Busy November

As I am literally waiting for the paint containers(face paints) to dry as I needed to clean them before heading to the church for another face painting party, I am reflecting on how busy I have been thus far for November. Not even much time to write and post here.

October was busy as well as we had to get ready for the fall parties, give the yard a last once over before it got cold not counting the ridiculous snow on Halloween which cancelled outdoor fun due to the extreme cold. Snow you can deal with but temps in the 20’s is too cold for little ones to be out begging for candy.

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And of course football(college) was beginning to get interesting across the country. Unknowns rising with the foam of the Heisman search, expected candidates dropping to the wayside. Fall can really a fun time of year. Today will be a nail bitter for us as it has championship possibilities. Go Dawgs.

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November brought on the usual for me of getting the plan together for decorating for Christmas, my favorite time of year.  Plus my book is in process of getting printed. I received the initial press run copies so the reality of this happening is kind of overwhelming. Hopefully it will be available in stores in a few weeks. My church is throwing me a book signing party on Dec 1 so I am getting excited.

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Its a story of a dog’s journey when he gets to heaven with people and other dogs friends. Its different because I want all the dogs I lived with growing up to be with me in heaven so I wrote a book making it so. LOL. I am not telling you all this to get you to go buy my book, I just want you to come along and enjoy the fun I am having. The sequel is about 3/4 written, so maybe next summer it will come out.

And as I promised when I posted the pictures of the entire village, I am periodically including a highlighted section so you can see the details.

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The Mountain Cottage

This is one of the first pieces I painted. Over the years I added the trees, the pump, the well and the wood pile and this year I added the horse and the bears after the honey. I told my daughter it is spreading everywhere like Peyton Manning’s on the insurance commercial. LOL

I think it would be cool to have one warehouse size to bring in all the kids at Christmas with Santa and cookies and fun  activities. That would be a fun dream. So as you smile at my fun dreams, share that smile during the season and spread the kindness it reflects.

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The Oldest but Always the First

Our lives are generally setup  by our priorities, our goals and things that move our hearts. For me Christmas moves my heart as I watch people be more loving, more compassionate and overall kinder to each other. So I push it’s envelope a bit by decorating early but I know the average person wants to get through Thanksgiving first before throwing all the Christmas out. I kind of do that as well, but since I have so much stuff that moves my heart over the years, it takes me awhile to get it all up so that the week of Thanksgiving, all lights go on. I have less than 2 weeks and so much still to do as I have added outside features this year.

So this post features old much loved traditions involving how we decorated our (only) tree when the children were very young.

The very first item that got put on the tree, even before lights, is the Christmas Nail.

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The Christmas nail is placed on the tree near the trunk where is really is not seen. It is not meant to be seen. It is meant to be felt, honored and remembered for what it symbolizes…one of the nails that pierced our Lord when he was hung on a tree(cross made of wood). I put it on my large 7.5′ tree.

The hidden nail is lost in the bright lights of the tree, representing that as Christ died for us, His light shines on us and we in turn should reflects his light to anyone needing the light of hope to shine in  their darkness.

The other old but another first is the angel for the bedroom tree.It is an irreplaceable angel made by my oldest child when he was 3 in 1981. This one is a true heart ornament and until he left home to create his own life, he made sure it was the first thing on the tree, after the nail. The nail was always first.

Sometimes the most valuable things we have are made with wooden clothes pins and wrapping paper. As you start off the beginnings of the holiday seasons, remember the reason for the season. After all, its a marvelous birthday party. Spread the love and the cheer to all. And as always, be kind, it more important now than ever as so many people are hurting.

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Christmas Craft Project Done

For some of us, getting ready to decorate for Christmas is almost as fun as the actual decorating, especially if you are into making the decorations or making gifts to give to family and friends.

Today we are in snow #4. While they have not been big snows, its still too early for my liking but we pull up out boot straps and deal with it. I only work 3 days a week now, so I was able to swap out today with tomorrow which allows for me not to have to go out in it.

If you remember I told you about the dog, the tree and the snowman ceramics I bought to paint and that they light up. The snowman turned out the cutest. They are about 7″ tall.

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The biggest Christmas craft project I have ever was done back in 2000. That is when the ceramic houses that you could paint yourself first started being a hot item. My friends and I started a village at the beginning of summer and by Christmas, we both had well over 50 items each. I place it out every year and last year I added a couple of items. I have to  monitor sizes as my houses/business were in the middle of the scale of houses they make today. This year I added a cathedral and an observatory along with some enhancement items like bears in a tree for the mountain cabin and the coffee stand at the tree farm. The new items were already painted so I just got to add them to the collection, but still it is fun.

The layout is broken down into 3 separate sections, one due to the size and one because of it’s theme and location.

First you have “up town” with the government buildings and the large shops. There is the City Hall, the Lawyer office/Police department, the Post Office, the Fire Station, the Bank, the Library, the Theatre and of course a church are located.

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This is an alcove above the fireplace for a TV/Entertainment center

Suburbia is located on an adjacent table next to the fireplace with many favorite shops, homes and added novelties. Throughout the season, I will feature a few of these at the end of each post so you can see the details like the car at the burger stand shaped like a burger.

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Homes, businesses, the mountain house, the Christmas tree farm, Railroad, Antiques, the stream with the covered bridge and the feed store.

The last section is the observatory way out in the country(the other side of the fireplace) on a mountain(a bucket on a snow covered file cabinet) by itself, however there is a hotel and a church close by. And yes, the tree for that room is reflected in the window. Not fully decorated yet though.

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The fun in doing this always brings back good memories, plus that fact that one year I gave some houses away as gifts and still have lots left.

Yes it is a lot of work getting all of this out but I still enjoy it and lay it out different each year.

What are some of your favorite crafts to do at this time of year or some of your favorite decorations. I always enjoy looking at everyone’s as much as I like sharing mine, so share away and lets have fun together.

And in closing you know I always stress the value of kindness. It is a true reflection of Christ and how he wants us to try to always be kind.

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Fan of…Christmas Decorations

 

I am a huge fan of Christmas decorations. Jez Braithwaite encourages us to reflect on the things we are a fan of. His challenge this week is Cacti – while I am not a huge fan of cacti I do enjoy his prompt of Fan of…

Yes, I know it is early but when you have as much to play with as I do, you have to start early so that by Thanksgiving, the switch can flip and the lights come on. This year I am switching things up a bit as the new puppy demands caution. So a plan is in place. This past weekend was shopping weekend to see if there was anything out there we just had to have…not need, we long past that mark. So in celebration of a new puppy, I found these at Michael’s that you paint the color of your dog and they light up.

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I also bought a snowman and a Christmas tree

Since both dogs are black and white, not sure how the light will reflect through. I will go easy on the paint.

The village was added to as well…of course, and will be moved to the sunroom where I can spread it out more. I will also put my big 7′ formal tree there so that I can better protect it from possible mayhem. I will put my short 4.5′ tree which is always decorated in white lights and white, clear or silver ornaments in the living room on a glass top table hopefully keeping it out of harms way as well. The 7′ fun tree will go in the bedroom with the funny quirky ornaments, like S’mores, things the kids made when young and other ornaments that make me giggle.

It takes a while to get all that up so we start early. Since I made new wreaths last year, these light up ceramics may be the only things I “craft” this year. As things go up, I will post my fun and show you much there is. The sad part about it, I inherited this “bug” from my mother and my daughter inherited it from me. She lives in the  basement in-law suite and has almost as much fun as I do.

Why do I love Christmas so? It is the one time of year when almost everyone seems filled with joy and hope. There seems to be more kindness and compassion floating through the air creating a magical moment of tenderness and love of mankind.

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Yep, It’s Time

I am fully aware that is just mid-October but if you have lots to prepare for and many things that needs to get made you have to prepare and get ready ahead of time so when it time, you are ready. What in the world am I talking about…

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Decorating for Christmas

This year I am able to decorate some outside, so new toys. Yea! I had house repairs made which included fixing my outside energy source so, let’s let our light shine. Last year I was not able to walk much due to surgery on my feet, and the sunroom remained closed off all winter long because the fireplace had issues. The fireplace got fixed this summer, the junk in the room was dealt with and now to reorganize that room which will take time. But cute stuff goes early, so we buy early. Added more pieces to my village, added a table tree to my woodland theme for the bathroom…cant wait to get started organizing everything so that by the middle of November the trees (3 large, 2 small) can start going up. Takes time to do all that but it is my favorite time of year to decorate the house.

As we think about the coming light season, remember the inner light Christ has given you and to let it shine reflecting His love for everyone. You don’t need a season for that; that’s and everyday thing. Have a great week.

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Radiate God’s LOVE.

He flew over…JusJoJan #11

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The bird flew over it and what did he see

But craziness below of a torn up Christmas tree

The lights and ornaments were slung everywhere

While the flu engulfed me and I rested in a chair

He circled the room getting caught in the drapes

Then he raced up the flue in  hopes to escape.

The silliness of quick poetry on a tired Friday night. Thanks to Linda G Hill and M for the fun challenge of “flew/flu/flue.” Come join us for Just Jot January, see the zaniness that we can come up with and say Hi.

We are all birds of one kind of feather or another but we all want love and kindness, so remember to always be kind. And if you live in  the midwest like me…its coming y’all…

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Hope, Joy and Love

The fear and wonder the shepherds must have felt to see the heavens open with bright light and creatures they had only heard stories of but have never really seen. They knew from the prophets that He would come as a child from the lowly town of Bethlehem.

I wish you all the joy, wonder and love this season can bring us. A reminder of what did come and a foreshadowing of what is still to come. May you feel His love, peace and comfort and carry it with you to share with others as you go.

   Have a very Merry Christmas.

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