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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

merry christmas

here's our Christmas wish for you:

 we hope you can find some time to play games:

and take some time to dance....

 we pray you will feel Loving Arms near by....

 and warmth to fill you inside....

may you have a place to come home to....

and someone to squeeze you tight....

maybe a little adventure....

and a place for merry and bright.

merry Christmas from our bustling home.....

PHOTO CREDIT: Lazio Images

"There has been only one Christmas~
 the rest are anniversaries."
  ~W.J. Cameron~

Friday, December 14, 2012

the sun set.

today you could find me 
crying into my laundry pile
holding those little pants close
i asked for forgiveness for my earlier complaints.
all this laundry. 
so much blessed laundry. 

the morning took flight as it usually does.
breakfast, teeth brushed, hats and gloves and folders and snacks and backpack and jacket and, oh, don't forget hugs and "i-love-you-have-a-great-day" goodbyes. 
it could have been me, it could have been you. 
our sweet babies. 
no more. 

i didn't want the sun to set tonight.
for all those dads and moms who have just entered hell on earth.
i didn't want the night to fall on this, their darkest day.
the empty pillow.
the unopened christmas presents.
the unending questions.
oh, if my heart even hurts a little, how can they keep 

we lie here safe and warm and without a care.
full bellies and christmas lights.
my heart sings songs of praise.
and tonight, not that far from here, 
cries ring out and bodies retch with agony.

what can i do but cry out for their brokenness?
beg God to somehow come down
and keep them alive for one more day.
to help them do just one more day.

oh come to us, 
abide with us, 
our Lord, 

kitchen renovation continued.

Apologies ahead of time for talking about our kitchen so much,
 but it's big news around here! 
That's what this post is all about,
 so feel free to move along anytime! 

something old~something new. 
sweet old sink that made it's way to our home from 
shepherdstown, west virginia. 
(and it goes without saying that my husband is so kind to have driven there for her...."I did this just for you" he said)! xoxo. 

and that chair called to me from the aisle at target last week,
 (a STEAL of a deal). 
literally cannot remember the last piece of furniture i bought BRAND NEW! i ran into my sister while i was checking out
 and she gave me a high five  just for the fact that i was 
buying something new!  
and then, here is the conversation that took place between my friend amy and i on facebook later on that day,
 (after posting this pic). 

  • Amy  um...this is the EXACT chair I JUST GOT! *and just returned  hahaha, good taste huh! hahah:)
  • Janelle then it must be YOURS!! because i bought it at target yesterday. they said it was an online purchase and then someone returned it! that is hilarous! why did you take it back? i came around the corner and there it sat, i just KNEW it had to come home with me. 
  • Amy I know! Thought it was so cute the colors were just a little off for what I was looking for my loss is your gain!  *and hopefully your "on sale" gain! Hahahha:):)

How funny is that?? I thought it was pretty cool. 

new window!
here is Jake ripping out the tile countertop 
and the old sink!

lookin' good
(and the sink/countertops are nice too)!

the beginnings of the countertops
 made from old decking boards!

it's not done yet, but i'm still trying to make it cozy
 in the midst of it all! 
(thank you to my friend ang for the new "J" mug she gave me for my b-day)! 

i put on the first coat of grey the other night, 
so far i really like it! i'm giving myself some time to warm up to it...
and a chance to change my mind, (but as of now, it's just right). 
afterall, painting the walls 
is how this whole idea got started

the boys breakin' in our new farmhouse table, (and yes ,that's a Tinkerbell puzzle)! cannot wait to show you this beauty! we found it at an amish furniture consignment shop, 
(who knew there was such a place)!!??

I call this one "sabbath rest" 
because that's the only time that toolbelt is off, (on sundays)!!  

the other side of a kitchen reno:

"A little house, 

a house of my own, 

out of the wind's and rain's way."

 ~Padrak Colum~

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Neighborlies

Earlier this Summer while enjoying a day at the lake I received a call from my dear friend Jeane'. 
She shared bits about this new idea and vision she had.  
It was pieces to a puzzle for which we had no box. 
As the months flowed into one another we met  together
 and GREAT ANTICIPATION began to build. 

It is with JOY and nervous excitement 
that I share with you:

For more information about who we are, 
 please visit Jeane's blog, 

And if you so desire,
and stay updated with us there . 

We really have no idea what we're doing,
 but we're willing to try and to jump in with both feet!!

Thanks for coming along for the ride!!  

"Yes, risk taking is inherently failure-prone.  
Otherwise, it would be called sure-thing-taking."
  ~Tim McMahon~

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Auntie Anne's Winter Tea.

 This year's tea party was held at 

 Each year continues to become more and more special. 
A gift for the community and a time for 
women to come together and be filled.....
with joy, warmth, and delicious elegance. 

This venue was absolutely magical!  

It's somewhat embarrassing that between my Mother and I and one other lady we were able to furnish over 70 tea cups!  
Hey, there's got to be some reason to keep all these beauties!  

One of my favorites from my Mom's collection. 

The centerpieces began with a burlap runner, followed by a shiny/glitter tree.  Fresh greens, walnuts, pine cones, curly willow branches, grapevine balls, tea lights, teabags and crystal snowflakes finished it off.  Jessica, (the owner of White Chimneys) had many of this on hand which made decorating that much easier.  She is an amazing woman with energy beyond words, she works SO HARD to make this place beautiful, inviting, elegant and well-maintained!  

Jessica with her daughter and Anne. 
picture courtesy of white chimneys 

A violinist welcomed the ladies as they arrived. 
Seriously, she started playing while we finished the last minute details and it was MAGICAL! I was tying a burlap bow on a fresh evergreen wreath hanging on an old-fashioned carriage and I was completely transported to ChristmasWonderland!! 

Anne and her sister Fi are an absolute riot,
(like all of their family)!
They are totally themselves 
and make everyone feel so welcomed and at home.  
Such a warm and cozy time together.

 My Mom was there to help out with Capri, (who slept in my knowing Mother's arms....she can put any baby to sleep, I swear)!Anne Blank, Orpha Hostetter and a new friend Jamie Giuliani, (fellow teacup collector)! 

Capri in a tutu. xoxo. 

 The incredible food prepared with love by Anne's sister, her nephew , her assistant, (Sharon Martin) and others. 
So much detail.
Anne made her famous potato soup for everyone, 
(which sells at Angela's Cafe' if you want a taste). 
Chicken salad wraps topped with grape halves.
Cucumber and fresh parsley sandwiches. 
Hot ham and cheese sandwiches with poppy seed drizzle.
And to finish it off, individually prepared desserts, (also made by Anne).  Strawberry shortcake or Chocolate Moose awaited you at your table seating, (in adorable mini mason jars that you got take home as your favor)! 

picture courtesy of white chimneys. 
After eating Anne shared about TRUE JOY during this Christmas season. She had some amazing giveaways as well.

picture courtesy of white chimneys.

We anticipate doing an outdoor Summer Tea in 2013, most likely also at White Chimneys, so stay tuned for more details, or go to her facebook page to be informed 
about the invitation.  

Merry Christmas Friends!!
And joy to YOUR world!

"Strange how a teapot 
can represent at the same time 
the comforts of solitude 
and the pleasures of company."
  ~Author Unknown~

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Kitchen Renovation

Here are a few peeks into the remodeling process that I have endearingly named, "all-I-asked-for-was-a-coat-of-paint" 
because that 's the truth of it!! 

New Kitchen Window, 

New flooring coming soon, (dark hardwood)
so I let the boys go at the floor with all kinds of permanent markers. 
You should see this place, it's CRAZYVILLE.  
tic-tac-toe games, "hangman", roads, 
racetracks, hearts, rainbows, you name it! 

Our smallest spectator. 
bless her. she just sits there and watches the world go by!
Cabinet doors are being painted white. 

oh, i love her already. 
she's from 1949 and she's a beauty from what i can tell.
you see, she's still in west virgina waiting to be transported to her new home in strasburg. 
Jake will rescue her tomorrow night. 
BLESS that man!!!! 

That's all for tonight folks. 
And as the nice west virginia sink man said on my voice mail tonight, 
"holler back"

"Change always comes bearing gifts."  
~Price Pritchett~