Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Chocolate Boutique™ and Other Assorted Things

First things first! I have been so honored to be given the Christmas Spirit Award by Groovy, Michelle, and by Angela. What a blessing! Thank you so much!

This award is for those who talk about and show the spirit of Christmas in their blogs. What is the Spirit of Christmas you ask?Quite simply it is those that have a generous and giving nature. Those who care about others. Those who have a kind word to say or a broad shoulder to lean on in the times that others need that. Those who display the "Spirit of Christmas".

Groovy said this when she gave me this gift:

I can't pass over Grandma Dawn. She has been such a support and blessing to me through some difficult moments. I 'm getting kinda teary just thinking about it! She's kinda like my internet Mommy (though she's young enough to be my sister!). I love you Dawn!

Groovy makes me laugh every day, but this almost made me cry! Thank you all. I just hope it gets me in the Christmas mood soon!

Autumn has been so beautiful this year. I posted mountain pictures a couple of weeks ago. But the drive to work has been equally wonderful in the morning sun. I particularly love this tree in our neighborhood.


Last week-end I spent a few wonderful hours with two dozen women from my church at the YMCA of the Rockies. Our retreat plan was from Group Publishing, Christian publishing company that started in the owner's basement here in our town and now is worldwide - your church quite possibly has used their Bible School plan at some time or another.

Last year's retreat centered around scents - I can't remember what it was called, but I couldn't go because of my horrendous allergy to anything perfumed. So imagine my delight when I learned that this year's retreat was called Chocolate for the Heart, from the Chocolate Boutique™. Barb is probably thinking right now that she would not have enjoyed this one! Most of us who went are admitted chocoholics, and thought this would be a pretty amazing way to spend a week-end. Truthfully, you were only "officially" offered about 3 pieces of chocolate during the sessions. We also had a chocolate judging session where we scored white chocolate, dark chocolate, filled chocolate, and milk chocolate - with saltines between each to "cleanse our palates". But it was everywhere! I have to admit, I had reached saturation point by the time we left on Saturday afternoon. I thought I was cured. I even had a headache.

Unfortunately, I have relapsed. But, back to the program --

The focus of the retreat was from John 2. We spent the 3 sessions discussing trust, the first miracle of Jesus, if Mary had any idea what Jesus would do when she asked him to help the host of the wedding, what the miracle helped us understand about Jesus, the changes in our life that were because of God's grace. The most interesting object lesson was when we held a Hershey's Kiss in our hands throughout the presentation. It showed us what a mess we can make when we hold on to something we should just trust God and turn over to Him.

The view when I got up on Saturday morning was wonderful. It brought back such great memories of the years when DC and I went to Laymen's Retreat in the same location at the same time of the year. It was great to be back up there for a few hours.


That's me sticking up above everyone else!
Below is the youngest and only male in our group. He was perfect! (But then I wasn't in his room during the night!)

If you're at all interested in checking in to this for your women's ministries group, go to

The following two shots are just some that I took on my way to work early one morning. I can't resist a good sunrise shot! Kristen asked me how many sunrise and sunset pictures I could possibly take. I told her - "as many as God makes!"


Theresa said...


Have you tried taking a spoon of honey every day for your allergies, it seems to be a new thing that is working great for allergy sufferers.

Buy a jar of honey from your area, where the bees have taken the pollen from, and you will be immunized after a few months.
It's worked for a number of my friends.

Thanks for a great post.

Robin said...

Our ladies did that same retreat last year! And it was wonderful. I was a little nervous about it because I couldn't imagine a retreat without a speaker - but it worked wonderfully! I would definitly do it again. Our ladies loved it too! We had a chocolate fountain one evening as well.
I'm glad you had a great time - your photos are beautiful. What an incredible part of the country you live in!

Becky said...

Lovely. And chocolate! With God? I can't even IMAGINE a better combination. That right there is my definition of heaven.

So glad you had a great time!

Maine Mom said...

I always love looking at your beautiful pictures.

Congratulations on your Christmas Spirit award! You definitely have a generous and giving nature.

Your retreat sounds like it was yummy and uplifting. :-)

Diane J. said...

I'm with Barb on the chocolate. It's not one of my favorites at all. I'd much rather have white chocolate or a pastry than chocolate, and I really, really dislike dark chocolate!

The chocolate gene skipped over me, but my sisters all got an extra portion since I didn't get it. ;D

Gorgeous pictures and those sunrises especially. That first tree looks like a Bradford pear, but I can't really tell for sure.

Have a great Thursday, Dawn. :-)

Love and hugs,


Midlife Mom said...

Yummy! A chocolate retreat! What's any better then that???!!!! I'm glad you had a great time and got your fill of different kinds of chocolate and a good filling of God's word! Your pictures are gorgeous, you are right you can't take too many sunrise and sunset pictures!

Michelle-ozark crafter said...

Looks like the retreat was very awesome! What a cute little fella in the group! i love babies! The pictures are great!

Anonymous said...

i love your pictures.
i love taking pictures too and scrapbooking.

nancygrayce said...

What beautiful pictures! I love sunset pictures, not too sure about sunrise, I try not to look! Cause I'm sleeping! :)

Grafted Branch @ Restoring the Years said...

That first tree shot was STRIKING! We don't get much in the way of colors around here.

And your blog "skin" looks great, Dawn.

Nadine said...

Congratulations on your award.

What a big, beautiful tree in your neighborhood.

Lovely place to have a retreat. I love the demo of the chocolate kiss. I'll have to remember that one.

Sue "Sioux" Seibert said...

Wow, I don't know where to start...congratulations!! You women's groups...that's so nice. Ours isn't very much. Those photos are lovely. Snow in the mountains. Wow...although I was corresponding with a teacher/quilter in was 32˚F there this morning...brrrrrrrrr!

Susie said...

Catching up here:]
Enjoyed your book reviews on Woman to Woman and the idea of your chocolate retreat..
Really gorgeous photos. I imagine it must be wonderful to see the full change of colors with fall in your area!!

Nancy said...

Congrats on your award and I agree... al of the words said about you are TRUE!

I love the fall pictures. We do not have any color in NC yet so thanks for sharing your photos. It was 90 degrees here this week. Maybe some cooler weather for the weekend... I hope you have a great weekend!

Barb @ A Chelsea Morning said...

Well, except for the chocolate, it sounds like it was a wonderful retreat, Dawn. LOL

YMCA of the Rockies is truly a beautiful place, which is pretty obvious in your photos. I have never been there, if you can believe that, but Estes Park is one of my favorite places in Colorado.

Tammy said...

Wow, your retreat sounds wonderful!

And these pictures are just breathtaking, Dawn! The first one I absolutely love!
And what an adorable little guy who came along on the retreat! :)

Congratulations on being awarded so many times! I keep seeing this award but was wondering how we all get to earn it since it's too early to celebrate Christmas...?
But you deserve all and any awards, dear Dawn because I always love coming here!
Have a great weekend!

Sharon Lynne said...

I just loved the pictures! It sounds so much fun to go on a reatreat!

Lala's world said...

sounds like a great retreat! I love going on women's retreats they are in my top 5 favorite things to do!
I love the changing of the leaves too, we have so much color up North way more than on the Coast, although I miss the Ocean I love the color more!

Linds said...

I agree, you can never have too many photos of sunrise or sunset! The retreat sounds great.... how wonderful to have such a large group together. And autumn looks spectacular around your way, Dawn!