Thursday, November 27, 2014

10 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 10 - A Day to Give Thanks

Hey there!!!  We made it!  I know most of my posts were short, but really - at this time of year - you guys probably didn't want to read a novel every day ;)

I am so, SO excited about today.  Yes, I love the food.  I love the people even more.  But I LOVE getting to brag on how great my God is.  Has my year been perfect?  Not even close.  It's been downright nasty at times.  But my God has taught me so much about who He is and who I am in relation to Him.

He is GOOD when all around me is not.

He is LOVING and I rest securely in that.

He is FAITHFUL when my heart wanders.


And no, there's no acronym here.  I thought about it, but today has more important things than lining up letters just right ;P

I pray that each of you would know the love and joy of being in a relationship with Christ, and that His love would fill you with all hope and peace as you trust in Him always.

God bless!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

10 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 9 - Family

For those of you who have followed me for any length of time, you know that I have 4 kiddos and am the youngest of 5 kids.  We have a BIG family!  I don't get to see them nearly as much as I would like, as all of my siblings live in a different state than me.  It can be a real bummer when we go 2 years in between visits, but such is life.

For Thanksgiving this year, my brother is in town and I am thrilled :D  The kiddos absolutely LOVE "Unca Nate" and we love having him around.  At Christmas, we get to see my sister, and then my oldest siblings come into town with their families in the Spring.  I can't believe I actually get to see everyone within the span of a few months!  I can't tell you how long it's been since that has happened.

I'm so thankful that God chose to place me in a large family, and that I have been able to carry on that "tradition" with my own family ;)  Tomorrow's the big day!  I hope you all have an amazing time, wherever you are!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

10 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 8 - Community

We have been so blessed to be able to host a life group in our home this past year.  Tonight, we said goodbye to one of our couples who has been given an amazing opportunity that is great for them - but takes them out of state and far from us.

Food was brought and eaten, laughs were had, tears were shed - we took communion, sang and worshipped together, and prayed over this special couple.  

All day, I stressed about how much cleaning I had to do, and what projects needed to be finished before people could see my house.  How very, very foolish of me.  

Because these are my people :D

I mean, one couple was on the other side of the WORLD on mission yesterday and still made it to group tonight to give a sendoff to our sweet friends.  This kind of commitment is why I love our little community.

Thank you, God, for these sweet friends - for those leaving and for those staying - and for the great blessing that they are to me and my family :)

10 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 7 - More cookies :D

Well, it's been a busy week with cookies!  But I'm very thankful for the business and the chance to get to do what I love :)

These are a knock off of some by the Bearfoot Baker - they were too cute not to copy ;)

The ice cream cone ones are inspired by Sweet Sugar Belle's - but hers are way cuter ;P

The little turkeys with the seashell were just like the ones I made last time.  The link for their inspiration is in that post :)

Yay for fun cookies!!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

10 Days of Thanksgiving - Day 6: The Body of Christ

Today, I'm very thankful for our church.  Our pastor has said so many times that it is not a building, but the body of Christ - His followers - that make up the Church.  This was put to the test this week.

Last week, the staff came in to prepare for Sunday services, and the roof was leaking pretty much everywhere.  The building owner was having roof work done, and the rain just would not stay out of the church.  Leaks on the stage.  Leaks in the lobby.  Leaks in the broadcast room.  Seriously.  EVERYWHERE.  About halfway through the service, the ceiling pretty much gave way in one section and poured water down on a few people.  Not.  Cool.

So, they cancelled service and sent everyone home for their own safety.

This week?  Building still wasn't ready for them.  But you know what?  They met anyway - in the ballroom of a hotel.  There was no childcare - it was a family service.  For those of you that know me, I've got four kiddos.  I'm ashamed to admit that I chickened out and didn't go, but watched the live broadcast online.  

But from what I watched, I won't be doing that again.  It was so cool to see how they all came together, regardless of the location, and worshiped the Lord.  It truly was the Church, no matter where they were.

For my brothers and sisters in Christ, I am infinitely grateful :D

10 Days of Thanksgiving - Day 5: Little Turkeys

This weekend consisted of lots and lots of cookie decorating :)  But it was one of my more favorite themes - it was a first birthday party, so "Our Little Turkey is turning 1!"  They wanted turkeys (of course), and then a mix of some other ones.  These were the turkeys they liked and wanted me to do something similar:

These are from Songbird Sweets

I found these at Cookie Connection

Mine are a little different, but I had fun doing it :P

Here's the cookie topper for the smash cake:

And the smash cake boxed up with the topper taped on to the top :)

Onto the cookies.  For these turkeys, I used a seashell cutter.  It worked out a lot better than I thought it would.

On these, I used just a regular flower cookie cutter.

Here's a pic of the assortment.  They wanted fall/autumn colors.

This is my favorite pic of the assortment because it has more color to it ;)

Today, I'm thankful for the ability to do what I love while staying home with my kiddos and sometimes even making a little money - it's pretty much a dream come true for me :D

Friday, November 21, 2014

10 Days of Thanksgiving - Day 4: School's Out!

Today was busy, with school awards and half days - but we survived!  Today, I'm SUPER thankful for a week off of school.  I know that sounds strange, as the crazy is about to increase in my home all day long, but I LOVE not having to wake up at 6:30 every morning :)  Sleeping in is the best!

So yeah - I'm thankful for getting to sleep in this week :D  It's the small things, people!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

10 Days of Thanksgiving - Day 3: The Never-ending Crazy

Today has been...let's just be honest for a second - crazy.  Like, my girls are acting like prepubescent emotionally charged girls when they're only 5 and 8.  Screaming.  Weeping.  Wailing.

Then there are the boys.  Also screaming, but not for the same reason as the girls.  They're just loud.  Like, boys-can't-handle-life-without-bouncing-off-the-walls-being-hyper-and-screaming loud.

There was a lot of noise in my house today.  But I'm thankful for it.  While some of it was angry, sad, hyper loud, a bit of it was really fun, too.  Happy laughter, dancing to 80s music, bouncing and squealing in glee.  That part was pretty awesome.

I know that in however many years, my house will get very VERY quiet, and I'll miss the crazy loud noises.  So I'm choosing to be thankful for it today and everyday until the quiet takes over.  But I'll be really thankful for that when it happens, too ;P

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

10 Days of Thanksgiving - Day 2: Identity and (Im)perfection

Today is brought to you by the song "All About That Bass."

That's the song that my 5 year old was attempting to sing when she got home from school.  I'm pretty sure she's only heard another 5 year old's rendition of the song and doesn't know anything about men's preferences for booty sizes as told by Meghan Trainor, because it sounded more like "All about lkjashdflwliuebfbets."  It honestly took me a few rounds of her singing it before I figured out what it actually was.  

Which then got the song stuck in my head and I started singing it. 

I got to the line that says "Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top."

And it got me thinking.  Why as a culture do we have this obsession with perfection?

First, main stream media pushes the image of the "perfect" woman.  Then, as a backlash, everyone starts saying that everything is perfect.  Whatever you are is perfect.  I agree that we should be thankful for what we have, but...perfect?  

I think the reason that this mantra doesn't work is because we all KNOW we're not perfect.  No matter how good we are, we all fail and fall short in some way or another.  What's even worse?  What one person deems to be awesome, another deems a shortcoming.  It's exhausting. 

If we gauge our self worth and validation by what other people think of us - how many likes we get on that photo, how many people follow our blogs - of COURSE we're going to be let down.  We've allowed other people - flawed, capricious, and sometimes downright cruel people - to determine our value.  That's terrifying to me.

I don't want my daughters to fall prey to this mentality.  The Good Lord knows that I've spent most of my life as a victim to this.  

So today, instead of focusing on what the world thinks, I'm thanking my God for how HE views me. 

1 Peter 2:9New International Version (NIV)

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.
1 Peter 1
18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors,19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21 Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.

John 1:12New International Version (NIV)

12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

CHOSEN. REDEEMED. CHILD.  That's who I am.
Thank you, Jesus, for your wonderful blessing of identity.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

10 Days of Thanksgiving - Day 1: My sweet little turkey

Since I did 31 Days of Halloween, and I plan to do 25 Days of Christmas, I thought I'd take it easy and do 10 Days of Thanksgiving.  To start off this fun little run, I thought I'd mention what I'm most thankful for today.  2 years ago on this day, I was giving birth to my youngest child.  I couldn't imagine the crazy awesomeness that he would add to our family, but he is the perfect addition.  He adores his siblings and they adore him, and he adds smiles and giggles to all our days :D  Happy birthday, Sweet Mr. J!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Thanksgiving Countdown

Y'all, I had every intention of doing a full 27-day countdown to Thanksgiving.  But if I'm going to do a 25 Days of Christmas countdown, I just straight up need a break.  I'll probably end up doing a countdown starting about 2 weeks out, so something like 14 days of Thanksgiving.  That's lame and I'm sorry, but I think that's about all I'm capable of right now.  Thanks for understanding ;)

Saturday, November 1, 2014

31 Days of Halloween 2014 - Day 31: HALLOWEEN!!!!

YAY!!!!!  We made it!

I'm posting this on the day after Halloween because I wanted to make sure I got all the cute pictures from last night included :D

Yesterday was chock full of all kinds of awesomeness.  We had our life group over last night for a potluck, and let me tell you - it was a blast ;)  One couple dressed up as Hans and Franz from SNL and had us all dying with their antics.  The kids, of course, all looked adorable.  Between the 6 couples in our group, we have almost 20 kids, so it was loud, boisterous, and just plain amazing.  The kids would run in the front door and straight out the back door into the backyard.  I loved it :D

After the potluck, we set up some games outside and a couple of the techy musician guys in our group set up some music and videos that they projected off of our garage door.  All the kids who came by to trick or treat had the option to either play a game or have a dance off to get their treats ;P  I think they enjoyed it!

I decided last minute (as in 9:00 on Thursday night) to make some Halloween cookies that I had found designs for on Pinterest.  I knew if I didn't do it then, I'd have to wait another whole year to get a reason to try them out, so I went for it.  I think I ended up getting 4 hours of sleep, but it was so fun - yes, I'm a nerd.  Decorating cookies by myself watching Netflix is my idea of fun ;)

So, without further ado, here's a photo dump from yesterday:

The girls got to wear their costumes to school, but we made sure to make them school appropriate with the addition of jeans underneath ;)

Mr. D. couldn't wear his costume to school, and I of course couldn't find any more Halloween tshirts that late in the game, so I bought a white tshirt and decked it out with some black felt.  This was super easy - I made it in 15 minutes before I took him to school that morning ;)  So you could say, this is really a picture of procrastination ;P  It was inspired by one found on That's What Che Said.

This is also a picture of procrastination.  I realized about 10 minutes before I had to leave to take Mr. D. to school that I didn't have any Halloween stuff for myself to wear.  I used this template from Create Studio and cut it out of orange felt.  I then took a piece of black elastic and hot glued the ends to the back of the bow and covered that with another strip of orange felt.  Instant headband!  I wore it with my eyeball earrings and had some laid-back Halloween style ;)

Our decor this year was also pretty laid-back, and most of it was on the mantel.  Most everything was already there.  I added the faux mercury glass candlesticks, the ruffle ghost, the little pumpkin trio (from here, here, and here), and the ghost cross stitch.  The spiderwebs were bought last year on clearance, and the Boo sign was from Walmart for less than $4.  My first one fell off the mantel and shattered (yes, it's ceramic, not plastic), so I had to go back and get another one.  I loved it too much to not replace it!

The burlap wreath stays up through all seasons and gets a new bow in each one.

Outside, we had our cute little ghost pumpkin, and our birdcage with the raven in it.  This guy came into our house a couple years ago and I still love him - wish I still had a place outside to hang him up!

And of course, our fun little house face :D

Onto the cookies.  I made these little treat bags for the kiddos' teachers.  The ghost cookies were inspired by Make Me Cake's little ghost cookies.  Sorry for the bad quality of these pics - they were taken before school when the sun was just coming up.

The rest of these were made to pass out as prizes for the games.

This is the poisoned apple from Snow White, with the screen shot from the movie on the left - I was mixing the colors late at night, so I was quite pleased with how close I got ;P

Caramel apples inspired by these from Whip It Good Cookies (this is just linked to the pin - the pin was a bad link, so if anyone knows how to link to the original source, please let me know!!)  For the caramel, I used melted butterscotch chips and the stem is melted chocolate.

These happy little cauldrons were inspired by a pair of earrings by Jolly Charms on Etsy.  I couldn't quite get the color right, and mine are a little different, but I still think they're cute :)  

Here are some kawaii pumpkins with chocolate stems :)

This little mummy was inspired by my son's Halloween onesie, which of course I couldn't get a picture of because he's so squirmy.  But it's a picture of a little baby mummy saying "I love my mummy."  SO CUTE!!

My first and probably last attempt at a sugar skull cookie - this was HARD, even with my Kopykake machine!  I used this mask template.

This cookie is a shameless rip-off of one by Marian over at Sweetopia.

I used the same background idea to make these 4 little spiders (for my 4 little kids) and this sweet little ghost.

 This cookie was inspired by this necklace from My Oddities on Etsy

This guy was a last minute edition when I realized I didn't ever want to make another sugar skull cookie and I therefore had an extra skull-shaped cookie ;P

This one was inspired by a cookie from Katie Duran on Etsy.  Let's just say that hers are vastly superior to mine ;P  But it was worth a shot!

 These were inspired by a cookie pop from Katie Yoon on Flickr

This sweet little bat was inspired by a little bat on Deviant Art.  I have special web protection software that won't let me open deviant art, so the link to the pin will have to suffice.  Sorry about that!!  I hope the link from Pinterest works for you!

For Franky and his bride, I just used a couple of different cutters to experiment.  They're not my favorite, but it was worth trying.  This one is a skull cutter.

And this was just a plain square.  I tried to make him look like Fun Franky, but that didn't work out so well...

This was made using an ice cream cone cutter, the same I used for my leprechauns last year.  It just seemed so suited to her hair ;P

These little kawaii candy corn were inspired by some pics I made the other day.  I couldn't resist!

And these were my absolute favorites :D  The tombstone design was inspired by one from Knead a cookie (the domain is no longer active, so if anyone knows how to find the original cookie maker, please let me know and I'll link accordingly.)  The arms were inspired by a feature on Picmonkey.

Onto the costumes ;D  This little monkey here is my youngest.  The way he talks and runs around reminds me of a little monkey anyway, so I thought we'd just go with that this year.  Plus, he loves Curious George, so it was a good fit for him.

It's hard to get a picture when he's running all over the place ;P

Little Man with his banana trick-or-treat bag.

Captain America to the rescue!!  Can't forget his shield :D

 Elsa and her Frozen bag

And our beautiful Silvermist :)

Last but not least, Taylor Swift and her most recent boyfriend ;P

Fun times!!

I hope y'all had a super fun and safe Halloween!  

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