January 29, 2009

And the Cheer Goes On...

The Christmas season may be over but the holiday cheer continues on in my kitchen. I absolutely love Starbuck's Christmas Blend coffee, so this year I wised up and bought a couple of pounds of this delicious bean before they took it off their shelves. I just finished the bag I purchased before Christmas and pulled out the current stock I had stored in my freezer. This load should last until March at which time I'll begin enjoying Yukon or Verona once again.

If you savor Starbuck's coffee what are your favorite flavors?

January 23, 2009

Laying It On the Line

When I began blogging one year ago I adopted four rules I promised the Lord I'd keep:
  1. I would always seek to glorify Him.
  2. Blogging would not be a forum to complain.
  3. I'd seek to uplift my sisters in Christ.
  4. The OLM blog would a positive and refreshing place to visit.
I've honored these rules even though sometimes life doesn't always run smoothly. As an example Jimmy has been in between jobs for three months, winter has us cooped up inside our home, the sun is scarce as hens' teeth, we've been battling the creeping crud (head and chest cold), I fell on the front porch after our last snow while taking Cocoa out to pee in the wee hours of the morning, and our lives have been overrun by puppies since Thanksgiving Day. Normal routine has been out the window for months and as one who thrives on structure, it's been difficult to handle at times. Perhaps you can relate.

Our most recent trial began when our puppy, Cocoa Bean, began having trouble after the last pup of the litter left. Though an angel during the day he would howl, whine, and bark in his crate all night long. Experts (the vet and Google) said it would pass after a day or two but after ten sleepless nights desperation propelled us to ear plugs and Tylenol PM. 

A couple of mornings ago I woke so tired and depleted I was in tears. I asked God what this little dog needed to be content at night and if it had been a mistake to keep him. That's when it dawned on me. Keeping him had not been a mistake. Cocoa has known our scent and touch since the day he was born and with everyone else gone, we are his greatest comfort. He simply needed us at night. 

With this in mind we decided to break the cardinal rule of dog care and let him sleep with us. Lo and behold we are all sleeping like babies once again. When Jimmy and Cocoa come to bed later in the evening, Cocoa races to my neck, cuddles up, and falls fast asleep. About 3 am he rustles around enough to let us know he needs to potty and then heads back to bed and sleeps till morning. Breaking the cardinal rule has brought great relief. 

Oh sweet ladies, some of you are going through much tougher circumstances and I want you to know that whatever you are going through you are not alone. No matter what image any of us project in a blog or in life, we all have hills to climb and valleys to endure. The good news is there is light at the end of the tunnel. Hope is never lost if you keep your eyes on God because He is our light. Trials will indeed come but each challenge serves to polish us into the image of Christ. Whatever you are going through God knows your pain and will provide you with the strength and comfort you need. Things will get better. You can count on it. 

"Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: 
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, 
for his compassions never fail. 
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." 
Lamentations 3:21-23

January 21, 2009

The Next Generation

God is at work in the next generation.

Jason Castro, American Idol contestant.

"O my people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter hidden things, things from of old what we have heard and known, what our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done." 
Psalm 78:1-4 

January 16, 2009

Behind the Scenes at KY3 TV

Yesterday we went to Springfield, Missouri to visit our son Drew. He took us to KY3 Television Station where he works and gave us a tour of the studio. We met his co-workers, learned about television production, and took a few pictures. It was quite interesting to get a glimpse behind the scenes.

Drew in front of the camera for a change.

Putting on lipstick in the green room 
which is not green.

Just pretending.

After our tour we went to Lambert's Cafe "The Only Home of Throwed Rolls." To make it easy for the waitress we all ordered Chicken Fried Steak. (Really, it's just because the steaks are that good.)

Thanks Drew. We had a great time!

January 13, 2009

Automatic Paw Washer

Ever need something so badly that you racked your brain trying to find a solution all to find the answer in your own backyard? Well, I've been trying to think of another way to clean Ecclesiastes' paws before he walks into the house. Right now I wash each paw in his water bucket on the deck, then rinse it out. It does the job but breaks the back.

As with many inventions discovered by accident, we found a fabulous paw washing system the other day. Jimmy was playing with the dogs in the back yard and tossed a toy on top the pool tarp. As Ecclesiastes went to retrieve the toy, his weight lowered the cover below the rain swollen waterline, just enough to thoroughly rinse his feet. With a puddle of water following him where ever he walked, we were happy to see a new, fun, and easy way to wash Ecclesi's paws!

Ecclesi and the traveling puddle.

Cocoa Bean getting interested.

Cocoa Bean thinking of summer.

January 12, 2009

Happy Anniversary OLM Blog!

Today is the Olive Leaf Ministries' first year blog anniversary and let me tell you I remember the beginning as if it were yesterday. Not only was I foggy on what it meant to blog, but totally unsure what I would write each week. 

In spite of all the hesitations I committed to giving it a try...and whala...here we are a year later with a blog I absolutely love. I get to meet people from all around the world and share the good news of Jesus all along the way. It's a modern day tool I believe the Lord loves, when used for His purpose, and I look forward to many more years and new friends to come.

Blessings to all my blogging friends!

January 10, 2009

Introducing...Cocoa Bean!

Many of you have asked which pup we are keeping, so here he is...Mr. Cocoa Bean Douglas. For some reason he's the one who caught our eye from the very beginning and the more we get to know him the more convinced we are that we've made the right choice.

When the last puppy of the litter left, Cocoa Bean's first night alone without a sibling was a rough one. He whined all night long and nothing we did would console him. Today, after a long morning of cuddle time, we went to the pet store to buy his first collar. He enjoyed the trip but was shaking like a leaf by the time it was over. Once home he took a much needed nap.

January 6, 2009

Pray for Grant

Below is an update on Grant, the little boy on the bottom right column of my blog. His unknown muscle disease continues to slowly take his life and his time here on earth is coming to a close. Here is an excerpt of his latest update. Please keep him and his precious family in your prayers.

"Grant is still with us. He has had ups & downs. Lately, he has about 30 minutes a day where he gets a burst of energy and he plays and plays and then he gets a little crazy and very tired. At least he gets 30 minutes. There just isn't enough energy being made in his body.

Grant keeps telling us about the angels all around him. He says he sees them even during the day now. Watching him describe them is quite something. Although I do not understand what he is saying, the expression on his face is description enough. He looks at us questioning why we cannot see what he sees. I wish that I could. It must be spectacular. We just tell him, we don't get to see it yet, but tell us what you see. We've put some adjectives and descriptors on his communication machine yesterday so that we can understand what he is saying. Hopefully they will be adequate.

On a positive note, he used his (speech) machine a lot yesterday. He is getting over the frustration that it cannot read his exact thoughts and say them and is now searching through and trying to find the words to express himself. We are so thankful for it, especially as we know our time is short."

Psalm 91:11 "For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways."

January 4, 2009


Through the weeks many of you have asked which pup we've chosen to keep and how the adoptions are going. Jimmy and I chose little "Cocoa Bean" and we'll have pictures of him this week after all pups are gone and the dander has settled.

Drew left for Springfield on New Year's Day and took the four remaining pups who do not yet have a home. I cried as we packed them up because I knew I wouldn't see them again. Drew was sad to leave part of the litter here and felt quite a bit of pressure to find good homes for the ones he was taking. They are all so sweet but he can't keep them in his apartment for long. All I could do was tell him to do what I've been doing since they day they were born, "pray for each pup as you hold and love on them and then trust God to lead the way." Of course I know they are just dogs, but they are also God's gift to us as companions and protectors. Because of this I treasure each and every one of them.

Once he left we had four pups left. One girl, Molly, left the next day leaving us with three. Monday my sister will take Pilgrim and Friday Natalie (Dani's speech therapist) will take her little cinnamon stick. Next weekend it'll just be Cocoa Bean left and oh how we look forward to a quiet home. It's been a labor of love but mama Douglas is tired! I haven't written a word on my current book project since Thanksgiving and just realized I promised several months ago to write a book review for another author and still do not have it done. It feels as though I've been on another planet and I look forward to coming back down to earth and getting back to work.

I will have pictures of Cocoa Bean by the end of the week and promise not talk dog talk again for a while. Have a blessed Sunday and may the Lord shine His light on you in a new life-changing way.


January 3, 2009

An Answer to Prayer

This week I introduced you to Natalie, Dani's long-time speech therapist. She has the patience of Job and is one of the most loving people you'd ever want to meet. Our biggest concern when trying to find homes for Lyla's nine pups is finding trustworthy people who will take good care of the dog we give them. As God would have it, Natalie was looking for a dog, a Lab to be exact, and low and behold we had just what she was looking for. 

The day after we had lunch she came over and picked out this little cinnamon colored pup. Here he is with a toy he will take home with him so he will have the comforting and familiar scent of his brothers and sisters.

It's so good to know our little cinnamon stick is going to a good and loving home!

January 1, 2009

Great Resolution

If you are looking for a New Year's resolution that is sure to bring you a blessing go to Beth Moore's blog and join the "1st & 15th Siesta Scripture Memory Team." Now, don't let the enemy intimidate you into thinking you can't do this, because you can. God promises that His word will never go out and come back void. This means you won't regret planting his word in your heart, so hustle on over and sign up.

Here is my memory verse for the first two weeks of January,

"For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, 
and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings."
Hosea 6:6

What a great way to start the year. Happy 2009 dear sisters!