Thursday, May 31, 2007

This & That

There are a couple of new items in my craft shop ~ feel free to stop in.

Also, I have two free shipping codes for Land's End if you are interested, send me an e-mail!

Mitford Moment: Be Out of Step

Businesses plant gardens between buildings. The town ponders what should be their town flower! Rose arbors appear in yards.

These simple pleasures generally are out of sync with the hurried and frenzied life presented all around us. But, they enhance the lives of those who are enjoying the simple pleasures and of those who are rushing around - whether they realize it or not.

How can I be a refreshment to my community? When I go for a walk - sometimes, there is a certain yard or home that will stand out as inviting or charming - is my home one of those that generates a refreshment in others who walk or drive by? This can be as simple as keeping all the trash picked up, toys put away and weeds kept to a minimum. (Guess I better add "Tidy Porch" to my list of things to do today!)

What can I do to be a refreshment to my community? I'm still pondering this and would love to hear your ideas!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Summer Swap

Remember how much fun the Spring Swap was? Well, the details are up for the Summer Fun Swap! Join in the fun!

My Feelings Exactly

What Mothers Cannot Do

in this frenzied puttering
around the house,
see more!
The dusting,
are but the poor
efforts of a heavy heart
to help time pass.
Praying on my knees
I get uptight;
for hearts and lives
are not the only things
that need to be
put right.

And, while I clean,
if tears should fall,
they're settling the dust,
- that's all.
Lord, I will straighten
all I can
and You -
take over what we mothers
cannot do.

~ Ruth Bell Graham


Here's the latest on our garden adventure!

Baby Tomatoes!

See the ears of corn forming?

And, the corn is getting tall! I'm already thinking of corn stalks in my fall decorating!

The veggie garden, remember where we started?!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


We had a wonderful time and enjoyed beautiful weather this weekend! I hope you all had a nice weekend as well! Here are a few pix from our time away!

Friday, May 25, 2007


This will be our view for the weekend! Hope you all have a great weekend and I will be back on Tuesday!

Mitford Moment: Make a Difference!

One of the things I love about Mitford is the people who are willing to make a difference! They are productive - they have ideas and they follow through - they care about one another!

This can be taken even to the very smallest level - did you cook more dinner than your family can eat tonight? Is there a couple who lives close by that you could take two plates of food to? Can you run an errand for someone? Or even send a note in the mail?

Yesterday, I had some blueberry muffins that needed to be eaten before we go out of town this weekend. Since I had a dentist appointment - I decided to take them to share! They seemed genuinely grateful and all smiled, a gift when working in an office all day!

These things can provide such encouragement and pick-me-ups to those around us - just think how you'd feel if you were the recipient?!

"Red Lobster" Biscuits

My Mom sent me a recipe recently for biscuits that taste, "just like 'Red Lobster' biscuits." These are incredibly simply and oh-so-tasty!

2 cups Bisquick or other baking mix
2/3 c. milk
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 c. melted butter
1/4 tsp. garlic powder

Preheat oven to 450. Combine baking mix, milk and cheese until soft dough forms. Beat for 30 seconds. Drop dough by spoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Mix butter and garlic powder. Brush over warm biscuits before removing from cookie sheet. Serve warm. Makes 12 biscuits.

I'd like to have a recipe to make my own baking mix - and after an online search, there are so many to pick from, how am I to choose one? Anyone care to share one they know and love?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Rachel Discovers Grass

I know this week has been heavy on pictures of the girls - but I can't resist posting these photos of the progression of Rachel discovering grass at the park yesterday! She touches it, studies it in her hand and then tastes it! Look at that face!

Notes From You!

Ok, this has to be the BEST part of our little tag sale! Look at all the cute handwritten notes I've gotten in the mail! They are full of kind and encouraging words! And, Tamara even sent me these adorable and very homespun coasters! Thank you, thank you, thank you all!

Organization Motivation!

Ok, as if I needed any more motivation to clean things out! Most of you probably know that about me - but some may not realize that I am nearly always in a mood to clean something out or get it more organized! This is what my mom, sister and I do when we get together for *fun*!!

I was a big fan of Clean Sweep and used to have my mother-in-law tape it for me even so I could watch everyone clean out their junk! Now, Peter Walsh - organizer featured on this show - has written a book that is just the same tone as the show. It is full of great ideas, hard-core clean out tips and serious motivation!

Here was my favorite thought from the book (just in case you really wanted to know):

"Imagine your ideal life. Now think about the life you are actually living. Does the stuff you own contribute to the life you are hoping to achieve, or is it getting in the way of that vision?"

This book moves through each room and gives tons of practical advice in how to go through your entire house and pare down, declutter, and be pleased with the results!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Family Night: Water Fun!

Emily loves all things water related! So, this week we celebrated that! I got these goodies to make the fun even more - but the water slide was so much fun, we really didn't need the other things.

We took our hose out to Emily's slide and put the pool at the end - this was SO fun for her - she loved it!!!
Mama helped Rachel slide too!

Then, we came in and had homemade popsicles, adapted from this recipe.

Sweet Girls

Friday night, Daddy had to work - so the girls and I played outside with buckets of water, a first for Rachel. I loved these sweet pictures of them!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Mitford Moment: Beauty

Another way we can experience Mitford wherever we are is to look around us and see the beauty that surrounds our lives. Enjoy the simple pleasures of everyday life - Father Tim enjoys the beauty of a newly dug garden and the borders he planted himself. Enjoy the fruit of your labor and appreciate it for how it adds beauty to your life!

Family Mail Boxes!

I saw this a long time ago and thought it was such a fun and lovely idea! And, ever since, my Mom has graciously been helping me search for the metal boxes to copy it!! Well, they were not easy to come by - but eventually found on clearance at Jo-Ann's. Since they did not all match - I spray painted them all black. Then, I found a strip of magnet that I had gotten on clearance (which I intend to use for making a chore chart on the fridge one day) and cut it in sections. I wrote one of our names on each section and just placed them on the front of the mailbox!

Thank you, Christy, for the wonderful idea!

Each evening as I plan my to-do list/schedule for each day, I plan to put something in Emily's mailbox or at least plan what I'll do the next day.

Here's our list for this week:

Monday: library book - a trip to the library to sign up for the summer reading program
Tuesday: a sheet of stickers and a picture to paint
Wednesday: tennis shoes and snack - a trip to the park
Thursday: apron and spoon - help make brownies
Friday: sandals and pail - trip to the beach!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Feeling Inadequate


Today, I am struggling with the way that I mother. Why do I get so easily frustrated with Emily? And, why do I allow those frustrations to give way to anger, hurt feelings, and stress.

I know that I am not handling these frustrations appropriately or in a way that pleases and glorifies You. And, I confess that Lord.

Please refine me and teach me to be the mother You desire me to be. I want to please You in my thoughts, my actions and my words. Lord, I am leaning on You for the strength to be different - because in my own strength I will simply continue to fall.

"Show me Your ways, O Lord, teach me Your paths; guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are God, my Savior, and my hope is in You all day long." ~ Psalm 25: 4-5

for Your glory,


Little Ladies Tea Party!

This past Friday, Emily was invited to a little girls tea party! Our hostess did a wonderful job of explaining manners and even practicing them! The lovely tea was held on their screen porch and it was wonderful! The ladies got dressed up and she had dress up hats, shoes and jewelry for them to add!

They got to pour their own "tea" ~ which was actually pink lemonade. I brought the food and after a quick search online could not find any real tips for little girls tea parties. Which, I find shocking - so it must mean that I was in too much of a hurry to really find the info!

Anyway, here is what I did:

Flower peanut butter and honey sandwiches (remember that bread tube?!), flower and butterfly shaped crackers with cheese shaped like flowers, and fruit cups made out of orange "cups" filled with fruit salad. For dessert, we had flower shaped cakes with frosting and sprinkles - I forgot to take a picture of that!

After they were done eating, each got to make a necklace! Then, they blew bubbles and played together. It was a fun time!

Also, our hostess had these lovely favors for each girl - including candy bracelets, a ring pop, pencil, and even their own tea cup!

Thank you, Miss Kelly for such a lovely gathering and for including us!

I got to hold my sweet friend's baby - and she went to sleep on my lap! I love having a baby fall asleep while I am holding her - so peaceful and pure!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Garden Update

Our garden has been thriving lately - so it is definitely time for an update! This time I included our flower garden as well since there has been lots of show from them!

This sign hangs on my porch by the front door - I love the message and the weathered homey look! Welcome!

Mom: This is your hydrangea - my favorite one!

My attempt at a southern "cottage" garden!

The hydrangeas on the side of the house have already started to bloom and turn blue!
I can't wait to snip these and enjoy them in the house!

I love the look of lots of ivy draping the stones around our big Live Oak tree!

Moving on to the veggie garden - here is a tomato plant! It is hard for me to believe that this started from a little bitty seed that I placed in a plastic cup of soil to start it inside!! How exciting!




Green Beans - see them hanging there!!!!

Here are the green beans I picked!

Here is how we ate them! Stir fry green beans and some onion in a little olive oil. After they start to brown just a tad, add a little bit of water and cover the pan to steam the rest of the way, salt and pepper to taste. Yummy! We also had steamed carrots and meatloaf! Mmmmm!