I Will Always Remember ‘The {Perfect?} Easter Morning’……

I will always remember Easter morning from last year.

I had a great plan….

I got up early on Easter morning

to cook my family some fun, homemade

blueberry pancakes in the shapes of Easter eggs, chicks, and bunnies.

The table was set….and ready for fun.

Everyone’s lovely new clothes were waiting to be donned.

It was going to be a great day.

I started cooking the pancakes….

and it just wasn’t working.

I had beheaded bunnies, chicks with no body, and

completely destroyed Easter eggs.

The eggs burned while I was trying to get the pancakes

working….I wondered if I could convince my family

that it was a new, cutting-edge dish….charcoal eggs???.

I was determined to have fun-shaped pancakes….

but we ended up with plain, round ones.

How I got blueberry batter

in my eyelashes, I’m not sure.

I forgot to cook the bacon.

{But the table still looked really pretty.}

We always get new outfits for Easter…..

we’ve done this since our children were small.

Not to impress anyone; but to be an outward expression

of what Easter stands for: Brand New Life.

Those lovely new duds were all hanging and ready.

My youngest daughter just started wearing mascara….

it’s a learned skill to handle, ya know.

And the make-up remover?

Well, it ended up all over her brand new dress.

And her nails that were chipped and looking

like a mechanic from fun in the yard?

Due to the pancakes…we didn’t get to re-paint them.

My other daughter’s new dress just wasn’t working

with the camisole that wouldn’t stay up….

I hoisted it up with twine and hair barrettes in the back.

She was freezing and put on leggings with her new

dress that had ketchup stains on the knee. ?????

{How does ketchup get on your knees?}

And then donned her winter wool coat.

I love the new nail polish I found this past week

and had painted my toes and fingernails with it.

It will look gorgeous with a tan…..

but with winter white skin?

Yeah, well, I looked like the crypt-keeper.

We’ve been rearranging closets and cleaning some areas

out around here…so somehow all the sheets and blankets

have ended up in my closet….on top of my shoes.  ???

I couldn’t find my shoes for church…you know, the ones that

were perfect with my new outfit.

It was at this point that my prayers turned to:

“Really, God? Really???!!”

We finally made it to the car and headed to church.

And I looked down at my ring.

My beautiful ring that Handsome had made for me by a local jeweler…

my engagement ring…

flanked by two wedding bands that he also designed and had made.

I had meant to clean it this past weekend.

No doubt it had blueberry batter in it!

It’s a very large amethyst….and so it gets all kinds

of dirt, etc. in it that makes it cloudy.

Still beautiful….but nothing like when it’s cleaned.

Sparkly, deep purple, can-see-the-facets clean.

Dang!

So, here we were……

the girls and I looking like the crypt-keeper and her daughters

that had fallen off the apple cart.

{Somehow the guys managed to escape any fashion fiascos.}

Beheaded bunnies flung all over the kitchen…

looking like a crime scene.

A shoe explosion in the bedroom.

My lovely plans to bless my family

blown to bits!

But it was when I looked down in the car at my ring

that I heard a still small voice.

You know….during the time that I was  trying

to get my attitude straight before getting to church.

{So I could smile and say ‘Fine’. Because I was afraid

that someone was going to ask me how I was doing

and I was going to break down and yell something like

“THE BUNNIES DIDN’T WORK!!!!”

And then they would need to call the behavioral

health professionals for back-up.}

It was when I gazed at my ring that the still small

voice said…..

“Daune, you’ve had the perfect Easter morning.

This is why I died. You don’t need to be cleaned

up and sparkly to come to me…..you come just as

you are…wherever you are. No need to clean up first.”

We can bring our mismatched, rag-tag, chipped, cloudy, dirty,

barette-hoisted, bad attitude selves to the cross.

With all our failures and disappointments.

That’s what Easter morning is all about.

He will clean me up to where I sparkle and shine…

with the facets that he has placed within me

reflecting His love to my family and others.

So, that’s when I realized that I had had the

Perfect Easter Morning.

True story.

Blessings to you~

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Fun Easter Projects and Traditions…..

Easter is soooo early this year!

I’m not quite ready to think about it….but I better get with it.

Here are some of the fun projects we enjoy doing at Easter….you can click on the title of each to be taken to the post with the how-to’s, etc.

Just this weekend I gave these to a lovely group of teen girls that spent the weekend with us…..here’s the how-to….

Vintage German Easter Egg Treats

basket of vintage easter eggs 2

This is our favorite way to dye eggs…..I just love the colors:

Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

naturally dyed eggs on silver tray

Ever know the stories behind Easter Traditions?

I shared some in this post:

Easter Traditions

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We had fun making these last year, too….

Vintage Sheet Music Eggs

Vintage Sheet Music Eggs main

Here’s the recipe for

Easter Story Cookies

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Have you started looking for the

Pine Tree Crosses

pine_crosses.jpg

I shared about our

Easter Egg Tree …… and how you can make your own….

easter egg tree

And we love the yearly tradition of doing a

Passion Tree

passion tree 2011

Well…those are some of our fun yearly traditions that we enjoy…..do you have any special Easter traditions? I’d love to hear about them!

Blessings~

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Sharing with:  Tip JunkieBetween Naps on the PorchThrifty Decor ChickFunky Junk InteriorsDIY ShowoffHome Stories A to Z,  Serenity NowSavvy Southern StyleMy Romantic HomeJennifer Rizzo

It Has Struck……{Spring Fever}

It has officially struck.

Spring Fever.

I’ve begun walking places and forgetting where I’m going.

Daydreaming of what lies waiting at the garden centers.

Searching for sprouts under the pine straw.

So, I forgot what I was going to write today…..these kind of images were distracting me….

You may not see me…but I was in every one of these pictures today.

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Anybody else there with me?

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A Year of Front Porches……

Our porch is our favorite place to hang out….and we eat as many meals as possible on it. It’s where we sit with friends. Have long talks. Hash things out. Visit. Catch up. Read. Curl Up. Contemplate. Have quiet times. A place for lemonade and iced tea.

Last week I looked back over a year of mantels….and I thought it would be fun to look back at a year of porches.  We enjoy changing our porch with the seasons….or for whatever happens to be going on at the time in our home.

So, here it is….a year of porches:

{You can click on the links and see the entire post of each porch with more pictures}

Christmas 2011

Winter 2012

Spring 2012

Summer 2012

Autumn 2012

fall front porch

Do you have a porch? Do you enjoy changing it with the seasons?

What’s your favorite thing to do with your entryway???

On the porch~

Sharing with:  Tip JunkieBetween Naps on the PorchThrifty Decor ChickFunky Junk InteriorsDIY ShowoffHome Stories A to Z a.k.a. DesignSerenity NowSavvy Southern StyleMy Romantic HomeJennifer Rizzo

The Invasion of Beauty

We took some time to do some grunt work a couple of weekends ago—in between cookouts and spring concerts.  We had been putting it off for a while—it was time to tackle “The Monsters By the Road”.

For years the lovely razzleberry bushes by the road were perfect—then they must have started taking steroids!  No matter how much we trimmed, they were HUGE.  It wasn’t a fun job—we had all kinds of other fun, nesting, decorating, planting to do—-we just kept ignoring those behemoths in front of our house.

Amazing what we can allow in our comfort zone………

Handsome chainsawed, trimmed, cut up—and they were finally gone! The chopped up monsters lay by the road for the yard garbage pickup.

Now, time to plant something lovely to replace them.  We were ready to move on.  Get to the fun part. Cover up the ugly. New plants awaited!

But wait, what is THAT?  That huge trunk/stump?  Do you think we could just leave it?  Just cover it up with dirt and plant beauty above it?  Let’s do it!

“You know if we do that—it will sprout hundreds of branches from this one trunk?” Handsome reminded.  Ugh! The behemoths will return with a vengeance. *grunt* *complain*

Out came the axe.  Whacking, sweating, chopping, heaving——does it really have to be so hard?  Is it worth it?

Through this yard project I really started thinking about the state of my heart.  There are things that I’ve become comfortable with that need to be cut down—behemoths that I have learned to ignore, even found comfort.  Am I willing to allow God to chainsaw them?

And then—horror upon horror—will I allow the stumps to be removed?  Or, you know, hundreds of sprouts will appear in no time to take its place.  Couldn’t we just skip that part? Is it worth it?  The pain. The work. The surrender.  Couldn’t I just cover them up with something pretty?  A good deed? A new commitment? A new good habit?

No, the sprouts know their way around all those things.

Just as I want our cottage garden to bless those that see it, walk through it, sit in it—I have to be willing to get out the axe, clippers, sometimes the chainsaw to remove those things that invade the beauty.  If I want to be used and live into my purpose—those things that invade the beauty will need to be removed.  Sap will flow. It can get messy.  But what waits on the other side—well, it’s more than worth it.

We got the monsters and stumps out of the garden—and under them we found these neat treasures–God’s fingerprints…..

Cardinal eggs that had been abandoned–new life waiting to emerge….

A yellow slider turtle–happy to have some sunshine and come out of the dark…….

And after all the work was done and the new BEAUTYberry {:)} bushes and perennials were planted—we retreated here….to the Therapy Room

and our daughter made some shabby chic bandaids for our blisters.

What’s the state of your heart today? Is there anything invading the beauty? Where are YOU seeing the fingerprints of God under the unlikely?

Some things I am thankful for today?  So glad you asked………

stumps removed

shabby chic bandaids

diligent kids doing their schoolwork

a long weekend approaching

happy birds at seed

out-of-town friends coming that we haven’t seen in years

a son who confided in me

daughter skipping and flying through the garden

watching that same daughter make discoveries through the window

warm, sincere hugs

3 kids that love me unconditionally—stumps and all

bright, light-filled bedroom

Cherry Coke

kids’ Saturday morning laughter

those that have fought for my freedom and protection

Spring Wishes for Your Weekend…..

I hope you all have a wonderful spring weekend…

filled with flowers {if you don’t have a garden…I hope you will take a walk through someone else’s.}

 wonderful spring breezes….{a picnic, maybe?}

 or possibly a nice bike ride?

 And a nice open window to sit beside….

 Whatever you do this weekend I hope it is pure joy!

{Click on each picture for the source}

In the Garden……

May and June are the prettiest months

in our English cottage garden.

Here is the view out our front door right now…..

coreopsis and rose campion….

coreopsis……

part of the herb garden…..

At this time of year Lily of the Valley flank our front steps,

and at night when we sit on the steps or porch they smell wonderful!

love the large purple clematis growing on the bird house posts…..

the English cottage roses smell spicy and the color is so pretty…..

my favorite tea rose…Tiffany. I could smell this rose all day!

the Ballerina roses are loaded with blooms for months……

Do you have a garden?  What’s blooming in your garden?

I just love this time of year in the garden…..

the colors, the smells, and the abundance.

Blessings~

Sharing with:  Jennifer Rizzo’s Garden Party

A Lovely Day……

A couple of weeks ago Handsome and I took off

on a little road trip to spend the day at

Tryon Palace…..it was the annual spring

Heritage Plant Sale.

This is one of my favorite spots in the palace gardens…..

And, of course, where there is clover…

Handsome always finds a four-leaf one!

Here is the South Lawn….the back of the palace.

We spend several nights here in the summer

at the South Lawn Series…..having a picnic

and listening to the NC Symphony.

This is the potager {kitchen garden} of my dreams!

Love these onions…..

and poppies……..

The houses in this historic town are hundreds of years old.

Being in a coastal town most of the men use to be sailors, fishermen, etc.

So the majority of the houses have widow’s walks:

These special little platform porches on the tops of houses

allowed the wives to go out each day to look over the seas

to see if she could see her husband coming home.

They’ve taken such good care of history in this town.

And you know in any good historic town…..there are

wonderful antiques and flea markets.

Here are my two favorite flags flying together!

Have you taken any fun day trips lately?

If not…I hope you plan a fun day trip soon!

Have a great weekend~

Salad Garden in a Chicken Feeder……

Well, if I can’t have chickens right now….

I can at least have a chicken feeder.

And plant salad in it! Right!!???

{I so badly want chickens….especially aracaunas,

with their gorgeous blue eggs.}

This past winter I found this great vintage chicken feeder

at The Nest….LOVE this store!

For the winter it lived on our new dining room sideboard

filled with some of our ironstone collection.

But now that the beautiful spring weather is here

I needed a special, protective spot for our salad garden.

**enter audible lightbulb sound**

The chicken feeder! Perfect!

 We nestled it among the spent daffodils and in front

of the hawthorne to give it a bit of a break from the heat.

A salad garden needs full sun….but here, where it gets

so very hot, it needs a bit of protection.

We can only grow salad plants here in Eastern NC through mid-June….

and then again in the autumn. They are cool weather plants.

 In the feeder we planted several different kinds of lettuces,

arugula, mustard greens, kale, salad burnet, etc.

  No matter where you live…or how much room you have…..

anyone can have a salad garden.  We use to keep salad and herb garden planters

on our patio when we first got married and lived in an apartment.

You can plant it in any kindof galvanized container….chicken feeder, tub,

water cooler, bucket, trash can, etc.

I actually knew of a man here in NC

that planted over two dozen galvanized trash cans with

flowers, herbs, vegetables, etc.  People would drive by

his house just to check out the “Trashcan Garden”.

It was really cool!

Here’s what you need:

any kind of container….preferably galvanized

potting soil…we like Organic Miracle Gro or Moisture Control

salad plants..try some new ones that you’ve never had before!

Here’s How Ya Do It:

1.  Drill holes in your container if it doesn’t already have any…not too many, though; just enough to have good drainage.

2. Fill your container with soil.

3.  Have fun planting your plants!  Fill in the container….don’t leave too much space!

4. Put it in a sunny spot

Don’t you guys love my long, drawn out, complicated tutorials?

If you haven’t already….head on over to enter our big giveaway!

Only a few days left…….

Enter here.

Happy Tuesday~

Sharing this long drawn out tutorial with:  Skip to My LouTip JunkieToday’s Creative BlogNot JUST a Housewife,  Blue Cricket DesignThe Shabby Creek CottageWhipperberryThe Idea Room,  Between Naps on the PorchFrench Country CottageThe Lettered CottageThrifty Decor ChickFunky Junk InteriorsAt the Picket FenceMy Uncommon Slice of SuburbiaCommon Ground,  DIY ShowoffHome Stories A to Z a.k.a. DesignSomeday CraftsOrganize and Decorate Everything,  2805Making the World CuterThe Girl CreativeCraftomaniacCarolyns HomeworkFingerprints on the FridgeTatertots & JelloSerenity NowNo Minimalist HereSavvy Southern Style, Coastal CharmMy Romantic HomeRedoux504 Main733 BlogWe Are That FamilyCreating Really Awesome Free Things,  The Charm of HomeDelightsome LifeAnything GoesRooted in ThymePositively SplendidCedar Hill Ranch

The {Perfect?} Easter Morning…..

I had a great plan….

I got up early on Easter morning

to cook my family some fun, homemade

blueberry pancakes in the shapes of Easter eggs, chicks, and bunnies.

The table was set….and ready for fun.

Everyone’s lovely new clothes were waiting to be donned.

It was going to be a great day.

I started cooking the pancakes….

and it just wasn’t working.

I had beheaded bunnies, chicks with no body, and

completely destroyed Easter eggs.

The eggs burned while I was trying to get the pancakes

working….I wondered if I could convince my family

that it was a new, cutting-edge dish….charcoal eggs???.

I was determined to have fun-shaped pancakes….

but we ended up with plain, round ones.

How I got blueberry batter

in my eyelashes, I’m not sure.

I forgot to cook the bacon.

{But the table still looked really pretty.}

We always get new outfits for Easter…..

we’ve done this since our children were small.

Not to impress anyone; but to be an outward expression

of what Easter stands for: Brand New Life.

Those lovely new duds were all hanging and ready.

My youngest daughter just started wearing mascara….

it’s a learned skill to handle, ya know.

And the make-up remover?

Well, it ended up all over her brand new dress.

And her nails that were chipped and looking

like a mechanic from fun in the yard?

Due to the pancakes…we didn’t get to re-paint them.

My other daughter’s new dress just wasn’t working

with the camisole that wouldn’t stay up….

I hoisted it up with twine and hair barrettes in the back.

She was freezing and put on leggings with her new

dress that had ketchup stains on the knee. ?????

{How does ketchup get on your knees?}

And then donned her winter wool coat.

I love the new nail polish I found this past week

and had painted my toes and fingernails with it.

It will look gorgeous with a tan…..

but with winter white skin?

Yeah, well, I looked like the crypt-keeper.

We’ve been rearranging closets and cleaning some areas

out around here…so somehow all the sheets and blankets

have ended up in my closet….on top of my shoes.  ???

I couldn’t find my shoes for church…you know, the ones that

were perfect with my new outfit.

It was at this point that my prayers turned to:

“Really, God? Really???!!”

We finally made it to the car and headed to church.

And I looked down at my ring.

My beautiful ring that Handsome had made for me by a local jeweler…

my engagement ring…

flanked by two wedding bands that he also designed and had made.

I had meant to clean it this past weekend.

No doubt it had blueberry batter in it!

It’s a very large amethyst….and so it gets all kinds

of dirt, etc. in it that makes it cloudy.

Still beautiful….but nothing like when it’s cleaned.

Sparkly, deep purple, can-see-the-facets clean.

Dang!

So, here we were……

the girls and I looking like the crypt-keeper and her daughters

that had fallen off the apple cart.

{Somehow the guys managed to escape any fashion fiascos.}

Beheaded bunnies flung all over the kitchen…

looking like a crime scene.

A shoe explosion in the bedroom.

My lovely plans to bless my family

blown to bits!

But it was when I looked down in the car at my ring

that I heard a still small voice.

You know….during the time that I was  trying

to get my attitude straight before getting to church.

{So I could smile and say ‘Fine’. Because I was afraid

that someone was going to ask me how I was doing

and I was going to break down and yell something like

“THE BUNNIES DIDN’T WORK!!!!”

And then they would need to call the behavioral

health professionals for back-up.}

It was when I gazed at my ring that the still small

voice said…..

“Daune, you’ve had the perfect Easter morning.

This is why I died. You don’t need to be cleaned

up and sparkly to come to me…..you come just as

you are…wherever you are. No need to clean up first.”

We can bring our mismatched, rag-tag, chipped, cloudy, dirty,

barette-hoisted, bad attitude selves to the cross.

With all our failures and disappointments.

That’s what Easter morning is all about.

He will clean me up to where I sparkle and shine…

with the facets that he has placed within me

reflecting His love to my family and others.

So, that’s when I realized that I had had the

Perfect Easter Morning.

True story.

Blessings to you~