Saturday, April 28, 2007

A good day in the yard... and "Hope".

We got quite a bit done today. I nearly finished weeding and pruning the two side beds on the west side of the house. I weeded and pruned all of the Peonies and completely scrubbed the front porch entry, top to bottom... including removing old planters and scrubbing the only two items that will be out there until I pot some flowers in those pots that need scrubbed. I picked up all of the sticks in the yard (no small task due to the size of the lot we have next to us, the number of older trees we have, and the wind that kicked up from those 4 tornadoes that went through Thursday night about 15 miles from here). My husband got the bed in the front dug and tilled so we can do some landscaping out there. And, a smaller bed that we will put stone on and then a bench with two terra cotta pots with flowers in them, next to each end of the bench. Then on both corners of the house in the back yard, he dug and tilled two beds that wrap around the corners of the house for me to plant flowers in. So, tomorrow after church I will finish what little is left on the west side. Then prune and weed the east side which has a hedge/border of Lavender and Asian Lillie's, and plant the Black-eyed Susan's and Red Hot Pokers in those backyard beds next to the house he just dug. I think my husband will be working on that trash can corral and a composting container while I am doing all of that. Then through the week, we will do the front landscaping and I will plant my herbs :-). By week after next we should be out of danger of a frost and we can start putting in the veggies. I love doing the veggies! I will post pictures as all of this starts growing and blooming.

Now, about that hoping thing.

Right now our Sunday School class is studying, prayer. Our homework assignment this week is to read and meditate on all of Hebrews 11. Last week, we took a close look at faith and its important role in prayer. Tomorrow, I am sure we will be pressing in on that some more... and I just have to say, our teacher is amazing. He and his wife are two of our closest friends, but as a teacher he is simply amazing. The man on the left (without the Scottie) in the picture above is our Sunday School teacher and dear friend, Ernie. The man with the Scottie, Baxter, is my hubby.

Okay, so we know that faith is our victory and that God’s Word is true and so we have decided that using God’s Word to help overcome the cares of this world is a good idea. So, just how do we pray for and receive the promises we have?

First, we have to have faith in God. When a person is saved, they are saved by faith. And, that is exactly how we receive everything we will ever receive from God, by faith. Faith comes by hearing God’s Word. If we want to be able to receive that which is ours, we have to know what we have coming. Here is what James 1: 6-8 says about the person that does not have faith. “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” When we doubt God we are unstable in all our ways, and get zilch. Ouch!!!

Then, to receive we must have an expectation. We have to have, hope.

Hebrews 11:1 says, “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.”

That expectation, or hope, needs to be something God says is part of our covenant package with Him. Once we know God intimately and therefore know what He wants us to have, Hell and all it’s thievery, deception and desire to destroy us can not keep us from having it. Romans 8:31 says, “What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?”

I think the word hope gets overlooked sometimes when we study Hebrews 11. And, it is vital... or it wouldn’t be in there. Ever heard someone say, “Well, I hope so.”? That can be said with the best of intentions, but I always wonder when someone says that what it is exactly that they are putting there hope in. Anything less than that which God promises is a sketchy and fragile desire. And, often that is said with the voice inflection that indicates complete doubt. Either way, you really can’t put your confidence in anything other than that which God promises in His Word. The good news is, we CAN put our complete trust and confidence in what He has promised us.

So, our hope must be in a promise that God has promised us in order for our faith to have substance.

Hope is a verb. It is an action word.
1 : to desire with expectation of obtainment
2 : to expect with confidence : TRUST

Faith is our victory and hope activates our faith. Hoping for the things God has for us and expecting to obtain them is the first step in walking in faith. When we are operating in hope, faith can begin to bring the desired thing into manifestation. If results are not quick to come, you will need to be operating in patience to see the desired thing actualized. That will be discussed later.

Oh, and by the way, Romans 5:5 says that, “Now hope does not disappoint...” There’s a good promise to start with!

Let’s define receive.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups can be falling from the sky and screaming grab me, but if we do not hold our hands to catch them, we don’t get any. Receive is not a passive word. The word “receive” by definition is either a transitive verb, or an intransitive verb. Either way, it is a verb which means it expresses an act, an action.

Receive means:
1. to come into possession of or acquire;
2. to assimilate through the mind or senses;
3. to permit to enter in, to welcome or to greet;
4. to accept as authoritative, true and accurate;
5. to take from the weight of something as an impression or mark.

So let’s take that definition apart.

1. Possession or acquire. Here is where we find the promises through searching out the Word for what we need.

2. Assimilate through the mind or senses. Here is where we renew our minds and transform our thoughts to God’s thoughts by continually reading His Word.

3. Permit in and welcome and greet. Welcome God’s Word!

4. Accept as authoritative, true and accurate. Believe what God says about our situation and give His Word final authority.

5. An impression or mark. Let God’s Word mark us and change our life.

God has blessing after blessing after blessing for us. But, until we put our hope in what God promises us, and release our faith to bring it to manifestation we won't receive those blessings.

If we are going to take things (and here I am talking about the request part of praying... there is more to prayer of course like, praise, giving thanks and being still and listening to God) to the Lord in prayer, we need to have real hope in what we are asking for, the faith to see it come to be and know how to receive the answer. We need to decide to do what it takes to be a good receiver of all God has promised us by learning what His Word says He want for us, knowing we won't have our hopes let down because we can put our confidence in Him... and then simply believe we have that which He promises. It is at that point we are walking by faith and not by sight.

It has just occurred to me that this portion of this post has come off a little text book like. Well, I guess I can't apologize since it is in response to studying and an homework assignment. This is what has been on my mind where my Sunday School lesson has been this week. It was good for me to collect my thoughts and put them down tonight since Sunday School is tomorrow morning.

If you have read all of this... well... I hope you got something out of it. I did. And, thanks for reading!

I am tired. It's a hot cup of tea and bed for me.

Be blessed....

Caramel Cake with Caramel Frosting.

I don't bake much anymore. Well, at least not the unhealthy stuff. But, it is Saturday and this Caramel Cake with Caramel frosting looked like it would be good. With only 1 3/4 cup of cake flour, I figured it would only make a single layer. The recipe did not have the pan size listed. If you are thinking you might try this recipe, it is a single nine inch pan. I used a round one... easier to frost than a square one. I got this recipe from some southern recipe link... here it is.

Caramel Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1 3/4 cups cake flour (sift before measuring)
Resift with 1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup soft butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
13/4 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat for 3 minutes. Bake in greased pan for 1/2 hour.

Caramel Frosting

2 tablespoons cake flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix cake flour and milk. Cook to a thick paste over slow flame.
Cool. Cream sugars and vanilla with butter and shortening. Beat
until light and fluffy. Blend in salt. Mix in cooled paste. Beat
until fluffy. Blend. Should look like whipped cream.

I did flour the pan as well even though the directions don't say to. The cake was pretty good. The texture was great. The flavor was good to, I just like a lot of the caramelly flavor and this has a nice subtle flavor. So, next time I will drizzle melted caramel on the plate before I put the cake on it, and I'll drizzle a little more all over the top.

You know, I really don't bake cakes anymore... I think I am really missing my daughter that is having the birthday this coming up week. I thought about her as I was putting the cake together. Happy birthday, Tara!!

I do have something else on "hoping" to post today, but I need to weed, prune and build a corral for our trash cans... and I haven't even gone to get the lumber. Ugh. More later. Until then....


Friday, April 27, 2007

Beautiful birthday... card um... no so much.

My baby... my youngest daughter, is going to be 26 years young next week. She has been skipping care free through my mind for days now, only she looks a lot like she is 5. Humm... Where did the time go? She now has children! Anyway, maybe having strong memories of her as a little girl could be why I could not get this blasted birthday card to look the way I wanted to. No matter how hard I focused, she was five and skipping and I was destroying a really good idea for a card. The harder I tried, the worse it looked, the worse it looked, the harder I tried.... and the horrible downward spiral continued. She has a lot on her plate. She is studying for finals for her college classes. She has three active and involved young children which no matter what, she keeps as her first priority. She is an army wife and recently relocated. Her husband is a tank commander and has been "in the field" more than usual lately (which means he is gone up to weeks on end). Reason, because he is slated to go back to Iraq this year... for 15 months. And the list does go on, but I will stop here and just say, she is busy and a little stretched right now. I so wanted to give her a fun card and encourage her to just take a moment for herself, to enjoy herself and relax. Maybe it wasn't that beautiful little 5 year old skipping through my head that threw me off of my game where the card was concerned... maybe it was just my concern for her in general. Anyway, I am so disappointed in this card, I actually had tears show up. I guess I should just be thankful one of them did not drop on the card and leave a blurred spot... who knows though, maybe it would have helped. But, it had to go today for her to get it in time for her birthday... she lives MILES and states away!

Her daughter is a stamper. She has loved putting rubber with ink on it onto paper since the first time she did it. Some of us understand being bitten by that bug pretty well. I am hoping she bails me out and gives her mom one of those beautiful cards she makes. Yep! a little more Nana pride in this post and I've even attached a picture. She is a really wonderful girl and quite a lady. She sings beautifully (gets that from her daddy), and is learning to play the piano (momma plays the sax). But most of all, she is my upcoming stamping sister!

I used the word "hoping" and it made me think of something... maybe I can get that posted tomorrow.


Thursday, April 26, 2007

How sweet it is!

I suppose this would be the post to mention my blog name and banner byline. I did not choose the name, "Honeycomb" because I am an honey enthusiast. Years ago when my girls were first leaving home, getting married and beginning their lives apart from me, (I think they call this empty nesting), they were spread out over two continents. I thought it would be a good idea to occasionally write a newsletter and send it to them. I put different things in it like... articles on nutrition, updates on family events, what the Lord was teaching me, etc. I wanted to continue to build them up. I wanted to continue to speak health and life and wisdom into their lives to the best of my ability. I knew that pleasant words were like honey, sweet to the soul and health for the bones. I named that newsletter, Honeycomb. When I went to set up this blog, I had the same idea just on a bigger scale than 3 hard copy, snail mailed newsletters. And when I make cards, it is the same thing. I want to bring something sweet to the soul, which is good for the body, into the recipients life. So, the blog was birthed out of a desire to share any good thing the Lord gives me, with others. i.e. my cards, what the Lord is teaching me, good recipes, nutritional tips, happy events.. etc.

Sometimes, I think people in general underestimate the power of what they say... their words. Proverbs 18:21 says, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life]." Remember that wretched little childhood rhyme.. "Sticks and stones may break my bones; but words can never hurt me"? That is such a lie! Yes, sticks and stones can break bones, but words can crush a spirit. Our deepest wounds are often hung on the hinges of someones words. Our own demise can come by our own words. But!!!, we can use our words for good. Proverbs 18:21 did say, "Death and LIFE are in the power of the tongue...". Our words can be such a beautiful thing. Florence Littauer's book, Silver Boxes; The Gift of Encouragement, describes our words as silver boxes that carry our words... words that can be so wonderfully used for the good of others as well as ourselves. And she is right, we can use words to encourage and strengthen others... as well as ourselves.

The world was created with words, the fig tree was withered with words, and Jesus died not by the hatred of those around him... but by words. Powerful and creative forces words are.

Okay, so back to the honey part of this post. Though I don't go around advocating honey, it is not without merit. Honey is a great and wonderful food source. It is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and an anti-viral substance. It is an excellent alternative to sugar. It has proven effective in raising LDL's and decreasing overall HDL's in high cholesterol patients. It sustains good blood sugar levels in diabetic patients and it is a very good antioxidant... combined with tea... you have a superior antioxidant blood cleansing and sustaining cocktail! It is a good source of energy. It can sooth coughs........ it is SO sweet and yummy!!!! Maybe I should hook up with the honey people. They have a great thing there. This site may interest you.

Like with everything else we eat, raw is always better than processed. There is a store in Juliette, Georgia named... you got it, "Honeycomb". Honey has a significant place in the story of, Fried Green Tomatoes. And so, a store carrying primarily honey based products made since. They have honey filled candies, honey skin products, and of course honey. One of the two women that own the store also has a bee farm. She and her husband provide RAW honey to their customers. I snapped up two, 16 ounce bottles of it. I am hoping that lasts me until I get back down there in October for their, Annual Green Tomato Festival. I guess I won't be baking with it. I do not know if it's the Georgia pollen or what, but this is the best honey I have ever had.

Though my favorite everyday tea is Twinings Lady Grey, and I have been enjoying that with this honey today..... tonight this delicious golden syrupy delight is going in a hot cup of Bigelow Vanilla Caramel. Dessert!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

God then garden! and #5... Caught Up!

How To Worship When You Are Wounded

The word our Pastor had for us today was important to our overall walk with the Lord, and given in a way that makes it easy to apply the principles of God to our lives personally.

First, he gave four examples of types of worship:

Ignorant worship: Acts 17:22-31
Vain worship: Matthew 15:7-9
Will worship: Colossians 2:23
True worship: John 4:23-24

Then, he talked a little about how it comes easier to worship God when our heart is busting with joy, than it is when it is breaking from pain. There are four emotions we feel when we are wounded; anger, shock, grief, and fear. If we don't talk about these feelings with God, they will manifest someway... somewhere. (I thought this would be a good time to talk about how we often bring stress/emotion related health conditions on ourselves when we don't go to God with our hurts, and though he did mention it... he was headed somewhere else and had a limited amount of time to get there.) So, if we are going to go to God with the negative stuff that happens in life we will need to be... and want to be:
...honest with God. Believe Him enough to confide in Him.
...honoring God. Praise God in spite of our circumstances. Find things to thank Him for.
...keying in on the strength and wisdom of God. Going elsewhere won't give us the real help and answers we need.
... keeping on. Never stop believing God for your help.

With those principles in mind he brought his message back full circle. Unless we are truly worshipping God, not worshipping a God we don't even know, or just giving lip service without giving our heart, or doing it in our own strength, we won't be able to successfully be honest with God, honor Him, key in on His strength and wisdom, and therefore we won't have the perseverance for victory.

So, this week I am focusing on what true worship is. Of one thing I am certain.. if it is real, authentic, true worship, it's going to be a lifestyle.

After church, we went out to eat. That was a treat. And then, it was on to Menard's for lumber, small border fence (otherwise Baxter will confuse the garden for a digging playground), peat moss and top soil. The result of that little trip is pictured above. The picture was taken the following morning because we finished about 15 minutes after the sun went down. But... nonetheless... it is now a 5'X20' deep bed for my garden this year. 100 beautiful square feet of perfectly prepared dirt just waiting for the last threat of frost so that I can infuse it with veggie life!!!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Fried Green Tomatoes & Friendships. Catching up - 4

A couple of years ago a woman I know, asked me if I had seen the movie, Fried Green Tomatoes. I said no. She said she couldn't believe it, then proceeded to praise the film and then recommended I see it. I went to the library and checked it out. Loved it! and the rest of the story goes from there.

Two years ago, my mother passed away. It was shortly after that... probably when the initial shock wore off, that I began to question and evaluate what female friendships were... were supposed to be.... how they affected me... did they even have a significant affect on me... did I really have female friendships... why did I seem to get along better with men... trust issues swirled in my head and they did not feel like sugar plums dancing about... was I weird... do we really need same sex friends... what purpose did they serve and place should they have???? on... and on.... and on my mind would spin like a top around this issue of "female friendships". Did my mother's passing away bring all of that on? Maybe, maybe not. Was her passing away the catalyst that provoked the spinning thoughts... no doubt. It was just about this time that this woman recommended I watch this movie. It was also right at this time that I stumbled onto the friendship trilogy of, Lynne Hinton's. Friendship Cake, Hope Springs and Forever Friends. Since I do not believe in fate, luck, happenstances or coincidences... I knew God was working something into the fabric of my life. I was amazed at how terrified I was at so many levels by this entire issue of female friendships. I really had to dig in deep and ask the question... "Do I really trust God enough to go willingly through this journey into my heart and soul and bring me out in one piece? Or do I just talk the talk and stop short of the walk?" I actually lost sleep and a little weight over this whole thing. I knew that I would get before the Lord and yield this entire situation over to Him, and allow Him to weave anything into me He wanted. But, I had to go over some... a lot of those verses so dear to my heart that talk of God's goodness and mercy and never ending love for me, before I actually let go and let God. Cliche-ee I know.. but true just the same. The moment I released my will in that situation an amazing peace came over me. And then, beautiful things began to happen. I seriously plan to go into to some of that in a blog post in the next day or two or so, but suffice it to say I've come a long way baby! Are all of those questions answered?... no not all of them. Do I have most of them answered?... probably. But, I function so much better in the arena of female fellowship. Quite a leap from not even being sure female friendship had real merit. Anyway, I am currently doing some things to really grow in that area. One of those things was a big part of the trip I just took to, Georgia.

Originally, the Georgia trip was to only involve my girlfriend in Chattanooga, and myself. I was going to go down, visit maybe overnight, and then on to Juliette, Ga. Juliette, Georgia?????? That is where Fried Green Tomatoes was filmed. The town the story got it's inspiration from is Irondale, Alabama. The original Whistle Stop Cafe is there. It has expanded greatly. The Whistle Stop Cafe in Juliette, Georgia however, has been preserved from the time of the filming, and is closer to the movie's original inspiration minus expansions. I wanted to visit Juliette, because although I am sure the Original Whistle Stop in Alabama, is a great place (and I do plan to visit there soon) I did not want all of the touristy hype. I wanted to go and soak in the nostalgia of this movie. And, I wanted to do it with a friend. I thought about going with one of my daughters... well actually going with all three of them would have been great. But, that really defeated the purpose. So the plans were made and we would go. Somewhere along the line husbands got involved. Although they went camping with us, they did go somewhere about an hour away after dropping us off in Juliette, to see something that they found more interesting. So, my friend and I did not get the real one on one time that would have been nice in making the trip alone. But, the beauty in that is that I was not only willing to do something like that, but that I looked forward to it. Two years ago I would not have even considered such a trip one on one for half of an hour, much less a whole day. Big progress!!! Oh, and there was a group of seven women there while we were. They were having the best time and the bonding and friendship and fellowship among them was so evident. It made me want to be a part of just such a group. I withdrew from all of that LONG ago... vowing never to return. More big progress! So, though the trip did not pan out quite as I had hoped, the point is that I realized that I did hope for it... and wanted to jump back into life and become vulnerable and available to women for friendship.

In an upcoming blog, I will go into the making myself available a little bit more, but I want to wrap this one up... finally, I know, with a bit about the movie. This movie is set up so that the seemingly primary story line is told by a spunky and wise older woman, (Jessica Tandy) to a younger woman (Kathy Bates) that is insecure, without purpose or direction, and has no clue where to find either. The story she tells is about two women from a local town that lived 60 years earlier. There story is one of unlikely people becoming the closest and dearest, most loyal and devoted, friends. Their tale tells of tragedy and triumph. Their relationship truly sets an excellent standard for the word, "friend". The story told reveals how these two came through some of the biggest oppositions possible, and were better for it. Oddly enough, as you are drawn in and captivated by these two women of years gone by... you find yourself equally fascinated with, and loving the story teller and her single woman audience (Bates). Both stories run parallel and the result shows how when we are involved in friendships we can... well... two are just better than one. This movie ignited in me a desire to change my stand on female friendships and entertain the idea of putting my feet... maybe my toes first, back into the pond of friendship. It will always be dear to me.

Above are four pictures from those few precious hours in Juliette, Georgia. The first picture is of the inside of The Whistle Stop Cafe. The second one is of one of the characters mailboxes. The third is of my friend and I as we were entering..... the home of the set for Fried Green Tomatoes, Juliette, Georgia. The last picture is the church used in the movie. For those of you who have seen the movie those should mean something... all others go to your local library and the check the movie out. :-)

I really could not end this post without adding this recipe. I grew up on Fried Green Tomatoes, and was shocked to find out how many people had not heard of them until the movie came out.

The Original Fried Green Tomatoes

1 egg beaten
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup self rising flour
1/3 cup cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
6-8 green tomatoes cut into 1/4” slices
Bacon drippings

Mix egg and buttermilk in a shallow dish. Mix flour, cornmeal, and salt in a separate shallow dish. Working in bathes, dip tomato slices into egg mixture, allowing excess to drip back into the dish. Coat with flour mixture.

Fry in hot bacon drippings in a large heavy skillet until browned, turning once. Drain & serve.

This recipe was taken from, The Green Tomato Cookbook that was published by Fried Green Products.

Gotta do life............
until next time...

Heading South! Catching up - 3.

Shortly after my April 10th post, my husband, dog and I left for a mini-vacation. We headed south. Our first stop was in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Traveling there is uneventful going all of the way from the top to the bottom of, Indiana. Kentucky, had its impact on me immediately since my youngest daughter and her family lived about 30 minutes outside of Louisville, until last October, when she and her family moved to, Texas. It seemed so odd to be going through there and not see them. A few tears and then further south we went. Kentucky is hillier, and for me that means prettier than, Indiana. It stays the same more or less until you get past Nashville, Tennessee. Then the hills get more height to them and the scenery picks up. Of course Nashville always makes me think of Dave Ramsey, probably should make one think of Country & Western music... not me... I am going to meet Dave Ramsey one of these days and get his little John Hancock on all of the books I own that he wrote. A while back, I saw where Kim met him. Though I seldom get jealous of anything..... and as happy as I was for her... there was a little green there. Just this side of Chattanooga, you have to ascend and descend, Monteagle. Breathtaking and gorgeous! From there on, it is simply beautiful south.

During the short time we were in Chattanooga, we got to see my daughter that was traveling with her family home from the funeral in Florida, for her husband's grandfather. We met up at a McDonald's and then everyone kept on going. It was good to see all of them. We met up with friends that live in Chattanooga, and from there went camping just outside of Atlanta, Georgia. A little weird being there without seeing my oldest daughter and her family that lived there and now live in, Ohio. Anyway, we went to Stone Mountain, Georgia, to camp. I've been to my share of campsites, but this one had to be the nicest and prettiest... and most peaceful, I've ever been to.

The pictures above are of our campsite. The handsome man on the right in the bicycle picture, is my husband. He took his bike with us and completely enjoyed cycling around the river in Chattanooga, and around the base of Stone Mountain at camp.

Probably most everyone is familiar with Mt. Rushmore in, South Dakota. But, I had to wonder how many people know about the three confederate heroes that are carved in Stone Mountain, Georgia. I knew nothing of this beautiful sight until I got there. The three gentlemen that are memorialized there are, Confederate President Jefferson Davis, General Robert E. Lee and Lt. General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson. I'm a southern girl at heart... I was moved. NO, I do not condone slavery of any kind. Just southern by nature and rearing. The other picture above is of that carving.

I recommend Stone Mountain, Georgia for camping if you are looking for a campground in that neck of the woods. And the things to do in Atlanta, are almost endless and very diverse.

My next entry will be on a really great place that I got to go to and the story surrounding that little adventure.

Until then...

Super Sketch Sunday Challenge #11 Catching up - 2.

In the midst of making sympathy cards, I had the happy opportunity to make a baby card. Paradoxes. I must confess, baby cards are not cards I normally like to make. Not sure why. I just never enjoy them as much as other types of cards I guess. Anyway, Tuesday of last week our Pastor and his wife became grandparents for the first time. I’m not sure their feet will hit the ground much before Christmas. So........... guess what type of card I did for Amy’s SSS#11? And, I gotta tell ya, I truly and totally enjoyed it!

Stamps: katie & co. “Precious”, Inkadinkado “It’s a Boy”
CS: The Paper Company “Cool Metalic Cover.. Bluebell”, Lilac & White CS
Designer Paper: Paper Pizazz “Winter Dots” & “Blue/Green/Purple Stripes
Inks: Color Box Royal Blue & Sky Blue
Pencils: Prismcolor Lilac, SU Medium Blue & Gray
This & that: Light blue satin ribbon, SU Dazzling Diamonds
And a whole lot of love!

So Very Sorry, again. Catching up - 1.

I know I have been missing in action here. Last week my husband and I got home from spending a few days in the beautiful south. I will go into that a little more in posts throughout the day today... hopefully I can get caught up on my blogging today. And, I am not sure why my profile picture keeps dropping off, but maybe I can fix that as well.

Shortly after I returned home, I found out a woman that was in my class in high school, lost her sister-in-law while I was gone. She was only 44 years old. She and I were friends in high school, and we always catch up on each other’s lives when we run into each other in the store or dentist office. But no real and regular contact. This made me think I should change that. I have always liked her and I like her even more as we have become adults. Hum.... there will be more on this whole friendship issue later in my “Catching Up” posts.

I wanted to get her a card off quickly. The card I made earlier for my son-in-laws grandmother was so well received, and I got so many nice comments from his family, that I decided not to reinvent the wheel. It may not be as enjoyable or as rewarding to copy rather than to create, but it certainly is easier and quicker. I simply converted the card from blue to pink. I really like putting pink and brown together so.... here it is.

Stamps: SU So Very, RUBBER STAMPEDE Daisy Stem, Monte Casino Sprig & Solidago Sprig.
CS: SU Chocolate Chip, Pink, Cream
Inks: SU Chocolate Chip, Color Box Pink, Cranberry & Color Box Chalk Pink Pastel
Markers: SU Yoyo Yellow & Old Olive
This & that: SU Aged Copper Hodgepodge Hardware, SU Dazzling Diamonds, Brown grosgrain ribbon

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Roses in Winter

The whole concept of "joy" has really been on my heart lately. The sentiment from the Stampin Up "Roses in Winter" set sort of follows along the path I'm on to study "joy". "Memory is the power to gather roses in winter". I don't suppose it really is a statement about joy, but the concept is there. Even when someone dies, and we are in shock and then begin to miss them terribly, we still have the memories of them. That so reminds me of what joy is. No matter what is going on around us. Regardless of how unhappy a situation we find ourselves in may be, we can still have joy. Joy and happiness are not even close to the same thing. Happiness is contingent on our surroundings and circumstances. It is a very fickle thing. But joy is one of God's characteristics and it is in His presence we can have fullness of joy. As long as we stay close to is that word again... as long as we abide in Him, we have a fullness of joy...regardless of what is going on around us. I LOVE that!!!

When I was stamping this card, that was the sort of thing on my mind. The sentiment just struck me since it seemed to be about the same thing. Which came first... chicken or egg? Did I grab that set because of what was on my heart... or was the sentiment the catalyst that got me really meditating on the joy I have in Jesus??? But really, how many sympathy cards can you do in one week and not pull out the "Roses In Winter" anyway??

May you have the joy, joy, joy, joy way down in your heart! (Can't you just hear it?)

Monday, April 9, 2007

Super Sketch Sunday Challenge #10

Even with having family in for Easter, Amy got Super Sketch Sunday Challenge #10 out for us. I love having these layouts to look forward to. Having someone else design a layout for me to fashion a card after is such a nice stretch. I noticed my cards were all starting to look somewhat similar. This sketch is actually a pocket card. The personalized bit is on the tab that slides out from the pocket by the hat. If you click the link to Amy's challenge, you can really see how nice this sketch is. I am not as thrilled with the outcome of my card for this week's challenge as I'd like to be, but it is pink and certainly there is some redemption in that, right? Well, at least it should look pretty nice with the blog banner :-).

Stamps: SU I Like Your Style
CS: Hot & Light Bright Pink, White
Designer Paper: Making Memories Black Polka Dot
Inks: Color Box Black & Orchid
Chalk: SU Pixie Pink
This & that: Pink flower brads, Pink polka dot satin ribbon, SU Dazzling Diamonds

More later... gotta do life (make dinner)

Wednesday, April 4, 2007


Ever had one of those days that everything that happened seemed to have an equal and completely opposite event follow it? Today was one of those days. To begin with I was reading in 1 Samuel, specifically I am referring to 1 Samuel 2:30. I was struck by how important it is that we are loyal to God, in all we do. This is Easter week, and it is Wednesday. It is a week I have really studied out. On Wednesday of that very eventful week, Judas Iscariot received 30 pieces of silver to sell Jesus out to the Sanhedrin. I ponder the daily events of this week, and so that was on my mind when I did my devotions and bumped into the verse in 1 Samuel. Then, while thinking about the loss my one son-in-law was facing today in Florida, I got a phone call from a different daughter and was told that they found a family member of her husbands', that they never knew they had. Not too long after that, the daughter visiting in Florida because of her husband's grandfather's death called and told me that all of his grandmother's family was there, right down to the great-grandchildren. Next, we got the wonderful update on my granddaughter that had surgery yesterday. We knew she was doing well at bedtime last night. Today she is back to her "feisty self" (her daddies very words). Then the email came in from my husband's aunt. She has been a missionary all of her life. Though retired, she is teaching Chinese as a second language and holding church services late one night a week so that the Chinese families that own businesses in Indianapolis and work Sunday's, can attend a service. Her best friend, co- worker and lifelong missionary partner, was just diagnosed with breast cancer. They are both in their 70's and have more energy than most of my friends that are 20+ years their junior. Loyalty & betrayal. Loss of family, gaining family. Overwhelming absence of a husband & overwhelming support and presence of an entire family. Health & sickness. The paradoxes just kept coming today.

There were almost enough of them to fade out the memory of what tomorrow brings for me. My mother will be gone two years tomorrow. Seems like yesterday and yet I'm certain it was forever ago. I know this is on my daughter's mind as she is in the midst of the loss they are experiencing in her husband's family. She and her husband lost a dear grandparent the same week of the year. I know she is reliving that right now. How thankful I am that my mother knew Jesus, as her personal Savior. There is comfort knowing she is in Heaven. How thankful I am that my daughter (all of them) knows Jesus as her Savior and can have comfort in the middle of all of this with her husband's family. She is learning how to rest in the Lord. Doing that, she will even have some joy on the inside when there is sadness all around on the outside. What a wonderful God we have!

Anyway, in the midst of it all I did get a card done today for my son-in-law's grandmother. Nothing particularly special, but it goes to her packed with love.

Stamps: SU So Very, RUBBER STAMPEDE Daisy Stem, Monte Casino Sprig & Solidago Sprig.
CS: SU Chocolate Chip, Light Blue, Cream
Inks: SU Chocolate Chip & Color Box Sky Blue,
Markers: SU Yoyo Yellow & Old Olive, Tombo 623 Lavender, Marvy No.3 Blue
This & that: SU Aged Copper Hodgepodge Hardware, SU Dazzling Diamonds, Brown grosgrain ribbon, Clear embossing powder

Until later........

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Abiding... a great way to live!

This morning is a bit different than most. Usually, my three girls and their families have regular routines, and everyday is organized and without event. NOT today! For starters, my youngest daughter has her mother-in-law visiting. They live over 1,100 miles from each other and visits aren't real frequent. My daughter is really glad she is there. Our grandchildren adore her and they have all missed seeing her. It's all good there, except my son-in-law's mother is facing some potentially dangerous medical issues right now, and is waiting for some testing results. On top of which that son-in-law is in the field right now training as he is slated to go back to Iraq, this summer. He will be back tonight and some order will be restored. His mom will be glad to see him.

My middle (she really dislikes that phrase) daughter, is driving with her two girls and husband over 1,400 hundred miles right now from their home to the southern part of, Florida. Middle son-in-law's grandfather just died. On top of which they have been driving through torrents of rain.. they may being coming out of that by now.

My oldest daughter's little girl, who is just four years old, is probably coming out of surgery right about now. It was scheduled, not an emergency, but being an R.N. my daughter is uncomfortable with the full anesthiesa. So, grand daughter in surgery, daughter pacing & wringing her hands. That is her picture attached to this post. Is she not adorable??? Yep! That is good old fashioned Nana pride. I need a sweatshirt that says that... humm.

And least of all but still important, my husband and I are making life altering decisions (non-medical) this week. The point of this blog entry you ask. I guess I wanted to share something I've been seeing in myself, but it is SO wonderfully evident this morning.

Abiding. It means to endure without yielding, to bear patiently, to remain stable or fixed in a state, to continue in a place. Last year, I studied John 15:1-8. I already had an understaning about how to hope for something, how to have faith in God for what I was hoping for, and that His Word, the Bible was my foundation for both. But last year, I began a journey that changed my life. Abiding. When you study out John 15:1-8, you can't help but discover how nurturing (pay close attention to how a vinedresser tends his vines and grapes) and good God is. I've been learning how to rest and live under the wings of, and in the armor of God's protection. It's almost too simple. You simply trust God because you can. It is easier to trust someone you know rather than a stranger. You just spend time getting to know Him, and trusting Him becomes easy enough that you don't mess around with all the doubts and fears out there. This morning is definately one of those challenging and potentially troubling mornings. A morning that would have set me right over the edge at one time. But, the peace and joy I have this morning overshadows that. Peace and joy are fruits I welcome! God is SO good and SO faithful. He has really been good to my family... and this is just as good a time as any to say how thankful I am, and how much I really do love Him. He is one person that to know Him, is to love Him.

I just wondered if that might not be a word of encouragement to someone. I hope so.

I learned some time ago how to not use food as a tool for comfort.. it's all in the abiding. But, I checked out a cookbook from the library yesterday, Fannie Flagg's Original Whistle Stop Cafe Cookbook. It is quite possible that one of those southern, and yes comforting recipes may appear on the table tonight instead of the healthier fare I had planned.

Enjoy today!

Monday, April 2, 2007

Super Sketch Sunday Challenge #9

This week's challenge was interesting because of the small and circular space to put the sentiment. I really enjoyed this one. It must be the Spring weather.. rain, and seeing Daffodils, Lavender, Lilacs and Peonies sprouting and blooming in my yard that influenced this card. Whatever it was, I love the happy colors on this paper and the promise of Spring...... Summer. I have no idea who will be getting this one. I'll just stash it and no doubt there will be an occasion to pull it out, personalize it and send it. Thanks, Amy! I am looking forward to SSS #10.

Stamps: SU Send a Celebration, SU Happy Harmony
CS: Turquoise, Lime Green & White, the Paper Studio: Bright Medium Flowers & Linen Stripe
Inks: Color Box Cyan & Antique Pewter
Water Color Pencils: SU Yellow, Pink & Blue, Faber-Castell Orange #115, Prismacolor Spring Green
Markers: SU Pink Passion & Only Orange
This & that: Turquoise Ribbon, SU Dazzling Diamonds glitter

Happy Spring!

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Showing love in a friends sorrow.

The local Methodist church in our town has one of the dearest men I've ever met for it's Pastor. I consider it an honor to have had him as my friend and often confidant. His wife is an extraordinary woman as well. This gentleman's mother just passed away, and although I would thoroughly enjoy making he and/or his wife a card, a sympathy card would not have been my first choice. But, because of the twists of life, that is precisely what I just did. I had my Terrific Tulip stamps out to do Easter cards this week. I also had a scrap of the Mellow Moss cs that I'd used VersaMark and Sage Shadow chalk on from the SSS#8 inset. So, a card evolved. I like to pray for the people and the situations that I am making a card. You know, blessings and joy at birthday's; peace and comfort at times of stress and sorrow.... I sort of look at that as one of the perks of making a card for someone.

Enjoy everyday!

Super Sketch Sunday Challenge #8

As a result of clicking away on Kim's links, I found Amy. Another goldmine! What wonderful ideas she has like setting aside a day to use stored scraps of paper, and getting stamps out that have been long forgotten, and use them. Every Sunday she posts a sketch she designed as a challenge. Thanx, Amy. I needed that. Last week I entered her SSS. It was my first challenge and I plan to enter again this week. I need to learn and grow in the area of stamping and this is.... just what I needed.

Stamps: SU What's Brewin'?, SU Paisley, SU DD Daisy & SU Itty Bitty Backgrounds, Kolette Hall "Get Together"
CS: SU Chocolate Chip, SU Mellow Moss, Scrapworks BREEZE: Stephanie Stripe (front and back) & plain creamy vanilla.
Inks: SU Chocolate Chip, Color Box fluid chalk "Rouge", VersaMark.
Chalk: SU Sage Shadow & Pretty in Pink.
Markers: SU Pink Passion, Tombo 723 Pink
This & That: Brown grosgrain ribbon & celery satiny ribbon, pink & silver brads, pink flower embellishments, clear embossing powder.

Until later....


When my husband first told me about "blogging", I thought it sounded a little self absorbed and like a colossal waste of time. Once again, snap judgement proves me wrong.

A few years ago, I was introduced to rubber stamping. I knew right then I had found the one hobby that I could focus on. I gave away all of my other hobby paraphernalia. That snap judgement actually worked out for me. I began surfing around on the net trying to find ideas for cards. It did not take any time at all to find Kim, at Eureka! I really stopped looking any further. She had a page with stamp sets alphabetized, and then loads of amazing pictures of cards made from the listed sets. I caught myself going there regularly. Next thing you know, I'm reading her blog. Who knew? She had posts that always seemed to interest me like gardening and recipes. Last fall, Kim posted about an article in the book entitled, Created to be His Help Meet. That post spoke to my heart, as have several of her entries. That was when I started clicking on her links to other blogs. WOW!!! More cards! More frugal women! Where had I been hibernating??? Some of the posts out there have altered how I do things. What is it Proverbs says.... heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume... my paraphrase?

Well, so here I am, wiping humble pie off of my lips. I want to be a part of this circle of inspiring women. A part of the blogosphere. Again, who knew? But before I begin, I want to say thank you to all the women I've been encouraged and inspired by, just because you faithfully blog. And, a really special thank you to, Kim MacNutt. Kim, you have not only been a practical influence in my life for quite some time, but a real encouragement to me when you never even knew it... or me for that matter. And, it's because you are so faithful and transparent.......... thanx!

Be blessed!!