Sunday, November 30, 2008

First Sunday in Advent

Jesus says, "Surely I am coming soon." (Revelation 22:20)

Come, Lord Jesus! Amen.

Advent means "to come." As we prepare to celebrate Jesus' birthday this Christmas, we also remember His promise to come again to earth. We trust that on that day, Jesus will take all who believe in Him as Savior and King to live with Him in heaven in perfect joy and peace. Until then, we can "live the Last Day faith today" knowing that our good God keeps all His promises.

Does your family have and use an Advent calendar to count down the days until Jesus' birthday? Check them out at one of my favorite shopping places: Bronner's in Frankenmuth, Michigan.

Here's a resourceful Christian site if you're looking for Advent and Christmas interactive activities for your family--or for gift giving for all ages--Christian Tools of Affirmation.

Blessed Advent season as you get ready to celebrate Jesus' first coming as Baby and as you prepare your heart for His second coming too!

Friday, November 28, 2008

In Everything Give Thanks

Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence. ~Erma Bombeck

Psalm 100

Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.
Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.

Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. (NIV)

We're thankful for the time spent with family and friends, for all God's abundant blessings, and for the freedoms we have, especially the freedom to worship the Lord. Our thoughts and prayers are with all the men and women in military service as they are apart from family members. May God keep you in His loving care and protection!

In addition to a delicious noon turkey dinner complete with fixins and Missouri wines, our family members enjoyed football, afternoon naps, and a lot of play time with Ella and her new Fisher Price Nativity set. I'm sure she's setting the stable and people up under their Christmas tree and singing "Away in a Manger" as I write.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Busy Ella

These are two of Ella's favorite activities in this order: reading books and climbing and sliding! I'm thankful that we live close enough to her family so that we can visit and babysit for FUN!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Child's Play ...

Ella is fascinated with eyeglasses, especially her O'Pa's glasses, and she wants her bears to wear them. And then she tries the glasses on every person in the room, including herself. So O'Pa wears his old glasses when we visit her. She works SO hard at playing!

I thank the Lord for these little precious moments and sweet play times.

Level 1 Evensong paper (to show my scrapping friends how easy these layouts are); little brads; ribbon; rub on embellishments; lowercase giggle alphabet stamps with New England Ivy ink--all CTMH

When I Can't Sleep ...

... I go into my studio and dig into the pretty papers, embellies, and get the glue going.

Here's a card with Notebook B&T & CS papers for a dear friend who will celebrate her birthday on Thanksgiving Day.

Sometimes it's a lot more fun NOT to sleep.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Featured Blog of the Week Award

Anne and the Christian faith sisters at A Faith Perspective have honored me with their "blog of the week" award and their blinkie.

Thank you! Thank you!

Be sure to check their site and see all the inspiration and creative ideas they share.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Ella and Aunt B

An aunt is a blessing to cherish and treasure--
A part of our family with love beyond measure!

Bethany, you give so much love to little ee and to all of us.
We thank God for you and for all His gifts and blessings to you!

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Visit at the Butterfly House

On Saturday our family met our niece Janet and her children Hunter and Lily at the Butterfly House. It was so good to see them! Janet, a professional photographer, took family fotos for us amid the lush foliage and waterfalls. We're anxious to see the proofs. Check out her creative photography at Janet's photography blog spot.

The warmth inside the butterfly house felt so good on a blustery, snow-flurries day, and the warmth of family together is just the best blessing of all.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Christmas Card Workshop

My creative daughters & friends got sticky and inky together with me this afternoon to make a variety of Christmas cards.

We followed Antoinette's template -- fun, easy, simple -- to make 50 cards from 6 patterned papers in less than 3 hours!

I thank God for the beautiful, sunny day for our daylighted room and for the opportunity to craft together with Christian young women and those who are so young at heart.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Eyes Have It

Now there's absolutely no excuse for using a mismatched color or aligning sentiments crookedly. This new Ott True Colors desk lamp is my new addition to the studio. Happy birthday to ... ME!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Feeling Like Christmas

More Christmas card creations from my studio ...

A local radio station, in transition from jazz format to a sports station, has been playing beautiful Christmas carols for the past month. With our wintery skies, blustery cold wind, and predicted snow flurries, it's beginning to feel and sound a lot like Christmas.

We don't like to hurry through the Thanksgiving season, though with a toddler in the family, the celebration of Jesus' birthday promises to be just as special as ever, and a lot more fun than the past years!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

O Christmas Tree

This is one of the Christmas cards I've been making with the Evensong papers, ribbon, & My Acrylix stamps from Close To My Heart...more to come...the camera's batteries are recharging overnight.

Honoring US Veterans

Veterans Day MySpace Comments and Graphics
Veterans Day MySpace Layouts Photobucket Login - Upload Pics and Videos
Free Comments and Graphics

Dear Lord, I thank you for each and every military service person, especially for the veterans and their families, for their commitment, dedication, and honor. Please protect our troops and keep them and their families well, and bring them home safely. Thank you for every one who has given his or her life for freedom. Amen.

Veterans, I thank you for your sacrificial service so that we can enjoy our freedoms and quality of life in the most blessed nation in the world! God bless each of you richly!

Remember to stop and thank a military veteran.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Show Me Your Ways

Show me Your ways, O LORD, teach me Your paths ... my hope is in You all day long. Psalm 25:4-5

The Psalm verses with which I captioned this landscape photo from a recent country drive remind us that only in God do we have hope for the future. He will show us and teach us the way He would have us walk--in His way. I like the way the rays of sunshine filter through the branches, a reminder of the rays of hope directly from the Lord.

This morning I began my day by reading Isaiah 61. I hope and trust we are in "the year of the LORD's favor" as the psalm is titled. Just as God kept all His promises to His faithful servant Abraham, we can trust Him to keep them to us too. "I will be with you always, to the end of the world," Jesus told His disciples. Let's focus on the true joy and rejoicing that is ours because of Jesus and what He has done for us on the cross (verses 10-11). Each day we can thank God for our new life in Him. Then we can ask God to show us how to tell someone that good news.

How is God showing you His way today? In what ways are you putting your hope in Him?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Evening Sacrifice

Evening sunset, bright star, and bare persimmon trees in our back yard

Psalm 141:1-3 (English Standard Version)

Give Ear to My Voice--A Psalm of David

O LORD, I call upon you; hasten to me!
Give ear to my voice when I call to you!
Let my prayer be counted as incense before you,
and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Fun Name Game

I had only a 15 minute wait in line to cast my ballot this morning. Our precinct had a huge turnout. In addition to the national campaigns, our county had a proposal on the ballot to begin a charter government, and I'm anxious to find out those results. I'm thanking God for the freedom to vote and have my vote count, and for every citizen who went to the poll locations and exercised this special right today. I pray that God's will is done through these election results.

13 Fun Names -- A Game to Divert My Attention from the Election Results!

I borrowed stole this from Nicole's blog. Thanks, Nicole!

If you participate, please leave a comment & your web link--it's fun to read the name combos!

1.Your rock star name (first pet, current car)
Squeaky Sebring

2.Your gangsta name (favorite ice cream flavor, favorite type of shoe)
Pistachio Slide

3.Your Native American name (favorite color, favorite animal)
Red Dog

4.Your soap opera name (middle name, city where you were born)
Louisa Napoleon

5.Your Star Wars name (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 of your first name)

6.Superhero name (2nd favorite color, favorite drink)
Hollyhock Mojito

7.NASCAR name (the first names of your grandfathers)
Albert Ferris

8.Dancer name (the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy)
Happy Twister

9.TV weather anchor name (your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter)
Decker Dallas

10.Spy name (your favorite season/holiday, flower)
Summer Mum

11.Cartoon name:(favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now)
Blueberry Jammas (must be related to Strawberry Shortcake?!)

12.Hippie name (what you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree)
Raisin Muffin Sugar Maple (seems at least three more names are necessary along with a twirling dance motion)

13.Movie star name (current pet, first street where you lived)
Sophie Highland

The Grass Withers ...

Bare persimmon trees where the deer enjoy the fallen persimmons each evening

One of many favorite mums

The last petunias covered with fallen leaves

Sweet gum tree

Sugar Maple tree

Our colorful fall leaves are falling fast. I still hope to get more photos tomorrow before the predicted rain and wind come.

As I took these photos of our yard and gardens this fall season, I was reminded of these Bible verses:

The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the Word of our God stands forever. Isaiah 40:8; 1 Peter 1:24

For the Word of God is living and active ... Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. Hebrews 4:12-13

Monday, November 3, 2008

November 2 -- Party Day

God gave us a beautiful Sunday afternoon for an open house to celebrate DH's retirement. He enjoyed the company of 30+ family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers, and now has claimed this lounge chair on the deck as his own. Even the deer came out of the woods to join the celebration.

Emily made a yummy buffalo spicy chicken dip. It was great with chicken & celery sticks.

Bethany brought stuffed mushrooms. I'll have to get her recipe and post it too!

Quips about Retirement:

Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save. ~Will Rogers, Autobiography, 1949

When men reach their sixties and retire, they go to pieces. Women go right on cooking. ~Gail Sheehy

Don't underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear, and not bothering. ~Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A.A. Milne

God Is In Control

10 Predictions Truths No Matter Who Wins the Election

1. The Bible will still have all the answers.

2. Prayer will still work.

3. The Holy Spirit will still move.

4. God will still inhabit the praises of His people.

5. There will still be God-anointed teaching and healing.

6. There will still be singing of praise to God.

7. God will still pour out blessings upon His people.

8. There will still be room at the cross.

9. Jesus will still love you.

10. Jesus will still save the lost.

Isn't it great to know that God is in control?

Thanks to our BIL Ted for sharing this!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Our Week Away & Home Again

Fall leaves showing their colors in NW Ohio

Mom & Dad

Birthday dinner where we celebrated Dad & John--Ole!

We visited my parents in Ohio for the past week and got home last night. As we made our way southwest, we were happy to shed our jackets. Maybe we'll still have a few good boating days this fall.

Paper Art from StudioJane

Samples of my created paper art ...

Clear Acrylic Cards

Greeting Cards

Mix 'n' Mingle Album

Gift Albums

Memory Keeper Boxes

Art Keeper Boxes

Thank You Note Cards

Custom Gifts

Christmas Greeting Cards

Pregnancy Journals--Display Albums

For Baby

Floral Photo Note Cards