Tuesday, November 30, 2010

An Apron Giveaway!!!

Rain is hitting the windows and more rain is on the way.
The news being broadcast over the television leaves one feeling rather gloomy, too.
But, this evening I decided I am going to have a giveaway.
The month of December is almost here, and we just came through a busy holiday last week.
Sometimes, at the end of a busy day, I sit down to my computer and find myself entering into another world, the world of blogging. With the touches of a few keys, I can find myself visiting blogs that create, that take me on travel adventures that I never imagined myself on. I can visit fellow grandparents, fellow empty nesters, view photography blogs, decorating blogs, crafting blogs, and learn new cooking skills. I can find encouragement and inspiration from some much wiser than me. And to think that only a few years ago, I was not even interested in learning how to turn on a computer.
Who would have thought the world of blogging could become a fun part of my life.
Your visits here to my blog, the times you share comments on your heart...it means so much to me.
I just want to say "thank you" to each of you. I humbles me to think that you may find interest in stepping into my world, if only for a few minutes each week.

My simple way of expressing gratitude, is to have a giveaway of another one of my sister-in-law's beautiful, well made aprons.
The one I chose to give away, is like the one I chose to give my middle daughter, a few years ago.
I like it with it's bright red cherries, because it makes me happy. For some reason, it reminds my of my mother's kitchen, years ago. I also like it because it looks nice with black pants and a black top. Simple dinner attire for a busy hostess.
I know many of you will be cooking and baking for family and friends over the holidays,so it is fun to offer this lovely creation for you.All you need to do to win, is to leave a comment on this blog. Even if you never left a comment before and you don't plan on doing it again, it doesn't matter.

The workmanship on this apron is meticulous.
If you would like to see a sampling of her aprons, simply click HERE.

My way of letting you know just how much I appreciate each of you, those who I know visit my blog and those who I am not aware of their visits.
It is late and my eyes cannot stay open much longer.
Good night!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Two little girls in their first baking experience at Mawmaw's house last week.
Wearing dresses they got from the dress-up bin at my house.
Dresses picked up from the consignment store. Christmas dresses that someone, somewhere grew out of...and oh, the joy it brought to them.
The oldest one picked the "santa dress" as she called it.
The youngest one knew immediately she wanted the black knit one with lots of glitter, even though it was much too big. Straps were knotted in the back to make it fit her.
They both wore their fun dresses all day.

They discovered, via me, that they could actually bake in their play bakeware. So, I mixed up some blueberry muffin mix and eagerly they filled it all.

I marveled at how they worked so well together. Pride filled me as I watched them kindly stir the batter, fill the pans and cooperate with each other. You know the feeling.

They moved their chairs and the youngest lost interest for a moment. I watched the older on straighten and organize the tray of ready to bake goodies...
Trouble was brewing and I could see it all transpiring before my eyes...

Little one pulls up chair to resume her chore and proceeds to organize pans to her liking.

They contest for front row chair location, and older one is determined to win. Mawmaw's pride suddenly disappears.
Isn't this just like life for all of us? Everything can be going along fine with family, friends, co-workers and then all of a sudden someone gets what we really want, and it is all downhill from there.
"Jealousy"...what a powerful and devastating emotion that affects each of us in one way or another almost daily.
It will be a life time of learning for these two. I know whereof I speak...even if you are wearing your favorite consignment shop Christmas dresses:)

And, in the end good can still come out of it all...that is real grace and mercy.

ps. thanks to my daughters for their expertise in giving me a blog decor update and a music update, and thanks to my two little girls for another valuable life lesson. What would I do without them!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Change...it is a fact of my life and yours.
This year was all about change for me.
Once again, we were privileged to share a very special Thanksgiving celebration at the old farmhouse of my brother-in-law and sister-in-law, and as always the warm welcome of these two, was extended to us.
The "us" was just my husband and I. We, along with my mother-in-law were invited to join their family for the celebration. Not one of our daughters or our grandchildren were able to join us.
This was the first time in 33 years for us.
We were honored to join with their wonderful family.
The tablescape in the old farmhouse kitchen was so beautifully done. My sister-in-law and her creative daughters can make any tablescape worth photographing.

Their little guys had their own table and they were just as pleased as could be.

They played games and spent time with paper and crayons.

We read a letter on memories from one of us, that is in another country during the holidays, giving us laughter and then more stories.

Here is a picture of four generations. Great-grandmother, grandmother, mother, and little granddaughter share a special moment together.

My neice put together this unique corn creation that added a touch of warmth to her kitchen counter.
As we sat and talked around the kitchen table, I was reminded of the fact that life is so full of change. For years I have been sitting around this same kitchen table, celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday. For many of those years I was jumping up quite often to check on my own children. Then there were the years when I had teenagers sitting around the same table with me.
Now, I sat at the table realizing that change had happened. Some of our girls were out of state, and one of them and her husband decided to have their own celebration their little ones.

But, as always when we walked out the door and said goodbye to these dear people, I felt thankfulness in my heart, that despite the change I had to accept, I was so blessed by our visit.
Another memory was created for me at this cozy, inviting farm in the country.
We drove miles in the rain, to face yet another change in our Thanksgiving celebrating.
We were invited to our oldest daughter's home to share with a Thanksgiving dinner with them.
Our daughter and son-in-law had cooked their first turkey dinner and we would sit down at their table and celebrate together.

I relinquished my cooking and being in charge role to this lovely daughter. I was no longer at the stove and hurriedly rushing through the many duties of creating a meal.

You see, somehow in what seems like a brief amount of time, I went from the age of my daughter with young children of my own, to being in the age group and role of "mawmaw".
As I sat in their kitchen and observed her and her husband working together, and listened as little ones voices filled their home, I was confronted again with the changes of my life.

The little blond seated to my right, pulled my sleeve to get my attention, her chubby hand was covered with the cranberry sauce, she had been eating with her fingers. I didn't care. I love this little girl. The red cranberry sauce could be washed off. She didn't mean to do it, although her mother was dismayed at the incident.
I find myself with a whole new mindset these days. My daugher said, "mom, your rules sure have changed since we were children." That is true. And, you know what, someday her rules will change too.

I am a "mama" now. I am done with the parenting role:)
I was told the rules change, and now I know that to be true.

The green bean casserole that has been one of my Thanksgiving meal favoites for many years was still on the table. Now though, it was baked by the one coming after me. I had the great privilege of sitting and eating it.
Change...I know that I will face more in the years ahead. I know without a doubt, that life is just like that. The changes ahead could be a lot more difficult to accept than these simple ones were. Some of you have faced many more radical changes than I have this year. I know that from reading your blogs. You had far more to process in your minds and hearts this Thanksgiving holiday, than I did.
But today, I appreciate that you let me share with you, the chapter of life that I found myself in this holiday.

Daughter, I am proud of the person you grew up to be, and I am thankful for the husband God has blessed you with. I am thankful for the dear little ones who stared out the window, waving good bye to us as we drove away, and yes, I am even thankful for the change factors of my life.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I purchased this old metal tray at a consignment shop on Saturday, for 1.00.

I sprayed it with antique gold spray paint and placed it on my living room wall unit, in front of a vintage mirror I have had there for many years.
I placed some of my glass and gold striped votive holders, and some little glass votive holders from the attic. I added a few glass balls from last Christmas.
Just a simple way to recycle and add a touch of warmth to my living room.

On Thurday we celebrate Thanksgiving. We are blessed that we still have that privilege.
I am thankful for each of you in blogland. You continue to bless my life in so many ways. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families!

Monday, November 22, 2010

She has been a friend for a long time.
She is one of the most artistic and creative ladies that I have ever met.
She is stopped by last week and dropped off this Creative Memories album that she painstakingly made for me, to document our latest granddaughter's first year of life. Really girls, it is an amazing gift of time and skill.
I find it quite difficult to know how to possibly express to her, my thankfulness and deep appreciation. She is a "scrapbooker extrodinaire" and she has shared that talent with me.

Our latest little granddaughter was born on September 25th. This is her newly created book.
Her first Christmas pictures and documentation will be placed here. All I need to do is to slide each paper out of the page and glue on pictures and write down the memories to go with each one.

Her first snow pictures will be placed on this page.

I love how my friend created tags that she used to identify each page, along with the colored ribbons.

At five months, she will experience her first Valentine's Day with pictures on this page.

The tiny pearl heart with the glitter...how sweet. Just perfect for a little girl.

Her moments at the beach will be experienced at 11 months.

Hopefully sand castle and all. I am impressed with each of the carefully planned details.

This page will record her first birthday with all of us celebrating.

There you have it, a most beautifully created way to document the first year of life for a very special little one. And if you are all left speechless with this gift...my friend has created one of these masterpieces for each one of my grandchildren. I am so blessed to call her my friend.

Speaking of our little granddaughter, here she is with her parents after their church baby dedication service.

One precious little girl.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

"All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

This my friends...is a life time learning process for me.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

My Christmas decorating will be kept at a minimum this Christmas season, due to the many young children that often visit me. I do some and enjoy doing it. I know I may be rushing the season, but my next few weeks are busy so I decided to start early and do some each day.
Two months ago I bought these beautifully created heart ornaments.

I am not sure why these little hearts got my attention at the Marshall's Homegoods Store, but they did.

When I bought them, I wasn't sure whether I would put them on my little tree, or tie them on the bows of my gifts. The tree won out.

I added a strand of clear lights and used fine gold ribbon to tie on each heart.

A simple festive touch to the photo corner of my room.
Next I hope to add some decorative touches to my fireplace mantel.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Because we have many of these on our property...

...we needed to have a work day on Saturday. For years he had his daughters help him rake the leaves. Now, he has this little guy to help him with this chore. Together they worked through the morning.
They raked...

...and they used the leaf blower(notice same jeans and black cowboy boots).

They bagged the leaves...

...and had lessons on how to tie in the process.

"Some people make the world special just by being in it."
~author unknown, but the sentiments felt deeply by the big and little guys in the pictures.


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