Category Archives: Family Time

Happy 4th of July

What does today mean to you? Maybe you’re going to a BBQ and then watching fireworks afterwards? That’s what we do, right? But, what if, we dug deeper to find out why we celebrate this holiday?

So, when we think about July 4th we think of the Declaration of Independence, right? The day America was born, July 4, 1776. You can read all about the history HERE. It’s pretty interesting to go back in time and learn of all the neat history stuff of America.

I usually spend this day reflecting on how fortunate and blessed we are to live in America. It’s such a cool place! Of course we are having a BBQ and my hubby and his friend Mike are setting off a huge firework show in our pasture as a grand finale for the evening. We are having some close friends come over, nothing big and fancy. Sometimes, it’s the simple gatherings we have with our close friends and family that make it so much more memorable.

So, what are your plans for today? Stay safe and have a wonderful day no matter what you are doing!

Blessings,

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*Photo Credit: These images are not my own and I have no knowledge of their source.

 

I’m Not the Director Here

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What a whirlwind it’s been lately. Exactly one week ago today, I woke up to the text that my sweet friend Janet went to be with Jesus. But I don’t understand. I just saw her in the hospital less than 24 hours ago. Janet was diagnosed six months ago with Stage 4 Lung Cancer that went to her bones and brain. The doctor cleared her of any cancer in her body just a few weeks ago. But she woke up last week and couldn’t breathe. How does that happen? This wasn’t the way I planned it. We just had her service on Wednesday and all I keep hearing from words that her wonderful family spoke of is “This is the day that the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)

I prayed and prayed with Janet over the past six months and believed that God would heal her. Janet did receive her healing. There’s no doubt in my mind that she is sitting in heaven with Jesus. I remember sitting with her a few months ago and a doctor’s office had called to schedule a scan. They said, ” You have cancer, right?” She looked at me and we both chuckled and Janet whispered, “What do I say?” I then said, “No, don’t speak it.” Janet then told the lady on the phone, “That’s what the report shows.” We just laughed when she got off the phone. Too many times we start believing what the enemy wants us to believe and if we truly are walking with God, then we know that we are healed.

I’m still in shock about Janet’s passing which brings me to this post. I missed last weeks reading of Chapter 3 of So “Close to Amazing” so I thought I’d combine Chapter 4 with it. What a fitting week in the book for what I’m going through right now. If you’re like me, do you try to write your own script for your life? Like do you live as if you are in a Hallmark Movie? OK, good, I’m not the only one. Life isn’t about us pre-planning and figuring out how our entire life will be. I do know that when I get out of the way, my life makes so much more sense. Just like losing Janet wasn’t part of my script but I realize now that I was here for the lessons that I was going to learn through her. She walked in grace and confidence and loved everyone. I’m going to carry that out and knowing how she impacted my life I will be forever grateful for her friendship.

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Have a wonderful weekend!!!

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31 Day Prayer Challenge for Marriage

Prayer is how I survive. Not only in my personal life but in my marriage. I’ve been married to my husband for 22 years and it hasn’t always been peaches and cream and in the beginning, we didn’t even go to church or pray together.  Neither one of us had a relationship with God.

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Once our kids came along, that’s when God got a hold of us and we were both baptized together and accepted Jesus as our savior together.  It was pretty cool to do it together and I feel like it brought us closer as a couple.

Last year for Christmas, I found these really cool books that were sold as a bundle.  It’s called “31 Prayers for your Husband” written by Jennifer Smith of The Unveiled Wife. Have you heard of it? One for me and one for my husband. I put my husband’s in his stocking and mine in my stocking and we made a commitment to pray for each other for 31 days. Well, we keep going every month, but you get the idea. So are you up to the challenge?

Isn’t your marriage worth fighting for?

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Here are some of the prayers you will find in the book.  There is also blank pages after each prayer where you can make it more personal.

Some of the prayers in these resources include:

Prayers for her:

  • Freedom From Fear
  • My Wife’s Health
  • Grace in Marriage
  • Life Giving Words
  • Cultivating Romance
  • Rejuvenate My Wife

Prayers for him:

  • Leader Of The Home
  • Pursuing Gentleness
  • Freedom From Lust
  • Knowing His Purpose
  • Integrity
  • Extraordinary Marriage

As women, we need our spouses to pray for us, just like our husbands need us to pray for them. It’s important. It’s vital. Without it, we have no hope.

So, I ask you to join me in the #31prayerchallenge and make a commitment to pray for your spouse for 31 days. I highly recommend the books and she has them on sale right now.  If your spouse won’t read it or pray, then start praying about that for them and see how God moves in their heart and your marriage. The enemy wants to destroy our marriages so even if only one of you are praying, that’s so important. I noticed a wonderful difference in my husband when I started praying for him and vice versa with me.

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Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven.  Psalm 107:28-30

So, please join me and my husband as we commit to this challenge that The Unveiled Wife has going on in 2017. Let’s see how God moves in our marriages!

Blessings,

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Prayer Strategy

My Summer|Honoring My Dad

Wow!  I can’t believe summer is drawing to an end.  I’ve had a whirl wind of one.  How have you been spending yours?

My summer kicked off by heading to Washington, DC to honor my dad at the Vietnam Veterans In Memory Program.  He passed away back in January of this year and his one wish was to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.  Well, you have to be pretty important or die in a war, so this was the next best thing.  Dad would have loved this!

My sister and I were able to speak about dad in front of thousands and were given a plaque, which will be kept in a vault to be displayed in a future museum.  We were also part of their annual Rose Ceremony where we honored all veterans who have passed away.  This was truly an amazing program to honor Vietnam Veterans and I’m so glad we were able to be a part of it.

If you have a loved one that has passed away as a result of an illness related to Vietnam, I encourage you to apply for this program and go honor your loved one too!  They have all the details right HERE.

My next trip this summer was going to West Virginia to a surprise birthday party for my 75 year old Aunt.  It was so awesome seeing the expression on her face when she pulled up to my cousin’s house.  Priceless!  We had a luau and her birthday present from her daughters was a trip to Hawaii!  I am so excited for all of them!  Well, my sister and I decided to give her something equally exciting but not as extravagant LOL.  We gave her a trip to the Amish Country in Ohio.  We paid for her half of the room, Sunday dinner, a horse and buggy ride and dinner on that Monday in an Amish home.  We were only able to stay one night, but man, did I absorb and learn so much in such a little time.

 

 

This trip to the Amish community was also my birthday present.  My husband and kids gave me some nice cash so I could enjoy myself and buy a few things.  My only items I really wanted were a homemade Amish quilt and a basket. Well……

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You can read all about the rest of my trip to Amish Country in my next post!  Don’t be mad, I promise it will be worth the wait!

I’ve also been busy this summer pickin’ primitives and antiques around the state and both Ohio and North Carolina.  I moved into a larger booth space at Trader Mae’s which will allow me to sell some of my new found goodies.

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Fall is just around the corner and it’s my favorite time of the year!  I’ve got lots of new signs coming out as well!  Be sure and follow me on my Facebook Page here to stay up to date on what all I have going on.  You can also sign up for my newsletter HERE.  I’ve got some painting workshops I am scheduling once the weather gets cooler.

Stay tuned; enjoy the rest of your summer and blessings!

P.S. All photos are © Wendy Walker Photography unless otherwise noted.  You are welcome to pin my photos, share them or use them in your own blogs, but please do not claim the photos as your own. Thank you!

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Refreshing Sweet Peach Tea

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Now that blueberry season has come to an end, peach season here in the south is in full swing.  Sweet tea is a staple here in Florida.  Really, it is.  The only thing I do not like about it is the processed chemical sugar that they use in restaurants.  Now that I am older and wiser, I have removed conventional sugar from our diet.  I now sweeten with raw honey or coconut sugar.  I’ve even used Stevia too.

There’s just something about having tea sweet.  I mean who orders tea or makes tea at home (except herbal kinds) without it being sweet.  That’s just not right!

I recently went Peach Pickin’ at a local farm and had a blast!  You can read all about it HERE.  After I started chopping up those peaches for the freezer, I thought to myself, “Wouldn’t some of those peaches be good in my tea”.  Well, it sure is good and let me tell you…they are so sweet and juicy you don’t even need sugar.  You heard it right.  I’m drinking sweet peach tea without the sugar LOL.

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I can only vouch for these that I picked at my local farm. If you don’t have access to one, then try the ones at the store.  Ask the produce manager where they were grown.  If they are close to your town, then go for it.

 

So here’s my yummy refreshing Sweet Peach Tea recipe….

Refreshing Sweet Peach Tea

  • Servings: 4-8
  • Time: One Hour 30 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

2-3 ripe fresh picked peaches

3 Family size Lipton (this is the best, well, we think so) Tea bags

4 cups of water

½ gallon mason jar

 

Directions:

Boil water and place the tea bags in a bowl.  Cover and let steep for 30 minutes.  Add your peaches to the Mason jar and then pour the steeped tea over them.  Fill the rest of the jar with water. Tighten the lid and sit it outside on your fence post or back porch for an hour or so.  Then, grab you a pint size mason jar with some ice and pour the tea in your glass.  It is so sweet! When you get down to the bottom of the glass, don’t forget to eat those peaches too! Enjoy!

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P.S. If you are going to use one of the sweeteners I recommended above, add about 1/3 cup to the tea while it’s steeping.  This will allow it to dissolve and blend well with the tea.

You can also enjoy that glass of sweet peach tea on one of my Mason jar lid coasters.  Aren’t these the cutest?

 

 

In an effort to create healthy meals for my family, drinks need to be considered as well.  This is really a refreshing naturally sweet drink to enjoy on a hot summer day or at a family picnic.

 

Blessings!

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Why We Didn’t Have a BBQ Today

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This year is a little different.  I’m not trying to be unsociable, but I’m looking at things differently now.

You see, my father passed away at the end of January and he was retired from the US Army.  He also served in two tours in Vietnam.  He died from an Agent Orange related illness caused in Vietnam.

I guess I never really understood when I was younger why we “really” celebrate Memorial Day.  The real definition is this…..

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Memorial Day, an American holiday observed on the last Monday of May, honors men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, at least, it marks the beginning of summer.

Memorial Day, originally honored only those lost while fighting in the Civil War. But during World War I the United States found itself embroiled in another major conflict, and the holiday evolved to commemorate American military personnel who died in all wars.

In 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May in order to create a three-day weekend for federal employees; the change went into effect in 1971. The same law also declared Memorial Day a federal holiday.*

Source: http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/memorial-day-history

Gatherings and BBQ’s are nice, don’t get me wrong, but we decided to not do anything this year.  We went to the Florida National Cemetery where my father was buried.   I’m still in awe at how many graves are just at our state cemetery.  As I walked past row by row, I just thought to myself, how many families are hurting on a daily basis because of a loved one that didn’t come back from war or died later as a result of that war.

Each of these gravestone markers has a story and history.  They were all unique, brave and courageous and fought the good fight!

This Memorial Day, I salute you soldiers, both men and women, who died in any of the wars and who died later as a related illness from that war just like my dad did.  This is why we celebrate Memorial Day!

I miss him so much!  I am so glad he’s rejoicing with our Father in Heaven and no longer suffering.  He is healed.  This is my dad on the left and his brother on the right.  How cool would it be to be in Vietnam with your sibling?

I hope you enjoyed your holiday no matter how you celebrated it. J

Blessings,

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Batman – Gift Idea For My Nephew

Coloring T-Shirt Tutorial

Who doesn’t like Batman?  Well, I guess Superman, right?

My nephew was having his birthday party last Saturday and he was turning the Big “6”! So, I usually like to do a themed gift but I this time I didn’t want to go and buy something.  I’ve done framed portraits before, but I wanted it to be really cool!

Well, I asked his mom what he was in to and she said Batman.  Well, that’s what I was thinking of doing for him.  I thought about a custom pallet sign he could hang in his room but then I though, he’s only turning six and he probably wouldn’t appreciate it as much as this cute shirt I made him!

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It actually was so easy to make once I figured out what I wanted on it.  I knew I wanted Batman something and my nephew’s name on it.  So, I went to my private FB group where I get inspiration and asked some of my peers what they thought would be cool.  One girl suggested doing a coloring shirt.  I looked at it and came up with this one!

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Here’s how I made it:

 

Supplies Needed:

T-shirt of any color

A Heat Transfer Vinyl Stencil ( you can make one yourself or have one made for you).  I used my Silhouette machine to make mine.

Fabric Markers

 

Directions:

  1. Pre-wash t-shirt or buy one that is already done like that.
  2. Place stencil on t-shirt where you want it to be placed.  I took my tape measure and measured the center and sides and made sure it was straight.
  3. Turn your iron on and let it get real hot.  Then, go grab a piece of fabric and lay on top of the stencil.  Press down with the hot iron.  Keep working around all the different corners, making sure all the stencil gets placed on the t-shirt.  If you have a heat press, then that would work even better.  For now, the iron I will use!
  4. After you the pull the iron off from the t-shirt, make sure all the stencil is secured and there are no pieces that are NOT attached to the t-shirt.  If some of the stencil didn’t get adhered, just put your piece of fabric back on and move that hot iron around until it’s totally adhered to the t-shirt.
  5. Next, look at it and smile!  You made a cool custom to-shirt!!
  6. You can now wrap it in some cute tissue and simple wrapping paper.  I used a fun primary color tissue paper to match the markers and then wrapped it in brown kraft paper and tied it with a twine bow.  Don’t forget to put the markers in the box and a note with directions. 🙂

 

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If you’ve ever made a coloring t-shirt, I would love to see it!  Please comment here or you can post them on my Facebook page Here .

Until next time!

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