Beauty

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A Simple Garnish

Whether your friend is coming by for coffee and cookies or you would like to remind your family how important they are to you; here is a simple garnish. 

Here I used a pear cookie cutter I have.

Here I used a pear cookie cutter I have.

 With July 4th just around the corner you could easily use a star cookie cutter for your party, as well.  I have multiple sizes of star cookie cutters so two different sizes would be a fun garnish on the plates.  If you don’t plan to set the table throw some watermelon stars on several of your food serving platters.

Simply slice a piece of watermelon to the degree of thickness you like and add a sprig of an herb from your garden.  I used parsley for this one.

Simply slice a piece of watermelon to the degree of thickness you like and add an herb sprig from your garden. I used parsley for this one but basil or rosemary would be pretty too.

I really do love garnishing and with just a tiny bit of time, you can do it too with very little fore thought.

Cheers to a great weekend!

Dawn

Success! First for both flowers

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I have always wanted to play around with rooting my own flowers from a leaf cutting.  Last summer, I snipped a couple of clippings from my sisters gorgeous, old fashioned hydrangea and Viola this summer I have such gorgeous big flowers from one of the clippings!  Granted not all of them made it but I am so happy with the one!

IMG_2398 IMG_2395This is what I did.  At an angle, I  clipped a stock of hearty stem with several leaves on it and dipped it into a rooting hormone.  You should be able to buy this or a similar product at your local Lowe’s, Home Depot or garden center.   Dug a little hole in the ground and stuck it in.  Tucked dirt all around it and watered it occasionally. I would advise you that you find a somewhat relatively shady area if you are going to try to root things in the heat of the summer. You can always transplant later.

And then the other success this spring, last fall are these gorgeous stalks of larkspur. IMG_2531I have tried for years to get a crop going to of no avail. I am sure I have bought nearly 15 packets of seeds.  I would scatter in the fall and hope upon hope that they would come up.  Last fall I planted these pink seeds and this year they are in full bloom!!!  I am so excited. I also randomly planted some more lark spur  seeds this spring and had a bit more  success. I have lavenders, purples and whites just starting to bloom. I am so excited about this as well!!!  If you plant them in a good place they are supposed to re-seed themselves year after year.   IMG_2561So even though they are not a perennial , if the soil below it is fertile and loose the seeds will drop and next summer you will have another crop of these gorgeous spikes!!

For now we are all enjoying this little bit of summer in our home!

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Ramblies from my Path of Life

Life for me has been kind of random as of late.   Mentally and physically preparing for the birth of my 4th baby, which should arrive in 4 weeks. I am preparing room in my for heart for this little baby that just kicks and kicks and I can’t wait to hold that slimly little baby close to me.

Mother's Day 2014

Birthday weekend

I turned 40 last week.  We partied, thanks to my hubbs, mom and sister who were scheming behind my back.  My mom and sister prepared such a delightful brunch for the guests my husband carefully thought thru to invite; some really good girl friends and some older woman who have spoken into my life. I was so humbled by their presence and kind words!  They offered me life!

A gathering of Friends

A gathering of Friends

My mother and sister with me at the celebration

My mother, sister and I  at the celebration

The green beans are up and the 50 tomato plants look great.  This is all thanks to some dear folks from church who found out we were not going to do a garden this year and asked if they could share  our garden space.  Why “Yes please, we would be happy to share our garden plot and the work load.”  I am so thrilled about this opportunity.  It’s just a small way I am seeing Jesus care for us!

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I need these babies, last year I froze 55 qt bags and I have 2 left.

My deck which was barren and simple was transformed when my mother and sister showed up with presents to make it a lovely, oasis. They strung lights and what not.  A place where I want to go have my quiet time at.  My husband bought me a beautiful bistro table complete with red pillows and  umbrella.  We love to sit out there and enjoy the quiet and I have been fortunate to have a few friends over to sip coffee with me, it’s  just a respite from the daily

hold rums of living!

IMG_2388 All 100 blueberry and 45 black raspberry plants are in.  My hubbs, boys and I did it one day.  I hurt for days after wards and felt like I could sleep for a whole week post berry bush planting.  But they are in and we hope to produce a lot of healthy small berries out of that patch for years to come.

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CJ just happy to mix the peat moss, water and dirt!

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I have been crafting a bit, rare occurrence these days.  I forgot how wonderful a hot glue gun smells.  I used to use mine all the time, when free time was more plentiful.  Just that smell takes me back, it’s a smell of days gone by.  It was all so odd how it took me back.  Last week I also  finally took down a few remnants of Christmas, (red berries that were still pretty and Christmas cookie jars) whew was I ever behind this year!!!

IMG_2378Fire fly’s and little boys are such a wonder to me.  My boys loose all track of time when they set there hearts on catching fire fly’s.  They remind me to linger just a bit longer.  The other night, in the rain they are climbing on rails with nets and what not because they wanted to capture the firefly on the window all the while they had already been given orders to get there jammies on.  They really were not being defiant, they were just lost in the wonder of light.  When I stop and look at the world through their eyes, it causes me to want to slow down just a bit more!

Our special company!

Our special company!

We happened upon a local, reasonably priced U-Pick strawberry patch this summer and have picked well over 100 lbs of strawberries.  Let’ s just say my husband has passed his love of straws onto his boys!!

Angel food cake, whipped cream and fresh straws! Yummo!

Angel food cake, whipped cream and fresh straws! Yummo!

I am using lots of paper plates these days.  I have given myself permission.  Sometimes it’s in the giving of permission that you realize it really is ok.  That I am not lazy, but it is a coping mechanism to survival.  I want to live life well and not feel like I am constantly in a squeeze.  So part of that is using paper as I finish out this 3rd trimester pregnancy, and work on  umpteen freezer meals (will share a post in a week or 2 about freezer meals) for when baby #4, and homeschooler #1 need my attention and all of us need to eat!

I still dream about business, it’s amazing to me how it side wipes me every now and again.  I love it that ‘HOPE’ is kept alive by these little side swipes.  The Lord keeps bringing people into my life to remind that HE really did place that dream in my heart.  I will run into old customers, job opportunities (even though I am not willing to lay down these moments with my babies for those opportunities) and people who want to pick our brains and draw from our experience.  It all just happens in the oddest of places but out of that HOPE  is kept alive in my soul.  I wonder if there will ever be a ‘release’ in my heart to do another business or what it will look like? I have many dreams and many more questions but for now, we will plant 30-50 each of peonies and hydrangeas and see what kind of LIFE they will bring to us and just maybe a business opportunity?   Peonies have got to be the prettiest flowers there are.  This lovely bouquet came from my friend Sarah.  They have come and gone but I still wanted to share their beauty.

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And finally, as I prepare for baby #4, I am amazed at the growth in my soul. I remember being so overwhelmed about ‘all the stuff’ that was not getting done when I had  baby #1.   I have learned to let go of things that really weren’t quite as important as I deemed them to be.  Not that they didn’t have value in our home but I think that as I am preparing my heart for baby #4 and I see all the things that may not get done;  like my kitchen floor not getting swept every day or the house not perfectly picked up or a blog post that is 4 weeks past due, I realize that there is more of a settled peace in my heart today then there was 6 years ago when I was adjusting to baby #1.  Jesus is inviting me to press in, to walk this path with a new sense of rest.  I would never have thought this possible but I am learning that this life, our journey is not so much about our circumstances but it is about pressing in and embracing what may seem to be  schedule irritations.   I am finding this quote so amazingly true!!   “The More You Love Your Decisions, the Less You Need Others to Love Them.”

Whatever the hard is that your wanting to run from or fighting to press into, I trust that you can find the place deep in your soul to accept what you need to and  walk your journey with ‘grace!’

BLESSINGS!

Dawn

Spring Color for your Kiddo’s to Explore

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Whether your a mom, a grandmother, an aunt or simply a woman who loves little children you might be interested in this little spring  project to do with those sweet ‘littles’ in your sphere of influence.

We did this last spring and the boys loved it.  I took empty crepe egg cartons and painted a variety of colors in them.  The boys assignments were to go find something in the yard that matched the color in the egg carton.  It was so fun and I was amazed at how many bright, rich hues were actually growing in our backyard!  Why would I be surprised? Our God is such an amazing artist!

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I loved the creativity of the boys because while they had some similar color options they both chose different items to put in there trays.

It is a simple project but a great way to get them outdoors to explore in a different kind of way!

IMG_6772Camden took it to another level and though he could not write at this point he got his little red book out and was jotting notes down about his discoveries!

IMG_6773CJ on the other hand was just monkeying around climbing trees!

IMG_6791I kept these egg cartons and it will be fun to see what they come up with this year when they go out to explore.  We can’t wait to get home and see what spring in Virginia looks like, we will be home soon.  We are currently on a 4 week Choice Books assignment in Texas. Spring here has been so gorgeous.  Everything is green, the bluebonnets are beautiful and the spring sun has warmed more then my skin.  It has awakened something in my soul.

  Being in Texas has been such a great opportunity for our family.  I have been able to catch up on some reading, some journalling, and Merv and I have been spending extra time just playing with the kids and doing things with the kids  that we don’t always take the time to do.

CHEERS!

Dawn