Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Grateful Praise

This was the sky on my home from work this past Monday.
The closer I got to my house, the more intense it became and I went out of my way to see more.
I sat in a parking lot to watch it...until it was no more.
Just a day before, we sang a new arrangement of this old hymn at church.
When I saw this beautiful sky, the words of that first verse immediately came to mind...
..."For the beauty of the earth,  for the glory of the skies...."
~Folliott Sandford Pierpoint, 1864
For the beauty of the earth,
for the glory of the skies,
for the love which from our birth
over and around us lies;
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.
For the beauty of each hour
of the day and of the night,
hill and vale, and tree and flower,
sun and moon, and stars of light;
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.

For the joy of ear and eye,
for the heart and mind's delight,
for the mystic harmony,
linking sense to sound and sight;
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.
For the joy of human love,
brother, sister, parent, child,
friends on earth and friends above,
for all gentle thoughts and mild;
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.
For Thy church, that evermore
lifteth holy hands above,
offering up on every shore
her pure sacrifice of love;
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.
For thyself, best Gift Divine,
to the world so freely given,
for that great, great love of thine,
peace on earth, and joy in heaven:
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.

And you will say in that day: "Give thanks to the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the peoples, proclaim that his name is exalted. Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously; let this be made known in all the earth." ~ Isaiah 12:4-5
 Thanksgiving Blessings to you and yours! 


Monday, November 24, 2014

Sweet Sixteen

I was forty-five years old.
 I wasn't ready to be a grandma when I heard this unexpected news.
 The thought of it made me seem old...something that I thought I'd never be.
 I was the eternal child, remember...the "baby" of that big family.
I was also the Queen of DeNial :)
That was then...back in 1998...before he came along.
He changed everything.

The moment I laid eyes on him—that moment in the hospital—that's when it happened.
All of those selfish feelings..."it's all about me"... left immediately.
I had a precious, healthy grandson...a wonderful blessing from God!
Here he is with his Mawmaw, at just a couple of weeks old.
Oh, how I miss those days.
(although I don't miss that double chin I was sporting back then :)
What a blessing it was to be able take care of him a couple of days a week.
And what joy...that first time he spent the night at Mawmaw's house!
This grandma's heart was overflowing!

He was a little more than two years old before he got that first "little boy" haircut...
...I think his blonde curls were nearly down to his shoulders...
...well after this was taken.
Today he turned sixteen...SIXTEEN!
I can hardly believe how fast the years have flown by!
He'll be getting his driver's license soon...and he's a good driver.
This grandma has let him drive her several times and she didn't even have a heart attack :)
I wish I could have found a more recent photo of him.
But when you get to be sixteen, you don't want just any photo out there circulating on the internet!
Your hair needs to be just right and you must have on the right clothes.

So, this is one the most recent photos of him with his brother and cousins (from last year).
 I think this one would meet his approval.
We will be celebrating his big day later this week along with Thanksgiving.
He has already put in his order for a red velvet cake :)

Happy 16th Birthday, Dacey Ray!
You will always be my little Thanksgiving Blessing...
...even though you are now W-A-Y taller than me.

And you will never let me forget it!

Thanks for bearing with me while I reminisce.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Fancy Little Pumpkins

Hello friends!
Can you believe that Thanksgiving is right around the corner?
I can barely wrap my mind around the fact that 2014 is nearly!
We all have seen those delightful stuffed pumpkins all over blogland and Pinterest... may even have made some yourself.
The first time I laid eyes on them, I knew wanted to try my hand at making a few. 
So, here it is almost time for Christmas decor and I'm just now getting these little guys made!
I am not including a tutorial since there are so many out there.
It's basically a circle of fabric, any size you choose, stuffed with beans and batting...
...hand stitched around the edge, pulled tight, secured then the stem hot glued on. 
I started collecting pumpkin stems wherever I could.
You know those huge cardboard boxes at Walmart with pumpkins in them?
If you are lucky enough to find one empty, you will probably find a few.
So I made pumpkins for the stems that I found...four...and I have lots of fabric left.
Maybe I'll make more earlier in the season next year and have a giveaway!!

I wanted to make them all in different shades of velvet
 so I started searching the Goodwill Stores for whatever items I could find for the fabric.
This was not as easy as you might think.
Any other time I would have found many things velvet-ish...
...but we all know what happens when we begin to search specifically for something, right?
So, after several trips in about as many weeks,
I came across some things that I thought would make pretty little pumpkins.
The green and brown ones were created from velvet turtle neck shirts.
Even though I would have never worn them,
(I don't do turtlenecks plus they were in a size I haven't seen since junior high),
I still have this aversion to cutting up a perfectly good garment.
Well, I quickly got over it and started whacking away!

I really liked the colors and am pretty pleased how they turned out.

The paisley print had been a scarf in it's former life and the other from an orange lace shirt... that I actually could wear...if I wore orange.
I don't do orange nor do I know why...even though pumpkins wear it very well.
Maybe that's the reason why I don't...I might just resemble one if I did!
Anyway, I thought the lace would really make a pretty pumpkin...and well, it's orange... appropriate.
Then I fancied them up a bit.

I had seen others that had been "blinged out" so I played around with some vintage jewelry.

I thought the jewelry added some elegance to them...

...but decided I preferred them bling-less in the setting that I chose for them.

So...have you bought your turkey yet???

I'm sharing this with Judith at Mosaic Mondays.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Trees: A Personal Photo Challenge

I really like them a lot.
I am really glad that God included them when He created earth.
Trees are definitely one of my favorite things.
It's time again for Donna's Personal Photo Challenge and it's all about trees.
I have spent the last two evenings rooting (teehee) through my photos for this post.
That's a LOT of trees and it has been hard to decide which ones to use.
So, I've narrowed it down to about twenty...
How about four...or five?

So, this was taken last winter with my point & shoot, looking up into the trees in my back yard.
It was a very gray, gloomy kind of day .

I played around with a few different effects and settled on the HDR effect in Picasa.
I liked the "artsy" look of it.
And then sometimes, you just find that certain tree...'s a favorite of mine at a lovely nature preserve in Fancy Gap, VA.
The tree is not all that special on it's own, but this whole setting just delights my soul...
...the way it stands alone out in the field of tall grasses, a gentle breeze swaying it's branches.
It reminds me of a scene from "Little House on the Prairie".
The only thing missing here is a nice soft quilt and a picnic basket.
The one above was taken in late summer of last year with my point-n-shoot.
I added a dusk effect and some softening in Picmonkey.

Same tree, different time, different newish DSLR.
So there I was again, a year later, just snapping away.
Picnic, anyone?
Then there are the trees of Fort Fisher at Carolina Beach.

I love what the wind and waves has done to these trees through time.

Yes...I do love trees.
From my head down to my knees.
I love trees :)

Monday, November 3, 2014

My Real Leaf Wreath

Happy Monday, friends...I hope everyone had a great weekend!
It has been COLD here in North Carolina...
...but staying true to form, it will be back up to 70 degrees later on this week.
So, they say imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, right? 
 Well, right now, I'm going to flatter Sherry who blogs over at Thrift My House.
She made a beautiful real leaf wreath and also provided a great tutorial!

Here's my version.
My body is still feeling the effects of repeatedly bending down to pick up all of those leaves.
Eventually, I got smart and started pulling them off the trees...DUH!!
Sometimes it takes me a while :)

I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was and I really liked the finished product.
I played around a bit with where to hang it.
Here it is hanging on the pantry door in my kitchen.
I have another wreath that normally hangs there but was just experimenting.
Being rather fragile, I thought it best not to hang it on a door. 

So I moved it into the great room and hung it on my "wrought iron" wall art ...
(which is really not wrought iron at all).

I decided I really liked it there.

So, that's where I left it.
If you decide to keep it inside, the leaves may dry and curl up mine did.
I discovered this is what happens when you hang it above a lamp...
...another big DUH!
I would imagine that hanging it on an outside door would keep them hydrated longer.
Here is what it looks like now.
I think it's still pretty and the dried look and curled edges give it a whole new character.
 Before all was said and done, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to have a little fun with it.
Below is my facebook post from over the weekend:
It was SO windy today! And blew the leaves into a perfectly shaped wreath! I love it when that happens 

Well, you could happen!
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