Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Home Keeping: A Bit Of Tidying

 Well, it's the week between and things are a bit cluttered and untidy in some spots in the house. It'll only take a few minutes to clean these areas up, and head into the New Year with a refreshed house.






The last photo is a notorious spot for clutter in our house.  Business papers, stuff people left here, keys, remotes for lights and battery candles, cookies, muffins, and other treats waiting to be eaten.  Sigh.

I have some clothes of Tim's to hang, a bag of clothes that no longer fit Kyle to go to the thrift store, a dresser we had loaned to Lindsay and Joseph to find a new home for, too. Its standing in the middle of my bedroom right now. Sigh.

At least the poinsettia is looking nice!



I went out for groceries yesterday, and so we are all set to ring in the New Year tomorrow night.



Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Home Keeping: A Bit Of Rearrangement In The Living Room

 

While, I'm not ready to let Christmas and the tree go yet, I was in need of a rearrangement in the living room. Sarah and Kyle, were my willing helpers yesterday.  We moved the seating arrangement around and according to Kyle it took 14 minutes, and that included needed vacuuming under the furniture!






The tree is still looking lovely.  This tree has been the thirstiest tree we've ever had.  For the first two weeks we had to give it water everyday! The last two weeks, it has slowed but still has been drinking the water well.


I'm chuckling looking at this photo of the tree, because I can tell my young granddaughter has been at my home.  The joy ornament is on backwards, and the ribbons are hanging a bit wonky.  

Sarah went with people from our church last evening to deliver food boxes.  There is a street in the city that people from our church know people who live there, help keep their street clean, meet needs. They also gave poinsettias and there were some left over, so Sarah and Kyle are going to deliver some to our neighbors today.


Monday, December 28, 2020

Christmas

 I hope you all had a delightful Christmas, however it was spent.  I know things were likely very different for many of you.  We only saw immediate family who have been around us all year, but we were thankful for having a few days that felt nearly 'normal.'








I received several gifts from Rachel who drew my name this year.  An essential oil shelf, which Tim hung in my bathroom, and this darling tartan stool!  I also received a new ipad cover, a phone case, and 2 boxes of the outdoor lights that I use in the garden!

We ate good food, too much dessert and chocolates, we laughed, we watched  The Chosen Christmas show The Shepard.  The Chosen is an amazing series.  Have any of you seen it?  We use VidAngel to filter movies, and that is where we watch the series.  Sarah watches it at school on the The Chosen app on her phone. She says it comes up as VidAngel when its loading.  You can also find them on YouT*be.

With the New Year comes Lindsay's birthday and our anniversary on the 2nd.  Emma and Vinnie have an anniversary tomorrow.  They have lots of birthdays and anniversaries in his family around this time of year too, and he has a sister getting married early in January.

Lots of celebrating.

Tim and I were talking about this year, and we both think that while it has had its challenges and been hard in many ways, it has also been a year of many things that have been hidden in darkness being revealed, and people coming awake.  God has been on the move (as he always is) in this year, and he will never stop. He is not willing that any should perish, which is why he sent his son Jesus. He gave his son to bear the punishment for sin, he gave him freely so we might have eternal life.

We don't have any plans yet for New Year's Eve. Maybe we'll watch movies, or play games. Do you have plans to ring in the New Year? 



Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Christmas Adam Fun - Ice Candle Holders

 Here is a fun and easy activity to do with a friend, child, grandchild, or by yourself! 

I hadn't made these in years but a recent video on youtube by Angela of Parisienne Farmgirl reminded me of how much I love to make these! Click on the highlighted name of her account to go to the page where she shows you how to make these.

I used the lower part of 2 liter bottles, and put a small glass jar into it with some water in the jar to keep it in place.

Then I sliced up a few lemons and oranges (a great thing to do with fruit that is getting 'older', pulled out a bag of cranberries that were getting a bit old, too, cut some fir tips. (I could have cut some of my boxwood or any kind of greens)


After placing the jar with water in it in the plastic bottle, I slipped the lemons, oranges, cranberries and greens between the jar and side of the bottle.


Then I added water.



Then I placed them into the freezer. When we have cold weather, I sometimes make them outside on the deck. After a few hours they are ready.  I put very hot water in the jars, I actually do this 2-3 times then the jar slides right out of the ice.


I usually use these when I am having company in the winter. It's dark in the country and these lighted ice candle holders shine the way to the door!

This year, there are no parties with people outside of our family, so these will be used indoors for an hour or so as a centerpiece for Tim's birthday dinner.  I will run cold water over them to get them 'clear' before I place them on the table.







I have two more in the freezer. 

These ice candle holders can be made with any plastic container. I used what I had, and had to cut the plastic bottle off to free the ice.

Today is Christmas Adam in our family, and the excitement is building over whether a few orders will arrive in time for Christmas! I'm not stressing about it, after its a small thing in 2020, right? If they are late it'll just extend the holiday fun.

I want to wish you and your family, a very Merry Christmas, even here in 2020.  I hope you find a way to 'see' your family if you can't be together in person.  We always FaceTime or use Google Duo to talk to our daughter and her family in Tennessee. It's the next best thing to being there.


                   Merry Christmas!



Tuesday, December 22, 2020

The Light Shines In The Darkness And The Darkness Has Not Overcome It

 


I found this acoustic version of O Come, O Come Emmanuel and it is wonderful.  They sing many verses that most people don't usually sing.  Really good, and appropriate for this year especially. 


The world has seen dark times before.  I think the enemy of our souls has blinded our eyes to the deep darkness that has been here since the garden.  At times, people have been closer to God and in relationship with him than at other times.  These days, as people have moved farther away from God, the darkness has become bold, and not afraid to show itself.

We are in an unprecedented time in history, both of our nation and the world.  People are waking up to the complete overtaking of freedoms, by an elite ruling class who don't even hide that there are "rules for thee, but not for me."  Examples are everywhere.

They've been ruling this year through fear.  Now there is a supposed new strain in the UK. But did you know they've never isolated the first "strain?"  With people waking up and resisting around the world, they need to ramp up the fear - thus a "new strain."  The evil of human trafficking, and child s*x trafficking is horrific.

So much darkness.

John 1:1-14 says, 

 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome[a] it.

There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 8:12 says, 

 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

The darkness of evil and sin is why Jesus came - to shine the light of God and bring forgiveness to a dark and hopeless world. 





Monday, December 21, 2020

Weekend

 


This photo was taken yesterday after church.  I love it.  

Saturday was a quiet day here, and in the afternoon Tim, Kyle, Sarah and I played Clue.  I like that game.


Later Rachel and Wes, and our friend Luisa came for dinner and our friend Denny dropped by, too!

Then Rachel mentioned going to see the Christmas lights, so we piled in the van, stopped to get donuts and coffee, and headed down to Nottingham.  





I know that for many this is going to be a tough holiday.  The usual traditions that we have built into this holiday won't happen.  Ours are very different this year.  However, we are going to celebrate the birth of the Savior of the world! So we will give gifts (we've never been extravagant gift givers) remembering the greatest gift given to us - Jesus!

This week I'll do some baking, and then we'll give food gifts to friends and neighbors.



 








Friday, December 18, 2020

Friday Five

 


Here is a reel I made on IG this week.

Our snow was lovely, and we got about 6 inches.  Its cold enough that the snow has not melted but the roads are clear and that is the way I like to enjoy the snow.

Here are some photos I took yesterday.


1. Snow on the kitchen door wreath.


2. Watson checking out the snow.


3. A view of our neighborhood


4.  Both of my sons clearing the driveway.  I call them my bookends.  They are 16 years apart.  


5. The barn in the snow



Thank you for your kind prayers and thoughts for our friends.  The airline cancelled their flight from Dulles well ahead of time and rescheduled them out of Chicago.  They arrived at the same time their original flight was to arrive!  They are so happy to be with family for Christmas!

We have a week to go.  Sarah comes home today. This week will go by quickly, but it's going to be fun!

Are you ready for Christmas?  I have Tim's birthday on the 24th to prepare for, too.  Then we have a daughter's birthday and our anniversary the next week!

It's a fun time of year for us!  Have a wonderful weekend!







Wednesday, December 16, 2020

There's A Big Storm Headed Our Way

 


                                                           

                                                                         source


This will be the biggest storm we've had in several years.  Tim is likely going to have to reschedule a few things, but I'm all set for food etc, and we are always well prepared for a power outage if that happens.

We are praying for dear friends of ours who are planning to fly out of Dulles tomorrow headed to England to have Christmas with their son and his family.  It looks like DC isn't going to be as impacted as the Northeast, so hopefully they won't be delayed or at least not too long!  They'll have to quarantine at their sons home for two weeks, or they might be able to get c*vid tests and if negative they will be able to go out from the house much sooner.  I'm excited for them!

I'm working on plans for Tim's birthday, which is Christmas Eve.  The thing we usually do, is not possible this year, so I'm working on ideas that will work in our current restrictions.

If you're in the path of the storm, know that I'm praying for you!



Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Gifts

 



Several years ago our kids asked if we could draw names among the adults for gift giving.  With six kids, and now four spouses, and us, and my parents the list was getting long and expensive.  We said yes, though Tim and I still get gifts for everyone.  Gift cards for dinner out, a trip to a paid Christmas light experience, Disney + for a year, that kind of thing.

The problem is that gift cards aren't very fun to wrap! I had a few things to wrap yesterday and it made me happy, as I enjoy using pretty paper and ribbons, and creating gift tags.

Kyle got a brown paper wrapped with gorgeous plaid ribbon.  I used my thistle seal with red wax for a bit of a unique tag.


The grands got cute stocking paper and sweet ribbons, along with a personalized tag.


Sarah's is pretty plaid paper, with a lovely ribbon with lace on the edges.


When my kids were growing I often followed this guideline

                                                       
source


One of Kyle's gifts for example is a want/need item and one is a wear item.  I may still try to get him a read item as well, but I don't feel locked into this guideline. We are book buyers throughout the year, and I'm not sure if he has a current list of books he wants right now.

My Tennessee grands are getting a cool I Spy Christmas book, and crafty kinds of things for their stockings. The grands here are getting games, and fun things in their stockings.

I buy things like gum, small packs of tissues, book marks, small lotions, candy, new toothbrushes, etc for stocking gifts.  I sometimes put knitted items in their stockings as well.

We often gift baked goods to neighbors and friends.  Cappuccino muffins, cookies, pretzel candy all make great gifts for neighbors and friends.  Most Americans have more than they need, so a small token to say Merry Christmas is usually well received. People love to know you were thinking of them.

Also, this year we are trying to buy from local small businesses.  They've been hit hard by our governors mandates, and so we are trying to support them as much as we can.

What kind of gifts to you like to give?  Any family traditions?  Let's talk about it in the comments!



Monday, December 14, 2020

Weekend

 

I knew the girls would be out of quarantine this weekend, and would go to church with us and spend Sunday afternoon at our house, so I picked up this darling foam gingerbread house kit for $3 at Tar-jay.




It was easy and fun to put together, they didn't need much help, in fact I think they could have done it without me, but I'd have missed out on the fun!  I basically put the walls together, and put the front windows in, and then Kam put the roof on and they did the rest!








So Fun!



I think this week is going get very interesting.  I think we are going to begin to see how deep the swamp is and how corrupt our systems really have become.  I'm praying and I know you are, too!



Friday, December 11, 2020

Friday Five - Christmas Music Edition

 Welcome to Friday Five - Christmas Music Edition!  I love Christmas music - maybe its the fact that we only get one month to listen to it every year that makes me turn it on my playlists and enjoy them to the fullest!

1. Creekside Cottage Christmas on Spotify.  I add or take away songs every year.  This playlist focuses on the Reason for the Season!  I love it!

2. Strait No Chaser - 12 Days of Christmas!  The video isn't great quality but its still my favorite.  This is just a fun version of this song!



3. The Piano Guys - O Come, O Come Emmanuel 
So beautiful!


4. For King and Country - Little Drummer Boy (Live) 
We love this version of this song, and I'd love to see them perform this song in person!


5. Casting Crowns - I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day.
Love this version of this song, and the line "Then rang the bells more loud and clear! God is NOT DEAD nor does He SLEEP!"


I'd love to have you share your favorite songs with us all in the comments! 

Have a wonderful weekend, Friends!

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Christmas Treats

I don't do much baking anymore, but I think a Christmas Cookie party might be in the works.  What I do make is these simple salty sweet treats.



Mini pretzel twists, chocolate kiss.  Place in preheated oven at 250 degrees for about five minutes.  Remove and press into the kiss one M&M.  That's it.  I usually cool them in the fridge or, like yesterday when it was cold, on the deck for a bit to let the kiss harden up again.  


The peanut M&M's are favorites around here, as are the peanut butter cups.  It's only at Christmas time will you find me buying candy.


I will probably make cappuccino muffins as gifts, too. This is the recipe we use but our muffins are always brown with the cocoa powder not white like these!  Either way, they are delish and I don't even like coffee!


A friend and her two daughters came over last night to watch White Christmas with me, and we got to chatting about the baking they do every Christmas.  Their family does a lot of variety of cookies.  It got me thinking about the Russian Tea Cakes that my grandma used to make around Christmas time.  I have her recipe, and I might have to make them, if I can give half of them away!


What are treats that your family has every year?  



ps - I got an unkind comment on Monday about the election.  It wasn't really unkind about me, in the few I've had, the other ones were a lot more personally unkind.  However, I will say that those who are still believing that there has been no election fraud, that Bid*n is the president el*ct, etc are truly blinded.  I'm sad for them, that they can't see the truth, or maybe they just don't want to see truth.  

Pray on, friends!


Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Kitchen Door Wreath and Some Encouragement

 

Happy Tuesday, Friends!

I wanted to share my kitchen door wreath with you.  This is the door that we use daily and that all of our guests use.  I wanted it to be cheery and full of Christmas goodness.


If you were to come to my home this wreath would greet you!  I do have a wreath by the front door too, but it is just greenery with a big plaid ribbon.

When we had horses, I would always hang a wreath on the pasture gates, too.  

I also wanted to share this encouraging read from Spurgeon with you.  Nancy from A Joyful Cottage sent this to me, and she gave me permission to share it with you.


And the Lord shewed me four carpenters.”

Zechariah 1:20

In the vision described in this chapter, the prophet saw four terrible horns. They were pushing this way and that way, dashing down the strongest and the mightiest; and the prophet asked, “What are these?” The answer was, “These are the horns which have scattered Israel.” He saw before him a representation of those powers which had oppressed the church of God. There were four horns; for the church is attacked from all quarters. Well might the prophet have felt dismayed; but on a sudden there appeared before him four carpenters. He asked, “What shall these do?” These are the men whom God hath found to break those horns in pieces. God will always find men for his work, and he will find them at the right time. The prophet did not see the carpenters first, when there was nothing to do, but first the “horns,” and then the “carpenters.” Moreover, the Lord finds enough men. He did not find three carpenters, but four; there were four horns, and there must be four workmen. God finds the right men; not four men with pens to write; not four architects to draw plans; but four carpenters to do rough work. Rest assured, you who tremble for the ark of God, that when the “horns” grow troublesome, the “carpenters” will be found. You need not fret concerning the weakness of the church of God at any moment; there may be growing up in obscurity the valiant reformer who will shake the nations: Chrysostoms may come forth from our Ragged Schools, and Augustines from the thickest darkness of London’s poverty. The Lord knows where to find his servants. He hath in ambush a multitude of mighty men, and at his word they shall start up to the battle; “for the battle is the Lord's,” and he shall get to himself the victory. Let us abide faithful to Christ, and he, in the right time, will raise up for us a defence, whether it be in the day of our personal need, or in the season of peril to his Church.


I find this so encouraging.  I feel like God has raised someone up to shed light on all the corruption, and evil that has been taking place.  Of course, this person is not doing this alone.  God has also raised up many to work alongside and behind the scenes.  Fighting for good, fighting evil.


I know that help doesn't always come wrapped the way we want it to be packaged.  Nice, neat, with a fabulous bow.  No, like Spurgeon said, God didn't send writers, nor architects, he sent carpenters to do rough work.  He always sends the right person for the job.




Monday, December 7, 2020

Weekend

 


I decorated my bedroom on Friday.  I have garland lights and ribbon on my secretary and here on my dry sink.  Tim made an insert for my dry sink so that it is nearly even with the edges and I can use it for display rather than everything being down in the 'sink.'


I love to use this space.  You can find the link to my flameless candles {here}.  They have a remote and can be set on a timer.  They really are great and add wonderful ambiance in my rooms!

I also added a bow to my kitchen door wreath and will attempt a decent photo today.  We had a sunny weekend and I couldn't get a good photo of it.  Today is grey, so I think I can get a good shot of it.

I hope your weekend was good.  Kay is out of quarantine but Nate and the kids have a few more days.  She never had any other symptoms than lack of taste and smell.

I'm continuing to read and pray regarding the election.  There is so much evidence of voter fraud! Wow! The videos, sworn testimonies, examinations of machines.  Did you see they found an old school bus in AZ, with blackout windows, that had been abandoned?  It had NV plates.  When they opened it up, they found voting machines inside.  What?!

So much is being revealed and there is more to come, I think.  Keep praying for our nation.  We need the truth, but I think that the truth will be hard to swallow.  Painful, even. If you want to find information on some of these things, try using a search engine like Duck, Duck Go or Ecosia.  They are not censored like g**gle.

Have you ever wondered why there is so much censorship?  Why can't adults access tweets or videos about c*v1d or the El*ct1on, or even talk about them online without doing this?

Its time for us all to think critically, and not keep believing the narrative that the legacy media tells.  They are protecting themselves and others from their deeds becoming known.  Ever wonder why they hate the president so much?

Our world has been groaning and in pain since the Garden.  I'm thankful for the reminder of the gift God gave to us that we celebrate at this time of year.   



Friday, December 4, 2020

Friday Five - Ornaments

 I use the same ornaments every year, mostly.  Some years, like this one, I don't put all the ornaments I have on the tree.  We left off glittery snowflakes, and some other white sparkly ornaments.  It all depends on my mood, and if the people helping me have reached their end of helping (if you know what I mean!).

The following ornaments will always be on my tree.













Some are elegant, some are homey, some bring memories of an amazing trip.  But they all have a place on my tree, and always will.

What about you? Do you have a themed tree?  Certain colors you use, homemade ornaments?  I'd love to hear about it in the comments!


Friday Five

  This week's photos are of celebration and home keeping. 1. My dad turned 82 on Tuesday! After the week and weekend we'd had, we we...