CSN Giveaway!! How Exciting!!

Last week I got an email from CSN Stores offering a giveaway to my blog followers, how cool is that!!  I couldn’t believe all they had to offer.  With over 200 stores, they have a huge variety of products, and they definitely have something for everyone.  
CSN is allowing me to giveaway a $35 gift card redeemable at any of their 200 sites.
I really enjoyed looking at all the products while trying to pick a few to share with you.  I started at the dining chairs.  I have a bar and have never purchased barstools for it, so thought that was a good place to begin.
I found two I really like!!

Being the foodie that I am, next I went to the kitchen gadgets and loved this.

After that I went to the toys and games.  We love our Friday Family Nights and are always looking for a new game to play!!  This is one we enjoy when all the kids are here!

I will be drawing and announcing the winner next Thursday, October 7th.
To enter this giveaway:
• You have to be a follower of my blog.
• Go to the CSN site and look at some of the products and leave me a comment telling me what you would be interested in.  (doesn’t have to be what you buy if you win)
• Mention my giveaway with a link back to me on your blog - 2 entries
• Mention my giveaway on your facebook or twitter - 2 entries
That is 6 chances to win!!  Remember to leave me a comment for each one you do.
Good luck and happy shopping!!
Counting it all JOY!!

Why I “Count it all Joy” Wednesday

Welcome to Why I Count It All Joy Wednesday!! To join in on all the JOY, grab my button, make your own JOY list, it doesn’t have to be long, one thing, one hundred things, it doesn’t matter, just find your JOY and come back and link up so you can share it with us.  Remember JOY is contagious!!
I am filled with JOY because Jesus love ME always no matter what.  There is nothing I can do to make HIM love me more or less!! 

I am filled with JOY because the boys started basketball this week and even though it is sooo far from our house, I have 2 hours, twice a week to sit at practice and read, write my blog posts, catch up with friends and family, etc...
I am filled with JOY because our new little grandson will be here in less than 2 months!!
I am filled with JOY because our state fair starts tomorrow and we are all going together this weekend!!
I am filled with JOY because it’s almost time to go to the pumpkin patch and get some more fall decorations!!
I am filled with JOY because the hundred and something dollar basketball shoes the doctor prescribed for Isaac we found for half the price.  We were able to get Adam’s and Isaac’s for what we thought we would be spending on Isaac’s alone!!  Praise Jesus!!
I am filled with JOY because it’s homemade soup, stew and chili season.
I am filled with JOY because Adam and Isaac cleaned out and organized their closet and it looks fabulous!!
I am filled with JOY because Ella sang, “You Are My Best Friend Nanny” to me over and over yesterday!!  (Just a little song she made up), she is such a JOY!!
I am filled with JOY because you guys are awesome and link up to help me spread the JOY!!
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  Romans 12:12
What’s filling you with JOY this week??
Counting it all Joy!!

Breakfast, Friends, and Jesus!!

Yesterday morning I had breakfast with my wonderful friend Loren and our bloggy friend Steph of stephtmomof3.  If you don’t know Steph, click here and check out her blog, you will love her!!  We had so much fun sharing and laughing together!!  It is so cool to get to know all my blog friends through their posts, but it was really great to get to have breakfast and get to know Steph in “real life”.  
After breakfast, Loren and I were standing in the parking lot talking and noticed this super cute, little, old lady walking by.  We commented on how cute she was, but didn’t really think much of it.  A while later, I noticed her again only closer to us, and said to Loren, “do you think she is lost or something, maybe we should check on her.”  We walked over and asked her if she was okay and she began to tell us that she comes to this parking lot some to get enough money to buy groceries.  During the course of the conversation, she told me she had ridden the city bus for years and that when she turned 80, they gave her a free bus pass and that was how she gets around.  She lives with her son and DIL who is extremely sick and needs full time help.  She is now 89 and does all the cooking and cleaning for her son and DIL to help them and goes out to try to get money so her son can stay home and take care of his wife.  I was so touched listening to her.  She was absolutely precious!!
She then told us she never asks anyone for money until they have already been in a restaurant to eat and are leaving because she wants to make sure no one ever does without on her account.  She also said every night she prays for every person who gives her money to be blessed back with more than they gave.  
As I stood listening to her, I really began thinking about my Nanny!!  She too was a sweet, little, old lady who gave up everything to take care of my siblings and I.  Although she never was so short on money, I knew had she ever been, she could have been that sweet old lady walking through parking lots trying to get enough money to feed us.  My heart is breaking here!!  What if people had treated her badly, what if people didn’t help her, how would she have felt if she hadn’t had enough money to feed us...
Then to my horror, I remembered that I had grabbed my tiny little clutch with my debit card on the way out the door and I didn’t even have a dollar to give this sweet lady.  I told her and showed her in my clutch that I didn’t have any money (thank the Lord Loren had a little and gave it to her) but that I would really love it if she told me her name because I really wanted to pray for her.  She said her name was Fern and she sweetly told Loren thank you and that she really appreciated it, she also asked if giving her the money would cause a hardship.  At this point she said, “I know this money will do me good, but the prayers will do so much more.”
So we all held hands, and I prayed for her.  We told her we would continue to pray for her and to be safe.  At this point we walked away and my heart was really heavy.  I know the Lord puts people like Fern in our paths, not only for us to be a blessing to, but to remind us of the many blessings I take for granted on a daily basis.  To remind me of the wonderful Nanny I had who sacrificed so much for me.  To remind us that no matter what is going on in our lives, everyone else has something going on in their life too.  To remind us of why we are here in the first place, to show and be Jesus to the world around us.
Please remember my sweet Fern in your prayers, and remember to always be looking for your Fern!!
"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”  Matthew 25:40
Don’t forget tomorrow is Why I Count it all Joy Wednesday!!  Grab my button, make your list, it doesn’t have to be long, one thing, one hundred things, it doesn’t matter, just find your JOY and come back and link up so you can share it with us.  Remember JOY is contagious!!
Counting it all JOY!!

It Turned Fall!!!

What a busy and fun weekend we had.  Friday I played some basketball with the boys.  There practices start this week so we headed out for some fun.  Isaac was really complaining about one of his feet and eventually the pain was so bad he was crying.  I called the doctor and Praise the Lord, they got us right in.  Apparently, he has a heel spur.  Very painful I guess.  They said there isn’t much they can do about it, just wear good supportive shoes, she actually recommended a pair of $100 basketball shoes.  I about fell over.  First of all he’s a twin, so we do everything twice, second of all, he won’t be able to wear them very long because he is at that age were his feet seem to grow a size a month.  So I am seriously believing for some real favor when I go B-ball shoe shopping!!  Please keep Isaac and his hurting heel in your prayers!!
Saturday - Dan and the boys made a bird feeder for our backyard.  It’s just a quickly thrown together feeder.  I actually assigned a bird project for school and that is part of it.  If it goes well, we will build a better one later!!  Unfortunately, the bird seed got spilled on the driveway, we swept up most of it, but I did scatter some that was left.  We haven’t seen any birds in the backyard at the feeder, but Lindsey came in yesterday afternoon and said, “you all have about 100 birds in your driveway, wonder why?”  I just laughed!!
We went to church Saturday night!!  I just love that!!  The message series “I Believe In You” has been awesome.  That’s just something we all need to hear and say!!
Last night I went to dinner with my cousins.  Our moms are all sisters, so we grew up together, but don’t get to spend a lot of time together now.  I lost my mom about a year ago, and now one of my aunts is about to go meet Jesus as well.  She has had cancer for several years.  It started out as breast cancer but has now spread and the doctor told them 2 weeks ago he didn’t think she would make it till her birthday, which is October 30th.  So very sad.  She is not even 60 yet.  Please keep her and my family in your prayers.

When I returned home from our dinner, my sweet hubby had build a fire in our “we live in a neighborhood with rules” fire pit.  Actually, our daughter and son-in-law just bought it for us, and we so love it.  Not much better in the Fall than sitting around a fire with family.  We sat out there and laughed and made s’mores and laughed some more.  What a great ending to a busy, Fall weekend!!

Hope you all had a fabulous Fall weekend too!!
Counting it all JOY!!

Friday Funnies - Can You Do It

Today I am joining my friend Kim at Homesteader’s Heart for Friday Funnies.  If you want to join in on all the fun, click here!!
I ran across this video on accident and couldn’t believe it.  The first minute is kind of cheesy, but stick with it and you won’t believe these ladies.  Oh, and if any of you can do ANY of this, my kids and I want to meet you!!

Praying and believing you will all have a JOYfilled weekend!!
Counting it all JOY!!

Worth Sharing!!

After doing my Family Quotes post, I received these in an email from my sweet hubby!!  I thought they were worth sharing!!

1. Life isn't always fair, but it's still good.

2. Pay off your credit cards every month.

3. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

4. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

5. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

6. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

7. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.

8. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

9. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

10. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

11. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?

12. Forgive everyone everything.

13. Believe in miracles.

14. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

15. Your children get only one childhood.

16. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

17. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

18. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

19. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.

20. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

Counting it all JOY!!

Why I “Count it all Joy” Wednesday

Welcome to Why I Count It All Joy Wednesday!! To join in on all the JOY, grab my button, make your own JOY list, it doesn’t have to be long, one thing, one hundred things, it doesn’t matter, just find your JOY and come back and link up so you can share it with us.  Remember JOY is contagious!!

I am filled with JOY because the creator of the universe thinks I am wonderful!!
I am filled with JOY because it’s officially Fall!!
I am filled with JOY because Drew, who is the cookie KING, made his famous cookies for us last night!!  YUMMY!!
I am filled with JOY because I was asked to receive a CSN product to review and keep!!
I am filled with JOY because for the past 4 or 5 months the city has been putting in a new bridge on the main highway right by our neighborhood.  The traffic has been horrible to the point of having to leave our house 10-15 minutes early no matter where you are going, but last weekend the bridge opened up.  I just love the little conveniences of life.
I am filled with JOY because as much as I love it when the season changes to Spring and Summer and the flowers bloom and everything looks so pretty, I also love it when it’s Fall and you don’t have to mow anymore for a while!!  (I don’t do the mowing, but I’m glad my boys get a break)
I am filled with JOY because in two weeks we are going to Branson for a weekend getaway and some shopping at the amazing sales they always have at the Outlet Malls.
I am filled with JOY because the books I have been getting lately to review have been really good!!  If you don’t follow my book blog, I would love it if you would!!
I am filled with JOY because when I don’t feel so wonderful, my hubby is so sweet.  He just sits for hours and plays with my hair (which is my favorite thing in the world), and anything else he can to help me feel better.
I am filled with JOY because you guys love spreading JOY as much as I do and you link up with me week after week!!
When your words came, I ate them; they were my JOY and my heart's delight, for I bear your name, O LORD God Almighty.  Jeremiah 15:16
What’s filling you with JOY this week??
Counting it all JOY!!

Family Quotes

I just love my family!!  During our family time last night, I asked them for some of their favorite quotes.  I wanted originals and some they like that came from others (noted)!!  This is what I got!!
Isaac - You know you’re a redneck when you go to prom on a stretched four wheeler. (Isaac quote)
Last night my toe was as big as my face. (from My Big Fat Greek Wedding)
Life is an occasion, rise to it!!  (from Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium)
Adam - When you tell someone about Jesus, you plant a seed but the plant will get withered and droopy unless it is continually watered.  (Adam quote)
Adam, who is probably the funniest of us all, was very disappointed that he couldn’t come up with a funny quote.  He said, “Come on, I can’t think of anything funny when I need to be funny, that’s like a clown who can’t juggle.”
Dan - As time passes, faults fall away and hope of new possibilities arrive.  (Dan quote)

Drew - All of Drew’s quotes are his original quotes that at one time or another were written as his facebook status.
When you look into the moon, what do you see?  A true and pure beauty.  The beauty and sparkle that I am convinced you can only see within the moon itself and the eyes of the person you love.  I don’t even know who the person is, but I know that whenever I look into her eyes, I will see the same beauty I see in the moon and the stars lighting up the dark sky.  (Drew quote)
A snow storm is like a woman, when a good one comes along, you get stuck in your tracks!! (Drew quote)
Stop planning the future as the present fades away.  Today is a guarantee while tomorrow is nothing more than a possibility.  (Drew quote)
I studied 27 hours today!!  (Drew during finals week)
What kinds of things are coming out of your kids hearts and silly minds??

Don't forget tomorrow is Joy filled Wednesday!!  Grab my button, make your list, and come back and link up!!
Counting it all Joy!!

Something Beautiful

Today I am excited to be joining two of my friends, Renee for Something Beautiful, and Southern Reflections for Meet and Greet Monday!!  
My Something Beautiful this week is actually two things, one I went to the Owasso homecoming to share in the night with my wonderful friend Loren.  Her daughter Jenna had been nominated for Homecoming Queen and they would be announcing the winner at the game.  Jenna is such a beautiful young lady, inside and out.  Oh what a joyous occasion it was when they announced the moment we had been waiting for...  Jenna McGhee for the 2010 Owasso Homecoming Queen!!  We screamed and laughed and cried!!  Congratulations Jenna!!  I am so proud of you!!
Loren's daughter, Jenna and my son, Drew
I have been blogging for about 7 months now and have been so blessed to make so many wonderful bloggy friends!!  The love, support, and encouragement I get from you guys is wonderful.  I love feeling like I know so many of you and feeling like no matter where I go in the US, I will have a friend!! 
The other beautiful thing is while I was at the homecoming, I got to meet one of the wonderful ladies I have become friends with in Blogland!!  Steph from stephTmomof3.  How exciting that was.  We didn’t get to spend much time together, but we enjoyed the time we had!!

What Beautiful things are happening in your life??

Counting it all JOY!!

The Cupcake Saga Ends...

First of all I want to thank all of you for staying with me through this whole cupcake saga!!  I have had so many emails from you guys telling me how much you enjoyed it and asking what the final decision was.  I wish it was just that easy!!!
The producer told me they had researched and found what they thought looked like the best cupcake companies in the two largest cities of every state.  They contacted all of these companies and were waiting on responses from them all.  The plan was to fill up all the filming slots for Season 2 which would be filming in September.  The next plan was to start filling up the filming slots for Season 3 which will film next Spring or Summer. 
They wanted me to come in September (as in right now) to film the show and that just wasn’t possible for me.  That just wasn’t enough notice for me to be mentally ready as well as having everything arranged for my family so I or we could be back in California that soon.  I told them that very first day there was no way that would work for me.  They asked me what I thought about two other local cupcake companies and I told the they should contact one of them.  She is a friend of mine but she isn’t local anymore.  She recently got married and moved to Utah.  Since then I have heard they did get a hold of her but she isn’t going to do the show.
At this point they have left it up to me as to whether I want to come film for Season 3.
That being said, the answer for now is - after lots of prayer, travel, cupcake comparisons, and just plain “I don’t have time”, I am not going to do the show!!
The JOY in all of this is it prompted us add the cupcake adventure to our vacation which  was fun and in turn helped me realize that as fun as doing that show would be, I don’t need it to prove to me my cupcakes are the best!!  I really don’t need the judges comments because I never wanted to be the best cupcake baker to anyone other than those who already think I am the best and that is my sweet hubby and kids!!  They are my world, they are my best critics and my best fans, my best taste testers and my best judges. 
I will end this saga with this... over the last month or so I have shown pictures of cupcakes from cupcakeries from here to California and back so now I want to show you some of my own!!

Chocolate Covered Cherry

Pumpkin Spice

Christmas Mint Chocolate

A couple of Wedding Tower Cupcakes

Goin’ Bananny

May I Have “S’more”

Caramel Apple

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Phil. 4:6-7
Counting it all Joy!!

Why I “Count it all Joy” Wednesday

Welcome to Why I Count It All Joy Wednesday!! To join in on all the JOY, grab my button, make your own JOY list, it doesn’t have to be long, one thing, one hundred things, it doesn’t matter, just find your JOY and come back and link up so you can share it with us.  Remember JOY is contagious!!

I am filled with JOY because I serve a loving and forgiving God who gives me peace and JOY in all situations!!
I am filled with JOY because Friday we get to go to the Owasso Homecoming and cheer on sweet Jenna!!
I am filled with JOY because when crazy things happen around here, Dan and I just look at each other and laugh!!
I am filled with JOY because I won a $10 gift card to Starbuck from Steph at and I get to meet her for coffee soon!!
I am filled with JOY because Ella spent the night with us on Monday night and Tuesday morning she crawled into bed with me to cuddle and she said, “Hi Nanny, I sure been missin’ you”!!  Love that lovin’
I am filled with JOY because Dan finished the shoe/coat cabinet in my laundry room and it looks fabulous!!  He is amazing!!
I am filled with JOY because I got to spend some time with Loren’s mom Saturday night.  You have to understand, during our school years she was my “other” mom and now that my mom is gone, it sure felt good spending time with her!!  Just love you Connie!!
I am filled with JOY because I went shopping Saturday morning and when I got home, my sweet hubby and boys had cleaned the house for me!!  What sweethearts!!
I am filled with JOY because I received a book in the mail months ago that I was dying to read but have had so many book reviews to do that I haven’t had time to even look at it, but now I am reading it and LOVING it!!
I am filled with JOY because you guys link up week after week and help me spread the JOY!!
However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven."  Luke 10:20
So what is filling you with JOY this week??
Counting it all Joy!!

Just What I Needed!!

It seems in the last couple of months life has been like a hurricane around me.  There have been so many things going on here pushing and shoving me in so many different directions that at times I have felt lost and without direction.  It has been taking so much just to stay afloat that I haven’t been able to sail like I want/need to.  So many big decisions, so many curve balls, the year anniversary of my moms unexpected death, preparing myself mentally for Shane’s deployment, just a lot of stuff!!  
My quiet time has been rushed, my sleep time has been short, my family time has been busy, and finally I think my mind and body said “enough”.  Sunday night I just felt sick, my heart felt sick, my head felt fuzzy, I just didn’t feel well, which isn’t normal for me.  Yesterday, I got out of bed feeling the same way, rushed through my quiet time, we needed to get breakfast done, school started, and Ella would be here soon.  Needless to say, by afternoon, I was feeling shot, exhausted, no energy at all.  I even took a short nap (way out of character for me).  
Our church was having a special praise and worship night which we had planned to attend.  The kids were all excited about it, and even though I really just wanted to go to bed, I said we are going, not gonna miss this!!
The first song began to play, my hands went up, and I could just feel the presence of Jesus, wrapping me in His arms and loving me.  As song after song played, and tear after tear fell, I could just feel Him taking all the junk and reminding me how much easier it all is when I give it to Him.  Reminding me that I am not Wonder Woman, and that the only one who expects that of me is ME!!
Nothing I didn’t already know, just a friendly reminder that I desperately needed!!  A healing/refreshing of my heart, soul, and mind!!
“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

I came home with a song in my heart and the JOY of hearing a beautiful song stuck in my kids heads that they keep singing over and over - I LOVE IT!!
Don’t forget tomorrow is Why I Count it all Joy Wednesday!!  Grab my button, make your list, it doesn’t have to be long, one thing, one hundred things, it doesn’t matter, just find your JOY and come back and link up so you can share it with us.  Remember JOY is contagious!!

Counting it ALL Joy!!