Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Howdy neighbor, happy harvest!

Even though it still feels way too hot to possible be fall here in El Paso, autumn really is here! Fall is my favorite season- I just love the feeling that cooler weather is on its way (eventually!). I also love all the tastes of fall- pumpkin, caramel, apple, sweet potatoes with marshmallow... you know, all those comfort foods! I try to wait until October 1st to put out all my fall leaves and pumpkins, but this year I decided to go ahead and do some "transitional" decorating with apples. When I have to buy new accessories (as opposed to "shopping" my own house) I try to pick things that I can use for more than one holiday. So my new red placemats will work with the apples, and for Christmas... and Valentine's Day.... and 4th of July...

Our dining table:
 1. The "runner" I made out of some scrapbooking paper. I found my autumn quotes at and then just added words that reminded me of fall. 2. My punch bowl/ cake stand filled with delicious apples. The cake stand was a wedding gift & I love its versatility! 3. A place setting. I made the napkin rings using mini foam apples that I bought at Walmart. I think the whole box was $5 and I was able to use them for a couple of different projects. 4. A close-up of Granny Smith and Fiji apples. These apples are SO delicious and aromatic... and I love the how the Fijis look like they have a crackle glaze on them. The only problem with using these as a centerpiece is they keep disappearing.... hmmmm....

More of the dining table

1. Another view of the runner. I tried to write things in all directions so that no matter where you're sitting, you have something to read. Not that we ever have a full table, but just in case we do. But, if we do, we should probably fix the chair with the loose leg... 2. Another shot of the centerpiece with my 89 cent candles from Walmart. Normally, I'd be upset if the wax was that messed up after only lighting the candles once, but this time, I think it adds a nice aged touch. 3. Another shot of the place setting- I love these white plates (another Walmart find). I like to think that make my food look like it's from a restaurant. I can dream anyway... ;) And lest you think I only buy things at Walmart, those napkins are from K-Mart (so there!).

The entryway
1. Our entry table in all of its cluttered glory. The banner that you can only read part of says "Welcome" and was part of the decorations for Nathanael's homecoming from Afghanistan. But, I think it fits in nicely with my Americana decor, so it found a new home. I also love the red plaid Thermos bag (filled with Thermoses and picnic gear) that we found at an antique mall in Indiana for $12. $12!!! That's what I call a deal! 2. A close up of some more of my Walmart mini foam apples. The glass bowl is from a flower arrangement my sweet husband sent me when he had to work overnight a few months back. There's also a ACU covered New Testament peeking out from behind the bowl.

Our front door
1. A close-up of our wreath. The wreath is a grapevine wreath I bought a couple of years ago that I change out the decorations on for almost every holiday. Hey, I'm all about being cheap... err... frugal! I got the Happy Harvest sign at Michael's for around $5 when my parents were visiting on Labor Day weekend (a shopping trip that almost killed my husband and my dad, according to them. Apparently, Michael's is too "fragrant" for them). The apples are more of my Walmart apples. 2. A shot of our whole beautiful screen door. 3. The wreath originally had 5 apples (I try to stick to the rule of decorating with odd numbers), but one fell off and got smashed in the driveway :(. I could replace it, but I haven't. Does that make me lazy? :-/

I hope you're enjoying fall, wherever you live! In closing, I'll share a couple of clips from one of my favorite movies, Summer Stock, starring Judy Garland and Gene Kelly. Both of these clips are of the song "Howdy Neighbor." The first one is shorter, but the second one is prettier (in my opinion).

The shorter, hokier clip:
I just love Gene's teal buffalo plaid shirt! And the striped overalls are an extra nice touch! ;)

The longer, prettier clip:
Don't you want to drive a tractor along a country lane now?

Happy Harvest!!!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

What I've been up to...

Looking at my blog, I have come to the realization that I have not been very diligent about posting. I guess I don't think I really have that much to post about. Maybe I'll have to start sharing stories about my pets... fascinating, I know!

The last several weeks, Nathanael has been working loooong hours, or overnight. Since I don't work outside of our home, I have the ability to have a flexible schedule and stay up when he's working and sleep when he's sleeping. But, let me just testify that I truly believe that God did not make humans nocturnal creatures! :) The week that Nathanael had to work overnight was CRAZY! It seems like no matter how long you sleep during the day, you're still completely exhausted from having your schedule messed up. Our cat, Finley, also hated it. She was very confused as to why we were not sleeping at night and giving her the normal prowling around time to herself (see, I told you I was going to start blogging about my animals).

My parents came to visit us this last weekend. We had a great time showing them around our new city. We took lots of pictures at the zoo, which I'll put up once I finish editing them (I love!). We also did a ton of shopping, ate some awesome steak and pineapple coleslaw at Great American Land & Cattle Company (where we watched a police drama unfold outside the window- complete with a police officer with his gun drawn climbing a fire truck ladder onto the roof of the orthodontist next door), went to a church potluck (my dad now has more friends at our church than we do), and treated my parents to their first Five Guys burgers (yum!).

I've also started doing something at church that is completely new territory for me... I started playing the keyboard for Wednesday night church. It involves playing accompaniment for the piano with a strings sound.. it's actually a lot less complicated than it sounds. I've been a little nervous, but I think it will be good for me because it's forcing me to work on sight reading music and playing in keys other than the ones I'm comfortable with. In another words, it's making me not be so lazy and learn some new things. Plus, I'm not playing alone, so if I make small mistakes, no one will notice (hopefully!).

Lastly, I've been working on a new song. God has really been convicting me about giving my burdens to Him- really, truly giving them up... not just saying I give them to Him and then taking them back. He's been reminding me that He is able, He is strong, and carrying my burdens myself limits me to what I can do about them instead of allowing Him to show me what He can do. This song, "I Will Give You Rest", came out of that...

"I Will Give You Rest"
-Jessica Caudill

How many times have I knelt
At an altar to pray,
"Lord, my burden's heavy.
Please take it away?"
Yet many times when I stand,
It's still clutched in my hands,
And it seems I hear my Father say,

"My yoke is easy, my burden's light.
Rest in Me through the night.
Cast your cares on Me, for I know what's best.
Run to Me, hide in Me,
Surrender, stop fighting Me.
Come unto Me
And I will give you rest."

Beloved, have you found yourself
Sinking down in despair?
And the fight you're fighting
Is like one who beats the air.
Take your cares to Calvary
And leave them there at His feet.
Give your burdens to the One Who waits there.