Back to the Old Grindstone

Monday, November 30, 2009

We were back to work and school today.  No more time for play!  It was such a much needed and full Thanksgiving break.  I promise to get those Thanksgiving pictures posted, hopefully tomorrow; but in the meantime, I have a few photos of Adina being her usual, busy-body self.

She just loves to sit on the bathroom counter, while I'm getting ready for the day.  She always has to be close!  This day, she thought she'd be funny and sit in the sink.  Such a cutie!  Oh, and look what I walked in on last week!

She had completely emptied her bottom, book drawer... super fast, I might add!  Yes, the books are strategically placed at her level for her enjoyment; but what a critter she was to get every one of them out at the same time!  Unfortunately, she wasn't as quick when it came to putting them away.

Last Tuesday was my brother-in-law's birthday, so I thought that I'd show you the card that made it his way just in time for the occasion.

I started this card by folding a regular, 4-1/4" x 5-1/2", Old Olive, cardstock, card base a second time, near the top, to simulate a book fold.  I, then, clear embossed stars to cover the entire face and trimmed the top in a tag shape.  The partial, "U" sentiment was stamped, in Basic Black ink, on white cardstock; hand cut; glittered; and adhered, just right of center, near the bottom of the card face, with dimensionals.  The rest of the "ceLeBrAte" sentiment was stamped, in Old Olive ink, on white cardstock; cut in a rectangular shape; and adhered, vertically, just left of center, next to the "U".  I, then, layered a couple, black, cardstock strips, horizontally, over the "ceLeBrAte" sentiment, being sure to leave enough room, above them and below the book fold, for a paper-pierced line.  Finally, I hand stitched the black button and checkered ribbon, in place, through both front and back sides of the card, with black, embroidery floss and tied the loose ends in a bow.

Pencil Lines Sketch 162

Sunday, November 29, 2009

It's been another busy weekend here.  It seems we don't know any other way any more.  We...
  • got family pictures taken and ordered.
  • did a little shopping... very little... mostly online... none of that Black Friday stuff for me... no, thank you :).
  • taught Sunday School.
  • finished cleaning up the leaves in the yard.
  • picked out a pretty, Douglas Fir, Christmas tree.
  • decorated the house for the Christmas season, including the new, Christmas tree and each of the kids' trees for their rooms.
  • washed the clothes.
  • vacuumed the carpets.
As you can see, I haven't had much time to play, in the loft, this weekend; but with all the Christmas gifts I still have to make, I'll be a busy, little bee over the next few weeks.  I did find a little time to put together a page for Pencil Lines Sketch 162.

Here's what I came up with.

All the paper you see here, with the exception of the cardstock, came from Nana's Nursery by DCWV.  I just love this gorgeous paper!  It's difficult to tell from the picture, but it has lots of shimmer and shine.  I balanced all the patterned paper with a little, ivory cardstock, trimmed with Stampin' Up's Scallop Edge punch, and some frilly, pink, Hobby Lobby trimming.  I used my George and Basic Shapes Cricut cartridge to cut the Pretty in Pink, cardstock brackets.  The "happy" title is a sticker from Pebbles.  I just stuck it to some, Certainly Celery cardstock; punched it out with Stampin' Up's Scallop Circle punch; and adhered it, above the ivory, cardstock, journal box, with dimensionals.  The journal box reads, You were so happy to discover that your legs were strong enough to lift you to undiscovered territories.  Oh, what fabulous adventures await that gorgeous smile!  8.31.09.  The last, little embellishment I added, in the upper, right corner, was a couple green and pink buttons, layered on top of one another and threaded with ivory, embroidery floss tied in a bow.

Enjoy the last few hours of your Thanksgiving, holiday weekend!

Fun With Friends

Friday, November 27, 2009

With keeping in the spirit of the Thanksgiving, holiday weekend (which, by the way, I have lots of pictures to show you of our celebration yesterday, but it'll have to wait for another post), I thought I'd post a few pictures of the fun times we shared with friends this week.  On Tuesday, Ezekiel's buddy, Ryan, spent the day with us.  The boys wrestled; pulled out just about every stuffed animal Ezekiel owns; played games...

went on a pretend campout...

ate; played war with the Nerf guns; and finally, settled in for an afternoon movie, before dinner, while Adina took her nap.

On Monday, we were blessed with a special visit from a couple of young ladies, from our church, Jadyn, Maci, and their mom, Kristi.  Their favorite part of the morning visit was playing with the gloppy goop.

We even made the girls a batch of their own to take home with them.  Kristi spoiled me with a delicious, Starbucks, Pumpkin Latte, so you know I had to make her a little card to say thank you.  I used Dawn's Raspberry Suite Color Challenge #19 for inspiration.

That's a lot of colors to work with, people!  So, this one was a toughie for me, but I'm fairly pleased with the result.  Here's what I came up with.

I started by edging Stampin' Up's, olive and moss green, leaf paper with chocolate brown cardstock, punched with Stampin' Up's Scalloped Edge punch, and connecting the two with a white-threaded, combination, zig-zag and straight, machine stitch.  I, then, adhered them to the right side of the lavender, cardstock, card base and rounded the top, right corner.  Using brown glitter on the leaf and polka dot images, on the left side of the lavender, card base, added just the right amount of shimmer.  I love the way, when the sun hits it just right, it glitters raspberry pink!  So, I balanced it with a raspberry pink, cardstock, sentiment circle on the other side.  It was made by white embossing, to mimic the white thread and outlines on the leaf paper, the "So Glad we're friends" sentiment and punching it out with Stampin' Up's Scallop Circle punch.  Easy peasy!  I, then, punched little slots, just above and below the sentiment, through which to thread a light aqua ribbon.  The ribbon was wrapped around the card front and tied in a bow just above the scalloped circle.  A few, Stampin' Up, Old Olive brads, through the bottom, left corner, give the perfect finishing touch.

So Thankful

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

For school, last week, Ezekiel wrote a list of ten things he's super thankful for, and I wanted to share it with you all.
  1. A house
  2. My dogs
  3. My Mom, Dad, and Sis
  4. The food we eat
  5. School
  6. Jesus
  7. My Pooh Bear
  8. My swimming pool (a little, plastic one that we fill up with the garden house... Aah!)
  9. My church
  10. The Bible
He, also, made this cute, little turkey, with construction paper, google eyes, and a small, paper cup, that I couldn't help showing you.

So, I thought that I'd make a list of my own.  There are so very many things that I am overwhelming thankful for, but these make my top ten, in no particular order.
  1. Salvation, grace, and unconditional love given to me by my Savior
  2. My family... my faithful, loving husband, BJ; my helpful, trustworthy six-year-old, Ezekiel; my happy, outgoing one-year-old, Adina; and all those we're blessed enough to call mom, dad, sister, brother, grandpa, grandma, aunt, uncle, and cousin
  3. Our health
  4. A cozy, little house to call our own
  5. Getting to live in the U.S.A.
  6. BJ's job and all the benefits it blesses our family with
  7. Our constant, loving friends, including all my cyber buddies
  8. My children's education, as well as my own, and the opportunity to homeschool them
  9. My papercrafting hobby, and on that same note, my lofty, craft space, in our home
  10. The Word of God, and the direction it gives my daily walk with Him
I couldn't post today without leaving you with a little, Thanksgiving card.

I started by stamping leaves and dots, in Moonlight White, Brilliance, archival, pigment ink, on an Old Olive, cardstock, card base.  I, then, trimmed the far, right edge with Pumpkin Pie cardstock, punched, along its right edge, with Stampin' Up's Scallop Edge punch.  The left edge, of the card base, was embellished with a Stampin' Up, Pumpkin Pie ribbon tied in a bow.  I, then, stamped the window image, as well as, the pumpkin image, separately, in Jet Black, StazOn, solvent ink, on white cardstock; watercolored each image in shades of Bashful Blue, Old Olive, So Saffron, Pumpkin Pie, Ruby Red, Perfect Plum, and Close to Cocoa; and hand cut them out.  The window image was embellished with an olive gemstone and adhered to the card front, under the clear embossed "so thankful for you" sentiment, with dimensionals.  The fruit and vegetable image was, also, adhered, in the lower window opening, with dimensionals.  Finally, the grapes were given a hint of shine with Crystal Effects, clear, craft lacquer.

This card is for my parents, whom we'll be celebrating Thanksgiving with this year.  Then, we'll be off to BJ's parents' for Christmas.  We swap back-and-forth every year.  It really stinks, especially when they live so close to one another!  Matter of fact, one Sunday, after church, Ezekiel came home with a "fridge door" (paper telling what they learned about that day and giving ways for parents to further enhance that learning) instructing him to ask his parents what one of the hardest decisions they ever had to make was.  I've had to make a lot of difficult decisions in my short :) life, but I don't think too many have been more heart-wrenching than our decision to celebrate with one family for each of the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.  It's so hard not to get to see everyone, but it seems to create peace, between the two families, and sanity and enjoyment for our holiday celebrations.

Oh, and look what we found, on our doorstep, this morning!

That's broccoli, green peppers, celery, green onions, bananas, nuts, green beans, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and oranges from my in-laws!  They came through KC, early this morning, on their way to Indiana to celebrate Thanksgiving with BJ's brother and sister-in-law.  Just another, great reason to be thankful!  Thank you so much, Ron and Ellen!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Kate's Crazy Cool Christmas

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

This Sunday, our church passed offering plates!  I know you're thinking, "Well, that's not such an unusual thing to happen in a church," but it is at Heartland.  We just don't do that.  This Sunday, however, was an exception.  It was, also, an exception in that it was a "reverse offering".  An anonymous couple generously donated $10,000, to Heartland, to be given away in envelopes containing random denominations of $100, $50, $20, $10, $5, and $1 bills.  There were a few rules to go with our offering...

1.  We couldn't spend it on our self.
2.  We couldn't give it to the church.
3.  We had to give an account online.

How exciting!  BJ and I, immediately, knew what we were going to do with our combined $10 offering.  We purchased toys for Kate's Crazy Cool Christmas!

Adina picked out a Mrs. Potato Head, and Ezekiel picked out a race car Lego set.  Then, we added another $10, to our reverse offering, and purchased a sort and spin blender.  Adina got one of these for her first birthday, from my brother, Jason, and she just loves it!  They were so excited to get to mail the package, with me, this morning.  You can check out a few of the details for how you, too, can become part of this gift-giving endeavor on my Updates post or by going to Kate's new website.

Before I leave you today, I wanted to show you the Christmas card I put in our package for Kate's family.  It was inspired by Everything but the Kitchen Sink's sketch challenge #1.

Here's what I came up with.

I started this card by cutting 1-1/4" x 1-3/4" rectangles out of coordinating, patterned paper and Not Quite Navy and Baja Breeze, textured cardstock, so the card itself ended up being slightly smaller than the standard 4-1/4" x 5-1/2" card size.  With the exception of the white, cardstock, card base, all the paper came from Stampin' Up.  The rectangles were adhered and machine stitched, with white thread, to the card front.  I, then, cut two sizes of circles, using my Fiskars circle template, from Not Quite Navy and Baja Breeze, textured cardstock.  A little, white, glittered cardstock was added to the bottom of the inner circle, which was, then, adhered to the outer circle.  The snowman was stamped, on white cardstock, with Jet Black, StazOn, solvent ink and watercolored in shades of Not Quite Navy, Old Olive, Bashful Blue, and Pumpkin Pie.  He was, then, glittered; hand cut out; and adhered to the inner circle, on the snow pile, with dimensionals.  The "very merry christmas" sentiment was stamped, in Not Quite Navy ink, on the same color of cardstock, over the top of the snowman.  Finally, the completed circle was adhered, to the card face, with dimensionals, and the card, itself, was ready to put in our fun, Christmas package.

A Weekend At Home

Monday, November 23, 2009

We had another busy weekend!  We didn't have anywhere we had to go, but with having been gone on the weekends lately, there was plenty to get done right at home.  Saturday morning, while Adina took her nap, and I baked a loaf of pumpkin banana bread, for dinner, and played in the loft (aka craft room), the boys took off, to Lowe's, to get Christmas light clips.  We didn't want to put staples in our pretty, new roof!  As it turns out, they were conducting a Build and Grow Clinic; so, Ezekiel came home all decked out in a new work apron, complete with goggles, boasting his new, snowman, picture frame creation!

He, immediately, found his favorite picture; had me trim it down to fit; and, proudly, displayed it on his bedroom dresser, but not before I snapped a quick picture.

No matter how much he says, "Mine!", or pushes her out of his way, or won't let her come into his bedroom, because there's too many things that, "aren't for babies," I still know that he really does love his baby sister so much.  His Sunday school teacher even told us, this week, that when he asked Ezekiel what one thing he was truly thankful for, he said, "my baby sister, Adina."  That brings tears to this momma's eyes, people!

Saturday afternoon, I got to run do a little Christmas shopping, while the kiddos rested, and BJ watched football.  Then, we spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning the inside of the windows and screens.  I know you're thinking, "what fun!", hopefully sarcastically, but it's got to be done.

Oh!  We, also, finally, got new neighbors!  The house next door has been sitting empty for almost two years!  So, we had to go introduce ourselves and take them a loaf of pumpkin banana bread, to go with their dinner, too.  Yum-O!

I punched the little, Pretty in Pink cardstock tag, across the bottom edge, with Martha Stewart's Doily Lace Edger punch.  I, then, layered on some pretty, pastel, patterned paper, from my stash, and a strip of Terrifically Tacky Tape covered with pastel Seed Beads from Create-A-Craft.  The "welcome" sentiment was silver embossed to match the silver trim on the pink, sheer ribbon.

Sunday, after watching the Chiefs WIN 27-24 against the Steelers, and before watching Jimmie Johnson celebrate making history as a four time Nascar Sprint Cup Champion (Wow!  What a great weekend for our boys!), we got all the windows cleaned, this time, on the outside.  Now, every time I look out the windows, I have to take a second glance, because I think they're open!  Hee!  Hee!  I think that it's going to get done a lot more often.  Wink!  BJ also got all the Christmas lights hung.  He is, however, under strict orders not to turn them on until this Friday night.  I mean... I wouldn't want to just rush right past my favorite holiday or anything!

If you made it to the end of this post, you're amazing!  I know there's a lot of what may seem like boring stuff about my family, but it's my life!  I wouldn't wish for any other!  Have a great week!

Embellish Brads Color Challenge

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I've got another Embellish Magazine color challenge for you this beautiful, Saturday morning.

I have to admit, I was so not excited about this one.  Those colors are bold, and I tend to lean towards more muted, earth tones with little splashes of bold.  However, once I started pulling the colors out, it all started coming together, and I really love the way it turned out.  Here's what I came up with.

Okay, so, that lime green background looks way brighter this morning, than it did, at 11 pm, last night :)!  I had brads in the exact same color, that I thought I'd be using in the layout, but they didn't make an appearance, after all.  I really love the softer tone of the So Saffron ribbon, that I pulled in, under the blue and white polka dot, patterned paper by Paper Studio.  It was adhered, on the back of the layout, with mini glue dots and stapled, on the front of either side, for good measure.  I, then, found embroidery floss in the same, soft, yellow color and hand stitched the "I [heart] Sunday School" title.  Stitching a title is a first for me!  So is writing in cursive on a layout, for that matter!  I just love this part of the design!  I cut the Real Red heart with my George and Basic Shapes Cricut cartridge and added a little hand stitched x, in the same color embroidery floss as the title, in the middle.  I, then, arranged the pictures to make the one cut with my Fiskars circle template the focal point.  It was framed with blue cardstock and red and yellow brads, from K&Company and We R Memory Keepers, respectively.  Finally, I balanced the Real Red heart, in the title, with a Real Red rectangle, punched with Martha Stewart's Doily Lace Edger punch and tucked behind the Polaroid, in the bottom, right corner.  The text, under the far left picture, reads, A fun Christmas present... from Teacher Kim.

Call me crazy, but I decided to put together a little, birthday card from the scraps!

I started by edging the blue and white polka dot, patterned paper, by Paper Studio, with Real Red cardstock, punched, across the far, right edge, with Martha Stewart's Doily Lace Edger punch.  I, then, connected the two with a hand stitched, soft yellow-threaded, straight stitch and balanced the color with a So Saffron ribbon, taken in with red, embroidery floss and adhered to the back with mini clue dots, on the opposite side of the patterned paper.  A few, lime green (the ones that didn't make my layout above) and red brads, by K&Company, ground the design.  The lime green, cardstock banner was hand stamped, in Green Galore ink, with the "party hearty!" sentiment and adhered, to the patterned paper, with dimensionals.  Finally, the prepped design was adhered to the white, cardstock, card base with dimensionals.

Have a colorful weekend!

Not Much New

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Not too much new is going on around here.  We're just finishing up our last week of homeschool before Thanksgiving break.  We are so ready for a little downtime and are looking forward to throwing our school schedule out the window.  I still cannot believe next Thursday is Thanksgiving!  Am I the only one who didn't realize that it was next week?!  I've got so much to do!

Adina, recently, found a new use for her birthday drum...

and discovered my Tupperware cabinet.

She's getting more and more brave about taking steps on her own, too.  I've got to capture the look on her face, when she does so, just to show you.  She looks so proud of herself and, often, gives herself a big clap.  Amidst all the excitement, her molars have decided to make an appearance.  Ugh!  This too shall pass... Right?!

Unfortunately, I haven't been too papercrafty lately.  I'm in desperate need of cardstock.  I was able to put through a small order, just for the basics, to Stampin' Up last night.  I cannot wait to find that package by my front door!  Oh!  What a happy day that will be!  I did, however, put together this week's Pencil Lines sketch 161 to show you.  It comes from Pencil Lines' founder Anna Bowkis.

Here's what I came up with.

The foundation for this layout was created by joining the fun, water words, patterned paper, by Paper Studio, with a random, two-sided, solid, blue paper from my stash.  I joined the two, right down the center, with a white-threaded, zig-zag, machine stitch.  I, then, layered that cute, polka dot, patterned paper, by Creative Imaginations, vertically near the bottom of the layout.  It, too, was secured with white-threaded, machine stitching; but this time, I mixed it up a bit and switched my machine back and forth between a zig-zag and straight stitch.  I'm loving it!  I think I'll be trying this technique out on several, more, paper projects.  The partial, "SPLASH," dimensional, sticker title is from Jolee's Boutique by EK Success.  I, carefully, removed the silver studding from the "S" in the title; adhered a K&Company tag, on which I wrote the rest of the "Slip 'N Slide" title in Tempting Turquoise ink, next to the "S" with dimensionals; and replaced the silver stud right over the tag's ribbon hole.  I like how it connects the two completely separate embellishments to create one, cohesive title.  After adhering and name labeling all the fun, 2-1/2" square pictures, of Ezekiel's, 6th birthday party guests heading down the slip 'n slide, I added a few, glitter splashes above Ezekiel's, prominent, 4x5-1/2" photo.  They were made with the help of my George and Basic Shapes Cricut cartridge.  I used the quotation marks key and cut several different sizes from teal cardstock.  The bottom of the marks came out very square, so I rounded them to a point, by hand, and glittered them with K&Company, turquoise glitter.  Because it was simply too crowded to fit all the party guests' photos on this one layout, the lone, K&Company, dome sticker, near the top of the layout, helps connect it to the other side.

I used all the same paper, stitching, glitter splashes, dome stickers, name labeling, and picture sizes for this side.  The only new element you'll find is the K&Company, text tab, on the center picture, which says, Look Out!

Ezekiel was just thrilled to see this layout!  It is so fun to see all his party guests', slip 'n slide pictures (except for one of my neice's... We couldn't convince her to join in the fun.) in one place.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I just wanted to give all you prayer warriors an update on my Call to Pray post, regarding the Nagels', appealed, adoption case.  According to Molly, the hearing, yesterday morning, "was not great," and the official ruling will most likely not happen for three to five weeks.  At that point, "the judges can either rule that [the Nagels] win the appeal [or] lose the appeal, or they can kick it back to the lower court and order a retrial."  This information was taken from the For the Love of Waverly blog, where you can read all the specific details of their long, hopeful journey.  Please continue to take time to pray, for this precious family and the judges' speedy resolution, over the coming months.  I'm sure you can imagine the pain and uncertainty the Nagels are feeling.

I, also, wanted to give you an update on my Cards for Kate post.

Kate is back in the hospital and will soon be receiving her 5th and final round of chemo.  Her mom, Holly, says, on her CaringBridge blog, "We really need prayer that Kate's MRI, in December, is clear before going for her stem cell transplant. The battle would still be long from over, but what an unbelievable day that would be!  [At that point, Kate] could avoid radiation... and another, potential, brain surgery...  The prognosis is also more hopeful with a clean scan going into transplant."  Please join with the McRaes in pleading, with our Heavenly Father, for complete and total healing of and claiming Isaiah 43:1-2 over their beautiful Kate. 

Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.

The McRaes, with the help of their church, are coordinating a toy drive for kids on the oncology floor where Kate goes.  They're calling it Kate's Crazy Cool Christmas.  The truly giving spirit the McRaes possess, even amidst their turmoil, just astounds me!  Please go to Kate's CaringBridge blog to find out more about how you can get involved, this Christmas season, in this gift-giving endeavor.  In her November 8th and 9th posts, Holly gives a list of items she suggests sending, unwrapped, by December 15th, to...

Cornerstone Christian Fellowship
Attn: Kate's Crazy Cool Christmas
2211 E. Pecos Rd., Suite 2
Chandler, AZ 85225

On a totally unrelated note, I have a card for you all today.  It was duplicated and delivered to all those who thought of Adina, with gifts, for her first birthday.

I began this card by stamping the "Thank You so much" sentiment, in Old Olive ink, on an Old Olive, cardstock, card base.  I, then, arranged squares, of patterned paper, on a piece of cream cardstock and machine stitched the squares down, with cream thread, to give it a quilted look.  All the patterned papers you see, with the exception of the white, floral, patterned paper by My Mind's Eye, are from Stampin' Up.  Most of them, also, were used on her invites here.  Don't you think that's a great way to connect the whole party process from beginning to end?!  The cream cardstock was punched, across the bottom edge, with Martha Stewart's Doily Lace Edger punch.  I, then, wrapped a pretty, Hobby Lobby, ribbon purchase around the cream cardstock, right over the quilted sqares, and tied it in a bow.  The butterfly was stamped, in Pumpkin Pie ink, on cream cardstock; glittered; hand cut out; and adhered, just at its center, using Tombo, Mono, Multi, liquid glue, at the end of the Best Occasions gemstone, butterfly trail.  Finally, the prepped, cream cardstock was adhered, to the card face, with dimensionals.

Fun Weekend Happenings and Snow

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

So, today, I'm fullfilling my promise for photos of our busy weekend.  I spent all Saturday morning finding places for my, Oh, My Goodness!, surprise goodies and cleaning up my craft space.  I am happy to announce that everything found a safe home and is awaiting its call for the perfect project.

Saturday night, we headed to Dover, Kansas, for BJ's cousin Lindsay's wedding reception.  Jared and Lindsay were married earlier this year, in Orange Beach, Alabama, and were, finally, getting to celebrate with all the guests that couldn't swing the trip.  Here's a picture of the happy couple.

We enjoyed good food (Technically, being the demi-vegetarian that I am, I snagged a Burger King, veggie burger on the way home.  There wasn't much vegetarian BBQ for me to eat, so, in reality, everyone else enjoyed good food :).), music, and company.  Ezekiel even announced, on the way home, that BJ's cousin Beth's daughter, Charlotte, was "the funnest person [he'd] ever played with!"

That's saying alot!  He's played with an awful lot of kiddos!  It was quite the reunion and so much fun to see old faces.  I even pulled together a card, in their wedding colors, to put with their gift.

I started this card by clear embossing the top half of the teal, cardstock base with flourishes.  I, then, layered a hot pink, cardstock strip, which had been punched across the bottom and top with Martha Stewart's Doily Lace Edger punch, just below.  The "BEST wishes" sentiment was stamped, in the bottom, right corner, with Taken With Teal ink and framed with two, Best Occasions gemstones.  That pretty, cream, Hobby Lobby ribbon, that you can tell I love so much by its continued appearance in my projects, was wrapped around the card front; laced with a gorgeous, cream, textured and gemstone-studded button; and tied in a bow.  Just below the bow, I adhered a wedding, bells image, which had been stamped, in Taken With Teal and Pink Passion inks, on cream cardstock.  The image was hand cut and adhered, to the card face, using dimensionals; and although it is difficult to tell from the picture, it had also been glitter-detailed.

On Sunday morning, we got up bright and early to teach Sunday school.  It is so hard to get used to the few minutes longer it takes to get to our new building, so, again, we were late for our pre-meeting but still in time to greet our 19, gorgeous, four-year-old grins.

Sunday night, I had the privilege of attending the New Theatre Restaurant with my sisters, Jana and Jamie, and my Mom (from left to right, in the photo below, with me being in the denim blazer).

We went, with a group of ladies from Emporia's Victory Fellowship Foursquare Church, to see Church Basement Ladies 2.

This sequel was just as funny as the first and even more enjoyable with the familiar company, and the food was absolutely delicious (plenty of veggies, for me, this time)!  I wish I could've filled my bag and taken some home to my jealous hubby.

In closing, look what greeted us, out our front window, this morning.

It's our first, albeit little, snow of the season!

Call to Pray

Monday, November 16, 2009

It was such a busy weekend, and I have so many pictures and things to show you; but tonight, I'm just going to ask for you all to pray with me.  A precious family, that attends our church, goes before the court tomorrow to hear its decision regarding the appealed adoption of their beautiful, little, daughter Waverly.

Waverly has been with her parents, Matt and Molly Nagel, and her big sister, Harper, since she was 32 hours old.

In March, of this year, Matt and Molly won the contested adoption of little Waverly.  However, within a few weeks, they learned that Waverly's birth father was appealing the court's decision, and tomorrow is "the day in which their attorney will have a mere 20 minutes to convince a panel of judges that Waverly should be parented by Matt and Molly and remain in the home in which she has lived for nearly 17 months... her WHOLE life" as written on the blog For the Love of Waverly by Danielle Holtzman.  You can read the exact details of their journey here.

I plead with you to lift this family up in prayer, even as you read this post.  Pray for...
  • the judges' eyes and ears to be open to the true nature of Waverly's birth father.
  • the judges to have supernatural wisdom and knowing.
  • the Nagels' attorney to possess the words and answers ordained by our Heavenly Father.
  • another miracle for the Nagel family.
  • a sense of peace to surround Matt and Molly as they await the court's decision.
  • God's will and perfect plan to reign supreme.
  • Waverly and the future that God prepared for her even before she was conceived.
  • a sense of security and love to envelope both Waverly and Harper.
  • monetary provision for the enormous financial burden this battle has laid upon Matt and Molly.
Thank you for joining with me in prayer!

Home Made Goodness

Friday, November 13, 2009

Leave it to Nicole Heady, of Papertrey Ink, to come up with a stamp set full of windows, doors, shutters, curtains, bricks, stones, and a porch light all perfectly scaled to coordinate with Lauren Meador's house template.  Oh, my gracious!  These little houses, made by a few members of the Papertrey Team, are just to die for!

This first one is made by Nicole herself and is hands-down my favorite!  I just love that color combo!

This second one was made by Melissa Phillips and is too pretty for words!  I adore its soft, color palette; lace; and of course, glitter!

This last one just looked too yummy to leave out of the line-up!  It was made by designer Betsy Veldman.  I cannot wait to see this stamp set, in its entirety, Sunday night.  I'm falling more and more in love with Papertrey Ink every day!  They have such great sentiment stamps, and their pattern stamps are outrageously versatile!  I wish I could scoop up all their monthly goodness... every month!  I'm dreaming... again :)!

I have a pretty card for you all today.  It was made for a dear, old friend of mine who recently had another miscarriage.  I cannot even begin to imagine what she is going through, but I wanted her to know that I was thinking of and praying for her and her family.  I hope that you'll do the same.

I started this card by clear embossing flourishes to cover the mint green cardstock.  I, then, trimmed it, across the bottom edge, with Ruby Red cardstock, punched with Martha Stewart's Doily Lace Edger punch.  A rustic, striped, patterned paper, from my stash, was added just above it.  Once all the layers had been joined together, they were adhered to the cream, cardstock, card base.  The "Praying for you" sentiment was stamped, with Ruby Red ink, in the bottom, right corner of the card base.  I, then, wrapped a red and white checkered, Hobby Lobby, ribbon purchase around the card front, between the patterned paper and mint green cardstock, and tied it in a bow to the left side of the card face.  A pretty, Ruby Red stamped and water colored butterfly was hand cut; glittered; and glued, from its center, just below the ribbon.  I love the gracefulness this pretty butterfly adds to the design with its wings pulled gently away from the card face.  A Paper Studio, gemstone, butterfly trail adds the last bit of shimmer needed to call this card complete.

Something for Your Sweet Tooth

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I'm still trying to recover from my Oh, My Goodness! surprise yesterday AND find places to put everything!  It's a fabulous problem to have.  What fun!

So, I was visiting the Bakerella blog, earlier this week, and wanted to show you what she made in honor of Tuesday having been Sesame Street's 40th anniversary.

Aren't those just the cutest, little, cake pops you've ever seen?!  I got to thinking that they'd be so fun stuck in the top of a big scoop of ice-cream, in lieu of a slice of traditional, birthday cake.  Then, I came across Parenting's article entitled 31 Awesome Birthday Cake Designs.  They have some of the funnest, little, birthday cake ideas... maybe the cake pops could be party favors?!  Here are a few of my favorites.

This shark was Ezekiel's favorite!  I also really like these last two, what with my love for cupcakes and all!

Aren't those just so fun?!  They put Ezekiel's, 6th, dinosaur, birthday cake, that I labored over, to shame!
Oh, well!  I'm still proud of it.  I'm not a cake decorator or anything... just an ordinary mommy, trying to make her son's birthday memorable.  I think it was :).

I have another Pencil Lines sketch for you this week.  It is brought to us by Kathie Link from Adelaide, Australia.

I'm having so much fun with these!  I figure that, if I can try to do one every week, maybe one of these days, I'll get caught up again :).  A girl can dream... right?!  Here's what I came up with.

I started by layering Stampin' Up's, striped, olive, patterned paper on a 12" x 12" piece of Old Olive cardstock.  On top of that, I layered Basic Grey's Mellow, tree paper (I'd love a whole stack of that gorgeous paper!) and a strip of Ruby Red cardstock, punched, along the long sides, with Martha Stewart's Doily Lace Edger punch.  The tab, attached to the top, right side of the photograph, was punched, from Ruby Red cardstock, using Stampin' Up's Round Tab punch and labeled with the date of our outting, 9.27.08.  The letters from the "apple picking" title are die-cuts from Basic Grey's Mellow line, as well.  A subtle few, Old Olive brads; red-threaded, hand stitches; and pretty, red and white checkered, Hobby Lobby ribbon finish the look.

I couldn't stop there, though.  I had a whole slew of pictures from this day trip, to the orchard, last year; so, I continued on with the same paper, brads, hand stitching, ribbon, punching, etc. for the rest of my layouts.

I rounded the bottom corners of the text box, as well as, the top corners of the photograph above it, using Stampin' Up's Corner Rounder punch.  The text box was, then, clear embossed with the "memories" title (A stamp which came from my K&Company angel yesterday... Yea!) and reads, This was our first of what's sure to become many trips to the orchard.

That cute, little, apple button is new to this layout.  It came from a mix of old buttons I purchased at Hobby Lobby.  You'll see another, just like it, in the final layout to come.  I just love the perspective BJ captured in that top photograph!  The text to the right of it says, almost 8 mo. preggo with Adina; and the text below the picture of BJ, with our spoils, reads, where apple butter comes from.  Hee!  Hee!  I cannot think of apples without apple butter :).

This final layout doesn't use any new goodies.  It's just filled with some great pictures of my, handsome boys having fun on the playground.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by today!  It means so much to me!  Be blessed!