Our 25th silver wedding anniversary & home purchase party

Ray & me at our party
Ray & me at our party

Ray and I recently had our 25th “silver” wedding anniversary and bought our home. I wanted to celebrate with our children, grandchildren, and a few friends who prayed for us to buy the house.  God answered my prayer and our 3 beautiful daughters were there. Our grandchildren being there were the cherry on top, and I believe it is what God wanted, displaying His glory of what He has done for us. 

Table set for party
Table set for party

I was so happy to have our three beautiful daughters and four precious grandchildren (with one on the way) at the party. This made my whole day and filled me with joy.

“For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” – Isaiah 55:12, ESV

Our family, from front to back, L to R: our grandson Jacob, granddaughters Annabelle & Violet, our daughter Leah, Our daughter Heather, granddaughter Piper, me, Ray, daughter Eden, Ray's parents Charles & Sue Jones
Our family, from front to back, L to R: our grandson Jacob, granddaughters Annabelle & Violet, our daughter Leah, Our daughter Heather, granddaughter Piper, me, Ray, daughter Eden, Ray’s parents Charles & Sue Jones

 

Since the party was on Mother’s Day, I gave our daughters a hand-written, floral note card and little yellow roses inside a teacup that reads, “Live, laugh, love” to tell them how much I love them and thank them for the honor of being their mom. I’ll post more about Mother’s Day and the gifts they gave me in a separate post.

Me giving our daughters their yellow roses & card
Me giving our daughters their yellow roses & cards
Pretty yellow roses I gave our daughters
Pretty yellow roses I gave our daughters

Ray’s dad and his stepmom Sue Jones drove in from N. Little Rock, Arkansas for the party and to visit us. We enjoyed their stay.  I’m not so sure his dad enjoyed it as much, as he was busy fixing things around our house, like installing an electrical plug by Ray’s work bench in the basement (he’s a licensed electrician) and helping Ray reattach the evaporator to the furnace, which had fallen off last week suddenly (this was quite a job!). Sue blessed me so much with encouraging words to minister to my heart. 

Ray's stepmom Sue & his dad Charles Jones at party
Ray’s stepmom Sue & his dad Charles Jones at party

I bought wedding bells, silver and aqua decorations at Dollar General for our “silver” 25th wedding anniversary. I thought they were really pretty. I still have the original cake couple topper in white and red that was on our wedding cake, and set that out, too. 

cake topper
cake topper
wedding bells
wedding bells
silver plates
silver plates
silver and aqua napkins
silver and aqua napkins

I also set these out as decorations, too, on the bar at the party:

  • my wedding album and original wedding guest book;
  • the blue roses carried by one of my bridesmaids;
  • my black garter (now faded black and purple);
  • the 7 silver, one-dollar coins a friend gave us as a wedding gift;
  • a gorgeous sunset-colored rose I received at church on Mother’s Day with the other women from the pastor;
  • a white candle and anointing oil from Jerusalem, Israel, that Ray’s friend sent us as a house-warming gift;
  • and the Mother’s Day gift Ray gave me, an “Our Home” picture.

I asked our guests to sign the original wedding guest book, and said that if Jesus tarries, guests can sign it again at our 50th anniversary! (Grace, God!) I also bought bubble wands for our grandkids to play with at the party. 

Wedding album, guest book, rose & Our Home picture
Wedding album, guest book, rose & Our Home picture
The rose I received at church for Mother’s Day
Ray's gift to me on Mother's Day
Ray’s gift to me on Mother’s Day

The “Our Home” picture reads:

“God chose this very house for us, to be our special home. A place that we can fill with love and call our very own. This house will hold our memories, our laughter and our tears, and it will be a place that’s safe to talk about our fears. And so we pray that God will make this house into a home, and we will give our praise to Him, Our Cornerstone.”

Our children bought us beautiful cards and gifts: a card on papyrus paper about the hummingbird, a large flip flop picture, white candle with a shell, and shell picture for my ocean-theme bathroom upstairs. The papyrus paper card was very pretty and unique!

I love the flip flop and shell pictures and candle; they went perfectly with my bathroom colors! The pic reads, “Life is always better in flip flops.” Amen! Although I love high heels (which I wore to this party), I am a sneakers and flip flop, beach kind of gal!

Papyrus paper card
Papyrus paper card
Flip flop pic that our children gave us
Flip flop pic that our children gave us

 

shell picture
shell picture
Shell candle
Shell candle

My in-laws bought us a beautiful silver and purple card with money inside and a lovely glass 25th wedding anniversary picture frame with a picture of Ray and me when we were by the Sea of Galilee on our Israel trip several years ago.

silver purple card
silver purple card
silver anniversary picture frame; Ray & me in Israel
silver anniversary picture frame; Ray & me in Israel

Our friends Dan and Liz bought us a really pretty silver card  with red hearts (I love hearts!), with an Olive Garden gift card inside it. OG – yum! Ray and I will have to go on a date soon! 

silver card
silver card with red hearts

All of these were very thoughtful gifts and I loved them!

Here’s some pics of us with our guests:

Piper feeding her mom Eden at party, haha
Piper feeding her mom Eden at party, haha
Jacob at partry
IOur grandson Jacob at party
Ray with our friend Dan Zacharias
Ray with our friend Dan Zacharias
Our friend Liz Zacharias with Ray's stepmom Sue Jones
Our friend Liz Zacharias with Ray’s stepmom Sue Jones
Dan getting food, me making sure all is ready, Ray
Dan getting food, me making sure all is ready, Ray
Our daughter Eden talking as usual, lol, Ray, our granddaughter Piper handing Ray his pushup handles
Our daughter Eden talking as usual, lol, Ray, our granddaughter Piper handing Ray his pushup handles
Ray holding our granddaughter Piper--precious!
Ray holding our granddaughter Piper–precious!
Us singing happy birthday to our granddaughter Violet & friend Dan
Us singing happy birthday to our granddaughter Violet & friend Dan
Violet opening her birthday gifts
Violet opening her birthday gifts: a pretty summer dress, an anklet & toe rings, and daisy flower hair bands
Violet not knowing what an anklet is, lol
Violet not knowing what an anklet is, lol
Violet in her dress
Violet in her dress
My friend Liz opening a gift from me at the party
My friend Liz opening a gift from me at the party: a decorative box & pretty necklace
Our tall granddaughter Annabelle (standing) and our 3 daughters with Piper
Our tall granddaughter Annabelle (standing) and our 3 daughters with Piper
Our 3 beautiful daughters with their yellow roses in the teacup I gave them
Our 3 beautiful daughters with their yellow roses in the teacup I gave them
Me giving Ray his gift - sterling silver cuff links
Me giving Ray his gift – sterling silver cuff links
Me & Ray opening gifts at the party
Me & Ray opening gifts at the party
Me & Ray - 25 year silver wedding anniversary & home purchase party
Me & Ray – 25 year silver wedding anniversary & home purchase party
Ray & me and our 3 beautiful daughters, Heather, Leah & Eden (and Piper, our granddaughter)
Ray & me and our 3 beautiful daughters, Heather, Leah & Eden (and Piper, our granddaughter)
Our family
Our family: I’m so thankful they all were there! Thank you, Jesus!
The party cake with a silver border & purple flowers. It reads, "25 years & a home. This is God!"
The party cake with a silver border & purple flowers. It reads, “25 years & a home. This is God!”

The cake says it all. It’s been a long, hard journey. But by God’s grace and mercy, Ray and I are still together, married 25 years, and we are now home-owners. This truly was the work and miracles of God!

*******
You can read about our very difficult marriage in my book on our marriage, Stained Glass & Marriage: Reflections of Light & Hope by an Imperfect Wife, at Amazon that is on sale now for just 99 cents, by clicking here:

 

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Happy Fall

Target
Target

 

Heather's office fall decoration
Heather’s office fall decoration

Our daughter Heather loves to shop at Target and recently she bought some fall decorations for her office at work. The above pic is just one of them. Below is another cute one she picked out that says, “Happy Fall.” I love her name on the sign behind it!

office decoration
office decoration

Below is another deco of cute fall leaves. Almost makes me want to work at her place!

Cute fall leaves decos
Heather’s cute fall leaves decos

Fall is one of my fave times of year. Pumpkin spice lattes and everything nice:

  • Tall, genuine leather boots
  • Deliciously scented candles
  • S’mores over a bonfire
  • The leaves changing beautiful colors &  the crunch they make
  • Pretty scarves and stylish fall fashions
  • Soft, warm blankets to cuddle under with a good book
  • Bulky sweaters with big buttons, pockets, and a hood
  • Thanksgiving food with favorite family recipes
  • Cute fall decorations for home and work
  • Fall blog posts

One of the things I love about Target is their dollar bins. Recently I was shopping there, and found this Gratitude Tree below there.

I posted a pic of it on Facebook, and Heather bought it for me. I think it’s a great visual reminder to count your blessings daily and to cultivate a grateful heart. 

Gratitude tree
Gratitude tree

 

tree
tree

 

tree leaves
tree leaves

Target also had these little appetizer plates with the inscription, “Thankful & grateful.” I also loved the ceramic orange pumpkin as a table decoration. Do you ever feel like you could buy everything in the store at Target because it’s just the cutest thing ever, even though you don’t even need it? Yeah, me too!

appetizer plates
appetizer plates

They also had these chic fall wallets. LOVE the teal and purple!

fall wallets
fall wallets

Although I have friends who are chompin’ at the bit to put on their fall boots, sweaters, scarves, and other accessories, I feel an urge this year to put on the brakes. Our kids and grandkids are growing up way too fast, and I want to savor each moment, enjoying the season I’m in now.

Our kids and grandkids
Our kids and grandkids

Recently I found a cute little purse calendar and on one of the pages is the inscription, “Your days are as fun as you make them.” AMEN! 

flower calendar
flower calendar

 

calendar-fun
calendar-fun

What is your favorite thing about fall? Leave your comments below.

“It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men And knowledge to men of understanding.”–Daniel 2:21

autumn leaves quote

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My work space and tools

Ultimate Blog Challenge
www.ultimateblogchallenge.com/

Today is Day 18 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. The suggested topic for blogging is what goes great with your product or service ~ a list of what works with what you do. I thought I’d blog about my work space and tools I use that may help you as a speaker, writer, and/or coach.

Work Space

First, my humble work space. Yes, that is a black card table I’m using as my desk. Eventually I may get a new desk.

But I am THRILLED because I finally have my own room for an office. The 2 black bookshelves I bought from Walmart were the perfect size for my office. They required a little assembly. 

My office desk
My office desk
My new office
My new office

I’m a Hello Kitty fan, and I found some Hello Kitty decorations for my desk. The crystal rose is a precious Mother’s Day gift that I love from our daughter Leah.

Hello Kitty decorations
Hello Kitty decorations

I like fresh flowers on my desk, like these which my friend Liz blessed me with for my birthday.

fresh flowers
fresh flowers

I found 2 black bookshelves for my books and decorated them with little things I love. What are some of your fave decorations for your office?

  • a Curious George given to me by Florence Littauer at UpperClass professional speakers’ training in Connecticut;
  • a “Wish upon a star” ceramic knick-knack container;
  • a yellow “B” paper weight given to me by our daughter Heather;
  • a “Hello Kitty” photo holder, that has pics of my precious friends Shelley Valasek, Kimberly Ehlers, and Kimberly Weber;
  • a pink stone that was a gift from my friend Liz Zacharias;
  • A Maine lighthouse souvenir when I was a flight attendant and flew to Maine for a fun weekend trip;
  • a little unicorn;
  • a gecko lizard knickknack, from the short time I lived in Florida (they were everywhere!);
  • a Florida tiny coffee cup with a green alligator holding onto it;
  • some sand from a beach that my friend Shelley visited, thinking of me (I love the ocean).
bookshelf
bookshelf

Here is a picture of God the Potter and a woman as the clay (Isaiah 64:8), and an ocean picture painted by our daughter Leah

The Potter & The Clay (Isaiah 64:8) and Ocean picture
The Potter & The Clay (Isaiah 64:8) and Ocean picture

My husband Ray bought me this cute chocolate pic. (He knows my heart!)

Chocolate pic
Chocolate pic

I found this baby blue pic and love what it says. Are you using your voice?

bold voice pic
bold voice pic

Tools

This year is flying by and 2015 is around the bend. Today I bought a Vision Publishing 2015 desk calendar for booking speaking engagements and for my daily to-do’s. 

It is pretty and has cheerful yellow daisies on the front cover. I love it because it’s compact enough to carry in my purple sketchy dot Thirty-One Gifts purse/tote that I ordered this week.

It is divided into planning sections:

  • Year
  • Month
  • Week
  • Tasks
  • Projects
  • Info (address book)
  • Shopping

It has task lists and a small section for a menu item on each date page, and includes encouraging scriptures and quotes, such as “God’s faithfulness means that God will always do what He said and fulfill what He has promised.”

Vision Publishers planner/calendar
Vision Publishers planner/calenar

A tool I use frequently for online speaking at my webinars and for coaching clients is a headset with a mic. This frees up my hands for the chat room or to surf the net while talking.

 I’ve tried different brands of headsets, and have found the inexpensive Logitech ones at Walmart work great. Eventually I’d love to buy the Snowball blue mic.

Logitech headset
Logitech headset

I often use Skype to save on long distance charges, along with Free Conference Call for my webinars and virtual trainings, as well as for coaching clients.

I love a small shredder to tame the paper tiger. This one by Auroracorp.com was under $30.

shredder
shredder

This is where I work each day and are some of the tools I use. I like an atmosphere filled with things I love. 

What does your office look like? What are some of your most helpful office tools? Leave your comments below. 

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