Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year~2013

I love the opportunity that a new beginning gives!  There is so much gratitude in my heart for 2012 and topping the list is my family.  A new baby, John Brian, and a new daughter to love, Sara.  There have been many more blessings and for each one I am so thankful.  It is good to look back and give thanks but as we move forward to a new year, I move with excitement!  My husband has always loved the number 13!  He wrote a book once in elementary school he called LUCKY 13.  So......heres to 2013 and I hope that new doors open for you, in your life, in your family, and that goodness follows you all the days of 2013!  LET'S CELEBRATE!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas.....Red and White....

~A little pop of Christmas Red
on our screened porch~
~My theme this year is White and Red!  Perched in the Snow on the mantel, an Angel.....the beautiful angel was a gift from my
son-in-law, Brian, on my 50th birthday~(yes, he is thoughtful)
~The white deer were from my grandmother's Christmas treasures~
~The larger photo of Paris was a gift from my father in law's treasures of WWII~
~The smaller Paris photo is a treasured postcard  sent to me from Kara and Phil~ postmarked....Paris, France
~The little book is a recent purchase....The Night Before Christmas in Paris~
So....imagine my suprise, when Kara sent me this beautiful picture of a
beautiful Parisian snowfall.....and the woman asending the stairs in RED!
My theme seems to keep reocurring in places......WHITE and RED!

The beauty of Christmas is simple no matter where we celebrate or how we decorate the truth is......God sent the world a redeeming gift..... His Son Jesus.  He sent Him through a young Jewish girl named Mary and when the baby arrived, the Scriptures declare that she wrapped Him in swadding cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Shepherds also were nearby in the fields, keeping watch over their flocks by night. Try and imagine their thoughts as suddenly an Angel appeared to them announcing and confirming the EVENT which had just taken place, offering a calming assurance (that only an angel could do) that in spite of all the busy activity in the world about them, a miracle had just taken place which would bring JOY for all people.  Yes, a Savior was born in the city of David, who is Christ the Lord!  On that same night, suddently there was with the angel a multiude of heavenly host praising God and saying:
"Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"

Yes, on this quiet night, "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we behold His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.  John 1:14 

I cherish the words above and reflect on the traditions of decorating our homes, buying and sharing gifts, baking cookies, singing Christmas carols, attending or being a part of programs at our churches and also in the community.  These moments help to bring us joy and excitment as we prepare for Christmas Day.  I enjoy the traditions we have "built" in our family over the years.....the fun of Christmas Eve, reading the Christmas story as a family and the laughter of everyone being together and building new memories each year. These are truly important in the life and legacy of a family.  But the most important part to me is the being together.  The blessings of watching the faces of the children and the grandchildren when they receive a gift that was unexpected. So, so sweet!  The motivation for giving for us all, I hope, will be love. THe Heavenly Father gave His greatest gift of Jesus because He loved us before we were ever born.....amazing love!

A softly illuminated room with a beautiful Christmas tree is the perfect place to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas.  Gifts of that leave behind memories for our family and friends.  Yes, that is what I plan to do....create memories for every person on my list in an atmosphere of love and beauty.  Maybe, I will walk in the snow and wear red!

Enjoy these lovely days leading up to Christmas! Soak it all in.......all around you!
I am praying that everyone who reads these words will have a Christmas that is beautiful and blessed and that truly creates a memory.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Dreaming of White....Dreaming of Peace.....

White flowers have ALWAYS been my favorite!  I love the brillance of light flickering off white flowers in a summer garden at dusk and  my favorite Christmas flowers are paperwhites. Their fragrance is heavenly too! White IS just so classic. There is a glow about white that is absloutely breathtaking!

This past week-end, I had the honour of decorating a bedroom in layers of white and cream.  The bedroom is a personal sanctuary, a refuge or a retreat where one can relax, refresh, and renew.

My inspiration for the bedroom came from a vintage 1960's cream "train" case I had seen at an antique shop in Mobile, Alabama (not far from my home).  I opened it, looking it over, and thought long about purchasing it but the price of $45.00 seemed high for one piece of luggage.  I even went back a second time and looked it over and left without making the purchase.  Still planning the details of my DREAM for the cream and white bedroom.

As I began the process, an old chest of drawers and a dresser were rejuvenated with a coat of cream paint.  I acquired the linens, made fluffy down filled pillows of cream and the room seemed to be coming together beautifully!  Taking a break from painting and decorating, my sister and I drove to an antique shop she had found.  Leaving the store with a few "treasures" we eyed another cute shop down the street.  This is where the DREAM was fulfilled!  In the window there was a three piece set of the same cream luggage (with a "train" case) that I had seen in Mobile. (We were now 500 miles away) All three pieces were perfect and the "price was right"!  A simple does this happen?  Lamps and lighting, trinkets, and pictures are important but it is the "heart" desires that truly count!  I BELIEVE even our whispers are heard by God.  He is the magnificent creator of our dreams and cares about every little thought we have and will go to great lengths to fulfill them.  A soft and brillant light cream set of luggage now graces the room.  It really is a peaceful place.

We all dream and hope for peace in our lives...completeness, wholeness, health, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquility, fullness, rest, and harmony.  We desire these all year long but these qualities become especially priceless during the rush of the holiday season of Christmas and New Years.  This is the most wonderful time of the year to extend PEACE to the people in our lives and perhaps even give so that the dreams of others are fulfilled.  The angels understood at Bethlehem that Jesus, the Christ child, was to be the great peace-bringer, as they called out "Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"  Luke 2:14-17

Yes, even a simple bedroom can be a place for dreamers where dreams unfold and point us on the way we are to travel on the path of life.

May you find and share many, many blessings of love and peace during this priceless season of our Savior's birth...."O Come let us adore Him!"

Friday, November 9, 2012

Welcoming The Season......

The Thanksgiving Season is here. One of the highlights of the year is of children preparing their Thanksgiving feasts at school and also participating in fall programs about the Pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving.  Our rich history grounds us as Americans.Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because of so many wonderful memories I have of growing up in a community that truly celebrated the love of tradition, family, faith, and friends.  This is now a blessing I love to share as my own family gathers to share the beautiful traditions that my husband and I have created over the years of our marriage and homelife. There is a grateful praise that The Psalmist sings in Psalm 100 and this fills my heart in anticipation!

"Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before Him with joyful songs
Know that the Lord is God.
It is He who made us, and we are His;
We are His people, the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with Thanksgiving and His courts with praise;
Give thanks to Him and praise His name.
For the Lord is good and His love endures forever;
His faithfulness continues  through all generations."

What a wonderful promise we are given and especially for the season of Thanksgiving!  For me and my family, this has been a wonderful year. My heart is full of gratitude.  We welcomed a healthy and precious new grandson, John Brian, in April and completed the year with a new daughter in law to love as our son, Steven, married Sara.  There have been other blessings too....another daughter, Kacie, and her family relocated to a new state and God's faithfulness and blessing have been in every detail of their relocation.  There have been difficulties we have known too but those are minor when placed under the grace and goodness of the Lord.  He has loved us well and we want to share His goodness with others.

The table setting above is ready for an early holiday dinner with a few friends.  I decided to stray from the traditional colors of fall and go with a few green plants in my tablescape.  The tablecloth is a new gift from someone special.  The linens are vintage and I had them monogramed  to give just the right touch.

Inspiration can come when we least expect it. I am always inspired by the outdoors, it's freshness and the variations of green.  What inspires you?  Who inspires you?  I am moved by kindness, by people I see helping and sharing with others, by acceptance, by smiles, by nature, by books, by The Lord God, by His gracious and ordinary blessings of the day.  I hope in this season of Thanksgiving that you will take the time to share your own blessings of life with others.  It seems these days we do not have to look far from our own front door to see or help someone in need. I hope we can all remember to  guard our hearts and guard our words.  Watch over your heart this season.........this beautiful and thankful season!   Blessings of love and thanksgiving to you my friend!!!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

A Rehearsal Dinner Party

All who know me well know that I can plan a "Table Setting" for weeks!  From the moment Steven and Sara became engaged, my mind, along with my heart, started planning!  I wanted to plan an evening that would be special, intimate, personal, and joyful!  They picked their wedding location first at a farmhouse in Taylor, Mississippi and I almost immediately began looking online for places to stay....... since our family is so large! We were blessed to find the perfect location, The Southern Living Home outside of Oxford, Mississippi in Taylor!  (The pictures from the previous post were taken there)  Taylor is a quaint little place where artist have found a unique haven for their talents to be shared.  The Plein Air Community, just down the road (literally) has a town center which has the cutest place, Olivia's Corner Market and this is where we decided to host the dinner the night before the wedding!  It was a beautiful place to bring seventy family and friends together from out of state, out of the country, and some who were local!  I wanted it to be simple but elegant.

We decided upon white table cloths, white dinner napkins, simple flowers from Oxford Floral  (lots of them) in single vases and a wine and water glass, along with silver place setting at each guest seat.  We used white candle tapers for just the right light in room. It was perfect for Sara and for Steven and I think they enjoyed every moment.  Love was real for them in the room and the evening set the tone for the rest of the weekend, the Wedding Day breakfast and the Wedding!  God blessed every single moment of the weekend and to Him I continue to give honor, praise, and glory! 

 ~Most tables seated four or six~
Perfect for conversation!
I used a burlap runner and a scripture card at each place setting from I Corinthians 13

~Steven and Sara sat at the center, facing the rest of the guest, and all their friends surrounded them at a long table, just for them~


Each guest received a little gift bag filled with Hersey Kisses and stamped with:

S & S
and a birdcage stamped with two sweet love birds!

Before the Dinner, I prayed daily for the invited guest, each one, that they would feel love and feel welcomed. Since all good gifts come from God, we wanted to be real host for this wonderful and joyful celebration.  My heart in all I do is to serve God and His blessed son, Jesus.  To God be all Glory and Honor!

"The soul of one who serves God always swims in joy, always keeps holiday, and is always in a mood for singing."  St. John of the Cross

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

ENTERTAINING........A Wedding Day Brunch for Sara and Steven....

 ~The Setting~

 The flowers were beautiful. These were similar to Sara's colors for her bridal bouquets!
The antique vase is a family piece of Pamela's.....jade...a significant color of the wedding.
 Orchids and Roses and other lovely flowers greeted the guests at the front door!

 ~Mimosa Bar~

The Steel Magnolia's
Pamela, B'Donna, Kara, Kacie, Angela, Terry, Mary, Kristen, and Shelly

Mini Steel Magnolia's
A Perfect Day!

Pamela, Kathy, John, and Angela
The Bride, Sara, and two of her Bridesmaids~
Special Friends....
Special Friends and Family
 Pretty Kacie, drinking her English Tea....actually from England (thank you Kara)
 Mother of the Bride, Sabrina, Brother of the Bride, Groom's Mom,Penny,  and another sweet friend, Becky!
Friends of the Bride and Groom

Special Guests

In the celebrated film, STEEL MAGNOLIA'S, the sisterhood of friends gave selfless love and support to Shelby and her mother on Shelby's wedding day in a small southern Louisana town. I love this film!!!  Move one state over to Mississippi and you would have my life over the past weekend.  My beautiful sisters, my sisters in laws, my niece, and my daughters were my sisterhood!  After weeks of planning and a few last minute preparations in the kitchen, my sister Pamela and her staff shared a generous spread, most all prepared by Honey Bee Bakery in Oxford.  They presented it all in China, Crystal, and Silver, much inherited family pieces which were a picture of perfection! The food, the fellowship, and fun are etched in my memory forever!  It all meant so much to Steven and Sara!

My sister owns her own company and has a personality that is perfectly suited for her profession.  She is on a mission to succeed and sucess followed her weeks of planning the delightful Wedding Day Brunch for Sara and Steven.  She is a natural hostess.  Each guest received a pretty invitation and an invitation  to meet the Bride and Groom and their families before the late afternoon wedding festivities began.  Pamela put on her best southern style and the love and the personal touches  were in every detail will be forever etched in my memory.

Everything was beautiful and perfect!  Weddings are a celebration of LOVE for us all.  This beautiful party certainly was filled with so much love!!!  Steven and Sara's friends have enormous talents and they along with the Steel Magnolia's made the Wedding Day unique and lovely!  These rare opportunites where GLORY is present is certainly a gift from above!  So truly thankful!!!

Thursday, October 18, 2012


 "Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves!"
 Sharing fun times with family!
 A cup of comfort~with a pure heart no less!
Just around the could be the very sunshine to brighten someone's day and fill it with comfort and joy!

This is the time of year when we begin to settle down, evulate all that we still need to accomplish in this year before the holidays....which will soon be here.  October is winding down and this has been a full one for my family as we are all planning a gathering next week!  I have to pinch myself to realize it is actually going to happen!  All my family will be together under one roof!  YEAH!  To me, this is comfort.  Just seeing someone you love and being with them brings a settled and comfortable feeling.  I so look forward to this time with those I love!  As a mother, I live for these special times now because they do not come daily....they are truly treasured times.

What brings you comfort?  Comfort is closely connected to peacefulness which we can find in our homes and lives when we take the time to slow down and cultivate an atmosphere of love and peace.  For me, personally, this comes from the grace and peace given daily by God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulations, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God."  II Corinthians 1:3~4  What a wonderful blessing to open the Bible and find words offered to nourish our soul and give us peace.  When we are filled, our hearts are open to nourish and comfort others that may be going through trials or uncomfortable experiences.  Praying for these dear ones is a valuable gift.  The Lord hears even the smallest prayer when uttered in sincerity.

Who do you know who needs an extra dose of love and comfort?  Perhaps a child, a friend, your spouse, a co~worker?  Being loved, unconditionally love, is a yearning we all have.  Age does not matter.  The tiny baby to the oldest is necessary.  I hope today you can comfort another with your ability to love, to share, to enjoy their fellowship.  I promise, this will bring SUNSHINE to your soul!  Blessings on your day sweet friend!!!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Sweet Angels.....

 ~Our little angels....Ava Grace, Olivia Ann, Mary Isabel, and my neice's daughter, Catherine Claire will wear these beautiful little dresses as flower girls....soon~
 ~The back of the dress is as beautiful as the front~
 ~Since the wedding will be outdoors, we plan to fill these little natural baskets with beautiful white rose petals for the flower girls to drop as they walk down the isle....this will be a sweet moment for sure~
~Two lives become one and then the celebration begins as Sara and Steven commit their lives together for a lifetime~

I love weddings!  The blessing of having four daughters, has been to help in the planning of the dream day...their wedding day!  Each one, that is married, has had their dream come true.  But now, our son is getting married my role has been less and I have truly enjoyed listening to my son and his sweet Bride share a little of what their special wedding day will involve.  It will be one filled with love and happiness!  They are so excited to become man and wife!  Steven just keeps telling me he's ready to be married!  So....assured of the love of his life and she describes Steven as her "twin". 

One of my areas of help has been to find flower girl dresses.  We found these beautiful dresses above and now all that is lacking is the girls wearing them on October 27th!  They will be adorable and precious!  I found the baskets for the four of them inexpensively and they are the perfect size for their little hands!  So very sweet! 
 ~Kristen's Wedding, her program attendants~
These sweet girls are all in the 20's now!
 ~Clayton was barely three when he was ring bearer for Kacie's Wedding in Seaside~
 ~Kara's Wedding Reception was outdoors at The Jekyell Island Club Hotel off the coast of Georgia~~
 ~I made the sweet dresses for the flower girls in Kara's Wedding~
This is one of my favorite pictures EVER~
~Ava Grace in all her sweetness, captured in a moment at Kara's Wedding~

Children are angels!  They are sent to earth as special gifts!  I believe that each of us and especially little children have their own private guardian angels.  Dr. Billy Graham observing the plural in the text found in Psalm 91:11~12 concludes that each believer must have at least two angels whose assigned duty it is to protect.   The Scriptures say..... "For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.  In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone."  The text goes on to say" his feathers" and mentions that we as Believers are under his "wings".  Since God has no wings or feathers, these passages must refer to our guardian angels which protectively cover us to keep us from falling, getting lost, or stumbing into unknown dangers in the unseen realm of the spirit.

These beautiful thoughts are good because it is fitting that these sweet little angels, dressed in white on Sara's Wedding Day to Steven will "float" down the aisle. like feathers before her, inviting the Spirit, quieting the guest gathered for the High and Holy Moment of two beautiful lives being joined as ONE!  I can hardly wait to share with you later in the month the beauty and joy of their day!

Stay tuned!!!