Tuesday, July 1, 2014

July 2014 Bucket List

The month ahead promises to be a busy and fun one and I am greatly looking forward to it! Here is my July 2014 Bucket List:

1. Celebrate Canada Day on the 1st. I'm not Canadian, but have extended family that is, and I've celebrated Canada Day since I was 17 years old. It's just something we've always done! :)

2. Celebrate Independence Day with a bang! :)

3. Celebrate the birthdays of three of our grandlittles, Miss Abby's and Mr. Isaiah's on the 5th, and Miss Audrey's on the 9th. I can't believe that both of these little miss's are going to be 9-years-old this year! It doesn't even seem possible!

4. Attend Project Wet at Prairie State Park.

5. Since I didn't make it in June, I'm going to shoot for visiting my friend, Laura, and her husband at their new restaurant in Carthage, Missouri. This time I hope we can make it. :)

6. Finish reading Sidetracked Home Executives and get my card system completely set up and in operation. (I'm already off to a good head start!) :)

7. Deep clean our livingroom from top to bottom.

8. Step up our journey toward debt freedom. We have paid off multiple medical bills and credit cards over the past several years, but with the extra paycheck, a real budget, and an accountability partner we should be able to make some major progress over the coming months. Pray for us! :)

9. Re-institute recycling in our home. We used to recycle a lot, but it got to be such a hassle because we lived so far away from nearest recycling centers. I found out recently, though, that they have installed a pick-up center at our local high school, so, that should make it easy to get back into the habit.

10. Finish reading THE OSAGE IN MISSOURI by Kristie C. Wolfeman. I'm reading it as a self-assigned continuing education project for work and am learning tons about the Osage that I didn't know before. It's really a great book! :)

Until next time...
~Rebecca

Monday, June 30, 2014

June 2014 Bucket List Update

Update on my June 2014 Bucket List:

1. Start new, part-time job at Prairie State Park.

I started my new job at Prairie State Park on Thursday, June 5th and I LOVE IT! Most of the time I feel like I'm just out there just volunteering my time because it's what I want to. It's almost overwhelming at times to think that I'm getting paid to do exactly what I love doing in a place that I love being. God has truly blessed me with a position that is perfectly suited for me and our situation in this season. Praise His holy name! <3



For anyone who might be interested in my new blog about Life on the Tallgrass Prairie, please, click HERE. :)

2. Call my Aunt Doris in Dodge City, Kansas and wish her a 'Happy 85th Birthday!"

I called my Aunt Doris to wish her a Happy 85th, but, I was a couple of days late in doing so. It was wonderful talking to her. She's always so upbeat and encouraging, AND she was feeling great! At that point, she only had one radiation treatment left and then she'd be done. She's a real go-getter...that's for sure...and NOTHING keeps her down. Not even breast cancer! You go, Aunt Doris! <3 

3. Enjoy meeting our new granddaughter, Esther Gracelynn. (Her due date is June 14th.)

Baby Esther arrived a few days late, but her timing was perfect! (You can read more about that by clicking HERE.) And before coming into the world, Miss Esther, had a name change. Instead of Esther GraceLynn, as originally planned, Miss Esther's name was changed to Esther Rebecca-Grace instead. I, personally, like the name change. Don't you? :) Miss Esther was born at approximately 4:15 a.m. on the morning of Wednesday, June 25, 2014. She weighed 8 lbs. 12 oz. and was 21 1/2 inches long. She's just as cute as a button and we're absolutely delighted to welcome her into our family! <3



4. Celebrate Flag Day with the red, white, and blue!

In celebration of Flag Day I put up a few red, white, and blue decorations purchased at The Dollar Tree. There were tiny flags and shiny stars and sparkly, swirly things. They're were so pretty that I decided to leave them up through the 4th of July and added a HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY banner to go with them. :)



5. Celebrate Father's Day by celebrating my dad and my husband.

Father's Day was simple this year. My dad's been ill for several months so there was no fanfare. I took him a card and a plate from favorite restaurant (Long John Silver's). My husband received cards and gifts from several of the children, then he and I went out for lunch after church that day. That was all. :)

6. Visit my friend, Laura, and her husband at their new restaurant in Carthage, MO.

With everything else that was going on this month, unfortunately, this didn't happen in June. :( Maybe in July? We'll see! :)

7. Meet up with and visit a special cousin and her family in Joplin. 

Unfortunately, this ended up not happening, either. It was one of those things where I wasn't home when my cousin tried to contact me and it just didn't work out. :( I'm sorry we missed each other, but we're going to try again in August. :)

8. Attend four sessions of Beth Moore's "Believing God" series at Main Street Bible Church.

I actually made it to all four sessions in June. The one that was held the night the baby was born was iffy, but, with grandlittles in tow, I made it, and am so glad I did. It was the best night we've had yet! This is SUCH a good study! :D



9. Celebrate the First Day of Summer!

We didn't really do anything special for the First Day of Summer. I did celebrate by posting a cute little "Happy First Day Of Summer" pic on Facebook. That was about it! :)



10. Lose 10 pounds.

Nope. Didn't happen. :(

Until next time...

All My Love,
~Rebecca <3

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Coming Full Circle From Death Unto Life

Nine years ago tonight...about this very time of night, in fact...I received a phone call that changed my world forever. We had four girls in the family that were due to have babies very soon...a cousin, a daughter, and two daughters-in-law. In fact, one of the daughters-in-law was overdue at that point. It was about 10:30 p.m. on the night of June 25, 2005. The phone rang and I bounded out of bed...a bundle of excitement. 

"Ahhhhh! Someone's in labor!" I shouted!

When I got to the phone it was my dad. He told me that my mom was having a problem and that I had better come right away. I told him to dial 9-1-1 and I'd be there in a few minutes. Someone was in labor alright, but this was NOT what I was expecting. 

By the time John and I got to my parent's home, my mother was in a bad way. An ambulance came, picked my mother up, and headed for Joplin. In mid-trip, she was transferred to a helicopter, but my mother never even made it to the hospital. She passed from this life in mid-transit shortly after midnight on the 26th. Needless to say, since that time, the 25th of June has always approached with a cloud of darkness hanging over it...especially for my dad. 

Well, this year, God, in His infinite mercy and grace, changed all that by giving us a new memory on the 25th of June. This morning, about 4:15 a.m. a beautiful, new granddaughter was born to us...a new great-granddaughter to my dad...and the story is pretty amazing.

Our daughter's due date, June 14th, came and went without event. Every day we've waited, but nothing happened. Last night, a couple of minutes after midnight the call came. Contractions were strong and regular, coming about five minutes apart, and we were needed to come stay with the children.

Less than four hours after leaving for the hospital, Miss Esther Rebecca-Grace Pennington, came into the world. The story of her birth is an amazing one, to say the least. I said earlier that she came about 4:15. The reason I say about is because no one caught the exact time. Miss Esther was born abruptly in the bathroom under very tense circumstances, but, tonight, praise God! Both she and her mommy, are doing very well.
Miss Esther Rebecca-Grace Pennington
My dad has not been well the past few months and he's been particularly weak and feeble the past few weeks. The days leading up to the anniversary of my mother's passing has always been hard from him. I wish you could have heard the spark in his voice when I told him that Miss Esther had been born in the night, during the wee hours of the morning of the 25th of June. He sounded relieved and said, "Well, good! Maybe this date will be a better one now!" 

I do feel bad that our daughter had to carry the baby so far past her due date, and I'm sorry that she and the baby had such a rough delivery, but I do praise God for blessing our family with such a special gift on a date that, previously, had carried such an air of darkness and sadness to it in our family's history. 

Something else that I found interesting to note...

This afternoon upon returning from taking the grandlittles to the hospital to see their parents and meet their new, baby sister...on the way back to their house, I had to go by our house to grab a few things. While there, our soon-to-be-nine-year-old-granddaughter, Audrey, noticed the date on the "God in the Moment" (from Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts) flip-calendar that sits on the table next to our bed, and that it was still turned to a date back in April. 

She said, "Nana, can I change the date on your calendar to today's date?" 

I said, "Sure! Go ahead!"

After turning the calendar to today's date and reading it, my granddaughter said, "Oh, Nana! You've got to read this!"

I did. And here is what it said on today's date...the 25th of June...

"I drive out of dark and into morning glory. I push off of shadows and I awaken wide, to the strange truth that all new life comes out of the dark places, and hasn't it always been? Out of darkness, God spoke forth the teeming life. All new life labors out of the womb of darkness."

Wow. Somehow, in the moment that I read that, I felt that we had come full circle...that, somehow, right in that moment that we had passed from death unto life...from out of darkness into His glorious light!

Until next time...

All My Love,
~Rebecca

Our son-in-law, Patrick, and he and our daughter's four beautiful children.

My husband holding Miss Esther for the first time

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Five Minute Friday - Release




Five Minute Friday is a special time set aside each week where, as our hostess and inspiration, Lisa-Jo Baker, puts it, "We write for five minutes flat. All on the same prompt...no extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation. Unscripted. Unedited. Real." 

Today's prompt is release. So...here...we...

Go!

Release - "allow or enable to escape from confinement; set free; allow (something) to move, act, or flow freely."

Anger.
Bitterness..
Resentment.

The only way to get over it and past it (whatever the 'it' in your life might be) is to choose forgiveness. By choosing to forgive you release yourself and others. But don't wait until you feel like it. Otherwise it will probably never happen.

HOW DO WE FORGIVE?

Forgiveness comes when you choose to obey God and resist the devil when he comes around trying to poison your mind with bitter thoughts. When that happens, purposefully choose to forgive and, in time, God will heal your wounded emotions.

Forgive yourself for past mistakes and mess-ups, and forgive others, too...including your enemies and those who have hurt, misused, and abused you. In doing so, you allow God to release you from a prison built of poison. In Luke 6:27-28, Jesus tells us to pray for our enemies. Romans 12:14 tells us to bless them and not to curse them. By purposing to speak well of them and praying for them you are opening up an arena that God can work in...one in which He can give them revelation that will bring them out of the deception that has blinded them. 

In choosing to forgive you, not only do you release yourself, but, if they'll receive it, the one that has hurt you is provided opportunity to be released as well.  

Stop!

Until next time...

All My Love,
~Rebecca

Monday, June 16, 2014

Daily Journal Entries - Evening Journal Entry - Monday, July 16, 2014

The Cactus That Is Blooming In My Dad's Yard
Many years ago I used to post, what I called, 'daily journal entries' on my Yahoo groups and/or blog sites. Depending on what time of day I posted, I typically used one of three favorite formats. One was for morning journal entries, another was for afternoon journal entries, and a third was for evening journal entries.

For whatever reason, I got out of the habit of posting these entries about five years ago and just never picked it back up. And I didn't post them every day...just whenever the mood struck...but, when I was doing it, it made for a great way to journal the happenings of my day to day life, and I really enjoyed it. Others did, too. I'm thinking that I might pick up the practice again and see how it goes.

Here goes with Entry #1...

~ What Time It Is...
...7:54 p.m.

~ What I'm Doing...
...taking a short break after a late supper.

~ I Am Praising The LORD For...
...His faithfulness to meet our every need, for recent, major spiritual breakthroughs, for defeat over the enemy on multiple fronts, and for wisdom and direction in specific areas.

~ Things That Made Me Smile Today...
...the assurance that my God loves me.

~ What I Did Today...
...took my daughter to a doctor appointment, cleaned my dad's house, and did Bible study with a friend.

~ My Evening Prayers...
...that the Lord would grant me wisdom and direction in the areas of diet and exercise, organization, routine, and self image. I pray that He would endow me with self-control and discipline in all.

~ What We Had For Supper...
...I had a turkey burger and a baked potato; John had grilled cod fish, garlic and olive oil pasta, and broccoli.

Until next time...

All My Love,
~Rebecca


New Blog Announcement - Life On The Tallgrass Prairie


Recently I've posted several posts about life on Southwest Missouri's tallgrass prairie. To better accommodate my readers, I've decided to start a separate blog, called Life On The Tallgrass Prairie, for the sole purpose of keeping all my posts about the prairie in one place.

I'm just getting started, but, if you have any interest at all in my posts about Life On The Tallgrass Prairie, I'd like to encourage you to, please, join me over at my new blog. You can do so by clicking HERE, then subscribing by e-mail.

Thanks so much!

All My Love,
~Rebecca

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Life On The Tall-grass Prairie - A Perfect Day

Saturday was a perfect day on the tall-grass prairie. The sun was shining, the wind was blowing, the temperature was just right, and, after greeting us first thing Saturday morning at the visitor center, the bison decided to camp out on the hill just behind it. This allowed visitors to Southwest Missouri's Prairie State Park to view them through the observation windows all afternoon.
A large bull bison met me in front of the visitor center
when I first arrived Saturday morning. Needless to say, I
didn't get out of my vehicle until the coast was clear.
The whole herd planned on moving in just behind the big guy
above, but, when the park naturalist arrived, they backed off a bit.
I captured a shot of these two adorable little guys on the way in.
They're young enough that they're still retaining the typical,
new-born bison, pumpkin-orange color. Cute...aren't they? 
The herd camped out on the hill behind the visitor center for
the afternoon.They birds that you see 'flying' around here are
decals of  swallows that are attached to the window. 
Until next time...

All My Love,
~Rebecca

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Weekly Home Blessing

Photo Credit

I got into the habit of doing a 'Home Blessing' on Mondays when I first met the Flylady. While I don't keep up with her posts at present and, while my home is far from what most people would consider clean, I still enjoy doing my own version of the Flylady's Weekly Home Blessing when I am home and can. 

My 'Home Blessing' list includes:

1. Spritz and shine the sink, tub, and toilet. 
2. Shine all the mirrors.
3. Mop the bathroom floor.
4. Feather dust the furniture, pictures on the wall, etc.
5. Change the sheets.
6. Vacuum the floors (including the edges).
7. Empty all trash.

My house is very small and it doesn't take long to do any of these things, so I do not set a timer. I do enjoy the spruce up though and it keeps things looking somewhat better than they would otherwise.

Do you do a Weekly Home Blessing in your home? If so, what's on your 'Home Blessing' list?

Have a blessed day everyone! 

Until next time...

All My Love,
~Rebecca

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Five Minute Friday - Hands

Black and white photo of mother's hands holding child's hands.


Five Minute Friday is a special time set aside each week where, as our hostess and inspiration, Lisa-Jo Baker, puts it, "We write for five minutes flat. All on the same prompt...no extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation. Unscripted. Unedited. Real." 

Today's prompt is hands. So...here...we...

Go!

The first thing that popped into my mind when I saw this week's prompt was a story that my mother used to read to me many years ago. It was from a book called Uncle Arthur's Bedtime Stories, and the story was titled "Mother's Hands." I remember it making a great impression on me as a child. 

The story was about a young mother who had run over to visit a neighbor for just a moment while her baby was sleeping in her crib. While she was gone her house caught on fire with the baby still sleeping inside. 

When she realized what was happening, she ran through the gathering crowd and resisted the firemen when they insisted that she not go into the burning house. She didn't care. All she could think of was rescuing her sleeping baby...which she did. The baby was fine, but the mother's hands were terribly burned, and she was taken away by ambulance. 

Years later the daughter noticed her mother's badly scarred hands. She commented on how ugly they were. It was then, through tears, that the mother told her the story of the fire and all that happened. At that point the little girl began to cry and commented that her mother's hands were the most beautiful hands in all the world.

From there the story went on to talk about another pair of badly scarred hands. Hands that were hurt for you and me. Those beautiful nail-scarred hands of Jesus, and how they represent His deep love for us.

Stop!

Until next time...

All My Love,
~Rebecca



P.S. - I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave a comment before you go! And have a blessed day! <3

Five Minute Friday

One Thousand Gifts - #92 sweet potatoes, #93 roasted carrots, #94 Cuties!