Saturday, October 25, 2008

Kreativ Blogging!

Last week, I had the pleasant surprise of being awarded the Kreativ Blogger Award by two of my favorite bloggers --- 

Lianna and Rebecca.  I don't even feel like I am in the same blogging league with either of these sweet ladies, but I am so grateful to them for passing this award on to me.

The rules of this award are that I have to name six things that make me happy and then pass the award on!

1. My family - Having all of my family together.  I love cooking for all them and I love all of the noise, confusion and laughter when everyone is together.

2. My morning coffee - I love the coffee that my husband makes for me every morning while I am getting ready for work.  We both make coffee the VERY same way, but his ALWAYS tastes better than mine to me.  I don't know why, but it's true!

3. Ice Cream Floats - I LOVE ice cream floats!  MY favorite would have to be a Dr. Pepper Float, with a Cheerwine Float running a close second!

4. Clean sheets - I love getting into my bed with clean sheets on it.  They are just so much better when they are "crisp" with no wrinkles. And that it!

5. Grocery shopping with my hubby - I love having my hubby go to the grocery store with me for our weekly shopping trip. The fact that I know he doesn't really want to go, but he does, means a lot to me.  We carry our own reusable bags with us and he always bags our groceries.  I always tell the checkout person that I bring my own bagger with me!  (-:

6. Cards, letters and emails - I love receiving a card, letter or email from a family member or a precious friend. God always seems to have them come right at the appropriate time when I so need them.  After all, God's timing is always perfect!

There are so many blogs that I read on a daily basis that deserve this award.  I know that most of you have already received this award, but if you have not already been the recipient of this award, PLEASE consider yourself awarded by me!  

I love you all!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Captain of My Ship

Isn't it amazing how you can read a passage that you have read many times before and suddenly you "see" something that you failed to see every other time that you read that passage.

That happened to me recently as I read this:

"And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation."  
Genesis 7:1 KJV

Did you see that? God didn't tell Noah to "get into the ark". He told him to "come into the ark".  There's a big difference! "Come into the ark" implies that God was already onboard waiting!

Noah didn't even shut the door on the ark!  Genesis 7:16 KJV says:

 "And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in."

Noah did not have onboard navigation.  He had no way to steer the boat. It was totally up to God to protect the ark and guide it to the proper resting place. We always call it Noah's ark, but God was the Captain of the ark.

What a great reminder to me at times when I feel like I have completely lost my ability to "navigate my life", to remember Who's onboard! Who's the Captain! Who is protecting me and guiding me.

Lord, Thank you for this reminder that you are always present with me; that no matter what I am facing, you are already "onboard". When the rains come, and the waves pound upon my "ship" as the storm rages, thank you that you promise that you will never leave me or forsake me. Help me, Lord, to trust You to "steer my ship" and to set me down on "dry ground" just as You did for Noah and his family!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Elmo's World

Not a lot going on to blog about this weekend, but Poppa and I did have a
very special guest spend the night last night. ELMO! 

Oops, I mean "E"!

After a very fun day with Nana and friends going to see Elmo (live), "E" came to spend the night.  As soon as she arrived, she wanted some cashews, so I grabbed my camera to capture how precious she looked!

Can you believe that Faith made this shirt the night before for her to wear to the performance!

You should feel Elmo's face - it is made out of "minky" fabric and is the cutest thing ever!

I sure wish I had a Nana like that!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Something To Warm Your Heart

I heard this story on my way to work this morning and literally had to wipe the tears away as I was driving.

In a world where most of the news right now is so depressing and discouraging, how wonderful to hear a story like this on the morning news!

Wouldn't it be wonderful to be a student in THIS high school!

Please watch --you will be blessed!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"Gossip In The Grain"

A couple of years ago, my son introduced me to a musician that quickly became one of my favorite artists - Ray LaMontagne.  

His new album, "Gossip In The Grain", was released today and it is amazing!  ITunes classifies him under the genre "Rock", but don't let that scare you away. I would classify him as more Acoustic / Folk. He is an amazing guitarist and is known for his raspy, unique voice.   He has a sound all his own - sort of like a softer, gentler Joe Cocker.

You may have heard his music in any one of many Prime Time television shows. If you're not familiar with him, listen to one of my favorites from one of his earlier albums.  

If you are already a fan, you won't be disappointed with "Gossip in the Grain".

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Living In A Toxic Environment

There is much talk today about our environment.  I am concerned about the water I drink and the air that I breathe.  I want my grandchildren to grow up on a clean planet, with clean lakes and rivers, and I am doing as much as I can to help accomplish that.

But, I wonder whether I am just as concerned about other pollutants in my environment. What about the "moral climate" in which I live?  

Do you know that there are some people that are toxic. Do any of you know what I am talking about? Think of some of the people that you enjoy seeing and hanging out with.  

Do they build you up spiritually?  

Is your walk with the Lord stronger as a result of being with them? 

Or, is it weaker?  

I have some friends that I love to hang out with, but God has shown me that I need to distance myself from them. I am not stronger spiritually as a result of having been with them.

I used to tell my children when they were younger, "You become like those you hang around." Did you know that is a scriptural principle?  I Corinthians 15:33 says, "Do not be deceived; Bad company corrupts good morals." How many times I have seen this to be true in my own life and in the lives of my children and it happens so quickly and with such subtlety.

There are also toxic places that need to be avoided. There are websites that we need to avoid.  There are certain books and magazines that need to be off-limits. There are movies that we need to avoid because they "contaminate" our minds. 

Proverbs 4:26 says, "Watch the path of your feet."

I wonder, would we relocate our family to a place that we knew was a toxic waste dump?  Would we plan to spend our family vacations there?  Of course not, and yet, there are many places that we go, television shows that we watch, and things that we read that are JUST as toxic to our souls!

So the question is, "How can we remain uncontaminated in this world in which we live? I believe that the answer can be found in Psalm 119:9-11:

How can a young man keep his way pure?
By keeping it according to Thy word.
With all my heart I have sought Thee;
Do not let me wander from Thy commandments.
Thy word I have treasured in my heart,
That I may not sin against Thee.

God, make me sensitive to the places I go, the people that I am with and the things that I do. Help me to remember that I will become like those I hang around and help me to surround myself with friends that make me spiritually stronger as a result of having been around them. I pray that Your Word might be hidden in my heart so that I will immediately recognize things in my environment that are not healthy for me or my family. Strengthen me and give me the courage to walk away from these things. Help me to keep my way pure by keeping it according to Your Word. Amen.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Singing The BLOGLINES Blues!

What in the world is going on with Bloglines for the last few days?  Earlier in the week I just thought that everyone was having a busy week like mine and was not posting very much. Finally, a few of days ago, I checked a couple of my favorite blogs that I follow, only to find out that NOT ONLY were there new posts on their blogs, but they had posted 5 or 6 NEW POSTS and Bloglines never notified me! WHAT!!!!!

Here I was thinking I was up-to-date reading and commenting on the blogs that I follow, only to find out that I am WAY BEHIND! I talked to Faith last night (and also read her post from yesterday) and she has been having the same frustrations!

I just want to say that if I have not commented on your blog recently and I regularly do, PLEASE do not take it personally!  I simply had no idea that you had updated in recent days!  Please give me a few days to get caught up on how far behind I am. I sure hope they get this problem fixed very soon!

How about you?  Are you having the same difficulties and frustrations?  

Has anyone found a better solution for staying updated on all of their blog feeds?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Every Dog Has His Day

Our family is celebrating yet ANOTHER birthday today!

It's the birthday of a very special man in our family.

He is the best friend that anyone could have.  He loves everyone and lets little children sit on him and pull on him without ever growing tired of it. He has seen various cats and dogs come and go in our home, but he's STILL THE MAN!!

Seems like it was just yesterday that he was this size.

And now he is 56 years old today!

( people years, that is!)

Happy 8th Birthday, Champ!  We love you very much!

Champ with his special rawhide birthday treat!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

It's "Noctober" 4th!!!!!


Last night I had all my family together to celebrate a very special little "Princess'" birthday! "E" is 3 years old today!

There was one gift that had to be opened first, because it was necessary to adorn the contents before the party could begin.

You can't have a Princess Party without Princess jewels!!

Nana made this shirt for "E's" birthday party that she had at Day Care earlier in the day. Is it not precious!!!!

This is a picture of her seated beside all of her "goodies"! My goodness --it looks like Christmas, doesn't it? It's a shame no one loves the little girl, huh?

We decided that we better eat something first because all of us adults were a little famished. We had a nice Fall tablescape.....

And a nice Fall meal....Chicken Chili

There were LOTS of gifts to open and "Mommy" helped with all of them!

Her Uncle Josh and Michelle gave her a Planet Earth DVD game that all of us adults were wanting to play. This should be very educational for ALL of us! I loved the TV series when it was aired.

The one thing that she had told Nana and Bubba that she wanted for her birthday, was a blanket with "Lovie" monogrammed on it for her baby doll, so of course Nana came through! How cute is this? Nana also made matching diapers for her baby doll. Too cute!

One of Mommy's co-workers gave her this precious "gardener stuff". She has garden gloves, straw hat, watering can, etc. She's all set to help me and her Mommy plant some petunias! Thanks, Carrie!

Mommy's boss and his wife gave her this precious book and a dress-up bear puzzle set. Thanks so much Dr. H and Kimberly!

And then...."Mommy" really scored some big points with this microphone that she can hear herself sing through the radio on! Too cool! Now she can sing all the songs she learns at church. Way to go, Mom!

**** Will you look at THAT shirt! Nana made THIS shirt, too! It has "E" with a little tiara and a princess wand. Nana is just too talented!

And it was finally time for the Princess Cake. Mommy's boss, Dr. H, provided the beautiful Princess cake and it was delicious! It had whipped icing and a strawberry filling. YUM!

"E", you have brought so much joy to our entire family. We thank the Lord everyday for giving you to us and I pray that God will grant ALL of your wishes to come true!

"Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart."
Psalm 37:4

Friday, October 3, 2008

Green Cleaning Tips

In our home, we do not use any chemicals or toxic cleaners. My son and I both are chemically sensitive to many things in our environment so, out of necessity, I was forced a few years ago to develop my own cleaning products due to the scarcity and the expense of non-toxic cleaning products. Several bloggers have asked me recently about some of the "homemade" cleaners that I use to clean with so I decided to share a couple of them with you.

The first one is an All-Purpose Cleaner that I basically use on all surfaces in my house. It is also very effective on glass and does not streak. I use it on my hard surface countertops and pretty much EVERY surface in my home. Besides being good for the environment and not harmful to us, it costs only pennies per use!

1/2 cup vinegar
2 cups distilled water
1 teaspoon dishwashing liquid
8 - 10 drops lemon essential oil

Pour all ingredients into spray bottle.

My second favorite cleaner is is the one that I use to clean my bathtub,shower stall, toilets, kitchen sinks and bathroom sinks. It cuts through soap scum great!

This makes your chrome fixtures just sparkle!

2/3 cups baking soda

Mix both ingredients together with a fork until well combined. Dip damp sponge into mixture and apply to surface to be cleaned.

Rinse off after scrubbing.

A great invention that I love is these dryer balls. I have not purchased or used fabric softener in over 5 years. These little guys eliminate static electricity and leave your clothes feeling soft without the use of toxic chemicals and fragrances.

Just throw the dryer balls in the dryer along with your clothes while drying. Clothes will come out static free and soft!

Does anyone have any good non-toxic cleaning products that you have discovered? Would love for you to share!