Steps of Faith

Steps of Faith

Monday, December 30, 2013

Crown the year with Goodness....





2013
.......Oh yes, what a year it has been!  I can honestly say that the year of Twenty Thirteen......has  not been my favorite.  But....I am still alive, I'm healthy, and I'm loved!!!!



I have seen Blessings......Galore and I am extremely thankful for each one.    I have also seen some "not so USUAL" things happen as well.   

I suppose that this has been a year of learning!  I've had to learn to take the time to listen to God and I've had to learn to not hold back from HIM.   

Giving up a portion of my "Perfectionism" trait has been a real struggle, but it has made me realize that there is much more to life than stressing over the lack of perfectionism that I like to see in OTHERS.  Did you get that?  I said Others, which is something that is out of my control anyways!!!

Another thing that has been difficult for me is the "Control Factor."  What comes with expecting perfectionism?  It's this thing called CONTROL.    Gracious me.....I need someone to be in control of ME!!!  Lordy, Lordy.....I'm a handful so why would I put pressure on myself by wanting to control others.

Oh, Oh, Oh........here is a big one!!!   I really have learned to say NO this year.    I'm not kidding you....I really can say No!!    The good thing about saying NO is that it has relieved me of so much stress and the more I say it......THE BETTER IT FEELS!!!

As 2013 nears the end......I want to say that I am very thankful for each of these NEW accomplishments in my life.....the things that I have had to learn to change!!

I won't deny.....  the challenges were very hard in getting to where I am at right now.....and I hope that this session of my learning is nearing an end.   I'm definitely looking forward to 

2014..

Shug.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

First Bloom....Winter Bloom.




A Winter Bloom......My First Bloom......From my NEW "Knock Out Roses."

Sam bought me 12 of these Knock Out Roses, a few weeks ago and I was so surprised to see this first bloom today.   I can't wait to plant them this Spring!!  

Shug.....


Friday, December 27, 2013

Simply Amazing...






                                                                 (Borrowed Photo)


I am completely fascinated with Hawks.  The colors of a Red Tailed Hawk are absolutely gorgeous.  It amazes me at how great their vision is and how FAST they can scoop down and attack their prey.

Early this morning, I was walking out the back door.....preparing myself for the huge amount of TRASH that I was going to have to haul to road.....since today is Garbage Day!  Just as I was about to step onto the driveway, I see this big hawk, with a huge wing span......heading towards me.   If I had taken another quick step....we would have collided.  

The thing flew right into a hedge of shrubs that was located just to my right and I could hear it as it trailed down the thick foliage.   As I took a closer look, I could see an opening that looks as if this could be an established route that the Hawk makes on a daily basis!!!!

It was a beautiful sight and now I'm intrigued to find out what the thing is doing in those bushes.
Hopefully it's catching Breakfast AND ridding the area around our house....of unwanted little creatures.  

                                                          *****************

Hoping you all had the pleasure of enjoying a Beautiful Christmas......    I am a visual person and after seeing  "The Miracle of Christmas" in Branson this past November...    I know that the actual Birth of Jesus Christ was not as simple as it was in the play.   For me though,  it helped me capture in my heart, a nearness of the true meaning of Christmas.

Because of Christmas......Because God sent HIS only son to be born and yes, to later to die on the cross  (for me).....   I can have eternal life!

It is well with my soul.... 

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
                                                                                Isiah 9:6




Shug...
   

                                                          




Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas Eve Meal....

Ok......all you great cooks out there......I need your help!  

I Do Not Have My Christmas Eve (dinner) menu planned....YET!

Looks like I need your help!!!  I really, really do......

I need suggestions for something simple....something good..... and something that will make my kids SMILE!

What are you serving for Christmas Eve?


Christmas Tree Pizza?    I don't think this will work.


Burgers....Chicken Sandwich.....maybe a few fries????


Snack Foods.......way too much to prepare!!


Soup   ????

My Christmas day menu is filled with Cornbread dressing, Ham,  candied yams, veggies and salads too!   Oh....and lots of sweets!

It's the Christmas eve meal that I'm not so sure about!!

BBQ.....Mexican.....Italian....Sandwiches....Comfort foods???

Any suggestions for a great meal????

Shug....






Saturday, December 21, 2013


Me and My Honey.......shopping TODAY!   

He was a trooper and I loved everything about the day.


**

I haven't been on an official BLOG vacation.....I've just been super busy and a bit stressed!
All is Well, right now.    I've missed visiting with all of you, and HOPEFULLY....I'll be back to my old routine, sometime this next week!!

Big Hugs to each of you!!

Shug

Monday, December 16, 2013

Oh my goodness.....Why is my heart soooooo BIG?  Why do I care so much about the feelings of others?  Why do I hurt so bad when I think someone else is hurting?  Why, Why, Why......Why do I feel like I can carry the weight of the world on my shoulders?

It's crazy!!!  It's crazy of me to feel that I can control all things!!  I have NO magic powers....(not sure I would even want to have them)

Funny thing is.....I thought that I had strength like NO other.....but I can clearly see today, that I don't.   I just need for the hurt to go away!!  The only problem is....there are No pain meds for what I feel right now!  I feel defeated!!!    

Things didn't work out last Friday for me to be able to take Dad to the Nursing Home.   The room wasn't ready, and therefore.....I had to wait until today to take him...   I can tell you now, I was not mentally prepared to handle it!  First of all, the room that was originally suppose to be my Dad's (the one that we waited the weekend for) still was not ready today when we got there.   SO, we had to put him in another room with a gentleman that speaks no English.  The man only speaks French!  Not good!! Not good!!  Not good for my dad!

My dad begged me to please bring him home.    I am simply too weak to handle this right now!
Do you have any idea how difficult it is for me to admit that I'm weak?  VERY!

Have we made a mistake here?  Have we placed him too soon, in a Nursing facility?  I have asked myself this a hundred and twenty five times.   The answer to this question is YES!  I honestly don't think that I have done all that I can do to keep him home where he is happy.  I would rather know that the time he has left (while he can somewhat communicate with me) are happy times for him.

It's later......when he has no clue where he is at..... that I will be able to handle this!  But not right now!  I just don't think I can do it!   But.....it's not fair to my husband for me to have such strong feelings about this.   What I would be doing here, is asking my wonderful husband to make big sacrifices along with me.    I'm telling you.....I am so torn!  Extremely torn right now.

You all know that I'm a bubbly kind of person, but I honestly feel like every single bubble in my life has been popped.  Hey....it's the season to be jolly and instead of feeling jolly, I feel sadness and I'm feeling BLUE.

Crud.......Can I just say that I'm almost angry.....but I don't know who I'm angry at!

What I do know is that tonight....as I sit here with lot's of sadness, I am so thankful that I have friends.....friends, near and far......who love me and will listen to me and let me ramble.   I know that  each of you have had your share of sadness when it comes to dealing with loved ones....and most of you know exactly how I feel right now.   I know that you all made it through and I suspect that I will too.

I hope you all will visit me later in the week....I promise that I won't be so down and out!!

Thanks for supporting me and for being such great counselors!!

I love y'all.....
Shug




Friday, December 13, 2013

Well folks....Today is the day!

Well folks..... Today...... my Dad will be moving to his New Home!  It's the day that I've been dreading for quite some time now.  However, I do know in my heart that this is the BEST thing I can do for him.

As many of you know, this is not an easy thing to do......I feel a sense of failure as his daughter, for not being able to take care of him myself.  I have already experienced these feelings once in my life and this was when we had to place my mom in hospice.  I still live with guilt about this.  

Is this crazy or what?  My mom was in such pain and could no longer swallow any water or anything else.  I knew that I couldn't take care of her....(I simply was not trained to handle a cancer patient who only had a few short weeks to live) BUT.....I wanted to do all that I could do!  It just wasn't enough.

Now.....with Dad, I want to be the Superwoman Daughter who can snap my fingers and make everything JUST RIGHT for him.   Guess what?  I'm not.....I can't....
What makes this hard is........"SECRET GUILT"  A "Secret Guilt" is when you know that you have done all that you can do, but your heart tells you otherwise!!!  YOU ARE FACED TO LIVE WITH THIS SECRET GUILT.....BY YOURSELF!!

Why do you have to face it by yourself?  Because those around you may not feel what your heart feels!  Therefore, they have no clue that you are fighting your way out of the "Guilt Trap."  Because they can't feel what you feel.....they don't understand what you are going through.

Another issue is in what I faced yesterday.......Some friends dropped by the house to visit my dad.  As they were leaving, their comments left me toting a huge weight of guilt on my shoulders.  If you saw my dad....you would think he was a picture of good health, but Alzheimer's is more than what the body looks like.....and of course, we all know that we can't see inside the mind!!

These sweet friends.....made me question myself as to whether or not we were making the right decision.   "Are you sure he needs to go to a Nursing Community?"   This was one of their questions.   Of course, they have not seen my dad in quite a while, and they have no clue about the
"Sun downers" that takes place while they are safely sleeping in their own beds!

It takes someone being there to make sure that meals or eaten, that medicine is taken properly and at the right time, someone to answer the hundreds of questions that are repeated over and over again.   Caring for an Alzheimer's patient means that you must spend many hours taking care of their hygiene needs....making sure that they don't wear the same clothes EVERYDAY for 10 days in a row.  It's helping them figure out the "all too familiar faces" of those whom they can not longer recognize.  So, to answer the question....Yes, I am sure that it is time to go to a home that can meet my dad's needs.

I have prayed and prayed about this situation and I can honestly say that God has given me Peace in our decision making, of placing dad in a home that I know can adequately take care of him.
Does this mean that I have no more responsibilities?  NO WAY!  I will continue to be there to support him....I will continue to monitor his care.....and I will always continue to put his best interest first.  

Thanks to each of you.....for allowing me just a few moments this morning, to clear my head....to be thankful for a loving God who knows my steps for this day and who will be walking right beside me...

many hugs to each of you!!
shug



Thursday, December 12, 2013

Photo of the day!



Photo of the day......  Gotta love it!!   I'm guessing a lot of planning and a little hard work, made this a scene for many to ENJOY!!!

Blessings sweet friends......

Shug ~

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

"Tinsel" has arrived!!

Where did he come from?  How did he get here?  There must be some kind of magic in the air!!!  I just don't know!

 I'm speaking of the "Elf on the Shelf."   Have you heard of him/her?   Where was he when I was a kid?  

I had heard of him/her before.....however, I had never seen him in action.....UNTIL THIS YEAR!

It seems that he returns to the "North Pole" each night and gives Santa a report......of who has been Naughty or NICE.
When he comes back to our house.....he usually engages in all kinds of activities for the rest of the night....But when the kids wake up, the little fella is REAL quite!!

This little elf of ours......has been named "Tinsel" and he has REALLY been busy this year!  Perhaps it's because he isn't familiar with this house!  I didn't give him a key...but he somehow has managed to follow the kids.....right here to 
Pop's and Shug's home.


just this morning.....Tori found him in my gumball machine!  He had been busy during the night...taking the blue gumballs out of the machine!  He had several lined up and who knows what his intentions were.




I sure hope I can get the gumball machine put back together!!!!  You see.....this elf....does not clean up after himself.   Whatever mess he makes the night before, I have to clean up. 


Night before last....."Tinsel" decided to go Zip-lining across the living room.   

Other things that he has done includes.....spending the night in our huge marshmallow jar, which sits beside the hot chocolate maker.  One night, he lined up all of Tori's stuffed animals and sorted out M&M's to them.   One got all red, the other all green, another....all yellow and so forth.

I promised Tori that I wouldn't show a picture of this.....but last week, he took the kid's underwear out their dresser drawers and he hung them on the tree.....Oh what a sight this was!!!!  Our Christmas tree was loaded down with undies!!

It's always interesting to see what he has done!  The best thing that I see about this deal is......Tori hops up out of bed each morning with no delays.   She's not a big morning person, and it takes a while to get her moving......but not when "Tinsel" is hanging around.  

How about you all......do you have a teeny, tiny fella hanging around your home?   

Hopefully.....your elf in not the one that has come up missing!!


Hope you all enjoy this day!  

Shug ~

Monday, December 9, 2013

Hard to Believe



Hard to believe that this ol' girl is at a loss for words today.  I'm speaking about me......not the reindeer.
I have nothing NEW going on in my life right now (and this is ok).......I have NO parties to plan for.....and I'm not motivated at this moment.....  

But......I'm a Happy Chick!!

and.....

I've got me some fashionable fingernails.



Check em' out!!!!!

Yep.....had these done last week and I was so excited because the red tip is something different.   Wouldn't you know it.....I got to church yesterday and I see 3 other ladies with their nails done.......JUST LIKE MINE!   


Will just have to get my (thinker) thinking, about what I can do different this week, to these lovely nails.
*******

Have you ever wanted to just ZONE OUT????

Wait....zone out doesn't sound fun....Let's just go with 
DAYDREAM.....big time!!

I need to release my mind!
 Occasionally, the warning message below streaks across my forehead....

"ERROR, ERROR, ERROR.....WARNING, BRAIN OVERLOAD"

This is when my daydreaming becomes a lifesaver!!





This is what I call a SWEET daydream!!

Have a super Blessed day.....It's a Beautiful world out there..

~shug 


Friday, December 6, 2013

Continued BF shopping trip....

Continued:




Why Not??........     Adorable!!   

Tell the truth......always tell the truth!   Are you a shoe lover????

Wouldn't be shopping if we didn't take the time to try on a shoe or 2 or 3 or 8!!


Academy....J.C. Penny's..... Life way Christian.....Chick Fil A.........Dillard's....
Macy's....The foot locker.....
.The Buckle.....Target.....McAllister's....
Justice.....
Hobby Lobby.......Karen Horton....
Kohl's.......
Bed Bath and Beyond!
Wal-Mart..............
Journey's......

and this is just to name a few of our stops!!!!

Oh...what fun it is to shop, and shop and shop and shop.....

Our stop at "Bed Bath and Beyond"......almost made me crash!!
Just before checking out, I noticed this chair in the middle of the isle and it had a heated vibrating cushion, rested on it.   Not only that, but in front of the chair, set a machine that massages your legs.   All you have to do is sit down in the chair, slip your legs into this machine and Wa, La......it was like, dream baby dream from that point on!  Oh my goodness....I must have sat there for at least 30 minutes.

It felt Sooooooo......Goood!!!!

Around 2:30, we realized that we had not even had lunch.....so off we go to SHARE a nacho basket and drink a glass of "Iced Tea" @ McAllister's .....

We were meeting the rest of the family around 6:30 for dinner.

As Carson would say.."This is a family tradition"...for the last four years, the family meets for dinner at:

The....Jalepeno Tree

So, So.....Good

Of course, this means that we Stink for the next few hours......As we shop!!!!!

After dinner.....we sent the kids and the men back home while we finished up our shopping.

Even though we stunk from all the Mexican food and grilled onions.....we marched our way right into the stores anyways,  just like we had just left a perfume factory!   Best part is....Not one person stopped us to say how bad we did stink!!!!

At the end of our 17 hour shopping spree......the girls decided that we had to end the day with something SWEET...    Lo and Behold.....right there in front of us was a "Baskin Robbins" ice cream shop!!!!  Imagine that!!

I can't believe it, but I ended up getting NOTHING!  Just too full from dinner.

Both of the girls.....filled their grill with not just one sweet dip, but 2 big dips of
creamy ice cream.   

By the time we got home.....my piggies were crying!!

Yep, both feet were mad at me!!

Can I tell you.....we had a super great day and I wouldn't take anything for the amount of time that I got to spend (alone) with my girls!!



I'll be back soon.....Stay warm!!!

shug ~






Thursday, December 5, 2013

Winter and a little BF Adventure time...

Ok.....Let me first apologize!   NO....  it's not snowing around here!  I have seen so many beautiful pictures from all of my dear blogging friends, who live up North.  You all have posted some beautiful photos of glistening white snow and it has sure made me wish for some to fall around here.

The above picture of Trista and I, was taken about 6 years ago (maybe longer) and I do believe it was the last decent snow that we have had here in East Texas.  I love to play in the stuff!!  Funny thing is........very few people in our area have the proper clothing for playing outdoors in Snowy weather.   Hoping that we get at least some snow this year.

And now......for my Black Friday Adventure!

The girls and I woke up around 4:00 A.M. and we were dressed and ready to walk out the door at exactly....4:30 A.M.      We all had matching T-shirts........UNTIL, I decided to do a tiny bit of needed alterations to mine.  You see, T-shirts that fit close to the neck......make me feel very claustrophobic!  I feel like I'm choking with a shirt on like this.  How could I possibly have a super productive shopping day, if I was bound at the neck?   



Cute........aren't they?

Well......as you can guess, I MESSED my shirt up....big time!   

Hey, I can't sew a lick, and I don't even try to pretend that I can.    What seemed to be a simple task, turned out to be a major disaster for my team shirt.

Trista....(who cannot sew either) came up with this super great idea.
Why not cut the neck out!!!!!  After all, a lot of friends do this and their T-shirts look great!

SO.......

With scissors in hand......I cut the neck on my shirt.  A person needs to realize that when making alterations.....it's all in the layout of the material that you are cutting.

Needless to say.......My shirt, is now in the pile to be cut up for OLD RAGS!


Our very first stop was.........Academy!    The doors were opening at 5:00 A.M. and YES, we were right there in the middle of that  (MILE LONG) trail that went around and around and around the building.    It didn't take very long to get inside, but I was already calculating in my head, how long it might take us to get through the stinking check-out lanes.

The picture above was taken about 5:30 that morning.   My feet were already HURTING, and the girls were still shopping.  I found myself a BIG seat on an exercise bicycle and I propped my feet up!!!!   Shoot naw....I didn't exercise not one bit on that thing!!



Next stop......The Mall!   As always, we had to get our snow globe from J.C. Penny's.
I must have at least a dozen of the things and they all look alike!!  


A little shoe shopping for the kids......at this point, Trista needed to rest her little piggies for a moment or two.   


then it was on to our Traditional breakfast at Chick Fil A.     Oh yes.....these small little chicken bites are soooooo goood and sooooo fattening!!   When you're hungry and when your tummy is making sounds that could make one think an earthquake just happened....
the best thing to do is EAT!!


Time for Shanda to take a break.  She needed a little bit of 
Face book therapy!!

By the way.....the shop that we were in for this picture, is a Resale shop and boy did we find some great deals!!!   (It never hurts to do a little shopping for yourself)


I have no idea what time this was......but, Shan found her a comfy place to rest.....right there on the TARGET buggy!   Target was a big stop for us.....after Shanda caught her second wind, we loaded that buggy up with all sorts of things.   Great sales?  Oh yes!!


Who needs a little time for SHOE shopping........WE DO!!!!!

More tomorrow!!!!!

shug~









Monday, December 2, 2013

Week update

  My goodness, my days have been more like 6 hour days and my nights have been like 6 hour nights......In other words, not enough hours in my days (or nights)

Our family celebrated a fun-filled, four day celebration, of being extremely thankful for so many things.   Of course, we are thankful every single day......what made the Thanksgiving Holiday's so special, was being able to spend quality time with family and friends!

My dad certainly enjoyed the entire family being able to get together and share not only a fabulous meal, but lots of games and fellowship.   Dad did not know everyone by name, but he knew their faces.  He made me smile because he kept saying....."do all of these people belong to me?"  Lol..

The kids returned to school today and the rest of my crew were back at work.   I had a FULL day planned of doing laundry, sweeping, mopping and cleaning house.  However, I spent the day taking care of our youngest grandson.....Trey.   Lets just say...... a family game of football was just a bit too rough and Trey ended up with a broken collar bone.   Yes, he sure did!  Bless His Heart....none of us knew that it was broken, until this morning.    I'm happy that I could be here for him!!

I remember breaking my collar bone when I was about 14.   Oh my goodness!  It hurt so bad and as I recall.....I was miserable for weeks.  My shoulder hurt, my neck hurt, my arm and wrist hurt......I hurt all over.

 I can tell you that I am so proud of our big boy!  He has really been a trooper and has been extremely tough throughout the entire ordeal.   He is in a sling right now, but will see an orthopedic doctor this week.   According to the x-ray, it sure looks like it needs to be set....Or Something!!!


I have much more to post.....(as I'm sure you all want to hear about my BLACK FRIDAY shopping trip) but for right now....My bed is calling my name!!

See ya later!

Shug

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