Friday, July 25, 2014

Well, it's been a long time!!  So much has happened in the last year.  Yes, it's been a year since I last posted!!  How times flies.

Without any delay, on to the big announcement...we are expecting our first grandchild!!  After many years of trying to conceive, our daughter Rachel and her husband Josh are expecting their first child.  It's been a long and hard struggle with many disappointments and discouragement along the way, but God is faithful! 

I want to share a little of our story in hopes that it will encourage someone who may be believing God for something and have not yet seen it come to pass.  Josh and Rachel starting trying to conceive back in 2009.  It was a very private thing for them, and although we knew they were trying they did not share many details with us at that time.  On February 20, 2010 I was sitting in church on a Sunday morning praying about it, and I knew that morning that God spoke to my heart that He was going to give them a child.  I know the exact date because I wrote it in the back of my Bible.  One of the things I wrote was, "Thank you, Lord, for the child you are going to give Josh and Rachel!"  Over the ensuing months and years, Rachel and I did not discuss it much at all.  It was so painful for her to talk about it, so I didn't bring it up.  Only if she brought it up did we talk about it.

Probably about two years later, Rachel called and asked us to meet them for dinner that night and also had invited Joe and Paige, Josh's parents.  I told Terry, "Maybe she's pregnant".  But, when we got there Josh started talking to us and sharing that it had been such a hard thing for them that they now needed to share it with us since it had become so hard for them to carry it alone.  We all cried a lot that night.  That night, I even asked God, "did I miss you when I thought you had promised a child?"  I feel sure that I know the voice of God when He speaks to my heart, but things certainly did not look promising at all.  The next morning during my devotion time, I said out loud, "God, I need a word from you today".  And, then (as I'm sure you have done) I started randomly flipping through the Bible (which I don't absolutely recommend doing all the time!) looking for a word from Him.  And, nothing.  Then I said out loud again, "Lord, you don't have to give me a word.  I trust you".  I then opened my Bible and it fell open to Psalm 128.  I use the New Kings James version.  I read the chapter, and when I got to the last verse this is exactly how it is worded, "Yes, may you see your children's children"!  Praise God for his Word!  I wrote that verse down and taped it to my bathroom mirror and quoted it every day and every time I prayed about it. 

In the meantime, God began speaking to Rachel and giving her scriptures as well that she also held to and prayed and quoted.  If you want to read her story, you can find it on her blog here:

Rachel had a pretty nasty fall over this past weekend, so the doctor wanted to do an ultrasound to make sure everything was okay.  This was five days before their 20-week ultrasound which is already scheduled.  We were planning to have a gender reveal party that night.  They were not planning to find out the baby's gender until that night as well (the technician was going to put it in an envelope, and we would all find out at the same time).  Well, they changed their mind, and Rachel called me after the ultrasound and said, "It's a boy"! 

Is that not the cutest picture ever of him sucking his thumb?  We love him so much already!!

If you are praying for something and have not seen it come to pass, don't lose hope. If God said it, He will do it!!  Trust Him.  He fulfills His promises....not sometimes but every time!!

We had a great Father's Day as a family.  We went to Outback to celebrate.  We've had so much to celebrate lately.  God has blessed us so much!  I'll close with a couple of pictures from that day.

Okay, I couldn't resist...our latest baby bump pic:
Is she not just the cutest ever?

Monday, July 15, 2013


Terry was out of town in Springfield, Missouri on his birthday.  We had a hard time coordinating everyone's schedules to celebrate when he got back. As it turned out, we ended up going to Cracker Barrel for breakfast one morning, and then we all went to a matinee movie. 

Terry is very easy to buy for.  He likes Dillard's gift cards (he gets his clothes there when they mark them way down), cologne, and he always wants Rachel to stock him up with his favorite hair spray.  :)  (Note the Christmas bag...all I had at home!)

Terry always gets emotional when he reads his birthday cards.  Rachel made him this plaque, and of course he got teary-eyed when reading it.
I was able to have dinner with my friend, Shirley Gould.  It has been two months since J.R. passed away.  We had such a nice visit.  Shirley is such a strong woman, and I actually came away encouraged by her.  Although she is heartbroken, at the same time I see an inner peace in her that only God can give.  We both talked about J.R. and the great memories we have of him, and it was very therapeutic.  She is a special lady, that's for sure.  I took this picture with my phone in bad lighting, thus not the best quality.
Rachel found a place on-line called Bulk Natural Foods where you can order all kinds of things.  It is a natural food co-op.  She ordered a 25-pound box of peaches for $16.00.  She gave me around half of hers which was 41 peaches.  Since she and I make a lot of smoothies after we work out, I decided to freeze some so I could just take them out of the bag frozen and put them in my smoothie rather than using ice.  Rachel sent me a link on-line telling how to freeze them, so I thought I'd share with you how I did it.

If you look closely, you can see that on top of my peaches I used a knife and cut an X.  So I got a big pan of water and brought it to a boil.  Then, I put my peaches in and let them boil for maybe 45 seconds.  When I took them out of the boiling water, I dropped them immediately into cold water.  I ran water in the sink and then added ice cubes to make it really cold.  After the peaches had cooled enough that I could hold them, I just lifted up the edges where I made the X, and the skin just peeled right off.

After removing the skin, I cut the peaches in half, removed the pit, and then cut them in slices.  I put them all in a big bowl and then covered them with water and lemon juice (ratio of one tablespoon of lemon juice to two cups of water).  This is to prevent browning.  I stirred them around really good and then rinsed them. 

I didn't want the peaches to be in big clumps when I put them in the freezer bags, so I put them on cookie sheets and put them in the freezer for a few hours.  I put aluminum foil on the cookie sheets so they would be easier to remove. I just peeled the paper off the back.  I didn't mind if some were kind of stuck together.  I then put them in my freezer bags and popped them in the freezer.

On that note, I have to insert a little commercial here.  Rachel has a machine called a Vita-Mix which is great!   It is powerful, and she uses it all the time.  The blender I had wasn't crushing the ice very well for my smoothies.  I would love to have a Vita-Mix, but although it is definitely worth it, it is a little pricey, and I really didn't want to spend that much.  I was in Kohl's and came across this:

It is called a Ninja, and it is amazing!  I can put ice in it, and with just a few pulses the ice is like powder.  So, now I can make a smoothie in a jiffy.  We love cole slaw, but I hate chopping the cabbage.  Now, I can put it in my Ninja and with just a couple of pulses the cabbage is chopped perfectly.  A word of caution, will also "ninja" your fingers.  I cut myself twice really bad reaching into it to get something out, and the machine was off.  So, KEEP YOUR FINGERS OUT OF THE MACHINE!!

I decided that I wanted to make some freezer peach jam, so Rachel and I ordered a box each the next week.  I LOVE peach jam. I googled freezer peach jam and found a recipe using low-sugar pectin.  It turned out great!!

If you are interested in checking out Bulk Natural Foods, you can find it HERE:  They have pick-up sites all over the state.  Rachel picked ours up in Ashland City. 

I've had a garden crisis over the last couple of weeks.  First of all, the leaves on my tomato plants started drying up.  Terry told me I always water my garden too much, so I had intentionally not watered it much.  Finally, I went out and broke all the dead stems and leaves off.  Then, we got all the rain, and it really looked good, and I had some big tomatoes ready to ripen. The, the other day I walked out to my garden and found this:

I was so upset.  Someone had told me to buy an owl to put up but I hadn't done it yet.  So, I put it up but had a hard time with it.  It's head wouldn't turn after I got it up.  And it obviously didn't work, but the next day there were lots more with bites all in them, and I have seen birds in the garden from my kitchen window.

I've had a lot of suggestions on Facebook including using old VHS film, old CD's, putting water out for the birds, using aluminum plates that shine and make noise.  I haven't done any of that yet, but I have been picking the tomatoes when they first start turning and putting them in the window to ripen.   

I found this little iron piece at a garage sale:

It was really chippy which I like, but I wanted it a little less dramatic.  So, I got a paintbrush and took some off-white paint and lightly and randomly brushed over it. 

Here it is when I first started going over it.

The finished product.  I have never had much success with live plants inside, but I decided to try my hand at it again.  I'm hoping for the best with them.  I decided to put it in front of the fireplace for a summer look.

Terry and I were eating in a restaurant, and I saw this sign on the wall and took a picture of it with my phone:

A friend had given me some old barn wood.  I took a piece of it and just went over it with some green paint.  Then I used my Silhouette to make the BLESSED stencil and made my own version of the sign.

I decided to put it over my mantle.  It describes perfectly how I feel every day, BLESSED, BLESSED, BLESSED.  Thank you, God, for your blessings on me!!

Monday, June 24, 2013


We had a great Father's Day.  We went to church with Josh and Rachel which we always enjoy.  Afterwards, we went to eat at Outback which is probably Terry's all-time favorite restaurant.  Later that afternoon, we all went to Josh's brother's house for a fish-fry.  We had a great time with his family.  It is always such a relaxing time. 

My dad passed away on New Year's Day in 1998 after an automobile accident.  I remember my dad as a hard-working man of few words when I was growing up.  He lost his right arm in a work accident when he was 18 years old, but he never let that hinder him.  He never collected disability but worked at the same company as a chemist for 40 years.  I never remember anything that he couldn't do and I never looked at him as being handicapped.  He could tie his shoes, work on our cars, repair things around the name it, he could do it.  The only time I remember having to help him do anything was when he would be working under the car and would call for one of us kids to come help hold a tool in place.  He was so proud of his daughters and the fact that we both married "preachers", and he told everyone he met. 

My sister lives in Tuscaloosa, Alabama where she and her husband pastor First Assembly of God.  Their daughter, Kelly, lives in Colorado.  She just had a baby, Joshua, and came to visit Charles and Brenda in Tuscaloosa.  We were going to be at Colliersville, TN on Sunday, so we left on Friday night and went to Tuscaloosa to see Kelly and her kids.  She also has a 2-1/2 year old, Abby.  We had such a nice time.  Abby is such a doll and has such a little personality! 

We left Tuscaloosa on Saturday afternoon and drove to Colliersville where Terry ministered on Sunday morning.  We had a great time with Jason and Kelly Murphy and their sweet little family.  The church service was wonderful, and afterwards we went out to eat with their family.  Their kids, Josiah, Kylah and Mariah are such delightful kids.  Terry and I love the time we get to spend with our ministers getting to know them and their families better.  It was a great day!!

I have added another hobby to my growing list of creative crafty things I love to do...I am now making wood signs.  We got Rachel a machine called a Silhouette Cameo for Christmas year before last.  She never had the time to use it because of her busy schedule, but near Christmas time this past year she used it for the first time to make some Christmas gifts.  I was hooked, and when they had a big sale of 40% off everything on Black Friday I ordered one for my Christmas gift from Terry (that's just how we roll!!).  It makes it so much easier for him, too!!  Here's a sampling of some of the signs I have made:




Sheila Harper, a pastor's wife here in Nashville, was having a ladies conference at her church and asked me to have a booth there.  I was a little apprehensive and wasn't going to do it at first, but I finally decided to do it.  It was a lot of fun.  Chris Brown, a friend, made me a stand to display my signs on. 

When we got back from Memphis late  yesterday afternoon, I went straight to my garden and guess what I found? 
I cannot tell you how excited I am!  And I have several more that should be ready to pick this week.  Sadly, though, I had to pull up my squash plants.  The squash would come on but then squishy, shrivel up and die.  I finally got so frustrated that I pulled them up yesterday afternoon.  I'm going to plant something else where they were, but I haven't decided what.
Okay, until next time!!

Friday, June 14, 2013


Well, believe it or not I'm back!  I fell off the blog wagon and found it hard to get back on.  But, I'm back with a new vigor, and I've got a lot to share with you!

Summer is here, and I couldn't be happier!  I've planted flowers, and as an added bonus I have a garden as well this year.  Our son-law-law, Josh, built me a raised bed garden.  He built Rachel one last year, and she had a great little garden.  I somehow got my garden in at exactly the right time between the cool spells and all the rain, so it is coming along really well. 

 I already have tomatoes, squash and little bell peppers.  I go out to my garden three or four times a day and just look at it.  I'm so excited!
Josh is a fireman for the Hendersonville Fire Department and graduated from the fire academy in April.  The academy lasted for ten weeks, and he had to stay there through the week, come home on Friday night, work a 12-hour shift at the fire hall on the weekend and go back on Sunday afternoon.  We couldn't be more proud of his accomplishment!! 

On May 7th, Terry and I went to New York City.  Terry had a conference at the end of the week, so we took a few extra days at the beginning of the week to have a few days for ourselves.  We got there on Monday, and at 6:00 on Tuesday morning we received a call that our precious friend, J.R. Gould, had passed away unexpectedly in his sleep.  We were so shocked.  It was really hard to wrap our minds around it.  We flew back home on Wednesday morning.  We did go to a broadway show on Tuesday night and met our friends, Mike and Stephanie Burnette, for dinner afterwards which we enjoyed, but our minds were never far from Shirley, the girls and their families. 

J.R.'s funeral was a beautiful tribute to his life and legacy.  He and Shirley were missionaries to Kenya for many years.  He was the District Superintendent of Tennessee before Terry, and Terry was honored to serve him as his assistant.  J.R. had the most contagious smile.  Whatever he did, he did with exuberance.  He is already missed so much.  It was an honor to have him as a friend. 
I had a wonderful Mother's Day.  We all went to church with Josh and Rachel and afterwards went to Josh's grandmother's house where we all celebrate together every year.  It was a great day with family.  I love my kids, Michael and Rachel, so much!!  When they were both born, it was love at first sight.  I couldn't be prouder to be their mom!!!
Last week, Bentley found a little bird in the yard that couldn't fly.  We started looking around and found a nest up high in one of the gutters that still had baby birds in it.  Bentley was obsessed with the bird and wouldn't leave it alone.  Every time he went out in the yard lots of birds would literally go wild, flying around, landing in the yard and on the fence and making a ruckus.  Finally, we putg the bird on the other side of the fence.  Then, over the next couple of days Bentley found two more birds that apparently fell out of the nest as well, and we had to put them over the fence too.  It was really strange.

Another thing I love about summer is the garage sales and estate sales.  I went out on Saturday and found some great things. Rachel and I have started collecting Fiestaware.  I went to a sale where a lady was selling her pitcher collection.  We didn't have a pitcher, so I got us both one for $10.00 each.  I know it is the old style of pitcher, but that doesn't bother us.  The orange one is mine and the turquoise one is Rachel's. 
I found this cute little trunk at an estate sale on Saturday.  It was originally priced $125.00, but I got it for $35.00 on the third and final day of the sale.  Rachel is going to use it in her living room.
Hebrews chapter 11 has meant so much to me lately.  I just keep going back to it.  "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen".  All those mentioned in that chapter received the promises of God because they "judged Him faithful Who had promised".  What are you believing God for?   He is faithful, so don't lose hope.  Whatever He promises, He will perform.