Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Life is About Sharing......

My visit to Wyoming is on its last full day as I will be leaving tomorrow afternoon to return to my home in Mississippi.  The blessings abound in my heart and I am taking them ALL with me.  I love to travel and see new places, find new experiences to broaden and these experiences fill me with gratitude.  On this trip to visit Kacie and her sweet family  I have certainly been given more reasons to be grateful for life and the gifts that God brings in the little things. Thank you Josh and Kacie for sharing your lives with us over the past two weeks!

"It's the little things we do and say that mean so much as we go our way."  Willa Hoey

Kacie's kitchen above is where all our meals have been prepared!  To understand the full scope of it's beauty, you would have to see before and after photos as Kacie and Josh made it's renovation a priority before they moved into their home.  Their home is relaxed, beautiful, warm, and so, so happy!  Luke and Isabel are growing up in such a loving home! (Thank you, Lord!) I thank them for all the places they took us, all the laughs, the fun, the experiences!!!  

It is surreal to think this was taken on Memorial Day but we rode to the top of the mountain at Teton Village and we were in a Snow Cloud!  It was amazing and gorgeous!
I am so glad I came and that they are here.  It helps me to realize how beautiful the world God has made truly is!  These are the moments that make up a gifted life spent with a kindred spirit, one who we can cherish what we are going through.  Someone who cares, in the good times or the bad.  Across the miles, and down through the years, family and friends are not always together but never apart. I will always keep these moments with family deep within my heart.

Zephaniah 3:17  "The Lord your God is with you, HE is mighty to save.  HE will take great delight in you, HE will quiet you with HIS love, HE will rejoice over you with singing."

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Dreaming Big......

In the journey of my life, I have been blessed so much more than I could have ever dreamed. Growing up in a small town, in a somewhat broken family, I did have hopes and some dreams. My dreams were about leaving and becoming a better person, being a true friend, having a husband, a family, giving more to others, and sharing my faith in the Lord. Broken homes have a lot of pain, I admit, I wanted to block this out.... the pain. So as I began my simple journey just two hours away from that small town I enrolled in The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Looking back, my grandparents were such a stable force and I am thankful for them and their giving hearts for us and helping me begin college. My first year in college I met my husband, Steve. His vision for life is similar to the celebrated Christian author, Dr. Henrietta Mears. In her book DREAM BIG, she shares her faith and her vision of winning others to Christ and living large and dreaming big dreams! The Lord used her mightily in her lifetime in Southern California for a much bigger dream HE had for her life than she could have imagined in teaching and training young adults for lives surrendered to God. Such an amazing testimony!!! For Steve and I, as our journey began together, we accepted God's call on our lives. We did surrender together, we were even baptized by our Pastor while we were living in Southern California in the same baptismal at the same time!! We accepted the teachings of the Bible and spent lots of time learning and living for and about our Savior. I am not the same person I was in that small town. I am a new creation in Christ and HE is STILL shaping my life. I am so thankful. I am still learning what it means to be loved and to share and give love. The journey has moved us several times, given us a precious bunch of children and now grandchildren to love. We also have some amazing son in laws. I pray each day the LORD will open each heart to receive the blessings HE has for them as they fully understand that JESUS paid it all for them to have the lives they now have. Yes, we saw to it that they had the material blessings but only JESUS can give them the spiritual blessings to fill their souls. 

 I am now blessed by their journeys! The most recent journey has given me the blessing of being with sweet Kacie and her family! Josh is such an amazing father and husband! His family devoted their lives to making him into a wonderful man. He has wonderful parents. He actually was given excellent training by his Dad for the current job he now has in WYOMING! Josh found a beautiful home for his sweet family and they have decorated it and brought it to life!!! It is beautiful and such a happy place! In the Bible in JOHN 4, Jesus was traveling through Samaria on his journey when he stopped at a well and was offered water by a Samaritian woman. It was here that she was blessed by the gift of Living Water that Jesus offered and Jesus was blessed by her gift to bring him water for refreshment. 

Every journey has a blessing my friend! My journey here to visit with my beautiful daughter and her family has renewed my faith in dreaming, dreaming big, for God has surely blessed my small dreams beyond my wildest imaginations! To see HIS blessing upon others, upon those who you have prayed for in your own journey is indeed a gift from God! Enjoy the photos below of their beautiful home and their journey to Wyoming!

Another delicious breakfast at Kacie's.....Greek yogurt, berries, fresh mint, and a healthly bagel!!!

The guest room is lovely!!! Sleeping peacefully each night!!!

Play room, family hang out, beautiful sofa is from Restoration Hardware!

Interesting books are tastefully displayed!

The living room has a beautiful view of the mountains!

I made these window treatments and they are used tastefully in their kitchen!

A gift from GOD in the journey of life!!! A radiant young woman whose life has blessed mine beyond my biggest dream! Love and laughter all in one! May your day be blessed my friend for the glory and goodness of the LORD!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Breakfast at Kacie's

In the wonderful film, BREAKFAST AT TIFFANYS, there is quote by Holly Golightly that I love! Here it goes:

 "Holly Golightly: Did I tell you how divinely and utterly happy I am? Paul Varjak: Yes!" That would be me this morning after the wonderful breakfast my daughter Kacie prepared!

Isn't this amazing and she whipped this out effortlessly and served it beautifully?  She poached the egg, placed it on an English muffin, topped it with two generous slices of fresh tomato and sliced basil! I also love her dishes and her straws! Kacie's kitchen is an amazing place to view as she has all the appliances, the small kitchen tools necessary to perfect and,  the colorful pots for cooking! I think what amazes me most though is the enthusiasm that she puts into her adventures of cooking nutritional meals for her family. She shops at Natural Grocers for almost all her ingredients! I learn from her each time I am blessed to be in her lovely home! She has a talent with kind words too! Their beautiful and graceful impact upon those she shares herself  and her words with are indeed better! She is so, so, so real!

 Glorious God, bless her home, her kitchen, her life, her family. Each of us should embrace the place God has us for the day. HE alone is able to bless us with joy to fulfill our hopes and dreams. As a mother, I hope this for my own children and others I love and care about. As parents, we only are able to cradle our children for a short time in our arms and then they are off.......fulfilling their own dreams. We parented our children whole heartily and then set them free with our blessing and love. I am so proud of who they are and yes, I am divinely and utterly happy to have breakfast at Kacie's ANY morning!

You might enjoy adding some colorful cookware to your kitchen too!
Her cookware is Le Creuset, made in France! Ahhhhh!  No wonder I love it!
You can find it at Williams Sonoma!
Enjoy your beautiful day!
May it be a Glory to God!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

How To Throw a Picnic.....

You know by now that I love a party! Any kind, any day, any where! I can think about how to decorate, what to prepare, the table settings, the centerpiece and more for hours! I get excited about this type of situation! I realize not everyone does but I enjoy celebrations! Recently, along with my sister in law, Mary Alice, we put together a very successful Mother's Day picnic for our sweet Baba, our mother in law! In my head, I was thinking about how to make it fun for the guys and fun for her. I found festive plates, napkins, and plastic wear all inexpensively which set the mood! We prepared chicken salad, orzo salad, a citrus salad and served bottled water, white wine, and croissants. Some delicious oatmeal cookies were served for dessert! We searched the day before for a covered picnic table in case of rain and it did rain on the day of our party but we celebrated anyway! It didn't matter because our reason to celebrate was full of love and happiness........that would be Baba! Stress doesn't have to be a part of party planning if you keep the thought close at heart of why you are having the celebration! You would have thought we were entertaining at a five-star restaurant! Everyone was happy and then rain only added to the ambience! Our day had been blessed because our motives were pure. That is what truly matters in any celebration of life! I hope you get the chance to plan a party soon! It's always a treat for me!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

More Thoughts on Mothering.....

In the sweet little children's book, THE LITTLE LAMB, the story begins with a little girl, Emmy, visiting some newborn lambs. As the story begins Emmy becomes an adoptive mother! "Mother sheep usually keep their babies close to them. But one little lamb wandered away from the flock. He seemed to be lost. Baa-baa-baa, he cried. Mrs. Wetherbee asked Emmy if she would like to take care of the lamb until he was big enough to come back to the flock. He had a twin brother and his mother did not have enough milk for two babies. Emmy was so happy she bent over and kissed the little lamb. Then she carried him home". This my friend is precious. The meaning is even more precious behind the words because we do not all come to be mothers in the same way. Emmy was the adoptive mother of this little lamb, but the mother lamb who gave him away was just as much a mother. She trusted another with a most precious gift. These women are priceless, the mothers who give AND the mothers who receive. In the Bible, in the old testament, there is a beautiful and loving story of sacrifice of a Godly woman, Hannah. Her story is found in I Samuel 1-2. The culture of this time in Biblical history allowed Elkanah, her husband, to have two wives. The other wife provoked Hannah cruelly because The Lord had closed Hannah's womb. Year after year this continued to the point of Hannah not eating and weeping to the point of bitterness of soul and weeping in anguish over being barren. In all of this, she continued trusting God through prayer and poured out her heart before the Lord for a child. At long last, she did conceive and receive a child and made a vow that she would give him up to the Lord as a minister, even as a child to be reared in the temple. Because of her faith and trust, this child grew in statue and favor both with men and the Lord. God used him mightily as a prophet during that period of world history. Hannah did have other children whom she mothered later, but her release of her child was to allow her child to live his destiny and purpose. I believe that birth mothers and adoptive mothers are very special before God. Children ARE the fruit of the womb and to be loved and to be treasured......this is what Moms do EVERDAY all around the children! If you are one of these special people God bless you and keep you and may His grace and His goodness give you everything you need to succeed in this most magnificent profession! Enjoy Mother's Day assured that your little lamb was chosen for you and is precious in God's sight no matter how he or she arrived in your arms. Bless you!!!

Our daughter Kristen's newest little gift, our sweet grandson John Brian!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Thoughts on Mothering

Dear is almost Mother's Day! The flowers are blooming everywhere and special events such as end of the school year parties and graduation's are also happening! Mother's Day is special for me because I LOVE being a mother! I consider mothering a wonderful, wonderful blessing! Gracious and nurturing mothers build homes that are to their children a sanctuary and shelter, the very heart of the home is centered in the unselfish love that mothers give and provide. As our lives get busier, the place of rest and retreat becomes important. In our homes we dream, we heal, we pray and refresh our spirits! We offer soothing words and hopefully influence others in positive ways. We prepare meals, wash clothes and prepare for both the beginning and the ending of the day. We read bed-time stories, again and again! What is more beautiful than a sleeping child, feeling at peace because he feels loved and safe in a mother's care. That should never really change. When our children are at home, it doesn't matter what their age is currently, they should feel welcomed and loved, loved, loved! I am a mother to five and now a grandmother to six. When I obtained my degree in both early childhood and elementary education, I enjoyed studying about the development of a child and studied with such interest. Did you know that according to documented statistics the first three years of a child's life are the MOST important? This is well documented in a wonderful book by Dr. Burton L. White entitled simply, THE FIRST THREE YEARS OF LIFE. The self esteem is cemented, the vocabulary is established, and the physical development equals this rapid rise of importance in just three years. The mother, according to most child development experts, is the best person to provide this care if at all possible. My own mother reared us as a single mother until I was twelve. She worked outside the home and did the best she could with the help of grandmothers and others. So, when my own opportunity to mother came along, I knew I wanted to be the provider for my children, it was so strong, this instinct, as if it were a full time calling. Perhaps, now as I look back, I understand the wisdom God was giving me to mother a large family. The primary influence so to speak in their lives. The small sacrifices along the way any mother makes does not compare with the joy that is given and a joy that I now have now in seeing my children living as amazing and special adults. The time investment has been returned so many times! I am humbled and grateful that God allowed me this wonderful honor. Now, a few tips: A good mother knows when to button her lip and just offer her hands. She knows support is needed as her adult children become parents.....sometimes even a $20.00 bill for a manicure helps! I know not all families are a PARADISE [we too have had our private trials] but if you have a family and you are a mother, let me urge you to let go of expectations.......accept more, pray without ceasing, and offer your time to baby sit and cuddle and oh yes....cook! A good mother knows when she visits her adult children she must bring something of sustenance! Mothering is full of sweetness, knee deep in prayer time, and a car full of happy children making plans for the future! Yes, dreaming! Enjoy mothering and if you are not a mother, share your time with one. You will be blessed but more importantly you will be a part of blessing and giving to another soul! My heart goes out to mothers who have lost their child, such a tender place, these mothers need you to remember them especially. My porch above is always open for my family and their friends. We have listened there, counseled there, been counseled there by our children or our son-in-laws, and shared many happy moments! Being a mother is like setting in a flowering field and soaking up all the fragrance and beauty around you. I hope by God's design, if you are a MOTHER you have a contentment you never thought possible! Have a blessed and happy weekend my friends! xxoo

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


My sweet Kara sent me this beautiful book by Nichole Robertson. It was a lovely SUPRISE gift to me and nothing could have brought me more joy of seeing photos of Paris! [perhaps seeing Kara] The author says one of the things PARIS taught her was to "take her time". I SO agree.....that is a good reason to go to PARIS! Time is of the essence....I must go soon.....I just wish I had more time! Enjoy my photos below of my own Paris in color!

The sure you find a quaint one! Location is important in getting around! Plan to walk a lot. You will want this experience!

Every corner is a photograph....happiness is everywhere at your leisure!

Each building seems to be more beautiful than the one before!

Take time to soak it all enjoy! I certainly did!

Window displays are the prettiest...each shop keeper goes to great detail!

Enjoy the coffees and the lattes and the conversation! Planning our next museum or garden.......

The stairways in the hotels and homes are magnificent! Very old and lovely!

Take photographs.....perhaps you will go again....but you always remember!

Before you sure to have a croissant! Try their Americano coffee! Most of all, savor every moment. Paris, I hope to see you soon!