November 27, 2009

More Great Gift Ideas!

Here are the addresses of some more creative ladies. Shelley is Very Creative Indeed. You'll find all kinds of great gifts you can make - easily! Visit around on her site - it will be time well spent. This darling apron is so easy, you don't even need a pattern!
Here's Shelley's address:
This basket liner is super easy too. Visit your favorite thrift store for a basket then personalize it with the super easy liner. Fill with homemade goodies and you're sure to be the Best Gift of the Year Award Winner!
Have a wonderful rest of the week!

November 22, 2009

Best Ideas Ever!

Well, sometimes life gets in the way of the best intentions and that is what happened here the last month. Benji had three major emergency surgeries in less than a week and we spent 11 days in Children's Hospital. He came home with a PICC line (a port that delivers the medicine straight to his heart) and I hook him up to a special machine that administers heavy duty antibiotics three times a day. He's still not out of the woods and according to one of the doctors over his care, "He's in grave danger for the next three months." So, please keep us in your prayers - especially Benji as he fights a deadly staph infection around the hardware in his back.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Sometimes I find some very creative ideas on blogs I happen on. This post has the addresses of some of the creative ladies who come up with those ideas. Enjoy visits with Amy, Savannah and Amanda for help with your holiday decorating and gift giving!

Amy gives a free tutorial on how to customize a beautiful clipboard for someone on your list. Here's the address to that post - but be sure to stay a while and see all her other cool ideas:

Another neat gift idea that could easily be adapted to Sundy School teacher, a family name, pastor, etc. Again, stay a while and enjoy the creativity of Amanda.

Then Sweet Savannah will offer all kinds of beautiful ideas for decorating your home for the holidays. Be sure to visit the posts before and after this one for all kinds of ideas and ... click on HGTV's Favorite Holiday Ideas in the right column - ooo, la,la!

Happy Thanksgiving!

October 7, 2009

Back to Blogging

It's been a very busy year and my blog fell off the "Important List". Sometimes we think we don't matter and what we say couldn't encourage a frog; however, I've learned that several ladies actually enjoyed reading my blog! And even more amazing, some were encouraged! So, I will try to pick back up and share with all who care to take the time to stop in for a visit.
Thank you! You've no idea what an encouragement you are to me!
What a sweet pleasure to encourage one another and build each other up in the most holy faith. Sisters in Christ are a treasure indeed.

May 6, 2009

Swedish Blessings

Now, my daughter isn't Swedish but the other evening she shared a wonderfully encouraging song familiar to many - "Day by Day". You can listen to the wonderful Father- Daughter duet she shared with me on Bill Gaither's Solo Album.

I looked to see who the author of the song was because I wondered what they'd endured to write with such depth. Her name is Lina Sandell. She was a Swedish lass who's father was a Luthern pastor. While on a boat trip, he fell overboard and drowned before her very eyes. The incident inspired her to write over 650 hymns one of which is the beloved,
"Day by Day and With Each Passing Moment."

The gentleman who translated the song was A.L. Skoog - a Swedish gentlman who later immigrated to Minnesota. The following hymn is another of his translations named, "My Future". You may listen to it here:

I have a future all sublime,
Beyond the realms of space and time,
Where my Redeemer I shall see,
And sorrow nevermore shall be.

A precious heritage is mine;
’Tis kept above by love divine;
And while I tarry here below,
He gives me what is best, I know.

O, God be praised, He planned for me;
From anxious care I’m spared and free;
He bids me cast on Him my care—
What then remains for me to bear?

Sweet peace within my soul doth dwell;
With joy I sing: “Now all is well,”
He leads me safely by His hand
Until I reach the Glory Land.

O precious Savior, teach Thou me
To live my life more true to Thee
The little while I yet must roam
Before I reach my heav’nly home.

Isn't that ENCOURAGING? How lovely are His plans for our future!

Another Swedish blessing is this blog.

The simplicity of her decorating style and excellent photography make it a feast for the eyes even if I can't understand a word she writes! The loads of white with touches of pink keep me coming back for more!

March 26, 2009

Thursday's Thought

Every once in a while a good laugh is needed.
With my husband's latest procedure, let's suffice it to say,
I know now why there was a reason I didn't go for nursing!
. . . ~ however ;) . . .
changing bandages, cleaning port sites, etc. has become routine the last couple of weeks.
. . .
While blog hopping this morning I ran across this and laughed and laughed.
I hope you enjoy it:

No matter how crazy it gets, don't get commited because of insanity! ;) The men in little white coats are busy enough! ~Smile!~

March 23, 2009

Secret Sisters and Living Lights

This is the Secret Sister corner of our church.
This period I used the scripture from Proverbs 27:9,
"Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart,
so doth the sweetness of a friend."
Spring flowers decorate the perimeter of the board and tulle bunched periodically finishes the bottom of it. I spray painted a little shelf I found at Goodwill and put a lace doily and some Crabtree and Evelyn Summer Hill items on it. After enlarging a page from a Precious Moments book on Friendship, I framed it in a frame I already had and spray painted to match. I had searched all over for a poster of this print but couldn't find it :(.
For a table cover, I used a queen sheet pinning the sides
for a tailored look. To keep our program exciting and "happening" we run our secret sisters for three month intervals. We've found that after that, interest dies off. Also, to ensure that some sisters don't "fall by the wayside" we have a sign up sheet where you put your name, date and item received. There are two people over the program (so they can also participate) and they give friendly reminders to those who've not remembered their sister for whatever reason
(that's what the clipboard is all about). There again, I just spray painted a plain old chipboard clipboard, twisted a flower on it and tied a regular pen to it (that way there's always a pen handy). The basket is for cards - either for a Secret Sister or to thank one's sister for a special gift.
The rest of the table is wide open for gifts.
* * * * * * *
Yesterday marked the end of our last theme in Junior Church - another favorite aspect of church I'm very involved in ;)

Our last theme was "Living Lights - Shining for Jesus in 2009"

This is about half of our Junior Church during the program we did for the adults as part of the Sunday School preliminaries.
Matthew 5:14-16 was three of our verses and I used various items as clues to help us learn them.
"Ye" - we all pointed straight out,
"are the light" - flashlight,
"of the world" -globe,
"a city that is set on a hill" -I had my Benji build a city out of Legos on a Lego hill,
"cannot be hid" - I had Caleb, a fellow with a short haircut, put on a ski mask for this clue, "Neither" - shake your pointer no-no fashion,
"do men light a candle" - a little 'man" turned on a battery operated candle,
"and put it under a bushel" - he put it under a bushel basket that his neighbor was holding,
"but on a candlestick - we had a candlestick for this clue,
"and it giveth light unto all that are in the house" - we had a ceramic house for this clue.
"Let your light so shine" - another flashlight, turned on at the appropriate time,
"before men" - the person holding the flashlight stepped in front of a little man,
"that they may see" - a pair of glasses,
"your good works" - a construction hat for the Public Works Department,
"and glorify" - clap hands,
"your Father which is in heaven"- point to heaven.
For the reference we had an envelope addressed to Matthew 5:14-16.
You can see some of my helpers with the items they got to hold for our program. I've found this to be the easiest way for our children to learn their verses - I guess whoever said, "a picture is worth a thousand words" knew what they were talking about ;) !
This is a couple of our little men helping with one of the songs from the theme.
Don't they look so handsome in their suits?
Flashlights labeled "boys" or "girls" were used for taking up the offering. Here Benji and Racquelle get ready to take up the final offering for the theme.
They collected over $300.00 this theme!
Way to go kids!

I hope you enjoyed these snippets of some of my favorite ministries at our church.
Have a blessed week!
P.S. Check out our pastor's wife's blog for some very creative genius she shares at:

March 19, 2009

Thursday Thirteen ~"Q"~

Not only is today Thankful Thursday Thirteen, it is my 100th post! Like alot of other bloggers are doing, I've been re-focusing! We learn alot the first year of blogging and something I find interesting is that my blog's top googled subjects are:
1. Tea and . . .
2. Secret Sisters!

Interesting, huh? Tea is a fun and hot topic so I can see that; but I was surprised about the Secret Sisters. I know there isn't alot on the internet (or any where else for that matter) about Secret Sisters and the special ministry opportunites it offers in our local churches.

I did find it interesting that a blog was a place Secret Sisters looked for inspiration.
A blog would be an excellent place to reach out and minister to other Secret Sisters with ideas for encouraging, gifts, bulletin boards, etc. , wouldn't it?

I will endeavor to begin doing regular postings on ideas for Secret Sister Ministry. In this day of cyber relationships, it's a Christlike way of being His Hands and His Feet as we minister to special friends in our congregations.
Before we celebrate Thankful Thursday Thirteen, I'll tell you about our family's latest addition, Bailey, our eight week old St. Bernard puppy. You can read all about her on DJ's blog - he's her proud owner.
Now for Thankful Thursday Thirteen:
Thirteen things I enjoy that start with the letter "Q":
1. Quality - do you always pick out the most expensive one like I do? ;) Funny how we always recognize quality!
I enjoy a houseful of quality furniture due to owning an Amish furniture store for nine years.
2. Quaint - towns, houses, etc. I love them!
3. Queen Anne's Lace - a beautiful wildflower and a favorite store I love to visit in Berlin, Ohio.
4. Quench - there's nothing like having one's thirst quenched. Spiritually or physically. A cool drink of water on a hot summer day . . . or a hot cup of tea in a pretty china cup ;)
5. Quiet - Blessed Quietness. Soothing and peaceful.
6. Quill - ever try to write with one? Quill Cottage is a favorite place to visit.
7. Quilt - a warm quilt. So comforting!
8. Quiz - just checking to see if we're getting it! What a wonderful priviledge to be able to learn!
9. Quote - Words of wisdom to help us on life's way!
10. Quarters- are you saving all the states quarters? Quarters are so handy! Parking meters, gumball machines, pop dispensers, Aldi's chopping carts. . .
11. Quarts - of home canned goods. A feast for the eyes - especially when it's a row of my Grandma Rossman's pickles ;) !
12. Queen - I LOVE being the Queen of my Castle!
13.Quick and Easy recipes - my very favorite.
I'm very thankful to be home after spending two weeks at UC Hospital. I'm thankful for His Grace and Mercy that bring us through hard times. I'm thankful for my sweet mother and father who came and stayed with our children so I could be with Dan. I'm thankful for all my sweet sisters at the Christian Nation Church who fed our family with wonderfully delicious homecooked meals while Dan was in the hospital. They were balm to the soul and spirit as well as food for our bodies. God bless every one who prayed - it's prayer that changes things. I wouldn't want to know how things would have gone with out them.

Blessings to each of you as we celebrate my very favorite season that starts tomorrow -

S P R I N G ! ! !

February 27, 2009

Singing in His Shadow

With my husband's upcoming procedure and two weeks in University of Cincinnati Hospital, it's been tough. This week as Iwas praying for encouragement, I was reminded to sing and praise ALWAYS. Then at prayer meeting, our pastor re-imphasized this important truth - it was so timely. This morning this was the devotional in my in-box from Joni and Friends. It was so good I wanted to share it with you.

Singing In His Shadow

Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. --Psalm 63:7

Under His wings I am safely abiding,
Though the night deepens and tempests are wild,
Still I can trust Him; I know He will keep me,
He has redeemed me, and I am His child.
Under His wings, under His wings,
Who from His love can sever?
Under His wings my soul shall abide,
Safely abide forever.
Yesterday's devotional reminds me of the words to this old Gospel song, "Under His Wings." I often sing it as a prayer in the middle of the night when I am unable to sleep. During dark hours when my mind is tired or my thoughts are scattered, I "pray" the safe, reliable words from a time-honored hymn (I'll sing quietly so as to not wake my husband). One of two things usually happens: my worrisome thoughts disappear, or I fall asleep! In more than a dozen places in Scripture, God bids us to draw close to him and find shelter - in most places, it says refuge. Or in his wings. Psalm 91:4 says, "He will cover you with his feathers, under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart." That God describes himself so often as a powerful and beautiful bird arching his protective wing over us for our refuge, should tell us something. It should assure us that we can always find shelter, refuge and safety. That's reason enough to sing.
May you be blessed with a special song today!

February 15, 2009


Shadows. Scary sometimes aren't they? Kind of like life - scary sometimes. Forty-six year old husband is in the advanced stages of a painful totally disabling disease, child has a potentially life threatening diagnosis with who-knows-how-many-more surgeries, sometimes crushing financial responsiblities, children to raise through it all and on and on the list goes. "How do you do it?" I'm often asked. Good question. Walk in my moccassins for a mile. How would you do it?

We're human. We hurt. We have questions. You know, there's a lot I've learned about my Heavenly Father from my youngest son. I never get upset with him when he hurts or questions why he has to go through surgery after surgery and live for a year in a body cast while all of his friends go "Scot free". I just hold him closer and assure him of my love. My heavenly Father does the same thing for me - He holds me closer and reminds me over and over that He loves me.

Recently,these three songs stood out - they were all about shadows. The first one was on a record my daughter was playing of the Cathedrals. George Younce sings, "I'm in the Shadow". It goes like this:
I'm in the shadow of Somebody bigger,
And all the worlds power can't pull us apart.
Jesus stands firm between me and my Father
And only my Father can look on the heart.
Looks like I'm down for the very last time
No one to turn to - my life's on the line.
Then I remember, "I'm a child of the King
With Jesus beside me, I can do anything!"

You may accuse me when you see me fall
But Jesus will hear me whenever I call.
My failures were set at the foot of the cross.
I'm in the Lord's shadow - to Him I belong.
I'm in the shadow of Somebody bigger
And all the world's power can't pull us apart.
Jesus stands firm between me and my Father
And only my Father can look on the heart!

Then while listening in on Hobe Sound Bible Church's service the special song included this:
"Then I heard footsteps walking in the shadows and a Hand reaching down to show me He's still there.
Oh, I heard footsteps walking in the shadows and a Hand reaching out to show me He still cares!"


"Standing somewhere in the shadows you'll find Jesus. He's a Friend who always cares and understands. Standing somewhere in the shadows you will find him and you'll know Him by the nail prints in His hands."

Puts a different light on shadows, doesn't it? They aren't scary if there's Somebody bigger there! That's how I do it - me and every other victorious Christian going through scary situations ~ Hiding in the shadow of His Wings!
"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust.
Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler and from the noise of the pestilence.
He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noon day.
For he shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Because he hath set his love upon Me, therefore will I deliver him on high, because he hath known My Name.
He shall call upon Me and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him."
Psalm 91:1-6, 11-12, 14-15

February 12, 2009

Thursday Thirteen ~ "P"~

Well, this little fella has a whole cart load of my favorite flowers - PINK ROSES! Just in time to help us celebrate a whole bunch of blessings beginning with the letter "P" !
"P" must be my letter - as there are LOTS of things I enjoy that start with this purposeful letter!

1. Pretty PINK! - my very favorite pastel or any other shade for that matter! I'm pleased as punch with this pleasant color.

2. Patent leather-whether a purse with pockets (preferably black), shoes, or whatever, I really like it.

3.Porches - there's nothing like a porch. Little ones are adequate but a wrap-around would be my favorite. I just know my heavenly palace has a perfecly pretty one with hanging baskets of pink petunias hanging around it and big bushes of pink peonies with precious pansies planted all around! "Eye has not seen neither has it entered into the heart of man what God has prepared for those that love Him!" - but it sure is fun to try imagining, isn't it? . . .Palladian windows, real stone patios beside a pond, pink parlor - a perfectly pleasant place to have tea! Oh! I can hardly wait!

4.Peaches, pecans, pepper jam, pimentoes, pistachios, pineapples, pears, plantains, peas, preserves, pepperoni, pies, petit fours, pancakes, parfaits, pasta,... mmm! Love 'em all!

5. Patchwork quilts - pastel ones from the past in the double wedding ring pattern would be m favorite. They show patient persistence with their pleasant patterns.

6. Polka dots - any shape any color. Love 'em! Pink polka dot pillows . . . ;). Now that's a good project idea!

7. Play the piano - I'm not good but it's a wonderful way to worship, de-stress and re-focus. I have a lovely portrait of my precious family hanging over mine.

8. Pennsylvanian by birth. My Papa, whose favorite restaurant happened to be Perkins, my cousin, who happens to be a Park Ranger, and a host of others - all from PA!

9.Patriotic Parades - LOVE to go to parades. The bands playing, flags waving and all the old cars are my favorites.

10. Preacher - I'm proud of my Preacher-Daddy. The best one ever and most young people that ever heard him whole heartedly agree. He was a GOOD one!

11. Plates, place settings, placecards, placemats . . . Ooo, la, la! Happiness is!

12. Picturesque places like Pike's Peak and Plymouth Plantation and Plymouth Rock. I've been blessed to photograph both places!

and the best for last . . .

13.PRAYER! Purposeful, precious, patient, preserving, peaceful prayer! One of the most wonderful benefits of being a child of the King. I could not live without it. It pleases the Father when we pray! Psalms and Proverbs provide pearls of purpose and promises for prayer. Mighty miracles are performed because PRAYER CHANGES THINGS! (This pink chair in my living room is my favorite place to pray).

Have a lovely day!

January 28, 2009

Wednesday's Winter Comfort Foods and Well-Said Sayings

Does this look yummy or what? It's so easy, too! Check out this link for easy to follow directions

And some quotes worth repeating:

"Well done is better than well said." - Benjamin Franklin

"People learn more quickly by doing something or seeing something done."

-Gilbert Highet

"If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got." - Selected

"Education makes up what we are." - C.A. Helvitus

"We want to see the child in pursuit of knowledge - not the knowledge in pursuit of the child." - G.B. Shaw

"Educating your child isn't just completing bookwork, it's teaching your child who to be and how to be." - Selected

Enjoy this lovely Winter Wonderland - a Gift from the Father for His Much Loved Children!

January 27, 2009

Tuesday's Tea Time

Last Monday was my birthday. If you read my daughter's post, you will know that my mom, sister and her surprised me with a tea at Mrs. Teapots the previous Tuesday. (That was when they could work it out as a surprise). You can read about it on Lorna's blog.

It was the best birthday ever!

My mother-in-law gave me some money and this is what I purchased with it.

I fell in love with this teapot at Home Goods and decided that's what I would get with any money I received for my birthday.

On the way to the checkout, I spotted this darling set of tea towels and since they were having their first-time-ever 15% off sale, I was able to get the teapot and the tea towels with my birthday money!

I was so excited! Thank you, Mom T.!

January 19, 2009

Happy Birthday to me!!

Ok so you know this isn't Denise!! She would NEVER put a post on here for her birthday LOL!! So this is her daughter Lorna. I just wanted to let y'all know my mom is a WHOLE year OLDER!! Good thing is she doesn't look it LOL!! :) So leave a comment and wish her a Happy Birthday!! I know she'll appreciate it!! Thanks!! :)

January 8, 2009

Thursday Thirteen ~ "O" ~

I'm going to try to finish up the alphabet with Thursday Thirteen posts.
Counting blessings alphabetically is a great way to focus on things that otherwise just get lost in the shuffle of life.
So here goes
Blessings that Start with the Letter "O":
1. Our Father's outrageous (humanly speaking) offer to obliterate our sins! No longer an outcast, I enjoy this optimum opportunity to enjoy an earthly oasis from the oppression of the Old Man as long as I obey the Omnipotent One. He's my Alpha and Omega - I long for the day I observe my Beloved coming to take me to the home I'll occupy with Him forever!
2. Oceans - I've been blessed to observe the Indian, Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The Indian is the most beautiful, the Pacific the deepest and the Atlantic the most vast. No wonder they say His love is like an ocean! Beautiful, deep and vast!
3. Ona - the name of both my paternal grandmother and my dear sweet sister-in-law!
4.Ohio and Oklahoma - beautiful states I've been blessed to visit and one of which I call home.
5. Operating computers online!
6. Oblong oak table - I have a beautiful one built by our Amish friend, Owen, where we often enjoy old-fashioned meal time!
7. Orange Free State - one of South Africa's most beautiful provinces that I've been blessed to visit. My friend, Eleanor's daughter lives in it's beautiful city of Bloemfontein. The beautiful fields of sunflowers there are a sight to behold!
8. Oval - my favorite shape! I'm so glad God created that one!
9. Organ - I LOVE to play the organ and have been the organist at four different churches.
10.Orthopedic Operations - have given my son an extra-ordinary lease on life!
11. Ottoman - love my big ottoman!
12. Organize - working on getting organized - again. It's awful hard with surgeries interrupting all the time, let me tell you!
13. Orthodontics - my first job was working as a nanny for my orthodontist, Dr. Ann Wilson in Port Saint Lucie, Florida.

January 6, 2009

Tuesday's Tea Time

While visiting my in-laws over the holidays, I came across my husband's grandmother's recipe box. The recipe cards were so neatly written out in her schoolteacher-perfect handwriting.
This card made me the most excited as I read, " Afternoon Tea Cakes" !
I planned to make them for our afternoon tea time today; but, alas, I spent most of the day getting my husband to his doctor's appointment and home.
We had a winter storm advisery and icy roads so ... Smile!

I do hope you'll stay and enjoy a cup of hot tea and sample some delicacies left from the holidays.
Don't you just love my teapot? It was Grandma's, too! Isn't the electric cord interesting?
I'm afraid to try it, though it probably still works. I love this moss rose pattern.
We can have hard boiled eggs in the matching egg cups that were also hers
and we'll share our sweets on the pretty matching dish that my mom gave me!
If you'll come back tomorrow, I'll have some of these "Afternoon Tea Cakes" for us to try.
I do wonder who shared this recipe with Grandma and when and with whom she shared them.
It would be fun to know, wouldn't it?
In case you can't read the recipe from the picture, here it is:

Afternoon Tea Cakes
1 cup shortening
2 c. brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking powder
2 1/2 c. flour
Cream sugar and shortening. Add egg, then sifted dry ingredients. Chill, roll into log and cut. Bake on greased baking sheet 8-10 minutes at 450 degrees.
- Eula Truesdale

January 5, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Good Morning! It's a little chilly out this morning but the sun is shining! Hurray!
There's nothing like sunshine to give a cheery start to the week, is there?

January is not only the beginning of a new year, but it's also the beginning of the second semester of school. With a senior that needs to have all of his work done by the first part of April, I decided I would need to be VERY organized to make sure everything that needs to happen this semester - HAPPEN! First on the list is my menu. Everything goes smoother when the family is well-fed so... Here is our menu for this week and a recipe for

Monday: Spaghetti
Crescent Rolls
Cole Slaw

Tuesday: Hashbrown Casserole

Wednesday: Baked Pork Chops
Rice and Gravy
Thursday: Chicken Tacos

Friday: Fish Sticks
Macaroni and Cheese
Green Beans

Saturday: Chicken Rice
Blueberry Muffins

Sunday: Pork Roast / Potatoes / Carrots
Green Beans

Best Hashbrown Casserole Ever!

2 pkgs. frozen hashbrowns

2 cans cream of chicken soup

16 oz. sour cream

1 stick butter / margarine

2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degees. Melt one stick of butter. Mix with potatoes, soup, sour cream and cheese. Put in greased 9 x 13 and bake uncovered for an hour. This can also be baked for 45 minutes, cooled and frozen for use at a later date. I like to make two at a time and freeze one. Just set in fridge the night before and bake for 20-30 minutes before supper.

Have a wonderfully blessed week!

January 4, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to you and your family!

May this be the best year you've ever had!