OUR FAMILY CHRISTMAS CARDS THIS YEAR

 I wanted to share our family CHRISTmas cards with you this year!

They were a ton of fun to make and I hope they make you smile!!

So without further ado, here is card #1,

THE CHRISTMAS “HOLLA-DAY WRAPPERS”

Holla-day Wrappers

I know, we look hard-core!!

Ha ha ha!!

This one is my husbands favorite.

:)

Okay here is CHRISTmas card #2,

HAVE A HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY CHRISTMAS!

Duck Dynasty family pictureFROM OUR DYNASTY TO YOURS!

This one is my favorite!!

I think I will get a huge print and put it in the family room!!

What do you think?

Which one is your fave?

Merry Christmas my friends!!!

Moon and God

This morning as I looked up at the moon and was starting my conversations with God, I was drinking in the beauty of the moment.

The sky was such a deep, dark blue.

The stars were very bright, just twinkling away like diamonds on velvet when the light catches them just right.

The moon had wisps of a light cloud veil cutting through its illumination of the sky.

Superbly perfect beauty.

It had me thinking of the past morning. When I had awakened that morning and begun my prayer time, the sky was covered in billowy clouds. There were just a handful of stars peeking through the overcast early morning. The moon, hidden behind the mask of clouds, still pushed its light through to shine down on the planet below. A halo effect around the moon.

Alluring…

at least to my heart.

How many people had missed that beautiful gift from God?

How many missed it every day?

How many people care? They take for granted that the stars and the moon are in the sky. Our world has streetlights now, so who cares about the Glory above?

Sad when you think about it that way.

Isn’t it?

It is kind of how people look at God sometimes, in my opinion.

We are so used to Him being with us every day, that the miraculous daily reminders are overlooked.  We miss the beauty He surrounds us with to show us His goodness and love. Sometimes it is the small things that can bring us the most joy or peace.

The song of a bird breaking through the morning quiet as the sun begins to peek over the horizon.

The shade of a tall tree to pause under in the heat of the day.

The bright flowers that bloom every spring, like a smile from the earth to  my heart.

The brawny sounds and muscle of the waves as they pound into the pebbles of sand in the evening.

The glitter that fills the peaceful night sky, like little pinpricks of light from heaven that are peering through.

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I  love to look at the moon and the  stars.

I always have.

They are incredible.

 

Quote

“Welcome every morning with a smile.

Look on the new day as another special gift from your Creator,

another golden opportunity to complete what you were unable to finish yesterday.

Be a self-starter.

Let your first hour set the theme of success and positive action that is certain to echo through your entire day.

Today will never happen again.

Don’t waste it with a false start or no start at all.

You were not born to fail.”

-Og Mandino

Bloom had great Christmas ideas

Our Bloom group leaders shared some really wonderful Christmas gift ideas that I thought I would share here too.

If  you are a crafty person these are great ideas!

I try to be crafty so I will be trying some of them too.

Check out these cute ideas!!

001I love the 3 trees table top idea here at the bottom.  That is such a great story to read to the kids too.

The “Come let us adore Him” in the frame, is made on old hymn paper and just put in a cool frame from Goodwill!!

The manger was made out of shims from Home Depot. Then they put the “baby Jesus” in Christmas eve. In their family it was a Cabbage Patch doll.

On the left there is a basket that is filled with short Christmas stories that you can read to your kids or grandbabies when they come to visit!

003Love all of these ideas too!!

Okay the Merry Christmas signs are paper from a scrapbook paper pad. She cut it out and modge podged it to a painted canvas from Hobby Lobby with a 40% off coupon!! The other she put into a frame!

The “For unto us is born” is another framed paper, this time from an old bible that was missing pages.

The M was made for me!! She got a cardboard M from Michael’ s and modge podged the stripped paper on it then embellished it!!

The NOEL sign in the back, some recycled jars with fake snow then put letter stickers on the outside.

The bottom right had some thank you cards wrapped in a bow and a flower pen slid through. The envelopes have the return address for the person already printed on them.

004The best idea here is the towel wrapped up.

Sound silly?

No way! Here is the note you send with it:

005Awesome right?

This is the gift I am sending out this year!!

Okay now forgive this picture, I was trying to hold my coffee and take a picture of this cool wreath!

010I know the picture is small but she got a cardboard box, cut it in a circle and wrapped it with yarn! Then she just embellished it with silk flowers she had from last Christmas!!

These next ideas, from my friend Maria, all were made from toilet paper rolls!!

015Obviously for the more talented, in other words, too hard for me.

Look at this one…

016Wow, right?

017I actually have tried this one…

We will just call it my “pintrest fail”.

These are some great ideas that I brought home that I thought you might like too!!

Have fun my fellow crafty friends!!

Christmas Parade 2013

Oh my gosh it was so cold!!

It was raining and cold!!

I am getting a chill just thinking about it!!

BRRRRRR!!!

He did it though! Yes he did! Michael Jr was in the Upland Christmas Parade with his unit and they were on television!!!

Whoo hoo!!

Look how sharp he looked!!

034In his dress blues and looking sharp!!

The rain was freezing and just kept coming down. About 1/4 of the parade gave up and left before it even started.

The sea cadets were not scared of a little water though!!!

036They went out there and lined up anyway.

042They were granted the use of dark colored umbrellas thank goodness!!

All of us parents were scurrying around finding umbrellas for the cadets.

They had never marched with umbrellas and it took a little getting used to, trying to share them and not hit each other with them. They pulled it off though!!

051Yes those are blue and white umbrellas…it really started to pour and I think the Lt.s  would rather have had some bright umbrellas than some angry mommas!! Ha ha ha!!

The cadets were a few behind our school float actually!

055 056Those poor girls got really wet!

As the parade was ending, because the cadets were the 3rd from the last of the parade, the rain stopped.

060The cadets looked awesome out there!

I am so proud of my young man!!

Still cold thinking about this!!  Time for more coffee!!

We Helped!!

I know I mentioned that the kiddos make shoe boxes for the Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child program every year.

This year we  had the opportunity, more than once, to actually help at the warehouse!

So exciting!!

1129131010The first time I went was just with Michael Jr.

He and I met some really wonderful people.

I loved that we stopped and prayed over the boxes every so often.

The love that was first sent with each box, now was doubly blessed.

When the boxes are sent to Operation Christmas Child, it is assumed that these are perfect, each one special for one child. The boxes must be inspected to make sure they follow the guidelines before shipment (no melt-able candy, no perishables, no breakables, no weapons, ect.) Sometimes it was so hard to pull out a gift someone had donated to their box. All gifts pulled are replaced with something else, so no box is left missing something that was placed there. The little glass figurine a small child had painted was the hardest to take out. Knowing that it would shatter in the shipment did not make it any easier. It was sent to a child in need somewhere local though, that is the positive side I guess. It really was quite an honor though to look at all the love that was being sent overseas. The love that filled that warehouse was incredible. It was so special I took Aimee with me later that week!

1129131135Look at all the people!

Does that not just warm your heart?

Everyone is there donating hours of their precious Christmas time to make sure that children we will never meet will have a wonderful time celebrating the birth of our Lord.

The Christmas songs were playing.

People were focused, humming and happy in a freezing warehouse packing boxes of 14 shoeboxes to ship to Mongolia.

We got to hear testimony of the wonderful reception of these boxes from missionaries in the areas that have been shipped to before.

We learned how special and important sending something as simple as pencils in these boxes are. Never considered the fact that these kids can’t go to school without a pencil… something we take for granted here. Sending a pack or two of pencils could mean so much to these children and really make a difference in their future. Soap is a luxury never had for some of these kids. In one box I inspected,  young man of 13 or 14 will receive a small tool kit. It had screwdriver, small ratchet set and wrench that could be the start of a business for him! Some of the boxes had sewing kits for the girls so they might be able to create items for themselves or to sell. Wonderful ideas!! I was so inspired!!

The best part was that the kids were inspired too.

What a wonderful way to share the love of Jesus with others!

I think so far, this has been my favorite part of December.