On Eagle's Wings

On Eagle's Wings
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:29-31


Friday, November 20, 2015

Four Good F Words

Food, Fun, Friends and Family

Another full week winding down as we get ready for Thanksgiving and then ... YIKES! Christmas already???!!!! I need time. More time.

Monday was a good day for meeting up with my dear friend, Connie, at the Cracker Barrel which is very conveniently situated halfway between us! Since she moved soooooo far away, we don't get to see each other as often, but we stay in touch. It was a rainy and cool day - nice to cozy up to a table in front of the fireplace, eat a little comfort food and chat for a spell!

 You can tell she didn't really want her picture taken,
so I promised not to put it on Facebook!

Pinto beans and cornbread! Yummy!

Tuesday's Ladies of Grace was another good day with one of our ladies speaking about healthy foods! Now, not only does she talk about those good foods, she brings along with her the actual product! Tuesday's offering was butternut squash soup, pumpkin bars (gluten free) and fake bacon! Who ever would have thought to take slivered coconut, seasoned well, and toasted for sprinkling on soups and salads, or just to snack on! Very good!

Wednesdays are BSF day and afterwards, I went to the hospital to sit with another dear friend whose daughter was having a procedure that was fairly simple, but, as you know, any surgery always comes with risk. Victoria and I had a nice, long visit which is a fairly rare thing, so it was an afternoon well spent. And her daughter, Liz, came through like the champ she is. Thanking the Lord for His goodness to her.

This Mom and her daughter inspire me as they have come through the fire together.
And both of them still have the twinkle in their eyes and a smile on their face.
What a testimony they are to me.

Thursday was productive getting things done around here and then, Thursday night was fun, fun, fun! Amy and I FINALLY got to get together for dinner and afterwards, an Anita Renfroe show. Really and truly, laughing out loud funny for almost two hours. If you know who she is, you know it was funny!  And, if you don't, hopefully this link will work and, if not, you can find her on Godtube.com!

And today? The printer!!! Woo-hoo! We have a printer again! That is an exciting thing if you know how difficult this week has been for us in dealing with printers! 

This afternoon, the postman delivered this. My niece made it for us. Sweet! I love it because it's pretty, but more because of her thoughtfulness!

One of my favorite pics of Robyn and me.
Isn't she pretty?

Two of the most valuable things in this life that I treasure and don't take for granted is the love of my family and friends. God has blessed me richly and for that, I am truly thankful.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Hodgepodge Surprises

This Wednesday Hodgepodge is asking about the surprise of your life! Join in the fun with Joyce's questions and share your answers with the other Hodgepodgers right here.

Thank you, Joyce!

1. What's surprised you most about your life, or about life in general?

The surprise of my life is that it has turned out so wonderful and filled with so much to be thankful for in spite of the fact that the plans and dreams I had for myself did not come about as I had imagined.

2. Among others, these ten words were added to the Oxford English Dictionary this year...awesomesauce, beer o'clock, brain fart, buttdial, cat cafe (apparently this is a real thing), fatberg (gross-read the definition here), fat shame, hangry, Mx (gender neutral), and skippable.

Your thoughts? In looking over the list, which word do you find most ridiculous? Which word would you never in a million years say out loud? Which word would you be most likely to use in conversation?

Mx?!! I really don't like any of these words and hope I won't be using any of them anytime soon. I'm embarrassed to say I can think of two times I have used the word buttdial and both times it was used to save words rather than explain I dialed by accident! Thanks for the warning about fatberg. I won't bother to look up the definition. 

I will add my opinionated opinion here that I believe the word awesome has been grossly overused and I prefer to use it only when referring to God.

3. Do you like gravy? Is there a food you'd rather not eat unless it comes with gravy? Do you make your own or buy the canned or store-made variety? Turkey and gravy, sausage gravy, mashed potatoes and gravy, country ham and red eye gravy, biscuits and chocolate gravy, pot roast and gravy...which one on the list is your favorite?

There was no mention of chicken fried steak with cream gravy! It just wouldn't be fittin' to eat chicken fried steak without gravy!

We really have to choose just one? So ... how about mashed potatoes and gravy since usually the gravy for the potatoes comes from either turkey or roast! How's that for getting all three in there? I make my own gravy when I cook a roast or fry chicken or chicken fried steak, all of which must be eaten with gravy. ;-) Give me some gravy!!!

4. Do you have a plan? Do you need a plan? Have you ever had a plan fall into a trillion pieces? Explain.

My plan today is to have a printer up and running by Friday since my plan yesterday for a printer fell into a trillion pieces causing great grief. I will say both DH and I managed to survive without the use of any foul words or loud voices! 

I do like having a plan and yes, several times my plans have fallen into a trillion pieces. I am learning to cope when they fall apart and just go with the flow.

5. November 19 is National Play Monopoly Day. Do you own the original or some version of the game? Do you enjoy playing Monopoly? How likely is it you'll play a game of Monopoly on November 19th? Ever been to Atlantic City? Ever taken a ride on a railroad? Is parking in your town free? Last thing you took a chance on?

We have a very old Monopoly set, but I'm not sure if it is the original. We haven't played the game in years and I never was that good at it since I am not a risk taker. Usually my money was spent to pay rent to somebody else. 

We've never been to Atlantic City, but have taken several train trips. Our favorite was a Train Trip Tour Across Europe, which included a night on the Orient Express. We began the 19 day trip with a tour of London, took the Chunnel to Paris, then a glacier train through Switzerland and the Orient Express from Venice to Rome. It was a very memorable vacation. We also did the Silver Streak from Chicago to Salt Lake City and from Montana back to Chicago. 

In our compartment on the Orient Express -
no selfies back then!

with our steward

You can see the train is moving fast as we 
had breakfast in our compartment.

He can sleep anywhere!

We live in a small community. No parking fees. I can't remember the last thing I took a chance on.

6. A song you like that has the word (or some form of the word) thanks in the title, lyrics, or meaning?

Give Thanks ...

Give thanks 
with a grateful heart
Give thanks
to the Holy One
Give thanks because He's given
Jesus Christ, His Son.

And now, let the weak say
I am strong.
Let the poor say
I am rich,
because of what 
the Lord has done for us.
Give thanks.
-Henry Smith

7. In keeping with this month's theme of gratitude....what is something you're taking for granted that when you stop and think about it, you're grateful for?

I think something we have taken for granted in the past was that our way of life in the US would continue as we knew it when we grew up, but is looking vastly different for our kids' future. That is one of the biggest surprises of life. We have had a lifetime of blessings of freedom and prosperity that some people never even experienced for a day in their life.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Installing a printer should be a simple process. We have done it several times in the past. But yesterday, we bought a printer, brought it home and discovered the printer inside was NOT the printer pictured on the box. We packed it up and returned it for another. After carefully unpacking and inspecting the printer, we plugged it in to begin the process. Two hours later and about 45 minutes on the phone with a very kind, but difficult to understand, customer support techie ________, he informed us it was a defective printer and should be returned!!

And now!! Off to Bible Study Fellowship!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Roses and Blue Skies

Friends, kids, weather, nature all came together this past week to make it another good one! 

This Rose had a scent to match its beauty!

A brilliant blue sky over our neck of the woods for a few days.

Friday was one of those perfect days when you just know
it's right for a visit to the Dallas Arboretum.

This is a scarlet hibiscus. It looked and felt like velvet.
(I don't remember the technical name for this.)



Summer flowers were still going strong and mums were fading. Azaleas were blooming and there are always pumpkins.

Dear sweet Liz

Cindy and Victoria enjoying the scents in the rose garden -
this one tickled Victoria!

Our traditional pic beside our favorite tree since
the shade didn't allow for a pic in front of it.

Now you can see a bit of the tree on the left.

Jack played his last soccer game of the season.
This boy hustles and scores!


He was so proud of his trophy,
he named it Johnson!
He had to call Brady and Noah on Facetime to show off his trophy.
When Aunt Sara showed him all Brady's trophies lined up on
the chest in his room, Jack ran upstairs to
put Johnson in his room at our house.

Jack thinks these two hung the moon!
(I think all of them are the greatest!)

Johnson and Sweetie posing

Do you want to make muffins for breakfast?
A big Yes! for chocolate muffins!

Very serious about the muffins!

Kate came on Friday to "stay until Monday!" You can see who calls the shots around here! 

On Saturday we went to see the new Charlie Brown movie Peanuts and it was very entertaining. About three quarters of the way through, the movie stopped, lights came on flashing and an announcement for all to evacuate the theater by the nearest exit! Hey!!! This is the second time this has happened to us in a movie this year and we don't attend that many movies! We remained calm, assuring Kate that we were with her and not to panic. Yes, I grabbed Kate, my purse, said a quick prayer and we went outside! Turns out that someone had hit the fire alarm button. We all went back in to see the rest of the movie. I was so proud of Kate for her attitude during this and that she did not fear.

Kate also attended church "big church" with us on Saturday night, was very attentive and filled out the outline of the sermon as she listened! 

Jack isn't the only one who is serious about chocolate. I dream every night - lots of dreams and in color! Usually they dissipate upon arising, but sometimes I remember them and occasionally I even write them down. Some dreams have actually come true. And some dreams have held meaning for me.

But my dream a few nights ago was just deliciously silly!

Part of my dream, I was in a bakery checking out what dessert I wanted. I said no to the cream puffs and saw a huge slice of chocolate layer cake. The baker was spraying chocolate frosting all over some smaller cakes in the window. I chose the chocolate layer cake and when it was given to me, there was a note with it that said, "I hope you don't mind paying $38.21 for this piece of cake." Then I awoke ... before I actually got to sample my very expensive slice of "dream" cake!

And, last but not least, when I cuddle up with a blanket this winter, this beautiful afghan will be my cover.

My Bible study friend and sister, Lisa, wanted to make this for me. Now the afghan will be a treasure, but not so much a treasure as Lisa is a friend.

 Love to Lisa. Didn't she do a fabulous job?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Veteran's Hodgepodge

Today, in honor of Veteran's Day, we salute those who have served and do serve by honoring them with our answers to the questions from Joyce. You can visit her blog, answer the questions on your blog to share with us, and link up with her here.

1. In two or three sentences tell us what Veteran's Day means to you?

Veterans Day is a day to remember and honor the noble sacrifices of those who weren't afraid to submit and serve our country to help defend its freedom and the freedom of others. It is a day for me to remember that many of our men and women have made sacrifices giving up months, years of their young lives separated from their loved ones, and especially the thousands who even gave up their lives to defend freedom. My Dad served in WWII and my uncle died there. My husband served, and many of my cousins and classmates. My nephews are in active service. 

2. What's your favorite film with a patriotic theme woven into the storyline?

Sergeant York. I love Alvin York's story and his sincerity to be a conscientious objector to killing, but then to recognize and respect the need to fight against evil to save lives. He was a very humble man who became a celebrated hero. 

3. Flu shot-yes or no? If you answered no, do you plan to get a flu shot? If not, why not? Have you ever had the flu?

Last year was my first time to have a flu shot since I was about 13. And last year I got one of the worst cases of the flu I can ever remember. Actually, I think that was only the second time I've had the flu. At any rate, my DH and I took the advice of our doctor and had a flu shot again this year. Neither of us want to, but our doctor says it's really, really important that "older" people should have it! I think she is referring to us?) 

4. I've seen lots of people posting pictures of their Christmas trees up and decorated. Many stores have had Christmas on display since well before Halloween. Red cups are back at Starbucks, sans the holiday decor, and that has some people up in arms. What are your thoughts on all the holiday ruckus this second week of November?

It's too early. But I suppose for those who are making money off it, and for the elaborate decorators, they want to make the season last longer. 

Sometimes I think Christians fight the wrong battles. And I can still enjoy a peppermint mocha if we happen to be on a road trip. That is the only time I treat myself to Starbucks. 

5. What 'critter' are you most afraid of encountering unexpectedly?
A snake. 
Why that one? 
Repetitive nightmares of snakes throughout my life and having had a huge snake in the garage and one in my house and another big one in the yard are not my idea of a good time. 

6. Do you like building things?

Not particularly. Maybe if I knew what I was doing and it would serve a good purpose.

What's the last thing you 'built'? 

I helped my DH build a deck for our back yard many years ago. We He did a great job, didn't he?

I also helped put a roof on the church building back in my younger days.

7. In keeping with this month's theme of gratitude...what are you most grateful for that brings beauty to your daily life?

From the dawn

to the setting of the sun

I am so thankful for the natural beauty I see out my window. Every day I see the wide open sky, lovely cloud formations, sometimes the most amazing lightning shows, brilliant sunrises and sunsets, the lake, birds swooping across the sky, and roses in my back yard. 

I find beauty in my daily life in my relationships - with the Lord, my husband, family and friends! I am very thankful for them and they bring light, life and sunshine to my life.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I am so proud of our grandkids. Here is a pic (which I cropped for privacy reasons because her name was in large block letters on this little flyer from her principal at her school.) Out of over 600 students in the elementary school, they chose to honor our Kate with the Pack Pride Award for outstanding citizenship.

Kate received a letter from the principal stating that she was selected because she demonstrated the character and citizenship traits of someone who goes above and beyond what is expected each day. Her hard work has been recognized, and we are ALL proud.

(We've got our green light on today! Our sweet, ever thoughtful somewhat nutty friend, NanaDiana talked about the green light special right here in her blog.)

Monday, November 9, 2015

I Get by With a Little Help From My Friends.

Dinner with friends on Monday has become a tradition now, and gasp! Dessert too! Bible studies on Tuesday and Wednesday almost always includes lunch and always, rich fellowship with our love for Jesus in the center of it. Making real connections, (not networking,) prayer and growing in the grace and knowledge of God together. 

McKinney Courthouse decorated with wreaths

Lunch on Wednesday with one of my oldest friends and mentors, Bettye in McKinney on the Square. We have had some crazy good times together over the years, seeing each other on a regular basis until this last year. Last week was the first time we had gotten together for months and only explanation I have for that is distance and that both of us are involved with family and many other different things. 

Dinner on Thursday evening with Alice and Fred and finishing up Charles Dickens Nicholas Nickleby, one of my favorites ... the evening wouldn't have been complete without Blue Bell homemade vanilla and brownies!

Lunch on Friday with old friend Susan. 

We met at Jen's Place where we have met many times before. As we sat down, I was telling Susan I never could remember whether it was on Spring Valley or Alpha Road. Boy, was I surprised and pleased to learn that this wonderful eating place sits at the corners of Alpha and Omega! Isn't that cool? I love my friend Susan and we were celebrating her birthday, and I also realized that we have been friends for 25 years! We have shared some wonderful times and experiences together, and I humbly tell you that I was privileged to mentor this beautiful woman in Bible studies and she has in turn, been a mentor to troubled youth in detention centers for many years! What a blessing that our giving to others can continue to give through them.

Friday afternoon we picked up Kate at school and went on to the mall to spend all her purple awards this week. She is soooooo good! After playing, riding the carousel, eating dipping dots, and buying a new Lego set, we spent the evening at home trying to put that silly thing together. Those teeny, tiny pieces are just so small!

Kate also drew several pictures and sectioned them off with numbers so Grandpa could have a "color by number" activity! Notice she has the colors coded with numbers. I like that she is able to keep herself occupied so well and she had a little notebook in which she was recording everything she is doing and making a list of things for which she is thankful.

Grandpa did a good job.

Saturday we braved the cold and wind for Jack's soccer game. Jack scored many goals and danced across the field! He's somewhat of a ham!

Then dinner at Saltgrass with Carol and Bill before another McKinney Community Concert with the Presidio Brass, which was surprisingly to us, a most enjoyable and entertaining show.

Sunday was church service and afterward we packed shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. What a pleasure to pack the boxes thinking about the joy it will bring those children upon receiving and opening them. It would be fun to watch them and see their excitement! We were so busy, it didn't even cross my mind to take pictures.

Life is busy and full. Praise the Lord!