Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Yes, I am making them again! New Year's Resolutions!

  I wanted to post is about some things I am aiming to do this year for my resolutions!! I make them every year with things to challenge myself with in hopes that I might complete a goal.  And I know that today is New Year's Eve, but I am hoping that tomorrow I will feel better and be too busy to blog :0)  So, I wanted to make sure I got these on here today!  
   The first thing that I resolve to do is continue -- and I say this which MUCH excitement - my Bible study and Bible reading.  I have struggled for years with the mentality that if I couldn't do it every day, then I shouldn't even try!  Sad attitude for sure!!  So through much prayer and counsel, I have determined that I should read as much and as often and study as much and as often as I can.  I have had one of the best years in my study and Bible reading time this past year.  I am really excited to see what 2015 is going to bring!!
  This year I really would love to get back into my walking.  Whether it is outside or to a video, I really need to do this.  I also want to strengthen my back and stomach.  Let's face it!  I have had 7 pregnancies that have stretched my muscles beyond recognition;  however, I really do believe that I can get back into better shape than I am right now - Praise the Lord that He never gives up on us -- Can I get a witness!!
  I also want to continue reading fun books.  With homeschooling, we read a lot of books for knowledge and for experience -- I LOVE THAT!  For myself I have really enjoyed several books this year, so I am going to continue this habit.  Katherine Spencer, Liz Curtis Higgs, and Jan Karon are three of my favorites!  I am also going to get four re-certification classes completed by 2016.  I worked so hard to get my teaching degree, so until I know for 100% that I will never need it, I will keep on with this!  I am excited about taking some classes and stretching my brain.
  Lastly, I want to work on areas of my emotions.  I want to keep blogging, journaling, and praying.  Life is hard; sometimes it is really hard.  In those times my emotions can get the best of me.  So, I think the things above can really be a big help to me with mental health!  One thing that I am getting to do that is REALLY exciting is going to a Homeschool Convention in March! I am getting to go for 2 1/2 days with no children.  As a caregiver to one disabled child and then four who are very healthy, I get really worn down.  I found last year was like a retreat that I really needed!!!  One day I may get some of my friends and my mom to take a cruise!  That will be a few years down the road where Benson will be fine with being alone with the kids - I may take my two girls with me on this adventure!
  As 2014 comes to an end, I look back on it with joy, tears, pain, laughter, and hope for a wonderful 2015!  The Lord goes before me in all of my comings and goings, so I know that as long as I am walking with Him, He is guiding or sometimes carrying me along the way!  Blessings to you, dear friend, as you approach 2015.  I pray that you have wonderful times along the way to help you get through some of the hard times that come in this life.
  A song that I love is by Point of Grace.  It is called "This Day."  I just love it as it touches my heart!  May it touch yours, too!  And remember to keep on keeping on until His day of return comes!!  Amen for that!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWx_b0Z8JOE

Blessings, Love and {{Hugs}}!

:0)Chandra

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

  We have eight more days to the Big Day -- it is the news and on everyone's lips.  Yet, that day, Christmas, is always in my heart.  I am what my mom calls a "Christmas Girl."  I LOVE that!  I have been one of those people who could have - and almost have - kept the Christmas Tree up all year -- my family as tradition would use an artificial tree.  One Christmas we got a REAL tree.  Our family cat had a fit.  She didn't know how tree got in the house!  Anyway, we loved it so much.  We didn't want to take it down, so it stayed up longer.  One of my good friends from school came over, and he said that it was February and time for the tree to come down!  I was sad, and I still am today, when we have to take the trees down.
  Even though the decorations come off our mantels, houses, doors, and throughout, we don't have to get rid of Christmas in our hearts.  The Lord came down in a moment - a most holy, wonderful moment.  He came so that we might live an eternal life after this one is over.  As the world gets so bad and immoral, the return of the King is just on the horizon.  That is why I want to keep Christmas in my heart - I want to be ready for when He returns.
  I think, when we have Jesus in our hearts, that automatically makes every day Christmas for us!!  It is our responsibility to share about that love, and the little and big things that He has done in our lives.  I have to admit that I used to be a little intimidated about sharing about the Lord. But since we have had Sully, I have to say that anymore I CAN"T help BUT to share about Him!  
  So as you finish up your shopping, family letters, Christmas cards, church programs, last minute baking, remember to stop and thank the Lord for sending Jesus all those years ago.  Take some time over the holiday to Christmas carol at some people's houses or better yet to the Nursing Homes and shut-ins - you will be blessed while you are blessing them.  And take time to have FUN!  Watch those fun movies that in the grand scheme of things are meant to have us come together and laugh and BE with one another.  
  Life is so busy, but if we will stop for just a minute, we will surely be blessed over the holiday!  I always like to end my thoughts with a song - "That's Why He Came."  I sang this with a wonderful chorus in high school, "Servant."  The words are so wonderful!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsARWjO9h38

Dear friend, I wish you so much joy and blessings over this holiday season!!

Much love and {{hugs}},
:0)Chandra

Monday, November 24, 2014

Thoughts On Decluttering!

  I feel like I am always in a state of decluttering - part of my problem is that I don't ever want to let go -- YES!  Now, right now, I am suppressing the urge to burst into song!  I really want to sing full throttle, "Let It Go!"  But I won't :0)  Instead I will leave you with a link that I just read on Sandi Patty's website.  It is really worth the read!  Things I’m Learning From Decluttering | Sandi Patty

  It made me think about my life and my choices.  We all have things we wish we could have done or said differently.  My husband reminds me that it is so important to think through things before you say them.  I have learned over these past 20 years to not let everything that people say hurt my feelings.  That is a very powerful feeling!  It took me a long time to stop being super-sensitive when people said things without thinking.  It makes me remember that same hurtful feeling I have experienced can be felt by someone else by my words or my actions.  

  Sandi Patty said that a friend of hers had her do an exercise.  I loved this exercise and the application that she made from it!  The thoughts she put about things she has learned from decluttering are excellent!  I am not going to make this a long post, but I will end it with a song!  I love it and feel encouraged whenever I hear it! Of course it is a Sandi Patty song - "Hand On My Shoulder."  Hope it blesses your heart as it has mine!   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WdcgnrEnlE

Blessings to each one of you as we being the holiday stretch with Thanksgiving this week!

Love and Hugs!
:0)Chandra

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Thanksgiving!

  Yes!  I am on a mission -- I am having our Thanksgiving dinner for our family of 7, and my mom and dad will be at our house this year.  This is the first time that it will be at my house and my parents  are coming.  We usually go up to their house, but my mom has business in Atlanta, so they are going to be here with us!  I made our first Thanksgiving dinner last year - I will add pictures.  I remember the menu, so I will get Sarah to write it out for me -- writing assignment!  We homeschool, so I like to "Kill two birds with one stone!"
  Since this year is flying by and I seem to be forgetting to do things, I wanted to get my "Thankful List" done so that I don't forget!  What in my life do I have for which to be thankful?  Well, more than what is on this list, but here is one for each day of November!!  
  1. Jesus' salvation gift!!!
  2. God's unending love and mercy!!
  3. The Holy Spirit's comfort and conviction!!
  4. My sweet husband, Benson!
  5. My five children!
  6. The Bible
  7. Our parents and extended family!
  8. Our 16x80 mobile home!
  9. Our 7.89 acres!
  10. My husband's business!
  11. Our chocolate brown suburban!!
  12. My Pator, his sweet wife and their son and our church family!
  13. My sweet friends over the years!
  14. Our sweet doggies, rabbits, and chickens! and our two goldfish!
  15. Coffee!
  16. Chocolate!
  17. The ability to exercise - even though I don't like I should :0)
  18. Living in the USA!!!
  19. Washer and dryer!
  20. My son's special area doctors, nurses, therapists, EI, teacher and assistants!!
  21. MNO! (Mom's Night Out!)
  22. The movie "The Princess Bride"
  23. Christian writers and singers!
  24. The chance to get to write a blog!!
  25. Homeschooling and my mom-in-law's Christian school!
  26. James M. Brown - where Sully goes to school!
  27. The turning of the leaves and FALL!
  28. Looking at Christmas lights at the end of November
  29. Hot chocolate!  Egg Nog!
  30. TURKEY, Dressing, deviled eggs, cranberry sauce with the berries, crescent rolls, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, cooked carrots, sweet potato pie, apple pie, and cherry pie - topped off with Cool Whip!  
  So now I have that done!  I can mark off the list of writing down what I am thankful for.  Since I don't get on the internet every day, I am posting this on FB so that I can be ahead of the game!!!  Which actually since I am not posting this when I had planned, I am now a bit behind - oh well! Good intentions :0)  
  I didn't write all that I am thankful for because I have so much to be thankful for!!  As usual I end my posts with a song, and I just have to put this one for it sums up as Christians what we have to be thankful  This is a guy and his guitar.  It is simple but so beautiful!  Enjoy and think of all the reasons we have to be thankful this November month.  kevin cassidy, (cover) so much to thank him for - YouTube

Happy Upcoming Thanksgiving!!
:0)Chandra

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Good Morning!

  Well, I am up and have read my Bible and am on my second cup of coffee :0)  I do believe this is going to be a good, yet hard day - good because I have an early start. Hard because I am TIRED!  I went to bed a little earlier than normal but playing catch up for all those days that I went to bed later.  Prayers will be said throughout this day, "Lord Jesus, give me strength!!"
  I have always had a struggle with devotion time - you relate?  I have had a recent conviction to read my Bible first before reading anything.  That has proven to be a challenge because I have started reading this series by Liz Curtis Higgs!  I mean this is the type book that you can hardly put down.  You have to know what is going to happen in this family and these individuals.  The realization of the need for forgiveness in this first book has moved me to tears!
  Anyway - that is not the purpose of this entry - but before I move on, the series is the following --

 Thorn in My Heart

Thorn in My HeartHistorical Novel • Book 1 • 496 pages, soft cover • Bestseller!
In the autumn of 1788 in the Scottish lowlands, two brothers fight to claim one father’s blessing, two sisters long to claim one man’s heart. This epic tale brings the past to vibrant life, revealing spiritual truths that transcend time and penetrate the deepest places of the heart.

Buy from AmazonBuy from Christianbook      Barnes and Noble button

Fair Is the Rose

Fair Is the RoseHistorical Novel • Book 2 • 480 pages, soft cover • Bestseller!
Haste ye back to eighteenth-century Scotland! Bonny, spirited Rose and quiet, gentle Leana have both given their hearts to the same handsome cousin, Jamie McKie of Glentrool. He cannot love both sisters. Or can he? No one is prepared for the shocking turn of events that tests the limits of love and sacrifice.

Buy from AmazonBuy from Christianbook      Barnes and Noble button

Whence Came a Prince

Whence Came a Prince with AwardHistorical Novel • Book 3 • 560 pages, soft cover • 2006 Christy Award winner!
Jamie McKie vows to return to his ancestral home of Glentrool—a daring venture that will test the depth of his courage and the strength of his sword. Meanwhile, Leana and Rose McBride each stake a worthy claim on his affections as this prodigal hero prepares to fight for all he holds dear.

Whence Came a Prince on Amazon.comBuy from Christianbook      Barnes and Noble button

Grace in Thine Eyes

Grace in Thine EyesHistorical Novel • Book 4 • 464 pages, soft cover • 2007 Christy Award finalist
Davina McKie is a bonny lass of seventeen, as clever as they come and a gifted musician. But when she catches the eye of a handsome young Highlander, sheltered Davina is unprepared for the shocking events that follow. A story of passion and revenge, of lost innocence and shattered dreams, Grace in Thine Eyes explores the sorrow of unspeakable shame and the gift of immeasurable grace.
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Christianbook      
By the way, these companies are not advertising on my page, but I thought I would leave them on here if someone saw and wanted to buy them.  I am on book two and just am captivated by this story.  The parallels on the love of Jesus and our sin and His forgiveness!!! I could go on.  
  My purpose this post is to share with you about a Proverb that I read this morning. Proverbs 26:20 reads, "Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out:  so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth."  I just thought that would be such a great reminder to us to be the end of the "Rumor Mill" or gossip chain that seems to travel through all of our lives - whether you participate or not.  I love hearing comedians who say that, especially in the South, we soften our gossip or "sharing a prayer concern" with "Bless her/his heart!"  
  I have been guilty of doing this myself - not so much now as in the past.  I can tell you there are severe repercussions when you talk about others or pass along a tale.  I have never read that Proverbs before and thought I had to share this with my friends.  Let us be the ones that rise above - I have enough in my own life to talk about.  Some of it I am so ashamed.  But I am so glad that the Lord has forgiven me - I am so glad that my children and husband have loved me and overlooked my short-comings.  Boy do I behave in some rotten ways sometimes!!  But the Lord told us that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness! - IJohn 1:9!!  I am so thankful for that!  I have found that even with the forgiveness, that I have to take time to forgive myself.  Don't allow the devil to beat you up over your past - the Lord said that He casts our sins away.  If He doesn't hold onto them, we should not either!
   Well, it is "Hump Day!"  I love the camel saying that!  Sorry if that is now in your head :0)  Before I end, I have a couple of songs on my mind today from what I have written.  Both go along so well - God is neat that way to bring to mind songs that support my thoughts :0)
Damaras Carbaugh - He Has Forgiven Me. on Vimeo  That song is so moving and always makes me cry. So, I don't want to end with that, so I am ending with Madisa's "Good Morning!"  And for my "running" friends - you MUST have this to run to!!
Have a BLESSED DAY!
:0)Chandra

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

 Today has started off pretty well.  Seth, my 3 year-old, has had a good morning.  Instead of his getting into things, he walks up to me now and holds the item behind his back and says, "I have present for you!"  He gives me the item and then runs away laughing!  It is heading into the lunch hour, so I am going to get off an fix lunch.  I actually know what we are going to have, and it is simple to fix!
  Lunch today will be chicken alfredo over bowtie pasta.  I love an easy lunch, especially when we have had a busy day before.  Yesterday was our trek to Greenville for a visit to Sully's nephrologist (kidney doctor).
  Sullivan is our fourth born and has cerebral palsy and leukodystrophy. He cannot walk on his own, stand on his own, talk or eat solid foods - for now.  Anyway, with his condition he has many doctors - neurologist, ophthalmologist, orthopedic, gastroenterologist, nephrologist, geneticist, cardiologist, physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist, early interventionist, primary care physician, dentist, and I think that is it!
  We have a 1 hour 40 minute commute to most of these places, but that is okay!  It means that we have the opportunity to 1) live up in these beautiful mountains and 2) travel to the "Big" city.  The children have had so many opportunities along the way as we journey with Sully and his care.  With us choosing to school our children from a Christian perspective, we have either done it at home or at my in-laws small, church school.  I have also had the privilege of some friends helping with the girls in math and spending time with them.  These people who have come alongside us have blessed me beyond what they will ever know!
  I am thankful for our children, even though it is SO hard some days. Having such a group of different people to teach and raise and spend time with - WOW!  To think that the Lord thought that I was able, well, no I take that back!  The Lord knew that with His help I could do this.  It is only with His strength that I, that any of us, are able to walk our path.  My prayer for those you know and I know that don't have Jesus will sense that longing in their hearts for something, someone to fill an empty place. Because I don't know about you, but I look around at our world and all the things that are happening.  It makes me think that Jesus' return is on the horizon.  I know that I have Him in my heart and life.  What in the world would I do without Jesus?  He is my Almighty Saviour!  
  I always end my thoughts with a song, and I have had this one on my mind for the last several days!  It is one that I love and hope it blesses your heart!  Crystal Lewis - People Get Ready (Lyrics) - YouTube

Peace and Blessings!  And always {{hugs}}!!
:0)Chandra

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

  I say it is my birthday!  Happy birthday to me :0)  I am 41 today - I remember when my mom turned 41.  As I am typing this, I am listening to the song, "Birthday," by the Beatles - which I didn't know they wrote and sang.  I learned something new on my birthday!  It is a fun rock 'n roll song.  I think it should be on a runner's/walker's list for sure.  What a great beat!  Happy Birthday Funny Dancing Cartoons - YouTube
  Yesterday, Seth, our littlest kiddo, turned 3.  So here we have me at 41 and Seth at 3.  We are both in a challenging time in our lives.  I am experiencing "Mommy Meltdowns" while he is having his "Toddler Meltdowns."  "What fun this must be for the rest of the family!" I can hear some of you say.  Well, it isn't.  I find myself apologizing and crying while I gather my wits back together again.  I was wondering about these and how I could work through them, helping both Seth and me.
  Why do we, and many others, have these?  What can we do about them? I perused (I like using big words!  It is fun, especially when I am using them correctly LOL!) - anyway, I perused the internet to see what opinions were out there.  One area I read that when toddlers meltdown, get them outside where they can work it off.  Also look at your day - is it too full? Has he had enough outside time?  Has he eaten?  Has he rested? Has he had too much stimulation?  All really good questions!  
  Another site suggested that we have our own meltdowns as adults because we are not taking care of ourselves.  Running on empty.  It hit me just now as I type that I can ask myself these same questions that I ask about the toddler.  I think when I have just gone and gone and gone, I crash and burn.  The solution is not an easy one.  Which makes me think of a verse in the Bible, John 16:33 that says that this was never going to be easy.  To quote it, "33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."  This verse spells it out for me - to have peace, I need to be in Christ.  I saw where the part read "I have spoken these things."  I wondered what things, so I went up above and read the entire chapter.  Reading this chapter, I understand that He was talking to the disciples about His crucifixion and leaving them.  He was also talking about the Holy Spirit coming to comfort and convict.  He encouraged them because even though He physically wasn't going to be there, the Holy Spirit was.  He also told them that one day they would see Him again.  The joy He gave us through His death was that connection back to God.  I understand the verse is speaking of the tribulation that they would endure, but I can't help but apply it to my life right now.  The sin that I commit are ones that people would not call "Big Ones."  I understand that, but I need to draw closer to Jesus.  I need to remember that in this world I will have tribulation, but He has overcome the world.
  I guess in my tired, worn-out, stressed-out mind, I don't get to stop.  Be still.  Be quiet and listen to the heart of God like I need to.  That would be a huge step in helping with the meltdowns - both mine and Seth's.  The key to all of this is SLEEP and getting up earlier.  As much as my inner "Night Owl" shudders at the thought, I am going to have to get to bed earlier so that I can have that quiet time that I need.  Having our time to pray, read the Bible and listen to God is vitally important.  I want to be different that I am now - I don't want to have meltdowns.  That is my prayer and my heart's desire.  
  And I am not sharing this so that people will feel sorry for me - not at all! I have a blessed life.  I have 5 sweet children.  I have a Christian husband who wants to spend time with his family - who I know loves me.  No, I write this because sometimes I think that I am the only one going through these hard times with a toddler or myself.  I am not.  I have talked with friends and people I bump into, and they share that they, too, are having challenges.  I just want others to know that we aren't alone in the Walk that we walk.  No matter how hard, how tired, or how alone we feel, we must know and understand that our peace lies not within ourselves or other people or our fleeting happiness.  Our true peace lies within knowing and walking with Jesus.  
  I have the gift of gab, and so I could go on, but I am going to stop for now.  I send you {{hugs}} wherever you are.  Having this "talk" has helped me so much today.  I leave you now with a song that I love.  It is stuck in my head today, and I am glad!  It is "You Shine" written by Brian Doerksen.  Be blessed!You Shine (Worship Video w/ Lyrics) HD - YouTube

Have such a great day!
:0)Chandra

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

These are SO GOOD!

I want to say that it is no secret that I am working on weight loss.  I have been doing that since I was an older teen.  Now that I am almost 41, I am battling the wonderful slow-down of my metabolism.  I have found a book that has a neat way of helping you make great choices while eating REAL food.  I am not having to give up any food group, so that is a plus - cause I LOVE bread :0)

Anyway, I was in the store with my girls and Seth - who was asleep, so that made it easier as he is almost 3 - not going there LOL!  We went to look for some healthy snacks, when we came upon these --


I had one today with a cup of hot tea that only had a teaspoon of sugar, and it was HEAVENLY!  I don't say that lightly.  It was so good.  I am excited about finding this snack - Dollar General, 6 for $2.50!  Above you can see the nutrition information.  Now these are not huge - smaller than a computer mouse.  However, with them being only 90 calories, if you had a tablespoon of peanut butter with it and something low or no calorie to drink, then you have a perfect snack.

I will post things from time to time about this kind of stuff because I love nutrition and finding things that are tasty yet not horrible for you.  Now don't get me wrong!  I am by no means getting rid of my chocolate, but I am trying to find other things that are better for me to snack on :0)

I have been trying to end my posts with a song.  Although this one is not at all related to food or lemon bars, it is about the mercy of the Lord!  I was trying to find something that Chonda Pierce said about spanx - because that story is SO funny - and came across this instead.  I had to put it.  Because no matter where we are in our walks with Him, He is so faithful!!  Please remember that you are loved by Jesus.  So listen and be blessed!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAqqAQlaYP0

Love and {{hugs}}!
Chandra

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Summer is Almost Over

  Summer of 2014 is almost over.  I ran across a list I had made of things I wanted to get done -- I wanted to get organized - ha ha!  Don't we all!  I wanted to exercise more -- does chasing Seth count?  I wanted to spend more time reading and scrapbooking - I did get to do those, and I had such fun!  I wanted to spend more time with the children doing fun things - since our car's transmission tore up, we had to be more creative.  I have to say that I think we had more fun and time together.  I wanted to spend more time outside.  Even though some days were hot, Seth and I were outside a lot!  I pushed him on the swing, watched him swing, watched him play in the dirt -- you know, that typical outside stuff!  I wanted to get Sully's exercises done - did that thanks to some help from Aunt Baretta!  We really accomplished a lot o
  On August 18th our summer time ended.  We officially started school.  We homeschool the girls. Siler attends a small church school that his Grandma and Poppa Kerr run.  Sully goes to a PIP program at a local public school.  Seth is at home.  I know this sounds a little crazy for so many to go different places, but it works for our family.  I taught school for 7 years and loved it!  I was always one of those kids that loved school.  When it was the week when the teachers went back, I was over there wanting to help.  I just loved it!  However, with this year it was a little different.  I was not looking forward to getting back into the "grind."
  I think the reasons behind it deal a lot with me having to give up time!  I know that sounds bad the way I put it.  I don't mean that teaching the children and caring for them is a time-waster!  I guess what I mean is that I have to implement school back in to our routine which was pretty much chores and playtime!  I am one of the homeschooling people who take summer off.  I just have to! I remember when Savannah was finishing 1st grade and was a little "behind."  Instead of us taking a break, we kept on through the summer.  By the time it was school season, she was burned out.  I told Benson that I was never going to school through the year without some type of break!
  Now that we are in it, I am having a good time - for the most part.  To be honest it is hard to homeschool with a toddler!  I know that he is learning in some ways, but when we get started, he wants to be right there in the middle of it.  I let him sit at the table and give him some "work" to do.  I think that the reason I was having such a hard time schooling with Seth was that he was wanting all the attention.  It is still hard with him, but I am not defeated with this!  I am looking for ways and ideas of teaching Sarah while he is with us.  Savannah is working independently now -- so I don't want to keep her from getting her work done.  She is really good at helping with him - reading him books, taking him outside, watching shows with him.  
  I know that summer time is over;  officially Monday is the last day.  Tuesday begins fall.  I LOVE fall and the hint of the holidays coming!  I am really looking forward to some coolness and some time of learning.  I am going to sit down sometime and write a list of things I would like to get done this school year - 
  1. Read more with the children
  2. Have devotion time with the children!
  3. Have Seth working on his work while we are getting ours done
  4. Have Savannah reading more and writing more
  5. Have Siler finish his homework before late in the evening
  6. Have Sully to school on time - this is a HUGE goal!
  7. Have Siler's first year scrapbook completed
  These are some things that I would love to see happen.  Fortunately, the Lord is with me every step of the way.  I am not alone in this journey.  That is one of the blessings as a Christian!  He is with me even if I don't get my list of things done.  He is right there encouraging me along the way. I know that my expectations of what I want to get completed may not always get done in the time and way that I want.  But that is okay!
  I have a song that I love that is called "He Will Carry You."  In thinking of things I have "To Do,"  I am encouraged that when I grow weary in it all, that He will carry me through it!  Hope you have a blessed day and enjoy this song!

{{hugs}} and blessings!
Chandra

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Sully and His First Steps Without Help (except his walker and PT and favorite toy!)

I AM EXCITED!!  I AM BLESSED!!  I have witnessed, again, answer to prayers!  If there was ever a doubt in your mind that there is a God that hears our prayers -- well, you need to talk to me :0)  

I won't write now about how our journey has been with Sully from the beginning - that would be a long entry, and I need to get packed for the beach!  However, I will say that the video that is attached to this just shows that the Lord has heard our prayers.  Sully was not a very active infant, so I didn't know what his outcome would be regarding walking or anything else for that matter. The Shriner's Hospital in our area and our PT, OT, and Speech therapists were and still are encouraging us that Sully may walk one day.  Well, this past Friday, September 5, 2014, was a day that I got to see him do just that - he did have a walker, encouragement from his therapists, and his two favorite toys.

Sullivan is such a  blessing to our family!  Please watch this and be blessed by this video :0)

{{hugs}} and blessings!
Chandra

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0EZTNTsviI&feature=youtu.be

Friday, August 29, 2014

Experiencing Mercy and Love

  Today was an unusual day.  Benson had the day off, so I took Siler down for school. Since both our little guys were feeling a little yucky - due to the lovely, early fall flowers blooming - and we were not going to therapy, I decided to do a little grocery shopping. Okay, big grocery shopping since we have a big family :0)
  Benson had gotten paid and given me some money to deposit.  I mentioned to him that I would use some for groceries.  He said that was fine and deposit the rest.  So here I had some money.  I should have put it in my wallet, but I put it in my pocket.  I know most of you are saying to yourself, "Oh no!"  for you already have guessed what I am about to share with you.  Yes, I did buy our large amount of groceries.  I felt good being able to walk around the store and getting our needs and some of our wants.  I went up to the front and paid for our groceries.
  This is where my story gets really sad.  I unloaded my groceries in the car.  When I went to get the rest of the money together to take to the bank, it was gone.  I checked my purse, pockets, the van - GONE.  Let me tell you that the feeling in my stomach was not good. I was going to have to call Benson and tell him that the money he had worked so hard for was in someone else's hands.  Someone that was in that store found my money and did not try to see who it belonged to.  Sick, sad, and crying my guts out!  He called to check on me, and I tried to tell him what happened, but I was crying so hard he could not understand me.  I finally pulled myself together, and I told him the awful truth.  
  His reaction was not at all what I expected.  He said, "Well, honey, there is nothing you can do about it now.  Just get finished up and come on home.  Be careful driving. Don't let your emotions cause an accident."  Even when I had lost the money he had worked so hard for, he showed me compassion and love.  Now that, my friends, is Mercy and Love.  I know that we are to show each other kindness, but I am a "short fuse" sometimes.  I just appreciated the fact that he was able to hug on me when he saw me.  I am so blessed to have the sweet, patient, understanding husband!
  I hope that I can take this lesson and first, remember to put money in my wallet!  I mean, it wasn't like he gave a me $5!  But I want to take away from this that 1 Corinthians 13 principle!  Especially in the verses 4 - 6 - "Charity suffereth long, and is kind;  charity envieth not;  charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up.  Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth."
  We all have our times where we act up.  I know that this experience was one where some would have yelled, had temper tantrums, and maybe even not speak to that person.  I am just glad that I know that my husband loves me more than money!  He told me before he had to go run errands that in the end I was what mattered.
  Of course I am crying!!  I hope those of you who have an experience where there was a mishap or a loss that you will show mercy.  Our Heavenly Father shows us SO much mercy, but it was so neat today to have experienced Jesus through my sweet Benson!   I love this song and it came to my mind when I was thinking about mercy!  Listen and be blessed!  

CeCe Winans: Mercy Said No - YouTube

Love and {{hugs}},
:0)Chandra  

Friday, August 15, 2014

Robin Williams

  When I found out about Robin Williams' death, it immediately took me back to his movies and humor.  I was like alot of kids that watched "Mork and Mindy" when it came on tv.  I don't really remember it as much as I do his other movies.  I know as a teen I watched "Dead Poets Society."  That movie, while controversial, made me think about being a passionate teacher and enjoying being a teacher.
  "Dead Poets Society" was a movie I saw as a junior or senior in high school.  I look back and now can't remember all of the movie, so I am speaking mainly on the inspiration that I do remember from watching the movie.  Robin Williams' character was a teacher who went against the appropriate ways of teaching in the school that was in this movie.  I don't think his intentions were to encourage disobedience or being a rebel.  I think he was trying to inspire and show passion for teaching and for his students.  As a young teacher, I wanted to have my students stand on their desks and say "Captain!" I wanted to encourage them to have passion.  I wanted to have that passion myself.  As I type this, I have tears in my eyes in thinking about the years that I got to teach at Oconee Christian Academy.  Now don't get me wrong  I LOVE being a mom and taking care of our family.  But I have to say that a little part of me, when I think about teaching, misses that realm.  However, I also know that I have a passion for my family and have learned to tune in to that!
  Another thing that I remember from this movie that I won't ever forget is the "Barbaric yawp."  When we graduated from high school, several of us gathered around, threw up our caps, and let out a "Yawp!"  I remember doing that with so much joy.  I remember looking around at my classmates - ones that I had grown up with - letting out our "YAWP!"  What a fun memory!!
  The death of such a famous man has come and gone.  I think about the fact that he was so very funny but dealt with deep, personal depression.  Depression is a hard thing to deal with.  I am sad for this loss for so many, but I am mostly sad for his family.  He will be truly missed but remembered for making so many laugh. Prayers for his family and friends as they mourn his passing.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Making Pancakes With a Twist :0)

I am making pancakes for lunch today.  I am trying this recipe, Good Old Fashioned Pancakes Recipe - Allrecipes.com.  I will post on here later how they turned out.  I don't have my camera or a smart phone, so I can't put pictures on here.  Oh well - I guess you can look on the site address above and think that is what mine look like :) LOL!

Well, I am going to have to try that pancake recipe another time because I didn't have flour.  I only had cornmeal.  I tried a recipe on the back but had to tweak it because we had just run out of milk.  So this is what I ended up making --
2 cups of cornmeal mix
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. oil
1 tbsp. vinegar
1 cup peach yogurt
2 cups of water

Now, mind you, I know this is not your typical pancake mix, but it worked given that I lacked 2 very important ingredients.  The children had mixed reviews - 2 like them and 2 didn't.  I licked them fine, and I actually think the batter would also work well for making corndogs somehow.  In any case, I will try to have ingredients next time and use this recipe.  That will be in another post, I suppose!

Happy Saturday :0)
Chandra

My Stinkin', Rotten Attitude

  You ever have one of those days where you begin with a really rotten attitude?  Well, Friday was one for me.  Let me begin by briefly sharing that our transmission in our main vehicle is not 100%.  I can get around enough to get to grocery stores, drug stores, my in-laws to borrow their wonderful car that has the BEST ac, and of course church.  In any case today, I kind of - don't ask me how - but I forgot that my car will only go 40 and takes extra time to get down the mountain.  I also forgot that I was having to unload two babies, a purse, a therapy bag for Sully, and my larger-than-life diaper bag!  And, mind you, I had been functioning this way for almost 6 weeks, so it wasn't like an all of a sudden thing!  In any case this is how my morning was starting.  Plus, it was raining.
Image result for Eeyore
  Now before you start thinking, "Wow!  This is one negative, very Eeyore-like person," I am not. It just so happens that I am the complete opposite.  I am probably one of those cup isn't half full but is overflowing.  That is what my mom says, anyway.  
  So, therapy - our really wonderful, miraculous therapy group is about 1 1/2 hours one way from home.  I drive through Walhalla, West Union, Seneca, Clemson, part of Liberty, Easely, and into Powdersville.  These places have tons of stop lights!  Now on any given day, I might be able to go through a few of these places without hitting any of the red lights.  But this day I was hitting ALL of them.  And I was getting behind people going five mph under the speed limit.  I was having a really stickin', rotten attitude!  My sister-in-law and her two children were with me, enduring my mouth!
  Why can I not get control of this tongue of mine!  It is my downfall for sure.  I sometimes - and by now, you know I am a "talker," - talk too much.  I put my foot in my mouth!  Oh me - I hate when I do that!  But Friday, I was fussing at these people I didn't know and hollering at the red lights.  I am sure my passengers thought I was a lunatic or "Road Rage Queen."  
  I thought about that when I was around my passengers later.  I apologized to them for my attitude - it was not good.  It was my own doing!  When I mess up, I don't own up to it.  I try to blame my issues on other people or things.  I begin my apologies with the same words - "Sorry, the kids," or "Sorry, the car.." - you know!  I must learn to take on some responsibility!  For me as I type this and think, my tongue is a symptom of a deeper problem.  I have a selfishness that I haven't dealt with.  I think it stems from wanting to hold onto what I used to be able to do in younger years - stay up late and then try to function the next day!  Wow - what a revelation to me.  I really know that I have this issue and really have to work on it.
  James 3:6-10  in the Kings James version states, "And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature;  and it is set on fire of hell.  For every kind of beasts, and birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed and hath been tamed of mankind:  But the tongue can no man tame;  it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.  Therewith bless we God, even Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similtude of God.  Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing.  My brethren, things ought not so to be."  The rest of the chapter in verses 13 - 18 talk about God's wisdom!  Not man's wisdom!  Verse 17 states, "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy."
  After reading this, one could get a little depressed about the fact that control over oneself is almost impossible.  I think that what I am gathering from this section of scripture is to keep on striving for that wisdom and peace that come from God.  I know that I am not going to ever be perfect, but I know that I can keep on trying to live my life so that those "good fruits" will appear.
  I wanted to share this post because I battle daily with anger, selfishness, and my mouth.  I am thankful that the Lord has given us His Word.  I am thankful that I don't have to keep my Stinkin', Rotten Attitude!  I daily give it to Him, and He forgives me.  Now that doesn't give me license to go out and willfully do wrong!  By no means!  It just means that I have an accountability partner in the Lord.  We all are going to continue to mess up -- we have to own up to this!  We have to begin to take responsibility and strive to do better with the Lord's help.
  So the next time that I am running late, I want to remember this really bad way that I handled this time and try to do better.  I am not ever going to be perfect here, but I am not going to let that be an excuse.  I pray that all of us that are saved by His grace will strive toward the goal - Hebrews 12:1-2  "Wherefore, seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;  who for joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."  I have to say that I have a lot of tears now, especially after these last two verses!
  This post kind of took on a different direction than I had intended.  As I typed the verses, I felt the Lord really speaking to me.  What a privilege it is to know Jesus and have to the Holy Spirit convict me and to have the arms of the Heavenly Father holding me!!  Oh wow!  
  I am ending this, like I have with the other posts, with a song by Damaris Carbaugh.  I hope that it blesses your heart as you listen!  He Has Forgiven Me - Damaris Carbaugh - YouTube

Love, {{hugs}}, and Blessings!
Chandra

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Praises and Prayer

    I just posted about how I appreciate the prayers from my friends.  I am huge believer that prayer changes things.  I believe that the Lord gives us His Word and prayer for communication with Him.  Sometimes we pray, and He is silent.  Other times it is like in your face what He wants you to do.  Then there are those "wait a little bit" times that can be more than frustrating.  I have been experiencing many neat things in my Christian walk when it comes to prayer.  This week I experienced a quick answer.
    This week held appointments for us.  Two children had dentist appointments, Sully an MRI, and then of course Friday, is our typical therapy day.  Whenever we had Sully get an MRI, he was intubated.  That is when you have a tube put into your windpipe to help you in the case you stopped breathing or had breathing problems.  We had always thought that was unnecessary, but we would let them anyway.  The experience always meant a night or two at the hospital while the swelling in Sully's throat went down.  It also meant that we had to start over with him and eating!  It would always be a huge frustration!  Sully is at a point now where he is stronger.  He is sturdier than he ever was - than I thought he would be.  
    We had to take him for an MRI yesterday.  I mentioned how glad I was that he wasn't having to be intubated.  That comment made the nurse and an assistant nervous.  Then it made me nervous!  I wasn't prepared for a hospital stay, but more importantly, Sully would have to endure that intubating thing!  I breathed a quick prayer.  Please, Lord, please don't let him have to be intubated.  The attending physician came out and talked to me.  He asked a few questions and mentioned that he had spoken with our neurologist.  He said he felt good about Sully having the regular sedation!!  Now that is a quick answer to prayer!  Sully had a great iv tech who got his vein the first try!!  The medicine worked quickly.  I got to stay in there with him.  He finished up his test, woke up, drank a little apple juice, some pediasure, and then we went home.
    I know that some of you read this, and I am so glad.  It is fun to know that you have taken time out of your day to read some of my thoughts and experiences.  The thing that I have been learning with my path that I am on right now is not only to trust but to also pray.  We can't pray enough!!  The Lord wants to talk with us.  He wants to speak to our hearts - to our situation that we are in this very minute.  I don't know all that you are facing, dear friend, but I know that the Lord hears our prayers.  I also know that He even answers them in the way that we want, and then sometimes He answers in the way that He knows is best!  This week for me was a quick answer to prayer!  It isn't always like that, but I am surely glad it was this time!
    I love this song, "He is Able."  I love to sing it and hear it!  As I typed this entry, it made me think of this song!  It has ministered to my heart in times where I didn't think I could go on!  Take a second to listen and let it minister to you!  

Love and blessings and {{hugs}} to you!
Chandra

Heritage Singers / "He Is Able" (Live From Prague) - YouTube

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Shadow

Today is a sad day for our family.  We lost one of our sweet dogs, Shadow.  He was hit sometime over the last couple of days.  We found him, and his injuries were fatal.  I loved that dog.

I have spent more time outside this summer, so I have spent more time with our two dogs, Scooby and Shadow.  My favorite memories of him will be how he chased sticks and ropes.  He enjoyed chasing sticks, but I couldn't often get him to give them back to me.  It was also fun to watch him chase our rope swing.  He would grab hold of it and every now and then swing in the air.  Oddly enough, the only thing to get him to let go was a stick.

Shadow was two this past February.  He was sweet, and he will be missed.  We were thankful for our time with him.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Nutella!

So, on Sunday nights, we like - or I like - to have easy suppers.  You know, leftovers from lunch, cereal, soups, and sandwiches.  Tonight is a sandwich night.  Benson has had a great garden this season, so he brought in some green beans to go with our tomato sandwiches.  Savannah is not a fan of tomato sandwiches or tomatoes.  I say to her, "How about a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?"  She opens the cabinet, turns the peanut butter jars around, and replies, "You don't have crunchy.  I only like crunchy or Nutella!  I LOVE Nutella!"  This is the part where I get tickled!  She then says, "Why don't you Nutella me why we don't have crunchy peanut butter!" You gotta love it when your kids say funny things!  That made me laugh!!

Humorous times help us get through some really hard times!  I am thankful for my funny family!!

Blessings and {{hugs}}

Chandra



Monday, July 14, 2014

Biltmore Estates!





Image result for Biltmore House

Back in 2001, Benson and I celebrated our third anniversary with a trip to the Biltmore House.  I was beyond excited.  I had waited years to get to see this magnificent place.  It did not disappoint.  Now, I understand that some people think that is a gross use of one's money to build such a place.  But I look now and think of the provision to the Asheville area that it not only was in that time period, but how the Estate contributes to the area today.  I am putting a link on here so that if you want, you can take some time to look at it online and see what an incredible place this is to visit - Biltmore Estate.  And, no, I am not a paid representative for the Biltmore House, although I would LOVE to be :0)

Now, onto our 3rd wedding anniversary.  I asked Benson if I could plan our trip.  Now mind you, this was before I had internet.  I think that is so funny how weird life was without it.  But I think I will write about that another time -- anyway, sorry I rabbit-trail a bit!  I called up to Asheville and checked out some of the area hotels and motels for pricing.  I also looked for hotels that had a spa tub.  A lot of the places were $80 a night, but this Motel 6 was I think around $45 - $50 a night - this should have been my first clue!  We were staying for a couple of nights, so we thought it would be best if we stayed someone less expensive.

Well, let's just say that I now know how handy all these trip planning and star system things are on the internet!  The place was okay.  It had exterior entrances, which I am not crazy about, but I was with Benson, so I didn't think about not being safe!  When we went in, there was a sofa, bed and Yes!  I was heading to the bathroom, which I was thinking, "This is too small for a spa tub."  I was right.  In the regular-sized bathroom was a standard bathtub.  I looked in and to my surprise there were two jets -- however, they were right under the faucet.  I laugh now thinking how disappointed I was.  I complained to Benson about it, and he said we could look for another place to stay.  We did call, but the places were too high, and we really had planned to get to Biltmore and look at antique stores.  So, I happily swallowed my disappointment, and I told Benson that this place would be fine.  I even took a bubble bath in the smaller tub and tried to enjoy the jets.  We got a chuckle out of that tub for some years!

The next day we were out and headed for the Biltmore House.  I was so excited about it.  When you drive up, there is the place you get your tickets.  I was so ready to see this incredible home.  My excitement increased as we continued on our drive around the turns of the long road that takes you to the Big House. When we came upon the house, I was in awe.  How incredible this place was!  The height and width of the mansion were spectacular.  There were stone gargoyles - I lost count.  Pillars, the windows, the door, and the steps to it - just awesome.  And that was just outside.  When we went in on the first floor, our eyes were drawn to the Winter Garden filled with flowers and plants.  Breath-taking.  We traveled on through the house and the first huge room was the Banquet Hall - seven-stories high with a triple fireplace!!  Fantastic! The wood and fabrics and furnishings throughout the home were spectacular. There were tapestries, paintings, sculptures, vases, you named it, it was there!  There was a billiard room, breakfast room, music room, tapestry gallery, the library, and that was just the main floor.  On up on the next floor, there were other rooms and bedrooms to see.  We were having such a great time. One of my favorite things was in the basement!  The history of the home was available there to read.  The BOWLING ALLEY was down there, too.  Also, a mansion tour wouldn't be complete without seeing their indoor pool!!  Yes, and indoor pool in a home built between 1889 - 1895!  The servants quarters, pantry, cellar, linens, laundry area, were all downstairs.  It was just the neatest thing to see! One more thing that I just recently learned about the House on Wikipedia was this place had 178,926 square feet (16,622.8 m2)[2] of floor space (135,280 square feet (12,568 m2) of living area) and featuring 250 rooms!!  Amazing!  I want to go on and on, but I won't!  I REALLY LOVE this place!

Benson and I went out of the home and onto the patio.  The scenery alone was breath-taking.  The Blue Ridge Mountains were amazing.  The gardens were lovely, too.  We were able to see all kinds of plants and flowers.  There are several trellises that had oval cutouts just perfect for taking pictures.  We saw so many roses!  Earlier in the spring, there were tulips, chrysanthemums, and lilies of all types.  They have a festival of flowers in the spring.  Check out their website for the dates.  The have a greenhouse as well.  We loved walking through the gardens and would love to return to see it during the Festival of Flowers.  Anyway, we loved walking through that area, too.  It took most of our day to tour just those two areas.  The pond area was closed that day, so we didn't get to it.  We ended our day after looking at the gardens.  What an amazing time that I will never forget!

This was our first trip to take, other than our honeymoon, by ourselves.  We usually traveled with my parents or Benson's parents or friends.  I loved our third anniversary trip.  It was so much fun!  I really hope that we will go back there during Christmas time!  I hear that it is amazing!  Check out some of these pictures on this site -  http://www.biltmore.com/events/christmas-at-biltmore-daytime-celebration-.  

A few things that I learned about this trip that I hope to apply are as follows - 1)  Pay a little more for a nicer place for anniversary trips.  2)  Have a good attitude even when things on your trip aren't exactly what you thought! (spa tub!)  3)  Take trips with your honey!

I like ending with a song, and I may all the time.  The song is appropriate because the Biltmore House to me is a castle.  I thought about the movie The Princess Bride - you know, castles, princesses, "Wuv!  Troo Wuv!"  This song means a lot to us as a couple.  We saw it on our first date! But that, my friend, is a whole other entry!  I will post pictures of our trip later!  


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ifSUhwmIMU&feature=kp

Hugs and Blessings!
:0)Chandra