Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Cousins, Sisters, Auntie, Uncle

Those available today met up for breakfast at our favorite local place; The Gallery Grille .

Here are the girlies in their 'loved by my grandma' tshirts from Old Navy.

We got quite a few shots then Klaire and Isla's shoes started to come off!


Isla is enthusiastic about life!

I'm dying over these fringed boots. (also Old Navy, I got them on a big sale!)

Kamryn is such a little mommy - she put her hands behind the girls on her own!  So sweet!

 Loving Klaire's leopard print mary janes

Piling on Auntie Sarah...

Let's add one more...

 Love it!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Let The Fun Begin!

Emma and Isla arrived yesterday to surprise us!  I was sworn to secrecy as Em wanted to surprise a friend of hers, but now I can tell!

Everyone was surprised and we gathered last night to eat pizza and spend time together!  

Isla and Klaire were only a month old the last time they were together!  They were really interested in each other, touching each other gently and hugging.  They look a lot alike, but Isla has a more broad head and Klaire's head is rounder overall.  They are so sweet.

Kamryn really is a little mommy and wanted to be holding them and they are at the age where they like to explore and not be held!

Tomorrow is the rodeo day at our local Ag fair, and so Emma will take Isla and meet up with some friends.  Lindsay is riding tomorrow night so she may go back to see that, and most of us will be there too.

Saturday we are all going out to breakfast, and then doing various things.  Sunday is our sweet friends' wedding and we are so excited to celebrate with their whole family!

Monday I get to have dinner with my blogging sister, Cheryl, and her sweet family!  They'll be in town for a few short days, so we're meeting up for dinner!  We are so excited as due to one thing or another we've not been able to visit each other for two years!  We have birthday gifts to exchange!  

My birthday is Tuesday, and I always like to extend the celebrating!  This year it has started early and I am so thankful!

When I Consider The Heavens

       What is man that you are mindful of him,  
       and the son of man that You visit him? 
      For you have made him a little lower than the angels, 
    When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, 
           the moon and the stars, which you have ordained,
      and You have crowned him with glory and honor.

                                                                                                Psalm 8:3-5 NKJV

Whenever I sit out and look at the night sky, I feel small.  I am aware of the greatness of God and how amazing it is that He knows me and loves me.  What a wonderful thing that is! 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

A New Rug, An Adorable Pumpkin, and The Best T-shirts Ever!

Its Wednesday!  Half way through the week and one day before Emma and Isla arrive for a fun weekend!  Our local fair starts today, and Isla will get the fun of seeing all kinds of animals and horses on Friday, and then we have a sweet friends' wedding on Sunday!  Our friend is marrying a Marine!  Its going to be an awesome wedding!  

If you follow me on Instagram (my IG is private but if you send me a follow request, send me a note too, so I know you read here!  I get a lot of weird follow requests) you know that I got a great rug on clearance from Target.  It is a gold-ish mustard color with white. I'd been eyeing it for sometime and then boom - it was in my cart.  The problem is, I'd love to keep it here in my living room, but it is too small for this space.  So I'll probably move it to my bedroom.

My sweet friend Annie is an amazing artist.  She paints many wonderful things (signs, cupcakes, pumpkins!).  Check out her Etsy store Laney Bell Designs.  Many of her items sell out quickly but she restocks!  If you're on Instagram, you can find her here.

I found these cute tshirts for my granddaughters at Old Navy.  I'm hoping to get photos taken of all three of them in these shirts this weekend!
You can find a link to it here.

Rachel is recovering well, but is very swollen!  Pain meds are working well, as are ice packs, and she's eating soup, yogurt and applesauce.  Oh, and ice cream!  

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie (low carb)

Rachel had her wisdom teeth removed today, and couldn't eat or drink anything this morning.  I wanted to be sensitive to that but also have something nourishing, so I made a smoothie. 

Fall - best season of the year (in my humble opinion).   And best flavor? Pumpkin !  I love pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin

I found this recipe last year, and I liked it. I  sweeten it to taste with a sweetener that doesn't trigger the glycemic index.  For this I used xylitol*.

The recipe is so simple - 

1/4 cup of pumpkin
1/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup of water
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice**
1/2 cup ice

Put it all in the blender and mix it up!

It's very tasty!

You can easily make this recipe non low carb by using regular sugar.

*xylitol is toxic to dogs.  If you have dogs that get into your treats you may want to use a different sweetener.

** I make this with just cinnamon.

Are you a fan of pumpkin drinks in the fall?  What's your favorite?  Feel free to share links with us!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Five Things I Love About Fall

Its warmer than I'd like for Fall, but it's going to cool down this week.  I love Fall so I thought I'd share some of my pins from my Autumn Pinterest board, and talk about five things I love.

I love going down roads with leaves on them.  I love it even more to drive under falling leaves!

New Hampshire

I love Fall road trips.  There is little I like more than a good Fall foliage trip!  I can't get enough of the changing trees!

The vibrant shades of New England's fall foliage are world renowned. Image by Mark Newman / Photostock / Getty

Our own property has a lot of beautiful trees on it.  I love to sit outside at this time of year and walk on our property.
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 ...

I love decorating our home and property with lights, pumpkins, and candles!
Embrace the beauty of nature this autumn season.

I love getting out the plaid wool blankets.  When the nights get cool, I love having them available to lay an extra layer on our beds.

Repinned: Keep calm and love autumn

I'm sure you know there will be more than FIVE things I love about autumn, and I'll be sharing those in the days to come!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Fall Home Tour 2017

I've been enjoying several fall home blog tours, and so I thought I'd share my fall decor in our living room/kitchen space.

I have seasonal decor up over my kitchen cabinets, too, but that is hard to photograph.  If I get decent photos, I'll post them.

My pumpkin pillows are both from Christmas Tree Shops, but from last year.  My local store doesn't have as many as the online store has!  I also think I got my embroidered pillow on sale.  Amazon has a lot of great pillows/pillow covers, too!

The feather is from one of our chickens.  She kindly left it on our kitchen steps for me.  It fits in beautifully with our fall decor.

Tomorrow is the first official day of fall, but I'm sure you've decorated your home already, bringing in fall touches.  What is your favorite fall item you use in your home?  Mine are my glass pumpkins.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Book Launch:The Lifegiving Table

I am a part of Sally Clarkson's new book launch team for The Lifegiving Table.  This book is out on my birthday, October 3rd.

Sally has long been a kindred spirit even though we don't know each other.  We have shared interests in mentoring, discipleship, training and teaching our children, opening our homes and lives to others.

This book, which I've read a preview of, is my heart too.  We've used our 'table' to build relationships with our children, our families, friends, fellow workers, young people, old people and every age in between.  To share our faith, spread encouragement, help carry burdens.

Sometimes, it has been a full blown Thanksgiving meal with three tables set up.  Other times it has been coffee and dessert.  But all of it has been with the heart of welcome and care and "I want to know you better," or "come celebrate with us!"  

I had a friend say to me, "My heart is to do this but we don't have a nice big table, that I'd love to have!"  I told her it wasn't about the actual table.  It was about the heart of welcoming people into your home and the time spent together sharing a meal or snack or dessert.  She does this already!

I hope you will buy and read this book.  This using of the 'table' to reach other peoples lives, is one of those 'small deeds' we were talking about yesterday.  They have the potential to change lives, especially our own.  

Here is a link to Barnes and Nobel were you can order a signed copy of The Lifegiving Table,  and you can also find it on Amazon.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Small Deeds Of Ordinary Folk

My friend Karen, shared a meme with this on it today on FB.  The quote goes along with much of what I have been thinking about lately.

Many people are fearful of the times we are living in, and yet God placed us at this point in history.  He knew what the world would be like in 2017 and He placed us here with purpose.

When I feel overwhelmed by terrorism, or hurricanes, or (insert the blank) I can do several things: I can look to God who put me here at this point in history and ask Him to show me who He is in these situations, and I can do small deeds to reach out to others and hold the darkness at bay.

I can pack my husbands lunch, and read with my kids.  I can make dinner for those who may share my table from day to day.  I can be a thoughtful neighbor, and a listening friend.  I can encourage others.  I can blog, and I can share beauty on Instagram.  Most importantly I can pray.  You see, God didn't put us here and then leave us to figure it out on our own.  He's with us day by day, guiding, helping, encouraging us, so we can be His hands and feet in this world.  

Tolkien had it right.  Here is the full quote - 

“Some believe it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. It is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."

What are somethings you do, to hold the darkness at bay?

Hospitality,Friendship, Encouragement

My blog subtitle after Creekside Cottage is Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement.  Those are our goals here at the cottage and as a family.

I called English Country dancing after lunch at church this afternoon.  We have a great bunch of young people who love to dance, and a few of the adults do, too!

Then we invited folks to our house to play games.  I have to say that by 5:00 on a Sunday most of us adults are tired, but the young people are just getting started.  

My job at these times are to order a lot of pizzas (today was 6 large pizzas for 19 people) and make sure there is something to drink.  I keep paper products stocked for just this kind of hospitality.

 This is the after.  One piece of pizza left.

The stack of games to choose from tonight.  They played Coup and Balderdash.  Oh, and Uno before the pizza arrived!

One of the Balderdash papers.

Rachel headed to bed early since she opens at work tomorrow, our (mine and Tim's) friends took their kids and a few others home, and Sarah is outside still chatting with a group of Joseph's siblings.

The house is quiet, and Tim has already headed to bed.  I'm waiting for Sarah to come in.

Hospitality can be tiring, but it is full of blessing to both the receiver and the giver.  It is a good thing, as Martha would say.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Hospitality:Hostessing The Parents Room At Co-Op

I know some of you saw one of these photos on Instagram and FB but I wanted to share a few more of our parents room at our co-op.  
We say parents room because Dad's are welcome, but we don't usually have any at our co-op days.

Part of my role as hostess is to talk to people and encourage them so I didn't get all the photos taken that I wanted to.  

 Cold drinks on a tray.  The humidity was high this day and the drinks containers had a lot of condensation on them.  Having the tray kept it from puddling on the counter.

This room is in the basement of the church we meet in and has no widows or fresh air source.  It gets a bit musty in this room, so I wanted to do something that would help the room smell nice.  We cannot burn candles so I turned to essential oils and a diffuser.

It changes colors but of course I caught it on white.  I diffused orange oil, cinnamon bark, and clove.  Very Autumn scented.

I brought a few of my dried hydrangea from home, for some prettiness.

We have a coffee pot, I brought a Keurig for decaf or flavored coffee, and we do have some cider and tea pods.  The electric kettles are for tea and hot cocoa.  Then of course are a variety of sweeteners, half and half and a coconut milk creamer for those who don't do dairy.

Down at the far end of the counter was the food.  I made our favorite cappuccino muffins, and some gluten free chocolate brownie cookies.  We made our homemade popcorn, cooked in coconut oil and salted only.  We brought pretzels, and some fresh veggies with a ranch dip.  One of the ladies brought tortilla chips and salsa.  

Of course I had seasonal plates and napkins.  

I met several of the new moms yesterday, helped answer questions, chatted with friends and encouraged a few people, I hope.

I get to do this for all 20 weeks of our co-op this school year, plus I'm hostessing our co-op Mom's Christmas party.  Can't wait for that!

I hope you all have a lovely weekend.

Thursday, September 14, 2017


Rachel is a cellist and really likes the group 2 Cellos.  These guys are really amazing, and we enjoy listening to them.

They were going to be in concert, and Rachel kept mentioning that she'd love to go.  I thought that maybe I could take her as part of a late birthday gift, but then I thought that maybe Tim could take her.

I get to spend lots of time with Rachel and we are going to see Rend Collective next month.  Tim works so hard and doesn't take much time off and I knew it would be very special for them to go together.

So they did.  

To say they had a good time would be an understatement.

Here is a video of 2Cellos playing Gabriel's Oboe from The Mission.


  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...