December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

From our family to yours!

December 23, 2012

Breaking 700

According to my blog stats, this is blog post #701 for me.  I'm not great at math, but I do like numbers, so I thought I'd share a few number thoughts with you today.

1 - the number of projects I have completed this month.  I finally finished the window treatments for my bedroom.  Love the fabric.  Love the price.  Love checking it off my list!
2- the number of children in my house with the flu  BOO!!! 
3- the number of times we visited the pediatrician this week. I love sick walk-in, but each time we sat in the room FULL of sick children I felt the germs crawling all over me.

 4- the number of days our poor Elf on the Shelf got neglected this week.  Poor guy finally showed up with his own wellness plan.

 5- the number of Tamiflu boxes in our house right now. (Yes, I know there are only 4 in the pic, but it's been a long week.)

6- the number of minstrels singing (very loudly) during a lunch date with a dear friend this week.  A much needed lunch date.

7- the number of hours my dog would lay in the sunlight if he could

8- the number of times (at least) I've giggled over this pic I snapped in Walmart:
I wanna be just like her when I grow up.  Don't you?

9- the number of times I've told this story:
While shopping with my daughter this week, a woman asked us if we were sisters.
Daughter: mortified
Me: doing the happy dance

10- the number of times I want to wish you a Merry Christmas!

December 19, 2012

Farmhouse Christmas Tour

Welcome to our first Christmas at the farm!  We're still figuring out where everything will settle, but for now, here's a peek into our new home.

I asked the guy at the Christmas tree lot if he had any extra greenery.  He said, "take as much as you want!"  I scooped up enough to fill this giant bucket on my front porch and made a 12' garland with the leftovers.  One man's trash is another girl's treasure!
My first craft of the season was this wreath.  Something a little fun and festive to welcome you in!

 A winter snow collection greets you in the foyer

 One of my favorite Christmas displays of the house:
 The door from my husband's family farm decked out with a live wreath and my collection of acorns.  I just love the natural elements.

I'm drawn to all that is wintery, natural, and white, but part of me still loves the traditional red and green.

Our tree sits in the middle of the room this year (a first for me).  The space between the kitchen and the keeping room was the kids' choice and I think I like it!  I chose bright, happy colors this year.  Turquoise, lime green, orange, and hot pink.  It makes us all a little more joyful!

All of the paper came from Target and Hobby Lobby.

The fun flows into the kitchen too!

 This is the garland a mentioned above.  I garnished it with some fun ornaments a dear friend gifted to me.

I keep a little tree next to my kitchen sink.  It's "Mom's Tree."  All of the things I love are on this tree.  Most of the ornaments are breakable, so they stay a little safer on the countertop.
We'll finish the tour out the back door...
 The view from my back porch

Our beloved well house.  She looks so sweet at night with twinkle lights.
Merry Christmas, friends, from my house to yours!!!

I'm linking up with:
 The Inspired Room's Christmas House Tours
Kelly's Korner Christmas Tour of Homes
Nester's Christmas Tour of Homes
Savvy Southern Style's Wow Us Wednesday
Imparting Grace's Grace at Home
Shabby Creek Cottage
Classy Clutter
Coastal Charm

December 16, 2012

Kid Friendly Christmas Snacks

I love a party, don't you?
Our parties usually include kids, so it's nice to find some festive snacks for just the kids.  Here are two SUPER easy treats I made this afternoon for the girls in my 6th grade bible study.

Cast of characters:

Fun straws
Regular size marshmallows
Vanilla bark/ melting chocolate

 a cute apron!  Isn't this so adorable?  My mom's labor of love for my birthday.  She's the one with all the talent in our family!

I found these paper straws at Bed Bath and Beyond.  They are the best price (especially when you use the coupon) I have found, including online.  144 for $4.99 + 20% off.  No shipping costs, either!
1. Cut the straws in half.  
2. Melt white chocolate in double broiler (or, if you're like me and don't own a fancy db, use a metal mixing bowl on top of a pot of boiling water.
3. Stick straw into marshmallow.
4. Dip 1/3 of mallow into melted chocolate
5. Roll in sprinkles/colored sugar
6. Cool on wax paper

 I only heated half of the bar of bark and used half a bottle of green sugar sprinkles, and made 2 dozen treats in about 30 min.

The other embarrassingly easy treat is this:
1 pkg. hershey kisses
bag of small pretzel knots/squares

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
Place pretzels on cookie sheet, with one kiss on each.
Bake until chocolate starts to melt (barely melt).
Remove from oven and place in refrigerator.
Every snack is more fun in a cute little "dress."

Happy Snacking!

December 12, 2012

Peace: Are you Looking for it Too?

Ironic that we hear it spoken the most during this month of December, yet, most likely feel it the least. Are you seeking peace in this busy time of year?

What does true peace look like?
A sleeping baby with cheeks recently kissed by the breath of heaven?
A calm starry night?
Winter's touch on blades of grass?

Heaven knew we would need peace; freedom from the disturbance that sin smatters across the human race.  The ancient Jews were anticipating a royal King.  Heaven delivered the Prince of Peace in the form of a babe, on a quiet starry night.

Sometimes I expect  fanfare when I really just need to experience the quiet.

In this busy season of merriment, pressure, and festivities, my soul yearns for the calm and contentedness that only His peace can bring.
As an adult, Jesus used the word peace
as a greeting;
as a command;
as a promise.
I am so thankful that He began His time on earth with peace.  One day we will celebrate the fanfare of the King of Kings returning, but for now, I am seeking His perfect peace.
As we anticipate the arrival of Christmas, let us not forget what peace looks like:

  • contentment
  • tranquility
  • quietness
  • restfulness
  • calm
Occasionally in the midst of the splendor of the season, we need to step back and breathe the calm.

I'm linking with Grace at Home

December 11, 2012

DIY Wooden Sign

Yesterday I shared our first Christmas-at-the-farm mantle.  Today, I'm going to show you how to make your own!

1. We used leftover scrap wood from our keeping room ceiling.  My husband nailed them together with 2" furring strips along the back.  He is very handy with the nail gun and saw, so it came out perfect; however, if you are working with some scrap wood, I think the rough look would be just as fun.  Our sign is 30"x40" because we needed something really tall for our 15' ceiling height.  Again, adjust it to whatever works for your room.

2. Since our walls are light grey, I wanted to use a dark background.  I think it helps the white letters stand out, too.  I chose tinted weather proofing wood stain.  Why weather proofing? Because it is cheaper!  ;)  The benefit is I can use it OUTSIDE too!  The tint I chose is called "SLATE."  It took 2 coats to get it dark enough.  You could paint the wood, really, it's whatever makes you smile.

3. I rough sketched the design on the computer; scrolling through several font choices before landing on these:  Fancy Pens and Mona Lisa Solid ITC.  I then made a small mock up of the look I wanted to make sure I liked the fonts/layout.

4. I printed out each word at 180-288pt font size, depending on the words.  Some words took up 2-3 sheets of paper to print out.  I then cut, laid out, and taped the words to the exact spot on the wood I planned for them to be.

5. With a ball point pen, I traced each letter, pressing down firmly.

See how nicely it indents into the wood?  That was my pattern for painting the letters.  See? No artistic ability needed!  Yipee!!!

6. I planned on painting the letters with glossy acrylic paint, but this giant oil based paint pen caught my eye.  It was about $6, but with a 40% off coupon, totally worth it!  I just filled in the indention, giving each letter 2 coats of paint (with drying time in between).  Super easy.  Paint pens are the way to go!

7. Enjoy your new sign!
As I mentioned yesterday, I was planning on doing a Christmas verse or "Joy to the World."  But we already have a Christmas sign I made a few years ago.  I liked the idea of having a sign we could use year around.  The beauty of this kind of project is it could say anything! Make it your own!
Merry Christmas!!!

I'm linking up with:
Coastal Charm's Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
My Uncommon Suburbia Life
Elizabeth and Company
The Ironstone Nest
DIY By Design
The Rustic Pig
Today's Creative Blog
The Winthrop Chronicles
Gingersnap Crafts' Wow Me Wednesday
Savvy Southern Style
Creative Cain Cabin
Cornerstone Confessions
Imparting Grace's Grace at Home
Nester's Christmas Home Tour

December 10, 2012

Farmhouse Christmas Mantle

As we settle into our new home, Christmas decorating almost has me overwhelmed.  Fortunately, we purged A TON of Christmas schtuff before moving.  Two years ago I purchased a couple of things on after-Christmas-clearance, but then couldn't find them last year.  Ever do anything like that?  So this year, I pretty much only have stuff that I love.  Freeing, indeed.

 I noticed a similar sign on Pinterest and decided that would be my one new addition to our decor.  The one I saw had Peace on Earth or something to that effect, but when I sat down to make mine, I realized I wanted a verse that would last all year long.  For goodness sake, if I'm going to put that much work into it, let's enjoy it all year!  This is the verse we chose as our life verse this past year, during our move to the farm.  It sums it up perfectly.

Want a sign of your own?  I'm giving a tutorial tomorrow on how to make it.  It really isn't very hard and requires NO artistic ability.  I kid you not!
Stop by tomorrow and you'll be amazed at how easy it really is.

I'm linking up with Layla's Christmas Mantle Party
and TenJune's Christmas Party 
and Craft O Maniac Monday
and Keeping It Simple
and Under the Table Dreaming

December 9, 2012

New Traditions

It's never too late to start new traditions.  This year, in an effort to hold on tightly to these kids that keep growing way too fast keep the wonder of Christmas alive and kicking, we decided to add the Elf on the Shelf.  Yes, I realize that we are on the cusp of, "mom, we know it's not real," but I just couldn't help myself.  I let the girls in on the secret and they've saved me a couple of times when I forgot.
 We don't really emphasize the naughty/nice-report-back-to-Santa part.  The kids just like seeing the mischief Alfred gets into each night.

Do you have any good mischief ideas?
What's a new tradition to your family?