Love Is In The Air

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A few weeks ago, Stephanie, the Community Coordinator from Bloom Nation contacted me about writing a post about the different ways we celebrate love, especially on the ordinary days, as opposed to holidays, birthdays, etc. Have you heard of Bloom Nation? I hadn’t. They support local communities by partnering with independent florists and showcase their handcrafted arrangements in their marketplace. What a cool idea!!  This is actually a concept I know very well! It’s something I’ve adopted in my own life for quite a few years. You’d be amazed how even  little  30 second effort can brighten an otherwise mundane or stressful day.

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When we were dating, and working conflicting hours, the romance seemed lacking and I gently suggested to my Sweetie that he didn’t have to make grand gestures all the time, but a little note here and there would really help us feel more connected while we were both working. Even a short note on a piece of scratch paper would work. It helped that we worked at a Christian Conference Center and could drop off notes easily. And I worked at the Registration Desk which ALWAYS had scratch paper available. AND, Pass It On cards were hugely popular at the time. Ever since then, we leave little notes for each other regularly. Of course there are dry times, but we always pick it up again. I pick up cute Post Its when I see them and they work great for a simple “I Love You” on the bathroom mirror or kitchen counter/cabinet as a surprise in the morning. Or his lunch box. The same with these pretty, already written notes from a notepad I bought a while back. Last weekend our church had a couples dinner and gave us 3×5 cards to write notes on for our sweeties. Several years ago I bought a little valentine mailbox and we started using it to leave little notes or pustichalks (just a little something), a term we learned from our Russian family members. This year we received this adorable mailbox from my husband’s wonderful cousin as the gift box! Perfect for this gingerbread lover. So this is our new giftie mailbox. And bonus, it’s bigger, so we won’t have to leave bigger things next to it instead of inside. 🙂

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Of course, we still love to celebrate the regular stuff, like our anniversary this Sunday! And who doesn’t like getting flowers for holidays, birthdays, anniversaries and just to show you care?! Sometimes we give flowers, and sometimes we do other things for each other. Sometimes we watch a special movie, go to a favorite location, have a special meal, anything that means something to us. For example, for our Irish related anniversary, we might eat Shepherd’s Pie and Soda Bread, watch something Irish related or honeymoon related like Ever After because we watched it on our honeymoon, listen to Irish music, watch or perform Irish dancing, you get the idea. Or watch our wedding video or peruse our wedding album. And enjoy the shamrock plant from our reception that was a table centerpiece. The main thing is, we like celebrating each other and people in general. Relationships are precious and special, so we like to celebrate that in little ways as well as big ways.

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And I love Irish Belles, usually found at Trader Joe’s these days.

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Because flowers ARE pretty and cheerful!

We apply this same idea when remember those that aren’t with us anymore. By doing an activity that reminds us of them. I drink black cherry Pop Shoppe Pop when I’m thinking about my dad. And I think of him when I have non-chocolate cake, because we were the only two family members, including all relatives, who didn’t choose chocolate for our birthdays. And sports always make me think of him and all of the different games we went to with my brothers, because I didn’t have a sister until I was 9, and she was a baby! My dad and I had a lot in common, including personalities. 🙂

***** All of these months later I’m finally finishing this post after many health struggles, family emergencies, travels and stress! ****

I have a couple of little girls in my life and we like to connect by crafting and drinking tea together. Quality time spent chatting while doing things we love! Quality time is actually one of my Love Languages.  I often deliver flowers to one of the girl’s friends/neighbors on May Day that I’ve bought or we’ve made together. She loves it! 🙂

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When we remember and celebrate our Chelsie we like to look at her photos, say her favorite phrases, listen to her favorite song (Diving In by Steven Curtis Chapman), set up the train, watch Mary Poppins or The Gnome Mobile because she looked like Karen Dotrice, etc.

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All of these probably reveal my love of themes! 🙂

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A few other things we’ve done are kissing and saying I love you when we part, having a date most weeks, texting as a way to check in and stay connected during the day (including fun emojis the other might like 🙂 ) and just trying to be conscious of being considerate to each other. Helping each other out when needed, or anticipating needs are some of the best ways of showing someone you care, in the most important ways.

The BEST way to let someone you love them? Show them you care about their needs, thoughts and lives. Throwing in a card, flowers or a gift are just the icing on the cake. The Lord really wants us most of all, to show we care though our actions! 🙂

How do you show people in your life that you care?

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Homemaking LInkup

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Merry CHRISTmas!!

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CHRISTmas time is here! My Sweetie and I are wishing you all a Merry Christmas celebrating our Savior’s birth and remembering what it means to have Him give His life to free us from our sins! Wishing you wonderful, special time with family and friends, and time for family rejuvenation for the new year ahead!

“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”   Isaiah 9:6

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Sometimes we’re silly! : >

Merry CHIRSTmas!!

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Lord’s Day Scriptures: Lavished Love

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I think I may start a new little series here called Sunday Scriptures. I’ll find an encouraging Bible verse and a pretty photo and share a little Godly Truth and encouragement each week here. It’ll be short and sweet and not take up a lot of precious weekend time saved for family and friends and God’s Word.   :>

 

I LOVE the word LAVISHED! It truly conveys God’s deep love for us!

 

Have a great week!!

 

(I found the graphic on Facebook and that’s all I know).

 

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Choosing Joy

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For about the past three years, I’ve been holding tightly to these two precious words: CHOOSE JOY. It began with meeting a beautiful, precious three year old blond girl, loving and wanting her as a permanent part of our lives, losing her, mourning her…and finally..learning to let go of her, choose joy and trust God. I did some pretty hard core mourning for those first ten years. Mourning the loss of her after 16 months with us, as well as the loss of hope for other children to call our own. Then two things happened, I read a blog post (maybe by Jacqueline at Deep Roots at Home?) about putting your child or desire for a child as more important than God, an idol, and I heard about the Choose Joy conference for those dealing with these issues. I realize now that I was already on a fresh new path of healing in my marriage and my relationship with my Lord, but these two things seemed to kick start my healing over my lack of children.

 

Since then, I have worked every day to TRUST GOD over questions and sorrow, and to CHOOSE JOY over mourning, even when I don’t want to. Some days it’s still super hard to do, but I really feel a difference. I can even get through those two hardest days (her birthday and Mother’s Day) without sobbing all day now. But a couple of other things have also been helpful the past couple of years: we’ve heard that she is doing well, and people like me are FINALLY being recognized and encouraged around Mother’s Day. I am so very thankful for the reminders that God truly does CARE about me and the sorrows that I endure, and He’s always there sending me little encouragements to keep my head up and CHOOSE HIM and CHOOSE JOY!!

 

My husband said something to me several months back that I also hold onto: that maybe in heaven/on the new earth, I’ll be taking care of motherless children. We don’t know exactly how it all works, and what ages and stages we will be at with our new bodies, but it gives me hope. Because God doesn’t give us random desires for no purpose, for pure sorrow, so there must be a a reason for my unfulfilled 40 year old desire. Assuming my desire started when I was six, but I just know it’s what I always remember wanting, marry young and have children. I finally married, not young and am still waiting on the children part, or for Him to take away the desire. I know He has a great and perfect job for me for eternity. I trust that, somehow, He’ll bring Beauty for Ashes. For now, I’m working on being content, trusting and CHOOSING JOY, every day.

 

Isaiah 61:3: “To console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”

 

 

 

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New Finger Puppeteer Stages

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Whoo Hoo! I finally got some photos of my brand spankin’ new Finger Puppeteer Stages!!! I’ve had this idea in my head for about a year or more, but was planning on sewing the stages. Then I found something I knew I could use instead and began working on them and finding more finger puppets. Because, you see, it all started with my father-in-law buying me some adorable finger puppets to use with kids I hang out with. Then the wheels began turning!

 

So here are my adorable and fun Puppet Stages. And if you like what you see, pop on over to the SHOP for more fun!!

 

 

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I can’t stand the cuteness!

 

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I was so happy to find barn-like paper, a horse and this equestrian!!

 

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Do you know someone who might like one of these? Then head on over HERE!

 

Have a great day!!  :>

 

 

 

 

 

Choose Joy Conference!

Exactly two weeks from today I will be attending the second Choose Joy Event, and I can’t wait! It’s a chance to interact with other people dealing with infertility, loss of children, failed adoptions or just interested in adopting. People may not realize how difficult it is to go through each day with the emotions from these issues. Each day (some days, each minute) I have to make the choice to choose JOY when I feel anything but joy in my yearning for a child, empty arms and sorrow for the precious girl we don’t have anymore.
At last year’s conference I bought a book filled with verses specifically geared toward these issues, and it has been such a blessing to me!
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So I’m looking forward to more encouragement and to meeting people (or someone) who can relate to the struggles I deal with every day. Because, let’s be honest, it’s so hard going through things like this alone and so helpful to have even one person to share it with. And this year my Sweetie is going to, yay.
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And it doesn’t hurt that they create such a beautiful setting for the conference!!! Here’s a tiny peek from last year’s event:
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You can read more about our journey HERE.
And last year’s event HERE.
“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Lemon Angel Spring Cake

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I recently saw two fun and festive cakes on Pinterest and ? My wheels started turning because they each used a favorite or two of my Sweetie’s. So I decided to go the easy way, combine the two and add my own flair (which I tend to do frequently with EVERYTHING)!!!

 

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Peek a boo!

 

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The favorite ingredients? Peeps, lemon, of the lemon meringue pie variety, and angel food cake. I used lemon curd form Trader Joe’s because it’s a good price as well as a good flavor, and easier than making my own. :> And I prefer the bunnies to the chicks when it comes to Peeps. Or the gingerbread people! I also love all things MARSHMALLOW!!!!! So I decided to make Fluffy White Frosting for the cake, (or 7 minute, cloud, marshmallow frosting). We also love Angel Food Cake in this family, so I picked one, up ready made from the store so I could focus on the frosting and the cuteness factors!

 

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So many things just fell into place as I mulled over ideas in my head and saw certain sprinkles and jellybeans at the store in certain colors. My version sort of nods to Lemon Meringue, my Swettie’s FAVORITE, and the marshmallow aspect of the Peeps!

 

 

So here’s what I did for this adorable cake:

First I gathered everything onto the table.

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Then Make the Marshmallowy Frosting:

 

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I ADORED Fluffy White Frosting as a kid and always hat it on my Cherry Chip Cake for my birthdays. Betty Crocker had a boxed version we used a lot (COMPLETELY different from the canned variety! I really dislike those cans!). I believe it’s only available on the east coast these days, but I was able to try it again recently, and I really just prefer homemade these days!

 

Next, start assembling…the FUN part!! (Although, eating some of the marshmallow goodness is also fun and gives you energy to continue on)! :>

 

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I cut my Angel Food Cake in half and spooned on the Lemon Curd, smoothed it around and put the top back on it.

 

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Spread the frosting on the top of the cake and gently ease some down the sides, smoothing all the while and being careful to avoid crumbs in the frosting. Either fill in the middle or just ice around the hole. Start decorating!!

Tip: ALWAYS use 4 strips of parchment paper under the cake so you can pull them out afterward along with any messiness.

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I lined the base with alternating pink and yellow jellybeans, threw sprinkles at the sides and top and set the cake on a pretty cake board for prettier photos. :>

 

Then I decorated the top with jellybeans and placed two bunnies in the hole. The frosting buoyed them up!

 

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One of the best things about this idea, is that the choices are ENDLESS, and kids will LOVE decorating it themselves!!!

 

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It is simply DELIGHTFUL! Light and airy! A perfect springtime cake!!

 

P.S. Here’s a cute version some kids made!

 

 

 

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Play Time and New Product Preview

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It can never be the same as having my own or make up for losing a child, but I thoroughly enjoy my fun times with this little cutie!! (I also have another little cutie I love hanging out with). God has truly blessed me by giving me sweet little playmates over my lifetime.

 

We had a great time playing together a couple of days ago and I gave her one of my new products coming soon to the shop, as soon as I get photos taken. Fyi: these were taken with my cell phone again.

 

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She greeted me with Grand Jete’s which she calls leaps! It’s her favorite part of ballet class, and I love that she greeted me that way! Then she went into Chaine Turns, no prompting for either one. My heart was happy!

 

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Here’s another idea for the puppet stages! :>

 

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Isn’t she adorable??!!

 

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We’re a couple of sillies!

 

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And she’s a great artist!!

 

 

 

Coming Soon to the Shop

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This summer has been filled with travel, gift-making and lots of extra activities and all day adventures. And the shop has been very quiet with few new additions, due to a lack of time to create. I think this is the last gift-making for awhile, (except for some Christmas items, perhaps).

So here’s a preview of the adorableness you may spot showing up in the shop soon!!!!

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Such sweetness!

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Work in progress!

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Who wouldn’t LOVE this at ANY age????!!!!

Modest Monday: Kid’s Edition

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We had another busy week and were out of town, visiting with family and didn’t take outfit photos. So I thought I would scour my photos for some modest ideas for kids for this weeks Modest Monday (on Friday :>). I’ve also included a couple of teenager outfits.

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Adorable, sweet and modest ideas for kids!

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And if some of these are not quite modest enough, add a shirt or tank underneath!

Have a great weekend everyone!!

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