Finding the Perfect Tree

Saturday, December 3, 2016

For as long as I can remember my family has always done fake Christmas trees.  We've never had a real tree.  Yes, fake is easy, and it is probably cheaper, but I think there is something special about going to a Christmas tree farm with the family and picking out a real fir tree.

I guess all my persistence in the past has paid off because this year I was finally able to convince my family that we should do a real tree. It's crazy to think that we live less than twenty minutes away from dozens of family-owned tree farms and we've always done a fake tree.

On Friday we all loaded up in our car and headed out on the search to find our tree.
Since this was our first time picking out a real tree none of us really knew what to expect.

There were so many trees to pick from, it was almost overwhelming.  Trees of all kinds, different shapes and sizes.

After about an hour and a half of looking we finally found our tree! And our tree ended up being over ten feet tall!

Our outing was a wonderful success.  We found our tree and even though it took longer than we expected, we all had a wonderful time together as a family.  Lots of memories were made.

Now I can finally say that it feels like Christmas at our house. Hopefully picking out a real tree each year will become a new family tradition. 

What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions?  Which is better, a real tree or a fake better tree? Why?

DIY - Hand Lettered Ornaments

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Even though I'm excited that Christmas season is finally here again, I'm sad to say that I'm little bit late in getting our Christmas decorations up this year.  Usually my family sets up everything for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving.  Well, I think Thanksgiving must have come early this year because it can't be Christmas season already?  

To be honest, it's really hard to get into the Christmas spirit when you don't have a tree yet. This weekend we are planning to find the perfect tree for our house but in the meantime, our house is lacking the Christmas feel.  

Well, anyway, each year I set up a small white tree in my room.  As I was setting up the tree the other day I realized that I wasn't happy anymore with the same decorations we use every year.  The tree needed something new this year. Grabbing all my lettering supplies I went to work on fixing this problem by creating my own homemade ornaments.

I decided to make these ornaments very simple.  Mainly because I didn't really want to spend all day making them. First, I simply cut out small squares and circles in thick card stock paper.

After I cut out the shapes I used my watercolor markers and wrote quotes from my  favorite Christmas songs on each cut out.  You can use any markers.  I enjoy using markers that have a brush tip so you can make your lettering look like calligraphy.  

I had fun thinking of creative ways to write out each one.  Once I finished I punched a small hole in the top and strung some cord through.

After I hung these ornaments on the tree I knew that these amazingly simple and fun ornaments were just what my tree was missing.  

Now to finish the rest of the Christmas decorating. Before long Christmas will be here and I'm already feeling overwhelmed at how fast time is flying by.  But I hope you have a blessed Christmas season, and I wish you joy as you tackle all the decorating. 

Welcome Winter

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The first snow of the season has turned our yard into a small winter wonderland.  It may only be four inches, but it's enough to fill me with excitement at the sight of the huge snowflakes falling from the sky.

As I survey our yard I'm amazed at how quickly the world is covered in this cold white blanket of snow.  It's truly a beautiful sight.

"Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow" Isaiah 1:18

What a wonderful reminder the snow is; that we can be made white as snow because of what God has done for us.  

With the Christmas season now fast approaching let us never forget the reason for the season; Jesus coming into the world to save sinners.  May the snow always be a beautiful reminder to you of Gods great love.

A Simple Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!  The pumpkin pies are out of the oven and ready for tonight.  I'm doing my best at creating a gluten free apple pie crust. The house is beginning to smell like turkey and slowly but surely our Thanksgiving dinner is coming together.

This year's Thanksgiving for my family is simple.  No huge family reunion, it's just my family this year for Thanksgiving.  But I believe it's the simple things in life that are the most beautiful.

It's when we have little that we are able to look around and be thankful for much.  God has blessed me in so many ways this year and I can't wait to see how he will bless me even more in the year to come.

I hope this Thanksgiving you remember take the time to count your many blessings. There is always something to be thankful for each and every day.

"Oh give thanks to the Lord for He is good his steadfast Love endures forever."  1 Chronicles 16:34

How To Memorize Scripture

Saturday, October 29, 2016

"I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you." Psalm 119:11

I have many fond memories of my family learning new bible verses to memorize each week. It's been years, but I can still remember the verses we learned.  It truly is amazing that our minds can recall all the things we learned years ago.  

It has been on my heart to memorize more scripture but I'm gonna be honest with you, I am not very good at it.  Multiple times I have started out memorizing a verse only to end up giving up about half way through.  Just this past month God has put it on my heart to memorized  Psalm 34.  This beautiful psalm has become very special to me... but to memorized the whole Psalm?  It seemed like an impossible task.  Why not just a few verses? If this was going to happen, I needed to come up with a method for memorizing scripture that actually worked.  

Well, I'm happy to say I found a way to memorize scripture that is successful!  I have not finished memorizing all of Psalm 34 yet, but I have memorized the first eight verses.  This is a huge accomplishment for me.  Here's how  I did it:

  • The first step is commitment.  You have to be committed to actually taking the time out of each day to memorized and meditate on the verse(s).  

  • When memorizing big scripture passages, or a whole chapter, take it small.  One verse at a time. Don't add the next verse until you are sure have the last verse down.  Sometimes I needed two days to meditate on the verse before I moved on.

  • I am a very visual person.  Each night I would write out the verse I wanted to memorize in a fun creative way.  Then as I meditated on the verse the next day I had a picture in my mind to help me remember.

  • Once you start putting the verses together it's no longer overwhelming.  Write out the whole scripture passage on paper a few times to help remember the order of the verses.  Repeat the verses over and over in your mind until you can say is smoothly.

And that's it!  That's my method for memorizing God's word.  Below I wanted to share with you all the lettering I created for each verse.   

"I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise shall continually be in my mouth, my soul makes its boast in the Lord, let the humble hear and be glad."

"Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together."

"I sought the Lord and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears."

"Those who look to Him are radiant and their faces shall never be ashamed."

"This poor man cried out to Him and the Lord saved him out of all his trouble."

"The angel of the Lord encamps around all those who fear Him and delivers them."

"Oh taste and see that the Lord is good, blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him."

If you liked my lettering and want to see more please check out my Instagram account: @UniquelyHis4ever

Sharing Love One Leaf at a Time

Friday, October 21, 2016

I know fall officially started last month, but it really hasn't felt like fall until, well, about right now. The cooler weather has finally come!  And so has the beautiful color change in all the leaves on the trees.

Less than ten minutes away from where I live there is a neat place called Apple Hill.  If fall was a place you could go and visit it would be this place.  You can go and enjoy beautiful vista's while you munch on delicious apple pastries, and, my favorite, caramel apples!  

Since we live so close to this wonderful place I'm sad to say we hardly ever visit.  But today we packed a picnic lunch spent a lovely afternoon at one of the Apple Hill Farms.  As we were walking around looking at all the craft booths I started picking up all the pretty leaves I spotted on the ground. Soon I had a nice collection of fall leaves in many beautiful shades of yellow, red and orange.  An idea popped into my head and I took my marker and wrote little notes on each of the leaves I collected.

I wrote things like "Smile", and "you are loved", and "happy fall".  I also made a leaf pun; "I be-leaf in you".  

Next was the fun part.  As we were walking around I kept my eye's peeled for the perfect spot to place each leaf.  I looked for a spots that were out of the way enough so the leaves would not be stepped on, but I also didn't want the leaves to be hidden.  

Before long  my hands were empty and each leaf found a new home.  My sister even put one leaf inside one of the apple crates in the store.

I don't know if anyone will find these leaves, or if the wind will claim them.  Maybe they will get trampled on and forgotten.   But I hope that these leaves at least make one person smile. 

It was so much fun spreading love around in this unique way! My sister and I have decided to do this again on our next outing to Apple Hill.

My True Home

Monday, October 3, 2016

I cannot describe to you the joy that fills my soul when I hear the waves crashing against the shore and feel the wet sand beneath my feet .  A huge smile spreads across my face.  I could stay here forever.  The ocean is home.

Yet, as I stand on the beach taking in the sights and breathing in the fresh sea air, I am reminded of my true home.  No, not my home here one earth, but my heavenly home.

"And I am going to prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." John 14:3

Standing on the beach, with the ocean before me I can't imagine a better place to be.  The glories of heaven is a mystery to me.  My human mind cannot imagine it.  But I know one thing;  My king will be there and He is all I need.  

I'm challenged each day with a new goal in life.  To live for Jesus and to keep my eyes on the things above and not to follow the ways of the world.

"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal". 2 Corinthians 4:18

Jesus is becoming my everything.  He is my joy, my comfort, my peace, my protector, my friend and He is my Savior.

One last time  I gaze out at the ocean, this time with a new perspective. I know that God's love for me is deeper than the deepest part of the ocean. With each wave that hits the shore I am reminded of the great promise God has given me.

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." John 3:16

Fall is Here

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Fall is finally here!  I can't tell you in words how excited I am!  Oh how I missed you fall.  I'm so glad your back.  

I had my first Pumpkin Spice Latte today to celebrate!  It was delicious, of course.  I need to find a good homemade recipe for  this drink.  I'll be sure to share it with you all once I find one.

I hope you all had a wonderful first day of fall.  Now I can wear my boots and scarfs and dream about pumpkin pie and everything else that comes with Fall.  

Let me know in the comments  what your favorite part about fall is, and what  your favorite fall drink is?

Change is Coming

Monday, September 19, 2016

Change is in the air.  As we near the first day of Fall I can't help but find myself getting excited! There is a huge grin on my face as I wave goodbye to summer - scorching hot heat, unbearable, not-so-fun, impossible-to-enjoy heat, and, yep, more heat. Maybe I'm exaggerating just a bit.  Truly, I had a wonderful summer, but I'm so thankful for change.  I'm thankful for cooler days, for routine, and for pumpkin spice Latte's.  That's the real reason right there, mmm, pumpkin spice, need I say more.

With the season of Fall fast approaching (the first day of fall is this Thursday!), the season when we celebrate change, I can't help but look back over the year and see all the change in my life as well. I am not the same person I was back when I first started this blog.  So much has changed. I have improved in many of the skills I'm passionate about (Photography, Sewing...), and I have pursued many new interests (Hand Lettering, Water color..),  but most importantly I have grown to have  a closer and dearer relationship with my Heavenly Father.

Keeping with the subject of change,  you may have noticed that I  changed my blog design.  It is my hope and plan to post more frequently.  I know that this has always been my aim with this blog but I'm going to really try this time. One thing I would like to share more of on this blog is my photography.  Another thing I would like to start posting about is my new found love and obsession with Hand Lettering.  If you want to see some of my Hand Lettering, I post most of my art on my Instagram account (@UniquelyHis4ever).

I'm looking forward to the change that is to come, but I'm especially looking forward to having my first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season!  I hope you enjoy your last few days of summer.  I've already said my goodbye's to summer, I'm ready for Fall!

Bathroom Remodel: Staining and Painting

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

It is now time for another update on the progress I have made in redecorating our bathroom. The next step on my list of things to do was to stain the wood cabinets. Initially I was planning to paint the cabinets either a white or gray but after looking at pictures and inspiration online I decided not to paint the cabinets. But I knew I needed to do something to the cabinets. I wanted them to change and to be honest I didn't like the light honey color that the cabinets were already.

We stained the cabinets with a dark walnut wood stain and I'm so happy with the finished effect. The darker color looks much nicer and more finished than the light color it was before.

Next was the biggest task on my list, painting the walls. I have had plenty of experience painting so I wasn't overwhelmed with the job ahead of me. The ceilings in our house are really high so the hardest part when we were painting was reaching the high ceilings. The only way to reach the ceiling to do the trim was to cram our big and bulky ladder into the small bathroom.

After painting the first two coats I realized that because I chose such a light shade of blue there was a very high possibility that we would need a third coat. I cringed because I really did not want to have to paint the walls a third time. Fortunately we were lucky. Once the second coat dried and we looked closely at the walls we were happily surprised to find that it looked perfect.

The two main projects I had planned for our bathroom are done, the staining and the painting. Now comes the fun part. Decorating!