I won’t say, “Wow, how did we get to 2022, wasn’t it just 2020!” No, I’m not going to say that! But, really, HOW? Okay….moving on…
I wanted to write on one of my favorite subjects today about being thankful and not only speaking of our thankfulness but, putting it in writing. I knew I had written on this subject a few times before and the latest was in January of 2020. When I was writing on my goals and dreams for 2020, I had no idea what was in store. What a wild and crazy year it was. It carried over into 2021 and thankfully things settled down mid 2021. I could say, I never want to think about that year and a half again, but, I can’t. I learned way too much. I love sharing the things that I learn in order to hopefully encourage or help someone else. One of the things that helped me navigate my way out of such craziness during that time was reading after others who had been in the same shoes. It gave me much hope. I’ll admit, sometimes I would read things and it made it worse. Oh, I hope I don’t do that for anyone.
Back to the main topic….thankfulness!
I’m going to share this post that I did when I was preparing for 2020:
This morning I checked my phone to see if I had any calls or texts. One of my texts was from a number that didn’t look familiar. It basically said, “Hey, how are you? I’m blah blah and we traded numbers at blah blah’s cocktail party, you want to get together?” (They really used a name, I’m just saying blah blah because I can’t remember the name they used.) Anyway, I started to delete it and block the number, but, I thought, well, she probably needs to know she has the wrong number. So, I simply wrote, “wrong number.” She quickly wrote back something like, “I can’t believe he gave me the wrong number, I’ve never had that happen before, I feel like a ****.” Then I thought, “hmmm….maybe this person needs to hear something about Christ.” This is the time my husband will say, “Why, you know you should always just delete a wrong number.” Anyway….She then sent a picture of her face. She looked like she was about 20 if that. I proceeded to tell her that she needed to trust Jesus as He will never let her down or deceive her. What have I got to lose, I’m 62. I’m a mom and a mimi! I sent her a scripture. Then she wrote back as if she didn’t read anything and said, “can you talk, etc.” The way “she” wrote this, I could tell, this wasn’t an accident. So, I then gave this person the plan of salvation and another scripture and blocked the number and deleted it.
A couple of lessons learned.
#1. There are people out there randomly sending what looks to be innocent texts to whomever, hoping they get a vulnerable person that will be pulled in to only the Lord knows what!
#2. When you read about a child or teen who is caught up in horrible positions, it could have begun with something like this text. Or even a grown adult who has no scruples as to know what is going on. That is what they hope for; that someone on the other end will take the bait. Many are hooked and caught in a horrible net of sin and deception.
#3. When you get a text or call like that, block it immediately. Don’t think you are going to win them….you are dealing with satan himself! He is out to destroy you and will stop at nothing!
I felt strongly that I needed to share this with you as January happens to be “Human Trafficking Awareness Month.”
The angle that I feel strongly about is in protecting your children. Just about every child/teen has a phone these days. If we only knew the snares that our kids can get into just with a simple phone that we think is there to keep them safe. Which it will, but, what discernment they must have in how to control the phone. Many parents just hand the phone to their children without any warnings or rules. Remember most kids can’t even make their own beds or brush their teeth without being told to, yet we give them a phone and expect them to have wisdom.
Many years ago, I led a group in our city that worked on fighting the por*nography problem in our area. It was bad and I will share soon what all we accomplished and what I learned. But, the reason I tell you that is one of the first things that I learned was when it came to allowing your children to go online, we have no idea what all is available at the touch of a keyboard. What I would tell parents is to imagine dropping your child off alone at Central Park in New York City at the entrance and tell them you will pick them up in a couple of hours. Really, any park these days. Would you? I didn’t think so! That is how it is when you let your child sit down at the computer. Anything and everything is lurking to wait to lure your child to them. Now days, it’s the phone. We hand a phone to our child/teen and anything and everything is waiting for just the right moment.
The text that I got this morning, wasn’t my first. For about two years I was on someones list that sent group texts with links to only the Lord would know. I have a feeling the way they got my number was from a valet service I used at a hotel in Fort Worth because, the texts began the day I left the hotel. (a very nice hotel, by the way.) Each time I would get one, I would block every number. Then more would come a few days later. I did call the police and they said that nothing could really be done as it was probably coming from over seas. So, I kept blocking the numbers for almost two years. They finally stopped. Maybe they ran out of numbers.
I can’t even imagine what someone would get into if they clicked on the links or answered a call. We really do need to take it very seriously what is going on in our world and how the enemy is out to steal, kill and destroy us and our children!
It’s so easy to get caught up in our happy, fulfilled lives that we think that nothing bad will happen or come near our home. I honestly feel that we shouldn’t be scared, but we should be aware. Don’t bury your head in the sand and think, “aww, that won’t happen here.” As a parent, we are the one that is responsible for our children’s safety. Not the schools, not the government, not the neighbor, etc. It’s you! So, what have you done to make sure your child is protected with the device that is in their hands that can go around the world and back? What about you? Are you on your toes and aware of how you can be affected as well?
One time I got a wrong number on my phone. He asked for so and so, I said “You have the wrong number.” I hung up immediately. He called back and I thought, “my goodness, did he dial the wrong number again?” He didn’t have nice things to say and I hung up as fast as I could! We can be caught off guard so easily. We need to always be asking the Lord for wisdom and discernment in this area!
I so hope this helps someone and prevents something really awful happening to an innocent child, teen or adult! May we always be aware and remember the world is not as safe as we wish it were. We are to be a light in a dark world; use much wisdom in every way possible!
Since it is “Human Trafficking Awareness Month,” I hope you will become aware of the problem, pray about it and always be alert. The area that I live in has been labeled as being rampant with this issue. I do my best to always be alert and aware of what is going on in my community and I keep my eyes open for anything that looks suspicious. I’m also making it more of a habit to not answer numbers that I don’t know and delete text the second they come in that are obviously not right.
I am sharing an article that I wrote describing a couple of instances I went through as a child and a teen. This was in the 70’s, so I can only imagine how much worse it would be today. I will always remember those times and I thank the Lord constantly for protecting me and giving me wisdom even as a young girl. I’m also including an article I wrote on what to do when hear an Amber Alert.
Labor Day, 2021! As I was preparing for today, I got to thinking….”what is Labor Day about, anyway?” I tend to forget as we don’t hear much about it except it is a National Holiday….banks are closed, mail doesn’t run, some businesses are closed or close early and you may see flags flying more than normal. I looked up the actual meaning of Labor Day and this is what I found:
Observed the first Monday in September, Labor Day is an annual celebration of the social and economic achievements of American workers. The holiday is rooted in the late nineteenth century, when labor activists pushed for a federal holiday to recognize the many contributions workers have made to America’s strength, prosperity, and well-being.
You can read more about Labor Day by clicking here.
I have to share with you the story of my mom who is my hero, by the way. My mom will be 83 this week. She still works to this day. Not because she has to… because she wants to.
I love to hear her stories of her younger years. They were tough and they got tougher as she got older. The sad thing is, it didn’t have to be tough. It was mainly due to choices of people in her life that didn’t see her value and worth. The good news is, it only made her stronger. I could tell you some amazing stories….but for today, I just want to share a tiny bit of her life as a woman who has been in the labor force for 70 years.
Mom began working in a movie theater when she was 13 years old. She worked at the popcorn concession stand for a man named Mr. Moses who owned the local movie theaters in Fort Stockton, Texas. He moved her up to work in the ticket booth selling movie tickets. She worked there until she graduated from high school. I have to share this bit of trivia. A lady came to the theater regularly that had a little girl that my mom describes as so very cute and mannerly. My mom asked the lady what her little girls name was. The lady answered, “Beverly Kay.” She had blonde hair and green eyes. As she walked away, my mom told herself that if she ever had a little girl, she would name her Beverly Kay. And, she did…..and I even had blonde hair and green eyes!
After my mom graduated, she worked for an oil company until she married. After my mom married, she helped my dad manage the movie theaters that Mr. Moses hired my father for in a small West Texas town of Crane and eventually in New Mexico. Shortly after, my mom became a telephone operator. As time went on and with three little ones, she always had a job as a store clerk, desk clerk etc. If you follow me, you know a bit about “my story.” We moved many times as my dad was a surveyor and we moved with a crew of people all over Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma.
My parents divorced when I was 12. We were now on our own and zero money. When I say zero….I really mean it. My mom made it work somehow. I was beginning Jr. High and she began working as a desk clerk at a large hotel in town. Long hours and low pay. She looked for part time work to go along with that job and worked at a country club on weekends at the front desk. She also worked the concession stand at the professional baseball teams park. Yes, I was a babysitter for my two younger brothers. Lot’s of time sitting at baseball games waiting for my mom to get off. Life was busy and a bit hard, but, because of my moms hard work ethic, we made it! Let me just share this. My mom would have loved to have been a stay at home mom and raise us three kiddos. It just never worked out for her.
Our lives changed when I was 14. Jesus came into our lives and talk about a change not only in our personal lives, but our home life as well. My mom found a new job that would replace those three other jobs. She worked for the local newspaper office. She was the one who put the ads in the paper for local businesses. One day as she was measuring an ad for a church, she read about a group that was coming to town to sing. That is how we ended up in this particular church after never really knowing what church was all about and surely never attending as a family.
After attending and growing in our walk with the Lord, the pastor and his assistant came to visit and offered my mom a job as the church secretary. My mom was shocked but told them that she had just gotten this job at the newspaper office and was making enough money to make it. She explained that she couldn’t leave unless she were to make more money that she was. After they asked her how much she needed to make, she said that she was making $100.00/week. They then offered her $125.00/week. She then accepted the offer and worked as the church secretary for 12 years. She loved her job. She never complained and never talked about anything that was going on in the office. The only thing she would tell me is how much she enjoyed her work and the people she served. She also told me that they loved our little family and loved me and I believed her. I grew up always feeling safe where we were. Money was always tight, but, as hard as it is to explain…..we never did without necessities. I believe the Lord took care of my mom because of her hard honest work. She never thought anyone owed her anything. That goes for the government, too. We were never on government assistance of any kind. My mom felt that as long as you can work and have a job, you didn’t need assistance. If you don’t have a job, you get out and find one.
My mom did get a night job once cleaning office buildings for awhile when she left her church secretary job. She worked downtown as a secretary for a secretarial service and she had a friend who had a check cashing store and they asked her to manage that. When my husband and brother began their business they asked her to come work for them as a bookkeeper. That is what she is still doing to this day. Everyone loves my mom because they know she loves them and if they don’t see mom around for a few days, they will always ask, “Where’s Grandmom!”
Well, I could go on forever talking about my mom. I just wanted you to get a glimpse of a lady who has never been afraid of work. She has been working since she was 13 and will be 83 this week. Labor Day is the day to honor women like my mom! She is what makes America great!
May you have a great Labor Day and honor those that work for all that they have! If you ever need someone to teach about work ethic, you might ask my mom!
Let’s continue on with our discussion on things that I’m working on for the new year. We talked about being thankful in my last post and showing our thankfulness in writing. If you missed it, click here to read.
When looking back on 2019, I am most frustrated by letting the negative things have a strong hold in my life. I could list them for you, but, I won’t as to bore you to death. There are some crazy things that are just plain old negative going on and sometimes I get really discouraged by them. When we are discouraged, we have a tendency to think:
“What’s the use”
“I give up”
“I’m not trying anymore”
“I’ll never trust anyone ever again”
…and it goes on and on.
I’m sure you can list something that you have said in your mind when the negative elements of life hit you in the face.
I’m basically a very easy going person. I’m on the quiet side and I love a quiet easy life. I don’t have to have lot’s of noise and things going on all the time to be fulfilled. Although, I love to go and see new places and meet new people. I have many friends who I’ve known for many years and I also love making new friends. I will go out of my way to nurture my friendships.
I am crazy about my family. Each one of them mean more to me than I can even express in writing. I will do whatever it takes to make sure they know how much I love each one of them.
I am so very thankful that I know without a doubt who my creator is. So thankful that I put all of my faith and trust in Christ at the age of 14 and have never regretted, doubted or looked back. As a new believer there was a short time I had questions as the things I was learning in the textbooks and by teachers at school didn’t add up to what I was hearing at church. I came to a decision that my Bible was where I would get my answers. My faith has only gotten stronger year after year. For this I am grateful. So, I am sensitive to those that have chosen to not believe because I can see how in the world that we have, it would be easier to not believe in a creator. It makes me even more thankful for my strong faith. It doesn’t come easy for some.
So, when life is so good and you have a thankful heart… how can negativity creep in?
So glad you asked that.
*If you turn on the t.v and especially if you are a news junkie like me, you will see the negative. I don’t watch the local news, if I did, I wouldn’t leave my house! I’m a FOX News fan and I watch a couple of my favorite commentators in the evening. Woo….weee……as my mom has always said, “The world is going to hell in a hand basket!” I can only handle so much. I do want to stay on top of things in the world. I don’t want to be ignorant of things going on out there. As a young girl, I had to do a report on current events and my grandfather gave me a huge stack of a news magazine collection he had of current events around the world. That was the first time I had seen or heard of things going on in our world. I was amazed. Since that time, I’ve been intrigued with issues going on in our world. It does seem like the negative outweighs the good in our world.
*People seem to be on edge every where you turn. The city I live in is going through a boom due to the oil industry. It is busy and crowded. Many rude drivers abound and it seems everyone is out for themselves. When you go to a retail establishment or restaurant, it is refreshing when you meet an unhurried and friendly person….pretty rare. It’s almost like, you take what you can get in the food area when dining out. That’s why I love to travel, you get really good service in places that aren’t desperate for help.
*People. Yes, you read that correctly…people. We live in a culture of “It’s all about me!” “Like it or leave it!” “I can treat you anyway I want and there is nothing you can do about it.” “I don’t need a friend, I have plenty!” “If you don’t look and act how I think you should, you aren’t worth my time.” Yep, we all know people like that. Sometimes we sit next to them at church, we live next door to them and yes, they are even in our families. I know; not fun at all. Someone told me once, “You would be the last person I would be friends with; just because you are family doesn’t mean I like you.” Alrighty then…..next! 😉 Negative words sting, don’t they? Negative words also stick! Isn’t it funny that we can remember the negative words and we can barely remember the positive words that are said to us. That’s why it’s important to always affirm strangers, friends and family with your positive words. Tell others what you appreciate about them and why. You might change someones life just with your kind words.
*Social media is everywhere. I don’t think we can get away from it. There are good things that can come from social media, though. I am learning to pace myself and figure out how social media will and won’t be a part of my life. Let’s just say this…..I am so very thankful that social media wasn’t around when I was a teen. Yikes! I feel sorry for the kids that live and breath social media and miss out on the interaction of a real human voice and face. Trust me, it shows out in the real world. I think that’s how the “it’s all about me” culture is growing.
Well, I guess we will stop there. You get the picture, right?
Have some negative thoughts, emotions and people held you back in the past? It’s time to just let it go. Let 2020 be the year that you let all those negative thoughts, things and even negative people from the past go! You can’t change any of it. You can change you, though. You can change how you think about all of those things.
Be the person that someone will say about you:
“Wow, does she know what they said about her? Why does she look so happy and peaceful?”
“Does she not know the world is in shambles, why is she so peaceful and content?”
“Does she know how I’m treating her? Why does she keep being nice to me?”
Have you heard the southern gospel song that says, “I read the back of the book and we win?” I hope you are reading the right book, (God’s Word)….because if you are, then you know, we have nothing to worry about. Trust me, there are plenty of books that contradict God’s Word and those books don’t give any hope at all. How thankful I am for the hope that I have in Jesus Christ.
Do you have some things you need to let go this year once and for all?
I just thought of another song that says, “This world is not my home, I’m just a passin’ through!” Hallelujah! For this I am thankful! Until then, let’s make 2020 the best year ever for us and our families by being positive, happy and content regardless of the negativity that is thrown our way on a daily basis. We got this….
Happy New Year! I love the way 2020 looks, don’t you? I asked if you were ready for 2020 in my picture. That’s a silly question isn’t it? It really doesn’t matter if you are or you aren’t, because it’s here!
I love fresh starts so the beginning of the year is always a fun time for me. I came down with a cold and I think I’m about over it, but, I don’t have much energy. I do have energy to think and contemplate on how I hope my 2020 goes. So much controversy these days about resolutions and goals. I love setting goals and yes, I make resolutions with myself. Only I know if they don’t work and if they don’t, so be it…if they do…yay me! I think we should always be striving to be better in an area of our lives that we need improvement on or starting a new project or learning a new skill. It doesn’t even have to be the first of the year to do that, but, what a great time to begin…..the beginning of 2020. As I was journaling some thoughts and also wondering what I was going to write about on my blog, I thought….I’ll just write about the things I’m working on. Two things might be accomplished.
#1- It will help me to be more diligent in my task
#2 -It might encourage someone else in some way.
I will share one thing on each post as not to overwhelm anyone. (or myself) They also aren’t in any order of importance. I will choose something that is really speaking to me for the day.
Guess what is speaking to me today?
Being Diligent in Writing Thank You Notes!
I first have to tell you my horror story about… Thank You Notes!
When I was engaged to be married to my Jim, the deacon and staff wives at our church gave me a beautiful wedding shower. At that time in my life I was not used to receiving gifts at all. If you follow my blog and know of my childhood, you will understand. One of the deacon wives told me that I needed to go pick out china, glassware and various things that I would like to set up housekeeping. That idea just blew my mind and I was very uncomfortable doing so. But, I did it and with the guidance of this particular lady who happened to work at a very nice bed and bath boutique. She helped me pick out some fun things. I never dreamed I would be given most of it. What fun that was setting up our little house with such beautiful things. I was also told that I needed to send out thank you notes to everyone that came to our shower. I was given a list of all the gifts along with the names of who gave them to us.
One day I went shopping in a drugstore for some shampoo etc. and I saw a basket full of small thank you cards. They were plain white with a beautiful “Thank You” font on the front of the card. They were marked down to $2.00. I bought several of them. While we were on our honeymoon I wrote out thank you’s each day. I read up on how to write the correct thank you note and was so proud when I finished them. We bought stamps and put them in the mail. Done! Yay!
Then a few weeks later, I received a package from the post office. Inside was a note that said many of my cards had been destroyed due to the size of the cards and weren’t salvageable. They did have a few that were barely intact that they sent back to me. The note also said that some of them went through and they just weren’t sure how many made it and how many didn’t. I was dumbfounded! I didn’t have a clue what to do. 40 years later, I know what I should have done, but at the age of 20, I was clueless. Where was that deacon wife….I should have called her. I sat down and rewrote a handful of cards to some that I could read the names on and just let all the rest go. I am pretty sure my name was not spoke of in a positive way for all those that didn’t receive a thank you from me. I shared my story with as many that would listen, but, who knows.
All that to say, since that time I am a stickler on thank you notes. Not from others, but, from myself. I cannot rest until I get a thank you out for a gift or a kind deed that was done for me or my family. I’m sure I’ve dropped the ball many times, but, I have tried my best. When my kids were young, I taught both of them the art of a thank you note. They wrote thank you’s each time someone gave them a gift, even when we were told, “No, we are family, you don’t have to write a thank you.” We did anyway. By the way, don’t ever make a child feel like they shouldn’t have to write a thank you. It is only building character and a skill that they will need for the future. In my humble opinion.
Having a thankful heart is the beginning to having a good attitude about things and people in our lives. If we become unthankful and think we deserve things that are given to us, we will eventually become bitter and ungrateful. Writing a thank you note is just an outward showing of your true heart. It also has to be taught. Our children aren’t born with the knowledge of how to show thankfulness for someones kindness. We teach them those things.
I have a collection of books on etiquette and have read a lot on the art of note writing. By the way, be sure to read at the end of this post about a give away of one of my favorite books.
I’ll just sum up my own advice on writing a thank you note.
*You don’t have to use fancy notecards, it can be as simple as just a piece of paper and envelope. What fun it is though, to have an assortment of cute thank you notes that match your personality. I always have a large assortment of notecards at my desk ready to write at a moments notice.
*In a simple thank you, you can get straight to the point and thank the person you are writing for whatever deed or gift was given to you. Always name what was given and tell something about it. Such as why you love it or how you will use it. If someone gave you a monetary gift or gift card, mention the amount. “Such as Thank you so much for the generous gift of 1,000,000.00. I plan on buying a house next spring and this will come in handy.” Instead of “Thanks for the money.” One of my favorite thank you’s that I received from a young man said, “Thank you for the birthday gift, I can’t remember what it was but, thank you!” That made me laugh out loud. I saved it in my keepsake box. At least he was honest, right?
*I read that you have up to 10 days to write a thank you. I guess that is about how long it would take for someone to wonder if you received their gift and liked it or not. If I happen to wait longer than that, I will apologize for taking so long to write.
*For me, if I have several thank you’s to write, I have to pace them out. There is something about writing several notes at once. It makes me feel so rushed and my writing gets sloppy and I’m writing to get it over with. Isn’t that terrible? So, I have learned to pace myself and only write a few at a time, so each note will be more meaningful. Maybe I’m the only one that has that problem. When I have a thank you to write, I put it on my to do list and mark it off when I put it in the mail.
*Something else to think about is, you can write a thank you note to someone just for being a blessing in your life They don’t have to give you anything but their kindness and friendship. You could change someone’s day or life just by sending a simple little note in the mail. Everyone needs affirmation. I bet you can think of several that you could send a note to right now.
I hope that helps somehow. I know for me, I want to be more caring in my note writing and being thankful for the people in my life. Oh, how I shudder to think of all the people that I may have offended because they never received a thank you from me for a beautiful wedding gift. I do know how it feels to go and pick something out special for someone or even give money to and you never hear a word. You want to ask about it just in case it got lost, but then, you don’t want to offend at the same time. I’ve heard ladies over the years say very hurtful and mean things about someone when they didn’t receive a thank you for a gift they gave. I never want to be like that.
When we give a gift, we give it. No questions asked, nothing expected in return.
But….what a joy it is to receive a kind note from a thankful heart. It can make your day a little brighter.
Who do you know that needs to have words shared with them to make their day a little bit better! It’s so easy. All it takes is time.
I have 5 brand new copies of one of Joy Weaver‘s book. She is one of my favorites on etiquette and is also a dear friend!
You know I love comments so be sure to leave a comment and I will draw five names from the comments section. If you aren’t a subscriber, click on the link on my sidebar and you will begin receiving my latest updates whenever I make a post on my blog. If you do subscribe, your name will go in on the drawing as well.
This morning I watched a ceremony that was on the Fox News Channel. It was a swearing in ceremony for new citizens of America. Lee Greenwood sang our National Anthem plus his famous song, I’m Proud to Be An American! It was a very moving ceremony and made me even more thankful than I already am to be an American. Each new American made a statement of how thankful they were to be in a free country. Yes, I cried as I watched. I love my country and I try so hard not to take my freedoms for granted.
I’m posting a link to a couple of past Veteran’s Day posts. I do hope they inspire you or encourage you today.
Remembering all those that have served on this Veteran’s Day!
This post is a story from a dear friend of mine who never met her father as he was serving in the military and his plane was shot down while her mom was expecting her. It is a very moving story and I thought you might like to read it if you haven’t already. Click here to read about Allison’s father.
Click here to read about a crazy dream I had while my brother was serving in the Marine Corps during Desert Storm.
Earlier this year I had a post that was a question and answer layout. Towards the end of the post, you will see a picture of my husband, brother and my father when they served in the military….so, just scroll to the end of the post and you will see it. Click here if you would like to see a short write up of their service.
Thanks for reading along today and have a great day remembering those that are and have served our country. If you see a veteran or an active military while out and about…..tell them….Thank you!
Today was a cloudy and cold day. To me, a day like today is perfect for baking. The blessing of baking with my granddaughter makes for an even more perfect day! We have been baking together since she was very young.
A couple of weeks ago, I was at the Southern Lady Celebration in Birmingham, Alabama. One of our guest speakers was Ashley Mac, owner of her own cafe and catering business. She demonstrated her famous Pumpkin Snickerdoodles. We were gifted the recipe and a sample of her cookies and of course, they were delicious. I immediately thought of my granddaughter. I knew she would love making these cookies. Today, was the day to try out the recipe and they were a success!
Ashley Mac’s Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
2 1/2 cups of granulated sugar, divided
2 cups light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups of pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon Vanilla Extract
4 2/3 cups of all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt
2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 cups of white chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups of cinnamon baking chips
1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat softened butter, 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar and brown sugar at a medium speed until fluffy. About 4-5 minutes. Add vanilla and pumpkin.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, cornstarch, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture. Stir in baking chips at a low speed until incorporated.
Refrigerate until chilled.
In a small bowl combine cinnamon and 1 cup of granulated sugar.
Using a medium spring loaded scoop, scoop dough into 1 1/2 tablespoon mounds; immediately roll into cinnamon sugar mixture forming balls.
Place dough balls on parchment lined cookie sheets, cover with plastic wrap and put in freezer until firm.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. When ready to bake, place on another parchment lined sheet and bake for 12-14 minutes, depending how soft you like your cookies.
Here are a few notes about our experience of baking the Snickerdoodles:
*I wasn’t able to find the cinnamon baking chips at our grocery. I ordered them from Amazon.
*The only kosher salt I could find was course. So, we just used regular sea salt. Maybe I should have checked Amazon? Or maybe, you can use course salt?
*I used the medium scoop. I may try using a smaller one next time to make smaller cookies.
*I may also make only half of the recipe next time. I think we came up with a little over 4 dozen cookies in this recipe. Could be dangerous for me as I will eat everyone of them! Great for gifts or a party if you make that many. Or….freeze them.
*We ended up baking them for about 16-17 minutes. All ovens are different.
*Great fall cookie! Delicious! I like my cookies a bit crispy on the edges and soft in the middle. Perfect!
*If I ever go back to Birmingham, Ashley Mac’s will be at the top of my list!
The other day I was driving and I was chatting away with my mom on my speaker. I was passing by the airport and it seems when that happens, the line cuts in and out. For the next few minutes we are both saying, “Hello! Hello! Can you hear me? Can you hear me? Hello, can you hear me now?” Once the line cleared up, we started laughing because it sounded just crazy with all the hello…hello…hello!
As I was doing my devotions this afternoon while the house was quiet, I kept thinking how thankful I was that I finally figured out something that was working for me at this stage of my life in meeting with my Savior each day. Granted, there are days that it just doesn’t happen and it weighs heavily on my mind when I don’t take the time to sit down and just spend time with my Jesus. I may be the only one that happens to, but, it is what it is.
I put my faith and my trust in Christ when I was 14. That was 46 years ago! Wow! Yes, I turned 60 this year. Yes, I’m struggling with that thought! Back to my main reason for writing today….
Church was the main thing in my life the day I accepted Christ as my Savior. I was there every time the doors were open. I was in Sunday School, special teaching classes, choir, visitation, every teen activity, church camps, you get the picture. Reading and studying God’s Word was new to me. I knew it was important and I read it because I was taught that you needed to start reading your Bible. So many things I didn’t understand, but, I kept reading it anyway. I didn’t even have a Bible of my own for the first several months of my new life in Christ. We had a large Children’s Bible that I would read out of and my mom had a Bible that I would read. I did get a Bible for Christmas later that year. I still have it and I love going through and seeing all the verses that I underlined and little notes I made.
Since then, I’ve had several different Bibles and I do have one main one that I really like to study out of. I place Bibles around my house. I just love having one near at all times. I even carry one in my car.
Over these 46 years I have sat under many different preachers and teachers. I have heard many different ways of studying your Bible and ways that people have their personal quiet times each day. I know you have heard many different ways, too. Yes, I’ve even been convicted because I didn’t do it like someone else or I tried and just couldn’t do it. Such as get up at 4 a.m. and read and pray before my husband and babies woke up. I tried, but it wasn’t happening! I eventually would find my own way to spend time in prayer and Bible reading. It even has changed many times over the years.
I recently found myself struggling with getting my three chapters read each day in order to reach a certain goal. It wasn’t meaningful to me as I was just hurrying up and it was like it was a ritual or something. I felt like I was missing out.
One of my favorite preachers made a comment one time when I was with he and his wife, “If you want to know who God is, read His Word.” Sounds very practical, doesn’t it? That’s because it is practical. I found myself, reading to meet a deadline and a goal and reading books on different subjects, but, still was hungry just to sit in peace and read and let God speak to me. I want to know everything there is to know about God. When you are hurrying or just reading to be reading….you might miss out on a few things.
Several months ago, I said to myself…”Okay, Beverly, it’s time to slowly go through your Bible and just be quiet and still and let God speak to me.” I am a planner, so I stuck with my pattern of how I read the Bible, but…this time, I’m going slow and I am loving it so much! I’m not trying to meet a deadline to have my Bible read through by the end of the year and get so many verses a day read.
This is how my “quiet time” goes….
I begin with a short prayer of asking the Lord to speak to me through His Word. If there is anything that He wants me to know, to make it very clear for me to see. I want to know everything about Him. Now….if you are anything like me, your mind goes a million miles a minute and you think about so many things at the same time as reading and even praying. I have to get still and quiet and I don’t begin until my mind has calmed down. I even keep a notepad close that I jot things down that is on my mind to do. Such as, while you are reading a thought pops in your head….go to the store to get milk….just stop, write it down and move on. Again, I might be the only one that struggles with things like that.
I have an Our Daily Bread Devotional for women that I read. It is very short and to the point. I love this devotional as it always has something that I need to be reminded of. Then….
I began in Genesis and only read one chapter. With reading one chapter, I take my time…I make notes, I memorize names, place and events. I’m not worried about checking anything off. I’ll move on through each book of the Old Testament.
I then move to the Book of Psalms. I read one chapter…same thing…slowly and make many notes. When I get to the end of Psalms, I start over. I’m always going through the Book of Psalms.
Then I go to my favorite, the Book of Proverbs. Whatever day of the month it is, that is the Proverb that I read. October 6th…I read Proverbs 6. When I get to Proverbs 31, I start over. I’m always going through the book of Proverbs. It’s amazing how any things speak to you differently each month.
I then go to Matthew…..one chapter a day and I move on through Mark, Luke and John. When I finish John, I go back to Matthew. I’m always reading in the Gospels.
I then go to the Book of Acts….one chapter…..I keep on moving all the way through Revelations. When I’m through with Revelations, I will start over in Acts.
I have to tell you that I have really enjoyed it! There are days, where I can’t wait to sit down to read the next chapter in each book to catch up. I’m hungry for more.
Being hungry for the Word of God is a very good thing! Are you hungry for God’s Word?
Also, as I read, and God speaks to me, I pray as I read. I apply everything I read to myself. I’m not worried about how someone I know needs this or I hope so and so reads this today…..This is all for me! I’m not studying for a lesson to teach or to fill in a workbook for a study of some sort. It’s just me and God….
That’s what a “quiet time” is to me.
I end with focused prayer. Prayer is my personal conversation with my Savior. I don’t keep up with making sure I spend an hour or 5 minutes in prayer. I pray for however long it takes. I cover everything. Trust me!
So, I hope you have settled in to what works for you in your season of life that you are in right now. Do you need to make some adjustments? If something isn’t working, figure out a way that it will work. Make it a special time for you and your Savior…..not just checking off a box of what you read for the day. But, hey….if checking off the boxes is what works….yay! I did the box checking for a long time.
I only share this to encourage you and hopefully inspire you to make sure you have that time each day or as often as you can.
If you are struggling with any area, feel free to email me and I would love to find a way to help and encourage you. Don’t leave Him out of your daily life.
Do you find your faith wavering…..get in the Word! Fill your life with people of faith. Listen to people of faith. Sometimes, when your faith is wavering…it could be because everyone and everything around you is anti-God. Trust me, there is plenty of that and always has been. Just read…..read for you…..not to prove anything to anyone…..just read and ask for wisdom and discernment. Tell God you need to hear from Him. He loves us so much and wants to spend time with us. I know you’ve heard this before; Our Bible is His love letter to us! He has so much He wants us to know about Him. Don’t take anyone else’s word for it…..you read and study for yourself and learn all you can! Let Him speak to you!
When I was about 6 years old, I got a baby doll for Christmas. We were living in Ft. Stockton, Texas and we were in the middle of moving. The night before the big move to a new town, my family went to some friends of my parents home for dinner. I took my brand new baby doll. The next morning we were on our way out of town and I remembered my doll. I had left it at the house we were visiting the night before.
When I told my dad, he said that we didn’t have time to go get it and he would get me another one. I remember sitting in the back seat of the car and was extremely sad. I felt sorry for my doll. I missed her. But…life goes on.
I didn’t have many dolls growing up that I remember. When I was 3, I got a Susie Smart doll for Christmas. She wore a red plaid jumper and had a school desk and chalk board. A year or two later, I got a Candy Fashion doll for Christmas. She was a fashion doll and had mannequins that you could put clothes on since she was a model. I’ve always wondered what happened to those dolls. We moved quiet a bit when I was young, so no telling where they are.
As life went on, I helped take care of my two younger brothers. I was 9 years old when my youngest brother was born. I was really too busy with a real baby to worry about baby dolls. I carried him around every where I went. I remember getting in serious trouble from my father when he was disciplining my brother and he came running to me and I hugged him as he was getting in trouble. I could tell millions of stories about my brothers and I growing up as I was a miniature mommy to them. My parents had divorced and my mother worked around the clock, so I was the babysitter and housekeeper. Back to the doll stories….
After the loss of the doll in Ft. Stockton, the only doll I remember having after that was when I was in about the 5th grade. She was called Crissy. She had short red hair and when you pushed a button on her tummy and pulled her hair….her hair grew down to her waist. I really liked her, but, I didn’t really have anyone that played dolls around. I fell into the trap that I was too old for dolls. I kept her for a long time and ended up giving her to a younger girl that I knew.
When our daughter was young, we always made sure she had baby dolls to play with and she so loved her dolls. She would even dress them up and take them to church. I always loved looking at dolls and seeing all the different ones available when shopping for her baby dolls.
Now that we have two granddaughters, we have bought several dolls for them as well. Matter of fact…recently, we took our youngest granddaughter on a birthday trip and we ended the trip with a visit to The American Girl store. I always love going in that store. It’s all I can do to not buy everything possible.
As we were picking out our granddaughters doll, I told myself….”I’m getting me a doll as well!” And I did! I picked Mary Ellen. She is from the 50’s. Each of the dolls from American Girl has a story of a certain time period. They have books and of course lot’s of accessories. Mary Ellen had all the extras such as a pearl necklace and bracelet set, a poodle skirt with oxfords, a sundress, the cutest Christmas punch bowl set and of course a juke box that really works! Yes, I fell for it all!
I’m sure my granddaughter will love playing with her when she is here. I have 4 sets of clothes and changed her once for pictures. I was too tired to change her again…so you will have to settle for just the two pictures of her change of outfits.
I so hope that parents are still allowing their girls to play with baby dolls. What fun it would be to have all your dolls from your childhood and pass them on to your daughters.
On my Pinterest, I have a board called, iLove Things From the Past. I have found pictures of the dolls I had as a young girl. They look just like I remember them. Except the poor baby doll that was left in Ft. Stockton. I don’t remember what kind of doll she was. I just knew that I missed her and cried for her..that’s all I remember.
We have been in the dry cleaning business for 22 years. We just recently received a notice from our local newspaper that our business was voted #1 Drying Cleaner for the 22nd year. This is a program that most local newspapers do for various retail establishments in the city and the community will vote for their favorites. They then announce it with a large ad in the paper. So, how fun to see our now 6 stores listed in the “list of favorites.”
I’ve received a few questions about how the dry cleaning world works. I’ve shared a few details before in previous posts and so I thought I would write a fresh one for you.
Laundry is an important issue as we wear clothes everyday and we spend our hard earned money on clothes. We want them to always be cleaned and looking nice, right?
I love this quote…
“Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak!” – Rachel Zoe (fashion designer)
And I say… “You might be stylin’ but if you have stains and are all wrinkled, that might be speaking louder over your amazing style!” – Beverly Dillow (that’s me!)
How do you like the way I made my own quote as if I am somebody!
Well today, I’m going to give you my tips for your dry cleaning!
*Try to be loyal to your dry cleaner. If you hop around and try different dry cleaners, you will get confused on who, what, where and how things are done. Also, you may forget where you leave your clothes. So, if you can find a dry cleaner that you like the way they do business, be loyal to them.
*When you are a loyal customer you will know the employees and can build a relationship with them. There is nothing better than pulling up to the window or walking in the front door and you are greeted by your name by the employees. I know for our stores we have managers at each one and a district manager. These ladies know their customers and take care of them. We also live in a community that has a large turn over of employees, so when you see a new person, introduce yourself and get to know them. Granted they may not be there for long, but, then again, they may end up being there for the next 22 years! You just never know. We have some ladies that have been with us the entire time. For me, I still introduce myself to those waiting on me if I can’t remember their names or I’m sure they don’t remember me. They see hundreds of people each day and whew wee…I can barely remember my own name sometimes. So give the workers much grace when dealing with them.
*Stay on top of the business hours and anytime a holiday is coming up, make note of any changes in times that the store will be open.
*Look for cleanliness. I get tickled when I see dry-cleaning businesses that you would be afraid to leave your clothes in due to it being unkept and not clean. But, they are out there. The thing I love about our stores, is they are top-notch and clean. My husband and brother do not let anything go undone. Everything from the parking lot in front to the curb behind the store is in perfect condition. We have a maintenance man who stays busy keeping everything in perfect working order. Not only are my husband and brother business partners, but I have another brother who retired and has moved back to our area and he makes sure our properties are always in great condition! My mom is our office manager and bookkeeper. She can go in any store and everyone knows her and can talk to her about anything. She has helped many ladies throughout the years. I wish I had the room to tell you so much more. Me? I don’t work at the stores in any way. When we first started this business, I worked one day because someone was sick. Let’s just say…..I’m leaving it to the professionals!
Okay…back to my tips!
*I put all of my dry-cleaning and laundry in a bag that has my name and contact info on it. Our stores give these to you free of charge. We call them “Happy Bags.” I guess because they make everyone happy that you are so organized. I’m not sure. Anyway, this will keep all of your things together and makes it easier on the employees. If you don’t have a bag, no problem, many people don’t use them.
*I also make sure all of my pockets are empty. You would be surprised what people leave in their pockets. Our employees are trained to go through every pocket. I’m sure you can only imagine what happens when someone leaves an ink pen or a tube of lipstick in their pockets and it is overlooked. Yes….disaster in an entire load of laundry! Much more work! So, always empty your pockets.
*I make sure buttons are unbuttoned. Someone has to unbutton everything, so I just make it easier for them. Speaking of buttons….buttons are replaced when they are noticed to be broken or missing. Every now and then, they will be missed. This is probably the worse of the worst. When someone picks up a shirt and they leave town and get to an important business meeting and then they have a missing button. Not good. Accidents happen and everyone is a human and no one is perfect. Again, much grace….but, oh my…..I know that feeling when you are in a hurry, out of town or whatever….and you notice something is not right with your garment.
*If you have a stain or missing button, be sure to point it out when you take your garments in.
*Make note of what can and can’t be dry cleaned or laundered. The employees are trained to know the difference. They also go by the label that is in the garment. Sometimes things go wrong and the garment has been cared for by what the label says. That is when it is a manufacturer problem and will have to be dealt with through them. That is always a sad day, too. But, it happens. Know your clothes! When shopping you might make note of things like that, especially if it has lot’s of embellishments. I love clothes that are different and unique, so, I’m always watching out for how I clean my clothes.
*Here are a few things that that I have learned to do. * I travel with a small sewing kit. *I make sure that when an event is coming up, I plan accordingly with my garments and pick them up way before the time to be at the event just to be safe. *When I get my clothes home, I unbag them, inspect and put them away. *I always know exactly what I drop off at the cleaners each time and when they need to be picked up.
*This is important…..If you get your clothes home and find that you have a garment that isn’t yours….take it back immediately. Whew, I could tell you some nightmare stories on that one. Did you know that some people will keep their clothes in the bag for months before discovering they have the wrong clothes. Yep….bad on both ends!
*Make note of the store policy for garments left longer than usual. We have same day service if you get your garment in by a certain time in the morning. If it is a household good, it takes longer, usually the next day. As you can only imagine that comforters, etc. take much longer to process. Anyway, we also have a 60 day policy that you have to get your clothes or they will be donated to a local charity. You will receive several calls before they are donated. We can only assume you no longer want your garment if it is over 60 days and you don’t respond to phone calls. Money is lost on the time and labor over many garments that are just left all alone to fend for themselves. It’s sad, but not enough space would house all the left clothing. All that to say, don’t forget your clothes!
*Last but not least, be kind and friendly to the employees. They are hard workers and they have a hard job, especially, in the heat! I admire each and everyone of them. They love life, work hard and go home to their families. You can only imagine how they are treated sometimes. Some people are rushed, rude and hateful sometimes. But, the customers who show grace, gratitude and kindness outweigh the rude ones. I think that is par for any business out there.
*Always remember that there are a lot of people in the workforce who just don’t know how to make it in the working world. They can’t be trained to even smile. You never know where someone is coming from or what they have been through. You might even add some folks to your prayer list and witnessing list. We do our best to train our employees to be kind, courteous, smile and do a good job. All I can say is…..parents teach your kiddos how to make it in the working world someday. *I think I just gave myself a new blog post idea!
*If you have an issue, talk to the manager of the store. They will do all they can to help solve the problem. They are there to help and make the business better and they are on your side. One hint, if you have a problem and it takes a while to solve, I would be patient and work with the manager. Trust me, she wants it solved as well. I can’t count how many times someone has sworn they didn’t get one of their garments and they have been paid for it and then weeks later they come and say they found it in their closet. I have to share this…it’s my favorite of all times. When someone brought in a mustard stain on a shirt. It had been there for quiet some time. The stain would not come out. She insisted on being paid for that garment. So, can you imagine, you stain your clothes, and then if it doesn’t come out, you get paid for it. Amazing! That would be a great way to build a new wardrobe, wouldn’t it? I don’t think so…
I hope that helps a little bit in making your dry cleaning trips a bit easier and more pleasant.
We are extremely grateful for our employees and especially our customers. We have the best customers ever. I try my best to be a good customer when I go anywhere! I want people to smile when they see me coming….not, “Uh oh, there she is!” If I get bad service somewhere, I quietly go elsewhere. I’m not out to demand that I be treated like a queen…..I just move on. But, you treat me like a queen and I’ll be back!
Thanks so much for being a reader of my blog, His Heart, My Desire. My blog is hopefully inspiring and encouraging somehow…someway. You never know what will be on my mind each day.
As you can imagine, Dry Cleaning is in my blood….so to speak….here is a link to another post I did on this subject. Be sure to visit the links on that post as well….lot’s of info for sure! Click here to read more.