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

Monday, September 29, 2014

31 days :: Home Quotes and Sentiments / Five Minute Free Writes/ Photography Challenge {The Introduction}

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***
Looking forward to linking up with The Nester for a 31days Writing Challenge  for the month of October!  Here is the link for all the information...
 Because, it's been mentioned more than once, you're welcome to join in, as well.

In 2012 - I've done a series on "Hearts at Home :: Extending Hospitality".

This year... it'll be something similar.
Keeping it simple, with quotes and sentiments on HOME!

I've also decided to accept a couple of challenges within the challenge.
One.  And that is to write for 5 minutes a day and that is all...
Remember the Five Minute Friday thing that I've been doing these past several months?

So, for this part of the challenge I'll be linking up with Kate Motaung @ Heading Home.

And two.  As for the photo that I'll be sharing each day... this will be for this friend of mine's fall photo challenge.   Kaitlin of Homemaker Design will be hosting a photography challenge for the month of October... HERE!  As well, here is her pre-chosen list of prompts...



I am thinking I will use Kaitlin's photo prompt ideas as my "word" prompt suggestions since Kate has given the liberty to use our own prompt ideas..keeping in mind, that I already want it to be all on the HOME!
I'll do this for - at least for most of the days and we'll see if I can make everything mesh!

Oh, I'm super excited.  Totally and completely nervous.  And feel like I honestly - have no idea how this is going to all come together, especially in trying to pair the two challenges all for a total of 31 days straight... but that will part of the fun, now won't it?
I'm hoping I will even surprise myself, in the process.
~~~


I'm considering this the Introduction page...
and so each day you'll be able to find the previous day's link
to keep abreast of what's been going on ... if you should miss a day!

31days Home Quotes and Sentiments & Photography Challenge
{The Introduction!}
Day one : Where You Stood
Day two :  Lunchtime
Day three : This Happened Today
Day four : What You Read
Day five : People
Day six : I'm thankful for...
Day seven : Clouds
Day eight : angle
Day nine : Red
Day ten : emotion
Day eleven : Something close up
Day twelve : On the table
Day thirteen : Landscape
Day fourteen : Something you made... {GIVEAWAY - till the end of the MONTH}
Day fifteen : a mess
Day sixteen : Something you wrote...
Day seventeen : fruit
Day eighteen : Made you smile today
Day nineteen : Letters
Day twenty: 4 o'clock
Day twenty-one : calm
Day twenty-two : a favorite place
Day twenty-three : the view from here
Day twenty-four : Dinnertime
Day twenty-five : Shadow
Day twenty-six : Listening to...
Day twenty-seven : Morning
Day twenty-eight : Black & White
Day twenty-nine : Moon
Day thirty : Clothes
Day thirty-one : Whatever You Please {and GIVEAWAY, reveal!}

The End!

~~~

Ready for this??  I am...
See you back here on Wednesday,  October 1st!


What is Home?
It is the laugh of a baby, the song of a mother; the strength of a father.
Warmth of living hearts, light from happy eyes, kindness, loyalty, comradeship.
Where joy is shared and sorrow eased.
Where even the tea kettle sings from happiness.
That is home.

~ Ernestine Schumann Heink

Friday, September 26, 2014

Five Minute Friday :: Because...

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Today is Five Minute Friday...and the prompt for today is: Because.  Thank you, for reading along!!

:: go ::
Because it matters... I daily tend to the small things.
I look around the room.
It's crazy.
Chaotic.
Needs attention.. bad.

There's this bouquet; this one...
One where in the original picking I intentionally left one rumpled flower to keep in mind the gentle reminder...

Now, it too needs attention.  Bad.

I remove most of the ugly and there it sat.
Soon, even more ugly piled high around it.  Dishes of the day! Dirty and dried on...

I intentionally left the bouquet sit there... not the dishes... for the week.

For a reason...

BECAUSE!



In the midst of all the busy and the ordinary and the chaos and the ugly.. there needs to be a reminder of constant grace.

A vase of flowers, even though there ain't much left of them in and of themselves... they provided for me a reminder, still, to always see the beauty in hard times and places.

Today - a new and fresh cut vase of flowers stands proud!

:: stop ::

Cherish the plain and ordinary of today! - Kelli S.
****
Taking just 5 minutes...
Joining up with Kate and this lovely Five Minute Friday community!

Click the links for further details on how you can join in, as well.

***
May you have a blessed last weekend of September!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Last of the Summer...

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This is the very last of the Queen Anne's Lace ~ for the summer!
~ Diana, Anne of Green Gables

***
Just a few Queen Anne stragglers here by the fence row.  Pair these up with a gorgeous late afternoon and the company of a few cows...

It made for a fun photo shoot - with my little GUESS WHO??

This Sweet Little Miss had gotten a hold of my camera and before I knew it... (ahem!) I found a few lovelies (see above) had been snapped away... 

** For the record, I don't normally kneel there by the fence row... it was, mind you, for the sake of capturing the first grouping of photos. :)  Aubrey just happened to take a photo of me working to get myself up off the ground.   What we do for a few fun photos. It's crazy. ;) You know??

I turned the camera back on her as she handed off a few of the corn husks to the cows!

Truthfully, it's probably the last of our sweet corn for the summer, as well!
At least, from our garden supply..

Can you tell what we had for dinner that evening?  YUMM!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Craziest Language

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I guess I've heard this poem somewhere before ... but, I had completely forgotten about it.  When I discovered this while reading a portion of it, in one of our local little papers that circulates every couple of months... I just knew I had to share it with my readers.  I smile over it... because my kids and I talk - particularly Caleb - about this kind of "mix-up" in words, of our English language, quite often.

It really is The Craziest Language, if you think about it.



We'll begin with box, and the plural is boxes; 
But the plural of ox should be oxen, not oxes. 

Then one fowl is goose, but two are called geese, 
Yet the plural of moose should never be meese. 
You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice, 
Yet the plural of house is houses, not hice. 

If the plural of man is always called men, 
Why shouldn't the plural of pan be called pen? 
The cow in the plural may be cows or kine, 
But the plural of vow is vows, not vine. 

I speak of my foot and show you my feet, 
If I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet? 
If one is a tooth, and a whole set are teeth, 
Why shouldn't the plural of booth be called beeth? 

If the singular is this and the plural is these, 
Why shouldn't the plural of kiss be named kese? 
Then one may be that, and three may be those, 
Yet the plural of hat would never be hose.

We speak of a brother, and also of brethren, 
But though we say mother, we never say methren. 

The masculine pronouns are he, his and him, 
But imagine the feminine she, shis, and shim! 
So our English, I think, you all will agree, 
Is the craziest language you ever did see. 

I take it you already know 
Of tough and bough and cough and dough? 
Others may stumble, but not you, 
On hiccough, thorough, slough, and through? 
Well done! And now you wish, perhaps 

To learn of less familiar traps? 
Beware of heard, a dreadful word, 
That looks like beard and sounds like bird. 
And dead; it's said like bed, not bead; 
For goodness sake, don't call it deed! 

Watch out for meat and great and threat; 
They rhyme with suite and straight and debt. 
A moth is not a moth in mother, 
Nor both in bother, broth in brother. 

And here is not a match for there, 
Or dear and fear for bear and pear. 
And then there's dose and rose and lose, 
Just look them up, and goose and choose. 

And cork and work and card and ward, 
And font and front and word and sword. 
And do and go, then thwart and cart. 
Come, come, I've hardly made a start. 

A dreadful language? Why, man alive, 
I'd learned to talk it when I was five.
And yet to write it, the more I tried felt dumb
I hadn't learned it at fifty-five forty-one.
                                                                                        ~~ italics mine...;)

***
Simply for your reading pleasure today...

Monday, September 22, 2014

A Daybook in September

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FOR TODAY ~ the third Monday of September, 2014!

Outside my window... the most beautiful of weather.  Sunshine and cool breezes..

I am thinking... this line of laundry will dry in no time, in weather like we're having today!

I am thankful... for answered prayer.  I've had several prayers answered- just already this morning!! One being..the children woke up HAPPY and on their own and I hadn't even tried to get that ball rolling.  They surprised me!!  I'm very thankful...

In the kitchen... around the breakfast table this morning ...we even got to singing a few happy and joy-filled songs and sharing a verse from Nehemiah 8:10  - The JOY of the Lord, is {my} strength....

I am wearing... a cute little, dark blue cotton floral skirt with a ruffle around the edge.  Makes me feel extra somewhat pretty this morning... and a tee-shirt that doesn't really go with it... but I'm clothed. :)

I am creating... another bag for the etsy shop.  Just because!  It's a fall-looking one, in it's coloring ...

I am going... to Parent's Night - with my son and husband's Cub Scout meeting tonight!

I am wondering... how roped in - as a Mom! - am I going to get... with Scouts.

I am reading... nothing new!!  Although, the Book of James... will soon be a big focus.

I am was hoping... that my husband would be "graduated" from his schooling by this past weekend... but, not quite yet.  ((sigh!))  He just honestly did not have time to devote to the last few remaining hours it would take to wrap that up!

I am looking forward to... when that day finally comes!!  This GRADUATION Day!!  Three years (plus) of school has been a really long time..

I am learning... that I may or may not be a patient person.  It probably depends on the situation...

Around the house... as the morning has progressed, I've been closing up some of the windows and turning off ceiling fans.  How our house sits, we get such a tremendous cross-breeze and well.... needless to say, it's quite chilly!!  Beautiful, though.

I am pondering... I'm just thoroughly enjoying this quick change into the Autumn Season... One of my favorite times of year.  Particularly, in  the way the sun rises and sets....and filters its way across the room.

A favorite quote for today... a verse comes to mind.  Psalm 113:3 ~  From the rising of the sun to its setting... the name of the Lord is to be praised.
Here.  In this home.  His NAME will be praised!!
One of my favorite things... when my kids mistakenly call their sneakers...their stinkers!!  Cracks me up ... and how right they are!!  (it just happened right now ... and so it reminded me!)

A few plans for the rest of the week: Ladies Bible Study has started up.  We'll be meeting on Wednesday, and studying the book of James.
A Memorial Service, on Thursday, for a gentleman - who had attended our church.  He had suffered with Parkinson's Disease for over 20 years...his kids don't "know" their father without this disease...

A peek into my day...
One of those early morning moments of capturing the beauty of the way the light falls across the room..


Made up another two loaves of this, this past week... it was what's for breakfast, this morning!  Along with some leftover baked oatmeal...


Nothing beats the smell of freshly baked Pumpkin Bread...

***

Linking up with Peggy at The Simple Woman Blog  and JES at The Art of Home-Making - Monday!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Five Minute Friday :: Hold

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Joining up with this lovely community today, taking five minutes and writing on one word.  You're welcome to join in and do the same.  See link for details...

Today's word is HOLD.


:go:
Oh the things we hold.  And, how we hold..
Things hold us!

We hold our gaze.  Hold hands.
Hold that thought.
Hold conversations.
Hold the phone! ... is an expression we use sometimes.
We say:  Hold me!
Hold on!
Here, hold this...or that...
Anchors hold.

We hold on to memories
We dream and we hold on.
Sometimes what we hold dear - escapes.  Out of our control.

We let fear have a hold.
Addictions.
Grudges.
Our past.

What about our future?
We hold out in hope; patient and sure.
If we can only hold out financially... we say... but isn't that a fleeting maybe?

There is always a connection... in the hold.

We hold fast.
Or, loose.

Sometimes its okay to let go ...

There can be a stronghold and then there is a strong hold.

It's careful.  Deliberate.  Confident. Steady.
Do you feel the difference?

His HOLD!

Oh LOVE, that will not let me go!
:stop:

***
Fun story behind the photo...
This was taken last winter - sometime.
Two words!
Big. Mouse.

Which caused an "Up on the table" reaction...for both of these two.
A tear.
A fear.
A hold.

Gotta love the moment!

I don't have a photo of it... but my middle child was down on the floor looking eye-to-eye with this certain Mr. Brown.
He was a big fella...if I recall.  I think he was the one I stepped on...
But that is another story in and of itself.

Have a wonderful weekend!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Blessing in little ways

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Impatiens


Thought I'd show you a few photos of the flower beds as they were over the summer.  
In fact, the girls and I picked a nice bouquet of the Zinnias yesterday and we commented on how this may be one of the very last bouquets, if not the last of these beauts.

I'm okay with that.  Well, a little sad... because we've had a great summer - temp wise!  However, I love these cooler temps.  The ones that stay around longer in the morning and come on strong, again, as soon as the sun goes down...
Great sleeping weather!!  I say.

This morning found me filling the bird feeder, pulling some weeds, as well as, the finished out string bean plants.  We've had some little critter-friend eat off most of the beans and plants - I felt bad removing his lunch - but the plants were really ugly looking and not yielding anything productive, for us that is, anymore... and, so out they went.

I did, upon opening the front door, this morning, about trip over a cardboard box filled with a couple dozen ear of corn and a passel of green peppers.  They must have come from the garden (up at my Aunt's place) via my mom, and in turn, via my brother, who lives next door... 

The harvest is still coming in!!!

Speaking of my brother... he found someone willing to take the Impatiens plant off my hands.
It was gifted to us by the friends who moved recently - out of state.  The trouble I was having, in keeping this plant, was the varying temps, out on our front porch... of either too much sun and therefore heat and or too cold of temps at night.  I really have no ideal place to keep the plant, indoors, over winter and well... it too needed to go, if it had any plans to stay alive.
I can do geraniums - over winter ... but not much else.

Blessings in little ways...

While I was outdoors this morning... I was pondering.

This morning was a rough start for my son.
And, we have been having these sorts of days, intermittently.  One day he'll bounce right out of bed, happy and singing and other days... not so fast.  He's still so tired.  And, the words start flying... he's grumpy.  And "he doesn't want to go to school".  He wants to stay home and be with mom...
So, begins the heart-conversations and the pulling out of what's going on inside...

It's not always easy.

A friend and I were talking about it a bit yesterday and she gave me a really good perspective to think about.
She shared... It's better that he gives a rough time - saying he doesn't want to leave, than to have it the other way around - wishing he could have .... on his own... weeks ago.  Or, even going so far as to making that happen.  Oh - that rips my heart to ever think of that as a possibility.  And, I know for so many that is a sad reality..

I'm feeling the sting of that independence; its tension... I guess.   He'll still walk with me and want to hold my hand.. but the hugs and kisses, initiated by him, at the time of us leaving each others company and parting ways for the day are getting fewer and fewer.  He's growing up.  
In part of the dialogue, this morning, I was semi-teasing him this morning; asking, of what happened to my little guy who used to love VeggieTales and Thomas the Tank Engine...
Oh, he still likes them ... but he's moving on...to other things.  Like Star Wars, etc...?  So, he says.
***
How do I pair this conversation and happenings with my growing son, from this morning, with the previous of gardening and flower beds...?

I found this quote the other day that speaks volumes...

A man's children
and his garden
both reflect the
amount of weeding
done during the
growing season.
~ unknown

How is that for a sobering thought to ponder?

Especially when I show the reality of my garden..as it stands today!


If the above quote is true... then I've let things slide... somewhere along the line.

Alfred Austin (1835-1913) doesn't mince words when he says,
"Show me your garden and I shall tell you what you are."

Ouch!

I realize the only real way to water/tend to a hearty and productive garden is through sweat and tears.

"... such gardens are not made by singing: 'Oh, how beautiful! and sitting in the shade.' "
~ Rudyard Kipling
***

I hope you hear my heart through this post today.  Do you see the blessings come in little ways?
They come as gentle reminders...
Parenting and gardening are both hard work!

That's why I left this one ugly bloom in the bouquet as my gentle reminder...


I want to leave you with several verses which I take great comfort in.  Found in Galatians chapter 6, verses 7-9.

 Do not be deceived; God cannot be mocked.  A man reaps what he sows.
The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
  Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest, if we do not give up.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Standing by my man...

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Good Day, dear friends!  
It was a rainy and gray start first thing this morning... but we're determined to not let it stay that way within our hearts.  Wonderful, because here comes the sun!!
Just in time to hang the laundry for the day!

I love seeing water-droplets...glittering in the sunshine.
Having it rain all night, last night, was wonderful!!


I wanted to fill you in a little bit with what I've, what we've, been up to the past couple of  days.

If you've been reading here at Treasured Up and Pondered for any length of time you know that our son - Caleb- is in Cub Scouts.
My husband has just recently become the Pack's Cubmaster.

 Here we go!!  Scout season is ramping up once more...and so, you know what that means.
This man will be BUSY!!!  
Until at least sometime mid-November where things will start to level out and become a bit more manageable..

My husband is also in full-time employment.
In full-time school.
A husband.
A father.
He wears a lot of hats.  Yes! even a hunting cap...
and, hunting season...well, that is coming up too. :)

The school side of things is almost over.  He has the final class (his Capstone Project) to tweak and uhmm...well, let's just say, about 30 hours worth of doing that..tweaking!
And, pretty much, we can say College will be behind us!  Graduation here we come!
 Wherein I for one, am over-the-top exuberant...I hope you can all read that in between the lines.  Hallelujah! 
You can start clapping away - if you'd like!!
~~~
With the Scout side of things.  This may mean more than several weekends away - for camping, etc.  And even more so with and for training purposes.  It sounds like October is going to be full of this...this being away from home, etc.
One of those said weekends was this past weekend.  

First off, Scott  had asked me if I would give him a hand, in a couple of areas.
Sure!  Standing by my man. ;) is my plan...

The weekend, I speak of, was where Scott left the house about 6:30 AM and I began playing the "single-mom" role; as well as working on a project for Scott.

A presentation board.

 

 Basically, over the weekend, I had to find the time to fine-tune the details... for a presentation board for the upcoming Recruitment night.
 Which happened to be last evening..by the way.
For this Recruitment Night event..I, in the planning, had also volunteered my baking skills in the refreshment department.   
My suggestion was for that "home-baked", cozy feeling... making everyone feel "at home" and comfortable.

Well.  He took me up on it!  :)

Track with me here..please!  I'm switching gears and backing up a bit, in the story..for a mere second.

My husband came home from this required training weekend, Sunday evening, pretty tired and exhausted... and still he had a full plate of working out all the details, etc. for Recruitment night - Monday night.  Meaning, doing a dry-run setup and what have you.  A rehearsal of sorts.

While attempting to keep the kiddos out of his hair, as he was trying to get his stuff together to turn right around and leave again for the evening...I injured myself, trying to show Aubrey - our six year old - how to master the jump rope.  Yeah!!  Needless to say, I didn't even get the full swing of the jump completed.  I wasn't even trying to do anything fancy... just a little one-foot - skip- hop thing  (maybe that was the fancy version instead of the two-footed hop, anyway...) and like I said before, before I could complete that action - I heard and felt this horrendously loud snap in my right leg lower calf (the same leg where I had had surgery about a year and a half ago)...and immediately, I was into a leg-cramp situation and poor Scott - he's trying to leave to go and do what he needs to do and here I stand - in pain - not sure what to do...not wanting to stall him or worry him...I didn't say much.  His suggestion of
"Walking it off "... wasn't going to be an option.  At least not fully... I tried though.

I tell you all that to say... I wasn't so sure I could pull off my "volunteering for baking cookies" the following evening... and,
while I am pretty sure I tore a muscle or ligament somewhere... I can tell you as of today, it's better than I expected.  I'm just doing my best to stay off of it.  Keep it elevated and have applied ice a time or two.  It's already settling out.

After a fitful Sunday night and unsure of what to expect the following day.  Here was Monday!
Here,  I had volunteered all this cookie baking...for later in the evening.
I had laundry to do.
A household to run...

Without me asking, Scott decided to work from home on Monday..
Taking Aubrey to school, for me, and lugging laundry baskets down the stairs... rescuing a toddler in the potty-training stage so that I could rest this leg..
all while being signed in for work!!

I'm thankful for my husband.  As well as, for my brother and his girlfriend; coming over and watching the girls for us...
for the evening...
because yes! I did go and bake all those cookies.
Baking somewhere in the ballpark of about 15 dozen cookies.
I had pre-made the dough, earlier in the week; scooped them out and had them frozen ahead of time.
So, it was a matter of just plunking frozen dough balls out onto trays.

Those cookies are GONE!!  Every. single. one. of. them!!
Thoroughly, a HUGE hit!

The black thought-bubble is chalkboard paint and a message was written in, with chalk, at last minute...

My greatest joy, however - was standing in the back of the room...(albeit to say; hobbling around in the church's kitchen - where the Recruitment event was held...) and hearing my husband say and do his thing...  (This was his first big thing as Cubmaster!)  Wow!!
Seeing how hard he has worked and how much he has been praying and continues to pray; leaving the rest up to the Lord, in his efforts.  Just hearing the praises and compliments from the other guys in the Leadership of the Pack, as well as parents - coming up to me to say how much Scott means to them or how grateful they are for his service to them!!

I have never been more proud to be his wife!

Thankful that as I stand by him - he is by my side, as well.  As it should be!!  
Again, I'm so grateful...

The phone just rang...
 He was calling to check in on me; seeing how my leg is faring so far, today!

Just taking it slow...is my response.
I'll be fine!

***
Now, I can't leave this post without showing you another photo...


Our creative little six year old thought Mom & Dad needed some "face-time" after this weekend.
What do you think??

Another question...
Should I leave the faces or erase...?  Thankfully, it was done in pencil...

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Weekend Brew :: deep and wide

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I don't know about you, but I can read and read and reread... this passage... and still not fully comprehend the depths of its truth!

Does it matter that I don't fully grasp?  No, not really.  But I can rest in this.  I can be satisfied in this. I can know it...
I am aware...Jesus' love runs deep and wide for me!!

One day, I will know it.  Fully.

I like this... "filled to the measure of the fullness".

Oh, and I laugh. Ha!!  I just caught a typo on my photo, there, and it looks like I'm "stuttering", pausing for effect - when I say it twice ... "the the"... and in a way it can be just that.  A stutter in the sense of being truly overwhelmed to the fact that this is something I may never fully comprehend while here on this earth.

Amen?

My Freshly Brewed Life

Friday, September 12, 2014

Five Minute Friday :: Ready (and Giveaway Winner reveal!)

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My house may not be ready, but my heart is.  Come on in!

A mantra of my soul.  A phrase.  One I wish would always be true of me.  One I strive for and often feel a fail over.
When I think of the word READY I think of it as a word that in all honesty can't stand alone.
There needs to be a willingness, first.
A preparing.
A sense of anticipation.
If I want to have a heart and home that is ready...then,
I need to first be at peace.
Peace for whatever comes.
Ready for change.
Willing for it to happen.
Hoping to have a time worth waiting for.

Ready anticipation.
I also believe this isn't meant solely for house-worthiness in having guests over...
this is more a reflection on heart-readiness in the first place.  For every area of life.

Lord, ready me... I pray!


***
Joining with Five Minute Friday and writing for five minutes..

Kate Motaung mentioned in her "introduction" today about a challenge within the challenge...
She was talking about writing for five minutes, every day for the month of October.  You can read about it for yourself, here!  And, know that you're welcome to participate in either or both of these challenges. Five Minute Friday and 31 days...

This made me think back to when I participated in The Nester's 31 days series some time ago.  Back in 2012.  There, I spent 31 days writing on essentially one topic... hospitality!  The link to that series is located on my sidebar.  Feel free to browse through that at your leisure.

Today's prompt -word {READY} took me back to that series and I found a post I had written, back then, that hinges on what I hoped to reflect on here today.

Here is that post, entitled; Field of Dreams.


I'm struck by the thought that just a few short years ago, I honestly didn't know too many families that lived there across the field.

Today... I can tell you I now know SEVERAL families and have had several of them visit our home for meals or for kid-play-dates, etc.  Our children go to school together.  Are in Scouts together.. some of the families; we go to church together, etc.

And my struggle remains the same..

To be ready.

***

So, are you ready for the GIVEAWAY Winner reveal??

First off, I want to share a huge appreciation smile and say thank you for coming here to Treasured Up and Pondered and reading so faithfully.  Thank you - especially for your participation in Monday's Mugs & Muffins post and Giveaway.

It's an encouragement to all...

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

The Giveaway Winner is:  Kathy
Here is her comment:

Thank you, Mitzi, for your story. I too am a breast cancer survivor. 7 years now. And I don't expect it to ever come back. Although I believe that mammograms help, and I always get mine every year, the mammogram I took showed nothing. I felt the lump and was told it was my imagination because the mammogram was clear. I insisted on being treated, was sent to a specialist, and the cancer was found. In all of this God was there not letting me give up and believe the first answer. I say this to remind everyone to get proactive with your treatment.
I could related to everything you said.I never believed I would die. I had been married for all of 8 months having gotten married for the first time at age 52. I prayed and asked God to allow me to have more time and He gave me such peace. I know you will understand when I say this.
Again, thanks for sharing your story. I am so glad you kept your hair. God is so good!
CONGRATULATIONS!!  Kathy - you have been a faithful reader, here and I'm so glad you won this giveaway.  May God bless you.  Your testimony is just as encouraging and beautiful.  Thank you for sharing a snippet of your life with us all..

**Kathy, please email me your mailing information and I will get this gift out to you - asap!
aitsbevy (at) yahoo (dot) com

May you all have a Blessed Weekend!!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Don't lose your chance...

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Today is the last day to enter....!!  I wouldn't want you to miss out..
Take a deep breath and join in.  You still have time!!


I just had to share this photo of my now 6 yr old Aubrey in her Birthday Wishes and Celebration - as of yesterday!

If you haven't had a chance to read my friend Mitzi's personal testimony on becoming a Breast Cancer Survivor...then do so today!  It would mean so much for her to "hear" from you - through your comments.

I so appreciate my friend's story and her willingness to share it with us.
I thank God for her and for her dear family...


***
Enter HERE!! For a chance at the giveaway...

The GIVEAWAY winner will be announced at some point on Friday - September 12th!

Stay tuned...

Monday, September 8, 2014

Mugs & Muffins :: Guest Post, by Mitzi (a friend of mine!) Recipe and Giveaway! {now CLOSED!}

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Welcome back to Mugs & Muffins!
Welcome back, both old and new!
To any new friends - who have begun following here recently - this a just a time and place to gather together with fellow readers.  Enjoy that proverbial muffin and cup of coffee... (recipe is always included!)
Its a moment to just sit back, relax and encourage one another.  You can read HERE - why and how this Mugs & Muffins idea got started.
 As you leave, today, be sure to enter your name for the drawing - the Giveaway will be happening and announced later this week!  See details at the end of this post!  And the Giveaway will remain open all week long!

While I have your attention.  Grab yourself a muffin*; pass the plate around, and don't forget to fill up your favorite mug with something delicious.  Coffee or Tea... makes no difference.  I'm just so glad you're here and that you want to stay!


** The muffins are in honor of my guest writer and friend!  Here's why..
When my friend Mitzi, and her husband, moved from PA back their home state...after being here in PA for several years... she says she had no idea how much she would miss Shoo-fly Pie. :)
If you don't know what Shoo-fly Pie is... well, it is a staple in these parts of the Commonwealth.  So..
Every time I get a chance to travel; to visit my friend and her family - you've guessed it.  We are sure to take along a pie or two...
And now... these muffins are or surely will be part of her recipe collection.

***

This month I'm so happy to have my wonderful friend - a in-real-life friend - share her heart with us today!

Mitzi and I have been friends since eons ago!  She is a marvelous cook, a sweet-tea drinker, a wonderful mother and a HUGE Disney fan!

Mitzi has the biggest heart of any I know...and well... quite frankly... I miss her tons!  I miss her smile, her hugs and her infectious laugh!  She lives too far away!  Period.  One thing I love... is that my kids and husband made themselves Great friends with Mitzi's husband and children, as well... and there is STILL conversation and the begging to go and visit them again.  Sometime soon!! 

Please make welcome - Mitzi Matata. 
If you've seen any comment, on my blog, under this name, this is her!
Photo taken several years ago on one of our visits.  Mitzi's
husband, Chris took this photo! 

So, sit back and enjoy... this is a long post!  But, you'll be blessed as you read along!  I promise!


Hello!  My name is Mitzi Matata (not my real name*) and I...I am a long time friend of Bevy's!!

I am wife to Chris, Mother to my now 13 –year- old triplets Benjamin, Savannah and Isabelle and friend to a cherished handful.
Bev asked me to share my story so I've been thinking and praying for many months about what the Lord would have me to say.  One day, I asked myself out loud what part of my journey I should focus on and my daughter, Savannah, said “Well, Mommy, you have to talk about your breast cancer.”   So, my journey with God through my breast cancer will be my focus - here in this message today.

I’ll be sharing scriptures with you that I clung to and song lyrics that I feel God gave me encouragement and strength from.  I want to tell you about ways God became more real to me through a very difficult time and how he used a scary illness to bring me into closer fellowship with Him.  Most of all, I want to testify how very good our God is – all the time.   All the time – God is good. 

That phrase “God is good all the time- all the time God is good” is one I wrote at the end of nearly every journal entry on my Caringbridge site. 

Caringbridge is a free website designed to help families keep their friends and loved ones informed during difficult times such as life-threatening illnesses.

I want to share a passage from the opening page of my Caringbridge journal.

“around noon on Oct.10th, 2008, (less than a month after my 40th birthday) the doctor called and said to  me:  "Now, Mitzi.... I want you to stay calm... your biopsy results are back and you have tested positive for breast cancer."  My world, my life and everything I'd known and been to that point would never be the same.
My family and I cling to the Lord Almighty... He is Yahweh Rapha…. our God who heals. His will is perfect and He has, is and will forever direct our path.
We have been abundantly blessed with love and support from our friends, our church body, our family and even those we've never met. People all over the world are praying for us... and we feel it.
My prayer is that I will glorify the Lord through this... whatever is ahead of us on this journey. Jesus is with us (me, my family and you) every step of the way, as He always has been and will be forevermore.”

As I faced an uncertain future, my biggest fears and concerns lay with my children.  They had just turned 8 years old.  They were just babies… and they needed their Momma.  And I needed to make sure they had me … and that they had a beautiful childhood.  My childhood was not lovely.    My childhood was not peaceful.  My greatest desire in the world was that the childhood of my children would be the opposite of my own.  During the moment of that heart-stopping diagnosis, I was terrified of 2 things:  1 –that I would leave my children Motherless at such a tender, young age.. and 2 that they would suffer if I suffered and that their childhood would be taken from them and replaced with sorrow, perhaps even worse than my own.

I wanted to live for my children and I wanted to protect them from all the ugliness this disease would throw our way.  Chris and I felt that we needed to be honest with them about the illness but I still wanted to protect them from it.  Through the innocence of 8 year olds, one of their biggest concerns was that I would lose my hair with chemotherapy.  So, that became my prayer.  For the sake of my little ones, dear Lord.. let me keep my hair.  If I can keep my hair, then it will be less scary for them and maybe they won’t be as affected by all of this.

Chris and I had a heart-wrenching time of tears and prayer with our best friends a day or 2 after my diagnosis.  I shared of my deep desire to keep my children protected from all of the hardship and pain that lay before us in the coming months.  The Lord spoke through our friend Paul as he told us to surrender our children to the Lord and let Him grow them stronger through this time.  Instead of protecting them from all that these days may have, pray that they would become closer to their heavenly Father because of it, relying on Him with a deeper faith than they’d ever had.  I had to give them completely over to the Lord to take care of and let the Almighty Abba Father be their comforter just as He is mine.  That was a turning point for me in the journey.  I had not looked at it that way before and would not look at it differently from that day forth.

However,  my biggest fear still was that I would leave my children without their Mommy.  I spent hours, days, weeks silently begging God to allow me to live long enough to raise my children.  During this time, I went through numerous tests and procedures for the breast cancer.  It was determined that I would have a partial mastectomy with sentinel lymph node removal.  Basically, that meant that only the tumor and a large portion of the surrounding tissue would be removed along with the “Master” lymph node.  The thoughts behind this decision were that if any cancer passed through the lymph node system, it would have had to go through the sentinel node first.  My surgery was 1 month after my diagnosis.

Part of my growth through this time was finally believing that God loves my children even more than I do.  HE is their Abba Father, not just mine.  He is Their Lord, their redeemer, their Saviour .  I must hand my children over to God and trust that he would never leave nor forsake Benjamin, Isabelle or Savannah – even if I died from this cancer while they were still so young.

People didn’t want to talk about the “what if I die” scenario with me.  I would hear words of encouragement that I was going to fight this disease and win.  That I would be around for a very long time.  But I had to talk about what if.   Even if I beat the cancer, I still needed to come to a place of complete trust in the Lord.  I had to face death eye to eye.  The breast cancer simply made me have to think about death.  The realization that I could walk out my door and be hit by a falling tree or a struck by lightning actually brought me comfort.  Why?  Because, it made me believe in my heart what I already knew in my head:  None of it was in my control.  None of it was up to me.  It was in God’s hands.  I needed to be at a place where I was OK with God doing whatever He wanted to do in His perfect will with me and my life and I had to trust that He really was a good and loving God and would be no matter what my circumstances or the circumstances of my children.
I gradually did come to a beautiful, peaceful place in my soul that was able to say “Not my will, but yours, Lord, be done.”  And I meant it.
During all this time, the devil wanted to hurl lies at me throughout this process.  He bombarded me with fear and trepidation.  He shouted lies and he whispered lies.
I cried out in my journals for people to please constantly remind me of truth.  I needed scripture quoted to me.  A sweet young lady from our church sent a huge packet of about 15 different scriptures verses on pretty 8 X 11 paper.   I’m going to share some of my favorites:
Romans 8:35-39
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[a]
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Psalm 62:5-8
“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. ”
Joshua 1:9
9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
We taped the scriptures up all over our house- in our kitchen, bedrooms, bathrooms, hallway and even the laundry room.
Those scriptures are still on our walls, 5 years later.
Their truth is a constant reminder of the love God has for our family and of the love our friends have for us, too.
Groceries, meals and childcare were generously and sacrificially given throughout the many months of treatments by people who showed unconditional love for us.  These people were the hands and feet of Jesus. Their kindness towards our family will never be forgotten.

Through this journey, I can testify that God was with me and is with me still… all the time.   He has never left my side.  He never left my husband or my children as we faced fearful times.
I have learned and fully believe that His will is perfect. His plans are perfect.


Jeremiah 29:11
“11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Romans 8:28 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,[a] who[b] have been called according to his purpose.”

I know that doesn't mean He promises to heal me.  It does mean that I can rest in the fact that all things are under the authority of a GOOD, loving God.
My favorite song through this whole journey has been one written by Scott Krippayne ((I encourage you to take a minute and listen to it for yourself) and here are the lyrics:


“Sometimes He Calms the Storm

All who sail the sea of faith
Find out before too long
How quickly blue skies can grow dark
And gentle winds grow strong
Suddenly fear is like white water
Pounding on the soul
Still we sail on knowing
That our Lord is in control

Sometimes He calms the storm
With a whispered 'peace be still'
He can settle any sea
But it doesn't mean He will
Sometimes He holds us close
And lets the wind and waves go wild
Sometimes He calms the storm
And other times He calms His child

He has a reason for each trial
That we pass through in life
And though we're shaken
We cannot be pulled apart from Christ
No matter how the driving rain beats down
On those who hold to faith
A heart of trust will always
Be a quiet, peaceful place
Sometimes He calms the storm
And other times He calms His child.”

I wrote the following in my journal on Jan. 29, 2009

“I have this image of a little child dancing with Jesus on a beautiful beach at sunset. I am that child.
We're happy... splashing... holding hands... dancing in a circle... laughing and smiling.
I consider this particular image a gift from the Lord. When I worship, it's this image that comes to my mind.
Recently... the image has changed a bit. Now, Jesus is carrying the child (me) on his shoulders... still on the beach, along the edge of the water. We're thoughtful and quiet as he walks along, carrying me.
This image in my mind's eye is also such a precious gift from the Lord.
And... it's so descriptive of what I feel is happening with my life on earth. When I'm not praying for someone else, I'm often quiet with my Lord these days. His presence is very real and never in question. He's just carrying me, holding on to me.. and I to Him. Not a lot of words need to be said. I am just trusting in His power to keep me moving along.”

I am currently on a cancer-fighting drug that I take every day.  I was to be on it for 5 years but have recently been told it will be increased to 10 years.  It’s not a fun pill to take as it does have several unpleasant side-effects but I thank God that I have it to fight the disease and I remember Hebrews 12:1


“Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” 

My prognosis is very good.  One of my doctors said to me: “Mitzi, you will die someday –--
but it won’t be from this cancer.”


Hallelujah.

And… for those of you who are wondering…
The Lord was gracious and loving and allowed me to keep my hair throughout the cancer treatments.  It was a beautiful gift for both me…. and my children.

And, one final thing- a word of advice from Mitzi!!  “GET YOUR MAMMOGRAMS!  The Lord used mine to save my life!”

To which I (Bevy) second that...I remember Mitzi, a long time ago, a very long time ago, as being one of the first, if not the only one, who encouraged me to treat myself to this; "as a birthday gift", for myself; saying, "don't be afraid to go to the Gyno and while you're at it go and get a Mammogram done." I'm very glad I listened to her.  If nothing else I, at least, have peace of mind - at this point in my life.
I'm very grateful to God for my friend, Mitzi!

:: GIVEAWAY::  {NOW, CLOSED!}
Today's giveaway is a simple item.  Handmade by a good friend of mine named: Becky L.


Journaling is something that my friend Mitzi mentioned she did.  Albeit, the fact, that it was kept all online through Caringbridge.

I have given away one of these handmade Journal Covers (w/ notebook), before... but, I feel it is just so appropriate to offer one up again.  You can see more of what Becky does - and has for sale in her Etsy Shop!  Please feel free to stop by and check it out!

**The Giveaway will run through the rest of this week and the winner announced sometime on Friday, the 12th!

For entries earned, please comment below!  Feel free to interact, as readers and commenters, with one another.  Interact by sharing stories, Scripture and encouragement.  Maybe you have your own prayer request...something you would like prayer and encouragement for.

 Each comment made is considered an entry! Spread the word, tell a friend!

Let's be a blessing to one another!!

:: RECIPE ::

Shoofly Muffins
Crumbs:
2 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 cup brown sugar

Filling:
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cup boiling water
1 tsp. baking soda

Mix together first four ingredients; by cutting in the butter.  Should be lumpy.   Take out 1 cup for topping.  Mix together filling ingredients and add to crumb mixture mixing well.  Pour batter into cupcake papers 2/3 full.  Put 1 tsp. of reserved crumb mixture on top of each muffin.  

Bake @ 375* for 22-25 minutes or you can just put it all into a 9"x13" baking pan at 350* for 50-60 minutes..


Thank you so much, for coming by here today!!  And for your participation.  I always look forward to meeting new faces and interacting here with you on days and "events" like today!

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May you have a Blessed Week!!

Remember the winner of the giveaway will be announced on Friday!

See you then...
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