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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Saturday's Flowers

I picked up these little "orange tulips" at the grocery store the other day.  I seem to have a weakness for grocery-store-florist-flowers this spring.  Oh well, there are worse things.  I could, for example, be bringing home doughnuts every time I grocery shop.  That would  be worse, right?  {Pausing to consider...}  Oh yes, that has the potential to be waaaaayyyyy worse.  Anyway, I digress...

I love the petal coloration on these tulips -- so pretty!  ENJOY your Saturday!





Playing with the exposure setting in Picnik




















Friday, April 29, 2011

Wouldn't His Mum Be Proud?

What a morning.  Were you awake for it?

At 4 a.m.?  Really?  Whew!  Good for you!

Not me.  I took a look at the Royal Wedding Schedule posted by ABCNews, and realized that Kate wasn't due to arrive at the church until 6:58EST.  That was good enough for me.  I set the alarm for 6:40, but ended up waking up just before that.  In the days leading up to the wedding, there was so much information shared.  As interesting as it all was, I didn't feel the need to get up early and listen to 2 more hours of it before the ceremony even began.  

And so - I was dressed to the nines and in my seat by 6:58.  Okay, I was in my jammies.  Whatever.

My screenshots via ABCNews

It all came flooding back -- memories of Charles and Diana on their wedding day.  My, does William look like his mama!  He even does that thing with his lips -- pressing, pursing -- what ever you want to call it.  But can't you picture it?  It's a Diana-mannerism for sure!

Kate's dress was perfect!  Some likened it to Princess Grace of Monaco's wedding dress - though with a more "current" neckline for sure.  (Princess Grace's wedding was before my time, but I've seen pictures.)  Kate was simply radiant throughout the entire event.  She calmly took in every detail, and had none of the innocence and fragility of Diana.  William was resplendent in his scarlet Irish Guard tunic.  {He holds an honorary position as colonel of the Irish Guards.}

The kiss was a big, big deal.  The news anchors kept talking about it in relation to how happy a couple was, or if their (royal) marriage lasted.  I'm not sure what that really has to do with anything, I mean -- c'mon.  William and Kate, however, set a new trend.  Not one, but TWO kisses on the balcony.  Sweet.

My screenshot via ABCNews - like a picture from a fairytale!
  • Did you watch the wedding today?
  • Did you watch Charles' & Diana's wedding on July 29,1981?  (I did.)
  • Were you a big Diana fan?  (I was!  I had a lot of books about the couple.  The more photos, the better.  I loved to see all of her outfits!)
  • Do you remember where you were when you heard Diana had died?  (I do.  I was in church.  Our pastor referred to it, and I was so shocked - having not seen the news or the newspaper before heading out to church that day.) 

Another day in history...

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Spring Photo Rollover

Go ahead, roll over the photo with your mouse.
Mmmhmm - a little something I learned HERE today.
All the decorator-bloggers do it,
and I just couldn't resist trying it
with some shots of our Pear Tree.


I will probably never again use this feature.
But, I could -- now that I know how easy it is.
That is all.
Have a lovely day.

p.s.  Have you tried something new today?

This just in...
Since I've filed this post under "blogging," I thought I would add some additional "good blogging information."  Have you backed up your blog today?  Yesterday?  How about ever?  Cheryl at "Tidy Mom" tells you how to do it HERE, and it's oh-so-easy!   Thanks Cheryl! 


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

You Capture: Pink

A Pink "Coral Bells" bud
Easter eggs & a pretty cloth napkin
Pink hyacinth
Pink ears on Mom's traditional Easter Bunny cake

If you're "in the pink," come link up & join the fun!
Photobucket

Check this out. (Love it!)
"God didn't bring me this far to leave me."
Check out this free printable that Crystal at "Little Bit Funky" is sharing!


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Some "Joyful" Thoughts

"Be joyful always;
pray continually;
give thanks in all circumstances,
for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
I Thes. 5:16-18

A sweet reminder from a dear friend...

I was also reading James recently, and felt a little (okay, a lot) convicted
when I read verses 2-8 of chapter one.
This is sometimes hard to swallow, but it is from God's Word
-- so let's swallow it together:
 {Red notes are handwritten sermon notes from the margins of my Bible.}

James 1:2-8
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers,
whenever you face trials (inner moral conflicts) of many kinds,
because you know that the testing (proving) of your faith develops perseverance.
Perseverance must finish its work
(never completely finished, just a "stage" completed)
so that you may be mature and complete ("perfect"), not lacking anything.
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God,
who gives generously to all without finding fault,
and it will be given to him.
But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt,
because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea (getting nowhere),
blown and tossed by the wind.
That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord;
he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does."

#1 ooh! Convicted! ~ "when he asks, he must believe and not doubt"
#2 ooh! Convicted! ~ "That man" (who asks, doubting) "should not think he will receive anything from the Lord."


Do you always ask believing?  I'm going to go out on a limb here (they say that's where the FRUIT is!), and tell you that sometimes when I bring a concern before the Lord, I'm bringing it because I've exhausted all of my own efforts.  So, in essence, I'm saying: "Here it is Lord.  I'm finally bringing it to YOU because I can't seem to do anything about it, and therefore, it must be HOPELESS."  Wow - that's pretty magnanimous of me, huh?  Yep.  These verses convicted me for sure.  At that point, I don't think I'm really believing that God can do anything about it either.  Another lie fed to me by you-know-who.  (And, can I just say: one that can really suck the "joy" out of your day!)

I've got some "big ticket items" on my prayer list lately, and I'm just going to hand them all over right now.  I don't think God wants me to exhaust my efforts, and then give everything to Him.  What do YOU think?


Monday, April 25, 2011

May Your Cup Overflow

Inspiring Ideas

A few days ago, I was visiting Jeanne Winters' ETSY shop.

Something led me to her BLOG, where I found a contest to WIN one of her prints!  I entered of course.  At the time, there were only 25 entries, and I thought I'd have a good chance of winning.  Still, I was so shocked to receive Jeanne's message saying that I had indeed won.

How does a girl choose?  I mean, did you see all of the great options?  I decided on this one:


It struck me as soon as I saw this, that it had the "overflowing" theme of my blog.  So, I couldn't resist.  I have to say THIS ONE was also speaking to me, but I went with my first choice. Thank you, Jeanne!

Which one is your favorite?


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!


He is risen!
He is risen indeed!





Saturday, April 23, 2011

Speak Up!

I am not a fan of confrontation -- in any form.  Conflict stresses me out.  I have learned in recent years to let certain things go -- that they are not battles worth fighting.  But, I have also learned that there are things we should speak up about.  These things may even seem petty at the time, but in the "big picture" they are, well, BIG.


Today, as I was working on my blog, I noticed an ad at the bottom of my Feedjit live traffic feed.  I won't even post the words that were in the ad, since I don't want to be sp*mmed over it.  Let's just say it was offensive in a faith-related way.  At any rate, I wanted to do something about it.  I didn't want people who chose to visit my blog to be offended by the ad.

So, I contacted Feedjit.

I said:  
  • I was not happy to see this ad on my blog.
  • What can I do to assure that I will not see it in the future?
  • Thank you for your kind attention to this matter.

Within hours, I received a response from the Feedjit Founder and CEO that said, "We have received several complaints about this ad and are taking steps to prevent this from occurring in future.  Thanks very much for your feedback.  Kind regards..."
    Thank you Feedjit
    for communicating well,
    for handling my concerns professionally,
    and for "hearing" me.


    Friday, April 22, 2011

    A Hymn: One Day

    During my high school and college days, I would "request" this song regularly when we had the opportunity to request hymns during Sunday evening worship.  It's still a favorite! 

    One day when heaven was filled with His praises,
    One day when sin was as black as could be,
    Jesus came forth to be born of a virgin --
    Dwelt among men, my example is He!

    CHORUS:
    Living, He loved me; dying, He saved me;
    Buried, He carried my sins far away;
    Rising, He justified freely forever:
    One day He's coming -- O glorious day!

    One day they led Him up Calvary's mountain,
    One day they nailed Him to die on the tree;
    Suffering anguish, despised and rejected;
    Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He.

    One day they left Him alone in the garden,
    One day He rested, from suffering free;
    Angels came down o'er His tomb to keep vigil;
    Hope of the hopeless, my Savior is He.

    One day the grave could conceal Him no longer,
    One day the stone rolled away from the door;
    Then He arose, over death He had conquered;
    Now is ascended, my Lord evermore.

    One day the trumpet will sound for His coming,
    One day the skies with His glory will shine;
    Wonderful day, my beloved ones bringing;
    Glorious Savior, this Jesus is mine! 






      Thursday, April 21, 2011

      4/21/11 Daybook #3

      ~ For Today ~

      Outside my window...
      the sun is shining!

      I am thinking...
      how hard it is to accept "NO" answers to prayer.
      However, a closed door does give clear direction
      in and of itself.

      I am thankful for...
      friendships that stand the test of time.

      From the kitchen...
      The kids just finished making their lunches,
      and I'm wondering what I'll eat ...

      I am creating...
      a new blog for the summer day camp at our church.
      We'll use it to help keep parents informed.

      I am wearing...
      bare feet, jeans, and an old navy american flag t-shirt from 2003.
      (They don't make them like they did in 2003!)

      I am going...
      no place today.
      Oh how I love days with no commitments! 

      I am reading...
      Take Two by Karen Kingsbury. 

      On my mind...
      rearranging things on the walls & waiting for a delivery.
      Disappointment.  God is in control.
      I have great kids, and an awesome husband. 

      Around the house...
      the closet door came off its track.  Oy.

      One of my favorite things...
      watching the black-capped chickadees flit around our yard.

      A few plans for the rest of the week...
      lots of "routine" things are canceled for Holy Week.
      Looking forward to Easter dinner at my parents.




      Wednesday, April 20, 2011

      You Capture: Spring

      Forsythia

      "Spring"


      Wee Bit Wednesday {3}

      {one} how often do you do laundry?
      I go in spurts.  Some people have a "laundry day."
      Around here, I do it whenever I can, and try to keep up.

      {two} what is your favorite type of cookie?
      I would have to say... iced sugar cookies,
      but ask me again tomorrow.
      My answer may be different.

      {three} what would you do with an extra $2000 per month?
      home improvement projects.

      {four} what was your favorite subject in school?
      home ec.

      {five} have you ever ridden in a hot air balloon?
      no, but I would love to one day.
      Even more than that, I would love the opportunity
      to take pictures in a field of hot air balloons! 

      {six} what was your high school mascot?
      We were the "Royals," and on paper, our mascot
      was a lion.  But, we didn't have someone dressed up
      in a lion's costume walking around at games or anything. 

      {seven} if you had the chance to go into space, would you?
      not a chance.
      I almost got sick on "Mission Space" at WDW.
      There's no way I could handle the real thing! 

      {eight} how often do you go dancing?
      as often as we are invited to a wedding reception where there is dancing.

      {nine} would you rather drive or fly?
      This is a tricky question.  I love to fly,
      but the real adventures (where you see things along the way)
      are on the ground!
      I guess it would depend on the destination, and time frame. 

      {ten} have you ever been caught re-gifting?
      No.


      Tuesday, April 19, 2011

      Dancing With the Stars!

      The Top Ten Reasons Why I Love "Dancing with the Stars."
      (in no particular order)
      1. Bruno is so passionate and expressive that he can't help but stand up when it's his turn to pronounce his judgement.
      2. The audience "boos" Len.  Sometimes that man just needs to be BOOed!
      3. Carrie Ann isn't afraid to "call out" the men when they've made a bad call.
      4. My daughter loves to watch the show with me.
      5. Hines Ward - Love that smile! (My daughter is cheering for him because she's a Steelers fan.)
      6. You never know what witticism Tom Berjeron might come up with next.
      7. There is such great camaraderie amongst DWTS alumni.  So many of them show up to cheer the "newbies" on!
      8. Len is so embarrassed by Bruno, and often turns away when he speaks.  I think he's afraid of Bruno's wild hip-action, too!
      9. Maks & Kirstie - Did DWTS pair them well, or what?
      10. It is proof that everybody can't be good at everything!

      Got a Top Ten list your dying to share?
      Click here & link up!
      Top Ten {Tuesday}

      And here's a bit of trivia -
      for those of you SEARCHING for the answer...
      The name of the trophy-cup for the winners is:
      THE MIRROR BALL TROPHY.


      Monday, April 18, 2011

      A Bird Tale

      Since we home school at the kitchen table, we are able to do a lot of bird-watching through the sliding glass door, and out into our back yard.

      Recently, we noticed black-capped chickadees checking out the birdhouse in the little rose garden next to our patio.  A garden obelisk stands beside the birdhouse, which is perched on a water pipe over our well.  The birds would fly to the obelisk, and one would enter the birdhouse, while the other waited.  Back and forth they would go.  It was so entertaining to watch.  Finally it seemed that their loan had been approved, and they started to move in.

      Yesterday, I was out in the garden snapping pictures after the rain, and I heard a soft but quick knocking.  I thought for a moment that my family was playing a little trick on me from inside the house (not that they would do such a thing...) - so I pretended not to notice.  But then curiosity got the best of me.  I soon realized that the knocking was the chickadees -- hard at work inside their house!!

      Well, today, the wind tore the house off the water pipe.  I wondered what the birds would do -- if they would return when I righted the house.  I took an old garden chair that we use for display-only in the garden, and sat it right next to the water pipe.  I then placed the birdhouse on the chair, and attached it with fishing line - around, and around, and around.  That house isn't going anywhere.  The chair would blow away first!


      Then, it was a waiting game.   But it didn't take long.  I went inside, and was tidying up in the kitchen when I saw one of the chickadees on the obelisk.  Honestly, I just stood there and smiled while he tilted his head back and forth in wonderment.  Then he flew inside.  I say "he."  I'm assuming it was the male checking things out first.  Then came the female.


      Next thing I knew there was that soft knocking again.  I'm sure it was the mama, hard at work fixing her toppled nest.  The daddy sat in our lilac bush and waited.  I'm sure she had kicked him out while she fussed.

      What have you been taking note of this spring?

      Check this out. (Love it!)
      Here's a great post by Melissa (from The Inspired Room) about creating a home that reflects our blessings.  Melissa has such great style, and always shares awesome decorating ideas.


      Sunday, April 17, 2011

      Always

      It seems like just yesterday that we drove northward for my Great Aunt Ruth's 90th birthday dinner and celebration.  But, in a few weeks, she will be 94.  She was born in 1917, and is the last of 5 siblings (born 1909-1917), three of whom grew to adulthood (including my maternal grandma).  We visited Ruth recently, and I was struck (once again) by how she never changes.  She is one of the most consistent people I know -- her lifestyle, her positive attitude, and her graciousness as a hostess are always a constant.  We always say that her positive attitude has kept her young!

      • She is ab-so-lute-ly always positive.  Her glass is always half-full or FULL.
      • She always keeps her apartment neat and tidy --a place for everything, and everything in it's place.
      • She always has beautiful silk flower arrangements decorating her apartment -- according to the season.
      • She always is careful about what she buys or saves, because she lives in an apartment, and has limited storage.
      • She always keeps sweet mementos.
      • She always crocheted afghans for us through the years - and everyone in the family has at least one afghan handmade with love.  She would often ask if anyone needed an afghan, because she wanted to stay busy crocheting!  She is currently at work on a difficult rainbow patterned afghan.
      Ruth and my mom - puzzling over an afghan pattern.
      • She is always the hostess with the most-est.
      • She always insists that she will sleep on the couch so that all of her guests can be comfy.  We've tried to argue, and truly -- it gets us nowhere.
      • She always cooks a great meal for us when we visit.  I LOVE how she combines old family favorites with new recipes -- always resulting in a great meal.
      Serving up an amazing meal just minutes after we arrived!
      • She always tells us stories of the past as if they were just yesterday.  I have learned more about my heritage from her than from any other single person.
      • She has always proudly kept her big brother's photograph on her night table... How sweet is that?
      My Great Uncle in his police uniform.
      • She always thinks the best of people, and gives them the benefit of the doubt.
      • She always remembers people fondly, and has loads of memories stored away. 
      Me and my mom with Ruth.  We took scrapbooks to share with her.
      • She has always been one of the best role-models a girl could hope for.

          Sit Relax and Read

          When I think about my Aunt Ruth, I often think of one of the favorite gifts that I ever received from her.  She always wore Chantilly perfume - and I loved her fragrant hugs.  One year for Christmas, she gave me a sweet little pink compact filled with Chantilly solid perfume.  I was a pre-teen, and it made me feel SO grown up!




          Saturday, April 16, 2011

          After the Rain

          Today began with a hard morning rain.
          By mid-afternoon, the sun was out, and all of the flowers were rain-soaked.
          This is a close-up of teeny tiny flowers on a Brunnera plant
          (also known as False Forget-Me-Not).
          They are still glistening from the rain.




          Check this out. (Love it!)
          • Love this cool Easter Subway Art created by Chessa at "Antsi-Pants."  It is easily downloaded, and you can choose from three color combinations.
          • And how about this "Amazing Grace" Easter printable from Madigan at "Madigan Made?"  It's subtle yet beautiful.  Again - easily downloaded.


          Monday, April 11, 2011

          Decoupage 101 - No Rules

          So, here's my story.

          In tidying up the basement the other day, I found a collection of old books - including an old hymnal that came from my grandparents' home.  I didn't find any dates in the hymnal - but it's an oldie!  (Original cost for cloth bound hymnal = 35 cents!)

          My thought was that it would be nice to have that hymnal represented in some way in our home without the book itself (which was falling apart) laying around to be further ruined.  How to make it a keepsake? - that was the question.  It had been in hiding too long.  What was the point of keeping it hidden away?

          I also noticed a melamine Christmas plate that hadn't been put away with the other Christmas items.

          I wondered if I could combine the two items, and make a decorative plate with a "nod" to some great hymns.  Here's what I started with:
          • a 10" square melamine plate
          • an old hymnal w/ yellowed & tattered pages
          • Modge Podge (matte finish)
          • a foam brush

          I started by tearing out parts of key hymns that I knew
          and wanted to include on the front of the plate.
          I set those aside.


          Then, I used scraps, and pages with unknown songs
          to decoupage the border of the plate.
          (Good-bye Christmas reindeer!)


          Once the border was covered, I added the chosen pages
          (from above).


          I've decided to cover the front and back of the plate in case it would be seen from the back.  (I have a plate stand in mind.)   It doesn't matter so much what is around the edges or on the back -- so I can use the random leftover pieces.


           Here's the (almost) final product in the plate stand.
          As I was taking pictures, I realized I have a few
          odd little spots to cover.

          I'm thinking about adding a touch of color somewhere on the plate.
          Perhaps a little cluster of buttons?
          Any suggestions?

          Fox Hollow CottageThirty Hand Made DaysPhotobucket
          Good Life WednesdaysAll Things Heart and Home


          Daffodils on Monday

          We had a warm weekend around here, and all of a sudden the daffodils (which have been waiting patiently) burst open -- all at the same time.  I am always struck by all of the small variations in daffodils.  Some are frilly, and some are more streamlined.  Some are monochromatic, while others boast a variety of colors on one flower.  They are all gorgeous - and one of my spring-time favorites!




            
          What are your spring-time favorites?  Do tell.

          p.s. ~ There are now TWO eggs in the nest!  See them?



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