Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Gingerbread Houses

A week or so ago, my kids and I made gingerbread houses out of gingerbread graham crackers, GOBS of candy and frosting.  We had a blast!  I had totally forgotten about these pictures until today. 

My firstborn's

My second in command's

My Little Angel's

My little man's

And My Fifth Blessing's and mine

These houses we're COMPLETELY and utterly demolished by late that evening.
Worth the mess?

A Long Winded Christmas Story

It all started with a misplaced ring, a backache and a dream--a real one to be exact!

My Main man and I have been married for 10 years this year. WOOHOO!! We celebrated by taking our family on a trip to the coast for 5 days. It was so appreciated and restful, our only trip of the year. I love my husband and kids and can't imagine life without them! Sadly, a couple years back I LOST my original wedding ring. I've cried over it and kicked myself about how it came to be lost many times since. We've often talked about how it would be neat to get a new one. It's horrible to not have a ring to wear but I knew it would be awhile until we could afford a new one so I make do by wearing a quite cheaper substitute ring when I can.  

Our bed mattress was gifted to us by our wonderful Pastor and his wife in Texas many years ago. It reminds me of them and the tender parenting they did for my husband and I both spiritually and physically speaking. It is showing it's years, though, it's old, warped, uncomfortable and the reason for many morning aches and pains these days. My husband and I decided that we should get a new mattress for ourselves this Christmas. Because of how expensive those are, and how financially stretched we already are, we decided to forgo buying any other gifts for eachother. I awoke one morning about a week before Christmas, a little stiff in the neck, glad we would soon be remedying the situation exclaiming to my husband that I had this crazy dream that He thought we should get a real puppy for Christmas. It's crazy because though we've often pondered the thought and would LOVE to get a dog, right now with a small yard, tight budget and 5 kids 9 years old and under, I don't feel we are ready for another family member just yet... someday, though we will welcome a wonderful dog into our family!

So we joked about that dream throughout the day and I soon forgot about it. As the days passed and Christmas morning dawned, I received a large box from my husband with a card on top. I opened the card and inside it read,"Merry Christmas, love. I know we weren't getting eachother presents this year but you DID have a dream!"

I open the box almost expecting to see a puppy... and I did! A STUFFED toy one. (: I named him Brownie, then I noticed a small box in the corner under the stuffed animal. A huge smile crossed over my face as my brain started reeling with what it could be. I opened it up and lo and behold it was a new wedding RING all sparkly and new!!! I was elated, my heart was full of joy as I put it on my ring finger... I was shocked! With the help of my dad, my husband is planning to work extra hard to pay for this beautiful wedding band, and I am so so grateful for him and all of the hardwork he has put into this heartwarming gift to remember. Our marriage is "official" once again!! (:

So a brand new beautiful ring, hopes for less of a neck and backache and a dream still yet to come true... this was definitely one of the highlights of my very merry Christmas 2010!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Facial Scrub Mask

If you we're wondering what in the WORLD was on my face in this post yesterday, I'm going to let you in on it today!

It was No Bake Cookies!
Nah, just joshing with you.
It's my homemade facial scrub mask!
I really enjoy making facial scrubs at home. They are all natural, even organic and it just feels good to use REAL ingredients.
I love it even more when I can use otherwise used ingredients and recycle!  With this coffee banana scrub, I used the following:

Used coffee grounds
Crystallized honey
Mashed over ripe banana
Olive oil

I added tiny bits of the ingredients at a time and mashed and mashed until I had a good spreading consistency.  Lathered the delicacy on and waited about 20 minutes before washing it off and adding moisturizer.  It sloughs off dry skin, draws out the extra oils in the skin and leaves your skin glowing and feeling fresh!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Surrounded by beauty;
Choosing to believe;
Letting go of doubt;
Kneeling on bended knee;
Living real, living freely;
Living selflessly;
In giving, finding blessing;
Following my gracious Savior's lead.

Daily, this is my heart's prayer! I falter just as much if not more than choosing the right way.  I'm thankful to God for His son Jesus, His gracious sacrifice that covers over those mistakes. Celebrating Him today and every day!
Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Gospel According to You

The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John,
Are read by more than a few.
But the one that is most read and commented on
Is the gospel according to you.

You are writing a gospel, a chapter each day
By things that you do and words that you say,
Men read what you write, whether faithless or true.
Say, what is the gospel acording to you?

Do men read His truth and His love in your life,
Or has yours been too full of malice and strife?
Does your life speak of evil, or does it ring true?
Say, what is the gospel according to you?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A wintery morning walk

I crave walks of the kind where I have the luxury of reflecting on the amazement of life, God and His goodness.

The changing of seasons brings on that time of reflection in droves.

Winter has hit with a bang here in the Northwest with over a foot of white fluffy snow in a period of 24 hours.

The morning after I took a stroll around our neighborhood, snapping photos of our home, the amazing piles of snow and the beautiful landscape as I went.

I'm so thankful for the few quiet moments I had alone to reflect on life, walk in prayer and thankfulness

and basque in the wonder that is God's world.

After that quiet time, I was more than prepared for the mess of hats, scarves, coats, boots, snow suits, mittens and puddles that littered the floor of my back door.

And my kids were more than willing to sacrifice school to have a snow day.

Thank you, dear Lord for walks of reflection and beautiful snow days.

Wordless Wednesday

I have wanted overwhelmingly longed to get professional pictures from Amber Fischer Photography pretty much daily since we had these taken by her the beginning of this year.

And if you check out her site, and all of the amazing photos she has taken, as well as her unique ability to find THE best props, shots and locations, you will long to have her take some of you as well.
Right now she is giving away FREE decor from RedLetterWords.
Check her out and enter to win!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Conviction and Grace-my heart this morning.

Life is so incredibly busy and physically and emotionally taxing, therefore I find I am often convicted in those spiritual areas where I am bound to come up short, fail or just plain ignore. This morning as I read through Proverbs 3 I was pounded with waves of being overwhelmed with the vast amount of change needed. It threatened to incapacitate me.
This is one of those chapters that would be better suited read, memorized and applied ONE verse at a time. "God, I can't handle my entire being to be cut, pruned and refined in fire all at once!" He understand that. He understand what it is to be human. He puts no pre-planned expectations on us. His grace is enough.
Conviction. It looms as a very condescending word seemingly full of shock and disappointment.... but how many times, how many times, that conviction and guilt is fueled by our own pride. Conviction from God couldn't be more to the contrary.
Conviction-being strongly convinced in light of the evidence, of the error of my ways.
No malice. No "your naughty" finger shaking. No disgust.
God loves to convict us, not to pound us to a pulp but to build us up and spur us on! Grow us! Strengthen us and change our hearts. Show us the best way. His Word reminds us over and over again of how to live lives worth living.
It's meant to challenge us and bring enlightened truths into those dark fleshly habits of our selfish hearts.
God never convicts and then strikes!  He convicts and graciously gives.
I challenge you to read this passage and ask the Lord to speak to your heart about what shortcoming, change or sin he would have for you to confess and surrender to him today. He takes it with a gracious smile and a joyous high five! And the rest, well... don't sweat it!  That's for His conviction and grace to cover all in His time.

Proverbs 3

My son, do not forget my law,
But let your heart keep my commands;
For length of days and long life
And peace they will add to you.
Let not mercy and truth forsake you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart,
And so find favor and high esteem
In the sight of God and man.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the LORD and depart from evil.
It will be health to your flesh,
And strength to your bones.
Honor the LORD with your possessions,
And with the first fruits of all your increase;
So your barns will be filled with plenty,
And your vats will overflow with new wine.
My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD,
Nor detest His correction;
For whom the LORD loves He corrects,
Just as a father the son in whom he delights.
Happy is the man who finds wisdom,
And the man who gains understanding;
For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver,
And her gain than fine gold.
She is more precious than rubies,
And all the things you may desire cannot compare with her.
Length of days is in her right hand,
In her left hand riches and honor.
Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
And all her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her,
And happy are all who retain her.
The LORD by wisdom founded the earth;
By understanding He established the heavens;
By His knowledge the depths were broken up,
And clouds drop down the dew.
My son, let them not depart from your eyes—
Keep sound wisdom and discretion;
So they will be life to your soul
And grace to your neck.
Then you will walk safely in your way,
And your foot will not stumble.
When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet.
Do not be afraid of sudden terror,
Nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes;
For the LORD will be your confidence,
And will keep your foot from being caught.
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
When it is in the power of your hand to do so.
Do not say to your neighbor,
“ Go, and come back,
And tomorrow I will give it,”
When you have it with you.
Do not devise evil against your neighbor,
For he dwells by you for safety’s sake.
Do not strive with a man without cause,
If he has done you no harm.
Do not envy the oppressor,
And choose none of his ways;
For the perverse person is an abomination to the LORD,
But His secret counsel is with the upright.
The curse of the LORD is on the house of the wicked,
But He blesses the home of the just.
Surely He scorns the scornful,
But gives grace to the humble.
The wise shall inherit glory,
But shame shall be the legacy of fools.

Wordless (almost) better late than never!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Scarves, scarves, scarves

It's officially scarf weather and I LOVE it!
Fancy, frilly, puffy, woven, knit or patterned-I enjoy wearing them all. The brighter and bolder the better to bring color to a sometimes washed out winter complexion.
Pictured, is the way I normally wrap up my neck with scarves.
Sometimes long ones, and at other times, short. It works for both.
A scarf just fancies up an outfit and brings color and attention to a woman's face.
It's a lovely companion to any coat on a cold winter's day in my book!
{{{Hooray}}} for cold snowy days!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Flashback Friday

Our fifth blessing at 7 days old-
she will soon be 18 months old.
How time flies!
She who is now so busy living life out loud.
Was once living only to be held, loved and fed by her mama.
Sweet memories.
Sweet little girl.
So thankful we get to watch her blossom and grow!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010