Monday, December 31, 2012

A Year in Review: 2012

Last year, at the end of the year, I did a year in review post and I knew that this year I wanted to do it again. I had thought that it would be nice to work on it throughout the year, picking the highlights of each month of posts as it ended. But I didn't get around to doing it and I'm so glad!

It's so neat to look at the past year of posts. There have been posts I've forgotten about, posts that seem so long ago that I can't believe it was this year, and scads of memories. 

Memories of visits, photo shoots, time spent with friends and family, crafts projects, new blogging friends that I've "met" this year, and recipes tried.

I hope you have as much fun as I did looking back at some of the highlights of this year... 

In the beginning of the year I named my Nikon camera Nick, I made black bean brownies and they were a hit with all the picky eaters, and I found the art of scarf tying.

February I started off by talking about my sisters, then I hosted my first photo challenge for Valentine's Day: hearts, and I got a Pinterest account and I started sharing some of the pins that I found starting with the ABCs.

I shared some more pins and I made a recipe from a pin I found, I participated in the very first ever note card party, and I rambled a little bit.

I reached my 300th post in April! I also posted some poems in honor of National Poetry Month here, here, here, and here, and Bekah turned eleven.

I guest posted for Jessica which inspired photo shoots of my nieces and nephews. I also guest posted for Eve.

I finished my series of photo shoots, I hosted my first sponsored giveaway thanks to my friend Kate, I also refashioned a t-shirt, and experimented with some nail art.

On the photography note: I took a few pictures of my friend's new baby, Alex, and I did a photo shoot of my cousin, Isabel. Then I also made a pair of bermuda shorts, and we had a (not so) friendly visitor.

I started experimenting with word art, I did a post about my dear friends, and Bekah had another photo shoot.

I made some sugar scrub, I had my wisdom teeth removed (and a friend helped me feel better), I also shared the perks of Autumn.


The big highlight in November was that Ryan, Sarah, Eve, Nora, Peter, and Lucy got to come home for Thanksgiving. We had such a fun time! We visited, we did a photo shoot, we baked, and we had a birthday party

Christmas! Christmas carols, Christmas sweets, Christmas crafts, Christmas decor, Christmas wrapping. And going to see The Hobbit in the middle of it all. A very busy month!

See you next year!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Portraits

Beautiful girls, aunt/niece, who love each other very much!

And a boy who hardly took off his santa hat the whole Christmas season.

Linking these pictures up to Nela's Photography Challenge.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Hope you and your family have a joyous Christmas celebrating the birth of our Savior!

I'm leaving you with one of my (many, many) favorite Christmas songs.


What is your favorite Christmas song?

See you after Christmas! 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Birthday of a King

The Birthday of a King
words by Will­iam H. Neid­ling­er

In the little village of Bethlehem,
There lay a Child one day;
And the sky was bright with a holy light
O’er the place where Jesus lay.

Alleluia! O how the angels sang. 
Alleluia! How it rang! 
And the sky was bright with a holy light 
’Twas the birthday of a King. 

’Twas a humble birthplace, but O how much
God gave to us that day,
From the manger bed what a path has led,
What a perfect, holy way.

* * *

“I will raise up…a King who will reign wisely.” Jeremiah 23:5

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Peppermint Bark

Peppermint bark is a standard at our house about Christmas.

Every year, I always give a bag of peppermint bark to my brother-in-law, Brian, and my grandfather who love it. Brian has said that it's his favorite Christmas treat. 

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do.

What is your favorite Christmas treat?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Sweets

Christmas is a time when sweets are abundant. I love baking all kinds of different cookies and treats. 

Shortbread cookies (recipe found here)

Gammy's Christmas Trifle

orange bark (recipe found here)

cupcakes with Martha Christmas stencils

Linking up, yet again, with the beautiful Vee...

A Haven for Vee

Sunday, December 16, 2012

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. ~Luke 2:8-9

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
words by Edmund Sears

It came upon the midnight clear, 
That glorious song of old, 
From angels bending near the earth, 
To touch their harps of gold; 
“Peace on the earth, good will to men, 
From Heaven’s all gracious King.” 
The world in solemn stillness lay, 
To hear the angels sing. 

Still through the cloven skies they come 
With peaceful wings unfurled, 
And still their heavenly music floats 
O’er all the weary world; 
Above its sad and lowly plains, 
They bend on hovering wing, 
And ever over its Babel sounds 
The blessèd angels sing. 

Yet with the woes of sin and strife 
The world has suffered long; 
Beneath the angel strain have rolled 
Two thousand years of wrong; 
And man, at war with man, hears not 
The love-song which they bring; 
O hush the noise, ye men of strife 
And hear the angels sing. 

And ye, beneath life’s crushing load, 
Whose forms are bending low, 
Who toil along the climbing way 
With painful steps and slow, 
Look now! for glad and golden hours 
Come swiftly on the wing. 
O rest beside the weary road, 
And hear the angels sing! 

For lo! the days are hastening on, 
By prophet-bards foretold, 
When with the ever circling years 
Comes round the age of gold; 
When peace shall over all the earth 
Its ancient splendors fling, 
And the whole world send back the song 
Which now the angels sing.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

There and Back Again

Thursday night/Friday morning, the opening show of The Hobbit, and I was there! I've been looking forward to this movie coming out. I read the book last winter and I couldn't wait to see what they did with the movie.

I asked my friend Kate if she wanted to see it with me and she invited me to go along with her and her brother, Hunter, to the opening midnight show. With coffee in hand, we braved the late night cold to watch it. 

It was a great movie and I'm so glad I went to see it. It was such a fun time!

Friday, December 14, 2012

A Nifty Thrifty Christmas

Welcome to my corner! Why don't you sit back and I'll show you around.

First of all, how about a Christmas treat and a cup of coffee. Would you like a piece of orange bark?

Want the recipe?

If you know me, you know that I am a thrifty person. I love a bargain and I get such a thrill out of finding one.

When looking over my Christmas decorations, I realized that I hardly spent a thing when collecting festive Christmas decor. 

My yo-yo garland didn't cost a thing since I had all the fabrics already. The silver glitter star was a gift at the beginning of the season. I usually put a yellow yo-yo on top as a substitute star so I'm happy to have a more traditional star this year. The wrapping paper (which I talked about here)  was dollar for each roll. The aqua pot which the tree is in was a graduation gift from my best friend Kate. 

Moving on to my aqua table, you will find two more gifts. The tray was a Christmas gift from my friend Hunter and the holly candle holders were given to me by my dear friend Britni. The holly in the pitcher is a 95¢ Walmart find. It goes great with the display and I'm really surprised at how well it looks for being 95¢

This might be my favorite display. The top of my desk is the perfect spot. I found the gingerbread houses in Target after Christmas on sale for 19¢ each. The trees were a Marshalls sale item. I believe this was the most expensive item of all my holiday decor at $4.99!

I just love my yo-yo tree (directions can be found here). It's so "me." I paired it with a spruce candle that my grandmother gave to me. 

I took my copies of A Christmas Carol off my bookshelf to use as decorations for this month. The candle holder is a loan from Mom. 

This graduation gift got a bit of Christmas spice with a clipping from an old card and some stamped paper.

I can't remember when I first got these. I think that they were after Christmas sale items but I can't be sure. The birdhouse picture holder doubles up as a winter decoration, too, which is always fun. 

Hope you enjoyed your visit. Come again whenever you like. I'd love for you to stop by!

* * * * * * * * * *

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

When Wrapping Is As Fun As Giving

Have I ever said how much I love to wrap gifts? There is such a thrill in wrapping when the ends turn out just right and the ribbon makes that noise when you curl it. While wrapping I try to think about the person I'm giving that certain gift to.

Before wrapping gifts I try to think about what paper I want to use (it has to match the room decor of course!), what color ribbon, and the tags to finish the gift off.

The Target dollar section has some great paper selection. I've gotten many rolls of paper over the years from there. Last year when Target was having their after Christmas sale I picked up two shiny rolls half off. It's has just the right colors: red, aqua, white, green. I chose to use the snowflake pattern to wrap all the kids gifts in and the polka dot for the adults. 

Several years ago (four, five?) I bought a tag making kit at Tuesday Morning. It had fifty tags in four colors of different shapes, ten rubber stamps, a mini ink pad, and some ribbon to tie the tags on with. I have been using it every year and this year when I got it out I was reminded of what a steal it was. $1.95! I didn't have quite enough to tag everyone's gifts so I used one of the existing tags as a pattern and used my own paper. Bekah had given me some new stamps for my birthday to I put those to good use too.

The children's have "Joy!" stamped on them,

and the adults have "Noel."

It's a great inexpensive way to create beautiful tags.

Do you enjoy wrapping gifts? 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The First Noel

There were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
- Luke 2:8-9

The First Noel
traditional English carol

The first Noel the angel did say
Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay;
In fields where they lay tending their sheep,
On a cold winter’s night that was so deep.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the King of Israel.

They looked up and saw a star
Shining in the east, beyond them far;
And to the earth it gave great light,
And so it continued both day and night.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the King of Israel.

And by the light of that same star
Three Wise Men came from country far;
To seek for a King was their intent,
And to follow the star wherever it went.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the King of Israel.

This star drew nigh to the northwest,
Over Bethlehem it took its rest;
And there it did both stop and stay,
Right over the place where Jesus lay.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the King of Israel.

Then entered in those Wise Men three,
Full reverently upon the knee,
And offered there, in His presence,
Their gold and myrrh and frankincense.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the King of Israel.

Then let us all with one accord
Sing praises to our heavenly Lord;
That hath made Heaven and earth of naught,
And with His blood mankind hath bought.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the King of Israel.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Photo Friday: Can We Say Spoiled?

Kati’s Little Corner of the World

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Christmas Yo-yo Decor

Making yo-yos is a lot of fun. Doing projects with them is even more fun (do a search on Pinterest to find great ideas). Christmas is a perfect time to try out ideas using yo-yos. You can make gifts with them (such as earrings and clothing embellishments) and you can decorate with them.

To learn how to make yo-yos see my tutorial on 

Yo-yo Garland

You will need:
many yo-yos of different colors and patterns
needle and thread

Attach two yo-yos together using a few stitches of thread. (I started with laying all my yo-yos out on the floor and arranging them so that there were no two yo-yos of the same pattern touching.) Continue attaching another yo-yo to the already started row until you get your desired length.

After Christmas the garland can be hung over a door or window for the rest of the year.

Easy Yo-yo Ornaments

You will need:
needle and thread

Take a yo-yo, push your needle all the way through the fabric and tie both ends of the thread together. Voila!

Yo-yo Christmas Tree

original directions can be found in the Christmas issue of Inspired Ideas on pages 142-145

You will need:
9 fabric scraps in different patterns
1/4-inch dowel about 8 inches in length
wooden spool with or without thread
small star (I used felt but you could also use a wooden one)
needle and thread

1. Insert the dowel into your spool. If the dowel fits comfortably inside the spool then put a dab of glue on the dowel. Mine was a little big so I added some tape to my dowel until it fit onto the dowel without falling off when it was picked up.

2. Out of your fabric scraps cut out one circle each: 10-inch, 9-inch, 8-inch, 7-inch, 6-inch, 5-inch, 4-inch, 3-inch, 2-inch. Sew together all of your yo-yos circles then cut a small slit in the middle of each one.

Slide your yo-yos on the dowel starting with the largest and working your way to the smallest. Once all the yo-yos are on, top your tree with the little star by gluing it to the end of the dowel.

Linking-up to the Nester's 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

O Come, All Ye Faithful

The shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.’ So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the Baby, who was lying in the manger. 
~Luke 2:15-16

O Come, All Ye Faithful
words by John Wade

O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye, to Bethlehem.
Come and behold Him, born the King of angels;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation;
O sing, all ye citizens of heaven above!
Glory to God, all glory in the highest;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

See how the shepherds, summoned to His cradle,
Leaving their flocks, draw nigh to gaze;
We too will thither bend our joyful footsteps;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

Lo! star led chieftains, Magi, Christ adoring,
Offer Him incense, gold, and myrrh;
We to the Christ Child bring our hearts’ oblations.
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

Child, for us sinners poor and in the manger,
We would embrace Thee, with love and awe;
Who would not love Thee, loving us so dearly?
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

Yea, Lord, we greet Thee, born this happy morning;
Jesus, to Thee be glory given;
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing.
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

That Boy Is Just Too Funny!

Thanksgiving day afternoon, I walk into the living room and I see Gavin and Owen sitting on the couch. Eve is sitting a a chair playing with another toy.

Me: Hey! What are you two cute boys doing?

Gavin: We are NOT cute!

Me: Okay, what are you two handsome boys doing?

Gavin: We are NOT handsome either!

Me: You are handsome! Eve, do you think these two are handsome?

Eve (giggling): Yes!

Me: See?

Gavin: We are not handsome.

Me: Alright, well what are you?

Gavin: We're cool!

Me: So, what are you two cool boys doing?

Gavin: Oh! We're playing angry birds with the magna doodle.

Owen: Yeah!

Gotta love these boys!

the cool boys

Friday, November 30, 2012

Photo Friday: Sisters

How do people make it through life without a sister? 
 ~Sara Corpening

~ ~ ~

And speaking of sisters, here is a picture on me and my sister, Bekah. While all the family was here we asked a dear friend of ours, Miss Frances, to come over and take some pictures (including this one of the whole family). She has been sharing them as she edits them and last night when I got on the computer I found this one waiting for me. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Birthday Boy, Baking Memories, and the "Helper"

Peter had a birthday! 

Two years ago, we were just sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner when the phone rings and Ryan announces that they are at the hospital getting ready to meet their first son. (To see a newborn picture of Peter click ~here~.) We were so excited when we found out that this year we could celebrate this special day with him. 

Before their trip down, we skyped with Ryan, Sarah, and the kids. Nora asked if we could have cupcakes while they were visiting. Of course I said yes! How could I refuse that precious girl a simple pleasure like that? I thought that since she was the one who asked then I would let her help me make the cupcakes. The day of Peter's little party, Nora and I went to work making chocolate cupcakes. She measured the flour and the baking soda, turned on the mixer, and even cracked an egg with only a slight mishap (at least it all didn't go in the floor).

We both had a fun time. Well, all three of us did that is. Lucy was on hand for any spills that needed to be taken care of (egg, flour, sugar, a drop of milk). At least the floor didn't need too much cleaning up thanks to the four-legged "helper". :)

And of course, the treat of helping is being able to lick off the spatula!

Eve thought that it looked like Nora and I were having too much fun so she asked if she could help make the icing for the chocolate cupcakes. Bananas were cut, butter was whipped, and the assembly line went perfectly. I iced the cupcakes and Eve placed a banana slice on top.

Cupcakes made with two of the sweetest little girls.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Beautiful Girls, a Handsome Boy, and Some Adorable Pictures

Photo Shoot!

While Ryan, Sarah, Eve, Nora, and Peter (and Lucy) were here, the time flew by so, so fast! We were  so busy visiting, playing wii with the kids, baking, and catching up, that it was Monday morning (the day they left) before I got a chance to take the three little kids outside for a photo shoot. It was a lovely sunny day and the kids didn't mind one bit being outside and posing while I took some pictures.

Even Lucy got in on the action for a few pictures. 

Aren't they adorable?!

Eve (5)
Eve is the talker of the family. Her parents say that they often can't get a word in because this little one is talking. :) Eve started homeschool this year and already she has started to read a little and has memorized many Bible verses and several hymns. She is a good big sister and helps take care of her little siblings.

Nora (3)
Nora is a beautiful little girl. She is quieter than Eve but just as smart. Nora has an excellent memory and has memorized just as many Bible verses and hymns as Eve has. She has a beautiful voice and it was such a joy to hear that sweet girl sing along with us in church when one of the songs she knows was requested. 

Peter (2)
You can watch Peter all day long and never get board. This boy makes so many faces and has so many expressions. He can go from having a scowl on his face to a smile in a matter of seconds. Peter just celebrated in second birthday on Sunday and we were so glad that we got to celebrate with him. He is so boy and I think that there will be many stories to share in the future of the scrapes he's gotten into. :)

All so different. All so special. All so loved.