Saturday, June 30, 2012

Last evening, we gathered together to celebrate one special little girl's 5th birthday.
I set the table with my vintage tablecloth(a Christmas gift from my daughter), and white plates, except the birthday girl.  Her plate was pink to make her feel special!
For the centerpiece, I used a handmade basket from a friend, two soft stuffed kittens from a box in the attic, and flowers from the garden.  To add a touch of light, I added a battery operated string of lights to it all.
I used some of my old milk bottles to serve the chocolate milk to the children.  To add color I added tiny candy bracelets on the bottles and bright colored straws. 

I added pink ribbons on the necks of the kittens, and some extra "happy birthday" tags.

I also added some battery operated votives in small glass containers for my lit ambience.

The birthday girl requested a doughnut cake as her birthday cake.  I purchased some freshly made, glazed doughnuts, drizzled them with chocolate and sprinkles.  I used a large round platter, put the fruit pedestal in the middle and surrounded the fruit with the doughnuts.  I added five colored candles.

When one asks for a doughnut cake, the healthy side of my grandma's heart, says we also need fresh fruit.  Using my small flower cookie cutter, I cut flowers out of watermelon slices, cut peaches into chunks, and added a blueberry.  I had the flower picks to hold it all together.
I found out it was a big hit...doughnuts and fruit.

Yes, I used a white plastic garbage bag to wrap the gift, of a backpack for school in the fall.
I love seeing the looks of anticipation on the children's faces...

...and the look of sheer delight, upon receiving the dvd she had so hoped for.

Family times are treasured moments for all of us, especially for this older and younger brother.  The oldest one recently graduated from high school and in a few weeks, will leave for college.  We are so proud of him!
The younger brother eagerly awaits his 6th birthday in 8 days.

Thanks for stopping by and helping to celebrate a special birthday!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

In the hours and moments that I have with these little ones, I am trying to take the time to teach them the great importance that thoughtful gestures can have, in living one's life.

I want them to know the value of little deeds of kindness that help share joy in life.
That little demonstrations of love and care can go far in this life, in blessing others and making their lives just a bit happier.

I also want to teach them the beauty, fragrance, and uniqueness of all the flowers of the garden(however small my garden may be).
On their own, they asked if they could pick bouquets of my limited choice of flowers, to take home to their mother?
Of course, I was thrilled with that inquiry.

Together we picked a few flowers and ferns.  We brought them into the kitchen, and together we arranged them in an old jelly jar and an old salt shaker. 
I am not a florist, although I wish I was, but I tried to show them how not to clump them all together.  I was so happy that they were interested in completing the project, knowing that they were doing it for someone that they love so much.

Even the younger one took interest.
She went out and brought in two more pink flowers to add to the bouquet.  Never mind that they were stemless:)  Maybe she just thought it needed a touch more color.


"True isn't much

that I can do,

But I can share

my flowers with you...

And sometimes share

your burdens, too..."

~Maude T. Preston


What these little ones give back to us often times, is the gift of laughter.
It truly is a theraputic gift.

"The little things

That make life sweet

Are worth their weight in gold;

They can't be bought

At any price

And neither are they sold."

~Estelle Waite Hoover

"In case you ever run out of gift ideas, here's a little tip:  give me your laugh.  Whether it's mischievous, tender, loud, or quiet, simply give me a laugh from your heart.  Your laughter brings me never-ending joy."

~Helmut Walch

And, then at the close of my day, came another one of the best gifts ever, in my book.
God shared another one of His amazing sunsets across the sky for me, and I silently sat there and soaked in it's beauty.

"The richest gifts

we can bestow

are the least marketable."

~Henry David Thoreau

It is a gift from you to me, whenever you stop by to visit this blog.  Thank you!


Monday, June 25, 2012

On Sunday, our church had their annual church picnic.  We hold our picnic at different locations throughout the years, but this year one of our church families offered their farm as the picnic location. 
It was a beautiful place to gather for a summer get together.

This farm has been in their family had been in the owner's family for many years.  It is a working Christmas tree farm.

So much history is contained in their old farm house.  The orginal part was built in the 1700s and the new part added in the 1800s.  Warm, down home hospitality was evident from the time we arrived until we left.

Lots of fresh flowers from the gardens, were placed in old canning jars and decorated the many tables in the tent, and on the grounds.

The owner's wife and gracious hostess holds one of the blueberry pies that she made, from the blueberries in her garden.

I wanted to share a picture of the sunroom that the owner built, because I wanted you to see the hardwood floors that he just installed.  The wood floors are from the home's attic.  He removed the floors from the attic and placed them in the sunroom.  The darker floors were from the orginal house and the lighter floors were from the 1800s house addition.  What ingenuity!  Instead of paying for new wooden flooring, he removes it from the attic to the sunroom.
I wish you could see the view from the windows of this room.  Miles of lush green farmland.

She grows lots of mint tea in her garden.

Which means she had gallons of iced cold mint tea for our hot, sunny afternoon.  It tasted so good!

A father and son team provided the ingredients and the man power to make homemade ice cream.  The old fashion way, of course.  It sure takes lots of time and muscles to turn so much ice cream.
They made vanilla, strawberry, and coffee(my favorite) ice cream.

Old and young alike, were happy to eat this rare treat.
My nephew's son thought that he struck the jackpot, being able to sit on the grass, with his own bowl of soft ice cream.  Oh, the fun of picnics!

After our Pastor's time of sharing, and the singing together of many meaningful songs, we were in for an added treat.

This couple's daughter planned a surprise vowel renewal service, for her parents, a dear couple from our church.
They have been married many years, and she planned this special service just for them, wedding tee shirts, flowers, and some unexpected guests included.  It added a memorable touch to our outdoor picnic.
We wish them both, many more years together!

It was a Summer 2012 picnic that we won't soon forget.

Friday, June 22, 2012

It is very early on a summer morning and  I am sitting on the cushioned, wicker settee, my hands holding the first big mug of hot coffee.  Quiet and stillness are everywhere.

I think of my neighbors who are probably still asleep.  I think of each of them and what is on their hearts as they wake up.  What is their story and their set of circumstances that they face today?  I whisper a prayer for each of them.  I pray for my family and friends, the situations that some of them are facing, the known hurtles and the unknown hurtles that will be in their today. 

It is the best part of the day in my book.  Me, my coffee, the stillness, and time to talk with God. 
The birds are starting to wake up too.  Soon it feels like I am being seranaded with a chorus of birds singing, and I know it is time to get busy with all that is ahead. 

It's been a full and somewhat trying week.  Thank you, God, for the stillness of the morning and the quiet moments on my porch, before facing another day.  It is a refreshing way to begin my day.

How about you?  Do you prefer mornings or late evenings on your porch?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Oh how I like this time of year, when everywhere I look I see  a vast array of colored hydrangeas.
This is the first bouquet I brought into my house this summer.
It makes me happy each time I look at it.
Sometimes I wish I would have planted some blue hydrangeas too.

In the dollar bins at my local Michael's store, I once in a while find some fun treasures.
Of course, I am a fan of Paula Deen's cooking show and magazines, but I was not aware of the fact that she was creative in other areas.
I discovered packs of notecards in the bins, that she had designed.
In my mind, they were well worth the 1.00 a pack for 8 cards and 8 envelopes.
I bought a few packs home to put away for the times that small gifts are needed.

But first, I took off the plastic wrap, added some necessary(to me) touches of glitter to dress them up.


Then added a ribbon and a dragonfly sticker in the middle of the tie.
If I had real or faux blue hydrangeas, I would tuck a small one into the ribbon center of this pack.

I will put these away to use when the need arises.
A tiny, yet pretty gift for only a few cents over the dollar.
Yes, less than a card at the store.


I thought her "eggs in a basket" cards were so well done too.
There again, I added some touches of glitter to the center of the little pink flowers, and a dot to the flowers on the towel by the eggs.

Interestingly, my grandma used to tell me, "not to put all my eggs in one basket", so of course I would like this pack of notecards.


Again, I added a cream satin ribbon, knotted it and added a delicate, white, glittered sticker.
The stickers were on a sheet from the K&Company.

Here is the Martha Stewart ballpoint tip glue pen that I have had on had for a long time.  I just touch the tiny areas that I want glitter, and then sprinkle very lightly some of  the Martha Stewart iridescent fine glitter.
I took a macro photo and am not sure why those imperfections in the wood table, show up like they do.
The pen and the glitter last a long time, and can be found at Michael's Store.

One more pack of notecards from Paula, that I dressed up a bit.

If you invite me over for coffee, I may just bring you a pack of cards:)

Like always, the outside of notecards are not near as important as what is written on the inside.
Sharing a note from your heart is a very special gift that you can give someone.  I know that for a fact.  Many a trip to the mailbox has proven that to be true for me.  Call me old fashioned, but I still like the United States Postal Service and all it has done, and continues to do for me.
Thank you for stopping by on this very hot, humid day of June.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


He knows that I like photography and flowers.

My uncle saw this, captured it's beauty with his

camera and sent it to me yesterday.

Random acts of kindness always lift my spirits.

"When I was young,

I admired clever people.

Now that I am old,

I admire kind people."

~Abraham Joshua Heschel



"The everyday kindness of the back roads more than makes up

for the acts of greed in the headlines."

~Charles Kuralt

"Let me be a little kinder
Let me be a little blinder
To the faults of those about me
Let me praise a little more.
Let me be when I am weary
Just a little bit more cheery
Think a little more of others
And a little less of me."

~Glen Campbell

Monday, June 18, 2012

It has been so long since I last posted, that I almost forgot how to:)  So often I find myself questioning why I am continuing to blog.  My son-in-law asked me last week, " how long does the average blogger continue to blog?"  I didn't have the answer to that, but I told him I often question it all myself, but that I have made many friends and continue to learn so much from visiting blogs, that I just can't give it all up, yet.  So, for now, I am back.

This past weekend we had the privilege of spending three days with our extended family.
It is a tradition for us to head to the mountains together each June.


It is a big group of people that we love, and we have time to relax and be together.
Water and mountains are the perfect combination for getting away from our busy, everyday lives.
The weather was exceptional and for that we were so grateful.


Sunsets were breathtaking, especially over the lake.


My husband and I treasured the minutes of being together without busy schedules.

On Saturday, our daughter and her family joined us for the day.
We spent time with the grandchildren in the indoor and outdoor swimming pools and playgrounds.

Here they were ready to enter the lodge for dinner.
What a treat for us to get to spend time with them.


Summer arrives in three days, but according to this little one, it's already here.
Summer and watermelon are synonymous.

I want to thank my dear youngest sister for once again sharing her photography with me.

Thank you for coming by again after such a long break.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

On Sunday after church, we went to our daughter and son-in-law's home for a delicious pot roast meal.  She uses Pioneer Woman's recipe and it tastes so good every time.
After cleaning off the table, we headed out to the back yard to see another one of our oldest son-in-law's projects...Bee Keeping.


Two of our son-in-laws dressed in the white bee keeping suits.  One instructed and one carefully followed the instructions.


Here is one of the tray of bees. 


Upclose observation of this impressive operation.
I was told it will be a year until they start producing honey.
I was also told that they are Italian Bees.

I discovered all kinds of interesting information on Google, about Italian Bees.

Here are a few of the interesting facts;
~"Most people don't have any idea about all the complicated life going on inside a hive.  Bees have a secret life we don't know anything about.:  ~Quote from "The Secret Life of Bees."

~Two words that would personify honey bees are;
They are a perfect picture of HARMONY.  There may be up to 80,000 bees in a hive, all working together with various tasks that all contribute to the success of the hive...but yet no apparent "leadership structure"!

They are also a perfect picture of DILIGENCE(exerting the necessary effort to accomplish it's assigned task).  Bees don't stop working, they work all day and night seven days a week.  During the most busy time of the year(summer), a worker bee may only live 5-6 weeks, and EVERY minute is spent working."         ~copied from "Marion's Bee Keeping Journal"

Their family has six children, ten chickens, a dog, bee hives, and lots of ripening blackberries in the garden.  Regardless of all this, we  still sat down and enjoyed pot roast together.  I think our youngest daughter and son-in-law were amazed at it all.

In my mind, our daughter and son-in-law are alot like the bees they are raising, in the work department.

The last week has been so busy.  I look forward to catching up on my blog visits in the near future.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Another beautiful, country wedding took place this past weekend, and as I promised,I will share a few pictures from the memorable event.  Thanks to my sister, my neice, and my daughter for capturing some of the extra special moments of the day.

Bright yellow was the color of the event, and what a happy color it was.

The bridesmaids. 


Our daughter and son-in-law.  It has been so good to have them home for a few days.


The newly pronounced bride and groom share a moment, after the wedding ceremony.


The groom's truck was the vehicle chosen for the couple to leave the church in.
The guys loved hearing the groom shifting gears as he drove away.


The long country drive leading to the reception barn.

There was time to visit, munch on delicious appetizers, and drinks in the farm orchard.

An h'ordeuver table in the orchard setting, with white linen table coverings and fresh flowers from the garden.

The friendly cowboy and his friend offered the guests horse and wagon rides.

The hats were offered to each guest, and wearing them was required for the ride:)  What fun!

The pretty little flower girl was delighted to have an important role in her aunt's wedding.

At the reception, the dressy heels came off and the boots went on.  Every detail was thought through and carried out.  A great picture for a cowboy at heart and his new bride.

An outdoor picture frame with all the western accessories was set up by the tree, providing fun photos ops for the guests.  The girl on the left is my neice and the one who is a skilled photographer.  I appreciate all the pictures that she shares with me.

The placecards were tied on the wire fence by the barn entrance.

The inside of the barn was so creatively decorated.  I could see the bride's mother's touches everywhere in the decor.  She is one gifted lady!

The sisters and their daughters arrived at the barn at 6:00am the day of the wedding, to do the decorating and all the last minute details.  It is impressive to see a family that works together to make things happen.  I continue to learn so much from this family.

I thought the coffee bar was so cleverly done, coffee beans and all.

The happy bride and groom at the reception.

The bride's parents share a loving moment on the dance floor.  I can't imagine how tired, yet thrilled they were to celebrate in this wonderful wedding of their daughter and newly acquired son-in-law.  Their hospitality was experienced by everyone in attendance.

So many special events take place in the country.  Thanks for allowing me to share another one of them with you.  This picture of the deer on the grounds seen by the barn, seemed like the perfect scene to end this post with. 

Thank you for stopping by.
I will not be sharing any weddings for a while, at least that I know of.


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