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my little gray home

building blessings everyday

Breathe

Lately, life has gotten a bit stressful and chaotic. Just when I feel overwhelmed, my Heavenly Father directs me to this song, every time:

I hope that during these days of unrest and trials we can find our peace in Him.

Our God loves us so completely, unquestionably, and unconditionally.

… Said the Lord in a dark and troubled hour to those he loved, “Let not your
heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). …

He has a plan for me and a plan for you if you can just have faith enough to Follow Him.

Canning Day

It’s canning day on the farm. Of course, this immediately follows picking Day. And did I say it’s Hot and Humid here in SE Oklahoma? My farm hands and I and some generous neighbors picked a bushel or two of tomatoes, chili peppers, cucumbers, and watermelon. Then we canned. I had every fan blowing during this process. IMG_6446

We did have a few casualties. IMG_6448

But overall, it was a huge success plus I have a newly scrubbed kitchen!  The outcome = 27 quarts of salsa, 16 quarts of spaghetti sauce, 3 quarts of pickles (3 casualties), and a jar full of dried peppers.

 

I believe it is time to put my feet up and eat a bowl of blackberry ice cream and get started on my TBR list, finally.

 

 

Sweet Home Oklahoma

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Spring is blooming here on the prairie.

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Our ever expanding menagerie welcomed 2 calves and dozens of new chicks and bunnies.

And this lil beauty came for her annual Easter visit and pictures.

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Yes, life is good and we are richly blessed here on the farm.

Surprise Guest and Giveaway

kelly-hagenI have a guest author visiting my blog this week.  Please welcome Author Kelly Hagen.  Kelly is a wife and mother.  She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading her Bible, and listening to music.  I love how she describes herself on Goodreads:  Daughter of the King, Wife, Mom, Author, Wrestling fan, and I love the rain. Very “normal” person living out the dream God placed in my heart years ago. He opened the door and in faith I stepped through.

I am a fan of Kelly’s books.  And lucky for us her books are on sale right now!  She has also graciously offered to give one of her books to one of my lucky blog followers.  (You know who you are and how grateful I am for you.)  This is a fun way for me to say thank you.

I interviewed Kelly this past  weekend so that we can get to know her better.

Here is the interview:

1. When did you decide to become a writer?
Honestly, it was pretty late in life. Unlike a lot of writers, I never enjoyed reading or writing much at all. But a few years ago I had written a children’s book and decided to send it in to a company. I figured all they could do was tell me no. A couple years after my children’s book, Jake and Jesus, was published I had written my first novella and went Indie.

2. Where do you get your inspiration?
There’s a little bit of me in everyone of my main characters. So, I guess you could say some of my inspiration comes from my life and things I’ve seen and been through. But most of it comes from God and what He puts on my heart to write.

3. Do you have any suggestions for someone who wants to become an author?
Don’t give up! Being an author, writing, is not always a fun-filled exciting thing. It can be hard, you will get discouraged, you may even want to give up…DON’T! Keep going. Keep writing. You never know who your words will touch.
4. What was your favorite book as a child?
I liked the Raggedy Ann and Andy books.

5. Do you have a book that changed your life?
Other than the Bible, I’d say Frank Peretti’s books “This Present Darkness” and “Piercing the Darkness”. Although they are fiction stories, they opened my eyes, in a new way, to the war being fought around us…for us.

6. What is your favorite genre of books?
I like Science-Fiction books and Historical Romance books. I know, two very different genres. haha
7. How many times do you edit a book before it is published?
I’ve had each of my books (minus my children’s book) edited three times.
8. Do you have manuscripts that were rejected?
No. All but one of my books is self-published though.
9. Do you have any hobbies?
I love listening to music.
10. What is something your fans can look forward to in the future?
Of course! The publishing of my current work in progress, which is book two in my Worth Fighting For series. I’m hoping and praying for it to be wrapped up and published sometime next Spring.

Finally, is the anything else you would like to share with us?
Yes! Now through the end of the year, three of my books are on sale for 0.99! You can find them on amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Kelly-Hagen/e/B004J19XL8/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1476665188&sr=8-1

You can find out more about me by visiting my website:
kellyhagen.weebly.com
Follow me on Twitter:
@Kelly_Hagen
Like me on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKellyHagen/
I also want to thank you, Patti, for interviewing me and hosting a giveaway for my latest book “Worthy”.

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Twenty-year-old Katelyn Burnsten wants a relationship with her aunt that doesn’t cause tension between herself and her parents. However, because of a family secret, a high ranking demon named Latar has his sights on Katelyn. He’s determined to make her the next piece in the puzzle of the Burnsten family legacy. Will the prayers of friends and the battle of God’s Warriors be enough to help her stand before her enemy?

 

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So dear followers:  to win a copy of Worthy, please answer the following question on my blog and you will be entered into a random drawing.

*What is your favorite book and why? Please include the author.  Good luck!

Drop-Out

Technically, you can call me a BYU drop-out.  I left Brigham Young University in the middle of my junior year and never returned.  I did continue my education through the years, earning my Associate of Arts degree and several other college credits.  But, I never completed the coveted Bachelor’s Degree.

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Yet, I “dropped-in” to marriage and motherhood.  I became a successful Marine Corps wife.  I have owned my own business. I have dabbled in several very satisfying careers.  Another plus, due to the loving contributions of my family, half-a-dozen scholarships, and the bottomless pockets of my dear Heavenly Father, I have no student debt.

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When I set out with no absolute destination but trust in my Father in Heaven to guide my steps, life becomes a journey of joy greater than I could ever have imagined.

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Fireflies at twilight

The hot and muggy days of summer give way each night to cooler temps.  I emerge to look for fireflies and to pick blackberries.  The other day I had helpers including dogs, cows, and a donkey.  More help than I ever needed. I am thankful for the Lord’s bounteous blessings and peaceful days and nights on the farm.

When a bell rings

There is a saying that when a bell rings another angel earns her wings.  Last week a delightful, warm, and wonderful woman was called home.

Almost 40 years ago, Margaret Hyde took an unformed, shy, and reticent girl of 8 and taught me how to play the piano. I remember hours of practices, lessons, writing reports about the masters, theory, and sight reading.  She took my untrained fingers and made magic happen.  After several years of lessons, she sent me on to learn from another teacher, but I never forgot her gentle words to sit up straight and curl my fingers.  Her humor, kindness, and patience forged a friendship and love that bonded us together.  For many years she and I performed in choirs together and other special musical numbers.  Even years later when mom and I came to Yuma for a visit, Margaret dragged us up to sing with the choir.

I always felt welcome in the Hyde home. Many happy days were spent pounding away at their piano, laughing and splashing in their backyard, and hours of giggling with Dianne in her bedroom.  This happy home cemented in my heart a model to pattern my own home and family.  They accepted me and my family into their home and their hearts.

I remember how grateful I felt when their red Volkswagen van came puttering up the road to pick us up for church, or picnics, or other activities.  Cheerful greetings always welcomed us aboard.  We were always so thankful we didn’t have to walk in the dusty Yuma heat.

Margaret was there when I was sealed in the temple to my eternal companion. She stepped in when my mom could not be there with me.  She helped me adjust my white clothing and guide me.  I remember her words of love as she told me she loved me and how grateful she was to share this special day with me.

I am so thankful for the Margarets, Bettys, and LaVons of my childhood who showed me different ways to mother and raise a family, who welcomed me into their homes. I learned how to honor the priesthood, create a spirit of love and reverence, and gently reprimand and guide my children.  I am thankful for Bill and his patience and dry wit, his humor and endless love for his family.  I am thankful for Alan, Dianne, and Scott who became siblings for me and Eric.

My future will forever be tied to the Hyde family and their love for me.

Please share this story of faith. — How Does She

It’s with such a heavy heart that I share this post. Our blogging friend Emily, the gorgeous red-head from The Freckled Fox is going through something unimaginable. She has five little ones under the age of six and her husband Martin was diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma cancer last year. He has put up an amazing fight…

via Please share this story of faith. — How Does She

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