Sunday, December 30, 2012

Year In Review

So, I've been reading all these great blog posts reviewing 2012, and with a word of encouragement from Cheryl I decided to do it!

Here we go!

January - Let's Talk Herbs 

This was the most popular post with a post on My Creative Kids,
coming in second.

Herb's are a subject I'd like to discuss more in the coming year.

February - Homemade Laundry Soap 

This post was very popular.  This is still what we do for laundry and are also now making dishwashing detergent for the dishwasher, and making our own toothpaste.

March - Vee's Notecard Party!

This post got 30 comments - not much for some of  you but a lot for me!  This continues to be a big post for me every month, and I have met some sweet new friends through these posts!

The second most popular in March, I only mention because it was about my new glasses!   I can't believe it was way back in March that I got my glasses!

April -  Vee's Notecard Party gets the vote. 

I also spent time missing part of my family as they were in Senegal, but my favorite things in April were our Titanic event at church, and my tulips.

May - Tending To My Home was a favorite.

June - Vee's Notecard Party where I showed off my Hydrangea!  So gorgeous and looking at them now makes me look forward to Summer!

July - My orchid photos for Vee's Notecard Party got the most comments. My Pondering post was a highlight as well.

August - Pumpkin BreadRest and Fellowship, and the August Notecard party, were popular!

September - Evening GlowI Lead A Rich Life, Taking Time To Nurture Relationships were your favorite posts.

October - Saw me sharing Hospitality tips for Cheryl's Blog Party, we Chatted, and I got to meet Cheryl and her lovely family on my birthday (October3rd) in Am I Supposed To Be Having This Much Fun?

November - Our Cyber Monday Giveaway was huge success! I have not yet heard from the winner of the scarf.  If I don't hear from her by tomorrow at noon (December 31st) I will pick a new winner!

December - We shared Tea, you sweetly comforted us, and enjoyed our Christmas decor!

It has been quite a year!  I am thankful for you my friends, old and new.  

May you all have a wonderful New Year!  
 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Encouragement

  
Sometimes my life is challenging.

I am on the go from morning until night, late night. 

I am a mom of 6, still actively mothering 3, and encouraging and guiding the others who are now adults.  I also have a wee granddaughter who lives with us, and a daughter in law to be.

In older days, my kids went to bed and I had a few hours to pursue my own interests; reading, sewing, knitting.  I struggled when I had to give them up for someone else's needs - after all I deserved my time, right?  I had earned it...after all I home educate my kids - I am pouring into them all the time!

God showed me over time that my rights needed to be set aside and that I needed to have a heart to serve others.

We also own Fab Fashion a women's handbag and accessories store. This keeps me very busy!

Sometimes I feel exhausted and like I don't have anything left to give to anyone!  I wonder if all my work is worth it.  The Lord recently encouraged me with these words at Sally Clarkson's blog -


It is not the grand, noble accomplishments that are the most profoundly valuable to God. It is the unnoticed, the invisible practicing of being faithful, courageous when no one else is looking, that become the jewels of our faith in the eyes of God.

Those words were just what I needed to get my focus back. 

My work in my family - my intentional discipleship, while wearying at times, is valuable to God!  My serving others through hospitality is a Joy, as I allow the Lord to use me to bless others  

That makes my burden easy to bear, as I see that He is helping me to carry that which He has given to me to do. 

 For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints. Hebrews 6:10

 What encouragement this was to me!  I thought maybe it would be encouraging to you too!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Randomness

I've been neglecting my blog, I am sorry!

I did a bit of shopping yesterday and then I rearranged my desk.  I put these two photos together - one is my husband around age 6-7 and one of Kyle at age 6.  Two cuties!


Here is a blast from 1987!  Just before we became engaged.  Next week we will celebrate 25 years of marriage!


It was cloudy yesterday and I loved the way these little votive candle holders looked.  Rachel gave them to me for Christmas!  The white holder, I purchased yesterday with a gift card from HomeGoods!  I love that store!  Anyway all these books and character cards stood on my desk, propped up and I thought this would be a great way to organize my space.

I am on a quest for containers to contain our stuff.  We don't have too much, but somethings just don't have an 'official' home.  So that is a goal for this next year.

The girls, Tim and I have all been so busy since Christmas with work, but after tomorrow we will all have some downtime.  Tomorrow shows are the last of the year for Sight and Sound and then the girls have two months off!  For the month of January and February we are only having our physical store open on Market Days; Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.  Of course our online store is always open!  

Lindsay will be turning 21 on New Years Day.  Our friend Amy made great invitations to the New Years Ball we are having to celebrate her birthday.  I think I will be relaxing on New Years Day!

I have to say I am so blessed by my children.  They are all growing and learning.  They all love their dad and I.  There is sweet friendship with my adult daughters...I have a post in the works about this.

Tim and I maybe going away for a few days next week.  I am looking forward to it.  I love spending time with him and we don't get enough "us" time!

What have you been up too?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Highlights




I woke up at about 8:30 am to find my Mom, Kyle, Sarah, Rachel, and Lindsay all awake and waiting.  I threw together breakfast - the breakfast enchiladas that Manuela shared the link for the other day.  You can find the recipe link on her blog A Cultivated Nest.  We liked it very much and I will be making them again!


 



  Kyle and Sarah took turns reading Luke 2 for us.  We always want to remember why we celebrate Christmas.



Once everyone was awake and assembled, we began to open gifts.  We take turns and everyone pays attention to what is being given.  It keeps everyone focused and appreciative!

 This little lady is enamored with Strawberry Shortcake which she just calls "cake."  She got quite a few things from her parents that made her call out "Cake! Cake!"

 Sarah made this throw quilt for Kyle, with a wee bit of help.  He used it last night when he went to bed.

 Kamryn and I both got pretty tea things....

 Our nieces came over in the afternoon.  Wild games of spoon were played, more gifts exchanged and great food eaten.

 We played Grandma and Grandpa's wii - Tim, myself, our friend Denny and Emma bowled and we bowled with Kyle.  Then the kids did some other games and Kyle and Sarah played Mario Kart.

 Here we are relaxing and watching the kids on the wii...Rachel was checking out something online...

My Momma showing off her pretty necklace that Rachel made...

It was a beautiful day together!  We even ended up with a white Christmas! Amazing!

I am thankful for Jesus and am happy to celebrate His coming.  The tree while still beautiful, is dry and will be making its way to the burn pile soon, but the Reason for the season remains.

I hope your day was equally special.  I can't wait to visit your blogs to see!
 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Beautiful, Christmas Adam.

It started years ago, when our children were small, Tim named the day before Christmas Eve, Christmas Adam.

We celebrated a beautiful one today.

Church, a special dinner together as a church family, a lovely late afternoon service.  There was beautiful singing, a lovely reading, great instrumental performances. We have so many talented people in our church, especially among the young people.

A highlight was the young children singing " Go Tell It On The Mountain."



video
I know it is cruel to end it there, but that is where I stopped filming...sorry!

Came home to coffee and snacks, with our precious Texas friends and her wonderful Mom and Dad! God Bless Texas!

 Now today we are celebrating Tim's birthday and tonight will be stockings and The Nativity Story. My parents are bringing the wii and Joseph is bringing a projector for it. The kids have plans to play it until the 'wee' hours of the morning.

What special plans to you have for Christmas Eve? 
                                                                                           

Friday, December 21, 2012

It's The Little Things

For a month or so, the left shift key has been gone.

It was a real pain to type with it missing.

Tim asked Em's friend Joseph the other night about replacing the key, and he mentioned that it would be inexpensive to replace the whole keyboard.  Tim got online and after a bit of research, he ordered it.

This laptop gets a workout everyday.  From blogging to email to the kids' math programs, it's a work horse!

The new keyboard came today!  It took 3 days I think.

 So out with the old...


 in with the new...


     Hello left shift key...

It's the little things in life that make me happy!

The Stockings Were Hung

We don't have a fire place so they are not hung by the chimney with care...

At our old house we had a staircase so we hung them from the banister - it was very cute.

At this house, no banister, no chimney...what's a girl to do.  Mind you, we have lived her for 10 years now, so we have had to make due with some different spaces.  I have hung them from the china hutch, I've hung them on the back of the front door.  But this year is brilliant!

 I've hung them on the chippy white ladder that leans against my wall in between the front door and the closet!  It is so cute and works perfectly as we can see them all day, and yet they are in an out of the way space!

I got the younger kids Pottery Barn stockings a few years ago, and this year I found a perfect one for our tutu lovin' grandgirlie!  They are the cutest stockings.  I'm tempted to get us all Pottery Barn Kids stockings - I love them!

Mine is the plain looking white one.  It actually has white Battenburg lace on it.  Tim, Emily, Lindsay and Emily all have stockings I made them, and they others are for my parents, Kayleigh and Uncle Denny.

If you come over and spend Christmas Eve with us, we'll make sure you get a stocking, too!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Brown Paper Packages Tied Up With String...


These are a few of my favorite things!

Okay, well, I don't use brown paper, I use white.  And I don't use string either.  But I do use ribbon...sometimes.

Really mostly I use white paper and markers or like last evening, I used oil pastel crayons!

It's a simple way for me to wrap.

Also Tim works for a huge printing company and we 'butt' rolls of great paper for free.  The kind I wrap with his heavy and coated.  Perfect.
   
  
Sarah did a bit of wrapping last night, too.
 

 Lindsay did some wrapping too.
I guess it must be nearly Christmas - the gifts are beginning to show up under the tree.  Stockings are being added to, also.

We open stockings on Christmas Eve.

How do you wrap your gifts?  Are you a designer style wrapper?  A gift bag wrapper?  Do tell!