Tag Archives: Facebook

3 2 1 Lift Off or Not

4 Dec

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

I'm a winner

This has been another busy week and I want to apologize to my friends who blogs I usually visit. Three of Rebekah’s novels have been involved in sales this week and has kept me glued to my computer. Also, a Facebook group I am a part of held a three-day Facebook party and I agreed to be a moderator. That means I spent time on the party page, making sure everything flowed smoothly and that our guests arrived on time. Actually, it was a lot of fun and I won several books and an audiobook.

Today was a change of pace. Rebekah and I arose early and headed out to the Indian River to Space View Park to watch the launch of the next generation space vehicle, Orion. The launch was scheduled for somewhere around 7:05 am

Sun rising over the Indian River

Sun rising over the Indian River

When we arrived, somewhere around 6:45am the sun was just coming up over the horizon and the crowd was on its feet and excited, but there was something missing-noise. In the past, multiple radios could be heard, giving out updates and people stood chatting with strangers. Today all I saw was people on their phones, watching on live stream or a NASA stream. I had my phone out, tweeting and sharing photos on Twitter. It was fun seeing people from around the world talking about it, but what happened to talking to the person next to you?

The launch was delayed due to a boat being in a restricted area and the countdown was put on hold until the boat cleared the area. The countdown began again and was stopped repeatedly for either wind or mechanical problems and ultimately the launch was scrubbed.

photo 2There was an amusing tidbit that came out of the morning. Down in front of us a man was set up with a portable TV, an antenna and a booming voice. As each event occurred he would shout HOLD or FOUR MINUTES and eventually the dreaded word SCRUB. Having grown up listening to “The Voice of NASA”, it gave me a chuckle to think the very serious and professional voice had been replaced in this new era of space flight.

Since the sequel to Rebekah’s book Jessie will take place and possibly begin in the shuttle era of the space program, she and I will be up early  tomorrow to try again. I plan to tweet less and talk more, BUT if you are on twitter look for my tweets @iluvscoops.


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Chow Chow Memories

31 Jul

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

I'm a winner


As I was scrolling through Facebook this week, I came across a recipe for Hot Chow Chow Party Dip. That made me think of all the chow chow I have eaten in my life. Many of my aunts made it every year and I remember tales of hands being irritated from all the hot pepper they chopped up. Usually when they came to visit us in Florida or we visited them in North Carolina, someone would share a couple of jars of their latest batch. So, needless to say, I will be trying out this recipe but I won’t have any homemade chow chow to use. If you still make homemade chow chow, I would love to read your recipe!

chow chow copy


Chow Chow Party Dip



– 1/2 C Foods of the Smokies Hot Chow Chow (Or any brand you can find)

– 8 oz. softened Cream Cheese

– 1/4 C Mayonnaise

– 1 t Celery Seeds

– 1 t Garlic Pepper or Garlic

– 1/2 t Paprika (optional)


Directions: Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate at least one hour. Serve with you favorite crackers, chips, or vegetables.


Recipe courtesy Sabrina Dickson, Alabama

I AM Breaking a Big Rule

15 May

Blackberry blooms copy

On the Porch 

Onisha Ellis

I am breaking a big rule of blogging today. I am going to ramble, go off topic, bounce around. I am NOT going to stay focused. Why oh why would I commit this crime? Because I can. Because that is what my brain is doing. So let’s rock and ramble!


I enjoy eating boiled eggs. For seventy calories I can grab a God created protein snack. I do not enjoy boiling them and peeling them is even worse. So this Easter when Facebook was filled with posts about baking your eggs in the oven I joined the frenzy and tried. It worked!! They peel like a dream even a week after I baked them! My eggs had a slight brown spot on the egg white but it was very easy to flick off.

Here is the “recipe” and you can visit Unsophisticook! to read the complete story.


How to Bake Hard Boiled Eggs


Total Time: 40 minutes



ice water


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Place desired number of eggs in a regular or mini muffin tin and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove eggs from oven and, using a pair of tongs (I like these tongs with rubber tips from OXO), immediately transfer the eggs to an ice water bath. Allow to cool down for at least 10 minutes.


I have been working my way through book blogger websites, looking for bloggers who would be willing to accept an ARC (advanced reader copy) of Rebekah Lyn’s (otherwise known as my daughter Beck) upcoming release, Jessie. I feel the same anxiety I felt when I left her with a babysitter, sent her off on her first sleepover and drove her to college. Do mothers EVER get over the instinct to protect their children? I am pretty sure I have spent more time praying over my children in their adult like than I did when they were little tykes.

If you happen to be a book blogger or just enjoy reading and reviewing, speak up in comments and I will email you an ARC.

I am humbled and thankful that my BFF Pam has joined the Rebekah Lyn Books team as a marketing and Publicist assistant. Launching Jessie and planning Teas has so many elements to pull together, I was feeling totally overwhelmed.


My heart has been filled with prayers for a sweet thirteen year old, Kylie Myers who is receiving chemo for a rare cancer. You can visit her Facebook page Smiiey For Kylie. She has had a rough time adjusting to having cancer and the side effects of chemo.

Her dad is author Mark Myers who wrote Virgil Creech Takes a Swipe at Redemption.

When I think of Kylie, I wish she could meet my friend Wanda and her daughter, Allie who has been on a similar chemo schedule with Kylie. Allie shines with joy and confidence in Christ and my faith is made stronger when I see her on Facebook rocking the headscarf or sporting the smooth head style with her brother.

That’s the end of my ramble. There is a lot more in my brain such as why does the male cardinal insist on constantly banging his head on anything shiny, but that is for another day. Our blackberries are in full bloom and the locals say if we get a frost while they are blooming, our winter will be called a blackberry winter. Temps are expected to drop this weekend so we will see, I like blackberry blossoms because they remind me the flower of life is beautiful and even though there will be thorns, the fruit will be delicious.








Angels, Lambs, Ladybugs and Fireflies

2 Jan

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

I'm a winner

When my daughter was in elementary school the second and third grade performed a Christmas program entitled “Angels, Lambs, Ladybugs and Fireflies.” She was a firefly and their job was to light the way to Bethlehem for Mary and Joseph. As they sang their song with dimmed lights, each child waved a lit flashlight and one child, I think, it was mine had this line “When everyone works together, a lot can be accomplished.” Isn’t that a great line?

This week I was notified I had won a month long  contest, a writing contest at that. It involved writing a story using only one hundred and forty characters. That is 140 letters people!  They even paid me money; fifty dollars and that is not the best part, the part that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. The only reason I won is that I have an incredibly supportive group of friends on Facebook and Twitter. Together they retweeted my story over sixty times, more than any other contestant.

When everyone works together a lot can be accomplished. I think that is my motto for 2014.

I know you have been dying to read my winning story, so here it is, don’t blink or you will miss it!

 Birthed in pain to a life of shame. Hooker by night, student by day, paying her way, trying to escape and change her fate.

Not my daughter’s performance but it’s a cute play. The wise fireflies speak around the 7 minute mark

PLUS, I wanted everyone to have the song stuck in their heads like I do right now.

Throwback Thursday

5 Dec

My Take

Onisha Ellis

On Facebook and Twitter, Thursdays have become “Throw Back Thursday. People post old photos of themselves, their family or places with fond memories. Then there is the Facebook page, You Grew Up In…. There is a lot of nostalgia going on, I wonder why that is?

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My thoughts linger on the past, remembering all my loved ones who have moved to heaven. I miss them and remembering makes me feel close to them. Sometimes I look back on my life with regret, wishing I had make better choices and been wiser but I am also thankful for how far I have come and the sure knowledge that even when I was distant from Him, God was not distant from me. He was just waiting for me to move forward.

Are we looking to the past, which has a safe, secure feeling because we subconsciously don’t feel secure about the future?  I have always loved Matthew 6:26

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

Or as my mother would say, “What do you have a Lord for?”

“The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” Isaiah 40:8

Social Media and Prayer

1 Jun

Yesterday I watched in horror the television coverage of the Oklahoma tornados. “Oh dear God” my heart cried out, pleading for His mercy. I even summoned up the courage to tweet a short prayer before moving to Facebook to see if any of my friends were in the path. As I scrolled through the newsfeed, I began to come across prayers for protection, not the usual “praying for the people in the storm” but powerful prayers of “standing in the gap” and claiming safety. At each one I would join in the prayer and write “agree” or “agree with this prayer” in the comment line. I felt my spirit join with those praying.

As the storm began to break up it hit me that social media is a powerful instrument for prayer. I will continue to say and post “praying for…” because I do pray for each person or situation when I write that but I will also venture out of my comfort zone and tweet or post on Facebook prayers of petition because to not do so deprives not just myself, but other believers the wondrous opportunity to join together in prayer.

Matthew 18:20

A Mother’s Day Collage

12 May

I put out a request to the contributors to this blog to write anything they wanted to about Mother’s Day. I thought it would be interesting to read how each related to the day and it certainly was, especially since two of our bloggers are sister and brother.

So let’s start our Mother’s Day Collage with a “Match the Mother to Child” game. Enter your answers in comments to win a digital copy of one of DiVoran Lites  or Rebekah Lyn’s books. If we have multiple correct answers we will put your names in a drawing. You may also comment on  Facebook under comments.

Moms and Bloggers




No. 1

No. 5

No. 4

No. 3


No. 8 Blogger

Mother's Day

No.9 Blogger

No. 10 Blogger

No 11 Blogger

No 11 Blogger

No. 7 Blogger

No. 7 Blogger

As an example in comments you would write: 1/7,2/8 etc. Good luck!!


We hope you enjoy our Mother’s Day Collage. Choosing what to share brought back such memories and tears too. In her later years my mother told me “you will always miss your mother. I still miss mine” This surprised me since my grandmother had died many years earlier and she only saw her once a year on our family vacations. I understand that ache now. So I decided to share a poem from my mother. The date was 1964 and I was twelve years old

I said a prayer for you today

And Know God must have heard.

I felt the answer in my heart

Although he spoke no word!

I didn’t ask for wealth or fame

(I know you wouldn’t mind)

I asked that he be near you

At the start of each new day,

To grant you health and blessings

And friends to share your ways!

I asked for happiness for you

In all things great and small,

But it was for His loving care

I prayed for most of all.

Bill Lites

Thank You Mother

My mother was such a great influence and inspiration in my life.  She taught me that God loved me and wanted to guide me every step of my life, if I would only ask Him.  She taught me to be a gentleman in every area of my life.  She taught me to learn all the details and to never take anything for granted.  She taught me to always give the other person the benefit of the doubt, and to do to others as I would have them do to me.  She taught me to be observant, to work hard and to be patient with others, and to always be kind and loving.  She taught by example and there was never any question about her love, acceptance and forgiveness toward others and me.

Louise Gibson

                         What does a Mother say to her children
                         At the end of her days-
                         Those she has loved in so many ways?
                         “Oh, what joy I felt in my heart
                         When I was informed that new life had its start!
                                Each of you was a blessing from above-
                        A gift of God, the symbol of love.
                        Each is unique, not one is the same.
                        You are loved for who you are, what you became.
                        Your talents are many-
                        Thank God for each one.
                        They will nurture your being
                        When the day is done.
                        God will supply the strength
                        To face each new day-
                        I will be with you in spirit
                       Every step of the way.”
                        I love you.
                       A quote from Max Lucado:
“God knows that we are only pilgrims and that
eternity is so close that any “Good-bye” is,
in reality, “See you tomorrow”.


Judy Wills

How do I describe my Mother?  She was so unique in all her ways.

One of the most unique things is that she met, fell in love with, and married a man who was 20 years older than herself.  And yet, the marriage was one that I hoped to emulate with my marriage.  She created a loving and secure home for her husband and her children.  She was heart-broken when her husband died.

                                    Judy Wills Mother and father

She loved to sing and to play the piano.  She had a great alto voice.  She had a good ear and would just go and sit down at the piano and begin playing.  I’m still frustrated that I can’t remember the names of the songs/hymns she played.  My brother and I tried to remember them, and have them played at her funeral, but neither of us could remember.

She was a good cook.  She made a pot roast that would just melt in your mouth.  And that’s something I’ve never been able to duplicate.  I never learned her technique.  My Dad used to tease her by saying “this meat is no good – it just falls off the bone!”  She made the best cherry pie.  She made home-made peach jam from the peaches in our back yard.

One time, as she and I were sitting in the living room watching TV, we heard a terrible sound!  We both ran to the kitchen – only to find that the pressure cooker had “blown” out the pressure valve and pinto beans were all over the ceiling!  What a mess!

She had the most giving spirit I’ve ever seen.  One morning, early, we were told that the husband of a friend of ours had died.  He was a gun smith.  He was carrying a rifle along his side, tripped over a rock, and essentially blew his head off.  As soon as Mother heard that, she was in the car and over to that house.  Not only did she comfort the widow, but she grabbed rags and bucket and began cleaning off the blood, bone and brains from the side of the house.

Although I suspect she would have loved to be a stay-at-home mom, she worked as an accountant at Kirtland AFB, to make money for “extra” things in our life.  She bought a new piano for our house.  But one of the best things about her working there, was that she would find young military personnel – usually men – who were away from home and homesick, and bring them to church with us on a Sunday, then home to Sunday dinner.  She kept in contact with many of them throughout her time there.  One time she broke her ankle and couldn’t climb the steps to her office upstairs.  The officials were so insistent that she not “retire” that they placed a desk and lamp under the stairway just for her.  They really liked her work.

                                                         Judy Wills mother

When my Dad retired and money was tight, Mother bought a Merle Norman Cosmetic Studio, trained for the job, and set to work.  She had a really good, strong work ethic.

Judy Wills Mother


Oh my………so many more memories, but these fill my heart and mind.

I miss her still.

May 12, 2013, My Fifty-First Mother’s Day

DiVoran Lites

“Mom, how do you feel?”


“But really, How are you doing?”


My hair is gray, my socks fall down,

And I’m not going out of town,

And I must say, I forget some things,

But what matters is: my heart has wings.

I hope you enjoyed reading out Mother’s Day collage. We all view our mothers and Mother’s Day with  our own unique perspective and  I love that.

For those who read to the bottom, here is a clue. There is one more picture than there are bloggers! Don’t forget to write your matches in comments here or on the Facebook post.

Happy Mothers Day


A Handwritten Note

6 May

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Photo by Melody Hendrix

Photo by Melody Hendrix

When I was younger, I decided not to fall into the trap so many older people live in, with several dates a month marked for the purpose of going to the doctor. However, you know what Robert Burns said, “The best laid plans of mice and men gang aft aglay.” Last week I visited three doctors with a member of the family in two days and this week, for various reasons I will have been in waiting rooms every day except Monday and Wednesday (twice on Thursday).

I get tired of passive things like reading, listening to audio stories, watching TV. (I never do that anyway), but I don’t knit or crochet, so I’m coming up with a new plan. I will take a small packet of paper; pens, maybe watercolor crayons and either write notes or draw a bit.

Emails are a big thing now, but writing notes and letters on paper has been part of my life since I was a child and I still get the urge to do it when I’m waiting. Mother and I wrote to each other every week. I still have all her letters and she kept mine up to her last days. When I was twelve and moved away, my best friend and I wrote each other every day. Recently, we wrote our schooldays memoirs together, but that was by computer. Out of habit, I hurry to the mailbox every day expecting something, but usually it contains only commercial mail, so I take that in, sort it out, and throw most of it away.

On my last run to the SPCA store, I got a thin book that reminds me of Alexander Stoddard’s beautiful, Gift of a Letter. It’s called, The Art of the Handwritten Note, this one by Margaret Shepherd.

Realizing how happy it made me to read another book about the subject, I realized I missed writing and receiving handwritten notes more than I knew and decided there was no reason not to take it up again.

Ms. Shepherd says, “Writing by hand makes you look good on paper and feel good inside. Even an ordinary handwritten note is better than the best email, and a good handwritten note on the right occasion is a work of art.”

One thing I’ve always loved about notes is that you can save them and re-read them. I know you can do that with emails, and I do have a file, but for some reason, once they’re out of sight, I never take the time to look at them.

“Art Has Always Survived Technology,” says Margaret Shepherd. I agree. It takes about a minute to write a note, so I’ve put a small pad of paper in my purse and some cards in the door pocket of my car. Last Tuesday I wrote a note to my son, (who, because he lives in another town, always sends a handwritten note on birthdays and mother’s days) and one to our pastor’s wife who did my family a big favor. She is also a card-sender and note writer, so it was a pleasure.

Don’t get me wrong I like to get emails, and I enjoy writing them. It isn’t one or the other, for me, but both. It’s something I’ve missed for many years. Are you missing it too?

Handwritten note copy

Book Blast:A Life of Gratitude: 21 Days to Overcoming Self-Pity and Negativity

20 Mar

We are having fun today, welcoming Crossreads Book Blast to our home. Feel free to click the share buttons at the bottom and spread the word. Onisha


Book Blast: A Life of Gratitude: 21 Days to Overcoming Self-Pity and Negativity by Shelley Hitz {3/20/13} – $25 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

Title: A Life of Gratitude: 21 Days to Overcoming Self-Pity and Negativity

By Shelley Hitz

About the Book:

During a season of transition in my life, I found myself overwhelmed with negative emotions like self-pity and a complaining spirit. It was as if a dark cloud had descended over me. I prayed and asked God for wisdom on how to overcome these negative emotions. As I did, I sensed Him leading me to do a 21 day gratitude challenge.

Over the course of the 21 days, God began to change me as I spent intentional time being grateful for all I had been given. I did this through writing in my journal each day and also sending a hand-written thank you note to someone different each day. This also led me to writing out 21 prayers of gratitude and compiling 21 stories of gratitude.

I want to share what I learned with you in the pages of this book which includes:

21 Days of Gratitude Challenge

21 Prayers of Gratitude

21 Stories of Gratitude

What to Expect On Each Day:

Read my personal stories, struggles and reflections.

Read one scripture and one quote about gratitude.

Apply one personal application step from the challenge.

Read one prayer of gratitude

Read one story of gratitude

Get Accountability and Encouragement

Along with the 21 day challenge, I also started a private Facebook group to provide accountability and encouragement for myself but also for others who decide to join me in the challenge. You will get access to this group as well. It has been amazing to see God at work in each of our lives.

Will you join me on this journey to gratitude?

shelley-lynne-headshot-webShelley Hitz is an award-winning and international best-selling author. Her openness and vulnerability as she shares her own story of hope and healing through her books will inspire and encourage you.

Shelley has been ministering alongside her husband, CJ, since 1998. They currently travel and speak to teens and adults around the country. Shelley’s main passion is to share God’s truth and the freedom in Christ she has found with others. She does this through her books, websites and speaking engagements.

You can find more about Shelley at ShelleyHitz.com or invite her to speak at your event here: ChristianSpeakers.tv

Follow Shelley Hitz
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Enter to Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

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