Saturday, April 19, 2014

Happy Easter my blogging friends!
May you know the love & eternal life that God has given you 
in the person of His Son Jesus Christ!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday's Fave Five #281

Welcome to Friday's Fave Five.  I don't know who will be posting today as it's Good Friday but I thought I would put it up anyway.  I had a crazy busy day at work and had a commitment last night that didn't see me home until late so was not able to get my own list done up but I will be back this morning to do that.  Meanwhile please feel free to link up and visit each other.

If you can't make it back I want to wish you a Happy Easter.  May you reflect on everything this Good Friday means and everything Christ has done.  May you know the love of God towards you and may Sunday find you celebrating the Risen Christ!

Well I'm finally able to quickly get on the computer and jot down some favorite blessings from the past week.  I don't think anyone will be back for it but I like to have my own record.

1.  Workout and Supper with a new friend.  I met this lady in church when they started attending last fall and discovered we go to the same gym and she's started attending my ladies study group.  What a dear friend she is turning out to be.  And how fun it was to have a workout partner for that session.  Our little dinner turned into a 3 hour chat on everything under the sun.  Such a wonderful time of connection.

2.  A New Series at church entitled "Jesus is...".   Last Sunday was Jesus is Grace and it was so good.  Looking forward to this Sunday's "Jesus is Risen"!  I love that fact that as a church body we are exploring and getting to know intimately who it is that we worship and serve.

3.  Greek (Mediterranean) Salad.  Hubby and I have really gotten into raw veggies lately and I have to say that this is one of our favorite ways to enjoy them.  Cherry or grape tomatoes, red onions, kalamata olives, feta cheese, cucumbers.  Sometimes I add romaine, sometimes rotini pasta.  All dressed with Kraft Greek with Feta and Oregano dressing.  Yummy!

4.  Peacock feathers to decorate with.  On a splurge purchase, I bought three feathers to poke into my decorator jar on the mantle and I surprisingly I really love it.  It does need a couple more so I'll get them tomorrow to complete it.  I'd take a pic but the camera is out of commission for the moment.

5.  Good weather forecast.  We've got nice weather forecast for the Easter weekend.  I hope it comes to pass but the thought of it makes me happy.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

What is spring without...



green grass


Wait...I know...

It's coming to me...

What is spring without...


Yes, that's it!

What is spring in Southern Alberta without more and more snow???!!!

#theneverendingwinter, #ivehadenoughnow

Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday's Fave Five #280

Welcome to Friday's Fave Five.  Thanks for joining me in this weekly exercise of looking for the good things in the ordinary everyday.  If you are joining in for the first time, the guidelines are here.

1.  My purring cat sitting up by my shoulders as I read or watch tv.  It's totally a comfort thing.  It just makes me feel at peace.

2.  Off work early.  There have been several days this week where I have been able to be off early from work.  This is a huge blessing. What a difference an extra hour makes!   I've been able to get to the gym earlier a couple of times or run an errand or two before supper. Or just relax and enjoy making supper rather than rushing.   It makes my evenings so much more relaxed.

3.  Open windows.  It's been so nice to just open up the windows and let the spring air into the house.  The breeze blowing through, the smell of spring earth as it dries, the chirping of the birds.  So nice.

4.  Banana cheesecake with banana bread cubes and caramel drizzle.  Tried this flavor of cheesecake for the first time at one of my fave restaurants.  Let's see, how many ways can I say yummy.  I may just have to try a homemade version of this sometime!

5.  Walks.  This last week I've been able to get outside for a few walks.  It's been lovely as we've been so cooped up for months in this last winter.  Just being outside in the fresh air and get movement and oxygen lifts my spirits.  And in a week where some hard things in friend's lives have been weighing heavy in my heart and constantly in my mind, it's been a great blessing to be able to get outside and clear my mind and walk it off.

Not a lot of big exciting stuff in my past week yet there was blessings to be found in the simple things.  What have been your favorites in this past week?

Friday, April 04, 2014

Friday's Fave Five #279

Good Morning Everyone!  I got my days a bit mixed up and totally missed posting this last night.  My apologies.  It's just been that kind of week.  But here we are at Friday and so that means it's time to look for blessings in our last week.  Please join us.  Guidelines are here if you are new.

1.  Trying new dishes.  I love to try out new dishes and find some new favorites, both at home and at restaurants.  And a new one was found this last weekend.  Chicken Creole.  Chicken breast, scallops, shrimp with just a dash of a bit of slightly spicy sauce.  So good.  There was a time I hated scallops until I actually had a scallop that was cooked properly.  Yummy.

2.  Stuffed Baked potatoes.  Or otherwise known as Twice Baked.   I know.  It's another food item.  Oh well.  What can I say.  But I would be remiss because this really was a favorite.  It was a restaurant.  I really need to give these a try at home.  They are so delicious.

3.  Spring Pedicure.  I've only had a couple in my life because of the price.  But a new spa beside my gym had a promo on for super duper cheap.  I booked an appointment for me and my friend, we grabbed a huge Starbucks and spent a wonderful hour being pampered and now have nice soft feet and spring colored toes to show for it.  Now if the weather would just co-operate I could actually take them out of my socks and shoes.

4.  Spring Cleaning slowly being chipped away at.  I just can't take big chunks of time to get it all done at once.  So I've been slowly chipping away at it.  And it feels really good.  The house smell wonderful.  I've been using Avon peppermint vanilla bubble bath to wipe down my kitchen and inside the cupboards and everything is sparkling.  Love it.

5.  Wonderful time with the Ladies Study Group.  This last Monday night we cancelled study but 5 of us still ended up meeting.  We went and visited with one of our ladies in the hospital and then came back here for coffee, chat and prayer.  It was off the routine and turned out to be a great evening.  Love when that happens.  And love having the blessing of a great group of ladies.

What have been your favorite blessings from the week.  You might have had a very busy, bit overwhelming week such as I had but there are still blessings to be found if we would just turn our hearts to look.  Sometimes they are easy to find and sometimes we really have to search hard.  But there can be moments of things that touch our lives to make them better.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday's Fave Five #278

Welcome to Friday's Fave Five. I don't know about you but I'm ready to look for some favorite blessings, and it won't be the weather on this list!  Someone forgot to tell the Canadian weather forecasters that it is spring.  Spring has sprung so far ahead that we've yet to find it.  This has been one long winter even for us Southern Albertans who usually get plenty of warm chinook winds to help us get through winter.  But if I look there are always blessings to be found no matter the weather.  Will you join me this week?  Guidelines are here if you are new.

1.  Rediscovering a favorite perfume.  I love certain scents and there was one I haven't worn in a long time, Georgio Sensi.    Sadly I found out it's been discontinued but I'll certainly enjoy every drop I have left.

2.  Out of the mouths of babes.  My dayhome kidlets have provided plenty of funny comments for me this week.  Some of the things they think of to say just crack me right up.  Laughter is good medicine and they have provided a lot of it this week.

3.  The Gift that kept giving.  For Christmas I came upon Amazing Clubs and decided to take a chance and ordered my hubby 6 months worth of the Jerky Club.  The last week of every month he is shipped 3 bags of different gourmet jerkies.  He has loved this gift.  For six months in a row it's a gift he looks forward to arriving in the mail.  And he even shares.  Score on that gift idea!

4.  Strawberries.  Specifically strawberries dipped in sour cream and then brown sugar.  Oh my.  A heavenly dessert, for sure.

5.   This...
Plus this...


A super easy, super delicious dinner put together with a side hot veggies.  Oh my, it was sooooo good.  Hubby stood at the stove after dinner and finished off every ravioli in the pot and I'm sure I might have seen him dip a finger to get a drop or two of sauce in the bottom.  Maybe.  It comes with a herb packet that the instructions say to use if you put olive oil on ravioli.  Because I was using the cream sauce and not olive oil, in a stroke of genius, I decided to use it on the veggies with just a small slosh of extra virgin olive oil (cooked brocolli, cauliflower, carrot combo).  Oh my goodness.  It was good.  And then wanting to live on the edge, I sprinkled a little on top of ravioli/cream sauce on my plate.  Delicious.  I got the ravioli at Costco in the freezer section, just in case you were wondering.

Well hopefully you are somewhere where spring has sprung and flowers are starting to poke their noses out of the soil.  

What were your favorite blessings this week?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

"Unquenchable" by Carol Kent - A Book Tour Review

"Grow A Wildfire Faith that Will Endure Anything"

Publisher's Description:
Where is your faith today - first sparks of faith, bright blue flames, radiating heat, raging bonfire, red-hot coals, cooling embers, cold grey ashes? Is your love for God burning so brightly that you are consumed by its passion? Are those who surround you drawn to its radiance and warmed by its heat? Are sparks flying from you, spreading a wildfire faith that ignites passion in others? Or has your passion cooled, your light dimmed, or your fire been quenched?

God is the source of that first flicker that sparked your faith and one day you will stand in his holy presence, look into the flaming eyes of Jesus, and see his burning love for you face to face. But between that first flicker and that heavenly meeting, there is life to be lived on this earth. The challenge we all face is that life can dim our fire or even quench it, whether by the soggy mist of the mundane, or the quenching downpour of crisis.

 Carol Kent has discovered that God’s Word is filled with the secrets of nurturing his fire in our lives, sometimes painfully so, other times even undetected, refining, purifying, cauterizing, healing, and ultimately reshaping us into the image of his Son. Author and speaker Carol Kent will take you into God’s word, and into your own story, to reveal the true power of the fire God has placed in you, to fan the flames of your faith, stir your passion, and embolden you to spark wildfires that will spread to forever change the landscape of this world beyond your wildest imagination.

My Thoughts:
 Sometimes this life is just plain hard and there are times when things turn out very disappointingly different than what we would plan.  How do we not just not lose faith in but actually grow our faith in these times?  This book endeavours to show us how.  There are plenty of stories of women who have gone through hard, hard things.  But the main theme of going through your own personal fiery trials and not just scraping by but actually growing a wildfire faith that spreads to others is brought out loud and clear.   Life is not always easy peasy for believers and we all will face hardships and disappointments in this life.  The author, through the stories of  some courageous women who have gone through some extremely difficult and horrendous things and have come out with hope and faith, encourages us and teaches us to find God in the firestorms of life and to grow our faith to wildfire proportions through these difficult times. ( I do have to admit though that one of the stories I just could not wrap my head around.) Each chapter ends with questions you can journal the answers to or if doing as a group you can use them to start discussions.  She then gives a practical "Fire Building Challenge" to help you to do something practical and meaningful that relates to that chapter's lesson..

Thanks to BookLook Bloggers for providing this book free of charge for my honest review.  I was not required to give a positive review.

Unquenchable is available here.

Book Review ~ After All by Deborah Raney

Book 3 of the Hanover Falls series, finds Susan Marlowe finally starting to heal after the tragic fire that took the life of her firefighter husband. What made it even worse was that the fire was at the homeless shelter which she started and devoted her life to. Now after a lot of work the shelter is back up and running in a different location but now she has much opposition from certain people in town and they are spreading their opinions so much that giving has been way down. And in the midst of that pressure she makes a startling discovery about a secret her husband tried to hide. The fire investigator from the Grove Street shelter also hides a secret. Her firefighter friend also died in the shelter fire. She had such hopes that the friendship would become more but now that will never be. And she must grieve in private only because because her friend was also a married man. Firechief Peter Brennan is still recovering emotionally from that horrendous fire. He lost so many of his men that night and is still in the process of rebuilding the department. But when the two women enter his life he has a whole new set of problems he must contend with.

 After All is the third and final installment in the series and picks up on the story of the Grove Street Shelter founder and director Susan Marlowe's life 18 months after the shelter fire. It is a story that deals with betrayal, forgiveness and hope of moving on. There is a bit of mystery woven into the story that really kept the pages turning for me. A bit of love triangle provides tension throughout and my heart went out to Susan's young adult son who was introduced in this book. At 22, he has moved back into Susan's home and is still struggling to come to terms with his father's death. A twist in the story surprised me in the end, which is something I like. Once again Deborah Raney has written a story that totally drew me in and made me care about the characters.  Each book in this series stood strong on it's own.  Sometimes I find, when there is a three book series the stories start to fizzle out but this series did not.  It was a good story from beginning to end and the surprise twist wrapped the whole series up nicely.