Tuesday, December 26, 2017


Christmas 2017 came and went in a lovely way. 

We exchanged gifts in remembrance and in recognition of the Supreme gift that was given to us so long ago in a manger in Bethlehem. 
The gift of Jesus, who came into the world to take away the sins of His people. 

Earlier during Christmas week, Carlie was given the opportunity to ride down to Panama City. She was able to see the beach... she was excited. 
When she got home, she started working on my Christmas quilt. That was her gift to me. 
On Christmas Eve we went to church and celebrated with our church family. 
Carlie got to hang some of the ornaments on the little tree for the Chrismon service. 

Shannon and I went and looked at some Christmas lights on Christmas eve night. 

It began with a quiet early morning of Advent reading and song. We exchanged gifts. 
Everyone was home. It was a cold morning. Snuggled under fuzzy blankets we all huddled close. 

Early morning present opening is fun... but it can make us tired in the afternoon! 
Carlie's face when she found out she is getting a new puppy in a few weeks. 
I'm so thankful for Christmas, for our family, and for the Ultimate gift. 
I hope your Christmas was blessed! 

Friday, December 22, 2017

Carlie's gift to Ace

Back during our last semester of homeschool co-op, Carlie had a project come up in her sewing class. It was to make a small throw quilt. She immediately knew what she wanted to do with her project. She wanted to make it into a gift for Ace. We went and picked out the fabric and then this girl got busy.
I was so impressed with her cutting and piecing and her determination through the whole thing to get it right. She really wanted it to be nice for him.
Then after she finished it, she wanted his name on the back and a little message from her in the corner, so he could remember when she gave it to him. 
He was beyond adorable while opening his gift. Making sure to put all his ripped paper in a pile and then to throw the pile away once he opened the package. 
Carlie takes after her Grandma Jean... that box was taped up so much that she had to give a little helping hand to Ace. ;) 

That face below when he pulled it out of the box.... I absolutely melted.  
My girl, she is so thoughtful, kind, and giving...  and I'm so glad she's mine. 
Happy Christmas everyone! 

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Homemade Christmas Ornaments

Each year during Christmas, we like to give a little something to those who help work with our children. Teachers at church, our piano teacher, co-op teachers, etc. 
Occasionally we find something that we can buy, but when we can I like for us to make the gifts... it just seems more meaningful to me. I love a homemade gift. 

If you need to make a lovely and affordable gift, here's how we made this trio of ornaments.

You will need:
  • Blank ornaments that has removable lid. We found these at Walmart.
  • Hot glue

  • Paper Shred in your choice of colors. Again, we found this at Walmart and I loved the rustic idea of the brown, but there are lots of other colors out there. 
  • Fabric scraps. These were some old flannel pajama pants that were beyond repair. I cut little notches and then ripped the fabric into strips for more of that homespun look. I like the frayed edges. 

  • Then I went into my silhouette machine and typed out the words I wanted. I chose a pretty font, in this case it was "Farm Fresh" and I sized each word to how large the ornament would need. For these, they are slightly larger than 2".... around 2.2x2.4"ish.

First step:
Remove the ornament lid/hook
Loosely fill the ornament with paper shred. You don't want to compact this.
Add a smidgen of hot glue to the top of the ornament lid to keep the ornament from coming apart. 

Remove your vinyl letters with your transfer tape and place on ornament. 
Smooth from the middle out, removing all air bubbles.
Gently pull the transfer tape off and smooth letters again.
Take your strip of fabric and tie into a simple bow. 
Adhere bow with hot glue to the neck of the ornament. 
If desired, add twine, yarn, jute, etc for a hanger. 
These are the pictures our piano teacher sent of the ornaments on her tree. I love how they turned out!

So there you go... a beautiful ornament to share with those you love and appreciate. 
Affordability doesn't have to seem 'cheap' when you put a lot of thought and love in the process. 

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Christmas with the family

On Saturday, we were honored to host our Christmas with Shannon's side of the family.
What a tremendous blessing, indeed. 
There was incredible food, lovely gifts, and precious time together. The weather was extremely mild so the kids were able to run around outside!
 The women gathered around the kitchen table after lunch and chatted away over coffee.
 Always a favorite of mine!
The men went outside and tossed the football for a while.
The children ripped and roared and played and had a grand time.
We miss our Josh always... but especially on these days. 
Uncle Roger posted this picture and said there was one missing.... 
How true it is.

Hosting is something that gives me such pleasure. Yes, it is a lot of work, but I don't know if there is anything I like better than having family/friends over... enjoying food. laughter. conversation. and just simply being together. 
There was PLENTY that was not 'just right'... things that maybe weren't as clean as I hoped. There's buckles in the floor. The ceiling still has the crack in it. There were plenty of places that needed a fresh coat of paint. Cobwebs may have been on the ceiling fan. It was a little cramped at times on space... and I worried about all those things before everyone got here, but after they were here, I just stopped. There was nothing else I could do but make everyone as comfortable as I could and be there and enjoy the time.  I pray that everyone felt the love that was shared inside and outside those walls like I hoped they would. 
Family and Christmas... thank you Lord for these gifts.