Celebrations, Decorating, Family & Friends, Hospitality, Life Lessons, Valentine's Day, Writing

A WHOLE LOT OF LOVE GOING ON

change-calendar

Today’s the 28th of February. Are you ready to flip the page on your calendar?

Although the shortest month of the year, February was always big at our house because of my birthday on the 14th, as was May for Will’s. It still is. As usual, I started celebrating early over lunches, dinners, and coffee dates. I loved being with everyone who wanted to help me celebrate.

Valentine’s Day fell on the second Tuesday, the day my writing group was to meet at my house, so heart-pansI decided to make a cake for the meeting.

What fun to use my mother’s heart-shaped pans and copy a Valentine cake from the February issue of Tea Time, a beautiful little publication devoted to the art of creating memorable tea parties. You can see theirs at Tea Time.

In fact if you want a clue as to what my decorations looked like, you’ll have go there because I FORGOT to take a picture of it. (But the group can vouch for my slightly lop-sided strawberry hearts.)

heart-cake

Although my hearts weren’t perfect like Tea Time’s, we had a great party–even if I do say so myself.

happy-birthday-to-me
My guests surprised me with cards and little gifts.

Several folks read some serious pieces they had written about the love of God that seemed appropriate for the month dedicated to love. After all, writing about Him is the central purpose for our getting together.

But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him. Romans 5:8

Afterwards we laughed and talked over cake, candy, and coffee. It was a joyful celebration. I wish you could have been here. 

Looking back at the month, I asked myself if I made good use of the time.

Concerning revisions to Thomas’s story, I confess, I didn’t do much on that front. But I spent lots of time with family and friends or thinking about th consider that a high priority.

And I did ponder Thomas’s fate as I crafted Valentine boxes to give as little gifts and bookmark favors for the writing group that were inspired by the February issue of Better Home and Gardens.

heart-bookmarks
You tuck a little piece of candy inside.

valentine-boxes1

 

There’s no doubt about my enjoying all that crafting.crafting

I  also read a blog, Novel Rocket, every day and considered the advice of successful writers. As I cut and pasted pretty papers, I pondered what I might need to cut or add to Tom’s life to fill out the plot. How I could enhance his character so you’d know him better. How to add atmosphere for a greater sense of place.

revise

Today, the craft supplies are back on the shelf, and I’m returning to Thomas–or Tom. (His mother still calls him Tommy.) The’s jury still out on what I’ll call him in the final version, but at the moment, it’s Tom. Maybe you have an opinion on that.

All in all, I’m happy with the way my February began, progressed, and ended. But I’m also eager for the  next thing, which is March. I know it will be filled with lots of love, too.

And once again, I find myself praying to the One who loves me best.

Lead me, Lord. Help me complete what we’ve begun. Guide me in all I do in the coming days.

That’s my prayer for you, too.

May God lead you in the way you should go today and everyday.

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way.

Ps. 36:23

Celebrations, Decorating, Family & Friends, Life Lessons

DISCOVERY

mini-trees

Inspired

A month or so ago, bottlebrush trees showed up on my radar. Gina of Desperately Seeking Gina showed us how to create colorful ones in a post. Next, I noticed a group of vintage trees on the cover of Martha Steward Living at Winn Dixie. I bought it. Then Talya at Grace Grits and Garden showed us how she used some of her beauties to decorate this year.

Although I have lots of little trees, I didn’t own one bottlebrush tree at that time. But I knew how to remedy that. I’d keep an eye out while I did my Christmas shopping.

Look at what I found.

Those mini trees above were in that bargain section by the front door at Target. Just $3. Wouldn’t they be cute on place cards, packages, or in a miniature village?

I also ran across these pretty plates and napkins there.

christmas-plates

trio-of-trees

This trio of dark green trees came from Marshalls—or was it Home Goods? Anyway, they’re my favorites.

Later, I found this bright 40%-off bargain when I stopped in CVS.

single-tree

Decorating Fun

This is how I incorporated these little treasures in my decorations.

tree2

trees4

trees3

For Unto Us a Child Is Born

Although I love my little trees and Santas, I find my greatest pleasure in setting up the nativities I’ve collected over the years. They run from folksy and fun to fine and fragile. Here are just a few.

nativity16

img_4082
My newest addition. Thank you, Talya!

nativity162

Getting Personal

Each year, I understand the importance of the birth of Jesus Christ a little bit more.  His coming into our world changed the course of history. Unimpressed with success and wealth, He reached out to the poor, sick, and disenfranchised. He elevated the status of women.

As Emmanuel–God with us–Jesus did for us what we could not do for ourselves. He became our link to God the Father and showed us His true nature.

May you have a Blessed Christmas and

Walk into a New Year filled with God’s Blessings!

For God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever

believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 3:16

Blessings, Comfort, Family & Friends, Gratitude, Life Lessons, Memories

MUSINGS

days-2016

It’s been a week since we said our goodbyes. They were leaving for Atlanta Friday morning, preferably by 6:00 a.m. Not wanting us to feel we had to get up to see them off, they insisted on hugs all around before heading to bed. It wasn’t long until we hit the sack, too.

FRIDAY MORNING

It’s still dark when Terry whispers, “I hear them stirring.”

dsc_0081

I glance at the clock—5:50 a.m. I throw off the covers and hop out of bed. As I slip on yoga pants and a shirt, Terry calls from the door, “They’re leaving. Caroline is already in the car.”

I scurry out.

Maria and Emily wait in doorway of the den. We hug and exchange I love yous. Then we follow them outside to give Caroline for one last hug through the window and catch Brad by the car door.

Before we know it, they’re backing out of the driveway. Their headlights sweep across the neighbor’s yard and onto the street. We wave from the porch and step back inside to watch their taillights disappear down the street.

No tears.

Just gratitude for time together and for the good life to which they’re returning. That old girl-kitty, Mimi, and the dogs, Max and Milo, miss them. Plus, they need to regroup before they head back to work and school on Monday.

LOOKING AHEAD

I remind myself, we’ll see them again soon. Christmas will be here almost before we turn around.

img_3970Wait. Was that chocolate cake one of the girls was carrying to the car?

Perfect send off.

 

 

 

 

 

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: Ecc. 3:1