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Friday, June 29, 2012

Childhood Musings : The Waltons

Old friends seem to pop up more often lately.  Some on  Facebook, some in the grocery store, some just from finding a photo that I had forgotten I'd kept.  Others show up in the realm of the arts.   The old TV series The Waltons is one of those "old friends" for me.  This program came out when I was a senior in high school and didn't have time for such "homey" things.  It  ran for 9 seasons so you'd think I'd have seen at least a dozen or so episodes during those years.  Honestly, during and after college, first job, etc.,  I don't remember seeing this program much at all.

When I want to settle down and relax with a TV program these days, I find myself recording an episode or two of these old family-friendly shows and watching them.  Each one makes me smile and usually sigh.  Check out these oldies but definitely goodies online, or on the GMC   (a relatively new channel for us) or Hallmark  channel .  Relax, have a cup of coffee and enjoy the good old days for an hour or so.  :)

I stumbled across a book at the library titled Good Night John-Boy which I have on my shelf at the moment of all of the episodes.  A fun read...

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Project 52 Week 25 Fathers

Week 25... we are halfway through the year with this photo project!

Here is my photo for this week's P52 theme that represents fatherhood--men walking through life with their children.  In our case, two sons.   [ I am #33 if you click on P52 above.]

I was following behind them when I took this photo after we had all just attended a Christian conference together.  The corridor was quite long and it reminded me of the stage of life we are now in and where our sons are along that journey.  It has been our joy and delight to raise them and we look forward to see all that God has to do in them into young adulthood.

A treasured photo from 1995...son #1 is 5, son #2 is 6 months old.  :)

Psa. 127:3-4
Behold, children are a gift of the LORD; The fruit of the womb is a reward. 
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. 

To see my other photos  for Project 52, click HERE.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Music for the Bereaved / Memorial Service for a Baby

Being a pianist, I am often asked to play for family events--weddings, holiday parties, funerals...

Last week one of our young couples at church suffered the loss of  their precious 9-month-old baby.  I had the honor of playing the piano for her memorial service.  I have played at many funerals / wakes / memorial services and I always take a lot of time choosing the music carefully so that the grieving family and their friends will be particularly soothed and calmed.  I try to play the songs as they might be sung, so that if the words are known (and most are), those thoughts will be going through the minds of those who listen.  Here are my selections from this recent service.   Clicking on each song will take you to the link with its lyrics and/or music.

Near To the Heart of God
Thou, O Lord, Art a Shield About Me
I Look to The Shepherd
Jesus Loves Me
It is Well With My Soul

Congregational Singing (songs chosen by the parents)
Jesus, Lover of My Soul
Lord, I Give You My Heart
It Is Well With My Soul

In Christ Alone

If you are asked to choose music for  a service of this type, consider using one of these pieces or something equally soothing and uplifting.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Project 52: Week 24 Sunlight

Here is this week's photo for Project 52's theme of Sunlight.   [I am #44.]  This is the sun rising over the Atlantic Ocean.   It's not often that I get to  see this beautiful sight, so I captured several shots of it.  :)    This was taken on our 25th anniversary trip to south F lorida.

Lamentations 3:22-23 
The LORD’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, 
For His compassions never fail. 
They are new every morning; Great is Thy faithfulness. 

Technically, this last photo is a reflection of sunlight--the full moon over the same ocean.  

To see my other photos in this "assignment", check out my Pinterest board HERE.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day 2012

Here is a collection of quotes about fathers for you to enjoy on this Father's Day 2012:

  • "A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society."
    -- Billy Graham, Christian Evangelist
  • "The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother."
    -- Theodore Hesburgh, Catholic Priest and President Emeritus of the University of Notre Dame
  • "My father didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it."
    -- Clarence Budington Kelland, U.S. Writer
  • "It is much easier to become a father than to be one."
    -- Kent Nerburn, U.S. Author and Educator
  • "My dad has always taught me these words: care and share."
    -- Tiger Woods, U.S. Professional Golfer
  • "Blessed indeed is the man who hears many gentle voices call him father!"
    -- Lydia M. Child, U.S. Author

  • "We are given children to test us and make us more spiritual."
    -- George Will, U.S. Journalist
  • "It is easier for a father to have children than for children to have a real father."
    -- Pope John XXIII

Prov. 17:6 

Grandchildren are the crown of old men, and the glory of sons is their fathers. 

Psa. 127:3-5 
Behold, children are a gift of the LORD; The fruit of the womb is a reward. 
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. 

How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; They shall not be ashamed, When they speak with their enemies in the gate. 

So thankful for the father that our two sons have been blessed with.  :)

Other posts about Father's Day are HERE.

And remembering my own sweet dad this day. He passed away in 2005.
Thankful to have a heart full of sweet memories with him.

Sunday : Worship

From TableTalk, a magazine published by Ligonier Ministries...

...Western society is blessed to be steeped in the teaching of Scripture and the person and work of Christ. However, we must take care that this blessing of familiarity does not motivate contempt in us for the things of God. Even if we do not consciously disregard the Lord, failing to marvel at the Father's grace - because we hear of it every week - is a subtle and powerful form of contempt. Take time to meditate on the greatness of our God and His love for us.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Fathers Day 2012 FREE ADMISSION for Dads to Leu Gardens

We were at Leu Gardens this morning with friends and saw this sign for free admission for dads, tomorrow, Sunday, June 17, 2012.

A nice family outing...

Menu Planning / Paperback Swap

Last week's dinner menus:
  • Sunday--Stromboli (homemade dough + L.O. roast chicken, banana peppers & cheese), chips, strawberries
  • Monday--leftover Lasagne from the freezer, salad, grapes
  • Tuesday--Ham, rice, black-eyed peas, blueberry muffins, broccoli
  • Wednesday--Pizza and salad
  • Thursday--Baked Fresh Fish (tilapia),  L.O. ham and  peas, fresh green beans, fruit
  • Friday-- dinner out with friends
  • Saturday--Baked shrimp, macaroni and cheese, asparagus, strawberries



A friend told me recently about a book "club" called Paperback Swap.  Membership is free.  You just register and after posting 10 books you get two (2) credits to shop.  The way it works is that you send your book(s) to whomever requests them paying Media Mail postage (by far the cheapest way to mail anything).  The courtesy is extended to you when you request a book as well.    If you are interested in joining this site,  just click on the PAPERBACK SWAP icon in the lefthand sidebar of this blog.

When I signed up I  immediately listed 14 books that were just setting around, too inexpensive to sell, yet popular books.  Eight were "ordered" almost immediately.   After reading those, I relist them and the process starts all over again.  It's great for finding books that you want to read that are current (or not) and you need to keep them more than the library will allow.  You can even start a wish list and when the book is listed, it will be shipped to you, depending on how far down the waiting list you are.   If you're a big novel / fiction reader, this is a gold mine and a lot cheaper than buying new books.  Once you've read a fiction book, just post it on Paperback Swap and exchange it for something else.  Very simple.

I always make "like new" as a requestor condition and have given many books away as gifts by doing this.  I currently have about 21 credits, stocking up for birthday and holiday gifts ahead of time.

I received a real treasure (to me, at least) that I ordered from PBSwap the other day--a book from my childhood that honestly, I have been looking for YEARS to find that didn't cost $50+.  The title?  Uncle Arthur's Bedtime Stories (volume 1).  I had hoped for a hardcover edition but in glancing through it, it is exactly the same as I had received when I was about 7-8 years old from a dear great-aunt who had passed away.   She was very special to me even though I never actually saw her more than a few times in my lifetime but we used to exchange letters often while she was alive.  I know she prayed for me regularly as long as she lived.   I was able to visit her  on a trip to Dallas just before she died so she would know that her prayers were answered .  I used to read the stories in this little book over and over again when I was very young.  A little piece of my childhood, relatively free from PB Swap.    I hope to sit down and read through it this week. Maybe I'll have some milk and cookies while curling up in a cozy chair.  :)

***A friend just reminded me that they also have a CD swap and  DVD swap as well.  I have swapped a couple of CDs but no DVDs.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Project 52 Week 23 : Water

This week's P52 theme is Water...a  perfect one for me this week as we just returned from our 25th anniversary 4-day getaway to  South Florida and I had captured these water scenes while we were there.  Last week's theme photos were from that same trip as well.

Click on any photo to enlarge.

Which one do you like the best?

The view from our suite in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea...

...full moon the first night we were there...

...sunrise the next the morning.

A day trip to Morikami Japanese Museum and Gardens in Delray Beach...

...and our last morning at the hotel pool. Ahhh...  :)

To see my other photos in this project, click HERE.

FREEBIE: Tropical Smoothie Café NATIONAL FLIP FLOP DAY Friday June 15, 2012

Check out this cool freebie on what is most certain to be a hot day!

Friday, June 15, 2012
FREE 24 oz. Jetty Punch Smoothie
Tropical Smoothie Café
2-7 p.m.

For more info, click HERE.

To find a Tropical Smoothie Café near you, click HERE.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Bridal Shower Decorations

I attended a lovely bridal shower brunch this morning.  It was a very special time as the young bride-to-be has grown up in our church and will soon be marrying a wonderful young man.  :)

Here are some of the pretty decorations / food displays if you're looking for ideas.

It was a hat-themed party.  Here I am ready to leave our home with my hat and yellow gloves on.  :)

A beautiful homemade chocolate velvet cake (no box mixes) made and decorated by a friend.


A pretty display of hats, fresh flowers and candles on the cake table.

Centerpieces for each seating table, glass bowls filled with water, lit candles and fresh flowers.  
Votive candles, cutouts and confetti  surround each centerpiece.  Crisp white cotton tablecloths.

A nice assortment of food items for a brunch made by several ladies. Fresh flowers on the food table.

Mmm... Simple, clear plastic ware plates and forks.  Much less mess to clean up.

Simple, yet beautiful.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Project 52 Week 22 : Playtime

My husband and I were in Palm Beach, Florida earlier this week during our 25th anniversary getaway.  I couldn't resist taking photos of these art sculptures of children playing.    As always, I am amazed at what people can do with their hands.  The Project 52 theme for week 22 is Playtime.  [I am #39 if you go to the photo site to see the others.]

To view my other photos in this 52-week photo "assignment" click HERE.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Jan Karon books / Summer Reading

I read 5 books in Jan Karon's Mitford series last summer. I'm about halfway through this one ...#6 in the series and love it. What are you reading this summer?

Update 7.6.12:  Reading the last one in the series now--In This Mountain.  If you want a pleasant, relaxing read, check these out.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Reflections on the Water

Seeing the sunrise over the ocean is always beautiful no matter how many times you have seen it.

Just for Fun...

This is how I feel when I see just the perfect photo AND I have my camera with me AND it is fully charged...  :)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sunday : A Day of Worship and Rest

I hope you are worshiping at your church this morning.  Rest and revive the soul.

HERE is one of my favorite singers, Cynthia Clawson, singing about of all things, hymns.    It's an older CD but an excellent one.  If you haven't been brought up in a church that sings hymns, pick up a hymnal and take a look for yourself at the rich lyrics with a definitive message.

Here are a few of the lyrics to the song Hymnsinger
Lyrics by Paul McCusker & David Maddux

I hear their songs
Their words of beauty reaching deep
Within cathedrals of my heart
Angelic choirs
Reverberate the stained glass windows
Of saints and sinners in their place
Singing out "Amazing Grace"
While in the glory of their faith
I'm drawn to find my part
And sing with all my heart...

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Simple Things in Life

Sometimes we make life so difficult, so expensive and so hurried.  There are common blessings all around us as we experienced last weekend...

My  husband and I did a 3-mile walk around a beautiful lake in our area, catching the sun going down as we ended...

and finishing off the time with a nice cup of coffee here...

A pleasant evening with my husband to catch up and relax before a busy Monday morning...

Put the brakes on, make a date with your spouse or special someone and relax at some point (preferably outdoors) over the weekend.  :)

Friday, June 1, 2012

National Doughnut Day June 1, 2012

There's a day for everything, isn't there?  Well, that makes life more fun.  :)  Today is National Doughnut Day and there are a few freebies out there for you if you're running errands or just want a treat.

For more details click HERE.

Pick up a free doughnut at participating Krispy Kreme and Dunkin Donuts locations.  [DD requires a beverage purchase, but why have a doughnut without coffee?]

I ran out to the grocery this morning and had planned to pick up a cup of coffee.  Might as well get a free doughnut, too!  By the way, the coffee was for me; the doughnut was for my son.  Willpower at its finest!  :)

Graduation Party Food Ideas

Some of my friends are SO creative with their graduation parties, making cake pops (they ARE delicious) and little caps from chocolates (they were delicious, too).  We gave a party for about 50 a few weeks ago to celebrate our younger son's graduation from high school.    Here are the tables of food that I prepared.  The baking took some time but I mainly set aside one afternoon for the cookies (and froze them) and baked the cake the day before the party.

Non-sweet food:
  • Pizza rolls (2 platters)
  • Chick-fil-A Chicken Nuggets Tray
  • Fresh sliced watermelon
  • Sour cream & onion Chips
  • Hummus + carrots, crackers and celery

Sweet food:
  • Homemade frosted Strawberry cake
  • Homemade chocolate chip cookies (I baked about 100)
  • M & M's
  • Gummy Bears (I was amazed that only 2 gummies were left in the dish. Definitely a hit!)
  • Pink lemonade
  • Root beer
  • Iced tea
  • Water
Even though we splurged on his graduation gift, we wanted the party to be decorative and fun.   Much of the food was homemade, some foods were bought earlier in the month when they were on sale as were the party paper products [Old Time Pottery and Party City].  I got a little nervous about the quantity of food since the invitation said 2:30-4:30 pm and guests were still there at 6:10 pm.  Like the multiplying of the  loaves and fishes, there was plenty with even some leftovers!  Guests spread through the kitchen / family room, dining room and living room and it never felt too crowded.   A fun time was had by all.

For my FB friends, you can see more photos of the party in my April-June photo album. 

You don't have to break your budget to celebrate... just do it! and have fun!  :)
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