Friday, June 28, 2019

First Lines Friday ~ 6/28/19

Today's "First Lines" and "56" are from:

Northeast Tennessee near the Obed River
The initial step off the sheer face of a three-hundred-plus-foot drop was always the most terrifying.
 Page 56
For a man who'd spent so much time defending his country he hadn't been able to escape the scars Katie's and their baby's deaths had left behind.


P.S. I hope you can stop by my ETSY SHOP!

Also linking up to:

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Thankful Thursday ~ 6/27/19

~Kaylee's Party was a success!  I tried not to stress myself out getting ready for Kaylee's 18th Birthday Party.  I made list upon list and managed to keep it organized.  I worried for nothing, because it went off without a hitch!  We had a great afternoon hanging out with family and friends :)

~Church Camp was a success!  Again, a lot of preparation went into the behind the scenes set up of our Church Camp Meeting.  I helped with baking pies, cooking meals and the concession stand.  Others had their own jobs to complete.  We all came together and worked hard so that the campers could have a great time  :)

~Laken has decided to hang up her pompoms! She really wants to play Jr. High Volleyball this Fall and doing v-ball and cheerleading would just be too much along with her school work.  I'm already going to be busy running her back and forth to v-ball practices and games and I don't think I could keep up with cheerleading as well.  Quality over quantity, they say :)

~Kaylee's College Orientation! Monday Kaylee had a orientation for the students that have been admitted to her college.  She will be studying Business Management and classes start on August 19th.  I think it is getting real for her now and she's getting excited for the next chapter of her life!  I'm trying to play it cool :)

~Hubby's Vacation!  I'm excited that the Hubby is on vacation starting Friday morning!  We have some good quality family time planned.  Some of the activities are fishing, camping, movies and baseball games.  I can't wait  :)
What are you thankful for today?


P.S.  I hope you can stop by my ETSY SHOP!

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Wednesday Medley ~ 6/26/19

Come join Terri @ Your Friend From Florida every Wednesday.  She comes up with the questions and we answer them ;)
NATIONAL PARCHMENT DAY – Last Wednesday in June
National Parchment Day- Last Wednesday in June
Celebrate parchment and its many uses by clicking on the image.


At the end of June, National Parchment Day arrives to bring innovation and convenience back to the kitchen.
Parchment infuses flavor, locks in moisture and preserves vital nutrients and has long been a part of the traditional French kitchen. Ever versatile, parchment conveniently transitions from skillet to oven and from the grill to table.  Its ability to be elegant as well as useful makes it one of the more effective tools in the kitchen.
Cooking “en papillote” enhances natural flavors, without the synthetic sprays and high-fat oils. Not only does culinary parchment simplify preparation and clean-up, but it’s also a much healthier and environmentally friendlier alternative to traditional cooking techniques. The French have cooked with parchment for centuries, perfecting taste and texture in every dish. It has long served as the secret to preparing wholesome, healthy meals.
With all these added benefits, it’s difficult to ignore what parchment brings to the kitchen and to the table.  Use a variety of parchment products to make composing delicious meals in the home kitchen a culinary success.
Turn your kitchen into a parchment test kitchen. Share your delicious results by using #NationalParchmentDay on social media.
PaperChefNational Parchment Day was submitted by PaperChef and declared by the Registrar of National Day Calendar in June 2016. With local food movements on the rise, PaperChef is encouraging all culinary enthusiasts – from professional chefs to home cooks – to explore foods that mirror the “farm to fork movement,” offering North Americans viable alternatives to their popular but non-compostable and non-recyclable counterparts, refusing to compromise on quality and integrity by manufacturing items that won’t live in landfills for centuries.
Everything above this line is from the National Day Calendar.

1.  Who knew there was a day to celebrate parchment paper?!  Do you ever use parchment when you bake or cook? Tell us about your favorite way to use it, please
I had no idea there was a day to celebrate parchment paper either!  The only time I really use parchment paper is when I bake cookies.  It makes clean up so much easier!
2.  When Terri thinks of parchment paper, she usually thinks about special writing or artist papers. She loves using specialty papers for creating cards or other art projects. Tell us about a creative way you have used parchment paper other than to bake with!
Sorry!  I can't think of any creative way I've used parchment paper! 
3.  Terri used to be in the cake business and has piped many borders and roses and leaves and letters, etc., etc.  You can make a pastry bag from parchment paper!  Have you ever tried decorating a cake with a pastry bag and specialty tips?  Do you have a picture to share?  Don't be shy, now!
My youngest daughter, Laken, loves baking and asked for baking supplies for Christmas the past few years.  She has pasty bags and all kinds of tips.  She's working on her decorating skills and has definitely improved.  I have pictures but they must be on my phone...
4.  Tell us about something you baked or cooked in the past week or so that turned out great, parchment or no parchment.  Will you share the recipe?

At Camp Meeting last week we did so much cooking.  We offered breakfast, lunch and dinner to the campers.  We had baked pork chops one night that were delicious and beef stew another night.  A group of us ladies from Church also spent most of the day the Friday before Camp Meeting making 22 pies for dessert.  They were made of about 7-8 different fillings.  Pumpkin was my favorite!
5.  The last Wednesday in June!!  How can that be? Has your June flown by or have you been able to enjoy each day and make it slow down for you?
June has absolutely flown by!  We've had something going on every week and I've only just been getting back into an "at home" mode and I love it.  Here's to some nice relaxing days in July!
6.  Tell us something about your week so far, if you will.
I'm loving finally having some down time to read, crochet and get some walks in.
P.S.  I hope you can stop by my ETSY SHOP!

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Book Review ~ A Lasting Impression by Tamera Alexander


To create something that will last is Claire Laurent's most fervent desire as an artist. It's also her greatest weakness. When her fraud of a father deals her an unexpected hand, Claire is forced to flee from New Orleans to Nashville, only a year after the War Between the States has ended. Claire's path collides with that of Sutton Monroe, and she considers him a godsend for not turning her in to the authorities. But when they meet again and he refuses to come to her aid, she realizes she's sorely misjudged the man. Trading an unwanted destiny for an unknown future, Claire finds herself in the middle of Nashville's elite society and believes her dream of creating a lasting impression in the world of art may finally be within reach.

All that Sutton Monroe holds dear lies in ruin. He's determined to reclaim his heritage and to make the men who murdered his father pay. But what he discovers on his quest for vengeance reveals a truth that may cost him more than he ever imagined.

Set at Nashville's historic 1850s Belmont Mansion, a stunning antebellum manor built by Mrs. Adelicia Acklen, the richest woman in America in the 1860s, A Lasting Impression showcases the deep, poignant, unforgettable characters that set Tamera's stories apart and provides an inspiring love story that will capture readers' hearts and leave them eager for more.

My Thoughts:
Tamera Alexander is one of my favorite authors and staying up until 1am to read how the book ended proves it!  After all, I'm usually an early-to-bed kind of girl.  I can't tell you the last time I stayed up until 1am voluntarily :)
The setting of the story is almost a character in and of itself.  Belmont Mansion is described as an opulent estate with everything a person could imagine in the 1860's.
Claire, though a bit na├»ve and timid in the beginning, flourished under the tutelage of Adelicia Acklen, her employer.  She came out of her shell and learned how to stand up for herself which I was hoping would be the case.  I love how the author developed her character.
Sutton, or "Willister", was everything the hero should be.  Smart, kind, caring, thoughtful and scarred from the War.  I was routing for him from the beginning even though he sometimes took forever to make a decision.  He was a very thorough man when it came to research and making a decision.  I guess that would make him the good lawyer that he was.
I completely enjoyed this book and would LOVE to be able to visit the very real Belmont Mansion someday.  I find it ironic that at the same time I was reading this book, my brother had to make a work trip to Nashville.  I so wish I could have tagged along and seen the sights!
This was another great book by Tamera Alexander and, lucky me, I have the next book in the serious on my shelf!

P.S.  I hope you can stop by my ETSY SHOP!

Monday, June 24, 2019

Happy Homemaker Monday ~ 6/24/19

Come join Diary of a SAHM for Happy Homemaker Monday.
I was MIA from blogland last week as we were busy with Church Camp Meeting.  The girls had a ball with the youth program (Kaylee is now a helper!).  It was a great time of refreshing but I'm so glad to be able to stay home some this week :)
The weather outside is::::

This weekend was gorgeous after having a full week of rain!
We're supposed to have more rain today but the temperatures are going to much warmer and in line with summertime.

On my breakfast plate:

Granola Bar

As I look around the house::::

I got all caught up on the neglected housework I had due to Camp Meeting.  The floors are swept, the laundry washed and put away and the grass is freshly cut.  It feels good.

On today's to do list::::

Kaylee's "Admitted Student Day" at college.
Happening this week::::
Monday.... See above.
Tuesday...  Devotions, exercise, Schedule, Cheer Camp
Wednesday... Devotions, exercise, laundry
Thursday... Devotions, Exercise, Bills, Bank, Post Office
Friday...  Devotions, Exercise, Floors, Bedding
Saturday...  Day trip to Lake Tobias with the family :)
Sunday...  Church, Devotions, Exercise

Currently reading::::
I'm oh-so-close to being done with "A Lasting Impression" by Tamera Alexander and am loving it so far.  I didn't get much reading done last week but I did find some time to read this weekend.  I'm hoping to have a review on Tuesday but I don't want to make any promises!

 On the TV::::

The Upside
Pirates Baseball

Listening to:

Sirius XM The Message
Sirius XM The Highway
On the menu this week::::

Monday - Chicken, Mac Salad
Tuesday - Pork Chops, Mashed Potatoes
Wednesday - Stuffed Cabbage - "Pigs in the Blanket"
Thursday - Beef Stew and Biscuits
Friday -  Pizza
Saturday - Eating Out - Lake Tobias Day Trip
Sunday - Picnic at Church

What I am creating at the moment::::

I finished the "Cat-in-the-Hat" inspired baby blanket and will be adding it to my Etsy Shop soon.

I love these colors together!

Next on the hook is a baby blanket for a lady at Church who is having a baby girl sometime within the next two weeks.  I'd love to have the blanket done by next Sunday.  I'll let you know how I do and have pictures next week.
Picture From the Camera
 I have a ton of pictures from Kaylee's 18th Birthday Party but they are on my phone and I can't figure out how to get those pictures into my blog :(  But, we had a great time!


P.S.  I hope you can come by and visit my ETSY SHOP!

Friday, June 14, 2019

First Lines Friday ~ 6/14/19

Today's "First Lines" and "56" are from:

French Quarter, New Orleans, Louisiana
September 7, 1866
Claire Laurent studied the finished canvas on the easel before her, and though "masterpiece" hardly described it, she knew the painting was her best yet.

 Page 56

Even more, she would have liked him to think well of her, maybe even desire to know her better too.


P.S. I hope you can stop by my ETSY SHOP!

Also linking up to:

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Thankful Thursday ~ 6/13/19

~Kaylee's 18th Birthday!  I absolutely cannot believe that I have a child who is turning 18 years old today.  I'm not old enough, am I?  I mean, I distinctly remember turning 18 myself just a few years ago!  Happy Birthday, Baby Girl!

~School is out!  Laken successfully navigated her first year of middle school at a new school with all A's and B's.  So proud of her!  I get just as excited as the kids do when the end of the school year rolls around.  Time for sleeping in and hanging out with the family!

~Laken's last softball game!  We've enjoyed softball season but I have to admit that I'm kinda glad that her last game of the year is tonight.  It just happens to be a double-header!

~Church Camp Meeting!  It starts off Sunday with a picnic and then lasts all week.  The kids all get to stay in the dorms so it will be a bit quiet at home.  I am a bit jealous of the campfires and smores...

~Kaylee's College Classes!  She's registered and scheduled for classes that will start August 19th!  We been jumping through all the necessary hoops for registration and funding but at last, I think everything is ready for Orientation!  whohooo! 

What are you thankful for today?


P.S.  I hope you can stop by my ETSY SHOP!

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

20 (or 10) Books of Summer 2019

Cathy over at 746 Books is hosting a summer reading challenge called "20 Book of Summer 2019".

(I'm going to strive to read 10 Books of Summer)
The Challenge starts June 1st and runs through September 3rd.

I'm a very fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants reader. 

So, I won't be posting what books I'll be reading.

Instead, I'll just be keeping track of them here in this post.

1.  Beauty Begins by Chris Shook and Megan Shook Alpha ~ 6/11/19
6.  The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow by Olivia Newport ~ 7/12/19


Wednesday Medley ~ 6/12/19

Come join Terri @ Your Friend From Florida every Wednesday.  She comes up with the questions and we answer them ;)

National Making Life Beautiful Day is observed annually on June 11.  It is a day dedicated to encouraging and celebrating men and women who are making life beautiful.  Whether you’re creating beauty through building relationships or helping others achieve personal success, one small action can lead to a ripple effect, making life beautiful not just for yourself, but for those around you, too.
Help someone you know to achieve a personal goal, donate time to a worthy cause, help someone less fortunate or just do something nice for someone.  On social media, use #MakingLifeBeautifulDay

1.  Tell us about a time you made someone's life beautiful or someone made YOUR life beautiful.
It is hard to give myself credit for making someone's life beautiful but I can think of so many people who have made my life beautiful.  For instance, yesterday I dropped Laken off at cheer camp and walked her in the building.  The part that made my life beautiful was when she kissed my cheek goodbye in front of all the other cheerleaders without blinking an eye.  Love my girls :)


June 15th is the day we observe National Smile Power Day.  This is a day for everyone to share the power of the smile.
From the good morning greeting and the first “How may I help you?” present yourself with a smile.  No matter where you are employed, job seeking, retired or looking for new horizons starting the day with a smile is certainly more empowering than a pout or grump.  Starting with a smile first is easier than trying to get there later in the day. 
When you smile at someone, you are telling them that they are valued and worth the smile that you just gave them.  Smiles are moral boosters and confidence builders.
Research has proven that smiling really does increase attractiveness and likability between humans.  Smiling creates a greater trust and increased interpersonal cooperation.  Smiling at someone can help them to relax and relieve their stress while at the same time, it will make you feel right.  Smiling (even if you do not feel like it) will lift your mood and can make you a  happier person.
Challenge yourself to smile more often today.  Use a smile to disarm a tense situation, or simply smile during your daily tasks.  Use #SmilePowerDay on social media.

2.  Will you take on the challenge and smile more often on June 15th?  Why not start now!!  Have you been blessed by a smile that changed your day?
June 15th is when we are celebrating Kaylee's 18th Birthday (her actual birthday is the 13th).  We're having a big party for her so I'm sure I'll be smiling lots.
I'm always blessed when my hubby looks me in the eyes and smiles with me at something we both find humorous :)


“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” ~ Edith Wharton
Sometimes it takes just one gentle word or small token to help overcome darkness. On June 13, National Random Acts of Light Day encourages us to bring light to the darkness of cancer by surprising someone with an act of kindness.
Receiving the diagnosis of cancer is one of the darkest moments a person can have. As part of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light The Night Walks fundraising campaign, National Random Acts of Light brings awareness to the importance of providing cures and access to treatments for blood cancer patients.
Take a friend fishing or bring them their favorite cup of coffee. Sometimes a visit, a walk or a fresh bouquet of flowers is what brings the light into the room. Surprise someone you love, by bringing a sparkle to their day.
Share your Random Acts of Light on June 13, and throughout the year! Learn more about The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s National Random Acts of Light Day, Light the Night Walks and other campaigns and follow them on FacebookTwitter or Instagram Use #RandomActsofLightDay to share on social media.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society ®(LLS) founded National Random Acts of Light Day to bring shine a light on the need for research and a cure for blood cancers.  In 2017, celebrities and local heroes surprised people affected by blood cancers as part of Random Acts of Light.
About The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society® (LLS) is the world’s largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. The LLS mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world, provides free information and support services, and is the voice for all blood cancer patients seeking access to quality, affordable, coordinated care.
The Registrar at National Day Calendar proclaimed National Random Acts of Light Day to be observed annually beginning in 2017.

3.  Terri is a cancer survivor.  Cancer has touched most of us in one way or another.  When did someone reach out to you with an act of kindness or when did you last perform a random act of kindness for someone?

I was just reading in a book the other day that random acts of kindness was a "fad" that has dwindled down to a trickle.  That made me sad. I'd like to think that RAK's are alive and well.  On a side note, my family is working on trying to be kind to one another.  I've been saying a reminding "Kindness" very often these days.


National Loving Day is observed each year on June 12.   National Loving Day is an annual celebration that commemorates the anniversary of the 1967 United States Supreme Court decision Loving vs. Virginia.  This decision struck down all anti-miscegenation laws remaining in sixteen U.S. states citing “There can be no doubt that restricting the freedom to marry solely because of racial classifications violates the central meaning of the equal protection clause.”  Anti-miscegenation laws in the United States were U.S. state laws banning interracial marriage.
Childhood friends, Mildred and Richard, met when she was 11, and he was 17.  Over the years they began courting and in 1958 when she turned 18, they married in Washington.  They returned to their hometown north of Richmond and two weeks later, not realizing that interracial marriage was illegal, they were arrested.  Mildred and Richard Loving pleaded guilty and to avoid jail time; they agreed to leave Virginia.
The Loving’s moved to Washington D.C. and started legal action writing to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy.  Kennedy referred the case on to the American Civil Liberties Union.  The Warren Court unanimously ruled in their favor, and the Loving’s returned to their Virginia home where they resided with their three children.
Use #NationalLovingDay to post on social media.
National Loving Day is not yet an officially recognized holiday by the U.S. government. However, there is a movement to persuade the government to do so.  This day was inspired by Juneteenth and seeks both to commemorate and celebrate the Supreme Courts 1967 ruling, keeping its importance fresh in the minds of a generation which has grown up with interracial relationships being legal as well as explore issues facing couples currently in interracial relationships. 
4.  Terri admits that this turned out to be not what she thought it would be.  Our country has come a long way in recognizing that people are people and our differences are what makes life beautiful, but we still have a long way to go, unfortunately.  Your thoughts?

I think we should all be more "Loving".

Each June 13 honors those who would like to cook and be in the kitchen, but it just doesn’t seem to work well for them.  After all, it is National Kitchen Klutzes of America Day.
Klutz:  most commonly referred to as a clumsy person.
These are the people who set out with the intentions of Paula Dean or Julia Child as the open up the cookbook.  Setting out the mixing bowl and ingredients, they imagine knife cuts as swift as Wolfgang Puck or Bobby Flay.  However, reality quickly dissolves all those dreams as smoke billows from the oven and salt is mistaken for sugar.  Those knife cuts become bloody, and cookies and fingers are burnt.  The Kitchen Klutz has struck, and visions of spilled milk are pitifully cried over.  
It may be necessary to keep a first aid kit and fire extinguisher handy when Kitchen Klutzes are around.  Be ready to call 911 and your favorite take out if you’re still hungry.
Use #NationalKitchenKlutzes to post on social media.
5.  Had to lighten it up a bit.  Terri is a total klutz in the kitchen.  Tell us about something klutzy that happened in your kitchen... by you or another!  Can you laugh about it now?
I love to bake!  However, I'm a very messy baker and flour ends up everywhere.  Except....The last time I was making an Oatmeal Cake, I forgot to put the flour in the batter.  Major fail!
6.  Share something about your week so far, if you would.

Busy, Busy, Busy week!  Softball, Cheer and Party planning/prepping have kept me very busy the past few weeks.  I'm so glad to have been able to participate in Wednesday Medley this week :)

P.S.  I hope you can stop by my ETSY SHOP!