Tag: family

Kitchen Table Thanksgiving

Simple, quiet, thankful.

No special, fancy Thanksgiving Day planned today, just my family, me, my husband, and our beautiful gift from God, our son.  A wonderful, kind, caring, loving human being, created by God, and given to us.

So thankful for him.

So thankful for the, “I love you Mom”, he quietly speaks to me every single day.

So thankful for my home, warm, clean, lovely in so many ways, perfectly imperfect, as I love to say.

Thoughts come to me often of those folks, those families, without a place to call home, living wherever they can for the night.  Heartbreaking stories.

So thankful for having a brother and sister, we are close, now more than ever.  That the ups and downs of life over the years have taught us that we will always have each other.  Always.

So thankful for the fact that I now realize God has always been in my life, with me, loving me, getting me through horrible times, to this place I am right now.  He was with me when I did not know Him.

So thankful that I have folks to love, how terribly sad it would be not to have someone to love in your life.  I will reach out to those today, to let them know I love them, that they are thankful gifts in my life.

So thankful for this day, serving our turkey and dressing, at our kitchen table, together, praying, giving thanks with grateful hearts.

I try to always start each day when waking, thanking God for another day, not just on Thanksgiving Day.

Hope all of you take a few moments to be thankful.

Overwhelming love to all of you today!

Another Fall Gathering

Over the years, our family has gathered for a two hour drive to Nashville, Indiana, to the Brown County State Park.

Many years we have rented a family cabin, but this year a smaller gathering, just me, my sister, and our husbands, so we decided to stay in the lodge.

Such a beautiful setting in the state park, especially in the fall time of the year.

The lodge is rustic, no fancy things, they even have real keys to the rooms.

Unfortunately, rain was predicted on our first day with cooler temperatures.  It rained!

We spent time together, that late rainy afternoon, over some rich chocolate brownies and coffee, in a large gathering room in the lodge.  The room has a huge stone fireplace, tables and chairs, and sofas.

Critters in every corner!

My sister’s birthday was in October, no one had made her a cake, so I brought the brownies to celebrate.

She loves chocolate!

We so enjoyed just being together, talking about whatever, including a cute story of my brother-in-law’s name for my sister, early in their relationship, “Sunshine”.  I had never heard that before, oh my gosh, so sweet!

These are the things great family gatherings are all about!  Recalling memories, and making memories.

I am an early riser, so the large window seat in our lodge room, was the perfect spot for me to sit each morning. Lots of pillows behind me, I would write in my journal and read, trying not to wake my husband.

With each day of our stay I could see the trees changing in the woods from the window.

Breakfast the first morning of our trip is always a short drive through the town of Nashville, to a simple, local restaurant with home cooking. Country folks, town regulars, all just so friendly.

As they served us with platters of hot biscuits, gravy, and eggs, I thought of my Grandma, those beautiful breakfast tables she served us, how I miss those times, my Grandma times!

The times I spent with just me and my Grandma are some of the best memories of my life.

I am not a grandma, and probably will never be, but I tried to give those memories to my nieces by spending quality time with them as they were growing up!  They were my grand-babies!

The weather improved the next day, so I went out early, with camera and coffee in hand, to take a few extra photos.

I spoke with a lovely man who was painting the trees from the large back porch, many photographers were out and about, capturing the beauty of this place.

The sun came out, warmer, a full day was planned.

A crisp, cool, beautiful fall day, a gift from God!

We headed into town, a train ride to see the sites, lunch at our favorite spot, Hob Nob Restaurant, shopping in the many shops, and of course, a visit to the candy store for fudge.

On our last morning, we packed up, headed out, driving through the park for the last time.

A stop at the Brown County Winery, and lunch, before heading home.

So very, very grateful for this trip.

So grateful that my husband could join us, even with his health issues.

Jim doesn’t get out so much anymore, so the trip was a treat for him.

So good to see him laugh at the silly card game we all played before day’s end, sharing popcorn, beer, and more chocolate for my sister!

This was a beautiful, small, fall family gathering, but a special one. Relaxing, quite time, for this time in our lives.

Thankful, grateful, blessed!

Love to all.

Crooked Again This Year

Our small back porch, a gathering place for just the two of us!

Morning coffee together, reading, music, sometime lunches, simple everyday conversation.

But Saturday mornings on our porch, in the fall, are so special.

We can hear the cheers and yells coming from the many soccer fields near our home.

Shh…!

Listen.

Remember.

The oh so many joyful times, years and years ago, when our son, our only child, played soccer.

Jimmy loved to play, he was quite good, and we were so proud, loving every minute.

We can’t forget those days, those never to return days.

Recently, I talked to Jimmy about those times.  He remembers it all, the smell of the grass, the cheers, the concession stand, run by the parents, and even riding his bike up to see games he was not playing.

Our small porch was crooked again this year, no money for repairs.

No matter, I added some colorful pillows, some plants, no one cared about the crooked floor!

It is our beautiful gathering space to be together, to remember, to be thankful for memories.

Blessings and love to all this weekend.

Remember.

 

 

Checked Off My Bucket List

Knowing today is officially the first day of fall, yesterday I worked on a twig wreath for my front door.

Gathered some vines, formed a wreath secured with wire, finished up by adding some bittersweet purchased this past weekend at the Country Living Fair in Columbus, Ohio.

Love my wreath, twiggy, simple, no nonsense, perfect for welcoming this time of the year.  Just the look I wanted.

A few months ago, I contacted my niece who lives close to Columbus, asking her if she would be able to go to the Country Living Fair, a bucket list item of mine.

What joy for me when she agreed to make time in her busy life!

We decided to make a weekend of it!  Along with my sister, we traveled 2 hours to her home, a farmhouse in the country.  Just such a beautiful setting.

Some of her neighbors.

Early morning coffee on the porch.

A gift, homemade sweet pickles.

Amanda, next to my son, has given my life overwhelming love and joy!

We went to the fair on Saturday, it was filled with all the things you see in the Country Living magazine.

Spectacular weather all weekend.

The rest of our time was spent relaxing, visiting with Amanda’s family and friends, laughing, and of course, eating!

Thank you Amanda for checking off this bucket list item of mine, and especially for spending time with me!

The only bad part of our trip, leaving Amanda, so sad for us to say goodbye!

Simple living, simple sharing, doing simple things, with love.

Have a beautiful, simple, first day of fall.

Photo Memory Notes

On my last post I wrote about a Sunday afternoon framing family photos.

When looking at many of the photos, I wished I knew more about each one.

How old, what year, where, was it a special occasion?  Just so much I will never know or remember, including photos of my own son.

I thought of an idea for a new product, “Photo Memory Notes”.

A pack of sticky notes that can be filled out and placed on the back of our favorite photo prints.  The size would fit the normal current day photo prints, 4″ x 6″.

What a really thoughtful, lovely gift, to leave our loved ones, small stories about old photos.

When going through my box of old photos, there were only three with written information on the back, those were ones my Mom had left.

I love the fact that I know our ages on this favorite old photo of me and my sister.

I was two and my sister three, so cute!

On this photo Mom wrote that this was the last photo of her and Dad before he went overseas.  Dad is in his uniform.  How special!

The planner, journal, lettering industry is huge right now, millions of dollars.

Many folks love keeping notes, writing, drawing, even coloring right now, including me!

You could make the argument that you could just use plain sticky notes, but no, not to many of us, special is what we look for!

There is a stack of memory notes on my desk right now!

When I have quiet time I am enjoying writing memories.  A gift to my son and family years down the road.

The notes can remain on the back when framing too!

I have sent my idea to several companies including Scotch, Michael’s, and Hobby Lobby.

Let’s see what happens!

Failing doesn’t upset me, how can you expect success if you don’t try.

Several years ago, I applied for a provisional patent on a product I thought would be profitable.  Sent my idea to a few companies, only to see my idea on the website of one of the companies later.

There was a note on the product with a patent #, I checked it out, it was basically the same idea as mine only several years earlier.

At least I knew my idea wasn’t silly!

I will keep you all posted if I receive any response to my sweet idea.

Keep trying, never give up!  That’s me!

Love and blessings to all!

 

Spending Time With Family

I believe Sundays, for the most part, should be restful, thoughtful, grateful days, enjoying and spending time with family.

That is what I did yesterday.

Over the years I have kept so many wonderful photos of my family, old and new, stored away in a box on a shelf, in my closet.

Yesterday, I pulled out my photo box, and the many frames I have accumulated over the years.

My afternoon journey began.

Choosing special photos for framing was so difficult, my favorites, my loved ones, those with me now, and those beautiful ones in heaven, how do I choose?

Such an emotional afternoon, laughs, smiles, tears, regrets!

I framed several older ones of my Mom and Dad, and favorites of me and my sister, shown above.

During the holidays I love displaying photos taken during that bright, magical time of the year.

Sweet Easter ones of my brother and sister, just really cute!

As the afternoon passed, many were framed and found places around my home.

Especially love this old one of my Grandma holding my sister in her arms.  This photo was taken in front of our family’s grocery, years and years ago.  I loved looking at all the old products, and product signs, 7up, Pepsi, Kraft, and Wonder Bread.

My desk was the perfect spot for these mini frames holding the cutest photo of me with my son at Kings Island Amusement Park, and this dear one of me and my Mom.  Love these so!

I worked for hours sorting, choosing, and framing.

So many left to do!

Those of my dear son, at all ages of his life, our sweet pets, who have given us such joy over the years, and just so many others.

As I grow older, it is important, a longing, to have my family around me.

The days in our lives bring so many laughs, smiles, good times, tears. As time passes these become memories we cherish.

Love to all.

My Jar of Crayons

I love color, anything colorful makes me happy, makes me smile!

All of my life I have loved crayons.  As a child, drawing and coloring would always brighten a lonely day.

I keep a large jar of crayons in my craft area, not only as a fun, colorful, display piece, but for the memory it brings to mind every time I see it!

My father was from New Jersey, so for many years we would take our family vacations there, we loved the ocean and the boardwalk. Fun times for us!

One year we went to visit one of my father’s cousins, she had a daughter my age.

Her room had everything a little girl could ever want.  The most beautiful dolls everywhere, but the something that I focused on, was a very large box of crayons, larger than a shoe box, every color, and just so many of them!

She noticed my interest in the box, grabbed it from my hands, and threw the box aside spilling and breaking many.

Did she have so much of everything, that they meant nothing?  I think so!

Have you ever noticed that the sweetest, nicest, most grateful folks, are those whose lives aren’t filled with everything they could possibly want.  The folks that need to work hard to get extra things.  Giving them a gift brings the giver joy knowing that they are truly thankful.

I try to remember this, “something for nothing, means nothing”.

Have a bright, colorful, thankful weekend.

How to Carve a Watermelon Basket

It’s only the 9th of July, lots of summer still left to enjoy.

I thought you all might need an idea for something to take to a family gathering or cookout.

This is my most popular pin on Pinterest, pinned hundreds of times.

Here are the instructions from a previous post.  http://lovingmynewsimplelife.com/wow-them/

This is seriously so easy to do, and a show stopper on a food table.  Love the scalloped edges!

Can be filled with colorful mixed fruit, or simply cut up watermelon chunks as I did in the top photo.

When putting this post together I thought of my first memory of having watermelon.

I loved to spend time with my grandmother in the summer. There was a truck that would come down the street selling fruits and vegetables, and on one hot day, she grabbed her little black change purse, and we went to the truck and bought a watermelon.  Grandma cut it up, and we enjoyed it that hot summer afternoon.

My oh my, what a sweet memory for me!

Make some sweet memories this summer, and also try carving a “sweet” watermelon basket.

Love you all this July afternoon!

 

When a Small Gift Returns

Hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July.

I hung my flag outside of our home the first thing in the morning.

So fortunate to be born and live in the USA.

Sometimes we forget!

Just a quiet 4th for us, no invites, no guests.

I did decorate a bit, it is just something I like to do!

Last week when shopping with my sister, we found a cute dog bandana filled with stars and stripes.

We immediately thought of our favorite dog, “Denali”, belonging to my niece, my sister’s daughter.

I wrapped it up and mailed it to him for his 4th of July apparel.

In the afternoon, during our uneventful 4th, my phone beeped.  It was a video of our favorite dog prancing around, modeling his new scarf.  Soooo cute!

Oh my gosh, what a really simple sweet moment!

Me and my husband watched the video over and over, laughing at it each time.  It made our day special.

The video was our gift of thoughtfulness returning!

Do something simple and sweet for someone you love and watch it come back.

Love to all!

 

 

Let’s stay home!

Once the weather turns warm and wonderful, our yard and back porch become an extension of our living space.  We spend much of our time outdoors including having meals.  Even when it is hot you can find us sitting under one of our large shade trees, one or both of us usually napping.

Staying home is just part of our lives now.  My husband just cannot go and do so much anymore, his difficulty walking and low energy level just does not allow it.

Since this is how our lives must be it is important for me to make a fun, colorful space, that we love and enjoy!

A happy place!

Thanks to a Walmart gift card I have tucked away since Christmas, I was able to purchase a couple of inexpensive items from a Better Homes and Garden galvanized line, especially designed for easy outdoor dining.

A beverage server for only $12.48, and a tiered server only $17.88.  I also found some very reasonably priced outdoor dishes ranging from $.98 to $2.48.

Beautiful, bright colors.

The tiered server saves me many steps in and out of the house, I keep it stocked and close to the back door for use anytime.  You can find the beverage server filled with lemonade for us to enjoy throughout many hot afternoons.

Summertime, bright and beautiful long days, warm, just so happy!

Kick back, relax!

Warm loving thoughts for all of you this weekend.