Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas "Mantel"

Yes, yes. We don't have a fireplace. Therefore, no mantel.

However, we have a lovely bookcase/buffet/shelving unit from Ikea that pretty much fits the bill!

Last year for Christmas/my birthday (25th/26th), pretty much my entire family conspired behind my back and got me the complete Willow Tree nativity! Wahoo! All I need is the creche, and Nate's Mimi told me she's getting me that this year. Sweet!

Since the complete reason for Christmas is to celebrate the birth of our Savior, there is no better mantle "decor" than that! Holla! The Willow Tree nativity is gorgeous and so beautifully handcrafted. If you do not have a nativity and would like to invest in one, I highly recommend it!

Behind the nativity, I nestled a bunch o' gold ribbon, just for kicks. It adds some ambiance I think. Also, we have our red stockings that we got from my aunt the Christmas before we were married. A couple of frosted/glittery gold ornaments to hang with them and they are all set! I also created a simple banner that reads "Believe" with card stock and twine.

A simple, but sweet Christmas mantle for our 2nd Christmas as husband and wife (and puppy)! Check out Layla's blog at www.theletteredcottage.net  for a Holiday Mantle linky party! Happy Holidays!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Memories

The five-day "break" I received last week was very. much. NEEDED.

Quality time with the hubster. check.
Seeing lots of family for a long period of time (vs. a weekend). check.
Reuniting with friends. check.
Lots of laughs. check.
No work. check :)

Here are some pictures from the fantastic Thanksgiving holiday. So much to be thankful for :) Thanks be to God for all He has given us!

 (isn't our princess adorable?!)

We (my parents, grandparents, uncle, Nate, and I) got to Skype with my brother's Kindergarten class in S. Korea! Of course, it was 8:15am vs. our 5:15pm, but it worked :)

Love having my "sister" at our family events! Truly shows how her family is a part of ours! Thank goodness for our parents' BFF relationship.

All the gorgeous ladies in our family

My sister from another mister, girlfriend-cousin, soon-to-be cousin (just got engaged) and cousin! LOVE them.

The fellas: cousin (who just proposed to "soon-to-be" cousin), another cousin, the hubster, and cousin (boyfriend of "girlfriend" cousin) :)

Expect a post this week about a new Christmas wreath I made, courtesy of Thrifty Decor Chick!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Give Thanks

It's Thanksgiving week, everyone!

Many teacher friends are off for the entire week. Our school, however, had school today and will have school tomorrow. WOMP.

It's been fine though- today, we wrote using our word wall words, watched Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving, created Pilgrim faces with paper plates saying what we were thankful for in a word bubble, worked in centers, created a Thanksgiving recipe book, and watched a video about how the first real Thanksgiving happened. Oh! And counted by 2's and 5's. Lots of random things.

Tomorrow, K-4th grade will read "Stone Soup" and create a community pot of stone soup. At lunch, we will have our Thanksgiving feast (basically an "assigned" pot luck meal for the kids). I'm excited: my boys are dressing up as Native Americans and my girls are dressing up as Pilgrims. They're going to be ADORABLEEE. And then we will be watching "Pocahontas" in the afternoon :)

We are so excited to have FIVE DAYS OFF TOGETHER. Whaaattt! We are excited to reunite with family and friends, and have fun eating LOTS of food :)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Count your blessings, name them one by one.
Count your blessings, see what God has done.
Count your blessings, name them one by one.
Count your many blessings, see what God has done.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Operation Christmas Child

If you have never heard of Operation Christmas Child, it is such an awesome ministry. Please please PLEASE go to their website!

This project is through Samaritan's Purse (website linked above). During the fall season, you can pack a shoe box with toys, candy, coloring books, etc for 2-4 year olds, 5-9 year olds, or 10-14 year olds. These boxes are sent to distribution centers where they are then divided to send out to poverty-stricken countries in the world. Once delivered, the children who receive the boxes also receive a Bible track in their native language. It is an awesome ministry and shows the love of Christ through a simple gift in a shoe box.

Here's some pictures of us preparing our boxes this year! We have already decided this will be a tradition in our family, especially when we have kids.

All the items we got for our kiddos! Puzzles, various toys, coloring books, toothbrush/paste, soap, hair accessories, and candy!

Our boxes all packed up nice and neat :)

Sealed and ready to ship out- with the appropriate labels, of course!

The deadline for our boxes at our church was today, but I'm not sure the "official" deadline. There is ALWAYS next year, especially if you want a fun project to do with your family that benefits others and shares the love of Christ, which is what Christmas is ALL about.

Kinder Fun with Pumpkin Parts

Quick post about a project my kiddo's did involving pumpkins :)

We (as in me) carved a pumpkin, which the kids' voted on the type of face it would have (eyes, nose, mouth). Afterwards, we watched a video about how plants grow (they did that while I carved). Afterwards, they took turns pulling the seeds out (disgusting).

I took the seeds home for roasting, then took them back to school the next day so the kids could sample them. I mixed my seeds with butter and seasoned salt (delicious). Out of 17 kids, only 4 didn't like them, so that's pretty good for a 5 year olds' opinion.

THIS is the project we completed:

We discussed the parts of a pumpkin, then made each part with construction paper. The kids matched the label to the correct pumpkin part. They enjoyed it and now know the parts of the pumpkin!

Catching up to do... Halloween

I just now uploaded pictures from Halloween... whoops :) Better late than never, right?

Our precious little girl dressed up as a ghost :) She just can't handle those crazy costumes that dangle, go on heads, or have skirts... She likes to eat those. Oh silly Chloe.

Sam and I at our booth at our church's fall fun fair! We were in charge of pictures :) via a Polaroid camera. Remember those? Man oh man, brings back memories...

Like this :) every time we would take a picture of a child in their costume, they would say "Let me see!" and would want to look at the back of the camera (like a digital) to see a preview. They didn't understand the picture printed out! So we said that the film was "magic" and it would show up in a few minutes. Good times :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

My Hips Don't Lie

Dear Hershey's Corporation,

Thank you for creating these little pieces of amazingness:


They are ooberly delicious and I have eaten about 5 or 6 in the past 30 minutes... I thank you. My hips do not. Perhaps Chloe and I will take a walk this evening.


Saturday, November 6, 2010


Home Goods. Yes, I FINALLY found one in the Houston area. After reading and reading and reading and READING about everyone and their mothers going to Home Goods, finding amazing finds at Home Goods, I said, "NATHAN, we've got to find one!" Luckily, we did that last night.


We were in the Katy-Houston area doing some Christmas shopping (yes, we started!), and a light buld went off: look Home Goods up on my iPhone map! That little tool is amazing. We followed the directions and voila!

First up, their glassware selection. I am a SUCKER for glass vases. Arrange them in a group of three, have it as a centerpiece with some flowers or other vase filler, lovelyyy. And all the colors/shapes/sizes, thank you very much HG.

Next, BASKETS. I am a huge fan of baskets. Have an empty space? Put a basket :) adds awesome texture and hidden storage if needed. I'm currently in need of four square baskets for our dining room "buffet". The selection was fun to sift through!

Did I mention that HG has amazing prices? Not sure if you can tell in this picture, but this clock is ginormous. GINORMOUS. And also $25. What?! We may have to go back. That clock would look lovely in our living room :)

The lamp selection was awesome! Lots of different bases with different colors, as well as many-a drum shade (which makes my heart smile). I really liked this blue and brown one (those are our bedroom colors), and you can see a small portion of the massive lamp selection in the background.

This is where I found my gem: this lamp. Yes, kind of looks like an egg or a bird cage, but my eyes lit up when I saw it. And the price tag made it oh-so much more lovely:

I've got some plans for this baby. Stay tuned to see what I come up with!