Thursday, December 20, 2012

Handmade with Love

There is something wonderful about crocheting a handmade gift this time of year.  The yarn is warm, soft and fuzzy, and the fun of creating something special for someone special, keeping it a secret, knowing it is a one-of-a-kind-custom-made gift, surprising someone with that thoughtful present... all sums up to joy.  This year I made several scarves and shawls as gifts, and even this little fun clown-rag doll.  I made a similar one 26 years ago for my son, but hadn't even thought about it again until just recently when I had some wonderfully soft bamboo yarn and wanted to make a gift for a friend's precious little daughter.  She is just a joy to know and you can't help smile when you see her so I wanted to return some of that joy to her with a little gift.  And when she opened it, her mom sent me a photo of her with it, and once again, that joy just overflowed!


One of the things that never ceases to take my breath away is a beautiful sunset.  On my daily commute to and from work, I tend to just get into the 'commute zone' where I almost mindlessly follow the same path/routine drive, unaware of anything other than watching the road and driving.  There are days, however, that I use that quiet drive time to just have a conversation with God, and praise Him, whether through song, words, prayer or simply appreciation of all that He has created.

God has an amazing palette with which to work.  Endless choices of colors and creates such breath-taking, mind-blowing artwork for us to appreciate.  And I don't mean just across the sky.

Take the time to look around you.  Not only at the world He created, but even in the mirror and at those who surround you.  Humans are the most complex yet simple yet amazing creations ever, beyond explanation science even though they try constantly to explain and demystify the human body, mind, and even soul.  Stop to appreciate, and praise God for all that He has created.

And enjoy the sunsets along the way too.

Be blessed!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Happy Spring!!!

Isn't is amazing to watch the world around us wake up in Spring?   I am always so excited to go out each day and find new things sprouting, blooming, exploding full of color.  There is a newness, a joy even, just to watching it!
As you can see, the azaleas have come alive in our front yard once again... I've watched the buds with anticipation now for almost a month, but the rain and sunshine of the last couple of days finally coaxed them into becoming these big beautiful snowballs and bursts of color.  Stunning!
My vegetable garden has all sorts of tiny seedlings popping up as well, and inside the house I have seeds started as well.  Now is the perfect time to share new little plants with others and share this joy with them, whether it be flower plants, houseplant starters, extra vegetable seedlings or starters.  Start a few and share a few!  Just think how much joy it could bring to others... all from a little seed!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Send a Card, Share a Smile

I made this 'accordion card' for a swap I'm in on Splitcoaststampers.  It was the first time I'd made one, but I had a lot of fun with it, selecting verses to include, playing with color and shapes, etc.  I like the way it turned out... a bit of Spring fun and encouragement to the recipient!

You don't have to make cards however to send a bit of sunshine and smiles to someone.  Emails nowadays can be just as fun, as well as store-bought cards, or even just a personal note on a piece of scratch paper.

Take a moment to share a smile and caring thought today.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


SERENDIPITY is my favorite word.  Has been for a long time.  It means an unexpected, but pleasant and welcome surprise.

It generally comes when and where you least expect it.  Hence the unexpected surprise. :)

This morning, I was very tired.  On the way to work, I had to stop to get gas because I forgot to last night when I was supposed to of course.  So I was a bit grumpy as well.  But while standing there pumping gas into the car, I looked up and saw the face of a happy little boy on the video screen above the pump.  His name is Kyle, and the video showing explained he has a form of anemia and that he is desperately in need of a marrow donor match in order to live.  The ad then showed his parents asking for donors, and the website for more information ( 
All the way into work I thought about this.  In the past I thought about becoming a donor but for some reason I hadn't done it.  I went to the website to read more and link to more information.  I have heard that donating marrow is a very painful process, however, the website also dispells that myth and explains the entire process.  I took the time to register as a marrow donor today.  It took me about 10 minutes to do this, and they will even mail you a free kit to provide the sample needed to test and put you into the donor system. I kept picturing the face of that little boy and it just tears my heart to think how simple it is to become a donor and that it could save a life.   

Today, I found serendipity above a gas station pump.  A good deed, and it brought a great feeling to know I have registered and may be able to help save a life even.  And I implore each of you to please become a donor and to also share this information and encourage others to become donors too.  I have added Kyle to my prayer list and hope you will too.  Let's save some lives.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Time to Plant

The Byrds once did a song, "Turn, Turn, Turn (For Everything There Is A Season)."  Do you remember it?  Catchy tune. 

What some don't realize is that the lyrics are scripture, from Ecclesiates 3:
"To everything, there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.  A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted."

Its that time of year again.  The sun is shining and when I look out the kitchen window to my garden, I notice how beautiful it looks outside but how bare my little garden is.  I'm so very tempted to begin planting.  I love to watch things grow... see those little seedlings sprout and watch as they grow into beautiful plants that then provide an incredible harvest!  I'm practically drooling at that thought already!

My mind starts to reel with gardening thoughts and plans about this time of year.  I have to get out my gardening journal and start laying out designs and making lists of what seeds I need to order, what supplies to buy, etc.  And this is the time to start seeds indoors. 

Have you ever been the recipient of free fruits and vegetables from someone's garden?  Most of the time we say, "Thank You," and proceed to enjoy them... but how often do we stop to think of the care that went into that fruit or vegetable and how much it is a healthy, nourishing gift selected just for us?  What an incredibly thoughtful gift.  And in this economy, its a very precious one as well.

If you are a gardener yourself, now is the time to start your indoor seeds, and its about time to plant early cold weather vegetables outdoors too (like peas, spinach, etc...).  When you are planting, think about adding a few extra plants to your crop as the "Gifts" to share this year.  Perhaps start some extra seeds indoors and share the plants as they grow strong enough for outdoor planting, or even in a container where they can be kept all summer.  Start some extra flower plants to give for birthdays, mother's day, or "just because" days.  

"A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted."

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Serendipity:  An unexpected but pleasant surprise.

Its been my favorite word for a very long time.  And I love every time it happens.

Last night, I decided to try a new recipe.  I'd seen one in a magazine/recipe book at the grocery store and just loosely remembered the idea and tried my own version of it at home.  It turned out delicious!  Just as we were sitting down to eat, the neighbors stopped by to return gloves they'd found along the road on their afternoon walk that they suspected might belong to one of our daughters (which they did).  We invited them to join us for dinner as I had made plenty and we were just starting.  It turned out to be a wonderful evening of fellowship and just getting to know each other a bit more. 

Isn't Serendipity fabulous?  I hope you will find some or make some for someone else too with a Good Deed today! 

Here's that recipe, and some ideas for changing it up too!

Quick “Lasagna”

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Ingredients: (I love that these are things you can stock in the freezer and cabinet too and then toss together quickly last minute!)

1-2 bag(s) of frozen raviolis (I used cheese for this first one but any flavors would work well I think) (For my 10”sq baking dish, I used 32 large raviolis in layers of 4x4 so depends on the bag size and dish size. That made about 7-8 large servings, or nearly double that if smaller.)

1-2 jars of sauce (I used a Ragu Garlic Parmesan white sauce. You can use Alfredo or Marinara also, just depends on what you want for flavors, diet, calories, etc.).

1 box of frozen spinach, thawed and drained.

½-1 jar of pesto, just depends on how flavorful you want the dish.

Approx. ½ cup of shredded parmesan.

Mix the spinach with the pesto sauce in a bowl.
Then in a baking pan, create two layers of the sauce (bottom of pan), then Spinach/Pesto mix, then Raviolis.
Finish with another layer of sauce to cover the raviolis, and sprinkle with the parmesan.
Bake: 350 degrees F for approx. 35 minutes, until bubbly.

Add a vegetable or salad on the side and a bread, and voila, dinner.

I think next time I’m going to try different raviolis (such as the vegetable or seafood ones) and sauces and other veggies too like zucchini, shredded carrots, eggplant or broccoli in with the spinach. I’m always trying to find ways to increase the veggie intake.
I think you could also use pierogies in place of the raviolis too.  And it should freeze well like any lasagna also!


Monday, February 20, 2012

A Little Whimsy!

I joined a swap on SplitCoastStampers for Whimsy Jars.

The word Whimsy is just fun, and is defined as being an odd, fanciful or fun notion.

A Whimsy Jar is basically a decorated jar filled with goodies.
In the swap, we are each assigned a secret sister who posts her 'wish list' answers to several questions so you have ideas of her likes/dislikes, and based on that, you fill a jar you have decorated with several goodies, and mail it to her.  Here is the photo of mine... I crocheted a fun topper, wrapped it with decorated paper, made a matching tag, added ribbon and a handmade flower, and filled it to the brim (literally) with items from her list.

I love the idea of this, particularly for just a fun good deed. Remember the old idea of making something such as a plate of cookies, and then secretly sneaking up to someone's door, putting them on the doorstep, ringing the doorbell and then running off before they could answer? There is a joy all its own in doing the good deeds anonymously, I think particularly because we know how fun it must be for the recipient, and how wonderful to know you are being thought of and cared for in such a way.

My mind just swirls with ideas of things you can fill a fun jar with... candy, magnets, hobby items, toys, notepads, a gift card or certificate such as a movie rental and popcorn packet, homemade goodies, etc.  So why not create a Whimsy jar and deliver it (anonymously or not) to someone this week?! 
May all our lives be filled with a little Whimsy (and a lot of good deeds)!

Friday, February 10, 2012


Add caption
Matthew 6:33 tells us to "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

This world and satan have daily distractions to try to deter us from that.  But we can combat that by surrounding ourselves with daily reminders of God's great promises and love for us, from devotionals, to crafts, to decor, our screen savers, to even the dishes we use in our home.  That is one reason I've signed up to be a Consultant with BLESSINGS UNLIMITED.
If you haven't seen their products, they are quality items that help you to incorporate your faith into all you do through the day.  Take a look at their catalog sometime, and if you have any interest, my website link is to the right on my blog. (The picture above is the hostess special this month.)  If nothing else, be inspired to surround yourself with the reminders of His Love, just as He is omnipresent and omnipotent.  Be Blessed!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Tea Time!

I've been busy crafting -- Can you tell?  A fellow crafter is hosting a swap in which you use decorated hat pins as an embellishment on cards.  I chose a "Tea Time" theme. 

When was the last time you had tea (or coffee) with someone, just "because?"  Its a great way to keep in touch with someone, a great way to just spend time together to catch up or to say "I care." 

I've had tea/coffee in many places and ways --- meeting a friend at Starbucks, going for a formal tea with friends and/or family at a tea house, putting on the kettle at home and just sitting to chat with a 'cuppa,' and even via conference call with a few friends on a multi-party conference line (we scheduled it ahead of time, each made their pot of tea and scones for it, and we then all sat and had tea while catching up on the phone).  There is a comfort and care about it that soothes the soul. 

Isn't it Tea Time?  I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Off to an easy start... and you can even catch up!

Have you done your good deed each day so far this year?  If not, you can still catch up even!
Here are five quickies:
CLICK to give Free Food!
CLICK to give FREE Mammograms!
CLICK to give FREE Meals to Veterans!
CLICK to give FREE Autism Therapy!
CLICK to give FREE Child Healthcare!

1 Timothy 4:6-11 Godliness

This morning, while on my way to work, I was listening to Our Daily Bread on the radio.  The topic was Godliness. 
As they pointed out, we often start the new year focused on how we can improve ourselves in the upcoming year... eating better, exercising more, becoming more financially sound, etc.  All of which are good ideas, however, if you had to pick only one thing to focus on improving, it should be Godliness.  Talk about a wise investment.  It is the one thing you CAN take with you when it all ends. :) It is something we can practice and do anywhere or any time. 
Godliness involves caring for others as God has instructed us -- caring more for others than for ourselves.  When we do so, we do the Lord's work.  Doing Good Deeds for example. 

" If you point these things out to the brothers and sisters, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed. Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe."
1 Timothy 4:6-11

Need ideas?  Check out the 366 Challenge list at the bottom of this blog page.  May we each increase our Godliness this year.