Friday, September 30, 2011

Since I began my blogging adventure a few years ago, I have learned so much.  At times though, I do beleive blogging can tend to be a bit deceiving, in that things are not always as they appear.  Sometimes, when I share pictures, I think to myself, "this all looks so good", realizing that I, and probably you, only share the good, the pretty, the organized, and the inspiring.  Afterall, why share other than that?  I think that is why, when the opportunity presents inself, that I enjoy perusing the blog world.
Today though, I will share my take on "Mission Impossible".  Although I did not spend time watching this television show from the past, I know many of you did.  But, I have my own take on it.
Recently, I had the special occasion of keeping five of my grandchildren, all at the same time.  I say that, because usually I keep the three older ones, or the two younger ones at the same time.  It is a rare occasion when I have the five at the same time.  Here on these pictures, the older ones had spent the night(thus the reason for their pjs) and the younger ones were dropped off, so their mother could go grocery shopping.
I thought to myself, " I just want to capture one picture of the five of them...just one where they were all looking at the camera".  Thus, "Mission Impossible" came to my mind. 
This post will not provide you with quiet serenity, organizational expertise, color coodinated children's outfits, or peaceful feelings.  What it will provide you with, is a step inside my world, the happy, very busy, and unpredictable world that it is:)
You will see the oldest little girl, actively participating in the "oldest sister" role, exactly as I did all my life, as the oldest of five closely spaced children.  I am sure it will bring you a smile today, as you scroll down through each picture.
I was so thankful I could provide their mother, a peaceful, somewhat relaxing grocery store trip.


Here the little guy is trying to reach his sister's gummy dinosaur, and she is not about to let that happen

Finally, this is as good as it is going to get!  Afterall, there is no perfection around here, just lots of fun and love(okay, not always love being expressed...but love in the bottom of their hearts).  Just look at the happy little guy in the back:)

The oldest little guy had just received the new Converse sneakers, and he was as pleased as could be.  He wanted them, because his older brother and dad had some similar to them.  He was sitting on the chair with his feet propped up, and he said to me, "Mawmaw, don't you think I look cool with these on?"  You can tell how much he liked them, in that he has them on with his pjs, the next morning, on the above pictures.

So, here you had it.  An opportunity to step into one of my simple, yet so busy days.
I do hope it brought you some smiles, like it does me so often, and that you don't mind that I shared a more personal blog post.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thoughts from my porch, at the end of the day;

One of my favorite times, is when darkness sets in, at the end of the day, is to light a few candles and sit on my porch.  The night sounds surround me, and the quietness refreshes me.
Time to be quiet and to reflect.

I read a piece recently, on one such evening, that uplifted my spirits on that particular evening.  It was from a small book from my bookshelf titled, "Pure Joy" by Alicia Britt Chole.
I thought maybe some of you might like what I read, and I decided to share it with you.
"Defeating Discouragement"

"Webster defines "discourage" as "to deprive of confidence, hope, or spirit."  How true!
Like a slow but steady erosion, discouragement gnaws away hope.  "That wasn't quite good enough," it says.  "Remember when you failed", it warns.  "Be realistic," it cautions.  With each whisper, confidence questions itself,  hope hesitates, and our spirit slowly suffocates.
"Reminds me of another pest that gnaws away at foundations and afflicts homes.  One source said these destroyers cause as much property damage each year as fire--termites!  There are over 2000 species.  They live in communities and steadily tunnel their way through wood---unseen and undiscovered until severe damage shouts their intrusion...
(How similar this is to our thought processes at times during our daily life.)

...What does one do with termites?  Consult the phonebook, call a professional, and exterminate the little beasts!!!
What should we do with discouragement?  Consult the Bible, call upon God, and take action.  God knows our hearts are vulnerable, but He is more than able to defeat each and every whisper of discouragement as we call upon His name and hold tightly to His Word."
A new morning comes and the sun always rises in the east(whether we see it or not).

Wishing you some "whispers of pure joy" today! 
I am sure we could all use them.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

We are blessed to live in a region of America with such an abundance of natural scenic beauty.
"Chrysanthemums" are those flowers that come in when most of the other flowers go out, and their vibrant colors and shape to beds, borders, and pots.  On the road to my daughter's home, I pass this quaint little road side stand that always gets my attention when I pass by.

The flowers and pumpkins are so creatively arranged that it looks to me, like an artist's palette.

The Chrysanthemums are an attention getters at this pumpkin display.  I read that hardy mums are a metaphor for fall.   Their warm colors mimic autumn with their yellows, oranges, and russets.  There are at least twenty some colors of this flower, that are accepted by breeders.

I also found this gourd display at the roadside stand and thought it was a fun way to share their gourds.

Hope you have an opportunity to view some of nature's finest fall beauty.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Yesterday afternoon was the bridal shower for my cousin's daughter.  My sister helped to create this brilliantly colored Fall event.  The shower was held in my cousin's country decorated home, located in a quiet, small town street.  The shades of color in her home plus the Fall colors of the future wedding, used in the bridal shower decor, produced some beautiful photos, that she shared with me, and I in turn wanted to share with you.  Both of my sisters are accomplished party planners, and they know I like when they share pictures with me, of each event.
The little puppy felt honored to be included in this lovely picture.

Since I favor the season of Fall, you can imagine how much I enjoy these pictures.  The oranges, golds, greens and brown make a perfect backdrop for the good looking food.

The future bride and her cousin, who just happens to work at a coffee shop and provided the supply of coffee for the shower.  Honestly, it seems like only yesterday, when I visited these two as new born babies.  My mother was right, time does fly.

The showstopping colored Chrysanthemums tucked into glass vases, added the
right amount of color on the fireplace mantel.

The many photos of the bridal couple were hung on rope, with tiny wooden clothespins,  and attached to the wooden mantel.  What a fun idea this was for the guests to become better acquainted with the future bride and groom.

My sister hung the artistically created, handmade name tags on rope with wooden clothes pins.  She added color by also attaching faux leaves above the name tags.  I don't know about you, but I think this is a clever, inexpensive way to display people's name tags at a party.  It looks so good on the rag painted wall that my cousin did in her foyer.

The gold toned rhinestones were found in the clearance shelves of Michael's store, and were part of the Martha Stewart collection.  I like the touch they added to each name tag.  I also like the description of each person that she included, under the names.  I think that is a helpful addition at a party where some do not know each other.

What a cute way to dress up an ordinary jar filled with corn candy.

Candles in carved out pumpkins were scattered on the food table.

Individual paper colored napkins were tied with ribbon and faux Fall mums, making a beautiful way to display the napkins.

The drink tables fit perfectly in with the Fall decor.  Tin bins were filled with ice and held cans of drink, including...

...these individual Limonata drinks.  I never saw cans of this drink, but I understand it is a lemon-lime flavored drink.  The color of the cans fits right in with the color theme of the party, and I am sure that is why she chose this drink.

A few fresh zinnias were tucked in a vase, and placed on the vegtable platter.

The cupcakes were outstandingly decorated for Fall, by a local bakery.

Gifts for the bride were festively decorated.  I liked the leaves on top of this package.  I think the ones used were faux leaves, but one could easily use real colored leaves too.

This is a real special picture to me.  From left to right, the future bride's sister, the future bride,  the mother of the future bride and my cousin, and her mother and my dear aunt. 

The future bride and her bridal party on the white garden swing.

Like her grandma, my cousin enjoys gardening and finds solace,in tending each well-maintained flower bed.

My cousin with my sister, the party planner extrordinaire.  Time is a special gift to give to one another, and time is what it took to put together this fun event.

I thought you would enjoy sharing in the festivities of this afternoon bridal shower.
Thanks to her for capturing each of these pictures so each of us could share in the fun.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Two little pairs of canvas shoes sit on the floor...

Two tiny baseball caps are removed, once they walk inside the door...

Off again and on again...... the caps seem to be.
"On" if they play farmer, with the tractors and the wagons,
of which we are thankful to have two...

sometimes worn to the front and sometimes to the back...

"Off" again when they venture into the toy box.  It seems to be the place they choose to play the most often, when they visit here. 
I am continuing to learn so much from these two little guys and their interesting set of ways. 
They definitely play well together, unless of course, there is only one black motorcycle and two who want it.
I can't believe they will be two years old next month.

I wonder how they will interact someday in the future, with their little girl cousin, who is only a year behind them?

This weekend is the first birthday for this sweet, little girl.  We are not able to be with her, but know her other grandpa and grandma will provide her with a special celebration.
However, a few weeks ago, we celebrated her "early" birthday.  So hesitantly and cautiously she opened her birthday gift.

We were thrilled to present her with her first baby doll.  She carried it everywhere after receiving it. 

"Happy Birthday" dear little one!
We are sure she will love having two older boy cousins to help take care of her and teach her many fun things.  I never had any older guy cousins, but I often wished I did.

"How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the strong.  Because someday in life you will have been all of these."

~George Washington Carver

Joy and blessings in your weekend ventures!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Last evening we had dinner here...

We received warm and gracious hospitality from the big, hard working family that lived here.
It is their business and yet it felt like their enjoyment.
The father, mother, and their children worked hard to cook the dinner, set the tables, serve the dinner, and clean up the dinner, for their guests.
We marveled at the organization and individual skills of each one of the family members.
Flower gardens and vegetable gardens were everywhere, and all meticulously cared for.

Without electricity the evening progressed.  When the sun set in the west, the kerosene lanterns came out, and were hung over the long tables.  Tables that can seat and serve up to 100 people.

Tiny lanterns with blue kerosene lined the tables, on the blue and white checkered tablecloths.

The dinner was exceptionally delicious!  Everything was locally grown and baked in their ovens, run by generators.  The pickled beets and applesauce were canned in their kitchens.  The pies were freshly baked that day, served warm, with vanilla ice cream. 
We were so impressed as we watched this beautiful family working together, like clock work.
After dinner, the mother and five of her daughters sang old hymns together, in four part harmony, for us. 
We were given permission to photograph what we wanted to, as long as we did not take pictures of any of them.  We honored their wishes.

In a small room off of the basement dining room was a gift shop.  Canned goods from their kitchen, were for sale, along with many lovely crafted items.

Outside, colored scooters lined the side of the driveway.  One of the popular modes of transportation that this family uses.

The older son was preparing to leave for the evening, getting carriage and horse ready to go.

A memorable occasion for all of us. 
We enjoyed the privilege of seeing a large family work together and the entrepreneural expertise that they possessed as a family.
Located out in the country, far from the busy thoroughfares of the city, and yet they serve people dinner, from all over the world.
Cost for the dinner...donations only.
Living, working, serving, and singing together as a family, to create a very special evening just for us.


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