November 30, 2011

goodbye November

Blogging has become a way of journaling what brings me joy.


I started listing a blessing each day as a way to remember all that I have to be thankful for and I thought I would use my final post of the month to publish that list to remind myself that if God is faithful in the little things, He most certainly will be faithful in the big things. 


everyday blessings for November...

1. bacon for breakfast 2.wind rustling the leaves 3. red cowboy hats 4. storybooks 5. promise of rain 6.the aroma of coffee 7. a warm bed 6. grace 7. bible study ladies 8. cuddle time 9. a brand new day 9. travelling mercies 10. loving parents 11. dedicated military 12. the morning after a rain 13. Sunday morning worship 14. morning coffee 15. a hot shower 16. hummingbirds 17. sweet time in prayer 18. salvation 19. blogging friends 20. His sacred name 21. chubby hands drinking hot chocolate 22. sunshine 23. Emily's birthday 24. Thanksgiving feast 25. leftovers 26. a clean house 27. clean sheets 28. birthday cake 29. having a sharing spirit 30. Christmas lights


Along with the list are a few of my favorite photos from the last 30 days.  Thank you for sharing your time and thoughts with me this month.  Visiting with you has become a special part of my day!  Patty

November 29, 2011

sharing Christmas

I have always loved the magic of Christmas...



but this year as I've been scurrying about cleaning and decorating...




it's felt like company was coming...



but who?



Why all of you of course!  The added spring in my decorating step has been the thought of sharing it with my new blogging friends.  Sharing is truly the magic of feathering our nests for the holidays, don't you think?  Come on in...

November 28, 2011

Christmas colors

I love the colors of Christmas...


I have to admit, I'm a traditionalist at heart, so you'll see plenty of reds, greens and golds in my home.


But I love Christmas in any color!  Don't you?

November 26, 2011

sneak peak Christmas mantel

I couldn't resist showing you what I've been working on today.  I'd forgotten how much fun it is to decorate with a little one in the house. 



My three year old grandson has just oohed and aahed over every sparkly thing that comes out of a tote.



He was so reluctant for me to put away the pumpkins but not anymore...




Now he's convinced it's Christmas at our house!



There is so much more to do but I am having so much fun, it is most certainly worth the effort.  Be back soon to share the whole mantel and more.

November 25, 2011

let the fun begin

I've gone through my mounds and mounds of Christmas books and magazines and tagged a few new ideas, the Christmas music is playing and the fall decorations are down and ready to be put away til' next year.  Next up is my pre-decorating cleaning...

(decor - I Love Country)

Let the fun begin!

November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

The preparations are almost finished...

The pies are ready to go into the oven...



It will soon be time to gather around the table and offer thanks...


I just wanted to take a minute to wish you all the Happiest of Thanksgivings!

November 21, 2011

a thankful monday

It's officially here...the beginning of the holiday season.  This week of Thanksgiving is a prelude to what's just ahead and in some ways this celebration is even more special than Christmas.  It just seems this one hasn't been twisted into something it was never meant to be.



Family, food and thankfulness.  Kind of cuts to the heart of it doesn't it.

I'm not hosting turkey dinner this year so this will most likely be my last pumpkin inspired post and recipe for a while.  I tried these ginger cupcakes from Ina Garten this week.  The cream cheese frosting with orange zest is delicious.


Not only is it time to say goodbye to autumn and hello to winter but for me it's time to say goodbye to my dining room table until the decorations have all been put up and the Christmas tree trimmed.  My family knows this, they've learned not to expect to actually eat at the table for the next week or so. 

But come December 1st, it will all have been worth it.

November 20, 2011

blogging friends

I had the chance to spend some time with three of my favorite bloggers a couple of Saturdays ago.  Elaine from Sunny Simple Life, my sister in law and I met up with Kris from Simplify and Mary Jane from The Beehive Cottage at a local craft show where Mary Jane was selling her beautiful handcrafted wares. 


We had the opportunity to tour her adorable vintage trailer and ooh and ah over her paper crafted lovelies.
 

(photo courtesy of The Beehive Cottage...more photos here)



Mary Jane's work is even prettier in real life.  I wanted it all!  If you haven't visited her Etsy shop, there is still a little time before Christmas...wink, wink.


It was hard to pick favorites but I finally narrowed it down to these beautiful items.  I can already tell I'm going to have a hard time actually giving these sweet tags away and have found a spot in my sewing room for this adorable clipboard.



If you've ever wondered what it would be like to meet up with fellow bloggers, I can tell you, these ladies are just as sweet in person as they are on their blogs.   I knew I felt a connection with them through what they share in their posts and after meeting them in person, that connection is real. We talked over lunch like we had been friends for years.  We've already made plans to meet up again soon.

 Enjoy your Sunday, Patty

November 18, 2011

faith walk friday #10

I can't believe we are at the end this faith walk friday series and how great it is that we get to end with the best topic of all...

on being blessed - I wish this was going to be one of those posts that made you go, "Aha" and that a light bulb would go off because of some insightful thing I said.   What I've learned in my 50 years of faith walking is that there may never be that "Aha" moment. It may be just a series of gentle whispers and a few small steps of faith that place you on the path to walking a life of blessed assurance, a life perfectly in line with the will of God.

 

Every child of God is living a blessed life, whether we are on a mountain top or in a valley.  The blessing comes not in the circumstance but in the blessor.  We are blessed simply because we are His and our desire should be to live as He lived, giving up what was rightfully His to walk out a lowly existence with us.  What sacrifice can we offer when the ultimate sacrifice has already been made?

I said at the beginning that it all stems from being chosen by God to be His. What do we do with that? How do we walk out that knowledge? How does our life look different because of it?   I wish I had the answers, I only know that our lives should look different.



Do you know Shannan? If you do then you know someone who was willing to step out from a comfortable life into the unknown to follow Jesus. If you don't then go over and get to know her because we could all use a little bit of Shannan in us.



You may have noticed that I've added a couple of things to my sidebar.  One is a daily blessing list, just to remind myself that I am indeed blessed every day in spite of the problems in my life (and we all have them) and the other is a way for you to join Shannan at flower patch farmgirl to dig a well for those who are not able to turn the faucet off and on and get fresh, safe running water by donating what you can.

Thank you for joining me on this ten week journey, for your warm and encouraging comments and for reminding me that we are not alone in this walk.   Just because we've reached the end of this series doesn't mean that I'm in any way done sharing my faith walk with you.

Faithfully His,
Patty

November 16, 2011

blue ball jar

I've wanted a blue ball jar for the longest time so when I saw this one in an antique store I was thrilled.  After a moments debate at spending $7.00 for an old jar, I quickly snatched it up.


I can already imagine it filled with fresh flowers from the garden in the spring or vintage Christmas balls in the winter.  It's amazing how such a little thing can brighten my day.



Between the jar, my thrift store oil painting and my hobby lobby birdhouse, I can't help but smile every time I pass this little corner.



Considering you can't even buy a fast food lunch for what I paid for it, I would say it was definitely worth every penny!

November 15, 2011

living room reveal (well, sorta)

I debated whether or not to share my living room reveal with you since it's not totally finished.  Between daylight savings, rainy weekends and life in general, I still have a couple of unfinished projects but since I'm getting ready to start my Christmas decorating I thought I better show it now or I'd have to wait until next year. 


I don't how you start a project but I take out a pen and paper and start making lists.  The living room for us was all about a certain feeling and function.



Simplicity. Cottage. Sunshine. Modern. Comfortable. Re purpose.  These words were my inspiration.



I love the results.  We managed to capture the feeling we were after and best of all this room is truly a living room. 



At any given time there may be t.v. watching, trains and cars scattered, a book open, bible study, some needlework being done, a quick nap or even some banjo practice going on.


Don't tell my husband, but I have already spread out an unfinished quilt on the new carpet to pin it for quilting.  (I'm supposed to keep my sewing in my sewing room...oh well!)


Besides the carpet and the new television (does that count?), the only purchase I made for the redo was fabric.  The curtains, pillows and recovered stool were all made fresh with basic sewing and stapling skills.  The stand the t.v. sits on was actually a re purposed bench from an outside structure we took out.  The plaid chair was a gift from family.


On the unfinished project list is a drop leaf table that is in the garage awaiting painting, hemming of the curtains and finding something for above the sofa (I'm thinking maybe a mini quilt of some kind). Any suggestions?

I still hope to finish painting the table this weekend but if not, it can wait till next year.  Once I start playing Christmas music it's all about the enjoying the season.

November 14, 2011

good morning

I so loved spending the weekend immersed in my cookbooks.  I hadn't done that in a while and had forgotten how much  I enjoy it.  I agree with you, it's just as much fun reading them as it is finding that sought after recipe.  Somehow just the thought of time spent in the kitchen measuring and mixing feeds this homemaker's soul.


I managed to ear mark a few recipes to try later but never found the Paula Deen recipe that began the search.  I have to admit, after looking through the four cookbooks of hers I own, I resorted to the Internet once again.


It is so amazing that with a few clicks of the mouse, I was off and running baking.



I saw these delicious Carmel Apple Cheesecake bars made up on pinterest and knew I wanted to make them for our morning coffee this week.  They were a bit labor intensive but you guys are definitely worth it.


Try not think about the all the butter I used (thank you Paula) and just enjoy!

Patty

November 12, 2011

cookbooks

It's been raining off and on all day.  Just the perfect day to stay cozy inside.  Look what I pulled off the shelf to help pass the time.



I love cookbooks.  I am trying to get better at opening their pretty covers and actually using them to cook from.  It seems I've gotten into the habit of pulling out my laptop and perusing the Internet for something new to try.



I guess that makes me a tad bit hypocritical...on the one hand I wax poetic for days gone by but on the other hand I am quick to take advantage of the latest technology.  Oh fickle, fickle me...



Such a split personality I have.  I think I'll fix myself a hot cup of tea and settle in my favorite chair.  I could spend all day within these pages.



What about you?  Internet or cookbooks?  Or are you lucky enough to have a box full of handwritten recipes?

November 11, 2011

faith walk friday #9

I failed to offer someone close to me grace yesterday.  Isn't that an awful thing to admit?  In my mind I remembered the times this person has failed in this particular area in the past and my mind defaulted to judgement and skimmed right over grace.


I am so thankful that God doesn't do that with me...He would have been finished with me a long time ago, that's for sure. 

What a humbling way to enter into our faith walk friday topic this week.

On receiving grace - I remember hearing a speaker once say that the enemy doesn't really need to be very creative with us to get us to fall into temptation and sin.  Most of us struggle with the same sins over and over, like a homing pigeon flying home.  He just dangles a well worn carrot in front of us and we take the bait.


This is certainly true for me. I know I ask God for grace in some area of my life...

every. single. day.

And He gives it to me...

every. single. day.

This doesn't mean that I give up the fight or that I don't continue to ask for the strength to withstand any temptation.  It means His grace and forgiveness are complete each and every time I come to Him with a contrite heart.  His only requirement is that I forgive and offer grace to others in the same way.

I am not the Judge, He is, and unlike me, He knows what's in the heart of the accused.  I'm just supposed to remember the grace He has shown me and extend it to others.

He is God and I wouldn't want it any other way.

Faithfully His, Patty

November 9, 2011

life is sweet

Isn't this the prettiest little teacup?



The dainty cherries and sweet lace scallop just tickle my spirit.



It was a thoughtful gift from a new blogging friend....



Debbie Kay over at My Vintage Daydreams.  Go pay her a visit she is such a creative lady. 



Thank you, I absolutely adore it!  You are too kind.

I hope life treats you as sweetly as it treats me.

Patty