Friday, December 19, 2014

Blessed, This Week Before Christmas


Oh so sleepy am I today.

Not one inkling of a desire have I, to anything that involves energy today.

Especially that Friday weightlifting session.

The one that includes deadlifts, and lunges.

I'm shuddering thinking about it.

I stayed up until 2 am last night (this morning?)

Hence the reason for the sleepiness and slow going today.

But I feel blessed.


Because I am alive.

I am saved by grace through faith in Christ.

I had a pretty good week.

I finished my Christmas shopping.

Finished up my K-3 class for this semester.

And I was able to have several girls from my church, hang out at my house last night, to watch a Christmas movie.

And talk until 1 am.

I feel blessed by the fact my hubby is home from work early today too.

Busy and sleepy, am I.

But oh so very blessed.

What are you dear ones feeling blessed for this week before Christmas?

Have a wonderfully blessed day! Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Harried And Hurried...

“One reason we are so harried and hurried is that we make yesterday and tomorrow our business, when all that legitimately concerns us is today. If we really have too much to do, there are some items on the agenda which God did not put there. Let us submit the list to Him and ask Him to indicate which items we must delete. There is always time to do the will of God. If we are too busy to do that, we are too busy.”  
― Elisabeth Elliot, Secure in the Everlasting Arms


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Monday, December 8, 2014

Favorite Christmas Memory: Our Engagement Story

Frannie over at "Of Mess and Glory” recently asked a question to her readers. The question was,” What is your favorite Christmas memory?”

I have quite a few Christmas memories that are dear to my heart. From sneaking into the living room early Christmas morning, with my sister, to peek into our stockings, or sitting and watching “The Nativity” on Christmas Eve, with my whole family, while gorging on sweet treats.

But there is one memory that happened Christmas morning, in 2012. A memory I greatly cherish. The Christmas, Justin asked me to become his bride.

The scene is the Sunday before Christmas, 2012. Our church was holding its annual Christmas party, and “White Elephant” gift exchange. Someone there received an herb garden planter, which I highly coveted. My turn to choose a gift came, and while I could have “stole” the herb planter, I decided against, and chose an unopened gift. Justin’s turn came, and to my surprise he “stole” the herb planter.

I could not understand why he wanted the planter, but never asked why, and I really did not give it any thought.

The next day was Christmas Eve. We had lunch with his parents and sister’s family, followed by the opening of gifts. We then went caroling to the widows of our church, and returned back to my parents’ house long enough to change clothes for a Christmas Eve service. Following the service we had dinner with some of Justin’s extended family, and then returned back to my house for an evening filled with sweets and a watching of “The Nativity”.

Back up to the opening of gifts at Justin’s parents. I opened gifts from his family, watched the children open theirs, and then Justin handed me a gift from him. I opened it to find the herb planter that I had so wanted at the church Christmas party. I was surprised, and then realized his reasoning for stealing the planter.

About two minutes later, there was a knock on the door, and some more family had dropped by. We visited for just a little bit, but Justin and I had to leave so we would be able to go caroling.

I grabbed my gifts, herb planter included, and we headed out the door. We left his truck at the church, as we planned on riding altogether in our church van.

We caroled, returned to the church, jumped in Justin’s truck, and headed for my parents’ house. I took my gifts inside, herb planter included, placed everything on the desk in my room, and changed clothes so we could head out once more the evening service.

We spent a blessed time in the house of our LORD, singing carols and listening to the Christmas story. Once again we left the church, only to head to his extended family dinner, and then back to my parent’s house for some much welcomed relaxation.

Justin left close to midnight that night, and asked what time he could be back over in the morning for my family celebration. I told him whenever that morning would be fine. He asked if 5 would be too early. I laughed, thinking he sure was anxious to get back over here. I told him he could come that early, but I doubt anyone would be up yet. He said he would be over around 8:30 or so.

I went to bed, and awoke around 7 Christmas morning. I showered and dressed, preparing for that special holiday. I finished getting ready around 7:45, and thought I should do a little straightening up in my room. I came to my desk, and found the pile of gifts, topped with the herb planter. I sat down, and decided to look over that sweet gift, from my very special someone.

I slid back the paper sleeve to look inside and examine the seeds. But the seeds are not what caught my eye.

My heart raced as I laid my eyes on a little black box.

Slowly I opened the box, and found a ring.

At first, I could not believe my eyes. Was this really a ring in the herb planter? Am I really alive and seeing this?

Quickly I jumped on my sisters bed (she was still sleeping), and said “Grace! Look what was in the herb box!”

She sleepily looked at it and I asked “Is this really a ring?”

She then said “So that is why Justin told me to look after that herb box before he left last night…”

I knew it was real then, and I commenced to screaming.

I could not help it! My mind was racing, and I just had to squeal!

Over and over!

Just ask anyone in my family.

I almost deafened them.

My dad who was sleeping still came into the living room asking what in the world was going on. I showed him the ring, and you know what he said? “You need to put that back. I don’t think you were supposed to find that yet”. (He knew Justin was going to propose soon. Justin had asked for my hand the same evening of the church Christmas party)

At that moment, Justin could not get there fast enough for me.

Eight thirty arrived, and so did my prince.

I walked out the door, hands behind my back, and a huge grin on my face, to greet my love.
I walked over to him, and asked him how he was doing. He said he was good, and asked how I was doing. I said “really good.” He then asked, “Did you find something?”

I showed him the ring box, and he smiled really big. I gave him the box, and what happened after is kind of a blur. I think we hugged then. What I do remember him asking me not to “marry him” but if I would become his bride.


We came inside, and hugs were all around from family. We then sat on the couch, and for the first time ever, we held hands.

He then told me of how he had put the ring in the herb planter, and had planned on asking me at his family gathering. He was going to have me open up the paper sleeve on the box, but as fate would have it, family dropped by and the timing was not right. He then hoped I would not open up the planter, but wait and then ask me to grab it on Christmas morning after all the gifts were opened then propose.

If you had asked me when I was younger how my future husband would propose, I probably would have said on the beach, or all alone in some romantic sort of place. I never would have guessed it would have ended up as it did.

But I sure am glad it turned out how it did.

No. It was not hugely “romantic” by most people’s standards. Justin didn’t even get down on one knee. (I did not even realize that fact until he told me he wish he had, but was just so excited and surprised at the how the event unfolded)

But it was perfect. (I said YES and we have now been married for one year and eight months)

GOD showed Himself in that event of our lives. As plain as day, HE showed us that no matter how much we can plan out our lives, HE is still in control, and will work everything out for HIS good and glory.

Do you have a unique engagement story?

Have a wonderfully blessed day everyone! Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Monday, December 1, 2014

Last Week, and Christmas Decor

Good day friends and family! I pray you are all having a wonderfully blessed day in our LORD! It was a gloriously warm day here in NC. The temps for the first day of December were in the 70's!
Woo-hoo! It made spending time outdoors very enjoyable. :D
So how was your Thanksgiving week? Ours stayed pretty busy with the usual comings and goings the first part of the week, and the celebration of the holiday the second part of the week. But it was a blessed week. We were able to have lunch at my parents, and dinner at his parents. :)
I awoke bright and early at 2:45 am to do some Black Friday shopping with my mom and sister. I was a bit worried there would be nothing left with sales beginning Thursday evening. But I was pleasantly surprised with empty aisles, and well stocked shelves. :D
I was back home around 8:30 am. I slept for an hour, and awoke with not one inkling of a desire to put up my Christmas décor. I sat in a chair in the living room for two hours, not moving until I finally had Justin fix me a cup of coffee. My energy quickly arrived after that. :D
This Christmas tree was purchased on Black Friday last year. I waited in line at Home Depot, in 30 degree temps, to get this tree. It was originally $300, on sale for $69. Well worth the wait. :)

Most of the ornaments I already owned. I purchased or made most of them, and put them into my hope chest. And the burlap garland and tree skirt were once the aisle runner from our wedding. :)
Notice something else about our living room? We purchased furniture!
Our previous couch was on loan from Justin's aunt. We have talked about buying furniture for quite a while now. We have been wanting to be more hospitable, but have not had room for many people to sit. So we finally took the plunge, and picked out this living room set. :)

 Here's a look at the rest of our Christmas décor in and about the house...

Kitchen Table

Stockings I sewed up last year
Same wreath from last year. Vey simple design I have incorporated into most of my wreath making this year
Some of my summer flower pots with pine cones, and dollar store ornaments
The lantern was another hope chest item. The wood board was also left from the wedding
Justin's antlers from last years deer

Not décor, but they are kinda cute I think ;P
Do you decorate much for Christmas? Do you buy or make most of your décor?

Have a wonderfully blessed day! Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

I Made Soap!

I finally completed a project I have been wanting to do for years now. I made soap!
It's been on my bucket list since I was in high school, but I have never made it a priority. With my husbands encouragement, and an ever increasing desire to eliminate toxins, as much as possible from our daily lives (and be thrifty too), I set out two weeks ago to learn as much as I could about cold process soap making.
And discovered the basic process to be fairly simple. I think the most difficult part of the process was deciding which recipe to try first! :P
I decided on an "Oatmeal Lavender" recipe, from "The Simple Dollar" website. You can find the recipe here.
So, here are some pics from the process...
All the ingredients laid out...
Oils heating up...
Lavender buds and oatmeal added to oils...
No pics of the lye/water solution. I figured it would be a good idea to be TOTALLY focused while dealing with such a caustic substance. Neither did I get pics of it tracing. But here is the soap, poured into molds, ready to be covered and sit for 24 hours...
After what felt like almost the longest 24 hours of my life, I finally got to check it, and found it was ready to cut...
Yes, I did this in my P.J.s. (Sunday afternoons are meant for P.J.s, in my book...)...

All cut, and laid out to dry for 3-4 weeks...

This week, I hope to make a batch of Calendula infused soap. I think it is safe to say, I'm going to be addicted to this soap making thing. :D

Have you ever made soap? If so, do you have a favorite recipe?

Have a wonderfully blessed day everyone! Thanks for stopping by!

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Saturday, November 15, 2014


Today is a cold day in my part of North Carolina. The current temp at 10:15 am is 38 degrees. And it's only forecast to get up to about 48 degrees today.

Justin has gone hunting. With my low cold tolerance, I have been left home to spend the day.

As of 9:30 am I had...
1 load of clothes drying,
Another load washing,
Sweet Potatoes in the oven, to go with Justins pork chop lunch, on his return,
Tomato Basil soup in the crock pot for dinner tonight,
And 1 tall mug of extra dark, hot chocolate heartily consumed.
The rest of the day will be spent...
Making my first ever batch of cold process soap,
Washing more clothes,
Evening hunting if it warms up some,
And hopefully finding some snuggle time with the hubby. 
GOD is good, ALL the time!
What are you up to today?
Have a wonderfully blessed day! Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Good Moments, In the Bad

Well hello! How have you been? I pray you are having a wonderfully blessed day in our LORD! I'm excited to be back. I didn't intend on taking such a break from blogging, but physically I had to for a couple weeks.
Ever since I started back teaching my K-3 class, I have suffered from a lingering cold. Which got pretty rough about two and a half weeks ago. There was constant sinus inflammation, an ever aching head, and total lack of energy by the end of the day.
But praise the LORD! I have not had a headache for 3 days now, and I have had an almost scary amount of energy! Which has been great for getting housework done. :D
So, enough complaining. It's time to praise the LORD for the good moments HE has blessed me with during these past few weeks.
My last post was about how my hubby and I were going hunting for the first time together. We did go, but didn't see a thing. We did enjoy the time spent together, but agreed we prefer to hunt in our own tree from now on. That physical attraction between a man and wife, well, let's just say it's kind of hard to ignore it and focus on hunting when sitting so close together in such gorgeous scenery... :P

I was able to enjoy some fresh fried chicken, mostly guilt free, for the first time in over a year. There was one evening, I just has a terrible craving for it, but fought an inner battle on how unhealthy this meal typically is. So I went online to try and find a way to enjoy this treat, without completely wrecking a years work of eating mostly clean. And I found a recipe where the chicken is fried in coconut oil! SCORE!

And oh, how yummy it was with homegrown, sautéed green beans, sweet potatoes, homemade wheat rolls and sweet tea! :D

My hubby was extra sweet one evening. When I came back in from hunting one evening, I found this sitting on the table...
A sweet note, fresh sunflowers, and pumpkin spice doughnuts (which I ate without ANY guilt). Oh, do I love that man...
I've had to endure this scene quite a bit of late...
A house almost constantly disorganized. Not matter how hard I try, I can not seem to keep my house organized. It is especially hard this time of year when we are constantly coming in and going out  with our hunting gear. I love to keep a tidy house, and I will admit seeing it out of order gets me flustered very quickly.
But this has been a tool the LORD is using in my life. To teach me how to be slow to anger, and not to let something so little as a disorganized house drive me batty. I'm striving to be thankful that I have a house, that will become disorganized at times, and to praise the LORD for the time and ability I have to be able to put it back together. :)
The fair rolled into town last week. Which meant an evening spent with family and friends, riding rides, and eating loads of cotton candy... :)
Saturday, I went along with Justin, while he cleared a new hunting trail...
I did take a few swings with the machete. But mostly I was there to watch our out for him. It did give me a great opportunity to take some photos of the slowly turning leaves...

Thank-you LORD for your blessing on me! :)

Well, time to get off here and get supper started.

How have you been enjoying life theses past few weeks?

Have a wonderfully blessed day! Thanks for stopping by!


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