Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Daughter of the King

I love the Lord because he hears my prayers and answers them.  Because He bends down and listens, I will pray as long as I breathe.  Psalm 116:1-2

God tells me there will be no more loneliness, no more tears, no more death, no more sadness, no more crying, no more pain for His love is always with me and He will never leave me.  When I look around at all He has created I see the beauty of the earth.  I know that He did all of this just for me for I am His daughter, a daughter of the King of Kings!

Sunday, July 22, 2012


Sometimes we look so intently toward the top of our mountain that we stumble over the steps leading to it.  The journey begins just where you are with blessings in every step.

This is the day which the Lord hath made;
we will rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

Friday, July 20, 2012


Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness
you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago.  Isaiah 25:1

Fun Times

Yesterday L Z, Debbie, Gary and I headed out for a drive up Springville way.  We stopped in at the Cow Punchers Cafe a bite, good down home food, since none of us ate breakfast and we were getting hungry.  Good thing we did too because after brunch we headed out again up highway 190 to Quaking Aspen and Ponderosa.  Spent some time walking around and looking at the scenery.

The scenery was beautiful and the company was great!

We then headed back to our place in Exeter to freshen up a bit before we headed out for dinner as Las Palmas.  The three of us, Nellie, L Z and myself, always get a picture of us every time we are together which we did before heading out for dinner.
We were meeting Roger, Chris & Christy and their boys at Las Palmas for dinner so off we went.  We had a great meal and the time spent with family was absolutely wonderful.  Once we were all stuffed again we decided to walk down Main Street to the Visalia Farmer's Market.  Walked around for a while, didn't buy a thing, and our great-nephew Conner wanted to participate in the Water Melon Seed Spitting Contest. He was in the 7 - 14 year bracket and did really well by spitting that seed 9 feet.  Hooray for Connor!!!

Here are a few photos I snapped while we were waiting for the contest to start.

Fun times with family!!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Family Time

My brother L Z and his wife Debbie
are here visiting from Tennessee and have been staying with my sister Nellie and her husband Roger
for the past couple of days.  They will be heading home Friday and are spending the next couple of days with us. 

Every year for Roger's birthday I bake him a Pineapple Upside Down Cake but this year we didn't get to see him on his birthday.  So today I decided I would do some baking.  The first thing I baked was the Pineapple Upside Down Cake, then a Pineapple Pound Cake and a Peach Crisp.  Since the menu for dinner was easy I decided to make the Pasta Salad early afternoon so all the spices and dressing would soak into the veggies and the pasta.  By doing everything early the only thing left to do when everyone arrived for dinner was for Gary to grilled the hamburgers.

The hamburgers were grilled to perfection, the pasta salad was delish and of course the sweet tea was great.  After we stuffed ourselves with dinner we decided to have dessert.  The Peach Crisp was still warm and the vanilla ice cream Nellie brought was the finishing touch.

Now that we were totally stuffed we sat back and spent the rest of the evening relaxing and watch a great movie, 7 Days in Utopia.  Good family movie with Godly values.

I love being able to spend time with family!!!

I Love Strawberries and Blackberries!

While I was visiting with my daughter Marianne earlier this summer Laura came over and showed us how to make freezer jam.  I never knew just how easy it was to make delicious jams.  So today I decided that I would try this on my own and mix up a batch of  Strawberry and a batch of Blackberry Freezer Jams.  So here they are and my official taster, Gary, says they are absolutely yummy! 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Life's Celebration

This past weekend was the Celebration of Life for Gary's Mom, Jewell C. Richards Smith.  Several months ago Mom shared with Gary and I that she did not want a funeral and that she definitely did not want anyone looking at her and saying how good she looked.   She wanted a party, a celebration, a time when her loved ones could come together and remember the good times.  So that is exactly what we did!  We had a party!  It was a time for family and friends to come together and share their great memories of Mom and the impact she had on each of their lives with each other.  It was a time  to share with family and friends some of Mom's favorite hymns sung by Fred Williams and Doug Scarbrough, two people she loved to sit and listen to.

We chose a color scheme of pink and lavender for the celebration as Mom really looked good in these two colors but she would never buy them for herself, so I always did.  Marla at Petal & Presents did a wonderful job with the tables and flowers.  The table with Mom's picture on it had a dozen long stem pink roses and the  centerpieces for each table were mason jars with pink and lavender flowers and pink rose petals sprinkled around on each table.  We thought the mason jars were just right thing for the flowers with Mom being from Missouri and that she would like it if we gave the centerpieces to Uncle Darrel and Aunt Sue, Uncle Bobby and Aunt Sharon, Aunt Carol, Mom's ladies Lois, Thelma, Jo and Margaret, Jeannette and Diann(two wonderful  friends who sat with Mom on Monday evenings), Betty Pendola and to my sister Nellie. 
We sat up two tables in the back with things that Mom had crocheted over the years.

There were other memento's; a book Gary and I had given her,

 items she brought us from the Holy Land,

 and a book Kyton, her granddaughter, had given her for her 90th birthday. 

Gary also put together two picture collages of Mom showing her life through the years from 1944 until March 2012. 

Everyone so enjoyed hanging out looking at the pictures, the memento's and all the beautiful items she had crochet.

And of course there had to be some food otherwise it would not have been a celebration.  We had thought at first to make the celebration a potluck, Mom always enjoyed a good potluck, but decided against that as we wanted everyone to come and not have to worry about bringing something to share.  So we contacted Kristy, owner of Hometown Emporium, a favorite restaurant of Mom's, and she prepared a selection of sandwiches, salads, fruit trays, veggie trays and cookie trays that had every ones taste buds watering.

What better conclusion to the weekends celebration than to have Sunday dinner at The Sizzler in Visalia.  This restaurant was Mom's absolute favorite and she so enjoyed the salad bar with its Fried Okra and Macaroni & Cheese.  So after Sunday morning worship service, Gary, myself, my brother L Z and his wife Debbie headed to The Sizzler to enjoy the salad bar and of course have some Fried Okra for Mom.

Mom was a beautiful person who loved God, her family and her friends.  We miss her everyday but we have the assurance that we will see her again when we complete our journey to our heavenly home.
Angel's Parasol Hydrangea
May it's beauty remind you that guardian angels are watching over you!

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

My Hubby's Favorite Salad

This salad has become my hubby's all time favorite.  I prepared it for him a couple of weeks ago and today he suggested that we have Strawberry Chicken Salad for dinner.  He even offered to go to the market and get what we needed for the salad which was totally fine with me as it was a cool 108 degrees here in the "City with the Small Town Charm" today. His comments as he was eating was this is so good, I could eat this every night and then his final comment was "we need to have more light meals like this."  Sweet!!!

So here is the recipe for those that want a refreshing summer meal.

Strawberry Chicken Salad
assorted salad greens
sliced almonds

roasted chicken, cut in bite size pieces
sliced strawberries
shredded mozzarella cheese
red onion, diced

pomegranate craisins
strawberry or raspberry vinaigrette.
Mix all ingredients in salad bowl. 
Makes a yummy and healthy summer meal.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Kindness is Love

I will tell of the kindnesses of the Lord,
the deeds for which he is to be praised,
according to all the Lord has done for us—
yes, the many good things
he has done for Israel,
according to his compassion and many kindnesses.
Isaiah 63:7

Kindness is Love with it working clothes on!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Familyships & Friends

Yesterday my sweetie and I drove down to Lancaster/Palmdale and spent the afternoon with a precious lady, Helen Findley, or as we call her Mama Helen.  Of course on the way there we had to stop in at Starbucks and get us a couple of Mocha Frappuccino as it wouldn't be a road trip without a Starbucks to enjoy along the way. 

We visited and reminisced about all our friends and the good times we had with Helen and her husband Shelby who went to his heavenly home several years ago. 

We left Mama Helen's place around 4:30 PM, with a promise that we would be back down her way in a couple of months, since Gary had an appointment with his friend Jeremiah at Psycho City in Lancaster.

You might be asking what is Psycho City?  Well Jeremiah is a tattoo artist so you can guess why we were going to Psycho City.  Gary decided at the young age of 69 that it was time for him to get a tattoo but not just any tattoo.  When Gary was in the U S Air Force he was in Air Rescue and the Annual Air Rescue "Pedro" Convention had come out with a new logo so he decided that this was what he wanted.  His brother Jimmie, who was also in Air Rescue, had just gotten this tattoo too.  So I dropped Gary off at Physco City and I headed out to do some shopping. 

Would you believe I spent 1 hour and thirty minutes in T J Maxx and did not find anything that I could not live without.  So I headed back to Psycho City to pick up Gary as he was finished.  When I arrived his right arm was covered in a bandage from elbow to wrist and he had his instructions from Jeremiah as to the proper care for his new tattoo.  Will post a picture once his arm is healed up.  By the way, the tattoo looks great!!!

Since neither one of us had eaten since breakfast we decided to stop at Panda Express on our way out of Lancaster and get some dinner which was absolutely yummy!  We left Panda Express and went next door to what else but Starbucks.  Since I was driving I needed a Hazelnut Latte and Gary had a Cafe Mocha.  We then headed home, stopping along the way to pick up the supplies he needed to take care of his tattoo, and arrived home around 10:15 PM.

This morning we attended worship service and it was great being in the house of our Lord.  Worship music was excellent and Pastor Rusty delivered an awesome sermon on the Holy Spirit.

Tonight for dinner I tried out a new recipe I got while I was with the kids, Spaghetti with Chicken and Fresh Tomatoes, and I hadn't yet prepared it for Gary. 

So we had the spaghetti dish with a green salad and garlic bread.  It was absolutely yummy!!!  Now I think we will top off the evening with an ice cream treat of some kind.

This has been an awesome weekend!!!

Letting Go

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”   Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.  Matthew 18:21-22

God has been speaking to me about letting things go.  When someone does something or says something that hurts me I have a tendency to withdraw and run away from everything, especially the person or persons that I perceive the hurt came from.  I cut off all communication and will go out of my way to not have anything to do with them.  This is a direct contradictory to what God tells us to do.  God's word tells us that we are to forgive them the wrongs done against us, to set the example of Christ living in us.  How many times was Christ hurt?  How many times did He turn the other cheek?  When I look at the example Christ set for us and the harsh treatment He received as He took on the sins of the world how can I, a Christian, be any less forgiving?  Christ's last words as He hung on the cross was "Father forgive them for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34)  How awesome is to know that when Christ was on the cross I was on His mind. 

So I am going to place all my worries and hurts into Christ's hands and rely on His promise to me that He has things in control!

When He Was on the Cross
I’m not on an ego trip
I’m nothing on my own
I make mistakes, often slip
Just common flesh and bones

But I’ll prove someday
just what I sayI’m of a special kind
When He was on the cross
I was on His mind

A look of love was on His face
The thorns on His head
The blood was on that scarlet robe
And stained a crimson red

Though His eyes were on the crowd that day
He looked ahead in time
’Cause when He was on the cross
I was on His mind

He knew me, yet
He loved me
He whose glory makes the Heaven shine
So unworthy of such mercy
Yet when He was on the cross
I was on His mind

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Time Together

Today my sweetie and I are heading out for an adventure.  We thought we would head down Lancaster/Palmdale way and see some friends.  One of our friends does really great tattoos and Gary has decided to get one.  While he hangs out with Jeremiah I'll be hanging out with some of my girlfriends.  But before we head out I want to share a scripture with you:

In quietness and trust is your strength...  The Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion.  Isaiah 30:15, 18


Friday, July 6, 2012


picture by Planetpals

And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come:   I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 
Genesis 9:12-13

Have you really thought about what the rainbow signifies?  I believe it is a promise from God to us that everything is going to be okay.  There was a time in my life when I was in a very dark place and I really didn't know which way to turn.  I felt that my life as I knew it was over and that I needed to move forward in a different direction.  I was alone in my car driving north and the weather was really bad.  I was driving along listening to my praise cd's, crying some and praying a lot.  I glanced out the passenger window and saw a rainbow and I didn't think much about it as it had either been raining or snowing and rainbows usually follow rain.  I took a second glance and there were now two beautiful rainbows.  Have you ever seen the end of a rainbow?  Well I did!  As I turned my attention back to the road in front of me there was the end of the rainbow.  As I drove through the rainbow my car was filled with all these brilliant colors and I felt God speaking to me, telling me that everything was going to be okay that he was in control and to place my trust in Him.  Now whenever I see a rainbow it reminds me of the promise God made personally to me.  Found this song and thought I would share the lyrics with you.

God put a rainbow in the sky
A rainbow in the sky
A rainbow in the sky
God put a rainbow in the sky
A rainbow in the sky
A rainbow in the sky
It looked like the sun wasn't
gon' shine no more
Oh, God put a rainbow in the sky
Rev. A. Jenkins

The rainbow of God's promises is always above the storms of life!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Love Lifted Me

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. 
Psalm 121:1-2

Sometimes people can say or do things that hurt you to the very core of your soul.  Your first impulse is to fire right back at them but if you do then the only person you are going to hurt is yourself and that is not what God's word tells us to do.  We are to turn the other cheek and offer forgiveness for the hurt they have caused.  What if they reject the olive branch you offered?  God's word tells us that we are to love them and to pray for them.  Is this easy?  That would a great big NO!  But if we look to God, He will help us and give us the strength to forgive the one who hurt us and we will be able to go on with the life that God has planned for us.

I am so glad that God loves me unconditionally.  I am thankful everyday for a family and friends who love me in spite of my faults. 

Love Lifted Me
I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore,
Very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more,
But the Master of the sea heard my despairing cry,
From the waters lifted me, now safe am I.

Love lifted me!
Love lifted me!
When nothing else could help,
Love lifted me!

All my heart to Him I give, ever to Him I'll cling,
In His blessed presence live, ever His praises sing,
Love so mighty and so true, merits my soul's best songs,
Faithful, loving service, too, to Him belongs.

Souls in danger, look above, Jesus completely saves,
He will lift you by His love, out of the angry waves.
He's the Master of the sea, billows His will obey,
He your Savior wants to be, be saved today.
James Rowe