Tuesday, November 30, 2010

culinary colors

One of the things we did on our Week Away was just drive around and stop anywhere that looked interesting or someone had to pee.

This was one of our favorite finds (and I think 3 out of 4 Greer's did go visit Mrs. Murphy while we were there.)
A small scale restaurant supply store, dry goods and cafe called Culinary District.

Sweet Man found more than his fair share of things to drool over - gourmet foods he had never seen in person before, professional grade equipment for our dream kitchen, tongs for $2.49...

I found lots of color

3 of my favorite things:Sugar, CheeryColors and Things Sold in Bulk.

Did you know Cherries were so varied? Have you ever had a Passion Fruit cherry?
Can you imagine those flambeed?
 Again, favorite things come together: Pasta and Stripes.

Precious Cupcake Papers. And in bulk.
Pink stripes. Polka-Dots.

I have a new passion for mustard. I think I must be getting old. I would almost buy these just for the containers. The fact that they contain mustard is just a bonus.

Who doesn't love a great bottled soda?

Jimmies! Wouldn't jars of these look great in an open kitchen shelf?
Pure happiness.
I thought you would agree.

I also found a moment to sneak off and try and take a picture of this great scarf my sister Jemimah made for me.

Wbut I was obviously more preoccupied with my reflection and being silly than with my picture taking.
I blame this behavior on the power of being  in the presence of Jimmies in bulk.
Can you blame me?

Common Start to an Uncommon Event

When you  really think about it, you come to realize that Christmas is crazy.
The whole story- the virgin birth, the angels, the wise men, it is all very fantastical; it is nuts.
It is completly uncommon.
But if you ask me, it is a good crazy. The right kind of crazy.
What we humans in the Western World have done to Christmas - with all the fretting and the running and the keeping up - is also crazy. But not the good kind.

Tomorrow our little church congregation will have the honor of hosting a book release for this new prayer guide, a prayer guide that was created to help celebrate and lead us through daily life as those who believe, (sometimes a little, sometimes a lot,)  in the crazy reality of Christmas every single day.
For those of us who want to keep Christmas in our hearts all year, but who also feel the tug to do more, be more, have more.

I am really looking forward to tomorrow's event,  because it will not just be a promontional party for the book, but instead it will be an evening of prayer, contemplation, and quiet moments alone and with others.
It will be a moment of  deliberate stillness as we step into December and all that it holds.

This exerpt from Prayer to Welcome the Sabbath could very well be entitled
"Welcome to Chirstmas" also, as it is my prayer this week as we enter into Advent.

Lord of Creation, 

Create in us a new rhythm of life

Composed of hours that sustain rather than stress...

By your ever-restful grace,

Allow us to enter Your Sabbath-rest

As your Sabbath-rest enters into us.

If you live close by I would love for you to come and drop in on our little celebratory evening;

R Street Community Church
1900 N. University Ave.
Little Rock, AR 72207

Wednesday, December 1
7:00-9:00 pm

To learn more about Common Prayer and see the daily readings you can visit the website :http://commonprayer.net/

Sunday, November 28, 2010

advent begins

We are just home from Vacation.
A week away,  just us 4.

It was wonderful and peaceful (for the most part)
and I was able to even find some moments sit and think and pray and listen.

Today is the first day of Advent.
I have nary a Christmas decoration out yet.
They are all still in the boxes in the attic.
Maybe they will come down tomorrow.
First I should put vacation away.
Unpack, wash laundry, download all my pictures.
Will we see.

(He knew they would agree by TheatreClouds)

But regardless of how prepared (or unprepared) I am for it's arrival,
Advent begins.
Waiting begins.

The words I kept hearing as I sat on the dock this past week were this:

Go Slow. 
Go Slow.
Go Slow.

And so that is how Christmas is going to begin for us.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful Hearts

I hope that Thanksgiving lives in my heart everyday, not just today.

I thank God for this day,
For the sun in the sky,
For my mom and my dad,
For my piece of apple pie!

For our home on the ground,

For His love that's all around,
That's why I say thanks every day!

Because a thankful heart is a happy heart!

I'm glad for what I have,
That's an easy way to start!

For the love that He shares,

'Cause He listens to my prayers,
That's why I say thanks every day!
The Thankfulness Song from Veggie Tales

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Way Back Wednesday

I have been at this blog thing now since Spring 2006. 
That is a lot of posting.
And a lot of memories.
Every now and then I take the blog for granted, and I forget how much of my life has been cataloged here, how many things I did manage to capture despite whatever other craziness was happening in the background.

So I thought it would be appropriate to share some past favorite Thanksgiving Moments from the blog, as this year, this blog, is on my list of things I am thankful for.

What are your great Thanksgiving memories?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

Support My Local Teachers

The school I work at and that my kids attend is amazing.
Sometimes we all have to pinch ourselves that we get to go there every day.
I love the kids, I love the parents and I love the staff.

2 of my favorite teachers - Ms. Bufford (Performing Arts) and Ms. Krannichfeld (Fine Arts)
have recently opened a little Etsy shoppe called Dear Prudence

If you are still doing your Christmas shopping you must go and check there shoppe out.
Oh, and I think they take custom orders too.. Just convo them!

Saturday, November 20, 2010


this is our family motto at the moment.
not very glamorous I know, but it is the truth, and that is the best I can do.

Sweet Man and I are working very hard to get our family to the place we need to be in order to adopt and this means that in a lot of areas we have to "hunker down."

We are having to hunker down primarily in terms of our finances, working hard to pay off debts and get ourselves into a more stable position that we have been. There are days this seems within reach and then days like today when the pipe under the kitchen sink falls apart, rotten and old, that I break down into weepy tears because it just seems so impossible.

We have to hunker down in terms of our patience level.
We are living with a lot of questions right now and very few (if any) answers.
The chance that our life could look radically different a year from now is just as real as the
 chance that our life might not look different at all. And the amount of control I have over the outcome is so minuscule it isn't even worth mentioning.

And I am hunkering down in my prayers. I am getting very specific and even at times downright bossy with God about what I want/hope/think we need, what I think I need.
Not that I think this guarantees that I will get what I ask for.
In fact I am not sure how much affect my prayers have on that part at all.
I guess what I am really asking for, begging for, is coverage.
I just want some coverage. I pray a lot of prayers that go a lot like this

God I am serious about this. We are serious about this.
And I am pretty  sure you have placed this in our hearts, and so  you are serious about this too. So if you are, and if this is going to happen then you are going to have to be in it and around it and through it, because I know just enough to know that it is bigger than I can carry.So please, please help.
Please help prepare us.
Please help prepare them.
Please help prepare us all for each other.

For Thanksgiving this year, our little family of 4 is doing some serious Hunkering Down.
We are getting out of town and going away thanks to the generosity of some very dear friends.
We are going to work on preparing our hearts. We are going to read, and take walks, and drive each other nuts, and sleep in and play games and make messes. We are going to talk and laugh and fight and cry. We are going to go slow and put the words Please and Thank You and You First back into our vocabularies.
We are going to work on being a better family of 4 before we try to attempt to be a family of 6.
We are going to retreat; we are going to hunker down
Burst pipe be damned!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Too Many Mittens Craft and a Winner!

When I was a little girl, one of my most favorite books was Too Many Mittens
by Florence and Louis Slobodkin.
A few years ago, my sister Jemimah, who had lighted away with our family copy, wrapped it up and gave it to me after she heard me talking about how much I loved this book.

The story is about twin boys and how one winter they lose a mitten, and how their house becomes the landing place for all the lost mittens in the neighborhood.
I love the art work, the colors and I love the story.
I think something about how the whole community took part and came together, looking after even the simplest of things - lost mittens - on behalf of each was comforting to me.

For several years I have been wanting to make a "Too Many Mittens" garland, and finally I have!

 The boys are both home with bad colds this week and today I pulled the short straw to stay home (Sweet Man held down the fort the past 2 days)
I can't say I was too upset. I think we all needed a "momma stays home day" and making this garland with Miles may have been just what the doctor ordered for him.

 We made one mitten garland and one party-dot garland.
I even got around to listing a Krafty Kit for the Mitten Garland in the Shoppe.

After we got done making my version of the Mitten Garland, Miles had to create one all by himself, and hang it up too. Pretty darn cute, that kid.

If you want to make a Too Many Mittens Garland yourself you can buy a kit with everything ready to go or you can copy the directions below. If you would like the PDF of the directions just leave me a comment with your email address and I will send them to you!

comment #9 - Summer Swanson of Artfulife
Summer leave me your email so I can contact you!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Holiday Reading List

Everyone knows I have a thing about watching certain movies at certain times of the year.
The same is true for books. There are certain books that I like to re-read every year around. This year, I am feeling that my list needs a little more rounding out, so let's play a little game of "I'll show you mine, if you'll show me yours."
I'll show you my annual holiday reading list, if you will show (or at least share) yours as well!

Ready? Ok, here is my list:

I don't think I have read A Christmas Carol since I was a little girl, but I am putting it on my list anyway, because every year I intend to read it and that has to count for something.
I love this version and have been eyeballing it for a few years. I really want to read it with the boys...maybe this will be the year I buy it!

Now it is your turn - what do you like to read around Christmas or what great Christmas themed books (fiction or memoir especially) can you recomend?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Peace on Earth: The Collection

 Recently a friend asked me to make something cute and crafty  that she could use at her daughters school's annual Silent Auction fundraiser.
Desperately in need of a little craft therapy I jumped at the chance.
This is what I came up with: Peace on Earth Party Pack

The kit included the following handmade items

1 Peace on Earth Banner
12 Cupcake Picks
6 Holiday Cards (possible party invitations)
1 Bag of BirdieFetti
6 Peace Bell Ornaments
6 Party Favor Bags
6 Gift Tags

 I had to snap this picture quickly before packing it all up and the lighting wasn't great, but I am going to make some more Peace on Earth banners and probably even put a few in the Shoppe.

Creating a complete collection like this is one of my most favorite things.
 If I could have figured out how to make cupcake papers in time I would have done those too...

 I think the cards are the happiest surprise of the whole collection.
I do not make a lot of cards, so I had no real concept of what I was going to do when I sat down at the craft table, I just kinda played around until I came upon this design..

 Cupcake picks. 'Nuf said.

I may just have to throw a Peace on Earth kids party myself.
I bet I know where I can get a great deal on a party pack...
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