Holiday Snapshots

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Hello again!  I promised Christmas pics, and I'm here to deliver.  When we got home from our church's Christmas Eve service, my kiddos had Christmas pajamas to unwrap.
Kaden was more interested in the wrapping paper...
and wasn't cooperating for photos by the time everyone was ready for bed.  This photo tells it all.
We spent the day making last minute preparations for Christmas itself, including baking Jesus' birthday cake.  As per my hubby's request, it was a Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake; but having not used a new springform pan before, it ended up in the bottom of the oven.  It was difficult enough to find time to get it made.  Then, to have this happen.  Sigh.  There wasn't time to dwell on it.  I gave myself a minute to cry and moved on to the rest of my list.
My big kiddos woke early Christmas morning, but they patiently waited for Kaden to get his breakfast and be in the mood for gifts.  It gave my hubby time to read us the Christmas story, too.  Then, we dove into stockings and gifts.
It seems like the whole day was over before it even started.  The rest of us had a late breakfast, of bacon and Cinnamon Raisin Bread Custard, topped with raspberries, after Kaden laid down for his morning nap and ate an amazing turkey dinner, with all the trimmings, later in the day.  My hubby spent some time putting together that basketball goal pictured above.  It was a really beautiful day weather-wise.  We watched a movie from Ezekiel's Christmas stocking, found places to put all the kiddos' new goodies, and just played inside and out.
We went to my parents' place the day after Christmas to start things all over again with them and my sisters and brother and their spouses and children.
It's been kind of a crazy year for my family, and my time is definitely no longer my own.  I know it's all just temporary, and when I do get it back, I'm going to wish I could turn back time.  So, I went with the flow and decided not to spend the normal hours and hours and hours hand-making gifts this year.  We got all the cousins t-shirts to proudly wear to a game this summer.
Despite the fact that I'm not in any of the pictures above, I really was there.  LOL!  This is about how we all felt by the end of the stretch.
It was such a busy, but blessed, time.  Thanks for stopping by!  I hope your Christmas was extra special and that you have a safe and memorable New Year!  Hugs!

Friday Faves on Monday

Monday, December 29, 2014

Happy Monday, y'all!  I trust you all had a wonderful Christmas!  I'll have pics to share of ours tomorrow, but today, I've got a list of Friday Faves for you all.  Yes, I know I'm a little late.  I got wrapped up in the holidays, but I'm here now none-the-less.  So, let's get started with Noel Mignon's Hey Girl Classic Kit.  Y'all, my hubby completely spoiled me for Christmas and purchased me a six-month subscription to this kit.  It is such an extravagant gift.  One I never would have purchased for myself, which I know is why he did it for me; but the frugal, practical girl in me is still having a bit of a panic attack.  It's been a few days now.  I've gotten over the initial shock and am trying to be a gracious recipient.  So, let me just tell you what I adore about this kit.  I'm completely in love with the phrase bits, star clips, and that fantastic Heidi Swapp stamp set, right down to the little light bulb.  The palette is ever so bold and bright and happy, and best of all, it arrived on my doorstep the day after Christmas.  My hubby had a picture of it laminated under the tree.  So sweet!  Anyway, it's so much more fabulous than this picture portrays, and I can't wait to dive in!
A Flair for Buttons' Fresh Market Flair has such delicious vintage vibe, and they'd give the perfect finishing touch to pics of my family and I working in the garden.  But while I love the quality of the buttons from this shop, I'm not a big fan of the price tags.
However, these seasonal Victorian Christmas...
and Snowman Faces Buttons, from Buttons and Badges, fit the bill perfectly.  Plus, they're uber sweet to boot!
I've had my eye on Pretty Pink Posh's Stitched Borders 2 Dies for quite some time.  I keep putting off purchasing for one reason or another.  You know how it goes, moms.  Your big kid needs new glasses.  Then, your middle must have the latest art supply, followed by your littlest completely outgrowing his wardrobe.  Not to mention, that the vacuum cleaner has started smoking and your 1970's oven is permanently set on hyper bake.  Someday.  In the meantime, you really must check out all the fabulous things my friend, Lisa, does with them.  Swoon!
Barbarah Robertson Pottery's Pottery Spongette is such a clever and beautiful way to dress up a simple kitchen sponge, and those little leaves are strategically placed to keep the air circulating and the mold and mildew from setting in.  Pure genius!
My littlest will be turning one-year-old in just over a month.  Can you believe it?!  My, how time flies!  Well, I think he'd look extra sweet on his big day wearing The Corner Stork's Birthday Boy Bib.  Cute as can be!
And, finally, in speaking of our littlest, he is such a busy body that he doesn't stay under his blankets.  Needless to say, there have been a lot of chilly cheeks and sleepless, winter nights around my house.  He outgrew his sleep sacks long ago and shares a room with my hubby and I, so while a space heater was an option, it was one my hubby wasn't too thrilled about.  He's a space heater all by himself.  All that said, I recently found IKEA's Pyttelilla Wearable Blanket.  Now, our little bear sleeps sound snuggled into his soft, warm, striped layers, and I'm such a happy camper ;).  Yay!
That's all, for now, folks.  Like I said before, I'll be back tomorrow to share a review of our Christmas, and I've worked up a page to start the new year off right.  Until then, thanks so much for stopping by!  Be blessed!

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

From my family to yours, Merry Christmas!  And may you always remember the true reason for the season.  Blessings!
And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.  This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria.  So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. 

Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child.  So it was, that while they were there the days were completed for her to be delivered.  And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. 

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.  Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.  For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be the sign to you:  You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger." 

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!" 

So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, "Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us."  And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.  Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning the Child.  And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.  But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.  Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them. - Luke 2:1-20

From Our Home to Yours Tags

Monday, December 22, 2014

Morning, friends!  First, let me apologize profusely for my lack of visits over the last week.  I have every intention of catching up most every evening.  Then, my Internet connection is slower than molasses, and I only make it around to a few of you, or my attention gets swept away with all the busyness of the season.  It's simply maddening!  Please know that you are all in my thoughts, and I promise to be around just as soon as time allows.

With that said, I wanted to quick share one of those apple butter tags that kept my fingers busy all weekend.  A number of the tagged jars have already made it to their recipients (i.e. our neighbors, friends, and mailman), and other than a handful that will be delivered over Christmas, my hubby took the last case to work with him this morning.  I was in a pretty girly mood when I made them, so I'm grateful he wasn't the slightest bit embarrassed to deliver them to the guys he works with, even the ones without spouses.  I'm a lucky lady, folks.
I started this tag by stamping the house image, in Pool Party ink, on White, cardstock, Cameo-cut frames.  I then stamped its bottom edge, in Jet Black ink, with the "MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM OUR HOME TO YOURS" sentiment and its center, in Pretty in Pink ink, with the heart which was also glittered.  A couple of die-cut, felt, holly leaves, anchored by a pink button, laced with white string, as well as a punched hole in the top, laced with pink twine, preps it for its individual jar to which it was secured with white, seam binding ribbon, tied in a double bow and embellished with a pink, ribbon bow and lone pearl.
I'm linking these cuties up with The Shabby Tea Room's Week #242: Shabby Chic Holiday.
Thanks for stopping by!  I'm hoping to share some pics of all the things we've been up to before Christmas actually arrives, but if I don't make it back, I hope you all have the most wonderful Christmas ever!  Blessings!

{Supplies & Tools}
Stamps: Home Sweet Home & Country Christmas (Market Street Stamps); Heartfelt Holiday (Wplus9) Paper: White (Wplus9) Ink: Pool Party & Pretty in Pink (SU!); Jet Black (Ranger) Other: Dazzling Diamonds & 1/8" Handheld Circle punch (SU!); Merry & Bright die (Wplus9); Big Shot (Sizzix); Home Sweet Home cut file (Market Street Stamps); Cameo (Silhouette); felt (Scrapbook Page); button (Buttons Galore & More); white string & pink ribbon (Hobby Lobby); twine (The Twinery); seam binding ribbon (Zipper Stop); pearl (sei)

The Studio Non-Traditional Christmas Palette Challenge

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Happy Sunday, y'all!  I hope you're all enjoying your Christmas preparations.  We're officially done with school for the holidays, and the hooligans are restless, so I'm going to make this short and sweet.  I've got my take on The Studio's current challenge, for you all, today.  We want to see your Christmas layouts, using a non-traditional Christmas palette.  Here's mine.
I started this page by rubbing Pumice Stone Distress Ink, through a chevron stencil, onto the gray, gradient, base page and anchoring a number of patterned papers with black-threaded, straight, machine stitches.  I then matted my photos with Whisper White cardstock, adhered them across the vertical center of the page, and topped them with a stamped, in Bravo Burgundy, More Mustard, and Garden Green inks, poinsettia cluster.  A gold, polka dot tag, laced with white string, tied in a bow; bundle of black thread; snowflake transparency; stamped, in Melon Mambo ink, on Cameo-cut, White, cardstock, seal, which was also stamped, in Jet Black ink,  with the "Gone but never forgotten" phrase; "FRIENDS" tab...
and " WED" Dec. 25, 2013, label complete the cluster.
Another cluster, backed with a smaller snowflake transparency, as well as a bit more black string, boasts a hand-cut silhouette, "YOU & ME" flair, and a "REALITY {check}" sticker.
The opposite corner also houses a snowflake transparency, as well as a yellow-framed starburst and trio of phrase stickers...
and the whole look was grounded with the "a christmas goodbye" title, which was created from gold, accent stickers.
A stamped, in Melon Mambo ink, "here's the story:" introduces my journaling, which reads, Katie had been sick for awhile, and we knew she inevitably would die, but never did we imagine we'd be burying her on Christmas day.  She was barely holding on as I put Adina to bed on Christmas Eve.  So, I wrapped her up and took her into Adina's room for her to say goodbye.  We kissed Katie and held her and cried and prayed over her and thanked the Lord for all the joy she brought into our lives.  A couple of hours later, after some extra cuddling and once I finally got Adina off to sleep, she died.  Katie will ALWAYS hold a special place in our hearts.  A number of stamped, in Jet Black ink, snowflakes, complete the look.
I borrowed ScrapMuch?'s December Colour Palette for my page, which definitely steers away from the traditional red and green Christmas colors.
And my sketch design came from Let's Capture Our Memories' Sketch #101.
You have until January 4, 2015, to link up your pages in the right-hand column of The Studio blog.  Be sure to stop by the challenge link above to see what the rest of the team has whipped up just for your viewing pleasure, as well as to get all of your challenge details.  Thanks for visiting, and have a blessed Sunday!

{Supplies & Tools}
Stamps: All Occasion Tags, Iconic Christmas, & Pretty Poinsettias (Wplus9); "here's the story:" & starburst (Jenni Bowlin); Pawprints on Our Hearts (Market Street Stamps) Paper: Whisper White (SU!); White (Wplus9); gray gradient (Amy Tangerine); bright pink polka dot & black star (Jenni Bowlin); mustard chevron (MME); gold polka dot (Crate Paper) Ink: Jet Black & Pumice Stone (Ranger); Garden Green, More Mustard, Melon Mambo, & Bravo Burgundy (SU!) Other: black thread (Coats & Clark); sewing machine (Janome); Pretty Poinsettias die (Wplus9); Big Shot (Sizzix); Cameo (Silhouette); snowflake transparencies (Maya Road); white string (Hobby Lobby); arrow stencil, polka dot tag, seal cut file, & girl silhouette (Jenni Bowlin); "WED" arrow & "REALITY {check}" stickers (Simple Stories); foam tape (Scrapbook Adhesives); yellow-edged starburst (October Afternoon); "YOU & ME" flair (findingnana); gold accent stickers (Studio Calico); "you and me" sticker (Chic Tags); "DARLING" sticker (MME); "this is happening" sticker (hazel & ruby); "FRIENDS" tab (Basic Grey)

Family Pics

Friday, December 19, 2014

Morning, friends!  I just wanted to stop in to share a few of my favorite family pics from this year's session with my friend, Amanda Lloyd.  We took these shots back in October, and I cannot believe how much Kaden has grown just since then, but it was the perfect time to capture fall.  We also couldn't resist sporting our love for the Kansas City Royals, especially with the amazing season they had this year.  I mean, we're all crossing our fingers that it happens again really soon, but I was seven-years-old the last time they made it to a World Series.  So, we decided this was the year to show our pride.  Without further adieu, I'll let the photos do their own talking from here on out.  Enjoy!
Thanks so much for stopping by!  I'll be back tomorrow with my take on The Studio's latest challenge.  Then, I've got to get busy dressing up our jars of homemade apple butter.  Christmas is less than a week away, and while my shopping is done (Woohoo!), I've got more than enough to keep me busy.  I hope you all are enjoying all that the season has to offer.  Oh, and hang in there with me as I do a little juggling around with my blog template.  I couldn't imagine going into 2015 without our little bear's sweet face up there.  Until tomorrow, be blessed!