Thursday, December 22, 2011

5x7 Folded Card

Colorful Wishes Birthday Card
Creating Christmas cards have never been this easy.
View the entire collection of cards.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Scouting for Food

This Saturday we will be picking up bags of food for the food pantry in the Texarkana area.  Scouting for Food is a great way to share our abundance with our neighbors much like the Pilgrims and Native Americans did on the first Thanksgiving.  I am reminded of something a friend shared with me years ago.  She worked in a food pantry and told me the items needed most.  The majority of people served by the pantry are senior citizens and families with children.  These people cannot afford to buy protein items or items specific for their health needs.  Here is a list of things that I am going to look for to fill my bag. 

Canned Tuna or Chicken
Low Sodium Nuts
Peanut Butter
Canned Fruit in its own Juice
Low Sodium Soup
Shelf Stable Milk (look in the cereal isle)
100% Juice
Low Sugar Granola or Cereal Bars
Low Sugar Cereal
Malt O Meal
Dried Beans
Instant Rice
Chili Powder or Chili Seasoning Packets
Sugar Free Jello or Pudding

Please share the items you are going to put in your bag.

From our family to yours.  May you be blessed this Thanksgiving. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunrise on the Battery-Booksneeze Book Review

Sunrise on the Battery by Beth Webb Hart

This is a wonderful story of a family and their journey to find peace. The setting is in Charleston and the imagery is wonderful. I felt as if I were walking on the battery myself. I loved how Beth gave voices to the different characters so we could feel the full range of emotions for the family. The story had a twist towards the end that I enjoyed. I thought I would know how it would go then was pleasantly surprised there was more depth to the story. I look forward to more books by Beth. I was given a copy of this book by Booksneeze and had to obligation to give a positive review.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Teenage Years

Over the years I have heard parents lament over the fact that they are in the dreaded teenage years.  Honestly I can say we are enjoying these years.  My children are 16, 13 and11.  Every stage of life has been a joy and new experience.  I loved when they were little and each experience brought awe and wonder.  I loved their kindergarten drawings and adoration for mama.  I love seeing them make friends and develop independence and a sense of who they are in the preteen years.  And now I love this transition of teen to adult.  Don't get me wrong.  In a few years when its time for Brittany to leave home I will need a box or two of tissues.  I am not pushing her out of the nest but this time is also precious to me.  We are developing a friendship I know will last for the next forty to fifty years.  I was as excited as she was for her first date.  All the wonderful experiences of a teen becoming an adult rushed back to me when I saw her beaming.  I am so blessed to be a part of this journey with her.  I want to be here waiting as she peers over the nest into the unknown world and hold my arms open to welcome her back when her heart is broken.  And we all know it will be broken.  I am a proud mama of my children.  I don't get to hold their hand walking across the street anymore or rock them in the early morning but we are going fishing, camping, vacationing, sharing and loving just the same.  I hope you enjoy the teenage years as much as I am.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Full Moon in the Cemetary

These photos were taken at the cemetery across the street from us.  They are quiet neighbors but never come to visit.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Beautiful Night to Fish

Last Saturday night we decided to go fishing.  My boy loves fishing!  He can sit there all day waiting for that bite. 
 His best friend was able to come so that made the trip extra special.

 The light was amazing when we arrived.  I am so glad I brought my camera.
 We were at Millwood Lake.  There is supposed to be an alligator in the lake but we haven't met him yet.
 I wonder if we ever do meet him if he will pose for me.

 The geese were beautiful.  I think they were flying the wrong direction.  Go south and bring winter on down please.

In terms of being able to eat fish we were not successful.   In terms of quality time spent together in the beautiful sunset we were rock stars!  Sweet dreams my little man.  We will catch the big one next time.

David and the Old Man

I reviewed this book for Booksneeze and found it to be very touching.  This true story is about the struggle of a young man with anemia in the 1960s.  Since this disorder was undiscovered at this time the family struggled to make sense of a young boy who refused to eat.  The family’s love for each other is amazing even through the hard times of a parent unable to force a child to eat.  I liked the viewpoints of other family members and found it interesting how perceptions are different even in the same household.  I received no compensation for this review other than the free book and had no obligation to give a good review.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


 Happy Autumn Everyone!  I hope this time of year gives you a break from the heat, time to relax and enjoy the crisp air, hot cocoa, fall colors and caramel apples.  We finally have a break from the heat!  It is in the 80s now and all I want to do it bake.  This can be good and bad.  We have been in Texarkana a year.  My how time flies.  My kiddos are growing up.  Here is Derek for an example.
Derek as a Tiger cub (in the middle). 
 Last year at Crossover.  My little man becoming a boy scout from a Webelos receiving recognition for earning all 20 Webelos pins.
 Derek two years ago as a Webelos winning 2nd in the Pinewood Derby.
Derek receiving his patrol leader patch last night.  I think I will go cry and bake something (preferably with chocolate) now.  Happy Autumn Everyone!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Book Review


The first part of this book written by Stephen Mansfield was quite interesting. I was not a viewer of the Oprah Show so much of her life was unknown to me. I like biographies and thought the biography portion of this book was interesting. I got lost in the rest of the book. I like the facts please. Mr. Mansfield made many assumptions of how Oprah came to the spiritual beliefs and I felt that he was grasping for straws in many of his connections. Honestly, I became bored with the book and found it hard to continue reading his explanations for how Oprah and America came to the place where we are today. I think it is a good way for Christians to shirk their responsibility to become involved in others lives and ministering to others by finding alternate explanations to people leaving the Christian faith rather than taking on the responsibility of sharing Christ themselves. Mr. Mansfield is a good writer and the book was easy to follow. I was given a copy of Where Has Oprah Taken Us? by Stephen Mansfield in exchange for my honest opinion. I received no other compensation.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Free Books!

BookSneeze - Great books are contagious. BookSneeze gives them to bloggers for free.          

I signed up with Book Sneeze to get free..yes I said free books.  You simply must sign up, commit to writing a review about your book and they send you a book for free!  These appear to primarily be Christian based books.  There are a variety of genres and even e-books.  I received my first book the other day and I will be writing a review soon.  After I submit my review I can choose another book.  Woo Hoo!!  If you are a blogger and would like to check it out go to

Thanks Lori for first sharing this!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Sunsets in south Texas are beautiful!  We visited some sweet friends in New Braunfels a couple of weeks ago and had a great time.  We may move in with them soon but don't tell them or they may move ;).  Not really but we did have a wonderful time.  Sheldon, Natasha and their two boys were wonderful hosts and we fell in love with cactus and wide open spaces.

We went to Schlitterbahn on Saturday.  If you have never been I highly recommend it.  It was SOOO much fun.  I could spend all day boogie boarding!  It stormed off and on all day and we had to evacuate rides once.  Some big thunderboomers rolled through and we were on the waterfalls which is a river that goes around one of the parks (they have 3 parks!).  Derek was pulled off by lifeguards and we were too far down the river to get off.  The next stop was on the other side of the park!!  I was frantic.  I ran through the thunder, lightening, wind, cold, and stinging rain while everyone else in the  park stood under the pavilions watching me (not very gracefully) running like my life depended on it. I called for Derek under every pavillion and finally made it to where our ice chest was.  There was Derek covered by a towel waiting on me.  He was not frantic at all, not scared of the thunder or wind, not needing his mama who just ran to save him :(.  He's growing up :( :(.  His words to me were "I knew you would come back for the stuff."  Ha!  I told him we would come back for him too.

We went to Gruene, Texas for dinner and shopping.  Gruene is wonderful and if you ever go to New Braunfels spend some time there.  We were lucky that it was Gruene weekend when there are outdoor vendors selling all kinds of unique artisan made items.  We brought home some yummy flavored whole grain pasta.  My kids eat the spinach pasta with no sauce it is so good!  So that was our fun weekend.  It was worth the long drive and I can't wait to go again.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


I have been asked by several people what first aid items I carry with me.  So here is a list of what I have in my purse at all times.  

The first is Nux Vomica.  Yep, just like the name says it is for vomiting.  I carry the pellets (the white, powdery round ones fall apart from being banged around in my purse).  This is a homeopathic remedy so what you put in your mouth is sugar pellets and can be taken every 15 minutes as needed.  They dissolve under the tongue.  We use them for motion sickness, heartburn and headaches mostly. It is known as the hangover medicine but works well for any over indulgence whether that be motion, noise, eating or drinking.  My sister relied on it during her pregnancy for all-day sickness. For a complete rundown go to

Another homeopathic I carry is Arnica Montana.   I also have this in pellets and try to keep in gel as well.  This stuff is great for any kind of physical trauma.  We take orally every 15 minutes and apply to the bruise or sprain.  DO NOT apply topically to broken skin.  It is amazing how arnica facilitates healing to the body when you have an injury.  It is helpful also after surgery, for sore muscles, or traumatic grief.  For more info on Arnica Montana go to

Lavender Oil is an essential oil I always have on hand.  Lavender oil is calming.  If you have a fussy infant put a drop on your collar then hold the baby.  If you are stressed breath in lavender oil.  Lavender oil is a disinfectant, will soothe skin irritations, bug bites, burns and I have put a drop on the neck of my son to soothe his tummy when traveling.  We use it most for bug bites, cold sores and burns (including sunburns).  My husband had second degree burns from a radiator all the way up his arm.  We treated with lavender oil and vitamin C and he had no infection nor scars.  His entire arm was blistered.  Lavender oil gave him the most pain relief and he put it into a spritzer bottle to spray on.  Here is a link for Lavender oil The link also tells the story of how Lavender oil was discovered as a remedy for burns.

Peppermint Oil is the other essential oil I carry at all times.  The most fun use is for hiccups.  Peppermint oil is antispasmodic so one drop on the tongue cures the hiccups every time.  It will work the same for muscle spasms as well.  Peppermint is cooling to the body so a few drops on the back of the neck can help with hot flashes or when you are overheated.  It is a disinfectant.  I will put a couple of drops and clean out cups when at hotels before I use them.  It is great for the tummy.  If you have an upset tummy try it on the tongue or in a little water.  It can also wake you up.  If you are feeling sleepy inhale some peppermint oil. The best use we have for it is insect bites.  It cools and soothes.  My son is allergic to fire ants and one bite will swell up the size of a baseball.  We treat it with peppermint oil and the swelling goes down within 5 minutes.  Many warn against using this oil for children under 2.   All mints have the same properties so you can get the same benefits from the spearmint growing in your garden.  I like peppermint or spearmint tea.  One last use for peppermint is bad breath.  Before you pucker up to kiss your sweetie you may want to put a drop on the tongue.  For more information on peppermint oil go to

Five Flower Essence or Rescue Remedy- same product different manufacturer.  This really should have been my first product to share because it is that important.  This is best known for mental or physical trauma or shock.  Bach flowers are fantastic for bringing emotions into balance.  We have used Rescue Remedy for headaches, nightmares, insect bites, stress, crying babies, fit throwing toddlers, grief, pms, motion sickness and the list could go on and on.  It is so safe you could drink the whole bottle, you can put it into water and drink it, lotion and apply it, bath water, apply to the skin.  As long as it is in or on you it will work.  It is also great for pets.  I have put on the back of my children's neck when they would not take it. Here is a link for more info on Five Flower Essence.

Allergy Relief is a great homeopathic product.  There are many companies that supply these formulas and they are all good.  Four drops under the tongue as needed will take care of your stuffy, runny nose and itchy eyes.  There are also eye drops which work great if you are like me and allergic to cats.  If I could take my eyes out and rinse it in the eye drops I would be much happier :).  This remedy will also help relieve cold symptoms when you must.  (Remember symptoms are our friend).

This concludes my must haves in my purse.  My herbs at home are the base of keeping my family well but these remedies are needed for acute issues.  I will post soon about how to keep the flu at bay.

If you would like to know Why Herbs?  Follow this link.  It is one of the best explanations I have read from my favorite teacher Dr. Phil. 


Thanks for hanging with me everyone.  Sorry I have been AWOL this summer.  I will start catching up soon.  Hope you are enjoying the cooler weather.  We are down to 90 for the high today.  Woo Hoo!  Have a great day.  We are heading to the Four States Fair this morning for Kids Day.

Loves to all of You!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Singing in the Rain

I wish I were doing this at least. If this were smellivision I would add the scent of rain on hot grass.  I can smell it now. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

For 30 Days

I love this video.  I have heard of the idea of doing something for 30 days to establish a habit but never for the pure enjoyment of it.  I have been making a list of things I would like to do for 30 days at a time.  Here are a few things I am going to try.  Write Fiction, Take Photos, Draw, Write Poetry, Meditate, Laugh, Bicycle, Knit, Cook a New Recipe, Eat Chocolate (ok lets not get carried away).  Some things I am not good at such as meditate (sit still quietly) or draw but that is the fun of it.  Who knows, maybe there is an artist locked up inside of me.  Perhaps I will be the next Rembrant?  I hope to expand my horizons by doing things I enjoy or always wanted to do. What things can you think of to do?  I would love to hear your ideas.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


I have a thing for water and trees.  I especially love reflections and take lots of pics of them.  Here are a few.