Friday, December 31, 2010

Not Feeling The Best...

Yep, that is about how I feel.  Just wanted to let you know I am in the land of the living, just not kicking to high.  We had a wonderful time in Arkansas, Christmas was great, just a little bittersweet.

Jan and I had to take time out for a funeral and it was a hard one for me. Talena was 22, a beautiful young girl who loved life.  She was in my Youth Group at the church we attended and also in my Sunday School Class.  She did not have an easy life growing up, but loved her family more than life always requesting prayer for them.  I had not seen her in several years, but she was going to nursing school getting straight A's trying to make something out of her life.  She lost control of her car and rolled it several times.

On a better note we attended my cousin's birthday party.  She had a wonderful time, there were over 200 people that came through the door.  Her daughters did a wonderful job with the finger foods and everything.  One of the reasons it was so special Gale had been fighting cancer for quite some time, a year ago they did not think she was going to make it but she did. Unfortunately about 10 days after her party the cancer won the battle.

Please remember these families in prayer.  Also remember my sister-in-law, Pam, we were married to brothers, but have been friends forever.  Her house burned night before last, her dog woke her up and saved her life.  Everything was a complete loss, she may be able to salvage some of her pictures and her jewelry but the rest is gone.  I talked to her last night and Thank God she is ok, but at a loss. 

Thanks for your prayers, I am just chilling for awhile, will try to be back next week.

"Blessed are the poor in spirit:  for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted."       Matthew 5:3, 4 

until next time... nel

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Randomly Speaking...

Just an update:  We are having a wonderful time in Arkansas.  Eden has spent the night with us 3 times so far and staying tonight.  We have the village set up and the tree and then decorations outside.  Looks like Christmas around here.

Wishing all of you a wonderful Christmas and a joyous time!  We will be celebrating Christmas Eve and then will eat left overs on Christmas Day.  The kids will be stopping by our house for lunch and opening presents on Friday.  Should be fun!

I have a prayer request for everyone.  Please remember Talena Coffman's family in prayer.  She was 22 years old and lost her life in an accident Saturday morning.  She lost control and flipped her vehicle.  Please remember her mom, Anna and family, and her dad Buddy and family.  Talena was special to me even though I had not seen her since she grew up.  She used to attend our church at Welcome Home and was in my Sunday School class and our Youth Group.  She had a heart of gold.  She did not have an easy life and always requested prayer for her family.  Please remember this family in your prayers... My heart is saddened at this time but I believe there is rejoicing in Heaven.  Thanks!

until next time... nel

Thursday, December 16, 2010

BOOK REVIEW: A Rush of Wings

Noelle St. Claire is your typical high society young lady.  It has just been her and her father who happens to be an influential New York lawyer.  Needless to say she has never wanted for anything, and has never worked a day in her life.  He has had complete control of Noelle's life with reasons of his own.  Michael her daddy's protege does not react to kindly when Noelle breaks off their engagement, but she is tired of being controlled.

So Noelle escapes.  She escapes from the controlling suffocating life she has lived, but is also escaping the feeling of fear.  A fear that is buried so deep it terrorizes her at times.

Noelle finds refuge at Spencer Ranch in Colorado.  When she arrives she finds that all the cabins are full, but she convinces Rick to rent her a room in the main house.  It seems pleasant in a plain sort of way certainly not what she is accustomed too.  The thing that really bothers her is the way Rick talks to God, almost like he is a friend.

Will Noelle find what she is searching for?  Will she let her father know where she is?  How about Michael will he track her down?  Will Rick help her face her giants?  Will Noelle ever understand Rick's faith in God?  Find out the answers to these questions and a lot more in the gripping novel "A Rush of Wings" by Kristen Heitzmann.

MY THOUGHTS:  I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a gripping story with a twist of romance.  I did not want this one to end.  I felt like I was on the edge of my seat many times wondering what was going to happen next.  A great read!

Bethany House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

until next time... nel

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Do You Hear What I Hear...

I hear Wednesday Hodgepodge calling me.  That fun time of the week, when our wonderful Hostess Joyce comes up with all kinds of questions for us.  If you want to join in just click on the button above to get this weeks questions and don't forget to link up.  We all want to read what you're thinking about.

Here Is My Version of Hodgepodge...

1.  What does it mean to have the "holiday spirit"?

I personally think it is different for everyone.  People get so stressed out during this time of year, always something else to do.  I think decorating and listening to Christmas music, and of course baking is part of the holiday spirit.  Of course I love to give presents at this time of year, I love to see the look on my grandkids faces when they open their presents.  But it is so much more than the material things, it is remembering the birth of our savior.  I love the song Mary Did You Know?  Can you just imagine how she felt.  In Arkansas we always go to the Christmas Play where I used to attend church.  My grandkids are usually in the play, that is what Christmas is about making sure the younger generation knows about the birth of Jesus and what He did for all of us.

2.  What sits atop your tree(s)?  Why?

We have a lighted star on top of ours.  We bought it our first Christmas together.  I like the star on a tree especially if it is lighted.

3.  When was the last time you gave yourself a pat on the back?

I guess yesterday when I finished the calendars for the family.  I made 19 of them with birthdays and anniversaries.  I used different pictures that I had taken.  My hubby got me one of those comb machines several years ago and it sure does come in handy.  The calendars turned out really nice.
But then I guess actually last night was the last time.  Stan and I played Gin in and I kicked him to the curb.  Yeah I did good and I made sure he knew I was quite proud of myself.  lolol

4.  Which of your senses is most sensitive this time of year?

Probably my sense of smell, I love the smell of the house when there is Christmas baking going on.  Love going into shops with the smell of pine  and cinnamon among others.

5.  What do you have too much of in your kitchen?

I consider my kitchen to be in Arkansas.  The kitchen here in Willard is Patt's since she does most of the cooking.  In Arkansas I would say probably old spices.  I need to go through my shelf of spices and toss the old ones out.

6.  What do you do for meals on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day?  Big Meal?  Breakfast tradition?  Open the cookie tins and have at it?

The last few years Stan and I have went to my daughter's house for breakfast on Christmas Morning, usually after the kids have opened Santa Claus gifts.  We usually have scrambled eggs, sausage, biscuits and chocolate gravy.  Then for our dinner we do sandwiches and finger foods on whatever day is more convenient for them.  They are the ones that have to be in 10 different places at the same time, boy I don't miss that.  Whenever we have our dinner with them we open our Christmas presents up.

7.  What is the best thing about winter?

It is a good time for snuggling, and drinking hot chocolate and playing games or reading, doing things inside the house.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

We are off to Arkansas again.  So I would like to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas!  I am not sure how much blogging time I will get in.  Our internet service is kind of here and there, do not always have connection.  Also, there is a little girl that occupies alot of my time.  I can't wait to see her reaction to one of her presents.  It is a little stuffed duck with a hat on and it sings "You Are My Sunshine," which just happens to be our song.  We always have to sing it the night before we come home.  I plan on telling her when she misses Granny to listen to it and a part of me will be there with her.   Awwwww....

Ain't that the cutest?  I know I am prejudiced but what can I say?

until next time... nel

Sunday, December 12, 2010

BOOK REVIEW: Hatteras Girl

Hatteras Girl by Alice J. Wisler is about a young lady named Jackie Donovan who lives in the Hatteras Port Area of North Carolina.  Jackie is a fun loving young lady with a dream.  Her dream is to own the "Bailey House." 

The Bailey House was a Bed & Breakfast that held fond childhood memories for Jackie and her best friend Minnie, however now it is closed and empty.  It was always their dream to run the establishment and greet guests and make them feel welcome and at home.

The only dream Jackie's family has is seeing her find a man and get married, after all she is turning thirty.  Davis Erickson of Rexy Properties comes to the area and sweeps Jackie off her feet.  An added bonus he has connections and holds the keys to the Bailey House. 

Who exactly is Davis Erickson?  Has Jackie finally found the man of her dreams or has he been right in front of her the whole time?  Will Jackie and Minnie's dream of running the Bailey House ever come true?  Find the answers to these questions and many more in Hatteras Girl.

MY THOUGHTS:  This was a good book, a good storyline, however I did not feel like I was a part of it.  The author's style of writing is very abrupt and to the point.  She really does not paint a picture where you feel you are involved, which was a little disappointing to me. 

Bethany House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.  The opinions I have expressed are my own. 

until next time... nel

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Activities...

It's that fun time of the week when Linda has us exercising our brains.  If you would like to join in hop over to Mocha With Linda and get the prompt then link back so we can all enjoy your memories.  But first read mine, you know you want to...

This week we are talking about Christmas activities at school or church.  I know it is hard to believe but I don't have a lot to say this week.  I do not have a lot of memories when it comes to school and we really did not attend church when I was at home, so....

Here we go:

It is strange I do not have a lot of memories of School Christmas Activities.  I remember a few parties at school during Christmas, mom was never there she was always working.  There were some of the girls, their moms were always there and always laughing always a part of everything and I promised myself if I ever had kids that is what I would do.  I do not think I ever missed one of Jan's parties, I always got off work so I could go.  And don't get me wrong, I do understand now why she was not there, but it sure was hard to when you were a little kid.  I do remember usually taking a bag of candy for the party, most of the time a bag of the cheap chocolate bells or balls.

I do not remember exchanging gifts with the kids, mom and dad would of thought that was unnecessary.  I do remember usually taking something for the teacher.  I remember our rooms were always decorated and we usually always had a tree.  Usually we would make the decorations for our trees.

As far as Christmas plays I do not remember ever being in one.   I do remember we were attending a little church with my older cousin and her younger sister and myself sang Silent Night for the church.  Bless those peoples hearts, cause neither one of us could carry a tune. 

The first time I went caroling Jan was in her teens.  I was the Youth Leader at our church and we hopped in the vans and went.  It was a lot of fun.

I can't remember mom or dad hosting any parties, just was not their thing.

I guess that is it.  Not a lot of memories.  Hope all of you are getting into the Christmas spirit.  We are going to finish our decorations this afternoon.  We will be off to Arkansas next week.  Gotta enjoy Christmas with those grandbabies!  Merry Christmas everyone!

until next time... nel

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells...

It is time for Wednesday Hodgepodge.  Join in the fun, grab your questions over by Joyce then link up so we can all enjoy your answersI have a confession to make, I copied the questions yesterday then totally spaced it out.  Do you ever do that?  If my hubby had not asked about it I would of never thought about it.  Thank you hubby!

Ok here we go...

1. Have you ever been on a real sleigh ride? How about the warm weather version - a carriage ride?

I have never been on a sleigh ride, have dreamed about it, would love too, but no hasn't happened.  I guess I will put that on my bucket list.  Carriage ride yes!  We had a wonderful carriage ride on our first date.  It was quite romantic, at night through the streets at Eureka Springs Arkansas.

2. What's your policy on 'chain mail' know, the emails you receive that are often some sort of poem/blessing/good wish that ask you to send it on to 10 or 12 friends? Do you delete without opening, read and trash, read and trash and then worry you won't be blessed/lucky/protected? Do you delete the sender from your contacts or just go ahead and send the love onward?

I am a poetry nut, so I usually read them, however I usually do not pass them on unless they really grab me. However if there is a line about receiving good or bad luck, or loving God, I am sorry those I usually trash.  Sorry that email has nothing to do with my love of God, God is in my heart not in that email.  And as far as luck come on... who are we kidding?  Bad luck is going to happen if I don't forward it... get real!  I have been known to take that part off and just send the poem or reading if it is good.  Ok I will get off my soapbox now, you will be happy to know if you do forward those to me you are still on my address list and are still my friend.  

3. Who is your favorite character in any of the Christmas movies and why?

I love Miracle on 34th Street, preferably the newer version.  I love the little girl Susan.  She wants to believe in Santa but she does not want to cross her momma. Her excitement is so real when she does start believing!

4. Share a favorite quote.

There are no strangers here only friends we haven't met.

5. What's your favorite holiday scent?

Cinnamon or vanilla.  I love the cinnamon smell in baking or potpourri.  And the vanilla in candles. 

6. Does the Christmas season stress you out? In what way?

I don't think so.  Christmas Shopping is done, I am working on family calendars, everything is going good. 

7. What's the best thing about your life right now?

I feel contentment.  I know that I am a child of the King and have a personal relationship with Him.  My husband loves me and would do anything for me.  And my daughter is happy and has a wonderful family.  Can't get much better than that!

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I have started working on family calendars.  You know it is one of those things you do one year and everyone loves them so much you have to continue them. It is a hanging calendar put together with a comb and they have birthdays and anniversaries listed for everyone in the family.  Last year I was running behind and they did not get finished till January.  I already have part of the pictures printed. I also have the birthdays saved from previous years and will print the months after the pictures are finished.  The dates take a little time because I do my side of the family and his separate.  Anyways it is a time consuming project but I do enjoy it.  And I am so glad I have it started!  Life is good!

Well that is all folks!  Hope you have a wonderful week.  FYI just ignore the high lighting, not sure what the deal is, but I cannot get rid of it.  Go figure...

until next time... nel

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Will You Be Standing...

I love this meme, always love to find new songs and artists.  This week my hubby forwarded an email to me and I felt like I just needed to share it with you.  Some of you may have already seen it or heard it, but it is worth sharing!  But first a little bit about the song:

About the Song:

While at the mall a couple of years ago, my then four year old nephew, Spencer, saw kids lined up to see Santa Claus. Having been taught as a toddler that Christmas is the holiday that Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus, he asked his mom, "where's the line to see Jesus"? My sister mentioned this to my dad, who immediately became inspired and jotted words down to a song in just a few minutes.

After putting music to the words, and doing a quick recording at home, he received a great response from friends. He sent the song off to Nashville without much response, except for a Christian song writer who suggested adding a bridge at the end of the first chorus. My dad then asked if I wanted to record the song to see what we could do with it. I listened to the song, made a few changes to the words to make it flow better, and we headed to Shock City Studios.

It was at the studio where Chris, owner and producer, rewrote the 2nd verse and part of the chorus... with goose bumps and emotions high, we were all hopeful and felt like we had something special. The demo was recorded in just under 2 hours and sent off again to Nashville... still no response.

Then 2 weeks before Christmas last year, my cousins Greg and Robbie decided to do a video to see what we could accomplish on YouTube. The first day we had 3000 hits and it soared from there. We received e-mails, phone calls, Facebook messages from people all over asking for the music, CD's, iTunes, anything... we had nothin'.

After a couple of meetings with Chris following the amazing response, we got serious. We headed back into the studio this past spring... this time with guitars, drums, bass, pianos, choirs... the real deal.... and here we are today. Getting iTunes set up, a website put together, and loving that thousands upon thousands of Christians have come together... remembering the true meaning of Christmas.

Out of the mouths of babes come profound truths that many adults cannot understand. Hopefully Spencer's observation will cause people all over to reflect on the love of Jesus, and that one day we will all stand in line to see Him. We are most thankful to our Heavenly Father to have this chance to share our music with you. Merry Christmas everyone

Hope it blesses you as much as it did me!

until next time... nel

Friday, December 3, 2010

O' Christmas Tree...

It is that fun time of the week when Linda over at Mocha With Linda taps into our memory bank and asks us about our childhood among other things. If you would like to join us slide over by Linda’s to get the complete prompt and don’t forget to link up.

This week we are talking about Christmas Decorations…

I tried to scan some pictures in, but for some reason my scanner is not working right, so no pictures tonight. Anyway on with the memories!

We always put our decorations up two weeks before Christmas. Always and forever, my mom was not a big Christmas person but my Dad and I were. We always did the decorating, she helped a little but it was mostly us. Usually we had an artificial tree, but I can remember a couple years where we got a real one. When I was real little I remember the silver tinsel tree with the color wheel. I hated the decorations on it, for along time we had red and white satin balls, you know the kind that would ravel and come loose. Finally we had some pretty different colored glass ones along with some hallmark ones that I had bought.

We did have other decorations, silver garland, we strung it in all the doorways along with mistletoe and we put it on the divider between the front room and kitchen area. There were poles on the divider, which is also where we hung the stockings. And we also put lights up around the windows outside, sometimes inside, depending on how cold it was. It was the old fashioned big bulbs that stayed on all the time. The tree had the smaller blinking lights. Also we always put tinsel on it.  My dad was so picky about the tinsel, you had to do it one at a time.  I guess I get that from him, I am picky also, but I do not do it one strand at a time.  As a kid growing up the only thing I can remember that was special is it was always Dad and I that did them, and when we got done Mom usually had hot chocolate made. And also we always had Christmas music playing in the background.

I can remember there was one decoration I always tried to hide but it seemed like mom always remembered it. It was a Styrofoam rectangular block that she had covered with silver garland, and there was a Mr. & Mrs. Santa on it with a Christmas tree, which were actually cheap candles I think. Then there were also cheap poinsettias stuck in here and there. She thought it was beautiful, me not so much! lol.

Oh well, that is all I have for tonight. I am going to schedule this to post and I think I am going to bed. Happy Memories!

until next time… nel

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It's Wednesday...

It’s time to stop over by Joyce’s at From This Side Of The Pond and link up for Wednesday Hodgepodge and find those unpredictable questions of the week! A fun time to meet new friends and learn more about your blogging buddies.

So let’s hop to it…

1. What is the most interesting thing you've done in the last year?

Let me think a minute… this is a tricky question, everyone’s definition of interesting is different. Yeah I know, don’t make it harder than it is. Ok I have a couple things I consider interesting. One is working with family genealogy. It is amazing what you find. We went to one of the courthouses in Arkansas and got a copy of the original marriage license for my great grandma and grandpa dated November 8, 1883. Now I thought that was pretty interesting. I could go on and on about the genealogy. Stories I have heard and research I have found, news articles, to me this is interesting. It is part of me, my heritage. One thing I am still working on is I was told my great-great grandma was Indian and part of the Trail of Tears. I would love to find evidence of this. I have several events I am working on trying to track down. It is like working on a big puzzle and I love puzzles.

The other thing I find interesting is my photography. Learning new things and debating on what I want to do with them. I do large poster pictures with verses on them and I do Note cards. I am working on getting some of them together. I just ordered over 500 prints for this project. I can get lost in photography; it is one of my passions. My hubby now knows when I yell STOP it is not an emergency, I saw something to take a picture of.

2.  What is your most meaningful family heirloom?

I always think of a family heirloom being jewelry, however I guess it could be other things. I have to say though; we have one that I hope my granddaughter will also use. When my daughter got married since her grandpa could not be there she took his wedding ring and tied it to her shoe with blue ribbon, so at least a part of him would be there, and she had her something old and something blue. And I hope maybe Eden will carry that on.

I do have a couple things that are very special to me that have been handed down, and I will give them to my daughter one day and hopefully she will pass them on. My mom gave me a dollhouse that her dad built out of piano keys and wood. I wish I had a picture; it is at the house in Arkansas. My mom was young when he built it so I am not sure how old it is, but it is not extravagant, it reminds me of an old country house. It is one room and has a porch on it and a chimney. And I also have the wood table and bench that her dad made. Her and her brothers and sisters ate off it when they were growing up. It makes a wonderful picnic table for under the pavilion. Looking at the dollhouse and the table, he must have been a very talented man.

I also have a ballad that my aunt taught me. She said her great grandpa taught it to her. I have it written down also, but it is something I will pass on. These may not be worth much in money but the heart value is out of this world.

3.  What food festival would you most like to attend?

I have always wanted to attend the Bean Fest at Mountain View, Arkansas.  Pinto Beans and Cornbread, you can’t get much more country than this.  Oh wait yes you can, they also have Outhouse Races.  You can read more about the Bean Fest here.  Mountain View is a beautiful country town and I am sure the Bean Fest would be a lot of fun.  Mountain View also holds the Arkansas Folk Festival every spring, which is always a good time!  A lot of musicians gather around the town square and share their music and pick with each other.

4. you love it or is it a four letter word where you live?

I love snow, not a lot just a good covering maybe 8 or 9 inches. My last winter in Chicago was when we had a big one that lasted forever don’t miss that at all. I love watching it snow it is so peaceful. Can definitely do some good reading, writing, crocheting or just daydreaming when it snows.

5.  Can you ski?  Do you ski?  Are you any good?

Nope I can’t ski. Never have tried never had the desire to try.

6.  What quality in your spouse or best friend are you most thankful for?

The quality I love the most is his caring nature. He is always making sure everything is just the way I want it, or making sure I do not need something else. And I definitely was not use to that. He loves to spoil me. I was never used to someone doing things for me, lifting things or carrying things and he always does that and gets upset with me if I do it myself.

7.  Describe the coziest spot in your home.

I would say probably the sunroom. We have a couple of chairs out there and Patt has all of her plants from the patio in there. It is a nice place to sit and talk or curl up in the chair and watch it snow drinking hot chocolate. Our bedroom is pretty cozy too. Candles all around and the bed is so comfy it has extra padding and is very cozy... enough said!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I have so many random thoughts whirling around in my brain it is hard to land on just one. So we will just talk about Christmas Shopping. I think we are about done with our shopping. Still waiting for it to arrive, but it has started, we received one shipment today. We do have to make a trip to Branson and pick up something for my daughter and hubby, but we are only 45 minutes away. I have done most of my shopping online. We have not put up our decorations yet, we just made it home and he came down with a terrible cold actually the doc said it was a bacterial infection. And I was sick Sunday, the bathroom and me were buddies. Soooo I am hoping we can at least get part of it done this coming weekend.

Well that’s all folks. It is great to be back in the land of blogging for a few weeks anyways.

until next time... nel

Monday, November 29, 2010

BOOK REVIEW: Almost Heaven

This is the first book I have read by Chris Fabry but it definitely will not be my last. “Almost Heaven” is set in Dogwood, West Virginia. Billy Allman is the son of a miner who has a dream of having his own radio station, a little unusual for a young boy. Billy is faced with many trials but he always clings to God and the knowledge that if you trust in Him, He will get you through this. Billy believes he is called to get the word and music of the Lord out to the people of Dogwood, the people living in the holler.

Billy amazes people by his ability to take junk and make it work, but music is his dream, and boy can he play his father’s mandolin, he almost becomes a part of it when playing. His high school teacher introduces him to the right person who happens to be in a Bluegrass band. The band loves him and this gives Billy the opportunity to play and make a little money on the side. This opportunity has its benefits but it also has its drawbacks. Things happen that will change Billy’s life forever, but is it a good change? Does Billy ever start his radio station? How about Malachi, Billy’s angel what is his role in this story? The answers to all these questions and many more can be found in this wonderful novel by Chris Fabry.

MY THOUGHTS: Amazing; at first I was not sure about the angel input, but Chris does a wonderful job of putting it all together, and it flows so smoothly. I laughed and cried right along with the characters. This book reminds you how God can use ordinary or less fortunate people for His glory! Chris does a wonderful job of making you feel like you are right there with them. I cannot wait to read “Dogwood” and “Junebug.” I highly recommend this book to everyone.

Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.  The opinions I have expressed are my own. 
 until next time... nel

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Random Rumblings...

Just thought I would drop in and let you know I am still kicking.  We had a wonderful time in Arkansas.  Busy as usual, well maybe a little busier than normal.  I think it has caught up with me the last few days, I seem to be dragging.  Didn't even have the energy to join in the memes that I usually participate in.  Hopefully next week we will be back at it! 

My whole schedule was thrown off while in Arkansas.  First of all I was sick one day and that through it off.  Then the plumber could not come out until the day we were supposed to head home, so we stayed 3 extra days, of course Eden and Cain thought that was good news. We finally have water but not hot, the hot water heater was leaking.  So we will replace it next month when we go for Christmas.  The new faucets and new toilet look so good.  I told Stan I really felt old, I got excited about a new toilet.  lolol.  It is sad how we take so much for granted.

We actually had our Thanksgiving dinner a week ago at my daughter's house.  I fixed Turkey and dressing, and all the extras.  Jan helped and Gina brought a couple dishes.  We had a house full.  There were 13 eating, Janice's dad and step-mom and her two kids joined us, and they brought Gina's mom and Doc's mom.  It was really good to see her, I had not seen her in a long time, she is still my mother-in-law, always will be.  She is a special lady!  Then Clint's mom and grandma stopped by and they ate with us.  Eden and Cain had their 3 grandmas and 3 of their great grandmas.  We had a lot of fun.  Good food, good family and friends, good fellowship, not much better than that! 

I am going to share a few pictures below.  I can't believe I did not take very many pictures and hardly any of my kids.  I bet I do better when we go back for Christmas. 

The leaves were really pretty while we were there.  I think they had a prettier fall than we did, however they were really glad it rained while we were there, it had been so dry.  Me not so much!  My son-in-law works for Arkansas Forestry, so during dry spells he is always on call.  This first picture is taken a few miles from their house.  It is such a pretty area. 

 This next one is taken on Cloud Mountain Road, the road going to their house.  Yes, it is fun if you meet a vehicle or if a calf gets in the road and you can't get around it.  Yep lots of fun! lolol.  But it is a pretty drive.  They are about a mile and a half off the blacktop.  They have quite a little farm started and hoping to start on their house in the next two years.  My son-in-law is a hard worker and I love it that they have goals.

This is a picture taken from their front porch across their field.  There is a pond to the right and Clint has it all fenced.  Their horses were out there this time, last time the cattle were in there.  They also have sheep.

And this is the newest addition to Lusk Farms, my grandpup, Dexter.  He is a 6 week old Bloodhound.  This is Janice's Christmas present that she asked her hubby for.  She wanted a dog that would grow up and be lazy and lay on the porch.  He is a handful, already spoiled.  And is so cute, he already has a few of the wrinkles on the sides of his face and his paws are huge.  The lady said he would probably be 110 lbs when he is grown, he will way more than my daughter...lolol. 
Hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  We have so much to be thankful for.

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love god, to them who are the called according to his purpose."  Romans 8:28

until next time... nel

Oh by the way, if anyone is interested in Precious Moments Figurines, we finally have ours inventoried and have them for sale.  They are all dated 2000 and before.  We have member pieces, chapel exclusives and regular ones.  We have approx. 1,000 pieces in stock.  If any of you are looking for anything just contact me.  Thanks!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Giving Thanks - Day 23

Today I am Thankful for Being Able to Work In My Yard.  We trimmed 2 bushes today that were totally overgrown.  Nothing like fresh air and a little physical work.

until next time... nel

Monday, November 22, 2010

Giving Thanks - Day 22

Today I am Thankful for running water!  We have not had water since March this year at our house in Arkansas.  Pipes froze and busted last winter.  We have been hauling water and having to heat it for washing dishes and taking showers at my daughter's.  It is a whole lot more fun when you are camping than everyday living.  It is amazing what we take for granted.  I had contacted several plumbers and finally we had one that returned our call.  And yes, today I am thankful for running water!

until next time... nel

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Giving Thanks - Day 21

Today I am Thankful for Road Trips.  We took a road trip today with Janice and Eden Jade to pick up Jan's newest baby.  I now have a grandpup named Dexter.  He is a 6 week old Black & Tan Bloodhound.  What a face, talk about cute!  This is her Christmas gift from her hubby.  It was a wonderful day for a road trip!

until next time... nel

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Giving Thanks - Day 20

Today I am Thankful for Thanksgiving Celebrations.  We had our dinner today and had such a good time.  We had a house full, Janice, Clint, Eden, Jan's dad Doc, his wife Gina, her two kids Erron and Justen, Doc's mom, Gina's mom, Clint's mom, and Clint's grandma, then Stan and myself.  Nothing better than good food, good friends and family and good times!

until next time... nel

Friday, November 19, 2010

Giving Thanks - Day 19

Today I am Thankful for Friday Flashback meme.  Linda at Mocha with Linda hosts this and it is a fun meme.  She gives us prompts and we have to search our memory back to share our thoughts.  If you have never joined us try it out - you might be surprised at what you remember also.

until next time... nel

Thanksgiving Past...

It is time for Flashback Friday once again. You know that time when we try to search our brain and remember things from long ago. If you would like to join in click on the button above or stop by and see Linda from Mocha With Linda to get the complete prompt.

This week we are remembering Thanksgiving Pasts – who would of thunk it? So off we go to the memory bank…

Thanksgiving was always a big deal in our family when I was growing up. If I remember right we usually ate at my Aunt Mildred’s and Uncle Colie’s. That was one of my mom’s two sisters that lived in Illinois also. They had a big house with a big basement that had an extra kitchen in it. There were booths to sit at just like a restaurant and then a pool table, card table and all kinds of toys for us kids to be entertained. We always had fun getting together with cousins.

I was in my early teens when that quit happening, you know at that age that you don’t pay any attention to your surroundings especially if it is family. But looking back I do remember something about my aunt putting the turkey in the oven and it did something to her back. Actually her back was already in bad shape, she just had not realized it. Several years later it was determined she had cancer.

I know that my mom and her other sister always brought all kinds of side dishes and goodies. I remember mom made loaves of yeast bread, oh that was so good, and the smell! I still have not run across her recipe, my luck she probably had it in her head. I also remember fruit salad that she made; basically it was fruit cocktail, marshmallows and coconut. I hated that stuff, but somebody must have liked it cause it was always gone. She also made a fruit cocktail cake, I ran across her recipe the other day, I may get brave and try it. Lol. I am sure mom made other things, just not sure what she made. I was never in the kitchen, when I tried to help I was always told maybe next time and next time never came.

And of course we had the usual Thanksgiving spread, Turkey, Mashed Taters and gravy, a vegetable or two, coleslaw, bread along with all the pies and baked goods. My Aunt Mildred was the pie maker… oh my gosh! She could of opened up her own bakery.

After we no longer went to her house, mom would fix Thanksgiving Dinner at home. And it was always good. Mom was a good cook. It was just a lot more fun with the big family.

Next week I will talk about Thanksgiving Dinners after I married. Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday.  We are having our dinner tomorrow, wish you were here!

until next time... nel

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Giving Thanks - Day 18

Today I am Thankful for Holiday Baking.  I love the smell of pumkin bread and other treats baking.  I am beginning to get thinks ready for our Thanksgiving Dinner on Saturday.  Pumpkin Bread and a Pumpkin Roll are on the list for tonight, plus a hamburger casserole for supper.  The pumpkin bread is a recipe my mom has made for years, and you actually bake it in 1 lb. metal coffee cans.  It is a favorite in the family and it freezes really well also.  My son-in-law loves it when we are in town cause I usually cook for all of us.  A treat for them and one for me!  Patt does the cooking at home.  I love to cook!   Yes I would think Holiday Baking is the best!

until next time... nel

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Giving Thanks - Day 17

Today I am Thankful for my pacemaker.  Without my pacemaker I would not be here.  Scary thought at times.  I was born with an electric short and it did not show up until 8 years ago.  Yeppers, today I am Thankful for my pacemaker!
Isn't technology wonderful!

until next time... nel

Wednesday Hodgepodge From Arkansas...

It is time for Wednesday Hodgepodge again. A time where blogging buddies reveal a little more about themselves and enjoy reading about others. It’s a wonderful way to meet new bloggy friends!

We thank Joyce at “From This Side Of The Pond” for hosting this fun meme. If you would like to join in just click her button on top (I can see it today Joyce) or her blog name above, grab the questions, and answer them on your own blog. When you are finished make sure you link back up at Joyce’s so we can all enjoy your answers. Would love to learn more about you!

So without further adieu (that’s for you Joyce), here are my answers:

1. What is the most amazing weather you’ve ever seen?

This was years ago, Janice was small, and we had stopped by my parent’s house here in Appleton, AR before we went on home. We lived next door to them. Anyway, it was a beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky; the sun was shining, when all of a sudden we heard something, it sounded like a herd of animals running. We were sitting in the back under their pavilion and we looked up and you could actually see the downpour coming down the road. The pavement was getting wet as it moved closer. It came as far as their front yard, Jan’s dad had run out to roll up the windows on the truck and he was soaked, but it never rained in the backyard. Really strange…

2. What is a sound or a noise that you love?

Now Joyce you really do not expect me to pick out just one do you?

I love the sound of my grandkids laughing. They have such fun together and Eden Jade has such an infectious laugh. There is nothing like hearing kids laughing. You know they are enjoying life and life is so short.

I also love the sound of Arkansas at night in the spring or summer. You can hear so much standing out in my daughter’s yard; the crickets chirping, frogs croaking, the bobwhites calling and the coyotes howling, every once in awhile you can hear an owl hooting. What wonderful sounds God has given us if we will only take time to listen.

3. Do you like seafood? What’s your favorite seafood dish?

I love shrimp! Boiled shrimp is the best, but I do like it fixed other ways also. I have an easy shrimp dip recipe that I love and yes I could make myself sick on it. There is a catfish house in Bee Branch that we go to when we are in Arkansas sometimes. The catfish and hushpuppies are to die for. They also have crab legs, but I am not fond of those, but bring on the crab cakes or stuffed crab, those are delicious. I like trout also as long as they take the heads off. There are a lot of dishes I have never tried and I would love to.

4. What part of your day requires the most patience?

Boy that is a hard one! Probably when I first get up requires the most patience for me. Patt, Stan’s niece, lives with us and she tends to be very talkative in the morning. I am really not a morning person. I like to get up, drink my diet coke, and grab something to eat, check my emails, read blog posts, and wake up before I start conversing with people.

5. What is your favorite shade of blue?

I actually like all shades of blue but Royal Blue is my absolute favorite!

6. Do people underestimate you?

At first glance of this question I thought No, but after talking to my hubby, I decided yes, maybe some people do underestimate me. I am not one to talk and brag about what I can do, so I think sometimes I surprise people with my creativeness and abilities along with skills.

7. When is the last time you had butterflies in your stomach?

It has been probably a week ago while we were still at home in Missouri. Every time my hubby walks up behind me and touches my neck it gives me butterflies and cold chills. And that is all I am going to say… I know hard to believe!

8. My own random…

Yeah, all of you knew what this random would be about. Lol. Having a great time in Arkansas. Cain and Eden are both growing by leaps and bounds. Janice will be looking up to Cain in a year or two; he is only 9 years old now. She has about 2 inches on him if that much. Eden is getting taller and really slimming down like her momma did. She loves to sing, there are a few country songs she can sing word for word, and she love to sing songs she has learned in school. But it really does this granny’s heart good when I hear her singing songs like “The B-I-B-L-E,” “I’m in the Lord’s Army,” and “Father Abraham.”

That’s All Folks…

Internet service is very limited so I apologize for not commenting this week. I promise I will catch up next week!

Until next time… nel

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Giving Thanks - Day 16

Today I am Thankful for my hairdresser in Arkansas.  Yes, we drive 4 hours to get our hair cut.  Actually, we always set our appointment during the time we are visiting my kids.  We like the job she does so why switch.  We both had haircuts today and it feels so much better.  Yep I am Thankful for Carolyn, our Arkansas hairdresser.

until next time... nel

BOOK REVIEW - Within My Heart

In Tamera Alexander’s book “Within My Heart” Rachel Boyd is striving to keep their ranch running along with raising their sons after she lost her husband in a hunting accident.  Ben and Lyda Mullins, the owners of the general store in Timber Ridge Colorado have become quite close with the two boys and the young mom.

Rachel happens to be in the store picking up supplies when she is summoned to the storeroom finding Ben crumpled in the floor and Lyda hovering over him. Checking his pulse and listening closely she instructs Lyda to keep his head elevated and keep him still, she was going for the doctor.

The doctor was a young eligible bachelor who seems to rub Rachel the young way. Rand Brookston was nice enough but he was a doctor just like her father, wasn’t he? And she would never find another love, Thomas was her first love and her only, or was he?  Rachel checked at the doctor’s office, only to find his assistant Angelo standing at the worktable. When she realizes the doctor is not there she starts searching the shelves for medicine, in doing so she knocks a bottle off and it shatters as it hits the floor. Angelo assured her the doctor would not be angry and he would clean it up. Looking at the scattered glass, Rachel could not help but notice 2 wooden crates of lamp oil in the corner.

Rand Brookston seems to have problems of his own. After several attempts Angelo finally revealed the doctor’s whereabouts. He was at Miss Bailey’s on the other side of town, close to the saloons and gaming halls. Rachel was unsure of what his real business was there but she would find him. There were things that puzzled her about the doctor, for instance why he had enough lamp oil to last an entire year. Was darkness an issue for him?

Will Rand and Rachel ever enjoy each other’s company? Will Rachel ever open her heart to another man? Will Ben recover or will he need surgery? And if he does who will assist Doctor Brookston? Will Rachel and the boys ever be happy again? Find the answers to these questions and a lot more in this fast paced book.

MY THOUGHTS: I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Throughout the book you can feel and see how Rachel's faith in God helps her to overcome what she is faced with.  Tamera has a way of putting you right there with them. This is her 3rd book in the series “Timber Ridge Reflections,” however it is the only one I have read. This was complete by itself but I am looking forward to reading the previous two books. I highly recommend this book.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House a division of Baker Publishing Group as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, November 15, 2010

Giving Thanks - Day 15

Today I am Thankful for my Church Family.  We attend a little Free Will Baptist Church at the edge of Springfield, MO.  When I moved to MO not only did I leave my family I left my church family and I was so afraid I would not find a country church like I was used too.  But the Lord Blessed and I did.  We are not big but we are family and while I do enjoy myself in Arkansas I miss my church family.
Today I am Thankful for my church!

until next time... nel 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Giving Thanks - Day 14

Today I am Thankful for my Crockpot.  Do you realize how many terrific meals you can make in a Crockpot.  Tonight we  are having Sweet and Sour Pork Ribs.  mmm Sounds good!  I love the fact you can put everything together in the morning and have a great supper at night without a lot of work.  Crockpots are wonderful.  Yep that is what I am Thankful for today.

until next time... nel

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Giving Thanks - Day 13

Today I am Thankful for my lifestyle.  I am so glad that I do not have to work and that we can take off to Arkansas when we have the desire.  We do not have to make extensive plans, we just go.  For this I am Thankful!

until next time... nel

Friday, November 12, 2010

Giving Thanks - Day 12

Today I am Thankful for our little house at Appleton.  This is where my mom and dad lived at one time.  This is our home away from home in Arkansas. The really great thing about this is my grandkids can still come to granny's house.  And guess who is spending the night with us tonight?  You got it... Eden Jade and Cain Alan.   What fun!   Yep this I am Thankful for!

until next time... nel

A Standing Ovation To Our Veterans...

Flashback Friday is here again. This week we are remembering Veteran's Day and any personal impact veterans and wars have had on our lives. To get the complete prompt make your way over to Linda’s at Mocha with Linda and see what she is jogging our memories with this week. Then remember to link up so we can all enjoy yours.  

My Dad was a WWII Army Veteran.  He was in Germany.  He never talked about it at all.  I wish I would of asked him a few things.  Looking through some old papers I found where he received his purple heart.  He actually was shot in the foot by the enemy.  I knew that he was shot but I thought it was an accident.  After Dad had went to the nursing home one of the guys sent a picture to mom.  It was of four of the guys standing outside a bunker and one of them is looking the other way.  In his letter he said he had looked over towards some French men because they were hooping and hollering that the war was over.  I wish I would of asked him what he was feeling at that moment.  And I understand that alot of the military especially those that were in combat do not talk about it, but still I wish I would of asked.

My brother Tom was in Viet Nam.  It was a scary time.  I was around 12 or 13.  There was a period of time that we had the Red Cross looking for him because we had not heard from him.  They finally found him, he was in Sniper training and was on the front lines.  Not a good feeling.  He never talked about the war either.

There were alot of protests and riots that went on during the Viet Nam War.  I remember during 1967 and 68 when the presidential race was going on in Chicago there were alot of problems.  We lived 30 minutes from downtown and were told to stay in our homes and be safe because a protest walk was taking place on a road that we could see from our house.  It was a scary time.  We were lucky though the protesters never made it all the way to our neighborhood, they were disbanded before they got there. 

They were the only two of my immediate family that were in the military.  I do have a great nephew that is stationed in Toyko in the Air Force, and I have two nephews on my ex's side that have been to Afghanistan. 

I get teary eyed when I see someone in uniform.  I think about how they willingly put their lives on hold to stand up for our freedom.  I always try to at least look them in the eye and mouth the word Thanks!  We owe them so much more than we give.  God Bless them!

until next time... nel

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Giving Thanks - Day 11

Today I am Thankful for all the Veterans that are fighting or have fought for our freedom!  Thank you to all the men and women who put their lives on hold so we can live in the USA.  For that I am Thankful!

until next time...nel

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Giving Thanks - Day10

Today I am Thankful for Joyce and Wednesday Hodgepodge.  This meme will be alot of fun and I have already visited several new blogs.  It is a great way to meet new friends.  Thanks again Joyce!

until next time... nel

Debut of Wednesday Hodgepodge

Yeah for Joyce!  She has created a new meme called Wednesday Hodgepodge!  Alot of us were missing the Random Dozen that Lid at 2nd Cup of Coffee had graciously hosted for us, so Joyce decided to have a go at it.  If you would like to join us Joyce will post the questions on Tuesdays at her corner of cyberspace at From This Side Of The Pond and then on Wednesday mornings she will have Mr. Linky waiting for us.  It may take a little while to get the kinks worked out but she will be rolling them out before we know it.  The button above is still not working quite right, unless it is just on mine.  It will take you to her blog but the picture is not showing.

Well here we go:

1. Do you think you're more like your mom or your dad?
That is a hard one, the more I think about it the more I guess I am like my mom at least in a lot of ways.  My dad was always pretty quiet, never talked alot especially to strangers -definitely the opposite of me, did I ever mention I love to talk.  I did get my tempermant from my Dad though, it took a lot to make him mad.  He never let things get him down, and I guess I am alot like that.  I always believe you pick yourself up, you brush yourself off and continue on.  And it does take a lot to make me mad but if I get there hold on to your hats, cause she is going to blow.  Doesn't happen very often, the Lord and me worked that out quite awhile ago.  Amazing how He can change your life!

2. Do you like roller coasters?
No, not even.  I never have liked them.  I have been on a few small ones and even those I would have my eyes closed.  lol.  But now not such a good idea with the pacemaker.

3. How did you name your blog and do you now wish you'd thought about it maybe another five minutes before you hit publish? Would you change your blog title if it were not a huge pain in the derriere? (French makes everything sound a little nicer doesn't it?)
I guess my title is kinda boring, but I kinda like it.  I am glad to have the Fastenau name... Have I ever mentioned life is good!  Alot different than the first time around!

4. What is the best wedding gift you received? Not married? Didn't get any gifts? Then what is the best wedding gift you've given?
Wow, we got several nice gifts.  We got several frames and a couple of photograph albums those are always great to have especially for a photo addict.

5. What is the one bill you most hate to pay?
It bites me to pay the Dish bill.  Part of that is because I very seldom watch TV and the other part is because there is never anything worthwhile on.

6. Is the glass half full or half empty?
Half Full of course.  Life is what you make it!  If you have the Lord in your heart that glass should be half full or full!

7. What is your favorite word? Okay okay. Calm down. How about one of your favorite words?
I think Arkansas - If were talking Arkansas then I am usually planning a trip to see my daughter and grandkids!  And yes we are on the road again come Friday!  So definitely Arkansas!

8. Now, this is where you insert one random thought of your own.
The thing that keeps going through my head is how glad I am that Joyce started this Wednesday Hodgepodge.  You rock Joyce!

Well that is it folks, hope you enjoyed yourself!  I had fun!

until next time... nel

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Giving Thanks - Day 9

Today I am Thankful for all of my blogging buddies and friends.  We are a different breed.  We laugh with each other, wipe tears together, and pray earnestly for each other.  You can't get much better than that.  We read each others posts and think "wow I know what they mean," or "yes I remember that."  Most of us will never meet in this walk of life but I really feel like one of these days there will be a bloggy reunion on the other side!  Praise God!

until next time... nel

Monday, November 8, 2010

Giving Thanks - Day 8

Today or I should say tonight (running late)  I am thankful for my friends and family.  I have alot of friends who are very dear to me along with family.  Nothing like family! 
Growing up there were always family activities going on, camping during the summer and get togethers during the winter.  And I have a few cousins that I am partial to. Debi, Cheryl and myself spent alot of time together growing up, but my cousin Kathy is my partner in crime.  And I do miss her very much!  There are others I miss also but Kathy and I were like the sisters neither one of us had.  We both grew up with brothers.  So yes tonight I am Thankful for family and friends!

until next time... nel

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Giving Thanks - Day 7

Today I am thankful for my salvation.  Without Him, we are nothing.  I look back over my life and think of how He saved me from myself.  He has always had my best interests at heart, wish I could say the same.  I am so glad that when I was running there were still Christian people praying for my salvation.  They did not give up!  And finally one Sunday morning I realized I could not do it alone anymore!  And I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior!  So if you have someone that you are praying for, do not give up!  It is doing more good than you will ever know!  Praise The Lord!

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?   Psalm 27:1

until next time... nel

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Thankful - Day 6 and TSMSS - The McKameys

I am going to combine two posts today.  One of them is for the meme Then Sings My Soul Saturday over by Amy at Signs, Miracles, and Wonders  and the other one is the Giving Thanks Challenge over at South Breeze Farm.  If you would like to join us at either one just click on their blog name, and don't forget to link up so we can all enjoy your thoughts.

Today I am Thankful that we have gospel singing groups that are not afraid to share the story of Jesus Christ through song.  We had such a good time at The McKamey concert last night!  They were so good, I laughed, I sang and I wiped tears.  They are so real and so in love with the Lord!  As we left Peg was at the door hugging necks and speaking to everyone, you don't get much more country than that!  Just good people!

The two songs I picked out really touched my heart last night.  The first one is "Right On Time."  This one really spoke to my heart, He is always Right On Time.  I could not find a current clip of the song, but this is a good one, listen to the message Peg has.

This one is "The Shepherd's Point Of View."  This is a beautiful song.  How many times if we looked back only one set of footprints we would see.

Here are a few pictures I took at the concert.

If you like Southern Gospel and ever get a chance to see them I highly recommend it!

until next time... nel

Friday, November 5, 2010

Giving Thanks - Day 5

Today I am Thankful that we can worship as we choose.  My life is not in danger for worshipping our Lord!  I can worship him through preaching, praising or song.  I can read my Bible and study God's word as I please.  And tonight we will praise Him in song.  Headed to the McKamey Concert!  Ain't God Good?

until next time...nel

And The Vote Is Counted...

It is time for Flashback Friday again. Linda over at Mocha With Linda hosts this fun meme. Some of the prompts that she provides I can go on and on about but some not so much. And this week is a not so much week. If you would like to join in stop over by Linda’s and get the prompt for this week then make sure you link up so we can enjoy yours too.

This week we are remembering politics and voting. As I said this is going to be a short week. To be totally honest with you, I know my mom was not registered to vote, and I do not think my Dad was either. I had never really thought about it until now. I can’t really remember them discussing politics. I do remember them being upset when President Kennedy was shot. And I remember a few remarks about peanuts when Jimmy Carter was president, but that is all. As for myself I registered to vote when I turned 18 and have voted in the majority of the elections since then. We discussed voting alot in school, and I had a History teacher that really encouraged us to register to vote as soon as we could.  I think it is our duty as Americans to exercise our right to vote.

until next time… nel