Thursday, June 30, 2011

I read a little book recently, titled "Laughter and Latte".  In the chapter titled "Squiggles of Enjoyment" there was a quote by Hermann Hesse stating that "There are a thousand tiny things from which one can weave a bright necklace of little pleasures for one's life." 

The author, Marilyn Meberg, of the short chapter asks, "What are the tiny joys from which you can "weave a bright necklace of pleasure?" 

For me, I am sharing a few of those tiny joys from my past week, during my family's visit;

Cousins getting happily reacquainted...

A four year old learning to know his newly acquired uncle...

Watching a little girl relishing in her fun birthday celebration, as she drives her brother's car through the driveway sprinkler...

Me, getting to spend a few quiet moments with another granddaughter...

And the way my front door pots, are now overflowing with blooms...

Tiny, simple joys that truly do add smiles in my busy week.  I feel certain that you could add your own little pleasures that bring you an occasional sqiggle of enjoyment.  I do recommend the inspiring little book "Laughter & Latte".

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

We gathered in our daughter and son-in-law's cozy kitchen, to celebrate one very special little girl.
Today she is four years old and we spent the evening celebrating her.  Her mother had decorated her kitchen table with a fun "princess" vignette, using items from their home, adding the perfect ambience for our small family party.

The "Happy Birthday" banner and string of tiny lights added to the festivities.

When I asked this sweet granddaughter what would be her favorite birthday cake, she replied quickly, that she wanted doughnuts with chocolate and sprinkles on top.  Her answer surprised her mother and me, because we could not remember her eating a doughnut like she requested, but  I purchased doughnut pieces from the farm bakery, drizzled Magic Shell chocolate over the pieces and added the sprinkles.  What a fun, simple birthday cake.

And, since it was a "princess" birthday, I added some glitter stars and placed a glitter tiara on her little head. 

This contagious smile has added much joy to our lives in the last four years.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I live in the middle of farming country and I am thrilled for that privilege.
I admire farmers for their expertise and skills in working the land, and the lives they dedicate to it all.
I took these pictures a few weeks ago and thought you might appreciate seeing them.

Artistry at it's finest!

Another day coming to an end.  Work in the fields will begin in the early morning hours.

God and the farmers working together.  How thankful we are for them.

Monday, June 27, 2011

I have given a lot of thought to the process of "listening" lately.  I wonder how often we really listen to each other.  How often do we take the time, however short that time may be, to hear what others are really saying.  Listening is truly a gift we give to others.  "When we are generous listeners, we will gain far more than we give."

"Simple Acts of Listening"
by Debbie Macomber

~"Are you an appreciative listener?  Nodding occasionally and smiling demonstrates that you are connected with the speaker, appreciating what she has to say.

~Are you an engaged listener?  If you practice active listening skills like leaning forward and making eye contact, the person speaking will feel as if he's been heard and you will grasp more or what's being said.

~Are you an intuitive listener?  As much as 75 percent of all communication is nonverbal.  Pay attention to the signals.  Words are just part of the message; try to hear the ideas and feeling behind the words.  Listen for the unspoken.  You'll be amazed at what you discover.

~Are you an empathetic listener?  When you strive for a respectful understanding of the person speaking you move away from a critical form of listening or a fix-it mentality.  An empathetic listener uses his imagination to put himself in the speaker's shoes."

I have a problem at times, interrupting someone's sharing because my mind races ahead, and I think I know what they are saying, instead of listening through to the end of their sharing and then commenting.  I think the "Simple Acts of Listening" that Debbie Macomber shared in her book, "One Simple Act", are worth sharing today.  They serve as a good reminder to me.  I like how Debbie says that she wants to become "an extravagantly generous listener."  Today, that would be my prayer also.  I think our world is desperately longing for others to care and to listen to what they are saying.

Friday, June 24, 2011

In his greenhouse, located in the deep south of the United States, he raises his prize winning orchids.  Lovingly and painstakingly, he cares for each bloom, as he has done for many years.  It pays off, the time and skill he puts into growing this beautiful, unique flower.


He knows more about orchids that most of us will in a lifetime. 

He also possesses skills in growing brilliantly colored sunflowers found in their many gardens.


And has perfected the growing of Queen Anne's Lace with it's delicate white blooms.

His lovely wife is creatively talented in her own rite.  She completed the needlework on the above pictured pillowcase, and I marvel at the time and skill that was needed to complete a project like this. I was told by her daughter, that she recently made all new dust-ruffles and curtains for their bedroom.  The talents that this couple were given are so many.

Near the top of the list of their varied interests, is the unwavering support of their beloved Atlanta Brave's baseball team.  This year they were fortunate to again be given another visit to see their team play.  Before I go on with this story I need to share some very important facts regarding this dear couple:

         ~  They are both 85 years old.
         ~  They have been married for 65 of those years.
         ~  They are parents of six daughters.  They are the grandparents of our middle daughter's husband. 

Here they are entering the Brave's stadium, and as is often their practice, making friends with everyone they meet along their pathway, even the game attendents at the stadium.

Settled in at the game and so happy to be there, they are discovered by one of the game's cameramen.  It was just in time for the evening "kiss cam" and they were ready.

Don't you just love this!!!  After 65 years together, they are kissing each other for the world to see in the Brave's stadium kiss cam.  Their daughter, my son-in-law's mother was with them and captured these outstanding pictures, so that I could share them with you.  You can just sense the love and tender compassion, these two have for each other.  Remember these two are 85 years old.  Don't you hope you can look this good at 85?  I certainly do!


Over the years, they do not give each other cards, but they do share written messages with each other on paper plates.  They put them at the breakfast table on their special occasions, like birthdays, anniversaries, Easter, and etc.  Their daughter remembers this from her childhood and thought it was silly then, but now says, "she could almost cry as she sees their sentiments written out." 

The plates were saved and are now covering the refrigerator door in the kitchen.   How blessed they must feel each time they see these heartfelt messages.

Another ritual they do each day...Papa must give his wife a kiss and a hug before prayer at each meal.  They sit across from each other at the table, so this takes an effort and some time for him to get up and walk all the way around the table to her side to give her a hug and kiss.  Don't you just feel the love as you look at this picture?
In today's world of many failed marriages and just as many tolerated marriages, I find it quite refreshing to observe this beautiful couple.  Together they have faced life, through thick and thin, through laughter and tears, through joy and heartache...65 years has certainly covered it all.  And, they are still in love, still holding each other and supporting each other.  I was told by a very wise lady, years ago, that one of the most important keys to a happy life together, is to remember in marriage, to always practice the "golden rule"..."to do unto others as you would have them do unto you."  I can't help but think that this was one of the aspects of their long, happy married life.  And, maybe having a baseball team to support and cheer for, might be an added, necessary ingredient.

Thanks for stopping by.  Another weekend is almost upon us...enjoy!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A good, busy week lies ahead of me, at least that is the plan.  The sun is shining today.

My daisies are in full bloom and there are an abundance of them.

We discovered a new and exciting way to spend the afternoon, by drawing roads and garages on the dry erase board.  We retreived all the play cars from the bottom of the toy box, and filled a blue lid with water to represent a park in the middle of the roads, and came up with a way to spend the hours.
I do hope you are impressed with my road artistry:)  It never was one of my strengths, but the concept worked, and to me that is all that matters.

Park the cards in the parking spaces that were drawn in.  Race the cars on the road, then park in the spaces, then visit the pond (with frog included)...just so much fun.

The highlight of the week will be when our youngest daughter and her husband fly home for a visit.  The first time that they have been home since their January 12th wedding.
We are all so excited to see them again, including the seven younger ones among us.
Our second daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter are also coming home. 
Hopefully, we will be together as a family on Saturday, and to this mother that will certainly something that makes a good week even better, especially since it rarely happens.

Isn't it nice in daily life to find some things, however few a week may hold, to look forward too?  Some weeks provide more than others, but when a week includes homecomings of loved ones living far away, it is extra special.

Certainly not a lot to blog about today.  No earth shattering news to share.  Truly it is "just a little something".  But, thanks for stopping by.  I hope that you are provided with at least one thing to look forward to this week.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Our annual summer reunion was celebrated together in the mountains this past weekend.  Time to be together, laughing, sharing, healthy competition, honoring the dads in our group, remembering our dad and what he meant to us.  Thought I would share just a few of the highlights of our time together.  My sister contributed some of these action photos.

One more little hand print will be added to this "made with love by the little ones" tee shirt.

Two sets of twins shared in the weekend fun.

Lots of healthy competition in this extended family.  Volleyball and basketball were the sports of choice, and presented hours of fun for those who enjoyed watching.

Seeing these pictures might help you to imagine the competition that existed among them.

Time to try the sliding board for the first time.  Actually, it seems like only a short time ago, some of the grown guys in our group, were at this stage of life.  Time goes by so quickly.

Time to rejoice and reflect on how much worse his little mishap could have been, when the previous day this little guy accidently stuck his wrist through a glass window, resulting in four stitches.  It could have been much worse if it would have hit the main artery.

Water activities brought lots of fun and smiles to all of the little ones present.

Generations coming together for a brief amount of time offering needed catch up time on where we all are in our lives.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

An extra special treat during the hot months of summer, is a visit to an ice cream shop, for grown-ups and children alike.  Recently we have experienced this treat with our grandchildren and when it happens it brings back memories of my childhood.  I remember on some hot summer nights, my parents would take us to the local Twin Kiss for root beer floats in ice cold glass mugs.  What a fun memory! 
A few weeks ago we visited a small town ice cream shoppe with our daugther and youngest granddaughter.  I loved watching the excitement of our little seven month old granddaughter eagerly devouring bites of soft serve ice cream.  The shoppe that we visited offered many flavors and toppings.  Lots of fresh strawberries, vanilla soft serve and more strawberries on top, was a popular choice for most of us on the Saturday afternoon.

Our daughter's choice was chocolate soft serve with crushed waffle cone pieces.

The creatively done board displayed the varied choices, and made the decisions difficult for all of us.
What would be your favorite ice cream combination? ice cream, with chopped almonds or walnuts, and a touch of chocolate syrup.

On Wednesday evening we took three of our grandchildren to a local ice cream shop for an after dinner treat.  Even though the combinations were quite limited, the chocolate or vanilla soft serve was still a big hit on the hot summer evening.  The swing set close by was an added feature.  I wish you could have sensed their excitement over something as simple as a kiddie cup filled with ice cream.

If you have limited ice cream from your daily diet, perhaps this version of ice cream will be your choice.  I found these at the local grocery store last week.  What a creative way to sell a household necessity.  There were four flavors in all.  Chocolate chip mint and peach were the other choices in the boxes of Kleenex.  Ice cream without calories...perfect!

This is my present favorite dessert.  A way to offer my taste buds a treat without adding the additional calories to my daily intake.  Really, I think this gum tastes so good and my grandchildren would agree.  I try to keep gum as a special treat for them, but when it is given, this is their favorite flavor right now. 
There you go, many ways of enjoying an old time summer treat.
Maybe this weekend you could treat someone to an ice cream cone.  I am sure it would bring them a smile.


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