Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Few Of My Favorite Christmas Things

Happy Wednesday to you!  I've been mentioning decorating our nest for Christmas so thought I'd share a few of my favorite things with you.  Most of my collections are almost 20 yrs old and I only add candles and small items now.

My snowman collection goes nicely on top of our kitchen cabinets.  This is one area of our home that I love-a big country kitchen with tons of space.
My dear sister of my heart gave this Lizzie High Collection to me about 20+ yrs ago; I still love it and think of her constantly during the holidays.
I love the look of these candles with the angel.  My sister gave the angel to me the year before she went home to glory.
Our puzzle table in the family room; my bff Barb in California made this Snowman wall hanging for me last year and also gave us the cute snow couple figurine several years ago.  Boy does she know me well.
This is the smaller of my two Victorian villages; my girls and hubby gave me this 20+ yrs ago, the same year my sweet mil started me on a Dickens Village.  I haven't put this up for several years but this year decided it would look great in the corner of you family room.  It is the perfect place for it; I will show my other collection when it is lit up-hubby always puts it up.

Our sleigh in the family room-I often take photos of the grands in it.
I always love seeing how other gals decorate-it give a glimpse into who they are. 
We are headed to a dinner theater tonight, our friends are taking us as a thank you for dog/bird sitting this summer.  It should be so much fun but we are also expecting a huge snowstorm during the night and tomorrow.  I guess winter has finally decided to arrive.
Blessings, Noreen

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Many, many years ago my daughters and I made this ornament as part of a homeschool group.  Loving quilts as I do, this reminded me so much of a quilt project and we made many.  Well, now that we are in a new area and state I was trying to come up with a craft idea to give to friends this year.  I couldn't really remember how to make these but both of our girls remembered so hubby and I went out and got supplies for this craft on the weekend.  Sorry the photo is a bit fuzzy but we are still waiting on our camera to come back from getting fixed.  So, I am hoping that sometime this week or maybe next, one of my girls will join me in making one, in order to refresh my memory.  I still love the look and wish I had gotten some cuter fabric; I'm sure they'll be just as pretty.  I'll let you know.
I'm off to get a hair cut this morning and then to the market.  We have blue skies but it is cold outside.
Blessings, Noreen

Monday, November 28, 2011

Happy Monday to you.  On Saturday our little Miss A, aka Sunshine, turned two; it is so hard to believe, just two years ago on Thanksgiving Day she entered this world and this family.  She is such a joy and always so happy, such a precious smile she has too.  I always love watching our grands grow and change and she is a blessing to the family.  I have been told that she already holds her own with her siblings, but when you are number five you have to.  Her happy personality lights up the room and I love watching her talk and play.
I pray she will grow into a godly girl just like her mama was and her sisters.  We will be having a party next weekend so I'll be posting plenty of photos.
I hope you all had a great weekend. I can't believe it but hubby and I did run out on Friday to take advantage of some great sales at Ko*ls, two sets of sheets that were ridiculously cheap-they were reduced over $60.  We hardly ever buy sheets, I refuse to pay the price they are normally but get tired of poor quality as well.  To tell you what a good deal they were, even hubby was excited about them because he knows how expensive they are.  Now we have three good sets-one designated for our guest room.   We hit a couple of other stores but didn't have luck so yesterday we went back out and found birthday presents for Sunshine and her big sister.  Today I'm meeting friends to celebrate another friends birthday and then hope to get some things done around here.  My girlfriend is back in the area from Ca., helping her brother recoup from a hip replacement surgery; I hope to work out a time to see her as well. 
Are you all ready for the season, is your nest all decorated?  Ours is and I hope to get some pics this week to share.
Hugs, Noreen

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

Happy Friday to you! I hope you had a joyous and delightful Thanksgiving; I'm thinking most folks are off of work today-may your day be filled with the excitement that Christmas brings. 

This is the tables that our daughter had decorated for all 17 of us.  The children had place mats to color.  Our girls are just so creative, it never ceases to amaze me.

Cousins that enjoy each other's company.
Our hosts, Kim and Eric.
Hubby and I in our element-family.
My brother and sil with the grands that weren't too tired for photos.  I had hoped to get a shot of all of them, but by the afternoon some were melting down.  WE so loved having Rich and Sue here with us-it made Thanksgiving even more special.
Hubby and I may hit two stores this morning and then come home to decorate. 
Whatever your day holds, be blessed.  Noreen

Thursday, November 24, 2011

From our home to yours, may your Thanksgiving be filled with blessings from above,laughter and love.
We will have a leisurely morning and head to our daughter's this afternoon, carrying lots of yummy food.
We will fill our tummies, share our blessings and play lots of games.  Spending the day with loved ones is what it is all about.
Sending love your way today, Noreen

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The countdown is on; everyone is scurring around, cleaning and cooking, getting their nests ready for the big day. Hubby and I spent most of the day cleaning yesterday so that today we can relax and wait for our family to arrive.  Have I told you just how excited everyone is about my brother and sister of my heart coming here for Thanksgiving?  Even our grands are beyond thrilled, they all love these two so much.  I can't believe to imagine what it would be like if they were coming for Christmas. Thankfully, our weather is cooperating and we will have warm temps while they are here; plus it is raining in northern Ca. so I am extra happy our sun will shine.  It will be a full couple of days; dinner out, visits with both families, touring areas they haven't seen before and just spending time together.  We have so much to be thankful for!!!
Blessings to you and yours this day.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Happy Monday to you.  Can you believe that Thanksgiving is this week?  As you know, we are having family here this week so I was anxious to to get my quilt top done before they arrived; just so I could clean up my sewing room and have things tidy.  Many of you wanted me to post a photo, so friends here it is.
It is quite different from anything I've done before but I'm beginning to really like it.  I'm not sure what type of hand quilting I will do yet; I figure that it will be on my design wall until after Christmas.  I still have another quilt to bind before I start quilting this.
Are you going to be cooking all week?  We will be cooking a turkey and yams as well as some small side dishes.  As excited as I am about Thanksgiving, I'm itching to begin decorating! 
I hope you have a perfect day, followed by a perfect week.
Hugs, Noreen

Friday, November 18, 2011

Happy Friday to you!  My day is going to be very full with walking, going to our antique store for their annual open house and I'm taking dear hubby to an estate sale that is advertising lots of treasures such as a Singer Featherweight, Treadle sewing machine and vintage fabrics from the 20-40's.  Later this evening we will be going to some friends house for soup and catching up.  I can tell you I'm ready to take down all my harvest decorations and  put up Christmas but hubby would not be happy so I'll wait til next week. 
It's warm here this morning, 48 degrees and it feels like spring time but another storm is heading towards the mountains tomorrow so back to reality. 
Christmas carols are playing 24x7 on the radio and I love it; guess it is about time to switch out my music for my favorite Christmas music.
Have a wonderful day and weekend dear ones.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Blessings to you dear friends, in the name of our Lord Jesus.  Again, it is Thankful Thursday and although I've gotten a late start posting, I just have to share how thankful I am for God's grace.
Today we had our study on David and it touched each heart.  After the study, our small group had a potluck luncheon and it was wonderful fellowship. 
I am so in awe of His great grace that covers us; I am so in awe of all He has done in my heart and life.
I am so thankful for those whose needs we can lift before the Throne of God, lifting needs for physical healing and provision. What a privilege to lift others up and see how the Lord answers our prayers.
I am thankful for His daily grace, His forgiveness and His redemption.
I am thankful for His Word and the promises there in.
I am thankful that even if our faith is weak, He can strengthen it.
I am thankful for the multitudes of blessings He pours out in my life.
I am thankful to be this side of the Cross and for the gift of knowing Jesus.

How about you?  What are you thankful for today?
If you are in need of prayer, please feel free to leave me a note.
Because He first loved me,  Noreen

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Good morning friends, Can you believe that in a week we will be celebrating Thanksgiving and then the Christmas season is upon us.  This year will be so fun and I'm so excited about it.  There are a few things I need to do before our guests arrive but I think it will be a relaxed and fun.  We are trying to come up with a couple of things to do during the days since all the kiddos will have school and we will see them in the evening.  I know that we will be doing a couple of dishes and cooking a turkey, which will make it even more fun by having Susan in the kitchen beside me.  My favorite dish to prepare has always been sweet potatoes; I mash them up and add dried fruit-cranberries, apricots, pineapple and fresh apples.  Occasionally I put mini marshmallows on the top but am trying to be more health/sugar conscience so will leave those off this year.
What about you?  Will you be home or away?  What is your favorite dish to prepare?  When do you start decorating for Christmas?  I plan to start the day after Thanksgiving, I got several new decorations from garage sales so I am looking forward to putting those out as well. 
Have a wonderful, warm morning; we are registering a 19 degree morning with frost.
Hugs, Noreen

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

FROM MY LIBRARY~I finished this book over the weekend and had to share it with you.  I have read all of Jennifer's books and so totally enjoyed it; it reminded me of her early books and the main character was Bonnie, a quilt store owner and part of the Elm Creek Quilters.  I loved the setting of this book-Lahaina and I actually wondered if some of the sights were really there.  Hubby and I vacation on Kauai but we have spent time on Maui.  The rich history of Hawaiian quilts inspired me and helped me appreciate them more. 
A side not is that on Friday when I spent the day with the Master Quilter, she had just finished a Hawaiian quilt and I felt that I knew a bit more on the background when I looked at it.  For those of you who are familiar with Jennifer's books, I would highly recommend this one.  I can't wait until she comes out with a new book.
It's windy here today so I think I'll be inside again in front of my machine; I'm hoping to get the top pieced by Sunday so I can put everything away before our family arrives, but also that I have something new to show them. 
Have a warm and wonderful day.  Noreen

Monday, November 14, 2011

Happy Monday to you; I so remember the days when I was working and Monday was not my favorite day, I hope you can embrace this season of your life and make the most of today.
I had such fun on Friday and really wish I would have had my camera.  The Master Quilter was such a nice, welcoming gal and great teacher.  It didn't hurt though when we walked in her two old dogs were there to greet us; I made a beeline for them and gave them lots of love.  I realized that if you put a quilt next to a sweet dog that I will always go for the dog, quilts always come second.  I saw many  of her quilts and ladies, oh my, was the quilting incredible.  She is a traditionalist and hand quilts everything; in fact she often quilts the tops for others who don't want to try.  We had a good work day and I hope to be able to join her again soon. I love gleaning insight from such an experienced lady-she's been quilting for 35 yrs.
This really put me in the mood for sewing so that is what I did all weekend.  Dear hubby caught a nasty cold so we just had a wonderful weekend watching football; did you hear what I just said-watching football. For those who have known me for decades, this is something relatively new for me, must be a senior thing.
Of course I did sew while I watched.  I've got almost all of my squares done and just have to put them together before I begin stitching. 
Today is filled with chores and grocery shopping; it is beautiful outside today although a bit cold.  I'm already planning the menu for my brother & sister-of-my-heart.  I simply can't wait til they're here.
Have a wonderful day today.
Hugs, Noreen

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Friday to you!  For me, it is Happy Quilting Day; you see I'm joining a friend and we are going to a Master Quilter's home to make quilts, all day, that will be going to South America.  I'm thankful that she will be doing foundation piecing and I think it will be the easiest way for a group to piece quilt tops.  I have not met this gal before but she sounded wonderful when I talked on the phone to her.  It is a ladies group from the church I attend my bible study at, so it is possible I might know some of the gals already.  The opportunity to sit and glean from a Master Quilter has me very excited.  I thought about taking my camera, but it is being serviced.  We will be sewing all day-reminds me of the quilt retreats I used to attend with my bff in Ca., Barb. 
I hope you  have a wonderful day today and an incredible weekend.
Do something fun!  Hugs, Noreen

Thursday, November 10, 2011

When you think of the blessings in your life, what does that mental picture look like? Every morning when I open my eyes, I thank the Lord for His love and who He is.   I am thankful not only for life, but abundant life.
This morning I am thankful for Blueberry Jam with real whole blueberries in it; I'm thankful for fresh fruit and good food.  When you think of how many people around the world, around our nation, around our state, that go to sleep hungry each night, it stops me from complaining.  I am thankful that although I do have some aches occasionally, I am not critically ill or fighting something awful like cancer.  I am thankful that although retirement hasn't exactly been what we initially thought, we are more secure than many folks. 
When I was younger, I always looked at the glass half empty but once I determined to have an attitude of gratitude, I began to give thanks for those things that weren't quite what I hoped for-it made such a difference in my attitude and outlook. 
Today Laurie at  is our hostess; if you need to be encouraged stop by and read her post. 
As always, it's all about Him.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Happy Wednesday!  This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.
You all know how much I love music, especially worship music and I often awaken with a song of Praise on my lips.  Today was no different and the song echoing in my heart is one of my favorites, I bet it might be one of yours too.  So I thought I'd share the lyrics with you, not because I am discouraged but because these lyrics just grab my heart and soul-yes I am hungry.  May they bless you today.


Hungry, I come to you
For I know You satisfy
I am empty, but I know
Your love does not run dry

So I wait for you
So I wait for You
I’m falling on my knees
Offering all of me
Jesus, You’re all this heart is living for

Broken, I run to You
For Your arms are open wide
I am weary, but I know
Your touch restores my life

So I wait for you
So I wait for You
I'm falling on my knees
Offering all of me
Jesus, You're all this heart is living for.
Hugs, Noreen

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Happy Tuesday to you~this month many of our blog friends are doing a 30 day thankful challenge; I have chosen to daily make a habit of giving thanks for all things in my life so I haven't specifically joined this challenge.  However, today I want to share how thankful I am for my incredible sister-in-law Susan, also known as the sister of my heart.  I can still hardly believe the Lord so graciously blessed us with Susan.  We can't always pick our family members but I know that the Lord smiled the day He brought Sue into our life.
Susan is one of those gals who has a natural ability to treat you like you are royal guest in her home; she has always had the gift of entertaining for a small gathering or a large group.  She and my dear brother have the biggest hearts of anyone I know.  Sue is one patient gal, she had to be when she entered our Irish family; she has been such a loyal and devoted wife to my brother and she put up with a lot from me over the years. In 45+ yrs. I've only seen her lose her temper twice and believe me she had plenty of reasons to lose it with me when I was just a young and immature gal.  I found out today that Sue is having some vision problems plus she has found out she has another condition as well.  She has been the rock of our family in many situations and I can't imagine life without her; I am not planning on that happening for many many years. 
I told her that she was going to be prayed over; you see I personally know the Great Physican. 
I also wanted her to know just how cherished she is by our complete family.  When you've had relationships with others that aren't close, it makes you so grateful for those incredible members that you are close with.

Sue & Rich  Estes Park
Sue we all love you so very much and are so thankful for you!!!!!

My friends, are you taking the time to tell those in your life how much you care about them?  If not, make sure you do today.
Hugs, Noreen

Monday, November 7, 2011

FROM MY BOOKSHELF~   Prior to going on our vacation, I purchased two of Jennifer's books that I didn't have.  Whenever I fly, I love having a book in hand, just in case there is turbulence.  Although I just finished reading this, as always Jennifer told a tale that was filled with history; her characters rich and developed with quilting woven through.  Simply delightful, as I always expect from her. 
 We had a very nice weekend, very relaxed but I did get to Barnes & N*bles to purchase our youngest daughter's birthday presents; she is our Christmas birthday but this weekend B&N were offering a coupon of 50% off one book if you "liked" them on FB.  Who could resist?  Yesterday I went to church first thing, what a way to start the day!  Hubby and I did go out for lunch and then came home to watch the Broncos beat the Raiders; all the while I was sewing.  Go Bronco's!!!! 
I hope you also had a relaxing weekend and are staying healthy.  I have a bit of a stuffy nose this morning and am not sure if it is allergies or a mild cold.  I'll walk a bit later today and then meet a friend for lunch.
Have a great Monday my friends.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Happy Happy Friday to you!  I hope your week has been one of contentment & joy and that your weekend is filled with laughter and love.  Yesterday while looking at photos from our trip, I was remembering just how much we loved San Juan island.  I think I'll be posting photos on and I hope you enjoy!

The building bears my maiden name.
This photo is a bit out of focus but I loved the sign on the car-stitch and gossip.

The pottery center that had incredible pieces for sale. What amazed me is the glazes that are available now, oven, microwave and dishwasher proof.  They weren't around when I did pottery in the 60's-70's.

Just love this guy-would love him in our yard.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Blessing Of You~ Good Morning Friends, Can it be Thursday already? We woke to heavy fog and a temperature of 11 degrees, a very cold morning indeed. Today, Laurie at is hosting it for us.  Her topic today is that we should give thanks every day,not just on Thanksgiving.  This became my motto four years ago, officially, to make this season of my life one filled with gratitude and thanksgiving.  Stop by and say hello to Laurie, while you are at it why don't you make a list of all the blessings in your life. Make a habit, if you don't already, to take note of all the blessings you've received-it will change your life.
This morning I asked my dear man what he was thankful for, and I love his response.  He looked at me and said " I'm thankful for you"-doesn't that just melt your heart.  It did mine! 
Today I am so thankful for my beloved; 33 years and counting. There are days that can be tough and uncertain, but his love has been the one constant in my life.
I am thankful for our two incredible daughters, their godly men, our nine grandchildren.
I am thankful for the menagerie of pups we have-firstly our old Reggie who seems better still, Lily the wild girl, Petro the cute and feisty puppy and of course Missy the cow.  Love animals and love having them in our lives.
I am thankful for fellowship; Kam, all the ladies at bible study, my sisters in Christ in Ca. and of course my sisters I've come to love through blogging.
I am thankful for friends, those who have walked by my side for years and years, yet they love me still and those friends who I've made within the last four years.
I am thankful for my health.  So many folks around us, including my dear mil, are suffering; we need to be so thankful for those days we wake up to face another day.
I am mostly thankful for Grace that saved a wretch like me.  Without Christ, my life would be filled with the results of bad choices.  I can't imagine living without Him.

May your blessings overflow your life today.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Winter White is all we see today. It is like a repeat of last Wednesday,complete with wet snow .  Hubby and I have been out shoveling already and I think we only got about 6" verses the 8" last week, however it is still snowing.  The weatherman said it should be gone by this afternoon and the sun will be out-I'm thinking that it took a week to melt the snow last week and unless we get really warm days in the 70's, it will be here awhile.  That's alright as I continue to work on my newest quilt; I've moved my sewing machine downstairs to our family room so I could listen to t.v. and hang out with hubby.  The photo above is in our development, (taken a few years ago) but not our view, lakefront or home in the background. 
Yesterday Reggie had a bit of a rough day, no eating or drinking but after talking to our vet I ran out and got baby food for him; yes, I am becoming one of those moms.  He picked at it and ate a little; needless to say I was very concerned about him. This morning I gave him the baby food again and boy did he eat it up.  He even ate his pills covered in peanut butter and seems perkier than yesterday.  As the vet said, it is hard to determine if it is his being very finicky or if he was really ill.  Due to the fact that he didn't keep anything down yesterday I would say it was a combo of both.  Hopefully he is back to normal today; hubby actually went out and cleared an area of grass for him today.  Last night so many thoughts crossed my mind~how much pain is he in and I am holding onto him because I don't want to be dogless.  I don't do well without one, but time will tell as to when I need to make that appointment for him; I just don't it to get to an emergency situation like we experienced with Sadie and have to drive in a blizzard to get to an emergency vet.  Each day is a day of grace with the old guy.
Sending snow angels your way today!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy November To You, you do know what this means don't you?  Just over three weeks until Thanksgiving and the day after is when all of our Christmas decorations go up.  I hope you had a great Monday and that you are looking forward to another day. 
Our Reggie had a bad night and I'm not sure if it is anything to be concerned about; this morning he isn't eating which means he won't take his pills because I coat them in peanut butter.  We are having cold frosty mornings, today it is 34 degrees and we are expecting another snow storm tonight.  I'm planning on making chicken soup for tonight and tomorrow night-yum, my mouth is watering already. 
The above photo is a barn we saw on San Juan and I love it!!! Hubby and I have a fascination with barns and covered bridges.  I may even enlarge this and frame it for my sewing room.
O.k. so I have a question for you, please realize that although I love country and prefer to live out in the wide open areas, I am not a farmer.  Yesterday hubby and I had to go buy 4 bales of straw for our meat cow to lay on during the snow storms.  We have been around horses quite alot when our girls were little, I know that you can have alfalfa hay or wheat hay, but what plant produces straw?  Seriously.  None of us could come up with the answer and I didn't take the time to google it.  Our cow is getting bigger and is finally used to people and the kids.  She especially likes Lilly the dog because she was raised around dogs.  I have a hard time thinking about using her for meat but that is just because I'm so visual.  I'm thinking an Alpaca would suit me-I could learn how to shear it, wash and card the wool, we could spin it and then my girls could use it for knitting.  Much more to my liking. 
Hope you have a delightful day.