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

Thursday, April 30, 2015

One Special Wedding Day {Justin & Kelsey}

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The last couple of weeks have been busy - helping - and readying my brother, Justin, and his girl for their 
Special Wedding Day!
Which happened to be this past Sunday - afternoon.

Lots of love, time and energy.  Not just from me - oh no!  I feel like I hardly did a thing.  But, everyone...involved.
The two Mothers (of the bride and groom)...were especially busy!
As well as many other friends and family members.

So - here, today, is just a fun filled documentary of photos trying to capture - in a sense - the joy of the day - we still hold dear - in our hearts.

The day we welcomed Kelsey into our family - as Sister (in-love)!

All photos of "bridal wreath" tucked in and around for floral displays...
Enjoy the photos!  
The first few, here, are from their Wedding Shower (a couple of weeks ago) and of a few gifts, that I made, by hand, to bless them with.

Mr, & Mrs. sign - took some tweaking and redoing for it to be just right... one of our gifts to the Bride and Groom.

Here are a few snapshots from the Rehearsal....
One handsome and nervous Ring - Bearer!

Getting ready to head to the Church, Sunday afternoon, before the Ceremony...

It was neat!!  They obviously couldn't pick just one flower girl; or ring bearer... so they included all of the nieces and both nephews as part of their special day!

My Mom (a.k.a. Grandma Rhoda) had sewn up all these little "Flower Girl" dresses.  I only helped...
A few, now, from the actual wedding ceremony... and folks... there were so many "photos" I missed... due to just sitting, wiping tears and enjoying the service.  I had the perfect seat... and still I missed so many. :)  It was a beautiful day!!

My uncle Vernon officiated the wedding!  He would by my Dad's older brother.  We really missed having my Dad here, on earth, to witness his firstborn son's wedding day!  (lots of tears...bittersweet, of course!)  I'm sure he was smiling, too!!

This first photo was taken from the "best seat" in the house...in my opinion. :)  I felt blessed!

Father and Daughter danced to Butterfly Kisses.  And the Mr. & Mrs. danced their first dance to a Frank Sinatra favorite tune.
Aubrey took this photo (and many more of these posted here, today!) - and it's one of my favs!
The Bride's Bouquet!
The remaining  photos are just a few favorite photos of the day - with really no rhyme or reason... just friends and family!!
The ultimate photo bomber - right here!!
dear friends!! and guests

One of the hymns, in the Wedding Ceremony, was sung by a trio of folks from our church - a song originally done by The Martins.
We all said - "move over Martins" - because these three just knocked it out of the park!  It was so, so beautifully sung.  The acoustics in the church were astounding!
I regret that I did not get, at least, their photo.  Nor, did I record them singing this.  Big Fail on my part.  So, we'll just have to close out this post with THE LORD'S PRAYER - sung by The Martins, instead.  Please, enjoy!!

Congratulations to the Happy Couple!!
And, boy... are they ever happy.  Let's just say - if we were to see them right about now... well... we'd never even be noticed.  There is not another soul on the earth right now!! :)  It's beautiful!!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Mugs & Muffins :: The Invitation is Open! Well... maybe not. Please, keep reading! {GIVEAWAY - now closed!!}

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Hello, dear friends!  Good afternoon...
Just want you to know, I'm coming off a very busy and fun-filled weekend.  My brother, Justin, and his girl were married yesterday afternoon. ((yeah!!!)) And - there is still much to savor in the beauty and memories of the day!  Perhaps more, on that another time... because today, we've got other business to attend to!
A couple of weeks ago, now - I mentioned about wanting to host an off-line Mugs & Muffins event. (Please read, about it, HERE!)  Meaning, while I still plan to do the occasional "on-line" version of Mugs & Muffins -  I would like to also host an occasional "real life" event, in which I personally would like to invite - you!  

Here is the part where you need to keep reading... (sigh)!

So... I made this little video,
however, I chickened out - in regards to actually using the video and just typed the original invitation out, instead.

Well... today, I pulled the video back out and yes! this is me...
My first ever video (of myself) on this blog.
Cheers!  Lol!  (I'm sort of embarrassed by it - but oh well.. it is what it is.)

Take a listen and get all excited...oh, and you can laugh at me - if you need to...  because I sure had a good ole chuckle at me-self!  :)  If you must know... I strongly dislike photos of me... let alone... videos.  Anyway...
Here you go!

So.  That was that. And, here is is where it all falls apart... maybe!
As serious as I am about this happening and my desire, is still the same, to do this someday.. I have to tell you - that there has been some further discussion and... well... my hubby isn't 100% on board about this idea.

So. out of love and respect for him I have decided that I want to graciously back out of this plan that I have originally put forth.
I am both sad and disappointed - but, it has been solely my decision to do so.  Truthfully, I'm a bit relieved, it's not happening... due to the fact that there was only  98.999% peace about this idea in my heart.  I could never quite settle the exact time frame this could effectively happen - due to our own personal family's schedule, nor did I feel that I had the adequate space and room to accommodate both ladies and littles with its probability  ... especially, if there were to be multiple of both.  See?  I wrestled with my original suggestion of having to turn people away... I didn't like that.

Now, that I'm rambling... I trust you'll forgive me!  Especially, if you were counting on this.

And... know!
This is not to say that I still won't have an open heart and door, for friendship and fellowship.
Just perhaps not as formal persay.. right now!

Thank you, kindly - for your patience and for your understanding.  I greatly, greatly appreciate it.

For any and all consolation... two things!
We can't have a Mugs & Muffins without this.
How about some "muffins" and a GIVEAWAY?  Yes?!?!?!!

First!!  We'll pass the proverbial plate of these Cranberry White Chocolate Scones around.  It's what I have on hand. :)  Delicious - warm, right out of the oven, paired with your favorite mug (beverage) of choice!
The recipe will follow, here, in a moment.

And, secondly!  Just because!!
I ask you now...

 How about you take a leisurely stroll through my Etsy Shop, then come back here and leave a comment**, of what your favorite item is.  I'll be honest, there is not a lot to choose from - but a few items...handmade by myself.
The winner will be selected at random for ONE single item of their choice - out of the shop!
I am not responsible if an item is sold out from under your nose - during the giveaway!!

This giveaway will close on Friday, May 1st - at 12 noon, EST.  and the winner will be announced thereafter.

** part of your comment - should include this answer (partly to satisfy my curiosity)... This Choice; is this for yourself or do you choose to give this away to someone else!  No right or wrong answers, here, just curious. ;)

This is for US and Canadian residents only.  Best of everything to you!!
UPDATE:  This GIVEAWAY is now closed!!

Here is the recipe, for the scones! 

2 c. flour
1/4 c. sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 c. cold butter
1/2 c. dried cranberries
1/2 c. white chocolate chips
1 c. whipping cream
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Cut in butter until crumbly.  Add cranberries and chocolate chips.  With a fork, rapidly stir in whipping cream, just until moistened.  Turn onto a floured surface and knead 5-6 times.  Roll into 9" circle and cut into 10 wedges.  Place on greased baking sheet and brush with milk.  Sprinkle with sugar.  Bake at 400* for 12-15 minutes 
Enjoy and have a great week!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Five Minute Friday :: hide

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Grateful and excited, today, to share with this great group of writers from Five Minute Friday, who take on just five minutes of time and write all together on a one-word prompt:  Today's prompt is: hide.
Thanks for sticking around to read this today!

Ever wonder why a turtle carries his house around on his back?  
I don't know about you but I kinda like it.  I think it's great!
In fact, I joke - when I say - If I could be anything other than human I'd be turtle.

When a turtle feels threatened; tired; needs shelter, he'll pull all up inside and hide.
The knocks of life can come as hard as they want and Mr. Turtle is safe and sound.

Now this is a normal aptitude for any turtle to take.  Lucky for him.. we say!

And while this may be okay and normal for a turtle to do - we would say that for a human to always "hide" from others, by holing up inside their house; reclusive and unsociable, etc. upon every time there is difficulty in his life...that fight or flight thing... or hide... would be a bit unusual.  Unfortunately, this is probably the norm for more folks than we realize and if I'm completely honest... I know I could just as easily fall into this preference.  Hence, why I have taken on a quiet rapport with turtles. lol! Just suck it all in and up and hide.  Ignore them - maybe they'll go away!!

However.  There is great comfort in knowing we have a perfect reason to reevalute this.
This word hide.
In fact, we've been given an invitation to fully understand this word hide as a form of grace.
In more times than not.. we will need to "hide".
We have Someone who is our shelter -in time of storm!

A Protector.
A Provision.
A Place.
A Person... Jesus Christ!

A protector who's got our back!
Provision - because He's our all in all.
A place wherein to dwell.
A person to fully rely on and completely trust in.

I want to HIDE here..in HIM!!
Turtles do this hiding thing on their own admission but we get to do this because Christ lives within us and we in Him!  And it is truly His grace that keeps us - alive and well!
He invites us to "stay home" and hide.


** The two photos: permission was requested.  They are from my cousin's blog - Nature Posts - which is such a wonderful and informative blog -concerning all things our Creator has made.  Great site for Homeschooling families to glean from and use.  Check it out!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Tending the garden of our heart and mind..

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Recently, I was the winner-recipient of this book in a blogging friend's giveaway!

How thrilled I was to be the winner - in the first place... but, even more so, what a thrill this book has been to read, albeit to say, its been an encouraging, and easy-to-read, uplift to my soul!  I'm still not finished with the book..with several more chapters to go and some I should probably re-read. :)

I mentioned uplifting and encouraging...especially, the chapter I'm in right now.  This chapter, ironically enough, and one I read last evening, is along the same vein to what I've been posting here on my blog the past couple of times I've posted.  Talking about the thoughts we think and how we tend to them...

How about a quote to get us started.
Surprising things can happen to anyone who, when a disagreeable or discouraged thought come into his mind, just has the sense to remember in time to push it out by putting in an agreeable determinedly courageous one.  Two things cannot be in one place.  Where you tend a rose, my lad, a thistle cannot grow.  
~ Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

Ooh, this quote, it gets me!  Where you tend a rose, a thistle cannot grow.  Can I just share a glimpse into this chapter?  It may seem like a lengthy excerpt. but, it's oh so good!
I mean it! I put the book down, last evening, and exhaled a hearty AMEN! Turned out the light and rolled over willing it all to settle in deep.  My hubby who was already asleep -or, so I thought - murmured something about it must have been a good chapter. Yup!  he was right.

I want these words to be such a "part of me".

Here we go... reading a portion from chapter 13 of Nourished, by Becky Johnson and Rachel Randolph

Wise delightful people have beautifully tended minds.  They purposefully cultivate a rich, wise thought life through reading, prayer, good mentoring, music and more ~~ focusing their attention wherever they want to grow...

When we selectively choose thoughts that nourish us ("God is in control," "I can trust HIM to sort this out," "He and I can get through this"), we reap the emotions of peace and joy.  When we are picky about the people we allow into our circle of influence, the music and movies and books we enjoy, the spaces and places we hang out, we are designing the mind garden that will not only nourish ourselves but those around us.
No amount of hard work or success, however, will provide us with a meaningful, joyful and interesting life if allow the weeds in our minds to grow wild; fruitlessly ruminating on past offenses or future concerns; fixating on a person who offended us and creating elaborate speeches of "How They Done Us Wrong"; or putting our joy on hold for some imagined perfect circumstance.

Thoughts can sometimes be deceptive.  They make us feel good for awhile, even righteous and spiritual.  But how do you know if a certain train of thought is a weed or a flower?  Here's my (the author) experience: when my mind settles "on things above" ~~ I tend to feel more relaxed, expansive, loving, peaceful, and clearheaded.  If, instead, after a bit of mental meandering, I feel angry, stressed, tied in knots, worried or afraid ~~ I know my thoughts are likely wild weeds.  It's always easiest to stop a negative thought at the threshold of entry so I've learned to simply say to myself, "Not going there." or "Not planting that."  Pausing the negative string of thoughts helps me to refocus and redirect.

The author goes on to share a bit about her own father...
Listen to this.

My father is one of the kindest, wisest, happiest, most balanced, and Christ-like men I know.  Perhaps it is not surprising that Daddy is also one of those rare men prone to pause and savor a good moment, whether it is listening to rain on the roof, delighting in my mother's ageless charm, getting misty over a line from a song, or hugging his child or grandchild just a few seconds longer than most.  He has lived his life in small moments of perpetual gratitude...
I'm paraphrasing, here, when I add...
This small, yet daily habit of mentally planting and watering blessings will yield an abundant garden of gratitude.

I don't know about you.. but this was an extremely timely word for me right now... in the current season of my life.  I want this to be said of me...
Whether I'm thinking, today, about my spouse, my children, my extended family or even more extensive things... such as church, work & school related situations or social circles - mine or others...

I've been reminded to consider the roots and where they're planted.
With this.. I want to be sure that I realize anew - What I reap, that's what I'll sow.

And, to cultivate (Nourish) it all with a mixture of grace and gratitude.
My mind, my heart.. may they be of fertile soil... for the good!
The truth is... weeds are just as natural in any garden and no one plants them there on purpose.  They're just there...and they must be tended to, just the same.

How does your mind-garden grow??

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