Tuesday, January 31, 2012

focused on Glory (in recovery)

There's pretty much nothing worse than an uninvited, unwelcome guest- except when that guest brings company of their own. My "friend" bronchitis has been visiting and brought sinusitis along too. This is their first stopover this year, and they've promised to call again. I thought I had removed that welcome mat. That said, I'd been stuck inside the house for five years and I was ITCHING to get out! (So maybe it was five days instead of years, whatever- it wasn't fun.) 

Yesterday was the first day I felt well enough to walk out the front door, and true to form I did more than I should have. And I don't regret it one bit!

I needed to check on a friend's empty house and asked Mom if she wanted to take a drive with me. My friend's house sits on 12 acres, and the weather provided the perfect opportunity to walk somewhere besides to the kitchen

There are about a dozen of these birdhouses scattered around the yard area. The simplicity is charming.

On the same post as the birdhouse was an empty barb- the wire long since removed. The moss growing on the post is so pretty.

It was clear and sunny when we arrived, but then the most amazing clouds rolled in to give the sky so much interest and character.

There were daffodils sprouting all over the place, as if it wasn't still winter. Mom decided to pick some along the side fence. (This shot is zoomed in. Mama was about 70 yards from me. It's a BIG yard.)
The sweet reward.

I am so thankful God made such a glorious day for me. And I am thankful for a healing body. What a loving, beautiful God we have!

Be sure to check out Jennifer's blog HERE. She has been catching up on her posting, and it's good stuff.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

focused on Glory (relationships)

Caitie and I had plans to go out last Saturday to capture this week’s foG images. As we drove, we brainstormed ideas for the theme. We even pulled over and parked to discuss a few of the ideas. (Caitie came up with an extraordinary idea that I will be revisiting later in this project.)

Even though I wasn’t sure about what I was looking for, nothing we came up with made my eyes widen with excitement. We both had cameras, so we decided to walk around and take a few pictures of different things and locations until we hit the sweet spot. I knew that if I opened myself up to God He would release my eyes to see what He was seeing.

The sun was finishing up for the day, and the wind had decided to flex its muscles, and it got COLD. I looked at Caitie and realized that she was done. Her sweet face was so pink from the wind, but she was hanging in there for me. I told her it was time to pack up and go home. She didn’t tarry. She was belted in, had the car started, and the heater cranked up before I closed the trunk.

As I drove home I wondered when I would have another chance to go out to get shots for this week’s post. Then I heard the sweetest voice tell me that I already had the shots. I looked at my Caitie Bug, smiled, and sighed.

Thank you Lord. I knew You would show me Your glory.

Until now, Caitie thought the post was going to be about one of the other ideas we’d considered. It’s funny how we can miss something SO obvious. God's glory surely shines in this child. She is growing into a phenomenal woman of faith, and I'm beyond proud of her.

love this shot of Caitie. This is her personality in a nutshell. Smiling is her favorite, and she makes others smile too!

This place creeped Caitie out a little, but she did what I asked. I have to say that my kids are the BEST! No matter where I ask them to lean, sit, or stand they do it for me. (And yes, you WILL be seeing more of my niece and nephews in future foG posts.)

Be sure to catch Jennifer's foG post HERE.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

focused on Glory (through creation)

I am forever amazed at God's creativity. It's something I like to think I share with Him- on a much, much, MUCH  smaller scale. Sometimes I stop and wonder about His thought process when He creates something.  I am bewildered at His incomprehensible attention to detail. And nowhere is His creative design most evident than in man.

Last week I had the opportunity to spend time with old friends from out of state. I met the Thomas family in 1997 and loved them instantly. They welcomed me into their home and made me a part of their lives. I was thrilled when their oldest daughter Janie married Landon several years ago, and I jumped up and down when Janie's daughter Audrey was born last August.
One of the reasons I was so excited about Audrey’s arrival was because I know she will be raised knowing how much God loves her! Audrey’s family will make sure to teach her about her wonderful, personal God.

It was such a pleasure to meet Audrey, and to hold her, feed her, and rock her to sleep. I was also able to capture a few photos of that beautiful child. 

 I love her expressions in these photos. She is completely ignoring me and looking at her mother only. How perfect! There is so much wonder on her sweet face. 

As an added bonus, check out the video on my friend Kecia's blog HERE. The gentleman speaking is a mathematician discussing all kinds of sciency stuff along with the development of a baby. It's not too long, and it's fascinating. 

And don't forget to stop by Jef's focused on Glory post on her BLOG

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Monkey Cupcakes

Yesterday I attended a baby shower for a little boy who should arrive any day. The theme was monkeys, so I thought I would attempt monkey cupcakes. (NOTE: This is the first time I had ever tried to make a character cupcake.)

Now I'm labeling this as crafty, but you must know there are much better instructions/pictures/videos to be found. If you stopped here and are too lazy to search further, you should still be able to fashion a monkey from a little cake. One more thing- this is a quickie tutorial, but it gets the point across.

Here goes.

Chocolate cake mix works well as a monkey color. Frost with chocolate, unless you are going for a rare albino monkey look, 
but that's just weird.

(Gee whiz, this picture sure looks creepy!) Mix a little chocolate frosting with a bunch of vanilla to get the oddly tinted light brown. Pipe on some hair, because it's cute, and three circles for eyes and the mouth. The next step is to smooth the light brown circles with your spatula, but I found out that I have  ZERO spatula smoothing skills. So I wet my finger with a drop of water and patted my circles down. They didn't look that great, but whatever! They still tasted good. Did I mention I had never done this before? 

Now you add eyes and ears. I used jumbo chocolate chips (upside down) for the eyes and Junior Mints for the ears. You may have to glue the ears with a little extra frosting. (Notice the surgery to the monkey's right ear?) Oh yeah, I almost forgot. I melted some of the eyes (aka chocolate chips) to pipe on the mouths.

Five hours and 53 cupcakes later I was done. I am forever impressed with the peeps on Cupcake Wars for churning out 1,000 cupcakes in 2 hours. INSANE! If you take a closer look at the pan on the back, right side, you will see some of the monkeys are deaf because I ran out of Junior Mints.  I'm sure it wouldn't take anyone else as long as it did me, but it was fun! You should try it.

Thanks for stopping by. If you like what you've seen then give my page a "like" creative confetti (website) on Facebook, and subscribe on the right. Feel free to pin and share via the widget to the left. I'd also love to hear from you, so leave a comment or send me an email

Friday, January 13, 2012

Wise Words From a Young Heart

 What is this feeling, this pain I hold inside?

 Is it fear? Is it something I once held dear?

 Talking to the man from Galilee.

 Let Him decide whats best for me.

 Let all my sorrow, all my pain, never run again in my veins.

 Make the sting of anger leave my thought,

 Before any fights can be fought.

 Let the peace of life grace my heart,

 Before it gets torn apart.

That was beautifully written by my nephew Matthew who is a college freshman. I won't share the turbulence behind his words, for it is his own. What I will reveal is how his thoughts touched me.

The words seem beyond the years that formed them. Probably because they are. I'm sure they were whispered by the Holy Spirit to ease a troubled heart. They whispered to me too.

Let all my sorrow, all my pain, never run again in my veins. Why do I look back so often? My past failures do not define me. And WHY do I periodically allow jealousy to race perversely through me? I have not been handed opportunities as I have seen many 20-somethings given that will forever enhance their lives. The opportunities are usually undeserved, and they would have been with me as well had I been the young recipient. Jealousy is a brewing sewer. I am determined to get over it and move on when it demands an audience.

Let the peace of life grace my heart, before it gets torn apart. LORD, touch my heart so that I allow Your peace to fill my heart at all times. 

I am not writhing in sorrow and regret, but they do rear their ugly heads on occasion. My prayer is that I won't allow any footholds. 

Thank you Matthew for your wonderful words. Keep talking to the Man from Galilee. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

focused on Glory (through beauty)

I am such a girl. 

I love roses.

And not just the traditional looking roses. Although I must admit that my favorite is one of the "rosy" looking ones. It's an English rose, and I'm over the moon for it. It whispers its beauty in fat, heaping bundles. They make me think of charming, little cottages with decades of ivy on the exterior, and massive rose bushes engulfing the corners and windows.

God must have been smiling when He made roses for us. And I bet there weren't any thorns before we messed with His perfection in the original garden. I wonder if the addition of thorns made His heart ache. You know He had to DESPISE creating thorns... for so many reasons.

But we still got to keep the roses! What a precious God we have. Oh how He loves us. (That song is playing right now... such timing!)

Last week my mom had her 70th birthday, and Daddy gave her a bouquet of pink roses. They were glorious indeed. I know God smiles when we do, and I smiled at the beauty He had created.

Don't forget to stop by Jennifer's BLOG to see her foG 
post this week. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Not So Much

A long time ago I wrote a list on Things I Like. This is not that list. I am feeling the need to vent about a few things for which I'm not so fond. Here goes.

  • Bloody Noses. Par for the course in dry, winter air. (I keep forgetting to turn on the humidifier.)
  • Rude People. Common courtesy... HA! This afternoon a woman and her teen-aged son rushed to block me from a register. I was going to let it go and got in line behind her when a man walked past me and took my place. AM I INVISIBLE?
  • Underwear That Loses its Elasticity. Just keeping it real people. And to clarify, I'm talking about new-ish underwear that goes into the washer just fine, but it comes out looking like it phased with the Hulk.
  • Acne. Really?! Will this ever go away?
  • Short-circuited Turn Signals. My blinker only works when it feels like it, causing me to be the recipient of several honks and loud comments. Two mechanics have looked at the car, but neither could find the issue. One of them told me that he didn't know what was wrong, but he knew it wouldn't be cheap. JOY.
  • Missing Friends. I miss having friends around. (sigh)
  • Spiders. Enough said.
  • Inconvenient Bathroom Trips. Why is it that I have no desire to use the restroom at home, but I must go to the restroom when I enter a store? Just let me step foot in a Hobby Lobby and I'm headed to the (always disgusting) restroom.

So how about you? What do you dislike? Here is your chance to get it out. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

70 NEVER Looked SO Good

My adorable, little mama is 70 years old today, and I cannot wrap my head around that fact. She acts much younger than what you would think of someone her age. And talk about cute! Ladies everywhere are going to want to know her secret, because 70 NEVER looked SO good.

Seriously! There is NO way she looks her age. 
(Forgive the unclear photo, it was a rush job as I dragged her to the sidewalk as we were getting ready to go out this afternoon.)

This is the birthday apple pie she made herself! I was going to bake something for her, but she was SO excited to combine her recipe with one from her Mitford cookbook. It was a MONSTER of a pie! That is a deep, 11.5" skillet.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

focused on Glory (in others)

There is a lady living at the retirement community where my daddy works that I had to meet. She and Daddy have a sweet relationship that has extended to include my mother, and now me.

Mrs. S. loves to read, and she began sharing some of her books with Daddy. At first she loaned her books to him, but she eventually began giving them "for keeps." I'm not sure if she asked or if Daddy mentioned that Mama liked one of the books, but that began another chapter in the story. Soon Mrs. S. began sending books home to Mama. The two ladies began a friendship without having met.

A few weeks ago Mom went to the company Christmas party with Daddy. Daddy just loves to show off his trophy wife. At 12 years his junior, she keep him young. Each year she attends the party, and each year Daddy is engulfed in compliments about his cute wife. This year was the first time Mama met Mrs. S. and they loved each other immediately. A few days later, Mrs. S. ordered a book just for Mommy. She learned that Mommy liked the Mitford series by Jan Karon, and Mrs. S sent the Mitford Cookbook to her. What a thoughtful gift! Mama has already tried two of the recipes.

I was so intrigued by this lady who had been so precious to my parents. I told Mama that I would like to go visit and meet her. Mrs. S. told us that she rarely gets visitors, as her family lives out of state. She was sad to see them go after Christmas and would love to have company. Mrs. S. has great difficulty and pain when walking and doesn't leave her apartment much. Thankfully, everything she needs is provided on the generous retirement campus.

It was SUCH FUN to meet this dear lady. She shared stories from her life and showed us pictures that were of importance. When she was young she fulfilled her dream of learning to fly, and she has crossed the US three times by train. Doesn't that sound marvelous! We hated to say goodbye, and we promised to continue the visits. 

Here is the shot taken as we said our goodbyes. Aren't they adorable!

Don't forget to see how Jef is focused on Glory HERE.
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