Christmas Celebrations

Dec 21, 2010

Hard to believe, but it is Christmas week.  My oldest daughter, D is home from college, and at this moment still asleep at 11:43 am while I am writing this post.  It is so nice to know that some things never change!  I've spent the morning at the grade school watching Christmas dances for the entire school and supervising the kindergarten and first grade while they watch a Christmas movie.  Fifth grade daughter, K will give a piano recital tonight of all her newly learned Christmas songs.  Tomorrow we head to Husband's side of the family for Christmas celebrations and to celebrate our 14th Anniversary!

We'll head back home on Christmas Eve and celebrate with our own little family, plus my Mom for Christmas Day.  Then another extended family Christmas on Sunday.

New Year's weekend will find us in Madison, Wisconsin celebrating yet again with Husband's extended family in a huge rental home for all of our nine families!  We are very much looking forward to this fun weekend.

Today marks the last day of school for my two littlest and my Husband teacher.  The next two weeks promise to be a lot of fun and very busy.  You may not see me here much, as I plan to spend lots of time with family and catching up on some much desired reading and quiet.

I pray your family has a safe and joyful Merry Christmas!


Gabriel Speaks: Mary's Only Question

Dec 16, 2010

"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered.
Luke 1:38

Experiencing Christmas at a heart level sometimes needs to be found by finding a different perspective.  Finding something new in a story we have heard hundreds of times can sometimes be difficulty, as our eyes and hearts skim over the familiar text.  It is when we read and ponder and study that we find something new and exciting waiting there for us. 

Mary was but a teenager when she was visited by the angel Gabriel with the news that she had been chosen to be the mother of the Son of God.  Her only question:  "How can this be since I am a virgin?".  Her only question.

Can you pause with me for a moment?  If God were to send an angel to you right now with a mission for you to accomplish, would you have only one question?  Would you answer as Mary did saying, "I am the Lord's servant.  May it be to me as you have said."?

Not me!  I'd have a million questions and want to know every detail.  I am humbled and awed by Mary's complete calm and obedience.  How did this mature and faithful response come out of such a young woman?

She knew the scriptures and she knew her God.  In Luke 1:46-55, Mary's Magnificat is recorded, her praise and prayer to God.  Found within these 10 verses are 12 Old Testament scripture quotes and references.  Her obedience was second nature because she was rooted in scripture and she trusted the Most High God.

As we Unwrap Jesus this Christmas season, may we find the same courage and obedience that graced a young woman named Mary.  I pray we will dig deep into scripture to find and know our Savior Jesus.  And when He asks something of us, may our response be:

"Yes, I am the Lord's servant."



Trust in His Holy Name

Dec 15, 2010

"We wait in hope for the Lord; 
he is our help and our shield. 
In him our hearts rejoice, 
for we trust in his holy name. 
May your unfailing love rest upon us, 
O Lord, 
even as we put our hope in you."
Psalm 33:20-22


What's In The Bible DVD Set Review

Dec 14, 2010

Our family has always been a fan of Veggie Tales, so we were excited to see that the original creator, Phil Vischer, has created a new video series called What's In The Bible.  I recently purchased the first of the series for two of my great nephews, who are only about 2.  I thought I should probably preview the movies before giving them as gifts, so our family sat down to watch.  I was expecting fun, of course, but what I didn't expect was how JAM PACKED this DVD is with theology!

Solid, biblical information is passed through these adorable, funny characters, and before you know it, your kids are singing songs about all that they just learned about the bible.  My husband and I even learned a few things!

The first DVD has two programs.  The first is all about the Bible and where it came from and why we can trust it as truth.  Very informative.  The second is about the book of Genesis.  Then each subsequent DVD will have two more books.  The photo above shows the first four that can be purchased as a collection, and it is now on sale for Christmas.

My girls are 10 and 9, so I asked them after we watched the video (3 times), what ages they felt the video targeted.  Their reply, "I don't know, but we sure liked it!"  Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised.  They don't know it, but they are receiving the collection above from their Grandma for Christmas!  I know they will be thrilled!

I promise you will  not be disappointed in these DVDs.  They are an extroardinary resource for learning the bible, perfect for starting terrific family discussions.

*I was not paid for this endorsement, nor did I receive any free product.  It is just that good!


Mom Becomes Nurse

Dec 13, 2010

Nothing stops a Momma in her tracks faster than a sick kiddo!  Everything else in the world comes to a halt.  Time stands still as we tend to the every need of our precious little one.
We sit on the couch for hours watching cartoons that make no sense.

Backs rubs are given upon command.

The kitchen is open for 24 hours a day for their every need or whim.

Ice cream is an acceptable meal.

The TV remote becomes the sole possession of the sick child.

The living room floor becomes a soothing nest of futon mattress, pillows and blankets.

Whether for a few short hours or days on end, Moms give every minute to caring for sick kids, sometimes even sick husbands.

To all the Mothers out there who becomes Nurses in the blink of an eye, my kudos to your endearing work!


Dreaming of a White Christmas

Dec 9, 2010

I'm not really dreaming of snow, but have been dreaming of a white and silver Christmas in my living room!  I've had a lot of fun putting together this beautiful display all week, spray paint and all!  Ready for the final result?

I just love it.  Thanks for hanging out with me this week as I put together my own White Christmas!


Thrift Store Christmas!

Dec 8, 2010

You know I have a weakness fondness for thrift store shopping.  I was very happy with my finds the other day, all for less than $6.00!

I've shown you some hints of my silver and white tablescape, and all of these items have shown up there.  The two black candle sticks I have spray painted white.  This was hard for me to do because many of my accents in my living room year round are black, so I wasn't sure I could do it!

Those ADORABLE little parfait cups I placed clear and silver party shreds into and then placed a pinecone on top.  I had dabbed some white paint on the tips of the pinecones and then glittered them.

My family kept asking me what photo I was going to put in the frame, but that was never my intention at all!  I created a document in Photoshop with different names of  Jesus for the frame.

I hope you'll stop in tomorrow to see the finished tablescape!  I am so THRILLED with how it turned out!!


Christmas Crafts on the Cheap!

Dec 7, 2010

The crafting bug has bit me again, so this time I decided to challenge myself to make a few things as cheaply as possible!  So I took off for the thrift store to see what might strike me, and then went on to the Dollar Store.  I'd love to share with you this week a few things I created, el cheapo!

I wanted to make something that could be a centerpiece, a candle holder or a vase.  I somehow came up with something that could be all me that was not planned, it just happened.

Anyway, I started with a pretty glass vase I bought at the dollar store.  Then I also picked up some silver tissue paper.  I covered the glass with Mod Podge and then added the tissue paper.  I didn't care if it wrinkled, that just added to the charm.  Where I had big buckles of paper near the top, I simply coated over with more Mod Podge.

Then in my stash of Christmas decor I remembered I had this beautiful toole with silver snowflakes.   I  cut out a big enough square to be able to gather it all at the top of the vase.

I purchased several yards of the beautiful silver cord.  I tied that around the top to hold it in place while I tied another cord around the top of the vase and knotted it.  Then I could untie the top knot.

Now I took my hot glue gun and began slowly gluing around the top while pulling the toole up to the top of the vase, being careful to preserve all those pretty pleats.  I want the toole to stand up near the top, not flop over like it is in this photo.

Then I cut about an inch above the top rim of the vase all the way around. 

And this is my finished vase!  I am so very happy with it.  I placed a candle down inside and the glow is just beautiful!  I used a candle that is already in a glass jar so that it can be easily replaced or even removed to use the vase, a vase!  You could easily do this project in any colors to match your home decor as well.

Remember my bronze Christmas tree I spray painted last week?  Well I wasn't very happy with it, so I sprayed it again.....this time white....and I am SO much happier!

So you can tell I have this white and silver theme going on here!!  I can't wait to show you more tomorrow and then on Thursday I will show you what my entire tablescape looks like.  Trust me, it is worth the wait!!


Total Randomness-Christmas, Snow, Crafts, Mess

Dec 6, 2010

I don't think I have ever done a post about complete randomness, but that is about what life feels like right now, so here we go!

First for all my southern friends, you know who you are in Texas, Alabama, Florida, and Georgia - SNOW just for you!

(ok, so maybe I am the only one who doesn't like it)

And does every one else's house look like this when you are trying to get all the Christmas decor out?

Maybe 6-7 crates of decor is overdoing it?  I think we may need to downsize!

I've been crafting the last few days and I can't wait to show you some things this week.  But here is a sneak peak .... yes, the kitchen table matches the disaster in the living room!

Before the flu got me down last week, I had some plans to make a few things from thrift store and dollar store finds.  It's been sitting there waiting for me!  Notice the essentials to every crafter- the TV remote, a can of Mountain Dew,, wait a minute, I have no idea how that purple sock got on the table......

More to come tomorrow and hopefully I'll have all this crafty goodness put together and ready to show you!

How's that for randomness!!?!


An Artificial Tree + Spray Paint = Failure!

Dec 2, 2010

It seems everyone is showing off their beautiful holiday decor ideas.  I thought I had a good one.....guess not!  See that beautiful little evergreen?  I thought it would be fun to spray paint it a color closer to my living room colors, as you can see represented in my curtains.

I should have left it alone.  Epic Fail!  The copper color made it blend right into the paint on the walls, which is the pumpkin color!  I had it over on my bookcase (see yesterday's post), but it just disappeared into the wall!

It was such a great find at the thrift shop....but I ruined it!  Care to share any of your decorating or spray paint failures?  I'd sure feel better!


The God Given Winter is Here

Dec 1, 2010

"You made both summer and winter."  
Psalm 74:17

Winter has officially arrived, complete with snow and 24 degree days.  not my favorite season 

Comfort was found in the words of Charles Spurgeon:

"How we prize the fire just now!  How pleasant its cheerful glow is! Let's in the same manner prize our Lord, who is the constant source of warmth and comfort in every time of trouble.  Let's approach Him, and in Him find joy and peace in believing.  Let's wrap ourselves in the warm garments of His promises."

We don't have a fireplace, but I still like to create a place that brings warmth and that cozy glow into our home during the cold winter months.

For those living in climates that bring freezing temperatures and wind driven snow,  each time you wrap up in a warm cozy blanket this winter may you be reminded of God's warmth and protection.


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