goodbye, old friend

In memory of our beloved Gatsby.
We'll be ever thankful to You, Lord, for the 13 years of his unconditional love and companionship that You gave.

Never was there a sweeter dog.
He was our baby before our babies.
We're going to miss his pleading eyes, his gentle spirit, his soft ears, his happy tail, his "welcome home" greetings, his listening ear and just simply, his presence.
wrinkly boy

our 10-year-old baby, Gatsby

lab sun


gatsby in school

lab sun

You were a good one, big fella.
Love you.
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Thanksgiving thanks

Did you have a lovely Thanksgiving?
We did.  Thanks was given.   A day of food and family and knitting.  I'm not sure why her face is so sour but she had a good day, too.  She didn't want to leave her cousins' house.
Do you know one of the things I love, love about Thanksgiving? Gravy. Turkey gravy. That once-a-year joy of joys covering my plate. Mmmmm.
I'm going to just cut to the chase and jump right into my never-ending gratitude list.
#1,183 - 1,205
"They will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness."
Psalm 145:7

drumstick chomping boy
thick & cozy socks
visiting parents
pecans & chocolate
chunky yarn, quick knitting
still warm(ish) outside
Your sun pouring through the windows, striped light
firstborn engrossed
little one's morning cheeriness
him warming up leftovers
late night sustenance for late night projects
paint on my skin.....progress
music from my phone coming with everywhere, worship close by....a reminder
ability and availability to help out the needy florist during a panicky emergency for her
plans change but never for You, Lord
You go before.......always
Your whisper, grace to heed
You reminding that their pleas are fleeting
cinnamon's fragrance in our noses
a quiet day
a toasty home
real things made
Advent.....starting the glorious countdown

Yes, He is a good God.

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hello & hosanna {free printable}

Good day to you.
I don't know about where you are but it's gloriously sunny here today. Very cold but shining bright. Gorgeous! Rays of sunlight pouring onto the walls and floors makes me supremely happy! Thank You, Lord!

I'm just popping in here for a quick hello. Quick because I've just finished school with the kids and am now off to continue the seemingly never-ending work of painting my kitchen {among all the other crafty and daily living things swirling about here).

You know of my love of this song, right? I do believe I've mentioned it many, {many} times before.  I've got it goin' in the background right now.

Well, I wanted to be reminded of the words {SUCH a visual girl, I am!!!) and thus made a printable that I wanted to share with y'all. So, here it is.

{*Note: DON'T click in the box with the cd-looking thing, that's an ad. Scroll down just a little bit and ONLY click in the blue box that says, "Start download now from Sendspace".}

I hope your day is lovely and light-filled,

"When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said,
"I am the light of the world.
Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, 
but will have the light of life."
John 8:12

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HE's my home

The florist I work for sometimes called me from her vacation out of state yesterday with a frantic request,
"Hello? Oh, hi, Beth. What? You need me to come in to make an arrangement for a funeral? For your best client, huh? I think I can work that out. You're welcome."
Drive, drive, drive.....20 minutes through downtown and over to the east side of town.
Where I grew up.
Well, we moved there from another state when I was 10 but it's the place I think of as my "hometown".
Flowers, done. "Yep, I'd like to receive that."
"Oh, boy....since I'm over here already, I can go get my favorite bruschetta from my favorite take-out place for dinner! Wahoo!!"
"You know what, my little hometown is really cute. Idyllic even. The lake setting and all. It's really changed a lot in the past few years. So many great restaurants! And, sniff, I sure do miss my grocery store and my library overlooking the sailboats."
"Mmmmmmmm, it smells soooo good in here." Salivating.

"Maybe I'l drive by the house I grew up in."
"Wow, it looks and feels SO different with that big maple tree missing from the front yard."
"Heehee, how I loved to climb out my window onto the roof of the garage and stare up at the stars."

"Now I'll just zip by my first home.....the one he and I bought when we were newlyweds, the one we brought our newborn boys home to."  Memories so sweet.
"Why in the world they tore down our white picket fence and ripped out the landscaping is beyond me.  And, whoa.....our one-year anniversary gift, that birch tree, is HUGE now!"

And on the winding way back home, my thoughts turned to prayer....
"Lord, although it was seemingly idyllic over there in my little hometown, I know the truth is it was simply a shiny veneer like everywhere else.  I'm so thankful for where You've brought us, for how You've grown us like that tree.  I'm grateful for where you have us n.o.w.  Home is truly wherever You are."

P.S.   Look at these cute little felt houses to make that I found via Heather's blog.  Aren't they adorable all lit up with their little LED votives inside?  Here's the blog post with tutorial.

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{book love}: a couple colorful ones

Sharing picture books that have put smiles on our faces!
Because....who doesn't love picture books??!

This book, The Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar County by Janice Harrington and illustrated by Shelley Jackson, had me at "Hello".  A grandmother's farm and chickens! Those mixed media illustrations.....oh, my! Fabric, graph paper, paint, and is that a doily I see?!
The first-person storytelling is smart and sassy,
 "I always do three things, eat breakfast, tell stories to Big Mama, and--when Big Mama isn't looking--chase chickens!" 
"The chickens watch me, and I watch them. I think all kinds of chicken thoughts so they will not know I am up to something... Worms, slurms, swishy-mishy, ickly-tickly worms!"


The kids thoroughly enjoyed the story and studying the artist's techniques but, honestly, probably not half as much as I did!  I love this book.  It's one of those library books that I go on to purchase to enjoy again and again.

And another book that tickled our fancy was this one, Apples to Oregon by Deborah Hopkinson and Nancy Carpenter.  The crazy long subtitle sums it up nicely, "Being the (Slightly) True Narrative of How a Brave Pioneer Father Brought Apples, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Grapes, and Cherries (and Children) Across the Plains".
Most any story that I can read aloud with a Western twang is a good one in my book. :)  The story centers on a little girl named Delicious and her apple-loving Daddy who fancies to take his family and their entire orchard over the wild frontier to Oregon.

The cheerful illustrations and lively language amuse right from the start, even if Good Ole Daddy is a mite bit overly-obsessed with his fruit.  This fun tall tale had us grinnin' ear to ear.


My quick visit to the library today had me limping out to the car, my bagful of books bruising my leg.  I've said it before but I must say again, I'm SO very thankful for the library!  Have you read anything smart and sassy and colorful lately?
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knitting, painting, rising, listening, and thanksgiving

After another Saturday spent doing this,


it felt all-the-more blissful to put my feet up last night and attempt this,
my annual, this-is-the-year-I-learn-to-knit attempt. Although I long to have a real-life person teach me how to knit (a-hem all you knitters out there), I'm resigned to learning via video until a human shows up. So, thanks to Pinterest, I found these simple videos and I actually, unbelievably made great progress on what apparently will be a scarf, simply knitted, no purling, no anything fancy, no pattern.....just, knit, knit, and knit again. So soothing. I had to be pried off my in-law's couch when it was time to go. "Just one more row?!"
And then when we got home and got the kids tucked into their beds, I f.e.l.l. into our bed and it was only 9:00! Yes, I went to bed at 9:00 last night and you know what? I'm feeling GREAT this morning. Recently, I had fallen off my rising-early-train but know I remember how calming and perfectly wonderful it is to be up in the wee hours of the morning in the quiet, just me and God, my cup of coffee (with the peppermint-mocha creamer that turned out to actually be good), every candle lit and did I say, quiet? This early-to-bed, early-to-rise thing really is the way to go for me at this stage of my life. I don't know why I trick myself into thinking I need to get things done in the evening. Thanks for the gentle reminder, Lord!

And, I'm thankful for so much more today......
#1,169 - 1,182
what He showed her, what He's teaching me, achingly painful but needed
feeling useless and helpless but knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that He will guide
"For You are my rock and my fortress; and for Your name’s sake You lead me and guide me;" Psalm 31:3
wisdom and a reminder from Him through her over here including this quote that strikes at my heart,
“On every level of life, from housework to heights of prayer, in all judgement and effort to get things done, hurry and impatience are sure marks of the amateur.”-Underhill
piping hot coffee, steam rising up
the satisfaction of progress made and a job accomplished
flock of geese, wind rushing through wings, honking on their way
chickens roosting, snuggled together for warmth
little boy haircut, a clear path to his hazel browns again
her baby teeth, "Lucy, you may NOT lose any of those teeth....ever."
books to read, hands to knit, mouth to taste, and the my prayer, "Lord, may I not be too comfortable in my comfort."
assured in His promise...He will show me how to love like He's loved me....(this song running on autoplay in my head)

May you have eyes to see His grace in your life today, my friend.

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instagram friday

*our first snow*
just a powdered sugar dusting of it.
i have to admit, it was beautiful. 

*little hands embroidering*
*not one but two lovely little surprises in my actual mailbox this week*
like sunshine on a rainy day.

*what's kept me chugging along*
making room for a new addition to our home.
thank you, craigslist.
firstborn perfecting his DoReMi.

*decided the entire room needed a makeover*
using what i have.
digging through the vintage linen stashes.
unearthing treasures from the basement.
will be at it through the weekend.
and now, friday, working for the florist.
reading and welling up.

“My presence will go with you,
and I will give you rest.”
Exodus 33:14

He goes with, friend.
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