Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Unexpected Christmas Card

Every blog should have a catchy Christmas post. I intended to title mine "10 No-No's of Sending Christmas Cards". It would have started something like this:

1. No-no #1. Don't address your card to "The Family Name". For example, we received a card addressed to THE STAFFORD FAMILY. Before we even opened it to see who sent it, my husband said, as he was reading the envelope and shaking his head, "They don't even know our names!". I admit it does seem a bit impersonal to send a greeting to a household without addressing the individual persons.

2. No-no #2. Don't sign every card you send with a coined expression. Imagine this. You go to the mailbox to find a Christmas card from a friend you haven't talked to since last Christmas. YOU ARE EXCITED to hear from them until you open the card to read....Christmas Blessings, signed xxxxx. You wonder if your friendship really means anything to them or at least that's what crossed my mind.

Yes, that's how my list was starting to come together until yesterday when Steve found this in the mailbox.

An envelope from a return address and person neither one of us knew. More suspiciously, addressed using my complete formal name. I encouraged Steve to open it. He found this:
A beautiful Christmas card with Mary, Baby Jesus and scripture on it. Who could it be from? Puzzled, Steve opened the card to find this:

Inside the card held the explanation:
It said:

Dear Mrs. Stafford and Family,
     I have given much thought to the auto accident that occurred on April 11th of this year with your daughter, Sloane. (If the accident report is correct) I think there may have been some shared responsibility for the accident.  The check enclosed should hopefully cover any responsibility that may have been mine.   Sincerely, _______________

WOW! It took me a minute to remember the accident because Sloane has been hit five times this year, no fault of her own. She was hit by an uninsured driver that she had to pay for, this accident which this gentleman declared was not his fault that she paid for, a minor bump that didn't get reported and was not necessary to repair, a hit and run that didn't get fixed and finally an accident where the other person's insurance paid!

This random act of kindness is refreshing to my faith!  I will call this gentleman, thank him and extend our sincere appreciation for his thoughtfulness. The accident did cost us $1500 to repair Sloane's car. I'll also tell him he's forgiven. We forgave him the minute the stress of the accident subsided. Christmas Blessings to him! I'm glad he's free from his burden just in time for Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all,
The Happy Handicap

Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmastime, an original poem

Merry Christmas to all,
The Happy Handicap

Friday, December 19, 2014

Easy Appetizer for The Office Potluck

So you need a quick, easy appetizer for the office potluck. I have just the things you need to make a 2-minute Dip that will make you the talk of the office! All you need is one 8 oz. pack of cream cheese, Three Onion Rub and a Garlic and Brie Baker. Where do you get the rub and the baker?        


Simply place the cream cheese in the Brie Baker. Sprinkle 1 to 2 tbsp. Three Onion Rub onto the cheese. Season to your tastes using as much or as little rub as you like! Pop into the microwave covered on HIGH for two minutes. Remove, stir and serve with your favorite party crackers! Delicious!

You might also like a small bamboo spoon to stir with and the bamboo platter to serve your jaw-dropping magic dip on....Make this easy appetizer for the office potluck just minutes before serving in the office microwave. Too convenient, too easy, 2 minutes!

Star of the party,
The Happy Handicap

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

What Will You Give?

what can you give?
Tis the giving season!  Matthew 2 tells us the story of the wise men. Verse 11 says "And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshiped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh." 

One verse gives three examples of things we should do year round for the Christ child. Bow or fall down before him in reverence, worship him and bring him gifts. I wonder why we only reference this verse at Christmas? I want to focus on the fact the wise men brought him gifts. Think about the question: What will you give? 

Often times when we think about giving to Jesus it involves someone else; taking a meal to a shut-in, visiting someone in the hospital, giving time or money to missions or building an access ramp at someone's home. In the wise men example, it wasn't recorded that they gave Mary, Joseph or anyone else gifts. We are not told they offered the couple a camel to get to Nazareth or took care of Baby Jesus while they ate a nice quiet meal on them. The Bible specifically says "they presented unto him gifts".

What will you give? Please note every time you give something to God, you always get something back. The wise men were warned in a dream not to return to Herod. God saved their lives. The woman with an issue of blood gave Jesus her faith and she was healed. The disciples gave Jesus five loaves and two fishes and they fed a hungry multitude. Jesus was given water and turned it into wine for the wedding guests. Give him a sinful black heart and you'll get it back cleansed whiter than snow.

I accepted my birth defect at an early age. I gave it to Jesus completely when I quit hiding it and started using it for his glory. What can you give him? Something personal to you. Bitterness from being wronged? Sickness that doctors have told you can’t be helped? Fear of your finances? Open wounds from a failed relationship? After I shared this message, a lady told me she was giving him her food addiction. Amen! I know he can't wait to give her something awesome in return! Over the next few days until Christmas, think about what you can give him. Write it down. Wrap it. Put it under your tree. Open it on his birthday. Present it to him and celebrate a special time of giving.

Merry Christmas,
The Happy Handicap

If you'd like to share something you will give him, please leave a comment!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Easy and Inexpensive Strawberry First Birthday Party

Happy 1st Birthday to my granddaughter Lisette Arabella! She's sweetly Lissy to us. She's a beauty with strawberry blonde hair, big round blue eyes and a spirited personality that leaves me shaking my head while trying to hold back a smile. I love this little girl. Her mom is my daughter Sydnee. We wanted her first birthday to be as special as she is, yet easy and inexpensive. Mom picked a strawberry theme and Operation First Birthday Party commenced. If you like our ideas, you can do it too! Here's how with approximate costs and where to find the stuff you'll need.

DECORATIONS. Mom used fabric to make streamers. She tore them for a shabby chic look. They are her signature design even using them at her wedding for the cake background.

You will need 1/4 to 1/2 yard of 3 to 4 coordinating fabrics for streamers. She used a Strawberry Shortcake fabric, olive green and beige chevron, pink and white polka dot and pink and white chevron. Cost $10 Be sure to use coupons for fabric at Hobby Lobby or JoAnn's. Streamers were draped from the light fixture over the food table as shown and hung from the curtain rods in the dining area. Sydnee used chalk and a small decorative chalkboard for Lisette's name as seen in the picture. Cost $5 You can find all these supplies at Hobby Lobby or JoAnn's.
The Birthday Girl's high chair was decorated in the same fabrics as the streamers as seen in the pic. Buy about 1/4 yard extra of the two fabrics you want to use to decorate the high chair. Cost already included above.  We try to reduce costs by clipping coupons also.
FAVORS. Helium balloons courtesy of Auntie Scronge were tied to the food table legs. The balloons doubled as decorations and favors. Young party guests were given a balloon to take home as a favor. Kids love balloons! Cost $10 from a local grocery floral department.
SMASH CAKE. Lisette doesn't eat sugar. I was challenged to plan food with low or zero sugar content. I found this adorable cake on pinterest and recreated it. I used a Wilton 4" cake pan I ordered from Amazon for $6 to reproduce the small layers. My icing is 1/2 cup real heavy whipping cream whipped with 1 tbsp. powdered sugar. The layers are Duncan Hines Classic White with a smidge of Wilton Christmas Red for the bottom layer, a smidge of Wilton Pink for the middle and 3 drops of liquid food coloring for the green. A white chocolate (colored with pink) dipped strawberry on top with a drizzle of yellow white chocolate. Cost $10 (including pan cost) I had all the coloring on hand so I don't have a cost for them. You don't have to use Wilton, it's just what I had previously purchased. What do you think?
smash cake
FOOD. Food is the biggest expense. Pink Princess Punch I'm serving above was a hit with everyone. I used this recipe. I bought a cute water bottle label on Etsy. Cost $2.50 for label file. I had the label paper on-hand.
strawberry labels
Strawberry Shortcake for all Adults! I used fresh strawberries and Classic White Duncan Hine Cake Mix as the shortcake baked in cupcake tins. I used 1 to 1 1/2 cupcakes per cup with about 1/4 cup strawberries each cup. I whipped more cream from the recipe above layering in the cups with cake and strawberries. 1 bag of frozen strawberries and 1 cup sugar pureed together made the strawberry sauce which was drizzled into each cup just before serving. The perfect touch! Cost $35-$40 depending on price of strawberries.

shortcake cups
A plate of white chocolate covered strawberries fit the theme perfectly!
white chocolate covered strawberries
THE OUTFIT.  Onesie from Etsy. Hard decision with so many to choose from.  Simply pick the one you love the best! Search "first birthday onesie" and so many different themes will come up. Cost $26 including embroidery Lisette's Grandnan (my mom) made the Strawberry Shortcake skirt. I'm sure you can find one on Etsy or maybe sew one yourself. And finally....
strawberry shortcake skirt
THE SHOES. Red Baby Converse from Cost $24
baby tennis shoes
Total Cost Estimate for this Easy and Inexpensive Strawberry First Birthday Party is $150 - $200 for 25 guests or $8 per person. Such a SUCCESS!

One Tired Tammy,
The Happy Handicap

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Is There Really Peace on Earth?

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
God is not dead nor doth he sleep! 
Peace on earth. 
Goodwill to men. 
The bells are ringing. 
Does anybody hear them? 

Please listen to this song "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" by Casting Crowns. Click the link in haste just like the wise men went to find Jesus. Turn it up LOUD and really take it in.  Click replay at least a dozen times! Soak it up!

Every time I listen to the song I get cold chills just thinking about what Jesus rescued us from. Let me try to describe what I feel when I listen intently to the song, eyes closed. I'm transported to the middle of an Old English countryside with a beautiful church in the foreground. The reflection of the warm glow of candlelight flickering in the windows bounces off the winter landscape. I'm aware of a choir at my side angelically repeating "Peace on Earth", "Peace on Earth". The heavy clang of the church bells begin to ring. My head lifts toward the sky to feel delicate snowflakes trickle down from the heavens softly, gently touching my face. As the snowflakes fall, I feel the pure white cleansing power of Jesus almost as if he's standing right above me touching the air with his finger making snowflakes just for me. The music moves me to raise my hands and extend my arms up to praise Him. The One the bells are ringing for!  I'm light as air. Any moment, I may start floating into the atmosphere of cloudy white fluff. 

Oh, the wonderment! 
Is this peace on earth? 
The song ends and I return to myself but not before I've lingered in his glory wanting to stay there forever.

What does peace on earth mean to you...personally? Everybody wants peace on earth for the planet that spins around daily but what about for yourself? Jesus said in Luke 12:51-52 "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you , Nay, but rather division: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two and two against three." What's this division Jesus talks about? He's talking about peace in your earth, your body, your tabernacle, your soul. The peace that only comes from Him. Accepting Jesus as Savior divides us from eternal damnation and brings us eternal peace.

John 14:27 Jesus says "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." 
Not troubled 
Not afraid 

So, is there really peace on earth? Yes! How do you find it? Accept that sweet little Jesus boy that was born in a manger as Lord of your life. The song "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" will take on new meaning. Can you hear the bells ringing? Peace on Earth. Like a choir singing. Peace on Earth. Like the angels singing. Peace on Earth. Goodwill to men.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote the poem in 1863 that was later set to music in 1874 during a desolate time in his life.  His son was killed in war and his wife died in an accidental fire. The bells on Christmas day gave him renewed hope. In 2008, Mark Hall of Casting Crowns recorded his own arrangement of the song which is heard in the link above. God bless you this Christmas season. May you hear and embrace the message of the bells. 


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Will you be rewarded?

december host rewards
I became a Pampered Chef Consultant in August. I love my new business despite almost cutting the tip of my finger off at my first show! Who wouldn't? I set my own hours, order lots of stuff with other people's money and reward my hosts. Best of all, I get paid for having so much fun. This isn't a plug for my business, okay, maybe it is but God certainly gave me a message this week through The Pampered Chef!

This is how the Pampered Chef Host Opportunity works. I coach you on several things; number of people to invite to your show, getting outside orders, what to cook at your show to get the most sales and how many sales you need to get the rewards you want. The larger your sales, the higher the rewards. The most important thing to understand is you have to have $200 in sales to get rewarded. No exceptions!

The last 3 months have been very interesting as I've watched how some hosts are very eager, work hard and exceed their expectations of rewards. I've had some hosts sell just over $200 to barely get the reward. I've had one host that didn't meet the $200. Instead of not rewarding her, I purchased the dollar amount she needed to get her reward.

The Bible says in Proverbs 24:14 "So shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul: when thou hast found it, then there shall be a reward, and thy expectation shall not be cut off." Here's the Pampered Chef for the soul message.  We host our own soul. Ministers and others coach us how to get the reward. We know the reward requires the forgiveness of Jesus. No exceptions! Some will give their whole heart and life to him for the greatest reward. Some will give him their sins to receive forgiveness narrowly escaping but still get the reward. Then sadly, some will totally disregard the coaching, oral and written, missing the reward forever. We can't obtain the reward alone. We will always come up short. Jesus gave the amount we can't purchase. Will you be rewarded?

Do you like to be pampered? I can pamper you with kitchen tools. Want the ultimate pamper?  A reward of salvation from Jesus! He has all the right spiritual tools to cook you well done. He is the recipe for reward and great expectation!

Be pampered,
The Happy Handicap

Friday, November 28, 2014

10 Ways You Can tell You Are A Senior Citizen

I received my AARP sign-up kit in the mail last year when I turned 50. I guess that officially makes me in the senior pool agewise. I don't mind being more mature at all, do you? Here are 10 funny ways you can tell you are a senior citizen without trying to remember the year you were born:

1. The neighbors can hear what TV show you're watching three houses down. If your volume is 40+, it may be time to look into a hearing aid.

2. You start your automatic coffee maker to come on 10 minutes AFTER you plan to get up because it will take you at least 10 minutes to get out of bed and find your way to the kitchen.

3. You have a pair of magnifying glasses in every room of the house and one pair on your person and you still can't find your glasses.

4. You need to do laundry more often due to annoying sneeze peeing and the fact you can't seem to eat anything without spilling it down the front of your shirt.

5. You stop to look at that odd person you saw in the mirror and for the first minute or so you don't recognize yourself.


6. Your clothes begin to resemble your parents. If you're a girl, you need sunglasses to keep from squinting choosing an outfit from your closet. You know how mom loves the shiny stuff. If you're a guy, you need a belt to hold up the jeans your booty used to support and an extra long shirt to hide your belly.

7. You begin to floss more because now you realize these teeth need to last you a lifetime.

8. You finally don't need to shave your legs every day. YES! My mom always told me leg hair would stop growing when I got old. She was right!

9. There's a down side to less leg hair....more facial hair. This wouldn't be a problem if I were a dude. I now hear my children say to me what I used to say to my mom "MOM, I've got to pluck those black hair out of your chin!"

10. You have to re-read numbers 1 - 9 because you really didn't understand them the first time you read it. The old gray mare and stallion just ain't what they used to be.

Here's a bonus one:

11. Black Friday makes you think of Jesus instead of shopping because you're closer to meeting him.

old people
Blessed 365 to be 55,
The Happy Handicap

p.s. I hope no senior citizens are offended reading this blog. I feel your joint pain, go to rooms in my house then wonder why I'm there and genuinely cherish folks who are wiser than me!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Why Thanksgiving?

I saw this on a church sign somewhere last week. So true! If you need help this Thanksgiving or any I saw this on a church sign somewhere last week. So true! If you need help this Thanksgiving or any day, seek God. Ask him to help you. He will!

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Colossians 3:15 We have so much to be thankful for. May every day be Thanksgiving in our hearts! 

Thanking God for his blessings,
The Happy Handicap

, seek God. Ask him to help you. He will!

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

5 Promises You Can Count On

broken promises
Think about the last time someone promised you something. Did they keep their promise? Did they break their promise? How did their promise make you feel? Are you tired of promises not being kept by your family, friends, boss, co-worker or even yourself? Does this egg depict your image of promises? Broken!

You can count on the promises of God...every time! I've listed five of my favorites of the MANY promises of His Word. It may help to memorize these for reassurance when others neglect to carry out their promises.
  1. God will never leave you nor forsake you. Hebrews 13:5 
  2. God will give you rest from a heavy heart. Matthew 11:28
  3. God will save you and your household. Acts 16:31
  4. God will make your enemies your footstool. Matthew 22:42
  5. God will give you what you pray for, if you believe. Matthew 21:22

A promise is a serious vow of your character. Broken promises make you untrustworthy. If you think about it, just being asked to "promise" may be a sign you've let someone down already. Be careful making promises to people. A fulfilled promise may not always be remembered but a broken promise will never be forgotten!

Keeping my promises,
The Happy Handicap

Leave me a comment and let me know what your favorite promise of all time is!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

One times Zero Equals Zero

baby with bible verse
Our Sunday School teacher asked us to find and read John 3:16 in class this week. I know most of us could recite it by heart. I could. I marveled at just how many people in the world could recite that verse. I was disheartened when I had no clue about the next verse the teacher wanted read. My mind wandered from one place to another. I found myself in third grade standing up while reciting...
2 x 1 = 2
2 x 2 = 4
2 x 3 = 6

...and so on. I required my daughters to stand up and recite their multiplication tables at home. The best way to learn them is through memorization. I know this is not a requirement in classrooms currently. I think it should be though. Why? Because it helps kids and adults throughout their lives with everyday tasks. I also memorized a poem that starts 30 days hath September. I still use this poem to remind myself how many days are in each month. I can also recite all 50 states by singing Fifty Nifty United States! Memorization is useful.

I imagined my teacher being God and instead of the multiplication tables, he asked me to recite as much of his Word as I could including where they are found in his Book. Wow! I think I said five correctly...maybe. I tried not to open my mouth or think something like "Can you give me something easy please?" Psalm 119:11 says "Thy word have I hidden in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." I know a lot of God's Word but not precisely, can't recite it or tell you where it's at in the book. Would it help me throughout my lifetime if I memorized it? Absolutely! My third grade teacher wasn't satisfied with "close" or "I just missed one or two". We had to say our multiplication tables without fail, all 12 of them.

I doubt God is satisfied with my lack of importance I devote to hiding his Word in my heart. Is he pleased with yours? If we start today and learn one verse per month or week, 1 x 1 = 1, 1 x 2 = 2, 1 x 3 =3. If we don't start today, one times zero equals zero.

Hiding his Word,
The Happy Handicap

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Best Election Results 2014

election results the sweet sound of silence! The campaigns are ended. The phone calls and commercials are over. Georgia is an election state this year for some big races; Senate, House and Gubernatorial. We received so many campaign calls my eyes got tired of reading the caller id to not answer the phone.  I voted. The counts are not final as I'm writing this but I've got high hopes for good results.

People scare me, especially when making decisions. Humans can make some really bad choices. Remember Adam and Eve? What about John 18:39-40, the Trial of Jesus? The Bible says, (this is Pilate speaking to the people) "But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews?" Then cried they all again, saying, "Not this man, but Barabbas." The next words in the scripture are key to the choices we make, which says "Now Barabbas was a robber."  The people chose a robber over a man who did nothing wrong! Our sin nature in full bloom.

Let's turn our attention from the election of The House and Senate to the election of our house or soul. 2 Peter 1:10-11 says "Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your peace calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fail: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."  We are candidates in our own election. Jesus makes house calls and the campaign contributions are enormous!  Free trip to heaven without taxation, free pardon and parole for every mistake you've made and you can eat from his table whenever you want. When you are the candidate and receive your "peace calling", you'll surely want to answer the call. You won't need caller id. Jesus will identify himself when he calls. For the best results possible, elect Jesus as your Savior. Please hurry, time is running out. Make your choice before the polls close.

Yes to Jesus,
The Happy Handicap

I'd love to hear from you. Click on the "No comment" link and leave me a word or two!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Horror Stories from The Bible

BOO! It's Halloween week. Did I scare you? A lot of people are watching scary movies and seeking thrills from things that go bump in the night this week. I don't like scary movies. I've never watched a Friday the 13th movie. The music is too scary for me! I can hear those repeated, monotone notes screeching in my head as I'm writing this. I've never understood the draw to haunted houses, scary movies or Halloween in general. I took my kids trick-or-treating, we got dressed up and begged for candy! Still, there is something very sinister about the origins of All Hallow's Eve. I often wonder why people don't just read a Bible on Halloween if they want to be frightened. Now here's some scary stuff...

Luke 16. The story of Lazarus and the rich man. Lazarus was a beggar who laid at the gate of a rich man wishing to be fed with the crumbs that fell from the rich man's table. The beggar and the rich man died. Lazarus was carried to Abraham's bosom and the rich man was buried. The Bible says in verses 23-24 speaking of the rich man, In hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. The rich man begged Abraham to allow him to warn his brothers not to come to hell and Abraham said "They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them."

Matthew 7. The story of Rotten Fruit. Jesus explains we can identify his followers by their fruit or good deeds. Verse 21-23 says "Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in they name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then I will profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

SCARY! This is only two stories. There are more just as scary! There are more just as wonderful too; to the true believer. Biblical horror stories are true. They have already happened or will happen soon. Jason's victims were unknowing, unwilling participants in the movies. If you wake up in hell like the rich man, it will be because you willingly participated in unrepented sin. Don't become part of an eternal horror story. The pay is not good, it's extremely hot and there's no popcorn or Coke

Happy Halloween ya'll,
The Happy Handicap

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Is Jesus Worth Dying For?

Would you agree Jesus died for us? He thinks we're worth it! Soldiers willingly fight and die for our freedom. Are we worth it? Soldiers think so. Here's a question to consider. Is Jesus worth dying for? You might think Jesus would never ask us to die for him. We don't need to die for him, he's God! Why would we ever need to die for him? I'm glad you asked.

Paul states in Corinthians 15:31 "I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily."  Paul is not talking about a physical death. He is referring to "dying to self". Becoming a new creature is not optional in Christian living, it is a requirement. Galatians 5:24 says "And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts." Romans 12:1 says it like this "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

That seems contradictory. How can we live and die too? Here is a simple example. Every day I have a choice. I can do what Tammy (my flesh) wants to do or I can choose to die and do what God wants me to. I can listen to Tammy or I can listen to God's spirit for direction. Choosing to die means being obedient and letting Jesus live anew through me. The Bible speaks of "lukewarm" followers in Revelation 3.  "Lukewarm" is a symptom of unwillingness to die to self and live for Christ. You cannot accomplish newness of life or salvation without dying for Christ first.

Is Jesus worth dying for? Do you want eternal life in heaven? Yes? Then, you better believe it! Jesus is worth dying for! Death to self is not an option for Christians. It is a choice for eternal life.

Please leave me a comment with your thoughts. Have you ever considered that not only did Jesus die for us but we must also die to receive him?

My best,
The Happy Handicap

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Do you feel like a disciple?

If David is a man after God's own heart then Peter is a man after mine! Peter reminds me we all fail and make mistakes. I'm feel like a Peter most days. Are you a Peter too?

In Matthew 22, here comes Jesus walking on the water. The disciples in the boat thought he was a spirit and were afraid. Peter pipes up "Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water." Jesus said "Come." Peter walked on the water toward Jesus. Peter paid more attention to the wind around him than the Savior in front of him! He began to sink and cried for Jesus to save him. Jesus caught him saying "O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?" When they were back in the boat, the winds ceased.

Yep, I'm definitely feeling like Peter. I get distracted by things Jesus has full control of, cry out to him when my faith should believe his promises and then, I wonder why I ever doubted when He calms my storm. Poor Peter. He told Jesus he would never forsake him and later denied he even knew who he was, not once but three times. Jesus knew all these things about Peter and still changed his name from Simon to Peter which means "rock". Peter made a lot of messes but he was still instrumental in starting the church of the living God.

Peter's life shows us God is faithful to forgive. He sees our potential more than our faults.  Peter reminds us Jesus' disciples were humans, just like us, who put their trust in a Savior.  Peter was a friend, follower and disciple of Jesus. Am I a Peter? Are you a Peter? I sure hope so!

Can't walk on water,
The Happy Handicap

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

How to Decorate Cookies for Halloween

I started my own business with The Pampered Chef in August 2014. I'm so excited to be with this awesome company. I have known my Director for years. She's such a sweet person. I love working with her. My first month my commission check was $600 (for maybe 10-12 hours of work), I won the Stir Fry Set ($169), got $200 Pampered Chef Dollars to spend on products, a necklace and charm, numerous recognition and made new friends! I've never been happier working. I can show you how to have this much fun too! Start your own business today for $99. Join my team here.

I digress. That had nothing to do with decorating cookies! Here's the info you're looking for...

Get caught in a web of delicious decorating with a technique that’s perfect to use on the All-Occasion Cookie. Just frost the cookies with white icing then draw a swirl pattern on top with black-tinted icing, starting in the center and working outward. Using the tester end of the Cake Tester & ReleasingTool, start at the center point and drag it outward through the icing to the edge of the cookie. Repeat this process around the entire cookie until you weave your web.

The perfect cookie icing technique (this makes enough for about 3 dozen cookies): Whisk ¾ cup milk, ½ cup plus 1 tbsp light corn syrup and 1 tsp Double-StrengthVanilla in a large mixing bowl. Add 10 cups powdered sugar and whisk until smooth. Add more milk or powdered sugar 1 tbsp at a time if icing is too thick or too thin. Place ½ cup of icing in a separate bowl and mix in ½ tsp black food coloring. Transfer tinted icing to the Decorator Bottle with writing tip.
Place cookies on a Stackable Cooling Rack with waxed paper underneath to catch drippings. Dollop a Medium Scoop-sized amount of white icing onto each cookie and allow it to spread. Immediately create the web with black icing using the technique described above.

For more than a dozen more Halloween treat ideas, visit my Pinterest page "Pampered Chef Halloween Ideas".

Have fun my little pretties,
The Happy Handicap

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

How Disney's FROZEN Teaches Us to Love Each Other

disney's frozen
We took four generations to see Disney's Frozen on Ice this past weekend in Nashville, TN.

The show was great! The music was awesome and an ice rink really sets the mood! Before we left, we were frozen. The trip was well worth the minimal discomfort though. The sweet ending just makes you feel good. Kudos to my mom for bringing a fleece wrap.

If you've seen the movie, you'll understand that "Everyone is a bit of a fixer upper..." If you haven't seen the movie, watch this video.  I missed the powerful message of the song "Fixer Upper" the first and second time I watched the movie. The song sank in this weekend.

Jesus sings this song to everyone of us. "You can fix this fixer upper with a little bit of love." It's so true. We all have flaws, shortcomings and imperfections; sinners. The only thing that can bring us together is love. We all make bad choices. We all need each other. Love brings out our best!

I John 4:8 says "He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love." Jesus is our fixer upper. Psalm 57:7 says "My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise." If you're thinking about giving up on someone, DON'T! Simply love them more! Jesus doesn't give up on us. He understands we need a little fixing up. Because ......

The only fixer upper fixer
that can fix a fixer upper is

Everyone is worth melting for!
With a warm heart,
The Happy Handicap

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Diet or Lifestyle?

So many people in my hometown have been on a diet craze or a lifestyle" change with a certain program. I'll admit I'm a member of the program too but haven't been a loyal follower. Does this sound familiar in our walk with God too? I belong to Him but I'm not a faithful follower?

Here's some brief comparisons between a diet for the body and a diet for the soul/spirit:

Overweight is bad for the body. Overweight or weighted down with burden and care are also bad for the soul.

Excessive fat and sugar are bad for our bodies. They cause diabetes, weight gain, heart disease and high blood pressure.  Eating unhealthy, sinful, spiritual food causes strife, envy, discord and separation from God.
  • Eating bad food for the body adds weight and manifests in your appearance. Do you get pimples when you eat chocolate or dark circles under your eyes when you drink cola?
  • Same thing happens to our spirit when we continue to sin.  Smiles turn into frowns, politeness turns to rudeness and your spirit dries up or dehydrates from the lack of Living Water.

Body mass index (BMI) measures height and weight to calculate an optimum state for our body.  I think someone should create an SMI or soul mass index which measures how our spirits measure up.  We could use Galatians 5:22-23 as our measuring stick.

 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,   23Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

We can’t look in the mirror and see our health statistics.  A doctor has to measure our blood pressure, glucose, iron levels, cholesterol and so on. But I'll guarantee a bad SMI is written all over our faces. People can see if Christ is living in us by our fruits.  Do you display love, joy and peace?  Do you offer longsuffering, gentleness and goodness?

We know when we should visit a doctor. Why do we put it off? We put it off doing because it will cost us something.  It’s the same way with our Christian lives, it costs us some discomfort to live for Christ.  It’s easier to say yes and eat the poison!

Doesn't It feel good to step on the scale and be rewarded for a job well done.  "You lost 3 lbs" is sweet to the ear and encouraging to the organs.  Your heart smiles, your liver says whew and your kidneys thank you for keeping them wet!  All of a sudden, we are glad we didn't eat the Oreos or the ice cream.  God pats us on the back too when we follow him and his ways. I love it when I get blessed by God.  It’s better than weight loss!  

Remember this:  Christianity is not a diet! It is not something that is just followed when you need to see results.  Christianity is a lifestyle. It must be lived every day because you are the result!

Do you feel weighted down? Let Jesus lighten your load!

Overweight but not weighted down,
The Happy Handicap

Saturday, September 27, 2014

An "Allergy" Word from our Family

made up language
Welcome to fall allergy season! I'm not sure what is in the air but my sinus holes feel like they've had a wedge driven into them. How are you feeling?. My granddaughter had her first unwell baby doctor visit Monday. Ten months without an ear infection or runny nose. That's impressive. I'm hoping that means her immune system is a good one. Her mom, my husband and my daughter are sick with it too. I worry most about my husband with his already compromised respiratory problems. Please say a pray for him.

Allergies even affect poor ole Herm dog. Steve gave him a steroid shot this week. Seems like every spring and fall he scratches off the hair from his eyebrows after a few hour-long romps in the hay field. See the white patches on his eyes and nose where his hair is coming out. Such a sweet puppy!
dog scratching out hair
My dad's side of our family has respiratory issues. We call it the Parker Curse. My grandfather and two uncles passed with respiratory failure and my aunt passed with lung cancer, all on my dad's side. I've always had severe allergies myself along with many other cousins that suffer like me.
allergy season
I came across our word of the week when visiting with my dad's brother Leonard or Lent as we called him. It's pronounced the way it is written "As-Me". I stopped by his house and ask him how he's feeling and he always replied "My asme's killing me!" Asthma is no laughing matter for folks who have it. Lent was right. His asme took him to the pearly gates almost five years ago. So now, I affectionately refer to asthma as asme in honor of my Uncle Lent. May you rest in peace sweet soul.

If you or your family members suffer from asthma, here are 14 tips to prevent asthma attacks that may help prevent a life-threatening event. Leave me a comment and let me and others know what helps your allergies or things to do to prevent serious effects of asthma.

Breathe freely,
The Happy Handicap

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Frantic Chef

Exciting news! I started a business last month. I agreed to sell products, do cooking shows and represent for The Pampered Chef.
Like all excited consultants, I was ecstatic when a cousin of mine contacted me to have a show...unsolicited!  Her real estate office is 40 miles from my house but, what the hay, I'm in business to sell and I'm there! My Mom went with me to help and take care of my 10 month old granddaughter. Due to the commute time, I had to leave before her mom picked her up. All is well.

12 guests rsvp'd. I'm a bit nervous but I've got this. When we arrived, only 3 guests were there (because they worked in the real estate office). They listened to my presentation from their office chairs, sometimes listening, sometimes working at their computers. I couldn't figure out whether to cook or not because two ladies said they weren't staying to eat. I had one lady though, intent on everything that I was doing so I decided to cook Pesto Vegetable Medley just for her. I'm showing off our spiral and slice which makes beautiful spiraled veggies. See..

pampered chef spiral and slice

This one lady was so interested in what I'm doing and I'm trying to answer her questions while I'm spiraling. I'm not sure why I laid my spiral and slice down but I picked up one of our forged cutlery knives to cut red pepper. Bad idea. Bad, bad idea!
bandaged finger

The next thing I know I'm bleeding from chopping a sliver of my finger and fingernail off! It bleed and bleed and bleed. My host, Jenny took me around the corner to an internal doctor to see if they could stop the bleeding. I was so thankful and still amazed that Dr. Kim put hydro chloride on my finger to stop the bleeding, cleaned the wound, put a band-aid on it and didn't charge me a penny! He also gave me some great advice. He said "Now, when you get home don't put no natural remedy like cow dung on that cut." I said "Well, if I see my dad anytime soon, he'll want me to douse it in diesel fuel." My dad swears by diesel fuel to heal any cut! We left the doctor's office and went back to cooking!

Turns out my accident wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it was or as it hurt. Here's a pic of my finger one week later. You really can't even tell its cut. I think everything will grow back just like it was. My director, Melodie told me to be sure to keep my fingers tucked.....after the fact! I said I wasn't using the knife again unless I get invited to a luau and need to gut a pig! I didn't use any cow dung or diesel fuel. I did use a natural honey product on it though.

finger slice

I was supposed to be pampering Jenny but she actually pampered me! I was just a bit frantic for my first show. Good news! I had another show 3 days later with about 15 guests in attendance and it went beautifully! Wish me future success and if you need any cooking equipment, I can hook you up!

Be pampered,
The Happy Handicap/Frantic Chef

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Thou Art Amazing...

god is amazing

I woke up this morning with the first line of this poem echoing in my head. I sat down and completed this. I hope you enjoy it. If you are amazed by God, leave me a comment with one thing that amazes you. It would be a shame for me not to get one single wouldn't it?

Still amazed,
The Happy Handicap

Monday, September 22, 2014

Mom-ism Monday #17

I'm always asking people in my family for Mom-isms they remember hearing and using. Last weekend, my brother-in-law Phil shared one that my father-in-law had written in his Bible. I think it's very relevant for back then when he wrote it down and now. Very simple and direct. The dad-ism needs no explanation other than to read it.

Phil is not sure where or why the saying originated. The more surprising story lies in how my father-in-law obtained the Bible he wrote it in. My father-in-law affectionately called Pop was at Lake Conasauga in the 1940's probably fishing. He found a tackle box. The box had a name and address in it. Pop mailed the tackle box back to it's owner. In appreciation for returning the box, the man sent him a Bible as a gift. It's the very same Bible this week's Mom-ism Monday #17 saying is written in!

The next time you're feeling flush and think you might be getting a case of word vomit, remember this: Be sure Brain is Engaged before putting Mouth in Gear!

Ode to the 40's,
The Happy Handicap

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

10 Reasons to Keep Singing

psalm 103
photo credit:
Listen to the song 10,000 Reasons here, before you read any further. The song is based on Psalm 103. 

The first five verses are:

Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.

We sang this Sunday. The words "all that is within me" embedded in my being. What is within me, within us? A network of arteries, vessels, blood and organs? Yes, but that's not all. We have a soul designed specifically to praise our Creator! I believe Matt Redman, co-writer of 10,000 reasons, sings to Jesus like never before with all that is within him. Do we? We took communion Sunday in remembrance of Jesus. I started recalling events in my life that caused me to praise God with all that was within me, not holding anything back, totally consumed, giving him all of me because he gave his all for me. I'm sharing 10 reasons my heart finds to keep on singing, then I challenge you to reply to this email with just one reason for you to sing that I can share next week. 

  1. Beholding his glory at the top of the Swiss Alps. I praised Him and felt like I would be transported on to heaven like Elijah.
  2. Singing the last line of the 3rd verse of Blessed Assurance with complete realization of what it means to be "Filled with his goodness, lost in his love."
  3. Having his light shine upon me until his glory dawned while singing "O Beautiful Star". Sing it and you'll see.
  4. The night I knelt beside my bed, asked forgiveness for my sins and Jesus saved me.
  5. The pure love I felt the day God blessed my union to my husband and best friend Steve.
  6. The sweet relief I felt when Sydnee had all her toes. The worry-free feeling I had about Sloane's toes!
  7. My desire for everyone to have a personal relationship with Jesus.
  8. My longing to show Lisette who Jesus is.
  9. The thankfulness that explodes in my heart to have celebrated my parents 50th wedding anniversary six years ago!
  10. Being one of the lame he made walk.
What's your reason? Leave me a comment. 

Singing a new song,
The Happy Handicap