Sunday, November 29, 2009

Emmanuel – God With Us

PB284410 The prophecy:
Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14

The fulfillment (the angel, speaking to Joseph):
'She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel which means, "God with us.
Matthew 1:21-23

O, come, oh, come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to you, O Israel!

O, come, O Key of David, come,
And open wide our heav'nly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to you, O Israel!

O, come, our Dayspring from on high,
And cheer us by your drawing nigh,
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death's dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to you, O Israel!

O, come, Desire of nations, bind
In one the hearts of all mankind;
O, bid our sad divisions cease,
And be yourself our King of Peace.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to you, O Israel!

Song: ‘O Come, O Come Emmanuel’
French Processional - 1st Published in: 1854
Translated by John Neal, 1818-66
Scripture: New International Version

Saturday, November 28, 2009

How To Build A Christmas Tree

Last year I shared here about the monthly women’s ministry I’m involved in and about the florist-friend who spoke and demonstrated decorations and arrangements for the holiday season. A couple of weeks ago she was back again with more ideas to share with us. Her work is wonderful and we always enjoy her humor and her words of encouragement. Not only does she share how to do things that look easy when she does them – she breaks them down into steps and makes us believe we can do it, too. This year she showed us how to build a Christmas tree! She began with a pretty, red, glittery planter – with oasis in the center and a glass column inserted into the oasis for spacing and support as she worked. (As the tree took shape, she removed the glass cylinder.)


She slowly began to build her tree from green branches she had cut in her yard!


She kept adding greens until the tree began to take shape!


As she worked and talked, it seemed possible to build our own trees. She is a great teacher and doesn’t make the task seem impossible! When all the greens were in place, she added bare branches and red berries for texture and then tied the top together with raffia.


More red berries were added and a few branches with green leaves, as well as white berries – all things from her yard.


And then she began to decorate with pretty little ornaments!


She made red bows for the top – and then it was finished!


Shortly after she finished making this pretty little tree she gave it away. My sweet friend, Miss K., won – and she was thrilled beyond belief!


Our guest always brings such fun things to sell – at a special price. This year was no exception. And what great bargains we got! There were Christmas penguins. . .


Pretty ornaments on fabulous ornament hangers. . .


Gold Christmas card holders. . .


And cute little church ornaments.


When we neared the end of our time together she gave away the most gorgeous floral arrangement we could imagine. The lady who won also got all the bits and pieces and the directions to change it from a Thanksgiving arrangement to a beautiful arrangement for Christmas.


We had such fun together and we went away encouraged and inspired and ready to dream of the decorating possibilities for our homes through the holiday season.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Treasured Gifts

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day yesterday and that you are doing something relaxing today. I have been home alone with my puppy and kitty and have just taken my time to get things picked up after the big day yesterday. My dear little mother, my cousin and her husband and I were the only ones here to enjoy our Thanksgiving Dinner. My sweetheart is elk hunting on the opposite corner of the state and will return home tomorrow. He was able to get a cell phone signal and call last evening to wish me a wonderful day. An impromptu family together is happening here tonight – our two kids and their families are bringing leftovers and joining my dear mother, my cousin, her husband and me for a bit of a ‘potluck’ supper. It will be great fun to be together since they weren’t able to join us yesterday.

Recently I received two very sweet gifts from two very special ladies in my life. The first is from my dear cousin, Mrs. C. You may recall that she and her hubby moved near us from out-of-state a year ago. A few weeks ago we shopped together for some accessories for her living room that was in the process of a redo. She found a wonderful clock – the perfect size for the wall near her kitchen – and, in the process, she gave me this darling little clock she had been using for some time. It’s perfect for my kitchen!

Teapot Clock

A week ago I drove to a nearby city to be part of a wonderful reunion luncheon at the home of my former pastor’s wife. She and her husband have been serving as missionaries in Europe for the past several years and they are home for a few months, returning next Spring. She had a very sweet potluck luncheon at her home for a number of the ladies from our former church in years past. Many of the gals have moved and scattered around the Pacific Northwest so it was fun to get together again. At each place setting Mrs. L. had placed a little white teacup that was filled with nuts and candies (of course I had forgotten my camera!). The teacups were a gift for each of us to take home.

Little White Teacup

Isn’t that just the cutest little cup?

Little White Teacup - Upclose

The glittery little leaves are just right. They are ‘padded’ with a foam-rubber-type backing. They may have been stickers that were added. I didn’t ask. I was just so thrilled to get one with a yellow leaf! Goes with my things!!

I always treasure things given by the people in my life. I could buy a clock and a teacup but it wouldn’t be the same – they just wouldn’t have the special meaning it has because of the dear people who gave them to me. From their heart to mine.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Blessings

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving from my heart to yours.

Be safe - be happy for every moment you have with family and friends – and be sure to count your blessings – we are so blessed!

We are so blessed
By the gifts from Your hand,
I just can't understand
Why You've loved us so much.
We are so blessed,
We just can't find a way
Or the words that can say,
Thank You, Lord, for Your touch.

We are so blessed
By the things You have done,
The victories we've won,
And what You've brought us through.
We are so blessed,
Take what we have to bring,
Take it all, everything,
Lord, we bring it to You.

When we're empty
You fill us 'til we overflow,
When we're hungry
You feed us and cause us to know;
We are so blessed,
Take what we have to bring;
Take it all, everything,
Lord, we love You so much.

Song: ‘We Are So Blessed’
Words and music: Bill and Gloria Gaither and Greg Nelson

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Blessed Be The Name Of The Lord


Blessed be the
Name of the Lord
He is worthy to be
Praised and adored
So we lift up holy hands
In one accord
Blessed be the name
Blessed be the name
Blessed be the
Name of the Lord

I will praise the Lord at all times.
I will constantly speak his praises.
I will boast only in the Lord;
Let all who are helpless take heart.
Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness;
Let us exalt his name together.
Psalm 34:1-3
(New Living Bible)

Song: ‘Blessed Be The Name Of The Lord’
Recorded by Don Moen
© 1986 Integrity's Hosanna! Music

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Gifts From A Charming Friend

Sometimes it seems there is a bond with new friends almost the moment you meet them. At other times - like in the blog world - there is a bond before you actually meet them. That's what happened to me! Not long after I began my journey into the world of blog I was 'drawn' to a new friend who lives a short distance from me. I really think what drew us together was the fact that she lives just about two miles from my son and his family - and you know that makes it even more special to my heart! It wasn't long after I began to visit Laurie at Laurie's Charming Designs often and soon I realized she lived in the same Oregon town as my son and his wife and three of my grandsons. And then one day, when I saw a photo on her blog that showed snow in her driveway, I realized I had driven past her home many times on my way to see our kids! At times I stopped at the Goodwill not far from her home and I wondered if I would run into her there - how would I know her? I decided I would probably find her by the things in her shopping cart - she would be buying the things I would buy if I had seen them first. And as I saw more and more of her artistry I was positive I would find her if we were there at the same time. Would we both look at something at the same time and reach for it at the same moment? Then one day we finally got to meet each other! In person. She was a vendor at the Deepwood Estate Antique Faire and I was there to photograph the event! And shop! I shared about the Faire here. As soon as I arrived I began to look for her - and within minutes I found her. We knew each other right away and it didn't take long for the hugs to begin.


(Laurie on the right, with a customer)

If you've never seen Laurie's creations and designs up close you've really missed a treat! They are more beautiful to see in person than photos can show. Of course I wanted them all! I did a bit of shopping but that was later after I did what I went to do - photograph her booth and her work - and the other vendors at the Faire. Laurie's artistry is incredible and she adds such life to ordinary objects.

Charming Chair

Her little charms are so sweet they bring a smile to my face!

Charming Designs Charms

Charming Designs Charms 2

Her handcrafted little felt birdies appear on pincushions made from found objects. Baby shoes. . .

Charming Designs Booth

Laurie Shoe Birdie

Old silver pieces. . .

Laurie Birdie

Vintage cups. . .

Laurie Birdie 3

And snowy white milk glass.

Laurie Birdie 2

And her creativity continues. Mixed media combines her painting and buttons and assorted pretties.

Laurie Art

And sweet little chalkboards show her special touch.

Charming Sign

These sweet little birds were for sale.

Charming Birds

And an old child’s sewing machine (be still my heart!).

Laurie Sewing Machine

We enjoyed seeing each other that day and every time I passed by, Laurie and I smiled and chatted a bit – and loved every minute we could be together. Since then we have emailed and commented on each other’s blogs and one of these days we will see each other again sometime – somewhere – soon. We hope!

Charming Booth

Those are such sweet memories – but then, just a few days ago a I found a wonderful surprise in my mailbox! When I saw the envelope I knew exactly who it was from. Without looking at the return address!

Laurie Envelope

This was not just any ordinary, old envelope! No-sir-ee! It was a work of art – Laurie’s artwork graced my mailbox. I couldn’t wait to get inside to open it and see what it held. And I was not disappointed – not at all. Inside I found this sweet note. See the way she ‘dresses’ up a simple note?

Laurie Note

And the sweetness kept coming! A hand-painted tag – from Laurie’s hand to me!

Gift Tag

One of her sweet, little magnets. . .


An autumn charm. . .

Punkin Charm

And on the back – a hand-painted quilt block!

Punkin Charm - Back

Laurie knows I love yellow roses, so she painted one just for me. She told me they are hard to paint because the shading wants to change color.

Rose Charm

And on the back – writing. Beautiful words.

Rose Charm - Back

Thank you, my friend, you have blessed my heart with your kindness. And your talent always amazes me.

I hope you will stop by Laurie’s blog and see more of her work. I know she would love to help you choose a piece (or two!) of her work so you can be as blessed as I!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Psalm Of Life

My Shepherd

The Lord is my Shepherd – protection;
He makes me to lie down in green pastures – abundance;
He leads me beside the still waters – peace.

He restores my soul – healing;
He leads me in paths of righteousness – guidance
For His name’s sake – purpose.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death – experience,
I will fear no evil – confidence;
For You are with me – omnipresence;
Your rod and your staff they comfort me – instruction.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies – provision;
You anoint my head with oil – consecration;
My cup runs over – joy.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life – assurance;
And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever – eternal life.

‘Psalm 23’ adapted by: Ralph O’Day
artwork: ‘My Shepherd’
artist: Sheri Doty

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Gifts From God


He (God) never left them without evidence of
Himself and His goodness. For instance,
He sends you rain and good crops
and gives you food and joyful hearts.

Acts 14:17
(New Living Translation)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Finds and Treasures

It has been awhile since I shared my finds and treasures – and believe me, there are a lot to share. The Spring and Summer months, and into the Fall season have been busy and profitable garaging and thrifting months. So much fun – and much to share.

My most recent find was just last week. What a bargain I got! My dear little mother, my sweet cousin, Mrs. C., and I have spent many Fridays out and about together, looking for treasures. Last week we carefully planned our day to include helping Mrs. C. shop for accessories for the wall above her new living room sofa. Her success exceeded our highest hopes. In the process we included a couple of thrift stores where we wanted to shop. As we headed home tired and happy from the day spent together, I slowly made my way through freeway traffic and, realizing how tired I was – and sensing that the other two were equally as tired – I suggested we bypass one thrifting stop we had planned to make on the way home. We all agreed that it would be wise to stop there another time, but we decided to make a quick stop at the big fabric store just across the street from the thrift store. Our plan was to go into the fabric store, find what we needed, pay, go out, get in the car and get back on the freeway toward home.

Well, that was the plan! But it didn’t work that way at all. You see, as I rounded the corner toward the fabric store we had to pass right in front of the thrift store. As I approached, at about the same moment, Mrs. C. and I spied the HUGE sign on the front windows that said ‘Everything half off today! Now the next thing that happened was totally out of my control – my car absolutely refused to continue on in the direction of the fabric store! Instead it just turned right into the thrift store parking lot. Once we were there we had to go inside and shop. What else could we do? And were we ever glad we did! Mrs. C. found a wonderful wrought iron wall shelf that complimented all the other pieces she had purchased for her living room earlier that day. My dear little mother decided to look at the books before continuing any farther into the store. And I’m so glad she did! I collect old books. Especially books written for young girls.

Elsie Dinsmore Books - Bookshelf

I already owned a few of the Elsie Dinsmore books and, while I have often looked for more, they have been hard to find. Not long after she began looking at the books my dear mother called me to come over to the corner where she was. I could tell from her voice that she had found something worth looking at. What she showed me MADE my day! It was the find to end all finds – like the frosting on the cake – and the price? - we could hardly believe it. Elsie Dinsmore books! Seven of them. The price tag said, ‘Set: Nine ninety nine’! Now remember the sign on the window? Everything half off? Yes, you guessed it, I quickly carried all seven of those books to the cashier and paid five dollars. Total! For. all. of. them! I couldn’t have been more pleased - and I couldn't wait to get them home to add to my collection.

Elsie Dinsmore Books

But that’s not all! I knew I that already owned two of the books in this set – but I had plans. When I returned home I carefully removed the duplicates from the bookshelf because I wanted to keep all the matching covers - and the duplicates on my shelf did not match each other or these new books. On the shelf went my new books!

Elsie Dinsmore Books - On Shelf

Not far from my home is a wonderful used bookstore. I love going there and spending time with Miss A.M., the owner. She has millions of books - well, maybe not millions - but there are a lot. And she has a great plan for trading books. I took the two books from my shelf to Miss A.M. and she was happy to get them for her customers. In return, I have twenty-two dollars of credit at her store. And - with my credit - one of these days I’ll find more wonderful old books to add to my collection. I would say I got a good deal!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Railroad Memories








Scenes from Depot Park, Prairie City, Oregon