Friday, November 30, 2012

November Giveaway!!!!!!

 Do you just love a giveaway? I do to! I'm that person that might buy an unattractive tube of lipstick just to get the promotional giveaway. I rarely win stuff, but it is not for lack of trying! My family loves to tell stories on me of trying to win things through crazy contests! In fact, I was listening to a radio show some years back and they were giving away a free breakfast to Chappy's Deli if you could recite the preamble. I called immediately and said I can't recite it, but I can sing it! Oh yes I did and won a free breakfast! Those were the best eggs ever! So a giveaway? I am all over it!

First may I say thank you to all of you for reading my blog! Honestly, the fact that you take time out of your day to be with me makes me feel like I win a giveaway every day! So thank you! Thank you to those of you who take time to leave a comment. I love love love knowing what you think! I learn so much from you! Thank you! I love y'all!

Ok, enough of me rambling on! I so enjoyed blogging thankful things this month! It really made me so much more aware of everything around me! I found my heart was so full all day and overwhelmed with God's sweet blessings on me. I hope my blog made you see your days differently and maybe invited you into God's presence for just a little while. He truly is the giver of gifts! He gave His only son so that He could give you the free gift of eternal life! I love a free gift!!! His gift is wrapped in love that fills and satisfies like no other. I am thankful for life in Jesus! I am thankful for you, and it is my joy to give away a gift today!

The winner is........... Steve Lee! I'm so excited! I will see you sunday! with your gift! Thank you for your love for the Lord and for your family! Your life is such a sweet reflection of Him! love love love Ruthie


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Peppermint Mocha

 I am so glad you stopped by! Today I am thankful for a Peppermint Mocha from Starbucks. When my twins get out of school and are headed home, they usually give my a quick call or text to let me know they are on the way. Yesterday was no exception, only when I asked how their day was the response was "It was ok." From the tone in their voice and lack of enthusiasm in their response I knew it was time for an intervention. So I dropped what I was doing and asked them to meet me at Starbucks that this was a Peppermint Mocha kind of day. It's amazing what a cup of fun coffee can do. It lifted spirits, it opened the door for great conversation, and it turned an "ok" day into something wonderful!

I think it's important that we are intentional about spending time with our children. The other day a precious mama of three posted a question on facebook asking for Christmas present ideas for her elementary aged child. By the time I read it she had received about twenty or so responses and would you believe every gift idea posted except for about five were tech gifts. (Ipads, Ipods, laptops etc...) I recently had a sweet mama ask me how to set boundaries for her children and their technical toys. One mom told me she loved traveling with her children because they all played video games on their ipads and she could enjoy the peace and quiet. I had another mom say that the minute her child gets home from school she is on her ipad or laptop and she never sees her anymore. My husband even says he would love to throw the Iphones out the window because they are so distracting. The thing is, children, no matter what their age, would rather be with you than on their Ipads or Iphones. We will all be in the den and the twins will be checking instagram and my husband just complains about the fact that everybody's on the phone. However, when he is intentional about talking to them or telling a story about his day, the phones automatically go down and all eyes are on him. Interesting isn't it? God made us a relational people. So be relational!

I love to be intentional with my family. Being intentional provides fabulous opportunities for great conversations. It creates the perfect atmosphere for fun and laughter as well as teaching moments. Being intentional doesn't have to cost money, it just takes time. The other day when the twins got home from school we made salt clay and made all kinds of cool things. Every tuesday we go to the bookstore and sit and talk and look at books. Occasionally we meet for coffee at Starbucks. Sometimes we bake and eat and talk. We jog together and talk. When they were little and at home all day, I rarely had friends over because I loved laying on the floor and working puzzles and talking. We would make forts and dress up and color and read and all those fun things. I was very selfish with my time with them when they were small. It took time. It took energy and effort. The laundry didn't always get done and my house was always in a little bit of disarray, but it was worth it! I wouldn't trade those sweet conversations for anything in this world. The time we have with our children in our home is such a short season. The luncheons can wait. The meetings will always be there. Be intentional with your children today. Teach them a new card game. Play memory with the whole deck! Make a necklace out of food in your pantry and eat it! Bake something! Color something. Then instagram it for all to see!

Today I am thankful for peppermint mocha with the twins. I love making an "ok" day the best day ever! Be intentional with your children today. Leave me a comment on how you were    love love love Ruthie

Last day to leave a comment and be automatically entered for my giveaway tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


[caption id="attachment_1622" align="alignleft" width="300"]               The Lord is my Shepherd
            Acrylic on heart pine board[/caption]

I am so glad you stopped by! Today I am thankful for rest. I woke this morning to a cold, gloomy, rainy day. It was so nice. For those of you who follow my blog regularly know that I love sunshine and hot weather, however, every now and then I love a cold and rainy day. It was the perfect excuse to stay home and snuggle up with a blanket, a cup of coffee, and a great book. I did not snuggle into a blanket with a book today, but I did stay home all day and catch up on laundry in between cups of coffee and projects in my studio. It was lazy and yummy. I loved every minute! I think as women sometimes we feel guilty when we don't complete a "to do" list of 40 things every day. We rarely give ourselves the freedom to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee or a rainy afternoon. This morning I sat in my chair with a cup of coffee with the porch door open and just listened to the rain. It was incredible! When was the last time you just sat and listened to the rain? When was the last time you turned off your phone, really disconnected from the world, and rested? Rest is a good thing. Rest is different for every person. How do you rest?

Rest for me is when I take time off from my every day routine. I love a change of scenery. I love a break from the rat race. It doesn't mean that I have to take a vacation or even leave home. Sometimes rest for me is just taking a couple of hours to paint or create. Sometimes it means running a long distance all by myself. Occasionally it's catching up on laundry or housework so I can enjoy just sitting and being still. I love in Psalm 23 when it says "The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want. He leads me beside the still waters. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He restores my soul." That is real rest! God is my Shepherd. He takes care of me completely. He leads me. He leads me to still water. There is nothing more peaceful or restful than water. He makes me lie down. I love that. He restores my soul. That is so fine. Can you just feel that? He restores your soul. I love that! I live for that! No one, no friend, no spouse, no food, no exercise, no nothing can promise that! Only God can restore your soul. Ahhhhh! Real rest. Real peace! Real joy! Today I am thankful for rest. Seek Him first. Find rest in Him. Allow the Shepherd to restore your soul! Rest is good. He is good!                     love love love Ruthie

Leave me a comment how you find rest and automatically be entered for my giveaway on Nov.30.


Monday, November 26, 2012

The Christmas Parade!

 I'm so glad you stopped by! I could hardly wait to post this blog. Today I'm thankful for the Seaside Christmas parade! I love a parade! When I was little my neighborhood put on a parade every labor day. How fun is that? If I ever see anyone from my old neighborhood the annual labor day parade always makes it's way into the conversation! It was the most fun day ever. All the kids in the neighborhood would dress up in homemade costumes and march around the block while parents cheered and waved. I remember one year I made a huge poster with a Baby Ruth candy bar on it and wore it as my costume. My sister and her friend dressed as the toothfairy and a girl in her pajamas who lost her tooth. There was a brother and sister who dressed as each other. It was simple and perfect! The Seaside Christmas parade reminds me of that day just a little bit. The street is lined with tons of children and adults eagerly awaiting the arrival of homemade Christmas decorations and music. Families decorate golf carts and even baby strollers with garland and everything red and green and throw beads and candy all along 30a. There is a local children's shop that recruits children to ride on their truck. The children dress like elves and throw mints and sometimes stop and do a quick dance to a popular Christmas song. This year there was a precious group of girls from a local dance studio who dressed up as candy cane girls and did a little dance for everybody all along the parade route. One little girl rode her unicycle the entire way and even threw candy at the same time. She was amazing.Then you know that Christmas has arrived when Santa and Mrs. Claus wrap up the parade waving to the crowd from their car drawn sleigh! It was the perfect day! I love a parade.

What lets you know Christmas is here? Is it the decorations or the lights in the neighborhoods? Maybe it's the millions of commercials reminding you how many shopping days you have left? Is it the Christmas movies on every channel that always have a happy ending? Maybe it's the many times you wake in the night remembering all the little things you don't want to forget? I'm feeling stress just thinking of those things. Christmas is what you make it! Try something new. Choose to sip a cup of hot chocolate and have a good conversation. Ride around on a week night with someone special and look at lights. Bake cookies with friends and give them away. Try a new recipe and surprise someone with something yummy. Have friends over and make an ornament or a Christmas card. If you're really adventurous, organize a Christmas parade in your neighborhood and end up at someone's house for hot chocolate! (Maybe I'll do that) In other words, slow down and enjoy this Christmas season. Be thankful for parades!             Love love love Ruthie

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Light of the World

Last night our family went to Rosemary Beach to watch them light up the huge Christmas tree in the center of town. We have never been and I have always wanted to go. So yesterday morning before the boys left to go fishing and the girls left to go shopping, I asked if everyone could be home by 5:00 and ready to go at 5:30 to see the lights. The boys were a bit of a hard sell because it was their last day to fish, but everyone agreed to be home. I could hardly wait for the lights!

We headed to Rosemary right at 5:30. I really didn't know what to expect but I had my heart set on going and my camera on my shoulder. We parked about a block away and walked. You would not have believed the people! They were everywhere! It was wild! All the families and children and even pets were so fun to watch! They were playing Christmas music and and all the shops had open house, it was just festive and fun. We had the perfect view from where we stood! We stood back from the tree on the ledge of a fountain just above the crowd. I tried to take pictures with my phone, but it was too dark and then this one light came on and a woman stepped up to a microphone. There was a hush over the crowd as she began to speak. She welcomed everybody and then introduced a talented group of singers who sang Silver Bells without music. It was beautiful. Then a horse drawn sleigh made its way through the crowd carrying you know who... Santa. I wish you could have heard the children screaming and clapping. My children, of course, were making me laugh hysterically as they were quoting the movie Elf! "Santa!!!! I know him!!!" Anyway, it was so much fun! Santa made his way to the stage and gave the count down to turn on the town! Five! Four! Three! Two! One! Wow!!!!! The biggest tree I've ever seen came to life with every color light you can imagine! Then the crowd began to sing "Deck the Halls," and every tree in the center of town came to life with white light. It was spectacular! The lights were so bright it was like daytime! I loved it! I loved being there! My sweet husband even thanked me for getting everybody there! It was great! After the lights were on, families stood in the green under the lights while the children played and people took a million pictures! It was a sight to see! If that doesn't put you in the Christmas spirit nothing will! It was truly beautiful!

After the "photo op", we were ready to go. Right before we got to the car, I turned around to get one last look. Even from a block away the lights were brighter than ever. Standing in the darkness of the parking lot so far away, somehow the lights were more beautiful! I guess it was because I could see them all at once and how they truly brought the entire town to life. It was moving. I so wish you could have been there!

As Christmas time grows closer I think about our country. You don't have to look any further than the television or newspaper or magazines to see that so many people have lost  their way. I so desire my life to be like the trees in Rosemary. When they turned those lights on it illuminated the darkness completely. It turned night into day and allowed everybody to see clearly. I want to be light in a dark world. I want to remind people that there is hope. I want others to see Jesus in me. It's so easy to get caught up in the busy of Christmas and forget to love those around us. This Christmas let your light shine!                                       love love love Ruthie

Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:18

Don't forget to leave a comment and automatically be entered for my giveaway Nov.30!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Day

[caption id="attachment_1593" align="alignleft" width="300"] Happy Thanksgiving[/caption]

Happy Thanksgiving! I'm so glad you dropped by! I am thankful for you! I love this holiday! You're probably thinking I love every holiday. It's true. However, this holiday is different from the rest. There are no gifts or decorations or even thanksgiving music on the radio. In fact, the only advertisement the media could come up with is the "after thanksgiving sale!" It's the most traveled week of the year and it gets no publicity except for food and sales. I do love thanksgiving. It's a time filled with friends and family and reflection. I love thinking about everyone sitting around the table together laughing and telling old stories and maybe sharing what they are thankful for today. Even if you don't say it out loud, it's a day that your heart is just so full  you can hardly contain it!

Today I will spend the day with my family overwhelmed all day with God's grace and sweet blessings on me and my family. My greatest joy is that my husband and my children have a personal relationship with Jesus. Today I am so humbled and so thankful that God would send His only son into the world to live and die so that I and my family and who every believes might have eternal life. Pure Joy! I am thankful.

I hope your day is amazing and filled with the joy of Jesus! Love love love Ruthie

For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son. That whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life! John 3:16

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Supper Time

The other day I saw a commercial on TV advertising a sitcom. The commercial showed a husband and wife eating supper on the sofa watching television and the TV goes out, and they look at each other in horror. It really was funny, but kind of sad if you think about it too long. There is nothing better than supper at the table. Even when my children were in high chairs I would pull their chair to the table to make them feel part of the family. Once they were toddlers and could sit in a chair or booster seat, we trained them to sit at the dinner table with the family. Even if dinner was a little late some nights, we would have a little snack and wait for out daddy to get home so we could eat together at the table. Children are not born with table manners and patience to sit at the table, it has to be taught. It is not hard to train, it just takes a little time. I can't tell you how many times I've been to a restaurant and seen a daddy take a toddler out to play on the sidewalk while the mom eats dinner. Then the mom goes out with the child while the daddy comes in and woofs his dinner in 5 minutes flat. (And they paid for that?) Training your children at home to sit at the table makes dinner out a delight not a race! Teach them to sit and enjoy company and conversation. They don't have to sit for hours, just enough time for everyone to finish their meal in a reasonable amount of time. Once they've learned to sit at home then take them out to dinner. I always carried a bag of paper and crayons with me so if they finished quickly they could color but still be a part of the conversation. (We gave more pictures to waiters and cashiers than you can imagine.) Supper at the table is also a valuable time for Eddie. It is the time when he gets caught up on everyone's day. Even when they were young he would hear them talk about books they'd read or friends they played with that day. With a big family, my biggest obstacle was teaching everybody not to talk  at once. We had to teach our children to listen and to ask questions and to be interested in other conversations. Obviously the supper table is an amazing teaching opportunity for everybody!  Last night we sat for awhile around the table laughing and talking about the day. It just reminded me how much I enjoy supper time. Schedules change as children get older, but they still have to eat. Turn off the TV! Make supper time a priority! Make it fun. Use that time to learn about your children and share things about yourself. Not every night will be meaningful conversation, but it will be memorable! Lastly, once everyone is seated, allow your husband to lead and open the meal with a prayer of thanksgiving. Remind your children that everything we have is from God Almighty, and that they are blessed to be sitting at the table with family and good food. Men, don't ask your wife or children to pray. Step up and set the example of a humble and thankful heart for your family to imitate. Mamas, if you are single, pray with your children and allow them to see Jesus in you. If you live alone and eat by yourself, stop before you eat and thank God for being your Father and provider. I am so thankful for supper time. Whether I am with friends or family, there is nothing finer than supper around the table! Enjoy supper tonight!                                           Love love love Ruthie

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Christmas lights (November Challenge)

Today I am thankful for Christmas lights! I wondered when I would share this post because I love Christmas lights all year long! What is it about twinkling lights that sends me over the moon? In the movie "Mama Mia" my favorite scene is towards the end when Pierce Brosnan sings to Meryl Streep under that huge tree because the tree is covered in lights! My favorite thing about cooking out every saturday night is that I have Christmas lights strung on my back porch all year! Yesterday I was jogging with the twins and lights were  everywhere and decorations are going up all over the place. I love the colors and all the bling! It just makes my heart so happy. When my children were little, we collected big huge plastic statues that lit up! It was so fun and bright and loud! Parting with the light up snoopy was difficult, but now that my children are older I still light everything up just not with plastic! I visit home depot every year and replenish my stash of lights! I string lights everywhere! It makes everything more festive and fun! So replenish those lights and string them everywhere...and leave a few up all year! I am thankful for the lights!                         love love love Ruthie

(Don't forget to leave a comment and be entered for my giveaway on Nov. 30)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Holiday Parking

 Holidays are my most favorite thing, but holiday parking is even better. Holiday parking means everyone is home and no school, no homework, no work, just fun! It really is the funniest thing. With five children driving we had to come up with a place for everyone to park when they were all home! Some spots are a little better than's like who gets to ride up front when they were little. At the end of the day, because the twins live at home, they usually get the closest spot. Luke usually gets the one furthest away because he drives a huge truck and his hours are crazy with hunting. The funniest thing is when someone comes home unexpected or early and can't  get into a spot and the back door opens and the first thing said is "Hey it's holiday parking!" I know it sounds silly, but I love the words "holiday parking!" It is one of those inside family jokes that will live forever. Eddie and I were coming in one night and all the cars were tucked in for the night and Eddie said, "I love holiday parking!" I love it! I love having everyone home. I love the hustle and bustle around the house. I love all the friends coming over and all the schedules and plans.  I love when everyone gets up in the morning and laughs and tells stories over coffee and orange juice. Holiday parking is my favorite.

I hope your week is fabulous and filled with holiday parking. Enjoy the time off and relax. Don't plan too much. Eat up every moment of every day loving whatever it brings. Holiday parking brings lots of activity and surprises, enjoy it! Clean up later! Shop later! Do the christmas card later! Sit down and enjoy!  Have fun! Laugh! Watch all the cheesy Christmas movies with hot chocolate and fun snacks. Love holiday parking! Happy Happy Monday! Thank you for stopping by!                                                Love love love Ruthie

Friday, November 16, 2012

Encouraging Words (November Challenge)

[caption id="attachment_1581" align="alignleft" width="300"] Oil on Canvas
Encourage Each Other[/caption]

I'm so glad you stopped by! I was jogging with the twins yesterday and KK reminded me of a quote in the dining hall at camp that reads, "Words are so powerful, they should only be used to bless, to heal, and to prosper." Do you remember the scene in the movie "The Help" when Aibileen would repeat to baby girl "You is kind, you is smart, you is important." Words are so powerful. Imagine someone telling you everyday that you are kind, you are smart and you are important. What would that do for you? Obviously you would believe that you were kind, smart and important. The spoken word is a powerful tool!

What are you speaking to your children? What are you speaking to those around you? When your children spill juice are your words impatient or kind? When your children disobey are your words filled with anger or wisdom? When your husband is unable to read your mind or forgets something from the grocery store, are your words that of forgiveness and understanding? It's something to think about. Our words are strong. We can choose to build each other up or we can destroy with a single word. I used an illustration with my children when they were little that I will never forget. We were doing a devotion on words of encouragement. We gave them a tube of toothpaste and let them squeeze all the paste out. (that was really fun!) Then we said, " Now try and put it all back in the tube." I remember MaryCam looking at me with this adorable grin that said "Really?" Of course the boys tried to cram it all back in the tube with their little hands. It was hilarious! Anyway, when everyone realized the paste was NOT going back in the tube, it was time for the teaching moment! The paste is like our words, once they've come out of our mouth we can't put them back. In other words, think before you speak. Use your words wisely, to encourage and to love. Harsh words are so painful, even when said in fun. At our house we say sarcasm is the lowest form of communication. But an encouraging word is like Christmas everyday! They are a gift.

I think a lot of time we think encouraging words, but for whatever reason we forget to say them out loud or we tell a friend something awesome about someone else. What is it that keeps us from telling others directly what they mean to us? In the past two days I have received a couple of emails with encouraging words that have sent me over the moon! It's amazing what sweet words can do! Today I am thankful for encouraging words. Words filled with thoughtfulness and love. They are so fine! So open your eyes and your hearts  and pull out those encouraging words! Change someone's whole day with a smile and an encouraging word! You have changed mine! Thank you! love love love Ruthie

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight Oh Lord my Strength and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Spray Paint (November Challenge)

 I'm so glad you stopped by! Today I'm thankful for spray paint! Don't you just love spray paint?! It's fast, easy, comes in tons of colors, and paints on just about anything! I love it! My twins have started calling me "vacation barbie" because every day this week I have been on "vacation!" I have patiently waited for them to get home from school and then we do something fun. I have not allowed homework or phones or computers, just fun. So yesterday I was reading a blog by artist Alisa Burke and she marbleized paper with spray paint. I have paper, I always have spray paint, all I need is the twins. I could hardly wait for them to get home and tell them about my idea. I will say Fox had a big test today so he was a little hesitant to get excited, but I needed a photographer and I think curiosity got the best of him. So here are the fabulous photos and directions of the paper KK and I painted. (Fox fabulous photography, and you know this was way more fun than AP U.S.!)

I got a plastic tray that I usually put food in and filled it with about three inches of water. Clearly this one has paint in it, but just fill it with water. (I'm guessing you figured this out already, but just in case you didn't, you can't clean this and use it for food ever again. So be sure and use something that you don't need or love. It is now your paint tray)

Spray paint into the water. Spray paint should be used outside where it is well ventilated.

You can use any color you have. We tried all kinds of things. Spray at least two colors and allow them to blend. Then get a stick and swirl the colors together. The paint dries quickly so you can't waste time once you've sprayed your paint.

Isn't that cool? We sprayed green and gold together thinking it would make a great Christmas card or tag for a gift. Experiment with how much or how little paint you spray. Don't be shy, you can't mess this up.

Once you have sprayed your paint have your paper ready to lay on top of the water. I used water color paper because it absorbs water well and is a sturdy paper. Card stock would do the same.

Wah Lah!!! How cool is that?! Easy, fast, and fun! As you can see swirling the paint is key. We also never changed the water. We just kept spraying and adding paper.

I thought I would add, when I put the paper into the water I lightly pressed the back of the paper into the paint. I did not totally submerge the paper. You only leave the paper in the water for a few seconds and then lift it out and let it dry. You are going to love it!

Is that gorgeous or what?! In this one KK and I sprayed pink, gold and red. The white you see is where paint did not adhere. So cool!

This was my favorite I think. I love pink and green together. Swirling the paint before you drop your paper in is huge. Don't you love it? Is your mind racing right now with a million ideas?

I loved this fun project! It took no time and the results were fabulous! We are going to cut these up and make note cards, gift tags, place cards, and calling cards. The possibilities are really endless. I hope you will try this and send me a picture! I'd love to see what you come up with! Today I'm thankful for spray paint! This afternoon we're making salt clay! KK's chemistry test is going to have to wait! I'm on "vacation" and loving it! See you tomorrow. Love love love R

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Beautiful Feet

[caption id="attachment_1562" align="alignleft" width="100"] SweetArt Collection[/caption]

Thank you for stopping by! today I'm thankful for shoes! I think you can tell a lot about a person by the shoes they wear. If you were to look in my closet you would find too many pairs of running shoes, a lot of boots, three or four pairs of clogs from college, Chacos, of course, and only one pair of heels. I am laughing so hard right now. So, what did you learn about me? Well, the large number of running shoes should tell you that I love to exercise. I also love to be comfortable and I'm the girl that thinks running shoes go with anything. In my opinion, if ever in doubt of what shoes to wear, always choose boots. If we're being honest, ever since I could talk I wanted to be on stage singing country music and wearing really cool boots. Hence the number of boots in my closet. They don't make clogs like they use to so I held on to mine. If the truth be known, I'm probably a little hipster at heart. (My kids would say A LOT) Chacos are a must! They are a summer running shoe, comfortable, durable, and go with everything. The only dressy shoes I own are a black pair of heels. I suppose every girl needs a classic pair of black heels. So I guess you learned I'm all about comfort, I sing country music in my car, I'm a little hipster, I love summer, and I rarely dress up. Can you believe you learned all that from just peeking in my closet at my shoes?

I do love a fun pair of shoes, and I do think they boldly describe my personality without saying a word. However, I don't want to be known or defined by my shoes. As crazy as it sounds, I want to be known for my feet.

How beautiful are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good mews of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, "Your God Reigns!"  Isaiah 52:7

Wherever my feet take me I want to be a witness of God's precious grace and mercy. I want to share His love and free gift of salvation. I want the whole world to know how much they are loved by God and to fall head over heels in love with Him. I want you to know Him. I want to have beautiful feet!

Love love love Ruthie                                                                                                           Don't forget to leave a comment and be automatically entered for my November giveaway!

Monday, November 12, 2012


[caption id="attachment_1559" align="alignleft" width="300"] Thank you for protecting our Home[/caption]

I'm so glad you stopped by! Today I am thankful for the men and women who serve and have served in our military. Yesterday at church the preacher asked those who were in the military to stand so that we could pray for them. Sitting in the choir loft, I was able to see them all. Some old, some young, and some in uniform. It was an awesome sight. Our preacher prayed for them with such passion. It was incredibly humbling to be sitting there knowing these men and women willingly put themselves in harms way so that we may live in a free country. I know that I will never know the intensity of the sacrifices that these men and women make and have made. I have had only a small glimpse from a family friend who came back from war overseas and shared a few stories. Though I know he guards so much more of his experiences in his heart that he is unable to share. The physical wounds are obvious to civilians, but the invisible wounds are not so easy to see. The sacrifices families make are usually hidden with a smile and a gracious "thank you" for a meal or two. It's dinner time, when there is an empty chair or, bed time when there is an empty side of the bed when hearts ache and fear raises it's ugly head. We rarely see "that part." I am humbled and eternally thankful!

So today I am thankful for those who serve our country so bravely and so passionately! I am thankful for the families who leave the light on waiting for them to come home! We are a blessed nation. God is good!

"Jesus I am Resting" (Song from R.U.F.)

Jesus, I am resting, resting In the joy of what Thou art,                                                                                                                                                       I am finding out the greatness of Thy loving heart.                                                                  Tour hast bid me gaze upon Thee, And Thy beauty fills my soul,                                                For by Thy transforming power, Thou hast made me whole.

O, how great Thy loving kindness, Vaster, Broader than the sea!                                           O, how marvelous Thy goodness, Lavished all on me!                                                           Yes, I rest in Thee, Beloved, Know what wealth of grace is Thine,                                      Know Thy certainty of promise, And have made it mine.

Jesus I am resting, resting, In the joy of what Thou art,                                                              I am finding out the greatness Of Thy loving heart.

Thank you! Love love love Ruthie

Friday, November 9, 2012

Friday Run (Day 8 November Challenge)

 I'm so glad you stopped by! I love fridays! I'm always thankful for friday, but today I'm thankful for my run. Towns surprised me and came home for dinner and spent the night. What a special treat for all of us! She had to go back for class and work on friday, but before she left we got to run together. It was so much fun! We clocked out about a 6 1/2 mile trail and hit the road. The weather was perfect and the company was the best! I usually run by myself with my IPod, and I had forgotten how nice it was to run with a friend. The best part was that Towns did most of the talking so I was able to keep up with her without running out of breath. We talked about everything from the love of her life to what she wants to be when she grows up! I love hearing every thought and every dream. There is something freeing about being out on the road jogging and talking and laughing. It was my favorite part of the day today!

In Genesis 3 verse 8 it says that Adam and Eve heard God walking in the garden in the cool of the day.  They knew the sound of Him walking in the garden because they had obviously walked with Him in the garden before. How cool is that? I love that! Imagine Adam and Eve walking with God in the cool of the day just talking, sharing thoughts and dreams. I love it! The same God that walked with Adam and Eve waits patiently for us to invite Him to walk with us and share our thoughts and dreams. He stands ready to listen to your every word. Don't make Him wait any longer. Invite Him in. You won't regret it. I promise.

Today I am thankful for my run with Towns. I am thankful that my Heavenly Father waits and walks with me every day. He fills me with His presence, and I am overwhelmed by His love and grace towards me. He waits for you. Turn your IPod off and walk with Him today!

Love love love Ruthie

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Love in a Box (Day 7 of November Challenge)

[caption id="attachment_1550" align="alignleft" width="297"] Collage and Notecards[/caption]

I'm so glad you stopped by. I heard a woman from Bosnia on the radio two days ago tell a precious story, and I have not been able to get her off my mind. She talked about how  difficult it was to grow up in Bosnia after the war. She was in elementary school and remembered walking two hours in the snow to get to school. She talked about how her shoes were handed down from her brother and had big holes in them. She recalled the holes looked like big open mouths on the top of her shoes. Her mother would layer her feet in socks then plastic bags and then more socks to keep them warm and dry. She did not complain, but her feet were always wet and cold when she finally reached school. On one particular day she reached the school yard and all the children were laughing and squealing. Her friend told her to go in the school room, there was a man there with a box for her. She had a million questions but followed her friends instructions and went into the class room. It was true. The room was filled with shoe boxes for all the children. A man she did not even know handed her a box and said it was for her. She said she ran to the corner of the room and opened her box all by herself. She opened her box to find a pair of new tennis shoes exactly her size. No more wet, cold feet. And there was a new notebook with clean pages and pencils for her very own. She couldn't believe her eyes. She ran to the man who had handed her the gift and begged to know who had given her the box? Who knew she needed shoes? Who knew she would love to have her very own notebook and pencils? Who knew her? He only said there was a booklet in her box explaining all that. She said she skipped school that day and ran home. She couldn't wait to show her mom the box. Later that night in her room she looked over the booklet. She could not read it because it was not in her language. The next day she went to the man and begged to know who gave her the box. Because she lived in a predominantly muslim country he whispered in her ear, "Your box is from the one true God." I wish you could have heard this woman's response. She said she held her box close to her heart and said "I knew it! I knew there was a God!" And today as a grown woman she bears testimony of a precious personal relationship with God Almighty. He does know her. He knows so much more than her shoe size! He created her and loves her completely. Isaiah 43:1b "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; You are Mine!" She found love in a box that day, but what she really found was so much more. She found Jesus Christ. She received not only the gift of a pair of shoes and a notebook, but she received the gift of eternal life. How precious to hear her weep over that box. How moving to hear her speak the words, "I knew there was a God!"

Today I am thankful for this precious woman whom I don't even know, but will meet in heaven one day. I cannot wait to wrap my arms around her and hear her story. I am thankful for her courage to stand up and tell the world that she knows Jesus and that she loves Him with all her heart. I am thankful for her passion and conviction. I am thankful for her testimony. I am thankful for her shoebox.

I am challenged by her story to gather shoe boxes this week and take my family shopping to fill those boxes with love. My prayer is that the child who opens the box finds El Shaddai, Lord God Almighty,  and His gift of eternal life. How precious. I am thankful! love love love Ruthie  (Don't forget to leave your comment on my blog and be entered for a giveaway on Nov.30)

( I just googled the shoe box ministry and all the information can be found at if you are interested in learning more.)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Change in Schedule (Day 6 in November Challenge)

 I am so glad you stopped by. One of my favorite stories is one my daughter shared with me a couple of summers ago. Mary Cam was a camp counselor and teaching tennis to a group of little girls one afternoon. She told me it was unusually hot that day and her girls were struggling to enjoy playing tennis. She decided what they needed was a change in schedule. They put their rackets away, filled their water bottles, and followed Mary Cam for an adventure. She took them on a short hike into the woods and on to a swinging bridge. With beautiful scenery a lots of shade, the girls all laid on the bridge and laughed and sang songs and told stories. Mary Cam said it was the best day ever!

I think more times than not, we find ourselves with schedules to keep and lists to complete. We are exhausted Monday through Friday and we live for the weekend just to catch our breath. Sometimes a change in schedule is all you need to recharge your battery. It could be lunch with a friend, or a jog around your neighborhood, or even a power nap. Whatever change you make can be the difference between a good day and a bad day. Today I am thankful for a change in my schedule. I played hookie from my normal day and took my daughter out of school and spent the day with her! We had the best time ever. We talked and laughed and shopped and ate and had a ball. It felt like we were on vacation! A change in schedule turned an ordinary wednesday into something really special!

What does your week look like? See if you can carve out a little time to do something different. Spice it up a little. It doesn't have to take all day or cost a lot of money. It can be just about anything. Spend time with your child or your spouse. Eat lunch with someone you don't see very often or make a phone call to an out of town friend. Take a painting class or an exercise class you've been wanting to try. The point is a change in your schedule can do wonders! I am so thankful for the change in my schedule today! KK and I made a memory today that will last a lifetime! Try it! love love love Ruthie

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

New Friends in my Studio (Day 5 November Challenge)

 I'm so glad you stopped by! I will be posting twice today because I painted with friends last night and did not get a chance to blog. That's what I'm most thankful for today, I mean yesterday. Not that I did not blog, but that I'm thankful for the precious group of 8 girls that I painted with on Monday nights! I teach a painting class in the fall and spring in my studio for about seven weeks. My sweet friend Christy asked if she could bring some of her friends to paint a couple of months ago on Monday nights. I was teaching on Tuesday mornings and didn't know if I wanted to commit to another teaching day, but I love Christy and just couldn't say no. I am so thankful I didn't say no! I looked forward to Monday night every week! This adorable group of girls love the Lord,  love each other, and love to paint. Truly it was a delight to be with them each week! It was such a treat for me to help instruct and guide them along their creative journeys. Their styles were dreamy and reflected their personalities perfectly. It was so much fun for me to watch them grow. One of my favorite things was how they encouraged each other. Someone would finish a painting or try a new technique and without hesitation the entire class would ooh and ahh and cheer and was fabulous! I loved it! Every week they came with new questions, new canvases, new paints, new brushes and I couldn't get enough of them! We had a fabulous time!

Last night was our last session and I was sad. I had lunch with my husband and the girls were topic of conversation. I decided I wanted to make something for them that they could take home to remind them of our class. My sweet husband just nodded and listened. Then I thought of a great idea and couldn't get home fast enough. I took an old CD and covered it in paper and painted it a little, stamped it a little, collaged it a little and Wah-lah!!! A happy! I hung their little happies on their easels and when they came in you can't  imagine how sweet they were! You would have thought I had given them a million dollars. They were so kind. They made me feel like a rockstar! Then, you are not going to believe this, but they pulled a party out of their bags! I about fell out! They had all kinds of fun food and even a sweet happy for me! We eventually got around to painting, and it was a great night! I was sad to see them go.

I am so glad I painted with my Monday night group. I loved teaching and painting, but I mostly loved being with them. For a couple of months they allowed me to be a part of their lives and share their thoughts and dreams and families and experiences. It made my life richer and fuller. I am thankful for new friendships in my studio today! love love love Ruthie

[caption id="attachment_1541" align="aligncenter" width="300"] I love a Happy![/caption]

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sunday Night (Day 4 November Challenge)

 I love sunday night. I love the way our preacher invites us to close out the day with the Lord. I love that. Tonight worship was so sweet! The music was a vital part of our worship. We actually met before the service just to sing. It was beautiful and such an amazing way to prepare our hearts for worship. There is nothing like hearing all those voices singing together with such joy and such passion. I wish I could describe to you the feeling in my heart as we sang the song "In Christ Alone!" Truly, I have no words.

In Christ alone my hope is found, He is my light, my strength, my song;                                              this cornerstone, this solid ground, Firm through the fiercest drought and storm. What heights of love, what depths of peace, When fears are stilled, when strivings cease! My comforter, my all in all. Here in the love of Christ I stand.

It's amazing what music can do. It is so powerful. Tonight I am thankful for song! Psalm 100 says "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord" I love that! Psalm 81:1-2 says "Sing for joy to God our strength. Raise a song, strike the timbrel,the sweet sounding lyre with the harp. Psalm 66:2 says "Sing the glory of His name, Make His praise glorious!" Sing! Sing! Sing!!!! Sing to the top of your lungs! I love it! God loves it! He wants to hear you sing to Him! So raise your voice and praise His name! Sing loud and high!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise Him all creatures here below. Praise Him above ye heavenly host. Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost!

Sing! Sing! Sing!      Love love love Ruthie


Saturday, November 3, 2012

A Happy (Day 3 November challenge)

   I'm so glad you stopped by! I'm loving the challenge of doing a "thankful" blog everyday! It makes my world so much more alive and colorful! I look at things so differently. I am so much more aware of everything I see and do! I eat it up! Today my husband and I got up early and scooted to Auburn for the day to see our college children and have lunch with them. Read that last sentence again... there's like fourteen things to be thankful for in that sentence alone! How cool is that?! I loved being with my husband all by myself on the drive over! I loved being with my children and seeing their precious friends! I loved having lunch with them! I loved having lunch out! See what I mean?! Just opening my eyes for one thing to be thankful for opened my eyes to tons of things to be thankful for! I love it! I hope you are enjoying this as much as I am!

 Ok, so I had to pick one thing. Whew! It was tough, but I love love love my choice! I have  blogged before about happies. A happy is a little treat that you give to a friend just to say "I love you!" It can be anything from a handmade card to a plate of cookies. The beauty of a happy is that it just tells someone you were thinking about them. I love a happy! Well. today  I got a happy and it sent me over the moon! Eddie and I got to my daughter's house and helped her with a project in her room. When we walked in the room, Towns handed me a a happy wrapped in cellophane with lots of lime green ribbon! We both just screamed! A happy will do that to you! It touched my heart so because she had such a busy weekend with company from out of town and yet she took time to think of me! It did not matter what was in the package, there was so much love tied up in that green ribbon I could hardly hold on to it! When we were through hugging and screaming I opened my happy! We screamed again! So fun! She had given me a precious coffee mug that I had seen in Wrapsody in Auburn. You can see from the photo how gorgeous it is! The fun colorful design is fabulous, but it's the word "Rejoice" that grabbed my heart. Don't you just love that word?! I do! "Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice." I love it! Rejoice!

It's amazing what a happy can do! I'm not sure if it's more fun to give a happy or more fun to receive a happy! Either way, a happy is powerful thing! Today I am thankful for my happy! My happy wasn't just a coffee mug. My happy was a whole lot of love wrapped in cellophane and lime green ribbon. Surprise someone you love with a happy today! It will change your life...and theirs.

What are you thankful for today? Leave me a comment and let me know, and you will be automatically entered for my giveaway on Nov.30! Happy Happy Happy day!           love love love Ruthie

Friday, November 2, 2012

Flat Tires /Day 2 of Thankful Challenge

 "Baby you're so fine I'd drink your bathwater!" Can you believe that is the pick up line that swept me off my feet 27 years ago? Let me tell you, I'm so glad it did! Today (really every day) I am thankful for my husband! We have been married 24 years and I can honestly tell you that he still takes my breath away!

One of my favorite memories that I will never forget as long as Iive describes him perfectly. I was at the beach with all the children, and Eddie had to go home for business a couple of days early. Let me say here that I can count on one hand the amount of times I've been out of town without Eddie. I am one of those girls that if I have time away I would rather be with my husband than any one else in the world! So you need to know that even though the beach is my most favorite place to be, if Eddie is not there it's just not the same! Having said that, the day after he left, I was loading up the car with all our beach stuff to drive it to the beach, and I noticed my tire was almost flat. I called Eddie and asked what he thought I should do. I will admit I was stressed. A flat tire, five young children, last day on the beach, leaving the next morning, none of these things made for a very good day. Eddie calmly and sweetly told me to enjoy the beach and take the car to the tire place after lunch. So that's what we did. Long story short, the closest tire place was 40 minutes away. The six of us sat in the shop waiting area for a little over three hours playing I spy and whatever other games I could come up with to pass the time. Eddie was on the phone with the tire people off and on, and one big patch and "foam filled" tire later I was ready to go. I confess, I am very much a "girl" when it comes to car things. But seeing that I was the only adult , I put on a brave face and told Eddie and myself that everything was fine, and I wasn't the least bit worried about the three hour drive home the next day.

On the way back to the beach house we sang and talked and laughed though all the while I fought bursting into tears and worrying about driving my five babies home on a foam filled tire. It was a long day to say the least. It was about 5:00 when we neared the beach house. Everybody was wanting to put on their suits and head to the beach for one last time. I really didn't want to go, but as I pulled in my drive way there stood the sweetest surprise I've ever had! My man was standing on the porch with his bathing suit on, chairs on his left shoulder, and a cooler full of drinks and snacks on his right! He said "Baby let's go watch the sunset!" I barely got the car in park before I threw my arms around him and burst into tears. He said, "You didn't think I was going  to let you drive home by yourself on that tire did you?" I think that was my most favorite sunset ever!

 I could spend days blogging memories like that! You see why I'm so thankful for my sweet husband?!! He is strong, and he is kind. He is my protector and my provider.  He knows me inside and out and loves me completely. I don't deserve him. He is the love of my life. I am blessed beyond all measure! I am thankful!

What are you thankful for today? Leave me a comment on my blog and you are automatically entered for the giveaway on Nov. 30! Thank you for stopping by!!!                                            love love love Ruthie