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