Sunday, January 31, 2010

Close To My Heart...

I apologize for the long post, but please bear with me and take time to read.

In this world there are many organizations and causes that help people and touch peoples lives. Lately, everywhere we look we see ads and campaigns for donations. And that is good, that is what we are supposed to do.

“But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity; for God loveth a cheerful giver.” II Corinthians 9:6, 7

But there is one cause, one organization that is dear to my heart. It is March of Dimes. If you go to their page you can see their mission is:

Our mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality. We carry out this mission through research, community services, education and advocacy to save babies' lives. March of Dimes researchers, volunteers, educators, outreach workers and advocates work together to give all babies a fighting chance against the threats to their health: prematurity, birth defects, low birthweight.

Every spring they hold an event, March for Babies. On their page it states:

Family teams are the heart of our event. Made up of friends and family members, they walk to celebrate, honor or remember the babies and children who have touched their lives. Everyone has his or her own story, but we all share the same hope. The hope that one day all babies will be born healthy.
When you walk in March for Babies, you give hope to the more than half a million babies born too soon each year. The money you raise supports programs in your community that help moms have healthy, full-term pregnancies. And it funds research to find answers to the problems that threaten our babies. The March of Dimes spends 76¢ of every dollar we raise in March for Babies to support research and programs that help babies begin healthy lives.

This will be my 3rd year to be involved in this wonderful event. Let me tell you our story…
See 3 ½ years ago my daughter delivered Eden Jade 6 weeks early. She weighed 5 lbs 4 oz and was 17 ½ inches long. A good size baby but something was wrong. Mommy and Daddy got to see her for a few seconds in passing as she was whisked into the nursery where they started working on her. It was a scary time, tears were flowing and prayers were already going up. Decisions were made quickly that she would be transferred by helicopter to Children’s Hospital in Little Rock, two hours away.

When the Angel One Team arrived and assessed the situation and prepared Eden for travel, they brought her in the room for us to see her. Her mom and dad were able to reach their hands in and touch her for the first time. A bittersweet moment.

Upon arriving at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Eden was immediately hooked to a ventilator, so she could breathe easier, along with various monitors. Exploratory surgery was done at 3 days old, where they found a blockage. They did a small bowel resection where they removed about 10 inches of bowel that had not developed properly. At this time she also had a blood transfusion.

A Nissen procedure had to be performed. This is where the stomach is brought up over the end of the esophagus and is stitched to prevent reflux. She had a very bad case where everything in her tummy would come up in her mouth if she were placed on her back. They also inserted a button in her stomach for G tube feedings because she aspirated.

Finally at 3 weeks old mommy could hold her for the first time. Praise the Lord! Then 3 weeks later she was able to come home. Granted we did not hold her for 3 weeks, but I know in my heart she was right in the palm of Jesus’ hand and close to his heart.

Eden will be four this July, and you would never think there had been anything wrong with her, except two small scars: one from the surgery and then the place where her button was removed at 2 ½ years old.

When you are confronted with this type of situation, first of all you learn to lean on your faith, and pray like you have never prayed before. But you realize how important March of Dimes is. Without their research and the hand of God, my grandbaby would not be here.We are walking again this year in Little Rock for March of Dimes. If you are interested, please click on the banner on the side and join us in saving another baby! Any amount is not too little! We appreciate all donations! If you
can’t sponsor us for whatever reason, please remember us in your prayers.

Until next time... nel

"I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive." Acts 20:35

Friday, January 29, 2010

Book Review: The Language of Love & Respect

The Language of LOVE & RESPECT, Cracking The Communication Code With Your Mate by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs shows married couples how to apply his Love & Respect issues to their marriage. As we all know one of the biggest problems in marriage is communication, but actually it is mutual understanding. We just do not understand each other. We think differently and above all we speak different languages.

Dr. Eggerichs explains how as married couples we can learn how to stop “The Crazy Cycle” and step into “The Energizing Cycle”. He takes easy principles and shows you how to apply them to your life. You can use C-H-A-I-R-S to energize your husband or C-O-U-P-L-E-S to energize your wife. When we learn how to energize each other and apply biblical principals to our marriage, we will not only be closer to each other but closer to Jesus Christ.

I felt like this was a very informative book. As I was reading it I would shake my head and think, yep that is us. I would recommend this to any married couple, or anyone planning on marrying. It is not fast read book, there is a lot of information to digest, but it is a very interesting book.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Until next time... nel

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Random Dozen...

If you have never joined the Random Dozen, just hop over to Linda's blog and link up. The ladies are wonderful and it is a lot of fun!

1. How good are you at delaying gratification?
Usually pretty good, depending on the circumstances. If it is something I am excited about then that’s a different story.

2. Maybe a marshmallow wouldn't be too difficult a temptation for you. What food (or anything else) would be most tempting?
Marshmallows do not do much for me, I can take them or leave them, but now you put a Chicago Style Hot Dog, an Italian Beef or a good Polish Sausage in front of me and that would be a different story. I have not had one in years. I definitely could not turn one of those down.

3. On a scale of 1-10 (10 being saintly) how patient are you?
Probably about a seven or eight. I am a very patient person and have been told that many times.

4. Have you ever waited for something in life only to be disappointed upon realization of the goal/object/etc.?
Oh I am sure I have but I cannot think of one thing in particular. Whatever the outcome I usually try to make the best of the situation. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason! We do not always understand the reason, but we are not supposed to understand everything.

5. Are you a person who takes shortcuts?
Yes, if the outcome will be the same.

6. Which line is hardest to wait in?
Probably one for the bathroom, only because when you gotta go, you gotta go!

7. Did you wait to discover the gender of your unborn child until its birth?
Yes, did not want to know ahead of time. I wanted a little girl so bad; I did not want to be disappointed if it was a boy. So by the time I delivered, I had convinced myself I was having a boy. lol But she was a girl! Personally, I think the Lord knew I could not handle a little rowdy boy…lol.

8. Are you more patient with children or the elderly?
Probably with children, I just think back to when I had to take care of my mom. I was not always patient with her and I regret that now; however, she sure did know how to push my buttons.

9. Did you ever sneak a peek at a present?
I can't ever remember actually peeking at presents. I was always told if you peeked it would be sent back. Wait I do remember one time… I was about 3 or 4 and my brother Tom was around 12 or 13. He talked me into sneaking in and looking under the Christmas tree before mom and dad got up. It was still dark outside. And oh my gosh, he had a go-cart and I had a kitchen set, and a walking doll. And I started crying cause I just knew they were all going to be sent back. And I told him it was his fault. He talked me into it. He told me if I wouldn’t tell he would give me rides on the go-cart anytime I wanted. lol Mom always commented how nice he was being, giving his little sister rides all the time.

10. What is the longest you've ever waited for anything?
To hold my grandbaby Eden. She was 3 weeks old before any of us were able to hold her. She was taken to Children’s, 2 hours away, by helicopter when she was 4 or 5 hours old. It was a scary time.

11. Who has more patience, you or your significant other?
Definitely me, He has no patience. He has improved quite a bit in the last few years though, I have to give him credit.

12. Which of the following songs about waiting is your pick for the best? (OK, you may substitute another, if you like.)
Sorry I always have to be different. So I picked "In The Waiting" by FFH - You can listen to it here...

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Well there is my exciting answers, now head on over to Lid's and join in the fun!

Until next time...nel

Monday, January 25, 2010

Homeward Bound...

Two weeks ago Kathleen at Sassy Granny introduced us to Kristene Mueller. She is a very talented young artist on the West Coast. I was so impressed I did some research and ordered her CD through her church. I must say it is an awesome CD. Every song spoke to my heart.
I would love to share Homeward Bound with you. Please take time to listen to the song and see if it speaks to you as it did me.

Homeward Bound

I will run, I will run this race
And I will do it all for love
Your love compels me forward
Your love controls my heart
And I just can’t, I can not get away.

So I will fight, this good fight of faith.
And I will do it all for love
You are my great reward
You’re so worth fighting for
And I can’t wait to see your face.

So I will run, I will run this race
And I will do it all for love
Your love compels me forward
Your love controls my heart
And I just can’t, I can not get away.

So I will fight, this good fight of faith.
And I will do it all for love
You are my great reward
You’re so worth fighting for
And I can’t wait to see your face.
I can’t wait to see your face.
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Words and music by Kristene Mueller

It is just a simple song, but it says so much. The Webster’s definition of Hallelujah is: Praise ye the Lord! – a shout of joy, praise or gratitude.

At times we do get so disheartened, and so tired of facing our trials and tribulations, but they are nothing compared to what He faced! Through faith in Jesus Christ, we have Heaven to look forward to. HALLELUJAH! And wow, to see His face!

“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.” 1Timothy 6:12

Thursday, January 21, 2010

At Your Request...

On Wednesday I participated in Lid's Random Dozen and one of the questions was: What is the best dish that you cook or bake (your piece de resistance?).
One of my most requested dishes is Pepper Steak. When my daughter was still at home, we usually always had extras if they knew I was making my Pepper Steak. I love it, because it is such an easy recipe and it tastes soooo good. I received several requests for the recipe, so I decided to just share it with everyone.


2 - 3 lbs. of steak or roast (cheap cuts of meat work fine)
1 medium onion
1 bell pepper
1 bottle steak sauce
(cheap brand tastes best e.g. Best Choice)
Cavendar's Seasoning (you can uses salt and pepper)

Slice meat into thin strips. I usually beat with a meat tenderizer. Place meat in crock pot or in a pot on the top of stove on medium heat. Sprinkle lightly with Seasoning. Slice onion into thin slices and separate. Take seeds out of bell pepper and slice in thin strips. Place onion and pepper slices in Pot. Sprinkle again with Cavendars. Pour full bottle of Sauce over mixture. Put about 1 inch of water in bottle, put lid on and shake. Then pour that in pot. If cooking on stove, stir occasionally. If cooking in crock pot cook on low all day. This recipe doubles easily.
This is really good served with mashed potatoes or on rice. We have also ate it on Kaiser rolls.

Hope you enjoy...

Until next time... nel

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith," Galatians 5:22

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Random Dozen...

If you have never joined the Random Dozen, just hop over to Linda's blog and link up. The ladies are wonderful and it is a lot of fun!

1. If you could physically lock in one age for yourself, which would you choose and why?
Wow… this is a hard one. Probably 40. At 40 I felt like I could go non-stop. I could pull an all-nighter with the Youth Group and it didn’t take a week to recover. I could sit down in the floor and get up in one graceful move. hmmmm memories…lol

2. What is the best dish that you cook or bake (your piece de resistance?)
Probably Pepper Steak. Everyone loves my pepper steak. And my yeast rolls...

3. When you feel blue, what is one strategy you use to help yourself get back to normal?
I usually read my bible, but sometimes writing in my journal helps, while listening to music, or if the weather is nice, a walk with camera in hand looking for photo possibilities.

4. When was the last time you danced in public?
In public years and years ago, before my previous marriage. Now, my honey and I sometimes will dance a slow song in the front room, but never in public.

5. Do you consider yourself a realist or dreamer?
Pretty much a dreamer, but with real visions…lol.

6. As a parent, what is one thing that you have done well?
Her faith! When she was about 4 years old we were riding over to her Grannie’s and there was a beautiful sunset, and out of the blue she said, “Momma look how pretty, how can anyone not believe in God?” And I knew at that moment, no matter how hard it was (her dad did not go to church with us at that time) it was all worth the effort. I was definitely doing something right!

7. Which is your favorite character on the Andy Griffith show?
Aunt Bea, who wouldn’t want an Aunt Bea?

8. On a scale of 1-10, how much do you know about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.?
Probably around 6, I was always impressed by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I read quite a bit about him.

9. What is your #1 driving pet peeve?
People having no patience, and honking as soon as the light changes colors.

10. Which color best represents your mood today? Care to elaborate?
I think probably a mix between blue and green. Not feeling real well, and have been a little down lately.

11. If your spouse were an animal, which would he/she be?
A teddy bear. He is soft and cuddly.

12. What activity takes up the bulk of your time on an average day?
Just whatever strikes me that day, I have several projects going. We married three years ago, and since then I have not worked. For the first time in my life I am just enjoying life, taking a day at a time and enjoying each day to the fullest.

Well there is my exciting answers, now head on over to Lid's and join in the fun!
Until next time...nel

Sunday, January 17, 2010

It Is So Simple...

A tradition of the church we attended when my daughter was growing up was a Christmas Play on Christmas Eve. This year was no different. My grandkids were Mary and Joseph, and yes, I did include a few pictures.

I remember when I was Youth Leader it was a big production, we would work on the sets and practice for weeks. A lot of good memories were made and friendships grew during those years. It was a good time in the Lord.

While watching this year I was reminded you do not need a big production or elaborate backdrops to get the message across. It is so simple. Jesus was born to Mary, a virgin, in Bethlehem. It was not in a palace fit for a king, it was in a stable, a manger for his crib. He was not clothed in elaborate clothing or adorned with jewels, He was wrapped in swaddling clothes. He was born to become the King of Kings, Jesus our Savior! And many years later, He died on a cross to save us from our sins, so we might live eternally in Heaven.

It is so simple… but we tend to make it so hard.

Until next time... nel

“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21

Friday, January 15, 2010

Lets Play Dress Up...

As many of you know for Christmas I made my granddaughter a trunk full of dress up clothes with all kinds of accessories. It was quite a task but one well worth it when she tried them on, and I watched the different faces. We had so much fun. Laughter is good for the soul. And the best thing about it, I can continually add to this for several years as she grows. All little girls love dress up. Hope you enjoy the pictures. She is such a mess!

You can’t get much better than this…

Until next time… nel

“Children’s children are the crown of old men;” Proverbs 17:6a

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Random Dozen...

1. When was the last time you craved a food--what was it, and did you cave?
Wow…I had a craving for donuts the other day, and unfortunately we were at the store. And I should have went with my first instinct, they did not have any back at the bakery… A definite reminder I really did not need them. But as much as I hate to admit it I had to look at the Krispy Kremes at the front of the store. And yes, I caved… they were a mixed assortment, and ohhhh they were sooo good!

2. M & M's or Skittles?
Definitely M&M’s, prefer almond or peanut but plain will do in a pinch

3. Have you ever read the Bible completely through?
I have started several times, but sadly have never succeeded. I have started again; I found a schedule that is a little different than others I have seen. This is one of my goals this year.

4. How long does it take you to really wake up in the morning?
I used to could jump out of bed and I was awake, but now it takes me 30 minutes to an hour.

5. Have you ever been on a cruise? If not, would you like to?
I have not, but would love to take an Alaskan cruise. Talk about photo possibilities.

6. Who is your favorite actress?
Julia Roberts - I have almost all of her movies.

7. ______ is something that I will just never understand.
Parents screaming at their kids at a store. I could give my daughter the look and she knew she better change her attitude.

8. How much of a technology junkie are you?
I am pretty much of a junkie, can usually figure it out if I want to.

9. Do you enjoy selecting greeting cards for people, or is it more of a cultural "have to" for you?
I love greeting cards, only I make my own.

10. When was the last time you got a new style/haircut?
Sometimes I get it cut a little shorter – do you consider that new?

11. What do you enjoy shopping for most?
I enjoy shopping for craft projects or sewing projects.

12. What's the last thing you think of before you leave the house?
Did you get the phone?

That was fun. If you want to join us just click the button at the beginning then link up.

Until next time... nel

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Village...

Ok I got to get out of my slump and start blogging again. I guess life is just passing me by so fast… there is so much I want to do and so much I want to say, so much I want to leave for my grandkids.

While in Arkansas Eden and I were looking at my village, and she was picking out which house she wanted to live in. I asked her why she would want to live in this village and she replied, “Because it’s a neat little town, everyone likes everyone, they are nice to each other.” It made me think about what our kids are faced with today. Here she is three years old and she already knows not everyone likes each other.

What do you say to that, I proceeded to tell her granted not everyone likes each other but there is One who loves all of us, each and everyone of us. I asked her if she knew who that was and she said, Of course, Jesus! He loves everyone! And she proceeded to sing “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so…” Out of the mouths of babes!

I pray that she will always remember that Jesus loves her… and so does her granny!

“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” John 13:34

Prayer Request: Please remember a friend of mine (we lived in the same town) in prayer. Her son took his own life. They found him Friday. I can remember him in Bible School when he was young… Please remember their family!

till next time… nel