Sunday, June 30, 2013

July Quests: Exercise and Scrapbook

Oh my goodness...am I officially old if I ask y'all where in the world the month of June went? Truly, it went by in such a blur that I can't believe we are sitting here on the brink of July.  I am still wondering how a month can fly by so quickly.

I remember posting my June Quests...then six posts....four sets of company later....and 30 days later and here we are.  It was JUST that quick!  Crazy!  I really did do my June Quests every day all month...although I will admit I wasn't as committed to the tasks as I have been during more structured months.

Exercise and Take A Picture
Blah..blah...blah...excuse...excuse...visitors....excuse....June is done.  Let's just say I may have stretched the boundries of what truly makes up "exercise" a few days in there, but I did some sort of Exercise Every Day.

I also took A Picture Every Day even though I did not share all of them with you on this blog. That was a fun Quest.  I truly enjoyed looking for photo-taking opportunities and my family and friends were great to join in and offer me ideas along the way.

While we greatly enjoyed all of our June visitors and the return of our Scientist to the fold, I am ready to slow the schedule down a bit.  At this point, July is looking to be much slower paced and a bit more relaxed.  Hubby and I are both excited about that because looking at our calendar...once we hit August...we will be running at a pretty scheduled busy pace for the rest of the year.

Which brings me to my July Quests...  I'm very excited about July because for the first time this year, my entire family - Hubby, our Scientist, and our Engineer - has offered/agreed to join me in my Heart & Spirit Monthly Quest for July.

This is encouraging because adventures are always more fun when someone is willing/interested in doing it with you...and...for this adventure, my three favorite guys are joining me!  So what will our "Family Quest" be?  We are going to Exercise Every Day.

Some days we may exercise together as a family and other days...depending on schedules...we each might workout on our own.  Either way, we plan to encourage each other and help each other stay on track and improve our efforts each day.

I will also be working on a personal Quest on my own which is to Scrapbook Every Day.  I love to scrapbook.  I enjoy taking pictures...as you already know, I am a story teller...and family history means a great deal to me.  When I was introduced to Creative Memories scrapbooking back in 1997 by my dear friend, Warrior Mom...I totally jumped into it!

I quickly purchased a starter kit...found a local consultant (who would also become a great friend)...signed on to become a CM Consultant myself...started holding crops and teaching classes....signed on several other consultants...became a senior consultant...then a unit leader/manager...made several albums...and then we moved...and I started my business all over again...made several more albums...and then...we moved again...I began teaching full-time in a classroom...found I really had very little time to scrapbook...closed up my business....and I have been sporadically scrapbooking ever since.

For the month of July...I'm giving myself permission to take the time each day for a month to sit down and work on at least one page (but hopefully many pages) each day as I document our family's history in picture and story.

I have plenty of supplies left over from my days as a consultant, so I will put together true scrapbooks ~ "old school" style ~ by hand-making each page and writing on them in my own handwriting.  There may come a day when I decide to switch over to the ever popular digital scrapbooking method...but for now...I'm going to crop pictures, layer pages with paper and decorations, and tell our stories with my own writings.

In my July Quest blogs...maybe I'll share some of my pages...or stories...or both, but hopefully you will hear from me more than just a few times throughout the month.  Check back tomorrow as our family kicks off our very first Family Quest and I get back to an old love...scrapbooking!

On a final note...the end of June marks the half way point of my 2013 Year Long Adventure "to create a pure heart and renew a steadfast spirit".  I have faithfully met each month's Quests and have done something positive for my Heart & Spirit for the past 181 days!  Wow!

Will you join me?  I have heard from several people this month who are joining me in their own July Quest.  One couple I know will be working on daily devotional time...one young reader will be working toward creating a better daily schedule....another friend will be exercising every day...and another one is still considering her options, but will choose something to do starting tomorrow.

If you are inspired....then please join us!  I will be happy to support and encourage you along the way ~ just as you do for me!  See you tomorrow as we kick off another Heart & Spirit Monthly Quest!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Food....Fun...And A...Tree?

As you may have noticed, it's been a bit difficult for me to post regularly this month.  We have been blessed with several visitors and busyness this month, but we have really enjoyed the blessings of friends and family wanting to spend time with us.

Truthfully it's been more difficult to focus on my June Quests, but I have continued to do them....just not always as I had planned.

Exercise
My Exercise Every Day Quest has become a mixture of activities which is not what I planned, but at least I am active every day.  And since it is summer and our schedule has been...well...much less structured than during the school year, I am pleased to have done some kind of exercise every day...even if it was not the workout I hoped to have established by now.

So these past few days I have done some walking and a bit of other exercises, depending on timing and energy level each day.  A highlight of this week was a walk with Hubby one evening.  We had a great chat while we walked.  It was one of those talks that just did our hearts good.  I'm so thankful for the friendship and support we enjoy in our marriage that makes the love we have for each other even more sweet.

Take A Picture
I have Taken A Picture Every Day these past few days, and here are a few of my favorites:

A few nights ago, I made pizza dip and baked artichoke dip to enjoy on some delicious fresh bread.  Dodge and Darol brought us fresh veggies from their garden as well.  Yum!  It was another family dinner that I cherished!

I also made homemade hummus.  After several tries, I have finally found a recipe we love.  More yum!














One evening, Hubby, our Scientist, and our Engineer finally sat down to try a new game I got them for Christmas.  Yes...it was Christmas in June!  I read about this game online and ordered it.  It's called Quarterback King and they ended up playing it for three nights in a row.  They just left the game set up on the dining room table.  It must have been fun because I heard a lot of loud laughter coming from the dining room.



When we moved into our current home, something just delighted me.....


I love this beautiful Mimosa Tree that hangs over our fence.  It's actually in my neighbor's yard, but I enjoy the tropical feel and fluffy pink flowers this tree produces.  Some people don't like this tree because it can be a bit messy, but I think it is so pretty.





Another fun fact is that we had a Mimosa Tree in the yard of my childhood home.  It was right outside my bedroom window when I was a little girl.  I loved that tree with the pretty pink flowers.
After enjoying this tree outside my kitchen window each day, I wanted to share it with you.

June has flown by so quickly and just yesterday I realized I needed to start thinking about my July Quests.  To my delight several people have already said they would do a July Quest as well!  I'm going to have a fun twist with my July Quests....so stay tuned and I will share it with you in just a few days!

Maybe you would like to join in and do a July Quest as well?  If so...start thinking about what you would like to focus on for just 30 days.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Just For Fun Friday: Photo Caption Contest & MORE!

Happy Friday!  It's Just For Fun Friday and I have some fun for you today!

But first...let's get to my June Quests for the past few days.

Exercise
I'm so thankful that Hubby is willing to support me when I'm working on my exercise Quest.  Last night we took a brisk walk around the neighborhood.  To add to our workout, we actually chatted with Dodge and Darol on the phone while we walked.  They are having a great time visiting family a couple of states away, and will soon return for a longer visit with us.

Hubby and I also spent time planting several new rosebushes, a honeysuckle bush, and some other flowering plants in our front yard flower beds.  After an evening of yard work, I always find that I have exercised muscles I don't normally exercise, because I am a bit sore the next day.  And, of course, this time was no different...

Tonight Hubby and I finished off our flowerbed project by spreading a new layer of mulch around all of our newly planted bushes and plants.  Not only did we get a bit of a workout, but our efforts have given us such beauty in our front yard.

Take A Picture
Last night we did something that used to be a normal evening event in our family...but now...has become quite a special occurrence.  Hubby, our Scientist, our Engineer, and I had a family dinner...just the four of us.

Sadly, we are in that time of our lives where this normal, everyday part of life is not so normal anymore.  However, we are all so aware of this true fact, that we can appreciate and cherish our little family dinners whenever we get an opportunity to break bread together.

As you may be aware, our Scientist spends most of the year far away at college.  As a teenager, our Engineer is in and out of our home with activities.  Hubby's job sometimes requires long hours and trips out of town.

From the time our Scientist arrived home for summer break, it's been nonstop craziness around here.  Our Engineer was knee deep in play practice and gone every evening.  We had three sets of company come and go.  Hubby was out of town twice (for a few days each time) on business.  Last night was actually the very first night since our Scientist returned home that we had an opportunity to sit down together...just the four of us...and enjoy a quiet family dinner.



I made a little pasta and bruschetta.  We love Italian food and everyone kept saying how yummy this meal was.

I know it tasted good, but truly it just felt good too.  I love our family dinners around our little kitchen table.  It just makes this momma happy.






The pictures I took today are of my new rosebushes.  Yesterday, Hubby and I planted three new rosebushes in our front yard.  I really look forward to watching these bushes grow and bloom.

Our family has lived in several different homes in several different states.  When we moved into our very first home, I decided to plant a rosebush because roses are my favorite flowers and I love rosebushes.








That started a tradition that has continued to this very day.  Hubby and I have planted at least one rosebush at every house we have lived in throughout our 24 years of marriage.

It's a special tradition because I get to enjoy the roses as they bloom while we live in each home, and then I get to leave a little beauty behind for the next occupants.






Now...Just For Fun because it's Friday!


This is the photo I took on Wednesday.  It's our pup, Tough Guy.

I'm just wondering...what's behind those eyes....what is he thinking?

So...Just For Fun - A photo caption contest!!!

Tell me in the comments below:
What do you think this puppy has on his mind?

I'm really looking forward to your answers!!

Happy Friday!  I hope it's FUN!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

I'm Back: Sharing Some Of Our Summer Fun


Well hello dear readers!  I know...it's been so very long...almost two weeks since y'all heard from me.  I really did miss sharing with y'all, but I promise I have continued to faithfully do my June Quests even when you didn't hear from me.  Here's an update on the past thirteen days.

Exercise
Over the last couple of weeks, I have done some housework, yard work, and quite a bit of walking to fulfill my Quest to Exercise Every Day.  Sometimes I exercised by myself, but some days I had company.  Thankfully at one time or another all three of my guys did some of the yard work or housework with me.

I did most of my walking by myself...well I wasn't all alone because I chatted with God while I trekked along on the treadmill.  One evening last week, I did enjoy the gift of a walk around our neighborhood with my bestie, the Gourmet Hostess.  We had a great chat and I enjoyed that power walk more than I can express in words.  It did my heart good in more ways than one!

Take A Picture
In the past two weeks we welcomed several visitors to our home.  Our guests are always greeted by a very special little bench.  Years ago, I purchased an outdoor planter made out of barn wood and painted with a red, white, and blue flag.  A white wooden heart represented the stars of the flag.  I loved the little planter, but after several years sitting outside on our front porch at two different homes, the weather took a toll on it, and the planter became very rickety.



Hubby decided to repurpose it into a little bench and I was thrilled with the idea!  Hubby, along with our two boys, crafted it into this sweet little bench that has welcomed visitors to our home for the past decade.  I love it.  As you walk up the sidewalk to our home, you will see this bench and know that it represents the kind of people that live inside.  It is, of course, very special to me because Hubby, our Scientist, and our Engineer worked together to make it for me.  This sweet little bench greeted our recent guests.


Our first visitor of the past two weeks, was our Scientist's special girl, the Nurse.  Just after her arrival, we enjoyed a two night performance of Hansel and Gretel starring our very own Engineer as Papa.  He surprised us as he stepped out on stage with a beard!  He did a great job with both his onstage performance and behind the scenes stage work.  We were so proud of him, we treated him to ice cream at Dairy Queen after the show.  Some of our family joined us for the night of fun as celebrated our Engineer.



The next day, my bestie, The Gourmet Hostess arrived with her hubby Q, little guy Q2, and their pet fish Blue in tow.  We greeted them with a 29 inch pizza from our favorite local Italian restaurant.  It was as yummy as it was big!  We spent our first evening together laughing, talking, and just delighting in being together.  It had been two years since we had all been together.  We were so thankful to have these very special friends visit us!
We surprised Q2 with this special t-shirt from our Scientist's school.  Q2 loved it and spent the next three days wearing it!  I'm not sure if it made our Scientist, Q2, or me the happiest.  And yes...the shirt actually says "FEAR THE FROG".  It makes Q2 giggle...and that makes the Scientist and me super happy!
During the visit our Scientist, Engineer, Nurse, and Q2 enjoyed some good old-fashioned gaming.  Monopoly is a favorite game of both our Engineer and Q2.  This game actually lasted three days before Q2 triumphed over the college kids.  Not bad for a third grader!








At some point in the visit, the Gourmet Hostess, Nurse, and I decided we needed a little girl time in a house full of boys.  We took off for the local nail salon and had our toes done.  The Gourmet Hostess had a Disney trip in the near future, so she opted for Minnie Mouse inspired toes.  The Nurse and I went for more jewel-toned options.  Mine are dark teal which is a new color for me.  I love it!  We might have also hit the shoe store, beauty store, and Target during our little outing...but as I said...we needed some girl time.
The night before the Gourmet Hostess and family hit the road for their next adventure, friends stopped by for a chat and a hug.  One friend is an "old" friend of the Gourmet Hostess and a "new" friend of mine.  She came with these beautiful flowers in hand.  How sweet was that?  Of course, I do love beautiful flowers!  I had never seen roses like this.  They are called Circus Roses.  Pretty and fun!






So after a whirlwind action-packed visit, we helped Q, the Gourmet Hostess, and Q2 pack for the next leg of their cross country journey.  No one wanted the visit to end, but alas, the time came to strap Blue in the front seat and wave goodbye until we could no longer see the taillights.  My heart was full.  What a blessed time with very special friends.  I hope our next reunion comes much sooner than this one did.










That evening we piled into the van and drove down the road to Aunt Prayer Warrior & Uncle's restaurant.  We met up with most of my family to celebrate Father's Day and Youngest Brother's birthday.  After a delicious meal of fried chicken and fish, we drove on down the road some more to Mom and Dad's farm.  Mom had homemade strawberry and rhubarb pies waiting for us.  She also surprised Youngest Brother with a Dairy Queen ice cream cake.  By now have you picked up on the fact that our family enjoys a little DQ ice cream from time to time?

Back home, Hubby and I ran some errands and I decided to do a little shoe shopping. After three trips to the store looking at these pretty navy wedges....I finally purchased them.  After wearing them to the movies the other night, I can say...I love them!  They give this short gal a little height and they are comfy as well.  I think I'm going to be pleased with this purchase.

The next morning, our Twins greeted our next guests, Hubby's parents: Dodge and Darol.  They came to spend a bit of time with us and attend a family reunion.  We all loaded, once again, into the van and drove several hours north to meet up with a large group of our relatives.  Many of them we had not seen for quite a while.  For some, it was our very first meeting.  We celebrated a special uncle's 85th birthday, and then journeyed back to our home with summer rains pouring down on us.


Our last evening with our guests was spent around our dining room table playing a laughter-filled game of family favorite, Mexican Train.  Of course Darol won the game.  She is quite competitive and tends to win.  We all went to bed with smiles on our faces, but a bit of sadness in our hearts as our Nurse, Dodge, and Darol would all be leaving us.  The Nurse headed back home to her family.  Dodge and Darol traveled on to their next destination visiting more family a couple states away.  They will stop by our home again this month for another visit on their way back to their own home.


Yesterday, was pretty quiet around our house.  Our visitors had all left, and I didn't accomplish much beyond a load of laundry, and working on this blog.  Our boys spent the day goofing off as well.  Here's our Scientist enjoying a little computer time.  It was a nice day...but maybe just a bit too quiet after having a house full of chatter and laughter for the past two weeks.



Tonight I pulled the blinds up on our big picture window in the living room and enjoyed catching sight of a lightning bug every few minutes.  Lightning bugs are special summer entertainment in the Midwest. They are out flying tonight and I am enjoying their blinking glow outside my picture window.  I tried to capture them...but truly you can't capture "lightning in a bottle...or as it turns out...lightning bugs in a picture..."  I promise I saw one right before I took this photo in our backyard...





Maybe there's one in this photo?




Or this one?  Do you see it?  No?  Sigh...


Even if I couldn't capture it in a photo, I did delight in the lightning bugs that patrolled our back yard tonight.

So far our summer days are shaping up to be filled with love, family time, good food, and summer fun.  I wish the same for all of you!





Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Celebrating Us

The last few days have been quite exciting around here.  I've been enjoying time with my family and haven't stopped to write about my June Quests.  Let's catch up.

Exercise
The last three days I have done a variety of exercises. I did a workout routine, yard work, and walked on the treadmill.  With all the excitement around here, it helped to do something different each day.

Take A Picture
So what's with all the celebrating? 

Monday Hubby and I celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary.  We went out to eat at a favorite Mexican restaurant and we double dated with our Scientist and Nurse!  We are super happy because our Scientist drove in from college on Sunday evening.  We get to have him home for the summer and that's worth celebrating as well. 

Not only did he arrive Sunday night, but he brought the Nurse along with him!  We are delighted to have her visit us for a bit this summer.  Our Engineer had plans that evening, so we enjoyed sharing our anniversary dinner with the other two.  It was a night of laughter and stories.  Sometime during the dinner I snapped a really cute picture of our Scientist and Nurse.

Hubby and I feel blessed to have shared the last 24 years together.  We have a good marriage.  We love each other...we like each other...we like spending time together...we find humor in the same things...which means we laugh together - a lot.  So, we had much to celebrate Monday.  Hubby and I often say to each other how much we like being Us.  I thank God for our marriage and friendship. 

Tuesday, was also an exciting day because our Engineer began college!  He is taking his very first college class this summer and I got a shot of him with my new camera as he stood by his car with his backpack.  After a few pictures that all included a fairly large grin, he was off on his new adventure.

And I officially became a momma of two college students.  Wait.  What?

We are thankful for his excitement about taking a class.  He takes school seriously and works hard.  Yes...that was something worth celebrating as well....even if it's a tad bittersweet for this momma.

Today was a little more low key, but that didn't keep me from cherishing time with my loved ones.  This afternoon, our Scientist and Nurse were in the backyard with the Twins when I took a few photos of our little black pups running through our yard. 

Hubby mowed the yard yesterday and they found great joy in romping in the freshly mowed grass.  Most of the pictures I snapped were what I would call "action shots" and I didn't get what I was really hoping to catch. 

But...for a few brief seconds, Tough Guy stopped and seemed to pose for me.  I loved it.  This is what I captured of him today:
Hubby named this one... "On Patrol"

We have a fairly large yard, so our Twins have their own special little fenced off area.  Every few days though, I open their little gate and let them have a run in the Big Yard.  They love getting to run at full speed in the Big Yard. 

Usually the first thing they do is patrol around the perimeter to check everything out, because at 12 and 10 pounds...they believe it is their job to be our protectors.  Looking at this picture really makes me smile.  Tough Guy, obviously takes his job very seriously.

These past few days from an anniversary, to a homecoming, to a new beginning, to some quality family time...we had much to celebrate.  I like being Us.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

You Don't See Anything

Just two days into my June Quests...I have to say...I'm thinking I'm really going to enjoy this month.

The Exercise part is never appealing to me...but I am always always glad I did it after I do.  It makes me feel better about myself...it makes me feel like I'm doing something positive and good...and yet I put it off and try to find ways to get out of it every day.  Why is that?  I wish I knew, because I am already glad I decided to try this Quest again.

The Picture Taking part is really enjoyable for me.  I love the idea of looking for that great photo opportunity each day.  It's challenging and...well....just fun.  I've never done anything like this before, so it gives me a new way of looking at the day.  I like that.

Exercise
Hubby and I got in another walk around the neighborhood tonight.  I wasn't sure if we were going to get to do it because despite the fact that according to The Weather Channel we had a 0% of rain today, it has been a very damp cloudy day all day. 

While the humidity is to a point of "almost rain" or "rain-like" in my opinion, it has yet to actually fall from the sky, so we took a brisk stroll through the neighborhood.  We enjoyed the cooler air the damp weather brought us tonight.  I'm not a big fan of sweating, so I didn't mind the slight chill as Hubby kept me walking at a pretty good pace.

Take A Picture
As we headed off to church this morning, I grabbed my camera.  I wasn't sure what picture I was going to take today and I wanted to make sure I had my camera just in case the perfect photo-taking moment came along.

After church, we had a quick lunch out and then returned home.  Hubby and I had a couple errands to run today, so we dropped our Engineer off, and headed back out.  Again, I grabbed my camera, and this time, I snapped one quick shot as we drove along.  Later, our Engineer and I went out again for another quick errand, and although I took the camera with me, I didn't see any picture-taking opportunities.

Later, back at home, I was mixing up a batch of brownies when I glanced out my kitchen window and something caught my eye.  I grabbed my camera, stepping quickly and quietly out onto the back patio step.  And this is what I captured:

I'm calling this one:
"You Don't See Me...You Don't See Anything"
 
Yes, this is a little gray squirrel and yes, he is sitting on our little wooden picnic table.  It's a beautiful shady spot in our yard and I guess he thought he would enjoy hanging out there.  In the nearly two years we have lived here, I have never seen a squirrel on that table before.
 
The best part was that he was scurrying around on top of that table until I stepped out on the step.  That is the exact moment he sat up straight and just froze.  He sat in the position for several minutes...not moving a bit.  It was like he was thinking "You don't see me...you don't see anything..." 
 
After taking several snapshots, I looked down at my camera.  As soon as I looked away, he dove off the table and scampered off down the little hill in our backyard and just like that he was out of sight.
 
But I did see him...and I caught him on camera...and I share him with you tonight.
 
Happy Sunday!
 


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Beauty in the Midst of Destruction

Yesterday I planned to end the month of May with a little Just For Fun Friday fun...and then....some pretty crazy storms rolled across the Midwest.  We ended up hunkering down in the basement watching the news and texting family and friends for a good part of the evening. 

Storms raged around us even after we went to bed....and it just kind of took the...well...fun out of my planned post.  So, I'll save it for another day.

Believe it or not...June is already here and today I kicked off my new June Quests.  I'm pretty excited about these quests....er...um...one of these quests!

Take A Picture
Recently I purchased a new camera.  I am not what you would call a real photographer.  I own one very nice 35mm film camera that I put a little effort into learning to use, but then when the digital camera age arrived, I put that camera away.  For many years I have enjoyed taking some pretty good pictures with a couple smaller, much easier to use cameras.   

I missed some of the features and options of my bigger camera, so when the time came to replace the camera I had been using, I decided I might want to get something that offered a little more.  I did some online research, in-store research, and then consulted with our personal professional photographer, Cousin Sunshine. 

Cousin Sunshine is Hubby's cousin by blood and my cousin by love.  She is one of those people that everyone enjoys being around.  She radiates sunshine and happiness...and I love her dearly.  She was just a tiny little thing when our lives intertwined and I am so happy to call her cousin.  She was the flower girl in our wedding 24 years ago and we have shared a special bond ever since.

Cousin Sunshine gave me some great tips on camera purchasing which helped me to narrow down what to buy.  It made me happy because camera shopping can be so overwhelming, and I am really happy with what I purchased.  It made Hubby happy because her advice helped me choose a much less expensive camera that I originally thought I needed.

The day I came home with my new camera, I went outside to our front yard and snapped a few pictures of something I love: roses.  Yes...can you believe it ~ someone named Rosie loves roses?  It's true that I do. 

Anyway, here is one of the photos I snapped that day.  We have three beautiful rose covered bushes in our front yard.  I am grateful to whoever planted them! 

A few days ago these rose bushes were heavy with beautiful roses...and then...

Last night's storms blew in and just beat up my poor rose bushes.

I took this photo this afternoon after the rain had finally stopped for a bit and I could go out and access the damage.

Truly we were very blessed to just have some roses knocked off and blown around.  Otherwise, we did not have any other damage on our property. 


There were, of course, people all along the storm's path, especially the brave souls of Oklahoma, who have real damage to deal with in the aftermath of last night's storms.

This was really the extent of our damage.  Beautiful loose rose petals strewn about our front flower beds.




And then...while I was looking over my bushes, I came across this:


So this is my special picture of the day. 
I call it:
"Beauty in the Midst of Destruction"
 
And really...isn't that what we all want to find?  This little flower just spoke to my heart today.  After taking this photo, I just stood there and drank it in for a minute. 
 
Such beauty...so delicate...so fragile...and yet, strong
 
Strong enough to withstand the hail, driving rain, and wind that poured down on it.  With others beatened, battered, and destroyed all around it...with just their petals left in the wake...this little rose was strong enough to survive the storm...and still share it's beauty. 
 
Exercise
Hubby took me out and walked me tonight.  I was so grateful for his support.  He is a huge encouragement when it comes to supporting the things that are important to me.  It means the world to me to know he is always there to inspire me.  We do that for each other.  It's what makes us a good team.

After the rain finally stopped, we put on our tennis shoes and took off at a good pace around our neighborhood.  We enjoyed the slight breeze and the damp after-the-rain air.  We took in the beautiful flower beds of several of our neighbors. 

Along our walk we: chatted a bit about some things that are important to us...made some plans for the coming days...laughed a little....saw a huge snapping turtle in a yard which scared me a bit...then Hubby stumbled, but thankfully caught himself and didn't get hurt...and I might have made a comment about bugs and not being outdoorsy.  All in all, it was a nice walk.

I end the day with a thankful heart.  Both of my Quests are complete and I enjoyed doing both of them. 

Hubby helped me delight in my exercise for today.  We really like being together and doing things together.  I truly cherish my time with him. 

And that beautiful rose among the storm damage reminded me that I should always look for the beauty among the destruction.  As I thought about that tonight...I realized this: 

If I can't find the beauty...well...maybe I need to be it.