Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Calling all prayers!

Well, I don't think I have ever done this before, but I guess there is a first time for everything...I wanted to ask for your prayers regarding a health issue that has come up with my husband. It could be more serious that we thought, and I am frantic, to say the least. I can't really go into it too much right now, but if you have a moment, I would greatly appreciate your prayers!

I am neither a calm nor patient person, and worrying is what I do "best". It has been hard for me to rest in God's peace, though I know He would rather I accept His peace that be worried! I want to accept it, I really do, it's just I can't seem to stop being me and asking Him, "BUT wait Lord, what if?"

And then I make the mistake of getting on the Web and doing a little research on this particular health issue and end up feeling even worse than I did before! I am really beginning to believe that ignorance truly is bliss...

I just do not like uncertainty at all!

I will keep you as updated as possible for sure, and thank you again for listening. :)
I already feel a little better...


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Celebrating Advent...

This third candle we light this Sunday is the Shepherd's candle.

"And there were some shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.'

~Luke 2: 8-12

Can you even imagine? You're just doing your job, it's just another day~ I mean night~ and all of sudden, out of nowhere, there is an angel from God telling YOU that the Messiah has come and where to find him! I would have been terrified too if I'd been them, but amazed that out of every one in the world He could have chosen, God had blessed me with such a gift~ to be one of the first of those to meet Jesus! I love this story of the Shepherd's because it reminds me that God doesn't care what we do for a living, how much money we have in the bank, or if we are "someone" in the eyes of this world...He desires a relationship with each of us. We are valuable to Him. Valuable enough for Him to take on flesh and identify with us and share in our humanity. It's hard for me to wrap my mind around this, it's so wonderful!

Come Thou long-expected Jesus,
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us;
Let us find ou
r rest in Thee.

Israel's Strength and Consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear Desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious Kingdom bring.

By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all sufficient merit
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and that this post finds you doing well! :)


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Rearranging in the living room...

I have been cleaning and preparing our living room for the Christmas tree we will be getting on Saturday, which meant the need for a little rearrangement of the living room...You may remember me talking about our fireplace and how it drives me CRAZY because the hearth is not symmetrical! We have plans to remedy this~ removing some of the brick on the "wider" side~ but in this old house, the list is long, and who knows when this will take place!

BUT...I needed to move a little table from it's normal place and thought this might be a good spot for it, nestled up in the "extra" space to the right of the hearth...

And I think it just may stay here for a while. It evens out the space and makes it look a little more, well, symmetrical! It also adds a bit of well appreciated lamp light to that side of the room! :)

Okay, I do realize I still have my "thankful" arrangement up there on the mantel, but you see I have just finally decided what to replace it with for Christmas...that coming soon! :)

I sure hope this week has been a good one for you all! AND best of all, tomorrow's Friday! :)


Sunday, December 6, 2009

The second candle of Advent

The Bethlehem candle~

Well, I meant to post at least once before it was time to light the second candle, but here it is Sunday already!

I found the wreath I made last year, but couldn't resist adding a little twine bow to the center candle. I love twine...it kind of looks silly here, but in "real life" it looks much better. You'll just have to trust me on this one, though...this is definitely not the best picture...

AND it is really hard to find a "cute" place to take a picture in this kitchen-not-quite-finished! SO with my disclaimers aside, let's light the Bethlehem candle...actually, we'll let my son light it! (With my supervision, of course!)

"But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times...
He will stand and shepherd his flock
in the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they will live securely, for then his greatness
will reach to the ends of the earth.
And he will be their peace."

~ Micah 5:2,4-5

O Little Town of Bethlehem

O little town of Bethlehem,
How still we see thee lie;
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by.
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light;
the hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight.

How silently, how silently,
The wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of His heaven.
No ear may hear his coming,
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive Him, still
The dear Christ enters in.

Now we'll enjoy the beauty of the lit candles...oh, and here's a picture of Gracie's Advent candle holder that she sanded and decorated in Sunday school this morning, and is very proud of! It looks so pretty all lit up! :)

Did you have a good week? I hope so! Christmas time can be so crazy, huh? Already I can feel things speeding up! Christmas is coming, ready or not, in just 19 days! (And a mere 18 if you're on the East Coast right now! :)

Hoping you have a wonderful night,

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The first candle

Last year my family started a tradition...I made a Advent wreath (using the wooden wreath form my son had made) which has four candles~ one for each week of Advent. Each Sunday, we lit the candle for that week. This year we are keeping this new tradition. And this year, it was my oldest daughter who finished a wreath form for us, that she made at church.

This week I will dig out the wreath I made last year and put it together in time for next week's candle...so for now we have a "makeshift candle"...

Today we celebrate the first candle of Advent by lighting the first candle. This is
the Prophecy candle, which represents
the promise of a Messiah foretold by God's prophets.

"For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
~ Isaiah 9: 6

Of the Father's love begotten

"Of the Father's love begotten, Ere the worlds began to be,
He is Alpha and Omega, He the Source, the Ending He,
Of the things that are, that have been, And that future years shall see,
Evermore and evermore!

O ye heights of heaven, adore Him; Angel hosts, His praises sing;
Powers, dominions, bow before Him, And extol our God and King;
Let no tongue on earth be silent, Every voice in concert ring,
Evermore and evermore!

Christ, to Thee with God the Father, And, O Holy Ghost, to Thee,
Hymn and chant and high thanksgiving And unwearied praises be:
Honor, glory, and dominion, And eternal victory,
Evermore and evermore!"


~ Written by Aurelius Clemens Prudentius (348-413)


Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Thanksgiving Day note

I just wanted to pop in and wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you have a wonderful day with family and friends! :)

Many Blessings,

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A "new" frame

I found this frame a few months ago, either at a garage sale or a thrift store~ I can't remember which! It isn't really new, of course...

I saw it had potential, despite it's gaudy "gold" plastic! It had character that would be clear to see IF only for a coat of white paint! :)

I just finally got around to painting it...I replaced the bird picture with a letter. The letter "u", actually. This frame helps complete the word I framed for the mantel this Thanksgiving...

Of course, silly me, I forgot to get a close up shot of the frame I redid! Can you see it in the above picture?

I am often just barely on time, especially with holiday decorating. Is anyone else like this? Here I am showing you this on the tail end of Thanksgiving, and I know there are some of you who already have a good start on Christmas! And all I can say is, you amaze me! :)

I hope to post again before Thanksgiving, but just in case it doesn't happen, let me wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving! I hope you enjoy your time with the ones you love, and have a beautiful day! :)


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Out of this world cinnamon rolls!

I don't know about you, but I love cinnamon rolls...the smell of them baking in the oven is almost just as good as eating them. Part of the problem with making these, however, is that I normally would have to get up at four in the morning to serve these for a Saturday breakfast, because of all the rising they require...BUT I have discovered a way around this, and thought I would share this idea and recipe with you! :) It is a simple matter of combining two recipes to make a better one, which I do often! :) This recipe allows me to make the rolls the night before. I let the prepared rolls rise 20 minutes in the morning before I put them in the oven...it makes SUCH a difference!

Basic Sweet Dough

3/4 cup low-fat milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 and 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup butter or margarine
2 packages active dry yeast
1/3 cup warm water
3 eggs, room temperature
5 and 1/2 to 6 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Place milk, sugar, salt and butter in small saucepan. Heat over low heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Cool to lukewarm.

Dissolve yeast in warm water in warmed mixer bowl. Add lukewarm milk mixture, eggs, and 5 cups flour. Attach bowl and dough hook to mixer. Turn to Speed 2 and mix about 2 minutes.

Continuing on Speed 2, add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, and mix until dough clings to hook and cleans sides of bowl, about 2 minutes.

Continuing on Speed 2, add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, and mix until dough clings to hook and cleans sides of bowl, about 2 minutes. Knead on Speed 2 about 2 minutes longer.

Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover. Let rise in warm place, free from draft, about 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk.

Punch dough down and shape as desired for rolls or coffee cakes.

Cinnamon Swirl Rounds

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 and 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 recipe Basic Sweet Dough

Caramel Glaze

1/2 cup evaporated milk
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Place brown sugar, sugar, butter, flour, cinnamon, and walnuts in mixer bowl. Attach bowl and flat beater to mixer. Turn to Speed 2 and mix about 1 minute.

Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Roll dough to 10x24 inch rectangle. Spread sugar-cinnamon mixture evenly on dough. Roll dough tightly from long side to form 24-inch roll, pinching seams together. Cut into 24 slices, 1 inch each.

Place 12 rolls each in two greased 13x9x2 inch baking pans. Cover. Let rise in warm place, free from draft, 45 to 60 minutes, or until doubled in bulk.

Bake at 350 degrees F (or 177 degrees C) for 20-25 minutes. Remove from pans immediately. Spoon Caramel Glaze over warm rolls.

To make Caramel Glaze, place evaporated milk and brown sugar in small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to boil, stirring constantly.

Place mixture, powdered sugar, and vanilla in mixer bowl. Attach bowl and flat beater to mixer. Turn to Speed 4 and beat until creamy, about 2 minutes.

Now, my secret is... when you have made the dough and you let it rise until it is about doubled, follow the instructions until you have formed the rolls and placed them in the pans. At this point, cover them with oiled waxed paper, then with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator 2-24 hours (or overnight). To bake, let stand for 20 minutes at room temperature. Uncover and puncture any surface bubbles with a greased wooden toothpick.

Bake as directed above. :)

Now, what goes better with a cinnamon roll in the morning than a great cup of coffee?

I found a new kind of coffee that I LOVE! It is made by Millstone, and it is their holiday "Peppermint" coffee. It smells and tastes amazing! It has me wondering how it would taste if I added chocolate and whip cream...would it make a good Peppermint Mocha? I'm thinking it would! :)

Well, that's all for now! I hope you have a good night and a great Friday!


Monday, November 16, 2009

A thrifted wool sweater...

...gets a new lease on life as a tote!

This project was easy peasy, and so fun to make! As I was sewing it up, I began to think it needed a little something extra though...something like~

~a rosette with a button in the middle! I had never made one of these before, and I don't think I have mastered the art yet. My first impression of mine was that it looked more like a cinnamon roll than a rosette, but it grew on me! I do like the brown linen with the red wool, though! :)

If you would like to make your own tote, you will find the tutorial for it here, at The Shabby Nest. And if you are thinking you would like to learn to make a rosette, I found a great tutorial for it here.

I hope you are having a great week so far, and that you have a good night! :)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

No, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth...

...or developed a dreaded disease, or been traveling in a remote land somewhere in the world with no internet access!

I have just been trying to finish our kitchen here and there, between busy school days, more sickness in our house, and that never ending attempt to finish the laundry! But all is well! I don't think I have ever, ever gone over three weeks without blogging before! :) I have missed it, and have missed visiting all of your blogs! I am trying to catch up on everything you have been doing! :)

I have finished one project that was interesting, to say the least. We decided to put off replacing our garden window for the time being (until next year or the next) but I didn't care for the dark aluminum frame...

My husband half jokingly suggested I paint it. Well, there are few things I won't try painting, but it took me a bit of time to decide if I could do it, then how I would go about it. I hadn't seen any how-to in my "how to paint anything" edition of BHG. But let's just say, I had a bee in my bonnet...

So I started with just the bottom of the window, figuring if it went south, at least the whole thing would not look awful. Plus, that would be the easiest surface to paint.

See the bottom surface and surrounding area is primed twice and painted. All went well...So I taped the window up, and went to town~ again, priming it all twice and painting it until it looked finished! :) Here is what it looks like now:

And a peek at the kitchen...

And you can see one of the upper cabinets in this picture. I am not finished adding all the trim, but it gives you an idea of what I am doing with them. I put all the bead board on the insides and outsides of all the cabinets, and am painting the inside of the cabinets this green color. :)

Again, I'm still putting up moulding, but do you see the corbels underneath the cabinets? What do you think of them? I still have mixed feelings about these particular corbels...I got this idea from Angie, over at The Happy Homebody, who just added these to her kitchen this summer. Hers are a different style, but it's the same idea!

Okay, and one more thing...do you remember me telling you about my sweater project? If so, you also probably remember this picture:

Come on back tomorrow to see what I turned this into! :)

Well, here's hoping that your weekend was wonderful and you're all rested up and ready for another week! :) Have a good night!

Many blessings,

Friday, October 23, 2009

Decorating dilemma

If someone were to ask you what your decorating style was, what would you say? And would you be able to summarize it in one style alone?

If you can, I truly envy you! I am beginning to think I have some sort of multiple decorator personality disorder, and it is not pretty! I can't seem to define what I like when I decorate. Shabby Chic? (Yes.) French Country? (Absolutely.) Vintage or Retro? (Both.) Cottage? (Definitely!) Do you see what I mean? And this isn't all either. When it comes to colors, I am SO conflicted lately! If you know me, you know I LOVE to paint! Painting furniture is fine, but painting walls is one of my favorite things to do! I love changing a room around, and this has been the primary way I have introduced color to a room for years now. So I see a room like this~

(Disclaimer: I have posted this picture before!)

~And my heart skips a beat for the love of color! But there is also something very attractive about this picture~

And this~

(LOVING this refrigerator!)

~See the beautiful simplicity? The fresh, clean feel of the room? Lately I'm thinking neutrals aren't so bad...

And a dash of rustic farmhouse wouldn't be so bad either~

And I will admit that there is something appealing about these pictures~

~Although I'm more into red than pink, isn't that pink refrigerator so cute? :)

I started this kitchen project with one idea of how it would look, and now it seems I am going in a totally different direction, loving the simpler, neutral look. So now I find I am trying to combine this~

~With some of this~

~And hoping that when it all finally comes together, it will be just right. :) Although if truth be told, I think our kitchen will end up more neutral with bits of color here and there...

(* All photos from Better Homes and Gardens and Country Living.)

Oh, and on the matter of IKEA, and the recent trip there: IT WAS SO MUCH FUN! My main thought when my sister and I left was how soon we could go back! :) I did buy curtains for our living room, but the color isn't going to work so it's back to IKEA...do I mind? Not a bit, although it will be nice to find the right curtains! I also found a couple of other things, including a duvet cover with matching pillow cases, and I will show you those soon! :)

I will be around to visit you all soon! I hope you are having a good week! :)