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Friday, February 12, 2016

5 Things on a Friday

Hi, Friends!

It's time for 5 Things on a Friday where I share some of my favorites things from the week. I will tell you that one of my favorite things does not include freezing my tail off so I plan to try very, very hard not to leave my place by the fire in my family room for the next few days. It is brutally cold here in Northern Virginia, so if you would pray that my puppy will be quick about his outside "business" this week, I'd so appreciate it.  

Ok. Here we go.  

1. A Valentine's Day Challenge:  WWEAJD?
Last week we went to celebrate the life of my husband's Uncle Jim who passed away a few weeks ago. Uncle Jim and Aunt Evelyn were famous in this family for their devotion to each other. They were married for over 50 years. Any time anyone spoke of them, there was always mention of how completely enthralled each was with the other. When my husband understood that the time was drawing near for his uncle, he went to visit him for the last time just after Christmas. He mentioned that, not surprisingly, Aunt Evelyn did not remove her hand from her husband the whole time they sat and talked with him. This photo popped up on the memories slide show prepared by the family at the service and it took my breath away. How perfect is this for Valentine's Day? This weekend might we all think, "What would Evelyn and Jim do?" (WWEAJD?). Maybe lower our expectations this Valentine's Day. Maybe forgive if the flowers aren't perfect or the plans aren't extravagant. Maybe just lock eyes with our spouse for a minute or two? Maybe touch a hand or a shoulder? Maybe smile and give grace and simply be grateful to have each other. And maybe shoot up a prayer for Aunt Evelyn and all of those who will not get to hold the hand of their Valentines this Sunday?

2. A Friend Who Calmly and Assuredly Gets the Perfect Shot
My friend, Cherye, whose son plays basketball with Kyle, is one of the calmest basketball moms I know. She is quiet and reserved. She keeps stats and clicks her camera. She doesn't scream at the top of her lungs, "RUN, SON!!!" and "GET OUT OF THE CORNER, BUDDY!" and "'ATTA WAY, 2!" like another mom I am know. I tell myself that I will remain reserved and graceful at the beginning of each game. I will think WWCD? Lots of times it works out fine and I just murmur things quietly to myself and smile and shake my head at the way those crazy parents lose their minds over a dumb ol' game. And then sometimes the other team's fans are crowing about how the score is wrong and making crazy bird sounds when our kids are shooting foul shots and I have to sit on my hands and bite a hole in my tongue lest I come at someone like a spider monkey. All that to say, "Thank you sweet, calm, reliable Cherye for this text and photo of my boy." I'm certain I could not have gotten this shot based on the fact that I was probably screaming, "DON'T YOU SEE THOSE THREE GUYS RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU, KID? HAVE YOU LOST YOUR EVER LOVIN' MIND? DO YOU HAVE SOME SORT OF DEATH WISH?"

3. Surrender by Third Day
I wonder how many times God will have to remind me how little control I have over people and circumstances in the universe. How many times will I have to be reminded that He is in control, He is the one with all the answers, and that He is the one whose character has been proven to me time and time again? How many times do I have remind myself that every single moment I have spent fretting and refusing to surrender my worries to Him were a colossal waste of time in a life whose moments I know good and well are not promised to me tomorrow? How many times will I have to realize that not in a single one of those anxious moments was I successful at pulling myself or anyone else out of the pit? I need this song so desperately some times. There are times when the only way to sure victory in this life is a "hands up, turn it around, fall to the ground" full on surrender to a God who has it all taken care of. My friend, Ms. Faye once said, "Your arms are to short to box with God." Amen?

PS Third Day comes to my area on March 20th. Tickets to the show will be a perfect Valentine's gift for your whole family. See the tour schedule here. There is no doubt that the music of this band has played a significant role in the strengthening of my faith and the calming of my heart in some of my most troubled days. They are doing a mighty, mighty work for God.

4. Valentines Dots
These are the easiest and most fun little Valentine treats for your people. I've seen them called Chocolate Pretzel Buttons and all other kinds of things, but my friend, Elizabeth, calls them Valentine Dots and WWED? is another mantra in my house - especially in the kitchen. Even if you totally forgot it was Valentine's Day (Hi, Husband!) you still can pull this off.

Hershey's Chocolate Kisses and Hershey's Hugs
Wagon Wheel Pretzels (or circle pretzels or pretzel snaps)

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Line up pretzels on the paper. Place the kisses on the pretzels. Bake in 200 degree oven for 5-10 minutes. Once the chocolate is melting, take them out. Press one M&M onto the kiss, squishing it down to fill the pretzel. Make sure the dots are completely cool before removing. I keep mine in the fridge.

5. Fake Daughter's Valentine Gift
I saw this on JCrew's website and I thought it was adorable. This is what I will be giving Fake Daughter for Valentine's Day. Isn't it the cutest little swimsuit and swim shirt you've ever seen in all your days? And since we're being fake, let's just say that Fake Daughter and I will be getting the heck outta Dodge this weekend since here in Dodge there will be a high temperature of 19 tomorrow. Fake Daughter and I are going to Mexico. Adios!

Happy Valentine's Weekend, Friends! Wishing you lots of love and peace and if you're in my  neck of the woods, I wish you hot coffee, warm pjs and crackling fires in the fire place.  

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