Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Blessings Monday

Ok so maybe it's not Monday, but I am still thankful!

I'm thankful for my ladies Bible study group. I've participated in numerous such groups over the past several years, but at the present time I'm only participating in one. I am the humble leader of the group. It is a small gathering, but these ladies have big things to share. We do not follow a study "guide." We simply choose a portion of scripture to read, study, and meditate on and then we all bring back to the group what we have learned. As you can imagine, we each get stuck on particular points that resonate with our own personal lives and thus the focus can change so many times in just one area. From this blessing comes many others... resources, friendship, sharing, loving, caring, etc. As it is a joy to pray for my sisters in Christ, so it is comforting to have them praying over me. I am so blessed!!!

If you would like to join us in sharing our blessings, or even if you just want to read up on some other people's blessings (which is a blessing in itself), head on over to Marci's blog "Down On The Farm" to link up.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Celebrating Today... Just because...

Each day is an opportunity to celebrate. If we miss it... then it's lost. I am a morning person. I like mornings because they are fresh... new... and full of opportunity. Each day I awaken knowing that the Lord has given me yet another chance to glorify Him and to make the most of my life and what blessings he has lavished upon me. The words memorized in my youth so often surface in the morning... "This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it."

This morning I am up early. I'm helping a friend before church. I will likely witness the rising of the sun this morning. Oh what a glorious site! It is cold and crisp outside. I shall step out into the world with a thankful heart and in search of opportunities to praise the Lord, to rejoice at his creation, and to seek the opportunity to enjoy life and all it has to offer.

Friday, October 26, 2007

It's Just Not Like Me

It's just not like me to not like someone. I get along with most. There are very few people in this world that I truly do not care for. There are those that I simply overlook, but let's get real... There are a few people who I really don't like. These include persons who have wronged me or someone that I love. Maybe I don't have to be around them. Maybe I only run into them once in a blue moon. I'm never actually mean to them, but I can say that I have to put forth effort to be pleasant to them.

This scenario has been tugging at my heart. I have been reading 1 John and it has been made very clear to me that we are to "love one another." This is something that I specifically remember my Grandmother stressing to me, although at the time I wasn't exactly sure what she was getting at. Oh, I get it completely now.

I was meeting with my lady friends this evening. It's uncanny how we choose a scripture and it strikes a chord with many of us. Today's study was no exception. We talked about how difficult it is to repent of such feelings. Must we attempt to reconcile our relationship with that individual? Are we not justified by hurt feelings and such? We concluded that this is something that must be handled between our heart and the Lord. We MUST have a forgiving heart! We must repent of our sin... of that committed in thought, word, and deed. I do not believe that confrontation or relationship building with the individual is a must. The Lord may change their heart and thus this may eventually occur, but it is not for our doing. Our duty is to glorify the Lord and as such we should take appropriate action in that direction.

So as I have been reminded about the very few people who some how make my blood boil... I am taking strides to reconcile those feelings with the Lord. I am reminded that even the deeds they have seemingly committed have been part of the Lords perfect plan in some fashion, AND just as their sin nailed Christ to the cross, so has MINE! I am satisfied to not have to be friendly with them, but I am sure that when our paths cross again that the Lord will empower me to be cordial and though it seems odd... I shall be loving. For it is written:

1 John 4: 20

If anyone says, “I love God,”

yet hates his brother,

he is a liar. For anyone who

does not love his brother,

whom he has seen,

cannot love God,

whom he has not seen.

A Step Back In Time

October 26, 1914

My "Gramditties" was born this day 93 years ago. She lived many different places in her lifetime, but now she lives in Heaven. What a grand place for a lovely lady. She truly was a gem and obviously very special to me.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Holiday Fun

Check out the witch hats! And while you are there... peruse... lots to take in.

No more time for writing now. Enjoy!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Blessings Monday

If you would like to join us in sharing our blessings, or even if you just want to read up on some other people's blessings (which is a blessing in itself), head on over to Marci's blog "Down On The Farm" to link up.

Today I am thankful for my new running shoes. The shoes I had been running in were hand-me-downs from my MIL. I think she gave them to me a year or maybe two years ago??? They were good shoes in their day, but I really did wear them out. The soles were snagging loose and the inside structure had cracked into little pieces that jabbed my heels as I ran. We have been on a tight budget and thus new shoes had to wait.
With my efforts to run... and to keep up with it, shoes are of the utmost importance. Ask anyone who knows about running. Shoes can make or break ya. But I muttled thru with those old shoes until I had all but ran a 5K.
One night while shopping with my sister, I splurged on this pair of New Balance 409 Abzorbs. They are pink and white.... How appropriate for my feminine kick. I slipped my custom made orthotics into them and off I went in my new light-footed footwear.
As it goes, I was sick and off running shortly therafter, but TODAY I have redeemed myself and ran on my treadmill. I am grateful for my new shoes and for God who has slipped them into the budget ever so carefully. I do pray for the strength and devotion to keep running because it is a hard thing for me; however I do know that I need to do it.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

What A Lovely Weekend

Friday night I had some Girly Time with my good friend and her two lovlies. We went out for dinner and then to the party store to get a pinata and some fillins. I love to just sit and chat with her and the kiddos love me, but I never know why... but I just love them too! We play and sing and read books and it's just lovely.
Keith had the entire weekend off. That rarely happens, so we are especially grateful for it. In contemplating the plans for such an occasion, we realized that we had a very low budget. Given the time of year, some sort of a trek was in order to see the handiwork of God during this colorful season of change. Northernward we went and a little bit west. These photos are of Neshanock Creek in Volant, PA. We visited some shops but bought little. We had lunch at the Dumplin Haus with their famous dessert... Apple Dumplins! So appropriate for the time of year. It was a grand afternoon... weather, sunshine, and my darling for company!

We stopped at an Amish farm and bought some Mums for our flower garden. Can't beat the price! We got 12 or 15 inch pots for $2 and $3 each. I was delighted. I wanted to buy pumpkins and birdhouse gourds too, but hubby reminded me that we don't have room for all of those these days. It's not like years ago when we had a huge porch and yard. Oh well. I already have 2 small pumpkins at home that I am using for decoration... at least until I have the hankering to make pie.
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Before you call us 'copy catters' know this... As we are driving along, Keith sees the sign for Living Treasures and proclaims that I have never taken him there. In fact, I have been there... years ago, but not with him. So to fulfill his craving, we went. It did not help that he read that the Zombecks were recently there and saw thier pictures - awesome! Just so you know, we didn't get such attention from the lions as they did, but we did see the keeper playing with the lions and feeding the tigers.
I was especially drawn to this silly sneaky snobby piglet of a llama. She was an attention hog AND a grain hog. She would pin her ears and chase the others off. But I thought she was pretty and I liked her.

The ostrich - was well... BIG.
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They have candy machines where you can buy Cheerios for a quarter. Remind me next time to stuff my pockets with Cheerios and dog food before I go, or a roll of quarters. So if you drop a few Cheerios in the red bucket, the monkey will pull it to himself and eat them. They are greedy little buggers.

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Bouncing Back... And Rambling On

I finally feel like I'm getting back to normal. Occasionally my throat is sore deep down, but I'm managing without much fuss. I've got to keep up with the antibiotics and fluids. I'm off the Tylenol Cold medicine now. FINALLY.

So today was a catch-up day of sorts. I can see the flood gates of responsibility ready to overflow at work yet I am only one person so I must keep my perspective... one priority at a time! Unfortunately there may be a few people feeling somewhat neglected, but that is the nature of the job. When files are abundant, I have no time for individuality. Oh well. They say it's job security. :)

I'm happy to feel like I can return to routine. It's rather late right now, but I shall aspire to run tomorrow - or at least get some sort of exercise. I also must catch up on some Bible study. I have a Ladies Group coming up soon and I am not yet fully prepared for it. I will try to do some of this tonight.

So here I am... Starbucks Refresh at hand (thank you Handy Hubby) with a little bit of soreness in my throat... feeling a TON better than the past week. I'm so ready to bounce back!
I really don't have much to say... nothing profound anyway. Sorry.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Is It Friday Yet?

Was off sick yesterday and today. I've taken a bunch of antibiotics and think maybe I turned the corner... but the good doctor says I also have pink eye. (Thank you Dear Isaac) So I stripped the beds and took all the towels to the basement. I'm washing everything with bleach! I have wiped everything down that I can physically see ourselves touching and insist that we wash our hands repeatedly. THIS is how to rid ourselves of such a plight.

To make matters just a tad bit worse... it's not our shower leaking. It's the TOILET!!! Oh horrors! As best we can tell it is clean water that leaks. It's only when the re-fill is running that it drips. Needless to say, there is a finger-sized hole in the living room ceiling (thank you Handy Hubby) and we won't be using that particular toilet for a time now. Not sure how to fix it and/or if we can afford it. SO... we will use the one downstairs. UGH!

I feel much better today, although my eye is still goopy and the sore throat still lingers. I'm forcing the rest of the OJ down and drinking plenty of water and tea. I was able to do a little bit of work from home today. Mostly just data entry, but that which desperately needed done.

I plan to return to work tomorrow. Hopefully I'll feel even better than today. I'd really like to get to running again... and some other activities too, like visiting the farm again. Hmmm... Wonder what the weather will bring?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Blessings Monday

If you would like to join us in sharing our blessings, or even if you just want to read up on some other people's blessings (which is a blessing in itself), head on over to Marci's blog "Down On The Farm" to link up.

This week I am grateful to have the blessing of our home. I admit, I am often not so grateful for our home. It is in need of many repairs and updates and I lean towards bitterness over whomever has walked off with my lovely bird-feeder and whomever it was that broke into my hubby's car and stole not just a few items, but the garage door opener! (don't worry - we have replaced it) We cannot have a clothes line, it's not allowed. The neighbors are close - very very close! We have to lock our door at night and when we are not home. We leave lights on even when we are not home, just so people will think that we are home. I do my share of whining about this place, but...

This home is God's belonging, as is all that we have. He has arranged particular circumstances to bring us to this place and for that I am grateful. Our landlord is a very lovely lady who overflows with generosity. Our rent is plenty affordable, which she has purposely arranged for us so that we may have extra funds for repairs and updates as are needed. We came here expecting to purchase this home, but have not yet taken the plunge. Debt is something we are trying to rid ourselves of at the moment. There will be a time when we will purchase a home, but it has been clear that this was not the Lord's will for us as of yet.

This morning we discovered a huge problem related to plumbing. The shower is leaking and thus the ceiling is dripping in the living room each time we shower. I am perplexed as to how we should handle this problem. Shall we call the plumber? Or see how much we can do ourselves first? Or just let the landlord decide? Pretty much we have handled any misc repairs except for the furnace since we have lived here. This comes at a time when we are trying to be so budget savvy in all areas. My car needs tires and we have some bills to pay and we were HOPING to go to North Carolina for Thanksgiving and PLEASE don't make us cancel this trip for the umteenth time. (another story in itself).

So today I found myself resenting my home, yet I have come to appreciate it regardless. There are many who have less than we have. There are homeless people in this world. How dare I be ungrateful!!! But as I've been so focused on contentment lately... I find myself simply happy to have a home. This is where the good Lord has placed me and I shall find the joy and purpose in it.

I Won A Better Marriage!!!!

One of the things that is near the top of my "need to catch up on blogging" is the fact that I won an AWESOME prize. Joy over at Joy In the Journey has graciously granted me (us) tickets to A Weekend To Remember! This marriage enrichment seminar is put on by Family Life Ministries and her parents are speakers there!!!

Let me tell you a little bit about Joy. She and her hubby and munchkins are missionaries in Indonesia. Read thru her blog to find generous helpings of God's grace... tremendous answered prayers... and simply a woman after God's own heart. Oh and there is a post about snakes... COBRAS!!!! YIKES!!!! Head on over to her blog and be as blessed I am.

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU Joy for such an awesome prize. I am so excited and looking forward to what blessings may come from such an experience.

Some recent photos

Me at Market Keith & I at a wedding in late August

The lovely couple October 2007

500th Post

Morning folks. (At least it is morning here.) Some people post in advance when they are going to be vacationing from the blogosphere, but me... well... I didn't know I was going to be out of the loop. I just have been. We had company and family outings and work and then I fell under the weather. I'm still not up to par. But... I'm here. I haven't flown the coop just yet. I just haven't been able to blog lately.

Today is my 500th post! Can you believe it? Well, for a moment I thought wow... so few! I thought I was more wordy than that! But it also seems like a milestone.

I'm thinking about having a blog-style ugly ornament contest this winter. What do ya'll think of that? I'm thinking that everyone would post a picture of their ugliest ornament on their blog and link back to mine. Then anyone that wants to vote can email me their votes. Here's what I'm pondering... when we have this annual contest, there is an entry fee per ornament. There are 2 votes - ugliest and prettiest. The ugliest wins the money and the prettiest wins all the ugly ornaments and must display them on their tree.

I need your input:
  1. Should there be an entry fee? If so, how much? I'm thinking $1 or $2 would be good. I have a paypal account so I could use that to collect most of the funds. Then the winner of the ugliest would get the cash.
  2. Should the contest require that everyone mail their ugly ornament to the winner of the prettiest? And should that winner be required or encouraged to post a photo of all the ugly ornaments on their tree?
  3. As an alternative, I'm thinking I could simply put together two prizes for the winners. Not sure what just yet. What do you think?

For more details about how my families ugly ornament contest rolled out last year, read my first few December 2006 posts.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Morning Revealed

This morning was a dreary drive to work. The clouds were grey and covered the sky. I was missing the usual gleaming sunshine that somewhat blinds me as I drive. But then... when I stopped at the light before crossing the bridge into Butler, ahead in the distance the light shone through the clouds with glorious streaks of orange and yellow. I wish I had snapped a photo.

Thank the Lord for the sunshine!!! I love it!!!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Unique But So Profound

Check out the Tractor Tribute regarding my cousin's funeral.


After a long emotionally dreary week, I have emerged today fresh and new. Tis' a new month, a new week, and a new day. This morning I proclaim that God is good, for he is the creator. I thank the Lord for the newness of today.

Blessings Monday

If you would like to join us in sharing our blessings, or even if you just want to read up on some other people's blessings (which is a blessing in itself), head on over to Marci's blog "Down On The Farm" to link up.

This week I would like to share the blessing of abundance. In my recent post, Suzie Homemaker, you will see the trunk load of tomatoes that Uncle Charlie gave me and a snap-shot of the finished product. Uncle Charlie plants a tremendous garden every year. He is only one person, but he shares with anyone and everyone. I'm really grateful for the time and resources he has spent in caring for the garden. I am impressed with his generosity. He really does like to share and for that I am thankful.

I stewed and canned 31 pints of tomatoes, although some were in quart jars. One jar did break or I would have had 32. I packed some in a basket and took them to Uncle Charlie this afternoon and left a few quarts with my parents as well. It's the least I could do for such a generous offering.

Maybe that's not a lot of canning, but this was my very first solo try AND I have a tiny kitchen that is not condusive to this type of activity. I am feeling quite proud of myself and know that my Granny would back that up if she were still amongst us.

So THANKS to Uncle Charlie for his hard work and generous sharing of his harvest. I appreciate it.