Home for the Holidays, by Thomas Kincaid

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Would You Like A Little Cheese With That Whine?

Well, I'm tired of talking about being sick and I'm sure you're tired of hearing about it. But I can't believe how ill I was. Whew! I am able to be up and about some today and am very thankful for that. My side hurts where my finicky kidney is and I am swollen a bit, but at least I can walk around my house. Whew! If my side doesn't get better in a few days, it's off to the doctor I go. I was told after my second surgery on this kidney that if it didn't get better they'd have to remove it. Well, darlin', they can have it! I've been in and out of terrible pain since I was nine years old and I am done!

Well, that was fun! I whined for a few minutes and I now feel much better! :)

I must say that after being in bed for almost a week, the house is beginning to fall down around our ears. Sweet husband tried, but he's a guy and "clean" in his book is different from "clean" in mine! Also, "I'm taking care of the children" is different in a guy's book than in the mother's. I worry about responsibility and consistency with chores and work coming before computer games. I'm fussy about reading scriptures as a family and saying prayers and my husband is so funny. If everyone is silent because they are watching TV for hours, he feels like, hey, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I have to laugh! Boy, sometimes I wonder if I'm accomplishing anything at all as a homemaker. Well, after 6 days on my back, I realize that I really am needed in my home!

I will get around to visiting all my favorite blogs in the next day or two. It will be great to reconnect again. Hope everyone is well and happy.

Have a great Sabbath, tomorrow!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Gratitude for Prayers

Dear Friends,

I am up a little bit today and so I thought I'd try to sit at my computer and compose a note here to thank everyone who has left kind notes and who have offered prayers for me - both are greatly appreciated. It means a lot!

Sunday night, I developed a bad back ache which I thought was caused by my not stretching enough after doing a walk on Saturday. I went to bed on a heating pad. Around 2 a.m. I woke up in severe pain and when I tried to move it set off a series of incredibly painful muscle spasms. It was awful. I couldn't get up at all. I had to lay flat and not move a muscle. My poor husband was up with my all night, because if I flinched or he moved in bed I was in agony. By morning it looked like I would need an ambulance.

As many of you know we have not been employed for long and we have no insurance, so we were/are desperate not to rack up more doctor bills. Consequently, we called around to all the doctors we know at church to see if one of them would prescribe a muscle relaxant. We left messages for them to call us back. Then, a miracle happened...Dr. Vernon P, a general practitioner that we know, heard our message and - get this! - showed up at our house on his lunch hour to personally attend to me. Is that incredible or what? While he was working with me, he said that he remembered that I have kidney problems and sometimes kidney probs can cause severe cramping. It is rare, but it does happen, so we gave him a specimen culture, as soon as we could (I couldn't move off the bed, so you can see the dilemna). Again, the doc shows up at my house and tell my husband that I have a really bad infection and that my nitrate levels were really high. When a kidney can't screen out the pollutants that are in the blood, then toxins (like nitrates) build up in the body and can affect the muscles. I was really close to having to go to the hospital.

So, bless the doctor's heart, he gave us antibiotics as well as muscle relaxers and I am starting to do better.

Yesterday, when Mark was at work, the HR person told him that something very similar happened to her sister, but she didn't go see a doctor right away and so she ended up in the hospital and had to have a blood transfusion. I am so grateful that Doctor P came over and remembered about my kidneys or I would have reall been up a creek.

Kind ladies from our church have brought us meals and my dear daughter, Sarah, has taken very good care of me. More miracles.

Another bit of news...Mark's new job is over. The company that hired him and several ofher people (plus, just bought all new computer equipment) is having to shut down. That's the bad news...The good news is that Mark had a chance encounter with a music promoter. They hit it off big time and really liked each other, Mark is very knowledgeable about that industry. So, today, they are having a power lunch to discuss how Mark's expertise might benefit this music promoter's business. I am praying that, if it is the Lord's will, this will work out for us, because Mark will work himself to death at a job he hates in order to take care of his family, but oh how he would love a job like being a music talent promoter.

I will let you know how our little family saga turns out.

Again, I am deeply grateful for your prayers and kindness. God bless you this day, as always.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Dear, sweet Blog Friends,

I am very ill and won't be posting for a few days. Kidney problems. Will start visiting and writing again shortly.

Take care,

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A Beautiful Life post

Melissa, over at The Inspired Room, is hosting A Beautiful Life...Her readers are posting how we find Balance and Beauty in our lives, especially when we are feeling stressed and overwhelmed...

Boy, I feel frazzled a lot and one of my favorite ways to bring myself out of it is...

If it's evening, I cut off all the lights and light my favorite candles...
Then I light my favorite incense, Frankincense and Myrrh, from Maroma....
Then, I turn on peaceful, instrumental music...
I breathe deeply and remember that all is well...

Then, when all is quiet and peaceful, I say a prayer. My heart longs for prayer when all is quiet. I want to fill the quiet with the swellings of my heart. Almost always, God answers me back with peace...And I am okay for a little longer in life.

God bless,

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Preparing Our Families

Hello, Friends!

I would like to talk to you today about a subject that has occupied a considerable amount of thought and action on my part in recent months. The subject is Food Storage. No, I don't just mean the preserving of garden foods or owning a well-stocked pantry, although both of those play a part. I am talking about the stocking and rotation of a long-term food and water storage system.

Why store food and water? There are several reasons for this, some of which are practical and others for emergency preparedness. My family recently experienced a financial downturn of a considerable nature when my husband lost his job last September. As you can imagine, money has been extremely tight. Having some food storage helped us enjoy some of our favorite food items at a time when we couldn't afford to buy them from the store. This has been extremely helpful.

Another reason for having a good food storage is to be prepared for emergencies. Gone are the days when most people lived on a family farm which provided for their needs and when communities were largely self-sufficient. We are dependent on a fragile network of circumstances that provide for our welfare: inter-state trucking of goods, the banks, foreign trade of commodities. If something were to disrupt any one of these things (further economic downturn, national emergencies, natural disasters), the results could be disasterous. Stores would sell out of goods quickly and then what? It's good to have a back-up system of one's own so that our families can be cared for in case of these emergencies.

It is also just darn nice to have a full larder, plus a great supply of all the basics. It is much cheaper to buy in bulk than to buy smaller amounts at the grocery store. In fact, I prefer eating organic, but the cost is prohibitive for me at the local health food store. Buying in bulk has reduced this cost so that I am able to afford my staples free of pesticide and herbicide residue. Isn't that great? I'm living greener and cleaner! Also, no more running out to the store because I've run out of one of the basics: flour, salt, rices...When I have a good storage system going, I only have to shop for fresh fruits, veggies and meats. And in the summer when my garden is going, I only have to shop for meats. How great is that?

One of the things that has helped me save money with my storage system is learning how to largely cook from scratch, rather than buying pre-packaged foods (it's also healthier). Once I learned the ropes, cooking from scratch really is no more time consuming that using ready-prepared meals.

How does one begin a food storage system? There are several great sites one can check out to get an idea of amounts/per person...Check out this site: Food Storage Made Easy. This site is full of helpful, simple and fun ways to go about building your own personal safety net for food. It's amazing how much one can do by investing small amounts of money, such as $11/week, consistently towards storage.

As for coping with natural or national disasters, a good site to check out is the American Red Cross Disaster Preparedness. They have a lot of great ideas for having a family plan to prepare for different contingencies.

Although I have at times freaked myself out over what could happen in the future during these unsettled times, I do not advise living in fear or becoming a survivalist. I am a contingency planner and I like to know that my loved ones will be alright if everything went to heck. But I love to live in the blessings of the day and give thanks for all that is right with the world. I like to enjoy myself and have fun. But what peace of mind I have when I know that we are prepared for the worst while living for the best!

Blessings to you and yours,

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Hello, Lovely Friends!

I am a bit harried today, rushing around to accomplish fifty things at once. Since I don't have a lot of time to put into this post, I think that I will use this time and space to update you on our lives.

First of all, this is my husband's second week at his new job. Last week was pretty tough for him. The contrast between what he had been told he would be doing and what he ended up doing made us both worry that this job might not end up being as good of an opportunity as we first thought. However, much discussion followed and his circumstances are better this week. I pray that conditions continue to improve and that this situation is a benefit and a blessing to our family. I will let you know more as I know it. Thank you again for your prayers.

As for the children...This has been a very difficult school year for my son. His teacher is not a good match up with his needs. At one point, when I had my son's agreement, I tried to switch him out of his class, but the principal wouldn't agree to that without trying to work things out with his teacher first. Unfortunately, it's still a tough situation, but Robert will not move now. I have prayed about this situation quite a lot and my heartfelt impression is that I need to keep him in school ("Please, Mama, homeschool me!"), and that he will just have to tough out this school year. HOWEVER, I am putting down my foot with the principal about which teachers I want and which one I will not put up with next year. That, I feel adamant about. Robert is striving to do his best in a difficult situation and I am proud of him (although he does come home and play "Kill The Teacher" games with his friends in the afternoons).

Sarah is "dual-enrolled" for 7th Grade this year. She studies everything at home, except Math, which she takes up at the Middle School. She is doing well in everything. When her school work is completed, she fills her time with reading (currently loves the Twilight series), writing a novel and singing and playing guitar. I am also very proud of her.

As for me, I am running to keep up...You, too? I have lots of plans for this Blog, which is my hobby, but haven't had the time to implement any of it yet. I am currently learning to knit, craft and do home decorating projects. I will share those as I go.

I don't know about you, but I watched the Inauguration, yesterday, and was quite moved by President Obama's speech. My prayer is that the Lord will guide him as he guides the future of this nation. We desperately need someone who will require us to make better decisions than we've made in the past, especially where finances are concerned, who will inspire us to do service and encourage us to work hard to ensure a better future for our children and grandchildren.

God bless us all!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Menu Planning Monday and a Recipe

Hello Friends and Lovely Ladies,

It's so great to look forward to a new week with the rest of you. Hope that you are anticipating a good one!

First, for those of you who are part of Menu Planning Monday, here are my menus (and links) for the upcoming week:

Monday - Sausage Bean Stew, Bread and Fruit Salad

Tuesday - Smothered Mexican Lasagna, Salad and Mixed Fruit Cup

Wednesday - Penne Pasta with Cannelini Beans and Escarole

Thurday - Baked Turkey Legs, Lemon orzo, Steam Broccoli

Friday - Homemade Pizza, Tossed Salad

Saturday - Leftovers


Super Moist Quick Bread

6 eggs, beaten
1/2 c. honey
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
1 c. veggie oil
1 t. vanilla
3 cups whole wheat flours
3 cups white flour
2 T. cinnamon
2 t. baking powder
2 t. baking soda
2 t. salt
3 cups mashed banana OR pumpkin or canned sweet potato (drained and mashed)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 3 8x4 loaf pans.

Whisk/mix first five ingredients. Add mashed banana OR pumpkin OR drained/mashed canned sweet potato. Mix dry ingredients together and then add to wet mixture. Divide evenly between three pans. Cook 50 minutes. This is approximate. Check after 30 and continue every ten minutes until toothpick comes out clean.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Show and Tell Friday

Hello, Friends!

Thank you for stopping by to see my Show and Tell today, as usual this is hosted by Kelli, at There Is No Place Like Home. If you have been here before then you know that I love sharing some of the things I have recently been sent of my mother's or my grandmother's. Today, I want to show you my grandmother, Mimie's, jewelry box (above). Mimie was not a wealthy person and by the time she died she was greatly reduced in her circumstances, so nothing she owned was very expensive, but her jewelry is still pretty and fun to look at.
Little poinsettia earings...One needs to be glued. See the screw backs? That was very common for earrings up through the 40's and 50's.
Some fancier ones, probably for church or evenings...
Pretty faux diamond pin and matching earrings - these are clip-ons...
Another pin and earring set.

I never knew Mimie. She died the year before I was born. However, I am told that I look like her. Sometimes, I wear Mimie's jewelry to church. I feel close to her when I do.

Have a lovely day!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Lovely Dream

Mary Cassatte (Mother and Child)
Dear, sweet friends,

I had another baby dream last night. I have them fairly regularly...I dream that I am either a new mother again or, as with last night, I have been gifted with a baby. I am always holding them, admiring them or lovingly talking with them. In these dreams I feel the great longing to have just one more, which of course I can't.

I always wanted four or five children of my own, but I married late in life, had a miscarriage and then my blessed two - one girl and one boy. Their lives set my own life on fire. Everything after their births seemed lit from within, even the years when I have experienced immense trials. I tried one last time to have a child in my early forties, but it didn't work out. I lost that pregnancy and with it, the hope that I would have more.

I have two precious baby friends right now, outside of my dreams - one is my little grand-niece Willow Kate and the other is the brand new son of my church friend, Cindy H. I love those two little souls. They are very beautiful.

Ooh, to hold a baby in one's arms. I am very thankful for my blessings, but sometimes how I long to do it all again - enormous belly, labor pains, no sleep. What a miracle it is.

My life before marriage and children was of a very high quality. I enjoyed my work, had lots of friends, so much to do, no money problems. I shopped designer clothes, attended premiers and events, saw the Bolshoi, the Kirov and Baryshnikov many times. I rubbed elbows with celebrities and had loads and loads of fun. Although I wanted marriage and children, I wasn't wasting away for what I didn't have. I knew I was blessed.

Then I married.

Looking back, I certainly miss my youth, but no longer the designer fashions. The premiers and cultural events were fun, but I'm okay without them. I definitely do not see celebrities in my current life and that's okay. My life after children is certainly smaller and confined by many challenges and sometimes severe financial struggles. But most days feel like a miracle, super-charged with love and tenderness. We have our moments, believe me. But all and all, my little family, as goofy and crazy as we all can be, feels as though there is a halo placed around us, not because of how good we are but because of how much we love each other. Many days have been burnt into my memory, because ... all because two dear children call me "Mama".


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Organization Tip, Recipe and Pay It Forward!

Hello, Lovely Friends!

Today, I have a number of things to tell you about...

First of all, this is the first week that I am on my new schedule. Yes, my middle-age brain damage has finally forced me to use an extensive list everyday, so that I don't spend most of my waking hours wandering around the house trying to figure out what to do first.

As you can see, this list is very detailed and tells me to do just about everything but "breathe" and "swallow". Hey, it works for me and I must say that yesterday, my first day on this list, was one of the best days that I have ever had - very peaceful and productive.

If any of you are dealing with your own brain damage and would like a pdf of this list, if it would a help to you, you are welcome to e-mail me at: appleseedacademy@yahoo.com and I will send you off a copy that you can tweak for your own needs.


Whole Grain Waffles

  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 3/4 cups skim milk
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup flax seed meal
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, oil, applesauce, and vanilla. Beat in whole wheat pastry flour, flax seed meal, wheat germ, all-purpose flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt until batter is smooth.
  2. Preheat a waffle iron, and coat with cooking spray. Pour batter into waffle iron in batches, and cook until crisp and golden brown. (from allrecipes.com)
NOTE: I used regular whole wheat flour and I substituted the flax, and wheat germ for 1/2 more of the flour. Turned out light and yummy!

And the finished product looks like...

You must try these!

See my brand new waffle iron...
Bought it for $5 at a local thrift shop. I'd been wanting one of these...The Lord is great!
Lastly, my friend, Beth, over at Aunties with Advice, is passing on a "Pay It Forward". The rules are like this...
"Be one of the first three bloggers to leave a comment on this post, which entitles you to a handmade gift:-)

Winners must post this challenge on your blog, meaning that you will Pay It Forward, creating a handmade gift for the first three bloggers who leave a comment on YOUR post about this giveaway!

The gift you send can be from any price range and you have 365 days to make/ship your item. This means you should be willing to maintain your blog at least until you receive your gift and have shipped your gifts. And, remember: It’s the Spirit and the Thought That Count!

When you receive your gift, feel free to blog about it, sharing appropriate Linky Love♥♥♥

If you are not one of the Top Three to comment on this post, you can still play along. Please start your own 'Pay It Forward chain', and encourage your blogging friends to do the same."

So, ladies, the first three of you to leave me a comment will win a handmade gift.

God bless you all and have a nice day!!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Menu Planning Monday, Some Fun Sites and More!

Hello, Friends,

Welcome to Menu Planning Monday, as well as other things, and, no, I'm not serving pussycats. However, I thought you might like to start out the week with a cozy picture of sleeping toms. They have claimed their usual place, the foot of my bed, and are down for the count! Awww, they make my heart go "thump-thump!"

I have a number of things to show you and talk to you about today. But first, for those of you who are visiting here from Laura's I'm An Organizing Junkie blog for Menu Planning Monday, following is my menu for the week, with accompanying links...

Monday - Firecracker Chicken, slaw and french bread (I was suppose to have this last week, but things changed.

Tuesday - Beef Stew, Green Beans and Rolls

Wednesday- Pinto Beans, Whole Wheat Cornbread, and Salad

Thursday - Granny's Chicken Soup, Whole Wheat Bread and

Friday -Veggie Stir-Fry and Rice, with Fruit Salad

Saturday - Leftovers!!!!

So, if you are on the run, you can stop here, or read on, if you like...
Oooh, I just found the most wonderful links. They were first advertised on my friend Dawn's blog, The Feathered Nest. The links are for a blog called Care to Bead and the Etsy is Vintage Inspired Jewelry. I have to say that Kathi, the owner of this blog and Etsy shop, makes the prettiest earrings that I have ever seen. They are so pretty and whimsical, you must check them out. Here is just a sample of what she creates...Aren't they lovely? The prices are incredibly reasonable and I am sure at some point (such as when my husband is bringing home regular checks again) I will be a customer.

Next, I want to thank all of you who kindly prayed and supported us with your thoughts these last few months because of my husband's unemployment situation. Mark was hired on Friday and begins his new job as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for a smallish local company that specializes in personal coaching. Three years ago I would have jumped up and down to get this job, because our commission structure is excellent. But the greater economy has me worried for the future of anyone's job. So, I am thankful and grateful, but very sober about where our money will be going when we get paid - into our savings account!

Thank you again for all who prayed for us.

Well, lovely ladies, I think I will close here (children are after me and I must go and be a mama). Stop-by tomorrow evening, because I should have my Giveaway posted.

God bless until then!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Happy Sabbath

"Let us relish life as we live it, find joy in the journey, and share our love with our friends and family. One day each of us will run out of tomorrows . . . May we cherish those we hold dear, and express our love to them in word and deed." —Pres. Thomas S. Monson, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Ham and Cheese Bowties

Well, I promised you a recipe and here goes. Here is something you can do with leftover ham...

8 ounces farfalle (bow tie) pasta
1/4 cup butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard
2 1/2 cups shredded Colby cheese
4 ounces cooked ham, julienned
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
Add ham to pasta.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Saute garlic 30 seconds. Whisk in flour, salt and pepper. Cook and stir until smooth.

Pour in milk, a little at a time, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil for 1 minute. Stir in mustard and Colby. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until cheese is melted. Remove from heat and stir in pasta and ham.

Pour into a 2 quart baking dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until bubbly and golden.

Looking back on how I made this, I think that adding some green onions to this would make it look pretty and also more tasty.

Let me know what you think, if you use this recipe.

Elizabeth (who is praying Mark will be hired where he is currently interviewing - prayer, please!)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Some New Years Fun and A Sweet Boy's Poetry

Dear Friends,

It is frigid cold where we are. It takes my breath away when I step outside. There is much snow on the ground, too, and clumsy me has almost fallen a number of times on the ice. Ahh, the winter months. They are snow-laden and pretty, but, boy, getting around in them is an experience!

I was going to share a recipe today of the menu we had last night. But, instead, we had a lovely surprise...A friend gifted us with a meal of sweet & sour chicken (it was delicious!) and so I didn't cook. Imagine that?

After our wonderful meal, last night, we had a special family time, where we sat around the table and wrote on gold, paper stars I had cut out, some of our wishes for the New Year...My husband is wishing for his own guitar, this year, and to write and sing his music (he goes to open-mike nights at a place in Salt Lake City); Sarah is wishing to make a CD of the songs she's written and to move downstairs to a bigger bedroom; Robert is wishing for a trip to Disneyland (my girlfriend, an employee there, gets us in for free); I am wishing for a trip home to NC and VA (I still have my tickets from last year). All fun, do-able goals.

After our family time, Robert gave me a late Christmas gift - a calendar he put together at school with original poems he wrote, one for each month. Here are a few of my favorites:

There once was a little Kitten.
He loved to wear his mittens.
But one day he saw one
of his pretty mittens was gone.
Then he cried where he was sittin'.

Isn't that cute???? Here's another one, my favorite:

My mom is really cool,
And she likes to play "Life" with me.
She is the best cooker ever,
And she always likes to read with me.

Every night we read
to each other
And tell something we like
About the page or chapter.

Sometimes we play "Monopoly";
We go out and swing.
She loves to right (sic) on her blog,
And she loves telling.

Sometimes she tells stories
About her cats that she used to have
And her childhood
And all her life keys.

Sometimes I tell her what I like.
She enjoys going on a walk
And with people
She likes to talk.

Awwww! What a sweet boy!!

I promise some recipes tonight and more!


Sunday, January 4, 2009

Menu Planning Monday and a Wonderful Give-Away

One of my immediate goals for the New Year is to do my menu-planning every week, so that I am careful to stay within a good budget, I can use what I have on hand and also rotate my food storage items (more about that in a later post).

So, here is what the feasting will be this week...

Monday Turkey/Veggie Soup, homemade bread

Tursday Ham and Bow-Tie Pasta, Salad

Wednesday Meatloaf (meat and lentils), with mashed garlic potatoes, roasted garlic, lemon broccoli

Thursday Peanut Noodles and Veggie Stir-Fry

Friday Firecracker Chicken, rice and slaw

Saturday Tacos, beans, rice and salad

I will be posting my recipes everyday, so check back (as well as talking about many subjects this week).


My friend Beth, at Aunties with Advice
, is advertising a Give-Away.
It goes like this:

EACH of you can win a FREE signed 8x10 print of your choice (out of the three prints), by copying and posting to your blog or website this whole post about his work! After you post then send an e-mail to David (contact@bowman-art.com) with your website or blog address telling him you posted it and that you read about this offer on my blog. Also send him your name and mailing address and he will send your signed 8x10 print of your choice :)
David Bowman: has had a passion for art ever since he could pick up a pencil. He loves creating images of the Savior that inspire and uplift. Along with his Christian fine art, David has also written and illustrated a series of scripture storybooks for children titled "Who's Your Hero".
Check out his website at www.bowman-art.com to see more of his precious art.

"Innocence" The Savior tells us we need to become as little children to inherit the kingdom of God. I've often wondered what it is about little children Jesus loves most, and I think its their innocence. They are clean slates, seeing the world and others through untarnished eyes. Their hearts are pure, without the baggage of cynicism and self-doubt. In this piece, I've tried to imagine how a child would act upon meeting the Master for the first time. Without reservation or inhibition, I think he would simply want to play with Him. He would be at complete ease, allowing his pure little heart to soak in the love and laughter of His pure, infinite heart. Its no wonder Christ delights in these little ones and sets them up to be our examples.
"Security" One of the greatest human needs is a sense of security. In all aspects of life, we naturally gravitate towards anything that makes us feel safe. In this piece, I wanted to convey a sense of complete peace and calm like only the Savior can provide. It's a security that allows us to rest assured, without fear or worry, when we put ourselves trustingly in His arms. Little children have that inherent kind of trust in their parents, so it's fitting that the man and girl who modeled for "Security" are actually father and daughter. They generated the exact feel I was looking for.

"My Child" This piece conveys an intimate, up-close-and-personal feeling of the Savior's love. Notice how all the lines draw your attention and point towards Jesus' face in the center. I chose the name "My Child" because the only thing that could compare (even remotely) to Christ's compassion for us is the love of a parent for his/her child. This image is also intended to put things in perspective. Above all, we are God's children first. He allows us the privilege of experiencing parenthood for ourselves and we are entrusted to be the mothers and fathers of His children here on earth.

This wonderful offer will end on Monday Jan 5th at noon!

Thanks Shauna for providing this opportunity for us and David for your wonderful generosity.

contact@bowman-art.com, & give him your blog address so he knows you posted to get your free art print.

Have a wonderful day, friends!


Saturday, January 3, 2009

One life and one alone we have to live
Upon this earth.
One life in which to learn so much –to
Seek and find and prove your worth.
So many dreams there are to dream —
So many things to know and do.
So many rosy peaks to climb —
So many pathways to pursue.

So waste no time on fruitless quests that
Get you nowhere in the end.
The God of Time is yours to squander or
With care, to use and spend.
It’s folly to postpone good deeds. "Tomorrow
Never comes," they say.
The future belongs to God. Your only chance


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Looking Backward and Forward!

Ruth over at Visions and Revisions has a wonderful post about Looking Backward and Forward at the New Year. I thought that I would join her with a similar post...

Goals for 2008

Well, I'm ashamed to admit it, but I didn't really write any out last year...I can't remember what was on my mind a year ago...I know that I really wanted to make a trip out to NC/VA and even had tickets for it, but having me out at that time became very inconvenient (l.o.n.g. story) for my family and so we had to cancel plans...Then, my beautiful friend, Melissa, passed away and I never got to visit with her. That was terribly disappointing. On the other hand, I feel like I grew a lot spiritually last year. There are things that had disturbed me in my early life about which I feel the Lord helped me to have a better understanding. I am grateful for these insights, because they have brought me greater peace.

Goals for 2009

Ugh! I need to start getting regular exercise. I need to start getting regular exercise. I need to start getting regular exercise!!!

My strong goal is to get one hour of aerobic exercise five times a week, with upper body strengthening every other day! I use to be sooo good at doing that and in the recent last two to three years, it's been awful and, believe me, I'm not nearly in as good condition.

This past year I gave up drinking soda...Ugh, that took me FOREVER to do that. Now, I want to go back to eating only healthy foods: more whole grains, fruits and veggies!

I also want to be treated by my friend, Kathy, who practices plant/spirit medicine. It is alternative medicine and I know someone who has been helped greatly by this technique and so I'd like to give it a try.

Well, we are still out of work, with some possibilities for the first of the year. However, this year, I am determined to re-build a financial cushion underneath us, begin paying off debt (it is all health-related for us), and re-build my food storage. In these troubled times, I cannot stress enough how important I think it is to be as self-sufficient as possible. For me, that means storing food, health-related items, and even water, in case of emergencies. In case this may sound extreme, I must say that we have lived off of a great deal of our storage during our period of unemployment. How wonderful to have personal items, like contact lens solution, moisturizer, etc., already on hand, when money is tight. That's not to mention having some favorite foods that we wouldn't normally be able to afford now. Also, I live in an earthquake zone - and we are overdue for a major one...I have lived through natural disasters before and that taught me to always be prepared for them.

I would like to expand on my blog. Do more writing and also add video about various topics I'm contemplating or...making. I would like to craft more. Make more gifts by hand. Beautify my home.

Read even more.

I pray to be able to make my long-awaited trip to NC/VA. I want to visit Melissa's family. Spend time with my sister. Go to White Lake, the area of NC that my family settled and all my local relatives. See my "NC mother", Holly Holland and her family. Visit my god-daughter, Rebecca.

Another trip to CA to visit my mother-in-law and husband's siblings would be great. I also have an adopted "Dad", Robert Braithewaite (my son Robert is named after him), whom I would like to see.

I need to write more letters to loved ones. Connect more...

I would like to grow my relationship with the Lord more, through more focused prayer, contemplative time and much more concentrated study of the scriptures. My spiritual habits have become a little distracted and sloppy. I am feeling the need to do better.
Well, these are just some of the areas in which I'd like to make an improvements.

What are some of your goals as you look forward to this New Year? If you post about them, leave me a comment and I would love to come read them.