Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Year in Review

Happy New Year's Eve, everyone! I've been away from blogging for a few days, but it's given me a little time to contemplate and look back on 2009. Wow! This was a really productive year for our family! I thought I would try to come up with five things I accomplished this year, and instead, I came up with an even for every month! Here's how my year shaped up:


1.) I lost 25 pounds! This was a major achievement for me, as I've never been a person known for her will power. But after reading about nutrition and the power of proper foods to boost immunities, I took a good, hard look at my eating habits. Beginning in January, I started adding more high fiber foods and lean proteins into my daily diet. This meant adding in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. I also cut out restaurant eating, and eliminated a lot of sugars and high carb foods (goodbye cookies and pizza!). I've made some really positive lifestyle changes, and I feel better than ever!

2.) I sent a son to college. What an all-consuming project this was! Luke's first semester has been great, and he's hoping to transfer to a college a bit closer to home in the fall of 2010. I'm now starting the process all over again with my son John, who will be taking his SAT next month and visiting potential college choices this spring!

3.) I sent a son to kindergarten! Sam's first year of school has been fun, and I enjoy helping in his class once a week.

4.) I found a new church! But I take no credit for this one, as it was an answer to prayers. God really did lead us to this church, and we are so happy there! Praise you, Lord!

5.) I took up needle arts again after more than a fifteen year absence. I'm really enjoying my new hobby, and it's a wonderful and relaxing craft that I can take with me anywhere.

6.) I discovered the joys of purging, thanks to Craigslist and local consignment shops. It's a wonderful feeling to let go of items that aren't needed and let them be a blessing to someone else. My home is not a cluttered, crowded mess. Ed built some amazing storage shelves in our basement, where we keep things in neat rubber totes. We look at all items and if we don't need it, we sell it our give it away.

7.) I began a new Bible study with the women at my new church. Not only am I learning a lot about listening to God's voice (thank you, Priscilla Shirer!), but I'm also growing close to a lovely group of women. The fellowship has been such a blessing.

8.) I began new ministries this year. It's nice to find purpose for my days again.

9.) I started a fitness plan, thanks to my overweight dog. Maggie began her doggie boot camp this fall, and part of her routine is walking every other day. She's doing so well with this that we may begin walking every day now. She's getting fit, and consequently, so am I!

10.) I got a job! I really enjoy working part time. I love working in a service related industry, and the women that I work with are just delightful. It's such a fun environment that I nearly forget the bonus of getting a paycheck to do it. By some miracle, I've managed to stay on after the Christmas shopping season, and I'm hoping to be useful, put in a few hours each week and remain on the payroll.

11.) I learned to budget this year! My husband and I took a look at our finances (thanks to the addition of college tuition payments!) and came up with a plan to help us stay out of debt and become better at saving. You've heard of some diets that require you to write down every food that you eat, right? Well, I now keep a careful account of every dollar I spend each month. I know where the money goes, and I know how much I can spend on food, clothing, crafts, coffees, etc. My little budget book stays in my purse at all times, and if a receipt goes into my wallet, it gets marked in the book, too.

12.) I dropped my demonstratorship at Stampin' Up! ( see number 11...ha ha!). SU is a great company, and they offer a wonderful product. But in the end, I tired of the business aspects and the impulse buying. Now, I have the freedom to purchase from other companies, and I only buy in limited amounts. I'm learning to use what I have and become more creative in the process. Today's card is one example!

I made this card using a newer SU set, but pairing it with a lot of old product.

{recipe: Snow Buddies (SU), sentiments from The Saltbox Studio, baja breeze cardstock and ink, choc. chip cardstock and ink, Ski Slope papers, versafine onyx ink, prisma markers, red grosgrain ribbon, felt snowflake, white snowflake brad (Making Memories), Souffle white pen}

I got the inspiration for this card from the book "A Card A Day" by PaperCrafts magazine.

I ordered this book last month, and it is really great! Not only does it have 365 cards for inspiration, but it also has a section on card sketches, color combos, patterns, tools, and organization.

I know that I've been blessed in 2009. I hope that 2010 is a year filled with many blessings for you, too!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Clean Slate

Don't you love this time of year? When one year ends, I can look back and see what was accomplished, what didn't get done, and all the things that God did get done in my life. And then I can anticipate a new year filled with new mission and purpose.

Yesterday, I decided to embrace the "Clean Slate" by truly cleaning my craft studio from top to bottom. Before I began, there were piles of stamp sets all over the floor, and piles of paper and cardstock and accessories on the desk. I kid you not, you could not see the wood surface of the desk! But now, it is a thing of beauty!

This year, I want to add more journalling and meditation to my daily disciplines. I made this cute journal by covering a composition book with pretty Amy Butler papers.

This fun paper is even flocked for added texture!

Groovy! I often find myself with notes I've written myself on little pieces of paper and collected in my purse or shoved in my Bible. Every Sunday, I write insightful notes from the Pastor's sermon. I'll also jot down things that have come to me during Bible study, or thoughts God has placed on my heart. Now, I can keep them in a bound book. I think I'll add my own doodles, writing, scripture verses, stamping, whatever tickles my fancy.

Hopefully, I'll be able to add some insights from here, my new Bible! I'm so excited about this purchase! I wanted to buy one last January, but decided to wait. I found this like new, never used copy of the One Year Chronological Bible at my local used book store for $6! (Wow, whoever owned this and never used it was surely missing out!) I'm so excited for January 1st to arrive so that I can begin this new reading of God's Word.

In the past year, I have found that God is leading me to ponder various aspects of His character. This year, I reflected on the truth that God is Sovereign, and what this meant for me personally. In the year ahead, I can feel that God is prodding me to reflect on His mercy. Here's what Priscilla Shirer has to say about this practice of God revealing Himself to us:

"When God instructs us to do something based on our knowledge of Him, He moves our relationship from mental to experiential. This is why He so passionately desires to reveal Himself to us through His Word. God doesn't just want us to hear about Him, but to see and experience him in our lives. We move from knowledge about God to experience with God when He reveals a characteristic; we then experience that characteristic as we step out in obedience to Him." (from Discerning the Voice of God)

By the way, a lot of you may know Patter Cross from Splitcoast Stampers, where she's known as "identicaltriplets". She has an awesome blog called Triple The Scraps, where she showcases her faith-based journalling, scrapbooking, and paper crafting. She also hosts a lot of faith-based challenges. Check her out!

Today's Word was part of our Bible study discussion last week, and has become so very important in my life this year. Here it is:

"Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him." Proverbs 30:5

May you find comfort this day in the word, and in the Word of God made flesh who dwelt among us.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Passage John 1:1-16:

John 1

1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2The same was in the beginning with God.

3All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

4In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

5And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

6There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.

7The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.

8He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

9That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

10He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

11He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

12But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

13Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

14And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

15John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.

16And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Of Sheep and Shepherds

When I lived in St. Louis, God introduced me to some wonderful Godly women at our church home. The young women were amazing examples of the Proverbs 31 women, and the more mature women were examples of the Titus model of mentoring. Two of those mentors were Barb Lochmann and Donna Hollingsworth.

Barb and Donna were our MOPS mentors, and so much more. On Sundays, you often found them in the nursery, jiggling babies so that a young mom could hear a sermon. On Fridays, they were in MOPS, giving devotions and advice and holding an infant so a mom could grab a bite of food. On Wednesdays, you saw them in Bible study. They held small groups, called "home church", in their houses, and every summer they opened their homes to young women for bible study and fellowship. Truly amazing women with a heart for Jesus and ministry. They were shepherds to the flock that God placed before them.

At the time, I was a periodic columnist for a local newspaper. One December, I had written a column called "All I Want For Christmas is a Sheep", where I highlighted the mission of Heifer International. You can read the column from the archives here:

Barb gave a wonderful devotion at our MOPS meeting that month. She brought in her family's creche that was handpainted and handmade in Germany more than one hundred years ago. I remember that she talked about the hurting at the holidays, loved ones out of work or struggling with cancer. She didn't know that my family was dealing with my Dad's cancer at the time. There were tears in my eyes when she spoke of God's love and his gift of a Savior to us all. It was heartwarming.

After she was done, she told me "Mary Rose, I have a sheep for you."

She handed me the most precious sheep that you see in the photo here, one from the flock of her one hundred year old creche. I was so moved, and I told her it was the best present I would get that year. I look at that sheep every day, and remember the Godly woman who gave it to me. It reminds me that there are a lot of sheep out there who need shepherding, and who need to know the love of our Great Shepherd.

I made today's card for the Ways to Use It Challenge to add background stamps to a card. It will be a nice card to send to someone who may need to be reminded of our Shepherd's love.

{recipe: Sheep and Saltbox House and sentiment from The Saltbox Studio, checkerboard background (SU), polka dot background (SU), French Flair background (SU), baja breeze ink and cardstock, old olive ink and cardstock, kiwi kiss cardstock, versafine onyx ink, prisma markers}

Blessings on your Christmas season!

"And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night." Luke 2: 8

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Crimson and Gold, Crimson and Gold...

Yes, I realize that those are not the colors mentioned in the beloved Burl Ives Christmas song. That would be silver and gold. But yesterday's color challenge was to use Crushed Curry, Real Red, and Sahara Sand in a creation. This card was super fast and easy!

{recipe: Stem Sayings (SU), folk heart punch, crushed curry polka ribbon, real red grosgrain ribbon, versafine onyx ink, Amuse twinkles, sahara sand/real red/crushed curry cardstock}

I liked the color combination so much that I repeated it for today's sketch challenge! This card was a little more complicated, but I love the sunshine effect!

{recipe: A Little Birdie Told Me (SU), real red/crushed curry/basic black cardstock, yellow gingham paper (amuse), red polka paper (cosmo cricket), modern label punch, Making Memories button brads, black gingham ribbon, Bazzill polka paper, versafine onyx ink, crushed curry ink}

I realized that this color combo also appears on the pillow that I made my mom for Christmas!

This project was a joy to stitch up! First of all, it's stitched on a 10 ct. Heatherfield (easy on the old eyes!). Second, it was stitched using DMC pearl cotton (size 5) need to separate flosses, and it rarely tangled. It was a fast and easy project from Pine Mountain Designs.


I have finally fixed the comment feature on my blog! You no longer have to jump through a thousand hoops just to leave a comment! Now, you can click, type, and submit! Super easy!

Hope your day is golden!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

New Fallen Snow

We woke up to a snowy morning today, with a few more inches of a good wet packing snow.

Maggie was excited to go out and dig her snout into the freshly fallen snow!

She even made me throw her ball a few times so that she could fetch it by sliding down the hill in our backyard. Two sons are out shoveling the driveway, and another son is rounding up his friends for a fun day of sledding. I'm so glad I got my grocery shopping and laundry done yesterday. Today I can light up the fire, put on a good Hallmark Christmas movie, and stitch away to my hearts content!

I made this card for my dear friend, Stef. In all the hulabaloo with weddings and Christmas preparations, I managed to miss Stef's birthday. I hope she'll forgive me! I used a sketch from yesterday's Clean and Simple challenge.

{recipe: sentiment from The Saltbox Studio), Basic Grey Dasher paper, kiwi kiss cardstock and ink, white cardstock, baja breeze ink, scallop circle punch, felt snowflake, Amuse twinkles, kiwi satin ribbon}

Thanks for stopping in to the cafe on this snowy day. Grab a cup of hot chocolate and add the whipped topping...go ahead and splurge a little!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Winter Wedding

We had a wonderful time at my nephew's winter wedding this past weekend! Sam was such a handsome ring bearer! He really loved that tuxedo, and wanted to keep it!

He was so good for the wedding ceremony, too!

I think he knew that it was a big day for the bride and groom, and consequently, he was on his best behavior!

Of course, his favorite part of the day was dancing at the reception with all of his cousins!

It was so nice to spend time with my brothers and sisters. We had a lot of laughs!

I got to spend a little holiday time with Mom and the sisters, too! Jenny was such a beautiful mother of the groom!

But the best part of the day was just seeing how happy Josh and Sara were together!

Best Wishes and many blessings, Josh and Sara!

{recipe: Elegant Greetings (SU), Cosmo Cricket Wonderland paper, riding hood red cardstock and ink, silver organdy ribbon, silver cord, red felt snowflake, red rhinestone brad}

Friday, December 18, 2009

For Ed

Yesterday was my dear sweet husband's birthday. After work, I surprised Ed with a special Middle eastern dinner of gyro, hummus, baba ghannouj, grape leaves, falafel, fatoosh and pita...mmm! It was all so good! I found a middle eastern market/restaurant in the next town over, and took it all home as a carryout order. We've been looking for a good middle eastern restaurant since our move here to Indy, so I know Ed was surprised!

And here's the card I made for Ed's big day! I finally got a chance to use a stamp set I bought back in October at Papertrix in Nashville, Indiana. This typewriter alphabet set was only 2.95!

{recipe: Puns from the Past (SU), Typewriter ABC set (EK Sucess), basic gray cardstock, Pure Luxury ivory cardstock, Rockabilly paper, versafine onyx ink, metal edged tag, gray satin ribbon, circle punches}

The sentiment inside the card says "You're a classic!"

My husband is a classic! He's like a Humphrey Bogart or a Jimmy Stewart, one of the great character actors. Last weekend, we attended the work Christmas party, and so many people came up to me to tell me about my husband. "He's the funniest person I know!" "His wit and sarcasm always always crack us up!" "He's probably the most intelligent person I've ever met." Yep! I knew all of that, and more.

I'm a lucky gal! My guy is a real romantic, and he's a good father, too. He likes sports, but not so crazy about them that he turns me into a sports widow. He loves the outdoors, but he's beyond the point of making me sleep in tents on the hard ground (whew!). He's one of the hardest working people I know, but he also enjoys just resting with his family at home. Ed attends a small group Men's bible study with our pastor a couple of times each month, and the pastor recently commented on Ed's gifts of wisdom and discernment. It's such a comfort to have him leading our family.

I've spent more than half my life with this man, and I can't wait to see what the next half brings!

Happy Birthday, Ed!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Little Behind

What is it about this time of year that gets us so frazzled? This week, I feel like a dog chasing after my own tail! In the past few days, I've had two Christmas programs to attend, one birthday to finish shopping for (my dear sweet husband's!), an out of town wedding to prepare and pack for, and craft projects that still aren't finished!

In the end, you just have to look at your problem, put a fancy glittery wreath on it (like Sam did here with our dog), smile at it and remind yourself by repeating several times out loud "It's the most wonderful time of the year!" And if that doesn't work, a nap is always a good idea.

Are you tired of seeing Christmas crafts? I know that I am! Today, I'm showcasing a card I made for yesterday's sketch challenge...a birthday card! Go figure! I'm sending this card to my mother-in-law, very belatedly! She had a birthday on December 6th, and while she got her present from us ( an automatic remote car starter...a very practical thing for a woman who lives in northern Ohio and doesn't have a warm and toasty garage to keep her car in!), she never received a birthday card. Time to remedy this situation!

I found this pretty paper in my stash, unopened for the last six or seven years! I purchased it from the Longaberger Homestead in Ohio. Some of you basket collectors may recognize this pattern as one of Longaberger's old fabric offerings. I thought it made a lovely, vintage addition to this card.

{recipe: A Rose is a Rose (SU), Teeny Tiny Wishes (SU), so saffron cardstock, purely pomegranate cardstock and ink, old olive ink, pom. wide stain ribbon, oval punch, scallop oval punch}

Speaking of pomegranates (wasn't this a lovely color from Stampin' Up?), this fruit is now available in grocery stores. It's a good source of vitamin C and full of antioxidants. My mother used to cut up this fruit, scoop out the juicy kernels, and serve it to us...yummy! When Sam was just two, I thought I'd let him try some, too. I cut it up, scooped out the fruit (warning! best done after soaking in water, otherwise you end up with red juice splatterings everywhere, and your kitchen looks like the scene of a horror movie!), and served it to him in a pretty bowl.

Sam took a bite of the pomegranate, made a face, and said "Too fusty!"

I laugh every time I think of it! We're not sure what "fusty" meant in this situation, but it has now become a family joke, and we often describe things as being "too fusty".

I think this week has the potential to become "too fusty"! But I'll just keep smiling and reminding myself "It's the most wonderful time of the year!"

Monday, December 14, 2009

The First Noel

Our church held the children's Christmas program yesterday. Honestly, this is always the highlight of my Christmas season! I love to hear the children recite the story of Jesus' birth, and sing the carols in their precious voices. It's priceless! And when the shepherds are surrounded by the winged angels in their fancy dresses, it has to be a camera worthy moment!

Sam the Shepherd had a lot of fun! He did complain a bit that his costume was itchy, and you can see him fussing with it in this photo:

But in the end, the children sang their songs and remembered all of their lines. I began teaching Sunday School this month. I have a class of second graders, and they are very sweet. I was so happy to be a small part of the program. I love teaching children about God's love, and what better message to share than the birth of a savior!

I made today's card in honor of my little shepherd boy! This card was for today's Clean and Simple challenge to make a card with curves. I thought the snowy hill was just the right accent. You know, no one does clean and simple cards as well as Amuse. Sometimes, I get in a groove where I'm making a bunch of fussy cards with layers and embellishments and lots of coloring. And then, I need to take a step back, wipe the slate clean, and go back to a simple look where the images can stand alone. These stamps are some of my favorites!

{recipe: Amuse Art Stamps, amuse polka paper, white/red/olive cardstock, olive stitched ribbon (Amuse), Stickles, oval punches}

Thanks for stopping by the cafe today! I think I'll pop over to one of my favorite cafes downtown for a Caramel Latte and a little holiday window shopping. Happy Monday, everyone!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Memories of the Holidays

I've been missing my Dad this week. Of course, there's not a day that goes by that I don't miss him or think of him, but at Christmas I can't help but think of Dad. Dad put the Merry in Christmas. He loved to shop for presents, listen to Christmas tunes (Perry Como, Nat King Cole, and Bing Crosby), and most of all, he loved to gather his family together to celebrate. When I see the tree, I'm reminded of all those times Dad had to string up the lights, and how he would curse the entire time, puffing away on his pipe in frustration.

My sister, Tina, gave me this amazing candle last week. The fragrance? Tobacco! Now I know that some of you would think that's disgusting, but this candle smells like my Dad's Borkhum Riff pipe tobacco. Did you know that smell is a very strong trigger of memory? When I smell this candle burning, it's like Dad is "piping" in the room. The candle comes from a local candlemaker called Mood Elements. The description on the box says "A deep rich tobacco scent with undertones of tonka bean. Caramelized sugar adds sweetness to create a perfect balance. Overstuffed leather chair and smoking jacket sold separately." Isn't that great?

Last night, my neighbor across the street popped over for a few minutes. I asked about his sister, who was dying of cancer, and told him that she'd been in my prayers. He told me the prayers were answered, as his sister went to her heavenly home. We talked of cancer and hospice and how hard the loss of a loved one is over the holidays. He began to tear up, and I teared up. Then he was crying, and I was crying. And before you knew it, we were hugging with sniffling noses. It was a humbling experience. I was reminded once again that there are a lot of hurting people in this broken world, and that's exactly why God sent his son on Christmas Day. There is pain, but there is also blessing.

I finished another stitching project this week! This project comes from the pattern by Erica Micahels Designs in the Just Cross Stitch Christmas issue. I did alter this project a bit. For starters, I used a much larger count for the linen ( I think it's 28 count), and a slightly darker shade as well. Then I altered the floss colors a bit, substituting some of the DMC colors that I didn't have with some of the Weeks Dye Works colors that I already own. Finally, the original pattern showed the swirls at the top in a different color and direction. I changed them slightly and added french knot "berries" to make it look a bit like holly. Cute, eh? This project features three different stitches...cross stitch, tent stitch, and back stitch, along with french knots. Now that I've finished the stitching, I'll need to figure out how to finish the project...turn it into a pillow? A door know hanger? Or simply frame it? Hmm. We'll see.

God bless us, every one!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Winter Winds

Brrr! The winter winds have blown in to town, and the snows have started to fall. Time to make a snowman card!

I made this card for today's Sketch Challenge. In place of the Top Note die cut used in the original sketch, I used ovals that I had cut with my old trusty Coluzzle. I used a pair of scallop scissors from Fiskars to make the scallop edge around the red mat oval.

I made this for my niece, Madison, who is having a birthday next week. I'm not sure how the winter birthday people feel about snowy/Christmas-y looking cards, but she's eight, and I think she'll appreciate the sparkle and touches of pink girliness.

{recipe: Imaginesce papers and stickers, kiwi kiss/riding hood red/pink pirouette cardstock, red satin ribbon, Making Memories star brad, oval punch, word window punch, white Souffle pen}

I found this tin tower in my pantry the other day. This used to contain different cocoas from Starbucks ( a gift from one of my nephews last year). I decided to clean it out and use it to hold some of my winter accessories like brads and snowflakes. It makes a festive addition to my craft table, and it provides some handy storage, too! As a matter of fact, if I hadn't gathered my holiday supplies together today, I never would have remembered the green sparkly star brad that I used on today's card.

Cocoa...hmmm. That sounds like a good idea! Stay warm!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


What a fun weekend! My sister, Tina, and my mom came in to town for a two day visit. Wow! We managed to fit a lot into two days! On Sunday, we visited a Longaberger Open House, then went to the town of Zionsville to shop. After that, we came home and my husband, Ed, made us a fabulous dinner of grilled portobello mushrooms, asparagus, and steak. Yum! Then we watched a Hallmark Christmas movie called "Mrs. Miracle" times!

Yesterday, we woke up early and headed out to Ginger's Cafe for breakfast with Sam tagging along for the pancakes. He says that Ginger's pancakes are second only to Grandma's.

Of course, if you're going to Ginger's, you have to stop next door at Always In Stitches. My sister, Tina, collects fabric the way I collect paper!

Here's Mom and Tina surrounded by oodles of pretty fabrics! Our time together was short, but still productive! We did a lot of shopping, had a lot of laughs, drank holiday coffees, and flipped through books and magazines for our next source of inspiration. My family believes in a good time!

I made this card for yesterday's Clean and Simple challenge to make a red and brown card. When I saw this challenge, I knew right away that I'd have to use my Cosmo Cricket Wonderland papers. This card is super clean and super stamping!

{recipe: Cosmo Cricket Wonderland papers, riding hood red cardstock, red felt snowflake, scallop edge punch, lace from Making memories, pearls} and brown makes me think of a nice coffee topped with peppermint sprinkles. Anyone else jiving for a Peppermint Mocha Latte now?

Thanks for stopping by the cafe today!

Monday, December 7, 2009

First Snow

We awoke to the first snowfall of the year this morning! There's something so magical about the first snow, isn't there? Maggie, my lab, and I went out in the darkness this morning to feed the birds, and when I turned on the back deck lights, we saw the blanket of new snow. I get just as excited as the children! I suppose I'll always be a northerner...I just love the change of seasons. A December snow is especially exciting, but it does lose its luster around March and April. For now, I'm enjoying the "most wonderful time of the year."

I made this card for the Gina K challenge...a snowy card. I decided to depict a winter night by embossing the image with black detail fine embossing powder on black cardstock, and then softening the edges with a snowy border of white craft ink.

I stamped the same image again on white cardstock using sage shadow ink and adding the "joy" in black. Inside the card, I think I'll add the verse from Matthew 2:10: "When they saw the star, they were overjoyed."

{recipe: Happy Camper (Gina K. Designs), Many Wishes (Gina K. Designs), sage shadow ink and cardstock, basic black cardstock, black detail embossing powder, Versafine onyx ink, white craft ink, black organdy ribbon, oval and scallop oval punches, Amuse star twinkle, silver star brad}

Happy snowy Monday!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

All I Want For Christmas Is.... two front teeth! Sam woke up this morning and announced "Mom! My tooth is loose!" He was was very wiggly! I told him that tooth would fall out very soon.

We debated the various ways that his older brothers lost their first tooth. Luke swallowed his when he was just a preschooler and didn't know about tooth fairies. John was afraid to pull his tooth, and managed to push it out with his tongue, where it proceeded to fall right into the toilet as he was going to the bathroom! I had to put on rubber gloves and retrieve (and wash!) the tooth for the tooth fairy! Such fun memories.

Sam is affectionately known as our warrior child. He crashes through life with sword raised for battle! I told him that he was a tough kid, and would probably yank that tooth out with no problem. Well, I left the room for a minute, and he said "Mom! My tooth came out!" Sure enough, he yanked that tooth out with no fear!

He was so proud! He looks just adorable today with his toothless grin! Right after this, he went to a birthday party for Jesus at our church, where he proudly showed his new gap toothed smile! He had a joyful day, and told me this was his best day ever!

I made this funky Christmas card for another Gina K sketch challenge. I kinda like it, but I think I'm going to have to re-glue those red dots to the ribbon. The cheap off brand glue dots I used are really wiggly.

{recipe: sentiment from Many Wishes (Gina K), Imaginesce paper,Versafine onyx ink, baja breeze and riding hood red cardstock, olive green ribbon, scallop edge punch, modern label punch, circle punch, Amuse twinkle stars}

Hope your day is joyful, too!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Holidays Vs. Christmas

This time of year, the same argument gets debated in government centers, schools, and public buildings. Do we spread cheer with a "Merry Christmas" or a "Happy Holidays"? People can become quite irate! I even heard a tune by the band Go Fish about this very subject. The Christian camp wants a "Merry Christmas" proclaimed loud and clear, while the politically correct camp wants a "Happy Holidays" that will encompass all holidays in the month of December...this is what my family jokingly calls the "Ramahanukwanzmas" approach.

Personally, I find them both appropriate. This may shock some readers, but let me explain. The true origin of "Happy Holidays" was not meant as it's used today...a generic non-offensive all-encompassing holiday greeting. The root of the phrase actually comes from Happy Holy Days. You see, there are a lot of holy days on the Christian calendar at this time of year, beginning with Christ the King Sunday, then moving on to the days of Advent, and then the many saint days celebrated by various cultures...St. Lucia Day, St. Nicholas Day, et al. And then, there are the feasts and celebrations that various cultures mark, such as La Posada. Christmas, as a period of time, is relatively short...twelve days. It is followed by the much longer season of Epiphany.

Perhaps the best greeting for any day is "Shalom." Peace. The peace that passes all understanding. That's the message for today's card.

I made this card for the Gina K Designs challenge...a card of blue and green. I think this combo makes a lovely Christmas card, don't you?

{recipe: Vintage Borders (Gina K), Many Wishes (Gina K), white old olive/ baja breeze cardstock, baja breeze ink, versafine onyx ink, Basic Grey Dasher papers, blue taffeta ribbon, Amuse star twinkles}

Wishing you shalom in your home today!