Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Day 8...

25 Days

"I am the Immaculate Conception." 

Today is the feast of the Immaculate Conception...
My family and I attended the vigil mass last night at our church. One of my favorite Holy Days as Marian Hymns are sung and they are among my favorites. The Immaculate Conception is the dogma of the Catholic Church that was proclaimed by Pope Pius IX  (1854) that the Virgin Mary, Mother of God, was immaculately conceived at her conception in her mother's womb (St. Anne) free from all mark of Original Sin by virtue of the unseen merits of her son, Jesus Christ as the savior of the human race. For she is Theotokos, God-bearer.

It was just few years later...
in February 1858 that a young very poor, peasant girl in a small town now known as Lourdes, France nestled in the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains, that Bernadette Soubirous maintained that she had a vision of a lady. For 6 months the girl had this urge to visit the grotto, sometimes daily, and the lady would appear unto her. One day she asked the lady who she was and the lady responded:
"Que soy era Immaculada Counceptiou"
(Original Patois that young Bernadette spoke)

(Here is a photo Bernadette, who was later canonized a Saint)

Bernadette at 19 years

Bernadette and her family suffered their whole life and she is quoted saying:
"The Grotto was my heaven."
Here is the picture of the grotto as it appeared in 1858.

The Grotto of Massabielle in 1858

The apparitions were investigated and approved by the Catholic Church...
and at Lourdes a cathedral was built. Today Pilgrims flock to the site, to pay homage to our Lord and his mother at the Grotto. Holy waters, sprung from the rock and still flowing today, is dispensed to the pilgrims. Many miracles of healing - both spiritual and bodily - are acclaimed to have happened at Lourdes. 

You can see the cathedral, watch Lourdes TV and see photos of the grotto and Santuaire Notre-Dame de Lourdes by clicking on their official website:  HERE

is a personal journey. It cannot be taught and many people both in the past and present scoff at it. I am one of those people that have never doubted. I was born and raised in the faith and I've always believed, no I've always known to the marrow of my bones - I've known. I've never strayed and I've always held firm to the rock. That doesn't mean I'm not a sinner.
(wait a minute while I quit laughing)...
I'm as sinful as they come, probably more sinful than most, but the fact remains that God planted a seed in my heart long before I was aware.  That seed was nourished by my parents, by my grandparents and it grew. I know without a doubt that I'm to let my little light shine for all the world to see and that is what God intended. It is through testimony of one's faith that the Glory of God grows. Whether one believes it or not, is no matter to me. All I am to do is show that I live the life I do because of my faith. I don't care what denomination one may or may not prescribe to, cling to it. Share it, in a non-judgemental, loving way. Show it through your actions, through your deeds, through your light.

Today I don't have a gadget to share....
But I thought I'd share some of my Christmas decorating with you. These are pictures of our office. 
I spend quite a bit of time in the office during December writing these posts to share with you, so I thought I'd show you what my environment is while I sit and dream up these posts...

I always have something hanging in all 19 of our windows through our home...at Christmas it is Candy Canes.

Office Door

Here's my $20 couch that I bought at a garage sale and the little elves peeking at me over the top of the red granny square afghan that my friend Ann made for me last Christmas. 


I love my rusty jingle bells between the Merry Elves :)

Jingle Bells

My favorite antique in my whole house (and that's saying something) is my 125 (estimated) year old pie safe. Given to me by my neighbor when she moved because she told me that I was always there for her and helped her when she needed it. When it came into my possession it was a hideous country blue. I stripped it down and found it was Indiana Poplar wood, had square nail heads and was really in fine shape considering it had been in my neighbor's family barn that had fallen down, so had been exposed to the weather. Nobody wanted it so she took it and painted it trying to spruce it up. She says it was her great-great grandmother's pie safe and far as we could figure it was likely 100-125 years old. I've had it in my possession for 8 years. I adore it.

Office View

I "loosely" collect Jim Shore statuary. This is a large statue about 40 inches tall of St. Nicholas whom you learned all about a few days ago. He stays out all year long.

Jim Shore St. Nick Statue

Here is my Colonial Embroiderer also by Jim Shore in my corner curio cabinet another favored piece gifted to me by my mother-in-law.


The white ceramic tree was my mother's and I believe that my Grandmother Epperson's sister, Aunt Mary John, made the tree sometime in the 70's. I love it, and I love it on my pie safe top :)

Top of Pie Safe

Here's my pencil tree in my Grandpa Epperson's milk jug from his dairy farm. 
Hopefully.. if I get my act together...I'll have a new series of ornaments to share with you and hang daily on this tree toward the end of the 25 days...
My large Paul Revere lantern that I purchased at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania quite a few years ago also resides by my pie safe.

Milk Jug and Paul Revere Lantern

I love this room...
and I hope you enjoyed it too :)

Ok, that does it folks for Day 8....
does this seem to be flying? because it sure feels that way to me.

Until tomorrow...
I'll be keeping my hands to work..
my heart to God..
while treating my neighbor with kindness and respect, 
and trying to be the best me I can be.
It's hard, isn't it?
I may stumble and I may fall, but I pick myself up and I remember:
To thine own self be true...
I want to BE the change I want to SEE.
Join me!

Merry Christmas,
Vonna xxxx


  1. Your pie safe is a real treasure what a beauty! I too have a couple Jim Shore pieces he does beautiful work...enjoy this day, many blessings....

  2. Vonna, thank you for taking us on this journey with you during December. Your office looks warm and very inviting. Love your pencil tree and look forward to seeing what ornaments you create for it. The pie safe is simply gorgeous.

  3. I so enjoy reading your blog and seeing how lovely you decorate your home at Christmas. Thank you for taking the time to do this for us.

  4. I so enjoy your days of Christmas.....

  5. Love your environment in the office Vonna. The piesafe is a treasure indeed as is the milk can!

  6. Vonna dear ~ Your Immaculate Conception explanation very clear and inspiring... you just radiate your Faith and "by your fruits you shall be known" Bless you for this Advent interlude. Love
    your office and the treasures there.....

  7. You some nice treasures and stories to share. I admire your faith and the way that you don't push it on others that may not believe. I sometimes wish I had that type of commitment. I wasn't raised that way but I know its out there for me to investigate. I have the same ceramic tree, but mine is green with snow on the tips. My SIL made it for me in the early 80's. I won't get rid of it. I also keep my parents ornaments in a basket now. They aren't fancy, but they used glue and glitter to write their names on colored balls. I will pass them down.

  8. Thank you for showing us the Christmas decorations around your house. Does you family help with the decorations? My husband's grandmother gave him a similar ceramic tree back when he was single. Instead of being all white, it is painted green with white tips.

  9. Love the story of Our Lady and Bernadette. Love the pictures. Your Faith inspires my day. Thank you. Love your decorations and pie safe.

  10. another great affirmation of faith during the "Christ"mas season. loved seeing the website for the cathedral - I didn't realize this grand church was built on that site. Loved seeing your decorations and the pie safe is wonderful. So many treasure fill your happy home. what a light you shine Ms Vonna - have a great day and thanks for all the work you put into the 25 days. Mel

  11. Dear Vonna,

    I've been catching up on your blog posts and, as usual, enjoying them immensely.
    Sometimes I'm awed, sometimes I'm bemused, sometimes I'm edified, sometimes
    I'm humbled and often I laugh. And when I leave here I feel like I've spent a wee bit of time with you in your lovely home yakking over hot cups of tea (or coffee) and pondering with amazement the ability that we have to spend time with someone we'd never met nor could ever expect to before the advent of computers and blogs and feel so lucky!

    Your stitching and finishing are so wonderful. I'm a big, huge fan! Your Prairie Schooler christmas tree is amazing! I want to spend a few hours walking around and around it examining each and every piece.

    Love your antiques and your Jim Shore collection. I have a couple of his pieces and adore them.

    Glad to hear that your boys had great 16th birthday celebrations. Enjoyed reading their story and what you and your DH went through. Loved how you
    diagnosed yourself as pregnant with twins! You're amazing! (Oh, yes you are!!
    Don't argue with me lady. I know these things!!!)

    Looking forward to the rest of the month's posts.

    Hugs and love!


  12. Your office is cosy room,I love candy cane decorations.
    I remember you receiving your pie safe,it is splendid and your white ceramic tree is so pretty on top of it.

  13. Today your post is my quiet in the craziness of house repairs, Christnas still in a frazzle...as in tree not decorated, etc.... Thank you for sharing your personal space!

  14. Beautiful post today.
    I enjoy seeing pictures of your home, and it is just that......a warm inviting home.
    Thanks for sharing with us.

  15. Thank you for sharing your home, family, faith, and stitching with us during this month. I have enjoyed reading your posts every day.

  16. What a delightful room for an office. Always enjoy reading your posting. Thanks for the wonderful story.

  17. So enjoyed looking at the photos of your decorated office. What a lovely, relaxing space.

  18. I always enjoying seeing photos of your home and your decorated office is no exception. I love the pie safe...such wonderful history.

  19. What a wonderful testimony to your faith. I enjoyed reading it. I think you office is delightful.

  20. I'm so behind on blog reading, but I've caught up now. Loved this post. And all your posts!

  21. I love your 25 days of Christmas and yes your posts do make you feel like you have spent time visiting you like someone else mentioned above. Thank you for taking the time to continue with your tradition during this busy season and I will be looking forward to tomorrow's post.

  22. Beautiful words Vonna xx

  23. Anonymous10:31 PM

    Love your decorations. That pie safe is just beautiful! I know if found a good home at your house.

  24. You are an inspiration to me the way you are so comfortable sharing your faith. I need to be more like you in that respect. Your home is so warm and inviting.

  25. Thank you for sharing all of the wonderful information on the feast if the Immaculate Conception. I was raised Catholic and even attended Catholic grade school and have never heard of this holy day.

    Oh wow, you office has wonderful treasures. LOVE the pie safe the way it is. Thank you for sharing your lovely home.

  26. It's always such fun to take a peak inside eachother's houses to enjoy their Christmas decor (although, thankfully, no one can peak in my today as it looks like a hurricane went through :). Really love that pie safe, Vonna--what a treasure!

  27. Your office looks a lovely place to be. Thank you for sharing the items that adorn the room and the stories behind them.

  28. Your office looks like an oasis of calm - though I imagine you working hard in there to bring us these lovely posts!
    You truly let your little light shine Vonna.

  29. Oh, I loved to have a look throughout your office, it is always so nice to have a sneak peek into fellow stitchers' homes and see where they stitch or work. I love the red afghan that is lying on your couch, such a lovely piece. Needless to say that my favourite colour is red :))

  30. Boy, what a great office space... and of course it is finely decorated with lovely furnishings that are special. Love that Paul Revere lantern! The Jim Shore pieces are lovely! I would enjoy spending time there! Hugs!


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