Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Best Friend

Savannah is Devon and Everett's beautiful golden retriever.
{my sister in law & brother in law}.
Savannah was a therapy dog for years.
Look at that face ~ who wouldn't want a visit from Savannah !?!
She had to retire this winter due to her own health problems.

She has been a good and faithful servant
with a
heart and smile of gold.

~ As Robert Brault so wonderfully writes ~
 . . .
"If animals could talk, the world would lose its best listeners."
 . . .
Sometimes my dog looks at me as if to say,
"Did you know that petting an animal is a wonderful way to relieve stress?"
 . . .
"Ever wonder where you'd end up if you took your dog for a walk
and never once pulled back on the leash?
 . . .
"My dog and I have enjoyed many a silence together,
a conversation always resumed exactly where left off."
 . . .
"If you don't feel a bond with the animals who share with us
this moment in eternity, you don't comprehend eternity."
 . . .

Wishing Savannah a gentle retirement and a return to good health.
God bless Dev and Ev for letting Savannah bring JOY to so many.
a gift of love ♥
 . . .

A warm welcome to my dear sweet family and friends!

Have a Sweet Sunday everyone!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Chocolate cupcakes ~ Pretty in Pink

for a Friday birthday at work

Everyone at work LOVES chocolate and it was my turn to bring in the goodies for a birthday celebration today.
I knew my friend would love
her chocolate dressed in pink with "polkadots" 
and diamond sprinkles on top.
A little something sweet for all my sweethearts out there

{sharing something pretty for Friday Pretties at Joyce's blog
and something pink for Beverly's How Sweet the Sound ~ Pink Saturday post}

The recipe I use for chocolate cake or cupcakes at King Arthur Flour blog.
I've used this one for years! 

Have a wonderful weekend my friends

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What is Forgiveness? {lessons from those so young}

"light, love, and soup."

This is my second year reading The Tale of Despereaux with my sixth graders.

The theme of this book is forgiveness.
{Kate DiCamillo is brilliant.}

I asked them to write a few words on what they learned about forgiveness.
They always seem to teach me a few lessons too.


"Forgiveness helps get the hurt out.  If you forgive your heart will be pure."


"Forgiveness is a strong word that some people say with no meaning.  
When Despereaux’s father said, “Will you forgive me?” he said it with meaning.  
I think that is half the reason why Despereaux forgave his father."


"Forgiveness can be the only way to save your heart from breaking. 
Despereaux had to forgive his father to keep his own heart from breaking."


"If you did something bad to someone and you forgive them,
it’s like taking medicine for a cold; you feel a whole lot better.
Forgiveness can relieve stress."


"Forgiveness is a magical word, a word that can lift spirits.
Forgiveness can be little, however, it can also be big. 
It can change a life.  Even a little forgiveness can make a big difference."


"Forgiveness is power.
Forgiveness is being able to let go of what someone said or did to you;
being able to forgive is being able to move on.
Forgiveness is leaving the past, and moving on to the future...the next present."


It’s like a cup of hot chocolate on a chilly day.
It’s like a light in the darkness of hate.
It’s a kindness that can change the soul, mind, and heart of a mean person {or thing}...
Who can forgive?


"Forgiveness is a light which lies within all of our hearts no matter how evil or how bad they may seem, forgiveness can cleanse their heart and fill it with a bright shining light."


"Forgiveness is like having a weight lifted off of your shoulders.
When you are forgiven, everything goes good again.
When you forgive someone, you feel better, there’s no more heavy weight on you.
That is what I think forgiveness is, having a weight lift off your shoulders."


If my students hadn't written these in front of me,
I would have hardly believed that they were written by those so young.
Light, Love and Soup
f o r g i v e n e s s
needed by all
by every

Sunday, January 23, 2011

When Baking Imitates Nature

I just love my Nordicware Holiday Trees Pan.
Saskia posted about it before Christmas
and I ordered one right away!
Maybe this cake would turn out beautiful for me too!
{I've made five ever since including this one for Jason's birthday}

 . . . you see . . .
I'm really a cookie and pie baker.

 {I made my "J's" for Jason's birthday pie with a candy cane cutter; it made them backwards ;o)

Sometimes, people ask me why I love blogging.
 I tell them about all the sharing that we do.

friendship, baking, crafts, books, inspirations, prayers
{to say the least!}

The other day, I saw Julie's macaroon cookies.
I just baked a batch with Amanda today!
Thank you, Julie, what an easy recipe!
 Click here for a printable recipe

This afternoon, my daughters, Amanda and Rachael went shopping.
They sent me two cellphone photos.
two Willow Tree angels. 
They wrote, "Mom, these reminded us of your blog and your blog friends
~ tea and birds and joy ~
So true in many ways.
Thank you for all the cups of joy!

Dear family and friends,
I hope your Sunday has calm moments
some sweet tea and beautiful birds.
and all the blessings God pours out of heaven for us to receive.

Go Packers :o)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The infinite highway of the air

The photo above was taken a week or so ago as we passed a local orchard.
This is a little collage of close-ups.
Every black "brushstroke" is a bird!
We could see this flock up ahead and knew that when we drove past, there would be a big lift-off!
It was incredible to be driving past this and have my little cybershot in my purse!
I love how they alighted on the roof.
It was quiet a crowd!
~ This quote by Wilbur Wright is perfect for the occasion ~

The desire to fly is an idea handed down to us by our ancestors who...
looked enviously on the birds soaring freely through space...
on the infinite highway of the air.

Wilbur Wright
~  ~  ~
Dear Family and Friends,
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains {or snow} fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand

Have a sweet and wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Snow day Birdwatching

collage fun with Picasa
{Can you find the same Mr. Cardinal in another photo?}

~ Look at all our visitors today ~
red-bellied woodpecker and downy woodpecker {I love our little juncos too}
Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal

Starlings feasting on crabapples ~ look closely there's a robin!

What a relaxing day.
I love snowdays, but do look forward to hearing from my children that they traveled safely to and from work, etc.

Amanda and I are lucky birds!
We had a cozy kind of day
Wishing you one too!

Monday, January 17, 2011

first cup of coffee {together}

Do you remember when the kids were little, and as they awoke,
they would come in one by one to snuggle on your bed?

It's a special time that doesn't compare to any other.
~ Moments I treasured ~

Well, I still love it when the kids visit and we start the day that way!
Amanda came home yesterday and always joins us for that first cuppa coffee.

~ They are moments I treasure with all my heart ~

I hope you enjoy these beautiful quotes that inspired me this morning.
The informality of family life is a blessed condition that allows us to become our best while looking our worst.  ~Marge Kennedy

The morning cup of coffee has an exhilaration about it which the cheering influence of the afternoon or evening cup of tea cannot be expected to reproduce.  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., "Over the Teacups," 1891

What greater thing is there for human souls than to feel that they are joined for life - to be with each other in silent unspeakable memories.  ~George Eliot

“Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.”  
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Peace, Comfort and Joy to you my dear friends and family

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Birdie Love


{and inside}

{warm and comforting Saturday morning breakfast with my hubbie and birdies}

I just finished this beautiful birdie puzzle I bought for my father to work on.
Dear Koralee at Bluebird Notes had suggested a puzzle to help my Dad pass the time when he was convalescing last summer. He would only watched, so it became my puzzle instead.

It was a wonderful activity for me!   
~ Enjoy a warm and cozy weekend dear family and friends ~
Thanks again to my sister & brother-in-law, Devon and Everett for sharing their love for birds with us. 
Prayers for all who are experience hardships
outside and inside

Love to all,

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Locks of Love {a sweet niece's gift of love}

~ Marcy ~
A little hero with a big heart

Marcy grew and grew her hair so long because she knew it was going to have a very special purpose.
She gave her long beautiful locks to another child {for love}
This is the "Locks of Love" mission statement:
Our mission is to return a sense of self, confidence and normalcy to children suffering from hair loss by utilizing donated ponytails to provide the highest quality hair prothetics to financially disadvantaged children.

Her mother and father,  Doreen & Barry ~ and sister, Emily, looked on with joy. 


Amanda and I went to show her our support and heartfelt pride in what she was about to do!


Laura is the stylist that has previously helped donate to "Locks of Love."
She was wonderful!

The gift is "just right" and the process began.


Laura knows that putting the hair in two separate ponytails preserves more
of Marcy's remaining length to style later.

~ The making of a gift ~


~ begins in the heart ~


Locks of Love ~ from Lots of Love ~ to a lucky little child


Laura puts the finishing touches on Marcy's new style.
She loves her new look
and will always be a lil' angel to me.

Her mom and dad treated her to Friendly's that night.
I'll say she definitely deserved that yummy ice cream sundae!
Our lil' hero!

Dear friends and family,
I hope you are having a wonderful week.
Many of us have had lots and lots of snow!
Stay warm, cozy and share Lots of Love with all you know.

I'm joining everyone at Joyce's blog for

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Green Lights

“An optimist is a person who sees a green light everywhere,
while a pessimist sees only the red stoplight.
The truly wise person is colorblind.”
 Albert Schweitzer

I love this one.
The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking places.

and this one by Robert Brault

"As a means to success, determination has this advantage over talent
-- that it does not have to be recognized by others."

. . . and in keeping on a path to peace and joy . . .
" Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, And light unto my path."
Psalm 119:105

Peace and Joy to you all.
May our paths be gentle and free!
{Thank you, Rachael, for the great photo!}

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Sunrise and Sunset of Orange Sherbet {Sky Watch Friday!}

It was back to school this week.
The kids were buzzing about their Christmas surprises...
...and I was happy to hear that some of them received books as gifts.
*     *     *
Even though we are on the brighter side of the winter solstice,
the sun still sets pretty early.
Each time I leave school on the later side of the day, a beautiful gift waits for me.
a beautiful sunset

On the 4th, the sunset gave me a smile and a simile .
The sunset was like orange sherbet.

The sunrise this morning treated me to the same 

~ orange sherbet ~

  and on the way home a sundog that was like rainbow sherbet!

We're supposed to get snow tonight and tomorrow.

When my children were younger, and a storm was approaching, they always checked with me to see if we would have a delay or better yet, a snowday.  {I was almost always right}.  Well, my prediction is that we'll have school on time tomorrow... the snow will come... and MAYBE we'll go home early {maybe}.
~ We'll see ~
{a legendary "mom" phrase}

Visit Sky Watch Friday for amazing skies the world over!
 Skywatch Friday
Thank you Sky Watch Team!