The Weekend Gallery of Miscellany

1. Eight. Josh's and my 8th wedding anniversary is coming up on Monday! We'll probably be celebrating it next weekend since he will be right in the middle of his finals on Monday... In the meantime, I'll be sharing a few thoughts on marriage here on the blog, so be sure to stop by on Monday for a special anniversary-themed post!

See us getting married in the background?
Note to all engaged couples.... get married during a month when there is nothing else going on!
December is CRAZY and will be for the rest of your life! :o)  

2. Christmas progress report. My house is all decorated, and as of today, I am well on my way to having my shopping finished. We've decided to simplify this year.... Let me tell you why: just between my family and my husband's family, we have 40 people that we've been shopping for every year... 40! Throw in a few extra friends and those random "white elephant" party gifts, and that makes for an insane amount of Christmas shopping....(not to mention money!)

Over the past few years, I've grown to dread Christmas because it meant spending hours beating my brains out in the midst of  your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore  the crowds at the shopping malls trying to pick out meaningful, appropriate, and budget-friendly gifts for 40+ people. With our upcoming short-term move to VA, as well as the fact that we're on a shoestring budget with Josh being in school, we decided that enough was enough. Rather than shopping or trying to make something for each person individually this year, we're giving one gift to each family - hopefully something that they can all enjoy together. That brings our shopping list down to about 14 gifts, which is definitely more doable and MUCH less stressful. I'm actually looking forward to the holiday this year, which is more than I can say about last year...
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I was really convicted by this post from Ann when she shared it last December. Her family hasn't exchanged Christmas gifts at all for the last 10 years. Instead, they "give Jesus birthday gifts" - by sending money to help families purchase things like livestock, wells/water-purification systems, mosquito nets, seeds, etc. After all, it is Jesus' birthday (or the day we've chosen to observe it, at least), not ours. I'd love for our families to start doing this in the future.... in the meantime, I can at least take some of the money I'm saving through simplifying our gift giving and use it to help some less fortunate people instead.... I think that's a great way to celebrate Jesus' birthday....
3. So happy together..... One week from today, we will be heading to Josh's white coat ceremony, then moving all of his stuff home from his "crash pad" in Knoxville. Yay! While this year has gone by pretty quickly (all things considered), it has still been tough having him gone so much during the week. I am definitely looking forward to living under the same roof all the time again. I have developed a new respect for the spouses of our servicemen who are deployed for months at a time (like my cousin, whose Marine husband has been deployed for the past several months)... I guess it's been a good "practice run" for me, since there's a possibility of Josh being sent to some remote location once he gets out of school....

4. Looking for some Christmas gifts? There's still time to order something special from my Etsy shop! I have prints in various sizes, handmade jewelry, and even a few originals available.... Please stop by - you're sure to find something for just about anyone on your list!

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5. Happy Birthday today to my friend Carrie over at Carrie's Busy Nothings! Carrie and I have been friends for a long time, and we still keep in touch - mostly through our blogs and facebook these days. She's hitting the big 3-0 today, so stop by her blog and wish her a happy day... While you're there, check out her fun posts on topics ranging from home decor and craft projects to book reviews and personal finance. And if you're looking for a fun children's book to give to one of the special kids in your life, check out the children's book that Carrie's husband Peter wrote, Mashed Potatoes.

...and a little link love....
  • Handcrafted Gifts from Christian Freedom International - This ministry helps persecuted Christians around the world earn an income by selling their handcrafts online. They have some really neat items that would make great Christmas gifts or stocking stuffers. Plus, you'll have the satisfaction of knowing that you're supporting a great cause! (Find more links like this up at the bottom of #2 in today's gallery of miscellany...)
  • Freeset USA - along the same lines, this organization helps women in India escape the sex trafficking trade by training them to make these beautiful bags. So check them out for more Christmas gift ideas, and help another great cause at the same time...
  • 10 Reasons Why the New NIV Is Bad for Women - this is a great article on both why God's Word doesn't need "fixing," and the importance of keeping gender roles in a biblical perspective.
  • Underpainting Technique from Scott E. Bartner - if you are an oil painter and interested in the technique of underpainting in portraiture, then you might find this article interesting. I certainly did.
  • Craft Gawker - have you seen this yet? It's a lot like Pinterest, but it's just for crafts! I may have a new addiction...
  • A Beautiful Picture of God's Care Found in Creation - this is touching... what a great reminder of how God cares for us...
That's all I've got! Have a wonderful weekend.....


  1. This post made me very happy for so many reasons ... #1)For a beautiful couple that is getting ready to celebrate another year of serving Christ together #2)For sharing a more powerful means of honoring Christ's coming by giving to those in need rather than adding "stuff" to our families already "stuffed" homes. (We have been doing this for several years and it has reinvigorated my passion for this season which had been snuffed by the commercialism) #3)Sooooo excited that Josh's hard work and the steadfastness and perseverance from both of you is so close to being rewarded!!!! We love you both very much! :)

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  3. Aww...thanks so much for the birthday shout out as well as the book plug (what a lovely birthday gift!)! :-) It has been a long time...glad we can continue to keep up through blogs and FB and Pinterest and all those fun (addicting) sites! ;-) Blessings to you and Josh!

  4. Beth, Everything that Sherry said! :-) Happy Anniversary, Congratulations on Josh's commissioning, and a Merry Christmas all rolled in ONE!

    Also, thank you for sharing the gift links above--I hope you don't mind if I share a couple either via my blog or Facebook--they offer such a practical way to make a difference in someone's world!

    Love you, your blog, and your tremendous gifts from the Lord!


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