Thursday, December 31, 2015

Crocheted Camera Strap

A little crochet project for me. Our Christmas was full of storms and rain. We had some movies and quiet time during the day, and so I picked up my hook and some yarn and got busy on this cute project. 
My current camera strap irritates my neck, so I thought if I could make myself a strap that was a bit softer, it would be perfect.  I  decided to crochet a strap around the current strap. I crocheted a little 'tube' and slipped the current strap through. I think it was about 10 single crochet stitches around and slip stitched together to form a circle. I did that over and over until it was long enough to enclose the old strap.

After I got the new strap long enough, I began to decrease each side until it was very snug on each end.

Then I crocheted a popcorn flower and attached it and added a button.
I think it turned out just like I wanted. 
What a fun project!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Choosing Joy

For a while now a change has been coming over me. I've mentioned many times here that I know time is a vapor and I want to savor every moment with my family that I possibly can...
During Christmas I became increasingly aware of this. So much has changed in the past year. Struggles, loss, hurt... but also, redemption, love, joy. Life is full of it, all of it.
There are seasons we go through, no doubt.

Sometimes those seasons overwhelm us, but once they are gone we ache for those times. I sit and remember the time when my children were small and I felt that I was always trying to play catchup and never really hitting the mark. It was a hard time with 4 young ones. 

Ask me if I would do it all over again.

My answer... You better believe it.

Why? Because I know things now,  I know things that I wish I knew then. But mainly because as I can look back on them now, with all four of my children in double digit ages, and I can see the preciousness of that time. The times of little feet and little hands. The times of rocking to sleep. The times of crawling up in Moma's lap and wanting only me. So beautiful. 

The season I am in now is wonderful. I have four very independent young people. Still needing guidance and assurance, but very much coming into who they are as a person. It too, is a beautiful time. A joyful time. With each season of life, we can find the joy.

Thus the change.

The time to find Joy is now. I don't know what season of life you are in, but Christ has given you the ability of abundant JOY! He has!! You just have to CHOOSE it. Joy doesn't come from stuff. Joy doesn't even come from people. Joy comes from Christ alone. He is enough! But you have to become in tune with Him. That means getting to know  Him better each and every day through His word. Through prayers. Through songs of praise and worship. 


I will be honest, negativity is easy. It's easy for me... it may be easy for you too. But you have to fight against it. The beaten-down-no-use-to-nobody Christian is one of the enemy's best tools. But, you are an overcomer. You have to seek out the JOY of the moment, of the time, of the season of life you are in... you have to find it with what Christ has given you. It may not be easy at first, but you need it, just like me. 

God's word is so full of this truth. This promise. 
He has REDEEMED YOU! He has CALLED you by name and given you purpose! (paraphrase of Isaiah 43:1)
THAT! THAT right there should give you excitement! YOU have purpose! YOU have worth! 
He is with you! 

Are you taking time with Him daily? 
It is as vital as the bread we eat. 
We need that spiritual bread. 
Please, make a plan to get in God's word more often for 2016, He won't let you down.

So, like I said... I have a choice. I've told  you that my life has taken other roads, roads that I wasn't really expecting. But I've also said, I'd rather go the path the Lord has planned than my path... any day. 
So, I choose joy.

I do. 


Sometimes even in a moment.

I will, with the Lord's help, I will seek out the good. 
With the Lord's help, I will open my eyes to His will and plans.
With His help, I will love my neighbor as myself.
With His help, I will forgive past hurts. I will show grace when grace may not be given in return. 
With His help, I will forgive myself. 
With His help I will do my best to love like He loves.

I won't always do it right. You may see me in a foul mood in 10 minutes, but this is my prayer. That my heart will be pricked. My eyes will be opened at my own selfishness,

Join me, won't you. I know we will never be the same. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Welcome Winter

After taking down my Christmas decorations, I knew I didn't want everything to look bare. I wanted things to still be pretty and wintry...Since we only entered into winter about a week ago!
I knew I wanted plenty of lights too, to combat the darkness of the winter days.  I pulled my light-up snowman out of the kitchen and added him to the scene. I took off the wreath he was holding and his Christmas scarf and subbed it with an aqua fabric scrap. I also made a luminary, added my lantern, and a couple of jars with epsom salt and candles. 
I worked up a little hoop art also. Psalm 51:7b
A friend and blogger reader sent me these huge pine cones many years ago. I still have them all over the house in winter. They are beautiful!

I found one of my storage jars that was missing a lid. I added epsom salt in the bottom and a small jar with candle in the middle. I then carefully cut out a village scene from here. I taped the scene around the jar and set the jar on a cake stand to add some height.

I found a clear vase and I asked Eli to gather me a few branches in between rain showers today... 
yes, it's still raining. 
I went on the porch and sprayed the branches with spray adhesive and tried to sprinkle glitter on them. Needless to say... I am more covered with glitter than the branches. Eek. 
I'll be sparkling long past New Years! I may try to glitter them a bit better another day, but for now, I think they still look pretty.
I love how things look with just the candlelight. 
I stuck a few snowflakes against the wall with some putty. They aren't very visible, but I like the look. 

Let it Snow printable is found here. 

You can see a few sparkles from glitter in the above picture. ;)

Everything to create this was around the house... The fact that my wintry scene was free makes it all the more beautiful to me! 

What about y'all? Do you decorate for winter? I'd love to hear from you. 

Happy Winter, Friends!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas Joy

Blessed Christmas... what a sweet, sweet Christmas we all had together.
What odd Christmas weather we had as well. Strong storms, lightening, thunder, wind... incredibly strange for this December in the south. 

My newest little nephew, such a precious little gift for us this Christmas. 

Christmas morning. Sleepy kids, but excited for Christmas. 
Carlie Jean with a little help from Dad and Mom made these blow guns for her brothers. Along with a custom target. Hahaha.
Watching one of MY favorites...
The Muppets Christmas Carol
Sitting by my youngest who slipped his hand in mine.
Heart... melted.
Carlie, diving right in to her bead making keychain kit from her biggest brother, Eli.
Christmas Eve candlelight dinner. Lasagna.
A new tradition that we will be very HAPPY to continue.

The kids at Christmas with my Daddy.

The kids at Christmas with my Mom.
And with a couple of black-outs during the day, Hands and Feet went on, by flashlights. 

I hope your Christmas was very special too. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Family Time Fun

With just a little preparation, and a little gas, the most of the family enjoyed a fun evening on a family scavenger hunt for Christmas lights in our pajamas.  I planned this in our Advent Calendar, and so I knew the night was coming. On one of my favorite blogs, she posted a link to a scavenger hunt print out, I made copies in advance.

Here's one... You can click on it to find the link.

Here's the one we used...
The one we used was actually written for a date night, but we just used it for our family night fun.

Here's a couple more, one with an easier list for younger children.

Pinterest is such a fun tool. I am thankful for the brilliant minds who put together such great ideas for us who may need a little help in that department!

After supper and family worship time, I filled a thermos full of hot chocolate, a jar of mini marshmallows, some cups and candy canes. I also had our clip boards and pens ready and lights for the kids. 
And off we went on our hunt. 
Thankfully we live in a small town that mostly loves to decorate... some spots more than others. 
Our list was able to be completed in about an hour of driving. 

We were especially blessed because a local golf course really put on a spectacular display this year. They even had one house that was synchronized to music! It was fabulous! 

I hope you take a little time with the ones you love and make some memories, you can do this right where you are. Family fun doesn't have to be expensive or extravagant.  
This was definitely something we will want to do again and again!