Tuesday, December 29, 2009


So I finally announced my secret- I am 17 weeks pregnant! Jonah and I are thrilled and looking forward to meeting the little one.
On another note I am afraid I will have to make my blog more private. I received some spam a couple different times from some people out in the blog world, which I do not appreciate nor would I like anyone else sneaking in with there perversions to my little world, which includes photos I'm not comfortable having perverts see.
So my blog friends if you would like to continue reading my blog please send your email to me or post it on this latest post. I will add you to my blog list, which is a much more 'blocked' way of getting the spammers out.
I look forward to finally posting more details about this special time in our lives. I have kept it hidden, so we could surprise our families over Christmas with a special gift.
Looking forward to the future!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The night before the night before Christmas

So only two more nights til Christmas morning! I can hardly believe it's almost here. We wait all year for this special day and then it comes and goes so quickly!
Jonah and I went out to the bookstore tonight for our annual tradition (now it is anyways) of choosing a beautifully illustrated Christmas children's book. Last year, we bought The Gift of the Magi (illust. by PJ Lynch) and The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey (illust. by PJ Lynch as well) This year we picked up Winters Gift (illust. by Jane Donovan)which we have both read before and really enjoyed, and the illustrations are beautiful. Jonah pointed out that they are painted on canvas, as the texture gives it away.
Since we are both artists it's hard to buy a book that is not beautifully illustrated, since we love reading and enjoy some writing, it's hard not to buy a book without a thoughtful story, and since we are both designers, the typography has to be set nice, not huge oversized fonts in gaudy type, and because we are both Christians, the story has to be clean and appropriate and not Santa oriented.
So I guess we are particular....
But we will both enjoy these books for years to come and every year it's a special tradition to purchase another beautiful copy of a story that we will treasure. Someday we can read these together with our own kids, who hopefully will thoroughly enjoy the beautifully illustrated, well written books :) I can certainly see us pointing out why the pictures are so well drawn and painted! But we shall see...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Making memories

We have officially started our nice long 2 week break for Christmas. Augh, yes two whole weeks. Today was the first day at home and I was able to catch up on laundry, vacuum, and empty the dishwasher. Now I have plans for shrimp scampi for dinner. I spent a little time downloading our weekend pictures too. We went down to visit with Jonah's side of the family for the weekend, since the whole family (all the siblings) were in town. We'll head back to his parents for Christmas.
We all had a wonderful time together, and I was able to meet my brother in law's new girlfriend, whom we love! My sister in law and I already decided if they broke up we would keep her and send her Christmas cards! I do pray if it's right that they stay together :) It's always fun to add new 'sister's' to the family.
We ended up going to Stone Mountain Christmas Saturday night which was pretty chilly but fun. I took some photos of family and hanging out. Friday night we had dinner at Jonah's sister's house and gave gifts to the kids. That was fun, to watch them get excited about their gifts. We went low key with gifts and stayed within our budget but we picked things we knew they would like. I love watching others open up
something I know they'll like, it's almost more exciting than receiving a gift yourself!
Now I'm back in our little home relishing in the fact I don't have to go anywhere, that I can go out tomorrow. Jonah is out shopping for me- finishing up his Christmas list. I told him I don't need anything else, he already bought me a couple things. But I certainly won't twist his arm :)
I am looking forward to Christmas Eve and Christmas, and I'm looking forward to remembering and reading the Christmas story. It's been a wonderful blessing filled year, and I love that we can wind down and savor these special days. Family is truly the best gift of all, apart from what our Lord gave us- His Son. I really do miss my side of the family as they gather in various parts of the country, but I'm warmed in the heart that we all love each other and will be thinking of one another across the miles, until the next time we can get together.
Here are a few photos of family and memories:

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Break list

Well it is nearly that time of year again- Christmas break.
With this break so close I am thinking ahead to how many things I can get accomplished over the 2 week break (yeah 2 whole weeks!) My list feels long in my mind and I don't want to go into the break having done nothing but relax. Although that is also on the list.
No with such a big chance to do so much I thought I would write my list here so that I can be accountable to the blog world if not myself. It's so funny that I went into this season with so many plans to do so many big things- like mounds of Christmas baking and homemade gifts. Design projects I could make for family, a decked out home for the holidays...
Well I may not have been able to do everything but I'm not discouraged in that. I have been able to just enjoy our tree glowing in the evening, the occasional popped corn to munch on, holiday music in the car, and the Christmas specials that come on tv. I've also been able to attend two Christmas concerts- actually 3 counting our church Christmas cantata. Gifts are almost all wrapped, and that feels pretty good.
Back to my list though, here goes for the upcoming break:
Thoroughly dust and vacuum (including under the bed where it's very sneezy)
Take apart our art room/studio and reorganize, donate and clean. Phewww that will be a big project for us, we have bins of things we need to clean out and get rid of all the things we don't use.
Purchase storage bins for the art studio.
Purge, purge, purge, closets and pantry/cupboards.
Change out shower curtain. (ah, a nice small task)
Drop off all give away items to goodwill.
Drop off all sellable items to consignment.
Create goals for my shop, including project goals, and when I will post items.
Purchase matching albums and organize photos into them.
Put away tree and decor.

I think that is about it. I can think of many creative items I would like to add to the list, but that can overwhelm me for some reason. I think always being creative can drown you if you don't funnel the tasks into obtainable goals.
I have a lot of things I enjoy such as illustrating, writing and designing children's things. I just haven't been back to these hobbies in a while. Maybe I will revisit them over the break?
I'm wondering if anyone else has a list this long waiting for them to tackle?
I'm going to pray for this list and ask God to help me accomplish some of it...I know it's a big list. And wouldn't it be grand to get it all done? Even I know myself well enough to know that is probably not going to happen. But it's nice to make some goals!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Happy thoughts

We had the priviledge of seeing Chris Tomlin and Louis Giglio this past Saturday night in a Christmas concert. Chris sang beautifully and Lois spoke- which was amazing.
His message was centered on the birth of Christ. I know we have heard this story, and we read it every year around this time, if not on the day of Christmas.
But this time I heard it, it was different.
I can't express quite how different it was. But it was a good different. The kind that made you think of that night in so much detail that it brought you to tears to think about what Jesus did for us. I haven't heard a message so good, and so relevant about Christmas in a long time.
I think I may post more about it on another time. I just know I don't want to forget, like we tend to do.
We also attended our last Finacial Peace University class! Thirteen weeks of sessions done already! I can't believe we are done, we really enjoyed the class overall. Especially last nights session. It was about giving. The stories we heard were so moving, about people being able to give financially. One story was about a couple that had about $10,000 of debt left. To make a long story short, God provided another couple out of the blue that actually wrote the check for their remaining debt, allowing them the opportunity to adopt (which is what they wanted to do when they were out of debt). The story was one of those 'wow' ones, where you can't even imagine what it's like to be that financially able to give so generously.
Jonah and I both loved this session as I think the biggest thing we would love to be able to do is give more. We are able to give a little, but to be able to help someone else in such a mighty way is amazing. The other message of the night was about being a steward of what we have. I think paying off debt is a great thing, because it allows you to be used by God- distributing what is already His. We are simply watching it for Him. What a mighty responsibility that is.
Just a few thoughts from me as we head into the holiday season. Hope everyone has a wonderful week, walking with the Saviour.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Our tree with the tall topper

O Christmas tree

Well we finally finished trimming our tree! It was kind of a three stage process this year. We bought our tree, set it in the stand and let it drink in water for several days. Next we added the lights one evening with Christmas music playing and chomping on popped popcorn (from our fabulous air popper) then let it sit for several days. Then finally with all of our Christmas boxes out of storage we decorated it last night :)
It's lovely as always and I took a picture I will load later. After 4 wonderful years of marriage we have developed one special tradition- special being the key word! One year we decided not to trim down the top (the tall pointy part) and just put our star on top. It looked so funny up there we got a good laugh out of it and never took the star down to trim it. Since then we have searched for trees with tall toppers that will proudly display our star high up top! A good foot up top. So our star is perched up there proudly and once again made me laugh so hard last night.
Strange tradition perhaps to some, but to us it's special only to us.
Now we're ready for Christmas!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Savoring the Holidays

I've been so caught up in getting things done, and scratching off my imaginary list that I somehow forgot to slooowww downn, this time of year. Every year I love this time- the magical, wonderful part of the year when we remember what our Lord did for us all those years ago, the infectious spirit of giving, the remembrance of all we have (and how abundantly blessed) in our lives. Before you know it Christmas is here, then it's done. Just like that I seem to let time slip by and I am left with a somehow empty handed, empty hearted feeling.
I don't want to feel that way- I don't want this time to slip by and miss the chance to do something for another, to savor the holiday music, to turn off the t.v., turn up the tunes, and enjoy decorating for the season. Really savor time with those I love, cherish the time together with Jonah- because who knows what next year will bring? It will be different, in it's own way.
And I don't want to miss the now, the memories of each day that this year is bringing.
So my plan for now is not to hurry around and shop for the last Christmas gifts, filled with worry that I can't find the 'perfect' thing- but to slow down and savor what this holiday brings.
Thanking Jesus for how truly blessed we are in every area of our lives. Listening to holiday tunes with my sweetheart, popping some corn and drinking cocoa. Wrapping the gifts with a purpose and taking my time. Remembering and praying for each person the gifts are going to. Taking time to just enjoy the Christmas lights, the decor that is all around us. And loving those close to me- the precious people God has given to me.
Let me not miss the moments Lord.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Cereal Savings

We had a nice night together, my dear husband and I. We went on a date! We had some Chic-fil-a, watched a movie (the Blind Side) which was really good, then on our way home headed to Krogers, a local grocery store.
Why stop there? Because I had coupons!
I've recently gotten into couponing, to save us money, and help with our budget. Food can be- well IS, so expensive. Coupons are a great way to save some money, but they are also a way to use sales to your advantage- not the stores.
I really got into couponing after talking to some ladies at work who are gung ho about it. Their the serious ones- the one that save 50% on their groceries, the ones who constantly take home 'free' food. I think they've inspired me to try harder. And why not? To save us money, and help us have more food stocked up?
I'm not going to turn into a fanatic mind you, but I have to tell you about a sale we recently had at Kroger. It was a sale on cereal- Kellog's brand. The store offered a 50% off special for today on select Kellog's brand cereals. I know it's not the healthiest choice, but I like to eat it when were rushed in the morning or a snack at night. So back to the sale- they had a sale for 50% off, my friend at work told me about a coupon online for $5 off when you buy 4 boxes of Kellog's cereal. Well on top of printing that coupon and having other Kellog's coupons in my coupon file, we really made out. The only thing I was concerned about was the 4 w/$5 off because it was actually a Target coupon. (did you know Target even has coupons?) Well, it said manufacturers coupon which I read should apply to any store, and if the cashier fusses at you talk to a manager. So we get in line with our 7 ( yes SEVEN) boxes of cereal- the 4 for $5 and three others I specifically had coupons for around .75 cents off, and waited for the cashier to ring up our coupons. (all this with the 50% off deal) Well the cashier gets to the Target one and say's "um this is Target", and I say, "yes, but it's a manufacturers coupon", pointing to the little part that says just that. He kind of mumbled and said "well I'll see if the system will take it". To which , thank the Lord, it did.
Altogether we walked away with 7 boxes of cereal for $7.62.
Wow, we've never had cereal for so cheap! I felt like we somehow won the system!