Christmas Treats

This year, as I was getting ready to mail Christmas gifts to the grandkids, I thought it would be fun to add a few things that they could have as soon as their package arrives.

There are all kinds of clever ideas on Pinterest, but my favorite are these reindeer noses!

Here are the candies that I started with:

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The M&M’s didn’t make it through the night. The Capt. and I had a wicked sweet tooth and we got into my candy stash!

And here is a peek at the special treats that were added to each family’s package. I gave the reindeer noses to the kids and then I added a little something for mom and dad too. I thought the kids would get a kick out of dad’s!

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Have a blessed weekend!

Green Skinny Jeans

Today and Friday I want to share with you some pin inspired projects.

I have been seeing mint skinny jeans all over Pinterest and I just love them, so I decided to try to make a pair for myself.

I had a pair of very light mint green jeans that I got off of the clearance rack several years ago and haven’t worn in quite some time, so I decided to make them into skinny jeans.

I didn’t take any before and after pictures, but you can find a tutorial here.

I just laid a pair of skinny jeans on top of the jeans and marked the outline and then pinned and sewed the legs.

Walla, my new skinny jeans!

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The problem now is, even though these were already mint color, they were too light. So, I decided to make them a bit darker.

I was inspired by this pin,
so I bought a bottle of aquamarine and kelly green ( I couldn’t find green apple) Rit dye.

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I just filled my washing machine with hot water and started mixing the dyes.
At first I added about half of the aquamarine and a quarter of the Kelly green. I used an old white tank top to dip into the dye and test the colors. I felt it was too blue so I kept adding more of the green until it was about half and half.

When I was satisfied with the color, I put my newly made skinny jeans in the dye and let the machine run through a complete wash cycle.

When the machine stopped I quickly ran to see my new mint skinny jeans. I just new that I was going to be in love!

Wrong!

They were way too dark. How did this happen?

I kept the jeans in the washer and ran a wash cycle again with warm water and laundry soap.

They were still much darker than I had wanted, but I put them in the dryer anyway in the hopes that they would lighten up when they were dry.

They didn’t lighten up too much but the good news is…

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I have an awesome pair of skinny jeans for the Christmas season!

They will match all of my holiday shirts and no one will ever know that I didn’t plan it that way.

Well, that is, if you don’t tell!

For The “Techy” Grandkids

Now that Thanksgiving is over, and I trust that you had a fabulous Thanksgiving, I can now concentrate on gifts for the grandkids.

One family is very high tech and is always up on the latest Apple products.

My son-in-law just got the IPad mini and now the kids want one. My grandson, Cody, already has the iTouch and an iPad, but after seeing his Dad’s iPad mini, he said he wants one too. His parents told him that he would have to save his money and buy it himself. He has been raking leaves for the neighbors and plans to shovel snow when the time comes. So, I thought I would give him some money this year, but I wanted a few clever ways to present it. One of the ways that I decided on was to make an origami ring. This was very simple to do, I just followed these instructions.
I put it in an empty ring box and it makes a fun way to give the gift of money!

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Cody’s little 4yr old brother, Connor, is also into the “techy” stuff. He knows his way around the iPad and loves to search iTunes for new apps. He gets upset when his parents won’t let him buy the apps that he finds and announced that he ” wants some Apple money” so he can buy it himself.
So, for Connor, I knew just what to get.
I saw this idea on Pinterest and new it would be perfect. I used the bottom portion of 2 Mountain Dew bottles, and connected them together by punching some holes with a hole punch and tying it with ribbon. I hot glued a stem to the top along with a leaf that I cut out of some old leather material. I put some tissue paper and an iTunes gift card inside and he will finally have some “Apple money” of his own!

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What fun gifts are you making this year?

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

I would like to share with you this special orange cranberry sauce recipe that I make every Thanksgiving.

I got this recipe from the Internet years ago so unfortunately I don’t know who to give credit to.

Ingredients:

2 (12 ounce) packages of fresh cranberries
1 orange, zested
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 cups orange juice
2 cups packed brown sugar

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In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients. Add enough water to cover and bring to boil on high heat. Immediately reduce heat, and simmer for about 1 hour, or until the sauce has thickened. Taste for sweetness, and adjust with additional sugar if necessary. You cannot over cook, so continue cooking until you have a good thick consistency. ( I think I add too much water because I end up cooking it for several hours). Let the mixture cool, then refrigerate in a covered container.

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I have never liked cranberry sauce until I started making this recipe.

I want to wish everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

Don’t Rush Thanksgiving

I am very pleased to see that a lot of my Facebook friends are posting what they are thankful for this month.

My Preacher’s sermon this week was on being thankful, at all times.

Thanksgiving is a very special time of the year. It is a time to get together with friends and family, even those that you may not have seen very much through out the year.

It is a time to count your blessings and pay it forward.

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Instead of planning our “Feast of Plenty” around the Black Friday early bird schedule, we need to reach out to those less fortunate this year.

Instead of worrying about which line we plan to camp out it to get that deeply discounted item, we need to be thinking about what we can do for others to help make their holiday special.

Where are we most needed to serve others?

Many churches put on a special dinner for those in need and they can always use your donations and your time.

There are a lot of missions that provide a holiday meal for the needy and they are always in need of more volunteers.

What about that co- worker, friend, or neighbor that will be alone this Thanksgiving?
Invite them to have dinner with your family!

These are the kinds of things that bring you the greatest pleasure and richest blessings, more than any sale ever could.

I don’t have a problem with ” Black Friday” on the day after Thanksgiving.
But I do have a problem with it when it starts on Thursday.

Many stores are now starting their BlackFriday sales on Thanksgiving evening. I even saw an ad for Kmart that said their sales start 6am Thanksgiving morning.

When will it end? If we are not careful, this Black Friday will end up replacing Thanksgiving altogether!

Yeap, lets just skip over giving thanks and go right into being greedy.

Thanksgiving is the start of the holiday season, so lets start it off right.

If we start off with thankful hearts and a giving spirit, putting the needs of others before our own, we will end the season with more blessings than we can count. That is how you find your JOY!

Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return. Luke 6:38

This is my challenge to you this week:

Be more aware of the needs of others rather than the sales ads.

Instead of searching the Internet for the best deals, search your heart and open your home to someone in need.

Let’s send a message loud and clear.
Keep Thursday as a day of Thanksgiving not shopping!

House Warming Gift

The Capt. and I were invited to a house warming party for a couple that works with him.

This is a fun loving couple, that has a lot of quirks and don’t mind picking on themselves.

So, when I was trying to think of a little gift that I could make for them, I remembered a small sign that I have hanging on a mirror in our entry way that reads:
Remember … As far as anyone knows, we are a nice ” normal” family.

I knew this saying would be perfect to put on a plaque as a house warming gift.

After pricing plain wooden plaques in the crafts stores, I decided it was much cheaper to just buy a sign at our Family Dollar Store to use as the base and decoupage over it.

This is the sign I found that was the perfect size.
Actually, it is really cute and would match my new laundry area, but then I reminded myself that this isn’t about me!

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I printed a wood background on regular computer paper, typed my saying,
and then glued it to the sign with Mod Podge. Once it was dried, I took a black sharpie and touched up the edges and then added two coats of Mod Podge and a black ribbon

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I think our friends are going to love this little sign and display it proudly in their new home!

Why Bible Study Is So Important

I wonder, how many of you study the Bible?

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I never really understood the importance of Bible study until I joined one about 5 years ago.

I was raised going to Sunday school and church. And as an adult, I have attended church, off and on, at different times in my life.

At one point, I was even the Sunday school superintendent, at a small church that I attended in Massachusetts.

But it wasn’t until I started going to a woman’s Bible study at my church, that I realized just how little I understood the Bible.

Sunday school lessons and church services are important and you do learn the different Bible stories and how Christians should behave.

But, Bible study breaks down the different books of the Bible and gives you an in depth look into the scriptures. You study the different passages, answer thought provoking questions and discuss each lesson with a group of ladies that help bring new insight and perspective to the Word.

This is more than just a time to fellowship with other Christian woman. It is a time to share, encourage, and love one another as we dig deep into the written word. It is a time to build a closer relationship with the Heavenly Father. It is a time to ask Him to clear our hearts and minds to receive His word and to speak to us through this time of study and to show us what it is that He wants us to get from that day’s lesson.

Here is what the Bible says about studying the written word:

Psalm 119:105 ESV
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Matthew 4:4 ESV
But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

1 Timothy 4:5-6 ESV
For it is made holy by the word of God and prayer. If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

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In conclusion, if we love God and want to obey Him, we must study His word so that we know what to obey.

If we don’t study the Bible, how will we discern what His will for each of us is?

November Pins

This month’s theme is Fall.

I just love some of the fall outfits and all of the Fall decor!

Since I didn’t post any pins for the month of October, I will add some of my favorite Halloween ones as well.

How about some Halloween jewelry!

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Or a cute sign!

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Nothing says “Fall” like pumpkins!

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And who can resist these pumpkin topiaries?

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How about a nice fall setting for your table!

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And lastly, what about a warm, cozy fall outfit?

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What is your favorite thing about fall?

Organizing Recipes

Today I want to share with you a very simple but long overdue project.

This is what my recipe file used to look like.

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I know. Yikes, right! It took me forever to find anything.

So yesterday I decided that it was time to get organized in the recipe department.

I gathered up some supplies that I already had on hand.

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And then I began to sort out all of my recipes. I divided them into different categories:

Healthy, Breakfast, Soups and Salads, Snacks and Appetizers, Sides, Dinner, Desserts, Dressings Sauces and Gravies, and Holidays.

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I love that this binder has pockets in both the front and back to hold some of my small recipe books as well as my recipe hanger.

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Here is the finished product.
I just love how it turned out!

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Where do you keep all of your recipes?

One Nation Under God

This morning we are waking up to learn who will be leading our great nation for the next four years.

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Regardless of your party affiliation, how you voted, or what you think about our President, we as Christians must conduct ourselves in a way that is pleasing to God!

We need to stop the bickering that has divided our country and come together as believers to seek God’s will and guidance to help heal our nation.

The Bible tells us that we are to be respectful of our leaders:

1 Peter 2:13-17 NIV
Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.

1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 ESV
We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.

Titus 3:1-2 NIV
Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.

The most important thing we can do for our country is PRAY!

We should be praying for the men and women who hold office at all levels of our government, that God will speak to their hearts and guide them in their decision making.

1 Timothy 2:1-15 ESV
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, …

One of the most important things the Bible says about government is this:

2 Chronicles 7:14 ESV
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

I was reading some comments on a blog several months ago and a reader was voicing her feelings about the current administration and a guest responded with an answer that I loved so much that I saved it and I will close with it…

“Obama is not my favorite politician, but he is our leader appointed by the people through Jesus Christ. He is not destroying the nation, he is simply doing as any president has before him in preparing the nation’s (emphasize the plural) for His return.”

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With that being said, we don’t need to be a nation divided,

We need to be one nation, under God!