Tuesday, December 29, 2015

So quiet...

Just when I was kind of getting used to the non-stop chatter of "Little A", she leaves to go to her forever home.  This is the sucky part of foster care.  We will miss her but I am very thankful she will have a mom and dad, who will love her and make her their own.

We did get to have her for Christmas so that was fun!  All the toys, all the wrapping paper, all the squeals and giggles!  So much fun!  Of course, we are used to having our grand daughter for Christmas but having two little girls was over the top!  We loved it!

We enjoyed having our kids and, of course, the grand daughter, sharing Christmas with us.  Family is so important and I am very glad we were able to provide a sense of family and show, one sweet little girl, what the Christmas season is truly all about... Jesus.  

I pray she will take the memories of the short time she blessed our home, and remember them for a long time.  

God bless you, "Little A" and remember, Jesus loves you and so does Granny!

Grace & Peace.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

So just when we become so paranoid?

Something has been on my mind.  I know!  Big surprise, right???!!!  Well, this is bothering me and I feel I need to share my opinion.  Another big surprise...not!  So here is the deal...

I am a product of the '60s.  I believe in peace and love.  I am also a follower of the Lord, Jesus Christ.  I also believe, as Christians, we have become extremely anal, and paranoid, about a few things.

Growing up in the '60s and '70s, it was common place for folks to wish others, "Season's Greetings" and "Happy Holidays", as well as "Merry Christmas".  Not one single soul thought of these seasonal greetings as anything but a way of being friendly, and cordial, to people we met on the street, spoke to on the phone, or who entered or departed our homes.  When did this change?

Even into the '80s, 90's, and early 2000's, these greetings were used.  Perhaps we used "Season's Greeting", at the beginning of the holiday season, because we knew we weren't going to see the the other person, again, before later in the new year.  Maybe "Happy Holidays" was said for the same reason.  When did this change?

I remember when people started using "Xmas" rather than Christmas.  Now, to me, this is the word we should get upset and angry about.  This is definitely a word that has taken CHRIST right out of Christmas.  I mean, look at it... X-mas.  CHRIST has been completely "X'd" out of Christmas with this word.  Not Happy Holidays or Season's Greetings...

I know everyone thinks there is a war on Christianity and that is true.  But then again...there has been a war on Christianity since Jesus was born.  It did not start with a few words of greeting and it won't end with them, either.  

If you are saved and believe Jesus will return again, mere words will not destroy you.  Words can never take away the blessed gift of salvation.  The problem lies with the word, SELF.  If we take our flesh and pride out of the equation, we can once again become a happy people simply wishing Season's Greetings, Happy Holidays, and Merry Christmas, to everyone we meet...simply because it is a nice thing to do...something that has no hidden meanings...

So...Just when did we become so paranoid?

Grace & Peace, to all!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christmas Cookies and Frustration...

Today, I have managed, somehow, to get four different kinds of cookies made.  I have been trying some new recipes and so far, I have only found one that I like.  My Mister, on the other hand, loves them all.  

I really don't know what I expected because anything with sugar in it, tastes horrible to me, these days.  Not to mention, the sick feeling that comes over me when I eat it.  Such is life after weight loss surgery!  That's ok, though, I didn't need all that bad stuff anyways!

These Red Velvet Candy Cane Kiss cookies were my favorite but only a quarter of one was more than enough for me!  Delicious though!

So, last week we got our first placement.  She was supposed to be long term with possible adoption.  Yesterday, I was told that bio mom requested "A" be moved to a foster family she knows.  Of course, as  is the screwed up way of DHS, they listen to the bio mom even though she will have her parental rights terminated at the end of January.  My question is how come a woman who has continuously put her children in danger, and who will have her rights ended, still has the power to completely uproot a child who has made huge strides in the week she has been with us!!!???  This is the reason we took so long to become foster parents.  We don't want children continually subjected to crap like that.  We were adamant about not having a revolving door foster home.  We want to make a difference not be a stopping point for a few days.  Anyhow, "A" will be removed from our home the Monday after Christmas.  I did manage to get them to leave her with us so that she can experience at least one normal holiday!

So, anyways, back to those cookies...I have two more yummy recipes to make tomorrow.  These are tried and true, though!  These are the traditional cookies I've made for as long as I can remember and Christmas without them would never fly...especially with my very pregnant daughter!  

Merry Christmas and may God bless you richly, in the coming days!

Grace & Peace.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Getting settled and routines...

We got our first kiddo, on Monday, and can I just say how happy and blessed I am used to having a little one running around!!!???  Needless to say, I am busier than a squirrel gathering nuts!  It's a good busy, though.  

I am trying to get "A" into our routine and that is a bit difficult but will line itself out within a few days.  I think the biggest challenge will be working with her school work.  She has been attending a daycare/preschool but we are not approved for the daycare allowance, since I don't work outside the home, and our local public school is maxed out for Pre-K, so I will be trying to keep her on track.  We will concentrate on that after the holidays so we can get the daily routine down before worrying about doing letters and numbers.

So, how is your Christmas shopping coming along?  I was done until little "A" came!  That's ok.  We will get it done this weekend.  It is going to be an exciting day!  It's been many years since we had littles that woke up at the crack of dawn to see what gifts they received!  I think my Mister is more excited than anyone!  Now that is something nobody ever expected!  He hasn't always been the kidlet type but with the birth of our granddaughter, five years ago, all that changed.  He is definitely a Papaw who loves playing with kiddos, now!

Well, I just heard little feet hit the floor so I guess I better go get breakfast started.

Grace & Peace

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Tying up loose Christmas ends and approved, but...

Well, I can't decide if I am finished with my Christmas shopping or if I need to get more.  My inner minimalist says I am done but my Granny side says otherwise!  I think I will give Papaw money and let him finish shopping for the granddaughter.  The big kids(adult children) are easy because we all decided to purchase one gift each, costing no more than $5, and playing a game or something.  Christmas should be about celebrating Jesus and gifts more for the children, than adults.  Besides, money is always so tight for my kids.  Us too, for that matter.  Anyhoooo...

I have made several things, for the grand daughter, already and have plans to make a few more.  Just today, I finished her quilt.  I am quite proud of it.

It is a very simple pattern but I really like it and I know she will, too.  I decided to do a little bird and dragonfly quilting motif in each of the small squares.  

Of course, as is my belief, every handmade item needs a label telling who made the item, when it was made, and for whom it was made.

I also managed to get a wreath made for both the front and back doors this week.

This is the one for the front door.  It is probably 32" across.  Hey, I wanted it to be seen from the road!  HeHe!  I don't know why I didn't take a pic of the backdoor wreath but it is much smaller version of this one.

So, we were finally approved, as a foster home, this afternoon and within an hour we had a call about our first placements.  The children were 1 and 2 years old.  I had to decline because I didn't want to be overwhelmed with two babies this soon.  Not to mention, my new grandbaby will be born within a couple of months, so that would be three babies to care for, ALONE, during the day because I will babysit the grandson when he is born!  That kind of freaked me out! It wouldn't have be so bad if there were a couple of years between them but man, three babies???!!!  I feel horrible about it but I know my limitations so Papaw and I felt it was best.  

Well, that is all I have!

Grace & Peace

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Busy weekend!

I can't believe it is almost the middle of December!  Where in the world have these past couple of weeks, gone? Crazy, Crazy, Crazy!  I've done a little decorating but I don't think I will get much done but that's ok.  I don't necessarily like a lot of "stuff" all over the place.  I will post some of that decorating, later.  

We were certainly busy this past weekend.  We got a last minute call from our agency, needing someone to do respite care for two little girls.  I decided, since we are so close to being a licensed home, we would just jump in and get our feet wet!  Since I am not one to do anything half way, I called my daughter and asked if our grand daughter could come stay, as well.  Did I mention my sanity has been in question for a long time???  Well, now I question it, myself!  

These three sweet girls range from 5 years old to "just turned" 7 years old!  Sweet Baby Jesus!  This is just about as still and quiet as they got and that didn't last more than five minutes!  They all loved Papaw, of course, and by the time they all went home, he was dragging and saying he is going to change his name and not tell anyone!  LoL

Grace & Peace...sweet peace and quiet!  (HaHa)

Monday, November 30, 2015

Gratitude Month -- Day 30

Day 30

Today, this last day of Gratitude Month, I am blessed more than I deserve.  This time of reflection and thanksgiving has made me even more aware of all that God has done for me and my family.  I have everything I need and truly have most of what I want.  I thank God for that.  So today, I will give God all the glory, honor, and praise, for loving me beyond measure.

Grace & Peace

Gratitude Month -- Days 28 & 29

Days 28 

I am thankful for last minute invitations.  I was invited to a gingerbread house decorating party.  Spending girl time with some fabulous Christian women is always a pleasure.  I met some wonderful ladies and had a blast!
Day 29

On this day, I am thankful for sleepovers, church services, and after church lunches, with my two favorite people!

Grace & Peace.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Gratitude Month Day 27

Day 27

Every Thanksgiving, after eating, we put up the Christmas tree.  It is something we look forward to and our grand daughter loves doing it.  Even though I go back and disperse the clumps of decorations, after she goes home, it is so wonderful to have this tradition!

A recent addition, to our holiday traditions, is building a gingerbread house.  Once again, our grand daughter blesses us by looking forward to building the house with her Papaw.

So, today, I am thankful for old and new traditions, alike!

Grace & Peace.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Gratitude Month -- Day 26

Day 26

Father God, I thank you for this day of Thanksgiving, Family and Friends.

Thank you, Lord, for the many family members who have passed on and I ask for peace, comfort, healing, protection and salvation, for those who remain here on earth.

I pray for our nation, our leaders, and military.  Thank you for allowing us the priviledge of living in a country that is still free.  One where we can worship you without fear.  I pray that it remains free and that we never take that for granted.

Thank you, Father, for those who can't be home, this holiday season.  We depend so much on our firefighters and EMS.  Bless and protect each one.

I thank you for the food before us and the ones who worked hard to provide it.  Thank you for the ones who helped prepare this meal and Lord, use it for the nourishment of our bodies.

Thank you, Father God, for you gracious blessings and mercy.  More importantly, Lord, I thank you for sending Jesus to die on the cross, so we may be truly free.

I love you and give you all the glory and praise!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Gratitude Month -- Day 25

Day 25

Today was so gray and blustery.  Almost depressing, really, but I decided to light all the candles and enjoy it.  I am thankful for days like this because I get so lazy and then I take the time to sit and just think and listen.  Usually, I am going 90 to nothing, so occasionally, it is a good thing.  I will try to remember that over the weekend because it is suppose to start raining and continue through Monday.  I WILL be thankful for the rain.

Grace & Peace.

Gratitude Month -- Days 23 & 24

Day 23

I know there are those who have suffered job loss, layoffs, and hours being cut, because of the oil prices.  You are not alone.  My husband had to change jobs because of it.  However, today, I am thankful for the combination of my gas saving car and the cheaper gas prices.

I was able to fill my car up for $20!  I haven't done that in years!  Thank you, Lord, for allowing me to keep part of my gasoline budget for other necessary items!


Day 24

As I rounded the corner of the garage, on my way to the clothesline, something caught my eye that made me giggle.  My grand daughter, apparently, thought my clothesline needed a bit of Christmas cheer, so she gave it a little bit.

So, today, I am thankful for unexpected giggles!

Grace & Peace.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Gratitude Month -- Day 22

Day 22

I don't have a picture to share today, but I am so thankful for surprise visits from my grand daughter!  She makes my happy, happy!  Thank you, Jesus, for this precious little girl!

Grace & Peace.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Gratitude Month -- Day 21

Day 21

I have tried very hard, all month, not to be materialistic, when I do my gratitude posts. However, today, I need to do that.

So, today, I am thankful for thrift stores, consignment shops, and the people who donate to them.  As we prepare to welcome foster children into our home, I have been trying to gather a few clothing items for the age children we will soon care for.  It is expensive!  Thank God for thrift stores!  I have managed to get enough clothing, for most ages, at an affordable price.  At least enough to get by until we can get to the store!  I also am very grateful for the twin bed we received from one of my Mister's co-workers.  So very, very, grateful!

It's ok to thank God for the material stuff, too!

Grace & Peace.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Gratitude Month -- Days 19 & 20

Days 19 & 20

Today, I decided to combine days 19 & 20 because they just go together it seems.

Yesterday and today have been absolutely beautiful.  Lots of sunshine, temps were mild. A little shorty to hang out with.

And a fire in the outdoor fireplace!  Thanking God for these things because the weather will change before morning and outside play will not be happening.  

It's the little things that mean so much to me!

Grace & Peace.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Gratitude Month -- Day 18

Day 18

Today, I am thankful for my Daddy.

Daddy was a Big, Big, man and he had an even bigger heart.  It was him who taught me compassion.

He was a hard working man.  He taught me excellent work ethics.  Always give 150%!

Daddy was a great provider.  He taught me to not be selfish(sometimes I fail miserably)!

Daddy always thanked Jesus!  That taught me gratitude.

He loved to laugh!  Daddy taught me to have a sense of humor.

Family always came first with him...and so it goes with me.  

Daddy was wise!  I am still working on this  ;-)

He loved to cook.  I got that from him!

My Daddy was a good man.  Stubborn as a mule!  I'm pretty sure that's where I got mine from.  

He was a hard man.  When he said something, he meant it.  I do too!

I thank God for giving my Daddy to me and I thank Him, now, for loving and teaching me through this Big, Big, Man!

Have you thanked God for your Daddy, lately?  Do it now...for one day...you will wake up and he will be gone.

Grace & Peace.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Gratitude Month -- Day 17

Day 17

Today, I am thankful for my Mama.

She taught me so much!  

She taught by example.  From her, I learned to be the wife, mother, and grandmother, I am today.

She taught me to skills such as sewing and crochet.  Long ago, at her feet, I learned how to keep my family clothed and warm.

She taught me to plan and cook meals.  While hanging on the edge of the cook stove, I leaned to feed my family, on very little money.  I learned how to stretch, a half pound of ground beef, to feed an army.

She taught me how to love the unloveable.

She taught me to be strong.  Watching her put up with stuff nobody should ever have to deal with, I learned to stand up for myself.

She taught me to laugh.

She taught me to stay upbeat and positive...all the way to the end.

She taught me to love Jesus.

She taught me about Hope, Peace, and Love... a whole lotta LOVE.

There is so much, about my Mama, I am grateful for but the thing I am most grateful for is she gave me life.

Oh how I miss my Mama but how excited I am to know I will see her again!

Have you thought about all the lessons you learned from your Mama?  Thank God for her!

Grace & Peace,

Gratitude Month -- Day 16

Day 16

Today, I am thankful for this bunch of kids.  Those two big boys taught me more about myself, as a mother, than I could ever imagine...and that has led me to strive to be the best Mama I can be to, not only my own children, but those who are in foster care.  They have become good men and have blessed me with four of the cutest grand blessings a gal could ask for.  Love this wild bunch!

Grace & Peace.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Gratitude Month -- Days 14 & 15

Days 14 & 15

I am combining days 14 and 15 because we have been in training both days.  I am thankful and happy to say we have completed all of the assessments, background checks, and training for fostering!  YAY!  Now, all we do is sit back, relax, and wait for approval!

Grace & Peace.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Gratitude Month -- Day 13

Day 13

I am always thankful I only have to walk out my backdoor to enjoy nature.  Large trees, prairie grasses, berries of many colors.

Brightly colored leaves and lots of seed bearing plants.

Even a few fruit and nut trees.

God has provided lots of shelter and food for the wildlife that frequent our place.  We always have feathered visitors, deer, squirrels and many other animals, that come to dine here.  Can you see the bird?  That is a woodpecker that has a very large family.  I counted seven when I was out walking around.

Of course, there is also the domestic "wildlife" that loves being here as well...

Isn't that right, Betty Jean!!!???

I hope you will take a  moment to stop and see the beauty God has blessed us with.

Grace & Peace.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Gratitude Month -- Day 12

Day 12

Today, I am thankful for my daughter-in-love, Heather.  

She is such a sweetheart and obviously, the grand daughter loves her bunches.  We think she is pretty special, even though we fail to tell her often enough...and it's not just because of her coconut cream pies, either!  Let me tell you, that gal makes a mean coconut cream pie...from SCRATCH!  My mister is getting spoiled with all of the sweets she makes for him. 

From a Mama's stand point, I love her to pieces because...

She loves my son!  Heather takes care of him just as I want my children's spouses to care for them.  She keeps him in line too, I am sure.  Thank you, Heather, and thank you Lord for this special lady.  Did I tell you how good her coconut cream pies are???!!!

I hope you thank God for your children's spouses because the good ones are far and few between.

Grace & Peace.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Gratitude Month -- Day 11

Day 11

On this day, which is Veteran's Day, I am thankful for our military.  Like most Americans, I am filled with gratitude for those who have served, fought, and died, so that we all have the freedoms we are blessed with, every day, in this country.  I was born into a family with a long line of soldiers!  Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, and Grandparents, served our country.  I married into a family that has many who also served.  Through marriage, I have acquired military soldiers.  I am grateful for each one.  I am especially thankful - and very proud - of two of those soldiers.

My Mister...

My Son-in-love.

Thank you, Lord, for these two Veterans and thank you, Lord, for keeping them safe.

Have you thanked God for the men and women who have served our country?

Grace & Peace.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Gratitude Month -- Day 10

Day 10

I am very grateful for our home.  I complain, too much, about the old gal's problems but I thank God for her.  She is an old house with old house issues but she provides shelter, warmth, and there is a whole lot of love, within her walls.  

We have endured many struggles, since we bought her, but so many memories have been made here, as well.  We have thought about selling and moving someplace where we would have very little to maintain but the reality is, I can't see us anywhere else.  

This little lady welcomed us with open arms and has gently made us love her more than any other house ever has.  

This is "Granny's House" to our grand daughter.  A place she feels safe and loved.  This is the house she will remember when she is old.  The House That Love Built!

Are you thankful for the shelter God gives?

Grace & Peace.