Saturday, August 31, 2013

Recently, on a drive to the country playground with two of my grandsons, we discovered that in our part of the world, there are many different bird house designs, and lots of places where one can
buy those unique designs.  We stopped along the road when we saw the homemade bright colored houses for sale, at a local farm.

When we arrived at the playground, we found more colorful, spacious bird houses.

I made an attempt at giving them lessons on birds along the way.  Of course, they were most interested:)

Sunflower painted gourd birdhouses.

And wooden star cutout houses.

Birdhouses with signs welcoming each and every bird.

More gourd houses, painted by hand.

We are convinced that the birds in our county are so fortunate.  Whatever choice d├ęcor they prefer, is available to them.  And if they are really in the right place, at the right time, they may find a pretty place to drink water from...

...and a captured audience up above watching them as they drink and bathe in the water.

As I wrote this post, I was reminded again of a verse  I read so often over my lifetime .............Matthew 6: 25 -26;

"So I tell you, don't worry about everyday life-whether you have food, drink, and clothes. 
Doesn't life consist of more than food and clothing?  Look at the birds.  They don't need to
plant or harvest or put food in barns because your Heavenly Father feed them.  And you are far
more valuable to Him then they are."

In light of the world news this morning, this verse comforts my heart.

Wishing you moments of unexpected joy today!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

A fun and colorful birthday celebration for a special, one year old boy.

The sea and it's creatures were the featured theme of the dinner.

Toys from the grandchildren's bath toys, were used for color.

A frog mug was filled with red roses from the garden, and gummy sharks scattered about.

A container of bath squirters from Walmart was the reason for the theme choice.  I found the container in the shampoo isle.

I made a big bowl of blue Jello, hoping it would resemble water.  When it was firm, I placed the washed bath squirters on the water.  I stuck one candle into two gummy sharks, to keep it from falling.  I added crushed graham crackers on the bottom plate, hoping it might resemble sand.  I placed a few of my own bath toys on the sand.  I served Jello and vanilla ice cream as the dessert.
My son-in-law said it tasted like something from Rita's.

His sister offered to blow out the candle.  Next year he might not be so kind:)

We are so thankful for this little guy.  He adds fun and laughter to our family.

Thank you for joining our party tonight.  Every birthday needs to be celebrated, however simple that celebration may be.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A simple project done to add a touch of light and color to her new room.

One strand of tiny clear lights(the bulbs stay cool to the touch).
Whatever color or design cupcake papers you choose.
Cut very small x in the center of each paper and insert a light.

When lit, these little lights add a warm, pink glow to her room.

There is something so pretty about the color pink.

And something so calming and peaceful about it too.  There have been so very many
gorgeous sunsets lately, in our part of the country, and I like sharing them with you.

Blessings to each of you this evening!


Monday, August 26, 2013

White Hydrangeas

I have always been drawn to white hydrangeas.
A few weeks ago, a friend gave me a special bouquet of soft pink and white hydrangeas from her garden.
For some reason, the white flowers lasted longer than the pink ones.  I put the remaining white flowers into three separate
glass vases and set them on my dining room hutch.  They lasted for two weeks, and made me smile
each time I walked past them.

Last evening, my sister-in-law showed me her gorgeous hydrangea tree, 
overflowing with the most exquisitely beautiful white blooms.

I liked how there were touches of pink and green throughout each white hydrangea.

I knew there were white hydrangea bushes, but I never saw a tree with them on.

She hosted a dinner the evening before and used the flowers for her centerpiece.  This picture does not do the centerpiece justice because I of the camera I had with me.  She had candles and hydrangeas lined down the center of the table on a pretty linen runner.  It added a lovely, yet simple touch of elegance to the table.

On another is the first day of school for my grandchildren.  I am sure we can all remember our first day of school.  I can still feel the butterflies that I felt down inside me, as I approached the school entrance.  My sister sent me the above picture last week.  It was taken in 1965.
It is me and my brothers and sisters on one of our many first days of school.  Oh, how I smile
each time I look at it.  Interestingly, I clearly remember how "cool" I thought it was that my mother
made my sister a dress with the name "Barbie" on it, since that was her name:)  My mother made my
brown and white plaid dress too.  Actually, until middle school, she sewed all of our dresses for us, with her faithful Pfaff sewing machine. 

Two special little ones ready to face a new school year, and no, their mother
did not sew their clothing:)  You can see the bit of nervousness on their little faces.
I pray that they have another profitable school year ahead.
I pray for their teachers, their friends, and their safety as they begin this
new venture in their young lives.
Thanks so much for stopping by.
Can you remember your first days of school?

Saturday, August 24, 2013

This was the scene on my gas stove early this morning because...

...this was the view from my kitchen to the table, where six hungry mouths ate the many slices of French toast.

And this is the decoration on my kitchen island all week.  Their organized mother packed their clothing for five days in big plastic bins, including labeled plastic bags within the bins.

You see, our five grandchildren have been staying here since Wednesday, while their parents were on a business/get away trip.

We have had a wonderful, busy week, but right before my husband fell asleep on his recliner for a brief afternoon nap, I made him(ask him politely:) to reach into the old crock and pull a name.  I kid you not, he was almost asleep.  Here is the name he pulled out;

Congratulations Debi! After he pulled her name, I went to her blog for a visit.  As I read it, I thought to myself, now I know why her name was pulled.   I read that four hours before her second granddaughter was born last week, her cousin called to say she unexpectedly lost her dear husband in death.  Can you imagine the emotions Debi is dealing with right now?  Really, I am amazed that my husband drew Debi's name, especially after I read her latest post.

You can find Debi at her inspiring blog filled with photography, family, beauty, and words that always touch my heart with each visit.

I want to thank each and every one of you who commented on my previous post, via my blog or through emails.  I appreciate you, and was reminded again of how different each of our life journeys are, and the circumstances we all find ourselves facing.

I want to also thank my niece again, for her lovely necklace.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Just a little something for you today!
A good friend of our family passed away last week at the age of 65.
He contracted Lou Gehrig's disease and suffered greatly with it the last few years.
Many kind words have been spoken about our friend, and we could add many to it.
These words on the front of the Memorial Service program;
"What we do for ourselves dies with us.
What we do for others and the world
remains and is immortal."
Our friend was always giving to others.  Always looking out for the other person, 
even through the ravages of the disease that took his life.
So, today, I want to share something with you.  No strings attached.
My beautiful niece creates and makes unique, hand stamped jewelry in her home.
I asked her to make a necklace for me to give away to you.
I asked her to have the words on it;
"Each new day is a gift", because it is.
I asked her to have a pearl on it, because when I see a pearl, it encourages me.
It typically takes three to five years to grow a pearl.
Pearls develop from an irritant--typically a parasite of some sort--in the oysters shell.
I think of the irritants that make up our daily lives, and I think to
myself, that somehow beauty will come out of those very irritations.
Pearls remind me of that.

I asked her to include a tiny cup and saucer, because in my life, times of drinking 

a cup of coffee or tea, whether alone or with good friends, always provides times

of inspiration and is a way to lift my spirits.

I also asked her to include a small aquamarine which is my birthstone.  A tiny way

 for you to think of me when you see the necklace.

She did an exceptional job in creating this piece for my give-away.

If you like her work as much as I do(actually the pictures do not do it justice),

all you have to do is leave me a comment.  That is it! 

On Saturday afternoon, my husband will draw a name and we will announce

the winner.  A little something done in memory of our friend, who gave so

much to others and now faces a bright new day in heaven.

Just in case you want to visit her site and see what she has to offer.  I admire the  

talents of my nieces and nephews, and am happy to share them with you,

my blogging friends.

 I leave you with this quote from an unknown source;

"Remember everyday is a gift.  Hold it, unwrap it, cherish it, and most of all, use it."

Thank you so much for stopping by. 

Whether you stop by often or this is your first time, please feel free to comment,

for an opportunity to win this pretty piece of jewelry.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Good Morning Blogging Friends!

What if you had a cookbook in your kitchen that had been created and edited by this lovely group of women?   What if you found out that one of those women and her husband were in your home town for an evening?  What if you had never met that women in person, although you had been communicating via the blogging world for many years?  Well...that is exactly what happened to me last evening, and what a very special evening it was.

This is the newest cookbook they all produced and it is a masterpiece!

This is the dear lady and her husband that we were privileged to meet, to sit around the dinner table and enjoy interesting conversation.  Our worlds are so different, and yet, so similar.  Her and her husband are most gifted, and delightful to sit and talk to.

I felt like I knew this lady from visiting her blog for many years, but meeting in person was even better.  We never ran out of things to talk about.  Now when I cook from the "Celebrations" cookbook, it will mean more to me.

Interestingly, our husbands never ran out of things to talk about either, after their first meeting.
New and old friendships are a gift, and they add so much joy to our lives.
We are thankful for the new friends we were honored to meet last evening.

And, I am thankful for each of you friends who stop by this blog and visit.  I would love the privilege of meeting each one of you, and maybe someday that will happen, like it surprisingly did for us yesterday.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

A few days away is "just what the doctor ordered" for my husband and I, this past week.

We drove up a long, tree lined driveway to the quiet, sprawling Virginia farm. 

We were welcomed eagerly by these three friendly greeters, waiting with rapt attention.

Our cozy living quarters in the Carriage House overlooked miles of pasture and mountains.

Our stay included hiking mountain trails, walking sticks provided.
Through the pastures and to the hills we headed.

Flowers, ferns, creeks, and quiet were our constant companions as we huffed and puffed our way up over the mountain trails:)  Both of us soaked in the stillness and the beauty. 

The white painted chairs by the lake, beckoned us to come and sit, and that we did.
No schedules to keep, no laundry to fold, and no urgent responsibilities for the moment.
Just engaging conversation, and occasional bird calls in the air.

This is our view from the deck of the small, quaint Carriage House as we watched the sun set.
We treasure our memories and arrived home late last night, refreshed and ready to face the new week ahead.
We gained a renewed appreciation for the farmers that work the land day in and day out, their obvious work ethic, and gratitude to our God who created the beauty of it all for us to enjoy.

We are thankful for moments of stillness and relaxation, instead of the normal, "ready, get set, and go" of everyday life.  In our overstimulated world, there are still places off the beaten path to find a quiet break from it all.  It might not be the vacation everyone would choose, but for us, it was a few needed days of refreshment.

Thanks so much for stopping by today.


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