and her focus is on the past year. Oh what a year 2010 has been, filled with joy and so much life as well as rocky times as well. So many are struggling with huge issues such as health, finances, disappointment~well the list could go on and on. We do need to stop and take note and give thanks in all things!
For me, I am thankful that hubby and I had a wonderful vacation in Hawaii in March, a fun camping trip during the summer, a trip in the fall to celebrate my brother's birthday and countless other fun activities.
Today I am thankful for the first significant snowfall we've had this year; I'm thankful for this winter being dryer than the past which has helped my beloved to enjoy being outside more. I am thankful that he is enjoying senior sports and working at our local golf course. I am thankful for each day and each breath!
I am thankful for the many friends that the Lord has blessed me with and the fellowship I enjoyed at the ladies study this fall. I am thankful for God's grace that covers us and provides for us.
I am so very thankful for my beloved hubby, the man he is and the husband & dad he is-it amazes me that I am so lucky to be his wife. I am so very thankful for my family, for our daughters & their families, for my brother and his incredible wife~you will never know how much they all mean to me.
I am thankful for the gift of art-in different areas-quilting, photography(though hubby is so much better than I), and of course writing; who would have thought this thing called blogging could inspire and draw out the depth of my feelings.
I so look forward to 2011 and all that is yet unknown to me. I am holding to the word HOPE and JOY for the coming year.
Thank you for joining me on this journey and for sharing life with me!
Happy Wednesday dear ones~I hope this finds you and yours well as there are some nasty cold bugs going around here which I am trying to avoid. How has your week been? When do you take your decorations down? I've been toying with the idea of starting today but think I will wait until Friday or Saturday.
Yesterday hubby and I went to the movies and saw a new release called "The Tourist" with Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie, filmed in Italy and I have to tell you that it was a good flick. It was not only a movie guys would like but I found it intriguing and it was pretty clean although a bit suggestive. So if you are looking for something to do on Friday or Saturday you may want to check this out.
We used to spend New Year's Eve with our dear friends and neighbors in California but since we've been here we always have a quiet evening and are in bed before midnight. Sometimes we get together with our girls families to play games but with several having colds I don't think we'll get together.
Today may you experience a profound blessing from above.
Greetings friends, On Sunday hubby and I took a drive to the mountains and it was the most incredible day. We were hoping to see some wildlife but didn't but we did see the beauty of God's creation-the mountains, blue skies and lots of snow up high.
We loved the way the wind was whipping the snow around-it looked very misty.
I'm not sure I'd want to live up in Estes because of the crowds and the large amounts of snow but I tell you
it is my favorite place to go to be refreshed. We bought our annual pass to the park and come spring I plan on the two of us spending more time up there hiking.
Good Morning Dear Friends, I hope you had a blessed and joyous Christmas! Ours was so much fun and many memories were made. We began with presents, as you can see the kiddos loved them. We then had lunch but this year was so much more relaxed than other years; I think it will be repeated for many years to come. I had two Christmas games for the adults/families and this was fun too.
After lunch the girls, all adorned in ballet wear, followed a video on the basics of ballet. It was so precious to see them participating, all except the babies and the two year old.
While the girls did ballet, the boys all got into Nerf wars. It was a fun activity that even the men enjoyed and it gave the boys some of their own fun.
A high vantage point, all the better the hit the target from. After this, two families went home for rest time and later we met up back at Kim's for dessert and games. The younger kids watched Sound Of Music and the adults and boys played games. What a delightful day and evening! I think the kids would agree that this was the best Christmas ever.
We didn't have a white Christmas this year because our weather was absolutely fabulous!
How was your Christmas? What made it special? Did you have nice weather or were you among the many throughout the states that were kept inside.
Hugs to you today. Noreen
Our youngest daughter, Kim, turns 29 on Christmas Day and I want to wish her a Very Happy Birthday.
Kim was due mid-January but decided she wanted to share Christmas with us and I call her my Christmas miracle. I was scheduled to have a c-section on the 30th of the month(still early)but after 29 hours of labor I gave birth to this most precious daughter. The nurses wanted to know what her name was and we weren't sure as we thought she was going to be a boy, we are so thankful she wasn't. Hubby and I were also concerned that our oldest, Carrie, would really miss Christmas day but at 2 yrs old it wasn't an issue. I have been so blessed with two incredible daughters, who are my best friends after hubby. Kim is a wonderful mother to four adorable daughters and a great helpmate to her hubby. She has always been a bundle of energy and loves life, although with four little ones 5 and under, her energy has tapered off a bit. It has been a joy to watch her grow into the godly woman she is today and both her dad and I look forward to watching you grow with your girls, for you are a Proverbs 31 woman.
With much love and appreciation for the blessing of you!
Greetings friends, Well almost all of our gifts are wrapped for family and friends; this year I am not baking because I am gluten free~it just wouldn't be right to have all these cookies around the house that I can't eat.
The next few days will be relaxed with visiting some friends and enjoying the blessings of the season. Usually our family caravans to see Christmas lights but I'm not sure whether we will this year or not. I am so very pleased that we are having dry weather here and that alone puts my sweet hubby in a very good frame of mind. For Christmas we will all be at our youngest daughters home for the day; no fancy sit down formal dinner but cold cuts, salads, munchies and desserts-this will be so easy for all of us. There are several games that will be available to play and we will just relish our time together.
Do you have a formal Christmas meal and if so, what is it? We used to have turkey and all the trimmings but I think this year will be wonderful. Does your family have puzzles or games that they play throughout the day? Since we've moved here we've gotten into jigsaw puzzles and will probably start one after Christmas; it helps to break up the long days of winter, though this year we might not need one.
Are you enjoying this week or do you find yourself running around like crazy?
Wherever you are today, I'm sending big warm Christmas hugs your way.
Blessings to you and yours, Noreen
Last night our church held their annual Christmas program with all our grands singing for us. Aren't they just adorable!
So many of them look alike that friends sometimes have a hard time telling which child goes with which family. I'm just glad they are all ours.
The whole group of children singing "Happy Birthday Jesus". Notice our little one, left bottom corner in green dress, she swayed for the entire song.
Here are three of four of our youngest daughter's girls. Shown-left to right-Miss S, age 5, back sitting our Peanut now 3 and standing in green dress again our little Miss D.
The joy they bring to our hearts reminds me of the joy we bring to the Father's heart when we worship and praise Him.
Stop and thank Him today for all your blessings.
Holiday hugs to you, Noreen
Last evening while our boys went to an Eagles game, the girls got together for a "girlie" evening. Oh what fun; pajamas, crowns, special desserts, play time and of course a movie. Here one of our youngest is proudly wearing her Princess crown.
Although Little Women wasn't as big a hit as Little House On The Prairie, the girls did love the dresses and the scenery. We didn't make it through the movie, maybe in a few years. But our new tradition started and it will be such fun in the years to come.
Blessings on your weekend my friends. Noreen
Happy Friday Friends, When you think of the Christmas season what impacts your senses the most?
For me, music has always had been an important part of my life, from early childhood on. My dad loved to sing and had a wonderful voice. I think all three of us kids also loved to sing, though some were better than others and some of us(namely me)always thought I sounded better than I did. One memory from my childhood is that when records-33rmp-came out my dad would play Bing Crosby's White Christmas album the entire month of Dec. I can still remember it playing throughout our home; one year our daughter gave me a cassette tape of the songs but the technology hadn't improved yet and the quality wasn't good. As our daughters were growing up I always played Amy Grant's Christmas album and of course the children's music such as GT and The Halo Express. I love carols as well and have several instrumental c.d.'s that play in the evening.
What sums up Christmas for you?
Have a wonderful day and weekend dear ones.
Wednesday greetings to you! How is your week going? Ours is flying by but next week promises to be totally relaxed with nothing left to do. Monday I saw my girlfriend and met her sister who lives here in Colorado. I had hoped to stay the night but we were having friends for dinner last night and I had so much to do that I choose to come home. As it was, yesterday was spent running to several grocery stores and getting our dinner preparations done. We had such a nice time with our friends and the meal was perfect. Today we have a commitment this afternoon but other than that we have a relaxed day. Tomorrow I have another girls party-an ornament exchange at a friends house.
Our friends last night asked about our family traditions when our daughter's were growing up so I thought I'd share a few more. Each Christmas eve our family would go out looking at holiday lights and then come home and watch a holiday movie such as Little House On The Prairie or another wonderful movie, then when the girls would go up to get ready for bed I always had laid out new holiday pajamas for both girls. We never put out presents until after the girls went to bed so that when they went down in the morning it was a wonderful surprise.
The countdown is on dear friends so stop and enjoy the festivities!
Hugs and blessings, Noreen
Good Morning To You, I hope you had a wonderful weekend filled with all sorts of Christmas preparations and traditions. I went to a ladies fellowship yesterday with my good friend and it was such fun; a dinner and guest speaker whose topic was Hats and Their History. I love girl times, be it with our daughters and their girls or with friends. As a young mother I was blessed with lots of other woman with young ones; in my case my own mother was deceased so I didn't have her to guide me along, but I had the absolute best sister and sister of my heart as well as good friends. I'm not really sure how it came about but when my girls were about 9 and 7, we decided to have a yearly "girls" Christmas date in San Francisco. The first several years, we dressed up in our finest dresses, went to a very nice restaurant for lunch and then attended the Nutcracker Ballet at the Opera House. Oh my, the ladies in real fur coats and little girls in their finest-what a sight to behold. It was a very expensive day but my sil and my sister split the cost with me so it was affordable. We did this for a few years and then decided to go see A Christmas Carol or Little Women and one year we even went to the Dickens Fair. My daughters have such fond memories of these days. We also bought each gal a special Christmas pin to wear throughout the season, just to remember our occasion. Somewhere along the years we ended up letting this slip by and when we spent time with our dear sil in Oct. she mentioned that we will need to start this up again because we have so many little girls. I see Denver in the future for such dates.
This Friday our men and boys are going to a hockey game so all of the girls will gather at our oldest daughter's house, have a fancy dessert and watch Little Women on their big screen. I can't wait; for me this is what the holidays are about!
Hugs to you, Noreen
Happy Saturday friends, One of the things I love about blogging, at this time of year, is hearing what family traditions other friends had. Growing up we didn't have many and when I had my own children I decided that I wanted to incorporate lots of fun experiences that our girls would always remember. There were many but today I just want to share two. Each year we would treck to an area that had Christmas tree farms and cut our own tree. When we lived in San Jose, Ca. we always went to the same tree farm in the Santa Cruz mountains. It was so much fun, trompsing through the rows and rows of trees to find the perfect one. I must confess that I am very picking when it comes to Christmas trees. The farms generally had hot chocolate and cookies and our girls grew up thinking this was the norm. After we got our tree home, depending on the day, hubby would put it up for us and the girls and I would decorate. Each year I always purchased a special ornament for them and a few for me. This way by the time they were married and had a home of their own they would have a fairly good collection. When I gave them all their ornaments I didn't want to be left with none, which is why I always got a couple for myself. I can say that both girls still have each of their ornaments and as we look at them, it brings back fond memories. The year we moved to Sonoma County in Ca. we didn't think it was practical to drive three hours one way to get to the tree farm we always went to. Our oldest daughter is very much a traditionalist(in a wonderful way)and she was so devastated that we weren't going to Santa Cruz to get a tree. Nothing was making her happy, not the promises of a farm just as nice or lunch afterward; it simply would not be the same. We found a tree farm close to the coast that was run my a family and the grandpa met us in the driveway to welcome us. They had all their family working and even a special child with Downs was helping-which touched our hearts. Slowly the disappointment began to fade as we walked around this lovely farm with well shaped trees and no poison oak. When we found our perfect tree and went to pay for it, the family told us about an apple farm that had crafts and food. In fact, the apple farm was owned by a family that attended the same church as we did. We headed their next and got some apple bread, bought some crafts and enjoyed the holiday atmosphere.
Our daughter decided this would now work for us. These are a few of the things that made our holidays brighter each year and both our daughters carry on the traditions now. We have a fake tree, which I said I'd never own, but I do love it-it's so easy to put up and we don't have to constantly worry about the needles on the floor or watering it. Never thought I'd say that!
If you don't have Christmas traditions, start some today. If your kids are grown, start some with your grands.
Have a fun-filled weekend. Noreen
Happy Friday Friends, I wanted to share our Christmas sled and rocking horse with you. My darling hubby and girls got me the sled many years ago and it is filled with wonderful Christmas bears and sometimes even a grand child for photo op's. The grands love all the decorations in our family room because they are meant to be played with.
Our weekend is pretty relaxed, on Sunday I am going to a Christmas tea at my friends church but other than that I think we will be at home. All the shopping is done, presents mailed, cards sent as well so we can just focus on spending time with family and friends. I hope you have a weekend filled with wonder and joy.
Greetings dear friends, I'm posting my Thankful Thursday early as tomorrow I have several other commitments and not sure I'll be on the computer. I want to thank two very special ladies for the generous hearts; Elaine at http://www.peaceforthejourney.com/ sent me Chris Tomlin's c.d. of Christmas Worship Songs. I love worship songs and this arrived today and I'm already listening to it. Thank you Elaine. If you haven't met Elaine yet, she is an incredible testimony of living faith, please visit her.
My dear friend, Beth Herring at http://www.aninstrument4hisglory.blogspot.com/, sent me David Platt's book; I've heard incredible things about it and can't wait to sit and read. If you don't know Beth, please take a minute to visit her-you won't be sorry. In the midst of this busy season and different trials in our lives, both these ladies take time to minister to me and to others. They are encouragers and share the heart of God to all who read their writing. Thank you Beth!
I just wish I was near both of you so I could run over and give you big hugs.
Blessings today, Noreen
When our daughters were in jr high school we became friends with another family who happened to be Dutch. They celebrated Christmas at the beginning of December, this focus was on St. Nicholas Day and then for Christmas they focused on the real reason for the season. One year, the first for us, they left gifts on our doorstep and rang the doorbell and then took off. It was quite fun trying to find them and discovering the thoughtful and yummy gifts they left. That year we wanted to bring some fun and joy to them so on Christmas eve we trucked out to their house in the country, after having parked some distance away so they wouldn't know we were there. We slowly crept up to their front door, left their Christmas presents, rang the bell and took off. We always found lots of wonderful hiding spots in which to watch them search for us-gullies, bushes, trees etc etc. On the street they lived it was always pitch black out so hiding was pretty easy. I think this ritual became so much fun for us and watching our friends walk up so close to us and not see us brought giggles etc. Our families continued this tradition for at least 6 years and it always made the holidays fun! Our daughters delighted that mom and dad would actually hide in bushes in the cold dark night to bless our friends. Over the years we have done this to other families as well and it is always fun to hear how they are so puzzled by who would leave gifts anonymously. I look forward to the stories the grands might tell of their adventures in leaving gifts for others on Christmas Eve, as I'm sure this tradition will continue. There are more family traditions that I'll share in the days to come.
What traditions does your family have?
Greetings to you. I thought I'd show you a few more of my special decorations. I've had this bunny forever and I still love it.
I made a throw with this cute couple on it and that year our dear friends gave us this figurine for Christmas. Loving snowmen as I do, this quickly became a featured decoration.
Love my snowmen on our antique school desk.
I should really get a photo of our sled before this adorable little grand daughter decided it was the perfect place to sit. Not really, her nana put her in there and she wasn't too sure what to make of the whole idea. Isn't she just such a cutie; makes me want to cuddle up with her again. By far, my grands are always my favorites!
Have a delightful day my friends.
Christmas Blessings to you today. Noreen
Greetings Friends, Did you have a wonderful, wintry weekend decking out your home? I'm home today but lots to do~laundry, Christmas cards and running errands with my girl and her girls. SIL is out of the country for work which means we will be spending lots of time together, more than usual. Spending time with my girls and grands is one of my favorite things to do! This day I am so very thankful for my Savior's love and the Spirit's presence in my life. I am thankful that He has ordained this day in my life for His purpose and will, if I'll but listen with my heart. I am thankful for this creative outlet of writing and blogging and sharing life here with you. I am thankful for those friendships that are of substance and not just surface and for those friends who I connected with immediately and for friends that it has taken a bit more time to develop bonds with. I am thankful that I am being shaped into His image and for the hope I have in Him.
I am thankful for you today!
Warm winter hugs, Noreen
Greetings Friends, Friday found me down the road, as I mentioned, picking up my close friend Cyndi and joining my blogging friends Pam and Marlene. We had a wonderful lunch and fellowship. Cyndi is a very easy going gal and my two friends here made her feel so welcome. Our time went much too quickly but hopefully we may be getting together once more before Cyndi heads home to California.
Pam, aka Smiling Grammy, is seated next to me and standing behind me is Marlene of Barefoot Soul and Cyndi is behind Pam.
The rest of my time with Cyndi was relaxing and fun as always but flew by too quickly. I headed home because our dear friends daughter, a gymnastics coach in Vail, was spending the day and night with us before heading to a meet today. This afternoon we are having supper with some neighbors and watching football. I don't know about your upcoming week but I can tell you that mine is jam-packed with wonderful activities. I've got two weeks left with Cyndi and I know they'll be done before you know it so I hope to get down for a day this week and then two days next week. I imagine she'll be ready for some quiet time at home by the time her brother is back. I hope you are having a wonderful Sunday filled with lots of worship.
Hugs and blessings. Noreen
Greetings dear ones, Today will be a rich and full day as I'm heading down to spend a couple of days with my girlfriend and the many,many dogs as well as meeting two of my closest blog buddies for lunch. We usually try to get together every couple of months but it has been since the end of the summer since we were together. I think I'll have to work on that for the coming year.
I decided to share a couple more collections with you. This Manger scene I bought about 30 yrs ago & love it.
Below is my Lizzie High collection that my SIL(sister of my heart),Sue, gave us about 20 years ago. I love the simplicity of it.
May you have a joyous weekend filled with the true reason for the season.
Happy December to you all. Our home is completely decorated and today I wanted to share a bit of it with you. Most of the decorations are 30+ years old and my collections have changed throughout the years. If you click on the above photo, you will see a darling Needlework & Quilt store that my dear friend and old neighbor, Barbara, gave me one year. We actually toyed with the idea of opening our own quilt store but that never materialized. This is my friend that taught me so much with quilting and gently invited me to grow; whenever this village is up I am reminded of her friendship and just how precious she is.
This year hubby set up my village; he did such a nice job and I was so thankful when I got home and didn't need to work on this. Our grands will be over tonight and I can't wait to see the expressions on the youngest ones faces. I've had this village for almost twenty years and I never tire of it.
My island is the perfect place for these two special figures.
We have very high ceilings in our kitchen and it is always a challenge to find items that don't get dwarfed by their height; this is the perfect place for my collection of snowmen.
I hope that the season is bringing you joy as you prepare for Christmas. There are so many that are hurting and you never know just how much a smile will mean to someone.
Hugs to you each today, Noreen
Good morning friends, I just finished doing my lesson for the last week of Living Beyond Yourself by Beth Moore. What a wonderful study this has been and although I'm sad to see it end, another study will begin in January and promises to be just as rich. I wanted to share the poem below because it spoke to me and I trust it will resound in your spirit as well.
THE COMPANY I KEEP
Let me be known by the company I keep
By the One who determines each day that I greet
From the moment I wake til He rocks me to sleep
Let me be known by the company I keep!
Let me be known by the company I keep
When the valleys are low and the mountains are steep
By the One who holds fast when swift waters are deep
Let me be known by the company I keep!
Let me be known by the company I keep
By the One who implores me to sit at His feet
And quickens my soul to discern what is deep
Let me be known by the company I keep!
Let me be known by the company I keep
Eclipsed by Your presence that I may decrease
Til all You have chosen this traveler to meet
No longer see me but the Company I keep.
So whose company means the most to you today? Will you join me at His feet? Let us praise Him together.
Because He first loved us, Noreen
Good Morning Ladies, I pray your had a blessed weekend and didn't get too tired decorating and shopping! As I mentioned, I was going to be staying overnight with my girlfriend who dog sits at her brother's place. I've told you that the house resembles Tara in Gone With The Wind so I thought it might be fun to share what the home looks like. The top two photos are actually of homes used in the movie and the bottom house is my friends brother's home. He has quite a bit of land and raises Springer's; is an avid hunter as seen my the mounted trophy heads he has throughout the house. I also mentioned he has, at this point, 15 dogs that he uses for field trials and hunting. He is a well known figure in this field. Taking care of 15 dogs, although they are kenneled, is quite a bit of work. They need to be run every couple of hours and the feeding alone takes about 45 minutes. I also tease my hubby when I return from an over-nighter that he pays my girlfriend to have me down because I come home very content with one or two smaller dogs. It is simply chaos when we take the dogs out to run. At night, there are at least 8-10 dogs in the house for the evening; I'm sure their owners have the same stay in their room in crates during the night but when I was there my girlfriend had 3 in her room and I was having allergies and asthma so declined any sleeping with me. There are several dogs that I just love and would be tempted to take in the golden years but they need to be hunting on a regular basis so my home wouldn't be the best for them plus with all their hair I know I'd be bothered. I hope to go down again this week for an over nighter but we will see. Cyndi and I have a wonderful time together; she spoils me with fresh game for dinner and we just talk up a storm.
We had a bit of snow last night, just a dusting, but I think it will be a good day to just stay inside. Now that our home is totally decorated for the season, I can relax and catch up on what my friends in blogland are doing.
Good morning to you. How was your Thanksgiving? Did you have a wonderful day with lots of yummy food?
We had a delightful time at our daughter's; such wonderful nutritious food and great companionship. We were home by 5:00 p.m. and watched a really good movie; it is older and we may have seen it before(but I don't remember)-The Notebook What a wonderful love story and this gal did cry quite a bit at the end.
Today we may run to two stores and then start putting up the tree. I've been decorating slowly over the last several days so it might go quicker than previous years.
What are your plans for the weekend?
Tomorrow I hope to visit my girlfriend who is here dog-sitting and maybe spend the night with her. I love the girl time we have and the dog time because with 15 dogs she is caring for, there are always about 6 in the house. What you say? Well the house resembles "Tara" in Gone With The Wind and is about 7,000 sf so having 6-8 dogs inside at one time is not a big deal. Usually I try to spend several days with her each week but this year seems to be a bit busier than in previous years; just not sure how it will work out in the end.
Although there was frost on the ground this morning, the sun is shining and looks like a beautiful day. I really need to start walking again.
Have a fun filled, Son filled weekend!
Happy Monday Friends, I hope the week has started out well for you. Our friends arrived yesterday and we've been laughing and eating ever since. Today we will head to a wonderful store, The Clothes Pony, in a nearby city to shop; I need to purchase a couple of birthday gifts for granddaughters and Shelley needs to look at baby clothes for their first grandchild. After that we will probably get a bite to eat; this afternoon seeing one of our daughter's and her girls and later tonight seeing the other. These friends raised daughters the same time we did so it is always fun to visit the adults; it brings back memories.
I pray abundant blessings on you and yours this Thanksgiving. Please know I am very thankful for each of you!
Warm Winter Hugs, Noreen
"Thank Me throughout this day for My Presence and My Peace. These are gifts of supernatural proportions. Ever since the resurrection, I have comforted My followers with these messages: Peace be with you, and I am with you always. Listen as I offer you My Peace and Presence in full measure. The best way to receive these glorious gifts is to thank Me for them.
It is impossible to spend too much time thanking and praising Me. I created you first and foremost to glorify Me. Thanksgiving and praise put you in proper relationship with Me, opening the way for My riches to flow into you. As you thank Me for My Presence and Peace, you appropriate My richest gifts." By Sarah Young in Jesus Calling.
Have you stopped to give thanks to the One who deserves all thanks and praise.
Blessings and grace to you dear friends, Noreen
Happy Saturday Friends, I know that many of you, like me, have family and friends coming in from out of town for Thanksgiving and you might just be doing what I've done all morning-fluffing up the nest, cleaning and making everything as nice as possible. So as I was working this morning I realized that somewhere in the last five years or so, a new chore has crept into my thinking. As I grew up I don't remember having many overnight guests for the holidays, except one cousin. I certainly don't remember my mother ironing the sheets for anyone so where did I get this habit that I've gotten into for the last number of years? My sweet mother-in-law always ironed sheets before guests arrive and our dear aunt, on hubby's side, in Mississippi always irons sheets for guests. I'm sure the aunt in Tennessee wanted to but probably just hung them out to dry which made them nice and crisp.
I know with modern technology-such as dryers, if you take them out immediately they might be wrinkle free but honestly we don't have guests that often so I just pull them from the shelves. So I have to ask do any of you find yourself doing things in preparation for guests that you never would have dreamed of?
Have a delightful day today; I will as I'm headed to the grocery store to stock up-and yes I already cleaned the fridge.
Greetings to you; it would seem I'm having a difficult time posting first thing in the morning-oh well.
What a great day I've had so far; a girlfriend and I went to the Christmas Open House at our local antique store and it was lots of fun. After that hubby and I ran out to our oldest girls house to drop off a couple of things and pick up a couple of things. Seeing the grands always makes me happy; in fact 5 out of the nine are coming over this evening to spend some time with us while mom and dad do some shopping.
So a few weeks back I was fighting a cold and then this week was fighting a stiff neck but something else is creeping up on me-beware I might just have to share it with you. Wondering what is it? Well yesterday I went shopping at the new discount store and wasn't affected at all but today is a whole different story. Give up?
Why it's the Christmas bug-yes girls I'm definitely in the mood to start decorating and we haven't even had Thanksgiving yet. This all came about this morning and then stopping at my friends house; she has some of her decorations out already. Even our local radio stations are already playing Christmas songs and after I finish this, I think I'm going to have to start putting Christmas songs and hymns on my playlist. I just can't wait to bring everything out but with friends coming I will be waiting-after all want them to see our house as it normally is.
Do you find the Spirit of Christmas sneaking up on you yet? Hang around enough of us and you might just get in the mood; at least that's what I tell my sweet man.
With guests here for several days, I'm not sure how much I'll be posting until Tuesday or Wednesday but I'll be visiting when I can.
Have a wonderful, fun filled weekend. Noreen
Good afternoon dear friends, Oh what a Life filled day. There are so many things in this life to be thankful for and with Thanksgiving just a week away we need to keep our focus above.
Today I'm especially thankful that no matter how old a person is, or how long(or short)they've walked in faith, we are never to old to learn new things from above. I am thankful for the teaching of Beth Moore and the many applications she gives us in her lessons.
I am thankful that I got to discover a new store today that is home decor at warehouse prices and it's not too close in proximity to me. They had marvelous things and I was able to get a few Christmas gifts for family at a very reasonable price.
I am thankful that I wore several layers of clothing today, even though the forecast was for the mid-60's, it is right about 45 degrees and a bit chilly.
I am thankful I got to watch Throwdown with Bobby Flay and the Pioneer Woman last night-so good to see how chefs prepare a Thanksgiving meal.
I am thankful for our dear friends coming to visit this weekend. I'm also thankful for my girl friend from Ca. coming to dog sit for her brother for 3 weeks; I'll get enough loving from 15+ dogs that I'll be grateful we only have one.
I am thankful for family times and the love of a good man.
I am thankful for never ending Mercy and Love.
Blessings to you this day. Noreen
Good Morning to you. So what is your weather like today? Although this isn't a current photo, I love the contrast in the sky, snow and the trees. If you were to gaze upon our Rockies this morning they would be totally covered with the white glistening stuff. Such profound beauty. Today has dawned bright and sunny, cold and crisp with frost on the ground but promises to warm up later today.
I want to ask you when you officially start decorating for Christmas? When I was growing up my parents waited until the week of Christmas and I remember decorating the tree on Christmas eve. Having said that though, one reason was because the left the tree up until mid-January.
For our family, we have always gotten a tree the day after Thanksgiving and started decorating immediately. Now that we have a fake tree, which I fought getting but absolutely love, we decorate the entire house the day after Thanksgiving. Forget those sales, I'd rather be home with Christmas carols playing and figuring out where to put all the decorations. I do remember the first couple of years of being an empty nest and it wasn't much fun decorating without my girls but I think I've adjusted to it, plus I love having decorations that my grandkids love like my sled filled with stuffed animals. There are so many traditions we each have so I know I'll have lots to blog about in the coming days.
Stay warm but remember to give thanks. I'm thankful that we have a home to decorate each year and that we have family and friends to celebrate with. I am thankful that we celebrate the birth of our Savior.
Tuesday Blessings to you~ Firstly, I want to say how thankful I am for so many of you concerned about my neck yesterday; I am blessed indeed! I took it easy the whole day, applied a heating pad to it along with a topical lotion with menthol and just babied it. I am pleased to say that I slept well last night and woke up a 100% better today. Big hugs to each of you.
As I talked to a good friend yesterday about Thanksgiving, I mentioned I'd be making sweet Potatos and my friend, who lives in the south, wasn't familiar with how I make it. So that got me to thinking about all of us and the different dishes that each region has. I thought it might be fun to share those favorite dishes for holiday meals-here in the States Thanksgiving, in Canada your Thanksgiving is at a different time, and those around the world. So share with us what your favorite dish is and why.
For Thanksgiving my favorite part of the meal was always Yams/Sweet Potato casserole. It differs from Sweet Potato pie as I know you'all have in the south. My mom always got canned sweet Potatoes and mashed them up, added brown sugar and butter. My recipe is just a tad different and I've adapted it from my sister's recipe that she faithfully always brought for Thanksgiving. I do mash up the yams but I add fresh apple bits and any/all dried fruit I can think of-especially apricots. I believe my sister would add a touch of maple syrup or pineapple juice and I add just a touch of maple syrup. I bake it for about 25 minutes at 350 and then for the last 5 minutes I add mini marshmallows on top and broil those to get them nice and brown. You have to watch them though that they don't turn too crisp. The marshmallows actually melt and this dish is so yummy. I am not a huge mashed potato fan so give me this dish and I'm content.
The other thing we always had was Mincemeat pie in addition to Pumpkin pie. My brother loves Apricot pie so often there might be Apricot for him. So that is my Thanksgiving traditions; I will be taking Green Beans to our daughters as well as some Sweet Potatoes.
How about you?
Today I'm thankful to be back to normal and for sunshine.
Blessings my friends, Noreen
Morning Tweets, So hope you had a wonderful weekend filled with lots of love. We had a very relaxed one filled with crafts. Hubby and the two grandsons started building model planes(wooden)last year but it was a bit tough for the little guys to do so dear hubby brought them home a while back to work on. He spent a good part of the weekend working on them while I started working on some Christmas ornaments. I did find that the ornaments are extremely small and since they aren't paper pieced it was very difficult to do.
I plan to double their size so that sewing them will be easier.
The last couple of days my neck has been a bit stiff, probably because one night I tried a different pillow~I know pretty lame. Last night I ended up having spasms all night long every time I moved. I would even try to adjust my arm or leg and my muscle would cramp up. Today I took a hot shower and it is a bit better but still stiff so I think I'll just stay in where it's warm and take it easy. We had a light dusting of snow on the ground this morning so it is a perfect day to be inside. I do hate it when I just have to rest, seems to me that I'm just wasting time. I've never had neck spasms before and they sure reminded me of charlie-horses you get in your calf. But in all this, I realize how much worse it could be and I'm thankful for being retired and able to stay at home. I'm thankful that this to will pass. I'm thankful for winter weather which makes staying inside more acceptable. I'm thankful for our technology that will allow me time on the internet, visiting you all.
I am thankful to be alive for such a time as this and for God's great mercy on this gal. I am thankful that He knows my frame and temperament and gives grace for the moment. Hard to believe Thanksgiving is right around the corner. How about you, what are you thankful for today?
Nuggets for today, from Jesus Calling:
"Bask in the luxury of being fully understood and unconditionally loved. Dare to see yourself as I see you: radiant in My righteousness, cleansed by My blood. I view you as the one I created you to be, the one you will be in actuality when heaven becomes your home. It is My Life within you that is changing you from glory to glory. Rejoice in this mysterious miracle! Thank Me continually for the amazing gift of My Spirit within you.
Try to depend on the help of the Spirit as you go through this day of life. Pause briefly from time to time so you can consult with this Holy One inside you. He will not force you to do His bidding, but He will guide you as you give Him space in your life. Walk along this wondrous way of collaboration with My Spirit."
As we go through each of hour of the day, with all the difficulties we encounter, let us turn our eyes upon Jesus and thank Him that He has promised to meet every need. In times of duress, let us call upon His Spirit to help us and to reject those thoughts that we are alone.
Abundant grace to you, Noreen
Happy Friday Friends, It is hard to believe that our long and beautiful Autumn has come to an end and winter is here. Don't get me wrong I love the white stuff, especially when I can just stay in and enjoy it from the windows. I will admit though that yesterday's snow looked especially beautiful as I was driving to my study. Fresh snow on the trees is simply breath taking! By noon it had stopped snowing and being that it was such a wet snow the roads were clear. This photo isn't very good but it gives you the idea.
Today is relaxed but I did find out our oldest daughter and three of her kiddos have the stomach flu; hopefully the rest of the family won't catch it. I plan to make up a big pot of chicken & rice soup to take up later, for the weekend or when they are up to eating just a little. We also have a Scholastic Book Fair in town and I hope to go find some books for the grands Christmas stockings. This weekend I hope to begin making quilt-ornaments for our December tea party. I will leave some for the little girls to do, but I will tackle the cutting and most of the stitching; I would love to get those done.
I am thankful for this new season and the promises & hope that it will be a dryer winter than last year.
I am thankful for the many, many blessings the Lord has showered on us.
I am thankful that we didn't catch that flu bug and the ability to cook for our children and grandchildren.
I am thankful for my dear hubby and the man he is.
I am thankful for the friend who tutored me in quilting when I lived next door.
I am thankful for all that I have learned in the Beth Moore study on the Fruit of the Spirit.
I am thankful for the Lords redeeming love.
How about you? What are you thankful for this day?
Weekend blessings, Noreen
Greetings friends, More than half the day is gone and I'm just now sitting down to try to post this Thankful Thursday. Firstly, I want to thank all our family and friends who have served our great country. I salute you and truly say thank you.
This is the Autumn quilt I just finished; I think it is my favorite and I am going to be using it until the first of December. I love the colors and richness and it is hard to believe it was the easiest quilt I've ever made.
We woke up to several inches of snow this morning; it was wet so made traveling to my ladies study relatively easy. The study was incredible as always; I think Beth's lessons touch each of us regardless of what circumstances we are in. After the study, we met at our leaders house for a simple salad lunch and fellowship; such deep and loving bonds we've formed and before you knew it two and a half hours had passed and it was time to depart. This group and study have blessed me so much; I am thankful that the Lord uses Beth's studies to touch the lives of many.
The rest of the day should be relatively quiet and relaxed. I am looking ahead to our family girls tea party in December and will have to begin making ornaments for all the grands.
I hope you are staying warm, inside and out, and resting in the blessings He bestows.
Happy Wednesday to you. Do you ever have days when you don't feel like you've got much to share? I sure do; so thought I'd let you know that the movie we saw yesterday was called RED and it was quite good. Definitely a guys movie and if you gals need to take your man to the movies you would probably enjoy this too.
A bit of a comedy but also some good acting. When we entered the theater it was raining and when we came out the ground was dry but the temp. had dropped. We went to dinner at Outback and enjoyed ourselves; a good date. Later, I happened to be talking to one of our girls and she told me it had snowed for an hour but the snow melted the minute it hit the ground-we had no idea. Today I'm making binding for my quilt and will hopefully get it on; I love the look of this quilt and I think it will be one of my very favorites. Hopefully I will be able to post photos tomorrow.
Today I'm thankful for an afternoon when I can just stay in and quilt. The snow is headed our way and tomorrow is supposed to be stormy. I've got a luncheon after our study so I'm hoping the weather isn't too bad.
Blessings to you today! Noreen
Good morning to you. Have you started this day with a grateful heart? Come on now, even those trials can be turned so that you have have an attitude of gratitude. So, even if you wake up with aches and pains, at least you woke up.
Recently a dear family friend told me that if there were people/friends that I had lost touch with, that I should do whatever I could to do to track them down and reconnect with them. His words have echoed through my mind so much since September and I've begun doing just that. I had a best friend in elementary school named Corrine and I haven't yet been able to find her, probably because I don't know her married name. I did make a call to someone whose name was the same as her moms, left a message explaining the situation but never heard back, but at least I gave it my all. I won't pay for one of the services that will find your lost friends so I have to do the research myself. I had another friend in high school that I was really close with, in fact she was matron of honor at my wedding and somehow over the years we dropped out of touch with each other. So yesterday I spent some time on the web and was able to track her down. I decided to give her a call and what a wonderful conversation we had. She filled me in on her life, her sons and what she is doing and I filled her in on mine. In fact, when I am back in California in Feb. I plan on getting together with her, even if it is only for coffee. She emailed me that our reunion is long overdue. I have friends from many different times in my life and I cherish each one. I tend to stay connected with those I'm close with but life happens and sometimes you just drift away from each other. I'm glad I followed through tracking this girlfriend down and I can't wait to see her.
I'm thankful that I feel better and don't think the cold will linger. I'm thankful that there was no snow of the ground this morning. I'm thankful that hubby and I are having a date today, movies and dinner. Don't know what we'll see but it will be fun just spending time together plus we have gift certificates for both the movies and a restaurant so it won't cost us anything.
I am so thankful for the bonds of friendship I've made with you. You guys just bless my socks off!
Remember when you start to grumble to just give thanks in the circumstances regardless of what you feel like.
Try it, it works; life doesn't suddenly get easier but the going gets better.
Hugs today, Noreen
Here is my thoughts on FLUFF: Yesterday I mentioned I was fighting a cold so I was going to have a relaxed kind of day. Thankfully, I think I may just get by without entertaining this bug going around. I thought I might watch a chick flick but didn't~just worked on the hand quilting project and watched some t.v. As I was thinking about movies today I realized there are different categories of "chick flicks", i.e. tragedy-Romeo and Juliet, humor-Mama Mia and those great movies that end with a "happy ever after" scene, like Letters to Juliet. So girls, what is your favorite chick flick, why and when do you watch it? Yesterday, had I chosen to watch a movie, I would have picked Mama Mia because it makes me feel good. How about you? There are days when I just need a good cry and then I will purposely pick a movie that will bring on the tears but generally I try to stick to ones that are upbeat and fun.
Here's some food for today: As I read your blogs this weekend I was again aware of the great needs our community out in blogland has. Today's devotional was so timely that I just have to share, it's for each of us, because if you aren't going through tough times right now, just wait-they are probably right around the corner.
"Learn to appreciate difficult days. Be stimulated by the challenges you encounter along your way. As you journey through rough terrain with Me, gain confidence from your knowledge that together we can handle anything. The knowledge is comprised of three parts: your relationship with Me, promises in the Bible, and past experience of coping successfully during hard times. Look back on your life, and see how I have helped you through difficult days. If you are tempted to think, "Yes, but that was then, and this is now," remember who I AM! Although you and your circumstances may change dramatically, I remain the same throughout time and eternity. This is the basis of your confidence. In My Presence you live and move and have your being." Sarah Young "Jesus Calling".
I love this devotional, it is applicable to today and whatever comes our way. Grab His hand girls.
May grace abound to you this day. Last night I began fighting a nasty cold some of our grands have so today I am laying low, enjoying the warmth of the sun shining through our sliders and working on my quilt. Hubby is off to work so I have the whole day just to rest; so I am thankful that I don't have a lot of my plate this day or even this week. I am thankful that I don't have to run to a job and work when I'm not feeling up to it. I am thankful that colds don't hit me as hard as they did when I was younger. I always got bronchitis immediately and would battle with asthma but generally I am not hit as hard as I used to be. I also crank up the liquids, Vit. C and other natural things to boost my immune system. Because I am feeling very drained, I may even take a little nap later today. I am thankful for movies that make me feel good; a good chick flick always llifts my spirits and with hubby gone I am free to watch at least one.
I am thankful for our continued nice weather although snow is in the forecast this week.
I am thankful that Lexie, our friends dog, is holding her own and seems to be alright. Still praying for a complete recovery for her though.
May your Sabbath be filled with the Glory of the Lord.
Greetings to you. I hope you have had a good week and have become more aware of the many things, each day, to give thanks for. Yesterday I had a delightful day that started with my weekly ladies study and in the afternoon I got to babysit two of our grand daughters. One was napping and the oldest and I spent time outside, in the bright sunshine, playing catch and jumping on the trampoline. After that we went in and I taught her a very basic game of dominoes and we played for well over an hour. She was having such fun and of course I was too!
In the afternoon a good friend called, panicked, and told me her dog had been bitten many times by a Brown Recluse spider. I didn't even know we had them here. Thankfully she noticed the bites and took the dog to the vet immediately where they identified the bites as spider bites. I talked with her this morning and Lexie is doing o.k. but what a scare. Lexie is an Australian Shepherd and pretty good size; I hate to think what could have happened if she were smaller. I love it when friends call me for prayer; such a privilege.
Today I am so thankful for Grandchildren who love to spend time with hubby and I. I'm thankful for days when we can play games inside and out. I'm thankful for my friends dog and that she appears to be alright.
I am thankful for the many ways I see the Lord's blessings in my/our lives and for the blessings I don't see.
I am thankful for His grace and Love.
Have a delightful fall weekend.
Blessings to you and yours, Noreen
Hello there, Today is the day to give thanks and Laurie at http://womentakingastand.blogspot.com/
entitled this weeks list as gratified or grateful. She pointed out that if we are gratified, it is all about us and if we are grateful it is all about Him. Please make sure you visit her and read more TT posts. So how about you? Where do you fall in? This ties in with my lesson today from Beth Moore and it was about living in a culture that is very self-absorbed and the remedy for that is pouring out to others, i.e. serving others. If we would but look around, there are countless ways to give to others that have needs; maybe not financially but how about reaching out to someone with a kind word, some encouragement, some help. It really got me thinking about who might just have a need today that I could help with.
I am also thankful for Goat's yogurt; I love yogurt but have dairy sensitivities so am thankful that we have a Whole Foods store nearby(o.k. about a 30 min drive)that carries it as well as coconut yogurt and also lambs milk yogurt. I haven't tried the lambs milk yogurt yet and I do love the coconut yogurt but something in it doesn't agree with me so I'm back to Goats Milk Yogurt. I am also thankful for Goat Cheese and other products that satisfy my taste for the real thing. I'm thankful for digestive enzymes that help my body utilize foods and tolerate things that might otherwise bother me.
I am thankful that we are still reveling in sunshine~boy does it feel good. Last year by this time we had tons of snow and I'm thankful for another few days of warmth.
Have you jotted some things down on your Thankful list today? If not, stop and look around, I'm sure there are plenty.
Wednesday Blessings to you. Well I've been out walking already and ready for a busy day. Yesterday was such a nice day and my daughter did such an amazing job on her tea party for us gals. She had found, at a yard sale, hankies-you know the pretty ones we all had when we were growing up, and gave those to each of the little girls and to her sister and me as well. We had finger sandwiches and hot apple cider or tea, fruit and cookies for dessert. I had a good follow up appt. with my holistic doctor which was such a relief, even though there are still some unanswered questions about some blood levels.
Today I am thankful for retirement; for it allows me free time to help out my girls and be with the grands, which is so very important to me. It allows me time for walking with friends and for attending a ladies study. It allows hubby and I time together each morning, something we never had when he was working. Each day we work on Sudoku puzzles, to try to keep our minds sharp. I am thankful that he is able to golf whenever he wants because he is working for the course. I am thankful that we don't have to deal with the stress of working, although with our economy retirement has its own stresses-lol.
This morning I became aware of a situation with Blogger than I want to share with you. My friend Sue at Where Memories Are Made, mentioned that Picasso is now charging a fee if you have too many photos on your blog and when she deleted some of her photos they were deleted from her previous posts. I was not aware of any limit on posting photos and was quite surprised. I do know that just about the time I become proficient in blogger they change something and I have to learn it all over again. This morning, prior to reading Sues post, I was just thinking that I needed to post more photos but maybe not. For those of you youngins who can maneuver all over this site, if you have any tips, I know us old folks would really appreciate it.
Have a joyous day. Noreen
Happy Tuesday friends, This morning we woke up to frost on the roof tops but the sky is blue and the weatherman promises temps in the 60's. Oh what a beautiful day it is; the Rockies are simply gorgeous as well. Yesterday I read several challenges, for this month, about listing at least one thing per day on your blog, that you are thankful for. Writing your blessings seems to make a person more aware of just how many there are, so if you aren't in the habit of making a Thankful list I would encourage you to begin today~what better time than the month of Thanksgiving.
Today I am thankful that I can place my hand in the hand of Jesus, laying all my earthly worries at His feet, trusting that He will work these issues out for my good.
I am thankful that as I turned the page on my calendar this morning, I realized my doctor's appt. is today not tomorrow. I am thankful for this holistic Christian doctor that I have been able to see, even without insurance coverage.
I am thankful that my beloved has nice weather; he works part time over at our local golf course and the nice weather means he is working and also getting to play golf.
I am thankful for the tea my youngest is having for all of us today.
I am thankful and so very blessed by the love of friends, near and far. Bloggers are by far some of the most incredible people I have ever come in contact with and it amazes me how the Lord uses you all to encourage me, just when I need it most.
I am thankful to be alive, serving my King and my loved ones.
So join me and others and begin listing the things you are thankful for.
Hugs today, Noreen
On this Monday, the first of November, I wish you all the Lord's blessings on your day, your week and your month. I pray you had a good weekend and spent time in the presence of the Lord.
Today as I opened up a devotional I read this verse and want to share it with you.
Today's treasure: " Let no the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight."
From my devotional "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young~
"Do not be discouraged by the difficulty of keeping your focus on Me. I know that your heart's desire is to be aware of My Presence continually. This is a lofty goal; you aim toward it but never fully achieve it in this life. Don't let feelings of failure weigh you down. Instead, try to see yourself as I see you. First of all, I am delighted by your deep desire to walk closely with Me through your life. I am please each time you initiate communication with Me. In addition, I notice the progress you have made since you first resolved to live in My Presence."
Dear ones, do you see how delighted the Lord is with us and how He sees our heart's desire for Him. What a blessing to read this this morning. May our boast be in His great love for us.
Hugs today, Noreen
At the last preschool I taught at in California, they had an incredible selection of unusual games and toys and this game was one of them. The children loved it and because it is a German game I wasn't familiar with it; when we got ready to move I located it and although it was pricey I bought it for Christmas for our grands.
That year most of them were too young to get the concept, it is more for children 3+. Now however whenever we have a get together here, that is the game that the little ones want to play. Even the bigger boys, ages 9 and 7, love it. It has directions in 10 different languages and is very simple to play and the children love saying loudly, "oh no it's the Crow". I know there are many grandparents, as well as parents, that need to start thinking about Christmas gifts and I would highly recommend this game. I just checked online and it is available at several sights, just remember the longevity of the game will out weigh the cost of it.
Have a delightful weekend. Noreen
I am a daughter of the King, saved by grace for 38 yrs. I am married to my best friend and beloved for 39 years. I was born and lived most of my life in Northern Calif. until moving to Colorado. We homeschooled our girls for years and I love encouraging my daughters and others in their homeschooling. Hubby and I are blessed to have two incredible daughters and sons-in-law and 11 grandkids. I love spending time with my family & our dog Hunter, friends, plus quilting whenever I can.