Friday, March 16, 2018

Five Minute Friday - Provide

Every Friday, when I can find the time and words, I like to link up with Five Minute Friday where we are given a word prompt and we are told to set a timer and write for five minutes. I know it sounds ridiculous to say "when I can find the time" when we are only talking about five minutes but sometimes, there are no extra minutes in a day!!

Just FYI, I haven't started my timer yet because I wanted to tell you that I actually laughed out loud when I read today's word prompt -- PROVIDE. Why? We've spent the last several weeks talking about the different stories in the Bible where Jesus multiplies whatever we offer . . he PROVIDES. When we offer a little bit of fish and a few loaves, he provides by multiplying. When we offer ourselves for service in his kingdom, he multiplies our efforts and provides. God is good like that.

 ok - now I'm on to my five minute Friday - setting my timer . . . Go!

This man - the man I married 34 years ago - is such a good provider. He has provided us with a great home and he has provided us with the ability to host the young adults each week and feed them. If you are my friend, or his, and read this . . .Please don't tell him I wrote about him. He would kill me. He doesn't want recognition.
This man provides love for all of his family - not just sweet baby girl - but all of us.

This man provides spiritual leadership. He amazes me with how much scripture he remembers. He amazes me because we have taken the same Disciple Bible studies and he remembers JUST about everything we ever learned and I have to go back and reread stuff again and again.

This man provides entertainment. One of the reasons that I fell in love with him was because he made, and still makes, me laugh.

This man has provided a vacation for us just about every year of our marriage and a few extras thrown in. When the kids were little, he even provided for me to go away for a weekend or two and he kept the twinlets. 

He works hard. He plays hard. He loves to fish and he loves to be out in the woods. He is an excellent provider for our family.

I thank God for this man - not just because he provides - but because he is a wonderful man!

p.s. This is not to say that I haven't also been a part of the providing BUT he has been the main provider.

I know that I have veered way of course again - everyone else in the group always has really great devotions that go along with their words . . .this girl . . .not so much!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Home for Wednesday Hodgepodge

Today is Wednesday, so it must be HodgePodge! Copy and paste the questions into your own blog, answer the questions, and link up with Joyce at From This Side of the Pond.

1. Best place you've been lately?
The first thing that popped into my head -- HOME! We've been on the go almost constantly and we've worked some long days. Recently, we were at home one evening and I was SO HAPPY TO BE HOME!!

Then I second guessed myself and thought that answer sounds so lame from a girl who actually likes to go and do things but my thoughts of "best place" keep coming back to home and relationships.  This is another really great place to be -- snuggled up with this cutie. She calls one Pops (her actual granddaddy) and she calls one Pops George (her granddaddy's identical twin brother). Being with her is a pretty darn good place.

2. What's something you should say yes to today? Or this week? Or even this year?
This answer is going to sound like it is in direct opposition of the answer above but TRAVEL would be a definite YES! I'm going to blog about my recent trip to Israel during April and I look forward to reliving some of those memories as I write! I'm looking forward to planning some more trips.

3. Do you celebrate St. Patrick's Day in any way, shape, or form? If so tell us how. In Western cultures the color green is typically associated with jealousy, nature, good luck, and growth. What's the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word 'green'?

I love decorating for all holidays and special occasions. My grandmother on my daddy's side was of Irish ancestry so I CLAIM it! When I hear green, I usually think of growth . . .or money . . .

some of my flower friends need to help me - I have purchased Tulips for two weeks in a row. The first week, I didn't cut the stems under water before placing the flowers in the vase and they were VERY sad quickly. This is bunch #2. I cut the stems under water, put them in the mason jar and I've added water. They don't seem to be opening up before they die. What am I doing wrong???

I picked up the little leprechaun hats a few weeks ago and think they are so cute.

4. What's a product or service you love so much you'd happily be their spokesperson? Tell us what makes you such a fan.

I know I mentioned this in an earlier blog post but Walmart grocery pick up is AMAZING. All you have to do is go online and order your groceries.  You choose from the available pick up times (the earlier you order - the better chance of getting the exact time you want). They text when the order is ready. You respond. Through the app, they know when you pull into the parking space designated for those picking up. Within minutes, a very nice employee brings your groceries to the car. It was raining when I picked up on Saturday evening and I was very thankful for this service! Last week, I forgot to take cash for tipping and felt bad. I was pleased that Teiara was my delivery person again this week because I was able to give her a nicer tip. There is nothing on the app that says you should tip but I'm thinking that is the right thing to do - I would love thoughts on tipping in a situation like this. My grocery order is large. Is there a percentage I should tip? After saying all of this, I would gladly be their spokesperson.

5. March 14th is Pi Day. How are your math skills? What's the last thing you did that required math of any kind? And most importantly do you like pie? What's your favorite kind? With ice cream, whipped cream, or please hold the cream?
Some days, my math skills are sharp and on focus. I was a good math student in high school and college. These days, I use my math for figuring out measurements when tripling recipes.

I was also the tip collector for our driver and guide in Israel and needed to divide a large sum of money - 2/3 to guide and 1/3 to driver. I guess I used my math skills then! I use excel spreadsheets to keep up with groups of people and I can use the math formulas to add up columns or rows - love excel!

Yes, I like pie! I LOVE coconut cream pie. Since I gave up desserts over a year ago, I have had one bite of coconut cream pie at our grandbaby's first birthday party (a year ago this weekend!). I've discovered that I CANNOT eat sweets in moderation so I've just given them up all together. You can read my recent post on making pecan pies here (they are good, too!).

I love ice cream on apple roll (which is basically a pie). Whipped cream is great on cheese cake (not really a pie?).

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

On Monday, my friend and I went to another local United Methodist Church to hear three detectives/sergeants speak on human trafficking. Y'all. I JUST CAN'T IMAGINE. Those speaking were actually employees of the city where I live and I will admit that it gave me great hope because they all had a heart for children. The whole situation is mind boggling to me. It is modern day slavery for sex and labor. This issue has been on my heart for a couple of years now and I'm not sure what action I should be taking. The detectives recommended fostering a teenager who has been removed from a trafficking situation but I'm not sure that I'm called to do that. I may call/email the two safe houses near me and see if there is a way I can volunteer. Are any of you volunteering in any way to help with the human trafficking situation? If so, I would love to hear what you are doing.

When we arrived to hear the speakers, we loved the sign over the door --  "Reid Crotty Fellowship Hall" . . .Reid was a long time minister at this church where we were attending the program and he now serves on our church staff as a retired minister of care (does nursing home and hospital visits, etc.). We all love Reid so it was great fun to see his name above the door.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Baking on a Saturday Morning . .

Saturday morning, I was up early . . .ran a couple of errands . . .and when I got home, I started baking. The wedding (dear daughter and future son-in-law) is in the middle of May and rather than a groom's cake, we are having mini pecan pies. I'm doing a trial run to make sure they freeze well. I do not know how I cooked before I had this kitchen. I love spreading the ingredients out on the counter and island.

To me, the best pecan pie is from the recipe on the bottle of dark Karo syrup. It is a GOOD basic pecan pie - no fancy additions. We are talking eggs, butter, vanilla, sugar, karo syrup, and pecans.

I like to cover the counter with either wax paper or parchment paper - makes clean up so much easier.

Yes, you do see Pillsbury pie crusts in the pictures. I think Pillsbury's crust rivals home-made and it is a heck of a lot easier. I used that big clear plastic glass to cut out the circles of dough.

I love the portrait feature on the IPhone X - looks like I'm taking the picture below with a very  nice camera BUT I was using my phone.

Every year, I buy a LOT of pecans from the local high school dance team. I've been buying from different girls for years and these are THE BEST pecans.

I baked three dozen mini pies and only two fell apart - so, 34 pies for the first day of baking!!

Friday, March 9, 2018

Five Minute Friday - Tired

Linking up with Five Minute Friday where we are given a word prompt - this week's word is "tired." We set a timer and write for five minutes and stop and then link up here! 

My very first thought when I read the word prompt this morning was this  -- "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Mathew 11:28

My next thought was of all the folks I know who are indeed tired and weary.  I work in a place where we go non-stop for many hours a day and many of my co-workers are tired.

I also thought of all the moms with little children. I vividly remember that kind of tired - the kind of tired where you are totally exhausted at the end of the day . . .with nothing left to give anyone.

Because I work in a church, I'm also aware of those who are care-givers - those who take such loving and good care of their spouses, partners, friends, and neighbors. Many of them are tired.  I thought of the coach from my high school who has been diagnosed with a fast growing cancer and he is tired and his wife and daughter and son are tired.

I thought of those who are in troubled marriages - both spouses are often weary.

I thought of those with illnesses - who have to make multiple trips to the doctor (my housekeeper and her mother!). They are tired after spending another night in the ER.

I thought of the doctors who are taking care of all those folks and how weary they must be.

I then remembered that God is always with us - always - even when we are more tired than we have ever been. HE is the one who gives us rest - he is the one who give us peace - he is there with us when we are so very weary. Even when we are too tired to call his name . . .he is there with us.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

one million . . or two. . .or more

I just happened to notice that the Powerball lottery is up to $348,000,000. I can't even comprehend 348 MILLION dollars!  Did you know that Alabama is one of six states — along with Mississippi, Utah, Alaska, Hawaii, and Nevada — without a state lottery.

I have really mixed emotions about lotteries so I'm not going there in this post BUT I'm going to imagine what I would do if I had $348,000,000.

First of all, we are having a capital campaign right now at our church and we need 12 million dollars. I could tithe (10%) of my $348,000,000 and we would have plenty of money for the campaign!! If I had to pay half of the 348 in taxes and tithed only on the rest, it would still be enough!! I realize that you have to buy a lottery ticket in order to win . . .and no, I haven't bought a ticket . . .but it is fun to dream.

Let's see . . .I would set up a college fund for our granddaughter and at least three other funds for future grandkid's education.

I would buy a new car for me and one for each of our son and daughter and one for Mark, too. I believe that I would buy one of these for me.

I might sell our house and buy (or build!) a different house in our same neighborhood . . .maybe one with a pool in the yard (I only live two blocks from the neighborhood pool but still . . .)
the neighborhood pool is nice
but it would be so nice to
walk out my door and
step into a pool

I would definitely travel but I think I would want to keep my job - I love my job!!  I want to go to England, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, Germany, France, Iceland, Alaska, Bora Bora, Spain and a few more places!!  Heck - I've never been to New York City. I would throw that in the mix, too. I want to stay in something like this in Bora Bora.

I want to see the Northern Lights in Iceland. . .

What else should I do with $348 million . . .let's see, half for taxes get's us down to 174 million and 10% of that to the church plus sell our house and add $400,000 for a house with a pool, $250,000 for four new vehicles (that convertible I want is about $70,000!). I should probably budget more for cars, shouldn't I? Ten trips at $15,000 (once again - probably should budget more for trips) a trip . . .college funds for several grandchildren . . .wow - I can see how people go through money in a heartbeat, can't you? I imagine everyone would be knocking on our door wanting a handout. Could you win the lottery and keep it a secret? I imagine they make you sign something that says that can blast your name and picture all over the world so no secret keeping.

I should do some more good with the money, right? I told you that I would tithe to the church for the building campaign. After that, I should find out how much it takes to feed the homeless at the Firehouse Shelter . . and fund at least 52 meals. I should offer to buy Christmas for 60 kids (what our Sunday School class has done in the past) at $100 a child.

I'm married to a money man so I know we have to save a chunk for a rainy day.

Sometimes it is fun to dream.

If you won the lottery, how would you spend the money?

Monday, March 5, 2018

A Day or Two in the Life (or maybe just a weekend!)

So what have we been up to lately?

Friday, I met three friends for lunch. We started going to lunch periodically several years ago and then we decided we would go once a month and we try to go on the first Friday of each month. These other wonderful women and I raised our kids together . . .and most of our sons were roommates at one time or another while in college. These friends are special to me.

I did something new on Friday afternoon. I buy a HUGE amount of groceries every week - I'm talking about sacks tied on the sides of the grocery cart because they won't all fit in the cart kind of huge. I went online to and ordered my groceries and picked them up. Walmart has no idea that I'm writing about them nor have they paid me (dang - I wish they would!). The online ordering process was easy. I told them what time I would be there. They texted me when the groceries were ready. I told Walmart via the app that I was on my way. When I arrived at Walmart, there were great orange directional signs showing me where to go and then there were reserved parking places. As soon as I parked, the app informed me that I was indeed at Walmart and that someone would be right out with my groceries. Within minutes, a young woman arrived at my car. The groceries were packed into stackable blue bins so there were not any sacks sitting on top of other sacks. They did an excellent job of picking out my produce (this was going to be one of my "judging" criteria). If Walmart doesn't have an item in stock that you ordered, they will substitute for like value or GREATER value! They never substitute down. I will DEFINITELY be ordering this way again. I gained at least two hours of time back!!

We cleaned house on Friday evening. Mark does a great job with the vacuum

Saturday morning, I did something just for me . . .a pedicure. I love our nail salon!

Then I made a quick run into target and headed home. I put together hostess gifts for Laura's upcoming tea and then I began the prep for dinner.

Saturday evening, we had our daughter's future in-laws over for dinner, along with our daughter and future son-in-law and our son and daughter-in-law plus Mark's mother. I made homemade blackberry cobbler for dessert with gorgeous blackberries that our son picked last year. If you've never picked blackberries, let me tell you -- this was a gift!

I've been working hard on being present so I keep forgetting to take pictures. By the time I remembered, the cobbler was no longer beautiful.

How could I forget? Sweet grandbaby girl was also at the "dinner party"
 and she looked lovely!

My mother-in-law also joined us for dinner. It is always special to have her as a part of the group.

Sunday was another full day - we went to worship. Have y'all heard the song by Hillsong - So Will I? You have? don't you love it? You haven't? Don't waste anytime. Go listen to it right now. I facilitated in our Sunday School class. After Sunday School, we had our Advance Commitment service for the leaders of the congregation to make their pledge early for the upcoming building project. In that brief service is actually where I heard So Will I.
After the service, Mark and I hurried to Lowe's to buy pine straw for his mother's yard but alas . . .Mark had made six trips to buy pine straw and EVERYONE was out! We went on to lunch at his mom's house with all of the family (even the sister-in-law from Delaware! Yay!))

Then it was on to home to cook for Tuesday night and to make my lunches for the week. After about two hours of prep, cooking, and washing dishes, it was time to ride the stationary bike.

After Mark got back home, he took a power nap and then we went for a walk in our neighborhood and talked to some of the neighbors. Thrown in throughout the day was laundry . . .laundry . . .and more laundry.

We watched some Frasier reruns and I read a little and in between things, I addressed wedding invitations.

I'm pretty sure that we did some other things but my brain is tired tonight so I can't remember!
What do you do on the weekends? Are you busy or do you rest?

Friday, March 2, 2018

Five Minute Friday - Regret

Linking up with Five Minute Friday -- we are given a writing prompt and told to write for five minutes and then stop! We think link up. Today s prompt is Regret . . and as usual, I'm sure my blog is going in a different direction from everyone else's . . .I'm quirky like that! So setting my timer -- Go!
A Time for Everything

There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—

A time to give birth and a time to die;

         A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.

A time to kill and a time to heal;

         A time to tear down and a time to build up.

A time to weep and a time to laugh;

         A time to mourn and a time to dance.

A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;

         A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.

A time to search and a time to give up as lost;

         A time to keep and a time to throw away.

A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;

         A time to be silent and a time to speak.

A time to love and a time to hate;
         A time for war and a time for peace.

If you know me, you know I love to laugh. I also love the idea of dancing. I'm not a good dancer (regret #1 perhaps) but even the scripture tells us there is a time to dance and a time to laugh (yes, I know I'm taking the scripture way out of context).

One of my regrets is that I didn't do a Mother/Son dance at our son's wedding. I didn't feel attractive and I hate to make a fool of myself and we would have been the center of attention - all stupid reasons . . .and now I have regret. I can't go back and have a do-over. I let my own selfishness rob me of a special moment.

I didn't even get out on the floor when they were doing the Wobble . . .or whatever it is called.  Why? Why do we not do things when given the opportunity?

In the next two pictures, you can see the joy on my face -- I was dragged onto the dance floor by Jerel. I wasn't thin. We weren't the center of attention . . .well, maybe we were because Jerel draws attention (he is funny!!).

At a wedding this summer (Laura and Will Temple), Mark and I did dance and you can see that I am smiling. I felt good about myself that day. I had on a new dress.  We weren't the center of attention . . .but we did draw attention :-)

Why do I let my own insecurities stop me from doing things that I later regret? Why don't I make a pledge to laugh more and dance more often? Do you allow your own insecurities to cause you to have regrets?