When I’m Only Just A Memory – Remembering Mandy Kelly

Mandy Kelly was not a personal friend of mine. Her name was familiar to me via other blogging friends and I had visited her website, Worshipful Living.  So I was aware of who she was when I heard the heartbreaking news about the house fire that claimed the lives of herself, her husband and two of their four children.

When I'm Only Just A Memory - Remembering Mandy Kelly

Perhaps you have heard about this incident that happened last week?  For those who haven’t …

The Kelly family lived in Cayce, South Carolina and on March 21st, their house caught fire.  The cause is unknown.  Scott and Mandy and their two children, Lizzie (age 9) and Judah (10 months), lost their lives in this fire.

When a blogging friend invited me to participate in this tribute to Mandy, I hesitated because I didn’t know her and obviously could not share from any personal experiences or memories.  But her passing brought to mind something that I had been considering for awhile, and that is what I would like to share to honor her memory. Read more

The Miracle That Anyone Can See ~ A Snowflake!

The Miracle That Anyone Can See ~ A Snowflake!

Years ago, we watched a video from Moody Institute of Science that showed snowflake pictures as seen through a microscope.  They were so unique, intricate and beautiful.

I came away with a sad feeling though, thinking that you must have enough money to own a microscope, to view this great phenomena.

Little did I know, the miracle was right there, in my hands and under my feet! Read more

A Giveaway – Citrus Fresh Essential Oils

A Giveaway - Citrus Fresh Essential Oils

Have I mentioned how much I enjoy essential oils? 🙂

And to be completely honest, I really like Young Living essential oils because I have found them to be far more effective than the cheaper brands.  One of the perks of being an Essential Rewards member is that I often receive free oils (as well as earning points for free products) … and I want to give away one of those oils to a reader!  In fact, I have 2 bottles so I can choose 2 winners!

Each winner will receive a 5ml bottle of Citrus Fresh Vitality essential oil.  Why is the word “vitality” in that phrase?  Because Young Living’s Vitality essential oils are intended for dietary supplement and culinary use.  So not only can you use Citrus Fresh for aromatic benefits (like running it in a diffuser, or placing a few drops somewhere to freshen the air), but you can also ingest it for health benefits. Read more

Last Chance! Car Seat Baby Blankets Shop Is Closing!

I am finally about to close the Virginia Ann shop this Friday (December 30th, 4 pm) !

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Use the code VirginaAnnCloseout30 and receive 30% off your ENTIRE order!

There are still a number of car seat baby blankets, little girls skirts and drawstring baby gowns available (a majority of the products are the last one in stock)!

Read more

Flashback … 26 Reasons I love Hannah!

SURPRISE!!! (I wish I could see your face Hannah, when you first see this post).
Flashback ... 26 Reasons I love Hannah!

Do you love giving thanks?  Recently we celebrated Hannah’s 26 birthday!  As I thought back over the last 26 years of Hannah’s life, I decided in the spirit of this thanksgiving season, to come up with a collection of memories, facts and interesting info about her. She has been a great inspiration and joy in my life, and I look forward to many more years together 🙂

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1. Hannah was conceived on our parents honeymoon!   If my parents had gone the  traditional, recommended “wait a year or more” for children, Hannah would not be here today.  I would probably be the oldest, and the world would lack a daughter, sister and friend.  There would be no editress,
business owner, web designing, chocolate lovin’, coffee drinkin’ girl named Hannah… what a difference one life can make!
Flashback ... 26 Reasons I love Hannah!

2. Abba worked a corporate office job when Hannah was young.  The family lived in a townhouse apartment and he had limited physical work to do.  He and Ima (mama) read to Hannah all the time, and by the time she was 4 years old, she was reading adult books on her own… 20 years later, she edits them 🙂
Flashback ... 26 Reasons I love Hannah!

3. Hannah went from being a prissy, city girl that whined if her hands got dirty, to living in a trailer stuck in a field, in the middle-of nowhere Virginia 🙂
Flashback ... 26 Reasons I love Hannah!

4. When Hannah was 22 months, she remembers eating popcorn with the midwife after Tommy, her 12 pound brother was born.  For all of you cringing, Ima (who has only had natural births) says his was the easiest of them all!  I love the picture below.  How is an 18 pound girl supposed to hold her 12 pound brother?
Flashback ... 26 Reasons I love Hannah!

5.  While living in Virginia, Ima started buying sweet potatoes, that had not been sprayed with chemicals.  She would try to feed Hannah the skins but Hannah’s response was “me don’t like the skins, me don’t like the skins”.  One day, Tommy was eating the peel and started to  barely choke.  Hannah said matter-of-factley: “He don’t like the skins”!
Flashback ... 26 Reasons I love Hannah!

6.  When Hannah was almost 4, I (Ruthie) was born.  Hannah excitedly called our grandmother who was at our uncle’s place.  She said “oh Ma! She is so beautiful, she’s so beautiful, and we will call her Rooffi!  Since you have a Naomi [my cousin], we will call her Rooffi!”  I have loved and looked up to her ever since (well, “up” might be an incorrect word, I passed her in hight awhile back) 🙂
Flashback ... 26 Reasons I love Hannah!

7.  When Hannah was 6, Sarah was born.  Hannah has always been very mature for her age, and was an incredible help to Ima. Below is the first cobbler she made.
Flashback ... 26 Reasons I love Hannah!

8.  While in Virginia, we got a trampoline!  I would cling onto the edge, while Hannah and Tommy jumped.  As soon as they bonked heads and started crying, I would jump up and start bouncing, by myself.  Years later, Hannah still enjoys the trampoline… even though she rarely gets on it anymore.
Flashback ... 26 Reasons I love Hannah!

9.  We moved from Virginia to Tennessee and Hannah became even more responsible and helpful as we moved from place to place and Abigail, Samuel, Lydia and Baby Yosef were born.  She cooked, did school, and milked our goat with Tommy.  Mindy the goat didn’t like rain and the only way to calm her, was singing.  Hannah came up with a an extra verse to the “Its Raining It’s Pouring” song, and we still chant occasionally.  It went something like this:  “… So he hired a  girl and a boy, named Hannah Washburn and Tommy Washburn, to milk his goat named Mindy, then he sold her to us… Oh, oh, oh, what a good girl Mindy is, Oh, oh, oh, what a good girl Mindy is” 🙂 Thankfully her song writing skills have improved since then.
Flashback ... 26 Reasons I love Hannah!

10.  Eventually, we built a home in west Tennessee and Hannah decorated the rafters and walls with stories about us, and what we were doing.  Sometimes, we would climb up in the rafters and she would read her handywork to us.
Flashback ... 26 Reasons I love Hannah!

11.  Hannah used to play outside, climb trees and hike!  There was one tree she would climb up really high.  Then she would sway back and forth, terrifying Tommy and I.
She also loves competitive games.  Soccer, volleyball and spoons might be her favorite.  She use to always win Kings Base, ’cause she would never dash off her base very far.  Cautious and smart she was… but not a whole lot of fun for the rest of us impatient children 🙂
Flashback ... 26 Reasons I love Hannah!

12.  Us children used to be divided into 2 groups.  There were the “3 oldest”, and the “4 youngest” (Sarah eventually learned how to work that though, if the “3 oldest” got a privilege she tried to become one of the “4 oldest”, if the younger ones got a treat, she was definitely one of them 🙂 ).  I was so glad Hannah and Tommy welcomed me, as one of the “big people”, and let me in on their thoughts, projects and fun.  You older siblings have an important role to play in shaping your siblings lives.

Flashback ... 26 Reasons I love Hannah!

13.  Hannah would get frustrated with me, because I couldn’t seem to clean my stuff up (we’ve shared rooms our whole life)!  Somehow life has a way of switching things around and now I’m the one that can’t understand, why she would prefer to let her clean laundry pile up THEN put it away.
Flashback ... 26 Reasons I love Hannah!

14.  One day, Hannah and Tommy were building a fort.  Tommy happened to nail into a maple tree and sap started dripping out!  They decided to make maple syrup.  The first year, they only wound up with a cup or so of syrup, but that fed the fire of interest, and now we get nearly enough syrup,  to last a whole year!  Best of all, we have many good memories of tapping trees together, hiking up and down treacherous hills to gathering sap, cooking it down and eating together.  Maple syrup is very hard work… but it is so much fun too!
Flashback ... 26 Reasons I love Hannah!

15.  As a girl, Hannah watched Abba play his guitar.  She started teaching herself to play by ear and now plays the guitar or piano more days than not.  She loves music and enjoys using her talents to bless others.
Flashback ... 26 Reasons I love Hannah!

16.  At age 16, Hannah started a magazine for girls. She wanted to encourage them to embrace the Biblical role of womanhood… not just float along in the engulfing current of modern feminism.  Shining Stars Magazine has helped many girls find answers and encouragement in their counter cultural, but very rewarding calling.

 

Flashback ... 26 Reasons I love Hannah!

17.  Hannah also uses her writing skills to spread awareness and support for our beloved Israel.  Check out her powerful and touching post: Israel… What Does It Matter? also, Reply To Comment: Israel … What Does It Matter?
Flashback ... 26 Reasons I love Hannah!

 

18.  She loves the land and especially the people of Israel.  She would love to live there permanently, but in the meantime, she just visits, serves and shares the Good News whenever possible.
Flashback ... 26 Reasons I love Hannah!

19.  Hannah can cook!  Although our likes and dislikes vary, I enjoy some of her unique creations and love when she makes the regular family favorites. The eggplant dip below might be my favorite thing she makes, her falafel are incredible and the almond flour pancakes are delicious too!
Flashback ... 26 Reasons I love Hannah!

 

20.  Hannah is not afraid to speak out on touchy topics including:

 

Flashback ... 26 Reasons I love Hannah!

Flashback ... 26 Reasons I love Hannah!

Flashback ... 26 Reasons I love Hannah!

Flashback ... 26 Reasons I love Hannah!

Flashback ... 26 Reasons I love Hannah!

21.  I am thankful that while Hannah can be very clear and vocal about right and wrong, she is also kind and considerate towards others with a different opinion… unless they are belligerent… she can have a tough side to her 🙂  She used to be a bossy, stubborn, controlling gal,  now…
Flashback ... 26 Reasons I love Hannah!

… now she is quite a fine lady!
Flashback ... 26 Reasons I love Hannah!

22.  Hannah’s favorite days are the cold rainy ones, when she can curl up with a book.  She loves dark chocolate, candles, calico kittens, hot drinks (especially coffee) and sleeping on the floor.
Flashback ... 26 Reasons I love Hannah!

23.  Hannah is a born leader and fun to be around.    She is our moderator-of-choice when we play Occupation (perhaps our favorite group game).
Flashback ... 26 Reasons I love Hannah!

24.  She also loves to dance!  Whether she is helping a friend teach a presentation dance, leading a group, or showing someone a new step, she is truly a blessing!  You can see some of the dances on Dance, Worship and Praise!
Flashback ... 26 Reasons I love Hannah!

25.  Hannah has spent many years building our family’s puppy business.  Although everyone works hard, we would not be where we are now, without the dedication, knowledge, communication skills, web designing skills and business ethic, our heavenly Father has blessed her with.
Flashback ... 26 Reasons I love Hannah!

26.  Perhaps one of the greatest blessings about my sister, is her example of wanting the Father’s best for her- and everyone else’s lives.  Especially when it comes to guys.  Her love and commitment to her future husband is rare, challenging and special… I know she will make some guy an incredible wife one of these days 🙂
Flashback ... 26 Reasons I love Hannah!

I love you Hannah!  Thank you for being such a good sister!

A Thanksgiving Giveaway!

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year, outside of the Biblical festivals!  It’s a wonderful time to gather with friends and family and the food is always outstanding!  But the most important aspect of Thanksgiving is simply that … giving thanks.  We have so much to be thankful for and so often we get caught up in the busy-ness of life that we forget to count our blessings.

A Thanksgiving Giveaway!

For the past several years I have really put an emphasis on Thanksgiving/giving thanks on the blogs.  This year I have had no opportunity to do so.  My days have been so full and blogging has been put on the back burner.  I apologize to those of you who have contacted us with questions or suggestions for posts.  We hope to be able to catch up soon but even if we can’t, I know that it will be okay and the world won’t stop spinning simply because we’re not keeping up with our schedule!  It seems like I’m learning that a lot lately … to let go and not stress over a to do list!

In spite of all the craziness over the past month or so, I didn’t want to let Thanksgiving slip by without an acknowledgement so here goes –

I want to hear what you are thankful for!

Please leave a comment on this post sharing one or more things for which you can give thanks.  Everyone who leaves a comment will be entered into the drawing to win a Lilla Rose flexi-clip of your choice!

Have you visited the website lately?  There are MANY new and beautiful styles to choose from!

A Thanksgiving Giveaway!

Black Friday is always the big Lilla Rose event of the year!  If you have been on the fence about whether or not Lilla Rose is as great as it sounds, this is a good time to try out the products, since some will be up to 60% off!

A Thanksgiving Giveaway!

And remember, if you order the wrong size … or if you just can’t seem to get the products to work for you … the company has a great money-back guarantee.

A Thanksgiving Giveaway!

So if you have been thinking about placing an order with Lilla Rose, you may want to do so sometime between early Friday and late Monday!  If you have any questions or need any sizing help, feel free to contact us.

In the meantime, I would love to hear about the things that you’re thankful for!  Please do leave a comment and share them.  All comments that are submitted between now and Sunday afternoon/evening will be entered into the drawing for a flexi-clip.  If you’re not interested in a hair clip, feel free to share your thankful thoughts anyways … if you win, you can always give it to someone else!

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and a beautiful rest of the week!

Trump, Hillary & This Election – It’s Our Fault!

We are five days away from Election Day and I decided to share a few thoughts.  I believe there is a permanent hole in my tongue from where I have been biting it every time I see a political post on social media!  Has anyone else ever seen an election like this one?  I certainly haven’t!

So as we approach the big day, here are a few things to consider.

Trump, Hillary & This Election - It's Our Fault!

Disclaimer: this is written from the perspective of a Bible believer, for fellow Bible believers.  There are a thousand different angles from which one can view this election and the surrounding issues.  I’m addressing it from a Biblical background.  If you want to argue with me, make sure you bring your Scriptures 😉 Read more