Christmas Ideas in May

 One can never be too early to prepare
for the Christmas holidays.
I ran across these on Pinterest
and wanted to make sure
they didn't get lost in the boards.
The first two are FREE printables!
The following idea will be perfect in my kitchen window! 
Here are some more free printables.
I use Snapfish, matte finish, and easy to age
by lightly wiping with a dry brush with antique stain.
And Merry Christmas in May!

Time for Pools & Beaches ~

It's Pool and Beach time at Pottery Barn. The Mister calls it Poverty Barn, a name he learned from another.
I love these products!! I don't love their prices. UNLESS, you happen to find a good SALE, which is possible! And you can also find dinnerware at good prices at times. Mainly? I use Pottery Barn for ideas and decide what I want and what I don't want. Then I go looking in flea markets, Hobby Lobby, Michael's, even Penney's homewares!
I could so use this in my laundry room, which is our back door into the garage. We wouldn't need it at what one would call the back door. There's no walkway to it {happy font}. However, our laundry is narrow and it would catch our tall son in laws at the shoulders as they haul in clothing bags and other items when the families visit. I'd love to look for something like this, but it just wouldn't be feasible for me. How about you?
I would so love to find something like this! I would hang it in the kitchen, by the patio door, just for decorative looks. Useful, too, when our granddog visits as there's a place to hang a leash, and possible a pretty towel for quick clean ups. I haven't seen anything like this, but then I haven't looked. I will now.
Pottery Barn has this for a good price, but if you know a Thirty-One representative (I use Joy Gordon in Prattville AL) you can find one larger with more pockets and lots of different patterns. I love 31!
A daybed. Right up there with a swinging bed. Even above a wicker swing, and way above a wooden! My thing about these happens to be a concern for mildew on the mattress and covers. Doesn't that happen?!
Our neighbor next door has a knotted hammock between two pine trees. I love it. I do. I love it. When she is out there with her book, she look SO peaceful. The Hood is cutting our pines down. Dangerous in this part of the world to have pines overhead. There are no hard woods behind us, so no hammock. Drat.
Isn't this gorgeous?! I would love to have this on our porch, but in white. It wouldn't seat everyone, though, so I think I'll have one of these and one of these.
It would just about seat all the adults and I love tables large enough to decorate. Just might talk him into one of each. You think?!
I've mentioned on here before that I plan to do this on our porch but I am not using panels this costly. I plan to go to Lowe's, but up some $9.99 dropcloths and have the Hood string up some clothes line wire and I'll clip large rings at the top and slide them on. Mostly for looks, as our backyard is green and shady, but it will be nice to close off the sides during a rain shower. Not to mention how it softens the living area.
Isn't this gorgeous?!?! I think I've seen similar items in souvenir shoppes around here, so I'll be on the lookout now. Maybe Old Time Pottery will have just the one I need. If not, the 'Shark' shop will.
This one and the next three are just to show you, and me, how easy it is to scatter them around the house! I love it when the grandbabies touch and even smell the "ocean". {And try to remember, if it can be picked up, patched up, or cleaned up, don't worry about it. Feelings are more important and life is too short.} 
This is ONE faux dogwood branch with a nest on old books. And I have a table just waiting for this vignette. Notice the book tied with twine? The cover's been torn off. A girlfriend and I, this past week, saw this in a boutique for $25. Yeah, we giggled. This is easy to duplicate!
You know my weakness for plates, especially salad & desserts. These are dinner plates, so I'd pass on them and purchase the smaller ones. But it gives you the idea of mix and matching and I love doing that.
And I'm ending with this. How many of you remember croquet sets?!?! I know the grandparents we lived near had one and I would love to have it now! You would NOT believe how expensive this set is, so I plan to be on the lookout now for one when I hit the flea markets and places like Target. A little distressing on a new set and it looks nice and weathered. We loved playing croquet, although my sister and I were the only ones playing by the rules. The twins loved kicking the balls and laughing. Boys. So, did you have one?

Have a great week! Get ready for a great Summer, and blessings to all ~

What's Your Blood Type?

 Today I'd like to share my post over on Losing Forty, a blog I began when I wanted to lost forty in a year. It didn't happen. 2011 was a fun year, filled with two vacations of a lifetime, the decision to move away (like almost four hours!), a prayed over decision for John to retire early, and the announcement that our middle daughter was marrying a precious Christian man! All of this in one year! So, no, I didn't lose forty. I did lose fifteen {BIG SMILE font} but I also gained it back. Thus, the blog is still ongoing and I'm learning from it. It was more for me anyway than for public viewing, although I did include it under 'My Other Writings'.
I heard of this book at a Bunco group I believe and we went to our local bookstore and purchased the first book. Then purchased the second book. You can learn more by visiting the blog and reading more. If you or anyone you know have tried these eating habits, I would be very interested in knowing how they did and what they thought, or what you thought.

It's another gorgeous day on the coast and having some rain coming in later this week has it a bit overcast and a nice breeze outside. I'm enjoying our porch and getting a bit of sun without killing my knee walking over an large expanse of sand to get to the surf and sand area. We keep our 'beach' bags in the car now just in case we decide on a moment's notice to go or stop on the way home. Need I say how much we are loving it. Now to work on eating healthier! Blessings ~

Oh, Dick Clark. A massive heart attack took him out of our world. I grew up with him and American Bandstand and even watched a few of his game shows. He was great at what he did and who will ever forget American Bandstand?! Here's a clip I found that shows dances of the day and the dress of the teens.
Dick Clark made a lot of different just by having the singers on his show. I know I loved American Bandstand and dreamed of being on it. Always would go to my bedroom, make sure my sister wasn't there, close the door, turn on the radio, and try out the dances. Oh, to be a dancer on American Bandstand!
Dick Clark, died of a massive heart attack today at the age of 82. He will be missed.The photo below is how I first remember seeing him. And you know? He was always smiling.

Friends, Faith, and Food ~

"Be completely humble and gentle;
be patient, bearing with one another in love.
Make every effort to keep the unity of the
Spirit through the bond of peace."
~Ephesians 4:2-3 (NIV)

* * The following is part of my devotional for today.
I found truth within it. Maybe you will, too. * *

"One of the wisest pieces of advice on friendship I ever got was from one of my daughters. She was in middle school at the time. You know that awkward place where insecurities run rampant, hormones rage, and your best friend one day becomes your worst enemy the next? So lovely.

She got in the car one day with tears filling her eyes. She waited until we pulled out of the school parking lot to let all her hurt leak down her cheeks.

"Rough day?" I asked.

"Awful," she replied.

I turned down the radio, waited until we were at a red light, and reached for her hand. "Wanna talk about it?"

"Nope," she whispered as she turned her face away from me toward the window. The rest of the night she sulked around the house. And no matter how many times I tried to get her to talk, this normally very vocal child wouldn't open up.

The next morning, I was surprised when she bounded down the stairs with a smile on her face.

"Well hey! You sure look happy this morning," I said as I lifted up quick thank you prayers to God for whatever had brought back the sunshine to my girl's life.

"Mom," she said with great authority, "I've decided something about friends. They all have good stuff and bad stuff. Things you like and things that really annoy you. So, you just have to decide if you can handle their package deal."
How wise. How true.

Friends are a package deal. And sadly, not all friendships will stand the test of time. Some friendships are for a season. But other times, we have to be willing to deal with the messy stuff to fight for our friendships."

I am blessed with an awesome circle of Godly best friends that support me, laugh and cry with me, and He is constantly bringing more into this circle. There are those that have fallen away for one reason or another. There are those that are there through thick and thin, and though you may not see them but a few times a year it's as if you saw them yesterday. Below are recent photos of a fashion show a few of us attended. There was sharing, laughing, food! and we had such fun.
What a grand place Heaven will be ~
imagine to be always surrounded
by Christian family and friends.
Always. Forever. For eternity.

He Was Just a Little Boy In Walmart

"But Jesus said, Suffer little children,
and forbid them not, to come unto me:
for of such is the kingdom of heaven"
~ Matthew 19:14, KJ Bible (Cambridge Ed.)

Today after lunch, we decided on a whim to stop at our local Walmart and pick up a few items before going home. Now, you have to understand we are not Walmart shoppers. When Sam Walton died, our (then) Walmart went through a noticeable change and we didn't like it. Target moved into town and solved the problem of where to shop. So it wasn't normal for us to be pulling into a Walmart parking lot.

My words above, "on a whim", are incorrect. Nothing is ever on a whim. God whispers to our souls and our hearts every day. Sometimes we listen, sometimes we ignore Him thinking we're too busy to be distracted. Today, John and I listened. Our lives were touched because we listened and I thank God for meeting a precocious young man in a buggy. He was not handicapped, he did not appear underprivileged, just a normal four year old loving life.

And that's how we came to notice him. Walking up to our cashier, John saw him standing in a buggy at the neighboring counter whistling hard and loudly. It was apparent he had just learned, for there was a look of pride on his face. John told him he was a fine whistler.

"Hey mister, what's your name?" "My name's John, what's your name?" "My name's Dillon and this is my baby brudder, Logan, but momma calls him Peanut." And he laughed and slapped his jean covered thighs.

I walked up about that time intrigued with this conversation and totally captivated by the life in this child's eyes. They were lit up like he was so in love with life he just could not contain it. He was being such a good child, giving his mother no trouble whatsoever, the energy force around him charged with happiness and laughter. He locked eyes with me and grinned.

"Hey lady, what's your name?" "My name's Nan. How old are you." "I'm four years old and I can whistle!" "I see that!" All this time, his eyes were just dancing and he and John were whistling. I asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up. "I want to be, I want to be, I want to be the best whistler in the world!" And in that moment, that second, I knew this child had the capability of going far in whatsoever field he desired. He had moxy, as my grandmother used to say. His mother looked tired, the grandmother was elderly and trying to stay out of the mother's way, but all this little boy saw was someone he could share with, the fact he'd learned to whistle, and that life was great.

"Hey! Guess what else I can do? I can rock and roll!" And with this statement, he struck a pose. It was so cute I asked him a couple of times to do it again for me. He was quick to tell us his mom couldn't do it as well as he could. Laughed out loud again, slapping his thighs.

Our cashier had completed our purchase so we told him goodbye and I whispered to him that he could be anyone he could be, to not ever let anyone tell him he wasn't smart enough or good enough. His mother told him to tell us thank you for visiting {smile font} and he waved and told us "good bye!" as we walked away.

We didn't say much walking out to the car. John and I. I was still absorbed with what we'd just witnessed, wondering how God was going to use this child, and us, by our paths crossing. You see, I believe that when we heed those nudges, there's a reason. There is always a reason.

Looking over at John I began to ask if we could pray for that child, and he was already pulling over to a curb. We prayed that God would use him in such a way that the world would be a better place because he lived, that he be brought up in the nurture and admonition of His word, that warrior angels be placed around him, keep his love for life, and we thanked Him for our brief encounter with this child. I don't know why he grabbed our heart strings as he did, but he did.

We have three grandsons and they will always have my heart in the palm of their hands, no matter how large those hands grow. They are being raised to love the King, to follow His word, and they have their needs met. They are a blessing to us, to our family, and to those that know them. I pray the little whistler I met today, Dillon, is blessed with the same.

I wrote this today not for you, but for me. You see, I don't want to forget him. I don't want to forget the light in his eyes and the laughter brimming over from his soul. Each time this post pops up, I'll be able to see it, remember, and pray for him. Pray for a little guy named Dillon that wants to be "the best whistler in the world". Thank you, Father, for that nudge today. It was a blessing, as You knew it would be.

Our three little boy blessings? They're just that, blessings. With summer coming, we'll be seeing more of them! And we cannot wait. May your week be filled with laughter, love, and take time to listen to those nudges ~

Words to Think Upon, To Live By ~

These caught my attention this week
and thought I'd share with you.
I love the one above.
It's so me and the friends I have.
Which leads to this. I love these words.
And love not only the scripture,
but the look of the old door and handle.
I saw this on Facebook today and it spoke volumes to me.
Sadly, we all have times when the truth pushes people away.
However, God heals and the truth sets you free.
And this is one I found on Pinterest!
I've ordered it from Snapfish and plan to frame it.
It will fit perfectly in our home.
Blessings ~

Places to Visit!

I found this delightful blog thru Pinterest
and I have added it to my list of favorites!
I love Susan's large photos, her instructions and tutorials,
and the happiness her site brings to my senses.
Go visit and leave her a comment.
We heart comments!
The title automatically relaxes me {smile font}
Her latest post?
Again, through Pinterest (I'm on there!) with her ideas for
10 headboards!! Too cute! Gloria grabbed me
with that idea. From there, I went to the right side
and began clicking on her other tags. Yeah, I stayed
there awhile. That's a good thing, when you find more than
a dozen reasons to keep reading and gawking.
 Again, you'll be glad to visit Potentially beautiful ~
I've already mentioned her latest post,
here's my favorite pic!
and there are nine more to see!
Sweet Kate is not only fighting Lupus,
but doing it bravely with the grace of God,
and a man that loves her.
She is also a lover of home decor, life,
and items that become simple beauty.
Salvage Dior will touch her heart
and your 'I can do it myself!' vein.
Her latest post is the latest on her Lupus battle
and the man that loves her through it.
I'm sure they would appreciate our prayers ~
The author of this fashion blog
is the daughter of a dear friend of mine!
Christen loves to copy designer looks
with vintage and thrift store finds.
I think you'll be surprised at how well
this young adult puts together charming outfits.
I know I'll be looking differently when I visit
my favorite consignment shops!
Go, Christen!!
Here's her latest ~ packing her bag for a road trip!
and meet HGTV's newest member!
And I'm her proud second grade teacher!
Cristi Curlee Holcombe ~
I am so excited for this author!
Not only was I her second grade teacher and fell in love
not only with her and her parents,
but her brother that followed.
Cristi has worked hard and owns
her own interior design business.
She will be co-hosting a new HGTV show
that  begins May 12th!! Elbow Room!!
I am beyond thrilled for her and her precious family
and look forward to seeing that cute little strawberry blonde
all grown up and on television, on one of my favorite channels!
Way to go, Cristicurleelocks. I'm so proud of you!
I love her latest post showing how to duplicate a lamp
for a lot less green paper {wink font}
Have a weekend filled with love, laughter, and prayers for America. My heart is saddened by what I hear but strengthened for I know Who is in control, Who will always be in control, and Who I believe in. Our Lord may allow bad things to take place, but only good and true things come from Him. You can bet He will take the bad and use it to glorify His name and make His presence known. I rest in His Grace and Mercy, and His promise that He is in charge and that Satan will be banished for eternity. Blessings to you and yours ~

~ from The Letter Writer ~

Related Posts with Thumbnails