Monday, December 22, 2014

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Keepin' It Real at Christmastime

For those of you overwhelmed by jingling bells, perfectly decked halls, and chestnuts roasting on an open fire, WELCOME TO DOWN ON THE FARM!!!

I just put my FAKE Christmas tree up last night.

I can't even find my tree skirt -- seriously, I thought it was in the box with the tree???

My ornaments don't match.  They don't even have a theme.  And I only put them on the side of the tree that people can see.

I put my tree in front of my front door (uh, nobody EVER uses our front door) because it's the only place I can put it where I don't have to move something.  To be brutally honest I haven't even put up a Christmas tree the past two years.  It's just too much trouble!!!  But since my kids no longer live at home, I want it to seem Christmasy when they are here.  I had to have the tree up by this Thursday when our daughter comes home from college for winter break!!  How's that for giving yourself a deadline!!!!!

I have no Christmas lights on the outside of my house, and when I asked my husband this morning on a scale of 1 to 10 what his interest was in putting up Christmas lights he responded "zero." But I'm still working on him!!

Just this past weekend I had my sweet husband take a scoop shovel and scoop up the remains of the dead, frozen, deflated, mushy pumpkins from the back steps.  I'm not kidding.  They were GROSS.

I still have DEAD FERNS in the pots on my front porch and back porch.  (Note to self -- THROW THE DEAD FERNS AWAY TONIGHT!!)

I haven't mailed any Christmas cards.  Who am I kidding, I haven't ORDERED any Christmas cards.

I've not baked one cookie.  I've not wrapped one gift.

Am I stressed??

NO!!!

Why am I not stressed?

BECAUSE IT'S NOT ABOUT ALL THAT!!!

Yes, I will have gifts for everyone by Christmas.  They will be wrapped.  They will be pretty, not fancy.  There will be plenty of good food to eat, but no artfully decorated homemade sugar cookies. My home would not impress anyone, but it is full of love for my family and my friends.  And it is my desire that all who enter our home feel loved.

But make no mistake, Christmas is about one thing -- Jesus.

Luke 2:10-11  Fear not: for, behold, I bring
 you good tidings of great joy, which shall
be to all people.
For unto you is born this day
 in the city of David a Saviour, 
which is Christ the Lord.


So today, if you find yourself in a whirlwind trying to keep up with the "Joneses" of your world just STOP.  Don't do that to yourself.  It doesn't matter.

IT-DOES-NOT-MATTER!!!

Embrace the real meaning of Christmas.  The Son of God, sent from heaven to save an undeserving world.  A Baby born in a stable, raised by a carpenter, crucified on a tree for the sins of the world, MY RISEN SAVIOUR!!!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS!!!!!!!!!!
 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Keepin' Your Ears Warm

You may know that I am a knitter.  Which is to say I am a BEGINNING KNITTER.  Which really just means I have a few needles and some yarn and I can knit and purl.  

My beautiful daughter has been begging me to knit an ear warmer for her.  She says it's COLD when she walks from class to class.  So I have searched online and finally came up with a pattern for a really cute ear warmer that doesn't have very many complicated stitches.

'Cause us beginning knitters can't do complicated stitches. But I don't want to make something that isn't cute.  If I'm going to put the time and effort into knitting something, I want it to be something I am proud of, and that my daughter will be proud to wear.  Does that make sense?

So a couple of weeks ago I found a pattern for a "Lacy Earwarmer."  It was under the heading "One Hour Projects."  So I figured hey, one hour project, how hard can it be?  Sounds simple.  I can do simple.

I had some yarn I bought a couple of years ago because I wanted to knit myself some fingerless mittens.  I haven't made the mittens, so I still have the yarn.  I had to make two trips to JoAnn Fabric to buy the right size knitting needles.  I bought the right size needle the first time, but after I got them home I noticed they were too long.  This project is knitted on circular needles, and the ones I bought were too LONG.  So I took them back and exchanged them this past Monday for shorter circular needles. 

Last night I told myself SIT DOWN AND KNIT YOUR DAUGHTER SOME EARWARMERS!!!  I mean, it's only a one hour project, right?  I have plenty of time to do this, I said.  It will be easy, I said.

I had to cast on the stitches THREE TIMES because I kept running out of yarn.  A simple beginners mistake I guess, but really, can any of you professional knitters out there tell me how in the world you know how much yarn to use in a long tail cast on??  'Cause its BEYOND FRUSTRATING to have to cast on THREE TIMES!  UGH!!!



Finally, I was able to cast on 63 stitches and join in the round and away I went.  Or so I thought.  Some of the stitches were new to me.  I mean SSK??  What in the world is SSK?  YO?? Hello, what is YO?  But I have discovered that YOUTUBE is absolutely PRICELESS for us beginning knitters.  Did you know that you can find a YouTube video that shows every knitting stitch in the world????  I can now tell you with certainty that not only do I know what SSK and YO mean ("slip slip knit" and "yarn over" for you non-knitters out there), but I can actually knit those stitches!  YEAH ME!!!

Once I got the hang of the new stitches, the pattern was really pretty simple.  And here is the finished product.  Ta da!!!!!


I think it turned out very nicely.  It is warm and soft. Just what my daughter ordered.

But I would like to say this.  It took me a whole lot longer than ONE HOUR!!  I started knitting about 9:30 p.m. and finished this project at 1:00 a.m.  Yes, I am a beginning knitter.  Yes I had to cast on three times.  Yes I had to check the pattern -- a lot.  And YouTube.  Lots and lots of time on YouTube.  I am going to make another one, and I can probably do it in an hour or so, now that I'm not checking YouTube every few minutes!

I'd be happy to share the pattern if anyone is interested!  And if you have any knitting advice to share, I would LOVE it!!!



Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Hands to the Heavens


One of my FAVORITE contemporary Christian songs -- "Hands to the Heavens" by Kari Jobe.

We are your church
We are your sons and daughters
We've gathered here to meet with you
We lift our eyes
We lay our hearts before you
Expectant here for you to move
With our hands to the heaven alive
In your presence oh God
When you come
So pour out your spirit
We love to be near you oh God
When you come
You are the way
The truth and the life we live for
Oh how we long to know you more
Come like a rushing wind
Come light the fire again
Come like a burning flame
Have your way
Have your way


I am challenged to truly embrace the words of this song.  I want to lift my eyes to Him.  I want to lay my heart before God and EXPECT Him to move.  Yes, not just hope He moves, but expect Him to move.

When Elijah prayed for the fire to fall from heaven, I don't believe he doubted for one SECOND that God would answer his prayer.  (Read I Kings Chapter 18)  He KNEW that God was going to show up in a big way, and HE did!

In Acts Chapter 3, when Peter said to the lame man at the Beautiful Gate "Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk" there was no hesitation, because He trusted God completely.

Oh, for a faith like that.

So today I say to God "Come like a rushing wind, come light the fire again, come like a burning flame, HAVE YOUR WAY, HAVE YOUR WAY!"

That should be the desire of everyone who calls Him Lord.  For Him to have His way.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Lung Cancer Awareness



My Grandpa Howard was an amazing man.  He had a small farm near the town of St. Elizabeth.  He also did construction work on the side trying to provide for my Grandma Flo and their eight kids.  He sold a few hogs every year, and had a few acres of crop ground.  My Grandpa loved to laugh and joke.  He loved to bowl, and I think could have bowled professionally.  He also loved to play pinochle.  Back in World War II he worked in a bomb factory in 
St. Louis.

I have the most wonderful memories of my Grandpa Howard.  Even though I was one of 17 grandchildren, he always took time for me.  When I was a kid we would spend the night with him and my Grandma and he would take us up to the chicken house in the mornings and let us gather the eggs.  And then my Grandma would fix the eggs we gathered for us for breakfast. Every year my Grandpa would cut a huge (at least it seemed huge to me) cedar tree to decorate for Christmas.  And even though my Grandpa and Grandpa had limited means, there was always a gift for everyone of us under that tree.

My Grandpa Howard smoked Camel non-filtered cigarettes from the time he was just a boy.  My Grandpa died in 1991 at the age of 77 after a year long battle with lung cancer.

Mesothelioma is a specific type of lung cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos.  Sadly, I know two people who have recently passed away from Mesothelioma.  The first was the father of a young lady our son graduated from high school with.  He developed a cough that just wouldn't go away.  He went to the doctor and they treated him for bronchitis.  The cough didn't get any better, and he began to feel worse.  They sent him for further testing and he was diagnosed with mesothelioma.  He had surgery to remove one lung and the surrounding tissue.  He never truly recovered, and passed away about a year and a half after he was diagnosed.  He was 60 years old.  He never got to see either of his daughters graduate from college.  His eldest daughter got married this summer and her dad's friends walked her down the aisles.

The mother of a co-worked was also diagnosed with mesothelioma about a year and a half ago.  She only lived two months after she was diagnosed.  She had worked in a factory all of her life. She was 62 years old.

Treatment for mesothelioma is different from the treatment of other types of lung cancer. Please click HERE for more information on the treatment for mesothelioma!

Smoking is the leading cause of cancer among both men and women in the United States.  Men who smoke are TWENTY-THREE TIMES more likely to develop lung cancer than men who don't smoke.  Women and THIRTEEN TIMES more likely to develop lung cancer than women who don't smoke.   And people who smoke are MUCH more susceptible to developing mesothelioma.  You can click HERE to find out more about the effects of smoking on your lungs, lung cancer and specifically mesothelioma.

Please, DO NOT SMOKE.  I wonder how many more years I would have had with my Grandpa Howard if he hadn't smoked??  How many wonderful memories we could have made??  Sadly, my Grandpa smoked up until the day he was diagnosed with lung cancer.  I wish he had never smoked the first cigarette.  

If you smoke, quit.  And don't say "I can't."  Yes, you can.  You can do anything you put your mind to.  If you can't quit on your own, get help.  There are support groups, medication, lots of options.  My dad smoked for over 30 years.  He quit the day they buried his uncle who died of lung cancer.  Don't make an excuse.  Don't smoke even one more cigarette.  You're worth it.  Your family and friends and the memories you make are worth it. And if you don't smoke, FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE DON'T START.  It is a nasty habit.  If you smoke, YOU STINK.  Your clothes stink.  I've been around lots of smokers in my lifetime and they all stink.  Cigarettes kill.  It is amazing to me that in 2014 it is even LEGAL for stores to sell cigarettes.

PLEASE DON'T SMOKE!! 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Early November Snow & Knitting

Oh my it has been cold this past week here in Central Missouri.  Now if it were January, this would not be unusual.  But it is NOVEMBER.  Last Monday it was 72 degrees.  Today the high is 22, and tomorrow's low temperature -- 12 degrees.  That is JANUARY weather, not November.

This is what my world looks like this morning.  Isn't it beautiful??


We rarely have snow in Missouri in November.  But we got a couple of inches yesterday.


I feel bad, because my husband is working outside in this weather.  He is busy making sure all the cows are fed.  Making sure the turkeys are fed.  He hates wintertime.  It makes a lot of extra work in very uncomfortable working conditions.  There is no rest for a farmer.  But he loves farming anyway!



And for all you knitters out there, I need some advice. My beautiful daughter (who is doing GREAT post appendectomy in case you were wondering) wants me to knit a hand band for her to keep her ears warm.  I've been doing some looking around online, and I've found a couple of fairly simple patterns.  I am really a beginning knitter.  That means I can make scarfs, and I can make little baby hats (knitting in the round!), but I don't know a lot of the fancy stitches so I'm looking for something pretty basic.  If you have any suggestions, I'd LOVE to hear from you!

These are a couple of patterns I've found so far.  The top one is a little more difficult, but very pretty.

Image by Craftsy

This second image looks very simple, even for a beginning knitter like me.

Image by Ratchadawan Chambers

So if you have any suggestions on an easy headband to make, PLEASE share!!

So whatever the weather is in your neck of the woods, I pray that you are blessed.  I pray that you are warm.  I pray that today you take a few moments to thank God for all of the blessings in your life.  And that, like me, today you will strive to be obedient to the verse below.  The world is full of evil, full of sin.  We are called to keep ourselves from this. 

Philippians 4:8   "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

Stay warm!!!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Appendectomy

Last Tuesday our phone rang very early in the morning.  It was our beautiful daughter, and she was crying.  She said her stomach had been hurting for about an hour.

We threw our clothes on and began the two hour drive to where she attends college.

Thankfully my cousin and his wife live in the same town where Alex goes to college.  Alex tutors their oldest son, and babysits for them.  My cousin's wife is an ER doctor.

She went WAAYYY above and beyond and picked up Alex from her dorm and took her to the emergency room.  By the time we got there they had already put in an IV, drawn some blood and were waiting on test results.

Very long story short, they determined it was her appendix, and Alex had surgery about 1:30 Tuesday afternoon.  Her appendix had not ruptured (Praise the Lord) so they were able to do the surgery laparoscopically, so she just has three tiny incisions.

Amazingly, by 4:30 p.m. we left the hospital, and, after a quick trip to her dorm room to pick up some clothing and homework we were on the road home by 5:00 p.m.  We walked into our house at 7:00 p.m. that same day.

Alex spent the rest of the week, and weekend, recovering at home and yesterday afternoon I drove her back to school. While I hate that she had to have surgery, we sure enjoyed having her home for an extended stay.

She is feeling great.  She still has a little soreness, and I'm sure she will be tired by the time she is finished with her four classes today.  But she definitely has the worst behind her.

We are thankful for so many things.  Thankful that her appendix hadn't ruptured.  Thankful for no infection.  Thankful for my cousin's wife and all of the other doctors and nurses who took such great care of Alex.  And we are praying for complete healing, in Jesus name. 





We do not understand why Alex had to go through this, but we trust that nothing surprises our God.  And we know that He works all things together for our good.



Thursday, October 30, 2014

Isaiah 45:5-7


Isaiah 45:5-7

"I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:

That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.

I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things."


Monday, October 27, 2014

The Sound of Silence

I couldn't tell you the last time a repair man was at my house.

I mean, I use my stuff forever, but my husband is pretty darned handy when it comes to fixing stuff.  So I rarely have to "call the professionals."



But today, I will have two professionals at my house. One will be here to fix the dryer.  The other to fix the air conditioner.

My dryer has been making a horrendous noise for quite some time.

I've just been putting up with it.  I mean seriously.  It still works.  It still tumbles and blows warm air.  Isn't that what a dryer is supposed to do? 

But that noise.  It just keeps getting louder. Wow. I mean it is SO LOUD you can hardly sleep.  

My "laundry room" isn't really a separate room.  Meaning, there are no doors to close.  So when the dryer is running it knocks and bangs all through the house.  Seriously, you can't imagine how LOUD it is!!!

Turns out the part that surrounds the blower is broken, so that loud sound is that part bouncing around every time the dryer makes a rotation.  So the nice repair man ordered the part.  It should be in today.

Friday evening I got home from work and the house was really, really warm.  Summertime has returned to Missouri here in late October.  But when I tried to turn on the air conditioner, nothing. 

Zip.  Nada.  Silence.

Saturday morning we called another repair man who showed up Saturday afternoon to tell us that the "transformer" in the a/c unit had burned up.  So he ordered a new one (a transformer, not a new unit!) and is supposed to be here today to fix that.

Yesterday it was 88 degrees outside.  And pretty close to that inside our house. It was TOASTY!!

So tonight when I get home, I am expecting SOUND to be coming from our air conditioner, and SILENCE from our dryer.  And for the temperature to be down to a comfortable level again, purty please!!!!  When I was a kid we didn't have air conditioning, but I've become quite spoiled.

Of course, now that the air conditioner is fixed, summertime will be going away.  It's going to be 39 degrees Wednesday morning.  But I'm still gonna need that dryer!!

Ahhh, the sound of silence!!!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Engagement

I'm very excited to share that my son and his girlfriend, must now be referred to as my son and his fiance!  Yes, it's true. My son has asked his girlfriend of five and a half years to marry him.

We are beyond happy.

We are ecstatic.

He's been carrying around an engagement ring for a few weeks now.  And about a week ago, on bended knee, on a gorgeous fall day at our beautiful state capitol building he asked her to marry him.

She said yes.

The wedding won't be until next October.  Lots of time to plan.

And I'm sure I'll be talking more about it as the wedding gets closer.  

But for now I just want you all, my blogging friends, to share in our joy.

I'm going to be a mother-in-law :)!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

St. Louis Cardinals

You may not realize this, but I am a HUGE fan of the St. Louis Cardinals.

No, I am not really a baseball fan.  I only watch (or listen to) one baseball team, and that's the Cardinals.  I don't watch any other baseball teams play.


True story, many years ago my Grandpa tried out for the Cardinals as a pitcher.  This would have been back in the mid-1930s.  I love it when some of the old timers say to me "Your grandpa could pitch a baseball like nobody I ever saw before.  He could have been a major league player."  Anyway, he tried out for the Cardinals, but wasn't selected.  The very next year they contacted him and asked him to come back and try out again, but by then he was already married to my Grandma so he told them no.  Isn't that a neat little bit of trivia??  My Grandpa died in the late 1950s, so I never knew him.  Never got to ask him about playing baseball, and that tryout with the Cardinals so many years ago.  What I would give to spend just a few minutes with him to hear about that, and so many other things in his life.

But later today, I'm gonna put on this shirt . . . 


And I'm gonna drive to Busch Stadium in St. Louis to watch the ST. LOUIS CARDINALS BEAT THE Los Angeles Dodgers in GAME 4 of the National League Division Series!!! 

I am beyond excited!!  And joining me at the game will be my dad (who is a huge Cardinal fan and the son of that same baseball playin' Grandpa), my handsome son, and my handsome nephew!!  What awesome memories we will make today, enjoying a beautiful fall day in Missouri, in the most beautiful baseball stadium in America,  and watching the greatest baseball team ever, the St. Louis Cardinals!!!

In case you're wondering, my husband HATES sports.  Any kind of sports.  He believes it to be a colossal waste of time.  So it's not that I didn't invite him to the game, he doesn't want to go!!  His exact words were "I would be bored to death.  Invite someone who will appreciate going."  So there, don't think he wasn't invited!!

So if you're watching the game today (which you should be!) I'll be out there along the 3rd base line wearing my Cardinals t-shirt and yelling and screaming and cheering on MY CARDINALS!!

GO CARDINALS!!!!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Prayer Requests

Lately I have been reminded how many people are hurting.



So many people need healing.

So many people need salvation, for themselves or for loved ones.

So many people need restoration in their families.

So many people need provision.

So many people need God.

And I know that He is the answer to every single need.


I believe that God still heals, He still saves, He still restores, He still provides. Isaiah 45:5 says "I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me."

So when we have a need, where do we go?   We go to the Lord.  There is no place else to turn.

There is now a new tab on my blog.  It says "Prayer Requests."

If you have something you need prayer for, just leave a comment, and I will pray.  And if you read a comment and you want to pray as well, that would be even better.  Matthew 18:19 promises that "If two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven." 

"He is the same yesterday, today and forever."  Hebrews 13:8.  That tells me He still answers prayer.

So, how can I pray for you today?




Thursday, October 2, 2014

Stormy Skies

It has been really, really dry here this past summer.  Nothing like the drought of 2012, but we are well below our normal rainfall.

Several times the past few weeks we have had a decent chance of rain, and we get nothing.

Not one drop of rain.

Yesterday the forecast was a 60% chance of rain.

These are the clouds from the approaching storm last night.



And you know what . . . it poured down rain last night.

This morning I dumped 2 and 3/10 inches of rain out of our rain gauge.

And it is raining again right now.

And it is supposed to rain all day long.

Thank you Lord for sending the rain!!! 

Monday, September 29, 2014

A Beautiful Sky



 Aren't these clouds amazing??  We went to check cows last night and the sky was just beautiful.




Every few minutes the sky changed. The clouds would look completely different.  AMAZING.



The pictures really don't do it justice.  


What an amazing gift from God.  We are surrounded by His majesty if we just stop and look.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

It Is Amazing What a Little Toothpaste Can Fix

Last night my dear hubby and I were watching a DVD.  We are on the one-DVD-at-a-time plan from Netflix, and we got a new red package in the mail yesterday.  So last night we sat down to watch a movie together, something we very seldom do.

Well, we get about 15 minutes into the movie, and it began to skip.  And jump.  And stop.  And DVDs aren't supposed to do that.  

My husband gets VERY FRUSTRATED when the DVD skips, and jumps and stops.  So, I "googled" how to fix a DVD that skips and the first solution was TOOTHPASTE.



So I took the DVD out of the player, squeezed some good old Crest toothpaste onto it, took a cottonball and rubbed and rubbed.  Then I rinsed it off with water, dried it, and put it back into the DVD player.

IT NEVER SKIPPED AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, just in case you were wondering if those rumors about toothpaste fixing a scratched DVD were true, I can report that it sure worked for me.  

It's amazing what just a little toothpaste can fix!


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Why Won't My Mums Bloom??

I got these mums a few weeks ago.

I keep them watered.

They get lots of sunshine. 

And yet, no blooms.


They look healthy.  But they just won't bloom.  They are supposed to be yellow.

Can one of my beautiful blogging friends with a green thumb tell me what I need to do to coax some blooms out of these mums?

I'd love to see some blooms before it frosts!!!  Blessings to you!!!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Welcome to My World

It's been awhile since I posted pictures of life Down On The Farm.  So this morning as I headed to work I snapped a few pictures with my handy IPhone.  What did we do before our phones had cameras?  Heck, what did we do before we had handheld phones?? 


This is looking north.  Isn't it beautiful??  And you can see it's still just a little foggy.  We have had lots of fog and dreary days this week.  Hopefully the sun will shine today!  And in case you're wondering, the sucker rod fence encloses the yard around our house. Our house is to the left out of the frame of this picture. 


This is looking west.  You can definitely still see the haze in the background.  And cows.  You can see a couple of cows having their morning breakfast of grass.


More cows.  They aren't concerned with anything but eating grass.  What a life.


Oh what a beautiful morning!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

My New Rug

I picked up a new rug yesterday.

This is in front of my kitchen sink.






I love the geometric pattern. 

Really adds a little "texture" to that area if you know what I mean.

Picked it up at Kohls. 

Regular price, $39.99.

Sale price, $19.99

Additional 20% off $15.99.

HOORAY FOR SALES ON TOP OF SALES!!

And isn't it amazing what a little something new can do for a room?  I didn't realize how bare that area was until I put the rug down last night.  Makes me wonder what other small changes I can make to really dress up my house.

Praising the Lord for a little rain this morning.  We are SO DRY here in Central Missouri. 

Blessings to all my blogging friends! 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Busy



Do you feel like your life just gets busier every single day?? I do.

When I was younger, of course not that I'm old by any means, I really thought that when I got older, life would be slower, and I would have some spare time. 

What a joke!!

I think I am busier now than I've ever been. 

And I don't know why??

I have no kids living at home, so I have half the laundry to do, and yet, it seems I still do a lot of laundry.  

And even though I only have two people to feed instead of four, I still seem to buy groceries and cook!!!

I don't have any kids in our local high school, and yet I still go  watch my beautiful niece play volleyball.  (GO MUSTANGS!)  I've been to two games just this week, one "home" game, one "away" game.

I still work full-time, and can see myself working full-time for many more years.  I really do like my job!!!

I still walk three miles every morning at 5:15 (and I can tell you that it is still completely dark when we finish walking at 6:00 a.m. and this morning it was CHILLY!)

I still serve on our local School Board.  And we have regular meetings once a month.  I have just a little over a year and a half left on my second term.

So for those of you that have been where I am, please tell me.  Does life EVER SLOW DOWN??

And just to make it clear, I am NOT really complaining!! I have a wonderful life.  I am so blessed to have family and friends and a job.  Its just that years ago I really thought at this "stage" of life I would have a lot more spare time.  

So the question is, when will this abundant spare time start?  Inquiring minds want to know!!

Be blessed today!!  Remember to pray for our country.  Pray for our leaders.  Pray for my sister-in-law's family as they bury her father-in-law this weekend.  Pray for a sweet blogging friend of mine who is having surgery later this month.  Pray for two little boys, both with very serious health issues, both named Grayson.  These boys need healing, and their families need strength and encouragement.  God is good, and He is still on the throne!!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

He Will Stand


If you've watched the news at all lately, I think you would agree with me that everywhere there is turmoil. 

The middle east is in crisis, although that's nothing new.  The weather is strange.  Earthquakes in Oklahoma?  The city of Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, well, I'm sure you all know about the unrest there. So many people are sick.  So many people are hurting. And our own government is, in my opinion, a disaster unfolding.

I am unsure of what to do in times of turmoil.  I pray.  Of course I pray.  But there are times our prayers go unanswered, at least in the way we want them to be answered or in the time frame we want them to be answered.

But of one thing I am confident. 

MY REDEEMER LIVES.  And as it says in Job, in the end HE WILL STAND UPON THE EARTH.

One day He will right every wrong.  He will comfort every hurting person.  He will make all things new.

So today as you read the newspaper or watch the news, don't worry.  Your Redeemer lives.  And He hasn't forgotten His children.  Put your trust in Him. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Senior Citizen Discount???

I need a red dress.

I am going to a dinner Saturday evening, and I have to wear red.

I don't own a red dress.

Frankly I only own ONE dress, and it's blue.  I bought it to wear to graduation three months ago.

I do not wear dresses.  Or skirts.  I don't own a skirt.  Really, I don't.

See, I'm trying to lose weight.  Actually I've been trying to lose weight for a long time.

Six years ago I lost 30 pounds.  I've put most of that back on.

So I don't buy clothes.  I mean, I only buy clothes when I have to 'cause I'm waiting to lose the weight before I buy new clothes. 

I've actually adopted a new lifestyle recently to help me get back on track and lose weight.  And someday I'll tell you about it.  (I've lost two pounds!)

But wait, I'm WAY off track.

Anyway, I need a red dress.  So last night I went to buy a red dress.

This is not the season for red dresses.  They are hard to find.

I finally found one that didn't look horrible on me.  I took it to the register to pay.  And the lady said "I'm gonna cheat a little here and say that you look really good for 50 so that I can give you our "Senior Citizen Tuesday" discount of 10%."  I looked at her and said, "I am 50."  She said "Wow, you don't look 50.  But since you really are 50, you get the 10% Senior Citizen Tuesday discount."

SINCE WHEN DID TURNING 50 MAKE ME A SENIOR CITIZEN????????????????

Monday, August 18, 2014

Empty Nest

Still can't believe that my husband and I are "empty nesters." 

I mean really.

I've heard that phrase for years, but now, I AM an empty nester.

How did that happen?

What does that even mean?

Here is a picture of our daughter taken four years ago on her first day of her freshman year of high school.  


Today, she started her first year of college.


Our handsome son is all grown up, graduated from college, owns his own home, and has a real job.

And our world is completely changed.  We've gone from a household of FOUR to a household of TWO in just three short months.

Thanks so much for all your prayers for us on Friday when we moved Alex to college.  I truly felt that, and was able to really hold it together pretty well.

And I thank you for your continued prayers for our son and daughter as they embark on new stages of life.  My heart's desire is for them to stay close to God, and be happy.  That is what I pray for every day.

And I really am looking forward to seeing where God leads me in this next stage of my life too.  Because that's what it is for me . . . a new stage.  I am excited!!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Tomorrow . . . . . .

Tomorrow is a day that I have dreaded all summer long.

Tomorrow we will wake up early, load the cars, and drive two hours south.  

Tomorrow, we will take our beautiful daughter, Alex, to college.




Tomorrow afternoon we will drive home alone, just her dad and I.  Yes, there will be tears.

Tomorrow night she will sleep in her dorm room.  I wonder if she will rest.  Will she be excited, nervous, scared??

Tomorrow night before I go to bed, I will walk into her empty bedroom next to ours.  Yes, there will be more tears.

Tomorrow night I will go to bed and pray, just like I always do, for God to watch over both of my children and keep them safe.  I will pray for God to lead them and guide them in every aspect of their lives, and in every decision that they make.  I will pray for my children to resist the temptations of this world, and always keep their hearts close to Him.  But tomorrow night's prayer will be a little more emotional.  Because tomorrow night's prayer will require some extra faith on my part.

Tomorrow I would appreciate your prayers for our family as we experience one of the most natural, and yet unnatural events in life . . . dropping a child off at college.

Tomorrow, I will leave a piece of my heart in another town.

Tomorrow is almost here.


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Beachin'

Well, after being gone what felt like FOR-EVER we are back from our trip.

Oh my goodness, I don't even know where to begin.

We had such a fantastic time.  I mean A FANTASTIC TIME!!!

Thank you all for praying for a safe trip for us.  I felt your prayers, I really did.  The hurricane stayed completely away from us, we had blue skies and sunshine, just perfect weather.

We did some snorkeling on Grand Turk.


What a beautiful island!


The Dominican Republic was gorgeous!


And the island of Curacao was just breathtaking.  


The beach in Aruba was just gorgeous.


Yep, that's me, with my friend the stingray.  Gibbs Cay, Turks & Caicos

As always, the pictures just don't do it justice.  I know you understand.  Pictures just can't capture the color of the water, the blue of the sky, the smell of the sea breezes.

To say we had a ball is a huge understatement.  I wish I could post all of the pictures I took and really go into detail about all the places we visited.  But it would take waaaay, too long, and you probably wouldn't want to read it anyway!! 

I will say that we had an amazing week of mother/daughter time.  I will also say that we were both ready to be home.  We missed home. 

You should also know that, as beautiful as the islands we visited area, there truly is no place like the good old United States of America.  Our country is blessed beyond what we deserve, and you only have to travel outside of the U.S. to see it.  Yes, this country has its problems, and if I were in charge I'd do an awfully lot of things differently, but we truly are the greatest nation on earth.

So as I pulled down my dusty gravel road, got out of the car and smelled the all too familiar aroma of turkey manure I smiled to myself and said under my breath . . . there's no place like home.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Catching Up and another Prayer Request

Wow, I can't believe it is already July 24th.  My mom had her second hip replacement surgery on Monday . . . we brought her home from the hospital yesterday.

She is doing absolutely FANTASTIC!!  Yes, she has some post surgery pain.  But she FEELS great, she has a good appetite, she is up walking around some. Just so blessed.  THANK YOU all for praying for my mom.  I know God answered our prayers and I have prayed for each of you and asked God to bless you for praying for her.

If you don't mind, please keep praying for complete healing, for the pain to subside, for her strength to continue to increase, and for no infection.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  And thank you Jesus for answered prayer!!!

And now, onto my news about a trip I hinted about a few weeks ago.  My beautiful daughter and I are going on a cruise!!



Our ship sails from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida this Saturday afternoon.  And we cruise to Turks & Caicos, Dominican Republic, Curacao and Aruba!  We will return on Sunday, August 3rd.  

Again, I ask for prayers from you for a safe trip for me and Alex.  And, I hate to admit this, but I would appreciate your prayers for me as I really do not like to fly.  It makes me very nervous.  So please pray for God to just send His peace over me.  I have prayed and asked Him to take away my fear, and will appreciate your agreeing with me.

I will have lots of pictures to post when we return. 

Thank you again for your prayers.  We feel so blessed to be able to take this trip together.  As you know, Alex is heading to college in just a couple of weeks.  And the college she is attending is a couple of hours away.  I am so proud of her, but her moving out is really going to be hard on her dad and I.  So I will need even more prayers . . . needy aren't I???

But God is big, and I don't think He ever gets tired of hearing the prayers of His people.  Or of answering their prayers.  If we could only fathom just how much He loves us . . . . . . .

Have a very blessed day! 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Oh What A Beautiful Morning . . . . .



 Lamentations 3:22-23  "It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.  They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness."

Thank you God that You are in control today. Nothing surprises You.  Nothing is too big for You.  Thank you that today, I belong to You and that You hold me in the palm of Your hand.  Thank You for the blessings in my life.  For all of my blessings come from You.  I love you Lord.  I praise You today.  Thank You for saving me.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Please Pray for My Mom

You might recall that my mom had her right hip replaced in April.  Well, she is having the left hip replaced on Monday, July 21st.

Her right hip, her "new" hip, is doing great and she is almost completely pain free.

But the left hip, the "old" hip, is really giving her fits.  Arthritis is wreaking havoc on the joint and she is really in a lot of pain. 

I would appreciate your prayers for a successful surgery, for a quick recovery, and for peace.  She is, of course, nervous about the surgery.  If you're like me, and like to pray for someone by name, know that her name is Donnavee.  I know that God will be in that operating room with her.  He is The Healer.

It is beautiful here in Missouri today.  Temperatures in the 70s, blue skies and low humidity.  Feels more like fall (my favorite) than summer.  This kind of weather is a rarity for the middle of July around these parts.  Thank the Lord for recent rainfall.  We've not had an abundance of rain, but we've had rain every time we've really needed it.

Oh, and something I haven't talked about lately . . . gas prices.  $3.39 per gallon around here.

Next week I'll be sharing some details about a trip my daughter and I are taking very soon.  Passports are required . . . .

Stay tuned, and please keep my mom in your prayers!! 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Change



Good Morning to you (or afternoon or evening depending on when you are taking the time to read this little blog of mine)!!!

Wow.  Can you believe today is the first day of July??  Another year half over.  I can't believe it myself.  Soon the days will get shorter, the temperatures will start dropping (which frankly is fine with me) and fall will be peeking around the corner.  Fall is my favorite time of year, hands down.  And yet, fall means winter is coming.  And winter in Missouri is no picnic.

Yesterday was my husband's 49th birthday.  We are the same age for 9 days.  And then.  And then.  My 50th birthday on July 9th.  Talk about something I can't believe.

I remember when 50 was old.  Seriously.  When I was in my 20s and 30s I really thought someone 50 was old.

I don't feel 50.  I don't feel old.  And those of you who ARE 50 and then some know what I mean.  I don't feel any older than when I was 25.  I really, really don't.

I somehow thought that by the time I was 50 my life would be slowing down.  It hasn't.  I still work full time and  as long as I work full time I will always be busy.  I used to think busy equaled good.  Now I'm not so sure.

But one thing I know, my life is changing.  My handsome son has bought a house and moved out.  I am so proud.  He has finished his first month at his big kid job.  He loves it.  I miss him.  I miss his messy room, and I miss his muddy boots on the floor.  People tell you when your kids are little that you will miss every second of it , and you think "NOT."  But you will.

Not that I'm counting, but we move our daughter to college in 45 days.  45 days until she no longer lives at home. 45 days until it's just back to me and my handsome husband.  45 days until our lives change forever.

Am I sad?? Are you kidding.  I cry just thinking about it.  I am so proud of her.  She will love college life.  She is ready.  I hear people say "I can't wait til' my kids get out of the house."  I have no comprehension of that.  If I could turn the clock back 15 years, I would do it in a heartbeat.  I would enjoy my kids more.  I would cherish every second more.  Because I would realize just how quickly the time would pass.  I guess that's why everyone loves their grandkids.  Because that's your second chance. 

I don't know if I am ready for all this change??  I don't know what I "do" next??  I've been a full-time mom for 21 years.  Now I am just mom from a distance. 

My microwave died last weekend.  The handle broke, so for safety reasons of course it won't turn on anymore.  My microwave oven was 27 years old.   Seriously.  I had had that microwave for over HALF OF MY LIFE.  I walk to the new microwave and I have to actually LOOK at it to figure out how to turn it on. That old microwave, I knew exactly what buttons to push.  But this one . . . really, I just want to heat up some water and a couple of tea bags for iced tea.  Three minutes and 20 seconds, then push start.  But wait?  This new microwave doesn't TAKE 3 minutes and 20 seconds to boil the water.  Change.

Life is so good.  I am so blessed.  And yet all this change is unsettling.  I keep waiting for things to get back to normal.  And then I realize the old normal is over.  Coming home to both kids, over.  My old microwave oven is gone.  I have to find a new normal.

I have less laundry to do.  I have more leftovers.

And I'm trying to figure out how I, ME, fits into all this change.  Because I know that I have to change too.  I can't keep wishing I could turn back the clock. That isn't going to happen.  I have to "embrace change."

How the heck do I do that???

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Family Reunion 2014

Last weekend was the family reunion for my dad's side of our family.  You may recall, we have these reunions every two years.  Usually, every fourth year they are in Missouri 1998, (2004, 2008, 2012, 2016).  We were in Las Vegas in 2000, Biloxi, Mississippi, in 2002, San Francisco in 2006, Las Vegas in 2010, and last weekend we were in Estes Park, Colorado.

I had never been to Estes Park before, and I can tell you it is FANTASTIC!!  I would highly recommend it to anyone who loves beautiful mountains, cool temperatures and, NO HUMIDITY!!!




 While we were there, we also took a tour of the historic Stanley Hotel. I love ANY kind of history, so the tour was very interesting to me.  And just so you know, the movie "The Shining" WAS NOT FILMED AT THIS HOTEL!!!  Stephen King spent the night at this hotel, in Room 217, and got the inspiration for the book, but Stanley Kubrick's movie "The Shining" with Jack Nicholson was not filmed at all at this hotel.


The hotel is simply gorgeous.  And we got the history on the twin brothers, F.E. Stanley and F.O. Stanley, and how F.O. Stanley was diagnosed with tuberculosis and sent to the mountains to die.  But he thrived in the mountains near Estes Park. His health was restored and he actually built this building as a GUEST HOUSE so his wife could invite their friends to spend summers there.  The property wasn't used as a hotel until the 1930s.

If you ever get a chance to head to this part of Colorado, I would highly recommend Estes Park.  It is a neat little town with lots of shops, and a beautiful river walk area. 





We had a fantastic time!!  And we had about 80 people attend the reunion.


Blessings to each one of you!!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

A Thankful Heart and THRIVE!!!

I do a lot of praying in the shower.  No, I really do.  It's quiet, I'm alone, I think the shower is a great place to pray. 

So this morning I started praying for all of my family (which I do every day), praying for the son of a co-worker who had surgery yesterday.  Praying for the sons of two ladies whose blogs I follow (both boys are named Grayson and I'm sure their mamas would appreciate your praying for healing for them too).  Praying, praying praying.  I mean, we're supposed to pray about everything, right??  The Bible says in I Thessalonians 5:17  Pray without ceasing.

And as I was praying this morning, the thought came into my mind "why don't you give thanks for what you have before you pray for what you need."

Wow.

So I started praising God, thanking Him for my husband and my kids, for my parents, for my sisters and their families.  I thanked Him for my house and for my job and for the beautiful sunrise this morning.  I thanked Him for health, and for being so good to me when I don't deserve any of it.

And I thanked Him for salvation, and for the promise of eternal life.

I'm still praying today.  I'm still praying for everything I started praying about this morning.

But I'm PRAISING too.  

And I bet, if you think about it, you have much to be thankful for as well.  And I know that God loves to hear us say thank you. 

If you have a moment, click on the video below and listen to a song that I just can't get out of my head lately. It's called THRIVE by one of my favorite groups, Casting Crowns:


Have a blessed day!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Graduates

On Saturday our son, Cole, graduated from Lincoln University, Cum Laude, with a Bachelor's in AgriBusiness. 


On Sunday our daughter, Alex, graduated from Eldon High School in the Top Ten Percent of her class.


We are more than proud.



Just so you know, I pray for everyone who reads my blog.  And I am certain some of you who read my blog pray for me and my family. And for that I thank you from the bottom of my heart.   I would ask that, as the Lord brings my family to your mind, that you would lift my children before the Lord.  Please pray that, as they both move into the next season of their lives, their hearts would stay close to God.  That He would watch over them, protect them, lead them, and guide them every day of their lives.  And say a prayer for two parents who love their children more than life itself, and have shed a few tears these past few days. 

My cup runneth over.  Thanks for allowing me to brag on my family.