Saturday, May 30, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
Well, having a new puppy in the house is certainly a challenge!! Somehow I've hardly had time to post; um hum, somehow I"M the one who has gotten the early morning shift as the teens don't seem to want to get up with her at six a.m! So as I have my coffee, Lucie gnaws on anything she can find, often the hem of my pajamas or Aggie, the dachsund's TAIL! He is growing accustomed to her and sets about the day claiming whatever rawhide he can find to protect. She falls at his feet, wanting him to play and laying there while he gives her the once over. What a pair!! She is growing already like a weed, and loves (I guess one day she will grow too big) to scoot under chairs and ottomans and fall asleep! She goes full force for about an hour and then crashes and sleeps, well, like a baby! The house training is going pretty well, but the carpet cleaner permanently sits out on the counter for the time being to clean any little accidents. Not too, too many yet! I have to say it's fun to have a puppy around, but then she hasn't torn anything up YET........I'm sure that day will come!
Until then, she's just adorable.
Monday, May 25, 2009
We have said for some time now, we look forward to having an empty nest. Not that we don't love our children, by any stretch of the imagination......we've just hardly ever HAD an empty nest. Our first child was born just ten and a half months after we were married. So we've always had children. We do look forward to days of it just being us. We love our children and look forward to enjoying them as adults! And we've had Aggie, our dachsund for nearly eleven years now......weren't really giving in to the the children's voiced opinion (often) of how much they wanted a new puppy. We were glad for them to experience this when they got their own households!
So, Saturday, son #2 calls from MS, on his way back from his RUF summer conference......a friend had encountered a mamma golden retriever who had seven babies and they were trying to find homes for them. His girlfriend's family had lost a family pet recently, so they wanted TWO of them.......couldn't we just take ONE of them??? so initially I said NO, NO, No, no, no, no.......then I said, OK, this puppy can be yours IF you take full financial responsibility of it, and by the way, call your dad to ok it by him.....(I was away from home). Well, hours later, five college students and three golden puppies landed on my doorstep!!! I was sunk, I think.
Aren't they adorable??? We all love puppies....but a Marley?? What will we do if she ends up like Marley, and is obstinate and untrainable and we love her all at the same time??? So we did manage to see off to their homes, four of the college students and two of the puppies! whew....except now the nest contains a new addition.....meet Lucie. I AM sunk. Puppy love, my friends. oh, no.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
I love this little shindig that Barb at Grits and Glamour throws every Wednesday called What's on your Wall Wednesday. It's always fun to see the wall decor in the homes of other bloggers, so I love to join in. It's been a few weeks since I joined in, but I thought today would be a good day to get back to it. I've been wanting to show you a new family heirloom and I'm going to stretch and use it today, too, since it's up AGAINST the wall, and takes up a fair amount of space on the wall in the living room. This piece is far bigger than I originally thought it was going to be, so finding a good spot for it was a little bit of a challenge. So for now, it's in the living room, which is sort of in flux anyway until I find a new sofa, and redecorate around that. This desk belonged to my father in law's grandfather, I believe. He wanted my husband to have it, and went to great lengths to make that happen. It's been moved from one city to the next and just recently moved from their home to ours. I think it's found a resting place for now anyway. It sure would be fun to know where all it's been and what treasures it has contained from time to time. I have tried to "date" it, but have not had much luck, so if anyone has any ideas, I'd love to know. The only markings we can find on it are on the lock, which says Carson Cabinet Locks......and it appears that the dovetailing on the drawers are machine made, as they are fairly uniform. That does help date it to a degree.
Anyway, I thought I'd show you the family heirloom rolltop desk....VOILA!!!!!!
I am still working on filling it, and decorating around it.....I'm changing out the picture above it, and the decor that sits on top of it....so I'll bring you the AFTER pics when all of that is done. Any suggestions are welcome. This is a huge piece and I am not certain how to best use it in here. Comments and suggestions....bring them on!
Don't forget that I have another giveaway in the works from yesterday's post here.......I will do the giveaway on Friday of this week, so leave some comments if you want to enter! Have a totally wonderful Wednesday!
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Well, I'm recovering from my last week's busy activities and am spending the morning catching up on blogs, doing online bill paying, and spending some more time catching up on blogs. Two things come to mind to post on my blog today; well, actually forty-five come to mind, but I'll spare you the chaos that is my mind and KISS, you know keep it simple.
As you know, I'm a Southern Living at HOME consultant, but I've not shared many ideas lately, nor have I showcased any products lately, either. I never want to come across as being self-serving, but every business advertises, right? So I HAVE to tell you that for the month of May, every time you purchase a product for 29.95 or more, you get a totally FREE product as well.....a choice from three items....You can go here to check out this special. You can get a free Cinnabar Baker, a Ruffled Glass Bowl OR a trio of our Signature SLaHOME flower pots.....and they are FREE! check it out! Also, you'll want to also check this preview of some new fall products.....don't we all love a great white URN!?! Check here to see this new baby....I'm going to love this product! And finally, in addition to all that, there are the regular May customer specials, which you can see HERE.....just scroll to the bottom of the page to see "Customer" specials...here's the scoop in a nutshell: with a 29.95 order, you can take advantage of the customer specials AND get the FREE product! What a deal. It's even better than a BOGO!
And since it's a SLaHOME day, I thought I'd have a giveaway for a FREE magazine subscription! You can see which ones we sell by looking here. You can let me know in the comment section which magazine you'd like if you should be the lucky winner. And of course being a follower gives you an extra chance as does blogging about my giveaway does as well. You can also browse the catalog by clicking on the picture above, and choosing Our Products on my website, to see all the lovely products available from Southern Living at HOME. You can even host your own catalog party if you'd like to do so....just contact me.
Tomorrow, I'll be showing you the latest family heirloom that came to live at our house....see you then.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
So on Thursday, I picked up little Sidney, (one of the quints) so that she could come and stay with us for a few days. Her Mom and Dad got a chance to get away from it all and enjoy a little time away from the busy life of raising quintuplets! Several friends took babies to help make it possible. Yes, God gives children to younger folks for a good reason! It's a lot of work! It definitely made me look more forward to being a grammy! She has been a little doll and loves both my son, and the dog!!! She has a cute little way to mimic the dog's barks. Then, not only did we have Sidney come to stay, the church-wide Mother/Daughter brunch was held this morning. My own daughter had a commitment, so she said I could just take my "other daughter!", Sidney! haha. I was to sing in a quartet of ladies but Sidney came up with us because she did not want me to leave her at the table with the other ladies! I couldn't stand for her to wail because I was leaving her!!! So she went with me to the front!!!
Then this afternoon, four of my son's college friends came for an overnight stay so that they could all leave together on Sunday for a student conference in Florida this week. Oh, and did I mention that my father-in-law went thru open heart surgery this week, and my husband left to go be with his mom and dad while all this occurred??? What a week it's been. But God is good, and everything has gone so smoothly, it's been a real blessing! Next week should be a slower week, and more condusive to blogging! I have lots of catching up to do!! I'll leave you with a little giggle that was heard around the casa today.......
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Rhonda over at Scooterblu's whimsy!!!! Congrats, Rhonda, if you will email me with your mailing address, I'll get you started on planning a fun, fun summer celebration by sending you an autographed (ok, just kidding, why would you want my autograph on it????LOL.) a copy of the latest Celebration magazine published by Hoffman Publications over there in AL........
And to join up in Jen's Tasty Tuesday celebration, I thought I'd share an old family favorite recipe that is simple and tasty.......a favorite every time I make them. I give you the recipe for my famous Applesauce Muffins......
1/2 c. oil
1 c. sugar
3/4 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. applesauce
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/2 t. cinnamon
1 t. allspice
Put all dry ingredients in mixing bowl and stir well. Mix egg and oil together, then add applesauce. Stir together until all ingredients are moistened. Bake in muffin tins at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. Enjoy!
Friday, May 8, 2009
Hi friends....I learned the most interesting things about you all in my post about sofa shopping. I learned that many of you feel like we are in the same boat because you need to replace your worn sofa, too! Some of you, like me, didn't even want anyone to see it because it is sad. I'm thinking we need a way to make sofa shopping easier and more fun! We should all go out looking for sofas and post pics to our blogs....then we can shop the blogs!! LOL! Well, an update for me is that the Mister did come home and look at the swatches I brought home, and as I anticipated, did NOT like the brown fabric w/ blue dots AT ALL......it's ok, it was a little bit high maintenance anyway. He did, however, like the style of that first one, as did most of you. That puts me back to the drawing board, to return the swatches and shop some more. He wasn't sure he liked the sofa without a skirt on the bottom, so that will be a consideration. I will go back and sit on that sofa again, hmm, maybe I should try a quick cat-nap on it to see how that works!? Do you think I could get away with that???? I will also go to a couple of other furniture stores and see what's in store there.
Well, until I get closer to a real choice that's enough furniture talk for now.....
Onto other Friday fun......remember when I posted about this magazine and had a fun giveaway??????
It's a real beauty, published by Hoffman Publications, who also publish Southern Lady magazine. It contains a treasure trove of great recipes, fun decor ideas, and other things needful for a great spring celebration! And my friend Donna, from Designs on 47th Street won that giveaway....it was such a fun giveaway and such a pleasure to share that publication with my northern/ Southern belle friend...so guess what???? There's another one! They've published the new SUMMER edition!
I actually ordered mine from their website, and the nice thing about it is that they didn't charge me any shipping. I ordered it a while back and it arrived yesterday. Now I'm itching to plan a summer party!!!!!!!!!!!
I couldn't help but remember what fun I had giving away the last one, so I decided to give away a copy of this one, too!!! Yes, you may begin your applause!!
So here's the scoop. Oh, which reminds me, there are ICE CREAM ideas to be had in this book, and look at the cute little shot glass desserts featured on the cover.....just the perfect amount of dessert for us who need to watch the figure.....not that that means YOU.
To enter this Friday fun, fantastic giveaway, leave me a comment today. Another comment can enter you if you are a follower of my blog. You can become a follower, because I just love new blog friends! If you are counting, that makes TWO entries. For a third entry, leave a comment telling me you posted about the giveaway on your blog. Since I don't have a fancy little button, feel free to snag the image of the magazine. I don't think they will care if we are plugging their magazine, do you? So that's three. And a fourth comment will enter you if you will tell me how to twitter.... and twitter about it if you'd like! --I have the account, but I seem to be missing a step......it's still a little techno wizardry I have yet to master. So, see, it's EASY to enter....the giveaway will be next Tuesday......have fun blogging friends....
OH, and a shout out to the newest grandma I know....My friend Renee, at Add More Chocolate is a new grandma. Her first grandbaby, Emmie came into the world yesterday. Lucky for her, she was able to head right up there to meet Emmie and share some grammy love. She will be a great grammy! I can't wait to see pictures!
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Here are three styles I saw this morning that I liked. Some fabrics I chose are the brown with small blue dots....another is a paisley with blue, green and red. ( Will I tire of a paisley couch????) And then a chenille that has a raised damask like pattern in it. It comes in a taupe, but there is also a beautiful red in that fabric. If I got the red, it would be necessary to at least recover the existing chairs.
You'll note that I like curves......which is good, because I've got lots of curves in my life! :)
So tell me what you like in a sofa, how you chose the one you have, what you would replace it with if you could, and would you try to use what you have or would you do the whole room over at the same time....????
So to recap, I know I want a taller back than the sofa I have now......and something that won't be radically different and will go with the living/dining area as it is. Take a look at the styles I saw today....please show me or tell me about yours and help me talk myself thru this decision. I woudl be eternally grateful......well, as grateful as furniture decisions can make one.......kwim????
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
I have a friend battling cancer.
I have a friend whose bed-ridden husband has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and won't live much longer. They've been married for 60+ years!!!***
I have a friend whose five babies ALL have ear infections.
I have a friend whose grandbaby is sick and a friend whose preemie baby now finally weighs three pounds and twelve ounces, was born at 21 weeks, and is now showing signs of improvement daily.
Another friend faces surgery next and several who live daily with pain. There, of course, are those that I don't even know about who have concerns that internally tear them apart, that experience nausea or headaches because of the stress of life. There are those who've lost jobs and don't know where the cost of living is going to come from. Life can be so overwhelming.
Why am I telling you all this? After I reread my post from yesterday I felt compelled to DO something about these things. But what do you say to people who face hardship, who daily live with the fact that their lives might not be as long as they expected? What does one say to comfort someone who lives in constant pain? Wouldn't it just be easier to say nothing, to avoid that awkward moment in time when words don't really say much......they sound empty, they sound trite, they sound like you really know what they are enduring? And while I want to say the right thing, sometimes it is as awkward as all get out.
So I thought I'd just give us all a little reminder about ways we CAN make a difference. In doing a little research, I came up with this list (and there are others out there if you just search google)
for some do's and don'ts....
Act natural. I know you may not feel comfortable but the more uncomfortable you are the harder it is on the grieving individual.
Allow the person to talk about his grief and express his or her feelings. Try to listen without offering advice or interrupting. The worse thing you can do is start talking about yourself. Focus on LISTENING and offer your love patiently and unconditionally.
Be patient with the grieving person's changing moods. It’s normal for someone who is grieving to alternate between anger, sadness, numbness and acceptance.” Give the person as much time as he or she needs to grieve. There is no time limit on grieving and telling him or her to 'get over it' or 'let it go' won't help him or her grieve any faster.
Show genuine concern and affection if the person seems open to it. Try offering hugs or an arm around the shoulder, as appropriate. If he or she seems uninterested or irritated don’t take it personally, it is a natural part of the grieving process.
Sometimes silence is what the grieving person wants. There is so much going on that a moment of can be the one thing they need. Sitting silently next to him or her and just being close can be very comforting.
Offer to help but be specific. It can seem overwhelming and stressful to have people keep asking to help you. When you are grieving you may have no idea what would be helpful or not. Because grief can be a confusing and overwhelming experience, suggest something specific. It is hard for many people to ask for help.
Be the one who takes the initiative to:
- Call from time to time and just to check in
- Offer to run errands or get groceries
- Drop off food don’t wait to be asked
- Stop by and baby-sit the kids
- Offer to go along to a bereavement group with them
- Go for walks or enjoy a
- Do a fun activity with them that you know they really enjoy maybe a game or going to the movies
- Encourage socializing but only when the person feels ready
If you recognize that the grieving person is experiencing depression, urge him or her to get professional help. This is only if they seem unable to function in day-to-day life. You may want to help them set up the appointment and if they ask, go with them.
If you haven't already you may want to send some Flowers and a card it may seem like a small gesture on your part but it really means a lot to the person grieving.
Try to avoid the bereaved person. It only makes them feel more isolated and alone. This is a time that they need all the love and support you can muster. Try to put your personal discomfort aside and think about the other person.
Pry into personal matters. Allow the grieving person to share what they choose to and just be there to support them. You can ask questions but think before you talk!
Ask questions about the circumstances of the death. Talk openly about the person who passed but not necessarily the circumstances unless they bring it up.
- "I know how you feel." Truthfully, you don’t know how they feel no one does whether you have been through a loss before or not! Don’t be surprised if the turn around and scream, “YOU don’t know how I feel, no one knows how bad I feel!”
- “You should.” or “Time heals all wounds.” offering advice or quick solutions just ends up frustrating and upsetting the grieving person.
- “At least he’s no longer in pain.” or “She’s in a better place now.” Or “It was God’s timing/will.” Trying to cheer the person up or distract from the emotional intensity only helps to prolong the grieving process and may even alienate them from you.
- “Oh, it’s not that bad.” Or “You’ll be ok.” Or “Things will go back to normal before you know it.” Or “It will get better." Grieving people know this intellectually, but in their heart, they may feel so lost and alone. These statements tend to minimize the loss and could upset the grieving person and they may even feel frustrated and angry with you.
- "Just call me if there is anything I can do." In the midst of grief, you just can’t think straight and you have no idea what you need. It’s up to you to call and if the grieving person does not want to speak with anyone, he or she will not answer the phone. If they don’t answer, the phone just leave a supportive message and let them know you are thinking about them
- "Don't cry." It is uncomfortable and painful to see someone you care about cry but telling him or her not to cry only prolongs the process and does not support the natural grieving process that needs to occur.
- I am sorry
- Tell me how I can help; I want to be here for you.
- ___________ was a good person and friend of mine. I will miss him or her.
- Would you like a hug?
- Please tell me what you are feeling right now, I have never been through something like this and can only imagine.
- It's ok if you do not feel like talking right now. Just know that I am here to listen whenever you are ready.
- “I love you” (if you are close enough)
- talk openly and directly about the person who died
Remind them often that God has not left them, and that you will continue to pray for them. Offer to take them somewhere, even if just out for a Sonic drink, or to a nearby mall. Stop by with a casserole or a bucket of chicken. Write notes, (remember you only have to write a few lines to let them know you are thinking of them) send pictures, have the children make artwork to share with the shut-ins..., etc.
Please tell me what comes to mind that you can do; leave a message in the comments and let's encourage one another to be a balm to the hurting, a haven of rest for the weary. So leave a comment and tell me and the other readers what YOU do.
and if you are one who is hurting , please let this be a hug to you, and a realization that you are not alone.
*Edited to add, thanks to Lisa's comment, of course we can pray with those hurting and that is a soothing balm in itself! thanks, Lisa!
***this evening I learned that Mr. Sam went home to be with the Lord....please would you pray for their family? thanks!
Saturday, May 2, 2009
So I thought I'd share this post again, which was originally posted on March 3, 2009.....have a blessed Sunday!
First of all let me just say that I am thrilled for my blog to be up and running again.....I missed being involved in the lives of those few of you who stop by to read whatever inspiration I might be attempting to convey to you. Thanks from the bottom of my heart to those of you who actually missed me....that warms my heart. I thought I'd share today a little bit about my most recent Ladies' Bible study. We've just finished a series entitled A Woman After God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George. We worked through the workbook and watched the DVD each week. Mostly we enjoyed sharing in each others lives. The last DVD lesson in particular brought out some terrific lessons that I wanted to share with you all. It was about touching the lives of others. Whether or not you have a Christian faith that drives you, you must agree that we benefit from connecting with others in our lives; we benefit from touching lives in a way that television cannot, that "how to books" cannot, that shopping or redecorating cannot.....we need positive human interaction! And in this last DVD lesson, Mrs. George discussed what is helpful to the ministry of a Christian woman. I thought I'd recap what she said.
1) Learn to work it out.....master your priorities. We only have a limited amount of time, and last time I checked it was only 24 hours per day. And some of those MUST be sleeping. She recognized the Proverbs 31 model for us all to use as a standard. We teach by message or by model....EVERYTHING we do or don't do teaches someone something. Honestly, that made me a little squirmy......something to think about. Also falling under this category is developing yourself. Don't avoid ministry/caring for someone else because you failed to take care of yourself or your own insecurity. Work on your weaknesses. If you feel you can't speak, take a class, or practice speaking. Every little practice helps. The more confident you feel, the more likely you are to touch a life...
2) Learn to reach out....learn the names of people and use them. We like to hear someone else call us by name. Plain and simple. You feel touched somehow if someone feels you are valuable enough to remember your name and use it. And let's face it, the more we use their names, the more we cement them in our brains and are more likely to remember them. Proverbs 11:24 encourages us to be a liberal giver and hold back nothing.
3) Learn to look out....go looking for those that are hurting. When you find one, be direct and intentional about helping. Write notes.....we just have to write three lines. That easy, but will be oh.so.meaningful. Make a phone call and simply say, "I thought of you, I prayed for you, and I just wanted to let you know."
In conclusion, give totally wherever you are. Wherever you are, BE ALL THERE. Live it to the hilt when you are there. We can all serve, we can all show mercy, we can all be giving. Go forth and be inspired! Just do it.
Friday, May 1, 2009
If you're here, we know a little about each other, perhaps.....but I'd love to get to know you better! I thought for Forging Friendships Friday , we could talk about ourselves for a little bit! So.......................
I'll tell you a little bit about myself, and then, I'm turning it over so you can introduce yourselves to me. Take the stage and leave a comment. Fill me in on anything and everything from name, age, blog/web address, hobbies, how you found me, etc. I'll start the party!!
I'm Suzanne, and you'll remember I've recently reached a half a century......wow, that's amazing, huh? If you are here, you know my blog/web address, thankfully and my hobbies are decorating, crafts, gardening, some sewing, cooking, most things domestic, ahem, except cleaning really. I do THAT only out of necessity, not because it's a favorite pastime!! I began blogging last year after a brief trial run with a blog over on Xanga....some friends talked me into it. It wasn't as much fun over there, and I think that's because I didn't know YOU!!! I have enjoyed it so much more even though I don't blog every single day....just whenever I am able. I used to think no one would really want to follow my days, my words, my ideas.....but then I just decided to be myself and go for it......a blog doesn't have to be perfect to be enjoyable. I learned that life application from the Nester!!!! :) who swears by the principle, (come on, you know you can say it along with me!) It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful!
I have three children, one of which is married, so i am a mother-in-law as well. The married son is out of college and it gainfully employed (YAY!), one is in college and my daughter is a junior in high school....yep, the nest is quickly getting emptier! We have a dachsund named Aggie, who is 10 years old. He'd LOVE to be a king!
I've lived in this house for ten years, nearly eleven and still have things I want to do, or to change in this house. It may not be our house forever, so we are sort of biding our time for now. We did re-do our kitchen right after Hurricane Ike threw a tree through our roof. You can read about that here and here! While a little scary and a lot inconvenient, it sure was nice to get a new kitchen out of the deal!
So tell me a little about yourself...
OH, and one thing I wanted to tell ya'll regarding being unable to comment on some of my fav. blogs.......it does seem to have to do with my new laptop, but in looking around on the settings of my own blog, I discovered that you can go to Settings, then to comments, then look at the line item "Comment Form Placement".... I changed mine today to Pop UP page, the middle item, and lo and behold, my friend So Blessed over at New Day, New Season, was able to comment for the first time in a long time. So I would recommend that you all check that item on your blog and change it if you aren't already using that feature. You may even get more comments that way!!! We all love comment love, do we not??????
so go on down and take the stage, tell me a little about yourself. I was surprised how my gardening simple tips were appreciated, so maybe next week, I'll offer a few more. Have a totally terrific day, friends!!!