Quiet and common notions...shared here...with you! Of life ~ our hearts and our home.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Practicing Simple Hospitality - Part One.


I've had this book, Simple Hospitality, by Jane Jarrell, in my personal library, for awhile now.  I love to pull it out, on random occasion, for that quick read and encouraging, grace-filled inspiration.  I can always use a refresher course.

Do you ever need those moments that are grace-filled and full of encouragement -  in order to prepare your heart for "practicing hospitality", as we are asked to do in Scripture?  (Romans 12:13).

This book is an easy read.  Chock full of great ideas; decorating; entertaining; menus/recipes; gift-giving.

Come back tomorrow for an personified look at practicing simple hospitality.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The good ole days of summer!


: : The old wash tub, bought at my grandparents sale : : 

I can remember this was used for many a thing...

* washing their dog * cooling corn * hauling apples * grand-kids playing in & cooling off * summer time baths *

I'm so glad I have this tangible memory.

***

Just letting pictures speak for themselves...today!



Here's to just making a few tangible memories of our own... and thank-you, Amanda, for your inspiration in Summer's Simple Things.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday's Finds: {no. 26/10}

Friday's Finds: This is the way you'll find, at least, two of my favorite people... here of late. ;)





****
At life's unexpected turn... this is what can happen.  I alluded to this a bit in my post from yesterday.

Scott's double exam that I asked you all to pray about... well, he found out that he can't take it tomorrow as originally planned.  Instead, he'll need to take the two tests Monday evening and Tuesday evening, respectively.  Which means he'll have worked 'all day' and then at 6:30pm - be mentally prepared to take on a two-hour exam. 

He'll need to pass both exams to obtain one credit.

He's grateful for the extra buffer...but ready to have it done and over with already.  In other words... we are (trying) seeing the good that is coming out of this.  Thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers, on our behalf.

****

Enjoy your weekend!! with your favorite people - doing life together.  In our case; with doll babies and books of study. 

It's a familiar scene around here...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Life's Unexpected Turn...


So, the news is unexpected.  You're not sure how to respond.  It's disappointing.  Devastating. It could even be - just different - then anticipated ... but (somehow, in the end) good.


What do you do, with life's unexpected turn??


This is has been the reality for many friends and family in our lives, here of late.  Even for my husband and I, we have found ourselves in an "uh-oh" moment (actually, earlier this week)...  and it completely took us off guard. 

And, let me say this - with a gracious tongue-in-cheek - if you haven't come upon a bend in the road lately, be sure...one is coming.  It's inevitable.


A man's steps are directed by the LORD.  How then can anyone understand his own way? ~ Proverbs 20:24

I lift up my eyes to the hills - where does my help come from?  My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip - he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD watches over you - the LORD is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.
The LORD will keep you from all harm - he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.   ~ Psalm 121
Be encouraged, today, my friend.  Even the bend in the road - if it is ordered by the Lord, will be made straight as you go forward.  Go with his peace...  walk in a manner, worthy...Trust him to walk with you. 

Because.

He is!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Triplet Blessings

~Apple Blossom~
Gift given to one of the girls.


~Candy Apple Red~
Gift given to one of the girls.


~Burlap Blessing~
Gift given to Benjamin.


I have been meaning to send the triplets a little something from Bags by Bevy... just because, they're such sweet little friends - "triplet blessings", as their mama calls them.  I finally got a chance to finish these pocket pouches up for them - and got them mailed out last week. 

I've heard they LOVE....

** So, there you have the (eh!) most recent sewing project(s). 

Well, not exactly. 

There are a couple of other new things in my etsy shop, as well.  I just added the bag called Season's Change...the other day. 

And, I made a new banner.  Which, I love!! 

For the most part I'm caught up with friend requested Bag orders... but, another order for Homespun Baby! Shoes - has been placed. 

So!!!  (better interpreted, Sew!!)  You know what I'll be doing.... in stolen moments.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I meant to do my work...(last Friday)













~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~

I meant to do my work today ~
But a brown bird sang in the apple tree,  And
a butterfly flitted across the field, And all the leaves
were calling me.  And the wind went
sighing over the land, tossing the grass to and fro.  
And a "park, playground and sandbox" each
 held out it's shining hand...

So, what could I do but laugh and go.
~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~
(adapted from the Quilite Ladies Garden Journal, p. 79)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Dutch Tomatoes (and, a couple of prayer requests!)


They are coming -off the vine- by the handfuls.  I love tomatoes.  I'm so glad that this year... blight was not an issue for us.  One recipe that I've found to be a favorite in our home is: Dutch Tomatoes

Even Caleb eats tomatoes - like they're candy.  Aubrey insists that they're 'apples'.  Which I just read recently in the dictionary that the definition of a love-apple is also known as a tomato.  So, in a sense she is right. ;)

It's an easy, peasy side-dish-recipe.  One that if your family loves tomatoes - you'll have a real winner on your hands.


**Take a favorite platter (deep is good).  Slice as many tomatoes as you want.  Then slice some onion (can use red onion, but it doesn't matter), very thin.  Sprinkle brown sugar over the tomatoes and onion.  Finally, drizzle some Balsamic Vinegar (you can use cider vinegar) - all around.  Serve Immediately.
That's it!!

*****

Oh, and thanks for all the well-wishes on the 'date outings'... from Friday.  So fun!!  I got some great pics of the kids... and of me and my honey's date night.  I'll probably show them off later this week. ;)

Here are a couple of prayer requests:

- Scott plans to head to the airport - soon after work to pick up a friend of ours.  Her flight gets in at around 11:30 PM.  She is coming from Kenya.  Long story, but her husband will follow sometime early September. You can imagine how exhausted she will be - as she says she can't sleep on a plane. 
Scott thinks he'll be getting 'back home' around 4am-ish, Tuesday.  Taking Tuesday off to sleep and study...
Please pray for safety (for Rachelle) and for Scott to be 'alert' and focused.  His mind seems to be in a thousand directions all at once.

Which brings up the second prayer request.

- Scott plans to take a double exam on Saturday.  He has been trying his BEST to utilize his schedule to work around his friends/family requests and other normalcy's of being a husband (ie; date night) and dad all while trying to keep his studies going at a comfortable, but necessary pace (ie; Chop. Chop.)
It's been rough.  But, the end is in sight.  And the outcome is fully in God's hands.  Scott has done his part to study.  I just know I haven't always been as patient and gracious, in my heart, as I should have been at times.
Sorry, honey.

Just keep us in your thoughts and prayers.
Oh, and eat a few tomatoes - they're good for you, too.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday's Finds: {no.25/10}

Fun. In. The. Sun. 

Friday's Finds:  Two dates today!!  A play date... for the kiddo's.




These photos were from another time - at the park.

And.

The second date is...

 with this one HOT guy!  My husband.  My man.

"You talkin' `bout me?" - yup! I am.

Scott and I are going to a park, as well. 

The ballpark.

I can't wait. To watch my Phillie's beat - whomever it is they're playing.  I think I remember who it is they're playing and it isn't the Braves.  Oh well.
Which, that is one thing that makes it fun for the two of us... when our fave teams play rival.

All in all.

It comes down to having  - Fun. In. The. Sun.

Have a wonderful, "and it's outta here" sort of weekend.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Smile! (and I still love the color green).


Through a couple of very generous people; my Mother, my Sister, my Aunt and another friend... we were given about 2 and a 1/2 baskets worth of fresh garden green beans.  All in the course of about two days.  We shared some... and ate alot of them. Didn't we - Aubrey & Caleb?





I blanched and froze about 7 quarts.  The kiddo's had fun -eating, helping to snap them and oh, did I mention eating??

I just want to say the kids did so good -while I did all of the grunt work. Which really means I sat and cleaned and cut the beans to size.  It helped to sing songs and tell stories...another front porch moment - while the rain drops started to fall.

That was one day.  The next time of doing green beans, I didn't get the process started until about 10:30am.  And, here we go again.  Cleaning, cutting,( or snapping) and eating them... getting the jars ready for processing, etc.

I don't have a pressure canner. 

So.

That meant I needed to have these jars in the canner for three hours at a time...keeping the water at a consistant rolling (gentle) boil. 

8:30pm.

The last of the 13 quarts are finished.

Notice the canner. on the stove, at the end of the row. 

**Thanks for hanging in there with me - my canner friend. ;)  You worked hard today. Not like you don't already, like when you house all my extra dry goods.  But, look what you did to my jars... you gave them all a white, hazy, calcified seal of approval.  Thanks alot!   I so appreciate it.

By, the way.  ALL of the jars sealed - immediately. 


The first batch to come out.

Which is a very good thing.

((Smile!  And, I still love the color green - Oh, yes I do.))

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Even in darkness, light dawns...

"...for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.  As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field, the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more."
~ Psalm 103:14-16
I'm not sure what comes to your mind when you see a dandelion in all it's puff.


Some think: Weeds.  A bother.  A nuisance.

Some think: Fun. Beauty.  And, if your like me - you can think "art-form".

My hubby was giving me a hard time (teasing me) about taking these photos, the other evening.  But there is a reason I did.  So, hang in here, with me, okay?



I was reading someones blog posting the other day. 

I could sense the dark, alone-ness of soul that she was sharing of.  But after spending some quiet time, alone in the dark, she said she could feel the peace of God - completely overwhelm her soul.   It was neat to read.  I felt her honesty and could relate to pretty much all that she shared.

Her post had nothing to do with dandelions... rather of alone-ness and then, in feeling the favor of God, on her, in the dark moment's of her soul.  If you knew a bit of her story... you would know that this friend has every right to feel as she does.

But these verses came to my mind.  Verses found in Psalm chapter 112, verses one through nine.  Which say:
"Praise the Lord.

Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who finds great delight in his commands.  His children will be mighty in the land, the generation of the upright will be blessed.  Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever. 

Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man.  Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely, who conducts his affairs with justice. 

Surely he will never be shaken; a righteous man will be remembered forever.  His heart is secure, he will have no fear, in the end he will look in triumph on his foes.  He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor, his righteousness endures forever, his horn will be lifted high in honor."


As if we were as this lone dandelion - nearing the end of its lifespan.

A picture of aloneness in the dark.  Something that may appear as nothing but a big "puff of fluff",with no real purpose in being.  It sounds bleak and depressing, doesn't it?

But, no matter which way the wind may blow and our lives may feel scattered and lost - to the unknown places.  As if, in truth,with a point of no-return.

The effects of our 'uprightness' can and will be lasting to all future generations.  The winds of change may come and go... but our bedrock is Christ Jesus our Lord.  He has a Sovereign hand in all things - that our lives pertain to. 

Blessed is the man who fears the Lord.

We have a reason to stand...mighty; never shaken; steadfast; secure; triumphant.  It doesn't mean we ALWAYS will.  We will falter.  We will fail.  We will be faint and grow weary.  We will let the winds of this life - beat us up.  But, in that...

Spread the seeds of Faith.  Of hope.  Of peace.  Share your testimony!

Let your gifting be scattered to the poor in spirit.  Encourage others with your inward beauty, your honesty, your realness.  In other words, (maybe) you'll never fully know the impact you will have in other's lives - in generations to come.
***

Perhaps the next time you pick a dandelion - past it's prime - and you want to blow on it, with all your might, scattering it's seeds abroad...think of it as a picture of your life.  Just think of  the greater impact it can have on a field of fertile soil.  You never know...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

In which he begged for Cherry Coffee Cake!


This has got to be our new favorite coffee cake!!

~Cherry Coffee Cake~

2 cups flour
(I used whole wheat flour, because that is what I had on hand - but I would probably not do that again. I'd do half all-purpose and half w.wheat.)
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup butter
1 egg
Milk
1 (21-oz.) can of Cherry Pie Filling

Topping:
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter

Glaze:
Powdered Sugar
Hot water

Mix together flour, sugar and baking powder.  Cut in butter.  Break egg into 1 cup measuring cup and fill with milk;, beat.  Add to flour mixture.  Put in a 9x13 (greased lightly) baking pan.  Spread pie filling on top.

Mix topping by cutting butter into flour and sugar, making crumbs.  Sprinkle over top of pie filling.  Bake at 375* for 30-35 minutes.  Cool.  Mix hot water and powdered sugar to desired consistancy...and drizzle over top.

**My Idea:  I think next time I'm going to add a drop or two of Almond extract, either in the cake batter or the glaze.  I'm not sure which.


** In fact.  He begged & begged- please!  Like I said, our new favorite...

  I just made this cake for Scott to take into work today - to share with his co-workers!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Queen Anne's Lace




***
When I was a young gal, we had a field of Queen Anne's Lace, just behind our house.  I can remember my Mother, telling my sister's and I to go and gather bouquet after bouquet. 

What we would do was to put food coloring into the water. Sometimes red.  Sometimes purple.  Sometimes blue, green or orange.  One color at a time.

We would watch our white bouquets turn different hues. And, everytime we would just be "so amazed".

***

To this day, Queen Anne's Lace remains a (another) favorite flower of mine!


: : Photos of Queen Anne's Lace taken at my sister's place.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday's Finds: {no. 24/10}


Can you believe in all of my sewing years I have never had a pin cushion... to call my own?

~Friday's Finds~

A mother-in-law who just so happens to have an extra pin cushion lying around.

A pin cushion given over with a warning: "Watch out for a few needles still stuck inside - I can feel `em!"


Happy ~sewing~ Weekend, to all.

I might... get some sewing in. We'll see...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Front Porch Moments : This porch was made for...


 
~at dusk- in the cool of the evening~

Late evening chats/date nights.  Just hubby and I.

Hanging plants.

Rocking chairs.  Wishing they were ours.

~last year - during the day~


Swapping Stories.

Singing songs.

Photo shoots.
During the day - watching the kids playing with :

the kiddie pool

tricycles

bats & balls

bubbles

Eating Out.  Outdoors...


Visiting with friends and neighbors. 

Sipping on a tall glass of lemonade (or my Not-so-sweet Iced Tea).

Devotions: Early Morning Bible Reading and Prayer. (not often enough)

Having that hot cup of Coffee.  Maybe some Coffee Cake. (And yes, you will get this recipe, soon!)




Bird watching. 
Birds Nesting.

Porch sweeping.

Accumulation of Outdoor toys. 

Housing the grill.

Garden tools.

Snapping Green Beans and Husking corn.
Simple sewing projects.

Sky viewing...

Thunderstorms and heavy downpours.  Rain making mood music on the ole tin roof.

A place to think and reminisce.

Shade from the hot summer sun... for the most part. 

Waving hello!

Reading the mail.

Making that phone call.

Relaxing.  Putting the feet up - after a long, hard day.

((No pets here)).

Playing: "Guess the color and count the cars that go by and which one is going to be Dad's Blue Bomber?"

***

: : Is your front porch an extension of your life and home?? 
Do you even have the privilege of a front porch, side porch, back porch? If so, don't you feel blessed? 

Regardless if you have one or not, the real question is; Do folks who come to your door feel welcome and at ease?  Is there a smile on your face and a friendliness in your feature?

That is really the reason of this post.

I was outdoors - playing with the kids. one evening - looking on to the front of our house, and thinking about all that happens on or around our front porch/door.  It's not perfect.  It can look awefully cluttered, at times.  I haven't swept it off lately. There are cobwebs and grass clippings...

And.

I was trying to think of ways that I can make it even more welcoming.  Besides keeping up with the obvious.

One area that - actually two things- that I would like to change is 1.) to add a wreath to the front door...and 2.) perhaps put a little sign somewhere that reads our last name.  Just an idea...but I have my reasons.

So, tell me about your (front) porch moments or your front door area.   I would love to hear...


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