Tuesday, December 28, 2010

And the stockings were hung...

Twas the days before Christmas
And all through the house, Lolli and Pops were...

Ok...enough, enough...

I took tons of photos throughout the Christmas season (know you are shocked ;p), I thought I might share our home with you first...

First, there is a friend that must receive the credit for creating these family heirlooms for us.

Tanya and I "made a deal"...and I am so blessed to have these stockings as a result.

There is a long history of what felt and sequin stockings mean to the Spies family. Justin & Nicole's Mom had made them when they were very young.

Somewhere in the "moves", Justin's had been lost, as I learned the first year we decorated the tree together. There are many reasons this loss broke my heart -

So, the next year, I made this for him:

And as our family grew quickly with the additions of Casey and John, I purchased the kits with excitement...a slow start...a slower completion (like never)!

Then I purchased Mackenzie's kit, then John and myself (and next year we will need one for little Natalie or Will yeah!)...I'm really great at the purchasing! Oh, and the embroidering of their names!

My sweet friend Tanya and I exchanged our talents...and I feel so blessed that her talent produced these:

Take a closer look at her beautiful work...

The stocking that belongs to Pops:





I'll share some other touches of Christmas spirit around our home later...

I really wanted this post to feature the precious stockings, and to give me the chance to let Tanya know how much her love and talent shines through them.

Tanya...you will be thought of and remembered each time we decorate for Christmas for many years to come. You have not a clue what a special gift you have blessed my family with. Thanks and love...God gave me more than a friend in you.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Big Ol' Family

OK...you know my family is large in numbers...but when you get my SIL's family, too...we are REALLY large in numbers.

At Morgan and Allen's wedding a few weeks ago, we actually captured groups shots, shots of my parents (never happens)...and even my Dad on his own (really never happens). And a photo of my Uncle and Mom together...really, really, really never happens, don't think it has ever happened.

I've thrown a few in the mix...of all of us...because we truly all are family...

Times like these are incredibly special to me...I so love these people...thanks for stopping by.


OK...I am human, and I am careful here not to sound boastful.

I am proud that this old girly has figured it out!

If you've missed me, I've been very busy launching a new business. If you haven't missed me - well, that makes me sad - because I have REALLY missed you.

I've been watching you blog from afar, just haven't had time to "play" and participate lately.

Now...what am I proud of?

I have created a button for Dimples and Dreams! Quite an accomplishment for a "girl" of my age ;p

If you copy and paste, my button can be included as one of your favorites (and I would so appreciate it)! Look just to the right...see the box, copy and paste...and we can go with you ;p (and thanks Jenna for the encouragement)

What started off as primarily my hand painted art business, has quickly changed to the development of a children's & family photography storytelling form of art.

Please, go take a look...it's been such a blessing to get to see these little faces and big hearts through the lens.

Hey...if this doesn't work - let me know! I may not have so much be to proud of after all ;p

Love you...miss(ed) you!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

"Worry"... What A Waste Of Time

Just last week I spent some time "conversing" online with a sweet friend.

Respecting her privacy, I will just share that she had a prayer request for her unborn child. And I will also share that it was (and is) my privilege to continue to pray for their family.

We both shared we knew He is in control, but both were candid in saying that as a parent, grandparent, aunt...anyone who has ever loved a child with all their heart - deep down we always "worry".

What I didn't share with her, is that I too have recently been consumed with worry.

"Worry"...what a waste of time!

Why do I let it always get the best of me?

We have known for a few weeks that our precious little granddaughter was going to be fitted with a Doc Band.

It's one of those things that until you find out someone you care about is going to have one...and the reasons that surround why they may be fitted with one...you just never "know".

Now, there are many reasons that children are fitted with Doc Bands. And I will share, gladly, Lil Miss M is only expected to wear hers for six weeks.

And, I will also gladly say that her condition has the ability to corrected. Can I get a big woo hoo!

So, after I got over the "worry" of the "what ifs"...then I moved on to "worry" about how she would feel.

Justin & Casey sent us a picture via phone as she got it on.

OK...I had prepared myself that she would be screaming, flailing to get it off, writhing with pain as it would surely be too conforming to be comfortable...and how would she ever sleep?!?! OK...I got pretty neurotic...I sort of made myself sick with "worry".

So as I forced myself to "accept" the message and look at the photo...there she was, no grimace, she was just there looking into the camera. Yes, she was a little fussy for a day or two...but - so far - that's pretty much it.

I couldn't wait to get there, to see her, for the visual assurance that she truly wasn't in any sort of pain.

And just look, she is - as always...

And certainly she did not appear to be any discomfort, actually she was looking fairly proud of her new fashion accessory (it weighs 6 oz. feels like hard foam, and she sleeps fine)...

And I can't tell you how Lolli's heart moved right back into it's place when we saw her flash one of these....

I'm sure there will be another "worry"...legitimate or not...and when I "worry" myself into another corner, I will once again look for:

"...Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you." Psalm 116:1-7

If you "worry"...you should go spend some time there ;p

(and before I forget it...thank you Doc Band)

Monday, July 19, 2010

God Bless The Broken Road

OK...if you were with me in the winter - we had a very heavy, very unusual snowfall (sounds pretty marvelous right now with temps over 100*)...

As a result...our arbor collapsed -

If you remember, I wrote that something good would come...and we began to plan, save and dream up our "something".

The rock patio remained, but without protection from the sun or other elements, we have rarely used it.

So, here is what we did with the rock...

And now this little path...leads to our once broken...

And we're ready to celebrate the birthday boy on Saturday!

(There's more inside those barn doors...I'll save that for later ;p)

Life is full of obstacles...hurdles are ok, but don't let them stop you. I truly am grateful for the snow that became too heavy for our sweet arbor to hold. No, not because I got a new patio...I can't possibly share all the details - but this entire experience has been so "healthy" for us.

We have been partners throughout the process, and certainly faced obstacles ;p (most of them self-created)...in the end...we received more than a covered deck.

And for that, I am most grateful (thank you John).

Maya Angelou has a quote..."Be present in all things and thankful for all things." I say...well said.

Friday, June 25, 2010

thank you...fb...tbd...ttfn

....two little words

....not used enough

....because (well...there is just no good excuse)

My friend Kimmy began to post each day on her FB, the 5 things she was thankful for that day (thank you Kimmy)...and I "borrowed" it.

It was healthy for me...and the end of each day, it forced me to say thank you...out loud for precious gifts that I selfishly take for granted. Maybe I was the only one to read them...but the exercise of doing so is....just....can you say.....aahhhh. The big kind of aahhhh...the big sigh related to being content, and yes, grateful.

Some days the things are small (and I had to really look hard for them, or so it felt)...some days there have been BIG things...but nonetheless...they are all things I should be (and am) thankful for.

And I should say thanks, give thanks...and this little top 5 has been an important lesson.

So today...before it even starts...I am thinking of things I will be thankful for:

1) turn your speaker up...George Strait...Rollin On the River of Love...makes me dance around the kitchen (and Gracie thinks I've finally lost it)

2) another cloudy day, keeping temperatures bearable...and perhaps a little rain

3) "date" night with the hubby

4) the coffee brewing, right now...and the sweet aroma it is painting my home with

5) .... tbd

I'm giggling as I am writing this...tonight, when I post...these things probably won't even make the top 5...because I fully expect this day to be filled with immeasurable blessings...and yes, I will give thanks.

And for my little friend that is looking for reasons to smile today...ttfn (you can smile now...yes, others do think about and care for you everyday)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Good Old Summertime..."take 2"

Boy...sometimes your girls just know best. Thank goodness I have smart girls!

That is one thing I do love is the flexibility to spend time, listen to what works for others...and this time is no exception!

"She" loved the design...but wanted the ability to change the message...

Abracadabra, presto chango, shazam!

Chalkboard extraordinaire! Total flexibility, new messages, reminders, greetings...endless....

So...what do you think? Are you a chalkboard lover?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Summer Lovin' Songs

Music...love it!

All of it...even genres I don't understand (ok...say it now - weirdo).

So...my top ten summertime songs (now this won't be as much fun if you don't play, too).

In no particular order:

In The Summertime by Mungo Jerry
Hot Fun In the Summertime by Sly and the Family Stone
Surfin' USA by the Beach Boys
Summer of '69 by Bryan Adams
Summertime by Kenny Chesney
Boogie Shoes by KC and the Sunshine Band
No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problem by Kenny Chesney
Soak Up the Sun by Cheryl Crow
Amarillo by Morning by George Strait
Sugar Shack by Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs

(Summer Lovin...was just too obvious...by I love GREASE!)

Dime...your turn!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Good Old Summertime

Well, it's hotter than...well you know where here in East Texas!

And I've been doing my best to stay focused, face the positive, look for the beauty...there is so much to see and do!

I wanted to play on Susan's Metamorphosis Monday @ Between Naps On the Porch , and am gathering with the girls for the first time @ Just Something I Whipped Up Monday (Dilly Dally and Flitter).

Started with this...a blank 24" x 48" piece of wood...ended with this:

If you want to see a few other designs...take a look @

Dimples and Dreams

And my other "new" launch this week is for my community...I launched a facebook group called Caring For Our Community. My goal is to unite the efforts of the many small communities in our area...all working towards a positive...good for everyone...servanthood efforts. Will keep you posted, or come visit!

Whats's up with your summer so far?

Shout Out

Do you read alot of blogs?

I do...but not consistently. I seem to go in "spurts"...read alot...then not.

But it is so refreshing to see the diversity, the creativity and sometimes just great pure love as bloggers share their hearts with readers.

So, today....I'm giving a shout out to a few of my favs...

If you have a favorite...you should post in the comments below...I'm sure all of my readers would LOVE it!

Here we go, in no particular order...




Between Naps On The Porch


Aunt Ruthie

Pearls and Grace

O.K...these are enough to get you started...more to come later ;p


Sunday, June 13, 2010


In case you've been wondering where I've been...and what I've been doing ;p...check it out.

Dimples and Dreams

I love my life, I am so blessed...

So, what you been up to...what's going on in your life...feels like forever since I heard from you!

Monday, June 7, 2010


Last week it began...a two week vacation...all planned out...

First mistake...planning ;p

Thank goodness I didn't pre-purchase all the tickets...we would have been in a heap of trouble...well, maybe not trouble...out some cash and some inconvenience.

I won't mention all the plans, just know that each evening we were going to have dinner with the kids, or friends, go to a Rough Riders baseball game, Wicked @ DSM, Dallas Art Museum, downtown McKinney to shop, and just play. Oh well...

My daily plans were right on...I was blessed by keeping her -

For a whole week while Mommy and Daddy went to work. Now, I will fess up...I loved every minute of it...will jump at the next opportunity...but there is a reason God reserves babies for young people. You forget how a baby requires every minute of your attention, and it is at times exhausting. I left so appreciating how the kids manage to have careers and provide such a loving, healthy world for Lil Miss M.

Day 1: got up, put on the coffee...that was it...for the rest of the day...I never showered, combed my hair, put on makeup, picked up the house, prepared a meal...I was SO out of practice! My best laid plans were irrelevant.

Day 2: Showered...then put on the coffee ;p, and we really played!

Day 3: I'm getting in the groove now...

Day 4: We are doing great! Pops even got in a little lovin' time!

And then Lolli fell deeper in love...

John missed out on so much lovin' time with her, as his Dad required alot of his attention. Please continue to keep Dad in your thoughts and prayers, he is really struggling with managing the loss of Mummy, and now his health is suffering.

Now that the "fun" part of our vacation is over...the plans for this week:

Can you say insulation and sheetrocking in 100 degree weather?

Yes, we sure do know how to plan a vacation ;p

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Red, White, Blue & HOT!

What a great Memorial Day weekend...

Family, great food, a little boating, a little fishing...

And alot of work! And it is HOT outside!

The cottage shed arrived...and she is officially under construction.

I can't wait to see what she will be when she grows up ;p!

When we recover (financially and physically) from this first phase...we will build a deck floor and overhang. Can't wait...will keep my friends Susan's Metamorphasis Monday updated ;p You should go visit...great ideas from talented souls! Click here...

As we have been blessed this Memorial Day weekend, I can't close without honoring those who gave their life for my freedom.

How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes! ~Maya Angelou

These martyrs of patriotism gave their lives for an idea. ~Schuyler Colfax

These heroes are dead. They died for liberty - they died for us. They are at rest. They sleep in the land they made free, under the flag they rendered stainless, under the solemn pines, the sad hemlocks, the tearful willows, and the embracing vines. They sleep beneath the shadows of the clouds, careless alike of sunshine or of storm, each in the windowless Place of Rest. Earth may run red with other wars - they are at peace. In the midst of battle, in the roar of conflict, they found the serenity of death. I have one sentiment for soldiers living and dead: cheers for the living; tears for the dead. ~Robert G. Ingersoll

To all generations of soldiers and their families, the fallen and the living...

On behalf of my family, all generations...and future generations...I thank you...and God bless.