Monday, October 31, 2011

The Arrival of Fall

We finally turned on the heat. 

The Mister and I always play the "How long can we wait to turn on the Heat/AC?" at the beginning of every season.

Yesterday the Fall/Winter 2011 Thermostat Game came to screeching halt when we walked in the door from church at 1:00p. The downstairs thermostat read: 59 F.

I don't love being cold, but there are so many things I do love when the weather decides to turn...

I love sleeping under the heavy down comforter. I love lighting candles and wearing socks with slippers.

I love seeing the glittery frost on the grass and watching steam float from the pond.

And the trees? 

But perhaps, of all the things I love about cold weather, I love blankets the best...

They seem to be falling out of the linen closet one-by-one.  

Its probably a sickness, my love for blankets, but for the next five-months I'll likely be wrapped up in one... or eight.

Happy Monday!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Five on Friday:

~My friend Becky sent me her recipe (and secret ingredient) for her delicious Empire Biscuits (cookies) pictured above. I made a batch to share with the CarpoolQueen today. You really can't eat these biscuits alone... you must be with a friend.

~Speaking of friends.... My lovely British friend Alison came bearing gifts on my birthday last week. She and her youngest girl, Esther brought me lovely gifts that remind me so much of them: English tea and homemade Lemon Curd.

If you could meet Esther you would love her immediately. She is cheerful and loving and just as cute as can be. If her sweet smile and golden braids weren't enough, her endearing inability to pronounce the hard-sound for"C" or "K" would certainly win you over. She uses a "T" sound instead.

She was so excited to give me her gift that she excitedly exclaimed in her English accent, "Tellie! We've made you some Lemon Turd!"

Oh! She is a glittering ray of happiness, she really is...

~On Tuesday evening The Mister and I  took the kids for a sunset hike. This is the suspension bridge that runs over the river. Its my favorite part of the hike...

~The Girl came home from Girl Scouts with this Loblolly Pine sapling. She is supposed to take care of it for a month.  I find it ironic. We live on an acre in the piney woods. We actually pull pine saplings like this out of the ground. They grow like weeds between brick walkways, and rocks. Last year The Mister even plucked some out of the gutters of our house. But we'll go ahead and transplant this one in the yard for the sake of the project. Maybe we could make it our Christmas tree...

~As i type I can feel the temperature dropping. My fingers are turning cold. Its predicted to be a wet and cold weekend. I don't have to worry though, my sweet husband gave me a super-soft Slanket for my birthday... so I will be warm, and cozy... and maybe even try a few Obi-Wan Jedi tricks.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Praises in an October

Its not like me to be quiet during the month of October. It is, after-all, my favorite month.

This year October is bittersweet. Sweet with celebrations and lovely moments; Bitter as I grieve relationships that are difficult. Situations that are painful. Loss that is tough.

Its just one of those times in life, when bad news seems to come in a string of storms, and I am tempted to believe that all that was sacred is now desperately at risk.

But, that is a lie I cannot afford to believe, because storms pass, and there is always the good that springs from the rain.

Yesterday I was reading in Prayers for Today: A Year-Long Journal of Contemplative Prayer, by Bjokrlund, and this prayer (written by the author) was good for my heart, my soul, and my mind:

Lord, You sometimes take away what I value most.
It is easy to praise You when You give to me what I want most.
And it is easy to blame you when I suffer.
It is hard for me to imagine that there is a good reason for suffering if i can't think of
one, Yet  You, my maker, know better about my life than I.
Should I accept the good and not the bad from Your hand? So in faith, no matter the
circumstance, I shall praise Your name.
When laughter and success are my current reality, I shall praise Your name.
And when hardship and loss are my current reality, I shall praise Your name.
When scarcity and need mark my path, I shall praise Your name.
When all seems broken, I shall praise Your name.
Lord, whatever I experience, I choose to praise Your name.
Life is messy. But I am thankful for a husband who is wise and strong. I am thankful for two kiddos who are tender-hearted and loving. I am thankful for family and friends who love lavishly, and are a blessing to me even when they are unaware.

October is my favorite month, and this year I am grateful that God has given me this time to look to Him, to remember that I am not in control.

He is. 

It is easy to believe this truth when all of life is tied up with string like so many gifts at a party.  These gifts... aren't so tidy.

However, these gifts of sorrow are opening up a new place to surrender to Him.... Oh, that I will not waste these gifts and forfeit His work in me...

Lord, where shall I find you? High and hidden is your place.
And where shall I not find you? The world is full of your glory.
I have sought your nearness, with all my heart I called to you
And in going out to meet you I found You coming to me.
-Judah Halevi, Spanish Poet (1075-1141)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


"Every hard duty that lies in your path, 
that you would rather not do,
that it will cost you pain and struggle or sore effort to do,
has a blessing in it.
Not to do it,
at whatever the cost,
is to miss the blessing."
-LB Cowman

I met with Providence this morning. 

I don't remember reading the quote, or what book it came from. I don't recall scribbling it on a note card. But there it was, written with purple ink in my scratchy script. Just waiting for this day, when I needed it most. 

The conversations I have, the boundaries I set, the help I ask for, the decisions I make ... every hard duty that lies on our path... in all these things... blessings.

The follow-up, and follow through; the starting strong and finishing well... blessings.

The hopes and dreams, and sometimes disappointment... even in the pain and struggle... blessings.

The happy, the sad... don't miss the blessings.

But, what do I do when sore-effort hinders, blinds my vision, tempts me to doubt? 

Believe in the One who promises blessings. For our good, and His glory.

"No eye can see,
no ear can hear,
no mind has imagined,
the things God has prepared 
for those who love Him"

-1 Cor. 2:9
(emphasis mine)

Yes, early this morning while the world was asleep, I met with Providence... and He opened my eyes to His blessings.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Home and Happy

It's as if the last three weeks has been a whirlwind.

We had a great time visiting friends and family out west.

I got to visit with many of my desert peeps, but I wish I could have seen more...

Time has a way of going fast, in life and on vacation.

We ended our 16-day stay in Southern Arizona with a 40th anniversary celebration for my parents.

We spent the morning setting up tables in the courtyard and in the carport, and running around in general busyness. I was giddy with excitement.

The weather was perfect and I think everyone had a good time.

I did my best to make sure I harassed these two every chance I got...
These are my little brothers. Isn't' it funny how they keep getting older, but I just stay the same?  ;)

I miss 'em... my mom and dad, my brothers and their families. But I'm also glad to be home.

I was so worried I was going to miss the changing of seasons. It's silly, but true.

There is something profound about watching the world prepare to fall asleep. Its amazing to see the colors turn from green to orange and yellow and red... the colorful grand finale before a long and wintery rest.

I shouldn't have worried.

The Mister and I got up bright and early before church yesterday for a long walk through the woods.

The smells, the colors, the sounds... its October in the Piedmont, and it is beautiful.

Of course, I can't stay outside all day looking at leaves. The house is completely out of order, school is back in session, laundry is piled up, and I have a bunch of projects to finish. Namely this one:

My mom picked out four beautiful colors of pima cotton for a granny-square jacket I'm making for her birthday.... and I need to hurry. Her birthday is Thursday, which is sooner than i'll be finished.

The good news is that when I left Arizona it was 90 degrees outside, so she won't need it this week anyway.

Well, the laundry calls...

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Desert Hello

Vacation. Its been great!

I have been visiting family and friends (and their new puppy!) Eating a lot of Mexican food. And, of course, crafting.

We are staying within 5 miles of a yarn boutique, and two major craft and fabric stores. The kids and I have gone to the stores several times already.

We made paracord bracelets (with para-like cord. We had trouble finding paracord but will order some when we get home.)

We also made them in black, but they don't photograph quite as nicely!

I brought my crochet hooks and hooked up a little sweater. It still needs a ribbon that will be woven through the row where the crochet hook sits:

The best parts of shopping was running into Becca from Our Crazy Boys.

I've been reading Becca's blog for a couple years, and every time I come to town I want to meet her, but time always gets away. Imagine my surprise when I saw her in line at the craft store.

I was so excited to hug her neck that i pushed four ladies out of my way to get to her. Then, in my impetuousness I called her Stephanie. Oops! I was just so happy to get the opportunity to say hello!

I'm off to go for a walk this morning. Nothing like walking and getting a tan in October!

Happy Wednesday!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Six on Saturday

We are having a blast here in Southern Arizona! Seeing family and friends is so much fun.

They've had so much rain here this summer that everything is blooming! This picture is not so very good, but these flowers are everywhere. I love the bright bold colors that pop amidst the desert greens and browns. Like little floral flames, they lit the path on my morning walk.

The Boy walked with me and every time we saw a Teddy Bear cholla cactus, he would pretend to hug it. Which makes me laugh and freak out every single time. Which, now that I think about it, is probably why he does it.

My Dad went to the Mexican Bakery to get my favorite treat. MMMmmm... the snack of champions!

Last night we attended the wedding of a dear friend of the family. The wedding was amazing. So honoring to God and family. The little church was beautiful... Such a great setting for a great couple!

The reception was fun and The Girl and her Paw cut a rug dancing the Cumbia together. It was a great party!

The Boy and his Uncle Dan. They look a lot alike and they like to hang out...

We are having a wonderful time!

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