Monday, December 28, 2009



Here we are...counting down the days until another New Year begins. I can't believe it's almost time to tell 2009 goodbye! I so hope it was a wonderful year for each of you! But, knowing how life can be sometimes, I'm sure there are many of you who are not sad at all to see it go...

Despite a few unexpected lows, 2009 was a good year for me and my family. I have much to be grateful for... And so, I spent much of my evening hours jotting down each and every good thing that came my way over the past twelve months. The good always outweighs the not-so-good...for this I'm unbelievably thankful!

For the past several days I've been following the Blog of a local woman who tragically lost her spouse of twenty plus years in a terrible fall last November. Her pain is raw and grief has overwhelmed her and her children. The husband of this beautiful woman's youth was too young to pass from this earth and it is in times like these when I admittedly do not understand some of the things that my God allows. Her name is Saundra if you can spare some time to pray...

Additionally, I've felt a bit overwhelmed for I just learned of the passing of my hair stylist of six years. Michael Porter. Mister Mike, as I called him, was a breath of fresh air to my Mr. AGPMan and I. While he snipped and clipped we'd chat like two old hens as he worked his magic on my very thin, mousy brown hair. I never tired of his witty humor and his passion for life held me captive. He will forever be remembered as the person who transformed my beautiful girl into a princess on her wedding day and her attendants into real belles... I already miss you, MM! I'm glad your suffering is over...

A frosty winter storm blanketed much of Oklahoma and we celebrated a simply lovely snowy-white Christmas! I've so enjoyed having my Baber home for several days in a row. We've been busying ourselves with the packing up of holiday memories while closing out yet another chapter in the book that has become our life.

Every time my heart drifted off to thoughts of Saundra and her profound loss I held my guy just a bit longer and spoke just a bit sweeter. "If there but for the Grace of God go I...".

Several years ago I heard the words to an amazing little song called Mizpah (Let Your Love Flow Like a Fountain). With lyrics long forgotten, I stumbled upon them recently while looking for some special Christmas music for a party~

It always makes me soooo happy to have the exact words I'm wanting to say fall directly into my lap... It happens to me ALL the time. It does!

My God is a Faithful God. May He bless you and cover you with His Wings in 2010.

May Your Love Flow (Mizpah)
Byron Walls

May your love flow like a fountain
May your days be free of doubt
May your life become as effortless
As breathing in and out
May you always complete what you begin
May you never have so much that you’re a slave to what you own
May you always have the wisdom to leave well enough alone
When dark clouds close around you
May you feel God’s light surround you when you pray
When you need someone to guide you may you know
God walks beside you all the way

May you always wake up cheerful
And give thanks for everyday
Know the love that you receive
Comes from the love you give away
May your faith become a soft place when you fall
May you always bring to life whatever is in your mind
If good is what you’re looking for may good be what you find
When dark clouds close around you
May you feel God’s light surround you when you pray
When you need someone to guide you may you know
God walks beside you all the way

With a grateful heart~

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

~MERRY CHRISTMAS - Life Lessons 2009~

Dear Friends...

Along with many of you I've spent this last week putting the finishing touches on Christmas 2009. Our home has been a flurry of non-stop activity and I've so enjoyed every second of I've spent shopping and wrapping presents, cleaning, baking and planning our Christmas Day meal. I'm very blessed and so grateful for the good things that God has sent my way. Even more I'm looking forward to celebrating the birth of the Christ Child...the Babe who grew into the very Man who would one day change the course of my life.

After tonight I will be away from you until the New Year. I'm excited about spending some much needed time with my children and their families, my parents and of course that fabulous husband of mine, my Mr. AGPMan. I will return on the first or second of January with some exciting updates on a dining room renovation we've had going on in our home (Yes! During the Holidays!) as well as a sweet give-a-way in honor of the 1st Anniversary of my A Gathering of Thoughts Blog. I hope you'll plan on visiting again soon.

Before I go I thought I might share with you some lessons I've learned this year. Some of these things I've sort of already known, still others I've found necessary to re-learn for a second time (third, fourth, etc.)...


I've learned that the making and reaching of goals can bring great satisfaction and that real friends don't have to live next door to me.

I've learned there is more to life than Blogging (did I say that?) I've learned that Weight Watchers is HARD but that I CAN DO IT!!! I've learned this year that one's heart is not judged by how much it loves but by how much it is loved by others. I've learned that no matter how hard I work at creating new things, if I don't allow my body to rest my mind is incapable of compassionate thoughts or new ideas. I've learned my three siblings will ALWAYS be my very best friends (I love you Lin, Bill & Jen).

I've learned the things my friend, Glaphre, taught me during her short stay on this earth will forever impact my life. After nearly four years of her living up i heaven I still miss her more than ever. I've learned that even when I watch my Daddy grow sicker and weaker there is ALWAYS a little hint he knows who I am and he will always remember the day I was born...(but, it's best for me not to believe he will ever return to the way he was when I was ten!). :( I've learned that during the years when I was crazy-worried about my children, Brandon and Adrienne, that a day would come when I would BLINK and find them grown into amazingly wonderful adults. No mother could be more proud of a son and daughter than I am of them.I've learned our Miss K gets more beautiful and lovely as each day passes and that God's favor was upon me when she was born.I've learned that saying "I'm Sorry" still isn't easy for me to do. In fact, it continues to be just plain HARD! But, when I'm able to get those words out of my very stubborn mouth they are far sweeter than I could have ever imagined them to be. I've learned my hubby will always out-give me. It is his gentle spirit that has made over 31 years of marriage to this high-spirited, mind-ever-changin', "slightly" hardheaded gal possible. There is no one in the world who has bridged more gaps, shown more compassion, offered up more forgiveness or 'turned the other cheek' more than he. are my hero!I've learned that some days I actually HATE Blogging...but...whe the sun comes up the next morning I usually just LOVE it again! :)I've learned my hands don't look like they are twenty anymore. Instead, they resemble what I remember my mother's hand looking like when I was a young girl. Only, my hands will never be as talented or as giving as her have been. I've learned that bowing my head in prayer, whether it be to say "Thank You" for the good things in life or to ask for help makes not difference to the Lord. He just wants to hear from me.I've learned that life isn't fair, but God is...
Lastly, I've learned that even when I feel like I am, I am NEVER, EVER, alone.
"When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty you will not drown. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior." Isaiah 43:2-3a (NLT)

I look forward with expectation to every day full of God's goodness and promises. It is to Him I give the honor and praise for any creative ability or gifts I may have. It is because of God's Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, that I found hope in every new day and strength in the face of sorrow and disappointment. It is my Christmas prayer that you will all know this kind of peace. I promise you, it is life-changing!
With heartfelt thanks for a year that was beyond my wildest of dreams~

Merry Christmas!


Sunday, December 20, 2009

~CHRISTMAS PAST...Tied Up With Heartstrings~

Hacienda Heights, California
Me, My Sissy Linda, Cousins Cindy & Kathy

(Us Girls in December 2008)
Linda (My Sister), Cindy & Kathy (Cousins), Me

Today was a melancholy Sunday. If you haven't figured it out by now I'm hopelessly sentimental and I can truly get lost inside my own head if I"m not careful. Christmas does that to me. All the Fa-La-La-La-Lahhhhh's and trips down memory lane can really set my heart to wondering.

In 1964 "The Highlander", a local newspaper from my hometown of Hacienda Heights, California, came out to our modest (and tiny!) home on Sigman Street and photographed my sister, two cousins and I for a write up about celebrating our Dutch Heritage. I've shared with you before that my mother and her sister, my Auntie P, were always doing SOMETHING that got their daughters noticed.

I have NO IDEA what happened to my hair in this picture. The bangs are real. The braids are FAKE! :)

I spent the later part of the evening digging myself through a stack of old photos searching for the FEW pictures taken at Christmas when I was a child. My parents didn't take many photographs so you can imagine the ones we do have collectively mean the world to my family. My sister and I have pictures with our cousins but we have very, very few taken with our youngest sister and maybe two! It is the one thing I would change about my childhood if I could... I'd have more pictures.

How this clipping has survived is beyond me. It was damaged in a terrible house flood in 1977 and yet remains in one piece...

I blame the fact that I'm now a picture-taking-fool on the simple truth that my parents never owned a decent camera until I was grown and gone...

Hacienda Heights, California
Kathy (cousin), Me, Linda (sister), Cindy (cousin)

I may be wrong, I'd have to ask my sister, Linda, but I honestly believe this is the ONLY picture taken of me as little child at Christmastime. It was snapped in 1963 at my Grandmother's home when they lived on either Kennard or Flamstead Street. I was in Kindergarten and was 5 years old. All us little girls got Butterball Doll Babies that year and my sissy and cousin got gorgeous Bride Dolls... I remember wanting to know where mine was but I was told I was too young to have one. :(


~My Mother & Auntie~
Around 1963 or 1964

The picture above is of my mother and her younger sister, my Auntie P. They were heavily involved in PTA and worked hard to promote our local elementary school. This was a Polaroid picture and the original was so dark you could barely make out who was in it. I've learned enough about Photoshop to make me least I was able to lighten the heavily damaged picture enough to see just what it was. My mom or my grandfather painted the poster for the PTA DRIVE that year... My Gramps was always painting those sweet Santa's for the door of our classrooms. My mother did get really good at knocking off his work though so I can't be sure just who painted this one...

Seeing my beautiful Mother in this photo (she was about 29) lends me to believe time goes even faster than I think it does. She turned 75 this year...

Thanks for stopping in today. Like many of you I've been busy enjoying the season while breathing in all things Christmas and Christ-centered. Hoping and trusting your days have been as lovely as mine.

Blessings and love...Rebecca

Friday, December 18, 2009

~GROWING OLDER - Feeling Fabulous!

~DECEMBER 17, 2009~
Growing Older and Feeling Fabulous

Last year I turned the magical age of 50! Now, if you're super quick with your math you'll know that this year I passed the half-century mark and reached 51. I can't believe it. The years have sped by. Inside I still feel like I'm 20.

My face, my body and my HANDS tell me otherwise.

Last night I celebrated my life and my blessings with my family at a very small local Mexican Restaurant called Los Arcos. My children and their loves, our sweet Miss K and my beloved AGPMan joined me for great food and I had so much fun. I even DITCHED my Weight Watchers Diet for the evening and indulged in my favorite foods (YUM! Salsa!) and even gobbled up a piece of the delish Italian Coconut Cream Cake you see above.

See the #27 on my Cake? It's a long story I'll share with you another day... My son, Brandon, did say "Mom! How can you be 27 if I'm 27?" (Hmmmmmm......).

Before long I'll share photos of the very special present, a gorgeous 8 arm Chandelier, my guy gave to me as a gift. I'm on cloud close to heaven as I can get over something non-living. It has to be assembled and a bit of prep- work needs to take place before it can be installed. I promise to show pics soon!

Thank you for all the blog posts, cards, emails, comments, phone calls, sweet notes, Facebook Posts and well wishes you sent my way. I'm truly blessed.

Blessings to you as you remember that it's what's on the inside that counts...Rebecca

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

~OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF BABES...Loving the Innocent Hearts of Children

Our Sweet Miss K

I started blogging in January of this year and for a couple of months I had a sweet "OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF BABES" story on my sidebar. I removed it about 9 or 10 months ago, but for those of you who are new to my Blog (or might have missed it) I'm going to share the story again. It's too precious not to pass along. I hope it makes you smile!

Last Christmas my Mr. AGPMan was Worship Leader at a church just north of our home. Because our son and daughter-in-love were searching for a new place of worship we had the pleasure of taking our Miss K to church with us during most of the winter months. She was very excited about joining in with the other kids for our annual Children's Christmas Program, and of course being the "Littlest Angel" in the group thrilled her to death!

For weeks the two of us practiced the songs together. On the way to school and back home again we'd sing the songs on the CD. One by one we sang each and every song. Miss K worked very hard to memorize the words and the music to them all. We were all so proud of her!

When the big day came she was dressed to the nines. The picture above was snapped in my office just before we walked out the door. She had on a creamy white silk taffeta dress I'd purchased the year before (on deep-discount clearance!) and the matching velvet hair ribbon looked darling with her swept up pony tail.

Once buckled into her car seat both she and I and her adoring Papa (that is what she calls my Mr. AGPMan) were on our way. Thinking we could go over her program songs ONE MORE TIME I popped the nearly worn out CD into the player and listened as the music began. Each song, all religious in nature, filled our SUV with the beautiful sounds of the season.

Our Miss K sang and sang! However, during one particular song she seemed to be having some trouble. So, being the PICKY NANA that I am I stopped the CD and started it over again.

"Let's try that again, honey! Are you getting the words?"

Again the song began. And yet something still wasn't right...

So...I stopped the CD again and this time turned around from the front seat and mouthed the words so she could both hear and see me speak them.

I said~

"Listen to Nana, honey! The words are 'HOSANNA! HOSANNA! HOSANNA IN HE HIGH-------EST!' Got it?"

With that her eyes became HUGE (like deer in the headlights HUGE) and she just stared at me. It was as if she had just heard the words for the first time.

Sensing a bit of fear and confusion I said ~

"What's wrong honey?"

With that she replied...

"I thought I was singing O' SANTA!"

Now...I'm telling you the truth here! I have never laughed so hard in all my life. My guy nearly had to pull the car over to keep from crashing the thing. We laughed and laughed and laughed and then Miss K started to laugh and by then we were pretty much wasted.

When the Program began and the children were all lined up I could see Miss K looking at me with the widest of grins... as she mouthed to me


Blessings to you as you teach your children and grandchildren the things that will stay with them a lifetime...Rebecca

~LOVE IS...and Other Things That Matter~

Sticking Christmas Seals on the Cards

In just a little over a week we will be celebrating Christmas 2009. After all the decorating, baking, caroling, partying, (stressing), entertaining, shopping, wrapping and the sending out of Christmas cards, I think I'm just about ready for the big day! I'm looking forward to having a wonderful dinner with my entire family gathered around my table.

How about you? Are you counting down the days?

It is my hope that as you take part in the festivities of the season that you will be mindful of just what it is you are celebrating.

After is the birthday of someone VERY SPECIAL!

Blessings to you as you honor the Christ Child. The Savior of the world...Rebecca

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

~SEEING RED - And What Not To Do On A Monday~

I expected yesterday to be a wonderful day.

And it was...

Until about 1:00pm.

It was at about that time that I decided to break my cardinal (pun intended!) rule and carry my lunch upstairs to work! I've been busy getting last minute orders off and didn't want to STOP to eat my TINY LITTLE MEAL (still on Weight Watchers here!) at the table.

I can just see our little Miss K shaking her finger at me as I DECIDED TO DO something that I do not allow her to do (that would be eat and drink upstairs!).

There are exactly twelve steps from my entryway to up upstairs hallway. On the 10th step I tripped over my own two feet which sent my VERY FULL glass of RED, RED, RED Crystal Lite Cherry Drink flying from one end of my landing to the other...

Somebody slap me!

Did I tell you it was red?

Did I say RED?


I spent the next 8 hours trying to get it out of my very pale beige carpet. I tried EVERY PRODUCT and finally just called the PROFESSIONALS to come out. Hours and hours and hours later all the carpet in my home is fresh and lovely again. And, unless you are looking you can't see the very faint, extremely light pink haze smack outside the door of our main upstairs bath. I wasn't expecting to have my carpets cleaned before Christmas but they sure do look wonderful now.


Word of advice.

When trying to detox yourself from carbonated beverages and rid caffeine from your body, please choose SOMETHING other than a red drink mix to aid you in your plight. You will save yourself, your carpet and your hubby from having a total meltdown (and from spending a couple hundred bucks, too!) during the most wonderful season of the year.

Today I'm having water.

Clear, beautiful, non-staining WATER!

Blessings to you as you stay focused on the things that matter...Rebecca

Sunday, December 13, 2009

~TREASURED KEEPSAKES and Finding Peace in All Things~

Dressed in Green w/ Poodle
"Spaghetti Trim"

When I was a little bitty girl my Grandparents lived up the hill from our 900sf track home. Their home, a mirror image of ours, had the same dividing mantle that separated the tiny dining room from the single living area. Every Christmas my Grandmother decorated her mantle with the same lovely treasures and I don't recall a year when I did not see her beautiful Napco Shopper Girls appear for the holiday season. One was red. One green. One white. Each Girl was dressed to the nines, carried sweetly packaged gifts and came with a tiny poodle dog tethered to the wrist.

Secretly I longed to take one home. The color didn't matter. I loved them all.

Years passed. While I wasn't looking my Grandmother grew older and I grew up. It would be many, many years before I would remember even the existence of the long forgotten ladies with their full skirts and wide-brimmed bonnets and even longer before I cared...

Dressed in White w/ Poodle
"Rabbit Fur Trim"

In June of 2008 my beloved 91 year old Grandmother spent an entire month with me here in Oklahoma. Long blinded by Glaucoma, the essence of who she was and what she loved remained unchanged. We shared many long, meaningful conversations and she talked non-stop about her grandchildren and how proud she was of each one us. She adored my Miss K (her great-great grandchild) and spoke of how I had become a "Young Nana" just like she had become a "Young Gramma!" We laughed and giggled through the day, listened to books on tape and reminisced about the days when she was young and I was younger.

One afternoon when there was a lull in our chatter I decided to retrieve from their hiding place the four Shopper Girls that I'd stored away for safe keeping. Placing the largest one in her hands I asked her if she knew what it was...

Dressed In Red - Planter
Dressed in Green - Planter
"Original Flowers"

I watched as she carefully turned the the first figurine over and over, touching and feeling what her blinded eyes could no longer see. After only a few moments she smiled at me and said~

"Oh my! This is one of the Shopper Girls I use to have on my mantle when you were a little girl! I remember how much you loved them! I always wondered what happened to them! How long have you had them now?"

Purposefully avoiding her question, we talked a while longer as she held each aging figurine for a few seconds more. "Those were my best days!" she continued. She went on to say that she and my Grandfather had purchased the Girls at Gemco (like an early K-Mart) for about $3.50 each around the year I was born (that would be 1958).

I was able to tell my Grandmother that summer afternoon that my love for the Shopper Girls was not based on their beauty, but because of the warm memories they represented of my childhood. I told her how much I loved her and what a fabulous Gramma she had always been! I promised to fly her out for Christmas and that I would have the Shopper Girls displayed in my home, showcasing them in her honor.

Four months later she went to heaven. We buried her just before Christmas in December 2008.

What my Gramma didn't know was that the Shopper Girls she held that day were not the ones that had originally belonged to her. Long misplaced or given away, my Mr. AGPMan had purchase the ones I now own off eBay.

How grateful I am for that moment when I placed those dainty little Girls within her aging hands. It's enough for me to know the lingering scent of my Grandmother's grace and the memory of her love remain upon the Shopper Girls that now call my La Chaumiere de Briarwood home.

Blessings to you as you remember and honor your loved ones this Christmas...Rebecca

Saturday, December 12, 2009


(A Family Favorite!)

As most of us know, homemade confections and goodies make wonderful gifts! With a little imagination and some easy planning they can make very special Christmas and Hanukkah presents for a neighbor, a hostess or a friend.

Jar on Left was an Estate Sale Find

Many years ago when my Mr. AGPMan and I moved into our La Chaumiere de Briarwood we began the simple tradition of sharing home baked goodies with those we love. Little has changed over the past seventeen years, unless of course you want to talk about the price of chocolate and sugar...

(And Soooo Yummy, Too!)

During the Spring and Summer months, when I'm out junking about in my town, I'm always on the hunt for neat little jars and glass containers to hold our yummy holiday gifts. I love it when I can find them for about a quarter, but if the truth be told that is rare price these days. Usually they are about a dollar, maybe two. Because this was lean jar-finding-year I was forced to purchase a few at ROSS (3 for $11.99). Overall they were still VERY inexpensive when you consider what a crystal container might cost! Through the years I've used small baskets, boxes, canning jars, thrift store plates and even little tins to hold our tasty offerings. Even brown paper packages tied up with string (especially sweet with rubber stampings, glitter, etc.) make a sweet presentation! :) You can package your treats as simple or as elaborate as you wish! After all, they are from YOUR HEART! ~>>><3>
(My Favorite Part!)

This year I decided to make Sugared Pecans for our friends, neighbors and Mr. AGPMan's co-workers. Earlier today I snapped a few pictures of my finished jars for you and I'm also including the very SIMPLE recipe in case you want to try them out for yourself. If you are a NUT-LOVER :) I think you will love them...

(Remember? Shared With You Before!)

I always wrap my jars with clear cello wrap (skip the dollar store stuff...not enough on the roll for the money). I used regular Christmas Ribbon (the kind you might put on a Tree) for the bow and added tiny springs of garland, berries and one of the roses I found on those garage sale baskets this past summer! If my calculations are right the larger finished jar above cost me about $5. The smaller jar (junk store find) cost me about $2.

The best deal I've found this year on Pecans was at SAM'S. They were about $9.88 for 2lbs.

(Easy-Peasy~ I Promise)

Here's the recipe I used:

(Makes 1 pound)

1 Pound Pecan Halves
1 Egg White
1 tsp. Cold Water
1 Cup Fine Sugar
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Salt

Preheat Oven to 250 degrees. Beat Egg White with water until fluffy (soft peaks). Fold Egg White into Pecans until well coated.

Mix together Cinnamon, Sugar and Salt. Fold coated Pecans into Sugar Mix. Bake on un-greased cookie sheet for 1 hour. Cool. Serve. EAT. :)

I told you it was simple!

Blessings to you as you give gifts from your kitchen, birthed from your heart...Rebecca

Thursday, December 10, 2009

~THE STOCKINGS WERE HUNG...Just a Peek at Our Treasures~

When I was a little girl I had the most wonderful Christmas Stocking. Everyone in my family had Stockings that were similar, all made of white felt and fashioned using sequins, glitter, baubles and beads. Just recently I asked my Momma if I could have mine... After a long pause she said "I'll have to find it for you!"

Honestly I don't think she's ready to give those family treasures away to her children yet. And so, they remain in her safe keeping.

Because I love creams and whites I couldn't resist making our Christmas Stockings using those basic, neutral colors. With the addition of several vintage fabrics in soft shades of pale taupe the Stockings just seemed to come to life for me. More and more I'm loving muted tones that go with everything... Those colors are soothing to me, warm and inviting. They invite peace into my day and I've grown to love them so very much.

The Stocking above was made using the remnants of an old handmade sack I bought earlier this summer at an estate sale. The bag had once been part of an Edwardian Skirt and I just loved it. The fabric was very old, but it had substantial damage along the top edge making it perfect for a makeover. I had plans all along to make it into a romantic Stocking for my Mantle. It's been accented with vintage Venise Lace, Old Rayon Ribbon, Old Buttons and Faille Ribbon...

The next Stocking (above) was made using the corner of an old tablecloth. The center of the cloth had a huge hole in it but the four corners still looked perfect. I couldn't resist using it the hand-embroidered heart for yet another cream and white Stocking. This one also has vintage shell buttons, vintage ruffle with old lace, faille ribbon and a gorgeous vintage creamy white millinery rose. Hanging for the tippy toe is a vintage brass locket...

Here's a close-up of the lovely handwork. Simply beautiful. Hand embroidery like this is becoming a lost art. My Momma does the BEST embroidery work I've ever seen... Every single one of her stitches are PERFECT.

This next Stocking was made using strips of different fabrics and a mix of vintage and older laces. My favorite part of this one is the lace panel used on the front. Once a pillow, the pretty figural piece was damaged at the top. I didn't mind at all cutting their heads off and using what I could... :) This one has also been complemented with a vintage millinery rose.

My very favorite part of the Stocking is the vintage SHELL STAR BUTTON on the front! This one also has a vintage brass jingle bell at the toe. Did you know that the new bells you buy on the market sound tinney compaired to those of days gone by? They do. Old bells REALLY JINGLE!

Here's a close-up of the Shell Star...

And one of the vintage millinery roses salvaged from an old hat!

After living in our home for about twelve years my Mr. AGPMan built this Mantle (Fireplace Surround). I'd wanted a vintage one, but the one I found that even remotely fit into the space was sooooo expensive that my guy just smiled while shaking his head "NO"! He promised me he'd build me one instead. Custom made is always best. The surround fits like a glove and I love it. He finished it right before the photo shoot by Romantic Homes Magazine several years ago.

Now..just so you don't mistakenly THINK the men in my life go for lace, ruffles, baubles and bells, take a look at these...

The larger cross stitched stocking I made for my guy and trust me when I say it's all about HIM! It is filled with tools and saws and anything and everything found in a workshop. The smaller one I made for my son. It showcases all things that BOYS love... He didn't even want a ruffle on his...:). I'm hoping to finish one up for our son-in-love before too long...

And there you have it...a tiny glimpse into more of the pretties found inside my La Chaumière de Briarwood...

Blessings to you as you contiue to enjoy the Season of Christmas Love...Rebecca

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

~LOVE IS...and Other Things That Matter~

Going Christmas Shopping With Her~

Do you see the look of pure contentment on the face of this sweet little lady? Now, look closely at the expression her man has standing next to her with his arms piled high with presents...

She is happy and he is miserable!

Time for truth-telling...

This little fella has the exact look on HIS FACE that my Mr. AGPMan does when I drag him out to the stores for a day of intense "present buying". For all the wonderful things about my man I can tell you straight up he'd rather visit the dentist than brave the crowded malls and specialty shoppes at Christmas. While I quickly focus in on finding the perfect gift he does little more than wander aimlessly down aisle after aisle.

It's such a sad sight. Poor guy...

The Greatest Christmas Gift of All~

Blessings to you as you remember the best gifts are never found under the tree...Rebecca

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

~HE'S STILL HER LITTLE CHILD...Thinking of Mary, too!~

Still Her Little Child

When she laid him in a manger
He was still her little child
In a city filled with strangers
He was still her little child
Though the inn was full
And the night was cold
She held Him close and smiled
When she laid Him in a manger
He was still her little child


When the angels called Him Savior
He was still her little child
When the wise men gave Him treasures
He was still her little child
When the shepherds bowed before Him
A star shone all the while
When the angels called Him Savior
He was still her little child


When He grew in strength and wisdom
He was still her little child
When He spoke the people listened
He was still her little child
When He healed the lame and dying
They would follow Him for miles
And when he grew
In strength and wisdom
He was still her little child


When the people turned against Him
He was still her little child
When they shouted crucify Him
He was still her little child
And when they nailed Him
To a wooden cross
Then we were reconciled
When she held His broken body
He was still her little child


He was still her little child…

~ Ray Boltz and Steve Millikan~

Can you even imagine being the MOTHER of the King of Kings?

Blessings to you as you seek Him...


Monday, December 7, 2009

~ARE YOU WANTING TO KNOW? Winner Of My Merry Christmas Cross Stitch Pillow Is...~


I've loved being able to offer up sweet pretties for my Blog Followers this year! As a result I've met many amazing women that otherwise I'd have never had the pleasure of getting to know.

Thank you so much for following along and for your COMMENTS! Thank you to those who posted my Give-a-Way and a big thank you to the ones who linked back to me as well. Every FOLLOWER, Every COMMENTER, Every LINK and and EVERY Button Post was included in the drawing! Boy...I had a lot of names in the mix!!!! It took me a LONG TIME to get everyone logged into my computer...but I did it (with the help of my Mr. AGPMan!). :)



Congratulations to Becky (Gotta LOVE that name!)! Please email me with your full name and address so I can get your pretty Pillow off to you this week.

Thank you to all of you who left comments, follow along, linked, posted and BRAGGED in my behalf! It all means more than I can say!

More Give-a-Ways coming next year! A sweet one for January! Stay tuned!

Blessings to you as you celebrate the joys of the Season...Rebecca


Dear Peeps...

Presently I am MEANDERING my way through what FEELS LIKE a BE-JILLION entries for the drawing for the MERRY CHRISTMAS CROSS STITCH PILLOW! It's going to take me a little bit but I promise to announce the winner later today or early this evening. Thanks to ALL of you who entered my December Giveaway. It's been a JOY for me to read your comments and feel your excitement!!! I'm excited TOO!

Sorry to make you wait! Some of you have the four entries and I want to make sure I get everyone entered so it's all fair!

In the meantime...

Like many of you I've been busy with the day-t0-day activities, wrapping up Christmas gifts and the planning of our Holiday gathering. Yesterday found us in our former church doing the special music for the Church's 90th Anniversary celebration. It was a GREAT DAY~ God is Good!

It's going to be a GREAT WEEK! I promise to get around to all my favorite Blog Sites soon~

I encourage you as you make your way through the menagerie of the sparkle and the shopping for just the right Christmas treasure to remember one very simple thing. It's not your "PRESENTS" but your "PRESENCE" in the lives of those you love that matters the most...

Thinking of your this very day...WINNER POSTED SOON...Rebecca

Thursday, December 3, 2009

~ALL IS CALM and ALL IS BRIGHT...Thank You Mr. AGPMan~

~My La Chaumière de Briarwood~
Christmas 2009

In 1992 my Mr. AGPMan and I bought the house you see above. I remember very well the day we qualified for the loan to purchase her. We had rented for years and years, seemingly caught in an endless struggle of paying off old school debt while crawling out from beneath the rubble of early (and very poor!) financial choices. Back then I was a Stay-At-Home Momma and finding a beautiful house at a price we could afford (and on only one income!) was a challenge. When we discovered the home we have now lived in for 17 plus years she needed a lot of work. For in spite of the fact she had great "bones", she had suffered from years of neglect. Not a baseboard or light fixture was in tact. She even seemed a bit sorrowful and sad to me in the beginning.

She needed love.

A lot of love.

And we were willing to give it to her.


Within the framework of this pretty two story house my Mr. AGPMan and I raised both our children into adulthood. He works tirelessly each and every year to not only create a home we can be proud of, but also one that continues to stand firm on a foundation of trust, faith, hope and love.

(the Plug-In Kind!)

Do you remember many years ago when lighted wire Angels (and everything else!) became popular? Well...I wanted an Angel so very, very much~but, the one I loved the most was out of our price range. For several years we passed on purchasing one, opting instead to buy our son and his little sister the things their little heart's desired...


About fifteen years ago I pulled into my driveway and this gorgeous Celestial creation was standing in my yard. Knowing how I adored the ones I had seen in the stores, my guy hand-fashioned this one for me by using a tiny glass ornament as a pattern. She continues to stand proud in the same corner of our yard today...

Where's there's a will there's a way.

I love to brag on the most talented man I know.


Remember my post from earlier this summer about the demise of my favorite bench? Here again is the one I replaced her with. She's all decked out with ribbons and bows...

Is it any wonder why I love the home God has blessed us with? In every sense of the word she's been an answer to prayer.

Blessings to you as you continue to build your home on a firm foundation...Rebecca

Blog Archive