Pinterest Party Success!

Last Friday I mentioned that our church was hosting our 7th Pinterest party on Saturday.  We had over 70 women, with more than half of them being visitors!  It was so much fun!  It was filled with new friends, great food found on Pinterest, fellowship, and a challenge from God’s Word.  Where would you find Pinterest in the Bible?!  Our speaker showed us!  =)  It was in all the words like, Search, Save, Follow, etc.  So good!

Then of course there was tons of great crafting!  I made only one complete craft, due to helping others with theirs, but that’s okay!  I made many new friends and had a great time!! I thought I’d share with you some of the crafts that were available for us to make.  You could make them ALL for $10!

Wood ornaments

Hip2Save | Not Your Grandma's Coupon Site

Pumpkin Garland

Make this simple yarn pumpkin garland for your fall mantel!

Salt Scrub

Two Fabulous Natural Body Scrub Recipes

Grapevine wreath with felt flowers

Beats trying that with a tomato or orange... 12 More Simple Ideas to Make Everyone Think You’re Crafty | SnarkEcards http://snarkecards.net/12-more-simple-ideas-to-make-everyone-think-youre-crafty/

14 inch Grapevine Wreath Burlap Yellow & Gray by BlessingsAllMine, $34.00

Cinnamon Ornaments

Cinnamon stick Christmas ornaments are easy to make, smell wonderful and make great gifts for friends and family.

Paper journals

make your own notebooks. This is awesome. Last time I wanted to make a personalized notebook, I couldn't find a design I wanted and ended up making everything from scratch. Sewing the pages and everything, totally over 8 hrs of work. This will be much easier for a little gift.

Painted Pine Cones

Delightfully Noted: Painted Pine Cones.....

Most of the crafts were super easy to put together.  I think most everyone went home with a bag full of completed projects!  This has become a favorite event of our ladies each year.  It’s so well executed and is a great tool to reach out to unchurched ladies!  I’ve blogged about it here and you can see how Christina pulls it all together.

If you’re interested in the “how-to” of any of the above crafts, you can find them on this page on Pinterest.  They’re all such cute ideas!

Pinterest is my favorite place to browse for ideas!  I’ve “pinned” LOTS of them with everything from recipes to sewing patterns, and I’ve tried many, many of them.  It’s just a great tool that saves leg work and the accumulation of books.  Anyone else love it like I do?

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Holiday Ideas Begin Now!

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For years I have fallen into a pattern of digging out my Christmas idea books when I decorate for Christmas – usually the first week of December.  The problem with that is that there’s just not enough time then to cull through all the great ideas inside and actually do some of those super-creative projects!

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This year, I got my favorite book out when I pulled out my fall decor.  I’ve been going through its pages and gathering ideas.  It’s full of wonderful decor tips, centerpieces, gift ideas and recipes!  Now maybe you don’t have a book like this – or you’re thinking you’ll just use Pinterest (which is a great resource!), but my encouragement about using books like these is that they also have patterns!  There are step-by-step directions and pages to help you actually pull these ideas off!

If you don’t own a book like this, your library is full of them! Go find one and check it out! I just wanted to encourage you to be thinking NOW about what creative schemes you might want to implement this Christmas.

Now is also the time to create calendars or greeting cards from your great pictures.  You might also make sure that you upload pictures now to the sites where you’ll make that calendar or greeting card.  Order that cool idea for your son-in-law, find the materials needed to make that beautiful wreath or begin making that special gift.

Supplies don’t last forever at Hobby Lobby (I found out the hard way last year!), and your time will run short.  So get a great book, or pull out your Pinterest board where you’ve been saving wonderful ideas and start working on the list of things that need to be done before December gets here.  We’re not rushing Christmas, we’re preparing ahead of time!

Easy DIY Christmas Card Craft

Refresh your Christmas by getting yourself in gear for accomplishing those creative plans you want to do!

Do you love looking through Christmas idea books like I do?

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Friday Favorites – Christmas 2016

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Christmas 2016 will have to go down as a favorite Christmas!  Everything about it was just special.  It wasn’t perfection, but it was full of good food, sweet faces, and fun memories!  Here are my top photos.  Let’s start with the FOOD!

Christmas Eve – Our traditional Senate Bean Soup, Chicken Gnocchi, Party Ryes, Cheese Ball & Crackers, Veggies & Dip, and LOTS of cookies and goodies not pictured!

Christmas Breakfast – Whitney made Grits and Bacon Quiche, Alli made these Cinnamon Rolls, I made Cream Cheese Danish and Orange Juilius, another tradition.

Christmas Dinner – Spiral Glazed Ham, Twice Baked Potatoes, Frozen Fruit Salad, Green Bean Casserole and Angel Biscuits.

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Now, a look at the Faces:

I’m telling you, we laughed so hard while we were together.  The close up pics of my family were all taken while playing Quelf, a hysterical group game! Our time as a family found us talking and catching up, asking questions, interrupting with another question and enjoying every minute the Lord gave us to share!

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One more group of pictures of random things from the Christmas weekend:

Liza loves ribbon and paper, of course!

I made snow globes for the Christmas Eve table and then scattered bottle brush trees in between.

We went After Christmas shopping and Whitney was nearly beside herself at Target!  We all got great deals that day!  That’s lots more fun than Black Friday shopping, in my book!

A couple days after Christmas we went back to Dollywood with Andrew and Alli.  She and I rode the Ferris Wheel; it was kind of scary in the dark!  But it was worth it to catch the view of the half million lights!

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Love the picture of my husband with his daughters.  They love to tease him, and I’d say he’s had it coming!  😉

I loved that Christmas was on Sunday!  What a special service we had that day!  We also had a candlelight Christmas Eve service that was a blessing!  God’s gift to us in the form of His Son = the BEST gift ever!

Now, I’ll close with my favorite picture of the weekend.  It’s hysterical.  I snapped it as I was getting off the escalator during our epic After-Christmas Shopping trip. This wasn’t long before we headed home.  It wasn’t staged – it just happened ~

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I posted this on Instagram and said that this really said everything about how each one felt about our shopping trip –

Dale – Yes!  Let’s find more sales!
Paul – I’m good; can we go now?
Andrew – You spent how much?!
Alli – Let’s go get a snack!
Whitney – I’m tired, but let’s all smile for Mom’s picture!
Denise – Out front, leading the way!

Thanks for stopping by to see my Favorites today!  What was your favorite moment from your Christmas celebrations?

Happy New Year, Friends!

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Friday Favorites- Countdown To Christmas

In this week before Christmas, I was blessed to do some things that I LOVE.  Let’s start with the pictures in the left column below:

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  1.  My husband and I got to go to Abington, VA to the Barter Theatre to see A Christmas Carol.  Before the play, we went to a favorite restaurant, Rain.  We shared a bowl of their fabulous Butternut Squash Soup, and their Grilled Chicken Sandwich.  Outstanding.
  2. We picked up our tickets and made our way to the play. Abington is a charming town!
  3. This fountain is across the street from the theatre.  What a fun date this was!  My husband, who isn’t a book or movie fan, really wasn’t sure he’d ever read or seen the story we were about to see, so he saw it all through new eyes.  One of the young actors is a member of our church, so it was especially fun to see him on stage!  He did a wonderful job!
  4. Having a daughter who lives in my town and goes to my church is a blessing!  Sometimes our lives are so busy that we don’t get to spend a great deal of time together.  We made a lunch date this week in our little town and caught up on one another’s lives.  She makes me laugh.  She encourages my heart, and she always picks the best desserts for us to share!
    Now the pictures on the right side:
  5.  Liza cuddled up on my lap one morning this week while I was having my Bible study.  That’s a special treat from a normally not-so-cuddly kitty!
  6.  I had a baking day that included making these Cream Cheese Danishes.  The recipe makes four at a time, plenty for us and for sharing.  The dough is soft and sweet and the filling makes them irresistible.  I like to also add a little bit of fruit preserves to the cream cheese filling.  Mmmm, these will be good for breakfast this Christmas weekend!  You could ask my husband who already enjoyed a couple slices when they were warm from the oven.  He washes most all of my baking dishes, so I’m happy to give him a taste of anything I’ve baked!
  7. We went caroling Wednesday night.  It’s a blessing to sing the songs of Christ’s birth and wish the folks at the door a Merry Christmas.  We are singing the Gospel and it doesn’t get any better than that!

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The last picture above is a weekly event at my house- Bible Club.  What a blessing to pull out my flannel graph (yes, it’s an antiquated teaching tool, but the kids love it!) and remind the children of the reason for Christmas, starting with the fall of man.  They had fun adding the flannel graph pieces as I told the story.  My heart is full as I pour into my young pupils each week the Truth of God’s Word.  They are like sponges, listening, asking questions and responding with tender hearts.  I thank the Lord for this rich privilege!

Now here we are at the end of the week, just days away from Christmas.  Our whole family will be together, and I’m excited to celebrate with my girls and their husbands! There will be worship together, lots of good food, laughter, more laughter and probably some music!

I pray that your Christmas will be simple, special, and full of talking about and worshiping the Savior.  He came to die for each of us, and that makes every day worth celebrating!

John 1:29 Behold the Lamb of God,

which taketh away the sin of the world.

Merry Christmas!

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It Will Be Christmas Anyway

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It’s “Crunch Time” for Christmas, and maybe you’re sitting in your comfy spot in your comfy clothes, coffee in hand, staring at the Christmas tree that doesn’t look quite like it did the night you put it up, thanks to the “help” of little hands or a burned out strand of lights. You turn that side of the tree towards that wall and know that it’s okay; it will be Christmas anyway.

The gift wrapping station is staring at you with a smirk, knowing you haven’t even opened that roll of wired ribbon that you bought with such high ambition, much less wrapped a package to put that imagined bow on. You pull out a pack of self-adhesive bows and pop one on gift bagged-wrapped present, and you know it’s okay; it will be Christmas anyway.

Your high hopes of gingerbread making, sugar cookie rolling and Pinterest crafting also got left behind the Flu wagon – the same place where that stack of dirty sheets are lying.  You pick up a tray of cookies at the grocery baker and breathe a prayer of thanks that everyone is finally well.You know it’s okay; it will be Christmas anyway.

Perfect Christmases never happen.  Plans and promises must often be rescheduled or put on hold, but no matter, Christmas will still be Christmas because,

**
Christ did come
God’s plan was perfect
God completely kept His promise
Christmas is history that will continue
until Jesus comes again to get His children in the rapture

Amen

The most important thing that must get done is for you to celebrate Christmas in your own heart.  Read God’s Word about the birth of Christ.  Revel in this lavish gift of God’s Son for your sin.  Spend time in prayer, thanking God for His redemptive plan. Then wipe your tears and head out to greet your family with a fresh glimpse of your Savior.  Your heart will be right, and so will your attitude. A renewed focus makes us realize that perfectness isn’t the goal, it’s worship, it’s memories, it’s time together, it’s about eternity and what will matter then.

You’re free now to go get out the frozen Sarah Lee Cheesecake, stuff the gift bags full, opt for a drive through the neighborhood to see the lights, turn on the Christmas CD in the car and sing and celebrate, knowing it’s all okay; it is indeed Christmas anyway!

Merry Christmas, my friends,

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Dazzling Ideas for the Holidays

Every now and again I get a good idea! I thought I would share three of those with you today that might help your holiday, too!

1. I keep two of those “under-bed-storage” boxes filled with my wrapping paper, ribbon, bows and tape. The other day while wrapping gifts on the floor, I realized that the top of one of those boxes would be the perfect place to lay the package and wrap it. I placed a fabric cutting guide on top to make it a flat surface, and it made it the perfect “table” for gift wrapping. So not only is this the place that is the central location for all of my materials, it is also the wrapping station!

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2.  I love the Wet and Wild nail polish, especially the mega last. I love it because it REALLY does last! I recently bought a glittery nail polish for the holidays, because Christmas and New Year’s need a little glitter!

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I layered the glitter over the color just to add a little sparkle. It was just enough without looking over the top. If you’re looking for a way to dazzle up your look a little, add some sparkle in your nail polish! It’s a fun addition!
The colors shown here are:  (the one in the back) Undercover – I love it because it goes with pinks or reds.  The Glitter doesn’t have a color, the only thing on the bottle is “Shine,” but the bar code is 77802 54803.

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3.  My last idea was concerning decorating my bedroom mantle. I didn’t want greenery and all that kind of Christmas decor, but just some winter touches. I changed it, then changed it again, and then again. I think I finally have it in a way I love. Here’s what made a difference –

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  • Grouping my Willow Tree collection together on one end. If you scatter a collection, they get lost; grouping them together shows off their beauty.
  • Adding a pop of red also gives the mantle that effect. It needed something on that end, and red roses are perfect for Christmas!
  • If something doesn’t look right in your decor, keep “fluffing” until you love it. Group like things together, let the heights vary so your eye moves up and down. Add a pop of color.
  • Oh, and add a cat in the room and it will ALWAYS be the perfect touch!  =^..^=

I hope one of my “dazzling ideas” inspired you! I’d love to hear if they did! Now carry on with your Christmas preparations!

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Bearer Of All Our Sorrows

wp-image-2083822553png.pngI read this quote yesterday –

Christmas is a reminder that God keeps His promises!

How precious to remember during Christmas that God did indeed keep His promise to redeem sinful man to Himself.  Yesterday I read Isaiah 53.  Part of that chapter says,

He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows:

What a blessing to remember that Jesus came to bear the sorrow of my sin!  He carried it to the cross.  The moment that any person receives what Jesus did on the cross for them, and receives Christ as their personal Savior, then we also have a Friend to carry every other sorrow that we bear!

Dear Child of God, what sorrow is in your heart today?

  • A trial you’re enduring?
  • A set back in your family?
  • A lost spouse?
  • A wayward child?
  • An illness?

Because Jesus was able to bear our greatest sorrow – that of our sin, it’s no problem for Him to daily carry the sorrows that we face, which are all due to sin.  Take it to Him today.  Allow Him to carry it.  Unload it off of your shoulders and go on your way, free from its burden, knowing that an all-sufficient Savior is caring for it in a way you never could.

Christmas IS a reminder that God keeps His promises, but it’s also a reminder that He’s a bearer of ALL our sorrows.  Lift them up to Him today!

What do you need to give to Him this moment?  He already knows about it, and is waiting for you to relinquish it to Him.

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