Tuesday, September 30, 2008

There is a harmony in autumn...

Since I am really trying to bring the autumn feel to my home, I thought I'd share some quotes that I found. I'd love to know of any good ones you might know!

The foliage has been losing its freshness through the month of August, and here and there a yellow leaf shows itself like the first gray hair amidst the locks of a beauty who has seen one season too many. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. ~Albert Camus

For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together. For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad. ~Edwin Way Teale

It was one of those perfect English autumnal days which occur more frequently in memory than in life. ~P.D. James

Bittersweet October. The mellow, messy, leaf-kicking, perfect pause between the opposing miseries of summer and winter. ~Carol Bishop Hipps

Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. ~George Eliot

No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds - November!
~Thomas Hood, "No!"

Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all. ~Stanley Horowitz

No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace
As I have seen in one autumnal face.
~John Donne

Besides the autumn poets sing,
A few prosaic days
A little this side of the snow
And that side of the haze.
~Emily Dickinson

October's poplars are flaming torches lighting the way to winter. ~Nova Bair

falling leaves
hide the path
so quietly
~John Bailey, "Autumn," a haiku year, 2001, as posted on oldgreypoet.com

October gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came -
The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples,
And leaves of every name.
The Sunshine spread a carpet,
And everything was grand,
Miss Weather led the dancing,
Professor Wind the band.
~George Cooper, "October's Party"

Youth is like spring, an over praised season more remarkable for biting winds than genial breezes. Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits. ~Samuel Butler

Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn. ~Elizabeth Lawrence

I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion. ~Henry David Thoreau

Autumn, the year's last, loveliest smile. ~William Cullen Bryant

Monday, September 29, 2008

Daybook ~~ September 29, 2008

Click here to go to the Simple Woman blog and learn more about Daybook.

For Today...

Outside my Window...things are quiet on this Monday evening.

I am thinking...that I have got to get busy on my goody bag items for the scrapbook retreat.

From the learning rooms...the girls are done for the day, but have Scantron tests to take online tomorrow, a report on Marco Polo to research and a time-line to complete.

I am thankful for...my husband who always works hard and puts the family first.

From the kitchen...Taryn is getting the ingredients together to make some Pumpkin Spice bread.

I am wearing...denim walking shorts, blue print top, light blue Crocs.

I am reading...The Rainy Day Book and The Host

I am hoping...for cooler weather that feels more like fall.

I am creating...goody bag items for the Northern California scrapbook retreat that I will be going to in a few weeks.

I am hearing...the t.v. in the background and Mercy Me music from my blog.

Around the house...things are starting to look and smell like fall - my favorite colors and smells...

One of my favorite things...is Starbucks Pumpkin Spice latte and I am so glad it is the season for it again!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...keep the girls on track with their school work, continue to make goody bag items, decide what I will make for the Castillo wedding (favors), make plans to see some old college friends, post things on ebay and Craig's List... phew. That's all I am going to think about for now!
Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I Believe...

I found this on a card blog and I had to share. I must be getting sentimental, because it's the second of this type that I've posted this week. Well, sometimes the things that you've wanted to write or say have already been written or said - so, I will just pass it on and share! It's good stuff...Enjoy!

"A Birth Certificate shows that we were born

A Death Certificate shows that we died

Pictures show that we lived!"

I Believe...That just because two people argue, it doesn't mean they don't love each other.
And just because they don't argue, It doesn't mean they do love each other.

I Believe...That we don't have to change friends if we understand that friends change.

I Believe...That no matter how good a friend is, they're going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.

I Believe...That true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance.
Same goes for true love.

I Believe...That you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.

I Believe...That it's taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.

I Believe...That you should always leave loved ones with loving words.
It may be the last time you see them.

I Believe...That you can keep going long after you think you can't.

I Believe...That we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.

I Believe...That either you control your attitude or it controls you.

I Believe...That heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.

I Believe...That money is a lousy way of keeping score.

I Believe...That my best friend and I, can do anything, or nothing and have the best time.

I Believe...That sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you're down, will be the ones to help you get back up.

I Believe...That sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.

I Believe...That maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had and what you've learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated.

I Believe...That it isn't always enough, to be forgiven by others.
Sometimes, you have to learn to forgive yourself.

I Believe...That no matter how bad your heart is broken the world doesn't stop for your grief. You must pick yourself up and move on.

I Believe...That our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but, we are responsible for who we become.

I Believe...That you shouldn't be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life Forever.

I Believe...Two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.

I Believe...That your life can be changed in a matter of hours by people who don't even know you.

I Believe...That even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you - you will find the strength to help.

I Believe...That credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.

I Believe...That the people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon.

"The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything;
They just make the most of everything."

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Friendship Cards

I have been making time to get some cards done. I am making all kinds, but this is what I am working on right now. I also altered some composition books, but sadly, I did not take pictures of them before giving them to my mother-in-law to sell in her little book store.

The Red Marbles Story...

This was one of those e-mails that people love to forward. I usually skim through these and then hit delete. This one though, made me pause. Many of you have already seen this, but maybe it is time for a reminder.


Three red marbles
By W. E. Petersen
This story first appeared in the October 1975 Ensign Magazine

One day Mr. Miller was bagging some early potatoes for me. I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily apprising a basket of freshly picked green peas.
I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes.
Pondering the peas, I couldn't help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller and the ragged boy next to me.
"Hello Barry, how are you today?"
"H'lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus' admirin' them peas ... sure look good."
"They are good, Barry. How's your Ma?"
"Fine. Gittin' stronger alla' time."
"Good. Anything I can help you with?"
"No, Sir. Jus' admirin' them peas."
"Would you like to take some home?"
"No, Sir. Got nuthin' to pay for 'em with."
"Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?"
"All I got's my prize marble here."
"Is that right? Let me see it."
"Here 'tis. She's a dandy."
"I can see that. Hmmmmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?" "Not zackley ... but almost."
"Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this way let me look at that red marble."
"Sure will. Thanks Mr. Miller."
Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me. With a smile she said, "There are two other boys like him in our community, all three are in very poor circumstances. Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes, or whatever. When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn't like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one, perhaps."
I left the stand smiling to myself, impressed with this man. A short time later I moved to Colorado but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys, and their bartering.
Several years went by, each more rapid that the previous one. Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community and while I was there learned that Mr. Miller had died. They were having his viewing that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them.
Upon arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could. Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white shirts ... all very professional looking.
They approached Mrs. Miller, standing composed and smiling by her husband's casket. Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket. Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one, each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket. Each left the mortuary awkwardly, wiping his eyes.
Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and mentioned the story she had told me about the marbles. With her eyes glistening, she took my hand and led me to the casket. "Those three young men who just left were the boys I told you about. They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim 'traded' them. Now, at last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size ... they came to pay their debt."
"We've never had a great deal of the wealth of this world," she confided, "but right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in Idaho."
With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband.
Resting underneath were three exquisitely shined red marbles.

Today I wish you a day of ordinary miracles ~ A fresh pot of coffee you didn't make yourself. An unexpected phone call from an old friend. Green stoplights on your way to work. The fastest line at the grocery store. A good sing-along song on the radio. Your keys found right where you left them.

"...love one another; as I have loved you.... By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:34-35

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

So thankful...

Yesterday was the first "official" day of autumn. Of course, here in Southern California, it doesn't feel official at all. I'd have to drive a good 30 - 45 minutes or so to find some really autumn looking scenery.

Those that know me, know that I love all things fall. The colors, the holiday of Thanksgiving, school starting....but I also think that I love it because it causes me to reflect on all of the blessings in my life. The Lord has definitely given me much for which to be thankful.

  • I am thankful for my salvation. I am thankful that He loved me enough to make a way for me to have eternal life. John 3:16

  • I am thankful for the husband He gave me. I honestly don't know a more hard-working and patient man. He is selfless and treats me like a queen!

  • I am thankful for my children. I love that each of my children are unique and have a personality of their own. I love that they already love serving the Lord in His house.

  • I am thankful for our church congregation. We have a core group of people that I now consider to be family. I think about and pray for them daily and I know that they pray for us.

  • I am thankful for my parents, siblings and extended family. Though they live so far away, we are able to (and enjoy) talk every week.

  • I am thankful for my husbands family - my in-laws. I do not call them in-laws because I feel as if I have been a part of their family forever.
  • I am thankful for my many friends. Because my father was in the army, we moved a lot. I went away to college in Indiana, even though I spent my high school years in Washington state. I have so many friends that are both near and far. I even have friends that I've gotten to know, but have never met IRL, because of a love for scrapbooking and a message board that I frequent. I consider some of my friends to be kindred spirits - you know who you are. I am thankful for them all.

There is so much more that I am thankful for, but those are the things for which I am always thankful. I will start putting out all of my fall decorations and it will remind me how much my Father in Heaven loves me!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Daybook ~ September 22, 2008

You can find out more about the Simple Woman's Daybook by clicking here.

For Today...

Outside my Window...the sun is shining bright.

From the learning rooms...autumn craft projects and lots of math

I am thankful for...my little Naomi who is 3 today!

From the kitchen...chicken cooking for the 140 taquitos I will be making.

I am wearing...light blue pajamas.

I am reading...Stories for a Faithful Heart by Alice Gray

I am hoping...that Naomi's party will go smoothly.

I am creating...altered notebooks, tins, CD's and more to sell

I am hearing...the birds singing and some worship songs coming from my iTunes

Around the house...everything is tidy and orderly in preparation for the party.

One of my favorite things...is getting the house decorated for the autumn season.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...school work, special event on Thursday with a friend, doctor appointment for the girls...

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

I didn't get this posted this morning, because I was waiting for a picture of the birthday girl!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thoughtful Thursdays: Weathering the Storm...

I was watching the news the other night as hurricane Ike rained down his fury through Texas. I watched as brave newsreporters tried to hold their ground and not be blown off into the next state. You can bet that after hurricane Katrina, most people are going to take these things more seriously.

My thoughts took me to some storms that I (and friends and family) have had to face. There are always so many questions - so many intense feelings and reactions. It could be a storm where someone's health is in jeopardy. It could be a financial or marital storm. It could be circumstances of change that have somehow turned your life upside down.

Do you remember the story in Matthew 14:22-33? Jesus had instructed His disciples to get into the ship and meet Him on the other side. He KNEW they would be in that ship when the storm hit! The verses talk about Peter as he left the ship to meet Jesus on the water. When the waves started to get violent, he became afraid and started to sink. He called out to Jesus. These verses show me that Christ took his hand and walked him back to the boat. He did not automatically make the waves stand still. Sometimes, we have to endure the storm, go through it all the way - but He will be with you through it. You may have to call on Him, but He will be there to carry you. He did not leave Peter's side.

There is another story that is found in Mark 4:35-41. The disciples were in a ship again. This time Jesus was already with them when the storm came. The waves were coming up over the boat and I can imagine that they feared for their life. Where was Jesus? He was asleep! He was not worried. The disciples even woke Him and asked if He even cared if they died. It is so easy for us to question God. Sometimes, my faith is so small and I forget to ask God for peace and understanding. Instead, I waste my energy with worry and panic.

I think that sometimes, it is even harder to understand and accept the storms that are in our life when all we are trying to do is live for Him and serve Him. Let us remember that if we are where He wants us, then He is there too. As a matter of fact, I know that He never leaves us. He has something that we need to learn. He is making us stronger for something ahead. He is making us realise that our priorities need to be in order. He knows, even if we don't know.

I love the song Praise You In This Storm by Casting Crowns and Jesus, Bring the Rain by Mercy Me. Both songs are in my playlist on my sidebar. Have a listen to the words. I pray that these songs, along with the Scripture that I've shared will help you to weather the storm.

Monday, September 15, 2008

From the Simple Woman blog...check my sidebar!

For Today...

Outside my Window...I see some nice grapefruit that is hanging over our wall from our neighbor's tree...she leaves those for me. =]

I am thinking..."I am enjoying this Tony Bennett song that's playing...reminds me of my grandparents."

From the learning rooms...the girls are quietly working on their spelling and math.

I am thankful for...friendships that I thought were long gone, but are just being re-born.

From the kitchen...fresh fruit and dinner out with my in-laws tonight!

I am wearing...denim pedal pushers and a blue printed shirt

I am reading...Josh McDowell's "Family Devotions"

I am hoping...that everything will work out...it always does - PTL!

I am creating...some altered items that my mother-in-law will be able to sell for me.

I am hearing...music from my Yahoo! Messenger Music launch and I have it set on Vocal Standards...currently playing is Louis Armstrong's "West End Blues"

Around the house...a bit of tidying, at least 2 loads of laundry, dishes are done, vacuuming later and a full day of homeschooling

One of my favorite things...is a good nights rest followed by early morning rising, coffee, quiet time and then peek in on my friends in the blog world. All before the children awake.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...make dental appointments for the children, visit to the pick out eye glasses for the two oldest, help a young couple with some details for their upcoming wedding, planning for little Naomi's 3rd birthday.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

Little Marco adores all of his sisters, but these two are closer in age and they get along fabulously. Naomi is so patient with him. She really does take good care of him.

Friday, September 12, 2008

September 12 on 12...

Wow! School is under way and I think we just had our first "fallish" day today. It was only 77 degrees today! LOL I am really looking forward to the cooler weather. Well, here's a little peek into our day. Hannah took pictures of her own for her blog, but here's mine.

Naomi requested scrambled eggs for breakfast...see her placemat? She chose that one day at Target as her prize. Yup. She could've picked anything, but all she wanted was the one place mat.

Time to get more fruit!

Taryn has already started on her grammar. This is her desk for school.

Hannah thought she'd be a little creative today. Kinda hurts to look at, no?
Did a little yard work after lunch...
Found this guy on the garage door. Prettier in person, I think.
After visiting my mom, I had to go out and buy some. She made some for me to take, but I forgot it. =[ It's not the same, but it'll do.
My little guy never even made it to his crib for his nap. Don't wake a sleeping baby!
Marco is looking for some good tunes to share from his iPod.
We had planned to work and then go to a high school football game out near L.A., but Marco got home too late. He decided that we all needed to go out and spend some good family time together. Fine by me!

Pot-pourri plate
The girls...ready to go home!
Well, that's our day. Not a whole lot, but that's good for us. Usually we are running in all different directions. Saturdays and Sundays are always busy with church stuff, so it was nice to take it slow. With everything that we've been through, the most important thing we've learned is that your family comes first. That's it. I truly believe that when we take care of ourselves as a family, God will allow all of our other relationships to bloom because of it. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Ugh.

Scrap's of Life has got some goodies to give away...

I love this blog. She's got a little mix of cooking, scrapbooking, and everyday life posted here. She's got a great kit to give away and since I NEED that kit, I am posting about it here for an extra entry. =] Check it out by clicking on this CLICKY.

SS Blog Challenge: ORANGE CRUSH!

From Sarah: What is your favorite color and why. Add a picture so we can get the "feel" for your favorite color.
Oh, this was an easy one! I love ORANGE.
Orange makes me happy. It is fresh. It reminds me of summer citrus, drinking Orange Crush, and beautiful sunsets. It also reminds me of my favorite season - Autumn. I love the colors of autumn. I love pumpkins. I even have my home decorated in autumn theme all year round.
I miss the colors of fall so much that I've even blogged about (CLICKY) how a dear friend sent me colorful leaves from Indiana.
I pretty much like every shade of orange, but my favorite would be the pumpkin orange. What's your favorite color?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Maww-i-age is what bwings us together...

We had a great time in Washington for Tabi's wedding! Naomi was the flower girl and Hannah and Taryn were Jr. Bridesmaids. It was a long drive up there (we even picked up Grandma on the way), but it was worth it.
Besides the wedding itself, some of the other hilites of the trip were:
  • seeing all of my siblings and their families
  • spending time with my grandmother (she's 84 years young!)
  • spending time with my parents
  • seeing my Aunt Kum, Uncle Jay, and cousins
  • seeing Angela and Robert - a young couple from our church in Cali. They relocated in Washington after securing a job with Boeing.
  • watching my grandmother dance to a street musicians rendition of Twist 'n Shout...she gathered quite a crowd. =]
  • eating the best Korean food ever
    meeting my new brother-in-law P.J. and meeting Deb's guy Clint.
  • knowing that God provided every single thing we needed for us to be there.

Although it was a bit tiring and we all came back with a cold, it was really good to be with family and friends. It was definitely a memory maker!

Beautiful bride - Tabitha
She had all different colored Gerbera daisies
My beautiful grandmother. My mom, dad and siblings. =]
Tabi with Naomi, Allexia and Abigail. (my nieces)
Naomi did such a great job as flower girl. Lucas was the ring bearer.
Waiting for pictures to get done. =]
This cake was not only beautiful, but amazingly yummy. Chocolate with raspberry filling and whipped cream frosting.
Incredible Korean food at the reception.
My wonderful family.
My side of the family.
The happy couple: Mr. and Mrs. Wolfe

Friday, September 5, 2008

Friday Find: Yummy, comforting, refreshing tea...

A while ago, I had the pleasure of trying this tea at my friend Desiree's house. She served it on ice. I loved it. I finally bought some of my own. This is Lipton's White Tea with Island Mango and Peach Flavor. Hot or cold - it's just right. Very smooth, not too sweet, not bitter - just right. I also can't help loving the little pyramid shaped bag! Supposedly, it helps it to infuse better. I just think it's cute. So there you go. Try it and let me know what YOU think.

They make me happy...

You may have noticed this already, but I love to take pictures (understatement of the year). I don't have a fancy camera - just a point and shoot with a couple of fun settings and I've never taken any photography classes. However, I LOVE looking at photography blogs, books, magazines - you name it. I have a few blogs that I enjoy on my sidebar.

The pictures that I think I am really enjoying lately are of really great cuisine, flowers, fruits, vegetables...anything colorful.

Here are some pics that I took in Washington during my recent visit. Some are from the Pikes Place Farmers Market and my mother's garden and table.

From my mother's garden:

Spicey Zucchini stir-fry. All ingredients from her garden.
Her front yard:

Pikes Place Farmers Market:

Just $4 a bunch!