Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

Give thanks with a grateful heart 1 Thessalonians 5:18 In our busy and demanding lives, it’s easy to focus on our challenges and overlook all our blessings. When we focus on all the positive things in our lives, we will find more joy, satisfaction, and happiness. Our lives will take on greater meaning and our hearts will be filled with love and gratitude. Let this bible verse print be your reminder to give thanks with a grateful heart. #givethanks


Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends, and to all my other friends; I hope you have a wonderful day, too!  I'd like to tell you all how much it means to me to have you visit here, and comment.  The friendships are special to me, and I am so thankful for each of you!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Thanksgiving Prep

Today is my day to prepare for our Thanksgiving meal tomorrow.   I'll be making a pie or two, deciding on which veggie dishes I'm going to make, and then this evening, I'll put our big turkey on to slow roast.

We've been in celebration mode since last week.  Our friends Rick and Jane were here until Monday morning, and Emma, Vinnie, and Isla surprised us on Saturday by showing up four days early!  So fun!

 Kamryn and cousin Isla

 Klaire and Isla enjoying each other.  Everytime they see each other they are fascinated with each other.  The evening these photos were taken we laughed because it seemed as if they were having their own conversations.  So cute!

Couch pile of people.  It delights me that my people really like each other!

I hope you and your family and friends, have a wonderful Thanksgiving!  I am so thankful for all of you who read here and find Hospitality, Friendship, and Encouragement here!

As an interesting side note - I read this week on an Instagram feed that more and more people in the UK are celebrating Thanksgiving.  I found this article about it (written two years ago) and find it fascinating - Brits-giving

Do any of my friends from the UK who read here celebrate along with us?  

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Thanksgiving Centerpiece

I gathered up my glass pumpkins, a few candle holders, and some natural elements and made the centerpiece for our Thanksgiving meal.

I'm happy with how it turned out, and it leaves plenty of room for the place settings.  We're going to have 13 people at our Thanksgiving meal, so we will use our benches on the sides of the table and put two people on each end and we'll all fit around the table comfortably.

I'm enjoying these days of preparing for this special day of giving thanks.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Thanksgiving Week

My heart is full this Monday morning, as I begin Thanksgiving week.

I was reading this morning in Matthew 6 - "Do not worry."  Jesus tells us that if God so cares for the sparrows, won't he much more care for us? "Aren't you more valuable that they are?" He says.

I'm reminded of all the ways that God has provided for me, the things that I need and people in my life to encourage me.

I'm thinking the list is endless of all the blessings God has given.  As my friend Jane and I were talking this morning before they left for New Hampshire, she shared an old hymn with me that had been a reminder and encouragement to her.

In Heavenly Love Abiding

  1. In heav’nly love abiding,
    No change my heart shall fear;
    And safe is such confiding,
    For nothing changes here.
    The storm may roar without me,
    My heart may low be laid,
    But God is round about me,
    And can I be dismayed?
  2. Wherever He may guide me,
    No want shall turn me back;
    My Shepherd is beside me,
    And nothing can I lack.
    His wisdom ever waketh,
    His sight is never dim;
    He knows the way He taketh,
    And I will walk with Him.
  3. Green pastures are before me,
    Which yet I have not seen;
    Bright skies will soon be o’er me,
    Where darkest clouds have been.
    My hope I cannot measure,
    My path to life is free;
    My Savior has my treasure,
    And He will walk with me.

Anna L. Waring

Such great truths.  My prayer is that we will keep our eyes on the one to Whom we owe so much and to whom all our praise and Thanksgiving flows.

I hope your day is filled with good things.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Saturday Sunrise

                                                          photo credit - Jane Soyars

We are enjoying a wonderful visit with our friends Rick and Jane.  

Tomorrow after church we are having a Thanksgiving dinner.  I am slow roasting a turkey overnight, and will slice the meat up and put it in my crock pot to keep it hot during church.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Christmas Stockings from Pottery Barn Kids

Many years ago, I was shopping in the Pottery Barn Kids outlet and found some sweet Christmas stockings.  My three youngest didn't have nice ones, so I bought them each a quilted stocking with sweet red gingham at the top.  

When Kamryn came along I bought one for her.  Now we have two more granddaughters, so of course they need their cute stockings.

This is the one I ordered for Klaire - 

Angel Quilted Stocking

And this one is Isla's pattern.
Angel Kitty Quilted Stocking
They are so cute and it will be fun to fill them with sweet things for Christmas Eve!

Do you have special stockings for Christmas? When do you open your stockings? 

Thanksgiving Menu

We are pretty traditional when it comes to our Thanksgiving meal.  Turkey, of course, gravy, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, stuffing.  Sometimes sweet potatoes.  Sometimes rolls.  Pies, pumpkin roll.  

We all contribute, and enjoy the meal together.  Since I've been eating the Trim Healthy Mama way, I've chosen to not eat the potatoes or the stuffing and rolls.  I usually make a few more veggie dishes that I can eat along with my turkey and gravy, and green beans. 

This year I am going to try Zucchini au gratin.  

I'm also thinking of making this - 


I also might make some chocolate pudding using the pudding recipe from this recipe -

This easy No Bake Chocolate Cream Pie is a treat for Trim Healthy Mama fans, low-carb and sugar free plans. It's an easy no bake recipe!

My mom usually makes a low carb pumpkin roll so we'll enjoy that, too!

If you'd like to make a Perfect Everytime Turkey, click on the link to find out how to do it!  It's so amazing and easy!

Do you have any special dietary restrictions?  Make any special treats at the holidays?

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

I Went To Work With Tim Today

Its not often that everything lines up just right and I can head out with Tim for an inspection.

This area is where the lid for the septic tank is and on the other side of this bush is where the inspection port is.  The lid was 6 inches under the ground and had to be dug up.  Tim is careful to put things back better than he found them.

See the lovely rhododendron?  It had to be cut down and the roots dug up because the roots were damaging the septic tank.  

Tim works hard every day, regardless of the weather.  Thankful for a sunny, though chilly day.  He said he took his jacket off because he had gotten hot working with it on!

The home owner was thrilled that the system passed the inspection, as he is selling this home.

What did I do?  I texted clients for him, and made a few calls.  Mostly I went because he asked me to come along. 

Do you ever go along with your husband when he's working?

Monday, November 13, 2017

Six Weeks 'Til Christmas: My method of Gift Giving

I found this on Pinterest several years ago, when we were paring down our gift giving.  With so many family members it was getting out of hand!

I really like these four categories.  You could chose your own categories, the idea is to give less, but more thoughtful gifts.  The gifts don't have to be expensive either.  Some of our favorite gifts have come from thrift stores!

For Kyle's something you want I bought him a game.  He'd seen when we were out shopping, so I new he'd like it. For his something you wear I could get him a fun tshirt.  Get the idea?

So easy.  I've seen some of these with something to eat which would be fun as well!

How do you go about your gift giving?

Family Weekend

Photo taken by Kyle 😊

Late night photo, weary travelers, family.  We haven't been all together in two years.

When some family live 15 hours away and other family live on a different continent, its a blessing and a joy to be together, even for a few hours.

We were missing Tim's sister Virginia.

We had a wonderful weekend of family time.  Laughter, singing, joy.

Thankful for these dear ones.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Scenes From My Week

Today we're headed to Tim's brother's home for brunch with the extended family, then a running a few errands and then home to prepare for our Texas friends!

Due to health issues with Tim's sister's mother in law in New York, they are headed up this weekend instead of mid-week, and so they'll be here tomorrow rather than Wednesday.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!  

Friday, November 10, 2017

Hospitality:Preparing For Guests

I'm never happier than when we are hosting family or friends.  It's a joy to care for people when they are in our home, and we've got a lot of guests coming in the next few weeks.

Be our guest 12x24 farmhouse wood sign. Perfect for guest rooms

We are having sweet friends, who've become family,  coming for dinner on Saturday night, Tim's sister and her husband are coming to stay overnight on their way to New York for Thanksgiving and hunting, then other friends who are family - do you have friends like this?  Aren't they the best kind? - will be here that next day to stay for four days on their way to New England for Thanksgiving.  Then the day after they leave, Emma, Vinnie and Isla will be coming up for Thanksgiving.  I'm not certain whether they'll be staying here or at Lindsay and Joseph's yet.  Its up to them.

So the cottage will be hopping with comings and goings and I'm so excited!

   An Ornament to a House
are the Guests
who frequent it

Ralph Waldo Emerson

I love this quote, don't you?

We don't have a guest room, but we do have a very nice space that we set up downstairs when we are having guests.  We have comfy beds and a warm woodstove for keeping people comfy.  Its a really nice space to sleep in.

I'll be stocking up some special treats, and making sure there are plenty of nice things to drink, too. This time of year its fun to have hot cider, eggnog, special teas, and hot cocoa on hand. I always check for any food allergies, or preferences.  

I'll likely have some small gifts, because we won't see most of our guests at Christmas. Ornaments, small pillows, local made candies, or candles make wonderful gifts.  


Thursday, November 9, 2017

Home Keeping: Living Room Rearrangement

Okay, you know how thinking about one thing, can lead to another thing?

I've been thinking about the holidays and one of the big things every year is where to put the Christmas tree.  I always have to rearrange furniture, which is fine with me since I love to rearrange.

You can guess what's coming, right?

A total room rearrangement this afternoon.  You can see how it was arranged in this post.  

Of course, this is just a peek at the rearrangement because I have some wall decor to rearrange before I show you more.

I really like it.  I think the bookcase looks better on the shorter wall.  It looked a bit small for the long wall.  I'm happy with the changes.  Hopefully I'll get to the walls tomorrow, but we have co-op so no promises for tomorrow, but maybe Friday.

What do you think about the layout and arrangement?  Do you move furniture around like I do?  Sarah told me today that when she gets her own house she is not going to move things around very much. "Once I find a good place for everything, its going to stay there."  She takes after her Grammy in this way! (smile)

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

What I'm Wearing Now That Cold Weather Has Arrived

After a mild summer, and a warm autumn, cold weather has arrived!  Its going to be chilly most days this week, and very cold overnight, with an expected high temperature of 36 on Friday!  

Its been crazy to try to figure out what to wear, since the autumn temps were unseasonably warm.  It would have felt odd to wear sweaters, scarves and boots with the temps they way they were.  That is now not an issue.

My current wardrobe is pretty casual - 

I have three long sleeve knit dresses, four short sleeve dresses (I can wear these with cardigans) several skirts, 4 pairs of jeans (one black, 2 darker blue and 1 olive green), two long sleeve tees, four cardigans.  I have three pairs of leggings, to wear with the dresses.  I have a long, thick grey sweater (purchased from Costco several years ago), a denim jacket, a navy blue quilted field jacket, and I think I still have a short grey peacoat style jacket.

For shoes I'm wearing my slip on Skechers, black booties, black tall boots most of the time. I have a pair of black, faux fur lined, ugg style boots.

All of my things mix and match, like a good basic capsule wardrobe should.

Here are things I have - 

product photo

This is from Old Navy.  I'm short so on me it hits at the knee and I'm wearing it with leggings.  I have this in a dark green also.

Plus Size Signature Fit Skinny Leg Jeans

These jeans are great and are from Dress Barn.  They have some stretch in them and wear great without losing their shape!  I also never wear my shirts tucked in - with my body shape that is not a good look for me!

Here I am in my jean jacket (Old Navy) and one of my short sleeved knit dresses (also Old Navy).  I can 'cold weather this up' by adding a scarf, leggings and boots.

What are you wearing for the cold weather?  Any favorites you want to share with us?

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Precious In The Sight Of The Lord

  'Precious in the sight of the Lord, is the death of His saints.'
Psalm 116:15

My heart is grieved at the death of people who were in their place of worship.  I know that God was with them during that time, and will be with those who are left.  Half the members of this church are gone. Eight people from one extended family are gone.  We know they are with the Lord, but for their loved ones they will be dearly and deeply missed.

Praying for our nation, and the world.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Hearth and Hand

So did you go to Target for the opening of Chip and Joanna Gaines' Hearth and Hand line?

We had our fall fest so I wasn't able to go but my instagram feed is full of all kinds of folks who went to their local Target stores!

I saw some adorable things online this week from the Hearth and Home line and here are a few of them - 

Pretty vases

Great pillows

Dreamy Dollhouse!

I have a thing for great lanterns


This cocoa pot 😍

These kitchen towels
Wreath Kitchen Towel Set (2pk) - Cream/Red - Hearth & Hand™ with Magnolia

These adorable wooden houses

I can't wait to go see the collection in the store.  So many great things!

What do you think?  What are some of your favorites?

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Fall Fest

Our annual Fall Fest was supposed to be last Sunday but we were rained out.  The forecast early in the week was not looking good for this Sunday either, but that has changed and it looks as if its going to be clear and mild.  

Not sure how many people will be here, since the date had to change but we'll have fun anyway.  

We'll be busy with preparations today, and then the FF on Sunday.  I'll be sure to get some photos and share them with you all on Monday!

Happy Weekend!