Thursday, September 22, 2016

Thankful Friday

Quiet Sundays

New fall shows

DWTS new season

Apple picking with the grandkids


First day of fall

With our city in unrest
I'm thankful for


"Today, I am thankful."
REPEAT tomorrow!

Did you miss this week's posts?

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Joyce's questions this week welcome my favorite season - FALL! No way could I miss participating in this one!

Are you looking for a mid-week blog post? It's not too late to join in the fun. Visit Joyce at From This Side of the Pond to get her questions.

1. Thursday (September 22) is the first official day of autumn in this part of the will you welcome the season? I know some of you have been celebrating way too early, but it's official now so permission granted. House Beautiful recently listed ten ways to make your home smell like fall (you can read the list here) What's a scent you love this time of year and how will you add it to your home? - Living in the south, autumn does not show up temperature wise, for my liking, until late October or even early November. I've welcomed the season in by hanging my fall wreath on the front door and spent last weekend apple picking with my grandkids. My favorite scents are maple, pumpkin and cinnamon. 

2. Apple pie or pumpkin pie? Apple cake or pumpkin bread? Warm apple cider or a pumpkin spice latte? - I love both apple and pumpkin pie so I can't choose just one. Pumpkin bread (see my recipe here). Warm apple cider, especially on cold evenings.

3. Do you suffer from what is sometimes referred to as an afternoon slump? What helps ward it off before it hits and/or tell us what helps you shake it off once it's here? - I can. I have to jump ahead before it hits. I usually exercise when I get home from work and that helps tremendously. If I have a no exercise day due to weather (walking outside) then I just roll with it because I know it isn't often when it happens. That means I sit on the couch and watch Dr. Oz!

4. Ladies-how have your friendships with women inspired you or made you a better person? For the men here today- how have your friendships with men inspired you or made you a better person? - Over the years women friendships have changed. Women are busy. Between work, family and trying to find time for ourselves, it can be a real challenge to cultivate friendships. I've learned in order to have friends, you need to be a friend. Which means, you have to be willing to put the time and effort into the relationship. Too many times we wait for the other person to do the inviting, make the initiative and follow through. I no longer put the expectation on others to do this. If I want to have a friendship with someone, I take the chance and make the first move.

5. Are you a people pleaser? If you said yes, do you think that's a good or bad thing? If you said no, do you wish you were more of a people pleaser? - Absolutely NOT! And NO I do not wish to be. I will leave it at that!  

6. The seasons are a-changin'...share a favorite song relating in some way to change (not necessarily seasonal change, it could be change of any kind). - Changes by David Bowie

7. What do you wish would never change? - I know change can be good. For me though, it takes a period of time for me to adjust to change. Right now I'm going through a change and if I had my wish, I wish it all would stay the same. The unknown can be a tad unsettling.

8.  Insert your own random thought here. - Fall is welcoming. It's a time of cooler temps, vibrant colors, comfort food and the spirit of the holidays around the corner. I enjoy waking up in the morning and stepping outside to a bit of Jack Frost in the air. The changes in nature getting ready for winter's nap and a pot of hot soup simmering on the stove are autumn treasures. 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Harvest Recipes

It's Harvest Time!
I'm praising the flavors of autumn by sharing a
 few of my favorite fall recipes.

Did someone say "pumpkin?"

Or maybe you said, "apple."

Nothing says comfort like, "soup."

Butternut Squash Soup 

E N J O Y !

More Grammie Time recipes can be found HERE.

My newest obsession is Apple Cider Pound Cake.
   You can find it HERE.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Choosing JOY

If you don't know it by now,
   I'm going to remind you . . .

Laughter is good medicine!

The bible teaches us that during seasons of hardship, laughter is good for us. (Proverbs 17:22)
Laughter helps the unbearable become bearable and "impossible" seems possible. Even the hopeless find hope. Laughter brings joy!

My family has been going through a rough patch these past few months. As much as I try and cultivate a heart of thankfulness, joy and humor, some days the bitterness begins to set in. I really have to fight this. Some of my weapons to do this is bible reading, prayer and quotes. I absolutely love reading quotes. So I decided to share some of my favorites with you.

Maybe you are going through a season of hardship and you need a simple reminder that joy is a choice. It something we choose by surrounding ourselves with people of great joy. Trusting God to help you find something to laugh about. Sometimes we only have to let down our guard, take off the masks and find joy in the little things. It can make a world of difference.

My gift to for each day. Because ...

   "The joy of the Lord is your strength" Nehemiah 8:10 (NIV) 

find joy in the journey

Joy is an outright sign 
Of an inward faith
Of the promises of God.

WAKE up,
DRINK coffee,

Joy is the best makeup!

It's not the circumstances that create joy,
It's YOU!

Spread JOY
everywhere you go.

Now go, smile and spread some JOY. You will feel better!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Thankful Friday

Finding something to be grateful for each day . . .

When God speaks to me through His word - two days in a row. 
Same passage of scripture, same message!
  I think He is trying to tell me something.

Your boss has your back.

Tears roll, stomach cramping laughter!
(Laughter is fantastic medicine)

Playing "hooky" from responsibilities for the day.

Being the first one in the lab for the day to have your blood drawn.
No waiting.

The grand cat returns after three months missing.
Out of nowhere. 

My heart leaps for joy
 and I will give thanks to Him in song.
Psalm 28:7

Did you find something to be thankful for this week?
Would love to hear in the comments below.

Linking with ember grey Grateful Heart

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge

It's been awhile since I've participated in Wednesday Hodgepodge From This Side of the Pond.

Joyce's questions and my answers to them are:
1. What's changed in your life, home, or community since your last birthday? - What has changed...our family. 

2. September is Classical Music Month. Do you like/listen to classical music? If so what's a favorite piece and/or who is a favorite composer? - On occasion I do. Sometimes I put on the classical music station in my classroom during lunch to calm the children and introduce them to soft music. No favorites really. 
3. Besides The Bible, what's a book that has positively changed your life, relationships, career, or perspective? How so? - Over the summer I read The Gratitude Diaries by Janice Kaplan. I keep a personal gratitude journal and write in it every night. Her own personal journey inspired me to continue my journey, especially during difficult times. Times when gratitude is the last thing we often think about when trials come.
4. I read (here) these ten hobbies will make you a musical instrument, read voraciously, meditate regularly, work out your brain (puzzles, sudoku, board games, etc), exercise often, learn a new language, write your feelings down (blog, journal, just write), travel to new places, cook different kinds of meals, participate in sports actively.
Are any on this list your current hobbies? Which hobby on the list would you be most inclined to try? - Exercise often is my go-to stress reliever and anti-aging plan! I've also in the past year checked off two "bucket list" items: zip-lining and indoor rock-climbing. Both were a huge challenge for me! 
5. What sports traditions does your family have?  - As a family, not any. My husband is the sports nut and he is a faithful Miami Dolphins and New York Mets fan. 
6. In a few words, weigh in on the current football/National Anthem brouhaha. Keep it family friendly please. - Disgusted! I'm for freedom of speech, yet when one plays for a national team here in the United States, then my feeling is you respect our anthem along with the freedoms we are given. It is simply about RESPECT! Something that is lacking in this country.
 7. Where do you have loads of patience, and where do you most lack patience? - Patience in the classroom, not so much outside the classroom.  
8. Insert your own random thought here. - Our country is in a downward spiral. Bringing God and the values of our founding fathers back is key. I'm truly concerned about the generation of young people that are being raised in a society which has forgotten about absolutes.
This was once again - FUN! Thanks Joyce for thought-provoking questions.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The Heart of A Marriage

My husband and I are celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary. Thirty years! 

When I look back on the years together there have been times when I wondered if we would make it to the next year.

Marriage is hard work.

Marriage takes commitment.

Marriage is not for the faint of heart.

The heart of a marriage begins with having a God-centered marriage. Keeping Christ and his teachings the focus. Especially during the hard times. Throughout scripture God is clear on how marriage should be. Genesis 2:24

I've seen too many marriages weakened. We often think marital infidelity is the culprit. Or financial woes. Yes, these things alone can damage a marriage sometimes to where it cannot be fixed. Yet, I consider the fallout of marriages to be selfishness. Don't we all want, what we want, when we want it? We think our way is the only way so we let pride determine how issues will be resolved. Turning our hearts away from God and doing things our way or the world's way is a disaster waiting to happen.

The heart of a marriage requires the hearts of both parties. Both have to surrender their rights and trust in the one who created marriage.

My marriage of thirty years hasn't always been easy. It has been downright difficult at times. Yet when I look back, I saw our hardest times healed when we put Christ in the center of our problems and let HIM work it out. We came out stronger. We were able to move forward. We were able to trust.

How is the heart of your marriage?