Succulent Cross

cross on the door

It’s finally warm enough to spend some time out on the porch. My first priority of course, are plants and accessories. Never mind that there is no where to sit, or that my pile of rummage sale junk still sits in the corner of the porch. A pretty front door is so welcoming, and something green by the door just makes it so much more inviting.

cross before planting

Succulents are my one of my all time favorite things, and so are topiaries. I used to work in a green house and we planted dozens of topiaries early in the season. Topiaries were always hot items and they really aren’t difficult to plant. Succulents work well in them because they have shallow roots and don’t need a ton of water. I found this cross topiary online last year and thought it would be perfect for my Easter decor. This would also be a nice project for a grave site planting, as the succulents don’t need a lot of maintenance.

The first step is to soak your topiary in a bucket of water for 10-15 minutes until saturated. Then it’s ready to plant. I only used 6 plants for this project, but I broke them down into smaller pieces as I planted them so they wouldn’t be too big for the narrow parts of the cross.

close up of succulent cross

I used a screw driver to poke holes into the moss, then inserted the plants. The plants filled up the cross quite well and will grow into place even more over the garden season.

I used a Command Strip to hang it on the glass door.

whole door with cross

I will have to take the cross down and soak it in a tray of water when it is dry since I don’t want to mess up the wooden finish on the door by watering it directly.

cross on the door

I found the blue hydrangea plant recently at Costco. My cross dripped a bit after it hung for a while, you can see a bit of moisture on the lower part of the door. I will have to remember to let it drain for a bit before hanging it up after watering. I have planted the Bunny Topiary in past years, you can read that tutorial here.

Now that my door is ready, perhaps I need to go out and look for an Easter Bonnet?

Enjoy your Holy Week!

 

Why Vacation Makes Me Loose My Mind

I have been avoiding the computer lately. This is unlike me, and I am not quite sure of the root of the problem. It seems that since we got back from our recent Florida east coast vacation, writing has been difficult. It seems like the longer we are away, the harder it is to get back to reality.

 

While we were at the beach, our daily routine was simple. Early morning walks on the beach were followed by leisurely breakfast and excursions to see the local sights. Shopping was a splendid past time, and I don’t normally do a lot of it, so it was a welcome way to spend the mornings.

Many of our lunches were eaten on the road, another welcome break from my everyday routine. We love exploring little Mom And Pop type family restraunts along the coast line. Our favorite place was closed the day we were there, I missed eating along the water with the lovely view of the yachts.

We stayed with our son who is in college. He and his roommates have rented a sweet little house by the beach. I am envious. I could get used to a place like this. I love the hot orange shade in his bathroom. Not really beachy, but it made me feel warm and sunny the entire time we were visiting.
The kitchen was just as nice. Even though we didn’t cook a lot, it was nice to use good quality appliances and beautiful granite counter tops for a little while.
I am envious.
After lunch we would head out to the beach for more walks or playing in the waves.
It was in the 80’s the entire time we were there. We spent Christmas Day surfing among the waves, strolling on the beach and picking up sea shells.
I have never spent a December in such a warm climate. It seemed odd at first, but I am quick to adjust.
I am envious of those who live in warm places. I can’t help myself.
Even getting stung by a Man Of War jelly fish didn’t detour us from the water. This little guy washed up on the beach after high tide one day.
He is beautiful in blue with just a touch of pink to accessorize.
Perfect in his creation.

I enjoy watching the creatures along the sea. I don’t know that I would ever get tired of it. This flock of Sand Pipers made me laugh. The run in between the waves to find food, then all turn around at the same time and run away when the waves get too close.

 

Most afternoons I would read on the beach until dusk. I found a thrift store nearby that had some of our favorite Stephanie Plum detective novels. They are so light hearted and entertaining. And only a little bit trashy. I read several of them while we were away.

By the time the sun went down each day, we were exhausted in a good way. We like to turn in early so we can get a good view of the sunrise the next day.

I am envious. Our subzero weather here in Wisconsin has me dreaming of the beach again. I miss being outside. I miss long walks on the beach, and warm sunshine. I miss how far away all the cares of everyday life seemed, for now that we are back home, they weigh heavily on my mind.

Vacation makes me loose my mind. I guess that’s the reason why we need it so badly. We have to learn to unplug, relax and focus on the things that really matter. We need to cast our cares onto the shoulders of the One who should be carrying them to begin with, our God and Savior.

 

The rainbow is a promise of Gods provision. We just need to step aside and let Him take over. Loose our mind, so to speak. I struggle in this way. It is something I work on every day, somehow it doesn’t come naturally. But, I will continue to try.

I can’t wait to completely loose my mind again, and go to the beach. And read some more trashy detective novels.

Do you have travel plans this season? Where are you going? I am envious!

 

10 Ways to Give Back this Holiday Season

Timepiece display

 

 

I am ready for the Christmas season. The house is decorated, and the cookies are baked, the ham is ready to cook. We are so blessed to have each other, our health and so much more.

We have made a few simple gifts to give, but have not purchased gifts this year. This year, we are focused on serving others more than ever before.

For this reason, we are very joyful this holiday season.

We contributed our family’s normal gift budget to a couple of important causes. We bought a goat for a family in need through World Vision. Each year we “shop” through their catalog to purchase a livestock animal to give to families in need so they can support themselves. It is one of our favorite family traditions.

This is the first year I have noticed American children listed among those in need, it’s not just a world wide cause anymore.

We contributed through our church to the Advent Conspiracy program, and joined the masses of people who have decided to give more than they spend. Dozens of our local charities as well as many national ones benefited from the funds our church helped to set aside for them.

We baked cookies to give away and are serving on Christmas eve at church as well. These are our simple family traditions.

There are so many places you can serve no matter how little time or money you have.

I asked my fellow bloggers for some ideas on how they are serving this season. Would you like to join us in serving others this holiday season?

Here’s what they came up with:

giving-back-at-christmas

1) Commit Random Acts of Kindness: Ellen over at Confessions of an Overworked Mom has 25 great ideas for giving back to those in need. Commit at least one random act this season, or all 25! The more you do the more joyful you will become, guaranteed.

pajamas

2)Buy a pair of pajamas and a storybook: Contribute to the Pajama Program’s One Million Good Nights, NYCJenny blogged about her family’s experience buying a pair of pajamas and a children’s story book for this charity. There are so many children who have never experienced the simple luxury of wearing a new pair of pajamas and being read a bedtime story by a parent. This is so close to my heart, I can’t imagine a child not being tucked into bed by a loving parent. This is her husband in his footy pj’s promoting the event for a local news station.

056 - Copy

3)Teach Your Children to Serve: Briton from Rad Mom Cool Kid has ideas for children and how they can be of service. Teaching your children servitude helps to combat bullying and disrespect. Start now!

OCC-LR

4)Take part in Operation Christmas Child: Melissa from Fab Haute Mamma shared her family’s experience taking shoe boxes and filling them with simple gifts and basic hygiene supplies for Operation Christmas Child. This is also a great family activity! This is a national campaign, look for a drop off site near you and change a child’s life today!

74070_3980384555932_691448276_n1

5)Give Back to your Community: Nichole from Simply Nicole has simple ideas for sharing the holiday spirit such as volunteering at your local senior center and cleaning out your closet for charity. I love the Campout for Hunger program she describes. Volunteers collect and distribute large amounts of canned food for a 5 day period! Wow!

purrcy-playing-480x378

 

6)Search the Web for the perfect giving option: Ange from Inspiring Hearts and Homes put together a long list of places you can serve, including the Humane Society and the Make a Wish Foundation. Check out the list, and find an option that works for you in your area.

All-Hearts-Go-Home-Christmas-Decor-SM-5

7)Decorate a Tree for your favorite Charity: Vanessa Brady from Tried and True decorated a tree for her charity Project BRAVO which benefits the poor in her region of Texas.

Beautiful idea, I can’t wait to do something like this next year!

food-pantry-donations-4-586x1024

8) Donate needed items to a food pantry:  Paula Biggs from the Frog Price Paperie has great suggestions for what is needed at the food pantry this time of year. Did you know that Almond Milk is greatly in demand at pantries? I had no idea! I will buy a couple extra bottles on my next trip to the grocery store.

giving back title pic

9) Ask others to buy Holiday Gifts for Giving Back: Stacy and Eric from Anastasia Vintage Home share their request to family members to give to others instead of themselves. They had some great ideas not on other lists such as Heifer International and Oxfam Unwrapped.

iStock_000012385953_Small

10)  Be a part of the Drive Thru Difference: Our local Christian radio station started this idea. All you have to do is pay for the car’s order behind you when you are at a drive thru restaurant.  Visit this site to print out a letter of explanation and give it to the cashier when you pay for the meals. This little random act of kindness could change someone’s life today!

Photo Challenge: Day 12 Sunset

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

designerssweetspot.com

 

Sunset

I am probably one of the minority of people who don’t have a huge collection of sunset photos stored on their hard drive.  It’s the rainy spring season here in the mid-west and we haven’t seen much of the sun lately. When we do see it, it’s short lived, and by night fall the clouds have rolled in.

Half the time, I don’t make it to night fall anyway. I find I am usually exhausted on the couch and wouldn’t possibly have the energy to go out and photograph a sunset even if there was one.

However, when we were on vacation, there were lots of sunsets.

I had lots of energy to sit on the beach, or walk among the waves enjoying the view.

Amazing how that works.

I am struggling with lots of things right now. Our plans to purchase a home have changed, and we are devestated.

We are all packed up and have no place to go.

It’s an awful feeling, not knowing where your going or when you will get there. I don’t do well with uncertainty.

It’s really a faith struggle, isn’t it? Do you trust God to lead you the way you should go, or not?

It’s easy to think yes, but not so easy to feel it. It’s hard when you can’t see where He is leading you.

I would give just about anything to be walking on a warm beach, enjoying the sunset and completely forget all our problems for a little while.

Why is it that God seems closer on a beach? Where do you feel closest to God?

To me, it seems easier to trust and have faith with a glorious sunset. I guess it reminds me of a rainbow and all God’s promises.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mom’s out there!

Enjoy the sunset today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

1956738_693886023995520_73439221_o