• Friends,  Good Things


    I went to the funeral of a neighbor and friend on Saturday afternoon. When I stepped out into the gloomy day, I was astounded at what I saw: hundreds of robins in all the trees over his family's house and in several trees surrounding. The birds were all chirping in unison, and the sound was so pleasant that other neighbors were coming out of their houses to look up. I have no idea why they chose to sing in those particular trees, but it's something I'll never forget.

    Before leaving for the church, I snapped what photos I could. What beauties these little spring birds are. And may God bless the family whose house they gathered over.

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    Psalm 147:7-9

    "Sing unto the LORD with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God: Who covereth the heaven with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains. He giveth the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry." (KJV)


    I like to change out the image on my desktop every once in a while, and just in case you do too, and you'd like to use one of these spring robins, here are a few semi-hi-res photos for you to use. Simply right-click the photo and choose "Save image as…" You may need to reduce the size, however, to fit your monitor.

    Robin hi res 2

    Here's a different version of the above photo:

    Robin hi res

    Robin hi res 3

    Enjoy your day!

  • Crazy Kids

    Fro-Yo Run

    When Bre comes to town and I've hugged the stuffing out of her, here's usually what happens.

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    No one else in our family is as crazy about Red Mango as we are, so usually it's just us two. If you don't have one where you live, it's a frozen yogurt shop that allows you to dispense your own – after you've sampled as many as you like! They change out the flavors each week, so you never know what you're going to see when you arrive…

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    My favorite combination is coconut (oh my, don't knock it til you try it!), pineapple, and banana. Bre loves black cherry. (She was sampling the lemon souffle here.)

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    After you've filled either a small or large bowl with your favorite yogurts, you head to the toppings bar for even more calories!

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    Here's what Bre's usually looks like:

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    And here's mine:

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    I don't like to be photographed while I'm eating, but I don't mind aggravating other people with it.

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    (Isn't that the cutest watch?)

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    Btw, you pay by the ounce. The first time Bre and I visited, we each had around 4 oz. The second time, around 7 oz. We've worked our way up to about 16.4 oz each these days.

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    And since it's frozen yogurt (instad of ice cream), none of it shows up on our hips. ahem.

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    I'll be visiting Bre tomorrow, and they just happen to have a brand new Red Mango place about 5 minutes from where she lives.  In an effort to promote a healthy lifestyle, we will be supporting the shop as soon as we're finished with our lunch. 😉


  • Just Cross Stitch,  Stitching

    Just Cross Stitch

    I've been doing quite a bit of designing lately, and have lots of ideas for new samplers – although Mom keeps reminding me, "Honey, I need a more traditional sampler. Please. You're overdue. And make it red. But if you don't want to do it in red, then that's fine too. But I need a more traditional sampler. And btw, when you submit a new photo to JCS this year, make it a good one."


    I suddenly remembered her saying something similar about my elementary school pictures I proudly brought home.

    Anyway, as some of you may know, I had the honor of being in the Just Cross Stitch January/February issue this year. The editor sent me a few magazines to give away, but so far I haven't had any takers, besides my mom. (Okay, fine, she was thrilled.) So if there are a couple of you who would be interested, I have two to give away.

    There are some sweet designs inside, including one by Praiseworthy Stitches called Winter at Beacon House (pictured in the middle). Mine is called Winter Wind Sampler (on the right).


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    Please either email me or leave a comment below this post if you're interested. And if there are more than two people, we'll draw names!

  • Crazy Kids


    A while ago, I heard Sabrina singing a song to the radio, and the lyrics left me speechless. Actually, I didn't know whether to cough and sputter and turn off the radio or die laughing. Not having grown up in the 70's, she had no clue why I reacted the way I did. (I actually coughed, sputtered, and then died laughing.)

    Here's how the chorus went:

    "Call me 'Mr. Flintstone,' cuz I can make your Bed Rock…"

    Have you ever…?

    Fast-forward to this past weekend, and Sabrina's high school decided to have a dance with a "Bedrock" theme. I'm not sure if that particular song was the school's inspiration, but Sabrina and her friends decided to take a more Flintstonian approach…

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    We had to keep Friday outside so he wouldn't try to steal the bones from their hair'do's…

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    Since I clearly couldn't get the girls to let their guards down and pose for me, I told them to pretend they were getting ready to meet their new cave husband…

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    Okay, that wasn't quite the pose I had in mind. So I told them to pretend they were being attacked by a t-rex…

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    (Apparently, Kenzie thinks t-rexes are cute.)

    Collin wasn't getting away with standing off the the side, so the girls dragged him into it…

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    The kids told me that the school was strictly enforcing the "No Inappropriate Dancing" rule. So Sabrina and Kenzie demonstrated the appropriate way to dance…

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    This would also be acceptable:

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    But this would not:

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    The four friends had a really good time at the dance, but I think I'll request a new theme for the next one: Puritanism in Early America.

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    Nevermind. Something tells me these girls would even have fun in scratchy grey frocks and bonnets.

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  • Crazy Kids,  Stitching


    … I received photos of a gorgeous finish from Anto of Italy



    Thank you, Anto! I love the way you've finished this, and the little heart button at the bottom is wonderful!

    … I went to see the Justin Beiber movie with my Sophie. I never much cared for Justin Bieber, as his hair-do always gave me flashbacks to the school playground in 1976. But after seeing this movie, I'm now a Belieber. Love him!

    Took this one with my cell phone, but if the real Justin ever walks into the theater, I'll be pushing little Soph out of the way and snapping my own picture with him.

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    … And just today, Breanna came into town!  Love my homegirl, even more than Justin.

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    Although I am thinking of changing her name to Biebereanna.

  • Family

    Say Yes to the (Prom) Dress

    Prom is a little over a month away, so Bean and I decided to get a head start on the shopping this year, rather than waiting until the last minute, when most of the dresses have been fairly picked over (and damaged by over-zealous promenaders).

    We visited a few different stores, but ended up having the best selection in Younkers. Here are some of the dresses Bean tried on, and we would have taken them all home if we could have! Each one had such a different "personality," but in the end, we went with the one that matched Sabrina's the best. 🙂 (Forgive the drab color in the photos.. they were taken with my cell phone.)

    The shape and color of this dress was fabulous!

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    And this one had such an unusual print on it – we both really loved the pink and grey…

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    I was surprised at how many white/cream dresses there were to choose from… I thought this one was really flattering on her…

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    At first, I nixed this one bc I thought it was too bridal, but she tried it on for fun. We both really liked how feminine it was…

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    So there you have it! She only brought one of them home, and we'd love for you to check back in late March to see how she looks. 😉 In the meantime, her friend Mikey had better start saving for his tux!

  • From My Kitchen

    Happy Valentine’s Day!

    I just had to share with you the little cards the girls and I made for them to pass out to their friends. Sophie will be sharing hers with her classmates when they exchange Valentines (this is her last year, since middle-schoolers don't "do" Valentine's Day parties), along with the Pop Rocks and Blow Pops she's attached to each of the envelopes…

    Sophie Valentine

    And here is Sabrina's… we got the crazy idea to stick sprinkles on her lip gloss from a photo someone submitted to Pioneer Woman's site a while back. I thought I was going to fall down from laughing so hard, watching her smash her face into the counter so her lips could come into contact with the shallow dish of sprinkles.

    Sabrina's Valentines tp

    Although high-schoolers don't generally exchange Valentine's cards any more than middle-schoolers do, I doubt Sabrina will have trouble finding takers for them, considering she also has Pop Rocks and Blow Pops to accompany them. 😉

    (Btw, the original templates for the cards came from Jodi Friedman of MCP Actions.)

    And would you believe…

    I haven't posted to Four Seasons Cafe since October of last year! I cooked and baked and took photos, but never got them posted. "For shame, for shame," as my grandmother used to say, while crossing-and-swiping her two index fingers together.

    If you need a dessert for your sweet family tonight, this one is easy as pie. 😉 Head on over and print it out!

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  • Good Things,  Ramblings

    His Number is Up.

    After several days of gloomy skies, the sun graced us yesterday. Its loveliness was so welcome, I decided to head out to the back yard and enjoy the crunch under my boots and the sparkliness of the snow.

    I love it that God gave us evergreens. They're so reliably happy when all other color has faded.

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    And this guy has kept his color fairly well too…

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    The sky was a gorgeous blue!

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    And I wish you could have seen all the glimmer on the snow…

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    I'm very excited for this mulberry to come back to life. This year, I vow to get to the fruit before the birds do!

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    As I looked around the winter landscape, imagining birdsong and harpists, I was thankful for ——- wait a sec.

    Back up.


    Still staring, suddenly speechless.

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    (If there were any crickets around these frozen parts, they'd be chirping.)

    The birdsong stopped, the harpists left my head, and cold reality settled over me.

    I crunched my way back inside the house, and this guy chose to stay outside enjoying the day's loveliness.

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  • Crazy Kids,  Good Things

    Friendly Romance

    A fun thing happened to Sabrina yesterday…

    Sitting down with her friends at their usual lunch table, she noticed that their friend Mikey wasn't there to join them, as he usually does. She assumed he was out for the day, but when her friends seemed unusually giddy – and started whispering to each other – she began to suspect that something was going on, and she was left out of it. After all, she had been sick and out of school for a few days.

    Some of the girls sitting at the table excused themselves, saying they'd be back, so Sabrina continued eating her burrito and idly chatting with the few who remained at the table. Suddenly one of the county sheriffs who works at the school showed up at the table and asked, "Which one of you is Sabrina Stewart?" Startled, she answered, "I am." The sheriff then said, "You need to come with me, bc the principal needs to speak with you."

    This was a little embarrassing (and confusing) for Sabrina, needless to say, bc any time the cops show up at your table, it's going to garner unwanted attention and whispering. But she followed him out obediently, and he lead her out to the main part of the commons area – which is also the main part of the lunch room…

    There, in front of an entire high school cafeteria audience, stood four of her friends – and Mikey. They all unzipped their jackets at the same time, and each of their shirts displayed a different letter of the alphabet:

    PROM – ?

    Mikey's shirt had the question mark, and he was holding a lovely flower for Sabrina. I can imagine that she blushed profusely at this point, but she ran to him and accepted the flower and said, "Yes!"

    The entire cafeteria erupted in applause, and the sheriffs whipped out their cellphones to record the fun.

    Who says romance is dead? 🙂

    Senior 059 edit email

    Btw, I posted a picture of the flower on my focus on today blog.