Saturday, July 7, 2012

Beautiful Blooms

I know it has been over 6 months since I have posted on my blog.  So it's possible many have given up on me.  However, I just couldn't resist posting these pictures of my Rose of Sharon plants.

I think it was at least 3 years ago that friend Rebecca and I went to a garage sale and I bought these 3 little sticks for $2.  The lady said they were Rose of Sharon plants but they truly did just look like sticks.  I have faithfully watched them and watered them every summer.  They continued to grow taller, but never had any blooms. 

Lo, and Behold!!  Yesterday my hubby said, "Donna, those "things" you planted at the corner of the house have flowers.  So I rushed out to see.   I was very excited.  Thus, this post, to share them with others. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Celebrations

Last week I had the pleasure of going with our women's group from church on a Christmas tour of a family home. They had told us that this woman (with the help of her family) puts up 12 Christmas trees in her home. (I think there were actually a couple more than that, if you counted a couple little ones in the bathrooms).

This tree (above) was on the front porch, with it's very interesting welcome sign "Flakes Welcome".

She said each tree has a "story". The one above was in the front room as we came in, and she said for lack of better name, they call it the fancy, formal tree.

This was in sort of a children's play room/school room. It has bells all over it, and she said when the bells jingle, you know the kids are in there, fiddling with the tree.

Sort of self-explanatory, this is the "Patriotic Tree" .

This was in the Master bedroom. I really liked the little wooden churches underneath it.

This was in their son's bedroom. He apparently is into dogs, as it was surrounded by various stuffed dogs.

I thought this one was also unique; it was in one of the girl's bedrooms. [I thought the most amazing thing was that all the bedrooms were so neat. We asked one of the girls (about 9 years old) if it stays that way all the time. She said, "Not quite all the time!]

I think I got pictures of all the trees, but did not feel it necessary to share all of them. She said they each have their own tub and get put away in the attic, with everything labeled. (More organization and energy than I possess!)

I am also intrigued with Nativity sets, and wanted to share this one. It was beautiful.

I had to share with you the stockings on the fireplace. Apparently they are into western wear!

It was a lovely tour and a really nice family. It seemed to me that it was a little over done, but I believe they truly enjoyed meeting all the people who come through to see their home, and getting to know new people.

Did I mention, all of us women made a stop at DeBrand's Chocolate before going home! I had a sundae that was placed in an edible chocolate shell, with chocolate, carmel and pecans on it. Now that was truly indulgence!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Friend's Christmas Open House

We recently finished a Women's Bible study at our church. A woman from Cecil, Ohio and her daughter Caci came from Ohio to join us. It was such a pleasure getting to know these ladies! Gloria has a pottery business that she's had for I think 32 years. She told us about it and said she was having an Open House this week, Wednesday through Saturday.

Thursday I decided to take a little drive and have a small adventure, so I went to Gloria's Open House. I was amazed at what she is able to do!

She specializes in making customized crocks, cookie jars, and old fashioned jugs. Many of them are featured on her web site, Emerald Forest Pottery.

The crocks above are a couple examples of her personalized work. You can give her a picture of your home, or a logo, or family name and she paints it on the crock.

But besides her customized pottery, she also has so many other items--plates, mugs, bowls, ornaments, oil lamps, etc. Another thing that is a signature trademark, so to speak, for her is that she writes a Bible verse, or if it's something small, at least a reference, on every piece of pottery she makes, including the customized ones. Often it is on the bottom of the item, but sometimes it's on the pottery itself--such as some of the bowls, that have a verse written around the inside rim.

Above are an assortment of items she had on display for her Christmas Open House.

This is an item she makes for Christmas, that she calls Snow Castles. There are Christmas lights inside that show through the windows.

She had a door in the back room that I thought was so interesting. As I was taking a picture of it she said, "I was thinking of painting over that door, but I get a lot of comments about it, so I guess I'll leave it as is".

Her work area is just in front of this door. It seems like it would be great to have the names of Christ and the words "The Lord is with you" so clearly visible while you work.

Gloria has such a sweet christian spirit, as does her daughter Caci, who was there helping her on Thursday. This was truly a fun afternoon. My only regret is that I didn't take anyone along to share it with me.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Companionship, Coffee, and Comfort

I must make a confession here; before starting to write this post, I decided to catch up on some other blogs. So now, I'm really not feeling very spiritual or Christ-centered, after reading the recent posts from my friend at Life and Godliness.

However, to try to redeem myself, I must tell you that the last couple of weeks I've been working on my annual Christmas letter/poem, and it always reminds me of the many blessings I've enjoyed, and especially how thankful I am for my family and good friends. I've also been concerned about the spiritual needs of my adopted daughter and her children. I was talking to her the other day, and I said, "I really want R.J. and Nyla to grasp the real meaning of Christmas". Nichole said, "Oh, they know! I asked R.J. the other day if he knew when Christmas was and he said, yes, it is in December on 2-5 (he said the numbers one at a time). Then I asked him if he knew what Christmas was. Immediately he said it is Jesus's birth." So Nichole said, I was glad that he thought about Jesus first, not Santa Claus or presents.

Now, back to my original theme for this post. Ever since last year, I have been wanting a Keurig coffee maker. I just felt it was probably an extravagance, and I didn't really need it. A couple weeks ago Nichole, who was working at Kohl's, said that she had been checking out Keurig coffee makers all day and bagging them up, because they were on sale. Well, of course by the time she told me they were no longer on sale. BUT, she said they would be on sale again the day after Thanksgiving.

Well, I have made it my policy for many years now, not to go shopping on Black Friday. But I told Lynn that the coffee makers were going to be on sale. So my best friend and companion for life, my hubby, said, why don't you get one and let it be my Christmas present to you. So at 8:00 am on Black Friday, I made my way to Kohl's. The crowds really weren't very bad by that time, as most people had gone shopping at midnight and were going home to bed. AND, they still had coffee makers left--and I had a coupon for an additional 15% off!!

I brought it home, and it was still in the box. So a couple days later, Lynn said, "when are you going to open your coffee maker?" I said that I thought it was for Christmas. He said, I don't want you to wait, you need to enjoy it now.

I just want to say, I am so very much enjoying my Keurig. I can sit in my comfy chair, read, and have a cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate, all of which are ready in just one minute. It seems to please my loving companion to see me thoroughly enjoying his gift. Last night he had been working hard, and came in for a break, and I was able to make him a hot cup of tea in just one minute! What can I say--Life is good!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

More Thanksgiving Thoughts

(Rabbi Harold Kushner) "Can you see the holiness in everything you take for granted--a paved road or the washing machine? (and I, Donna would add--the microwave, the telephone or refrigerator?) If you concentrate on finding what is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul."

(Unknown) The beautiful thing about gratitude is that it can be acquired. It is something that can be developed, built, worked on, practiced and obtained. It is a choice we make.

Hem your blessings with thankfulness so they won't unravel. (Unknown)

I know I've used this quote from Melodie Beattie before, but it certainly is worth repeating during this Thanksgiving season:
"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity...It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.

Have a blessed day and have an attitude of gratitude.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Something To Be Thankful For

There are so many things that I am thankful for. Even on days when I think there is very little to give thanks for, I still have many blessings.

A wonderful christian heritage ( God-fearing parents)
A great husband who is loving, honest, has a great work ethic, loves the Lord
My family--son, step-daughter, mother-in-law, siblings, nieces, nephews, cousins
A Bible-believing church and pastor--my church family
Faithful friends
A warm home and plenty of food (maybe too much!)
Beauty in nature-ocean, flowers, trees, warm sunshine, even snow!
Relatively good health, especially my eyesight (I have macular degeneration)
The Word of God, good books, ability to read.
The air I breathe, daylight, night time with the moon & stars, gentle breezes

There are many more that I experience on daily basis, and often I don't recognize them as blessings at the time. One that comes to mind is safety and protection when driving or traveling.

I want to be sure to express my gratitude. I came across a quote by William ArthurWard that says, Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.

Psalm 95: 1-6 O come, let us sing unto the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving and make a joyful noise unto Him with psalms. For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In His hand are the deep places of the earth; the stength of the hills s His also. The sea is His and He made it; and His hands formed the dry land. O come, letus worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our maker.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

What is Thankfulness?

I have decided that I just really want to focus for this next several days on being thankful. I know that an attitude of thankfulness is pleasing to the Lord. I have so much to be thankful for! I found some quotes that seem to express it better than I can.

The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings.
(Henry Ward Beecher)

Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart, as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds.
(Theodore Roosevelt)

If I have enjoyed the hospitality of the Host of this universe, Who daily spreads a table in my sight, surely I cannot do less than acknowledge my dependence. (G. A. Johnston Ross)

Thank you, Lord, for the many blessings that I enjoy on a daily basis!