Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Consider this amazing video my Christmas card to each of you

Funny how God drops unexpected and delightful gifts right in your lap when you're not even looking

{Come to think of it, God does seem to delight in the unexpected, doesn't He?}

This was made by a 5th grade teacher and his students in the remote Alaskan fishing village we call home every summer...

To see our friends' faces is a beautiful gift indeed!

Merry Christmas


Monday, December 20, 2010

creative {bOy} fun


attaching harness while little brother waits patiently...


taking off...


little bro can do it, too


no need for hot cocoa to warm me...watching this play is the best heart warmer around

*we live in an vintage neighborhood {kinda like Mayberry, actually} with very few driveways...our little detached garages line our alleyways. today is trash day and i love seeing the trash truck in these photos

Thursday, December 16, 2010

let it snow


today is my stay-home day

cleaning and putzing...watching gentle snow fall outside


i hate to admit, but i've picked up a few goodies for me

as i shop for others

i mean after buying my uncle cashmere handwarmers....

this little beauty bag called my name from across the store


and this mirror reflects such beauty

and those Pottery Barn ornaments up there? oh, honey! look at that worn red one!

it seems someone has stocked the shelves with perfect "Cathy Gifts"...

at amazing little prices

but i am out of my mad money...and {thankfully} done with my Christmas shopping

do tell me

do you shop for YOU, too?

Monday, December 13, 2010

a great day


In December, Christmas awaits,

but birthdays come first


and you absolutely can't forget the bunch 

of presents that you'll get


and oh boy, most importantly

Jesus was born like me!


too bad December has to end*.

December 13, 1995...a beautiful gift indeed

boy, do i love this kid

*written December 16, 2004, age 8

Friday, December 10, 2010



$3 wooden barn crate...perfect for organizing presents!


free stool and minno canteen...perfect stage for a little greenery and frosted house


estate sale finds...displayed just as they are {what charm those boxes have!}

pretty simple decorating around here this year

how about you?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

gift from a stranger

alaska 2010

"The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered, we know that. And yes, there are certainly times when we aren't able to muster as much strength and patience as we would like. It's called being human. But I have found that in the simple act of living with hope, and in the daily effort to have a positive impact in the world, the days I do have are made all the more meaningful and precious. And for that I am grateful."  -elizabeth edwards

Thursday, December 2, 2010

evening soiree


tonight we host my in-laws and their friends

they swing by for a little dinner party before taking in an annual Christmas concert at the university


this year's theme is "remember"

i've tucked fresh rosemary in antique mustache cups

antique clocks and watch faces nestle in amidst candles

this group has lost some people over the years...but we will remember them

after all, rosemary is for remembrance

and we will remember a baby's birth, too

because with our remembering, the baby brings us 


there's rosemary for remembrance; pray, love, remember...
-william shakespeare

Saturday, November 27, 2010

preparing home


we drove by here...


and here...


to do this


it's official...we're on the road to Christmas

Monday, November 22, 2010

a tale of vases, candles & santa


in between dentist visits {found out today i have to have a consult about braces!}, i found some time to putter around my house...truly one of my favorite ways to spend a day!

3 vases lined up in a row...i just swoon over the "crispness" of it


has anyone told you about flameless candles?  oh my!  i loooove them so much! i worry SO about leaving a burning candle lit...too much worry!
{although i still have to have a few real mixed in}

i get the ones with the real looking wick and the timer...they come on at 4:30 in our house and go off like magic at 9:30 (hey, we're early to bed folks)

(costco had one amazing set left, sam's has lots of sets but a crummy bulb wick)


and finally, a little peek of Christmas made its way into the dining room

love how my new gorgeous mirror picked up my petite tree's pretty reflection...i took the picture to show you the whole mirror, but love the reflection more!

after the dentist today, i met my sister for lunch (a perk of traveling across town to see my dentist so often)...we were walking through the mall and saw SANTA looking bored

before you could say "come dasher!" we were sitting on his lap saying cheese

i think our $5 picture on santa's lap may just be my dad's favorite gift this year

i'm beginning to feel the magic of the season...winter whites, candle glow, and santa, sissy and me

ThAnKfUll for it all...

{even my whopper-jawed mouth}

Sunday, November 21, 2010



I remember the first Thanksgiving we celebrated after my brother died. 

I am remembering this day, 28 years ago, because my close friend will be walking through her first Thanksgiving in 23 years without her wonderful husband who passed from this life a few weeks ago.

 It's gonna suck anyway you play it, I told her.  
The goal is to get through it.  And you will.
{She knew I meant it because I hate the word "suck"}

I shared the following blurb from our church bulletin with my friend.  
Thanksgiving is a choice for us and it was for the pilgrims, too.

In 1621, the pilgrims had uprooted themselves and sailed for America. The Mayflower was blown off course and they landed in Massachusetts in the middle of winter instead of Virginia, where people had settled 13 years earlier. There was not much food or shelter and in a couple of months half of them had died. When spring came, the Indians showed them how to plant corn, but their first crops were pitiful and supplies ran out. There was a lot to complain about. In fact, some proposed a Day of Mourning to honor all those who had perished. But the others said no, a Day of Thanksgiving would be more appropriate. After all, even though half had died, half had not. They were no strangers to gratitude. They knew they were God’s own and they gave thanks. b delcamp

Life can be hard

Nevertheless, so much is good

the breath we just took...sunrise everyday...laughter...colors...a roof over our to eat...a soft bed...children...clothes on our

I think thankfulness streaming from a broken heart deeply touches the heart of God

Not just on Thanksgiving Day

Every day

Friday, November 12, 2010

trying new things


i have had a blog post written, in my head, for a few weeks now...using this picture of our son who, on shaking legs, tried a new sport...

went out on a limb in unchartered territory, nervous he wouldn't be able to succeed...scored 2 goals

my blog post was going to be about learning something from my i need to take more risks and go into unchartered territory...i need to try new things!


but as i sit waiting to get a text to pick up one of our teenagers (when i want to be sleeping) i think about the new things i've been doing lately

not things i would think up on my own...but i've been growing in new ways...learning new things.  and i have been totally ignoring all the growing i've been doing lately...simply because it doesn't fit my idea of "personal growth"

i am in the process (reluctantly) of becoming power of attorney for a distant neighbor who finds herself dying in a nursing home and whose only visitor is me

oh, she has some family. but they want her stuff. they don't want her.

i tell her i love her when i leave. and i mean it. because i have learned a new love for this a classroom i never would have chosen on my own


today i stood behind one of my closest friends as they sprinkled her husband's casket with holy water

i have walked a journey with her for 6 long years. watching her trust and love God in real and honest ways has taught me much. i thought today about what i would have missed had i quietly walked away because sometimes things were just so overwhelmingly sad and messy.  

without exaggeration, i would have missed miracles

learning to let go of growing children...learning to truly love and appreciate my Dad's wife...learning to speak less and listen more...learning to accept people as they are...learning, learning, learning

sometimes i miss the amazing lessons God is trying to teach me...

because i am addicted to making myself happy and content with learning the things i want to learn

true happiness and contentment, true learning and growth...

come when i humble myself and whisper

i will follow where you lead me

and i will LOVE

Watch what God does, and then you do it..mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Ephesians 5:1

Behold, I am doing a new thing.  Do you not perceive it?
Isaiah 43:19

Sunday, November 7, 2010

sunday in the park


ok.  tell me

do we really need to spend $1000 on senior pictures...


when other than a few wispy hairs

we have these shots straight out of the camera?

{uh-huh.  i thought you'd agree}

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

a tree grows...


carissa is talking about her thanksgiving "tree" today

so i thought i would share a thanksgiving tree i made for my husband last year

spunky carissa, that brown eyed fox, reminded me to dig out my branch 

it does the HeArT good to add our thanksgiving leaves each year

i sure am thankful for all my blog friends...

BIG leaves for each of you!


Tuesday, November 2, 2010



our senior...

got to dress up for her choir's fun cabaret dinner theatre on Halloween

an "80s workout person" thanks to the thrift store

she did it all on her own and she nailed it, didn't she?

lovin that sweatshirt, too

i'm linking up with my good pal, Patty

a visit to her blog is a real TREAT

Monday, November 1, 2010



ever have those seasons where you think

there's a lot of stuff you just need to get better at doing?

you know...i need to take better care of my teeth {root canal last week}

or i need to read my Bible more or i need to spend less or i need to exercise more...quit eating an organized grocery shopper 


{this pretty candlescape here to help me relax}

i am feeling a lot of i need to... lately

not the fluff stuff either...the important stuff!

health...saving money...spiritual growth

so that's where i am right now


but i just finished drinking a smoothie...

banana, oj, milk, strawberries...that's GOOD!

how are you doing these days?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

road trip


hotel room in a college's a "green" place...don't know much about green hotels, but i know it was beautiful

the other queen bed is there to the left...amazing layout for a hotel room

girlie and i had fun!


the view from our "green" room...


another view...with sound! 


the college was founded by the Dutch

lots of buildings on campus begin with that!

fun to visit the campus

but even more fun to have a silly-fun-girl getaway

Thursday, October 21, 2010



how wonderful that someone put my "mother heart" on a sign

i've always wondered what advice i would write down for my children...

these 7 gems kinda sum up what i would write

and they're good reminders for me, too


*and don't forget to hug your mother

Monday, October 18, 2010



there is nothing like a college campus in the fall

walking through downtown, our daughter said "i feel like we're walking through a movie set"

as we were waiting for an admissions counselor...after our campus tour

a former student sent me her daily text

{every day she sends all her contacts a short & sweet verse}

i read it and passed my phone to our daughter

for i know the plans i have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you. plans to give you hope and a future.  jeremiah 29:11

i love it when God sends us little winks

*i snapped this photo because look at those gorgeous leaves THROUGH the building's window!

Monday, October 11, 2010



jumping up to shout a hello

busy week in & out of my little yard...

how 'bout you?

hospital visits and college visits...

football games...

soccer games...

a big crown from the dentist!

oh, my...wonder if i'll have any jumps left in me by week's end?

{photo: neighbor dog doing his jumping tricks behind the 6 ft fence}

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

the afters (plus 1 before)


all but one wall {in desperate need of repair} have been painted



{actually i'm not all that calm or simple, but i love the look}


mrs. dunbar requested a before and after so i was forced to include at least one before shot


oh, how i love this print from Teresa Sheeley


we nabbed 4 of these wooden trim pieces from a house being demolished

{at least 10 years ago}

i LOVE them up there!


can i just take a bow now?

i pounded a hole in a cork and shoved it over the nail

brilliant.  if i do say so myself. {grin}


love these 1-4 plates on the soffit over my sink

{what a funny word soffit is!}


tucked this keep calm sign in an out of the way place...

so as i'm cooking i can glance up and be reminded to carry on

now i need to carry on in the dining room...


so many treasures...

{patty, do you see my little sign on the bench in the lower left corner?}

so little space to display them all!

25 teenagers coming over tonight so i better get off this computer and start putting away and cleaning up

happy wednesday everyone...hope it's a sunny day wherever you are


Monday, October 4, 2010

scrape, scrape, peel...


so i've been taking down wallpaper


really.  for me? forever.  both my husband and i usually tackle jobs with a gusto...get-r-done mentality

but wallpaper...not so much

if i've said it once during the past few weeks, i've said it a thousand times


i tried paying my children to finish the scrape, scrape, peel

no takers...the huck finn strategy {"it's fun!"} didn't work


so as of 8:30 last night


dining room is finished and accessorized

today, the kitchen gets painted after sanding the spackle

i used to be a "let's fix her up!" kinda gal

but not so much anymore

wallpaper will do that to you
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