Hello, friends!  Thanks for coming by!   It's officially the Christmas season! Why do I say that on the 5th of December?  Because last night it snowed!  Two whole inches!  And it was gorgeous and wintry and Christmasy and beautiful.  And I'm not even a fan of snow!! How are you coming along with your Christmas decorating?  Today I used fresh greens and rose hips to make two wreaths for my windows... inside.  The aroma is delightful, too!  The only thing... I can hardly see the rose hips against the greens. Ugh! If you're like me and would like to add a little extra something that speaks to the … [Read more...]

  Peace.  We all want it. Peace for the world.  Peace in our hearts.  Peace in our homes.  Peace in our relationships.     Often, our struggle looks like the kitty here.     Let's take some time together for a few reflections on peace.   For several years, I hosted an annual Christmas open house in my home. One of the attendees had been there for quite a while when she said to me, "I love being in your home, it's so peaceful." How is it that my home was a peaceful place when ladies were coming and going and eating and laughing and chatting? … [Read more...]

  Hello, friends!  Thanks for coming by!   Have you started decorating for Christmas? I LOVE having word art prints framed and set in a vignette for the holidays.  So with that in mind, I created this lovely print with this Christmas verse...  "Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful." by Norman Vincent Peale.  I hope you'll download it, pin it up or display it somewhere special.  Or... place it in a frame and give as an early Christmas or hostess gift. Download this Free 8×10 Christmas Quote Art Print for personal use HERE!  If … [Read more...]

  What are you hoping for? A good test result? An interview? A mended relationship?     Hope is a funny word.  To me, it's kind of a nebulous word for a nebulous idea or feeling. How many times do we say, "Oh, I hope so!" To your spouse or child, you might say, "I hope you have a good day." or "I hope you have a great time!" It's kind of like a wish.   Other times it's an expectation for something to happen or for someone to make something happen. We often put our hope in things, in people, in events. Recently, a lot of people placed their hope in a … [Read more...]

  If a TV reporter were to stop you on the street and thrust a microphone in your face and ask you what you're thankful for this Thanksgiving... what would be your answer? We often talk about gratitude here and how a thankful heart is a happy heart.     As I was editing photos today I was thinking about Thanksgiving and the pilgrims' first Thanksgiving dinner that my second-grade class reenacted on the stage of an old gym with the slippery brown linoleum floor.  A long table was placed on the stage and set with food.  I'm not sure if every student dressed in pilgrim clothing, but … [Read more...]

  Wouldn't you love to approach Christmas with a sense of peace and purpose and less craziness? In the midst of the festivities, busyness, and sensory overload, you really can discover peace and purpose this Christmas.     I've discovered that when I plan to focus on Christ's coming and Advent... the season leading up to Christmas where we intentionally remember what it was like for people thousands of years ago to anticipate the coming of Christ... my joy and delight in Christmas and God's GIFT to us gives me much peace and purpose in spite of all the craziness of the world … [Read more...]

  Hello, friends!  Thanks for coming by! Have you started thawing your turkey?  This is the first time I've ever had a frozen turkey.  Until now, I have only roasted fresh turkeys for Thanksgiving. My mom was a good cook, but she never roasted a turkey... we went to my aunt's for Thanksgiving on the rare years that my nurse mom didn't work.  So, if you have any tips for using a frozen turkey... please spill. Besides turkey, I look forward to a piece of pumpkin pie.  What's your favorite? After the pie is eaten, the guests have left, and the dishes are washed and put away... It's time to decorate for … [Read more...]

  Thankful. Today I got up and chose to live a thankful life.  Funny thing is... I did that unconsciously.  And with abandon. I wanted to go down to the lake to see the waves.  The wind had been howling all night, there were snow squalls, and winds were said to be gusting 40-50 mph so I knew there would be big waves. But, first, I need to purchase a new baking dish. It's a thankful dish.  A name brand  9x13 baking dish that was all of $6 at the dollar store.  At least half the price of the supermarket on steroids. Why is it a thankful dish?  I'm so glad you … [Read more...]

  Hello, friends!  Thanks for coming by! Can you believe that we're less than TWO weeks from Thanksgiving!?! We've been having such gorgeous weather and with the trees so late in coloring and dropping their leaves it just doesn't feel like mid-November.  However... the calendar says otherwise! I came across this lovely quote, so fitting for Thanksgiving... To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven. ~Johannes A. Gaertner So I created a lovely Thanksgiving printable for you. I LOVE the final phrase of … [Read more...]

  Students on college campuses across the country were so filled with fear and anxiety following the presidential election that exams were postponed, cocoa was served, crayons and Play-Doh were given out, and counselors were made available. Fear spills out of every news channel as well as our Facebook news feeds. So many people are worried about their future, their children's future, the future of our country and the world. Yet, Jesus said in the midst of very tumultuous and troubling times... not unlike ours...   "Don’t ever worry about tomorrow. After all, tomorrow will worry about … [Read more...]

  Hello, friends!  Thanks for coming by! Here we are... the night before the BIG election. Are you excited, fearful, or just can't wait to be done with it all? Although I am fairly opinioned regarding all things political (thank you 9th grade Civics), I'm not here to tell you how to vote.  However, if you've been struggling with whom you should cast your vote, maybe this simple list will help you... 4 Criteria to Consider Character ~ Conviction ~ Competence ~ Culture Sunday, our pastor did not even hint at who to vote for, but he did help us to consider the above through the filter of being a … [Read more...]

  You are so very blessed. I'm not talking about the roof over your head, the family that sits around the table with you, or any of the "stuff" of life. It's all good. But there's better.     As we embark on the season of Thanksgiving I am so taken with the knowledge that God takes joy in doing good to us. I will make an agreement with them that I will not turn away from them. I will do good to them, an agreement that will last forever... I will have joy in doing good to them. Jeremiah 32:40-41 Our good is His good. Our joy is His joy. It is His forever promise to … [Read more...]

  Words... Have you noticed that there's been a war of words, especially on Facebook? Granted Facebook isn't REALLY our personal space.... but it feels personal to me. It's where I keep up with my nieces... one lives in Connecticut and the other in Arizona. It's where I keep up with the friends I've made in New York, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and beyond. It's also a work space for me... there are the blogging groups I belong to and there's my biz page for my blog, too.     Words, memes, and other images have invaded the space where I usually I look forward to seeing … [Read more...]

  They were popping up at every turn... little gifts in disguise. It was Saturday afternoon and I had unfinished work... the last thing I wanted to do was go for a hike. The day was gray.  The only thing that got me out of my chair was knowing I needed to get my body moving.  Small reason... but it was enough. I tied on my walking shoes and off we went. You know how I love nature... but I wasn't into it. And then I spied a little nest of mushrooms.     And then there were more...     White ones with flat tops and frilly … [Read more...]

  Do you remember that old saying, a smile is a frown turned upside down? The other day I found myself sitting at a stoplight and noticed that my mouth was set in a frown. What?!  At that moment I realized my happiness had gotten up and left. If I'm in charge of my happiness... how did that happen?     Before I answer that question, I need to ask... What is your happiness quotient? On a scale from 1 to 10 with 10 being the state of supreme happiness... where do you sit? Are you happy with that spot?     I don't think I'm the only one who has … [Read more...]

  As we finished up supper the other day I was surprised to look out the window and see how dark it was.  The next morning, the sun didn't seem to break the horizon until after 8 a.m.  With hardly a notice... we slipped into the season of darkness. There's another kind of darkness that we all seem to have slipped into as well.... it's the darkness of our world.  It's almost palpable.  I'm sure you'll agree that the darkness is pervasive on social media, especially in regards to the upcoming election. It might come through fear of the future.... anger and disagreement about candidates or issues... … [Read more...]

  Hello, friends!  Thanks for coming by! We had the most beautiful fall weekend.  My latest post will give you a glimpse of how we enjoyed it.  I hope you had a lovely weekend creating memories, and enjoying the fleeting beauties of the season. As we approach the "season" of gratitude, I thought I'd share this great gratitude quote I ran across.... When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude. --Gilbert K. Chesterton Great words to live by.  Yes? If you missed stopping by this past week I shared some extraordinary goodness on … [Read more...]

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