Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Friday, October 30, 2015

Late Autumn Morning

My Red Sunset Maple in the front yard! So beautiful!

I'm headed out to get groceries and to buy the hot dogs and buns for our Fall Fest on Sunday.  We'll be roasting them over a campfire, and having all kinds of fun - hay rides, an outdoor viewing of A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, a candy toss.

I'm wanting to string lights in these trees and have some tables and chairs set under them.  It's going to be a good time!  If I don't post on the weekend you'll know why, but I promise photos and a full report on Monday!

Have a great weekend!  Sunday is November 1st already! 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

We're On A Roll

When Nate and Kay got married, the officiant told me that I should do weddings professionally.  I appreciated that compliment!   

I've never understood the idea that a wedding takes a year or more to plan, and has to cost tons of money.  We don't roll like that around here.  In the two family weddings we've done so far, both brides found their dresses off the rack and only needed a few minor alterationsI know finding a dress can be the biggest issue, but there are a lot of resources out there, and sometimes you just have to think outside the box.

I am happy to report here that we have found Emma's dress!  It needs a few alterations, mainly for length, but that is very doable.

Our friend Amy is designing the invitations.  She has done all the invitations for the weddings in our family.  Once the design is finished we have gone to Staples to have them printed, and maybe using Costco this time.  They are both very affordable and were easy to work with.

My friend Susan has graciously offered to help with flowers again, so we will meet with her soon to talk about design and colors.

We need to find a location because our church isn't big enough.  I am thinking we won't have too much trouble as the wedding is not on a weekend.

Which brings me to another 'out of the box' way of thinking.  When did we come to Fridays, Saturdays, and now Sundays for weddings?  It must have originated when most people had weekends off from work.  Now people work all the time and their days off can be in the middle of the week, etc.  If all your guests are mainly local why not do a weekday evening?  In our case, it is during the holidays and the out of town guests will be able to make it.  The wedding is on a Tuesday evening.  Did you know that venues are less expensive if they are not used on weekends?  One place we are considering the difference is a thousand dollars!

That is a no brainer for us.

Because it is an evening wedding we'll be doing desserts for the reception, along with a wedding cake, coffee, tea and punch.  Simple, but what will make it nice is the way it is set up.
With each of our kids' weddings so far, we've been able to make the unique and individual to the couple.  That makes it fun for me, no two alike here!
                                    From Pinterest.  This is not Emma's cake!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Wedding Planning

My kids mentioned to me this summer, "If Emma and Vinnie get married next year, you'll have three weddings in three years!" However, Tim and I took Vinnie and Emma to dinner last night, to celebrate and talk wedding plans.  As we talked, we realized that with everyones schedule, including having an aunt and uncle home from Africa, school friends on break, his dad who is a teacher is off for the holidays, etc, it would be better timing to have the wedding in late December rather than later in January

It's an amazing time in our family's life.

So three weddings in two years, and four months between two of them!  

Let that sink in a minute.

Good thing I love this kind of stuff!

It will be an evening wedding, which will be beautiful in winter.  Think soft lighting, greenery, crimson.
The two weeks of Christmas and New Year's are always full of celebration for us, with Tim's birthday on Christmas Eve, Lindsay's on New Year's Day, and our anniversary on January 2nd.  What's one more event?

It'll be a busy time her in the next 9 weeks, but we will enjoy it and it will be beautiful! This wedding will just add to the Christmas joy!

I've been looking at Pinterest and their are so many wonderful for a winter wedding.




Monday, October 26, 2015

They're Engaged!

The call came a week or two ago, from Vinnie to Tim.  A text  message to Tim to me, "What size ring does Emma wear?"  Ahhh!

When Vinnie came last Thursday, the secret watch was on by the family.  They came home from lunch after arriving in Philly.  We all sneak a peak at her finger.  No ring.

They went to the flashlight maze at the corn maze she and Lindsay used to work at, they came home, we glance at the finger.  No ring.

I kept getting text messages from family,

 "Anything exciting happening over there?"

"Is Vinnie gonna propose to her today?"

The anticipation was killing everyone!
They went to Hershey Park for the afternoon and evening.  Home.  No ring.

We go on a beautiful hike yesterday, lots of opportunity in a beautiful place.  No ring.

 I borrowed her photo from the hike yesterday
They go out to Target last night with a stop by Starbucks for a coffee.  They go outside to drink it and he drops to one knee and proposes!!!

 Her text photo that I cropped and edited!
Text messages, photos and then finally they arrive back at home! Now we can look at her finger openly, and enjoy seeing her ring on her finger!
 Late evening, poor lighting, happy couple

 Her ring suits her so well.  It's beautiful and feminine.

It's a happy, exciting time here at the Cottage!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

It's A Beautiful Morning (Keeping My Eyes On The ONE)

This autumn the foliage is not so vivid as other years, but it is still so beautiful.  I'm thankful for this view every day.

Vinnie is visiting....
 They're pretty cute, aren't they?

 I'm thankful for the chance to pray for my great nephews while knitting for them.  This is the second hat that is finished, and I have begun casting on the third.

I have some friends with health issues that I have been praying for, and reading about Joey.

I'm heartbroken for them, but thank God for the words that Rory has written.  I'm heartbroken for the direction our government has gone, and for the 'blindness' that has come to our nation.

I am choosing everyday to walk with the ONE who knows it all and holds the future in His hands.  I will grieve losses of both lives lost and freedoms.

This is a song that Tim has been using in his time with the Lord - the lyrics help me to remember that this life is not all there is.  It can be sweet , but the real living is in the time to come.

Bless the Lord oh my soul
Oh my soul
Worship His Holy name
Sing like never before
Oh my soul
I'll worship Your Holy name

The sun comes up
It's a new day dawning
It's time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass
And whatever lies before me
Let me be singing
When the evening comes

Bless the Lord oh my soul
Oh my soul
Worship His Holy name
Sing like never before
Oh my soul
I'll worship Your Holy name

You're rich in love
And You're slow to anger
Your name is great
And Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness
I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons
For my heart to find

Bless the Lord oh my soul
Oh my soul
Worship His Holy name
Sing like never before
Oh my soul
I'll worship Your Holy name
Bless You Lord

And on that day
When my strength is failing
The end draws near
And my time has come
Still my soul will
Sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years
And then forevermore


Bless the Lord oh my soul
Oh my soul
Worship His Holy name
Sing like never before
Oh my soul
I'll worship Your Holy name

Bless the Lord oh my soul
Oh my soul
Worship His Holy name
Sing like never before
Oh my soul
I'll worship Your Holy name
I'll worship Your Holy name
Jesus I will worship Your Holy name
Sing like never before
Oh my soul
I'll worship your holy name

Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Feeding Horses

I am not the usual feeder of the horses but I do it sometimes.  The other evening Kamryn was here, and since she is an animal lover I took her out with me to feed Sandy and Cheyenne.

 I love the evening light and how it fades quickly at this time of year!

Kamryn is a busy girl and loves to help.  

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Computer Issues

My Macbook is having issues for the first time ever!  (sniff)

I was using it in the afternoon yesterday, reading Susan Branch's blog and dowloaded a few free stationary items.  Then all of the sudden it wouldn't open any links, just sent it all to the offline reader.  And it wouldn't type normally.  (sob)

Do any of you use Macs and do you have ideas of what to do?  I can talk it to my local Apple Store but if I didn't have to do that, that would be wonderful.

I am using the regular pc and I downloaded all kinds of cute photos and videos of Kamryn helping me feed horses the other night and this computer shows them as downloaded but when I go to pull one up to load it, it shows no photos or videos at all!  (Argh!)

So a boring blog post today, but I'm hoping someone can help me!

Judith, has this ever happened to you?      

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Garden: Longwood

There is so much beauty at Longwood.  Every where you look is something interesting.

 Becky, Georgia, Bonnie and I met for lunch and then went to Longwood together.  It was a really nice day, and I'm glad we got to spend it together.

 The trees are so beautiful.

We walked down toward the Italian Water Garden.  That is one of my favorite areas in spite of the fountains being turned off at this time of year.

Then we walked up to the brick walk.  This walk is different all through the year.  They change out the plants seasonally, but it's always beautiful and interesting.
 Right now they have a lot of tall plants like the Cannas (in different colors) and also a lot of plants in the mint family, and lots of Dahlias, too.

  I was using my phone camera so sometimes the focus is off and I couldn't always get the right color, so I've played with the editing on some of them a bit.  The colors are so amazing in person!  I love gardens and plants and love to see the creative way that Longwood puts their plantings together!

 This is a nice area at the end of the brick walk.  The plantings are very different in here.  They seem like plants that would thrive in a more arid climate.  There were also nice benches to sit on.  
You can see in some of the photos that the sky was cloudy.  It was a breezy day and chilly!

Up to the Conservatory where I couldn't wait to see photos of the Fountain area.  I had heard about this project and it is going to be amazing when it is done.  It will be 2017 before it is completed.

 I took this panoramic photo of this space.  There is no curve in the railing in real life.  It is a huge project.

Inside the Conservatory.  This rotating sphere was interesting.

I always like to see the Bonzai.  They had several really old ones, including one from 1909!

In the courtyard between the greenhouses is this neat space with Water Lilies.  Again the flowers were a much deeper color in person, but I didn't want to edit these because I love the green against the dark water.

 I'm thinking of renewing my membership.  I just love it there and love to find places to sit and read and enjoy the beauty of these gardens!

Christmas is always nice at Longwood, so I think we'll definitely make another trip soon.

Judith, if you ever come here for your bucket list trip, I'd love to meet up with you!  It would be amazing to tour the gardens with a Master Gardener!


  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...