Monday, May 31, 2010

Wonderfully Free

to worship
to write
to read
 to speak
to pursue
. . .
I Thank You

One of my son's best friends since grade school, recently in Afghanistan,
posted this on his facebook wall yesterday:

"Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial,
because when he stood the test,
he will receive the crown of life
that God has promised to those who love him."
-James 1:12

God Bless You, Victor.
and all your fellow soldiers!
We are so proud and so very grateful.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Beauty in Imperfection

 "...but to the humble He gives grace."
 James 4:6

Age with Grace
 God has grace in abundance

{From Robert Brault}
"Dare to be imperfect, and one day there will tug at your sleeve a soulmate."

"If we would see others as they see themselves,
our shyness would soon become compassion."

"Lend, by your imperfections, self-esteem to others,
and you will be invited everywhere."


“It is only imperfection that complains of what is imperfect.
The more perfect we are the more gentle and quiet
we become towards the defects of others.”
 Joseph Addison


“The day the child realizes that all adults are imperfect, he becomes an adolescent;
the day he forgives them, he becomes an adult;
the day he forgives himself, he becomes wise
Alden Nowlan


Focus on what unites us instead of what divides us.
You look beautiful the way you are.
Each day find 10 minutes to relax, sit outdoors or look out the window...
watch the sunlight and clouds move across the sky.
Repeat as needed.
"...for I am gentle and lowly in heart; and you will find rest for your souls..."
Matthew 11:29


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Maria and the Moon

Last night I was thinking of
"Owl and the Moon" 

and so, in honor of Arnold Lobel, {the author}
I sat up and snapped  this photo!
Did you ever read Arnold Lobel's book,
©  1975
"The Guest"
"Strange Bumps"
"Tear-Water Tea"
"Upstairs and Downstairs"
"Owl and the Moon"
Arnold Lobel wrote and illustrated all five stories.

Each one is a favorite in its own way.
When my children were little, this collection was always requested.
{It was probably because I enjoyed reading it aloud, and they could tell!}

I can still recite most of them by heart.
Last night,
The bright shining moon woke me up in the middle of the night.
My first thought was from this story.
My second thought was,
"Where's my cellphone, 
I'm going to take a picture of you Moon!"

"Owl and the Moon"

". . . All at once,
Owl's bedroom
was filled with silver light.
Owl looked out of the window.
The moon was coming
from behind the clouds.
'Moon, you have followed me
all the way home.
What a good, round friend 
you are!' said Owl.
Then Owl put his head
on the pillow
and closed his eyes.
The moon was shining
down through the window.
Owl did not
feel sad at all."
I can't look at the full round moon without
thinking of Owl's words, 
"What a good round friend you are!"

If you have lil' ones...
Owl at Home 
is a wonderful first reader.

I guess Owl is a sky watcher too!

Thank you to our Sky Watch Friday hosts: 

the sky
the sun
and the

~ You are the joy of His heart ~

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sweet Lilies of the Valley

"The temple bell stops but I still hear the sound coming out of the flowers."
~ Bashō

How delicate and lovely are these beautiful bells!

This bouquet was my third from the garden.
They start to brown in a handful of days...
the fragrance is heaven
Botanically known as Convallaria, 
but also known as
May lily,
May bells,
Our Lady's tears,
Lily Constancy,
Jacob's Ladder,

The Lily of the Valley
signifies a
"return to happiness"

They were first on Rachael's list for a bridal bouquet.
Rachael's flower budget is very modest, so she ordered a simpler bouquet of mixed flowers.
You see, our florist, Fran,
{a lovely woman that has know our children for years}
told us that a bouquet the size of the one above, from my garden,
would cost hundreds of dollars. 
They are $60 for 10 stems!
{Here's a link I found online.}

I'm so happy that they were blooming for Rachael's wedding shower.
~ These were free ~
"The flowers of late winter and early spring 
occupy places in our hearts well out of proportion to their size." 
~Gertrude S. Wister
 Dear Family and Friends,
~ I hope you have a wonderfully sweet week ~

Saturday, May 22, 2010

It's Rhubarb Time!

My garden is flourishing with rhubarb this spring.
Chris added some awesome compost to the soil and 
the plants are loving it!
...and, it's time for Linda's Rhubarb Cake again...
See below for the easy recipe.

My breakfast this morning on my favorite spring plate!

Last night, we had lots of activity at our birdbath.
Chris noticed that a tiny sparrow was having as much fun
bathing in the water that puddled inside the rhubarb leaves.
It was so cute.
We sat very still to enjoy all the activity...
but I could resist no longer and crept to the window for a photo.
As I approached, all the birds scattered except the one frolicking in the leaves.

...There he is again...
How cute is that !
~ Have some frolicking moments this weekend ~


Rhubarb Cake by Linda's Sweet Mom
Last year, Linda @ Linda's Patchwork Quilt commented that she had made some rhubarb cake... Now, we have a LOT of rhubarb in the garden... soooo,
I asked her for the recipe... which was passed along by her mom...
In a small bowl sift together:
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda

In large bowl cream together:
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar

add one egg
beat one minute

beat in flour mixture alternately with one cup milk

fold in 2 cups cut up rhubarb (1/2 inch slices)and 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts.

place in greased 13 x 9 inch pan
top with mixture of sugar  +  cinnamon
{I have a big shaker with cinn and sugar...about equal parts and I shake away!}

bake 30 minutes at 400 degrees and 5 minutes more at 375

***I substituted Smart Balance for the shortening***
{I reduce sugar by almost a third to make it nice and tart-and less cal's
and use 1c.whole wheat flour, 1c white for even more sustenance.}

It is sooooo delicious!!!
I made two batches!These two went in the freezer for when family visits.Here they are...fresh out of the oven! Son, Jason, is going to LOVE it!

~Thank you, Linda...and Linda's Mom~
This has been a favorite all year long!
(I freeze all the extra rhubarb I can at the end of the season!)

Thank you Michael Lee for hosting
* * *

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Laughing and Crying Out Loud with Earth

Happy Flowers in Flower boxes at local Artisan Shop

Sometimes, Earth needs a good laugh,
Sometimes, she starts to cry...

{wisps of rain or snow, seen trailing from clouds, that evaporate before reaching the earth}

{Photos of Virga taken on my way home from work.}

Virga subsides and tears dry.

~ Now turn that little pout around ~


Now, Earth,
you're giggling!
Thank you, Lord,
for this amazing planet we enjoy.
Dear Family and Friends,
~ Have a happy, happy weekend ~

Enjoy it All


Thank you to our Sky Watch Friday hosts: 

Monday, May 17, 2010


Where did the time go?

Wasn't he just a little boy?

How did he learn to do this kind of math?
{Differential Equations}

But he did!
He got A's in all his Physics classes!
(He didn't get that from me ;o)

Jason doesn't want to be on television.
Instead, he enjoys researching and forecasting the weather.
He loved his internship with the National Weather Service at the University's

Jason also likes presenting lessons.

I'm so proud of him.
Saturday afternoon we watched Jason, and a little over a dozen more students, graduate from the Atmospheric Science department.
{It's a very difficult major}

During the day, the grounds were prepared for all 2,600 students that will gather again on Sunday for the big commencement ceremony at the University.

...This was Saturday...

...and this...

was Sunday morning!

. . . This weekend . . .
Our youngest of three graduated from college.

we came full circle.

Jason, we love you!
Let your Light Keep Shining!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wedding Shower Tablescaping

Rachael's wedding shower
...was a gift for her...
it was also a gift for me!
I enjoyed the preparations for this so much.
So much was learned from all of you.
~ thank you ~

I saw these pink dishes in my new favorite consignment shop
several weeks ago.
Service for 10
in pink.
...from the '50's...

Could I just leave them there knowing how sweet they'd look on our buffet table?
When they were reduced to $30 for the whole set...
I knew they were meant to be on our table!
We had disposable plates as well, but our first guests loved using 'real' plates.

I bought the vintage napkins on eBay ~ 9 matching linen napkins for $6.95!
I took Friday off from school and it was wonderful!
I got so much done.
We took out all our serving dishes ~ especially the vintage ones!
platters from my grandmother's set and two pink glass Mikasa dishes from my sister.

Saturday morning, I frosted the cupcakes...
Amanda frosted the angel food cake and we assembled the hors d'oeuvres.
Amanda was my right arm that day!
The sands of the hour glass seem to disappear as we approached noon.
Everyone would be here by 1pm.
My nieces, sister and sister-in-law were awesome helpers that last hour!
It was like conducting an orchestra!

We had a dessert table with the cupcakes, angel food cake and cookies.

I went with pink and green flowers
and love baby's breath.
My favorite things were our "homemade" cupcake stand

and the pretty Martha Stewart paper dahlia favors

Later this week, I'll post some of the food pics.
This was a gift for Rachael, but I feel all the richer for it.

Blessings to you all,