Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Frugal Centerpeice

I gathered some Dollar Tree treasures to make our holiday centerpiece ~

My nephew brought me these placemats from Uganda!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Essential Oils

Young Living Essential Oils: Grapefruit Lemon Peppermint for Weight Loss

For several years, I have been wanting to try essential oils for various things ~ health reasons, for natural cleaners, and because most of them smell amazing! 

There are so many different avenues of education out there about this subject.  I do know enough to realize that they have to be 100% pure and therapeutic grade, if you are going to ingest them.

I have found several recipes (on Pinterest) on how to make your own oils to use in cleaners.  Which would be budget friendly.

Right now I am looking at the benefits of lavender, lemon, orange, frankincense, peppermint, and grapefruit.  There are probably a couple of more that I have forgotten. 

Amazon Prime has some great books you can check out for free (well, the service is $10 a month, so its not totally free).

Here are some cool charts I found on pinterest explaining different things ~~~~~ (I have no idea where or who I am going to get these from ~ some of these link to different companies, none of which I am endorsing at this time.)  I am thankful for the huge amount of information to be found so easily!


DIY All Purpose Cleaner - vinegar, water, orange essential oil
❤ Click the link to learn all about the many benefits and uses of the amazing Orange EO - and please share! ❤
Click Here to Download the Luscious Lemon Aromatic Bath Salt Recipe -

Friday, December 19, 2014

Videonystagmography (VNG)

I had the test done on Tuesday.  I was a good girl and followed all the directions ~ telling someone with vertigo to NOT take their medication for 48 hours preceding the test was just a bit cruel....just saying. 

I read up on the test on Web MD ~ and thought, this shouldn't be too bad.  Usually Web MD gives you intimate details you wish you didn't know.  The person who wrote the report, never had any experience with this test.

Lets just say ~ I found a new torture.  To purposefully make someone dizzy, really dizzy is just plain rude.  I felt like I was falling and I was laying down ~ very weird.  Then there was the part where the goggles you have to wear are closed, and you have to keep your eyes open ~ I never knew that darkness could spin, it does! (Remember on the old cartoons when someone got conked on their head and their eyes would spin?  That's what it felt like.)

You have to keep your eyes open because one side of the goggles is a camera.  This camera tracks your eye movements while the torture test is going on. 

I sincerely hope this "fun" is never repeated.  I should find out the results sometime today.

The results of the test are still lingering because now I have an ear ache ~ yes Mom, I called the dr.  Had to leave a message.

But, progress has been made ~ I am less dizzy than 2 /2 weeks ago.  Its more of an unsteady feeling.  Walls are still my friends.

I am putting this in the Thankfulness category because I am thankful this test is over with.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Birthday Week

Birthday week has begun ~

31 years ago, I started on a fantastic journey ~ at 8:54pm my first child was born ~ James Steven!  Its been exciting, nerve wracking, hyper, prayer filled, loving, adventurous, never dull & AWESOME!


Happy Birthday to our sweet Jennifer, Allens wife, Aidens Mommy.  You, bonus daughter, have brought much joy to my Allen and are a fantastic mommy!  Wish we lived closer to celebrate together! 

My original 3 ~ James, Amy & Allen

James & nephew Robert, reading "The Little Engine that Could"
Aiden Scott & mommy Jennifer

Allen, Aiden & Jennifer

Monday, December 15, 2014

Lessons with Vertigo

Some things I've learned in the last 2 weeks ~

sitting while the rest of the choir stands is ok

don't make sudden movements

not a good idea to swirl paint on the inside of a ceramic piece and then dump it out ~~~ landed in my lap!

walking close to the wall, chairs, etc. is helpful

holding onto a shopping cart is somewhat dizzying

riding in a wheelchair is even worse (tried that at Belks)

sitting is awesome

Medication is really helpful

I haven't driven in 2 weeks but I don't anticipate that driving would be a good thing.

Having a well stocked freezer and pantry &/or children/husband that can run errands is a huge blessing.

I have been to the dr., they are doing additional testing tomorrow.  Hopefully, we can find out what is going on, what caused this, and take care of it. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Monday, December 8, 2014

I was Just going along.....

Last Tuesday, I was just going along ~ minding my own business ~ working at the shop ~

When I was struck with something that has never happened to me before ~

One word, 3 syllables ~


This wasn't "oh, I am a little dizzy", this was "I sat down and was afraid to get up dizzy".  Greg came and got me and we went to dr. ~  he doesn't know what happened.  I had an MRI to rule out any really bad stuff like a stroke or tumors ~ no bad stuff and it did show I had a brain!  Yay!  And speaking of MRI ~ seems like they could make that machine much quieter, even with ear plugs it is loud and confining ~ I closed my eyes and sang (in my head) the words to my favorite 2 songs in our churchs Christmas musical, Hallelujah and O Holy Night, over and over.

And 6 days later ~ it is still here.  I have an ppt. at a clinic but the earliest time was next week ~ argh....another week.  And then  realized, what if this doesn't work ~ what if you need more than one appt. ~ it was already disconcerting to realize the dr. gave me a prescription for the med. and gave me an automatic refill on it.

If anyone knows of any quick cures let me know ~ I may take any quack cure tips too!

And yet, there are things to be thankful for ~

*that this did not happen at Disney World
*that this did not happen 1 week earlier when we were with our babies
*that I can still sit and cross stitch
*that I have a great family to help
*that I can read
*that there is no pain
*that Amy & Will can both drive ~ get themselves back and forth to work and run errands
*that Greg could leave and rescue me
*that there is medication, even if it makes me sleepy

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Heigh Ho Blackie

When James was 2 or 3 years old, Blackie the stick horse came into our lives ~ gift from Granny & Grandaddy Bill.  James is now 30 ~ 31 in 2 weeks, Blackie has been ridden by many children over the years.  This past weekend, my grandson Robert, age 2 1/2, discovered Blackie.  For a 28-29 year old horse, he is remarkably fit! 

Thanks for Auntie Amy for being our photographer!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Operation Christmas Child

We were so excited to volunteer at the Operation Christmas Child center in Atlanta on Saturday night!  For many years, we have packed boxes and worked at our local relay center, but this is shoeboxes on steroids! 

The when we got there at 5 pm, they had already processed 81,000 boxes for that day ~ the goal was 100,000.  At 10, they announced that we had processed 108,000 boxes.  Goal met and surpassed.  Frankly, I could have kept going.  It was that much fun!

I did the pre-inspection and the inspection parts of the process.  In the pre inspection, you open the crates full of boxes from the relay centers ~ look in each shoebox for the donation envelope for shipping and put it in the lockbox (on each table) ~ then pass the box to the inspectors.  The inspector empties the box and takes out any items that shouldn't be in there ~ repacks the box and adds filler items if needed.  If your box comes to the center 1/2 full, it leaves completely full.

Un wanted items were in many boxes ~ over 1/2 that were inspected.  No liquids means ~ no bottles of glue, no shampoo, no conditioner, no lotion, no hand sanitizer, it means no liquids.  No food means ~ no packages of cookies or crackers or any food. No war toys ~ no army men, no cap guns, no ninjas, etc. 

We had the privilege of hearing from a young lady who was volunteering, and as a child she was a shoebox recipient in Honduras.  This young lady talked about being given her box, as a 5 or 6 year old in the orphanage where she lived.  It was the first gift she had ever received and the first personal possession she owned.  She was thrilled to find a toothbrush in her box because in the orphanage she shares a toothbrush with 25 other girls.  She was excited about pencils in her box ~ at the beginning of the schoolyear, each child was given a pencil and a notebook and they had to last all year ~ if not, they were punished.  She was so excited about her box, that she slept with it every night and when she was at school, she hid it in the ceiling of her room so that no one else could get it.  At the age of 13 or 14, she took her box and went off by herself really angry and questioning the Lord as to why she was in an orphanage and why her siblings were all adopted ~ she opened her box and the Lord spoke to her heart through the little note the giver had put in the box with the goodies ~ "I love you and God loves you."  Soon after, she was adopted by an American family and brought to the USA.  She was able to finish highschool and attend college.  While in college, she played soccer and has been able to take her soccer team to Honduras on Mission Trips.  And volunteer at Operation Christmas Child.

So each box is more than a "simple gift", its a reminder to children in very difficult situations and conditions that someone loves them and was thinking of them.  Its a way to show the Lords love.  It can be a way the Lord draws these precious little ones to Him.

What did I learn through this experience ~ my shoeboxes will have packages of pencils, not just a couple ~ notebooks and school supplies are needed and wanted ~ I should start putting personal notes in the boxes ~ continue to pray for the children that receive the boxes, for years.

And Greg's reaction, as this was the first time he had been involved with this ~ "we need to make this an annual tradition"! 

If you would like any additional information on how to be involved in this awesome ministry, please leave me a note or go to "Operation Christmas Child" and read about the ministry an how you can help.  Its too late to pack a box this year ~ but you've got 12 months to collect goodies for boxes for next year.

The boxes from Saturday were going to the Central African Republic.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Lots of Lovin'!!!!!!!!!

First time our 3 grand buddies are together!  And we are lovin' it!

Lots to be thankful for this Thanksgiving~

Robert ~ 2 1/2, Aiden ~ 3 months, Thomas 9 months

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

More Ceramics

We've been busy painting & being creative.   Here are some of our latest creations ~

Greg's ceramic scissors holder

Gregs stained fish ~ not food safe but really colorful and cute!

James' first ceramics project ~ he did a great job!

My vegie/fruit tray

My vegie/fruit divided dish

I love this little chick ~ Amy said I need to add a little crocheted scarf so he fits in with the season

Tea set for our littlest girl buddy

Greg's glazed fish plate ~ this one is food safe!

My fall leaf candle holder (1 of 2)

Not ceramics!  But machine embroidered bibs for our grandbuddies for Thanksgiving!

coffee mugs as a gift

An Eagle Cross stitch for our newest family Eagle Scout!

My Angel ~ she will have Mother of Pearl added and refired

my salt and pepper shakers

Friday, November 21, 2014

Thankful ~ part 3

money left at the end of the month

changing of seasons

phone calls

sweet conversations

sewing time

a clean craft room floor (I vacuumed it yesterday!)

anticipation of visiting with family next week

hearing the canning lids pop as they seal

Christmas music

a color printer

the relationship between my mom & Amy (not many 18 year olds have their Granny as their best friend!)

pictures of my grandbabies

having the means to do some stuff we desire (within reason)

turkey sales (.79 a pound is awesome)

helping with shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child

date nights with my beloved husband

long quiet nights at home

card games with my kids

prayer time

seeing prayers answered

medicine that can help our tiny grandson who has acid reflux

changes in tiny baby's feeding/sleeping that are helping him be happier

encouraging words

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Stitchin' Cross Stitch pattern from Pinterest

This is so true!
that the truth!
scissor case and scissor fob
cute scissors case!
stitchy friends
(3) / Foto # 1 - Kviltersha - Los-ku-tik
I think this would be cute done in needle point!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Thankful ~ part 2

indoor heat
gas log fireplace
homemade hot chocolate mix and spice tea mix
crafting time
time with family & friends
excitement over upcoming holidays
babies~specifically our 3 grandbuddies
shoebox time
being able to volunteer
being needed
being loved
ability to read
faithful church leaders
a Christian husband
hearing our little friend say "Donna" & "love you"~ this is especially excting since her mommy and daddy were told she would never talk
Amen to that!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Walking Through the Valley

Psalm 23 1-6

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.  He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters, He restores my soul; He leads in the paths of righteousness, for His names sake.  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.  KNJV

I've heard Greg officiate several funerals and he uses this scripture passage in each one. We do have to walk through the valley, with each death that touches our lives.  They key word here is Walk ~ the Lord walks with us, leads us through the valley.  He doesn't plop us down there and leave us to flounder in the valley (but sometimes it did seem like that). 

19 years ago today, I got the devastating news that my first husband had died.  In the words of the dr. in the private room area off the emergency room, "I am sorry, he never regained consciousness" ~ me, not understanding what he meant had to ask for clarification.  The Lord sent many to minister to my children and I during that time ~  shoulders to cry on, many hugs, offers of help from people who actually followed through and did what they offered (unfortunately there were some who promised and never delivered ~ watch what you say!), many meals, house cleaning, Christmas toys for my children the next month, help moving, a generous Granny who asked us to move in with her (many, many thanks MOM), a ride to Social Security to file for survivors benefits (Thanks to my sister, Brenda), and many, many prayers over the years.

My children were 12, 7, and 7 months at the time.  19 years have passed ~ they are now 30, 25, and 18.  The 19 years have been full of life ~ some good, some bad.  The Lord has carried us through each situation that has arisen ~ he has given us comfort, he has given us guidance, he has given us wise believers to help us.  He listened to my many WHY's.  He led us beside still waters and restored our souls. 

Even though we don't have answers to our WHY's,  we did walk through the valley.  We slipped, we fell, we even wallowed some in the Valley, but He was with us always.  My cup does fully run over and has run over and spilled out on many occasions.

Many of my friends are walking through their own valleys ~ the death of parents, the death of a precious newborn, the death of a spouse ~ the Lord is with you.  He will lead you through the valley and send His children here on earth to help you.  Even though it feels like it sometimes ~ you are NOT alone.  Many are praying for you.  You don't know the impact your journey through the valley will have on someone watching you.  Many don't say anything simply because they don't know what to say ~ and its better not to say anything than to say something insincere.  You quickly learn who means what they say and is genuinely concerned and who isn't (that sounds cynical but its true).

And now to the cup running over part ~ my children are grown, they all have jobs, we have good relationships, I have been blessed with an incredible Godly man to travel on this journey of life with, we have the privilege to be grandparents to 3 beautiful young boys, we have friends & family to love us and journey with us.

We are blessed beyond measure.

Why did the past events happened ~ we don't know and will probably never know until we reach heaven ~

But when we are united with Lord ~ will the why's even be important then?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Its That Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Love this picture from Operation Christmas Child!!

Its SHOEBOX time!  We've collected goodies all year long.  We've planned.  We crammed, stuffed our boxes full ~ well actually, crammed is a better word!  And we still got to the days to pack and ended up with some necessities not purchased ~ specifically, toothbrushes and soap.

All our boxes or any boxes that we help with have soap/washcloth (Ivory soap, it floats!), toothbrush and toothpaste, spiral notebook/pencils/a sharpener, crayons, comb. At Dollar Tree, we found some awesome things ~ t shirts, packs of socks (marked down to .25), lg. packs of combs, and family packs of toothbrushes.  We found full size tubes of toothpaste at Walmart for .88 each.  We found crayon packs for .10-.30 at back to school sales.  We took full advantage of our freebie coupons from Harbor Freight and ended up with screwdrivers, flashlights, batteries for older boys for FREE!  We collected free cups and tote bags at nascar and added them to our boxes.

Our childrens group at church collected/earned money and packed their shoeboxes all together last Wednesday night.  Amy will be going to work at the relay center for accepting shoeboxes from area churches to pack in the crates to send to Atlanta.  I will be there too, if work permits. 

There are some incredible ideas on Pinterest, including boards from Operation Christmas Child. 

There are many testimonials from adults that received shoeboxes as gifts when they were children and the impact that this gift had on their lives.  Many are now carrying on the tradition with their own children.

A simple shoebox gift has a lasting, lifelong impact on a child ~ who could be receiving their first gift EVER. 

Here are some links for more information & inspiration ~ (my pinterest board for ideas)

Operation Christmas Child

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

THANKFUL -post 1

There is much to be thankful for.....

2 beautiful grandsons born this year

Our #1 grandson learning and growing

Lots of crafts to work on

Free books to read on my kindle

A super fun family vacation with my husband, 2 youngest children, and Mom

watching our  red carpet get ripped up off the floor!

All my children have jobs!

Entering the state fair this year!

future plans

9 awesome years of marriage

A part time job

fixing up the rv

a warm home

Food in the pantry and freezer

Fresh venison thanks to a friend at church

sweet hugs from my little friends

tons of great ideas for free on Pinterest

Fun worshipping and fellowship with choir

Hearing #1grandson call us gramama and papa

Listening to great sermons and teaching online

a good stock of fabric and craft supplies

More to come...........

Friday, November 7, 2014

More Little Buddy Fun!

Aiden was in much distress ~ poor little guy has Acid Reflux ~ mommy and daddy turned on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on Grannys computer and he stopped crying and started watching Mickey....pretty funny!  Then our dinner was peaceful!

Hi Grandma or as Robert says gra mama

new trucks/tractors

Thomas is just barely awake

Hi world!

fun with Pa pa

Robert & his new big boy quilt w/ little critter

2 boys, 2 trucks

love for gra mama

Pa pa and his boys

big boy quilt for a big boy bed

we did art ~ this boy loves stickers!

lovin on pa pa
Greg had work in Atlanta this week.  I got to go and play with grandsons.  Jennifer changed her schedule for me so that I could spend lots of time with little Aiden.  Since he is so tiny, she is doing lots of work from home, so she came and worked at Grannys house so that we could play and cuddle.  Wed. afternoon, we headed up to Katies to visit her and the boys.  Spent a little time with them Wed. and then all Thursday morning.  I was definitely back in the infant/toddler/preschool world this week and loved it.  Reading books, playing with trucks, cuddling, art ~ it was a blast!

Next is Thanksgiving weekend!