Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas At Our House - 2012

I like Christmas decorations that are simple to put up and simple to take down and it's certainly that at our house this year! Most are recycled from year to year but used in a different place, such as my collection of putz houses. Yep, I discovered my 'sparkly houses' are really 'putz' houses - they must have been created by the Germans because it's a Pennsylvania Dutch expression we use when 'we putz around' or do a kind of nothing to fill in time, and yes, I'm exposing my ignorance here! :) But I've always been fascinated by them and snatch them up if they're not too costly if I'm in the mood to spend the money on them. I so like them!

- laundry -
My 'starry night' banner I made last year where it hung in the living room.

- kitchen -
Simple greens and lights above the cupboards. Last year I used a mix of live and store-bought greens -
not again...what a mess that was!
 I bought these tin ornaments years ago and every year they sit on my kitchen window - I so like these, too! Sometimes I keep them up until the wintry days are over.
Part of an all-white manger scene. I've displayed these pieces this way for several years - somehow, the simplicity of a lone shepherd coming to Jesus with what he has speaks to me. This is tucked in the corner of the counter top. The reminder of His Presence is especially real this Christmas!
This is the 'third wall' in my kitchen. The paper flowers are new for this year.

- dinning room -

- living room -
The past three years Wal-Mart had these cute little church ornaments but I didn't care for the gold one this year. It's been said that two of one thing is a collection...I guess this is my start of a church collection!
Several months ago, I changed the arrangement in our living room by placing the couch in front of the fireplace mantel. Last week I found another irresistable fireplace and placed it here...
Oh, she's a beauty! I her!
This was a quick arrangement on Saturday and will be enough for this year.

Wishing my readers a blessed Christmas
and a blessed New Year!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Bottle Brush Trees And Sparkly Cardboard Houses

Though I bring my  brush bottle trees with the cute sparkly cardboard houses out every Christmas, I'm not always happy with how they're displayed. This year I found just the right place in the large box-like space in the entertainment center. Shifting the stacked books around that were already there, I placed the houses on top of them and placed the trees around them.!
I've had these delightful houses for some years and I think they're a classic for Christmas decorating that doesn't get old. One of the fences was purchased new and one at a thrift shop that was wound around a small Christmas tree.
I bought most of the bottle brush trees at yard sales/thrift shops and wanted a few more, so I went on a hunt the last several weeks to thrift shops, only to discover they're pret-ty scarce. If you see some at yard sales, snatch 'em up where you can! It's easy to transform them from ugly green to this lovely look!

This is how it looks the rest of the year.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas On Our Porch

I determined to use greens on the front porch from what was in my gardens and I'm pleased with the results. I kept the bones from the Autumn decorating and used lots of greenery.
The pictures were taken late afternoon, giving it a lovely glow.
The red berries are from a spring-flowering tree and the dried lime light hydrangeas are perfect for outdoor  pots. I had planted a lavender in this pot for the summer and simply tucked in the greens around it.
I lit the candles on a gray day just for fun and light them at night when guests are expected.
It's very pretty!
Instead of my usual greens that I've used for years, I hung a small rolled sheet music hanging with added greens on the front door. It's protected by a storm door so it'll be fine there. I'm hoping the exposure will age it!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas Mantle

My Christmas mantle is simple. My taste has changed from fussy 'more is better' to almost plain, but what is there, speaks. I think it must be my age! Less to dust, less to it's 'less is more!'

When I decorate for Christmas, I like to decorate around what is there already and simply changing out the little stuff. The empty picture frames are still there. I was sad to take down the Autumn display, I liked it so much! But I like this just as much.
The airy greens with the red berries are a long-time staple for Christmas decorating at our house. The pears are a thrift find and the silver Christmas tree balls are a post-Christmas buy. The berries on the top shelf are real rose hips. The rest of the items are there forever until I get another brainstorm! :)  

I love Christmas!                

Monday, December 10, 2012

Brown Paper Bag Flowers

Brown paper bag flowers?!
Yes, indeed...out.of.brown.paper.bags.
Simple to make. Simple to hang. Simple classy style. 
 And I shamelessly copied!
Thank you, Clarita!
Click on her link to see her Autumn wall.
You'll find it hard to leave - she's very talented!
I was unable to do a link to the original site, however, you'll find it on hers.

This is my version...
I love old silver and it's such a classic for Christmas decorating!
The teapot was a yard sale find and the creamer and sugar a gift from a friend.
The trays are a GW find and the berries are real.
The lantern was a Christmas Tea door prize win.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Kyra's Birthday

Our youngest grandchild had her first birthday over the week end - sweet little Kyra!
 She wasn't sure what to do with it...
 so she poked at it...
 and after doing some coaxing, took a bite.
Finally relaxing enough to enjoy it -
and the ten other people watching her clapped and cheered!
Sweet little Kyra!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Our Thanksgiving

Our Thanksgiving was delightful!
 We celebrated a friend's birthday on Thanksgiving eve with a delightful meal and delightful company in their home. We spent a good part of the day with our family at our son's house and while we all contributed to the meal, DIL M did the cooking. Her table was lovely!
 Their table is large enough to seat all eighteen of us at once.
And the bittersweet is the real stuff...
just don't use it outside because the seeds will drop and start a very invasive plant - trust me, I know!

We treasure this moment - a moment of time among many other moments.
We hug them close to our heart because we have no guarantee we'll have tomorrow...
The loud, healthy noises of seven boys enjoying each other's company.
Little Kyra raising her arms to be held and snuggling.
Daddy giving two delighted girls a pony ride.
Three year old Ty sliding off the same pony and brushing himself off and saying, 'I'm okay.'
Playing table games and hearing the men talking man talk.
Eating a yummy dessert an hour after we ate the main course 'cause it was so delicous!
Yes, our Thanksgiving was wonderful!

That was yesterday.
Today I'm doing this...
Christmas decorating while I'm listening to Christmas music!
Life is good.
But better yet...

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Where We Are...

Our cancer journey has been one of shock and hope, high expectations and dashed dreams. There have been valleys and mountain tops with...'we're going to conquer this.' Then reality set in. The second time around, and with a knowledge of what genetic rectal colon cancer truly is, feels a whole lot different than the first diagnosis...very final and very much like a death sentence. It IS a death sentence, a 'manageable' death sentence.

Sounds harsh I know, but the reality of life is, we not born to live here forever. We're approaching  Christmas when we celebrate the real reason of this season...the birth of Jesus, taking on Himself the form of humanity to GIVE His life on a cross, the cruelest of all deaths and rising from that death victorious so the sting of death is taken away! (1Corinthians 15:54-57) THAT is our hope, a hope NO ONE can take away!

Mr D just finished six rounds of 'killer chemo' (the doctor's words) in the hopes the tumor will shrink enough to have surgery. We met with the doctor yesterday and the news was that it's still too big to remove. It was hard news to hear, though not totally unexpected. We were offered another, milder form of chemo, hoping this one would work differently...Mr D chose to say no.

He is choosing to stay under this doctor's care but will be using supplements, among a few other choices, with the doctors blessing. That feels good! It also feels scary for me because regardless of the two choices we are left with, the next step in this journey is the winter of cancer. How long this winter will be, I have no idea. I just know we're not walking it alone - we have family, friends, church, a community of believers...what more can we ask for?!
We both truly believe He will bring glory to HIMSELF, whether it's through life or whether it's through death!

We enjoy our gifts to the fullest - Mr D sleeps well. He has a good appetite and his weight has stabilized. Though he tires easily, he looks well and is able to work everyday. He enjoys hunting, his favorite hobby and we're still able to travel. Yes, we treasure our gifts and thank God for them!


I found the last of these roses yesterday so beautifully dried on the stem. Though they 'had their time,' there is beauty even in death. Death is the closing of one door and the opening of another into indescribable beauty that no one on earth has words to do it justice! Psalm 23 are not mere words - they are a PROMISE that no valley has to be feared for He is with us!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

MY Christmas Ideas Collection

Is it ever too early to think of Christmas? I love Christmas but not in July! At the same time, I often buy Christmas stuff at yard sales or thrift shops through out the year because they are bargains and cost only pennies in comparison to store prices which makes this penny-pincher happy! So no, it is never too early to think of Christmas!

I'm posting a few of my favorite and easy-to-do Christmas crafts and ideas in one post in plenty of time for you to collect and use in your home - after all, Christmas is only weeks away!

(click on the links)
Simple, no work ideas.
Save old favorite Christmas cards and string them up somewhere.
Wrap sheet music around clear glass vases and tie with raffia - so cool-looking!
Fold sheet music into a fan and using two sheets per flower, tie string around center and a dot of glue where the two sheets come together.
Using hydrangeas as Christmas deco is lovely as well.
Top picture: hydrangeas are tucked in a wire frame that sits in a flower pot.
String it with lights first!
Bottom: these are the same but I used dried-on-the-shrub hydrangeas instead.
Last but not least is making your own banner!
They're simple, fun but time consuming to make and the possibilites are endless!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Pink Dogwood In Autumn

We've seen very little of the sun since Sandy hit the east coast; however, the forecast for the end of the week is temps in the sixties - yea! I wanted to post a few autumn pictures last week but honestly, I wasn't feeling very 'bloggery.'  The autumn decor will stick around until Thanksgiving.

Last spring I posted about our pink dogwood tree that is outside our bedroom window and it's just as lovely in its fall colors.
 I picked up this old coal shovel at a benefit auction with Indian corn but decided to hang the corn on the door and used rose hips from our rose bushes. It's hanging between the outside door and kitchen window.
I like simplicity!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


We are safe and we thank God!
We've had lots of rain and wind but we are SAFE!
My heart aches for those who have lost family and home.

Before the storm, I said good-bye to autumn as most of the leaves are down.
- before Sandy passed through -

All is well today!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

This Olde House...

A local business bought a property with an old house on it and dismantled it for another purpose. The house was a 'free-for-all' to anyone wanting to take windows, doors, etc. Mr D and I went up to see what we could salvage. There was a lot more I wanted such as the roof of the small porch but settled for some windows and doors. Mr D is sooo good to me and my ideas!

Mr D cut the doors so I could use the window section - boy, are they heavy! 
It's hanging in the front by the garage door, spiffied up for Autumn.
free window
two bucks for the twiggy wreath
 'a dollar a peice' pumpkins 
 a dollar yard sale chair, weathered beautifully 
 rusty wagon our children played with
free leaves from the neighbour :)
Close up at sunset.