The List that Never Ends: #81-95

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas.... we had a busy few days of celebrating, and a few late nights/early mornings of wrapping, finishing up gifts, and cleaning; which is why I have been MIA here in bloggyland.

Here are some of the highlights....which are also the blessings I'm counting this week:

81. White Christmases

82. Singing Christmas Carols around the tree with family...

83. Wonderful grandparents who are still here, healthy, and have a sense of humor. :o)

84. Togetherness....for a little while at least!

85. Boys who are boys...

86. A nephew who is developing a love for all things Narnian...

87. Watching my brother check off something on his "Bucket List." (i.e.: sampling "Turkish Delight" - the candy Edmund requested from the White Witch in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis. For the record, I wouldn't sell Mr. Tumnus or my family out for it! Imagine a powdered sugar covered gum drop that tastes like rose perfume - that's about what it's like.)

88. Getting to see some family members that we don't get to see too often...

89. Getting to watch my niece and nephew demonstrate the wrestling move they developed and perfected, "The Flying Pig."

90.. A snowy evening in front of a fire with my best friend to whom I am, conveniently, also married. 

91. A little cousin's first Christmas:

92. Sweet little moments...

93. Watching my in-laws have a ping-pong ball duel!

94. Delicious meals, shared with family...

95. The Reason for all of it....

Happy Birthday, Jesus...

The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined... For unto us a child is born , unto us a son is given : and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor , The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
Isaiah 9:2, 6-7

Wishing you the Light of Christ
to guide your steps
in 2011...

Linking up today at:


The List that Never Ends: #71-80

Thanksgiving is never over, my friends....

Giving thanks today for...

71. Modern medicine.... specifically, today, for ibuprofen for all of life's little aches and pains....

72. Family dinners

73. Belting out the Hallelujah Chorus alone in my car, and hitting the high notes

74. A working car

75. The original Christmas Gift - God's Son, born to die, for you and for me.

76. Candles in windows and glowing trees

77. God's provision, every time....

78. The thrill of knowing I have exactly 5 days to START and finish Christmas shopping... heh heh. Actually, I'm not too thrilled or thankful for my procrastination, but I AM thankful for the ability to give gifts to people I love...

79. 3 weeks of having my husband home from school...

80. Hot chocolate.... again.

What are you thankful for today?
Link up over at Ann's..... I am.



You Capture: Outside

Today we woke up to a world iced over..... great for photos, not so great for anyone needing to run to places like the bank, post office, and grocery store..... So, rather than running errands today, I went out and took some photos. And here they are:

Harvey and I hope you're staying warm today, wherever you are...
We're trying to.

Linking up over at I Should Be Folding Laundry for You Capture.



Christmas Shopping...

I am sorry to say, that at this time, I haven't even started mine yet. Ack! However, I have started working on a few handmade gifts I will be giving this year.... so maybe that counts. I'm sure the next two weeks will be a little crazy for me.

If you are in the same boat, I would like to suggest a few wonderful little handmade shops for you to consider. I sent out a feeler a few weeks ago, and had a few people request to be linked up in the post... I'll also throw in a few of my personal favorites.

Unfortunately we live in a world where most of what we purchase has been produced in some factory or sweat shop overseas. We've quit making stuff at an alarming rate here in America, and as a result, our economy is declining, our debt is growing, and we have become the world's consumers instead of being producers. Don't get me started.... At any rate, while the situation can be a bit overwhelming and discouraging at times, there IS something we can do about it.... Thanks to Etsy, Big Cartel, and similar sites, it is now much easier for independent artists, artisans, crafters, and small business owners to reach the public with their hand-crafted items!

Being an artist and crafter myself, I appreciate the time and effort that go into handmade items. While they may be a little more expensive than something you'd buy at the mall or WalMart (with a "Made in China" sticker on it), I dare say the quality is MUCH better, and you can be sure that the person who made it is being paid a fair wage for his or her time and effort.

So, in the spirit of Christmas, for the promotion of my friends' and readers' businesses, and for the little man everywhere, I would like to give you a few shops to check out as you finish up your Christmas shopping.... I encourage you to support small businesses like these! You will find some great and unique items, and you will be supporting the entrepreneurial spirit! Thanks for visiting!

So, without further ado, here are the links:

When I was in high school, I worked with Amy at a Christian summer camp.... She is now running her own handmade business making these super-cute hair bows and headbands! She has lots of cute designs and colors to choose from.... I chose this headband to share with you because it looks Christmas-y, but there are endless possibilities! I think she will even take special requests if you have a particular color combo you'd like.... So be sure to stop by and check out her shop. I'm sure the little girls in your life would love to find one of these in her stocking!

Joanna Posey is the creative talent behind the Etsy shop, Knotaway. I "know" Joanna through the blogging world and got connected to her work through facebook. She is a talented lady, with everything from tatted bookmarks to monotype prints in her shop. I love the tatted Cross bookmark pictured here... Check out her shop for these and other unique items!

Lisa Miqueli is the creative mind behind both "I Sew Domestic" and "Once Again Designs" on Etsy. She makes handy kitchen items like the cute pot holders and aprons and such at I Sew Domestic, and she re-purposes t-shirts and tablecloths and such into new items like the cute tote bag below (from a t-shirt) at Once Again Designs. Be sure to stop by and check out her shops!

And a few bonus shops I'm throwing in.... just because... :o)

Cheri is a good friend of mine from church. She makes the most WONDERFUL, all natural, home made soaps, lip balms, herbal teas, and salves. The soap pictured below smells just like Christmas trees! And I am addicted to her Lemonade Lip Balm. Cheri also offers classes on herbal medicine and soap making. Be sure to check out her shop.

I'm in love with needle felting lately....
So I'm loving these super cute tiny felted birdies-in-nests at Got Crow Creations....

I think these leather journals/sketch books are really cool.
They would be great for the world traveler in your life!

I love just about every piece in this shop! So cute, whimsical, and folk-artsy... Love it. This is my favorite:

Check out this shop for the cutest pin cushions ever! They have a "bee" one that I love....
I also love this monarch butterfly brooch:

OK, so this one's not exactly "hand made," but this children's book WAS written by my friend's husband, and they have recently self-published it through Create Space at Amazon. They get royalties from each sale, so I'm going to count this in the "entrepreneurial spirit" section. Check it out!

More needle felting... This play mat is super cute - I would have loved this as a kid....
Hey, I'd still love it! :o)

Visit this shop for lots of beautiful items, including embroidered pieces, like this locket:

What a beautiful style... I love the soft colors and cute animals. And of course, who can resist a cute white rabbit with paint brushes???

Hmm... wait a minute, how did that get on here???

Yes, I too have an Etsy shop. And I would love to send you some last minute Christmas gifts!

Maybe a print of a favorite hymn.....

Or a print of a favorite character.....
(Recognize Reepicheep from "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader"?)

Or maybe, a miniature version of one of my pieces in the form of a necklace or brooch....
I hope to add some more necklaces by the end of the week... stay tuned for shop updates!

You can also check out some of my other favorite Etsy sellers and items by visiting THIS link.
There are some great handmade sellers out there - I hope you're supporting them this Christmas!

Have a lovely week....