Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Christmas 2011

Our Christmas was as lovely as ever and I feel so blessed to have enjoyed having my two children and their families for the entire day!  I'm incredibly grateful for God's goodness and we are looking forward to a wonderful New Year.  I hope you are, too!
~MY MISS K and I~
My Favorite 'Little Girl'
(in the whole-wide-world)

For the first time in years and years and years I'm packing up my Christmas decorations early.  From as far back as I can remember I've kept all our holiday pretties up until New Year's Day and then spent January 2nd taking them all down and packing them away for the next year...
~My Daughter-in-Love~
Miss K's Momma
Our Sarah Girl

But, not this year!  With my Mr. AGPMan in school he will soon be busy with studies again and if I want to get some much needed help from him then I have to take it while I can get it!  Hauling stuff up into our attic isn't my idea of fun!  I've been busy reorganizing, clearing things away, wrapping and packing.  I must admit it will be nice to start the New Year fresh and clean without having so many things pressing on my 2-Do-List.

I couldn't resist showing you the girls in my life!  My Mr. AGPMan is NOT the best picture-taker in the world and so I'm so happy to have the photo above taken of my three favorite girls and I on Christmas Day!  

My Miss K is going to be spending a few days with me this week and that always makes me happy!  She's in 3rd grade now and busy with school during most of the year.  I'm happy when I can have her around for more than just a few hours...

I hope and pray your Christmas was all you dreamed it would be and you are looking forward to a bright, promising New Year...

I'll be back soon...

Love to you~

Saturday, December 24, 2011

~MERRY CHRISTMAS from Rebecca 2011~


Dear Friends in Blogland~

With a full and grateful heart my family and I would like to wish you a Very Merry Christmas.  I'm sooo looking forward to spending more time with my children, my Miss K and my Mr. AGPMan as we celebrate together the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

This year has literally flown by for us and in just a few days we will welcome another New Year.  Before I sign off for 2011 I want to take just a few moments to thank you once again for the friendships and kindnesses you've blessed me with over the past twelve months.  I'm more grateful than I can say for your listening ear as I've shared with you the good and not-so-good in my life.

I will remember 2011 as a year of change and new beginnings.  My Mr. AGPMan continues working on his degree program and come November he will graduate and complete an education goal he set for himself many, many moons ago.  The hours of classwork and study-time have been grueling and difficult at best to travel through for both of us.  But, just as we have faced all the challenges since marrying in 1978, we are focused on finishing the course and collecting our prize...  I've been so thankful for God's peace during these past several months and blessed to be given such an awesome man to love.

I continue to love my work and towards the end of the year found some renewed joy in my painting and handwork.  I'm looking forward to tackling the Photoshop Software Program given to me earlier this year, even though I must admit I'm a tiny bit scared.  I'm no computer guru, mind you!  But, at the same time I consider myself a risk-taker...  I don't want to reach the end of my life and wish I'd tried new things...

My Father's health has remained about the same although my FIL's condition has drastically declined.  My aging Momma continues to press on and I'm thankful she is doing as well as she is.  We do not know what the New Year will bring, we are only praying for God's grace, love and peace to carry us as it always has...

My children are doing great and my little Miss K (who is nine now) is thriving.  They remain my greatest earthly joy.  (I'm secretly hoping another sweet little grandbaby will make their way into our hearts in the near future...but that's a BIG God-thing!)

Just like last year I'll be taking at least the next ten to fourteen days off to enjoy my home, family and to recoup a bit from a busy, busy year.  I'm more than tired and need some time to gather up a few loose ends and just enjoy my life while doing a little LESS...

Thank you again for your faith in me and my work and for sharing your hearts and lives with me in return.
Merry Christmas to you all and Happy New Year.
I wish for you good things.
Only good things.

We are celebrating and honoring you!)

Love to you...
 (and my Mr. AGPMan, too!)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

~~~~CHRISTMAS CONFECTIONS for 2011~~~~ Almond Brittle Gifting Once Again

 ~SIMPLE for 2011~

For the past couple of days I've been working on special little gifts for my neighbors and friends.  For years the tradition around my La Chaumière has been to make either Almond Brittle or Sugared Pecans for the people that mean the most to our family.  I decided to whip up three batches of the yummy Brittle this year (it's really a fabulous toffee-type candy).  I finished wrapping them all up on Tuesday and now I'm all done for 2011!

If you'd like a last-minute, easy to make treat you can check out my previous posts for the Brittle (from 2010) and the Pecans (from 2009) by clicking on the links. These fabulous Christmas and Holiday time confections will not disappoint!  They are more than delicious and are always a big hit!

This year I decided to use both Jars and Lacy Bags to hold the Brittle.  With my Mr. AGPMan in school we didn't do as much junkin' and slummin' as we have in past years so I didn't collect as many jars as I normally do.  The bags I used are dense poly-type bags (brown-bag style) and all I did was turn down the top and place a folded doily over the turned down top edge.  Two holes were punched through all the layers and a sheer mist ribbon and custom made tag from a vintage graphic was added.  This year I decided to keep everything simple!  I actually love how the bags came out and I'm going to keep this idea in mind for future gifting!

Since so many of these gifts are given to my hubby's co-workers (and they are all men) I didn't want them to be too girly-girl so  I used a cranberry colored ribbon instead of pink.  The bags were easy for my guy to carry and no fear of breakage, too!

This old Christmas wreath graphic is a keeper!  I didn't do anything to it but change the background color (it was blue) to white and add a thin-line border in the color of the ribbon I used.  Store bought To/From Tags can easily be used as well if you aren't familiar with working with computer altering programs...
 ~BRITTLE for 2011~

Here's a picture of our Almond Brittle for this year!  I only tasted a tiny bit because I have a tendency to put on a few extra pounds during the Holidays and this year I'm trying my best not to!  It's all that over indulging on Fruitcake...Fruitcake...FRUITCAKE (and cookies, candy, pies, cheese balls and cakes!) that causes all the problems...  That said...a little never hurts!!!!

Tonight I'm adding ribbons to our wrapped packages and then I'm done with our gift-related things for the year!  Tomorrow I will ready our kitchen for our Christmas Day meal and enjoy my hubby being off from both work and school...  

I'll be back tomorrow with a few thoughts...  Hope your Thursday is beautiful and blessed.

Love to you...

Monday, December 19, 2011



Over the weekend I spent a wonderful, relaxing time with my family celebrating my birthday.  On Friday my children hosted a little dinner party for me where they served the a fabulous Bolognese Pasta, homemade bread and Italian Country Creme' Cake.
(alotta candles!)

As I told you in my previous post my kids are incredible cooks!  I'm so proud of them.

Of all the presents I received my very favorite present by far was the one given to me my Miss K.  Each year her elementary school holds a Children's Christmas Bazaar and it is there she bought my birthday gift with her own money.  After opening up her package and telling her how much it meant to me, how much I loved the tiny wooden cross, she proudly said...

"It took all my money!  It cost me thirty-five cents!"
(Sorry for the blur)

We all laughed so much over it all and I just love her loving, innocent ways.  My only little grandchild knows me so well!  The shawl/scarf I have on is a pretty off-white beauty made of Cashmere and was from my Mr. AGPMan.  He also knows me very well!

The next day we dinned in Tulsa on more fabulous food and spent the weekend relaxing in our hotel room and doing a little shopping.  Because I ended my online selling this year a week early I have to tell you I ended up having one of the best birthdays I've had in a long, long time.


If you are a constant reader of my blog then you may recall a post I did earlier this summer regarding my father-in-law.  You can find it here.  This morning my Mr. AGPMan's Momma called and shared with us the very very sad news that Hospice has been called in for his ailing Father.  We aren't sure all that is ahead for the next few weeks but we would appreciate your prayers just the same.

This morning we are off to fill up our pantry so we can prepare for our Christmas 'Feast'.  I'll be back tomorrow to show you the treats I made for our friends and neighbors...

Blessings for a lovely day~

Love to you...

Friday, December 16, 2011


Christmas Day is getting closer and closer and like many of you I'm working on the final plans for celebrating the most beautiful event of the year.  For us it is the birth of the King of Kings, our Savior, Jesus Christ.  I've wrapped up selling my wares early  for the first time in years and it feels good to say "enough" a few days before I actually needed to.  Just about everything has sold from my website shelves and I'm so incredibly thankful so many of you found my work worthy of purchasing again this year.  Thank you never seems enough, but I offer up my gratitude with a very full heart just the same...  I love what I'm blessed to do in my life and I'm looking forward to continuing in 2012! 
About a week ago UPS delivered a very big box to my doorstep which around this time isn't all that unusual.  My Mr. AGPMan pushed the enormous thing inside and I stared for a second or two at the return address.  It came from an Oklahoma town and so that made it all the more unusual because it was from a 'company' and not a 'person'.
As I cut open the box inside I found eight more boxes neatly tucked inside...  Still not realizing what each of the boxes held I lifted out the first one and opened it up.
When I opened up one of the inside boxes and slid the contents out I was shocked out of my mind.  Inside each box was one of the plates I had been longing to find.  You may remember my post from a couple of weeks back where I talked about the charming Poinsettia plates from Andrea by Sadek I'd been searching for.  The local store where I found them went out of business and I hadn't been able to find anymore...
To tell you I was speechless and overwhelmed by the generosity of this gift doesn't even come close to telling you how I felt.  Not only was the box unexpected but it came from one of my most beloved friends of all time.

Although I moved to selling consistently on my own website a couple of years ago, one of the side benefits of offering my wares on eBay for so very long was the meeting and forging of several lasting friendships.  I've worked with more buyers than I can say and it blesses me to share with you that several of those ladies have become very, very close friends.  And, one of those longtime friends was incredibly generous and sent me those eight Poinsettia plates giving me a total of twelve...enough to set my Christmas table for my family this year.
When I started selling on eBay back in 2001 I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, how to do it, what it would become or just who I would meet along the way.  Meeting Miss C and learning about her life and her family has been such an encouragement to me and I've been able to share with her the best and the worst of events in my life in return.  Lots of happy moments, the weddings of my two kids, celebrating victory with my Miss K, tearful moments surrounding my father as well as the passing of one of her most beloved family members... 
Isn't it amazing how God is always on time with His love and encouragement in our lives?  He's never too early or too late to send us people who will help carry our burdens and celebrate with us our greatest joys.  Thank you, C...you mean the world to me!  Honest.  You do!  Your generosity takes my breath away and as always I have much to learn from you!  Thank you again... xoxo


My friend, Miss F, recently sent me a collection of vintage bottles, perfumers, talcs, antique lipstick holders, jars, baskets and bits of trim.  I've already used the baskets in my own home (more about this soon) and I gifted one of the lipstick holders to my DILove because she absolutely loves the colors of yellow and orange.  The two white lipstick holders (which are little lady figurines) I kept for myself because they look just lovely in my master bathroom.  Miss F is also a friend I originally met because of eBay and one who has blessed my life in more ways than I can say.  And, just like Miss C we've shared stories of family love and family loss over the years...again...I'm incredibly blessed.  Thank you, Miss F!  Can't wait to chat-chat again when you are feeling better!  I'm honored to be your 'adopted' daughter and to call you friend! :) xoxo


Tonight my daughter, Adrienne (AdrieGirl) and her big brother, Brandon (my BKN), are hosting a little dinner party for my birthday.  Yesterday I had lunch with my beautiful Momma and tomorrow my Mr. AGPMan and I are going to Tulsa for dinner and a weekend getaway.  We've had sooooo little time together since he started back to school last May.  If you are keeping up with me as I share his schooling-saga then you'll be happy to know in November he'll graduate with his degree in Computer Science and Software Development...  Come On November!  It can't get here fast enough (for him or me!).

More soon as the Season of Light and Love continues on...

Love to you...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

~~~~~GATHERING CASE WINNER IS~~~~~~ Lighting Does Strike Twice

Thank you to all of you who entered and blogged about my
for a
that began on October 15, 2011.

The entry deadline was last Sunday, December 11th at midnight.  In my original post found HERE I promised to share the winning name today!  With all the comments and links on that specific blog post combined with my blog followers and Facebook comments and/or likes, etc., there were many names included in the drawing~

Incredibly I now believe lightening does strike twice.  The winning name picked at random and the winner of the Gathering Case is the same person who I believe won my very first Giveaway two and a half years ago...

I'm happy to share with you the WINNER IS:


 Congratulations Lee Laurie!
I've sent you a private email about the details!

Thank you again for entering!  This was a fun giveaway to host and I so appreciate all of you who joined in.  I just MIGHT do another one next year~

Blessings for a lovely hump-day...

Love to you~

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Ever feel like you'd love to escape to Mayberry where Aunt Bea bakes pies and Barney arrests jaywalkers and Sheriff Taylor, after another shuffling day, sits on his porch with Opie's pretty school teacher and strums his guitar?  Every evening the life of Andy and his family comes neatly packaged with a sweet little bow and all seems well in the fictional town I would sometimes love to call home...  No problems come up that can't be fixed within 30 minutes and that includes commercial time...
 While the TV is playing reruns we've been living a real life.  It' been a year full of everyday challenges, everyday imperfections, everyday successes as well as everyday failures.  
"Everyday Life" can be so, well..."EVERY-DAY" sometimes, can't it?  I sometimes find myself complaining about the mundane and all the unexciting hours in my life that blow in and out with the sweeping Oklahoma wind...
 This morning my Mr. AGPMan received good news from a Specialist about a chronic sore throat he's been having for the past eight weeks.  Truthfully I've been worried sick as nothing tried (or prescribed) was making him feel better...  During the day I thought of every horrible thing it could be and by evening's end I was exhausted from concern.

I'm a worrier I'm afraid....a big-time worrier.

People don't get sick in Mayberry, do they?
(Although I have always wondered where Opie's Momma was!)

As I crumbled in thankfulness over the missing "C-Word" in my beloved's diagnosis I was immediately overwhelmed with how incredibly lovely
can actually be.  I take it so for granted and yet in reality it is what I think I've longed for~

A simple EVERYDAY LIFE with nothing too difficult, too complicated, or too overwhelming to bear... 

My prayer today, for this EVERYDAY TUESDAY, is that I won't be so sidelined with the blessings around me to falsely believe that as long as I keep trusting, expecting and smiling that all will be well, stay well.  I was reminded once again this morning to be grateful and thankful for all things for at any given moment life can change.

Blessings as you continue to celebrate Christmas (and life) with JOY!

Love to you...

Monday, December 12, 2011


When my children were little we did a bunch of great Christmas-Treat-Baking inside our La Chaumière de Briarwood.  Today, both my kids are phenomenal cooks and rival my abilities in the kitchen. They have perfectly appointed kitchens and aren't afraid one little bit to try something new.

Their old momma on the other hand has a tendency to stick to what she knows best!  Tried and true recipes that have stood the test of time...  I'm happy to leave what I call the complicated stuff to my son, Brandon, and my daughter, my AdrieGirl.

When I was a young bride I learned to bake a little bit and would scour the Dallas Morning News for recipes to try out on my Mr. AGPMan (only he wasn't called that back then!).  The recipe I'm sharing with you today came from that well known Texas paper back in 1979 or so...

Thirty plus years ago I copied it onto a little personalized recipe card one of my friends ordered from some mail order company...  Today it's ratty and torn up but I love using it anyway!

Don't be tempted to taste the batter!  You might get that 'sow-stuff' from the raw eggs!  That would be terrible!

They smell soooo heavenly while baking!
Be patient!

And there you have it!  A sweet treat for neighbors and friends!  Now...don't faint when I tell you this but I'm not a chocolate lover (I told you NOT to faint!).  I like it well enough and all,  but I can take it or leave it if I must!  But this kind of cookie...well, I could eat enough to make me senseless if I'm not careful!
Blessings for a lovely day...Happy Monday!

Love to you...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

~~~~THOUGHTS ON A SUNDAY MORNING~~~~ Ordinary People

As I sat down for a bit of breakfast and a cup of hot tea this morning my eyes were drawn to the cover of our DVD "It's A Wonderful Life".  Every year my Mr. AGPMan and I really love watching the old black and white classic and I'm sure like many of you it's a 'must-see' on our Christmastime movie list...
 I've had a busy, hectic week and I'm more than tired so just thinking about sitting down and having some quiet time with my guy made me smile.  I always start to drag a bit at this point during December, although I must admit to you it's a 'good tired and a good-drag'.  I love everything about Christmas and I refuse to get overwhelmed with the things still piled up on my 'to-do-list'.

I've resigned myself to always having one so why stress about it, right?
Anyway...as I stared at the smiling faces of old George Baily holding his little daughter ZuZu I was reminded again this year of one simple thought...

We don't have to be some larger-than-life person, with lots and lots of clout, money and prestige to make a big difference in the day to day living of someone else.  Every single day without pomp or ceremony we can contribute goodness, kindness, peace and love to someone living about us...

The most memorable part of the movie for me is the message of how simple, ordinary people can have can have a profound influence on someone else without even knowing it...

Blessings for a lovely Sunday in His presence~

Love to you...

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