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

Friday, March 30, 2012

{this moment}

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{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. ~ Amanda Soule

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Sharing this moment - as sisters!

Happy Weekend, my friends.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Around the Homestead :: A ~ Z | The letter Z

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Welcome to the last of

Around the Homestead :: A ~ Z

If you've been following along - you know it's taken me quite awhile to do this self imposed photo challenge of finding the letters of the alphabet - here in nature or of "on the farm" where we live.
My intention is to finish off this photo collage and present it as a gift to our landlord and his wife.

And, finally we've reached "Z" end.  The last letter of the alphabet.

Now, I'll have you know that finding this last letter was not...

E Z as in, easy.  It was rather hard.

I found the backwards version on the barn door...and had to flip the photo to make it work.  That I did find.  See!  If you look close enough - the door handle is upside down.  I feel I must let you know that...in case you're not sure to believe me.
And, to be honest.  I really wanted this project to be as authentic as it could be.  There were a few other photos I had to flip or turn as well... and besides didn't I use this last photo for one of my "N" choices? 

Hmmm.  Yes, I did.

But, then I thought...maybe I'll just have to make my own letter "Z".  I couldn't seem to find ANYTHING... and it was taking me SO LONG to get this project done.  You've probably been all bored to tears by now, anyway, with this project and so I did.  I got a little corny and made my own letter.

Trying to keep it as "natural" as possible.  As "farmy" as possible.  As "unique" as possible.  Lord knows there are plenty of these kernels lying around... I just scooped up a handful and plunked my letter "Z" right down there on the driveway.

What do you think?

Sure enough, as I continued looking around and trying to see what I could find... I saw this shadow, cast from an overhead wire, falling across the back steps leading up into the Machinery Shed. 

Do you see it?  See, it's not the greatest find... but it is perfect enough, I suppose.  I feel it is a rather quaint way to end this photo project....ending it with a shadow, nonetheless.

"Z" end.


So, question. 

Which "Z" should I use?  

Let me know and I'll add it to the collage photo and that will be the end of the project.  I'll show that to you as soon as it is completed.  Hope to hear from you soon and that you all agree.  (smile)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Your Day

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The other evening, my husband mentioned two words within our bedtime prayer that have since stuck with me.

He said something along this line of thought, "be with us as we go about Your Day tomorrow...".   I don't think the next day was Sunday.  I'm not even sure he'd remember praying it that way.
When we think of the Lord's Day - we think of Sunday, right?  But isn't every day,"Your Day", speaking of the Lord?  He made every single one of them.  They are His.

Or, at least they should be.

I know it's easy to go about our days thinking of them as though we own them.  How the day turned out - matters on how or what we've done in and throughout that particular day.   It's as though we go from day to day with out much thought and again how the day begins and ends is a reflection on us.

This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. ~ Psalm 118:24

I tell you what.  Oh, did I ever have a day of it?  Today was rough.  Not as bad as some I've had recently -but as I "mulled" over these thoughts of this being a day - the day - Your Day, Lord - that you made and I am to rejoice in it?  Oh, was it ever hard.

I'm afraid....I'm afraid I wasn't rejoicing (being calmly happy) as I should have been and wanted to be.

Here is the good news...and I so appreciate these verses from Scripture.

Therefore we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.  For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.  ~ 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

I am so ready for that day - Your Day, Lord!

Monday, March 26, 2012

the gift of rearrange

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Saturday evening - late into the night - found my husband and I "rearranging" furniture.  It was on the calender to do this for awhile now because this was the weekend that we took up an offer to get a piano out of someones home.  A FREE gift!  So, how could we say no?  Besides, we've been talking about getting one for some time.

Not knowing what it would look like or sound like or really how big or tall or small or heavy...we said yes!  It is our hope that our children will be influenced towards music - just as Scott's family has been...and still are.  This was - as is intended - just to have something in our home to familiarize them with an instrument - such as a piano and "prepare" them for that "one day" of regular music lessons. 

Very exciting!  The one and only problem with this is that now our dining room just got a whole lot smaller.  Long story.

Anyway.  Moving on.

This gift of rearrange...
As I was thinking about this need to rearrange our home in order to fit this gift.  I got to thinking about how our life will just naturally get rearranged and we don't always like it.  I know I wasn't too keen on moving furniture around - cleaning - at 12:00 midnight or whatever hour it was.  But, it had to be done. 

(Oh, in case you're wondering, why so late?  We were out in Lancaster doing our monthly grocery shop, prior - all day.) 

Yes!  it was a long day. 

Think about all that does get rearranged, besides furniture.
  • our schedules
  • clothing
  • rooms
  • our dreams, our goals
  • life...in general. changes due to a job loss, illness, an unexpected pregnancy, an untimely death, a promotion, a refund - a gift!
Often though, rearrangement will offer new perspective, out look and insight. When we realize the truth of... The old is gone...the new has come.

On Sunday morning, the sermon, given at our church, was excellent.  Taken out of John chapter 8... the verse speaking of "the truth shall set you FREE"... along with a story- illustration of a slave woman named Harriet Tubman.  You may have heard of her.  I never have, at least I didn't recall so.  But what an amazing woman. What an amazing testimony of her freedom and then going on to helping others to their own through means of the Underground Railroad.

She was born into slavery.  This was all she knew.  But the opportunity came for her to experience freedom!
Wickpedia records...
She crossed into Pennsylvania with a feeling of relief and awe, and recalled the experience years later:

"When I found I had crossed that line, I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person. There was such a glory over everything; the sun came like gold through the trees, and over the fields, and I felt like I was in Heaven."[42]

It was taking that step...across the line... and knowing the truth that she was now a free woman radically "rearranged" her life and as we sang the lyrics to a song - later that morning, which, to me, had a negro-spiritual beat & tempo to it, I "put myself" into Harriet's shoes, as we sang.

Glory, glory, glory to the One who saved my soul. 
Glory, glory, glory to the Everlasting Lord. 
Glory, glory, glory to the Lamb who sits enthroned ...
Our God!

It was powerful.  I was imagining...that one step of faith, across that state line.  That's all it took.  One step. The freedom felt.  Being overwhelmed with the reality that set in of truth setting free.

I (too) am a New Creation!  Free from the slavery of sin.  My debt has been paid in full.  I've been Redeemed.

Like I said before.  We don't always like or want change to occur in our lives. Sometimes changes we do want to have happen in our lives never take place, and we wonder about that?  However, whatever it is that does or doesn't come, sometimes that is the best thing that could ever happen to us.

I am so grateful for the gift of rearrange.

Will you count the blessings, the gift of rearrange in your life today?  Join me... towards the One Thousand Gifts...in no particular order.

#879.  yes Lord, even for this horrible lower back pain today...

#880.  sea of green grass, like waves, rippling across the pasture

#881.  Caleb just a swingin' the time away on "the playground" out back - straight for 45 minutes.  I kid you not.

#882. "everybodies piano" (there's a story here.)

#883.  help to bring this piano gift home - that it even fit through the one doorway with a 1/4" to spare...

#884.  beautiful rays of sunshine

#885.  this windy wash-day

#886.  family - willing to help, willing to share a meal

#887 &  #888.  Christian country and bluegrass music!  (I went, with all three children, to hear the very BEST -  The Isaacs - in concert, last evening.  My mother, who went with me - so I'm truly grateful for her ... all over again.  She helped with the children - who were so terribly nixnootzich...it wasn't funny.  Such a schrooching around...I tell you.  (yes!  I'm speaking PA Dutch here.)

#889.  (but) they are my children and I love them all so very much.

#890. Jayne's first tooth is through

#891.  I'm doing the happy dance, right now.  I just found out my friend, Nedra, needs no more Chemo.

#892.  two nights in a row - out with the girl friends

#893.  my hubby recognizing I needed that!

#894. another passed exam for Scott... only 24 more to go.

#895  Malachi 4:1-2

#896. calves running free, from their stall!!  Have you ever seen that?  beautiful.

#897.  a beautiful shopping day to Lancaster Co. - despite the here and there raindrops

#898.  chance to rearrange ;)  (as much as I like things they way they are... sometimes, change is good!)

#899.  the fact that all three of my children are napping...at the same time!

I had better go and take advantage of this freedom. 

What to do first? 

Fold laundry or just go sew??
Guests are coming for dinner tonight, as well.  I'll need to keep an eye on the clock...
(I'm talking to myself here.  Never mind me. :))

And the winner is...

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Congratulations, Janet!  Send me your mailing info via email and I'll get this cookbook right out to you as soon as I can.  Thank you so much!


So, how was your weekend?

Mine was Full-ull!! 

Lord Willing, I'll be back later today with another post.  Hopefully.  I have a lot on my mind to share... a lot to be thankful for.  I can't wait to share it with you all.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Feed My Family Friday :: Chicken Zucchini Casserole

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I confess I've been a lurker over at Becky's (of Farmgirl Paints) regarding her Friday - Feed My Family posts. 

She's offering a recipe link-up giveaway over at her place - today and throughout the next week.

Go check it out and share a recipe there, for a chance to win what she is offering today!
Becky's really, really cool!

feed my family friday

You know what?

Since I'm doing my own giveaway (that ends this evening).  I just thought I would just re-post the photo of the recipe that made it into the Gooseberry Patch Cookbook :: Simple Shortcut Recipes.

~ Chicken Zucchini Casserole

For your taste bud  & viewing pleasure.  Sorry.  Photos of casseroles sure don't do the recipe justice.  Just sayin'.

The recipe is HERE and  more of my giveaway details are HERE.  Sign UP!  You still have time.  It ends tonight at 10pm EST.  :: GIVEAWAY CLOSED ::

Have a fabulous weekend, my friend.  I hope you're the winner!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Sneak Peek and Giveaway! {don't forget}

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I thought maybe you would be interested in seeing how our blue-watered daffodils are coming along.

Isn't this neat?  We put them in the water about Tuesday noon.  As of yesterday, they started to look like this.  Caleb's excited to show his class tomorrow...his spring experiment for Show & Tell.

I also thought maybe you would like a sneak peek at a recent sewing project I just completed.  A friend asked me to help her "redecorate" an area of her home.  She suggested a flag-swag-banner-type-thingy and so I snooped around and found this blog...and although not fully following this lady's tutorial, I was certainly guided as to what to do.  Never made one before.  I think it turned out okay.  I hope she likes...

And while not being totally surprised, it did strike me today - as I hung up a load of laundry, and totally ran out of clothespins - that my baby girl is growing up.  FAST!  I went through the next-size-up bin in girls clothes, yesterday, just to see what I had... they needed to rid the plastic bin smell and so here we are.  

All the pretties hung on a line.

 Sneak Peek at my big girl Peek-a-Boo!

Last but not least.  Don't forget about the giveaway I launched yesterday afternoon.  You may want to check it out.

CLICK HERE to enter!  All the details are there.

That's all for today.  I hope you enjoyed.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

This has me so excited! Check this out. You won't be sorry.

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Do you know how long I had to wait to tell you this good news?

 An awfully long time.  I'm afraid.

Just wait.  I'm gonna tell you, too!

Hold on a minute.

There is a *NEW* book in town.

Oh, Gooseberry Patch always makes me excited about a *new* release...but it's not like I have a ton of their books. Just one or two...but, now I have three of their cookbooks.  Isn't that nice!  I just have always adored their "simple style". 

But I loved it more that I have been given a FREE book...just for submitting a recipe.

YES! They included one of my recipes into their new book and it makes me so excited.  I've been published, before...but it's been a long, long time...and so, this is fun for me.

What is even more fun for me is "the story" I included along with the recipe.  Gooseberry Patch included it just above the recipe.  Can you read it?

** I do want to clarify that I for -sure-almost-always use a Cornbread stuffing (P. F. Stove-Top) when I make this recipe.  And that I really like the creaminess that the softened cream cheese brings to the dish.  Another thing that I'll do - every now and then - is to sprinkle a small handful of shredded cheddar cheese over the top just before adding reserved stuffing mixture.  They didn't tell you all of that.  I don't know why. 

For the most exciting thing.

Tell me this.

Would you rather buy yourself a copy of this cookbook or if given a chance would you rather win one for FREE?

Silly question. Don't answer that.

Just enter to win a copy of this book! One entry per person please.  Enter here by comments only.
 The giveaway ends this Friday evening, at 10:00pm EST.


** And, for one more clarification.  This is my own doing...just out of my own excitement.

Hope you win!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Calmly Happy

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As I checked my email inbox this morning...this encouraging note was "waiting" for me.  Along with some other details for school, Mrs B. (Caleb's Pre-School Teacher) left this note...in perfect timing for me todayNot just for me, but for all the other moms as well.  I know this teacher-woman is truly a blessing.  I also know I was really encouraged.  I hope you are too, as I share...part of what she wrote.

(keep reading...)
As an "experiment" with Caleb & Aubrey, this week.  I told them about something I used to do when I was a youngster.
We would pick daffodils (or Queen Anne's Lace) and add food coloring to the water.  As the flowers would drink up the water, the flowers would change in color or at least have "fringed edges" of color around their petals.

Caleb is to take something in for Show & Tell, on Friday, that is Spring-y! 

Think Spring!
Do you think, this might be sort of exciting for a bunch of 4 and 5 year-olds?  Blue-fringed daffodils?  I don't know, if they'll appreciate this but... we'll see. 
Wait.  Come to think of it... I should've added some "happy red" to the water to make them be a bit not so "blue" or green-blue.  Because I do know what blue and yellow make...
Wasn't thinking. 
All in all, regardless of how these turn out, I will choose to be calmly happy anyway.  In other words... I will (still) rejoice - no matter the outcome {of the day}!
Happy Spring!
Dear Mom,
Enjoy this Tuesday. "This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it" Psalm 118:24 - I just heard this verse again 2 days ago. I purposed in my heart to Rejoice (Bible meaning - full of cheer, calmly happy). I forgot how nice it is to Rejoice through the days. I know life is not easy - some seasons are like Spring and some are hard like Winter. I pray for strength for each of you today as you are at a job or at home, as you parent and as you play. If you are finding it hard to Rejoice - I pray you will talk to God about it and He will encourage you with His love.

Mrs. B.  (Caleb's Pre-K teacher)

Monday, March 19, 2012

My heart is full.

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We are having one of the most beautiful of days around here, today.  So much so that I'm dreaming...all things gardens.


This morning, as I sat down to type out a few lines, this idea, this reality, of what is swirling around in my head and what I can appropriately fit into a designated time slot...well, it isn't going to work.

In other words.  Where do I start?  What do I have time to say? 

Not much!, to answer my own question.

My heart is full.

Full of tangles and train wrecks, budding ideas and requests.

Beautiful sunshine and stormy-grey clouds.

Fresh air and stale.

Excitement and nerves.

Intentions and angst.

Satisfaction and "enough already".

Limitations and obligations.
You know all of this... you can readily relate.  You identify.

This is why I link to Ann's post today.  I so appreciated her thoughts of slowing...her sharing the one reason to slow down.  I hope you choose to read her post.


Continuing to count the gifts - # 851 - #878, of the One Thousand Gifts.

Stars overhead ... bright ones, too.  Twinkling...like I've never seen before.

crunch of gravel underfoot as I take my evening walk

dog barking in the distance

honking geese taking flight

the urge to create

Ruth & Boaz - love their story

my first robin sighting, then another, then another

bare feet

that yellow upper lip from smelling dandelions


toothless grin

laundry to hang

the line to hang it on

cold milk in glass jars

our breathing falling into perfect rhythm - just before a deep sleep - love it!

Krazy Glue and JB Weld - work wonders

Redeeming Love!

John 8:12

Children singing their hearts out - up on stage!

this warm spring weather

those Daffodils, Johnny Jump-ups, and surplus of Lamb Ears

opportunity to "pay it forward"

being published - (a fun blessing which I'll tell you more about soon).

pulling from home canned goods to serve guests

hard work paying off

windows open today

encouragement to slow down

then sings my soul...

Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday's Finds | Old Black Shutters

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For those of you who are new to this blog and/or just poppin' in - Hello and Welcome!

On Fridays I'll often  feature "a find" of no particular value or sentiment, no reason or rhyme and yet, exactly for all of those reasons I just mentioned...I share it with you!

Today's featured Friday's Find is the pair of old black shutters that sit in the corner of my living room.  For as long as I've lived on my own (around age twentyish-something) ... I've had this "art form" as part of my decor.  It's hard to see on the photo, but they are chippy and chippy is one of those loves of mine. :)  The hinge on the door is also hiding.  Old hardware is another one of my secret fav's.
The only fun story I can really recall over these shutters is on the day I found them.  I was out "shopping" with a cousin of mine.  I told her about this fabulous antique store/yard-chock-full-of-goodies, that I wanted to go to...and her only response was upon seeing it for the first time was, "Bev, this is a junk-yard!"  (Meaning not her style or taste at all).

Uhmmm, yeah? 

Oh, the many, many finds I've found there, over the years.  (sigh)  I think it's near time to go back.

Enjoy Your Weekend!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

{Pay it Forward} Mom, this is for you!

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{{Keep in mind...I certainly do not share this post today for accolades.  Please.}}

It's one of those things when Life hands you a blessing...that it is probably best to pass it on by paying it forward, so to speak!  Know what I mean?

Mom, this is for you!  

My, three year old, Aubrey hands me this lovely daffodil.  One of our first open blooms for the season.  It's beautiful!  Yet, yanked right off it's long, green showy stem.  It will need to sit submerged in water...soaking up it's blessing.

Recently, I got to thinking about what it looks like to see Love in Action.  I've been a recipient of this very thing over and over and I know the blessing it is.  I know what it's like to be "overwhelmed" with a good thing granted.  I know what it's like to be overwhelmed.  Period.

I've been reading a lot of what love with it's sleeves rolled up is to look like.  However, I can read all I want to about it, but if that is all I do?  Then what is that?  Nothing.

I got to thinking about another young mom - one whom I regularly see week to week at our church.  I know she is a busy mama, too.  Her three little ones are about the same age as ours.   Lately, she's looked overwhelmed.  Tired.  Unhappy?   I don't know... but she's been on my mind.

I began to think about what a little love in action might look like for this friend of mine.  I hate the phone.  I never call people if I don't have to.  But, I picked up the phone and left her this message to "call me back".  "My friend...I have something to run by you", I said.

 I wondered all night if she would call me back.

You know what?  She did!  She called me back the next morning and took me up on my offer...here is what I said:

"I want to give this to you.  I want you to bring your three children over here tomorrow or the next - whichever works out best for you.  Let me watch them for you so that you can do something for you.  I want you to take at least two hours, for yourself and 'play'.  Go shopping, read a book, take a walk, get your nails done, run errands (alone), go back home and clean, take a nap... what ever it is - have fun!  Be blessed.  Be refreshed.  Take some time for just Y.O.U."


I know what it's like to be handed that sort of gift. I also know how much I appreciate and, many days, wish for more of this sort of thing. 

And yet, like this daffodil gifted out to me...

This gift...as it should be. Is simply this.  A gift.

It's heady.  It's full.  Plunked down right there meant to soak it all up in that intended blessing.  Still, there is nothing showy about it.  Nothing fancy at all. 

It's just beautiful.

Can you think of someone whom you might bless in the next to near future?  If so, roll your sleeves up and pay it forward - will you?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Around the Homestead :: A ~ Z | The Letters W, X and Y

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Welcome! to what I call
Around the Homestead :: A~Z
This is a self-imposed photo project where I've taken my camera and have hunted down letters of the alphabet characteristic of things in nature and reminiscent of the farm that we live on. My hope is to, one day, make a photo collage and give it as a gift to our landlord and his wife.


Taking on the letters "W", "X" and "Y"... that are very self-explanatory. 
Fun photo finds this time around, in my opinion.

Closing this photo project out - sometime soon - with leaving the last letter of the alphabet
for "Z" very end.   No kidding.

You'll see!

Have a great day!

Monday, March 12, 2012


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Blossom by blossom the spring begins.
 ~ Algernon Swinburne (1837-1909)

I got to thinking.  Just as blossom by blossom happens in order for spring to begin...so it is within our hearts, day to day.  As we (slowly) make probable changes in a specific area, moment by moment, big things will happen. Something will become of it. Seasons (in time) take on a whole new meaning.  Change is good.

Do you feel it, happening?

What is that one area for you?
:: friendship ::
:: encouragement ::
:: time management ::
:: parenting ::
:: cooking ::
:: cleaning ::
:: organization ::
:: Bible reading & prayer ::
:: extending hospitality ::

That one area that you plan to take moment by moment...will one day blossom into a beautiful spring. Wait and see!

:: Photo taken of a card (photo) that one of my sister's sent me, last spring.  I could look at this card & photo forever.  So pretty.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Some Days Are Like This.

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Some days its really hard being a mama....

Isn't that so? 

When the day feels much like it's overwhelming.  Busy.  Spinning-out-of-control.  Hard?

We wonder if we've got it in us.  At least I do.

When there is this sweet, but busy little daughter of mine to contend with... her charming, *red* eyes and all (sorry about that!).  Always drumming up a "need" to express her vivaciousness and such.

And this roly-poly, tootsie roll who is (currently) not feeling so well, here of late, given to teething with a fury...but she's found her toes and I love this. Still smiling through it all... my sweet baby Jayne.

Yet, who has found herself coughing again through the night...and blowing snot every which way to Sunday.

Not so funny.  Poor thing.

And when there is this guy... who, as innocent as he looks here, is having to apologize to a police officer, yesterday, for "playing with the phone" and making an unwarrented, hang-up call to 911.  Yikes!

I think he's learned his lesson on this one.  And will say, " I don't want to talk about it..."  and yet I think he decided to share his lesson learned with his class today, in Show & Tell, at preschool.  We'll see!

You know? Mothering is hard. 

But, I'm thankful that I can find still find the time to sit to the sewing table... in a stolen moment or two... in effort to clear my head, per say.

and make another pair of these Homespun Baby! Shoes... to send out.  (thank you, Melissa B.)

Pour the afternoon cup of coffee.
Listen to soft strains of John Tesh... playing piano solace in the background.  Does anyone else turn on the noise to drown out the noise?  However melodic and soothing?  Just asking.

Through it all...mothering, as hard as it is...still gives a blessed chance to every now and then sneak a bite or two from some fabulous creation.  Yes! I said sneak.  I actually took this photo of this dessert, the other night, while it was hiding in my kitchen cabinet, or else I'd be sitting high and dry without nearly so much as a nibble.

A Mother's Prerogative, I tell you.  Come on, you all know that!

Ultimately.  I'm learning this part of letting my light shine.  Contentment.  Making this secret my own.

My favorite thrill about all of this, is this.  It's not that I have to do this.  I get to. 

Okay, most days...if I'm honest with myself, and with you... I will have to admit.  There are many days when I question my ability.  My course.  My resolve to being the best wife and mother I can possibly be. 

But you know what?

At the end of the day.  When I'm wrapped up in the mere memories of the hard-earned day, my head is on the pillow. I know my Heavenly Father is only a whisper away. And while my husband's embrace is long and tender...when we're left to whisper loud into the deaf ears of the other because sleep has long since carried one of us off into La La land. What matters most is that, in the end, I have been faithful.

I have done my best.
When we feel loved. 

That they know they're loved. 

All is grace...knowing, some days are like this.

Joining with Rachel, today at...

friday favorite things </P>
<P>finding joy

Thursday, March 8, 2012

pretty fake... but not really.

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Tucked inside this bird cage is a pretty, little nest with two blue robin eggs.. fake, of course.  But here is the best part...

This little nest was a sweet and thoughtful gift given to me by a dear friend of mine ("inspired by the book, One Thousand Gifts", so she says) This friend of mine stopped in today for a nice little visit.  There is nothing fake about this gal.  She is a beautiful gal that loves the Lord, has a great sense of humor and well... and I've known her for a long, long time.   I told her today - knowing her is like "comfort food"... it doesn't get much better then this.

I'm so blessed.


Do you have friends like this - ones who are just an all around blessing?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Weekend:: Fun Celebration

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This past Christmas... Scott and I, for our children, decided to do something fun and different to give as their gift(s) to their cousins.

Here are all the cousins.
And this is Grandma Rhoda...surrounded by all her little lambs, as she calls them.

For starters, we made up tickets...to hand out.  Wrapped all up, in gift wrap and tied up pretty with a bow.  Not!  If only they were adorned with a bow - would I have felt more on top of things.

We took them to tour RoadSide America...
"The World's Greatest Indoor Miniature Village"
The place that is chock full of nostalgia for me.  In all the years, I'm sure, nothing has changed.  Even the smell of the building, is still the same.

Caleb remembered...We took him here for his third Birthday.  He wasn't so sure of it back then.  But he was all over it this time around.

My first memory of coming here was for my 1st grade school class trip, and the souvenir I bought.  Long time ago...

We were joking around that since these folks were moving out... we might oughta move in. ;)  (PA Dutchy way of saying it.)  Besides, I'd give anything to go back to this era.  I love it!! 

**Seriously.  If you ever get a chance to visit here.  You really should.  It's rather charming, unique and the man who dreamt this up and stuck to his dream had some incredible serious talent.  It's just all the attention to detail that blows my mind.  I'm so amazed.

Not too great a photo... but here is their famed night-time pageant scene.

Even the aunts and uncles enjoyed.... I think.

Aubrey being held by her Aunt Rachel.

We rounded out the evening by hitting up a Red Robin, in the area, for dinner.  A way to start the celebration of my mother's (a.k.a Grandma Rhoda) 60th birthday  Coming up, soon!

And back to Aunt Rachel and Uncle John's for homemade Ice Cream and a delicious German Chocolate Cake.  We do it up right... don't ya think?


I told you we were planning on having a fun weekend with lots family.  We sure did!!

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