God Bless You This Christmas

Allergy proof tree!🤣

Our Christmas branch holds so much meaning for me this year.

Isaiah 11:1

And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:

Oliver’s Lego Santa

My gorgeous mountains

In case y’all forgot what I look like!😅

Finally finished the kids’ crocheted Garfield characters….whew!

Christmas kisses from Moo Moo. ❤

Love and miss you all!! ❤🎅🎄🎁

Much love,

Viv ❤🤗

Dearly Beloved

I wanted to share a bit of happiness today: Last Saturday, August 3rd, my nephew and now brand new niece got married. Hooray!!👰🤵 The ceremony took place outside and everything was absolutely gorgeous. The event went well except for the fact that the minister got the times mixed up (they are so busy and rightly so) and was late so we sat there wondering what the hold up was. The viola and violin players did a great job continuing to play as if nothing was askew. I saw one muscian mouth to the other “again” and they just kept on playing. At last, much to our relief, the minister finally arrived and the wedding went on smoothly.

As we entered the ceremony there were fans with our program printed on them and bug repellant. So very smart and helpful as it was very humid! It was wonderful being able to attend and take part in the celebration.

My niece has Celiac Disease so the reception was catered by Zoe’s Kitchen which made almost all the food gluten free. I tried falafel for the first time……it was ok. 😁 (A bit of beans and a tad awful.) 😂 The gluten free ravioli was delectable. (My oldest daughter and I are still talking about how good it tasted.)

We had family fly in from California our native state. My parents are originally from San Francisco and had my brother there before my dad decided to move to Philadelphia and attend Seminary.

Here I am with my handsome nephew and darling new niece! Love, love, love them!!

They had popsicles at the reception provided by a vendor because of the heat which was an excellent idea!! My kids and my hubby and I sat inside where it was a bit cooler.

Here I am with my big brother! Love him tons, obviously.😍

My precious niece eating the yummy gluten free carrot cake she and her mom made. Can you see the sweetness in her angelic face? 🤗😍

Here are my four all cleaned up and polished. My heart nearly breaks as I look at my oldest two (on the right) because they’ve had to make up for all the times I’ve been unwell by running the household together. God is good though because they can cook and clean doing everything I do yet, I think even better! Xoxo

On the far left is my beautiful and cherished Mama. My beautiful Californian aunt “Auntie Jo” is on the right.

All the desserts were gluten free. I was naughty and had a chocolate chip cookie and four bites of cake. (I don’t eat much sugar because of blood sugar issues.) It was well worth it and I have no regrets. 🍰🥂

This picture turned out so well! I was so busy capturing it so I forgot to throw the flowers but isn’t this just great?!

I’m so very thankful we could be a part of the happy couple’s wonderful day! They are truly a blessing in my life and in many others lives too. Both are the sweetest, kindest, and most compassionate souls ever and I’m oh so thankful for my adorable family.🤗😄

Much love,

Viv 😃

Fun and Frugal

What does a person with limited funds, and energy do to get both her and her family ready for her beloved nephew’s wedding?

I’ve been scratching my head as to how to get a dress for my daughter and myself along with pants and a dress shirt for my growing 13.75 year old man-child. My hubby and youngest two were all set but as the wedding gets closer, I have been stressing over what to wear.

I’ve gained a bit of weight since I can’t exercise anymore the way I used to (Turbo Jam videos) but, when I tried on the only suitable dress I had for a wedding, it made me look as a marshmallow…….toasted marshmallow since the dress is brown. 😭

So, my family and I set out to our local thrift store with so much HOPE to find what we need and fast.

My beautiful daughter found a gorgeous pink A line dress with flowers that suits her well while my son found black Jockers slacks (do people still say that?) and a nice white button down dress shirt with a vibrant blue tie.

Thankfully, after trying on a handful of dresses and feeling a bit discouraged, I found a dark indigo blue sleeveless dress with some shimmery bling on the front from Kohls with the tags still on. The tag read $50 but I got it for $5! Ta da!! God provided as always and now I can feel less panicked about the fast approaching wedding and good about the clothes we were able to find.

As for a much much needed hair cut, I watched a few YouTube videos and taught myself how to cut and layer my own hair. I have cut my hair in the past and cut my entire family’s hair out of necessity. It saves a ton. Sometimes we get poor results but I think we are managing and it’s one less task on my over-worked (and underpaid) hubby.

The wedding is August 3rd and thankfully only about half an hour from my house. We are really excited about it…..my niece-to-be is darling and I loved her the minute we met. She and I also share the same birthday which I’m so delighted about and makes her even more special to me.

I’m so thankful God gave me the energy to clothing shop with my kids! It was the first time shopping together in years and felt so wonderful to be able to handle and enjoy it.

I’m getting stronger friends!! Praise God for today and also praise Him for the bad days because without them, the good days wouldn’t be so marvelous!

Much love,

Viv 🥂💗

Lovely Little Rascal

It took time but I was able to capture a sweet little hummingbird feeding at our feeder today. This may be a female. She’s such a clever quick little beauty isn’t she? I hope you can see her even though the big white play arrow is smack dab in the middle of it.

Have a lovely day everyone!

Much love,

Viv ❤

The Reading Road To Recovery

There are times when the body and mind are so weak and weary we need to soothe our hearts with light easy reads. Nothing heavy, nothing super intellectual, or challenging. Just simple goodness wrapped up in a favorite book with a puppy nearby and some lavendar tea. Sounds pretty good, huh?

When I was in phase two of my recovery, and no longer bedridden, but chair ridden, I stumbled upon my set of Mitford series that I hadn’t read in years.

As I traversed the pages of the delightful story of an Episcopalian Priest who lived for God and helping others through service, something magical happened. My mind shifted focus from the hard experience I was living in to the everday life of the small town folk of Mitford. I had light, happy, interesting things to entertain me, yet not too heavy for my struggling brain to process. It was a sunny little resort from the hard and broken to a mind more at ease and peace.

Sometimes light, simple, beautiful, peaceful thoughts are very healing to the mind and can bring healing especially with chronic illness or injury.

In Phillipians 4:8-9 God tells us what to think on, what to dwell on, and what to fill our minds with.

Philippians 4:8-9 King James Version

8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.


Filling my mind with peaceful, happy and restful thoughts has been a step in my healing process. Reading the Mitford books, looking at art, beauty, birds, flowers, and dwelling on thoughts of God are so very healing to my mind, body and spirit.

Here’s a glimpse of the fun, typical Mitford bantor from Jan Karon’s Mitford book called Light From Heaven:

“Three,” said Willie Mullis.

Willie stood at the kitchen door, bareheaded and mournful, holding forth a battered fedora containing the day’s egg inventory.

“Three’s all we need,” said Father Tim, reaching into the hat. “We thank you. Think the laying will pick up come spring?”

“Yessir.”

“Good! Think we’ll be having any more snow?”

“Nossir.”

“Your arthritis coming along a little better?”

“Yessir.”

“Looks like a nice, warm day. The temperature could soar into the high sixties, don’t you think?”

“Yessir.”

“Need any help at the barn?”

“Nossir.”

“If you do, just give me a call.”

“Yessir.”

He (Father Tim) put the brown eggs into a bowl on the table, observing them with satisfaction. With a little grated cheese, a tot of cream, a smidgen of onion. . .

“Was that Willie?” asked his wife, coming into the kitchen.

“Three eggs,” he said, pointing. “The laying will, of course, pick up come spring; we won’t be having any more snow; the temperature will probably be in the high sixties today; and his arthritis is improving.”

“My goodness,” she said, “I never get that sort of information from Willie. He’s a perfect chatterbox with you.”


Having read this delightfully fun book series was a great way to heal for me. My fifteen-year-old also enjoyed reading the books recently. She devoured all 13 books in 9 days (we don’t yet own the 14th)! I highly recommend finding the series if you haven’t already or maybe re-reading them again like I did. They are fun, light, and full of Biblical truths that actually run deep. And they, as my daughter would say, are “awesome!”

Reading scripture verses, and journaling has also become quite healing, as well as writing with a pen which heals my motor skills by working my right hand left brain connection.

Setting our thoughts on what is pure, lovely, noble, and true is an active exercise in and of itself to battle off negativity, anger, and other emotions which only stifle our joy and bring sorrow.

It’s amazing because in verse 9 of Phillipians 4, God says it will bring peace. How lovely! Just think, God whispers to us in His word, “think on THESE things.”

Mindfulness is a struggle for me. Fighting off all those negative thoughts that plague my broken brain is a battle. Yet, God is fighting, helping and working alongside to help guard my heart, mind and thoughts. He wants me to think on Him, His blessings, His truth and rest in His endless love.

His beauty is a wonderful thought to set my mind on each and every day.

Much love,

Viv 🤗🌼


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Easter Brings Hope

When I gaze out my dining room window, filling my eyes with the newness of spring, I feel hope. Each tiny flower delicate and quiet in it’s own beauty, fashioned by God’s careful eye. Each bird calling to it’s mate echoing songs of joy as the light shines anew. Each bunny hopping along, finding its way out of the warm burrow ready to explore. Each time my daughter, long haired and bright eyed finds a token of God’s creation to share in awe at it’s beauty. These gifts of hope, fresh and new as each day, easy to be taken for granted or overlooked, give so much hope. One day, I too will rise with my Savior, receiving a new, glorified body, nothing broken or amiss. I will be able to sing songs of praises unto Him, never getting tired or fatigued, breathless or weak. My strength will be restored but most importantly, I will be in constant fellowship amongst the saints and my Savior Jesus. Because He died, His gift of love to me, and rose again, I have eternal life. Life in heaven, free from sin, pain, and sorrow, will be infinitely more beautiful than the freshest, newest spring morning because He will make all things new. His miraculous resurrection conquered death and because He rose, I will one day rise again.

Happy and blessed Easter!!

Viv🌸

Something Beautiful

When we surrender to God, letting go of the dreams, aspirations and all that’s believed would bring happiness, in a sense it’s like a resigning to oneself. Like a tiny seed being carefully put in the ground, and seemingly forgotten. Covered up by the dirt, and remaining still in the cold, darkness, and dampened soil. Then, taking deep root into the soil, delving into the word of God, allowing the shoots of grace to form life into our souls. We become uncomfortable as we grow, but then after the Spirit waters us, we form a leaf, then a bud, and finally a flower that begins to slowly open, turning it’s face up towards the sun. It’s a living for Him which is the only way we can truly grow and transform into something beautiful. It’s because God plants us into the exact ground He has called us, and it’s only there we can grow.

Much love,

Viv 🌱