Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year Family & Friends

This is the message you heard from the beginning.  We should love one another.  1 John 3:11

2011 was a tough year for us.  We had plans for vacations and spending time with family but our plans weren't God's plans.  Through all the trials that came our way God blessed us with strength, healing, and reconciliation.  We are looking forward to 2012 and another year together.  Oh there will be trials, as there is in all lives, but it will be another year of blessings doing whatever God calls us to do in service for Him. 

God bless each of you with a safe and joyous New Years Day.

Happy New Year!!!!!

Gary & Shirley

Friday, December 30, 2011


May the Lord continually bless you with heaven's blessings as well as with human joys.  Psalm128:5

In spite of everything, when I look back at where I've been, I see that what I am becoming is a whole lot further down the road from where I was.  Gloria Gaither

God uses everything in our life to glorify His name.  The trials that we go through make us stronger each day.  All we need to do is FROG!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Birthday Jesus

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.  Luke 2:11

Today as we celebrated the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, I pray that peace, joy and love surrounded you and your family this day.

Friday, December 16, 2011

God's Gift

With all the hustle and bustle that comes with this time of the year we sometimes forget the real reason for the season.  I know that I have a very busy day ahead of me with grocery shopping and final preparations for the first wave of guests that arrive tomorrow to celebrate the 92nd birthday of Gary's Mom. But today's scripture made me stop and thank God for all that He has blessed me with and for the continued blessings I know He will pour out on our family.  Take time today to add your thanks to mine!

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! 
 2 Corinthians 9:15

Act as if each day were given to you for Christmas, just as eager,
just as proud.

I Won!!!

Thank you, Thank You to The Gathering Place and Rustikchic!!!

I won this beautiful kissing ball from The Gathering Place

and a cuff of my choice from Rusticchic

I love giveways!!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

She's celebrating early!

Today some friends of Gary's Mom came over for a visit and to wish her Happy Birthday.  She will be 92 years young on the 17th and these 4 ladies are very dear to her.  I baked a loaf of Apple Cinnamon Bread and made a pot of coffee for the ladies.  With the exception of Lois this was the first time they had seen each other since Gary's Mom had the stroke this past summer.  They had a great time visiting and catching up on what has been happening in each of their lives. 

Dolores, Jo, Jewell, Lois, Thelma

God's Love

Today has been a super busy disorganized day.  Our morning started 2 hours earlier than normal and things just snowballed from there.  I was 15 minutes late for my Made to Crave class, which I am thoroughly enjoying, and I hate being late for anything.  With the busy morning behind me I am now going to slow down and relax before I get back on the busy track of getting things ready for house guests.  Today's scripture and quote are just for me!

Let him have all your worries and cares, for he is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you.  1 Peter 5:7

Be assured that if God waits longer than you wish, it is only to make the blessing all the more precious.  Andrew Murray

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

God is my strength!

I didn't get my morning walk in today.  My body decided to sleep in this morning and I didn't get up until 8:00 AM.  I started a new medication last week and some of the side affects are muscle and body aches which I now have.  I know that God is my strength and he will get me through this period as my body adjusts to the new medication.

Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be dismayed for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.  Isaiah 41:10

Snowball Cookies

1 lb butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp salt
4 ½ cups self-rising flour
2 tsp vanilla
1 ½ cups pecans or walnuts, chopped

Mix all ingredients except powdered sugar well.  Roll into balls and bake 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees.  Roll in powdered sugar while hot and cool then roll again.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Crooked Tree, Part 2

This morning as I was walking there was that little crooked tree again.  I thought okay God you keep putting this little tree in my mind to teach me a lesson.  Although this little tree is now dormant and its leaves have fallen, the branches are still reaching toward heaven.  It is if the tree knows that it will blossom out and bloom again as long as it stays focused on its purpose.  This tree is a beautiful creation of God just as I am.  I may not be as beautiful as this little tree but I am a creation of God.  With its branches, although now barren, reaching toward heaven it reminds me that I need to stay focused in God's Word and the plan He has for my life.  Just as this tree is bent over I sometimes bend under the heavy load I carry when all I need to do is give that load over to Jesus.  He is walking beside me everyday and tells me to give all my burdens over to him.  Just like everyone else I want to be in control of what is happening in my life and when I thoroughly mess it up and can no longer fix it that is when I give it to God.  It is so simple so why do we fight it.  We need to remember one word and that word is FROG, "Fully Rely on God."  Trust the light at the end of the tunnel for it is the Glory of God shining through!

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.   Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.  Matthew 6:33-34

Several years ago Tanya Tucker recorded a song "Strong Enough to Bend" and it goes something like this: 

There's a tree out in the backyard
That never has been broken by the wind
And the reason it's still standing
It was strong enough to bend

Remember when those troubles come your way don't forget to FROG and you will be strong enough to bend.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Crooked Tree

This morning as I was walking I noticed for the first time a really crooked tree in the little park next to our house.  Although the tree is now dormant and the leaves have fallen it looked like it had bent under the heavy load it had had to carry.  How many times have you felt the same way?  You feel like you are carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders and if you have to take on one more thing you might just crumble.  Situations beyond your control arise and in the blink of an eye your whole world changes.  Things that you had planned to do you can no longer do and you feel like you have no energy left to face another day wondering what changes it will bring.

Then I stop and think of Jesus as He walked up that hill to Calvary carrying all the sins of the world on His shoulders.  Did He complain?  No!  His prayer to His Father was not my will but your will in my life.  Oh I so want to be like Jesus!

Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”  Matthew 26:39

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Merry Christmas from the Class of 63 Girlfriends!

Barbara Smith Bream, Lillian Espinosa Gurrola, Cheryl Brannon Nelson, Shirley Johnson Richards, Sandy Barton Holterman, Marie Jolly Lane, Judy Embree Russ

Today some of the girls from the LHS Class of 63 got together for a Christmas Potluck Luncheon and our "1st Cookie Friendz" was a success.  We had lots of good food but the best part was being able to visit and catch up on what is happening in every one's life.  Cookie Friendz was a success and everyone took home lots of cookies to share with their families. 

We missed all those that could not attend and we hope to see you at our next luncheon Friday, January 6. 

Merry Christmas!!!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

God's Love

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the children of God!  And that is what we are!  1 John 3:1

He cannot bless us unless He has us.  In love, God claims all.
C. S. Lewis

Thursday, December 8, 2011

God's Love

We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.  Romans 8:28

God speaks to us when we stop trying to think of things to say and become quiet.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Sounds of Silence

It is a cold, wet and foggy morning here in the city with the small town charm.  As I was walking this morning I noticed how quiet it was.  There were no kids hurrying to the bus stop, no one in the park but me and just an occasional car would drive by.  Just silence!  Have you ever noticed the sounds that are within silence?  I had never really paid any attention to them.  If you listen closely you can hear the leaf falling to the ground, the purr of a cat sitting on a fence post, the flapping of bird wings as they take flight, the rustle of the leaves as you walk.  When you stop and think about it God created all this silence for us to enjoy, to breathe in His essence.  The next time you are out walking take in the silence that God created and be One with Him!

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
Psalm 46:10

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Light of Jesus

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
John 8:12

People are like stained glass windows; they sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light within.
Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

So let the light of Jesus reflect through you and others will see Jesus living in you!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Chocolate Coconut Pie

2 squares Baker's Semi-Sweet Chocolate, chopped
2 cups thawed Cool Whip Whipped Topping, divided
1 Graham Cracker Pie Crust
3/4 cup Baker's Angel Flake Coconut
1 1/2 cups cold milk
1 pkg (3.4 oz) Jell-O Coconut Cream Flavor Instant Pudding

Microwave chocolate in medium microwaveable bowl on high for 1 minute, stirring after 30 seconds.  Stir until chocolate is completely melted.  Add 1 cup Cool Whip and 1/4 cup coconut; stir until well blended.  Spread onto bottom of crust.  Beat milk and pudding mix with whisk 2 minutes; spoon over chocolate layer in crust.  Top with remaining Cool Whip and coconut.  Refrigerate 4 hours.

Happy Anniversary Gary

For the cozy mornings,
For the warm winters,
For understanding the silences,
For the silly pampering,
For the surprise hugs,
For the stolen kisses,
For being all that you are,
All I can say is I deeply, deeply love you,
And it's a blessing to have you in my life.
Happy Anniversary!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Fall has arrived in the city with the small town charm.  The temperatures are dropping as are the leaves and we have even had a couple of mornings with a little frost on the ground.  I am so enjoying my morning walks as I take in all the beauty God has created for us to enjoy.  As I walk I can see the changes taking place each day as the leaves start to change from green to their golden brown, red, and orange colors.  This got me to thinking that there is One we can count on and He will never change.  He will always be there to guide and lead us through no matter what comes our way.  There have been so many changes in my life this year that I don't think I would have made it if I didn't have Jesus walking beside me and carrying me at times.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.  
Hebrews 13:8

Monday, November 14, 2011

Steamed Milk

Steam Milk Without an Espresso Machine

Things you will need

  • cold milk
  • glass jar with cover
  • microwave


Pour 1/2 cup of milk into a 16 ounce glass jar.

What kind of milk should you use? That depends. When you steam milk, the milk foam is stabilized by the whey proteins. Skim milk is usually fortified with protein, so you get more stabilization, which means richer foam. On the other hand, whole milk has more flavor.  Either way, the milk should be cold, but it doesn't have to be ice cold.

Cover the jar and shake vigorously for 30 to 45 seconds.  You'll start with big milk bubbles, but it won't be long before the air really gets mixed in with the milk. You can stop shaking when the milk is about doubled in volume.

Remove the cover and place jar in the microwave. Microwave the milk on high for 30-45 seconds. Keep your eye on the jar of milk while it's steaming. You don't want it to get too hot, or it will foam out and go flat. The jar should be hot but not so hot that you need a pot holder to handle it.

Pour milk into prepared drink and spoon on the milk foam.  That's it, you're done. If you're making a cappuccino, pour the milk into your coffee, holding back the foam with a spoon, then spoon on the foam into a pretty cap. If you're making a macchiato, scoop up a spoonful of foam and plop it into the middle of your coffee.  Dust with cinnamon and enjoy!

Gingerbread Latte

Gingerbread Latte

“If you have an espresso maker in your home or office, you can whip up this spicy seasonal favorite.”  Espresso coffee is mixed with gingerbread syrup, and steamed milk.


2 fluid ounces espresso coffee

2 tablespoons gingerbread flavored syrup

½ cup milk, steamed

1/8 cup whipped cream

1 pinch ground nutmeg

1 pinch ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon vanilla powder


In a coffee mug, combine espresso coffee with flavored syrup.  Pour in steamed milk.  Top with whipped cream, and sprinkle with nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla powder.

***See recipe for Steamed Milk.

Eggnog Latte

Eggnog Latte

Prep Time: 4 Minutes                                  Ready in: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Minute                                    Servings: 1

“It wouldn’t be Christmas without one (or several!!!).  If you have a home espresso machine, this is a great holiday coffee treat.”

1/3 cup 2% milk
2/3 Cup Eggnog
1 (1.5 fluid ounce) jigger brewed espresso
1 pinch ground nutmeg

Pour milk and eggnog into a steaming pitcher and heat to between 145 degrees to 165 degrees using the steaming wand.  Brew the shot of espresso, then add to mug.  Pour the steamed milk and eggnog into the mug, using a spoon to hold back the foam.  Spoon foam over the top.  Sprinkle nutmeg on top of the foam. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

No Greater Love

“I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love."   John 15:9

All we are and all we have is by the love of God!  The goodness of God is infinitely more wonderful than we will ever be able to comprehend. 
A. W. Tozer

A Salute to Our Veterans

A simple Thank You does not seem enough for the sacrifices you and your family made for our country.  But I do Thank You for your willingness to serve and protect our great nation so that we may live in a country that is free.
Thank You!!! 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.  Mark 11:24

If you have a special need today, focus your full attention on the goodness and greatness of your Father rather than on the size of your need.  Your need is so small compared to His ability to meet it.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


The time we spend with Marianne, Stephen, Awbrey and Cody is very special to us.   We are so looking forward to spending Christmas with them in Vancouver, WA.  We usually stay through
New Years but won't be able to this year which is disappointing to us.  We have a New Year's Day tradition of going out and taking family portraits so I guess we have to do them right after Christmas this year.  There is one thing we know and that is God is in control and He will work everything out according to the plan He has for our lives.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Praise and Thanksgiving

May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus.  Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Romans 15:1-6

Fall has definitely arrived and this morning when I headed out for my walk is was a cool 42 degrees and I thought the sky was clear.  I had completed my 1st lap around the park when I noticed that it was starting to look a little hazy.  As I rounded the corner on my 3rd lap I could see that the haze was in fact fog.  By the time I was on my 4th lap it gotten really foggy, there was a cool dampness and I was wishing I had worn my gloves.

How many times have we let the fog of circumstances cloud our feelings for others?  God's Word tells us to live in harmony and to encourage each other.  Will we always get along?  Not a chance!  We will have differences with those we love but we will come through those differences stronger than ever.  So give praises to God for the trials that come your way and honor Him with thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Giving Heart

He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.
Proverbs 11:25

God, with all His giving heart, can only give us himself as we recognize the depth of the need in our own lives.
Eugenia Price

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It's God's gift from start to finish! We don't play the major role. If we did, we'd probably go around bragging that we'd done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.  Ephesians 2:7

His eye is upon us, His arm over us, His ear open to our prayer, His grace sufficient, His promise unchangeable. 
Andrew Murray

Friday, November 4, 2011

LHS Class of 63 Girlfriend Luncheon

Ivanell, Cheryl, Sandy, Marie, Shirley, Marcia, Barbara, Lillian

Today I had the honor of hosting our monthly Girlfriend Luncheon.  I love getting together with my girlfriends from highschool as we catch up on what is happening in each other's lives over lunch.  So glad you girls could make and I'll see you next month, December 11,  at Cheryl's Place.


Encourage each other to build each other up, just as you are already doing.  1 Thessalonians 5:11

There are times when you don't think you can face another day.  When the circumstances of our lives are so overwhelming that it seems nothing will ever be the same again and we don't know which way to turn.  But there is someone that is always right there with us, lifting us and carrying us when the burdens get to heavy and that is Jesus.  He will never leave us nor forsake us.  Without Him I would be so lost and not know what direction to take.  He is my encourager when times get tough. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

What's next Papa?

This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It's adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike "What's next, Papa?" God's Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what's coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we're certainly going to go through the good times with him! 
Romans 8:15-17

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Fun Times

Today our great-nephew Connor came over for a play date with Uncle Gary.  Last year I made a Jedi Robe for Cadon and I am finally getting around to making Connor and Carson's.  So while they are playing games on the X-box I can get the robes sewed together and then fit the boys for length and sleeve length.  Gary and Connor had a great time together and next Wednesday Carson will be coming over for his play date.  Now we can't leave Cadon out, so he will have his play date and I will be making a Darth Vader Cape for him.  I love these 3 little guys so much.  Here are some pictures of Gary and Connor from today.

Reach High

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
Psalm 119:105

God's light is always shining through so look for the light behind every shadow. 

Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul.  Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.
Pamela Vaul Stark

Happy Anniversary Jeff & Merle

Happy Anniversary to you,
Happy Anniversary to you.
Happy Anniversary Jeff & Merle.
Happy Anniversary to you.

May you feel God's love all around you today as you celebrate your love for each other and your lives together.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Running From God

Have you every run away from God?  Of course you have just as we all have.  God calls each of us to work for Him and the work He has for each of us is different.  Sometimes we fight with all our might the work that God has for us and we run in the opposite direction as fast as we can just as Jonah did.  I found myself in Jonah's shoes last week and was fighting with every breath what God was telling me to do.  Circumstances that are taking place in my life right now is not how I planned to spend retirement.  Retirement is supposed to be the time of carefree fun, doing what you want to do when you want to do it and going where you want to go when you want to go.  As I said I was running just as fast as I could and complaining all along the way.  When in fact God was telling me that these circumstances was a ministry He had called me to and that ministry was a Caregiver.  So I I am going to do the ministry God has called me to do just a Jonah did.  Will I do it without complaints?  Probably not but I will do it with His help.  God will give me the strength to complete the tasks before me daily.  He will also put those in mine and Gary's path that will be able to relieve us so that we can get away for some R & R occasionally.  Our God is an awesome God and He will never put more on us than He can handle!

The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”  But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the LORD.  Jonah 1:1-3

Monday, October 31, 2011

Morning Has Broken!

Morning has broken
Like the first morning,
Black bird has spoken
Like the first bird.
Praise the singing!
Praise for the morning!
Praise for them springing
Fresh from the Word!

Mine is the sunlight!
Mine is the morning.
Born of the one light
Eden saw play!
Praise with elation,
Praise ev’ry morning,
God’s recreation
Of the newday!
Irish Folk Song

This morning as I headed out for my walk it was a cool crisp 48 degrees.  The sun was just beginning to peek above the Sierra Nevada mountains and it was absolutely gorgeous.  As I was walking along and talking with God the above song came to my mind.  Isn't it wonderful that we get to start each new day fresh as God gives us another chance to live for Him to the fullest and tell others about His Son Jesus Christ.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Trust in the Lord!

Trust in the LORD with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
 Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.
Proverbs 3:5-6

When we are told that God, who is our dwelling place, is also our fortress, it can only mean one thing, and that is if we will but live in our dwelling place, we shall be perfectly safe and secure.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

God is Love!

 O Lord, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me.
 You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
 You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
 You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, Lord.
 You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to understand!
Psalm 139:1-6

Everything God does is love, even when we do not understand Him.
Basilea Schlink

Friday, October 28, 2011


In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.
Proverbs 16:7

God specializes in things fresh and firsthand.  His plans for you today may outshine those of the past.
Joni Eareckson Tada

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Be Still

Be still, and know that I am God!
Psalm 46:10

In solitude we are the least alone, for it is the place where we can hear the Spirit's clear quiet voice.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fill My Cup Lord!

I spread out my hands to you, my soul thirst for you like a parched land.
Psalm 143:6

Music speaks to my soul.  Here are the words to a song that says it all:

Fill My Cup
Like the woman at the well I was seeking
For things that could not satisfy;
And then I heard my Savior speaking:
"Draw from my well that never shall run dry".

Fill my cup Lord, I lift it up, Lord!
Come and quench this thirsting of my soul.
Bread of heaven, feed me till I want no more.
Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole!

There are millions in this world who are craving
The pleasures earthly things afford.
But none can match the wondrous treasure
That I find in Jesus Christ my Lord.

Fill my cup Lord, I lift it up, Lord!
Come and quench this thirsting of my soul.
Bread of heaven, feed me till I want no more.
Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole!

So, my brother, if the things this world gave you
Leave hungers that won't pass away,
My blessed Lord will come and save you,
If you kneel to Him and humbly pray:

Fill my cup Lord, I lift it up, Lord!
Come and quench this thirsting of my soul.
Bread of heaven, feed me till I want no more.
Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole!
Richard E. Blanchard, Sr.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Love's Promise Rose

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  John 3:16

Christ came into to this world for us.  He took our sins upon himself and paid the ultimate price.  He loved me before I was even born and as He hung on that cross I was on His mind. 

Last night at Celebrate Recovery we sang Amazing Love, a song that I dearly love and it talks about the love Christ has for us.  Our teaching lesson last night was on stumbling blocks and how we set the trap with these stumbling blocks to let the enemy into our lives.  In other words we fail to see the truth because we are so consumed with self. 

As I was walking this morning and communing with God this song kept repeating in my mind and I found myself singing it as I walked.  I also pray as I walk and ask God what He  would like for me to write about and this morning the word choices popped into my head.  So here is what I feel about choices. 

One of my stumbling blocks is choices.  I fret and worry over choices that I make and choices that others make, especially when they affect me.  The only choices that I have control over are the ones I make.  When I start worrying about the choices of others I am setting myself up for failure.  I am far from being perfect and in my life time I have made some good choices and I have made some really bad choices.  The bad choices I've made have hurt people and I have asked for forgiveness for the hurt I have caused others.  The really hard part is forgiving others when the choices they make hurt me and those that I love.  But I am working on that issue at CR and with God's help that forgiveness will come too. 

So starting today with God's guidance and leadership I am going to break the vicious cycle of entrapment.  I am choosing to put God first in my life, my husband Gary will be second and our daughter Marianne and her family will be third.  As God tells us in His Word, Gary is the head of this household and I am to be submissive to his leadership.  Does that mean that I am his slave and at his beckon call?  No!  It means that together with God's guidance and leadership we will make the decisions and rules for our home.

I am choosing to use my stumbling blocks as stepping stones to live a full and complete life in Christ!

But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
Joshua 24:15b