Monday, October 31, 2011

My heart was stirred this morning, as I watched the rising of the sun, out of my side window.

Another new day, and another new week has been given to me.
New beginnings, new blessings, and a new gift of hope.
Each dawn is the beginning of a new chapter in the story of our lives.

After the weekend clouds, snow, ice, cold, and wind, comes this morning's sunrise...
In the brief moments that I had to sit and watch the sun rise over the rooftops, my spirit and soul, were inspired by the beauty and splendor of another exquisite sunrise, created for me, by The Master Artist Himself.  His mercies are new every single morning.  What hope that creates in my heart, as I begin this day.

Wishing you a sunrise or sunset, that adds inspiration to your week.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The petunias and hydrangaes are still blooming.
It is only October and this is what our Saturday looks like.

We are happy being inside for the day, although it definitely is not what we had planned.
Life is so often like that.
Interrupted plans...but we adjusted with
cups of hot chocolate,
watching football games...
and playing with our precious little granddaughter.

We did take a drive and discovered snow beauty everywhere.

We changed our plans when we realized how snow covered the roads actually were.
We just can't get it into our heads that we are having our first snowstorm.

When we thought about our daughter coming for the weekend, we never thought about her helping with the snow removal...maybe leaf raking but not snow removal.

It is now almost 4:00 pm and it is still snowing and showing no sign of stopping.  The trees on our property are bent down lower than we have ever seen them, with the heavy snow.

It is soon time to clear the driveway for the second time:)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Guess who came to visit this evening?
My middle daughter and my granddaughter came for a few days.  It is always so good to see them.
Since this evening was the time of my giveaway drawing, and since we seem to do things in a somewhat unorthodox way around here, I thought I would let her and her grandpa do the drawing, while her mother and I supervised.

She reached into the old crock(with some coaching of course), and pulled out the first paper.

Since she can't read yet(even though she is really smart:), her grandfather opened the paper.

The winner is ...Sonja.  Congratulations Sonja!
Her blog is ""
Whenever I have time to visit this lovely lady's blog, I find real encouragement, inspiration, a lady with a heart of gold, who mixes real life with her genuine love for God, and humor to create a very special blog.
One of her latest blog posts was titled..."What your hair says about you??"  I smiled as I read what she wrote.


With the giveaway drawing completed, they then proceeded on with some other important business of the evening...sharing a zucchini muffin with each other, until the World Series game began.  They are both cheering for the Rangers.

Thanks to each one of you who visited me and for the kind comments you shared.
Truthfully, I wanted to send each of you a set of cards.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Remember the two elderly sisters that I have talked about over the years?  The ones that have huge flower gardens and a simple roadside stand where they sell their flower arrangements?  Well, today I stopped to say  "hi" and "goodbye" to them, since their season of growing is almost over.  They were so excited to show me one of their newest creations.  A teddy bear in a twig basket.  I must admit, thinking this was an unique arrangement for them, since they usually have only fresh flower bouquets.  At first glance, I did not realize what the teddy bear was made out of.  Do you?  It is made with a newspaper form(which one of them made without a pattern) and covered with the Burdock plant.  I had not seen these brown prickly things since I was a little girl, on my grandpa's farm.   I clearly remember how annoyed I was when these clung to my socks back then.  Who would have thought that someday, years later, I would have a teddy bear covered with them, in my house.  How interesting.

The bear is holding dried  "Chinese lanterns" from their gardens.

They also had bunches of "Japenese Bamboo" and "Silver Dollars" from the "Money Plant."

Did you ever hear of the Silver Dollar plant?  I know my grandma had some of these growing in her garden, long ago.

I liked the pink color of these dried "Japanese Bamboo" branches. It was their first year to grow this plant and they were so happy with it.

I think the two dried bunches looked nice, placed in a white ironstone pitcher on the shelf in my dining room.

Three plants that have been around for a long time, grown by two elderly, talented ladies,  make up this post today.

It is not too late to comment for my giveaway on Thursday evening.

 Happy Wednesday to you!

Monday, October 24, 2011

A few weeks ago, I decided I was going to do an unconventional giveaway on my blog.
Usually blog giveaways celebrate a special number of posts, or the length of time one has been posting, but not this giveaway.

This is how I came to this decision;

~I went through some past issues of my favorite magazines, and now have a stash of cut out pictures that I want to use for my homemade cards.
~In my rare spare time, or sometimes late in the evening, I really enjoy creating cards.  Nothing professional, just cards that I make.  What am I to do with all the cards?  I send many of them, but I made too many.  Now you can send them too.
~When I stop at my mailbox each day, I am most delighted when I find a personal card or letter in the stack of mail.  Isn't that how you are too?  If you see you received a card, letter, or postcard, isn't that what you open first?  Or, maybe you save it for last and have it with a cup of coffee.  I treasure cards and letters.  They lift my spirits.  They encourage my heart.
All of this said, I decided to do a simple, giveaway, with 12 of my homemade cards, for you.
The cards are for all occasions.
The stamps for the 12 are included.
An old bottle with a poppy pen and two wooden pencils.
A journal.
A snowman pad, a refrigerator pad with a magnet, a pad of flowered memo notes.
All in a wired desk basket.
My wish is, that you would use these cards to make someone's day, like mine is made when I get a card.
Slowly, cards and personal letters are becoming a thing of the past.
I don't like that.  It is an important part of life as we know it.
So you see, you are helping me in this project.
Helping me get rid of old magazines, helping me by giving me the joy of making more cards, and helping me by adding joy to other's lives via the US mail service.
Anyone may comment to win, whether you visit frequently, infrequently, whether you comment often, or never comment. 
A name will be drawn on Thurday evening.
My friends at the postal store will mail the basket and it's contents to you on Friday.

Your visits and comments mean so much to me.  I feel like I have made new friends through blogging, even though I have never met most of you.  Maybe someday:)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

This is what resonates from my heart tonight...

...kindness matters.  It always matters.

In our thoughts, our speech, and our actions. 

"Be ye kind and compassionate to one another"  Ephesians 4:32a

Kindness, in any form, is powerful.

Speaking of kindness...this kind Aunt is loved so much!
We are sad that we can't be with her to wish her a "Happy Birthday" today!
Even though she is far away, we love her and we all miss her.
"Happy Birthday" dear daughter!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

This is the scene I observed as I headed out the back door this morning.  Dark, ominous clouds filled the sky.  It seemed unusual to me, as I stood there looking up.

  All of a sudden the brilliant sun broke through those dark clouds.  I stood there in silence just observing the radiant beauty.  For some reason, it reminded me of the hope that is ours in this somewhat troubled and at times dark world.  Often when we least expect it, the Son pierces through the darkness, giving us hope and joy.

"There is no priceless jewel
  or precious gem
  that can outshine hope."
  ~ quote from "The Silver Book of Hope".

A red rose from my garden sits by my computer, even though it is the end of October.

"Hope blooms like a beautiful rose amidst the thorns of life."
~ quote from the "The Silver Book of Hope".

As you can see from this picture, we had quite a busy celebration last evening.
These two little guys are celebrating their second birthday, and what fun we had!
They sure do add joy to our lives.

Today, I am grateful for the aspects of hope and joy found in our daily lives.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

This post falls in the category of..."unexpected surprises".

We(the grandchildren and me) were playing outside one evening, in the last few weeks.
This little one came to me, urgently wanting me to come into the kitchen.
I couldn't imagine what she wanted.
She took my hand and quickly led me inside to my kitchen island.
There laying on the corner, was this single pink rose with a very short stem.
Thankfully, I had my camera close by.

She shyly took it in her hand, and said, "here Mawmaw, I picked this for you."
My heart skipped a beat, as I was so touched by this sweet, thoughtful gesture.

She took it with both hands, and presented it to me.
She instucted me to put it in a vase.  I set it by my kitchen sink, and she was quite pleased.

Can't tell you how much this tiny, unexpected happening meant to me, especially coming from this little one.
You see, she is the one that adds so many "interesting" aspects to our daily lives.

For example, recently for a special treat, I bought them each a kid's meal at the local McDonalds.  This is a rare occurence in our home, so they were quite excited.
As we were sitting at the table eating, I was involved in a conversation across the table with her brother and sister, not noticing what she was doing.
She had taken the top half of the roll off of her cheeseburger, stuck her french fries into the burger as candles, and presented it to me, singing "Happy Birthday", at the top of her little lungs:)
What creativity on her part!
I never thought of using french fries as birthday candles, did you?

Another episode happened at a local park.  The running paths had workout stations.  This particular one had wooden carved men placed three in a row, in a laying down position(possibly in push-up position).   She quickly bent down to see this guy's face:)  

 Tiny, unexpected, blessings that add touches of joy to daily life.  What are some of yours?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I am not sure why I am sharing this very simple idea, but I will.
I had this $1.00 wreath from the dollar store craft section.
I had a strand of leaves from the half price off bin at Michael's Store.
I wanted a fall centerpiece and thought I would put the two together.
With my glue gun, I cut off the leaves and individually glued them onto the top and sides of the wreath.
I went out the back door and cut off some greens from my bush, and tied them on the side of the wreath with my  raffia.
Pulled my glass pedestal plate out of the cupboard, placed the wreath on it. Added a glass jar with a candle in it.

The simple centerpiece is complete and will serve the needed purpose.

The side of the centerpiece with tied rafia.

My youngest daughter and her husband live in a small apartment.  She wanted  to add a few Fall decorations to it, and did not want to spend much money.
She bought six papers in a pack, at the craft store.  She glued them in the back to create a cylinder form.  She set tiny battery operated votives inside each one.
I thought it looked perfect for her somewhat contempory apartment.
What a clever idea!

She sent me these pictures and I asked to share them with you.
One can use any shade of paper for these lights.
They would even look great lined down the center of a table, for a centerpiece. 
Once I used lace vellum papers for a centerpiece.  I liked how it looked with my white dishes.
Ambience in any form, always adds a special touch to dinner.

I will close with a picture of my Fall wreath on my front door.
Interestingly enough, I picked it up a KMart clearance table, before Christmas, years ago. 
It continues to hold it's color after the years, imagine that!

Oh, and I added the remaining strand of leaves to the topiary by my kitchen sink.

Monday, October 17, 2011

It is Autumn!  The last two weekends have been gorgeous!  We have spent time in the woods, by the lakes, and at the farm.  This has provided many photo oppurtunities for me. 
Beware...there are quite a few pictures on this post, because I never tire of the beauty I find in occasions such as these.  Thanks for stopping by today, and sharing these few moments with me.

We took the two little identical guys in our lives, to one of our lovely state parks, on Saturday.

We all had a great time!  They love the privilege of being able to be in the outdoors.  Every thing was an adventure to them.

Last weekend, we got to spend time at another park in the woods, and this time with our sweet little one year old.  She was happy to be with people that love her and I am sure she thinks Autumn is her favorite time of the year, too:)

"Nothing is so strong as gentleness.
Nothing is so gentle as real strength."  ~author unknown
I love how this guy(my husband) treats his grandchildren, and they love how he treats them too.  I enjoy watching it all.

Words can't describe the beauty of it all.  Would you agree?

Last evening we headed to the farm of our friends.  It was an "Octoberfest" that the youth of our church planned.  It was one of those truly memorable evenings! 

This farmhouse has been in their family for several generations.  It has a cozy, down home feel to it, and the couple who live here, offer warm hospitality.  So, you can see why the people of our church were thrilled to join the fun, at this location.

The coffee bar that one can always find here in this home. 
Our friends who live here, are multi-talented!
All the work done on this farm, whether building, decorating, farming, or tree growing, is all done by them.
Creativity and hard work abound here.

Speaking of creative...did you ever bowl with a pumpkin and apples on toothpicks? 
Two teams chosen by counting the ones and twos.
Which team could knock over the most apples with each person taking one roll of the pumpkin.
What fun!  If the pumpkins start to fall apart, one brings out the duct tape:)

How long has it been since you were on a hay ride?  I looked forward to it all evening.  What fun memories it brought back for us.  The evening was perfect, weather wise! 
We all climbed the ladder unto the old wooden wagon filled with hay.
The 1963 John Deere tractor provided the familiar "putt putt" sound of years past.

The quiet, country roads and the star-filled sky, were the best combination for the twenty minute hay ride.  I didn't want it to end.

"Just as the warmth of sunshine brightens the world with flowers, the wonderful warmth of friendship fills life with happy hours."   ~author unknown

We ended the evening, sitting around the fire pit, listening to the talented guitar players, singing hymns and country music, and roasting marshmallows.  Best of all though, was the relaxing and unwinding that a rare evening like this, provided.

Thanks for allowing me the privilege of sharing some of my recent "outdoors" memories.
In the midst of busy, oftentimes difficult lives, it is refreshing to spend moments like these.

Oh, and by the way, if you want the opportunity to be a part of a very fun giveaway, you might want to pop on over to The Coffee Cottage! My daughter is celebrating her 400th post with a beautiful giveaway.


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