Friday, November 30, 2007

12 Days of Christmas fun (25 to go until Christmas!)

Have you ever heard of "ring and run?" It is a fun activity to do for a neighbor or a friend or anyone whom you want to honor. Traditionally, it is done Dec. 25th through January 5th, however, when we had it done to us, it was done the twelve days up until Christmas Eve. So, starting on the 12th of December (or on the 13th to end on Christmas day), here are some ideas that I swiped from

Thrifty 12 days - Post By sara c ~ montana (Guest Post) (11/13/2004)
We do this idea every year and we are a family of 8 so money is tight but it brings cheer to those we sponsor at christmas. Here are some of our suggestions with prices

Day 1 ~ a partridge in a pear tree/ we gave 1 pear (@.25) & a dove ornament (Walmart .97)
Day 2 ~ 2 turtle doves/ we gave 2 dove candies (@2.00) and 2 turtle candies (@2.00)
Day 3 ~ 3 french hens/ we gave $ store hen beanie & we made a baret & a french flag (@3.00)
Day 4 ~ 4 calling birds/ we gave $ store calling card(1.00)day5~5 golden rings/ we gave a coupon for onion rings at burger king (1.00)
Day 6 ~ 6 geese a layin/ we gave 6 golden candy eggs or 6 easter eggs filled with treats ( @3.00)Day 7 ~ 7 swans a swimming/ we gave bubble bath and a rubber duckie with a note attached and explained "our swan was in his ugly ducking stage"(@2.00)
Day 8 ~ 8 maids a milking/ we gave 8 milk maid caramels (@.50)
Day 9 ~ 9 ladies waiting/ we gave a coupon from a maid service(@10.00 for an hour) (we have also had 9 friends of the receipient call and point out hints to hidden gift in their home or on their property all sworn to secret usually a christmas cookie basket)
Day 10 ~10 lords a leaping/ we had soup in a jar aka hoppin john soup(@2.00)
Day 11~ 11 pipers piping we did 1 cd of symphony music downloaded/ (@3.00)
Day 12~ 12 drummers drumming/ we did an ornanment of a drum
About a day later we sent a christmas card with a picture of all the special treats and our family ... this is the best gift of all because most people are so amazed by their secret 12 day of christmas fun they can't believe who did it ...

12 Days of Christmas Ideas Post by annecolorgreen (11/19/2004)
I got these ideas from various places. We do this every year and LOVE it! Here are a few ideas.
1st Day - a basket of pears with a partridge (or similar looking bird)
2nd Day - turtle candies
3rd Day - Cornish hens
4th Day - prepaid phone card
5th Day - donuts
6th Day - eggs and an omelet (or other egg) recipe
7th Day - we did swan soaps one year
8th Day - ice cream, any milk product, or something with "cow-print"
9th Day - ladyfinger cookies
10th Day - something with frogs
11th Day - maybe a CD, or some bubble pipes
12th Day - could also do a CD or I think we've done chicken - drumsticks - or aren't there ice cream treats called drumsticks?

and one more: Posted by Dawn (11/22/04
1. One box of chocolates.
2. Two bottles of bubble bath
3. Three dozen cookies
4. Four bags of snacks
5. Five types of fudge (homemade of course)
6. Six pack of her favorite soda pop
7. Activity pads for the kids
8. Eight little note pads
9. Nine pens, pencils, markers/highlighters
10. Ten bags of tea (relax and refresh type)
11. Eleven baking mixes (jiffy, or sililar)
12. Twelve Christmas ornaments

Remember the whole "Random Acts of Kindness" craze that was so popular for a while? Well, I think it would be great to have those random acts become a part of our every day lives. Here are a few ideas to start making that a reality.

So, go Bless someone!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Two fortnights less one day (That means 27 days until Christmas!!!)

I need some help - I have these GREAT online stores and I just haven't been able to figure out how to get people to stop by and take a look at them. Would you do me a HUGE favor?!?! PLEASE?!?! Would you take a look at my stores and then tell 2 friends about them for me? I don't know how else to get the word out. I really do have some great gifts at good prices. Thanks, I really appreciate it! and
and for your cell phone needs, I have:


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

28 Days to go!

I thought this was well dome, so here you go!

(Hint: you might have to double-click on the image to get it to work....)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Countdown until Christmas

Just 29 days until we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ! I have been having fun looking for just the right gift for friends and family.

Every year I hear people complaining about the commercialism that has become associated with the Season. I agree. However, that is NOT enough of a good reason to keep me from enjoying every day of this wonderful Season. Hope you enjoy it as much as I am!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

We Gather Together
We gather together to ask the Lord's blessing; He chastens and hastens His will to make known; The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing, Sing praises to His name: He forgets not his own. Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining,Ordaining, maintaining His kingdom divine So from the beginning the fight we were winning; Thou, Lord, wast at our side, All glory be thine! We all do extol thee, thou leader triumphant, And pray that thou still our defender wilt be. Let thy congregation escape tribulation; Thy name be ever praised! O Lord, make us free!


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

What are YOU thankful for?!

Please comment and tell me what you are most thankful for!

I am most thankful for my Savior Jesus Christ and God's Word. My salvation in Him is what makes everything else possible! I am thankful for my family - wonderful husband, Vaughn, 2 children Adam and Bethany and their spouses Amy and Joseph. My grandchildren: Aidan, Katelyn, Jonathan and soon to join us: Josiah Adam and Baby #3 for Adam and Amy. But, also for our extended family; biological and church body.

Monday, November 19, 2007

FALL - gorgeous FALL!!!

We were born and raised in Arizona. Now, Arizona has some pretty scenery, HOWEVER, the metro Phoenix area (which is where we lived), honestly only has 2 seasons [in MY opinion] HOT and HOTTER. Therefore, you might be able to understand why I fell so head-over-heels madly in love with the 4 seasons that Alabama so proudly displays each year. I am literally in awe of the hills around our town. The myriad of colors are something to make you want to pull over on the side of the road and just soak it in. Here are some wonderful photos that I found online. ENJOY!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Take a BIG breath...

What's an easy, convenient (and free) way to manage day-to-day stress? Just breathe.
Deep breathing can help you relax by lowering your blood pressure, slowing your heart rate and respiration rates and easing muscle tension. Even as little as five minutes a day of deep breathing can calm and refresh you and leave you more alert.

The January issue of Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource offers instructions to achieve relaxation by breathing.
* Sit in a comfortable chair, feet flat on the floor.
* Close your eyes, or visually focus on something in the room.
* Paying attention to your breathing, inhale slowly through your nose. Visualize your diaphragm moving down to create more space for your lungs to expand.
* Let your lower abdomen relax and expand as it fills with air.
* When your lungs and abdomen are full, slowly let air out through your mouth and allow your diaphragm to collapse.
* Repeat. If your mind wanders, return your attention to your breathing.
* When you are ready to end the session, don't jump out of your chair. Slowly start to regain a sense of your surroundings. When you're ready, allow your attention to return fully.
Practice breathing deeply to reduce anxiety, conserve energy, improve sleep, improve concentration and relieve muscle tension. The long-term goal is to reduce the effects of stress on your life.

Isn't that great? And simple! I forget just how good it feels to take in a deep, long breath until I am reminded to do it.

So, take some deep, long breaths today. Let's never take for granted that we are able to do that!

Friday, November 16, 2007

My Child's Child

I have our grandson, Jonathan (15 months) over for the weekend to allow his parents some much-needed time alone together. I found this poem, and although, the miracle didn't just happen to us, we have 3 grandchildren now and two more due in 2008 and every day I thank God for this most precious gift!


My Child's Child

by Sherrie Collins

A journey in my mind today

I watch the years fly, where is my little boy?

The pictures that tell a story how you grew so fast.

Once a little boy with trucks and slides to fill your day.

A grown man now who changed his name.

A precious little flower, a kiss from heaven was born today.

She'll call him Daddy, looking in her eyes, his Reflection he will see.

Finally, he will understand the love I feel for him.

In an instant, his world will change forever.

His journey in life on a new path, one filled with Crayons finger-paint and giggles.

Finding pleasure in everyday things, the world Will look brand new.

I never thought I could love my little boy more

But on this day when he placed my grandchild in My arms I swear I do.

I realize what a gift we received.

My child's child amazed as I kiss her soft cheek.

I will reach for my son's hand, to offer encouragement and support.

Yesterday's memories tucked away in my heart.

Looking forward to what tomorrow will bring.

Amazed by the love I have for both of them.

A part of my soul he now passes to her.

The best father he wants to be.

A secret I whisper to him

A life filled with honesty and unconditional love

That my son is the key.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

For Christians - EVERY day should be Thanksgiving Day

For the Christian, every day should be Thanksgiving Day. We should even be thankful in the midst of problems. The Apostle Paul said, "I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation" (2 Corinthians 7:4). He knew that God was working all things together for his good, even though he was going through trials (Romans 8:28).
Problems will come your way. God will see to it personally that you grow as a Christian. He will allow the storms, to send your roots deep into the soil of His Word. We pray more in the midst of problems, but it's been well said that you will see more from your knees, than you will on your tip toes.
A man once watched a butterfly struggling to get out of its cocoon. In an effort to help it, he took a razor blade, and carefully slit the edge of the cocoon. The butterfly escaped from its problem ... and immediately died. It is God's way to have the butterfly struggle. It is the struggle that causes its tiny heart to beat fast, and send the life's blood into its wings.

Trials have their purpose. They make us struggle — they bring us to our knees. They are the cocoon in which we often find ourselves. It is there that the life's blood of faith in God helps us spread our wings.
Faith and thanksgiving are close friends. If you have faith in God, you will be thankful because you know His loving hand is upon you, even though you are in a lion's den. That will give you a deep sense of joy, and joy is the barometer of the depth of faith you have in God. Let me give you an example.
Imagine if I said I would give you one million dollars if you ripped out the last page of today's newspaper, and mailed it to me. Of course, you don't believe that I would do that. But imagine if you did. Imagine if you had knowledge of more than 1,000 people who had sent in the page, and every one received their million dollars — no strings attached. More than that. You had actually called me, and I had assured you personally that I would keep my word. If you believed me, wouldn't you have joy? If you didn't believe me — no joy.
The amount of joy you have would be a barometer as to how much you believed my promise.
We have so much to be thankful for. God has given us "exceeding great and precious promises" that are "more to be desired than gold." Do yourself a big favor — believe those promises, thank God continually for them, and "let your joy be full."

An old farmer once had an ungodly relative visit him. After the farmer had bowed his head and thanked God for the food they were about to eat, the relative rudely said, "What did you do that for? There's no God. We live in an age of enlightenment." The old farmer smiled and said, "There is one on the farm who doesn't thank God before he eats." The relative sat up and said, "Who is this enlightened one?" To which the farmer quietly replied, "My pig."

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Inspirational Thanksgiving Story "The Nails in Your Fence"

There once was a little girl who had a bad temper. Her mother gave her a bag of nails and told her that every time she lost her temper, she must hammer a nail into the back of the fence.
The first day the girl had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as she learned to control her anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. She discovered it was easier to hold her temper than to drive those nails into the fence.
Finally the day came when the girl didn't lose her temper at all. She told her mother about it and the mother suggested that the girl now pull out one nail for each day that she was able to hold her temper. The days passed and the young girl was finally able to tell her mother that all the nails were gone. The mother took her daughter by the hand and led her to the fence.
She said, "You have done well, my daughter, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one." You can put a knife in a person and draw it out. It won't matter how many times you say "I'm sorry", the wound is still there. A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one.

Friends are very rare jewels, indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear, they share words of praise and they always want to open their hearts to us.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Personalized CDs for those little ones in your life!

I have found personalized CDs for my grandkids! We love VeggieTales and I am able to buy a CD with each of my grandchildren's names in all of the songs. It is so fun to hear your name in a song and this CD gives your kids and grandkids that fun over and over! The company not only has VeggieTale CDs, but Barney, Elmo, Disney Princess and the Wiggles, too! Please check out the link to the right on my site. I will be back again tomorrow, I need to go now and order a few more CDs!

Monday, November 12, 2007

MASSAGE - a wonderfully, delightful word!

I have found the world of massage therapy. Now, I am not "rolling-in-dough", but I have found that our local Community College offers one-hour massages by the students in training for only $25! I have had very positive experiences there - I even took my daughter who was about 5 months pregnant at the time for her first massage there and she is now hooked. I found the following information about Massages from the Mayo Clinic Please visit their site for more information, including risks and what to expect.

"Massage: A relaxing method to relieve stress and pain
A soothing massage can help you unwind, but that's not all. Explore the health benefits and risks, then find out what to expect.
You might think of a massage as a luxury found in exotic spas and upscale health clubs. But did you know that massage, when combined with traditional medical treatments, can reduce stress and promote healing in people with certain health conditions?
During a massage, a therapist manipulates your body's soft tissues — your muscles, skin and tendons — using his or her fingertips, hands and fists. Several versions of massage exist, and they're performed in a variety of settings.
A massage may make you feel relaxed, but it isn't likely to cure everything that ails you. Learning about massage before you try one can help ensure that the experience is safe and enjoyable.
** Health benefits of massage
Massage can relieve tension in your muscles, and most people use it for relaxation, relief of stress and anxiety, or to reduce muscle soreness. Massage can also cause your body to release natural painkillers, and it boosts your immune system.
While more research is needed to confirm the benefits of massage, some studies have found it helpful for:
Anxiety: Massage reduced anxiety in depressed children and anorexic women. It also reduced anxiety and withdrawal symptoms in adults trying to quit smoking.
Pain: Pain was decreased in studies of people with fibromyalgia, migraines and recent surgeries. Back pain also might be relieved by massage.
Labor pain: Massage during labor appears to reduce stress and anxiety, relax muscles and help block pain.
Immune system: People with HIV who participated in massage studies showed an increased number of natural killer cells, which are thought to defend the body from viral and cancer cells.
Cancer treatment: People with cancer who received regularly-scheduled massage therapy during treatment reported less anxiety, pain and fatigue.
Self-esteem: Because massage involves direct contact with another person through touch, it can make you feel cared for. That special attention can improve self-image in people with physical disabilities and terminal illnesses. And using touch to convey caring can help children with severe physical disabilities

So, think about treating yourself or a loved one with a massage during the next two months as America goes holiday hustle and bustle crazy! I certainly plan on doing so!

Saturday, November 10, 2007


The trend in today’s fast-paced world
By Katherine Van Liew

The word “vacation” can conjure up as many different mental pictures as there are people. More and more, however, the idea of a one- or two-week getaway that we might have taken as children with our families is increasingly hard to pull off in today’s fast-paced world.

With conflicting schedules between spouse’s jobs and deadlines, your daughter’s cheerleading camps and your son’s football practice, not even taking into account the planning and costs for a full-blown trip you just might not be able to accomplish it all that often.

Maybe you need to discover “mini-vacations.” Small, short, stolen moments or timeslots where you re-energize, relax and refresh yourself.

I discovered mini-vacations while my husband and I both worked full-time outside of the home, were incredibly involved at our church and had two very busy teenagers. My first mini-vacation came quite by accident. I was sitting out back at our home. No one else was there. I didn’t have to rush off to take someone somewhere or pick someone else up for a few minutes. I got up on our trampoline and just laid there. I took a big breath and just listened and watched. I saw a lizard hurry past on the fence, I looked at clouds and in them I imagined different shapes of animals and people, I listened to the chatter of a number of different birds going about their routine, and I smelled steaks being grilled by some neighbors. I’ll bet I didn’t spend more than 5 or 10 minutes and yet when I went back into the house, I felt revived. It was amazing!

Some other things that I like to do for these special times include:
1. Take a stroll in my neighborhood & note how many different varieties of flowers I can see
2. Sit outside in a comfortable chair and write a poem
3. Make a cup of tea (or coffee) and read the funnies from the newspaper
4. Write an encouraging note to a friend going through a hard time
5. Call your local radio station and request “your special song”
6. Read a chapter in a favorite book
7. Take a bath with scented candles lighting the room
8. Stop while driving to admire a pretty scene or some favorite animals (two of my favorites are: barns and watching some turtles who gather on a log in a nearby river)
9. Give yourself a facial
10. Simply practice some relaxation techniques

This is not self-indulgence. It is an important part of keeping yourself functioning effectively and avoiding the problems of burnout, anxiety and depression that so often comes with intense, sustained stress.