Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Thankful Thursday~Looking Back

Happy Thankful Thursday and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Welcome to 2009...a fresh new start, 2008 is behind us now and we have 365 days of wonderful promises and possibilities!

Iris at Grace Alone host Thankful Thursday and the topic for today is...looking back at 2008.

I plan on doing several posts this week or next on my reflections from 2008 and my life changing goals for 2009...but, for today...I am so thankful for a blessed 2008.

We had been on a long run of...well, years of...about a row...of attacks from the enemy. We had been beaten up and beaten down. We would come up for only a second...just enough time to gasp for air before being pushed back under. The waves just kept crashing in on top of us. We managed to stay afloat...we didn't drown and that was only by the grace of Jesus Christ.

Then on December 13th, 2007...God allowed us to turn the corner. (will reflect with more specifics in later post)

I was crying out to God on the morning of the 13th of December, 2007 in pain, disappointment, depression, discouragement and hopelessness. I asked God to please speak to me through His word that day. He lead me to Isaiah 61 and promised me that day that 2008 would be The Year of the Lord's Favor for our household. I called Pastor Rusty and his wife, Dorinda (our dear friends) to make sure that I wasn't imagining this.

When I talked to Dorinda, she told me that she went to bed praying for us the night before and God impressed on her to tell me to got it...Isaiah 61. That was the confirmation that I needed. I still can't write this without crying...tears of joy that my God loves me...Jennifer W. that much.

God has honored that promise and we have had the best year of our lives, not necessarily in financial abundance but in all that we were praying for.

  • The things that we had been praying for God to intercede in...He has.

  • The things that we needed closure on...He closed.

  • Where we needed His provision...He provided.

  • We needed our joy restored...He restored our joy to His fullest.

  • And so much more.
God is ALWAYS faithful!

He has stretched me, bent me, molded me but He never allowed me to be broken...not in spirit but my rebellious ways have been broken.

There is only one thing left for God to work out and that is my son to come back to the Father and live a life pleasing to God. It is coming because I can see the work that God is doing and we had the best Christmas ever with Brandon this year. PTL!

We had to go through the Refining Fire to be what God wanted us to be in 2008. His Refining Fire is not pleasant but it is necessary to remove all the ugliness that was not pleasing to Him.

I am so thankful today for His faithfulness, His provision and His promises for today, each day of 2008 and for the coming year of 2009.

Visit Iris at Grace Alone for more Thankful Thursdays! Happy New Year!

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Happy New Year!


Wishing each of you a very Happy New Year... filled with God's blessings...blessed to overflowing...may your cup runneth over! May you have health, happiness and prosperity. May you hold each other close, bless others like you have blessed me and continue to spread God's love to everyone you the bloggy world and in your everyday life.

I have loved every moment of getting to know you and look forward to another year together.

I love you guys! You have made blogging fun and easy because you are so guys inspire me, lift me up and make me look forward to writing my next post...but, more than that...I look forward to your next post.

I will see each of you.....NEXT YEAR!

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

~Simply Amazing~

I love this video! I totally amazes me...mind boggling as to how it is done (I'm not that smart)


Have a wonderfully blessed day!

God Is So Good!

Good Morning!

I want to give you an update on my mom this morning. She just called me and told me that she is scheduled to be released from rehab Friday, January 2nd. It was originally set for Monday, January 5th but because she is so determined and God is so good...she has made great progress just since yesterday! Praise The Lord!

She told me again how thankful she is that so many people have been praying for her and her recovery. God has heard our prayers and is answering them.

She is an inspiration to me and so many others . I pray that I can be a fraction of the wife, mother and godly woman that she is. Plus, I pray that I am as active, faithful, positive, determined and still witnessing to everyone I come in contact with at 82 years old. She will celebrate her 83rd birthday on January 29th. She is truly an amazing woman.

I love you, Mom!

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Monday, December 29, 2008

System Overload!

Having to get up this morning for work was like my system getting an electrical shock! Ouch....ewwwwww....I don't want to get up....I don't want to work....I just don't want to....I want to pull the covers over my head and stay in bed!

I love getting time off from work, but boy, does it make it hard to go back to work...even if it is only for a few days. We were off the entire week of Christmas. Plus, I was off half of the week before with my mom who broke her hip when she fell out the back door on the ice.

Needless to say...I am lagging this jet lag but holiday vacation lag.

I don't know about you but I have been running in circles now for a long time. There are days that I feel like I am running in place...not gaining any ground but not losing any either. Then there are other days when I feel like I get further behind that when I started that morning. There are a few days that seem like I get a lot of things accomplished...I love those days!

Have you ever been there?

Are you there now?

Do you get bogged down with life's responsibilities?

Do you feel overwhelmed at times or all the time?

Do you feel like you have things, people and obligations pulling at you from all sides?

Do you feel like there is not enough time in a single day?

Well, I do! I wish, I were the type of person who could function on a couple of hours sleep every night and then, I might make a dent in my obligations.

I have had people tell me to let some things go, just say "no" or don't worry about what doesn't get done. The things that are pulling at me right now are things that I can't say "no" to, can't ignore, walk away from or better yet...don't worry about them.

As a wife, you have certain obligations that you must is not an option. As a mother, there are more obligations that you must take care of is not an option. As the "housekeeper, laundry person, grocery shopper, bill payer and check book balancer"...there are many obligations that you CAN'T is not an option. Well, it isn't if you want clean clothes to wear, food to eat, not live in filth, want to keep your lights on, the phones working and the debt collector from knocking at your door. As a daughter, there are different obligations that you have to handle from time to time...not all of the time. This might be an option but you feel guilty if you don't take care of the things that are screaming for your attention. As an employee, you have "major" obligations that you have to is not an option...if you want your paycheck.

This is where I am right now...stuck in the middle of "things" that are pulling this way and that! Nearly all of them...are not an option. This has nothing to do with commitments or volunteering outside the home...this is all at home obligations.

I am struggling to find a balance in my life. I love my life and my family but I desparetely need balance.

I love the holidays and some of the hustle and bustle but not like this year. Wheeee, it has been completely hectic to say the least. I never got to just sit down and enjoy my Christmas tree, decorations or relax. As much as I love the holidays, I am glad when they are over and we get back into our normal routine...structure, schedules.

Yes, I do pray about it daily and give it over the Lord to help with the stress...but, that doesn't change the amount of obligations that need to be handled in a single day or week.

I have a dear bloggy friend that is helping me find balance and set up a schedule to "work" by...hoping and praying...this will help me find the balance that I need, reduce the feeling of overwhelming stress, guilt and bring peace, calm and a sense of accomplishment to my life.

I was seeking God this morning through His Word for answers to these feelings. I went back to the same scriptures that I know by heart and have spoken to me before. They are:

1 Peter 5:7, 8
Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully. (8)
Have a wonderfully blessed day! Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [ in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour. (Amplified)

Philippians 4:6,7
Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition ( definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. (7) And God's peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (Amplified)

There are many more scriptures that relate to the way that I am feeling and desiring for balance in my life.

If you have any words of wisdom, suggestions, expertise on the subject or scriptures...I would love to hear from you. Please don't tell me to "don't worry about it, let some things go or just say "no" to certain things...I've been told that millions of times and it doesn't work for me :-)

Have a wonderfully, blessed day!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

~Christmas Joy and Christmas Sadness~

We had a wonderful Christmas Day! Tyler was so excited and couldn't sleep last night...he's been up since 3 AM and we held him off until 6 AM. We had a great morning with just me, Roger, Brandon and Tyler...very relaxing.

About 9:30 AM, Sommer, Jim, Ryan and Mason arrived for Christmas at Chief and Granny's house. Oh, what fun! It is so exciting to have a little one again at Christmas see the joy and excitement in their little eyes. Priceless!

As I have told you previously, this was my first Christmas dinner ever to cook. My mom has always cooked Christmas and Thanksgiving. Well, I was excited and nervous...could I pull it off?

The menu for Christmas Lunch:
Smoked Turkey
Baked Ham
Cornbread Dressing
Hash brown Casserole
Glazed Carrots
Lima Beans
English Peas
Dinner Rolls
Sweet Tea
Dessert: Pecan Pie

Roger has been up since 3 AM also, smoking the turkey and ribs. Jim, our son-in-law, loves Roger's baby back ribs. So...anytime, he is coming over...Roger smokes a couple of slabs of ribs. Mason loves Chief's ribs, too...even though, his mom is a vegetarian.

The girls didn't stay for lunch because Sommer and Jim have to eat with his parents and then the girls are off to their mom's for dinner. So, it was just us family gave me/us an....A+.


We were stuffed and exhausted after, we took a nap before going to see my mom. We went to the hospital to see her in rehab and spend the evening with her and my sister. Tyler told us all tonight that I needed to make it completely clear...Nanny is in physical rehab...not...drug or alcohol! We busted out laughing!

Watch the slideshow below for a view of what Christmas is like at our house. Hoping you all had a wonderful of a Christmas day as we did.

On the sad note: My Uncle Richard passed away at 6:20 AM this morning. A sad time for his precious family that he left behind but....oh, what a Christmas celebration he had in the presence of our Lord and Savior.

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Thankful Thursday~Christmas Memories

Welcome to Thankful Thursday, Christmas Day 2008!

Iris, who host Thankful Thursday at Grace Alone has ask us to share one of our favorite childhood memories of Christmas.

My favorite childhood Christmas of all times when I was probably 5 years old. I had gone to our local Fred's Dollar Store for something and upon leaving the store...I saw this huge, lime green teddy bear in the window. I told my mom that night that I wanted it. She told me that it was too close to Christmas and she couldn't buy anything right now. She suggested that I write Santa Clause a letter. I hadn't written to him before, but I wanted that bear so bad...I did this year, with help from my mom.

I remember giving the letter to my dad and asking him to please mail it for me. He assured me that he would.

On our next trip to Fred's, I noticed that the bear wasn't in the window anymore. I searched the entire store for that bear. I asked Mrs. Howell, lady we knew who worked there, where did the bear go. She told me that they had already sold that bear to someone a few days before.

I was so sad because I really wanted that bear.

Christmas Eve came and I was so excited, but yet, nervous because I didn't know if I would get my bear or not. Christmas Eve night...I couldn't go to sleep for anything.

I know now that it was my daddy who was outside my window ringing jingle bells...but, I jumped in bed, covered my head and went fast to sleep.

When I woke up on Christmas morning...there was my big green teddy bear. I was so happy and I "knew" that Santa Clause was really real because the teddy bear was sold to another who else, could have possibly brought my wonderful bear to me. (I know now but I was so excited) :-)

This is my favorite Christmas memory.

For more Christmas memories...visit Grace Alone.


Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Merry Christmas, Friends!

I wanted to share my new ornament with you. Some might not like it but I thought it summed up my beliefs.

Jesus is the reason for the season...with Santa kneeling to Baby Jesus.

I wish that I had the time to drop by each one of your blogs to personally wish you a very Merry Christmas...but, it is not possible these

To Each of You...Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

I have enjoyed getting you know each one of you throughout this year and I value your friendship dearly. I have developed some very dear friends in this wonderful bloggy world. I have felt each one of your prayers over the past few weeks and I appreciate them greatly. I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I love you guys!

My boys...made today. Brandon, 22 years old and Tyler, 14 years old plus my precious little girl, Biscuit, 5 years old.

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Updates On My Mom, Ashlyn and Uncle Richard

I wanted to let everyone know that my mom was released from the hospital today and transported to a rehab facility in Southaven, MS. We are trilled with her progress and her attitude. She is letting the love of Jesus shine to every nurse, physical therapist, doctor, aide and visitors.

Several people have asked her how she had her accident. Her reply is " Christians don't have accidents because God allows every thing to happen for a reason and there is a reason for this as well". She told me today that she feels like God allowed this to happen, in order, for her to find out about her rapid heart rate that needed treating. I told her that I believe another reason that it happened is for restoration in my life. I feel like I have my sister back at last. I have been praying for this day for nearly two years. God has a purpose for every thing...big or small, joyful or painful that happens in our lives...we just need to look for the reason.

Ashlyn is doing very well and is quickly returning to her "old" self. I talked to Melanie in Sunday School about her progress. She said that things are returning to normal and she is starting to act like a teenager who wants to talk on the phone and text her friends. She had not wanted to do any of that until last Wednesday. God hear our prayers for healing and a speedy recovery...I believe, He is answering those prayers.

My uncle is at home with Hospice since Friday. He is sleeping more and talking less. He has laryingitis and it is difficult to hear what he is saying. My cousin posted an update today on about his weekend. In that post, she said that she woke up the other night to hear her mom (Aunt Dottie) talking...she thought that she was on the phone but, she wasn't...she was talking to her husband (Uncle Richard) for about an hour. She was able to hear and understand what he was saying and it appeared that he could hear and understand her. They said that his hearing has gotten really bad. This is such a blessing with what they will be going through in the days and weeks ahead.

Please continue to pray for my mom, Ashlyn and my Uncle Richard and his there are still needs that need to be taken to the Lord on their behalf.

Thank you so much, friends for your prayers.

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Technical Difficulties

Sorry but I am having issues with getting the video to play now. I will work on it again tonight but for now...have to finish shopping, go see my mom and take my grandson home.


Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

~Then Sings My Soul Saturday~Angels We Have Heard On High

Today, I need to hear those angels on high. I am so tired and overwhelmed right now with mom in the hospital, my children coming for Christmas, never cooked Christmas dinner before (don't know where to start), presents not wrapped, baking still not done, shopping not finished and throw work in the mix too. It hit me yesterday that Christmas was less than 6 days away...somewhere along this way this crazy week...I thought I had another week to go.
I feel guilty when I'm home because I need to be with my mom and when I'm at the hospital, I feel guilty because I'm not at home with Tyler, who is out of school on Christmas break. He's been left at home alone all week.
It all hit me yesterday, the stress, totally overwhelmed and all the emotions. I can't type this without the tears streaming down my face.
Father...I need to hear from you today and hear the Angels From On Angels We Have Heard On High, as I bask in your presence.

Everything happens for a reason...I believe that. The good that has come out of far is...I feel the restoration of a relationship that has been ruined, strained and almost...well, 99.9% non-existent for 2 years now. I am so thankful for God's promises and His faithfulness in our lives.
Ok...I know most of this has nothing to do with TSMSS or Angels We Have Heard On High...just needed to "talk" to someone this morning.

For more wonderful, here.

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Update on My Mom

I wanted to post a quick update this morning before heading back out to the hospital to see my mom.

We went over to see Mom last night, I stayed later and rode home with my brother, Jeff. He brought me home but sat in my driveway talking for another hour after than...we didn't leave the hospital until after midnight.

While we were sitting in the truck, my other sister called to tell us that they were moving Mom from the orthopedic floor to the cardiac floor due to erratic heart rate. They said it was beating too fast and wanted to monitor her closer than what they could on that floor.

I talked to my other sister, who was staying with Mom last night, this morning. She said that the doctor told them that he wasn't sure what was causing the fast heart rate but he didn't think it was a heart attack because her heart enzymes were normal. However, they wanted to keep her on the cardiac floor for closer monitoring. Her heart rate got up to 135 right after the move to the other floor, then down to 115.

We aren't sure what all of this is about and they might not try to get her up in the chair today because of it.

Please pray this subsides and they can get back to the physical therapy. As it is...this will prolong her rehab and when she will be able to get up and around again.

Everything happens for a reason...we don't understand what it is but we are trusting in the Lord for the answer.

Thank you again for all your prayers. Again, I'm sorry that I haven't been able to visit each of your blogs, follow your lives and post comments. I will again soon.

Take care and have a blessed weekend.

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Morning Update~Truly Thankful and Blessed Today!

I wanted to give you a brief update this morning on my mom. I didn't stay last night with her because one of my sisters did. She called me around 10:30 AM to give me this update.

If I haven't told you lately...God is sooooo good and thank you for your prayers :-)

My mom slept nearly all night, waking up only to sip some liquids and go back to sleep. She had pain meds at 9 PM and no more until this morning.

The physical terrorist, as my brother calls them, came in this morning to start her therapy. She was up on a walker and took a couple of steps with weight on her left foot. She also sat up in the chair for nearly an hour. All less than 24 hours after surgery. PTL!!!

I will keep you posted when I run home because my laptop doesn't get a signal in the hospital room. I can post comments from my cell phone but can't get it to work to write a new post or follow your blogs.

I am home cleaning and wrapping like a crazy person today before going back tonight.

Love you guys and thank you again for your prayers!!!

This is a mini...Thankful here to see the actual Thankful Thursday post.

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

~Thankful Thursday~Update On My Mom

First of all, thank you so much for your prayer for my mom, her surgery today and her recovery. We have felt each of your prayers with so much peace and comfort over the past two days.

Her name is Mary W. for those who like to have a name to call out before the Lord.

So many things have been going on in my heart and through my mind over the past two days since I received the phone call from my mom at 1 PM yesterday.

She was finally put into a room at 11 PM last night after spending 7 hours in the ER. Mom was in great spirits and was "clowning" around with the doctors and nurses. As long as she wasn't moving...she was not in pain, only mild discomfort.

She told us last night laying in the ER that God had been so good to her because at 82 years, she has only had 2 previous surgeries...a broken hip 23 years ago and a replacement of that previous surgery 9 years ago. She takes one prescription and that is Fosamax (for bones) once a week. That is amazing!

My oldest son was so upset by what had happened to his Nanny...he told her that this wasn't supposed to happen to her. Her reply was "why not me?" because everything happens for a reason.

A friend of hers told her this morning before surgery that she was so sad that my mom was in the hospital, broke her hip and needed surgery. My mom told her "don't be sad, I am right where God wants me to be and He knew yesterday morning where I would be last night." Wow...what peace and inspiration!

We did not get much sleep last night, only about 3-4 hours before the orthopedic doctors came in at 7 AM to talk to us. This is the first time that we had spoken with them since she arrived at the hospital. They told us that their schedule was full for today, so they were planning on doing it tomorrow.

However, around 10 AM, the nurse came back in to tell us that they were going to do it today...sometime in the afternoon but no specific time. I tried numerous times to get in the shower before visitors started arriving but kept being delayed by the phone and text messages. Finally, I had stuck one foot in the shower when I here the nurse come back in and say "we are going now!". I jumped back out of the shower, dressed and off we went.

They took her into surgery around 12:15 PM and she was back in the room around 3:45 PM. It broke my heart to see and hear how much pain she was in. We managed to get her some more pain medicine and she went to sleep. It was good sleep cause she was SNORING!

She woke up briefly when her pastor came by to see her and she tried to eat a cracker. It began to make her sick at her stomach. We got them to give her some medicine for nausea, which put her to sleep again. My sister spent the night with her tonight and she was sleeping soundly again when I left her.

As I lay there on the couch last night/wee hours of the morning...I was praying and thanking God for His hand of protection in her accident today (now, yesterday). As painful and upsetting as her accident could have been so much worse. These are the things that came to mind that I began to thank God for:

  • When she fell, she landed on her left hip...not her right one that had been replaced twice. If she had broken the right one, she would have probably been wheelchair bound because there won't have been enough bone left to repair.

  • God gently guided her down in her fall to the concrete that left her with a single break of the thigh bone. Yes, she had some bone loss and they had to do extra work to repair it, but it wasn't crushed and they didn't replace the bone, socket or ball with artificial parts.

  • The security door didn't close all the way behind her when she fell. She was home alone. If the door had clatched...she would have laid outside in the freezing cold and either froze to death or laid there until after 6 PM when my sister got home from work. PTL!

  • She was able to sit up on her bottom, use her arms to lift her body and scoot backwards up the steps, over the door threshold and into the kitchen.

  • She was able to pull herself up on the table to see where the cordless phone was laying and call my sister first and then me for help. I'm thankful that the phone wasn't on the kitchen counter or elsewhere when she needed it the most.

  • I was able to get a hold of my brother, who called a friend of our family that works in town, he is an EMT to get to her before any of us could arrive there.

  • The roads had thawed out enough to get her to Memphis to the Baptist East Hospital instead of stopping at the smaller..."local" hospital where she had a bad experience with her first hip fracture in 1985 and refused to go there again.

God's hand was in this every step of the way and we are so thankful for that. Everything happens for a reason and there is a purpose for this too! Again, thank you for your prayers....I wish that I had the time to drop by each of your blogs and personally thank you but I've exhausted. I love each of my "everyday" friends and my precious bloggy friends.

Please continue to pray for a full recovery as my mother is a very, very active 82 year old...mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. God bless you!

P.S. Say a short one for me too...I'm not finished with my Christmas shopping, wrapping or baking...yikes...time is running out fast!

For more Thankful Thursdays...visit Iris at Grace Alone.

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Prayer Request~Mother

Please pray for my mother. She called me today around 1 PM and said that she fell out the back door on the ice. She said she thought that she had broken her left hip.

She has already had a hip replacement x 2 on her right hip years ago. I am thankful that it wasn't the right hip.

I have just run home from the hospital to get my clothes and head back to spend the night with her. It is definitely broken...just below the ball. We are waiting for them to get in touch with her doctor to know when they will do surgery. I am guessing tomorrow.

She is 82 years old and very, very active. She still does her own yard work, rakes leaves and picks up gallons and gallons of pecans. She still drives where ever she wants to go...long distances too.

Please pray that she will make a full recovery.

The wonderful thing is that she is not in any pain...unless, they are moving her around.

She said tonight that God had been so good to her for so many years and this happened for a reason...she didn't know what it was but there was a reason and purpose.

Thank you in advance for your prayers.

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Heavy Hearts Again For Our Family~Prayer Request

Please lift my Uncle Richard's family and our entire family up in your prayers. He is my daddy's brother (looks just like him) and he is 88 years old...they will be taking him home from the hospital within the week or so on Hospice to go to be with his Heavenly Father.

It is so hard to believe this is happening because I just saw him, talked to him and he looked great at my cousin's funeral in October. He has been on dialysis for several years, survived being hit by a tornado...see story here and now, he is going to die within a couple of weeks. That is, without a miracle from God.

He has been on dialysis for several years and that was where he was coming from the day that his truck (with him in it) was hit by the tornado, was thrown into a muddy field and he survived. Granted, he was in bad shape and several times, he was expected to make it through the night, but by the grace of God...he did.

The past couple of months, he has been having problems with the "port, line or whatever it is called" where they give him his dialysis treatment through. It has been developing blood clots at the site, they would move it to another location and it would happen again. The problem is now that there is no where else to move it to. He developed an infection at the last permanent site...the staph has gotten into his bloodstream and spread throughout his body. He is not responding to the antibiotics either. I haven't talked to my cousins but this is the information that was given to me. I hope the specifics listed here are accurate or close to it, I do know the overall plan is correct.

They put the dialysis line in a temporary site that could only stay there a couple of weeks, it has been there a week already. There is not another place to move it to now.

The doctors have told them that there isn't anything else that they can do for him. They are waiting on the Hospice to get set up, medication and anything else needed for him to go home. He will probably have dialysis for up to another week and more.

The doctors have told the family that it would be a very peace death for him. He would sleep more and more, then one day, he will go to sleep and not wake up. Uncle Richard's wishes are to die at home and his family are going to honor those wishes. He will be surrounded by his family...his wife, children, grandchildren and probably his great-grandchildren during his last days.

Please pray for him and for his family during this difficult time. It could be a couple of weeks before he succumbs to death.

Update 12/18/08 - Uncle Richard's daughter has set up a CaringBridge page for him. Visit his page and leave words of encouragement if you would like...type in Richardwood in the website box on their site. The site address is

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Update on Ashlyn

She is being released from the hospital as I am typing this post.

Please continue to pray for her and her family during her recovery from meningitis. It can be a long recovery. As I understand it, she is still having headaches and her appetite is still not back to normal. She will need her strong appetite to help her in her recovery process.

God is so good. He is still in the healing business and answering our prayers! Thank you again for your prayers for Ashlyn.

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Holiday Baking, FINALLY!!!

Finally, I am baking for the holidays...making some of our favorite goodies. I am re-posting the link at the bottom of this one for a great list of holiday recipes that I posted before Thanksgiving and since the Christmas holidays are upon us now.

Today, I am making a huge batch of party mix-our style. We like more of some things and less of is our recipe

7 cups of Crispex - we don't like all the wheat, corn and rice ones
2 cups of mixed nuts - or whatever you like
4 cups of pecans - I know they are expensive but my mom has pecan trees & she gives them to me
1/2 bag of pretzels - I love finding the holiday shaped ones - found at Sam's this year

1 1/2 sticks of butter
5 Tbsp. of Worchestershire sauce
1 1/2 tsp. of seasoned salt
1/2 tsp. of garlic salt

Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl (makes a lot), melt your butter and add all remaining seasoning ingredients in and stir. Pour this mixture over your dry ingredients and blend thoroughly. I have 2 large plastic bowls...I put all the ingredients in one, set the other one on top, "duck" tape the bowls together and "toss" or flip...over and over.

This lets the liquid seasoning thoroughly coats your dry ingredients.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour...turning every 15 minutes. Pour out onto paper towels to cool.

Brandon's favorite is Cream Cheese Ball.

3 - 8 oz. boxes - Philadelphia cream cheese
1 1/2 bunches - green onions
2 jars - Armor dried beef
1 Tbsp. - Worchestershire sauce
1 tsp. - Accent

In a large bowl, put all 3 boxes of cream cheese, Worcestershire sauce, Accent and chopped green onions. Chop 1 jar of dried beef in a food processor and put into bowl with other ingredients. Blend together well and shape into a ball. Chop 2nd jar of dried beef keeping it separate.
Lay your "ball" on wax paper, cover the ball with 2nd jar of dried can roll the ball in the beef chips or pat it onto the ball. I flatten the top and bottom on my cheese ball but you can make it into any shape you want.

It is ready to eat or you can refrigerate it first. Serve with Ritz crackers and it is wonderful.

Tyler's favorite is the party mix and almond bark pretzels.

I buy the pretzel rods, white (vanilla flavored) almond bark and sprinkles. I melt the almond bark in the double boiler, dip the pretzel rods, lay out of wax paper and cover them with sprinkles. Let them cool and you have the best of both...salty and sweet.

Now, I have to make Roger a pecan of his favorites.

For lots of chocolate goodies and here for Holiday Recipes.

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Praise The Lord! ~ Update on Ashlyn

Good Morning!

We, as a family, as friends and as a church family, are praising God this morning because we got a text message from Melanie during Sunday School.


It will have to run it's course. In order for her to be released from the hospital, she will have to be eating and drinking good and at this point, she isn't doing that. (Just received this information from Melanie via text).

My reply to her was "God can take care of that too...we will make this our prayer now".

God, once again, has proven His faithfulness to the cries of His people calling out and lifting up a child who was in need of urgent prayer and a touch from Him. He heard our prayers and answered them!!! Our class broke out in applause when we received this great report...Byron and Melanie belong to our class. I was appropriate was that...we prayed, God heard our prayers, He answered them and then delivered the message of the great report to us in His house on Sunday. Pretty cool, huh?

Please pray that Ashlyn's appetite will return, she will be able to eat and drink, keep it down and have a God speed recovery...shorter than expected.

Bryon and Melanie said to thank each one of you for all your prayers, as they are greatly appreciated.

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Update on Ashlyn and Praise Report #2-Saturday Night

We serve an awesome God!

The first text this evening that I received from Melanie (Ashlyn's mom) was at 6:09 PM.
It said that "Ashlyn had a good afternoon-took a bath and didn't throw up".

Then I received this one tonight from Mel at 8:35 pm and it said...
"Ash had a good afternoon. No headache for a couple of hours and no tummy ache for a while! She ate 3 crackers and drank some juice-Praise God!"

I am so excited and praising God tonight for these great reports. Keep praying for an even greater report tomorrow from her cultures.

Thank you so much for praying for Ashlyn and her family!!!

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

~Update on Ashlyn and Praise Report~

I wanted to give all of you, who have been praying for Ashlyn, an update. I texted Melanie this morning to see how Ashlyn was doing and if they had talked with the doctors yet.

She texted me back with a praise report. She said that the doctors told them this morning that at this time, there was not bacteria growth in her spinal fluid cultures. They will have to still wait until for the additional "growth" time and the final report tomorrow to definitely rule out bacterial meningitis. Praise The Lord!

She is doing better but still needs our prayers. Please continue to pray for a good report on the cultures tomorrow, healing in her body and a speedy recovery.

When you pray for Ashlyn, praise God for the good report we received today and what He is doing in her body right now as we speak.


Isaiah 53:5
But he was wounded F243 for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (KJ)

Luke 1:37
For with God nothing shall be impossible.(KJ)

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Friday, December 12, 2008

~Then Sings My Soul Saturday~Joy To The World~

Welcome to Then Sings My Soul Saturday!

The song that I selected today is "Joy To The World" sung by Mariah Carey. This was recorded live and boy, oh boy...this will get your foot to tapping and your mouth to singing praises to God because He sent His "Joy" in the form of Baby Jesus to this earth, to be born in a manager, walk among us...only to be crucified and die on a cross later for our sins

What a gift to us...what a sacrifice that Jesus made for each one of us.

Happy Birthday, Jesus! For you are the "Joy To The World"!

For more Then Sings My Soul here.

For an update on Ashlyn's here for Ashlyn.

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Update on Ashlyn

I wanted to give you a brief update on Ashlyn tonight.

At this time, I can tell you what they are trying to rule out because they don't have a definite diagnosis yet. She had a spinal tap last night and it takes 24-48 hours for the culture results to come back. They are treating her as if she has bacterial meningitis with how powered antibiotics and morphine for the pain. We are praying that if it is meningitis that it is viral not bacterial. The possible affects of bacterial can be very serious.

We went to see her tonight in the hospital and feeling as bad as she did...she is still a tough young lady. Through all the pain...she is still talking some, smiling and even laughed slightly. She looks like she feels terrible because of the severe headache and nausea. She hasn't eaten in a couple of days and what she tries to eat come right back up. Her and her mom are wore out, it has been a very long 24 hours. Dad is at home with little brother tonight. We stayed for awhile and Dorinda with her girls were there as well. We prayed over her and left them to try to get some rest.

Please continue to pray for Ashlyn and her family. Right now, we are praying for a good report from her cultures, her headache to subside, her stomach to settle and complete healing in her entire body for a full recovery.

I told her today that I posted it on my blog, emailed all my contacts, texted everyone in my cell phone and called K-Love...she thought that was so "cool" that people were praying for her across the United States. I am keeping all of the email replies and comments left on my blog so that I can print them to take back to Ashlyn and her family for additional encouragement. Please leave her "well wishes" here and I will personally deliver them to her.

Thank you for your prayers for this precious child and her dear family.

Have a wonderfully blessed day!


Please prayer for Ashlyn...the 13 year old daughter of our dear friends, Byron and Melanie.

I received a text message just now from Dorinda asking for everyone to pray for her. She is in our local children's hospital with infectious spinal fluid and it is now around her brain. She is conscious but in a lot of pain. Ashlyn has been quarantined, but parents can go in and out with extreme caution and washing hands thoroughly.

This is the only details that I have at this time and I will pass on any further ones that I receive. I don't know but this sounds very serious and this child is in desparate need of our prayers.

Please lift Ashlyn and her family (her younger brother, Haston too) up in prayer today and in the days to come. Please add her to your prayer list at your church, your blog and anyone else who is a prayer warrior. If this was my child...I would want everyone possible on their knees in prayer for her.

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Dorinda has some more info: click here

Thursday, December 11, 2008

What Story Does Your CHRISTmas Tree Tell?

I was looking at our CHRISTmas tree today and as I gazed at it...the memories began to flood my mind. A smile crept across my lips, my eyes began to twinkle as I remembered each ornament that was carefully hung on our tree. I remember each ornament that I have bought for my children, each handmade ornament our children have made, the different ornaments we bought on vacations, my crosses, stars, angels and my homemade ones. One of my favorite homemade ornaments has to be the two from Destin and Orange Beach. I brought sand and shells home from both trips...not knowing what I was going to do with them. Two years ago, I had this idea, bought the clear balls and the rest is history. They each have the beach and date written on the bottom. Our tree says....MEMORIES, MEMORIES, each one of us.

Our CHRISTmas tree tells the story of our lives...what story does your tree tell?

I'm still smiling as I write this and look at the pictures again.

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Thankful Thursday ~ God's Provision

Welcome to Thankful Thursday!

I am so thankful today for God's provision. He promises to give us all that we are in need of, not all that we want.

When you stop to think about what all we have and have been blessed can we not be thankful?

But, how many times to we grumble and complain because we don't have this (or better version of what we already have), a new/better car, a bigger house, a new sweater or shoes, a vacation, can't go out to eat when we want to...are these needs or are they wants?

I am thankful for the roof over my head, the walls that shield me from the cold, a nice, warm, comfortable bed to sleep in tonight. (if I ever get there, lol) There are millions of people sleeping on the cold concrete, a park bench, huddled in a doorway, covered by cardboard to shield them from the bitter cold winds.

Hmmmm...does it make you thankful for your home?

It might not always be what we want it to be and yes, we are human...we like nice things. There is nothing wrong with that, but there is still a difference in needs (necessities) and wants (unnecessary desires).

I am thankful that it is my choice to eat junk food today or a healthy meal. There are many people tonight that don't have that luxury. They might be eating out of a dumpster, at a soup kitchen with other homeless people...not sitting down at the table with their family, some haven't had a hot meal in a long time and others...haven't eaten a meal in several days.

Does it make you thankful that you can at least afford to buy the generic brands of canned goods. It does me!

I am thankful that I have the choice to turn my heat on tonight and sleep and secure from all the outside elements...not just the weather, but murders, thieves and all other kinds of evil that lurk in the dark of night.

We don't turn our gas heat on during the winter time because I don't want to pay expensive gas bills, plus, after a hysterectomy and hormones...I stay hot. We run electric heaters and it keeps our home as warm as we like it. But, there is our choice. We don't get cold because we don't have any other way to stay warm.

In March 2008, I was in Atlanta when Brandon had his wreck and I haven't ever "really" seen homeless people before this. Every morning when I would leave the hospital to go to the hotel to shower and get a nap before returning to the hospital...I would see the doorways to businesses (both ones that would be open for business within an hour and boarded up store fronts) crowded with homeless people sleeping, covered with cardboard boxes or raggedy old blankets. There were many that were huddled together on the downtown park benches.

What a reality check and a humbling experience!

Regardless of how I feel today about any situation like our present economy, whatever I might be personally or even the worst place that I have been in the past...I am still so blessed compared to many people in this world.

I am so thankful today for God's provision in all areas of my life.

2 Corinthians 4:8, 9
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; (9) persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. (NIV)

Psalm 23:1
The LORD is my shepherd; I have everything I need. (New Living)

Philippians 4:19
You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, his generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus. (Message)

Are you blessed today? Are you thankful for God's provision for your every need?

For more Thankful Thursdays, visit Iris at Grace Alone.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

~Merry Christmas From Our House To Yours~

Ok...this is the best that I could do...scanning our CHRISTmas cards, trying to adjust the brightness and color. Our pictures were a little dark this year because the sun was setting quickly. You wouldn't think it would be hard to get 3 people to do the same thing, at the same time and do it right...but, it is an ordeal every year getting our pictures done. Sorry, but for privacy/security via the world wide web...I had to figure out a way to cover up our last name as well. And...yes, I personally addressed over 60 cards tonight and they are going in the mail tomorrow.

Merry CHRISTmas from our house to all my bloggy friends.

Wishing you a very, very Merry Christmas and a even Happier New Year!

~To All My Friends Both Far and Near~

I sent out a text message this morning, as I have many other times in the past, to my friends with words of encouragement and appreciation for our friendship.

However, this morning, I felt the Lord nudge me saying "your friends reach beyond your contact list in your cell phone" and "think about all the friends that you have in your everyday life that you might not be in there.". The nudging went further than that...He was also saying..."don't forget all of your new bloggy friends that I have met over the past 10 months and how valuable and special they have become to you".

So, my dear friends...both far and near, in everyday life and in the bloggy's to each of you whether I have visited your blog once or dozens and whether you have been to mine today for the first time or the fiftieth...the same text that I sent out to my "daily" friends...this is for you today, my friend.

Good friendships are like beautiful they grow, they bring beauty and enjoyment into your life. I am thankful for the different varieties of fresh flowers in my daily bouquet. Each one is different and yet when they are all put together in my life...they make a complete arrangement of absolute beauty and joy. I love each and everyone of you.

Psalm 27:9 Just as lotions and fragrance give sensual delight, a sweet friendship refreshes the soul. (Message)

Psalm 17:17 Friends love through all kinds of weather, and families stick together in all kinds of trouble. (Message)

Have a wonderful blessed day, my friend.

P.S. Please vote in my poll right sidebar. I have 80 CHRISTmas cards to address and I have always handwritten each one because I use photo CHRISTmas cards and don't actually sign them. I had thought about labels and it has been suggested but...I just don't know if I can bring myself to do it or not. I need to see what others think. Thanks!!!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

~Awards Day~

I received this wonderful award from Momstheword, Bogie and Heather and being that I truly love CHRISTmas...I think it fits me quite well.

Here are the rules:
- You must be a true Christmas lover to receive this award.- The person to whom you give the award must also be in love with Christmas.- You must link back to the person who gave you the award.- You must list 5 things that you love about Christmas. If you can't limit it to 5 things, then keep going till you run out of space! :o)- Pass the award along to as many people as you like. That can be 1 or 45; it's up to you. But, you must pass it on to at least one person in order to keep the Christmas cheer going! Let your recipients know that you have tagged them by leaving them a comment on their blog.

Five things I love about Christmas:

1. I love celebrating the birth of Christ. Without the birth of Jesus Christ in a lowly manger in Bethlehem...we wouldn't have anything to celebrate because CHRIST is CHRISTmas!

2. I love buying presents for my children and seeing their faces when they open them and I really surprised them. Yes, as old as they are...I can still be sneaky :-0

3. I love spending CHRISTmas Eve with my husband and children. We read the CHRISTmas story around the tree just before bed.

4. I love CHRISTmas lights and lots of them. I love to decorate the outside of our home but I love to go look at everyone else's lights too. I might see if I can video some of them to share with you guys.

5. I love the Christmas movies that come on every year. I have a number of old ones that I watch every year but I like to see the new ones or ones that I haven't seen on Hallmark Channel or The Christmas Shoes...a real tear jerker!

6.I love baking all the CHRISTmas goodies, eating them all because I know that I will make the New Year's Resolution to lose weight in January and of course, WISHING...really hard for a white CHRISTmas.

Now I get to pass this sweet CHRISTmas spirit award on . I am passing this award on to very deserving ladies...Kim, Tricia, Denise, Lorie and Patti. Enjoy the CHRISTmas season and continue to spread GOOD CHEER!


My sweet friend, Denise, blessed me with a sweet award. Thank you so much! Now, I need to pass it on.

Here are the rules:

These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find, and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated.

Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

So, I would like to pass this on to the following: Laurie, Laurie Ann, Joanne, Michele, Momstheword, Amy, Carolyn and Tammy. Thank you ladies for always making me feel like your friend, even though, except for one...I will probably never meet this side of Heaven...oh, but what a glorious day that will be when we finally get to meet up there :-)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

~The Birthday Celebration Invitation~

My friend, Lori, sent me this and it was too good not to share with all my bloggy friends.

We serve an awesome God, who had everything planned out, every second of our lives, the things that are currently going on in this world (didn't catch Him by surprise) before He created this world and has our future planned for all eternity...if you know Him and have accepted Him as your Lord and Savior...have you?

You are cordially invited to


Guest of Honor: Jesus Christ

Date: Every day. Traditionally, December 25
but He's always around, so the date is flexible...

Time: Whenever you're ready.
(Please don't be late, though, or you'll miss out on all the fun!)

Place: In your heart.... He'll meet you there.
(You'll hear Him knock.)

Attire: Come as you are... grubbies are okay.
He'll be washing our clothes anyway. He said something about
new white robes and crowns for everyone who stays till the last.

Tickets: Admission is free. He's
already paid for everyone...

(He says you wouldn't have been
able to afford it anyway...
it cost Him everything He had. But
you do need to accept the ticket!!

Refreshments: New wine, bread, and a
far-out drink He calls "Living Water,"

followed by a supper that promises to be out of this world!

Gift Suggestions: ; Your life. He's one of those
people who already has everything else.

(He's very generous in return though.
Just wait until you see what He has for you!)

Entertainment: Joy, Peace, Truth,
Light, Life, Love, Real Happiness,

Communion with God, Forgiveness, Miracles, Healing, Power,
Eternity in Paradise, Contentment, and much more!
(All "G" rated, so bring your family and friends.)

R.S.V.P. Very Important!
He must know ahead so He can
reserve a spot for you at the table.
Also, He's keeping a list of His friends for future
reference. He calls it the "Lamb's Book of Life."

Party being given by His Kids (that's us!!)!
Hope to see you there! For those of you whom I will
see at the party, share this with someone today!

P.S. Please feel free to post this invitation on your blog...if you like.

We want this to be the biggest birthday party for spread the word!!!


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