Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Christmas Gift for the Baker

I am a little delayed posting some Christmas ideas, but there are only 343 days until next Christmas!

My neighbor loves to read cookbooks and she hosts several parties around Christmas; really, throughout the year.  I get exhausted watching her prepare for these parties!  Around Thanksgiving, she hauls in twenty live Christmas trees for every room in her house!  I had trouble getting one decorated this year!
 Cream Patisserie Cake Carrier
World Market had the red cake carriers during Christmas, but may be sold out by now.  They still carry this cute cream and green one.  The top part can hold a pie.
The "Southern Cakes" cookbook came from Barnes & Noble.

I wasn't as prepared this Christmas as I usually am.  I will try to plan now for next year by seeing what activities or parties we can eliminate and by planning for gifts. 

I'll share a few more gift ideas soon, just in case you like to plan early!

I hope you have a wonderful day! 

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Old Industrial Sewing Spindle with a New Use

I found this old spindle in a second hand store for ten dollars.  I was told it was an industrial sewing spindle for holding yarn or thread.  Immediately, I knew where I could use it! 
Making sure the tip was removable, I asked the lady in the store if she had a roll of paper towels.  It fit, so I brought it home! 
An old item found a new use, and doesn't it look so much better than a store-bought paper towel holder?
I hope your new year has kicked off with a great start!
Thanks for stopping by!
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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

20 Questions for a 2012 Reflection

Brooke, Ashlyn & Mason 2012
Moving Forward, After Looking Back

As we plan to establish some New Year's Resolutions, we thought it was a good idea to look back at the past year.  Here are twenty questions from (In) Courage to help you look back, in order to look forward!  This is my worksheet, but you can click on the link for the original list of questions! 

20 Questions for a 2012 Reflection

1. What was the single best thing that happened this past year? 
     We set boundaries for our family and used the word, "no" more than, "yes."
2. What was the single most challenging thing that happened?
     We set boundaries for our family and used the word, "no" more than, "yes."
3. What was an unexpected joy this past year?
     The unexpected freedom and ensuing joy that came about because of one little word with two little letters.
4. What was an unexpected obstacle?
     We didn't realize how indispensable we thought we were.  We're not.  People and committees are fine without us.         
5. Pick three words to describe 2012.
     Difficult.  Steadfast.  Freedom.
6. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe your 2012 (don’t ask them; guess based on how you think your spouse sees you).  
Diligent.  Determined.  Growth.
7. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe their 2012 (again, without asking).
     Progressive.  Change.  Growth.             
8. What were the best books you read this year? 
     'The Red Sea Rules' by Robert J. Morgan; 'To End All Wars' by Adam Hochschild; 'Inferno - The World at War, 1939-  1945' by Max Hastings; 'The Zookeeper's Wife' by Diane Ackerman
9. With whom were your most valuable relationships?
    The dear souls who tolerate me, laugh with me, challenge and hold me and keep me focused-Rob, my children and the amazing women I am incredibly blessed to call friends or sisters. 
10. What was your biggest personal change from January to December of this past year?
     Finding an identity other than mom and wife (not that I am not grateful.)
11. In what way(s) did you grow emotionally?
     My opinion counts as much as anyone's.  Believing it, asserting it and standing by it was a stretch for this Type B'er.  At 43, I have learned that the 'go with the flow,' attitude doesn't serve well to protect family time.  Ladies, when you hit 40, this miraculous change takes place in which you care much less about what others think of you.  And the freedom follows...
12. In what way(s) did you grow spiritually?
     Part of number 10 was solved by digging in God's word.  My identity is in Him and in 2012 my heart was on fire to find truths in His word!  This growth gave me the strength for number 11 and gave me the truths to teach my children God's 'right from wrong' instead of Christie's 'right from wrong.'  
13. In what way(s) did you grow physically?
     I started swimming.  With messed up feet, this has been the best exercise.  
14. In what way(s) did you grow in your relationships with others?
     My parenting paradigm is shifting as my oldest 'pre-teen' daughter approaches middle school.  Communication is key and for me that means 'listening.'  Collaboration showed the most growth in my marriage and speaking the truth more candidly to others also improved.
15. What was the most enjoyable part of your work (both professionally and at home)?
     Teaching God's truth to my children and reaching other children through FCA at our public school.
16. What was the most challenging part of your work (both professionally and at home)?
    Teaching God's truth to my children, because I am learning right along side of them.
17. What was your single biggest time waster in your life this past year?
     Lugging around an orthopedic boot for many months to heal a past injury, but retrospection reveals that it was necessary to help me slow down and get my priorities in order.
18. What was the best way you used your time this past year?
     No doubt, it was the time spent digging in God's beautiful word.  In 2012, it became so alive to me amidst many difficulties.  Also, I put a timer in my laundry room and set it each day for at least 20 minutes to keep on top of the 'loads of fun.'
19. What was biggest thing you learned this past year?
     The body of Christ, out of love for our Lord, should have a heart's desire to serve others.  By raising children, whom God has placed in our trust,  we are serving.  It is a full-time job to serve and raise children according to His will.  This should not be minimized nor overshadowed by other ministries.  Serving others is something our children should observe, but the service to others should not cause the sacrifice of our young children.  Rob and I withdrew from many, many things in 2012 and set in motion to establish more effective boundaries.  Our children were suffering because of our excessive commitments to others.  (note: no two families are alike and this will look different for everyone.  Others may enjoy a healthy balance of which we were unable to establish.)     
20. Create a phrase or statement that describes 2012 for you.
     While we went through extensive remodeling in our house this past year, God did a bit of remodeling in us.  Old floors needed sanding, leaks in the kitchen needed repairing and the oven needed replacing.  Our old habits needed exposure, the sacrifice of our children needed repair and our voices needed sound.  This past year brought the revelation and repair.  Our resolution for 2013 is to be more 'hands free' with technology and commitments and more 'hands on' with our children.  For 2013, I pray for a continued thirst and deep desire to seek Him, the Giver of peace and rest for our souls.

To see my 10 Resolutions, Words of Wisdom and Good Advice from 2011, click here!
 Happy New Year to all of you! 
I hope 2013 brings much renewal, hope and blessings to your home and heart!
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