Posts tagged ‘Friday’s Fave Five’

Friday’s Fave Five – Week 12, 2014

FFF birds on a wireIt’s Friday, so time to share five favourite blessings from the week. If you want to do the same and link up, go to Susanne’s at Living to Tell the Story.

ONE. My work helped me get healthcare (although they weren’t legally obligated). They did so because they care about me. I am grateful to be part of such a community.

TWO. The past couple of weeks have been full of health tests. It is a blessing to figure out why I have been sooooo tired.

THREE. The tests have revealed (among other things) LOW Vitamin D and HIGH blood sugar (as in diabetes). The low Vitamin D is an easy fix – supplementation.

The high blood sugar is not so easy to fix. I obviously need to overhaul my diet and sedentary lifestyle. I have wanted to do this for a while, but lacked motivation. Now I am MOTIVATED because I do not want to have to go on insulin ( a very real possibility in my case). Nor do I want the compromised health that comes from ignoring diabetes.

FOUR. I have a Blood Glucose Buddy. Every morning I text my BG reading to my buddy and she does the same to me. It is helpful to know that I am not alone in this new way of living.

FIVE. I am still processing this news, but this morning I read from Proverbs 21:31 –  “Do your best, prepare for the worst—then trust God to bring victory.” I will do my “best” which right now takes up a lot of TIME.  I know “soon” I will have my life back and I won’t be devoting so much time, energy, money, and thoughts to my health. And I KNOW that God is with me in this and will bring “victory” in whatever manner that looks like.

Your Turn . . . Share in the comments what makes your FAVOURITES list this week?

NOTE to FFF participants – Dealing with the above is why I have been neglectful of visiting y’all on Fridays. I am sure that soon I will get back into my groove especially since I miss the “interaction.”

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Friday’s Fave Five – Week 11, 2014

FFF birds on a wireTime to share some blessings for Friday’s Fave Five. Even though Friday has passed, I am going to share and link up with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story. If you’ve never made a list of your Five Favourite blessings, join us! Writing my list and reading what others wrote always makes me smile.

Us birthday gals were some pressies. The masks are one of them. I am the one in the white mask.

Us birthday gals are modeling the masks we were gifted. I am the one in the white mask.

ONE. Birthday Fun. I celebrated my 56th birthday this week. There have been scattered celebrations all week. It sure is fun to connect with friends during such times especially via Facebook. At my Wednesday night group, we decided to celebrate all the March birthdays.

TWO. Salad Dressing. A few weeks ago Susanne shared a new (to her) salad dressing. She reminded me that there are lots of choices out there, so last week I perused the refrigerated salad dressing section. I bought and LOVE Cotija Cilantro by Litehouse. Since the taste is strong, a little goes a long way.  I’ve had salad three times since buying the bottle.

THREE. New Family and Time at Muir Woods. I had the fun of meeting my daughter-in-law’s sister and 11-month-old nephew. They live in Chile but are out here visiting family in VA and CA. We all took a trip to Muir Woods to walk and talk and enjoy the scenery. Now when we “visit” on Facebook, I have a real connection to my new family.


This little monkey loves sipping from her cup. And of course, biting the straw is equally fun.

FOUR. Grand Baby Time. Of course it was great to have grand baby time in addition to meeting new family. My delightful (13 month-old) granddaughter is learning sign language. While in her high chair she used the signs for “more,” “all done,” And “help.”  Sometimes I am not sure what it is she wants more of since she uses the sign for other things besides food.

FIVE. Easy Pizza. Once a month a group of gals meet because their husbands meet in another home. I don’t have a husband but they have made me an honorary member. Some kind of food is made together to encourage and promote cooking skills. This time we made pizza. But this is NOT your ordinary pizza. The “crust” is a tortilla.

Directions. 1. Lay a tortilla on a plate. 2. Scatter some shredded cheese. 3. Top with another tortilla. 4. Put sauce and toppings of choice on top. 5. Transfer to a baking tray. 6. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. 7. Eat!

NOTE. A couple of gals folded their tortilla in half instead of using 2 whole tortillas. I will do this next time as a whole one is sooooooo filling.

Your Turn . . . Share what made your Blessings List this week?

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Friday’s Fave Five – Week 10, 2014

FFF birds on a wireI was going to skip Friday’s Fave Five this week as it has been a whirlwind of activity. But Then I remembered that I am including the week it is in the title, and I didn’t want to miss a week.

Silly, I know.

But it got me to write down my list. So without further ado, here are my week’s favourite five things.

ONE. Birds on wires set to music. I saw a photo on Facebook of birds on a wire and I thought, “Cool, my friend Betty is part of FFF.” But when I looked at it closer I saw that it was birds on WIRES which were translated into musical notes and then a song. Go here for the song.  Go here for the TED talk. It is in Portuguese but you’ll be able to understand and I bet appreciate the live music at the end.

TWO. I just discovered magic erasers. How have I not heard of them before? Or more importantly, never used them before. One thing I really appreciate is that they don’t have a smell. And their cleaning power is amazing especially since you don’t have to use brute force to get things clean!!!

THREE. These magic erasers were used by folks from my Wednesday night group to spring clean our room. We cleaned the tables, chairs, window sills, door knobs, and light switches. Those tables LOOK great now. They were clean enough to eat off – although I am glad we all used plates (when we stopped for some pizza). Because then we would have had to clean them again. I was so surprised that we got the room done in one hour.

FOUR. This past Sunday I gave the message at church. Our senior pastor is in Africa helping with 2 pastors’ conferences and a retreat for a health clinic.  My title was Follow the Bubble When You Are in Trouble. I talked about the necessity of knowing the Word of God (James 22-25). I am not an enthusiastic up front speaker, but I did okay.

However, I had a blast doing word studies on words from this verse. One small example. The word “hearer” is talking about a person who audits a class. They don’t have to do the assignments, take the tests, know the material, or even listen well. We are told to not audit our Christian life but to do the homework with the intention of passing life’s tests well. We are told to be disciples not auditors.

I asked 2 ladies (Michelle and Kelly) to share how the Bible has impacted their lives. They both did an amazing job. In a nut shell, Michelle’s blood pressure came down and stabilized as a result of regular Bible reading. Kelly found her identity in the Bible and feels connected  to the church body.

FIVE. Answered Prayer. One of the things we do in our midweek small group is pray for one person. This week I was convicted that we don’t normally share the answers. So we shared some of our answers to prayer on Wednesday after we cleaned the room, had pizza, and before we started our lesson.

• Healing of a baby in utero.
• Fear left. Tangible peace for majour health concerns (2 said this).
• Unity restored between sisters – more than that, there was LAUGHTER again.
• Still here on Earth even though this person has a serious illness (almost 80 years old).
• Someone’s personal issue was resolved.
• Strength and several sources of unexpected financial help for one with a serious medical issue.
• Health Insurance.
• 3 new volunteers

Your Turn . . . Share an answered prayer or a Fave. You can do so in the comments. Or write a post and link up to Susanne’s blog, Living to Tell the Story

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Friday’s Fave Five – Week 9, 2014

FFF birds on a wireWe can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. ~ Thornton Wilder

This week my heart is conscious and thankful for these 5 treasures also known as Friday’s Fave Five. If you’d like to share your list, link up at Living to Tell the Story.

ONE. All Kiddos were in Church on Sunday morning. This counts as a treasure because I see that someday THEY will run the church. And it thrills me when the WHOLE congregation worships together!!! Pastor Mike talked about obeying our parents. Besides giving some great illustrations and teaching on obedience, Pastor Mike answered some of their questions. One question he answered in both services was, “Why is my mom a weirdo?”

TWO. Celebrated a friend’s birthday. Pam (the birthday girl) and I ate dinner at a taqueria before going to the movies. We saw Philomena. I didn’t think it would be very good. Boy was I surprised. Judi Dench and Steve Coogan did a great acting job. However, like I thought I would be, I was dismayed about the subject matter. Pam is a true treasure of a friend and I am glad we got to spend special time together.

THREE. Knowing the Holy Spirit’s roles help me in my prayer life. Last week our small group read and discussed some of the roles of the Holy Spirit. As I read this, it dawned on me that I can use these”jobs” as prayer points for unsaved family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors. These treasure tidbits have brought encouragement into my heart. I know that God wants to answer these types of prayers.

The Holy Spirit does the following (and more that I won’t list). I can pray that He does the following in the lives I pray for.

  • The Holy Spirit convicts us of sin.
  • The Holy Spirit calls us to respond.
  • The Holy Spirit makes the Bible understandable and helps us accept it as Truth.
  • The Holy Spirit helps us to respond affirmatively to the good news of salvation.

FOUR. Sister’s birthday: related post: 5 Reasons I Love My Sister. Her birthday was Wednesday, but we will have the waffle ice cream breakfast and then dinner on Saturday. But I wanted to list her THIS week as one of my treasures.

FIVE. I read 2 more books on prayer. I am going to write 26 (short) posts on prayer during April’s Blogging to A-Z Challenge. This link is from 2013. I am in research mode. I am learning some things I didn’t know before. These treasures are helping move my prayer life to a more satisfactory phase.

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Friday’s Fave Five – Week 8, 2014

FFF birds on a wireGod gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say “thank you”? ~ William Arthur Ward

That is the intent of my participating in the Friday’s Fave Five. I recall to mind and print five blessings of the week because I am thankful, to God, for His hand of blessing in my life.

ONE. I Read 2 Books on Prayer. (1) Seven Guides to Effective Prayer by Colin Whittaker. Whittaker told the stories of 7 prayer warriors. (2) Prayer: Life’s Limitless Reach by Jack R. Taylor. I NEED to reread this book and copy into a notebook the things I underlined. Many new ideas to think about. My prayer life has been rebooted. I am thankful there are books like these to help me grow in this spiritual discipline.

TWO. I have a new favourite Girl Scout Cookie. It is the Cranberry Citrus Crisp. Awesome. . . . Note to my British friends, this crisp is not a potato chip. It is not a very sweet cookie and goes great with a cup of tea or coffee. And because it isn’t very  sweet, I don’t feel compelled to eat 3 or 9 of them in one sitting. THAT is a blessing and causes me no end of gratitude.


This is now my 2nd favourite pie. Nothing beats Lemon Meringue. What’s your fave pie?

THREE. I Baked an Upside Down Apple Pie. You use 2 deep dish store-bought crusts, of course the requisite apple and spices, and add brown sugar, butter , and nuts under the bottom crust (which turns out to be the top when you flip it).

It was too sweet the first day. But if you let those flavours mingle, on the 2nd day, this pie is a TRUE delight. It is always fun when a new recipe is a keeper.

Soon I will make 2 more pies and give them away as just-because gifts. Here is the link to the recipe. 

One caveat: Be careful when you take the pie out of the oven. Some of the apple, butter, and brown sugar mixture oozed onto my pinky and I received a wicked burn.

FOUR. I Used a Motivational Tool to Get A LOT of Work DONE This Week. Mondays are typically low energy days for me at work. I wrote a post on how to have a productive day on those low energy days.

But what do you do when the whole week is a struggle? I played a game. Bingo to be exact. I put all my work items on a BINGO card. I took great pleasure in colouring in the completed squares. Read about how I use BINGO here and here. I am thankful there are ways to trick my brain into having a productive week and enjoying it.

This lovely niece is 18. I am so proud of her and look forward to seeing what adventures await her this year.

This lovely niece is 18. I am so proud of her and look forward to seeing what adventures await her this year.

Five. We Celebrated a Niece’s 18th birthday. Sushi dinner one night. The ritual waffles and ice cream for breakfast. And then another family dinner with the birthday girl. I am thankful that she is walking God’s path for her life. She is also a TRUE delight.  

Your Turn . . . Feeling like you’d like to say “Thank you”? Then join us at Susanne’s (Living to Tell the Story) to share your post. Or leave a comment here.

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Friday’s Fave Five – Week 7, 2014

What can I say about this past week’s blessings? At first look, our annual women’s tea was the only highlight. Mainly because I hurt my back and I spent a lot of time healing. So I’ll start with the Tea.

The guests were well pampered by their hostess and co-hostess.

The guests were well pampered by their hostess and co-hostess.

ONE. Annual Women’s Missionary Tea. We had 14 tables of 7 women each. Each table had the distinctive flair of the hostess and co-hostess. We were delighted to have Rachel as our speaker. Rachel and her family live abroad overseeing a school that is being built.


This table’s theme was “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

Dress was whatever . . .  from fancy to casual.

Dress was whatever . . . from fancy to casual.

Rachel’s humour  (stand-up comedian funny), passion for loving on others, and an even deeper passion for following God, reminded us of the importance of relationships and what happens when we follow God’s leading even when it goes against our comfort zone.

I love how Rachel speaks to God like the Person He is. Her enthusiasm, warmth, and creativity impacted all of us. She gave us M&M’s and asked us to pray for Muslim Ministry every time we ate one.

TWO. I discovered a new (to me) show to watch: Sherlock. It was just the thing to watch while I was laid up on the couch doing ‘my” winter Olympic sport of “Ice-Heat-Ice.” I watched the first two seasons on Amazon Prime (for free). Season 3 is not free. So I did some searching and found a free link.  Here is the link to Season 3’s three episodes. 

Question. I haven’t read any Sherlock Holmes books. In the book is Sherlock as “different and difficult” as he is in the shows?


Here is some of my loot. All candy has already been disposed of. :)

THREE. We had a Valentine’s party at my small group – kiddy style. I like giving and receiving cards and always look at them at the Dollar Store. Last week while getting something else, I paused to look at the kiddy Valentine Cards. They were sooooo fun and cute. So I asked my Wednesday night group (last week), if they were game for having a party and passing out kiddy cards to each other. They were.

In addition to cards,  we also had decorations, candy, cookies, brownies, all manner of drinks, and “real” food: foil wrapped chicken, rice, and Asian salad. And we even went over our homework. Great class.

FOUR. I read two youth books: Daniel Boone: Wilderness Scout and Harriet the Spy. While looking for this link, I discovered there is a series involving Harriet the Spy. I remember that this used to be a favourite book of my sister.

I read these two because I am still reading my way through my own book cases and thereby decluttering what I won’t keep. Also my brain couldn’t do a lot of focusing while I was “mending” my back. This light reading fit the bill.


BONUS. Here is a picture of some of the crocheted flower magnets we gave out at the Tea. We always give a magnet and this is the 11th one.

FIVE. I discovered Instant Brown Rice. Maybe you’ve already made this before. Or maybe it would never pass your lips. But I was asked to bring rice to accompany the foil wrapped chicken. I did not have the time to go home and make a pot so I bought a box of the instant stuff. I have to say, I was impressed by the flavour. I will definitely make this again especially since I still have 1/3rd of the box left.

FFF feb. As we can both see, I did indeed have 5 blessings from this past week. So glad I took the time to ponder this. Share what your blessing is. To read what others have written, go visit Susanne at Living to Tell the Story.

And to end this, Happy Valentine’s Day to all my FFF friends. Your comments and FFF posts have enriched and encouraged me.

I wrote 3 Ways to Encourage Others on Valentine’s Day & Year Round. Maybe you’ll get another idea that will help you encourage others.

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Friday’s Fave Five – Week 6, 2014

FFF birds on a wireFriday’s Fave Five is a time to reflect on the past week. I looked for blessings that brought me a smile and lifted my spirits. This practice makes me a little more grateful.

To join Susanne and the gang at Living to Tell The Story, go here.

One. New Shoes. Not just one pair, but two. I don’t like shopping and so only go when desperate. My left pinky was poking through the shoe, so I think that qualifies as desperate.

I spent my weekend with my East Bay family and somehow I left my new shoes at home. I don’t know why I didn’t wear my new ones out of the store and leave the old ones in their trash bin.

So I had to go out again and buy another pair. Both were a great price. And now I am set for the year, maybe longer.


Family portrait with Daniella, Tim, &  Sofia.



I am so in love with this child!!!


See the bear Tim is holding? He got that from his paternal grandma when he was an infant 31 years ago. I gave it to Sofia last weekend. Her response? She bit and chewed on his nose.

 Two.  Birthday. We celebrated my grand daughter’s 1st birthday last weekend. It was fun for my daughter and I to help my dil with food prep and decorating.

Sofia did a great job with all the attention. And she was an equal-opportunity ignorer of the gifts (except for a Weebles person that she carried around).

Her favourite activity was climbing on 2 stacked guitar cases to get to the red chaise lounge. But that’s what  little kids do, so no one minded.

For tips on making a no-sew fleece blanket, go here.


This is the 1st no-sew blanket I’ve made. It was one of the pressies I gave to Sofia.

Three. Tea Magnets. Every year we have an annual women’s missionary tea. And every year we give away magnets as a favour. Usually the Women’s Ministry Team makes them, but not this year. 7 ladies crocheted and put them together. I will post photos next week.

Four. Rain. Yes, we’ve gotten a little more rain this week, still not enough. Although I don’t prefer it, I am grateful that we will get more rain this weekend. I hope it doesn’t impact the attendance at our tea Saturday afternoon.

Five. Gratitude Answer. In this week’s Wednesday night small group we had the following question, “How should our belief that Jesus tasted death for us affect the way we live? 

My 1st thought was that I should and want to live in gratitude (to Him and for the results of His death) on a consistent basis.

I am sure that my ongoing Friday practice of finding blessings is seeping into my unconscious  thoughts and actions.

Your Turn . . . Share one of your gratitudes.

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Fridays Fave Five – Week 5, 2014

FFF birds on a wireYikes, it’s Friday. This week flew by. But I am making time to list five of my faves from this past week. To read others’ lists or to write your own list, join our host, Susanne, here.

One. I finished my 21 Days of Tea and I now know what my favourite teas are. 2 tied for first place. English Breakfast (always makes me feel “ahhhhh” relaxed) and Honey Vanilla Chai (most delighted my senses). I knew that English Breakfast would win. This chai was a surprise.

Two. I did some baking last week. First I figured out which recipe was my favourite one to bake in a teacup. And I baked Earl Grey cookies. Some I frosted. The Tea cakes and cookies went so well with tea.

Three. I crafted THREE times last week. I decoupaged an “Eyes on You” glass mug. I glued together a teacup birdfeeder. Finally I made a mini teacup pincushion. Crafting brings me peace and joy. Unfortunately I don’t do it often enough.

Look who I found staring at me when I finished my drink!

Look who I found staring at me when I finished my drink!

The birds don't care that these pieces are mismatched.

The birds don’t care that these pieces are mismatched.

I love the mini tic-tac-toe gaem.

See the mini tic-tac-toe game. Red won.

Four. Our Wednesday night small group is on chapter six (out of 12) of Created for Community. We discussed Jesus’ Mission in the Divine Program. We grappled with some new ideas and some of these ideas were hard to understand. However, these 2 sentences by the author put everything into perspective: “Ultimately, we cannot understand the full meaning of the cross of Christ. We can only stand in silence before it, acknowledging its wonder, and submit to its power” (Grenz, 137).

Five. Northern California has been in a drought. January is usually rainy, rainy, rainy. But it has been warm (70’s) and DRY. Hurray, it rained two days this past week!!!! We still NEED much more, but this is a great start.

Your Turn . . . List at least one of your faves from this past week.

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Friday’s Fave Five – Week 4, 2014

 FFF birds on a wire“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” Because I want my gratitude to be huge too, I am looking through last week and sharing 5 favorite gratitudes. Join other gratitude hunters at Susanne’s Living to Tell the Story.


One. My son’s birthday. I am proud of and love this silly, responsible, loving, teasing, 31-year-old man. We had pizza, German chocolate cake, and an apple crumble pie (with a dairy-free, egg-free, and gluten-free crust) as our party foods.  I loved every minute of celebrating Tim and being with the family.

My silly boy wouldn't cooperate with taking photos. Still we had a lot of laughs.

My silly boy wouldn’t cooperate with taking photos. Still we had a lot of laughs.













Two. Baby time. I got to babysit my granddaughter in the morning before the party. We took a long walk. Then I went to the bilingual play group at the library with my daughter-in-love and my granddaughter. We ended our time with lunch.

My almost 1 year old loves playing with the scarves during free play.

My almost 1 year old loves playing with the scarves during free play.













Three. Crafting. My daughter and I even got to have “special” time. We transformed some tea cups into candle holders. Go here to see what we did. My daughter’s upstairs neighbor joined in the conversation. Soon the 3 of us will make more candles.

This is my my completed project. A friend, Reggie Williams, did me the favour of taking a photo.

This is my completed project. A friend, Reggie Williams, did me the favour of taking a photo.













Four. Tea series. I learned that January is “Hot Tea Month.” I have a LOT of tea in my tea drawer. So I decided to drink a new tea every day (from that drawer) and write about that and the mug/ tea-cup I drink it from. I am also doing “crafty” things too, like hand-sewing tea bags, making a candle in a tea-cup, and making lemon cream cheese mints. Check back as there are more crafty things to come. It has been fun and I am drinking my backlog of tea.

One of my favourite teas (Tazo Zen) in a mug I brought back from New Zealand.

One of my favourite teas is Tazo Zen, It is in a favourite mug which I brought back from New Zealand.














Five. Cookie of the month. Marsha has a plan to bake a new cookie each month. I like that plan so I horned in on her idea. We baked Marshmallow-Lemon Snowdrifts. This cookie is a WINNER. I am freezing one to see how it is. If it passes the taste-test, I will freeze at least 7 of them for our annual tea.  We ended the evening by watching World War Z. That was my first zombie movie. Great evening.

These marshmallow lemon snowdrift cookies are so delicious esp since we made the sugar cookies from scratch.

These marshmallow lemon snowdrift cookies are so delicious especially since we made the sugar cookies from scratch. I like how we piped on the frosting better than the original recipe’s directions.

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Friday’s Fave Five – Week 3, 2014

FFF birds on a wireThis is Friday so it’s time to share some of my favourites from last week. Go here to read other FFF’s.

ONE. Juiced Drink. Some plans fell though last week so I did extra work and then stopped in on a friend, Lori. We had a great time catching up and I had some of her home-made juiced drink (greens, vegetables, and fruit). Yummm. Her son, who is a wrestler, says this gives him ENERGY. I could always use more of that. I’ve been meaning to do this. Maybe this drink was the push I needed.

TWO. Thank You Lunch. After church I asked two folks to join me for lunch. I wanted to thank Rob and Mary-Jo for their help these past months. They’ve given me advice and support for computer, sermon illustration, and worship team ideas. Their help made me feel better and do a better job.

THREE. Adoption Baby Shower. Hurray to Jeff and Jessica and their precious baby girl! I haven’t been to a baby shower in a while. Each one is special because of the new life we get to celebrate. It was also great to visit with soooo many ladies from our church in a social situation. I want to do more of that as opposed to always having a study or something to DO.

FOUR. Visit with Elise and Pastor Bill. Our Pastor to the seniors is in a Bay area hospital. On Monday I had the opportunity to drive his wife, Elise, down there. It was great to hear their dating story, learn about Elise’s prayer habits (she’s a prayer warrior), and end the hospital visit with prayer.

FIVE. New KidMin Helpers. Two teen sisters are now helping in Kid’s Ministry. The teachers rave about their help, attitude, intuitiveness, and care for the kiddos. They are fun to be with and LOVE the Lord. It is such a treat to work with such awesome, proactive ladies.

Your Turn . . .  What made your top five favourite list last week?

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Friday’s Fave Five – Week 2, 2014

FFF birds on a wireIt is Friday and I am taking time to review this past week for five of my favorite happenings.

To join the rest of the FFF gang, go here to link up. Thanks to Susanne at Living to Tell the Story for hosting this weekly meme.

ONE. Preached on Sunday. I did fine, but the folks who shared the stage with me were awesome! Everything clicked from the offering message and prayer to Communion to worship songs to the drama (about forgiveness)  and to the two gals who gave testimonies (about restoration and hope). I talked from Lamentations and focused on Lamentations 3:22-24 – How Great are God’s Mercies!

TWO. Crayon Art Project. I had special time with my niece, Kadie. We spent a couple of hours


You can’t tell from this photo, but the crayons bled into the sides of the canvas. This is titled, “Tree of Life.” I will glue on 3 words, Pray, Complete, and Write. These are 3 activities I want to do more of in 2014.

working on a melted crayon art project. Mine was one big canvas (18×24). Whereas Kadie made four 5×7 projects. Each one was a colour of the rainbow. She didn’t have $ for a canvas so I suggested she use poster board. They turned out GREAT.

THREE. Frozen, the Movie. After spending time on our art, Kadie and I also saw Frozen. I have heard a LOT about this movie and so expected to be disappointed. NOT! I would see it AGAIN. It was awesome seeing it with Kadie and then talking about it afterwards.

FOUR. Annual Missions Tea. I met with CNC’s Women’s Ministry Team to plan our Tea. It is going to be fun to recruit hostesses and invite guests to experience this awesome event. Besides having High Tea, we will also have a program. We will sing, pray, and hear our speaker share about the need for and impact of missions. . . . I am jazzed because I got ALL the advertisements done. Now I can focus on the people aspect.

FIVE. Studied with Friends. Our Wednesday night small group is taking a 3 week break. On this past Wednesday night I met with two gals from the study. We read the chapter together, answered the questions, and even went on some theological rabbit trails. It was great to hear other perspectives and to have FUN together.

Your Turn . . . Share a favourite (or five) from your past week.

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Friday’s Fave Five – Week 1, 2014

FFF birds on a wire2014 is here just 3 days new. 2013 is gone just 4 days. So this first FFF posting of 2014 will be a blend of both.

One. Bridal Shower. The last Saturday of December my daughter and I attended a Bridal shower for her landlord and our friend, Jennifer. The best part of the celebration was hearing the stories about Jennifer. . .  the silly ones, the serious ones, and the ones where we had a connection with her. These stories evidenced that she made an impact on people and situations. I felt closer to her by the end of the party.

Wouldn’t that be a good thing to do throughout the year?  Share the stories of connection I’ve made with my friends. I want to tell stories that remind them of how special they are and that they HAVE made a difference in their world.  I want all my friends, including Jennifer, to know how grateful I am for them and their impact on my life.

Two. Prayer. The last Monday in 2013 I spent time doing what I normally do on Mondays, praying with my long-time prayer- partner, Ruth. We have spent hours and hours praying for our family and friends, the Church, and worldwide concerns. We have seen some HUGE answers and others answers that were subdued. And of course, we are still waiting on some answers even after 11 years.

Mondays in 2014 I will continue to pray with my dear friend and prayer-warrior. I am grateful that we are part of an effective spiritual strategy. I am grateful for Ruth’s wise-counsel and example. I am grateful  to be able to spend time with my friend.

Three. Lunch Date. A spur of the moment invitation found me having lunch and coffee with a friend, Lynette. The Gingerbread Latte is lovely. The conversation was even lovelier.

I don’t take enough time for friends especially on the spur of the moment. I want to do more of this because I would have really missed out on what Lynette shared. I am grateful that Lynette has seen and felt the work of God in her life in 2013.  The struggles I knew. I didn’t yet know the triumphs over those struggles. Hurray! Like me, are you encouraged when you hear about the triumphs?

Four. Gratitude Journal. I find that I am more successful in achieving things if there is a group and/or competition involved. This one isn’t a competition. I have been invited to join two others who are writing down a daily “gratitude” item. I am writing it down on my Google calendar. That way I won’t lose it and it will always be easy to access and remember.

I am grateful that these two, Michelle and LaRee, don’t mind me being part of their group. They are besties and still have room for others in their lives and hearts.

Five. Granddaughter. My granddaughter was 11 months old yesterday. She is crawling, grabbing and tasting, exerting her will, and smiling A LOT. And sometimes I even get to hear her gibberish. Being a grandmother has been ONE of the highlights of 2013.

I am grateful that her mama, Daniella, invites me to a bi-lingual Library time that she and the baby attend. I’ve only gone twice so far (it is 90 minutes away from where I live), but I hope to go many times in 2014. Not only do I get to visit and play with two favourite “women,” I also get to practice and learn Spanish. I am currently learning La Araña Pequeñita.

BONUS: I just read this and it is worthy of contemplation: Don’t Be Pretty – Be Beautiful in 2014.  I am grateful for such wisdom that I can share.

Happy New Year. If you’d like to be part of a “Gratitude Group,” then consider joining us. For this week, go to this link. Susanne is the host of Friday’s Fave Five. You can find Susanne at Living to Tell the Story.

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Pie Record – 55 Pies in 52 Weeks

1. Raspberry Freeze Pie
2. Derby Pie
3. Apple Pie
4. Dark Chocolate Cream Pie
5. Strawberry Yogurt Pie
6. Toll House Pie
7. Tamale Pie
8. Turtle Pecan Pie
9. GF, DF Apple Crumble
10. Upside Down Apple Pie

Creative Endeavors – 55 in 52 Weeks

1. Planted Spring boxes.
2. Played Scrabble in Spanish.
3. Created Salt Clay Crosses.
4. Making Mother's Day gifts for the ladies in our church.
5. Copied 2 cards at a card party.
6. Wrote rough draft.
7. Cut a hardback book into a Kindle cover
8. Boiled cans of sweetened condensed milk to make dulce de leche twice.
9. & 10. Met 2 more times to make Mother's Day gifts for church ladies.
11. Hemmed pants - Hey, it involved a thread & needle.
12. Sewed a lime green felt piggy bank. Filling it with quarters. This is for Women' s Retreat 2015.
13. Made Chai ice cream & ginger cookies for India DInner Fundraiser. (Thanks, Gillian.)
14. Researched & prepped initial dragonfly project for CM at work. (Thanks Trudy for doing the rest!)
15. Built a table (with my daughter).
16. Decoupaged the table.
17. Assembled candy bar with specialized wrappers.
18. Baked Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars
19. Decorated my daughter's Christmas Tree
20. Decorated a wreath
21. Made thumbprint snowman ornaments
22. Decorated my Christmas tree
23. Cooked up bottles of fudge and butterscotch sauce
24. Created a melted crayon picture
25. Baked Earl Grey Cookies
26. Created Sharpie art on my white mug
27. Made a candle in a tea cup
28. Whipped up some cream cheese mints
29. Hand sewed 6 heart shaped tea bags to hold Russian Morning #24.
30. Hand sewed 6 heart shaped tea bags to hold Masala Chai.
31. Baked Lemon Marshmallow cookies
32. Put together a mini teacup pincushion
33. Hand-tied a no-sew fleece baby blanket
34. Decoupaged eyeballs to bottom of glass
35. Glued together a teacup birdfeeder.
36. Designed a diaper bag name tag holder (for nursery at church).
37. Hand tied a no sew fleece baby blanket
38. Weaved 4 ribbon book markers
39. Made another teacup candle
40. Designed and helped assemble magnets for the Women's Annual Tea
41. Sewed 7 teabags for Earl Grey Tea
42. Chalkboard lids for cute jars

Book Record – 55 Books in 52 Weeks

1. Fearfully & Wonderfully Made by Dr. Paul Brand & Philip Yancey
2. Acts of Love: The Power of Encouragement by David Jeremiah
3. Plan B by Anne Lamott
4. The Mysterious Voyage of Captain Kidd by A.B.C. Whipple
5. The Summer of the Swans by Betsy Byars
6. Mister God, This is Anna by Fynn
7. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
8. The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning
9. Johannes Kepler: Giant of Faith and Science by John Tiner
10.The Quest for Character by Charles Swindoll
11. Masters of Mystery: 56 Short Stories of Mystery, Intrigue, & Suspense (by different authors)
12. Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller
13. The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
14. Secrets of the Vine for Women: Breaking Through to Abundance by Darlene Wilkinson
15. Out of Solitude by Henri Nouwen
16. Wholly Sanctified by A.B. Simpson
17. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
18. Teaching Kids Authentic Worship: How to Keep Them Close to God for LIFE by Kathleen Chapman
19. A Shorter Life of Christ by Donald Guthrie
20. Whole Prayer: Speaking and Listening to God by Walter Wangerin Jr.
21. Carpe Mañana by Leonard Sweet
22. Sadako and the Thousand Paper cranes by Eleanor Coerr
23. Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling
24. In His Steps by Chalres Sheldon
25. Chicken Soup for the Soul: 101 Stories to Open the Heart and Rekindle the Spirit Written & Compiled by Jack Canfield and Mark Hansen
26. Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent
In My Father's House by Corrie ten Boom with C. C. Carlson
27. Abba's Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging by Brennan Manning
28. The King in the Window by Adam Gopnik
29. In the Eye of the Storm by Max Lucado
30. Valhalla Rising by Clive Cussler
31. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
32. Unleashing Your Potential: Discovering Your God-Given Opportunities for Ministry by Frank Tillapaugh
33. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
34. Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
35. The Telling by Ursella Le Guin (library)
36. The Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov (library)
37. Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan (library)
38. Traveling Light by Max Lucado
39. Hinds' Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard
40. Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhug h
41. The Accused by Nancy Rue
42. Daniel Boone: Wilderness Scout, A story of the greatest frontiersman by Stewart Edward White
43. Seven Guides to Effective Prayer by Colin Whittaker
44. Prayer: Life's Limitless Reach by Jack R. Taylor
45. The Magnitude of Prayer by Kermit R. Olsen
46. Prayer Changes Things by Charles L. Allen
47. How to Make Prayer Exciting! by Bill & Pam Malone
48. If God Already Knows, Why Pray? by Douglas F. Kelly
49. Praying Together by Rosalind Rinker

Stuff I’ve Written and When

Book of Braille Sculptures

By Elizabeth Symington


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