Category Archives: Family Fun

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?

Ahem…. it doesn’t.

Tried a garden plot, spot and pot…..  never seems to grow.

I’ve read books, magazines and asked the old timers in my community.

Once was told I couldn’t kill mint….. ahem, it never grew!  So, I added a little fertilizer and killed it.

Dead.

Deader than dead.

I gave up for a few years.  But now I am determined.  I just want a salad.  Nothing big.  Nothing real special.  Just a salad.

I saw on Pinterest a few months ago, a picture of dresser drawers turned into shelves.  That was right up my alley insanity.  A friend was moving and had thrown out an old dresser.  I begged her for her drawers….. that’s DRESSER drawers!!!  Geez!!

Anyway, I obtained these drawers and well…… they were too heavy for my walls.  I didn’t want to waste them nor my friend’s generosity.  So, I did the next best thing…..

Garden Drawers!!

Crazy I know.  But, why not!  Just maybe I will actually have a fresh salad that I ACTUALLY grew!

Enjoy your weekend!  God bless…..

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Valentine's Day

This morning, I made cinnamon biscuits.  I rolled out the dough and cut it into heart shapes……

Like my heart has been shaped…. God uses experiences, people and His perfect love to shape my human heart. There are some calluses, cracks, and dents.  All the same He has bound up my wounds.

I drizzled the glaze over the heart shaped biscuits.  Its sweet yumminess soaked into the warm bread.

God pours His sweetness, kindness, and compassion over my broken heart.  He fills the cracks and craters left behind.  He soaks into my heart.

Lastly, I sprinkled hugs and kisses all over.  Just the perfect topping to this delicious Valentine.

Oh, I couldn’t live without God’s heavenly kisses and hugs. There have been many nights I held His word close to my chest.  Hugging it like a lost child returned to its mother.  I cling. I hold on for dear life.  Desperately thankful for Him.  In prayer, I have felt His “Oh Dear Child” kiss upon my head.  A father’s loving kiss.

May God bless you and shower you with His love on this Valentine’s Day.

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Serving Up the New Year

Black Eyed Peas

Cornbread

Ham

Mashed Potatoes

Chocolate Cake

Our normal New Year’s menu.  Complete with the “old wives’ tale” of leaving a few peas on your plate to insure wealth the following year.  Can’t sweep neither.  You sweep on New Year’s day, you’ll sweep folks right out of your life.  Or at least that is what Grandma used to say.

Here’s the thing.  This year is the year of giving.  I’ve been told the more you give the more you get in return.  But that isn’t my intent.  I want to rid myself of offense Ezekiel told about in chapter 18.  I want to gain a new heart and a new spirit.

Embrace giving, loving and helping….. those things that God has done for me.

So, Mark, the kids and I signed up to work at the soup kitchen in Little Rock. Giving up our holiday to serve those who live out the reality that poverty and homelessness doesn’t observe holidays.

Before our group of friends and us loaded ourselves up in our church van, we held hands in prayer.  We prayed for eyes to be opened, hearts to be touched, and lives to be changed.  Soft words spoken.  Prayers floated upward.  I was about to embark on my first real act of giving myself away.

I am giving away the traditions, those silly old wives’ tales, and time spent in front of the television watching football.  Selfish thoughts anchored at the pit of my stomach. Did I really want to give up my day?

Where were my praying hands? Those words I heard and acknowledged with my quiet “Amen.”  An offense indeed. Selfish thoughts.

Where the sidewalk meets the pavement, a sign stands.  Bold red letters scream silently the reason I was there.  God’s little warning that my selfish thoughts will need to be left along the sidewalk.

Stone soup saved a village.  Today, this service may save me.   The creak of the old door of the 1920 building welcomes me.  The hallow sound of the basement kitchen deafens my selfishness.

There a simple lady of elder stands before me. Her face calm and weathered by time.  30 year veteran to serving the needy.  Her eyes remind me of Mother Theresa.  There’s love behind those eyes.

Without much introduction, I am put to work.  Along side of youthful hands my mind wonders…… How many broken hearts and crumbled lives will we serve?

Will this meal cut through to their hearts?  Will addictions fade? Will sorrow be cut down?  Emotions stirred?

Will the living water pour over their hurting souls?  Will they understand that the bread of life we offer isn’t made with yeast and flour?

 

Will a miracle happen today? Like the water Jesus turned into wine…..  will someone today understand His power to be sufficient?

Will the young hearts that prepared this meal understand that Jesus fed multitudes with 2 fish and 5 loaves?  But it was more than food He served. Will they understand?  They serve His love.

 

Will I understand that many will enter with physical emptiness and leave content?  Will I recognize my spiritual emptiness and my need for content?

I left full.  I saw a new side to my kids. My son patiently took charge and worked harder than I could ever imagine.  My daughter modeled love and compassion. Mark gained a new friend or two, locals who visit the soup kitchen for a warm meal.

My selfish thoughts melted away and never returned.  A wonderful beginning to a year of giving.

God bless……

 

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Regina, Give Yourself Away

Last week, I examined my 2011 goals for the new year.  Ahem, I was successful in some ways and well……let’s just say….. if anyone lost a pound last year, I found it. Right here around my middle, posterior, thighs and my chin.

Ugh!

Yuck!

Mark and I sat down and budgeted.  We discovered something.  Or at least I did.  I have been over indulging in many areas.  Numbers don’t lie.

Ugh!

Yuck!

Ezekiel 18:31 haunted me.  Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed and get a new heart and a new spirit.

Me?

Offensive?

Ahem…..treat your body as a temple.  Ouch….. do not conform to this world.

Ugh!

Yuck!

Romans 12:1 seeped into my thoughts.  So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. 

Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.

He gives.

He helps.

He loves.

Embrace it.

The tune, “Give yourself away” echoed and stalked me.  I heard it on the radio constantly.

Regina….

Give…..

Yourself…..

Away……

Give. Help. Love.

Embrace it.

Prayer found a solution….. or a resolution, you might say.  A year, in which, I give myself away.

Give Myself Away Weight-loss Challenge

My jeans do not lie.  The dryer has been on the fritz so I can not blame all of the shrinkage on it.  Like I said before, I have discovered a whole lot of extra on me.  I needed accountability and a goal.  So, I am going to give myself away…..literally. One pound at a time.

Here’s how……

Our church has a food pantry.  Lately, the amount of food needed to supply to meet the needs of our community has doubled, tripled, and possibly quadrupled over the past year.  I have decided to embrace giving and helping.  For each pound I lose, I will donate 1 pound of food to our church’s pantry.  For accountability, I went to my Sunday School class and presented my idea.  For every pound I lose each week, three couples will match the food donation. One couple even said they would consider joining in on the weight-loss challenge.

Tears filled my eyes.  Not that I was touched……( I was ) but because, I have to put the plan in action.  They expect a number each week.  Ahem…. numbers don’t lie.  That scares the living daylights out of me.  Accountability!

So today, I climbed on the scale.  Shock.  Disappointment. The Truth.  Numbers don’t lie.

Regina….

Give…..

Yourself…..

Away…….

Give Yourself Away Exercise Program

I am not stupid.  I know in order to lose pounds, exercise must become the norm.  Again, accountability comes into play.  This time, I have enlisted three drill Sargents accountability partners: Mark and the kids.  Together as a family we are going to “Walk Across America.”

Please understand, I have not lost my mind.  We won’t actually be walking across this great nation.  We will tally our mileage on pedometers.  At the end of the week we will see how far along our plotted map route we have gone.  According to Wikipedia, the greatest distance between any two points within the contiguous 48 states is from West Quoddy Head, Maine to Point Arena, California at 2,892 miles as the crow flies ….. that would be 3,385 walking miles.

On the last day of the month, we will look on our route and find the closest destination city, town, or community.  Team Dettra will research a charity, church, or organization in that area and make a $10 donation.

Giving.

Helping.

Loving.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg.  I will be sharing other ideas in the near future.  Oh, by the way, yesterday, Team Dettra walked over 8 miles.  Yay!!

Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.

Oh, May God bless you today.  Embrace, my dear friends.  Embrace what God does for you.

 

Elephants!

Okay, so everyone who reads my blog knows I am an animal lover!  I love 4-legged love!  Their sweet kisses make everyday seem so much brighter.  My heart goes out to animals who have been abused, neglected, and thrown away.  I love the time I spend at our shelter.

For Mother’s Day, all I wanted was a trip to the Elephant Sanctuary.  It is about an hour and a half from home.  It is between Guy, AR and Quinton, AR.  I couldn’t wait to see those elephants!!  They are only open first Saturday of the month.  The cost of admission is $5 per person.  I woke up Saturday morning all giddy and hurrying my family out the door.  I just couldn’t wait to see the elephants!!  It was like Christmas morning all over again for me!!

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Okay, now this is Amy and her baby, Bess.  Amy was once a performer.  She was born in 1987.  Her baby girl, Bess, was born at the sanctuary in 2007.   Bess was so cute!  She would play with a tire and was just a ham!  Bess weighs 2500lbs right now.

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See, I told you she was a ham!!  Cutie!!

Now let me introduce you to Hank.

102_4756Hank is an Asian Elephant.  He was born in North America.. one of the few that ever have!  He was also a performing elephant until he became a little rambunctious.  He weighs 16000 pounds!  My son gave an apple to one of the interns.  She threw it to Hank.  He picked it up with his trunk and ate it as if it was an M&M!  It was so fascinating!    We were told that only Mr. Riddle ( the sanctuary owner) is able to get near Hank.  OH, and I forgot to tell you.. he is still growing!

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These lovely ladies are Peggy and Betty Boop.  They are both retired from the circus.  They are the “mature” ladies of the sanctuary.  They are in their 50’s and enjoy each other’s company.  They are the gentle souls around the place.  They are quite magnificent and seem very graceful.  They were enjoying a quiet snack of grass.  They eat anywhere between 250-400 pounds of food each day!  We really enjoyed watching them!

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We learned so much about the elephants!  We all had a zillion questions to ask.  They were spectacular!  The trip made my Mother’s Day even more special!!  If you are in the area, make sure you stop by and check this place out!

Enjoy your day!

God bless…