Don't let the difficulties of the present moments overshadow the reality of God's promises. God's promises still stand. And God's promises are stronger than our failures.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

I hate New Year's Resolutions because I can never keep them. I think maybe when God gave out will power I thought He was serving liver and onions and only took a tiny serving, just to be polite. So this year I didn't make any. Not one resolution. I gave myself permission to forget that whole process and it was quite freeing.

However, I do think that everyone should have goals.....things you want to do, things you dream about doing, things you know you ought to do but haven't quite achieved yet. The difference between goals and resolutions is that goals are always changing - they're never stagnant. For instance, a resolution you might make at the beginning of the year would be to lose 50 pounds this year. A lofty resolution indeed. One that would take a miracle to achieve. You might as well have wished for world peace. A goal would be more like....I'm going to eat a healthier diet so that I can lose weight and feel better. It's not a line drawn in the sand. If you eat healthier that doesn't mean you can't have brownies. If you have to lose 50 pounds, well then brownies are definitely not gonna happen. Ok, it's a fine line but work with me here.

I decided that this year I would set goals each month. And then I decided that, to hold myself accountable, I would post them on my sidebar. What was I thinking! That means I have to report my progress. That means you are all going to know about my will power and the connection with liver and onions. But during that brief brain freeze I went ahead and put them out there so now I have to belly up. What the heck does that mean...belly up? I've heard it all my life and I still don't know but it sounded good here, didn't it? Anyway, here goes.

1. Read The Greatest Generation by Tom Brokaw. Done. Finished. I know this is a really old book, relatively speaking and that I probably shouldn't tell you I've had this book for nearly five years. The copy I have was a gift to my Dad many years ago. I'm not sure who gave it to him but after Dad died I brought it home with me with every intention of reading it right away. I knew he loved it and I thought it would help me through the grief process. Wrong. This book is a collection of interviews/stories with and about men and women and their roles in World War II. My dad was a very, very proud veteran of that war and reading these stories was like reading about him. I started the book right after his death and had to put it down. It was just too hard. But this time when I started it I was better. I could read it and nod my head, thinking oh yea - that's just what he would have done. It was.....nostalgic but soothing. That might not make sense but that's how it felt.

2. Finish one block of Botanika. Botanika is an applique quilt top sort of like a Baltimore Album if you've ever seen one of those quilts. I started it one year ago, or was it two? I got two or three blocks finished and I was working on the next one when I laid it down. And didn't pick it back up. For a long time. I was feeling overwhelmed by a rediculous number of UFOs (unfinished objects) and by several other quilt tops I had started with my guild. I determined I would start again this year. The nice thing about goals is: they aren't written in stone. They can change. Excuses, excuses. Ok, here's the truth. I not only didn't finish a Botanika block, I never picked one up. I think I might know where they are. I might not. But I could find them in a hurry if I needed to. Sigh. This goal will be moved to my February list.

3. Finish Butterfly Quilt Top. Another one bit the dust! I don't remember when I started this quilt but it was at least a couple of years ago. I saw one similar to this one on Alex Anderson's quilt show that used to be on HGTV. I downloaded the pattern, which I didn't understand at all so I ignored it. I did, however, use the pattern for the butterfly as a base for my pattern. I used Steam A Seam Lite to iron on the black butterfly, then to iron on the slightly smaller floral butterfly, and then to iron on the body. I think there might have been an easier way to do this but if there is don't tell me. I added the sashes and the corner posts and....done! Well, sort of done. It still has to be quilted of course. I haven't sewn any on the butterflies and plan to stitch around them as part of the quilting.

4. Finish Redwork Christmas Stocking. The Redwork is finished! but the stocking isn't made. This is the 10th redwork stocking I've made and, I hope, the last. I might finish the stocking in February, but it isn't going on the goals because, heavens I don't need it for 11 more months!

5. Lose 5 pounds. On December 26th, the day after Christmas, I got on the scales and, well let's just say I wasn't happy. I knew it was time. My weight was at an all time high, my blood pressure was going up and down in a way that flashed warning signs, my arthritis was doing a number on my hips and I was having trouble breathing and walking up a flight of stairs at the same time. Not good. No, not good at all. I'm happy to say that on January 31, one month (plus a few days) after the weigh-in, I am down 6 pounds. I regret to say that on January 26, one month exactly after the weigh-in, I was down 9 pounds. Which means I added 3 pounds back in those few days. I blame that on my Bible study class having dinner together. Because of the homemade cornbread muffins and Italian Cream Cake I lapsed in my determination. But I'm back on track and shall forge ahead. I'm also going to physical therapy two or three times a week, either working out on the torture devices they call exercise machines or exercising in the pool. And I found a great DVD (Leslie Sansone: Walk At Home) that I put in my computer and that I can walk with in my bedroom. It has five miles on it in one mile increments. And even though I'm still at one mile I plan to add a second mile soon.

6. Make one charity quilt. This is another finish. A friend in my quilt guild is going to Peru in May and wanted to take some quilts for children with her. A couple of women in the guild decided to help out with that and have now collected 50 kids quilts! This Noah's Ark Quilt is going to Peru! It's just a quilted panel that I put the binding on but it's a quilt and some child will love it.

7. This wasn't listed as part of my goals but my ongoing determination to finish some UFOs I got out this Easter Bunny I embroidered last year. I had already put the borders on and it was just waiting for the quilting. I'm happy to say that I did some free motion quilting on the borders but I'm unhappy to say that somehow the center panel ended up wrinkled. I'm not sure how to fix that unless I do some really close quilting in the unembroidered spaces. Any suggestions?

So that's my January goals report. Some accomplished, some not. Those nots will go on my February Goals list along with a few new ones. One thing I've learned from this little adventure is that when you post something on your sidebar you really do feel responsible for doing what you say you will do and, if you're anything like me, you'll feel guilty for those you didn't manage to meet. I am the Guilt Queen of America and can manage to feel guilty about most anything!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I Just Realized

I just realized that this is 2009! Oh I know it's been 2009 for almost a month now. I've written it on all my checks. Well I don't write many checks any more since they invented debit cards but still, I knew. I have 3 calendars in my house that I turn every day but come to think of it they don't have the year, just the day so I've kept up with the day better than the year. At least I'm keeping up with the day, most of the time.

Anyway I just realized that this year my husband and I will celebrate our 45th wedding anniversary. I actually have two dates I could choose. March 8 is the day we met and the day I told my mother I'd met the man I would marry. In my mind, and in his too, that was our beginning and the day we were married in our hearts. October 7 is the day we went to the church with both our fathers crying and our friends saying, "you don't have to do're way too young."

I expect this to be a big anniversary. I'm sure he will give me a trip to Europe, two diamond rings and a mink coat to wear in the Porche convertible that will be sitting in the driveway. I plan to give him a new recliner because that's what would make him happiest I'm sure. That is if we remember it on the day and not several days later like we've done a time or three in the past.

The first 25 years of marriage anniversaries were really important to me. Now it's the moments that are important. The moment we say "good morning" is a good one because it means we're both up and alive! Another great moment is when I walk through the living room and he's sitting there in that, you guessed it, recliner and I'm on my way to the sewing room and all is right with our world. But the best moment of all is when we meet in the kitchen, whoever is ready first waiting on the other, to head out to church. It's the moments that are the best anniversary gifts of all.

Monday, January 26, 2009

And The Winners Are.....

First things first girls. For those of you following my other blog, the second post is up!


It's Monday my friends and the drawing has taken place. I cut up all those comments and threw them on the floor - yep, scientific wasn't it? I drew out two names and they are:

Gift #1 (the quilters gift) goes to Love Bears All Things and
Gift #2 (the non-quilters gift) goes to Tracy P.

I'll be contacting you both to get addresses so I can send these out. But I won't send them tomorrow or maybe even the next day - our weather is nasty right now. We have ice! Just a little but more expected tomorrow. I'm just hoping it's not enough for me to.....horrors.....lose electricity. :( We do have a generator and a fireplace but I like warm, really warm.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Another Blog - Have I Lost My Mind?

Jerry and I began a journey a couple of years ago that has led us in a direction we never thought to take. We've done some mission work and are planning to do more. One of the assistant pastors has asked me to blog about that journey, both the stuff that led us to this point and a sort of journal as we go through the next months of preparation. She wants to use it to
strongarm, oops, convince others that they can do this too. So I've started another blog. I don't plan to write every day, or even every other day. I plan to write when the mood strikes me, or when God nudges whichever comes first. If you're interested the new one is .­ Honestly now, when am I going to learn to say no?

Thursday, January 22, 2009


This is post #201 since I began blogging in April. Who would have thought I could talk that much? Don't answer that! Anyway I've decided to have a giveaway for my regular readers. Did you get that...regular readers? Rule #1 - do not post about this giveaway. I really do want a couple of my "regular folks" to win. I've done the other kind of giveaway where you post it and they post it and you get lots of comments but most of those people never come back. So for this one we'll just keep it small. However, if you're a regular reader and not a regular commenter you go ahead and comment now - I'd love to know who you are. :)
I have two gifts to give away. The first one is aimed at quilters and includes several patterns, a couple of quilting/sewing tools, and some quilt labels. That's gift #1.
The second gift is aimed at the non-quilters, though you quilters might prefer this one and that's ok too. It includes a tea towel I appliqued, a dish rag I knitted, a journal, a sweet little book by Dr. Dobson, and two candles. That's gift #2.
So here's what you do. Leave a comment on this post and just tell me which gift you want to receive. DO NOT post about it. Just comment. (That's the school teacher in me coming out and telling you over and over what not to do.) I will draw names (no random generator thingy for me) on Monday. I will ship internationally so if you're not in the USA that's ok.
Why am I doing this? Because I love blogging, I love my readers, and God has blessed me with your presence.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Baby Harper

There's a new post up at Kelly's about baby Harper if you're following this story.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Blue Light Special

I had an appointment with the dermatologist this morning. Routine visit. A year or so ago I had a little basal cell carcinoma cut out and so now I go annually to get a "body check." My plans were to go in, get a couple of small places looked at, and get out. I had a to-do list all mapped out: doctor, bank, fill the car up with gas, buy thread, get car washed, pick up a book at the library....the list was pretty long. The best laid plans.

First of all you have to understand that the dermatologist is absolutely wonderful, has the most beautiful skin you've ever seen on any man, and will certainly be celebrating his 14th birthday this year. Maybe 15th. He looks quickly and talks fast. He immediately froze 4 places; one on my hand, one on my arm, one on my back and one on my really low back (yes, you could classify that as my backside). That's my first time for freezing off one of those questionable spots. It didn't hurt as bad as childbirth and that's all I've got to say about that.

Then he said, "we have to do something about all those pre-cancerous places on your face." Huh? What places? To say that I am a normal 62 year old woman should tell you immediately that my close-up vision is not good. I put in a contact to put on my makeup. Then I take it out to sew. I put it in to go shopping. I take it out to read. One contact. Because I can see a mile away but nothing on my nose. It seems he saw lots of little red spots under the skin on my nose and cheeks, under my eyes and on my forehead. Sun damage that would someday turn into cancers that he would have to cut out one at a time over the next however many years God gives me on this earth. He assured me I wouldn't like that.

So we discussed options. Or he discussed options. His preferred method of treatment is the "blue light." I felt like a K-Mart Special. He put something on my face that is supposed to be a natural substance but is really some kind of acid. Then I waited an hour and went back in. The nurse put sun glasses on me - you know the kind like you wear in a tanning bed? No I don't get in a tanning bed. Any more. But that kind. And then she put this space helmet down over my head - no kidding, it was sort of an old fashioned hair dryer helmet but updated to Space Odyssey Year 2098. They turned it on for 16 minutes and 41 seconds and I am not kidding. That's the exact time she told me. And then she left.

So I'm sitting in the dark with my eyes closed and sunglasses on and a space helmet over my head. When I get nervous or scared or bored I have to have something to do to keep me from running screaming so I sing Jesus Loves Me. Not out loud. But over and over. You can sing Jesus Loves Me a lot of times in 16 minutes and 41 seconds. Finally it goes off and the nurse comes back in to remove it.

She turns to look at me and her eyes widen. Uh Oh. And she says, "was your face peeling like that when you came in?" Uh Oh. I reply, calmly, "Since I can't see my face I don't know what you're referring to She says "I'll get you a mirror and I think you're going to need some pain pills." Uh Oh. She brings me a mirror and my face is peeling all over like you do a week after a bad sunburn. I ask if this is the norm. Still calm. Until she says "I've never seen anyone do this." Uh Oh. I ask for the doctor, the 14 year old one. He's so cheerful I want to slap him. He says....oh it's gonna' be will just take a little longer than we first're skin is so fine and so thin that you just started the process a little sooner than normal but look at it like this. Lots of women pay a lot of money for a mid-level chemical peel for cosmetic purposes but your insurance company is gonna' pay for yours because it was for medical purposes. And you're gonna' look really a week or two. A week. Or Two. It's a little swollen now but it will go down. No kidding. That's what he said. It's peeling but you just wash it and rub it with a washrag and that will come off. No kidding. That's what he said. It won't last but a week. Or two.

Picture a white haired, very fair skinned woman after being in the sun for several hours with no sunscreen. That's me.

I have a pretty tough schedule this week (according to my sister my normal schedule rivals her 40-50 hour work week and she'd rather work and get paid for it thank you very much). I'm doing physical therapy 3 times, had quilt guild tonight and a quilt group Wednesday, a luncheon, the theater, a two day women's conference, etc. Need I say more?

I called a friend in Little Rock because Jerry and I have theater tickets with she and her husband and was bemoaning my fate. I wasn't sure I could go looking like this. She said, "Oh Marlene I went to our high school reunion bald after my chemo. It's no big deal." The blue light special was now over. It's gonna be no big deal!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Please Pray For Harper

Update: For those of you who are praying for Harper please follow the link below to see pictures of this beautiful baby girl. She is holding her own and we continue to pray for this child and her family.

Please pray for baby Harper who was born at 7:03 p.m. yesterday to Kelly and Scott. She apparently has pneumonia and has been flown to Tulsa to the Children's Hospital where they will be doing a heart/lung bypass. Her sweet mother is still in the hospital where she delivered and can't be there with Harper but Scott and his parents are there. I cannot imagine the fear they are feeling but they are powerfully strong Christians and so are resting in our Lord's grace. Please help them by praying.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I'm Doris Day

There's this little quiz that I saw over at Janera's blog where you can answer two questions and the quiz maker tells you which movie star you closely resemble. Personality not looks....darn. Now just imagine...with only two questions your whole personality is analyzed, sifted, scrutinized and boiled down to a few sentences that describe you. I thought - no way. That's so rediculous. It can't even get close to who I am.

But then up popped this picture. I am Doris Day! And I thought, "oh my goodness I love Doris Day! I can just see her now with Rock Hudson in that convertible in the middle of winter. The top is down and he takes off his glove to hold her hand. What was that movie? You know the one, where he was a womanizer and they shared a telephone party line? Anyway, who wouldn't want to think they were like Doris Day?

"Dorises are warm, concerned, nurturing, and sensitive to other people's needs." That's what the quiz maker said and I thought, oh yea, that's me! How there anyone out there who would say oh that's not me. I'm not warm, I'm not sensitive to others.

Here are some things to like about a Doris:
* being able to relate easily to people and to make friends
* knowing what people need and being able to make their lives better
* being generous, caring, and warm
* being sensitive to and perceptive about others' feelings
* being enthusiastic and fun-loving, and having a good sense of humor

Notice a pattern here? All good stuff. Nothing bad. Nothing like "impatient with people who act stupid in the grocery store." Nothing like "would rather stay in bed on a cold day that get out and run errands - lazy?" Nothin like "hates diets and stomps her foot while standing in front of the refrigerator because everything in there is fattening." Nothing like, "can't remember names of people she's known all her life" or "forgets to stir when she's cooking and burns the beans." Nothing like that stuff.

I have to admit though that if Doris really is generous, caring and warm...if she really is sensitive to and perceptive about others' feelings...if she's enthusiastic and fun-loving and has a good sense of humor then I have to agree I'm just like Doris! :)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Beauty and Confusion

Last night as I was preparing dinner this was my view outside my kitchen window. I am constantly amazed by the work God does. If the colors are this beautiful here can you even imagine what they will be like in Heaven? I can't but I like to think about that. I bet there are colors we've never dreamed of and birds that are so dazzling we couldn't take it in if they were here. I bet the music is so incredible that we will simply stand in awe and that the mansion He has prepared for us is more beautiful than any castle we've ever read about.

I went to my back door to capture the moment from there and obviously I'm not a photographer but doesn't the peace just sort of surround you and make you feel like you're in His arms?

On the other hand, this creation that God designed has gotten a little confused. Either that or she is on a different calendar than me. Christmas is over. But you can't tell it by her! She has just now begun to bloom for the season and she is stunning sitting there under my bedroom window. So in honor of her confusion I decided to finish a Christmas wallhanging. :)

The Christmas Cat is a panel I've had for several years and just never took the time to work on. I wanted to begin/practice a little machine quilting so I decided to do this "primitive". I paid no attention to the items on the quilt, like the tree and the packages, except in a general way. I "sort of" quilted around each ornament and package and the tree but didn't care if I stayed in the lines or not - kind of like when I was five years old and coloring. :) It gave me a chance to get a feel for the loosey-goosey feel of having the feed dogs down and gave me some practice time. It was a fun thing to do.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Geese

My husband says he has the wild geese on the lake trained to come when he goes out to the sea wall to feed them.

But what really happens is the geese swim up to the sea wall and honk. He hears them, gets the bread, and goes out to feed them.

Who trained who?

Friday, January 9, 2009

Here's Your Chance!

Here it is, your one and only to get something hand made by me! See that Pay It Forward widget over there on the right? I've joined Bonnie over at Calamity Jane's Cottage in this little pass it on game. Here's how it works (yes I'm copying it from Bonnie cause why retype if you don't have to!):

It’s based of the concept of the movie “Pay it Forward” where acts or deeds of kindness are done without expecting something in return, just passing it on, with hope that the recipients of the acts of kindness pass it on. So here’s how it works. I will make and send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment to this post on the blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I do not know what that gift will be yet, and it won’t be sent this month, probably not next month, but it will be sent (within 6 months) and that’s a promise! What YOU have to do in return, then, is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.

I've actually done this Pay It Forward exchange before and enjoyed it so much that I wanted to do it again. It's really fun to make something for someone else for no particular reason except that I want to. I have absolutely no idea right now what I'm going to make but I promise it won't be home baked because you know how I am about cooking - not so good. It will definitely be something stitched and you will definitely get it sooner rather than later. Bonnie said within 6 months but I'll go her one better and say within 3 months. :)

Now remember you have to be in the first three that sign up to do this (you can comment without signing up!) and you have to pass it on. Be sure I have your e-mail or your blog address so I can get in touch with you.

Now when I say go ya'll can fight over me. Go!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

From The Diary Of A Seven Year Old

Today I had fleas in my hair.
First my mama washed my hair with a special shampoo.
Then my mama combed my hair with a special comb.
Then my mama put olive oil in my hair.
Then she combed my hair with the special comb again.
Then my mama washed my hair again.
Then my mama combed my hair with that comb again.
Then I took a bath and my grandma washed my hair.
Then my mama dried my hair and combed it with that comb.
Then all the fleas were gone. Tomorrow I can go to school.

My mama said not to tell anyone I had fleas.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Eat This And Live

I just finished reading a new book that I got at the Christian Book Store. The title is Eat This And Live by Don Colbert, M.D. I'm making a list in my sidebar this year of books as I read them and will try to give you a brief overview of the ones that aren't pure trash. That means you might get a book review once or twice this year. :)

It Was Scary! I eat all the wrong things. You eat all the wrong things. I thought I was doing so good when I switched to 1% milk, low-fat yogurt, canola oil, Splenda, etc. This book tells you the good, the bad, the ugly about all of that and more. He recommends everything organic which is certainly what we'd all like to do but how in the world do you afford it? There are just the two of us eating in this house most of the time but even so we live on social security and teacher retirement and that just goes so far. He does list some alternatives, thank goodness, but not nearly enough!

I'm not a big meat eater but my husband is. I've always known that Jerry eats too much meat, but even I do (according to Colbert) and that's saying something! I loved the fact that the author explained Biblically his reasons for making some of his recommendations and I gained a better understanding of what God told us to do, beginning with just eating growing things like plants, and then later (after Noah) with God's directions that it was ok to eat some meat. And in the New Testament Paul talks a lot about meat eating, even pork.

The day after Christmas I started on a healthier way of eating...according to me. I cut my chai tea in half (woe is me!), started adding fresh fruit much more often (Dr. Colbert recommends washing it with water with a few drops of bleach in it!), cutting out most sweets, etc. And I have to say I've already lost 4 pounds so it's helping. This book reminded me of the importance of eating nuts, blueberries, extra virgin olive oil....things I already know but don't think about very often. Of course, there's much more than this that makes sense in the book but these are some of the highlights. The price for the book was $15.99 at my store (I had a coupon though which lowered the price) but I found it for less than $11 on Amazon if you're interested.

Has it changed my way of thinking? Yes. Here are some things I plan to do:
1. Drink more water. And more water.
2. Investigate a water purifier and rarely, if ever, drink out of plastic bottles.
3. Wash fruit much more thoroughly. Try to find an economic fruit cleaner (the stuff I saw in the grocery was expensive I thought).
4. Buy double fiber bread. Check out local bakeries for Ezekial Bread.
5. Make my own salad dressing.
6. Read labels much more aggressively, looking for ingredients and not just fat & sugar content.
7. Eat more nuts and vegetables.
8. Make a list of "do buy" and "don't buy" products to keep in my purse so that I won't get confused in the grocery store.

I'm glad I bought this book. I'll keep it and use it as a reference book.

(He recommends Stevia instead of sugar. Anyone use this? Got any tips?)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Oh Eight Was Great

I'm stealing this idea from Mama Kat but she won't care. In fact she said I could so I guess that means it's not really stealing. Which is a good thing since I don't do that. God said don't and even though sometimes I don't get it when God says don't, I do get it about this so I don't. Make sense?

There's no particular order to this Top Ten list and I could probably expand it to a Top Twenty list but that would take too long to read so here goes:

1) I'll start with the best even though it happened on the last day of the year. Andrew was born! Grandchild number eight made us all even, four girls/four boys. And he's healthy and has all the necessary parts and they all work!

2) I turned 62. Now I know that most people wouldn't think that would make the top ten list but for me it did. Uncle Sam started paying me to stay home and blog. Isn't that too cool?

3) Which brings me to number three - I discovered blogging and made 973 new friends. At least. Maybe more. I lost count. Ok already, so I didn't count but I bet there are at least that many.

4) I quit artificial nails. Yes, after a twenty five year addiction (ok maybe twenty) I stopped cold turkey. They looked terrible for many months and they don't look great now because they're very short and they keep breaking but they're getting better. And that's time I'm not spending at the nail place, and money I'm saving. Good for me.

5) I quit dying my hair. Yes, after a forty year addiction (and this time I'm not kidding) I stopped cold turkey. It was pretty awful because I colored my hair a dark brown and the roots were white but it is now all white. White. Me. How in the world did I get to be old enough to have white hair?

6) I completed the second year of a four year Bible study and started the third year. My husband and I are doing this together and we go once a week for about 34 weeks each year. We sort of loosely follow the school year. My memory isn't what it once was so I don't remember everything we study but I do remember enough to understand the history that's talked about during the sermons on Sundays and you'd be surprised at how much the sermons are enhanced when you can add that to it.

7) I celebrated my 44th wedding anniversary. Glory Be! I don't even feel like I'm 44 years old so how can I be married 44 years?

8) I had a small health problem in the spring that kept me from going on a mission trip I had planned but the health problem was small and I got to go on a different mission trip in late November that I absolutely loved! I loved it so much that I (and my husband) have volunteered to go back for a long-term (two or three month) position. We haven't been chosen yet but maybe we will in '09. :)

9) I learned some new things in quilting, some new things on the computer, some new things in church, and some new things about myself. Learning new things means I'm continuing to grow and become a better person. Oh and that stuff about myself - I learned that I'm not any more graceful at 62 than I was at 32 but that it doesn't embarrass me any more because I'm much more ok with myself now; and I learned that people who gossip about me (or you) aren't worth worrying about because spreading gossip is kind of like spreading manure on a garden...the one spreading it ends up smelling bad; and I learned that God has plans for things He wants me to do so no matter what my age I still have things to contribute to others and to the world. And I learned that Jesus knows me - this I love.

10) For the second year in a row I got to have five of my high school girlfriends spend the weekend with me. This year we will be attending our 45th high school reunion so for six of us to still be around, still know where the others are, still love each other and still want to spend time together is a miracle! Old friends have a special place in my heart.

Anybody out there want to join me in celebrating '08? Make your own Top Ten List and let me know!