Monday, February 27, 2012

Are YOU A Princess?

Recently our church hosted a Princess Tea Party.  This event is for little girls ages 3-8 years.  The purpose is to teach them at this young age that they are beautifully created, and loved by God.  They are a princess, and God has a plan especially designed for their life!  Teen princesses all dressed in prom gowns assisted  the young princesses as they painted their nails, did a craft, and colored princess paper dolls.  "Far Flutterby" by Karen Kingsbury was the story shared this year.  The story explained that God had a plan for Cody the Caterpillar, and He does for them as well.  


It was exciting for me to be a part of the PTP Committee,
 working on decorations.


Butterflies were the theme this year.
As the princesses and their parent arrived, 
they entered through the butterfly arch.



We have a fabulous tech crew at our church,
who hung the parachute, arranged all the special lighting,
 and projected the butterflies on the wall.





The centerpieces were quick, easy, and cost effective free. ;)
We wrapped mason jars in foam crowns (leftover from last year). 
One special lady cut out ALL the paper butterflies for the centerpieces (Hi Sarah XO)
We used sticky tac to attach them to branches.



Princess paper doll coloring pages at each place setting.


Each table was prepared for painting lots of little princess nails.


Royal snacks for little princess tummies.


I see one little tube of AVON pink lipstick, fit for a princess.  
There was one for every princess in attendance.


As each little princess left the tea,
a teen princess handed her a glittery butterfly wand.
She was now prepared for all the royal duties in her kingdom.


The wand will remind her how special she is to God.


There were 200 princesses and a couple father princes there as well.  All specially created by God, who has an individual plan for their life. 

 My dear friend, you are no different.  God created you, loves you, and has a plan that is perfect for you alone.  You are... "wonderfully made"  Psalm 139:14

Be blessed, and joyful in this reassurance!

Photos by Nicole Payzant Photography.


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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Take 5 with Kathy - "Courage under seige..."

On Wednesday, I was really saddened to hear of the death of Marie Colvin, a well-known foreign correspondent for the Sunday Times in London. In the same attack the French photographer, Remi Ochlik, was also killed. Later I heard Marie’s mother briefly interviewed on the news and she spoke of her daughter as being very passionate about what she did, even when it was very difficult and dangerous. She said, “Her legacy is: Be passionate and be involved in what you believe in. And do it as thoroughly and honestly and fearlessly as you can.”[i] Those who knew her well talk about how she was a kind and caring person who was always ready to mentor younger colleagues in the business.[ii] She was certainly brave, intelligent, and determined to communicate to the world the atrocities of war and the resulting human suffering. She was a champion for the innocent victims who had no voice.

What causes so many journalists, like Marie, to continually place themselves in such volatile environments, exposing themselves to the brutality and ruthless disregard for human life and dignity? Where do they find the courage and strength to surge forward into places that threaten their own personal safety? Are they really as fearless as they appear in the media, or when they lay down for a few minutes of rest do they wrestle with the same feelings of insecurity as you and me?

I’m not sure about them, but there is one woman in the Bible who really inspires me with her courage and willingness to put her life and reputation on the line. She was highly respected and a person of great influence. This is evidenced by the fact that her own people regularly came to her for advice and to settle disputes. They obviously knew they could trust her to make fair decisions. She was the only woman mentioned in the Old Testament who held the distinguished position of a judge. We find part of her story in Judges 4 and 5. Her name – Deborah.

We do know she was married but no children are mentioned. Her devotion to God was undeniable and she received a special message from Him. This passage of Scripture also calls her a prophetess and in that role, she was passionate about not only hearing God’s message but communicating it to others and seeing that his commands were carried out. At the time of this account, the Israelites had been under the oppression of the Canaanites for twenty years. The commander of the Canaanite army was Sisera, a cruel leader who led an entourage of nine hundred iron chariots – talk about intimidation and fear!

Even though Deborah held a highly influential position among the Israelites as a judge and prophet, she was primarily their spiritual and moral leader. However, when the injustice of her people reached an all-time high and they cried to the Lord for help, she did not hesitate to lead a military endeavor, inspired by the God of Israel. She immediately called for Barak, a man who was probably a military leader of good standing. It is not clear of his position in relationship to Deborah’s, but her decision to work closely with others to accomplish the task speaks well of her leadership style. She was a take-charge woman, but willingly employed the expertise of other people and was ready to stand with them and support them on the front lines.

When Barak came before Deborah she said to him, “The Lord, the God of Israel, commands you: ‘Go, take with you ten thousand men of Naphtali and Zebulun and lead the way to Mount Tabor. I will lure Sisera…with his chariots and his troops to the Kishon River and give him into your hands.’” (4:6-7) This was to be the Lord’s war – a holy war in the biblical sense that it was God who would fight for His people as they trusted in Him for victory.

Deborah’s strict obedience to God’s commands motivates me to think about how I handle the challenges that come my way. Do I readily and willingly obey what He reveals to me through His Word, or do I try and solve the problem my way and with my own limited wisdom and understanding? Am I open to seeking the advice of other mature believers in Christ and working together with them to see something through? Good food for thought this week!

Until next Sunday,

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Soup's On...with Paula #4

Welcome to our last Soup's on!  In the spirit of "keeping it real" around here, we wanted to let you know that the soup we had planned for this week...well, um...flopped!!  I pretty certain there was an error in the recipe.  

Since there isn't always time in one's week to have a "redo", we are sharing a recipe that was just given to us by our cousin's fiance.  We were talking about homemade soups at a family get-together last week, and Anjelica shared this favorite of hers.  Having not had a chance to make it yet, there is no picture.  But we know you will love it!  Thanks Anjelica!

Spicy Chicken Soup


  • 2 quarts water
  • 8 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 5 cubes chicken bouillon
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 (16 ounce) jar chunky salsa
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans peeled and diced tomatoes
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed tomato soup
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 2 (16 ounce) cans chili beans, undrained
  • 1 (8 ounce) container sour cream


1.                        In a large pot over medium heat, combine water, chicken, salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley, onion powder and bouillon cubes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 1 hour, or until chicken juices run clear. Remove chicken, reserve broth. Shred chicken.

2.                        In a large pot over medium heat, cook onion and garlic in olive oil until slightly browned. Stir in salsa, diced tomatoes, whole tomatoes, tomato soup, chili powder, corn, chili beans, sour cream, shredded chicken and 5 cups broth. Simmer 30 minutes.

Have a great weekend,
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Monday, February 20, 2012

Sweet Treats


Take Six Cupcakes

This is the most delicious scratch white cake recipe.  

3/4 C Crisco ( I use unsalted butter)
1 3/4 C sugar
3 eggs, 1 at a time
3C flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 C milk
1 tsp vanilla

Mix Crisco and sugar, add eggs, one at a time.  Add dry ingredients alternately with milk.  Add vanilla.

Bake @ 325 for 45-60 minutes

You can make a 9x13, or 2- 8" rounds, or 24 cupcakes.  

Butter Frosting

1 C unsalted butter
1/2 tsp salt
8-10 C icing sugar (depending on how stiff you want it)
3/4 C milk (add a little at a time)
2 tsp vanilla

Cream butter and salt.  Add sugar gradually alternating with milk.  Beat until smooth.  Add more milk or icing sugar if necessary.  Add vanilla.  

I had a little left over after frosting 24 of these cupcakes. 

Diane at 'Created by Diane' has a super tutorial video that shows you how easy it is to decorate cupcakes like this.  

Make these with caution.   Because I bet you can't eat just one! ;0) 

Photo courtesy of Nicole Payzant Photography.


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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Take 5 with Kathy - "When darkness turns to light..." (Part 2)

Someone told me this past week, “Kathy, you are so much more contented than when I first met you two months ago.” I replied, “Really? You are able to see that in me?” I guess I often don’t perceive such things in myself and it’s encouraging to receive another person’s affirmation. It motivates me to do the same for others.

In Ruth 4:14, Naomi’s friends, I believe, did this for her. They had seen their friend journey from a place of darkness to a new place of hope, joy, and contentment. They noticed a change in her countenance and rejoiced with her. But, let’s back up a little and see how Naomi reached this brighter horizon.

If you missed last week’s entry, reading it first will help you understand the context of today’s writings. I said I had learned some important lessons from Naomi’s story and shared the first two. When life throws the unexpected at us and our world is turned upside down, how do we move from darkness to light? First, Naomi never lost her faith in God despite her circumstances. She continued to trust in His sovereignty. Second, she turned to the support of her friends who cared for her.

Third, Naomi poured her efforts into the welfare of another. This is not an easy task when you are in physical or emotional anguish, suffering from personal loss, facing financial hardship, reeling from rejection and hurt, watching a loved one battle with a chronic or terminal illness, or agonizing over difficult decisions. Naomi could have chosen to languish in self-pity and bitterness the rest of her life. Who could fault her for that? I’ve experienced all these things and it is easier to submit to the temptation of remaining in despair, resentment, or depression than to claw your way back.

One thing that really helps me during such times is responding similarly to Naomi. She willed herself to turn her focus away from her own needy state to the necessities of her daughter-in-law, Ruth. She began to use her wisdom and influence to guide the younger woman towards finding a better future. Titus 2:3-4 instructs older women to watch the way they live and to teach and train younger women valuable lessons that will enable them to lead exemplary lives.

Eastern Passage, Nova Scotia
When Ruth took the initiative to humbly glean in the fields (in today’s terms, scrounging for food others have left behind or thrown out), Naomi encouraged her, “Go ahead, my daughter.” (Ruth 2:2) I think the relationship between these two was deepening into a very unique bond.

Fourth, when Ruth returned later with much more than could be expected, Naomi’s spirits were notably lifted, “Where did you glean today?...Blessed be the man who took notice of you!” (2:19) Upon learning the man was Boaz, a relative of Naomi’s late husband and a man of standing (this probably implies wealth, influence, and social status), her countenance brightened further and she said, “The Lord bless him!...The Lord has not stopped showing His kindness to the living and the dead…That man is our close relative; he is one of our kinsmen redeemers.” (2:20)

In short, a kinsman redeemer was a man in the Jewish culture of the day who was the closest relative of a deceased man. He was responsible to marry the widow, care for any surviving children, and acquire any property belonging to the deceased.[i] Naomi knew this law and that God had provided a way for her family’s future to be secured.

There isn’t enough room today to describe all that happened next, but you can enjoy reading it in chapters three and four. As Naomi continued to advise Ruth and look after her welfare, I believe Naomi began to see more and more of the bigger picture unfold before her eyes. It gave her hope and the fresh perspective she desperately needed.

How careful and faithful am I to thank the Lord for each way He provides for my needs?

Fifth, Naomi once again found peace and joy as she rested in the fulfillment of God’s plan for her family. After Ruth and Boaz were married, God blessed them with a son, Obed. “Then Naomi took the child, laid him in her lap and cared for him. The women living there said, ‘Naomi has a son.’” (4:16-17)

Fort Amherst, Prince Edward Island
This son became the grandfather of King David and the ancestor of Jesus Christ. It was Jesus who said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

It’s amazing to reflect on God’s redemptive plan for mankind!

Until next Sunday,


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Friday, February 17, 2012

Soup's On...with Paula #3

Old Fashioned Split Pea Soup

1 ham bone and leftover chopped ham
6-8 C of water
1 lb split yellow peas
1 chopped onion
4 carrots chopped
Pepper to taste
Chopped chives as garnish

I always make this soup after I have baked a ham.  It is delicious, and one of my wintertime comfort foods. I start by putting 6-8 cups of water in my big iron soup pot.  In goes the ham bone, about a pound of split yellow peas, and a chopped onion.  This is brought to a boil and then simmered for as long as I have.  If I do this after supper, I am liable to simmer it for the evening and then do the rest the next day.  When I resume the process, I remove the bone, add several chopped carrots, (some people add cubed potato as well) and pick off the leftover ham from the cooled bone.  I like lots of ham in mine, so if there isn't much left on the bone, I always hope there is some leftover from the meal and chop it up to add.  This is simmered again just until the carrots are softened some.  I don't usually add salt, as the ham is salty enough, but I will add pepper, and a bit of chives to serve.  


See you next Friday


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Monday, February 13, 2012

~LOVE~ & Linky Follower Party #2

Happy Valentine's Day


As I thought about Valentine's Day, I knew I wanted to use the color pink in my decorating this year.  My sister, Lisa, gave me the sweetest cream and sugar and four cups and saucers as part of my Christmas gift this year.  She found them at one of our favorite haunts.  ;0)  They are beautiful, and have lots of pink, so I knew they would be perfect.


I also knew I wanted roses in my silver coffee pot.  These sweet little buds have begun to dry, and I am ready to hang them upside down to complete the process.  They will be beautiful for a long time. 


I won a fabulous giveaway from Christine @ Stonehouse Living a few weeks ago.  This silver dish was one of the many things she sent me.  I love it!  Click on her blog name above to see all the other wonderful things she sent to me!  




I even decorated my sugar bowl.  To be completely honest, I believe it was my father, that I first saw do this.  It was many years ago.  He added a teaspoon, or so, of colored sugar to the sugar bowl.  Mix it all up, and your sugar bowl is decorated for the occasion.  


The Valentine's banner took about 10 minutes to make.  I used my trusty glue gun, and glued the paper doilies and buttons onto a piece of ribbon!


Watch for this recipe soon!


Jess @ A Cozy Cottage in the City made the most beautiful cupcakes in January, and I vowed I would try and replicate them for Valentines.  I also think they would be perfect for Mother's Day, Easter, Birthdays, Showers...well, you get the picture.  I love cupcakes!  All you 'vintage lovers' will love Jess's blog.


Greater love has no one than this,
 that he lay down his life for his friends. 
John 15:13 NIV 

Photography courtesy of
 Nicole Payzant Photography.

Tabletop Tuesday
Success U Wednesday
Bunny Hop Party
Wild Wednesday
Show & Share
Show & Tell
Tablescape Thursday
Inspiration Friday
Friday's Unfolded
Feathered Nest Friday
Potpourri Friday
Home Sweet Home
Stuff and Nonsense
Vintage Inspiration Friday
Pink Saturday
Strut Your Stuff
Seasonal Sunday

Linky Followers Party #2

Many of you have probably already heard that


on Feb 29 for any one that is not with blogspot
but rumor has it that it is being completely phased out for everyone soon


there is good news


1. you MUST have the LINKY FOLLOWERS tool on your site to participate.

If you see that your link has been deleted you need to add the LINKY FOLLOWER tool to your site and then come back over and re-enter your link
{You can have both the LINKY FOLLOWERS & GFC on your site but you must have the LINKY FOLLOWERS toolto participate in this party hop.}

2. You MUST follow the person who has the party on their site as a thank you.

3. Just add your blog button to the LINKY PARTY below.

4.Then grab the BLOG HOP code

You will find the code right under the Linky Party where it says CLICK HERE TO ENTER
just under that it says: WHAT IS A BLOG HOP? GET THE CODE HERE
Click on GET THE CODE HERE and enter it into a post on your site.
You can grab the party button code in the FOOTER at Its So Very Cheri
You can grab info from my post if it helps you with your post.

5. Then you follow other bloggers–(as many as you want)
–leave each one of the blogs that you follow a comment letting them know you are following them and ask them to follow you back.

If you want to add the BLOG HOP to your own site you will get lots of new followers(see rule #2)

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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Take 5 with Kathy - "When darkness turns to light..."

As twilight gradually faded away into the darkness of night this past Tuesday, I was delighted to see the most beautiful full moon creeping above the housetops across the street. The higher it rose, the brighter and bigger it appeared. Earlier, I had heard a meteorologist refer to it as the “snow moon” and indeed it seemed more brilliantly white than usual. How it lifted my spirits and lit up everything in its gaze!

Sometimes in my darkest hours of life experiences, I have felt that inky blackness penetrating my very soul. It is a very lonely  place even when I am clinging to my faith in God and the knowledge that He has all things under control.

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
I learned some valuable principles this week as I studied the life of one woman who had faced her darkest hour. She, along with her husband, had made the difficult move to a new land because of famine in their home territory. They now lived as foreigners among people who spoke a different language, worshipped strange gods, and followed unfamiliar customs. If that wasn’t hard enough, her husband died leaving her with two sons to raise on her own. Being a widow in a foreign land would no doubt put her in a desperate situation. Eventually, the sons married local women. But, the sons also died and now this dear widow had lost her entire family and was left with no heirs to carry on the future of her family lineage. Only her two daughters-in-law remained with her. What could she possibly do?

If you’re familiar with the story, you realize the widow was Naomi, found in the biblical book of Ruth. The daughters-in-law were Orpah and Ruth. Naomi’s experience has taught me several lessons that I can apply when I am in the midst of a tough time.

First, Naomi never lost her faith in God. Even though she suffered great personal loss, was thrust into poverty, and realized she was too old to marry again and bear more children, she still trusted in God’s sovereignty. Although she admitted to feeling God had abandoned her, she continued to believe in Him. That really inspires me!

Path near home
Second, she returned to the support of her friends. As soon as Naomi heard the Lord had provided for His people back in her homeland, she began packing. Orpah and Ruth also prepared to accompany her, but Naomi tried desperately to convince them to return to their own mother. What could she possibly offer them but a life of poverty? She also knew what they would face in a foreign land, especially as widows. She could never provide them with a family. What love was expressed between them as they wept and agonized over their dilemma! In the end, Orpah decided to return home, but Ruth clung to her mother-in-law and vowed never to leave her. Together, they journeyed back to Bethlehem, Naomi’s home town. As Naomi’s friends watched the pair approaching, they said, “Can this be Naomi?”[i] After many years away and showing the strain of such grief and loss, it is entirely believable that these friends had some difficulty  recognizing Naomi.

Her wounded state is evident from her response, “Don’t call me Naomi…Call me Mara, because the Lord has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.”[ii]

Naomi means “pleasant”, “lovely”, or “delightful”. She obviously no longer viewed herself in this light. Instead she asked her friends to call her Mara which means “bitter”.

Scripture doesn’t say how her friends immediately treated her after that, but at the end of the book, we know they remained faithful to her. I am so thankful to God for the friends who surround me, pray for me, and support me in all circumstances.

Ecclesiastes 4:9 says, “If one falls down, his friend can help him up.” And Proverbs 17:17 says, “A friend loves at all times…” Of course, our most faithful and loyal friend is Jesus Christ. He Himself said, “…I have called you friends, for everything that I have learned from my Father I have made known to you.”[iii] The ultimate gift of His friendship was laying down His own life for you and me so that we could receive forgiveness of sins and the promise of eternal life with Him in Heaven!

Well, once again time has flown by and I will just have to continue Naomi’s story next week. Meanwhile, I will be sure to invest valuable time with my best Friend and Saviour, Jesus Christ, and also with the earthly friends He has provided for me.

Happy Valentine's Day, my friends!
Until next Sunday,


[i] Ruth 1:19
[ii] Ruth 1:20-21
[iii] John 15:15b

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