Monday, January 21, 2019

One of the best things about this book

from Dr. Ron Welch is that he starts with the premise that 
EVERY relationship has conflict. 
I think that is so important for people to hear in today’s world.
I’ve heard of far too many people who walk away from a relationship they’ve invested in because, ‘it just shouldn’t be this hard.’ 
And as someone who has been with the love of my life for over 35 years, I can say with authority [ha] that love is hard. 
 But, oh so worth it. 
In 10 Choices Successful Couples make, Dr. Ron Welch shares that it’s how we react to the conflict that can shape and mold us and [yes] change us as we grow in relationship with others. 
While everything in this book is good and helps us build better relationships, I think the thought that stuck with me is the difference between a  ‘me’ centered marriage and an ‘us’ centered marriage. 
This is a concept that I learned many [many] years ago in a relationship class during my freshman year of college. If we concentrate on giving instead of getting our relationships will grow. 
That can be hard in this world we live in that continuously says our happiness is dependent on everything being about me and how smart / brave / strong / etc. I am. 
 Fortunately, Dr. Welch shares thoughts and strategies 
[and exercises to do together!]
to build a successful relationship together.
 
Note: This book was given to me for review purposes. 
All opinions are my own.
 

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Yay! I've completed

my December Album!
Trying a new process for slide shows - 
Thanks for being patient with me!
...




Click on it to make it bigger -

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Happy New Year!

Because of work schedules our Christmasing continued well into 2019!
 We celebrated New Year's with New York - 

Here are some highlights -
Christmas with Craig's side of the family is always fun!
We enjoyed dinner at little steak place we've been going to for years 
and then headed over to Gr-Mother's house for gifts and goodies!
Of course, it was hard not having his sweet sister with us this year.
But we were so glad we could see Billy and all the 'kids.'
We always enjoy getting together with my side of the family too!
This year we all gathered at our house [and let me just say I'm loving our 'sectional' that has all separate pieces so we can move it around however we need it -]
Alas, I was not prepared to play a  tune on my ukulele,
but Kelly gave the dulcimer a go - so nice!
Love these kiddos!

[And I got the stocking done!]
We also enjoyed our somewhat traditional New Year's gathering at Sho Gun, 
albeit, a day early because of work schedules.
Love our kiddos!
MK and I had a ton of fun welcoming the New Year
with some poppers that Craig picked up for us.

 - And while this is definitely NOT the most flattering photo of me - 
I love that it captures the fun and overcoming the fear of the 'POP'!
And that my friends, is why I was up at 5:30
to get back into a bit of exercise routine....lol 
Let's make 2019 great!

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Okay. I'll admit

that the quirky cover of this book is what grabbed my attention.

 But when I opened up Salvaged by Roy Goble I was equally intrigued 
with Mr. Goble’s concepts on leadership.
OMGoodness, y'all. This is good stuff.
 The best part for me is that he starts with talking about the need to understand the things we crave [or motivate us] and how this can steer us toward healthy goals -  
Ultimately this concept can make us a better leader. 
Roy Goble seamlessly weaves scripture [and a Christ-based lifestyle] as well as lessons from the junkyard throughout his leadership lessons; 
and I love that. 
I also love all the little ‘footnotes’ where he speaks truth regarding something in the context of the book, such as, 
“Boring pivot, I know. But we can simply change in more areas of our lives that we sometimes admit. Not everything has to be a process or complicated,”
 This is one of many that I will carry with me for a while.
 This book has changed the way I look at leadering [is that a word? Ha] 
and I will recommend it to those I know in leadership roles, both young and old. 
But hey, aren’t we all in a leadership role in some form or fashion in our lives whether we are working outside the home or supervising others? We all have an impact on every person we come in contact with – Roy Goble will help you re-think how we handle all relationships we share during our lives.

Note: This book was given to me for review purposes. All opinions are my own.
And while many times I pass books along to others, this one will go on my shelf so I can reference it in the future. It's THAT good y'all.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Omgoodness, y'all.

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! 
 We enjoyed celebrating the season in it's entirety
- and loved every minute of it.
 Every fun outing with family and friends...
Every dinner...
 
 ... and there were lots of them 
[I love getting together with friends -]
Every special event...
 
inside and out... 
Every special treat...
Every Christmas concert...
and Christmas craft...
and Special welcome...
Every family gathering 
[and looking forward to those still to come...]
Every warm day we could be outside...
and every evening seeing Frosty welcome us home...
Every shopping trip with impromptu Christmas Spirit..
 Every work party...
Every evening just enjoying our tree...
Both in the living room and in the kitchen...
And every church service that celebrated the birth of our Savior...
I hope your Christmas was Merry and Bright...

Friday, December 21, 2018

I'm catching up on my book reviews and

isn’t this Bible just beautiful?
 I was thrilled to receive it from the publisher for review purposes. 
The Inspire Bible has lots of art ready to complete in your own way 
[and y’all know how much I love seeing how each person puts their own spin on each page!] 
But there’s also plenty of room to create your own original art as the scriptures inspire you.  
One of the things I love the most about this particular journaling Bible is that it’s the 
New Living Translation so the scriptures are easy to read and really come to life for me.

 

This is a Catholic Bible and contains the deuterocanonical books as part of the Old Testament canon. As most of you know, I am not Catholic but my mama had such a love of the scriptures that she often spoke of these books as historical in nature and a way to support the events of the time.

 

Note: This book was given to me for review purposes. All opinions are my own.
 [And – I’ve passed it on to a friend of the Catholic faith.]

 

Friday, December 7, 2018

Here's a little more

detail about my wreath...
It's kind of giant, y'all.
But I guess I decided if I'm going to have a natural wreath
 I like it big and wild a free...lol
 So... I started with a layer of cypress... I just love how it feathers out everywhere..
I tucked the branches in the wreath form and kind of wove them all together in the back, 
if that even makes sense...
 
Then I added in some cedar around on top and in between...
Next I just stuck some of the spruce here and there... 
Honestly, I used very little wire.. 
 
Lastly,  I tried my bow on, then added holly 
[and agree with my friend that the holly LEAVES add a great textural element] 
and a bit of cotton...  
I almost added in some of those pinecones you see there on the table...
But you've gotta stop somewhere...  lol...
Its hanging on our laundry room door so I get a nice Christmasy smell 
every time I'm on the carport... 
LOVE IT!

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Tomorrow is St. Nicholas' Day, y'all -

[an edited repeat from past years...]

Pere Noel, Christkindle, Father Christmas, Kriss Kringle, Sinterklas,
St. Nicholas
I was first introduced to St. Nicholas as a freshman in college when my dear friend Grace [whose grandparents on both sides of her family came to the US from the Netherlands] put a wooden shoe, filled with candy, outside my door on December 6th. [Still have that shoe, btw.]
I’ve loved the idea of St. Nicholas ever since!
There’s a lot of fact and folklore about him today, but most believe he was a real person and that the idea of Santa Claus came from the acts of goodwill that he did.
[Random Acts of Christmas Kindness, if you will - ]
Here’s a link that tells his story briefly.
I’ve always wanted to have “Santa Claus” visit our boys on December 6th and keep Christmas sacred [or, practically --at least spread out the gift-receiving a little for them], but differed to C’s wishes. So instead, for the last 27 years, our boys have always received a chocolate Santa on December 6th. [Granted there were some years when I was out at 5 a.m. to get these Santas because of our crazy schedule! – But it was done!] 
This year? Let's just say they're on their way!
So, Happy St. Nicholas Day to you!
At our house Santa has always been pretend.
Our boys were never taught he was real, but more just a character of the secular celebration of Christmas [kind of like Mickey Mouse = celebration of magical place] who left gifts for them on Christmas morning. They’ve always known that Mom and Day were “Santa.” We’ve had a few Santa photos through the years [we have those Mickey ones too!] and we’ve had fun with it, but have always, always tried to help our boys see that
Jesus truly is the reason we have anything at all to celebrate in this life.
We hope that in the midst of all the hustle and bustle of the Christmas Season you can take the time to see a tiny baby lying in a manger who died so we might live eternally.
What a hope we have because of Him!

Monday, December 3, 2018

For the past several years

 I’ve wanted to have a little wreath making party the first weekend in December… 
But time, y’all.
It gets away from us all, doesn’t it? 
Fast forward to 2018 and Jen Schmidt’s book – JUST OPEN THE DOOR – 
all about hospitality [which I love, and believe I’m gifted in, but let’s be honest, haven’t been practicing as much these past few fast-paced years] 
and the fact that I was asked to 
LEAD THE BIBLE STUDY 
based on the book – 
And well… it’s time to practice what I preach, right? HA.
That.
Plus I do love a good gathering of friends.
So I just went for it – invited about 30+ people to come over and create [natural] wreaths together. Whoa. Thirty? Yes. - 
We all know only about half respond and are able to attend
... despite giving a few weeks heads up – that’s just life folks. 
Plus… where do you cut off the friend list? 
[And still, I forgot some…so sorry]
I’d really planned for this little soiree to be held in our cute back yard area with tables and decorations and eating outdoors in the 60 degree southern winter weather we enjoy, but
THE WEATHER DID NOT COOPERATE.
BUT AT LEAST THERE WERE NO TORNADOES.
And, in the end... rain did not fall during the entire gathering. 
Thank you Lord!
At first I thought I’d try to  BRING IT ALL INSIDE… 
Then my sweetheart came home with a truck load of fir  / spruce cuttings…
And what a mess anyway…
So we cleaned off the carport at the last minute and set it up out there…
 

Let me just give kudos to my sweet husband 
who always help make my ideas happen!
He’s helped me set up, clean up and forage and gather for the past couple of weeks…
Here’s how it all ‘went down’ as the millennial newscasters would say… 
[and that drives me CrAzY by the way – ]
We, and by we, I mean mostly my sweetheart, started a week or so before the date… 
I gathered pinecones from the yard that were closed tightly against the fall rains
and put them in the oven [200 – 250*] to warm and wake them up 
[plus it killed the critters – ha.] 
Next, while we were at brother’s house during Thanksgiving we notice his Leland Cypress might need a trim and he was ALL ABOUT letting Craig do the trimming. 
[Seriously – he was gracious enough to let us take all we wanted.] 
While out and about during Thanksgiving weekend we gleaned cotton 
from one of the many fields in our area that already been picked… 
My dentist quickly agreed that I could cut all the holly I wanted from his landscape [we only cut from the area next to the building so it wouldn’t cause an eyesore – ha.] 
Then I trimmed some boxwood in our yard and my sweetheart cut down a small cedar tree someone wanted to get rid of; and lastly, he visited a local Christmas tree lot who kindly gave us a few [???] scraps of spruce – LOL.
Next came the arranging [and re-arranging – and RE-arranging, if only in my mind.] 
And I used the planner sheet I shared a few days back…
As I said, we ended up on our little carport – and the plus of that was that I quickly decorated Lottie a bit for a cute back drop.
Frosty welcomed everyone to the area 
as he kept watch over the Christmas tree cuttings…
Oh. My.
The cedar and cypress were on a table ready to go…
with tables were out for friends to work on.
And everyone quickly got to work!
 
I provided greenery, wire, some decorations, [and guidance. HA.]
Guests brought their own wreath form, clippers, gloves 
and things they wanted to share, as well as use on their own wreaths.

It was a wonderful way to spend a dreary rainy afternoon!


I loved honoring my sweet mama as I shared how she taught me 
to make the big fluffy bows she made each Christmas!
 
And you'll see in a minute that everyone did a great job!
I had coffee, water, and that sinful hot [crockpot] cocoa that’s all over the internet this time of year. We also had tomato basil soup and chicken vegetable soup as well as brownie brittle [ha] and good ole southern chess cake [Paula Dean calls it gooey bars]…

I create the Invite, scanned it in, and sent it out via text groups – 
and again, sorry I missed some of you. 
[I’m already planning for next year and 
looking for a bigger location that might work, rain or shine…]
I think a little decorations always add to the festivities so I pulled some tables ‘round and added a few things here and there. 
Can you believe this table actually came out of someone's trash?
[We've had the coke sign since before we got married...]
 I set a few things out on the tool / cat food shelf...
things I already had...
Tip: use plastic table cloths to conceal things as needed. LOL
Here are some of our wreaths – 
As always – whenever I’m involved in a group activity – 
 I LOVE HOW EVERYONE PUTS THEIR OWN SPIN ON THINGS.

 Every single one is beautiful – 
 and of course SMELLS DELICIOUSLY LIKE CHRISTMAS!
Fun was had by all!
[I hope!]

I love every one of them!
[The wreaths AND the people!]
I wish we'd gotten more photos - but it was SEC Championship weekend... 
and the game was coming on soon, lol...
But here's the thing: I had so much fun just being together with friends!
The wreaths were a bonus in my book…
Let the Merry [MERRY] Christmas 
season begin!