Sunday, January 25, 2015

Grow Your Blog

Hello, I'm Zenda, and welcome to my blog!  I'm joining lots of other bloggers for the "Grow Your Blog" party hosted by Vicki at 2 Bags Full.  Please click on the picture at the sidebar to visit her site to view others who are participating in this exciting event.
Let me share a little bit about myself.  I'm a retired teacher (primary and reading), a wife to Wonderful Hubby and mom of two college age kids, Precious Daughter and Favorite Son.  While working, I spent most of my time nurturing my family, assisting my elderly parents and helping my students improve their reading skills.  There was very little time for ME things and that was fine.  Now that my life is a bit slower, I'm taking some time to do things just for me.  I love crafting (anything that strikes my fancy ... and that I think I can finish!), quilting, crocheting, cooking, gardening, traveling and photographing it all!  Here is what I wrote when I began the blogging journey almost 2 years ago and it's still my main reason for blogging:
I've learned lots of things in my life.  As a young person, I learned how to take care of myself, drive a car, and build friendships.  During my career years, I learned how to teach young children to read, raise a family, and (relatively recently) how to cook!  While helping my elderly parents, I learned where all the doctors' offices were, the difference between assisted living and nursing home care, and how Alzheimer's Disease is harder on the family than on the patient. 

Now, as I'm getting ready to retire, I realize there are still lots more things to learn.  Things I've always wondered about but never had time to learn.  Like photography....just for fun....home decorating, and gardening (both vegetable and flowers).  I also am looking forward to reading what I want to, not what I have to.  And what exciting new places my wonderful hubby and I can visit and learn about?!

Another thing I've wanted to learn about for awhile is how to set up a photo blog.  This way, I can hold myself accountable for learning these new things and more.  I'd like to invite you check in on my new 'education' from time to time and see how I'm doing.  Your gentle comments would be appreciated! 

Let the next chapters begin!
Here are few of my passions.
 I hope you'll stay awhile and peruse my site, we may have a few things in common!  I'm so excited to be a part of this Blog Hop and get to meet tons of other bloggers!! Thanks so much, Vicki, for hosting this event!! 

No Task Is Too Small

The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love,
O Lord, endures forever.

                   -Psalm 138:8

Since I'm more comfortable doing behind-the-scenes activities, I often feel my efforts don't contribute much in the big scheme of things. 
One of the devotions I read this month centered on the familiar story of the loaves and fishes.  Most interpretations focus on the miracle itself or on the little boy who shared what he had.  This particular perspective, however, led me to consider the mother who prepared her son's famous meal.   
The writer had us imagine the little boy's mother as she mixed up and kneaded the dough, then carefully wrapping up the freshly baked loaves and fish and handed the lunch to her son.   
Could she have imagined when she was doing these everyday chores what an incredible impact her efforts would have on the 5000 people that day or
on the billions of people 2000 years since? 
Probably not, but it illustrates "that God can take our small efforts and uses them to feed people physically, emotionally and spiritually."
Wow!  What an exciting outlook on the ways I volunteer. 
It's humbling to realize that God is using my meager efforts to support and nourish those at our church's funeral luncheons  Setting up the hall, preparing a dish to share and
cleaning up afterward are simple ways
to support those who are grieving. 
Or when I volunteer at our small town's food pantry. 
God can bless the simple chores of restocking shelves or
holding the shopping basket for an older gentleman.  
Not only am I helping to feed my neighbors but it lets them know others care. 

This new perspective has helped me realize that
even when I'm doing things
I think are insignificant, 
GOD can use them to bless others. 
 What small things have you done that God has used to bless others? 
Inspired by
The Upper Room
"No Small Efforts" by Sara Matson
Thursday, January 1, 2015

Linking to:

Monday, January 19, 2015

A Blue Woodland Setting

These salad plates were a recent thrift store find and I think they're so pretty!  I'm not sure of their maker, as there are no marks of any kind on the back.  Each one shows a different wild fowl.  One of our 'dreams' when Wonderful Hubby retires is to build a smaller and more 'old person-friendly' home.  WH would like a rustic looking room in the basement and I thought these might be great on a wall or even to eat a slice of pizza.
For now, though, I'm using them in a little more elegant setting. 
 Each plate is different.  This one has Pheasants. 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Winter Birthday

We'll be celebrating Precious Daughter's 25th birthday soon.  When she was younger, I used our Winter/Christmas dishes to set a festive table.  They have pretty wintry scenes on them and I liked keeping them in the hutch through January.  Since I still have them out, I decided to use them this year for her special event!  Here's what I have in mind.

I'm thinking about using the white tablecloth with silver and gold threads.  It was also used in the Silver Forest post.  A simple candle holder with some greenery and a dark red table runner will serve as the centerpiece.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

A Year to GROW

Happy 2015!  We've been enjoying the holidays, although a cold and tummy bug were among the visitors to our home.  :/

We hosted my family's Christmas Day festivities with 26 in attendance!!  After a dreary and cloudy month, Christmas Day was sunny and dry!  Perfect weather to drive out to the country.  We had a wonderful day visiting, eating and sharing!

Wonderful Hubby's side was hosted by my sweet MIL.  Santa was even able to stop by for awhile! 

Now that the New Year is here, I've joined a photo group called Project 365.  (See the link posted on the sidebar.)  The goal is to take at least one photo each day this year.  Hopefully, my photography will improve and I'll have some great photos to journal.  Although I'm not going to post photos each day, I'll try to share my weekly favorites.  Wish me luck!!  (Just in case this project is too difficult, I've also joined the companion project that encourages us to take a photo just once a week!  :)  )

Another new focus I'm giving a try is choosing a word for the year.  Wonderful Hubby is planning on retiring this year and he said his theme will be "Embracing Change."  We are both excited about what our retirement years will bring and have talked about more travel, home improvements and just generally doing all those little things we didn't have the time to do before. 

I've chosen another word:  GROW.  Last year was my first year of retirement and I've enjoyed being in my gardens so much!  (and am enjoying the frozen and canned 'fruits' of my labor this winter!)   I'd like to continue learning about gardening but there are other aspects of my life I'd like to nurture.

  • My faith and service to my Savior, Jesus Christ
  • My relationships with my beautiful family
  • My volunteerism in our community
  • My creativity

Thank you for visiting now and then and leaving your kind, encouraging comments!  It really lightens my day!!

I hope you'll check in to see how I'm growing this year.  I'll leave you with the first photo of the new year. 

Welcome, 2015!