"Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow." ~ Helen Keller

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Short Story For You - "A Word to the Wise"


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Dear Readers,

It has been quite some time since I shared any of my stories with you. My blog posts lately have just been musings on life and my ramblings. Well, here are some fictional ramblings that I hope you enjoy. Nothing preachy, just a little story I did for writer's group I am in. After reading it, I realized there was a bit of a Thanksgiving message in it. 

Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful, blessed Thanksgiving!!  :-) 

"A Word to the Wise"
By Chris Janzen

I know my time here on earth is fleeting.  Every day I get closer to flying away from here. But while I’m here I’m determined to fulfill my destiny, and to be a blessing to others.

When I was born in the spring I was so tiny. No one would have guessed I would blossom into the object of beauty I am now. People often stop and stare at me. They carry on about how gorgeous I am, and oh the smiles of wonder that light up their faces when they see me and my friends in our finery. 

It’s been such a good life. I know I’ve achieved the purpose God had for me. I’ve grown and changed a lot, with His help. In these last few days as my friends have been leaving me, one after the other, I’ve had a chance to reflect. 

I remember that day back in the spring, before I was even here. My family looked up at my tree and thought it was dead. There was talk of chopping it down.  Thank goodness for the mother, who told her husband, “Let’s just give it a little more time before we do anything we’ll regret.” A few weeks later I peeked out, green and shiny, a sure sign my tree wasn’t a goner. Then some of my friends started popping out too.

Oh the rejoicing of the children when they saw the green leaves starting to fill in our oak tree! “Look mama! Look daddy! I told you he wasn’t dead!! He just needed more time!!” Yep, I guess you could say I’m a late bloomer.  I don’t think that is such a bad thing, as long as you bloom some time! And bloom I did, all summer long. 

The children would brush by me as they scurried up the tree, dangling from its sturdy limbs, then seeing who could climb the highest.  Then one day their daddy came out with a big rope. I was nervous! Wasn’t sure what was about to happen. He threw that big rope over the largest, strongest branch, then from a ladder tied a big knot in it. Then..do you know what he did? He tied an ugly rubber black circle to it. I thought it was just sheer tackiness.  But then, out came the children, squealing and giggling. They climbed on that strange object and swung and twirled and had the biggest smiles I had ever seen! Tacky looking or not, anything that makes those kids that happy has to be a good thing. What fun they had on it throughout the summer days, twirling, swirling, and giggling. 

On especially nice days, the mama would bring a blanket out and spread it under our limbs. They would all share a feast and then snuggle up against the big, welcoming trunk and read and read for what seemed like hours. I loved hearing those stories, each one so different and entertaining. Often the children would fall asleep, their head resting on their mother’s lap. The look of contentment on the mother’s face as she stroked their hair is an image I treasure. 

There were hard times too. In September it rained hard and the wind blew so fiercely some of our neighboring trees lost their limbs in a mighty crash. We grieved for the loss of the old timers, but they had enjoyed many days in the sunshine, and it was their time to go.
Now I’m one of the old timers, and it’s almost time for me to go. But I purposed in my heart when those limbs were lost, that I would live every day to the fullest, and bring as much beauty and joy to the world as I possibly could.  

My green started to give way to yellow and gold, then orange, and now a brilliant fiery red. Soon I will turn brown and it will be my time to fly away. Where am I going? Well, don’t you worry about me.  All my brothers and sisters and friends will gather together around our beloved tree and keep him warm this winter, protecting his roots. Then we, like everyone, will return to the earth, where we originated. 

It is a wonderful blessing to be a part of the cycle of life and beauty. When I die, I know I am laying down my life for a reason. Next spring, new baby leaves will spring forth, encouraging those who have endured a long, cold winter. They will give joy all summer long and then thrill and delight those who gaze upon them in the autumn. They too will follow in the steps of all their ancestors when it is time, and let go, their death making way for new life. 

I’ve heard that many people are afraid of dying. But you all aren’t that different from us. You are put here on earth by our Creator for a purpose. You have a limited time to do you work and accomplish what he put you here for. 

It is easy for us, but I understand that people have many different purposes and callings. But, when your time is through, just like us, you will fly away to a better place, leaving wonderful memories in the hearts of those you have inspired and delighted. The ones who love you will be sad when you go. But perhaps in the spring, or the summer, a new life will come forth, and your friends and family will think of you and smile. They will remember your true colors and all the joy you gave them. That is what I hope for myself, and my wish for you. 

Well, it’s almost time. I’m so tired. I’m going to let go now, the last of my group. Winter is here. But don’t be sad for me, and don’t be sad for yourself. Winter is necessary and a part of life.  So is death.  

I am told that it is only when someone or something you love is gone, that you can truly appreciate it. That sounds very wrong to me. I think you should appreciate it now, while it is still alive and you can make your feelings known.  But then, I am just a leaf. You will have to decide that for yourself.  

"The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, Nature is Imagination itself."
-  William Blake, 1799, The Letters


Friday, November 5, 2010

My Life In Toy Story Movies

My Life In Toy Story Movies


When Toy Story came out in 1995 I couldn't wait to see it! I was a newlywed, happy and in love with my husband, Travis, and we went to see it at the theater. Yeah that's right! We used to go on dates to Disney movies! I think I coerced him, but I have sat through many a boring, violent man movie with him, so he totally owed me! He loved it though. Who wouldn't? It was an adorable, heartwarming story of friendship and kindness.

So, five years later when Toy Story 2 came out, of course, we couldn't wait to go and see it as well!! By this time, we had a son who was almost three and a set of six-month-old twins. A lot can happen in five years!

The thing I remember most is how my little boy Jake absolutely adored this movie and especially Buzz Lightyear. His birthday rolled around in early January and he got all manner of Toy Story gifts, one of the coolest being an actual remote control model of the RC car that Woody drove in the movie, and of course a big talking Buzz!

The next several years he watched the videos of Toy Story 1 and 2 over and over and over again and his Buzz Lightyear collection grew. Anytime we were at a garage sale we always seemed to find Buzz toys for him and Woody stuff for me. (I dig cowboys! And Tom Hanks!)

Well we thought that was the end of it...I mean how could they ever improve on the sequel? But here we are, now ten years later, and today I just bought us a DVD of Toy Story 3.

Jake is now almost 14 and our twins, Sophie and Jesse are 11. They all screamed like little kids when they saw I had brought home the DVD tonight! They wanted to watch it right away of course, but Toy Story movies are special. You don't just pop em in and casually watch them. "Oooh nooo..." I told them. "We will be waiting till Dad gets home (he is working out of town) and making an event out of the viewing of it!" It is the ultimate family movie night DVD...especially considering all of our adoration of the other films.

Few movie franchises have been as excellent as the Toy Story series. They are well made, full of heart and fun and laughs, and guaranteed to make the most grouchy person smile. They touch a special place in our hearts about growing up and the magic of childhood, and how quickly it goes by.

I have not seen the third movie yet...did not make it to the theater for it this time, but I understand that Andy is all grown up now, much like my Jake.

Well time marches on, but it is fun every once in a while to take a look back and just remember where you were at a certain point in your life. Movies and songs are both like that for me.

Songs especially can sweep you up and put you right back in that moment where you were when you first heard it. After watching the trailer above I realized my kids also grew up with these toys. It is sweet, but somehow it still makes me want to cry a little. Maybe it is the Randy Newman song...he really knows how to strum the heart strings. Anyway...

Thank you Disney and Pixar. Thank you Woody and Buzz, Jessie, Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head, Slinky Dog, Ham, and Rex. We have loved and enjoyed these movies for 15 years. And even though I haven't seen Toy Story 3 yet, I can almost guarantee I will give it two hardy thumbs up. Just like I give the last 15 years of my life. During this season of gratitude, I am so thankful for my own happy ending.

"Thanks be to GOD for His indescribable gift!" 2 Corinthians 9:15 NIV

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Kindness of Strangers

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Also, if you are a stay at home mom looking for encouragement, fun, and lots of great ideas, be sure to check out Awesomommy!   http://awesomommy.com/

As Blanche DuBois so poignantly stated at the end of "A Streetcar Named Desire,"

"Whoever you are...I have always depended on the kindness of strangers."

Haven't we all?

As children we were always taught "don't talk to strangers!" But how do we know a good stranger from a bad one? I was just reading an article written by an an expert in the behavior of predators who target kids. He said that telling children not to talk to strangers is a profoundly bad idea. Though this may sound counter-intuitive, listen to his reasoning. He said if a child is in danger or trouble and seeks out an adult to help them, most people will be glad to help, because it was the child who initiated the contact. However, if an adult approaches the child, they may very well be up to no good. His point: Most of the population are regular people who are glad to help a child or anyone, if they can.

This reminds me of a time when my oldest boy was just a little three year old shopping in a huge K-Mart with his dad and somehow got separated. He looked around and realized his dad was no where in sight, while his dad meanwhile was frantically looking for him. He instinctively knew to pray and asked God to send him someone to help him find his daddy. Within seconds he spotted a man in a red vest and told him he was lost. They walked a few aisles together and soon father and son were happily reunited.

There have been so many times in my life where help has come from people I did not know, and at a time when I needed it most. In my experience, "strangers" can be some of the kindest and most helpful people you will ever meet.

I recently had to spend a few days in the hospital due to surgery and I just felt awful. From the moment I walked into the emergency room at 3:00 in the morning, "strangers" at the hospital started caring for me. From the nurses, to my awesome ER doctor, to Mike, the guy who repeatedly wheeled me around to my various destinations; these were some of the kindest, sweetest people I have ever encountered.

I had the same nurse taking care of me each day, a wonderful Southern lady named Edna, who fussed over me like a mother hen. I felt so incredibly safe and cared for. Her gentle and sweet spirit was such a comfort to me when I was hurting and sick. It was obvious she was not only very good at her job, but she truly enjoyed helping people.

Not long ago, my children and I were driving in my husband's diesel truck and ran completely out of gas. I ran out right at the stop light by the gas station during the middle of rush hour traffic and could not get the truck restarted. I could tell the kids were getting a little freaked out, as people honked horns and voiced their displeasure as they angrily drove around us. In the midst of the chaos we took a moment to pray and ask God for help. Less than a minute later I heard a knock on the window. It was a young man with a friendly smile who said, "Ya'll look like you could use some help."

As it turned out, this young man ended up towing us to the gas station and working on our truck for more than three hours trying to get it started. His name was Brandon and he was an absolute angel. Other men gathered around to look under the hood and try to help, all to no avail. Brandon graciously offered to drive us home after he had stayed well into the evening to help us, missing dinner and time with his wife.

The next day I realized my keys were missing and couldn't for the life of me figure out where I had left them. I had to use my other car anyway because the truck was still broken. I drove to a mechanic up the road from where the truck was stranded and told him about the problem and he said "Let's go take a look." He opened the hood and within minutes had the truck started and running. I was amazed! I asked him what I owed him, and he just grinned and said, "Oh, don't worry about it, it was nothin." It was a BIG something to me since my husband was working far away in another state. He told me to have a nice day before he drove off with my thanks but nothing else.

When I arrived home I noticed my missing keys had been placed between my glass storm door and my door with a note that said, "You left these in my truck.  -Brandon." He had made another trip out to our home in the country to bring me my keys. He certainly did not seem like a stranger. Neither did the sweet gentleman who fixed our truck for free. Nor did any of those folks at the hospital.

Yes, like Blanche, I too have been blessed repeatedly by the kindness of strangers. The best way I know to pay those folks back for their kindness is to treat others exactly as they have treated me...to seize any opportunity that comes my way to be good to someone. That old golden rule our parents and Sunday School teachers taught us really is the best way to live. We get back exactly what we give out.

Just a reminder, every friend was a stranger once, until you got to know them.

"Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world.  For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home.  I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me."
“Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

 And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’

Matthew 24:34-40 New Living Translation

Friday, July 2, 2010

Learning From Ostriches

If you listen to the news much these days, you could start to feel really bad about your life, your finances, your safety, the state of our country...lots of things. That is why I don't watch the news anymore. Not to say that burying your head in the sand is the answer, but there is a lot of power in focusing on the good things in life.

"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." Philippians 4:8 21st Century KJV

Every now in then in flipping channels I'll stop on a news show and linger for a few minutes, but never do I hear any good news. All I see and hear are doom and gloom, drama, chaos, disaster...all the things that stress me out and make me want to hide.

Maybe ostriches have it right after all. I've always heard when they are scared they just bury their head in the sand. Did you know that is not factual? I found this from the San Diego Zoo website...

"Actually, that’s a myth: ostriches do not bury their heads in the sand! When an ostrich senses danger and cannot run away, it flops to the ground and remains still, with its head and neck flat on the ground in front of it."

Well, that sounds pretty good to me also! If I can't bury my head in the sand, I am perfectly content to bury them in the covers! And there are definitely times when it is good to just be still. Contrary to conventional wisdom, sometimes the better choice is, "Don't just DO something, stand there!" Then you can hear whatever that still, small voice inside is trying to say.

Honestly, though, if I listen to enough of that garbage and gloom, it truly does make it hard for me to even get out of bed and face the day. Hiding under the covers is so much easier.

Really, what is the point of dwelling on all that bad news? And how much of it is actually real or is manufactured by others to make us feel bad so we will latch on to their agenda?

I am basically a very positive, up beat person. That is my nature, and the way I like to live. I don't want to just see the glass as half full, but overflowing. As a Christian, I know in my heart that God has good things in store for me and my family. John 10:10 holds one of the greatest promises in the entire Bible..

"I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance...to the full, till it overflows." John 10:10 Amplified

I don't want just a half empty or half full (depending on your outlook) cup of blessings. I want to live a life that over flows with all the good things God wants for me.

While I do try to avoid the negative as much as possible to protect my own mental health and keep me from sliding into depression and anxiety, I am, of course, aware of the dismal financial situation going on in our country right now. Lost homes, lost jobs, lost dreams...these are losses that are happening to people every day in every part of the country.

Our family is no exception. Though we have a nice home and my husband did not lose his job to a layoff, he did choose to give up a good job for personal reasons and had to take lesser jobs where he had to work longer and harder for less money. Of course this has made it harder to get by. Still, he was able to find work. So many have been unemployed and underemployed for month after month, unable to find anything better.

As positive as I like to think I am, I've had to fight discouragement more than ever during the past year. It hasn't just been finances. Other things have come at us, things that were unexpected, heart breaking, and unfair. Who hasn't gone through times like these? None of us is immune to difficulties.

Through it all, my husband has been steadfast, reminding me that God has a plan for us, and He will work it all out for good, encouraging me to keep on keepin on.

What a blessing to have such a man in my life as not only my partner and friend, but my greatest encourager. He is strong and faithful; Faithful in prayer, in tithing, in going to church, in setting a good example. He puts God first and does the right thing, even when the "right things" don't seem to be happening for him or us.

Today everything he has been saying for months came to fruition. He was offered a job that pays him substantially more than any job he has ever had before. This new job offers better benefits and health insurance than any he has had before. And it allows him to do the kind of work he enjoys in a setting that he enjoys, as well as plenty of time off to spend with his family. It is literally his dream job. I'm so proud of him for keeping the faith and for knowing in his heart God would come through for us.

How did this happen? We aren't any more "deserving" than anyone else, neither are we just "lucky." My husband worked hard at making things better. He didn't sit idly by and complain these last months. He kept filling out applications and sending in resumes to the companies where he wanted to work. He got up and went to his less than perfect job every day, working long hours in the hot Texas sun doing back breaking work. He kept thanking God for the promotion that was bound to come. He kept telling me things would get better.

He was so convinced God would come through, I got on board with the idea too, thanking the Lord in advance for the blessings that were already ours, but just yet to appear. Today we are thanking God for giving us exceedingly, abundantly more than we could ask, think, or imagine...just as He promised He would.

It is so easy to become discouraged these days. It seems that the news media is in the business of trying to scare people and tear them down. Don't listen to it. Open up the Word of God and find your hope in His promises.

God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. His promises are just as true now as they have ever been, regardless of what the newspaper, the politicians, or anyone else has to say about it. Find yourself a promise from God and latch on to it with all your heart.

This is the one I hold so close and that makes me smile every time I read or think of it.

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27 NIV

I am so grateful that He does not give to us "as the world gives." The world gives us ample opportunities to be filled with anxiety, stress, and uncertainty. Jesus gives us real PEACE. And he gives it in the midst of the most difficult circumstances.

Whatever you may be struggling with today, don't give up on God. He will never give up on you. He has great and amazing plans for your life that you can not begin to imagine. Hang in there. Keep on keepin on. Be faithful. Believe. Don't give up.

God bless you today. Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Power of Positive Living

This man is amazing. Watch this video and I dare you not to feel better about yourself and whatever your situation is. I stumbled across this on a Facebook site called "Positively Positive." I thought, "Are they trying to steal my thunder?"

I was so pleased to see that it is brimming over with inspiration, encouragement, and positive ideas. It is everything I wanted this blog to be. Scope it out.

Have a great day, and thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Help With Forgiveness

This little article by Joyce Meyer has so much to say about the power of forgiveness. In my own life I have learned that forgiveness does far much for ME than for the person who did the offending. Often times they don't know or even care that you are hurt. Forgiveness is for us, and sometimes we have to do it by faith. When you don't feel like forgiving someone, that is when you have to just do it by faith, and probably when you need to do it the most.

I hope you get a blessing out of this article. I know I did.

How to Follow Forgiveness Instead of Our Emotions
by Joyce Meyer
How do you respond when someone hurts your feelings? Do you let it rob you of joy? Or maybe your emotions run wild?

Luke 6:27,28 NIV tells us what we should do when people hurt us:

But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.

Can you believe that? We’re to pray something like, “Oh, Lord, I pray that You’d just make them so happy!”

I still don’t get that, but I’m willing to do it in obedience and say, “Lord, I don’t know that I really want them to be happy, but I’ll pray that in faith anyway, because You’re telling me to bless them with Your presence.”

Luke 6:35 NIV goes further. It says:

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.

A Tip for Following Forgiveness
Now, let’s get practical about how to do this. If we have a coworker who gets the promotion that we’ve been believing God for, the minute we start to feel jealousy and envy, we need to go buy them a gift.

Yes, you heard me right: buy them a gift. It works. When we do it, it breaks the power of the devil because Romans 12:21 says that we overcome evil with good. It’s absolutely true too. I have learned this principle and it has been life-changing for me.

What I Did When Someone Hurt Me
For example, a few years ago someone told me about a person who was doing business with our ministry and making a good deal of money because of their relationship with us. My friend happened to be at the same restaurant, seated in the next booth and overheard their conversation, which just happened to be about me—and they weren’t saying good things either.

At first I got mad and just wanted to tell him that he was never getting our business again.

But in bed that night, the Holy Spirit said to me, “You’re not going to do any of those things.” He said, “No, you’re going to do what you teach. You’re going to go buy him a present, and you’re going to tell him how much you appreciate the services that he’s given you all these years.”

Needless to say, I resisted at first. But eventually I relented and bought him a gift.

What You Must Do When Someone Hurts You
What I remember most about the situation is that as soon as I started taking action to do something good for them, it just got so funny to me. I was laughing out loud in my house, all by myself.

Listen: When we can look at people who’ve hurt us with compassion and pray what Jesus prayed “…Father, forgive them for they know not what they do,” there’s a party that goes on inside of us.

I think most of the time people don’t even realize what they are doing. That man in the restaurant who was talking about me had no idea what he was doing and the position that he was putting himself in.

Why You Must Follow Forgiveness
That’s why we need to pray for them and say, “God forgive them.” In fact, what does God say will happen to us when we obey His Word?

Luke 6:35 states “…and then your recompense (your reward) will be great (rich, strong, intense, and abundant), and you will be sons of the Most High….” God tells us that we’ll receive a reward. We will get double for our trouble if we will do things His way.

The Bible says that love covers a multitude of sins. Do you know what that means? It means that love will even have you making excuses for your enemies. Someone might come up to us and say, “Well, I heard what so-and-so did to you.”

When we really decide to forgive someone and pray the prayer that blesses our enemies, making the decision that we will not talk bad about them, but instead, cover their fault and their mess, we still might not feel any different.

Now, I believe choosing forgiveness is one of the most difficult things God asks us to do, especially if we believe that whoever hurt us is in the wrong and doesn’t deserve to be forgiven.

But God instructs us to practice forgiveness. And when we choose to follow the path of forgiveness, we will experience the peace and joy that come through obeying God’s Word.

Joyce Meyer's Website: http://www.joycemeyer.org

Original Post:

Friday, June 4, 2010

Fun and Friendly Friday Follow

Making New Friends 

Hey Blog Pals!

How are y'all this fine Friday? I hope the week has been good to ya, and I hope you have lots of fun summer plans to enjoy your weekend!

When it comes to meeting people and making friends, I am always so impressed with my 11 year old twins, Sophie and Jesse. Where ever we go, whether to the swimming pool, Wal-Mart, church, doesn't matter...they have an uncanny ability to attract new friends. They are just friendly and they like everybody so other kids respond in kind.

Some times they meet a kid at the toy aisle in Walgreens and have a great time for ten minutes and never see that person again, but while they are talking and laughing, they are having so much fun! When I look at one of them talking to a kid I can't tell if it is a friend they know from school or church or just some new pal they just met.

I love that about kids...they want to be friends with everybody! I have always kind of been that way myself...I really honestly LIKE most people that I meet and I'm happy to be friends with them. Like my little girl says, "You can never have too many friends!"

She's absolutely right, and in an effort to be more like her and her brother, I am extending an extra friendly Texas welcome for all of y'all to come and visit me here at my blog. I will do my best to check out each and every one of your blogs too and follow along...no matter how long it takes me to get through them all. I know from my past blog hopping there are some awesome blogs out there with some incredible women behind the keyboard creating them, and I'm looking forward to meeting each of ya!

So have a happy Friday Follow and good luck with all those new friends I know you are going to make!

P.S. If you like Texas, country music, or freakishly tall cowboy statues, you might enjoy my other blog, Happy Trails...you can check it out here.
Thanks! :-)



Thursday, June 3, 2010

Five Question Friday

1. Do you have an iPhone and, if so, how do you get apps and what are your favorites?

2. What is your fondest memory of K-3rd grade?

3. What makes you cringe at the thought of touching?

4. If you could have any celebrity show up on your doorstep who would it be and why?

5. What would you say is your best physical feature?


1. Do you have an iPhone and, if so, how do you get apps and what are your favorites?

No, but all my friends are getting them and going on and ON about how awesome they are. I was at Best Buy shopping for a lap top the other day and they had a buncha iPads hooked up for people to play with. WOW. I almost totally blew off the lap top to get the iPad. BUT...it has that touch keyboard and I type a lot. HOWEVER...I would LOVE to have an iPad just to play with, take on road trips, be able to be on the internet, blog, tweet...whatever, from where ever. But an iPhone...the screen is so teeeny! And so are the little buttons! So I vote for an iPad.

2. What is your fondest memory of K-3rd grade?
When I was in 2nd grade we lived in Corpus Christi, Texas, and our class took a field trip to the Wonder Bread factory, or bakery, or whatever it is called. They showed us all the big mixing bowls and the flour and the whole fascinating process, and after the tour, they gave us FRESH wonder bread with peanut butter and jelly. That was a very good day in 2nd grade.

3. What makes you cringe at the thought of touching? 
Snakes. Any kind. Ewwwwww. Totally.

4. If you could have any celebrity show up on your doorstep who would it be and why?
Well, I am just the world's biggest George Strait fan, and have been for some time, and I would just be tickled if he knocked on my door. I would totally invite him out to the patio for a few cold longnecks. Then I would ask him how he got so handsome, I mean how he got interested in singing. Oh, just so many questions...like which of his many songs is his favorite. I almost cry every time I hear "Amarillo By Mornin." I love that man, I mean that song. :-)

5. What would you say is your best physical feature?

I would say my smart alecky sense of humor. What? That is not a physical feature?? Oh, well then I guess my eyes. They're blue, like every person in my family tree for generations. I think that is kinda cool.


Okay, my fellow 5QF'ers...it's time to link up! I am looking forward to reading your posts!!

Get Your Freak On - Bad Romance

After watching GLEE (my FAVORITE show!) last week and their tribute to Lady Gaga, I knew exactly what song I wanted to use for this today. I never really got the whole Lady Gaga thing, but some of her music is all right! I have to say I really dig the Glee kids doing it a lot better! And those costumes are just kind of out there. But this song is totally bad A!!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

May The Lord Bless And Keep You

“For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.” Psalm 30:5

This blog was always meant to be a positive place, a place of encouragement in a discouraging world. I haven’t written much of anything lately. Truth is I have had trouble finding anything encouraging to write about. I’m no preacher and certainly not a model Christian, though I do love the Lord and try to live for Him best I can. But Lord knows (as well as everybody else!) that I am a far cry from the Christian or the person I need to be.

Like so many of the unfinished writing, art, and other projects lying around my cluttered house, I am one of those “works in progress.” I know the Good Lord isn’t finished with me yet. I haven’t been able to write anything encouraging lately because I haven’t even been able to encourage myself.

The Bible says that when David was struggling, he “encouraged himself.” I’ve always tried to do that, as well as encouraging others. But there are just times when it seems like life targets you and a thunderstorm of trouble comes your way, with literally everything that can possibly go wrong actually going wrong.

Lately I’ve felt like a kid stranded in a heavy rainstorm with the streets flooding and just climbing up a light pole and holding on for dear life; trying to hold on to my faith, my peace, even my sanity some days. In times like this your mind starts messing with you and you may even start thinking God is mad at you or out to getcha. I know I’ve had my share of those thoughts.

We’ve had an awful lot of rain in our region lately and that’s unusual. Farmers love it, gardeners are happy for it…it is a blessing to this part of the country. But honestly it rained and stormed so much, both literally and figuratively, I started to wonder if we would ever see the sunshine again.

Well you know what they always say, nothing good lasts forever. Not sure I agree with “them,” but I do know this. Nothing BAD lasts forever either. Sometimes you just gotta ride it out, whatever it is, like that kid in the rain clinging to safety till help arrives. And I know from my own experience if you cry out to God for help, He will answer.

Things can be awful…the worst you can imagine, and in the blink of an eye, one touch from Him can change everything. One hug from a friend, one message from a preacher, one line from a song, one memory of a past victory….God can use so many things to encourage us when we are too beaten down to encourage ourselves.

He is not “out to get us.” He loves us with an everlasting love, and the very second we reach out to Him, He is there with outstretched arms reaching for us.

If you are struggling today, I just want to tell you, Friend, I’ve been there, and it sucks. I’m really sorry for whatever you are going through. But don’t give up on yourself and don’t give up on God. He always brings the sunshine after the rain, and everything looks spectacularly clean and beautiful. Hang in there.

I never intended this blog to be overtly “religious,” but more a place of encouragement and thoughts for positive living. However, I find that as a Christian I simply can’t separate my relationship with God from my life, for a blog or anything else. But, if you are not religious, please don’t feel that I am attempting to be a preacher. I am just relaying my own experiences and what I know God has done for me.

People have many ideas about God and who He is. I can’t say that I agree with them all, but I judge no one for their beliefs, or for their lack of belief in God. Whatever your beliefs, I want you to know you are a welcome guest here. I think one of the most important things I have ever learned is "Judge not or you will be judged in the same way you judge others."

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you’ll come back again. I will leave you with what I think is one of the most beautiful passages of scripture. It is a blessing that I wish for you, and I hope it gives you peace.

"The LORD bless you and keep you;
  The LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
  The LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace."
                                                                          ~ Numbers 6:24-26

Sunday, April 25, 2010

All The Wrinkled Ladies!

Hey friends!

Man, I have really neglected my blogging duties lately! Got a new job and it has been kicking my butt! I actually have to stand on my FEET for hours at a time! The horror! I have been so spoiled with desk jobs the past few years and done a lot of @$$ sittin', which if you know me at all...you know I LOOOOOVE!!

So this 45 year old woman is paying homage to the aging process and even though I am doing my dangdest to fight it kicking and screaming, gravity and time is a real bad combination! And I think I may end up on the losing end!! No worries...it's all good.

I earned every one of these laugh lines and every ripply spot on my butt! So to celebrate the fact that even a slightly middle aged broad like me finally got off her @$$ and got an actual JOB doing actual WORK, here is a little song in celebration of us ladies of a certain age. Enjoy!

Till next time...keep lookin up! It's really not that bad folks!! :-)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Get Your Freak On! Crush - Jennifer Paige

get your freak on friday

Here's how it works:
1. Grab button
2. Paste the button. Somewhere on your blog or even just in your post .
3. Write about a memorable song. Any one you like.
4. Post the link to your post on this post's Mr. Linky.
5. Read about other memorable songs!!!

Okay, I know this song is kind of old, but I just heard it on the radio the other day and I just can't get it outa my head. It is such a cool song! I dig it!

Five Question Friday

Wow! Is it time for this again already! I LOVE 5QF's!! Here goes...

Rules (as always...): Copy and paste the following questions to your blog. Answer them, then c'mon back and link up! If you'd like, you can grab the MckLinky Blog Hop code! I would also luuuurrrrvvvveeee it if you'd link back to me, Mama M.!

If you don't have a blog, but would still like to play along, feel free to leave your answers in the comments of any blog along the way!

Questions for Friday, April 9th: (Thanks to Renee, Pam, LulaLola, Robin, and Me!! for their question suggestions! Wanna be linked in a future 5QF? Head on over to my Blog Frog community to offer up YOUR best question suggestions! Oh, and does anyone think we need to start a fresh thread for 5QF over there? Sometimes, I feel lost with all the questions over there!)

1. Who would you want to play you in a movie of your life?

2. Did you ever go to summer camp?

3. What sends you running and screaming in the other direction?

4. What is something you do that drives your spouse nuts?

5. What is currently your favorite song?


1. Who would you want to play you in a movie of your life?

Well, of course I would want it to be someone like myself...gorgeous, naturally blonde, smart, funny, and with a fantastic body!! Gosh there really aren't any women in Hollywood like that!

OK so I would just settle for gorgeous then. So, my first choice would be Reese Witherspoon or Sandra Bullock because they are southern gals. And obviously Sandra can do blonde because she just did it in the Blind Side. But if neither of those gals were available I would totally settle for Jennifer Aniston of Kate Hudson. Obviously I am delusional, but since I get to pick, just humor me and let me believe I look as good as them!

2. Did you ever go to summer camp?

Oh yeah!! All the time! I grew up in Alaska and we had this really awesome summer camp right near our town that people would come from all over the state to go to. It was so cool! Had a big lake for swimming and they let you go water skiing and sailing and kayaking, plus they had horse back riding. It was soooo much fun!

Later, when I was grown up and my kids were little I found out they had a family camp, where the whole clan gets to go and stay in a cabin and do all the fun stuff together as a family. THAT was really fun! I loved that place. We live in Texas now, so I want to find some kind of a ranch or something similar that does the same kind of thing, where the whole family can go and have fun.

3. What sends you running and screaming in the other direction?

Ryan Seacrest. I can't stand that guy! Come on America, let's vote HIM off!!

Not a big fan of spiders and snakes, but hey, I live in Texas so I have to deal with them. I don't run screaming, I just slowly turn around and go the other way!

4. What is something you do that drives your spouse nuts?

OK, this could take a while! Actually my husband is so patient and sweet. He is a saint to put up with all my crazy jibberty babble. But he is Mr. Organized and I am Mrs. Not so much. Apparently he has this crazy notion that "there is a place for everything and everything should be in its place." I know...INSANE right?? So gets a little irritated at me for things like not having my phone on, not having it charged, not knowing where it is most of the time....

Or stuff like using his shiny tools from his perfectly organized many-drawered filing system tool box and not putting it back and leaving it out in the rain....silly stuff like that!

5. What is currently your favorite song?

Well, I have millions of favorite songs. I LOVE music, especially classic rock and good country. Since my son and I are about to go to a Miranda Lambert concert, we have been listening to a lot of her music. ALL of her songs are great, I especially dig Gunpowder and Lead and Kerosene. But she has this new one out called, The House That Built Me. That is such a beautiful and poignant song. I just love it. Can't wait to see her in concert! Texas girls rock!!

Thanks for playing along. Looking forward to reading all of yawl's answers! Fun to get to know you guys this way! Thanks for the great questions this week!

MckLinky Blog Hop

Friday, April 2, 2010

Five Questions Friday

Rules for Five Question Friday: Copy and paste the following questions to a blog post. Answer them then c'mon back to link up! Grab the MckLinky bloghop code, if that's your kinda thing! I'd LOVE it if you'd link back to me, Mama M.!

No blog? Feel free to answer the questions in the comments of any blog along the way!

Questions for Friday, April 2nd: (Thanks to Natalie, LulaLola, Pam (for inspiration for #3), Lily, and Renee (who is on FIRE! with the questions!!) for their question suggestions! Wanna be linked in a future 5QF? C'mon over here, to my community and offer up your best question suggestions!)

1. Do you sing out loud in the car when you're driving?

Umm...is there any better place to sing? And any other way to sing than LOUD? In my car I sing my heart out, am always on pitch, and know every word. When I sing during guitar hero not so much. Too bad no one is ever around to hear how awesome I am in the car!

2. What would you never be caught doing?

Going to a Jonas Brothers concert. Even for my little girl. I have limits!!

3. Will you go #2 in a public restroom?

Okay, first of all..eww! And like someone else said...Heeeelll to the NO! Unless it is an emergency. Then of course...hell to the yes.

4. Have you ever broken a bone?

I went 44 years without so much as cracking or chipping a bone. Then I got a motorcycle. Took it for a ride in the pasture, there was an incident with a low lying electric fence and my arm broke clean in two. Like a twig. I don't recommend it.

5. Do you prefer cooking or baking?

I prefer someone else doing both!! But if was forced at gunpoint to choose I would have to say cooking because it is so much easier. I mean you stick the pop tarts in the toaster and VOILA!! Breakfast is ready!!

MckLinky Blog Hop

Get Your Freak On Friday! Grant Lee Phillips - Smile

get your freak on friday

Okay, I love music, so when I heard about this fun Friday Follow I had to get in on the action. The first song that came to mind was this one. This guy played the Stars Hollow Troubadour on Gilmore Girls. He was always standing on a corner doing a cover of some old song and sounding fabulous. I LOOOOVE this song...it really does make me SMILE every time I hear it. My favorite kind of music!

Rock on Super Freaks! ;-)


p.s. Am I the only one who still misses Gilmore Girls even though all the people who were in it are now on other shows?! My kids and I still watch the reruns repeatedly! Greatest. Show. EVER!!!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Happy Easter! Getting Crafty On The Cheap

Wow,can you believe it is almost Easter already? We have had such a painfully looong winter, I was starting to wonder if Spring would ever really come back! Finally we are getting green grass, buds on the trees, and warm sunshiny days here in West Texas. Oh happy day!!

I just wanted to share some photos of my kids and me and some crafty fun we had with plastic eggs. We always try to do cool crafts for the holidays and Easter is no exception. But this year we were kinda between paychecks so we just had to use what we had around the house and our imaginations. Actually, I think that is actually the best possible scenario for sparking creativity.

(These are my twins, Sophie and Jesse. They are almost 11, but they were about 6 or 7 here I think...we got these cool kits to use with your real dyed eggs. They had cootie bug legs and wings and stick on eyes. They were just toooo fun!)

So we raided our craft supplies, got out the glue gun and here is what we came up with. I think the kids did pretty well, and most important they had a lot of fun, AND as an added bonus...they continued doing this activity for several days on their own, providing me with some great quiet time to write, stare into space, and things of that nature!

Here is what we came up with from our left over plastic eggs from last year and some odds and ends from around the house...

Well in the end, we had a blast, and against the advice of everyone, we did in fact, put ALL our eggs in one basket! And it turned out fine! So just gather up whatever you can find and have some fun with the kids getting all crafty with it!  Happy Easter everyone!

Hey you guys...if you would like detailed photos and instructions on how to make these eggs, especially the bluebird and the bee, as well as other fun craft ideas to do with your kids, subscribe to my arsty craftsy newsletter, Creative License. Lots of fun and free ideas for you and your kids!!

email me at...  absopositive@gmail.com

And just a reminder, Easter is not all about colored eggs...it is all about HIM...

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life."  John 3:16 New Living Translation

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MckLinky Blog Hop

We Have a Winner!

Hey everyone, and thanks so much to all who participated in last week's Friday Follow giveaway. Well today is the day and the winner is....

None other than the honorable Mayor of Crazytown Herself! Be sure to check out her HILARIOUS blog spot all about the insanity that is motherhood!

Crazy Town Mayor

Congratulations Mrs. Mayor! And thanks again to all who participated.

p.s. This is what I used to choose the winner. Totally random!

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2010-03-30 07:32:22 UTC

Thanks everyone and we will do this again real soon! Have a great week! 

Chris :-)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Friday Giveaway!! Sadie book and handmade clay angel pet

Here are a couple sneak peeks inside the book...

Hey y'all!

I've had so much fun participating in the last few McLinky blog hops that I decided I wanted to take part in the Friday Giveaway.

I'm giving away a brand new copy of the childrens' book, "How Sadie Learned To Smile," written by Linda Boulanger, and illustrated by me. This book teaches kids about the importance of being kind to our animal friends, and focuses on the joy of giving an adopted animal a forever home. It also deals with the issue of a beloved animal friend leaving us when his/her life is over. It deals with some sad subjects, but is a very uplifting and heartwarming story. I will personally autograph it for you if you like.

Additionally, I'm including a dog or cat (your choice) angel ornament, also hand made by me with polymer clay. This can be for your Christmas tree or you can just hang it on the wall.

To see more clay creations like the ones above as well as mosaic art work and other things, visit my Etsy shop, Imaginotions...  http://www.etsy.com/shop/imaginotions

For more info on "How Sadie Learned To Smile," including details about the author, illustrator, and inspiration for this story, please visit Sadie's website...  http://www.SadiesSmile.com

A portion of all the proceeds from the sale of the Sadie book benefit ARF (Animal Rescue Foundation) of Bartlesville, OK...where the original Sadie was adopted and where she met her forever family.

To be entered in the give away, please leave me a comment. Contest ends March 30th.

Thank you for visiting my blog!  I hope you will stop by again! :-)


MckLinky Blog Hop