Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Another Successful Hodgepodge

1. How should success be measured? Using that as your standard, who is the most successful person you know? (Or one of the most successful?) 

I think success should be measured not by man's standard but by God's standard and that is found in His Word.  Perhaps it could be simplified in this way:
1.  Am I fulfilling Gods calling and purpose for my Life?
2.  Do I love God with all my heart, my mind, my soul, and all my strength?

Based on this standard, the most successful person(s) I know would be my parents.  This was what their whole lives were built upon - Seeking to know and do God's will.

2. Have you ever been to a hot air balloon launch/fest/party? Ever taken a ride in a hot air balloon? Is that on your bucket list? According to Frommers the ten best hot air balloon adventures in the world are-

Loire Valley (France), the Serengeti (Tanzania), Napa Valley (California), Lake Champlain (Vermont), Cappadocia (Turkey), Istria (Croatia), Gstaad (Switzerland), Yarra Valley (Australia), Muelle (Costa Rica), and Albuquerque (New Mexico). 

Which one on the list would you most like to experience? 

I have not been to a hot air balloon anything and have never ridden in one.  Furthermore, it is not something I want to do.  I have seen pictures of and heard wonderful stories of the show in Albuquerque, NM.  I think this would be my choice so I could also include a visit to Santa Fe.

3. May 25th is National Brown-Bag It Day. Did you/will you pack a lunch today? When did you last pack a lunch for someone and what are your go-to ingredients for a brown bag lunch?

If you call eating chicken salad and crackers at my desk while working on this blog post a brown-bag lunch, then I got a day's jump on the celebration.  I guess the last packed lunch would have been while Hubby and I were still working.  That would have been five years ago.  Ingredients would probably have been something left over from dinner the night before or a quick salad.
4. What's one of your favorite dance scenes from a movie or television show? 

I really don't have one.

5. John F. Kennedy made famous the line, '...Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." So what can you do for your country?

That is a good question and one friends and I have been discussing.  We are frustrated that social media seems to be where most are able to express themselves.  And we acknowledge the futility of that.  We agree that voting for the best candidate is our duty and responsibility, but after that, how do we hold our elected officials accountable?  I still don't have an answer to this ever growing frustration.

However, as parents, we must set the example of patriotism - love for and respect for our country and its history.  Understanding that we are a nation under God, regardless what others might think, and to pray for His direction and intervention in the affairs of our country.

We must be willing to be the difference in someone's life; whether an act of kindness, or assistance, a smile, a word of encouragement, or job where God has put us to make a positive contribution to mankind.

6. Weekends are made for __________________________________.

At our house Saturdays are made for Hubby preparing to teach a Sunday School class on Sunday.  Sunday is made for assembling ourselves with like believers for Bible Study worship, prayer and fellowship.

7. On this last Wednesday of the month, bid farewell to the month of May in seven words or less. 

May's good memories overshadow the bad.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Sister Time 
Tomorrow I will be meeting my two younger sisters at a mid-way point in our state for lunch and some much needed time together.  We try to do this at least three or four times a year.  It doesn't take much to entertain us, because we just enjoy being with each other.  We are so grateful our parents instilled the importance of family in us many years ago.
16 Quotes About Sisters That Celebrate 'Last One Home':   
Happy to be joining Joyce @ From This Side of the Pond
for the Wednesday Hodgepodge.  

Monday, May 23, 2016

A Good Monday for a Birthday

Today is my Granddaughter #2's 20th Birthday
Happy Birthday Cassidy! 
  As you can see, even as a child Cassidy had a natural beauty and grace.  She is one of the sweetest and most tender children among our flock.  She thrives on order and organization.
One of my favorite stories with Cassidy is the first year I took all my granddaughters on a one-on-one shopping trip as part of their Christmas present from us.  The picture above is of us as we were leaving the house.

This eight year old not only had her list of what she wanted, but where each item could be found, and the stores listed according to convenience to access.  She knew exactly what she wanted and how much each item cost.  She got everything on her list, plus even more of her grandmother's heart.
She started working during high school and has quite an entrepreneur spirit.  She sets goals and works hard to meet them.
She graduated from high school a semester early and was accepted into the University of Texas where she will be a Senior next spring.  She plans to study abroad next year.  Another goal set!
She is a survivor because she chooses to be and makes it happen.  She is a joy and complete delight.
 Our Cassidy is so very special to us.
She is a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ and has given Him her life.  All of this makes her a real keeper in our book.
Happy 20th our darling girl.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

In the Middle of Optimism

I have missed the Hodgepodge for a few weeks so it is good to be back among this great group of faithful Wednesday bloggers.
Joyce, I trust you enjoyed your break as well.

1. Tell us about a time you found yourself 'in the middle of nowhere'. Was this deliberate?

West Texas is the middle of nowhere.  Our trips through that area were always deliberate, but it seemed to take forever. It always took a bit of creativity to entertain our two kiddos during that trek.  I will have to admit though, the view is expansive with a beauty of its own.  I can understand why one might have thought the earth was flat when seen from that vantage point; there is very little to break the horizon.

2. What's something you're 'in the middle of' today or this week?

I'm really not in the middle of anything right now.  No projects going.  However, I have been right in the middle of trying to make an important and difficult decision, but I think that is about settled.

3. At what age do you think 'middle age' begins? What does it mean to be 'middle aged'?

We used to think middle age was 40.  Then middle age was said to be whenever a woman went through menopause.  I think that might make the most sense because it does issue in a lot of changes not only for a woman's body but her psychic as well.  If there are children, then this time period often brings it's own changes and stresses.

What does it mean to be middle aged?  It is that period between young adulthood and old age.  Thankfully, I'm still there at 71.

4. Ravioli, stuffed peppers, samosas, deviled eggs, steamed dumplings, pierogis, or a jelly donut...your favorite food (from this list!) with something yummy in the middle. Your favorite not on the list?
Deviled eggs.  We recently had a "Boudin Stuffed Chicken."  Only we southern cajun folk will know how good that is.

5. Albert Einstein is quoted as saying ''In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.' Would you agree? Have you found this to be true in your own life? Feel free to elaborate. 

Yes, I agree.
I have found this to be true many times.  Of course it depends on the difficulty as to what opportunities might be possible.  But, I think it would be safe to say that in any difficulty the opportunity to come out of it better than you were would always be the desired result.

6. What's a song you remember loving from your middle school years? Do you love it still?

It is impossible to pick out a favorite from this time.  It was the late 50's and there were so many wonderful, great songs during those years.  Perhaps the one that was a favorite across all ethnic, racial, and religious barriers and is still sung today was "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands" by Laurie London in 1958.

7. May 18th is National Visit Your Relatives Day. Will you celebrate? Which relative would you visit if time, distance, and expense were not considered.

I would want to have all mine and my sister's families together again like we used to do before our parents died.  My sisters and I see each other as often as can, but the cousins who used to be so close have not all been together since our mother's funeral in 2005.  That would be my wish. 

8. Insert your own random thought here. 

While in Indiana, I had a cervical injection that didn't work, necessitating the need for neck surgery up there on June 6; a lumbar MRI that showed collapsed vertebrae in the L3 and S1 that will require surgery and fusion in the near future; a lumbar injection that did sort of work; an X-ray that revealed my left hip is bone-on-bone and the need for a hip replacement before the back can be mended; and more evidence of spinal stenosis and degenerative arthritis in my neck, back and hips.

Needless to say, this all threw me for a loop for a day or so.

But, I can't let that keep me down or I might never get back up.  I came home determined to do whatever I need to do to be in the best condition for rapid and quick recovery from each of the upcoming surgeries.  I foresee being the healthiest bionic woman around when its all over and done with.

I am not seeing my glass half full, but brimming over. 

I recently read a joke about ever being the optimist and if you'll not judge me too harshly, I'd like to share it with you.

Late in the night, he finally regained consciousness.
He was in the hospital, in terrible pain.

He found himself in the ICU with tubes in his mouth, needles and IV drips in both arms,
a breathing mask, wires monitoring every function, and a nurse hovering over him.
He realized that he was obviously in a life- threatening situation.

The nurse gave him a serious, deep look, straight into his eyes, then spoke to him slowly
and clearly, enunciating each word and syllable, "You may not feel anything from the waist down."

Somehow he managed to mumble in reply,
"Can I feel your boobs, then?"


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

A House Makeover for Summer and Spring

Let me just begin with the fact that I am blessed with the best Daughter-in-Love God could have given me.  For many reasons!  But, for the purpose of this blog I'll go with the reason she allows me to play decorator in her home.

While up there earlier this month, she asked what I thought we could do to freshen up what was to her a very tired looking decor in the family room.

She knows how to speak my love language!

This is the large rug that anchors the family room.  I love the rich tones.  We have always pulled out the russets for accessories because she and I both love those colors and they also compliment the wall colors.
After giving it some thought I decided to go in a totally different direction than we have in the past.

I went shopping and found several items that pulled out the teal shades in the rug and took pictures to show her.  She liked what she saw so we both went shopping with son's credit card in hand.

This is a view at what we got to just look at for a while and get family input before removing any tags.
 She had been using this sofa table on a wall in the breakfast room but liked using it here near the sofa.  It also balances the large TV on the other side of the fireplace.  The urn is an old Southern Living at Home piece that we both love and liked the way it pulled out some of the gold tones in the picture and rug.  She may add some neutral floral stems to it in the future.
We thought the picture was perfect to unify the color scheme throughout.
I think the use of pillows is a great way to add color and this family loves their throw pillows.
 We found everything at TJMax, Kirklands and Pier 1 and almost everything was on sale.
We moved this beautiful large Fleur-de-lis to another wall and replaced it with this mirror.
After moving the table, we needed something on this wall under the chalk board the family loves to use.  I found this table that picks up the teal/gray colors.  It also serves as a beverage or desert buffet when needed, plus adds needed storage for napkins, etc.
We found these trays and chargers at Kirklands and love the way they carry the theme into this part of the open space.  We even found matching hot pads.  We leave no leaf unturned in our decorating.
The family approved of everything so this is the finished product.  DIL will probably add something to the mantel when she finds exactly what she wants.  We just ran out of time this trip.
 Everyone loved how bright and summery it looks now.
 The glass pelican was brought in from another room because we thought this was the perfect new home for it.
 This white tray and colorful dishes add a neat touch of organization to the large ottoman/coffee table.
 This is a good view of the mirror and how the rug anchors this whole room.  She will also be adding a window treatment at some point when she finds what she wants.
We didn't stop there.  This was a table in the adjoining dining room.  It needed a makeover as well.
 I moved the large mosaic tray on the wall and floral arrangement to the foyer and brought in some beautiful bronze pieces from a set used in the office.
   They tied in beautifully with the new bowl I found.  We also brought down from the Master Bedroom, this picture that just seemed perfect here.  DIL has picked out a new lamp that will replace this old one.  I loved the simplicity of the light urn on the bottom shelf.
 The foyer couldn't be left out as it sets the stage for the rest of the house.
 The Master Bedroom was already using these colors so now, the flow is complete.
 So what do you think?  Did we pull off our goal to make the house more ready for summer and spring?

Linking to Amaze Me Monday #163

Monday, May 16, 2016

Granddaugters Making a Difference

I wanted to tell you about a school club that my two Indiana granddaughters are part of.
The club reaches out and seeks to make a difference in the lives of the disabled and disadvantaged in their community.  Several times a year they do special activities at the Logan Center in South Bend.
(Click HERE to see the amazing work taking place at the Logan Center.)
While we were there, their club hosted a prom for a group of Special kids at the center.
Granddaughter 3 on left and Granddaughter 4 on right.

Please watch this short clip done by a local TV station and you see how much it meant to all of those involved.  It will touch your heart!
By the way, you will see my beautiful girls in the clip.

I am so proud of them and the difference they are making in the lives of other kids.
Big Brother was there to see them off.
We do not always get to spend Mother's Day with our kids, so being with this part of the family this year was extra special.  They are so much fun.
 We were able to catch Savannah before dashing off for a soccer game.  On Mother's Day of all days!
 A moment of levity between mother and son.
 And, a sweet, tender moment between two love birds.

This past Saturday night was Savannah's first prom.  I think she is gorgeous.  What about you?

Also this past Saturday was college graduation for our Grandson-in-Love from Texas A&M, receiving both his Bachelor and Master's Degree in Accounting.  They will be moving back to Dallas where he has a job waiting at one of the most prestigious accounting firms in the city.  Needless to stay, we are so proud of Brad.
Just one more grandchild mention.  Our littlest one had her dance recital on Saturday night.  Her mom snapped this one before they left the house.  She is just about the cutest little hip-hopper I've seen.

Tomorrow I will finish up my Indiana trip with how Daughter-in-Love and I freshened up her family room for spring and summer.

Linking up with
Amazing Me Monday #163 

Friday, May 13, 2016

A Study on Amish Farms

While in Northern Indiana, Hubby and I always look forward to taking a road trip down to the Amish community and village of Shipshewana.  This time I took my camera and was able to snap some pics from the passenger seat.

Some Amish farms are pristine while others are not quite so picturesque.  I hope you enjoy the view.




 For more information about this area go to Indiana Amish Country 

Next Monday, will be a fun post on a DIL letting her MIL decorate her house and an event our granddaughter's were involved in.