Monday, November 29, 2010

Happy Monday!

We put up our tree this weekend.  Friday, to be exact.  My husband calls it a Charlie Brown Christmas tree, but I happen to love it.  I bought it on sale at Lowe's a couple of years ago, and it's filled with all the handmade ornaments from our kids and the special ones they get to choose each year.  It's a humble tree and perfect for our family.  :)
So when I went to snap a picture of it (sorry for the blurry photos but there is no natural light in this room), and I remembered that I totally changed this room and never showed photos.  It used to look like this.
I moved all the other furniture into my family room and bought the new black couch on sale.  It's very modern and sleek, and I was surprised that this was the one I chose!  But it's sleek, it's got clean lines, and it's leather.  I love it.
Next to it is a vintage quilt holder.  I don't know what it's original use was, but I bought it at an antique store just to store some of my quilts on.
Here you can see part of my globe collection.  I love books and would have a lot more if I had the room, but for now I limit myself to what fits on this shelf.
I love this wall.  Family photos and art...nothing gets better than that :)
If you stand at the other end of the room, this is the view:
My kitchenette and pool patio.
I'm linking up today to Heather's Life Made Lovely Monday.
Thanks for taking the time to look :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I'm Blessed to be Stressed

Gobble, Gobble!

 I'm Blessed to be Stressed
I've decided that is my new mantra for the holiday season.
If I start feeling stressed, I am going to think about all the good reasons why.
For example, I was feeling stressed yesterday about grocery shopping/cooking (along with every single other  woman in the country:), and I reminded myself how lucky I was to be able to buy the food, that I was blessed to have a family to celebrate with etc...

I'm signing off to enjoy the rest of the week.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! 
Lots of love and blessings to you and your families!  :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

And the winner is...

If this is your blog, please send me your mailing address and I will get the book in the mail to you ASAP!
Thanks to those who left a comment :)
Have a great Monday!

Friday, November 19, 2010

TA DA! Do you want one?

I received my bundle of books yesterday.  Pure Eye Candy I tell ya!!
I've put a few signed copies into my etsy shop...

But I am giving ONE copy away.
Do you want to win one?  Leave a comment and I will pick a winner on Monday morning.
Have a great weekend!

I'll leave you with some images of the delicious projects...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Mother's Love for Her First-Born

I have given birth to four children in the last ten years.  I love all of them in very different ways.  I love them all with a fierce protection.  If I think about it too long and too hard, I would collapse from the intensity of the emotions that I feel for them.  As my first born is entering his "tween" phase, I feel as if I am beginning this parenting thing all over again.

 (Logan at age 4, welcoming his little brother into the world)

In so many ways, your first born is the guinea pig.  They get all of it...your time, your attention, your worry, your doting.  Logan has scrapbooks made for him all the way up until his 5th birthday...the others are lucky if they got a photo album of any kind. 
I was so immature when I had him, and in many ways I grew up with him.  My parenting style was anything but consistent when he was little.  He has learned with me as I have learned.  I've made many mistakes (haven't we all?), but he is turning out to be a pretty good kid.  ;)

(This summer, Logan age 10)
How is it that the little boy who could not leave my side is trying to decide which middle school to attend?  The little boy who was obsessed with Thomas the Train is now obsessed with baseball and gasp!, entertaining the thought of dating?   In so many ways, he is still a little boy, and yet, I see tiny glimpses of the man he is about to become.  I feel like I am treading on thin ice some days.  Do I push him harder?  Do I let him fall and learn on his own?  Someone recently told me it was time to start letting him go a little, and I thought Now?  No, now is the time for guidance.  Now is the time to be his cheerleader.  Now is the time to let him know that he has to work hard for his character, work hard for integrity, work hard for the grades, work hard if he wants to be grand.

I've learned with him (and not all of my kids work this way) to set the standards high.  If the standards are low, that is what he will deliver.  If the standards are high, than he will try.  And in the end, that is what I really want from him.  Not perfection, but that he tried his hardest.

(Christmas, 6 years ago)
There will be plenty of time for letting go later.

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

I am thankful that I have this child in my life...and pray for daily guidance in the ways to rear him.

I hope you are all having a blessed week,

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Just Because...

After a day of "No", "Not right now", "Maybe later", "It's just not a good time", and "Honey, PLEASE, I can't right now", I felt the need to leave some positive notes around.

Here's to a day with a little more "Yes"  :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Operation Christmas

Operation Christmas is honestly one of my favorite all time activities during the year. 
Please go here and watch this video: .  I promise you will not watch it and not want to help.
Operation Christmas Child is a program where you collect, package and send out filled shoe boxes for less fortunate boys and girls across the world.

We started by getting on-line and showing the kids the Samaritans Purse Website. I think seeing some children helped them visualize what we were doing. We talked about how some children don't have any toys, very little food, almost no hygiene products. We also talked about how some children don't even have mothers or fathers, and that we would be spending time making them a present to open on Christmas morning.
You can see how we did this last year here.  Last year my older boys were really into it.  This year, Ava really got it.  This child has been blessed with a heart for service.  Four boxes were not enough for her.  She wants all the children in the world to wake up to at least one Christmas present.

This is a family activity that always puts my heart into the right place before the holidays arrive.  It is so tempting to over-do...but making Operation Christmas boxes makes all of us feel that giving is so much more fun than receiving :)

I'm linking up to Heather's Life-Made-Lovely Monday.  There is nothing lovelier than helping others...:)
Have a great Monday!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A little Corner

We got back from our trip late Thursday night and now everyone (except me and Logan)  is sick.  :(  It's a viral croup, so even though it's not serious, everyone is feeling very yucky.
My house is covered with impromptu sick beds...little places here and there where one has settled with a pillow and blanket, a few toys they can play with before falling back into a deep nap.
This is the first Saturday morning in months that we are not committed to soccer or baseball games all day, and I have to say, it feels so nice to be able to just lounge around today.
I came across this little corner of our home yesterday.  The dog was drinking in the warmth of the sun through the glass door and the whole scene warmed my heart.
I have a little thing for photobooth strips.
I intend to spend the whole weekend basking in the comfort of my home and the little things that I love.
Have a wonderful weekend, friends!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Christmas Present #1

I made my first Christmas gift (for my 2 year old) this weekend.  Before you start thinking I'm totally OCD, let me clarify that I have a HUGE work deadline on December 19th, as well as about 15 custom orders to make for Christmas.  So I am a little early on Christmas stuff this year, but for good reason!  :)
Anyhoo, I saw the idea to make these here.  My hardware store didn't carry MDF, so I used 1/4" plywood.  Bad idea.  If you make them, please search for the MDF.  My wood split and I ended up spending a whole day sanding them down.
Also, I used blue painters tape to get the perfect lines down the middle.
I had them out in the garage drying today after I sealed them this morning.  I forgot about them, and when I went out to get them, my 4 and 6 year old were happily playing with them.  Oops!  I put them away and explained to them that they were for Little Bit.  At least now I know for sure that they will be enjoyed!
My cuts aren't perfect, but I'm okay with that.  If time permits, I will make another batch of them.  If three of them will be playing with them at the same time, they will need more than the 40 I made.
I received an early Christmas gift here today.  I highly recommend checking this site out. 
I'll be traveling for a few days, but I'll be back soon.  Have a wonderful week friends!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Lovely Day, Indeed

God made the forests, the tiny stars, and the wild winds--and I think that he made them partly as a balance for that kind of civilization that would choke the spirit of joy out of our hearts. He made the great open places for the people who want to be alone with him and talk to him, away from the crowds that kill all reverence. And I think that he is glad at times to have us forget our cares and responsibilities that we may be nearer him--as Jesus was when he crept away into the wilderness to pray.

An impromptu trip with my brother and his family to Deleon Springs made for a lovely day, indeed.
It was chilly, but so much fun.  There is so much to be said to be out of the city and suburbs, and near some wide open spaces.
It's good for the soul...


I'm linking up to Heather's Life Made Lovely Monday :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Does anyone else have Christmas on the Brain?

I needed an excuse to play with my beautiful Martha Stewart glitters, so I made some cards yesterday.
 I love his big, shiny nose!
I also spent some time with the kids yesterday trying to get a cute shot for Christmas cards.  I'd love your honest opinion...Which one do you think is cuter?
Number One?
 or Number Two?
I know they are very casual for a Christmas card shot, but that's the way we roll...:)

Have you started thinking, planning, creating, or buying for Christmas yet?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A New Quilt and a Finished Quilt

I've been cutting this stack of vintage pillowcases and sheets into 5" squares for a while now, waiting for the right pattern to appear.  When I saw this free pattern over here, I knew it would be perfect!
 Here they are all laid out.
 I know, I need to press them!  :)
 I'm thinking of backing it with flannel for a nice, cozy quilt.
 Oh, and I never showed you the quilting for this one.
 I went with a free motion loopy to quilt it.
 I backed it with a nice soft blue sheet, and binded with a bright turquoise. 
Finishing a quilt makes me very happy.
Then I feel okay starting another new one :)