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I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.

Archive for the category “DIY”

Serving Others at Breakfast

For weeks the women’s ministry team has been meeting and preparing to host our annual local church ladies for a special Christmas breakfast.  This year we decided to cater it instead of meeting together in a nearby restaurant.   Our women’s ministry director chose the theme, The Best Gift, and then began to work on our program.  I began to recruit the twenty ladies necessary to hostess the tables.

As ladies agreed to hostess a table, they received a complimentary ticket and a letter explaining the details.  This kept everyone on the same page. The letter simply said thank you and listed what their responsibilities and my responsibilities would be.

Round tables with traditional white tablecloths were placed around the room.  Each table hostess brought her dishes, glass and flatware, a centerpiece, and most often a small gift for ladies who sit around her table. Lots of details went into making this morning a successful respite from the busyness of the holidays.

Didn’t the hard work of our hostesses pay off?

DSC_0188For this centerpiece, beautiful prancing reindeer danced around a silver cylinder candle holder and red tulle netting gave it an extra punch of color. These lovely sisters used dishes passed down from their mother with red chargers under each plate to accent the centerpiece.  A Christmas bookmark and chocolates awaited each of their table guests.

DSC_0218This beautiful table decorated by my friend and beautician showed creativity worth noticing – scattered snowflakes, embellished blue ornaments surrounding a cobalt blue pitcher for the centerpiece, blue bandannas for napkins,  and silver makeup bags with beauty samples placed on each plate.

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This table’s snowman stood beside Christmas cones of bright red, green and candy stripes. The beautiful Christmas China was accented by chargers in red, green and gold. This hostess placed a candy filled plush snowman on each chair.

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This experienced hostess must throw amazing dinner parties as her table setting was elegant and sophisticated.  Beautiful fine china circled around a Santa tea pot and a Christmas home with a tiny train of sleighs that moved around the scene.  Napkin rings held paper napkins, a small notebook propped against the stemware and Andes mints sat in the saucer.  Elegance was an understatement.

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Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer 

This Hostess and her daughter (kindergarten age) set this table together.  I stood back  watching mother instruct daughter on how and where to place each piece.  It was quite moving for this mother of all boys.  The centerpiece was unique and so very creative.  The antlers were adorned with battery operated Christmas lights.  I wish I had gotten a picture of it lit up but you will have to imagine that.

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One of Our Mother Daughter Duos

This table can only be described as cozy and warm.  I wanted to just pull up to it and start chatting.  Our hostess used two table runners and criss-crossed them. I will definitely use this idea in the future.  This centerpiece stayed tall and thin as to not block conversation between guests.  The top hat flanked one side of the tall vase and a snowman on the other.  The vase, topped with a huge white snowflake and red Christmas balls was wrapped in silver fabric making this tablescape spectacular.  Each guest felt welcomed as she sat before her plate and cup.  Did you notice the packaged cocoa stick snowman peeking over the rim? So adorable.  Every plate held red tipped flatware wrapped in a white napkin and tied with a pretty red and white checkered bow!

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Another one of our Mother Daughter Duos – We are blessed! 

This table used a green runner underneath red taper candles, a small decorated Christmas tree and an adorable snowman.  The snowman dishes held a Christmas jingle bell necklace for each guest.  We have some very creative ladies at our church!

This was just a sampling of the beautifully decorated tables from this morning. Every table was just as unique and special as the ladies who decorated them.  Some of these tables told stories of rich heritage, others were whimsical and festive but all were gifts of time and love for the ladies they would host.  This added such a personal touch to our morning and I am beyond grateful for their assistance.

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The buffet tables were clad with red cloth runners across the middle and laden with individual sized quiches, sausage cream cheese stuffed croissants, yogurt and fruit parfaits, and miniature pancakes with butter and syrup.  Talk about delicious.  I want the recipes!

Throughout the morning, everyone sang Christmas carols, ate their fill, listened to the guest speakers, and gave generously to the missionary family we chose to bless.   We were blessed.  I felt accomplished and ready to put my feet up and relax after a long morning of work.  My heart is full.  I love my sisters.  I love our church.

 

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Snow Dazed

This self proclaimed North Dakota Girl (15 influential years), transplanted back to her hometown, TN,  has been experiencing true snow days! In all the years of bitterly cold winters, snowball fights, sledding, snow forts and tunnels, would you believe I never experienced a snow day? That’s right, I went to school in the coldest parts of our nation. (Alaska’s tundra – the exception) Never once did I experience a snow day until Tennessee public school days!

Snow days here are extraordinary. I totally understand why schools are closed and why my northern buddies poke fun at me on Facebook. We were out four days last week and four days this week.  Oh and we actually got snow today! We went to bed with an inch but woke up to about 6 inches everywhere.  My youngest son was up and out bright and early, tracking through the snow.  Bowls of snow cream were made for breakfast for us from the buckets he placed on the deck the night before.

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Then the hunt began.  Even though we claim ND as home we do not own a sled, not a single one.  Of course every store in our county received a phone call, to no avail.  So what’s a dad to do?  No sleds but kids with wishful faces can cause you to do some strange things.  Today it was homemade sleds made out of an old plastic garbage can.  Yep he split that puppy right down the middle and tied rope to the front.

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As soon as the teenagers were up it was off to the sledding hill with their friends, thankfully they let their little brother tag along.  They trudged home through the melting slush an hour or two later with reports that the garbage can sleds were a bust. Dad’s heart was in the best of places, and hey, you never know until you try.   Thankfully they knew some of the neighbors sledding and shared their sleds.  “Thank you Neighbors!”

Tomorrow is yet another snow day and by Monday we will be in March and that should take us into next year without anymore snow!  Oh and I’ve heard, sleds can be purchased online fairly reasonable so maybe next year we can be prepared and share our sleds with the friends who need a ride.

A Homemade Christmas 

Christmas lists were written. Jeff wanted a box drum. Wow, good box drums are expensive, at least for our budget. That’s the reason we decided to turn to DIY tutorials and my husbands woodworking skills!  

Cajon Box Drum in the Making

We had to order the snare online but the wood, we rounded up from the local home center. Mike worked tirelessly each evening after work. His office has a workshop in the basement that housed this surprise until Christmas Eve.

name plate looks great

Honestly, we were a little nervous that he would think this was cheesy but I’ve never seen him any more excited about a gift and he’s been playing it ever since.

For each of the married couples in our family, I followed a pin from Pinterest and made my version of this framed Christmas box.  


I bought the shadow boxes, jingle bells, and vinyl at Hobby Lobby, borrowed my friend’s Cricut machine and solicited Mike’s graphic design abilities to make the background. The snowflakes have all of our names and some scriptures written in them.  Each box had gold jingle bells that correspond to the number of years married,  with red representing each child. My sister’s husband’s children are the green jingle bells. Of course each gift came with extra bells for many happy years of marriage.

Every year I buy each son a Christmas ornament that represents that year. This year the older two got homemade ornaments. Jeffrey received a highschool tassel “Class of 2015” inside a clear ornament. For Christian, I bought a bright yellow glass ball and drew on a smiley face. I added some “braces” to the front using tiny jewel stickers.

Class of 2015  Tassel in an Ornament

Class of 2015
Tassel in an Ornament


Smiley Face with Braces - Christmas Ornament

Smiley Face with Braces – Christmas Ornament

It was a great Christmas with memories of this year and money saved!  This blesses my family and serves well.

Thanksgiving Classroom Treats 

I had the privilege of providing thanksgiving treats for Tim’s first grade classroom. They chose pumpkin pie of all things, but I can definitely accommodate!   

individual pumpkin pies

 
These turned out so nice using a muffin tin, store bought pie crust, and a miniature leaf cookie cutter to decorate the tops. I had whipped cream ready for anyone who wants it.  I also wanted to try my hand at making acorn cookies so, using nutter butter bites, chocolate kisses, chocolate chips and some frosting  I assembled a second treat!  

Acorn Cookies for Fall

The treats were a great success and his class enjoyed them! We will repeat this next year unless Pinterest shows me a different treat to try.

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