The Way Things Are Remembered…….

A while ago I was telling my 3 children about the wonderful, huge closet I had when I was young.  I explained how it was so tall I couldn’t see the ceiling…and I pretended it was my castle. I told them that it was so big sometimes I felt like I got lost in there and that I created entire worlds.  It was so big that when I pretended it was a store….I had departments! I was sharing how I wish we had closets that big in our cottage so they could have fun in them like I had fun in my huge closet.

My Mom was there when I was telling this story.

She chuckled and I asked her what she snickering about.

She said that she thought that was so special that I remembered my closet that way.

I was perplexed….I mean it was the ONLY way to remember it. It’s how it was.

And then she said that she thought it was so special that was my memory of my magical closet…….because in reality that closet was so teeny that her and my Dad had to bend down to get in…and there was not even enough room for them to fit in it without turning sideways.

I said “Uh. uh. !!!”

“No. way.”

And she said ….. “Oh, yes…that’s how it really was.”

Wow.

Even after being faced with reality…..I still remember how big that closet was. I was the princess of the entire kingdom. I knew my kingdom, after all, you  know.

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{source}

After that conversation it got me thinking….I wonder how my children will remember things. Will the teeny closets be huge? Will the things Handsome and I see as hindrances, inconveniences, and ‘less-thans’ be remembered to them as wonderful things?

When we remember we are seeing with the heart. Our heart always overrides our eyes when it comes to memory. We remember not so much how things were or how they happened….but how they made us feel.

That teeny closet made me feel like the princess of the castle….so it will always be remembered that way.

I see our growing as a family over the years as a necklace. From the very beginning each special memory is a bead. As our children grow and eventually launch out on their own I hope we will be sending them out with a beautiful, full necklace.  Full of gigantic closets, feelings of being Princes and Princesses, having the best home in the world………not because of how it was decorated, but how they felt inside it. Loved.

I hope they will maybe remember those days over the years that I’ve thrown a crazy MomFit as their Mom was so fun she actually put on a circus for them. {OK. OK. I know, that’s pushing it…but memory is a powerful thing…and it could be possible. Right?}

I hope to send them out with a beautiful necklace…years of wonderful feelings of being loved no matter what. Years of great memories. A necklace they will cherish all the years of their life. One that even when I tell them how small the closet actually was it will not tarnish or lose its shine. It may even get brighter.

Your closet Princess~

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Displaying Special Items {Cloches}

We love to display special photos, mementos, gifts, etc. in our home. So, we are always looking for unique ways to keep out things that are special to us….where we can see them daily.

Recently when No. 1 Son returned from China he had brought me back some really special mementos from his trip. I wanted to keep them out….so here is what we did with them.

displaying special items

I thought it would be neat to go with a ‘specimen-type’ display….since that’s kind of what they were. I found a small cork base at the art store…and used a tall, skinny glass cloche that I already had. So everything wouldn’t be flat and on the same level I used a cork to elevate one of the items. I then printed out teeny numbers to glue in front of each special item….to ‘label’ them; and then I created a tag to hang on the outside of the cloche with the explanation of what each item was….corresponding with its number.

displaying special items under cloches

It’s been fun to keep these special items out when others take a look….they know what they are! The items were already special…but by displaying in this way it highlighted them and made them a part of our home decor. =)

Do you have some neat ways that you display special items in your home?

Happy Monday~

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Some Heart Fun……

Can you believe that Valentine’s Day is two weeks from tomorrow!? Whoa!

I thought I would share some fun posts from long ago…all about the heart…and a fun tradition that we do a lot around here…Leave a Heart Trail……

You can read about leaving a Trail of Hearts Here:

heart trail

About the Guy That Stole My Heart Here:

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About the Girl Who Stole My Heart Here:

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About the Girl After My Own Heart Here:

who me

About Heart Rot Here:

large heart rot

About What Stains Your Heart Here:

heart stain on pavement

And an all-time favorite..you can read about the Many Nuances of “Bless Your Heart” Here:

bless your heart

Hope your heart is full today!

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Fun in Atlanta….

 

Back in the autumn we took a fun trip to Atlanta, GA. We’ve gone to Atlanta many times ….. we have family there; but I thought I would share a few, fun little things to see and do while you’re there for anyone that may be going for the first time.

We started our fun at the Country Living Fair…..if you have never been to a Country Living Fair, put it on your list of ‘to-do’s’! There is one in the spring in Ohio and one in the fall in Atlanta. It is definitely worth it.

My Little One thought this was definitely the best way to see everything…on the back of Grammy’s scooter!  {You can read my 25 Things Atlanta Version Post here.}

Country Living Fair in Atlanta Country Living Fair in Atlanta

Another great spot that you cannot miss {if you have never been} is the Georgia Aquarium. It is the world’s largest aquarium….and it is truly a treat. Handsome and Grammy had never been and they were in awe……so fun!

Georgia Aquarium

One of my favorites are the moon jellies…they glow in the dark…..

Georgia Aquarium Jellyfish Jellyfish at the Georgia Aquarium Georgia Aquarium

Right outside the aquarium is Centennial Park….the center hub of where it all happened when the Olympics were held in Atlanta in the 90’s. {CNN is another great place to visit.  We did that a few years ago and it was a lot of fun.}

Centennial Park

The walkways are paved with pavers that have messages on them from people that donated to the building of the park…..

Centennial Park in Atlanta

The week that we went to Atlanta was a little over a week after my grandmother passed away…and we happened to find a brick with this message. I called my grandmother Ma-Ma…..so it was special.

Centennial Park in Atlanta

In the same block as the Georgia Aquarium and Centennial Park is the World of Coke. A treasure trove of all things Coke.  You can watch Coke being bottled and taste Coke products from around the world.

World of Coke in Atlanta

Here’s the Coke couch from American Idol….

American Idol Sofa at World of Coke

This is the very first Coke dispenser…..

First Coke Dispenser

No trip to Atlanta is complete without grabbing a bite to eat at The Varsity! Serving great food here since 1928. “What’ll ya have” is the first thing you’ll here when you step up to the counter….and you better have your order ready, they won’t wait!

The Varsity The Varsity Counter, Atlanta

Downtown Roswell is another really fun spot to spend time and play……it’s a treasure trove.

Downtown Roswell Downtown Roswell

{Source for Roswell pics}

While you’re in the area another one of our favorite places to explore is Marietta…you can read my Marietta post here.

Yours truly in Marietta with the famous pistol that Scarlett O’Hara used in Gone With the Wind…..

Oh the thoughts running through my head! {No worries…I haven’t acted on any of them!}

Scarlett O'Hara Pistol from Gone With the Wind

Do you have any tips on anywhere you’ve been lately? I would love to hear them, because we love to travel and learn about new spots!

Blessings~

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Celebrating the Letting Go……

Today I received something in my inbox that spoke deeply to my heart….because for the past several weeks it is almost exactly what has been written in my journal. I will share it at the end of the post.

In the fall No. 1 Son went off to China. Several years ago when I helped him pack for one week of summer camp… I knew. I knew it would be the first of many letting go’s. He’s like me….he loves adventure, and travel, learning new things, and being exposed to all kinds of people in all kinds of places. We’ve always been kindred spirits in that way.

But the China trip was the first big trip without us…and it was for longer than a week. I wanted to let him go. But I didn’t want to. But I did. And I’m glad.

We’ve always travelled together as a family….and it has been a wonderful launching pad for a budding adventurer. We’ve been able to be there as he learned how to navigate foreign places, big cities, countrysides, planes, trains, taxis, subways. How to handle being out of his comfort zone in a strange place. How to relish and enjoy every minute…and work through the mishaps. We’ve been there with him…showing and teaching. And he’s a good student. It was still hard….that letting go.I wanted to go with him.

I’m told that a good mom works her way right out of job?

When he returned from China he was so excited to give me a present. He had spent hours in a pearl factory in China picking out just the right ones for me. {He’s meticulous with his gifts and always puts his heart in them.} They were expensive. He spent his hard-earned money.

When he went to get his suitcase it had been broken into by a worker at the airport. The insides were a shamble and the pearl necklace and earrings were gone.

Oh, his face. I know how much of his heart he put into that present for me. I mustered up every ounce of self-control I could muster and encouraged him [and reminded myself that murder is a sin]. Thanked him.  And shared with him how I had learned the same hard lesson when I began to go off on my own: to never put valuables in your checked luggage. That was on the outside….on the inside my eyes slanted, ears became pointed, nostrils flared, fangs grew, and I may or may not have had slobber slinging from my jowls. I’m a mom….and someone had messed with one of mine. Ages of children do not change this Mom Fierceness.

More letting go. For all of his life I have encouraged him. Given him pushes when needed and held him back when needed. {If I ever run into that airport worker…he may need to hold me back! ;)} I know his strengths and I also know his tender spots. I’ve been able to protect those tender spots…physically, tangibly; but over the past year or so I have had to let go and realize I am entering a time of only being able to protect them with prayer. {The  best protection, anyway….but, you know, I’m a Mom. I like to do it myself. I like to see to it.} I will have to work on my trust while letting go….many of my prayers for No. 1 Son lately have been “God, I know YOU will see to it. Thank you.” 🙂

For weeks now I have been sitting down with him filling out college applications. Now that the scholarships, offers, and options are rolling in I realize there will be another big letting go. Even if he stays at the university here….it will be a big letting go. He brings his essays for me to look over….he wants my opinion and corrections. Without even reading them I know they are incredible. He’s a wonderful writer. But he wants to make sure. He says they have to be perfect. I remind him that his excellence is more than enough.

There’s so much more I want to teach him! Did I remember to tell him to always wear black socks with black dress shoes? Have I made sure that he knows the One that he can always run to? Have I taught him how to choose his battles and how to know when to say ‘yes’ and when to say ‘no’?

This mom thing. This letting go thing. It’s exciting and hard all at the same time. I mean, can God really take care and protect him better than me, his Mom? Maybe even better?

Oh dear. It is such a wonderful, exciting, hard time!

As a boy-child…..Always by his side….teaching him the ropes…..

IMG_0001As a man-child……Letting him go…….and trusting in the One that created him…….

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Here’s the post that spoke my heart:

How to Be the Parent You Want to Be: 40 Things Every Child Must Know Before They Leave Home 

Learning to celebrate the letting go…….while wiping the slobber………

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Christmas Journaling Day…..

I shared last year in this post how we have a family tradition…..A Christmas Journal.

art journaling

Each year we take turns writing an entry in the journal….whatever each of would like to share about the Christmas season that we just had. When the kids were little they would just scribble or draw pictures. It’s fun to go back and look over everyone’s entries.

That’s what we will be doing today….

Do you have any kind of family journal that everyone takes part in?

Blessings~

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Our Annual Christmas Party……..

For the past 18 years we have hosted an annual Christmas party at our home. The first year we started No. 1 Son was only a few months old and I had him in a sling all night. We initially began the party because we had just moved into Oak Cottage and didn’t know anyone…..we thought it would be a great way to get to know the neighbors. That first year we had around 50 people. We enjoyed it so much we decided to make it an annual tradition. We now have over 200 people coming through here each year…..it is something that our whole family looks forward to all year. For the past several years there are always many overnight guests after the party….our kids’ friends…..so it almost turns into a weekend celebration.

Our family is at its best when we are all together and have a home full of people. Handsome and I knew that hospitality was one of our ‘things’….but it has been neat to see that it is actually one of our whole family’s ‘things’. We love opening our home to others…whether it is just one person for coffee, or hundreds for a big party. Hospitality is wonderful ministry….and we love doing it together.

Here’s some little snippets of the preparation, etc. of our party last week.  I added in a recipe or two……

We use a whole lot of Stonewall Kitchen products around here…and one of our favorites is the Cranberry Horseradish Sauce. We mix the whole jar with 8 oz. of cream cheese….and it is the best dip ever! They also have wonderful syrups…it is the only kind we use. {No, they have no idea who I am…I just like their stuff, and so I am sharing it with you. :)}
cranberry horseradish sauce

Making these mini apple pocket pies is so much fun. To make them I use mini pocket pie molds from Williams-Sonoma, my favorite pie crust recipe, and Comstock apples……I mix lots of cinnamon and sugar into the apples, and then also sprinkle cinnamon sugar on the outside right before baking.

mini pocket pies

Love making cupcakes…regular-sized and these mini ones……I usually make a white cake with white icing. It helps with the Steeped Memories…. 😉

mini cupcakes

I am a list-maker…but also free-spirited, SO that makes me a free-spirited list-maker! ha! I have long used this fun pad of paper called The Entertainment Pad. It’s where I make lists of what will be served, what dishes will be used for each dish, what needs to be done 3 days, 2 days, day before, day of…..you know, it’s where it all happens. One year I accidentally left this out in the kitchen…and I noticed lots of people hovered over something on the counter, taking notes. When I walked over I realized they were checking out the pad of notes, etc. ha! They said that they learned a lot. {Probably a lot about my slight insanity……..}

entertainment pad

Some of the fun treats ready and waiting…..

party collage

Do you enjoy opening your home to others or do you prefer it to only be filled with you and your family?

I hope you have a wonderful weekend! We have a party or two and then all 3 of our kids are performing {violin} at a Christmas Tea for the historical society in a lovely old, historical home. Can’t wait to see it!

Warm Christmas Wishes for your weekend~

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Here’s the Story {Christmas Card 2012}

We always have fun with our Christmas cards…..and I wanted to personally send each and every one of you our card this Christmas! Many people ask us about our cards in the past and can they have one….we’ve put them all in one place on the blog….all of our cards through the years. If you would like to see/read them just click the button at the end of the post. I hope each and every one of you are having a wonderful Christmas season!

HERE’S THE STORY……..  

Pitman Bunch Polaroid pic

Here’s the story, of a ballerina

Who was looking for a family to write Christmas cards

When she saw a handsome boy on stage in rehearsal

That’s where it got its start.

 

Here’s the story of a boy named Pitman

Who was looking for a ballerina all his own

He felt sorry for her, she couldn’t write lyrics

So on her finger he put a stone.

 

Then one day the ballerina married this boy

And they knew that it was much more than a hunch

That the two of them would somehow start a family

That’s the way they all became the Pitman Bunch.

The Pitman Bunch…that’s the way they all became the Pitman Bunch!

(duh, duh, de, duh, duh-duuuuuuuuuhhh, de duh)

A bunch: a connected group, a cluster, many acting as one

Whether you love ‘em or hate ‘em – you know the Brady Bunch. They’re a team – they stick with each other even when someone breaks the vase or acts like a dork. They get to the bottom of things and celebrate everyone. Every situation has a happy ending. They are a bunch—a connected group.

Sometimes we feel like a bunch of nuts. Or a bunch of fun. Or maybe even a bunch of malarkey. But, we’re actually a bunch of people that love each other deeply – broken vases and all.

HOME IS WHERE YOUR STORY BEGINS….

among your bunch. Our story shapes us. Through our pains and successes we can become bitter or better. Closed or open. More ignorant or more aware. We can be more aware of the gifts that surround us each and every day. Or not. Our family, our bunch, is a great place to grow strong and great character—–grown through hardship, breaking vases, sometimes acting dorky – and having your bunch there to hold you accountable, see you through, and then celebrate.

We are constantly surrounded by so much buzz, gloss, and hype that we can easily slide into allowing our successes, security, and abundance lead to a type of numbing predictability. Paralyzing indifference comes from being too comfortable. But Jesus doesn’t give proper Hollywood, comfortable Brady Bunch endings to stories. He puts us in just the right bunch – the one we need to shape our stories into purposeful adventures. The one that will nurture and grow strong, great character.

There is a legend of an artist who had discovered the secret to a color of red that no other artist could imitate. He never shared his secret, but when he died a large wound was found over his heart. The moral? No great achievement…or anything of great value can be accomplished without the cost of heart’s blood.

Our bunch may not be famous like the Brady one – but when all is said and done we hope to look back and see that heart’s blood was shed and great character formed in our bunch.

This season our bunch is celebrating that first Christmas when we were sent a Savior – right into our bunch. It cost God heart’s blood.

A Christmas red that cannot be imitated.

From our bunch to yours……….

Merry, Merry~

The Pitmans

(©Daune Pitman, 2012)

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