Falling Up My Mantel

I love decorating for fall. Warm and cozy and natural. I wanted to share with you how I added a fall touch to our mantel.
 
Some things you see were already there. The framed horse print, the crosses and the “faith”. 

 
On the left side I pulled out a dark metal vase and toss in some fall leaves with the yellow flowers for a pop of color. Then I pulled out a cute apple basket, and next to that I placed my the burlap pumpkin that I made.  Unfortunately I did not take pictures of that.  But, you can find the instructions that I followed here.

 
 On the right side, I added a platter behind the “faith” to warm that up a bit.  Then I added my dollar store pumpkins that I sprayed silver, and a couple of pine cones. 
 
Simple but fallish.  🙂
 
Here is some of my other smatterings of fall decor around our family room.
 
 
No, I am not putting away my seashells.  It reminds me of my happy place 🙂
 
 
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Happy 11th Birthday!!

This boy is 11 today…
 
 
 
Isn’t he a cutie?! There are so many wonderful things about Caleb but I’m going to borrow my friend Jennifer’s idea and share 11 today…since today is his 11th birthday 🙂  And what a coincidence that it was her Caleb’s 11th birthday when she wrote that post.  I hope you don’t mind me borrowing your idea Jennifer I love it!!
 
 
11.  Caleb is the one child out of our four with fair skin and blond hair – meaning he looks most like Van and I both when we were little.  We were actually quite surprised that the others weren’t born with blond hair.

 
10.  See that sweet smile?  It is almost always there.  He is so easy-going, nothing much phases him.

 
9.  The attempt at the serious face cracks me up.  He would like for you to think that this is who he really is, but in all reality he is incredibly compassionate.

 
8.  His giggle is contagious.  See there, he’s about to laugh, can’t hold the tough face for long 😉

 
7.  He has the most precious heart!!  He loovveess to snuggle.
 
 6. He is a great student. He does his best all the time.
 
 
 5. He is a great soccer player! Dad is so happy 🙂
 
 
4. He’s creative. He is a great artist, and loves to build things.
 
 3. He is a hard worker. Always ready to lend a hand to his Dad.
 
 
2. He loves music!  I love to hear him sing out praises to The Lord, or play the piano, it blesses my heart!
 
 

1.  He loves Jesus!!  And to me, there’s nothing better than that.

Happy Birthday Caleb!!  I love you!!

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Snack-time!!

I have spent the day trying to do the domestic thing.  I say “trying” cuz to be honest, it’s not really my thing.  I don’t mind doing it, it’s just there are so many other things I would rather be doing, and I get distracted easily.  🙂

So…about the only thing that got done cleaning-wise was some laundry – HA!

I did do a little get-us-through-the-rest-of-the-week grocery shopping which led to snack making – never go to the store hungry – where have I heard that before?

Anywho…I had three very smooshy bananas sitting in my fruit basket that hadn’t made it into the trash.  So, what do you do with smooshy bananas???  I make banana bread!!

 
Yes, I had an afternoon snack fresh from the oven and a warm cup of coffee to go with it, just what I needed to get me going again.
 
Here is my recipe for Banana Nut Bread
 


1 3/4 cup sifted flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup shortening
2 eggs
1/2 chopped nuts
1 cup banana pulp (2-3 mashed bananas)

Sift together dry ingredients. Gradually add sugar to shortening, and cream until fluffy. Blend in one egg at a time, mixing until smooth and light after each. Stir in nuts. Add flour mixture alternately with the banana pulp, blending well after each addition. Pour into a well-greased 9x5x3 inch loaf pan, pushing batter into corners. Bake in a 350 oven 55 minutes or until browned.

Just for fun, sometimes I use chocolate chips instead of nuts, since a couple of my kids don’t like nuts.  Which, was my plan today, only to find we were out of chocolate chips, and of course I had already been to the store.

I also made this yummy snack that I’m sure my family will be over-the-moon about!!

 
I don’t think there is anything better in this world than candy corn.  But, this sweet and salty mix is awesome.  No recipe needed just pour in the candy corn and however much peanuts you like.  YUM!!
 
Seriously, candy corn is one of my most favorite things about fall 🙂
 
And…to top off my day, the delivery man rang the doorbell with this surprise


 
My photobooks arrived!!  If you have never tried making one of these I highly recommend it.  I used to scrapbook, and I love the scrapbooks I have completed, but honestly I think I love these more.
 
 
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JOY frazzled

Last week was full of frazzled!!  Such a crazy, busy, insane week.  You know the kind where at the end of it all you just stop and say “seriously”?  Ya.  It was that kind of week.  Sooo glad it’s over and today began a new one.  In the midst of all the frazzled, there were sweet moments of JOY that I want to share.  These are the things that get me through the crazy 🙂

 
Woo Hoo!!  60 degrees!!! 
 
 
I LOVE listening to my “little” boys practice the piano!!
 

 
You can barely see, but one of my sweets wrote an “I love u” message on the dew of my car window this morning.  Made.  My.  Day.
 

 Soccer games…they’re so awesome 🙂
 
 
Enjoyed some great worship and Bible study at the Beth Moore (love her) Living Proof Simulcast on Saturday.  Her worship leader is Travis Cottrell but this is my favorite song that he sang by the original artist.  I hope it blesses you like it blesses me.
 
Even in the midst of the crazies, life is good.  My God is good.  Don’t forget to grab your moments of JOY even on those weeks when they are far and few between.
 
 
 
 
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Unraveling

In the 16 (almost 17 – oh dear…) years that I have been mothering children, I have discovered what I believe to be one of my favorite parts.  As my oldest son is now in his Junior year in high school, I am on pins and needles in eager anticipation to see what is going to happen next.  He is a great kid, we are truly blessed.  For whatever reason God has given me a peace concerning his future.  I see that it is open wide with possibilities.  He has only a small idea where he wants to go to school, what he might want to major in, or what he wants to do for a living.  All he knows he wants to do is play baseball.  🙂  I know there are some of you parents out there that probably think I’m crazy.  But, I am not pushing or stressing.  I know that I just turned 40 and I’m still not sure what I want to be “when I grow up”.  I know with confidence that God has BIG plans for this kid.  He is a great student, loves people, is full of passion, and is quite a competitor.  As my husband and I drove away from our visit to church camp this summer I expressed my excitement about the future.  “I am loving watching it all unravel!!”  The Bible tells us that God knew us before we were born, when we were in our mother’s womb, that He had a plan for us before we breathed our first breath.  In Psalm 139:19, The Bible says “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”  I believe that with all my heart, and this is why I can without worry sit back and watch, eagerly waiting for God’s plan to “unravel”.  
I know…”unravel” is not typically the word used in this context, it might be used more often when things are going wrong.  But when I read the verse above in Psalms I think of God “knitting” a sweater around a newborn baby and over the years as He transforms, shapes, and refines that child the “sweater” is unraveling and His purpose is being fulfilled. 

Becoming a Christian as an adult, I understand how freeing it is to give the reigns to God.  Knowing that I am not in control allows me the freedom to not worry about tomorrow, or even the next minute.  I am a worrier by nature, I come from a long line of worriers…and I know what it can do to you, emotionally and physically.  So, knowing that God is in control of my tomorrows and those of my family allows me to sit back and watch to see what happens next.  What will the next chapter bring??

“The first offspring from every womb belongs to Me…”Exodus 34:19

This is the verse that caught my eye as I was reading my Bible this morning.  My husband and I have been in awe lately as the unraveling continues.  We can see the Lord’s blessing on our first-born son and we are amazed.  We know that God has big plans for all our children because that is what He says in His word, but it is just so amazing watching it happen.  We have no idea what that difference is or why.  Although after reading this, maybe this is the clue.  He is the first offspring from my womb, and he belongs to God…  I am breathless as to what that might mean…  I know he is in good hands, but still…. He belongs to God, end of story.  What is God going to do with him?
 
 
 
 
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