embracing life and letting God

11.19.2012

Our Holiday Traditions



Every holiday season we have traditions we always do with our children.  Here are just a few:

Before Thanksgiving week we make sure that we get to our local Hallmark store and pick our yearly Christmas ornaments.  Each one gets to pick a character or symbol that reminded them of the year[s] past.  

Once Thanksgiving week arrives we are ready to decorate.  If company is coming to our home for the big day, we do our best to go all out and decorate the house with holiday goodness from the tree to wreath on the front door.  

As we decorate there are 4 essentials that must be on hand [besides all of our decorations and new ornaments]:  chocolate chip cookies, sausage balls , hot chocolate and Christmas music.  

Holiday Sausage Balls
1 lb sausage (hot or mild)
3 cups Bisquick
1 cup water
1 lb sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Directions:
1 Brown sausage in a frying pan, crumbling it as it cooks. Set aside to cool.
2 In a large mixing bowl, combine Bisquick, water, and cheese. Stir, then mix in cooled sausage.
3 Wet your hands (so the meat won't stick) and roll into small balls. Bake on cookie sheets at 325 degrees for about 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Some years ago when my husband and I were dating, his brother died in a tragic accident.  My mother-in-law started a new tradition that year in remembrance of Chris’ brother.  She found these beautiful star ornaments from the Metropolitan Museum of Art Store.  Each year they choose a new design and the stars are dated.  Many years have passed since that first Christmas.  
Here are the stars decorating our mantle in 2010
Don't my children look like they are about to do something mischievous?
We now have a beautiful collection of 25 golden stars that adorn our Christmas tree in memory.  They are even more special now.  Over three years ago my mother-in-law was released from this earth and from her suffering of ovarian cancer.  Each time we place another star on the tree we now remember two sweet souls we lost too soon.

You can see these gold stars as well as their silver snowflakes when you visit:  THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART STORE.



It’s Christmas eve, eve, eve, eve…. and the lights are all lit.  It’s time to put on our pajamas and go on a trip.  HA! There isn’t a year that goes by that our children aren’t begging us to take them to see all of the Christmas decorations in the neighborhoods in our city.  It’s really a fun trip to take to ooh and aaaah over all of the different decorations people put up in their yards. So gather up your snugglies [p.j.'s in the Brasher home] and your blankets, [we roll down our windows when close to the houses] and go see how your neighbors have decorate this year.

My mother had this ‘sweet’ tradition she still carries out to this day.  Five Minute Fudge.  Each year she would make batches of fudge to share with all of our family and friends.  Chris and I have taken on this tradition, sharing it with all of his co-workers and our neighbors.  It is such an easy recipe and delicious to eat. Here is the recipe I use:

FIVE MINUTE FUDGE

2 tablespoons butter
1 ½ cups sweetened condensed milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups (4 ounces) miniature marshmallows
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Directions
  1. Combine butter, sweetened condensed milk and salt in sauce pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. 
  2. Bring to full boil. Cook 4 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly. 
  3. Remove from heat. Stir in marshmallows, chocolate pieces, vanilla and nuts. 
  4. Stir vigorously for 1 minute (until marshmallows melt and blend). 
  5. Pour into 8 inch square buttered pan. 
  6. Cool. 
  7. Cut into squares.


Another tradition we have begun in recent years is the annual Christmas day treasure hunt.  We usually have a family gift that we share and my husband, being a child at heart, is the greatest scavenger hunt creator ever!  He sits down and comes up with the most clever rhymes and ideas that take the children all over the house as they seek out that one last gift at the end of Christmas day.  It’s so much fun.  They are giggling and screaming as the excitement builds to that one last clue.  

How to you and your family carry on traditions during the holidays? I would love to hear your ideas. Blessings!

From My Heart to Yours,
Mindy Brasher
Revelation 12:11
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11.10.2012

My 2012 Gratitude Challenge Day 10





Today, I am so grateful for a home that I can open to family and friends for fellowship.  It is such a blessing to me to have a safe place for them to gather in order for us to get to know one another again and again.  When we moved into this home, that was what I wanted more than anything, to have a heart of Christian Hospitality and a home to share it in.  Sadly, there were years that I could not do it as much as I wanted due to health issues.  But, this year, the Lord is doing something new in our hearts and our bodies.  He is restoring relationships and opening our home again.  I am excited to see what He has planned next for us.  Thank you Lord for my beautiful home.  

From My Heart to Yours,
Mindy Brasher
Revelation 12:11


Join us with Brenda at Garden of Learning for 30 days of the 2012 Gratitude Challenge.

Don’t think you can do all 30 days?  Not to worry.  Just write as the Lord leads you.  Some days will be harder, but sharing with the world how thankful you are for this life God has given you is a Testimony we all like to read about.  Don’t have a blog?  Join Brenda on her Facebook page too, to share your gratitude https://www.facebook.com/myhomeschoolgarden 


Here’s a Tip:  To get you motivated, go ahead and open 7 days worth of pages [wherever you write your posts] and save them as Gratitude Challenge Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7. Then you can schedule what you have started, on your blog. I think you will find that you will be inspired to keep writing when you start your week with having the page already started.  Try it and see what happens! That’s how I’’m working it. Hehe!

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11.07.2012

My 2012 Gratitude Challenge Day 7



Today, I am thankful.  I am Counting gifts.  

These are 3 gifts from my window…


::Sun shining through falling leaves.

::Neighbors, good - kind - giving, Neighbors


::Change - wind removing, fall preserving, sun renewing

Then as I watched, muscles and flesh formed over the bones. Then skin formed to cover their bodies, but they still had no breath in them.
Then he said to me, “Speak a prophetic message to the winds, son of man. Speak a prophetic message and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, O breath, from the four winds! Breathe into these dead bodies so they may live again.’”
So I spoke the message as he commanded me, and breath came into their bodies. They all came to life and stood up on their feet—a great army. ~Ezekiel 37:8-10


From My Heart to Yours,
Mindy B.
Revelation 12:11

Join us with Brenda at Garden of Learning for 30 days of the 2012 Gratitude Challenge.
Don’t think you can do all 30 days?  Not to worry.  Just write as the Lord leads you.  Some days will be harder, but sharing with the world how thankful you are for this life God has given you is a Testimony we all like to read about.  Don’t have a blog?  Join Brenda on her Facebook page too, to share your gratitude https://www.facebook.com/myhomeschoolgarden 


Here’s a Tip:  To get you motivated, go ahead and open 7 days worth of pages [wherever you write your posts] and save them as Gratitude Challenge Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7. Then you can schedule what you have started, on your blog. I think you will find that you will be inspired to keep writing when you start your week with having the page already started.  Try it and see what happens! That’s how I’’m working it. Hehe!

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11.06.2012

My 2012 Gratitude Challenge Day 6





Today, I am beyond thankful that I have the right to vote my heart, my values, my beliefs.  What an amazing privilege we have to be FREE to have a say in who we choose to be the leader of our Nation.  This IS a Godly Nation and I will forever Praise the Lord for allowing me to live in this time, in this place.

GET OUT 
VOTE!

From My Heart to Yours,
Mindy B.
Revelation 12:11

Join us with Brenda at Garden of Learning for 30 days of the 2012 Gratitude Challenge.
Don’t think you can do all 30 days?  Not to worry.  Just write as the Lord leads you.  Some days will be harder, but sharing with the world how thankful you are for this life God has given you is a Testimony we all like to read about.  Don’t have a blog?  Join Brenda on her Facebook page too, to share your gratitude https://www.facebook.com/myhomeschoolgarden 


Here’s a Tip:  To get you motivated, go ahead and open 7 days worth of pages [wherever you write your posts] and save them as Gratitude Challenge Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7. Then you can schedule what you have started, on your blog. I think you will find that you will be inspired to keep writing when you start your week with having the page already started.  Try it and see what happens! That’s how I’’m working it. Hehe!

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11.05.2012

My 2012 Gratitude Challenge Day 5


With all of the uproar in our nation I am most abundantly Grateful for Faith.  Faith -  Trust in a great God who has a great plan for my life, the life of my  family and for this nation.  

Faith moves mountains.  Through grace we have been saved by faith.  Faith is a powerful force!  

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. ~Hebrews 11:1

Praise God, I have FAITH!

Their is a worship song resounding in my spirit.  I have listened to it over and over and over this morning.  I can’t get it out of my head.  Hope is rising.  Nothing can take that from me.  “Waiting Here for You”.

Let these words encourage you, reminding you that no matter what turns this world takes we have a God who is in control of all.  

If faith can move the mountains
Let the mountains move
We come with expectation
Waiting here for you, waiting here for you

You're the Lord of all creation
And still you know my heart
The author of salvation
You've loved us from the start

Waiting here for you
With our hands lifted high in praise
And it's you we adore
Singing Alleluia


You are everything you've promised
Your faithfulness is true
And we're desperate for your presence
All we need is you

Waiting here for you, Lord
With our hands lifted high in praise
And it's you, Lord, we adore
Singing Alleluia

We will wait for you, Lord, he'll stand with you
We will sing alleluia
Singing Alleluia, alleluia
Singing Alleluia, alleluia
by Christy Nockels
We are waiting here for You Lord!

From My Heart to Yours,
Mindy B.
Revelation 12:11

Join us with Brenda at Garden of Learning for 30 days of the 2012 Gratitude Challenge.

Don’t think you can do all 30 days?  Not to worry.  Just write as the Lord leads you.  Some days will be harder, but sharing with the world how thankful you are for this life God has given you is a Testimony we all like to read about.  Don’t have a blog?  Join Brenda on her Facebook page too, to share your gratitude https://www.facebook.com/myhomeschoolgarden 

Here’s a Tip:  To get you motivated, go ahead and open 7 days worth of pages [wherever you write your posts] and save them as Gratitude Challenge Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7. Then you can schedule what you have started, on your blog. I think you will find that you will be inspired to keep writing when you start your week with having the page already started.  Try it and see what happens! That’s how I’’m working it. Hehe!

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11.03.2012

My 2012 Gratitude Challenge Day 3



Today, I am thankful for my best friend. He knows me better than anyone in this world, and loves me inspite of me.  He is my Love, my Captain Awesome, my husband, Chris. The best husband, friend and father a girl could ever dream of.



We have been together 25 years, married 21. We have been through a lot together, and I wouldn’t have wanted to do with another person in the world.  I know there are days when I don’t show him the love he so deserves, but deep in my heart I love him more everyday for his love, faith, compassion, understanding and support. He loves me for the real me.  

I love you, My Love.  

From My Heart to Yours,
Mindy B.
Revelation 12:11

Join us with Brenda at Garden of Learning for 30 days of the 2012 Gratitude Challenge.

Don’t think you can do all 30 days?  Not to worry.  Just write as the Lord leads you.  Some days will be harder, but sharing with the world how thankful you are for this life God has given you is a Testimony we all like to read about.  Don’t have a blog?  Join Brenda on her Facebook page too, to share your gratitude https://www.facebook.com/myhomeschoolgarden 


Here’s a Tip:  To get you motivated, go ahead and open 7 days worth of pages [wherever you write your posts] and save them as Gratitude Challenge Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7. Then you can schedule what you have started, on your blog. I think you will find that you will be inspired to keep writing when you start your week with having the page already started.  Try it and see what happens! That’s how I’’m working it. Hehe!

Read More

11.02.2012

My 2012 Gratitude Challenge Day 2




My beautiful friend, Heidi, posted a great picture on her Facebook page yesterday.  It is a picture of them doing what they L.O.V.E. - spending time at Disney.  In this picture are she, her husband and their 3 lovely children.   Two of their children are adopted.  On her banner/picture she reminds everyone that November is National Adoption Month.  Forever Family!


Me, my Mom & my Daddy
circa.  1985-86ish

I am a child of adoption.  And, for that, I am so very thankful.  Many times I don’t even recognize it as a part of my life because I was adopted by parents who loved me and cared for me.  I have always known no other people as my parents.  My mom and dad birthed me in their hearts.  They were there for me when sickness tried to consume me with Strep and they had to rush me to the hospital for the terribly painful [one in each ‘cheek’] penicillin shots.  They were there for me at the many softball games and karate tournaments.  They were there to hold me when I didn’t make the cheerleading team or a boy broke my heart.  When I blew it, they fussed at me, loved me and got me back on the straight-and-narrow.

Mom and my girl
This was her ‘card’ on Mothers Day

My Daddy passed away, 22 years ago now.  I miss him.  I still have my wonderful mother who is still there for me, not matter what time of day or night.  I am so thankful.  

Today, I am thankful for the Forever Family God chose for me to love.  Thank you, Mom

From My Heart to Yours,
Mindy B.
Revelation 12:11

Don’t think you can do all 30 days?  Not to worry.  Just write as the Lord leads you.  Some days will be harder, but sharing with the world how thankful you are for this life God has given you is a Testimony we all like to read about.  Don’t have a blog?  Join Brenda on her Facebook page too, to share your gratitude https://www.facebook.com/myhomeschoolgarden 


Here’s a Tip:  To get you motivated, go ahead and open 7 days worth of pages [wherever you write your posts] and save them as Gratitude Challenge Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7. Then you can schedule what you have started, on your blog. I think you will find that you will be inspired to keep writing when you start your week with having the page already started.  Try it and see what happens! That’s how I’’m working it. Hehe!

Read More

11.01.2012

Disney Destinations: QUOTES





Heidi at What's Going On In .... HEIDI'S HEAD is continuing her Destination Disney Series.  She is inviting us to share a new Disney quote, from Walt, from others, and from characters and movies as well.  

This is my pick today…


Come, link up and share your Disney Favorite Quotes!

From My Heart to Yours,
Mindy B.
Revelation 12:11




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My 2012 Gratitude Challenge Day 1




I am using an acrostic to get the ball rolling on a month long challenge to Gratitude with Brenda at Garden of Learning

I Am Thankful

I :: I AM, the Great I AM.  Without Him I am nothing.

A :: Agape... love that is.  I have known this undeserving, forgiving, overwhelming love that makes me feel valued, important.  What a blessing.

M :: Motherhood.  I was selfish and blind.  Then motherhood wrecked my world and now I can see.  I understand in a greater way the Love God has for me, even when I mess it all up.  My children have been a part of God’s perfect plan to mold me, shape me into a stronger, more loving creature.  I have learned the true meaning of forgiveness, trust, and seeing others through the eyes of Christ in Motherhood.  

T :: The Tests that brings the Testimony.  These tests have made me stronger.  These tests have wrenched my heart.  These tests have helped me to know God as a loving God that carries me through, especially when I want to run and hide.  I wouldn’t be me had the tests not come.

H :: Hallelujah.  This word evokes so much inside of me.   
pastedGraphic.pdfMy year has been full of this… powerful exclamations of worship and praise for all that the Lord is doing in our lives. Oh, the new things God has done this year.   Somedays there are no words to describe the thankfulness that is stirring on the inside of me. My only response can be PRAISE THE LORD!  HALLELUJAH!

A :: Amen.  That powerful word of agreement.  So Be It! literally.  I have had the honor, the privilege, to pray for many hurting women, children, and families this year.  Things have not always turned out how we thought, but our prayers were heard.  God always knows what He is doing and we Trust Him, not matter what!

N :: Nutella.  [What?]  I know you must be thinking, “What in the world?”.  Yep, I said Nutella.  It has been a running joke in our home how many people have been raving about Nutella.  I am 42 years old and I have never tasted Nutella, until this summer.  I didn’t love it as much as my family. Let’s just put it this way, I can’t keep it in the house because I live amongst thieves, Nutella thieves.  It is one of those treats like Nestle Toll House cookies, they only happen every now and then because we can’t seem to control ourselves.  

K :: Kindness.  The kindness of others and the gift of sharing kindness.  There is freedom in kindness.

F :: Faithful Friends.  The force of Faithful friends.  Old friends.  New friends.  People I know who are there for me, day or night, come heck or high water.  They are faithful.

U :: Understanding.  I have the most wonderful husband in the world.  The last year has been challenging with me.  My health has not been it’s best and my husband has been most understanding.  My man has the patience of Job with me somedays. 

L :: Love. It conquers all fears, heals broken hearts and restores fallen relationships, making us whole again.   I thank God for the Love that is overflowing in my life.  I don’t deserve it, but, He pours it into my life anyway.

I am so thankful you took the time to read my heart of gratitude.  Be blessed. 

Now, Won’t you join us on our 30 day journey of giving God thanks for all the blessings He pours into our lives.  I am looking at the ordinary and considering it extraordinary!

From My Heart to Yours,
Mindy B.
Revelation 12:11

Head on over to see Brenda at Garden of Learning so that you can join us in showing Gratitude today. 

Don’t think you can do all 30 days?  Not to worry.  Just write as the Lord leads you.  Some days will be harder, but sharing with the world how thankful you are for this life God has given you is a Testimony we all like to read about.  Don’t have a blog?  Join Brenda on her Facebook page too, to share your gratitude https://www.facebook.com/myhomeschoolgarden 

Here’s a Tip:  To get you motivated, go ahead and open 7 days worth of pages [wherever you write your posts] and save them as Gratitude Challenge Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7. Then you can schedule what you have started, on your blog. I think you will find that you will be inspired to keep writing when you start your week with having the page already started.  Try it and see what happens! That’s how I’’m working it. Hehe!
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