Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy 2016

To all my friends and family in bogland, wishing you the most fantastic New Year, filled with blessings, joy, laughter, peace happiness and health!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

On Teaching Girls the Art of Giving and Hospitality

 Happy Wednesday to you!  Most of the day is gone and I'm just now sitting down to post.  As you know, twice monthly I work with our four oldest granddaughters teaching them sewing(which is interesting since I'm not a seamstress).  I had mentioned the girls were making their moms two presents~the first was a stationary holder that Miss S is holding below.  Inside, I had place two separate sets of custom made greeting cards for my daughters.  One set was of Ireland and the other set was of Kauai.  The other present the girls made was a travel curling iron cover/holder.  The stationary holder was made from a placemat, while the curling iron cover was made from a pattern.  Miss M is on the left holding that; I absolutely loved the fabric(probably because I love Cardinals and wish we had them here).

 The girls also made their sisters a skirt for their American Girl dolls.

 Unfortunately in our haste to get everything done, we wrapped the stationary holder before we took pictures-it was identical to the one Miss S was holding.  Miss O was holding the skirt for her sister's doll.
 This morning we had our quarterly tea, except that it was a breakfast with all sorts of yummy foods. 
 The theme was Little Women and after we had eaten, some questions were asked by Carrie about the story.  Typically, the girls do a craft and also have some sort of special treat or goodie~but this time Carrie decided to follow suit of a story line in the book and give to others who were needy.  The older girls understood the significance of the lesson and the money that would have been spent on a craft and goodies was donated to Compassion International to help a Mom with a Baby.  I was so touched by this gesture!
Last night our two oldest grandsons came to spend the night, it is always such fun!  This morning while I went to the dentist before the tea party, they had a nice big breakfast and played Yatzee with Papa.  Kim dropped on Little Man on her away to the party so he could have some boy time.
What a wonderful morning!  This afternoon hubby and I began to take down the Christmas decorations; we got one room completely back together and will work on the rest of it tomorrow.
We don't have any major plans for tomorrow night, except for going out to an early dinner at one of our favorite restaurants.  We will be home before six and probably just watch movies.
I hope your last two days of the year are smooth and that you enter the New Year with joy and happiness.
Until tomorrow,

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

A New Book from a Giveaway

Good Morning to you! Can you believe it's the last week of the year? Right before Christmas I was notified by my friend and fellow blogger, Sandra, that I had won her book giveaway. It is a book that shares 20 "Cuddley Designs to Piece, Patch and Embroider" by Linda Kopp. It came on Christmas Eve and I am now just getting to post about it. Sorry about the bad photo-for some reason my pics kept coming out blurry.

It is filled with wonderful designs and quilt templates and I can assure you that it will get lots of use here in my family-with girls and granddaughters who embroider and quilt, there won't be any sitting on the shelf for this book.
If you don't know Sandra at Thistle Cove Farm, you can find her here:
She is a wonderful lady  who has a deep walk of faith and lives on a beautiful farm. Stop by and say I told you to visit.
Blessings on your day!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Our Family Christmas Celebration

Good Morning to you! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and a relaxing weekend. We had such a fun family celebration on Christmas Eve morning, but I want to explain that as a very large group our kids found it easier to gather together on Christmas Eve and then have their individual family time on Christmas morning. We gathered, ate a wonderful brunch and then began to open presents. Here all the girls cousins are sitting together~a good thing because Nana and Papa gave them all duplicate gifts.
Little Man waiting paitently.
We also give fill each stocking with some sort of goodie-little man and his mama got a container of Agave Bears, because he can't have sugar.
Papa and the older boys made him a bow, just like theirs.
Love Miss A's smile!

Little Miss E didn't get the two gift cards as the older girls(due to age) but got a cute stuffed dog with a necklace that said Love and on the back had her initial.  Miss E is crazy in love with dogs and she loved this.

We game the boys a drone for their present.

Hubby made me a bread board and also a cheese board that is also inlaid; I love the purple heart wood  that he used.
Papa got a new tool for his tool chest.
We also gave the girls a set of four cups that we got from Beleek Pottery in Ireland.

One of the creative projects I worked on for the girls was making greeting cards with the photos of Ireland that we took~I will post another day; I also made cards of Kauai that we took several years ago.
We gave the sil's Spotting Scopes for their hunting/target shooting as well as spotting wild life in their back yards.

Hubby and I were also spoiled so much; we are so blessed by our family! Love each one to the moon and back!
On Christmas night we had dinner at Carrie's~oh was it good!  We enjoyed just visiting and watching the kiddos play.   We knew it was snowing, just didn't know that it was blizzard like outside.
WE got ready to leave and let's just say we were both very happy to be within a ten minute drive.
The weekend was pretty relaxed, I did go to Macy's and got a new pair of snow boots for every day use.  My daily winter shoes(Merrills)were given to me 5 yrs ago, after my dear friend passed away. They fit me like a glove, but were already several years old, so it was time to upgrade.  I got a great deal and I know they'll last me many years.
I'm looking at my week and it is pretty relaxed, except for one dental appointment on Wednesday.  I think I'll take down all my decorations on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday.  Since our early years, we found that having everything put away by New Years lets us enter the New Year organized.
I hope you had a day filled with Joy and Love.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

                    From My Heart and Home to you and yours,
                           Merry Christmas.  May you experience
                           the Love that first loved us!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christmas Program

Good Morning My Friends! On Sunday our grandchildren were in a Christmas Program at their church and hubby and I always go. It is so fun and of course I love Christmas music, so got my share of singing~it made my heart sore. Our two youngest weren't involved in singing, but aren't they just so adorable!  Mr. L is now 3 and Miss E is 2; they loved being with each other.
This is Kim, our youngest daughter with her hubby. I think Mr. L has his mama's eyes.

Carrie and her hubby; have to say her hubby was in a pretty jolly mood Sunday evening and teasing all the adults.
The children of the church actually outnumber the adults. Some were serious about singing and others were not. For a little bit, Mr. L stood on stage(you can see him on the far right next to his cousin) holding his cousins hand(not singing mind you), but then raced back to his parents.
I'm thankful to have gotten this post done, because hubby and I have some serious running around to do today and I'd likely forget like yesterday.
I hope your day is filled with contentment and patience, as here in northern Colorado the traffic is simply nuts!
Joy to you!

Monday, December 21, 2015

It is last last few days before Christmas and I'm already running behind. This morning I worked on a gift project that will not be done for Christmas, but hopefully will be done for New Years. Before I knew it, my bff Kam had arrived; I was taking her out to lunch to celebrate her Christmas birthday. We had a great lunch at Pannera, my go to place when soup and a salad sound good. We ran some errands and got caught up; I've missed our hanging out together! The afternoon buzzed by and we just finished dinner when I remembered I hadn't posted today. I have a feeling tomorrow will be as busy.
I've been reminded today of five friends who are battling for their lives this Christmas-so if you believe in the power of prayer please left up those hurting this season. Cancer affects all of us, either directly or by touching loved ones.
I'll be back in the next day or so, but I wish you joy filled days!

Friday, December 18, 2015

The Beauty of Birds

Happy Friday to you! Well, you've all heard me whining about the cold temps, ice and snow-though it is beautiful! I love going for a drive with hubby, when the weather permits, when we see the fresh pristine snow with horses running or cattle looking for food. Such beauty, especially when you can stay inside. Yesterday morning I saw this flock of doves(actually it was about half the flock) sunning themselves on our pergola. I thought about a conversation we had with our friends at the ugly sweater party last weekend-the topic was movies and everyone remembered Alfred Hitchcock's movie The Birds. At the time that movie was released it was so scary and a classic thriller. When we moved to northern California, we explored the town that it was filmed in and I can still see the movie in my minds eye. Thankfully, doves don't pose a threat and I love watching them.
Later on, I was opening our drapes in our bedroom and saw lots of doves in our neighbors yard; it appeared they were eating, but I know they neighbors didn't feed them so maybe there were bugs to be had.

I can't believe that in one week we will be celebrating Christmas.  So much work that goes into the day and it will be a fun one.  We actually open presents together, as a family on Christmas Eve morning; we have a brunch and then enjoy seeing the kiddos play.  On Christmas we will have a dinner at our oldest daughters home with everyone, including her mil who is flying in from Ca.
This weekend we will have a visit with some old neighbors and go to a Christmas show that all our grands will be in at their church.  Life can't get much sweeter than this!
How about you-are you all ready for Christmas?  Will you be at home or away?
May you day be filled with joy!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Another Hit From Mr. Chewy

Last week Hunter received a special package from Mr. Chewy; the reason it was so special is that the box contained not one, but two, samples to try. The one below that he is sticking his nose in is Nutro Moist-n-Chewy Bites.
A very small size that is perfect for him and would be great for other small dogs.

You know how picky I am about products being made in the USA and Nutro is made here. Here are some of the benefits listed:Nutro Moist-N-Chewy Bites are all natural treats that tell your favorite pup you love him! Key Benefits All natural treats Rich, hickory smoked BBQ flavor Great for all life stages Made in the USA.
  Hunter loves these soft little treats! In fact, he doesn't like hard cookies so much and these are perfect as a treat for when he comes in from going out in the snow to do his duty.
I hope you are giving your fur babies some extra goodies during this season!
Many thanks to Sydney and the entire staff at Mr. Chewy, we love them!
Noreen and Hunter

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Christmas Pin Society

With Christmas upon us, it is a wonderful time to pick up a Novella and read a heartwarming story of the season.  For years, my sister, sister in love, daughters and I collected Christmas pins; this story hit home.
This little Novella is a fictional work written by Marianne Coyne.  It is the story of a lady name Emma Perrillo and her closest friends who have gathered for many years, to exchange Christmas pins.  Due to circumstances in several of the ladies lives, they group stops meeting each year, until  a desire for renewed friendship stirs them up.  The ladies reach out to a family whose young son is seriously ill and in need of a operation.  They willingly give their collection of Christmas pins to be auctioned in order to raise money for the young boy.  It is a delightful tale and a quick read.  It makes you think about unconditional love and giving, especially with Christmas upon us.
I was contacted by the author and asked to read this book; she sent it to me, via Amazon for my honest review.  I am so impressed with her writing that I will be reading more of her.  If you are looking for a wonderful story, go to Amazon and purchase it.  You will enjoy it!
Marianne also has a blog named: Leisure Lane and I'm going there right now.
Blessings to you!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

A Winter Wonderland

Happy Tuesday to you! Last night we started getting weather alerts about the storm moving in and this is what we woke up to today. It is between 8" and maybe 10" in places, maybe more.  Darling Hubby went out first thing to shovel the stairs and clear a patch of grass(haha)for Hunter. I haven't seen snow on the side of the house or windows before; it is still coming down and supposed to continue until this afternoon. I doubt we'll be going anywhere soon, maybe a movie this afternoon if the roads are better.

Hubby is out front shoveling the driveway and sidewalk; he specifically has told me after my falling on ice that he doesn't want me helping.  I'll get some salt to sprinkle on the stairs to the front door-we are expecting delivery men and don't want them falling.  Looks like it will be a good day to stay in and entertain ourselves with cards, games or maybe a Hallmark movie. Since Thanksgiving, we've been watching lots of Christmas movies and enjoy it in the evening.
Hope you have a great day!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Ugly Christmas Sweaters

Happy Monday to you friends. I hope your weekend was filled with some holiday joy and not too much stress. Hubby and I had a busy weekend, but it really celebrated the Christmas season. On Saturday morning I went to a ladies Christmas brunch at church and it was wonderful. They always have a raffle with lots and lots of gifts and this year I won a lovely winter white scarf. Saturday afternoon we had an ugly Christmas sweater party to go to at hubby's friends. When we received the invitation, the first thought was to go to the Ugly Christmas Sweater store and buy one, but in the end we decided to stop at the Goodwill store and hubby immediately found this hospital scrub and we bought it along with this little red sweater for me.  I am not the type to wear an ugly sweater, but figured if I adorned it with all my Christmas pins, collected over the years, that it would work.  Hubby determined to really do a number on his-so we added stockings, ornaments and garland.  His friends couldn't believe it.
Yesterday we hosted a Bronco party with about 8 friends that hubby works with and of course their wives.  I got to visit with one gal I hadn't met before who is also a quilter and that was really fun.
The game was a big disappointment for us, but there is always next week.  Since the Raiders have lost to us the last eight games, I guess it was o.k. that they won.  Not sure what was going on with our team or our receivers who just couldn't catch the ball.  We had pizza, lots of munchies and enjoyed it.
Today I will have two granddaughters over for sewing and the rest of the day is open.  Tomorrow I have two more grands over for sewing and then at the end of the week I'm taking two friends out to lunch(separately)for their birthdays.  Should be a great week.  We've also been watching a lot of Hallmark Christmas movies, now that our regular shows are coming to an end.
I hope you have a great day and are enjoying your area-whether it's warm or cold.
Joy to you!

Friday, December 11, 2015

The Midwife's Choice by Delia Parr Review

I read a great book this week and want to share it with you.  I know during this season, many don't have the time to read, but I always read before turning out the lights at night.  I haven't read any books by Delia Parr before and was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed her writing.  Sometimes, when I pick up a book written by an author I've never heard of, I'm just not sure about it.
Here is a synopsis by the publisher:

Come Home to Friendship, Family, and Faith in the Town of Trinity
In a time when the traditional ways of medicine are constantly being questioned by new doctors fresh from medical school, midwife Martha Cade tries to balance her life's calling with the demands of her family. Recently reunited with her estranged seventeen-year-old daughter, Martha finds herself torn between guiding her child and allowing her to be an adult. At the same time, she must decide whether she'll risk reopening the heart she'd long closed off to love. 

Though a small town, Trinity, Pennsylvania, is fraught with secrets, and as a midwife, Martha moves among its people. She knows which homes are filled with light and love, which families have slipped into grief, which wives are unhappy, and which husbands dare to cross lines...As Martha struggles with the conflicts of being a mother, a midwife, and a woman, she learns the greatest lessons of all--that hope can shine even in the darkest hours, and that faith has a way of making the impossible possible."
The story line was intriguing to me because one of my dearest, closest, best friends(from high school to now)was a midwife for longer than I can remember.  I know firsthand the sacrifices that these women make to help others.  I felt that Delia's story reflected this and more; I had never thought about midwifes seeing abuse up close.  As a young mom, I attended a grade school reunion with just woman and birthing became a topic; I was amazed to find out that one of the girls in my class mother had all her children at home-I never had a clue, but then I wasn't close friends with her either.  I would rate this book at five stars(out of five) because it was fast and easy yet kept me wondering what would happen next. I will definitely be getting her other book.
I want to thank Bethany House, a division of Baker Publisher, for providing me with this book.  I received it without any compensation for my honest review.  
Have a fantastic weekend!  Noreen

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Christmas At My House

Happy Thursday to you. It's a day to be thankful for all the blessings in our lives, even amidst the chaos of preparations. I realized last night that I hadn't shared our Christmas Vignettes yet, so wanted to show how I changed things up a bit. Firstly, I'm not sure what I put on the mantel last year(have no pics of it), so decided to place our Manger front and center. I really like it in this place!
Next we put my small village on the top of a cabinet. I think it looks cute here; I had planned to give it away but hubby changed my mind.
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree how lovely are they branches.
My Santa vingnette with all sorts of toy ornaments.
Our dining room table with my dough bowl adorned for a festive dinner.
My vingette of the angels worshipping the baby Jesus. I love the kneeling angel,small kneeling Santa, the candle, the tall glass Angel was a gift from my sister the Christmas before she passed and the little book that says Wise Men Still Seek Him all hold special places in my heart.
This Dickens Village was a gift, over the course of many years, from my Mother-in-law. Also there is one special "Quilt Shop" that my Best Quilting friend gave me for Christmas-to remind me of our many hours spent quilting together.
The gathering of Snowman and couples in our kitchen-just love these. As I've said before, most of my ornaments are 20-40 yrs old.
Last but not least, in fact, he is most dearly loved in our house-Hunter. He is patiently waiting for me to feed him his breakfast. For some reason, Bichons love to sit on the tops of couches, maybe it's a better view.

Hubby and I are running lots of errands today, getting a special present in the mail and I'll be working in the sewing room I'm sure.
I hope your day is filled with joy!
Noreen and Hunter

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Happy Wednesday to you!  I hope your week has been productive and pleasant, which would say a lot for all the craziness at this time of year.  Yesterday afternoon I had four granddaughters here for several hours, we played games while their mama was running errands.  I don't know why, but I was so tired by the evening.  Today will be a fun day as three friends, two of whom live across the street and I are going to PF Changs for lunch; I'm especially excited because they have gluten free items.  May restaurants say they are gluten free, but with Chinese food people often don't realize that Soy Sauce has gluten in it.  I also have to get some things in the mail today and then hope to hit the sewing room to work on a project that the girls are going to make. I want to make a sample first, just to know how it will come together.  Tomorrow I hope to get one of the oldest two grands over to sew.
Doesn't Hunter just look adorable here?!  He's wishing you all a Merry Christmas.
Have a blessed day!
Noreen and Hunter

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Sojos Freeze-Dried Treats From Mr. Chewy

Good morning! While it was sunny but very crisp and cold yesterday, today is so windy with a temp of 51 degrees. Hunter and I had plans to walk this morning, but with the high winds we will wait until later. Another great treat arrived for Hunter and he loves it. It is made by sojos and is a wonderful small treat that can be used in his food or fed as a treat. sojos Dog Treats, simplybeef is 100% raw freeze-dried meat.

Hunter loves these treats and I'm adding them into his kibble; being the finicky eater he is, he is only eating the additions to his kibble and will eat the kibble if he gets really hungry.

Product Description

These mouth-watering morsels are the perfect training treat for dogs of all sizes. Dogs love meat. And that’s just what they get with Sojos Simply Meat Treats. It’s the real, raw meat your dog craves. And for you, it’s all the more delicious knowing that every morsel is gently freeze-dried, under Sojos' own roof, to lock in the natural enzymes, vitamins and minerals.
Key Benefits
  • Made from 100% raw freeze-dried beef
  • Perfect for training & rewarding
  • Made with natural, human-quality ingredients
  • No artificial preservatives
  • No artificial flavors or colors
  • Made in the USA

We love that these are manufactured here in the states. We've used solos before and are always impressed with the quality.  Hunter and I give them 10 stars and Mr. Chewy and staff 20 stars.

Noreen and Hunter