Friday, January 18, 2008

I've Been a Very Good Girl

Show and Tell

At least someone (or several someones) must have thought so! I just wanted to show off a couple of the special things that I received this Christmas (and this is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg!) for my first Friday "Show and Tell" post.

Firs is a handmade mesquite cross, a gift from my brother & his family. My brother is truly an artist, and designs and builds the most beautiful mesquite doors and furnishings. Check out his website! This cross will hang with our collection.
mesquite cross

There are several special new things in this picture. At Thanksgiving, I was browsing this catalog at my Mom's house. I showed a few neat things to Brian. I wasn't asking for them, mind you. I was merely admiring. Well, wouldn't you know that my smart, thoughtful, dear man made a mental note about them. Then, when his mom asked for ideas for me, he passed them on to her. I'm a lucky girl, yes I am. Anyway, the lovely pinecone mantle scarf (pinecones are a year-round theme in our home) and the 3 harvest-themed pottery bowls (harvest is also a year-round theme for us) were special gifts from my mother- and father-in-law. new things
Brian also surprised me with some wonderful boots from Coldwater Creek that I I'll edit in a picture of those later. Just know they're awesome, ok?

Finally, from Mom & Dad, this really pretty set of apothecary jars. I plan to change their contents seasonally.
They also gave me a new wireless printer, you know. I am very spoiled. Very lucky. Very blessed. And yes, I was a very good girl.

Another Birthday in the Bag

Originally uploaded by thingspondered
No, it's not for my Dad! I whipped this little cutie up for a co-worker. I gave her this bag and a purse hook. I tried a new shape this time. I should have clipped back the top corners, but I didn't realize that until it was finished, and it was late, so I just folded them in. They're stiff enough that they stay. That's what I get for not working from a pattern. I'm very creative-free-spirit-fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants when it comes to sewing. When it comes to most crafting, for that matter. Some might call it careless haphazard artistic. What results is one-of-a-kind, if somewhat less than perfect! Anyway, if I wouldn't be ashamed to carry it, then I figure it's good for a gift. Just being real here! Here's the inside fabric:
Yeah, an interior pocket would've been nice, but not at midnight!

file under "Remember this next December"

I'm just now getting around to uploading this picture and posting about it's not exactly timely, but it still might be helpful to someone out there. Just file it away in your next Christmas idea bank, ok?

So I mentioned a few times that I used some free greenery in our home this past Christmas (here and here, for example). I collected some of it at Lowe's, when we purchased our tree. They allowed me to take scraps for free. Then Brian clipped our Buford Holly, so I carried those clippings inside. We made our annual stop for mistletoe, which we clipped out of an oak tree in a vacant lot. Then we had a reception at our church, so I collected juniper and cedar and pyracantha from roadside bushes. After the reception, I brought those clippings home. Finally, I clipped a bit of Texas sage and boxwood from our shrubs to finish things off. What resulted was a very Texas spin on Williamsburg natural decor. It was fragrant (though perhaps a bit rough on our allergies), and it looked lush and beautiful. This basket is one load of what I took down...I had three baskets full!

All this is to say that nice looking garlands and wreaths can be costly. If you can get them after Christmas, they are more affordable. However, if you find your Christmas decorating budget is tight this year, take a look around your town and see what you might be able to bring inside!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I'm Late for a Very Important Date!

Yesterday was my dad's birthday. I had grand intentions of posting yesterday, but, well, life got in the way. Sorry, Dad! I hope your day was good!


Dad is my hero. He has always been a beacon of wisdom and faith in our family. His life has not been without struggles, yet he has always demonstrated an unwavering faith in our sovereign God.

Because he owned his own company until last year, Dad has always had a full plate of work responsibilities, but he's always made time to minister to his family and his church. I can't tell you how many times he patiently sat with my crying, pitiful self, helping me with algebra or geometry or calculus (gag) or leading me to a better understanding of God. Dad works hard, but he delights in providing opportunities for our family to get away together for vacations. Some of my favorite memories with Dad are from our family getaways.

Dad is known for his wisdom and intelligence, his integrity, and his faith. His steady faith has shaped my lifeview. I am grateful for the example he set for me, and for his godly leadership of our family.

The mouth of the righteous man utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks what is just. Psalm 37:30

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. Psalm 1:1-3

I love you, Daddy! Happy Birthday!

Monday, January 7, 2008

A Midwinter's Makeover

Warning: Geeky Post to follow! (Or should I say "newbie-geeky post"?) I've been experimenting with a new template. LA at Freckled Nest just switched over to a 3-column template and I liked the results, so I set out to see if I could get me one of them there 3-column doo-dads. Somewhere along the way, I went redneck, apparently! Anyhoo, I moseyed on over to Tips for New Bloggers (being as I am one) and found the instructions for how to edit my template. 'Course, I had already edited it with my winter design, so I had to play around with the instructions a bit, but I'm liking the new layout. Whaddaya think?

Incidentally, that little snowman in my header was from the freak Texas Christmas snowstorm of 2004. We were home at my parents' house in the Rio Grande Valley, where no measurable snowfall had ever been recorded, let alone at Christmas! I think McAllen received 3" or so. We had a great time playing in it, and then we created this tiny little snowman. To give you perspective, that's about a 1" acorn on his head. He's sitting on top of my parents' mailbox. Later in the day, we noticed this guy:
Rio Grande Valley Snowman
Yes, he's on top of a car! He was probably 5 feet tall! The next day, he was bowing, then I guess he boarded that refrigerated boxcar and headed to the North Pole: (about 2 minutes in). This Christmas it was in the 70's, which is about normal. :::Sigh::: At least it feels like winter on my blog!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Happy Birthday to the "Meanest Mommy in Town"!

Mom & Dad

Today is my mom's birthday. She is an amazing woman, and a treasure. She is known for her encouraging spirit, beautiful smile, artistic talents and sense of humor. From her, I gained a love of books, crafting, and teaching. She has been my cheerleader, prayer warrior, tear-drier, and creative cohort.

When we were children and we asked her why we couldn't have or do something, she always replied "Because I'm the meanest mommy in town." We knew better. Still do. My family has been blessed by her tender love and care.

She is clothed with strength and dignity;she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom,and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all." Proverbs 31:25-29

Happy Birthday, Mom...I love you.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Undeck the Halls, already! And Happy 2008!

I'm trying, I'm really trying. I am working on a new template but it may be next week before I get it up and running. And I'm making progress on "undecking" at home, too. We decided to save our undecorating until New Year's Day. And Happy New Year, everyone! I'm not so much a resolution-maker, but Brian and I are working on goal-setting this stay tuned. I'll have a better post in the next week or so...please be patient! In the meantime, please read Monica's excellent post about having a Clean excellent way to start a new year!