Plates and Memories - Precious Treasures

Kelli over at "There's No Place Like Home" hosts a show and tell every Friday. Hop on over and see her special treasures along with links from others who participate in this fun little activity!

I thought for my show and tell this Friday I would share with you my collection of decorative plates that I have in my dining room. All of these plates have pictures of children or mothers with their children. I love pictures that show relationship. God desires that we hold relationships in high value - especially the relationships in our homes.

(My plates are on either side of my hutch in the dining room)

(Here are a few of my favorites: I love the beauty of this picture here - a mother holding her new baby - completely peaceful - admiring the creation of God in her arms. I absolutely LOVED giving birth and this reminds me of that wonderful experience God allowed me to have 4 times!

(I got this plate after the birth of our son - I love how the two girls are looking at their brother. How each of my children have adored the new baby as it came to be in our family.)

(This is another one of my favorites! I love the older sister helping the younger with her shoes. I love how dainty and feminine they look in their dresses and bows!)

(I just like this one!)

I hope you enjoyed my plates. These plates help to remind me of the treasures I have in this life - the gift of my family. Hug and kiss those dear to you in your life! Such special treasures they are to us from God above! Thanks so much for stopping in. See you next week.



Kitchen Organization - Kitchen Tip Tuesday

Tammy over at hosts Kitchen Tip Tuesday each week. I have decided to join in the fun - and post a tip for the day. Jump on over and see the other tips. You also will enjoy the many wonderful recipes Tammy has to offer. She is my number one favorite cooking site! Enjoy.

This is my first time to post on Kitchen Tip Tuesday; but I have been reading and enjoying the other tips here for awhile - so I thought I would give it a try. Not sure how great of a cook I am - to have a tip for every week - - but I will try my best!
This Tuesday, I thought I would share with you my tip on Kitchen Organization. When we moved into our farm house here 5 years ago - I made sure I organized my dry goods cabinet. I am so glad that I did. It makes homemade - from scratch - baking a breeze! Here is one tip I learned from Tupperware - way back when I was a consultant - Use the rectangle boxes for food storage and organization. They take up much less room than round or square containers. (I did not use Tupperware for my cabnent here though - just too expensive for me. I just used regular Rubbermaid containers that I got at Walmart.) I then place my flour, sugar, powdered milk etc, into their own containers and label them - stack away and I am done! I have never regretted the extra work it took me to get my shelves organized! I think I have saved time in the long run by not having to search everywhere for all my ingredients. They are all there - right in the same spot.

I also have all my oils and spices next to that dry goods cabinet. Then all my mixing bowls are in the cabinet below - and all my mixing spoons are right there on the counter by the dry goods cabinets. This saves me time and energy having everything right there where I do not even need to take a step to retrieve something for my recipe. I love it.

Thanks so much for stopping by. Hope you have a wonderful week in the kitchen.

Works of Art

You can buy the most expensive of toys - but they still play with the box. Well... in this case it is the windows! There was condensation on the windows and Zak saw a canvas. He spent quite a lot of time with his masterpieces. Each window pane bearing it's own work of art.

Not sure what you would call this: Painting with clear paint? Or paint by God? Perhaps we can use this to advertise the house when we put it up for sale this spring.

Lovely old farm house. Three bedrooms - one bath - and reusable art canvasses. A must see! Call....

Here's a masterpiece in the waiting!

Well, whatever you want to call it is fine; but I think I will just call it the easiest painting cleanup in my history of being a mother. Now if we can just find play dough that is as easy to clean up as this...

Thanks for stopping by. Have a wonderful day.


A Masculine Point of View

My husband has a blog now. It is specifically designed for men. Thought you might like to check it out. Let your husband's know too - I am sure that they will be blessed.

His blog name is Iron 2 Iron. You can get there at:

Saying Goodbye at Thanksgiving

There will be no visit to Alice tomorrow after our Thanksgiving Dinner is done. She passed away yesterday afternoon. Get Well cards still line our computer desk - ready for the visit that was to never be.

She celebrated her 58th wedding anniversary on Monday - - too sick to really know what day it was. Her faithful husband knew what day it was - and also was aware that it would be the last anniversary for which the would be together.
Flowers have been sent - funeral preparations are being made - and Friday we will say our final goodbyes. Thanksgiving will be a little sadder this year; for our neighbor and friend is gone - and her husband is left with a grieving heart. Life's brevity will be on our minds this Thanksgiving.

We will find ourselves thankful for the loved ones seated around us - and aware that perhaps next year - the size of our family here on earth could be different. Cherish life while we can.

Blessings to You all My Friends -
Happy Thanksgiving,

Soul Rest

The day was long - the setback was huge. Autism has an ugly side. It all happened so suddenly that I was taken by surprise - and found myself confused and emotionally drained. I was left with more questions than answers as I tucked my little Zak into bed Sunday night.

Sleep did not come easily and felt as if it accomplished little. Too many questions, too many fears - so much unknown.

Monday morning's early calm was interrupted by a ringing telephone. Sounds coming too early in the day to bring good news - - and yet another set back. A good friend is dying - she will not celebrate Christmas - it won't be much longer.

Overwhelming emotional exhaustion hit the very fiber of my being - I had not the strength to go on. Tasks were needed to be accomplished - a day's "To DO" lists stood waiting for me - but alas, I could not. There was nothing left within me to give.

'Then God - who is rich in mercy..." - showed the very heart of His love for me. A getaway was planned, a haven was prepared - and it was there that He would bring me rest. Physically and emotionally. Deep satisfying rest. I was so tired I did not feel like going - but it was meant to be - and the time away with just my husband was the balm needed for my weary heart.

Hours of talking filled our time. Plans for the future, prayers for wisdom and the chance to voice the fears of the future both together and with our Creator.

"I know that thoughts I think towards you... thoughts of peace..."

I arrived home this evening, having been ministered to by the very hand of God Himself. He has has filled my heart with comfort, wisdom and hope.

"For He giveth His beloved sleep..."
"And ye shall find rest unto your souls..."

Returned and Refreshed,

Values and Traditions - Pass Them On

"But don't you think that is a lot of food..."
This is the statement that met me when I went through the menu for our Thanksgiving Day meal. How can parents that are tying to teach their children not to be selfish and greedy just ignore a comment such as this? This is the predicament that my husband and I found ourselves in last night as we prepared for bed.

Indeed, it IS a lot of food. It always is a lot of food. That seems to be what Thanksgiving is all about. We questioned whether or not we are sending the right message to our children. When we teach them all throughout the year that they should not be greedy and selfish and then we sit down to a big - fantastic - more than we could ever eat meal. My husband challenged my thinking - perhaps we should not do all the dishes that we normally do for Thanksgiving. "Perhaps", he went on to suggest, "we should do something totally different for Thanksgiving."

(My heart beat skipped a few times ) "Do something different?" my heart shouted. You just CAN"T do something different for Thanksgiving! It is against the rules or something..."

My dear faithful husband could see that this suggestion was almost more than I could bear. He still continued on and I tried my best to be the supporter and upholder of his thoughts and ideas - but do something different for Thanksgiving? I was almost certain that was not American or something. You just can't do something different for Thanksgiving!

It was at the site of my shocked and troubled brow that he presented me with the thought that we just could not let the children's thoughts and this matter lie. If our having a huge meal for Thanksgiving was sending the wrong message we would need to make sure that we corrected that and conveyed consistency in our thinking. He encouraged me that I needed to look at this as positive and realize that perhaps the values that we are trying to teach our children maybe are sinking in...

Now this reasoning I could not go against. He was right. I needed to be willing to put aside my traditional thoughts - if it meant that we would be teaching our children a valued lesson and enforcing and upholding the moral values that we hold dear. It was agreed upon, as we lay in bed, covers close, lights out, alarm set for the busy actions of the next day - We would have a family meeting in the morning and have the kids explain just what they meant by "too much food..." I rolled over after kissing my dear goodnight with one thought looming above my head. "But you just can not do something different for Thanksgiving....."

This morning our family meeting was called. Children were assembled among us - and Dad began, "Mom and I thought about what you said about the Thanksgiving dinner and we thought it would be a good idea to see what we could eliminate from our dinner - being there will be so much food and we just can not possibly consume all of it...." The children were seated around - eyes wide with wonder - "Wow! - Mom and Dad got it! "

Dad continued..."Tell us how you feel about Thanksgiving..."

It was the oldest who began..."It just does not seem right, Dad, that we will have so much food for our dinner and there are people all around who do not have enough food to eat. It just does not seem right..." The other children nodded their heads in agreement and put in their two cents worth right along with their sister.

Dad nodded his head in agreement, "Mom and I agree... so Mom is going to go through the list again and we will see what we can eliminate this year from our dinner so that we will not have so much ..." With that he nodded to me and I had the floor.

List in hand, mind rolling over and over the question "But you can not do something different for Thanksgiving dinner?!!" I stepped out of my comfort zone and began to go down the list:

Turkey - all agreed we had to have turkey!

Ham - this was not so great - it was decided that since the Jews do not eat ham we do not need one either. (This was OK with me - because we have never done ham before and just had thought we would try it this year.. )

Mashed Potatoes - it was agreed you could not have Thanksgiving dinner with out these staples. I left the spuds on my list.

Green Bean Casserole - now this did have one no - but only one - (from the young one that HATES this dish.)

Cranberries - there was a chorus of applause and agreement - we had to keep these.

The list went on and on - much the same way. We finally came to the end of the list with everything but the ham still holding it's own. Again, the kids said that they just felt that it was not right for us to have all this food when others have so little or none at all. It was then suggested by one of them that perhaps we could find a homeless person and invite them to dinner with us. They also went through a list of people that they thought would not have anywhere to go for the special day. Yet, as the list was made, it was found that everyone we know has plans for the holiday. Then the spokesman for the kids presented yet another thought, "Well Dad, we could keep the dishes that we are used to for our dinner but make smaller portions of them. Then there won't be so much food. It just does not seem right that there is so much food..." Her cheering squad stood behind her in agreement and let us know that they felt that way too.


So - I finished my Thanksgiving dinner shopping this afternoon - with all the usual purchases.
Just with not quite as much of what I usually buy for the meal.

My husband and I have agreed to keep our eyes open for any homeless people - perhaps we will have a guest?

I smile as I finish writing this tonight - traditions are wonderful; but it is even nicer to know that our values are being passed down too. Next year - we will make plans to have Thanksgiving include someone - who needs just a little more loving and family for the holiday. For this year, we will have smaller dishes filled with the recipes that we love for the holiday meal - and we will be thankful - for all the blessing God gives us each day.

"Perhaps", it was suggested, "when the dishes are finished - we can go and visit the nursing home and visit Alice..." I am thinking that a visit with a sick neighbor will be a wonderful way for us to finish up our day.

Blessings - and Goodnight,

Winter is Coming!

Snow fell today!

Snow flakes fell from the sky today. It was beautiful. The ground,yet unfrozen, did not allow the flakes to accumulate or blanket the ground; but if fell! A sure sign that winter is approaching and soon snow covered hills will need to be conquered by children and sleds.

There was excitement. Children cheering, clapping and dancing because - Snow fell today! The cheers that arose were that of excitement. "It's snowing - look Mom it's snowing!!" No snow was predicted and about as fast as it started it stopped. But ...

Snow fell today!

"No two snowflakes are alike..." one of the children told a younger sibling. The statement hung in the air as the younger child considered the fact presented. He thought as he stood close to the window watching the falling snow - (it was as if you could see his brain processing the new information) - finally he responded... "Kinda hard to believe.... but a lot about God you can't understand!" That was all that was said --- and the conversation complete. Nothing more needed to be added. Such a wonderful reminder that children seem to be able to find God in the smallest of things. Even the snowflakes coming from the sky.

Oh -- did I tell you? Snow fell today!

Thanks for stopping by. Bundle up - stay warm. Winter is right around the corner! Have a wonderful weekend.


Sweet Retreat

I just arrived back this evening from a weekend get away with my girls. It was wonderful. We were surrounded by Christmas music, beautifully decorated facilities with white Christmas lights that transformed everything into a winter wonderland -(without the snow!) I have been having trouble getting into the Christmas spirit. It is not that I am not liking that Christmas is coming - but rather having a hard time comprehending that it is right around the corner. This retreat did the trick - I am ready to get out the Christmas hymns and hear them playing on the CD player. I am ready to prepare the house to be decorated with our Christmas decorations and start up the seasonal baking.

It was a wonderful get away - and I came back ready for the season. I also came back spiritually blessed. My Blessed Heavenly Father knew just what I needed this weekend; and as He so perfectly arranged - my cup was filled to over flowing. God spoke to my heart during the sessions that I attended, listened to, and took notes in. I was challenged with my walk in the home. Oh how hasty my spirit can be! How short and unsweet my tongue can answer those that live around me day after day. I want to be edifying in my speech. To have words that are seasoned with blessing to my family from the time they rise up in the morning till the time they go to bed at night.

I was challenged by the awesome responsibility of raising my children for the Lord. God impressed so greatly on my heart the reality that Christian parenting done God's way takes TIME. How quickly I rush through life - accomplishing my to do lists - organizing all my nooks and cranny's - but how many times have I forgotten the needful thing - of spending time with my children. How hasty and quick my spirit can become when I am presented with a character challenge from one of my children that needs my attention. How fast my selfish heart cries out, "I don't have time for this right now" - - for at that moment I find my sinful heart too wrapped up in what I want to do rather than the calling God has for me.

I was challenged by the need to walk in the Spirit. Oh, how often my sinful heart wants to serve me - rather than my Saviour! God forgive me! I must choose to follow Christ - not just in vocation; but in the very attitudes of my heart.

"Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight..."

I was refreshed by the presence of Godly women that I was given the privilege to meet this weekend. I have grown weary of the professionalism of Christianity today. I have grown weary of it most of all in my own heart. How vain, when I am more concerned with how my hair is done than my heart attitude with Christ. I was given the opportunity to go to a retreat and do nothing. Most retreats I am busy and speaking and not able to just sit and fellowship, read, and grow during the time away. This weekend, was special. I was able to sit and talk with other ladies that God brought into my path to strengthen and challange me.
I was able to have heart to heart chats with both of my girls. How special to walk together and talk about life, our dreams and our shortcomings. To be challenged by my girls in their perceptions of my role as a mother. How blessed to feel the Holy Spirit challenge my heart on areas to which I need to take note. My family is my most prized possession. It must be must cultivated and nurtured.
I am glad to be home. I will love sleeping in my bed without fear of spiders or lady bugs crawling on me during the night. I will lay my head down tonight and thank God for allowing me the privilege of hearing Him speak to my heart - and challenged tomorrow to follow His leading for me.

Sleep tight tonight my dear friends. Rest soundly knowing God is always there - loving us, blessing us, challenging us.

Thanks for stopping by -- Goodnight!

Cookie Cutters - For All!!

Kelli over at "There's No Place Like Home" hosts a show and tell every Friday. Hop on over and see her special treasures along with links from others who participate in this fun little activity!

I thought this Friday I would show you my cookie cutter collection. I never intended to have a "collection" but we have a variety store in town that sells very unique shaped cutters. Every time I go in there - I just have to bring one home! I think they are just too cute to leave sitting there on the shelf.

Here is a hand and a tee shirt cutter. I have made these for the kids. They thought they were neat. (You would not believe the "fun" they had eating the fingers off the hand.)

Here is a tea pot. I just picked this one up today. I think I will decorate it with light blue icing and then outline it in a pretty yellow. I was thinking that I would put two pots in a clear bag - along with a tea bag for the elderly ladies in our church. (I think perhaps this one is my favorite - I am not sure though)

Here are my spring cutters. A frog - a butterfly - and a watering can. (Could you have left them sitting on the shelf - they just kept saying buy me buy me!~)

OK - If the tea pot is not my favorite one - the mitten one is! I just think it is adorable! I can not wait to get it decorated for the winter.

Every Pastor's wife needs a church cookie cutter. I found one today. I thought it was cute. (If only church building projects were as easy to make :) )

Just in time for fall - maple leaves. The kids and I actually made cookies with these cutters tonight - (that will explain the flour you see on the leaves). I am planning on decorating them tomorrow and then will post about our fall cookies then.

Hope you are enjoying your fall. Tonight with the oven going and the smell of sugar cookies in the air - I am starting to have "Christmas" feelings. It won't be too much longer.

Thanks so much for stopping in! Hope you have a great week.


Changes in God's Time

Life is full of changes. It is neat as a Christian to know that God is in control of the changes in our lives. It is complete security to know that everything that comes into our lives first goes through God's hands and is perfectly fitted just for us. It is also a blessing to know that God works in our hearts and lives through His Word and directs our steps throughout our entire lives.

God placed us in our church 5 years ago. At that time my husband was working in the church as an assistant pastor. Two years after we came to this church God led for my husband to assume the role of senior pastor. It has been a time of learning - as this was the first time we have ever been involved in this particular role of ministry. God has blessed; and we have seen Him work great things in our lives - as well as the people here at the church. We had planned to live here forever and planned on sinking our roots in deep as we ministered here. However, God had different plans.

About 18 months ago - God began burdening our hearts for families. This burden has grown deep and through much prayer and counsel God has called us to pursue an itinerant preaching ministry focused on the family and family issues. It will involve going into churches and preaching meetings on the home and family. We plan on spending time writing and putting out materials about the family from a Baptist perspective. We desire to travel overseas and minister to missionaries and their families in the work God has called them to do there. We also would like to arrange for family missions trips - so that Christian families can go - as a family - to the mission field and get a burden together for souls who have never heard. There are so many things that are involved in what we feel God has called us to do. We are excited about the future plans God has for us.

We also are saddened to leave this place where God has placed us for the last 5 years. Sunday we shared our heart and future ministry with the people of the church and informed them of the pending resignation of my husband from senior pastor. We will be staying here until the church is able to locate the man they feel God has equipped for this ministry here. We are praying for a smooth and easy transition as well as God's leading in the church to know God's fit for them in their new pastor. We anticipate that God will bring that man here before August of next year. Our departure will be when the new pastor has been installed or August 31, 2008 - whichever God allows to come first.

Please pray for us at this time. We need, as a family to locate a church where we will become members and base out of. We are committed to the local church as God's means of ministry for this day and age. We would love to stay here; but feel it best for the new pastor coming in to be able to assume his new role without the presence of the "old" pastor still sitting in the pew. We know God has a church that He has designed for us to attend - we are just trusting Him to lead and direct us to that place here in the near future.

We are equipping the family to prepare for traveling on the road and ministering as a family together. Piano lessons, violin lessons and family music practice are in full swing at this time. The kids are very excited about getting ready for the traveling. They also find themselves sad at the fact that they will be leaving their friends here. Change always has hard things about it - leaving friends will be a tough one in this change.

Thanks for your prayers. We look forward to seeing what God is going to do in the near future.

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end."

- Jeremiah 29:11

Mine for a Little While

Kelli over at "There's No Place Like Home" hosts a show and tell every Friday. Hop on over and see her special treasures along with links from others who participate in this fun little activity!

This Friday I wanted to share with you things that I have that God has allowed me to pass onto someone else for their enjoyment. (I hope this counts as show and tell - for they were all my possessions before God led me to give them away) I wanted to write about them - as I reminder to myself and others, that all the things that we have and possess are given to us by God. Most of the time they are ours in order for us to use them to be a blessing to others. Enjoy.

One of the most favorite things that I get to do as a Pastor's wife is the privilege of visiting elderly people. I grew up volunteering at a nursing home as a candy striper; and the passion for being around older people has never left me. I love being with them! I enjoy listening to their stories as they tell about the "good old days."

In the last couple of weeks I have been able to visit more often than I normally do. I so enjoy being able to take them a small gift - in appreciation for letting me visit with them. I thought I would share a few of the gifts that God has given for me to share. I put it that way because, I normally do not know ahead of time that I am going to be able to go for a visit. So, when I find out that I will be going - I have to prepare quickly and then pray while I am getting ready that God will give me some idea of something I have around the house that I can send their way and brighten up their day. He always gives me an idea - and I find myself whispering a prayer of thanks to God for the idea as I am walking out the door.

Here is a flower arrangement I had made for the dining room table. We were informed that an elderly lady friend of our had fallen and was mending at home - but still very sore and not feeling well. I was able to take the arrangement to her to brighten her day.

Here is a jar of jam that Rachel and I made a few weeks back. Our next door neighbor has been in the hospital for over two weeks suffering from many health complications. I was able to take an old colorful doily I had been given, wrap it around the jar and secure it with a rubber band. I thought it looked like a colorful gift - and she seemed to be thrilled.

I have found many uses for this old picnic basket that God has given me. Just this week I was able to prepare a dinner for an elderly gentleman that lives behind us. He has been suffering with a bad hip for several years. Just recently he has had more problems than normal. We were able to use this basket to take him over a full cooked meal for him to enjoy. It all fit into the basket nicely - and the kids were able to care it over with ease. (I even used the red checkered towel there to cover everything - as it was a Italian meal - and I thought that would fit with the theme.) The kids had fun making him "Were -Glad - Your - Our - Neighbor" cards and we sat them on top before we closed the lid.

These are just a few pictures of things I owned; but was able to pass them on to others - as I felt God wanted me to. I think that is what it is all about - using the things that we have - to bless and help others around us. I understand that everything I have belongs to God - if He has other purposes for it - I want to be able to pass them on and let Him use them accordingly.

"True religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widow in their affliction..."

Thanks for stopping by. See you next week.