Thursday, December 23, 2010

~MERRY CHRISTMAS from Rebecca~

Dear Friends in Blogland...

Christmas will be here in just a few days and my time and focus has once again turned towards tending to the needs of my family as we look forward to celebrating the birthday of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Before I sign off for another year I want to wish you all a beautiful Christmas!  I also want to thank you for the kindness and friendship you've offered up to my family and I over the past twelve months and for staying with me through the thick & thin of blogging as well as the joys and sorrows that have come our way.   Not only have you blessed me with your loving words and support, but you've displayed a willingness to follow along side me when my own pathway wasn't always clear...

Not unlike the lyrics (see below) of the  first song on my play-list (it's by the Vision Impaired/Blind artist, Ginny Owens), I'm not altogether sure why I'm here...  Ever feel like that?

Can I be honest with you?  I first started blogging as a way to promote my website, but since that frosty January day of almost two years ago much has changed in my life.  All the things I initially planned on writing about in regards to my business eventually evolved into sharing a great deal more than just my latest creation.  I've formed some lasting friendships, met some of the most amazingly talented women (and a few men!), while being inspired by those much more gifted than I.  I've rejoiced over the birth of new babies and grieved over the loss of loved ones held dear.  I've oftentimes been buoyed by your faith and even struggled to understand the bitterness I sometimes see flying through the air.  And without a doubt, some of you have crawled right into my heart and I suspect that is where many of you will always stay...

I'm trying desperately to stay true to my heart's calling while being as truthful as I can be about where I am on any given day.  I'm terribly flawed at best, and I sincerely question at times if I have anything left within the coffers of my life that may still interest you.  Still, I feel led to 'carry on' and so I will be doing just that. 

God has been incredibly generous to me this year and miraculously topped off our list of blessings  by saving the life of my son just this week.  A couple of days ago I shared with you how he was involved in terrible automobile accident where his brand new SUV flipped over and was totaled.  Everyone in our family knows if not for God's grace the outcome could have been devastating.    Thank you, God!  And, thank YOU for your kind comments!  I want you to know they were not only a huge blessing to me, but also to Brandon and his little family...  Our SarahGirl and my Miss K would have been heartbroken if something had happened to him (and this Momma as well!)...

I will be taking at least the next ten days off to enjoy some out of town company and to rest and recoup from a busy (and prosperous) last two months.  I'll be back after the first of the year with more, well...everything I guess! :)  Thank you for your faith in me, in my voice, in my work, in my heart.  You truly give rise to my passion and make my very soul sing...

Merry Christmas to you all and may your New Year be the best one of your life.  May God bless each of you in a mighty way!

(and her Mr. AGPMan, too)

The pathway is broken
And The signs are unclear
And I don't know the reason why You brought me here
But just because You love me the way that You do
I'm gonna walk through the valley
If You want me to


Cause I'm not who I was
When I took my first step
And I'm clinging to the promise You're not through with me yet
so if all of these trials bring me closer to you
Then I will walk through the fire
If You want me to

It may not be the way I would have chosen

When you lead me through a world that's not my home
But You never said it would be easy
You only said I'd never go alone

So when the whole world turns against me

And I'm all by myself
And I can't hear You answer my cries for help
I'll remember the suffering that Your love put You through
And I will walk through the darkness
If You want me to

Cuz when I cross over Jordan

Gonna sing, gonna shout,
Gonna look into Your eyes and see You never let me down
So take me on the pathway that leads me home to You
And I will walk though the valley
If You want me to

Yes, I will walk through the valley

If You want me to

Monday, December 20, 2010

~HIS PROTECTIVE HAND and Not a Scratch~

~Christmas 1982~
Brandon and his Momma

Earlier this morning after dropping my Miss K off at school my son was involved in a serious automobile accident during rush hour traffic.  We aren't sure of all the details because the crash happened very fast, but Brandon's SUV was totaled and was completely flipped over.  Miraculously he was able to unbuckle his seat belt and crawl out the hatch.  The other driver never even braked...

Do I EVEN need to tell you how grateful I am my son AND the other driver were not killed in this accident?  More and MORE I seen the protective hand of God in my life and in the lives of my children.

Just one more thing to be grateful for this year.  I'm on my knees once again this morning thanking God for His mercy and grace.

Love to you all...

This grateful Momma...



When I look back at the childhood Christmas pictures of my now grown babes some of the sweetest memories ever are when the participated in the children's Christmas programs at our local church. 

The picture above was taken of Brandon when he was five years old playing the part of an angel.  He was singing SILENT NIGHT here and kept looking at me because he kept forgetting the words...

He's 28 now and will always be my angel boy...

Adrienne was four years old during this Christmas Play.  She was angel as well and what I remember most is that she kept sucking her thumb during the entire program...  She was truly the sweetest little thing and kept looking out into the audience and waving at her daddy!

Adrienne is 26 now...still my angel girl, too!
(She's Not Shy Any Longer!) :)

Not sure what was more hysterical...the thumb sucking of my little girl or see that truly HORRIBLE Wise Man outfit made out of a yellow sheet!  Don't remember who that little kid was, but I wouldn't have put my child in such a thing!  :) hahahah

Adrie had to say only two words during the entire play...

Right after she WHISPERED the words into the mic she waved again at her daddy!

I love this picture above!  It was taken when Adrie was 3 and Brandon was 5.  I got the two of them all dressed up to see Santa, but Adrie refused to sit on his lap and starting crying.  I snapped this picture of the two of them outside of Santaland in Penn Square Mall the year Bran was in Kindergarten (1987).  I made the little apple dress Adrie is wearing and when she outgrew it I passed it down to my brother's little girl...  They were both soooo tiny!

Blessings to you as you enjoy the last few days before Christmas.

Love to you...

Sunday, December 19, 2010


"I heard the bells on Christmas Day
their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men"

The great poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow lived during the Civil War.  On Christmas Day, 1863, he felt no joy for his dearly loved son had been wounded in the battle.

"Why must there be this awful war to tear families apart and bring pain?" Longfellow noted.
(Sounds familiar, doesn't it?)  

In one of his darkest moments, Longfellow heard the chime of Christmas Bells and immediately wrote down his experience.  He told how the bells rolled an unbroken song of peace and good will to all men~

  He also shared how he cried in deep despair when he felt the peace he was searching for might never come.

But then, from the depths of his broken heart he penned the following...

"Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The wrong shall fail,
The right prevail,
With peace on earth, 
Good will to men."

Today I've finally slowed down.  After nearly eight non-stop weeks of creating, sewing, painting and crafting, I'm resting.   I'm content to know I've done my best.

It feels good this morning to stop and listen to the chiming of the bells.
And, it feels good to say 'enough'.  

  It's taken me years to get to the place where I can truthfully say if my Christmas Tree was barren of all gifts and if our home was stripped of every light, bauble, bangle and bead that He alone would be 'enough'.


What a peaceful, freeing, and simply glorious thought...

Love to you...

Saturday, December 18, 2010

~WE HAVE A WINNER - Merry Christmas Cross Stitch Pillow~


Just a quick note to tell you two things today...


Thank you to all of you who sent "Happy Birthday" wishes to me yesterday!  Gosh...I use to really hate it that my birthday was soooo close to Christmas.  But...these days I think I'm kinda lickin' it!  No one wants me to feel cheated so they go WAY OVERBOARD and it is GREAT!


The WINNER of the sweet Hand Cross Stitched Christmas Pillow is none other than:


CONGRATULATIONS  TO MARIETTE!  I hope you will just LOVE LOVE LOVE your sweet prize!

Thank you all for playing along and for blessing me so much this year!  I PiNKiE PrOmISe...more fun giveaways will be coming up next year!  Hmmmm....maybe one for
New Year's!

Blessings to you and Love...

Friday, December 17, 2010

~ANOTHER YEAR OLDER...Still Feeling Fabulous~

~December 17, 1958~
(About to Misbehave)

I feel like I just did the post about turning 51 and now I'm turning 52.  EEEK!  This year sped by fast!

I actually celebrated my birthday last week and enjoyed a sweet night out with my little family.  We dined at a fabulous Oklahoma City restaurant called Deep Fork Grill (Yummo!) and I loved every bite of my Chicken Parmesan. :)

Today I'm lunching with my beautiful daughter, Adrienne, and my sweet Momma at one of our favorite eateries!  I'll be winding down my website offerings this weekend and so I'm really looking forward to a night out alone with my hubster!
(Still Misbehavin')

Today I'm grateful that I've reached a time in my life when I'm truly content with where I am.  I'm thankful for the blessings of God and for the incredible love of family and friends!  I wouldn't trade where I am this very moment for anything in the world.
Thank you, God!

Help me celebrate, won't you?
(the really fattening kind)

Love to you...

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Brandon Kent - 1982

I've shared with you before that I truly have only a handful of regrets in my life and thankfully NONE are serious!  That said, and even though this was something totally out of my control, if I regret anything from my own childhood it's that there were not more pictures taken of my siblings and I when we were children.  There are only two Christmas pictures that I know of in existence before I became an adult and certainly none were snapped with me and old Mr. Claus...
Brandon and Baby Adrienne
1984 it any wonder that I became a picture-taking-fool when I had children of my own?
I did!  I was!  I am!
I was one of those crazy-loony mothers who nearly went into a meltdown if she didn't get her kids photo taken at the local Mall at Christmas.  Tisk, tisk, tisk if you must, but as I look over the photographs today of my tiny little children my own heart skips a beat...
Oh to relive those days...recapture that innocence!

Each picture was worth not only stressing about but totally worth standing in line for!  Now that my babies are all grown up I'm thankful I only missed a few years.  A couple of times when Adrie was tiny she totally flipped out and would NOT sit on Santa's lap...and so I didn't force her!

If you want to know the truth these were my happiest days.  And it's NOT that I'm not happy now because I certainly am!  It's just I loved being 'Momma' to little children and knowing they were safe in their beds at night brought to me peaceful sleep.

My children were taught early the true meaning of Christmas.  They learned while still very tiny all about the miraculous virgin birth of baby Jesus and His beautiful mother, Mary.  They listened eagerly to each Bible story about the Angels and the Bethlehem Star.  They were taught of the Three Wise Men from afar and the Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh.  And, of course all about the swaddling clothes and how there was no room for them in the Inn~

We lovingly tossed in stories of the ever lovely Saint Nick and his American counterpart, Santa.  I believed then (as I do now) that the fantasy did them no harm.
And...they agree.

The year they caught the dreaded Chicken Pox they were so very ill and we paid our visit to Santa on the last day possible.  Their faces were covered with the telltale signs of the condition...thankfully by then they were no longer contagious!   Not only did they catch the stuff, but they missed out on their Christmas parties at school as well as the children's program at church directed by my Mr. AGPMan and I.

The Christmas before we moved into our La Chaumière de Briarwood Adrie lost her front teeth!  It took more than a full year for them to grow back in which is why she smiled with her mouth closed in the picture below.  Six teeth on the top row were missing at the same time! 

I remember well Christmas 1992!  I distinctly recall Brandon telling me he was getting too old to sit on Santa's knee.  He agreed to ONLY visit him that year because Adrienne 'still believed' and he didn't want her to feel alone!

Sweet big brother!

This is the Christmas Brandon wouldn't stop laughing at the Mall Santa!  As he put it "Mom!  That is the dumbest, stupidest looking Santa I've ever seen in my life!  No kid is gonna believe he's the real deal!!!"
Saying Goodbye to Mr. Claus

The year Adrienne turned ten years old my children paid their last visit to dear old Santa Claus.  Brandon humored me for the last time and tagged along as Adrie smiled for the camera.  What I love most about this picture is that at nearly twelve years of age Bran put my feelings and those of his baby sister first. 

By now my girl was turning into a real beauty and Bran was no longer a 'little boy'.  Sniff....

Now..the thing I miss most about having little children around during the holidays is the constant giggling, laughter and wide-eyed expressions at Christmas.  Their childhood days went by far too quickly and they both left me way too soon.  I'd live their growing-up years all over again if I could.  I miss them and their sweet little faces more than I can say!

Got memories?
Blessings to you as you thank God for them!

Love to you...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


  ~DECEMBER 2010~

I was 19 years plus one week old on the day my Mr. AGPMan proposed to me! hard as it is for me to wrap my brain around this next sentence, this coming Christmas Eve at 7PM sharp will mark 33 years since the very night I said a resounding "YES" and agreed to marry a dark-haired, rail-thin Nebraska boy of almost 22.

After sitting and listening to a terribly long lecture about 'how marriage is forever' from my preacher-man daddy, surprisingly my guy was still in one piece and seemed to be holding his own. Good thing.  He'd have to put up with a very protective father-in-law for more than three-plus decades and a high-maintenance-wifey-girl that only appeared at first glance to be docile.  

I honestly believe I got the better end of the marriage deal...
~December 24, 1977~

This is the best photo I have of the night we became engaged and honestly I'm thrilled to have anything!  It was taken with a black and white Polaroid camera and I can't even believe it has survived all these years.  The surface of the picture became cracked and crazed  over time so I'm truly happy that today I can even make out our faces.  I scanned it into my computer a few years back and was able to salvage a little bit of the original...

Now...see that sweet sweater I have on?  I just could never bring myself to toss it out after we married and somehow I have hung onto the silly little thing through more than 15 major moves.  It's been folded up in my bureau drawer in the exact same place since 1978 when I wore it for the last time.
(big $$$ for me back then!)

 I've had many memorable Christmases since the night my guy asked me to be his wife.  Back then we were so young, still college-poor and didn't have a thin dime to our name.  
We were in love.  
 For us that has never changed.


"The Lord has done great things for us, 
and our hearts are filled with joy.
Psalm 126:3 

Love to you~

Monday, December 13, 2010

~THE GREATEST GIFT of It's A Wonderful Life~

by Philip Van Doren Stern

My family and I love to watch "It's a Wonderful Life" and every Christmas we pull out our DVD and sit back with a bowl of popcorn to enjoy the show!

There isn't a single part of the movie that I don't absolutely love, but the most beautiful part of the story for me is the simple message that ordinary people can have a profound influence without even knowing it.

Did you know the now iconic movie was actually a short story written by Philip Van Doren Stern?  Unable to find a publisher for his original work "The Greatest Gift," Mr. Stern printed two hundred copies of his story in booklet form and used them as Christmas cards in 1943. From this humble beginning, a classic tale was born.

Van Doren Stern's story captivated Frank Capra, who said he "had been looking for [it] all [his] life." Capra's beloved adaptation, It's a Wonderful Life, starring James Stewart, Donna Reed, and Lionel Barrymore, was released in 1946, and while the film, which received Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Director, didn't take home an Oscar, it has secured its place in the American holiday tradition.

What a fabulous thought that we don't need to be rich or famous to make a difference in our world.  Every single day and without even a hint of fanfare, we can contribute goodness and decency to the people who live around us.

 Maybe being 'ordinary' is a good thing.

Love to you...

Sunday, December 12, 2010


What would Christmas be without our most beloved Christmas carols?  I for one can't even imagine decking my home our hanging our stockings without at least humming along to a familiar song or two.  Can you?
We have very few traditions in our home but one that has grown in favor with me is something we started to do only in recent years.  As often as possible when we gather together around the table at my La Chaumière de Briarwood and before we partake of our Christmas meal we hold hands and sing a simplified and yet meaningful version of 'Oh Come All Ye Faithful'.  Amidst all the excitement I love seeing firsthand the 'quieting down' of our spirits while honoring the birth of the very man who radically changed my life.

"Oh come, let us adore Him
Oh come, let us adore Him
Oh come, let us adore Him
Christ, the Lord

For He alone is worthy
For He alone is worthy
For He alone is worthy
Christ, the Lord"

I love how the well-known author, Max Lucado describes witnessing the Savior best...

"A small cathedral outside Bethlehem marks the supposed birthplace of Jesus.  Behind a high altar in the church is a cave, a little cavern lit by silver lamps.

You can enter the main edifice and admire the ancient church.  You can also enter the quiet cave where a star embedded in the floor recognizes the birth of the King.  There is one stipulation, however.  You have to stoop.  The door is so low that you can't go in standing up.

The same is true of the Christ.  You can see the world standing tall, but to witness the Savior, you have to get [down] on your knees."

Blessings to you today as you taste and see the beauty of the Lord~

Love to you...

Friday, December 10, 2010



Just before Thanksgiving my Mr. AGPMan and I took our only grandchild, our sweet Miss K, down to have her Christmas pictures taken at J.C. Penney.  Now friends...I just have to tell you~I think for the money their tiny photography studio did a fabulous job!  For about $69.00 I was able to purchase more pictures than you can believe!

Now...see the darling shot above?  When we went into the store to pick up the photographs we were asked if we'd be interested in signing a release so the photo cold be used in a national campaign next year!  Maybe they do this for anyone and everyone who has pictures taken of their kids...and then again, maybe not!?
Who knew?
Maybe they just LOVED IT as much as we do!!!

Isn't she just darling?  She's growing up wayyyyyyyyyyy too fast!
DECEMBER 2005 - Age 3

Here's a picture of our Miss K taken about five years ago with 'Old Saint Nick' himself.  This was before the miracle in our lives took place and six months before she was able to walk on her own...
March 2004

Our Miss K was about 16 months old in the picture above.  Notice her little head is cocked off to the side and how our son is holding her chest up.  All she could do at this time was pretty much lay on her back.  If she was placed on her tummy she could raise her head up only a little bit...

No Nana or Papa could be more proud of their grandchild than we are of our Miss K...  Lots and lots of prayers have been prayed over this little girl.  I'm talkin' about the knee-bendin' kind of prayers that keep you face-to-face and heart-to-heart with the Father...

Thank you God for grace and the miracle that surrounds our Miss K and her very blessed life.

Love to you all this beautiful day...

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