Thursday, December 30, 2010

Or I'll Blow Your House Down!

So the house is in shambles.  I knew it would be, but I still don't like it.  So far I have been working on packing all things hanging (art/pictures), all the curtains, books, and dvds and whatever else my scatter brain puts in a dark cardboard home.  I really pray that this is the last time we move for quite some time.  Three moves within three years of marriage is a lot, and its about to be four once we find our place of "permanent/non renting" residence.  Keep us in your prayers if you will, we hope to be up and out a week from tomorrow (we are totally NUTSO!).  I will post some embarrassing messy pictures when I get around to finding that camera.... but for now think cardboard/duck tape, can't see the floor, bare walls and bare cupboards and you'll get the idea.

Love to all,
The Currently Overwhelmed Packer

My new job is going swimmingly.  Luckily (the Lord is so great at planning - much much better than me) this week I am at home watching training dvd's and don't have to go anywhere until next week - that's when the actual chaos will ensue.  But for now, things are going great.  Monday was my first day - I went into the clinic to have a two hour pep talk and introduction to every nook and cranny of what my job as a Reading Therapist will entail.  I am soooooo excited about what my new boss and I talked about and how they run everything - the establishment is a 22 year old well oiled machine at this day in age, how fitting as it was birthed the same year I was.  Thank you all for your prayers and please continue to pray as we step out in faith to find where our next step will be!

This passage (although I wouldn't consider house hunting too hard of a trial) has been very comforting to me, know that my heavenly Father wants me to be perfect and complete, lacking nothing!  I am so happy that this test is producing patience and that when I lack wisdom, I can just ask and it will be given and that when I ask in faith I am strong and without waver.

James 1:2-6
"2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind."

Friday, December 24, 2010

My Christmas Eve Post!

As we have promised, our annual Christmas e-card.  We figure, we won't send out the real deal until we have little cubs to brag about, so for now enjoy this electronic sentiment.  Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas & Happy New Year.  Celebrating the birth of my Savior and the reason for His birth today and hoping you are too!
The Merriest of Wishes,

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Is Bittersweet

With so many new things happening this Christmas, it is a little bittersweet for me.  Although we have been abundantly blessed this year, it is a little sad to know that we will not be spending next Christmas in this house, which we have made our home.  Spending two Christmases in one residence is quite the record for us so I'm a little sad to see it go, but not bitter.  I love this place, the memories that we have made for our marriage, and the blessing it has been to us.  The sweetness that comes with the sadness is that I have a strange itch to redecorate almost all of the time.  The Lord must have a sense of humor while knowing this about me because we obviously will be redecorating in the near future, being we are moving in t-minus three weeks.

As for our new location, my gracious in-laws are taking us in, once again much to my joy, really.  The first time we moved in with them after being married only a year felt like such a failure to me, world wise.  To be independent and living with my husband for a year, and then moving in with my hubby's family for the entire second year of our marriage seemed like the worst thing a girl could dream of, but it really was one of the best years of my life, and the closest I have ever been with the Lord.  It drew me closer to my heavenly Father as well as stretched my faith and trust.  Also, I am forever grateful to my dear family for getting to know them all the better, and for allowing them to get to know me that second year.  As for where we will be next, who knows but I will keep you all well informed.  My hopes are in Jesus, and the sky doesn't even limit Him.

Also, another bit of news, I recently got a new job as a reading therapist in a privately owned reading clinic, about two blocks from where I live now.  It's a great position, with great pay, great benefits, on the job training, and did I mention I am going to be a reading therapist?  Something actually applicable to my degree that I can do NOW without a graduate degree (which I have no desire to obtain)!!!  So in this season of sadness for my home, I am over the moon at the Lord's favor in general.  He has been in the midst of it all, whether it be provision, decision, or indecisions, I am thankful for a God that knows all and has a plan for mine & Pete's life!  But to tide you over, as this was a doosy of a post, here's what my house looks like all 'decked' out.  I pray you and yours may find the Joy of Jesus in this season, for He truly is the reason.

homemade felt trees with button snow.
 a place to hang our christmas wishes & cards.
 the tree - quite the deal this year.
 the t.v. well adorned.
 my vintage pre-lit christmas tree made by my great aunt norma.
 i love this one the best.
 my christmas decor has seemed to take shape this year.
 stockings, hung with care.
 mittens, mittens, everywhere.
 Jesus, celebrating Him above all else this Christmas.

The Reason for the Season

(Pause Music Player Below First)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Ch Ch Ch Changes

2011 will bring lots of changes for us.  Lots of things are up in the air.  The biggest being the fact that we have to move in 33 days and counting.  Shocking, I know.  Our current rental residence has been up for sale for just a couple months and we have been faithfully cleaning and allowing showings nearly every other day, that is, until the last week of November when the showings stopped.  We knew then that something was up and that we needed to pray.  Two days ago we received a phone call from our Landlord filling us in on the details and needless to say I caved emotionally.  At first we thought that we would have to move by the 1st of the year which would mean packing up everything (including our freshly displayed Christmas decor) before Christmas.  The thought of this made me very sad thinking that I would be unable to host my annual Christmas Eve party for my family.  However as things changed and communication was established,  we won't be moving on the first - thank the Lord.  Our moving date is still up in the air, but it won't be until sometime in mid January.  I tell you these details because I am asking for your prayer.  We aren't sure why the Lord is moving us, why in such short notice or where he is directing us, but as my husband boldly proclaimed, "I will not be moved." By the way, he is an amazing support system to me, without him I would be in tears every day as I reminisce about our time in this lovely house, that now feels like our home.  So please pray for us, me especially.  Being so sentimental around the holidays I feel the need to break each time I think about all the question marks flying around my head.  "Why do we have to move?  Have I grown complacent that I need this huge of a change? Does God have something better for us or is this just a lesson of obedience?  WHERE ARE WE GOING TO LIVE??"  Our coveted prayers would be these: God's direction, God's will (and that we will heed it and seek it), God's provision for a transitional home while we figure out where we will reside more permanently, and His peace that will surpass all of our understanding.  I read this today and found it comforting.

When you're struggling, people like to say, "Just remember, God never gives you more than you can handle..."  And though they mean well, it never quite makes you feel better.  When you're in crisis, it sure feels like more than you can handle.  During this journey, I came to realize that God does indeed give us more than we can handle - but never more than He can handle.  You see, He wants us to depend on His strength during our crisis and if it wasn't more than we could handle, we wouldn't need Him. 

"But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed." 2 Corinthians 4:7-9


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Winter Craft Tutorials

Well this past Saturday I had the pleasure of decorating for my church's (Calvary Chapel Brandon) annual Christmas Ladies Luncheon.  Each year, I always try to change up the decorations to keep things from getting too same ole same ole.  Usually I do red, white, silver etc.... but this I decided to branch out in to the navies whites and silvers - a more "winter" color theme.  As far as DIY projects I came up with three.  One being the 'Whimsy Windmill' centerpieces for ten of the tables (seen in picture numero uno up top), two being similar 'Whimsy Wall Hangings', and three being 'Felt Christmas Trees.' To whip up these bad little babies follow the directions below and prepare to be sitting for quite sometime - an hour if you're quick, and yes that's just for the first one. We (Lauren & I) made ten Windmills, never again I say.  Glad we saved them, we can re-use them again in a couple years when we do the blue theme again.

Supplies Needed for 1 Whimsy Windmill

  • felt  - 1/4 yard (I used navy blue)
  • white yarn - 5 feet (I used white)
  • ribbon - 3 yards (I used really thin, plain, medium blue)
  • wire hanger or galvanized steel (you can buy 100ft at Walmart for 4.99 - car department)
  • sturdy single hole punch
  • silver duck tape
  • Cut out 10 circles, 5 measuring at about 4 inches, and 5 measuring in at around 2.5 inches.
  • Punch eight to ten equidistant holes about 1/4 inch in from the edge and punch one hole the center.  Your circle should look something like this plus the hole in the center.   You can either do this to all of the circles or you just some, I did about half and half, the other half only having one hole to attach with ribbon.

  • Thread with yarn in a star shape, tying a knot for the first one through the center so that the yarn won't become undone.  Once the last hole is threaded, tie off another knot so that the "star shape" remains.  Do this to all hole punched circles.  They should look something like this now. Notice, I also used white/silver circles to add a little dimension

  • Form steel or wire hanger into circle and tape with silver duck tape.  You don't even see the tape, so no worries.
  • Attach circles to circle at varying lengths as seen in the picture above.
  • At this point you can also tie on fun curly ribbon or just plain ribbon in between the star hangings. 
  • Once all circles are attached cut four equal length pieces of ribbon and tie onto top of steel circle to form an "X." This is where things get a little tricky - you maybe have to move the circles around a lot of get the circle to hang level but that can all be fixed once it is attached to the ceiling or light fixture. 
  • Tie four ribbons together, while trying to keep each ribbon at the same length, otherwise it will start to look a little lopsy.  From the knot, tie a long piece of ribbon, this will be attached to the ceiling.
  • Move hangings around to level the piece.  This is how I incorporated these little felt chandeliers into the decor.  The theme was light of the world so I think they meshed pretty well.

The second DIY project I came up with (Whimsy Wall Hangings) is very similar to the Whimsy Windmills.  It is pictured below and doesn't need much instruction.  The only difference in assembly is that you use one extra LONG piece of ribbon and just keep knotting off each "star." Seems pretty self explanatary but please comment if you have trouble.
Finally we have the beloved felt trees.  I have seen these in high end stores covered in feathers or burlap and decided to try my hand at them - on the cheap.  Here how you do it!

Supplies Needed for 2 Felt Christmas Trees

  • 1 4-5in styrofoam cone 
    • Joannes for around $3
  • 1 12in cone 
    • you can buy styrofoam for about 6 bucks, or a plastic hollow cone for 1.99, I used plastic since I'm a bit of a chinsey spender.
  • white buttons, glitter, or small white felt circles
  • hot glue gun + glue sticks
  • Cut out half-moon shaped (one end being completely straight) long enough to cover the fattest portion of the tree. Attach with hot glue on all edges.
  • Cut out several circles of different sizes.  Attach all onto cone until complete covered. 
  • The top of the cone gets a little tricky, you just kind of finagle/stretch the circles.
  • Attach faux snow! 
  • Duplicate for second tree & place around your home for cheap, cute, homemade winter wonder! Here's my little dining room forest!

Anyone else whipping up some fun little DIY projects for the Christmas Season? Anyone going to tackle the trees with feathers for a more high dollar elegant take? Do tell!