Friday, April 29, 2011


From this...

To this...


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What Makes Me Happy!

Wish you could smell and taste these strawberries! They are so sweet. I also love my new Pyrex bowl I have them in. I am a sucker for vintage kitchen stuff!!

My "friend" butchered my tree and now I am not sure my shade plants will have enough shade! :O( This flower bed still makes me happy, though!!

Our new front porch. I am hoping to get a pergola built on the top of it and put a canvas sail on it to provide a little shade. I love sitting out there and watching the kids play!

See those lines on the grass? I put them there!!!!

These are some of my peonies that looked too pretty to leave out there with the risk of severe weather looming! Aren't they gorgeous? My pink ones have a bazillion blooms, but none have opened yet. I so hope they fair well tonight!!!

My wisteria looks so pretty! Good thing it does because my friend informed me it smells like cat urine! LOL!! Lovely!! :OP

Monday, April 25, 2011


It's funny how different we all are on any given day and in any given way. I was very tired when I got up this morning. I am finding that Easter weekend is not at all a restful time for a pastor nor his family. It was amazing, though, and we LOVED celebrating Jesus' resurrection with our new church family. Back to being tired, though...

My friend and I were talking last night about how we were dreading Monday and all it held. After a weekend like this one, Monday is a harsh dose of reality. I decided since hiding in bed didn't seem like an option, my next best option for escape was cutting the grass. Now I know some of you just raised your eyebrows in amazement that I used "escape" and "cut grass" in the same sentence, but cutting grass is very therapeutic for me. I think it has to do with the fact that I am left with just my thoughts and the dull roar of the lawnmower motor which also, in its own glorious way, drowns out the voices of my children. I mean, I love my children deeply, but they were as tired as I was and it was just not a good combination.

So I donned my grubby clothes, put my hair in a ponytail and and then told my kids where I would be if they should happen to start bleeding profusely and need my assistance. And then my world ground to a halt and tilted slightly to the right of center when...

Jesse told me all our lawnmowers were in the shop!!!

Who sends all their lawnmowers to the shop at the same time? Apparently my husband does and I was none too happy about it. I even found myself starting to panic a little at the thought that I might be forced to abandon my lawn-mowing plan and actually listen to my kids squabble all morning as they struggled to overcome their exhaustion, too. This would require a cool head and some thinking so I took a deep breath and surveyed the driveways of my neighbours. The only one who looked promising was Fred and so I walked over and knocked on his door, hoping he would answer.

Fred did answer and he did have a push mower that I was welcome to use. He actually had 2 push mowers, but I started with the smaller and more basic of the two. I pushed it home, put gas in it and squeezed my eyes shut tight as a I breathed a quick prayer that it would start. After countless tries to no avail, the starter cord broke and I was left to wonder just how much the gas I had poured into the tank of this useless lawnmower had actually cost me!! Ugh!

I then went back over and got the granddaddy of all lawnmowers and pushed it back to my house, all the time praying my grass-cutting hopes were not about to be dashed again. I added the gas (albeit less this time than I did the first) and asked the Lord to look favourably upon me. I took a deep breath, pulled the cord a few times and was greeted by the raucous sound of working mower. What music to me ears!!! While the lawnmower did work, the self-propulsion feature did not and this was a honking huge lawnmower. Desperate times call for desperate measures, though, and I decided blocking out all sounds of life around me was worth the very significant effort it was going to take.

What would normally take me about 40 minutes with no stops took me about an hour with 3. I was hot, sweaty and quickly developing blisters, but I was alone with my thoughts and that was worth any amount of back-breaking effort needed at that point. I didn't get the yard completed, but I did get to look outside a couple of times this afternoon and see those lines I put there. I did gaze gleefully at it as I drove out the street to yet another ballgame this afternoon, too!!

So, while my sanity came at an exhausting price, the Lord allowed me to escape in just the way I needed. He let me sweat in silence, surrounded by my thoughts and the sight of my children's mouths moving while no discernible sounds could be heard.

It's now 9pm and I am in bed...ready to call it a day! I feel like after a day of cutting grass and a night of sound sleep, I'll be able to re-enter and face whatever the rest of the week holds. As I get ready to lay my head on the pillow, though, I find myself thanking Papa that He loves me enough to allow me to do just exactly what helps ME escape.

*Sweet dreams*

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here...He is risen!!!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Lady Banks!

My friend, Sheri, gave me this Lady banks Rose about 6 years ago. She is still in the original pot I planted her in and it is obviously not hindering her growth at all! I took these pics from the back porch to show you why I love coffee out there so much! She makes me happy!

Note: All but the last picture are taken through a screen so not as clear as they could be! You get the idea, though! ;O)

To Everything There is a Season!

Ecclesiastes 3:1 ~ There is a time for everything,
and everything on earth has its special season.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

May you have a blessed Sunday!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


I spoke to the Food and Beverage Director for the Hyatt on the phone and he was very friendly. He said in the past when they have attempted to pay for "Mrs. Joan's" food she has felt bad. She worked in the restaurant business herself, which she did share during our conversation, and so she knows how it all works. He felt to try and cover her meal every day might jeopardize her feeling comfortable coming there and it truly is the bright spot in her day!

I am thankful they are aware of her and are watching out for her. I pray that they will remain sensitive to her needs should her situation change in any way.

Praying Mrs. Joan has a very special day and that she remains strong enough to continue her ritual for a long time to come...maybe even until next year when I return to Cincinnati. Sure would love to get to see her again!!

Thanks for praying!! :O)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Thank you to everyone who prayed for my was wonderful! My friend, Joanna, traveled with me and we had such a good time. The speaking went very well and, although I was nervous the first time I shared my new session, overall I had a lot of fun encouraging (I hope) everyone there. My sessions seemed well received and I even had a whole front row of teen boys for my teen girl session. So happy they know what to look for in a girl now!! ;O)

One of the highlights of the weekend for me, though, had nothing to do with the convention. Joanna and I stayed at the Grand Hyatt and, after an initial mix-up with the reservation, we were well taken care of the whole time. The Hyatt has a breakfast buffet and it was so yummy!! The coffee, OJ, fruit, bacon and goette (a German dish we came to love) provided us with a delicious start to our day.

The first day we were dining, we noticed an elderly, hunched-over lady making an entrance to the restaurant. She was greeted very warmly by all the wait staff and it was evident that she is a beloved patron. She was cute as she could be and we decided she looked like someone right out of a Jane Austen novel...much more suited for an English cottage than a Cincinnati hotel! We smiled as we watched her get herself settled and start to enjoy her breakfast.

The second day we were having breakfast we, again, watched her make her entrance. She hobbled in leaning heavily on her cane and we realized she was being led to the table right next to us. I was so happy because it meant we were about to have a chance to meet her and hear a little of her story. She slowly unwound her scarf, removed her coat and hood and sat down with a sigh.

Her countenance was radiant and she greeted us so warmly it was like we were long lost friends. She shared that she lived a few blocks down and frequented the Hyatt restaurant daily for her breakfast. It was evident that she felt a little bad about her guilty pleasure because she said, with 20 grandchildren, she really should be better about watching her money and not spending it on her stomach like that every day. She let us know, though, that without this daily excursion to eat, her opportunities for leaving her tiny apartment and interacting with others would be limited. She said she rode the bus there because she was always rather weak and hungry, but once she had a little food in her stomach she felt revived and walked her way back home again.

I was so sad when it was time to leave and I have found my thoughts drifting back to this lovely little soul and her morning ritual. I have been so consumed by her that I decided it was time to take action. So, today I wrote a letter to the manager of the Grand Hyatt and proposed that I think they should provide this lady her breakfast for free every morning. What costs one so much is really a mere pittance to another and what an incredible way to show that the bottom line is often more about serving than pocketing a profit! I pointed out that she would be a wonderful senior ambassador for the Grand Hyatt Cincinnati and that those for whom acts of kindness are vitally important would be sure to spread the word!!!

I immediately heard back from the manager who said he was well aware of this patron and that she was, in fact, a loyal customer. He promised me that he had forwarded my letter to the proper authority and he would get back to me after a decision was reached. I find myself checking my email frequently and the kids and I prayed at lunch that the idea would be received very favourably by those with the ability to make the final decision. Would you join me in praying? Please pray that this sweet one will be greeted with a wonderful surprise soon and see it as a reminder that getting old does not always mean being overlooked...that people care enough to bless her and that she touched the heart of a couple of Georgia girls just passing through!

I'll be sure and let you know when I hear something! Until then I think I may have trouble sleeping!!

Lord, Your word says...

Proverbs 21 ~ 1 The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the Lord; he guides it wherever he pleases.

Would you please allow this sweet little lady to find favour in the eyes of the hotel heads. Would they realize that what is sacrificial for one is a decision whose stakes aren't quite as high for another. Would they find themselves becoming as excited as me (if that is possible) about the opportunity to bless the socks off a very unsuspecting recipient and would they see that, in the end, giving while expecting nothing in return is truly what makes life beautiful!