Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas Memories 2009

My mom and brother left us today and headed east on I-70, back to Ohio after a week here in Denver visiting us for Christmas. Why does it always seem like visits go by so quickly?

Christmas cookies were baked...
And eaten...

We went to church on Christmas Eve and watched The Nativity Story...

Made The Pioneer Woman's homemade, amazingly delicious, melt-in-your-mouth cinnamon rolls for Christmas brunch...

Gifts were opened...

We chatted with my other brother in Ohio over iChat and opened presents with him...

We went to Zoo Lights at the Denver Zoo...

Truman and Evan hit the slopes at A Basin while my mom and I hit the stores for some after Christmas shopping...

Games were played, movies were watched, and a lot of good food was eaten.

We had a fun week together and I was sad to send them off and say goodbye this morning when they hit the road!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Deck the Halls

Christmas is one of my most favorite times of year. I can't wait to break out my wintery Christmas decorations and cinnamon candles just after Thanksgiving to deck our home with festive holiday touches.

I love to add a few new creative decorations each Christmas, and this year I was inspired to make a sparkly ornament wreath for our front door, following this tutorial. It uses a wire hanger as the base, and with ornaments I found at the Dollar Tree (plastic so they wouldn't break in the wind or opening and closing the door), I created it for less than $6.00!

Here are a few of the other holiday touches around our home:

I already have sketches in my idea book for projects to work on for next Christmas. And plans to get an earlier start on my additions next year!

I hope you are enjoying this holiday season with your loved ones and making sweet memories together.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Celebrating my Handsome Hubby

Truman's birthday falls in the middle of December, and amidst all of the holiday festivities, I want to be sure to take a day just to celebrate him! We had a full day of fun to celebrate.

The night before his birthday, I snuck out of bed after he fell asleep to decorate our dining area for a birthday morning surprise. It took him a few minutes to notice through his sleepy eyes, but after he saw all the decorations, surprise filled his face. We opened presents before taking off for the day.

We saw The Blind Side that afternoon before heading to a birthday dinner of Brazilian of Tru's favorites.

After dinner, some of our staff team friends came over for Cold Stone cake and an evening of playing Cities & Knights.

I am so thankful my sweet husband was born. I look forward to many more years of celebrating his life together!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Snowy Family Photos & An Awkward Moment Caught on Camera

Some friends of ours from church needed a family photo for their Christmas card, so this past weekend, we decided to head to a nearby park for a snowy family photo shoot. Their two girls are adorable and we had so much fun shooting this family! It was cold (only in the teens!), but they were such good sports and we got some really cute photos.

My all time favorite moment from the day was captured by the following before & after shots. This is what happens when you are swinging your child with cold hands in the snow at the direction of your photographers. *Note: No children were harmed in the making of these photos!*

(You have to zoom in on that second photo and check out the absolutely classic expressions on Tim & Leanna's faces.) The adults were all laughing hysterically as soon as we knew she was ok. Later that afternoon when we uploaded the photos, she kept asking to see "the picture where I was flying," then she would laugh. Even now, looking at these 2 photos in sequence makes me chuckle out loud.

Thanks for letting us capture your family, Tim & Leanna!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Riverdance Date

Riverdance is one of my all time favorite shows. I had seen it twice before, but Truman had never seen it, and they are currently doing their farewell tour, so I knew we had to take advantage of our last chance to see it when they came through Denver last week.

We turned it into a fun date night and went out for dinner before the show at a restaurant a few blocks from the Performing Arts Center. (Love! It makes nice restaurants so much more affordable! If you've never used it, you should check it out.)

The restaurant was festively decorated for Christmas and we had a booth right in the front window with a view of some of the downtown lights.

Riverdance did not disappoint! Every minute is full of phenomenal talent and high energy performance. Truman loved it. I think every time I looked over at him he was shaking his head in amazement.

My camera battery died at dinner because I forgot to charge it, but a sweet lady who was there to see the show with her mom took a photo for us and e-mailed it to me. It was such a fun night out!

If you have never seen Riverdance, don't miss this last chance to see it! Check the tour schedule to see if it will be coming to a city near you. I don't know anyone that has seen it and doesn't love it! It is truly a spectacular show.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Sara Groves & Big Summer News!

I have listened to the music of Sara Groves for years. I appreciate her unique voice, vulnerable and poignant lyrics, and the instrumentals that are common in her albums. Her songs have been a soundtrack for many seasons of my life. Some of my absolute favorites are Painting Pictures of Egypt, He's Always Been Faithful, Going Home, This Journey Is My Own, Maybe There's a Loving God & This Peace. She even has her own playlist on my iTunes.

This morning at our church, we were blessed to have Sara Groves share one of her songs with us during the service. This video played while she sang and is a moving portrayal of her inspiration for the lyrics. I wanted to share it with you because I was so touched by it.

I think that the images especially resonated with me because of some big news that Truman and I are excited to share. This summer, we are headed to Cape Town, South Africa for our summer mission trip with Campus Crusade for Christ! We will be taking a group of students for 4-6 weeks. We are really excited and already anticipating how the Lord will be at work in and through us this summer. I look forward to sharing our experiences in South Africa on my blog this summer!

(Photo Credit: Source Unknown...Let me know if this photo is yours! I saved it on my computer awhile ago.)

(Photo Credit: my friend Leslie Savage,

I will post about our Thanksgiving in the next few days once I have a chance to upload my photos! We visited Truman's family in Houston for the holiday. I hope you had a wonderful celebration with loved ones and lots of delicious food!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Book Cover Journal

I recently created a book cover journal as a gift for my mom. I've seen book covers used for a variety of projects and was inspired to use the cover of a Nancy Drew book to create a journal for my mom.

I chose an old Nancy Drew book because the series holds fun memories of special time with my mom. When I was younger, we used to lay in my four poster bed at night and read chapters of Nancy Drew mysteries aloud to each other. I found a worn copy at a used bookstore to take apart for the journal.

I started by using a box cover to cut the front and back of the book cover away from the spine.

I purchased a spiral bound notebook that included manila page dividers. I tore out the manila pages and folded up the bottom of the manila page, creating a pocket, and securing the 2 sides of the pocket with Tombo adhesive.

Using the measurements of the book pages, I cut the pocket pages to size, to match the pages of the book, and used rubber stamps and black ink to add details to the pocket.

I took the book pages and the spiral bound notebook to Kinkos and asked them to cut the spiral notebook pages to the same size as the book pages. (They use an industrial paper cutter and can cut the whole stack at one time for just a couple of dollars.) I also had them drill 3 holes into both the book pages and notebook pages in one stack.

By rubbing a brown ink pad on the edges of the pages, you can add a worn, vintage character.

I chose a few sections of the book to include in the journal, mixed in with the notebook pages. I used a page that had drilled holes to pencil mark the 3 holes on the manila pockets and the front and back covers of the book.

I used a hole punch to punch holes in the manila pockets and my crop-a-dile to punch holes into the book cover. I was surprised by how easily the crop-a-dile punched right through the book cover! (You can purchase a crop-a-dile at Michaels or any craft or scrapbooking store.)

I stacked the journal pages in the order that I wanted and secured them with 1 3/4 inch looseleaf binder rings through the 3 holes to assemble the journal . (After searching all over and only finding mixed size packs at office supply stores, I found a pack of 12 rings in the 1 3/4 in size at Hobby Lobby.)

I then tied ribbons along each of the binder rings and added embellishments, from tags and brads inside, to a metal key attached to the ribbon on the top binder ring.

I was really happy with how the journal turned out and would love to make others with a variety of book covers. It is an easy project that can be personalized and tailored to your needs, from adding day planner pages to address book inserts. My mom loved her gift and will be reminded of our book reading memories each time she uses it!