Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Just Trying To Keep Up!

By now I'm sure it comes as no surprise to you that I'm totally inspired and energized by Spring. I'm completely fascinated with this Bleeding Heart Plant, and feeling just a little overwhelmed with all the emotions that life seems so fling my way!
Compare this picture to the one above and you will see as the blooms on this plant have matured, that the little red "flap" or whatever you call it(...yes what do you call it?) has lifted up and pulled away from the white petal that hangs down, leaving it to look as though 2 tiny drops of blood are falling from the bloom. I hope if you are interested that you can see what I'm talking about. I'm amazed. Who could deny the miracle inside?

A sweet sweet friend gave me this tea towel and plate of cookies, yesterday. She knew I'd love the colors and the the cookies too of course. To say it was so SWEET of her is an understatement!
And so another month goes...Spring is in full swing. Time tick ~ tocks along. The house project, in spare time, inches its' way to completion. In fact, on Saturday between all his other work that was necessary, and mowing 3 lawns, Mr. Romantic Porch, repositioned 3 porch posts, added 2 new ones, on another section of the house wall took off the 2 layers of the siding we're removing and bagged it. I'm telling you it is a lot of fun to work with him, and my oh my is he ever a fast worker. He did all the "housey" stuff in about an hour and a half...maybe a tad bit longer. My stomach still lurches when I think how high he was getting off the siding...he said he thinks that painting is the hard part!! Well now, I just can't help but love a man like that. Because I'm HAPPY to paint. I'll post more house pictures soon.
Have a fun day. I hope you have a wonderful one planned.
Love, Rachel

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Wait A Minute! Slow Down Please.

You know, I've told you before that I like to take pictures as I drive down the road taking my son to school, and as I go other places. I took this one the other day when I took the picture of the purple house. But yesterday I thought I would go back by and see if I could get a better shot of these fluffy flowering white trees against this red house. But...the trees were more leafed out and green. They didn't look quite the same. I'm so glad I quickly caught this look the other day.
I took this one the other day too...and once again, the same thing, the tulips are fading.

So yesterday, as I flew past this house, (it is the first house in this series of pictures) I snapped what I could of the vivid colors and the mix of flowers on the trees in this yard.

And I also snapped a quick photo of these beautiful pink wonders that line the street. The miraculous beauty of Spring takes my breath away. But it goes so quickly. I want it to slow down, so I can savor the wonder of it all a bit longer.

I've mentioned this before, that we are only promised THIS moment. Am I making the best of each one of them I ask myself? Is every moment counting for something? I'm not talking about being busy and getting things done which are important too, but building friendships and relationships...letting my children and husband know that I love them. Inhale, exhale. Feel that . It's a miracle. That is what we are promised right now, this moment. Spring is a vivid reminder of how quickly time is passing. Tomorrow, everything will all look different. I know! I see it all around. Savor this moment.

Well, back to the real world...enough of the sentimental emotions. I better let my kids know I care with a yummy breakfast.

Gotta scram. The sun's starting to burn the day away.

I hope it is happy for you. Hug and kiss everyone! Well, hug and kiss the ones you want too. Just go ahead and MAKE it be a happy day. I'm gonna work on that too!

Love, Rachel

Monday, April 28, 2008

Hello Monday!

Hands and fingers, knees and toes...(knees and toes?) Yes knees and toes!
Hands and fingers, knees and toes! Where oh where did my weekend go!? I hope you are singing along! Yes that is a tiny bit of sage green paint on the toenail! OOps so soorrry!
Remember this beauty? I showed (click and scroll to the second house down) it to you when it was OH so Cold, and nature was bare, covered with only a soft frosty blanket of white.
I love this beautiful weeping flower tree up near the porch.
To begin the week with news from "A Romantic Porch", I gasp to bring you word that this house shown above and in a previous posting, has been placed on the market! I am not joking. There are real estate signs in the yard. If my informant sources (the man who owned it standing on the sidewalk talking to passers~by) are correct, it has been in the same family since before the Civil War. Now that's just a FEW years, honey, to state it mildly. What else can I say except there it is, beauty and history all wrapped up in one complete package, ready for the taking!

Have a happy day, dear ones!
Love, Rachel

Sunday, April 27, 2008

A Thought From My Heart

Little cherished plant, where are you? Have you survived the harsh cold winter?
Sigh, there you are! I'm so thankful. You practically came up over night.

A miracle from somewhere deep inside your stem...tiny fresh and new!

As you quickly grow, I see that other little creatures are finding shelter among your blooms. The web crosses from one stem to another. Is the little creature drinking dew from those tiny little folds were I see drops of condensation? Yes right there in your "big" heart at the top, in the tiny white fold. Now tell me please, how does condensation get in there?

You inspire me to think...about the Old Testament book of Isaiah, chapter 49, verses 15 and 16 NIV, where it says...

... Can a mother forget her baby...and the child she has borne? Though she MAY forget, I WILL NOT forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands...

Be blessed today!
Love, Rachel

A Bridge and An Elephant!

That's right the lights are on a bridge that spans the OHIO River. If you drive a cross it, you will go from Ohio into Kentucky. You guys are such great "guessers"! Your ideas and comments were so fun to read!

The famished teens pulled into the driveway, laid the seat back in the car and took a little snooze...this was very hard for their younger sister to understand! Not only were they hungry, they were tired too! They said there were about 55 teens who participated. Nothing I had fixed or could offer them would suffice. I guess a big gray elephant just isn't appetizing! They wanted PIZZAAAAA. They were surprised that they couldn't eat as much as they thought they would be able too.

What a fun learning experience for them, I'm sure we will learn more as they talk about it more.

Love, Rachel

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Any Ideas? Famine Update!

So what do you think this might be? While you are trying to decide, I'll give you an update on the famine my sons are participating in!
On Wednesday night the youth group was split between boys and girls. Both teams were supposed to build a cardboard house/village. The team that won...based on specific criteria...were allowed to bring 2 luxury items to church last night. The boys team won, so one of my sons took an extra T shirt and a sleeping bag. I don't know what the other one took.
Six-thirty sharp, last evening, these famished kids converged at the youth center to "support each other" as their stomachs growled in unison, and then they were required to "sleep" in their separate cardboard villages outside last night. Boys village...girls village! I think it would be so fun to be a mosquito buzzing around listening to their conversations. I could land right on their arm or face for that matter for a bird's eye...excuse me, a mosquito's eye view of all that is being done and said...but they'd better not slap at me! The youth pastor and parent leaders were participating you see, we weren't parent leaders in this situation...hence the need for mosquito antics!
The teens all took this very seriously. There were several other youth groups doing this also. It will be interesting to see what life long lessons they learned from it. I know they have.
Well, I better be bbbbbuuuuuuuuuuzzzzzzzzzzzing around and figure out what yummy thing to fix for them to eat when they come charging through the door. Any ideas? Oh and what about that picture up above? It was a fun one to take!
Happy day!
Love, Rachel
P.S. Did I say yesterday that I'd feed them an elephant?

Friday, April 25, 2008

Eating An Elephant!

When I take my son to school, I snap pictures along the way that bring me inspiration and keep me motivated. I don't have a before and after picture of this one. But trust truly IS an inspiration! And for all the purple lovers out there, this is just for you. If you always dreamed of a purple home, here it is. Isn't it beautiful! Donna Lynn left a comment yesterday about eating an elephant bit by bit, and that has inspired the title of this posting.
Bit by bit, little by little, the works goes onward...

...and "upward"? Um...I think I feel my tummy tickle. Can I just stay down here for now?
Okay, good! Once again, night has fallen, the trim paint can is empty and the kiddos are hungry! Well, come to think of it, I am too. Ppppsssssttttt Houston, I think we have a problem here in the upper left hand corner of this picture, I mean on the house. But I'm sure it is nothing that Mr. Romantic Porch can't figure out how to handle. Now if I can just keep from uncovering these kinds of things, I will be good to go! Wow, the wide open surfaces will come into shape so quickly! But we met the goal for today. That's what counts! Right? Right!

On one end of our back porch we have a "window" that leads to nowhere! Well, actually it does lead to the bathroom, but as long as I've known about it, it was covered over with drywall on the other side. I've always wanted to take out the "window" and repair the siding. When we started working on the back porch, I painted over the window with the sage green of the rest of the house. My thought was to make it just recede into the wall, and not be so visible. But when I stood back that is exactly what it looked like. It did recede, but it was obvious why I had done it. I couldn't have that attached to my reputation could I? No sirree...not me! I trimmed it out, hung shutters and a window box, placed a little chair just so so and there you go! I LOVE it now. Why wouldn't I? (If you are wondering why the rafter tails on the porch aren't painted, well...I'm waiting for a rainy day...gotta make hay while the sun is shining. ;))

Just a little blurry, and I want some real flowers, but you get the idea! I'm so excited about this one. I just got to thinking that you might be too, and who knows you may have a window on your house that you could do this to.
Well...dearest family and friends from near and far...thank you for all your encouraging words. I've gotta wrap it up here in blog world for today.
Our teenage sons are participating in a world hunger project with the our church youth group. They collected donations to participate in a 30 hour famine. It begins at 8 this morning and goes til 2 tomorrow afternoon. They aren't supposed to eat during that time. The proceeds that they collect go to feed the hungry.
One son requested "my famous pancakes" for breakfast, before 8. I asked him if he wanted 50 pancakes, or just 45? He laughed! I've gotta scram...but I'll be on the look out for an elephant, because he will probably want his own to eat tomorrow afternoon!
Ta Ta for now!
Love, Rachel

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Beauty All Around

Sweet little flowers...where did you come from? I'm happy to see you! You are welcome here!
And you my blue friends! Oh or is that purple?I see you are all dressed up with your yellow polka dots. I love your colorful softness under my feet.
But as I look up I see the red bud in bloom next door.
And behind is the tulip tree in all its' splendor, dropping a pink carpet of petals like a ruffled skirt under the tree. Ah the beauty! I savor the sights and sounds of Spring, glorious Spring! My miraculous visitor!
Then there are those daily realities. With consistent determination, bit by bit, we can overcome the challenges we face.End of day, sun has set, and the first cheery coat of paint smiles back at me.
I walk around the end of the house where I see the warm glow of the light and feel the welcoming embrace of the back porch...reaching out for me to sit a spell and rest my weary soul, or is that body? ...isn't that romantic? For those of you who have asked, yes, this sign does say Cotton Candy. It is a very special sign. I will tell you about it sometime.

Our back porch, a place of peace, a place of repose, where family and friends can gather to share memories and dreams! Ah, isn't that ROMANTIC?
Some have asked if the porch floor is painted? Yes it is. I think we took pictures of the process that I can show you later. It is SUPER easy and fast...if you let go of just a few perfectionist tendencies...(um Rachel, I'm speaking to you!).
And so that's it for today. I hope YOUR day is a happy one. For those who've called thank you for the encouragement that has kept me going. Family members, friends and new blogging friends, who have left such supportive and uplifting comments I appreciate them so much. As far as courage and creativity and all that is concerned, yesterday I was thinking...anyone can do a project like this. I call it desperation and determination and taking little snippets of spare time and keep coming back and back and back. Little by little, bit by bit, we can accomplish things much bigger that who we are! Thank you for your prayers! Yes, I mean it!
gotta scoot!
Love, Rachel

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

She Twisted My Arm

Well, she took this porch picture just for me, and the colors are OUR colors! She emailed it over for me to my heart pumping and racing with its' beauty, and THEN told me how much she enjoyed seeing the progress on our house and she thought I should put up more "house progress pictures" so our family all around the country/world who don't live close by (which is literally EVERYONE we are related to except sweet Martha and David) could see it. This is a huge step for if you aren't family, and don't care about the progress on our old house, you will want to scroll to the very last picture in this post, and feast your eyes on the beauty to be seen there! But if you are interested, I've added two more pictures. See she twisted my arm! That is how it happened isn't it Karla?
Ouch! Just look at this experiment of colors! We were trying to find the color we wanted before taking off the first layer of siding. This is the "new modern 1950's" siding and the tar paper wrap underneath! When you get those 2 layers off you have white clap board siding (see it right there on the upper right hand corner underneath a strip of blue window trim) that needs to be scraped and then painted sage green. This little messy color nook is at the back of the house where the neighbors can it every time they walk through their backyard. I think they keep their head down with their eyes shielded with the palm of their hand! I showed you this one yesterday. It is a view of the same messy color nook in the photo above. When the neighbor saw it she kept smiling and saying how beautiful it was...over and over! I think she's happy! So am I!
eeeeuuuuwwww! We knew the "new modern 1950's siding" was hiding a problem here. Um, Keith, see what I mean. I think I will just keep painting for now and let Mr. Romantic Porch come up with a good solution for this one! he's the best (smile)

Now for your LOVELY feast to the eyes for the day, Toots from Glimpses of our World, who's porch is featured on the sidebar, has so graciously consented to show you some more photos of her beautiful home. Isn't that sweet? So if you click here, you will go right to them. The photo above is just a sample of what you will see there! Enjoy!

Well ya'll that's about it for now. As you can see, around here there is never a dull moment. I want to tell you to drop and enjoy some lemonade with me on the back porch, but I realize that may be an understatement. Instead I might hand you a paintbrush or a hammer and say, "have at it"! So drop by anytime...but beware!

Love, Rachel

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Hurry Hurry! Updated

So much to little time to do it!

I like to look for a miracle every day.

Maybe today, getting it all done will be the miracle!

Just in from a tiny do you like the two tone carriage house? Soon it will ALL be pale sage green! Can't wait about that!

It looks beige here, but it's really sage green. I can't wait to plant pink flowers. Even Mr. Romantic Porch wants pink! We're good to go then! See my old bicycle in the background? I've got a plan in my head for that too.

Oh my, then there is this! Just one small section at a time please! This takes courage. I found out several years ago, when Mr. Romantic Porch set up the scaffold for me to strip about 12 (yes 12) layers of wallpaper from the front stairway, I'm not afraid of heights, I'm just afraid of falling! With that in mind, up on the "housetop" I go...well at least one level of several. Off with the old "modern" siding of the 1950's and back to the original of 1904. Why? Well...that's just what we want! We'd held out hope for several years to have the siding restored by a professional restorationist (I think that is a word!), but as you know, life happens while you're making plans, so in spare we go! Hip hip hooray...I'm on my way!

Have a wonderful day and keep me in your prayers!

Love, Rachel

Monday, April 21, 2008

Just A Few Thoughts

Isn't this purse absolutely adorable? It was a treasure of a find...brand new, or maybe I should say apparently never used...snatched it up for $2.00 at the thrift store. I love it! Isn't it pretty sitting here with the flowers? Of course, I've already shown you these flowers. Little romantic porch princess and I, Mrs. Romantic Porch, (or does that make me a Queen ?;0) really enjoy this purse! I've never told you how I love, loVE, LOVE vintage purses and shoes, shoes, shoes, shoes of any kind! Have I? Well I will sometime.
I've been tagged again by LeAnn at Pink Icing on the Cake to give my life's motto in 6 words. I'm thinking. Really I am. I'll let you know as soon as I have another one figured out. But you know I have mentioned one quote in various ways several times on this blog. "Don't cry because it's over. Laugh because it happened." That is a quote I read somewhere, but couldn't remember who to attribute it to. When I read it, it seemed like a good thought to put into "practice". Well guess what? It is a quote from "the great philosopher", Dr. Suess (1904-1991)! Don't you just love his wisdom on so many levels? Quite by accident, I found out from another person, that Dr. Suess has a list of top 10 quotes. This quote is #4.
Another one of Dr. Suess' quotes that I believe has a lot of truth is #10. "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not!"

You know, life is hard. It seems everywhere you turn people are struggling with issues that bind them, drag them down, make living a fight to the finish line. I know this personally. I see this on the faces of people and read it on blogs. My heart breaks when I see sadness, sorrow and pain. It makes me even sadder (I'm using that word Dr. Suess) when I see a person allow life's challenges bring bitterness and cynicism to their spirit. I've heard people say that when you read blogs, it seems like everyone has the perfect house, the perfect husband and perfect children! I have to laugh because I understand what they are saying! I'm so conscious of the balance between real life and what is perceived by others. There are times when life ain't fun, life ain't fair, and life ain't easy. Excuse me for using ain't and horribly incorrect grammar here. Growing up, we were never allowed to use that was considered, um...shall I say "bad manners". And I don't let my children use it, though it has made it to the dictionary along with new meanings for blackberry, RAM and gigabyte, etc. However God has promised us, he would be with us to the very end. I constantly challenge myself to live above the circumstances that may be affecting me at any present time. That is truly challenging to me. I don't want unfortunate circumstances, heartbreak, discouragement, situations that I don't like, to define who I am as a person.

When people see me, I don't want them to see those things. I want them to see a person who lives out this quote from Dr. Suess. "Unless someone like you/me cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."

I know I can't change everything to make life better for those I care about. But I can do one small thing at a time to bring cheer and happiness...better scoot!...gonna go hug and kiss my romantic porch family. And I've gotta get started on that list of personal challenges again!

Happy Day Sweet Friends,
Love, Rachel

P.S. I had a favorite romantic porch friend drop by Saturday, but fortunately she brought a cup of coffee, the lemonade wasn't ready! Now how could I have slipped up on that? Well...see what I mean...another challenge! It was so fun talking though, I didn't want her to leave. Please stop by anytime!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Promise

Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom and these things will be given to you as well.
New Testament words of Jesus from Luke chapter 12 verses 27-31. NIV
Have a restful peaceful day.
Love, Rachel


Yes, that's what these flowers are...violets! Violets are blue!

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Sugar is so sweet
And my dear blogging friends, so are YOU!
Now actually I think violets look kinda purpley, but that is beside the point isn't it? They have such cute little faces. Just like all of you. Thank you so much for taking time to read my blog and leave all your wonderful comments!
Love, Rachel

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Oh I Know

Oh I know what this is! Can you tell me too? Look deep into its' intricate form. Roses are red, but _________ are blue. blue? really!
I'll be back for the big reveal!
Have a wonderful day everyone!
Love, Rachel

Friday, April 18, 2008

There's No Denying It!

These tiny flowers, with faces no bigger than a match head, amaze me. They grow in the front yard. I've got to get a better picture. I don't know what they are, I just know I love them. No question...Spring has "sprung"! There is no denying it!
I'm beside myself! If I was any happier about it, I'd have to be twins!
Spring is my favorite time of year! It is such an awesome expression of hope and renewal to me. It is a time to wake up and peel off the wraps of winter, and make new plans, forge ahead on old ones, and enjoy the fresh air...the smell of meat sizzling on the neighbor's grill in the cool evening breeze and hear the laughter of children released from the bondage of home and hearth.
The smallest bloom, no matter how tiny holds a place of admiration in my heart. They are miraculous expressions of creation. Look deep into the center of the petals and marvel at the intricate form.
In spare time, this is the back porch renewal. Drop by for a visit and a tall frosty glass of lemonade. I'd love to have a chat with you, and hear what's on your mind. The children are running laps around the backyard. I hear the bop bop swoosh of the basketball and joyful teenage yelps as another ball is perfectly placed in the basket.

Enjoy today. This moment. That's all we are promised. Look for a miracle everyday. They are all around us. I've shown you several right here! Neat huh?

What is your favorite time of the year?

Have a wonderful day.

Love, Rachel

P.S. Yes, we survived the earthquake. I didn't feel it. I was in the car on the interstate. Probably my speed and movement obscured the motion. What an unsettling experience for Mr. Romantic Porch though. The Romantic Porch teenagers slept on! I was's all a miracle!