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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year


















It's the most wonderful time of the year! Here are a few pictures of our home all decked out for Christmas. We are busy with last minute shopping, baking, and getting the "Shack" ready for the Christmas Eve celebration. With all the hustle and bustle, it is nice to take some time and walk through my quiet home as everyone sleeps and give thanks to my God for all of the incredible blessings in my life. I am humbled, as I don't deserve any of them. That is proof of how much He loves me. He loves you just as much! What an awesome God we serve, to have given his only begotten Son for us. May you all enjoy a joyous Christmas and a blessed New Year.


Monday, September 20, 2010

It's Fall Y'all! (at least in MY living room)

Finally! Time to get out my favorite decorations. I just love to transform the house for the entire Autumn season. Here is our mantle. The pumpkins are carved wooden ones that I found at Hobby Lobby a few years ago. I just love them! They have metal leaves and curly vine attached.


Here they are close up. I think they look wonderful with the leaves, sunflowers and sticks. I even like my mantle clock more this time of year!
This is a watercolor by Lee Ricks of south Texas. I inherited this painting from my grandmother - an artist herself - who collected some of Ricks' work. I decided that it should be displayed on the hearth at this time of year with a couple of bronze satin stuffed pumpkins. I just love the light in the painting. AND of course, the fact that it's painted during Fall.

And the entry chest. This is so much fun to change each season. It is the first thing guests pass by when they come to our home. The little lamp is a Dollar General find believe it or not! I didn't have to do a thing to it. The chest was free! I caught a guy at the end of the day packing up his garage sale. When I asked the price of the chest he said, "free, just take it." So I did! It has been black, in my boys' room, white at the old house, and now crackled and sanded.

The Fall decorating is done, but I'm just getting started blogging. These few items are in the entry and living room. Maybe next I'll take you to the dining room. My intention is to make the house warm, cozy, and inspirational for my family to enjoy during the season. I thank God for my wonderful family and I thank Him for this special season that highlights family togetherness.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Back to School

As many of you know, I am an art teacher at a local junior high school. So....it's that time again....Back to School! I have neglected my blogging for the months of July and August obviously. Oh, there is plenty to say, but I don't really like to blog without pictures. This is the first time I've EVER blogged without a photo. You see, I've been extremely busy getting my girlies ready for school. One is in 3rd grade and the other is a junior in high school. After all the clothes and supply shopping, closet clean-outs, and organizing, it was time to get my 'room' ready at school. (Not an easy chore! I have an old wood shop, which is enormous!) With that all done now, and the first week of school behind me, my home is a mess! The flowers have started to fade, laundry has piled up and the house is not as tidy as I like it, to say the least! Believe me, I've been one of 'those' bloggers...you know the kind...the ones that attempt to create a perfect world in their blogs. Not that there's anything wrong with trying, and I'm sure some of them succeed. It's just that at this point in my life, I am okay with the FACT that my house is not always in perfect order, my kids are not always angels, there is not always something yummy and homemade on the dinner table, and my refrigerator definitely needs to be cleaned out!
So there it is...the ugly truth! I'll spend this Saturday trying to clean up a week's worth of coming and going, stopping and dropping, shoving and stashing! But at least I can look forward to two parties this evening! My grandon's 5th and then a barbecue. Happy times!
Oh, don't get me wrong. I'm far from giving up! The peace and happiness I get from keeping the house in order is so worth the struggle. The past few weeks just got me a little side-tracked. I know the Lord wants me to keep my home as a haven for my family, and that is what I strive to do. We will all get used to our new routine as we always do, and soon.....that first bit of cool Fall air will breeze in and there will be no stopping me!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Happy Anniversary!

This month, my sweet husband and I celebrated our anniversary. Our wedding was in 1986 and if I hadn't worn a hat you definitely would have noticed some big '80's hair! It was a small wedding in my church which was only a block away from home. Here we are in our "ivory" and the bridesmaids wore peach. It was just a peaches and cream wedding!
The whole wedding was a family affair, except for the flowers of course. They were fresh flowers all done up by Estelle's Flower Shop. My mother made the gorgeous cake, we filled the rice bundles ourselves (now it has to be birdseed!) A sweet old lady in town made the bridesmaids dresses out of what I thought then was the most beautiful fabric I'd ever seen! My dress, however was purchased, along with my hat. I still have the receipt! $175.00 for the whole thing! These days girls are spending thousands on their dresses! I think my cream colored Gloria Vanderbilt pumps cost half as much as the dress and hat! It didn't matter to me. I just wanted to marry my sweetheart! A big, expensive wedding was never our taste anyway.
Our only regret is that the photographer took soooooo long after the wedding that we didn't really get time to "visit" with anyone! Our sweet grandparents had traveled some distance to be there! If we had it all to do over again, the photography is the one thing we would change, but back then I was a stickler for tradition and wasn't about to let my groom see me before the wedding! He was almost late that day, but nobody let me in on it! No matter. He made it and we are still just as in love as we were on that day. Probably more so!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thankful for the Rain!

What a treat to have it rain every day while you are away! We went on vacation and our plants did not suffer! (They wouldn't have anyway, our sweet neighbors were checking them everyday for us.) But thank God for the rain! Everything looks so lush. And we live in the desert!
As for gardening, I consider myself an amateur, but it's in my blood! I remember my great-grandmother's front porch, flower bed and vegetable garden, and HER out in a long-brimmed bonnet working everyday! I remember the giant kalanchoes my grandparents always grew in their "den-den." And I'll NEVER forget my grandmother's itchy fig tree! I had to get up early every morning in the summer and take my red, Gandy's plastic ice cream bucket out and pick figs. As a teenager, I really resented that fig tree, but now....I'm trying to figure out where I can squeeze one in on our property!
The patio is nice this time of year! It is a place to have quiet time in the early morning, listening to the sounds of the fountain and the birds. It is a place to relax and watch the kids play. It is a place to visit with family and friends on into the evening, provided the mosquitos don't start chomping on us!

This is one of my favorite spots at home. The patio! The fence is covered in trumpet vine this time of year. It's really a treat for me to watch the hummingbirds and butterflies flock to these gorgeous flowers!
This one is a little blurry. The breeze couldn't stop for just a second! But you can still appreciate the orange and coral-pink color of these hardy flowers.


I get to walk by that wall of flowers on my way to the Potting Shed.

Here is a shot of one of our Lily of the Nile blossoms just beginning to open. It found a home around our fountain. The sound of the water is so nice any time of day!


Now this is just too darned cute, but I can't remember the actual name of it! I bought them at Walmart and I think they were called Summer Snapdragons, but I can't be sure and that's not like me because I can always remember flower names (unlike medicine names!)


Portulaca, or Moss Rose as I've heard it called. This is in a basket on the back porch.


Isn't the Bacopa cute right now? I came home from vacation and found it full of blossoms, thanks to that nearly 5 inches of rain that fell while we were gone!


And this is my new favorite! A variegated verbena. It reminds me of candy canes in the summertime.......or those cute little "pink ladies" at the hospital! I just love it! I want it every year!
I have it potted with spider plant and another pink petunia-like flower that I can't remember the name of. Shame on me!

I am linking up with Tootsie @ Tootsie Time http://www.tootsietime.com/ for "Flaunt your Flowers, Fertilizer Friday."

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Table Top Tuesday

Today is Table Top Tuesday, a party hosted by Marty @ A Stroll Thru Life. I have been following this party for only a short time, but I decided to go ahead and join in. My entry today is not a "before and after" tablescape or vignette. Instead I decided to show you various "tops" from around my home. After all, I AM trying to catch up with all of the other wonderful bloggers who like to decorate as much as I do! And, since table tops and vignettes are two of my most favorite creative outlets, this is definitely the party for me!



Here is the vignette on "top" of our dining table.




Here is the "top" of my mantle.




..a few vintage linens and a flea market picnic basket on "top" of an old chair in my kitchen.




The "top" of the my laundry room cabinet.



And finally, the "top" of an old chest in my entry.




Be sure to go over to A Stroll Thru Life and enjoy all the other entries for Table Top Tuesday!
http://astrollthrulife.blogspot.com/

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Office Redo

I LOVE decorating! It is my passion. When I do this type of work it feels like play, even though it is physically exhausting sometimes! Here are some "before" and "after" pictures:



South wall, before. I had to work around the cherry hutch as it needed to stay put. So, there was a balance challenge!


South wall, after. The dark color and heavy shelves help to balance out the hutch pretty nicely. It is a custom mixed color. On the Kelly Moore charts it is called "Old Brick" but I had it mixed in a Martha Stewart base. This color really brought the two different woods together.



West wall, before.


West wall, after. I did a ragging/aging technique using Martha Stewart's "Pear Cider"....great color!


Northwest corner, before.

Northwest corner, after. (The boxes on the floor are gone now!)


East wall, after.
My client was really pleased! Everyone in the building seemed to enjoy the transformation as well. I know I did! I think I could work in this space. I like the warm glow the colors created.
Sometimes I wonder...is decorating really all that necessary? It seems kind of frivolous to some. I mean, couldn't we get our work done and live just as well in plain, functional, unadorned rooms? I'm sure we could, but then I think about God's sunrises and sunsets. If He chooses to begin and end a day with glorious, sometimes dramatic colors, then why shouldn't we surround ourselves with them during our work, play, and everyday life. I also think about His perfect order. How every living thing has a place and a purpose. He chose to create our planet with perfect order and beauty. That must then be a model for our homes, offices, churches, schools and public places. Everyone feels better when surrounded by beauty. We all function better when there is "a place for every thing and every thing in its place." So there's my answer. YES! Decorating IS necessary!


Monday, June 28, 2010

Norman Wyatt Artwork for the Kitchen

I couldn't resist these Norman Wyatt plaques at Target. They found a new home up above my kitchen cabinets today! I just love the distressed look on each one. (Oops. I see that I need to go back up on the ladder and tuck the light cord in a little better!)
Blueberry Muffin Mix.....probably my favorite one.


Pancakes....

And, Biscuits and Cornbread....isn't that the Southern version of the four food groups? Well, maybe not since Butter is its own group! (Love you Paula Deen.)
Sometimes when you're out shopping for needful things, there are some items that just jump out and beg to go home with you! How could I say no?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Missing the Bluebonnets?





Well, they're gone now, but they were in my flowerbed! Normally you'd have to travel east or south of our part of Texas to see these beauties. This year, however, my favorite greenhouse sold them. I brought the young things home, planted them and crossed my fingers for blossoms. They DID bloom; perfectly partenered with periwinkle pansies, purple violas and yellow daisies. So, if you're missing the bluebonnets east or south of here, enjoy the photos. Bluebonnets reseed themselves, so I can't wait 'til next year to watch them come up in Spring!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Blessed

Here are four of my most precious blessings in life: Tyler, Trevor, Natalie and Callie. I am so proud of them! They are each so unique. It is amazing to me that these four 'people' came to the earth through me (Their dad had a little to do with it too!) My children are each beautiful, intelligent, interesting, funny, charming, and talented in their own way. I cannot imagine what I did to deserve any of them! I don't think I will ever deserve them, actually! When I am having trouble with kids at school I stop and think about my own children. What an incredible blessing it is to have Good Kids! I thank God for giving each one to me. I thank Him for an incredible husband who is a fabulous father and friend to each of one of our children. When I look at this picture, I am just in awe of these four fabulous blessings. I am thankful for the blessings they are to their grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. (Tyler is also a blessing to his sweet wife and two precious babies.) I just love this picture of my four babies. It blesses me, humbles me and makes my heart smile.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Easter Tablescape

Finally a Spring table! It was fun to set it with my Aunt Paula's antique china, which I cherish. I enjoyed getting the Easter "stuff" out too. The pastel colors are so refreshing after a long winter. I can't believe Easter is already this Sunday! What a special time for us all to think about Christ's sacrifice for us and his glorious resurrection. Also, a time for us Striblings to think of renewal, rebirth, and for rejoicing in Daddy Corky's new life in Heaven because of Christ's sacrifice. May you all enjoy many blessing with your families and in your faith this Easter. Don't forget to count your blessings! (Is that really possible?)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Time for Healing in the Shack

Family, friends, food and fond memories are such an important part of the healing process. We all lost Daddy Corky, but we have each other for comfort and strength. All of us got together in The Shack: a place Daddy Corky loved. What a beautiful gathering in his honor! We talked, looked at photo albums, told funny stories, and ate of course. Through all of this, my thoughts kept going back to one idea. The human heart is truly amazing, thanks to God's perfect plan. Even though our hearts are breaking due to the loss of a loved one, we are able to simultaneously feel happiness and peace in the presence of our family and friends. That is amazing to me and I am truly thankful for my family's sake. I think the smiling faces you see in this slideshow are a perfect tribute to the kind, sweet, loving man Daddy Corky was and will always be in our memories. He was a gift from God.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Missing Daddy Corky

What a beautiful man and a beautiful life! We will all miss him. I couldn't have asked for a better father-in-law. He was a sweet, proud grandfather for our children, and a beloved uncle for all the cousins. Everyone called him "Daddy Corky," even my husband's friends and our kids' friends! I only hope he knew how much we all loved and appreciated him! Even though he is with God now, he will be in our hearts forever. (I'm pretty sure he and God are going to enjoy each other!)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

"Not Quite Spring" Tablescape

I thought I'd share my tablescape with you before I change it! Setting the table (even if we're not eating at it) is one of my favorite things to do. My family seems to enjoy it as well. I just love looking at all the tablescapes on "Tablescape Thursday." Maybe someday I'll get involved in that. Right now, I just enjoy setting the dining table with different dishes and accessories. Of course, we either eat in the kitchen or the shack, so the setting doesn't get moved.

I am a sucker for dishes! I decided to use my red and white French dishes with a few pieces of red transferware and cream, which I love! The linens and dishes I found at Tuesday Morning. Glasses too. The other stuff probably came from WalMart!!

This tablescape could have been much more complicated and layered, but I kept it simple for now. It seems to reflect my mood during the months of January and February: kind of quiet and reflective. The Holidays are over, Winter isn't, and I'm just waiting for Spring!! So, I'll be changing this tablescape for Spring any day now. (I'm rushing it, I know!)