Courtship Journal and Keepsake

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Favorite Crafting and Hobby Web Sites

Posted on January 18, 2017 at 10:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Good Day,

I thought that since I mentioned indoor hobbies and activities in my last post, that I would share some of my favorite web sites for hobbies and crafting.

Stampin' Up: ; - this is my absolute favorite supplier of stamps and card making supplies. (I am currently a demonstrator and most of the cards on my 'A Bit About Me' page are made with their products.)

Blue Ridge Impressions: ; - this is family owned and operated, and is a great place to find Christian themed stamps and card making supplies.

Bits and Pieces: ; - a great supplier of jigsaw puzzles, brain teasers, and outdoor decor.

Mary Maxim: ; - supplies a variety of yarn, knitting, needlework projects, etc... and jigsaw puzzles.

Herrschners: ; - this is a company that I recently discovered, and am awaiting delivery of my first order. You can find yarn, knitting & needlework supplies, paint and art supplies, and jigsaw puzzles.

Don't forget Pinerest for all kinds of ideas....(can anyone really forget about Pinterest?)

HomeTalk: ; - I just discovered this site which claims to be 'the world's largest DIY community'....there are all kinds of ideas for indoor and outdoor home projects.

I hope that you can find something in here that you like! :D

Have a lovely and blessed day ~


Indoor Winter Hobbies

Posted on January 17, 2017 at 11:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Good Day!

We're smack in the middle of winter....some areas have lots of winter weather that keeps people inside.

Here on the Texas Gulf Coast, we don't have to deal with really intense winter weather events.

I do have a few activities for when the weather just doesn't cooperate.....I like to catch up on watching Christmas movies (that we recorded but didn't have time to watch in December) with my girls once they've completed their school work.

Another favorite of mine is jigsaw be honest, I can work on these any time of year (although that time is in short supply.)

Then, there is always card making, or a new home decor inspiration....again, these can be done anytime of year, but if you're stuck inside, why not indulge?  ;)

Let's not forget reading...........oh, all the lovely books that there are to read....happy sigh!

I have friend whose husband knits. He and his brothers grew up in an area that deals with lots of winter weather which prevents them from being outside. They all learned to knit!

What about you?

What activities do you enjoy during the winter months when it might be difficult to get outside?

Have a fun chat. Maybe share in some of your favorite activities with each other.

May your day be blessed and full of the Lord's presence ~


God Wants Our Sad

Posted on January 10, 2017 at 3:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Good Afternoon,

It's odd when I post twice in one day, let alone so close together, but I had to share this devotional with you.

It's by Esther Fleece, and it's over at FaithGateway.

Here is the link:

This is an excerpt from a book that she has written on the topic.

I have not read the book, but this excerpt is quite thought provoking. God doesn't want us to be 'fine' when we're not. He wants us to be real with each other, and with Him.

Thinking back years ago, I remember a young woman who brought tremendous life pressure upon herself because she just couldn't be real with people.

Truly, we would much prefer that people give us a real answer when we ask them how they're doing, right? Wouldn't we prefer to give a real answer when presented with that question?

Think about all that we're missing out on by not being real.

Go and read this article and think about the flow of blessings - giving and receiving that we could enjoy if we all decided to be real with each other.

In His Grace,


Happy New Year, 2017

Posted on January 10, 2017 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Hello All,

I am finally back at the computer.

It's been interesting around here the past several weeks with Christmas, New Year, and a 14th birthday for our younger daughter. I also received my new glasses (bifocals, progressive lenses...) just before Christmas.

I've been going crazy trying to read things - especially the computer screen and music (held in my hands while singing, or on the piano music rack).

My new glasses have much larger lenses than my old ones, and apparently that makes a huge difference to my eyes. They don't like having all that space to look through and anything that is about an arm's length away is a bit blurry (even though it's not supposed to be). My doc graciously ordered new lenses to help with this, but it wasn't a complete fix. My best option is to wear my old glasses when at the computer or piano, as they work really great for that, and I won't have to spend any more money. Growing older brings with it some unexpected challenges...sigh.

I have made some changes on the web site - the design theme is the biggest, and I think that I'll stick with this for a while and see how I like it.

May this new year hold many blessings for you and your family ~


Christmas 2016

Posted on December 21, 2016 at 8:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Christmas Greetings!

The most holy of days is almost here!

To listen to some of my favorite arrangements of Christmas music by the male vocal acappella group, Home Free, visit here:

This group is amazing - You won't be disappointed!!!

May your Christmas celebration be filled with the light, love, and joy of the Christ Child

~  Joyce

I'll leave you with the Christmas story from Luke 2:

The Birth of Jesus

2 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.

4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.  

Wisdom for Young Couples

Posted on December 16, 2016 at 10:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Hello All,

I just finished reading an article by Al and Lisa Robertson (of the Duck Dynasty Robertson clan) and wanted to share the link with you.

They give advice to young couples on how to keep their marriage relationship strong and protected.

Please spend a few minutes reading it here:

Have a lovely weekend as we prepare for our Christmas celebrations ~


Praying for Your Spouse

Posted on December 15, 2016 at 8:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Good Morning,

I just read an article over at Proverbs31 by Sharon Jaynes. It's about praying for your husband from head to toe....guys, you can read this and get the idea.

Here is the link:

Prayer makes such a difference in our lives - and the lives of the ones we hold in prayer.

"Pray without ceasing" (1Thessalonians 5:17)


Happy St. Nicholas Day!

Posted on December 7, 2016 at 12:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Happy St. Nicholas Day!!

Last week was a bit different....our internet access was down from early Monday morning through Friday afternoon.

Emails piled up. (And are quite piled up still.)

The web site was not updated.

No one died because of it! (Rather important to note this fact.)

A very good lesson for our girls. Truthfully, it was a  bit frustrating due to the lack of service and a huge lack of communication when contacting our provider, but it was more a frustration than anything else. I did get some other things done around the house - we have some lovely Christmas decorations adorning our home now :)

Do you know about St. Nicholas?

At our home, we celebrate St. Nicholas Day every December 6.

St. Nicholas was a REAL person!

Before bedtime on December 5, we all leave one shoe out on the floor in the living room. During the night, St. Nicholas visits (with assistance from the Mom) and leaves some small gifts and candy (usually of the chocolate variety) in - and around - everyone's shoes.

This is a great tradition we learned from my brother-in-law and sister-in-law. This could be something that you might think about doing with your family some day.

It allows the focus at Christmastime to be just where it belongs - on the Christ Child!

We still exchange gifts at Christmas, but we're exchanging gifts because we are inspired to do so by the gift of the Son from the Father.

Here is a link about St. Nicholas, the Patron Saint of Children, so that you can learn more about him:

May you have a blessed week as you plan for Christmas celebrations and time with family.

Celebrate Jesus....the first and true gift of Christmas ~


The Green Ember - Book Review

Posted on November 23, 2016 at 4:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Good Morn -

Finally, another book review - Just in time for Christmas gift lists!!

This week I had the lovely pleasure to read The Green Ember by S.D. Smith and Zach Franzen.....It's an adventure / fantasy story that will engage boys and girls, delighting all ages as the story unfolds. I'm really thinking that I need to order the sequel - and the prequel for my Kindle....just for me ;)

It would be a fantastic story to use for a read-a-loud to be enjoyed by the entire family. (Parents and older children can take turns reading aloud - just don't get caught reading ahead!)

The story is filled with action and adventure, trust and betrayal, and rabbits.... These are no ordinary rabbits... they talk, sew, paint, cook, sing, tell stories, and swordfight - you won't want to put the book down!

Main characters are rabbit siblings Heather and Picket, and enemy wolves with a few hawks thrown in. First in the series is The Green Ember (2014) to which Ember Falls (2016) is the sequel. The prequel is The Black Star of Kingston (2015) which takes place 100 years prior to The Green Ember.

There is plenty of action, and (this is just a tiny spoiler alert) I've got to read Ember Falls to find out what has happened to Heather and Picket's mother, father, and baby brother Jack.

You'll have a jolly good time reading this book - and the series  :D  I imagine!!

Enjoy spending some time reading these books this winter  ~


Thanksgiving 2016

Posted on November 22, 2016 at 7:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Good Morning,

Thanksgiving is almost here. I know you're busy so I will keep it short.

Have you shared with each other what you are thankful for this year?

Don't forget to think about the tough situations..... the heartbreaking difficult as it is to find something positive in the negative, don't forget to give thanks for those things, too.

May your Thanksgiving be blessed,