Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Monday, April 30, 2018

Sunday Concert

After church, we went to lunch with friends, then home for a few hours before we left to go to a Rend Collective concert!  Rachel, my mom and I have seen them four times - the first time with Chris Tomlin when they were his opening act.

Last night Tim, Sarah (who has been one other time) and my dad went with us, along with a friend.

We like them a lot.  They are Irish, high energy, and they have a true heart for the gospel.  Their songs have truth in their lyrics too.  We are all words people, being big readers, and the lyrics are important to us.

Tim and I enjoy a concert very differently.  The girls asked if he liked the concert, (they had sat with friends down on the ground level, so they could jump, and we sat in the balcony so we could see!) and he said that he really did.  

I laughed and said, "You'd never know it.  I was singing, clapping, raising my hands, and you were not."  We all laughed, and he said, "Well, I was doing all that on the inside!"  That is true!  He is more reserved outwardly, its his nature.  But he really did like them.

We both thought that the opener, and then the presentation for World Vision that happened before Rend Collective were playing on your emotions, but Rend Collective is not that way.

They also don't end the concert with cheers for themselves.  They purposely plan an encore, do about three more of their own songs and then go into some quiet worship music with just guitar, and by the time the last song is done, they've quietly left the stage.

They're a group I'll pay to go worship with again and again! 

Friday, April 27, 2018

Friday Five

We have had spring rains this week (off and on) but its the promise of what these rains bring that is exciting.  May should be delightful!

1. Sarah managed wee ponytails for Klaire yesterday.  We were watching the girls, and I took Kamryn with me to the dairy and we came home to this cuteness.

2. I've wanted a Quince shrub for a few years.  I found a red one at a local place.  Its called Double Take Scarlet by Proven Winners.

3. Through Brenda I found @elizabethgoudgebookclub on Instagram!

4.  I bought a fun and lemony tablecloth for the deck table.  So far it has blown off five times, and gotten rained on for days.  Its cute though.

5.  We used to have a big four slice toaster, which was great when we had eight family members living here.  Then, over time one slot, then two, didn't work and the two remaining ones had issues.  I finally threw it out and bought this beauty.  Only two slices, but that is not an issue here any more, with only five of us in the house!

Have a happy weekend!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Fresh Flowers In The Home

Another way I bring fresh flowers into my cottage is by growing them in my garden.  I've slowly built up my hydrangea varieties, and I have several kinds of peonies.  I have a few roses, but I'd love to get some David Austin roses!

I also grow Purple Cone Flower (Echinacea), Feverfew, Daylilies, Zinnias, Iris, Larkspur, Hollyhock. Bleeding Heart. I cut them and make small bouquets in the cottage.

There is nothing better for washing dishes than some sweet flowers on the back of the sink.  

Grocery stores often have very nice flowers available.

 I bought them at Aldi for $3.99 a bunch.  I used them for the shower that I helped with on Saturday.  I love fresh flowers in my cottage.

What about you?  Do you like fresh flowers?

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Garden: Lilacs

Right next to our kitchen door is a lilac bush.  I've had a love/hate relationship with it for years.  After years of not producing flowers I had Tim cut it down, and he was going to take it out but didn't get to it.  It started to grow again and at least it looked nice in the space, so I left it.  Then it began to bloom every year!

 With our long winter, we're about three weeks behind where we normally are with trees and flowering shrubs.

I'm thankful for that spring is here and even though we are having April 'showers' today, the promise of the flowers in May is worth it!

I'm looking forward to the scent of lilacs filling the air, and that scent drifting into the house.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

After The Weekend

I had a busy weekend.  Friday afternoon, Lindsay and I made scones (both gluten free and our regular sweet scone) and lemon curd and mock devonshire cream for our friends' bridal shower on Saturday.

On Saturday, I arrived at the shower several hours early and helped to set the tables and to set up the food table.  I have no close up photos of that but you can sort of see it in one of my photos.  

The last two photos were taken with my 'selfie' stick, and I did them in a hurry.  Sorry for the poor quality!

I used white table cloths, and several of my green plants from home, a few white birds, pink and red roses, books, tiered plate holders.  I used other items to be able to have the food on the table at varying heights.  It looked really nice.

When I came home, I changed clothes and sat out on the deck, in the beautiful sunshine!  Spring has finally decided its here to stay, no more dodging back into winter.  We are about three weeks behind with our plants and flowers.

Sunday we went to lunch after church, then home for the rest of the day.  Tim, the girls, Kyle, and Kamryn went on a hike with friends.  I read and sat in the sunshine.

Yesterday, I went to lunch with a friend, and got home at dinnertime!  We had a lot of catching up to do!

How was your weekend?

Friday, April 20, 2018

Little Book Lover

One of our goals as parents was to help our children to become good readers.  We had several main reasons which are:

1. We are big readers and know the pleasure of well written books.

2. It is my belief, that if you can read well, you can teach yourself anything.

This desire to pass along a love of reading is extended to my grandchildren.  We encourage a love of reading/books by reading to them, and buying them their own books.

I have books here at the Cottage, that are just for them, even the toddlers.  Klaire loves to get these books out everytime she's here.  She also gets into my books, but it is a training process - "Not those books, these are YOUR books!"

I got a few cute photos of her yesterday.

Have you seen these Baby Lit books?


They are really cute, I bought Klaire and Isla, Pride and Prejudice and Little Women.  Lindsay found cute sets of them for the girls at Christmas.

We still buy our adult children books, too!  They always have books on their lists of ideas for Christmas gifts and birthdays. I hope you buy your children and grandchildren books. A love of books and reading is an gift that keeps on giving for a lifetime.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Kitchen Cabinets Makeover (again)

When we bought our house we had to replace the kitchen cabinets as the ones in the house were water damaged. (Tim repurposed the upper cabinets in his shop)  We put in cabinets that we could afford, and though I wanted white, the honey oak were better quality so we went with them.

I painted them almost two years ago with chalk paint and waxed them.  They were so nice, until they wouldn't clean well, and started to chip.  I'm certain that the fault is mine, as I know that many have had great success with chalk paint.  I love using it on furniture, myself.

Anyway, the cabinets were looking dingy, and chipped.  I knew it was time to repaint.  Tim and I have come to learn that you get what you pay for with paint, so I checked out Sherwin Williams.  The paint they recommended for this job was $90 a gallon!  

I decided to give Magnolia Homes Paint by Kilz at try.  I bought it at my local Ace Hardware store in the formulation for trim and cabinetry.  I chose the color True White.

Here is a sneak peak...

And yes, I know I have some paint clean up to do!  I am really pleased with how the white looks, and the quality of the paint.  This is one coat, and while I have a few spots to touch up, I managed to get this 9 ft section of cabinets painted in one afternoon.

The rest of the kitchen will get done bit by bit.  I have a lot going on through the weekend, so it will probably be the end of next week before they are done.

Have you been working on any projects around your homes?  Let's chat in the comments!

ps - just for fun here is a photo of a photo of our kitchen after we bought our house, with the old cabinets, no sliding door, and an old kitchen door.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Rest In Peace

I came of age in the Reagan Era.  I found Nancy Reagan hard to relate to, but I really liked Barbara Bush.  She was the kind of woman that made you feel like you could be friends with her.  It would have been fun to be her friend, I think, as she was loving, kind, humorous, self depricating.

I've read both of her memoirs (really easy reading and so fascinating), and one story has always stayed with me.  Barbara used to drive across country from Texas to Connecticut, with her children, to visit her parents.  On one of her trips, their housekeeper, who was African American, was traveling with them.  Barbara stopped for the night at a hotel, but the hotel wouldn't allow the housekeeper to stay with them in the hotel, so Barbara wouldn't stay either.  They all slept in the car instead!

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 I loved her love and commitment to George, her family.  I like that she was always grateful to have had the opportunity to serve the country, and to continue to work to help people with literacy.

I found this lovely tribute to her online - 
Barbara Bush

My sympathies are with the Bush family.  They will miss her dearly.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Garden of Truth


I follow Ruth Chou Simons on Instagram.  She's a beautiful artist, wife, mother of six boys.  She shares her art and life and truth of God's goodness through her Instagram account and in her art.  Her website is Gracelaced.

I pre-ordered her latest book and I've been enjoying it since it released.

"Something will shape us and form us into who we become--it can either be the truth of God's Word or our own feelings.  Let it be His truth that transforms us."

I needed to hear this today, and probably need that reminder on a weekly basis.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Holding Plans Loosely

Friday and Saturday were lovely days.  Warm and sunny, we had the doors and windows open.  By Saturday night a cold front moved through and Sunday was rainy, windy and cold.  A forty degree drop in temperature from Saturday to Sunday.  Crazy spring 2018.

I woke up Saturday with a plan to sew for the grandgirlies.  I have a fabric stash that I'd like to use up, and I thought making some simple peasant dresses would be a fun way to do it.  Peasant dresses are cute and if you make them a bit shorter, they can be a peasant top, that the girls can wear with shorts.  Win - win as my friend Linda would say. (grin)

My weekend actually took a turn mid-morning when my friend needed a ride to the ER.  She's fine, and we were grateful for that news.  

 After our church fellowship meal yesterday, a few of us ladies went to visit our friend who had a miscarriage last week.  Our friend married into an Amish family, and her husband had called a let us know that Katie would love a visit from us.  We spent several hours there in the afternoon.  I hadn't visited for a while so I was glad to see them and love on her.

 I arrived home to the young adults gathered in the house, playing games, and eating pizza.  

Sorry for the poor photo quality.  I took these later in the evening after a few friends had left already.  

I've learned over the years, to hold my plans lightly in my hands.  To be flexible, I do pretty well, but not always.  I was very glad to have been able to be used by God this weekend to help my friends.

I'm going to take the kids with me to run errands (I have the grands here today), then because its rainy, we'll stop at CFA, see Rachel, get a treat, play in the playplace, and then come home.

I hope you have a great day!

Friday, April 13, 2018

Mani/Pedi Night

Our daughter in law, Kayleigh, is going to cosmotology school to be a nail tech.  The school had a free mani/pedi night so the students could practice.  We ladies all went, including Lindsay and my mom.

Lindsay, my mom, and I all got manicures.  We got the full treatment, including hand soak, and hand massage.

Mom chose a pretty mauve color.

Lindsay went for bold and fun.

 Kay did my manicure.

 She does acrylics on her nails.  I always thought that acrylics were always plain and you had polish applied, but hers are done with colored acrylics and have no polish on them at all.

Rachel and Sarah got the full pedicure treatment.
 You can tell they enjoyed themselves fully.

Here are my nails.

We had a good time, and it was especially fun to do it together, and support Kay and the other women in their training.

Information Friday

  We are having a very rainy spring. Today it is windy, as well. Thankful that the temperatures are mild! My Daffodils got hammered but the ...