…God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.  If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth;  but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.  If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
I John 1: 5-9


On the road again early this morning…


I do enjoy the early morning sights (once I’m up)


“From the rising of the sun
To its going down,
The Lord’s name is to be praised”
Psalm 113:3

Happy Sunday!




I’ve heard it said many times…  “You don’t appreciate something until you don’t have it anymore.”


…you don’t appreciate good health until you no longer have it.

…you don’t truly appreciate a loved one until they’re gone.


Today is a special day.  Independence Day.  The fourth of July.

…and that old saying comes to mind.

For those who have been born here and have never lived
under an oppressive government,
it’s easy to take our American freedom for granted.

The freedom to say, do, go, think, plan, study, buy, eat, whatever you want
is something we don’t even think about.  It is the way of life here.


It seems hard to believe that there are countries where you cannot speak freely,
you cannot visit anyone you like,
you can’t travel wherever/whenever you like,
you can’t study what interests you,
you can’t plan to have a birthday party or dinner party,
you can’t just buy something you really like,
you can’t own your own business,
You can’t kill one of your own chickens/hogs/cattle,
You can’t own your own land,
All mail is read before you receive it.
“Courts of law” are just a group of local government sympathizers
You live in a constant state of not knowing what can happen
to you or your loved ones from one day
to the next.
It is the way of life there.

No freedom.  Only oppression.  Persecution.



Now, when someone who has lived for years in a regime like that,
arrives in the USA…
words cannot describe what they feel.

It’s as if someone who was born in a prison, with no hope of ever getting out,
was given their freedom.

They can now dream, hope, plan, work, live
in a very different world.

For those who have not had this experience
it is almost impossible to know what it feels like.
Don’t even try to tell them that America is messed up.
Don’t talk about how bad things are here and how wonderful
everywhere else is.
They know it isn’t perfect here, but…
they remember what life was like where they came from.
They are like the grateful children who have been adopted,
and they know their adoptive parents
are good people who have taken care of them and raised them
to think for themselves, work hard, dream, fly.
These are the kids that know their parents aren’t perfect,
but they appreciate them and all they have given them.


They are proud to be Americans now.
They love this country.
Some of them have been part of the US military for most of their lives.
They are proud to serve and fight to preserve those freedoms
they once lived without.

They know what we celebrate on the 4th of July every year since 1776.

This is a special day to them.

And every year they remember.


Happy Independence Day, everybody!









I’ve been helping my daughter pack and get ready for their move…

Yesterday, we were having lunch when she quietly pointed to the window
and whispered, “Deer!”


I immediately went to the window and smiled as I saw this pretty girl.

Now, those of you who live in the country and are used to seeing deer all the time… this must be pretty boring for you.
But for us who live in the city…  well…  let’s just say it’s pretty special.








After just a few seconds, it was as if she sensed I was there, and turned her head towards me…






She was there for just a few minutes, then she turned back to the woods, and disappeared.

How lovely to see her.

She gave us a much-needed break, and a reason to smile.

We had to go back to packing & cleaning, but…
I thought about her and I looked out the window many times, hoping I’d see her again.

Maybe today?


Have a blessed day, everyone!

Love to you all,



Apple Cake

Today is a rare day…

I’m home.
I’m alone.
I had time to bake a cake.




I’ve had this recipe for many, many years…


(It says Washington Apple Cake, but you can use any kind of tart apples)

I just love the smell of apples & cinnamon through the house
when this cake is in the oven.



Apples and cinnamon… yum





Simple ingredients:





Core, peel, and slice the apples.




I can’t help but love how these apples look.
(I guess I’m always looking through the lens of a camera) . . .





Place the sliced apples on bottom of pan.  You don’t have to make them all lay
a certain way because you won’t be flipping this cake over (like you do with
Pineapple Upside Down cake).





Mix the eggs with the sugar & oil, then add the dry ingredients and mix well.




Spread this mixture (it will be thick) over the apple slices:


Put in oven at 350 for around 50 min or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.


The moist bottom with apples and cinnamon-y goodness is another one
of those best parts of this cake.


But the top crust is still my favorite part!


Have some.
With Whip Cream.
Or better yet…
With a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream.







Here’s the recipe:

A P P L E   C A K E


3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
2 cup flour
2 tsp cinnamon (less if you don’t like cinnamon)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (I did NOT put in nuts since I don’t eat them – they are a migraine trigger)
4 cup thinly sliced tart apples

Beat eggs with a mixer until thick and light.
Combine sugar and oil;  pour into eggs with mixer on medium.
Stir together flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt;  add to egg mixture with vanilla.
Beat to mix.
If adding nuts, stir them in now.

Spread apples in buttered 13×9 pan.
Pour batter over apples, spreading to cover.
Bake at 350 for 45-50 min. (time will vary depending on your oven).

OPTIONAL:  You can spread or drizzle this icing over the Apple Cake:
Cream Cheese Frosting:
Soften 2 cream cheese squares (3 oz each).  Beat until fluffy.
Beat in 1/4 cup melted butter.
Beat in 2 cup of 10x sugar and 1 tsp lemon juice.





Pretty Gift Bags

I had the opportunity to prepare some fun gift bags for the Pastors’ Wives who attended a conference recently.




It was fun crafting all the little goodies inside…




I made lots of these, and somehow I can’t find the photo I took
of the table at conference, set up with all the bags.
They looked so pretty!
So here’s just a small group of them…



The bags were filled with goodies like hand sanitizer and a nail file from
Bath & Body Works, mints, candies, and the other items were handmade
little goodies…


This little purse was made from double-sided scrapbook paper.



I used a variety of papers that I had on hand
and made lots & lots of these.



I received one just like this years ago
and I saved it because I knew I wanted to use it
as a pattern someday.




They were fun to make…





I put a miniature chocolate piece in each one.
Every woman must have chocolate in her purse, right?!




The “handles” were made from a small piece of ribbon,
and tiny pieces of velcro were glued for a “closure”.

I think the ladies liked it  :)


Another little thing I put in the bags:



These little miniature grocery bags also held a surprise…




Inside each bag, I tucked in a tea bag.




Some of the bags were white, and some were just like
the brown paper bags you get at the grocery store.
($2 for 20).

I used an ink pad to age all the edges on both the bags
and the little card that had the tea cup.



I thought the ladies would love a nice cup of tea
while at the three-day conference.
Maybe they’d curl up at night and have some tea
while reading a book or watching a favorite movie.




Here are a few closeups of the details…




I printed out 20 images per sheet
of a beautiful tea cup,
then cut them apart to fit nicely on the bag.


I used a clear glitter paint tube ($2)
to highlight the tea cup and add some sparkle.




I cut a tiny piece of lace from yards I got at the Thrift Store (40 cents for 10 yards!!)
and added a tiny flower and a gem stone in the center.




This is the back of the envelope.
I used a new stamp I got for $1.50.


The earrings were simple & easy to make
and they were actually the quickest of all the projects.



I cut some pretty cardstock paper into 2″x3″,
stamped them with a fun little stamp,
and then used a tiny whole punch in order to
slip the earrings on.




The earrings were made with pearlized glass beads.
The craft store had a 50% off sale on the beads so it worked out well.




Finally, the first thing the ladies saw in the bag,
were the bookmarks…




The verse was carefully chosen with these ladies in mind.
(Click image to enlarge)




I bought a container of flowers (with a 40% off coupon).
These flowers are in the Scrapbook section of the crafts store
and can be used in many different projects.




I glued some of the flowers on a separate piece of scrapbook paper,
while others I layered together (a small one on top of a larger one)
for added dimension and color.




I used the clear glitter here also for more sparkle.





Here’s the back of the bookmark:




I used a beautiful stamp from the “Heidi Swapp” collection.
This is just a small section of the large stamp.















It was fun putting it all together and filling the bags
with all the different goodies.
Some of the ladies came up to me during the conference
and expressed how grateful they were for all the little gifts.
That made all the time & effort worthwhile.


Have a great, fun week filled with creativity  :)




Road Trip

I’ve been away…


My husband & I were visiting our son & daughter-in-law.
So much fun to be with them!


It was a long drive, but well worth it!
We went through seven states just to get there!
Can you believe it??
And we saw some beautiful scenery…





It was an unforgettable time together.


I am so thankful we were able to go,
and I can’t wait to see them again!

Have you hugged your kids today? :)

Love to you all,



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 362 other followers