Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Extra!! Extra!! Read All About It!!

Well Sweeties, it is almost May!!!

Can you believe it??

How ya'll doing??

All here is good!!

If you are reading this you are no doubt one
of my bloggy friends who I admire and whose
opinion I value.

So, will you please help me and answer a
couple of questions??

My oldest daughter is Sam. She is over-the-top
creative and together we have been considering
opening up a handmade online boutique.

Here we are acting silly for little Miss Emily!!
(I know, I should have a more poised photo,
but I don't!!! We have the other ones stuck on
the old computer!! I'll get one soon!!)

The only thing we know for sure...it will be called

(drum roll, please)


It will feature handmade items made by us, and
also by my 11 yo daughter Maddy.

Here are my questions:

1.) When you see that a blog you're visiting
has an Etsy or Ebay shop or selling
blog, do you take the time to
check it out?

2.) Have you ever bought anything from one
of the above?

3.) Do you think you would be more likely to
make a purchase from an Etsy or Ebay
shop or a selling blog?

I so appreciate you taking the time to help
me with this little survey. I really do
value your input, and any suggestions
you might have!!!!


I also want to say thank you for all of your
sweet comments on my "Clean Slate" post.

I am so delighted that somehow God ministers
to some of you through what I share.

When people hurt, manipulate, use you or
otherwise mistreat you, realize that there
is only so much you can do
and just "let go" of the rest.

God's grace (unmerited favor) is shed abroad
in our hearts so that we may show
the same grace to others.
YES, even (especially) to those who have hurt us.
Don't carry it around and let it steal your joy!!

Hope your week is coming along splendidly!!

Blessings and Joy,

Monday, April 27, 2009

JOY For Our Journey~~A Clean Slate!!

Happee Monday, Sweeties!!

Isn't this lovely??
It is a clean slate, and it is what God blessed
me with last night!! Here's my story!!

Last night I was thinking and asking
God what the focus of today's "joy" post should be.

Well...He answered me in a way I didn't expect.

I have had some, let's say "stuff" , that I have been
toting around on my back for awhile now.
"Stuff " that tends to weigh me down, and that
I have allowed to just suck some of the
joy out of my days.
He gently let me know that it was time to let it go.

That's it??!!
"Just let it go!!"
Just like that??!!

"Yes, Becky, just like that!!"
I have been praying about this stuff
for awhile now
feeling no real direction and now it's...

Just let it go??!!
"Again, yes Becky...it is in the past.
Trust me and press forward leaving
this behind."
Ah-ha...now I have a scripture to go along with
His desire for me...

Phillipians 3:13-14

Brethren, I do not count myself to have
apprehended; but one thing I do,
forgetting those things which are behind
and reaching forward to those
things which are ahead,
I press toward the goal for the prize
of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Paul did it...he left behind anything
and everything that encumbered him, and that
might have kept him from living
his life fully for Christ.

You see, God knows me so very well.
He knows that there are many things
I have deeply desired to accomplish that I have
been utterly fumbling through, because this
"stuff" has been draining me.

So, I have done my part.

By an act of my own will I have chosen to
leave it all behind me, and not to let any
of the "stuff" cause me to
fumble any longer.

God has done His part and has supernaturally
wiped my slate clean. YAY!!! I feel strong, uplifted,
refreshed and totally in awe of His loving care
for me.

Now that doesn't mean that the adversary won't
still try to bring it back up, so I already have
two things prepared for him in that event!!


Phillipians 4:8

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true,
whatever things are noble,
whatever things are just,
whatever things are pure,
whatever things are lovely,
whatever things are of good report,
if there is any virtue
and if there is anything praiseworthy,
meditate on these things.

And next a little saying that has helped
me before...

If Satan reminds you of things that are in the past,

Dear Sweeties,

Pullleeaasse, let the past be the past, and don't
allow yourself to be robbed of your joy by carrying
around a bunch of "stuff" that should be
left behind.

God will help you clean your slate, too,
you will be amazed at how FREE you feel!!

I thank each and every one of you who have
prayed for me. I wholeheartedly believe
this is an answer to those prayers.

**If I can ever pray for any of you, please
feel free to email me at
Of course, you can count on complete confidentiality.

Hugs and Holy Kisses,


Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Great Day at the Beach!!

Our last trip to the beach was so delightful!!

Just look at this little fellow!!
We don't get a whole lot of these
but I LOVE watching them!!
He would try to outrun the waves coming in!!
Too cute!!

As you can see it was a beautiful day.
It was a bit windy, and there were bigger
waves than normal so we didn't venture into
the water

Little Miss Emily loves the beach as much or
more than I do!!

It's so great to "see life" through her eyes!!

It reminds me constantly to find JOY in the
little things!!

The clouds started to roll in, and it got a little
too cool with the wind coming across the water

I mean the water temp is still in the high 60's!!

Emily started feeding the seagulls so of course
I had to get a few pics!! They are really pretty

And what fun it was to look down the beach
and see a beautiful bride getting pictures taken
on the shore. Click photo to see her better!!
She was holding her dress and twirling and posing.
Remember the elation you felt on your wedding day??
It just brought back all of mine and made my day!!

THEN, on the way out, we drove past a hotel and
there she was out front!!

We HONKED several times and all waved to her,
and she jumped with delight waving to us
with a big smile on her face!!

Such a fun day!!

OH!! And my header picture...
it was shot the same day.

As any good Nana would, I made a public
spectacle of myself by whirling around in circles
chasing Emily with the camera.

I was sure I didn't get any decent shots...

Blessings to you Sweeties!!
Have a glorious weekend!!
I'm heading out to do some planting!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Birdy Update and This and That!!


As most of you know, we had a lovely little
Carolina Wren (named Wendy) build a nest and lay her
eggs in this flower pocket on one of my front doors.

Well, we're sad to report that it is now 5
weeks later and she never hatched her eggs.

When Wendy was flying in and out, the flower
pocket would stay crooked on the door.
One day my Mother-in-Law came and picked it
up and straightened it not knowing there was a
nest in it. We believe that caused Wendy to
abandon the nest.

Today I very carefully removed the nest so I
could show Maddy, and the girls in our Keeper's
at Home Club.

It is so precious. I am so amazed at all the different
things they use to construct their nests!!
I'm even more amazed when I try to fathom how God
programs all of this neat behavior into His
creations!! TOTALLY AWESOME!!

Here are a few different views:

From the side

Hopefully next spring we will be able to have
a little birdy family to observe and enjoy!!


Here are a couple of pics of the decorations for the
bridal shower for Mallory's friend.
They were on a budget, so it is very simple, but we
liked how it turned out.
My contribution was the use of our home, decorating,
and the potted Mandevilla. (which will be planted this
weekend along the fence in the backyard.)

The party favors and prizes one of the bridesmaids
bought; bath salts and heart-shaped cookie cutters
filled with chocolate hearts (in the basket)


The installation of our lovely new carpet!! YAY!!

We found such a bargain, and got 3 rooms and
the hallway for what 2 other people would have
charged us for just 2 rooms!!
Finished, and Maddy pooped out on the sofa!!

I know that sofa isn't Tuscan, but it was FREE!!!
And is top of the line!! We'll make it work!!

And last of all, my slate girl is finally in the niche!
You can read about the history behind this
artwork by clicking here.

One problem, though! I am not happy with
the background color in the niche!!

I'm thinking about either a lighter or darker
green than what is on the wall.

What do you think?? Please share!!

I am in search of a small sideboard or table
of some sort to put below the niche. I want
something nice and I want a bargain!!
I'll let you know what I find!!

Thank you for taking the time to visit me
today!! You make each of my days a little
Love 'n Joy,

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What "Speaks" to You??

My Mama Rose was an amazing interior
designer. She would always talk about design
elements that "spoke" to her. There wouldn't be
anything in her home that didn't "speak"
to her.

I got a few of her genes, but am nowhere near being
in her league when it comes to interior design.
I do, however, know what "speaks" to me!!


collage by In the Tuscan Style

The Tuscan style of design incorporates a warm,
rich, earthy color palette with wood and metals
that in combination, give a kind of time-worn,
yet elegant, welcoming feel.

Over the next few weeks, I will have some
posts that show what I am working on in my
home. As with most of us, it's a work in progress!
I hope that when all is said and done,
the feel will be somewhat "Tuscan"!!

So many out there LOVE the shabby chic or French
country design, ...which I love also, but my big burly
man...NOT SO MUCH!!

SOOO...Here's to Tuscan!! Any other Tuscan decor lovers
out there?? Do sound off!!

A Tuscan living room

A bit lighter color palette

Light and more formal

This Thomasville bed would go perfectly
with our antique dressers!! YUMMY!

Tuscan in the bathroom

Wrought iron is almost always part of Tuscan decor

Earthy and brightly colored vases and urns
also characterize Tuscan decor

Here is a video from Rate My Space of a Tuscan makeover
on a couple of rooms
(turn down volume on my playlist at the bottom of the
page to hear audio on this video)

SO....What design style "speaks" to you???

Have a great day!!
Joy and Hugs,

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

In Loving Memory

As you can see my sister-in-law was lovely
and full of life. She was an inspiration to many.
She is survived by my her
husband, three children, 2 grandchildren,
her brother and Mother.

There are two separate investigations underway.
It is believed by most so far that this was
a preventable accident.

Here are some facts:

*The boat was 22 feet long
*It's capacity was 12 people
*14 people were on board
*Alcohol was found on board
*Witnesses saw boat occupants
drinking prior to boarding the boat.
*The boat crashed into a moored tug
boat at a speed of 30-35 MPH
*5 people were killed
*3 people were critically injured

They now believe that my SIL was driving
the boat.

They say she was driving because she was the
only one who could drive that wasn't

The alcohol level in her blood was very low.

If the owner of this boat had acted responsibly,
and been the designated driver for his OWN
boat, this tragedy could have been avoided.

They still are not sure what actually caused
the boat to wreck.

Here is a photo of the boat after they pulled
it from the water.

Friends, if you enjoy an occasional alcoholic beverage,
PLEASE drink in the safety of your own home, and
don't put you or others at risk.

Families are shattered today because of this
boat owner's lack of personal responsibility.

Please pray for all of the families that have lost
a loved one in this tragic accident.
A couple were quite young.
We all should endeavor to...

I thank you all once again for your loving
thoughts and prayers.

You are such a blessing to me.
Words seem insufficient to express what's
in my heart...
Love to you all,

Sunday, April 19, 2009

JOY For Our Journey/In Unexpected Places

A joyful Monday to all of my sweeties out there!!

I feel like I have so much to share with you that I
am just going to burst!! So much going on, so many
different feelings, but this is about JOY...will you
indulge me as I share some personal joy?

Hopefully, you, too, will find JOY in some rather
unexpected places.

I have been really missing my Mom lately. It kind
of comes and goes, but it is still hard for me
to grasp that she is gone.
I don't know if it will ever really sink in.
It hurts a lot sometimes, even after almost 5 years.


I was blessed to have an amazing, loving Mom,
friend, and cheerleader. She was a true inspiration
and I couldn't have asked for a better Mom!!


My sister-in law's memorial service was gut-wrenching,
and so totally senseless. Such a tragic loss.


I am so blessed to be part of such a loving, supportive family.
All of my siblings were in attendance along with
extended family.

As each family member arrived the sense of my
brother's assurance that he would be ok was elevated,
and the love and support was so strong that I think
every person in the room could not only see it,
but feel it, too!!

A family functioning as God would have them function in
difficult circumstances....


My Mom's brother, Bud, Uncle Bud has always been
my favorite uncle. His wife Janice, was my favorite

Years ago they went through a painful divorce, and each
got remarried. I never got to see Aunt Janice anymore.
There was this emptiness in my heart without her there.

Well, a couple of months ago, her husband passed away.
And guess what?

She came to the memorial service!! I got to hug
her a bunch of times, and tell her how much I had
missed her, how glad I was to see her, and she said
she had missed us all very much, too!!

My favorite cousins came, too (her daughters) and I am
going to begin to see one of them regularly as well as
my Uncle Bud. He is the best!!


So, sweeties, start looking around, even in the seemingly
dark places, and you may be surprised to find some


where you would least expect it!!

Thank you all again for your kind thoughts
and prayers. You are truly a blessing to me!!

I'll be posting an update tomorrow.

Joy and hugs,

Saturday, April 18, 2009

What Sweeties You Are!!!

My lovely friends,

I thank you from the depths of my heart
for your love, concern and prayers.
You have lifted my spirit, and filled my
cup with JOY!

May God richly bless each one of you,
and grant that desire or need that is
closest to your heart.

I'll see you on Monday for


Love and Holy Smooches,

Friday, April 17, 2009

Family Sorrow

Hello Sweeties,

Monday I received some really sad news.
My youngest brother very recently went through
a divorce from his wife of over 20 years.

Easter Sunday she was killed in a boating accident.
Tomorrow, instead of being here for the bridal
shower, we will be traveling to north Florida
to attend her memorial service.

It is difficult for me to not be here for the shower,
but I will have everything pretty much ready
before I go, and Mallory said she can handle the rest.

Please pray for my brother, his children, and our
our family in general. All of my siblings and many
extended family members will be traveling to attend.

We never know, do we friends, if we will be here even
one more day. So I implore you to shake off all
of the little irritations of life, forgive the bigger
ones, and LOVE those around you with abandon!!

Thank you for being there for me!!
I appreciate you all more than I can say!

Love 'n Hugs,

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Historic St. Augustine!! And the winners are...

Isn't this handsome male stunning???
I had never heard of a white peacock!
We couldn't get enough of him!!
He is helping me annouce that two of you, my
lovely bloggy friends, guessed correctly where BBB
(Becky behind bars) was!!
Castillo De San Marcos, St. Augustine, Florida!!
Congratulations Tami and Lady Katherine!!
Both Tami and Lady Katherine will be sent
a special surprise!! Please email your
addresses to holidayinthesun_1@yahoo.com
and I will get them out next week!!

Here is one of his cousins on the roof of a small
shed like building.

Maddy and Kristina at the entrance
to the Fountain of Youth
More on that in St. Augustine the sequel!

This is one of the neat old doors at the fort
Very cool!!

Here is a shot inside the fort. This fort was never
destroyed in battle!!

These are cannon replicas. The history that goes
along with this fort is so interesting. Google it
and enjoy the read!!

The entrance...only one way in and out!
There is a moat perimeter, but it remained mostly

My niece Kristina doing her time

Maddy desperately wanting her freedom!!

Here is that fetching fellow again at the
Fountain of Youth .
I had never seen a peacock in a tree either!!
Showing off for the girls!!

Let it be said that St. Augustine is also home to
a rather delightful blogger named Mrs. Magpie!
Maybe we'll get to visit her next time we're there.
I hear she is just as wonderful in person!!

PLEASE visit her blog if you haven't!!

She truly is charming, fun and so creative!!
St. Augustine part 2 coming soon!!

Blessings and joy,

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


In an old Shirley Temple movie, little Shirley sings
a smiley song...
Here is a list of the top 10 reasons to smile!!

1. Smiling Makes Us Attractive.
We are drawn to people who smile.
There is an attraction factor. We want to know a smiling person and figure out what is so good. Frowns, scowls and grimaces all push people away -- but a smile draws them in.

2. Smiling Changes Our Mood.
Next time you are feeling down, try putting on a smile. There's a good chance you mood will change for the better. Smiling can trick the body into helping you change your mood.

3. Smiling Is Contagious.
When someone is smiling they lighten up the room, change the moods of others, and make things happier. A smiling person brings happiness with them. Smile lots and you will draw people to you.

4. Smiling Relieves Stress.
Stress can really show up in our faces.
Smiling helps to prevent us from looking tired, worn down, and overwhelmed. When you are stressed, take time to put on a smile. The stress should be reduced and you'll be better able to take action.

5. Smiling Boosts Your Immune System.
Smiling helps the immune system to work better. When you smile, immune function improves possibly because you are more relaxed. Prevent the flu and colds by smiling.

6. Smiling Lowers Your Blood Pressure.
When you smile, there is a measurable reduction in your blood pressure.
Give it a try if you have a blood pressure monitor at home. Sit for a few minutes, take a reading. Then smile for a minute and take another reading while still smiling. Do you notice a difference?

7. Smiling Releases Endorphins, Natural Pain Killers and SerotoninStudies have shown that smiling releases endorphins, natural pain killers, and serotonin.
Together these three make us feel good. Smiling is a natural drug.

8. Smiling Lifts the Face and Makes You Look Younger.
The muscles we use to smile lift the face, making a person appear younger. Don't go for a face lift, just try smiling your way through the day -- you'll look younger and feel better.

9. Smiling Makes You Seem Successful.
Smiling people appear more confident, are more likely to be promoted, and more likely to be approached. Put on a smile at meetings and appointments and people will react to you differently.

10. Smiling Helps You Stay Positive.
Try this test: Smile. Now try to think of something negative without losing the smile.

Love and Hugs,

Friday, April 10, 2009


Easter greetings to all of my SWEETIES!!
Wednesday, me, Maddy, and Kristina, aka the
Three Musketeers went on a very fun homeschool outing.
Here we are! It was the picture perfect day to be outside!

When we reached our destination, we were greeted
by none other than this rather fetching fellow!!

What an amazing bird!! God had a lot of fun designing this
handsome feathered friend! You'll see more of him
in all of his glory in a future post.

Here is another special "Mom"
who came along just in time to show off her spring

What on earth is BBB?

Becky behind bars, of course!!!

This is my question for all of you...
(except those of you who live in Florida, Sue
at BPTL, or anyone else I may have told where we went.
Sorry gals...that would just be too
easy, now wouldn't it?)

Where am I in Florida that I might be behind bars???

The first person to comment and guess correctly will
win a surprise!!

I LOVE shopping for giveaways, so be sure you
make a guess!!

If no one guesses, I will start giving clues until
someone gets it right!!


I will be MIA for the next week in order to prepare
for a kind of large bridal shower we're hosting
for one of my daughter's best friends.

Each day I will check in, visit a few of you sweet friends,
and then get back to the work at hand!!

May your Easter celebration be a joyous one, full of
praise for our Mighty Risen Lord and King!!


May Christ Jesus, the Hope of mankind,
fill your heart with love, joy and peace

Happy Easter!!!

Love and hugs to you all,

Monday, April 6, 2009

Na Na Na Na Na Na...They Say It's Your Birthday!

It is with sheer delight that I join many others
in the blogosphere to send birthday
wishes to none other than...
The sweet, the lovely, the most gracious...

If you have not had the pleasure of meeting Katherine,
you should by all means pop in and say "Hi".
She has the sweetest heart, and the gift of hospitality,
and will do nothing more than just love ya!!
My tea party isn't...well...a tea party, but it is
a celebration nonetheless.
I have three candles and they represent
FAITH, HOPE, AND LOVE, three things
that characterize Lady Katherine's life.

Maddy and her cousin Kristina helped make these
delightful little apple bunches that Jaime at
Rafters Family Highlights kindly shared the recipe for.

And I lift my glass of Perrier with a twist of lemon
in honor of Lady Katherine's 51 birthday!!

Happy, happy birthday, Katherine!

May God bless you and make
His face to shine upon you!!

You shine His love so wonderfully!!

You can visit Katherine by clicking here to
extend her birthday wishes!!

Bunches of Birthday Love,