Saturday, December 31, 2011


I've been pondering over this year. The end of this year's been many trials, much loss. For me and my family. There's been good, too. But this year is closing on a rather sour note. It's okay. I know He has a plan. What is it? More of the same?

Then this verse came to me. It's like God was telling me to "See." His plan is not for us to dwell on what 2011 has been, but look forward to the new and what He is creating. In our lives, in our shattered dreams, in the wilderness, in the broken promises, in the wastelands of our hearts. He is doing a new thing. And I can't wait!

Happy 2012, everyone... I look forward to sharing it with you!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Little Celebration

People have been sick, I'm up to my eyeballs in dirty laundry, and our Christmas was definitely not my favorite. I think my entire family is demanding a redo. Not the gifts... thank goodness! But just a time to come and spend together with one another. I look forward to it.

I "remade" clothes for the kids for Christmas... my nieces, nephews, and my own. Some of the items were vintage... some were not. Pretty much everything was thrifted except Diego's pants which he already owned.

I was hoping that my kids would wear their outfits to church on Sunday, but we ended up spending the day in pj's. All of us. That's how we roll.

Since we're feeling better today, I thought I'd let 'em dress up and at least celebrate the fact that our tummies are feeling better... our spirits are, too!

We are looking forward to the New Year... I think we'll celebrate with just our little family. We may make this piƱata tomorrow, if I can get my act together and get the form made tonight. We shall see.

It's good to be back in the swing of things... we are blessed. And the past five days have made us even more aware of all of God's goodness to us. Even in the hard times.

Linking up!

This is the last week of Little Vintage Style Link Ups... be sure to check here:


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

We were looking forward to celebrating Christ's birth at church and with family today, but unfortunately a stomach bug that kept us up most of the night has changed our plans. We'll be staying at home and reading lots of "Baby Jesus Books" as they are often called here. Yet, Christ is merciful to us still. We have a warm home and know His peace and joy despite any circumstances.

Wherever you are today, we pray that you reflect and welcome God's great gift to the world, the Christ-Child. Born to die and set us free from the bondage of our sins... He loved us first with a great love, so that we might love Him. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

With What

We’ve been created with a God-shaped hole in our beings that can only be filled and satisfied with Him.  The question we must ask ourselves this season isn’t, “Will I try to fill the void within me?” But rather, “With whom or what  will I try to fill that void?”

Will I spend my time lovingly adorning my home with Christmas decorations for my friends to admire?  Or will I choose to spend my time relishing how my great God lovingly came down from Heaven in the form of a helpless babe? Will I spend my time dwelling on fining the perfect gifts for my family? Or will I spend time with the greatest Gift ever given?

To be honest, too often it is easy for me to fill up my time with things that are temporal instead of eternal. I can easily get caught up in the party and forget all about the birthday Boy.  But that’s not how I want to celebrate this year.  I don’t want to crowd my life with “Christmas” and find myself at the end of Advent unsatisfied because I didn’t look to the only One who can fill me completely.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


I've been busy preparing. Preparing cookies, presents, books, decorations, etc. But what does Mark tell me in chapter one, verse three? "Prepare ye the way of the Lord." Here's a reminder to us all to prepare our hearts for the Lord this Advent season. Take some special extra time this weekend to prepare your heart for Him and what He's telling you. You'll be glad you did!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

13 Christmas Stories to Prepare Little Hearts for Advent

I told you I'd share some of our favorite Christ centered Christmas books with you... finally, I'm ready to do so. I'll start in age order and tell you what I (or we) love about each.

Who is Coming to Our House? by Joseph Slate. I love the simplicity of this book... beautiful animal illustrations by Wolff keep the littlest ones' attention. The animals prepare the stable for the arrival of Christ, it's great way to start conversations about preparing our hearts for Christmas. Very basic language-- which also makes it a great for emerging readers.

Nighty Night, Baby Jesus by Molly Schaar Idle. I love the illustrations. Not heavy on theology, more about animals, but still gives some basics of the story of Christmas. Good for little ones just learning about Christmas.

Room for a Little One: A Christmas Tale by Martine Waddell. Lovely illustrations by Cockcroft a story of animals welcoming each other to the stable, and then welcoming the baby to the stable. I love the thread of compassion that runs it's way through this story and how that can be a jumping off point to discuss compassionate acts to others. I also love that it ends with the line: "a Little One came for the world." I think that's a great way to begin discussing why Christ came to earth.
The Stable Where Jesus Was Born by Rhonda Gowler Greene. There's a sweetness in the sing-songy verses of the story. Honestly, I love  that the characters in this story (illustrated by Gaber) don't look European, which is found very often in Christmas stories... although, I believe that's not the case as often as it has been in the past.

Christmas Night: Fair and Bright by Stiegemeyer. Honestly, at first I judged the book by the cover... or at least the title. But through the rhymes of this book, it tells why Christ came, with sentences such as: "In Him God's rescue has begun. He's Jesus, born for us." and "Born our Savior, born to cry, born to suffer, born to die. All our sin on Him will lie, on Jesus , born for us." I love this book for preschoolers and early elementary age and think it's a must for your Christmas library!

The Christmas Story by Jane Werner. I'll admit it, I'm a sucker for Eloise Wilkin's work... I love her illustrations and she's well known for her work for A Little Golden Book. Werner's story seems to be more a paraphrase of scriptures written for little ones. Easily understandable but very close to Luke's and Matthew's accounts.

Great Joy by Kate DiCamillo. Beautiful illustrations by Ibatoulline, this books tells the story of a little girl who reaches out to a homeless man. I love this story because I think it's great way to start conversation about sharing our faith and the joy of Christ with others.

The Nativity by Julie Vivas. The text is taken straight from KJV which makes it a bit more difficult for little ones to understand... especially if they are not yet familiar with the Christmas story. However, my favorite part of this story is the illustrations. Beautiful, strikingly different, I love Gabriel's boots and Mary's clothesline! Be advised that baby Jesus is completely nude and definitely a boy. No big deal in this house with a baby boy of our own, but I suppose may bring questions if you have a household of all girls.

Santa's Favorite Story by Hisako Aoki. Santa tells the story of Christ's birth in this beautifully illustrated book. I love how Santa tells the animals that Christmas has nothing to do with him.

The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado. Joshua, the lamb is heart-broken when he is left in the stable and is unable to go with the other sheep to another pasture. His friend, the cow keeps reminding him that: "God has a special place for those who feel left out." On Christmas, he is able to keep the baby warm in the stable and Joshua understands his purpose and special place is to warm the newborn king.

King of the Stable by Melody Carlson. When Matthew has to leave his father's fine house and go live with his uncle who is an inn keeper, he feels alone. Instead of being served, he is placed in charge of the stable. When Jesus, the King of Heaven is born in his stable, he understands how much Christ must have given up for him.

Mary's First Christmas by Walter Wangerin Jr. Beautifully illustrated by Ladwig, the story  is told from Mary's perspective as she relating it to Jesus. Broken up into four chapters, it would be great to read a chapter every Advent Sunday or just the few days leading up to Christmas.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson. Perfect for upper-elementary, I used to read this book to my public school students because I could get away with it. Ahem. When the Herdmans, a wild and just plain mean  family of children, decide to bully their way into the pivotal roles of the Christmas pageant, everyone is quick to assume the entire pageant will be a complete and total disaster. But as the Herdmans hear the Christmas Story for the first time, their hearts are softened by the Gospel and although they are still full of antics and are definitely rough around the edges the pageant ends up being memorable in more ways than one.

Hopefully this list will aid you in finding some new stories to add to your family's Christmas library. Are there any favorites of yours out there that I missed and should check out?

A Break from Work

I'm feeling the crunch right now to break from work. Getting things photographed and in the etsy shop has taken a lot out of me... business-wise things have been busier for me than ever before. That's good! I appreciate that. But I also recognize the need to slow down and focus on my kids, to be intentional with them throughout this season. I'm still trying to get a handle on balancing my own shop and home-life.

So, for right now, this pair of little shoes are not going in the shop. Instead, I plan on baking cookies with my kids and reading stories... of course, I'll still be packaging and shipping at this time, but I want to step back a little.

I'm thrilled to say that those little Christmas plaid overalls made it into this beautiful treasury! God has so many beautiful blessings for us this time of the year, things like this are just little extras.
Linking up here-- go check it out!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Three Things I Want to Share

  1. Love that the reason for Christ's birth can be condensed into 13 words.
  2.  If you have not yet donated to help bring Julie's little girl home from China... would you prayerfully consider doing so? For each $5 donated, you can get an extra entry into one of the five! giveaways that are going on at Marigold Road. I believe you have until the 14th to do so... and one of the giveaways includes a $20 shop credit to my etsy shop!
  3. Speaking of my etsy shop, you can get a 15% off coupon code to use this Christmas season just by following me through Facebook. Plus, for those in the Wichita area who'd like to pick up their merchandise, you can use another coupon code to eliminate shipping charges. That coupon code is: WICHITAPICKUP
That's all hope you're having a wonderful Sunday... two more weeks until Christmas!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

10 on 10

A crazy day, but productive... here's snap shots from our life today.

Pretty vintage balls out to welcome us this morning!

Whoops! Realized I forgot to restring the rest of the beads!

 Decorating the tree...

Christmas Craftapaloosa mess ignored. Back to the tree.

Breaking for a late lunch... then off to shop!

A few hours later.... enjoying my new wreath.

 Soup, please! Thank you, Tanya's!

 Pulled out my granny's creche.

Finishing touches on the tree!

Now, I'm off for a red box date with my boyfriend (and restringing the rest of those beads!)

Linking up here: 
ten on ten button

How was your Saturday?

Friday, December 9, 2011


We're ready to start decorating. We had our home-school Christmas Craftpaloosa Party at our home today. It was a blast and a blessing to have so many friends around us.

One of my biggest hang-ups with many kids' crafts is that it's nothing I want around my house. So, when looking for ideas for the day, (I found much of my inspiration on pinterest and etsy) I looked for things simple enough for kids but beautiful enough to display in my home. I think we found a great balance to the two.

Diego made the longest paper chain ever. I love the simplicity of it and the fact it's not made of construction paper. Old hymnals are awesome!

Now that the party is done, we'll get a Christmas tree and put it up! Yea... and drink hot cocoa because it's stinking awesome! (The kids kept coming back for more!)

Here's the recipe: 3.5 cups of sugar, 2.25 cups of baking cocoa, and a tablespoon of salt. Mix.
Add 2 tablespoons of mix to a cup of steamed milk. This is my kiddie version of my hot cocoa recipe... it's missing the heat.

To make my famous Spicy Mexican Hot Cocoa- add a table spoon of cayenne pepper to the mix! Yummo!

Have a wonderful weekend!