Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

The best thing I can offer you is this

"Advice for All on New Year’s Day"

by Ann Landers

Let this coming year be better than all the others. Vow to do some of the things you’ve always wanted to do but couldn’t find the time.

Call up a forgotten friend. Drop an old grudge, and replace it with some pleasant memories.

Share a funny story with someone whose spirits are dragging. A good laugh can be very good medicine.

Vow not to make a promise you don’t think you can keep.

Pay a debt.

Give a soft answer.

Free yourself of envy and malice.

Encourage some youth to do his or her best. Share your experience, and offer support. Young people need role models.

Make a genuine effort to stay in closer touch with family and good friends.

Resolve to stop magnifying small problems and shooting from the lip. Words that you have to eat can be hard to digest.

Find the time to be kind and thoughtful. All of us have the same allotment: 24 hours a day. Give a compliment. It might give someone a badly needed lift.

Think things through. Forgive an injustice. Listen more. Be kind.

Apologize when you realize you are wrong. An apology never diminishes a person. It elevates him.

Don’t blow your own horn. If you’ve done something praiseworthy, someone win notice eventually.

Try to understand a point of view that is different from your own. Few things are 100 percent one way or another.

Examine the demands you make on others.

Lighten up. When you feel like blowing your top, ask yourself, "Will it matter a week from today?"

Laugh the loudest when the joke is on you.

The sure way to have a friend is to be one. We are all connected by our humanity, and we need each other.

Avoid malcontents and pessimists. They drag you down and contribute nothing.

Don’t discourage a beginner from trying something risky. Nothing ventured means nothing gained. Be optimistic. The can-do spirit is the fuel that makes things go.

Go to war against animosity and complacency.

Express your gratitude. Give credit when it’s due—and even when it isn’t. It will make you look good.

Read something uplifting. Deep-six the trash. You wouldn’t eat garbage—why put it in your head?

Don’t abandon your old-fashioned principles. They never go out of style.

When courage is needed, ask yourself, "If not me, who? If not now, when?"

Take better care of yourself. Remember, you’re all you’ve got. Pass up that second helping. You really don’t need it. Vow to eat more sensibly. You’ll feel better and look better, too.

Don’t put up with secondhand smoke. Nobody has the right to pollute your air or give you cancer. If someone says, "This is a free country," remind him or her that the country may be free, but no person is free if he has a habit he can’t control.

Return those books you borrowed. Reschedule that missed dental appointment. Clean out your closet. Take those photos out of the drawer and put them in an album. If you see litter on the sidewalk, pick it up instead of walking over it.

Give yourself a reality check. Phoniness is transparent, and it is tiresome. Take pleasure in the beauty and the wonders of nature. A flower is God’s miracle.

Walk tall, and smile more. You’ll look 10 years younger.

Don’t be afraid to say, "I love you." Say it again. They are the sweetest words in the world.

If you have love in your life, consider yourself blessed, and vow to make this the best year ever.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

When You Thought I Wasn't Looking...

When you thought I wasn't looking
I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator,
and I immediately wanted to paint another one.

When you thought I wasn't looking
I saw you feed a stray cat,
and I learned that it was good to be kind to animals.

When you thought I wasn't looking
I saw you make my favorite cake for me,
and I learned that the little things can be the special things in life.

When you thought I wasn't looking
I heard you say a prayer,
and I knew that there is a God I could always
talk to, and I learned to trust in Him.

When you thought I wasn't looking

I saw you make a meal and take it to a friend who was sick,
and I learned that we all have to help take care of each other.

When you thought I wasn't looking
I saw you take care of our house and everyone in it,
and I learned we have to take care of what we are given.

When you thought I wasn't looking
I saw how you handled your responsibilities,
even when you didn't feel good,
and I learned that I would have to be
responsible when I grow up.

When you thought I wasn't looking
I saw tears come from your eyes,
and I learned that sometimes things hurt but it's all right to cry.

When you thought I wasn't looking
I saw that you cared,
and I wanted to be everything that I could be.

When you thought I wasn't looking
I learned most of life's lessons that I need to know
to be a good and productive person when I grow up.

When you thought I wasn't looking
I looked at you and wanted to say,
'Thanks for all the things I saw when you thought I wasn't looking.'

Each of us influences the life of a child.
How will you touch the life of someone today?

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply.
Speak kindly.
Leave the rest to God

Friday, December 18, 2009

Exciting News to Share!!!

I have been sharing with you for a couple of weeks now about the special challenge that I accepted at my church (Restore Community Church) to multiply my money.
I started with one $10 bill - and wanted to use it to help others!

Actually, my husband joined forces with me - he had a $20 and I had a $10 and
we accepted a challenge to multiply our funds during a 2-week period
in order to help others as the Lord directed us.
We are so happy to report that as of this morning,
together we have been able to collect $475!!
That puts us just $25 short of our goal of $500 -
but I know that the charity we have chosen,
Angel Tree Ministries and Prison Fellowship Ministries will use this money
to bring Glory to God and bless many children's during this Christmas season!

Many heartfelt thanks go to all of our dear friends that have helped us
multiply our money and may God Bless you in mighty ways!

Thank you for your prayers and your generous and giving hearts.
We love you all!!



So, it's officially one day beyond the deadline - but we surpassed our goal!!!
I just received another $35 and hubs collected another $30 this morning -
which brings us up to $540 total

God is So Good !

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

One Day Left to Make a Difference ....

I have been praying and waiting on God to show my hubs and me what to do with the money that we have been mulitplying for the Big Give ... I knew I wanted to help kids somehow and God shed some light on a ministry that provides Christmas gifts to children.
After discussing and praying with Darrell, we have decided to donate all of our funds - over $350 - to Angel Tree - a ministry that has partnered with Prison Fellowship Ministries.
This is a program for kids that have one or both parents in prison... a ministry that will buy and deliver gifts to children, along with a handwritten card from their parents to kids - and they will know that their mom or dad has not forgotten them and although they can't be together on Christmas morning, they will be remembered and loved - and will get a present on Christmas.
Due to the economy, there are over 50,000 kids in remote areas that have not been adopted for Christmas so the goal of Angel Tree is to reach those kids in remote and very rural areas and bring them some joy.

I feel very confident that our money will be used to bless some children that might have a bleak Christmas - without their parents and maybe even Christmas presents.
I would love to deliver - I called and talked to one of the staff at Angel Tree, but was told that it's too late to get to be a part of that, so I'll have to settle for donating the money to buy the childrens gifts.

That's ok... I can live with that and know that my money is going to help make some children's Christmas a little brighter!

I have one more day to multiply my money more... if you can help by donating just $10 to help a child's Christmas be a little brighter please, email me! You can send a paypal over before the deadline hits.

Merry Christmas to all ♥ May God be Glorified and Bless in a Mighty Way!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Friends are God's way of taking care of us!

I received this from a friend who has helped me multiply my money .... I pray God will use His funds to touch another just like the following story:

This was written by a Metro Denver Hospice Physician:

I was driving home from a meeting this evening about 5, stuck in traffic on Colorado Blvd., and the car started to choke and splutter and die - I barely managed to coast into a gas station, glad only that I would not be blocking traffic and would have a somewhat warm spot to wait for the tow truck. It wouldn't even turn over. Before I could make the call, I saw a woman walking out of the quickie mart building, and it looked like she slipped on some ice and fell into a gas pump, so I got out to see if she was okay
When I got there, it looked more like she had been overcome by sobs than that she had fallen; she was a young woman who looked really haggard with dark circles under her eyes. She dropped something as I helped her up, and I picked it up to give it to her. It was a nickel.

At that moment, everything came into focus for me: the crying woman, the ancient Suburban crammed full of stuff with 3 kids in the back (1 in a car seat) , and the gas pump reading $4.95.

I asked her if she was okay and if she needed help, and she just kept saying 'I don't want my kids to see me crying! ,' so we stood on the other side of the pump from her car. She said she was driving to California and that things were very hard for her right now. So I asked, 'And you were praying?' That made her back away from me a little, but I assured her I was not a crazy person and said, 'He heard you, and He sent me.'

I took out my card and swiped it through the card reader on the pump so she could fill up her car completely, and while it was fueling, walked to the next door McDonald's and bought 2 big bags of food, some gift certificates for more, and a big cup of coffee. She gave the food to the kids in the car, who attacked it like wolves, and we stood by the pump eating fries and talking a little.

She told me her name, and that she lived in Kansas City Her boyfriend left 2 months ago and she had not been able to make ends meet. She knew she wouldn't have the money to pay rent Jan. 1, and finally, in desperation, had called her parents, with whom she had not spoken en in about 5 years. They lived in California and said she could come live with them and try to get on her feet there.

So she packed up everything she owned in the car. She told the kids they were going to California for Christmas, but not that they were going to live there.
I gave her my gloves, a little hug and said a quick prayer with her for safety on the road. As I was walking over to my car, she said, 'So, are you like an angel or something?'

This definitely made me cry. I said, 'Sweetie, at this time of year angels are really busy, so sometimes God uses regular people.'

It was so incredible to be a part of someone else's miracle. And of course, you guessed it, when I got in my car it started right away and got me home with no problem. I'll put it in the shop tomorrow to check, but I suspect the mechanic won't find anything wrong.

Sometimes the angels fly close enough to you that you can hear the flutter of their wings...

Psalms 55:22 ' Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee. He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.'

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I was sitting in church last Sunday listening to the Pastor talk about how we can make a difference in the lives of others and in our community – and out of the blue, he challenged every single person in the congregation to pull out the biggest bill they had in their wallet. Now I know what you are thinking … and if it’s anything like what I was thinking, I just knew they were going to be asking us to drop it in the plate and donate it for a special cause.

But how wrong I was!! To my shock (and shame), instead of asking me to give away my $10.00 bill, my Pastor walked right up to me and gave me ANOTHER $10!

Then he challenged each of us to multiply our original bill, be it a $1, a $5, or a $100 bill… Multiply it with the help of my friends, my family and everyone that I come in contact with.

He challenged me to multiply my money until Dec. 17th – and on Dec. 17th, it will be my charge to take all of the money that I’ve raised and help another with it. It could be an organization, a charity or a stranger on the street that I just walk up to and bless!

How cool is that? I love the idea and now, I’m asking you if you would like to help me out and help me multiply this money.

All I need is a $10.00 match (or what ever you can give) – and I promise you that every cent will be given to someone (or more than one) in real need. And I just know that through this, you will be blessed just like I am!

I don’t know yet how the Lord is going to have me use this money, but I continue to pray over it and know He will reveal exactly how he wants it used. My heart continues to think of the children out there - and I remain patient on God's direction.

“ The Best thing to do with the best things in life is to give them away”... Shane Claiborne, Irresistible Revolution

My husband has accepted the challenge as well, and together I think we are over $285 with payments and pledges! Will you consider helping me multiply it to $500 or maybe even more?

I’m only asking for a $10 match, and only if you have it to spare…

If you would like to be a part of it, just drop me an email (

Please remember I will need to have it by the 17th of Dec

Thanks so much!

PS: I will keep you posted each step of the way - and would you also pray with me that God will give us clear vision on how to make the most of this blessing for others?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

On the radio this morning, I heard a story about a woman who was Christmas shopping with her two children. After many hours of looking at row after row of toys and everything else imaginable and after hours of hearing both her children asking for everything they saw on those many shelves, she finally made it to the elevator with her two kids.

As they headed toward the elevator, she was feeling what so many of us feel during the Christmas holiday. Overwhelming pressure to go to every party, every openhouse, taste all the holiday food and treats, and get that perfect gift for every single person on our shopping list, making sure we don't forget anyone on our card list, and making sure we respond to everyone who sent us a card.

Finally the elevator doors opened and there was already a crowd in the elevator. She pushed her way into the elevator and dragged her two kids in with her and all the bags of stuff.

When the doors closed she couldn't take it anymore and said, "Whoever started this whole Christmas thing should be found, strung up and shot."

From the back of the elevator she heard a quiet calm voice respond, "Don't worry, we already crucified him."

For the rest of the trip down in the elevator it was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop.
Don't forget this year to keep the One who started Christmas in your every thought, deed, purchase, and word. If we will, just think of how different this whole world would be.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Every year, as is a custom started by my dear Mother-in-Law years ago, we wake on Thanksgiving morning and flip on CBS to watch the Macy's Day parade as we busily cook the feast in the kitchen.

The Morning Show was on last year, and featured a segment with Anne Graham, who read a prayer from her father, the Reverend Billy Graham.
I couldn't believe what I was hearing on television... it moved me to the very core of everything I believe, and I wanted to share it here with you again this year.

“Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance.
We know Your Word says, ‘Woe to those who call evil good,’ but that is exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values.

We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.

We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.

We have killed our unborn and called it choice. We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable.

We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self-esteem.

We have abused power and called it politics.

We have coveted our neighbor’s possessions and called it ambition.

We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression.
We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.

Search us, oh God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and set us free.


As families gather for the holiday, please remember there is no reason to have a holiday called Thanksgiving unless there is Someone to thank.

Thanks to God and Jesus Christ His Son for all the blessings on our fair land.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

psst, just a lil intro

Just between you and me... here's Cherish, my latest snowgirl -

she will be listed on the Merc come Saturday evening♥

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Our Ancestors were on to Something!

The weather has been wonderful the last few weekends, spurring us to take day trips around the area just to enjoy the 70°-ish temps!

This last weekend, we rode to a dear friends for breakfast and then on for a day trip south of the city to a quaint little community I'd driven by a gazillion times but never stopped in.

Welcome to Harrisonville, Missouri.

As we drove down mainstreet with it's brick streets,
our eyes were immediately drawn to the belltower.

But as we approached it, our hearts were overcome with mounting pride.
The courthouse building itself is beautifully maintained ...
but take a moment to read the inscription over the front entry -

Our current politicians would do well to stop and give ponder to these simple words written:


I think both republicans and democrats alike have forgotten
that it is YOU and ME that put them in the position they are holding
and it is YOU and ME that can remove them just as quickly~

What an awesome display of patriotism and a moving memorial to our veterans.

We walked around the square and were met with many delights
that made my heart skip lightly - but at the same time, I was deeply saddened that the economy has forced so many business to close.
Left to stand and represent themselves without an owner present,
we first ran across a bar & grill called Younger's.

Unfortunately, it's closed up tight now,
but I could see it was still filled with all the furnishings and awesome decor inside.

Even out back held a troop of band members on the rooftop
that could make anyone stop and do a hat dance!

On the opposite side of the square was a wonderful antique shop.
It looked to me like whoever owned this store
filled with jaw dropping finds, bolted the front door and just walked away, leaving window shoppers drooling on the sidewalk for a closer peek inside.
Here are some of the things that caught my attention
and brought my heart to my throat -


What a great day, even if it left me longing for more....
me (l) and Thea, my best friend from High School (r) in her new and gorgeous home!

I love these gnarly trees - once covered in rich foliage and now standing bare.

And with the weather we had all spring and summer,
of course the dark clouds would roll in before the day was over!

I want to take this opportunity to thank our veterans
for making so many sacrifices and fighting for my freedoms!
Without your dedicated service, I could very well not have a blog to post pictures and speak my heart freely!


Friday, November 6, 2009

Feeling Good in the Neighborhood!

I love going to Applebee's when we are out biking. Hubs is able to get some rib-sticking goodness and I'm always able to stay on my program and find something delicious - all the while sticking with the 2 for $20 meals!

Fits the wallet and keeps my butt fitting into my pants ♥

But when I heard what they are doing this Wednesday, Nov. 11th, I just felt the need give a hearty standing ovation and spread the word to as many as I can...
Seems our awesome restuarant is determined to give honor and respect to all our military - whether active or veteran ! Check it out for yourself - APPLEBEE'S wants to thank our service men and women by treating them to a free meal!

Now, I dont know about you but with this horrible tragedy at Fort Hood, this news couldn't come at a better time. And if you happen to make your way to Applebee's as a civilian, be sure to say thank you to every soldier you see there. They have paid a dear price for our freedoms!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Feeling like a Rock Star!

My employer provided a health screening for each associate to see where we line up on our cholesteral, blood pressure, BMI and glucose levels.
I'm feeling like
QUEEN for a DAY!
I'm happy to report the doctor said I was in great shape for my age ♥

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Something Big is Coming....

TDIPT Mercantile will be celebrating it's annual Holiday Open House during the month of November!

We hope you'll join us, as we'll have holiday offerings galore from our talented artists, as well as a generous giveway!

See you there in November.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

a Missouri Autumn like no other...

We've been taking short day trips around northern Missouri in the last few weekends of October, trying to capture all the beauty that God has blessed us with.

I truly can't remember such vibrant colors in many seasons past, so I can only attibute it to all the rain that we got through the year.
And just like life, there is a lesson to be learned here for me .... no matter how much we complained on every single motorcycle trip we took over the summer, about getting rained on / rained out, our endurance paid off and our reward is evident this fall.

Witness the beauty with me:


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Suitable for Framing!

Last summer, we took a bike trip out to Tennessee to visit some of hubs kin and had such an awesome time!

Unfortunately I think it was the last day of our stay that Darrell cracked their toilet seat. Their home is so beautiful and hubs felt just terrible about it, but Larry and Patti were more than gracious about the whole thing.
Darrell wanted to make sure and get a replacement, but had a sneaking suspicion it wasn't the last time he'd see that purdy ole ring!

Lo and behold last week, a package arrived from his brother - Larry went and immortalized Darrell - a frame fit for a KING! ♥

I told Pat that I love all forms of art - even when it's circling the tank. I love the lengths that Larry went on his creation - right down to the toilet paper border around the photo.

So dont be surprised when you see this new artframing showing up around the flea markets and craft shows! You can say you saw the original right here, folks! :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Calling on YOU...

I just went to the Breast Cancer site for my daily "click for a mammogram"

and was alarmed to see that they are PLEADING for MORE CLICKS!

7th Annual Pink Ribbon Challenge
is in full swing but there are only 19 days left to participate
and the breast cancer site has reported they are only at 30% of their goal!!

Now, I dont know about you but for me, that is just unacceptable.

It's such an easy thing to do...
visit the

and click the pink ribbon!

It's just that simple
But wait...
do you leave yourself notes and emails and pop-up reminders daily?
I know I have to, and now, the Breast Cancer Site now has an option for you to sign up for a daily reminder to be sent to click for a mammogram - and you get a free pin to seal the deal!
Does it get any better than that??

Giving Thanks

Just a note to share my TDIPT Mercantile offering for October - and this gal is just in time for the Thanksgiving season and the TDIPT upload tonight!

I love creating this simple pilgrim, who always resonates a peaceful heart and humble spirit of prayer.

If you are interested, drop me a note ♥

Friday, October 9, 2009

EXTRA! EXTRA! Read All About It....

Today is the beginning of our Birthday Celebration,
which runs from October 13th - October 20th!!

It's hard to believe that To Dwell In Primitive Times (TDIPT) is celebrating their 3rd Birthday!

This group has been such a blessing to me over the years.
I have formed true bonds and made great friendships with some genuine and wonderfully talented artists that I treasure as much as my "real life" friends.

Anyway, back to the point of my headlines....

We are celebrating in a big way by hosting festivities packed awesome handmade gifts (from some of the best artisans out there) that will be given away from October 13th - 20th!

I have donated one of my Santa masks for the celebration - so I hope you will be sure to get your name in the hat! Dont delay ... make your way over to the TDIPT blog today !

This is one gig you don't want to miss out on ♥

Monday, October 5, 2009

Took a lil ride yesterday

and had a great time - it was a lovely fall afternoon in Missouri!

We met up with my bff from high school, who I am thrilled to reconnect with after 30 years. Had some lunch and took off for a ride in the country. The colors are just starting to pop in my neck of the woods and you have to look quickly, they don't stick around long in northern Missouri.

There was a Fall Apple Festival in a quaint little town not far from me. Weston, Mo. actually holds alot of my family history and there are still quite a few businesses running under the Vaughn name there.

We found a place to park in this normally sleepy little town that was bustling with activity and it just happened to be right in front of a tobacco drying barn. If you have never seen tobacco drying, it's actually quite captivating (at least it is for me). I would love to have a stalk or two hanging in my house. The aroma is so rich and sweet ... I stood inside the door for several minutes just looking at row upon row of the wonderful stuff. There are several drying barns in the area and I'd love to find an owner of one to see if I could buy a stalk or two!

The best part? Always the dogs, don't you think? They seem to always give any celebration the "awwwww" factor!

With that, I'll leave you with a simple emotion to share today: