Valentine Mantel

Thanks to U Create, our mantel is already decorated for Valentine’s Day.  There are two great blogs that gave tutorials for these decorations.  Brown Paper Packages showed us how to make the conversation blocks and Plum Peppermint shared how to make the heart-snowflake garland.  Here are the results:







I’m in love!  Hope you enjoyed this little picture of our Valentine decorated mantel. 


T-Shirt Hat

So Thomas and I have about a bajillon t-shirts. Many of them come from church functions over the past few years.

About 8 months ago, I began using Google reader to get some craft blogs on a regular basis. U Create is one of the main ones from which I glean ideas because she points you to tons of other blogs. One of the first ideas I marked that I wanted to try was this t-shirt hat.

Well, while watching the Steelers play the Ravens today, I thought I’d whip up the hat. You ready for the end result?

photo (3)You should definitely check out U Create if you like to craft. There are many suggestions of ways you can up-cycle t-shirts. Here’s one I want to do for some upcoming babies: T-shirt bibs

In the coming months, I also what to try to make a t-shirt quilt. I’ve found a tutorial that I think I might could follow, wish I had some quilting experience though. If you know of a more step-by-step tutorial for a t-shirt quilt please let me know.


23 Day Meal Plan

Thanks to Nanny Goat, I found a solution to the reoccurring question for Thomas and me of “What’s for dinner?”  Now that I’m working full-time (I know 25 and the first time I’ve every worked full-time, kind of crazy) I don’t want to have to come home and decide what’s for dinner. 

Check out Nanny Goat’s blog if you have that same issue.  Here’s how mine turned out:




Although there’s a clear tutorial on how to make the box so the card fits, I did it wrong.  Sometimes I don’t really read directions.  So, my box is a bit small so the cards have to fit at an angle.  My mom’s old real estate calendar magnets are getting good use.  I used them for James & Grace’s chore charts and the recipe box.

The beauty of this plan: you can stock up on what you know you need based on the master spread sheet you make in the beginning, you don’t have to do anything but flip the card and take out the meat to thaw (unless it’s a crock pot meal), and it’s quick and easy.  We may eventually get tired of these 23 meals, but I’m sure we’ll add more as we go.  I mean, until 3 nights ago, Thomas and I didn’t know we liked saffron rice.  We’re branching out!


Homemade Christmas Gifts

For Christmas I decided I would make some gifts.  Mainly for nieces or nephews in our family, but one adult snuck in too. 

I love to read craft blogs.  I randomly end out at some destination on the web from clicking through about twenty blogs and then forget to bookmark the page so I can go back and make the craft when I have the time.  U-Create helps me find most of these precious projects. But now that the gifts have all been given, I thought I’d share what I made with you.

Chick Shirt

I made this “Chicks Dig Me” shirt for both my four year-old nephew James (pictured) and my 11 month-old nephew Robbie.  They of course won’t really appreciate the humor of the shirt, but their parents do!  I was able to make this using freezer paper as directed by this tutorial from Just Another Day in Paradise.

James and his Sister, also received matching chore charts (their mom requested these).

photo (1)photo (2)

You’ll have to excuse the glare, I’m not great on my photography yet.  These boards are made from metal found in the hardware section of Lowe’s.  Thomas spray painted them for me and used a nail to make holes in the corner for them to be hung by.  Then I used coordinating paper and my Cricut to cut out the words.  I used Mod Podge to attach them and then put a layer over the whole board.  I got the idea from Lil’ Luna’s blog.

The last gift was really more of Thomas’ doing.  I was so busy with work, that I didn’t have enough time to do all these projects in the last two days before Christmas Imagine that!  So, we cut the corks together and then he hot glued the mat.  This is a bath mat made of old wine corks.


I love how it turned out!  Thomas did such a good job.  What you can’t tell is that on a few of the corks there is blue Sharpie.  The mat was a gift for Thomas’ mom and the corks came from her and a family friend.  She had given them to us so we could make ourselves one of these mats.  However, there were so many that we were able to make one for her as well.  As we were going through them, we discovered the corks covered in Sharpie, from special occasions in Audrey’s life (like some of our beach trips or her 50th birthday).  So we made sure to cut those corks so you could see the writing.  I think it turned out beautifully!  We got the idea from Crafty Nest.

Well that’s all for this past Christmas.  Now I’m working on some baby shower gifts.  These will involve some sewing.  So, we’ll see how it turns out!  I’ll be sure to share.


Cricut Sale

Okay scrapbook and teaching friends, listen up.  Don't have a Cricut? On Black Friday, before noon, you can get verison one (6"x12" mat) for $70 at Michael's (a $130 savings). 

Then the whole weekend, you can get the Gypsy which is the awesome, design on the go handheld device that attaches to your Cricut.  You can buy it the whole Thanksgiving Weekend for $100 (a $100) savings. 

Here's the kicker... if you buy the Gypsy and register it before December 31st, you get FIVE free cartridges loaded to it.  (Which at their best sale price ever, would be about $100 worth of extra merchandise). 

So, if you've ever seen my Cricut and thought, I want one... the weekend after Thanksgiving is the weekend to get it!  If you’re wondering how I know what Michael’s is doing on Black Friday already, visit www.blackfriday.fm to learn more.


Ministering at St. Andrews

As you can see, it has been months since my last update.  I’m trying out a new program called Winds Live Writer.  We’ll see if this encourages me to blog more than normal. 

I am loving my position as Minister of Students at St. Andrews Baptist here in Columbia.  In addition to my role with students, I have been visiting hospitals, attending meetings for personnel and interim pastor search, and much more.  The thing is, I love it all!  I serve with a wonderful group of ministers who truly function as a team.  Currently, we are a team of four: Sharon King serves as Minister of Congregational Life, Fred DeFoor serves as Minister of Music, and Sharon Simpson serves as Minister of Childhood Education.  The latter will be retiring at the end of the year.  I am excited for what this means for her family and personal life, but am sad because of what it means for the relationship that was just beginning between us as co-laborers. 

As Minister of Students I am responsible for ministry for students 7th grade through college.  I am enjoying getting to know the youth but am struggling to connect with college students.  Please be in prayer for opportunities to meet new students, to connect with “homegrown” college students, and to build up the few students we have contact with currently.


The News is Out

Yesterday morning, Thomas and I shared with the congregation at Eastside Baptist that I was offered the Minister of Students position at St. Andrews Baptist in Columbia. Next Sunday, we will attend SABC as their congregation votes to affirm the personnel committee's choice of me as their new MoS.

As we shared with the congregation our news, I was overwhelmed with emotion. I am completely and utterly ecstatic about going to St. Andrews and beginning my ministry there. However, we still have strong ties to Eastside. The children, youth, and their families have become like our own family.

For some reason, sharing the news with them yesterday made me flash back to the night before I moved to Raleigh the summer of 2003. On that evening, my best friend Leigh came over and gave me one last goodbye gift, which included a throw I still have, some Slim Jim's (my guilty pleasure) and a card. We sat there on my bed hugging each other and crying. I knew going to State was what I needed and wanted to do, and Leigh knew it was what was best for me, but it did not make our parting any easier. However, 7 years later, we are still friends, still keep in touch, and love each other just as much as we did back in 2003 (if not even a little more).

It is my prayer that my family at Eastside will know this: although I am following where I know God is leading, that does not mean I am leaving their lives, just their zip code. I plan to remain friends with those that choose to stay connected. I love each and every one of you and know that God has used you to bless me in the past three years.