Saturday, July 31, 2010

Last night at the park these little black-eyed susans were everywhere. We did the swings, the
jungle gym and the picnic dinner. This weekend we are babysitting. Their mother had her
wisdom teeth removed, and just in case you wonder how in the world her recuperation is going, you just might want to pay a quick visit to her blog at
Here at our home, we all are having a great time together. It is especially fun when you both wear jeans and red, car shirts to go out for breakfast.

"A true friend laughs at your stories even when they are not so good
and sympathizes with your troubles even when they're not so bad."

Together they face a Saturday, and they are happy.
I hope you find some happiness this weekend too.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Two families and good friends went together and created a very special baby shower for our middle daughter and her husband. It was held on Tuesday evening at a beautiful pool side location. My sisters, sister-in-laws, and neices planned the menu and prepared the food. Each of them made dishes they are known for, and that this couple enjoy. My daughter and her husband live out of state, so having them home for this fun event was wonderful. I don't often share long blog posts, but because of the work and beauty they presented on Tuesday evening, I decided to share more than the normal amount of pictures. What a blessing it is when family gives their time and expertise to share the gift of a shower.

My sister-in-law, my neice, my daughter and me were taking pictures at times throughout the evening. I want to thank my sil and neice for sharing their photography skill with me.

Little touches of pink were everywhere.

Our daughter, the guest of honor.

My sister-in-law's deviled eggs were delicious.

Another sister-in-law's molasses cookies. Everyone of us are thrilled to receive a bag of these cookies from her. Once you eat one, I promise you will not forget them. I like how she made them smaller than usual for the shower.

My younger sister is known for her frozen drinks. She has been making them and serving them for years. Here she made tiny strawberry milkshakes to serve the guests. The tiny cups of this drink looked so pretty on the white tray. It was a delicious addition to the evening.

Bottles of pink lemonade provided the perfect way to cool off on a warm summer evening. Another tub of bottled water was also a hit.

Clotheslines of adorable tiny girl clothes added another pink touch to the party.

My neice added the contribution of the amazing hand squeezed lemonade that has become one of her trademarks. After tasting it, I certainly understand why. I wish I had a glass of it right now. It was so good and refreshing.

Remember the snack mix recipe I shared on this post a while ago? I filled clear cellophane bags with the mixture, tied it closed with a pink bow and added a small tag for the favors. Just a little gift for the guests to take along home.

One of my neices generously shared this delicious treat. Fruit salsa and cinnamon nachos. She made them by spraying tortilla shells with Pam and then sprinkled with cinnamon/sugar. She baked them in the oven for a few minutes. The combination tasted so good to me. She said it was low in calories.

These tiny strawberry cream muffins could only be described as scrumptious! One found it quite difficult to stop at one. One of my neices near the age of our youngest daughter, did most of the baking for this shower. She has truly become an accomplished baker. Whenever we see her name on a desert, we know we are in for a real treat. She is also very creative in her presentation. I often wonder if someday, I'll will be eating at a restaurant that she opens.

Wouldn't you love to open y0ur refrigerator and find these beauties in it? These were not ordinary chocolate covered strawberries. This neice shared her known skill in making these again. A perfect addition to the food display.

The littliest girls at the shower had their own party. They certainly added some interesting side shows to the evening.

Opening up the gifts was a highlight. Here our oldest daughter and her daughters give the future baby, the bunny they lovingly chose at the bear store at the mall. They couldn't wait to give their aunt, this special gift which included a tiny heart in the bunny's pocket.

It was so good to have our daughter and son-in-law home again for a few days. Actually, the visit seemed way too short. Each of us were so thankful for the kindness, talent and time that our families put into sharing this memorable baby shower with us.
Like I mentioned at the beginning, I promise not to post long posts like this again. If you are like me, you enjoy seeing the results of people working together to make an event like this happen.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Right now in our home it is so quiet. Hesitantly, we said our goodbyes to our daughter and son-in-law when we dropped them off at the airport for their flight home. We have had a very special visit together. In fact, on Monday evening our immediate family was home for dinner...all of us together again for the first time since March. On Tuesday, our extended family hosted a baby shower for that daughter and her husband, and what a memorable evening that was. I will be sharing a few pictures of those two events on my next two posts.
Above is pictured a farm and flower gardens that are located a few miles from my home. The two dear ladies who live there and grow the flowers have been a blessing in my life. The simple glass inclosed area along the road is what they use to display their unending array of beautifully created flower arrangements. The gardens beside their home is where they grow them.

Last week I delivered these four pink cans to them. The empty cans from the baked beans that I had served at my grandson's 16th birthday party. I washed and dried them, then sprayed painted them pink to use decorating my daughter's baby shower. You guessed it, she is expecting a little girl. I dropped off the cans and then picked them up on Monday afternoon. They were sitting on this old wooden bench when I arrived at the farm. I could not have been more thrilled than I was with the job they completed for me. Fresh from their gardens and ready to grace the round tables at the shower.

Their artistic ability to mix textures and colors impresses me each time I go to pick up my ordered arrangements. Their prices though are the best!

In their quiet, simple lifestyle free from what many consider normal, they live and work together. Always with pleasant greetings and dependable time schedules they produce their creations throughout the Spring, Summer and Fall. If rocking chairs could talk, I wonder what stories these two would tell.

As we drove away, I captured this picture of their extensive flower gardens.

For our Monday evening family dinner I lined a few of my little white pitchers down the center of the table. I filled them with some bright colored mini petunias from my mother's flower beds. I really liked the look that it created. In between the pitchers, I added some small votive candles. This afternoon they continue to look nice on the table. There is something so delicate and elegant about these little flowers.

And finally to complete this flower post of the day, I want to share with you a very special gift I received in the mail on Saturday. You see, I won a lovely giveaway in blogland, from a gifted lady named Susan. It consisted of a her photography and her artwork. A beautifully framed print and a package of professionally looking notecards. When you go to your mailbox and receive an unexpected package created and sent from someone you never met, it just has a way of brightening your day. Thank you, Susan! I am sure you would enjoy her artistically done blog at ""

Just think of how much fun I will have writing notes to my friends on this perfectly done stationary. Thank you again Susan for your kind generosity.
I look forward to visiting some blogs in the next few days. I have missed you all.
And I also look forward to sharing some of the highlights of this past weekend with you soon.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Good Morning! This picture was one on my daughter's phone. I thought it was a perfect way to say "hello" to you on this hot...very hot and humid, summer day.
The weather forecast predicts temps over 100 degrees.

Maybe this will help...lots of ice water, with lemon slices if you prefer.
If this is not enough to keep you cool today...

...certainly this will do the job. My far off memories of February 2010.
I will be taking a short break over the weekend.
Hope you all stay cool and experience some enjoyable moments.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Early this morning my daughter and I were glancing over the headlines of the morning newspaper that was laying on the kitchen counter and both remarked at the sadness of the stories reported there. It reminded me of something I had read in the book I had posted about a while ago, "One Simple Act" by Debbie Macomber. The paragraph was titled, "Watch the Helpers".
"After the bombing of the twin towers of New York's World Trade Center, the nation was stunned. Parents didn't know what to say to their children. They'd seen such evil things on television that even adults couldn't put the events into any kind of contest. When a few parents wrote to Mr. Rogers, the beloved children's television personality, to ask for advice. Fred Rogers said, "Tell them to watch the helpers." What wise advice. I've thought about his answer many times. When tragedy hits, don't focus on the faces of pain and horror. Let your eyes follow those who are rescuing, feeding, healing, sweeping, comforting, and rebuilding. On 9/11, it was the selfless firefighters who took center stage. They will be rememberedlong after the evildoers are forgotten.
There are so many simple ways to show others you care. So many ways to reach out to others, and certainly any of those will bring joy to others. Debbie Macomber also states in her book;
"Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can.
In all the ways you can.
In all the places you can.
At all the times you can.
To all the people you can.
As long as ever you can."
...even if it is as little as sharing your wheat puffs to a special lady sitting next to you:)

A few evenings back, I found a fun website created by three ladies. It is "" by Chickabug -
It is some real cool free downloads that you can print. I printed the page below as well as some others. I was impressed with this site.

I took this page, cut out one of the bans and after removing the blue label on this bottle of water, I glued this new summer ban. I added a 5 calorie pack of Ocean Spray Cran-raspberry drink mix. A perfect tiny gift to set on a friend's desk or to share it with someone who has to work out in this heat everyday.

It seems like a little thing to do, but little things sometimes leave the biggest ripple effects.

How about taking a pack of each of these and creating a gift package for a friend who may be facing a difficult or lonely weekend. I think the "thinking of you" tag alone would bless them.

Gift and tag given unexpectantly, is guaranteed to brighten someone's spirits.

You know by now, that I am a "little something sweet" type person. So when I saw these cheesecake bites again at Walmart, I bought them. Something good...low in calories...and adding a bit of sweetness to my after dinner coffee. Each bite has 20 calories so even if you add a bit of fresh fruit, it will work for me.

I took my fancy picks(although toothpicks would work fine), and added bits of fruit to create some light deserts for my friends. I think this plate itself would make a fun gift too.

Or, how about sharing one with a friend at work, along with a pack of Columbian instant coffee.
A perfect coffee break. Making it even better...the fact that someone cares. Someone took the effort to show they cared.

My own little helpers. They insist on it when they are in my home and it is time to make food at dinner. They want to help. By themselves, they drag the chairs over to the kitchen. I try to make this time somewhat creative for them, although it is determined by how pressed I am for time. Yesterday, we cut shapes out of fruit and cheese. It was a chore for me to keep them from eating every shape they cut. Why would we cut shapes out of food? Well, probably because my mother taught me by example, how to make food presentation look good, and because I am always thinking of ways to keep them occupied. Browning the hamburger just won't work for their age group:)

What do think...does this look good to you? The three of us liked it.
Small ways to combat the painful headlines of life. Giving, sharing, helping, and taking time. "Out of the box" ways of saying...I care what you are going through," or "I appreciate you,"
or whatever ways you create to reach out to others.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Last week on the evening of her big brother's birthday party, I had helped this little one get dressed in her sundress, for the party. When I walked into her play room a few minutes later, this is what I found. She was seated in front of the lit vanity(a fun hand-me-down gift from the neighbor girl), and she was pretending to be using the hair blow dryer. I stopped and watched her...was she really growing up so fast? It seems like just yesterday when I walked into her hospital room to meet her for the first time. It was as if time stood still for me in that small play room, as I watched her that summer evening.

My prayer for her as I reflect back over that moment, is that she comes to the realization in her life that there is far more to a life than just outward beauty. In a world like ours, that places so much emphasis on the outside, may she realize early in life, that inner qualities like joy, peace, and kindness add real beauty. I know this to be true...because I have met many truly beautiful people in my life. And please God, don't let her grow up too fast.

Monday, July 19, 2010

You will find plenty of these ice cubes in my freezer during the hot..."very hot" summer months. I use juices that contain fruit but are light. The red cubes are made from Ocean Spray Light Cranberry juice. It tastes so good and has 2/3 less calories.
Because we enjoy Clear Choice drinks, especially white grape, I just add 1 or 2 cubes to each glass and I have a delicious, refreshing summer drink.

After freezing cubes in ice trays, I fill plastic containers with them and return them to the freezer, ready at a moment's notice.

This is a recipe that is requested in my family. It is so easy to make and the recipe makes a big portion that lasts for quite a long time when stored in an airtight container. I made this for an upcoming baby shower that I am working on.

This is the recipe I use. I use Cheese Nips instead of fish crackers sometimes, and I add some peanuts with the cashews. I serve little glass bowls of this mix when I serve the above mentioned drink. If you stop in sometime I will serve you this combo:)

Just in case you are looking for a quick snack.


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