Sunday Sunshine 11.30.08

Leftover turkey?  Try this!  Or this

For your Christmas baking:
A yummy breakfast – Swedish Cinnamon Buns
Peppermint Bark
Because I’m still loving The Pumpkin – Pumpkin Spice Cake

For your Christmas making:
Cute baby quilts with great patterns (hat tip to Randi at ihavetosay) – http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=17441482

For your Christmas giving:
Beachy coasters
Sweet Decal

For your Christmas decorating:
Adorable advent calendar
Wornaments

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A Way to Give Back This Christmas

Since I know a lot of you will probably be heading out early in the morning to shop, I thought I’d post this pre-emptively at the end of Thanksgiving Day.  We spent today counting all our blessings, yet why is it that it is now “tradition” to run out with a plan to accumulate a bunch more stuff (which most likely did NOT make the “I’m thankful for…” list of today) the next day?  I don’t want to poo-poo Black Friday.  I know (not from experience, but I’ve heard) it’s a lot of fun to run around grabbing up the best deals and saving lots of $ on gifts for family and friends.  But doesn’t it seem a bit odd to juxtapose it with Thanksgiving Day?

“Thank You, Lord, for all You are, all You’ve done, all You’ve given…now excuse me while I finish perusing the ads so I can add to the pile of stuff that really doesn’t matter!”

Ah, advertisers.  You sure know how to take advantage of our lust for things.

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Is your family looking for a way to help someone in need this Christmas?  I encourage you to check out Compassion’s Unsponsored Children Fund.  This is a way to bridge the gap for children who have been registered with Compassion but have yet to have someone sponsor them.   Your one-time gift will help give this child education, Christian training, social development and more until they can be linked to a sponsor.

If you are interested in sponsoring a child, for a mere $32 a month (eating out once costs less than this for a family of 4!), you can provide a child with:

  • Educational opportunities
  • Health care and supplemental nutrition
  • Opportunities for safe recreation
  • Opportunities to learn about important life skills
  • Most important of all, sponsoring a child will allow your child to hear about Jesus and be encouraged to develop a lifelong relationship with God.
  • Husband and I have sponsored a child since we got engaged, and we plan to sponsor another child for each child we have ourselves.  It is SO fun to watch your sponsored child grow and develop…it means more to them to be sponsored than we can even comprehend.  Click here to read more stories about a recent trip that bloggers took to the Dominican Republic to meet families with children sponsored through Compassion.

    Spa Day!

    This morning at my MOPS group we had a spa day.  I got to make my own sugared body scrub, do my nails, eat a yummy brunch (provided by my table this time), and get a 10-minute massage from an actual massage therapist!  All without a toddler pulling at the leg of my pants!  It was fabulous.  Normally I’m kind of turned off by the pampering…a lot women’s retreats seem to be focused more on pampering the body rather than refreshing and challenging the soul.  But today it was just what I needed, and in fact, a spa package has been what I’ve been asking Husband for for Christmas.

    Anja didn’t do as well at Moppets today, crying if she wasn’t held constantly.  I think it has something to do with her teething, and several of the other moms at my table said their kids (all around her age) are going through the same stage–separation anxiety all over again.  Hopefully as she gets older she’ll learn to enjoy playing with the other kids as much as I enjoy “playing” with the other moms!

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    p.s. She did her part in gobbling up some leftover pumpkin bread after her lunch today, and it’s so funny to me that she already has a very clear taste for baked goods.  Every time she gets something sweet, which is rare, her eyes go wide and she says very emphatically, “Nom, Nom!”  Oh, Anja, Mommy knows!  All too well…

    Homemade Handmade Holiday Carnival

    Antique Mommy is having a carnival today!  Here’s some hats I made recently.  They’re not really Christmas gifts, since they’re for Anja and me, but they ARE handmade by me.  I didn’t take photos of the process, unfortunately, but I will tell you about it.

    hats

    1. I bought yarn.

    2. I made the hats using those little knitting loom thingys (I know, cheater!  I can crochet with the best of them, but knitting and I do not get along).

    3. I bought some flowers to match the hats

    4. I clipped the flowers off their stems and sewed them onto the hats.

    If you have made something crafty, why don’t you play along?  I’d love to get more ideas for gifts.

    Sunday Sunshine 11.23.08

    Strength.  This is a great post and a hard teaching…a combination healthful for all of us.

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    What I’ve heard around the blogosphere since the election is “Well, even if he won, God is still sovereign.”  Which is true.  But it doesn’t make me want Obama & Co. to play Robin Hood with people’s wages any more than before he got elected.  Here’s a long but very good letter written by a Texan to the incumbent President.  Please take time to read it.

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    Here’s a little feature I hope to do each Sunday until Christmas…something to help us get ready for the holidays.  Inspiration all around!

    For your holiday baking:
    Pumpkin Pie cake – http://cupcakesandcrinoline.com/?p=488
    Sour Cream apple pie – http://asouthernfairytale.blogspot.com/2008/11/mouthwatering-monday-apple-piegasm.html

    For your holiday shopping:
    Red Ruby Rose – http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5429379

    For your holiday decorating:
    http://abeachcottage.typepad.com/my_weblog/2008/11/the-auction-lamp-christmas-decs.html
    http://betweennapsontheporch.blogspot.com/2008/11/welcome-to-trim-tree-thursday.html
    http://kariandkijsa.blogspot.com/2008/11/ultimate-pumpkin-recycling.html
    http://southernhospitality-rhoda.blogspot.com/2008/11/christmas-open-house-inspiration.html
    http://blissfullydomestic.com/blissful-home/decorating/decorating-naturally/
    http://theinspiredroom.net/2008/11/17/ideas-for-holiday-mantels-display/

    Which Would You Want to Get?

    I am trying to decide between a couple of types of packaging for my photographs for clients.  Both boxes are a chocolate-y brown.  But one has a texture not unlike football leather, and the other is more smooth.

    I hope you can see the difference in this photo…

    boxes

    If you were my client, which would you like to receive?  Which one is more classy to you?

    Dad always said I was Brilliante

    And he couldn’t spell terribly well, either.  🙂

    brilliante-blog_award

    I got this great award from Jamie at ohbecareful.  Thanks so much, Jamie!  Your kind words meant a lot to me, as well as your knowledge of my love of cookies…

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    The rules:

    Put the logo on my blog
    Link to the person you received your award from
    Nominate at least 7 other blogs
    Put links to those blogs on your site
    Leave messages on the blogs you’ve nominated

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    My nominees are:

    1. Gretchen at Lifenut.  Her story-telling ability always amazes me, and she has a great sense of humor.

    2. Esther at The Mommy Diaries.  She has such a kind heart, and is constantly rallying prayer warriors for bloggers in need.  Never mind that she’s a Packers fan… 😉

    3. Hibby at Hibby and Hubby.   She also has a knack for story-telling, and she uses big words, which helps me to learn new ones!  Plus she’s my dear friend.

    4. Emily at Chatting at the Sky.  She is nothing but real about her life as a mother, a sister, and a tag-along to the Nester.  And in my opinion, she’s a pretty good decorator herself.

    5. Heather of the EO.   Even though she’s on blogcation right now, Heather’s insights into faith and blogging have me hooked.

    6. Jenni at One Thing.  Jenni has been nothing but encouraging and inspiring to me as a blogger and a friend.  Her birth stories are super-fun to read, too.

    7.  Erica at The Hildebrand Happenings.  Her blog is private, so you won’t be able to read it, but she is an old childhood friend of mine, and I love reading about her life as a wife to a pastor and a mommy to a little girl.

    The Ugly Eagle Shirt

    Amy is having another “getting to know bloggy husbands” edition at her blog today, and I couldn’t pass up the chance to expose something my husband owns that I would like to burn, throw away or see eaten by a shark (without him in it, of course).

    TUES 1

    The Ugly Eagle Shirt has been in Husband’s life for 10-plus years.  Here, in no particular order, are the reasons I hate The Ugly Eagle Shirt.

    1) It has a big eagle on it.  Husband is not a Confederate nor is he Native American.

    2) This shirt has air conditioning.  Big time.  See?

    TUES 2

    TUES 3

    3) The Ugly Eagle Shirt actually talks.  Here is what it says: “Me ‘n’ Bobby Mark, we use ta go muddin’ back der in da crick*.  No need fer enny fancee ATV er nuttin’, we jest souped up Bobby Mark’s ol’ 1978 Chevrolet pick-up.  The same one we use ta lay a little patch a rubber in front a the courthouse.”  Then I usually interrupt The Shirt.

    4) Husband has been known to actually wear The Shirt in public when I am with him.  It is for this reason that I hide The Shirt.

    Thankfully, since it’s just a shirt and not actually attached to his person, I can usually overlook the atrociousness of it all.

    *This is another contention between us.  Since it is spelled with two Es, I cannot possibly imagine that creek could be pronounced “crick.”  But that’s just how Husband says it.  🙂

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    How about you?  Anything your other half does or owns that drives you nuts?  If you’re planning to post about it, let me know because I’d love to stop by and hear!

    Sunday Sunshine 11.16.08

    Flat

    There is something frank and joyous and young in the open face of the country.  It gives itself ungrudgingly to the moods of the season, holding nothing back.  Like the plains of Lombardy, it seems to rise a little to meet the sun.  The air and the earth are curiously mated and intermingled, as if the one were the breath of the other.  You feel in the atmosphere the same tonic, puissant quality that is in the tilth, the same strength and resoluteness.   – Willa Cather, O Pioneers!

    I see great beauty in the area in which I grew up.  It is flat for miles and miles, a leveled valley surrounded by end morraine.  The sunsets are unrivaled.  The air is clear.  The seasons are marked by farming.  In autumn, we expected the roads to be covered with giant clods of dirt.  We kept careful watch for beet trucks pulling out of fields at all hours of the night.  Farm kids would miss several weeks of school due to harvest.  In winter, when the wind wasn’t howling (which was almost always…it gets a 300-mile running start across North Dakota, you know), it often felt as if you were stepping out into a blank sheet of paper, the impossibly white ground fading right into the impossibly white sky, with no trees or mountains in between to give hint of a horizon.

    Husband had no appreciation whatsoever for this kind of beauty.  He grew up around hills, swamps and trees, and to him, that is what is beautiful.  Mountains and lakes are great, too.  But flat plains?  No way.

    Me, I still get homesick when we drive up there.  The open fields, the shelter belts, the modest homes cause my breath to catch in my throat.