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

Monday, December 29, 2014

Top 12 of 2014 {my personal favs}

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I guess its not too early to close out the year of 2014 - with all my personal favorite posts!!  Here we go...

January

This month's selection was a hard choice for me to make, but because I really do love poetry so much as well as a pile of snow...  I'm sharing here, a poem on the topic of HOME, and a few homemade snowflakes... the kids are anxiously awaiting to rehang these in our window.  I'm sure we'll add a few new ones, as well.

February


This post continues to speak encouragement to my own soul - as I often think of the power of a spoken word or two...

March

This is such a sweet post, with photos, of my two girls - having a grand time...playing in the last of winter's snow!!

April 

This was certainly another hard month to pick my favorite post from. I finally settled on this one - due to the practical reminder I still need today.

 Super Mom

May

My favorite post of all time - I think!!  Just because of how true this earthly friendship is in and of my life.  As well, as that of my Saviour...

June

Hear! to be heard.  {the art of listening}
A choice I was faced to make, in the moment...

July

A lack of comments on this post may feel discouraging... but, all in all... I really wanted to embrace the moment and season of my heart in this post.
By and large it is and was my favorite post of all July.
Strawberries, Basil and Balsamic Vinegar

August

This post still makes me smile, today!!  Truly - A Moment to Remember!







September  

When. {When all else fails, read the directions.}

October

This whole month of October was a favorite of mine. Albeit to say, the hardest one to pull off.  Because it was here that I posted 31 days of Home Quotes and Sentiments. As well, I wrote each post in Five Minutes while doing a Photo Challenge, to match.   You can go HERE to see the list of each post.  But, if I were to pick my most favorite it would be this one... on Listening!
It also happens to be the date of my husband's Birthday!  Which made it extra special.

November

You may have noticed, this past year I've been doing a lot of Five Minute Friday posts... a real challenge I've been so enjoying.  Attempting to write a post in or under five minutes.  Sometimes it's feasible and other times it is quite the challenge.  I had also slowed down in blogging for the month of November - perhaps October wore me out :) ... 
But to pick one for November.  Out the Window ::Turn would have been my favorite post, here...  

December


One of my favorite  holiday recipes - new to me! - was this one...Smart, Sweet and Tart  {a Cranberry Nut Dessert}


                              
***
So, those were my personal favorite posts of 2014.  Thank you for reflecting back with me...over the year.  
How about you?  Agree, disagree?  

Share with me - one or two of your favorite posts that stuck out to you over the course of the year!  I'd love to hear your thoughts..

As always.  I appreciate each one of you my dear readers.  Thank you for standing by and standing true.  Your thoughts shared through the comments left here are always, ALWAYS encouraging to me... I hope you know how much.  Thank you for your heartfelt, kindred spirit you share..and the kind- hearted encouragement given out on a daily basis.


Happy New Year!!
May it be full of both Blessings and Opportunities.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Family Christmas Memories - Ones already made, with more to come!

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We're looking forward to celebrating OUR SAVIOUR's BIRTH in just a few days...
We trust that you and yours will be able to do the same.

As we continue to prepare our hearts and our home, for Christmas Day! - we'll take a few days to SLOW down and be absent from this little online space.  I know you'll (continue to..) understand.

The gifts are mostly wrapped and boy, are we ever looking forward to Christmas this year!!

We'll be sharing and making lots of memories...as a family!  You can be sure!!!
Last Christmas!
Here are a few of our favorites - Memories - made just this past week alone!

Thursday, Caleb was in a Character Musuem at his school.  
This is poster/art project to go along with his story and character of the Little Wolf...who wanted a new home!

Note:  We're still bandaged up in the Left Hand pinky finger.  
He has a follow-up appt on Wednesday - the day before Christmas!!

**
Here's Aubrey!!  She lost both of her two front teeth, this week!!  Here are two before, photos...

before
And, the one after...


She wasn't feeling all that well in this photo... running a fever and possible sinus infection.  We mustered our best smile, here... for the moment!

She is so stinking cute without her two front "toofers" (I remember the day they first came in...boohoo!) ... but, let's just say these two did not leave her mouth without a fight!  This girl is so, so creative!!
It's the marks of a girl growing up!!

**
And Jayne!!
Here to sing for you!!
  Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
((sorry, for the sideways video))

                                         
Well, let's just say she is really coming into her own.  Always singing...
and having to keep up with her siblings!!

Here she is with her brother's poster..

Our Little Star!!
***
We're getting ready to host my entire family here for Christmas Day!!  If all make it - there will be a total of 22 - kids and all.


Once again, we wish you and yours a WONDERFUL and BLESSED Christmas and a Happy New Year!!
Until next time...

** Linking along, HERE, today!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Five Minute Friday :: Adore

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Joining HERE, again today - the last time for 2014! - as yet another brave soul to take on just five minutes of my day in sharing my thoughts.
You're welcome to join in, as well!!  See the button link-below for details..

Little did I expect I'd write a three-part monologue...on what happened that First Holy Night in Bethlehem and thereafter... 
I just appreciate you reading along! 

Today's prompt is :: Adore
***


Sleep couldn't come. By the mere light of my lantern, I had stumbled to my abode, my heart racing and feeling ready to burst.  As I lay there, wide awake, in the night - my head to the pillow - my thoughts filtering back to that dusty stall.  My heart still in that process of preparing to receive this Heavensent Wonder!!
How was it that one could feel so much... for another?
He was just a baby!
His Mother, a wee thing herself.  So winsome and wise; one confident beyond her years.  Her whispered story, that night, had held for me my own moment of wonder.
I thought back to that night... while I was bending low.  She had begged me to stay.  I remembered I  had felt so unsure; positive I was intruding, in this moment.  I remembered the tears falling..

Even now...they trickled down my cheek ...

The awe I had felt, that night, in my soul just couldn't be contained. Humbly, the tears fell freely on to this baby's adorable little feet.  Embarrassed, a bit...the only thing I could think to quickly wipe them away was a lock of my chestnut brown.
Even, this didn't awaken the sleeping child.  But the peace-filled smile that broke onto the delicate corners of his sweet reverent face filled the stable room.

I remember that... so distinctly.  So surreal...
It's what babies do, don't they?  They melt you in ways you never think possible...

Oh, how I adored HIM! and I didn't even know why... I didn't understand.

And then...
Then there was that ruckus and shuffling outside the stable.  Mary and I looked up in a simultaneous glance - as Joseph rose, too, from his corner nap!  We heard the hurried murmuring of voices and saw three lone figures shoving their way into the stoop of a doorway.. their presence though large didn't diminish the sacredness of the moment held close before.

Their joy and excitement spilled out at once as the three began tripping over their words.  They straightened up, looking all demure..as if their regalness would entirely excuse their humanness.  Their gifts shaking in hand...
"We have seen this star, in the East!  We are come to worship HIM!"
I sighed with relief...
Their adoration of this Child - humbled me all over again.
I was undone.

**
I wondered about the InnKeeper.. Had he ever come to see this Christ Child?  How many others, perhaps, filed by - after all that those Shepherds had done in spreading the news?  

I'm still (signed!) One-of-the-Crowd with a job to do...I thought to myself. Rolling over - sleep came at last.. The night sounds echoed my dreams loud and clear... 

Oh Come! Let us Adore Him... come, let us adore him!!
***
Have a Wonderful Weekend!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Some of the little Christmas Joys in our home...this season!

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Our children will often beg to go to the Golden Arches - for lunch or dinner!  
Whose don't?
I rightly and quickly respond, Nah... how about to the Silver Bells Cafe, instead?
 An appropriate response for this Christmas Season... don't you think?

Of course, I'll usually get a quirky smirk...and a wry look from the eye!
But, all is well in our hearts and home.

And, little bellies are filled to the brim and settled once more.

“God bless us, every one!”
Tiny Tim in Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ (1843)
***

How is your week going so far?

Friday, December 12, 2014

Five Minute Friday :: Prepare

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Joining up with Five Minute Friday - and today's prompt is: Prepare.
***
Oh hello!  Remember me?  I am known as just 'One-of-the-crowd', here to share what happened that night as I went to pay a visit to the Christ-child... that first night!


I stand humbled in the serene of a world turned white.  The snow is falling.  Falling.  Biggest flakes I ever did see; like cotton.  They gather up and pile; all pillowy - as if they can add any more to my joy!  And, they do.

It's quiet - though not still.  My thoughts and these flakes conjure for my memory sake and I marvel as I recall the scene I encountered that night.  Almost as if I stumbled onto the most picturesque thing I ever did see; amidst the dusty and dark.

It was there.  This pure, white glow, reminding me of snow.  Surrounding them - maybe it came from the steaming of breath of all the livestock gathered there.  But nothing ... nothing more... was truer than this.  My world was turned upside down and inside out; swirling, twirling just like it was now, at the mere sight of this. This baby!

I think back to that moment.  The Child's Mother - bending low.  Her voice barely audible as she bid me come.

Closer!

She picked up her son and held him close to her bosom.  Escaping her lips and into his ear, these words that so impressed my heart and mind... 'my precious, little lamb'.

Did she just say 'lamb'?  I swallowed hard... I didn't understand.

I shuffled over to kneel beside her...sitting in the silence.  Nary the bleating of sheep nor lowing of cattle seemed out of place, here. Neither, the slight snore of the bone-weary man off in the corner. Except for me! I began to feel a slight imposition.  My own admission, of course... I wasn't really meant to be part of this... this picture.  Was I?

Why was I there?  I remembered distinctly the imposturous feeling sweep over me.  Yet, the longing to stay was surreal.  The glance from Mary's sweet face; gentle and mild, convinced me, pleaded with me, that to be in HIS presence was all that I needed, and, all I wanted to know.

Nothing could prepare me for what happened next...
__

I  remember stepping outdoors to catch my breath!  There was this impeccable stillness. Incredible - Peace on Earth!  The snow had hushed its quiet-fury and settled into all the deep and dark.  Bringing with it a much needed definition.  My mind still graveling to grasp the significance of this wondrous story that Mary had just shared with me in that quiet night of meeting.

I too... treasured up and pondered... this Miracle-birth!  My heart.. could now... fully and willingly prepare Him room!

***
Joining up, today, with Kate from Heading Home and the FMF link-up.  
Today's word prompt was: Prepare

Have yourself a wonderful weekend!

Until next time....

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Christmas Dreams and Broken Wings

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So, it's that time again!  Christmas!!  Where the kids have each shared their Christmas Dreams or Wishes and one of these is on Caleb's list.  (You might want to check it out!! - please, if you can take a minute...it will be helpful for understanding - what this post is about.)

Guess what we found him playing with over the weekend?
Why, this hanger - of all things... or part of it, thereof.

We should probably return the store-bought item which just so happens to be hiding in the closet.  What do you think?  We could save ourselves a buck or two...

Anyway.
He has been having such a blast with this..this plane-hanger... and honestly, I'm kinda glad my kid can be content with a simple ole clothes hanger.  
Because, even I can't wait for Christmas this year..

In fact. This was funny...
So, he's standing in the kitchen - Sunday Morning... just hanging out off to the one side of the room.  A bit odd, I thought.  Here he is ..kind of glancing off into space, with the said hanger-turned-plane in hand, when my husband walks through the kitchen, just in front of him, and we hear, "Dad - stop messing up the galaxy."  What?!?!?!?! 

((Scott and I - We just rolled with laughter...))

Here all the "dust particles", that he could see in the sunlight had become his star studded outer space.
With the single shake of a kitchen towel - I filled his universe once more!

Oh boy!!  Wait till he sees what will be hiding "under the tree"... on Christmas Day!


Here he is showing me all the imaginary controls, and all the seats and all the "whatever else" goes into a plane...




And... yes!  We're sporting a broken pinky.  This happened about a week and a half ago, while playing catch football... with one of his uncles.

He goes back for follow up x-ray's, sometime today.

***
I'm praying for "healing in the wings"... that his finger will be fine and we can resume to what is called normal activity.  Can you believe me if I say - not much has changed, though, in his busyness. He is STILL all one bundle of action packed fun... and not much stops him.

Until next time...

UPDATED to ADD, regarding Caleb's broken pinky finger:
The Dr. visit today entailed more xrays.  The finger is healing - slowly - it appears we'll still be on activity "restrictions" and a bandaged splint will be "our friend" for the next two weeks.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Winter Warmth and Cheer

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Darting outdoors through a wintery mix of rain and snow - I wasn't expecting to see this bright flash of bold yellow amidst the cold and dreary blades of grass - on this here, the ninth day of December!

Can we say...
Late Bloomer?
Ray of Sunshine?
Warmth and Cheer?

Oh, you're sure trying - aren't you, Miss Dandi...

Well... thank you!  Thank you, kindly for your efforts.

It did bring me a smile, today!!  

***

And you, dear reader?  What have you noticed - ordinary, yet not-so-ordinary, in the busy rush of the season?  Are you taking time to slow and enjoy yourself?  Are you spreading that joy to others...?

People don't notice whether it's winter or summer when they're happy.  ~  Anton Chekhov
  

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Five Minute Friday :: Dear...

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The five-minute-friday word prompt is Dear...
I thought to write a letter.

Dear Innkeeper, of Bethlehem,

Just wanted to drop you a note to say thanks!
I know you don't know me from Adam - but, I saw what happened last night.  I watched what unfolded...you were amazing.

Tired and exhausted, yourself, I'm sure, from wrangling these pressing crowds through here this week...but... seriously... I saw when that tall, strong yet weary looking man knocked on your door last night.  His wife - beside him- on that too-small-a-beast - she too, looked the part.  Uncomfortable and tired - like she was about to give birth or something.  I couldn't exactly tell...

I was surprised - that you even opened your door.


I've been following them for awhile; noticing their gentle, urgent determination to find shelter and it seemed like every door they knocked on - they were either turned away or folks didn't even bother to answer..
But. You.  You answered their knock..
You opened your door!
You took them in!
You smiled.
You gave.
Even if it was the only place left.

Your dirtiest and dingiest... the least expected.

I'm sure there were no complaints... at all!!

You do realize that, that one single act of grace and goodness, on your part, led to quite a stir last night, right?

Then, there was this singing last night, LOUD SINGING...did you hear it?  I thought I was dreaming...apparently not.  Because earlier today, and this is what prompted me to write this letter... while talking to a passel of rough-looking, red-eyed shepherds, this morning, who obviously got little to no sleep; they said that they encountered a host of angels during the night - telling them about this baby born last night down there in your stable... where does that come from?  Who gets angels singing - announcing their birth?  Must be something special... Someone extra special.

It certainly is all the buzz of the marketplace...oh, and there was something, too... about stars being extra bright!  One really big one... I couldn't tell you, I missed it.

These shepherds said they had to go see this baby for themselves.  Can you imagine that?  Guess, I don't blame them..

I just can't believe they're still talking about it, as in all daaay long - to everyone they meet!!  It's like they're worshipping this Christ-child.  At least, that's what they were calling this baby...

All I can say if it wasn't for you - Innkeeper! - there might not have been any real excitement to ponder or news to joy in - in this crazy, busy, overwhelmed-with-people town last night!
Well.... not that there isn't exciting stuff constantly going on around here... it's just that - this is different!  Can I say - life changing?  I don't know, if that's even possible... its just something I've been thinking about.  Anyway...

Thank you for letting me ramble on so...I really appreciate it.
I'm just so curious, myself, as to Who and what this is all about.  

Babies equate gifts. I just don't really have one to bring... but maybe, maybe I'll just have to bring myself.  I'm sure that'll be enough..

Again, thank you!! Thanks for taking time...

Signed Sincerely,
Your fellow-townsman, a.k.a.
One-of-the-crowd

PS:  Last minute thought, here.  If you can take a moment, find a way, from your busy day, would you like to go with me?  To see this here Christ-child?  Perhaps; bring your family...your friends.
Let's not be strangers...anymore.  Neither to each other, nor to Him!

***
Taking liberty to go beyond writing for five minutes, today!  Until next time... have a Blessed weekend!
Joining up with Kate M. at Heading Home for Five Minute Friday!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Smart, Sweet and Tart (Cranberry Nut Dessert)

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I've had few curious folk interested in what this dessert is...


Well.  Today is the day to find out, especially if you love anything Cranberry!  :)  It's Cranberry Nut Dessert.
 I think it honestly, deserves a fancier name... but, who am I?
It's Tart.
Sweet.
Simple.
And, Smart.
Little bit crunchy with the nuts...and a wonderful hint of almond flavoring.

This is that one recipe when you need a festive pie type of dessert but you don't really have time to make a pie crust.  Wow, what a time saver. And, a delicious one at that.  I am thrilled to have found this recipe!  Thank you, very much!

Cranberry Nut Dessert

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup (one stick) melted butter
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 - 1 tsp. almond extract

Whipped cream or ice cream, optional

In a bowl, (I used a wooden spoon, to stir), combine the flour, sugar and salt.  Add cranberries and nuts; toss to coat.  Stir in the butter, eggs, and extract.  The mixture will be very thick, especially if using frozen cranberries.  Spread into a greased 9" pie plate.

Bake at 350* for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream, if desired.

Yield: 8 servings

***
I just had a slice of this, with my morning coffee.  I'm counting it as breakfast!  It works!!
Let me know if you try this with the whipped cream!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

From one Season to another....

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Softly fading from one Season into the next!

Foggy days,
to first snows.
School days and
time at home..
Friends, family gatherings with lots of memories made and yummy food.

Our abundantly changing outdoor scenery collides and complements our ever-growing, ever-changing, ever-filling hearts of gratitude and thankfulness.

Goodbye November...

Hello December!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Five Minute Friday :: Give

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I sat down this morning...
my coffee cup in tow.

Seriously, the morning list is long - still.
I've been working on it all week.

Checking things off as I go...

Company is coming today.  (yeah!!)
We have two more Thanksgiving Dinners over the weekend.

I'm not fully overwhelmed, but I could be.
The back-to-back hymn lyrics on my lips this morning...
Were.  Are.

**


Isn't it wonderful, that no matter what we ask.
When we ask.
How we ask.

He'll give and give and give some more.  
He gives - as He wills.  To meet our need!
And, it's always enough.

Continuing on, with... my thankful heart!
***

Joining in with this lovely community of brave writers who will their pen in hand for five minutes and write from the heart.  Raw and real...

Thursday, November 27, 2014

We truly have much to be thankful for...

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I'm Full

I'm absolutely full tonight.
I couldn't eat another bite.
I couldn't eat a half a bean,
or even taste a tangerine.
I couldn't lick a lettuce leaf
or bite the slightest bit of beef.
I couldn't polish off a pea
or sip a simple drop of tea
or nibble on a nanogram
of pickled ham or candied yam
or lamb or clam or jam or spam.
Yes, that's how full I truly am.
To even think of eating more
would leave me lying on the floor
and surely make my stomach hurt
unless, of course, you've got dessert.

~ Kenn Nesbitt

***

While that poem is humorous...yes!  How true is it?
We have more than we need, yet we still have our wants.
 And, sometimes yes!, Our Heavenly Father even blesses us with those wants being fulfilled.  Doesn't He?
 We truly have much to be thankful for.

Philippians 4: 19 (AMP)
 And my God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

May you and yours have a Blessed Thanksgiving!
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