Saturday, December 26, 2015

As we drove to our family Christmas Eve dinner, it was a rainy, cloudy, warm December
evening.  But, in the midst of that combination, it was also a full moon.  From out of the dark
clouds, the bright full moon would show itself.  It kept our eyes glued to the sky above.  What
an unusual weather night, for this 1 hour trek that we make each December 24th.

We had a wonderful time, relaxing, visiting, and eating with my husband's family.
Spending time with these four handsome brothers, who happen to be our nephews,
is a rare gift.  My sister in law, brother in law, and their four sons, offered gracious
hospitality to the 39 of us.

Christmas morning found us spending time with these precious, pajama
clad children, at our daughter and son-in-law's home.

Our daughter made her grandma's favorite hard boiled egg casserole.  Her grandma would
have been proud of her.  It tasted so delicious, and brought back many memories
of Christmases past, and the beloved lady that we all miss so much.

A quirky, fun elf hat that my husband had received as an early Christmas gift, added to the
laughter of the morning.  Just push the button and the hat actually dances:).

We left our daughter's home and drove to the farm where our brother-in-law and sister-in-
law live, for a late morning brunch.  We both found ourselves in similar situations this Christmas,
with many in our families having other plans. 

The weather was most unusual for December 25th.  This was the what we saw, as we drove
through the country, to the farm, at 10:30 in the morning.

The warm welcome we received though, quickly left the weather conditions behind us.  My
sister-in-law had a beautiful table set for us.  The aroma of "evergreen" filled the air, from
the  holiday candles burning.

What a pretty table!

I especially liked the look after the votive candles were lit, and the watermelon
salads were placed on the table.  Doesn't that add a festive look to it all?

I don't know how she made the salad, but I do know that it was delicious!

Our niece, her husband and their little girl joined us for the brunch.  They were visiting
from TN.  She showed me the adorable dolls that she had made for her daughter's
Christmas gift.  What a talented person she is!

We were also so grateful, that my husband's mother was celebrating with us.  She just had
her 86th birthday.  What a remarkable lady she is!

I finished out my Christmas Day, watching the movie, "Coat of Many Colors".  The
story of Dolly Parton's early childhood years.  It spoke to my heart in a powerful way.
I found it to be one of those movies that draws one right into it's story, and at times
I found myself laughing and at times crying.  It was the best way to close out a very
special Christmas Day.

Life produces so many different chapters.  For me, this was the beginning of a new chapter,
and I am thankful for the health and strength to do just that.

Thanks so much for stopping by today!  How was your Christmas Day celebrated?

Thursday, December 24, 2015


"Merry Christmas" to each of you!  I share one of my favorite Christmas pictures with you,
depicting a scene in history, that changed everything.

Along with one of my favorite Christmas songs, by the Statler Brothers, from years ago.

I want to wish each and everyone of you, moments of joy this Christmas, from my family
to you and yours!

Picture taken at Thanksgiving 2015, on a spur of the moment decision, and captured
 by my dear sister in law.

Thank you so much for stopping by! 

photos from "we heart it" app.

Monday, December 21, 2015


It's the end of the day. I curled up on the sofa, with the cream afghan pulled over
my shoulders.  Soft Christmas carols were playing on the radio.  It just all
felt so comfortable and relaxing.  For some reason, well, actually for many reasons, I am
really having trouble getting motivated this
Christmas.   There is so much waiting to be done, but sitting here
in front of the fire, seems to take precedence. 

The new "Christmas Cottage" magazine offers just what it says, "style with fresh charm".  I
enjoy looking through each of it's beautifully done pages.  So much about this holiday seems
different this year.

Just yesterday, we were keeping our five grandchildren for the day.  The weather seemed
more like September, on the sunny afternoon. 

Our oldest granddaughter excitedly came running to me, eager to show the tiny bouquet of
dandelions that she had picked for me.  Who ever heard of dandelions left to be
picked right before Christmas?

I took her little cluster of flowers and placed them in a tiny vase at my sink, treasuring her

The grass is greener than any December that I can ever remember.
The lady presenting the weather on our local station, claimed that this
is going to be the warmest December ever on record.
But, still the colorful lights flicker, the carols keep playing, and I am so
thankful for it all.

How does the Christmas season feel for you this year?

One more thing, I like this centerpiece that I found on my friend's table last week.  What
a simple, yet clever idea.  Do you agree?

Hoping that you have someone to love and someone who loves you this Christmas! 

Thank you for stopping by!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Thank you Alan Jackson, for sharing the words to a song that I have been singing all day.

My dear, wonderful Mother went peaceably to heaven on Friday, December 4, 2015, after
a difficult, four week bout with cancer. She has blessed many for 81 years, of
which the last 16 years, she has lived in the lower level of our home. 

Yes, some day, I will stroll over heaven with her.  Until then, she will be deeply missed.

Ps.  Alan Jackson's Mother and Mother-in-law are pictured in his youtube.

Monday, November 30, 2015

 I want to share a few of the valuable lessons I have been learning as I walk this journey
with our dear Mother, during the last few weeks.  I now have a few moments to reflect
on it all.  She is still with us, however, her days are becoming fewer.
But, as with all times of sorrow and times of joy, life lessons abound.

I have been overwhelmed with the kindness, love, and care that others have blessed
us with.  I have drawn my own conclusions from these heartwarming gifts. 

If I feel a gentle nudge to send an email, a text, a card, or a make a visit, do it!
Whatever form that nudge may take, do not ignore it.  I have in my past.  There have
been times in my life when I knew someone what going through an extremely
difficult, or painful, or lonely journey, and I clearly felt that nudge, and I spent
time talking myself out of it, perhaps with thoughts like;

They probably are already overwhelmed from other's gestures.
I am sure I would not know the correct words to write.
I just don't have the time.
What would they think if "I" sent them something, or dropped off something,
especially if I didn't know them well.

Believe it or not, I have used each of these excuses already in my life.

Not anymore though.
Not after my last few weeks.
No, now it won't happen.
You know why?
Because I have learned just how very special an unexpected text, email, phone call,
card in the mailbox, which might even include a teabag, a container of homemade or store bought soup, fresh flowers, an iced coffee drink, fresh fruit,
cookies can be.

All, are ways that can lift one's spirits, and lighten one's load.
I know.  I've learned on a first hand basis.
I can't possibly do it for everyone in my life, but, when I feel those gentle nudgings,
I will no longer ignore them, or excuse them away.

The gift of time with those you love, has got to be my favorite of blessings.
I had that this Thanksgiving.  I had my family with me.  We celebrated Christmas
together, because we knew it would not happen in December.
We celebrated with joy, all the while holding an underlying sadness
in our hearts, knowing that it would only be a matter of time that we said
our "goodbyes" to our Mother and Grandmother and Great-Grandmother.

I close this post, by sharing this reminder from my heart.  Whatever you are prompted to
do for others, do it, on your life journey.  I promise you, that no matter how small it may be,
it will make a huge difference in another's life.  We all need each other.  Thank you to
each and everyone of you, for sharing your heart gifts with me during these last few
weeks.  What a blessing you all are!

And, sometimes a sweet little smile from a good friend's little girl, is the way one's spirits
can be lifted the highest. In between the tears, I still find moments of joy.
I pray that it lifts your spirits also, today.

Thank you for stopping by, and for not forgetting that I still have a blog;).

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

There are days, like today, when the sun is brightly shining, and the sky is bluer than
blue.  When the last of the colorful fall leaves, are falling softly from the almost barren
trees, and one can anticipate the cold weather that is right around the corner.  But, there
are times when, despite the gorgeous fall day that can been seen through each and every
window, there seems to be a fog over the thoughts of your own heart.  That is what it is
like for me during the last two weeks.  A fog has settled here.  Life as I knew it
is changing.  My dear Mother, who most of you know, lives in the lower level of our
home, was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, and is living out her last days
here in her home.  Hospice has become a good friend of our family.  They offer so much
comfort and care during her days of sickness and discomfort.  She tells me that she is
81 years old, and she is ready to go to heaven.  I know that.  I find it most comforting to
hear her tell me that, but, even so, it is difficult for me to come to grips with it all.  I have
so many questions in regards to what the next few weeks will look like for my family.
The fog is thick at times, preventing us from seeing even the next few steps.  Here is
what I read today, written by Sarah Young, in her book, "Jesus Calling";

"As you look at the day before you, you see a twisted, complicated path, with branches
going off in all directions.  You wonder how you can possibly find your way through
that maze.  Then you remember the One who is with you always, holding you by your
right hand."    So comforting and so reassuring this is to me.  God sees it all clearly,
and He will lead me through. 

So, with that in mind, we go on enjoying our last days with this very special lady, we
call Mother, Grandma, Great-Grandma.

This picture was taken yesterday, with our oldest daughter and her grandma. 

As I close this post, I know full well, that many of you have walked this journey before
me, or are walking it now, in your own life.  I could learn from you I am sure, since it
is a new path for me.

Thanks so much for your thoughts, your prayers, your emails, and your concern.  It sure
eases the burdens and makes the load lighter.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Blogging is on the back burner for me right now.  On Saturday, we drove to our daughter
and son-in-law's home, to babysit for the afternoon.  We were both so thankful for the
privilege of spending a few more minutes with our newest grandchild.  The drive down
to their home, was an exceptionally beautiful one, and I could not help but share this
picture that I took, with you.  Early morning drives, in the fall of the year, are one of
my very favorite things.

Upon our arrival, we quickly discovered how our two grandchildren have taken
to their new little brother.  So tenderly and carefully, our granddaughter sat by his side.
She will probably take on the role of "mother" for her two brothers, as I did in my early
years, as the oldest of four siblings.

  While the rest of the family went to their church's fall festival, I got to
babysit for this precious little one.  I loved every minute of it, even if it involved
a few hours drive to get there.

We arrived home on Saturday evening, and on Sunday morning we picked up our
other five grandchildren.  Their parents went on a business trip, and we were happy to
be their "home" for the next week.  I must admit, it certainly has changed out daily
routine in so many ways, as I am sure you can imagine.  We started out well, when
our grandson shared his special blue fedora with his grandfather:). 

We go through boxes of cereal.  This is one of the favorites.  Thank you Kellogg's

I have found this dry spray shampoo is as handy with granddaughters as it is for me.  For
those days when you just do not have time to shampoo, this product certainly does the
trick.  Just follow it's instructions, and body comes back to one's hair.  I questioned it's
claims, but found them to be true.   After all, when you have only an evening and a
morning with five, before the next day of school, you need to make sure they get their
showers, wash their hair, brush their teeth, get homework done, get backpacks ready
and sitting by the back door, get dressed, get their shoes and socks on, (well, find
matching socks first of all, then get them on), it is a huge job.  My hat is off to all the
mothers in our world. 

But, as with all things in life, there are special benefits too.  Extra help in the kitchen, and
in this case, it was volunteered.  Thanks to the Swiffer Company for their reliable and useful
cleaning product, at least in our home, it is used often.  In fact, most times when they come,
they ask to clean my floor:).

I do not practice the art of bribery in my life, except of course when it is
absolutely necessary.  In this case, I learned, after day two, that it could
come in very handy on school mornings:).
If...they go through the check list of all the above mentioned responsibilities,
then we can all play "Win, Loose, or Draw".  They love this game,
and I found that this morning, they had everything done, a half hour
before it was time to leave for school.  Wow!  I feel fairly good
about my new discovery.  There are not many games that all of their ages
can play, but this one works.  They asked if they can continue
playing when they get home from school.  I think I am on to something here:).
I must admit they are a very competitive group!  Reminds me of my
own childhood, being one of five children.

As I drove home from taking them to school, I was reminded that I could be
even busier, if I had to hang out all of our laundry as a part of my week's
routine.   Although, there is nothing like wash that is hung out to dry, in beautiful
weather like we are having here in our part of the country today.
So, you can see why I have been absent from the blogging world.
Thank you though for stopping by.  I know you all are busy.  Life just is
like that now.  Maybe a can of dry shampoo might help you too.
By the way, before I close this post,  I thought I would share the simple, yet so
pretty centerpiece that my friend had on her table recently.  I really like how she arranged
her mums and water in a shallow, glass pan.  

Thursday, October 29, 2015

We look for them at times, and at other times, we are too consumed with our lives that we
don't even notice them.  They are the tiny gifts, touches of beauty or joy that
brighten our journey, lift our spirits, or simply make us smile.  I have been praying
recently, that I take time to notice them, time to appreciate them, and time to be
thankful for them.  Today, I share a few of those unexpected gifts along my
journey lately.

Like the adorable edible acorns that my friend painstakingly made.  They were made with
a Hershey Kiss, Nutter Butters, and a chocolate chip, and then placed on a pretty
leaf plate.  FYI, the leaf plates can be found at the Christmas Tree Shop.

The three miniature horses that another friend so excitedly shared with me.  She treasured
her little friends and it was evident in her smile.

I recognized quickly, that they seemed to feel the same way about her.  What fun to share her

The full moon that graced the fall sky, this past week.  Silently, and without fanfare, it
filled the darkened sky with it's brilliant light.  I was thankful that I was outside long
enough to notice this special gift from God.

The unexpected visit that I had with my uncle.  We are the same age, we grew up
together, but now live thousands of miles apart.  For a few minutes last week, we
got to sit, share, and drink coffee together. 

The clever and beautiful way my friend served ice water recently.  It made me smile.
Something as ordinary as a glass of ice water, dressed up a notch for her friends.  It
said "I care" to all of us around her table.

I especially liked the spearmint tea leaves in the water glasses and the little vase
of the leaves sitting by her kitchen sink.

The bowls of homemade lobster chowder that our friends made recently, in a first time
endeavor.  It was my first lobster chowder ever, and I could not believe that someone
would take so much time and energy to make soup like this.  I smile every time I think
about how good it tasted.

The chocolate and caramel covered apples that another friend made and
served us at our Bible Study.  They looked so attractive sitting on her
kitchen island.  I liked the way she carefully sliced them and
placed them on a plate for everyone.

The gorgeous homemade bouquet, that my gifted friend put together for a centerpiece
recently.  It made the entire table look so festive and colorful!  I liked how she used
some of the remaining flowers from her garden.  I kept staring at it in amazement,
that she had done it herself.

"We make a living by what we get ~ we make a life by what we give."   ~Unknown

The early morning scenes that I've taken in recently, that offered views impossible
to describe.  I stopped by the side of the road to capture it all.

The simple, yet profound "concert" that these guys gave to me recently.  Their
grandfather is introducing them to music and the importance of it in life.  He
played the guitar, one was on the harmonica, one on the small guitar, and one
had the microphone of the singing machine ( as it is labeled on the box).  I
stood in the doorway and took it all in, thankful for the smile it brought to me, on
an ordinary weeknight as these little guys put their heart and soul into their

"He who gives to me teaches me to give."   ~ A Danish Proverb

"Blessed are those who give without remembering and who receive without forgetting."

I hope maybe you were blessed by your visit here today.  Thank you for stopping by.


Related Posts with Thumbnails