Christmas · Crafting · evangelism · Events · Gifts · Home decor · Thanksgiving

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

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?

Denise Signature 150 px

Fall · Family life · Husband · Marriage · Thanksgiving

Being Intentionally Thankful in November


Happy November Eve!  There’s a reason I’m posting a second post on this October 31!  Read on!

As we stare into the beginning of this month in which we celebrate


I thought it might be a good idea to think about how we can maximize being thankful for these thirty days!  It’s too easy to jump into Christmas mode and only give a nod to being grateful for all God has given us in His grace.   So, let me share a few practical ways you can focus on being thankful starting today!

  1. I’ve signed up to join Revive Our Heart for the 30-Day Gratitude Challenge.  You have to sign up before November 1!  So I’m posting my blog a day early so you won’t miss out!!  This will help me to really be intentional in being thankful!
  2. Show your family gratitude.  I’m re-doing something I’ve done in the past to show my husband know how grateful I am for him.  I drew this simple tree on the bathroom mirror.  Each day I’ll add a leaf stating one reason I thank God for him.  The first year I did this my husband said he was going to Lowe’s to buy a bigger mirror!  It made me smile, because I knew it had hit a chord in his heart.  I love him too much not to let him know exactly why!thankful tree
  3. Chalkboards are great ways to express daily thanks.  Set one on the counter of your kitchen and each day have your family write another thing for which they can give thanks.
  4. Or you could draw a tree on a chalkboard, like my bathroom tree and add leaves of thanks, like below.
    chalkboard thankful tree | - love this!
  5. Keep a thankfulness journal in which you only write your thanks – no requests.

Let’s be intentional every single day this month to be thankful to the Lord…He is the Giver of everything and He deserves our praise!

Denise Signature 150 px


entertaining · Gifts · home · Thanksgiving

Being the Best Guest/Best Hostess

doors 1.jpg

If you’re blessed enough to be a guest in someone’s home for Thanksgiving tomorrow, let me remind you of a few things that will make your hostess sorry to see you leave!

  • Take a thoughtful Hostess gift – even if you’re going to your mom’s!  It doesn’t have to be expensive – just thoughtful.  Here are some ideas:
    • Tea Towel – A Christmas one she can use right away would be nice!
    • A Bag of coffee, Tea or Hot Chocolate – Find something they’d love.  Maybe include a couple pretty mugs (unless the already have 1,000,000,000,000)
    • Homemade cookies or muffins on a pretty platter they can keep.
    • Homemade bread wrapped on a cutting board they can keep.
    • Delicious smelling candle – Those 3-wick candles are wonderful!
    • Box of chocolates
    • Guest book
    • Holiday magazines, slipper socks and packages of hot chocolate so she can relax after the crowd has gone home!
  • Offer to help and then stick around and do it.  Don’t say, “Let me know if I can do anything and then leave the room.  Offer to:
    • Wash up any dishes in the sink
    • Fill glasses with ice
    • Pour beverages
    • Cut the pies
  • Keep your children in tow.  In other words, keep them from destroying your host’s home.  Bring things for them to play with while the meal is being prepared and keep them out of the hostess’s way.  Teach them to respect the property of the host.  We recently had little ones in our home (2 and 4) and you hardly knew they were in the house.  They played with toys, chatted, obeyed their parents, and were a joy to entertain!
  • If you’re staying overnight, remove the sheets from the bed the morning you leave and fold them and stack them on the washer.  Remake the bed without the sheets and leave the room tidy.  Place wet towels and washcloths on the washer, too.
  • Let the hostess rise in the morning and have a few minutes to get things together for breakfast.  It’s nice to get the coffee going and breakfast laid out before guests are staring at you!  =)
  • Don’t stay longer than you’d arranged.  Leaving promptly is as gracious as arriving promptly.

Now if you’re going to be the hostess, here are a few reminders that will keep your guests wanting to return:

  • Have something your guests can snack on before the meal is ready.  Crackers and cheese, a veggie tray or chips and salsa would be great.
  • Be prompt with the mealtime.  If you invite your guests for dinner at 1:00 don’t be peeling the potatoes then.  The gravy should be ready to pour at 1:00.  There’s nothing worse than wondering when the meal is going to be ready.
  • Think ahead about who will be there.  If little ones are coming, make it as easy on the parents as you can.
    • Have a place for the children to sit so they’ll be comfortable and won’t have the parents worrying that they’re going to destroy your white covered dining room chairs.
    • Put away anything you don’t want broken.
    • Have a little stash of toys you can bring out for the children to play with.
    • Set a table just for the children.  Include crayons and coloring place mats and fun treats.
  • Provide snacks in the room for overnight guests.  Packages of crackers, granola bars and water bottles are sufficient.  Pieces of fruit would be nice, too.
  • Provide your Internet password for overnight guests.
  • Let them know exactly where the towels and washcloths are.  Keep your pretty “untouchable” towels stashed away.  Nothing like standing at the sink with drippy hands wondering which towel to use!
  • Have breakfast foods prepared and frozen.  The night before, put breakfast foods out so your guests can help themselves.  Set out coffee cups and creamers, too.
  • Make your home inviting by playing soft music and lighting candles.
  • Be interested in your guests.  Ask them questions and listen with caring ears.  Have prayer together before they leave.

I’ve had the blessing of having VERY gracious guests, and I’ve also been the recipient of VERY gracious hostesses.  Let’s each put our best foot forward and strive to be a blessing – no matter if we’re on the giving or receiving end of the Thanksgiving Day celebration!

Happy Thanksgiving to each of you!!!

With a grateful heart,



Making the Most of Thanksgiving


Grateful board.jpg

I was at the mall yesterday with some friends. There’s no doubt that Christmas preparations are in full swing!  Lights, trees, ornaments, and gift suggestions are at every entrance, doorway and shelf!  I have to admit that I’m really jumping into the Christmas excitement earlier than normal, but I’m making a decisive choice to stop today and just BE THANKFUL.

I’m making a list, too, but it’s not my Christmas list – it’s my thankfulness list.  I’m enumerating my blessings, one by one in my journal.

Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:20

Give thanks, when?


For what?

All things

Every good gift comes from above – from God, and He will receive my thanks!

It would be easy to utter a simple prayer on Thanksgiving day and perhaps feel it was enough, but when I think about how MUCH my God has done, how much He has blessed, how much He has forgiven, and even the trials He’s brought me through, I am making a choice to name those blessings; to count them, one by one.

  • Doing this will make that list to be fresh on my mind when I enter our Pie and Praise service at church tonight.
  • I will be quick to recite my blessings on Thanksgiving day when we share our blessings with my family.
  • Making a list will make me full of praise to my God for all He has done.

When you write out your list, or record it on your phone, or type it up on your computer, you get past being thankful for family and friends, which are indeed things we can be thankful for.  But what about the way God has answered prayer for us?  What about how He moved in our lives and taught us His Word, convicted us of sin, or brought a person to the point of salvation, and delivered us in our trials?  Those blessings take some time to consider and remember.  As I pray, I will ask the Lord to bring to my mind specific things that I can add to my list.  I think it will be helpful to flip through my prayer journal and recount the things I’ve recorded there.

Can I encourage you to make your thankfulness list this week and go deeper than the surface things?  Thanksgiving is a really special day and goes far beyond the food.  It’s about really, truly giving thanks to our great God.

So before we jump headlong into our Christmas plans, decorations and activities, let’s stop to really consider all that we have to be thankful for, and acknowledge the One to Whom we must give thanks.

Count it out…one by one and it will be an unforgettable Thanksgiving.

Denise Signature 150 px

Thanksgiving · Uncategorized

Views of Thanksgiving

Today’s post is a pictorial view of my Thanksgiving.  It was a wonderful weekend – see for yourself!

Let me just comment about the last two pictures.  Remember my cornucopias?  I finished them by dipping them in melted chocolate then crushed walnuts.  As is our norm, we had dinner at 1:00, so around 8 we had turkey sandwiches and for dessert….we took those cones and filled them with Turkey Hill Pumpkin Pie ice cream. Oh.My.Goodness.  They were scrumptious!  By the smiles on those men’s faces, I think I may have started a new family tradition!

How was your Thanksgiving?  Start any new traditions in your family or did you carry on any old ones?

With love and a thankful heart,


Thanksgiving · Uncategorized

My Favorite Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, friends!  Today I’m re-posting from 2009 because I  think of this particular Thanksgiving every single year.  

I’ve been pondering past Thanksgivings. All holidays were special when I was growing up. There were certain foods and traditions that were a part of each special holiday, and I have many wonderful memories of the years when I was growing up. But when I think about my favorite Thanksgiving I think back to the year before I got married. I was in love; I think that had to be what set this Thanksgiving off from all others!

This was a first for me; I was hosting the dinner in my home – a 14′ x 70′ trailer, for my boyfriend (soon to be fiance’), and both sets of parents! The kitchen was so small that if I hoped to open the fridge during dinner or slip over to the sink during the meal, there was no way we could eat dinner in the kitchen. So I moved the kitchen table into the living room and turned it into my dining room.

Food network photo


I don’t remember the entire menu, but I know we had the essentials – turkey and mashed potatoes (thank goodness my mom came early to help me roast the turkey)! We also had green beans and a jello salad. I remember making my first ever yeast rolls. I was so proud that they rose to their clover shape! I’m not sure how they tasted, but they were pretty! I made gingerbread place cards for each place setting. They weren’t nearly as fancy as these, but they were cute and edible!

Everything was very simple. There were no fancy dishes – just the ones I’d picked up each week at the grocery store. My cloth napkins were ones I’d made myself with a couple yards of fabric. I served a simple sherbet punch and iced tea to accompany our meal.

There we all were, gathered in my little living room. I was giving thanks for God’s provisions for this insignificant first grade school teacher. Everything I had was so obviously a grace gift from my loving God. I was seated next to my husband-to-be, and with my godly parents who were the best parents a girl could have, and also with my future in-laws that had been so gracious to me.

That was twenty-nine years ago, and though I’ve had many special Thanksgivings since then, that one is the most memorable. It was the beginning of sharing my thanks to God beside the man with whom I would share my life. God’s been so faithful to us all these years.

This year as we bow our heads together, hands clasped, we will again number the grace gifts He’s given. One of those is each other. Thank you, Lord.

What is your favorite Thanksgiving memory?

With thanks to my great God,



Dinner · Pork chops · Thanksgiving

What I’ve Done/What I’m Doing

Wow, lots of things have happened in the last week – wait, I think I said about last week, too!  It’s true, but it’s a blessing.  Each week is filled with ministry and blessings, and those two are all intertwined!  Serving the Lord is wonderful, and I am a woman that is thankful and fulfilled!

Let me tell you about some of my blessings via these pictures above.  We’ll start on the top left and go across each row.

  • Honey Spiced Glazed Pork Chops, baked sweet potatoes and peas made up supper one night.  The sauce makes a plain pork chop incredible!
  • Until you see second graders act out the pilgrim’s and Indian’s first Thanksgiving, you have not lived.  My little neighbor girl was one of the cutest pilgrims ever.  We watched her and her fellow classmates give their rendition of Thanksgiving.  Too cute.
  • Last weekend my husband and I had the privilege of serving in a leadership conference.  On Saturday afternoon during free time, we drove to the Amish Bulk store and they had their donut and pretzel truck up and running.  I tried one of the pretzels for the first time.  Oh. My.  Let’s just say I hope it won’t be my last!  I think they’re even better than their wonderful donuts!
  • I mentioned yesterday about the children I had the privilege to teach in Sunday school last week.  This is a picture I took of them while they were reading our passage together.  They all participated so well.  What a blessing they were to me!
  • I’m hosting Thanksgiving Dinner tomorrow and I’m making individual cornucopias for treats and name cards.  I’ll show the end result of these little guys next week.
  • The fireplace makes for the coziest bedroom in the early morning.  My husband had the fire going for me  to enjoy during my devotions yesterday (it was 24 degrees!).  It felt soooo lovely.
  • Not pictured are all my preparations for Thanksgiving dinner and company for a couple days.  I’m having tons of fun, and I’m super excited!

That’s what I’ve done and am doing.  What are you up to these days before Thanksgiving?