Oh my lucky stars!

There is a blogger, Melissa, from A Little Loveliness, who I love to "visit" from time to time.   She is very inspiring to me.   One a recent visit, she was hosting a giveaway for a cute floral arrangement by From You Flowers.     And oh my lucky stars,  I won.  It was just delivered over the weekend.  Thanks Melissa for hosting the giveaway and thanks to   From You Flowers  for the sweet arrangement.  They put a smile on my face.


Wordless Wednesday

This is what you get when you ask me to smile!


Happy Birthday Makenzie

  I just got back from  an all too brief visit to see my grandbabies and to celebrate Makenzie's
actual birthday.  I already miss you sweet baby girl and I'm counting the days till I  see you again.


Sponsoring a child

As you may know if you've seen my blog before, I sponsor a child at Trees of Glory through Children's Hope Chest.  It has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life.  I'm very fortunate to be sponsoring a child at the same location where family and friends are also sponsoring a child.   My niece, Jessica and her husband Nick have already made several trips there and Mike and I hope to join them next year.   Trees of Glory serves 100 children and are in the process of adding 40 more children who are in need of sponsors.  It would be so awesome if other family and friends who were led to sponsor a child were able to sponsor one at TOG.  What a wonderful experience to have together.

The gift of sponsorship…

 A sponsor is a person who commits to three things that we call Pray, Say, and Pay.

1. Pray

As a sponsor, they ask that you would pray for your child as often as possible. Your child’s packet will give you information about their circumstances, family of origin, orphanage, town, and country–all vital tools in helping you pray for your child.

2. Say

They ask that sponsors try and send a message to their child about once a month. Say things to your child like, “I am proud of your hard work in school!” You may be one of the only encouraging voices in their lives.

3. Pay

Each sponsor commits to a $34/month sponsorship relationship that provides a child with many benefits. Your funds will enable us to hire in-country staff who will directly minister to your children. We will help with projects at your child’s orphanage, facilitate the letter writing exchange program, and also send a special Christmas and Birthday gift to your child on your behalf.
                    (The information in blue is from the Children's Hope Chest Website)

It has made a real difference not only in Muri's life, but especially in my life.   You will have other opportunities to help fund raise for special projects and if you'd like, there are even opportunities to go there on mission trips.  Karen Wistrom (Sponsorship coordinator for TOG)  is leading a trip this November.  For more information, please click on Karen's name above.  If you're interested in sponsoring a child specifically at Trees of Glory,  Karen  at kjwistrom@yahoo.com.


                                Desperate need immediately!!!!!

You may have heard about the severe drought in Ethiopia.  The situation is "desperate".  I received an email from Karen who states that the crops at TOG are failing due to the lack of water.  Jessica was just there 2 months ago described how the crops that the staff at TOG had planted were starting to come in. I can't imagine the disappointment they all must be feeling after working so hard to get fields planted.

The fact is that without water, it is just impossible to grow enough food to sustain these communities.

There is a fund raising going on now to build a well at TOG.   Listed below are different ways you can help now.   I will also be adding a fund raiser on my blog soon. (More on that later)  Please, if you can, consider helping in any way possible.  (Sponsoring, donating or  praying).

1.  Jessica is selling bracelets from Ethiopia.  Click on Bracelets.

2.  Heather has started an organization called ONEPurse (www.onepurse.org) .  With one purse party, she raised $520 for the fresh-water well project at Trees of Glory care-point in Ethiopia and she will continue doing these special "purse parties" to rasie funds.  Trees of Glory is caring for 100 orphaned and destitute children - with no running water - and 40 more children are about to enroll.  We need to dig a well and we need to dig it soon - and we need your help!!

3.  Please consider making a donation to fund this project - and please spread the word. This is something we can do right now to make a tangible difference for the kids and staff at TOG - AND in the surrounding villages!  And please pray for Ethiopia and the entire Horn of Africa as they once again weather drought and famine.

To make a donation:

Go to www.hopechest.org, click on GIVE
Click on DESIGNATED GIFT and specify a $ amount
In the Reference Number, specify ET2119000
In the Notes area, specify TOG WELL

Please remember to pray and consider a donation and sponsorship.  It will change their lives and your life.

Our sweet Muri


Multitudes on Mondays


                                Joining Ann Voskamp for her Multitude on Mondays.
                                                            Hope you'll join

                           Remembering to be greatful in all things

#239     homemade lemonade
#240     an unexpected "quick" visit with my nieces and nephews
#241     visiting with a relative I haven't seen in years
#242     lunch and a little shopping with my girls
#243     my plane ticket booked to see Kelly and the kids
#244     our dinner made up entirely of fresh vegetables (and a biscut)
#245     my special time with Dylan

#246     littles ones overcoming their fear of water so they can begin  to learn to swim
#247     my extra time in prayer this week
#248     the email saying my book order is on the way
#249     fresh, cold watermelon
#250     air conditioning
#251     getting back in touch with an old friend that I haven't talked to in 18 years
#252     faith in God and in his timing, not mine on prayer requests
#253     a husband who will watch a show that I want to see (that he has no interest in)
             just to be with me
#254     peach season

                                         What are you thankful for?


A First on Fun Friday

               It's been a few weeks since Dylan was over for a Friday.  We had such a good time.

          We went to his first ever movie theater movie, Winne the Pooh.  It was really cute and
                      only lasted 1 hour and 10 minutes (including previews) which worked out
                                                     perfectly since he's 2.

He loves Winnie the Pooh, especially Tigger.  More people than I could count came up to me 
and told me he looked like Christopher Robin.   Dylan doesn't think so and was
quick to disagree.  ha

We wanted to go swimming when we got home but a pretty big thunder storm came through
so we decided swimming in the tub was a better choice (when the thunder stopped of course)

Dylan's favorite book, I Love You Stinky Face.  I have to read it to him several times a visit. 
 By now he knows what happens 
on every page and he does a pretty good job "reading" the story himself.
I just love his morning hair.

We got in our swim the next morning before he went home.
Hope the neighbors didn't mind our "not so quiet" 7:30 am swim.
Just a month ago he didn't like getting his face wet in the pool.
Now he jumps in face first.

Thanks for the sleep-over with Nana and Poppy little buddy.
We had so much fun.


Multitudes on Mondays


                              Joining Ann Voskamp for her Multitude on Mondays.  Hope you'll join

                      Remembering to be greatful in all things

#226      the knowledge that injustices on earth will be resolved in heaven
#227      an unexpected house guest
#228      daily afternoon rains (I know the ground desperately needs it)
#229      fundraisers
#230      an afternoon of fellowship with people I work with
#231      peace about the decision I made about my future
#232      homemade blackberry pie
#233      Makenzie's first "gymnastics meet"

#234      kids in summer swim lessons :)
#235      working on plans for our road trip
#235      text messaging
#236      my children taking their children on summer vacations
#237      medical findings caught early
#238      Baasan doing well in recovery from surgery


Bracelet Fundraiser for TOG!

My niece, Jessica is have a fundraiser for the well at Trees of Glory!     She was able to purchase really cute Ethiopian "love" bracelets while she was in Ethiopia bringing Rahel home.  The bracelets you see below are your choices.  The donation is only  $10.00 (plus a 3 dollar shipping charge).  Please consider helping. 
Just click on Jessica's name above and it will link you to her blog.  Thanks!



A generous man will himself be blessed for he shares his bounty with the poor.
                                          Proverbs 22:9


Roasted Vegetables

I'm joining Kelly from Kelly's Korner in Show-Us-Your-Life - Side Dish.  Stop by and check out all the delicious recipes. 

My all-time favorite, easy, go to side dish is Roasted Vegetables.  What is so great about it is you can choose whatever vegetables you like, whatever you have on hand.  

Pre Heat your oven to 400 degrees.

Cut up vegetables in a bowl and add olive oil and salt and pepper.  Mix thoroughly.  You can use as much or as little as you like.  I don't use a large amount but you want to make sure there is oil on all of the vegetables.  

1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1green pepper
1 orange pepper
1 red onion
2 zucchini 
2 yellow squash   (Use any vegetables you like:  asparagus, potatoes, greenbeans, etc.)

Put on a shallow pan and bake for 30 minutes.  The vegetables will slightly start to caramelize.  
    (I have a very old shallow sheet pan that I use exclusively for the roasted vegetables.)

Put in a serving dish and your done.  Easy, healthy and delicious.  You can't ask for anything more of a side dish.

As luck would have it, I'm on my way to a cook-out and I'm bringing a side dish.




Simple Woman's Daybook:July

Simple Woman\


I am joining The Simple Woman's Day Book blog to journal my thoughts on this day. Please click on the link above if your interested in taking a look.

                                                  The Simple Woman's...Daybook: July

                                                                   July 4, 2011

                                                             Outside my window.....
I'm noticing how nice my yard looks and am thankful for all the hard work my husband puts into
                                                              I am thinking....
     about how much I love the 4th of July and I'm so greatful to God that he saw fit for me to be
                                                          raised in the USA.  
                                                              I am thankful for........
               our freedom,  especially the high that was paid for that freedom over the past 235 years.
                                                              From my kitchen...
     I made a delicious 4th of July French Toast Casserole and our annual Watermelon Ice-Cream. 



                                                                I am wearing.....
        a blue print shirt, blue shorts, blue and white tennis shoes a white and silver necklace 

           and silver hoop earrings. I'm looking for something red to go with it)

                                                                I am creating.......
                        red, white and blue star garland.  (stars from Pier 1 and fishing line) 

                                                                      I am going.......
                                           to see fireworks tonight with my sweetie

                                                                  I am reading.......
                 magazines:  Costal living, Martha Stewart, Southern Lady and Celebration
                                                                                                         (love Phyllis Hoffman)
 I'm planning on getting "Sweetwater Gap" this week.  I've been told it's a good summer read
            and I'm ready to begin reading "Nikon D-90 for Dummies" from cover to cover. 
                         (I believe the title tells everything in why I've picked that book)

                                                               On my mind..........
1.  Why are people so disrespectful at patriotic events.  I was so disappointed in the number of people who not only didn't stand to recite the pledge and sing our anthem, they couldn't be bothered to be quite long enough for those who were participating.  And at a 4th of July celebration, no less.
2.  Why in the world would people purposely throw trash on the ground and into a lake at said celebration.   By the way, there were trash cans EVERYWHERE.  Sorry, I just had to get that off my chest. 

                                                             Around the house........
    I've just found out I'm gonna have a house guest for a week in 2 DAYS so I'll be doing a lot
                                                 of cleaning "around the house" .
                (which I am happy about because there is nothing more fun than company)

                                                       One of my favorite things.....
                                   decorating and then having get-togethers for holidays
                                                           (ie: 4th of July this week)

                                                   A few plans for the rest of the week.....
                   getting the house ready and planning meals for above mentioned house guest
                               and a barbaque with work friends  next weekend

                                                        Small window into my life .....

      As I am writing this post, my man is cleaning the oven for me because he knows "I can't
                                 stand to do it".   He is definitely making my day.

                          I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July.


Fourth of July

  Fourth of July is definitely one of my favorite holidays.   I love everything about it.  The colors, decorations, family get-togethers, cookouts, picnics, fireworks and especially celebrating the blessing of being born in the USA.  I truely believe that God does bless us in America.



 Mike is retired from the Navy but he was stationed 12 of his 22 years with the Marines so they get equal billing at our house.          

Happy Birthday America


                   We had a little cookout on Sunday (burgers, potato salad, corn and baked beans)
                      (I didn't get pictures because of the before mentioned cooking and eating)  ha


We can't have 4th of July without watermelon ice-cream. 
It's usually the only time of year I make it.
lime sherbert, vanilla ice-cream and raspberry sherbert
with chocolate chips
(I didn't think to take a picture until after the melting began but it's really good)

This morning for breakfast we had Fourth of July French toast casserole, bacon and orange juice.

Now we are on our way to our city's Firework Celebration.  We may even try to hit two different ones.
I told you, I love this holiday and especially fireworks.

Dear Lord,
On this Fourth of July we celebrate our Independence Day.  Please bless us as we come together to be with family and friends to cookout, picnic and watch fireworks.  We give you thanks for the honor of living in the USA.   Bless those who have served and sacrificed for our freedom.  Please let us remember that our freedom was purchased at a very high price.  Bless everyone who celebrates today and keep us one nation under you lord.  Please help us to live our lives to glorify you.

Fourth of July French Toast Casserole

I'm joining Kelly from Kelly's Korner in Show-Us-Your-Life - Breakfast.  Stop by and check out all the delicious breakfast recipes.

 I'm showing the breakfast I made for Fourth of July.  It's actually a fruit/cream cheese french toast casserole that you can adjust to your tastes.  It's so yummy.

               I don't know if you can tell, but my intention was to make the casserole look like a flag. :)

                                              Fourth of July French Toast Casserole

1 loaf of Egg Bread (Challah), you can substitute any bread but I think this one does well.
8 ounces of cream cheese  (sometimes I use 12 ounces, depending on how much cream cheese you like)
1 small jar of blueberry preserves
1 small jar of strawberry preserves
8 large eggs
1 1/2 cups of milk (I usually add a little more milk)
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
5 to 6 tablespoons of melted butter
Cinnamon (about 1/2 teaspoon but you can add as little or as much as you like)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 13 x 9 x 2 casserole dish with non stick cooking spray.  Layer half of bread (roughly cube the bread) in baking dish.  In a separate bowls mix the cream cheese and 2/3 of the jar of preserves.  I usually only put one fruit flavor in my casserole but since I was trying to make it into a flag, I used 1/3 of the cream cheese with the blueberry preserves and 2/3 of cream cheese with strawberry preserves.  Drop teaspoonfuls of the cream cheese/preserve mixture over the first layer of bread.  Cover with remaining bread.  Drop a few spoonfuls of the plain preserves over the top layer of bread.

Mix together eggs, milk, vanilla extract, melted butter and cinnamon until well blended.  Pour over bread and lightly press with spatual to help the bread get completely soaked with the mixture.  Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.   Serves up to 10 people.

This recipe is very adaptable.  You can use most any flavor of fruit preserves or you can even substitute fruit instead of the preserves.  If you choose to substitute with fruit, make sure you add about 1/3 cup of sugar to the cream cheese and use about 2 cups of fresh or frozen fruit.   When I originally found this recipe, it was suggested that you top with maple syrup.  I personally find that way to sweet but some members of my family like it that way.