Thursday, April 28, 2016

Springtime Peeks and Joys

Springtime really is here... and while there are lots of birds flying around, these precious birds showed up in my mailbox!

Shirley and Ashleigh, a precious mother and daughter who have become such dearly loved friends of mine... were making these gorgeous little birdies, and I was making these teacup bookmarks... so we exchanged our handmade goodies through the mail.

Simply adorable, and the lovely hand stitching is just amazing!

The little birdies came with pins to attach them to your shirt.

They are soo adorable!  I was so thrilled to be the recipient of these beautiful little birdie pins!  The beautiful cards I received from Shirley and Ashleigh were so delightful too... a happy mail exchange indeed!

With the arrival of the precious little birdies "by mail"... it coincided with the beautiful promise of spring arriving.  I stopped to visit my friend GT in town whose flower beds were spreading the joy of spring.

Glorious red tulips adorning her wakening flower beds...

Is there anything more lovely than the happy faces of tulips in the spring?

Gorgeous pink hyacinths blooming too... their intoxicating fragrance filling the air.

The royally beautiful grape hyacinths added this deep shade of blue to the landscape. Since we just moved into our home late last summer, I have not had a chance to plant such beauties in my yard. This year, that will change!  GT gifted me with some of her flowers and bulbs from her yard, and hopefully next spring some of these lovely beauties will be popping up in my very own garden!

A walk in the woods enjoying the lush greenness abounding.. when we saw this snag tree full of holes, it was pretty amazing to see.  Usually you see one or two holes, but apparently this old dead tree held lots of food for some wild animal to eat over the winter.

This past week we celebrated our son's 18th birthday.  The party was held outside.  We had huge piles of brush that were burned and the kids enjoyed the bonfires.

Our daughter turned 20, and our son 18 within the past month... our kids are on the edge of the family nest, about to take off and fly...  and as a mother I can tell you that there is a bittersweet joy in this experience!  We are so proud of our wonderful children, and yet sad - wondering where the years went with the little pitter-pattering of feet, delightful chatter, and spilt milk clean-ups.  But... we must look forward, and not spend too much time gazing backwards, because I want to enjoy every part of the journey of life we are on, and not miss any of the joys that come because of the season we are in today.

More hikes in the woods... enjoying the incredible outdoors around us.

Hiking with a friend and their dog... he found some water, and the joy on his face was contagious... I think we all wished we were a dog just for a minute... able to take a splash and keep on going, no need for a change of clothes, lol... just a quick shake and on to the next exciting adventure!

And some days I wish I had the life of a cat.... {smiles}... they can find the happiest napping spots just about anywhere.. even in the middle of the driveway if!

Mr. Rudy and Momma Mia enjoying the sweet taste of spring grass.

He's a handsome fella and he knows it!

... and always telling everyone just how great he is! Male ego... he's got lots of it!

Lovey purplish-blue phlox wildflowers bursting forth in their glory... these flowers grow low to the ground, and their beauty is subtle, gentle, and sweet.

This beautiful spreading phlox that is growing wild everywhere in our yard.. gorgeous is an understatement!

I am wondering if I dug some up and planted in my flower beds if they would grow... I have no idea, but I am going to try it and see :)  They are so beautiful!

My neighbor's horse, Jaz... peering at me from across the fence as I worked in our garden... I think she was hoping for a snack or two, but since she is on a strict diet, she got some loving pats and scratches instead :)

This is just a peek inside my world right now... it is a busy place.  My time allotted for blogging is very slim right now... and I do hope to find some time this weekend to visit my dear blogging friends and say hello... but for now... spring is a very busy time around here and my visits and posts will be somewhat sporadic.  Much love to all of you, and I hope that spring is springing forth in your world today too!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Teacup Friendships

One of the loveliest benefits of blogging that I never anticipated when I first began to blog, was that I would develop wonderful friendships with ladies all around the world, most of whom I will never meet, and how remarkable, and special these friendships are!  So many wonderful ladies have become dear close friends who I correspond with both on a blogging level, and on a friendship level.  And one of those precious friends is dear Stephanie who blogs at The Enchanting Rose. 

Twice a year this precious lady hosts a teacup/mug exchange and this is open to people worldwide to share not only a teacup/mug with another lady, but to have the opportunity for a special friendship to develop through the exchange.  If you would like more information about the teacup/mug exchange, visit this link: and there is a wonderful page there showing the history of the exchange.

On Wednesday, April 20th, be sure and visit Stephanie as she will be hosting a linky party and all of those who have participated in the exchange will be sharing the joy with all.  Such fun and joy it will be!  It will be so delightful to see all the wonderful exchanges that took place!

I chose this time to participate in a mug exchange since we are living in very tiny quarters here as we downsize and choose to live a simpler lifestyle.  My kitchen is quite tiny and I don't have room to display many things.  And tea cups just beg to be displayed and enjoyed!  So this time around I chose to participate in the mug exchange, and what a delight it has turned out to be!

My package arrived the very day I left to go to Texas to be with my mother-in-law, who had fallen and broken her leg.  My children called to tell me that a happy package was waiting on my return. It was quite exciting to return home, and have this lovely package awaiting me.

Ida who blogs at Wishes, Dreams and Other Things was my exchange partner, and she took such tender care to put together this lovely package!  Ida had been sick, as her family had been hit with a nasty flu bug, hence she was a little later getting the package out, so she included some extras in the package, although there was really no need to... I certainly would have understood!  But!!!  Such delight in opening each lovely item was such a joy!

This gorgeous pot holder was hand sewn by a lady in Ida's hometown, and it is just so pretty, I can hardly bear using it for practical purposes!  I just adored the country spring scene on the potholder. So serene and springy!

She also sent me a lovely American themed coaster, a darling froggy magnet "Miracles happen every day" (AMEN! to that!), and a lovely stamp set that has all sorts of possibilities to create with! I just love the saying "All things grow with LOVE"... isn't that so true!  Is there anything in the world that can't be touched through LOVE? Such a beautiful stamp, and I'm so thankful to have this lovely stamp to add to my collection!

Ida also handmade this gorgeous card for me!  She included the loveliest little note inside handwritten on a sticky note so that I could use the card again... how sweet and thoughtful she was.  The card is simply beautiful, much more so in person than even the camera can capture with all the special details with the gorgeous rooster... isn't he a fine looking fellow!

Ida also sent me some sweetness!  Oh these caramels are simply delightful!  They melt in your mouth, and the delight just goes on and on!  I simply love them!  I don't think you can eat just one!

This was the perfect selection of tea beverage for me... I love peppermint tea!  Did you know that peppermint has many wonderful attributes?  If you've eaten a bit too much at dinner, peppermint tea is the perfect thing to help your stomach settle down and the indigestion ease.  I've enjoyed this peppermint tea immensely.  In fact, I really like the STASH brand, and often buy their tea.  This peppermint tea has a lovely fresh taste, and you can get more than one hot cup of tea with each bag.

And the piece de resistance... indeed the highlight of the exchange of course, is the delightful mug that we were exchanging.  When I unwrapped this mug, I couldn't believe my eyes... there was a beautifully feathered rooster with abundant and glorious colors, much like my own Mr. Rudy!

And the most special thing about this mug is that dear Ida had picked this mug out before she ever met me, or my blog, or knew that I raised chickens!  Isn't that just amazing!  I never cease to be amazed at how little details like that are just tenderly arranged it seems by the Lord himself!

I can tell you that I've enjoyed many, many cups of tea already in this beautiful mug, and it always brings a smile to my heart as I enjoy the beautiful cup... it is beautifully crafted, and holds the perfect mug of hot tea!  In fact, I've been sitting outside in the afternoons drinking a hot cup of tea while my chickens play round me.  Such enjoyable time is spent with my mug in hand.  Making friendships through this mug exchange is really what is such a blessing, and Ida and I have enjoyed emailing back and forth and getting to know each other better, and that is loveliest part of this exchange for sure!

And the fun goes on!  My teacup/mug partner was dear Anne who blogs at This precious lady and I have interacted and visited each other's blogs and so it was joy to be paired with Anne!  

It was so much fun putting together this special box for Anne. I made a journal with her name on it, as well as a teacup bookmark.

Also included was a porcelain tea bag holder, a short devotional on "LOVE", and several tea bag samples for Anne, as well as a KIND chocolate almond bar.

The mug I chose to send Anne is crafted by the Pioneer Woman, who is a fellow blogger who has branched out in the past year with her own line of lovely kitchen ware.  I adored this mug when I saw it, and knew that it was just the perfect one for Anne.

This little teabag holder will come in handy for mugs as you don't have a saucer to place your teabag on.  I enjoy using them :)

A short devotional on love...

And a close-up of the journal I created for Anne.

This is the little teacup bookmark that I made to send to her.  This was so much fun to make.  :)

It was such a joyous event to put this together this little package for Anne, and I received the sweetest thank you card from her soon after she received her package.

This has all been a very special and sweet exchange to participate in, and best of all, the friendships that have been born out of this exchange are what really make this such a truly blessed event. Already, I can't wait for September or October 2016 when Stephanie will be hosting another teacup/mug exchange!

I will leave you with this tea-lightful thought:

Image result for tea quote

A lovely tea, and a good friend is truly one of the beautiful joys of life!  :)

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Hues of Green

It has been quite joyous around here the last few days, because spring certainly seems to have arrived!  Last week we had lovely sunshine weather with highs in the 70s, and this week it has been cooler and raining.  The rain is just perfect for the leaves that are budding out, and I saw two pairs of robins in my yard too!  So, I do believe it is safe to say spring is here!

We haven't had time to plant grass yet this year because of the beetle issue we had, and we are still having to take out many trees.  We want to wait until the trees are all down and the brush burnt before we plant grass.  But... I am so thankful to see bits of green poking their heads up all over the yard, even if they are weeds, lol!

Miss Eleanor loves my camera.  She comes running right to me as soon as she sees me outside with it.  Who could blame such a pretty girl for wanting to get her picture taken!

The chickens are happy to see so much green everywhere too!

Martha does not care for the camera. I can never get her to look at me.  She is rather shy, and stays very busy.  I think Martha is a good name for her.  :)

Mr. Rudy found something of interest and Eleanor rushed over to see what it was after she heard his happy chortles.  He stepped back and let her have it.  He is quite the gentleman to his ladies!

As you can see, we still have trees down all over our yard because of the beetle invasion.  No sense planting grass yet, although I want to quite badly.  We still have a lot of work to do.  It will get done... eventually!

In the coop... the seven little ones are growing!  They are learning to fly and run around the coop quite happily now.  I was worried about integrating them with the larger hens so I took things slowly.  I let in two of my sweet hens - Momma Mia and Goldie.  They did not bother the little ones at all, and it was good for them to mingle.  For several days I would let the baby chicks out with several of the older hens in with them.  So far we have had no issues.  Now, I have opened the chicks' coop so that they can run freely about and the older hens just continue on with business as usual.  So thankful that this transition  is going well so far!

It is hard to believe how fast they grow!  They are almost 6 weeks old!  I expect that they will start laying eggs sometime in September.

My seedlings are doing great!  Here they are already starting to put on secondary leaves.

I found this happy pink ribbon on sale at Walmart for 0.50 for the spool.  It spruced up my old metal watering can.

I love my Welcome sign... soon we will see the shades of pink everywhere as our wild roses will bloom in May... can't wait!  For now... I am content to enjoy the hues of green everywhere.  :)