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

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Nice little ramble...

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What a lovely day! Once again!  The weather couldn't be more perfect, than its been over the past couple of days... Delightful in every way!!  For sure.

Perfect kind of day for a ramble...


The past two days I've been talking {Bags by Bevy}, which I hope you didn't mind that I did.  I have to tell you -  yesterday morning I got a chance to sit down and sew up a second, semi-matching, Pocket Pouch to the one that I gifted out to a friend who was moving... which no sooner did I finish it up, take its photos, post it online, that it SOLD!!  right out from underneath me.  To which, I love that.  That sale made me feel good.. for it went off to another In-real-life friend of mine.  And, I'm glad.
It's in the mail, today!!  On it's way...

:: Hope Restored ::
large Pocket Pouch
SOLD to Staci S.

***
Were you home Sunday evening?  Perhaps trying to go to sleep when that wicked thunderstorm, with it's continual berating flashes of lightning, wouldn't stop?  Awesome!!  I say that because I do love me a good thunderstorm, but awesome, too, in the sense of WOW!  Someone - who is GOD!, the Creator of Heaven and Earth - certainly held us in the palm of HIS HAND!!  I can't say for sure, but I thought I heard - for a long time - sounds of a tornado in the clouds that might not ever have touched down, in our area.  I have no idea... it really did sound like a rumbling freight train coming through.

Scott and I were so glad the kids slept through it all..

Earlier in the afternoon, my brother (and his girlfriend!) asked to borrow our van.  Well, first they treated us to a pizza lupper.  (late lunch, early supper) To which I tease and say - you were just trying to butter us up, weren't you?
But, they asked to borrow our van - with the back seat down - so that they could go get something and bring it home.  They're sneaky like this. lol!


Yup!  They brought home one of these.  A Go-Cart!!  But, an adult sized, pedal one.  With an adjustable seat.  WE ALL CAN TAKE TURNS... yes, even I...got a chance to check it out!  Of course, the wagon got pulled out, too as you saw, so that more could be in on the fun, at once.  The Go-Cart conveniently has a hitch...for such things. :)  Gotta love it!!

My brother is -- Too fun!!
By the way, this is the kids Uncle who lives as a next -door neighbor to us... whom we don't see that often, believe it or not?

***
The kids (Aubrey and Caleb)  are in their final week of Summer (Camp Good News!) Camp... they have loved every.single.bit. of it!!  I keep asking them if they're camped out yet - and NO WAY!!  is their duo reply.  Seriously..

I am just a tad - ready for camp to be over.  I'm ready for some other family fun - days - to do together before the start of school on the 25th of August
.
However, I'm so, so glad they could attend camp and really have a blast doing so together - as sister and brother!  They've made lots of friends, memories and have learned a lot more of the GOOD NEWS of Jesus Christ!!


I made a very small batch of Pickle Relish - on Monday evening.  I can't remember if I shared the recipe with you before, or not, but this one is rather simple and it's relatively easy.  All except for when you get through all the process and are adding ingredients to get the mixture up to a good boil and you realize you're out of turmeric.  Not even the neighbor(s) have any on hand to borrow - just one teaspoon - so, I have to quick run out to the grocery store... just for that!!

I wasn't sure if I'd have enough cucumber on hand for the recipe and so I contemplated using some zucchini as a substitute.  I know it can be done!!  My mom has made a Zucchini Relish before... but, I ended up having enough cucumber to get the job done!!  I'm hoping for a few more cucs in the near future to make a couple more batches of this... as it has surely become a relished favorite.  :)

I can share the recipe if you'd like.  Let me know if you're looking for a winner...

***
Oh, and how the wash dried so nicely on the line - yesterday!   Wowzers!!

I actually really enjoyed my "homemaking Mama moments" yesterday.  With the laundry going, the kitchen cleaned up and a good chicken dinner in the oven.  The day couldn't have ended more perfectly than to hear all three of my blessings out in the backyard - just playing to their heart's content.  Laughing, running and hilarity...to the quiet hush of the three of them just sitting still and talking together in a huddle on the lawn.

My kitchen window and my hands in the dishwater were a soothe to the soul yesterday!!  For sure...

Well, that was until my hubby came home from work and from an added on meeting that brought him home well after dark... we sat down to a cup of coffee and bowl of Ice Cream...his two listening ears were wonderful!!

Yes!! even that beat the rest of the day - by a long shot!!

Thanks for reading, today!!

It doesn't take much to brighten someone's day.  All that's needed is a little something out of the ordinary...{Nichole Johnson}

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

{Bags by Bevy} I just want to honor...

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I never thought that I'd have back-to-back stories from Bags by Bevy, like this!
But, here's another.

I share today, to honor two lovely friends.  Mr. & Mrs. S.
They are leaving, driving by car, later today, to relocate; off to another state...far, far away!
We'll always remember our friends!

And, in effort to bless them - our church family (a.k.a., our small group!) wanted to send them off with a few cards of encouragement and small gifts.
I knew I wanted to make a Pocket Pouch for my friend, anyway.
And, so I volunteered the "gift bag" to house our parting gift in.  I named the bag, Grace & Mercy!

Grace & Mercy
:: gift given ::
(large, pocket pouch w/ french knots)

Although I named it this, it is only a similar phrase that my friend would often share, because she corrected me the other day by telling me - she always said, "grace & peace".  True!
Either way, both of those phrases are our prayer for our friends as they travel.

In the meantime...

She told me she took liberty to rename it something entirely different.
Which, I guess is okay - seeing as it is hers to do with as she'd like. :)

May our dear friends have traveling mercies...
and safe passage along the way.

We're praying for you!!
D & D.
Thank you for being like grandparents (in a way!) to our kids, we love you!  And, for all the blessing you've been to both my husband and I - this short while we've known you.  Thank you, and God bless!



***
In other news...
There is a second; a "twin" of this Pocket Pouch...in my etsy shop!

UPDATED TO ADD:  this item is already SOLD!!
It just SOLD, this afternoon!  Thank you!

No two bags are exactly alike.  In this case, it is the button, and hand embroidery, that make these two Pocket Pouches different.
Thank you, for looking!!

Monday, July 28, 2014

{Bags by Bevy} Just In Time...

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Just In Time!
Small bag, with over-the-shoulder handles
:: SOLD ::
To and for someone special!

***
Can you tell, it's a secret?  I'll update when I can...
Which is today!

Actually, the truth is.  I've had this post in draft - for what seemed like forever!!
I finally am allowed to share this!!

Here is the story...
My brother, Justin, is dating the most beautiful of beautiful and had asked me make his girl a "bag" for her birthday!  Which was back, oh let's see - wait, we are still in July - sometime in the earlier part of the month??  (of course, I'm not going to divulge her birth date.) :)

See why it feels like forever?

Due to various circumstances...it's taken finally until now to get this bag/gift to her.
Needless, to say.  The bag is living up to its name.  Fully!! And, it came...
Just in time!

Its perfect, for her.  Just perfect!!

Feel free to browse the shop at any time.  Thanks for looking!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Five Minute Friday :: Finish

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: go :

How is that almost before this day is even begun that I want, need, this day to be over.
Done!

Finished.

I listen to the constant song of the bird outdoor and she never stops!  
Her singing goes on.  And on.

The brook, in my memory, babbles on and on, never ending.  She sings, too!  Over rocks and "interference" with ne'er a care...

And yet, I want to finish.

It's early morning.

Like I've said, we've hardly got started.  And, I wonder, how can I keep going?

I think of the bird and her song.
The brook and its' babble..

And I think of how the Psalmist says...
As long as I have breath I 'm going to keep singing praises to my God...

I have breath. 
It's been given to me - each morning - as a gift.
I can't be done.

I can't finish. 
Like this.

I must go on and finish well...

Thank you, Lord, for this fresh reminder.... 
You, are not finished with me yet, either.

: stop:

You know.  If it was left up to me and my actions or words or thoughts... it would be finished!  But, without the grace of the Lord - going before, and coming behind me.  Picking me up and carrying me forward...
He would have every right to "finish me off"...and call it for what it is!

But God! It is HE!   He wants me to finish well.  As in - Well Done!  And, He is there to deliver!!
Across the finish-line!
***

Linking up HERE, today!  
Five Minute Friday
Feel free to join in and share with your own five minutes of the raw and real...
There are a couple of suggested guidelines and slight redirecting changes, so you might want to check it out!

Thank you, as always, for reading along.  May your weekend have its own good finish to it, as well!  
God bless..

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Summer Day Fun!

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Long Summer Days - 
What to do?  What to do?
At a suggestion by my bloggy friend Kaitlin - while her and I were visiting over the telephone!
A fun treat!  Indeed.

We pulled out equal parts of:
Cornstarch
Water
Mixed well.  Divided it among the muffin tin and added a few drops of food coloring to each cup and stirred.
{all in all, I only used a 1/3 cup of each...and it was plenty}

Add in a brush.
A willing heart!
An exuberant heart!
And, we soon were content to create the masterpiece of the moment!

Only to get washed away by the heavy rains that fell later that evening!
Which is why this is such great stuff!!!
They can paint the house... RED!  and it'll get washed off - simply - with water.
I kinda like that.  A lot.

There is always another day to do some more.
Because, I know of two older siblings who felt they missed out on such grandeur...
We'll have to comply and make up another batch, before too long, where we can all join in...and fight over the brush!  eh??   That always happens, doesn't it?

Part of the Summer Days!

Great idea, Kaitlin! 
Thank you...so much.
***
Friends!  Do me a favor and go say "Hello!" to Kaitlin.  Show her some good ole US of A love.
It's gettin' a little lonely in her parts of Canada, she says. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Splashes of Joy

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It's great being thought of by someone else.  But, what about when it's your turn?  Your turn to bless and encourage and share...?

I like this thought; something I found while reading in my devotional time this morning..and was encouraged by it!
I thought I would share it with you, too!

From Barbara Johnson.
She writes.

"When we do little acts of kindness that make life more bearable for someone else, we are walking in love as the Bible commands us.  One way to do this costs only the sum of a postage stamp, a little paper, and ink.
Every one of us has felt the nudge to write someone a letter or a note.  Many times we don't follow up on it; we tell ourselves it wouldn't matter anyway.  When we think this way, we miss giving and receiving splashes of joy."

***
How about that?  Are you giving and receiving splashes of joy?  When was the last time you felt this?  When was the last time you spread the love around, like this?

All good questions.  Something to think about.

The only real way to have J O Y... is to put Jesus first, Yourself last and Others in between.

Jesus and others and you.
What a wonderful way to spell JOY.
Jesus and others and you,
In the life of each girl and each boy.
J is for Jesus, for he has first place,
O is for others we meet fact to face,
Y is for you in whatever you do,
Put yourself third, and spell JOY!

((this is just another S.S. song I remember from childhood..))

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Strawberries, Basil and Balsamic Vinegar

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I don't know if this happens for you, or not.  But, for me, spending a good length of consistent time in my kitchen brings on the deep thinking.  
Especially while washing dishes.

Well this morning...after washing dishes... and cleaning up around the kitchen... I pulled out a few berries that needed to get taken care of.  Quick!

I remembered a recipe I thought I'd like to try.

Sliced Strawberries
Basil
Balsamic Vinegar

{insert deep thinking mode}


I got to thinking how each one of these ingredients - alone, on their own - hold their own weight.
Each one is unique.
Intense.
Flavorful.
Distinct.

But to marry all of this together?

Yes!

How often in our interpersonal relationships...
We, the berries, get bruised and cut down and sliced apart?
It happens, sometimes.

Along {may} comes life's trajectories.
Against our will, these things get thrown at us.
Bits and pieces.  Shreds and shards...
They've become apart of us.

In relationships, though, we need one another to sharpen us.
Grow us.
Build us up.
Encourage.
This isn't going to be perfect.  Never meant to!  Never will.
It could be ugly.
Tasting awful.
Expectations revealed... reveal the worst, in us!

Basil and Berries?
Who would think... this?

Balsamic Vinegar?
Really?
A splash here, a glug, glug there..
Poured out.
Just enough.

Is Grace always gentle?
Sometimes it hurts.
Sometimes it heals.
{vinegar is known for this..)

In the stir and wake of reality..
This marriage, if you will...
People.
Friends.
Relationships... with whomever.

Without Jesus..
It's all a mess.  It's unthinkable.

But in the allowing of truth to be revealed..
and we accept our differences; and we're willing to be in the "bowl" together...
I mean, this is life, after all!...

What a beautiful mix.
There can't be a better thing.

Each part plays a role in how we perceive the outcome to be.
Each ingredient left alone is fine.  But together, this is a blend, worth giving an extra chance!

If we throw away and don't use the berries - because of a few bruises and such...
or don't add the basil - because well, who really likes their greens - especially of this kind?
And /or if we fail to add the {balsamic}...
due to it's bitterness; mostly because we're afraid of what it might do...??

Vulnerability to taking the first bite...is often the truest form of trust.
Letting go of ourselves for the betterment of another is simply - hard!
Perception is surprising, don't you think?
What we think may be the best can really be made better still. 

Keep trying!  Keep working on that blend...
Be willing to give and give and give again.

It stands true.
This really is and will become the most beautiful gift two can offer.

Best enjoyed where two or three are gathered...

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Daybook in July

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FOR TODAY  - the third Monday in July

Outside my window... the wash that my hubby hung up, for me, late yesterday afternoon is still hanging on the line... we failed to take it down in time before the evening dew had fallen on it.  

I am thinking...I figured one night, overnight, on the line, can't be all that bad!  I appreciated his help!!

I am thankful... for the (double) Date Night! we had last evening - with two of our dearest friends.  Hence, a late night and not getting the wash down in time.  :)
For sure, this date was needed... and lots of fun!  Dinner, Mini-golf and Ice Cream!!

In the kitchen... coffee!  Always... and home baked cookies, later today!

I am wearing... a brown & ruffly, Sarah Clemens, skirt and red t-shirt

I am creating... another "custom" bag order.  A friend of mine had a rather colorful coat, gifted to her by her now, late husband.  She no longer wears the coat and thought perhaps a bag out of it would be nice.  ** I don't do this for everyone.  And perhaps this bag will have it's own post in due time... stay tuned!

I am going... headed out the door in just a few moments to take the kids off to camp.  They're at the start of their second to last week of camp:  Camp Good News.  Till it's all said and done, they'll have gone to camp six weeks out of the summer!

I am wondering... how the kids will fare this week?  I could tell that the attendance had nearly doubled since the beginning days of camp, several weeks ago.  I told them ... this means, you're going to have make great effort to welcome the "newbies" to the camp.   To still enjoy yourself;  in all the activities and games, but you might have to step back more often and let the others (again, newbies!) have a turn more often.
It may be just me... but I worry.  I worry that they'll forget their manners sometimes.  Being "old hat" and oh so comfortable with the rhythm and routine of "camp life" that they'll forget to be mindful, share and sensitive.  I pray that they'll make friends easy and not just kids that they already know so well...

I am hoping...all in all that they'll have loads of fun!!

I am looking forward to...  My two older kids are also signed up for swimming lessons - which start on Saturday!  I'm glad about this, as it's my husband who has got the ball rolling on this.  I have never taken lessons and what limited "swimming" I have ever done, be it in creeks or murky farm ponds, oh there was an occasional swimming pool (that's what I grew up doing!), but I should have learned somewhere, sometime, something.
 I personally have had too many scary close calls and therefore don't like the water (I'll go in, but don't make me go under!)... Scott, my husband, on the other hand, is a fish!  HE LOVES the water and our 7yr old, Caleb, is right behind him in this... I hope something great will come of swimming lessons.

I am reading...well, you might find this interesting?  Remember my Summer Reading dilemma?  Well, I chose the Jan Karon book (In the Company of Others) to start reading, as my "light" reading.  I literally laughed out loud while reading the first chapter and have been reading it, slowly, ever since.  I'm still plugging away at: A Praying Life.  It's just going to be this way for awhile... and, that's okay!

Oh, I forgot.  Over the weekend my sister, Gladys, gifted me with two "new" cookbooks - as a belated birthday gift!  Of course, I've been thumbing through them, now, too!  These two books are:  A Farmer's Daughter, by Dawn Stoltzfus  *(I follow Dawn's blog) and Homemade Goodness; which is a collection of recipes by various current and former cooks at Bald Eagle Wilderness Boys Camp.    A place where my sister, Gladys, is currently the head cook!

 I'm super excited about both of these cookbooks.  And, I thank her for these gifts!!

** As a side note:  Homemade Goodness is recently hot off the press, available, for sale with the proceeds going to benefit this Boys Camp.  Check it out!  Actually, you might have to contact that camp directly for a sale to be completed... I can't find anything online about it, as of yet!

UPDATE:  I found an email address for orders to be placed:  homemadegoodness4u@gmail.com

I am learning...in bits and pieces... what flexibility is all about.  Don't ask me much about it... I might snap! ;) Or, get too bent out of shape!  lol.

I'm also learning... enjoying... my kids enthusiasm towards things in nature whether in the sky or on earth. Have you ever seen an upside down rainbow?  We have... just the other evening.  Daddy got called away from his study hour with questions out the whazoo of how and why and what would cause "that!"?
I was all ears..

Around the house... catching up from the weekend... I'm sure.  I do have to get that wash down and bake those cookies.. there might be some dinner to cook for, a watermelon to cut up and a bed to sleep in tonight.  I'm tired!  and it's only mid-morning...

I am pondering...the health benefit of Colloidal Silver.  As it pertains to me having/had Lyme Disease, in the last year and what seems like forever... Plantar Warts, on my feet.  Someone sent me information on it... and I'm really, really intrigued.  I would like to be free of this stuff..

A favorite quote for today...  "I Passed!"  
Something my hubby said to me, over the phone this morning... as another part of his schooling is behind us. There is more to go.  But, each time I hear those words... I'm so giddy with excitement for his successes.  Thank you, Lord!!

A few (not just one) of my favorite things... listening to my baby (soon-to-be) three years of age, playing the game Candy Land with her siblings or (older!) friends.  Seeing her toes curl, in concentration - at watering flowers.  Picking off a few handfuls of green beans...
Again, hearing my kids exclaim over things they see or hear, etc.

A few plans for the rest of the week: in no particular order.  Swimming lessons, dentist appointments, Scout meetings (for my son and hubby), lunch dates with a few friends (on separate days), caregroup social, a memorial service (if I go!), and  my Mother-in-law, Susie Mom,  is planning to come for a few days...overlapping some of these other things.  

A peek into my day...


Something's missing.  Must have been that needed article of clothing..snatched off the line last evening!!  I think it was me..
How do you like our creativity when we've run out of line for the load?

Enjoy, your day!  Thanks for reading along.. 
***
 Joining up, today, with Peggy from The Simple Woman's Daybook... and you can too!

Welcome to...

Friday, July 18, 2014

Five Minute Friday :: Bloom

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Taking 5 minutes and writing raw and real.  Linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker and Five Minute Friday!
See all the details HERE - and you're welcome to join in, as well.

Today's prompt is:  Bloom


:: go ::
It's always neat to see a relationship grow, a friendship blossom and bloom.
However, sometimes the overwhelming sense of life isn't conducive to its potential.
If you know what I mean?
Life happens.
There's a fade.
A waning.
Sometimes these blooms aren't bright enough? or healthy? or happy?
Is is always due to the 'outside' circumstances and situations that alter this?

I think it's deeper than that.

Underneath the surface, what can't be seen, is really the telltale of what bloom will look like as it grows...

Where are you plugging in at?
Who are you drawing from?
Is it a rich reward that is being sought after?

We all know about roots.
It's really and truly the source that feeds those roots that will allow the bloom, any bloom, to flourish and multiply.  In the most beautiful of ways...or not!

I wonder if you would agree.  We have a choice.

A choice in how we're going to bloom.

:stop:
(How can five minutes go by so quickly? I wonder...)
~~
Just to add here, yet.  I am encouraged by a few verses in Psalm 18, that read...

He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out  of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemy. from my foes, who were too strong for me.
They confronted me in my day of disaster, but the Lord was my support.
He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.

and another several verses from...
Jeremiah 17: 5-10
I'm hoping you'll find a few extra minutes to read this portion of Scripture, as well.  These verses couldn't say it any better. (of course, it's God's Word!)  But... they, interestingly enough, are really what I was trying to say - to get across in my five minutes of .... whatever you want to call it. :)

Let your roots run deep.  For surely then will you be in a state of healthful beauty {and bloom}!

***
Thank you, for reading along today!

May you have a wonderful weekend!!  And, God bless...

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

When Queen Anne Comes to Call...

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What a desolate place would be a world without flowers!
It would be a face without a smile; a feast without a welcome.
 Are not flowers the stars of the earth?...
And are not our stars the flowers of heaven?  ~ Mrs. Balfour


Queen Anne always evokes a sweet memory!
Thank you, for coming to call..Queen Anne. Thank you!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

And they're off... to the Rustic West!

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Sent my `lil Cowgirl and oh-so-wild and wonderful Indian off to camp...for the day!

{This was fun, getting them out the door this morning!}

Monday, July 14, 2014

Front Porch Chatter...

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Back to the busy of another week!

How are you doing this morning?  Would you care to sit here on my front porch to chat a spell?
I have a Coffee Cake here that is just begging to be eaten.  The recipe is exactly the same as this one, except that I changed out the cherry pie filling for blueberry.  It's pretty yummy - either way you choose.

Here!! The coffee is going to get cold if you don't come on! :)

Ahhh...

We had a glorious thunderstorm, last night. Did you hear any of it?  It must have been short and sweet...  Lots of beautiful sounding rain, though!  At least, while it lasted.
Just my kind of night to fall asleep to. :)  Did I sleep well?  Oh, yes!!
But, not everybody.  What a fitful night!
I woke up this morning to find my hubby and son on the two couches in the living room...??
Apparently, someone wasn't feeling too well.  (oh boy!)

Of course, there is laundry going this morning.  Though, I'm not sure I can really hang it out.
The weather outside is very damp with humidity.  I doubt it will dry too well.  The sheets might be fine...
Inside the kids are playing...a game!
Two of my own are already off to a Bible Day Camp.  But my youngest is here with the young gal (9yrs old) I'm "watching" - most everyday.  When she comes, she's here from 7am- 5pm.

I planted just a few green bean plants in my flower beds... just like other years.  
They're hanging on, those beans!  And blooms galore..
These are mostly for a midday snack or perhaps enough for a meal here and there!

I'm grateful.  That rain sure was a blessing, last night.
A couple of weeks ago... we helped my Aunt Mary put in her garden and there I was able to plant seed; a full row of beets and some more beans.  As well, a few tomato and pepper plants.
The idea of a small garden, here at the house, got nixed! (in case, anyone was wondering!)
I'm sure...one of these days; either early morning or later in the evening... we'll be up at her place, pulling weeds!  It's not as convenient  as right out the back door... but just a place to have a few things planted somewhere (even though it's a half hour away), is piece of mind.

So, I didn't really tell you that my husband and son had been away for about three days on an overnight Cub Scout camping trip.
I had the girls with me...of course... and we did a few of our own fun things! Mostly it meant, just keeping the home-fires burning...
Visiting with family and friends and playing dress-up were part of the occasion.  There were games to be played and stories to be read..
Sewing to be done and things to be baked! :)
(Not kidding... this needs to get eaten, by some other than me!  It's great to have next-door neighbors with which to share!  a.k.a. my brother Justin - who is ALWAYS, always a willing recipient. )
~~
One of the fun things we did was when and where us gals headed out to Lancaster to do our monthly grocery shop!  We even did that in style, too!  With beads, and bracelets and feathery hairbands, etc..
I have pictures, if I can figure out how to get them off my phone! :)
It kept the girls entertained... and the fellow shoppers; mostly the elderly ladies, out and around - while shopping amused.  Needless to say, we received a lot of sweet comments along the way.

Everyone was back home safe and sound - together again- on Saturday evening.  As for Sunday?  There is nothing, nor nowhere better to be that at the Lord's House - for Worship!
Coming home, from Church, to a simple of lunch of  Lancaster's finest... was a great way to unwind!
Just being together, is a beautiful thing!

What a blessed weekend it was...
How about yours?
***
Linking here, today...
Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth

Friday, July 11, 2014

Friday's Finds :: Chair // Five Minute Friday :: Belong

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How to marry these two meme's together? 
Here goes!
Welcome friends,  to both Friday's Finds and Five Minute Friday!
  Five Minute Friday
Friday's Finds :  featuring a find of no particular value or sentiment, no reason or rhyme and yet, exactly for all those reasons just mentioned.

This morning while running errands; dropping my older daughter off at camp and heading toward the bank, I saw this older looking chair out by the side of the road. With a sign...

FREE!

I knew I had an open van and room enough to "pick it up" and bring it home.
That is.  If it wasn't broken.  If it was.  Would it be fixable?
I liked it, immediately, at my first glance.
But, I drove by...
thinking!  If it's still there - on my way back, past.  I'll stop.

You see... I struggle to stop - for free!
I worry.  What will people think of me hauling off someone else's "trash"?
I wrestled.  It could be my newest treasure!!!

***
I came home to discover this prompt for Five Minute Friday.  The word is: belong!
How ironic, is that?

:go:

So, the chair is home!
Here is where it belongs.
Jayne and I looked it over, it appears fine.
We dusted it off.
And, now... I'm sitting on it.  Writing to you... and all who read.

It belongs.

I got to thinking how this relates to me as a treasure of God.
I once was abandoned?
Left to ....whatever?
On the sidelines...
I just needed someone to pull over.  To stop!
Set aside their cares and concerns and think of me!
I needed someone to carry me home!

I belong!

So, do you!
As a part of God's family.  We are accepted.  Brought in!
We are HIS treasure...

It's a comfortable place to be.
A good sit.  A good fit.
:stop:

Five Minute Friday is being hosted over at Crystal Stine's blog today!  Join in, with us. You're welcome, to do so.  All the how-to's are explained there...

As well, have a wonderful weekend.  And, God bless!
Wait.  One more thing.  Here is another song on my heart and mind...
Kind of perfect with this post today.
Hope you enjoy!



***

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Hymn :: Oh Lord, Within my Soul

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Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. ~ Psalm 51:10

This hymn, Oh Lord, Within my Soul, has just been on my heart and lips throughout today... 
Feel free to hum (and pray!) along with me, if you'd like.

Has this ever happened to you?
You wake up, one morning, and outta the clear blue there comes a song.  A hymn from "a long time ago"...
Something that makes you stop!
And, ponder...
Where and why that one... now?

All that to say..
I've been enjoying the quiet of this day; this hymn and the gentle reminder to settle into my Saviour's arms.
Resting in HIS PRESENCE.
He is, within my soul.


Oh Lord, Within My Soul

O Lord, within my soul,
I long for purity,
To be complete and whole
Alone through Thee.

There is no other hope,
There is no other plea;
Salvation, full salvation free,
Must come alone through Thee.

I bend before Thy cross,
And know my heart can be
Cleansed from its sin and dross
Alone through Thee.

There is no other hope,
There is no other plea;
Salvation, full salvation free,
Must come alone through Thee.

I pray at Thy dear feet,
Salvation full entreat,
And want to feel my love
In Thee complete.

There is no other hope,
There is no other plea;
Salvation, full salvation free,
Must come alone through Thee.

My faith Thy Word believes,
The promise made to me,
And perfect peace receives
Alone through Thee.

There is no other hope,
There is no other plea;
Salvation, full salvation free,
Must come alone through Thee.

***

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

That Fine Gray Line {a repost!}

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Keep in mind...this is a repost! with a few minor revisions..

Recently, I received a weighty email from a good friend of mine.  We don't talk often, but enough to call it keeping in touch.

I say weighty because within this email was a question, among brief sketchy details, about a quandary she was in.  She wondered if I could use a few adjectives to describe someone else- "to help her better understand"...this particular person.

It was a simple enough question, and the email was laced with a complete "understanding", that  if I didn't want to reply, it'd be okay.  I could tell my friend was, at best, bothered and wrestling.  Yet...

I was flattered - that she would want my opinion!  I just so happen to know this other person, too... so my response could have easily weighed-in to the dilemma my friend was having.

BUT.  

I smelled the gray area.  The fine line... that is ALWAYS, ALWAYS present within and among women (all of mankind, really).  And sadly, more often than not, among the Christian circles at large.

I remember many years ago...making a conscious effort to guard myself against the sin of gossip, (I knowingly have failed; many, many times over) but, this conscious thought, quickly, came to mind...as I read my friends email again and again, wondering how I should appropriately respond.

I let it go for a day or two to ponder and to pray.  By the way, I asked my friend if I could share this as an illustration.  She hesitantly said yes!...hoping that, perhaps, it would encourage someone else.

My husband has been so helpful for me - with this fine gray line.  I am one who so quickly will let hear-say get to me.  I want or feel the need to talk about it to others to "figure out" if what I've heard is really true... sometimes it's been to the point of nearly destroying relationships.  Which is terrible.

Other times, I have been the bouncing board, the sponge, and/or the basket... all ears to absorb the "shocking news", soak it all up, or to gather enough information ...  just enough... to give my "humble opinion", when an opportunity arrives to do so.


Here is how and what my husband has brought to the table of our marriage relationship... which, again, has been so helpful to me. It puts me in my place and the wheels of verbal injury to a screeching halt.
I'll share it with you - too.  Maybe it will be a blessing to someone else, here today.

He'll stop me in mid-sentence with:

1. Did I (do something to) cause it?
2. Am I (personally) involved?
3. Can I "fix" it?

If not... (meaning, by saying no to all three areas)... then don't talk to me about it.  Period.  End of story.

Scott also likes to say; "Control the things I can, and the things I cannot control... than control my reaction to those things".

I think the devil loves to have a hay-day with that ever-so-fine-line.   But, I'm encouraged with Scripture which helps remind:   Greater is HE that is in us, than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4-6)  

Amen??

***
Your thoughts:  What do you choose to do with the fine, gray line of gossip?
What if it sincerely was meant as a prayer request; a need for your "humble opinion"; or, a plea for advice when bottom line it really is true-blue gossip?  How do you discern?

Isn't life hard, sometimes?

I'm asking myself these same questions..

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Monday's Wash Day!

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Yesterday...
 was one of those days.
This was as good as it got...
The perfect wash day!

Need I say more?

I will say this.  By the time I finished hanging the last of the full load...
the first few items, on the line, were already dry.  :)

***

Other than catching up with the laundry, it was a day of gentle recuperation from the busy of the weekend...
sort of.


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Five Minute Friday :: this thing called {exhale}

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This post was written and ready to go for Friday - and literally- I had no time to get it up until now..
apparently I was busy living out the words I share below.  I had no idea, fully, how "prophetic" these words would become in the midst of this past weekend.
Thanks for reading!


: go :
I read the prompt, for today. Exhale.
I had to laugh out loud.
That's exactly what I've had to do in the last 24 hours.
For the next 24- 48.

Exhale.

Letting go... of pent up emotion.
Pent up busy waiting to be unearthed.
Aiming... Ready to be on top.
Ready to be on game.
 It's all going to come crashing down if I don't.

Exhale.

Truth is.
I don't need to be anybody or anything different.
I just need to be real.
Ready.
And reflecting Jesus.
I need to be me.

If that means in my exhale.
I cry a little.
that's okay.

If that means in the busy.
and I need to sit down and let others help.
that's okay.

If it means just being in the presence of others... listening.  Letting others exhale.
That's good too.

Jesus says, without me you can do nothing.
I'm helpless on my own.

I have this ever increasing desire to let him do it all. (smile!)
That's having a helpless-dependence on him.
And what he wants.

:: stop ::

Joining up with Five Minute Friday and Lisa -Jo Baker

Five Minute Friday

***

Trust you had a wonderful weekend and a fun-filled Fourth of July!
Ours was packed to gills and just as wonderful..

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Yorkshire Pizza {Bevy style}

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Oh!  Creativity got the better of me again the other night.  I can't help it sometimes...it's the way I fly.

Around here, this busy time of summer and its heat - and it truly depends on the day or the meal - we rely on easy to get us through.  This is a pizza recipe that I found in one of my Mennonite cookbooks that has become a dear favorite...for sure!

Yorkshire Pizza
1/4 cup butter
1 cup flour
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 tsp. salt.
sprinkle of garlic salt, oregano and parsley (opt.)

Melt butter in a 8"x 12" glass pan (or baking stone) at 425*.  (**here is where sometimes I'll sprinkle in my seasonings...just to incorporate this into the crust better)
Beat flour, eggs, milk and salt (hand whisk) until smooth.  Pour into HOT pan.  Put pizza sauce on, then other pizza toppings.  Sprinkle with oregano and top with cheese.  Bake at 400* for 15-20 minutes.

Sometimes I make it plain - without all the pizza fixin's, baking it as is - and serve it alongside another dish...which this is the most familiar way to eat this, known either as Popovers or Yorkshire Pudding, to a lot of folks.  I know.

So...basically.  I took the "recipe" and doubled the ingredients - browning the butter (1/2 cup) in my large Pampered Chef  Bar Stone baker.

This is where the creativity in the kitchen and I are best of friends.  Anything is possible (at least once)... and as my kids are currently singing...Everything is awesome!  (usually)  Except over certain food ingredients..but hey!  They're asked to take a thank-you bite, and move on!

For this recipe:  I had on hand - some ham that needed to be used.  So, on one corner/side of this "Pizza"... I did throw on some sauce, with a bit of the diced ham and mozzarella cheese (for the kids).  On the other side...again, I threw on diced ham.  I added some sliced onion, shredded mozzarella; topping it with fresh sliced mushrooms, and trimmed fresh asparagus and a sprinkle of seasonings such as oregano, parsley and garlic.  I should have added more garlic salt and herbs... but! - there is always next time.

** I loved the idea I had to throw on the asparagus - raw.  It totally came out like a roasted veggie would... due to the high temps with which I baked it at.

Sprinkle with Parm! Serve with a smile and enjoy...



***

What is one of your quick go-to dinners for the Summertime?


Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth

**Just thought I would add this post to this link-up!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Helplessness is a good thing... but there is something even better.

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Prayer is an expression of who we are... We are a living incompleteness.
We are a gap, an emptiness that calls for fulfillment.  

~ Thomas Merton, Trappist monk

Are you good at helplessness?

My kids sure have that down - some days.  Quite well, I might add.

For instance.
When my near six year old, willingly picks up my near three year old (who just so happens to weigh pretty close to the weight of her older sister); toting her across the room, etc.   But, for whatever reason, she simply cannot carry her own pair of shoes upstairs (cause they're too heavy...?)
or, help bring in a small bag; an easy bag, of groceries...that which practically weighs the weight of air!

I say, where there is a will there is a way.

I love this next quote!  it's so, so true...
Where the heart is willing it will find a thousand ways, but where it is unwilling it will find a thousand excuses.  ~Anonymous
And, I sigh.  I wish I had the heart of Christ in these moments and give grace the same way He does.
Except that I don't.  I encourage independence and self-sufficiency.  And, I get ruffled when that doesn't happen when and as I expect.  Other times... my daughters self-sufficient independence is too great for me to handle.  And - I beg her to "let me help"..

The thing is.  In prayer.  Jesus wants our helplessness to be our reality. This is why prayer works. We need HIM!  We rely on HIM.  He is able - where we are not.

That is completely opposite of what I said earlier - of what my expectations are of my kids, when I want them to not act so helpless.
***
Oh, I'm so enjoying reading this book right now...

Pardon me, for showing you this photo - again!  It's just where I'm at..

***

I'll leave you with this encouraging Scripture from 2 Corinthians 12:9
My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

I don't know about you - but, today, I'm feeling helpless...and helplessness is a good thing.
However, a helpless-dependence (on Jesus) is even better.

Amen?
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