Chair or Pew Wedding Décor: Sunflowers!

Mother of the Bride, still trying to decide on pew or chair décor for summer or fall weddings? Sometimes décor ideas don’t come together until the last weeks or couple of months before the wedding, so if that’s your case, here’s an idea for you.

Sunflowers make a perfect choice as pew or chair décor for summer or fall weddings, especially if your daughter also wants to incorporate some in her bouquet or in the bridesmaids’ bouquets. Attaching one big sunflower to the chairs or pews along with some greenery as shown in the photo above will add cheer and beauty at the same time. Sunflowers just have a way of brightening up any space, don’t they?

You can also add another accent color with a daisy or two in the pew décor if you’d like. Several color choices could work. You could go with one of your daughter’s other wedding colors or simply go with white to tie in to her gown or the other white bridal décor that is sure to be a part of your sweet girl’s overall decorating plans.

Why not find out, MOB, if sunflowers will get a yes from the bride-to-be? After all, a touch of sunflower sunshine might just be the final piece to her wedding-day decorating puzzle!

*You might also like to read Wedding Décor Tip: Adorn the Church with Pew Bows and Wedding Décor Beauty: Candlelight Works.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride check out my Books/My Work page.

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, will come out in early August. Sign-up is FREE. *Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*Flickr photo by charamelodyCreative Commons License

Thanksgiving in Simpler Times

As I watched my kids’ eyes glaze over from too many video games one Thanksgiving years ago, I recalled my childhood Thanksgivings and realized how lucky I was. We celebrated the holiday at my grandparents’ farm in the days before video games, satellite dishes, streaming devices, computers, and iPhones. As a result, I now have priceless memories of Thanksgiving in simpler times.

Our celebration bordered on a full-blown family reunion for my dad’s side of the family. Grandma especially treasured Thanksgiving because it was her holiday. She always had the dinner at her house, and everyone knew it. It was tradition.

The excitement of Thanksgiving Day started on the drive over to Grandpa and Grandma’s. When we turned off the highway onto the country road, I knew we were almost there. The familiar words “Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house we go” had special meaning to me because they echoed my own experience.

Each year as we reached the farmhouse lane, I wondered which cousins would be there to play with that day. We would have adventures for sure because there were always adventures to be had on the farm. With a little imagination, the lane became a dangerous road filled with wild creatures, rushing rivers, or deep gullies to cross. And cousins made it all the more exiting.

Sometimes we arrived early so my dad could go hunting with the men. He kept his bird dog Cindy on the farm, and she always went wild with excitement when she saw us. The men must have had great times on those hunts together because each time they came back talking, laughing, and poking each other with their elbows like they knew something the rest of us didn’t.

Meanwhile, we all feasted on the heavenly aromas that drifted out of Grandma’s kitchen. The smell of roast turkey, noodles cooking on the stove, and homemade rolls baking in the oven tantalized our taste buds.

When dinner was finally ready, Grandma called us to the kitchen where we gathered for the Thanksgiving blessing. Grandpa called on one of the men to pray, and what a prayer it would be. Our family had a deep Christian heritage and much to be thankful for, especially our Savior Jesus. On other days when Grandpa didn’t pass the privilege on to someone else, I loved to hear him pray. His heart was so full he almost always shed a tear or two when he gave thanks to his Lord.

Not only did our family know how to pray, we knew how to eat! Confident that all of our favorite foods would be there, we filled our plates from the vast array of delectable dishes covering the kitchen counter and stove.

Everything was made from scratch. Packaged noodles, rolls, and ready-made pie crusts were unheard of in our family. Just about every kind of pie known to man tempted us that day—and they were divine. Pumpkin pie was a certainty along with the mincemeat pie Grandma made especially for my dad, but we also got to choose from apple, cherry, lemon meringue, chocolate, coconut cream, and sometimes blackberry or peach. What a difficult decision! The adults usually tried slivers of several different kinds, but I had to have a whole piece. I didn’t like skinny pieces, and neither did the other kids.

The adults ate dinner in the dining room while we kids sat in the kitchen, but that was fine with us. We didn’t want to stick around for the boring conversation after dinner anyway. And we definitely wanted to be busy by clean-up time. We really didn’t have to worry about that, though, because the women seemed to fight for the chance to wash and dry the dishes. I didn’t understand that until I got older.

Since my grandparents didn’t have a television at that time, football didn’t dominate the afternoon. The grown-ups did lots of talking, and the kids did lots of playing and acting silly in general.

If the weather was bad, we played in the basement, which was home to a scary looking coal-eating furnace, Grandma’s washer, a bed, and shelves filled with jars of food from Grandma’s summer canning. We also had room for roughhousing and riding the little John Deere tractor Grandpa kept for us. The basement reverberated with our noise, and before long one of our parents would materialize out of nowhere and try to quiet us. Since that only seemed to work for a few minutes, everyone always hoped for good weather.

When the weather was good, we knew we could count on Grandpa to go outdoors with us. Tramping around the farm with him and listening to all his tall tales was pure heaven. Sometimes we played hide and seek in the barn or got real daring and walked the rafters. I was scared to death to do the things my country cousins dared me to do. I grew up in town and felt as if I was risking my life most of the time.

Grandpa also let us feed the chickens, help milk the cows, and chase the wild kittens that lived in abundance around the barn. He loved us and always made our visits fun.

Thanksgiving was a great day in the life of our family. I’ll be forever grateful, not only for my loved ones, but also for treasured memories of Thanksgiving in simpler times. And now? As I share these memories with my kids and grandkids, their simple country heritage will live on. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Lord!

“I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.” Psalm 9:1 NIV

*What aspects of your Thanksgiving celebrations are you especially thankful for?

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, came out early this month. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is free and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.) Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

Photo by Ali Gooya on Unsplash

Fall Bridal Bouquet Idea

Mother of the Bride, does your daughter need a fall bridal bouquet idea pronto? Time is definitely running out to select flowers for a fall wedding, but maybe this idea will appeal to your bride-to-be daughter as soon as she sees it.

Why not add a few orange lilies and gold chrysanthemums, zinnias, or marigolds to some gorgeous orange, red, and yellow roses? These colors will coordinate with so many different fall colors your daughter may have chosen for her wedding, and the effect will be stunning.

The bridesmaids’ bouquets could be a smaller version of the bride’s bouquet—maybe featuring a few of the roses but minus a couple of the other flowers in her bouquet. Those could be reserved for the bride—a special touch to make her bouquet especially beautiful, allowing it to stand out from the others.

So suggest away, MOB—and enjoy a fabulous and colorful fall wedding!

*You might also like to read Sculpted Pumpkins and Jack-o-Lanterns for Fall Wedding Décor, Summer or Fall Wedding Favor Idea: Jars of Honey, and Fall Wedding Idea: Caramel Apple Favors!

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, will come out in early November. Sign-up is FREE and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.) *Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*Flickr photo by FestivitiesMNCreative Commons License

Fall Wedding Idea: Caramel Apple Favors!

Mother of the Bride, are you and your daughter still looking for a favor idea for her upcoming fall wedding? If so, you came to the right place today—and just in time, too, since there’s no time to spare at this point, right?

Caramel apples can provide the perfect fun and yummy treat for your guests to take home—or eat right there at the party if they’re so inclined. As long as they’re wrapped in cellophane (as pictured above), they’ll stay mess-free until your happy apple-eaters decide to dig in.

Lots of fun options are possible with caramel apples.  Add a little pizzazz by rolling the apples in variety of toppings after they are dipped. Sprinkles, nuts, candy-pieces, coconut—whatever strikes the fancy of your bride-to-be and her sweetheart. They’ll be easier to wrap, too, if they’re dipped in something other than just caramel. I’ve even seen plain apples sitting atop a container of caramel and then wrapped together in cellophane. Tie the bags off with pretty color-appropriate ribbon and you’re set!

Nothing says a fall party like caramel apples, MOB, so why not suggest it to your daughter? Have fun at your fall wedding!

*You might also like to read Summer or Fall Wedding Favor Idea: Jars of Honey, Edible Favors—Yes, Please!, Sculpted Pumpkins and Jack-o-Lanterns for Fall Wedding Decor, and Fall Wedding Bouquet Idea.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, will come out in early November. Sign-up is FREE and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.) *Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*Flickr photo by moralesmegan25Creative Commons License

The Glorious Sounds of Fall

I don’t know what fall sounds like in your corner of the world, but fall means music in the air to me. And I mean that literally.

Since we live just a few blocks from our local high school, the marching band has jazzed up my fall mornings for years with its lively, high-stepping melodies. They’re carried to me loud and clear by the autumn breezes.

The staccato beat of drumsticks readies the band for action. The syncopated rhythmic boom, boom, boom of the bass drum provides the cadence the whole band needs as they march in unison. The blare of the horns energizes the very air around me, and their crisp cut-offs add the perfect punctuation to a fall morning’s melody.

Even though this year is slightly different because of COVID, in years past the band has busily prepared to perform at football games and march in area parades. As they’ve done that, I’ve gotten to enjoy a sound that transports me back in time not only to my high school and college days but also to childhood memories of going to homecoming parades with my parents and grandparents. Larger-than-life days, for sure. The band helps me taste them again.

What does fall sound like to you? Maybe a fire crackling in the fireplace or a flock of geese honking high overhead as they fly south for the winter? It might be leaves skittering across the driveway or crunching underfoot, or it might even be the sound of someone splitting wood nearby. Whatever it is, I’m sure it’s music in the air to you.

Let’s thank God today not only for the beauty of the autumn season, but also for giving us ears to hear the glorious sounds of fall. Truly music in the air!

“‘But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear.’” Matthew 13:16 NIV

*What are your favorite sounds of fall?

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early November. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive a $15 gift card to Starbucks and a signed copy of my book to use personally, give as a gift, or donate to a library. Sign-up is free and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.) p.s. If you sign up after Oct. 30th, you will be included in all future Life Notes giveaways but not in this current giveaway.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride check out my Books/My Work page.

*Flickr photo by Chandler AbrahamCreative Commons License