30 December 2010

a year in pictures


gifts from my girls
careful eyes on the road
cowboy day
bread baked by my hand
with mayhaw jelly
the bounty
a day at the ocean
first day of 1st grade
his first truck
his great grandfather's hunting truck
restored by his grandfather for him
beauty in Eureka
movie night
Harry Potter!!

28 December 2010

The Versatile Blogger Award

All Things Beautiful just blew me away with The Versatile Blogger award. Phyllis is such an example to us all. She worked as a counselor until the birth of her first child. She homeschooled/homeschools her children. With some of these  children having special needs and her battling her own physical limitations, this can be challenging. However, she does it with love and creative intensity. Luckily, she shares this journey with us on her blog All Things Beautiful. Thank you Phyllis!

Now for the rules:
::Thank and link back the bestower of the award  ::share 7 things about yourself.  ::Pass along the award to bloggers you enjoy

  1. i love being at home. more and more i choose to stay here.
  2. i want to camp at every State park in Texas and every National park in the US.
  3. taking photographs makes me smile.
  4. cooking for others makes me smile even brighter.
  5. i know the value of the lessons taught to me by my mother that were taught to her by her mother and so on.
  6. i LOVE banana pudding
  7. my life has improved 10 fold as i have made a conscious effort to be present in all i do.
I love each of these blogs. These ladies inspire me and make me a better person with each post.

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my window...   is the quiet of night. the stars are shining and there is a crispness in the air.

I am thinking...  of how my home is my haven.
of how i want to be nowhere else in this world.

I am thankful for...  a new day to do better than the day before.

I am wearing...  my absolute favorite black lounge pants, black silk tee, and smart wool socks.

I am remembering...  that I can't be everything to everyone. That I have to just be me.

I am going...  to start preparations for the Spring garden

I am currently reading...  ::In the Company of Others by Jan Karon
::Around my French Table by Dorie Greenspan

I am listening to...  Jack Johnson, of course!

I am hoping...  to become a better version of me...
::listen more and speak less
::judge not
::be present in the moment and slow down
::become more frugal

On my mind...  ::this blog and the future of it
::how to set a more peaceful tone in my home

Noticing that...    more and more, little by little, I am finding my true self.

Pondering these words... "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... until you climb into his skin and walk around in it."

~Atticus Finch

From the kitchen...  pork tenderloin, mac & cheese, broccoli, eggnog bread pudding

Around the house...  ::the guest bathroom is getting a little make over
::books are being read
::games are being played
::laughter is abundant

from the school room...  ::spelling words
::reading the classics
::learning to cook

One of my favorite things...  being loved.  

27 December 2010

sweet Janice

Janice Faye Fortenberry Jackson. I loved my sweet aunt like she was my own mother. Maybe that is because my mother loved her aunt like a sister. That is how they grew up, like sisters. My mother lived with her beloved grandparents, Tate and Nadine Fortenberry, from the time she was 2 years old until high school. Janice was younger than her but very close in age. They were as close as close could be. They did everything together. They even dressed alike often. Mother, as did the entire family, thought Janice to be an angel here on the earth. She was special. Always a kind word spoken softly. Always there to help whenever needed. Even though she had every right to be bitter and in poor spirits. She was sick from the time she was  nearly graduated from high school. It was Lupus. And she was sick. so sick. But never a unkind word spoken from my sweet Janice. Never. We lost her when she was my age, 38 years young. So young. Leaving behind the child she so desperately loved, Kevin. She was an example to all that knew her. That example and her spirit lives on.
Rest in peace my Janice. I know you and Patsy are together again.
I love you.

the day after Christmas

is the best day ever. I love the stillness. I love to watch my peeps with their new treats, having a good time. I love that I don't have to cook...leftovers are my friend!
I hope your Christmas was merry and bright. I hope you it was filled with family, and love and warmth. I know mine was. There was a missing piece or two. Of course, my mother was missed. She oh so loved the holidays. Kevin's mother and step father were missed as well...1st Christmas in 18 years without them. They traveled to visit Carroll's sisters. He was diagnosed with Large Cell Lymphoma a few days before Christmas. Naturally, he needed the arms of his sisters for comfort and support before the chemotherapy starts. So, this Christmas was low key and quiet for us. It was our first to spend with just the 5 of us on Christmas Day. Can I tell you a little secret? We loved it. It was a no fuss day. A all day in your pjs day. A day I will forever cherish.

Right now, my fellas are playing new games and reading new books. Sawyer is tapping away on his typewriter. Many newspapers have been written since Christmas morning. I am devouring my Around My French Table ~Dorie Greenspan. I see pumpkin & gorgonzola flan in our future.

Good night my friends. I hope that you too are soaking up the end of this season and getting ready for the newness that is fast approaching.

Merry Christmas.

25 December 2010

A Christmas Prayer

Loving Father, Help us remember the birth of Jesus,
that we may share in the song of the angels, 
the gladness of the shepherds, 
and worship of the wise men.
Close the door of hate and open the door of love all over the world. 
Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting. 
Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings, 
and teach us to be merry with clear hearts.
May the Christmas morning make us happy to be thy children, and Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts, forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus' sake. 
-Robert Louis Stevenson

24 December 2010

this moment

A Friday ritual. 
A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. 
A simple, special, extraordinary moment. 
A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Wishing you a magical Christmas!

22 December 2010

merry Christmas to...

to us, everyone.  On this eve of Christmas eve I am thinking of all those people still running around getting that last gift or worrying about turkeys and ham. Thankfully this year that is not the scene here. We are "ready". We are ready to spend a quiet Christmas together. Tomorrow night Kevin's sisters & families will join us for a couple of hours and then it will just be us for the rest of weekend. We are ready to read of Jesus's birth. We are ready to watch It's a Wonderful Life. We are ready to just be.

Wishing you the merriest of Christmases.

right now, i am

...thinking (and smiling) of this boy at The Nutcracker. Oh how he loved it.
We all did. He feels like he needs a typewriter so he can dream up a story
that people can dance to. That just may have been arranged. 
Thank you Amanda for the magical Christmas gift! It truly made the holiday for the Bonins this year.

now playing @ the bonin farm...What Child is This?

20 December 2010

merry Christmas to...

the making of lists. If you are a regular reader you know my LOVE of the list. Here is my list for today...less than a week till Christmas Day oh my!

::grocery shop
::make rosemary swag for front door
::finish gift shopping...only Kevin to go
::make chocolate dipped fortune cookies with my peeps
::watch Miracle on 34th Street with my peeps and a girlfriend
::conquer this sea of laundry we have here
::nightly Christmas light crawl
::Planet Earth puzzle with Sawyer
::smile, laugh, giggle, soak up my fellas
::not let stress into our space...enjoy this time!

What is on your list?

now playing @ the bonin farm...O Holy Night by Harry Connick Jr.

18 December 2010

merry Christmas to...

our teachers.

Nothing says Merry Christmas and a big thank you for all the hard work than red velvet cupcakes in a jar.
What is your favorite homemade yummy this year?

15 December 2010

right now, i am

...soaking up a little bit of new color in the kitchen. Soaking up the feeling I get when I am in that space. Soaking up the love and service it was for my mister to transform the kitchen walls. Knowing how he dislikes to paint, I know just how much he cares for me to do the work. Each time I see these walls, I will see & feel his love. Thank you Kevin. I love you too.

now playing at the Bonin Farm...Do they Know Its Christmas?  -Band Aid

14 December 2010

around here

(a little painting in the kitchen as well)

there is much Christmasing going on. trees, snowmen about, cards hanging, my favoritest of all favorites, The Nativity....so love this time of year. it has become a bit melancholy for me. my mother so loved decorating and painstakingly choosing gifts for her friends and family. pounds & pounds of fudge made, dozens of cakes baked, and cookies too. i do miss her so. what a beautiful Christmas legacy she left. she taught me what Christmas was truly about...goodwill towards men.

now playing at the Bonin Farm...It Came Upon a Midnight Clear and Please Come Home for Christmas sung by the Eagles

13 December 2010


18 years ago I married a boy. A boy who made me laugh. A boy who I knew would be the best father. On that cold, winter's night, so many asked if I were nervous. Maybe it was my youth, but the answer was not one bit. I was young, but I knew marrying my best friend was right. Here are some of the reasons why... 

  1. You are the funniest person I know. My cheeks hurt on a daily basis from laughing with you.
  2. You love your boys....from pinewood derby cars to advice to simply loving them.
  3. A chick flick doesn't scare you.
  4. You know how to fold in a batter.
  5. You "face painted" a spider web on your head just to make us smile....that and you want to tattoo one on said head.
  6. You bought me chickens and built them a wonderful home to live in.
  7. You can still spin on your back...and will at any moment, any place.
  8. Your laid back attitude evens out my OCDness...especially when it comes to our peeps.
  9. You are so intelligent...you can fix anything and seem to know Everything.
  10. You painted my kitchen turquoise even though you HATE painting.
  11. You always notice when I have something new on...actually that may be a bit annoying.
  12. I learn something from you everyday.
  13. I don't know a harder worker than you.
  14. You taught me to love Blizzards.
  15. Every time someone asks you for your telephone number, you spit Mike Jone's rap...281-330-8004.
  16. When your neck was hurt and we took you to the doctor. The form had a picture of a body and asked you to label where it hurt. You drew an arrow towards the neck and put "ouch" in a speech bubble.
  17. You love your mother and are willing to do anything for her.
  18. You give the best hugs & kisses.

May we live to sit in rocking chairs while watching our grandchildren play on our lawn. I love you to pieces!

Listening to at the Bonin Farm...River sung by Robert Downey Jr.

10 December 2010

this moment

A Friday ritual.
 A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. 
A simple, special, extraordinary moment. 
A moment that is oh so special to me.

09 December 2010

10 right now

  1. houses with Christmas lights shows choreographed to music...that thrill my peeps.
  2. decorating my sweet friend's Christmas tree with my bestest bud.
  3. Christmas parties
  4. SmartWool socks...especially blue striped ones!
  5. serving my fellow man
  6. wishes
  7. Man Shops Globe...Keith Johnson truly has the best job on the planet.
  8. Christmas novels
  9. Christmas cards in the mailbox...i LOVE to get mail.
  10. french limonade
What is your passion right now?

~now playing at the Bonin Farm...What Child Is This 

08 December 2010

right now, i am

...savoring a moment from this weekend. A family tradition. The lighted Christmas parade. It was different this year...warmer than usual. But oh so special. The twinkling lights, the children's faces, the time spent together just being together. These moments that many call simple, refer to them as "nothing special" are just that to me, special. These ordinary moments are what makes life extraordinary.

~now playing at the Bonin Farm...Silver Bells sung by Harry Connick Jr.

03 December 2010

this moment

A Friday ritual.
 A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. 
A simple, special, extraordinary moment. 
A moment that is oh so special to me.

02 December 2010

25 things to do before Christmas

  1. Put up the Christmas Tree...check, thanks to Sawyer
  2. Bring out the Nativity Scene
  3. Make reindeer food for Jordan & his peeps
  4. Make reindeer food for Sawyer & his class
  5. Read a Christmas story to Sawyer's class 
  6. Make chocolate covered cherries for my dad
  7. Mail said cherries
  8. Make Sawyer's fence for his animals...and a barn?? how am I going to make that barn.
  9. Ask Kevin to make Sawyer a barn for his farm animals present
  10. Decide on an ornament to make with Sawyer's class
  11. Stencil the front door mat for Christmas....thank you Lisa for the idea
  12. Find the turquoise balls I want to add to my tree this year
  13. Sew Sawyer's pencil wrap gift
  14. Decide on a gift for the swap @ Sawyer's scout pack meeting
  15. Attend the Nutcracker Suite ballet!! ....thank you my sweet friend for the fantastic gift!
  16. Read The Christmas List before book club
  17. Read A Christmas Carol just because it is Christmas
  18. Read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever with Sawyer ( and because it is my favorite Christmas fiction)
  19. Read the true story of Christmas with my family at least weekly to keep our focus where it should be
  20. Watch An Avonlea Christmas and The Man Who Came to Dinner
  21. Fill our Christmas bag for the homeless...hand warmers, cough drops, homemade cookies, toothbrush/paste. I wish that sack was larger.
  22. Bake cakes & cookies and make candies for our friends gifts
  23. Take our Christmas lights nighttime drives with hot cocoa & popcorn...one of my favorite traditions we have.
  24. Buy  and donate groceries to the Southeast Texas Food Bank
  25. Address and mail Christmas cards
  26. Make eggnog and hot cocoa mix
  27. Make a rosemary swag for the front door
  28. Remember to enjoy this season...to not focus on the commercialism of the holiday, to stay low stress and high love & warmth. to make gifts from my heart and to be of a generous spirit. to never lose sight of what this season is truly celebrating.

Whew. That is a few more than 25. I am over the moon with this list. Every single item on it is something I truly look forward to doing.
What is on your list?

01 December 2010

hello December

I have been waiting for you. On this first day of December, I woke up to 29 degree weather! That is not the norm in Texas....I have worn shorts on Christmas before. The ice on the foliage, the hot cocoa with breakfast, and bundling up to get out the door was the perfect way to start this Christmasy month off right. Today, I will finish the decorating of the tree (Sawyer decorated it for us Thanksgiving evening) and put my sweet Nativity scene out. Oh how I am a fan of this time of year.
and I am a fan....