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bucket list

Blog, Faith, Parenting, prayer, Travel

Streetcar in Kansas City. Another thing off my bucket list!

My beautiful daughter Heather & me at Chez Elle

My beautiful daughter Heather & me at Chez Elle

On Saturday, our daughter Heather and I went to eat crepes for breakfast at Chez Elle Creperie in Kansas City and while there, we rode the streetcar on a cable in Kansas City. I had so much fun! I was able to scratch off another thing on my bucket list!

Chez Elle is a Parisian atmosphere coffeehouse, inspired by France when owner Ellen Trakas lived there. It has sweet and breakfast crepes, Gluten free, Vegan, buckwheat batters available, a full coffee bar, espresso, cappucino, Lattes, Mochas, French wines and spirits.

Paris pics

Paris pics

Cute Paris paintings in Chez Elle

Cute Paris paintings in Chez Elle

Menu

Menu

fresh flowers on table

fresh flowers on table

French doors

French doors

coffee art

coffee art

Eiffel Tower deco

Eiffel Tower deco

It has cute tables and chairs under umbrellas, like the outside cafes are in Paris, France. (I’ve been there twice.)

Chez Elle

Chez Elle

Heather ordered a spicy chorizo sausage with eggs and potatoes (Monsier crepes) and a cinnamon roll and I ordered the Paris crepes with Nutella chocolate and bananas. YUM! We both drank cinnamon iced coffee.

Heather's chorizo sausage & egg crepes

Heather’s chorizo sausage & egg crepes

Heather's cinnamon roll

Heather’s cinnamon roll

My Nutella chocoate-banana crepes with whip cream

My Nutella chocoate-banana crepes with whip cream

After we enjoyed our crepes, we walked around the neighborhood and visited the By Grace Shop. They sell beautiful lingerie and clothing,which are hand-made by women in Tamale, Ghana and Bangalore, India. The shop donates beautiful lingerie to the homeless, sexually abused, and other women. Underwear is the least donated item to the homeless.

Lace lingerie

Lace lingerie

Women in Ghana and India also hand-make blouses, skirts, dresses, jewelry, and other items that the owner sells at the store and online. Heather and I loved this place. The owner was so sweet and beautiful. She shared how her grandmother was a great artist and the owner decided to get a tattoo of her grandmother’s art before her grandma died. She laughingly said her mother didn’t normally approve of tattoos but in this case, she did since it was the grandmother’s art.

Satin robe

Satin robe

Hand-made items in third world nations

Hand-made items in third world nations

I loved this black grace T-shirt and white Africa tank top

I loved this black grace T-shirt and white Africa tank top

bracelets

bracelets

comfy lounge wear

comfy lounge wear

cute desk

cute desk

The most important thing a girl wears is her confidence

The most important thing a girl wears is her confidence

Near Chez Elle were black iron gates that made a perfect backdrop for a pic for Heather and me. Cute!

Heather by black iron gate

Heather by black iron gate

Me by black iron gate

Me by black iron gate

A couple doors down outside Chez Elle, we saw a tall house with unique architecture that Heather loved. It had beautiful purple hibiscus flowers outside it.

unique house

unique house

There was a pretty mimosa tree like a canopy down the sidewalk.

Mimosa

Mimosa

I also saw purple lavender planted beside one sidewalk. So pretty!

lavender

lavender

After we walked around, we rode on the Kansas City streetcar. It is free and on weekends, parking is free, too–which is a BIG deal in Kansas City! Heather had gone on the streetcar before at night with a friend, and it wasn’t crowded then.

KC streetcard

KC streetcar

streetcar on cable

streetcar on cable

This was on a Saturday during the day, so it was very crowded! I had a blast riding it! Another thing checked off my bucket list! Heather and I both want to ride a red one in San Francisco.

Heather riding on streetcar

Heather riding on streetcar

We stopped at Union Station (a former big train station in KC) to buy some water and to chat a little while, which was one of the funnest parts for me. I loved being able to just spend time with Heather, as she works full-time and is often busy. We went into a cool black light tent with some art, laughing at how it made our shirts glow cool colors.

Heather in black light tent

Heather in black light tent

art in black light tent

art in black light tent

During World War II, approximately one million people, many of them soldiers, passed through Union Station. It was built in 1914 and has 850,000 square feet that originally featured 900 rooms.

Union Station chandelier

Union Station chandelier

It has a 95 foot ceiling and three 3,500-pound chandeliers hanging from the ceilings. This building has a planetarium, Science City where I’ve taken our kids during our homeschooling years, live theatre, and giant screen movies. You can also take train trips from Amtrak there.

Union Station

Union Station

sign at Union Station

sign at Union Station

Our next stop was the City Market, which is the largest farmers’ market in the region and has amazing fresh produce, spices, flowers, and international grocers. I am definitely going back!

fresh produce

fresh produce

spices

spices

fresh sunflowers

fresh sunflowers

bouquets of fresh flowers

bouquets of fresh flowers

international grocers

international grocers

One vendor booth had wines to sample. We tried both the white and red sweet wines, and Heather bought a bottle of the white for dinner later with a friend. She also bought a glass coaster at one shop. I bought Heather and our daughter Leah a bouquet of fresh flowers. I have some things in mind to buy on my trip back there for souvenirs.

Heather with her sunflowers

Heather with her sunflowers

Heather got a raspberry cheesecake beignet at a Cajun restaurant. They are a deep-fried pastry and the official state doughnut of Louisiana, often served at breakfast hot and filled with fruit. They are covered in white powdered sugar and taste delicious.

beignet

beignet

I had an amazing time with Heather. Here’s a great pic of us together riding the Kansas City streetcar. 

My beautiful daughter Heather & me on KC streetcar

My beautiful daughter Heather & me on KC streetcar

Afterward, I was able to spend time with our beautiful daughter Leah alone when she got off work at her cashier job, and talk with her for about two hours. She’s now training for a customer service position there at her grocery store.

Our beautiful, precious daughter Leah

Our beautiful, precious daughter Leah

There’s simply nothing better than time with a daughter! It was an incredible day for me and I was so happy!

“One of the greatest gifts I’ve ever gotten is my daughter.”–Ace Frehley

What is on your bucket list for 2017? Make a decision that you are going to start doing it, one adventure at a time!

Blog, Faith, Marriage, Parenting, prayer, Speaking, Spiritual Gifts, Travel, Writing

Happy Things

Happy Things

Happy things

Today I found this cute, flower weight for my desk. It reads, “Do more of what makes you happy.”

Summer is in full swing now with its 85-100 degree heat here in Missouri.

Many of us have to work, but it’s important to take time out to relax and have FUN! To do what makes you happy.

It might be getting some adorable, new heart socks like I bought today. (I’m a heart girl!)

Heart socks

Heart socks

Or some new, pretty journals to write your heart out—your dreams, goals, bucket list this summer.

Journals

Pretty journals

Or if you’re a mom like me, it’s spending time with your kids.

Our 3 beautiful daughters Heather, Eden, & Leah

Our 3 beautiful daughters Heather, Eden, & Leah

Or going away ALONE for the weekend with your hubby.

Ray & me

Ray & me

It might be something as simple as a hot bubble bath with deliciously scented candles.

bubble bath with candles

bubble bath with candles

Or a refreshing swim in the summer heat with your friends!

girls holding hands at beach

girls holding hands at beach

Maybe it’s a blissful beach getaway–just you and God!

Woman relaxing on beach

Woman relaxing on beach

Or getting fit and healthy this summer.

woman running

woman running

Or maybe you plan to just spend a lot of time reading good books.

stack of books

stack of books

Or writing one!

Asian woman writer

Asian woman writer

Or take a much needed vacation!

mountains

mountains

Or a much less expensive staycation, getting your home organized and things done!

folders

folders

But whatever you decide to do this summer, make sure it’s fun and makes you happy.

And make this summer count.

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”–Unknown

hot air balloon

hot air balloon

 

Blog

random thoughts

www.lightstock.com

www.lightstock.com

I hope you had a blessed Christmas with family & friends. I had one of the best, most peaceful ones I’ve had in a long time! ¬†

This year we had our family Christmas dinner at our oldest daughter Heather’s house. Everyone brought a cooked dish (instead of me cooking everything and hosting it at our house!): Ray’s infamous holiday ham that our kids always request at Thanksgiving and Christmas, my sweet potato casserole, Heather’s green bean casserole, Eden’s creamy mashed potatoes, and apple pie with vanilla bean ice cream. We opened gifts Christmas Eve with our kids and grandkids. ¬†It always makes me happy to see them open presents.¬†

The best gift of all is Jesus and my precious family.

I am eating too much lately, and Ray buying me delicious chocolate-covered cashews for my Christmas stocking, with other candy bars, doesn’t help. They are addictive.¬†ūüôā

chocolate covered cashews

chocolate covered cashews

I’ll have to do a detox to start off the new year. I have a recipe that I found online:

  • 1/2 cup pineapple
  • 2 large cucumbers
  • 1 bunch kale without the stems (4 cups chopped)
  • 1/2 lemon, squeezed
  • 1/4 inch ginger
  • 1 bunch mint (1 1/2 cups). Blend together. ¬†

Are you excited about 2015? Personally, I’m so¬†glad that 2014 is almost over. It was a hard, challenging year.

God showed me ahead of time before 2014 hit that it would be hard, and a friend confirmed that when she was praying for me at the end of 2013. But she encouraged me God would strengthen me through it. And He did.

I believe I obeyed what God told me to do and as a result of that, it was a fruitful, productive year. I hope¬†that I’ll obey Him as well in 2015.

Valorie Burton

Valorie Burton

In speaker/author Valorie Burton‘s ezine today, she wrote: “Every year, we are bombarded with “Year in Review” headlines. The best dressed, the top songs, and most fascinating people of theyear. But I like to do my own “Year in Review,” a self-reflective recap that helps me see how much richer I am at the close of another year. “Joyful is the person who finds wisdom, the one who gains understanding. For wisdom is more profitable than silver, and her wages are better than gold,” Proverbs 3:13-14. So at the end of eachyear, you ought to find yourself a little richer. Whether you view the experiences you’ve had this year as good or bad, each one offers an opportunity to become richer in wisdom and head into the New Year¬†better prepared than ever to live wisely and be resilient.”

She then asked what you learned in 2014. I think it’s very important to reflect back on your year at the end of each year. See what went well and what didn’t. What you learned. What mistakes you made.

What successes and accomplishments you achieved. How you grew.

What things you checked off on your bucket list. You do have a bucket list, don’t you? If not, then start it¬†today!

Maybe one thing on your bucket list is to write Morning Pages. While I don’t agree with all Jennifer Blanchard or Julia Cameron say, Jennifer writes about the benefits of Morning Pages in her post here.

Or maybe in 2015 you want to write a fiction book (my client and friend Dana Arcuri just wrote the first chapter of her fiction book, whoo hoo!). Start writing!

One thing I am doing is decluttering: going through my email inbox, closets, and drawers. Making room for the new.

I believe God has shown me that 2015 is a pivotal year (of crucial importance) for me and His people.

Do you have your “one word”, your “theme,” and/or your scripture for 2015? I encourage you to pray, asking for His protection, wisdom, and blessings in 2015 over your and your family and loved ones.

I’m taking the next few days to just pray and get God’s wisdom and direction for 2015.

Do you have your yearly planner/calendar yet?

I found one at Walmart with¬†these beautiful yellow daisies on the front cover and this scripture, “My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.” (Exodus 33:14)

Vision Publishers planner/calendar

Vision Publishers planner/calenar

We don’t know what the year ahead holds. Let’s approach it prayerfully and with an open, trusting, faith-filled heart. Sometimes God does unexpected things in our lives.

An entrepreneur friend of mine recently took time out to fill out her yearly calendar, scheduling¬†teleseminars, local live events, and quarterly coaching programs, and was so excited about these plans…then she was hired for a J-O-B she’d applied for (outside the home, due to financial pressures). I believe the J-O-B is just temporary. Sometimes for a season we may do something that we don’t want to do, but God has us there for a reason for His unseen purposes and glory.¬†

Sometimes we are shaken. Right now my father is experiencing health issues. He’s been fainting. His diagnosis:¬†syncope (fainting), which may be caused by irregular heart beat or blood flow.

 Last year he had a 92% blockage in his aorta, and this year he had a 83% blockage in his aorta. They just put in 3 stents and did an angioplasty. This past week after he returned home, he fainted at dinner time, and had to be taken back to the hospital. He was just released yesterday. 

Here is a picture of me with my dad several years ago.

Daddy and me, Valdosta, GA

Daddy and me, Valdosta, GA, a couple of years ago

It’s unsettling when your parents are aging and/or have health issues. It’s an acute reminder of your own aging and mortality. None of us like to think about these kinds of things, especially around Christmas time when it’s supposed to be fun and full of joy. But these things are part of this drama called life.

I saw a sign in town today which read, “Collect moments, not things.” Wise words. Make precious memories with those you love. Never taken anyone or any day for granted.

And enjoy it, and use our gifts for God’s and others’ joy.¬†For Christmas, one of the gifts our daughter Leah requested was watercolor paints. She is an amazing graphic artist, but wanted to try her hand at watercolors.

This week she painted a sun and blue mountains picture. I think it is beautiful and am going to frame it and hang it up on a wall.

Copyright 2014 Leah Jones

Copyright 2014 Leah Jones

One of the gifts I received, that I’d requested from Ray and our daughters, was a Blue Snowball mic to make better audio quality podcasts, webinars, telecalls, etc. Ray said, “It’s a strange looking thing.” But I’m so happy I got it!

You can subscribe to my podcast here at Itunes. The “No Place For” podcast series from Galatians 5 is wrapping up soon.

me and Snowball mic

me and Snowball mic

¬†I’m also booking speaking engagements for 2015 and 2016. You can contact me here¬†if you’d like me to speak at your event, or know someone who needs a speaker. ¬†I love encouraging women to fulfill their purpose and use their gifts. I will go wherever God wants me to go.¬†

“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Our daughter Heather bought me the Cinderella glass slipper that I saw and asked for, to use as a visual aid when I speak at conferences in 2015. (My signature talk is The Cinderella Story: The Power of Shoes about women walking in their unique purpose.) You can see the glass slipper on the right in the pic below. 

Glass slipper

Glass slipper

This post was just some random thoughts.

me - 2014

me -2014

 I want you to know how much I appreciate you. Thank you for coming by my website and joining me on this wonderful, sometimes scary and uncertain, but always adventurous journey called life.

I’m looking forward to seeing the great things God will do in 2015. He is good. He is worthy to be praised.

I’d love to hear how your year went and what your plans are for 2015. Leave your comments below.