Quiet and common notions...shared here...with you! Of life ~ our hearts and our home.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Beautiful Hands

If you've read Grandma's Hands... here is the promised follow-up post.
 . . . . . .

One day as a young cashier at our local Christian Bookstore, several weeks into my job... I was taken aback by my customer standing before me; as she beautifully handled her purse, wallet and counted change like I have never seen before.

You see?  She had the most perfect of hands. 

Well...to look at them initially, you wouldn't think so. 

I don't believe I know her name; I don't even know her story; but I would recognize her by her hands.  They were (obviously from birth) what you would call malformed.

On one hand she had a thumb and a portion of a pinkie.  The other hand had two long fingers and I think a thumb - if I remember correctly. 

When I saw her for the first time... I had to keep my mouth from gaping... she just amazed me with her speed, her agility, her ease, and to top it off SHE WAS A (beautiful) MOTHER - like it was nobodies business- with several young children!!!!!!!!!

((People learn to cope/accept/appreciate/serve with their God-given bodies, in amazing ways.))

But, that day I immediately looked at my two- five fingered, fully functioning hands and thought to myself. 
This is crazy!  I don't need all of these fingers; these two hands... look at her with her "disability" and to her this is her normal. 
I - with my hands - feel clumsy, awkward, unyielding, unfriendly, and some days not-so-willing...  I'm the one with the disability here.
That woman had beautiful hands!! 

****

This reminds me of another story.  (And, I'm completely paraphrasing it...)

I remember reading about a young child who was very embarrassed about his Mother's hands.   His mother was beautiful.  The most beautiful woman he had ever known and yet, her hands didn't match the rest of her beauty.  They were ugly and scarred.   She never talked about it.  She just lived out her life - caring for him and loving him.  Finally, as he could stand it no longer, he dared to approach her with the question of why her hands looked the way he did... admitting to his embarrassment - all along she knew, and the painful memory of that day scarred her heart even more then her hands had been.  It was "no sacrifice".

She told him of the day she rescued him from his burning crib - while he was just an infant. 

She knew she had to do it.  His life was in her hands.  Beauty sacrificed for sacrificial beauty.

The pain, the memory, the loss was nothing compared to the peace and understanding that now flooded that young son's soul as he listened to the detailed whispers of his mother's heart.  She loved him. 

There was nothing in all the world more precious and more dear then for him to know, that...

That woman had beautiful hands!

* * * *

What about you?  What do your hands look like, to others??

Are they scarred, marred, handicap, unwilling, and not so friendly or helpful...?  Or, because of all those sorts of things - they have become beautiful?

You know?  I was thinking of several verses of Scripture that I could add to this post... but I thought I would let that up to you, to share today.  What are a few verses that come to mind - in referance to using our hands?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Your interest has been piqued : Here's the idea that I have...

 . . . . . . .

We're a couple of days away from October, but I've decided to make October my donation month!!!!  It will be One Year officially, in October, that Bags by Bevy has been in business - live on Etsy.

Yeah!  I can hardly believe that myself.

Okay, so here it is!!  I've decided that I would like to donate 10% of ALL bag sales throughout the month of October, towards a mission fund project, within our church. 



But that is not all.

I have one Bag ~ it includes a matching Pocket Pouch ~  that it's entire cost purchase of $50.00, will be donated to help send nine of our own church folks to India.  No one has asked me to do this... I just want to help out, and I thought "what a unique way to get involved" ...  and for you, too. 

Number one, you can be praying for this trip... it sounds extensive to the fact that one of our own pastor's and his wife are planning to lead a seminar for approximately 2,000 men and woman, equipping these folks to go back to their own communities to plant more churches - all across India.

The other 7 folks going along plan to lead out in a Children's Ministry outreach... doing more then I can even imagine, I am sure.


So, this one's for India!!






This bag and pocket pouch combination will not be available for purchase at Bags by Bevy, on Etsy,  until October 1st... at which time, it's name will then be revealed.  That is part of the piqued interest, for your benefit.

So, pray about it. 

Is this one way that you could uniquely get involved, in a missions trip?   Seriously though, if your already part of a great church and they've got something going on -such as a missions trip coming up - think about that first...I would always recommend you support your own local church before anywhere else.

Please.

****

So, what do you think??  Fun??  Cool???  Interesting... different?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fall's Calling ~ Fields of Paisley

. . . . . . .



~ Fields of Paisley~
(Sold! to Amanda H.)

****


~Fall's Calling~
(Sold! to Rachel K.)



****


I tell you what.... this is still lots of fun.  My phone and email's are keeping me busy... lots of piqued interest and orders being placed.   Christmas is just around the proverbial corner, you know.

****

On a completely different side note, I want to tell you something crazy awesome. 

First: I just really want to praise the Lord for his unique interest in us, as his children.  It's so wonderful!

The other day I mentioned to Scott about needing a few items of clothing for myself.  I just mentioned it... that's all.

And then.

More recently, he was helping to get the kids ready and dressed for the day.  I told him that I am really "struggling" in the clothing department for Aubrey.  She grew like 3" since her last check-up and with the change of seasons on us... Yikes!! beware.... I just mentioned it... that's all.

Wouldn't you know?  For both instances - within hours - of the mention.  I either get a surprise phone call or a "here these are for you"...with bags of clothing... perfectly meeting the "just mentioned" need.

I was in tears today... as I was sorting through 8 pampers boxes and 6 large white garbage bags.

   ****

Isn't it the kindness of the Lord, at times, when we least expect his blessing?  You've had this happen to you, too, I'm sure.

Well.  I feel really blessed - once again - and with that I'd like to do something unique with Bags by Bevy

Come back here tomorrow to hear more about what I have in mind... I hope I've at least piqued your interest at the mere mention of it. 


Nothing like leaving you hanging... sorry!  You'll see.

Monday, September 27, 2010

On all the day's that end in "WHY".

. ... . . . . . .. . ... .... ... ... .. . . . . ... .

This post title is not completely original with me.  So I cannot fully take the credit for it.



The other day I decided that these reproduction kitchen towels needed to be washed.
As I was hanging them on the line, the thought occurred to me (me, being my usual anal self) that I should be hanging these in the correct order. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday...

Yes! I really, honestly, had that thought go through my mind.  Can you believe it??  I almost can't... and I'm like this - a lot!

Well, I didn't.

I didn't change anything. Instead,  I left them as they were and kept thinking about the many, many times that our days feel just like this - so mixed up and out of order.  We can't tell one day from the next... they're full of nonsense, upheaval, chaos and... you name it.  It happens.



Throughout our mixed-up days we're often left with questions that begin and end with WHY?


Like I mentioned, the title to this post is not 100% original with me.  There is a Southern Gospel song out there that I fell in love with.  I just currently can't remember who sings it - two different artists sing this.

But it's a song that talks about this: that our Gracious Heavenly Father knows our days; they are ordered by him and for all of the questions - the whys? -  no matter which day of the week it is.... He is faithful to walk through each moment of that day with us. 

I love that.  And,  I need that for encouragement in the days to come... I think we all do.  Why?  I'm not sure, other then that as God's dearly beloved children - we need him to sustain our very being.  What feels so out of our control (so often) is really ALL in his hands.

****
Do not say, "Why were the old days are better then these?  For it is wise to not ask such questions.

Consider what God has done:
Who can straighten what he has made crooked? 
When times are good, be happy; but when
times are bad, consider God had made the one
as well as the other.  Therefore a man cannot discover
anything about his future. 

~ Ecclesiastes 7: 10, 13- 14

Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday's Finds: {no. 29/10)

. . . . . . . . . . .
Grey day???  Even then....there is beauty... if we stop to notice. 

Here is today's Friday's Finds.




It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassion's fail not.



They are new every morning:
great is thy faithfulness.


The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore I will hope in him.
Lamentations 3: 22-24 (KJV)

*****

I am so serious when I say this.  I believe God uses friends and family, in our lives, as one way, to show his mercies - NEW- every morning.  I have been blessed time and time again - in some form or another, particularly here in blogging - with a DAILY reminder of God's grace, his goodness and his faithfulness.

For that, I thank you, Lord and I thank you - my friends.  I take these verses to heart, as well...


One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.

A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.
~Proverbs 11: 24-25

****

Don't have a grey day (or a grey weekend).  Get out there and bless someone (else) today... for surely, that blessing will be returned when you need it yourself.  The day will come.



Have a refreshing weekend!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Grandma's Hands

. . . . . . . . . . 

 Just look at the picture (below) for a minute and then read the rest of the story.  It will touch you deeply.



[This was sent to me via a forwarded email]: 

I was privileged to take a photo of "Five Generations of Women" shortly before my 93 year-old Grandmother passed away last year.

The photo shown above, features the hands of my Grandmother, Mom, Sister, Niece & Great-Niece. While I can't take credit for the idea, I was so happy to have had the suggestion & capture this moment. It inspired a friend of mine to do something similar, which turned out so beautiful it became a special keepsake, prior to her father's passing.


Grandma, some ninety plus years, sat feebly on the patio bench. She didn't move, just sat with her head down staring at her hands.
When I sat down beside her she didn't acknowledge my presence & the longer I sat I wondered if she was OK.




Finally, not really wanting to disturb her but wanting to check on her at the same time, I asked her if she was OK. She raised her head & looked at me & smiled. "Yes, I'm fine, thank you for asking," she said in a clear voice strong.






"I didn't mean to disturb you, Grandma, but you were just sitting here staring at your hands & I wanted to make sure you were OK." I explained to her.






"Have you ever looked at your hands," she asked. "I mean really looked at your hands?"






I slowly opened my hands & stared down at them. I turned them over, palms up & then palms down. No, I guess I had never really looked at my hands as I tried to figure out the point she was making.

 
Grandma smiled & related this story:

 
"Stop & think for a moment about the hands you have, how they have served you well throughout your years. These hands, though wrinkled shriveled & weak have been the tools I have used all my life to reach out & grab & embrace life."



"They braced & caught my fall when as a toddler I crashed upon the floor."

 
"They put food in my mouth & clothes on my back. As a child, my mother taught me to fold them in prayer. They tied my shoes & pulled on my boots. They held my husband & wiped my tears when he went off to war."

 
"They have been dirty, scraped & raw, swollen & bent. They were uneasy & clumsy when I tried to hold my newborn son. Decorated with my wedding band they showed the world that I was married & loved someone special."

"They wrote my letters to him & trembled & shook when I buried my parents & spouse."



"They have held my children & grandchildren, consoled neighbors, & shook in fists of anger when I didn't understand."


"They have covered my face, combed my hair, & washed & cleansed the rest of my body. They have been sticky & wet, bent & broken, dried & raw. And to this day when not much of anything else of me works real well these hands hold me up, lay me down, & again continue to fold in prayer."



"These hands are the mark of where I've been & the ruggedness of life."

 
Grandma continued...."But more importantly it will be these hands that God will reach out & take when he leads me home. And with my hands He will lift me to His side & there I will use these hands to touch the face of Christ."


. . . . . . .


I will never look at my hands the same again. But I remember God reached out & took my Grandma's hands & led her home.

When my hands are hurt or sore or when I stroke the face of my children & husband I think of Grandma. I know she has been stroked & caressed & held by the hands of God.

I, too, want to touch the face of God & feel His hands upon my face.

[from an unknown author]

** *** **


: : Have you sat and looked at your hands, lately?  They're beautiful...

Look for a follow-up post, sometime next week, on Beautiful Hands.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Woman of Influence

. .. . ... . .. .... .. . .. . .. . ... .. .. . .. . . .. .. . .. . . 

A long time ago, I read a book by Pam Ferrel called "Woman of Influence".  I don't remember much of what the book is about other then that it was good...really good... and that it recently beckoned to me from the shelves of my personal library. 

Pick me!  Pick me!  You really should re-read me...

As I thumbed through the first several pages I remembered how much this book originally inspired me to be that one "woman of influence".  I don't know if I've attained this status yet or not.  I think I first read this book back in my early to late twenties.  So, now with me in my late thirties... I wonder?

Am I a Woman of Influence?



The other day my husband and I were talking and a tear came to my eye as I recounted the thoughts of someone being such an influence in my life.  If it wasn't for Ruth... I would not have the "creativity and inspiration" that I have and feel today is so much a part of my life.  It was her faithfulness as a weekly Home-Ec teacher in my high school years that really fanned the flame; the wind beneath my wings, so to speak, that sparked this interest in me to create and enjoy what I do.  There were others who inspired me in this area, too, but I always go back to "if it wasn't for Ruth" in my life.  I don't know... really, I don't.  She really made a difference in my life.

I am so grateful for Ruth - my Woman of Influence. 

***

: : What about you??  Is there that one Woman of Influence, in your life?  Tell me about it...

By the way.  There is a difference (though ever so slightly) between Influenced and Inspired.  Can you sense that difference?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

~Spinach Beef Pie~

. . . . . . . . .

The feeling of Fall coming on always puts me in the mood for some hearty, delicious meals.  As though not every meal that I conjure up isn't??  Of course....;)  there are a few that don't fit this category.  I confess. 
This dish, in the form of a pie - is a wonderful, wonderful favorite in our home.  I am so glad I found this recipe.  The crust is easy to do and brings on a feeling of healthiness as old-fashioned rolled oats are part of it.  You've got to make this sometime.  It's really, really delish. ;)

One other reason why I love making this recipe at this time of year is that it calls for a topping of fresh tomatoes to be added to the top - at the last few minutes of baking.  If you garden, you're sure to still have a few good, scrumptious tomatoes around... if not, they're easy to find.  Somebody has a couple, somewhere.  It only calls for one large - or equivalent of.



~Spinach Beef Pie~

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup old-fashioned oats
7 Tbsp. cold butter
2-3 Tbsp. cold water
***
1 pound ground beef
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 dried marjoram (opt.)
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 pkg.(10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
 3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups cheddar cheese, divided
1 large tomato, seeded and diced

In a bowl, combine flour and oats; cut in butter until crumbly.  Gradually add water, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball.  Roll out dough to fit a deep dish pie (Pampered Chef) plate.  (I don't roll it... I just sorta press it into the pie plate and up the sides)  You can flute edges, if you'd like.
In a skillet, cook the beef, onion, green pepper and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.  Stir in the ketchup and seasonings.  Fold in the spinach; cool slightly.  Stir in eggs and 1 cup of cheddar cheese until combined; spoon into crust.

Bake at 400* for 25-30 minutes or until the center is set.  Top with remaining cheese.  Sprinkle diced tomatoes around the outer edge of the pie.  Bake 5-10 minutes longer until the cheese is melted.  Let the pie stand for 5-10 minutes before cutting, giving the pie to settle.
Yield: 6-8 servings.

*****

By the way.  I'm hosting a Pampered Chef Brunch demonstration at my home on Saturday, the 26th, at 11:00!
If you're local and would like to come, you're more then welcome to stop by.  Just let me know via email.
 If you would like to place an order; you can do that too, by logging onto www.pamperedchef.biz/jenfretz

The demonstrator's site will let you know how to go about placing an order.

Thank you!!  You know how much I love my pampered chef products.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Postcards from God

. . . . . . . .

Earlier this week we received two postcards from Grandma Susie.  She has been visiting with her sister and brother-in-law (who live out-of-state) and they all went on a road trip (also, out-of-state) - due north.  We'll leave it at that, except to say - I am / was jealous. 

I would L*O*V*E a road trip in my near future. :)

Anyway.



We were blessed to receive these two postcards.  Not a lot said, but just enough to let us know we were in her thoughts and she wanted us to know... what she's been up to. ;)


*** ** ***

Well, I was having a rough week so to speak.  You've had those days, too, I'm sure.

Nothing seemed to go right.  I was always "on my last nerve" with the children.  I didn't get to do all that I wanted to do.  Plans got changed - often at last minute.  Lots of Inconveniences...

But, between Friday and Saturday... I kept getting these beautiful, encouraging postcards from God.  The kind that make you stop and smile...knowing you matter.

Like this:

One came in the mere random phone call - from Maude, calling to say she would like to "come on over" just to chat.  She had a gift for me.  Something that she made... and I love it!!!!!!!!!!!!  



Another was a word of encouragement from a new MOPS friend/woman who was a patient at the hospital where I worked, as a CNA, years ago... she remembered me (on that particular day) being an especially bright spot to her day.

Another friend thanked me for being such an inspiration, on my blog, (she reads it quite often) and I had no idea because she's never let me know - before.

Another acquaintance/neighbor - got in touch with me after two years of a misunderstanding- explaining the complete fluke for what it was... and is hopeful for a reconnection.  I'm left amazed and humbled how the Lord worked this one out.  You can be praying for the continued resolve to this one...

Also, I was praying all week for another Bags by Bevy sale (long story, that I won't go into right now) and the Lord provided that answer earlier in the week and I didn't even realize it.  So, the sale is pending until the customer is back from vacation.
God answered - I just wasn't paying attention.  Lesson learned on this one.

There were a few others, as well... all very, very special.


: : The point being that God really does want to encourage us when we least expect it.  Look for them... those postcards can come in view at any time - if we're paying attention.  They might not say a lot - but are full of assurance that we're daily on his mind and here's what he's up to - in our lives. ;)

*** ** ***


And the winner for the giveaway:  Coming Home - gooseberry patch cookbook, Pumpkin Bread and a little somethin', somethin' from Bags by Bevy in the form of a Pocket Pouch (which I've named:  "Postcard from home")....

Part of Giveaway.  Not for Sale.


drum roll, please...
goes to...

Amanda - from Homegrown and Beeyoutiful

Congratulations! Amanda - I'll need you to email me your mailing address so that I can get these items out to you as soon as I can.  Thanks for joining in - and for all of your encouraging comments on a regular basis-  giveaway or not.

I suppose in a way, I could say you (Amanda) have often been used as a postcard from God, too - whether you realized it or not.  Thank you so much.  It's been nice getting to know you better through blogging. ;)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday's Finds: {no. 28/10}

. . . . . . .

Friday's Finds:  Today I share nothing new. 

If you have children you know this to be true.




Honestly.  Really.  What do we do?

She looks like me and he acts like you... (and, vice versa)







When I look at our two little ones here...I'm finding more and more of myself - in that I see myself, hear myself, understand myself - in and through my children. 

 I don't always like it.

But.

One thing I have noticed, lately, that makes me smile... is that both of my children love to sing.  It's been a really fun thing to do as a family.  To sing: at mealtimes, at bedtime, in the car, just to change the mood/subject!  And, every day, they are getting better and better at carrying a tune, remembering lyrics and it just amazes me, although I shouldn't be surprised.  Both Scott and I love to sing.  It's simply part of our nature.

This is where the specific thing comes in about Caleb.  A word will be said, or a object will be noticed and it will trigger a song out of him.  ;)

THAT'S MY BOY!!

I used to drive my friends & family crazy with this.  A song would always erupt out of me - no matter where I was, due to the fact that something was said and it simply triggered it.



As long as I have breath I'm going sing praises to my God. ~ Psalm 104: 33 (paraphrased)

I just hope and pray that the song will never taken from my little ones hearts... that their lips will always declare praise to God and may it never be enough...


Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
 ~ Psalm 90:14


. . . . . . . 


Have a wonderful weekend!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

God's Glory Displayed


. . . . . . . . .

The other evening I raced outside with my camera... trying to capture (note: trying to capture) the beauty of this gorgeous sunset.  Ironically, a couple of nights ago, at our small group, (with our Church) we were talking about the Glory of God; ways that we see his glory displayed in our lives and around us. 

I think you would agree, that this is just one way that we see his glory displayed...


Be exalted, O God, above the heavens. Let your glory be over all the earth.  ~ Psalm 57:5



O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name above the earth. You have set your glory above the heavens...  When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you have set in place...all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea...Oh LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth. ~ Psalm 8

Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory. ~ Isaiah 6:3








Psalm 50: 1-6

The Mighty One, God, the LORD, speaks
and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to the place where it sets.
From Zion, perfect in beauty, God shines forth.
Our God comes and will not be silent;
a fire devours before him, and around him a tempest rages.
He summons the heavens above, and the earth....and the heavens proclaim his righteousness, for God himself is judge.  Selah

. . . . . . . .

My prayer-filled response comes from Psalm 73...

Whom have I heaven but you?  And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but you {oh God} are the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.

Lord, may this be an ever increasing, ever deepening heart's cry and song from my lips forever...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Mitzi's Banana Bread

. . . . . . . .


When my dear friend Mitzi gave me this recipe - years ago.  I knew it was a keeper.  It is the best banana bread I had ever tasted.  It became a great way to use up those banana's I kept throwing into the freezer - the ones that weren't going to get eaten in time. ;)

So.  You've got banana's galore?  Why not go ahead and make banana bread out of them?  Then, throw the loaves into the freezer and pull a loaf out when needed for that "unexpected moment" of spontaneous company and practicing hospitality?  Eh?   Then again., you already do this...don't you?



~Mitzi's Banana Bread~
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
2 eggs (or 4 egg whites)
1 cup mashed banana's (equals 2 cups)
1/2 cup (non-fat) sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Beat sugar and oil together; add other wet ingredients.  Mix dry ingredients separately, then add to wet batter...mixing together just until moist.  Pour into a greased and floured (I use granulated sugar) loaf pan.

Bake at 350* for 50-60 minutes.
Cool for 5 minutes, take out of pan and cool on wire rack.

Yield:  Makes one loaf.

. . . . . .
I love my friend and miss her so much. 

** Here's to thinking of you, Mitzi.  Thank you for sharing this recipe with me, back there on Green St.  You should see what this recipe card looks like.  ;)

I hope you're having a wonderful day birthday  ;) and I sure wish you would (or could) drink coffee.  I also wish you didn't live so far away and were here for a random, spontaneous visit, you know?  ((hugs)).

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Inconvenience : : Is it or isn't it?

. . . . . .



"An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered.
An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered."
~G.K. Chesterton

You can read this quote, taken from here.  Wow!   And, the rest of this particular post is for more food for thought.  Take time to read it, if you'd like.  It will not be a waste of time.
. . . . . .

A similar post has been brewing in my my heart for awhile now.  Nothing came of it much, as it was really becoming an inconvenient thorn in my side... to put it all, rightly, into words.

Have you ever done this??  Take a word... then, you realize that the meaning of the word totally clinches all of your feelings and angst regarding that word. 

For instance.

The word I find coming up on my radar, on a far too often,  regular basis is the word : INCONVENIENT.

I find that just knowing what that word means in and of itself is inconvenient.  Do you follow me?

That means because I'm literate and know what the word means - I'm accountable in my response to that word.  When things irritate me, bug me, baffle me, annoy me, to the point of making me mutter under my breath, or - in other words, I react rather then respond

The root of all of those things dials down to the fact that I feel inconvenienced.  Take that a step further... and I know that it is a deeper root of selfishness, followed by pride.


. . .
That is why I find that quote so refreshing.  It's all in how I look at it.


Question for you: Would you continue to ponder this thought with me, for awhile?? 

And.

What is some insight, I can take away from you??



Monday, September 13, 2010

Giveaway ( NOW CLOSED!) : Coming Home and more

. . . . . . .

This has got to one of my most favorite cookbooks.  Thumbing through this cookbook, it is just so heartwarming and  it gives you that true "coming home" sort of feeling.  The photos & recipes in this book are so amazing.  It makes me drool every time. 

Great - now you really feel at home...since I've admitted that, right?


Seriously.

Well, guess what?  I just so happen to have an EXTRA copy of it around our home and I thought since I am on this fall kick, so early in the season, AND the fact that today marks my 400th post (whoop!), that I should just give one away.  To you! my fun "ponder-lings"... my readers... my friends.

A brand new Gooseberry Patch Cookbook...with no drool on it's pages.

Isn't this exciting?

So.  If your interested... you have until Friday, September 17th, at 10:00 pm (EST) to enter your name - via leaving a comment today - as well as, a comment left on any post throughout this week will also guarantee you a chance to win this awesome giveaway.  You do not need to have a blog to enter, and obviously, if you comment anonymously - you will need to leave your name in the comment.

And. 

What's more...

You will receive a fresh baked loaf of Spiced Pumpkin Bread (my favorite and only recipe I'll use for Pumpkin Bread - from Gooseberry Patch ~ Coming Home) and a little something else from Bags by Bevy.  (whoopee!)

This is one awesome giveaway!!!  Tell all of your friends... but the rule, for a chance, to win, is by leaving your comments today and throughout the week.  Winner will be chosen -using random generator.  ** I (Bevy) reserve the right to delete/remove any comments - deemed necessary. Thank you.**

However, I love comments...and, I want to hear MORE from you, on a regular basis!!  And, I want to thank my regular readers/commenter's (you know who you are), who comment daily... You truly are a blessing to me.  Thank you so, so much.

. . .

So, how was your weekend?  Ours was jamb packed with family, friends, celebration and gatherings!  Despite the rain drops that were much needed, on Sunday....and very much appreciated.  What an awesome weekend, we had.

Friday, September 10, 2010

(One,Two!) Many Personalities

I said (this is Aubrey speaking)....

No Way!
(I can't believe you haven't checked out my mom's etsy shop, yet.)




I love to jibber-jabber, so listen up.  Okay?



Yes! I'm definitely a little stinker...all of the time.



I'm lovable, huggable, kissable...





I still need my Mommy (and Daddy)... a lot.



I am honestly and truly shy - sometimes.




But, I LOVE to play drama-queen - E.V.E.R.Y SINGLE DAY!


And, you say, WHAT?  It's my Birthday? Today??

((Let me just shout that out for all the world to know, because Lord knows I can shout - LOUDLY.))



Here's to another year - behind me.

And, no looking back.


*** *** ***

~Happy 2nd Birthday~
 Monkey- toes 
Aubrey Ruth

Your abundance of personality leaves us speechless at times.
We love you, with all of our hearts and then some.  We thank God for you every single day.
 You are one precious blessing in our life...and we really mean that.

We love how you sing your little heart out; how you do your best to keep up with your older brother (or to pass him up, because you have on many occasion); your beautiful face; your stubborn streak; that you're a picky eater and yet you'll eat us out of the house and home; and even your die-hard sincerity in that EVERYONE else's name is Aubrey, too.  Oh, yes it is!!! 

love, your family

PS: I think I forgot to mention - but we're getting used to the idea (not always loving) your
Monkey- toes. ;)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Guess what I'm doing - today - for the first time?

I'll be attending...



You can pray.  I'm nervous, but we (the kids and I) need to get out and do something like this.  I'm excited, too.  And I'm looking forward to see what we can get out of and what we can contribute, by going to MOPS.



: : Have you ever done anything like this?  Did you enjoy? : :

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Life-storm Blessing

. .. . ... .. . .. .. . ... .. . .. . .. . .. . . . .. . . . . . .


* * *

Meet my newest (and latest) personal bag.  Life-storm Blessing.

I know...

What kind of name is that - for a bag, you ask?

You might even be wondering - How, in the world, does she come up with names for the bags within Bags by Bevy, anyhow? 

I would have to say, it's a process. Here is how this name came about.

*** *** ***

Warning:  This may feel like a bunny trail...

Life-storm Blessing. 
It often will start with the colors of the bag and buttons.  Most times the pattern in the fabric will play a huge role...just by something in the look or texture...but, it will get me thinking.

Not for Sale!
The main fabric of this bag is a tapestry.  The colors in it remind of fall, with it's hint of reds, golds, greens and black/browns.  I love Fall.  It's my favorite time of year.  But, I accented the bag with a black upholstery, red, blue and black buttons and gave it a Williamsburg Blue - homespun fabric plaid lining. 

I love rain and thunderstorms... the colors, in this bag, combined, reminded me of a rain storm.

I also recently made a bag that closely resembles this one (more olive greens) and it is currently still for sale in my etsy shopI named that one Season's Change.

So.  This was on my mind when I was thinking of a name for my own bag here.


***

Currently, I feel like Scott and I are in a time of change.

A season.

A storm.

Not terrible. 

It's just the way life is, at times. 

Different.

Lots of questions.

We have had much "worse" come our way.  Believe me!


Also.  A lot of our friends and family are currently in the thick of some really tough stuff. 

We have a choice. And, we are choosing to pray along side, stand alongside, battle alongside, weather the storm alongside of them.  We want to be a blessing.

Blessing.  I love that word.  It's one we (Scott and I) know and understand as we have worked through previous life-storms.  We can appreciate the song " I will praise you in this storm" by Casting Crowns.


When we praise the Lord in the midst of what we find ourselves in... we find HIM in the MIDST of our STORM.  Because, he is.  And that, friends, by far, is the greatest of any blessing that one can know.

Of course, in using this bag...I'm constantly reminded of my life-storm's and I will to stop! and see the blessing that comes out of them.  With that, I'm also reminded to continue to be praying for and to think of others who are in the thick of it all. 

Life-storm Blessing.

*** *** ***

So, that is one way a name for my bags will often come about...but, not always.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Seasons come and seasons go...

Maybe I'm pushing things a little with my new header photo... but this is my type of weather.  Yeah!, I'm all over fall.  And the last couple of days have just been divine.  Great sleeping weather.  Beautiful, sunny skies.  Crisp, clear and comfortable.

That - along with this photo here, of the antique croquet set, I inherited from my grandparents (through their sale)... 

It just makes me think of seasons.

This particular game is old, weathered & beat up.  The paint is faded, the croquet balls are chipped off and flat on two sides, the mallets are semi-broken... the arches are nowhere to be seen. 

Except for its nostalgia... this croquet set has pretty well made it's history.  Meaning: it's long gone. 

And yet, I love it!!!


Seasons come and seasons go.

Just like things in our life.  Our life is by no means a game.  But for the sake of what I'm saying... lets say that it is... "this game of life".

Our lives look like they're planned.  The course (in our minds) has been set and we're ready to roll with it.
The knocks of life propel us forward - we learn to go with it - headed towards the goal.  The end is in sight.

But their is always that chance of getting knocked out and off course.  Which it happens - for most of us, regularly.

Life happens that way, sometimes - doesn't it?

Seasons come and seasons go.

This is not to make light of anyone in particulars 'tough season' and to say it doesn't hurt or doesn't matter. Because it does. 
We all go through these times in our lives. 

It's a rough "game" out there. We get beat up, we're weary and weathered.  Our pride gets chipped away at, we lose our confidence and for what's left - our sense of direction gets distorted.  We wonder;  What of our history? Do we have any worth or value?  Who loves us, anymore??


So true!

***  ***  *** 

Seasons come and seasons go.  Here, we're looking to put our summer to rest... and to embrace the coming season of change.  Fall is right around the corner.  It's been a good summer (and a good season)... but it must go.  Change is not always easy, but it is (always) for our good.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven...He has made everything beautiful in its time. 

~ Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11
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