Quiet and common notions...shared here...with you! Of life ~ our hearts and our home.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Mugs & Muffins :: The Invitation is Open! Well... maybe not. Please, keep reading!

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Hello, dear friends!  Good afternoon...
Just want you to know, I'm coming off a very busy and fun-filled weekend.  My brother, Justin, and his girl were married yesterday afternoon. ((yeah!!!)) And - there is still much to savor in the beauty and memories of the day!  Perhaps more, on that another time... because today, we've got other business to attend to!
***
A couple of weeks ago, now - I mentioned about wanting to host an off-line Mugs & Muffins event. (Please read, about it, HERE!)  Meaning, while I still plan to do the occasional "on-line" version of Mugs & Muffins -  I would like to also host an occasional "real life" event, in which I personally would like to invite - you!  


Here is the part where you need to keep reading... (sigh)!

So... I made this little video,
however, I chickened out - in regards to actually using the video and just typed the original invitation out, instead.

Well... today, I pulled the video back out and yes! this is me...
My first ever video (of myself) on this blog.
Cheers!  Lol!  (I'm sort of embarrassed by it - but oh well.. it is what it is.)

Take a listen and get all excited...oh, and you can laugh at me - if you need to...  because I sure had a good ole chuckle at me-self!  :)  If you must know... I strongly dislike photos of me... let alone... videos.  Anyway...
Here you go!

video

So.  That was that. And, here is is where it all falls apart... maybe!
***
As serious as I am about this happening and my desire, is still the same, to do this someday.. I have to tell you - that there has been some further discussion and... well... my hubby isn't 100% on board about this idea.

So. out of love and respect for him I have decided that I want to graciously back out of this plan that I have originally put forth.
I am both sad and disappointed - but, it has been solely my decision to do so.  Truthfully, I'm a bit relieved, it's not happening... due to the fact that there was only  98.999% peace about this idea in my heart.  I could never quite settle the exact time frame this could effectively happen - due to our own personal family's schedule, nor did I feel that I had the adequate space and room to accommodate both ladies and littles with its probability  ... especially, if there were to be multiple of both.  See?  I wrestled with my original suggestion of having to turn people away... I didn't like that.

Now, that I'm rambling... I trust you'll forgive me!  Especially, if you were counting on this.

And... know!
This is not to say that I still won't have an open heart and door, for friendship and fellowship.
Just perhaps not as formal persay.. right now!

Thank you, kindly - for your patience and for your understanding.  I greatly, greatly appreciate it.

For any and all consolation... two things!
We can't have a Mugs & Muffins without this.
How about some "muffins" and a GIVEAWAY?  Yes?!?!?!!

First!!  We'll pass the proverbial plate of these Cranberry White Chocolate Scones around.  It's what I have on hand. :)  Delicious - warm, right out of the oven, paired with your favorite mug (beverage) of choice!
The recipe will follow, here, in a moment.


And, secondly!  Just because!!
I ask you now...

 How about you take a leisurely stroll through my Etsy Shop, then come back here and leave a comment**, of what your favorite item is.  I'll be honest, there is not a lot to choose from - but a few items...handmade by myself.
The winner will be selected at random for ONE single item of their choice - out of the shop!
I am not responsible if an item is sold out from under your nose - during the giveaway!!

This giveaway will close on Friday, May 1st - at 12 noon, EST.  and the winner will be announced thereafter.

** part of your comment - should include this answer (partly to satisfy my curiosity)... This Choice; is this for yourself or do you choose to give this away to someone else!  No right or wrong answers, here, just curious. ;)

This is for US and Canadian residents only.  Best of everything to you!!

Here is the recipe, for the scones! 

2 c. flour
1/4 c. sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 c. cold butter
1/2 c. dried cranberries
1/2 c. white chocolate chips
1 c. whipping cream
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Cut in butter until crumbly.  Add cranberries and chocolate chips.  With a fork, rapidly stir in whipping cream, just until moistened.  Turn onto a floured surface and knead 5-6 times.  Roll into 9" circle and cut into 10 wedges.  Place on greased baking sheet and brush with milk.  Sprinkle with sugar.  Bake at 400* for 12-15 minutes 
***
Enjoy and have a great week!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Five Minute Friday :: hide

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Grateful and excited, today, to share with this great group of writers from Five Minute Friday, who take on just five minutes of time and write all together on a one-word prompt:  Today's prompt is: hide.
Thanks for sticking around to read this today!

Ever wonder why a turtle carries his house around on his back?  
I don't know about you but I kinda like it.  I think it's great!
In fact, I joke - when I say - If I could be anything other than human I'd be turtle.

When a turtle feels threatened; tired; needs shelter, he'll pull all up inside and hide.
The knocks of life can come as hard as they want and Mr. Turtle is safe and sound.

Now this is a normal aptitude for any turtle to take.  Lucky for him.. we say!

And while this may be okay and normal for a turtle to do - we would say that for a human to always "hide" from others, by holing up inside their house; reclusive and unsociable, etc. upon every time there is difficulty in his life...that fight or flight thing... or hide... would be a bit unusual.  Unfortunately, this is probably the norm for more folks than we realize and if I'm completely honest... I know I could just as easily fall into this preference.  Hence, why I have taken on a quiet rapport with turtles. lol! Just suck it all in and up and hide.  Ignore them - maybe they'll go away!!

However.  There is great comfort in knowing we have a perfect reason to reevalute this.
This word hide.
In fact, we've been given an invitation to fully understand this word hide as a form of grace.
In more times than not.. we will need to "hide".
We have Someone who is our shelter -in time of storm!

HE IS:
A Protector.
A Provision.
A Place.
A Person... Jesus Christ!

A protector who's got our back!
Provision - because He's our all in all.
A place wherein to dwell.
A person to fully rely on and completely trust in.

I want to HIDE here..in HIM!!
Turtles do this hiding thing on their own admission but we get to do this because Christ lives within us and we in Him!  And it is truly His grace that keeps us - alive and well!
He invites us to "stay home" and hide.

***



** The two photos: permission was requested.  They are from my cousin's blog - Nature Posts - which is such a wonderful and informative blog -concerning all things our Creator has made.  Great site for Homeschooling families to glean from and use.  Check it out!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Tending the garden of our heart and mind..

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Recently, I was the winner-recipient of this book in a blogging friend's giveaway!


How thrilled I was to be the winner - in the first place... but, even more so, what a thrill this book has been to read, albeit to say, its been an encouraging, and easy-to-read, uplift to my soul!  I'm still not finished with the book..with several more chapters to go and some I should probably re-read. :)

I mentioned uplifting and encouraging...especially, the chapter I'm in right now.  This chapter, ironically enough, and one I read last evening, is along the same vein to what I've been posting here on my blog the past couple of times I've posted.  Talking about the thoughts we think and how we tend to them...

How about a quote to get us started.
Surprising things can happen to anyone who, when a disagreeable or discouraged thought come into his mind, just has the sense to remember in time to push it out by putting in an agreeable determinedly courageous one.  Two things cannot be in one place.  Where you tend a rose, my lad, a thistle cannot grow.  
~ Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

Ooh, this quote, it gets me!  Where you tend a rose, a thistle cannot grow.  Can I just share a glimpse into this chapter?  It may seem like a lengthy excerpt. but, it's oh so good!
I mean it! I put the book down, last evening, and exhaled a hearty AMEN! Turned out the light and rolled over willing it all to settle in deep.  My hubby who was already asleep -or, so I thought - murmured something about it must have been a good chapter. Yup!  he was right.

I want these words to be such a "part of me".


Here we go... reading a portion from chapter 13 of Nourished, by Becky Johnson and Rachel Randolph

Wise delightful people have beautifully tended minds.  They purposefully cultivate a rich, wise thought life through reading, prayer, good mentoring, music and more ~~ focusing their attention wherever they want to grow...

When we selectively choose thoughts that nourish us ("God is in control," "I can trust HIM to sort this out," "He and I can get through this"), we reap the emotions of peace and joy.  When we are picky about the people we allow into our circle of influence, the music and movies and books we enjoy, the spaces and places we hang out, we are designing the mind garden that will not only nourish ourselves but those around us.
No amount of hard work or success, however, will provide us with a meaningful, joyful and interesting life if allow the weeds in our minds to grow wild; fruitlessly ruminating on past offenses or future concerns; fixating on a person who offended us and creating elaborate speeches of "How They Done Us Wrong"; or putting our joy on hold for some imagined perfect circumstance.

Thoughts can sometimes be deceptive.  They make us feel good for awhile, even righteous and spiritual.  But how do you know if a certain train of thought is a weed or a flower?  Here's my (the author) experience: when my mind settles "on things above" ~~ I tend to feel more relaxed, expansive, loving, peaceful, and clearheaded.  If, instead, after a bit of mental meandering, I feel angry, stressed, tied in knots, worried or afraid ~~ I know my thoughts are likely wild weeds.  It's always easiest to stop a negative thought at the threshold of entry so I've learned to simply say to myself, "Not going there." or "Not planting that."  Pausing the negative string of thoughts helps me to refocus and redirect.

The author goes on to share a bit about her own father...
Listen to this.

My father is one of the kindest, wisest, happiest, most balanced, and Christ-like men I know.  Perhaps it is not surprising that Daddy is also one of those rare men prone to pause and savor a good moment, whether it is listening to rain on the roof, delighting in my mother's ageless charm, getting misty over a line from a song, or hugging his child or grandchild just a few seconds longer than most.  He has lived his life in small moments of perpetual gratitude...
I'm paraphrasing, here, when I add...
This small, yet daily habit of mentally planting and watering blessings will yield an abundant garden of gratitude.
***

I don't know about you.. but this was an extremely timely word for me right now... in the current season of my life.  I want this to be said of me...
Whether I'm thinking, today, about my spouse, my children, my extended family or even more extensive things... such as church, work & school related situations or social circles - mine or others...

I've been reminded to consider the roots and where they're planted.
With this.. I want to be sure that I realize anew - What I reap, that's what I'll sow.

And, to cultivate (Nourish) it all with a mixture of grace and gratitude.
My mind, my heart.. may they be of fertile soil... for the good!
The truth is... weeds are just as natural in any garden and no one plants them there on purpose.  They're just there...and they must be tended to, just the same.

***
How does your mind-garden grow??


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Only if you want to...

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It'll make all the difference in your world, when you replace the I have to 
with an - I want to. ~ Bevy S.

Give it a try, sometime.  Okay?



Monday, April 13, 2015

Get it in the ground!!

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Spent some time, outdoors, this lovely Spring morning - with my girlies!
These photos came later - so there are no photos of "in the moment" - with the two of them.  Unfortunatly!

But, here we are!
Hanging laundry.  And redding up the flowerbeds of last seasons dead and dried up stalks and debris.
It looked as if the clothes we were wearing were the next to go on the line.
We kinda got a little dirty!  In more ways than one...

And... we had to "hurry up" - so we wouldn't be late getting my older daughter off to school, on time!
No pressure!!  At all.  Ahem!!


Our goal was to plant a few pansies we had picked up the other day, as well as, the snap peas that Aubrey had planted a seed or two of - one Sunday in Sunday School, a couple of weeks ago.

These snaps needed to climb!!! They were not feeling too happy hanging out in the original cup (where they were first planted) - while sitting on my kitchen sill.


We needed to get these plants in the ground!

Need I tell you the buzz phrase going round and round in my heart and head - as we're outdoors together?  Need I dare tell you - I wasn't too easy to work with?  In fact, I was just a tad grumpy.  Rushed.  Impatient and well... quite frankly... rather dirty in spirit and soul.

More is Caught than Taught!

Arrgh...
And, I don't even remember where I first heard this phrase but it's been a bugger.  On my mind...a lot.
Convicting and gripping!! 
What a reminder - so much so that I had to come indoors and add this phrase to my whiteboard.
Like, as in, immediately!  Apparently, this is a message that needs to take root...


Get it in the ground - of my very being!

The truth of, if I want my girls to understand what it means to grow in grace in godliness than I need to model this, myself.

A lot.

I need this phrase to be like all up "in my face"- in my space, as an avenue of grace!

And, yes!  Later, there were apologies and kisses of grace and goodness whispered in ears and planted on faces instead.
I hope it grabs hold... in all of our hearts!


***
What truths are being planted in your garden-heart, today??

Get it in the ground!  NOW!

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