Saturday, February 27, 2010

February 29, 2004...a Leap Year Wedding. This weekend they(our daughter and son-in-law) celebrate their 6th Anniversary. So much has transpired in 6 short years.

Pictured above, Bride, Groom, Groom's son, my husband, me and our two daughters.

The wedding flowers beautifully and creatively done by the Bride's good friend.

Wishing you many more rewarding years together.
"A good marriage is not one where perfection reigns: it is a relationship
where a healthy perspective overlooks a multitude of "unresovables."
James C. Dobson

Little did you both know all that was ahead of you in your first six years of marriage. You daughter, were given a husband and his fine son, and you both were given five precious little ones.
We have been so blessed by the two of you and your beautiful family.

Happy Anniversary!

Friday, February 26, 2010

"The splendor of the rose and the whiteness of
the lily do not rob the little violet of its scent
nor the daisy of its simple charm.
If every tiny flower wanted to be a rose,
spring would lose its loveliness."
Therese of Lisieux
"It is always wise to stop wishing for things long enough to
enjoy the fragrance of those now flowering."
Patrice Gifford
This beautifully created mosaic was done by my uncle. It is a collection of all the colorful variety of flowers he captured with his camera, this past year.
Just think, in a few months this will be part of our daily scenery.
I think this year I will be more aware of flowers than I ever was. It has been a long, cold winter.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Tonight in this very windy and snowy evening. How refreshing it is to see this vibrant colored Primroses that I picked up at the grocery store today. They had an abundance of them so they were marked down in price. They brighten up my kitchen and are a constant reminder to me of the season ahead.

The reason that I created this pretty little arrangement, was to show just how simple it is to recycle containers. I was asked to create three prizes for a party the last Friday night in March. This is the first prize. The one pictured above is mine, but I plan on doing one just like it as a prize for the game night party.

At the end of last summer I found two of these wire containers on a clearance shelf for a few dollars. I bought them and put them away. I didn't really care for them as they were, but I knew I could somehow recycle them this Spring.

I cut out the styrofoam in each of these plastic pots. It was glued in so I cut it out with my knife.

Then I took four clay pots that I had from last summer and put them in each opening instead of the green plastic pots. These clay pots are steadier than the flimsy plastic ones.

When the Primroses are done blooming, one can wash the clay pots and use them as a picnic accessory. You could store plastic knives in one pot, forks and spoons in the others. Maybe roll napkins and store in the forth pot. Or any other ideas one has. The recycling continues.

And continuing in the recycle mode, I put all of the white and green flowers in a ziplock bag, and will use them to dress up my wrapped packages or to add a touch of pizazz to a plate of muffins.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I listened to the weather forecast this morning. I'm not sure what is coming although I am told it is a big storm of some kind. So, today I choose to think pink. Nothing profound to share with you...just pink to cheer me and maybe you. For some reason pink does that for me. The above picture was photographed on my sister's porch last summer. Can't you imagine it?

"Pink" in different forms...from my past photo albums. Hopefully, it may bring you a bit of cheer.

This little one and her aunt's old, much loved teddy bear...both with the same name.

One of my favorite aprons from my SIL's beautifully sewn creations.

Photographed flower from my uncle.

Bouquet of flowers at my sister's home. Wish it was sitting in my kitchen right now.

My neice's little one taken in the middle of dinner. Her smile does brighten my day every time I am with her.

Hydrangeas from my bush, floating in my glass bowl with floating candles. A lovely memory from last summer.

Another set of twins in my family. Just thinking of seeing them in the grocery store in their pink, adds joy to my day.

Another flower photographed by my uncle. It's exquisite beauty amazes me.

Last, but not least...these two little precious ones in their pink dresses always lifts my spirits. Snow, rain, high winds...whatever is ahead this week for us...maybe, these photos of pink will cause us to anticipate the months ahead...warm weather, sun, and fragrant breezes:)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Prelude to Strawberry Season

Valentine's Day weekend...these huge, delicious chocolate covered strawberries were the rage at this Farmer's Market stand. As fast as they created them, they sold them, boxes and boxes of them. This year's crop was exceptionally large and sweet. Don't you think this would be a perfect gift?

Trays of dipped and decorated strawberries were getting ready to be sold...

...each one lovingly created by these two pretty ladies. Thanks to my sister, who was fortunate enough to visit this stand on an extremely busy weekend in February and captured these photos. Sure does make me eager for our strawberry season in this county.

Our own "pastry chef" created these fresh strawberry, blueberry and raspberry cupcakes last week. She baked a light yellow cupcake recipe, cut it in half, filled it with a combination of chopped strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries in light Cool Whip, topped with swirled lt. Cool Whip and sprinkles, then refrigerated.

Her sister gave her this cupcake stand for Christmas. She made these creations for a get together with her friends. Light, refreshing and delicious is how I would describe them. Strawberry season will be here before we know it...hopefully!!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Spirit of Welcome

Emilie Barnes states in her book "The Spirit of Loveliness" that she wants her home to say "welcome home". In quoting from her book, "Welcome home is what I want my life to say to everyone whose path crosses mine. I want to create an atmosphere of serenity and joy, blessing and belonging that embraces people(myself included) and draws them in-that makes them feel loved and special and cared for."
Last evening my brother and sister-in-law had us for dinner. This type of warm welcome was extended to all of us.

I thought I would share with you the beautiful paper plates and napkins she had on her table. With the large group of people this worked best. With her crystal, candles and plates, a beautiful tablescape was created.

She served a delicious taco dinner reminding us again of how good of a cook she is.

Cousins enjoying being together.

This salad was a perfect addition to the dinner. My other SIL created this salad served with her outstanding homemade salad dressing.
It seems to be more of a rare occurance for our extended family to be together for an evening, making our visit even more special.

Hospitality, real true hospitality..."a matter of opening our lives to them the best we have to offer, but never allowing elaborate preparations to substitute for the sharing spirit of hospitality." Emilie Barnes
Thanks you two for your warm hospitality to us last evening.
~photography by my dear sister.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

My Saturday afternoon "mood lifters". Sometimes, that is just what one needs.

The little happenings of life that are out of the ordinary.

The crazy little moments when you set your age aside.

...or when you take time to observe the miracles that have touched your life. Yes, for me, these truly were the "mood lifters" that I needed today.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Oh little one, your birth changed our lives forever.

Watching you grow up in all the many phases of life, was one of life's greatest blessings.

And yet, each phase presented it's own joys and challenges to your dad and I.

Because as you can see, we were so young(oh, my goodness where we ever) and inexperienced ourselves, that we lived and learned along the way, how to parent. We did not have any parenting classes or even took the time to read the "how to" books that were starting to fill the shelves of the local bookstores. No, you were somewhat like an" experiment " to us. We lived and learned along the way, praying often as we went.
Today, as the grandparents that we suddenly(or so it seems) find ourselves being, it another one of life's great blessings, watching the two of you in your parenting role. Now it is our turn to stand back, and your turn to parent.
We are older now, and perhaps a bit wiser than we were as young parents. What we have learned for certain is expressed so beautifully by Donald Grey Barnhouse in this quote;
"Our great matters are little to God's infinite power, and our little matters are great to His Father's love."
Therein lies our comfort as you face the role of parenting these little ones, in the years ahead.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

For some reason this time of the year leads me to an organizing mission within the walls of my home. Whenever I find a few extra minutes in my day, I take on certain areas that are crying out to be organized. This is one area of my kitchen counter that I use so often. Instead of keeping these staples in my cupboard, I put together this much used grouping on my kitchen counter. I have found this to be so convenient and I am glad I made this decision.
Flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar, sea salt, black pepper, and a glass jar filled with dry ranch dressing, along with a glass jar filled with colored straws. Now, everything stays fresh and is so easily accessible for baking and cooking.

I hesitated to share this with you. I am sure most of you have nicely created jewelry boxes and this solution will make you smile. I know that smile ... I've seen it often from my family:) I kept my limited amount of jewelry that I have collected over the years, in a big drawer in my bedroom, for the last few years. No matter how many times I would organize it, I would always find myself searching for the missing earring, or a ring, or the necklace would be intertwined with another necklace. Frustration and at times being late for an event, would result from this search. Well, I finally wised up a few months ago. I took three white styrofoam egg cartons, cut off the tops, and glued them together side by side. I hid the glued portion by glueing strips of colored paper on top of the seams. This is such a simple concept, but I only wish I would have done it years ago. No longer do I have to search for missing earrings, or rings. There is even a section of the cartons just for several extra earring backs. It is easy to see where everything is and so easy to grab and run.

On the other hand, this was our bed today. In a rare move we allowed the three to create a fort on our bed. They brought blankets and pillows from all of their beds and spent so much time creating their fort. It was fun watching them and listening to them laughing. I thought it would be perfect to put this picture in the middle of my organization post. What do you think? I heard my middle granddaughter say when they were finished that," this room is a big mess!"
We did have them help put everything away and help(in their way) to remake the bed.

Above my egg cartons for all my tiny pieces, I hung these round holders across the wall of the cabinet. These white plastic pieces with a sticky back, worked perfectly for all of my necklaces. They no longer get tangled, or broken. They are easily removed,especially when I am in a hurry to get ready. These white plastic holders come 4 in a pack for a little over a dollar. This too seems like a simple idea that I wonder to myself, why it ever took me this long to come up with this solution.
My daughter did a beautiful and efficient job organizing my pantry for me last week. She excels in organization skills.
Don't get the idea that I am finished with these projects. No, but I thought I would share these few steps that worked for me.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My soup tureen was a wedding gift from dear family friends. My goodness, it is almost an antique. Our wedding seems like it was so long ago. Nevertheless, every time I take this from the cupboard I am reminded of these friends of ours that are now in heaven.
Last evening was the perfect time to make a pot of hot soup. I chose a recipe we both think is delicious! It is Golden Mushroom Soup from the Sandra Lee Semi-homemade cookbook.

I tripled this recipe so that I could freeze some for a later time. I sauteed two 8 oz. containers of fresh sliced baby bella mushrooms with olive oil until they were tender.

In a separate mixing bowl I whipped together the golden mushroom soup, the water, the heavy cream, and the garlic powder(which I substituted for the minced garlic).

This recipe is so good! It only takes a short time to put together and only 5 - 10 minutes of simmering.

And, this is what you get...a bowl of steaming hot mushroom soup, sprinkled with shredded asiago cheese and chopped fresh parsley. Sometimes I serve this with a grilled cheese sandwich which I find to be a good accompaniment.

I have found many of Sandra Lee's recipes work well for me and my time schedules. This golden mushroom soup is one I resort to often. I realize that many people do not like mushrooms and most likely if you are one of them, you probably have already checked out of this blog as soon as you saw the pan of sauteed mushrooms in the picture above. I youngest daughter is one of your kind.:)

Monday, February 15, 2010

This Monday morning despite what I saw out of my kitchen window...the Robins clustered under the tree eating their breakfast, the Robins that my mother always had us looking for each February and March. She would convince us that this was a sure sign that Spring was right around the corner.

But this is what we drove through on our way home from the little country church that we attend. The winds were blowing drifts across the roads making them almost impassable at some places.

The skys were overcast, the tempetures were low, and the winds were strong...winter driving was truly what we experienced.

The drifts were higher than me at many places.

The icicles continue to reside along the edge of our screened-in porch. The forecast this Monday morning is ...snow this afternoon and evening. Yes...2 -4 more inches of fresh snow and the possibility of more snow coming later in the week.
I am the one who expressed that I am a true fan of the Winter season. Well...I should certainly be a happy camper now. I am enjoying all of this weather although the Robins did bring me a tinge of excitement that Spring will soon be here.

This picture I took last evening as we gave our daughter and her husband time away to celebrate Valentine's Day together,in peace and quiet. My husband, me and our youngest daughter tackled the big, but so much fun chore, of five little ones. We found ourselves wondering how she does this by herself, quite often.
I close this Winter post with this quote I read recently;
"Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in the quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow." ~author unknown
Despite the Winter forecast ahead, and the snowdrifts and icicles already is truly a treasure to me.


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