Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Meaning of Restaurant, A Tip in the form of a Recipe, and An Acrylic Painting

Hi Y'all!!!    How is your weather today?     Well, how ever it is, enjoy it while you can, because it will change with the next breath.    Just about anyway.     The calendar says it is now officially Spring.    I am thrilled!!!     The worst part about it being officially Spring is all the weather that churns up tornadoes.    I really don't like that at all, but I guess we just have pray thru those times when they come.     Monday evening was one of times.    I had finished my painting class and got home and changed clothes and went out town to exercise class and another lady and I got there about the same time and got inside and that's when all heck broke loose.     The sky got black and the wind was blowing sideways rain and we was just about ready to call off class, but that cell finally passed and we went ahead and had class and then the sun shone for just a bit afterward, before the next wave came thru.   But we are in for another round of severe weather tomorrow.    I really dread it.    But, nothing happens that God isn't aware of, so we'll just pray thru it.

I would ask you to remember to pray for the ones that we know who are sick and hurting in some way.    Some have lost loved ones, some are having or have had major surgery, some have been sick for such a long time with the sickness going around, some have major health issues they are dealing with of which there is no cure and then there are some we know who are just sick of life.    Pray for these folks.    We all have needs and there is only source to take our needs to, and that is the only One who can "restore one's spirit", Jesus!!!

Do you know what the word "restaurant" means?     In a scavenger hunt of sorts, just looking up words, I came across this and was really delighted in what I found.     It has variations, and depending on who is defining the word, it may be a little different.    But the definition that I loved most was this:  "a place to restore one's spirit".    I looked and looked and could not remember where this definition came from originally.    I just wrote it down for safe keeping and wanted to further explore when time allowed.    

I do believe it is a most fitting definition though.    After a hard days work, coming in to great meal is always a very uplifting way "to restore one's spirit".    It's a wonderful thing to break bread with a friend and "restore one's spirit" in the presence of someone you enjoy spending time with.    Sitting down to your favorite meal at your favorite restaurant is a great way "to restore one's spirit".     Grabbing a quick bite at a fast food joint is an easy way "to restore one's spirit".     Two of my favorite places here in town "to restore my spirit" is Elmo's and Ichibans.     Oh so yummy, both places are equally fun for me.     

But, what about really "restoring one's spirit"?     We know how to restore the physical side of one's spirit, but what about the restoring the spiritual side of who we are.     When I say spiritual, I say that in the context of all that scripture teaches us about who we are and who's we are.    NOT in the context in which the world uses the word "spirit" or "spiritual".     If I EVER use those words, it is always in the context of Yahweh: Father God, Yeshua: Messiah Jesus Christ and Ruach: Holy Spirit.   Now that I have that cleared up, lets think about "restoring one's spirit".

Do you ever reach a point when you feel like you just can't go on?    You may need to restore your spirit.   Do you feel like you are running on empty all the time?    You probably need to restore your spirit.   Do you ever feel like you all alone, even in a crowd?    Then you may need your spirit renewed.      Do you ever feel like your prayers hit the ceiling and stop?    Then that may be a sign that you need your spirit restored.      I would like for us to take a look at some things that would be beneficial to us in "restoring one's spirit".      Are you so busy with "stuff" that you don't have time for your alone time with Jesus?    Then you probably need to have your spirit renewed.

The very first thing I have to say is this.   Restoring the spirit is ONLY possible if you have a relationship with God thru faith in Christ.   That's it.   You have to know salvation from God thru the shed blood of Christ on the cross.    So, if you are a Christian, proceed, but if you are not, take the time to recognize that you are a sinner.   Confess your sin to God and ask Jesus Christ to come into your heart to be your Lord and Savior form this very moment on.     We are all sinners in need of mercy and grace that comes only from Jesus.     We can't wait till we're "good enough" because we will never be good enough on our own.   We are all stinkin' filthy sinners and the only way to get rid of the rot is from the inside out, and that starts with asking Jesus into our hearts and lives.   Once we have done that, then we are in right relationship with God thru Jesus Christ.    Now we can move on to restoration that needs to take place from time to time.

One of the easiest quick fixes for me is to take stock of what all I am "doing".     Am I "doing" everything I may be "doing" with the right attitude?     Do I do what I do to be seen by others or do I do what I do to serve my Lord and Savior, first and foremost?    The answer to that question is quite significant.    It will help me determine the difference between my personal ministries and my selfish "busy"-ness.     For me, my blog is one of my personal ministries.    I love doing this so much!!! life, sometimes I get busy and step aside from my first love, which should always be for the Lord and the things He loves.     God loves people.     Jesus loves people, so much so that He allowed Himself to be crucified.     That's LOVE, no matter how you view it, that's genuine love.     So, again I tell you, I love sharing my love for Christ and all He has done for me on my blog, simply because He loves all of you, and so do I.   So, when I see that I have slowed down on my posting, I have to review what is getting in my way.  In all actuality, sometimes it's nothing.    Sometimes I just haven't gotten a word from the Lord as to what I need to share with y'all.    Every word I share is always a personal word from God to me.   I need it first, and than I pass it on, because if I need it, so do others. Sometimes I do need to have my spirit renewed.     If we as Christians, watch much news, we need much spiritual renewal!!!!   The only place I have to get what I need is straight from the Word of God!    I need the very breath of God for every breath I take.    If you are a Christian, you do too.

After we assess what may or may not be taking place within ourselves, and we get back on track with God being first place and our first love, then we can easily get back to "restoring our spirit".    I like to call it "refreshing our spirit" too.     Kinda like a refreshing rain after a parched dry season.    I like to have some favorite scriptures on hand to help me stay restored and refreshed.    One of those favorite scriptures is Psalm 23 with special attention to verse 3a.   "He restores my soul".     Isn't it awesome to just think about how easy it is for God to restore our soul.    All He wants from us is just a little undivided attention, so He can lavish restoration upon us.    

2 Timothy 3:15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.  16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.     God's word makes us wise!     Does the word of the world make you wise?    No!!!    It makes me want to vomit.     If what the world is telling us does not line up with the Word of God, someone is wrong and it AIN'T God.   Make no mistake about that.    The word of God is profitable for the way we live our lives.    We can use it for correction of the things we are doing wrong.    It teaches us upright and righteous living.    The word of God actually calls us to be holy as God is holy. God is a holy God and can not look upon unholiness, that's why we need the blood of Christ as our covering.   When God looks at me, He sees His Son, and I am so thankful for that!!!!    Without the Word of God we are not thoroughly equipped to do His work.

Spend time meditating on scriptures that God has inspired you with.    Do some research on some words and find out all you can on a particular word and then ask God to show you how you can use that word in your every day life  and how it applies to you.    Need a little help to get started?    Faith, grace, hope, mercy, love, sanctification, justification, meek, idol, sin, purpose, protection, repentance, righteousness, holy, praise, just, obedience, health, gossip, just to name a few.   No matter how much we know, there is always so much more to learn.    

Listen to this.   Psalm 3:3 says "But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head!"    Wow, is this not "restoring one's spirit'?     Yes, it is!!!!     I love that the Lord is my shield, my glory and the lifter of my head!!!!!     All of that in one verse!!   How wonderful is the mighty Word of God!!!!

Jeremiah 30:17 For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, declares the LORD, because they have called you an outcast: 'It is Zion, for whom no one cares!'     No, I am not touting the health and wealth religion that some people push.    Some people do get physical healing, but not all do.    Some people are wealthy, but not all of us are.     But God will restore our spiritual health to us through salvation and bind up our spiritual wounds.     That makes our future a future to look forward to.    The word Zion, in scripture has many references.    It is most often referred to as the place where God was present and near to His people.    Notice the end of that scripture.    It is so true today.    Most people has no care or concern for the place where God is.     Zion is the place where we can come to and get help.    Remember that.    Zion points to God.    That is where the "restoring of our spirit" comes from.    The place for whom most people do not care about.  But one thing we must remember, is that God IS everywhere at all time, so those wishing to be far from Zion, or where God is; sorry, you're fresh outta luck, because God is everywhere and He sees everything.    That restores my spirit!!!!  (I don't believe in luck, but the world does, so that's why I used the word.)

Another way I have of restoring my spirit is to listen to my Southern Gospel music.    I have a thumb drive in my car with many wonderful songs on it and as I drive I listen to music and have fellowship with God.    I love the time I get to spend with God in that way.    When I go see my Mom, on the drive up, I have my music going and it is very refreshing and uplifting to my spirit.   

Do you know one of the easiest ways to refresh or restore one's spirit?    Just plain old "rest"!    Rest is a four letter word, but it's not an ugly word!!!!    So many people think that if you rest, you are being lazy and slothful.    That's not so!     Rest is a vital part of serving the Lord in any capacity and being physically healthy enough to serve the Lord.    If someone is running on fumes all the time, they are grouchy, they are snappy, quite frankly they can be snotty, hateful, hurtful.    Not someone you are busting your buttons to be around, huh.     None of that has a place in our service to the Lord. So if you find yourself in need of "restoring one's spirit", make sure you are getting enough rest.

Another was to "restore your spirit" is to spend time with a cherished friend.    I know for myself, it is one of the quickest ways for me to find restoration.    The people I choose to spend time with are uplifting and fun and godly women.     I know for me, when one of my best friends and I get together, the time is usually spent talking about how God is active and working in our lives.    That, to me, is very refreshing!

Another way of "restoring one's spirit" is investing time in creating art.   What ever it is that you love to do; what ever craft or hobby you love, give that time to God and ask Him to bless it and He surely will!    And I will use this as a great way to lead into the art that I wanted to share with y'all this week. I had an acrylic paint class this week on Monday at our local County Extension Office here in town.   The 4th Monday of the month is set aside for our workshop day and this month we had a teacher scheduled to teach us acrylic painting.    Most of you have seen my oil paintings scattered throughout my blog, but this is my first acrylic painting.     It is a different beast all together from oils.     Oils have a much greater open time for blending and such, but acrylics dry fast unless you have an extender, which we didn't.     I think ocean scenes and water scenes are "restoring to one's spirit".   This going back up to the first scripture I shared, Psalm 23:3, about how "He leads me beside the still waters and restores my soul".    Isn't that such a peaceful thought.     And then we have lighthouses on the shores of water in different places all across the world to warn sailors and ships of the nearness of the land and rocky crags and danger.   They also serve as a good tiding that they are near land.    I like to think about Jesus being our lighthouse and how when we are in the storms of life and darkness we can look to Him for precious light and hope.     One of the songs that I listen to in my car has a line that goes something like this, "if it wasn't for the Lighthouse, where would this ship be?"     I don't about you, but I know my ship would have crashed and sank many many years ago!!!   That is true!!! That Lighthouse, Jesus, is our constant source of "restoring one's spirit".     With that said, I would like to share my lighthouse with y'all.     For all of those out there that are pro's, please be kind, ok.     Yeah, I know you will.   
I was late getting to class, so I was about 45 minutes to an hour behind everyone else and I forgot to take pics along as I painted.    When I remembered it, I was well into the painting for sure.
I was pleased with the finished project.    There are flaws in this and I am sure seasoned eyes can see them just as big as ike, but that's ok.    They are my mistakes and we never learn anything if everything we do is perfect.    That's my story anyway.   hahaha
I wanted to show a close up or two and show you my mistakes.    The shadows of my fence posts are really wonky, going every which a way.   hahaha     I had started to get frustrated because I was behind and I just got sloppy.    Yeah, I can admit that.     Kinda looks like they are stepping every which way.    hahaha
I don't think there is a mistake here, I was just showing a closeup of the bottom of the lighthouse and grassy areas.   But if you do see a mistake, I don't want to know.    hahahaha     How's that?    hahaha
My clouds were the last thing I added to the painting and I think I finally got them as fluffy as I wanted them.    Had I not been running late, I would have wanted more clouds, but I'm good with them.    And as I look it, I see that there should have been a shadow cast by the lighthouse.     Oh shucks!!!      Well, as they, "it is what it is".     hahaha

Overall, I like painting with acrylics, but not as well as oils.     I may try another one or two and see if I can develop a better hankering for acrylics.     I really want to learn, but I may have to get some extender somewhere to put in my acrylics to have a longer open time to blend and play.    I do love the solace and calmness that lighthouses give to most viewers.    In most cases, it is a very pleasant and enjoyable scene that can lower the blood pressure and cause a calming effect, therefore aiding in "restoring one's spirit".

Continuing with the "restoring one's spirit" theme, I have a recipe that will do that also.    On my last blog post I shared a delicious, quick Dump Cake recipe, this time I am sharing a delicious main course recipe that I have tweaked over time to get just right for my liking.    It is another tip in the form of a crockpot recipe.     It's one of the 3 or 4 that I have fixed to take to meals at church when there wasn't many people there, but everyone loving to eat.    hahaha     On one such occasion, I happened to be sitting close to the pastor and his daughter, about 10 or 11 years old at the time.     She said, "Oh daddy, you can just taste the country, it's much better than Cracker Barrel!"     I cracked up!!!     Her dad said "She is really impressed with your cooking.   The closest she gets to country cooking is Cracker Barrel".     I said I was honored that she put my cooking up there with Cracker Barrel.    hahaha     It was a very high compliment for sure!     Here is the recipe.

Crockpot Chicken and Dressing

2- 6 oz boxes of stuffing mix
2 cups or more, cooked chicken, chunked
1 can of cream of.......soup, chicken, celery, mushroom....whatever you have (no stress)
1/3 to 1/2 cup chicken stock
 dash salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup melted butter

Spray inside crockpot with nonstick spray.    Prepare stuffing mix according to pkg. and spread in the bottom of the nonstick sprayed crockpot.

Mix chicken chunks and pieces with canned soup, chicken broth and salt and pepper.    Pour over stuffing mix and then pour on the melted butter.

Cover and cook for about 3 hours on high or 5 or 6 hours on low.    Do not stir, but you can loosen the edges of the stuffing a time or two while it's cooking and then again just before you serve it.

This is just a starting place for you to be as creative as you wish to be with this.    It is good!!!   Sometimes I put onions and colorful bell peppers in mine.  And other times I will half the recipe and put it in a 8 x 8 inch baking dish and bake it in the oven for about 45 minutes on 350* and that's what we will have for lunch sometimes.    Have some cranberry sauce to serve on the side and you can have a wonderful meal to "restore one's spirit" anytime.     Yum!!!!

The next recipe I share is the bees knees for sure!!!    It is my remake of a Cracker Barrel classic and it is just divine!!!!!     Be ready for it y'all!!!     It too, is a keeper!!!!!

Well, I guess I have just about finished up this blog post for the time being.    Gotta get ready for Wednesday night services at church.    I just love it.     It is a smaller group, we are more relaxed and it's more interactive.     I hope and pray that all of y'all have a wonderful rest of the afternoon and evening.     I pray for you to have rest that will help toward "restoring one's spirit" and refreshing you for tomorrow.    I just hope and pray that y'all had fun here today and that you read or seen something that will be of a help to you in the days to come.    Tell someone you know that God is waiting to "restore their spirit".     Someone you know needs to hear that.     We all need hope and that is a whole heap of hope.   God loves you so much!!!    I do too.    Till we meet right back here again, real soon, be blessed in the Lord.     Much love and many hugs, Patty

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Beauty, a Project and a Tip in the form of a Recipe

Good evening Y'all.    It's a brisk, cool evening here in my neck of the woods tonight.     It rained all night last night and most of the day today with some winds, but it's calmed now and I think it was pretty clear when it started getting dark.    I had been out town earlier and coming home there was a definite line in the sky where the clouds were and where the clearing skies met.   It was a most lovely sight, for sure.     You know, I know when the calendar says Spring officially arrives, but from the looks of what's happening outside, it may already be here for us.   Lots of trees blooming and fruit trees in full bloom.   It worries me about frost bite.    But, it won't be the first time and it won't be the last time.    It will just make the fresh fruit and produce higher at the stores.     Come on trees, don't you know you still need to have your coats on!!!    hahaha     And the little butter cups may just get bite too!     Oh, did you ever take the daffodils and pick a bunch of them, put them in a vase of water and drop a couple drops of food coloring it the water?      Oh how beautiful it makes the edges of the daffodils!     You can do the same with carnations  and other flowers too.    It would be a good project to do with the kids or the grands sometime.     I remember Mom and I used to do that all the time and it was such fun to keep an eye on them and watch the edges get fluted with color.    It really does make something already beautiful, even more beautiful.    If you've never tried it, I encourage you to do it.   It's fun.    Yay!!!
Have you ever thought about beauty?     Sure you have.   We all have at some point and time.    It's just human nature to want to look good.     That's not necessarily a bad thing, as long as it doesn't stand in the way of more important things.     Are you obsessed with beauty?    If so, then that's when it isn't a good thing.    How much do you contribute to the multi billion dollar beauty industry each year looking for the latest and best beauty product, treatment, surgeries or perception of beauty?     If you are like me, when I look at it in terms like that, I can say I probably spend too much.    Not that what little I've spent has helped, because in some cases, like mine, I'm just throwing good money after bad and it doesn't help much.   hahahaha     But we all like to feel like we look good or pretty from time to time.

When I started thinking of beauty, I went on a quest to find out about Biblical beauty.    We all know the standards the world sets for beauty.    Those standards are not even humanly possible.    The Barbie doll has been proven to be impossible to mimic in human perspective, yet that's what most women my age grew up with, thinking that was the standard for beauty.     The human standard of beauty reflects what we see with our eyes.    Seduction of either lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes or lust of pride.   That's what satan seduced Eve with, the lust of flesh and seeing with her eyes, something that satan said was beautiful even after God had told them not to eat of the tree.    But she saw with her eyes that it was good for food (lust of eyes), it was pleasant to look at (lust of flesh) and it would make her wise (lust of pride).    The enemy uses everything he can to cause us to lust in some form or fashion. This is what the worlds point of view is.    Lust of eyes, flesh and pride makes something or someone beautiful.

In my search, I found that satan even tempted Jesus with the same 3 lusts that he tempted Eve with and still tempts us with!   Yes, that's true!      The account in Luke 4: 1-13 tells all about it:   

Luke 4:1-13 (ASV)   1 And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led in the Spirit in the wilderness 2 during forty days, being tempted of the devil. And he did eat nothing in those days: and when they were completed, he hungered. 3 And the devil said unto him, If thou art the Son of God, command this stone that it become bread. 4 And Jesus answered unto him, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone. 5 And he led him up, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 And the devil said unto him, To thee will I give all this authority, and the glory of them: for it hath been delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. 7 If thou therefore wilt worship before me, it shall all be thine. 8 And Jesus answered and said unto him, It is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve. 9 And he led him to Jerusalem, and set Jesus on the pinnacle of the temple, and said unto Jesus, If thou art the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence: 10 for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee, to guard thee: 11 and, On their hands they shall bear thee up, Lest haply thou dash thy foot against a stone. 12 And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not make trial of the Lord thy God. 13 And when the devil had completed every temptation, he departed from him for a season.

The enemy tried to get Jesus to turn the stones to bread, lust of flesh; he showed Jesus the world and tried to give it to Him (it already belonged to Jesus anyway) if He would worship satan , lust of eyes; and he tried to get Jesus to jump from a high place; lust of pride.    If the enemy tempted Jesus, do you think he won't tempt or seduce us?     Ohhhh, he will and for most of us, he's usually successful.   That's sad but true.     We fall for it.     Jesus didn't fall for it.    He quoted scripture each and every time satan tempted Him!!!!

So we know the worldly view of beauty, now lets see what God's standard of beauty is.    Only God can set His standard of beauty.    There are very few people in the Bible that it actually mentions as them being something beautiful to look at.  The truly beautiful women in the Bible were beautiful from the inside out.    The Bible mentions some of the women as being beautiful, but for the most part, physical beauty is brought into account when God is showing us how easy it is to be seduced or tempted by beauty.    Some of the women done nothing wrong, they were simply beautiful, but the eyes looking upon them, well, they were lusting.    David would be a good example of that.    Also men lusting after Abraham's wife was another good example.    Scripture even says David was handsome in his youth.     On the other hand, Isaiah says that Jesus was a "comely" man.    That means He wouldn't be much to look at, in the standards of this world.     We have no idea what Christ looked like.   Just the modern images that we see of Him.     But, we can be rest assured He wasn't what we would consider a handsome man by today's standards.      Christ is beautiful from the inside out!!!!   Because He has the qualities of beauty.     People are not drawn to Him by what is on the outside, but by what is on the inside.     That was true for then, just as it's true now.

It was pointed out in an article that I read, that God doesn't even use culture as a standard of beauty either, because we, with our human eyes do not see every culture and the ways some people live as beautiful.    We have a tendency to feel if someone is different culturally, then they are not beautiful.

Beauty is usually something that is appealing.    Poor is not beautiful or appealing  to our eyes or is it. How beautiful was the little woman that gave everything she had, a widows mite?     A beat up car is not lovely to look at or appealing or is it.    If that's what your trying to get a sick wife or husband or child to the drs office or hospital to save their lives, how beautiful does that beat up car become?      A dilapidated old house is not a thing of beauty  or appealing or is it.    Maybe if the house could tell you about all the laughter that the walls had heard from the multiple families of kids having called that house home, or about the love of one spouse sitting with the other while one drew their last breath.    How beautiful that house suddenly becomes.    Not because of the outside, but because of the memories the inside holds.    So, if it has nothing to do with what see on the outside, then it has to be on the inside, right.    

So, what are some traits that God would recognize as beautiful?     Trust is one of the qualities God recognizes as beautiful.    The Old Testament is filled with men and women who trusted God.    Noah, Abraham, Moses, Sarah, Esther, Daniel, Rahab, Hannah, Ruth, to name just a few who trusted God with their very lives.   That's beautiful.      The New Testament is also filled with many examples of real beauty.     The Beatitudes are a great starting place to see what God considers as beauty.    The Fruit of the Spirit is also a good collection of what beauty looks like.    God also considers it a thing of beauty when He sees His living sacrifices; us, His children; wearing the "whole armor of God".     Living a life of faith is a beautiful attribute in the eyes of God.     

Having a heart that weeps over injustice, cares for the poor, loves the unloveable, recognizing ones own spiritual needs, being a peace maker, showing mercy, having a real love for others, extending grace to those who may not deserve it, hungering and thirsting for righteousness, fear of the Lord, gentle and quiet spirit, Proverbs 31 is a wonderful description of a beautiful woman, the gray hair of the aged is a thing of beauty, a praying spirit, our works from a desire to show love toward others, salvation is beautiful, the Holy Spirit active in our lives is beautiful, true worship is beautiful, a holy life is beautiful, a person who has captured the heart of Jesus is beautiful, a joy filled spirit is beautiful, to have hope is beautiful.    Simply put, true beauty is a gift from God.     It is.    It can't be bought, borrowed or stolen.    It is given to us to be treasured, cherished and shared with those around us.

"Give unto the LORD the glory due to His name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness" (Psalm 29:2).

"And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands for us; yes, establish the work of our hands" (Psalm 90:17).

"Your eyes will see the King in His beauty..." (Is. 33:17)

"Give to the LORD the glory due His name; bring an offering, and come before Him. Oh, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness!" (1 Ch. 16:29).

"Oh, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness! Tremble before Him, all the earth" (Psalm 96:9).

One last thing on beauty. I ask myself two or three questions every day. As a woman (or a man), how do I reflect God's beauty today? Do I mirror the excellence of God? Do I find great purpose in the small things, and humility in the big things? I think these questions are good questions for us to ask ourselves every day. I think the way we live out the answer is where we will find beauty, in ourselves and in others. Beauty as the world sees it is fleeting. Beauty in the eyes of God is forever!!!! Are you sold out to the beauty that God loves or the beauty the world loves?
The project I have to share this time is the cards we made at Card Ministry at our church in the month of January. Since it was back in January, it was still cold and the theme of a couple of the cards was snowmen. Who doesn't enjoy a snowman? I will get my card out and look it this summer when the thermometer hits 100* and wish for a little coolness from the snowmen. hahaha
This little snowman always makes us happy.    We used a snowflake embossing folder on this.   I used a platinum iridescent ink spot on top of my embossing when I got home.    And you see the 3 shiny snowflakes, well they are covering a multitude of messes, or as Bod Ross would say, "happy little accidents".    But, you wouldn't have known that unless I told ya.    So, there is no such thing as an accident, just creative opportunities.   Yay!!!   Woop Woop!!!
This happy little guy was made with a set of stylized pumpkin dies.    Yes he is.    Or you can use them as pumpkins, but why would you when you can make a snowman?   hahahaha      The background was embossed with another snow flake folder, they just happen to look like spots or dots.  I really love this little feller.   He makes me happy.  I hope he makes you happy too.

This is my favorite, I think. The church was stamped on the blue background and then it was heat embossed using silver embossing powder and the heat tool. I have to say, I think dark blue and silver is a truly lovely combination. It never ceases to amaze how beautiful the combo is. I really love our time of getting together to make cards. Its just a fun time and friends gathering, what more could be better. Then sending out the cards is a part of the ministry and that's fun too. Everyone loves getting cards from the Card Warriors. We certainly have a great time making them and I'm so thankful for the lady that gets it all together. She sure is a lovely lady with a heart for the Lord and that's a beautiful thing!!!
My Tip is in the form of a "quick to throw together" recipe this time.     Every once in a while I will want something tasty and easy to put together and forget about it.     Several years ago, at a church we used to go to, we would have a fellowship meal after services a lot.    There wasn't many members, but everyone loved to eat.    We know that hungry guys can eat some food and the gals can too, when it's good.  hahaha   Who doesn't like to eat, right!    We always enjoyed the meals, but may or may not have left on several occasions and stopped at fast food before going on home.     I started a search for something fast to throw together and easy to have on hand.     I succeeded in coming up with a trio of recipes to fix in the crockpot.    A self proclaimed crockpot queen has several crockpots.     Guess what?    I do, so I guess that makes me a "self proclaimed crockpot queen".   hahahahaha      Since I love dessert, we'll start with dessert first.    Who doesn't love that?    I don't even know where I found the recipes, because it was way before I even had the internet.    (Oh my gosh, how did we even live without google?)   hahahahaha     Anyway, in my search, I found a dessert called "Dump Cake".    hahahaha     I couldn't even imagine what that would taste like, but hey, I was certainly willing to give it a try.     The first time I took it to the meals after church, I almost didn't even have to wash my crockpot, because it was licked clean!!!   hahahaha   That's true, and I may or may not have been involved.    hahahaha     Anyway, needless to say, it was a hit!!!!    So here's the recipe:

Dump Cake

1 box of yellow cake mix
1 can of cherry pie filling
1 stick of real butter (margarine is watery when it's melted, so use at your own discretion, I just prefer butter)

-Spray the inside of your crock with non stick spray.  
-Pour the cherry pie filling in the bottom of the crock.
-Melt the butter in the microwave or stove top.   (I prefer stove top, the microwave causes too much splatters.)
-In mixing bowl, dump in box of cake mix and pour melted butter over cake mix and stir.   It will be a really stiff mix and you may not even get it all incorporated, that's ok.
-Pour stiff mixture over pie filling and DO NOT STIR!!!!   Spread it out as evenly as you can without disturbing pie filling.

-if you have any chopped pecans or walnuts on hand, toss in a hand full while stirring cake and butter together.

Cook in crockpot for 4 hours on low or 2 hours on high.

This is quick, easy and delicious!!!!    Don't believe me, then try it for yourself.    hahaha

Feel free to mix and match with the different canned pie fillings on the market and all the different kinds of cake mixes.    The sky is the limit with this.     Oh yes, and if you really want to take it over the top, put a scoop of ice cream on top!!!!!    People will be bowing to the "crockpot queen" standing before them.    hahahaha     And you may not even have to wash your crockpot either.    hahahaha

As I was writing this just now, I had a thought.    My thoughts are usually dangerous, but not this time, it's a keeper.     If I'm not mistaken, I think there is sugar free pie fillings and sugar free cake mixes on the market.    That is good for people having to watch their sugar intake.    Of course, if it's sugar free, then it's probably got more fat and other stuff in it, but it's a thought anyway.    See, I said it was a keeper.   hahaha
My most memorable quote from this day: "There IS a yoga diva in me that's just dying to come out!"  Hahaha    Some who read this will understand.     hahaha
Well, it looks like that's about it for tonight.    I hope and pray you have enjoyed your visit with me here and I thank you for taking time out of your busy lives and sharing in a portion of mine.     I hope you had a good time and that you can take something away from your visit.     I hope you look for the beauty that God looks for and that you can see it in yourself and others.    I hope you enjoyed my tip in the form of a kinda old and forgotten recipe made new again.     Be sure and watch and I will be sharing the other two recipes that goes with this one for dinner on the grounds at church or other big gatherings.    People will be thinking that you are the queen of southern cuisine when you spring them on your friends.   hahaha    I also hope that you enjoyed the cards that I shared.    I will say good night and God bless you and keep you all till next time when we meet right back here for some more fun and good times.     Remember that God loves you, so much so that He provided a way for you to be in right relationship with Him thru His Son, Yeshua, Jesus Christ!!!    Hey, I love you too and appreciate your visits!!!   hugs, Patty