Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Friday, October 31, 2014

Gathering The Moments

Oh, October, how I love you.

We gathered moments with good friends, but somehow I don't have a photo of that time though she does.  You can see them here.    We love this family.

 We began the month with my birthday and a trip to see the changing leaves.

 There was beauty in our own backyard

 We pulled out our flannel sheets and wool blanket throws to cozy up the house.

I delighted in the beauty of this month, and the chance to enjoy the beauty of being outdoors without the heat of summer.

Come Gather the Moments with us at Thinking About Home.  Cheryl is a wonderful hostess.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Event Planning

I am a born event planner.  I can't help myself.  I get ideas, you see, and then we're off!

This Sunday is our annual Fall Fest.  Our family hosts this nearly every year.  We had a rain out year and a year we went to Florida for Tim's mom's 90th birthday, and by doing so missed a freak snow storm in late October.  The event would have been cancelled, if we had been home.

It has grown, the guest list has gotten bigger and we do real hay rides (using a huge trailer and Tim's truck) in our nice farm neighbors (now) empty fields.  Last year it drizzled and after hay rides we all just kind of packed into the house.  We had an apple and pumpkin dessert cook off.  That was fun.

This year, according to the forecast we are having chilly weather but sunshine!  Hurray!  Oh, and this marks our first time having it during the day.  It will be dark by time its over but the main part of it is daytime.  

We'll be having cider, roasting hot dogs and s'mores over the bonfire, hay rides.  Instead of apple bobbing, we'll be hanging donuts for folks to try to eat with their hands behind their backs.  We may have badminton set up.


Tomorrow is the last day of the month and that means that we will be one month away from our Ladies Christmas Tea at church.  This is such a fun event, and our ladies and their guest seem to love it!

Last year, we did silver trees and snowy tablescapes.  

2013 Christmas Tea

2012 Christmas Tea

2011 Christmas Tea

2010 Christmas Tea

One year we did a friendship tea in October.  It was special but the we ladies really like our Christmas tea.

I am not going to share too much here yet, but I have the decor theme and I think I know what we'll share about.  I'm so excited.

Do you like to plan events?  Attend Tea Parties?

A Rhythm To My Days

 I am not a scheduled, organized person.  I don't have a set routine for my days.  Partly this is due to my husbands work schedule, and partly due to how God designed me.  I am very flexible with my daily routines.

This has allowed me to be able to set aside what we are doing and go and help someone, if necessary.  It allows me to volunteer to help a friend move her store, take a day out to shop with my married daughter, go to my friends house for Home Ec (instead of here).  These are examples of what has taken place just this week.

 I had so much fun helping a friend move her store from one building to another just down the street.  Tim helped out too - he and my friends' husband moved all that furniture, and much of the product.  Lindsay and I helped for a few hours on our day out, then went off to lunch and shopping.  It was so fun.

 We stopped by a favorite pottery shop, and drooled over pieces we'd love to have.  We love homemade pottery.

 All that running around meant that the kids had a mini vacation at my parents for two days and one night.  This also meant that I was the only one home to feed the horses.  So as I drove up to the house I stopped by the barn and turned my high beams on. This was about 7 O'clock in the evening.
(Note the wood pile waiting to be chopped)

Yesterday, we did our Home Ec class at our friends' house.  The girls were learning to make wreaths.  It was fun.  

They did a great job.  Sorry about the photos, I use my phone and the lighting wasn't great yesterday as it was a rainy day.

 This morning I took photos of Sarah's wreath

and Rachel's.  Didn't they do a great job?  I love to see their creativity.

This last photos is just for fun.  Rachel tucked her hair up under the hat, and it was amazing to see what it would look like if she cut her hair.  It's cute but a huge change from her long hair!

I like having a flexible rhythm to my days.  It allows me freedom and the ability to be available to serve others, when needed.

Are you a tightly scheduled person?  A free spirit?  A balance of both?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Confessions Of A Tea Drinker

When I was a girl, I loved the idea of tea, as much as I loved all things British.  But tea at our house was Lipton teabags (or tea dust as I like to say) and it wasn't very tasty.

As I got older, I branched out to try different teas but didn't like many of them.  For years I was a black tea drinker.  I liked English Breakfast, and Scottish breakfast.  I tried Darljeeling and liked it, and I like Oolong too.  

A few years ago I tried Chamomile and really liked it.  I keep some in the house all the time, as it can be helpful with upset tummies and little ones like the taste of it.

Over the years I have tried the following:

Earl Grey - I don't like the Bergamot oil in it.
Green Tea - tastes like grass.
African Rooibos - didn't care for it.
Constant Comment - don't care for it.
Anything with the hibiscus flower - no thank you.

I am so picky aren't it?  Or maybe just boring!

My current favorite is Irish Breakfast tea.  I drink it hot or cold, day or night.  It's my go to, and when I feel like it I use my loose leaf organic Irish Breakfast tea that a friend bought for me.

Recently, I have given a few new to me teas a try.  Cheryl gave me Snowflake tea - loose leaf - when she was here.  I sniffed the bag and it smelled wonderful. I made some and guess what?  I really LIKE it!  I also have been enjoying Harvest Pumpkin Spice. 

Another confession (I hope you're ready for this) on a day to day basis I drink out of a mug, and not a tea cup.  I KNOW.  I own like 35 tea cups, but for daily use it's usually a mug for me.  (keep breathing friends, keep breathing!)

Here are some of my tea cups after a tea party.  I used the Waterlogue app to do this.

Well, there are my current tea confessions.  I hope you'll still be my friends.  I am now going to finish my Irish Breakfast tea, drunk out of a red plaid mug.

Fun Ahead

The next several days are going to be fun!  It will be a little break for me from my usual routine.

Tomorrow the kids are going to Grandma and Grandpa's @ Camp Geezer for an overnight.  They will be taking some school work with them, but we are way a head of schedule, anyway.

Tim and I will be helping our friends who own Fresh Vintage, that adorable store in Strasburg.  They are moving to the square in Strasburg - just a short distance from where they currently are.  Tim is going to help do man stuff, and I get to help pack up boxes of treasure for the move!  I am excited.  

Then on Tuesday, Lindsay and I are taking a day out together.  It's part of my birthday fun this month.  We'll get to poke along through bookstores, or antique stores, have tea, lunch, dinner out whatever we choose.

Doesn't that sound like fun?

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Autumn: October's End

Remember this photo from a few weeks ago?

This is what that area looks like now.

The colors, while still beautiful, are not so vibrant now.  They are more russet like, and they will soon be gone.

 I'm so glad I have had this space to sit out and enjoy the beauty of the changing leaves and the cooler weather.

 My Red Sunset Maples in the front yard are beginning to change.  They always provide late season beauty.

 These are the neighbors next to us, and the view beyond them.  Our woods are a part of these woods.

These are the neighbors across the side street from us (we are on a corner).

As we drove to the state park yesterday we could see that while some trees have yet to turn, we would say that our area is past it's peak for changing leaves.  It's amazing the difference a week makes.

How is October looking at your home?

Friday, October 24, 2014

Autumn: A Day Out

It's not often that everything lines up for us to enjoy a trip to a local State Park.  Tim is working second shift these days so that allowed us to head out for a few hours.

 The lovely Susquehanna river.

 Gorgeous October blue skies!

The migrating birds were enjoying the wind that was blowing on this blustery day.  We saw lots of Turkey Vultures, and two Bald Eagles.

After 3 days of rain this week, we were so thankful for the sunshine.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Wedding Planning

I am so pleased to announce that Nate and Kayleigh have set a date for their wedding.  It will be in early fall next year.

We've been looking at dresses.  She is not your traditional bride - she has always dreamed of wearing her favorite color (and mine) RED!  

There are some beautiful red dresses and we know that she'll find just the right one.  She did try on a beautiful white gown with a veil and was so beautiful.  I am encouraging her to wear the color she wants, a bride should not feel disappointed in her gown on her wedding day.

We are busy talking venues, type of reception - a full meal or a dessert bar?  What time of day, how many in your bridal party, etc.

It's fun.  

We are using Pinterest for ideas.  They want their colors to be red (obviously), white, and black.  It will be very pretty together.  There are so many pretty options in this color scheme.

All photos from Pinterest

The wedding is eleven months away.  That is plenty of time to work out the details and get ready.  We are all excited and happy for them.

Disclaimer - None of these are Kayleigh's choices for her wedding, so I am not giving away secrets!  No worries!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Homemade Gifts: From The Heart

Monday I made a quick trip to a local craft store for some sketch books.  In our Home Economics class, I was going to teach the girls about scrapbook journaling, and we needed sketch books.  

I always have to check out the yarn section of the store - I am addicted to fabric and fibers!  

This yarn caught my eye and I bought a skein as it was on clearance.  The colors in the yarn are favorites of several of my girls, and the pattern that came with the yarn was so simple.  I'll share it with you.

Cast on three stitches.  Knit only until you come to the end of the yarn!  That's it.  Three stitches across. The scarf is about three inches wide and about four feet long.

I am having a blast working on these gifts.  It is only 9 weeks until Christmas, so I am glad that I have these projects underway.

I need to finish Kamryn's quilt.  Here is a photo of the fabrics used in her quilt.

I did buy material for a dress for Kamryn also, and I have plans to sew pillow cases as gifts, as well as some new aprons.  

Do you make homemade gifts for family and friends for the holidays or birthdays?  I'd love if you would share your ideas in the comments.  I love to be inspired!


  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. We spent Saturday, doing things around the house, and then we swam. Kyle and Sarah left after that...