Thursday, September 30, 2010

Mustard Seed Planting : Matthew 5 :3-12

I'm a day late in linking up with Mustard Seed Planting due to computer-related issues, but as I seem to be saying all too often lately ~ better late than never!

This week, I feel led to Matthew 5: 3-12 ~ The Beatitudes......perhaps because my life at the moment is helter-skelter crazy/busy ~ ~ I feel the urge to focus on this well-known passage that calls my heart back to the basic characteristics of a Christian life.

I am currently re-reading The Journey of a Mother's Heart by Glenda Malmin as part of my daily quiet time.  It was in a chapter of this book that I felt the pull to this week's scripture ~ bringing to the forefront of the daily chaos the fact that my jobs as "Wife" and "Mom" are the most important jobs......and one of the greatest blessings......that I have.

Focusing on the job of "Mom", I'm borrowing from the book a poem from and unknown author:

I took a piece of plastic clay
And idly fashioned it one day.
And as my fingers pressed it still,
It bent and yielded to my will
I came again when days were past,
That bit of clay was hard at last.
My early impress still it bore,
And I could change its form no more.
You take a piece of living clay
And gently form it day by day,
Molding with your power and art,
A young boy's soft and yielding heart.
You come again when years are gone,
It is a man you look upon.
Your early impress still he bore
And you can change him never more.

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I was also recently tagged by Nicole at Coming Alive in Christ, so here are her eight questions & my answers for this meme:

1. Do you like meatballs?  

Yes, but not the ones in the freezer section at the grocery store.  I prefer homemade, thank you very much!  : )

2. What is your favorite pizza?

Veggie w/ thin crust & red pepper flakes sprinkled on top  : )

3. What is your favorite store?

Favorites can be hard for me.........Grocery - Publix;  Clothing - Ann Taylor Loft;  Target vs. Walmart - Target

4. What is your favorite book?

The  B-I-B-L-E

5. Would you like to live in a tree?

I would not, could not live in a tree
I could not, would not ~ don't you see?
A happy girl I would not be
For in a tree, there's no A/C!!!

6. What is your favorite color?


7. Do you like to dance and sing to music?

Yes, I do.....but I am a white girl with no groove, so my children are the only ones allowed to see me dance.  I do sing, but wish I was more talented at that than I am.  : )

8. Do you like making crafts?

Yes.....I am one crafty mama!!

**** If you're a crafty mama too, visit Nicole on Tuesdays at her other blog
and link up with her Crafty Tuesday meme!! ****

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sweet Sugar Babies......Sweet Diva does Diaper Bags : )

Inspired by the request of a fabulously ♥Sweet♥ friend, Sweet Diva now does Diaper Bags!  They were actually on my list of things to add to my can-do's.......yes, I like to make up words ; ).......but got moved to the top of the list by her request for two very special bundles of joy!  : )

(You can enlarge the pics, if you like, by clicking on the pic.  A new window will open with an enlarged photo, which you can click on again to enlarge once more.)

 13 1/2" W x 14" H x 5" deep. Roomy & functional....basically how I would want one. Plenty of room for diapers, wipes, blankets, changes of clothes, etc.

2 outer pockets, 5 inside pockets, 2 elastic bands to hold bottles/sippy cups, and a key/pacifier ring to clip those items onto (so Mom's not digging through the whole bag trying to find them)!

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And whatsoever ye do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. ~ Colossians 3:17

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Blog hopping today with:

PhotobucketTuesday Tag-Along
To-the-TOP Tuesday

Monday, September 27, 2010

Mulititude Monday: 1,000 Gifts 15-20

Continuation of Gratitude......

15.  The fresh perspective of a new day after a disheartening end to an otherwise good one

Psalm 30:5 " His favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."

Nehemiah 8:10 "The joy of the LORD is your strength."

 16.  A theme song for every day

(Mute the auto music player at the bottom of the page to hear the video)

17.  A child who whistles while he works (schoolwork at the moment)

18.  A husband who took out the trash when I had planned to  : )

19.  Waking up to the sounds of laughter : )

Psalm 32:11 "Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart."

20.   Faith in His Promises

"Whereby are given unto us Exceeding Great And Precious Promises:

that by These ye might be partakers of the Divine Nature,

having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;

And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience Godliness;

And to Godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

For if these things be in you, and abound,

They make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful

in the Knowledge of our LORD Jesus Christ."

2 Peter 1:4-8

holy experience

More blogs I'm hopping with today:

The Not-So-Secret Confessions of a First Time Mom

Saturday, September 25, 2010

"You Hold Me Now" by Hillsong United ~ Then Sings My Soul Saturday


Linking up once again with Signs, Miracles and Wonders for Then Sings My Soul Saturday!  I love this song from Hillsong heart longs for the day!!

You Hold Me Now
by Hillsong

On that day when I see
All that You have for me
When I see You face to face
There surrounded by Your grace
All my fears swept away
In the light of Your embrace
Where Your love is all I need
And forever I am free

Where the streets are made of gold
In Your presence healed and whole
Let the songs of heaven
Rise to You alone

No weeping no hurt or pain
No suffering You hold me now
You hold me now
No darkness no sick or lame
No hiding You hold me now
You hold me now

In this life I will stand
Through my joy and my pain
Knowing there's a greater day
There's a hope that never fails
Where Your Name is lifted high
And forever praises rise
For the glory of Your Name
I'm believing for the day

Where the wars and violence cease
All creation lives in peace
Let the songs of heaven
Rise to You alone

For eternity
All my heart will give
All the glory to Your Name

(You'll need to mute the auto music player at the bottom of the page to hear the video)

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He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken [it]....Isaiah 25:8

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And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away....Isaiah 35:10

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Blessed [are] they that mourn: for they shall be comforted....Matthew 5:4

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And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away....Revelation 21:4

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Friday, September 24, 2010

Can't-Stop-Eating-It! Caramel Popcorn

Our choir at church is singing this song Sunday and I've had it in my head ALL DAY LONG since we practice it last night in choir!  I was planning to post this recipe and  I thought I would use it as my new Friday theme.....I even found a video of the Chicago Mass Choir singing the same version and thought I'd post it so that YOU can have it playing over and over and over and over again in your head as well.  ; )

(You'll need to mute the auto music player at the bottom of this page if you want to hear the video.)

Now....on with the recipe.....sorry ~ sometimes I get distracted.........

There is much excitement in the air and our taste buds are tingling in anticipation......not only due to the fact that we're getting our groove on from this song ; ) , but because my house is currently saturated with the smell of this delightful popcorn baking in the oven!  What can I say........we're definitely a family of food-a-holics!!  One of my children's (and hubby's) favorite treats, I only make this when I'm planning on sending the majority of the batch elsewhere!  On this Friday, half of the batch is going with my son to his very first overnight church retreat......I've been on church trips before & I happen to know that when the men are in charge and no moms are part of the food planning ~ the boys don't fare nearly as well as the girls do!  So, I'm sending this along.....guaranteed to bring smiles to the faces of all who happen to be blessed to be in MY honey-bun's cabin!  I also happen to know that between my son & a certain friend of his who could eat the whole batch himself, this treat full of caramel-ly goodness will be gone in no time!  It's become a birthday party staple for us, either served at the party or sometimes given as party favors.  : )

Originally from Taste of Home, the only change I have made to this recipe is the name and the amount of salt. It was originally named for a themed party and we don't always need a party to make it! We renamed it based on what everyone who tastes it always says....

Can't Stop Eating It! Caramel Popcorn


6 quarts popped popcorn
2 cups brown sugar, packed
1 cup butter
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt (I use 1/2 tsp.)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda


Place popcorn (6 qts. = about 24 cups) in a large bowl and set aside. In a saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter, corn syrup and salt; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat. Stir in vanilla and baking soda; mix well. Pour over popcorn and stir until well-coated.
Pour into two greased 13-in. x 9-in.x 2-in baking pans. Bake, uncovered, at 250 for 45 minutes,stirring every 15 minutes. Cool completely. (I find it easier to remove from the pan and break up when it is still SLIGHTLY warm.) Store in airtight container or plastic bags.
Yield: about 5-1/2 quarts.

Try'll like it!  It'll become one of those memories your kids will look back on one day and say, "Remember when mom used to make that homemade caramel popcorn......" and smile, reminisce, and have warm and fuzzy, comforting thoughts!  But, please heed my makes A LOT, so make it either when you're having company or your kids are going somewhere and you can send a bunch of it with them.  Otherwise, you may gain a bit of weight ~ you seriously CAN'T STOP EATING IT!!!  Or, am I the only one with self control issues???  ; )

I'm also hopping today with these blog hops:



Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mustard Seed Planting...Philippians 1:6

"Being confident of this very thing, that He who hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ."  Philippians 1:6

.....because like many other moms I know, I often (see calendar days Sunday ~ Saturday) feel as if  I am a juggler in a circus that is life.....and that some days there should be a flashing neon sign over my head blinking "Epic Fail" due to all the "balls" I've dropped and am tripping on that are rolling around on the floor!  ; )

May this verse calm my anxieties this week over my never-ending responsibilities and to-do lists in my mind ~ in my heart, the Lord lovingly reminds me that if "He has called me to it, He will see me through it"!!!

Happily linking up again with Mom's Mustard Seeds for her Mustard Seed Planting meme!

Also hopping with these blog hops today:


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Gator Backpacks & a Sweet (One of my Faves) Purse ~ Crafty Tuesday

In my crafty little corner of the world, there are now two more recipients of my popular Gator-themed backpacks.....

I've never been a sports enthusiast.....but I think I'm going to have to become one due to their profitability!  ; )  Is it possible to be a sports fan and not actually be required to watch the games???

I think the recipients have to wait for Christmas to actually receive these......hope they ♥love♥ them!!!

Also, this lovely gem is waiting to be delivered to a fabulously sweet friend......

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And whatsoever ye do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. ~ Colossians 3:17

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Now.....going to put some finishing touches on a very ♥Sweet♥  diaper bag today, then get in touch with my ♥Sweet Baker♥ side to bake a birthday cake for the most amazing 9 yr. old ever created (well, at least since his brother & sister were that age)!!

No words could ever express how much joy this child has brought into my life!!  So thankful that the Lord knew how much I needed him!  ♥

Linking up with My Mad World's Crafty Tuesday meme......

Also linking up with these fun Tuesday hops today:


Tuesday Tag-Along


Monday, September 20, 2010

1,000 Gifts (1-14): Ashlyn's 12th Birthday Party.....

Because I believe an attitude of gratitude is key to contentment and happiness, I joining the Gratitude Community for Multitude Monday: 1,000 Gifts.

1.  My salvation

2.   A Savior who cares about the minute details of my life

3.  A 12-yr. old's patience

We celebrated her birthday on the actual day, but due to a month of weekends already filled with various activities, she had to wait a month for her REAL party.....

....and because I believe every picture has a story behind it and find pictures so much more fun when I know that story, I'll share this one with you.  : )

I was feeling much pressure to get the party taken care I just opened my calendar, looked at the Saturdays in September and picked the first one.  It wasn't until the Thursday before that I realized I had failed to consider something.  A friend innocently asked me what we were doing for Labor Day.

Labor Day?!

Oh My Goodness.  Our party was scheduled at one of the most popular beach parks in the area, one with great covered pavilions, grills, showers and restrooms.  We've had quite a few parties there and have never needed to reserve one of the pavilions.....but we've also never done it on Labor Day Weekend!!!

What kind of mother schedules a birthday party and doesn't consider the holiday weekend that has come the first weekend of September every year of her life without fail?!  Sigh.  I'm never going to earn my Super Mom cape.....and I even had a pink  one picked out.   : (

4.  The gift of prayer....

5. .....and that He hears each and every one.....

It was too late to reserve a pavilion at this point, so the day of the party, we packed everything up and headed out.  All the way there I prayed, "Lord, please give us a picnic area.  I just need one grill!  I can make a couple of tables work.  Please, please, please!" between saying things like, "I can't believe I did this!  What are we going to do?", and  "We've got a lot of people coming....I've ruined my daughter's 12th birthday party!  For the rest of her life, she'll always remember this birthday as the one I ruined!".  What can I say.....I was stressing a little bit.

We arrived at the park, and not only were all the beach parking lots and pavilions full....they were completely blocked off!  Directly across from the main beach entrance is the lake entrance, so my chauffeur (husband) turned in there.  All the pavilions there were taken as well......but as we were coming back out of the lake entrance, we spotted a couple of tables and a grill slightly set off from another group.  I waited there while hubby did one more drive-through to make sure there was nothing else.  I looked around with thankfulness at the two picnic tables and one grill that I was saving......exactly what I had asked for.  It wasn't my ideal location, it would be crowded......but we could make this work.  I was so thankful to have something  after failing to plan correctly!  As I was in the middle of telling my children how good God is and how He answered our prayers, I looked to my left. 

6. .....and often give much more than we ask for.

There was a beautiful, LARGE picnic area completely set off from everyone else's parties.....not two, but three picnic tables and a grill, and plenty of parking space for the number of families we were expecting ~ surrounded by a shelter and canopy of palms and other local foliage.  It even had a nature trail leading directly from the picnic site to a little bridge....then on to a longer trail ~ which my kids found quite charming and entertaining.  It also had enough room for several of the kids to throw a ball around while they waiting on the hot dogs (Ashlyn's favorite) from the Grill Master.

Click on the pics to enlarge into a new window, then click again if you want to enlarge one more time.

7.  Family ♥

8.  Friends ♥

9.  Food  : )

10.  A 12 Yr.-old's Gratitude

This is the most elementary cake I have made since I was a teenager.....fatigue plus carpal tunnel results in mediocre work.  I almost didn't take a picture of it, but she was happy & insisted.......and it tasted really good!  : )

13. Visits from unexpected guests

After grilling, eating, playing, talking, laughing, and opening gifts, the beach was only a short walk right across the street. The sea life came out in abundance for the occasion....we had dolphin visits, crab visits and shell seeking at it's finest!

Thank you, Lord.....for caring about the little details of life among all the bigger ones, and for answering my prayers in a manner that was far more than I deserve! 

14.  He is so good to me.

holy experience