Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011, Ending in Prayer (Part 2)

If you haven't read 2011, Ending in Prayer (Part 1) you may want to go HERE to catch up! .... I know in my heart that God himself breathed life into that child and that He was there in that very moment.  When my world was crumbling God knew.  He was in control.  At this point those wonderful men, called EMTs took over and we placed the care of our son into their very capable hands.  It took them 15 to 20 minutes to stabilize him in the ambulance.  Then we had an additional 45 minute drive to the hospital.  I don’t think time has ever stood quite so still.  The first part of this ordeal felt like it was flying by at the speed of light and then it halted and moved like a snail.  My DH (dear husband) road in the ambulance with my son.  My FIL (Father In-law) drove me, my older son, daughter and MIL (Mother in-law) to the hospital right behind the ambulance.  About 30 minutes into the trip my DH texted me and said, “He is responding.”  No more precious words were ever texted….until the next text, “He is responding well.”  I felt like I could breathe. 

During our ride to the hospital I prayed, held my oldest son who was just over wrought and I sent messages to friends begging them to please pray.  I know those prayers were heard because my little boy was alive and improving.  We were so blessed by so many people praying for us so quickly, all over the country as word spread that he was in trouble.  The family of Christ stepped up and raised us up in our time of need. 

As we exited the freeway to the hospital and stopped at a stop light, I saw some activity in the back of the ambulance as the EMTs raised my little guy up just enough so he could see us out the back window of the ambulance and I saw the greatest sight…his sweet hand waved to us.  God is so good… (To be continued…)

Friday, December 30, 2011

2011, Ending in Prayers (Part 1)

I mentally began writing this post in my head on Christmas night, thinking it would be filled with high lights of the last few days and how we celebrated Christmas.  But sometimes life has other ideas.  First off, we did have a wonderful Christmas!  Christmas Eve we enjoyed a beautiful and touching candlelight service at our church followed by dinner at our house with some dear friends.  Then we set up the camera to try to capture a picture of the Jolly Old Elf when he made his anticipated delivery…of which we were successful!  YES!!!!  On Christmas Day we awoke early (yep, early…) and had a wonderful time opening presents and sharing with each other before church.  Then came home and all put our jammies back on and spent the day playing with new toys, napping and eating (way too much!)  It was a perfect Christmas Day.  On the 26th we traveled to GA to spend the day with my parents and celebrate with them before heading to my in-laws.

This is where my post veers off from where I had planned and why I haven’t updated or posted this week. I haven't been sure I should write about this or even if I could, but I have said I wanted to be transparent and this is where and what we are dealing with now...
On Tuesday after Christmas we experience one of those moments in life that you know will be forever cemented in your mind.  After lunch my boys went outside to play in the woods behind their Grandparents house (one of their favorite things to do).  A bit later, as we were all still sitting around the table in the kitchen, we heard my oldest start to yell.  At first, honestly, we thought it was the yells of playing boys…until my husband stepped out on the deck to hear my oldest  scream, “He is unresponsive, Help!” as he crouched over his younger brother.  My husband began to run and I followed behind.  He reached my youngest son before me and I yelled asking if we should call 911.  He said yes.  When I reach my son, he was blue, not breathing and gurgling…and we had no idea what had happened.  My older son told us the last thing his brother said was, “I am blind! I can’t see!” and then he did a half spin and started to fall.  My sweet oldest son acted quickly and caught his baby brother and laid him on the ground before calling out for help.  He had no idea what had happened. 
I stood there… looking down into the face of my baby boy…he looked unlike anything I have ever seen.  He was blue and pasty and I didn’t know why.  This is the child that plays hard, loves hard and is this missing piece of our family puzzle that we didn’t know was missing until he joined us.  Truly I couldn’t tell you what I was feeling because it was unlike anything I have ever experienced.
I dropped down on that cold, muddy ground and with all my heart called out to the only one I knew could help us at that moment….God.  I prayed and I prayed harder and louder than I have ever prayed.  I needed the help of my God; I need Him and His power more than any single thing in life. 
After trying to determine if my son had received an injury my husband grabbed him up and began to run out of the woods.  As he began to run, a small moan escaped that little body.  When my husband dropped to the ground with him as the ambulance was arriving my son opened his eyes, but there was no responsiveness….no acknowledgement of anything.  Still not knowing what was wrong and desperate to help I thought maybe he was choking but his jaws were clamped together and I had to use 2 hands to pry them open to try to see if his airway was blocked.  His jaws never relaxed but at this point we had shallow breathing…. (To be continued)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

From my house to yours I am wishing you the most blessed of Christmas celebrations.  I pray that you will find the true meaning of this season and celebrate the birth of a Savior...
born as a babe in a manger. 

Loving God, Help us remember the birth of Jesus,
that we may share in the song of the angels,
the gladness of the shepherds,
and worship of the wise men.

Close the door of hate
and open the door of love all over the world.
Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting.
Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings,
and teach us to be merry with clear hearts.

May the Christmas morning make us happy to be thy children,
and Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts,
forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus' sake. Amen.
-- Robert Louis Stevenson

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Lucky Winner of the My Memories Suite Scrapbooking Software Giveaway is...

Far From Camelot

Beth entered early and took advantage of every entry!  I know she is going to love this new software and I can't wait to see what fun projects she comes up with!!!

Merry Christmas Eve, Eve!!!!


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Caroling...

Our Children's Ministry hosted a night of  Christmas Caroling last night and even though the weather was a bit yucky (not yucky by other areas standards but wet and drizzly which is yucky by our standards) we had a great time! 
 This is my little comedian who, by the way,
 picked his own version of Christmas inspired attire to wear!
 We started off the night singing carols up and down the hallways of a local retirement home
 and then making stops to visit the residents there that are members of our church.
 "The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loudly for all to hear."
 After our stop at the retirement home we caroled at the home of members that lived close by.
It was a night of true Christmas cheer!

Do you go caroling?  Is it with friends & family or with your church or other organization? I never went as a child, so for me I feel kind of like a child when we go.  My children, having been many times probably don't think much about it, but I think it is magical!

Today is the LAST day to enter my giveaway for a chance to win your own FANTASTIC scrapbooking/crafting software:

Monday, December 19, 2011

Celebrating the Birth of a Savior!

The shopping is done, the parties from here on out are intimate and special, the stress is lightened...
it is time to truly celebrate the birth of a Savior! 
Yesterday morning my church presented their Annual Christmas Cantata along with a play done by our Children's Ministry.  It was so touching.  As I sat there in the service, I felt as if Christmas had truly descended and it was time to celebrate Jesus' birth.  Something in that sacred place, with the music touching the Heavens and voices of young and old lifted up, brought me the peace and beauty of the season.  It was delightful. 
My sweet baby boy was part of the Children's Ministry production.

I hope you are finding time to truly experience what this season is about,
peace, love, joy and the birth of  a King.

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he,
humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
Zechariah 9:9

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Friday, December 16, 2011

Wise words on Worry...


This quote is from Corrie Ten Boom (who, if you haven't read about her or know her story, is pretty amazing and inspiring and worth checking out!)  and I am trying to take it to heart and practice it every day!  Though I tend to then worry about whether or not I am just living in denial (yes....obsessive, I know!) but I keep trying to focus on this verse from Matthew:

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will worry about itself.
Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:34 (NIV)

Can you tell I am a worrier???  Yes, it is true.  I am a planner, an organizer, and by nature an obsessive worrier.  It is genetic, I come from a long line of obsessive worriers.  We literally have it down to a hyperventilating, hand wringing science.    One thing that is coming out of the current trials I am dealing with is having to face that I have no control.    Really, it is so much bigger than I am.  So, I am trying out the experience of living in this very moment (which is really hard if you are always worrying about the next moment) and having faith enough to get through it. Since I have no control, there is no need to worry.  You see, my worry comes out of the struggle to have some sense of control over situations and fear.  I have no control...and God is with me so I will not fear...and I will hold boldly to that in this moment!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Marshmallow Brownie Cookies, Oh my....

I couple of days ago I made Jaclyn's (of Cooking ClassyPeppermint Brownie Cookies and they were wonderful, but yesterday I tried her Marshmallow Brownie cookies and they are to die for...really!

My DH came home and tried one and promptly said, "Oh...wow...it is like a party in my mouth!"  Now if that isn't  an endorsement, I don't know what is!

I have to admit.... I had one this morning and it was better than yesterday!!!  I am love with these super, chocolaty dream cookies.  

Can you tell I like to cook around Christmas?  I love trying new, totally healthy (NOT) recipes and sharing them with friends and family.  Hey, we can talk health and getting skinny in the new year!


Marshmallow Brownie Cookies
Yields about 3 dozen

Ingredients:

1 (18.3 oz) pkg brownie mix (I used Betty Crocker fudge brownie mix)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp milk
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups mini marshmallows

3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp water

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a cookie sheet and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together brownie mix, flour, brown sugar and salt. Add in eggs and milk and stir with a large spoon. Add in melted butter and vanilla and stir until well blended. Spoon dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet (you can fit 12 per sheet). Bake for 9 minutes and remove from oven and top each cookie with about 6 - 7 marshmallows (you may have to push down on the marshmallows slightly to keep them from rolling off). Move oven rack near the top of the oven and return cookies to oven to bake 2 more minutes until marshmallows soften. Remove from oven and set cookies aside. In a small microwave safe mixing bowl combine chocolate chips, butter and water. Microwave chocolate on 50% in 30 intervals stirring after each interval until melted and smooth. Pour mixture into a small ziploc bag. Cut a small tip off the end and drizzle over marshmallow brownies cookies. Store cookies in an airtight container.

Y'all just have to try these...they are amazing. 
Today I plan to try Jaclyn's Cookies & Cream Brownie Cookies!

*Thanks Jaclyn for all the great recipes!!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Great Christmas Deal from Sprint on HTC EVO 4G or EVO

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Sprint for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I’ll admit it, I am a late comer to the smart phone party!  Truthfully, I was one of those folks who really thought all the hype about smart phones was a bunch of hooey!  I have even been known to make fun (playfully, of course) of friends and family who just seemed addicted to their phones…and then I caught the bug.  Now, I am totally in love with mine.  I just love the ability to check email, look up directions, compare prices (YEP, that is totally cool!), browse Twitter & Facebook, all at the light touch of a finger!  I am also a huge fan of texting and photo sharing, all of which I attribute to being the mom of teenagers (that sounds acceptable…right?)

My oldest child had a smart phone long before I did.  It was a 2nd generation Android powered phone and it gave her many years of good use (and survived some pretty rough treatment as well).  So I am excited to be able to share a great deal that Sprint has going on right now featuring the Android powered HTC EVO™ 4G or EVO™.    For a limited time you can get the HTC EVO™ 4G or EVO™ Shift for FREE only on Sprint here: Android™ powered EVO 4G devices and you can also get waived activation for new lines of service and free shipping from Sprint!

Now wouldn’t your stockings be stuffed in style if they had one of these in them come Christmas morning?  Check out all the great holiday deals from Sprint here: Android™ powered EVO 4G devices

 More Great Holiday deals on And

Visit Sponsor's Site

Monday, December 12, 2011

Yummies: Brownie Peppermint Cookies

I made these super yummy cookies today!  Of course, like all good things, I found the recipe on Pinterest (if you need an invite please leave me a comment with your email and I will get you one.) It was from Jaclyn @ Cooking Classy and I just had to try it because I am total sucker for anything that combines chocolate and mint.  They were easy and I think almost too good because I want to eat more than I want to share!

Brownie Peppermint Cookies

1 (18.3 oz) pkg brownie mix
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp milk
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp peppermint extract
1 recipe vanilla cream frosting, recipe follows
1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy canes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a cookie sheet and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together brownie mix, flour, brown sugar and salt. Add in eggs and milk and stir with a large spoon. Add in melted butter, vanilla and peppermint extract, stir until well blended. Spoon dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet (you can fit 12 per sheet). Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before frosting. Once cool, frost each cookie and sprinkle with crushed candy canes.

Vanilla Cream Frosting

4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
6 Tbsp heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt

In a large mixing bowl, with an electric mixer, whip together sugar, butter and cream until fluffy. Stir in vanilla and salt, blend well.

Makes about 3 dozen

Monday Musings: Gethsemane?

The word Gethsemane means “crushed olives.” And from crushed olives comes oil that heals, illuminates, and nourishes. We all have our Gethsemane. To understand and embrace yours, look at the night Christ spent there before going to the cross: “Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them…‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch [pray] with me.’ Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will’” (vv.36-39 NIV). Notice: (1) Gethsemane is where your prayers are not answered as you’d like them to be. God understands how you feel, and He has a better plan in mind. (2) Gethsemane is where those closest to you cannot help. Like Christ’s disciples, they will pray with you for a while but then grow tired and give up. At this point, you pray alone. You go on alone. (3) Gethsemane is where you feel the full weight of God’s will. The Old Testament prophets spoke of “the burden of the Word of the Lord.” Luke tells us that in Gethsemane Jesus was “full of pain” and that “his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground” (See Lk 22:44). We used to sing in church, “All that I have, all that I am, all I shall ever be; cannot repay the love debt I owe; I surrender to Thee!” If you’re finding it easier to sing than to surrender, you’re in Gethsemane! originally written by Word For You Today.

The above was in my devotional last Friday.  It ruminated with me all weekend as it was one of those wonderful gifts that God provides at just the right time.  I couldn’t help but see clearly how these words are written just for me:
(1) Gethsemane is where your prayers are not answered as you’d like them to be. God understands how you feel, and He has a better plan in mind.This one is a hard one.  I have prayed, and prayed specific prayers and they have not been answered in the way I would have liked.  I wanted something else, God knows what I need.  He knows what will bring glory to Him, He has a far greater plan than I could have…so now I am  (and sometimes struggle) with thanking Him for His plan and awe filled that I am part of it.
(2) Gethsemane is where those closest to you cannot help. Like Christ’s disciples, they will pray with you for a while but then grow tired and give up. At this point, you pray alone. You go on alone.  Oh, how these words are written for my heart.  The situation that I face is so much bigger than I am and, unfortunately it isn’t something others can fix.  I must face it…but HE is there and it is not bigger than He is! I can feel secure in knowing that no matter what the earthly situation is that He will never desert me and will be there in the end.
(3) Gethsemane is where you feel the full weight of God’s will. The Old Testament prophets spoke of “the burden of the Word of the Lord.” Luke tells us that in Gethsemane Jesus was “full of pain” and that “his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground” (See Lk 22:44)  As a Christian, I have to admit (though I wish it weren't true), I often struggle with God’s will.  It isn’t always easy to accept and just skip merrily down the path saying, “Oh, no matter, it is God’s will.”  At least for me, it isn’t always easy.  I want everything to work out the way I want them to work.  I want.  The basic truth is…I want MY will.  I have moments of pure anxiety and fear which are born out of the desire for my will and my heart struggling with what is God’s will.  My will is comfortable, easy, even if it isn’t what is best.  God’s will is perfect, complete, and best, but sometimes is painful for me…just as Jesus (full of sinless perfection and grace) felt the pain of God’s will in the garden that night.
After reading these words, I know that I am in my Gethsemane.  I am alone with God in my Gethsemane and I am praying for the healing, illumination and nourishment that come from the oil of those crushed olives and I am thanks filled.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Happy Anniversary...23 years!

Photography by Alvin Stewart Photography
It has been 23 years since we walked down the aisle and said I do.  Back then I couldn't imagine the road we would travel or the curves we would encounter...and survive.  What a journey it has been and what a journey it will continue to be. I would say I do to this man, without question, again because I love him more now than ever before. It has been a wonder filled 23 years.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

My Memories Digital Scrapbooking Software Giveaway!

My Memories Digital Scrapbooking Suite
I am super excited to be hosting a giveaway for this great software program! I have been learning the ins and outs of this program and I am just thrilled with all the options and possibilities it offers!  I used to be a devoted traditional scrapbooker but over the last few years, as my photos all became digital, I pretty much stopped scrapping.  So, I am interested in digital scrapping and I have 1000s of photo to work with! My Memories software  is very easy to use and offers major flexibility...and isn't near as messy as traditional scrapping and is less expensive! 

Look at what I made in about 5 minutes! 
It was my 1st attempt using the software and I was pretty pleased with the outcome!

I did mention a giveaway, didn't I????  The sweet folks over at My Memories are offering one lucky Southern Somedays reader a FREE copy of the latest My Memories Scrapbooking software (a $39.95 value!)  which is the same one I used to make the above page!

Oh, and if the idea of getting new scrapbooking inspiration isn't enough to get you excited this software can also help you with your blog and there are some great tutorials on how to make you own custom headers and such!  Just watch this video (and the many others) to see how Make your own custom Blog Header with My Memories

To enter for a chance to win:

Go to My Memories and look at their great digital paper packs and then come back here and tell me which was your favorite in a comment on this post. Thank is all!!!!

For extra entries  (NOT required, of course) you may also do the following
(please leave a separate comment for each extra entry):

*Follow the My Memories Blog (which is full of great tips!)
*Like My Memories on Facebook
*Follow My Memories on Twitter
*Blog about my giveaway (leave me a link to your post)
*Tweet about the giveaway (include @SouthernSmdays so I will see it!)
Just remember to leave separate comment for each extra entry to be counted!

I will announce a winner on December 22, 2011! Good luck!!!!

If you are totally excited and don't won't to wait for the giveaway and want to start scrapping today, you can buy your own copy of the software and My Memories   is offering Southern Somedays readers a $10 discount off the purchase of the My Memories Suite Scrapbook software and a $10 coupon for the MyMemories.com store - $20 value!  Just click here: My Memories and use this code to save: STMMMS65406

Monday, December 05, 2011

Florence Symphony Guild's Holiday Homes Tour 2011

Yesterday the Florence Symphony Guild hosted a Holiday Homes Tour so I thought I would share just few pictures here to get you in the mood for Christmas. You can visit the entire album here:  FSG Holiday Homes Tour 2011.  After seeing all the gorgeous homes, it was hard not to walk away without a bit of Christmas cheer.






Don't forget to check out all the photos here:

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Blogger Commenting Problems...(solved)

UPDATE:  Thanks to some wonderful bloggers it seems I have resolved my commenting problem (outlined below) by simply unchecking the "remember me" box when signing into my Google account.  I just wish I had asked earlier!  THANK YOU for all the help!

Has anyone had problems over the last few months commenting on blogs?  I have repeatedly tried to figure out a solution to this problem but can't seem to figure it out.  Sometimes when leaving a comment I have to choose "Google Account" and then it asks to to sign in when I am already signed in and continues to do that over and over  and never lets me post the comment.  AND lately I have been running into this error message:
It is getting frustrated because I can't leave comments on so many of my favorite blogs.  I like leaving comments and thanking people for sharing their thoughts!!!!  Help!!!!

Anyone else??????

Friday, December 02, 2011

So, do you Sew?

Are you a seamstress?  I. Am. Not.  

It is sad really that this skill has evaded me for 40+ years...and especially through the years when I had small children.  It isn't that I had no interest. I had lots of interest....just not a lot of stick-to-itness.  Some how, I missed those classes when I was in school and I came from a Mother who apparently hated to sew.  But now that I am completely addicted to Pinterest my desire to be able to sew has reared it's crafty head again.  There are just too many cute things!!!!  I love fabric and feel like I could do so much if I just knew how to sew.  I have a friend who says she can teach me and I think I just might have to take her up on her offer (and hope we remain friends through the learning process!)

Here are some of the things I am in love with on Pinterst that have me lusting after the ability to sew:





Source: etsy.com via Bella on Pinterest






Source: gap.com via Ashley on Pinterest

Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday Musings: Christmas with a Capital C

Source: google.com via Bella on Pinterest

On Sunday night, after the boys were in bed, DH and I decided to watch a Christmas movie.  On Netflix we found Christmas with a Capital C.  Although we weren’t necessarily looking for a deeply spiritual movie, this one(which includes Ted McGinley & Baldwin brother, Daniel) surprised me with its message. Set in Alaska, though it could have been anywhere in the United States, the theme on the surface appears to deal with the legal issues of Christian Christmas displays on public property (I believe the place in question was City Hall?)  We have all heard about legal issues arising around the country about this very thing which led credence to the plot.  Of course, the story line played up the stereo typical hard lined Christian view point verses an “evil” opposition to the display, but it also balances the issues with some pretty thought provoking twists.  On the surface the plot seems to focus on the legal issues, but I think the true plot lies with a little girl who decides to act on her faith rather than look for a legal way to keep Christ in Christmas.  She enlists her Mom and others to put feet to their faith through attitude and deeds to spread love and care through the community. 
Now, I am not downplaying the need for Christians to work hard to defend their faith and rights one iota, but one line that really caught my attention (I am paraphrasing) was when a minister suggested that although the Nativity is a wonderful symbol, we as Christians, must be careful not to make an idol of it.  Wow….have I been guilty of that?   Have I been so hard lined to defend symbols and wording that I have lost the spirit and intent of those very words and symbols?  I didn’t expect to be challenged by Christmas with a Capital C (and I am not sure my challenge is exactly what the writers were going for)… either way, I know I need to put more feet to my faith and make sure my heart is about sharing Christ’s love rather than making a point.
It is a great movie, especially if you look for the true message and past the stereo typical us versus them mentality!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!


Happy Thanksgiving, dear friends! 
What a wonderful day to celebrate all our many blessings. 
I pray that your day is filled with thankfulness and abundant joy.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Southern Christmas Show in Charlotte, NC Part 2

Here are some quick photos I snapped while at the show.  Please excuse the quality as I was using my phone rather than a real camera!










So, are you all ready to get your decorating done???