Saturday, January 26, 2013

Jesus is Calling

Listen out everyone....this book I am about to write about is amazing!!! I am so excited that I found it. I have been searching for a good every day devotional for a while now. I am going to be real honest, I am not great at a daily quiet time with Jesus, but I am working on it. I will typically get motivated and go a week or 2, then it fades away into a few times a week, once a week, to eventually every now and then. I get so down on myself that I had such good intentions, but life always seems to get in my way.
Needless to say I was strolling through the christian book store a couple weeks back, looking, searching for a devotional that seemed right for me. I wanted something that was daily, short, but effective. Yes, I said short. I have done the hour long devotionals before by myself and my attention span seems to think about everything else in my life, except what I really need to be focusing on, GOD!! SO...I set my eyes on something that I could do before work about 10-20 minutes in length.
I overheard one of the workers talking to about a 365 devotional called, Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence by Sarah Young. 
After a looking through the first couple devotions, I knew this was the book for me. Each day takes about 3-5 minutes to read and the Bible verses are already printed. With this length is gives me time to sit and reflect, without feeling rushed.
If you are looking for a meaningful devotion that fits in your busy life, check out this Jesus Calling, it has totally made a difference in my life in just a few weeks.

"Look to the Lord and His strength; seex his face always." Psalm 105:4

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

First Christmas in the New House

I know its almost a month late post, but I really want to document our first real Christmas in our new house. Last year we moved in December 19th, which didn't leave much time for decorating. So this year I really had to live it up, due to my withdrawals from last season. Christmas is by far my FAVORITE holiday. Christmas time brings so much cheer and happiness all around me. I love the constant joy I see on people's faces and the laughter between families as they gather together for shopping, cooking, and eating!!!
Growing up, my family always had a live Christmas tree. I love the smell, the texture, and the look of real tress, but hate all the clean up! So I reverted to buying a new artificial tree that had a little extra creature. Luckily I found a great tree with several different branch styles and pine cones!! I love the rustic feel to this tree. In previous years, we had a blue and white tree, so I was excited this year to have a more traditional red and green tree.
Living Room Tree
My fireplace the was next task. We have a stone fireplace so it was a challenge to find a type of garland we could use and keep it in place. I decided to make a mesh garland, because I want the bright colors somewhere else besides the tree. While I love the way it turned out, next year I will try not to block the bottom of the TV (for the husband's sake). Although, he was a great sport about it!
Fireplace Decor
Later I decided that my dining room could use a little sprucing up as well. I wanted the dining room to be simple and elegant, since I had such bright colors in the living room. I got out my old artificial tree from our previous house and put it in the corner of the dining room. It ended up fitting perfectly! I was able to use a lot he ornaments I had used in previous years (from the blue and white tree). I love how the white and silver really added a sparkle in this room. I love that I was luck to have an angel that my mom-in-law passed down to me! It gave the tree a special memento.
Dining Room Tree
 On to one my favorite parts of my house....that's right the kitchen cabinets!! I have always struggled with what to do with Christmas cards we receive. I love to see every one's family and how the kids are growing, but how do you enjoy them all season?!? In previous years, I had placed them on the piano. But most of the time they would fall over or into the floor and I found myself just putting them into a drawer until the next Christmas came around. I found this idea on Pinterest to decorate my kitchen cabinets with Christmas cards! It was soo easy. I simply taped a red ribbon to the inside of the cabinets and hot glued a snowflake green ribbon to mini clothes pins = instant picture hangers! I love the way this turned out and I love being able to enjoy the cards ALL season!!
 My next favorite part of my house was my stair rails. I was trying to find a new idea besides the traditional garland because my railings aren't very long. Another Pinterest idea came to life. These weren't to time consuming and looked great without getting in the way of the handrail. All the supplies I purchased at Hobby Lobby except the green ornaments.
This Christmas was also very special, because we hosted our family for Christmas dinner and presents. I love the way my table turned out with my Grandma's china on it.
Dining Room Table
Lastly, I tried to used the cooking theme for the kitchen table. I made a small tree decorated with only gingerbread man and house ornaments. It added just the right character I needed for this table.
That wraps up my 2012 Christmas decor. I loved the way it turned out!!