Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Hand Crocheted Nativity Set

My daughter in law, Kayleigh, is a wonderful crocheter.  She makes sweet baby things, especially.

For Mother's Day this year, she made me a nativity set.

It was so much work!  

I think they are so cute, and a nice thing is that little ones can touch and play with them!  I decided to put them on the bookcase in the living room, so that everyone can enjoy them, and the grands can reach them when they come over.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Pinterest Inspiration Success!

Back in August I did a post about finding clothing style inspiration on Pinterest.  The first photo I linked was this one - 

You can find that post here.

I really liked the look of this black and white checked shirt with the pink cardigan and the pearls.  I have a pink cardi, deeper pink that this one though, so I began to search out a checked shirt.  It wasn't easy to find, and in the end I found a larger check than this one is, but I really like it.

I met my friend Jen for breakfast today so I wore the black and white checked shirt, pink cardi, and pearls, with black leggings and my black booties.

Here's a few photos I took in my van while I was waiting for my friend to arrive.

I did not get a full length photo.  I really like this shirt because it is long and covers the bum and the belly area.  That's a win win in my book!

  I really like the way my outfit turned out.  I actually like the bigger check better than the inspiration photo, and I like the deeper shade of pink of my cardigan than the one in the inspiration photo.

What do you think?  Do you look up clothes on Pinterest?  Have you been inspired by something you've seen on there and had success copying it?

You can find more inspiration on my Fashion Over 40 board.

Monday, November 27, 2017

I LOVE Christmas!

I shared this photo over on Instagram the other day.  I've since rearranged a few ornaments.  My granddaughter helped me put ornaments on the tree and several big ornaments were sharing a branch!  So a bit of discreet moving around and she'll never realize I moved things! (smile)

I love Christmas!  I love the cheer of the lights as we go into winter, and the symbolism of Jesus (who came in the flesh as a human) as the light of the world.  He came into a dark place in history, and the world was forever changed!  

I love hearing Silent Night on the radio or in stores, I love giving gifts, because I love people, just like God, who loves the whole world, gave the best gift ever because of that love!

I love Christmas music - especially Chris Tomlin's Adore cd.  We enjoy other Christmas music too, and movies, but I love keeping Christ in the forefront of our celebrations!

I'm going to get my Nativity sets out and when I figure out where they are all going, I'll share them with you in a post!

What's your favorite thing about Christmas?

Christmas Pillow From A Placemat

A few weeks ago I was checking out the newly stocked Christmas items in the Target Dollar Spot when I spied a few adorable placemats.  I quickly grabbed two of the one I loved because I knew I could make cute pillows out of them!

Cute graphic, kind of vintage, nice size.

I made one tonight and I'm happy with how it turned out.  I gathered my materials, the new place mat, an old plaid place mat I've had for years, and some batting to fill it with.

All I did was put the graphic side against the plaid place mat, sew it around three sides, stuff it, turn it right side out, and then sew up the last side.  This I had to do with a by hand (whip stitch) because I broke the needle on my sewing machine and of course I didn't have any spare ones.  But it only took a few minutes to stitch it up by hand.  I think you could do the whole thing by hand, if you didn't have a sewing machine.

It turned out so cute, didn't it?  I know some of you would have ironed it, but I seriously didn't even think about it.  Emma liked it and said, "You can make me one."  I smiled and said, "I did make you one, this one is for you!"  Happiness all around.

 Cute christmas pillow.

And here's the backside of the pillow!  It was so great how the place mats were just about the same size, I only had to trim a little off the plaid one.

I'm going to make another pillow just like this one for myself.  I love cute pillows but cannot bring myself to pay a lot of money for them.  I'm going to try to make a few different pillows this year.

Do you love seasonal pillows?  Do you buy or make them?  

Saturday, November 25, 2017

23rd Year To See The Christmas Lights

The year we moved to Pennsylvania, Emma was 6 months old, and a sweet lady at our church mentioned that the Herr's Snack Company in Nottingham, PA did a wonderful, free Christmas light display.  So we took the kids to go see them.

She was right they were wonderful, and we've been going every year since then.  Some years we've gone multiple times in a season, taking guests and friends along.

This year with Emma and Vinnie here we wanted to go with them, so we headed out Friday evening.

A lot of the photos are not that great, as you have to stay in your car these days.  We used to be able to get out to take photos and walk among the trees.

We'd hoped Isla would enjoy them, but she slept the whole trip!  Maybe when they come back for Christmas, we can go again!

Friday, November 24, 2017

The Season of Joy is here!

We had a truly lovely day, yesterday.

Great food and a beautiful table

Isla warming up to grandpa!

Group photo - Lindsay and Joseph where with his family this year but popped over for photos. (thankfully his family live 3 minutes from us!)  We also had a friend of my parents with us for the day.  Happy to say that she is now our friend, too!

We ate, talked, enjoyed the grands, and played Mexican Train all evening.

We managed to get a family photo that is nice of everyone!
Don't mind Kamryn's tongue.  She's seven.  Its been hard enough to get Kyle to not stick his tongue out in photos, and he's 12.  Sigh...At least everyone is looking at the camera!

Today I'll start with my Christmas decorating.  We'll maybe go get a tree, too, as we always do a live tree.  

I'll be working on plans this weekend for hosting our co-op mom's Christmas party here a week from today, then our ladies tea at church on December 7th!

Oh and I think we may go look at Christmas lights this weekend while Isla is with us!  Fun to see their reaction to seeing the lights for the first time!

The season of JOY is here!  I'm so excited and I know you are too!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

Give thanks with a grateful heart 1 Thessalonians 5:18 In our busy and demanding lives, it’s easy to focus on our challenges and overlook all our blessings. When we focus on all the positive things in our lives, we will find more joy, satisfaction, and happiness. Our lives will take on greater meaning and our hearts will be filled with love and gratitude. Let this bible verse print be your reminder to give thanks with a grateful heart. #givethanks


Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends, and to all my other friends; I hope you have a wonderful day, too!  I'd like to tell you all how much it means to me to have you visit here, and comment.  The friendships are special to me, and I am so thankful for each of you!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Thanksgiving Prep

Today is my day to prepare for our Thanksgiving meal tomorrow.   I'll be making a pie or two, deciding on which veggie dishes I'm going to make, and then this evening, I'll put our big turkey on to slow roast.

We've been in celebration mode since last week.  Our friends Rick and Jane were here until Monday morning, and Emma, Vinnie, and Isla surprised us on Saturday by showing up four days early!  So fun!

 Kamryn and cousin Isla

 Klaire and Isla enjoying each other.  Everytime they see each other they are fascinated with each other.  The evening these photos were taken we laughed because it seemed as if they were having their own conversations.  So cute!

Couch pile of people.  It delights me that my people really like each other!

I hope you and your family and friends, have a wonderful Thanksgiving!  I am so thankful for all of you who read here and find Hospitality, Friendship, and Encouragement here!

As an interesting side note - I read this week on an Instagram feed that more and more people in the UK are celebrating Thanksgiving.  I found this article about it (written two years ago) and find it fascinating - Brits-giving

Do any of my friends from the UK who read here celebrate along with us?  

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Thanksgiving Centerpiece

I gathered up my glass pumpkins, a few candle holders, and some natural elements and made the centerpiece for our Thanksgiving meal.

I'm happy with how it turned out, and it leaves plenty of room for the place settings.  We're going to have 13 people at our Thanksgiving meal, so we will use our benches on the sides of the table and put two people on each end and we'll all fit around the table comfortably.

I'm enjoying these days of preparing for this special day of giving thanks.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Thanksgiving Week

My heart is full this Monday morning, as I begin Thanksgiving week.

I was reading this morning in Matthew 6 - "Do not worry."  Jesus tells us that if God so cares for the sparrows, won't he much more care for us? "Aren't you more valuable that they are?" He says.

I'm reminded of all the ways that God has provided for me, the things that I need and people in my life to encourage me.

I'm thinking the list is endless of all the blessings God has given.  As my friend Jane and I were talking this morning before they left for New Hampshire, she shared an old hymn with me that had been a reminder and encouragement to her.

In Heavenly Love Abiding

  1. In heav’nly love abiding,
    No change my heart shall fear;
    And safe is such confiding,
    For nothing changes here.
    The storm may roar without me,
    My heart may low be laid,
    But God is round about me,
    And can I be dismayed?
  2. Wherever He may guide me,
    No want shall turn me back;
    My Shepherd is beside me,
    And nothing can I lack.
    His wisdom ever waketh,
    His sight is never dim;
    He knows the way He taketh,
    And I will walk with Him.
  3. Green pastures are before me,
    Which yet I have not seen;
    Bright skies will soon be o’er me,
    Where darkest clouds have been.
    My hope I cannot measure,
    My path to life is free;
    My Savior has my treasure,
    And He will walk with me.

Anna L. Waring

Such great truths.  My prayer is that we will keep our eyes on the one to Whom we owe so much and to whom all our praise and Thanksgiving flows.

I hope your day is filled with good things.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Saturday Sunrise

                                                          photo credit - Jane Soyars

We are enjoying a wonderful visit with our friends Rick and Jane.  

Tomorrow after church we are having a Thanksgiving dinner.  I am slow roasting a turkey overnight, and will slice the meat up and put it in my crock pot to keep it hot during church.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Christmas Stockings from Pottery Barn Kids

Many years ago, I was shopping in the Pottery Barn Kids outlet and found some sweet Christmas stockings.  My three youngest didn't have nice ones, so I bought them each a quilted stocking with sweet red gingham at the top.  

When Kamryn came along I bought one for her.  Now we have two more granddaughters, so of course they need their cute stockings.

This is the one I ordered for Klaire - 

Angel Quilted Stocking

And this one is Isla's pattern.
Angel Kitty Quilted Stocking
They are so cute and it will be fun to fill them with sweet things for Christmas Eve!

Do you have special stockings for Christmas? When do you open your stockings? 

Thanksgiving Menu

We are pretty traditional when it comes to our Thanksgiving meal.  Turkey, of course, gravy, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, stuffing.  Sometimes sweet potatoes.  Sometimes rolls.  Pies, pumpkin roll.  

We all contribute, and enjoy the meal together.  Since I've been eating the Trim Healthy Mama way, I've chosen to not eat the potatoes or the stuffing and rolls.  I usually make a few more veggie dishes that I can eat along with my turkey and gravy, and green beans. 

This year I am going to try Zucchini au gratin.  

I'm also thinking of making this - 


I also might make some chocolate pudding using the pudding recipe from this recipe -

This easy No Bake Chocolate Cream Pie is a treat for Trim Healthy Mama fans, low-carb and sugar free plans. It's an easy no bake recipe!

My mom usually makes a low carb pumpkin roll so we'll enjoy that, too!

If you'd like to make a Perfect Everytime Turkey, click on the link to find out how to do it!  It's so amazing and easy!

Do you have any special dietary restrictions?  Make any special treats at the holidays?

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

I Went To Work With Tim Today

Its not often that everything lines up just right and I can head out with Tim for an inspection.

This area is where the lid for the septic tank is and on the other side of this bush is where the inspection port is.  The lid was 6 inches under the ground and had to be dug up.  Tim is careful to put things back better than he found them.

See the lovely rhododendron?  It had to be cut down and the roots dug up because the roots were damaging the septic tank.  

Tim works hard every day, regardless of the weather.  Thankful for a sunny, though chilly day.  He said he took his jacket off because he had gotten hot working with it on!

The home owner was thrilled that the system passed the inspection, as he is selling this home.

What did I do?  I texted clients for him, and made a few calls.  Mostly I went because he asked me to come along. 

Do you ever go along with your husband when he's working?

Monday, November 13, 2017

Six Weeks 'Til Christmas: My method of Gift Giving

I found this on Pinterest several years ago, when we were paring down our gift giving.  With so many family members it was getting out of hand!

I really like these four categories.  You could chose your own categories, the idea is to give less, but more thoughtful gifts.  The gifts don't have to be expensive either.  Some of our favorite gifts have come from thrift stores!

For Kyle's something you want I bought him a game.  He'd seen when we were out shopping, so I new he'd like it. For his something you wear I could get him a fun tshirt.  Get the idea?

So easy.  I've seen some of these with something to eat which would be fun as well!

How do you go about your gift giving?

Information Friday, On Saturday

  Well, I was all set to do a post yesterday, but I had trouble uploading my photos. I really thought I'd get it done in the evening, bu...