Friday, May 31, 2019

Friday Favorites: all things summer

Happy Friday, friends!  I'm linking up with Andrea from Momfessionals, and her friends Erika and Narci, for this blog post. 

I love summer!  In light of that, and that today I am swimming for the first time this season, I thought I'd share a few things about these warmer months that I love.

First up is swimming.  Since I was a little girl, I have LOVED to swim.  Someday, I promise you, we WILL have a home with a pool.  I have always been a good, strong swimmer, and I taught all of my boys, nephews and nieces how to swim at a young age.  All my own have been able to swim since they were three.  These days the only place I have to swim is with my mom-in-love at her neighborhood pool.  I am not complaining about that, trust me, because the pool is nice, and big, and I enjoy the week days we set apart to do this and to catch up with one another.  We all used to go and do this with her, but now it's always just me.  We love our time together each week in the pool, solving all the world's problems.

A lot of times, we practically have the place to ourselves. 

My all time favorite is swimming at night. 

It wasn't night in this picture, but it was cloudy.  You get my drift.

My favorite scent of summer is anything tropical scented.  Think citrus, or coconut.

I actually need to get a new candle.  Would you believe I have burned all mine completely down and have none in the house?!  I really do use them all to the last drop.

I love making easy lemon or lime pies in the summer months, too.  Drew, Noah, and I are the only ones who eat them, but they're delicious and easy to make.  I have the ingredients in the kitchen right now, waiting on me to make one later today.  I'm making lemon today, before all the lemons in the bowl go bad.

I also LOVE the smell of sunscreen that gets baked into the beach towels I keep out all season.

I keep them out, because we have sweet friends who let my boys swim pretty much whenever they want.  I am so thankful for them! 

I love the look of beach towels, too, and all the bright colors.  If you walk into my home, you know we are people who love color.  Each room is a different color, and even though I've thought of changing things up, I don't know if I ever will.  I'm definitely not a beige kind of gal. 

My new mantle lights are my current favorite thing in my living room.  These came from Lowe's a while back, but Target has some great ones right now to choose from.  This is about a six foot strand, I think, which is perfect for a mantle.

Another summer thing I love: all the fresh fruit.  This was lunch the other day, and it's going to be lunch again today.  I can't wait.  My mom-in-love and I will eat our lunch poolside today. 

My current favorite fruit is cantaloupe.  We have two right now that I'm waiting to ripen. 

I also love views like this:

Everything is so beautiful and green.  This was taken from my dad's house on Monday night.

My current favorite type of outfit to wear is this one below.

I wrote about this on Wednesday, but because I'm in a walking boot for six more weeks, I get incredibly hot.  Thanks to a sweet friend who told me about these, I went to Walmart and bought four dresses to get me through the summer.  They are light, and a good fabric that moves well and breathes well, and the price is around $13.   I wear one of these almost everyday.  I have this one you see pictured, a black one, a navy and royal blue one, and a black and white one.  These are probably only available online now. 

I dress them up with a cute sandal and jewelry. 

Well, have a great weekend!  Thanks for stopping by to read.  Love to all. 

Thursday, May 30, 2019

summer bible study options (for locals and non), and some other fun ideas

I was thinking about summer bible studies just recently when I ran into a friend at Kroger this week.  I thought I'd reach out to those who live near me in this area, and to ones who do not. 

For those of you who are local to me, my church (Collierville First Baptist Church) will be meeting all summer long for the chronological bible study.  This is one you can jump into at any given time.  There is a bible they read from during the week, where the days are all laid out for you, and then on Wednesday nights, my favorite teacher of all time teaches something from that week's reading.  Mrs. Barbee does such a great job at making the reading come alive, and I always love to hear what she has pulled out for that week.  I was in another bible study beginning in January, but when that one finished, I jumped into this class.  Some weeks I read along with them, some I did not.  Last night was my last night for the summer, though, because starting next week, I will be doing an advance study and review on Galatians that the women in my church will start in August. 

They will have a new meeting room starting next week, so if you're reading this and are interested, comment on here for details or email me at

For anyone NOT local to me, check out the Lifeway Women online community.  They always do a free online bible study, and they'll load the videos for you to watch each week as you do the homework.  It's free, but you'll have to purchase the bible study book.  I can't remember which one they have available right now, but I think they are just starting up another study.

And if you don't want to do any of those, but are interested in maybe hosting a study of your own, the options are limitless.  There is one out right now called  Just Open the Door, by Jen Schmidt, that I have heard is excellent.  You can purchase the book and leader set, or you can purchase the videos online, for a minimal price, if you don't want to do the DVD set.  It's worth looking into.  Here is a link for you. 

Another favorite study of mine of all time is by Priscilla Shirer, and it's The Armor of God.  

This whole study is based on Ephesians 6:10-18, and it is one of the best studies I have ever done.  I've gone through it twice now, and I'll do it again in a few years, I'm sure.  

Some other ones I've either completed or heard about are:

The Book of Job by Lisa Harper.  Click here to watch a promo video.

Finding I Am by Lysa Terkeurst.  Here is a promo video for this.  (I loved this one!)

Psalm 23 by Jennifer Rothschild.  I have heard great things about this, and I love her.  Here is a video.  

Those are just a few, but the options are limitless.  

My current favorite way to study is just picking a book that is relatively short or a passage of scripture and just going verse by verse.  I am excited about starting Galatians, because this is how we will study. 

Another fun thing to do in the summer months is to host a book club.  I recently read a great article about this that Modern Mrs. Darcy shared about on her blog.  The article isn't written by her, but she mentions it in her blog post.  Click here to read the article for yourself, and be inspired!  (Also, if you're bookish at all, follow her on Instagram.  She is a blog writer and published author, and I love her posts and the book I've read by her called Reading People.)

I've been in some successful and some non-successful book clubs.  The recent one that has worked has been going on intermittently for two years now, almost, and there are only four of us.  One of us lives in the country, so we invite ourselves to her house, we share a delicious meal, and then we talk about the book and go off on rabbit trails.  It's always so much fun, and we are going to start up again in a couple of weeks.  We all met for dinner this week, and that was fun.  Read that article I shared above, and seriously plan on being inspired.  

And if NONE of all this appeals to you, but you crave time with women, maybe start a supper club.  Pick a small group of girlfriends and go out once a month, or host them at your own home.  I would totally do this if not for our dogs.  I'm rolling my eyes at that.  I love spending time with my friends!  It's always more fun in the summer.  

Thanks for reading my blog!  Love to all.  

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

What's Up Wednesday (a linkup)

Happy Wednesday, friends!  I thought I'd join in this link up post today with Shaeffer and Shay (Mix and Match Mama).  Click on Shay's name and you can get to her blog. 

First up...

What we're eating this week:

This was actually my lunch on Friday, but give me all the snack foods right now, and the more fruit, the better.  This cantaloupe you see pictured came from Milan one day last week while my husband was there, and it was DELICIOUS.  We just about ate the entire thing the night I cut it up.  I like light meals in the hot months.  I'm actually craving salad right now, so I may do that for dinner one night with homemade dressing.

What I'm reminiscing about:

The fun youth camps I've volunteered on in the past.  'Tis the season for summer camp, and only one of my sons is going this year.  That is weird.  And neither of us are going along, as chaperones.  I'd find a picture, but I'm too lazy for that.

What I'm loving:

My summery mantle lights!  I changed them yesterday, and I love the red, white, and blue.  It's the small things in life, friends.

What we've been up to:

On Monday night, we went to my dad's house for dinner and to visit with my sister Terri, who is in town this week from North Carolina.

I love the view at Dad's!  Everything is beautiful and lush right now.

What I'm dreading:

The point of summer that is unbearable because of the heat.  It was close to that yesterday and I think a lot of my makeup melted off my face by the time I made it upstairs to go to bed last night.

What I'm working on:

This is where I'll be next weekend, but I'll write more about it later.  I can't wait!  Am I the only one who still requests a hard copy of a travel guide?  I love these.  I'll save it for later so we can return again someday.

What I'm excited about:

See above.

What I'm watching/reading:

I'm shaking my head at my own self, but I started watching Beverly Hills 90210 when Luke Perry died.  I'm currently on season five. 

I'm reading a Jane Green book right now, but I just finished this one over the weekend, and it was amazing.

What I'm listening to:

As always, I have my Spotify favorites.  They are Brooklyn Tabernacle choir (the I Am Reminded album), Chris Tomlin's newest album (ROAR), Pat Barrett from Housefires, Elevation Worship, Aladdin (as of today), the La La Land soundtrack, and maybe one or two more.

What I'm wearing:

I'm currently in a walking boot for eight weeks (six more to go!) and I am SO HOT because of the heaviness and the black and bulkiness of it, along with the tall sock I have to wear.  So last week, my mom and I were out one day, and stopped at Walmart to look around, and I found this dress.  I bought three that day in the store, and came home and ordered this one online.  I wear them everyday, because it's hot, and these are loose and flowy and cute, dressed up with jewelry and one cute sandal.  (I am rolling my eyes at that.)

Click here for a link.  You cannot beat that low price.

What I'm doing this weekend:

I have no clue.  Probably soaking up the air conditioning.  I do have a party to go to Sunday night, and the only person available in the fam to go with me is my oldest son.  I told him he could drive, but we may take my car, because for me to get into his truck requires me using a stepladder.

What I'm looking forward to next month:

Swimming with my mom-in-love!  Her pool is the only pool I have to swim in these days. 

What else is new:

I shared the image for June's scripture writing plan, but for a printable version, click here

I have to give my mom and dad-in-love a huge shout out.  Ever since Drew was in an accident a few weeks ago and especially since we had to return the rental vehicle, we have been sharing my car.  My mom has picked me up countless times to take me to run errands and grocery shop.  She did this again yesterday, and I am so thankful for her.  My dad-in-love has given Jonah and Noah his truck to drive for now, as well, because Jonah needs transportation to his summer job everyday. 

That picture above this is from our lunch place of choice yesterday.  We went to the Jimmy John's in Germantown, which was a first for me, and it was so good.  After this we went to a couple more places and then we ended with a grocery store run for me.  I always say this, but I love spending quality time with people, and yesterday was a great day.  I ended the day by eating at Chili's with my book club friends, whom I have not seen in AGES.  Like, since before Thanksgiving.  Well, I may have seen them, but we haven't talked and gotten caught up in forever.  It was a fun night and I came home feeling a tiny bit sick because of all the chocolate I consumed for dessert.  A couple of us shared the molten lava cake, and it put me over the line of being full, and all of a sudden, I was WAY too full. 


Well, thanks for reading!  Have a great day.  Love to all! 

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

the weekend

We had a great weekend, and I didn't even do that much.  My sons were busy, though, and that was part of what made it good.  I love when they have fun, and it does my heart good to have a house full of grown guys and laughter.  It was that way a few times this weekend.  My husband worked with the sheriff's department all weekend, down on Beale Street.  This is a new thing the sheriff's department is doing, and they reached out to ES for some extra help for crowd control and presence.  He worked Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night.  I, on the other hand, did get out and do a few things, but I read a lot and binge watched a show on Hulu. 

If you know me, you know I am fine with that.  If I'm not in a pool, home is where I'd rather be.

This book was GREAT.  In my little reading journal, I gave it five stars.  I've never read this author before, but it's a book that makes you think, and this one takes place between 1986 and 1999/2000.  We even talked about the things that took place in that time last night at my dad's house, thanks to the mention of this.  I love books like that.

I ran a few errands on Saturday, but I ate at home every night.  I've been trying to make things on Thursday/Friday that we can all have for leftovers on the weekends.  The boys like to go out with friends a lot, but usually, it's me and at least one son eating here.  This weekend we ate leftover baked potatoes, with toppings.

We had church on Sunday and I went to lunch with my Mom and Bill afterward, and then they dropped me off at home.  I am praying we get Drew's truck back before Friday June 7, when I go out of town for the weekend.  I really want to drive my car on the trip.

Yesterday I spent the morning reading the bible and updating my prayer page for this week.  I am still loving Acts in our New Testament reading, and I almost always get so much out of it.  These were the verses that jumped out at me in chapter seventeen. 

After this, I spent some time doing laundry, straightening up in the kitchen and just being kinda lazy.  Then for dinner last night, we went to my dad's house, because my sister Terri is in town.  It was lovely night. 

We had pizza for dinner, which I literally never remember having even one time at his house, and then I had salad and fruit along with mine.  I'm craving fruit right now.  I'm going to buy some fruit today and try to replicate what Sandy made for us last night with all the fruit.  It tasted so good to me. 

Today I am running errands with my mom.  She's coming to pick me up this morning, and we'll run around together, and then I'll come home and make dinner.  I'm going out with a few friends tonight, though, with my book club friends.  I can't wait to catch up with them, it's been forever since we've met. 

Well, I'm off to go pack my Jonah his lunch for the day and get him off to work.  Thanks for reading!  Love to all. 

Friday, May 24, 2019

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, friends!  I'm linking up with Andrea (and her friends) from Momfessionals for this blog post.

For everyone in my area, this week was the last week of school.  I remember how much I longed for this last week of school, when my boys were all in a brick and mortar school.  Nowadays, all the weeks kind of run together, and we usually end up finishing a bit earlier than everyone here.  Jonah finished the last week of April or the first week of May, and Noah was one week behind that.  Starting today, though, it'll just be Noah and I here at home in the daytime, unless he gets a job, but we're still short on a vehicle and that makes things a little tricky.  Jonah leaves at eight o'clock every weekday morning and returns around three thirty.  And today, Drew's summer schedule starts, which means he will be gone all day as well.  Noah has been doing score keeping for the town, but that finished last week, and he's been doing yard work to earn money.  If you're local and need him, let me know!  He is currently looking for more.

I can't believe this school year is over and that my "littles" will be juniors in high school.  The whole school year flew by, as usual, and them driving everywhere definitely sped everything up.  It's so nice that they're driving!  I love that they have freedom that every teenager longs for. 

Well, it's been a bit slow this week, because of the whole car situation, but it's been a good week.  Here are some favorite things/moments from life around here lately.

My Timehop app and Facebook memories have been some of my favorites.  I love this quote, and I love Francis Chan!  I realize this saying probably steps on toes, but I think it resonates with me because ever since last August, a group of friends and I have been studying the word of God together, and we have talked about reverence for God so much through our study.  In my own life, I've been thinking a lot on this, this reverence for God that I have, and wondering what it looks like or should look like in my own personal life.  I don't know that this topic is talked about enough, truthfully, and I'd like to sit down with each of my sons and have a discussion about it, just because most teenagers don't realize what "fearing God" actually means.  (And it's not ACTUAL fear and trembling, it's reverence for Him.)

Books are my favorite.  Anyone who knows me knows that.  These are two I'm working on, along with reading a fiction book at the same time, because I always need mindless.  Both of these were given to me in the last week, from sweet friends.  I will definitely pass this little act of kindness on to someone else. 

I was looking forward to these, because almost every book I've read in May has been a major dud.  I finished two of them last night, and while the second one was great, the ending was horrible.  I hate it when that happens, and when there is no promise of a continuation.  The first book I finished last night should have ended about two hundred pages before it did, and it was a Nicholas Sparks book.  I started it thinking it was good, but midway, it just seemed to go on forever.  (It was Two By Two, by Nicholas Sparks.)

And this one above was the one with the bad ending.  I'm rolling my eyes.

I definitely need to make a library (my favorite place) run sometime this weekend, to replenish and return some books.  You know I always have a whole stack waiting on me, and my hubby is working all weekend long.  (Actually, Hulu has been my nemesis while he works, and I've been binge watching Beverly Hills 90210.  I started watching it the week Luke Perry died.  And I'm rolling my eyes at myself AGAIN.)

One thing I'd like to do this weekend is go to Trader Joe's.  I want some more fresh flowers, and theirs are the best.  (My boys picked these, though.)  Because I've been stuck at home so much, it's always nice to have pretty things like that to look up, to brighten up a space. 

My hubby is pictured on the left, and this is his partner that he rides with the most, Chris.  They were both promoted to Sergeant this week on the sheriff's department.  I'm so proud of Toddley!  He has worked hard to get here, and he leads with integrity and hard work.  I love this picture of him!  This ceremony was on Tuesday night at the training academy on the base, and it was very nice.  We went to eat at Huey's afterward, and I thoroughly embarrassed him on accident, when the couple behind us turned around to ask Graham how old he was.

We didn't talk about this scripture or chapter this week in chronological bible study, but going to that class has been my favorite thing lately.  I could listen to Mrs. Barbee teach ALL DAY LONG, she just teaches in a way that makes the scriptures come alive.  I have one more that I get to attend, and then starting in June, I'll be joining my friends again to start studying Galatians.  I'm not too terribly sad, because I have missed this group of friends, and our time of studying together and talking. 

Earlier in the week, I wrote a blog post on prayer and why this topic is so important.  I talked about one of my favorite methods that I use to do this with some days, and I shared a link for you to click on the video that inspired me greatly in this.  If that sounds like something you want to read and learn more about, scroll down some until you see the post containing this picture above.

Other things going on this weekend include my dad coming over today, and maybe (hopefully?!) getting out some tomorrow with my mom and sister, reading and reading over again the first three chapters of Galatians and making notes, going to church, and then us all staying home and relaxing on Monday together after a busy weekend for them.  I am praying that Drew's truck is finished being worked on soon so that I can start making plans again to swim with my mom-in-love, and so that I can take it on a little getaway I'm going on in a couple of weeks.  We'll also be going to church and I'll be doing (or ordering) some grocery shopping before Tuesday comes. 

Well, I had better get moving on this day, I have a lot to do before Dad comes at eleven thirty.  Thanks for reading my blog, and have a wonderful weekend.  Love to all. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

on being content

Years ago, when my kids were all little, God taught me how to be content in all circumstances.  I remember the day (years ago) when our washer or dryer went out, I can't remember which it was.  The front load appliances had just come onto the market, and I thought it was a great opportunity to upgrade to that style.  Even though only ONE of those appliances went out, I didn't really want to have just one new one...why not go ahead and make it a nice, matching pair?  Preferably in that pretty red, thank you very much.

But the Lord worked on my heart through my husband.  I don't know if Todd was even aware of the battle in my mind I was having on this topic, but he knew it wasn't economical for us to replace just one bad appliance with two new ones.  And, as it turns out, we didn't even need one new one, because he was able to repair it himself.  But through all that time, the Lord worked on my heart on the topic of being content and Him being our provider. 

I love the verse Philippians 4:13 about being able to do all things through Him who gives us strength, but that verse is always taken WAY out of context.  It's true, that verse, but the writer of that verse had just written in the verses before this one that he had learned how to be content whether with little or with a lot.  Those were the verses God used in my life during that time, and I wrote them out and taped them to the laundry room cabinets.  Laugh if you want, but when I learn a lesson like that, I need to always be reminded me of it over and over again. 

In the years since then, I have remembered this that the Lord taught me.  As a believer and follower of Jesus, I know that we need to live only within our means, and we never need to buy things just to buy things.  We do each have things we like to purchase, Todd and me, but I always pray and ask that the Lord would help us to be good stewards of all that He has given us.  I know that we never need to put anything above the Lord in our lives, and "stuff" and the love of all that stuff can easily become idolatry.  It's just one thing I always ask of the Lord: to help us be good stewards of both our money and our time, and never to let us be so wealthy that we would be tempted to forget Him or so poor that we would be tempted to steal.  (That last part is based upon a couple of verses out of Proverbs.) 

Also, this that I am writing about is something that is very personal for each person.  Everyone was made unique and different, and what I do, someone else may shake their heads at.  I never share about this type of thing to judge anyone; that is not my job.  I do like to share and encourage, though, and I always wonder if it is something someone needs to hear on this day.  The Lord does that kind of thing for me all the time, so that is always my prayer for anything I write on here, if it's not fluff.  All that I am and have and do is for the Lord, even this silly little blog space I have on the internet. 

Moving on now, the Lord has also shown me the truth of 1 Timothy 6:10.

"For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains." 

Money is not evil, but LOVING money is.  That is also why I pray the way I do...I never want to love any THING or ONE more than I love Jesus.  And this day and time that we live in proves this verse (1 Timothy 6:10) to be true.  The love of money changes a person, and I've seen people walk totally away from the Lord because of that in their lives.  I also know a lot of people who have a lot of money that are not like this; that money is not idolatry in their lives and they're not consumed with it, in fact, a lot of them that I know give most of it away. 

It's always so interesting to see how God uses certain things in people's lives to work on them, and I know that for me, He has shown me time and again that He alone is our provider.  God has never once let me down, not when we were young and married and living off cheap macaroni and cheese, or even now as we prepare to do a lot of work on our home that we currently live in.  He helps me to keep my eyes fixed on Him, and in doing that, I don't become easily overwhelmed.  He gives me perspective about thing I buy, and I am so glad He does.  I think I would always be tempted to go the opposite way on this, so He has definitely shown me that this way is better, for me at least. 

It's something we have, it's something we need to be able to live while on this earth, it's just that our mindset needs to be right.  I love what these verses below say on this.

(1 Timothy 6:17-19)

"Instruct those who are rich in the present age not to be arrogant or to set their hope on the uncertainty of wealth, but on God, who richly provides us with all things to enjoy.  Instruct them to do what is good, to be rich in good works, to be generous, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good reserve for the age to come, so that they may take hold of life that is real." 

Well, I need to get going on this day, so thanks for reading!  Love to all. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

some ways I pray

I think I have written about prayer no less than a thousand times.  The reason I write about it so much is because God has given me a passion for prayer, and because it was a powerful tool that is way underused.  I figure if I've gone through this, so many others have gone through the same thing, and if I have even one thing to share to help someone else along in their faith walk, then I'll share and share about it until the day the good Lord calls me home. 

I have to back up a little before I start, because it's been a while since I've written specifically about the topic of prayer.  Years ago, God led me to an article I read online written by Donna Gaines on this topic of prayer.  In the article she shares about her (then) prodigal son and how she prayed for him very specific prayers.  Those prayers led her to create a prayer guide of sorts that she shared with the readers.  She shares her personal prayer notebook on this blog post, and in it are some printables that you can make for your own. 

To read that for yourself, click HERE

I don't always pray through this notebook, though, because it is time consuming and I don't always have that much time in the mornings.  That being said, it's been a couple of years since I have even used this thing.  I pulled it out last week, though and started using it again.  I need to update it, but I've used it already several times since then, mostly for my family who lives under the same roof as me.

I love how Donna lays out her own personal notebook, and the order in which she prays, and I follow that same guide.  I always start with praise, then I ask God to show me any sin that I need to confess and do that, then I go to thanksgiving, I pray for myself, then move on to my family, and everything else follows the way that Donna shares about.  There is structure in this notebook, and I've noticed that when I use this, my mind doesn't become so easily distracted. 

The part I wanted to write about this morning is praise.  I don't ever skip this, because I always want to honor God and praise Him just based upon who He is, not because of anything He has done.  I use His characteristics to praise Him: He is unchanging, He is my very present help in time of trouble, He is trustworthy, holy and awesome is His name, He is my Provider, my Deliverer, my shield and refuge.  All those words are taken straight out of scripture, I just sometimes open my bible and read it back to Him as an offering of praise. 

If that is all I pray sometimes, then that is okay.  He always deserves praise, worship, and honor, just based upon the fact that He is good and He is God.  He is holy and sovereign and I always want to give Him the reverence He deserves.  I never, ever want to skim over this step. 

For the rest of the notebook, I follow suit, but I also wanted to talk about praying for yourself.  Y'all, because we are women who don't share every little thing (the good, bad, and ugly) with just anyone, who else would pray over all those things?  If not our own selves, then no one, I assure you.  I had a sweet older lady teach me on this one time, comparing it to a scenario on an airplane in distress and giving yourself oxygen first so you could then go and help others.  It's like that, this praying for our own selves.  Have a bad attitude about something your husband said or did?  Don't gossip about it to anyone, just go to Jesus with it.  Are your kids driving you nuts?  Don't yell at them, take it to God.  Are you stuck in the comparison trap that social media often leads to?  Confess it to the Lord and ask Him to change you and consider taking a social media break.

I love what Priscilla Shirer said about prayer in her bible study on the armor of God: she said that prayer is a crucial part of that heavenly armor Ephesians six talks about.  Prayer activates all those other weapons, but it is the first thing we neglect if we don't feel well or run out of time.  I am preaching to myself here, friends, I do the same thing.  I just want to encourage you, like I was encouraged again last week, PRAY.  Pray continually.  All the time!  My people catch me "talking to myself" all the time.  I'm not, I'm talking to Jesus.  If I'm driving, I'm praying.  If I'm singing, I'm praying and praising.  Make Him a part of your everyday routine, invite Him in to come in and abide, as you abide in Him. 

There is no specific formula for praying, but one thing I do is just talk to Him like He is my best friend.  I am never at a loss for words, ask Missy Byrd or Andrea Reese, and they can confirm this for you.  I have a million things on my mind at all times, and Psalm 139 says that before a word is even on my tongue, He knows it.  In light of that, I just pour out my heart to Him.  Look up that notebook for yourself, if you're "stuck" in a prayer rut, I promise, it'll pull you right out and get your eyes focused on where they should be. 

Thanks for reading my blog!  Love to all. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Life Lately

I've started and stopped writing two posts this week, because I wasn't "feeling it" on either one.  In light of that, I thought I'd share some fluff today on the blog, because when you can't think of anything else, fluff is fun.

Saturday and Sunday were pretty low key around here.  Todd and I were at home together all day on Saturday, which is so rare, but it was nice.  We stayed in comfy clothes all day, I didn't waste makeup since I had no plans to leave the house, and I read.  I finished one book that I'd gotten in the mail to read and review last week, called Ever Faithful (by Karen Barnett) and then I started my next book and finished it after dinner, it was so riveting. 

This was my Instagram post about the book.  There was some language and a couple of parts involving two characters that I skipped over, but other than that, holy cow.  This book was as thrilling as watching a suspenseful movie.  I couldn't put it down. 

(Not all of her books are this way, this one was a different style for her.)

After church on Sunday, we made impromptu plans to eat lunch with Mom and Bill afterward. 

The sun was in our eyes.  I love that we go to church together.  And lunch was delicious, and believe it or not, we walked right in and there was nobody there hardly.  I've gotten to where I don't like eating out on Sunday because of the after church crowd, so I was very pleasantly surprised at the no waiting. 

On Monday, Jonah started his new summer job!  He is working with a sweet man who owns a flooring company that we go to church with, his son, and another co-worker.  He works a few hours every week day and gets off early in the afternoon.  He said it's hard work, but he loves it and has jumped right out of bed each day ready to work again.  The men are all incredibly kind, and he has enjoyed getting to know them.  Knowing him, there is no shortage of conversation with him around.  I miss him during the days, it's way too quiet without him around!

This is his lunch bag I pack for him each day, but he never really eats that much, because he doesn't get that hungry.  He does drink a ton, though, so at least there's that. 

Also on Monday, I grocery shopped on Monday and replenished what the boys ate over the weekend and then made a simple dinner that night, and then last night we had Todd's mom and dad over to celebrate his mom's upcoming birthday. 

Today I have big plans to go to the library.  :)  My happy place.  We are sharing one vehicle, basically, while Jonah is at work in the day, so things are a tiny bit tricky for the moment, but we are managing.  I thought I'd take the opportunity today to get out and drive my car that I never get to drive anymore. 

One last thing is this article I read this morning...I thought I would share it here, because we are never too far along in society to not teach manners to our kids. 

Click here on this article put out by Good Housekeeping magazine, if you think that sounds interesting. 

Well, that is about all I can think of for now.  I hope your day is great.  Thanks for reading and love to all! 

Friday, May 10, 2019

Friday Favorites, quiet time edition and a topic I hold dear in my heart

Happy Friday, friends!  As usual, I'm linking up with Andrea from Momfessionals, and her friends, for this blog post today. 

I have to share about my quiet time this week, and where I'm currently reading in the bible.  For anyone new around here who is visiting or who doesn't already know this, I am reading along with my church family in the new testament this year.  We crossed over into Acts last Friday, and I have thoroughly enjoyed every second I've spent reading so far in the week since.  Acts has always been one of my favorite books in the bible, and it is action packed.  It took place right after Jesus ascended into heaven, and gave the apostles His Holy Spirit to abide in them.  The apostles had great faith and many miracles were occurring anywhere they went. 

It's been so good!

If you're needing a place to read in your own personal quiet time, try this book.  I take it slow, just one chapter per day, for five week days.  There is something about going slowly through this book that really makes you just soak it all in.  I use the HEAR method (scroll down to yesterday's post to read about that), but really, all you need is pen and paper.  I love to write out the verses that jump out to me, and I always try to explain them in context, then apply them somehow to my life.  Or, you could just make your own notes on what is going on in that chapter and write out your own thoughts. 

If you've never done that, give it a try.  It will jump start your encounter with the Lord each day, and it will inspire you in your prayer life.  This verse in the above picture is one way I prayed for myself this week.  And yes, I pray for myself.  I had a dear elderly lady tell me this one time: never neglect praying for yourself, because you are the only one on this earth that knows one hundred percent of your daily struggles.  She compared it to the demonstration given while flying.  If the plane is in trouble, grab that oxygen mask and first take it for yourself.  Then, you can go and help others, but unless you take some oxygen for yourself first, you would be useless to everyone else around you.

And now, this is where I would tell my best friend while talking to her on the phone, "Subject change." 

I don't have a picture of this, but I love being able to meet with and get to know young women.  Months ago, I was put in touch with a young lady who is in her early twenties, and we've met pretty regularly ever since.  I try to encourage her each time we meet, and I definitely pray for her every day.  Her name is a constant in my prayer notebook, right along with my own family and dear friends.  What I never expected was for her to also encourage me when we meet.  I had a situation arise that was something she had been through, and she was able to give me advice on how to handle something, as someone who looked up to another lady closer to my age.  I love any time we spend together, and we were able to meet for coffee this week. 

I suppose I mention this because discipleship is really close to my heart.  In the church I grew up in, this was not anything that was ever mentioned, and only when I got involved in a women's bible study in my early married years did I ever encounter this type of friendship with women who were older than me at that time.  (Its name has changed over the years to Secrets Savored, but back then it was called Apples of Gold.  There were about five younger women and that many older ladies.  We would meet every other week in a home of one of the older ladies, and they would cook this delicious meal for us and share the recipe for everything we'd eaten.  More than that, though, we dug into the scriptures together and they mentored us as young wives and moms.)

As women of God, we have a responsibility to always be pouring into the lives of younger women.  Titus chapter two addresses this.  Think of Paul with Timothy, and then later on, with Titus.  Even he had this type of relationship with those younger men, and Paul was always pouring into others.  That's why he wrote all those letters to the churches he would visit!  He would share with them the good news of the Gospel of Jesus, and he would love and encourage them.  If he did it back then, how much more should we be doing this now? 

And while on that topic of leading others, this is another thing that is close to my heart, and that is, to lead with integrity.  I'm not suggesting I've ever been or ever will be perfect, but as I read the word of God and pray, when I see areas in my life that need addressing, I really try to do that and get my heart back in alignment with God's holy word.  For instance, if I have been struggling with a really bad attitude toward my husband and I read a verse that addresses a situation similar to that, I know the Lord is convicting me of that sin.  When I sense that conviction and cannot stop thinking about how poorly I reacted, I immediately stop and confess it to God and ask Him to forgive me and to change me.  And then I might pray and ask Him to help me display all the fruits of the Spirit to everyone I come across.  (And those are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control.)  This could also be if I've told a lie, or I've been poorly managing my time or money, or if I've had an angry thought or if I'm harboring bitterness or resentment in my heart.  The point is that God's word should convict us of our own sin.

You would be shocked at the people I've known over the years, who are leaders within a church body, and who lead secret lives and have identities that are very far off from the word of God.  Just last night, I saw something so disturbing on social media, that I think I struggled with going to sleep.  It was a situation where someone who is a leader in an area at some church in her town gave extremely bad advice to a young lady.  Y'all.  This is one area I struggle with in my own life, and that is being judgmental.  I was trying HARD not to be that way, and even now, I realize that I should have stopped and prayed for her, but I didn't do that. But about that situation, I will say this about those of us who are believers and followers of Jesus: We are not supposed to live the same way the people in the world live.  We are not to self-sooth the way the world may do this, we should go to our Savior, the author and source of life. 

Jesus knew what it was like to struggle with humans while He walked on this earth, and He knew what it was like to watch someone He knew was close to Him turn away (Judas Iscariot, who later became one of His betrayers, but he started as a disciple).  NOT ONE OF US are ever immune to turning away from the Lord at some point in our lives.  The devil is good at this, he can very sneakily wiggle his way into some area in our life, and the more footing he gains, the bigger the gap he can cause between us and God.  He can cause us to turn from Jesus.

Let me give you an example: Say you have your quiet time each and every morning.  But one day, a situation causes you not to have this time with the Lord.  It can be a sickness, or if you're out of town and just don't make the time, or any other instance.  And then the next morning, you don't spend time with Him either.  Two times easily turns into four times, and four times into eight times, and eight into sixteen and so on and so forth.  All of a sudden, a whole month has gone by, and you've made time for all the other stuff in your life, but you've not spent time with God in a good, long while.  The more you miss, the easier it is to miss, and then before you know it, because you're no longer aligning your heart with the word of God, you're living a very wordly life.  You're miserable and wondering why, and everything around you seems as if it is falling apart.

I've experienced this myself!  I know how real this is.  That is why I always write about this and talk about this to anyone who stands still.  To live a life for Jesus requires a sacrifice of some sort, and for me, that is putting off other things that take my time away to spend it with Him.  Now, I do miss my quiet time here and there, and I definitely shorten it at least one or three days a week, and that is normal.  But I know better than to let more than three days go by, and really, three days is too many.  I try to never miss more than two days in a row, because life is hard, even life with Jesus.  Just don't let too long go by.

If you're in any position where people look up to you, though, I implore of you to take a good long look at your own heart.  If you know of sin in your life, confess it and ask forgiveness.  God's mercies are new every morning, friends, and that means that He continually gives us fresh starts.  Lead with integrity.  Don't just say the words in your mouth and then don't mean them in your heart.  Don't just go to church on Sundays and Wednesdays and not live for him Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  Be in constant fellowship with Him.  Make Him as real in your home as I know He is.  And if someone you know is struggling, don't give them bad advice.  Don't point them to anything or anyone other than Jesus Himself.  He is the hope and the answer that we all need desperately. 

Well, if I'm being honest here, and I try my best to be that way, this post took a way different turn than I'd intended.  I pray over this thing all the time, and my prayer today is that whoever needs to read these words reads them and is encouraged.  None of us are without sin!  We've all given bad advice.  If that's you this morning, just pray and try your best to make it right with the Lord and with that person.  I have done this myself, many times, and have had to go back and make things right.  It's not easy, but I promise, the Lord will help you.  Thanks for reading, friends.  Have a great day and weekend.  Love to all. 

Thursday, May 9, 2019

a post of random things people have asked me about

There are a few friends I have around that ask me the same kind of questions, and I thought I'd answer them on here.  Plus, I'm in a blog slump.  (These friends are actual friends in real life, some of them, and some have asked me recently in a message on Facebook or Instagram.)

First up is my age.  People are confused when they hear how old I am and how long I've been married, or how old my kids are.  We were nineteen when we got married, and turned twenty a couple months later.  We were high school sweethearts, Todd and me, and we knew we wouldn't ever date anyone else, or were even interested in that.  He asked, I accepted.  We will be married for twenty three years on October fourth of this year.  I'm forty two and my kids are twenty, nineteen and sixteen.  We just started young, is all, and we don't regret that. 

Most of our friends are older than us, or if they are our age, their kids are years younger than ours.  That being said, we've always hung around people who were older because our kids were close.

I get asked about my bible that I use on a daily basis, if I post on Instagram about it.

It's the She Reads Truth bible, and I love it.  I've had this one for about a year and a half, and will continue to read through it and mark it up and then I'll move on to start over on another one.  I do this, and probably always will.  I don't like to buy bibles unless I know I will love it, so I research ahead of time before settling.  I like to write in them for my family.  I have notes to them in the margins, or prayers I'll pray over them as I read something. 

Side note: the same people who put out this bible now have one available for men, the He Reads Truth bible.  It is beautiful!  I texted our youth pastor when I saw this little tidbit of info, because he has always loved this bible and said he wished there was one like it for men.

In studying scripture, I use multiple bibles, though, and another one I recently received as a gift and love is the Hebrew-Greek Keyword Study bible.  It has great commentary all throughout, and I need that sometimes, as I study in depth and verse by verse.  I like to use different translations sometimes, too, to help give me better understanding.

About this one, I love wide margins, and I love additional information about particular passages that I read.  This one has great information about each book and author. 

I get asked about getting free books at least one time every single week.  I wish I could pinpoint how and when this started, and it probably involved me reaching out to them somehow, but over the years, I've had publishing houses or authors (or both, recently) reach out to me about blogging for books.  I will fill out a form, or read the email and respond, and I'll give them information about my blog, and then I'll forget about it until a free book shows up in a pretty package on the doorstep.  It's like Christmas!  Some books I pass on to others, most of them I keep.  I am guessing is has to do with my blog, though, and I've had this little space here on Blogger for about thirteen years now, really since before blogging was even a "thing".

Another similar question is about how I get to picked to be on launch teams for books that haven't been released yet.  Most authors, if they want to have a launch team, will put something out on social media about this, and I'll fill out an online form and wait to see if I was picked or passed over.  About this, though and regarding social media: in order to be picked for this, it is better if my social media accounts are "public" instead of "private".  This is also true, regarding this blog that I have and post about on social media outlets.  My Facebook is still private, because it's a little creepier to me if it's not, but my Instagram account is a public account.  People follow me that I don't know, but if there is something fishy or weird about them, I will block them.  I also decline almost EVERY SINGLE MESSAGE request I receive, unless you are a woman of the faith reaching out to me.  There are people who try to reach out to me there, but no thank you.  Decline all, please. 

*This is also a very good rule of thumb on protecting your marriage.  I never speak (online or in private) with a man outside of my family by myself, even at church.

You have to be active on social media in order to be one picked for launch teams, and as much as I hate the term "followers", the more you have, the more likely you are to be picked.  I have a modest number of that, but it is enough, I suppose, to usually get picked for launch teams.

I also follow publishing houses like Waterbrook Multnomah and Tyndale and will "like" and comment on posts of theirs.  The more active you are, the better.  (This is a strange world we live in, isn't it?)  I will also say, about this, that it helps to have comments on an actual blog (not on Facebook), but it feels really weird to ever ask for that, so I don't do that.

I always get asked how I read so much, and my answer to that is simple: I make the time.  It helps that I also read really fast, and if I'm sitting and concentrating, I can read a hundred or more pages an hour.  That being said, it's easy for me to finish books in a few hours.  I've read like this since I was very young, and honestly I don't remember ever not liking to read.  My first grade teacher can be credited for this, but so can my mom.  She loves to read as well, and we would often sit and do this together.  We've shared books ever since I was in my teens. 

If you want to love to read, pick up a book and read.  I don't read books I don't love, and will quit them if they don't hold my attention.  Life is too short to read if it's not pleasurable.  I always say to everyone that they don't hate to read, they've just never found a book they LOVED.  Keep trying!  And always have a book with you, wherever you go.  I'm  taking two with me today, because I'm going to be gone almost all day, most likely, and I'm almost done with this one above that I got in the mail this week to read and review.

I'll end with this last one, and it's that I've been asked about how I have this kind of relationship with the Lord.  I've been told that I seem to have direct access to God, so I get asked to pray for things all the time.  I'm smiling as I write this, because this is nothing that is available for just me, and my prayers are no different than other people's prayers.  There is nothing magical or special about how I pray, either.  If someone says I pray "good", I quickly tell them I just consider Him a friend who I pour out my heart to.  I talk to Him as if He were right beside me, and I pray His word back to Him. 

About the "direct access to God comments", here is a newsflash: you, too, can have that!  The bible is simple and clear: pray and believe.  Say the prayers, and believe in your heart that God can and will answer.  He always answers, maybe not just the way we want.  And about that, God will always accomplish what His will is in our lives.  He won't do what is not His will, so we need to pray and ask Him to do His will in our lives, and in the lives of our family.

In working with teenagers the past few years, I always heard it explained this way to them: imagine you have a best friend.  You want to spend time with them.  You want to go places with them.  You want to talk to them and get to know them.  If you don't do those things, you won't be best friends.  Now, imagine that best friend is God.  If you don't do those things with Him, you won't ever be close to Him.  It takes time to do this, but it is essential for being in a relationship with Him.  I pray all the time, I read His word all the time (almost every single day) and I am close to Him. 

But that isn't just for me, you can have all that, if you want.  It takes time, it takes commitment, and it is work.  I'll never be done getting to know Him better, I'll constantly be getting closer and closer to Him.  God wants us to long for Him, more than we long for food or water.  We talked about this last night, in chronological bible study, the Lord wants us all to have this kind of relationship with Him.  Our relationship with Him is pretty dependent on us, and how close we want to be with Him.  I know many people who want this kind of relationship with Him, but don't put the time and effort into it themselves.  There is no mystical formula that needs to happen, but we must put in the time and effort.  The more we do that, the more we WANT to do that.  It's interesting how that works. 

Those are just a few things I've been asked in the past two weeks, either from friends I know in real life and meet with pretty often, or in a message on Facebook or Instagram, and some of them I don't know at all.  I pray this last part, particularly, encourages you in your faith.  You can have this kind of faith, if you want it, and if you're a believer.  Just start today.  Pick up your bible and just start reading a chapter a day, so it's not overwhelming.  My pastor always encourages people to start in the book of John.  I would start there.  Read the chapter slowly, and maybe even out loud, to help you really focus.  I always pray before I read, too, I never just jump in, even now.  I always ask that God would give me understanding over what I'm reading, and that He would change me through the reading of His word.  I am currently reading in the new testament, and am in Acts five today, and I use the HEAR method. 

H- highlight a verse that jumps out.

E- explain the verse in context, meaning, what is going on before, during and after the verse?  Sometimes the subtitles in your bible can help you understand this.

A- apply the verse to your life in a real way.  What does this mean for you today?  How can you be changed, after reading this verse and passage?

R- respond to God in prayer.  Write it out to Him and pray it out loud.

Just jump in today, if you haven't already, and start reading.  Ask God to grow your faith, and to help you long for Him, more than you long for food or water.  I pray that all the time, friends, and He is always faithful to answer that particular cry of mine.  Speaking of that, I need to go read today's chapter before I get dressed to leave for the day. 

Thanks for reading!  Love to all. 

Monday, May 6, 2019

the weekend and a linkup

I saw a meme just now that I am fairly certain my husband and older son are feeling, and it was of a dog laying with its face against the floor and its legs all sprawled out.  It said, "This coffee isn't working."  Todd and Graham had a long weekend at the music fest that takes place this same weekend every year.  They work it with the sheriff's department, and they WANT to do this, but by Monday morning, they are both beat.  Two a.m. starts catching up with you quickly when you keep having to wake up early.  My husband and I were talking about it this morning, and how crazy it was over the weekend, and I would literally rather give birth again than to go to something like that. 

He told me that the stage for Cardi B was so crowded that people were passing out all over the place.  The crowd was so large that they would get their place and then they wouldn't leave again, which meant they also were not eating or drinking water.  Their number one problem every year is dehydration.

Um, no thanks.  I say all that to explain how it is at that event, and how thankful it makes me for a weekend at home and away from crowds.  (And yes, I am an introvert.)

While they were gone, we had a lovely weekend here alone.  On Friday night, Jonah and Noah had a friend over, and I made a tray full of baked potatoes for dinner. (They were small.)  They left a couple of times, but I stayed in and enjoyed watching television alone. 

On Saturday, it was more of the same.  I got out for a bit at one point, to make a library run and I wanted to go to Hobby Lobby.  It was raining, though, so I didn't feel like being out long.  I came back home, and that night for dinner, the three of us went to my mom's for dinner.  (Drew spent his weekend at music fest as well, but with friends and as an attendee.) 

And then yesterday, we were at church early and then again last night, for a night of praise and worship.  Jonah and Noah went to our town's little Fair on the Square, then they went swimming with some friends.  We all met back at church last night and went to dinner with my stepdad and my in-love's, who all came to church for the night of praise. 

For those of us here at home, the weekend was low key and relaxing.  I know Todd and Graham are looking forward to some nights at home, with a couple of good dinners thrown in.

On my agenda for today is laundry, making a meal plan for the week, going to the library for some books to read, and going grocery shopping for a few things for dinner this week.  Hopefully after all that, I'll get to sit and read.  We're six days into May, and it's been about two weeks since I've picked up a book to read.  I do have one waiting on me that a friend loaned to me, but it's nonfiction, and I need some fiction thrown in as well.  I am always grateful for a slow Monday, and as far as they go, this one is shaping up nicely. 

I'm linking up with Tanya over at The Other Side of the Road for this blog post, and her Hello Monday series.  Thanks for reading, friends!  Love to all. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

catching up

I love every month of the year, but there is something about May that is special to me.  Maybe because it's the only month where eating Mexican food is celebrated?  I'm not sure, but y'all.  I love me some Mexican food, and could eat it just about every day of my life.  I had some yesterday for lunch, but I could have it again today, and the same exact thing, if you want to know the truth.  Chips and salsa is DEFINITELY my top love language.  ;)

This week is already moving faster along than last week.  I have no idea why, but last week felt like two weeks instead of just one.  Well, I do know the reasons why, but we'll just move along now.  

With a new month, comes a new plan for scripture writing!  I thought I'd share it with you, in case any of you want to join me in this.  

If I could ever recommend one thing for someone to do in their personal quiet time each day, it would be this.  Scripture writing has been one of the biggest blessings in my life.  I have been doing this for almost four years, taking a short break during the last six months or so, but I missed it so much, I had to start it up again.  There is something about writing out the word of God that helps commit it to my mind, my heart, and my memory.  I will always be doing this, as long as Shannon from Sweet Blessings writes these out, but even if she were to stop, I always save my the pages from each month.  

I have used notebook paper to do this, I have used journals, spiral notebooks...that's not the point, the point is just do get started.  I do miss a day here and there, and when I do, I don't try to catch back up, I just start back at that day that I start again and go from there.  I don't beat myself up for it, and I try not to be all legalistic about this, I just write it any and every chance I get.  Sometimes it's every day, sometimes, it's every other day.  I have a huge binder that holds two full years of writing, and I'm working on a second one as we speak.  

Do you want to join me in this?  It's the perfect day to start!

If you want a printable version, click here for the PDF file.

It has been so beautiful here lately.  I was out in my backyard earlier in the week, with my dogs, and glanced up and saw this.  I know we've had a ton of rain lately, which is nobody's favorite thing, but if this is what it brings forth, then I'm glad for that.  I love looking all around me in nature, and seeing all this new life that spring brings to us.  It is a spiritual picture of the new life we have in Christ Jesus, when we believe in and put our faith in Him.  We were dead in our sin, but when we believe in and put our faith in Him, He makes us new.  It's a radical change that comes forth from this~in my life, the Lord even changed my countenance.  I went from walking around looking angry all the time to my "resting face" being uplifted at the corners of my mouth, like I'm smiling.  I promise, this is true, and several people know of this change that took place in me.  I love that things I see around me are then turned into spiritual pictures.  It's just another thing that God does for me, a kiss from the King, my friend Kari used to say.

Speaking of days of old, I spent some time Saturday remembering a difficult time I walked through five years ago.  It was not a major surgery that I underwent, as thousands of women go through this kind of thing everyday, but what was major was the year prior to the surgery I spent desperately sick and not knowing why.  I had doctor after doctor fail me, during this time, but the One who never once failed me, let me down, or disappointed me was Jesus.  I remember clinging to Him and His word, and spending so much time praying for others, as I waited yet another procedure.

He has been faithful, much more so than I have been to Him, but that's the beautiful thing about Him.  He keeps no record of wrongs.  It is so good to look back and remember all that He has done in our lives.  And more than that, it's good to remember who He is.  He is faithful, good, loving, kind, mighty, majestic, awesome and holy (it says somewhere in Psalm), a very present help in time of trouble.

I saved the best and biggest thing for last, and if you're on social media with me, you already know this.  This guy got the email we have been waiting for for months, it seems like, that he got accepted into nursing school!  He has orientation in June, and he will start the process of registering for the classes he will need to take in the fall.  I give all the praise, honor, and glory to God for this, because He has helped Drew tremendously this year.  I can't help but think of all the ones equally as smart and qualified as Drew, though, who did not get accepted this time around.  If I could, I would hug them and pray for them, that they would remain diligent and focused.  A really cool thing about all this is the way that God answered a prayer of mine for Drew~and that was that God's will would be accomplished in his life, and that He would help me and my agenda get out of the way.  If you are praying for something big, please don't give up.  Be faithful in prayer, but pray with faith!  Pray, knowing that God can and will accomplish His will in your life, especially if it brings Him glory.  The same God who performed miracles in the days when the bible was written is the very same God today, because His word says that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  

Pray with faith!  And if you don't have big faith, ask God to grow your faith in Him.  He can, and He will.  

Well, I need to get moving on this day, because I am having an indoor picnic with a friend of mine in a couple of hours.  Thanks for reading, friends.  Love to all.  

Friday Favorites, 7.12.2024.

  Hi, friends! As you can tell, I'm forcing myself to be here often, because my life needs to resume some sort of normalcy right now; th...