Beauty is not so much what you see, but what you dream.
~Old Proverb~

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Common and Ordinary?

Today a lady came to our house...She was no ordinary lady...At first glance she was not was you would think of as anyone special...she wore sweats and a sweater and a fuzzy crochet cap to frame her crown of white curls. She looked to be about 80 and had barely any teeth. My Dad called me into the living room to meet her (apparently one of Dad and Mama's old friends) and I was immediately taken in! She took my hand and my sister's hand in her own and gazed warmly at us smiling. It was perhaps the sweetest and most genuine smile I had ever seen! She began to talk to my mom, but I couldn't help feeling that I had just been blessed!
The most beautiful spirit of godliness surrounded this aged woman! It just radiated from her! She talked so joyfully about all the blessing God has bestowed on her and her thankfulness was deeply encouraging to listen to! She related stories to my parents about the "old days", talked of family and friends, but everything kept coming back to the Lord. His gracious ways, mercy and great love. What a witness and example!
After she and her son left, my family sat visiting together and Dad told us that this sweet lady had endured so many hardships in her life. He told us that she had lost her son for some time to the world and that she had faithfully prayed for him every day! What a courageous and inspiring prayer warrior! The Lord had heard her prayers and that son was with her today visiting with my Dad about God's grace in his life! What a testimony!
I felt so blessed and inspired and soooo encouraged to have been able to meet this wonderful lady! Her life is one of constant witness! I can't imagine that she would be able to go into even a grocery store without encouraging and uplifting someone! There was not a bitter or negative word about her, and she may actually have had good cause for such in the past! But instead it was all joy and thanksgiving and hope!
What a challenge for us as christians! Perhaps we don't look like anyone extraordinary. Maybe we can't talk eloquently or aren't really up to par in the fashion department, but all of that could hardly matter less in God's eyes. He cares about the state of our hearts and wether what we say and do brings glory to him. I can imagine His heart was blessed today as well, when a little old lady sat in a living room full of people and without a thought, praised and glorified Him! She was so in love with Him that her mind couldn't stray from him for a minute! Everything kept coming back to Him! Oh to be like that! Oh to be like Christ!
May the Lord bless her!!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Yummy Pumpkin Dessert

Yum!!! Its the time of year for those amazing desserts and yummy goodies! I love fall because the pumpkins are ripe and pumpkin makes the most delicious and scrumptious desserts! Try this lovely one that I found! So good!

Pumpkin Spice Dessert

4 eggs, slightly beaten
Large (29 oz) can pumpkin (unspiced)

1 1/2 - 2 cups sugar (sweet tooths use 2 cups)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2 cups undiluted Carnation evaporated milk
1 cup crunchy cinnamon or vanilla granola

1 pkg spice cake mix
1-2 sticks butter, melted
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

Pumpkin_spice_dessertPreheat oven to 350°. Beat eggs in a large bowl. Add pumpkin, sugar, salt, spices, and evaporated milk and mix well.

Cover the bottom of a large cake pan with granola. Pour pumpkin mixture gently into pan.

Sprinkle dry cake mix over the top of the pumpkin mixture. Melt butter (1 stick wasn't enough for me, I used about 1 1/2 sticks) and drizzle over the top of the cake mix.

In a small bowl, stir together chopped nuts with 1/2 cup sugar and 2 tsp cinnamon. Sprinkle over the top. Bake for about 1 hour. NOTE: I had to bake an additional 30 minutes! Be sure to test with a knife inserted into center. It should come out clean.

Serve with ice cream or whipped cream, although just plain is really delish too.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Review of the year! :)
I always start with Christmas when I think of this year in review. Sarah Jane bought my Dad this Santa hat a couple of years ago at Christmas time and last Christmas all the guys wore it for awhile.
Somebody stealing a kiss from Santa Baby :)
We stayed up until 2 am on Christmas Eve building this GingerBread house. It was so much fun!! :) As seems to be the case whenever we build a gingerbread house, this one fell apart shortly after we shot these pictures.
Our Family last Christmas- This was about ten days before Dan and Lizzie's wedding...
Which brings me to their wedding day!! It was the fastest planned wedding ever and one that could not have worked out without the Lord's guiding hand. It was amazing how quickly things came together and how beautiful it all was, thanks to many dear friends who pitched in with everything from the flowers to cake.
The beautiful Bride... her sweet friend Amy did everybody's hair...we got up early the day of the wedding and met at her house and she curled and combed as we all jabbered over cups of hot french press coffee with lots of cream. What a special memory! :)
We somehow all found our dress literally only a few days before the wedding, with the exception of Liz's...she got her's from a shop in Lebanon a few weeks before and it was quickly altered by a friend of a friend. This seamstress was amazing and when Mama brought it home it fit Liz to a t-
Sarah and I got to be Lizzie's maids of honor together. It was such a blast! Who would have thought that my little sisters would be my best friends in all the world!!
Presenting Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Gillam!!! :)

ON the night of the rehearsal as Dad was walking Liz down the aisle, he suddenly picked Lizzie up and started running the other way, hollering something about Daniel trying to catch him if he could! :D

Dan and Lizzie got to honeymoon at the beach...
S0metime in February we got a nice big snow...we got several throughout that winter, including a nice storm the week of Thanksgiving, but this one trumped them all, lasting the better part of a week. The picture below is the view from the picture window in our living room.

In the spring for Daniel birthday, we went to a rock climbing gym in Beaverton. It was so much fun and we ladies were so exhausted! Daniel and his friends looked like they could have another go at it right away!
We only got to make one trip to the beach this summer...we headed down sometime in...April I think. We went to Florence for the first time since I was a little girl. It was a beautiful warm day and their was a carnival and farmers market going on down at the docks. We walked and played and ended the day on a quiet beach with a delicious picnic... It made me long for the sunset to last forever. Isn't the beach relaxing! :)

On June first my Dad retired. The first week home we started all kinds of building projects. First the fence for the huge garden and then the raised beds and the goat pens and chicken house etc...It was a busy summer. We didn't get to travel too far because of that, but we young people did spend many evenings at the lake swimming and we took off a weekend to go camping. :)
This picture was taken a the day Dan and Lizzie and I set off in Dan's truck to spend a week working for a farmer Daniel knew. We sure do look cheerful here! It was a memorable time indeed! It was the hardest work I had ever done! We spent hours everyday weeding the acres of raspberries. We literally worked until our fingers bled! Through the leather gloves even! At night we camped by the farmers sore we could hardly eat, just fall into our beds. It was hot and by the end of two weeks we were as brown as indians. I came home with some very good memories, but I was not at all eager to weed again!

My Dad built a brick bbq pit in our back lawn and we spent a lot of time out there this past summer eating s' mores and gazing at the stars. We spent the night out there several times, but one night just as we had all drifted off a thunderstorm hit. It was the weirdest thing and really frightening. Needless to say we made a beeline for the house.

Mama and Suzy...she's such a sweet baby girl! She's over a year old now and I can hardly believe it! She walks and jabbers and is so energetic!

We had kittens this summer too... we kept this one and named him fat louie...I couldn't resist this picture of him sitting in this pick bucket that he found himself. Shortly after this picture was taken he disappeared from our farm. :(

Precious Susannah! We are all in love with her sweetness and the blessing she is to everyone :)
Dan and Liz at our campsight. We forgot to buy groceries and ended up having potatoes every day twice a day! hahaha! It was absurd and I was sick of them by the time we came home, but we had a wonderful time!

The end of this summer Meemee gave birth to 5 beautiful puppies. All boys! :) They are so energetic and happy and desperately need homes! If you want one please let me know! :D

Now it seems like everyone is settling down for winter...we just finished putting up out wood for the winter, lots of yummy canned food in the pantry and Dad getting ready to start his greenhouse. I have been enjoying strawberry black tea with lots of cream and sitting by the wonderful warm fire that Dad builds us every morning. Liz and I take lots of long walks and enjoy the fall colors and these last few days our ground has been hard and frozen. Tonight, Dad was saying he thinks the snow will be here soon! I am so looking forward to the Christmas season and family gettogethers! The Lord has blessed us so much and I am so thankful! May the Lord bless you as well!
Greetings from our home to yours!!! :)

Open Windows~

Last night I was going through my weekly Bible Study and a quote by Beth Moore caught my attention.
"The only way to get through a window God doesn't open is to break it yourself. This window is sure to leave you injured. Don't do it....Wait on the Lord...Someday you'll be glad you did. "

I was thinking about several times in my life when I'v felt like there should be a "window" there... a door, a hatch! Something! And there just wasn't! Surely there was something I could do to make it work! Looking back I can sometimes see the reasons the Lord closed those windows, sometimes I don't see a single reason at all, but regardless, this quote reminded me how thankful I should be for the closed windows! Thankful too for the strength to walk away from the ones that I thoroughly desired to just break into! Thankful for being saved the "cuts" and "wounds" that are always sure to come when we run ahead of the Lord and lean on our own understandings rather that trusting and waiting on Him!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

TIme after Time

Time after Time~

And when they cried out to you again, you heard from Heaven and in your compassion you delivered them time after time.
Nehemiah 9:28

Last night when I was having my study time I was greatly made aware of the Lord's infinite compassion and faithfulness to his loved ones.
I think to often we let our hearts get loaded down or broken-we ache with the sorrow, sadness, disappointment, frustration, and pain that no one can share except He. He can share it AND He desires to! His compassion is such that nothing is too small or insignificant for Him. He cares about it ALL! All He asks is that we cry out to Him and lift our aching and brokenness to Him! And when we do, He is there. He is always there!
It says in Nehemiah 9:28 that he was there time after time! He was patient (Nehemiah 9:30) He waited for His people! Longing for them to come to Him! Longing for their communion! Yet they rebelled. Time and again they turned from Him , and grieved His Father's heart.
As I considered the scripture passage from Nehemiah (9:17-28) I was awed by the Lord's compassion, His mercy, faithfulness and forgiveness. I was so sad when I looked into my own life and realized how often I don't come to Him with my heart and try to turn to my own strength, much like the Israelites turning to their gods.
Dear ones my heart longs to share with you the joy of bringing our hearts to our King! He is the creator of the world! Master of the the universe and He can well understand our overflowing hearts. His compassion is so great that there are hundreds of verses describing it throughout the Bible. One verst beautifully relates how He cares so much as to "Store up our tears in a bottle". Wether taken figuratively or literally it hardly matters-its the truth that He cares about those tears and longs to be the source of our peace and comfort.

" And Jesus said 'come to the water,
stand by my side,
I know you are thirsty,
you won't be denied.
I felt every tear drop,
when in darkness you cried.
And I strove to remind you,
that for those tears I died.'"

~ Old Hymne~

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

~Lampshades and Curtains~
I first grew interested in making lampshade covers when I seen the cute ones my friend Emily had made for her home. She told me it was like making tiny skirts. :) I thought that sounded pretty easy so I tried it out. While it probably wasn't as easy as I had hoped, after a few tries I had made several that I liked.
The yellow one I made for my bedroom lamp when we first moved in to our new house and the pleated one with the gingham bow I made just recently to replace the sad little shade covering the lamp in the living room. It's so fun to make your own shades because you can pick the styles and colors to suit your own decorating needs, and everything you need is usually right in you're own sewing basket!

For this one I used two tea towels sewn together... I pleated them around the top of the lampshade to fit, just like a little skirt, and then I sewed up the back seam and tied the gingham bow around the top because it matched the fabric in the curtains and the coffee table runner.
This one I made for my bedroom... I wanted something light and feminine, so I chose to add a ruffle to the bottom, and make it a drawstring "skirt" instead of a gathered or pleated one. I cut fabric in the shape of an a line skirt, then I hemmed it and made a casing at the top. I threaded a ribbon through the top and there it was! As sweet as could be! :)
We had also been thinking about the curtain situation in the living room for a while...we had been considering buying new curtains, but they are just so expensive! Instead we tried this new idea that I got from a friends mother (check out my friends blog here:

The secret to their cost effectiveness lies in the fact that the triangles are merely tea or dinner napkins ironed in half and then lain over the center of your curtain rod. It is so cute when you change up the napkins for each room or use one common one throughout the house and then change up the accent napkins. It also works delightfully for the changing seasons and holidays, and its so blessedly easy on the pocket book...cost of this set times 3 windows: $8.00.... :)

My next project is a making a new shower curtain for my bathroom. Pictures to come soon!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Beautiful Things

Lately I have been inspired by beautiful things....I went to an antique store with my mom a few weeks ago and couldn't help but feel thrilled by the beauty of "old" beautiful things! There's just something special about things that someone else cherished and loved enough to preserve over the years, and of course there's the extra perk of finding something that is "just perfect" for only 50 cents. :)


I absolutely love the pillow above! doesn't a pillow just add a touch of luxury to outdoor seating?!

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I'm such a fan of outdoor luncheons and tea parties! Who doesn't enjoy an afternoon of sweet beverage and good conversation!! In addition the decorating at such get-to-gethers is always fabulous, unique, and inspiring.

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I love the idea of flowers in old bottles and romantic and whimsical! Wouldn't it be charming for a wedding?

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I'm definitely the sort of person who would buy milk at the store in its ugly carton or jug and bring it home to put in my sweet old glass milk bottles. :) Better yet, if the milk is fresh and rich and has never come in contact with the super market. ;-)

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I ve been thinking that each week I would like to try and and post pictures of something new that I've made or found for our home. I have to admit I'm kind've a sucker for anything shabby chic or even anything that tends in that direction. While most shabby chic name brand home furnishings are decidedly outside my budget I've found that you can often find them at good will and other thrift stores. Also, it absolutely does not have to be name brand to be your FAVORITE thing EVER! It can be home made or a thrift store find...something from a flea market or online boutique, a family heirloom! An antique...the main thing is to remember to use it or put it somewhere where you get to enjoy it! Hiding it away for safe keeping is so sad, when it never comes out to be enjoyed and appreciated!

Who doesn't love a fun cottage surrounded with blooms! :D


When I was a little girl we had a beautiful blue and white bathroom with a white claw foot tub. I remember mom sanding and painting the tub herself. It was so deep and fun! This picture reminded me of that... and even better then the white one, this one is pink!!!!

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I love the idea of rolling towels up and placing them on shelves or stands...

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There's something about white or light colored bedding that is luxurious and inviting! How wonderful is it to slip into a cozy bed after a day of hard work...or even perhaps for the occasional, well deserved nap?? :)



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.....And if there's not enough time to slip into the bedroom for a rest, the cozy corner with a cup of tea, always has its charm ~

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