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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Blessing of Rain

I've been thinking about the wild fires that have been a major problem of late in North Carolina, Tennessee and Alabama.  Drought conditions have not helped.  There has been much prayer for rain.  Finally, there has been some rain in some areas, but more is needed.  Isn't it strange that we pray for rain at times and at other times we pray for it to stop!  "Rain, rain, go away!  Come again some other day!"  Today was not one of those days!  It was good to see rain today!

Today we finally got some rain!  Thank You, Lord!
 The storms of life are many.  Surviving the storms makes us appreciate the sunshine that much more.  But, sometimes we cause our spirit to become parched when we allow the "things" of life to slowly creep in and take over.  If we are not careful, those "things" will become like a wild fire out of control, consuming everything in its path, leaving behind misery and destruction and sometimes death.  That happens a LOT when we forget our priorities.....Jesus, Others, You.....JOY.  We have no joy when Jesus is not first!  Ah!  But, isn't it sweet when we confess our sinfulness to the Lord and He rains His sweet forgiveness into our souls to wash away the muck and the mire, just like that sweet rain we had today!  Thank You, Lord!  Thank You for blessing me when I don't deserve it!  Thank You for hearing my cries for mercy and washing me clean with Your forgiveness!  Yes, it is a blessed rain!

This morning Tim wanted to take a package to the mail box for his mother.  He had taken church bulletins to give to her when we gathered for Thanksgiving last week and then forgot to give them to her!  So, I drove him since he is restricted from driving, at least until Thursday when he has another follow-up appointment with the skin graft doctor.  I will be glad when I can hang up my keys and he can take over the driving again!  I enjoy being the passenger!  :D  I also enjoy him opening my passenger door for me.  But, he doesn't do that when I'm in the driver's seat!

While we were out, we stopped at our two local Goodwills.  We haven't been to them in two weeks because of revival and Thanksgiving travels.  I found a few crafting items, hair rollers, some aluminum (disposable) loaf pans and a book by Beverly Lewis that was not on my list.  That's because the copyright date is 2016.  The price tag was still on the back.....$15.99.  I paid $1.25 for it!  I love a great book bargain!  :D

Tim had an appointment with the audiologist today to get his hearing aid for his right ear that the church is buying for him.  When we got there, she apologized that we were going to have to wait because the computers were down.  So, we just took out our phones and took care of business!  What in the world did we ever do without these portable phones?!
A selfie while waiting.
It was almost 3 when we got home, so I started working on dinner.  The doctor ordered chili (Dr. Day, that is!) and what the doctor orders, the doctor gets!  :D  When I make chili, I use a vegetarian chili recipe, but I add meat.  The more meat, the better the doctor likes it!  So, for my large pan (6 or 8 quarts maybe?) I use a pound of ground turkey and a pound of sausage.  I fry them together with the onion, green pepper, celery and garlic.  Then I add the tomatoes, beans and spices.

Tim also likes macaroni in the chili.  I had some left over from some mac and cheese that our neighbor fixed and gave to us, so I threw that in.  It really wasn't enough, however.  YUM!  It was delicious!  We had chili at Jessica's house the day I ended up getting sick (Thursday).  But, I think I just ate too much!  We all had a BIG bowl full AND several pieces of garlic toast!  Garlic toast is a definite weakness of mine!  Actually, any warm, buttery bread is a weakness of mine!  Anyway, tonight I ate a small portion (about 1/2 bowl) and only one piece of garlic bread.  No nausea.....so far!  :D
Nice and chunky!
Here's the ingredients for the recipe.  I think maybe I have shared it before, but here it is again, just in case:

1 small onion, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
3/4 cup celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cans diced tomatoes, with liquid
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro (I use dried)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 cans kidney or pintos, rinsed and drained (I use 1 can chili beans and 1 can black beans.  I rinse the black beans but not the chili beans.)
1 1/2 cups water (more if you desire a thinner soup)
Jalapeno pepper to taste (optional)
sour cream (optional)

When we get tired of eating it after a couple of days, I freeze the leftovers.

Here's a picture I got when the sun was almost set.  The rain clouds were beginning to clear out.  The temperature was 67 at one point today while we were out and about.  Today was 70% chance of rain and tomorrow is 80% I believe!  I'm praying for more rain!
The sky began to clear up at sunset.

Well, we never did make a vacation trip this year with me being sick a lot of the year.  Tonight we set dates to go.  The great thing is that we will only be paying for one night because we will be using reward points we have saved from our credit card!

Marco Island, Florida is the destination.  Below Naples on the Gulf side.  We will do day trips and activities from there.


Sunset Cove Resort where we will be staying.

We had almost 110,000 points to "spend."  Each night at this resort was going to "cost" us 35,000 points.  So we were only going to get 3 nights for free and would have to pay more than $300 cash for the 4th night.  But there was also an option to "spend" 25,000 points + $59.50 cash per night.  So we opted to do that because that means we only spend $238 cash for the 4th night.

We have been saving as much "extra" money as possible!  Monetary gifts given to us on birthdays, mother's/father's day, Christmas, love gifts from the church and different people, etc.  So, we plan to rent a car to save wear and tear on our old vehicles.

We will stop at my sister's house on the way back and go to church with her before heading back home.  We are praying for warmer weather than we had when we were down there in 2015!  And I'm especially praying I don't get sick while down there!  That would be a bummer for sure!

Well, that's all for today!  Be blessed!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Family Times

Well, as quickly as it came, it went!  Time with the family.  Always hurried and too short.  Always too busy preparing, then cleaning up!  Never enough time to do all the visiting and catching up that you want to do.

We did have a couple of wonderful days.  Our oldest daughter and hubby hosted again this year in their new home.  Everyone had lots more room to spread out.  The weather was such that the kids played out most of the time.

Tim and I began the holiday Wednesday evening after church.  We had the car packed and ready to go and were on the road by 9:00 p.m.  Our first destination was the Holiday Inn in Beckley, WV.  It was a free stay that we earned for being with a rewards member for a year (we actually pay $49 a year for the membership, so I would say that is what our "free" stay actually cost us!)!  Not a bad deal!  I always sleep well in Holiday Inn beds.....except this night.  Since I was driving, I could not take my PMs like I usually do.  So, it was almost midnight before I got to take them.  Not good!  Let's just say that it was time to wake up about the same time I finally fell soundly asleep!

Tim is getting comfortable and watching a bit of TV before lights out.

We ate breakfast at the hotel and headed on our way to Jessica's.

Kim was up from Florida visiting friends, taking in the Ark Encounter and visiting with our brother Joe.  So, Jessica invited her to come, which she did and brought Joe with her.  It was wonderful to see them.  They arrived just a few minutes before we arrived.  So we were able to spend all day Thursday together.

Araya is shy for the camera, sometimes!

Small crowd for lunch Thursday.

Getting ready to teach Thad how to play Chinese Checkers.

Playing UNO, a favorite with everyone.

Playing Euchre and eating snacks.

The Brandenburg "kids" that don't have the opportunity to be together very often.  My sister, Kim.  My brother, Joe.  Kim is the baby at 56 years.  Joe is the middle child at 59.  I'm the oldest at 61.

Araya and papaw.  She couldn't understand why she couldn't sit on papaw's left side due to his surgery and skin grafting.

A selfie


Jessica, our oldest, and her hubby, Terry.

Sisters.

Another selfie.


Mamaw and Thad

The new, driving teen, Michael, and his mom.  Michael was the first to make me a grandma in 2001.  I thought I was too young to be a grandma until it happened and then I was ready!  :D

I ended up getting very nauseous later on in the day and went to bed soon after Kim and Joe left.  Took some nausea medicine, my PMs and was in bed around 8:30.  It took about an hour for the meds to kick in.  I felt better and was able to finally go to sleep.  I'll be so glad when the doctors can figure out what is going on with my stomach issues!

Friday was the actual Thanksgiving dinner for the Day side of the family.  It was loads of fun, even though it was busy and the time passed quickly!  I had to watch what I ate as I was still not feeling exactly up to par.  I think that is what I miss the most with the stomach issue.....enjoying TOO much food on the holidays!  :(

The pictures are not in any particular order.

Abby cuteness

Adalina loved racing the hot wheels down the stairs on the track.

Araya cuteness

Araya helping me with the mulled cider recipe.

Circle of prayer before we eat.

There were 21 people present which made for lots of tables and chairs.

Terry's mom and step dad (on the left) were able to share the day with us.

The tween and teen cousins (the oldest 2).

Beautiful tree.

Chit chatting before lunch.

Just a portion of the food.

Nice spread of food!

Tim's mom and sister.

Nat ended up sitting with Addy.  The other kids ended up sitting at the adult tables.



Tim with 2 of his 3 siblings, Jeff and Jennifer.

Jeff and Linda

Siblings and mom

Our family, minus Michael, who was entertaining his in-laws in Alabama.

We don't often get the pleasure of Nathanael hanging out with us.

Dick, Terry's step dad, Terry and his mom, Jeanne.


Brad and Elisabeth and their 3 children, Hannah, Abby and Ryan. 
Nathanael and Adalina.

Araya being shy.

Papaw with some of the grands before everyone arrived.

Araya with donut sugar on her nose giving me a "cheese" grin.

My love and me.

The mess at the bottom of the stairs after sending them all down the hot wheels track.

Abby and Thad cleaning up their part.  They played together all day.

The hosts with the mostest!

Love my girls.

Siblings.  Jessica will be 37 on Jan. 2.  Nat was 31 on June 20.  Elisabeth was 33 on Sept. 9.  Michael was 35 on June 9.

My beautiful girls.

My handsome son.



I think it's safe to say that we were NOT ready for this picture!  :D

A better picture of Liz's family.

Ryan and Chance.....trouble waiting to happen!  :D

Araya woke up sick and stood watching longingly as her cousins played outside.


Cute cousins.

Working on the track to run all the hot wheels down.

Lots of playing, chatting, joking, eating, pictures, loving and memories to hold onto.  Thank You, Lord, for Your blessings on me!