Hello, friends!  Thanks for coming by!   It's officially the Christmas season! Why do I say that on the 5th of December?  Because last night it snowed!  Two whole inches!  And it was gorgeous and wintry and Christmasy and beautiful.  And I'm not even a fan of snow!! How are you coming along with your Christmas decorating?  Today I used fresh greens and rose hips to make two wreaths for my windows... inside.  The aroma is delightful, too!  The only thing... I can hardly see the rose hips against the greens. Ugh! If you're like me and would like to add a little extra something that speaks to the … [Read more...]

  Hello, friends!  Thanks for coming by!   Have you started decorating for Christmas? I LOVE having word art prints framed and set in a vignette for the holidays.  So with that in mind, I created this lovely print with this Christmas verse...  "Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful." by Norman Vincent Peale.  I hope you'll download it, pin it up or display it somewhere special.  Or... place it in a frame and give as an early Christmas or hostess gift. Download this Free 8×10 Christmas Quote Art Print for personal use HERE!  If … [Read more...]

  What are you hoping for? A good test result? An interview? A mended relationship?     Hope is a funny word.  To me, it's kind of a nebulous word for a nebulous idea or feeling. How many times do we say, "Oh, I hope so!" To your spouse or child, you might say, "I hope you have a good day." or "I hope you have a great time!" It's kind of like a wish.   Other times it's an expectation for something to happen or for someone to make something happen. We often put our hope in things, in people, in events. Recently, a lot of people placed their hope in a … [Read more...]

  Hello, friends!  Thanks for coming by! Have you started thawing your turkey?  This is the first time I've ever had a frozen turkey.  Until now, I have only roasted fresh turkeys for Thanksgiving. My mom was a good cook, but she never roasted a turkey... we went to my aunt's for Thanksgiving on the rare years that my nurse mom didn't work.  So, if you have any tips for using a frozen turkey... please spill. Besides turkey, I look forward to a piece of pumpkin pie.  What's your favorite? After the pie is eaten, the guests have left, and the dishes are washed and put away... It's time to decorate for … [Read more...]

  Hello, friends!  Thanks for coming by! Can you believe that we're less than TWO weeks from Thanksgiving!?! We've been having such gorgeous weather and with the trees so late in coloring and dropping their leaves it just doesn't feel like mid-November.  However... the calendar says otherwise! I came across this lovely quote, so fitting for Thanksgiving... To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven. ~Johannes A. Gaertner So I created a lovely Thanksgiving printable for you. I LOVE the final phrase of … [Read more...]

    When it comes to people...  no one is ordinary. YOU are beautiful in the eyes of your Creator. There is no doubt... you are not ordinary in any shape or form.   Maybe your day is filled with mundane tasks. Those tasks do not define you.   Maybe your circumstances are humble or uneventful. Your circumstances do not define you.   Whatever life has dished out to you... remember there is nothing ordinary about your life.   Today, I want to remind you of your value... to let you know that you count. I want to remind you that you have … [Read more...]

    Joy is the serious business of Heaven. C. S. Lewis   We talk a lot about joy around here. Joy is a funny thing. It can completely engulf us and yet be entirely elusive. It all depends on us.   You see, Jesus not only made a way for us to have joy... big, bright, unbridled joy. He wants us to have the very same joy that He has.   I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. John 15:11 As Jesus was entering His final hours here on earth, He prayed for us. This prayer to the Father, … [Read more...]

  Lord...  I will exalt you in praise... For you have done extraordinary things. Isaiah 25:1 NET Download this frameable 5x7 graphic for personal use HERE.   3 Ways to Overcome Overwhelm It's a brand-new squeaky-clean week.  Are you excited for what lies ahead? Sometimes we cannot wait to greet the first day of the week!  We're full of joy, ready to zoom off at full speed. Other times, we feel used up and worn out and it's just Sunday.  We look ahead and sigh, already worn down with not-so-positive anticipation. Where are you as we begin a new week?   Not long ago I came … [Read more...]

  I hope you didn't feel any pressure by the question, Did You Create Something Beautiful Today? When you hear the words create, creative, or creativity... what comes to mind? A few days ago I needed to stretch my legs, but the wind was so fierce and the skies were randomly opening up with a creative mixture of precipitation, so I drove over to one of the ubiquitous shopping areas every medium sized town has. I first hit the dollar spot at TarJay and walked away empty handed. Then, just a few doors down, I popped into the HobLob. As I was cruising the aisles a journal on one of their end caps caught … [Read more...]

  It's nearly Valentine's Day and you need some ideas. Quick!  No need to fear. I've assembled 40 quick and easy last minute Valentine's Day printables... perfect for kids of all ages.  You'll have a hard time choosing from all the creative cards, fun activity sheets, treat ideas, toppers, tags, and more.  There are some amazing low-cost ideas too.  Get ready.... because it's time to be inspired!!     40 Last Minute Valentine's Day Printables   You are So Loved - Printable :: Bombshell Bling Have a Heart - Printable :: Bloom Designs Valentine Envelopes Free … [Read more...]

  Valentine's Day... It seems people fall into three categories:  Love it. Indifferent. Hate it. Like most holidays... we bring baggage to the day that colors the way we see it.  The twist with Valentine's Day is that it's about love and romance.  And others say it's just a commercial holiday that puts pressure on us. Where do you fall on the Valentine's Day continuum? I decided that Valentine's Day is a great time to shower love and kindness on our friends and family. Those who are indifferent or hate the day... I've never seen them protest a thoughtful gift. And the lovers.... they eat up … [Read more...]

  My favorite way to ring in the New Year is by hosting a party at home. Unfortunately, it doesn't happen that often.  Usually after an incredibly busy Christmas season I have run out of steam and my party is just a dream by New Year's Eve. This year I had fun putting together a few ideas to ring in the New Year. They aren't New Year's Eve specific.  If you host friends or family for a New Year's brunch to watch the Rose Parade (Some day I'm going to see those floats up-close and personal and even behind the scenes!) or a lovely sit down dinner, you'll love creating special memory book favors or … [Read more...]

Praise God for this incredible, unbelievable, indescribable gift!  2 Corinthians 9:15 The Voice Most days are filled with the common, the ordinary, nothing spectacular happens.  And we just keep rolling along in a field of gray. As I write this on Christmas Eve just a little more than an hour before the 11 p.m. service at church, I'm reminded that incredible moments come in the midst of pain and ordinariness.  Early this morning I awoke with a terrific pain in my stomach.  I am pretty sure it was that glass of egg nog cut with some Vernor's, in addition to the chocolate truffle I enjoyed earlier in the day. … [Read more...]

This morning I was reading some writings of C.S. Lewis, when these words leaped off the page at me: It is the difference between paint, which is merely laid on the surface, and a dye or stain which soaks right through. He was talking about how we start our days. If we were meeting each other for coffee at Starbucks in the morning, I might ask you, "Did you have a good start to your day?"  It's an innocuous question.  Purely conversational.  And of course, I would hope you had a great start. Because we're friends, you won't cloak your answer with the usual dismissive remark. Instead, you'll tell … [Read more...]

Today is a special day for An Extraordinary Day!   To begin... let's go back a few years.  After losing my job in 2009, I suddenly had more free time than I was accustomed to having.  So as I was preparing to host a fall open house for my Longaberger business, I decided to go online and do a little exploring for fall decorating ideas. Spending time online was not new to me, quite the contrary.  Usually I spent my time online researching things for children's ministry, or nutrition.  Important stuff. [wink] I had never even thought about exploring the interwebs for home decor ideas.  That bright fall day … [Read more...]

  Lately I've been thinking about joy. This morning I even prayed to have more joy. As I was doing so I realized that I am blessed with a beautiful life. Even if my current situation isn't what I hoped or planned or even desired.     For some time, things have not gone my way... but isn't that true for all of us? And so today... I'm going to concentrate on walking with God. Allowing him to direct my path. Being quiet and listening to him. Because when I do... There I experience joy.  True joy. And contentment.   You direct me on a path that … [Read more...]

  "I just want my child to be happy." Have you said that? I think it might be the number one wish for many parents. We're all looking for happiness.     We'll feel better or be happier... if we drop a few pounds. if I could get more traffic to the blog. if we would get the yard re-seeded this spring. if my kids would do better in _______. if I could get that merit raise. if my spouse would ________. These are some of the kinds of things that we think we need or at least want.  Surely they will bring us happiness.   I see you rolling your … [Read more...]

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