Friday’s Fave Five

Itโ€™s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

This week, thankfully, had no major off days or bad days as the last couple of weeks have had. In fact, all around it has been a pretty good week. Here are the best parts:

1. Lunch with Melanie, my blog friend who moved to TN and became a real-life friend. ๐Ÿ™‚ย  We met at Cracker Barrel this time. The food was wonderful and the fellowship even better. Before we moved here, I used to get together with friends for lunch pretty often, and haven’t really done that here. I didn’t realize how much I missed and needed it until these last couple of lunches with Melanie. We’re already planning our next excursion. ๐Ÿ™‚

2. Ladies Brunch at our church. The theme was “Oaks of Righteousness” from Isaiah 61:3: “To grant those who mourn in Zion, giving them a garland instead of ashes,
The oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified” (NASB). The decorations, speaker, food, and fellowship were all a blessing. I’m borrowing a couple of photos from their Facebook page since I didn’t think to take any.

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I thought the centerpieces were especially pretty. The wood came from the church property and the flowers were donated by a local florist.

For our activity/favor, we got to choose three different herbs to plant in little containers painted in chalk paint so we could write the name of the plant on them. I’ve got mine on the windowsill right now until I decide where to put them: basil, chives, and rosemary. I have never worked with fresh herbs before, so this will be a learning experience.

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3. A surprise lunch visit. Mittu texted me Wednesday to ask if she, Jason, and Timothy could bring Chick-Fil-A over for lunch and visit for a while. Sure!

4. Days at home. I consider running errands a ministry to my family, or part of my job in the distribution of necessary tasks involved in having a home and family. If I can get things done in the day time, then my husband doesn’t have to spend time doing them after long days at work, and I’m available if we do anything on the weekend instead of having to run around. And it’s nice to get out of the house some. ๐Ÿ™‚ But some weeks, it seems like I am out almost every morning, and then I feel overloaded and don’t get things done at home. Except for a quick run to the drugstore one day, somehow this week I made it to Thursday before needing to make a major grocery expedition. It felt marvelous! And I don’t think I’ll need to run any other errands this week.

5. A mini closet project. Part of that time at home allowed for something I had been itching to do for a while now. My whole closet didn’t need cleaning or organizing, but I had some clutter in there to take care of. When I buy something online or in town, I keep the packaging for a while in case I need to return anything, so I had that kind of stuff accumulating for months, plus a wedding present to package. I had taken the heaviest of my winter things out earlier, but took the rest out at this time and got rid of one dress that was in no condition to wear again. I often vacuum the walk-in part of the closet, but this time I vacuumed under all the clothes, straightened the shoes, dusted the ones I hadn’t worn in a while. It felt good to get all that done.

Bonus: We had thunderstorms in the forecast for much of this week, but thankfully didn’t get any. We had some heavy rain one day and a bit more scattered throughout the week, with some overcast skies, but that was it. Thunderstorms always make me a little nervous about falling trees and power outages, so I was very happy not to have any. ๐Ÿ™‚ We have more in the forecast for next week, so we’ll see how it goes.

Have a great Friday!

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Friday’s Fave Five

Itโ€™s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

This week didn’t start off so well, with me forgetting that my mother-in-law’s caregiver had an appointment, and I scheduledย  a lunch with a friend for then and had to reschedule it; forgetting that we’d scheduled the hairdresser to come for my m-i-l on Monday; forgetting that the nurse was coming on Tuesday, even though she’s been coming on Tuesdays regularly for months now; forgetting to take care of the bathroom after my m-i-l’s shower (I usually put the ramp back against the wall, mop up the floor, and replace the bath mats while our caregiver and the bath aide take her back to her room and get her dressed) so that our caregiver had to do it; putting my container of ramen soup on the end table and spilling it all over, dousing a remote control (I put it in a bag of rice just to be safe, but it ended up ok), and dropping a dozen eggs on the grocery store floor after paying for them (thankfully only two broke, but I had to rinse off all the rest). I don’t know why I was so “off” for a couple of days! But thankfully the rest of the week went much better. Here are the best parts of it:

1. Mother’s Day. I took some time to think about special moms in my own life, and my family always does a great job making it a special day for me. Jim grilled his wonderful teriyaki chicken and Jason and Mittu made salad, potatoes, corn on the cob, rolls, andย  chocolate pretzel pie and banana cream pie.

Everything wasn’t on the table yet in this photo, but I love that cute little guy at the end helping himself to a roll. ๐Ÿ™‚

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My daughter-in-law picked out pretty plates for the meal and dessert, all disposable for easy cleanup:

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Wishing Jim’s Mom Happy Mother’s Day:

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I received some lovely gifts and cards as well. I am blessed. ๐Ÿ™‚

2. Timothy shucking corn for the first time was absolutely adorable. He was so excited to help, and when he pulled the leaves back, he exclaimed, “There’s CORN in there!”

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When he tried to eat corn on the cob for the first time, he noted, “It’s stuck.” He gave up after a bit, but made a good try.

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3. Movie night with my husband. After everyone left on Mother’s Day and Jesse went back to his room, Jim and I relaxed for the rest of the afternoon, and later that evening rented and watched the movie Hidden Figures. It was SO good! (Warning: there’s just a bit of bad language, most near the beginning). It’s the true story of three African-American women who worked with calculations involved in the first manned space flights (a good article on them is here).

4. A new desk chair. Last week my desk chair suddenly broke. It had probably been on the verge, unnoticed, for a long time. My new one is even more comfortable.

5. Printable art. A lot of places online offer free frameable printable decorated Scripture verses, and for a Mother’s Day gift for the ladies at our church, our pastor’s wife printed out several she had found. This was the one I chose. It fits perfectly on my little entry table.

Happy Friday!

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Friday’s Fave Five

Itโ€™s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

Thursday morning as I was thinking about what I might include in this week’s FFF, I thought, “Well, I don’t know. It’s been a pretty bad week.” And then I had to correct myself, as it was really only one bad day, and that wasn’t even the whole day. So I am thankful for the FFF, because otherwise I would have let that one day shade all the rest.

1. My mother-in-law’s regular caregiver. Most of you know we have someone from a health-care agency in our home a few hours a day to take care of my mother-in-law so I can run errands, make and go to appointments, or just have a break. Our regular helper is wonderful – the best we’ve had either at home or in any facility. She needed a day off this week, so the agency sent a substitute. We’ve had this substitute before, and while she was not our favorite, we figured she could handle the basics well enough. But she was the source of my Very Bad Day this week. She won’t be coming back. And she made me appreciate our regular person even more. It was so nice, the day she came back, to be able to relax and do whatever I needed to do, knowing that Jim’s mom was in good hands.

2. Pool time with Timothy. The little wading pool we had for him is cracked and too small now, so his parents brought theirs over. It was fun to get the little pool toys out again and to show him a couple of new ones I had gotten. I may be a grandma, but I still get excited about little wind-up animals that “swim” in the water. ๐Ÿ™‚

3. Pleasant evenings. Both during the “pool night” and one other evening when I was refilling bird feeders and watering plants, it was so pleasant outside. Just the right temperatures, little humidity, and a little breeze.

4. Time off from cooking. I know I say this frequently – but it’s a favorite whenever it happens. ๐Ÿ™‚ Jason and Mittu brought barbecue from a favorite place one evening last weekend, and Jim and I brought McAlister’s Deli home for Sunday dinner since Jesse had plans with friends. Then Mittu brought dinner over for the “pool night.”

5. My husband’s thoughtfulness. He had to leave early one morning to go out of town. He usually makes his mom’s breakfast, but I would need to that morning. But he set everything out, crushed her pills (that always takes me a long time), measured out her coffee, and got as much ready as he could ahead of time. And then he even got the bathroom set up for her shower (towels on the floor under the ramp, shower curtain tucked out of the way, etc.). He’s a keeper. ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy Friday!

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Friday’s Fave Five

Itโ€™s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

Wow – May already! I am enjoying this spring so much, I’m not eager for summer yet. So I’m trying toย  treasure the days as they go by. Here are some favorites parts of the last week:

1. Meeting Melanie! We’ve been following each other’s blogs for…I don’t know how many years now. She recently moved to TN after caring for her mom for many years until her mom’s recent passing. We got together for lunch, and enjoyed talking so much. We had our faith in common as well as caregiving, and as we talked, we just seemed to find more and more areas of similarity. She’s a sweet lady. It was such fun to meet her in person, and we’re already planning our next get-together!

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2. Clean curtains, windows, and blinds, at least in three rooms. These weren’t originally on my agenda this week, but some spatters on the valance above the sink led to taking it down to be washed (actually, asking Jesse to take them down – I found I couldn’t reach them even with my step-ladder), which led to taking down the curtains in my bedroom and bathroom to make a full load, which led to cleaning the blinds and windows while I had everything off of them. You don’t notice how much dust, spiderwebs, etc., have accumulated on those things til you get up close! And I thought all but the kitchen valance would be ready to hang back up from the dryer, but they all needed ironing. Even though it’s not something immediately noticeable, it’s a nice feeling to know they’re all fresh and clean. And since I’ve made that start, I am planning to do some of the other windows in the next few days.

3. Sheet pan meals. Have you heart of these? I’d seen them mainly on the Skinnytaste blog and then searched for more. The basic idea is that meat (usually chicken) and vegetables and sometimes potatoes are all baked together on one cookie sheet. I printed off a few different recipes, which all had different cooking temperatures and spices, and drew from the different ones to make my own creation. ๐Ÿ™‚ I cooked the chicken a bit too long, but the roasted broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots turned out really well. Jesse isn’t usually crazy about broccoli, but loved them this way – less crunchy than raw, but not limp. Plus it was nice not having several pans to clean. I’m looking forward to trying more variations of this.

4. Neighbors coming together. One neighbor lost half of a huge tree in his front yard during some strong winds this week. It was so neat to see many of the neighbors pitching in to help cut up and clean up the debris. When Jim got in from work, he took his chain saw over and helped.

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I hope it survives. It’s my favorite tree in the neighborhood, beautiful especially in the spring and fall.

5. Cute Timothy moment of the week. Timothy and his parents were over last night and went over to look at the tree. He was taking various sticks from one of the piles of debris and playing with them, pretending the kinds of things little boys do with sticks. Then he took his stick and put it into a crack in the bark of the “broken” tree – to “fix” it by trying to put some branches back in. โ™ฅ

Happy Friday!

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Friday’s Fave Five

Itโ€™s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

Here we are at the end of another month – almost 1/3 of the way through 2017 already. It’s so vital to stop a moment and reflect on what God is doing in our lives and thank Him for it all. Otherwise it all flies by like the days on the calendar and we forget. Here are a few favorites from the past week:

1. A wedding at our church. Always a joy to share in such an occasion. Everything was lovely, and I enjoyed fellowshipping with friends at the reception.

2. Safety driving in a storm. I should have left the reception about 15-20 minutes earlier than I did. A massive storm broke out soon after I started, the worst storm I have ever driven through. The windshield wipers couldn’t keep up with the downpour and I could only barely see the lines on either side of the lane. I could see the lights of cars pulled over to wait the storm out, but not where to turn. In TN you don’t pull off a road without seeing where you’re going – there are a lot of steep drop-offs without guard rails. I did finally make out a gas station and pulled in for a little bit. I set off again when the storm seemed to let up, but before long torrents of rain and hail started coming down again until I was nearly home. I did a lot of crying out and praying and pleading on that drive, and I was rattled for hours after I got home. But I am thankful God brought me home safely.

3. Flowers. I have a couple of planters on the back patio and hadn’t gotten flowers for them when I got the ones for the front a few weeks ago.

The label says these are dianthus, but they look like mini carnations to me. (I just googled dianthus, and apparently carnations belong to that family!)

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These took a bit of a beating in the storms, but there are pink geraniums in the back and a smaller white flower in the front. It looks like more geraniums are about to bloom.

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You can see I need to clean out the old leaves from my hydrangea behind that planter. That leads me to a question: are you supposed to cut back the old wood of a hydrangea? I never have, unless it’s poking out at an odd angle, and it has always filled in okay, but I have wondered.

My roses in front have been blooming like crazy, even with the storms knocking some of them off.

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All the flowers above are pink and white, though some of them look orangey-red in the photos.

Jason and Mittu got this rose bouquet for me at Easter. Some of them are starting to droop, but some are still good.

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I don’t know roses, or flowers in general, like nikkipolani does, so I don’t know what these or the ones in front are called. I always think of this kind as unfolding roses – my bushy ones don’t unfold like this, and I think it’s gorgeous.

4. Fans. I tend to get hotter than everyone else, especially at night. A fan in my bedroom helps me not to have to turn the AC lower, and I have been making use of it the last couple of weeks.

5. These photos:

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When Timothy, my grandson, was born 10 1/2 weeks premature, my son took a photo of him with the little sheep every week to kind of give a scale to see how much he was growing. Eventually he took one once a month and now once a year. When he tried to take one after Timothy’s third birthday, at first Timothy threw the sheep in the air. (Boys. ๐Ÿ™‚ ) But then he hugged it, made it lunch, and put it to bed with a little fan on it so it would be comfortable. So cute! And such a difference three years makes. Some day I’d love to have all the photos of him with a sheep put together like in a time-lapse sequence.

Bonus: A loved one underwent some tests this week, and the results came back negative. Praise the Lord!

Happy Friday and happy weekend!

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Friday’s Fave Five

Itโ€™s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

Can you believe we’re 2/3 of the way through April already? I’m not ready for spring to be passing so quickly! But that’s one thing the Friday’s Fave Five is good for, stopping to treasure those special moments, hold on to them for a while, and be thankful for them so we don’t forget them. Here are the best parts of the last week:

1. Timothy’s 3rd birthday!

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I think his dad may have caught him with a mouthful of cake at that moment. ๐Ÿ™‚

2. Family outings. I mentioned last week that my oldest son was in town, so we had the family all together for Timothy’s birthday and Easter and went to a petting zoo and the WonderWorks museum as well as to Jason and Mittu’s house for a meal. I wrote about it all more extensively here.

3. Easter was a lovely day. Our church just has one service that day with some extraย  music numbers which I enjoyed. Then we took the opportunity of being all together to get some family photos – somehow we missed doing that at Christmas.

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Then we had a great lunch and an Easter egg hunt.

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Then everyone went home and Jim and I crashed for the evening after an enjoyable but busy few days. ๐Ÿ™‚

I forgot to mention in my earlier post a funny thing that happened on Easter. For years I’ve made resurrection rolls with Easter breakfast or lunch (originally with frozen yeast rolls, but knowing when to take the dough out to thaw, how long to let it rise, etc., was a little tricky, especially overnight, so later I saw an idea to use crescent rolls, which worked well. Also since that post I saw the idea to dip the marshmallow in melted butter and then sugar and cinnamon, symbolizing the spices used in burial then – but also because it tastes good – before wrapping the marshmallow in the dough.) The marshmallows are supposed to get absorbed into the rolls, making them sweet and leaving a big hole in the roll, looking like an empty tomb. That’s always happened before, but for some reason this time the marshmallows didn’t melt, so I had to say when I served them that our tombs weren’t quite empty. ๐Ÿ™‚

4. Ham leftovers. Well, it’s great the first time around, too, but I like the leftovers for Swiss Ham Ring-Around, to put in scrambled eggs, to make a ham and cheese omelet, to have as a side item with an over-easy egg and toast, and finally using the hambone in Ham and Potato soup. The guys like it in sandwiches, and Jim usually makes a ham salad with it that we use on crackers or in a sandwich, though we didn’t have that this year.

5. The first rose bloom and hummingbird of the season showed up this week!

We’ve had a lot more rain this week, but I can’t complain (not that I should anyway), since last week was gorgeous.

All in all a lovely week with good memories.

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Friday’s Fave Five

Itโ€™s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

It’s been a wonderfully springy week! Here are some of the best parts of it:

1. A working toilet. The one in my bathroom had been having problems for a few days and finally stopped working altogether. Thankfully it wasn’t the only one in the house, but, still…it was a great relief to have it operational again, and I am thankful for a handy husband who can take care of things like that.

2. A new pillow. Mine had gotten hard and bunched up. Even washing and drying it, which usually fluffs it up a bit, wasn’t working any more. The new one has almost the opposite problem – I kind of sink into it. But I am getting used to it.

3. New flowers. I got some new flowers into the two planters out front and hanging baskets up outside. I always love how it looks to have them there. For some reason we don’t usually get to it til mid-May, but this year I looked up the date of the last expected frost and got them up the first weekend after! I’ve got a couple more planters in the backย  and a place or two in the yard to fill, and I am looking forward to looking for plants for those soon. Someone had also given my mother-in-law an arrangement of several spring bulbs, and after they started to droop I dug out the bulbs and planted them outside. I’ve never planted bulbs before, and I hope they “take.”

Lowe’s had these already assembled, so all I had to to was just dig a hole and transfer it to the planter.

And our dogwood trees are starting to bloom!

4. My oldest son coming for a short visit this week for a couple pf family celebrations, which I’ll have more to say about next week. ๐Ÿ™‚

5. Family walks. Jason, Mittu, and Timothy have been over a couple of evenings for Timothy to ride his little car, and as he got off and explored, that led to some of us taking a walk around the neighborhood. The weather was just right and it was a fun little outing. Plus Jason has an app for his phone that, when a dog is barking loudly, it plays a high-pitched frequency that they can hear but we can’t, which discourages them from barking. There are a couple of houses I hate to walk by because their dogs just follow and bark the whole time, so it was nice to be able to deter that some.

Finally, it’s a highlight of every week to remember our Savior’s death on the cross for our sin and to be thankful for the salvation He offers, but this week when we especially commemorate it, it’s a blessed reminder of His love and grace for us.

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