Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Wednesday, May 31, 2017


18 random birthday candles, left over from many other celebrations.  When we first lit them Kamryn blew half of them out!  She wanted to help Auntie Rachel! 

We relit, sang, and enjoyed surprising our sweet girl.

Happy 18th birthday, Rachel!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Birthday Week

The last of our May birthdays is tomorrow.  Rachel will be 18! 

We've decided that it would be fun to have lots of celebrations during the week.  She decided to host her co-workers for a bonfire on Sunday evening. (not technically for her birthday, as I don't think any of them knew her birthday was upcoming) but she knew and it was part of the fun.

It rained so the only photos I got were of the food table.

She said, "Mom we don't need to have 'decorations' "but I like to have things nice and bringing this out on platters and in baskets and bowls is easier, too.

During the heavy rain most of the party moved inside to play card games at our big table.  Some stayed outside under our popup canopy and our big deck umbrella.  The rain tapered off to a mist and they all went back outside.  Hot dogs, chips, s'mores were enjoyed.  She works with a great group of people.  We enjoyed having them at our home.

She had to work yesterday, but wanted to do lunch with Tim and I, and she got two free meals at CFA for her birthday, so we ate there for lunch.  While we were there, Lindsay came in early before she started her shift, and she ate with us, too.

Then we went out to my parents house and got some things that Emma and Vinnie are going to store in our basement. We got to talk to Emma and Isla on FaceTime.  That was fun.  Then home for the rest of the day.  I cooked burgers and we had a relaxed evening.

Tomorrow is Rachel's birthday and she and I are going to spend the day out together.  We'd like to go somewhere we've never been before, but haven't decided where to go.  It'll be fun.

We may have a few surprises up our sleeves, this week also, but its hard to work around a full and busy work week for Tim.

We are enormously proud of this amazing young woman, and are so thankful for the gift she is to our family!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day

Remembering all those who gave their lives in the service of our country.  Thank you.

Saturday, May 27, 2017


The week the peonies started to bloom we had three days of 90 degree heat.  That made all the blooms on my first blooming bush to 'bloom' out!  Boo.  I like them to ease their way open so that I can enjoy them longer.

The light pink peonies and a different pink that are in the back of the house (they get morning light verses the front ones that get afternoon light) took a bit longer to bloom, but then the rains started again.

So I picked nearly all of them!

I have some professional flower fresh and I'm still enjoying them!

The girls and I had a great visit with my friends and her daughters.  Later we met up with all the family to celebrate our May birthday people.  

Thursday, I took it easy and read nearly all day.  Then I babysat Klaire (Kamryn was at my mom's house) while her parents went to see a movie.  She was such a good girl and I enjoyed one on one time with her.

Yesterday, was grocery and errands.  Kyle and Sarah helped my dad place flags on Veterans graves, for Memorial Day, at a local cemetery.

Today, I mowed, washed my van, cleaned the horse trough with Kyle, made BLT's.  

My cough is still hanging around, but I have more energy than I did earlier in the week.  Tomorrow Lindsay is hosting an airsoft game in the afternoon, and Rachel is hosting a bonfire in the evening.

Vee, I'm praying for you.  This is a hard weekend.  Know that you are very loved.

Let's Keep Looking to Him!
Luke 12:22-31
 Then  Jesus   said to his   disciples“Therefore I tell youdo not worry about your lifewhat you will eator about your  bodywhat you will wear.  For there is more to life than foodand more to the body than clothing.  Consider the ravens:  They do not sow or reapthey have no storeroom or barnyet God feeds themHow much more valuable are you than the birds!  And which of you by worrying can add an hour to his life? So if  you cannot do such a very little thing as this, why do you worry about  the rest?  Consider how the flowers growthey do not work or spinYet I tell younot even Solomon in all his glory was clothed like one of these!  And if this is how God clothes the wild grass, which is here today and tomorrow is tossed into the fire to heat the oven,  how much more will he clothe you, you people of little faith! So do not be overly concerned about what you will eat and what you will drinkand do not worry about such things. For all the nations of the world pursue these thingsand your Father knows that you need them. Insteadpursue his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Happy Birthday!

to our firstborn!

Nate, as the firstborn, was our experimental child. Poor kid!  They get all the new parents parenting theories tried out on them.  

Nate has grown to be a diligent man.  He works hard to provide for his family, he's proud of them.  Nate is a loyal man.  His friends and family are blessed to know he's got their back.

Happy Birthday, son!  We are so proud of you and we love you!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

This and That

So, I've found I'm not a good forced rest-er. I've been binge watching old seasons of NCIS that I've never seen.  I've also been reading a lot, and really enjoying 'The Scent of Water,' by Elizabeth Goudge.  Problem is I keep thinking of things I should be doing but I'm tired and don't feel like it.  I may actually go out to the bank today.

Lindsay gave me a gift card to Barnes and Noble for Mother's Day, and I'm interesting in book/author recommendations.  If you had a gift card, what book would you buy? Go!

We are in a rain cycle again.  Wondering if its going to continue into the summer?  Cool and rainy.  Not typical for Pennsylvania this late into May.  What's it like where you are?

My irises are in bloom!  The peonies are prettier but the iris look really good.

These are planted along the creek bank.  I also have them in front of my goldmound spirea which is planted by the lamppost, and by the mailbox.

I'm committed to sharing beauty, in the midst of a very world.  I'm not closing my eyes to pretend that the evil isn't there, but I want to look for the good, and share the beauty of creation and the creator.

I hope you have a really good day!

Monday, May 22, 2017


Remember how I said I was resting and trying to fight off a cold?  I thought I had conquered it but on Saturday, I realized it had me in its grip.

Its not horrible over all, no fever, just a cough and ear stuffiness.  The cough isn't even too bad.   Its really just enough that I feel tired and in need of rest.

Sunday I stayed home from church - a rare occurrence - and relax.  Today will be more of the same.  I'm sleeping well at night which is helpful.

I must be much better by Wednesday, when I have dear friends coming for a visit.  They've recently moved back to our area after living out of state for several years.  We haven't seen them in just over a year, and since its just the ladies in the family coming, we're pretty excited for the day.

We have two family birthdays coming up - Nate and Rachel.  He'll be 28 on Wednesday, and then Rachel will be 18 on the 31st.  There is airsoft and a bonfire planned for this weekend.

I'm leaving you with some beauty to look at -

My light pink peonies are in bloom!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Happy Weekend

We have no big plans.  Just small things around that house that have been waiting - like changing the oil on the van, and putting up the new umbrella for the deck.

Speaking of the deck.  We had a small, quick thunderstorm yesterday afternoon, and in its wake was cooler weather!  I sat out on the deck for a while in the evening reading, and doing FaceTime with Lindsay. 

She was rearranging some furniture due to their receiving a baby grand piano this week! (someone gifted it to Joseph)  Their little Cape Cod house can barely house it but they have made it work, and Joseph is enjoying playing it. He's a gifted pianist.

I helped her with ideas of furniture placement.  That was fun, and I'm glad she calls and asks.  I have lots of rearranging experience, as you all know! lol!

I hope you have a good weekend.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Home Keeping: Furniture Rearranging

Sometimes inspiration strikes at the most unlikely times.  Like yesterday when it was hot and we did not have the air conditioning on yet!  Once we got moving furniture, we closed up the house and turned the air on. The last two days have been 90 degrees!

These two photos are of the living room before the rearrangement.

 I'd changed things out on the walls already but the basic furniture arrangement had been the same for quite some time.

My idea began with an idea of moving a few things in my bedroom (which I'll show in a few days), and involved me moving somethings around in the living room.

One thing is that I never liked this bookcase here, as I felt like it was alone on a big wall, so to speak.  Even with art and plates on the wall above it, it seemed 'out of place.'

Now, with the red cabinet (you can read about it here) moved out from my bedroom - it used to be next to my side of the bed - and my great-grandmother's china hutch moved from beside the front door to the corner of the living room, the bookcase now feels like it belongs.  I'm very happy with the arrangement here.

But with the hutch in that corner, the chairs needed to switch spots with each other.  It looks better visually, since the tan chair is taller.

Since I moved the red cabinet to the living room, I moved my desk to the wall by my bed and it is acting as my bedside table now.  That left a wall empty, so I moved the small white bookcase from the living room - it used to be next to the love seat - to the empty wall in my bedroom.  I then moved a side table that matches the one between the chairs, to the space where the small bookcase had been.  
 This looks better visually, too, since the bookcase fit right under my teacup holder and the lamp and anything else I put on top of the bookcase hid the tea cups.

I have a great new spot to show off some peonies, too!

With the hutch gone from beside the door, this has opened up this space and makes moving around to the closet easier.  The closet is across from the front door.  This closet houses our vacuum, broom, mop, etc, as well as winter coats.  I put this ladder in that space for now.

I think my favorite thing is how great this red cabinet looks in my living room!

And the hutch in the corner.  My fern loves its place on top of the hutch.  It gets lots of light, but not direct light, and it is out of the way of little visiting hands. My poor fern got scalped one Sunday last year by a sweet little visitor.  It nearly died and is finally recovering well!

I'm pleased with how it looks.

And Watson highly approves!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Peonies In Bloom

Two days ago the peonies began to bloom, so I did what I always do - I snipped a few.

The next day I snipped three more and made this arrangement.

This is how the peony in the front garden looks this morning.

They are so beautiful and the scent is heavenly!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Cottage Style Dishes

Rachel bought me these darling cottage style dishes from Ree Drummond's collection.

Aren't they the cutest?


I already had the solid aqua and red plates at the back of the rack.  I'll have to keep adding to this collection.  I really like the mis-matched dishes, and anyway, I couldn't decide on just one pattern!

There are also mugs, a teapot, bowls.  Really cute stuff.

Works just right in my cottage.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Life With A Boy

We have a lot of Lego talk and Minecraft talk.  He loves to tease and pester his sisters.  He is a kind boy, easy going, tenderhearted. 

Oh, and did I mention goofy?

We kinda like him!

He is 11, will be 12 in August.

Do you have boys?  Aren't they fun?

Information Friday (on Saturday)

  Hi everyone! Sorry I couldn't get this written and posted for Friday, but here it is on Saturday! These are dahlias and they are apart...