Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!

I’m hoping these photos of my favorite nephew
will give you a smile on Christmas Day! 
He reminds me of a little Charlie Brown
with his little bare head.

Merry Christmas to all of you from me!

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God,
Everlasting Father,

Prince of Peace." 
Isaiah 9:6 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Tiered Plates Project

Here’s my last crafty Christmas post.  
We’re still making things (school is on hold), 
but everything else is a secret until Christmas Day!

 Do you ever have something to display, 
but no great way to do it?  This especially happens to me 
with small items… things like the Star Christmas Candle jars we made.  
They would be lost just sitting clumped together on a table top.
  I wanted something kind of fun and Christmasy to put them on.   
 Here’s the secret:  the red “cake stand” is really 
just two 5 for $1 glass items from Goodwill. J  
All you need is a glass plate, a vase/glass/goblet,
 some gel crazy glue, and spray paint!

 I had a great time going to Goodwill and picking out shapes.  
It was harder than I thought it would be to
 overlook the colors and only see the profiles of the dishes.  
I came home with this little collection.

 I used Gel Krazy Glue to glue the inverted vases
 to the underside of the plates.

 Make sure your glass is perfectly clean before spray painting.  
Any little smudge of oil from your hands
 makes a rough spot in the paint finish.  
Use as many coats as needed to cover well.  
I also finished with a clear gloss spray over the
 paint just to make it really shine, 
but it wouldn’t be absolutely necessary.

 I’ve been pretty careful when I carry these tiered plates
from place to place.  
I’m not confident that the glue is completely reliable.  
But for sitting around, they’re doing fine!

Some notes:  (In other words, learn from my mistakes!)
Make sure your paint is thoroughly cured before setting anything on it!
(Even if it feels completely dry, let it cure 24 hours!)

If your dishes have designs on them that are decals and feel slightly raised,
they will show through the paint.  This didn’t matter on mine, but a picture of Elmo
or someone showing through might not be the look you’re going for!)

Plates that are perfectly flat on the bottom look better than ones that sit on a ridge
if you’ll be seeing the finished product from below or at eye-level

"O magnify the LORD with me, and let us 
exalt His name together."
Psalm 34:3

Friday, December 12, 2014

Family Photography -- David and Michelle

When Michelle asked if I’d do some photos of their family, I knew right away I would say yes, even though I’ve been limiting how much photography I do.  She’s a wonderful photographer (along with her husband, David) but it’s next to impossible to do a good family picture for yourself!   Michelle just wanted some photos of their whole family together.  They’ve been walking some difficult roads with their little girl (read some of their journey here on her blog) and as a mother I knew what she meant when she told me she just wanted a family picture. 

 The Sunday afternoon was beautifully sunny but chilly. 
 We did a short session that ended when the light 
had gone down behind the mountains
 and the baby’s nose had turned pink.

 Here is beautiful Zara.  
She is such a gift from God.

 Earlier in the day I had given the boys 
each some paper and an envelope to write their mom a note.  
It was our little secret.  
Adam, the oldest, carefully wrote in a proper 
cursive his mother’s full name on his envelope, “Michelle Beachy”.  
Liam was not so reserved and proper, but showed
 his excitement quite eagerly about the whole idea. 

 I love Liam's leap after he handed him mamma her note!

God bless your family, David and Michelle.
God is at work in you and through you.

 “ For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
 Isaiah 55:8,9

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in youwill bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”  
Philippians 1:6

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Living at Christmastime

Christmas decorating is happening by bits and pieces in our house.
 We put up our tree last Saturday… I still need to fix the star 
that is drooping ever lower.
  Today I put stuff on the mantel.  
The rest of the house is a wreck, but some spots look nice! 

My energy levels and headaches are fluctuating like the string of lights
 with the bad connection on the front of the house. 
You just never know if they’ll be on or off! 
I’m changing up some of my supplements, and I’m not sure what’s going on
 with the whole Lyme Disease thing.

But on to better thoughts…
 I love to decorate and create and design things.  
So much so that it can become something negative in my life. 
When God gives me something Good, self wants to take it, warp it,
 and make it into something that detracts from God’s glory. 
We see it at Christmas time all around us. 
Something Good. 
Something to Celebrate.  
God, come to earth as a human baby
What better thing to rejoice about? 

But I fall for the temptation, take something Good, 
and turn it into something to serve myself,
 to stress over, to keep up with the Joneses about. 
I take the glory God should be getting at Christmas and give it to myself.
  I think there’s a word for that.
 Idolatry comes to mind.

Here’s one thing I did to keep the truth of Christmas visible this year.

 I made a rustic cross and manger (it’s a great benefit that I like a rustic style.
 It suits my carpentry skills much better!  This was almost disaster. Wink.)
and used Multiflora Rose canes to make a crown. 
The verse I painted on a large piece of black foam board purchased at $Tree.

 Jesus, God’s Son left heaven’s magnificence to be born in a barn.
 As a human no less.

 And then, after living through the trials of being a human on this earth, 
there is death.

 Horrific death. 

But it is death so that all mankind has
 the ability to LIVE.

 It is offered to the whole word!

Is this not an AMAZING LOVE?! 

May we all really LIVE
through HIM this Christmas.

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