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Whatcha Readin’ Wednesdays!

Whatcha Readin’ Wednesdays!

I so wanted to get this book loaded for last Wednesday, but I did not. I had to keep putting it down. Not because it was a bad book. No way. It was because I had to use another kleenex and get myself together. Folks, this book…oh my, this book. If you have parents (don’t we all?), or are close to your grandparents or aunts and uncles, then you have probably seen or are seeing them age. If you have unfortunately lost a parent, you will be able to identify with most, if not all, of this book. The title is As My Parents Age Reflections on Life, Love and Change by Cynthia Ruchti. 

Oh. My. Word!

I have been the caregiver or helped my husband be the caregiver for our four parents and my grandmother on my mom’s side. I can tell you that I found myself shaking my head throughout this book. The author has done a great job of sharing all about this season of life from not only her perspective, but the words and thoughts from many other people she spoke to about this subject. The book is very well put together. There is so much information in this 285 page book. So much encouragement, too.

Although I lost my mom the day after Thanksgiving in 2016, (the last of our parents), I found comfort in the words that Cynthia wrote. Where I was feeling guilt, I feel the burden lifting. Where I was angry at myself for things I should have said or done, I’m feeling grace. And peace. Though the book is written primarily for those going through this season of caregiving, I was still able to come away with many nuggets of wisdom from it. I think anyone going through their parents aging or who have gone through it will be blessed and encouraged by this book.

Take a look…I think I marked a lot of spots I want to remember or share with someone!

 

 

 

 

 

There are so many great points in the book, I know I won’t be giving too much away by sharing some of the comments that resonated with me, such as:

“Take a few moments now – the elusive ‘later’ grows more elusive as time passes – to consider how you and your parents would answer the question, ‘At this season of life, what matters most to us as individuals and as a family?'”

I can tell you from experience, when you wait “until the time is right” to have the discussion of what your parents’ wishes are, it could be too late. My dad died 16 days after turning 58 years old. We never had a chance to discuss what he wanted for his burial or memorial service. Because of that, I did persist with my mom and her mom until they conceded and made their funeral arrangements. However, we did not discuss what her wishes were if she would have a stroke at 71 years old and never went back to her condo. She lived almost eight years in a nursing home because she needed total care. I physically could not care for her, but that didn’t help keep the guilt away.

“Don’t cast me off in old age. Don’t abandon me when my strength is used up!” Psalm 71:9 (CEB) I made sure my grandma and then my mom knew they weren’t cast off though they were in the nursing home. Can you imagine the feeling of full life, then left alone in a facility? I witnessed many people in the home our parents were in that never had visitors. I had friends of my mom say they just couldn’t visit her anymore it made them so sad to see her like that. Yet, when two of our neighbors from where I grew up came to visit (which they did several times a year) it made my mom’s weeks…weeks! I would hear her tell me over and over about all the things they talked about. It’s not about us – it’s about them.

I so highly recommend this book to any of you who are breathing and have an aging parent or two, a grandparent, or even an aunt or uncle that is still around. This book is for you. It is such a helpful book on guiding you along this often long and difficult road of caregiving. Whether you are a full-time caregiver or your loved one is being cared for in a facility, this book encourages you in this heartbreaking but unavoidable season of our lives. Get one for yourself and maybe a sibling or friend going through this. I promise, this book delivers.

But you might want to include a box of tissues with the book.

Jus’ sayin!

Blessings,

 

 

 

If you would like to purchase a book or two, it is officially released as of this week! YAY! Please click below to order one from Amazon.

 

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for my honest review.

Affiliate Links: I do offer affiliate links to the products I recommend. Should you choose to buy through my link, I will receive a small commission which helps to pay for this site. I thank you for your support.

I Really Do Have A Serious Side, Really!

I’m out and about visiting in Blog Land again! Today, I’ve been asked by my friend Stephanie to share a bit about my struggle with Postpartum Depression. Cough-cough…yeah, yeah – I know it wasn’t just last year…or the year before that! But, I went through a really rotten Postpartum time – and I made it!

So, if I can encourage someone else, I will give everything I’ve got to do that. For the longest time right after our child was born, I didn’t have anyone to go to and that just made it that much harder. Yet I want everyone to know that you do need to find someone who can help or that understands. You’re worth it!

Come on over and check out Stephanie’s Blog–Girl of Grace! And while you’re at it, read a short excerpt of my Postpartum time.

Looking back at that time in my life, I can actually find a lot to be “Tickled Pink” about. But boy, when I was going through it – it sure didn’t feel “Tickled Pink”!

My question to all of you today…what story about when you first had your children (by birth or adoption) that makes you “Tickled Pink” about now,  but at the time was miserable?

C’mon share, here! Let’s all laugh about it together!

…and that’s all I have to say about that!

Tammy

Blessed Beyond Belief!

Oh my goodness, I am just so Tickled Pink today my Blog Friends!  I feel so blessed this evening by the goodness of God!  


God knew we would need earthly relationships and I have got to tell you that I have my basket full of wonderful women friends.  From the different activities I’ve been in through the years, high school friends, work friends, church friends, quilty girls, writer friends, etc. I feel blessed beyond measure. And since I was little, my Grandma Meade would tease me and tell others that “She knows no stranger”!  Yep, I’m that kinda girl.  If I’ve met you once, we will be friends for life. Well in my mind we will be!


Yet, this summer has been a weird and fun kind of summer with friends.  I know you’ve heard me speak of the writing/speaking conference I went to last summer and how I have gotten to know so many women there as well as many, many more through cyber coffee time!  This summer I did not go to She Speaks, which was last weekend, but rather have been able to follow along with the excitement through our private Facebook page.  Not quite the same, but a little connection none the same. I have felt a little out of sorts not being able to meet back up with some of the ladies I met there and over the year on Facebook.


Yet – I’ve been having a little She Speaks reunions along the way of my own since May!  I am so fortunate to have a fellow She Speaks friend not more than 30 minutes away AND I’m stoked to have her on my Peer Critique Group–(Hi, Kristy!).  She and I were able to meet up for an event at her church in May.  It was wonderful to see her again and fun to build that relationship even further.


Then the post I wrote about a couple weeks ago – you know the one, the one where I nearly lost my life!  Kimberly was also another She Speaks writer friend that I have gotten to know better over the year.  She also guest posted last fall here on Tickled Pink Tammy! That would make She Speaks reunion number 2.


Then there was today!  My writer friend, Krista, whom I met at She Speaks last year, was in my neck of the woods.  We had the joy of sitting in the huge, beautiful atrium of the hotel each morning after breakfast waiting for our sessions to begin. We talked and laughed with some of the other ladies and we had lots and lots of fun.  I saw on Facebook where she posted a photo of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and I quickly said—“Hey – you in Cleveland? You’re 40 minutes away from me!!”  Truth told – she was staying even closer than that.  Today, we met up and talked and talked while her kiddos played in our cool water fountain at the Riverfront here in Cuyahoga Falls!  She Speaks reunion number 3!


Two “PINK” girlies!





I ask you, what are your thoughts on relationships?  Do you have some old friends from groups or activities you were in that you love getting together with and talk and laugh until your tummies hurt?  Do you have some new relationships that are bringing your heart warm and fuzzy feelings?  Please leave me a comment below, I’d love to hear about your friends and the joy they bring to you!


As for me – I’m feeling “Blessed Beyond Belief” this summer!


…and that’s all I have to say about that!


Tammy



Anybody Want to Save Money at the Grocery Store?

Happy Monday, my dear Bloggity friends!  I’m excited to pop in here on my blog today to share a couple neat things with you.  As some of you know, I’m an avid book reader.  I’ve always got a book or two or five going all the time, seriously!  So, when my new friend, Kate Megill asked if any of us would like to read her book and then offer it as a giveaway, I was interested.  Once I found out what the book was about – I was all in.  I mean seriously, who doesn’t want to know how to cut their food budget these days?  Especially how they seem to keep creeping up and up, right?



When I saw the title of her book:  Cut It Out! How I Feed My Family of 10 for $500 a Month Without Coupons, well – I was really curious!  I may not have a family of 10 (although, true story…I did want nine children!), but I have always tried to be a frugal shopper.  Yet, I began to wonder – what could Kate teach me since we are now a household of two!  I’m not a huge fan of coupon cutting, so this was definitely up my alley.


After reading the book, I was excited that I still could learn a few tricks!  I was able to ask her a few more questions that the book brought to my mind, and I have included the interview with Kate below.  Plus, I did speak of a giveaway – so read to the end!

Tickled Pink:  What was your biggest challenge getting into this plan? 
Kate:  Actually, the biggest challenge was coming up with the 2 week menus. I really don’t like coming up with menus. I started keeping copies of the menus that I made each week until I had a stock of about 7 2-week menus. Then one day I sat down with my children and BEGGED them to help me create another 3 menus.
Then I had to go through the menus and mix up cheaper meals with more expensive ones so that I could afford those 2 weeks of meals.
TP:  You said you only use toilet paper as the only paper – what about kleenex?
K:  Good question! We generally use TP for our facial tissue needs. My family almost never gets sick. On the off-winter that we do get bad colds, I’ll bite the bullet and buy whatever facial tissue is on sale, generally spending less than $7 for 4 boxes.
TP:   Did you invest in a freezer to be able to keep a “frozen pantry” or do you just use your refrigerator one?
K:  When I first started, I used the freezer compartment of our fridge. I’d put everything into ziploc bags (that I washed and reused), freeze them flat and stack in labeled boxes is the little freezer. 
After awhile, when a friend and I spent a year making Once A Month  Cooking meals, another gal from our church gave us her chest freezer. It  has been a real help but not something that I necessarily would have sprung for on my own. 
TP:  Do you ever find that your list gets outdated really quickly because of the food costs constantly changing?
K:  Generally no. My Price Book really needs major updating once a year. There really is a regular ebb and flow to the sales at the stores, and I follow the sales. 
A couple of  years ago when the gas prices (and because of it, the food prices) started to skyrocket, I had to update my Price Book weekly. It meant I had to do a little more creative meal shifting. And I had to scour the sale flyers more carefully. But the gas prices evened out and the grocery prices began to drop and better sales came up. Also, Aldis added a whole new stock of foods that they carried and that helped significantly.
TP:  Do you make all things from scratch (pancake/waffle batter, maple syrup, bread, etc.)
K:  When I had a working wheat grinder, I made all my own bread. I could get grain from local farmers for very inexpensive and it was very cost effective. Now, I make bread infrequently because the whole wheat in the store is more expensive and slightly rancid,  having been ground months before. 
I make my own waffle batter, it is a very inexpensive recipe that I use. I do a combination of my own pancake batter and sometimes using Krusteze – which is quite inexpensive to use. 
I often make my own pancake syrup but if I can find a great sale, I’ll buy it instead.

TP:  Do you find that this has become so second nature, that you can’t imagine ever NOT shopping this way?!

K:  Absolutely! I pretty much carry my Price Book in my head and my menus are on my computer and I simply open them in order (the shopping list is already on my menu and I go through my pantry/fridge/freezer and cross of what I have) and double check the estimated cost of groceries to see if I have to swap out any meals. It takes me about 20 minutes a week to pull my menu together and finalize the shopping list.

 TP:  What do you want the readers to know about you most?

K:  That I am NOT a Super Mom. I am NOT an organized person (by nature) and that I tend to be on the lazy side.  I look for the fastest, easiest and least difficult way to do something and to keep it going. If I can do this, anyone can do it! 

Now, about that giveaway!!

Kate has graciously offered five of her eBooks for FREE for my readers!  For FREE!  So – here goes ladies, leave a comment below of why you could use this book to help you cut your grocery expenses by midnight on 7/29!  I will draw 5 names on July 30th.

If you miss the drawing, she will be having a special “Launch Party” where she will be giving you the opportunity to snag her eBook on sale!  From 7/30 to 8/3, her eBook will be $1.99 (the normal price is $3.99).  You can purchase the book through her her website!

Kate Megill has been feeding her family of 10 on a shoe-string for 27 years. Her children range from 10 to 25 years, and 6 of them are still at home. She and her college-professor husband have homeschooled all of them, and are enjoying watching the older ones leave the nest.
Kate is a follower of Jesus Christ. She has been mentoring women for over 30 years, both in person and on the CHFWeb (Christian Homeschooling Fellowship) online community.
Kate’s go-to meal is pasta with any of a variety of sauces she keeps on hand. Her favorite grocery store stock-up deals are 25-cent canned beans and veggies, and fresh sweet corn in the summertime.
Kate has also contributed to the e-book Apartment Gardening: A Practical Guide to Growing Vegetables in Small Places. She blogs at Teaching What Is Good following the Titus 2 model of older women teaching younger women.
You can find Kate on Twitter @teachwhatisgood and on Facebook /teachingwhatisgood and on Pinterest (although I’m just getting the hang of it) as /mrsp31wannabe. 





Check it out, friends!  I hope you take her up on her giveaway drawing!


…and that’s all I have to say about that!


Tammy

SURPRISE!

Have you ever had a plan to surprise someone? If so, isn’t it fun?  


I did this to my friend, Kimberly Rae, who was in Ohio this last week from her home in the Carolinas.  We both attended the Writer/Speaker Conference, She Speaks, last July.  We met through the She Facebooks private group and hit it off.  You’ve actually met her here on my blog before right here!  


When I found out she was going to be within 1-1/2 hours from my house, I told her we need to try to get together.  She agreed! We were to meet up on Wednesday for lunch, but it didn’t work out after all.  So, I made other plans…without her knowing what I was up to!! Hehehe!


Besides visiting family, she was giving a presentation at the local library about her three books regarding Human Trafficking, the newest one out this year!  I couldn’t make that, but – I found out that she would be doing a book signing at a coffee shop on Saturday morning!  Score!


All week long, I looked forward to meeting up with her.  Hubby decided to go along with me.  We left a little later than we wanted to, but we figured we could “make up time” on the turnpike.  Except for one (or many) things…orange barrels!  Yep, it’s summer in Ohio, which means orange barrel season – everywhere! Road work took up many miles, and of course we found a true law-abiding citizen!  C’mon lady – I gotta friend to catch!


I kept playing with my iPhone maps app that updates your miles and estimated time.  I would update, then panic as we seemed to be losing time.  Yikes!


We finally got off the turnpike.  The book signing was between 9-11, it was now 11:04.  I just kept hoping that she was so busy signing books that she would still be there.


As we came into the old downtown area, which is really nice, we spied the coffee shop on the corner.  My hubby saw that the light was turning red and said, “I’ll stop and you can jump out and go over to the coffee shop, then I will go find a place to park and join you.”


Well, my brain in panic mode hears, “There’s the coffee shop, jump out and run over before she leaves.”  I’m sure that’s what he meant, really.


As the car was slowing down, I literally opened the door, put my foot out toward the ground and realized – SHOOT – we’re moving, minor problem.  I waited for it to be moving “slower” and made my dash!


I came in, and saw that she was still there talking with someone.  There was an empty chair beside her, so I walked over and sat down.  Since we have never met in person, and my profile picture is old, she had no idea who was sitting beside her.  She turned and asked me if I wanted my hand painted with Henna?  I said, “No, do you know who I am?”  She shakes her head no, with a smile.  I said, “well I have pink on and I usually am known for being Tickled Pink.”


Now she knows!  She then exclaims, “Oh, you came!  I didn’t know you were coming!”


We had a lot of fun catching up.  My hubby and I got to meet her family and she then invited us to go up the street to a pizza place and have lunch with everyone.  It was such a blast!  And it was so much fun pulling off a big surprise!

Here we are underneath the poster for her event!
Have you ever pulled off a surprise for someone?  Whether it was a big event or just a surprise visit – I’d love to hear your story.

‘Cause – ya know…everybody can use a surprise to make them smile!

…and that’s all I have to say about that!

Tammy


THERE’S A PARTY GOING ON…DANCIN’ ON THE CEILING!!

Yes indeedy blog friends!  There is definitely a party going on right here.  Though I may not be exactly dancing on the ceiling, I am for sure…wait for it…TICKLED PINK! C’mon, you knew it was coming, didn’t you?

So what’s the party all about?  Can you make a guess?  Today is my anniversary.  Not my wedding anniversary – that was September when the ‘ol hubster and I celebrated 30 years of bliss…er, well married years!  No, the anniversary is of Tickled Pink Tammy being live and online to hang out with all of you!
Yessiree, one year ago today, I plunged into the world of the blogsphere.  It has been a fantastic year with you all and I have had so much fun learning.  Learning about this whole blog thingy, learning who I am as a writer and the special part has been learning about some of you.  Some of you comment on the blog and some of you have e-mailed me privately.  I appreciate both of them as I love talking to all of you.  Because, well, basically I just love to talk!  But the best thing for me is when YOU talk and I listen.  What you don’t realize is that I learn from you and it gives me more to write about!  TeeHeeHee!  Don’t worry, I will never, ever give names!  But I do not promise that I won’t share a funny story, after all, I’m always after a good laugh!  Hopefully you are to, as it sure makes the rough days a little less rough.  I have been known to bust out into a cackle in public places…alone!  Now that’s funny, because if you watch the faces of the people around you as you remember something that tickled you pink – it is so priceless.  Hmmm, maybe that should be something I add to the blog this year.  A section entitled…”Expressions of People Watching Me Crack Myself Up”.  You have to admit, that would be really good.  In fact, I’m laughing now, thinking of some of the faces of confused folks watching me this past year!  Yeah, I’m that silly!  Hey wait, since I always have my little PINK camera in my purse – wait – you don’t think I have a pink camera?  Looky here below…

And of course I carry it in a pink case from my daughter (yes, she contributes to the habit!) and it comes out of my PINK purse!   Would you expect anything else from me?

Oh my…I’m just laughing thinking that you must think I’ve lost my ever pinkin’ mind!

Anyway – I’m celebrating one year here at Tickled Pink Tammy and I want to express my gratitude to all of you who are my faithful followers.  Thank you.  Those of you who are new, welcome, I am very glad to have you along for the fun.

If you haven’t already subscribed to receive my blog posts to drop into your e-mail inbox, consider doing that.  I have quite a few that I do that for and love not missing any of the posts.  When I have forgotten to  subscribe to one of my favorites,  I find it is time consuming going back and trying to catch up on what I’ve missed! You don’t want to be outta the loop, ya know!

Don’t miss out on the laughter and encouragement for this thing we call life that I have in store for you in 2012.  I will be writing more encouraging and funny stories from my life as well as share some of the funny stories I’ve heard you tell.  I’m telling you, some of these may make you run for the little girl’s room you’ll be cracking up that bad!

So – sign up for the e-mail so you don’t miss a thing!  It’s going to be a hilarious twenty-twelve!

…and that’s all I have to say about that!

Tammy

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HUGE THANK YOU!

Greetings dear Bloggity Friends!

It’s Christmas Eve and I didn’t want to miss this opportunity to wish you all a Very Merry Christmas! I hope all of you have a wonderful Christmas Day with all the people you love the mostest!  As for me, I will be spending Christmas Day with my two favorite people in the world, my hubby, Larry (aka Blog Fodder) and our daughter, Kristen.  And I cannot forgot the princess of the house, our 4-1/2 pound yorkie, Toto, who is Miss Attitude all the way!

As 2011 winds down, I have been reflecting on my time here on the blog.  I have had a blast sharing funny stories with all of you.  I have had fun introducing you to some of the sweet ladies I’ve met through my Writer’s Conference last summer.  And most importantly, I have truly enjoyed spending time with all of you.  I really have appreciated the feedback you have given me telling me I’ve made you smile or even at times, “Tickled You Pink”!  Those of you who have written to me have blessed me a bunch!  Thank you!

Before you think this may be a farewell letter, don’t fret, I am so looking forward to writing more in 2012 as well as hopefully hearing from more of you!  I love writing here and I love hearing from you, too.

My prayer for all of you as we head into the new year is this:

May you find joy every day.  May that joy bring you a smile.  And may that smile bring laughter to your heart then through your vocal cords as you crack up at what the day brings you!  Why?  Because then people just wonder what the heck you are up to!  Just ask me how I know!

…and that’s all I have to say about that!

Merry Christmas and Happy 2012 Everyone!
Tammy

It’s Drawing Day!!

Yes, it is!  It is Drawing Day, here at Tickled Pink Tammy.  I only had two comments this week about re-gifting, so I’m thinking that most of you wouldn’t comment because 1) you can’t stand the whole re-gifting idea or 2) you don’t want to give a way your secret!

I put the two names into the bowl to draw a winner!  And the winner is….

Well, the funny thing happened.  Both of your names kept coming out of the bowl!  Imagine that! I kept drawing and both names were there.  So I’d do it again – and both names again. Oh, it could be that I put both of your names on the same slip of paper! Silly me!

So if Janice and Kimberly will e-mail me with which $10 Gift card you prefer (or if you like surprises, give me three choices!) and your address you would like it sent to, I’ll get to it promptly!

Congratulations, you two!

READY FOR CHRISTMAS?

What’s happening with you?  Are you all ready for Christmas?  Can you imagine that it is just a week and a half away?  Is it just me, or did it get here really fast this year.  I mean, I remember picking up a few things throughout the year like I usually do, but then all of a sudden it seemed like I was running out of time to get done what I wanted to get done off my to get done list!

Therefore, today’s post is a tad bit shorter than my normal windy self as I’m heading off to get more Christmas things crossed off my list!  And since I am sure all of you are super busy as well,  I wanted a short but sweet note off to you all…

May you all have the opportunity to sit and reflect on the true meaning of Christmas.  May you not get all tied up with “to do’s” that you miss out on the wonder of the season.

Merry Christmas to each and everyone of you and may you have a wonderful holiday with all your most favorite and deeply loved people all around you.  May your New Year be filled with health, happiness and just enough prosperity to keep the stress level at bay!

I also wanted to thank each and every one of you who have sent me e-mails, phoned me, subscribed to my blog, became a follower or left a comment here throughout this year.  I am approaching my one year anniversary of this blog and am blessed beyond belief from the amount of support and encouragement I have received from all of you.  I have set some big goals for the next year and I hope you’ll stick around to see what transpires!  Again, thank you from the bottom of my warmed heart for your support and encouragement!  You’re all the best!

I’ll be back soon with more funny stories to keep you smiling and some encouragement to keep your head above water!

…and that’s all I have to say about that!

Tammy

Something to Ponder from my Guest Today!

As we all prepare to gather around tables across America tomorrow, I want to stop and pray for each and everyone of you and tell you how thankful I am for you.  I am grateful for all of you who have become my followers and I have loved the responses you have sent to me privately or have commented on the bottom of blogposts.  Besides expressing my thankfulness for you, I pray that you will all have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day surrounded by people you love.  I will be cooking for my family and guests at noon.  I will then cook again and take food to our three parents in the nursing home for dinner.  It will be a full day surrounded by family and friends.  

I will be back soon with some fun stories about Black Friday…last year and the ones to come starting midnight on Thursday.  Oh yeah! I’m going with our daughter again this year!
I’ll tell more later! But until then…

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

And now…please enjoy my blog visit from my sweet friend, Jessica, from Texas.  I met her at my conference this summer.  I just love this girl!  She is writing some cool apps for kids. Her first one is “The Sounds of the Night”. I love it!  She has another one coming out really soon.  I can’t wait!

So without further ado, here’s Jessica…



Home
By: Jessica Kirkland



The bright yellow leaves swirled around as I set my pace. My feet began to move swiftly. I was running for the first time in many years. I had been building up to this run, walking 3-5 miles a day in hopes of running just one solitary mile. Despite the wind in my hair and the beauty of fall, I felt the tingling of my abdomen.


Dead nerves and scars.

The result of a triplet pregnancy and multiple surgeries before and after. It’s funny to not feel a piece of you that you always thought you’d have. It’s an odd sensation to feel your nerves try to come alive, only to have them go silent again. I’ve learned that there are two types of hurting people in this life:

Those who are numb, but desperately want to feel again. Those men and women who long to be whole on this side of Heaven. And those whose pain is so great, they long for numbness. They chase it and drown it with destructive behaviors and desperate thoughts. Those who have lost hard, felt unimaginable pain, and pray to be swept away to Jesus. 

I had picked a marker, a starting line and a finish line. 

I reached my designated finish line, but it wasn’t the real one. It was simply the minimal distance I told myself I could go.  

So, I kept running.

The path ahead was steep, but beautiful. I have never been much of a runner. Always mile-relay, the one-lap kind of girl, but never the long-distance track star. Always the girl who got to hand the baton off to someone who could finish faster and stronger. Someone with more courage and perseverance. My breathing labored as I reached the pinnacle of the hill. Yet, I was still not home. 

Life is a gift. For it is God who “gives breath and life and all things” according to Acts 17:25. We cannot chase yesterday and still move forward to tomorrow. Through numbness and pain, we can still see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. (Psalm 27:13)

believe. know that abundant life is within your grasp. It might be a steep climb, but keep going. Keep running to the pinnacle.

Two more sharp turns.

I prayed I could do it, despite the tingling and the lack of breath.

As the bright yellow leaves swirled around, I kept my pace. My feet moved slower, but I was still running. For the first time, in a very long time, my lips curled into a smile. 

I saw home. I saw the real finish line.

It stood cloaked in falling leaves and hovering trees. The driveway filled with a big blue suburban whose insides were cloaked in Kindergarten jackets, Happy meal wrappers, and car seats. 

My toes touched cement and I gave God glory; for breath and life and all things. 

I was home.



Bio:

Jessica Kirkland lives in Southeast Texas with her husband, Robb, and five-year-old triplets. She is the Founder of http://www.christianapps4kids.com, where she writes and creates interactive book apps that are Christ-centered. Jessica is an author and speaker whose greatest passion in life is to see young families grow deeper in their walk with God. When she isn’t writing, playing with her kids, or chasing her rebellious dog through the neighborhood, you can find her blogging on her personal blog Jessie’s House found at http://www.jessicakirkland.com









I hope you all enjoyed this blog visit.  Please check out her blog, listed above.  Also, for all my friends who are living Gluten-Free, you’ll want to read all about Jessica’s trials and triumphs on her Gluten experiences.

Blessings to you all!

…and that’s all I have to say about that!

Tammy


I Make the Best Lemon Meringue Pie!

No seriously, I do!  This is what I was told, no lying!  So, what does a girl do that is told, “Your Lemon Meringue Pie is the best I’ve ever had and looks the prettiest I have ever seen.  One with perfect peaks, browned just right”?  She never makes one ever again.

As all of you know, next Thursday is Thanksgiving.  Can you believe it?  That bad boy just came up on us really quick.

While doing all the planning for the day, as I always do the cooking for my family pretty much since 1986, hubster and I began talking dessert.  If it were up to me, it just wouldn’t happen, I could care less about dessert.  For hubby, there would be an issue with no dessert for Thanksgiving.  With our three parents in the nursing home, and all three deciding not to wear their false teeth, meal planning to take to the nursing home each holiday presents itself with problems.  The dessert is a big problem.  There are only six of us, so making a pie to suit everyone’s needs would mean making five different pies.  The daughter passes on any pie, so I wouldn’t need to make one for her.  My Mom and I like pumpkin and only my Father-in-Law might eat it.  Hubby will usually eat anything sweet – but draws the line at the pumpkin.  I even try to shame him into eating it saying “but it’s a vegetable, and it’s good for you”.  No such luck.  Then there’s my Mother-in-Law who reminds us all that she has to watch her “SHUga” (insert German accent here), because she’s diabetic.  While she’s watching her “SHUga”, she will eat any and all sweets that come into the room.  Though she will always make comments on how she doesn’t like that kind of pie, cake, etc.  Once everyone else is eating it, she’ll have her piece and often reach over and eat my Father-in-Law’s as well.  She’s such a sweet one (insert sarcasm here).

We have our menu down and we are back to the dessert issue.  We are discussing whether we should buy cheesecake slices (not Thanksgiving-y too me, but 6 choices of flavors per tray), or I should bake an apple crisp, or oh yum – a Pecan Pie.  We both say, “Yes.”  Then we realize – wait, they don’t wear their teeth, they can’t eat the nuts!  But—handy that I am—I decide that I could grind those suckers and it would make do!  Then the choco-holic hubby comes to my mind and I remember that I have somewhere in the archives a recipe for Chocolate Pecan Pie.  I say that out loud and a smile goes over his face.  Now we are talking!

Then it happens….he brings up the Best Lemon Meringue Pie.  “Why won’t you ever make me another Lemon Meringue Pie?”  I have to tell you, this had to have been some fantastic pie.  Can you guess when I made it?  Would it have been while I was going through cooking school as I got my diploma?  Nope.  Are you ready for this?  It was October 1982.  Yep, you read that right!  It was 1982 folks.  And the man still pines for that Best Ever Lemon Meringue Pie!  Here’s a photo of this masterpiece.  (Yes, he was so excited about it he took a photo and we STILL have it after all these years!   And yes, I was that small.  Once.)

So folks, I’m asking you these questions today.  What is YOUR favorite Thanksgiving dessert?  What is your family’s traditional dessert?  These are not always the same!!  Please comment below, I’d really love to hear what your plans are for dessert!

And if you think I’m digging for ideas for dessert next Thursday and the recipes….you would be absolutely correct!

…and that’s all I have to say about that!

Tammy