Tuesday, October 16, 2018

FRIENDSHIP BOOSTER SHOT...


Recently I have received some friendship booster shots, and I'm so grateful!  Sometimes we get so busy as adults (and especially leaders) and we get into so much of a routine rut that we don't take time for friendships!  I'm including The Hubs on this.  As a couple married for 35 years, we are comfortable with things as they are, plus so busy with our family, that we don't reach out often enough to make new or maintain friendships.  Then we get to thinking that no one else really cares or wants to be around us.  I know it's not true but in my mind I start to make these excuses when we think about reaching out to someone for a dinner or night out.

Both these ladies are friends of mine and they've given me a friendship booster shot!  Quite unplanned, we've gotten to do some fun things together lately!

My friend Amy is from Texas and we've been online friends from blogging since about 2009!  We graduated to Facebook and Instagram in our friendship.  We finally got to meet in person when her husband had some business near my city.  It was so great to get to know each other better and talk about all the things that we sometimes won't share online.  I'm happy to say she's my sister in Christ and we share so many similarities.  Looking forward to another time to get together and we'll bring our husbands along!


Patty and I are friends because our kids are friends!  She did the chalk work on this sign for me recently!  Both our sons were good friends in elementary through high school and all loved music.  They performed together and spent many a weekend night having fun together.  She's also a sister in Christ at a church across town, but we hadn't seen each other much since the boys graduated.  Recently we reconnected with my son's wedding, then she joined my exercise class, then her oldest son's band was here to perform and of course, like a Mama Bear, I had to go support him!  It's been great to spend more time with her and her husband recently.  

Does fear keep you from seeking friendship?  It's really the bottom line for me, I think.  Fear of rejection.  I hope I can remember how enjoyable these times have been recently and get out there and make some new friends and maintain the old ones.  :)









Wednesday, October 10, 2018

LET IT GO...

Not talking about the Disney song!😱

This week we had a Panel Discussion on Depression in our Women's Wednesday night Bible Class. 
What I found interesting was they (women counselors) talked briefly about the difference between discouragement, depression and clinical depression.  One of the helpful things mentioned was that when you have a discouraging thought, it is usually temporary.  You can move on and it doesn't really affect your behavior/life for too long.  Which is not true of depression.  One coping mechanism they suggested is that you acknowledge the problem and send it on it's way, like a train (from the book, Flourish, by Martin Seligman).

I associated that with a similar suggestion in Meditation.  Often when you are praying or meditating, random thoughts come into our heads that disrupt us.  What I've learned is that you should acknowledge it, then let it go - and don't beat yourself up for having the thought.  Or, if you're afraid you will forget the thought and need to act on it, jot it down quickly, then go right back to the Meditation.  

Since I'm pretty sure your brain acts like mine and it going 12 different directions at once, this is helpful to me!  Just LET. IT. GO.  Whether it is a discouraging thought or situation, or when you are actually trying to pray or meditate and you get interrupted by your own brain.  LET. IT. GO.

I'm reminded of a song by the same title written by Brianna Gaither.  She wrote hers long before Disney's Frozen came along.  Have a listen HERE, and have a beautiful week!





Tuesday, October 2, 2018

ESCAPE ROOM ENTERTAINMENT...

We just celebrated a couple of family birthdays by going out for dinner and going to an Escape room! It was a lot more fun than I expected (the birthday girl said the same)! We had a couple of funny things that happened that slowed us down, but we did escape in time.  One thing that happened was we did actually press the HINT button when we got stumped, and when they came to help us and we told them we had tried the numbers we found from the clues to open the combination lock, they discovered it had been reset and they had to cut the lock off with deadbolt cutters.  Then they gave us back 10 minutes on the clock.  Also, there was a purse on the table and we all thought it belonged to someone in the room, but it was actually one of the clues and had a key in it to another lock.  :)

I didn't contribute much to the solving of the puzzle but I did find the gun (a toy)! Mostly, I enjoyed just watching our kids interact with each other. There was Son #1 who was fiddling with the physical props in the room, Son #2 who went to work cracking codes with letters and numbers, and my daughter who was trying different combinations on a locked box.  Along with their spouses, it was fun watching them work.

Doing something different was kinda fun!  Good to get out of the norm every once in a while.  But that room definitely would've been a challenge for me on my own.  Grab some friends and try it!



Friday, September 21, 2018

THE DEVIL'S TOOLS...

Most of the time when I think or hear about selfishness, it is related to how we spend our time, our money, our life focus.  And those are very real ways we can be selfish.  In fact, I feel like most of the time what leads us to sin all boils down to SELFISHNESS.

I was convicted with some verses several days last week.  It caused me to think about times when all I can dwell on is my anger/frustration over trivial things.  As I thought more and more about it, it occurred to me that when these thoughts are clouding my mind, that is a form of self-absorption and selfishness!  I might generally be doing good things, and spending my time wisely, but I can't seem to focus on God at all when Satan has me up in arms about how I feel!

My DH said something to me that kind of hurt my feelings but I understood what he meant.  He said when I talk about those kind of things, it's like all he hears is the unintelligible teacher from Charlie Brown, "Wa,wa-wa, wa..."  and I wondered what God thinks when I am telling him my woes. Does He care about those unimportant things that get under my skin?  I know He cares for me, but I also wonder if He is trying to teach me love, patience, endurance, or something else... and hoping I get the lesson.  Thank goodness for His grace!

The devil's tools are many. I hope that next time my focus is clouded by hurt feelings, petty misunderstandings, etc., I will recognize those things for what they are, dwell on the word of God, and dismiss them with the power of the Holy Spirit.

Scriptures to focus on:

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8


Live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. 1 Peter 3:8

  
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interest of others.
Philippians 2:3-4

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

LEMON-Y PARTY FAVORS...

27 door prizes quick and cheap?  I've got one for you!  Lemonade mix in a jar!  After taking on this task, I was really pleased to find these can be made for under $2 each!  Everything was bought at good old Walmart because I didn't have time to really do anything else.  I did check some prices online at other stores, but this was kind of a fun challenge for me to just peruse the aisles at Walmart to see what would work in a pinch.

Lemonade mix in a decorated jar supplies:
24 half-pint canning jars
200 oz. Country Time lemonade mix
24 labels or key tags
24 rubber bands
fabric, ribbon

All you do is funnel the mix into the jars, then cut the fabric into circles larger than the lid.  Learn from my mistake - don't try to use hot glue for the fabric on the lid, just rubber band it on!  Then tie your ribbon and key tag on it.  I did actually make 27 but I knew I had a few jars leftover from something else, so I didn't have to buy another 12 pack of jars.






Sunday, September 9, 2018

WEDDING RECEPTION/TINY OPEN HOUSE...

Last of the wedding festivities!  We hosted a reception here in Oklahoma per our son's request.  I told him if we did that, we would also have to have a Tiny House Open House!  So many have asked about the construction project going on in our driveway, that I knew we would just have to make it part of it.  It's not totally finished yet, but close, and they did stage it for the party.

Even after several days of rain due to tropical storms down south, we managed to get a misty Saturday without a downpour - thank you, God!  You could eat off our driveway - it's never been so clean.  :)



We had cookies, nuts, lemonade, and water.  Pretty simple.  It worked for a "driveway party."

My Niece-in-law made the fancy cookies!  

We had a lot of fun greeting guests and watching our son give tours!

Kitchen area
Living area
My awesome friend did the chalk work sign for me - isn't it great?





We had a lot of fun talking to family and friends from near and far! Several of our neighbors came, too!   Looking forward to the time it really will be finished - I'll keep you posted.


Wednesday, August 29, 2018

SUMMER READS...



Cultivate by Lara Casey

A good book with questions and exercises to help you on your path to intentional living.  One of my favorite take aways from the book is in the chapter on friendship. When forming connections with others, go beyond the superficial and ask the second question.  Invite the person to open up and take the conversation deeper with questions like, "How was that?" or "Can you tell me more about it?"

Eleanor Oliphant is absolutely fine by Gail Honeyman

This was a fun read!  Eleanor is a quirky character, and as you get to know her more, she is dealing the best way she knows how after a tragic event in her past.  A loner, she sets out to improve herself physically, which is a riot, and to find love.  She finds it in an unexpected person and gets freed from her lonely existence.    Note:  I heard Reese Witherspoon is making this into a movie!


In Conclusion, Don't worry about it - Lauren Graham
Tiny little book with a big message - find joy in what you're doing!


Some Form of Grace by Dee Dee Chumley

A fictional work by a local author bringing to light a very real issue for those coming out of prison.  Starting fresh in a Christian apartment complex with lots of rules, it's the story of Gracene and how she fakes Christianity to stay in the program and get a fresh start at life on the outside.




Tuesday, August 21, 2018

LESS AMUSEMENT PARKS = MORE FUN...

My personal opinion, of course...or maybe just the feelings of a parent who's done plenty of amusement parks!

I noticed on our recent road trip how much I enjoyed some things and others not-so-much.  Portland - that don't impress a me much - in the words of Shania!  It was like a crazy amusement park to me.  The traffic and all was a big turn off.  They do have some good restaurants, though!  I'm sure if there are grandchildren in our future it may include some amusement parks.  But my choice right now is to spend my free time in more peaceful, natural settings.  Places off the beaten path, places without crowds of people, and finding beauty in the simple things are what draws me.

Several times I found myself alone because The Hubs was working on this trip too.  One day I biked in Eugene, Oregon through a park.







Another day at Crater Lake National Park I drove about 15 minutes to the Pinnacles Trail and got to see these amazing fumaroles!






It was early in the morning and I had the place to myself.  It was a great time to just meditate and think about how powerful and wonderful our Creator is!

Finally, I realized all this when we got to our final destination, South Lake Tahoe, California.  My expectations were elevated because I've heard so many say how beautiful it is. We stayed in a Marriott, which we usually do if possible, and it was right by Heavenly Ski Village.  Steps from our hotel was village of restaurants, shops, a movie theater, and a huge gondola to ride up the mountain.  It was chaos of noise and people.  Again, like an amusement park! And I found myself angry, on vacation!  How absurd was that!  I tried not to let my disappointment show to The Hubs.  It just wasn't for me, I guess. Only when we took an expensive ride up the mountain in the gondola was the beauty of Lake Tahoe visible.

So I guess it's good to reflect and know what feeds your soul.  I will continue to try and enjoy whatever situation I'm in, but I really know what's best for me, now.  It reminds me of the words of Paul in Philippians 4:11, "I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances."


Wednesday, August 15, 2018

PIE VS. PIE AND THE REHEARSAL DINNER...


The Rehearsal Dinner.  My last chance to make a good impression on the bride and her family!
Patrick's Hawaiian Cafe was recommended as a caterer by Aunt Barb, the aunt of the bride.  Anything in Portland was not recommended because of Friday afternoon traffic.  Aunt Barb and Uncle Bill were the hosts for both the Rehearsal Dinner and Wedding on their beautiful farm just across the river from Portland in Ridgefield, Washington.  They had hosted events like this before so were great to offer their place once again.  So, not having ever been to Oregon, I went with Patrick's to do the catering.

The Menu:

Teriyaki Chicken
Kalua Pork
Rice
Macaroni Salad
Green Salad
Yakisoba Noodles and Vegetables
Haupia 

 I had decided to decorate with a pineapple theme.  I brought some decorations with me, but decided the best thing to do would be to buy greenery and pineapples there.  We also bought additional pineapples to cut pineapple boats to sit on the tables for the guests.  On the catering menu, the meal included Haupia for dessert.  I didn't know what that was, but it was described to me as a coconut jello square.  Needless to say, I wasn't sure about it, so I made my mind up to find some really good pies to add to the meal.

So as soon as we arrived, I began the PIE TASTING.  I visited three places:  Pie  vs. Pie in Gresham, Shari's Cafe and Pie in Vancouver, Washington, and Larson's Bakery in Vancouver.  Shari's Cafe and Pie was okay, but all I tasted was sugar, not much chocolate flavor in their chocolate pie.  Larson's had a beautiful presentation but I tasted a hint of artificial flavor in their banana cream pie.  Pie vs. Pie won out in presentation and flavor both! We ended up ordering Banana Cream, Coconut Cream, 2 Chocolate Cream, a Macadamia Nut Pie, and the bride's favorite, 2 Marionberry.

The day of Rehearsal Dinner there was a lot of picking up people from the airport and I went for a blowout so I wouldn't have to do my hair for a while.  We picked up the pies and headed out to the farm two hours before the Rehearsal was to begin.  The Hubs and my DIL made tea and the pineapple boats, while everyone else helped me decorate.

The evening went well.  After the Rehearsal, we gathered in the backyard and we played the Meeting Game, the same one we played at our other kid's rehearsal dinners.  We had special name tags to fill out and Jenga pieces for the group to write a message to the bride and groom.  The Hubs lead a prayer and we ate some good food and the pie was a hit!  I didn't get to taste the Marionberry, but the Macadamia Nut Pie was great! (I'm a Pecan Pie fan and it's similar) All my research paid off.

Just let me know if you ever need someone to do some Pie research for you.  :)















Sunday, August 5, 2018

ROAD TRIP TO THE WEDDING...

Groomsmen's suits✔
Groomsmen's ties and suspenders✔
Groom's suit✔
Shoes✔
Wedding ring✔
Honeymoon clothes✔
Rehearsal dinner tablecloths✔
Rehearsal dinner decorations✔
Rehearsal dinner clothes✔
MOG dress✔
FOG suit✔
Grandmother's dress for wedding✔
Clothes for hiking, biking, etc.✔
Golf clubs✔
Snacks✔
Computer and chargers✔
Etc.✔

My youngest son and I loaded up, ready to hit the Oregon Trail!  The Hubs was on a business trip and would meet us there.  I'm not sure my son and I had ever actually traveled anywhere, just the two of us, except maybe Boy Scout camp, long, long ago.  Here was my chance to spend some quality time with him right before his wedding ceremony!











We had a great three days, talking, listening to music, and listening to a book on CD.  We ate in some good and not-so-good places.  We stopped at the giant Van Gogh mural in Kansas, saw a movie in Denver, ate at a funny diner in Wyoming, saw Shoshone Falls in Idaho, and enjoyed the beautiful drive on Hwy 84 along the Columbia River in Oregon.  We even saw a base jumper off the Perrine Bridge in Twin Falls!  I was kind of hoping that we would get to witness that, and it happened right as we got to the viewing area.

We talked about everything - relationships, college, marriage, music, and just life.  I got to share a few stories with him that I thought he knew...but he was willing to listen to again.  We didn't worry about time, we just left when we got ready in the morning.  It was usually early, since our bodies were still on Oklahoma time.  I found out he's a very agreeable guy.  Just not crazy about the amount of pictures I like to take.  :)

I think he'll make a good husband!





Friday, July 27, 2018

KETO BIRTHDAY MEAL FOR MY SON...

Well, son #1 just had a birthday and has been really into the KETO diet lately...in fact, he's lost 30 pounds!  Didn't know he even had that much to lose!  But he's over 6 feet tall, so I guess those kind of guys can carry more than you think.  Anyway, I made a Keto meal for him.  It turned out pretty well - except for the cake!  It wasn't pretty but it still tasted good!

Bacon Chicken Broccoli casserole - this was so good!
Green Salad with lots of veggies
Roasted Red potatoes (I got the really small ones from Little Potato Co.)
Wheat Rolls (these were for the Non-Ketos)

Strawberries with a little Swerve
Whipped cream

We ate inside much to my disappointment.  But it is pretty hot now, and Son #1 HATES bugs so that would not be a very fun birthday dinner for him.  I was also glad to have a Sous Chef - a college student who is living with us right now!

My sad Keto Vanilla Pound cake! But it tasted good!

This is what happens when you let the birthday boy put the whipped cream on everyone's dessert!


  I'm so thankful to have these moments!  They are few and far between nowadays.  Afterwards, we all went to church and had a great time singing in our Wonder of Worship class!  That was the icing on the cake for me!