Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Friday, September 30, 2016

The Deck Looks Like We Decorated For A Haunted House

After a dry and hot late summer, we eased into autumn last week with beautiful weather.  Almost like a switch had been flipped, the temperatures moderated and we had the beautiful blue skies of September.

The last few days we've had rainy, chilly weather.  Yesterday we had wind and rain.  It was the kind of day that makes you want to curl up with a blanket, a cup of cocoa and read and nap all day.

Instead I had an eye appointment for measurements of my eyes. (this is all in preparation for cataract surgery)  Then we came home and I ate a sandwich, and we headed to co-op.  After co-op we came home and I got ready to go with Tim to a dinner with the company that handles our 401(k).  It was a busy, but nice day, in spite of the blustery, rainy conditions.

As we were getting ready for bed, we had a power bump and our lights went out briefly.  Sometime in the night we must have had higher winds because we woke up to this.

Our deck canopy is shredded!  It did have a few tears in it which happens every year.  I am no longer interested in replacing it year after year, so we will have to come up with a new solution for the deck.  It does need a cover for the summer, as it gets too hot to sit outside in the direct sun, and the cover helps keep the heat out of the house, too.

The deck is not in great shape, and we are planning to replace it in the next few years, so anything we do will be a temporary fix.

We don't decorate for Halloween, so I'll be having the kids take this down today!

Have a GREAT weekend, friends!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Yesterday I Put On My Event Planner Hat

Several ladies at church, including Becky at Hospitality Lane, are helping a friend at church with her upcoming wedding in October.
Becky is coordinating all the food, and I am doing my thing which is decorating and flowers.

Ruth is remarrying her ex-husband.  I asked her how this all came to be and she said that after seeing the movie "War Room" she set up her own war room and began to pray for her family, and this is fruit that came out of it.  Their adult son and daughter are their attendants and I believe this event is going to be huge in the lives of their family.

Yesterday I took Ruth to the wholesale flower place that I use for fresh cut flowers for events that I do.  We looked at greenery, flowers, ribbons - talked about lots of choices, and made some decisions.  There is nothing like a bride to be actually seeing the flowers and seeing how it will all go together.

I took a few pictures to help me remember.

 We are not using these green buttons mums, but its a color she liked

I'm always fascinated by the choices that brides make in their flowers.  They always reflect the brides personality - this bride is very traditional.  She is using her original wedding colors, and while not using the same flowers (daisies and carnations), she definitely made traditional choices. 

I believe it will be a beautiful wedding.  White tablecloths, floating candles, a sweetheart table.  I'm going to try a unique floral arrangement for the sanctuary, an idea I had as we don't have an alter or similar space to put a floral arrangement on.  I'll let you know how that works out!

I'm using the glass cylinders that we purchased for Emma's wedding, to duplicate centerpieces that Ruth had found on Pinterest!  It's going to be very pretty!

This is the space we'll be working with and rather than a buffet, which this reception was, Ruth's wedding will be a sit down dinner, with servers.

I'll take lots of pictures, and be sure to share them here with you all.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Pumpkins As Decor - A Work In Progress

I took the kids to get pumpkins yesterday.  We usually buy from our local produce stand, and we did again this year.

 They always have so many interesting shapes, but I usually go pretty traditional in my pumpkin purchases.  This year, however, I did NOT!

Here we had started a pile of our choices.

They also have wonderful mums.  I didn't buy any mums yesterday, but I probably will go back.  I think we need a few more pumpkins for outside.  

These pumpkins look bigger in the photo than they are.  Kyle and Kamryn drew faces on their tiny ones!

I like the shape of this one and the color.

I piled a dark green one and some littles in with my candle and some dried hydrangea.

This is a work in progress.  I just threw it together to see what it would look like. I may change out a pumpkin or two for deeper color. I've never stacked my pumpkins, though I like the look very much. I need something for the pumpkins to sit on in the urn, and candles for the lanterns.  And I may use different lanterns altogether.  I may put mums here or decorative cabbage, instead of the brown eyed susans.

This is the fun part of putting it all together and seeing what works. What about you?  Have you bought any pumpkins yet?

ps- I fixed the link for the Perfect Everytime Turkey on the last post!

pss - Here is a link to the video that Joseph's mom Susanna posted.  It is only of Josie's room, but I may ask if I can come do a video tour with her of the other rooms.  It really looks great.  Josie's room was a delight to do because it perfectly fits her needs and yet it looks just like a teen girls bedroom and not like a accessible bedroom other than a few details (well thought out) here and there and in the bathroom!

Josie and I played WAR the other day at their house during the open house, and I am happy to say that I skunked her!  It was close at first, but then I won! ha ha!  She's a great girl and very independent and capable.  Lindsay has wonderful in laws!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Things I LOVE About Autumn

If you've been around my blog for any length of time, you know I adore autumn.  It's truly my favorite time of the year.

I thought I'd make a list of things that I LOVE about Autumn - here goes!

1. Cooler weather.  I enjoy warm weather but not hot and humid weather, so I am always thankful for the autumn cool down!

2. Sweaters.  I mostly wear cardigans, but I adore them.

3. Boots! Tall ones, booties, mid calf.  I love them all!

4. Leaf color!  This is the best thing about autumn!

5. Spending time outdoors.  This is the season I spend the most time outside.  I love to hike and walk in the autumn, too.

6. Changing out my bedding!  After the summer weight coverlet, I love putting my comforter on my bed and snuggling in for a good nights sleep in a chilly room!

7. Pumpkin desserts.

8. Hot cocoa.

9. Campfires!  We love to sit out under the stars by a beautiful campfire.

10. Taking a fall foliage trip.  We've been to Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, the Adirondacks, and the northern tier here in Pennsylvania, including the PA Grand Canyon.

11. Lighting candles.  I use candles year round in my home, but I especially love the warmth they add to an autumn evening.

12. Scarves.  They are fun to wear, and add so much to an outfit.

13. Mums.  I love to buy mums and add them to the outdoor atmosphere of our home.

14. Cozy evenings reading.

15. Knitting or crocheting.

16. Fall Fest!  We host one every year!  It includes hay rides, and games for the kids.  Last year we showed A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving outdoors!  We have candy tosses, hot cider, food and a big bonfire!

What things do you love about Autumn?  Let's talk in the comments!

ps- As requested here is a link to cook a Perfect Turkey everytime.  I've been doing this for years and it wonderful!  Everyone who has done this slow roasting method loves it and uses it every year!  It really helps have a relax Thanksgiving meal!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Beautiful Weekend

Saturday, Tim and I, spent a whole day together alone.  It was maybe the first day since our anniversary trip in January that we spent the day away.

We went up to the State College area of Pennsylvania, after determining that Penn State was not having a home game!  We took our time going and we explored a few little towns.

The glass pumpkin was a wonderful find at a Christmas store of all things.  It was very inexpensive.  

We talked and enjoyed time together.  I am so thankful for my husband and how he loves me, encourages me and prays for me.  He's my best friend.

On Sunday, we spent the afternoon at our son in law's family's home.  They were having a drop in party to celebrate the the addition to their house being fully completed.  It looks wonderful and I am particularly happy with how it turned out.  I think I mentioned that I was working on a huge decorating project and this was it.  Joseph's mom and I talked, planned, pinned and shopped for 4 new bedrooms, and a laundry room.  The main reason for the addition was a handicapped accessible bedroom and bathroom for Josie.  This room is amazing!  It's a great teenage girls room.  Susanna will be doing a video blog post showing Josie's room and when she does, I'll link to it.

 Now I'm having an evening alone - some are at a movie, some are at Joseph's family's home still.  I'm relishing some autumn beauty, and thinking about God's goodness, and his care of his children.  

I'm also thinking about my daughter and daughter in law who are so very close to their due dates.  

Plans are now underway, too, for our Fall Fest, and for the Ladies Tea at our church.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Hobbit Party

As all fans of The Lord of The Rings trilogy know, September 22nd is Bilbo and Frodo Baggins birthday.  Many celebrate with a party in their honor and so do we!

My daughter Lindsay and her husband Joseph are the hosts of this fun annual event.  This was the third year they've hosted.  The first year was planned as we drove home from Florida a few days before September 22, 2013.  That was before they were engaged even, but she wanted to host a party, and Joseph is happy to do the things that make her happy.  It was held at our home, and it was so much fun, they've made it an annual event, though now it is held at their home.  

Our adorable and delightful hosts.

A fun nod to Bilbo's 111st birthday 

 Getting everything set up 

 It was a beautiful evening

 Some of the people came in Middle Earth inspired clothing while others didn't

Two dragon cakes to remember Bilbo's adventure in his younger years with the dwarves, and a battle of wits with a dragon named Smaug.

The Hobbits would have enjoyed the food - turkey, ham, breads, cheeses, crackers, grapes, apples

These Elven cousins made an appearance 

Pretty candles for light

And of course the magnificent party tree!

It was a wonderful evening!

I love how my kids practice hospitality in their own ways, how they help each other.  Emma spent a good part of the day helping Lindsay get things ready (making cakes, etc) and then we came after our co-op was over and Rachel came after work.  We plated everything, made glazes for the cakes, sliced bread and cheese, washed dishes.  All of Lindsay and Joseph's guests had a great time, and we did, too.

Since hospitality is a big part of my family's life and especially in our homes, I decided to link this post to Thoughts of Home on Thursday.  Inviting people to your home is such a special way to share yourself with others.  Over the years of this, I've learned that people love to be invited as well!


  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...