Friday, May 19, 2017

Friday's Fave Five #430

Happy Friday everyone and welcome to this week's edition of Friday's Fave Five.  This week has been all over the place and I can't believe it's already Friday.  I'm so glad I have this day to share with you all and help center me into living a more grateful life by making me intentionally pause and be aware of blessings in my life, otherwise I think I'd just be racing through and missing so much of the little daily gifts of God.  Please join us if you haven't already.  Guidelines are linked in the sidebar.

1.  Mother's Day.  This day is sometimes so hard to talk about.  I know there are so many who are hurting on this day for various reasons and my heart thinks about and prays for them each year.  But it is also a day that I do enjoy celebrating my Mom and I enjoy whatever the kids and hubby do for me.  We had our traditional KFC meal with some yummy side salads from another store.  I don't even know how all that got started but probably because neither my hubby or I like to stand in line at restaurants and be herded through their very busy day and that is my hubby's way of "cooking".  But I like it.  And I love a tradition so it's win/win.  We had my mom over and watched a movie later.  The kid's blessed me with flowers to plant outside and I got phone calls from the two who don't live here.  A nice relaxing day!

2.  Birthday celebration.  My Dad's birthday fell on Mother's Day this year so we took him for lunch the day before to his restaurant of choice.  It was a nice way to visit with him and I think he was thrilled to get to order his favorite:  liver and onions.  It's the little things!

3.  Answered prayers.  I can't go into detail but I've been lifting some needs up for someone near and dear to me and there has been good reports being texted to me.  So thankful that when we are burdened with the things of life that God says to come and cast our cares and anxiety upon Him because He cares for us and that He will exalt us at the proper time.  (I Peter 5: 6-7).  It is exciting to see answers to prayer!

4.  Funny things kids say.  I love when little ones between 18 months and 2 years are learning to talk and they happen to accidentally say something that's totally appropriate but they have no idea and it comes out so funny.  This has happened a couple times this week with a little guy in dayhome and it makes my day.

5.  Pinterest.  I can't even describe how thankful I am for this site in regards to my dayhome.  It has given me so many ideas and fun things to try that I never would have thought of.

What have you found to be thankful for this week?

Friday, May 12, 2017

Friday's Fave Five #429

Well, boy oh boy, did I miss my own party or what?  So sorry about the Friday's Fave Five being a no show last week.  Went out of town on Thursday morning and totally forgot to take my computer with me.  And had I have remembered I don't think I would have had time at all to use it anyway.  You see we were at a pretty special function.  But first, please join in with us as we look over the last week for the blessings and good things in our lives and take a moment to share 5 of them and be thankful for them.

1.  The Big Event ... was my son's convocation.  He received his diploma in Emergency Medical Services - Paramedic.  We are so proud of him.  That young man has worked hard and put himself through 4 years of school without taking a loan.  He's level headed, studies hard and has a great attitude.  Now he just has to finish off his last few weeks of practicum and pass the licensing exam (a biggie!) and he will be a full fledged paramedic.  Congratulations Jeremy!

2.  New treat.  I've been wanting to get back to getting myself away from sweets and sugar but have been finding it really hard.  Last week at Costco, I found these little organic treats that have no refined sugar.  Now normally I am not a fan absolutely hate dates.  I can taste them no matter how well hidden.  And this does have dates.  But for some reason I cannot taste them in here.  Maybe it's because I love all the other ingredients, I don't know.  But one or two when I'm craving sugary sweets is enough to take that craving away.  

3.  A wedding shower for a friend's daughter.  I love showers.  Wedding, baby, doesn't matter.  I love the fact that I can bless a friend or a friend's child or grandbaby, love the yummy treats, and yes even the silly games.  I love watching the opening of the presents and seeing what everyone gives.  It's a fun couple of hours for me.   Sunday afternoon I attended a friend's daughter's wedding shower.  It was held in the same place that my own daughter got married in just a year ago so that brought lovely memories flooding back.  And because it was in this venue, I knew the food was going to be delicious.  And it was.  I totally admit I went back for seconds.  

 Just a little sample of the choices.  Yummy!

4.  Beautiful summer-like (at least in these parts) weather.  The past few days the weather has been absolutely gorgeous.  We've been outside a lot with the kids.  And I've also enjoyed some time to sip a coffee and read my book soaking up that wonderful warmth.  And when you're cup matches your current read you know it's going to be a fun day.  :)

5.  The book above.  I've really been enjoying this story.  Many laugh out loud moments, wonderful characters and a good underlying message has kept me totally engaged.  Made for a great read while on the road trip mentioned in #1.

What were your favorite blessings from the last week?

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Checking in!

Well it has been quite the couple of weeks here at the Living to Tell house.  I thought I'd just check in quick and let you know everything is ok.  Thanks to all the bloggy friends who checked in with me.  Last week we took a little road trip to our son's city to watch him graduate from college.  What an exciting time!  We were gone for a 3 days and wouldn't you know in the rush to get on the road and get there, I forgot my computer.  Then when we came back it seems it's just been one thing after another from wedding showers to headaches to exhaustion amongst a few other things.  Throw in a week at work that is super busy because of Mother's Day day and I have just not been on here.

In all honesty, I never thought to just come and give a little hello and let everyone know I was ok because I never thought the little ol' blog would be missed.  Thank you to all who reached out to check up on me.  It has meant the world to me and has really encouraged me.  I'll be back tomorrow with FFF and hopefully back to a regular routine on here.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Memory of You by Catherine West ~ Book Tour and Review

Publisher's Description: 
Thirteen years ago, Natalie lost a part of herself when her twin sister died. Will traveling back to the family winery finally put the memory to rest, or will it completely destroy her?

 When Natalie Mitchell learns her beloved grandfather has had a heart attack, she’s forced to return to their family-owned winery in Sonoma, something she never intended to do. She’s avoided her grandparents’ sprawling home and all its memories since the summer her sister died—the awful summer Natalie’s nightmares began. But the winery is failing, and Natalie’s father wants her to shut it down. As the majority shareholder, she has the power to do so. And Natalie never says no to her father.

 Tanner Collins, the vintner on Maoilios, is trying to salvage a bad season and put the Mitchell family’s winery back in business. When Natalie Mitchell shows up, Tanner sees his future about to be crushed. Natalie intends to close the gates, unless he can convince her otherwise. But the Natalie he remembers from childhood is long gone, and he’s not so sure he likes the woman she’s become. Still, the haunted look she wears hints at secrets he wants to unearth. He soon discovers that on the night her sister died, the real Natalie died too. And Tanner must do whatever it takes to resurrect her. But finding freedom from the past means facing it.

My Thoughts:
I loved this story.  It captured me right from the first pages and totally had my emotions invested into the characters all throughout the book.  The setting is beautiful, the Sonoma wine valley,  and the author's descriptions made me picture it clearly in my mind's eye.  The two main characters  are both dealing with tragic circumstances that have changed who they are and their struggles came across as authentic and well written.  Right from the get-go I felt for Natalie's pain and vulnerability as the life-long struggle with the death of her sister so many years before comes back full force after a negative event in her adult life.   As her life starts to spiral her father decides she should go back to the very place her pain began, her grandfather's  home and winery, with the mandate to shut it down.  Because her grandmother bequeathed her the majority of shares in the winery, Natalie hopes to see if she could improve on it and not close it's doors.  But she must go against her father to that.  And after spending her growing up years and her adult life trying to please her father, Natalie doesn't know if she has the strength to go against him.   As she comes face to face with a combative, defensive and angry vintner, who just happens to be a crush from her childhood and  who believes she is about to put him out of a job, you can't help but hope she can hold it together.   I must admit I struggled a bit to like Tanner at first until his story started to unfold and you saw the place of pain he was operating from.  The secondary characters were all nicely developed too.   As the story peals back it's many layers it deals with loss, guilt, secrets, family dynamics, depression,  facing the past and moving forward, forgiveness, faith and love.  I found it multi-layered and rich with a satisfying ending.

Thanks to BookLook Bloggers for a free copy for review.  I was not required to give a positive review.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Friday's Fave Five #428

1.  Chickadee sighting.  Though these have been a favorite little bird of mine in pictures, I don't think I have ever actually seen them.  Then this week, when I turned into the back alley, there in the bushes of the corner house were two little chickadees bouncing around in the budding greenery.  I was so excited but didn't want to scare them off so I didn't scramble for the phone camera and instead just enjoyed the gift of the moment and watched them.

2.  Finding an Easter family pic that I forgot about.  After seeing everyone's wonderful family Easter pics I felt a little bummed that I didn't take one when the family was together at Easter.  I thought other than the meal picture I posted last week, which of course I'm not in because I'm taking the pic, I thought there was none of the family.  But after looking at everybody that posted on FFF I started scrolling through my phone hoping.  And lo and behold, we did get some pics that I totally forgot posing for.  LOL.  Sheesh.  Better start taking ginko or something.  But I'm thankful we did get some pictures.

3.  And speaking of pictures...I finally got some pictures from the wedding printed and framed.  Seeing as the kids had their 1 year anniversary a few weeks ago and I've had the frame gifted to me at Christmas, it was about time.  I'm really please with how it turned out and it fills the spot above the fireplace perfectly.  I love the black and white with focused splash of color on each picture.  It's fun playing with these simple editing programs like iPiccy and PicMonkey and seeing fun results.

4.  Organic Peppermint Tea.  I came down with yet another head cold this week.  Ugh, my third one I'm sure since Christmas.   Peppermint tea has been soothing and helping me to keep my liquid intake up.

5.  Turkey Noodle soup.  I think I made the best batch I ever have.  I started a broth bag in the freezer and everytime I have veggie scraps such as onions, celery that's gone a tad limp, the destemmed tops of peppers, the ends that get cut off of asparagus, parsley stems, etc. , I throw it into the bag.  I used this along with the turkey carcass from Easter to simmer away and make an absolutely wonderful broth.   I've been a soup lover since I was a kid so when I experiment and it turns out that good it makes me happy.

What were your favorite blessings this week?

Wednesday, April 26, 2017



Updated 2 1/2 hours later: 

Well that's a bit better!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Friday's Fave Five #427

Welcome to Friday's Fave Five.  I'm not going to do a big intro paragraph this week as my 1st fave pretty much sums it up.  I'll just extend an invitation and invite one and all to join on in.  Guidelines are in the sidebar if you have never participated before.  

1.  This post from Lysa TerKuerst on facebook.

"Are we rushing past God’s goodness?

 One summer when my son Mark was working at a camp and feeling homesick, I mailed him a special care package to cheer him up. 

I was a little disappointed when several days passed, and I hadn’t heard a word from him about the package. When we called to ask if he’d received it, Mark simply said, “Oh yeah, I did. But I haven’t opened it yet.” 

Who gets a gift of love packaged up and sent to them and doesn’t even take time to open it?

 In that moment, the Holy Spirit pricked my soul, “Lysa, in all of your rushing, you do this very same thing to me.” God places gifts of love all throughout our days, things He knows we need. But it’s up to us to slow down enough to even notice."

This is exactly why I started Friday's Fave Five.  It's why I have continued it for 427 posts.  It's why even when Thursday night rolls around and I haven't done my post and I'm tired and unmotivated that I stop in my tracks and pause and intentionally do my post whether I feel like it or not.  I am trying to train myself to daily and moment by moment notice the gifts God places in my day.  I don't always get it, the tyranny of the busyness still gets me at times even after all this time,  but at least FFF helps me to intentionally look.

Check out Lysa's FB page (linked above) or the Proverbs 31 Ministries homepage for more daily encouragement. 

2.  Gift from my youngest.  Mother/Daughter watches.  Cause Mom is not quite ready for a tatoo (though the girls are trying hard to convince me).  But it was a sweet idea.  And she actually was able to get a watch that has a picture of something that means something significant to each of us.  A bird for me, an owl for her sis and a butterfly for herself.  What a special gift from the heart.

Note to self:  Don't let my hand be on top 'cause it will look twice the size!  :D

3.  Easter celebration with the family.  It was a special weekend indeed.  A couple of nice dinners with the all the family.  Easter Sunday service with all of us together.  And a show together with the girls.  Lots of visiting time and lots of fun.  

My sister even had her Easter egg hunt which is hilarious because my 80 something mother gets right in there with the young people.

4.  Movie evening with hubby.  Monday was a day off for me and with the kids headed back to their respective homes, hubby and I relaxed and watched the movie "Lion".   Such a good movie!  I love "based on a true story" movie and this did not disappoint.  Even though the first 1/4 of the movie was sub-titled it was easy to read and follow and because I was invested into the character's story.

5.  The gift of beautiful warm afternoons.  Gorgeous mid-days have found me and and kids able to go outside every day this week.  Sunshine and exercise,  room to move and run around always perk us all up after being cooped up inside.   I love spring!
What were your favorite blessings this past week?