Friday, December 31, 2010

This Might Be the Last Time I Post About Wreaths

Oh who am I kidding, this will not be the last time I post about wreaths!  I only have one for Valentine's Day  and one for St. Patrick's Day (and hello -  I have TWO doors!).  I did whip up these 2 winter beauties, though!

The first, was a coffee filter wreath, which I have seen on at least 3 other crafty blogs.  Google "coffee filter wreath" and you can find a ton of tutorials!  This cost less than 5 dollars and it is gorgeous!

The 2nd wreath is my own creation!  I spotted this maribou feather ribbon at Target before Christmas.  Since I was away for the holidays, I didn't make it to Target until the 30th, and was just hoping there'd be some left at 50% off!  I dug through 4 bins of ribbon, and came up victoriously!  

I simply wrapped the feather ribbon around my wreath form.  When it came up a little short, I decided to go with the asymmetrical look and wrapped the rest in some tinsel ribbon I also got in the Target clearance bins.

Then, I made a few different sizes and styles of the pipe cleaner snowflakes I did with my class last week.  I played with a few different positions and styles.

I decided on this one:

Under 10 bucks and 30 minutes for a sparkly, wintry wreath that is perfect for January!


A Toast to the NEW Year!

I read many posts this last week on the blogs I subscribe to that were reflections of 2010.  I considered writing one.  In fact I even had it started.  But I decided that in an effort to continually choose the joy over the pain, I didn't want to spend a whole bunch of time look back at 2010.  I am so over 2010.

I have seen some people choosing their "word of the year".  I think one word to describe 2010 would be:

So, what word do I want to describe 2011?

"If indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth."
(Ephesians 4:21-24)

"we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day."
(2 Corinthians 4:16)

"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."
(Romans 12:2)

So what do I plan on renewing in 2011?
- I will renew and strengthen my relationship with God through the Bible in 90 Days Challenge

- I will renew my physical health by eating something other than the 4 holiday food groups of fudge, candy, cookies, and coffee.  (ok, I'm keeping the coffee part)

- I will renew my home by tackling the disastrous mess that is currently my craft room.  I want a place where I can do my crafty stuff without having to mess up other rooms in the house.

Bring it on, 2011!


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Like a Million Years Ago

Christmas day I flew from Baltimore to Tampa, where my parents' RV is currently stationed.  It was a beautiful sunny day, so we put on our suits and headed to the beach.  As we were driving to the beach I said "Christmas last year feels like it was a million years ago".  It feels like I've lived at least 5 years of life between last Christmas and this Christmas.  This time last year, Isaac and I were packing for a trip to see Dr. Pete at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and now I sit in the front of an RV staring at palm trees blowing in the wind.  What a change.

Feet in the sand by the Gulf of Mexico
Galveston, TX

Feet in the sand by the Gulf of Mexico
Bradenton Beach, FL

A year apart, a few hundred miles apart...but in mindset, it's an immeasurable difference.


Tuesday, December 28, 2010


I recently was introduced to a great challenge for the new year! 
 I'll admit that the task is a little daunting, but the reward will be great! 
Anyone else doing this one?



Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Eve

How did you spend your Christmas Eve?  I started off my day helping with an event our local Rescue Mission was having.  I ended my day at my church's 1st Christmas Eve service.  But it's the in between that I want to share with you.

The Christmas Eve weather in my area was beautiful - bright sunshine, clear blue sky, and just the perfect amount of chill in the air.  I decided it was a beautiful day for a walk at Nixon Park.  There is a bridge at Nixon Park where Isaac and I used to sit and talk, so that's where I scattered my part of his ashes.  As I was walking down the path towards that bridge, I realized that Christmas Eve also marked 10 months since Isaac died.

As you walk down the path to the bridge, there is another trail that branches off the path and goes up a hill.  I decided this time to go up that way.  This has been a really hard year for me, and I've been feeling the weight of that a lot lately.  As I climbed up that trail, I cried and talked to God about that weight.  When I got to the top, I was talking to Isaac (out loud - I was the only one there, so I'm not just crazy) and I said "I hope you know that I am happy again...I hope you know" and immediately after that, I heard the tap-tap-tapping of a woodpecker.  Those of you who knew Isaac, know he was an avid bird watcher.  Hearing that tapping so clear was almost like hearing him say "Yep, I know".

I sat down on a log by the trail and just felt the sun shine on my face, and this song came into my head:

Good morning
The night is over and gone
I thought once
This dark would last for so long

Feel the sunlight 
On my face 
You have brought me 
Through this place 

Jesus, Jesus You found me
Through the long night you led me
You set me free

I can't think of a better way to describe my walk with the Lord this year.  As I walked back down the trail, I physically felt lighter.  I felt like the weight of carrying the word "widow" all year was lifted and I look toward 2011 with so much hope!

Linked up to Women Living Well

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

WFW - Isaiah

I love these names for God.

Wonderful Counselor
Mighty God
Everlasting Father
Prince of Peace

This past year, I have had the opportunity to experience God in every one of these roles.  He was my "Wonderful Counselor" as I sat by Isaac's bedside confused and broken.  He was my Mighty God the night before Isaac died when I simply prayed for the small miracle of making it through the night.  He has been my Everlasting Father as He has comforted me through loneliness, sadness, and many questions.

But of all these names, Prince of Peace is the one that defines God in this year for me.  Through every heart ache, every tough decision, every struggle, every happy moment, God has brought me such peace this year.  He has been mighty and everlasting and faithful and wonderful, but most of all He has brought me PEACE.

Quick and Easy Snowflakes

Wednesday was the first day of Winter, so to mark the occasion, my students made these quick pipe cleaner snowflakes!  They only take a few minutes to make.  We also read the story of Wilson Bentley, the man who was made famous by photographing individual snowflakes.  The story is called "Snowflake Bentley".

Here are a few of our originals:



Monday, December 20, 2010

Tasty Tuesday - Easy Biscotti

I found this recipe last year in a magazine on an advertisement for Betty Crocker.  It is so easy and tastes awesome!!

Easy Betty Crocker Biscotti

1 pouch Betty Crocker cookie mix, any variety
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg
1/3 cup butter, softened
2-3 cups assorted mix ins (chocolate chips, dried cranberries, raisins, peanut butter chips, nuts, etc.)

Put all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and combine until a stiff dough forms.  There is a point once things are as stirred as you can get them, when I take the dough out of the bowl and finish combining it by hand on a floured countertop.

Take half of the dough at a time and shape it into a rectangle 8"x2.5" (I actually measured mine the most recent time I did it, and that helped.  The dough spreads out a little when it bakes so, if it's too long it can be difficult to cut)

Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 350 for 20-25 minutes.  Allow to cool for 15 minutes.

Cut the dough into 3/4 inch pieces and place one side down on a cookie sheet.

Bake for 10-15 minutes more, turning once halfway through.

Allow to cool, serve, and enjoy!

(You could also melt some chocolate to drizzle across these)

I made "dark chocolate cranberry" and "chocolate toffee" varieties this time.  Yum!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Tour

A random, unorganized bunch of pictures of my house at Christmas!

Christmas cat helps set up the tree!

This candle smells like peppermint bark - ahhh!!  It's so awesome!

The tree - this year's theme is bright colors!  

At one point, those mittens held Starbucks gift cards...which are, of course, all gone!

I'm obsessed with random containers holding assorted ornaments this year...

The tree and the mantle!

He thinks the gingerbread girl is his friend.

Piano in the dark - with adorable peppermint lights!

More tree