but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in highest heaven,
and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”
Luke 2:10-15 (NLT)
From the fullness of HIS grace we have all received one Blessing after another...John 1:16
From our family to yours ~ May you all have a BLESSED and VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS! XOXOXO
Most of you know I have been working out since last August. So far I have lost 17lbs. so far!! WOOHOO :)
The Owner of the gym, Lori, is awesome & wonderful, and gives us amazing workouts! She is hard on us because she truly wants each person in that gym to reach their goals. Some have weight loss goals, some have toning and strengthening goals, while others just need to get active instead of sitting on their couch with the TV going non-stop!
I invited some friends to come and give it a try! They did and now are members too! It is sooo much more fun having a buddy to work out with!!
Needless to say, we all love Lori! I asked some of the girls if they would like to join me in having a Christmas luncheon and give Lori a Christmas gift or two :) in appreciation of all she does for us!! I was thrilled when everyone said it was a Fantastic idea.
We got her her favorite Morroccan Oil Shampoo/Conditioner and some Oil as well! She has been asking me to buy her some for quite awhile so I knew instantly what one of our gifts would be!! We also were able to get a gift certificate to one of her favorite shops in a town nearby. They sell MissMe Jeans, jewelry, etc. She was beyond thrilled!!
I made us some Homemade Chicken & rice soup and a salad too :)
It was so nice being with each other and just talking and laughing and not sweating at the same time ;)
Here are a few pics from our Luncheon
My cute Christmas plates my Mom got me last year!! I was sooo excited to finally use them !!! Thanks MOM- I ♥ them!!
Just a better view of the table
We went ahead and put the salad on the table JUST before everyone arrived. This salad was DELICIOUS!! The white bottles with ribbon on them are a gift from me. I made them all my homemade lotion in a purse size :) They Loved it!!
ALMOST All the girls were able to attend! We all had so much fun, laughing and getting to know one another better! It was such a treat to host these women! The owner of the gym is standing to my left. The one with the long brown hair and beautiful smile :)
Sunday was 2 years since we said good-bye to my Daddy. As soon as the first day of December arrives, so do the memories of those final days.
There are the precious ones;
My brother picking up Daddy and carrying him to his truck...because he was too weak and frail to do it himself.
The doctor telling my Daddy "There is nothing left to do...Go home Doug and spend time with your family." Not 5 minutes later, Daddy was on the phone with a friend from his home town of Carthage, discussing the possibility of renting a travel bus to take him to see his Mom before he died. As I sat there listening to his conversation, trying to control my emotions from the news that we had just received, I hear my daddy laughing and smiling that beautiful smile. Oh how I miss hearing that laugh.
When I heard the diagnosis of Lung Cancer, all I wanted to do was get to my Daddy. I was blessed to spend that final summer with him. Working in the yard, taking him to treatments @ the Mayo clinic, or just being together. Sharing those days with him and my children have been one of the greatest gifts the Lord has given me.
With the happy, so too, comes the sad.
Seeing my Daddy for that first time was such a shock. I had returned home just 7 weeks prior and he was still working, still driving, filled with Hope and an unbelievably positive outlook! He began having some pretty serious issues and this time, I knew, could very well be my last trip. Walking into his bedroom and seeing that frail man, my daddy, trying to be so strong for my brother and I, just ripped my heart to pieces. His attempt to be strong was short-lived, as his body was just too weak.
As we were leaving the hospital for the last time, the Dr. had told us that he didn't think daddy would be gone in "days" but that most likely, he had "a week" maybe even "10 days" before we would say our last goodbye. Once we got him home, by the following morning he began the process of letting go. He was gone within 3 days of leaving the Mayo Hospital.
Losing my Daddy hit me hard. Very hard. My faith, for the first time ever, was shaken. From the moment I learned of his Lung Cancer diagnosis, Prayers began. Not just my prayers, but prayers from all over the world! Through my blog, and through Facebook, we were amazed at just how many people were praying, where they were praying from or offering up my Daddy's name for healing to take place. Not a day went by that we didn't receive a prayer, a note in the mail, or an encouraging word. It was so humbling. I KNEW God was at work through HIS People and in the heart of my Daddy.
Why did it take so long to find this cancer? How could there be sooooo many praying, yet at every turn, hope was diminished? Two years later, I still don't have these answers, nor do I think I ever will, this side of Heaven. My prayers for healing weren't answered in the way I asked, but my Daddy WAS healed. He was healed the minute he was in Eternity with HIS Heavenly Father.
I see him in my Son, his work ethic, his love and amazing knowledge for technology. I feel him with me when I want to pick up the phone and talk to him ~ To share something about my kids, or ask him a question, or maybe just to hear his voice. When I am outside working in my flowerbeds, the memories flood my mind as I think of all the times we worked side by side planting, mowing, picking weeds, or just talking about gardening. I am thankful for all of these and countless others that God allows me.
Gods Word tells us there is a season for everything. A season of grief is not one anyone would choose to go through.
But God has given us the Holy Spirit and when our hurt is so deep that we cannot even pray ~ He prays for us. HE comforts us in our pain and our sorrow. He gives us Peace. A Peace that truly passes all understanding.
I miss my daddy every single day. But knowing he is Home, with Jesus, seeing more than we could ever imagine! One day.. I Will see him again.
Chances are you have someone in your house that play some form of video games...but could you imagine have a bearded dragon that plays video games???? If asked about it, I would say "You're crazy!" Guess what...It's True!!
You gotta see this :)
Happy Friday Friends! May you all have a blessed weekend!
It NEVER fails to AMAZE me when I really take some quiet time and consider all that happened before Jesus was born. Can you even imagine what Mary was thinking? How she might be feeling? On top of all that...Her obedience!! WOW! Truly,it is by far, ONE of the most amazing examples for me.
Then there is Joseph... how was HE feeling? I mean really, Here he was ready to break up, and an Angel appears to him telling him "don't be afraid, and that he was to take Mary as his wife, oh ya... she is pregnant by the Holy Spirit." Can you just see his face? Of course, that is, if he was even able to hear. I don't know about you, but if an Angel appeared to me in a dream, I am thinking, everything else might just be put on the back burner!! I would be sooo in awe that I am not certain I would be able to focus. LOL
You know, I cannot wait until we are all in Eternity and I can just sit and listen to their stories...face to face or maybe spirit to spirit. To ask all the questions I have....To hear their thoughts, their emotions, and just how incredible it was to be "chosen" to parent Jesus. Seriously, I can only imagine the responsibility they must have felt.
Holding HIM in their arms,adoring HIM, all the while knowing, maybe even wondering, in the back of their minds...Something amazing was planned for this child, but what might that be exactly?? Hmmm.
Thank you Lord, for the Gift of YOUR SON. Thank you, Jesus, for YOUR Love for us. Thank you, Holy Spirit, that YOU are with us EACH & EVERY SINGLE DAY!
Praising HIM! Celebrating HIM! In Awe & Humble Adoration...♥Thank you Jesus♥
I cannot even believe I am sharing yet another birthday for Rylee!! She will be THREE YEARS OLD **sniff sniff** on the 19th! I just honestly don't know where the time has gone!
Well, she is by far our little Diva! She is all about bling, frilly, and PINK PINK PINK!! She can either crack us up hysterically or she is just the sweetest thing EVER! She told her momma last week "Mom, You are my Best Friend!" awww!
Rylee also LOVES to dress - up! What girl doesn't right?? :) She got a whole tub filled with Princess outfits!! I cannot wait to see her in them! She was in girly heaven with all the dresses and tiaras, and oh, we can't forget the frilly scarf! Oh my!!
Here are just a few pics from her big party!
Happy Birthday to you MY Sweet little Princess! Noni L♥VES more than words could ever say!
Blowing out that candle :)
Princess Cupcake Tower! These were sooo delicious!
Love Rylee's shirt! A Little Tiara on the tummy never hurt anyone LOLOL
Love the back...says Rylee and then the number 3! sooo cute!
Uncle Jantzen holding Bentley
Bentley having fun sharing in his brothers CAKE!!
NONI and Bentley have a quiet moment!!!
What a face she has!!! She is such a HOOT!!
She got so much stuff and we all had such a good time!
If you workout, or watch the Biggest Loser, you most likely know fitness guru, Jillian Michaels! A couple of summers ago, there was a group of us bloggers who joined together via the Internet and worked out to Jillian's 30 Day Shred. We were the Shred Sisters! MOST of us wanted to just box Jillian on some days :) When I saw this Rachel Ray show, I honestly could not even BELIEVE my eyes! Watching Jillian, I realized she has NO EARTHLY IDEA how to cook!!!! She is COMPLETELY LOST in Rachel's kitchen! You won't even believe what she does with the salt & pepper!!! it's about 3 minutes into the video....OH MY!!!!
Wow! I took a pretty good break didn't I?? Last week my Honey was out of town, so to say things were kinda INSANE would be a very accurate statement!! That and the fact I was DECORATING!!! Tis the Season' and I LOVE Christmas & all that it brings!! I have had so much fun decorating this year! One night this week my Honey said to me...."Why did you just now start decorating? Now that the kids are all almost out of the house?" I explained very kindly..."Well, because when they were little, I was pouring my heart and soul into them! Also, I didn't have the desire to decorate because I knew I wasn't that good at it. However, things are changing and I am gaining more confidence in my decorating ability and am learning new things each day :) this year my neighbor came over and helped me. She can work magic with ribbon. Ribbon around my tree, my mantles, my center pieces...You name it, if it looked good with a ribbon or a bow on it, then by all means, it is there! :)
Here are some pics: Let's Start in my Kitchen
I LOVE Snowmen!! Don't you???
This is in my kitchen on my center island! I went with a candy cane theme in my kitchen and It is sooo CUTE!!
Hung some ornaments from my Windows....
Heading into my Living Room
Look @ this you guys!....MY HUSBAND MADE THIS!! A Fireplace Basket!!! Didn't He do good!!??? After sharing what all to put in it, He went to town & surpassed all my expectations for sure!!
My one and only Santa, chillin on the fireplace :)
This table is in my Hall Entry
My Dining Room ~
This is my Dining Room Centerpiece!
The Three Wise Men :) on my Hutch
Ane My Momma taught me that every room needs a little whimsy :) So Why Not put the "Whimsy" in the Potty room right?? ;)
Have Missed all of you! Can't wait to catch up with all of you today!
As we all give Thanks for the MANY Blessings we have been given, Please know that I am so VERY Thankful for each one of you ....my friends.
Thankful for the encouragement you give in your comments Thankful for the laughs and smiles you bring to my day Thankful for the prayers you offer up with trust and Great Expectation Thankful for the friendship you give Thankful for the ♥love♥ I feel from each one of you.
May you all have a VERY Blessed and a Happy Happy Thanksgiving!
Ok. Telling on myself....AGAIN. My Mom posted this on her Facebook page, specifically for my Son. The word "Noobs" is used constantly in our home,(in a loving way of course LOL) so when Mom saw this she just HAD to post it for him. She called & asked me if I had seen it yet, so when I arrived home, I pulled into my garage and pulled it up on my phone....I sat in my car laughing until I cried!! Seriously, I was CRACKING UP!! We have watched this over and over and just crack up every time!!
This is Julian Smith. He is a pretty big "YouTube Video guy" This precious lady is his 95 year old Great Grandmother. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.
This past weekend we had our grand babies! We had so much fun! We read books, went outside on the porch swing, and so much more. They kept us hoppin for sure! Night time came and that could only mean BATH TIME :) Rylee loves bath time here and now Bentley is old enough to move up to the tub so we had double the fun with all the bubbles!
I honestly CANNOT believe Ry is going to be 3 years old next month and Bentley will be 1 in January!! HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN???
Here are some of the adorable pics I was able to get with my phone while they were having fun in the tub!
Have you experienced a time or times in your life when the Lord gives you the same exact message in different ways? Isn't it just sooo awesome when HE does that!!
I just LOVE it! What is even more exciting, is just HOW HE chooses to 'MAKE SURE' we truly GET IT!! Cause you know, we are not a stubborn people! No way. And we certainly don't ever question...."Was that you God?" Nope. Never!! Ha!!!!
For me, HIS message was revealed in ways that not only confirmed just what HE was sharing with me, but also, because of where they were revealed, it just blew me away. There is NO DENYING HIS Grace, HIS Sovereignty, and HIS Omnipresence!!
We had our grandchildren this past Friday night and Saturday. One of my VERY FAVORITE times with Rylee is just before bed. She goes and picks out her favorite books, crawls up into my lap, and we read and read. It is such a precious time together! I don't think there has been one single time that she hasn't fallen asleep all snuggled up with me. Of course, I just continue to hold her, and rock her ~ It's just too wonderful to let end. Anyways.....
The first time the Lord shared this specific WORD with me was, through one of the books I read to Rylee. A Young children's book that I actually reviewed some time back. You know when you have read a Scripture before and then when you read it again it just JUMPS off the page at you!!?? Well, that is what happened while reading this book! It was awesome! But I will be honest, I didn't "get" that the Lord was sharing this with me right off.
The Second time was On Saturday. My DH and I took the g-kids and met our Daughter & SIL. Said our good-byes to all of them, and had a spur of the moment date. One of our favorite places to go is....BARNES & NOBLE. We just love looking at different books, getting a coffee, and just relaxing. I chose a few books and began looking at them. One happened to be a devotional. I read quite a few entries, but wouldn't you know that more than one of the days entries I just happened to find, had the very message that the book from the night before had. The Lord certainly had my attention at this point!
The Third and perhaps most powerful time I received this Specific Word was through the Sermon @ Church. I just wanted to cry! The Lord loves me sooo much that HE gave me this message in places I had no idea I was going ~ BUT HE DID. He gave me a message in a Preschool book that I didn't know I would even be reading ~ BUT HE DID. I had a good idea I would be @ church, but in no way did I think this Specific Word would be such a part of the Series we are listening too ~ BUT HE DID!!
For me, It truly is, such a HUMBLING Experience! When you get even the slightest revelation of the LORDS Love, Grace and desire to speak to you, it just Moves me, Encourages me, and builds my Faith is ways that nothing else does!!
Thank You Lord for caring enough about me, for loving me, EVEN WHEN I question if it is even YOU at all!
What about you guys? Share HOW HE has spoken specifically to you .....
This is what you might look like after having THREE EARTHQUAKES in one week in a state that is NOT SUPPOSE TO HAVE EARTHQUAKES!! This is NOT California!! But of course, we Okie's have all had a great time talking about it wherever we go, to whomever will listen....grocery lines, gas stations, workout rooms and of course FACEBOOK!! Here is just one of the witty signs proudly displayed for your daily chuckle!
You know those emails you get that ask you to forward it to 10 people or to input your choices on the questionnaire, and then send it on to the next person?? Well, I am ALWAYS the one who is NOT going to resend or fill out the questionairre. My bad, I know. I apologize to all who have put their faith in me when it comes to these .... I don't have an excuse. Not even one. I just don't do it. But hey, NOW YA KNOW :) Right?? Right!!
Sometimes you get those very same requests in a text message ~ Holy Smokes ....I am really not going to do this on my phone! Guess I'm not the only one....heehee
Hope everyone has a very happy and laughter filled Friday! I get my grand babies today and they are spending the night! Best way to spend a Friday if you ask me ♥
Each Morning as I get ready to go to the gym, I "put on" all that I need to work out....sports bra, (or 2 or 3...a secret I learned from a friend and YES it is sooo much better!) work out clothes (of course), my Nike Free tennis shoes, (love these for working out) and a hat to keep my hair up and out of my face. When boxing I wear these AWESOME PINK GLOVES!! I definitely ♥ them! As I've shared before, boxing is definitely my favorite and HEY, every girl needs her own gloves ESPECIALLY if they are PINK!!!
Of course before I put ANY of these on, I prepare myself with the Armor given to me by my FATHER.....
Helmet of Salvation Breastplate of Righteousness Belt of Truth Shoes of Peace Shield of Faith and the Sword of the Spirit which is the WORD of God