Archive | November, 2012

four gifts for christmas

We’re doing gift-giving a little bit differently this year.

Usually, we call Christmas an excuse to buy our kids a whole load of things they want and things we want them to have. We don’t go completely overboard, but with four kids and a handful of gifts each, our tree is usually overflowing with festively-wrapped presents. Christmas morning is a whirl of torn paper and squeals of delight and new clothes tossed to the side – because, who am I kidding – no six year old boy cares about a new tshirt.

We have really great kids who are {mostly} kind and thoughtful.

But they are not always grateful.

I don’t blame them; it’s hard to be grateful when you have no idea what it means to do without.

Jami wrote about it so beautifully and convicting-ly last year after Christmas. I remember laying in bed reading her post and just crying because even though she was writing about her family, she was writing about mine, too.

We are spoiled beyond measure and yet we still want more.

So, we are changing things up this year with the hope that by reducing the number of gifts, we’ll be more grateful for ones we receive.

I saw this idea on Britt’s blog and love it. Each of the kids will be receiving four gifts:

It’s going to be different.

It’s going to be really hard {how many times have I wanted to buy a little something for one of the kids and then realize that if I buy it, it has to be one of the four items they receive.  It’s creating restrain in me, and hopefully will make our gifts more meaningful}.

But I think it’s going to be great.

Most importantly, I hope it will move our hearts a little closer towards gratitude during this season of overindulgence.

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it’s christmas card time

Don’t you just love receiving holiday cards in the mail? I know we’re in an age of digital delivery, but I sure hope this tradition of sending actual cards in actual envelopes that you pull out of an actual mailbox never stops.

In case you have not ordered your cards yet {like me!}, Minted is one of my favorite sources for amazing designs, quick turn-around and affordable prices.

And they really have something for everyone.






{new home}

{new marriage}

{new baby}


See what I mean? So many amazing designs.

You can order your cards now

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Giveaway ends Friday November 30.

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a handmade doll for harper

College friends of ours are adopting a baby girl from Ethiopia. Her name is Harper.

You may remember we did a really fun crafting fundraiser a year and a half ago so it feels special to have walked a teensy bit of the adoption journey with this family.

Last month, Audrey and I took down her crib and delivered it to Harper’s mommy in preparation for her fast-approaching {and long-awaited} arrival. Since then, Audrey has named all of her babies Harper and talks about her often.  It’s pretty cute.

For the baby shower, I made a Harper doll. She and the Audrey doll were fast friends.

The real Audrey loved her as well.

Our friends are in Ethiopia as we speak picking up their precious daughter.  I get teary just thinking about what a special time this is for both Harper and her new family.

She is one very loved baby who has this baby waiting for her at her new home.

To make the Harper doll, I used this doll pattern. Her body is made of menswear plaid with a ruffled jersey body. I wanted her hair to resemble the darling curls the real Harper has, so I modified this felt flower to use as pony tails.

I’ve made a few other babies {see here and here} and they turn out so cute every time. Time consuming, yes.  But so worth it. If you are looking for a special gift this christmas, a handmade doll could be a great one.

Many blessings to sweet Harper and her family. I can’t wait to hold that little one soon!

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be organized in style this holiday season {jdc|monthly}

Red is not typically my color {sorry, natural hair color}.  But each year, at about this time, my eye is so drawn to red.  Red pillows, red throws, red wrapping paper and ribbon.

And now, lots of cheerfully striped paper goods to use around the house, to adorn gifts and keep organized.

The JDC | Monthly collection this time around is just plain fun.  There are calendars, lists, menus to help simplify this crazy-busy time of year.  A JOY art print {cute, right?} to put up in your home or give away.  Gift tags in three sizes to help with packaging. And one of my favorites in the collection are these scripture cards:

Scatter these around {bathroom mirrors, kitchen cabinets, in your car} to memorize and remember why we celebrate Christmas.

Need a simple {and inexpensive – think $5!} gift idea for teachers, neighbors or as hostess gifts?

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in everything …

It’s my life verse and deepest desire.

It’s not something I’m always good at, but what I aspire to be characterized by.


Thankfully we have a day devoted to giving thanks.

May we take today -  whether its a day full of joy or one filled with troubling circumstances – to find gratitude in our hearts and express it to those we love.

Many blessings to you on this Thanksgiving holiday!

Now go eat another slice of pie.

{image by Brook Boling via Style Me Pretty}

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