Thursday, April 30, 2009

Always Give Thanks & A Recipe

While talking to my sister a couple of weeks ago
on the phone, I asked her to send me a recipe and a
message of hope for a cookbook a friend of mine is
working on called, "Sally's Hope".
This cookbook will be filled with recipes and stories
solely from Cancer Survivors.

I received this from Kathi, my precious sister today
and after typing it for her,
to send in for the cookbook, I felt led to
share 'her' story and a yummy recipe
she is now required to bring to
ALL Church luncheons and dinners!

Grape Salad
For a more beautiful salad use both
red & white seedless grapes.
Wash then pull grapes off of stems.
This salad can be as big or small as needed,
just adjust amounts of ingredients as necessary.

For a large ‘grape salad’:
1 8 ounce cream cheese
1 8 ounce sour cream
Blend with mixer.
Pour over grapes, stir to cover grapes.
Then add the following:
½ to 1 cup brown sugar
1 cup roasted pecan pieces

Always Give Thanks
Several years ago I went through a horrible, sad divorce. For eight years I was alone, but during those eight years, Jesus loved me and drew me closer and closer to Him. I fell head over heels in love with my Jesus and I grew to trust Him with my life, with everything. Then He gave me the most wonderful, precious gift-David, a husband who loves Jesus more than anything and loves me like Jesus loves the Church. After we were married, David noticed a place, a mole on the back of my right shoulder that I had never and would have never noticed. He was concerned and asked me to go to a dermatologist to have it checked. I did. They took it off and sent it to be tested. They were very concerned also saying those dreaded words, “It does not look good.” The next day they called to tell me it was an extremely aggressive melanoma. They scheduled an appointment with a surgeon that day. My husband came to be with me as we met with the surgeon. When the doctor came into the room, my eyes filled with tears and I asked him, “Do you know my Jesus?” He was taken by surprise and sat down close to me, put his hand on my knee and said, “I have never been asked that question, and yes, I know Him.” “I love Him and He is my dearest friend”, he went on to tell me. While we were having our Hallelujah party, I told him I just didn’t want anyone operating on me who didn’t know Jesus. He explained what was going to take place and we prayed together. The surgery was a couple of days later.
When David and I were taken to my room, several men who love us, from our Church, were already there praying. In a little while, they came to get me and took me for the dye test, that dreaded test to check lymph nodes, etc. When they inserted that horrible needle I remember thanking Jesus for all the pain He went through to save us from our sins. Precious people took care of me. They took me back to my room to get me ready for surgery.
The room was full now with precious people praying. Then my doctor came in, took me by the hand and prayed with me and all of us. I was floating in the Holy Spirit. It was beautiful! They took me; no I floated to pre-op.
When I got there, the nurse was getting me ready and these words came out of my mouth, “You nurses must be so blessed to work with doctors who love Jesus.” All of a sudden tears began to stream from her eyes, down her face and onto the bed. She looked deep into my eyes and said, “I haven’t thought about Jesus for years.” She continued to say, “I have a two year old little boy and I have never mentioned Jesus to him. Oh, I am so sorry; my life is fixing to change! Thank you for saying His name.”
I didn’t remember anything after that. My doctor came in after surgery. He said they had gotten all of the cancer and there was no sign of any cancer in the lymph nodes.
When I went to see him the next week, he said I was completely healed and he had never seen anybody heal so quickly.
Do you believe God loves one person so much that He would allow a person to have cancer to mention His name so that one person could hear His name? I do. I believe He loves us so much and pursues us so relentlessly that He’ll do anything to draw us to Him. Every single time I see the cross, I’m reminded of that. His love for us was forever settled there and will never change!
Thank you Jesus!
Say the name, the name of Jesus, the name above all names!
“Rejoice evermore! Pray without ceasing! In everything give thanks for this is the will of God concerning you. Quench not the Spirit!”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-19

Gift ideas for the graduate

Several of these 8" x 8" tiles were engraved for a sweet
customer and friend in Nebraska earlier this week.
She specified the class quote for the bottom of her gifts.
I changed the Cross on these to
give them a female and male touch.

And one of my devotionals for today
included the following Scripture,
which would be a great one for graduates
to keep in mind,
as they move on to new opportunities.

Can you fathom the mysteries of God?
Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?
They are higher than the heavens-
what can you do?

They are deeper than the depths of the grave-
what can you show?

Their measure is longer than the earth
and wider than the sea.

Job 11:7-9 NIV

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

That time of year...

A lot of wedding & graduation gifts are
being engraved this time of year!
So I thought it would be a nice idea
to show some new designs engraved for these
very special occasions.

Blessings today and always,

For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone;
The flowers appear on the earth;
the time of the singing of birds is come.
Song of Solomon 2:11-12 KJV

Happy Birthday Surprise for Jim!

Thumbs up after a great flight!
...a before the flight kiss...and I'm sure
"you be careful" instructions from Kim...
...and after the birthday flight hugs & smiles...

Jim's wife Kim, from Lone Star called last week and desperately wanted to surprise her husband today for his birthday with a helicopter ride.
Jim is a former pilot and his license was revoked shortly after he started flying, for medical reasons. He l.o.v.e.s. to fly, but because of his declining health over the past few years he hasn't had many opportunities to do so.
Kim asked him this morning to go outside with her and immediately he said, "What the heck (?) is that?" He recognized the sound and asked his sweet wife, "You got me a helicopter ride for my birthday, didn't you?"
He was thrilled beyond words, what a fun birthday for Jim, as we were very thankful for perfect weather and a great morning with them.
Happy Birthday Jim!
J & K
P. S. If you're ever in the Lone Star, Texas area, Jim & Kim own a small motel and RV park on Lone Star Lake named Scenic View Motel & Marina. Their place was formerly known as Pop Warner's Fish Camp. A great place to visit and I'm sure this very sweet couple would be wonderful hosts!

2009 Big 12 Champions

Tripp, Jack IV, Ali and Holly
didn't let spraying around a little Apple Cider dampen their
joy of winning the 2009 Big 12 Softball Championship!
Boomer Sooner!
Congratulations and best of luck for the remainder of this season,

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Skeet shooting..after all these years

MK and her Dad down on the range
& sporting matching hats & glasses.
Zachary, the cutest 5 year old shooter I've ever seen!
Leah taking her first lessons!
I think she liked it a lot.
She bought her first shotgun this week
and has taken more lessons.
I think this might be her new favorite sport.

Zachary was the 'proud' puller for Leah as she was learning
and he was her 'good luck' charm since each time he pushed
the button for her to release the skeet, she HIT IT!!!
Yeah Zachary and Leah, the two of you make a great team!
Zachary with his Dad as his teacher
and his Mom as his 'puller'! What a threesome.

Even though it was a terribly windy afternoon,
everyone had a great time amongst
chasing the dog, chasing Trent, teaching new shooters,
and in the middle of all of the shooting,
leaving to take a sweet man, who turned 100
last Sunday on his first ever helicopter ride.

What a jam-packed-fun-filled afternoon...whew....

Sequence of a day away

1. Seeing a great friend for the first time in over a year
and having to hug through the fence:(
2. Finally making it to an OU Softball Game in 2009
and it is "Play for Kay Day" (who me?)....not:)
Kay is on staff at The University of North Texas
and is a Leukemia Survivor.
She was there to throw out the first pitch!
Many answered prayers on her behalf, praise the Lord.
3. My description of this photo:
Throwing out the game notes after a BIG WIN!
And from the looks of the players faces
they LOVED it! Boomer Sooner!
4. A tile engraved for an upcoming fund raiser for OU Softball.
5. Hurry to the bus....there's Jeanette's Pound Cake
brought from Mt. Pleasant waiting for us,
if the bus driver hasn't already devoured it!
6. One last picture of Tripp & Mary Katherine before
he heads back North to Norman,
and Mary Katherine and I head East (home).

Memories of Taviano's Visit #2

We were thrilled the Taviano's decided
to come back to Mt. Pleasant!
So.......we had to add 'back' to the
welcome sign!
Segway Lessons 101, with Maddie's help of course!
Gabe on 2 wheels! You Go Gabe!
Mary Katherine with The Taviano's before they left
for Memphis....
....and the sign left by them upstairs in the room they stayed in!
Very sweet of them to say good-bye this way. :( sniff-sniff

We look forward to reading more stories from their trip and
seeing some of the 3,000+ photos they took.
WOW, that is a lot of pictures.

Please visit here, here & here to read more
about their 2009 Spring Break trip
and also about the zoos
they've visited in the past several months
and more currently,
the zoos they've visited during the past 2 weeks.

We thoroughly enjoyed our visits with them while on their
way to zoos in South Texas and their visit coming back
through here on their way to visit the Memphis Zoo.

As I said in the first post I wrote about their stay here with us,
"We'll never be the same", p.e.r.i.o.d.

They are such a wonderful, uplifting,
beautiful, positive, Jesus loving family!
If they are on your family's route for their next zoo trip,
I promise you would be very blessed to meet them and
to host them in your home.

We miss you and love you and
appreciate your prayers more than you know,
Matthew 21:22

"Lord, what a joy and security it is
that we may, that we must, pray together."
-Corrie ten Boom-Each New Day-April 24

And your ears shall hear a word behind you saying,
"This is the way, walk in it," when you turn
to the right or when you turn to the left.
Isaiah 30:21

Big Win For The Home Team

Trace's team came back from an 8-4 deficit to
WIN in the last inning of the game!
Cutest little 9 year old #13 2nd Baseman I've ever seen!

For Harley fans out there, this picture was taken of
the sign, not the Harley, but I couldn't make myself
crop it out of the picture when I noticed it was sitting there!

I write this to you who believe in the Son of God,
so that you may know you have eternal life.
And we can be confident that He will listen to us
whenever we ask Him for anything in line with His will.
1 John 5:13-14

Friday, April 24, 2009

Anniversary & Adoption

Celebrating 50 Years Of Marriage
The winner of a past giveaway has two precious
daughters who were adopted from Russia.
Shown above is what she chose for her winning tile(s).
She wanted keepsakes for each of
her special daughters.

Edited to add:
Please visit here, Southern Hospitality,
where sweet Rhoda is hosting a give-a-way
of one of my items over the weekend.
Good luck!

Blessings this weekend and always,
Matthew 21:22

Our hearts ache, but at the same time
we have the joy of the Lord.
We are poor, but we give
rich spiritual gifts to others.
We own nothing, and yet we enjoy everything.
2 Corinthians 6:10

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Guess who's coming....back!

Yes! They'll be back tonight!
So I took this out of one of Marla's books....
And engraved some of these for her!

Couldn't think of anything more appropriate for
a wonderful author.

From reading both Marla and Gabe's blogs the past few days,
I think they've enjoyed this trip to Texas and they found out
Texas is a BIG STATE!

Praying for safe travels throughout the remainder of their journey.
I hope to post more stories and pictures from their stay here later!

Blessings always,
Matthew 21:22

You who live in the shelter of the Most High,
who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,
will say to the Lord,
"My refuge and my fortress;
my God, in whom I trust."
Psalm 91:1-2

Monday, April 20, 2009

Loyal Friends

The tiles shown were shipped today to Fayetteville, Arkansas. These are ordered each year by a sweet friend I worked with many years ago while he coached at Louisiana-Lafayette then The University of Arkansas, and is now a high school coach in the Fayetteville area. These are personalized with names and numbers and will be given to his Senior athletes during their Spring Athletic Banquet.

When he placed his order he told me the parents have really enjoyed their daughters' receiving these in years past, so he wanted to keep the tradition going.

Whatever the sport, it is 'all about going home', isn't it?

I had the great opportunity to work with many fine college softball coaches years ago, who I continue to stay in touch with even though we don't see one another quite as often as we once did. They are always close at heart and have been incredible loving and loyal friends through many good years and some rough & tough years.

I miss them all and hope to see one of these dear friends later this week! Needless to say I am VERY excited to have the opportunity to travel to watch her team play. And hopefully amongst all of the coaching she'll be required to do we'll have some catch-up "FRIEND" moments while we're there!

As the 2009 season winds down I want to take this opportunity to wish all of you the very best of luck for the remainder of the season and please know I miss working with all of you very much!
Thanks for being wonderful, loyal and loving friends,
Matthew 21:22

...encourage one another....
1 Thessalonians 5:11

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Happy 100th Birthday!

Updated again:
Had to add the note from him to one of the pilots on his 100th!
Please remember he is 100 years old now!
I didn't spell check his is what it is!:)

Updated to add:
This picture just in from a friend and had to share it was well.
"Aged To Perfection...Again"
That is what his "button" read!!!!You gotta love it when a man wants to
fly in a helicopter for the first time....
on his 100th Birthday!

Mr. Wilbur Bugg LOVED every minute of his flight today!

Hope you had a great day,

Every good and perfect gift is from above.
James 1:17

Good Morning Scott: Never in my wildest dreams couls I vision a day like Sunday, They had five parties for me starting at the Convention wigh a couple hundred folks present for the lunch & learn sponsered by our Hospital they gave Jim & I a reserved table & little bugs scattered around the table with The one & only 100 th, Birthday cake, next the Chambers Home health service another great 100th. birthday cake & celebtatiom. My church gave us dinner on t he groundsm inviting my Son,s & family, my son said it would be a week bwefore he could come but he fibbed, as six of my family wethere, then at 2pm we gathered out at the Air Port, where You and Your Mother & Dadhad the show on the road, Thank you so very Much for the Plane r ide & getting the Hellicopter there even our local news did their share of publishing the 100 years!!!!!
You are so very Special your Friend
Wilbur Bugg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy Trails Pop Bugg
dident mention the party here at the retiremeny Center , & Jim was in it all, the pictures were perfect!!!!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Zoo #53 Along The Taviano Way

Welcoming The Precious Taviano Family
We were blessed beyond measure to host the
Taviano Family on Thursday night.

There are so many stories to tell and I spoke
in detail with Marla while she was here
that I simply 'cannot write',
but I sincerely want to tell everyone
a little about this wonderful family
of 'blog friends' we met here at our home.

Since they left here yesterday morning I've felt numb,
since I knew I couldn't 'write this story' I wanted
to tell so very badly.
Prayerfully I can start here and as I
can, I'll try to add more 'chapters'.....

First of all, we'll never be the same, period.

Secondly, they are the first 'blog' friends we've met.

Thirdly, we'll never forget this experience.

This family is a wonderful example of what God
is doing in the lives

of those who are willing to
simply ask Him.

They have prayed more than we can imagine for Him to provide
a way to make these trips to 52 Zoos in 52 Weeks in order for
Marla to write the book she envisioned writing several months ago.

God is answering each and every prayer along the way.
For starters He has provided restored health for Marla,
He has provided the finances needed for their travels,
He has provided homes for them to stay in along the way,
He has provided nourishment, new life-long friendships,
strength along the way, and
He is opening doors for His glory at each mile-marker
along the Taviano's way....
A gift engraved for their family.
Almost the 'whole' zoo!
Minus the doves, the horse, the geese, the swan & I.

When they were getting out of their van,
the first sounds they heard were gunshots..
(only in Texas:)...
Gabe was quick to ask,
'is someone already shooting at us?'

Hopefully he was able to breathe a sigh of relief
when I told him some of the guys were preparing for
a "Relay for Life" Skeet Shoot that was to be held here
today. We've been rained out but the organizers hope
to reschedule the shoot for a great cause in a few weeks.
The sweet ladies sorting through laundry.
I have bragged since they left to
everyone I've spoken to about
their precious daughters.
They are so beautiful, and they are
very respectful, thoughtful and loving,
a gift within itself
and a testimony to their parents for raising these
precious little ones.

As you can see from the photo,
each of them knew her own "job" while doing laundry.
I am convinced they are 'helpers' at home!
What a blessing....

They were so cute (and a little worried) when they saw
the signs in our home saying,
"$5.00 charge for whining" & a sign that reads "No whining".
One of them eventually asked me, "but what if we get hurt?"
I explained to them if they are hurt & are crying that is OK,
but it has been a long-term rule, (ask any of the grand kids),
"No Whining at KK's"!
Needless to say,
the Taviano girls didn't have to leave $5.00!:)

And let's not forget Nina may have met her
future husband while she was here!
Trent was shy about the situation, but I think there may be
something in the works:)
Please go here and here to read more about this chapter
of the story.....
Packing up and ready to go to The Caldwell Zoo in Tyler.
Notice the stickers; they are notes the girls write to one
another while on the road. They also had two strips of tape
in the roof of the van, with the states they are traveling to
written on the tape. One of the girls cut a drawing of a van
out of paper, and is was attached using velcro on Texas!
How ingenious!
Before they can leave, Marla has a 'book signing'!
Thanks so much Marla for the
autographed books for us girls.
And their off.........:( sniff-sniff....
to their next destination...then on to Houston,
then to Sea World in San Antonio,
then to Memphis, then return
to their home..(hopefully I haven't left any city out)?

If your family is on their 'route', it is my sincere prayer
that you have been or will be as blessed
by this sweet Jesus loving
family as we have been.....

Praying for safe travels and fun zoo experiences
throughout the remainder of their trip.
And I want to thank them in advance
for their continued prayers for our family.

Note to Gabe: Jack is standing behind his word
that the flat tire was because of
a nail in the tire while they were in Oklahoma!
He said no way could something
like that happen in Texas:)!

Blessings along this continuing journey...
With His "Tapestry Weaving" Love,
Matthew 21:22

"To the Lord I cry aloud,
and He answers me from His Holy hill.
I lie down and sleep; I wake again,
because the Lord sustains me."
Psalm 3:4-5 NIV

P. S. I am humbled and grateful for being introduced to the
word 'blog' by Mary Katherine a couple of years ago.
When she first said the word 'blog', I asked, "what is a blog?"
Later her husband suggested I 'needed'
a blog and I am very thankful.
There are countless testimonies that have come from
"The Blog World" and I will be forever grateful for
what this has done and is doing in my life,
and in the lives of so many others.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Several new items to share

The above tile was engraved for a
very special Mississippi couple.
A new take on the Family Tile.
Oh, thank you Lord!
A local Realtor called to request a closing gift
for a family who'd purchased a lake house and loved fishing.
Sets of leather coasters engraved with his & her initials
on each side of their last name initial.
Heaven gained a sweet little girl, Mary Kate Rushing,
who lost her battle with cancer last month.
Please keep her Mom, Regina and
her sister, Alyson in your prayers.
Mary Kate was a patient at St. Jude's in Memphis and
stole the hearts of everyone there.
She will definitely be missed here on earth.
Her family was fortunate to vacation in
Hawaii and Disney World,
thanks to the wonderful efforts
of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Regina continues to update on Mary Kate's
Caring Bridge site and ends each message
with a note of thanks to St. Jude's,
and asks for continued prayers for their patients.
This tile hopefully included "All In The Family".
Gracious....I'm hopeful we got this one right!

Blessings this evening and always,
Matthew 21:22

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods.

His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of Lords:

His love endures forever,
to him who alone does great wonders,

His love endures forever.
Psalm 136:1-4 NIV
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