Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Born in the wee hours of the morning on September 25th, our
8lbs. 4oz and 21 inches of pure perfection.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Friday, September 24, 2010
Speaking of pretty...my youngest sister hosted this porch party for my daughter and her friends, as a birthday celebration. It was good for her to have this quiet, fun, and special evening with her friends, being served a meal. With six children and a husband living at her home, it is a rare occurence for her to be served and not have to do dishes.
As always, my sister gave attention to details, and served a delicious light dinner. The roses from Costco looked so nice in the simple, reused jars.
Three of her good friends and our daughter spent the evening together, laughing, sharing, and relaxing together on this rare, enjoyable evening on the porch. I think it was a kind gesture on my sister's part, to provide this privilege for a group of young, busy mothers. It fits the category of extraordinary touches for an ordinary day.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Apples...burgundy, red, yellow and the green of the Granny Smith represent Autumn and the fun of creating many different recipes.
Here is a delicious one that I am sure you will enjoy. I add chopped walnuts on top of it all before baking. It is so good served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I would have baked it to photograph it, but I only do that on special occasions when I know I can share it with others. It just does not work for my husband and I to sit and devour the entire pan:) If you stop over...I will make it and we can share.
I simply had to share this picture that I found in a past issue of "Southern Lady" magazine. It is okay to dream...right?
Another quick and good tasting recipe for apples is the "apple dipper" recipe;
Blend equal parts of peanut butter and caramel sundae topping. Dip apple wedges in the mixture. Then sprinkle with chopped peanuts.
I find life presents me many opportunities to "go out on a limb". What about you?
Wishing you moments to enjoy the fruits of this beautiful season.
~thanks to my uncle for the first two apple pictures and to our friend Rick for capturing the squirrel picture on the top right of the blog.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Ten Rules for Happier Living
1. Give something away-no strings attached.
2. Do a kindness-and forget it.
3.Spend a few minutes with the aged-their experience is priceless guidance.
4.Look intently into the face of a baby-and marvel.
5.Laugh often-it's life's lubricant.
6.Give thanks-a thousand times a day is not enough.
7.Pray-or you will lose the way.
8.Work-with vim and vigor.
9.Plan as though you'll live forever-because you will.
10.Live as though you'll die tomorrow-because you will, on some tomorrow.
~author unknown. I read this in Debbie Macomber's book, "One Simple Act".
Monday, September 20, 2010
All the necessary items for decorating for the newly arriving season, if you choose to do that. I was never big on outside decorating although I appreciate those who do.
I thought it a bit steep to see what they charged for corn stalks:) Overall though, the prices were quite reasonable.
I pictured the cornstalks tied to the lampposts in the neighborhood.
What fun it was for her to sit in the big old wooden wagon filled with pumpkins.
Many shades and hues of pumpkins.
Inside the barn were many different displays of pumpkins, guords, hay, corn stalks, and flowering mums.
I found it interesting to read all the labels.
Quite appropriately these little numbers were called Turk's Turbans. Did you know that?
She liked sitting on the hay bales...
...and throwing hay into the air without anyone telling her not to.
The young mother who ran this operation certainly had an artistic bent. The displays were so creatively done. I was impressed with the huge variety of pumpkins and ghords that they had grown.
As we drove down the driveway of this country farm, I could not help noticing beauty everywhere I looked, including...
...this peaceful scene we discovered across the street from the pumpkin sign. We spent a few minutes sitting and watching the creek.
Friday, September 17, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
One couple opened up their home and one couple prepared the dinner. Their joint effort produced a special, memorable evening. Here is a new dish to me. Salmon wrapped in cucumber strips...delicious!
Our friend's southern hospitality from the past was evident in every aspect of the evening.
That along with the best tasting food and the Fall tablescape created an evening we will not forget. I like how the hostess placed the candles and napkins on a mirror. The flowers were from the farm down the road from where they lived.
Faux acorns with our names beautifully written were the placecards. They were placed sitting on small wooden plates and a pumpkin votive. What a perfect addition to the table.
China cups with hot cider seemed like a good way to take the chill out of the
That along with the pumpkin cheesecake roll that we were served for dessert, convinced us all that Fall was almost upon us.
The conversations took many different turns during the evening. With the darkness setting in, the candles were lit, and a time of story telling began. The host said it was a practice in their home to do an around the table story telling session. His wife started a story, stopped after a few sentences, leaving the next person to pick up and continue on with the made up story. I found this was not as easy for me as it was for others around the table, but it was a fun way to end our time together.
I want to thank my sister for taking these pictures throughout the evening. Her photography skills made possible the privilege of sharing this wonderful evening.
Monday, September 13, 2010
In carefree fashion, they ran through the grass never noticing for a moment how dry the grass was, and how much we needed rain.
I sat on the grass watching them happily running, laughing and stopping to pick "flowers" aka weeds, just for me. I loved the moments this time presented for me.
Walking down the street to the cul-de-sac, they excitedly climbed the fence. I told them we were going to watch the amazing sunset take place. They wanted to watch even though they did not understand what they were looking for. Enthusiasm abounds for little ones. I love watching it on their faces.
Then it appeared, in all of it's magnificent beauty. We stayed for a while and watched it unfold.
Friday, September 10, 2010
Recently, I had the privilege of visiting with a friend from my church. We have attended the same church for thirty-some years, and during the last ten years her and her husband sit in the bench in front of us each Sunday. Just in case you are wondering, we do not have assigned seating, it is just one of those things that happen out of habit. Her warm, caring smile has blessed many of my Sunday mornings, but little did I know the part of her life I learned about in my visit to her home.
Upon arriving, her gracious hospitality was evident. She led me to her lower level where I walked into her craft room. The red, white and blue tablescape was beautiful, with cups of coffee, a plate of cookies and fruit to match the decor. The aroma of baked apples filled the room from the burning candle sitting on the wood stove. I immediately felt at home.
Her craft room reminded me of those I see in my "Where Women Create" magazines. Wouldn't you agree? Her husband made her the table in the middle of the room. Here is where my very talented friend spends many of her days creating. The first organization she creates for is...Quilts of Valour. Their mission is to make quilts for men and women in the military, that were touched by war. Those critically injured in some way through service to our country. Her own dear son served in the military in Iraq so her heart is definitely in her mission.
Here is the first step she takes when starting out to make a quilt. She concieves and pieces the pallatte of fabric. Here is the pallette she will use for her next quilt. I was amazed at how the colors coordinated so perfectly.
Here is a top of a quilt that she created. Her role is a topper. She puts together the tops of the quilts and then sends the quilt to another part of the country to a long armer. That person has a long arm machine and they do the stitching with that machine and then mail it back to her. At that time she finishes the quilt, binds it, labels it and puts it into a presentation case. The presentation cases she make looks like a pillow case. She makes it in colors that fit with the quilt it contains. At this point it is ready to be presented or to be shipped depending on where it is going. Can you imagine how blessed the recipient would be. She told me that the quilts go to field hospitals in Iraq, to Germany, to Brooks Army Center in Texas, to firemen in NYC and many other places around the world.
This is a "Missing Star" quilt. You can see the empty spaces on the quilt representing the missing. The workmanship on each quilt was amazing! I was speechless. The time, expertise, energy and artistic skill that goes into each and every quilt represented a true act of love.
Even the undersides of each quilt were perfectly done. This star underside with the white stitching was interesting, how the white stars tied in with the yellow stars. What works of art.
I liked how this underside stitching expressed "thank you" to the recipient. How does one really go about thanking those who gave their lives to preserve and protect our freedom?
This quilt was one of my favorites.
The perfectly done stitching shows that it will go to someone in the Marines. I wish you could see this quilt in real life. What a masterpiece!
And, then if that isn't enough of a labor of love in creating quilts of valour, my friend also is actively involved in quilting for "Project Linus". It is an organization thats mission is ...to provide security, warmth, and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of handmade blankets or afghans created by volunteer blanketeers. This organization has completed and handed out over 3 million blankets since it was started. It has 367 chapters. Here is one of the quilts that my friend made for children.
She has strips of fabric cut to help finish another quilt.
You can see where the strips of fabric will go on this quilt. This beautiful soft pastel quilt touched my heart as I stood there examining it, and realizing that some precious little one's life would be blessed by this labor of love. Truly...a labor of love from my friend and all those men and women who make these blankets. She said some policeman carry them in their cars if they come upon an accident scene involving seriously injured little ones.
I spent some hours with this friend and came away with a true appreciation for the "gift of time" that people like her give. Does she receive thank you notes? Sometimes. She shared one from the wife of a seriously injured military man and it brought tears to my eyes. There just are not words to adequately express what I felt as I walked through her upstairs hallway to the front door.
God's love shown through her spirit as I observed her giving of her time and talents without accolades and recognition.
Her country and her freedoms gave her the privilege and the mission to do what she does, quietly, skillfully, and without fanfare, she creates. What a lady! How blessed I was by the visit.
The two websites for these organizations are;
qovf.org and projectlinus.org
May we never forget or take for granted the freedoms that we in this country hold dear. God bless America!