Sheila's Motto

"Endeavor to enhance the lives of others through education and encouragement."

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Real Women - Real Answers ~~ Be A Memory Builder

Something a bit ironic happened to me this morning.   I was thinking of a topic that I could write for this blog post.  As I was getting a grandbaby ready for church, I thought of the other children in my life. Most of my own children are grown, with only two teenagers left at home.   However, I have had lots of interaction with the kids of our church.   We have had various youth groups through the ten years that we have been here including Vacation Bible Schools, Awana, and Sunday Schools. 

I realized the importance of this interaction one night at our Awana youth club when one of the 4 year olds in the class was examining a picture on the wall.   Softly, she asked me, “Who is that man on the cross?” I told her it was a picture of Jesus. She had such a somber look on her face.   “Why is he bleeding?”   We put aside any plans I had for that night’s class as I gathered the children around this picture that I was now holding in my lap, and we talked about the “man on the cross”.  I had always taught older children in a church setting. I realized now that I was with the younger children I was introducing Christ to some of them for the very first time!

The kids at the church run to me, hug me, and tell me about their weeks. “Miss Jo! I lost a tooth this week!”  “Miss Jo, I have been good for Mommy this week!” The kids in my Kindergarten to sixth grade class  visit with me about their personal interests which allow us to relate that to the gifts God has knit into them and how they can use it for His glory. I love observing as they discover the things they are good at and wonder how those passions will fit into their future.  

Let’s not forget the teenagers. Many of them are in our Civil War re-enacting group.  We can get into some deep conversations ranging from  the Word of God to real-life struggles.  We spend so much time with these kids, introducing them to their Creator, teaching them how to pray, and how to trust God.

Last week, I drove to the airport with one of the young moms in our congregation. Her five year old is in one of my classes.   He said, “Miss Jo, are we going to your house now because I sure would like to spend some time at your house?” His mom told him that we had better wait for the next week when his brother was out of school because it would not go over well if one got to come but not the other.   So I was able to share my day with these special kids in my life. 

I wonder sometimes if we are really making a difference.   I mentioned that something ironic happened this morning.   It wasn’t so much ironic as it was a confirmation. I heard a knock on my door. This is highly unusual at our country home and on a Sunday morning. I opened the door and I heard, “Are you not having services on Easter Sunday morning?” It was a boy (now almost a man) who was in one of our first youth groups when we came to the church. I am still in contact with his mom, but had not seen him for six or seven years! We visited for a few minutes while catching up on the happenings in our lives and walked down to church together.  After the service, this young man came up to me, hugged me, and said, “Thank you, Mama Jo. It was good to see you again.” My heart melted.

It made me realize that we have been handed such an awesome opportunity to impact the children around us. We are in a position that we can minister to these kids on a personal and spiritual level.  We are building memories for them that they will never forget.

Be a memory builder!

Follow JoEllen Claypool on her blog at

Happy Memory Building & Reading!

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Friday, March 25, 2016

Poetry & Prose ~~ "What Kind of Love Is This?"

What kind of love is this
That while looking through eyes of love upon a fallen race,
God revealed salvation’s plan of restoration, forgiveness, and grace.

What kind of love is this
That the Lord of Heaven became flesh to dwell among all men,
That we may become one in Him and be called His friends.

What kind of love is this
That He could see the joy that lay beyond the cross,
And became the ultimate sacrifice, not counting the cost.

What kind of love is this
That with His nail pierced hands and His wounded side,
He wore a crown of thorns with His arms opened wide.

What kind of love is this
That says Father, forgive them, they know not what they do,
And freely gave up His life, for me and for you.

What kind of love is this
That conquered sin and death by shedding His precious blood,
Removing the sting of death by the power of His love.

What kind of love is this
That when the stone was rolled away, there was an empty grave,
Rising to new life in resurrection power, a living hope He gave.

What kind of love is this
That intercedes for us continually from His glorious heavenly throne,
Until the time comes to call us to our eternal home above.

What kind of love is this
That draws us into His presence, to come just as we are.
This is an unconditional love, the love of our Father’s heart.

“As the Father has loved Me, I also have loved you, abide in My love”
John 15: 9

Contributed by Heartsong Treasures

Poetry's Presence ~~ Happy Reading!

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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Sweet & Savory Thursday ~~ "Sour Cream Coffee Cake"

This is one of the best coffee cake recipes of all time! 


  • 1 cup butter softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt, optional

  • Cream butter and sugar together in mixing bowl for 2 minutes on medium speed.
  • Add eggs, one at a time and beat well.
  • Fold in sour cream and vanilla.
  • Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.  Add to above mixture, and beat until well blended.  Mixture should be satiny and smooth at this point.
  • Pour 1/2 mixture into well greased and floured bundt pan.

Mix together the following ingredients and spread evenly in bundt pan.
  • 4 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans

Spoon remaining 1/2 of batter into pan and spread evenly across top.

Cook 1 hour @ 350 degrees. Insert toothpick into center of cake to make certain it is fully cooked throughout.

After removing from oven, cool on rack for 20 minutes.

Remove from pan, invert onto rack, and allow to cool to room temperature.  

Store in air tight container.  

Happy Reading & Eating!

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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Psychology of 10K

Have you ever seen one of those ads featuring a product that can change the oil in your car while baking a loaf of bread simultaneously allowing you to automatically check two items off your to do list on a Saturday morning?  While this may be quite an embellishment in real life, how many times have you watched an infomercial and been left with no clue as to the product being advertised, much less what you might do with it or when you could possibly put it to use?

Let’s rewind the tape to early 2007 when a circuit board in a wooden box helped to launch what grew to be a $4 billion company.  Like any other finished product on the market, it may not work for everyone, but fortunately, I have found it to be a tremendous help to me.

Christmas Day 2015 I received a gift card, so I decided to purchase my own step recording device. Prior to this, I had never really paid much attention to how many steps I would have walked on any given day.

The benefits of walking only thirty minutes per day have been touted by medical care providers, health care institutions, insurance companies, sports enthusiasts, athletes, nutritionists, and the list goes on by the hour.

I would like to list just a few of the advantages of planning to hit the dusty trail, sidewalk, asphalt, dirt road, green belt, or path of your choice:

  • Weight loss
  • Increases bone density which is a challenge for aging women
  • Lowers risk of Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure
  • Absorbing your 15 minutes of outdoor Vitamin D
  • Releases your body’s endorphins so you can be a Happy Camper
  • Improves your coordination and balance
  • Boosts circulation and oxygen supply
  • Strengthens your muscles
  • Helps to prevent dementia
  • If you are unable to afford a gym membership or have health issues such as a suppressed immune system which prevent you from attending the health club, walking is free!
  • You can enjoy the scenery and critters along the way

Having owned my new wrist apparel now for just a short three months, a major surprise has been the psychological aspect of it.  One definition of psychology is the mental and emotional factors of governing a situation or activity.  I am much more cognizant of my daily steps with an increased effort toward trying to achieve at least the number featured in the above photo.

I received a telephone call from one of my relatives a few weeks ago.  About five minutes into the conversation, it sounded like he had entered a tunnel.  When inquiring as to his whereabouts and what he was doing, he responded, “I am walking inside a large store. I need to get my 10K steps in today!”  Alas, he’s dialed into the psychological factor as well.

What was the most challenging aspect of this whole exercise?  It’s probably not what you thought it might be. Stopping in the middle of our living room when the device registered 10K to capture the picture was more difficult than one might imagine!

Happy Reading & Walk On!

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Friday, March 18, 2016

Sweet & Savory Friday ~~ Navy Bean Soup & Cornbread

  • 2 Cups Dried Small Navy Beans
  • 1 - 8 ounce package diced ham
  • 2 - medium onions, chopped
  • 1 - Tsp. freshly ground pepper

  • Sort through dried beans to remove gravel and debris
  • Sprinkle 1 tsp. baking soda over beans and mix together in large bowl
  • Cover beans with water and soak over night
  • Drain and rinse beans with water in colander the following morning
  • Place in crock pot or in large saucepan on stove top
  • Add diced ham
  • Chop onions and add to mixture
  • Add pepper 
  • Cover with water and cook 6 hours on high setting on crock pot or cook on stove top until beans are tender

  • If preparing the bean soup in a crock pot, add just enough water so that it covers the beans by about one inch.
  • I process the onions in my food processor until they are the puree stage, and this seems to help them blend into the soup nicely.
  • If possible, stir the soup several times during the day while it is cooking.
  • This soup is delicious if served with cornbread.  I add a 4-oz. can of diced mild green chilies to the standard cornbread recipe.

  • Aside from fresh meat, beans are one of the least expensive sources of protein.
  • Beans contain a boat load of nutrients including antioxidants, along with vitamins and minerals such as copper, folate, iron, zinc, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese.
  • You can prepare a healthy, inexpensive meal for your family using beans as the main course.
  • Several varieties of beans are grown within our great state, so you will be helping to support your local economy while feeding your family.

Happy Eating & Reading!

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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Poetry & Prose ~ "Recipe for Daily Living"

                                                   "RECIPE FOR DAILY LIVING"

Mix together:

10 cups of good thoughts
10 cups of good deeds
10 cups of consideration for others                
20 cups of sacrifice for others
20 cups of well beaten character flaws
30 cups of forgiveness

This is to be mixed thoroughly with tears of sympathy.  Flavor the mixture well with gifts of love, mercy, and grace.  Top with prayer and faith to lighten the ingredients and to raise the texture to great heights in daily living.  Bake well in the heat of human kindness and serve with a smile. 

Serving size is 100 cups per person per serving to be used when needed, contains all the nutrients for a healthy life, and is calorie free.


Rejoice forevermore
Pray without ceasing
In everything give thanks
Doing good to all
Speaking evil of no one
Hearing all sides before deciding
Thinking before speaking
Withholding an angry tongue
Asking forgiveness for all wrongs
Forgiving others
Being patient towards all
Disbelieving evil reports
Praying for those who despitefully use you


Love and forgiveness is Christianity in action.
God loves to work when nothing and no one else will.
The law says “I have to” 
Love says “I want to” 
Grace says “I can and I will”

Happy Reading & Daily Living!

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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Meet my Guest Blogger ~ Kimbre Christopher ~ " A Good Mom"

I would like to introduce my guest blogger for today, Kimbre Christopher, who is 27 years old and the mother of three boys.  She is expecting her fourth in May.  Kimbre and her husband, Michael, spend a lot of time not only raising their children in Christ, but helping to raise other children to know Him through their church's Awana Club program.  Kimbre is starting a new chapter in her life as a "stay-at-home" mom.  She is eager to share what she has been learning in this new part of her life.

                                                      "A Good Mom"

With all the controversy today over breast-feeding versus bottle feeding, co-sleeping versus independent sleep, and wraps versus carriers versus no carry at all, what makes a good mom? I would like to throw my two cents into some of these arguments, and possibly weigh in on others.

In my non-expert opinion, a mom that feeds her child is doing well, regardless of whether that mom is nursing, pumping and bottle feeding, buying breast milk and bottle feeding, or formula feeding (with or without state or WIC assistance to purchase the formula). She is still being a good mom because she cares enough to feed her child. As kids get older and breast milk versus formula is no longer an issue, we run into the argument of sugary foods, fatty foods, processed foods, and so many more. My opinion stays the same — as long as you are a mom trying to feed your kids the best that you can, then you are doing a good job.

When I was younger, my mom made probably the hardest decision of her life. She did not give us up for adoption, but she did sign over guardianship to our grandparents because we were probably safer with them. Did this make her a bad mom? No. This showed a mother’s love for her children was greater than the expectations the world had for her. She placed us in a safe and loving environment until she could also be in that place herself. She did a good job as a mom. I believe that women who place their children for adoption are doing just as good of a job as the foster moms and adoptive moms. All are just trying to love that child the best way they know how at that particular time.

Now as far as the other controversies that our society has conjured up, I could comment on them, but it would be redundant. If you are a mom, doing the best you can to raise your child or children, then you are a good mom. It doesn’t matter if your kids wear designer clothes or second-hand store specials, you are clothing them. Whether you co-parent, have been divorced and/or remarried and have to share custody, you are still doing a commendable job. If your kids are homeschooled, privately schooled or in public school, you are still giving your kids an education, and you are doing what you need to do as a parent.

As far as I am concerned, if you are trying your best, you are a good mom.

-Kimbre Christopher

Stop in and take a gander at Kimbre's blog page ~~~

Happy reading!

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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Sweet & Savory Thursday ~~ Poppy Seed Muffins


  • 3 eggs - beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp. butter flavoring
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 3/4 tsp. almond flavoring
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3 Tbsp. poppy seeds


  • Mix all liquid ingredients in mixing bowl on medium speed for 2 minutes. Fold in dry ingredients and mix well until smooth.
  • Pour into greased muffin tins or paper baking cups.
  • Bake for approximately 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
  • Makes 12 large or 30 small muffins (cupcake size).


  • The real secret to this recipe is the butter flavoring.
  • I prefer to use canola oil rather than vegetable oil in this recipe.
  • The muffins are very moist and tasty!
  • These are my grandchildren's favorites.
  • They freeze well, so if it works out better for you to use just a portion of the muffins initially, you will have some for later for guests who drop in unexpectedly.
  • The butter flavoring can be a bit of a challenge to locate, but I have been able to score a bottle when needed at Fred Meyer stores.

Happy Reading & Enjoy these muffins!  

Please leave a comment if you try this recipe and like it!

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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Poetry & Prose - "Payroll"

The last time I checked
            I made a great discovery.
If you give it some thought
            it may not be such a mystery.

Alas, the outcome was
            such a pleasant surprise,
I’ve been telling my friends
            just to get a rise.

My current non-existent, 
            non-benefit payroll
            consists of the following
            alphabetized lineup:

            Anna the Administrator
            Audrey the Author
            Beatrice the Baker
            Bobbie the Bookkeeper
            Constance the Cook
            Hannah the Housekeeper
            Inez the Ironess
            Linda the Laundress  
               Quaylene the QuickBooker
            Suzannah the Secretary
            Tonya the Taxi Driver
            Yvette theYard Worker

Each of the aforementioned
            is so efficient and kind,
If they stay on schedule
            I’m never left in a bind.

Live your life on the lighter side
            and write out your list today.
You’ll make some great progress
            even if it’s without pay!     

Poetry on Parade & Happy Reading!

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Thursday, March 3, 2016

Sweet & Savory Thursday ~~ Crockpot Chicken Comfort Dinner


  • 2 - 10.5 ounce cans Cream of Chicken soup
  • 2/3 cup milk or water
  • 4 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 tsp. Poultry Seasoning
  • Salt and/or pepper, optional
  • 1 - 6 oz. pkg. stuffing mix
  • 1 2/3 cup water 


  • Stir together soup and milk or water (whichever one you choose to dilute the soup) in the bottom of Crockpot.
  • Place chicken breasts in bottom of Crockpot.
  • Sprinkle Poultry Seasoning over chicken breasts.
  • Sprinkle Salt/Pepper over chicken breasts (optional).
  • Combine the water with stuffing mix in separate bowl and stir to blend together.
  • Spoon the stuffing over chicken breasts.
  • Cover and cook on low setting for 6 hours.

(The above photo depicts what your mixture will look like after all ingredients are placed inside Crockpot)

Serve with vegetable of your choice, dinner rolls, fruit, or other comfort foods your family enjoys.

This is a delicious chicken recipe and so easy to prepare. You just fix it and forget it! 

Happy cooking, eating & reading!

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