Saturday, August 29, 2009


Good morning to all of you sweeties out there!!

It's a beautiful morning here in central Florida,
and my day is just jam packed!!

Life happens, so I didn't get my flower
arrangements finished yesterday, but they
will be finished by tonight and I will post them
as soon as I can!!

Hope your day is full of the goodness of
the Lord, and that you will go out and
splash some of your joy around and be a
nuisance to the devil!!

I'll be back tonight!!

Hugs all around!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Feelin' Feverish

YAY!! I got the gift of a brand new day here
on good ol' planet earth!! If you're reading this that
means you did, too!! Thank you Lord!!


And today I just have to say that I have the
fever ya'll!! YEP, I'm a little woozy, and just can't
think quite straight, you know???


No, no.... Don't you flu here!!

I've got the FALL Fever!!!


When you come down with the fever, you
just have to start doing somethin'....light a
cinnamon or spice scented candle, put out
a fall leaf candy dish...c'mon...I know you get
the fever too!!!

So, when I came home the other day, feeling
a bit feverish and woozy from the "fall of it all"
I of course noticed that some of the stems in
my summer flower pockets were
really faded, and had lost their ZING!!
So I just had to do something!!!


I will transform these pretty little
pockets into their FALL splendor!!

So, since we're trying to save $$ and pay off
some bills, I shopped at home!

NEVER pay full price for silk flowers!! These
lovelies were purchased at a minimum of
40 % off and some at 70 % off!

You can sign up to get flyers from Michael's and
JoAnn and they include coupons, plus they'll
email them to you. Also, you can usually go
to their websites and print some out as well!!

Let's see what I found!!

Ooooo Ahhhhh! Just look at these pretties!!

Oh and these, too!! They're anxious to
find their new home and smile and greet
all who enter!

If you haven't ever designed your own floral
arrangements, I really encourage you to! It's
quite satisfying! If you are doubting your ability
to pull it off (like I used to) get a book on it, or
do what I did and just start looking closely at
premade arrangements everywhere you go.
I have learned more this way.


I even went to this place called Floral Supply
Mart and just watched the floral designer do
her magic! That's how I learned to make stems
any length I desire like this:
These little wooden and wire picks come in
different lengths and can be found at WalMart,
Michael's, JoAnn etc. After I wrap the wire around,
I wrap some floral tape around it to
make it a bit more secure.


Then I add them and just "play" with it them
until they look just so!


Next I give it a test run in it's new home.
Hmmm...what do you think?

I think I need to shorten the stems of the
yellow thingys a bit, add some small splashes of red,
a couple more little yellow thingys,
and a bow of some sort!!


Well, ya know what that means?? I checked
my ribbon stash and didn't find what I need to
make these babies sing, so I am off and
armed with coupons to see what I can find!


I'll post the completed transformation tomorrow!!


Until then, ya'll be good, and spread some of
your sunshine around, ok?

Love and hugs,

Sunday, August 23, 2009

JOY For Our Journey~~Puddleduckin It

Hi Sweet Friends!!
Many of you are probably familiar with this
adorable and precocious little duck.
She is one of Beatrix Potter's creations. Oh
yes, she can find some mischief, but that is
not how I felt I related to her yesterday.
You see, I have been working on organizing
these piles of stuff that had been moved
around from other places I organized into
my bedroom. There was all manner of stuff like
memorabilia, craft supplies, paperwork,
and little annoying odds and ends that I have
no idea where to put!!
Well, it never seems to fail that as I sift through,
I stumble onto something that
causes me to reflect on things in the past.
Such was the case yesterday.
I found a photo taken at my sister's house
with my Dad and Mom, just a week before
my Mom drew in her last breath. I felt like I
had been punched in the stomach, and let
out a big sigh.
I've seen the picture often since that day,
and you would think that 5 years later I
might just be able to smile and put it
down. Quite the contrary. I recalled the
day that photo was snapped in detail.
Alzheimer's had taken so much away from
my Mom, but as I was kneeling next to her,
my arm on the arm of the chair, she spied
this pretty little turquoise bracelet I had on
that was just loaded with dangly beads.
She had a passion for jewelry, and especially
jewelry that had "motion" to it. As best as she
could, she reached over with her hand, moved
the beads with her finger, mumbled words
I couldn't understand,
and her face just beamed with JOY!
What an incredible delight it was that day
to see her half-mouthed smile and her face
light up, but as I was looking at her in this
photo yesterday, all I could do was cry and cry
some more. Oh how I love and miss my
I literally felt like I was in a puddle of tears. I
even had that thought and the next thought
of Jemima Puddleduck. I was smack in the
middle of a puddle of tears, just watching each one
splash and ripple in the water. I just wanted
to stay in the puddle and feel sad.
Then I began feeling like I couldn't stop
and was trying to
get a grip, you know?

That's when I remembered all the joy I saw
on my Mom's face that day. She was still
in there!! The Alzheimer's hadn't taken
all of her!!! My tears began to slow, and
I just savored the JOY! I mean I really
savored it. I held it close to me like a mother
holds her baby, and it warmed me from the
inside out.
I thank God for His wonderful blessing that
day; for giving me something I could take JOY
in even years after the loss of my Mom, and at
a time of such deep pain.
My friends, what a tender, loving, compassionate
God! He knows our needs so perfectly.
And He delights in meeting them, and showing
us how deeply He loves us!!
How Great A Joy!!
Praying today that the joy of the Lord will
be your strength, your reason to smile
and to praise His Holy Name!
Love you!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Do You Really Want to Know??

This is the river that Looking Glass Falls
flows into. So serene and lovely!
It really doesn't have anything to do with this
post, but I love it and thought I'd share it with
my friends!
Let's move on shall we??
I am typically a tag and award free blog, but
today I am making an exception since not one,
but two of my wonderful bloggy friends tagged
me with a "random things about me" tag!!
If you haven't met Kar and Nancy,
believe me, you are missing out!!
These two gals are fun and have so much
heart!! I hope you'll pop over and
introduce yourselves!! You'll love them!!
I am suppose to list 6 things, but ya'll
are going to have to hear 10.
Why? Because it's my blog and I can do
whatever I want to!! ;o)
Do You Really Want To Know???
1. I am the shortest in my family standing
at an incredible 5'2 1/2 ! Don't try
cracking on that 1/2 either!! I
need that and take it seriously! HA
2. I have wanted to visit Italy since I was a
3. I am a very amateur lampwork bead
artist. In other words...I make glass
4. We have 4 daughters, and I had 4 mis-
carriages. 4 more children yet to meet
in heaven!! How cool is that?!!
5. I love making jewelry, but wear very little
of it myself.
6. I am a khaki and denim gal who puts ease
and comfort above "style", but do have fun
with getting snazzy once in awhile!
7. You may already know this, but I LOVE almost
anything outdoors!! The beach, canoeing,
kayaking, swimming, hiking, bike riding
picnics, you name it!!
9. I tend to be a perfectionist especially with
what I create and can be my own
worst enemy at times because of it!
10. I am a forgiven, saved by God's grace,
through faith, blessed child of God,
and am
committed to living my life in obedience to
Him and His inerrant Word, The Holy Bible.
Do I hear an AMEN???!!!
Love ya'll!! Take the tag and share some
random things with us on your next post!!
Oh and one more thing!!
I cry at EVERYTHING!!!
Commercials, happy news, sad news,
greeting name it!!
Just thought you needed to know that!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Yes, yes, I am sooooo ready, aren't you?
For what? For FALL silly!!
You know, changing leaves, the aroma of
fresh baked pies, pine cones, acorns,
overflowing cornucopias, and the wonderful
coolness of it all!!
And I can't leave out the season of
thanks-giving!! Hearts aglow with thanks
for all of our abundant blessings!!
Don't you just feel it coming?
I do even here in Florida!!
Well, I got these great fall idea photos
from none other than Martha, of course!
Only she would come up with Pumpkin Praline
Pecan Pie, Harvest Minestrone, and fall leaves
dangling from the ceiling!! Martha and
Better Homes and Garden (
always have such delightful ideas.
I'll show more as fall nears.
Hope this helps build your anticipa-a-tion!
Many of you will get the first snap of fall
while I'm out at the beach!!
(which is mighty fine with me!)
Have a wonderful Wednesday,
and know how much I appreciate the
loveliness each of you add to my days!
Love and Hugs,

Monday, August 17, 2009

JOY For Our Journey~~Gushing Over!

A lovely picture isn't it? I like to think that
a waterfall in all of it's cascading, unstoppable
beauty and force is what God had in His mind
when He cried out:
"If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.
He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said,
out of his heart will flow rivers of living water."
John 7:37-38
Jesus doesn't desire us to dry up spiritually and be
like a parched, barren land that has
nothing to offer. So He says
"Come to me and drink". Drink in all of
Me...and then our hearts will overflow with living
water that He will use to nourish us and all
of those He has placed in our lives.

In other words...
We will literally gush over, with His lovely,
unrestrained power, and impact our
world for Christ!!
I don't know about you, but I sure love the idea
of gushing over for God!! JOY of JOYS!!

Can it really get any better than that?
Go...go now and drink Him all in!!!
And then go gush out onto someone, ok?
Love ya!!!
This photo is of Looking Glass Falls in the Pisgah
Forest in the Smoky Mountains.
Feel free to grab this photo for your blog!!
And thank you so much for loving and praying
all over Deby!! I know she was blessed!!
Ya'll ROCK!! Seriously!!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Yo! Yo!!

Oh she did it this time!! She got me all a flutter
with her fun little yoyos and now I think I may have
Dun...dun...dun...YOYO FEVER!! OH NO!! I'm
sure there will be projects galore!! Maybe she and I
will have a YOYO race!! Oh maybe that's just taking
it a bit too far!! Or maybe not!

The she I am referring to is no other than my sweet
friend Deby over at Apples of Gold! Let me tell you,
this gal has a heart of gold!! She is preparing to have
surgery tomorrow and I hope you all will pop over
to let her know that you will pray that all goes well
for her!!

Love and Hugs, Deb'! You're being bathed in prayer!!

JOY For Our Journey tomorrow!!

Have a wonderful evening!!
Love ya,


Friday, August 14, 2009

Sun, Sand, Surf!

Guess you know by now that I am a true blue,
bonafied, 100% through and through beach bum!!
There is just something about the beach...the warm
salt air, the sand between your toes, the waves greeting
the shore with a roar, people chillin' out and enjoying
a beautiful day, adorable little sandpipers trotting
around in search of a snack... is just so much better after a day at the
beach. Here's a little scenery from our day!!
I can't get enough of these little guys!!
Click photo for close-up

This guy is out here everytime we go to the beach.
He stands on this surfboard-like thingy and paddles
around beyond where the waves break. He must love

Kristina (left) and Maddy boogie boarding!! Normally
I am out there with them, but believe it or not the
water is a mere 70 degrees. A tad chilly to be in it for
too long!! Not for them of course!

Our grandy Emily having buckets of fun!!

Life just doesn't get any better than lunch
at the beach! A PBJ break for Em as she
munches and watches the other girls

I LOVE photos of little
children from the back, and
couldn't resist snapping this one.
Too cute, huh?
Gotta love that hat!!

Hope your weekend is just BEACHY!!

Feel free to grab the Life's A Beach graphic
at the
top if you'd like to!! I made it just for
Love ya'll,

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Grab 'Ems!!

I have just started to enjoy playing around
with different graphic elements and LOVE it!!

From time to time I will be offering these graphics
for your personal non-commercial use.

All you have to do is right click the image to save

This is the first Grab 'Em I am offering.
Hope you like it! There will be more to come!

I have to go put on my suit and head to the
beach!! I know...I's a tough life here!

I'm sure I'll have some fun photos to share!!

Have a great day and make someone smile!!
Love ya,

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Meet the Allen Clan!! Consider Yourself Warned!!

As most of you know, my family reunion was a
few short weeks ago up in the lovely Smoky
Family came from all over the U.S. and does so
every other year to honor the memory and legacy
of our parents.
This is where it all begins!! The Allen Clan siblings!!
(In the interest of time, please hold your applause
until the end! Thank You!)

From the right we are in birth order:
Steve and Randy fraternal twins, Cindy, Me,
Doug and Craig
We produced (but don't always claim) all of this:

There are 52 of us pictured and 4 weren't able to
join in the madness. As you can see we are
experiencing a baby boom! So many to cuddle!!

Our oldest Sam and her hubby Kris, and grandy Emily

Daddy and # 2 & #3 daughters,
Mallory and Brittany

Daddy and his harem!! Kristina, our niece is in
front of me. Don't you feel for this poor man with
all of these hormonal girls to deal with!! (truth be known...
he loves it!!)

Me and my wonderful sis. We are closer than close!
OK now that the intros are over, come share some
Allen Clan Corn with me!!

Steve was Ryan Seacrest, and did a great job!

My niece Tammy and her daughter sang a song
Tammy wrote for her brother's not yet born first
child. It was precious!!

My nephew Danny also wrote and sang a song for
his soon to be born son. He's very talented and
composed a wonderful song for my Mom.
Would you get a load of these 3?? They are my sister
Cindy, and my sister-in-laws Cindy and Pam. They
were all three on the same majorette squad in high
school. Cindy and Pam are married to my twin brothers
who at the same time were twin drum majors!! Some
rich history there!!
So they decided to dust off their old batons and put
together a routine for Idol. I must say that with only
a couple of practices they did a great job!! (In other one was harmed during their show!!)

My sis! She looks almost exactly as she did at
those games in high school!! She's the best!

Now here we have the "Chinettes" This all started
because me and my sis would lay like this on our
beds and totally crack each other up by talking and
singing songs upside down. It IS hilarious...don't make
fun...that's just not nice!!

This is Maddy and the face on her chin! She had
a blast doing this. They sang "Someday" by Sugar Ray
If you and your kids have never done this you need
to. It is so funny!!
We were seriously all in stitches!!

Did any of you see the movie Napoleon Dynamite?
Well, our Brittany (pictured above) had tremendous
pressure put on her to do her version of his famous
dance scene. Check it out on youtube if you haven't
seen it. Britt can do it perfectly, and with her Dad's glasses
on she looks like his sister.
In this picture she is trying to get into character.
Well, she decided she couldn't. Nope. No Napoleon.
The crowd began to chant...BIRD...BIRD...BIRD...WE
WANT BIRD!!! (Yes that is her nickname...long story)
She finally gave in and performed.
Believe me when I tell you that some of my family
were actually on the floor laughing hysterically!!

This is when the judges were commenting
Unfortunately no one got a good photo of
Randy, Simon and Paula.

This is my sister-in-law Deanna, my nephew Hunter,
and my cousin's daughter Becca. They donned the
pink boas and did karaoke to Car Wash!! My brother
Doug is doing sound in the background and smiling at
Deanna, his wife. They got the crowd energized!

At the end of the evening, no winner was chosen.
But we sure had fun!!
Sadly, though, my performance, which was post-idol,
was not captured on film. Deanna and I karaokeed
(probably not a word) to "I will Survive" We did hand
motions and really rocked it, but alas, no photos.
So there you have it. Give yourself a pat on the back
if you made it this far,
feel free to clap now!!
More fun with the Allen Clan yet to come!! I know you
just can't wait!
Have a great day!
Love ya'll!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

JOY For Our Journey~~These Days

Do you ever wake up in the morning wanting to pull
the covers back over your head because of all the JUNK
that is going on in our world these days?? I know
have mornings like that!!
It seems that we can't even log onto the computer
without having some kind of sordid news hit us in
the face. With all of the JUNK that characterizes
life on this planet these days, let alone all the trials
of our daily lives, it might seem as if the evil is beginning
to triumph, and we feel defeated and just
hand over our joy.
Well, my sweet friends, let me assure you that the
evil will NEVER be triumphant, because God has
already won the victory!!
When His only son Jesus died on the cross for the sins of
mankind, the VICTORY was won!!! Those who are in Him
should be able to hold fast to His promises and to the JOY
that comes from knowing the truth!
When confronted with the ills of this world, we must
look to Him and to His Word to renew our hope and
restore our joy, and then go share it with someone who
needs some help!!
These things I have spoken to you, that in
Me you may
have peace. In the world you will
have tribulation; but
be of good cheer,
I have overcome the world. John 16:33
Praying that you all will be so filled with the joy of the
Lord that it will just spill out to everyone around you!!
Have a victorious week!!
Love you,
P.S. Sorry for the appearance of this post
The blogger formatter is nutty! I've tried to fix it
several times!!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Family Reunion in the Smokies Part 1


Great News!! My car and computer are fixed!! It
did cost another $300 to fix the car, but oh well!
At least we have the money to pay for the repair!


Now for the long awaited, much anticipated

Our reunions are every other year and each time
we go to Lake Junaluska which is operated by the
Methodist Assembly. The cottages around the
Lake are not owned by Junaluska, but many are
available to rent for a week minimum stay.

My Mom found this place many years ago through a
friend at my childhood church, and we all just fell
in love with it. If you are interested in a possible stay
there, the website is

We highly recommend it. It is just outside of Waynesville,
and just above the Maggie Valley. There's lots to do
at the lake and in all of the surrounding areas.

This is the amazing sunrise God painted for us
as we began our trip to North Carolina

GASP!! We're in the mountains!!
Us native to flat Florida REALLY appreciate
rolling hills and mountain views!!

This was quite a surprise! The description of our
cottage said it had a steep driveway, but we
thought it was a short steep driveway. This thing
was crazy high and long! The photos just can't
capture it!! And that is the lake in the far back
ground!! It looks like you will drive right into it!!

Here is a side shot of our cottage. We had the
upper two floors, and no one was renting the
bottom. It's 4 bedroom 2 bath, and the clincher
for me was the deck and view!!

This is the living room looking out to the deck
The evening we arrived it was 50 degrees!! We could
have turned on the fireplace but didn't!

This is the dining room and kitchen. Very nice size,
and well equipped. We just bring bed linens and

Here is an outside shot of the deck. We were
amongst the trees and awakened to bird songs
each morning. Absolutely blissful!!

This is the first photo I took of the view from
our deck. I can't tell you how it blessed my soul
to sit out there and soak in the beauty
of God's creation.

Here is a morning view taken with my zoom

A lovely hydrangea that draped over the retaining
wall by our driveway. I'll show you more of the
delightful flowers at the lake in a later post.

Down in the Maggie Valley is a shop called
Maggie Mountaineer. Behind the shop is this
wonderful babbling brook. They have rockers out
there so you can sit and enjoy it! I could sit
there for hours!!

You can't visit the Smokies and not make
the trek out to see some of the incredible
waterfalls. This is Dry Falls, and there is
a walkway behind it. You can see some people
back there to give you a perspective of it's size.

That concludes Part 1 of our Family Reunion trip.
There will be at least 2 more parts.
Hope you enjoyed the view so far!!
Have a glorious weekend, and remember to
praise God from Whom all
blessings flow!!
Love and Hugs,