Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Blooms - Mum's the Word!!!!

Friday Blooms made it one more week  . . . . . but, Mum's the word!



Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Words to live by Wednesday - A Cheerful Heart

"A joyful heart is good medicine,
But a broken spirit dries up the bones."
~ Proverbs 17:22

Did it ever occur to you that a joyful heart is a decision?  Hmmm . . . . confession time . . . . "in clearing out the clutter", I have come to realize that I have not been choosing a joyful heart lately.  I was confessing to a dear friend, and she gave me some great advice.  She told me to take a break from the things that I was letting weigh me down and choose to do something fun with my family.  It was just that simple.  I came downstairs and chose a fun activity for myself and the boys.  Hugs, kisses and laughter were the balm that I needed today.  Now, I know that choosing a joyful heart is a daily (hourly) choice, so now I get to go forth and choose to be joyful.  Good advice from a dear friend - choose joyfulness.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

And the winner is . . . .

The winner of the My Memories contest is. . . . Hannah from Crazy Creative Magazine !  I know this is a shocker, since there were SO MANY entries in the My Memories Give Away .  Hannah, contact me, and we'll get you on the road to your own scrapbooking software!  Thanks for playing along with me!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Blooms - From My Hubby

Last Friday, my sweet hubby brought me flowers to celebrate our 12th anniversary.  What a great guy I have!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Words to live by Wednesday - Gifts

"If you being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!"

~ Matthew 7:11 NKJV

My mom did something really special for me this week that got me thinking about this verse.  I had told her that one of my favorite shirts didn't fit quite right.  She decided to fix it for me.  She spent part of two different days working on it, and now it's like that shirt was made for me!  I'll tell you what, there is nothing like someone freely giving their time to show how much they love you.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

One For Me, One For You . . . My Memories Give Away

Look what I get to share with you.  I just downloaded this fun scrapbook software, called My Memories Suite, and now I get to give one away to one of my blogging friends.  In ten minutes, I created this little page. 


So, starting today, we have a give-away. In order to enter your name in the contest, comment in the comment box and share a favorite summer memory. The give away is open until 8 pm on Friday night. The winner of the software will be randomly chosen and announced on Saturday morning. They can contact me for instructions on how to download the software themselves.  Please, only one entry per person.  Have fun and thanks for playing!

Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of the software in return for this contest and post.
https://www.mymemories.com/

Sunday, September 18, 2011

For My Guy

I once met a guy,
Who was slightly shy.

Even then,
With his impish grin,

He would tease,
And set me at ease.

His request for a date,
showed he sought a mate.

I was there in a rush,
For I already had a crush.

And as first dates go,
It was better than so-so.

I knew I'd be a fan,
Forevermore of that man.

We dated, married and said forever,
We'd always face the world together.

The years have gone by,
And that man is why,

I laugh and I smile,
Even through many a trial.

Now, even when he makes fun of my math,
Together we laugh.

Through thick and thin,
We'll always win.

Because he's forever my guy,
And that's no lie!

Happy Anniversary!!!!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Blooms - The Best of FridayBlooms

I am so excited to share this slideshow of my Friday Blooms.  My new blogging friend, Alice from http://alicelynnalfred.blogspot.com/, asked me to put together a slideshow.  It took me a while Alice (I'm not quick with all this tecnology stuff), but here it is.  Enjoy! 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Words to live by Wednesday - Clearing out the clutter

I don't know what it is about the first breaths of fall breathing down my neck, but it really makes me want to clean house.  It's the opposite of spring cleaning.  Every fall, the urge to purge the clutter that has crept into my home reigns supreme for about two weeks.  This year, I have dubbed September, "Clear Out the Clutter Month"!

As I was walking with the kids yesterday afternoon, I pondered this yearly phenomenon.  It occurred to me, that I need clutter cleaned out of my heart as well.  I've gotten bogged down in my own "stuff", and need spiritual refreshing.  These verses came to my mind.  

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners shall be converted to You.

~ Psalm 51 10-13 NKJV

As the clutter is moving out of my house, I am praying that the Lord work on me as well. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Love . . .

My sweet five your old hugged me tight and squeezed my sides.  He sighed, "Squishy, sweet mamma."    He hugged and squeezed some more, "Soft, squishy, sweet mamma."

I giggled, knowing that the love of my five year old even covers the "soft and squishy".  Oh, the love.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Liebster

My dear friend Hannah, from Crazy Creative Magazine, received an award last week.  Friday, she generously passed on the award to myself and two others.  I am honored that she reads and enjoys my blog and that now I get to pass on this award.  The award is a way that bloggers encourage one another.  Here are the details.

Information about the Liebster Award:                    

 

1. Rumor has it that someone in Germany, possibly someone named Liebster, created an award for new bloggers to show appreciation and thanks for their blog.

2. Liebster means “beloved” in German and Spanish.

3. You can only receive the award from another blogger, who has also received the award.

4. Awards are to be passed forward to other bloggers, 3-5 blog sites, with followers of 300 or less.
5. Once you give the award to a fellow blogger, you are to contact the blogger and let them know.
6. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
The winner of this encouragement award is to select three other small blogs to nominate and share the links for your selections, as well as who nominated you.

My nominees are . . . drum roll, please:
Cindy and Stephanie at dressesandmesses.com are sisters who share their lovely blog.  I am so glad that I was introduced to Cindy, who has already been an encouragement to me.  She focuses on serving others and encourages her readers to serve others as well.
I always enjoy what Michelle Tomo has to say over at Michelle's Garden of Roses.  Whether she's writing about her favorite bread recipe or sharing a poem or verse, she is always encouraging.
Kristin shares her Sweet Country Life with her readers in such a way that makes you feel like her friend immediately.  Her warm comments and sweet posts have been a wonderful source of encouragement for me. 
So, thanks Hannah for sharing this with me! 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering . . . from a different perspective

I, like most every American remember 9/11/2001.  I remember the shock, the horror, the sadness and the fear.  It rocked the entire country.  Today is a day of remembrance for all those who lost lives. 

This summer, I have seen that day through different eyes.  In July, I began reading Laura Bush's autobiography, Spoken from the Heart.   I have slowly savored her words and story all summer long.   Her insights and perspective have challenged me. She has given me a glimpse into realms that I cannot even begin to fathom. 

It was amazing to see her perspective of that day and the long days that followed.  While her life was forever changed and she and her family lived in the terrible wake of that day, what amazed me the most was that she constantly strove to see others' perspective.  She met with people.  She listened to their stories.  She cared.  Her story gave me insight that has changed the way that I think about this and other tragedies.

I have learned so much from her story.  I am grateful for the opportunity to see things though her eyes.  One of my favorite quotes from the book comes from one of her many trips to other countries.  While it is not directly related to the September 11th attacks, I wish to leave you with the thought because it impacted me so greatly.   President George W. Bush and Laura Bush stopped to visit a school in 2008  during their visit to Rwanda.  Laura remembers this:

"As we left the school, we saw a group of teenagers waiting outside to greet us.  One had a sign, 'God is Good.'  George nodded and said, 'God is good.'  And these teenage children replied, in unison, 'All the time.'  To suffer as they have suffered, with genocide, disease, and poverty, and to still believe 'God is good.  All the time'!"
~ from Spoken from the Heart
   by Laura Bush

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Vacation - Fun and Educational

Vacations can be fun and educational.  On this leg of our trip, we learned that water is very powerful.  When our nation was young, water was not just used for drinking, bathing, cleaning and food preparation.  Early Americans harnessed the power of water to work for them.  This preserved mill provided us a glimpse into the lives of early Americans and showed us the great power of water.

The Mill
Before
After 
As the corn meal came out,
the kids were allowed to touch it.
The Gears 
The Wheel
"Look, Grandpa!"

Dad investigates.

Brothers investigate the canal.

Oh, the power of water.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday Blooms

My little Sedums are opening to wave farewell to summer and welcome fall.  After this cool and wet week, I am ready to welcome fall, too.   

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Words to live by Wednesday - Rest

The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name's sake.

~ Psalm 23: 1-3 NKJV



This ran through my head throughout our week of vacation.  It was good to remember that it is God who gives rest.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

After only one week of school . . .

What does a family need after only one week of school?  A VACATION!!!  OK, so a vacation after the first week of school isn't necessary, but it sure helped us refocus.  In reality, it was the only week that we could fit it in.  So last week, we packed our bags and headed off for some family togetherness. 


While we enjoyed the sights, the most beautiful one . . .


Was the sweet spirit strengthening family ties.

Even thought we're home now and back to work this week, we'll remember our lovely family vacation.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Name origins - from a five year old's perspective!

(Optional Title - How you know your child is obsessed with Star Wars)



Five year old son, "Mom, we have a boy named Luke on our soccer team . . . isn't that so funny?!?!?"

Mom, "Funny, why funny?"

Son, "Luke . . . his name is Luke (he, he, he, he), like Star Wars, Mom!!!"

Mom "Well, you know son, the name Luke is in the Bible.  There is even the book of Luke in the Bible."

Son, "Mom, (he, he, he), you know, Luke, Princess Leia, Han Solo . . . (ha, ha, ha)   . . . his name is Luke (he, he, he)."


~Photo courtesy of Wikipedia
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/6/62/LukeSkywalkerROTJV2Wallpaper.jpg

Friday, September 2, 2011

Friday Blooms - More Happy Surprise Flowers!


This flower came as a big surprise.  You might not realize it, but there can be many ways that a flower or a plant can surprise you.  Now, if you read my Friday Blooms two weeks ago (http://thegoodthepureandthelovely.blogspot.com/2011/08/friday-blooms-surprise.html), you read about my "Surprise Flowers" that catch me off guard each year.  Or, if you read my good friend Hannah's blog, you might remember when how was surprised by her cucumbers(http://todayathannahshouse.blogspot.com/2011/07/harvest-is-here.html).  This flower caught me off guard for a new reason.

This spring, I planted three different kind of sunflowers.  Excessive . . . yes.  Worth it . . . I thought so.  Unfortunately for me, some not so friendly birds watched the planting with a glint of greed in their eyes.  Over the next two days, I watched as the birds plucked almost every seed out of the ground.  The kids and I would holler and bang on the windows when we saw them, but with no success.  They got all but a few of the seeds.  The remaining seedlings were whisked away by the birds when they dared to peek their heads out of the ground.

So goes the tale of my beautiful Sunflower patch . . . or so I though.  I've been very negligent about weeding, so I didn't notice this one little plant in the back.  A few weeks ago, I noticed that his beautiful head had begun to form.   I was ecstatic!  Now, his beauty is a thrill.  No, he is not a large sunflower patch.  But sometimes, the simple beauty of one can outshine the glory of many.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Fun After a Hard Day at School

Stick and Stones

When I reffer to "sticks and stones", I am referring to litteral sticks and stones.  Why are they important?  Because, after my boys have worked hard in school, they need a project  to unwind.  This was their project after the SECOND day of school.  (The first was a whole other story).  They gathered this pile . . . just for fun.  You know, nothing like "mindless" labor to help you forget the hard thinking of the day!