you make it and store it in the fridge it tends to juice up and become way to runny. It's best to make and serve.

Well, we have another busy weekend ahead of us. Anniversary parties, company at the house, a horse riding conference (I'll tell you more about that later), church, a family birthday party, and getting my daughter packed and off to camp. That's about it. I can do it. Sure I can.

Thankful Thursday

Here we are - another Thankful Thursday! This has quickly become a favorite day of the week - it is so fun to look for thankfulness. Sometimes it is very obvious what to be thankful for and sometimes you have to dig a little. It's in the digging that true gratitude forms. It is a very spiritual healthy exercise.

This week I am thankful for the bounty of harvest. I used to try to grow a vegetable garden. Even though I started out in the spring with the best of intentions, by the end of the summer my poor garden never seemed very healthy. In fact it often seemed downright neglected. My life always got so busy and the garden was last on my list. But one of the privileges of ministry is that our good people share their bountiful harvest with us every year. In fact they share so much that I soon discovered it wasn't necessary for me to grow a garden. Every year we get to share the the harvest of others! What a blessing it has been to our family. I thought it would be fun to share some pictures of all the beautiful produce we have received lately.

A wonderful Hispanic family in our church shared their jalapeno peppers with us. They were amazingly hot! They were so beautiful and shiny - they really looked artificial.

We have had lots of zucchini too. So far we have enjoyed stuffed zucchini and zucchini bread.

Check out the size of this cantaloupe! It was humongous!

I think this is my very favorite gift from the garden. I love fresh corn! Usually we freeze some every year but this year we just couldn't fit it into our schedule. We still have some left in the freezer however from last year.

And does it get any better than new red potatoes, boiled and mashed with a little real butter? I don't think so!

Check in tomorrow. I am going to post a recipe for homemade salsa/guacamole that I used my jalapenos for. It is very simple and very delicious!

If you would like to be a part of this wonderful Thankful Thursday click here!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Potpourri Friday

I am going to try a new thing on my blog. It seems like throughout the week I collect things to blog about but I never am able to find the time to devote to each little topic. So now on Friday's I am going to do a post and mention everything that I collect during the week. Warning - this week may be kind of long (smile).

This past week we celebrated my mom's 70th birthday. She sure doesn't seem 70 to me. She can still work circles around me. She loves projects of any kind and all of us girls appreciate all the help she gives us from babysitting, dog-sitting, painting rooms, refinishing wood floors - you name it and she loves to help! She is in the center of the picture on the left. She looks so young - you probably can't pick her out!

Our family took her to the Olive Garden to celebrate. There were 23 of us! We put 8 of the kids at a table across the room by themselves - it was the best the staff could do to accomodate us. We were a bit nervous about it - these kids can be rambunctios - but they were perfect little angels. I guess they felt all important being off by themselves in a big restaurant. They did get a lot of funny looks from customers who walked by wondering how they got there and why they were alone.

I have been reading on a lot of blogs about how everyone is getting in the Christmas spirit and starting all their projects for the holidays - and you inspired me! So I spent some time in my sewing room this week organizing my plans. I can't share everything with you because each year I handmake an ornament for my daughters and our church board members. So many of them read my blog that if I posted about it there wouldn't be a surprise - so those things will have to remain a secret. However I did find this project I started years ago and I have determined to finish it:

I also found this adorable pattern for Quiet Books that I am going to make for two special little 3 year olds in my life. My mom used to make these when my sisters were babies and I loved them then. This pattern looks a little simpler and I can't wait to start.

I have also found a great idea for a gift to make for each of my daughters. Sorry girls, I know you are reading this - it's Top Secret! But you're going to like it. And it is very practical. And very pretty. And I can't wait to see how much you are going to like them - and that's all I have to say about that!

Then awhile back I got tagged by Becky at The Butler's Wife to spell out your fellow blogger friends names in a unique manner. The idea is you spell the name of the person that tagged you and then several other blogging friends. Becky used buttons - because she is retired and she sews a lot. Lucky her. I wish I was retired. But I digress - anyhow, I decided that since I breed Yorkshire Terriers and I always have a lot of dog food on hand - I would spell our names in dog food! However, I had to wait until I was at home alone because I'm pretty sure I couldn't spin the sight of me spelling names with dogfood to my family in any other way other than - "Yep, I've finally lost it." So here goes:

Becky is first - she is just the sweetest person. She calls me a kindred spirit and I like that. It makes me feel like Diana to Anne Shirley. Becky is a fellow pastor's wife, she is a retired teacher, a mom to three boys and she has her own Butler! I love Becky's practicality and her personality. I'm pretty sure if we ever get to meet in person we will be instant sister chicks!

Here are a few more bloggy friends whom I enjoy each and every day:

Corrie at One Gal's Life in the Raw is a young mom whom I really admire. I love her outlook on life and she is just the kind of mom I hope my girls are someday.

Angie at The Knightly News is a new friend. I really like the feel of her blog. I have just started reading her and I am looking forward to getting to know her better. Here you go Angie:

And then finally, I want to introduce you all to a new blogger whom I think is just awesome. She is a stay at home mom to four kids and she babysits so she can continue to stay at home. You never know how many little ones are going to be at her house. She is a great mom, her house is always clean, her laundry is most always done and she is just a great person. Oh, and did I mention that she is my sister! Everyone welcome Mindy from Mindy's Life! Here Mindy- here is your name all done up fancy like in dog food!

You might wonder where my dogs were while I was being so cleverly creative with their lunch. Well, for sure they couldn't be anywhere around or they would have gobbled your names up before I could get a picture. So here is where they were:

And finally I wanted to say a big thank-you to Laura from Laura William's Musings for bestowing this lovely award on me.

“This award is for those bloggers who are nice people; good blog friends and those who inspire good feelings and inspiration. Also for those who are a positive influence on our blogging world. Once you’ve been awarded please pass it on to 7 others who you feel are deserving of this award.”

I can't think of any award I would be more proud to have. Being nice isn't always the most natural or the easiest thing to be. I have to work at it. I suspect we all do sometimes. I can't possible limit this award to only7 others. Sorry, can't do it. I haven't run across anyone not nice in this little blog land we have. I think you are all nice!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. I'm spending some time with my husband and am going to try to lay a bit low. It's been such a busy summer and I just long to stay home and get rejuvinated!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Broken People

The music played softly in the background; it's inviting tones welcoming people as they entered the sanctuary. People were hugging, exchanging greetings and smiles, finding seats and settling in for the morning service. Anticipation of the worship ahead hung in the air like a sweet summer dew. It was a good place to be. As I glanced around I noticed how some people struggled as they entered. I noticed the 18 year old boy who walked down the aisle supported on either side by his dad and his sister. He had been born with a twin brother 3 months prematurely. This boy survived with many health deficiencies and will never be able to talk or walk or eat on his own. He loves church. He especially loves the music. He worships by flailing his arms and beating on his chest with each deep note. I noticed the elderly lady in a wheelchair. How much easier it would have been for her to just stay home and not struggle with getting in and out of her car and having to navigate her wheelchair through the doors. I noticed another younger woman being pushed in her wheelchair by her young daughter. A woman who had been paralyzed from an accident many years before. I thought about how what she goes through to get ready to come to church each Sunday is much more involved that what I have to do. Yet she is always there. I noticed a man in the front row with his leg in a brace and bandaged from top to bottom. He was sitting sideways in the pew so he could rest his injured leg. He was just released from the hospital a couple of days ago, recovering from a motorcycle accident that has broken his body in ways that will take months to heal. Here he was in church at the first opportunity he had to get there.

So many broken people.

It occurred to me that these people all had outward signs of brokenness and I wondered how many other broken people were sitting in that room that morning who were inwardly broken. People with broken hearts, and broken lives, and broken feelings and thoughts and circumstances. Because we live in a broken world we all have brokenness in our lives.

So many broken people.

And we were all in that place that morning to worship the Creator who heals, restores, and binds up the broken. We were not forgotten that morning. We sang with all the breath in our lungs. We met at an altar of prayer and met with our Lord and He ministered to our brokenness; seen and unseen. We heard anointed words from our pastor as he shared God's incredible message of hope with us. Words written in scripture hundreds of years ago came alive as it inspired us with promise and purpose. Encouragement was given each other as we loved on each other and supported each other just as Christ asked us to do.

As we left the doors of the church that morning, we entered back into our broken world with our broken situations still in front of us. But is was different now. We were stronger, surer, and more purpose driven. For we had met with the One who promised:
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds - Psalm 147:3

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Winner of My 100th Post Celebration is . . . .

already selected. But first I want to tell you what a headache it was to pick a winner! If you remember, my sweet dog Josey was supposed to pick the winner out of her dog dish. So I carefully cut all the entries and folded them so they would all be the same size and placed them in her dish. Then I gave Josey a bath and combed her hair and put her prettiest bow in so she would look good in the picture I was going to take to post on today's announcement. Then I looked for my camera. And I looked some more. I couldn't find it. Apparently I loaned it to my sister this week and it is at her house. Oh well, we can still do this without pictures. So I proceeded to bring Josey to her dog dish to pick out the winner. Josey would not go near her dish. In fact she ran under my bed and hid. She will not come out. I am not getting this. She loves to be in the limelight and she LOVES paper. I thought this would be an easy task. So I coaxed her and bribed her with her favorite dried chicken treat. She came out long enough to grab her treat and then retreated under the bed again. would have thought I was asking her to kiss the cat or something! So anyway, I finally resorted to drawing the winning name out of the dog dish. Now I'm glad there was no camera! Anyway, I am happy to announce the winner of my 100th post celebration. She chose Today's Christian Woman magazine. And the winner is . . . . . . . drumroll please. . . . . . .

Karen from Over the Backyard Fence

Congratulations Karen!! This was a fun thing to do and thanks to all who entered their names and posted on their blogs about it. I'll have to think of something special for my 200th post and I'm thinking it won't be involving a certain little dog named Josey!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Thankful Thursday

It's here again - another Thursday to stop, slow down, and think about the things that bless us each day. Often times I try to find the "big" things, somehow thinking that they are more worthy of my gratitude. However, in my heart I know that it is the "little" things that weave in and out of my life everyday that add up and bless me with every breath I breathe. Today I am thankful for the little things. Like:

How Jess has helped me so much this week with our drink booth at the fair. She has been my right hand and I could not have succeeded without her. She is dependable, responsible, and capable. Rare qualities for a 17 year old girl I think.

Jess and I went school clothes shopping and we had a great time. I had a little extra money and it was so fun to indulge her a little bit. She picked out the things she liked and tried it all on. Then she suggested that we make a pile of what she really loved and what she could do without. How fun it was to tell her that I would buy it all for her! She was so grateful. Just today it occurred to me that this is the very last year that I will ever take my child school clothes shopping. This is her senior year and there are no more after her. It made me cry. Now I am extra thankful that we had such a good time and made a happy memory together. And I am drying my eyes as I realize that this whole year will be a year of "the last time I..." Where do the years go? I know everyone says that but wow - when it hits you - it hits really hard. I better start buying a few extra boxes of kleenex I'm thinking!

I'm thankful too for the wonderful people in my church. They are parishoners, they are friends, and they are sisters and brothers in Christ. What a beautiful, extended family I have!

I'm thankful for my little blog world. I have made such sweet friends. You inspire me, encourage me, and make me want to be a better person.

If you would like to be a part of Thankful Thursdays, we would love to have you join us. Just go here.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Stop the World - and Let Me Off!

Silly me. I don't know why I always thought that once my kids were grown and gone that my husband and I would slow down, spend more quiet time together, and just kick back and enjoy life. I must have been nuts. Our days just run into each other and I can hardly tell where one ends and the other begins. This week is our county fair and for the 4th year in a row our church's Women's Ministries is sponsoring The Bamboo Hut. We serve iced fruit drinks and make our annual budget doing it. I am the Women's Ministries Director so that means I spent a majority of the weekend shopping for all our supplies and organizing our workers for the booth. Monday was set-up day. Suffice it to say - it was a day that tested my Christianity! Our Fair Board are not the most organized people in the world and due to confusion, misunderstanding, and just plain unfair decisions after moving into, setting up, and cleaning the booth we had last year we were told that we had to move down the line into a much smaller booth with no shelf space. I was not a happy camper. That meant we had to clean the smaller booth, move everything including a freezer and a refrigerator and all our supplies, and try to figure out how to make it work. I did pretty good not speaking my mind to the director although I was tempted to say a few things I would have regretted later. See, even pastor's wives get pushed to the limit! But I did voice my unhappiness and told her that I felt we had not been treated fairly. She didn't seem too fazed. Anyway, we are up and running now in our much smaller space. So this week I work everyday and then will spend every evening down at the fair selling iced fruit drinks. The money we earn goes to good use. It pays for our speaker at our annual Women's Retreat and it also purchases our Beth Moore Bible studies we use every year. We also use it to help pay the expenses of women who can't afford to go to retreat or purchase their Bible Study workbooks. So all the stress really is worth it. And there's not many things you can say that about.

On Sunday afternoon we had a great baptismal service. In the summer we hold our baptisms at a ranch in the most beautiful mountain setting you can imagine. The people who own the ranch have a swimming pool and it becomes the baptismal fount for the afternoon. It was a great time together. Following the service we had a great potluck meal. I made bar-be-qued pulled pork for a main dish and a peach crisp with maple cream sauce for dessert. It was fabulous. I got the peach crisp recipe from Pioneer Woman Cooks. This lady has some incredible recipes and I have enjoyed every one I have made.

On Sunday evening, my husband and my sister and her husband had the opportunity to attend a Martina McBride concert. Wow! That such a powerful voice can come out of such a tiny body is truly amazing. Her voice is so clear and pure - I enjoyed every minute of it. She is a very wholesome entertainer. She was dressed beautifully, she has clean music and is overall a very classy lady. I could have listened to her all night long. Well not really all night - but you know what I mean!

I have been reading blogs where I see some of you have actually started making Christmas stuff. Can I just tell you how envious I am? My dream would be to stay home every day and spend time either reading or sewing. I don't know if my life will ever get to that place. But if it does - I'm there with you!

Oh yes, don't forget - my magazine subscription drawing is this Friday. Enter now! You can enter right here!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Celebrate my 100 posts with me by clicking here. This is also where you can enter a drawing for a year-long magazine subscription. Hurry - the drawing is on August 10th!

I Can See Clearly Now!

I woke up this morning and took my time looking around my bedroom. I looked hard at all the things my vision challenged eyes could not see. I wanted to remember what it is like to not see clearly. As I reached over to my nightstand and grasped all around for my glasses I rejoiced knowing this would be the last morning I would need to rely on glasses to make it to the bathroom safely. As I fixed my hair, I glanced at my contact case on the sink and smiled as I realized I would never again open those two little vials to put the little lenses in my eyes that would help me make it through my day. Because today I went to a clinic and underwent Lasik eye surgery. It was a very strange experience. I was given two little valium tablets to take the edge off the nervousness I felt. Because even though I was very excited to have this procedure done, letting people invade my eyes made me more than a little apprehensive. As poor as my eyes were, they were my eyes afterall, and the thought of something possibly going wrong and losing my eyesight worried me more than a little.

I met my surgeon and I immediately liked him. I soon discovered that he was a Christian, a PK (pastors kid) in fact, and was even from my own denomination. That immediately put me at ease. He led me into a room and I laid in a recliner type chair. I was given a stuffed animal to hold and the assistant told me that this would help me not to try to help the doctor! It was actually nice because I wrung the stuffing out of that thing! Immediately his assistant painted some adhesive around my eyes and placed some tape that held my lashes both above and below my eye. Numbing drops were administered into my eyes and then an instrument that held my eye open and prevented me from blinking or moving my eye. There was pressure but not pain at all. My surgeon talked me through the whole procedure telling me what was going to happen next. A patch was placed over the other eye. A camera type instrument was placed over my eye with a red dot I was told to focus on. There were some clicks and then as the surgeon lifted the lens off my cornea, everything went black. That was the worst part. I heard some more clicking sounds and there was a strange odor and suddenly I could see again. Drops were administered and I had to focus on the red dot for another minute and I was done! Then the second eye was done in the same way. The whole procedure was probably 6 or 7 minutes. Incredible. I told the doctor that I had not expected the odor. He told me it was the smell of bad eyesight leaving! As I sat up I could tell that I could see better but everything was still very blurry. The doctor told me that was completely normal and that I would keep getting clearer vision for the next week. It is now about 6 hours later and I am simply amazed at how well I can see! All the way home, as my husband drove, I was busy reading license plates off of all the cars around me! I just can't belive how well I can see and it's hard to understand that I don't have contacts in!
I believe in the instantaneous healing of God's hand. I also believe God heals through the hands of surgeons. Today I experienced healing by God through the hands of a very skilled surgeon.
After the surgery, I was looking around the room and I told the surgeon that it was a miracle. He smiled and said, "I remember reading of Someone who healed eyesight with a little bit of mud. That was a miracle."
God is so good!