Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Card Boxes

Our 3rd grader made Christmas card boxes at school and was so excited to teach us how it's done. They turned out so cute and are such a great way to recycle and share the love that I thought I'd share how to make them here. Thanks to his teacher who makes them with her class every year. We used some old cards to make boxes then filled them with candy and handed them out to workers at stores this week with a cheery "Merry Christmas" to you. A fun and inexpensive way to share Jesus' love this season.

Here is how it's done. First, separate the front and back. Take a ruler or straight edge and draw a line (the same width) on all four sides. For the top of the box draw the lines on the back of the FRONT of the card. For the bottom of the box draw the lines on the front or inside of the BACK half of the card. Cut along the lines only on the ends as shown.

Fold the corners and sides along the lines and tape on the inside and corners on the ends. 

Back or bottom of box

Top of box

Finished box about the size of a pocket pack of tissues.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Happy 14th

Happy 14th Anniversary
to the one my heart desires!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

West Texas

We recently went to Texas to visit family and had a great trip. The first two days were gorgeous days of 70+ degree weather. We got to go visit my husband's 91 year old grandmother and our son interviewed her about what it was like growing up in West Texas. He was surprised to hear she didn't have electricity or plumbing or a phone until she was a teenager. We ran through the cotton fields and even got to go see a real cotton gin and learned how they separate the seeds from the cotton and turn it into bales. We saw the gigantic wind turbines and the seemingly endless blue sky.

Then it turned icy...very icy! But we still got to have fun playing with our cousins and watching Hallmark movies. It was a real Christmas miracle that our flight made it out Saturday so we could be back for church on Sunday.

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17 degrees and about 4 inches of ice on the interstate all the way to Dallas! It took us 3 hours!
That was some skilled driving Papaw Racecar!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Our New Home

I was just thinking about the last four months this year. We moved to NC from LA in August, started a new job, kids started new school, sold our house in LA, bought a house in NC, and much more in between! Anyway, if it's been a little quiet on the blog lately you can imagine why. I know some of you are curious about what we've been doing to the house, so I'm finally getting around to posting a few before and now pictures. I say now instead of "after" because everything isn't totally finished and unpacked yet. There's always a few more projects to complete. It is starting to feel a lot more like home now though.

All bushy and overgrown before...

Now you can actually tell there's a front porch!

I love sitting on the front porch watching the boys play in the leaves on the driveway.

Before, empty and 80's....

Now, bright and cheery...

Accent wall in Behr Premium Plus Ultra - Cork (PPU6-5)

MBR Before...

Walls in Behr Premuim Plus - Manhattan Mist (760E-2); Bay window in Behr - Milestone (760F-5)

Closet Before
PERFECT CLOSET; each side has 4 rods w shelves in the middle, 1 long rod across back and shelves all around top
Thanks to a Master Carpenter Friend....


Now with new tile in Charcoal Grey from Lowes, walls in Behr Manhattan Mist, painted hardware and lights in Rustoleum Antique Bronze, new mirrors from Target

We wanted it to feel like our home to the boys too so we let them help pick out the colors for their rooms...

Youngest's room before

Walls in Sherwin-Williams - Moonraker (SW6701)

Oldest Son's room before...

Walls in Sherwin Williams - Blissful Blue (SW 6527)

Boys bathroom before...

Now with new tile and also painted SW Blissful Blue

That's all the painting done so far, and for a long while. Painting 3 bedrooms, two bathrooms, and an accent wall in the living room was a lot of work. Next I'll be sewing curtains for a few rooms. Stay tuned for updates on those projects soon.

Right now it's time to sit back and enjoy being home....

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Great Day at Grandfather Mountain

We took a break from unpacking Saturday and took our friends Ronnie & Phil up on an invitation to go hiking at Grandfather Mountain in Linville, NC. The brochure says, "5,946 feet up on a mountain, you enter a different world" and it's so true. Its past peak fall leaf color season up there but there was still enough rusty red color on the trees to make the views spectacular! 

We took the easy less than a mile hike up to the swinging bridge - not the one with the rock climbing and ladders. It was pretty far up for us southerners and very rocky as you can see from the photos. The kids loved it and even spotted some ice around the puddles at the top. 

The mile high swinging bridge really was swinging in the wind, and because the boys were jumping up and down on it to make it wobble more. It's not bad as long as you don't look down. Whoa, dizzy! I even went across it thinking it led to the trail back down the mountain. Not the case! It doesn't really lead to anywhere because they closed the lookout past the bridge because people were getting too close to the edge and falling off the cliff. So you have to walk back across the bridge and back down the trail the way you came.

Even my boys were getting a little too close to the edge for my liking. They liked feeling tall up on the mountain and seeing over all the mountains so far away.

My Rock Climbers

Always going opposite directions

There's a little Animal Habitat where you can go view the local wildlife where they have animals that have been injured and cared for. The bears were fun to see up close. There's also a gift shop, museum with movie about the mountain, and a restaurant and fudge shop. We took a picnic and ate at one of the picnic tables near the beginning of the trail. It was a cold (about 45-55 degrees F) but beautiful day! 

We love the mountains! My take on Grandfather Mountain is that it is a great place for families to visit if you plan to spend the day. It can be pricey at $18 per adult and $8 kids ages 4-12 but that pays for everything you do once inside the gates (except buying fudge and stuff). There is a lot to do there and you will want to take your time so you can enjoy the hiking trails and animals and such. If you live in the area and like to hike its probably worthwhile to buy and annual pass for $170 which includes admission for a carload of people for one year. Be sure to check the weather before you go, some attractions close when there is snow and ice. Dress in layers and wear good hiking shoes and THICK SOCKS! I was breaking in a new pair of boots when we went and my socks were too thin and made my ankles sore by the end of the day. 

All in all  it was a wonderful day. Thank you Ronnie & Phil for taking us on this great adventure! We love the mountains of North Carolina. It is amazing to see Gods awesome creation here.