Wednesday, June 30, 2010

4th of July Rocket Pops

(note – this is a rerun of a post I did in 2008.  I’m getting my menu ready for the 4th of July get together this year and wanted to be sure to share this again since we enjoy them so much!)

And looking at the picture of Brooklyn below – wow how much they grow up in 2 years!!!


1 pkg (4 serving size) cherry flavor jello
1 cup sugar, divided
2 cups boiling water, divided
ice cubes
2 cups cold water, divided
1 pkg (4 serving size) berry blue flavor jello
1 8 oz tub cool whip

Combine cherry jello and 1/2 cup of sugar in medium bowl.  Add 1 cup of boiling water and stir at least 2 minutes until jello is completely dissolved.  Add enough ice cubes to 1 cup of cold water to measure 2 cups.  Add to jello and stir until ice is completely melted.  Pour about 1/4 cup of jello into 16 (5 oz) paper or plastic cups.  Freeze 1 hour.

Meanwhile, combine blue jello  and 1/2 cup of sugar in medium bowl.  Add 1 cup of boiling water and stir at least 2 minutes until jello is completely dissolved.  Add enough ice cubes to 1 cup of cold water to measure 2 cups.  Add to jello and stir until ice is completely melted.  Refrigerate 1 hour.

Spoon about 3 T of cool whip over red jello in each cup, then top with 1/4 cup of blue jello.  Freeze 1 hour or until almost firm.  Insert wooden pop stick or plastic spoon into center of each cup for handle.  Freeze an additional 4 hours or overnight.  To remove pops from cups, place bottoms of cups under warm running water for 15 seconds.  Press firmly on bottom of cup to release.

* linking to Ultimate Recipe Swap, Friday Favorites

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Scarf #1 for Mission Crafts Ministry

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Yesterday I finished my first scarf for our Mission Crafts Ministry at church.  We are trying to get 75 scarves made before the end of July for a mission trip to Peru.

All I did for this scarf was to cast on 26 stitches and knit.  I used Lion Brand Homespun yarn and size 11 needles.  Even with the simple pattern and large needles it still took me a week to complete.  Based on that, when I cast on my second scarf last night I decided to drop down to 24 stitches.  We’re looking for speed!  :)

And actually for scarf #2 I tried crocheting thinking that I can do that much faster.  I had a problem with the yarn being so splitty and a dark color, so it didn’t go any faster and in fact probably was much slower.  After two rows I gave up, pulled it out and cast on to knit.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday’s Fave Five #93

Happy, happy Friday y’all!  I never want to wish my life away, but I have to admit that I love me some Fridays!  Time to look at all the good going on.  Thanks again to Susanne at Living To Tell The Story for hosting this event.

1. Exercise!  I seem to have gotten very comfortable being in sloth mode lately.  Even though I’m not any sort of athlete, I do start feeling it when I do nothing at all.  This week we’ve started movin’ and groovin’ again!  It’s HOT here, so rather than fight it we’re doing things indoors.  Keith is doing the Wii Active and I ride the recumbent bike….while knitting on a scarf for church! Works like a charm as I can put the skein of yarn in the cup holder and just knit away.  Two great things at the same time – knitting and exercise! Well really I suppose 3 great things because we’re exercising together and we chat while we move along.

2. Family – Had the BEST time last Saturday going to garage sales with my cousin. We laugh and laugh and laugh when we’re together and many times had people at the sales laughing with us.  I found some awesome bargains, but even better was time spent with her. At one point we had pulled up to an interior decorating shop that was having a sidewalk sale and “Babe” by Sonny and Cher came on the radio right as we pulled in the parking space.  We sat there and sang right along until the song ended. What a great joy filled time!

3. Friends – Had the BEST time at my reunion!  Went to dinner first with an elementary school friend and her husband and we laughed so much.  Fun to find out how much we all have in common now and I look forward to spending more time with her. Then at the reunion it was great to see everybody. The one thing I heard over and over is that people would’ve recognized me anywhere, so apparently I haven’t changed much.  :) Again the laughter and hugs – ah…bliss!

4. Family – Sunday morning I went to church with my mom, brother and sister-in-law.  They are visiting this church right now and have pretty much decided they’ll be joining. The pastor is really, really good and it looks like they have some great groups that they can be active in. After church we went to lunch, then over to my brother and sister-in-law’s house to see all the changes they’ve made.  What a great eye for color they have!  The painted walls, decorations and new furniture were just perfect.

5. The Bird Feeder and That Darned Cat! – I’m enjoying the bird feeder so much that I’ve set up another feeder in the back yard. This feeder is filled with a song bird variety of food and it’s awesome to see all the cardinals that have appeared.  However, I heard some squawking the other day and figured the feeder was empty. When I got out there a big old cat came out of the nearby bushes, glared at me, hissed and ran off.  Then yesterday morning I heard the squawking again and looked out to see that cat laying under the feeder leisurely giving himself a bath! Mom suggested that perhaps he thought I’d set this all up as a cat feeder for him. He’s got another think coming though because even though I do love cats I do NOT want him eating the birds! Not sure what I’m going to do to persuade him to go elsewhere and kind of hoping he’ll get bored and leave.  ;)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Mission Crafts Ministry

Sometimes God’s awesome timing is enough to just blow me away.  I’ve been praying about finding a way to get more plugged in to my church and figure out what my spiritual gifts and ministry would be.  The next thing I know I receive an email from church – sent to all the ladies – wanting to know if anybody was interested in starting a prayer shawl ministry or greeting card ministry.  Seeing as how I’m a rather crafty person who just happens to enjoy knitting, crocheting, stamping, etc., how could I possibly not be excited? 

We had our first meeting this week and rather than fracture the group we’ve decided to put all the crafting under one umbrella and it will be called the Mission Crafts Ministry.  And I will be the layperson leading it, with one of the ladies on staff helping me.

Now sometimes when you pray for something, God will answer that prayer a bit differently than you first thought.  My intention was never to lead a ministry, but since it’s something I’m very interested in, coupled with the fact that the other ladies there were adamantly NOT going to lead, my fate was sealed.  And as I was driving away from church that night I couldn’t help but smile and think “Thy will be done.”

Our first objective is to try and have 75 scarves knit before July 25 to send with a group from our church going on a mission trip to Peru.  The staff person already had 8 finished and after a quick stop at Michael’s for Homespun yarn (on sale this week for $3.99!) I’ve got one scarf about halfway finished.

And even more fun is that I’m going to be meeting one of the ladies from our church at Starbucks one evening to teach her to crochet.  I love to knit and crochet and love even more when somebody will let me teach them and share my hobby.

If anybody has a similar ministry at their church – or knows about one at a friend/family member’s church – please leave me comments with any helpful hints.  I’m really excited to see where the Lord leads us with this!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Scars and Stilettos by Harmony Dust


Fear of being abandoned keeps 19-year-old Harmony Dust trapped in an abusive relationship. Tens of thousands of dollars in debt and struggling to get by, someone tells her how much money she can make as an exotic dancer. For the next 3 years, Harmony lives a double life as Monique, a dancer in a strip club.

"Scars and Stilettos" is Harmony's stark, honest, & ultimately hopeful story of how God found her in that dark, noisy place & led her back out. She has since completed an MA in Social Welfare & now leads Treasures, an organization helping women in the sex trade discover their true worth & value. For more information about Harmony or her book please visit her website:

This is a world that I know absolutely nothing about and was intrigued enough to read the book.  I’ll be honest though, I struggled a bit with the author’s sometimes graphic account of her life as a stripper.  But even though it made me uncomfortable, I don’t think the book would have had as big an impact if she would have sugar coated her story.

I also found myself understanding more how a woman could stay in an abusive relationship.  Harmony’s boyfriend, who she was desperate to win the approval of, never seemed to care and would spend his unemployed days playing basketball.  Her words opened my eyes to how a situation like this could actually come about.

What impressed me the most and made me want to read this book was the fact that once she found the love of our Lord and was able to get away from this industry, rather than putting it all behind her she went back to save the other women.  I wonder how many of us would have done the same.

This was a good book and I’m glad to have read it, but I almost hesitate to recommend it due to the honest and graphic portrayal of the stripping.  If reading about this sort of thing bothers you, this definitely isn’t the book for you.  If reading about a woman who has overcome huge odds and now wants to share the love of Christ with others, then be sure to get a copy of this book.

Kregel Publishers is graciously donating a $50 gift certificate for the Litfuse Blog Tour Contest! Woo-hoo (thanks Kregel!)
To enter, tweet (see TWEET THIS below) or
share the book on Facebook using this link:


Scars and Stilettos-story of ex-stripper #HarmonyDust & her work now to reach out to those still in the sex industry.

(must use hashtag #HarmonyDust to be entered into gift certificate drawing)

FTC DISCLAIMER: I received a review copy of this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review. If you'd like to see more reviews of this book, please visit the tour at Litfuse.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Friday’s Fave Five #92

Well my word – I’ve been fairly discombobulated and busy and somehow haven’t posted a Friday’s Fave 5 in a bit!  And here it is already 2:00 in the afternoon where I am, but better late in the day than never.  :)

Here’s just a handful of the blessings from this past week.  Thank you to Susanne from Living To Tell The Story for hosting this weekly event.

1. Feeling Great! – Having a chronic health problem it seems like I always have to stay aware of everything I do and not push myself.  Shortly after our fantastic vacation we helped our daughter move into her apartment, then all the other events that have come.  This meant I didn’t get enough rest and my body was really giving me “what for” and letting me know I wasn’t playing by the rules!  But the last few days….suddenly it’s like my head is clear again and the pain is dissipating!  I wouldn’t give up the busy times for anything, but I sure do love when things are routine for awhile so my body can catch up.  :)

2. Good Times – I’ve been sitting in my chair at work practically bouncing all day because I’m so looking forward to my weekend!  Getting to spend time with my mom, my cousin, my brother and sister-in-law and – my word! – my 30th high school reunion!  I just love seeing everybody and love the fact that friends stay friends even for this many years.  Some of these ladies I’ve recently gotten back in touch with through Facebook and have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know them again.  Can’t wait to hug their necks!

3. Shopping – Now stay with me here, it’s not as vain as it first sounds.  :)

Our lifestyle is such that I really don’t have a big need for trendy, fancy clothes.  Y’all have seen that we’re happiest when we’re on the boat or 4 wheelin’ – or just outside with the granddaughter.  But when your 30th reunion comes up you don’t really have a choice – you go shopping.  And I almost felt like Dorothy in the Land of Oz when I went in some of these stores.  The styles – oh the beautiful tops that are out right now!  It still took a LOT of shopping to find the outfit to wear and it really is me, which is great.  Because I have a feeling there might be a few nervous feelings going to the reunion anyway, so I hate to feel nervous about my clothes.

Hopefully I’ll end up with a good picture of me and some of my girlfriends and get it posted.  Did I mention that I’m really excited to see them???   :)

4. Cooking For Two By Two – We’re finally getting into the swing of being an empty nest again.  It still seems strange and I do still miss her.  But the other side of that is that we are in the kitchen together, laughing while we cook.  We set the table, pray together, then enjoy the fruits of our labor.  And then we further chat and do the dishes together.  I’m enjoying getting to know him again.  :)

5. The Birds – We set the cup and saucer bird feeder outside and it has been such a delight to watch all the activity.  My original hope was to see the finches and cardinals, but so far no.  What I have seen is a lot of blue jays, squirrels, morning doves and wrens.  And really that’s ok.  The jays are such a brilliant blue, even if they are a mean bird.  And the squirrels, y’all nothing can make a person laugh quite as much as watching the squirrels run around and play.  They skinny up the pole quick as a wink and Keith and I want to put some Crisco or something on it to see what happens.  (Is that mean?)  The cooing sounds of the doves is nice too and they seem to work as a group and get everybody fed more so than other birds.

In fact, I’m enjoying this feeder so much that we pulled our old bird feeder out of storage and have it set up in the backyard now.  We bought some Scott’s Song Bird food for it so I can try for the pretty birds, but so far they haven’t found the feeder yet.  They will in time though.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Let’s Talk About Getting Together

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Let me point out that I’m a little impressed that I’m posting this picture of myself in all my sweaty, hot, humidity-frizzed hair glory.  I don’t think that Photoshop has enough actions to turn this into a Glamour Shots photo!  But I do like photos with my posts and little Brooklyn is a doll, so there you go.

Last night Keith and I were talking about what a whirlwind the first of summer has been.  There was no complaining, just an observation on all the blessings we’ve already had and are getting ready to have.

First was the week before Memorial Day, where getting us and the floating toys ready for the lake took all our time.  We had a fabulous time with all the kids and two friends of the kids.  Three days of just enjoying each other, being in the water and rejoicing that summer is here.

The following week was filled with Memorial Day laundry, shopping for an outfit and getting ready for last weekend.  That weekend included my grandmother’s birthday party and getting to see relatives that I haven’t seen in awhile, some of which I hadn’t seen in many, many years.  We then went over to Keith’s parents’ house where his sister and her family were in town from Atlanta and spent time with all of them.  Since we only really get to see them once a year this was a real treat.

This week has been, again, shopping for an outfit for the upcoming weekend.  Since all the events are being held at different kinds of venues different clothes really are necessary.  :)

I’ll be heading up to OKC and staying with my mom, which is always great for us to have time together.  Then Saturday I’ll be having lunch with my cousin that I haven’t seen for awhile.  Back to mom’s to get ready to go to my high school reunion that night!  Sunday I’ll be going to church with my mom, brother and sister-in-law, then lunch, then driving home.

So in the course of a few very short weeks I’ll be getting together with quite a few different groups of people and it makes my soul content.  More events are planned for the rest of summer and it’s nice to have these things to look forward to.

I really don’t remember a year where this many “formal” gatherings have been planned.  Really I think that I rather like it.  :)

What about you – any summer get-togethers planned?

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Grandma’s 90th Birthday

SUCH a great day!  I’ll admit that I was pretty worried as this party/picnic was planned at the park in a shelter and Edmond was so hot that day.  But we were mightily blessed with a great breeze and as long as we stayed in the shade it really wasn’t too bad.  Still very hot, but at least it wasn’t overwhelming.

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This is my grandmother, Brooklyn and me. 


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We had a bounce house for the kids and it was a HUGE hit!  All the littles loved going in there and jumping around.  Brooklyn is standing in the picture and my cousin’s daughter Rita is sitting in the front.  This cousin and his family live in Oregon, so it was great that they were able to come down.  Rita is one of those babies that you love to be around – she was always smiling!


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This was so cute to watch.  Several of us are sitting in chairs enjoying the breeze in the shade.  Lynne’ was sitting on the grass and when Brooklyn saw her aunt Nay she came running over to roll around with her.  Rita saw it and started laughing and ran over as well!  My daughter is such a good sport to let the littles literally run all over her.  :)



Grandma and her two birthday cakes.  She really had a nice time and we had over 90 people there!  Every single time I looked at her she was grinning ear to ear.

And see the white cake?  When we went to get our piece of cake Brooklyn said all she wanted was an orange flower.  My cousin cut a small piece with an orange flower….and the only thing B ate was the icing flower.  That girl definitely knows what she wants!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Brooklyn Tries S’Mores

One of the best parts about grilling burgers and hot dogs is making s’mores.  Last year we made s’mores in the oven and while those were really good, it wasn’t quite the same experience without the worry of catching the marshmallow on fire.

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Come to find out, this was the first time Brooklyn had ever tried a s’more!  She wasn’t so sure about the idea, but we finally talked her into taking a bite.


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She liked it!  In fact, she’s telling us here that she wants 2 more!



And with that she settled in and got comfortable, very happy to be eating a s’more.  Really does it get any better than this?


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I’m not sure if you can tell on this picture, but there’s a little bit of chocolate on her eyelid.  This girl really  liked them…


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…even if they do get a little messy!


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I absolutely love this picture of my daughter-in-law and Brooklyn being silly.

Life is good…..

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Book Giveaway Winner!

The winner for a copy of the book Life, In Spite of Me is Julia Reffner!

I do hope that this book makes its way into libraries as I found it impactful.  Knowing that God held out His hand to Kristen and helped her find her self-worth is something that so many people could benefit from reading.

I hate to say “enjoy” to Julia for winning, but I do hope you find it as thought provoking as I did.