Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Racing for a Cure

" I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith!" 1 Timothy 4:7

What a busy weekend! I'm still recovering! Early Saturday morning, Hubby and I participated in our local Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5k. I ran with his company to help raise money to fight this disease. They hand out pink sheets that you can write the names of survivors or those who are resting in the arms of God after their long hard fight. I started my list, and the names kept coming! It is amazing to see how this cancer touches the hearts and lives of so many people.
One of the most powerful parts of this race was the Survivor March. Last year, we got to the race so late--due to lack of parking!--that I missed this. Y'all, they had the women in groups with signs designating those who had been cancer free for a year, 1-4 years, 5-9 years, etc. It touched my heart so that I just cried! Then, I recognized a precious lady from my church in the march! I had no idea that she'd had breast cancer. Talking to her Sunday, she said that she's been cancer free for 6 years. Wow! The picture at the top of the post shows a darlin' lady with her flowers that she received at the Survivor Breakfast. I love the scripture under the picture. Think about this. She has fought the battle of cancer. She finished the race of the chemo and radiation--the loss of hair, weight loss, and nausea. She kept the faith throughout, and she persevered. She beat the disease!
The middle one is yours truly and Hubby! And the last one makes me laugh! A Book Club decided to take it a step further. They adorned themselves in pink sequined dresses, red wigs, tiaras and hot pink boots and were asking people what you could do to detect breast cancer early on--self examination and a mammogram. I got a cool prize for being smart!! Ladies, if you have NEVER had a mammogram talk to your doctor and schedule one. They are not bad at all!! I promise! And it could save your life! Do it for your family! Do it for Runner Mom ! Do it for YOU!
The race was a great one. The competitive runners were first--yes, me!, then the fun runners, walkers, and dogs!! The dogs wore cute pink bandannas! Hubby and I finished and needed to get back home to start on the next leg of our long weekend adventure, so we left before awards. I checked last night to see where I came in. In my age group, I came in 4th. Not bad...then I looked at the lady who came in 2nd. It was not a lady, but a business man that we know!!! Somehow, they put him in the women's group--I'm sure he was NOT happy about that! Hmmm...if you move him to the men's division where he belonged, then the lady in third would have placed 2nd, and I would have come in 3rd. Not bad for a tough and hilly 5k! Oh well, I'm sure this guy looked cute wearing my hot pink medal!!
If you have the opportunity to participate in a Race for the Cure, PLEASE do! It is an amazing race to be a part of--whether you run, walk, or volunteer. Get involved!!
Sweet Blessings!

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Don't you just LOVE surprises? Especially when they are delivered by a man in a brown truck? And YOUR name is on the box? Whoo-hoo!! I received a big'ol box the other day and did a little happy dance.

One of my readers, Amykat, sells a really cool product that hasn't made its way down here to SC--yet! She and I were chatting about this product and the next thing I knew, that precious little gal from Texas sent me a sampling of her wonderful product line. Have you ever heard of Scentsy? I had not, but now...it's another story! Y'all, this stuff is really cool! You have a beautiful electrical warmer/light that heats up these cute little scented bars of yummy smells! You simply heat the bar in this little dish that sits on top of the lamp. Then it melts, and a delightful aroma fills your home. My house is smellin' spruce and citrusy!

Now, the really neat thing about this is that when you want to change fragrances, you simply heat up what's in the bowl until it is liquid. Then, you pour what's left back into the original container. It hardens and reshapes itself into a block until you want to use it again. No waste!!! No smoke!! No burning down the house!! I really "heart" this stuff!

Check out Amy's blog and go over to her sidebar that has Scentsy on it. With Christmas coming, this would make a great gift for moms, sisters, friends, or yourself! Enjoy!!

I'm working on my fall fluffin' post! I still have out all of my summer fun decorations--it's still 87 degrees and extremely humid. It's hard to think cooler weather when you don't feel it! I did change out the front door wreath. One step at the time! Y'all have a great day!!

Sweet Blessings!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tasty Tuesday--Apple Walnut Cake

Hey, y'all! I'm over at Jen's for Tasty Tuesday. When we celebrated the 4th of July, the sister of my friend Phebe made this FABULOUS apple cake! Delicious!! Since I had already stuffed myself with hamburgers and hotdogs and potato salad, etc., there wasn't much room left. But...it was amazing!

Since apples are finally in season--the prices are still sky high!--I wanted this recipe to share with my friends. So, here it is. I hope that y'all enjoy!!

Apple-Walnut Cake with Cider Sauce
(I made mine without cider sauce and made a few changes as I usually do when I bake a recipe. The following recipe is mine as I made it. I am including the cider sauce recipe although I did NOT use it.)

2 cups sugar
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup apple cider ( I used apple cider vinegar - This gives it a unique flavor and texture along with the whole wheat flour)
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp each cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups flour ( I used 1 1/2 cup whole wheat and 1 1/2 cup white)
2 large Granny Smith apples (3 1/2 cups), peeled, core and sliced
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts

Cider Sauce
2 cups apple cider
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 10 inch tube pan with removable tube insert with nonstick spray. (I use what ever pan I feel like using or whatever is available at the given time and coat it with shortening and flour)

2. Whisk sugar, oil, apple cider, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt in a large bowl until blended.

3. Stir in flour until blended. Stir in apples and walnuts.

4. Scrape mixture into prepared pan. Bake 1 hour and 10 to 20 minutes. (I found the three different ovens in which I have baked this cake have varied in timing - shorter or longer. I recommended keeping your eye on it and test with a toothpick until it comes out clean. The change of ingredients I make also alters the baking time somewhat - especially the vinegar.)

5. Let cool in pan on wire rack 1 hour. Remove sides of pan. Cool completely before lifting cake off bottom of pan.

6. Cider Sauce: Whisk cider, brown sugar, cornstarch in a medium saucepan until blended. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, whisking occasionally. Boil 1 minute or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla; stir until butter melts. Let cool to warm or refrigerate until serving.

Sweet Blessings!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Praying For Your Husband

Earlier this summer, Renee Swope posted a devotional about praying for your husband. She did a beautiful job of explaining how she incorporated scripture when praying for her spouse. After reading this, I decided to try it as well. When you are specific with God and pray His Word back to Him, things happen!

I feel God leading me to facilitate a workshop for the ladies in my church--married or engaged or separated--this fall. I want to encourage them to lift up their husbands each day and to be very intentional. For example...if your spouse is struggling with anger over little things (well, things that YOU think are little!!) you could find anger in the Bible and look up the scriptures that are listed in the concordance. Look at this from James. "My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry..." James 1:19. Then you could pray something like this:

Lord, I ask that you would remind my husband to be quick to listen and slow to anger especially when he is dealing with the children after a long day at work....
(This is just an example! Hubby could actually pray this for me!! He has the patience of Job!)

In addition to learning how to pray for your husband scripturally, a precious friend of mine shared that she journals prayers for her husband. She has faithfully written an entry and a prayer EVERY DAY for almost a year!!! She simply purchased a neat little journal from Hobby Lobby and began to pray! Another gal she works with is doing the same thing, and they are holding each other accountable for this! She is going to give this beautiful gift to her husband this Christmas. Talk about your one of a kind present! I just love this idea!

What I would LOVE to hear from y'all are words of wisdom for this class. I think it will be held in late October. I am really trying to determine the logistics!! Should it be a small class for a more intimate setting? Should it be limited to a certain number of women? How big is too big? What else should I incorporate into this? This class will only last an hour...too long and ladies won't come or will get bogged down! I want to model how to use scripture in prayers and let the ladies practice this! I would love for them to share some of the scriptures that they will use while praying for their spouse. Please feel free to share your wonderful thoughts!! I truly value your opinions.

It's been another busy week! I've subbed several days and have gotten into my Bible study class--Isaiah Part 2! I am loving this!! I'll hop around and visit your blogs over the next few days. Hope you have a great day!!

Sweet Blessings!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Gettin' Real With Lisa!

Some precious gals from my leadership team prepping the fruit for the brunch--pineapples and strawberries were flying all over the place!!

Running my mouth as usual and talking with my hands!! See the boa hanging out of the bag? It goes well with her darlin' outfit!!

Just wanted to give y'all a peak at some of my pictures from Saturday's Brunch with Lisa Whittle! She is just a precious sister in Christ!! Love that gal!! The ladies at our church and community enjoyed a yummy brunch of breakfast casserole, fresh fruit, and muffins. Then we had lots of door prizes!! We gave Lisa a bag of goodies for sharing her time and her gifts with us. And yes, she now has her very own hot pink boa which has become our signature for our Women's Ministry! Don't you love God's great sense of humor?
We had 106 ladies to attend! That is HUGE for out church!! Our prayer was 100--God delivered! We prayed over the gym and each table; over the sanctuary where Lisa was to speak; over Lisa when she arrived; and over our food for which we were grateful.
Lisa spoke to us about being real. No cover-ups--just being who we were made to be. God makes no mistakes. Her scripture for the day was Psalm 51:6 which reads "Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place." God will fill us with His wisdom and truth if only we will seek Him! Then, we can be real with ourselves and with others. It all comes down to our heart's desire. Her book, Behind Those Eyes, is one of the Bible Studies that our church will be offering this fall. Excellent book, y'all!
Thank you for those who lifted this event up in prayer for us! You are amazing! I so appreciate and love you. Subbing a half day this morning...need to scoot and get ready! Hope you have a fabulous day!

Sweet Blessings!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Urgent Prayer Needed!!

Girls, please stop and pray for Andrew right now! And for his precious family! Go here for more details. Thanks so very much!!

***Update!! God is so good! Please go over to Melaine's blog for this later update!! Wow! What an awesome God we serve. He is still in the business of miracles.

"Also at that time, people will say, "Look at what's happened! This is our God!We waited for him and he showed up and saved us! This God, the one we waited for!Let's celebrate, sing the joys of his salvation. God's hand rests on this mountain!" (Isaiah 29:9) This scripture was one shared on Melanie's comments! I loved it. A precious friend, Susan, was given this scripture from the Lord. I want to share it with you all as well. Be blessed and keep on praying!

Sweet Blessings!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Rustic Cross

Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Psalm 62:8. I just LOVE the hope and peace that this verse brings me! It is one of my favorites. As a matter of fact, I really wanted to write it on the back of these crosses that I have finally finished! I tried....really! Then, the minwax that I used as a sealer sorta smeared the words together! I was so bummed! So, I cam up with an alternative! I will simply add this scripture to the little cards that are attached to the cross!! The devil won't have his say-so today!
There is a darling man in our church who does woodwork. When I asked him about making some crosses for me, he asked a few questions and presto, beautiful pieces of work!! You should see some of his intricate ones that he simply stains. Lovely!
Anyway, I have two of these wooden crosses that are hand painted and stained and then decorated with sea glass. Sea glass is a piece of glass that has been washed over and smoothed down by the ocean and the sand and shells. Now REAL sea glass is quite costly, so I found some less expensive--at the beach--to keep my cost down! They measure 11.5 in. by 7.5 inches. I loved the twine on each end!
I plan on giving these a birthday and Christmas presents...maybe even for wedding showers! I am not sure how many I will actually be able to sell. Have to make sure that my cross maker is willing!! If you would like to order one, hop over to my etsy shop! It's Sweet 'Tater Designs (sweettaterdesigns). If I run out and you want one, please let me know! I would love to create one for you!
For those oh, so smart people who have items in their etsy shops and have them displayed on cute little buttons on their blogs...I do not know how to do that!! Please help me if you so feel the spirit move you!! I do hope the spirit moves you!

Sweet Blessings!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Promises, Promises

I feel like I have been out of the bloggyland loop this week! Thank you for your precious comments about my uncle. I do appreciate them all. :) I subbed 3 days as well and ran around delivering cross country t-shirts also! They are done, praise the Lord! So, not much computer time. I plan on visiting blogs and catching up this holiday weekend. I promise!

I told y'all a week or so ago that I had some exciting news to share! I do! I promised! Last year, I had the wonderful opportunity to take an online Bible Study with Lelia. It was Behind Those Eyes by Lisa Whittle. Wonderful truths! Well, Lisa is going to be coming to our church next Saturday...one week from today!! I am so excited that I can't stand it! Our Women's Ministry, Growing in Grace, will have brunch for the ladies of our church and community. Then, Lisa will be our guest speaker! I wish that all of you could hop on a plane or in a car and join us! I would love that!! Of course, I'd have you helping me with the breakfast casseroles and muffins! Yes, you would be put to work! But you would not be alone--promise! I'll take pictures and share them the following week.

I would so appreciate your prayers for Lisa and her family, our church, and for the hearts of the ladies God is encouraging to attend. I can't wait to see how He speaks to us through Lisa. Thank you all so much! Seriously, if you are near Mauldin, SC and want to come, give me a holler! I'll save you a ticket--I promise!

I hope that you all have a wonderful Labor Day weekend. I am going to use part of this weekend to get a little organized. Ever since school started, I have not been very focused, and my house and crafts have been neglected(not my family though!). I am working on those beautiful crosses that I showed you all a few weeks ago. I'll show them to you real soon...promise!

I looked up "promise" in the Bible, and I found so many wonderful references. In Psalm 119:162, David says that he will "...rejoice in Your promise....". We know that when God promises something to us, He is a God of Truth. He will honor that promise. I loved this as well in 2 Peter 3:9, " The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise as some undertstand slowness." His timing is different from ours, but His promises are always kept. He delivers! What an awesome God we have!
Sweet Blessings!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Jello Salad

This weekend was sure to be a fun one! We had our first cross country meet of the season. Child #2 was running this sport for the first time. We were going to visit my parents after the meet and spend the weekend with them. We had lunch plans in Charlotte with my cousin and her family after the meet as well. But you know what they say about "plans!"

Right before the race began, my cousin's husband found Hubby and me at our team's tent. I looked around for his wife and didn't see her. He told me that 20 minutes earlier, she had called him and told him that her dad had passed away. My precious uncle ,who was 89, was called home to be with the Lord. They didn't tell their son, who was running, until after the meet. Y'all, I was broken-hearted. I loved my aunt and uncle so much! I would spend weeks at their house with my cousin in the summers when we were growing up. They had a lake house, and that's where I attempted to learn to ski--never could get up! They took us to Nashville to the Grand 'Ol Opry when we were little girls and even bigger girls! My uncle had a garden and would let us pick fresh beans and squash for dinner. He simply loved life and lived it to the fullest. They were like another set of parents to us.

I was so blessed that 3 weeks ago, after She Speaks, I had the opportunity to visit my aunt and uncle who are now in assisted living. It was a short visit, but one that I treasure. I was concerned about my uncle's health then and conveyed this to my parents. They went for a visit the following week--another blessing.

Sunday afternoon, on the way home, I spoke with my cousin. We cried and remembered and laughed over the phone. Then I asked her what could I do? The funeral was going to be where I live, and I wanted to help. Then these words came out of my mouth, and I have no idea from where!! (Actually, I do know!) I told her that I would do the lunch after the funeral. People, I do not enjoy cooking at all--eating, yes, cooking, no! Boy, was God taking me out of my comfort zone!! As soon as we got home, I went straight to a 2 hour Bible Study at church. Then, Hubby and I flew over the Publix and ordered a meat tray. Thus the basis for our meal. We were planning on 35 people to attend. I even told my cousin that we could do it at my house! Hubby looked at me and simply shook his head "no!" Y'all, our house is not tiny nor is it big...it's just right!! But not to seat 35 people. So, back to the church I go and find the minister. Yes, the fellowship hall is open and yes, we can use it! Praise the Lord!

Monday, I spent my time in two grocery stores and subbing half a day. I made some desserts, and I could do no more until daybreak on Tuesday. I had people praying for me, and God was listening. The scripture that He showed me yesterday was perfect. It's from Paul. When we are weak in an area, we have to allow God to work through us. It makes Him strong and gives Him--not us--the glory. (2 Cor. 12:10)

While planning the menu for yesterday, I started thinking about all of the foods that my uncle enjoyed. He was a wonderful a gardener and fisherman--I wanted to make him proud. The menu was fruit salad, fresh veggies and dip, potato salad, sandwiches,and a slew of desserts. I pondered as to what was missing. What else could I fix? (That I was capable of!) Then, like a light bulb, it hit me smack in the face! Jello salad! What southern funeral--or any funeral anywhere--is complete without a jello salad? So, back to the store I went! By daybreak on Tuesday, everything seemed to be in order! Hubby took the day off, and helped me cart everything to the church kitchen where we would assemble it all. Lettuce flying, strawberries chopped, broccoli prepared...done! Then, I got ready to do the jello salad. (This is NOT a congealed one! It's just orange jello, drained pineapples, cool whip, and marshmellows.) Hubby was putting it together. Everything was there...except the jello!!!! People! I knew I had bought the jello! I even remembered what aisle it was on! No jello! Back to the store one more time!

I am happy (relieved??) to say that the meal went well. No one got sick. We had enough of everything (even extra potato salad!) The jello salad was a hit and quite tasty. All of this showed me that even in the busyness of life, God will be there in the big and the little--if you simply call out to Him (which I did!). Spending time with my family and friends was so enjoyable. My uncle was the only one missing from this celebration of life! And...he would have loved my jello salad :).

BTW, I found the 2 boxes of jello in the mama mini van under the overdue library books late yesterday afternoon.

Sweet Blessings,