Saturday, August 1, 2009

Shoes and Cars

MotherH shared with me Sunday afternoon that two of her favorite things are the multitude of cars in their driveway, and the many pairs of shoes in the entry hall when we have a “birthday Sunday”…evidences to all the neighbors of our family’s togetherness…hospitality really does start at home.

A little post to let you know we're still alive! :)

Gayle is busy with her business- she now sells Premier Designs Jewelry as well as keeping up Refreshed Hearts.

I am teaching music lessons, filling out college applications, writing and playing my violin, etc.

Hope you're all doing well! Leave us a comment if you visit! :)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Heart of Giving

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
- Psalm 119:105 (NRSV)

I count "Aunt Sweetie" as one of my best friends. People call her Aunt Sweetie because she is a genuinely sweet person. Aunt Sweetie opened the doors of her heart and home to me 20 years ago. She and her husband treat me as if I were a family member. In good times and sad times, their children have shown me how much they love me too.

From the beginning of our relationship, their home was a haven, a place where I could retreat to regain my spiritual and physical strength. There I was surrounded by love, protection, care, and abundant hospitality.

On my most recent visit, my oldest son decided to visit me while I was staying at Aunt Sweetie's house for a couple days, and I had asked him if he needed the Bible that was in my bedroom for his morning devotional. "Actually," he said, "I used the Bible in my bedroom. It seems there are Bibles in every part of the house." Suddenly I came to understand why this woman had been such a powerful influence on me. The source of strength I find in this house lives in these people who embody the Bible's message of love.

-- A. Cantu de Canseco (Tamaulipas, Mexico)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Catching Up...

It is time to update our blog!

Okay... it's way past time. :)

This Christmas season, we enjoyed lots of R&R: Daughter #1 was home from school, and we were at Grandma & Grandpa's a lot (see Grandma's House post to learn a little more about our AMAZING Grandparents!) but we had busy times, too~ busy, FUN times!

Gayle decorated the tables & centerpieces for our church's Ladies' Dessert. Everything was beautiful~ she picked a palette of golds, bronzes, browns, and creams, and most important of all, she added lots & lots of SPARKLES!

We went shopping for glass plates & cups at all the local dollar & thrift stores~ we got some really good buys! We also bought a lot of snowflake doilies, and Rick, Daddy & Husband, spraypainted and glittered them ALL for us!

Next, Gayle purchased dessert servers (an elegant two-tiered design in soft bronze), and festooned them with brown & cream snowflake ribbon, with little gold berries twined in-between them.

Our pastor's wife had already given us matching paper napkins & glittery bronze candles~ everything was starting to look wonderful! We finished with beautiful cream tablecloths that were used in the pastor's son's wedding, soft gold embossed papers to slip under each dessert server, and everything looked marvelous!

Mom did an amazing job, and I had such fun helping her. She has been making beautiful little ornaments this Christmas, using little glass frames, ribbons, & sparkles. For the Christmas dessert, I came up with an ornament design on the computer, and we made little ornaments for everyone to take home.

Our theme was "My Soul Magnifies the Lord", and so I tried to bring that into the two designs we chose. It was FUN!!! If you would like the images that I used in the ornaments, let me know, and I'll post it on the blog. :)

After the Christmas Dessert, we spent several weeks just savoring our time together, and did not do very much. As soon as January began, however, things began to pick up again.

I have been making little Valentine books for a local antique store. Hopefully people will like them. I have had lots of fun creating them! Here's a sneak peek:

I am also in the midst of updating the Refreshed Hearts website~ if you want to see what it's going to look like, visit this link. I have not done the home page yet. :)

Since Christmas break is over, Mom/Gayle is homeschooling the boys. She is also in the midst of an exciting room makeover in our basement.

I will have another update soon~ God bless you all!

~Gayle & Gracy