Monday, November 28, 2016

Healthy Living/Healthy Eating - Part 1 // Nourishing our Spiritual Lives & Relationship with God

A different post format today . . . a video!

(And one correction: a verse referenced as being from 1 Peter is actually 2 Peter.)

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

To all my American friends . . . may you have a very blessed and special Thanksgiving with family and friends!  (And to all my international friends, I hope you have a blessed day as well!)

May our hearts be full of thankfulness and praise to the Lord for all of His abundant blessings that He has given to us!

"Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

"Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth.
Serve the LORD with gladness;
Come before Him with joyful singing.
Know that the LORD Himself is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

"Enter His gates with thanksgiving
And His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him, bless His name.
For the LORD is good;
His lovingkindness is everlasting
And His faithfulness to all generations."
Psalm 100

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Favorite Phone Apps

Having a smartphone has been so nice and for many reasons . . . from being able to check weather when we're traveling, keeping up with my Etsy store, texting, taking photos, and much more.

I also love a number of apps that I use and wanted to share with you all my top favorites . . . .

Scripture Typer

This first one is for Bible verse memorization, and it has been such a help! I am amazed at the ease of memorizing Scriptures this way, and I have been able to memorize many more since I first began using it.

You add the verses that you would like to memorize (and then once they are memorized, a check mark appears next to them, as you can see in the photo.) 

To memorize, there are three different 'steps', and in each one you type out the verse by typing the first letter of each word.

The three steps are:
1st: TYPING - every word of the whole verse is shown
2nd: MEMORIZING - Select words are removed (as it is in the above photo)
3rd: MASTERING  - No words are shown

When you mistype a word, the phone vibrates and the word is shown in red.

This photo is from the 3rd 'step' of memorizing which is 'mastering' . . . so when I began this one, there were no words showing. The passage was typed through (save for the reference which was typed after the photo), with the red word being one I missed.

Success! The verse was successfully memorized. Once you memorize a verse, it goes into the review section. The first review is done the next day, and each time you correctly review the verse, the days between reviews is lengthened. 

Once a verse or passage is memorized this way, I like to recite it occasionally separately from the phone as well, as I find that sometimes with using the app, I can get a bit of 'muscle memory' instead of really knowing the verse well.

Tecarta Bible

This next app is my top favorite, and one that I really love using when reading and studying the Bible. You can use the free version (which requires WiFi) or purchase it for a small fee which allows use without WiFi. Since the NASB is my favorite Bible translation, I selected that version with Strong's concordance.

I'll touch on my favorite feature of it here . . .

The entire Bible is on it, and you first select the book and then the chapter you would like to read/study.

The underlined words (which are hard to see in the photo!) are linked to the Strong's number and definition for that word and Thayer's definition of it.

Simply place your finger on one of the underlined words and hold for a second. Then click "Strong's" in the top right corner. 

 Then you get the definitions of it! This is SO helpful in study as it often gives a deeper and more thorough understanding of the words. And sometimes, a more accurate understanding as well! (And as a side note, the above word is not the same one my finger was on in the previous photo. :)

As mentioned, I love using this app when studying Scripture!

Hebrew Interlinear and Koine Interlinear (by stefankmitph)

These next two are interlinears of both the Old and New Testaments. They give the literal Greek words, the direct English translation of them, and then are also linked to Strong's. These are also quite helpful for gaining a better understanding of the words and their meaning.

The main screen where you select the book, chapter, and verse

 The first verse of the New Testament

The Berean Call (by Subslash Consulting)

And last but not least, The Berean Call app. I love this one! There is so much on it, and some of my favorites are their radio programs from 2015 and 2016, and then each week, their new radio program is added. They also have all the conference videos (or audio if you would rather just listen) from the 2015 and 2016 conferences. Such a wealth of excellent teaching right at your fingertips!

The current radio programs (at least at the time I took the photo :)

So if you have a smartphone, you might want to try these apps. I would highly recommend them!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Life Lately

What a busy last few weeks it has been here! The predominate theme has been business work (more on that in just a bit) with many other things squeezed in plus the pleasantness of daily life.

This week, it was special to have Leah join me at the nursing home. She and I took turns playing the piano, and then since there were two of us, we sang in harmony. Sickness has been moving through the nursing home, so sadly, many of the residents were not well and were in their rooms. Though after going back to see my dear friend, J., she wanted to come and join us at the piano. There were also a number of other residents scattered around - some leaning forward in their chairs listening with a smile on their faces. How I love the times spent there! It is always so good to see everyone and to spend that time with them!

One day last week, we had some company over who had been wanting to visit the antique store that is nearby, so we went there in the evening and spent a few hours walking through it. We had a great time! The 11 year old girl and I spent most of the time together looking at different things and talking which was fun. One thing that we saw was this . . . .

A cast iron standing, draining soap dish! Now to get it cleaned up, restored, and ready to use. :)

Another current project has been fixing website problems . . . we're not exactly sure how (it's a long story!), but somehow we lost our church website and couldn't access the admin sign-in page. After communication back and forth with our hosting company and hours of work for Dad and I on our end, it was finally accessible! But since the website wasn't backed-up by us (not sure how we overlooked doing that) and the hosting company holds its back-ups for only a few days, the website needs to be rebuilt from scratch. I started on that project today, though it will be awhile before it is finished!

Over the last month or so, in spare bits of time, I have also been working on my last custom-made doll order plus an extra outfit for a special customer. Since she didn't need them until mid-December, it has worked out well. Now everything is almost done!

The clothing nearly finished . . . one pinafore left to make! 

The face of the doll . . . and in need of hair. :)

It's kind of sad in a way to be finished making the dolls as it was enjoyable to do, but with my Niobrara Farms business growing so much, it's time to close that door. Plus, I enjoy the latter more anyway. :)

Speaking of that, over the last several months, I have been planning for a couple of new products, plus a number of gift sets. Work was slowly coming together on them and then the last several weeks, it began in earnest. Finishing researching and getting the rest of the supplies needed, making products, assembling the gift sets, photographing, editing photos, writing listings, and then listing!

It was exciting to see all the plans and work coming to fruition! So far, all the new items are listed on my Etsy store and I just need to get them listed on my website now as well.

Here are all the new products (save for four of the gift sets) . . . .

One of the five gift sets - this one is Lavender, and all the others are 'pick and choose' which varieties to include

The outside with the ribbon tied on

The ribbon color choices 

A new product for my stores! All Natural Lip Balm 

Bath Salts (and I am thinking I'll rephotograph them with the brown background instead - I think that would look better.)

Needless to say, these Autumn days have been pleasantly full!

And up until today, our weather had been simply gorgeous, and we had been thoroughly enjoying it . . . outdoor work for several of us, going for walks and runs, sitting outside and talking, and simply soaking up the warm sunshine while it lasted.

While we did have several frosts in the past week or so, overall the warmth of this beautiful Autumn had continued . . . until today! Yesterday was another warm day with the high around 80, but then that changed. As I type, I can hear the strong, cold winds blowing and the temperature has dropped a lot since a cold front is coming in. It felt a bit like winter outside tonight!

The sun setting last evening

Saturday, November 12, 2016


Just popping in to share about the month of giveaways (open to U.S. residents) that I am having over on my Niobrara Farms Bath and Body blog . . . the first one ends this Sunday night, and if you'd like to enter it, just visit the link for details!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Going Visiting

Last week, Leah and I loaded up the car and took a quick trip up to Nebraska to visit our Grandma and Aunt Marci. We had been wanting to do this for awhile now and were so glad it worked out!

We made the uneventful, 7+ hour drive and had quite an enjoyable time together. Road tripping with Leah is a lot of fun. :)

Anticipation was building as we got closer and passed by all the familiar surroundings . . . and then we were there! Welcomed with lots of hugs and smiles which was followed by hours of such good conversations and laughter.

From talking about world events, healthy eating/foods, to hearing what has been going on in their lives, to sharing about our own lives (which included a lot about trusting the Lord and seeing His hand working), reminiscing about childhood memories and memories of when Aunt Marci, Dad and their siblings were little (so fun to hear!), and much more.

It was so special to be able to spend that time with them and just be together again!

As darkness fell, Aunt Marci fixed us a delicious meal for dinner, and then we talked until bedtime. The next morning after enjoying breakfast, we had several more much enjoyed hours before we needed to head for home. First, though, we had to take a few photos!

Grandma and Leah

Grandma and me

Aunt Marci taking a photo of Leah and Shiloh (their sweet dog which ate up all the attention he could get!)

The hours during our stay passed by all too quickly, and then we began the drive home . . . .

Empty fields, recently harvested

About halfway home, we were ready for a break so we stopped, soaked in a brief bit of sunshine, and went for a quick run which was so refreshing! We also saw this giant snapping turtle . . .

Leah getting a photo of him . . . he wasn't the friendliest creature. :)

The remainder of our drive included a bit of a detour as thanks to an accident on the road we were on, we detoured through the heart of Kansas City (in pouring rain) avoiding the traffic jam on the other road.

Eventually, we made it home! Just behind a huge storm that left in its wake many downed branches, leaf and branch littered roads, and hail. Thankfully, we had just missed it!

What a wonderful trip it was and so special to be able to spend that time with our Grandma and Aunt Marci! Thank you both so much for having us and for the wonderful time with you!

We are already looking forward to our next trip up. :)