RSS

Tag Archives: chocolate

55 Little Things That 2012 Taught Me

Who knew that a speedy little year could teach big and little lessons along the way?   Actually, I did… and I learned a lot. Some lessons were new, some just reminders, some I’m glad I learned, some not so glad, some were so bad that I still can taste it (That’d be number 1 on the list), some were bittersweet and some just plain fun…55 things… That is more than one a week for all of you non-math people.  Here we go….

In 2012, I learned or was reminded that:

IMG_4498

1. If there is an expiration date on a food product and it is expired, particularly if it is over a year and a half after the date, it probably won’t taste good……even crackers…

        IMG_1249  IMG_1239

2. One person CAN touch unseen lives eternally which indirectly changes the world.

IMG_4291

3. Dog “shaming” works….. just sayin’

4.Projects that seem little can explode into something big.

                               IMG_0340 IMG_0308                                                                     537622_3956235546410_1964061738_n

5. Drawing and painting on the Sketch Club app are great ways to relieve stress.

6. We are never guaranteed our next breath.

IMG_1530  Tornado damage

7. Nature is powerful.

8. When nature is powerful often human need is incredibly great.

9. When human need is great, corporate compassion kicks in and other humans become active and help.

10. While other humans help, corporate compassion fades away and we tend to forget about those who needed the help… Even if they still need it.

11. Listening to God’s people at all times and holding the words in your heart can help during rough times

12. Everyone has a story.

13. Everyone experiences hurt.

14. The enemy is very real and active.

15. Having no car payments…. nice ….having to start the car by lifting the hood and plugging up the battery…. not so nice..

16. Sometimes, it is difficult not to become discouraged, especially when you try your hardest and still mess up. (Happens more than I like to admit….oops, I think I just admitted that).

Anglin fallsIMG_1661IMG_2178  IMG_1275 IMG_1296

17. Nature is beautiful…. even in Kentucky.

18. Not everyone will reciprocate or maybe even acknowledge your kindness, generosity, care, concern, friendship or love….. it’s okay… just love ’em anyway.

IMG_4958

19. Facebook is great for connecting long time friends… particularly when one lives in Sweden.

20. Santa Claus can come on New Year’s Eve if he wants (Just stating the facts)

IMG_4108

21. Low carb food, like my low carb pancakes, can really taste good…..and that’s not even comparing it to out of date crackers.

IMG_497168444_10151348646073628_346370768_n

22. Being healthy is important… If laughter is great medicine… My family is funny and we laugh at ourselves and each other a lot….. Yep, we are really healthy. 

23. Words, even just a few, either good or bad, can have an affect on someone for a long time  …..maybe even for life…

IMG_3137IMG_3136IMG_2828

24. Finding wild baby animals makes you want to keep them, but they have more chance of survival if you leave them alone….Okay, we didn’t find the monkey but he was just too cute to not include. 

papa flying kites 2

25. Flying kites is completely underrated.  

IMG_1796

26. Enjoying time on the family farm is healthy for the family.

27. Smart phone are lifelines in many cases….  but they can really embarrass you too… i.e. auto-correct  (corrected words vanilla and Ha! are the first to come to mind), sending a text to the wrong person, accidentally hitting a button on your phone and realize that you called your co-worker at 1:00am, hitting another button and calling a former co-worker at 7:00am, who now lives in a different time zone,  which of course woke him up and then also calling your boss from your pocket without knowing it until he calls you back….. more than once… 

28. Grace exemplified is amazing to see, be a part of, experience, receive and feel. It is also amazing to see a loved ones life changed because of it.  

IMG_2268

29. Regardless of what a 10-year-old says, Butt Paste is not used to glue a baby down to prevent them getting into things.

30. Great people are a part of my church family.

31. Great people are a part of my family.

32. Great people are a part of my friendships.

IMG_2430IMG_2418IMG_2427 IMG_2324 nFjYib

33. Kids really love art… and flying angry birds

weird 1283_232_861weird 115IMG_2380

34. Destruction or neglect of buildings that once housed good childhood memories tends to make me melancholy. 

mystery machine

35. Apparently those “Meddling Kids” live in my town..

Photo Jun 18, 12 13 05 AMIMG_2596

36. Summer Camp is fun… even for counselors and directorsbut a wasp sting at camp… particularly inside the nose, hurts like crazy…….Experience talking.

IMG_2777IMG_4718IMG_4712

37.  Surprising co-workers with their favorite something, going to support them away from work, laughing together, praying together and liking each other is not necessarily the norm, even in churches. I love and am proud of my co-workers…They may as well be family… Actually, they pretty much are. 

IMG_2996

38. Not all American Flags are made in America…

IMG_3337IMG_3210

IMG_4878

39. Kentucky has some of the prettiest sunsets ever.

IMG_4309

40. Kentucky’s weather is erratic… One day freezing with gloves, heavy coats, etc,

……the next day getting a tan.

IMG_2867IMG_2850

41. Kentucky also can have extremely hot summers.

IMG_3738

42. If you live to celebrate a centennial birthday, you get a key to the city, a letter from the President, lots and lots of party goers, lots and lots of cards and the whole family to gather together and if you are as sharp as Aunt Emma, then you’ll be able to talk about it for years to come.

IMG_3807IMG_3806

43. Even if your child’s school has a bad reputation for being in a rough area, looks like a prison, has a history of poor test scores, has 90% or more free and reduced lunch and all in modular units while renovating….. and the polar opposite of that school is in 1/10 of a mile out of your school district……. if God wants your child to be there for the year then He will do great things with that year… and He has….

IMG_4229                                                                                                IMG_4225

44. There is no place like October Court Day… not sure if that is good or bad.  

IMG_4651

45. It’s fun to reduce, reuse, recycle and upcycle.

IMG_4338 IMG_4337

 46. I do NOT like politics, political commercials or political party talk… ever… but  especially not during election year.  I research on a my own and yes, I voted.

IMG_4344

47. It becomes overwhelming when I think about children and how many of them, the same ages as my daughters, that are being lured, captured,s old into the Human Trafficking industry… It is a huge worldwide problem and there are ways to help just as we did by purchasing pumpkins where proceeds go to help girls at risk right here in our own state.

Hostess-Twinkies-box1

48. Traditions change, people change, plans change, scenery changes…nothing lasts forever, not even Hostess but Christ is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.

    IMG_3232IMG_3237IMG_3241IMG_3240IMG_3273

49. One can make just about anything with duck tape and trash.

50.  Speaking of our society, sometimes I’m concerned that we are a frog in a kettle…

IMG_3392

51. I am proud of and love very much my husband and my sweet girls.

52. Watching loved ones hurt, whether physically, emotionally or spiritually is such a helpless feeling.

IMG_3219

53.  Bacon is the new Salsa… or maybe the new Chocolate… it’s everywhere.

54. Working with children brings home GREAT stories and lots of laughter and a melted heart when a little one learns your name and says it… Love my job.

Jeremiah-29-13-web

55.  Though He may seem distant, quiet or even not there at all,  though we may question, doubt and even turn away, though we may not like ourselves, may not feel worthy or may not feel we could be loved by God, though through hatred, addictions, a lifestyle, love of things more than God, or any other thing that would create a gap between us and the one who created us, whether we fight it, make our way crawling or run recklessly … God says that when we seek him, we will find him, that is, when we seek him with all of our hearts.  That’s a promise.

Interested to see what 2013 has in store…. Well, as long as it doesn’t involve crackers…..

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 5, 2013 in Fun, Life Stories

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Celebrate the Season-Advent Daily Chocolate Day 2- What’s in a name?

 

51088xr7fXL._SL500_AA300_I find name meanings to be very interesting. My name is a form of Ann which is a name that means “grace.”  I wonder how many parents pick names because of their meaning or if they just like the name.

My name was not picked by happenstance… I was named for two of my aunts.  Though I could be wrong, I’m pretty sure my parents didn’t name me with the thought that I would practice grace, exemplify grace or bestow grace on those around me ust because my name translated so. (However, I’m sure they’d be proud if I did)

Picking a name for a child is a tough job… my husband and I had the hardest time deciding on each of our girls’ names.  Honestly, I didn’t look at the meanings of their names or if I did, I didn’t give it second thought.  I just went with the name that I liked.

My advent reading today was Isaiah 9:1-7 and I focused on the names that this prophecy gave Christ…the names were descriptive of who this “son” was going to be… Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  I love these terms, not just because I can sing them (Hallelujah Chorus), but because of what these four or possibly five names can really mean.

Wonderful- astonishing, amazing.. wonderful goes beyond good, even beyond great….. wonderful exceeds expectations and in most cases blows us away

Counselor- who can I depend on to guide me in the best direction?  Who can I confide in? Who can I gain understanding from?  Yep, it would be the counselor…. or rather, the Wonderful Counselor

Mighty God-  I love the term mighty.  From what I can comprehend about God… there is nothing that can touch Him… He is mighty and more powerful than all

Everlasting Father- Never ending…. No death…. infinity and beyond … However you best understand it, God is forever.

Prince of Peace- I’m not sure if this title is descriptive of world peace or peace within but I believe that Christ showed us how to live peacefully within ourselves and among the world

I love the fact that Christ lived up to his names…. I’ve experienced the Wonderful and was blown away.  I’ve experienced the Counselor and was guided in the correct direction.  I’ve experienced the Mighty God… so much power and never backs down… fights the enemy for you.  I’ve experienced the Everlasting Father…. time is of no issue… He is always there.  I’ve experienced the Prince of Peace…. there have been times when I thought my world was falling apart or times when I was broken… Peace came in and rescued me..

Christ lives up to his name…Just one of the many reasons to celebrate the season and the hope that it brings.

Isaiah 9:1-7

1 Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever. The land of Zebulun and Naphtali will be humbled, but there will be a time in the future when Galilee of the Gentiles, which lies along the road that runs between the Jordan and the sea, will be filled with glory.

2 The people who walk in darkness
will see a great light.
For those who live in a land of deep darkness,
a light will shine.
3 You will enlarge the nation of Israel,
and its people will rejoice.
They will rejoice before you
as people rejoice at the harvest
and like warriors dividing the plunder.
4 For you will break the yoke of their slavery
and lift the heavy burden from their shoulders.
You will break the oppressor’s rod,
just as you did when you destroyed the army of Midian.
5 The boots of the warrior
and the uniforms bloodstained by war
will all be burned.
They will be fuel for the fire.

6 For a child is born to us,
a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.
And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor,[d] Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 His government and its peace
will never end.
He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David
for all eternity.
The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies
will make this happen!


 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 3, 2012 in Advent, Devotions, Faith

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Celebrate the Season- Advent Daily Chocolate Day 1: Love is Blind

When I was a kid I used to look so forward to December 1st.  That was when I could open the very first window in my Advent calendar.  This was the calendar that I received around Thanksgiving and was tortured by chocolate desire for a week or so.  But on December 1st, I could finally look and see what the chocolate design was… you know, an angel, a wiseman, a shepherd, Santa, etc…. and then eat it up.  The main problem though was that by December 2nd, the only thing left behind in those little windows was a hollowed out shell and  the smell of the chocolate …. Yep, I had no self control and I counted down to Christmas in one day.  What do you expect?  The pieces of chocolate were wafer thin and the windows weren’t locked…I had to make sure they all tasted the same…16767

Well, now I’m all grown up and have self control ……. And I also have a job so I can buy an extra calendar or two just in case…..but, this isn’t about chocolate calendars….it’s not about self-control…..  It is about the Advent Season and the excitement that the countdown brings.

I’ve found myself many times when I’m reading during my quiet time, wanting to read more and then a bit more and even more …. pretty much like the chocolate of my childhood, I don’t want to stop until I’m satisfied.  So to add to my regular Bible reading plan,  I’m opening an Advent reading window a day (while eating a piece of chocolate, of course).  I’m doing this so I can share the “chocolate” that is satisfying to me and hopefully to others to.

So grab your chocolate …. the real stuff.. or not….. and hold me accountable to sharing with you a devotion, insight or story a day until Christmas.  Hopefully,  you’ll enjoy it as much as I will.

So, we’ll begin here in Isaiah…. Isaiah 11:1-5 to be exact

Isaiah is prophesying- He’s telling about a person (Jesus), a descendant of David, who is going to have some pretty obvious qualities about himself…. Godly wisdom, Godly Counsel, Godly Understanding…Just these three alone are enough to make you think He would be the one to follow, but as you move on down into the scripture there is something that I read that makes the whole appreciating Jesus thing even more precious.

It talks about his quality of blindness in Christ… not literal blindness, but instead, it is the ability to look at someone and not see them as others do and not judge them because of the way that they appear.  He judges the heart (That is why the Pharisees stayed so angry at him all of the time) .  In other words, he doesn’t love us just because we are attractive, or physically fit, or big givers of our money, are financially sound, teach Sunday School or sing in the choir or any other deed.   He loves us because we are his creation… made in his image..    That’s an incredible hope for a society who lives in a shadow of Hollywood images and lifestyles … It is also incredible hope for those haunted by their past.

We also find out He also judges by what he knows and sees … not rumor…He waits to know our hearts and doesn’t allow the opinion of another to persuade his thoughts about us.   More hope for those plagued with a history of poor choices or a past (or even present) that have been a topic of conversations of others.

When Isaiah was prophesying about this Messiah, he painted a picture of a fair and loving Christ that we fortunately now have an opportunity to know…. personally.

Have you pushed Christ aside because of a sin, a past, a hate, a bitterness or just an esteem that feels undeserving?  Look at how he see us… it’s different than what we are used to …. allow him to show you that love.

What about those who have experienced his love… How is your love? Is your love blind toward others?  Is it based on what you feel is attractive or not so attractive (appearances, financial status, hygiene, rumors, lifestyle, political positions, educational background, personality)?  Today is a great day to practice blind love… to try to see the heart of a person rather than what the world sees.

So, I’m off to buy more chocolate…. I love this time of year!

Isaiah 11:1-5

New Living Translation (NLT)

1 Out of the stump of David’s family[a] will grow a shoot—
      yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root.
 2 And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
      the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
   the Spirit of counsel and might,
      the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
 3 He will delight in obeying the Lord.
      He will not judge by appearance
      nor make a decision based on hearsay.
 4 He will give justice to the poor
      and make fair decisions for the exploited.
   The earth will shake at the force of his word,
      and one breath from his mouth will destroy the wicked.
 5 He will wear righteousness like a belt
      and truth like an undergarment.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 1, 2012 in Advent, Devotions, Faith

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Celebrate the Season- Advent Daily Chocolate Day 1: Love is Blind

When I was a kid I used to look so forward to December 1st.  That was when I could open the very first window in my Advent Calendar, look and see what the chocolate design was… you know, an angel, a Wiseman, a shepherd, etc…. and then eat it up.  The main problem though was that by December 2nd, the only thing left behind in those little windows was a hollowed out shell and  the smell of the chocolate …. Yep, I had no self control and I counted down to Christmas in one day.  What do you expect?  The pieces of chocolate were wafer thin and the windows weren’t locked… it was like a chocolate free for all.

Well, now I’m all grown up and have self control ……. And I also have a job so I can buy an extra calendar or two just in case ….. but, this isn’t about chocolate calendars….it’s not about self-control…..  It is about the Advent Season and the excitement that the countdown brings.

I’ve found myself many times when I’m reading during my quiet time, wanting to read more and then a bit more and even more …. pretty much like the chocolate of my childhood, I don’t want to stop until I’m satisfied.  So to add to my regular Bible reading plan,  I’m opening an Advent reading window a day (while eating a piece of chocolate, of course).  I’m doing this so I can share the “chocolate” that is satisfying to me and hopefully to others to.

So grab your chocolate …. the real stuff.. or not….. and hold me accountable to sharing with you a devotion, insight or story a day until Christmas.  Hopefully,  you’ll enjoy it as much as I will.

So, we’ll begin here in Isaiah…. Isaiah 11:1-5 to be exact

Isaiah is prophesying- He’s telling about a person (Jesus), a descendant of David, who is going to have some pretty obvious qualities about himself…. Godly wisdom, Godly Counsel, Godly Understanding…Just these three alone are enough to make you think He would be the one to follow, but as you move on down into the scripture there is something that I read that makes the whole appreciating Jesus thing even more precious.

It talks about his quality of blindness in Christ… not literal blindness, but instead, it is the ability to look at someone and not see them as others do and not judge them because of the way that they appear.  He judges the heart (That is why the Pharisees stayed so angry at him all of the time) .  In other words, he doesn’t love us just because we are attractive, or physically fit, or big givers of our money, are financially sound, teach Sunday School or sing in the choir or any other deed.   He loves us because we are his creation… made in his image..    That’s an incredible hope for a society who lives in a shadow of Hollywood images and lifestyles … It is also incredible hope for those haunted by their past.

We also find out He also judges by what he knows and sees … not rumor…He waits to know our hearts and doesn’t allow the opinion of another to persuade his thoughts about us.   More hope for those plagued with a history of poor choices or a past (or even present) that has brought about conversations from others.

When Isaiah was prophesying about this Messiah, he painted a picture of a fair and loving Christ that we fortunately now have an opportunity to know…. personally.

Have you pushed Christ aside because of a sin, a past, a hate, a bitterness or just an esteem that feels undeserving?  Look at how he see us… it’s different than what we are used to …. allow him to show you that love.

What about those who have experienced his love… How is your love? Is your love blind toward others?  Is it based on what you feel is attractive or not so attractive (appearances, financial status, hygiene, rumors, lifestyle, political positions)?  Today is a great day to practice blind love… to try to see the heart of a person rather than what the world sees.

So, I’m off to buy more chocolate…. I love this time of year!

Isaiah 11:1-5

New Living Translation (NLT)

1 Out of the stump of David’s family[a] will grow a shoot—
      yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root.
 2 And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
      the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
   the Spirit of counsel and might,
      the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
 3 He will delight in obeying the Lord.
      He will not judge by appearance
      nor make a decision based on hearsay.
 4 He will give justice to the poor
      and make fair decisions for the exploited.
   The earth will shake at the force of his word,
      and one breath from his mouth will destroy the wicked.
 5 He will wear righteousness like a belt
      and truth like an undergarment.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 1, 2011 in Devotions, Faith

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Jelly Beans… possibly the greatest

jelly-beansMy daughter received a really sweet gift from her teacher and a classmate before their Spring Break… the whole class did.  It was a little basket and bag of Easter goodies.  Just after my daughter showed it to me, she devoured everything…. chocolate first (just like her Mom), then she went for the other sweet things like Skittles, Starburst and all of those other fat-free candy. (Believe me, I know the way the whole sweets justification thing works… saying fat-free, regardless of the sugar content has some redeeming sounding value) .

My precious little sticky-handed seven-year-old had finished all she could handle for the moment and brought me a little sweet gift…She handed it to me with a toothless grin and said, “Here Mom, you can have these,” and off she ran to play with a friend.  There in the bottom of the goodie bag was a rainbow of jelly beans… I can’t tell you how disappointed I was…. Jelly Beans are definitely not my favorite and in fact, I’m pretty sure that…with the exception of Jelly Bellies…. they probably have some great influence on our country’s economic situation today…. way too many jelly beans made and with all of the packaging and food color and sugar… they just seem to overproduce those things and they have to lose money on them.  They all seem to end up in some clearance shopping cart until they are marked down to 10 cents a bag… then either some impulsive bargain shopper scoops them up or the one of the few jelly bean enthusiasts out there grabs them to create jelly bean artwork. george_jelly_beans-3000x0500x750 I’m concerned that there may be a jelly bean bailout…   Check out Wal-mart the day after Easter,  see how many of those Reese’s eggs are left in comparison to the all of the jelly bean bags and you’ll see my concern.

I really do wonder why jelly beans have become such an Easter staple?  Maybe it is because they are inexpensive… or maybe it is because, though not impossible, they are harder to find throughout the year.. or maybe there is something about them that I just don’t see or get… I don’t know.

I know Jesus wasn’t talking about jelly beans when he said the least among you (which I think jelly beans totally are)will be the greatest.  I kind of always had in mind that being the “least among you” meant being humble and not being arrogant…. I still think it does…however, something struck me this morning as I was reading that passage.  Jesus had a child stand beside him and tells those who were arguing around him about their place by His side, “Whoever welcomes this little one, welcomes me, whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me”.  Wow! Being the least in order to be the greatest is about welcoming the child or childlike, a.k.a the least…. possibly the least of society… maybe the least according to your own personal prejudices or attitudes.. could be the least in maturity whether emotional, spiritual, social or physical… possibly the least could literally be a child (in that case I am plugging getting involved with your Children’s ministry)… I think Jesus was trying to show us that welcoming is what makes our faith so great… welcoming is more than just a greeting… it is an act of warmth, of hospitality, of gratefulness of the arrival…

Okay, I’ll welcome my jelly beans but only because they were given as a gift from someone I love…

Who has God given to you to welcome?  You might be surprised.  Maybe we should welcome because they are a gift from the Giver that we love.

Luke 9:46-48

46An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. 47Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. 48Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For he who is least among you all—he is the greatest.”

 
3 Comments

Posted by on April 8, 2009 in Devotions, Faith, Fun

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

No More No Bake Cookies!!

Three things I remember about school lunches…

  • Chili must be served with an orange half
  • Friday is fish day (although that changed somewhere in my school years)
  • No bake cookies are delicious

No bake cookies are delicious and with peanut butter and oats they are practically health food! (I’m justifying here)  It is winter, cold and laid back at our house.. No bake cookies are the health food/comfort food of choice so I made a double batch.  My daughter went to get one tonight and said, “What?? There is only one left!??!!”  My husband said, “I’ve not even had one.”  Whatever I was doing at the moment I did it with greater intensity and focus and chewed that no bake cookie in my mouth faster.  I was guilty.  No, I didn’t completely eat two batches of cookies by myself….. although I have no doubt that I could have easily done so… I had little helpers but it was definitely a reminder of how easily I fall to temptation that seems so innocent.  What could possibly be wrong with no bake cookies?  Nothing really with a couple, but with 76 we are talking about overdoing for sure…

My lesson- No bake cookies are not for making and having in the house.  They are to be taken to Super Bowl Parties and game nights, etc…. If it is tempting then I need to keep it away from me.. that is the lesson learned

I am so happy that the Super Bowl is tomorrow night… wonder what I should  take to the party?? I hope I have enough peanut butter…………..

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 1, 2009 in Faith, Fun, Life Stories

 

Tags: , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: