Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Things that make me happy

I was cleaning off my desk yesterday and came across this quote on a post-it note and had to share it.

Happiness, ..not in another place but this place, not for another hour but this hour.
~Walt Whitman~

As we all know, happiness comes in all forms and fashions. This morning seeing my $2 yard sale fruit holder filled with apples makes me happy.
Having a piece of my favorite birthday cake that one of my wonderful sisters made me...
and of course my Sweet Girl makes me so very happy!
The walk we are fixing to go on in cool air (a novelty here in Atlanta) also makes me very, very happy!

What makes you happy today?


Friday, September 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Victoria

I couldn't let today pass without saying Happy Birthday to Victoria. She is such a fantastic sister and blogging partner. Victoria is such a beautiful person inside and out and I'm so glad to have her in my life.

Vic--instead of finding a cool birthday cake picture I thought sending you a virtual Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte would be just the right thing. Maybe we can meet next week for the real thing--my treat.


Awww, it is even sitting on a little square of burlap. : )

I found this copycat recipe on the web for those who would like to try making this at home. I will save my pennies and go for the real thing, but it might be worth a try. Honestly adding canned pumpkin to a drink myself would ruin it for me. The reviews look good though.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. Our forecast call for more rain, but the weather is suppose to be more fall like next week. We are ready for it.

Happy Birthday Victoria! Love you.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Beautiful Picture of Faith

If you have not "met" Traci over at Beneath My Heart, you are in for a real treat. She has a beautiful home and some lovely makeovers on her blog. But the reason I call attention to her blog today is because something even more beautiful has been in her blog posts recently--her mom and and a beautiful picture of faith.

In August her mother was diagnosed with an advanced stage of gastric cancer. She has shared her heart with us in blogland and through Traci we were able to meet and pray for her dear mother. Christ's love was so evident even as she progressed though the very quick battle. Here is one of the most heartwarming posts that Traci wrote about the kind of person her mother was.

Early this morning her mother lost her earthly battle with cancer leaving the arms of her loved ones to be in the arms of her Lord.

On August 18th, Traci wrote this post and I wondered how she was going through all of this and somehow she was encouraging me....

From Traci's blog post dated Aug. 18th.

"I wanted to share with you what we found out today at Mom's appointment.

She definitely has cancer in her stomach and it has spread to her liver. They are 95% sure that it is gastric cancer. They are going to analyze the sample from the biopsy a little more to try to identify it more specifically.

Unfortunately, none of it can be removed surgically.

She will be starting chemotherapy next Thursday.

The doctor said her life expectancy will be about a year depending on how she responds to the chemotherapy.

It wasn't the news we hoped for.

My heart hurts. And it's easy to feel overwhelmed.

But my God is a God of Hope.

I wish more than anything that each of you could meet my mom, hear her sweet voice, and enjoy the warmth of her hugs. She has walked with Jesus for over 40 years, and continues to face this trial with a heart full of faith and trust in her Lord and Savior.

She actually said tonight at the dinner table that she felt happy. And she means it. She said she just feels so overwhelmed by all the blessings God has given her. She keeps telling me not to look at this cancer as a curse, but as a blessing. So we are keeping our eyes wide open to see what God has in store for us.

And believe it or not, I have received so many blessings in the past week and a half since we found out mom had cancer.

One of them has been all of you that have been praying for us and encouraging me through your comments.

Another blessing has been the chance to just sit with my mom each day and soak up her goodness.

I have never loved her more.

I have never loved my husband and my children more.

I have never loved my life more.

I have never loved my Lord more.

My life will never be the same, and I am grateful.

I don't want to waste a minute of it.

I want to share the HOPE I have received with others.

I've realized that we ALL have struggles and trials that we are going through. Some worse than others, but none of which are less important to God.

I have a college friend whose mother was just diagnosed with liver cancer as well.
She has 3 to 6 months to live. I bought a card for her tonight to send to her.

I want to share it with you. I know that someone reading this post may need to be reminded of this, and I pray this encourages you...

God cares about every detail of your life.

He collects every tear in a bottle. Psalms 56:8

He numbers every hair on your head. Luke 12:7

He knows every hurt in your heart. Psalms 34:18

The Lord Knows

all you are going through.

He loves you, He cares for you,

and He will make sure

not one detail

is overlooked in your life.

The journey my mom has ahead of her will not be easy. I know there will be times that we will feel that we just can't make it another day. I would have never dreamed we would be dealing with this. But my Hope and Trust is in Jesus, and I know He will be our strength.

I covet your prayers. Pray that Mom would be strong enough to handle the chemo. Pray that the Lord would work a miracle through the medicines and would lengthen her days on earth with us.

Above all, may God be glorified.

God bless you all!


End of Traci's post


Well, Traci, I think we *were* able to meet your mom and we were able to see her faith. I hope this post does not seem stalkerish, but I know Victoria and I both have been praying for you and have been touched by your mother and your love for her.

Please remember Traci and her family in prayer.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Jackpot Monday!

I did not hit any yard sales this weekend due to the floods we have been having in Atlanta! My husband even wondered this morning if the area Home Depot's are selling Gopher Wood these days! :)

Instead, I hit Goodwill and, boy oh boy, did I have fun!

I found 2 Ironstone bowls and a creamer for $4.70!

I just love the shape of the bowls.... (click on the picture to see the detail!)

I found some pretty glassware, all for 55 cents each...stay tuned to see what I am going to do with these pretties.

In fact. I have already transformed this baby...

There is more to show but I am waiting for my camera battery to charge. :)

I'll leave you with a picture I took from my car the other day...

Now head on over to Rhoda's for other thrifty finds!


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

DIY Day - Dress

My DIY "day" started awhile ago. I wanted to learn something new this year and I decided sewing would be just the thing. During the summer I took a 2 night basic sewing course. When I say "basic" it was BASIC. We learned all about the different machines, how to sew a straight line, that scissors are really "shears" and the difference between "pressing" and "ironing". We did make a pillowcase but when finished with the class I was disappointed because I did not feel prepared to sew anything from a pattern.
(pillow case)

Upon visiting the same shop a few weeks later, a little dress on a form caught my eye and I decided I was going to attempt to make it for my 4 year old. Christina helped me pick out coordinating fabric and I took it all home.
Then it stayed in the bag for oh, another month until I went to my Mom's one Saturday morning for breakfast. I showed my Mom the pattern and she whipped out some shears and with her direction I managed to get the dress cut out. Flash forward another couple of weeks and the fabric and pattern are back in the bag. I was too stinking scared to start on the dress! I didn't have a clue what to do and was so afraid I would fail I just never even started.
I talked with my Aunt one day and she mentioned that she would be in my area later in the week so I asked her to come by and help me get started on the dress. That night I thought "doggone it...I am going to start this dress all by myself" and I did! I started and found that surprisingly it wasn't as hard as I thought to read the pattern!

My Aunt did come by and helped me figure out attaching the sleeves to the bodice and I went back to work on it. Later my sister Beth came by and helped me with another section I was struggling with and then little by little I worked on the dress at night doing one section at a time, all the while amazed that I was actually sewing a dress!
(first ever pocket!)

I had two things going through my mind while making the dress. First "done is better than perfect" (who said this? was it The Nester?) and the thought that I needed to finish the dress before my daughter grew into another size! This was motivation to get it done.

I was thrilled as I saw it coming together and you can only imagine my surprise and delight when I sewed the skirt on the bodice and then turned it all right side out and beheld my very first creation.
My daughter was thrilled with her dress and it will be one that I will keep forever!

Side note: For me, making this dress was so much more than just a dress! For years I have let fears of not doing something perfectly hold me back in so many areas, but now I feel like I can conquer the world. Okay, maybe not the world but why not that slipcover that I'm been pondering making? What's the worst that could happen? I am reminded of a verse that I have quoted often in my life...
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear;
but of power, and of love,
and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7

I have written this verse on my chalkboard so that every time I am in the kitchen I see it and am reminded NOT to be fearful!

Head on over to Kimba's to see what other fabulous things things people have done themselves!


Monday, September 14, 2009

Fall yard sale finds!

I haven't had much time lately to peruse yard sales but I did manage to find this jewel at the Salvation Army store for $1.50! It is originally from Crate and Barrel.
For now it has taken center stage on my centerpiece tray on my dining table.

We (my husband, Sweet Girl & I) all stopped at a book sale/yard sale at a local church Sat and went through books galore. You could fill up a paper bag for $5 so we dug in to see what we could find. My husband and myself are both avid readers and already my 4 year old has a love for books. Needless to say we filled up the bag!

In the midst of all the current books were some oldies. I picked up these two mainly because of their looks, but at some point I would enjoy reading The Scarlett Letter again. These two made it onto the shelf for now because of the fall/Halloween colors!

This last little shelf I picked up earlier this summer for 50 cents.
I spray painted it black and for now I am using it on my counter to break up all the white!
You see my Yankee Candle and jar full of matches??? I LOVE fall candles...sometimes I'll turn the air down low and light a fall candle to give me the feeling of fall since sometimes in Atlanta, fall doesn't arrive for awhile. If you love fall candles and are interested in winning a fall candle head on over to Cyndi's at Lovin' Life as a Pastor's Wife. Cyndi is Traci from Beneath my Heart's sister ( I adore her blog)! Cyndi is just entering the blogging world and what better way than to have a giveaway?!?! Go show her some love. :)

Edited to add: Click on over to The Persimmon Perch to see what others are up to!

That's all for now folks....


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Easy Peasy Supper

For years I have heard people talk about Fish Tacos and thought "ugh that sounds yuck." One day on a whim I tried a fish taco at Gezzos Surf & Grille. The young guy that runs the place told me to try it Californian style so I asked him to have at it and make it like he would make his own. Since then my husband has tried them and we both love them!

Fast forward and I decide to get a little more creative with our meals at home. They all seem bland and boring so I decided to try my hand at making my own fish tacos.

I start with a bag of Aldi's frozen Tilapia and some Dale's marinade.

Thaw the fish and marinate. Yesterday it was only for an hour because I got a late start on things. FYI, fish thaws very quickly so this is also a good meal for me when I haven't thought about things ahead of time!

We throw our fish on the Big Green Egg that I found at a yard sale but you can wrap in aluminum foil and put on the grill until flakey.

After that we grab a soft tortilla and throw on our fixings...

For us the fixings include:
Black beans
Sliced cabbage
Sliced black olives
Shredded cheese
Spicy ranch dressing (we prefer this but if I don't have it we use regular ranch or sour cream)

Please note that my husband and daughter would not touch cabbage with a 10' pole but Christina mentioned that they use cabbage on things like this where the lettuce would wilt. Amazingly enough, they now eat the cabbage! It is crunchier than the lettuce would be and it tastes great.