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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2011...we chose JOY

We chose JOY.

In 2011, we walked a path that was new to us but God, our family and friends walked along side us with comfort and love.
These difficult times have helped us to realize and
remember how infinitely rich and beautiful life is.
Our son, Eric, passed away on May 4th from complications of his
bone marrow transplant.  He left us with a lifetime of happy
memories. Although it is tremendously hard to be without him,
 we take JOY in knowing he is enjoying the presence of Jesus.

We have found our family….and have drawn even closer.
We have found our friends who have surrounded us.
We have found JOY…in our church family...such support.
We have found JOY in Sam...insert smile.
We have found JOY in  each ordinary day.

“Dear God, thanks for this beautiful life.  
Forgive us if we haven’t loved it enough.”

On those ordinary days...Ben can be found in his shop building houses for the American Kestrel Falcon.  Or he can be found at  agriculture meetings  promoting his latest business, Orchard Guard....showing orchardists how to protect their crops from bird damage.

On those ordinary days, Shari can be found in her craft room
creating greeting cards that will touch people’s hearts or maybe even make them laugh. Or, she can be found along with her business partner, Nadine, promoting their business, Paper Blessings, selling their greeting cards and other paper “blessings”.

On those ordinary days, Sam can be found  at the foot of anyone  willing to give him a bit of love.

As we  welcome this  wonderful time of year, 
may our hearts celebrate 
the true reason for the season 
and may our homes be warmed by 
His JOY, peace and love.
Merry Christmas,
Ben and Shari….Sam too

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I've got it!...I'm jumpin' up and down excited!

Those of you who know me, know that each year I choose a WORD...just be my guiding light, my mantra...a benchmark.

For 2010, my word was PEACE.  Eric had just been diagnosed with Cancer.  I needed PEACE.  God gave me  that when I needed it most.  For 2011, my word was JOY.  God provided JOY even in the midst of our grief at losing Eric.

Now for 2012...I choose GIVE. I believe God will use this to continue to heal the pain that is ever present.

365 days of PURPOSEFUL gift-giving.  
Here's the deal...every day I will purposefully look for a way to gift someone. 
(stuff I do anyway won't count)  It has to be purposefully.  
The gift can be my time, something tangible, money...maybe even something hard to give.  
Get this picture?  Want to join me in the fun journey? 
 I am "jumpin' up and down" excited about this.  Something special is going to happen, I just know it!
'The Lord has abundantly blessed me all of my life.  I am not trying to pay him back for all His wonderful gifts.  I just realize He gave them to me to give away.'
My GIFT to YOU today is a REMINDER
We all have gifts to share 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Snickerdoodle Muffins

preheat oven to 350
line muffin pans with cupcake papers ( I used the tulip papers)

1 Cup unsalted butter
1 Cup sugar
2 Tsp vanilla
2 eggs
3/4 Tsp baking soda
3/4 Tsp baking powder
3/4 Tsp cream of tarter
1-1/4 Cup sour cream
2-1/4 Cups flour

1/2 Cup sugar and 1 TBSP cinnamon mixed together for rolling

  • Cream the butter and sugar until soft.  Add the vanilla.  Add the eggs one at a time and mix until each is incorporated.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and cream of tarter.
  • Add the flour mixture and the sour cream alternately to the egg-butter mixture in the additions.  Start with the flour and end with the flour.  Scrape the bowl occasionally.
  • Using an ice cream scoop, scoop out muffin batter one at a time and drop into a shallow bowl filled with the cinnamon sugar mixture.  Place muffin into the muffin paper.  Depending on the size of your ims, you should get about 12 muffins.  
  • Bake 25 minutes at 350 or until golden brown.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Diner style food

I love diner style food!  My favorite "blue plate special" is
not just any old meatloaf, but the kind like
Mom used to make.
A thick slice was topped with buttery mashed potatoes, French fried onions and green onions.
I people even eat meatloaf anymore?  I recently dug out the recipe that
is sure-fire, everyone loves will even it.  THAT is what we will
have for dinner tonight...and tomorrow meatloaf sandwiches for lunch.

Just in case you would like to try this out...I will share the recipe.

Combine: 2 eggs beaten
8 oz tomato sauce
3/4 cup cracker crumbs
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1/4 green pepper, finely chopped
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 t. salt
1/2 t pepper
Add: 1-1/2 lbs ground beef
Mix well and shape into a loaf.
Place in a 9 X 5 loaf pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour

now for the best part...don't skip this
Combine 1/2 cup catsup
2 t mustard
2 T brown sugar..
Pour over meatloaf and bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes.

Monday, October 10, 2011 and glass

I suppose on a rainy day, it seems a little pointless to talk about the bright sunshine pouring through the glistening windows....however, I  just have to tell you about this 
glass cleaner that works!...really works with no streaks
...for just pennies!
I have tried many glass cleaners - commercial and homemade both but this bottle of homemade wonder is 
my top choice for sure!

here is the "formula"
2 quarts of water
1 pint of rubbing alcohol
2 tablespoons of Prell shampoo
 (i found the Prell at Rosauers)

Friday, October 7, 2011

HOMEMADE laundry soap

The laundry is folded and put away....smells wonderful.  Today was the day to try out the HOMEMADE LAUNDRY SOAP. 
It works great!...I love it!  Why, oh why, did I not do this sooner.  Think of the money we would have saved!!!  This costs just pennies per load.

I chose powdered laundry soap just because I prefer it.  However, you can also make liquid laundry soap.  These products are all okay to use in the High Energy machines.

Powdered Laundry Soap
mix together...
(all available at Wal-Mart in the laundry section)
3 Cups Borax
2 Cups Baking Soda
2 Cups Washing Soda
2 Cups Fels Naptha (or Ivory) Bar soap
 (I grated this in my food processor.
Use 2 TBSP. per load
I put this great smelling concoction in a crock sitting on top of my washer.  BONUS...great smelling laundry area.

If you prefer Liquid Laundry Soap...
2 Cups Washing Soda
1 Cup Borax
1 Cup Citric Acid
Fill 5 gallon bucket 1/2 full with warm water.  Dissolve Washing Soda and Borax in water by
stirring thoroughly.  
Fill to about 2 inches from top then add citric acid, stirring again.  
Use 1 cup per load.
(I haven't tried this one)

Maybe tomorrow...
 we will talk about making something to easily 
make your windows dazzle.  thanks for reading!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Back to the basics....

Know what this is?....not blue frosting.

HOMEMADE soft know, the stuff you clean your sinks with.  

In the year and a half we spent at the Cancer Center with Eric, I did an abundance of reading about what the chemicals we have in our homes do to our bodies and our environment. 
SO...I have gone 
back to the basics and am using HOMEMADE cleaning products.

What is not to love about this? 
 It works and am even saving money - lots of it.  

Want to know how to make this soft scrub that really does do its job?

put 1/2 cup or so of baking soda in a small bowl, and add enough liquid Dawn soap to make it the consistency of frosting.  That is it....simple.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

just peachy...

The peaches are at their prime....but evidently I am not.  

This morning I thought I will just can a few jars of peaches...oh my goodness, what a mess.  I even had to mop the floor that had already been clean.  It quickly came to me why I had not canned peaches for a long time.  

When we lived in the orchard, it was so easy. We did it like we did so many things...FAMILY STYLE....assembly line with lots of fun and laughter AND it was OUTSIDE. mess.
 And..each jar contained not only yummy peaches but a great memory of fun.

I think we had better savor these few jars because it won't be happening again.  This summer we will just eat our way through fresh peach season and I am sure I can find a terrific bargain on canned peaches for winter.

 Anyone need a couple of blue speckled very used caners?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Paper the bazaar

Nadine and I had a wonderful time "peddling paper blessings" at the Women's Century Club bazaar on Saturday.  The weather was hot...but the turn out was good and we were quite happy with our "success".

One of my very favorites though was a delightful little 100 Year old lady named Margaret Keys who had a table and was selling her published book, by a local author.  The Hat Lady 
She was fun to be with....colorfully dressed in bright orange hat and dress, black shoes and white ankle socks.  During the show, she got tired so simply laid down under her table and took a nap.  That must be at least part of the secret of her longevity.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Joy in His presence

"You will show me
the way
of life,
granting me the
of Your presence
and the 
of living with 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

So amazing....

When we can't find the words to pray or don't know how or what to pray, the Holy spirit prays for us.  Every pain we feel, every tear we shed, every groan we make becomes a prayer that
God hears and understands. 
God feels our pain, experiences our struggles, and is slowly, steadily, healing our broken heart. 
Isn't that amazing!

"In the same way the Spirit helps us in our weakness.  We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself interccedes for us with groans that words cannot express.  And he who searches our hearts know the mind of the Sprit because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will."  -Romans 8:26-27-

Monday, June 20, 2011

walking the path of trust...

As you walk the path of trust you will experience situations that simply defy explanation.  When you look back, after the fact, you could never have figured out a better plan.  At the time it seemed strange, mysterious...even illogical.  Let me assure you, that's God working.  Things will happen that seem to be totally contradictory, but these are God's arrangements.  It was a wonderful day when I finally realized I don't have to explain or defend the will of God.  My job is simply to obey it. Bedside Blessings...Charles Swindoll
Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

There are times...

"There are times when you are awake and sense the coming day hovering just beyond the edge of the world. Your heartbeat quickens anticipating the blinding brightness of it, grasping its awesome possibility. You await the first rays of dawn, feeling that God must have whispered something in your ear just before you roused from sleep. You can hear the voice, not quite the words, but you feel, you know with everything in you, that a promise has been made. The dark night of your soul is fading and dawn will soon arrive." Lisa Wingate
i like this...God's promises are so real.

Friday, March 4, 2011

what?...six days have passed?

Yikes - it has been six days since I have posted on my "daily sharing".  Here are a couple of the cards that I have made in my "quiet" time.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


"Hope is a word I love.  Hope keeps you going when things don't look so good.  Hope is the only thing left at times.  I love it that God tells us not to lose hope.  If we keep hope alive in our souls, we shall reap in due season.  When we can't see past the darkness, we can always have hope.  Isn't it great to know that there are seasons to our lives?" Terry Jones POINT OF GRACE

During our season of life this past year we couldn't see past the darkness as we stood by watching our son, Eric fight his battle with Lymphoma.  An entire year of darkness...but the one thing we clung to was HOPE.
Hope that we would be able to read the news that he just posted.

 Sunday, February 27, 2011

Released from the transplant team.

Friday, Feb 25th I was officially released from the Bone Marrow Transplant Team and referred back to the care of my Oncologist who I will see on Monday. Will also be off the main steroid drug by next Wed. Still on home IV's for one hour per day so it will be at least another week or two before they pull the central line from chest. I feel great, with basically a clean bill of health! (yet still closely monitored).

Posted by Eric Dover at 1:01 PM
All we can say is... thank You Father!


By the way...want to see what bone marrow looks like?
 Here is a picture.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Grandma Camp...marshmallows on a stick

Just in case you can't tell
these cute little invitations are supposed to be marshmallows on a stick. I have to figure out how to successfully mail them.  It is always a treat to have any of our grandkids come,,,,so we plan great adventures.  Maybe I will share with you some of the fun things we are going to make at Grandma Camp.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

In Hot Water...literally

I started water for a bubble bath....then decided to go take a quick look at the computer while the tub was filling.  I have great concentration powers so got engrossed in something that the computer had to offer.  I have no idea how much time had gone by before I remembered the filling tub but it felt like a LOT.  I leapt up and with Sam barking wildly behind me ,flew down the hall, fully expecting to slosh through water and bubbles to get the water turned off.  The bathroom was a SIGHT TO BEHOLD.   The water was almost to the top of the tub...the bubbles almost the to window sill.  There was no more hot water but as  I allowed myself to sink to my neck in that glorious smelling, hot bath water, I couldn't help but think how much HOT WATER I would have been in if Ihadn't made it back to the tub before it that would be real HOT WATER!  There probably is a moral to this story - a life lesson to be learned - maybe something about sticking with a task,  or not succombing to the distractions life has to offer - or live in the moment.  At any rate, I "enjoyed the moment" in that hot water.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

thinking of you card

bet you thought I had forgotten...

forgotten about today's post.  My day just didn't go quite like I had planned...I had the unexpected BLESSING of spending a good portion of the day with a CREATIVE, INSPIRATIONAL, FUN TO BE WITH friend.  The to-do list went by the way side for sure!
We played.  I am so very thankful for friendships.

"Relationships create the fabric of our lives. They are the fibers that weave all things together." Eden Froust

Monday, February 21, 2011

Not just a card...but a gift

In a time of texts, emails, cell phones... a mailed, hand written note to someone becomes a gift.  Not just a card ...but a gift.

Who is God placing on your heart that could use "this gift" from you today? 
One person can make all the difference.  That one person is YOU.

Handmade Cards....6 for $20.00

Leave a comment on this blog...and I will send you a
FREE handmade card.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Has it REALLY been a whole year?

Blog, tell me it is't so!  According to the date, it has been a whole year since I have posted anything.....a whole year of UP and DOWN.  I have lots to tell you but the most important thing is Eric is Cancer-free.  What a beautiful miracle.

I created a brand new look for my blog....let me know how you like it. I plan to post pictures of the creative things I am working on.  Perhaps even, offer some of them for sale.  Might even pick a follower and gift them...sort of a "pay it forward" so...keep checking in and let me hear from you.