Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Daddy's Hands

This is my daddy's hands.  They are "hard work" hands.  Hands that have caressed a rough piece of wood and crafted it into something beautiful.  Hands that have taken the materials of his trade and built a cabinet, remodeled a room, built a home.  Hands that have corrected me and consoled me. Hands that have directed me and defended me.  They are beautiful hands.  Olive toned..much like my own..and yet they are wiser and more experienced, all of which is earned with age and adversity.

My daddy's hands are special. 
 They hold they hands of our children...and dance.
And bring back memories of when we were young and I would work side by side in his shop
building things..
The smell of sawdust still evokes the best of times..when it was just me and my dad.
Sanding wood
Staining furniture
and making memories.
My daddy's hands embrace me and let me know that I am special to he is to me.
Right now my dad's hands are dressed in needles and tape..connected to IV poles
pouring antibiotics into his body.
He's had a rough 3 years.
Dialysis isn't an interesting way to spend 12 hours of your week
Or the extra few it takes to recover.
His body is raging with fever tonight
and he is in pain..
And so am I
but not physically.
His chest tube continues to drain fluid
delaying the procedure he needs...
and all he wants is to
make it home in time for
If you're the praying type...
I'd appreciate it.
And I'm sure he would.
He has plans to cook a ham and a turkey...
and have us all there with him.
And that's really what I want as well.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Favoured One

Isn't she gorgeous?
Luke 1:30-34
 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.
 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Coffee Station

I've been scouting out something I could use as a coffee station for months now.  Nothing really caught my eye.  There are only two of us in our house that even drink coffee so I wanted to keep it simple.  I think the Keurig machines are cool but not really worth the expense (for me.)  Not trying to be a frugal snob but with only two of us drinking the stuff and one of those not even home most of the time, it isn't worth the cash to me.  I don't want to spend that much money on a coffee maker nor the pods that go in it..I still want to be able to buy my other treasures after all :) 
I found this tiered serving piece at an anitique mall this weekend while we were visiting Franklin, TN ......again.  I loved the scalloped edges and the creamy color. What I didn't love was the gold colored I spray painted them and took some of the paint off with my finger nail after it had almost dried.  I love the new look much better.
These sweet little Pfaltzgraff cups, I found at the GW....  4 of them for 2 bucks :)  They fit perfectly on the first plate.  They are wide and just the right height to work here.  I'm drinking out of one of them now as I type.  Wish I had taken a picture of this carmel colored deliciousness!
I snagged this coffee canister at a yard sale this fall and purchased the small red canisters this weekend from DG to put sugar and cappuccino in.  The little snow flake adds a winter touch to this  corner of our coffee station counter area.
I add two of these little sweethearts in my cup.  They don't even need to be refrigerated so that means they can sit on the top of the station and be handy dandy.  This girl loves some cream!  Coffee-mate makes some splendid flavors too.  Carmel Macchioto is one of our absolute favorites.
If you have non-coffee drinkers in your house like we do..there's always hot chocolate.
Happy Holidays Folks!
Hope you're snuggled in like we are enjoying a warm cup of coffee and admiring the lights on your tree, and most importantly reflecting on a baby in Bethlehem.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

For the Love of the South

I love the south..have I mentioned that before?  It has a beauty reserved only for those who truly get the southern lifestyle.  Dirt roads, sweet tea, yes mam, no sir, porches, hot temperatures, fried chicken, gravy, farm land, and specifically.. y'all.  There are so many things about the south that I love... but the people, the hospitality and the love for our southern landscape is what makes me most proud to live here in this beautiful portion of the world.  I live in Arkansas but every now and then we escape for the weekend to one of our sister states.  One of my favorite places is Middle Tennessee.  Franklin to be exact.  It's a few hours drive for us but so worth the trip.  It's very close to Nashville but I'll forgo Nashville for this particular paradise.  This is Carnton Plantation.  A civil war home that was used as a field hopital during the Battle of Franklin, which is thought to be one of the bloodiest 5 hours of the Civil War.

What captured my heart was how John and Carrie McGavock, the owners of this plantation at the time, designated two acres of their land to bury 1500 confederate soldiers that died during the Battle of Franklin.  They maintained the cemetery themselves until the times of their death. I'd say that's a fine example of true southern hospitality...even for the fallen.  
As we toured this home, I was deeply moved by Carrie's story and her tireless efforts to maintain a record of the soldiers buried on her property.  Many of these men, both Union and Confederate, left and went to war and never came home.  Their families never knowing where their final resting place was.
The history of this home and the McGavock family is so much more complex than I can share in one post.  But being here will leave an impression.  As you tour the home and see the blood stained floors, hear of how the family's linens were torn and used to dress the wounded and walk through the cemetery where the brave men of my southern heritage are laid to rest, something inside of you shifts and you can't help but leave changed.
  Carnton and its cast of characters have been forever engraved on this southern girl's conscious.  Specifically as I strolled thorugh the cemetery and ended up here.
104 men gave their lives from my home state.  They rest here in Tennessee, not too far away from home...but still..they never made it home. 
 My beloved Arkansas, you gave birth to many brave hearts and in true southern style our neighbors stepped in when we needed them to care for our own.  Carrie McGavock, you were a true southern lady..and your legacy lives on.
For more information on the Carnton Plantation click here:
You may want to check out this great novel:
If you end up in Franklin, TN make sure you look up these fine folks:
And whatever you do..make sure you eat here:
And here:
We may see you this weekend if you're attending this:
And if not, make it a point to visit soon!
All photos in this post I personally took while touring this plantation.
Feel free to PIN :)
I am not being paid to advertise here..I just wanted to share a great place to visit if you are looking for a great southern gig!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Sacred Sundays; The Lord that healeth thee

The season has arrived where we are all bustling around trying to find the right "gift." We are so blessed...we have no real needs at this time in our lives.  We lose sight of the real meaning of Christmas with all the commercializing and plans and parties.  Those things aren't bad but they can serve as distractions.  The real  meaning of Christmas is Jesus.  He is the gift, and very often....and not just at Christmas time, I am reminded of a special gift he brought into my life.  It is a gift of life and I am certain, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he is the reason for the sustaining of that life.  See, there was a time in my life back in 1992 that I had a real need.  I needed the Lord desperately.  Like I had never needed him before.  The need was for the Lord to heal my son.

Blake was born a month early and whisked two hours away to a neonatal unit because he couldn't breathe on his own.  I never held him before he was taken.  I could only reach under the oxygen tent and stroke his struggling, tiny, little body. He was our only child.  We had waited a long time for this moment and suddenly I found myself faced with the realization that I might not bring him home.  I was so afraid, so frustrated, as he was in Memphis alone and I was still hours away due to my own complications.
I'll never forget the first day I was released and went to see him.  He looked so vulnerable and I had no reassurance that he would begin to breathe on his own.  The doctors simply said "We are doing all we can."  "All we can" is a very scary place to be.  I needed hope.  I needed reassurance that my baby was going to be alright.  As I arrived home that afternoon there was a room full of family and friends there to greet us, and yet for me one important person was missing...and it hit me hard.  I was so desperate and heart broken that I bypassed every good intentioned person and went straight to my bedroom and cried out to God.  I clung to my bible and begged the Lord to show me, to assure me that he was going to save my son and that he would be whole.  Can I just tell you that he is FAITHFUL.  I randomly opened my bible to Isaiah chapter 12 verse 2 and this is what the Lord spoke into my fearful, broken heart..."Behold, God is my salvation,  I will trust and not be afraid for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song."  He has also become my salvation."  In that moment..I knew.  The Lord gave me that peace that surpasses all understanding.  A peace that the world can't give.  "We are doing all we can" turned into... ‘"With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."  We went to many appointments through the next few years..would the hole in his heart close?..with God all things are possible.  Would he have brain damage or his eye sight be compromised from the oxygen?...with God all things are possible.  Would he grow up to be a healthy, strong, kind, saved by the grace of God young man?  I think you can see for yourself that he did.  I am so very grateful that the Lord proved himself to be Jehovah Rapha- "The Lord that healeth thee."
He's grown into a wonderful young man and I am so privileged that the Lord chose me and blessed me with the honor of being his mother.  He's falling in love with a beautiful young woman that has a heart for Jesus...and for my boy. Her name is Carrie.    He made his momma happy this weekend when he made it a point to help put up the Christmas tree and spend some special "memory making" time together as a family.
 If I could go back and tell my 25 year old self that he would be where he is today..completely whole, healed and living a blessed life...I would.  But the Lord was taking me on a faith journey and when you are trusting your greatest "gift" to just have to take a deep breath and remind yourself that he loves him even more than you do.  He loved him enough to hang on a cross so that he could save him for all eternity.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Beautiful Mess

Christmas decorations are slowly going up around our house.  My living room looks like elves delivered nice little totes full of Christmas decor........and then a bomb went off.
It's a little stressful for things to be in such chaos but such is the creative process.

You have to make a mess to make things beautiful. Or at least that's what I keep saying to myself.

Don't you just love "twiggy" things.  I couldn't get this little $2 tree I scored at a yard sale to speak to me...and then I added gold twigs and was just the thing that made me smile.
Ornaments on a silver serving tray are a simple way to add beauty to your vignettes.

I hope you're making progress around your house!

Thanks for stopping by :)

Monday, November 26, 2012

It was a sign!

I decided last week to head downtown and visit Abilities Unlimited.  My "go to" place lately has been our new GW store.  It was my lunch hour and I was looking for Christmas items.  I almost missed this jewel.  It was high upon a shelf at the very back.  My breathing increased when I saw it...I was sure it wasn't for sale..why else would it still be there?!!!!  I asked for some assistance and the store clerk found a ladder and got it down for me.  "How much?", I asked.  "Five dollars", he replied.  Can I just tell you that I was a very happy camper to pay 5 bucks for this sign...we seem to be on a $5 pattern around here! I've seen signs alot lately around blog land.  Stencils and waxing and so forth...My hat's off to you talented folks.  I'm glad this one was turn key though.  Now I just have to decide where to put it.  I also purchased a couple of door swags at a really good price and am currently working on those.  I'll post pictures of those later this week.  Right now they are undergoing a transformation.

On another note, I shot some pictures of my mom's tree and thought I would share it with you.

She's down sized her tree the last couple of years.  I brought her "huge" tree to my house two years ago. We haven't decorated it yet.  Blake wants us to wait until he is home.  I think she did a great job decorating for the holidays.
She put on quite the feast for all of us for Thanksgiving.  There were about twenty of us scattered through out the house.

She's a great cook.

AND  a Black Friday shopper.  We got in at 1:00 a.m. Friday night!  As I stood in line for 2 hours (keep in mind I am a person of little no patience) in the pouring rain, I turned to my mom and said "You know I love you right?" She just smiled and and huddled in closer to the stranger who was kind enough to share her umbrella with my mom and I....and her two daughters.  Sweet way to kick of the shopping season...but you can still call me CRAZY.  I won't be offended at all!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sacred Sundays

This is my mama's bible.  I think for my first "Sacred Sundays" post it is appropriate to mention that. My mama taught me that Sundays were sacred.  She was the first person to teach me about Jesus.  She taught me that every single answer to anything I might face in life was found in this book.  Through the years it has been my life line.  The most important man in my life, the one that holds my heart, that I fell in love with...he can be found in this book. He rescued me.  In so many, many ways.  He is saving me every day.  From myself, from the enemy and from eternal seperation from him. His love is so unfathomable. 

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
Love like his is so different from what we find in the world...."while we were still sinners"
I don't know about you but I have some pretty unmemorable moments in my life.  Unmemorable in that when I allow my mind to go there, it can't.  I don't want to remember.  I don't want to relive the shame that accompanies that moment in time.  I don't want to remember my outright rebellion.  My prideful nod at a holy God that "I will do as I please for now...."  I can't stand to see myself in those moments....and I'm sure if you could, you would judge me, find me less than lovable, even boast that you were never that bad.  That's ok.  I have a place I can go to find love.  REAL love.  The kind that looked down from a rugged tree and in his greatest moment of agony whispered three sacred words that set me free forever........"Father forgive them"  He knew my unmemorable moments and yet he loved me.  Not in my white washed robe but rather dressed fully in my filthiest sin stained garment. He looked beyond my sin, beyond my fault.  He saw me, he loved me at my worst and saw me at my best.  He was and is EL ROI-the God who sees me.  Standing before his throne changes me.  I can stand exposed and know that what I will experience is a love that I will never understand but with great humility and a grateful heart I will fully embrace.
May I take this opportunity to recommend a great work of fiction by Francine Rivers entitled:
Redeeming Love
It's one of my all time favorite reads and I know for certain you will enjoy it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

With Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving less than two days away it's time to stop and reflect.  What am I thankful for?  What do I possess that is so noteworthy?  My family?  My home?  My job?  My health?  Of course all of these things are certainly worth mentioning and I feel as though I live a blessed life.  The Lord has been so good to me.  But what is the ONE thing that I am most thankful for........................................


and for me that is synonymous with


Because if my family is falling apart, or I lose my home, or my job and my health fails. 

There's hope in Jesus

Whatever life throws our way, if we have Jesus..he is sufficient.

I'm so very thankful for parents that taught me that truth many years ago.

I'm thankful for the people in my life who live it out.

"But blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made the LORD their hope and confidence.
Jeremiah 17:7

Jesus is the Sovereign authority of the universe and as long as my hope is in him in life and even in death;  I am eternal.

When he stops, the earth shakes. When he looks, the nations tremble. He shatters the everlasting mountains and levels the eternal hills. He is the Eternal One!
Habakkuk 3:6

Monday, November 19, 2012

The $5 Christmas Tree

This is a $5 Christmas tree.  I kid you not.  My son's girlfriend bought it a a community yard sale....finally. Bless her heart, everytime she started toward a tree someone virtually snatched it up before she could put her hands on it.  We loaded it up in our small car and and sat "around it" to get it home with the intention that it would go in my son's bedroom. Umm, that didn't quite work out.  The tree was alot bigger than the box looked. So, being that I'm far from the minimalist, we stuck it in the only corner it could possibly go so that our sweet Carrie could have her tree and would not be disappointed.  She decorated it for halloween.  Sorry, I don't have a picture of that but it was VERY cute.

Unfortunately Carrie is away for school for a few weeks and since the tree was up, we decided we would have two trees this year.  Yep, call me crazy.  My house is not that big.  But a girl's gotta answer the call to create...and so we did.  Mr. Magnificent and I watched a you tube tutorial on decorating with mesh ribbon.  I've had the stuff for two years and never used it but this year we tackled it and it was a no-brainer really.  I wonder now why I left it packed up last year.

The "goodies" for this tree weren't really expensive.  The stars and snowflakes came from dollar tree and I stamped pre-cut cards and hung them with twine.  One pakage of ornaments from Hobby Lobby 1/2 off in bronze did the trick with some left over. I found the feathers for the topper at a flea market and the white fill-in at the GW for $1.  The picture frames were a last minute brain storm and for me, they really make the tree.  I printed off some family photos in sepia and framed them in frames from the dollar tree in silver and gold. 

 It came together nicely and now I can concentrate on some vingettes...........and the OTHER tree. One down, one to go. Stay tuned.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Santa Claus

I need your help...I bought this Santa this week at my local GW for $2.  He really caught my eye because of his "Old World" appeal.  I actually walked out of the store the first time without him but went back the next day....maybe nobody likes him but me since he hadn't flown off the shelf. Oh well, I'm not scared to stand alone. Ha!  I collect Santas and this one was unique.  This is my dillema....  I don't know if I should paint him, leave him alone or attempt to Mercury glass finish him.  Any suggestions?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Forty Something Friday Nights

This is how we are spending our Friday night.  Filling in the bubbles. It's for a good cause and he did take me to eat mexican prior to this.  We have John Mellencamp's "Stones in my passway" and Don Henley's greatest hits playing in the back ground; that makes the whole process a little more entertaining.  Our church is signing people up for the Faith Bible Institute class and Ken is getting the paperwork prepared so this is a task that must be completed.  I kinda thought I was done with the whole SRA, fill in the bubble thing way back in the 80's.... but not so.
Maybe we should be playing Amazing Grace or The Old Rugged Cross while we do this.  I'm kinda feeling guilty about that.  Stones in my passway has this amazing blues sound though and I need the beat to keep up the pace...and the committment.  The Lord created music right?  I think he'd approve of Stones in my passway.  Yeah, I'm pretty confident he would....
It takes a few "#2" pencils to get this done.  We had to stop by DG to pick one of these sharpeners up.  I even threw in some honey buns in case things got really bad.
Mr. Magnificent is truly magnificent...I've already inquired why the students couldn't fill out their own bubbles.  It's not rocket science after all.  But he ignores me and keeps on shading.
I'm doing my part but every now and then I sneak a peek at Pinterest or some amazing blog post about how to clean silver...or make smore brownies.
And then this happened...............this is not good.  See... Mr. Magnificent can get a magnificent attitude if things get messed up.  He's a perfectionist and all and to make a long story shorter....I'm not.  He likes things "a certain way" and for me, let's just say things can be a little in an upheaval and I just roll with it.  Take our bedroom for instance.  He mentioned tonight that my clothes piled against the wall might be a fire hazard.  His side is immaculate where mine...............just isn't.  He likes his sheet tight at the end....I don't.  In the midst of our Friday night "bubbling" date I was cleaning old bottles with vinegar and my sleeve took a swim.  I look at it as proof I am working...multi-tasking.  Mr. Magnificent looks at it as a glitch in his process.  I didn't tell him.  I just slid it under the others and prayed silently for God to forgive me for the sin of omission.  It'll dry right?  After all, in the words of Mr. Magnificent himself.."I can only be magnificent for so long."  I'd like to keep the laughter we are exchanging over the task at hand to be the resounding theme as the curtain falls on our Friday night date.  Some things are just better left unsaid.  Or that's what I'm telling myself.

Dressing the Table

I found some great bargains this week, adding to my white ironstone and lucked out and scored a Country Living tablecloth too!  I wanted to create a fall tablescape using these items so I pulled some things together I had laying around the house.  It's great when you can shop at home! I found this quail at the Goodwill this week for a buck.  He's so fancy with his burnished gold finish.
And don't ya just love the color of egg plant?
My blue willow works well with this table cloth and this sweet little scalloped dessert plate
 adds yet another layer.
I love this small pitcher.  It will be great for gravy!
This white compote bowl is something I already had. I love the scalloped detail of the edge.
It works well with the dessert plates when entertaining.
And these feathers were purchased to use in my Christmas tree..but for now they work well in this beautiful amber jar.
That is my Thanksgiving tablescape and although we won't be having Thanksgiving here but rather spending it at my mom's and Ken's parents, I can enjoy it for a couple of weeks and my family can be surrounded by pumkins...(that are really cute) when we eat supper. I think take-out pizza would look right at home too though come to think of it................