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Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room

http://www.lizcurtishiggs.com/let-every-heart-prepare-room/

Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room By Liz Curtis Higgs

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Read Deuteronomy:

I know, I know. This should be my 12th post of 2016 and it’s only my 5th. Deepest apologies, friend. What can I say? Life happened. A lot of life happened. Some things were wonderful, others were not, but even through the hard times —no, especially through the hard times—God overwhelmed us with His love and faithfulness. Thank you, Jesus.

Now at Christmastime I come bearing gifts for you, along with the best news of all: He is coming.

We stand on tiptoe. Waiting. Anticipating. Counting the days of Advent with our calendars and our candles.

The Bible tells us there was no room for Him in the inn, but there’s more than enough room for Him in our hearts and in our homes. This year, let’s clear away the clutter and make His Word the centerpiece of our celebration.

Christmas in the Bible BigStock.com #3852424

You can do this, beloved.

  • Place a Bible, open to Luke 2, on your dining table.
  • Surround it with the lovely colors of the season.
  • Read a verse from the Christmas story each night.
  • Talk about what Mary and Joseph experienced.
  • Think about what the truth of His birth means.
  • Commit one (or two or four) verses to memory.
  • Pray for the chance to share His story with others.

When God laid out the Ten Commandments, this is how He taught people to honor His Word.

On your hearts Deuteronomy 6:6

“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.” Deuteronomy 6:6

We can have God’s Word on our laptops, our smart phones, our tablets—but this method is hands-free. When you write His Word “on your heart and mind” (AMP), it’s truly mobile and lasts forever.

And think about this: If you memorized just one verse a week, that would be 50 verses a year, with a little vacation time thrown in. Good plan for 2017, yes? (You’ll find more ideas in 31 Verses to Write on Your Heart.)

You don’t have to memorize the whole Bible. Pick a verse. Begin.

On your children Deuteronomy 6:7

“Impress them on your children.” Deuteronomy 6:7 

When you say your favorite verses aloud and “rehearse them continually” (GNV), they’ll land on the fertile ground of your children’s hearts. You say your kids are grown and gone? Put Christ-centered books in their hands and point them to Scripture when they come to you for advice (and they will, eventually).

If you’ve been blessed with grandchildren, “teach them carefully” (CJB). Moms never stop being moms, right? And no one is ever too old to learn. Even if they roll their eyes, they’re still listening. Even if they shrug their shoulders, their ears are open.

Keep pouring out His truths. They will not return empty (Isaiah 55:10-11).

Talk about them Deuteronomy 6:7

“Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deuteronomy 6:7

Gotta love this 24/7 approach to sharing God’s truths. “Talk about them all the time” (CEV), especially “at bedtime and the first thing in the morning” (TLB). More than three thousand years later, that’s still how it works at our house. Maybe yours too.

Driving down the road is a great time to talk to your kids about spiritual things. Since you have a captive audience, captivate them with God’s Word. Your passion will become their passion. Enthusiasm is positively contagious.

Bind them Deuteronomy 6:8

“Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.” Deuteronomy 6:8 

Walking the streets of Jerusalem I marveled at Orthodox Jews with small boxes, called Tefillin, strapped to their arms and foreheads—a literal response to Deuteronomy 6:8, with verses from the Hebrew Bible tucked inside.

Even if you don’t “write down copies” (CEV) and “fix them as an emblem on your forehead” (NRSV), you might wear jewelry engraved with your favorite verses. When you “bind them around your neck” (Proverbs 3:3), you can be certain your faith will be showing.

Write them Deuteronomy 6-9

“Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:9

The idea is to put His words where our families and friends will see them coming and going—“on the lintels, and on the door-posts” (WYC). Or maybe on framed prints and decorative pillows and serving trays. The idea is to see His truth everywhere we turn. Even a single word can prompt us to think about Him.

Though it may not be on their wish list, this is what people really want for Christmas: To know the One who came with salvation in His hands, offering His gift of love to a world in need. Thank you, Jesus.

– See more at: http://www.lizcurtishiggs.com/let-every-heart-prepare-room/#sthash.D1bQjS91.dpuf

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Give the Gift of Hope with a Blessing Bag

http://faithalongtheway.com/give-the-gift-of-hope/

Give the Gift of Hope with a Blessing Bag

Faith Along The Way : Sarah Ann

Give The Gift Of Hope : Blessing Bags

The Christmas tunes were blaring as I rolled home from Black Friday shopping. My car was loaded with purchases for loved ones, and I was satiated in both spirit and stomach. Thus, I was feeling deeply blessed.

As I pulled to the stop light mere miles from where my warm home awaited me, I saw him. Shakily holding the sign, “Will Work for Food”, his countenance was crestfallen and full of despair. As soon I saw him, I averted my eyes and my happy attitude vanished.

However, this was not the first time we have crossed paths.  Often, I’ve looked at my phone instead of meeting his weary gaze. Other times I simply imagined I could see through him, happy and content in my own world.

But not that day. That day was different.

Shame stirred within me as realized I had become one of the masses. As a society we are too comfortable, too complacent and too at ease in our safe little bubble. Meanwhile, the outside world is desperate for hope and seeking solace from the burdens of this life.

Give the gift of hope in a practical way!  Making a blessing bag is a tangible way to bless the lives of those in need!

Therefore, it’s time to extend kindness and offer hope to a world in need. Let’s pledge to extend a helping hand and bring hope to the hurting this Christmas season.

Hope is a new, warm jacket for a child in need.

Hope is an anonymous donation that will keep the heat on this winter.

Hope is the bag of groceries left on the door stoop of a bankrupt family.

Hope is a kind word and smile to a stranger suffering in silence.

Hope is visiting an elderly neighbor who has no family left.

Hope is a hand-written note to a friend giving thanks for support and encouragement.

Most importantly, hope is found at the foot of the cross, where our defeated spirits are exchanged for a heart fully restored by the grace of Jesus Christ. {Learn more about the hope of grace here.}

As you go through the hustle and bustle of the season,  I challenge you to keep your eyes open and give the gift of hope to someone in need.

For me, I am taking a simple step of faith and creating a Blessing Bag to give to the poor, weathered soul I saw down the street. It contains some basic necessities, and more importantly, a letter describing how to have a personal relationship with the one true hope, Jesus}.

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The Names Of God December Bible Study Challenge By Rachel Wojo

Let’s get to know our Savior, Lord and King a little more this December. Let’s be intentional about reading his Word to draw us closer to the scenes of his glory. Let’s remember that God is my God. Your God. Our God. He’s personal and intimate and longs for us to draw closer and closer to him. Who’s ready for the Names of God Bible reading challenge? Begins 12/1!

Names of God Bible Reading Challenge

Welcome to the Names of God Bible reading challenge! If you’ve never joined a Bible reading challenge here before, each day we follow the plan and read the passage. You can share what you are learning on social media or just keep it between you and God. My goal through the reading is to draw closer to Jesus, and I want that for you too!

For this month, we will use the hashtags #namesofGod and #biblereading. Almost every day, I post on Instagram or Facebook about what I’m learning through the passages and sometimes I post the Bible journaling pages I work on throughout the study.

On Fridays, I post a summary of what I learned through the week here on the blog and invite you to share what God is teaching you in the comments.names-of-god-bible-reading-plancomplete-682x1024.jpgnames-of-God-bible-reading-challenge-pinterest-final-683x1024.jpg

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25 Day Of Christmas Stories For Kids

25-days-of-christmas-stories-for-kids.pngI usually incorporate a few Christian books into my Christmas shopping list. This year we’re celebrating Christmas with 24 days of Christmas books from Zonderkidz, and on Christmas Day we’ll be reading the Christmas Story from Luke 2.
Each of these books shares a beautiful part of Christmas. I’m excited to celebrated Jesus’ birthday every day with my kids. These are the books on my list. Pick up a few … or all 24 … to enjoy with your family!

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25 Days of Christmas Stories for Kids!

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Tricia Goyer : The REAL Reason To Cook His Favorite Dinner

When+was+the+last+time+you+did+something+for+your+husband____just+because+you+love+him_+Considering+his+feelings+and+his+favorites+(even+in+the+little+thi.jpghttps://thebettermom.squarespace.com/the-better-mom/2016/10/19/the-real-reason-to-cook-his-favorite-dinner

For him.

Something about that is downright beautiful.

Hear my heart in this—I’m not suggesting we all need to start dressing according to our husband’s fantasies. If that were the case then I’d be stuffed into a pair of Levi’s and cowgirl boots right now instead of—you guessed it—leggings. The point here is not clothing or appearances at all. Wear what you want.

But let me ask you a question. When was the last time you did something—anything—just because your husband liked it?

Not because you were guilted into it or because you reached a compromise. But simply because you thought first not of yourself but of him—his wishes, his preferences, his comfort.

Yeah . . . I can’t remember, either. And that’s a problem. Why?

Because God created marriage to reflect the selfless, sacrificial love that Christ has for the church. Christ redeems us, protects us, provides for us and died for us. So if I can’t sacrifice some little part of me today or tomorrow or next week in order to love my husband as Christ loves, then I am not reaching the full potential God designed for my marriage.

I’m stuck in myself, while on the other end of the spectrum God says, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).

I want to be blessed, don’t you? So what can we do today to get in on God’s promise?

Let the hubby pick the movie, maybe.

Cook his favorite meal.

Wear that perfume he loves, just because he loves it.

Just pick something small and do it. It’s not so hard, right? Then let’s just wait and see how the blessings return to us, not only when our husbands are likely encouraged to reciprocate (which is never the motivation although it’s quite a perk) but especially when we discover we’re building marriages rooted in Christ’s capacity for selfless love. Those kinds of marriages have supernatural power to blossom and grow strong.

Sounds like a pretty awesome blessing to me.

“Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud, never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way…” (1 Corinthians 13:4–5a, TLB).

 

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Advent Devotions From Lutheran Hour Ministries

Advent Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

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A High Point in LIfe”
November 29, 2016
According to the custom of the priesthood, (Zechariah) was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense (Luke 1:9).
Luke’s account provides us rich detail regarding Zechariah the priest and the part he played in the first Christmas. Herod the Great was king over Judea at the time. We learn that Zechariah belonged to the priestly division of Abijah, one of 24 divisions of priests. Each of these divisions worked two weeks out of the year at the Jerusalem temple. Each afternoon these priests cast lots to see who would enter the temple alone to burn incense.
Luke takes us to the day the lot fell to Zechariah. It may have looked like luck or chance to us, but Zechariah knew better. God was inviting him into His presence. As Zechariah smelled the clouds of sweet, fragrant incense rising to heaven, he knew God was pleased with the prayers His people were offering to Him. These were prayers that rose from hearts that believed His ancient promise to send their Savior. 
At Christmas we are often invited to other people’s houses. Sometimes we get the honor of a special invitation. But God extends a greater invitation to us. Like Zechariah we can enter His presence in His house. And not just once in a lifetime can we do this, but every week. At the same time He promises to make His home in us. What a great privilege and honor to sit in God’s presence and learn about His saving love. 
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, what a tremendous honor You give when You invite us into Your house. Thank You for coming to us and making Your home with us. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
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Good Morning Girls Advent Study – Keeping Our Hearts Focused On Jesus – Sarah’s Attic Of Treasures

Good Morning Girls Advent Study – Keeping Our Hearts Focused On Jesus

This post was written by Courtney from Women Living Well and Good Morning Girls Last Year.
It has all the information for this series…
Plus :
a video from Courtney about Forgiving Yet Not Wanting To Be Friends Anymore With Those Who Keep Hurting You.

Good Morning Girls UK

https://youtu.be/6Po8gTYhU5c Courtney’s video

https://sarahsatticoftreasures.com/2015/12/02/good-morning-girls-advent-study/

Good Morning Girls Advent Series

Good Morning Girls Advent Study – Keeping Our Hearts Focused On Jesus

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This post was written by Courtney from Women Living Well and Good Morning Girls Last Year.
It has all the information for this series…
Plus :
a video from Courtney about Forgiving Yet Not Wanting To Be Friends .

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The Photo That Went Viral On Facebook. My Story.

I post photos of me all the time. Selfies of me working or just sitting in my recliner. I post pics of Danny and I.
I have never minded being photographed until the last 2 years when I started to gain weight – a lot of it.
I do wish I had more photos of Danny and I in the last 2 years.

There was one time though when a photo of me went VIRAL all over Facebook and on the internet.

It was meant as a gift but before I even saw it, thousand of others had and had SHARED it ALL OVER.

At first I was stunned. Then I felt invaded. Stripped.
I wasn’t sharing my life on a blog as I do now. I was still in the first stages of grief.

After awhile…..After I calmed down. I saw what they saw. A women who looked happy on the surface but whose eyes told a different story.

Most of the people who shared it never even realized that it was a personal photo and hadn’t be intended for anyone but me to see.

What is the picture in question:

Behind My Smile
Behind My Smile

The Story Behind the photo.
Danny and I had been busy all week at the park. It was Spring Break and we were Filled to Overflowing.
We were tired but happy.
This took place on a Sunday Afternoon.

We had interacted with campers all week.
visiting with them while working. Seeing them while we clean bathhouses and filled toilet paper.
We’d answered questions and gave directions.

We were also needing a break.
Danny and I were checking on the campground around noon or a little after.
We got stopped and a guy we had talked to asked us if we could help them with their electric.

Of course we did.
I was excited because they were with a huge group and one of them had a TINY HOME.

I’d been eyeing it all weekend. So had Danny.

Danny went to work on the electric and I asked of I could get a little closer look at the house.
I not only got a closer look but we got a tour of it,

893280_480913165309214_1483076517_oThis is the original photo.

It took awhile for me to realize that it was actually an honor for me to be in such a photo that thousands of people connected with

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The Christian Season of Advent

Advent is marked by a spirit of expectation, of anticipation, of preparation, of longing. There is a yearning for deliverance from the evils of the world, first expressed by Israelite slaves in Egypt as they cried out from their bitter oppression. It is the cry of those who have experienced the tyranny of injustice in a world under the curse of sin, and yet who have hope of deliverance by a God who has heard the cries of oppressed slaves and brought deliverance!

http://www.crivoice.org/cyadvent.html

Advent is the beginning of the Church Year for most churches in the Western tradition. It begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day, which is the Sunday nearest November 30, and ends on Christmas Eve (Dec 24). If Christmas Eve is a Sunday, it is counted as the fourth Sunday of Advent, with Christmas Eve proper beginning at sundown.

Aleph and Omega©

This is an Advent symbol of Jesus from Rev 1:8 and 22:13:  “‘I am the Alpha and the Omega [the first and the last, the beginning and the end],’ says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty”  (see also Isaiah 44:6).

The blue letter is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Aleph, and the purple is the last letter of the Greek alphabet, Omega.  Not only does this symbolize the One who has come and will come again, it also emphasizes the continuity of God’s work in history throughout both the Old and New Testaments.

The Meaning of “Advent”

The word Adventmeans “coming” or “arrival.” The focus of the entire season is preparation to celebrate the birth of Jesus the Christ in his First Advent, and the anticipation of the return of Christ the King in his Second Advent. Thus, Advent is far more than simply marking a 2,000 year old event in history. It is celebrating a truth about God, the revelation of God in Christ whereby all of creation might be reconciled to God. That is a process in which we now participate, and the consummation of which we anticipate. Scripture reading for Advent will reflect this emphasis on the Second Advent, including themes of accountability for faithfulness at His coming, judgment on sin, and the hope of eternal life.

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Make Ahead Thanksgiving Dishes – Run To Radiance

http://www.runtoradiance.com/2016/11/09/make-ahead-thanksgiving-dishes/

Run To Radiance : Make Ahead Thanksgiving Dishes.

Thanksgiving. It’s only the single most important meal of your culinary career this year. But don’t stress! If you’re anything like me (a procrastinator with great intentions), do yourself a favor and plan ahead! These make ahead Thanksgiving dishes can be created days in advance and will free you up to actually enjoy your Thanksgiving morning. 

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Meal Plan and Traditions for Our Thanksiving Feast

My Thanksgiving Meal Plan and Traditions Happy Sigh* The groceries have been bought. There is a big bird sitting in my refrigerator,  and the decor is set. I am ready for Thanksgiving. I have spent two weeks wrapping my brain around verses on being thankful, and thanking God for all He has done. I have taken some time to remember what …

Source: Meal Plan and Traditions for Our Thanksiving Feast
Shared From Worshipful Living

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Second Buster Island Paddle Trip With Bill – (Lake Rosalie) Part 3

Life WAS so good back this. Got to get better so I can do it again. With Danny of course.

Sarah's Attic Of Treasures

Check Out The Birds we saw coming out of Zipprer Canal Check Out The Birds we saw coming out of Zipprer Canal

100_3259Entering Lake Rosalie
100_3266Slow and Easy at first and then the race was on. We came in way ahead of the rest of them.
It also meant I couldn’t take PHOTOS. LOL

100_3265Still slow and easy. They were just busy looking at all the birds out. 
100_3264100_3261100_3266100_3272100_3271100_3270100_3269100_3268100_3267100_3303100_3302100_3301100_3299100_3298100_3297100_3295100_3294100_3292100_3291100_3290100_3289100_3288100_3287100_3286100_3285100_3284100_3283100_3282100_3281100_3280100_3279100_3278100_3277100_3276100_3275100_3273100_3304There weren’t a lot of other boaters out or people fishing.
100_3303It was fun to come across them when we did.

100_3302100_3301100_3300100_3299Almost straight across from us was a good place to rest and take and relax for the next part of the journey.
The PRETTIEST PART and also the hardest part at times. It would get very NARROW in spots and the water was LOW.

100_3298This is actually a county park. New at the time. 2012
100_3297100_3295100_3294100_3292100_3291100_3290100_3289100_3288100_3287100_3286I was having the time of my life. I was healthier. A lot healthier. 

100_3285100_3284100_3283100_3282Here comes Erik. 

View original post 11 more words

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Lake Kissimmee State Park : 11 Mile Buster Island Paddling Trail OPENS -EVENT SATURDAY, November 14, 2015

Lake Kissimmee is remote and unspoiled, offering endless reflecting waters, stunning stars in dark skies, and excellent fishing. Paddlers encircle Buster Island, a hiker and equestrian’s delight with miles of trails winding between moss-draped live oak. The paddling loop meanders through the Zipprer Canal, Lake Rosalie, Rosalie Creek, Tiger Lake, Tiger Creek, and Lake Kissimmee before returning to the boat marina. An outfitter at the marina offers boat rentals, fishing advice and Segway Tours.

Danny and I couldn’t be more delighted with this:
It is OFFICIAL:
Lake Kissimmee State Park has another TRAIL……One that we have needed for YEARS.
It has always been there but now it is part of a huge TRAIL SYSTEM and must be maintained As much as possible.
I will post PHOTOS of the 2 different trips that Danny and I have been on around this 11 mile PADDLING TRAIL.
Needless to say, I am delighted.
How did I finally here about this?
My hubby, who is OFF, EMAILED it to me.
He had just gotten word that it was online and ready to go.

Sarah's Attic Of Treasures

Lake Kissimmee State Park: Buster Island Paddling Trail

Lake Kissimmee is remote and unspoiled, offering endless reflecting waters, stunning stars in dark skies, and excellent fishing. Paddlers encircle Buster Island, a hiker and equestrian’s delight with miles of trails winding between moss-draped live oak. The paddling loop meanders through the Zipperer Canal, Lake Rosalie, Rosalie Creek, Tiger Lake, Tiger Creek, and Lake Kissimmee before returning to the boat marina. An outfitter at the marina offers boat rentals, fishing advice and Segway Tours.

Danny and I couldn’t be more delighted with this:
It is OFFICIAL:
Lake Kissimmee State Park has another TRAIL……One that we have needed for YEARS.
It has always been there but now it is part of a huge TRAIL SYSTEM and must be maintained As much as possible.
I will post PHOTOS of the 2 different trips that Danny and I have been on around this 11…

View original post 61 more words

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Living The Thankful Life – Club 31 Women

Wouldn’t it be great if we put this much effort into cultivation a life of thanksgiving that goes beyond just the month of November? J.R. Miller said that,

“Christian thanksgiving is the life of Christ in the heart, transforming the disposition and the whole character.”

A thankful life will change who we are, and how we think about what we have, and all that we experience. The more we cultivate a thankful heart the more our heart will begin to beat like the heart of Jesus. There will be less complaining, less coveting, less selfish attitudes, less haughtiness. There will be more joy, more sharing, more contentment and more internal peace.

http://club31women.com/the-thankful-life/

Club 31 Women : Living A Thankful Life.

Wouldn’t it be great if we put this much effort into cultivation a life of Thanksgiving that goes beyond just the month of November? J.R. Miller said that,

“Christian Thanksgiving is the life of Christ in the heart, transforming the disposition and the whole character.”

A thankful life will change who we are, and how we think about what we have, and all that we experience. The more we cultivate a thankful heart the more our heart will begin to beat like the heart of Jesus. There will be less complaining, less coveting, less selfish attitudes, less haughtiness. There will be more joy, more sharing, more contentment and more internal peace.

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Barbecues & Grilling : Turkey How To’s.

http://link.about.com/view/55f32e65d7aaa8557c8b4d024trvk.2g7/d190d332

It seems that most people put a turkey in the oven and hope for the best. It also seems that many people complain about a dry, flavorless bird. It doesn’t have to be this way. Turkey can be great is you pick the perfect recipe. 
Derrick Riches
Barbecues & Grilling Expert
Jerk Beer Can Chicken
Jamaican Jerk Beer Can Turkey Recipe  
Szechuan Smoked Turkey
Szechuan Smoked Turkey Recipe  
Herb Rotisserie Turkey
The Best Herb Rotisserie Turkey Recipe  
Apple Wood Smoked Turkey
Best Turkey Recipes for the Grill, Smoker or Fryer  
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Where to Start Reading in the Bible ⋆ A Little R & R

Perhaps you’re a Good Morning Girls partner and you’re stumped about where to read, since starting tomorrow we’ll be taking a long break until after the New Year.

Here are a few suggestions I have for Christians who are wondering where they should start reading their Bible.

(By the way, this is my very favorite Bible…the one I have sitting next to me right now!!)

Where to Start Reading the Bible

1. Psalms – I love the Psalms. In fact, there are seasons when I just read the Psalms, especially when I am going through a difficult season in life.

http://www.rosilindjukic.com/start-reading-bible/
Rosilind Jukic Of A Little R & R.

Perhaps you’re a Good Morning Girlspartner and you’re stumped about where to read, since starting tomorrow we’ll be taking a long break until after the New Year.

Here are a few suggestions I have for Christians who are wondering where they should start reading their Bible.

(By the way, this is my very favorite Bible…the one I have sitting next to me right now!!)

Where to Start Reading the Bible

1. Psalms – I love the Psalms. In fact, there are seasons when I just read the Psalms, especially when I am going through a difficult season in life.

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THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE IS HERE TO STAY | SERENDIPITY

The electoral college was created by the founders of this country as part of the constitution. It’s not a recent law we can change or rescind. To remove it would require an amendment to the Constitution. Which is not happening. The assigned electors per state can be (and are) adjusted to make the college more representative and reflective of the U.S. population. But eliminated? I doubt it.
The electoral college was created to balance the power and interests of populous, industrial states and make sure agricultural, rural states with lower populations don’t get trampled in national elections.

https://teepee12.com/2016/11/13/the-electoral-college-is-here-to-stay/

Serendipity: The Electoral College Is Here To Stay

Written By Marilyn Armstrong

The electoral college was created by the founders of this country as part of the constitution. It’s not a recent law we can change or rescind. To remove it would require an amendment to the Constitution. Which is nothappening. The assigned electors per state can be (and are) adjusted to make the college more representative and reflective of the U.S. population. But eliminated? I doubt it.


The electoral college was created to balance the power and interests of populous, industrial states and make sure agricultural, rural states with lower populations don’t get trampled in national elections. 

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A “Quiet Time” makes all the difference

A “Quiet Time” makes all the difference
Monday, December 7, 2009
Quiet…
Do we even know what that word means anymore? People living today are bombarded with more noise and distractions than ever before in history. (Well, I haven’t conducted a research study on that fact, but that’s what I think. Wouldn’t you agree?)
Even during the night, e-mails are coming into our computers, and texts are going off on our phones. There is no true “quiet” in our lives anymore.
Though our lives and surroundings are not quiet, our hearts can be. When our hearts are quiet, we can be at peace in the midst of a one hundred thousand seat football stadium with 100,000 screaming fans – even if we’re for the losing team!!!
The secret to this quiet heart is in having a daily “Quiet Time“.
When I refer to a “Quiet Time” I’m not talking about a time in the morning when you are silently sipping coffee and reading the morning news paper.
What I’m talking about is more like a “Time Out” but in the most positive sense of the words. Taking a “time out” of every day (preferably before the rest of the busy and noisy day starts) where you are alone with God and draw up close to Him, laying your burdens for the day at His feet, hearing from Him, and having your hearts stilled and quietened before Him.
Jesus, even though He was God, knew the importance of getting away before the day started to be filled with the strength that only time with the Father can provide. Mark 1:35 says, “And in the morning, long before daylight, He got up and went out to a deserted place, and there He prayed.”
If Jesus needed to do this, how much more do we? Especially during this very busy season as we bustle about under the guise of “celebrating Jesus’ birthday“.
Our hearts need this time with the Father in His Word and prayer like our bodies need water. We thirst for the stillness of soul that comes over us when we draw close to, sit with, and hear from our Lord.
Martin Luther knew the importance of getting up and spending time with the Lord – especially on those busy days. He said, “Tomorrow I plan to work, work, from early until late. In fact I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” (Aren’t we guilty of thinking just the opposite!?!?)
I know I need that time in the morning with the Lord (and my family knows I need it too!) A Quiet Time produces a Quiet Heart. And a quiet heart produces a peacefilled mama. And we all know that a peace-filled mama sets the tone for a peace-filled home

http://www.smellingcoffee.com/2009/12/a-quiet-time-makes-all-the-difference.html
Smelling Coffee :

A “Quiet Time” makes all the difference

Quiet…

Do we even know what that word means anymore? People living today are bombarded with more noise and distractions than ever before in history. (Well, I haven’t conducted a research study on that fact, but that’s what I think. Wouldn’t you agree?)

Even during the night, e-mails are coming into our computers, and texts are going off on our phones. There is no true “quiet” in our lives anymore.

Though our lives and surroundings are not quiet, our hearts can be. When our hearts are quiet, we can be at peace in the midst of a one hundred thousand seat football stadium with 100,000 screaming fans – even if we’re for the losing team!!!

The secret to this quiet heart is in having a daily “Quiet Time“.

When I refer to a “Quiet Time” I’m not talking about a time in the morning when you are silently sipping coffee and reading the morning news paper.

What I’m talking about is more like a “Time Out” but in the most positive sense of the words. Taking a “time out” of every day (preferably before the rest of the busy and noisy day starts) where you are alone with God and draw up close to Him, laying your burdens for the day at His feet, hearing from Him, and having your hearts stilled and quietened before Him.

Jesus, even though He was God, knew the importance of getting away before the day started to be filled with the strength that only time with the Father can provide. Mark 1:35 says, “And in the morning, long before daylight, He got up and went out to a deserted place, and there He prayed.”

If Jesus needed to do this, how much more do we? Especially during this very busy season as we bustle about under the guise of “celebrating Jesus’ birthday“.

Our hearts need this time with the Father in His Word and prayer like our bodies need water. We thirst for the stillness of soul that comes over us when we draw close to, sit with, and hear from our Lord.

Martin Luther knew the importance of getting up and spending time with the Lord – especially on those busy days. He said, “Tomorrow I plan to work, work, from early until late. In fact I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” (Aren’t we guilty of thinking just the opposite!?!?)

I know I need that time in the morning with the Lord (and my family knows I need it too!) A Quiet Time produces a Quiet Heart. And a quiet heart produces a peacefilled mama. And we all know that a peace-filled mama sets the tone for a peace-filled home

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Serene & Pearl: “Bread Of Life” – SoundCloud

Listen to Serene & Pearl: “Bread Of Life” by Trim Healthy Mama #np on #SoundCloud
https://soundcloud.com/rimealthyama/serene-pearl-bread-of-life
Please listen to this.

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The November/December GMG Study is On Hold – Women Living Well

Due to some personal issues, I am putting the November/December study, through the book of Romans, on hold.

Before I explain what is happening in my private life, I want to finish the book of Judges.

On Monday, November 14th, I will be sharing here on the blog, the storm that I have been facing behind closed doors.

If you would like to study through the book of Romans on your own – the journal is available on Amazon. I will not be covering the book of Romans for at least 1 year. We will skip Romans for now and come back to it.

romans-girls-spine

Another option:

If you have never done our Advent Study – you could do that during this time.

advent3d

Just click here to download it for free >> Advent Study: Keeping Our Hearts Focused On Jesus

http://womenlivingwell.org/2016/11/novemberdecember-gmg-study-hold/

Women Living Well And Good Morning Girls .

Due to some personal issues, I am putting the November/December study, through the book of Romans, on hold.

Before I explain what is happening in my private life, I want to finish the book of Judges.

On Monday, November 14th, I will be sharing here on the blog, the storm that I have been facing behind closed doors.

If you would like to study through the book of Romans on your own – the journal is available on Amazon.  I will not be covering the book of Romans for at least 1 year.  We will skip Romans for now and come back to it.

romans-girls-spine

Another option:

If you have never done our Advent Study – you could do that during this time.

advent3d

Just click here to download it for free >> Advent Study: Keeping Our Hearts Focused On Jesus

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Forward: Healing the Heart of Democracy | Chapter Three

In our practice of democracy, and as we navigate political (or religious, or family, or community) landscapes, we will inevitably bump up against people whose hearts have been broken, just as ours have been. What we cannot know is whether their heart has been broken open, or shattered into a million razor-sharp shards. We cannot know this at first but, within just a few moments it will become clear to us. The broken-open hearts respond with grace, while the shattered hearts often reflect bitterness. This is not to say one way is right and the other wrong. This is simply to say that this is the way these things go. There is no judgement here, only observation.

http://www.deidrariggs.com/2016/09/30/forward-healing-the-heart-of-democracy-chapter-three/

Healing The Heart Of Democracy:

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The Power of Words – Becoming A Godly Wife

Let’s strive to be different from all of those around us. Let’s try to control the things that come out of our mouths and instead of joining the world in the bashing let’s instead chose to use our words to praise God and build up those are around us.

 

http://www.becomingagodlywife.com/devotions/good-morning-girls/the-power-of-words/

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Stress Free Holidays: 13 Week Series To Make Your Holidays Fun And Not Stressful

http://www.household-management-101.com/stress-free-holidays.html

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Welcome to Sarah’s Attic Of Treasures – Sarah’s Attic Of Treasures

https://sarahsatticoftreasures.com/tagline-welcome-to-sarahs-attic-of-treasures-and-our-neck-of-the-woods/

Me at work on Rolling Meadows Ranch.

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Introducing the Book of Judges – Women Living Well

Inside the journals you will find:
*An Introduction to the Book of Judges
*An explanation of how to use the signature S.O.A.K. method of the GMG’s
*The GMG Coloring Chart
* The Verse of the Day each day
*A Reflection Question for each day
* Blank space for SOAKing each chapter of the Book of Judges

This companion Journal is NOT required to join us.

http://womenlivingwell.org/2016/10/introducing-book-judges/
Women Living Well / Good Morning Girls begin The Book Of Judges October 17th. It’s a Monday.

The Journals can be bought at Amazon and elsewhere. They are Journals. NOT STUDY GUIDES.

AND GOOD MORNING GUYS

Inside the journals you will find:

*An Introduction to the Book of Judges
*An explanation of how to use the signature S.O.A.K. method of the GMG’s
*The GMG Coloring Chart
* The Verse of the Day each day
*A Reflection Question for each day
* Blank space for SOAKing each chapter of the Book of Judges

This companion Journal is NOT required to join us.



Courtney also has a video about SOAKING.  

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Karen Ehman — ANNOUNCEMENT: Making Your Home a Haven Challenge at WomenLivingWell.org

http://www.karenehman.com/2016/09/announcement-making-your-home-a-haven-challenge-at-womenlivingwell-org/

Woman Living Well And Good Morning Girls are hosting this month long event. Karen Ehman is the very special guest writer. 

Courtney Joseph And Karen Ehman.

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Sarah Speaks Out:   My  Choices And Why I Will Be Voting Differently In November. PLEASE Add Your Comments.  Be Nice. 

From Sarah:

I am a Republican who will probably be voting for The Libertarian Party come November.

Danny is a Libertarian and as far as I was concerned, had been throwing his vote away for years.

Or had he?

This time I will be voting for a 3rd party, even though I am very much a Republican.

I believe that we need a 3rd viable party. Maybe even a 4th . The people aren’t being heard.

The Democrats and The Republicans have been doing their own thing for way too long. Neither side is able to work with the other. Oftentimes, they can’t even work within their own party.

The Republican Party hasn’t been a strong party that works together for years. The Tea Party is proof of that.

https://onlinegambling.lv/entertainment/election-odds-clinton-v-trump-is-anything-but-conventional/

Shared From Marilyn Armstrong : Serendipity.

Election Odds : Clinton Verses Trump

From Sarah:

I am a Republican who will probably be voting for The Libertarian Party come November.

Danny is a Libertarian and as far as I was concerned, had been throwing his vote away for years.

Or had he?

This time I will be voting for a 3rd party, even though I  am very much a Republican.

I believe that we need a 3rd viable party.  Maybe even a  4th .  The people aren’t being heard.

The Democrats and The Republicans have been doing their own thing for way too long. Neither side is able to work with the other. Oftentimes, they can’t even work within their own party.

The Republican Party hasn’t been a strong party that works together  for years. The Tea Party is proof of that.

Instead of The Tea Party going towards the Middle it moved further to the Right.

We couldn’t get our act together 8 years ago.

This time around :  we had more leaders tearing us further apart. Too many  stayed in the race way too long. As much as l like Jeb Bush and would have loved to see him as President…..his heart just didn’t seem to be in it. He was TOO SLOW in pulling out. Hurting the party even more.

I  personally can’t stand Clinton. Never have liked her. Or Former  President Clinton.

I firmly believe she should be in JAIL…or at least on PROBATION.  Ignoring that, I just don’t like her politics.

The one thing in her favor: Most of the world can work with her. Or will attempt to work with her. She knows her stuff .

Trump: Not even sure where to start here.

At first: when he first appeared on the Presidential Radar, I thought he was JOKING. I REALLY DID. I LAUGHED.

I haven’t laughed since.

Trump SCARES ME. More than Obama ever could. Obama is small potatoes in comparison to Trump.

Hitler’s name came up between Danny and I as well. A bit far fetched? Yeah. Maybe?

Bobby is turning over in his grave (so to speak). My son. Republican all the way. Oh he would hate what the party has come to.

What our country is coming to?

Not sure of the numbers here

Who gets the most write in votes every year?

Mickey Mouse.

A non person.

If everyone who voted for Mickey  Mouse would vote for a real live body… Democrate, Republican , Libertarian or one of the 100 or so candidates,  things might actually change. The people would at least challenge the system.

If not now then soon.

  • I don’t usually get political like this. Out there for everyone to see.

It scares me to do so.

Have a good week.

Peace. Love.

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Your Mistakes Become Your Message — Sue Detweiler

Do you ever feel like you have to have it all together? Even when Jesus hung on the cross for our sins it didn’t appear like he had it all together and yet he was accomplishing the biggest thing that could have ever be accomplished. Whenever you and I step into performance or we try […]

via Your Mistakes Become Your Message — Sue Detweiler

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About ME – Sarah’s Attic of Treasures Facebook. January 2013

I still get asked on occasion about the Debbie / Sarah name….Mainly because on my emails I am listed as Debbie Sarah.
This is a picture of Bobby, Danny and I taken in April 2006. (Easter Weekend- Manitou Springs, Colorado…One month before Bobby died. )
I was Bobby’s Mom and Danny’s Sarah.
It was Bobby who told Danny that my best friend called me Sarah when they first met. It is because of Bobby I am called Sarah.
Why? I never asked. I never once asked Bobby why he told Danny to call me Sarah when I was Debbie to family. He always introduced me as “His Mom , Debbie”. Always.
Danny Never calls Me Debbie. Ever. With one exception. Our WEDDING DAY. Our Vows.
danny and sarah 002
Danny and I : Our First Thanksgiving together in Florida.
I had just left Colorado. Everything was put in storage from OUR HOME, Bobby’s and Mine, as well as everything from Bobby’s Apartment. Bobby had gone to Heaven 6 months before. It was our ONLY Thanksgiving in the HOUSE Danny’s Dad built. We sold it to buy our RV and START over.
11-28-06 danny and sarah- hooters n crestview_1

Hell Week as I call it. The week that Bobby died. Danny and I, My mom and Dad and my sister Donna.

Danny and Sarah 009.jpg

Danny and I . Together. Strong .

893280_480913165309214_1483076517_o
Easter Weekend at the park a few years later. Sarah. Volunteer. Danny’s Wife.

My Name. Is it Sarah or Debbie?

My name. Sarah or Debbie? If you ask my mom, She will say Debbie.
If you ask Danny or anyone here in Florida, I am definitely Sarah.
I even had the pastor include the name, Sarah, along with Debra Sue, in our wedding ceremony.
If you would have asked Bobby: All of his life, except for one time, he introduced me as Debbie, his mom. The one exception, when he met Danny. For some unknown reason, when he met Danny, Bobby told him to call me Sarah. He met Danny here in Florida on vacation. They got to be good friends even though Danny was my age. (Well, 4 years YOUNGER). So Danny has ALWAYS called me Sarah. ALWAYS. I am never Debbie to him. Not teasingly, not in anger, not at all.
I am Debra Sue Kasch. That is the name I was born with. I love the name and am very proud of it. I kept the Kasch for most things after I married Danny. At Danny’s request. The Kasch name died with Bobby. Or at least our link to the Kasch name died. So in honor of Bobby. In honor of my father, grandfather and all the Kasch’s before I still use Kasch except for legal stuff etc.  As a child, I was called Debbie, Debbie Sue, Or Deb. My family and close family friends  still am called that.
Classmate call me both. Growing up there were so many Debra’s, Deborah’s, Debbie and Debbie Sue’s. In high School there were over 20 of us. One day in fun, my best friend, Dan (different one of course) jokingly asked me what I wanted my first child to be named if it was a girl. I said Sarah Elizabeth.  Or Rebecca Lee. So he started Calling me Sarah.
It caught on quickly and before I knew it I was being called Sarah by almost everyone I came in contact with. It just clicked with everyone.
I will never forget the look on my mom’s face when Dan was visiting us and he called me Sarah for the first time, in her hearing. OUCH!
She is never quiet if she has an opinion. Mom had one and let it be known that I was NOT SARAH but Debra Sue or Debbie . You get the picture?
I can still hear her say that. I remember my sister calling me that once. Another OUCH. That’s how I always thought of Mom’s words. OUCH. Like a burn. For the most part, no one called me Sarah, around my mom for many years…. To Dan’s wife and kids I was called both. Interchanging. Aunt Debbie. Aunt Sarah. Still Am. When I got on FB, It was 3 years after Bobby died.  My personal site was Debbie-Sarah Kasch. I still have that one.  I needed both names so people could find me.
When I met the Angel Mom’s I was Bobby’s MOM Debbie…….. Yet, here in Florida, I am Sarah.
They never knew Bobby.
Yes, It is confusing at times.
I was quieter then and didn’t post much. Imagine that? I certainly didn’t share myself or Danny to the world like I do now. I didn’t want to share Bobby with everyone. SO I stayed quiet for awhile. I reconnected with my classmates from High School. I added friends I’d known all my life. I added my friends here in Florida. Some continued to call me Debbie. Others called me Sarah. It took a few people awhile to realize I went by 2 different names. They thought I was 2 different people. I started getting questions. The angel moms for the most part are the ones who went from calling me Debbie, to Sarah, when I started sharing Our life here. When I started sharing Our Neck Of The Woods, (A page just for the Lake Kissimmee State Park, Rolling Meadows and life in Florida. History. Our Life), they started calling me Sarah more and more. I called myself Sarah. I can’t explain it better than that. I answer to either.
The name I miss most is MOM.
I never get called that any more. At least not very often. When I do it’s Dan’s kids or an old friend of Bobby’s.
Now about the pages:
Sarah’s Attic of Treasures and  Debbie’s Attic of Treasures are the same except for the name. Exactly.
I have Our Neck of the Woods about Danny and I and our Park Life.
I have Sarah’s Life: What Was . Was is . What Will be. It’s about  Life in Illinois, Colorado. Bobby, Danny and I.  Mainly Bobby and I. It’s very small. Mainly for me.

I have Bobby’s Memorials. I also have a page called Getting To Know My Friends Through Our Children. It’s a page for grieving parents, grandparents. Etc.
Sarah Sue is the account I use for Sarah’s Attic Of Treasures and all of my pages, except The memorials.
It’s a fun account. It’s where I like to hide.

 

Sorry about the bad copy. It is all I have. Bobby and I at my grandparent’s house….Colorado…1985.
17173_1126358659622_1846842042_234281_7524460_n.jpg

My family. Mom and Dad. Donna and John. Bobby and I. 1998.
17173_1126361099683_1846842042_234289_745_n.jpg

Bobby and I  Christmas 1991.

17173_1126361019681_1846842042_234287_3600256_n.jpg

Donna, Bobby and I Colorado. 2000. I love Bobby’s Smile here.

17173_1126359739649_1846842042_234286_3067605_n

Danny and I dancing . 2008?
5494_1035407145891_2893968_n

I had just won Volunteer Of The Year. 2008

Volunteer Luncheon and Awards 001

My all time favorite photo. My 2 loves.

danny and sarah 002.jpg
Source: Re posting from Sarah’s Attic of Treasures Facebook. January 2013

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The Day My Mom Cried And Dad Couldn’t Make It Right

Reblogging . It seemed fitting for this month. It’s been 40 years since the house burned down Christmas Week. A long time and yet, only yesterday.
I Will Always Remember The 21st of December, 2015.

Sarah's Attic Of Treasures

I Will Always Remember The 21ST. Of December 1975.
It was a beautiful Sunday morning in the country. Crisp and chilly but not too cold. Dad had the fires going throughout the house so it was warm when Donna and I got up to go to church. I was 17 years old and I was teaching the nursery class in Sunday School. Donna was 5 years younger than me. She loved Sunday School. I don’t remember why my parents didn’t go that Sunday and if they didn’t go my brother (16) certainly wasn’t going to go.
I do remember that we had our Christmas Program that night at 7PM. I was the narrator. Mom had made me a beautiful long dress to wear. I Had  already  been given that gift and a brand new pair of shoes the night before.
We all had spent a wonderful evening the night before in…

View original post 1,084 more words

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Buster Island Paddle Trail Concept[1] – May 17 2012 To Dedication Ceremony , November 14 2015 Lake Kissimmee State Park

From Start To Finish, Danny and I were there.

Initial Planning For The Paddle / Waterway Trail System May 17. 2011 Danny and I. Erik Our Biologist, And Bill Redmond and friend checking Out The New Boardwalk, Gangway and Kayak Launch. Where to launch? Primitive Camping Sites For It.
Initial Planning For The Paddle / Waterway Trail System May 17. 2011 Danny and I. Erik Our Biologist, And Bill Redmon Tom McLaulin
Checking Out The New Boardwalk, Gangway and Kayak Launch. Where to launch? Primitive Camping Sites
Looking At Zipprer Canal Out to Lake Rosilie
Looking At Zipprer Canal Out to Lake Rosilie
Decisions
Decisions   Danny And Bill.
Talking About Access To The Primitive Camp Sites
Talking About Access To The Primitive Camp Sites
Checking Out The Recently Built, Boardwalk, Gangway and Kayak Launch. Danny's huge project.
Checking Out The Recently Built, Boardwalk, Gangway and Kayak Launch.
Danny’s huge project.

All the pictures off the Kodak thru May 17th 875All the pictures off the Kodak thru May 17th 876

Looking At the New Kayak Launch
Looking At the New Kayak Launch

We hadn’t put the handicap seat in yet.

All the pictures off the Kodak thru May 17th 879All the pictures off the Kodak thru May 17th 881All the pictures off the Kodak thru May 17th 880Buster Island Paddle Trail Concept[1]
18693097

Buster Island Paddle Trail Concept[1]

Lake Kissimmee State Park

 

Buster Island Loop Paddle Trail

Concept

To develop an approximately 12 mile paddle trail that circumnavigates the Buster Island feature of the Lake Kissimmee State Park in Polk County, FL.

The trail would begin near the cow camp bridge and travel west through the Zipprer Canal to Lake Rosalie, from Lake Rosalie to Lake Tiger through Rosalie Creek, from Lake Tiger to Lake Kissimmee through Tiger Creek, and from Tiger Creek through Tiger Cove and the east end of the Zipprer Canal, ending in the Park’s marina.

Major Issues to be Overcome

  1. Maintaining a clear passageway through the weeds and grasses in the Zipprer Canal.
  2. Keeping Rosalie Creek navigatable for canoes and kayaks.
  3. Creating a resting point approximately ½ way along the trail (Tiger Lake).
  4. Developing a suitable boat launch site on the west side of the weir structure.
  5. Appropriate signage.
  6. Getting the trail listed as an official Florida Blueway.
  7. The mixed boating traffic of motorized fishing boats, airboats, canoes and kayaks

Alliances to be formed

  1. Lake Kissimmee State Park as Trail Steward
  2. Polk County for aquatic weed control
  3. FWC for traffic issues
  4. DEP for any environmental and easement issues
  5. South Florida Water Management District for the water level in the canal
  6. Florida Paddling Trails Association for fundraising and volunteer leadership

Initial Personnel Involved in Leadership

  • Danny Holt, LKSP — Danny.Holt@dep.state.fl.us
  • Tom McLaulin, FPTA — tmclaulin@floridapaddlingtrails.com
  • Bill Redmon, FPTA — bill@wildcreekadventures.com

Buster Island Paddle Trail Concept[1]
Paddling Logo
Not a Concept anymore: We are in the MIDDLE OF THE STATE = Buster Island Loop

  • The Office of Greenways and Trails will celebrate the designation of the 11-mile Buster Island Loop Paddling Trail at Lake Kissimmee State Park on Saturday, November 14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Buster Island Loop Trail is the 53rd designated paddling trail and the latest addition to Florida’s Greenways and Trails System. Enjoy a guided paddling trip and a picnic with entertainment by local musicians.

http://www.dep.state.fl.us/gwt/Community_Calendar/default.htm

Buster Island State Paddling Trail Celebration Event Lake Kissimmee State Park

Saturday, November 14, 2015 – 10:00am to 2:00pm EST

Regular park entry fees apply.

More Information:
Andi Henry 863-696-1112 or Andrea.Henry@dep.state.fl.us
Located in the Central region at:
Lake Kissimmee State Park
14248 Camp Mack Rd.
Lake Wales , FL 33898

Celebrate the designation of the Buster Island Loop Trail at Lake Kissimmee State Park as an official State paddling trail.  Bring a picnic, canoe or kayak and your camera to capture the fun!  Expect a good turnout from other local paddlers and those who love the park. A short walk to the historic ‘Cow Camp’ will highlight cowboy history.  Paddlers may join an interesting nature tour on the Zipprer Canal with Park Ranger, Andi Henry. There are rentals available from the marina and the trip is suitable for beginners.  After a picnic lunch, the park’s biologist will share surprises about the wildlife and habitat of the area.   Experienced paddlers are welcome to do the whole 11-mile loop in the afternoon.  There will be a new map guide available and a story map online for a ‘virtual tour’ of the trail.

We encourage musicians to bring their instruments and join an acoustic jam as background music during a picnic lunch.

The tentative schedule is as follows.

  • 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. – Visit Cow Camp
  • 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Guided paddling tour of Zipprer Canal with Park Ranger Andi Henry
  • 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. – Picnic at the observation tower and wildlife talk with Park Biologist

Cow Camp Lake Kissimmee State Park

1876 Cow Camp , Cowboys and Horse

Saturday, November 14, 2015 – 9:30am to 4:30pm EST

Free with regular park admission

More Information:
Park Service Specialist Andrea Henry 863-696-1112 or andrea.Henry@dep.state.fl.us
Located in the Central region at:
Lake Kissimmee State Park
14248 Camp Mack Rd.
Lake Wales , FL 33898

As you meander down the trail to the cow camp, you will travel back in time to 1876.

At the end of the trail you will find a Florida Cow Hunter in a frontier camp along the route of a cattle drive. He will be cooking, making coffee, tending to the cattle or just resting up until the next round up or drive. The cow hunter will be happy to share stories about what his life is like and the challenges he faces.

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I Am Thankful For My Bobby Moments

I was just finishing a post for this morning.
I have been up all night. Hurting. I was hoping to make it through today and tomorrow …then crashing on Sunday…..

I won’t be going in this morning.
They really don’t need me there. I was just going to be checking out the last minutes details for the Event.

I know it isn’t necessary. I have done it all already.

So I am staying home today.
Staying off my ankle as much as possible/

So I can be there Saturday for The Grand Opening Event.
I have borrowed a good camera to take photos all day.

Anyway, I was still feeling a bit sorry for myself.
Until I happened to glance at my Number Of Followers.
I have gotten use to the ups and downs of it.  At least the get a few , then a loose a few.
So I don’t pay quite as much attention to it any more.

Tonight I did.
717.
Bobby was born on 7- 17.
7:17 PM
Weighing 7 pounds 11 ounces.
I was in room 17.
He loved the numbers 7 and 17.

A silly thing to make me smile. Nothing special.
I love those moments.

My Bobby Moments.17173_1126358619621_1846842042_234280_8216499_n
577654_3288674184704_1503191236_32294040_1111595008_n (1)

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The Story Behind The Photo


I post photos of me all the time. Selfies of me working or just sitting in my recliner. I post pics of Danny and I.
I have never minded being photographed until the last 2 years when I started to gain weight – a lot of it.
I do wish I had more photos of Danny and I in the last 2 years.

There was one time though when a photo of me went VIRAL all over Facebook and on the internet.

It was meant as a gift but before I even saw it, thousand of others had and had SHARED it ALL OVER.

At first I was stunned. Then I felt invaded. Stripped.
I wasn’t sharing my life on a blog as I do now. I was still in the first stages of grief.

After awhile…..After I calmed down. I saw what they saw. A women who looked happy on the surface but whose eyes told a different story.

Most of the people who shared it never even realized that it was a personal photo and hadn’t be intended for anyone but me to see.

What is the picture in question:

Behind My Smile
Behind My Smile

The Story Behind the photo.
Danny and I had been busy all week at the park. It was Spring Break and we were Filled to Overflowing.
We were tired but happy.
This took place on a Sunday Afternoon.

We had interacted with campers all week.
visiting with them while working. Seeing them while we clean bathhouses and filled toilet paper.
We’d answered questions and gave directions.

We were also needing a break.
Danny and I were checking on the campground around noon or a little after.
We got stopped and a guy we had talked to asked us if we could help them with their electric.

Of course we did.
I was excited because they were with a huge group and one of them had a TINY HOME.

I’d been eyeing it all weekend. So had Danny.

Danny went to work on the electric and I asked of I could get a little closer look at the house.
I not only got a closer look but we got a tour of it,

893280_480913165309214_1483076517_oThis is the original photo.

It took awhile for me to realize that it was actually an honor for me to be in such a photo that thousands of people connected with.

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Our Neck Of The Woods

Check Out The Early Cracker House Photos. Before The Restoration. We {as in Danny and I)DID the WORK with lot’s of help.

There are a number of new readers here who are asking me all sorts of Questions About Our Neck Of The Woods and What It has to do with Sarah’s Attic Of Treasures.
SAOT’S Is Filled with Everything I Love.
Well, Our Neck Of The Woods Is Where I Show Everything I DO At Home And At Lake Kissimmee State Park. It is where Danny and I live, work, play and love. It IS US . Therefore It has everything to do With SAOT’S.

There’s been a lot of confusion here about where Danny and I live and work. It’s is a bit complicated. I talk about us working at Lake Kissimmee State Park , Rolling Meadows Ranch and even at Allen David Broussard Catfish Creek Preserve State Park. I also mention Catfish Creek ,the Creek. I mention living at the park and RMR .

So here’s a bit of the story:
In  November 2006, I moved to Florida from Colorado. Danny and I moved out of the house his Dad had built when he was a child. He lived in Haynes City all of his life. We bought a 5th Wheel and moved to Camp Mack Fishing Camp…..Camp Mack Road, Lake Wales. It’s right across from Lake Kissimmee State Park. Danny was working at Bok Tower Gardens at the time.

February 1, 2007, Danny got a job as a Park Ranger at Lake Kissimmee State Park (LKSP) I started volunteering right away although not full time.   On August 4, 2007, we moved the RV across the street to LKSP and lived in what is called Day Use Area. I was Campground and Day Use  Host….Among many other things.  FULL TIME and then some. We lived there until December 2008.

DSCN7523 DSCN7501 DSCN7503

We moved over to Rolling Meadows Ranch.  (3 miles from the Ranger Station) It was a SOD FARM till the state took it over 6 years before. The Sod people totally moved out January 4, 2009. We remained in the RV until the Cracker House was Gutted and remodeled.
The Dining room
Kitchen10 Kitchen 11 Kitchen 9 4 Cracker House First Pictures- Back Door Kitchen 1st pictures-Dining room - LR and Porch 1st Pictures Old French Doors 1st pictures LR - DR 1st Pictures- Kitchen 1st Pictures -Kitchen 2

the island between the main part of the kitchen and the Break Nook.
the island between the main part of the kitchen and the Break Nook.

1 Cracker House- Front Porch and Master Bedroom- our 1st house- 041 our 1st house- 038

(Part of the kitchen was left as it was. (I wanted the CABINETS.) We worked on the house for  almost 4 years. We moved into the Cracker House and out of the RV in September 2011. It was not totally finish. Not by a long shot. We also needed the RV to cook in, etc. for months.

Home

Home
The Road Home...Collier Farm Drive and The Pastures

Lake Kissimmee State Park manages Rolling Meadows Ranch.  LKSP also Manages Allen David Broussard Catfish Creek Preserve State Park (CCPSP) or Catfish Creek. LKSP also manages a place called Money Tree and  a few other tracks of land. Lake Kissimmee State Park also leases pasture land. All the pastures seen from LKSP to RMR on both sides of the road belong to LKSP. Rolling Meadows Ranch connects to CCPSP. So LKSP has almost 20,000 areas to manage.   Rolling Meadows Ranch is the largest of the 3. It’s where we take our NIGHTLY DRIVES that I talk about. It’s more of our Evening Rides because we usually get home around Dark.

Catfish Creek runs through CCPSP and RMR. I’m usually speaking of RMR’S Section of it. SO HAVE I TOTALLY CONFUSED YOU?  It takes time to fully understand all we do.

From Sarah: There are pictures in the original post on Sarah’s Attic Of Treasures.

This is from my Our Neck Of The Woods Facebook Page

. Our Life. Lake Kissimmee State Park, Rolling Meadows Ranch and Allen David Broussard Catfish Creek Preserve State Park, Lake Wales, Florida. Where we work, live, play, cry and most of all Love each other.. Come and sit a spell.

Danny and I share so much laughter and tears here, working and living here as we do. I needed a place to start downloading  pictures I have taken over the years here. I need to write about them. I spend so much time wishing I was still living in Colorado that I forget what I have here. We really have a great life. I’m praying that once we finally get into the Cracker House things will get better

UPDATE

We are in the remodeled State Cracker House and it is better, although there are times I miss the RV. We lived it in for 5 years. It was home. It WAS OURS…..I am also posting about Country Life in General and Florida in particular.

In Conclusion :

Danny is a park ranger at Lake Kissimmee State Park. I volunteer there. I am a former teacher who misses being around kids. I am mom who lost her only son, Bobby 9 years ago. I am a wife. I need to find me again. “Our Neck of the Woods” refers mostly to Rolling Meadows Ranch, were we live. It joins Lake Kissimmee State Park, on one side and Allen David Broussard’s Catfish Creek Preserve State Park on the other. We work mostly at LK and RM. RM was a working sod farm until 6 years ago. Before that it was a tomato farm. We now have a herd of cows roaming on part of it. It is also part of a couple of huge restoration projects. It can be a busy place. Yet, usually all we see are the animals that roam freely in our yard.

This page or blog is for my personal use and those of the friends who may visit here. It is not part Of Lake Kissimmee State Park. It is not connected with it in any way other other than that of a couple who live and work there. The views and opinions expressed are my own and have no bearing to the park itself.

Source: Our Neck Of The Woods

https://www.facebook.com/notes/sarahs-attic-of-treasures/where-danny-and-i-live-and-worklaugh-and-play-love-each-other/407786782628771

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Chit Chat…… Friday, August 28, 2015

Chit Chat:


I had a fellow blogger tell me he wanted some “chit chat”.
That certainly made my day.
So what is chit chat anyway?
Google Search:

“chit·chat
ˈCHitˌCHat/
informal
noun
noun: chit-chat
  1. 1.
    inconsequential conversation.
    synonyms: small talk, chatter, gossip, chat, chatting, prattle

    “we ran into each other at the pharmacy and had a little chitchat”
verb
verb: chit-chat
  1. 1.
    talk about trivial matters.

    “I can’t stand around chitchatting” ”

    Once I stopped laughing and thought about what to write MY MIND WENT BLANK.
    Chit Chat?
    I couldn’t think of anything to GOSSIP about.

    Small Talk?

    Ok, Let’s try this…..
    I don’t know where all I mentioned it but Danny says we had 5 inches of rain the day before last. Or was it 2 days ago? They all run together.
    89a42-dsc01917
    Anyway, Rolling Meadows is flooded.
    Lake Kissimmee State Park only got an inch.
    We are only 3 miles from the Park Entrance and the Ranger Station.

    I just finished watching Season One Of Cedar Cove.
    Now if only I could get the rest of the seasons.
    I read the whole series of books by Debbie Macomber a long time ago.
    Then when I saw that BB was going to be in it I couldn’t wait to watch it.
    It just came on on Netflix – DVD’S

    Cedar Cove
    Cedar Cove

    Want to know a secret? I love Bruce Boxleitner.
    DSCN3919 DSCN3920 I started watching him on
    Our The West Was Won.


    B.B. How The West Was Won

    Then I watched
    Scarecrow and Mrs King.

    My favorite role was Down The Long Hills – Louis L’Amour 

    Yes, I had a crush on him.
    Do I still? YEPPERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Had enough Chit Chat?

    For Scott Only:
    https://kc7bsy.wordpress.com/
    Thanks Scott.
    Smiling.

    Danny should be here soon.
    I am in better spirits.
    I got some much needed sleep.
    Not very long but every little bit helps.
    Happy Friday.
    Love From Our Neck Of The Woods
    Sarah

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Drives, Road Trips And Memories – The Great River Road (Illinois) Grafton and Alton. Part 1

What do the words “Road Trips” mean to you?


I can’t stop thinking of road trips.

I miss those carefree days when I was young and our family went on vacations. Scenic vacations.
I will write a post on Route 66. It was a huge part of my childhood and teen years

Route 66 runs from Chicago to Los Angeles.
My drives and road trips after I turned 16. I never took the same road 2xs in a row if I didn’t have to. This post will cover some of those.
I will write a post on driving to Colorado  from Illinois with a girlfriend when we were 16 years old.
Of traveling with Bobby from Illinois to Colorado or Colorado to Illinois.
Road trips with Bobby and his cousins, Mike and Leah.
With Bobby, Kari and Alex.
With my dad, Bobby and I.
So Many awesome memories.
Since Bobby died and I moved to Florida , those road trips stopped. With the exception of 2.
A spur of the moment road trip driving with Karen from Texas to Illinois and then to Kansas in January 2007.
Taking Greyhound back home for mom’s memorial service and Thanksgiving last year. 2014.

To me they mean getting in the Fiat (The Blue Goose) at 17 and heading out for a nightly ride on The Great River Road.

Around 17 here
Around 14 here


http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/byways/Uploads/asset_files/000/015/726/River_road.jpgThe Great River Road Between Grafton And Elsah, Illinois.

“Old Man River, Father of Waters, “body of a nation,” Big Muddy—by any name the mighty Mississippi cuts a mythic figure across the American landscape.”

Old Man River Lyrics

Music Video

“Old Man River” was written by Butler, Herbert/givens, Otha Lee/johnson, Tony Lee /

Here we all work ‘long the Mississippi

Here we all work, while the white boys play
Gettin’ no rest from the dawn till the sunset
Gettin’ no rest till the judgment day

You don’t look up, you don’t look down
You don’t dare make the rich boss frown
Bend your knees and bow your head
And tote that barge until you’re dead

Let me go away from the Mississippi
Let me go away from the rich man boss
Show me that stream called the River of Jordan
That’s the old stream that I long to cross

Old Man River, Old Man River
He don’t say nothin’, he must know somethin’
Old Man River, he just keeps rollin’ along

You know, you know he don’t plant taters
And we all know the man don’t plant no cotton
And then, then they plant ’em
Oh the Lord knows they are soon forgotten
But Old Man River, he just keeps rollin’ along

You, you and me, you know sometimes
We have to we have to sweat, sweat and strain
Our bodies, our bodies are all achin’
And wracked with a whole lot of pain

Tote that barge, lift that bale, you get a little drunk
And you land in jail

I get weary and so sick of tryin’
I’m tired of livin’, and afraid of dyin’
But Old Man River, he just keeps rollin’ ahttps://youtu.be/eh9WayN7R-s
Old Man River, he just keeps rollin’ along

Songwriters
BUTLER, HERBERT/GIVENS, OTHA LEE/JOHNSON, TONY LEE /Paul Robeson – Old Man River Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Old Man River Song…. Paul Robinson Showboat.
My dad loved to sing this song……Usually the first song he would sing when we went camping…..

Grafton and Elsah

I love my hometown of Grafton, Illinois. To be honest, If It wouldn’t have been so hot and humid there in the summertime and cold and damp in the winter , I probably would never have left it to move to Colorado.
I would have just gone to Colorado , every chance I had.
I would probably still be there, On the farm…..In my parent’s house.
I loved farm life. But that is another story.
Illinois is beautiful. Roads that go on and on forever. Crisscrossing  like they DON’T DO In Florida Or Even Colorado.

Leaving the farm and just driving.

Farm Life
Farm Life I’ve posted these just last week in mom’s memorial post. Mom and Donna and my rabbits. Above, Me with Cisco and Ralphie Jr.

Mom and dad learned early on that this was the best way for me to relax if I wasn’t reading.
I had the car. I bought it right after I got my license. The day after my 16th birthday. Although, I had a license to drive farm equipment since I was 14.
I bought my own gas and insurance. 

It means having the top down more times than not, radio on  or an 8  track of Elvis playing. 

ELVIS PRESLEY At Madison Garden ~ 1972 Eight Track Tape Elvis Presley
I would listen to Elvis singing Memphis Tennessee over and over again.

Another song I would listen to over and over again was :
“River Road By Crystal Gayle
Here I go once again with my suitcase in my hand
And I’m running away down River Road
And I swear, once again, that I’m never coming home
Yes, I’m chasing my dreams down River Road

Mama said, “Listen child, you’re too old to run wild
You’re too big to be fishin’ with the boys these days”
So I grabbed some clothes and I ran
Stole five dollars from a sugar can
A twelve year old jail breaker runnin’ away

Here I go once again with my suitcase in my hand
And I’m running away down River Road
And I swear, once again, that I’m never coming home
I’m chasing my dreams down River Road

Well, I married a pretty good man and he tries to understand
But he knows I’ve got leavin’ on my mind these days
When I get that urge to roam I’m just like a kid again
The same old jail breaker runnin’ away

Here I go once again with my suitcase in my hand
And I’m running away down River Road
And I swear, once again, that I’m never coming home
I’m chasing my dreams down River Road”

Bobby grew up listening to the songs I loved . We would sing them together. 577654_3288674184704_1503191236_32294040_1111595008_n (1)
Bobby and I 1981.

The photos of us were taken one year at Royal Gorge. His cousins were visiting and I had promised to take everyone there. It was one of the few hot summer days Colorado had that year. In the 90's. No humidity though.
The photo of us was taken one year at Royal Gorge. His cousins were visiting and I had promised to take everyone there.
It was one of the few hot summer days Colorado had that year. In the 90’s. No humidity though.
Bobby, Mike and Leah
Bobby, Mike and Leah Cascade Colorado- Bobby 4, Mike 3 and Leah 2. 1984
My kids
My kids

My kids. I thought of them that way. They were almost always together for the first  5 years of their lives. More like brother’s and sister than cousins.

Grafton and Elsah
“Located at the confluence of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers, and stretching out for approximately two miles along the Illinois River, is the picturesque river town of Grafton. Founded in 1832 by James Mason, Grafton is the oldest town in Jersey County. Described as a “post office, one store, one tavern, and a number of families” in 1834, the area was being settled as early as 1812 when a blockhouse was built at the confluence for protection.”

http://www.greatriverroad.com/cities/grafton/graftonCover.htm
I usually headed to Grafton and then turn left on the River Road to Elsah. Then down the unpaved road there (it is paved now) and on out to 100. (highway 100) and home. A short drive.
Grafton and Elsah
http://www.greatriverroad.com/cities/Elsah/elsahCover.htm


http://www.elsah.org/


“Built in 1858 this home was for many years the home of the village butcher and fisherman, Issac Haupt. The stone part of the structure was built as a two-room house with an outside stair to the second floor. The frame portion on the right was added in the 1890s. Then in the 1940s the house was modernized by adding an inside stair, living room fireplace, bathrooms, and oak flooring over the old random width pine boards in the living and dining rooms.”

The Buggy Shop : “John Reintges erected the wagon shop in the summer of 1877. Although there have been, some changes, particularly in the front, the buggy shop is one of the buildings that gives Elsah its quaint flavor. You can still read the lettering painted across the gable end of the shop “Wagons and Buggies Made and Repaired.”

Or I would head further down the road to a little road shortly before you reached Alton and the Piasa Bird.

The down 100 and home. There was an old bridge back then….They took it out years ago.
For the longer drives (Usually during the day) I would turn right in Grafton and head West Towards Hardin.

“Some of the region’s most dramatic scenery is nestled along a winding road north of Alton, Illinois. Drive along the Great River Road with the Mississippi River on one side and soaring limestone bluffs on the other. The bluffs, noted in the journals of 17th-century explorers Marquette and Joliet, sheltered the fierce Piasa Bird of Native American legend. Just north of Alton, you’ll find an image of the serpent-like bird painted on the limestone cliffs. Enjoy antique hunting in Alton and charming Grafton to the north. Picnic beside the river, bike on the trail under the bluffs or explore the grounds of Pere Marquette State Park and its classic log lodge.

Cross the Mississippi or Illinois rivers on one of four ferries at Kampsville, Grafton, Brussels and Winfield or stop in the Center for American Archeology in Kampsville to learn more about the region’s prehistoric heritage. On the way back to St. Louis, visit the Argosy Casino Alton or stop in the National Great Rivers Museum at the Melvin Price Locks and Dam. Learn about the Corps of Discovery at the Lewis & Clark State Historic Site in Hartford, Illinois, located at the site of the explorers’ Camp Dubois.”

http://explorestlouis.com/visit-explore/discover/day-trips-excursions/great-river-road/

Sometimes, my sister, Donna (5 years younger would tag along).

I have so many memories that I can’t wait to share.
Until Next Time:
Sarah
It was one of those times I felt like signing as Debbie.
Love you all.

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Special Mom and Son Moments Together: Memories # 1

“Mom, You are going to marry that man and I will give you away”.

Early Pictures With Danny (97)“Mom, You are going to marry that man and I will give you away”.

Bobby 2004
Bobby 2004

Bobby  came over to the house for supper one night.
I fixed a favorite of his. Brats.
We were just having fun in the kitchen when the phone rang. Bobby answered it.
It was Danny. I could tell by the way Bobby was talking to whomever  on the phone. Next thing I knew, Bobby hung up the phone before I could grab it from him,
“Danny said he will call you later”. A few minutes went by. Bobby was very quiet.
That was not unusual. What was unusual was  the huge grin starting to show on his face.
“Mom? ” |
” What Bob”.
“Your are going to marry that man”.
Well, that certainly got my attention.
“I’m going to what..?….Danny hasn’t asked me to marry him?”

I don't have many of the thousand of photos I used to have of Bobby. This one was one day when he came by for a visit because he's promised to. He was so tired. 2005
I don’t have many of the thousand of photos I used to have of Bobby. This one was one day when he came by for a visit because he’s promised to. He was so tired.
2005

He didn’t answer that and I let it go.
Then he grinned again:
“And I am going to give you away…..”

Until Danny came along the year before this:
Bobby and I had never talked about my ever marrying. At least not since the usual childhood talks we had had  about why I wasn’t married and never dated anyone.

I had long since stopped dreaming about getting married and having my dad give me away.
Lately though, getting married had crossed my mind. So had my dad walking me down the island.
Yes, I had been thinking about it. We were headed that way.
I just knew it.

Danny had been talking about my moving to Florida permanently. He also knew I would never move in with him. 577654_3288674184704_1503191236_32294040_1111595008_n (1)

To get back to the actual conversation
I said something about my dad doing the honor.
Bobby said it was his place. It was his job  to protect me.
Yes, Bobby would be the one giving me away.

I had raised an awesome son.

The photos of us were taken one year at Royal Gorge. His cousins were visiting and I had promised to take everyone there. It was one of the few hot summer days Colorado had that year. In the 90's. No humidity though.
The photos of us were taken one year at Royal Gorge. His cousins were visiting and I had promised to take everyone there.
It was one of the few hot summer days Colorado had that year. In the 90’s. No humidity though.

Love you Bobby.

Featured

TRAINS

Is there anyone out there that doesn’t like trains?
I miss seeing them. Wondering where they are going? Their stories? I want to travel where they travel.

SERENDIPITY

ON THE WAY – WEEKLY PHOTO PROMPT

My son took these pictures on a slow, rainy train journey through the swamps and woods of the Blackstone Valley. They have lain here, in my files, waiting for a time to properly present them. A little processing to make them more painterly … and they are ready.

72-OK-OIL-Train_8

72-OK-OIL-Train_37

72-OK-OIL-Train_39

The tracks are old and narrow and the train, which runs once a week and goes from one yard to another, never exceeds five miles per hour.

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Tuna and Macaroni Salad

The only thing I know I would do differently is use the whole egg. I am an egg yolk person.
This salad looks awesome.

The McCallum's Shamrock Patch

Tuna and Macaroni SaladTuna and Macaroni Salad is a simple, fresh tasting and budget friendly recipe we have made over the years in my household. Solid white albacore tuna, al dente macaroni, hardboiled egg whites, diced red onions, fresh parsley, sliced dill gherkins pickles, mayonnaise and a hint of freshly squeezed lemon juice make this Summer salad a winning combination for your next cookout.

View original post 461 more words

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Be Our Guest!

I am in awe of this room.
From The Post Itself.
“She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness”
Proverbs‬ ‭31‬:‭26-27

Don’t you look forward to a little get away? I always love it when I arrive somewhere and it feels inviting! Whether it be a fabulous resort or someone’s home, the atmosphere can just announce “Welcome-we have been expecting you!!!” We all have overnight guests in our homes at some time or the other…so, how do we extend a warm welcome and make them feel comfortable during their time with us? I have often read that you should sleep in your guest room(s) to make sure that everything is inviting and that all the creature comforts have been provided! This guest room is small with only a twin bed, but there is a large writing desk and chair that provides a great place to read and relax! Come take a look…we invite you to be our guest!!
rpt….

Everyday Living

 “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness”
Proverbs‬ ‭31‬:‭26-27

Don’t you look forward to a little get away?  I always love it when I arrive somewhere and it feels inviting!  Whether it be a fabulous resort or someone’s home, the atmosphere can just announce “Welcome-we have been expecting you!!!”  We all have overnight guests in our homes at some time or the other…so, how do we extend a warm welcome and make them feel comfortable during their time with us?  I have often read that you should sleep in your guest room(s) to make sure that everything is inviting and that all the creature comforts have been provided!  This guest room is small with only a twin bed, but there is a large writing desk and…

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Re-posted From Tish Farrell: A bench with many views and a windmill

From Sarah: Loved this post. Beautiful shots.

Tish Farrell

P1000684

P1000674

This bench is only a short walk from our house, although a bit of a steep haul up Windmill Hill. The windmill itself is quite a landmark in Much Wenlock, although much about its history, and how it looked when in use, remain to be discovered by the stalwart Windmill Trust whose members take care of it.

There is always something to see from this bench, quite apart from the views across Shropshire. Even the vegetation is interesting. It is a rare remnant of limestone meadow, and in late spring there will be cowslips and orchids here, wild thyme and primroses. Later there will be agrimony, giant  knapweed, St John’s Wort, yellow bedstraw and hare bells. Sometimes the miniature ponies graze here, all part and parcel of preserving the meadow.

100_6660

*

Recently some of us combined dog walking and watching the eclipse from here. And while we were doing that…

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A Different Kind Of Love

http://gwensmith.net/giveaway-a-different-kind-of-love/#comment-22275
Gwen Smith shares LEAH DIPASCAL with us.
LoveCapturesMyHeart-1024x845.jpg

 

Love it certainly is easy to find this time of year. Cleverly tucked within greeting cards. Showcased in romantic movies on the Hallmark Channel. And nestled within tiny velvet jewelry boxes.

I admit that kind of love is fun, exciting and makes me want to hug the person closest to me. But let’s be honest … that kind of love is also temporary. The greeting card eventually gets thrown away. The romantic movie comes to an end. The pretty jewelry tucked inside the velvet box … well, some of mine have actually tarnished.

So today, let’s talk about a different kind of love. One that is eternal, holy and filled with glory. A love so exciting it makes this advent season pulse with joy.

Love a holy ribbon woven throughout Scripture.

Beginning way before Genesis thoughts graced the stage of life. Reaching far beyond the final words in Revelation. A love that is always present. Love. Never. Ending.

Did you know that God is not just filled with love? God is love. And Christ is that holy ribbon who has always been and always will be. A ribbon of Love strung from eternity to eternity. A ribbon that pulls you close and holds you forever.

During the Advent season we anticipate the great celebration. Our hearts capture the brilliant moments Love takes on human form and the world becomes hopeful again. Love wrapped in infant flesh. Trading limitless space for a limited earthen place within the confines of a worn-out manger.

Love stooping low for us. Love bending its knee for you and me. For all mankind so that we can celebrate Advent season with wonder and awe as our soul rejoices in grace-strung freedom.

Beauty in the Surrender December 2, 2016 by Trish Cordell –

2016_OBS_Wait_and_see.png
Beauty in the Surrender December 2, 2016 by Trish Cordell – See more at: http://proverbs31.org/online-bible-studies/current-study/?utm_campaign=Wait+OBS&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=38533055&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-8n4Fqzw7IuifRq6KhOJHTRKpYQgmj-dJR1ax1L0hUvf64MvLH1yQdrF1X5O-mffYsyT5ECUW9J6INBAFh07RN84fTINQ&_hsmi=38533055#sthash.5Ln53Bsu.dpuf

We made it to Friday … Woo-hoo! And I just have to say, I love me some Friday. How about you? Sometimes the week flies right by. And other times it seems to go on and on.

2016_OBS_WS_SS_WEEK4_Chap7_Pg175_3.png

I have to admit, normally when my week is dragging out, it’s because I’m putting off something I know I need to get done … And that “thing” is there when I go to bed and when I wake up the next day. Oh, I try to “tuck it away” or bury the thought. But it keeps creeping back in until I finally surrender and just get ‘er done!

I’m guessing this isn’t only my battle, and maybe you also have a “thing” that won’t leave you be? Why do we do this to ourselves?!

Wendy Pope shares with us, in Chapter 7 of #WaitAndSee, about three “Uninvited Troublemakers” that can get in our way if we’re not aware of their presence:

  • Depression
  • Discouragement
  • Doubt

And we also find out, in Chapter 7, these “peace stealers” can rob us of the ability to keep moving forward. They can even interrupt our relationship with God.

– See more at: http://proverbs31.org/online-bible-studies/current-study/?utm_campaign=Wait+OBS&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=38533055&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-8n4Fqzw7IuifRq6KhOJHTRKpYQgmj-dJR1ax1L0hUvf64MvLH1yQdrF1X5O-mffYsyT5ECUW9J6INBAFh07RN84fTINQ&_hsmi=38533055#sthash.5Ln53Bsu.dpuf

Video

http://info.proverbs31.org/e1t/c/*W1m61Pw1w3X1wW4yJFJL2ZZj_k0/*W4K2GSS7Sqq0lW16TlCn92kw9S0/5/f18dQhb0S5fn8XJ91zW8ZRSvN2qwv2LMqlKGt6zkc7Mf5vKsXD6prW7cmS1s5tXjJhW62w2rB98vt0vN2-tW10FR7xFW90G7th8S3yR5VbY02S4s8d5cW5C9lQR2Vp6b4W7H6GHz5ZpycSW57-ZBT83C5JPW37RjV27NrMZsW3pcyGG2przrYN6W3RDgHd1gbMz74JcYSX-5W7m_B1R5c8d-SW378ffV5cJQ3cW25fcxF2j5ZV3W1xp4n55QsS3GW1qYFg_5bvXtVVN-FJZ86xMy7N3yTWjzGf_XnW2yz_R_51n9g1W8QztT93Mdr42W4FhbqP15_4FFN8rBD05fCNphW3Kk1693Jqkh7W3zqD9c5t4zh9W49kJ936fVSyWW1Q68w61MMh8vW7Z1QXc1r6xmnW3GCWQ53NGMhFW5xY1xh5y7J1NW714h8Q1nzB6HW8tLP3_3bgpLYW5qFLqh3mlgr-W8JDjCn1mHgdgW9lntQJ4L1Mm7N4HzlXm2GMh8111

Spread A Little Christmas Kindness This Year -Worshipful Living

http://worshipfulliving.com/2016/12/01/little-christmas-kindness/

Kindness goes a long way -, especially at Christmas time! It seems like there are tons of people who are down. They might have family that is far away from them at the holidays, recently lost a loved one, or it has just been a hard year. No matter what the case- a little kindness is always needed in our world.

Are you looking for some ways to spread a little Christmas Kindness this year? This calendar will help you be intentional with the kindness your spread!

I have determined that this year, we are going to have a kind Christmas. Not just a Christmas where we do things because it is the thing to do – but we are going to be intentional about showering those around us with kindness. We are going to really listen to those around us, and hear what they say. By taking time and listening, we will know the people we need to spread a little extra kindness to.

But, if you’re like me, sometimes, in order to be intentional about these things, you need a game plan. So, I came up with one. I want to be intentional and listen for those moments where God moves and prompts my heart to just go about and beyond. I also want to be sure that even if I am not listening, I have a game plan for being kind.

This calendar is super simple, but I truly hope that it will help you spread a little Christmas kindness to those you meet – and even those you have to be a little more purposeful in meeting – this year!
Mandy Kelly Of Worshipful Living

 

The Promise Of A Kingdom – Love God Greatly

http://lovegodgreatly.com/the-promise-of-a-kingdom/

The Promise Of A Kingdom – Love God Greatly

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When I think of that first Christmas night, it is hard to imagine that while Bethlehem was bursting with people, not one of them knew that in their midst, the Son of God was being born. The Word had become flesh, the Redeemer of the world had entered time. The only pomp and circumstance He received came from the angels singing over a field that night and a few smelly, rugged shepherds became privy to the good news that the Hope of the World had finally arrived.

While His arrival was mostly overlooked, the coming of this Christ-Child had been heralded over and over again all throughout the Old Testament.

It is easy to look at the Old Testament as a choppy collection of stories told to help us understand the history of God’s people. While we do learn a lot about the people of Israel, the Old Testament is primarily about Jesus. It is God meticulously orchestrating all things in such a way that would result in Mary marrying Joseph, the couple going to Bethlehem for the census, and Mary giving birth in a barn to the long awaited Savior, whose path would lead Him to the cross.

God gave promises and signs all along the way. Some of these promises were very subtle like in Genesis 3:15, and sometimes they were like a loud trumpet declaring to all that a Rescuer was on His way (Is. 9:6).

We already saw how God revealed that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2), that He would be born of a virgin, and that His name would be Immanuel because He is “God with us” (Is. 7:14). But even in 2 Samuel, in the middle of the story of David, God makes a promise that He is going to establish someone from the line of David on a throne that will last forever. It is a foreshadowing of the ultimate King whose kingdom will never crumble or be overthrown. This child, who was born to humble parents, in humble circumstances, is establishing a glorious kingdom on whose throne He will forever sit.

It is a kingdom that is characterized by peace, safety,  justice, love, worship, excitement, tranquility, and provision. The inhabitants of this kingdom will lack nothing and their joy will be made complete as they live with Jesus himself.

We are a part of this kingdom but only because the Son of God took on flesh and dwelt among us. This is one of the many truths we need to celebrate this Christmas season.

Looking to Jesus,

 

12 Days of Christmas Activity Book

 Free for Subscribers:

12 Days of Christmas Activity Book

Affiliate LinksEach year my kids love to sing the song, The 12 Days of Christmas, throughout the month of December over and over again. We truly do enjoy singing this silly song together and sometimes one of us sits down to play it on the piano while everyone else sings!

12 days of Christmas activity book, 12 days of Christmas activity, 12 days of Christmas, Christmas Activity Book, Christmas Activity

If your kids love this song as much as mine do, I’m sure they will love working on their penmanship, counting and more with this fun filled 12 Days of Christmas Activity Book!

To receive this 12 Days of Christmas Activity Book freebie you MUST sign up to receive our emails below.

Be sure to check your spam for the freebie. It will be coming from misty@yearroundhomeschooling.com

Email sent! Please check your inbox for the download link.

 

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Get Festive at Florida State Parks!

https://www.floridastateparks.org/content/festival-lights-2016

Get Festive at Florida State Parks!

Stephen Foster light displays

‘Tis the season to explore the outdoors! From cozy cabin stays to walks on the beach, winter is fun in both chilly North Florida and sunny South Florida. Florida State Parks statewide will host holiday events such as historic home toursgreenery workshops, caroling events and more!

Join us for holiday traditions we love, such as Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park’s Festival of Lights. Named a Top 20 Event in the Southeastern United States, this light display runs from Dec. 2 to Dec. 24, 2016. See colorful holiday lights, a gingerbread village and candy cane forest, Santa’s workshop and more while enjoying this historic park in White Springs, Florida!

See all seasonal and holiday events in December and find your Winter Wonderland in Florida State Parks.

This month at State Parks, Trails and Historic Sites

 

 

 

Christmas Energy Bites

http://www.groundedandsurrounded.com/
http://www.groundedandsurrounded.com/recipe/christmas-energy-bites/

Christmas Energy Bites by Grounded And Surrounded

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What can I say?

I love creating, eating, and dreaming about energy bites!

These 6 Ingredient Christmas Energy Bites are no exception.

 

This recipe was created for my son’s Kindergarten Christmas party last year. I volunteered to bring a treat and wanted something festive, but the sugar cookie and fruit/veggie slots were already taken.

What was a mildly creative and holiday-themed foodie obsessed mom to do?

Well after an “aha moment” I found a bag of half-eaten (whoopsies, I’m neither confirming nor denying this…) Christmas M&Ms and added a few of them to whole food ingredients to make a “healthier” treat for the kiddos!

Ginger Lemon Chicken Soup

http://highlandsranchfoodie.com/2016/02/ginger-lemon-chicken-soup/#.WDIP7stOnqB

Highlands Ranch Foodie 

Colorado Cooking

Lemon Chicken Soup

I truly believe that this soup is perfect in every way. Delicately flavored broth with ginger, bay leaf and garlic. Carrot, celery, onions are brightened with lemon zest. Tender chicken that soaks up every bit of that flavor…and the rest is perfect and elegant history. 

Let Go of Holiday Guilt: Stress-Free Advent for Families

http://faithalongtheway.com/stress-free-advent-for-families/

Faith Along The Way : Sarah Ann

Stress Free Advent For Families

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The last thing we all need during the holidays is one more thing to add to the to-do list, right? I don’t know about you, but I’m heading into the holidays already feeling a bit frayed and frazzled.

Don’t get me wrong, I want to be the mom who does all of the fun things – the cotton ball crafts, the handmade Christmas ornaments, the sugar cookies from scratch – and especially the mom who does the important things, too, like teaching our children why we celebrate Christ’s birth.

What mama doesn’t want to give her kids a good Christmas?

But there are only so many hours in a day, and I’m weary of this holiday guilt before we’ve even really begun!

Honestly, until a few years ago, we had never really attempted any kind of advent for families other than reading the Christmas story from the Bible, mostly because I knew my perfectionist tendencies would make it a burden rather than a blessing, a duty rather than a delight.

After all, I’m a professional at making lists and checking off boxes, but I also find lists and boxes stressful because, let’s be honest, how often do we create a list of things to do today that will really take an entire week to complete? 🙂

So, if the program of advent for families involves daily activities, I’m bound to get behind at some point: cue the holiday guilt.

Here’s the thing about guilt, friends – it is counter-productive. Guilt doesn’t motivate; rather it incapacitates. The enemy knows this all too well, and he is a master manipulator, the king of guilt-inducing thoughts, man-made rules, and unrealistic expectations.

Aren’t you weary of guilt smothering your joy?

Me, too.

Yes, I want to teach my children about Christ’s birth and our family traditions, but not at the expense of experiencing Christmas joy.

When my friend introduced me to the Christmas Adventure Box – simple, stress-free advent for families – I knew it was the solution to my frustration.

Florida’s Stone Crab Season

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October 15 marked the opening day of Florida’s stone crab season!

If you can handle the sticker shock (one pound [about 5-6 medium/large claws] at the fish market seems to be going for about $25-27 right now) you’re in for a treat. This year I had a tough time finding them that first weekend because it was still a little early, and traps hadn’t been in the water very long.  I was getting nervous because I was writing a blog post about them for Visit Sarasota County and had to get my hands on some claws in order to meet my deadline! So I reached out to my local “crab connections” (don’t you all have those?) and found some beauties.

If you’re new to the stone crab phenomenon, here are NINE things you might like to know:

1) In Florida, stone crabs are harvested October 15 through May 15.
2) Harvesters (commercial & recreational) typically use baited traps, and each have their own identifiable floats at the surface.
3) Commercial crabbers might put out as many as several thousand traps each year; recreational anglers are allowed 5 traps (with a license, of course).
4) Unlike other crab harvesting methods, stone crabbers remove only one approved-size claw from each crab, then they return the crab to the water. An adult crab will regenerates its claw after about 1 year and, within 3 years, it will have regained about 95% of its original claw size. The process is carefully managed by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, to ensure longevity of the species.
5) Many commercial fishermen cook the claws on their boats after harvesting — it not only ensures freshness, but also reduces the possibility of meat sticking to shells.  When cooked, they take on that beautiful red-orange color.
6) Stone crab has white, flaky meat that’s sweet, tender and oh-so-delicious.
7) Most seasoned crab eaters will tell you that the best way to enjoy them is cold, but you can also enjoy them slightly warmed.
8) Once you crack open the shell, you can devour the meat all by itself OR dip it into a sauce — the classic, must-have is mustard sauce, but drawn butter runs a close second.
9) Cracking them open doesn’t require heavy tools like a hammer or a fancy crab-cracking device. Nope. A sturdy kitchen spoon achieves great results, with moderate shell fragments in your kitchen (although, it’s probably best to take the operation outside). Simply lay each claw in the palm of your hand then rap the shell firmly with the back of the spoon – one, two or three times should do it. This fractures the shell into a couple of large pieces (as opposed to smashing it to smithereens) then you should be able to pull out the meat easily. The knuckle also has lots of meat, so be sure to use the spoon to crack that as well.

If you can handle the sticker shock (one pound [about 5-6 medium/large claws] at the fish market seems to be going for about $25-27 right now) you’re in for a treat. This year I had a tough time finding them that first weekend because it was still a little early, and traps hadn’t been in the water very long.  I was getting nervous because I was writing a blog post about them for Visit Sarasota County and had to get my hands on some claws in order to meet my deadline! So I reached out to my local “crab connections” (don’t you all have those?) and found some beauties.

If you’re new to the stone crab phenomenon, here are NINE things you might like to know:

1) In Florida, stone crabs are harvested October 15 through May 15.
2) Harvesters (commercial & recreational) typically use baited traps, and each have their own identifiable floats at the surface.
3) Commercial crabbers might put out as many as several thousand traps each year; recreational anglers are allowed 5 traps (with a license, of course).
4) Unlike other crab harvesting methods, stone crabbers remove only one approved-size claw from each crab, then they return the crab to the water. An adult crab will regenerates its claw after about 1 year and, within 3 years, it will have regained about 95% of its original claw size. The process is carefully managed by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, to ensure longevity of the species.
5) Many commercial fishermen cook the claws on their boats after harvesting — it not only ensures freshness, but also reduces the possibility of meat sticking to shells.  When cooked, they take on that beautiful red-orange color.
6) Stone crab has white, flaky meat that’s sweet, tender and oh-so-delicious.
7) Most seasoned crab eaters will tell you that the best way to enjoy them is cold, but you can also enjoy them slightly warmed.
8) Once you crack open the shell, you can devour the meat all by itself OR dip it into a sauce — the classic, must-have is mustard sauce, but drawn butter runs a close second.
9) Cracking them open doesn’t require heavy tools like a hammer or a fancy crab-cracking device. Nope. A sturdy kitchen spoon achieves great results, with moderate shell fragments in your kitchen (although, it’s probably best to take the operation outside). Simply lay each claw in the palm of your hand then rap the shell firmly with the back of the spoon – one, two or three times should do it. This fractures the shell into a couple of large pieces (as opposed to smashing it to smithereens) then you should be able to pull out the meat easily. The knuckle also has lots of meat, so be sure to use the spoon to crack that as well.

Inside Look : Sarasota Stone Crabbing

This article titled Inside Look: Sarasota Stone Crabbing was originally published at Visit Sarasota. Please follow them on their website or through social media!

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In what seems a lifetime ago, my husband and I owned a marina shipstore in Nokomis — a busy dock on the Intracoastal Waterway that had a long history of serving local fishing legends.  We sold fuel, bait, snacks, beer and ice (all must-haves on the water) to commercial fishermen, recreational anglers, rental boaters, and families, and it was a great experience.

When October rolled around, I looked forward to seeing the stone crabbers — a larger-than-life, hard-working, salty bunch who told colorful tales.  As season got into full swing, our early morning dock was filled with diesel-smelling boats and guys wearing overalls and white boots, and they were all filled with hope of a big haul of claws each day.  Our job was to get them out on the water as soon as possible, armed with fuel, hot coffee, cheese danish and sandwiches.  Once they returned (usually to grab a cheeseburger and a cold beer) I saw results of their hard work and I heard their stories.

That’s when I realized that stone crabbing is a tough business.  It’s not only physically demanding, it’s also significantly impacted by a number of factors.  And our crabber friends were quick to share reasons about why a haul of claws wasn’t as expected on a tough day. . .things like starfish or octopus getting into traps, a full moon (a half moon, a new moon, or no moon at all), water was too clear (or too rough), crabs weren’t eating bait in the traps, a hint of red tide, traps lost in a storm, floats caught in boat propellers, the water was too warm (or too cool), and many more.  The list was long!  Some days produced high yield but other days, very little.  Some seasons started strong, some did not.  When conditions were good, the crab gods were shining on them.  When things weren’t good, the entire universe was conspiring against them.  It was a roller-coaster of ups and downs.  With so many challenges, I realized that it’s amazing when this tasty crab ever gets to market!   If the season starts off slowly, the early catch can be a precious commodity because buyers have customers clamoring for claws.  Crabbers are anxious to fill orders, but if they’re not able to get them, it’s a stressful and depressing time (trust me, I’ve heard and seen it all).  But when crabs are bountiful, the world is a wonderful place for a crabber.

I especially love the story an old fisherman told me about the ‘old days’ when crabbers would deliver their first baskets of claws to the many bars and restaurants where they had run up (sometimes significant) tabs, with promises of paying up with their first haul.  Sounds like a good deal!   Working with the crabbers afforded me the opportunity to see that even though it’s a lot of work, it’s in their blood.  I once heard a guy say “If you don’t love it, you won’t stick with it,” which is basically why they come back, season after season, even when times are tough.

Stone crab is harvested between October 15 and May 15.  Depending on how prolific the season has been, price per pound may cause you to have heart palpitations at the seafood market, but it’s worth it to enjoy this annual Florida delicacy.   They’re typically served cold with mustard sauce, which nicely complements the rich, sweet crab, but they can also be served warm, plunged into a vessel of drawn butter.  You can’t go wrong either way.  Plan to serve about 5-6 claws (about 1 pound) per person.

Note: in the top photo, the Stone Crab claws are freshly harvested and uncooked.  When cooked, they take on that beautiful red color we all love:

Advent Calendar Day 6: Nikolaus I Still Believe! | Solveig Werner

Nikolaus I Still Believe!
Saint Nicolaus Day has always been one of my favourite, favourite holidays! This means that I have books worth of memories that come with it, maybe not books, but I could do a several posts on the subject…

IMG_3889 Wow! What happened here? Outside of our apartment my tiny boots were overflowing with chocolates, mandarines, almonds and nuts, there were some fir branches to decorate the treasures. Saint Nikolaus had filled my polished boots, and he had been very generous (my mother admitted years later that he had help from some of the neighbours). I was never too naughty, never was I punished by the symbolic reception of a whip (like coals in stockings). It was truly magic, and this magic lasted all the way through my childhood until I left home for my studies. This year it will be time to let the magic come back in. But before the tiny blue boots of my daughter will have to be polished, because Nikolaus does not like dirty boots…

https://solveigwerner.com/2015/12/06/advent-calendar-day-6-nikolaus-i-still-believe/

Advent : Day 6 

St. Nikolas

I Still Believe By  Solveig Werner.

Nikolaus I Still Believe!

Saint Nicolaus Day has always been one of my favourite, favourite holidays! This means that I have books worth of memories that come with it, maybe not books, but I could do a several posts on the subject…

IMG_3889Wow! What happened here? Outside of our apartment my tiny boots were overflowing with chocolates, mandarines, almonds and nuts, there were some fir branches to decorate the treasures. Saint Nikolaus had filled my polished boots, and he had been very generous (my mother admitted years later that he had help from some of the neighbours). I was never too naughty, never was I punished by the symbolic reception of a whip (like coals in stockings). It was truly magic, and this magic lasted all the way through my childhood until I left home for my studies. This year it will be time to let the magic come back in. But before the tiny blue boots of my daughter will have to be polished, because Nikolaus does not like dirty boots…

12 Great Gift Ideas For The Guy On Your Christmas List

http://club31women.com/12-great-gift-ideas-guy-christmas-list/
12 Great Gifts For Men In Your Life -Lisa Jackson

Club31Women_com_12-Great-Gift-Ideas-for-the-Guy-On-Your-Christmas-List-390x1024.jpg

So you want to know what’s one of my biggest challenges of the Christmas season?

Nope. Not the decorations. Not the seasonal goodies. Not all the parties and festivities. Not even the gift-giving.

Well, except for maybe one.

What to get him.

As in, him my husband.

Him, my dad.

Him, my father-in-law.

And I gave up getting gifts for my brothers a long time ago (sorry, guys!).

Because, honestly, how do you go about finding “a great gift” for the guy?

Exactly.

But as I promised earlier in 12 Perfect Gift Ideas: What to Give All Your Sisters and Friends This Year, I have racked my brain and researched extensively to come up with some terrific gift options for the man in your life!

Something the guy will like. Maybe even love.

Something meaningful, practical, or at the very least interesting.

Also, something that can be found for  under $25. My favorite part.

And then here’s my favorite guy to go with it . . . Shhh….don’t tell him what he’s getting for Christmas this year.  ;)

MatthewJacobson-172-L

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

12 Great Gift Ideas for the Guy

Nantucket Cranberry Pie And Christmas Guests

Nantucket-Cranberry-Pie-PIN.jpgI feel bad that after 13 years of marriage, I’m still discovering things I didn’t know about my husband. I know that his favorite colors are blue and black, and that his two favorite meals are beef stroganoff and chicken divon, and that writing is one of his (many) passions that he hopes to one day make into a full time occupation.

But would you believe that last week I was shocked to discover that Christmas was his favorite holiday?! I don’t know know what I thought his favorite holiday was exactly, but I wouldn’t have said Christmas. Mostly because winter is his least favorite season.

I can understand that. Once you get past Valentine’s Day, you’re waiting on pins and needles for the gray clouds to part and the sun to shine. At least, that’s how we feel here in the Pacific Northwest…

nantucket-cranberry-pieSometimes, no matter how close you are to someone, you’ll never stop discovering new things about them. In fact, maybe that’s truer the closer you are. Of course, this certainly applies to people you aren’t as close to, too. For example…you may not know they don’t have anyone to spend the holidays with unless you ask!

On Thanksgiving, my in-loves had one of the members of our church congregation over for our holiday feast, along with my little family of five, my husband’s six other siblings, plus my brother-in-love and their three kids. That’s 17 people that filled my home – and it was happy and loud and full of blessings.

One of my sisters remarked that she was so happy that we were able to have another guest over for dinner and how awful it must be to spend the holidays by yourself or have your holiday plans fall through. And it’s true, I can’t think of a more miserable time of year to be alone!

Which got me thinking…what are good ways to open up our homes during the holidays? Maybe you’ll have an opportunity and maybe you won’t, but if not, don’t let it be because you weren’t prepared or didn’t ask!

  1. Simply ask – how are they spending the holidays? Do they have plans for Christmas dinner? Is your family going Christmas caroling or something of that nature and they can come along for the fun? Maybe your kids have a friend whose family just moved to town – invite them over for a game night!
  2. Be yourself – I think as the hostess (or host) we put this pressure on ourselves and our families to be perfect. The truth is, we’re not perfect, so why pretend to be? A kid may have a meltdown, we might have laundry that is still sitting in the laundry room that needs to be folded, or maybe we over cook one of our meals. When someone enters your home, how “Pinterest-perfect” your home or your family may or not be is not the important part. They are simply walking into a home. And that can mean a home that is oftentimes full and loud!
  3. Ask for help – over the years, I’ve come to appreciate help. I ask my oldest daughter to chip in a lot when it comes to cooking, cleaning, or helping with the kids and she is happy to do it. One of the things I’ve really come to appreciate about my mother-in-love is that she never hesitates to ask if I can bring something over for a family dinner or gathering. She knows I’m happy to do it! Definitely ask if someone wouldn’t mind

http://club31women.com/nantucket-cranberry-pie/

8 Ways To Make Christmas About Jesus- Melanie Redd

https://www.melanieredd.com/8-ways-to-make-christmas-about-jesus/
8 Ways To Make Christmas About Jesus
Melanie Redd
christmasjesus.jpg
     

“Jesus is the reason for the season.” 

We hear that phrase everywhere, don’t we?

Yet, so often, we rush our way through the holiday season with little thought about Jesus, the gift of His life, or the significance of His love.

The wise men responded in immediate worship to the King. Matthew 2:10-11 says, “When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.”

We are called to “Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness,” as it says in Psalm 29:2.

I don’t mean to cover you with guilt or shame.

In fact, I hope to do the exact opposite!

I hope to spur you on in your Christmas traditions so that Jesus is glorified first & foremost. Click To Tweet

Remembering Christ does take diligence and awareness.

The season is busy, fast, and fun! So, set aside time now to develop meaningful traditions for the entire family.

Before the stockings are opened or the gifts unwrapped, before breakfast starts cooking or coffee is brewed, before anything happens on Christmas morning – start the day with family prayer. 

What a way to align the mind to the true meaning of Christmas!

We’re quick to the gifts and the breakfast traditions, but we don’t seem to be as quick to pray or study the Bible. Try something different this year and start with prayer. You could even look up some Scripture passages to include in your prayer that specifically praise Jesus for the gift of his life.

Dear readers, I am not saying that we must forego the secular traditions, or wait until noon to open the first gift.

Rather, I am suggesting that we do some small things to include Jesus in each part of our day. Our lives have purpose and meaning because of his gift of love on the cross. This means our holiday has great meaning, too.

Jesus really is the reason for the season

6 Ways to Quiet Your Heart When You’re Troubled By Time Warp Wife

For Advent

Sarah's Attic Of Treasures

This was well written and thought provoking.
It is part of the Quieting Your Heart For The Holidays Series, Darlene is sharing.
We are at the end of Week 2
…read more →

Source: 6 Ways to Quiet Your Heart When You’re Troubled

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Luke 12:35-40, Waiting on Jesus

You will love these doodles .

Sarah's Attic Of Treasures

Another sketchnote for Time Warp Wife’s Quieting your heart series🙂

Tara from Doodle Through The Bible And Verse Doodles. This one is from Verse Doodle. Quieting Your Heart For The Holidays. Part of Time Warp Wife Series.

Source: Luke 12:35-40, Waiting ountitledn Jesus

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BLOGGING THRU THE BIBLE: Advent Study {Resources Week 1 – Hope}

This is an awesome Advent Bible Study by Courtney Joseph of Women Living Well And Good Morning Girls.

Sarah's Attic Of Treasures

From Sarah:

I meant to get this out earlier but couldn’t get it to look right. So I am trying it again, today.
This resource is from Courtney from Good Morning Girls /Women Living Well.
This post was done by Good Morning Girls UK and Walking With My Saviour Christ.  Thanks Daisy. Good Morning Girls UKFirst Advent Sunday – Light the first candle representing Jesus is the “Light” of men. Explain to your children that when we follow Jesus, the true Light, we can avoid walking blindly and falling into sin. Jesus lights the path ahead of us so we can see how to live. What ways can we allow Jesus’s light to shine through us.

Monday – Light one candle- Talk about how as Christians, we are to reflect Jesus’s light to the world. What are some ways we can do that?
Use a mirror to show your children how we are…

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Uplifting Wednesday-Make The Difference — A MUST WATCH VIDEO

Love this video.

Sarah's Attic Of Treasures

Shared From My Daily Musing.

This is one of the most Uplifting Motivational Videos I have ever seen. It is even better that it is a true story.

It will excite you. Make you smile. May even make you cry.

Please Watch and share.
We all need a post like this.

Source: Uplifting Tuesday-Make The Difference

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Confessions of a Christmas Perfectionist/ A Little R&R : Quieting Your Heart For The Holidays/Time-Warp Wife

Happy Advent

Sarah's Attic Of Treasures

From Sarah:
I am combining 2 different posts here. I started off reblogging Rosilind’s  and Adding more to what she was staying about the new Bible Study of Darlene’s.
My computer seems to be WORKING ALL OF A SUDDEN AND SO IS THE INTERNET. I didn’t want to stop a good thing.
It’s been a long week of not being able to post like I want/need to. I haven’t been able to do much of anything.
Thank you for your patience.
Have a great Sunday.
Love Sarah

From Rosilind at A Little R & R.
I used to try to create the perfect Christmas, until I learned this secret that changed my attitude. photo Hellographic_zps3f9f8439.png

“I used to try to create the perfect Christmas, until I learned this secret that changed my attitude.”
Confessions of a Christmas Perfectionist

From Sarah:

Rosilind finishes her story then mentions
Darlene’s new series/Bible Study.
ResourcesSlide

Darlene From Time-Warp Wife starts her Quieting Your  Hearts For The Holidays 30 Day Bible Study/Bible Journaling.

She has all…

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Quieting Your Heart – Week 1

I love this series.

Sarah's Attic Of Treasures

WAAGLR
FROM MONDAY:
Luke 12:22-34    New International Version (NIV)

Do Not Worry

22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life[a]?26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

27 “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.28 If that is…

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How To Find More Joy This Christmas

I shared this last year.

Sarah's Attic Of Treasures

1479089002428.jpgDoes the thought of Christmas stress you out? Are you more focused on your to-do list than the true meaning of the season? Do you stay up at night worrying about how you’re going to do it all?

I spent many years doing exactly like that. The thought of Christmas brought dread, not joy. Then one year I decided to make a change. What’s the use of spending hours baking when I was cranky with my family? What was the point of attending tons of holiday events when I didn’t have time to celebrate simple, holiday traditions? That’s when I decided not to let myself get wrapped up with the busyness and instead to focus on what would bring joy to my Christmas. Here are five ways to do that:

1. Focus on three favorite Christmas traditions, instead of trying to do everything. Trying to do everything will make you…

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Christmas Decorating with Joy & Purpose – Your Vibrant Family

At first, I wasn’t very excited to decorate for Christmas this year. But then I realized why I was dreading it, and I discovered how to turn this annual tradition into something so much more …

Source: Christmas Decorating with Joy & Purpose – Your Vibrant Family