Christmas Mantel 2012

Well, after running around like a crazy person on Saturday, I finally got my home decorated for Christmas!!  I love it!!  Today I would like to share with you our mantel decor. 

At Christmas time I clear off everything and start fresh.  The family portrait of course stays because I love it :).  Everything you see are things I already had in my stash except for the JOY which I showed you how I made here.
It never looks exactly the same from year to year.  Probably only a couple of elements are constant – the greenery and the star garland – which I actually made last year to hold my Christmas cards.  You see there is one lonely little card up there so far – but soon (hopefully) it will be covered with cards and pictures of friends near and far.
I’m pretty traditional when it comes to Christmas decorating – I like red and green, and a little sparkle here and there.  Most important to me is spreading out my nativity collection – the snow globe and the little handmade one next to it.  CHRISTmas is about the birth of Jesus and I want people to be reminded of that when they are in my home at this time of year. 
I’m loving our advent activity for this year and so are the kids.  You can see a peak of it in the corner of this pic.  I will share more with you about that and other ways we keep Christ in Christmas on a later post.
Have a blessed day!!
 Linking up with these linky parties

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*JOY* Crafting

I just couldn’t wait any longer, couldn’t allow myself to be distracted any longer.  I had.to.get.crafty!!
I love the word “JOY” all year long, but especially at Christmas, and I have been loving the decorated letters I have been seeing around the blog world.  So, I decided to give it my own spin.  I started with MDF letters from HL, some jute, scrapbook paper, spray adhesive, mod podge, and of course some hot glue.
 
First the J.  I figured this would be the easiest to cover with the jute.   

 
So, I hot glued the end on the back and started wrapping. It was a little tricky in spots – where the curves and corners were – so I just put a dab of hot glue wherever necessary to cover the board underneath. I didn’t worry about the back since it wouldn’t show.
 
 
And voila!! Love how it came out.
 
 
Next the Y.  (I’ll come back to the O)  I found some paisley printed scrapbook paper that I liked.   

 
I put a light coat of spray adhesive on the top of the letter, then pressed the whole piece of paper on top. I allowed it to dry for about 30 seconds and then I used a utility knife to cut away the extra paper. {An exacto knife would have been easier for that task, but I couldn’t find mine in my not-so-organized craft closet – project coming in January.} The edges were a little frayed so I used a tip from Thrifty Decor Chick and filed the edges. Then, a thin coat of mod podge just to make sure it was stuck and for a protected finish. I decided it needed a little something – so I pulled out my brown stamp pad and ‘aged’ the edges.
 
 
Done 🙂
 
 
Last the O.  I simply used a berry garland that I already had for the O. 
 
 
I curled it up in a circle that was the right size for the J and the Y. Then I took some ribbon and tied it together with a bow. 
 
 
 Perfect!!

 
Here it is all together.

And here it is in it’s place.

 

Love it when a project comes out just like you imagined it!!  This cost me less than $5 total since I already had the adhesives and the garland.  Awesome!! You can see how it looks on my mantle here (you may notice I changed out the greenery for some ribbon – I had to have something to hid the blocks of wood the JOY was sitting on but the greenery covered too much ;))

 

“For You are our glory and joy.”  1Thessalonians 2:20

 

Linking up with some fun linky parties – be sure to click over and check them out for some Christmas crafting inspiration!!

holiday home link parties

countdown to winter 200
A Bowl Full of Lemons
Christmas LinkUp

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December 2012 Bucket List

I am excited that the Christmas season is here!!  I Love Christmas time, but really who doesn’t??  I am working on getting the decorating done and hope to show you some of that in the next few days.  But, I have been thinking about all the fun I hope to have this month so I thought I would share with you my December Bucket List.

 
Of course I kinda cheated with that last one because that encompasses a lot of our family activities for the month 🙂
 
I hope that you take time and make a plan of action for the month to spend time together as a family.  It’s so easy to get caught up in the business, the hustle and bustle and forget to take a minute to enjoy the beauty and the spirit of the season.  We started this last year – making some intentional plans – and it was wonderful!!
 
Have a blessed day!!
 
 
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Being Thankful

What a wonderful time of year!!  I’ve shared with you guys before how much I enjoy counting my blessings.  Looking back through the past and recounting my steps and God’s hand.  But, until recently I’ve never really been what I would call a grateful person.  I complain a lot (about nothing).  I whine (about a lot of things).  Why do I do this?  Disposition? {Possibly}  Circumstances? {No – I know better}  Habit?  {I think so}  How sad is it that my habit is to be grumpy. 
 
A couple of weeks ago I started reading a book called “One Thousands Gifts” by Ann Voskamp{because I saw it in a post by The Nester whom I adore :)}  A friend challenged Ann, the author,  to make an actual written list of one thousand things she was thankful for.  She took the challenge and began journaling.  Just reading about the way her senses seemed to be heightened to even the “little” God moments that surrounded her throughout the day has inspired me.  I find myself noticing the positive side of even the most inconvenient moments.  And man oh man has it changed my attitude.  Isn’t it amazing the effect gratitude has on our hearts?  I am working on making thankfulness my habit, because truthfully I have more things to be thankful for than I have things to complain about. 
 
Today I am most thankful for a Savior who takes me just as I am.  Who chooses to use me in my imperfection.  Who hears me when I call.  May I always be mindful of You.
 
I showed you at the beginning of the month our bare Thankful Tree.  Here is an update
 

Isn’t it beautiful!?!  Look at all those leaves!!  There are all sorts of things that we have been thankful for this month and it has been great fun to document some of them in writing.  We actually used all the leaves!!  Next year I may have to make twice as many leaves because we are truly blessed, blessed, blessed!!  
 
Wishing you and your family a blessing-filled Thanksgiving!!  Turkey and family fun to be had!! 

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17??? Oh. My. Word.

Today this boy turns 17…how is that even possible? He stole my heart 17 years ago and to this day he still takes my breath away. I am so proud of the man he is becoming.  Day by day allowing God to shape him and mold him.  Today I am collaborating with my husband to share 17 things we love about our first born – Garrett.
 
 
17. His adorable crooked smile, which he hates, but which reminds me of his grandpa – who had the same exact smile 🙂
 
 
16. He is an awesome big brother! 
 
 
 
15.  His humbleness.  He may be the best and brightest in the room but he would never say so.
 
14. His compassion – his is a bleeding heart like his momma – always hurting for the left behind and left out.

13. His determination – 2nd place is never okay.
12. He’s a teacher – always willing to share knowledge with others.

11.  His love for the Lord.

10.  His passion.
 

9.  His faithfulness.
8.  His unwavering confidence in who God has created him to be.

7.  His understanding and appreciation of the simple things in life.
6.  He supports and encourages his sister and brothers.
 
 
5.  His strength to stand strong in his opinions and convictions even if he is alone.
4.  He enjoys just sitting and talking.  He appreciates relationships with people.
 
3. His faith-based outlook on life. He truly believes & knows in his heart that God has a plan for him.
2.  His good ‘ol down home common sense. 🙂
1.  The fact that at the end of the day, when all is said and done, he loves his momma soooo much.
  
 
Happy Birthday Garrett!!  We love you and are so proud of you!! 
 (In case you couldn’t guess 1-8 are from my husband and 9-17 are from me :))
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