Archive for the ‘Church Life’ Category

It has been a long time since I was on here and I have missed you all.

Let’s see what has happened.  DH had hip replacement in March and is doing awesome with it, now he has a knee that is bothering him.  At this rate by the time he is ready for retirement, he will be bionic!

Spring came and a huge garden, the kids and grandkids put the garden in with us this year.  Once again our tomatoes were superstars.  We quit taking 5 gallon buckets to the garden and used the wheelbarrow to take them to the produce table about every other day.  Peppers have done well, okra (which we never grew before) did awesome!  not so much for the cantaloupe, something kept eating it and I strongly suspect grashhoppers!, butter nut squash, Oh My Gosh.  I bet we have between 70 and 90 and they are still blooming!

Work is so busy and we have not slowed down since January but it is all good and something different every day.

Mr. B wrestled this winter (still don’t understand it), he played t-ball and did very well, hit several triples and doubles and made several outs.  Ms. A danced and was so cute, she has learned she loves to sing and knows all the words and motions to “Frozen”.  Mr. R is still a Papa’s boy and shadows him everywhere.  When Papa was in the hospital after surgery (that very night) R insisted that he get in bed with Papa and of course he was allowed to and laid right there next to Papa and was content!

Mowing the yard and church has been a challenge this year because we have had rain when we need it and between that, the garden and work for both of us, it has taken some pretty creative scheduling to keep everything looking good.

Most of my quilting has been put on the back burner because we have been so busy but with the weather cooling off, the garden and yard will slow down so I can get back to that.

It is time to start back to Kids For Jesus in about 10 days and I am excited to see all the littles again.  I have missed them this summer and I didn’t get to help with Vacation Bible School because of my work schedule so that makes me doubly excited to get back to work with these kids.  A heart bursting moment I guarantee you all, when you hear your grandchildren recite the Lord’s Prayer during Church service.  I guarantee it will make you cry with joy to know they are being trained up in God’s ways and Grace!  Plus they have awesome teachers at Church and a great babysitter.  Our church held VBS this year with a new preacher and according to the kids it was great.  They ended up with a camp out in the parking lot and breakfast the next morning.  Thanks so much Pastor Rebecca!  You are amazing.  She has a son that is 6 weeks younger than Mr. B and they have become great friends.

Now it is soccer season with the grandchildren, instructional of course, they are too young for anything else.  Makes me glad because another sport that Nanny and Papa know nothing about, luckily Caleb (Shawna’s boyfriend) does and plays with them!

I promise I won’t let it be so long next time and I promise I will be telling you all about Craft Day that is coming up in 3 weeks.  Oh gosh, now that really made me nervous, better get busy getting ready to have a pie baking marathon with the girls and slip some cornbread in there as well!!

Hope your spring/summer has been good.


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As the “last” weekend of summer has arrived, I realize it has been a while since I posted. It has been one of the most busy summers I can remember. It has also been kind of odd summer as well. August came in with beautiful cool weather (well, 70s and 80s are very cool for August here), but the last two weeks were brutal with highs hovering close to 100 degrees with heat advisories most days. It has also been very dry once again this year. It seems like it wasn’t that long ago we had more rain in the summers than we wanted. Irrigation lakes are being pumped way down once again this year and the winter prediction from the Farmer’s Almanac says another snowy winter. I am praying they are wrong.
I started teaching a food dehydrating class and have many fruits and veggies dehydrated and have enjoyed the bounty of our garden this year once again. We have been supplying a local restaurant with tomatoes and I have almost 3 gallons of dried tomatoes that will taste wonderful this winter/spring when there is not a good tomato to be found locally. Neighbors have been very generous with sweet corn as well. We never plant it in the garden because so many of the neighbors plant a patch in their field and share. This is the first year we have grown bell peppers with any success. On Tuesday of this past week, Jimmy picked 10 gallons of bell peppers and helped me slice all of them and into the dehydrator they went.
The grandkids have kept us busy, Brock was on a competitive swim team this year and loved it. He started kindergarten this fall and is doing well. He is also talking about wrestling so that will be fun to watch and will be something new for us. Adrianna is the dancer/singer/entertainer in the family, she is always making us sit and watch her performances. She made a deal with Nanny and Papa that she will help around our house so she can earn money for her dance classes. She is going to Centralia to take these classes this year so she will be making lots of new friends. Ryker is 7 1/2 months old and is crawling everywhere and pulling up and walking around things. Don’t think he is going to wait to walk. He has too many things to do, like keeping up with everyone else. He is such a sweet baby, happy most of the time but doesn’t like to sleep, I think he is afraid he is going to miss something!
Jimmy and I keep ourselves busy at our jobs and after work. Most of the time we don’t get in the house until dark because we are working on the yard or in the garden. Not mowing much right now because it is so dry, but other things keep us busy. We build a new compost pile and are trying to keep it going with all the scraps from the produce from the garden. The squirrels have found it and love to come steal their supper. Brock told them to go ahead and steal that food because they will be food for us this winter. I think he has plans to learn to shoot!
KFJ starts this Wednesday and I am excited to see all the little ones again, some have moved up from our class and will be in the 4-year-old class (like Adrianna), but we will get new ones to get to know better and lead them to learn about God and Jesus and their love for children and how they should act. It is always fun to see them grow in God’s love. So if you are in the neighborhood (or don’t mind driving to Hatton every Wednesday), and have kids between 2-18, bring them to Pleasant Grove at 6:00 pm for a wonderful couple of hours that includes supper. Thanks to all the ladies and men that help prepare supper for these kids and teachers, we appreciate you more than you know.
Hope your summer has been a good one and make we have a beautiful fall season and safe harvest.

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After last summer’s drought, God saw a need for rain in our area.  Most of the irrigation lakes were dry or just a small mud hole that couldn’t be pumped anymore, we had a shortage of hay for livestock, the harvest wasn’t anything like the previous years.  Luckily we have a living well on our property and were able to water our garden all summer and our bounty was plentiful.

Winter came and we saw very little snow until February and then for several weeks we had so much snow, I didn’t think we would ever see green grass again.  Some of you know me well enough to know I love to mow grass, it is my time to sing God’s praises (don’t judge me if you drive by and hear me singing!!), sometimes I have ear buds in and singing along with a certain hymn or if it just pops in my head, off I go.  I thought I wasn’t going to ever get n the lawn mower this spring with all that late snow.

The good thing, everyone kept telling me, was it was putting moisture back in the ground.  My response was rain will do the same thing and I would get to see my green grass growing.

I think God was trying to please everyone, so he gave us lots of snow and now we have had lots of rain.  Thursday night and Friday of last week (end of May), we had over 5 inches in less than 48 hours!  The irrigation lakes were already full before this so now most of them are overflowing (really didn’t think we would see that this spring!).

We had places in Callaway County flood that I am not sure have ever been flooded, but I think it was because of the volume of the water coming so quickly, by Friday night, most of it had receded and people were able to drive on those roads again.

Yes, this year has been a struggle to keep the grass mowed but it has been worse for the farmers.  Many of them are not finished with corn planting yet and are frustrated because last year they started planting on March 15th.  This years we still had snow on the ground on March 15th, with more to come.  The hay crews and farmers are frustrated because they have not been able to cut and bale yet this year.  When it dries up, be very careful out on the roadways, many of these guys/gals will be impatient to work and move equipment from one field to another.

Oh and the tornadoes, they have been very bad this year.  Of course, the weather forecasters talked about a quiet May and then what happened.  I can’t even begin to fathom the despair of the people of Oklahoma!  I know those in Joplin MO understand and sympathize with them.  Then Friday night, another outbreak not very far from the devastation last week.  AND one touched down in the county just to the east of us.  Prayers for everyone in Eastern Missouri as well.

So to all the farmers out there, God saw your need and has rewarded you.  Here is hoping the rest of spring is a little drier and you can do what you do so well, prepare  to help feed the world again this year.  And I can get back to mowing and working in my garden.  By the way, a raised bed fares so much better in all this wet weather.  I love it.

Happy spring and may you continue to receive God’s blessings in your life.

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First of all, It is Ag week.  I want to say thank you to every farmer in the world, you make my way of life so much easier and I appreciate it so much.  Starting with my parents who have been farming forever to my grandson who dreams of being a farmer and driving that tractor and combine.  I have to say, I wouldn’t be the person I am today without that influence.  I tried living in “town” for about 3 months in McCredie population 40 (maybe if everyone was home!!) and couldn’t handle it so I am glad I married a farm boy and we moved to the country.  I love the feel of dirt and things growing, love mowing the grass, watching the crops grow, seeing the hay cut (love that smell) and baled into big round bales (yes I have bucked my share of square bales in my life), planting the garden, working the soil and reaping the harvest and hopefully share with friends, watching that little seed grow into a big corn-stalk or grow many more soybeans from a single bean, milo makes me itch so I admire it from afar.  I also love to pick wild blackberries or go mushroom hunting if I can.  Love to watch the hubby hunt or fish.  Love being able to burn wood to keep us warm in the winter and help cut, split and haul the wood in.


We didn’t really do much this weekend, think my body was charging up for the week.

Monday I went on a grocery tour after work to learn about how to get more calcium in my diet, since I have a milk allergy, this can be difficult, but I will work on it some more and see what I can do to make it more healthy.

Tuesday night, Jimmy had a meeting in Fulton and I stayed in town, picked up supper and worked while he had his meeting.

Wednesday, it is KFJ (Kids for Jesus) and I help Agnes Hatcher with the little kids 2-3 years old and we have between 15-25 kids every week, they are so sweet and I love seeing them every week, they are such a bright spot in the week, sure gonna miss them this summer.

Thursday night, our Women’s bible study group is going to an Easter pageant in Mexico and I can’t wait to watch it and be blessed with the Easter spirit.

Friday night, a Church group is going out for supper for fellowship and enjoyment.  Can’t wait to get together with these people and visit.

Will someone please tell my hubby I do love him and will plan to spend a relaxing weekend again with him when this crazy wonderful week is over.  And I am planning to sleep late one of those weekend days.

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This week one of our neighbors moved away.  Many in this area knew Marilyn Jones.  She moved to Georgia to be closer to her biological family and I am sure they will love having her close.

She is going to be missed in so many ways in the neighborhood, Pleasant Grove Church, afternoon ladies extension club, evening extension club, Older Adult Sunday School, quilting groups, I could go on forever I think.

Two weeks ago, we had a going away party for her, held at our church.  Many spoke about memories of her, we laughed, cried and laughed some more. They asked everyone to bring a pie.  If you don’t know the reason, I will explain.  Every year for at least a month before Craft Day, she would stand up at any event and ask for pies, pies, pies for Craft Day.  It got to the point where the only thing she would say was “Pies, Pies, Pies” and sit down, we would start laughing but knew she meant for us to support Craft Day by bringing pies for the food booths.

At Halloween, all the “grown up” kids would bring their little kids over there (usually the first stop!) because she made homemade donuts.  I am so glad my two grandchildren were able to enjoy that tradition (and son-in-law and daughter!).  You could start hearing the chatter when the adults were starting to make their Halloween plans, “We have to go by Marilyn’s first, she might run out!” “Let’s make that our first stop.”

She organized the Older Adult Sunday School dinner for many years.  It was very well attended, but you had to be over 55 to attend (missed that one by a few years!) but she has groomed someone to take over that responsibility.  Linda Huyser has been in training for a couple of years now and I think Marilyn is satisfied it is in good hands.

She was always willing to host and help out at all extension club meetings and brought lots of yummy food.

Most importantly she was an awesome neighbor to all.  She went to quilt shows with several ladies, made quilts with them, talked quilting with anyone interested.  She was grandmother to many kids in the neighborhood like all the Smith kids and grandkids.  She is one of the most knowledgeable people about the Bible that I know.  I remember one time she was talking to our women’s Bible study group and she said if you want to know how to live your life, read the book of James.  She said she has gone to that book in the Bible more times than she can remember.

Marilyn and Verna Shryock have been great friends for  many years and I know Verna will miss her greatly, but luckily Verna has a granddaughter in Alabama so it gives her more reason to visit Erin and make a side trip to see Marilyn.  She started Marilyn Smith quilting and now (like most quilters) she is addicted, she is very artistic and has taken Marilyn Jones to several quilt shows (one that her quilt was competing in).

Even though she left our community yesterday, we are sure she will be back because she promised she will be checking on us and is planning to come back for Craft Day.  Thank you for everything Miss Marilyn.

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So, I haven’t posted my “thankfulness” for a few days.  First of all, One of the posts I had scheduled, somehow didn’t post, so day 2 is after day 3, sorry.  AND I have been gone with the girls for a few days.

Early Friday morning, we met at church by 7 am, loaded on two big buses and headed to KC to attend Women of Faith.  If you are a woman and have never been, I highly recommend it.  I have been a few times and each time I come back so refreshed, charged up and ready to live my life better.  This time, I was lucky enough to take both daughters.  Two of Tara’s friends are the main planners and they were talking about things to do and Tara and Sara (one of their other friends) decided to help out.

Can you imagine taking 140 women to Kansas City to a conference, organizing the seating, tickets, hotel rooms, lunch both days and a wonderful catered supper one night???  I am telling you we have some super amazing young ladies in our church, but here I want to say a super BIG THANK YOU to Heather Birge and Amy Bell!  Both of these girls have three children each and they are all under the age of 7!  Not that they are busy or anything and to organize this and things went off so well.

They decided we would have a pajama party this year and the hotel agreed.  It didn’t start until 11 pm.  We had it in the breakfast area and there seemed to be about 100 of the women there.  We had a purse scavenger hunt.  It is amazing what people carry in their purses.  Me, I am a minimalist now that I don’t have small children.  Then they had door prizes that people had donated, thanks to all the women who worked on it once again (I believe it was the same group of young ladies and a couple of others as well).

The dinner was amazing, a wonderful salad, roast beef, chicken, green beans, potatoes, rolls, and several desserts to choose from.  Tara made the statement when we went back to the conference, she was going to have to unbutton her pants to survive!

We met Andy Andrews, if you haven’t read any of his books, what are you waiting for.  He talked about “The Traveler’s Gift” and how part of it is true, he did truly meet the man called “Jones” and was also homeless.  He also talked about how every action we do will make an impact at some point in our lives.  He started off telling us about a person who received a “Person of the Week” award for saving over 2 billion people because he developed a strain of grain that was drought resistant, but how a vice president gave him a test station, and traced it back to the slave that saved George Washington Carver when him and his mother were captured by rebel troops.   So just remember when you make a decision to make the best one possible, pray about what you should do and act on it.  He also talked about finding your passion and not letting anything stop you!  I believe Heather’s passion is Women of Faith and getting as many women to attend as possible.

We visited with Patsy Clairmont (one of my absolute favorites).  She might be 5 foot tall, but she is a giant in her walk with God.  Things haven’t been easy for her and if you read any of her books or listen to her, she loves God, questions his decisions sometime but always knows he loves her through all her faults.  She makes me laugh, cry, point at friends all at the same time.  She is serious, funny, a limited edition is what she calls herself.

Sandi Patty, what can you say about her.  Beautiful voice, amazing story and brutally honest about herself.  How God loves us even when we are not perfect and uses is for his purpose, no matter what we have gone through.  And your kids are awesome as well.  So glad you whistle for your kids attention.  I do that and it drives my kids crazy, now I can tell them Sandi does it as well and her kids respond, so I expect nothing less from them!

Mandissa and Amy Grant, WOW, beautiful music, amazing people.  Mandissa, I love how you always are smiling and Shawna loved your snuggie!  She wants me to make one for her doggy.  What a way to get a group of women on their feet.  Music, clapping, dancing, yelling, whooping, laughing and crying!  you all were amazing.  Amy, I love how you are still so much in love with Vince and yes he may be a little rough around the edges but that is what makes him so wonderful.

Deborah Joy, your skits were right on target.  Thinking about the rocks this day and how I am letting them drop so they don’t harm others or myself.  Putting on God’s armor to deflect the ones thrown by others as well.  The hat skit makes me laugh every time I think about changing gears at my house, cook, laundry queen, wife, mom, grandma, bookkeeper, seamstress, the list goes on for us all.   And thanks for sharing your special engagement moment with all of your friends in KC!

Brenda Warner, you are the strongest person I think I know.  How I wish I could be like you, myself, I am a crier and you most certainly made me cry, but your happy ending is awesome.  I wish you and Kurt all the best life has to offer.  I will continue to be reminded by you each time a crisis comes into my life to turn to Jesus for support, let him lift me up and hold me in his arms.  I am reading your book right now and will be finished soon, then my hubby wants to read it as well as both daughters!  Thanks for allowing us a glimpse of your life, the good, bad and wonderful.  All your children are beautiful but Zach’s smile captures my heart!  And yes I am still amazed at our little secret!

Blair (well actually Lisa), you were amazing.  Your words were so descriptive and made us right there with you, suffering and learning how to be a friend!  I love your counselors words, pick someone who doesn’t seem to have it all together, they make the best friends.  I think that describes me perfectly, I don’t have things together, constantly struggling to get it right, stumbling and falling (oh, more on that another day) but getting back up, praying for strength and wisdom!

What a blessed weekend.  I have just talked about the conference itself and the organizers for our church.  I can’t begin to tell you of the blessings on the bus going to and from the conference!  Thanks to all that attended and made this experience possible.  AND The organizers of our church service on Sunday, I have never been so moved by something in my life and I hope the congregation got a little glimpse of the magic of getting women together and praising God in a wonderful setting.  Cindy for leading us!  You are amazing and very bold in your faith, Linda thank you for the monster you have created in Heather (monsters are not always bad), Christy and Rachel for your beautiful voices, Debbie Shryock, Amy Craghead, Amie O’Neal for stepping up and helping me with the offering, Terry Gilmore and Mary Shafer for children’s sermon, Leslie for doing opening and filling in anywhere we needed it.  Everyone for supporting us.

Make plans to attend next year,  NOV 2-3, 2012.  Heather has reserved tickets!  Get yours early.

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Day three I am thankful for my “Sisters in Faith”, you all are so supportive and I love you all.  I am so excited for Women of Faith to have so many women in one building, praising God for all of life’s blessings, asking forgiveness and feeling his wonderful grace.  Thankful for Heather and Amy and all the hard work they have put into these two days for a year and all the people who have helped them, the coordinator of the hotel rooms/catered dinner, the bus service/bus driver for putting up with us, the people who talked them into doing this again this year, all the women that purchased tickets and are going to share this weekend experience with me and my two daughters, everyone that donated something to our “Pajama Party” and swag bags, and all the people who are staying behind taking care of things on the home front.

Cindy Feutz is our driving force for our “Sister’s” team and we have grown so much, learned so much about each other, supported each other, invited other’s to speak to us about their journey.  I am so thankful for each and every one of you.  Exciting that we are going to be doing both services on the Sunday we come back.  Our goal is to step out of our comfort zone and be bolder in our faith and this is not a step for most of us, it is a HUGE LEAP, please pray for us to find the words and actions that glorify God.

One of our events, 2011 Mother’s Day Tea.  We celebrated the life of Miss Mabel a wonderful quilter in Fulton MO.  And how Mother’s take care of us and nurture us.

Beautiful quilt with hundreds of tiny pieces stitched together with love to make something wonderful and functional .

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