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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Official Move

It's time to say good bye to Blogger, "How Did We Get Here", and "Resting Under the Pine Tree"! All three have been good to me over the past 6 years, but life changes and it is time to move on...

Here is the link to the new and improved site! I hope you will come on over and say HEY!





Friday, July 27, 2012

Just giving "Click to Tweet" a twy!


Sometimes I fall into Tweety bird dialect when discussing Twitter. I have seen the "Click to Tweet" option on several blogs recently and thought it pretty cool. Before I use it with the new website, I figured I would give it a try here!
So, here is a phenomenal quote for you to think about today:


"Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society." Mark Twain.

 So.....click the above to Tweet it!!  After all, the author of said quote has a very Tweety last name. He is in my top 5 favorite authors! 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Quicker than lightning!

August 1st is just around the corner! I am praying my way through each step and trying not to get caught up in doing it ALL at once. After all, it's my party so I guess I can show up in jeans and a t-shirt, right???


I have accomplished several tasks these past 2 weeks despite my stitched up hand! This carpal tunnel recovery is taking longer than I thought! The stitches come out next Tuesday but already, the difference is HUG! My hand is no longer numb and I have slept through the night for a week! This minor distraction of healing is worth it!

Does anyone ever REALLY feel ready to launch into something new? I don't think so. I am determined to just send out my emails next week and whatever happens is up to the Lord! Slow and steady is always best!

The launch will definitely have some well-grounded articles, a give away, and I just secured my first e-book review :0). But, you will all just HAVE to wait until then to know the details!


Now I am off to accomplish a few more tasks to meet todays goals, make dinner for the fam, and relax just a bit! Summer is FLYING by and like years past, relaxation is not always high in the priority list! 

Looking forward to next week!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

My wish to DO



I have a wish...to DO.

To DO something...anything.

To be active in some way---not necessarily outside of my house as in a "real" job (HA! As if being a SAHM is not a "real" job!). Just to have something to occupy my time other than in laundry and house keeping. Anyone who has ever read my blog or knows me IRL knows that my family is my life. They make me crazy sometimes, but I love them so much more than their craziness! I have poured all of "me" into them without one ounce of regret mind you!

But, what's next? 2 off to college, and 2 entering high school this fall will leave me with a LOT of down time.

I know I would like to volunteer with the elderly. I KNOW I have many "projects" I want to get done. But really, I don't think that will take up all the time I will have. And there is only so many quilts or pillows a person can make!

God's timing is impeccable. If I had been given this"time" years ago I would not have been able to handle it! I would have become addicted to television. Probably QVC!

I have asked God to show me where He would want me to serve, so I know He will answer me. He has given me glimmers of hope...He is just that kind of God.



It is easy to become discouraged and confused, but then I have moments of clarity! The other day I began a study of the book of Luke using Be Compassionate by Warren Wiersbe. Words that seemed to be written for me were on some of the first pages!

"You have probably noticed that God often speaks to His people and calls them while they are busy doing  their daily tasks. Both Moses and David were caring for sheep, and Gideon was threshing wheat. Peter and his partners were mending nets when Jesus calls them. It is difficult to steer a car when the engine is not running. When we get busy, God starts directing us."

God does not always expect us to be still and quiet. Sometimes He expects us to work while we wait. Sometimes he even calls us in the unexpected moments of our day to day lives. Maybe I have been looking at this "next" chapter wrong. Maybe I just need to take a step of faith towards what I "think" he would have for me and let Him open or close doors and direct me!

Here is my first step of faith:

I have set a date of August 1st to be the day I move on over to my new website.

I hope the focus will be humorous, encouraging, illuminating, and above all...INTERESTING! At 47 I have been married to the same guy for over 23 years and the mother of 4 pretty normal children. I have cared for an ailing grandmother and hubby with a chronic illness. I have home schooled all the way through high school, used cyber school, and had 1 child graduate from public school. I LOVE organizing and house cleaning (yes...I said LOVE it). I have helped 2 kids get into college, had my in-laws move in with us and am a survivor of some of lifes pretty hard knocks.



I have learned so many things and want to share those things just in case there is someone out there who, just as I did, feels a bit lost in the world of wifedom, house keeping, parenting, and life!

NEVER  I would dream of saying I am an expert in anything other than learning from my mistakes! Jesus is the center of my world and the glue that holds me together...no matter how much I fight it!

I do hope you will join me.

More information to come including the reveal of the new sites NAME...plus some great give aways to start things off correctly :0)! I guess maybe I will have to "buy" some of your attention at first :0)!!! Just kidding...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Toss it, throw it, delete it...



Todays 15 Habit challenge is to de-clutter your writing. He gave 2 specific things to do:

1. "Clean up your space."

 

Since I am an anti-hoarder, cleaning up my work space is not an issue for mr...for the most part :0). An occasional bad day may find my work space has some school work to be looked at, maybe a cup of coffee, but for the most part, I keep things decluttered. (That is neither me or a family cat. It was faster to google search than take one of my work space and upload.)

                                                      I dream of one day having an office space like this:
Until then, the kitchen table will have to do.

 






Now about that next one...

2. "Cut your writing down to its purest essence."

There I struggle! I only recently discovered the "word count" option on my computer. Yeah, I might need to take a basic course some day :0).

I was horrified that my latest blog post had 900 words! I had cut out about 200 words already and felt I could not go any trimmer. I have an addiction to words. I like ALL of them....even the "no-no" words like:
very
amazing
beautiful                                                                            
really
soooooooooooo
bad



Not to mention:                                                
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
?????????????



And of course, the MOST over-used little doo-hickey this side of 1980's ring tones:


I use them too often and I know it. 

I plan to be more attentive to my choice of words and work on saying more in LESS words. No promises about my side smiley though :0)!

For this raised Italian Brooklyn, NY girl that is a tough order. 



Sunday, June 17, 2012

Eucharisteo...

Click on above to see more amazing art pieces like this one!


Many of you reading this are already familiar with this amazing Greek word which basically means "life-filling gratitude".

Eucharisteo


You may guess where I "found" this word. I am re-reading Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts. It is life changing. Again.

Several months ago I happened upon this book the way I happen on my things these days. A click here and a click there and VIOLA! Some amazing discovery thanks to the World Wide Web !It changed me then and is doing so again as I read it before loaning it out to a friend.

This is the kind of book one might need to read in bits and pieces. There are moments where you cannot put it down. Warm feelings of invitation into Ann’s life. Those change to moments where you can feel the Lord tugging at your heart in such a way it hurts.  You lay the book aside and wonder how you can ever get to a point of true eucharisteo. Finding the joy that God bestows on those that seek to be grateful in EVERY area, good or bad. Does God define "bad" as I do?


This is a HUGE struggle for me. I never knew how negative I was until I read this book. I thought I was working on it until I picked it up again and realized I have so far to go. I am a slow learner. I would rather complain...criticize...point out flaws...yell...slam things...call a friend and drag them into the ugliness of the moment. Sigh...

The author reminds us again and again that we HAVE the choice to live positively or negatively. Not in a "new agey" think positive kind of way. But in a way that strives to find joy, peace, praise in every situation we face.

"You mean there is gratefulness to be found in___________________?"

Fill in your blank. It is easy to say thank you for:
the smell of a newborn baby
rain on a hot day
Christmas morning
Someone we love comes to understand God's love for them

Eucharisteo

But what about expressing gratefulness in:
a child that has been injured
the death of a loved one
an empty bank account
the betrayal of a friend
a Man that hanging from a cross

Eucharisteo

Gratefulness in THOSE moments is where the "rubber meets the road".

I fall short. I am committed to becoming more in tune with the way Jesus sees things. HE sees things from His Father's perspective. From my heavenly Father's perspective. And my Father never, EVER has a bad things planned out for me. There is ALWAYS a way to find be thankful for the moment. Not happiness mind you, but

JOY

That inexplicable, all consuming peace in knowing that God knows what is best and He is in control of everything so we can trust Him. Even in the sadness, the darkest times, the greatest losses. There is the opportunity for

Eucharisteo

Thanking God for whatever circumstance you are in. As Job chose to do in the face of enormous loss and destruction.
“The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD” Job 1:21

 My life is not even remotely close to Jobs.


 Can I be like the ONE leper who recognized God’s incredible, unnecessary mercy?


“Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; 16 and he fell on his face at Jesus' feet, giving him thanks.
Luke 17:15-16


I NEED this in the daily grind of life.

The older the kids are it seems I see my moments of anger, criticism, self-righteousness, frustration, and fears. No, not ALL the time. They are wonderful people and I am so pleased to see how merciful God is in keeping them close to His heart...and them not rejecting Him. I see the positive things as well and am thankful THEN. But I see it enough to know that my imprint is on them from a life time of seeing me being controlled by my SELF and not the Holy Spirit. Even in THOSE moments there is

Eucharisteo

The husband and I seem to have so little time to nourish the "us" in our relationship. I complain about it but there is no answer that will change it. We are at this point in life and we are needed by many and there is

Eucharisteo

There are so MANY goals I have. Things I want to "do" and yet all I feel like I am doing is spinning my wheels. Yet there is

Eucharisteo

I have a choice and I am the only one that can make it. Building a habit of gratefulness rather than complaint is a HUGE order. Complaining is so imbedded in me. I call it many OTHER things
Sharing
Venting
Clearing the air
Observing

No matter how I slice it, it is not

Eucharisteo

Here I am...placing it out for the world to see. Asking for prayer to become less self focused...more HIM focused

Eucharisteo

In the face of the agonizing pull of self from a heart that is not going to give it up that easy.
 
The battles are tough. He is the victor. I make the choices.

What is your greatest struggle? Where do you need to see life-filling gratitude?

The bickering of children
The red stained clothing because a wayward sock made its way into the whites
The floor that needs to be mopped-again
The neighbor knocking in the middle of the day


“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18









Tuesday, June 12, 2012

It's okay to steal

At least that is what I was told this morning as I read Day 6 of 15 Habits.





I spent some time thinking about this this morning. I was going over the places I love to go to on the world wide web. I even have a folder titled "Happy Places on the Web" and I go to those sites when I need a pick me up. A boost in a day that might not be going so well. Or on those rare occasions I have some spare time and I just do not feel like planning, writing, or researching. 

What draws me to those sites? Can I do it justice? Truth be told, this was one of the 3 sites that truly motivated me to keep up with my blogging and creating in the first place so I know I am influenced by it. It shows up in my photos as well as my writing, but I did not realize how much until this little assignment. I am so glad to be able to give it recognition!

One of my most favorite places is:


There is something so warm and inviting in her words and photos. I am inspired by the commonness of it all. Every day life is so beautiful if we just take the time to see it that way. Her blog generally has the photos first and then a written post. I tend to put my writing in between photos. She generally has her photos all one size, and I do not know how to do that :0)! Plus she is an excellent photographer and I am fare to middlin' at best.  I tend to have more humorous comments about the photos or the events I am blogging about. So, here goes my attempt. 




 




 

 Yesterday I spent some time getting the garden into shape. The weather was so odd as one moment it was blisteringly hot, the next a cool breeze came for a visit, then it would rain for 15 minutes. Dirt is a fascinating thing. It is something we wash off of our hands, feet, clothing, yet we could not grow many vegetables without it.

At first the looming pile seemed to want to take over the yard, but with each shovel full I was able to see some improvement.

It is moments like these I am very happy to have three sons so that, on any given moment, I can have some strong arms and legs to do the hauling. Joshua was that days worker and he did a fine job. You can see by the looks of the undone boxes that there is a bit to do with each one. I have 4 total and hope to add 4 more at some point, though at the moment 4 feels incredibly large!

I started tilling, ripping, and pulling with my trusty 3 pronged hook thingy. I have no idea what it is called. After about 45 minutes of work, my daughter came into the yard and asked me why I wasn't using the large weed puller.

Thunk.

I forgot we owned said tool and off to the shed I went, found the implement, and proceeded to prep the second box in 20 minutes. There are moments when my kids are quite frankly, pretty awesome.

The large trellis looking frames attached to the box are from our old gazebo that was taken out by last Octobers unusual snow storm. These are the remaining parts and I think they will make for sturdy trellises if I do say so myself.

Today is gloomy and wet, so there will be no box prepping. Tomorrow I hope to have the boxes done and the plants in by the weekend. So much for early planting.

Friday, June 8, 2012

5-minute Friday

AH! It's a tough one for me: EXPECTATION
Linking with The Gypsy Mama for a 5-minute focused attack on the keyboard:
Go!

Expectation. Something that has had both a positive and negative affect on my life. I have had high expectations of myself as far as accomplishing certain daily tasks. That is a positive. I have had high expectations of developing my ability to deal with stress better. Another positive I think.

But as far as having high expectations of what and "where" i wanted my family to "be" at this point in life. Not so good. I fell into the trap of believing that perfections in the family can somehow be attained by following a crefully constructed list of "do's and don'ts" without allowing the human factor into those plans. I did not allow my kids to be "kids" sometimes. I did not allow for interuptions that at first seemed so negative but were really bonding and character building moments that needed to be nurtured with love. These circumstances, after all, deviated from the LIST!

i am not sad that my family does not fit that mold I once had. I am sad that I once inflicted and pressed that mold so harshly on my children, husband, friends that it left an impression---almost a scar---of my own selfishness...


Done. WOW! I hope that those who read this can understand what it is I am trying to convey! Any input, thoughts, ideas on this are welcome!




Hope you readers find yourselves having a fantastic weekend. My "little" boy is graduating as well...FROM HIGH SCHOOL!!!!!!

What's in your head should be put down on paper



As much as I WANT to take this [writing] more seriously the hesitation looms over me like a dark cloud on a "chance of passing thunderstorms". You know, the kind that allows some sunshine and great vision then all of a sudden nothing but clouds, rain, and distracting thunder noises. My life is full of many kinds of distraction that I allow to take precedence over my writing and really over many activities that I love accomplishing.

Except cleaning.



I am one of those weird people that enjoys cleaning, sorting, organizing. It can become obsessive at times, but God in His humbling wisdom blessed me with 1 husband, 4 kids,1 dog, 1 rabbit, 2 turtles, 2 in-laws that live with us (sort of), 3 cats, and a bird...though the last 3 on the list live in an attached apartment.

With all of those living creatures mulling about our 1200 square foot home, perfectionism regarding cleaning has gone out the window. Still, cleaning gives me a sense of completion. Few things feel as good to me than having a list in the morning and checking each thing off it as DONE at the end of the day. I am addicted to lists...it can be quite disturbing. 




But I digress...

 

Today's 15 Habits challenge  Practice Doesn’t Make Perfect includes a variety of challenges and one of them is:

Publish something on your blog you’ve never shared with anyone. Take a risk (we’ll be doing more of this soon).



I don't know what is more nerve wracking. Sharing this for the first time or reading those words in the parenthesis!

First he had me declaring to ALL the world that I am, indeed, a writer. NOW I need to share things I usually do not share??? Really. That seems so...so...vulnerable.

But hey, this is my blog so I will follow the challenge and trust that all 12 of my loyal readers will not mock me...to my face anyway :0). After all, Jeff Goin has been published and does not seem like a mean guy.


I fear rejection of my writing. I fear that what I write will somehow be misunderstood or misused and that will lead to all manner of required apologies both in written and verbal form and possibly even UN-friendings on Facebook! It is ridiculous really since all I have been sharing on this blog are true accounts of my life as *I* experienced them so HOW can this be wrong...or ridiculed...or judged by anyone really. 



But I was told to share something I have never shared, so there you have it. 
 
 I am also a closet Barry Manilow fan and will still sing into a hairbrush when no one else is home. I am sure my neighbors are thankful we are a large family and I am not left alone that often.


So, what can YOU share that you have never shared before? Go ahead and write it! I DARE you!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

'Round About

The past few weeks I have had some time to be Around About my town. Of course in the country they say 'Round About. Being from Brooklyn I say "Ova Heeya!"
Our town is small and sweet. It would take you about 45 minutes to walk through most of the main area. It is very picturesque, the birthplace of the steam engine,  and the motivation for the holiday song "Winter Wonderland"
I spent so much time doing different writing today but I so wanted to post these lovely and interesting photos I took before they became so out dated they would get up here when the snow is falling.

Welcome to Honesdale, Pennsylvania. It really is a nice place to live...even if you are from New York City!



Good Morning America has this weekly spot in which people send in their "# Words" of the week. Some town people challenged the local teens to create their own "3 Words" and decorate small bits of cloth with them and these were then strung about the main park area across from the courthouse. Those that participated were given a card for a free "something" at several local stores. Ice-cream, pizza, etc. that sort of thing. Some of the signs were fun, some thought provoking, all encouraging!



This one happened to be my favorite. Made me think happy memories of Harry potter!

Our decpetively nice sized local museum. The area is full of all manner of unique stories.

This is a step-up to get on your horse! It is not often used these days but has been up until not too long ago.
 We have several street fares around our town. This is the booth of my extremely talented friends over at The Blessed Nest. One day these 2 ladies, Stacey and Megan, decided they loved to create furniture so much it was going to take over their homes. So they now make these awesome unique, one of a kind pieces for extremely reasonable prices! They do more than just furniture so if you head over their you may find something you like!


I just LOVE this store. it is decorated lovely from the outside and is host to a fantastic consignment shop!

In front of many stores there are benches, trees, vintage evening lamps, and flowers. Sit and chat a bit.

 You will also find hidden signs here and there.
This points you towards Church Street and it has, you guessed it. A LOT of churches. I plan on having a post just in the gorgeous churches alone. Though I have to say it makes me sad to see this. So many people that love God, but cannot seem to get together for worshiping together. Too many theological walls :o(.









It would not be Honesdale without tractors!

 And a vintage truck show.




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