Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Days of Thanks-Giving

Happy Thanksgiving ... 
 From My House to Yours.

As we gather together this week of "Thanks Giving," I hope your days and your home will be filled with the love and laughter of loved ones, sweet memories-in-the-making, and fond recollections of Thanksgivings Past.

Let us all remember our soldiers scattered across the world who are away from their families and loved ones.

May God watch over them, and let them know we are ever mindful and grateful for their dedication, courage, and the daily sacrifices they make for their country.

With my sincerest wishes to you and your family
for the best Thanksgiving Celebration ever!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Thanksgiving Lagniappe

A few days ago I shared some pictures of the Japanese Maple tree in our courtyard.  

It was at its most glorious and we enjoyed its bright crimson leaves for several days. 

[If you would like to see more pictures and read the post,
you can click on this link: The Beauty Around Us ]

This is the way the tree looked yesterday, after being
battered by wind and rain over the weekend ...

Most of its beautiful red leaves are now a carpet underneath it ...


The leaves were also scattered around the courtyard and some rested on the rocks around our waterfall.


Our granddaughter Avery Grace is coming tomorrow to spend a couple of days with us before the rest of the family joins us for Thanksgiving, and I think it will be fun for us to gather a few of these beautiful leaves to press for keepsakes.

Claude and Maude, who live underneath the maple tree, seem to be happy in their beautiful red blanket of leaves.  I'm sure they will be very thankful for them when a cold front brings more rain, and possibly some snow, to Vicksburg later today.


I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving week, wherever you are, and enjoy your preparations for the holidays. I'm thankful that I can have some time with Avery Grace, just the two of us, and look forward to making some sweet memories with her.  Here are some I captured from Thanksgivings Past ...

Admiring the centerpiece she helped me make ...

Chopping celery on a little chopping block that was her great-great grandmother's ...
(that's a steak knife she's using, not a paring knife, by the way.)

Watching and waiting patiently while her granddaddy carved the turkey ...

Ever so carefully pouring her Sprite, while her great-grandmother looks on ...

I'm looking forward to capturing some new Thanksgiving memories of Avery and her little brother Maddox.  They are two of the many, many blessings we have to be thankful for this year.

Friday, November 22, 2013

A 70th Anniversary Celebration

My parents recently celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary, and my husband and I commemorated their extraordinary milestone by taking them to Branson, Missouri, to see one of their favorite performers, Daniel O'Donnell.  

For those of you who aren't familiar with Daniel, he is a warm and personable Irish singer and entertainer, known for his close relationship with his fan base.  His name is a household word across Ireland and Great Britain, and his once-a-year shows in Branson are sold out months in advance.

Daniel's music has been described as a mix of country and Irish folk, but it's his renditions of the sacred old hymns we all know and love that touch the hearts and bring tears to the eyes of his audiences.

If you would like to hear Daniel sing "Amazing Grace," you can click on the link below:

Although we had seen Daniel's performances on PBS television, and have several cds of his music, this was our first time to see Daniel perform live ... and it was truly an uplifting and thrilling experience, especially for my parents.  My mother actually cried when he took the stage at the beginning of the concert.  

As entertaining and fun and outstanding as his performance was, the most thrilling moment came after the show when his fans had the opportunity to meet Daniel and be photographed with him. Needless to say, we were very excited and stood in line for about 15 minutes for the privilege of actually meeting him in person.

I can't say enough good things about Daniel O'Donnell.  If you have never had the opportunity to see one of his shows or hear his music, I urge you to do so.  He is not only a talented performer, but he is a beautiful person inside, too ... and wins the hearts of his fans, all over the world ... both young and old alike.

As we stood in line, I watched him visit with his fans and could see up close and personal his compassion and respect for each and every person.  He took time to visit with them as he autographed copies of his cds and graciously posed with them for photographs.

He took extra time with my parents when my mother told him that we had brought them to see his show in celebration of their 70th anniversary.  He seemed to be genuinely pleased and honored, and treated them with utmost kindness and warmth.     

Daniel's show was the highlight of the trip, but we also enjoyed a little shopping while we were there. Our hotel, the Hilton Convention Center, located on the waterfront of the downtown historic district, was directly across the street from Branson Landing, an upscale shopping complex.  Mama and I especially enjoyed visiting the Brighton store there. 

The Ozark Mountains were beautiful this time of year, with plentiful scenes like the one below, which I captured from the car.  Not too bad, considering we were traveling at around 70 miles per hour.  

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, but I can honestly say that the memories we shared during our trip to Branson, will be remembered and cherished by the four of us for a very long time.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Beauty Around Us

The Japanese Maple tree in our courtyard is at its most beautiful in the Fall, and I don't think I've ever seen it as beautiful as it is this year. 


I kept looking out the window at it and, finally, couldn't stand it any longer ... I just had to take some pictures of it in all its crimson glory.

Some of the leaves were outlined in white where the 20-degree temperatures we had last week had "burned" them.

Others looked as if someone had touched just their tips with white paint ...

But the leaves in the center of the tree that were protected from the cold were brilliant crimson.

The leaves won't last long now that colder temperatures are here.  They'll soon be falling, but I'm glad I have these pictures to remind us that God's glory is all around us ... even in our own yards.  

I hope this has inspired you to take a walk around your yard to see the beauty waiting for you there.   I promise you won't have far to walk.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Just a Little Lagniappe




Thursday, November 7, 2013

Echoes of Summer

As Summer reluctantly relinquishes its hold on the seasons here in Mississippi, Fall is slowly, but surely, making its presence known.

The Fall foliage along the Natchez Trace is just now beginning to peak, and I hope to capture some of its glory with my camera next week.  

But before I say a final farewell to Summer, I'd like to share these beautiful roses which I found blooming in my yard a couple of days ago ...

They brightened my day and were a bittersweet reminder of the Summer's fun times and sweet memories-in-the-making we shared with our grandchildren, Avery and Maddox. 

I say, "a bittersweet reminder," because time seems to be moving faster and faster these days, and Avery and Maddox are growing up right before my eyes.

I'm so glad I took the time to capture this sweet November rose before it fades away and takes the last echoes of summer with it.