Monday, April 10, 2017

Southwest Trip and Give-Away Winner

Hello to you, my dear and precious blogging friends!
My blog anniversary post was published while I was
still away in Arizona helping my mother move into her new home.
 When I finally had the time to read your comments
I was overwhelmed with gratitude and touched by your
heart warming and personal words of love.
I would like to thank each and every one of you for your visits
for your sentiments and for your beautiful friendship.
Again, please consider yourself {{hugged}} and loved ♡
Thank you for taking the time to leave those lovely comments. 
I loved hearing how you found me and amazingly most of you
found me through my dear Stephanie.
I would have loved to open up my surprise box and share it with you, 
but then it wouldn't be a surprise for the winner. 
So, Marilyn from Mountain Top Spice
 will be receiving the box as a surprise, just as promised. 
Congratulations Marilyn!! 
When I think of Marilyn and her beauty, I cannot help but
see her as a women who graces her home in God's beauty. 
If you have never met Marilyn, please take the time to pay her a visit,
you will not be disappointed. 


The desert was in gorgeous bloom while I was away in Arizona. 
Every year that I visit the southwest desert I see it's beauty
in hundreds of cacti, plants and wildflowers flourishing
with amazingly colorful booms with much appreciation. 
The mountains that surround Tucson seem to grow larger
with every visit I make. 
While this past visit was one that kept me busy with mom's move
I still enjoyed the beauty of the blooms every chance I had. 

While walking Donatella (My Beagle) around mom's complex I admired
a Barrel Cactus in full bloom soaking in its prickly beauty. 
Barrel Cactus are known for their blooms in late summer, 
but their blooms were out early, maybe because they have had
a lot of rain this winter. 
I was thankful the blooms arrived early so I could enjoy their beauty,
and enjoy them I did.

The Bougainvillea's were stunning!
Look at those gorgeous bright pink petals in full bloom. 
I love the teeny tiny white flowers in the center. 

 I kept my eye out for blooms to appear on the Prickly Pear Cactus but I left to soon. 
When my grandmother was alive we would make prickly pear jam in her kitchen while visiting; their blooms are yellow or fuchsia pink
and of course I LOVE the pink magenta color.
Just before leaving for home the Saguaro Cactus was beginning to bloom
and it was evident that they were going to be gorgeous
with their clusters of white blooms
as they towered above the other desert vegetation.
FYI~The Saguaro cactus can reach heights of 50 feet and weights of 9 tons
and can be found living more than 200 years. 
While driving home we went over a pass and the Joshua Tree
surrounded by the Brittlebrush was absolutely breathtaking!
At every turn on that pass I gasped in awe of God's amazing beauty. 
I wasn't able to take many pictures this trip, sadly to say. 


Most people think of the desert as being a dry, arid, harsh land, but it's not. 
God's beautiful creation of the southwest desert
can be seen in flowers with shades of yellow, red, purple and white
decorating the desert floor and bringing glory to our Holy God. 
God's design of these cacti, plants and wildflowers
amaze me with their ability to absorb a lot of sunlight, take the heat
and yet produce such majestic blooms. 
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."
*Genesis 1:1*
Created speaks of that which only God can do.

"Before the mountains were brought forth, 
Or ever You had formed the earth and the world, 
Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God."
*Psalm 90:2*
In the beginning God was already there. 

"You are worthy, O Lord, to receive gory and honor and power;
For You created all things, 
and by Your will they exist and were created."
*Revelation 4:11*
Created also signifies something new or remarkable
being established out of nothing. 


This trip was so I could help my mother move into her new home.
It was a fast and furious two weeks of work,
but when all was said and done it was worth every bit of those sweat and tears.
God has directed mom into a beautiful quiet and peaceful complex
where all amenities are just minutes away.
I have peace of mind knowing God is looking after her.
God looks after every little detail of our lives, doesn't He? 
We can be thankful that everything matters to God,
 He works behind the scenes making sure 
that our needs are met, not always our desires and wants, but our needs.
Thank you Jesus!


This weekend we had a wonderful family gathering in celebration
of  Stephanie and our grandson's  birthday.
I thought you would enjoy this photo of my two daughters and myself
being silly and having a good ole time.
I love those girls♡

Be Gracious!
~ Debbie ~


Teri said...

Congratulations to Marilyn. I so enjoyed hearing about your trip. I love the photo that you have shared of the three of you. Precious as can be. Have a blessed week. Hugs ♥ Teri

Elizabethd said...

Your trip must have been very satisfying, to help your mother get settled.
Cactus like that just don't happen here in UK!

Debby Ray said...

Congratulations to Marilyn...and you are so right...what a sweetie she is! Oh Debbie, your photos of these lovely cactus blooms are stunning! I have never been out west, let alone the southwest to see what beauty lies out there! It is definitely on my bucket list. I am so glad that you got your sweet mom settled in what sounds like a wonderful place. I love the pic of you ladies having fun...there is no question where your girls get their beauty :) Hugs!

Regina said...

I'm glad you enjoyed your visit with your mom Debbie. I can tell it was a blessed time. When we told our friends and family we were moving to Arizona, they all said "Why are you moving there? It's so hot!" I think people think all of AZ is super hot which it really isn't. Where we live it's very nice. We get warm temps but I think it's warmer in the Phoenix area.

Sandi said...

"The desert was in gorgeous bloom..."

There is something so triumphant in that!

Marilyn Mathis said...

Congratulations to Marilyn. I have visited her blog many times. Her photos are gorgeous. So happy that you were successful in getting your mother settled in a comfortable, safe place. Your blog is so inspiring and you have such lovely daughters. Of course the credit goes to a beautiful loving mother! Hugs.

Pom Pom said...

Yay! Marilyn won! I like her so much!
I'm so glad your mom is all settled.

Rose L said...

I have not seen Bougainvillea's in many years!. When I was young we lived in California and mom had 2 of them--one reddish pink and one golden. She also had lots of roses, a jasmine which smelled wonderful, and lots of different colored fuchsias. I do not think most of those grow well here in Oregon except for fuchsias. You can see the blooming in my garden now on my blog.

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

I remember the gorgeousness of the Bougainvillea, when I went to my nephew's wedding three years ago in Phoenix. They were absolutely breathtaking! Doesn't the beauty of Our Heavenly Father bring joy to our hearts? How nice that your mom is in a wonderful place and that you got her all settled in. Is this going to be her permanent residence now, Debbie? I loved the photo of you and your daughters, and you were all coordinated in black and white! Congratulations to Marilyn!! Happy Easter week, sweet friend.

Cheryl said...

Oh, how pretty! I loved seeing those amazing flowers! Thank you for sharing them, sweet friend, and also for sharing about your wonderful trip! I am so thankful your dear Mom is settled in to her new place and trust Jesus to bless her to adjust and really love it there. The picture of you and your two precious girls is just so lovely! I know you made some precious memories indeed. :) CONGRATULATIONS to Marilyn! I know she will love and enjoy whatever is in that mystery box! It could only be full of sweetness coming from you!! God bless you. :)

Simply Linda said...

Oh how happy I am for Marilyn {{{big smiles}}}.

We once lived in Yuma, when hubby was in the Marines...not sure about not having green grass, giggles.

Vicky Hunt said...

Congratulations to Marilyn! It sounds as though you had a lovely time with your mother. The desert flowers are so beautiful and colorful. I love the picture of you and your girls. You are three beautiful ladies. Have a lovely week sweet friend.

Hugs, Vicky

Anonymous said...

My mother-in-law lives in Arizona. I always love to visit and just breath in the citrus trees growing in her backyard. It's a touch of paradise.

Have a great week.


AnnMarie aka Vintage Junkie aka NaNa said...

Oh, how I want to visit Arizona someday, and New Mexico and Colorado....anywhere out west! I am so drawn to it when I see the scenery. So happy you are back home safe and sound and peaceful that your mother is taken care of. Sweet picture of you three pretty girls!

Pamela M. Steiner said...

Oh, congratulations to Marilyn at Mountain Top Spice...I love her blog!!!Such beauty I've never imagined in her part of the country! And speaking of make Arizona (?) sound so lovely. I do love the cactus blooms...we have the prickly pear variety here in Florida, and they should be blooming soon. They are yellow...and so lovely! Happy for your Mother...sounds like a lovely place...and she was certainly blessed to have you there to help her make the move. And then you got to spend some happy time with your lovely daughters! How cool is that? Thank you for sharing with us. Everything looks wonderful!

Mary Hutchins said...

Congrats to Marilyn!! Enjoyed the pictures, looks like your MoM is going to have pretty flowers to enjoy.

Marilyn @ MountainTopSpice said...

OH MY DEAR DEBBIE! Wow! I could hardly believe my eyes when I got your email saying that I had won your surprise box giveaway! Oh, I just can't wait, as just the box alone would be a surprise gift enough!!!! It will be so exciting to open my surprise box and share the happiness with everyone :) You and Stephanie grace the blogging world in such a beautiful and amazing way, my life has truly been enriched because of both of you! Thank you again!!!

I enjoyed your desert bloom pictures so much, oh the beauty of the Lord's creation is remarkable everywhere! Thank you for sharing the delightful blooms. I miss bougainvillea so much, when I lived in Texas, they were one of my favorite flowers. They bloom so profusely in such gorgeous colors. I'm so thankful your mom is settled in safely to a wonderful place where she has all the amenities and care she needs, such a relief for you to know that too! How good the care of our Heavenly Father is!

I will let you know when my surprise box arrives (if I'm away when it comes, I will have something to look forward to opening when I get back) Hugs and love to you today dear friend!

Marilyn @ MountainTopSpice said...

PS... the picture of you and the your two sweet daughters is just precious! I loved it, how wonderful to have such a blessed and special family celebration when you got back!!! Happy hugs again :)

Celestina Marie said...

Hi Debbie,
What a beautiful post. Congrats to the winner of your surprise giveaway. Marilyn will be blessed with her goodies.
Your moms area has some gorgeous blooms and your photos are incredible. That cactus is gorgeous.
So glad Stephanie enjoyed a wonderful birthday gathering. I love the photo of beautiful you and your two beautiful girls. Wishing you a wonderful Easter week. Hugs and Joys always. xo

Michele said...

Happy bloggaversary!

So happy you are pleased with your momma's move. That has to be a huge weight off your shoulders now.

You and your daughters are so pretty.

And apparently black and white was the clothing theme that day- you three look great together.

Have a blessed Holy Week.

Praise be to the Risen Lord! ♥

Anonymous said...

Oh how wonderful for Marilyn...she will surely enjoy it :0) and seeing the three of you, I can see the beauty of Our Lord shinning through :D have a wonderful Blessed Week! mari

September Violets said...

Congratulations to Marilyn! I'm so glad you got your mom settled into her new home. It can be such a worry for everyone when our parents are a distance away, so I'm glad she is in a place where she feels content (for your peace of mind as well as hers). Beautiful shots of the cactus blooms. I've never seen cactus in the wild, so I'll take your word for it that it was stunning. Great shot of three of you ... such a pretty group! Enjoy the rest of your week, I'm sure you're still needing some relaxation after a busy two weeks.

Margie said...

Welcome back, Debbie. Glad to hear that your mother's move went well.

Congrats to your giveaway winner! I'm sure that Marilyn will love the surprise box of goodies.

What a cute family photo!

Creations By Cindy said...

Congratulations to Marilyn. What a blessed lady she is to win. Oh I love the pictures and yes, your daughter's are simply beautiful. I am so glad that your mom has a nice place to live. Nothing like having that deep peace about the care of our loved ones. You may need to get some rest now with all that hard word. Happy Easter Dear Lady. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

Saleslady371 said...

Congratulations to Marilyn! I enjoy her blog so much and she is a sweetheart. Tuscon is a lovely place to live with so much to do! I'm happy your mom is nestled into a good environment. The photo of you and your daughters is adorable!

Anne Payne said...

hey Debbie! I always thought the desert would be barren and ugly but wow!!! That cactus is something else! God sure does know how to make life beautiful, even in a dry land! :) I'm so glad your trip was good and your mom is all settled. You're a blessing to her, for sure! Your daughters are just too cute sitting there with you. Such sweet memories y'all are making! Call me and let's chat. Love you much!!!

Ida said...

Glad you had such a wonderful trip and that you got your mom settled into a very nice sounding place. - The cacti are super neat and the bougainillea are so pretty. - Super happy that Marilyn won your give away, she is a super neat lady as are you. Enjoyed the photo of you and your daughters too.

Dianna said...

Dear Debbie,
Thank you so much for sharing about the winner of the give-away. I can't think of anyone who would enjoy it more than dear Marilyn. She is a jewel.

I loved seeing pictures of and hearing about the beautiful blooms of the desert. Our daughter and son-in-law went to language school in Texas (next to the border) before they went to Mexico City as missionaries. We had opportunity to visit them there and it was so pretty there. I remember visiting King's Ranch and all of the gorgeous cacti growing everywhere.

Thank you for pointing out that only God truly created. We may think we create things...true, we may be creative, but we have to use things to do our creating. Our precious God only had to speak and it was done.

I loved seeing the picture of you and your sweet daughters. Thank you for sharing it. :)

hobbyloes said...

Wow, I didn't know the beauty of the desert, amazing!!!
How beautiful and cute are you and your daughters.
A Happy and blessed Easter!

Brenda said...

Hi Debbie,
I too think the desert is beautiful, I love the plants that grow there too. Every place is perfect for the creatures and plants that God has placed there. I like your family pic, I saw one similar on Stephanie's blog. So glad your mum is in a good place.
God bless you with a beautiful time at Easter.

Deborah Montgomery said...

LOVE that picture of the three of you! xo Deborah

Kelly @ Homespuns 'n Hayfields said...

The picture of the 3 of you is so cute, especially the smile on your face Debbie. You were obviously having a good time. I'm so glad your Mom is settled in now and having a fresh, new start. I'm sure she'll have lots of your family visiting her.

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