Welcome! I'm happy and humbled you've stopped by.....Cozy up and follow along as I share my attempts at simple living with you.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Thoughts on Christmas

Christmas Greetings!!!

Like many of you, our Christmas celebrations are under way! 

We kicked off the holiday season with a wonderful Christmas celebration at our church.  Music is a great way to get you into the Christmas spirit- don't you think? 

 We had our get together with Hubby's family over the weekend.  We certainly had a house full of 
chow, chatter and children! 

Over the years, I have made a lot of interesting gifts, 
all in the name of fun- of course.
Many have fallen under the title of re-purposed, recycled and even 

This year, I conjured up some new ideas.
Each of the girls received one of these lovely blue Ball jars with the pump.


some lovely brooches made from the cans of their favorite beverages!

These precious jewels
 may not look like much to you, 
but I have to tell ya, every time I wear my 
Arizona Tea brooch 
on  my jean jacket I get comments!
Good comments!

With the big family gathering behind us,  
I am looking forward to our Christmas Eve traditions.  
The kids will be here, with the grand kids in tow.

Little Jack is really looking forward to opening some presents.
He is so excited he can't stand it!
It's going to be fun!

I have to tell you....
This year I'm feeling extra blessed.
Yes, there is a wonderful present under the tree for me that I can't wait to get my hands on :)

Okay, I confess......I already tried it out, but don't tell Santa!

But that's not the reason I'm so blessed....
While driving the other day, I saw a festive military type banner in someone's yard that read,


When I saw it, tears flooded my eyes.
What Joy they must be feeling as they welcome their spouse, or son or daughter home this holiday season.

And about 2 seconds after seeing that sign, 
I heard the gal on the radio talking about a dear friend of hers who is preparing to say good bye to her 18 year old daughter. 
 This young girl had been dealing with cancer for 15 years.  And now, just days before Christmas,
she was preparing to say good bye.
She said that as the reality of it all was settling in she collapsed into a chair and cried out to God, " I can't do this!"  

And God responded with, "you can't, but I can!"

And then of course, I wept some more! 

I know first hand the power and the truth of that statement.

On this Christmas,
I'm thankful that I don't have any children
 fighting a war in a foreign country.  
I'm thankful for the health of my family....
especially my own.

 This March, I will be celebrating 10 years of remission! 

I'm feelling especially thankful. 
It's a thankfulness, deep in my gut.
One, I really can't rightly express.  

The last few Sundays, our pastor  has been speaking  on the 
Meaning of the Manger.  

He wrapped it up this Sunday by sharing that it is our responsibility to 
fully follow and fully worship the (newborn) King.  

And I have to say, it's when we have felt forsaken
and totally empy
and we have nothing but our worship to give..
that my friends is when we really get to know that baby in the manger.  

Little Rhea came running to me
the other day shouting,
"Gwamma, I found Jesus!"

This Christmas, you may be feeling thankful or joyful.
Or this year, you may be dealing with some heavy burdens.  
Regardless of your circumstances...
may I encourage you to...

Fully follow and fully worship the new born King.

Wishing you a very Joy filled Christmas...

From our house to yours!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Decking the Halls....Christmas House Tour


Christmas preparations are under way at our house.  
I usually try to get an early start decorating so I can pace myself through the hustle and bustle of the holiday season
(so as not to get too stressed out.)

Our house is totally 
decked out.  
I'd like to tell you that there is a lot of glitter and sparkle here.
But the truth is....
Our Christmas decor is best described as

This little sleigh always adorned my grandma's
kitchen table.  For me, it holds a treasure trove
of memories.

....with hints of BURLAP....



Our tree is the 
Centerpiece of our home.  

I don't know about you, 
but I love all Christmas trees!

Our tree top is a bit unusual.  
But that's okay,
'cause we're a bit unusual, too!

Our grandkids enjoy the 
Little People Nativity
that's under the tree.

It gets rearranged every time they visit :)

Hot chocolate anyone?  
Vintage mugs and a jar full of  marshmallows..

                                               The old  "spring wreath"
is now a Christmas wreath.

And we can't forget to go outside to see the outdoor decorations....

More burlap and antlers!

Well, there you have it.  I hope you enjoyed the tour.

But more than anything, I hope you take time to consider the reason for this beautiful season.  
It's more than
presents and bows... 
more than decorations and trees,
or cookies,
or parties....

It's about a baby-
born to save the world.

“Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?
We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I Am Thankful For......

Like you, I am preparing for our feast on Thursday.  Even though I am not hosting Thanksgiving this year, I will be preparing food for the big day. But before I get busy in the kitchen, I wanted to share this little project....

I snitched the white (and very fake) white pumpkin from our front porch and gave it a makeover using the Cricut.

My hope is to get everyone to write what they are thankful for on the pumpkin (with a Sharpie) and save it for years to come as an autumn decoration.  It will also serve as a  wonderful piece of memorabilia to remind us of God's faithfulness, and to share with the grandkids one day!

Wishing you all a very

Ps..... In case you are wondering, I am thankful for many things.  Here are just a few.....I am thankful for a great husband, wonderful kids,  the most adorable grand babies, a new daughter- in -law-to- be, and other lovely people who play a role in my life..... I'm thankful for a warm home, and good health (and good health insurance.) ...... But most of all, I'm thankful for the Giver all good things, for He has provided me with everything I need (and most of the stuff I want!)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Awesome Getaway-Part 2

This post is a continuation from yesterday...

In between hunting and relaxing, we took a day and traveled over to Benezette.  

Benezette is 
THE place 
to go to see the elk of Pennsylvania. 
 As you will see, it was a beautiful Autumn day!

So grab a cup of coffee and settle in...
Enjoy the show..

We went to all of the designated
"elk viewing areas"....
but couldn't see an elk.....

....but it sure was beautiful!

Since we didn't see any elk in the viewing areas, we stopped at the Benezette Winery. 

According to the gal at the winery, there was an old elk that had roamed through town known as
 Old Fred.
She told me of how he lived for 19 years and was just part of the Benezette landscape, known and loved by all.
So of course, they had a wine named for Old Fred.
And of course, I had to get a bottle! 

Old Fred was collared, AKA #36

She also told me I could see Old Fred's rack at the visitor center.  
So off to the visitor center we went!

There were some lovely, informative displays there.....

Check it out,
Old Fred!

From the Visitor Center, we took time for lunch, and ice-cream. 
 (well, hubby had ice-cream)

We pulled into this cute little cafe that was originally an old country church. I looked over into the woods beside the truck and saw something that caught my attention.  I got out of the truck......

and saw this....
just a few feet away.

 There were probably a dozen, maybe more, elk cows all nestled in the woods with their man. 
They were scattered all around him, 
Camouflaged between the trees.
(it was like the elk version of Where's Waldo)
 It really was a sight to behold!

I quietly stood there....
snapped a few pics
and was on my  way before the ol' bull got upset.

We went back to a viewing area where we had previously been.
Still, no elk.
But out in the distance,
I could hear elk 

If you aren't familiar with the elk bugle, watch this video..Awesome!

The ride back to the cabin was very scenic...  

We saw turkeys....

How cute is he???

Another elk.  If you look closely, you can see healed puncture wounds on him from dueling with another bull. 

As you can see, we had a wonderful
and relaxing week in the Wilds of Pa.

I hope you enjoyed our vacation photos.
I certainly enjoyed sharing them with you!
I'd love to hear what you think of them!

I'll leave you with just a few more pictures of a
pleasant surprise...

I love this picture with winter snow and autumn trees!

Living Simply and Deliberately.......



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