Thursday, March 31, 2016

One step onto her lovely back porch, reminds you of the careful detail that she puts into
creating a welcoming feel to everyone who visits.  The first thing that caught my attention,
was the clever sign above.  I still smile when I see it's words.

Pretty vibrant colored pansies added pretty touches everywhere.

She definitely has an eye for beauty.  I enjoyed seeing how she used different containers,
to do simple, colorful ways to dress up her porch for Spring.

Not only is she gifted in decorating, but she also is a skilled knitter!
On this particular visit, she was telling me how she learned to "wrist knit".
I never heard of such a thing.  She said that she uses her wrist to do
all the knitting.

She calls it her "stress reliever".  A profitable, unique way to spend one's spare moments,
and much more beneficial than snacking on doughnuts:).

And, thanks to her generosity, I now have my own basket of pansies, serving as a reminder (of her), sitting by my kitchen sink.

She is my dear friend, who also happens to be my aunt.  She shares flowers and sunshine
with so many, as she walks through this life.  I am thankful that she is in my life!
In this picture, she purchased these planted flowers, from a local farm greenhouse, and
I am sure someone's day was made when they received them.

Thank you for stopping by today!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

The news stories can continually cause all of us to have this somewhat
overwhelming feeling of deep sadness.  I can try to ignore it all, but everywhere I go, and
everywhere I turn, the reports are there.  Unfortunately, at times I find myself dwelling on the
reports and fear can gradually take over.  When this happens, I sit down and
have a talk with myself.  I pray that instead of harboring on the negativity of it all, I need to
look for the good, the beauty, the positive, and the astounding things that are there too. 

Today, on my small, insignificant platform called a blog, I will share with you a few
of those results that were found, by my change of focus.  Fearful thoughts are still there,
but focusing on the things that are "true, lovely, praiseworthy...", bring me joy instead. 
When my Mother was living here, she would quote one of her favorite Bible verses
containing this advice, in Philippians 4 : 8 many times in her interactions with me.

Here are some of my "praiseworthy" items...

The fresh, flavorful, colorful, and so delicious salad my daughter served me for
dinner.  What a masterpiece!

To up the salad a few notches, she added French fries to it, because she knows how much I like
that combination. 

Then, to make it the ultimate salad, she added cut up grilled chicken, that my son-in-law
cooked.  So tender and so full of flavor. 

I noticed my daughter had a big, plastic container filled with cut up goodness, in her
refrigerator.  She said that she cuts it up at the beginning of the week, and they eat them
throughout the week.  I was pleased to see that even her children favored these treasures.

I thought the divider plates that she used, were a great idea. 

This is the salad dressing she introduced me to a year ago, and now she always has it on hand,
when I visit.  One very simple, and delicious recipe.  Equal portions of a good balsamic vinegar,
real maple syrup, and extra virgin olive oil.  Here on the left, I took an empty glass jar and
filled it with 1 cup of each of the above.  I keep it on my kitchen counter, to use with my

My gratitude goes out to the Hasbro Co., for their retro version of the old, favorite
game of "Candy Land".  What fun it is to now play this with our grandchildren.  Watching
their excitement, and determination to win, adds joy to my days.

I can't tell you how many games I've played over the years.  And, yes, I am still playing, and
recently, I have been losing every game, which makes for some very happy little ones:).

Their concentration, and making sure that no one gets an extra turn, make me smile.

Another "good thing" to focus on for me, is the "smiles" of those around me, especially
when it is on the face of a very special little guy.  He continually steals my heart!

As for "lovely" things to mention...I want to introduce you to a talented artist named
Ruth.  You can find her here...  www.GRACELACED.COM .   I admire her heart, her art,
and her ability to express it all! 

Finding these new flower postal stamps recently, was a great find.  They dress up every
one of my envelopes.

I am grateful for the green everywhere I look, that used to be brown until a few weeks ago.

I appreciate every bright colored flower that has burst forth from the earth.  Oh, and
I might mention, the store "Costco", that sells so many adorable, colorful, and practical
knit dresses.

Yes, there are many lovely and beautiful things to think on, especially this time of the year.

"Our Lord has written the promise of the resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf
in the spring-time."    ~ Martin Luther

On Sunday, we celebrate Easter.  What a great privilege for us!  It is our time to celebrate
the greatest happening ever...the Resurrection of Christ!

I close with this comforting youtube song that my daughter shared with me.  It offers a
calming reassurance on this Easter weekend;

Wishing you and your family, moments of joy, and time to focus on what really
Happy Easter!

Friday, March 18, 2016

A few "Friday favorites" from me...

Look what "Pioneer Woman" produced for the Walmart shelves.  I was not planning on
stopping at the tea towel section, but these bright colors and pretty designs caught my
attention.  Yes, I had to purchase a few of the many displayed items.  Wouldn't you agree
with me? 

 What a fun way to brighten up a kitchen!  I will hang it on the handle of my oven door.
Flowers that add color, but don't wither.

I might wrap a container of Meyer's dish soup in one of the tea towels, and have a
simple, useful gift to give as a hostess gift.

Or, I might add a loaf of my favorite cranberry walnut bread, inside of the oven pot holder.
But, maybe I will keep it, to replace my very old, quite worn oven pot holder:).  Maybe.

Another idea in using my newly purchased tea towels, would be to fill an empty coffee
can, with a plastic bag of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies...

Then wrap the can in a folded tea towel.  Tie a matching ribbon around it,
and add a tag.  Gift complete.  By the way, the ribbon color that I used here,
did match, but the photo does not show that.

You can find these sheets of cute baking stickers also, on the shelves of the Walmart store. 
Plain index cards and one of these stickers can make a card for your cookies.

Last, but not least, remember this little guy?   This was him a few years ago, and now he
has grown up a bit.

It is enjoyable to watch these grandchildren grow up.  Last evening, I
found him making name tags for all of us, to place at our dinner table.
I should mention, when these children eat dinner here, place seating arrangements
are most important.  So, he was going to make sure that everyone knew
exactly where to sit:).  What joy it is to watch these children go through the
many different stages of growing up.
You stopped here today, knowing that maybe you might gain "a little
something", and that is just what I shared.  A few of my favorite things, on a
week where Spring is starting to happen everywhere I look.
Thanks so much for visiting here.  And, if you ever make a Walmart stop,
don't forget to look at the tea towels.  Thank you Pioneer Woman, for
sharing your vast amount of creativity with us, and the delicious recipes
you give us with each of your cooking shows.
Happy Friday friends! 

Saturday, March 12, 2016

It was Saturday morning when we met.  We gathered at a round table, in a local restaurant,
and while the sun streamed in through the surrounding windows, we began the catching
up process.  You see, it had been 45 years since we all met together, and you can imagine
how plentiful the conversations were.  We shared some of the endless moments that shaped
us over the years.

We reminisced for the first part of the breakfast, and then shared family updates in the later
part.  There were no breaks in the conversations, and laughter was plentiful.
It was 1971 when we met together at the beginning of the summer, to head for
a weekend at the beach.  After I took this picture, the five of us piled into my
tan VW Bug, and drove the almost 3 hours, to our destination.  We may have thought we
were the "epitome of cool" back then!  If I remember correctly, it would have
been my first time to drive to that beach resort, and we did it without
cell phones and GPS systems.  You can be sure, that our mothers were at 
home praying for all of us.

And now, here we were, the same group, some 45 years later.

 Three of us, in the same year as above, before another road trip to the same beach destination.

Now, 45 years later.

Times are different now, then they were back then.  The pigtails have been replaced with
new hairstyles.  Perhaps we have gleaned more wisdom and maturity since those days. 
We have walked through separate journeys in each of our lives.  We have weathered storms, 
learned through the parenting years, survived some painful heartaches, and found great
joy in our faith.
For some of us, we are in the grand parenting years, and in the midst of the
aging of our own parents.  At the end of our time together, we all agreed, that we
were so blessed to all have our health and presence of mind.  What a gift!
And, we had our friendships still in tact, after all those many years.
Today, I want to remind you to stop and look at those around you, whether your family,
or your friends.  Acknowledge them, spend time with them, and most of all, treasure them.
In rare cases, it may be a long time until you see them again.  It may be 45 years.  Life
does that sometimes.
You too, may someday have the unique joy, of
again sitting with them and catching up on all that life has dealt you.
Believe me, this was a memorable morning, and one that I will treasure
in my heart for a long time to come.
Happy Saturday to you!

Friday, March 11, 2016

We've seen signs everywhere this week.  Quietly, without fanfare, it is revealing it's arrival.
After a long, cold winter.  After months of being indoors, warm fires, and heavy sweaters...we see
the change happening, and we are so thankful!

Yesterday, was the first walk around the lake near their home, where jackets were not
required.  No, not even shoes were needed for the littlest one among us.  The
thermometer read 85 degrees.

Brothers sharing moments of fun.

Crocuses and daffodils were beginning to brighten the landscape, as we walked.

Spring is also coming indoors.  Here my friend uses Johnny Jump Ups and Bluebells to
add touches of color to her kitchen d├ęcor.

As always, she shares her simple, pretty touches with those of us who gather in her home,
for a weekly Bible study.

What a pretty centerpiece on her wooden farm table!

Touches of  brilliant green moss and white ceramic pretty, especially displayed
on the wooden tray.

From dull, brown sticks and earth, to vibrant green and bright colors, seemingly overnight,
all without any help from mankind.  What an encouraging gift to each of us!  Please God,
help me never to take this all for granted.

Thank you for stopping by today!


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