Thursday, July 28, 2011

Their white van pulled into the driveway and they jumped out.  Excitement was written all over their sweet, little faces.  My grandma's heart quickly surmised the situation at hand, and knew immediately that it was not seeing me that caused the detected sparkle in their eyes.  As they congregated around her, their mother opened the back door of the van and struggled to lift out a huge, real looking horse.  They said, "Mawmaw, this is "S'More" and she is going to live with you, if it is okay?"  I quickly learned that one of their older girl cousins had bequeathed this good looking horse to them, the evening before, with pink bucket of "straw", carrot, and hairbrush included.

I can't express to you their excitement and my apprehension.  The big, real looking horse was placed in my small play room and hurriedly they flipped her "on" switch.  It was uncanny to me how "real" this horse became.  It turned it's head, it actually chewed the "straw and carrot" with sound effects, it twitched it's tail, it made so many real life movements that I had to laugh.  No one can prepare grandparents for the situations that can come into play in daily life.  They eagerly watched for my reactions as they showed me each action the horse was capable of performing.  Really, I did not know anything like this existed and here it was sitting in my home.

After working to break up the fights that errupted over who gets to ride her first, and pulling out my trusty timer, I went to find my camera.  I wanted to document a few of these moments for you, knowing full well, the smiles it would bring you (especially in light of all the many difficult life situations you all are facing).

The littlest one took it all so seriously, and believed in her heart, that the straw was really being eaten.

She kept giving S'More(perfect name for the horse), more straw from the bucket.  Never mind the (cardboard pieces) straw that was now all over my playroom floor. 

This is one of my most treasured pictures, little girl and horse falling in love with each other.  Now, one more tidbit of "important" information I want to share with you, and that they asked to bring the other horse we already had, into the room so they ( the horses) could be friends:)

One small play room, two big horses, three thrilled little ones, and one smiling mawmaw.  How is that for an "over the top" post?

I do want you to know that the horses found themselves in storage rooms of our home, until the little ones visit again.  My granddaughter called this morning to see how S'More's night was?  Who would have thought I would find myself with an in-home stable of sorts.  Do you need me to board your horse?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

In the midst of our complex lives there comes some moments of joy that tend to add encouragement to daily life.   These moments are most often unexpected and can easily be overlooked as the blessings that they are.  Here are a few  simple "smile makers" that stood out for me, in the last few weeks.

I needed a gift recently for a friend.  I stopped at my favorite roadside farm stand and discovered this arrangement on the old wooden bench.  It was picked and arranged by the two dear ladies who own the farm, and the best part...the $6.00 dollar price tag (including the white basket).  Don't you think this would be a gift you would enjoy receiving?

A few weeks ago, I walked into my husband's "organized/messy" :)  office in our home, and I was so delighted to be serenaded by an unexpected concert.  Now, think about it, how often do you come upon an unexpected concert?   There they were, my husband playing his harmonica, one granddaughter strumming a small guitar, and the other two playing  harmonicas.  Oh, I can't tell you the way it all blessed my heart at that moment.  For one of them, it was her first time ever to be attempting to play a harmonica, but she did not let that hinder her efforts.  The smiles on the little one's faces will remain with me for a long time.

I enjoy the privilege of playing "Travel Scrabble" with my mother, when we are on road trips.  Recently, while my husband drove, her and I played games of Scrabble.  For both of us, this is definitely a rare happening, but so much fun when we do have the opportunity.  It certainly helps the time go by quickly, when we are concentrating on our game.  Do any of you play "Travel Scrabble" during your road trips?

Another rare, and unexpected blessing for me, was the privilege of babysitting our little granddaughter who lives in another state from us.  We kept her for her parents, so that they could celebrate their 5th Anniversary together.  We had time to give her our undivided attention and believe me, that was a real blessing for me. 

On a recent occasion, I had quiet evening all to myself, and I need that.  It is rare for me to have uninterrupted time to read, to think, and to reflect on my life.  I feel like that is a crucial element for each of us in our lives.  In our busy, demanding, and fast paced lives, time to be quiet and reflect is so important.

This is all I have to share on a warm Tuesday evening.  Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you have some unexpected moments of joy that bring a smile to your heart today.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Brilliantly colored gerbera daisies added the perfect touch to their beautiful black and white wedding.  I like how they tied them to them on the wooden pews, down the center aisles.  The simple arrangements sitting on top of the white pillars completed the look.  It was so tastefully done.  The flower arrangements were removed and carried to the reception area after the ceremony.

The flattering black dresses and the white shirts with black bowties that the guys wore, added an unique aspect to the look of the bridal party.  Pictured are my neice(the groom's sister) and another one of my  nephews, who will be getting married in September.

The bride and groom's first dance as husband and wife.

An ordinary church fellowship hall is dressed up by the bride's family, using tobacco cloth to cover the walls and ceiling.  The tiny white lights underneath created a softly lit ambience to the room.  I never would have thought of doing this and I must admit, it sure did disguise the recreational room in a gorgeous way.

From left to right, the groom's sister, the new bride and groom and the groom's brother.  Don't you think the bride and the groom's sister could pass for sisters?  That is one of the comments the groom made in the last few years, that he wanted to meet someone that looked like his sister.  What a kind compliment for her.

The elegantly done black and white wedding cake tasted as good as it looked. 
Thank you for stopping by today to share in this special celebration.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

"The beauty of the earth, the beauty of the sky, the order of the stars, the sun, the moon...their very lovliness is their confession of God: for who made these lovely mutable things, but He who is Himself unchangeable beauty?"


Friday, July 22, 2011

"Five years" ago, this beautifully created, chocolate groom's cake, was a special part of a memorable wedding reception.

"Five years" have pasted since that memorable day. " Happy 5th Anniversary" to our daughter and son-in-law, today!  You both continue to bless our lives in so many ways.  Wishing you a fun day together!

Speaking of blessings...these two visited this week and what fun they are, as they are rapidly approaching their second birthday.  I continue to have trouble telling them apart.

As I mentioned previously, my nephew's wedding pictures will be shared in the near future.  These gerbera daisies created a beautiful wedding for them.

Today it is to reach 100 degrees here.  Hope you stay cool wherever you call home.  Thanks for stopping by and sharing in my simple joys.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

On a warm, Friday evening, in the hills of Kentucky, we were treated to a very special, wedding rehearsal dinner.  Friends from the church the bride grew up in, offered the use of their old barn in the country.  It was the perfect place to celebrate with the couple, family and friends. 

Up the grassy hill we all walked together, eager to participate in a long awaited evening of celebrating.

My nephew's parents, my sister and brother-in-law hosted the wonderful event.  Pictured here, the future bride and groom.  Their warm, caring personalities made everyone happy to be a part of their wedding weekend.  Many country touches added to the quaintness of the evening.

Name cards were attached to colorful hanging ribbons hung from the wooden rafters, inside the barn door.  That was a great idea since most of the guests from the two families did not know each other.


My brother-in-law, sister and their family creatively decorated the old barn.  The strings of lights added the perfect ambience to the event.  The borrowed tables and chairs provided seating for all the guests.

The centerpieces were created from empty baked bean cans and bright colored, faux flowers.

My husband with the groom to be and his brother, nephews he remembers holding as babies. 

My sister, her daughter and our daughter in the blue.

Old canning jars were wired onto wooden branches and held small votive candles.  These homemade lanterns were hung throughout the property.

At the end of the evening, we all experienced an added blessing.  The most brilliant, beautiful sunset filled the sky, creating interesting shadows from the remaining clouds.

Thanks to my neice for sharing some of these pictures.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I read a quote by Susan Branch the other day and it said, "Take lots of photos so you'll know summer wasn't a figment of your imagination."  I have one real rose bush that just happens to be producing the most delicate, beautiful, fragrant roses this summer, and I am thrilled.  It has been five years since that little bush has been given to me, and this summer it is it's turn to shine.  Yesterday, I took my five year old grandson out to my  tiny rose garden.  One rose bush and five knock-out rose bushes...that is why I call it my tiny rose garden.  I showed him the roses and had him inspect the center of each rose, and then I showed him the tightly closed rose buds and explained to him the process of the bud opening to the full flower.  I am sure it wasn't real exciting to him, but he did act slightly interested.  Of course, I am used to that, because that is how all the people I am surrounded with, act:)

I showed him how you can cut a rose off and bring it into the house, and then I showed him a few ways one can display it indoors.  There again, he acted interested in what I was saying. I showed him the thorns, had him touch them, and explained to him that the thorns were placed on the rose bushes to protect it.   Finally, I showed him how his mawmaw loves to take pictures of these beauties, just to share with you.  Who knows, maybe it will help him to understand his wife better someday.

The rose is one of those flowers that excites not only the sight, but also our sense of smell.  Just smelling this flower can take me back to my childhood, when both of my wonderful grandma's gave me a love for roses.  I can remember it so well.  I can close my eyes and be transported to their rose gardens and how I loved smelling each rose.  The thin, silky petals are so perfectly shaped and the intricately created center of each flower simply amazes me upon careful study of it. 

"As a countenance is made beautiful by the soul's shining through it, so the world is beautiful by the shining through it of God."    ~Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi

"I find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see.  The longer I live, the more my mind dwells upon the beauty and wonder of the world."    ~John Burroughs

And my friends, the older I get, the more I understand my grandma's love for these beauties. 

I am thankful that my little rosebush has survived it's five year life.  At times I did not think it would, but it did.  In reading my rose books I realize that growing roses can be difficult, and I know from visiting some of your blogs, you have mastered this skill. I would love to walk through some of your rose gardens with you.  I would like to be your neighbors and receive some bouquets of your roses.  I would also like to recommend that you give others a gift of a rose bush.  It is the gift that keeps giving year after year, if you can keep it alive:)

In the next post, I will be sharing a few highlights of our trip to Kentucky this past weekend, for my nephew's rehearsal party and wedding.  If you enjoy events like this, please stop by.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

On a perfect summer evening, we gathered together for a very special tea party.

The gardens were exquisitely cared for.  The soothing sound of water running was an indication of what was ahead for us.

Once again, we met at this old wooden house that used to be a playhouse for the owner's children.  The ambience that greeted us immediately calmed our spirits, after the busy day we had all come through.  You see, this evening was created for a very special reason by one of my dear friends.

Three years ago, I had invited these three beautiful mothers and their three daughters, to a tea party at this location.  What a wonderful, rare evening we all had together.  The memories of the evening are still vivid in my mind.  In April our precious friend in the aqua jacket, went to heaven, so unexpectedly.  Three years later, her daughter, the one in the white suit wanted to participate in another tea party, only this time she invited the three daughters, along with our oldest daughters, to the same location.

Here we are, joining together as the next generation.  What a privilege it was to have our daughters share the evening with us in the same lovely, magical location.  Maybe someday, they will have a tea party here with their daughters.

The gracious hostess and home owner treated us to another equally beautiful evening that we will never, ever forget.

All the creative touches, the gorgeous gardens, the delicious food and the hostesse's warm, caring spirit, blessed each of us in memorable ways.

Tiny, pretty favors for each one of us.

Our hostess extrordinaire and her young, talented helpers carrying platters of food.

The candles were glowing, the crickets were chirping, the conversations were fun, at times filled with laughter and tears, as together we remembered one very special lady.
"The best portion of a good life is little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love."   ~William Wordsworth

Our friend left us with many of the above, giving us reason to celebrate and remember her.  In the gardens we shared time together, being reminded of just how necessary it is to appreciate each other, every day that we have here.


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