Monday, December 27, 2010

His Endless Gifts

After an amazing week, we stand in awe of His care, protection and love for us.  With just a few slight changes (if we hadn't been home, if we had "waited to see", if the snow had come early....) this could have been a very different, very sad time for my family.  Although the outcome was good, we also know that everything that comes from above, comes from the Giver of all good things.  If the outcome had been different, we would still worship Him with our gratitude for His endless gifts....

#366 to #390

my mama...still here

warning signs

emergency rooms open all night

a familiar ER doctor

friends and family who pray...and love

monitors, ct scans, ultrasounds

how the Creator fashioned our bodies

a successful surgery

amazing nurses

a skilled and friendly surgeon

the world's best icu

church family who waited with us....for hours!

the little machine that keeps her heart beating

medicine that helps keep mama healthy

lenient visiting hours

sons that pray

notes of encouragement

cell phones and texting

wonderful prognosis

more time together

Christmas with my WHOLE family here

family games

a blessed and joyous holiday

our favorite foods

holy music

Won't you join me as I worship the King with gratitude...your life will change and perhaps you will find, as I do, that He is your source, He is your provider...He never fails...He never forsakes....

He leaves me breathless....

holy experience

Praising Him!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

My mama is the Energizer Bunny!

Wow...what a whirlwind these last couple of days have been.  We ended up in the ER Monday night because my mama kept "trying" to faint, had a hard time catching her breath and felt great pressure in her chest.

We weren't there long before she was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation. Big words...scary diagnosis. She went through a lot of testing that night and the next day - multiple EKGs, CT scan, x-rays, blood work (does she have any left for herself?), ultrasounds and many monitors.  The cardiologist determined that a pacemaker was necessary.

What a shock for my poor mama who has never had a heart problem.  Mama turned 84 last Friday, takes no medicine and is very healthy! However, she confessed on the way to the hospital, that she's been having little "episodes" for about 3 weeks. What a merciful Father who protected her and cared for her during these warning signs. What grace that I was home and could run quick after her phone call asking for help. How providential that dear friends were there for dinner and able to stay, eat dinner and visit with two of my boys while my other son and I raced for the hospital. How proud I am that my boys could finish and serve a meal under those circumstances!  How I praised Him for a near empty ER! How grateful I was to have a wonderful doctor in the ER who had treated one of my sons last summer! We worship Him with gratitude as His hand was evident in all things - His protection, His grace, His love, His peace.

How blessed we are to be involved with such a  To never feel be loved, supported, prayed for....what blessings. They stayed with me during her surgery and visited often. I received great experience in texting during this time - something I don't do much of normally.

She had one short episode just before being released yesterday which ended up keeping her in the hospital a bit longer.  It will take some time for her meds to be adjusted so that they will work in concert with her pacemaker to keep her heart beating properly.  The next few weeks are filled with doctor appointments to make sure all is working properly.

This was quite scary for my youngest...Grandma has either lived with us or next to us his entire life. Doodle spent a lot of time with me at the hospital making sure Grandma was ok.  When the boys learned that this should make her feel much better and even give her more energy.....when they learned about pacemakers and how they work....when they heard that the battery life is 8 to 10 years for her pacemaker....the boys nicknamed her their energizer bunny!

We are looking for a new normal now.  We will be making some changes to better care for my mom.  We are also looking forward to this next week of family time. My first Christmas with a married son and new daughter-in-law! Lots of cooking, eating, visiting and games to be played!

The forecast is for a white Christmas here.  That's quite unusual!  We've had a lot of snow already...also unusual!  I can't imagine what February will be like.

I thank you for your prayers and emails.  What wonderful friends I've made that I'll probably never meet this side of heaven.  May you be blessed by Him who is the giver of all good things!

May all of your holidays be blessed and filled with family, friends, peace and joy!

My prayer is that each of you personally know the Messiah who was born crucified for you.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Requesting prayer...

Might I ask you to please pray for my mama?  She ended up in the ER tonight and will most likely be in the hospital for a bit.  I'll let you know more when I know more...

I am very grateful....

Monday, December 20, 2010

His Endless Gifts

We worship Him with our gratitude for His endless gifts....

#351 to #365

safe, dry roads


fresh eggs

family gatherings

candle light

friends around my table

summer food from the garden on my table in the winter

washing machines

wise counsel

helping hands

my mother's 84th birthday

my children's friends

special meals

handel's messiah


Won't you join me as I worship the King with gratitude...your life will change and perhaps you will find, as I do, that He is your source, He is your provider...He never fails...He never forsakes....

He leaves me breathless....

holy experience


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Our Favorite Christmas Books

Several readers have emailed me to ask what books I use for our evening read know...the ones the boys pick that make me cry every time.

I keep a huge wicker basket filled with books at the end of our couch.  I'm always on the lookout for good read aloud stories so be sure to share your favorites with me in the comment section at the end of this post.

Here are some of our favorites....

1.  Mary's First Christmas
     A sweet story told by Mary to her son about His first Christmas and His purpose.
     Mary's First Christmas

2.  The Gift of the Magi
     My favorite story!  This book celebrates the joy of sacrificial giving and it always brings a tear!
     The Gift of the Magi

3.  The Patricia St. John Christmas Book
     If you haven't read Patricia St. John's books before you are in for a treat!

4.  The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey
     This book helps me to remember to be sensitive to others at this time of year - they may be suffering deeply...sweet story with a happy ending!
      The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey with CD: Gift Edition

5. Best Loved Christmas Carols: The Storeis Behind 25 Yuletide Favorites
    Full of history, magnificent art work and includes a CD of the songs.  One of our favorites!
    Best-Loved Christmas Carols: The Stories Behind Twenty-five Yuletide Favorites

6. Why the Chimes Rang
    My version is a very old hardback book.  However this story is included in this book - its similar to the story of the widow's mite.
    Why the Chimes Rang and Other Stories (Illustrated Edition) (Dodo Press)

7.  Cosmic Christmas
     A fascinating story of the  cosmic battle  in reference to the birth of Christ.  I'm sure you can find it cheaper elsewhere!
     Cosmic Christmas

8. The Special Guest
    A story about tragedy, hope and faith.
    The Special Guest: A Christmas Story

9.  The Promise: A Celebration of Christ's Birthday
     I have the book but this is audio.  Step back in time with Michael Card as he unwraps the most important gift of all!
    The Promise: A Celebration of Christ's Birthday
10.  The Christmas Cross
       My boys loved this when they were little because there are "things" in the book you can remove and touch that are part of the story.  Another book guaranteed to make you cry.
    The Christmas Cross

11.  Once Upon a Christmas
       Many stories and beautiful pictures!
      Once Upon a Christmas: Holiday Stories to Warm the Heart

12 .  Christmas in my Heart
        Old fashioned Christmas stories that remind you what Christmas is really all about!
       Christmas in My Heart 17

There you have it - some of our favorite read-aloud books.  I pray that they bless you as they have blessed us over the years.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Playing with soap!

I've been playing with soap lately!

I've been trying for some time to find a way to color my Double Mint soap with green but I wanted to do it naturally.  Finally...success!

Here is a "log" of soap in my cutter - isn't she beautiful?  I'm very happy with the results!

I love cutting soap - each bar is a unique is a picture of the Double Mint after cutting.

I think next time, I will go for a lighter shade of green but right now I'm just thrilled that it didn't turn a funky color.  Soap can be like that - sometimes you just don't know what you'll get!

I also felt like creating something "comforting".  So, with my homemade cinnamon rolls in mind, I threw together an extra moisturizing soap and used cinnamon and orange essential oils with a cinnamon swirl.  It turned out even better than I imagined and the smell is wonderful!

Here's a stack of the soap...

And here's a picture of the bars after cutting...

Can't you just taste the home made buttercream icing with cinnamon swirls in a warm sweet dough?
I think I hear Stevie Wonder singing..."isn't she lovely?..."

And last, I've made an unscented facial bar for oily skin...I love the results!

I'm having a lot of fun and you can be looking for some new soap naming contests soon!

Next post, I'll give you the list of our favorite Christmas books that y'all have been asking the meantime we're headed out to sled and enjoy the snow before it all disappears!


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My Gift to You....

You, my wonderful readers, bless me all year with orders, kind comments, prayer and encouraging notes that fill my in box and my mail box!  I hope to bless ya'll this Christmas with a small present!  I hope this gift will bless you and your family now and for many years to come!  I have decided to put both of my e-books on sale at the same time at the lowest price ever!

Have you ever wanted to learn how to make a healing salve?  Would you like to know how to make an effective cough syrup?  Want to brew a cup of healing tea?  Does the word tincture scare you.....bewilder you?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, perhaps my e-book Herbal Medicine Made Simple would make a wonderful Christmas gift for you or for someone you love!

Or perhaps you would you like to learn how to make your own pure, natural, herbal soaps? Find out what the "soap" in the stores is really made with!  Learn how to create natural, healthy soap in your own kitchen in an easy, simple to follow, step-by-step method in my e-book Soapmaking Made Simple! Find out how to prevent disasters, salvage mistakes and where to purchase supplies inexpensively!

Have you ever wanted to take one of my classes but live to far away? This is your opportunity to take my classes and allow me to mentor you, long distance!

Or perhaps these e-books would make wonderful Christmas presents for someone you love!

Normally these books sell for $20.00 each.  Right now, the price has been reduced to $12.00 each!  You could buy both books for just a little over what one book normally costs! This sale will begin today and end at midnight on January 15th!  Normally, with the purchase of either, or both, books you also receive 30 days of mentoring by email. But during this sale, I will extend the mentoring until the end of February!  Double the normal amount of time if you purchase now!  This will allow you to get through the busyness of the holidays and begin your studies when life calms down a bit! I'll help you walk through these courses until you are confident in your own abilities. Ask as many questions as you need to and I'll answer them quickly!

If you've taken one of my classes and would like to share your experience, please feel free to leave a comment!

May this season be a blessing to you and your family!

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