Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Out with the old...

New Year's is a time for looking back over what has been and for looking ahead at what could be.

In times like these, its easy to get caught up in how bad things are and how bleak the outlook is. Its easy to get discouraged. But in the Bible, Jesus reminded us,

28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

Matthew 6:28-34 (NIV)

As I look over the past year, I see how our family has been blessed so greatly. There are so many ways that God has been good to us, and I think its time its time that this worrywart counts her blessings:

  • my family, for whom I am eternally grateful

  • my salvation and faith in Jesus Christ

  • my home

  • my job (even though it has caused me more headaches than I care to remember!)

  • God's provision during the dark times when we had trouble seeing the tunnel's end

  • my new friends in BlogLand

  • and most recently, my new great-nephew Caleb!

I pray that even though everyone is telling us how dreary the world is and that things look hopeless, we are able to look beyond that to the One who is the source of hope. And with that hope, let's make 2009 a wonderful year!

Though I don't know what our future holds, I know Who holds our future!

Monday, December 29, 2008


As much as I love decorating the house for Christmas, I am relieved to get it all taken down and packed away after the big day. Don't get me wrong-I adore fixing the house up in all its fancy-ness for my favorite holiday. But there is something to be said for normalcy. Having everything back in its place is quite comforting, especially during these long, cold months of winter.
To make the transition even more fun, I stopped in at Hobby Lobby over the weekend and got a couple of things. Isn't this little guy cute?

And then there's this egg basket. I thought I was going to put it on top of the cabinets, but for some reason, I couldn't get it to fit. And its a bit too big for the counter. So I'm still trying to work this one out.
The best part is that everything I bought was 50% off! The bird was $2 and the basket was $4. I do love bargain shopping!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Seasons Greetings

"For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord."

Luke 2:11
May you and yours have a blessed Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Oh Holy Night

My favorite Christmas song sung by one of my favorite singers, David Phelps. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Holiday House Party...

Don't you just love Christmas parties? All the food, games, food, gifts, food...well, I digress. When I got the invitation for Kimba's Holiday Open House, I decided that I'd bring the entertainment. Who doesn't love a good Christmas movie? One of my favorite Christmas traditions is snuggling up on the couch and watching some good holiday movies. For Kimba's party, I brought along a few different ones. I hope there's one that you'll like!
The first is one that I'll watch whether its December or July, "Christmas in Connecticut" with Barbara Stanwyck and Dennis Morgan. Dennis Morgan is Jefferson Jones, a war hero who is spending Christmas with Elizabeth (Stanwyck), her husband, and baby at her Connecticut estate. The trouble is, its all a farce, and things get a little sticky when Elizabeth and Jefferson find themselves falling for each other. Here's a scene:

The next movie I brought is another oldie but goodie, "White Christmas". Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera Ellen star in this classic holiday film.

Here's one that's been one of my favorites since I was a little girl. Who can resist this little guy?

And finally, my favorite one of all: "A Charlie Brown Christmas". Charlie and his friends learn what many adults never do, what Christmas is all about. Here's my favorite scene:

I hope you enjoyed my holiday flicks!
Do you have a favorite Christmas movie that you can watch over and over each year?

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Christmas House Tour...


Last Friday night, I had to miss our Sunday School class' Christmas party because our daughter wasn't feeling well. I really hated to miss it, too. However, I seem to be making up for it this week, since it seems there are Christmas parties around every corner in BlogLand!

BooMama is hosting a Christmas Tour of Homes over at her place. I'm sharing a few things from our house.
Here is the garland on our piano. We don't have a fireplace, so we dress up the piano like a mantel. I shared my garland over at The Nester's Garland Show and Tell, but I added a bit more to it since then, and I think it looks much better. Not as puny understated as before.

This is our tree. Every ornament is different. Here are a few of my favorite ornaments:

a Shepherd that was a gift from my mom

a Santa with a dreidel that my Father-in-law brought back from Denmark many years ago

a cardinal (I've developed a love of redbirds this year)

And finally, my nativity that I've had since I was a little girl:

And Ol' Saint Nick watching over it all!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Bedecked and Bejeweled...

My favorite gift to receive at Christmas time is ornaments. I LOVE getting new ones and I do get a few new ones every year. I thought I'd share some of my favorites with you today. (Some of them are a little dark...sorry.)

My mother-in-law was an avid collector of all things Coca-Cola, and we found this one the Christmas after she passed away.

My father-in-law brought this back from Denmark many years ago. A Santa with a dreidel? What's up with that?

A shepherd ornment that my mom gave me.

Love the reindeer!

And lastly, my new Cardinal. For some reason, I'm drawn to red birds this year.

Do you have any favorites on your tree?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Garland Party...

The Nester is having a garland party to showcase our Christmas garlands. It going to be a great place for inspiration!
Now, as much as I'd like to show you a big, lush, amazingly gorgeous garland on the piano (we don't have a fireplace), I have to admit that mine is a bit, uh, puny understated. I'm not lucky enough to have a big bunch of greenery around, so I had to just make do with what I have. Here's what I came up with:
Why is it so hard for me to take good pictures of things with lights?

I also fancied up my kitchen window wreath a bit:
I knew it didn't look finished. All it needed was a bow.

Hop on over to Nester's and show off your garland too!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Everyday Unwrapped...

Emily at Chatting at the Sky has challenged her readers to stop during this busy holiday season and take notice of life's little details, to live in the moment and to appreciate simplicity. Here are a few things I unwrapped...
a brother and sister deciding what they want for Christmas...

fancy feet...

and Cheerios in the strangest places...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Christmas in the Kitchen...

As promised, here are pictures of some of my Christmas decor in the kitchen. My little tree (that I got for half price the day after Christmas last year) has some traditional ornaments, but it also has a few that are fitting for a tree in the kitchen. If you look closely you'll see a baby fork, a baby spoon, a tiny whisk, and a star cookie cutter.
I put a wreath in the window over the sink this year.

I still have a few things to put out yet. I'll share them with you when they get done!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

'Tis the Season...

Christmas decorations go up around here on Thanksgiving weekend. This year I've had a terrible time waiting until then after seeing all the gorgeous things you ladies out in Blog Land have shown us! Usually we don't drag everything out until the Saturday after Thanksgiving, but this year we did it on Friday, since we ended up buying a new tree (the old one was literally falling apart!).
Here's our tree in the living room. (I'm still trying to figure out the secret to taking good pictures of a Christmas tree!) I couldn't begin to tell you how many ornaments there are on it. Each one is different and most of them have a memory attached to it. One of my favorite things to do at Christmas time is to find new ornaments. I bought 4 at Cracker Barrel on Thanksgiving!
We don't have a fireplace, so we decorate our piano as we would a mantel. Here's the garland, but it still needs something, I think. I'll have to dig into my candle stash in the closet to see what I have. I've had the garland for years, but all the fru-fru came from Dollar Tree this year.
I have had this nativity set since was a little girl in Michigan. One year I apparently wasn't thinking when I set it up because I put the cow in the loft. Now, everyone knows that cows can't climb ladders, but that's where our cow ended up. Derek got such a kick out of it that we left it and its been up there every year since.
Stay tuned tomorrow for Christmas in the kitchen...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Giving Thanks...

Give Thanks

Give thanks with a grateful heart

Give thanks unto the Holy One

Give thanks because He's given Jesus Christ, His Son

Give thanks with a grateful heart

Give thanks unto the Holy One

Give thanks because He's given Jesus Christ, His Son

And now let the weak say, "I am strong"

Let the poor say, "I am rich

Because of what the Lord has done for us"

And now let the weak say, "I am strong"

Let the poor say, "I am rich

Because of what the Lord has done for us."

Give thanks

Friday, November 21, 2008

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow...

Just take a look at what we woke up to this morning...
You know what that means...NO SCHOOL! Its our first snow day of the school year! I don't know who is more excited, my students or me. I know, some of you are thinking, no school? For just that much snow? I teach in a rural, mountainous area where the roads of the hollows are very slippery when covered by snow and may not melt off for days, even when the main roads are clear and dry. Its just too dangerous for the buses. My brother in Detroit used to laugh when I'd get out of school on days like this and say that our district would cancel school when we got a heavy frost. In our district's defense, there are actually several other school systems that cancelled school today. That's how it is in the mountains.
The problem with this snow is that it makes it so much harder not to drag out my Christmas stuff (I am determined, though, to wait until the day after Thanksgiving). I've been enjoying the Christmas decorations that I've been seeing on several blogs. I'm loving The Nester's gorgeous garland, and Susie's tree is beautiful! I've definitely been inspired!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Some Weekend Projects...

Here are a few things I've been working on today...
I finally hung up my rooster hook in the kitchen. I don't have a tassel handy, so I hung up one of my antique keys...

Here's something I made with some scrapbook paper, a metal "S" (our last initial), and a $1 frame from Dollar Tree...

And here's one that I think I'll probably re-work. I'm thinking maybe a cream paint for the frame...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Who Knew?

Jill and I have been friends for 16 years. We were undergraduates together at Union College while we trained to be teachers , and got hired at the same elementary school at about the same time (the same one where I still teach). We've been best girlfriends for years, and just when we think we know just about everything about each other, we learn something new. Recently, Jill and I had a rare "Girl's Day Out", and we spent about 5 hours shopping at our favorite spots: Dollar Tree, Big Lots, Goodwill, and even hit the big sale at JCPenney's. On our way home, I spotted an antique store downtown, Alley Stuff, and asked Jill if she'd like to go in. Much to my surprise, she told me that she loved antiquing! Who knew? Well, that's all it took. Now, we can add "antweeking" to thrifting as one of our favorite Girl's Day Out activities.

Here's what I found at Alley Stuff on our first visit:

I am a sucker for dishes, so when I found this one for $2, I couldn't resist. Now just because this is all I bought doesn't mean that I couldn't have spent some serious money! There were some beautiful pieces, but I was trying to excercise restraint. Sure wasn't easy though...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

We Salute You...

May we never forget those who fought and who are fighting to protect our freedom.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A Whole Lot of Clucking Going On...

When is one more rooster TOO many? If you look closely at the pictures of my kitchen, you'll see a recurring theme going on: roosters. I love the Country French style, so when we re-did our kitchen a couple of years ago, I searched out black furniture, dark metals, and roosters. I picked out a rooster wallpaper border:

And that's where the chicken theme began. In this post, I showed you the two rooster prints I made from images off the internet. And in yesterday's post you saw my new rooster plate from Hobby Lobby. Then there's this rooster hook that Derek found at HL that he thought I needed to add to the ensemble:
You'll never guess what he said I should hang from it--a tassel! I think he's been checking out The Nester's or Susie's tassels behind my back! Maybe I should add one or two to my Christmas list...
So I think I've established the fact that there are more than a couple of roosters running round here. I'm guessing I'd better put the brakes on any new poultry purchases for a while, otherwise we may risk being taken over by this guy:

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Road Trip...

This afternoon, we drove up to Richmond (about an hour away) to do a little shopping with Mom and Dad. While we were there, I stopped at the new Hobby Lobby, the first one in this part of the state. After perusing the store, all I can say is, Hobby Lobby, where have you been all my life?! I think HL is my new favorite store. Not only do they have crafty stuff to make, they have stuff to pretty up my house (and the prettiest lamps I've seen anywhere). If I'd had an unlimited budget, I'd probably filled up the back of the van and made the rest of the family sit on the roof, but I did have to restrain myself. I got a few things for a couple of projects that I have planned, and I got this beautiful rooster plate for the kitchen:Did I mention that it was only $8?

I can see that I'm going to be making the trip to Richmond every so often. Its a good thing gas prices have gone down!

Friday, November 7, 2008

And Then There Was Light...

Okay, I think the kitchen finally done (at least until we find "just one more thing" that we want to change/redo/update). This time, it was the light fixture over the table. We got this fixture a couple of years ago, and it came with some paper shades that, after a few months, literally started falling apart. The heat from the light bulbs apparently was too much for the glue that held the shade to the wire that fits over the bulbs, and I had to (I can't believe I'm admitting this) scotch tape them back together. I know, scandalous. After all, any self-respecting blogger knows that one must use a hot glue gun! Well, mine was at school, and I never could remember to bring it back home, so I used tape.
Derek always hated the shades, so he soon began planning their replacements. We had a heck of a time getting ones that would fit, but we finally came up with this:(Have you ever tried to take a picture of a light fixture? At night? When it is turned on? Not easy.)
I'm not entirely sold on these, but I think it may be because the 60 watt bulbs we put in are so bright that small aircraft in search of a landing strip are starting to circle around the house. I'll try some lower wattage bulbs and see if we can put away our sunglasses during dinner time.
So now, you ask, what project do we have planned next? Well, thanks to Carrie, I've been inspired to work on my laundry room. Well, actually its just a laundry closet, but its in serious need of some attention.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Until I Started Blogging...

I've only been part of BlogWorld for a little while, but since coming over to the Dark Side, I have learned a lot. The ladies that I follow are endless sources of inspiration and knowledge, so I thought that I'd share some of the things that I didn't know until I started blogging:

  1. You can spray paint dang near anything that doesn't move
  2. There's no excuse for a bare naked window if you have a piece of fabric and some upholstery tacks.
  3. A lot of those beautifully decorated houses you see on blogs? Decorated with stuff from yard sales and the Dollar Tree.
  4. You don't have to spend a fortune to make your house look nice.
  5. There are a lot of creative, funny, generous ladies out there!

Happy blogging!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A little update...

Here is one of the new drawer pulls on the cabinet. We still haven't gotten all of them put up yet, but you can see how well it looks with the new counter.

And here are those two incredibly cheap rooster pictures I made last night. Not bad for a couple of bucks.

p.s. Sorry for the bad picture quality. Rest assured I've put a new digital camera on my Christmas list!

The New Kitchen...

The countertops are in! Stan the Man finished them up this afternoon and what a transformation! Here are some pictures (keep in mind I haven't painted around the top of the backsplash):
Now that we've got the countertops in, we're getting ready to change the hardware on the cabinet doors and drawers to better suit the new look. We lucked out on this one. Derek was looking at handles at work when the kitchen designer showed him a box of handles that she was trying to get rid of. $1 each. And there were 24 of them--we need 20 for the kitchen, and the other 4 are just enough for the bathrooms. They weren't my first choice, but the one that Derek brought home looks really nice, so he's bringing the rest home tomorrow. Here's what we're getting:

Meanwhile, Derek is beside himself because he coordinated this whole project so well. I have to give the guy credit. He picked out the new floor, the new counters, AND the new hardware and picked something I like. He did well!

Since its too late to paint, I fixed up some new rooster pictures. I got the frames at Dollar Tree Saturday morning and the pictures were ones that I actually printed off the Internet. I changed them from color to black and white, printed them out, and put them in frames.
Not bad for only $2. I haven't exactly found a home for these yet, but I'm sure I'll find a place for them in somewhere in the kitchen.