Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I have nothing to say, yet here I am...

Technically, my post title is a lie, because even when I have nothing to say... I have something to say.  I'm often reminded of the quote by Plato- "Wise men speak because they have something to say.  Fools, because they have to say something."  I have to say something!  I just do, alright?!  Anyway.  I do come with a couple of great ideas for you. 
I spray painted this bucket with chalkboard spray paint.  I love this idea!  I know... you're so surprised by that.  It makes a great container for your candaayyy. This bucket was formerly red... before that, it was black.  Now it's chalkboardy. (grin) Oh and a little tip- do not spray paint the underside.  If you do, you'll end up with black-difficult-to-remove, chalkboard residue on your white kitchen table.  I mean.  Hypothetically.  If you do not heed this warning, simply sand the bottom rim with sandpaper once it's all dry, and everything will be fine.  Just saying.
 Also.  (And here's where the "I really have nothing much to say," part of this post enters) I give you, the most annoying project known to man.  (Or woman.)  Because my daughter fell in love with a discontinued American Girl Doll last season, ("Darn you, American Girl!") and I refuse to pay collector item prices for ridiculously small items, I must create them.  FYI: Making a doll, for a doll is as ridiculous as it sounds and my daughter had better rise up and call me blessed for the rest of her natural born days.  The End.
It turned out nicely, thanks to my glue gun.  
And mostly, I'm just happy that she's happy. 
Lastly, this is my other fun idea.  (Boy, I really get sidetracked when I have nothing to say, don't I?) These are dollar store salt and pepper shakers, filled with flowers for a church event.  Aren't they pretty?  This wasn't my brain child, it was the idea of my friend Betsy... but wouldn't it be darling on a Thanksgiving table?  Or as individual place settings?  Super affordable.  Gotta love that.

Okay friends, if I don't get a chance to post again, stay safe this weekend, and happy candy gathering!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Old Red Barn...

 The other day, I saw some professional photos that had been taken in front of an old, red, barn.  I fell madly in love and contacted the photographer immediately.  Luckily for me, she was sweet and shared it's location. 
 I knew at once, this was the spot for family photos... perhaps... if I was really lucky... even a Christmas card photo! I always hold out hope that the stars will align.  (They normally don't.)
 My extended family always gathers for a group Christmas photo each year, so I figured we'd be able to tackle them all on the same day. 
 Um.  Speaking of "tackling."  Do ya'll remember last year's Christmas card photo fiasco?  (say that ten times, really fast.)  Yeah.  That was fun. 
 We enjoyed swapping cameras back and forth, and shooting photos of each other.
 I love red barns.  Can't you tell?  I think I'm perfectly, blissfully happy right here.
 I was laughing at something in this one... I can't remember what... and between this shot, and the next, about twenty photos were taken by my husband.
 It's right here, where I put my hands on my hips and told him to "knock it off already."  Goofy man.  
 Then I grabbed the camera, and returned the favor.  I think he's giving me the "knock it off," look back.  (I don't think I deserved it, because he started it.) 
 Anyway, we tried a bunch of fun poses.  Some worked.  And others, (like this one) didn't.
 And then there's always that potential shot, where people aren't cooperating.  I love Ava in this one.
  There's always one ham in the sandwich.  His name is normally JJ.  (He gets that from his father.)
 My sis-in-law and I played around with some fun ideas.  (Holli, you are precious!)
 Hoodlums.
 And to round things off, we did a little dipping. 
 And kissing. 
 And canoodling.  And really, what's better than that?
 I think it was around this point, that we realized someone should have brought a shovel and a pitchfork.  I think it would have looked great in the shot! 

All in all, we ended up getting several really awesome poses for our Christmas card.  (Which you'll just have to wait for!!) 

Do you have as much fun and craziness when you do your Christmas card photos? 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The flavors of Joy...

I've been putting off writing this post, because I haven't been sure where to begin.  Anything humbling, always begins with hesitation for me.  Ashamedly, that's the honest truth.  Over the past few days, I've been attempting to right a wrong in the inner corners of my thinking.  You see, somewhere along the path of our journey into the unknown, I forgot all about our ultimate destination, (our desire to live our life in a way that allows us to make an actual difference in this world for Christ) and began focusing singularly, on the circumstances.  Namely, selling our house. 
A couple of nights ago, I was laying in bed discussing this all, with my man.  I told him that God hadn't struck me with a lightning bolt, but rather, soaked me in a marinade of his correction and love.  (I know, my pillow talk is mind-blowing.  I like to cook.  What can I say?  It made sense at the time...)  Go with me here.  Often, when I blow it, I get that lightning bolt of correction.  (I always deserve it.)  But... every now and then, a lesson is so good, so powerful, so direction-changing, it hits you more like a marinade.  The flavor of the message just gets stronger and more potent with each passing hour, as the richness of His word melds together in your heart.   You're left more tenderized, and full of the flavor of His joy, as you turn toward Him in obedience.  God is so gracious with me.  He gently brought me back to the very passage that stuck my heart, in the first leg of our journey, back in May when I was terrified to step away from the life I've become so comfortable in, and step out, onto the waters of the unknown.  (Matthew 14:22-36.) 
 You see, I'd become so concerned with where we were going to live, I'd forgotten how we were going to live. 
 I've been cruising through Beth Moore's "Living Beyond Yourself" bible study.  After I'd come to all the above realizations and convictions, I had the blessing of reading these words.  Beth says, "We have one, and only one, reason not to fear- the presence of Christ in our circumstances; but He is more than enough reason.  He was reason enough for Peter to step out on the water.  As long as his focus was straight "toward Jesus," Peter remained on top of the waves, but then he began to sink.  What happened?  Why couldn't  Peter stay afloat through the power of Christ Jesus?  Because Peter switched his focus to his circumstances while Christ remained tightly focused on His destination.  Then came Peter's fear...the same kind of fear that binds weights to our ankles and submerges us in the waves of surrounding circumstances." 
As I work my way back onto the path of joyful obedience, and walk away from staring hopelessly at all my circumstances, I feel wrapped in peace.  The same peace I haven't experienced since we first made the decision to begin this process.  Peace that allows me to say that I'm actually fine- no, better than fine- happy to remain right where we are, if that's His will for us.  I'd rather be obediently focused on Him, than fretfully striving amidst my circumstances. 

I'm closing comments on this post, which is something I've never done before, because I don't want to be tempted to see what "everyone else thinks" about what I've just said. 

I want to let the flavors of joy marinate a little longer in my heart. 


Thank you, Lord. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

What's goin' on in the kitchen??

 After a full day of cooking, cleaning, and planning for a fun wedding celebration for my sis-in-law, we were given the news that they wouldn't be able to make it after all.  I decided that good food need not go to waste.  So I reached for my phone and didn't have any trouble finding instant takers.  On the menu of appetizers, a delicious Jalanpeno dip.  I served mine with Sea Salt Kettle chips.  (Recipe linked, because what kind of blogger would I be if I didn't share? Hmm?  A lousy one, that's what kind.)
Next up... (but only because I got a screaming deal on a pack of jalapenos) Jalapeno poppers.  I used Pioneer Woman's recipe, because I love her, and nothing will ever change that.  Ever.  In a million years.  No matter what.  (I like to carry things to their extreme.  I don't really know why.) I didn't wrap mine in bacon... or brush it with jam... I just put some bacon in the filling and called it good.  (And it was.) 
 Then we ate the best, thickest, top sirloin steaks, grilled to absolute perfection by a tall, handsome, broad-shouldered man.  (I think I'll keep him.)  I served a loaded baked potato alongside.  That was my big contribution.  A potato.  Loaded with everything.  For dessert came this pinwheel cake. 
 The only tweak I added, was that I used pumpkin cream cheese instead of regular.  I found it at Trader Joe's and thought to myself, "Hey, why not?"  It was a good choice.  A last-minute change of plans can be a good thing! 
 And because I wasn't only cleaning and cooking I wanted to show you what else I was doing that day. I spent my morning creating a pattern, and a look-alike American Girl Doll costume, for Halloween, complete with bloomers and bonnet, that nearly killed me.  I will never sew again.  Ever.  As long as I live. (foot stomp.)  I say that every time I complete a project, don't I? 
 But isn't she the most precious thing you've ever seen?

(Also, someone asked where I found the checkered napkins, on my previous post.  The answer-Target.  (In the before-Halloween-Christmas section.) I had a gift card which made everything that much sweeter, and they came in a two pack. I adore Target.)

How was your weekend? 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Entertaining...

 When my sis-in-law decided to elope, thus depriving me of a glorious fall wedding... I decided I needed to celebrate with her anyway!  (And yes, I do realize it's more about her than me... I'm just saying. I love weddings!  I can't help it.)
 I put together a seasonal, yet fun table centerpiece. 
 Did you know that sunflowers will turn red if you put them into a jar of dye?  I didn't know that.  I bought them this color, but I suppose it would be easy enough to create on your own. 

 So fun and harvesty.  I can't wait!
 I found tiny little apples that complimented the whole table scape beautifully, and the best part- we can eat them!
I love a good dinner party! 


Have you celebrated anything recently?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

This project may become a test of your love...

 Have you even been to a wedding, where someone got up and read the biblical passage about love being patient, and kind, out of 1 Corinthians?  Well, around our house, we've been working on having that kind of love toward each other.  I've heard that if you replace the words, "love" with your name, you'll have a pretty good character description. So when I got these huge stamps for some home school projects, I decided we'd make a sign for our new family verse/motto. -The one about being patient, and kind, etc, etc, etc.  (I'm too impatient to type out the rest.) 
These stamps are incredibly awesome.  They have magnets on the back, and come with one handy magnet holder.  That being said, they are also poorly made.  Buyer beware.  The magnet lost it's stick in various places after this project, and so did the foam stamp part.  I guess I'm kinda rough on stamps. 
 But they were rather fun... and the crafting possibilities are endless. 
 KnowwhatImean?
I didn't use ink on the actual project either.  It didn't seem durable enough, so I found this tiny roller and tray in my garage and used black paint.  If you're wondering where I got this tiny roller... I have no idea.  (Please keep in mind, I live with the man who spontaneously pulled out an anti-graffiti kit, complete with rubber gloves the other day, when our for sale sign was vandalized.) 
 My best tip for doing this type of project, is stamp out your script onto paper, first.  Then you'll know what size board to purchase, and can tweak it as needed.  I found a board at Lowe's, for under $7.00.  I didn't even need to cut it.  I gave it one coat of white paint, and let it dry overnight.
 
 Also, make sure to prepare a surface for your stamps as you use them.  Don't make the mistake of laying down newsprint.  As the paint dries, it will stick to the newsprint and you'll have a mess.  Don't you just love how I make the mistakes first, so you don't have to?  I eventually found that a plastic bag worked best.  I scrubbed them with water afterward, and they were good as new.  (Well, I mean as good as they could be, considering that they were falling apart in places!) 
 I love how it commands attention.  Unfortunately, I had to condense the verse a bit to get it all on here, but the theme remains intact.  I also love how the sign-maker (me) got a little short on space, and made the bottom line all weird.  By that time, I was really working to persevere,  and not get easily angered.  I guess it's okay though, because I like imperfection.  
 I suppose the difficult part will be learning to actually live, while showing that kind of love. 
Perhaps seeing it in black and white every day, will encourage us. 


Does your family have a motto or a special verse?