Tuesday, August 4, 2015

What I Learned in July

what we learned in July

July was a big month in the scheme of things - we went to Florida on vacation taking two of our daughters and the twins with us, Jim turned 60, and I got my first iPhone.

Whew! It's a good thing every month is not big.

Here is some of what I learned:

1. Do not drive straight through to Florida with 13 month old twins. Just don't do it. Especially don't do it on the way there AND the way back. In the interest of fair and accurate reporting, I must add that the twins rode in their mom's car, not mine. But I really felt for them. I mean ... all that whining ...

2. Do not take twins thrift store shopping. They won't enjoy it, and you won't enjoy it.

3. I cannot be trusted to keep up with my own camera.  I thought I lost it when we went to Clearwater to the fireworks on July 4. I thought it had fallen out of the car when we were out shopping. It was hard to set that thought aside and enjoy the rest of the day. I did get something out of the evening, though, and wrote about it here. I got back at Mom's that night, found the camera, laying underneath mom's dining table tucked up on one of the chair cushions. (?) I then promptly misplaced it a couple days later and Janae ended up finding it for me in the floorboard of one of the cars.

Which brings me to the next thing I learned in July ...

4. iPhone cameras are better because you have them with you wherever you go. Here is one of my first iPhone pictures that I have shared (which actually was August 1, but why quibble on dates?):

A photo at dusk at a lake in Illinois.

5.  Jim's birthday happened while we were in Florida.  We did not make a big deal of him turning 60 but reserve the right to do it at 65. Or not. Because we are not big on celebrating with black balloons or gag gifts of Geritol and Hemorrhoid cream.  Hey, we are just thankful to be alive another year.

Plus, I will turn 60 in a few months myself and don't want the favor of an embarrassing party returned.

6. Speaking of revenge, I learned that although it is sometimes slow in coming, God does take care of things in His timing and in His own way. I'd tell you about it, but it is confidential information. Just know that He is on the throne, and He does take care of His own.

7. After a year of study, I concluded my Wednesday night bible studies on 1 and 2 Peter on July 15. I just feel a momentous occasion like that should be acknowledged.

8. Just so you know, I'm now on Instagram. You can find me there as "jerralea.' This may or may not be a good thing.

July was a month of  taking great photos and reading many thought-provoking articles and quotes. I can't share them all with you - it's already August and I haven't posted my July learnings yet - but I will share a couple with you. (You can find more on my weekly daybooks and Friday's Fave Fives.)

Worry is a sign that we are not yet convinced of our value to God.Barry Adams at Fatherheart.tv

Ouch! Did that step on your toes like it did mine?

Also, a thought-provoking quote about clutter:

You should visit Mary at MaryOrganizes. She is running an organizing bootcamp at the moment.

And of course, a few July photos of my grands and my girls ...

What did you learn in July? I'd love to know! Leave a comment, or link up your own post at emily p freeman.com

Friday, July 31, 2015

F.F.F. - 07/31/15

I can't believe today is the last of July!

I'm thankful I participate in a great link-up that encourages us to stop and reflect on 5 highlights of our week. Otherwise, I'd never remember ...

1. This week Baylee learned to climb up on the sofa.  Now, that is not really great news as it now means there are additional ways for her to hurt herself, but hey! If you could see the pride on her cute little face, you'd have to smile. I haven't captured it by camera yet, but here is a photo I love of me and Baylee taken when we went to Florida.

2. Last Saturday, our church had a BBQ Fellowship followed by a concert by the Old Timer's Quartet. We had a blast and enjoyed hearing some of those old favorites.

3. Grapes are on sale this week - always a good thing! We are a family of grape-inators. We like to destroy a bowl of them.

4. A little girl from my full-time church had to be taken to the children's hospital and it looked as if she would have to have a liver biopsy. We had the prayer chain going and less than an hour later, we got the message the biopsy was cancelled and it was determined she had mono. It's so good to see everyone come together in prayer for someone else.

5.Quote of the week:  another favorite from my favorite:  Max Lucado


I don't know about you, but I needed more than one chance.

And so another week on the Journey has ended.  How did your week go?  Feel free to share by leaving a comment, or link up your own Friday's Fave Five post at Susanne's space, Living to Tell the Story.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

A Modern Day Lament

You're not the boss of me, Father Time.

Just because time is slipping away doesn't mean I can't still accomplish a lot.

I mean, look at all those who didn't even start on their life's work until later years. Moses didn't even come out of the desert until he was 80. My hero, Laura Ingalls Wilder, didn't write Little House on the Prairie until her mid 60's. Grandma Moses began painting at age 78.

So there is still time.

What's keeping me from meeting my goals, you ask? Is it too many distractions? Lack of focus? Fear? Unbelief? Lack of self-confidence?

Yes to all those ... and yet I think the biggest thing holding me back is over-committing. Because I think I should be able to do everything.

I'm at a standstill not only because of all the things I must do, but all the things I think I should do. 

And so the minutes and hours are sucked up by the timer and the ever-growing to-do list. Maybe the truth is ... I let Father Time be the boss of me.

Mama’s Losin’ It

This post was written in response to Writer's Workshop prompt #2. Write a post where the first and last sentence contain any form of the word “boss.” Because sometimes the pressure of the clock feels like bossiness.

What bosses you around?

If you'd like to link up a post of your own, visit Kat Bouska's blog, Mama's Losin' It!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Daybook: 07.27.15

For Today... the last Monday in July

Outside my window... rainy and humid! The heat index forecast for this afternoon and tomorrow is in the danger zone ... I'm already ready for fall.

I am thinking... "will I ever get the hang of using my new i-Phone?" I don't even know how to get Siri to talk to me yet ...

I am thankful... to have smart daughters who know how to help me with technology.

I am wearing... my favorite black, white and blue geometric print shift dress. It is so cool and comfortable.

I am wondering... what I should study for my next set of bible study lessons. I'm leaning towards the book of James.

I am reading... David Platt's "Counter Culture."

In my kitchen... I didn't get to make the Garlic Cheese Chicken last week after all, so it is on this week's menu notation instead. To see what I made instead of Garlic Cheese Chicken, check out under the Board Room prompt.

I was given a bunch of farm fresh eggs so this week will include deviled eggs and chopped eggs for salads. Does anyone have a favorite egg recipe they would like to share?

A favorite quote for today... "Though the church is winnowed down like Gideon's army ... don't overreact." Max Lucado,  "Fearless"

A peek into one of my days... here is a great photo of Siesta Key beach taken by my daughter on our recent trip:

One of my favorite things... kisses from my favorite twins.  We babysat with them last night and loved every minute of being with them.

From the board room... we were in the mood for Orange Chicken. I chose Jen's recipe from Balancing Beauty and Bedlam. (I've been following her for years.) It was definitely a keeper, and quick and easy.

Delicious Low Fat, Orange Chicken recipe. As good as the Restaurant!

Can't wait to make it again!

The Daybook is a concept created by Peggy Hostetler. You can link up your own daybook at her site, The Simple Woman's Blog.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Throwback Thursday

Today I'm sharing two pictures from July, 2013.

One is very appropriate for the things going on in July 2015, - well, really,  any time in modern life:

July 4, 2013, Kentucky

In the past two years, we've seen a lot ... riots in Ferguson, be-headings by Isis, the Boston Marathon Bombing, outbreak of Ebola ... I could go on and on.

Most of these situations have been ugly man-made messes created by hate.

Yet every morning and evening God shows up displaying His artistry and beauty and power. He alone knows how to create something from nothing. 

July 4, 2013, Kentucky

If He can paint a new picture every morning and evening working with what He created, don't you think He can take the ugliest mess we have and turn it into something beautiful?

After all, He is in the miracle-working business. The mind-blowing part? He invites us to work with Him. And the first step is to talk to Him. 

Mama’s Losin’ It


Writing Prompts For 07.23

1. Throwback Thursday: Choose a photo from a previous July and write a poem or a blog post.
2. Describe a memorable camping trip.
3. Ask your child what their favorite part of Summer has been and then write about it.
4. Write a blog post inspired by the word: last.
5.Photographs can turn a house into a home. Share a photograph that is not on your wall, but should be…if you weren’t so lazy about actually putting it there.
6. List your top 6 favorite summer moments so far.

I chose prompt #2. If you'd like to hare a TBT photo, feel free to link up at Kat Bouska's blog, Mama's Losin' It, or feel free to share in the comments.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Daybook: 07.20.15

For Today... Monday, July 20th

Outside my window...rainy skies and 82° - a reprieve from the stifling hot days of last week 

I am thankful... for the life I've been given. It can be messy and frustrating but the flashes of joy and contentment I receive in the midst of the messy make it all worthwhile.

I am wearing... a cute black and white side wrap tunic I found yard-saling, and a comfy pair of black cropped pants and my black and white gladiator sandals.

I am wondering... about a new unexpected turn of events, and what God's will is in all of this ...

I am reading... Sarah Loudin Thomas' "Until the Harvest."

In my garden... my flowers are growing and filling in my containers. Love it!

In my kitchen... are several packages of chicken. I'm going to freeze some, as well as make my favorite BBQ Broiled Chicken thighs. The girls want Garlic Cheese Chicken (I hope to post this recipe soon) and I want to try Lemon Butter Chicken. We will see what happens!

A favorite quote for today...

Be ordinary, 
boldly!... Sandi, at Dandelion Tea

A peek into one of my days...

4th of July Diva

and her cohort!

One of my favorite things... spending time with the babies.

From the board room... I thought I would share an organizational Pin that gets me excited:

Freezer Organization via A Bowl Full of Lemons
Photo and post via

Post Script:  a post I will be thinking about for a long time ....

What do your days look like?


The daybook is a concept created by Peggy Hostetler. You can link up your own daybook at her site, The Simple Woman's Blog.

Friday, July 17, 2015

F.F.F. - 07/17/15

I'm back!

I had to miss the last two Friday's Favorite Five linkups because, well, vacation! I missed everyone and it is good to get back in the groove of giving a shout-out to the blessings in everyday life.

1. I'm thankful when I got home from vacation to find my house intact. I had heard reports of how much rain and flooding our area had received via Facebook and the news.  I was a tad apprehensive!

2. I'm thankful that things have went well when I returned to work. Of course, I'm behind a little, but not near as much as I could be.

3. I'm thankful for a safe trip.  I've experienced a lot of car trouble on trips over the years so every time we go somewhere, I pray for protection.  Our cars did very well and we had no problems.

4. I'm thankful for old friends. I was able to visit with some childhood friends and mentors and thoroughly enjoyed it. Everyone was so kind!

5. I've said it before but I'll say it again - I'm thankful for a/c. Y'all, the midwest is having a heat wave! I'm so glad I don't have to be out in it but I live and work in air conditioned spaces. I'm also glad the heat hasn't killed my flowers!

No time for pics this week on the Journey, unfortunately. Hopefully next week will be back to normal. I hope all of you have a wonderful weekend.

If you would like to share your own FFF post and let us know 5 of your blessings, you can link up at Susanne's space, Living to Tell the Story.