As the Season Changes…

little terrapin creek

Here’s some beautiful things that “find me grateful”:

Endings, beginnings

The full moon shining through the silhouetted treetops

When people work hard together
{there’s something to be said about people from different backgrounds all coming together to serve}

My brother saying “I do” to his beautiful bride

A home overflowing with laughter and chatter with family and friends from out-of-town

This beautiful sunset one evening

stunning sunset

Prayer times with sisters in Messiah

♫ It is Well (Oh My Soul) ♫

Random “I love you’s”

Quiet morning walks with Kiley

Time spent alone outside with my Maker

Autumn breeze

Apple trees at sunset

john 1:5

Finding a sky full of stars while walking out to the tent at night


Precious souls sharing about adoption, how to outreach in a messy world, and redemption from the past

Conversations that stay nestled in my heart

A growing family

Smiles from the ones I love

So many hugs

This song

What are you thankful for during this season of life?

DIY Musical Border

DIY Musical Border

I love music.

So it’s only fitting that I have my room decorated with sheet music, right? :)

The idea came to me one day to have a musical border on the long wall in my room. I could only find one option for sale online though, and it was pricey.

It was time to get creative.

I found some songs that I’d printed out years ago and haven’t played in a long time (and didn’t know when I’d play them again), so I chose to “re-purpose” them. This border takes only a few supplies and not much time, and adds a lot of personality to a room (it would also be neat for a music room).

before and after

So without further adieu, here’s the tutorial:


Sheet music
Command Strips
Glue Stick


Command Stips

Cut the Command Strips into sixths as shown in the picture. (Since these strips are quite strong, they can be cut into sixths and still hold the paper quite well.)

Cut the Command Strips into sixths

Arrange 5-6 sheets of music as desired and glue the pieces together where they overlap with a glue stick. Continue making these sections of wallpaper until you have as many as needed for the length of your wall.Arrange the Sheet Music


Turn the sections of wallpaper over and adhere the pieces of command strips on every other sheet of music (or as needed).

Adhere the Command Strips

Adhere to the wall, section by section. (My sister stood at a distance and made sure it all lined up properly.) Glue the sections together where they overlap. Add additional pieces of Command Strip if needed.

DIY: Sheet Music Border

DIY: Sheet Music Border

DIY: Sheet Music Border

And…ta-da, you’ve made a musical border! :)

Do you enjoy making DIY decorations? What is your favorite project that you’ve made?

Cleaning Out the Closets

photo from
photo from

For a little while now I’ve been fascinated with the concept of minimalism and have been able to adapt it into my life in some ways.

I used to stare at my closet and drawers full of clothes and wonder what I should wear. It was such a hard decision, partly because I had so many things that I didn’t like. It seemed ridiculous to have such a hard time choosing what to wear when I had so many options. Alright…so I didn’t have a ton of clothes, but I definitely had all that I needed and more.


Just think of a little child in Africa with only rags to wear, or a homeless lady with only a tattered coat in the snow. Now think of me, and you’ll see that something was wrong with my daily dilemma.

Thankfully, the remedy started to come as I began clearing out my closets and drawers of unneeded clothes and things, and donating them to the thrift store. Every time I do another “inventory” of my room, I find more things that I don’t need. And every time I place those things in a bag and donate them for the good of others, I feel better. I feel like I have more, even though I have less, because what I do have is wanted and appreciated.


Sometimes there’s an item that I can’t quite get rid of yet–who knows? Maybe I’ll want it someday— but it always makes me feel better to put that item aside, and after some months go by, if I still haven’t used it, then I can get rid of it without worrying too much. There have been times when I’ve pulled items back out because they would be useful, and I was glad I hadn’t gotten rid of them too quickly.

I’m by no means a “minimalist,” but making some moderate steps to get rid of unneeded stuff has been a lil’ adventure that I’ve much enjoyed. It’s helped me take stock of the clothes I have, encouraged me to be more creative with what I have (I’ve discovered how many ways I can mix & match my skirts and tops), and also made me more aware of what clothes would be a good addition if I happen to find something good while thrift shopping.

Often we don’t realize how blessed we are until we think of all that we’ve been given, and how it’s even more than we need.


Life is a Gift

Life is a Gift

Life is a gift, y’all.

Sometimes it takes tears to realize that. Sometimes it takes sorrow to see the joy. Sometimes I don’t have the words to capture what I feel, but I do have a bit to share, and that is….

Hug a little tighter
Breathe the air in deeper
Pray harder
Listen closer
Don’t fear death
or separation
or the future
or the past
Look at the faces
Of the ones you love
And realize how
You are
To have them


Life is a gift.

Live it.

Florida’s Beautiful Things


This past week my family went on a vacation to  Florida for my grandparents’ 60th anniversary party. It was truly a wonderful celebration and such a blessing to spend time with family (some of whom I hadn’t seen in many years). Now that I’m back in Sweet Home Alabama, I’m realizing some of the beautiful things that Florida taught me. Here’s a few:

Home changes.

I was born in Florida, and for years after moving to Alabama, Florida still felt like home when I visited there. Now it no longer does. Florida feels like memories, but those memories don’t make me sad anymore, because I’m happy to be living somewhere else.  It’s a strange feeling when your heart settles in a new location, but it finally happened. Alabama feels more like home.

Cheaha State Park, the highest point in Alabama

Who you’re with matters more than where you are.

My family was blessed to be able to stay at a resort in Orlando for a few days. It was a lovely resort, with pools and beautiful flowers (more on those later), but my favorite thing about our stay there was that my brother and his precious family stayed at the condo with us.  Family makes a place special, and we got to make many sweet memories, including a  day trip to the beach. Don’t you just love those smiles? :)

Three of the five

Screened-in porches are a taste of heaven.

My sister and I slept on the screened-in back porch of the condo. This was a great arrangement since a) there were too many of us to all sleep inside and b) I was captivated by the idea of sleeping outside, regardless. It was a great place to have some quiet time, with the peaceful sound of the fountain bubbling in the nearby lake. Even when it was raining, I could still enjoy the outdoors.


I truly love flowers.

My dad loves to tease me about my fascination with photographing flowers. I just can’t help it! They’re too beautiful. :)


Childhood friends are something to cherish.

While in my hometown, I was able to spend the day with a friend that  I haven’t seen in years. Bethany and I have been friends since childhood, and it was wonderful to get caught up on each others’ lives and talk about great memories that we made.


Going back to places that are dear to your heart is good.

But coming back home to where God has you now is even better.

Treasure the memories.

Continue the friendships.

And allow Him to lead you on this grand adventure called life.

How about you…What are some beautiful things that you’ve learned lately?

Of Backyard Surprises

Rock & Cherry Tree

Sometimes the most delightful surprises are only a few steps away.

You just have to open your eyes to see them.

This happened to me yesterday as I was sitting on the big rock in my backyard (one of my favorite places to read a book). I glanced toward the woods and caught a glimpse of a shady spot that I’d never noticed before.

IMG_7323Jumping off the rock (not from the top of it! ha ha), I ran across the grass to see if it was as delightful as I hoped it would be. Sure enough, the tulip tree branches overhead made a perfect shade from the July sun.


It’s a delightful place to nestle with a notebook and a pen, and start scribbling a poem or two.

Sandles & Sunshine

It’s here, sitting under a canopy of leaves, swatting bugs, and breathing the humidity, that I feel alive. It’s here that I notice the beauty of small things, such as a butterfly landing in my neighbor’s garden, or the comforting feel of having the hard earth beneath me.

Nope…I’m not a hippy.

But I do love creation, because my Maker loves His creation too. He clothes the lilies. Feeds the sparrows. He knows all the stars by name.

Surely it blesses Him when we delight in what He has made.


I’m thankful for my Father’s world today. And also for this song, because it’s true.

Where do you best enjoy Creation?

My Dear Piano (a silly post)

Sometimes you’ve just gotta laugh.

When I hear a piano that sounds like this….

It’s hard not to cringe, even if it is my very first piano ever. {awwww….}

Now….before you judge my dear piano too much, I’m gonna defend it.

Sure it’s almost an antique, and it might sound like a steel drum, but it’s not that bad. Personally, I think the scuffed wood, peeling felt, and missing knob, etc., adds to its charming personality. And all pianos should have plenty of personalty (just saying).

Alrighty, so yes, I’m in a silly mood.

But in all seriousness, I have hope for this piano. All it needs is a piano tuning (or two) and some tender loving care.


Time will tell, and I’ll keep you posted with future songs if I’m correct.

Regardless, I’m thankful for it. And I’m thankful for my dad and brother who courageously moved it in all its awkward glory.  I’m also thankful for my oldest brother who cleaned all the keys, and for our friend who scoured the Internet to find out how old it is. (It was born in ’67, just so ya know.)

Everyone has been so helpful.

It’s already getting the tender loving care it so deserves.

Welcome to your new home, dear piano. I like you already.

My New Piano

Sweet Home Alabama

I’ve lived in Alabama for six years now. Even though I’m not much of a southern belle, I’ve come to connect with my country surroundings. (I even know what okra is now.) And yet, as my mom was driving me through town last night, I saw something I’d never noticed before. I saw rolling hills in the distance beyond our little town. I stared at the view. How could I have missed that every time before?

A favorite shot from last Fall
A favorite shot from last Fall

Sometimes it’s the beauty right before our eyes that can be the hardest to see.This year I’m striving to notice those simple things around me–such as a landscape of rolling hills–that make life so beautiful.

So here are a few blessing from my day:

#1:The Weather

Today was gorgeous. The sun was shining, the wind blowing, and the temperature was a pleasant 65 degrees. My younger brother and I rode our bicycles on a local trail with our home school group. Simply blissful.

#2: Mango and Black Bean Pasta Salad

I came home from being out in the great outdoors today craving this salad. I had already cooked the noodles, so I threw it together and then came outside to sit on the deck and munch on it. Just what I wanted.


 #3: The Clouds

And as I sat on the deck, I glanced up at the bright blue sky and saw this gorgeous array of clouds:

Look at the Clouds

Yep, today was a great day to live in sweet home Alabama.

Basket Weave Dishcloth

This quick scrubber pattern is great for knitting up leftover skeins of cotton yarn.
Skill Level: easy
Stitches Used: cast on, knit, purl, bind off
Abbreviations: knit (k), purl (p)
Measures: 6 ½” wide and 7 ½” long
Gauge: in basket weave stitch, 15 stitches and 23 rows = 4” by 4”


  • 1 skein Pisgah Yarn & Dyeing Co. inc. Peaches & Creme – 122 yds (100% cotton)
  • size 8 knitting needles
  • yarn needle
  • Cast on 25 stitches (to make a larger dishcloth, cast on a number that is a multiple of ten then add 5)

Rows 1, 3, 5, 7: *K5, p5,* till there are 5 stitches left, k5.
Rows 2, 4, 6, 8: *P5, k5,* till there are 5 stitches left, p5.
Rows 9, 11, 13, 15: *P5, k5,* till there are 5 stitches left, p5.
Rows 10, 12, 14, 16: *K5, p5,* till there are 5 stitches left, k5.

  • Repeat rows 1-16 till scrubby measures 7 1/2″ long , ending on row 8 of pattern (or desired length).
  • Bind off and weave in ends.

Mexican Hot Pads

Mexican Hot Pads
These hot pads are knitted  with acrylic yarn and should not be used under high heat condition, but more as decorations.  Wool, naturally fire resistant, is the best substitute  for well insulated hot pads. Insulated batting can also be put inside the hot pads for extra heat protection.
Skill Level: intermediate
Stitches Used: cast on, knit, bind off, slip stitch
Measures: 8” (10”, 12”) diameter
Gauge: 20 stitched and 32 rows = 4” by 4”


  • 1 skein Caron Simply Soft, red – 315 yds (100% acrylic)
  • 1 skein Caron Simply Soft Brights, blue mint – 315 yds (100% acrylic)
  • 1 skein Caron Simply Soft Brights, mango –  315 yds (100% acrylic)
  • size 6 straight needles
  • size F crochet hook
  • yarn needle


  • With red, or color of your choice, cast on 22 (26, 30) stitches.

Row 1: Knit 1 row. (right side)
Row 2: Knit 21 (25, 29) stitches, turn. (wrong side)
Row 3: Knit 1 row.
Row 4: Knit 20 (24, 28) stitches, turn.
Row 5: Knit 1 row.
Row 6: Knit 19 (23, 27) stitches.

  • Continue in this method, by knitting all right side rows, and knitting 1 less stitch on every wrong side row for a total of 43 (51, 59) rows.

Row 44 (52, 60): Knit across on all stitches, turn. (one complete wedge made)

  • Start over at Row 1 and work to Row 44 (52, 60). Continue repeating Rows 1-44 (52, 60) until the hot pad is a complete circle. (6 wedges) Bind off and leave a long tail. With the tail, sew the bind off and cast edges
  • Make another hot pad in blue, or color of your choice.


  • Using the cast on tail, weave the tail through the stitches in the center of each hot pad and pull tightly to close the hole, fasten and weave in ends.
  • With size  F crochet hook and mango, or color of your choice, join both sides of the hot pads together with slip stitches. (making a slip stitch on every other row)