Friday, September 5, 2014

Welcoming Autumn...A Layer At A Time!

Now that we are into September, the sunlight is beginning to change....only slightly, though.  The afternoon temperatures are still sweltering, but there is a hint of change in the air.  Before long, there will be a front barrel down on us and we will awake to a bit of crispness in the morning air.  I am so ready.....

Autumn is my favorite time of the year.  It's a time when I am filled with a vibrant sort of energy.  Maybe it's the change in weather, or the anticipation of the holidays right around the corner....but, my mind and body seem to hum along in time with nature as the weather cools and the days grow shorter. 

Of course, the decor of the season is part what I love most!  After a thorough cleaning around the house this past 3-day weekend, I couldn't resist bringing out a few items and placing the first layer of fall decorations.

I haven't started on the front porch yet.  It is simply too hot and it's too early for pumpkins to arrive at the market!  But, soon.....very soon......

Have you started welcoming Autumn into your home?  Are you getting any cooler weather in your part of the world yet?  I would love for you to take a minute and leave a comment below - assure me that I am not the only one bitten this seasonal bug!!!



Sunday, August 17, 2014

Notes on a Sunday

Happy Sunday!  I hope you are having the sort of day you wanted - and needed - to start the week off right. It's been a slow and peaceful, almost lazy day for yours truly....exactly what I needed!

I did get up early enough this morning to enjoy coffee on the patio, with pleasant temperatures and an overcast sky.  Eddie Dale headed into work and I picked Mom up and we headed to church.  I have been attending the church where my son and daughter-in-law are active members.  It is a part of the Life Church TV Network and I always enjoy the lesson, delivered via video, and the worshipful music.  Sam plays the drums in the their praise band and I love watching him do what he loves as a form of ministry. 

I know that there are some days when we don't really listen to the sermon, or we just leave and forget what it was even about before the day is over.  However, today there were three points which hurtled themselves like spears into my heart and lodged there to be contemplated over and over......

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. 
You must kneel before God before you can stand before men. 
Prayer should be our first, not our last, resort. 

Simple concepts, yet pretty powerful!

Don't you just love when little gems like this just fall in your lap?!?!? 

Wishing you a blessed week, my friends!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A Very Special Wedding - Samuel & Savanna

It's hard to believe that Sam & Savanna have already been married more than two months!  Even harder to believe that I haven't shared a post and some photos of their wedding here on Janie's Porch!!!  
That is shameful.....

Let me just say that the wedding went off without a hitch!  Savanna (and her mother) did such a wonderful job of planning everything out - just the way she wanted it.  A friend of their's acted as "coordinator" at the rehearsal and during the ceremony to keep everyone in line and carry out Savanna's wishes.  

They kept it simple, meaningful and perfectly suited to them - and, that (I dare say) must be the secret to a successful wedding!

The ceremony took place at the beautiful Logsdon Chapel, on the Hardin-Simmons University campus.  The light through the immense stained glass wall was absolutely breathtaking....little decor was needed to highlight or add to the surroundings.  Ben served as his brother's "best man" and Bonnie stood in for her brother's "bride".  A captured moment that, although a bit blurry, sure did make this momma proud....

On wedding day, we all arrived a bit early at the chapel for photos.  Sam was excited and handsome in his tux; Savanna was calm and beautiful.  Before anyone's nerves could even get frayed, the music was starting and we were lining up to enter the chapel. 

Sam's face as he watched his bride walk down the aisle to him was priceless...

The ceremony was short, but so personal and deeply moving.  The couple's first act as man and wife was to step aside at the altar to pray and take communion together.  

In the blink of an eye, it was done!

Then it was time for more photos of the wedding party as the guests made their way downtown to the ballroom at the historic Elks Building.  The reception was truly a celebration, with dinner, cake, music and dancing! 

At precisely 8:30, everyone grabbed little bottles of bubbles and stepped outside to see the newlyweds off.  As dusk arrived, the magical evening came to a romantic end.

It was truly a storybook, fairy tale sort of wedding.  
It couldn't have been more perfect, precious or blessed!!!  

As a mother, I have prayed through the years that Sam would find the perfect mate that God had planned for him....and Savanna is the answer to that prayer.

And they lived happily ever after....

Samuel & Savanna Butler
May 31, 2014

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Summer Vacation - R & R 2014

As many of you who follow Janie's Porch or my personal Facebook know, Eddie Dale and I recently went on a week long vacation.  Call it some "down time" for unwinding after Sam & Savanna's wedding at the end of May.  (Trust me....more to come on the SAMVANNA wedding in a later post!)

For us, the typical Summer vacation means hooking up our 24-ft. fifth wheel to the ol' F250.  This year was no different.  We pulled out on a Friday morning and headed south to spend the first few days with extended family and friends at an annual gathering on the Guadalupe River.  

Loading, parking and set up have definitely gotten easier and quicker since we first acquired the RV.  The old saying "Practice makes perfect" certainly is true in this case!  The more we do it, the better we get - working together is definitely the key....that, and loads of patience.....

Here is a little glimpse at the interior of the trailer about 5 days into our week away.  (Read here, "Pardon our clutter and mess....there is only so much room, you know.") 

It is snug....and oh-so-dated....but, it is a nice little home away from home.  Most everything has a place, but it doesn't always end up in its spot.  However, we do clear the table and set it up for dinner when we're going to do some fine dining.  Like for this evening, after we packed up and moved over to Blanco State Park for the last half of our trip.  Eddie Dale set up the portable little grill and we picked up a couple of steaks at the local market....perfect for grilling....

See what a nice little set up this is???

And that was a delicious dinner, by the way!

Now, about Blanco State Park.....we have wanted to spend a few days there for the last couple of years.  However, the timing has never been quite right.  There was simply never a spot available when we were going to be in the area.  It is one of the smallest state parks in Texas, nestled along the bank of the Blanco River, right in this small Hill Country town, about 45 miles north of San Antonio.  

This year, we planned far enough in advance and got a spot for three nights.  Just the two of us....the Blanco River....and these toobs!  (Remind me to tell you a funny story about how these got inflated with the hair dryer....)

Simply floating in the river, our toobs tethered together, was pretty much perfect!  Afternoons turned into nap time; evenings were reserved for sitting outside, looking up through the canopy of trees and watching the stars wink back at us.  When the skeeters got too bad, we would head inside to curl up on the sofa and watch some of our favorite movies - you know, the ones you can watch over and over and never get tired of....

The area is absolutely beautiful - with an abundance of awesome sunsets....

and beautiful moonrises....

Do you have any special vacation plans for this Summer?  Maybe even a "staycation" that you can share with us below in the comments?  I would love to hear what you're up to in the way of relaxation and recreation this Summer!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Autumn at 1....Priceless!!!

It is hard to believe that a year has flown by since Autumn Newley made her appearance.  Such a joy and blessing she has been to Bonnie & Matt, Ansleigh & Trayden, and the entire family!!!

From the beginning, she has had the most expressive little face.....quite interesting, in fact.  Here she is less than an hour old, and look at all the silly little faces she was making! 

At the age of three months, here she was while Mommy & Daddy were out "house shopping" - and this was her first diaper change in the house that would become their new home. 

And now, she is already one year old!  Such a happy, happy baby......and so excited for her birthday party to begin (and to have hold of her grandpa's reading glasses!).....

Bonnie worked so hard at putting together a diva princess theme party, with everything in pink and sporting zebra stripes!  Everyone brought side dishes, chip & dips and the guys cooked hamburgers and hotdogs out on the grill.  It was all just leading up to this, though.....

And, of course, there was a special bright pink cake for Autumn to tear up as everyone watched and cheered her on!  Oh, my......

She made a wonderful and delightful mess and kept us all entertained with her attempts to walk.  (She still scampers around like a little sand crab; but, every once in awhile, she gets completely upright and takes a couple of steps before she gets so excited she lands on her bottom!)  

You know, it will be only another couple of months before our other little granddaughter, Paisley, turns one....and we will get to do this all again!!!  

Covered up with Mimi blessings!!!

Monday, May 19, 2014

What the Heck Happened the Last 5 Months?!?!?

Well, I realize it has been months and months of "no posts" over here on Janie's Porch.  It's been shameful, the way I have neglected the blog!  But, I had myself a dilemma....

Sure, I can whine and tell you how busy I've, work, work.  Blame the lack of content on having no time!  It wouldn't be untruthful.....I have been busy......

But, that wasn't really the reason......

You see, it all started when I bought a new "tablet", back in January.  Oh, I love it!  It is a Surface Pro and I can do just about anything - personal or work - on it.  And it fits in my bag and can go with me everywhere.....including the easy chair, bed or sofa.....which is where, to be totally honest, I do most of my blogging.  

Small problem, though.  When I updated to Windows 8.1 shortly after I got it, my browser also upgraded to IE 11.  Well, Blogger simply hasn't gotten up to speed and isn't compatible with IE 11.  So, I would work and work on composing a post and, when I went to drop in photos, it would just sit there and spin and spin.....and spin.....and frustrate the living heck out of me!  

So, I just walked away from it.....until I had the patience to finally figure out that I simply needed to install a different browser - one that is compatible with Blogger.  After researching it a bit, I spent about 30 seconds installing the Google Chrome browser, and voila!  I can now drop those photos in just as easily as ever!!!! 

Here is the photo that started it all - the one I tried to upload for about a week......and I don't even remember the nature of the post that went with it, after all this time!  I know it is a photo of the house I grew up in, but I will need to work on remembering the words it inspired......

But, at least I am once again "operational", or maybe a better word is "functional".  Maybe I can begin to nudge my brain back into blog mode after such a lengthy layout.  

I did try to keep posting little blips over on my Janie's Porch Facebook page - lots of photos there.  If you haven't visited and "followed" over there, I hope you will.  It is so much more "instant" in nature and easy to communicate quickly on Facebook.  And, I will share links to new posts there (just in case you're like me and don't always make it over to check the blog reader for new posts!).  There is a link to my FB page in the right column....down there somewhere>>>>>>>>>

There is sure to be lots of catching up to do in the coming days and weeks!  Feels fine to be back and looking forward to more "visits" soon!!!


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Toughin' Out Winter....

And Old Man Winter just keeps hanging on!

The temperature just keeps fluctuating, with front after front pushing through.  We have had some of the most bitter cold this season - seriously, lows in the single digits make it mighty hard to get moving in the mornings!

As we get into February, we have ice on the ground.  Granted, temps today edged up slightly above freezing, so everything is dripping.  But, it still cuts right through me every time I take the dogs out!  I cannot state emphatically enough...


Oh, so ready to work in the flower bed out front, cutting back the brown and tangled mums and lantana.  The large flower pot is filled with freezer burnt geraniums.  Leaves are piled up in the beds and we need a new layer of mulch.  I am eager to get my gloves on and get out the clippers and rake and get down in the dirt!

One side of the house is scraped, sanded and primed, just waiting for a fresh coat of paint.  All we need is warmer weather so we can get out there and get started.  This is a photo of the way we left it at the end of Summer.... not so good, to say the least!

Not only does the dreary weather affect me physically, but emotionally, as well.  Some days, I find that my outlook and mood are as gray as the day outside. 
I know that most of the rest of the county is also locked in this "deep freeze" pattern.  Are the gray and dreary days starting to wear on you this Winter?  Maybe if we all close our eyes and wish together, very hard, for Spring to come early, it will!  Who is with me in a concentrated effort to "wish" on Spring???
Stay warm, Friends!
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