Wednesday, June 30, 2010

This was my quiet kitchen on Tuesday evening and it was all about to change...

...because we had had a fun birthday party for this sweet three year old. One kitchen table with chairs for 5 adults, 3 booster seats and 2 highchairs on the side, were the makings of a party that transformed my quiet kitchen, to an alive and bustling kitchen.
The Cinderella cake was created by this little one's aunt. The request from the little one, was for a red velvet princess cake, and that is what she got.

The crown came off the cake and onto her head. We gave her the mirror and she was pleased with what she saw.

Three generations, actually four, in the kitchen on this party evening(the fourth being my granddaughter who isn't pictured).

Going along with the princess and Cinderella theme of the evening, our gift to her was a box of dress-up clothes. With a vivid imagination and her enjoyment of "girly" things, she seemed excited to receive each piece.

Here she is in her "Cinderella" dress, earrings, and purse.

And with her dad who always calls her, his "Cinderella princess".

New sunglasses to go with the princess outfit.

Little sister was caught up in the excitement of the evening, and was thrilled to get her own pair of sunglasses.

Just a simple evening of fun in our family. Thanks for stopping by today.

Monday, June 28, 2010

This is the arrangement that graces my kitchen counter on this Monday morning of June. It is a gorgeous arrangement and it was a gift to me from my dear friend. She created the arrangement and many, many more like it or similar to it, for her son's wedding, which was held on Saturday evening. Now, what makes this beautiful bouquet so exceptional besides the fact of how it looks, is the story of the peonies within the bouquet. I tried to get all the facts of this story straight before telling it, since it almost sounds like a fairy tale to me.

Peonies in this part of the country, are finished blooming by early June. Many were asking at this wedding how the florist(which happens to be my dear friend and mother of the groom), had hundreds of peonies to use in the bouquets at the end of June. Flippantly, I said, "maybe she sent to the Northwest for them since I seen some of my friends from the Northwest sharing their peonies lately."
But, that was not the case. Here is how my friend had different varieties of these flowers to use;
She was told by a reliable source, that if she would pick the stems of peonies while they were still buds, wrap them in newspaper and put them in the refrigerator, they could be kept up to 6 weeks in refrigeration. So my friends, that is what she did...360 peony buds went into refrigeration to wait for her son's wedding. Where did she find that amount of refrigerator space? Who knows?
On Tuesday before the wedding, she pulled a few out, put them in water and found our first hand, that it worked. They opened beautifully just as she had been told.
On Friday she and her good friend, two amazingly talented ladies, and together created ALL the bouquets, arrangements and centerpieces needed for the wedding and the reception. Did she have a back-up plan if this not work? Yes, she had a supplier on stand-by that would ship them overnight to her...but oh, that would have been so expensive, and my friend always creates beauty without expense. My friend grew these peony bushes in her back yard, so her way was very inexpensive. Last summer I visited her home and saw her peony bushes and was left speechless when I saw her loaded bushes.
I am going to share pictures of the wedding and reception with you sometime this week, but for now, I just wanted to share my fun and almost unbelievable peony story with you.
Guess who is turning 3 years old tomorrow?

The special day will soon be here little one.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

"For the blue of the stream, for the blue of the sky:
For pleasant shade of branches high:
For fragrant air and cooling breeze:
For beauty of the blowing trees-
Father in Heaven, we thank Thee!"
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, June 25, 2010

Are there special people in your life that just seem to make life happier for you?

People who are always there for you, caring for you, spending time with you...

...laughing with you, playing games with you, joining you at fun events?

Then why not pick up a dry eraser marker, find a white plate(or any other colored plate), and write a message to them to let them know. It works. A friend gave me this idea, and she is quite a creative person. In fact, if you want to visit her beautiful blog, go

I tried this and it works so well. If you are like me, sometimes it is easier to express one's thoughts by writing than through verbal communication.

Write messages to those you love in your family. Set the plate at a prominent place in your home, or give the plate as a hostess gift to a friend. It will serve as a constant reminder of how you care for them, or any message you want to share with them. Change the message by wiping it off with a dry towel. Simple as that.

Let people know that you think they are special. Don't take for granted that they already know. Use any reminders that you choose, but let them know.

... this little one's aunt lets her know often, that she is wonderful.

Maybe you like this message... "Laughter makes love better".

These three think so.

Or maybe you could write..."Happiness is being with you."

That would work here too. Who is in your life today, that brings you happiness? Do they know?
Have you relayed it to them recently?

Another weekend is here...hope it is a good one for you.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Here I am on a Wednesday afternoon, sharing a post with you that I never would have thought I would share with the blogging world. Today is the day of the week that I keep my grandchildren(usually the three toddlers), and I am always searching the corridors of my mind to come up with ways to keep them entertained. You see, I want them to love coming to my home, so that means I must have some fun planned. Today, we got out the old tin of my mother's wooden spools of thread from many years ago. I decided to teach them how to create spider webs with the remaining thread on the spools. This thread was the remaining thread from the spools, that were once used to create dresses for me as a child, on my mother's Pfaff sewing machine:)

Since the oldest one was busy building a garage and a helicopter with his Legos, and the youngest of the three that I was keeping, was in bed, it left my middle granddaughter on her own to create. I cannot tell you how much time this venture consumed on her part. She would wrap the thread around the recliner chair leg, then across the room to the cabinet doorknobs, around them and then over to the Eliptical stand and back.

With concentration and careful, deliberate rolls of the thread, she continued on. It actually was beginning take shape...not the shape of a real spider's web, but to her and me and our imaginations...her little web was being weaved(sounds almost like the pages from a romance novel).

When a bit of boredom set in, she decided to increase her borders with the web creations. The thread was now going over to the knobs of the far cabinet, and back to the chair leg...and so on. The web was continuing to be woven. Now, may I just mention here, at that point the phone rang. I ran to answer it and forgot temporarily that they web existed . I got so intertwined in the carefully done web, that it became funny. Who would believe this was happening to me?

I tried removing my self from the much was everywhere. Around my ankles, around my legs, on my arms. I found myself thinking..."whose crazy idea was this anyway?" Since there was huge disappointment over the devastation that I had accidently caused. I helped her start all over again. This time the oldest one joined in, and his creative mind patterns took the thread even farther around the room.
Like with many aspects of our lives, creativity can open up new doors and new avenues for us to take. One mamaw, two little ones, some old wooden spools of thread and a dose of creativity...presented the way to pass a few hours on a Wednesday morning. Which reminds me of something I read recently about the results of creativity in another person's life;

"When George Frederick Handel's health and finances were at a low point, he rose to the greatest heights of his creative experience. His creditors were threatening him with imprisionment, and he was suffering from partial paralysis. He then went into seclusion and there fellowshiped with God as never before. During that time,
God enabled him to write the grandest of all his oratorios, "Handel's Messiah."
~written in Our Daily Bread.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Welcome Daisies

This morning I picked the first daisies from my flower garden. It made me happy. I always liked daisies. I put them in a blue pottery pitcher and set it on my kitchen counter. From "", I learned some interesting facts about these flowers;
~They convey cheer and exuberance.
~They are native to north and central Europe.
~They are simple and yet one of the most beautiful flowers in the floral world.

I decided to add a few of the delicate blue flowers from the pots on my porch. I think it I like them better this way.
A few more facts;
~The origin of the word daisy is Anglo Saxon, "daes eage" literally meaning "day's eye". It was called this because daisies opened at dawn, as the day is just beginning.
~Daisies symbolize innocence and purity. They symbolize new beginnings.

This is another simple and pretty way to display daisies.

~The flower meaning of daisy is "loyal love" and "I will never tell".

I thought this was a good idea for giving daisies to someone. It is from a page of "Country Living Magazine." Think how special one would feel to find this package at the back door.
Wishing you daisies and sunshine today(especially to you in the Northwest. I know you have been waiting for a long time for some sunny days).

Monday, June 21, 2010

We were away over the weekend and I did not get to post this Father's Day post. I thought this morning I would share my brief tribute to a very special dad.
I was born when he was only twenty years old. That seems so young to me now, but I felt like I always had a young dad with only twenty years separating our ages.

I learned so much from this man, and not a day goes by that I don't think of him or something that reminds me of him. He was so free to give me compliments(as only a dad could with this hairstyle) whenever we were together, and even though I acted like I didn't like them...I did. Remember that all you dads out there.

He taught me how to be a good and involved grandparent. Now that I am one myself, I often think back to the many things I remember him doing.

He taught me mostly by a quiet example. For some reason I learn best that way. His humble, yet strong and at times stubborn spirit, still creates in my heart, a lasting admiration for him.

My husband and the rest of his sons and son-in-laws learned many valuable thought processes and lessons from him. He always had time to listen to them.
It has been thirteen years this July since he was here with us.
I miss him so much, but I know I will see him again someday. Thank you dad for everything.

Since my husband and I were away this past weekend, our youngest daughter decided to share her Father's Day surprise(and surprise it was), with her dad early this morning. This was the first time in her 22 years with us, that she got up quite early(5:00am) to be exact, and made her dad a cooked breakfast. Well, actually she made one for each of us, and it was delicious! She now is working at a lovely bed and breakfast in a neighboring town, and after watching the chef create this breakfast entree, she decided to attempt it on her own.

The bread cups were formed in a muffin tin, the eggs dropped in, shredded cheese added on the top, and put in the oven to bake. She cooked the bacon and created the fruit cup. It was a fun, and totally unexpected way to greet a Monday morning. It has restored my faith in motherhood:) They do learn, even if it takes longer than you thought.

From the grandchildren, he received this special card which he will probably display for a long time. You see, he loves to think that they do actually think that he is a " so cool grandpa."

With their little hands and the tree in their backyard that dropped it's acorns, they created this Papaw sign for him. This too will be on display with his treasures.
This Monday morning, I am so thankful for these two wonderful men in my life.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Wishing both of our wonderful son-in-laws a relaxing, enjoyable Father's Day Weekend!

One knows first hand the roles and responsibilities of being a father,and the other one will soon be introduced to those roles.

We thank God for both of them, everyday.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

July 4th celebrations and the beginning of summer go together in my book. So many traditions and memories come with the summer season of the year.
Thankfully I still live in a free country and have the privilege of celebrating July 4th however I choose.
I needed to provide a desert for a group of people this week and was limited in my time. I made this simple, quick and delicious recipe. I put it in my old ice cream parfaits, but it could be served in clear plastic cups of clear water glasses, or whatever you have on hand.

I like the look of these parfaits and the tiny flags on them. I know I am rushing the holiday, but like every other holiday in our country, it is okay to start ahead of the day.

To make these parfaits, I took two boxes of jello(I used 1 strawberry and 1 raspberry, instead of 2 raspberry boxes). I did not feel like going to the store, and it tasted just as good. In a big bowl, I added 2 cups of boiling water to the 2 boxes of jello. I stirred until it was totally disolved. I added a can of cherry pie filling and stirred until blended. With a measuring cup I poured the blended mixtured into the individual glasses, set them on a tray and covered with plastic wrap. Refrigerated until firm. This can be refrigerated for a few days ahead of when you are going to serve them.
When ready to serve add fresh blueberries on top, and a dollop of whipped cream.
If you want to add an extra touch, you can add little flags(you can purchased small bags of these at your local grocery store this time of the year).

I loved when my mother would pack a picnic lunch or dinner in the summer. She would include fun surprises with the meal and it was always foods we loved. I can distinctly remember some of the picnics she packed and the parks where we ate them.
The above picture was from a July 2000, Country Living Magazine. I thought it was a beautifully packed picnic basket. Just for the record, my mother's picnic basket did not look like this.

This festive looking table celebrating July 4th, was from the same magazine. I told you I save all the pictures that I like from old magazines. This table setting is one I would love to be invited to. I like the idea of the old buckets filled with ice, soda bottles and flags. I like the silver ware utencils wrapped in red, white and blue napkins or tea towels.

And this hammock, is a place I would love to spend a few hours reading, now that it is summer. Doesn't that look inviting to you, with the old quilt draped over it? I can almost feel the summer breeze from the trees, and smell the freshly mowed grass:)

Or maybe you would rather sit in these rocking chairs on this old porch and sip lemonade together. Another picture from a past copy of the same magazine.
Maybe on July 4th, you could invite someone to share some time on a picnic, or around your outdoor table, or on your old rockers. You cook some hot dogs or hamburgers on the grill, and then whip up some quick, good tasting parfaits to serve for desert.
Hospitality creates memories.
"Hospitality is a gift. It is a gift that says to the person to whom it is given, "I care about you."
I am thankful for the examples I had in my life, to see hospitality shared, and the memories that came with it.
It is not about entertaining, it is about hospitality. " Home cooked food" and" comfort food" are phases that are now seen on every food magazine cover. We cling to the good memories we have of our own childhood and many of those memories have to do with food.
A few of my treasured summer memories include food, picnics, fireflies, rootbeer floats after an evening of weeding the gardens, lots of lemonade, and hours of time on the old monkey swing in our back yard.
Now, it is my time to help create some fun summer memories for others in my life.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

It's a yellow, plastic "Roadster" car with lots of colored balls that pop when "driven". Today it proved to be quite entertaining for my two little visitors.

"......Don't you wonder how that thing works?"

"......I got to think about it for a minute."

"......My brother can figure anything out."

"......Look for a key."


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