Mothers’ Day with our beautiful daughters and my flower garden

Abraham Lincoln quote on mother

“I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.”–Abraham Lincoln

I had a great Mother’s Day weekend and hope you did, too. The best part for me was seeing our precious, beautiful daughters Heather and Leah. I went by to see our middle daughter Eden, but she was working late until that night. Hopefully I can see her this week when she is off work. 

Heather bought me a sweet card and beautiful fresh red roses, my favorite flowers–so thoughtful of her!

card & roses from Heather
card & roses from Heather

Heather works full-time, stays constantly busy and on the go, and lives almost an hour away from me here in Butler. So it was a real treat for her to drive here with her girls Annabelle and Violet and take me out to lunch at the Mexican restaurant, El Charro. 

Me & our beautiful daughter, Heather Mothers' Day 2018
Me & our beautiful daughter, Heather
Mothers’ Day 2018

 

Heather opening her card & gift from me The girls watching her Mothers' Day 2018
Heather opening her card & gift from me
The girls watching her
Mothers’ Day 2018

Heather and the girls then stopped by our house to see our black cat with green eyes, Natalya, for the first time. Violet loved her! Natalya is shy, so I was really glad she allowed them to pet and even hold her!

Heather seeing our cat Natalya the first time
Heather seeing our cat Natalya for the first time here

 

Our granddaughters Violet & Annabelle seeing Natalya the 1st time
Our granddaughters Violet and Annabelle seeing Natalya for the 1st time here at our house

Their visit was very short and sweet, because Heather had an errand to run, but I’m so thankful that I was able to see them and spend time with them for this special holiday!

On actual Mother’s Day Sunday, our youngest daughter Leah treated me to lunch at El Charro, too (we both love Mexican and I can never have too much chips and salsa!). Seeing our daughters made my whole weekend!

Me & our precious, beautiful daughter Leah on Mothers' Day 2018
Me & our precious, beautiful daughter Leah on Mothers’ Day 2018

 

Mexican lunch
Mexican lunch

 

I'm addicted to chips & salsa!
I’m addicted to chips & salsa!

The restaurant staff also blessed me with a free dessert for Mothers’ Day: it was a creamy, yummy cake with strawberries!

the yummy dessert: Leah & I shared it!
the yummy cake with chocolate & strawberries: Leah and I shared it!

I’m so thankful that I was able to do this with Leah. It made my whole day.

My husband Ray bought me a beautiful butterfly card (I love butterflies!) and a Chicken Soup for the Soul book, The Empowered Woman. What the card read inside about me being beautiful and what he wrote about me as a mom meant the most to me and deeply touched me.

butterfly card & book
butterfly card & book

To treat myself afterward, I planted some flowers in my flower bed that I’d bought at the Mennonite store in town, the Stoplight Market, where I purchased them last year. All this is a lot of hard work, and I was very sore the next day! I posted a meme on Facebook which read, “My glutes are on FIYAH!”

 

flower bed
my flower bed. I started gardening last year and am happy to have fresh flowers again!

My friend Stephanie urged me to buy mulch for the flower bed, so the rains wouldn’t wash away the petunias. I went the next day to buy the mulch and put it down to protect the flowers.

mulch
mulch

 

petunias
petunias in a variety of colors

 

cute little sign-fairy
cute little sign: fairy crossing

 

yellow daisies
friendly daisies for our back steps

 

purple potted petunias
purple potted petunias

 

gardenias
red gardenias for my sunroom

I love having creamy coffee and drinking it in our sunroom in the morning. It’s a great place to just pray to God and watch the birds, squirrels, butterflies, and bunny rabbits.

coffee in the sunroom
coffee in the sunroom

My mother-in-law Judy bought me this beautiful, little glass table for the sunroom. I love it! It is perfect for my coffee, flowered cactus, and aloe vera plant.

glass table
glass table

Our cat Natalya loves our sunroom as much as I do, but for different reasons. She intently watches the birds and the squirrels, anticipating a kill if she could only get outside (she’s an indoor-only house cat!). 

Natalya watching the birds
Natalya watching the birds

 

Natalya by the sunroom screen
Natalya by the sunroom screen

 

Natalya in the sunroom
Natalya in the sunroom

I bought a few herbs for my sunroom: wonderful-smelling lavender, oregano to use in cooking dishes like spaghetti, and beautiful purple Salvia. I never leave our cat alone in the sunroom with the plants, as some can be toxic. The door stays locked when I’m not in there.

I have the herbs in a big, white crate that was filled with goodies the attendees blessed me with last year, when I spoke at a retreat in Liberty, MO.

herbs: lavender, oregano, and Salvia
herbs: lavender, oregano, and Salvia

 

faith deco in sunroom
faith deco in sunroom

Last year I planted a big butterfly bush to entice butterflies, which I love. It blossomed well, and drew butterflies in my garden. But Missouri can have harsh, cold winters and it’s likely the ice and the snow killed the poor, little plant. I wasn’t able to find a big plant I really liked for that corner, so I bought a Celtic Cross.

I am proclaiming it is a prophetic declaration for me visiting Ireland, one of the things on my bucket list! Irish legend says that Saint Patrick was trying to convert the pagans to Christianity. Some of these pagans worshiped the sun, so it is said that he combined the cross with the circular pattern of the sun as a way to associate light and life with the Christian cross in the mind of his converts. I think it adds a unique touch to the garden.

Celtic Cross
Celtic Cross

I also put new bark mulch around my roses. Last year I planted my first rose garden. Two of the rose bushes look somewhat sad this spring, so they may have to be uprooted and replaced. I’m not sure they survived the winter. The other two rose bushes are doing well, and one is already blooming beautifully.

rose garden
rose garden with stones

 

my roses from this year's garden
my roses from this year’s garden

I bought bags of black sunflower and other little seeds to draw the red cardinals, sparrows, purple finches, blue jays, and other beautiful birds in our yard. I’ve already seen the male and female red cardinals in our yard. The red male cardinal is my special sign of love from God, and it makes me so happy to see one!

I’ve also seen purple finches and mourning doves. Doves make beautiful sounds in the morning and are among my other favorite birds. An interesting fact about doves is that they mate for life. 

red male cardinal Image source: Pinterest
red male cardinal
Image source: Pinterest

 

purple finch
purple finch

Last year my mother-in-law Judy bought me the squirrel-proof feeder on the left in the pic below. The squirrels are greedy, and practically do acrobatics on the feeders, even going upside down, to try to get to the seeds and eat them. 

bird feeders
bird feeders

I also put back out the hummingbird feeder with sugar water, and have already seen hummingbirds at them. I love the hummingbirds; they are so little and cute!

To make safe hummingbird food (there is controversy whether the red dye is safe or toxic to hummingbirds),  mix 1 part sugar with 4 parts water and bring to a boil to kill any bacteria or mold that is present. Cool and fill your feeder. They love it! This morning I saw a big black and yellow bumblebee at the feeder; they like it, too, so be careful. I was stung by a bee on my foot as a child, and my foot was swollen to twice its size, so I’m allergic to bees. 

“Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.”–Ashley Smith

hummingbird feeder
hummingbird feeder

The previous owners of this house had planted two pink peony bushes on the side yard. They are now blooming beautifully. My friend Stephanie said these are her favorite flowers, and that if I take care of them, they can grow as big as saucers.

pink peonies bush
pink peonies bush

 

pink peony
pink peony

I have a few more goals for our yard. One is to get a white trellis for the Wisteria tree, that Ray suggested I buy and plant last year. We put it in the front of our house by the little porch. It is now taking over our house, and friends of mine advised to get a trellis to train its growing “arms,” so it won’t destroy the siding on our home.

Wisteria tree
Wisteria tree

My other planned project is to buy 3 giant rocks at The Grass Pad in Martin City, MO, and make an attractive fairy rock garden on top of it. This is where I bought my stones for my rose garden last year. 

I had a very good Mothers’ Day this year and am so thankful.

Me on Mothers' Day 2018
Me on Mothers’ Day 2018

What did you do for the holiday? Leave your comments below.

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Two hours in the sun for doughnuts!

Hurts Doughnuts
Hurts Doughnuts

Recently our daughter Heather asked me to go buy her a dozen doughnuts for her and her coworkers from Hurts Doughnuts Company, a mobile specialty doughnut business which was going to be in Harrisonville, Missouri, about 20 miles north of where I live.

Their motto means you eat so many of their delicious doughnuts, that it hurts! On a regular day, they will sell between 8,000 to 10,000 donut, with more than 70 doughnut variations such as their S’mores, Snickers, and Cookie Monster doughnuts. The Springfield store is open 24 hours a day. 

Hurts Donuts
Hurts Donuts

They deliver the donuts in an “Wham-bulance,” an ambulance and a U-Haul. Based out of Springfield, Missouri, the business is now coming to the Kansas City, MO, area, which Heather is very excited about.

Wham-bulance
Wham-bulance

Being the nice mom I am, I said okay, unsuspecting of what I’d endure. Heather told me to get there early as the buzz was building already. I planned to arrive at 11:00 a.m. since they would open at 12 noon, located in the parking lot of a tire company.

I thought that an hour was a long time to wait, but when I arrived, I found out that the people who were first in line had been camping out in the parking lot since 8 a.m. that morning…for doughnuts!

I could not believe it! This is how long the line was when I got there. Even more people were in back of me. CRAZY! (God gave me favor and I was able to get a parking spot right in front immediately! Go, God!)

line in parking lot
line in parking lot

To top it off, it was really hot that day. Only the great LOVE I have for my daughter Heather could make me do such a thing, as I hate heat and hate waiting! I did come prepared, though, with a hat, sunblock, and shades!

me waiting in the hot sun
me waiting in the hot sun

Fortunately, the employees were handing out free bottles of cold water from Country Club Bank and Price Chopper to the customers. I accepted two of them, and was so thankful!

One of them was the owner’s sister, who is in the pic below in the pink T-shirt with their company logo. She was videoing everyone in line with Facebook Live.  She told me about the people at the start of the line, who’d been waiting there since 8 a.m.

She also said the company was bringing a U-Haul with more doughnuts as there were more customers in line than they anticipated: 250 people at her last count. I texted this to Heather, who laughed and said this was insane. I agree! 

A missionary friend of mine, Ron Hedrick of Global Community Outreach, who lives in Guatemala with his wife Rhonda, their son Jeremiah, and who have adopted 10 Guatemalan children, saw my pics on Facebook and said, “This scares me.” It should. Would people wait in line this long in the hot sun to hear a message about Jesus Christ or be baptized? [I encourage you to donate to Ron and Rhonda’s ministry in Guatemala as they do amazing, selfless work for Christ there.]

sister of owner
sister of owner

 

free bottle of cold water
free bottle of cold water

A few things helped me to wait it out: an occasional cool breeze and a customer who was sitting in her truck nearby with the window open and the radio playing some good music. My motto whenever you go anywhere or do something new is, “Have fun and take lots of pics!”

I  entertained myself by talking to others in line, watching the little kids play happily, and taking pics to post on this blog, Facebook, and my new Instagram page. (I messed up my IG account when I updated my iPhone to the 7, and had to create a brand new Instagram account because the name”Beth Jones” was already taken! I lost all my previous followers, so I’m rebuilding it again. I invite you to follow me there.)  

The kids’ faces were turning red from the heat, but they didn’t seem to mind it and chased each other, laughing. The little girl in the dress with braids was so adorable. I was reminded of how fast my own children (3 daughters) had grown up and of Matthew 19:14, NASB:

But Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

little boys playing
little boys playing
happy kids
happy kids

Turns out it was too hot to wait that long for the young mom with a whiny toddler and a fussy baby in a stroller right in front of me, so she left, deciding to go for an ice cream with them instead. Smart idea!

young mom with kids
young mom with kids

One of the varieties that Hurts Donuts is famous for is their bacon maple doughnut. I love bacon, but who on earth would want bacon on a doughnut? Apparently a lot of people, as it is one of their best sellers!

I bought a Snickers and a cheesecake doughnut for Heather, other types of doughnuts to make a dozen and a half for her and her coworkers to share, and a bacon maple one for her coworkers to sample. She told me later that it wasn’t her cup of tea. Mine, either! I tried the chocolate one with chocolate frosting and it tasted DIVINE!

bacon maple doughnut
bacon maple doughnut

I was very concerned about the girl standing in front of me in line, whose neck was getting badly sunburned. The pic doesn’t do the fire-redness justice.

girl with sunburned neck
girl with sunburned neck

One of the employees passing out water, who told me that he works at the corporate office (in the hat and T-Shirt at the table in the pic below), said they had been up since 1 a.m. to prepare for this event.

He and another gal working at the table under the Country Club Bank tent told me that they “loved” my LOVE hat. They were really friendly people.

Hurts Donuts employees
Hurts Donuts employees

Observing the long line of customers, I estimated that the average customer would buy a dozen doughnuts at $15 a box. (I bought 2 dozen total, plus the bacon maple.) There were 250 people in line, so that is $3,750 made in just a few hours! Whoa!

When I asked the corporate employee how on earth they manage to get this many people to buy their doughnuts, he said it’s all about the marketing: social media and live streaming. (Facebook Live–have you tried it? I haven’t yet, but maybe I need to! Or maybe I should start selling great doughnuts!)

Heather was appreciative that I did this for her. She told me that her coworkers said I am an “awesome mom.” I’m glad that I made my daughter happy and that someone thinks I’m awesome!

Me & my beautiful, precious daughter Heather with her doughnuts!
Me & my beautiful, precious daughter Heather with her doughnuts!

I also bought some for our family. I stopped by to drop them off after I took Heather hers. Below are pics of our granddaughters Annabelle and Violet, who enjoyed their doughnuts as well. 

Annabelle & Violet with their doughnuts
Annabelle & Violet with their doughnuts

 

Annabelle
Our precious & silly granddaughter Annabelle
Violet with her cute messy bun
Our red-headed granddaughter Violet with her cute messy bun

Heather suggested that I take pics of this unusual, funny event and blog about it, so here goes my take on it. I decided to blog about it from a business perspective:

  • Sell what people want, not what they need, as your product. (They wanted sugar!)
  • It’s all about the marketing and building buzz by word of mouth. (Take advantage of social media & live streaming.)
  • People will wait a long time, even in the heat or cold winter, for a good offer. (Several hours in the hot sun!)
  • Be creative and offer a variety of products. (Examples: Bacon maple, Cookie Monster, chocolate with sprinkles or Fruit Loops, caramel drizzle, Snickers, or cheesecake doughnuts.)
  • Connect and network with other business owners. Don’t be a lone ranger biz owner. (Country Club Bank and Price Chopper helped Hurts Donuts  with the tent and the water.)
  • Be friendly and good to your customers. (Employees live streaming to built anticipation, passing out free bottles of cold water & making sure their customers were okay in the heat.)
  • Have fun at what you’re doing! (The employees joking around with their customers as they waited.)
How To Write Your Book Fast: Making Your Writing Dreams Come True
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Have you heard of Hurts Donuts before? Ever waited this long for one or something else? What do you think of this? Leave your comments below.

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