Dogwood in Bloom


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Our little dogwood in the front yard is blooming again. This used to be my father-in-law’s place and when I see a dogwood, I am happy and sad at the same time. I am happy because the flowers were my father-in-law’s favorite. I’m also sad because it makes me miss him even more thinking about how excited he used to get when this season was here so he could see his favorite tree and flower in bloom.

My father-in-law and I became close friends after my mother-in-law passed away. At the time I was not driving because I had not been put on arthritis injections yet and did not discover the strength yet that they gave my joints. He drove me anywhere I needed to go and he enjoyed this task. I am now thankful I did not know about the injections yet because I would have likely missed out on becoming true friends with my father-in-law if I had been on the injections and more independent at the time.

When the dogwoods started blooming, we took back roads just to see more of them on our way to town. My father-in-law transplanted a near perfect little dogwood from our wooded property to our yard and it is also a gorgeous little dogwood, but smaller than the one pictured above. When my weeping cherry tree died he talked for months of getting me a pink dogwood to replace it. We never got that pink dogwood but I think I will get one in memory of him to grow in all its beauty in the yard he took such good care of for so many years.

My father-in-law was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in March 2012 and sent home under Hospice care. We set his hospice bed up and from the window of that room I often walked to it and looked at this dogwood. Each day I told him the progress of the blooms because I wanted so bad for it to bloom for him. I remember it bloomed the last week before he passed away on April 15th last year. While we cared for him, I spent some of my time on the front porch in a rocking chair wishing he could see that tree one more time.

The good news in all this is the dogwood bloom has always carried with it the story of Jesus our Savior.

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Although this is a legend, the message behind it of Jesus is what is the truth and important.

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My father-in-law became a Christian while in the hospital just three and a half weeks before he passed away. I imagine him now no more in pain from the cancer and its effects, no longer mourning his wife, now reunited with her and his parents…and with our miscarried baby, his grandchild he never even got to know a thing about here on earth. Heaven holds many wonders but the best is our Lord, I can only imagine the moment he beheld his Savior, the one who cares for us more than anyone ever has and ever will, our Creator and His Son. Oh just imagine the love that emulated over him during that initial encounter and evermore, a place of no more sorrow, no more tears, no more dying.

The dogwood represents so much to me now and I just felt inspired to share this morning how its symbolism has touched our lives.

Little Tidbits of Teresa’s Life

Pictures from Mother’s Day at my parents’ house


My mother and one of my sisters took a walk around my parents’ property on Mother’s Day. Here are some of the things we saw:

A field of wildflowers

Betty Boop roses

Catawba trees in bloom with homemade birdhouse

Close-up of Catawba blooms

Peonies just planted in this bed

White Iris

Purple Iris and Pink Honeysuckle

I always love visiting my parents’ property with all the birds and butterflies flying about! It is a lovely place to be and a true reminder of the beauty God put here on earth. There will be many more flowers soon as my dad’s daylilies will be in bloom before we know it! I will try to remember to post pics of his daylily beds.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

Teresa

My West Virginia Trip


Here are a couple pics from my West Virginia trip:

New River Gorge Bridge

The Capitol Building in Charleston, West Virginia

My sister Tina took these two pictures. She has been taking photography classes and is doing a great job. She learned the week after taking the first pic that if you are facing the sun, you should use a flash and apologized for not using it. I thought it turned out cute just like it was. My whole idea was to “hold up the bridge with one finger” and that is exactly what she portrayed. The Capitol building with the trees around it looks amazing!

Little Tidbits of my Life!

Teresa

Catawba (Catalpa) Trees


The following picture was taken June 2006 of my parents’ catawba (catalpa) tree.

This next picture was taken today. This is my dad standing under the tree as reference to just how huge this tree is!

This tree’s leaves serves as food for the catawba worm, also known as catalpa worm. This worm turns into a catalpa sphinx moth eventually. I was at my parents’ house today and happened to catch these worms chomping away at this beautiful tree. These worms are often used for fishing. I recall using them during one of the very first times I ever went fishing as a child. As you can see, the trees are pretty old.

I do not want to gross you out with pics of worms, but this one above looks different than most of the other worms. Most are black along their back, as in the next pic.

The next picture shows how the worms can strip a limb of the leaves.

ENOUGH WORMS? How about flowers and butterflies that were in my dad’s yard today instead?

(plus dad’s martin house!)

Rose of Sharon

Surprise Lilies

Fritillary butterfly on butterfly bush above and Painted Lady below

Hibiscus

Seashells Decor FINISHED! YAY


I started out with what you see below:

Seashells pack and plates

Seashells pack and plates

I laid out all the seashells to get an idea of how to design the shells onto the plates.

Seashells and plates

Seashells and plates

At first, I planned to use sand in the center of a shadow box, then a trip to Walmart caused me to change to the plates, but after two more trips to Walmart, purchasing a third plate, 5 bottles of LOCTITE brand superglue (plus all superglue I could find in the house!), a bag of aquarium gravel…AND MUCH THOUGHT AND ACRYLIC PAINT…well you get the idea…

Pics of progress:

plates painted, no centerwork yet AND I found blank frames to paint!

Plates painted, no centerwork yet AND I found BLANK frames to paint!

I had several little frames that were ready to paint and just decided to paint the ocean on there. I gave one to my father in law and glued a seashell in the corner. I put my mother in law’s picture inside it from one of her many beach trips. Ignore the paint seepage b/c when the picture is added, this disappears. This is why I did not worry about it. I will not show my cute mother in law in the photo frame because she was VERY MODEST and would be mad at me just for framing her for us, much less if I posted it on my blog! Trust me, she’s adorable, though!

Progress of the Seashell Decor

Seashell Decor progress

LOCTITE superglue is AWESOME

LOCTITE superglue is AWESOME

I do not own stock in the company or anything like that, but I cannot say enough about how much better I liked using this brand for this particular project! Loctite company, if you are listening, THANK YOU SO MUCH for helping my project come together like magic!

The finished plates are below:

Seashell Decor

Seashell Decor

I plan to find plate hangers for them at a craft store and hang them on the wall. The hangers at Walmart were for plates up to 10 inches and these are quite a bit larger than they will accomodate.

Seashell Decor 4

Seashell Decor 4

Seashell Decor 3

Seashell Decor 3

Seashell Decor 1

Seashell Decor 1

NOW IF I COULD JUST GET A QUILT MADE, I’d have a pretty bedroom!!!

Little tidbits of my life!

Teresa

Reflections


Three Sisters

Teresa, Lavonda and Tina

God has blessed me with two amazing sisters, Tina and Lavonda. I love them both so very dearly. With my mother just losing one of her sisters, it has made me want to hold on to my sisters even more. I think this is a normal response in times of grief, but I hope that we do not lose this lesson. We are close, my sisters and I. I have a special relationship with each one, but very different at the same time. This is how God made us women (and men, too), though. We are each unique, yet have so much commonground.

For Mother’s Day this year, my two sisters bought my parents tickets for a train ride. If you are fairly local, I have included the link here for the beautiful trip from Ettowah, TN to Copper Hill, TN, then lunch and return.

http://www.tvrail.com/hiwassee/schedule.php

On this trip, my oldest sister Tina took along her camera. She is an amateur photographer, but a VERY GOOD amateur photographer. She captured one of the most amazing pictures I have ever seen while on the train. I was captivated as soon as I saw it and had a special project in mind immediately. I asked her to send me the picture on my computer in high resolution so I could have an 8 x 10 made of it. In true BIG SIS fashion, though, that evening as I was at my parents’ house, there was my 8 x 10 waiting for me! THANK YOU TINA!

Lavonda in REFLECTION

My mother was taking me to an appointment the day after my sister had surprised me with the picture, so we decided to go to Hobby Lobby. I wanted to find a picture frame that was simply a mirror, but to no avail. I finally found a black picture frame that is very shiny and knew that with some embellishments, it would work just right. SO OFF TO THE JEWELRY AISLE WE WENT…which led to a trip to the scrapbooking aisle…and finally after a much longer trip than anticipated, I felt I had everything I needed, and my mother and I were TUCKERED OUT! Did I mention everything I got for the project was 50% off???

The next day, I laid my project out after cutting out the letters from the scrapbooking items for my frame and the jewels for the jewelry pendants. I wrote an email to my oldest sister Tina and sent her pics of my project and ideas. I had the word REFLECTIONS on the frame, but was not sure where to place it. Tina is a great one for opinions. She wrote back and said she thinks I should add 1 Corinthians 13:12 and then she wrote the following words in her email:

Reflection
The world is a looking glass and gives back to every woman the reflection of her own face.

Is that not beautiful? SO this meant ANOTHER TRIP to Hobby Lobby because I did not have enough letters to add the verse to the picture, but knew immediately that she was correct. I had also accidently bought BRADS the first visit, so on this visit, I bought self adhesive gemstones instead and did not use the brads at all.

The following are the products I used for my project (plus a picture frame large enough for an 8 x 10 picture)…I think I used 3 packs of the letters and 3 packs of the clear gemstones, as well as one pack of multicolored gemstones. I included a picture of the jewels I made from 4 plain circle mirror pendants with the colored gemstones, but I have still not decided if I will use them at all.

REFLECTIONS project products

I finished the project last night in about an hour! I did not add the jewels as I had intended originally. (Excuse the smudges, I guess I should have cleaned it with windex before taking the final picture of the picture!)

REFLECTIONS of Lavonda

The mantle is not the final place for the picture. I just wanted to get a picture of it without the flash on it. I plan to hang this picture on the wall and I think I will decide after I get it in place whether I should glue the multicolored jewels to the picture. I like it just like this.

REFLECTIONS on mantle

I Corinithians 13:12

Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. New International Version

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. English Standard Version

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. King James Version