Wednesday, December 29, 2010

He's the Fariest of Ten Thousand to My Soul

William Booth was a minister in 1865 concerned  with the poor and homeless in London's East End.  During his ministry in 1878, people began to leave their old ways of life and join the "Lord's Army."  "The Salvation Army" became the name for this new ministry.  When the ministry spread to Salisbury, it was not received very well.  Workers in the Army were mistreated and hit by bricks and eggs when they preached.  A builder living in Salisbury, Charles Fry, came to the rescue offering protection for the preachers.  He and his three sons fought off the offenders.  They also played music for the ministry and drew crowds for the preachers.  Thus was born the Salvation Army Brass Band.  A few years later, Fry wrote, "The Lily of the Valley," a popular song played by modern day "Army workers." 
I have found a friend in Jesus.  He's everything to me.  He's the fairest of ten thousand to my soul; The Lily of the Valley, in Him alone I see; All I need to cleanse and make me fully whole. 
In sorrow He's my comfort, in trouble He's my stay.  He tells me every care on Him to roll;  He's the Lily of the Valley, the Bright and Morning Star; He's the fairest of ten thousand to my soul.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

All Because the Organ Was Broken

Another Christmas carol that I adore is from the Austrian Alps, "Silent Night."  This carol was born out of misfortune.  It seems the new church of St. Nicholas in the Austrian Alps was suddenly without a working organ on the night of the 1818 Christmas Eve music program.  The church priest, Joseph Mohr, quickly wrote the song to be sung without an organ.  The song was sung that Christmas Eve as a duet, and later its fame spread throughout the Austrian Alps.  It was even sung before the King and Queen!
The carol relays the story of Christ's birth including the shepherds' meeting with the angel, the "glories" streaming from heaven, and the "wondrous star" as a leading light.  It ends by proclaiming Jesus' birth as the "dawn of redeeming grace."  What a wonderful thought that our own redemption today began on that "silent night" over 2,000 years ago. 
The information about these hymns comes from a book I am reviewing called, "Then Sings My Soul," by Robert J. Morgan.  It contains 150 stories about favorite Christmas, Easter, and other Christian hymns that have been sung for hundreds of years.   I will be adding more reviews of favorite hymns in the future so please check back. 

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Written By the Angels

It's beginning to sound a lot like Christmas!  In stores, on the radio, in homes and churches around the world old familiar carols written long ago by forgotten authors still ring out filling the air with their melodious sounds.  One of my favorite carols was actually partly composed by the Angels themselves.  Angels We Have Heard on High is a French carol with an unknown human author.  The chorus, however, has it's origin in the heavenly realm.  It was sung by the Angels in a sudden and joyous response to the news of Jesus' birth: 

" And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace, good will toward men."   Luke 2:14 KJV.

The carol uses the Latin words, "Gloria, inexcelsis Deo" in the chorus.  Gloria  means "glory," and in excelsis means "in the highest," while Deo means "God." 

What better way to praise God for His son than to sing the very song the Angels sang on the night of Jesus' birth! 
 Victorian Christmas Angels Pinback Button
Victorian Christmas Gift Tags

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Wild at Art

Hey Yall and Merry Christmas! 
I found this beautiful painting by Gail over at dreamskyart, and I wanted to share it with you.  Gail paints a variety of subjects including this wolf with the captivating eyes and a stunning horse with his "flaming mane."  Please go over to her Etsy shop and check it out.  You can also visit her blog for more art at

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Old Christmas Greetings

I just love old Christmas postcards, especially ones with family and children.  Thought I would share some of my findings with you during the month of December.  Please check back often for more.
To download, click on image to enlarge, then right-click to save.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Winner of My Super Christmas Giveaway!

Congratulations to Leticia of Ms. Bingles Vintage Christmas!  She won my Super Christmas Giveaway and will be receiving three "buttons" with her shop or blog name/image!  

I appreciate all the sweet people who entered.  You left such nice comments.  Thanks for supporting this giveaway!  God bless.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Super Christmas Giveaway Ending Tomorrow!

Hey Ya'll!  Don't forget my Super Christmas Giveaway is ending tomorrow!  You still have time to enter.  Just scroll down and follow the simple rules.  Thanks and have a very Merry Christmas!

Monday, November 22, 2010

I Won, I Won!

This is my first blog giveaway win!  I won the Shabby Lane Shops Tuesday's Treasures on November 16, and I received the box of goodies today!  So many lovelies!  Thank you Shabby Lane!
                       Cute Gingerbread Soap and Gingerbread cookie cutter (with the recipe)!
                       Adorable Postcards from B. Catherine Designs
       I love these sweet gift tags and the beautiful cottage star ornament from one of my favorite shops, Marionberry Cottage!
       I also received 3 of the Shabby Lane Shops Magazines, and of course, the Shabby Lane Shops Catalog so I can see all the other goodies I would like to order! 
       Now folks, if I can win, ANYONE can win!  So go over to Shabby Lane Shops and first of all, check out all the amazing shops and goodies, and then register to win!  Hurry, tomorrow is Tuesday and time for another giveaway! 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Super Christmas Giveaway

My first personal Christmas Giveaway is here!

Having a button to wear advertising your Etsy shop or Blog is such a nice touch when selling your items at a craft show or just shopping around town!  It brings instant attention to your shop!  Or, pull out your pocket mirror featuring your shop name and be ready to answer questions about your crafts!  Post a magnet on your refrigerator for family and friends to see!  And you can have all three for FREE!

                This Christmas Giveaway includes three items:  One pinback button, one magnet, and one pocket/purse mirror, all featuring your Etsy shop or Blog image and name.  The Giveaway will run from November 14 until December 1, 2010, 6:00 pm Central Standard time.  You can have up to 8 entries. 

Here's how to enter:

1.  Become one of my followers and leave a comment telling me you are a follower (even if you already are a follower, just leave a comment and tell me) for one entry.
2.  Come back again during the week and leave another comment for another entry.
3.  Grab my button and place it on your blog with a link back here for a third entry.
4.  Post a blog about this giveaway and leave a comment with a link telling me you did for a fourth entry.
5.  Visit my Etsy shop and tell me what item you like for a fifth entry.
6.  Visit my daughter's Mary Kay site and tell me what item you like for a sixth entry.
7.  Buy something from my or my daughter's site for 2 additional entries.
Good luck!

Them 'Ol Cotton Fields Back Home

                                                      The cotton is ready for pickin'!
                        I don't know why, but there's something so soothing and stirring to me when I see the fields full of cotton.  Guess this is Florida's "snow fields."  It also remindes me of hard-working people of old who lived off the land and built this country with Christian values. 

I was looking through some old recipes of my mother's and found a little book with some of her handwritten recipes.  I thought how special it would be to have a magnet with her handwritten recipes for pie crusts and homemade bread, especially during the holidays to remind me of her and her love of family.  These will be nice to share with family guests at Thanksgiving and Christmas too!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Two Festivals in Two Weekends!

The last two Saturdays my daughter, granddaughters, and I took time out and enjoyed a couple of local festivals.  The first one was over in Alabama at the Elberta Sausage Festival, and the second one was down at our old neighborhood, so it was like going home.  Thought I would share a few of the pictures.

             I thought these crochet purses were so lovely!  An older lady, Ms. Hall, crocheted each one and sewed them by hand. 
         If you are interested in purchasing one, please email me, and I will send you her email address.


 Of course at both festivals, the girls had to ride!

                                          A new friend!


Monday, November 1, 2010

Market Monday

Hey Yall!  I have just joined Market Monday and encourage all of yall to go check it out!  There is a ton of cottage style, vintage, and just plain fancy sites to shop for Christmas!  I have added new Christmas buttons, mirrors, and magnets to my Etsy shop selection for Market Monday, so when you order a "Your Choice" listing, you can add any button images from my blog as well as my shop!  More Christmas goodies to come! 

   Vintage images can be made into pinback buttons, mirrors, or magnets for instant Christmas charm!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Focus on the Beauty

Hello all and happy Thursday!  I just had to share this beautiful picture of the approaching evening.  It reminds me to focus on the beauty in everyday things, because as we know, whatever we focus on increases!  I hope you find beauty this evening and in each coming day. 
 Our front yard.

       I will be listing some Christmas Giveaways during the next few days, so please stop back by and enter!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

No Soap on a Rope for Christmas!

Have you ever opened your stocking or a package on Christmas morning only to find that smelly old boring Soap-on-a-Rope from a well-meaning relative?  Now, not to be ungrateful, but come on, weren't we  all hoping for something a little more special?  Something more like these elegant mirrors?


When I found these images of vintage labels, I knew I had to make them into mirrors!  I had no idea what the words meant, other than "Violettes," but I was pretty sure they were French.    Now, since speaking French down here on the farm is about as useless as a sidesaddle on a boar hog, I went in search of someone to interpret the labels for me.  I didn't have to search long, because my friend, Trishia, over at French Kissed, popped into my mind.  She told me that "Savon Fin" means "Fine Soap," and "Savon Surfin" means "Superfine Soap," and that the labels and soaps had been created by the Remy Soap Factory of Paris.  That helped beaucoup (a lot)! 

So, if you're wanting to get that certain someone a special little gift or stocking stuffer that won't be disappointing, try one or two of these "fin" mirrors!  So elegant and a lot more useful than the 'ol soap-on-a-rope!

Merci beaucoup for stopping by!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thanks for Stopping By!

I'm so glad you came by!  Sit down, rest, and have a cup of coffee!  We'll chat awhile and then go out to the hen house and gather you up a baker's dozen! 

                                         Enjoy and come back again!

Alphabe-Thursday--D is for Decorating for Christmas on the Farm!

The letter "D" is for "Decorating for Christmas on the Farm!"  Okay, it's a little early, but with all the pretty Christmas decorations that are beginning to appear in stores, it's easy to be tempted!  So, as a little early decoration, Cottonfieldfarm just listed several new Christmas buttons and magnets!  These little 2.25" pins are great to wear on your lapel, scarf, hat, or purse for an instant "Decoration" for the Christmas season!  Stick the magnets on your refrigerator for instant Christmas decoration in your kitchen! 
Pinback Buttons or Magnets!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Yard Eggs, Fresh Bread, and Grandchildren!

(There's a recipe for Old Amish Whole Wheat Bread coming at the tail-end of this tale)!

What a Saturday full of blessings!  Saturday morning started with an early morning trip out to the chicken pen to feed the ladies.  As always, Hattie (so named because of her beautiful black and brown feathers that would look gorgeous on a hat) flew up to meet me when I opened the door to the pen.  I quickly threw the feed to the corner to keep from getting attacked by seven more hungry fowl.  While the ladies were occupied, I grabbed the water dish and brought it outside to clean it.  Since the ladies like to walk through the water dish, it was quite dirty.  I returned it to the pen, and came back around and stuck the hose through the chicken wire into the water dish and turned it on. 
     That job done, I glanced up and saw that my husband had raked up several piles of pine straw, which I needed to add to my front flower garden.  Might as well do it while I was thinking about it.  I piled all the straw into my garden cart and started back to the house.  As I passed the chicken pen, I realized I had forgotten to turn off the water, and of course, it had overflowed the dish, creating a mud bath even a pig would envy. 
     After finishing the front garden, I got cleaned up and got everything ready to make bread.  I come from a long line of breadmakers and have several favorite recipes, including my grandmother's recipe that was passed down to my mother and then to my sister and me.  I decided I would use the old Amish recipe for whole wheat bread that I have used many times since it turns out so well.  I added the yeast to warm water and then began measuring out the honey and molassas to add to the rest of the water and butter.  When I reached for the flour, I remembered I had forgotten to buy wheat flour (is there a trend here, or what?).  Goodness gracious, I can't make whole wheat bread without whole wheat flour, and I can't make white bread with honey and molassas!  Oh well, what did I have to lose?  I continued the process using white flour and finally put the dough to bed, covering it snuggly to keep out any drafts. 
     Around noon, my two special, energetic granddaughters came over.  The youngest, Lanie, was carried in by my daughter, fast asleep.  Lillie (3 1/2 years old) followed but went straight to the "time-out" chair and sat down.   Hmmm...what have I gotten myself into?  After explaining the reason for the time-out (basically not minding Mommy), and sufficient time-out time passed, my daughter left to run some errands. 
     The rest of the afternoon went well, and finally it was time for the second feeding of the ladies.  Lillie and Lanie love to feed the chickens with Grammy.  They both climbed into the wagon, and I pulled them out to the pen.  Since I had to gather the eggs this time, and both girls were barefooted, I gave them the cans of feed to throw through the chicken wire while I went in and got the eggs.  Only six eggs, and after that nice mud bath!  Oh well, I was still glad for the six.  I sat the basket of eggs down just outside the pen door and joined the girls. As they enjoyed feeding and watching the chickens, I enjoyed watching the girls have fun.  When time to return to the house and put the bread in the oven, I went to retrieve the eggs.  I rounded the corner just in time to see my food-obsessed beagle, Buck, grab his second egg, break it, and eat it!  At this rate, my farm-fresh yard eggs will only cost two bucks a piece. 
     Back at the house, I put the bread in the oven.  The girls and I decided we would cook breakfast for supper to eat with the hot bread.  Together we stirred up the day's egg harvest with a few added from yesterday.  My husband and daughter both arrived just in time to enjoy the aroma of hot bread coming out of the oven.  The "Wheatless Whole-Wheat" bread turned out wonderfully!  We sat down to enjoy a supper of fresh yard-eggs, hot bread, and the company of our special grandchildren.  What else could we want?

                             Amish Whole Wheat Bread
2 packages dry yeast                            1/2 cup honey
4 cups warm water                                2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter, softened                        6 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup molasses                                   4-5 cups white flour
     Dissolve yeast in half of the warm water.  Combine butter, molasses, honey, salt, and rest of the warm together in a sauce pan.  Heat to lukewarm.  Add yeast mixture and mix well.  Pour liquid into a large mixing bowl with 2 cups of flour.  Mix with electric mixer about 2 minutes (I added the electric mixer.  The Amish do not use electricity).  Add another 2 cups of flour, mixing well with mixer.  Then continue adding remainder flour a cup at a time, mixing with a wooden spoon until you have a smooth dough.  Turn onto a floured surface and knead for about 8-10 minutes.  Place into greased bowl, turning once to grease top.  Let rise until double.  Punch down, cover, and let rise another hour or so.  Punch down again.  Divide dough into four sections.  Let rest for about 10 minutes while you grease the pans.  Shape dough into loaves and place into greased pans, turning once to grease tops.  Prick loaves with a fork about 4 or 5 times to release any air bubbles.  Cover and let rise about an hour.  Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes.  I cover the loaves with little "tents" of foil the first 25 minutes to prevent the outside from browning too much. 

Okay, by Monday evening the ladies had redeemed themselves!
Thanks, Girls!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

So Many Nice People Out There!

Hey Folks!
Every time I go blog hopping, I find so many nice people!  So much sharing and friendliness goes on out there!  After a rough week, I came in here to see what's going on, and found some very nice goodies that...yes...Lynette...made me smile!  First of all, Lynette of Crazed Minds sent me an email to let me know she was going to share the "extra cuppa coffee" I sent her.  So I hopped over to her blog, and goodness gracious, she not only is offering the "extra cup" as a giveaway (she has such a big heart, doesn't she?), she also shared some very nice comments about several wonderful people who had made her smile!  So nice to hear good news and share the smiles!  Head on over to Lynette's and get in on the goodies she has to offer!  She has so many giveaways going on and so easy to enter!  You'll be sure to leave with a smile!
Then, my friend Trishia over at French Kissed received the One Lovely Blog Award I sent her, and now she is passing it on to her friend Dorith in Brazil!  Along with that, she shared with us the link to Dorith's site.  And you gotta go check it out!  I went over, and I don't know what she was saying, but oh my, what beautiful pictures and artwork!  The site is full of flying birds, butterflies, flowers, and even dancing mushrooms!  Certainly made me smile!

So, if you're in need of a few extra smiles this week, go and check out these two sites, and you will be in for some special treats!  Enjoy the beauty and enter those giveaways! 
Thanks Lynette and Trishia for sharing the love and smiles!

This evening I had to come back in here and add a P.S:  I discovered two other very lovely ladies' kind remarks!  I found that Sueberry from A Very Merry Christmas Store and Ms. Bingles Vintage Christmas had both left some very nice remarks about cottonfieldfarm!  Thanks to all of you for your thoughtfulness!  Please visit these blogs; you will be in for a variety of special treats!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

UPrinting Business Card Giveaway Has Ended!

Hey Folks!  The UPrinting Giveaway has officially ended, and....
the winner is....

                                     Angel Jacklyn!! 

Congratulations, Angel!  I will be sending your email to UPrinting, and they will contact you shortly! 

Thank you all who entered my very first giveaway!  Please check back for more free giveaways coming soon! 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Bloggerette Sorority

What a beautiful Sisterhood!  Come join for great parties, creative ideas, great decor, and fun, fun, fun, and all with some really great blogger sisters!  Connect with sister bloggers who share such beautiful creativity with each other! many blogs....and so little time....!  Grab the Sister in the Bloggerette Sorority button, FAST! 

Review of God’s Promises for Women of Faith, by Women of Faith, Thomas Nelson, Publisher.

God’s Promises for Women of Faith is a little pocket-size devotional book full of scripture concerning God’s promises and encouragement.  It is broken down into twelve main headings with four to six sub-headings.  It includes topics like, “God’s Plan for Women,” “God Teaches Women to Walk in His Word,” “ Dynamic Women of Faith,”  and God’s Plan of Salvation.”  Since it is written strictly from scripture, it is a great resource to have on hand when particular problems or struggles arise, or for simply daily readings for spiritual growth and encouragement. 
I admit I am a little confused about the title, because the scriptures contained in this book are not gender-specific.  This book could easily be,   “God’s Promises for People of Faith.”  The section on “Dynamic Women of Faith” is the only part that I felt was directly for women. 
I would recommend this book for daily devotions or for a nice gift book for a friend who is struggling with daily challenges or for a new Christian. 

I was provided a complementary copy of this book from the publisher through  The review is my opinion of the book.  I was not required to write a positive review, only my true opinion.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the
Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. 

Monday, September 20, 2010

My Very First Blog Award!


This award was presented to me by Amanda at Fairy Good Mommy  She's a very giving person and has a wonderful blog!  Thanks so much, Amanda!

Here are the rules  for accepting this award. 

1) Post this award on your blog along with the name of the person who presented you with the award, and a link to their blog.

2) Pay it forward to 15 other bloggers that you enjoy or have newly discovered.

3) Contact the blog owners and let them know they have been chosen to receive this award.

It was very hard to pick only 15 followers to receive this award!  I want to thank all of my followers for providing such special and interesting blogs!
The 15 winners of the award are:
Okay it was very difficult choosing just 15!  My list is not conclusive nor in any particular order!  There are so many wonderful, entertaining blogs out there! 

UPrinting Business Giveaway One Week Left!

Hey Folks!  Only one more week to enter the UPrinting 250 Business Card Giveaway!  The entries are very low, so you have a good chance to win!  The Giveaway ends on Monday, September 27, at 6:00 p.m., so get your entries in! 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Free Giveaway to ALL my Followers! Story Time For Me!

Hello Everyone!  I am hosting a new giveaway from Story Time For Me!  I am so excited because everyone, all my followers, can receive 2 free stories! 

Story Time For Me is a literary website featuring children's storybooks for toddlers and early elementary students.  The stories are full of rich, colorful, animated characters that your child will immediately love.  Each children's story  is narrated by professional narrators and is accompanied by sound effects  which capture children's attention and keep them focused on the story. 

I have tried this program in my classroom with some of my struggling students, and have had great success.  One particular student who has difficulty staying focused during reading class, was so interested in the story that he didn't want to stop reading when it was time to go home.  He wanted to make sure he would get to finish the story the following day. 

At home I shared the stories with my 3 1/2 year old granddaughter.  She loved them and wanted to keep playing the stories over and over. 

Story Time For Me helps improve students' reading skills in many different ways.  The narrator models fluency and proper expression when reading the sentences.  Since words and phrases are highlighted as they are read, students focus on the words, learning new vocabulary as they read along.  After  students have read with the narrator, they feel more confident in reading the story alone, which fosters a feeling of success. 

To receive your two free stories and see the benefits for yourself, you have two options.  In the first option, you receive two free stories to enjoy with your children.  The second options gives you the opportunity to receive 10 additional free stories. 

Option 1:  To receive 2 free stories:  Email with the following in the subject line:    "2 Books:  Referred by
Then in the body of the email add your first and last name, email address, your child's first name and birth date (if you have more than one child, send the name/birthday of the child most likely to use the stories the most).  You will receive an email confirmation from within one business day.  Please be sure to add the email to your address book so that you will be sure to receive  the code for your two free stories. 
That's all there is to it, and nothing to buy!  Just pick out the two free stories you would like and start enjoying!
Option 2:  Refer 5 of your friends or relatives that have children ages 1-8 who would like to receive two free stories.  Then:
1.  "like" Story Time For Me on facebook here:
2.  Make a facebook post on your wall encouraging your friends to check out Story Time For Me and to take advantage of the 2 free stories.
3.  In order to count for the 5 referrals, the five friends/relatives must actually sign up for the 2 free stories following the rules in Option 1 (at no cost to them). 
4.  Send Andrew a private message on his facebook here:
telling him the names and email addresses of the five friends/relatives who signed up, as well as your full name and email address to receive your extra 10 free stories.

Remember, this is not a contest to enter and see if you win.  ALL of you automatically "win" the two free stories!  So give it a try and enjoy reading with your child!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Shabby Vanity Blog Makeover Giveaway

Hey eveyone!  The Shabby Vanity is giving away a free blog makeover!  Click on the button on the right and go check her out! 
She does awesome work!  Hurry, though, the giveaway ends on Monday, September 20!

Monday, September 6, 2010

UPrinting's Cool Business Cards Giveaway!

                   Great UPrinting Business Cards Giveaway!
          Your chance to win die cut business cards prints! Designer Cards, blogger cards and so much more… From marketing materials to personal cards, business cards have developed from the plain boring to a more modern and rounded corners, square cards and slim cards.


                                      Giveaway Prize:
250 Die Cut Business Cards for One (1) Winner

2 x 3.5”, 2 x 2” (square card) or 1.75 x 3.5” (slim card)

Die cutting options available: Rounded Corners, Leaf, Rounded One-Corner, Half-Circle Side, Circle

Paper Type: 14pt Cardstock Gloss, Matte, or High Gloss; 13pt Cardstock Uncoated

Color: 4Color Front, Blank Back; 4Color Front, Black Back; 4Color Both Sides

Limited to US residents only 18 years old and above.  Giveaway ends on September 27, 2010.

   I will not receive any money for this giveaway.  I will  be receiving 250 Die Cut Business Cards from for hosting this giveaway.

                                 Please leave a comment for each entry with your email in at least one comment so I can contact you if you win.  If all of your entries cannot be verified as completed, your entry will be removed.  This is my first giveaway, so the rules are very easy:

                                                  MANDETORY ENTRY:
1.  Go to UPrinting and look around at all their wonderful products.
    Then let me know something you saw that interested you:        Mandetory: 1 entry.

                                                      EXTRA ENTRIES:
2.  Follow my blog on Google Connect and leave me a comment telling me you are following: 2 entries.
3.  Blog about this giveaway on your blog, and send me the link where you posted:  3 entries.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


HALLOWEEN FREEBIE!  I have included for your creating endeavors a NEW Vintage Postcard!  Just scroll down and then right-click on the image and save.  Happy Creating!

I would like to say a big THANK YOU to Madeline at Shabby Vanity for helping me so much with my blog!  Check her out...she is awesome! 

ALSO, check out Shelly's Mary Kay site for out of this world "Back to School" bargains!

Hey yall....please check out this eloquent vintage silver giveaway from The Lazy Peacock at:
Lots of goodies here!

Sunday, August 29, 2010


One full week of school successfully behind us…only 15 more to go until Christmas break…

The first week wasn’t too bad. Actually, it was very good. Most of the students didn’t really wake up until Thursday. Hopefully, they learned some things. I know I did.

On Monday during our Bible lesson I was teaching about the challenge of living up to God’s standards. As an example, I related an incident that happened to me that morning. When I was getting my coffee, I used the last of the cream in the creamer bowl. Knowing my husband would be wanting coffee when he got up, I reasoned that since he had much more time in the morning than I had, he could refill the creamer bowl (I hate refilling the creamer bowl). Suddenly, the words, “God’s Standards” flashed into my mind. Bummer. I reached down in the cabinet and retrieved the jar of creamer powder, and filled that creamer bowl.

As I told the story to the students, I stressed that it’s the LITTLE THINGS that trip us up sometimes. Putting others first is not always what we want to do; but if we are trying to live up to God’s standards, we will make the effort, even in the everyday little things.

Bible is the last period of the day, and by that time in the afternoon, most of the students were dozing off or staring glassy-eyed into space. A little frustrated that they weren’t hanging on my every word, I figured it was time to wind up the lesson and get ready to go home.

The following day as we were lining up for lunch, one of the boys,
who had been “staring off” during the previous day’s Bible lesson, started telling me about letting his brother borrow one of his favorite books.

“Uh huh,” I absent-mindedly murmured, still trying to get the line out the door to lunch.

As he proceeded out the door, he turned to me and said, “You know, Mrs. P., it was one of those “Little Things” you talked about.”

LESSONS LEARNED: Children hear what we say even when they’re “not paying attention!” And, Children really do want to do what is right.

August is almost over! Apple pickin’ time and Halloween are just around the corner! I have never embraced the pagan beliefs for which Halloween represents. However, I do like the innocent, traditional fun of children dressing up in cute costumes and enjoying a little “Trick or Treating” around the neighborhood. Therefore, I am offering a free Halloween image for you to use in your creative endeavors. Just right-click to save.

Also, please check out the “Fairy Good Mommy” link to see all the exciting Halloween giveaways for your chance to win some very creative Halloween treats!

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Life is full of endings and new beginnings: One season ends, the next one begins; a relationship ends, leaving room for the start of a new one; supper ends, dessert begins (unless you realize how short life is and decide to eat dessert first); and so it goes.

August always brings a realization that summer, with its lazy, carefree days, is fast coming to a close; and another new, sometimes hectic, school year is about to begin. No more slow summer mornings, enjoying coffee on the back porch, greeted by heavenly blue morning glories, breathing in the sweet honeysuckle and the fresh promises of a new day. No more piddling in the garden; no more leisurely lunches sipping southern-sweet tea by the pool; and no more designing and creating at all hours of the day or night.

No, in August, any designing or creation is now focused on my classroom, preparing for the arrival of a new batch of second graders, full of new promises and new goals for the coming year. The mornings will be greeted with little heavenly faces, rather than blue morning glories. Coffee breaks and leisurely lunches give way to spilled milk, forgotten lunch money, and choking down a PB&J while opening Slim Jims and juice bottles.

Though I’m always sad to see summer end, August does bring with it some nice beginnings. The temperature drops to the low 90’s, humidity a mere 89%, and afternoon rain showers bring relief to the now brown stick-flowers in the forgotten garden.

Seriously, though, as the routine of school begins, structure returns to my life, and I begin to focus on my students with their needs and goals. The responsibility of teaching them and helping to shape their lives toward service to God is as awesome as it is exciting. Watching them light up when subtraction finally makes sense, or seeing their smile when they successfully sound out a word truly makes the end of summer seem less of a loss.

August brings other new beginnings too: A new grade level, new friendships, and all those shiny, new school supplies. It’s a kind of new year of sorts, a time to reassess goals, implement new strategies, develop new ideas, try new projects. It brings the awareness that fall is just around the corner, the hope of cooler temperatures, festivals, craft shows, and before we know it, Thanksgiving.

This week has been spent re-orienting myself to a daily schedule, hard work, and a focus outside of myself. Next week, when the students come back, I will be ready with a renewed spirit, a clean classroom, and great possibilities to begin this new school year.

Reflecting on all the new beginnings that August brings makes saying good-bye to summer a little easier---that and the fact that I realized we only have sixteen weeks until Christmas vacation!