Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Merriest of Christmases

This year will be a very special Christmas for us, as it will be our son's first Christmas.  He is fascinated with the ornaments and lights of the Christmas trees.  My husband and I are having a wonderful time watching his curiosity with all the decor...and we have never been happier. 

It is a wonderful thing to remember what it is like to see the splendor and beauty of Christmas through the eyes of a child. 
Photo copyright Terri Fortney Photography, 2010

Baby's First Christmas
You have to hold him up to see
The angel on the Christmas tree.
And even though he's still too small
To know the meaning of it all
You watch his eyes reflect the glow
Of colored lights that come and go
And feel him quiver with delight
At every new and wondrous sight.

There's Santa with his jolly face
Beaming from the fireplace.
And from the stocking hanging there
Peeks a cuddly teddy bear.
Bright ornaments and candy canes --
Musical toy and wooden trains --
There's just no end to the delights
Spread out for him this night of nights!
He points and grins from ear to ear
And then he yawns - his bedtime's near!
Dad gives him a kiss and you tuck him away
To rest up for the fun of his first Christmas Day!
~Alice E. Chase

Oh, so happy, happy, happy,

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Welcome, December...

Through bare trees
I can see all the rickety lean-tos
and sheds, and the outhouse
with the half-moon on the door,
once modestly covered in
summer's greenery.

Through bare trees
I can watch the hawk
perched on a distant branch,
black silhouetted wings
shaking feathers and snow,
and so can its prey.

Through bare trees
I can be winter's innocence,
unashamed needfulness,
the thin and reaching limbs
of a beggar, longing to touch
but the hem of the sun.
~ Lisa Lindsey, Bare Trees

Monday, November 15, 2010

My November Guest

My Sorrow, when she's here with me,
Thinks these dark days of autumn rain
Are beautiful as days can be;
She loves the bare, the withered tree;
She walks the sodden pasture lane.
Her pleasure will not let me stay.
She talks and I am fain to list:
She's glad the birds are gone away,
She's glad her simple worsted grady
Is silver now with clinging mist.
The desolate, deserted trees,
The faded earth, the heavy sky,
The beauties she so ryly sees,
She thinks I have no eye for these,
And vexes me for reason why.
Not yesterday I learned to know
The love of bare November days
Before the coming of the snow,
But it were vain to tell her so,
And they are better for her praise.
      ~Robert Frost

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Salute The Brave

This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.  
        - Elmer Davis

This photo is courtesy of Able Veterans.  Please visit and support Disabled American Veterans Charitable Service Trust.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010


The breezes taste
of apple peel.
The air is full
of smells to feel -
ripe fruit, old footballs,
burning brush,
new books, erasers,
chalk and such.
The bee, his hive,
well-honeyed hum,
and Mother cuts
Late plates washed clean
with suds, the days
are polished with
a morning haze.
        `John Updike, September

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Half Price Demi Purses From Thirty-One

Please visit my Thirty-One Blog HERE for this fabulous deal! You don't want to miss this!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A New Venture

I've become a consultant for Thirty-One Gifts, and I am so excited! This faith-based company that derives its name from Proverbs 31, offers a multitude of fabulous merchandise that will help you organize your life simply and beautifully!  I hope you'll visit my new website here and the accompanying blog here (I'd love for you to sign up to follow me there!), and let me know what you think!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Summer Shower

A drop fell on the apple tree,
Another on the roof;
A half a dozen kissed the eaves,
And made the gables laugh.

A few went out to help the brook,
That went to help the sea.
Myself conjectured, Were they pearls,
What necklaces could be!

The dust replaced in hoisted roads,
The birds jocoser sung;
The sunshine threw his hat away,
The orchards spangles hung.

The breezes brought dejected lutes,
And bathed them in the glee;
The East put out a single flag,
And signed the fete away.

Summer Shower by Emily Dickinson

We have waited all summer for a good rain. It had been weeks when, unexpectedly, a sunny day turned dark and the skies opened up and blessed us with a late afternoon shower that was overdue by at least two months. What a luxury rain has become this summer! And what a blessing to finally get a reprieve from the unrelenting sun. Although the rain was brief and we wish it could have visited longer, we were thankful for what little we received! I was so happy to see it, I nearly took to yard in my bare feet just to wade in those glorious puddles! If it had not been for the baby sleeping inside and no one to watch after him, I may have flung open the door, ran outside, tilted my face to the sky and laughed like a mad woman! Oh, when this sweet boy gets a little older, what fun we will have in the rain!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Gone to Seed

A lot of things have changed here in the last three months. We started the spring by planting a few annuals, hanging Boston ferns across our back porch, carefully weeding the gardens each week, and setting out herbs and a variety of vegetable plants. Everything was flourishing until May 15th. Since we brought our Baby Boy home, every moment has been dedicated to him and his care. Watering the flowers became something we thought about doing about once a week (on a good week), and I still haven't staked the tomato plants. As the old saying goes, everything has "gone to seed" -- quite literally when it comes to our property.

As the baby's schedule becomes more regulated and DH and I have caught up on some sleep, we realize that we are going to have to learn how to juggle household responsibilities with caring for our new baby. Is there a course we can take? A book we can read? A consultant we can hire? Surely other parents have experienced this same feeling of overwhelming responsibility and feeling as though they'll never get caught up on household chores again! If anyone has the answer to this dilemma, please let us know!  I'll be trying to get in a load of laundry in between the diaper changes and feedings.  :-)

Loving every moment of motherhood (even the crazy ones),

Monday, July 26, 2010


Today, you have been smiling in your sleep,
and I cannot help but wonder
what sweet dreams
you are dreaming.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


“Patriotism is like charity — it begins at home. ”
~ James Henry

Happy Independence Day!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Guest Room Transformed

A little over a year ago, we were still operating a bed and breakfast out of our house, and the plan to grow our family still seemed a bit distant. But in September, we closed the B&B and began the transformation of one of our Victorian guest rooms (you can see photos of it HERE) to a nursery.  Since we were uncertain if we would have a boy or girl, we chose bedding that we felt would be appropriate for either, although now that it is in the room, I do feel that it gives the nursery a more feminine feel.  It was important to us that we stay true to our decorating style and not create a room that felt as though it belonged in another house. We tried to be mindful of the house's 1860's architecture and history and create a room that was eclectic, fun and appropriate for a baby...and on a budget! 

While we still have things to do, here is the nearly finished project.  We feel that our little boy won't mind the flowers that are a part of the current bedding scheme, and by the time he is old enough to notice, we will have found something boy-worthy in a vintage airplane or train or other motif.

This crib is only one of two new pieces of furniture that we bought for the room. We purchased it to match an existing wardrobe and dresser that we already owned.

The rocking chair below is the only other piece of new furniture that we purchased.  My husband and I painted the pictures that hang on the walls.

I previously owned the Beatrix Potter plate, bunnies and books.  We also borrowed this lamp from another room to use on the table beside the rocking chair.  The little desk belonged to my husband before we were married.  It has a green leather inset on the top.

My mother-in-law made the cross stitch picture of the Bremen Town Musicians many years ago and gave it to us to use in the nursery. I think it looks as though it was created especially for the space.  Most of the childrens' books belonged to my husband and me when we were children, although we have added (and will continue to add) more books to the baby's library.  Can you guess which of us donated the Star Wars pop-up book to the collection?  :-)  Hint:  Not me.

I bought the sheep artwork from an artist on Etsy, and the Easter egg compass and basket came from Victorian Trading Company.

I have owned this rocking horse for years and thought it would look cute in the nursery while the baby is not old enough to climb on it.  Of course, it is not a toy, so it will have to be removed from the nursery as the baby grows.  We will not want to tempt him to try to ride this guy.  We will be on the look-out for a more appropriate rocking horse as our son grows older.


The alphabet sampler is one that we owned. I thought it worked well for now behind the rocking chair.

The pillows in the rocking chair were borrowed from another room in the house.

I have also owned the antique school desk for many years. I think it adds a nice vintage touch in the nursery.  The bear is handmade by a shop owner in town.  The vintage wooden blocks were picked up by me at yard sales, antique booths and auctions over the years. I must have dozens of them.

This wardrobe (I know there's a better name for this piece of furniture...what is it?) belonged to my husband growning up. It has a matching dresser, which does double-time as a changing table.  We purchased the crib to match the wood of these two pieces.

As you can see, we used a lot of what we already owned to decorate the nursery. While we will want to change the decor to reflect our son's interests as he grows, for now it seems to work.  Tell me, does it looked pulled together from years worth of collecting?  Does it feel hodge-podge?  I'd love to get your thoughts!

Thanks so much!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

God’s Word is just as accurate as His works. You can set your clock by His sun, and you can charter your course by His Word.

Have a blessed day,

Friday, June 25, 2010

Through the Storm

Today, I am recovering.  I have spent the last 48 hours drifting in and out of a restless sleep between bouts of pure misery.  I have been hibernating, healing, dreaming of not feeling so lousy.  Stomach viruses are hard to kick, and believe me, this one has been a doozie.  I feel as though I have lost days of my life.  As I lay here in our bedroom this afternoon, watching the lace curtains blow in the breeze of the approaching storm, I find myself praying for the rain...the sweet, cleansing, drenching rain.  Just what we need.  A perfect way to wash away the yuckiness, leaving me feeling refreshed, albeit a little disheveled after this most recent storm. The thunder rumbles low in the distance (or is that my stomach?)...no, it's the thunder.  Thank heavens.  And yes, here comes the rain. Ahhh.

Isn't the photograph above lovely?  It's by photographer Lyle Huisken whose work you may find at http://lyle-and-fran-huisken.fineartamerica.com/.  This looks much like the white lace curtains blowing in our own room (although I am too sick to get out of bed to find my own camera to take a picture, but I will do that soon).  Meanwhile, please visit Mr. Huisken's site and look at his fabulous photographs. They're just the type I would take if I was a gifted photographer just like him.

Thinking well thoughts,

Monday, June 21, 2010

Happiest of Father's Day

This was my DH's first Father's Day as a Daddy. This day was such a special one for him, so I thought I would post a few photographs. Doesn't the smile in the first photo just say it all? We are in heaven.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Our Dream Come True

If you have followed our blog for any time, you know that my DH and I have been trying to adopt for many years. We finally received "the call," and were able to bring home our beautiful baby boy. Isn't he amazing?

He is the answer to hundreds of prayers we prayed. We thank God for this precious gift.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Prayers Answered

We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life.
But those who make their journey home across time & miles,
growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them,
are carried on the wings of destiny and placed among us
by God's very own hands.
-- Kristi Larson

I am sorry that I have been away for a few weeks, but it was due to the most amazing event.  We finally were successful in our attempt to adopt a baby, and we brought home an amazing, beautiful newborn baby boy. He is gorgeous and truly a gift from God. Our many, many prayers were answered and years of waiting finally came to an end.  We could not be more ecstatic. I will post more soon about our adoption journey and our beautiful son.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Victory Gardens

As I plant my own vegetables and herbs this year, I am reminded of the old posters of the Victory Gardens that citizens were encouraged to grow during WWII. The images are some of my favorite vintage art even though they portray a time of unrest in the world; they also recall a time of great patriotism. The US School Garden Program also had amazing images of children in the garden. I have many vintage photographs of my grandmother in overalls with a scarf tied around her hair, so the first image reminds me so much of her. She was in her early to mid twenties during WWII and is a wealth of information regarding that era.

And thanks to people like my grandparents, we live in a time when we may garden simply for pure pleasure. I am grateful.