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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Overwhelmed

Do you ever have that feeling that everything is piling in on you - including your house?  I do.  I'm there.  Today.

It's as if everything in the entire world is hinged upon today.  Everything is needing to be done - TODAY!  And it's a bit overwhelming!

Without giving you a play by play of what my day is looking like (and adding further stress in my own mind!), I decided to post about it.  I decided to think out what I should do about this day and share it with you.

#1 - To plan out today to make the best of it and to tackle all that it entails, I must have a peaceful spirit.  The ONLY way I'll have that peaceful spirit is by praying to God to help me in this day and for Him to grant me that peaceful spirit. Only God can help me make it through the day and to be at peace with the day.

#2 - To get the most done today that I can, I must manage my time wisely, but also realize that some things can be left undone.  This is perhaps the hardest thing.  I don't like leaving things undone!  I want things done when I want them done, don't you?  I suppose we're all that way, but it can't always be that way.  Some deadlines must be met, but some are just deadlines in my own mind and they can wait.

#3 - Keep calm and carry on.  I keep seeing that phrase on little home decor plaques, and I really like it!  Much of what happens today will be totally out of my control.  Much of what happens today will happen whether I get my "list of things" done or not.  So, I can either allow myself to get in a tizzy and out of control about everything, or I can keep calm.  The question I must ask, is which attitude best reflects the example of Jesus to those I come in contact with and to those in my family?  Obviously the "keep calm and carry on" attitude.

#4 - Pray some more!  Most likely throughout the day, I'll forget who is in charge of my day.  I'll try to be in control.  I'll try to take things into my own hands.  I'll try to get my way.  But, then I'll remember to pray.  Then I'll remember that only God is in charge and I'm just along for the ride. 

Thank you, God, for your patience, grace and mercy.  I know I will need it today, just as I do every day.

Well....I'd better go get busy!  Have a wonderful, peaceful, prayerful (and productive) day!

Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit"— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that."
James 4:13-15

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
John 15:5

Monday, November 28, 2011

Memories of Thanksgiving 2011

I hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  It's amazing that the fall season - my very favorite season - is over.  I was a little disappointed to get rid of the pumpkins and hay bales this year, but I kept a few to make a pumpkin snowman!  If it's successful, I'll post it on my recipe blog.

What is your favorite part of the Thanksgiving holiday?  Family time, friends, food, traditions, memories, shopping, football?  Realizing how God has blessed us all?  All of the above?  Yes, most likely it is all of the above.  It's a great time!

Our Thanksgiving begins on Wednesday night when my husbands' family comes in for a congregational singing.  There are lots of other visitors from out of town, as well.  I had requested that the songs "Someday" and "There's a Stirring" be led by family members.  Two of my brothers-in-law led them.  They are two of my very favorite songs!  Thank you, Ken and Dan!  I wish we had recorded the songs.  It was beautiful. All of the songs were beautiful!  That is my favorite part of the weekend.
After the singing, we gather at my in-laws for food and games. My kids help me cook all day Wednesday and even some on Tuesday evening. Everyone enjoys getting together and enjoying the fun and fellowship.
Of course, there is more food to come on Thanksgiving Day, but not before the annual Turkey Trot. It's a 5K (3.1 mile) run that now even the youngest run the whole way! Congratulations to this year's winner - Justin!

I didn't get a regular food picture, only the dessert table.  I made a Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake (pictured to left) and it was a big hit.  It is a great recipe from a Junior's Cheesecakes Cookbook, and I'll begin posting it tonight on the recipe blog (Life's a Bowl of Cherries - link to right on home page of this blog).
The annual Pumpkin Bash in our field was a lot of fun! Some of them were so rotten that they caused quite a bit of "splatter" all over the person. That's always fun (if you're not that person!). My brother-in-law, Ken, served as the pitcher again, but he wasn't expecting getting hit by a little pumpkin right in the forehead! Thankfully he was okay!
Friday the family went to see The Muppet Movie. I've always liked Kermit and especially like the songs in the movie. They used the "Rainbow Connection" song that we used to sing a lot when I was younger. I'm not a big "Miss Piggy" fan at all, but it was really a cute movie!
Saturday was a special treat because our high school football team was playing in the semi-finals to compete to go to State in Class C football.  What an exciting game watching them win and advance to the finals!  It was really cold and really windy, but really worth it!  Best wishes on your quest for the gold ball, Tigers!
Unfortunately, due to illness, we didn't get to see my family like we had planned to on Sunday, so we stayed in town.  However, it was neat because my brother-in-law (the same one that got hit by the pumpkin!) was the guest speaker and then our nephew spoke that evening.  

Now it's back to reality:  laundry, some dishes, laundry, Christmas decorating, laundry, kids' homework, ballgames, and of course, more laundry!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Today, I Am Thankful For....

T - The truth found in God's Word

"Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
John 8:32

H - Heaven

Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him."
John 14:23
 
A - Abundant Blessings

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
Ephesians 1:3

N - Never-ending Love

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!
1 John 3:1
 
K - Knowledge of God


His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
1 Peter 1:3

S - The sacrifice for our sins

He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
1 John 2:2

G - God's gift of eternal life

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:23

I - Integrity of fellow Christians

I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things have I given willingly and with honest intent. 
1 Chronicles 29:17a

V - The vine - Jesus

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."
John 15:5

I - Inheritance for children of God

For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.
Hebrews 9:15

N - Needs met by God

And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19

G - God's grace

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.
Ephesians 2:8

To see what others are thankful for, visit Heavenly Homemakers!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Underdogs

Do you enjoy rooting for the underdog?  Many people do.  It's fun seeing someone not expected to excel or win, excelling or winning.

Friday night our high school football team traveled almost four hours north to compete in the quest for the gold ball in Class C 8-man football.  We were playing Deer Creek/Lamont Academy (DCLA), the number one ranked team, who hadn't been beat in 23 straight games and who was last year's Class C State Champs.

Our Tipton team was ranked seventh, after loosing two games in regular season play.  They played well in the first playoff game, advancing to the second round.  All sports websites and reports predicted Tipton would lose badly, but they didn't know what was about to happen.  They didn't know that our football team was determined to win and didn't care if they were predicted to lose.  They didn't know that our team didn't feel intimidated by playing the number one ranked team and defending state champions.

But now they do.  Now they know because our boys BEAT DCLA - 13 to 12!!!  In the first quarter, Tipton scored a touchdown, making the score 6 to 0 early on.  At that point, DCLA was at a place where they hadn't been in two seasons of play.  They were down!  And they stayed behind the whole game.  The Tipton Tigers have advanced to the state semi-finals and our town is extremely proud of the boys for their hard work, dedication, and determination.  We'll be cheering for them Saturday night!

Underdogs.  Not any more!

As I thought about the Tipton Tigers being the underdogs in Friday's game and what they were up against going into that game, my thoughts turned to another underdog.  An underdog in the Bible.  I thought about David (1 Samuel 17).  Young David was a shepherd and didn't have experience fighting, except for killing some animals that had threatened the sheep, but he was willing to fight the over nine feet tall Goliath.  His faith to win the battle over Goliath wasn't because of what he thought he could do, but in what God could do through him.  Yes, David was an underdog, but he relied on the power and strength of a mighty God!  And, he won!  He defeated Goliath!!  With the help and power of the Lord!

So, best wishes to the Tipton Tiger football team as you play Saturday night!  We can't wait to cheer for you!! Interestingly, in the David and Goliath story, David cut off Goliath's head and he took it to Jerusalem.  The Bible doesn't say what happened to the head after that, but it seems it was kind of like a trophy (an odd trophy, but a trophy!).  Tigers, we want you to bring home a GOLD BALL!  (No heads, please!)

Friday, November 18, 2011

No Bake Cookies

Of all of the recipes I have made or even created in my life, it's sad to admit that the very popular chocolate/oatmeal no-bake cookies give me the most trouble consistantly!  For many, if not most people, this recipe is the simplest to make of all, yet for me, it's not.  Never!

I don't really like eating the cookies, myself, but because my children do, I make them fairly often.  Also, this year our family is sponsoring two of our high school football players and take treats for them every Friday.  It just so happens that their favorite cookies are also the no-bakes.  My husband joked at the beginning of the football season, that by the end of the season, I might have the no-bakes perfected.  Because of his sweet comment, I elected him as cheif maker of the first week's treat! (Not really - I was out of town and he agreed to making them :)  Well, throughout the months of the football season, I've made the no bakes successfully for the most part.  That was, until yesterday. 

Yesterday's no bakes didn't turn out very well.  I'm not sure why.  As with all of my recipes, I'm usually doubling, tripling or quadrupling the ingredients.  Yesterday's portions were supposed to be tripled.  That way I would have two batches for the football players and another batch for my family.  As soon as I poured them into the containers (I don't scoop them into individual cookies.  I put them in a cookie sheet or pan and cut them - it's faster!), I knew there was something wrong.  They didn't seem to have enough oatmeal, even though I knew I had put the right amount.  I rushed out the door and headed to a ballgame, forgetting about the cookies for a while.

Late last night, I took a small bite of a cookie and could tell that there was too much sugar.  I guess that was the mistake.  My family tasted them this morning.  Some said they were okay and would "pass" as good enough.  My food-critic son agreed:  way too sugary!  So, I quickly went to work making another double batch.  The football boys were leaving this morning at 9:00 for a playoff game far away, so I had to hurry!  When I delivered the cookies, they were still warm.  I sent a plastic knife and fork - and several napkins!  The cookies were perfect this time! (Yay!) 

So......now I have a triple batch of too-sugary no bakes in the kitchen.  What to do???  (Maybe I'll reheat them and try adding more oatmeal?  It's worth a try :). 

There's no devotional thought in this at all.  Just thought I'd share and ask for sympathy :).  No, I suppose this thought could go with the whole 30 days of giving many are involved in this month.  I could have given the two football boys the too sugary cookies.  It's the thought that counts, right?  Yes....maybe so.  But, I want to give the best to others if at all possible, so I wanted to redo the cookies for them.  Giving our best.  That's it!  That's my devotional thought for today :).

Have a great day!  Have a great weekend!  Happy giving!

“Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me.
“But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’

“In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse—the whole nation of you—because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.
Malachi 3:8-10

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Chronicles of Biscuit - Name Change

The Chronicles of Biscuit - Stories about our youngest son, Tyler, whose nickname is Biscuit.

Biscuit came to me Monday afternoon and said he needed to talk to me privately - in my bedroom.  We headed to the bedroom and sat down together on the big bed.  I asked Biscuit what was going on.  Biscuit began his little speech:

"Mom, I've been reading a book called, "How to Be Cool in the 3rd Grade".  I don't really like the name Tyler, and I was thinking that for school, I could be called by my first initial and middle initial, 'T.J.'.  The boy in the book is named Robbie, but he thought that Rob would sound cooler.  What do you think?  Is it okay?"

Well, not being sure of how to answer Biscuit exactly, I told him he would have to talk to his daddy, but that we picked the name Tyler because we really liked it.  I also told him that his daddy didn't want their names to be shortened - like to Ty - so I didn't think he would like this idea, either, but he could ask.  On the plus side, it also got me off the hook :).  I wasn't too thrilled about Biscuit reading a book that told how to be cool in 3rd grade was by changing your name, but I hadn't seen the book, so couldn't really critique it right then. (Of course, not every child will take things as literal as Biscuit does, either!)

My husband got home later and Biscuit told him he needed to talk to him in our room.  They headed that direction, and I followed.  I didn't want to miss the interaction or my husband's face as Biscuit told him his reasoning!

Well, I wasn't disappointed.  I sat behind Biscuit, so could smile/giggle all I wanted while watching my husband try to keep a straight face.  He listened to Biscuit, but then told him that we had prayed about his name before he was born.  We chose his name because we liked it.  It was special because it was given to him.  "It was?", Biscuit asked.

I told Biscuit that he was the coolest 3rd grade boy I knew and that he didn't need to change his name or act any certain way to be cool.  Biscuit's dad also told him those types of things.  Biscuit seemed please...and content....to be Tyler after that, and hasn't mentioned changing his name any more since that day.

I'm sure that the book Biscuit was reading was just written in fun, but the thought that Biscuit took it so seriously is kind of scary to me.  There are all kinds of "advice" books out there, and though some of them - maybe a lot of them - may have good advice, a lot of them may not.

Who cares if Biscuit is cool?  Maybe he does, to a certain extent, but I certainly don't.  Being cool isn't what matters to God.  Being holy is what matters to God.  The only name change He cares about is the name change from sinner to saved!  From non-believer to believer.  Your new name of Christian:  That's the name change that matters.  The only one that really matters.

Have you changed your name?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thanksgiving

I am grateful for this time of year.  The colors.  The temperatures.  The special family times.  The pumpkins and leaves.  The decorations. All of it!  It's always easy to look around and see God's blessings, but at this time of year we are even more focused on being thankful.  What are you grateful/thankful for today?
Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD;
   let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.

Let us come before him with thanksgiving
   and extol him with music and song.
Psalm 95:1-2
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
   and his courts with praise;
   give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
   his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Psalm 100:4-5
But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. Salvation comes from the LORD.”
Jonah 2:9
Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
2 Corinthians 9:10-11

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Philippians 4:6

Join us for GRATITUESDAY at Heavenly Homemakers!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Fall Festival - 2011

Our annual PTO Fall Festival was held last Thursday night.  It was a great success, raising enough money to be able to provide for our elementary school in many ways during the next year.  Because of it's success, this is typically the only fund raiser our PTO has during each school year.
The concession stand, basket auction, and silent auction is in our school cafeteria.  The high school games, preschool Bouncy House, and gift/craft vendors set up in our gym.  The gym fills up in a hurry with all of the activities!
The Kindergarten room had a duck pond.  Students enjoyed picking ducks to find out of they were a winner or not!
In conjunction with the Fall Festival is the Scholastic Book Fair.  It's a great time to get parents to visit the book fair and students to make their book selections.
This year the PTO sold elementary t-shirts during the Fall Festival.  There is also a silent auction going on during the event.
Most of the silent auction items are tiger-themed, since the tiger is our school mascot.
Each elementary class has a basket for an auction.  The Kindergarten had an art-themed basket.  How cute is that!??
The third grade had a Christmas themed basket.  It was a popular basket, as well.  Actually, this year, they were all really popular!
This scarecrow scene is outside the Kindergarten room.  Isn't it cute? 

The Fall Festival couldn't be a success without the help of others.  I organize the event, but if it weren't for my husband, Joe, I couldn't do it.  He helps so much!  So do our children.  They clean, carry, move, etc.....just whatever we need done.  And of course, without the teachers having their games and baskets, the event wouldn't be as much fun at all.  It takes everyone working together.

So, thank you to everyone - from those who attended to those who brought items or served in any way.  We appreciate YOU!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day 2011

Each year our elementary school has a Veteran's Day assembly.  It's put on by our Student Council members and their advisor.  They do a terrific job!  Two of our children are Student Council members, so I had to get their picture in their dress clothes at school.  That doesn't happen often :).
The "Our Heros" sign above is in at the side of our high school building.  It was put there last August in memory of our hometown veterans - one of which was killed it in the Ft. Hood shootings in 2009.  The new flags with metal cross holders were made by our FFA students and advisors and added just this week.  A beautiful site in honor of our veterans!

Our youngest son's 3rd grade class, as well as the 4th grade class sang a few songs.  Here they are singing, "Fifty, Nifty United States".  Tyler is the one who always moving....third from left on the front row!
One of our local veterans served as one of the guest speakers.  Mr. V is in his 90's but you wouldn't know it by the way he talks or remembers details.  He's a sweet, Christian man who has been married for 75 years! He had a lot of detailed memories and some funny points of the stories, too.  Thank you, Mr. V!

Thank you, veterans, for all you have done for us.  I pray that God continues to be with all of our men and women who are serving our country protecting our freedom. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

WHAT ARE YOU WILLING TO COMMIT?

Note from Lori:  I really liked this story and the illustration it made about our commitment to God and to Christ. I wanted to share it with you.  Used with permission.  



WHAT ARE YOU WILLING TO COMMIT?

    The story is told of a man in a fancy restaurant who started to choke on a bone.  A doctor rushed over, identified himself as a doctor, and reassured the man that he was going to be all right.  He performed the Heimlich maneuver and the bone popped out.


As the man's breath and voice returned he said, "I'm ever so grateful, doctor, how can I ever repay you?"


The doctor smiled and said, "I'll settle for one-tenth of what you were willing to pay while you were choking."


It's true, isn't it, that when you're facing a crisis (especially a life-threatening crisis), you would give everything you have to get through it.  Money is no object!    We do the same thing on a spiritual level.


How many times have you faced hardship and prayed, "Lord, if you'll just see me through this, I'll serve you faithfully the rest of my life!" or something similar?  But what happens when the crisis passes?  Those feelings of urgency about serving God pass as well.


If we could commit ourselves to doing one-tenth of what we're willing to do in those moments, most of us would ascend to a new level of commitment.    Paul wrote, "For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain." (Philippians 1:21)    Father, there are moments in my life when I am reminded of how much I need you and how urgent it is that I commit my life to you.  All too often, though, those feelings disappear, and I quickly revert back to a less-than-satisfactory level of commitment. 


Please forgive me and strengthen me in my resolve to reach the point where I can say with the apostle Paul, "To me, to live is Christ."  In Jesus' name, amen.Have a great day!


Alan Smith
Helen Street Church of Christ
Fayetteville, North Carolina

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Chronicles of Biscuit - Praying and Singing in the Cellar

During yesterday's tornado, while the students were in the cellar, the elementary students and teachers were joined by several of the girls from the high school basketball team.  The high school girls helped the teachers and staff by comforting the younger children.

When I talked to Biscuit after they got home, I asked if he was scared.  He said "Yes....I almost cried."  I asked him, "Did you pray?"  He answered, "Yes and me and Lauren (his big sister) and Kennedy (Lauren's best friend) sang church camp songs."  I told him I was sorry he was scared but thankful that the prayers and songs helped him.  Later on I told Lauren how much I appreciated her helping comfort Biscuit. (I will tell Kennedy the same thing when I see her!).

The praying and singing in the cellar reminded me of Paul and Silas in the Bible (Acts 16).  Paul and Silas were arrested for telling others about Jesus.  Prison didn't make Paul and Silas praise God, though.  In fact, Paul and Silas continued singing and praying.  At midnight, an earthquake shook the prison and the bars were opened.  Paul and Silas were free!  The jailer was so shocked by the whole event that it caused him to believe in Jesus and be baptized!  So were those in his household!  What a wonderful story!!

When tornadoes or earthquakes or even prisons come in to our lives, we don't have to be afraid.  We don't have to quit praising God.  In fact, in those times, we should be praising Him even more.  Because, you know what?  He is the only One who can bring peace and comfort and strength in all of those scary situations.  Yes, at times it's very hard to not be afraid, but our concerns and worries should bring us closer to God, not further away.


1 God is our refuge and strength, 
   an ever-present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, 3 though its waters roar and foam    and the mountains quake with their surging. 
Psalm 46:1-3

Tornados and Earthquakes


Yesterday afternoon tornados ripped through the countryside of our small town of Tipton, Oklahoma.  Tornados are common in southwest Oklahoma, but not in November!  Of course, we've also had earthquakes in the past few days, too.  They weren't centered here, but most people felt them. 

Storm sires blared yesterday afternoon.  The school quickly alerted parents that shelters were being opened, and that the students were being kept safe in those shelters.  Safety drills are practiced every year, but rarely do they ever get put into action in real emergency situations.  Monday they did.  Monday those drills were put into effect and utilized in the best way possible with positive results.  I am GRATEFUL that my children were safe and taken care of during the storm!
My husband watched the tornados from the back porch of his work. (Crazy, yes!  But, I have to admit I would have been watching it, too!) These pictures were taken at the school by some of the teachers.  I was out of town buying supplies for our school carnival, stuck there longer than expected to make sure I didn't drive into the path of the tornado.  I am GRATEFUL for the safety of others in the path of the tornado.
At one point the larger tornado was a mile wide.  Our town doesn't even have a thousand people.  If the tornado had been that wide and gone through the middle of town, our entire town could have been wiped out!.  I am GRATEFUL that the tornado was mostly in the country, not destroying too much!
This couple lives 3-4 miles southeast of us.  They were trapped in their cellar by a fallen tree, but thankfully safe from the tornado that damaged their home and property.  You may have seen their interview on the news.  I am GRATEFUL that the Potts' lives were spared and very thankful that their loss, though significant, isn't total loss of their home!

Here are some links on the Tipton, OK tornado:
http://www.kswo.com/story/15982379/tipton-couple-locked-in-cellar-during-tornado
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=St2GRfl3E2Y&feature=share
http://www.kswo.com/story/15981044/agriculture-building-destroyed-in-okla-tornado
http://www.koco.com/video/29707363/detail.html

I can't believe that with the tornados and earthquakes, I've been out of town during both!

On this GRATITUESDAY, it's easy to say what I'm grateful for:  For God's protection of my family, my community, and my home from the tornados......and earthquakes.  And, very grateful for the much-needed several inches of rain we received last night!

Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

When the earth and all its people quake,
it is I who hold its pillars firm.
Psalm 75:3

Monday, November 7, 2011

Canton Trade Days Ladies Weekend

For a long, long time, one of my sister-in-law's has been planning a family road trip for all of the ladies on my husband's side of the family.  Out of thirteen grown ladies, we had six that attended, with two others joining us during other parts of the weekend.  It was a great time of family togetherness (and shopping, of course!).
Here we are posing with our purchases at the end of the day.  That's me on the right.
The weekend began at one of my brother and sister-in-law's homes in Frisco, TX.  They are gracious hosts and lovingly made their home our Bed and Breakfast for the weekend.  Thanks, J & D!!
My sister-in-law even had personalized cups waiting for us with a sweet scripture.  She had Andes mints for us to put on our pillows, had evening snacks read when we arrived, and had prepared food for the whole weekend.
Yummy breakfast for the mornings!  Perfect for the morning of our big Saturday trip to Canton Trade Days as well as for Sunday morning before worship.
This was hilarious!  After a while during our shopping, some of us waiting in line for the restroom.  Funny thing was that there was a whole other side of toilets not being used!!  So......the line shouldn't have ever been that long!
Towards the end of Saturday, we made several purchases, loading up our little carts quite well!
This is my "big" purchase, (the rest of my purchases can be seen at our family recipe blog HERE.) although it was only $35.  (Some I saw were $85 and $100!!)  I want it for decoration in the yard.  Cute carrying baskets on the back - perfect for flowers! 

The joke was that I had the big Expedition, so I needed to bring a trailer.  The problem was that, according to my husband, I can't even drive sometimes without a trailer....how was I going to drive with one??? :)  Well, I'm thrilled to say that I did great and I never got into a situation where I had to back up - so that was even better!!  (Yay me!)
I had to drive around for quite a while trying to find some of my family to pick up a piece of furniture one of them had bought.  This is ONE of the interesting things I saw while driving!!
A beautiful site at the end of the day.  This is one of the gate entries for the Trade Days.
On Sunday, those who stayed Saturday night went to worship where my brother-in-law preaches, at McDermott Road. After lunch, another sister-in-law and I went to The Container Store. What a neat place!!!

Before I left Frisco for Oklahoma, I stopped for a sweet treat.  This is from Paciugo, a gelato cafe.  It's turtle gelato - yum!!
On my way home last night.....a beautiful sunset!

Of course the shopping was fun.  Of course the food was all yummy.  But the best part of the whole thing was being together with family.  I'm looking forward to the next excursion!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me……Not Texting LOL

Note from Lori: I read this article last night in an online magazine called "Victory Herald".  Immediately I read it to my husband and oldest two children who were still awake, then wrote the author, Ann, and asked for permission to post it on my blog.  She said yes, so I'm sharing it with you!  Thank you, Ann!  I love your thoughts about sharing God's Word with your grandchildren in a way that relates to them!!  (Wonder what new-fangled thing I'll be using some day to communicate with mine??? :)

Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me……Not Texting LOL

If you had told me last month that I would be texting, I would have said, “No way, Jos’e.”

You see, I had been trying to convince my grandchildren what a waste of time it was and how they are missing out on life. Their phones were always tucked somewhere on their bodies, as if they were part of their anatomy, and they would constantly be pulling them out and looking at them. What a mystery this was to me, their grandmother.

Their father, my son, would say, “Mom it’s no use, that’s the way the world is now days, and we can’t change it.”

So when my son offered to put me on his phone plan and supply me with my own phone with a neat keyboard, I was reluctant. When he told me that I had unlimited texting, I was not the least bit impressed. Why in the world would I ever need that. But I was happy to have a reliable way to get in touch with family when I was out of town and in emergencies. Then my ten-year-old granddaughter Karson introduced me to the world of texting and sending and how to keyboard. “WOW!” what an interesting piece of 2x4 plastic.

The next morning, I sent my first text to all six of my grandchildren, just to encourage them and wish them a great day before school. I reminded them that there were thousands of young people in the world who did not have a school to attend, nor a breakfast to eat, and that I wanted them to be thankful for what God had given them. I knew this would be something new for them, since I had spelled out every word and used proper punctuation. I signed off (G-mama(:~)SMILE).

My granddaughter Courtney texted me back and said, “Grandma, you don’t have to sign your name; we know who it’s from.”

After several days of texting, and my being late one day, another granddaughter, Brittany, called and said “Grandma, you forgot our text today.”

I knew then that God had given me a new way to get His word and thoughts into my grandchildren. They weren’t coming to me as often as before, so I had found a way to go to them. My heart and mind went into overdrive with all the things I could share with them over the next 20 years or however long I may live. How excited I was! I didn’t have to bother them with a call, they could read my text at their convenience or delete me if they chose.

Each morning as I have my time with God, I can share with them some wonderful things God shows me from His Word or something interesting I hear. As a retired nurse, I love to tell them how beautifully and wonderfully they are made.

I shared on the second day, “If you took all 300,000,000 sacs called alveoli in our lungs, and laid them out, they would cover the surface area forty times larger than the skin’s, an area large enough to carpet a….Wait, Wait—Don’t tell me…a small classroom. What a great Creator we have!”

So I have gone from a texting hater to a texting lover. With all the crazy things going on in the world of technology, it can be used for so many good things. When my text is going to the cell tower miles away and back down to my grandchildren’s hands, I am filling the earth with the Glory of God.

One of my favorite scripture passages, Psalm 71:17,18, says: “ Since my youth, O God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your deeds. Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, til I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come.”
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First appeared in Mature Living, October 2011
Ann Knight

Elizabethtown, Kentucky

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Molded Creations

Yesterday I had the opportunity to travel close to my hometown to speak at a ladies' night event (I forgot my camera :( so didn't post pictures.).  In fact, I drove right by where I spent lots and lots and LOTS of hours "working" with my dad and grandpa in the cotton field.  (Remember my ladybug post?  This is the same field!).  It was fun driving that highway and remembering things from my childhood!

I distinctly remember this particular field for several reasons:  the ladybugs, my little bitty shovel that I tried and tried (finally succeeded - yay!) to use to jump the irrigation ditch like my dad and grandpa did, and making this little thing out of mud from the ditch.  I don't even know what to call it, but it sits on my kitchen window sill above the sink.  I made it when I was about 10 years old.  After it was totally dried, I painted it.  It's been with me ever since.....32 years.  That's amazing to me!

This summer, while washing dishes, I happened to look at my little dried mud art piece and noticed that some of the paint was flaking off.  I quickly took it and repainted the small part and sealed it with glue.  Now it's as good as new again and it's back in its designated spot on the window sill.

Just as this small piece of dried, molded mud is sentimental and special to me, we are molded and made by God and we are special to him.  My piece of art isn't much.  It doesn't do much and can't do much.  God's handiwork....His creation....is wonderful and amazing.  WE are wonderful and amazing!!  We can think!  We can do!  In fact, we were created to do good things for Him!

Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. 

Isaiah 64:8

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Ephesians 2:10

During this 30 Day Giving Challenge, think about what you were created to do.  Think about your purpose.  Think about ways to do good works for God by giving to those in need.  Think of ways to serve Him by encouraging others.  By doing so, you will be finding your purpose and glorifying Him.

You are His handiwork....molded and made by the loving Creator.  You are special and your purpose is special!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Thirty Days of Giving - Be Challenged!

My cousin-in-law Alyssa, at Keeping the Kingdom First, is hosting The 30-Day Giving Challenge again this year.  I have accepted the challenge and encourage you to do the same.

With November here, we automatically begin thinking about Thanksgiving.  Why not make the whole month of November a month of thanks and giving?  While going through this 30-day challenge of giving something each day, you will be blessed in return.  With each gift or act of kindness, you will feel good to have helped someone else.  You will also begin to think more about the needs of others around you.

There are all sorts of way to give during this challenge.  You can give money, of course, but you can also give supplies, food, and clothing.  Those are things we naturally think about as ways to help others.  But I want to suggest another way that you can give of yourself during this challenge:  Give of your time.

Time is a precious thing to all of us, but sometimes we become stingy and selfish with our time.  Think about the hours you spend watching TV or hours on the computer or maybe enjoying a hobby.  Could you give up some of that time to help someone else - to give of yourself to help others?

It's great to give money, food, supplies, and clothes - and in fact, it's needed.  But, we must also make sure we are giving of ourselves from the heart and not just giving to fulfill and obligation - as a sense of duty.

Because I live in a very, very small town (less than 900 people) my ways to volunteer will be different than yours, but here are some ways to give in the next 30 days:

  1.  Volunteer to read a book at school.
  2.  Volunteer to take an elderly person shopping or to the grocery store.
  3.  Volunteer to babysit (free of charge) for a family with young children.
  4.  Take a meal to a neighbor.
  5.  Take a care package to a hospital waiting room.
  6.  Go visit patients in the hospital.
  7.  Take a group of adults, teens, or children to the nursing home to visit and sing.
  8.  Send someone a card. (homemade or purchased)
  9.  Bake cookies or muffins and take them to work to share with your co-workers.
10.  Volunteer to rake leaves in an elderly person's yard (or other yard work).
11.  Volunteer to take elderly people to their doctor's appointment.
12.  In line at a fast food drive-thru, pay for the person's meal/order behind you.
13.  Take flowers to an office (ex. your bank, doctor's office, post office, etc.)
14.  Send a hand-written note to a teenager (they'll be shocked that it's not a text message)
15.  If your child is in school, volunteer to help with school events, parties and carnivals.  Even if you work, those in charge can use your help in some way.
16.  Make fall door decorations and take them to nursing home residents.
17.  Take a meal to a family with a newborn baby.
18.  Help organize food boxes to give away to families in need.
19.  Send a note of encouragement to men and women in the military.
20.  Volunteer your time at a women's shelter, a soup kitchen, or other service provider.
21.  Take the time to call or go visit widows and widowers.  This time of year can be especially lonely for those who have lost their spouses and whose children may not live close by.
22.  Invite someone to your home.  This could be for a meal, for coffee/tea, desserts, or maybe a game.
23.  Host a neighborhood ladies' brunch.  Hand-deliver invitations.  Play ice-breaker-type games that allow each person time to talk.
24.  Host a ladies salad supper with friends or Christian sisters from your congregation.  Have them bring an item from their past to tell about, as well as their favorite salad.
25.  Most people do not like to ask for help, even if they need it.  Offer to help others in a specific way, such as, "I have Monday morning free.  Why don't I come help you with whatever you need done?" 

I look forward to this challenge and know that it really will be a challenge.  It is something I will need to plan for daily.  It won't just happen.  I have to "plan" for it to happen.  On the other hand, I can expect to be blessed by God because of this challenge.

Look what Jesus told the disciples: 

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."
Luke 6:38

So, are you up for the challenge?  What other ways can you think of that you can give during this month?
 
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