Saturday, February 25, 2017

It is their parent's 12th wedding anniversary, and they are away for the
weekend.  The children are staying here.  Her and I decided to make a
special gift for their anniversary celebration.

First we baked banana cupcakes.  When they were baked, we placed each
one in the small clay pots that we had purchased at A.C. Moore.

Carefully, she used the ice cream scoop to fill each muffin paper.  After
they were baked and cooled, she covered them with chocolate icing.  The
next step was to crush some thin chocolate Oreo cookies, into crumbs,
and cover each cupcake.

I took Starburst candies, cut them in half, rolled them, and shaped
them into carrots and radishes(with a stretch of one's imagination:).  Small
mint tea leaves served as the needed greens.

I purchased a few tiny shovels and rakes from the miniature section of the A.C.
Moore Store.  We cut down a cardboard box, and placed the completed muffins
in the box. 

Not professionally done, but filled with lots of love.  They are sure their parents
will like the gift!

The idea and instructions for this project, came from the book
"Sweet Celebrations", which I found months ago, on the shelf
of the local Barnes and Nobel Store.  The 50% off
tag at the top of the book, and the beautiful colored pictures inside,  
convinced me to buy it.

The book contains so many good ideas for desserts and small gifts.  I liked the above
idea for a tea party in the future.

We had bad storms here in the afternoon today.  In fact, we had tornado
warnings here, but fortunately we escaped them.

When rain comes, and the children cannot be outside, I am so thankful for the "Fixer Upper"
show on HGTV.  Our grandchildren really enjoy watching their show.  Who would have

And, then like is often the case, after the storms came the exquisite sunset tonight. 
Breathtaking beauty, and a cold front followed.

Treasuring the moments that I can have them here, and so grateful for so much beauty
in daily life!

Thanks for stopping by!

"Instead of filling with expectations, the joy-filled expect nothing---and are filled.
This breath!  This work!  This sky!  These people!  This place!  This day!  Surprise!
~Ann Voskamp

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Sometimes, one is blessed with a gift of a few days, to step out of the daily routine
of life, and spend a few days in the mountains.  That is what we were given this
past weekend.  Friends invited us to join them at their mountain home, with some
other couples.

We took turns making the meals.  Can you imagine how good this cinnamon roll
smelled as it came out of the oven on Saturday morning!!!

What a masterpiece, that tasted even better than it looked!

Our host and hostess for the weekend, provided us warm, gracious hospitality.

Time to hike together, at the local state park, and take in the unusually warm,
February sunshine.

And, time to play many hands of Rook, along with a huge dose of laughter.
It was good for the soul!

Nature does provide a time to break away from the fast paced life, and take in the beauty
of it all.  We all came home, refreshed and grateful for the hours to do just that.

Thank you for stopping by!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Their bees produced it!  They collected and bottled it!  Thanks to our son-in-law for
sharing his delicious homegrown honey with me.

I purchased this box of tiny glass jars from the Michael's Store.

With a funnel, I poured the honey into each jar, added a touch of color and decoration
to each jar.

I cut out paper strips of this verse from the Bible, appropriately chosen to go with
the jars of honey.  I folded them, and placed them on top of each jar, with a heart

A simple way to let the ladies at our Bible Study, know how special they are to me,
this Valentine's Day.

Yesterday, we picked up the five local grandchildren, and brought them home for
a few hours.  Another simple, homemade way of saying that we love them.  I copied
a picture of each one of them, on my copier, and glued it onto a large paper
envelope, and placed a few special things in each one of the envelopes.  I cannot
believe how quickly they are growing up.

It does not matter how we say it, or what method we choose to convey it, the important
thing today, is to let the people you care about, know it, not just today, but often.

"If only I knew...
that anyone can bring
words of comfort,
encouragement and healing,
who knows how many lives
I might have touched."   ~  Lance Wubbels

"Gracious words", like the verse above mentioned, are more valuable than gold, in
today's world.

Happy Valentine's Day to each one of you!

A little something, just for you!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Yesterday, I hosted a simple, fun box luncheon, for three special people.  My
friend and I met back in 1975.  We were each newly married, and we lived in
the same apartment building, for the first few years.  She and her husband, had
just moved to our part of the country, and we immediately struck up a
friendship.  Some years later, we both gave birth to little girls, and they
too, became good friends.

It is rare for us to get together for lunch, in fact, I can't remember the last time this
happened.  Thanks to Rea Drummond, the Pioneer Woman, and her artistic skills
that she shares with the Walmart Stores, I found these pretty boxes on the clearance
shelf, a few months ago.  I used them as lunch boxes and filled them with some
chicken salad sandwiches, pretzels/cheese, a small bag of almonds, and a piece
of chocolate candy.  And, then since I did not have fresh flowers to use as the
centerpiece, I stacked two of the flowered round boxes on my lovely pedestal
place, to add more color and beauty to the table.  Thank you Pioneer Woman,
for adding uniqueness and bright colored items to the Walmart inventory. 
Makes my entertaining easier.  They worked as take home favors too, with
any of their leftover lunches in tact.  Along with that, I did not have dishes to
do when they left.

The above picture, is my friend and me, now both in our sixties, and enjoying
our grown up daughters, and watching them in their roles as mothers.  I
continue to learn so much from this quiet, loyal, and gifted friend, and
am so grateful that God brought her to my part of the world.

Our two daughters together, as they began their first years of school.  Their sweet
friendship, and their amazing gifts of humor, continues to bless everyone they
spend time with.

 Now, both in their thirties, and continuing to treasure the rare moments that they
get to be together.

You might want to keep your eyes open, when you are walking through the
Walmart Store.  Sometimes, one can find real treasures on the clearance
shelves, like these flowered boxes.

The new tea towel that I received as a hostess gift, said "hello spring"...

...but the view that I discovered outside of my back door this morning, did not
back up that sentiment.  Right now, the snow and the sunshine, are creating
breathtaking beauty!

Thank you for stopping by!  Have you ever attended a box luncheon?

Sunday, February 5, 2017

It is Super Bowl Sunday.  Whatever that may mean to you, I hope that your visit here
may be a slight diversion, for a few moments of time.  I share a few of the many
pictures that I captured, from our week at the guest ranch.  Everywhere I looked
was unimaginable beauty, and I could not help but want to, in some small way,
take bits of that beauty home with me.

Dusk was one of the prettiest times of all, especially when the surrounding cabin lights were lit.

Finn is my brother-in-law's dog, and he delights in making new friends, each week at the

Icicles hanging from our porch roof.

After our first three and half days of snow, the sun came out, lighting up the morning sky.
Stepping outside after breakfast, this was the breathtaking sight we were greeted with.

Personally, my husband and I had never seen so much snow!

Snow tubing was one of the most fun sports that we took part in.  Here one of the guests
chose this way to go down the hill.  The speed made it even more of an adventure!

Being a bit on the cautious side, I chose a slower, more in control way to race down
the mountain:).

Our nephew grooms 13 - 14 miles of trails in the adjoining National Forrest.
He does it at night, because it is easier to see the outline of the trail in the dark.

The walking trails are cleared throughout the ranch grounds.

This sight is what we saw, whenever we looked out our window, during the sunsets.

Our guide, while snowshoeing one brilliant afternoon.  Since I was right behind him, I had to stop and capture this scene.

On another afternoon of snowshoeing, our guide took the time to stop and explain
to us, all the many types of pine trees that were growing on the trail.  What a fascinating
study on nature.

The snow slid off the roof of our cabin, with the warmth of the afternoon sun.

The ranch snow removal equipment was in full gear, as you can see here.  Round the clock,
the crews worked.

All hours of the day, exhibited it's own display of exquisite splendor!

Ice crystals covered every limb and tiny branch, making it all look like a winter

Sleigh rides are provided often, along with big cups of hot chocolate to take along with
each guest.

One of our favorite times of the days, were the breathtaking sunsets that graced the
skies.  Snow scenes and sunsets...what a perfect combination!

Snowshoeing quickly became one of our favorite past times!

And, after hours in the snow and cold, the fireplace at the lodge, always beckoned
us, with it's warmth.

Not to mention, the jars of homemade, freshly baked cookies, that were a
staple each day.
Those that operate this ranch, truly have mastered real, genuine,
western hospitality.  We will never forget the week that we were most
blessed, to have spent here.
Thank you for stopping by!  I hope you enjoyed stepping into
the world of this ranch, for a few brief minutes today.


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