Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Up and Coming Programming . . . EDITED

It has been brought to my attention (Thank you Tim & Katie Jane) that I have been utterly remiss in posting pictures. Particularly of our home. I had promised friends who live overseas that I would post the "after" counterparts to our rebuild/remodel "before" pics, and that has never happened. Shame on me!

Well, I intend to put that situation to right as quickly as possible. Therefore for the next couple of weeks, I will be presenting, live and in color, a virtual tour of the home that Austin and I have been working on for the past three years!

Exterior
Family Room
Kitchen
Laundry Room & Downstairs Bathroom
Dining Romm & Library
Entryway, Living Room, Stairs & Upstairs Hallway

Still to come:

* ~ Office & Guest Bathroom

* ~ Guest Bedrooms

* ~ Master Suite

NOTE: I will continue to post my "Motivate Me Monday," MHR Inspiration, and ~ My Husband Rocks! ~ posts during these days as well :)

To sneak peek at the before pictures, click here!

Hope you have a wonderful Wednesday, and safe and exciting New Year's festivities tonight!

Monday, December 29, 2008

A new version of New Year's resolutions . . .

I had seen the 101 in 1001 challenge on a couple of other blogs, but I found Maci the week before Christmas, and decided to give it a go for myself:

101 Things in 1001 days - brought to you by Day Zero

The Mission:
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria:
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on my part).

Why 1001 Days?
Many people have created lists in the past - frequently simple goals such as New Year's resolutions. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organising and timing some tasks such as overseas trips or outdoor activities.

Some common goal setting tips:

1. Be decisive. Know exactly what you want, why you want it, and how you plan to achieve it.

2. Stay Focussed. Any goal requires sustained focus from beginning to end. Constantly evaluate your progress.

3. Welcome Failure. Frequently, very little is learned from a venture that did not experience failure in some form. Failure presents the opportunity to learn and makes the success more worthy.

4. Write down your goals. It clarifies your thinking and reinforces your commitment.5. Keep your goals in sight. Review them frequently, and ensure that they are always at the forefront of your thinking.


I had planned on posting this on January 1st, but I am too excited to wait, so I am starting today!


Below is my list, in the order that it came out of my head. I am starting a separate page to document this part of my journey (don't worry, I will continue your regularly scheduled programming here at the great adventure, lol!), and there I have the items listed by category.

My 101 Things . . .

. . . Starting December 29, 2008 - Ending September 26, 2011

1. Finish my novel and submit it to a publisher.
2. Get a new job.
3. Win NaNoWriMo.
4. Complete an adoption homestudy.
5. Travel internationally at least three different times.
6. Construct a workable housekeeping plan and stick to it for 3 consecutive weeks.
7. Walk the dog 3 times/week for 3 consecutive weeks.
8. Drink 3 glasses of water/day for 21 days straight
9. Send each family member a birthday card.
10. Call Mom & Dad once every week.
11. Call Kindra once a week.
12. Call Kelli once a week.
13. Put on a MHR retreat.
14. Give Austin a massage at least 3x/week.
15. Take a salsa dancing class.
16. Send the Hoyts 5 care packages
17. Open an Etsy store and make at least 50 sales.
18. Create a master bill-paying schedule/notebook.
19. Learn the requirements for homeschooling in Iowa and take any necessary classes/certifications.
20. Write thank you notes for every gift we receive.
21. Plant flowers in the front yard.
22. Plant a vegetable garden in the back yard.
23. Plant an herb garden in the kitchen (the kind in the little pots.)
24. Read at least 20 of the titles on the AP English reading list
25. Read at least 10 of the titles on Classic & Contemporary Literature list that are NOT on the AP list.
26. Read every book on A Christian Woman's Reading List
27. Read every book on the Books for Christian Parenting list
28. Read every book on The Best Christian Marriage Books list
29. Find a prayer partner.
30. Get up at 5:16 on the nose for 21 consecutive days.
31. Memorize the book of Romans
32. Memorize the book of Hebrews
33. Memorize the book of Proverbs
34. Read through the entire Bible at least twice.
35. Learn to drive a stick shift.
36. Go to Washington, D.C.
37. Organize my office, and keep it in an orderly fashion.
38. Create our wedding scrapbook
39. Finish our vacation scrapbook(s)
40. Find a home church
41. Join a couples' small group
42. Send Christmas or New Year's cards every year
43. Go on a cruise
44. Have a girls' weekend with my mom & sisters & Aunt Geri
45. Have a serious spa day
46. Donate blood.
47. Volunteer for at least 20 hours.
48. Be on a party committee for a work event.
49. Take a photography class.
50. Get an old-time photo taken with Hoss.
51. Participate in a 5K or 10K for a charity.
52. Make sure the kitchen is clean before I go to bed for 21 days straight
53. Take a sign language class.
54. Take a Spanish class
55. Do project 365
56. Finish a crocheting project.
57. Crochet a baby blanket.
58. Do my hair differently every day for 21 days.
59. Get a professional makeup consultation.
60. Go to New York City with Austin
61. Practice French at least once a week
62. Compile all of the recipes that I use or would like to use often, and copy them into my recipe book.
63. Take an dance/pilates class
64. Exercise 3x/week for 1 month
65. Develop a workable pantry system.
66. Make an extra freezer meal at least once a month
67. Write an "If something happens to me" letter
68. De-clutter every room and have a huge garage sale.
69. Build an emergency fund of 3 months' income
70. Go to the dentist.
71. Make a stuffed animal.
72. Document (at least) one happy moment every day.
73. Invite the neighbors over for supper.
74. Go on one date/month - just the two of us
75. Read at least 25 non-fiction books
76. Read at least 30 books from my Shelfari "I plan to read" shelf.
77. Meet at least 5 blog friends face to face.
78. Appear on a talk show (Oprah, Phil, Bonnie Hunt) to talk about MHR
79. Sing at church at least 5 times
80. Plan a trip/outing with just Kelli & us
81. Plan a trip/outing with just Kindra & us
82. Have 3 scrapbooking/crafting parties with Thelma & Ashley
83. Write an article for a Christian publication about MHR
84. Develop a speech or series of speeches about MHR
85. Get re-certified in First Aid/CPR
86. Go climbing in the Garden of the Gods
87. Go horseback riding with Austin
88. Spend a weekend in Chicago.
89. Visit Tom & Ashley at least 5 times
90. Take at least 1 big motorcycle trip with Austin.
91. Have a meal with each set of grandparents - just the 4 or 3 of us, at least once per family.
92. Practice piano at least 3x/week
93. Go to a Women of Faith conference with both of my moms.
94. See Beth Moore speak in person.
95. Go to a show at the Civic Center.
96. {Private} :)
97. Share my faith.
98. Start a family night - one night each week w/ no TV, but do something else together!
99. Volunteer at Samaritan Inn at least 10 times.
100. Do 20 random acts of kindness.
101. Go to a marriage conference with Austin.

Thanks for reading! Wish me luck! :)

It's Good to Be Home!

Photobucket


Happy Monday everybody! Just a quick post to say howdy and let everyone know that we made it all the way to Colorado and back intact :) I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!!! I will have pics and details of the trip up later this week!

Be sure to check in with Sarah Mae for Motivate Me Monday! I have some things that I want to post for this, but probably will not get it up until tomorrow; however a lot of other ladies have already posted! :)

Hope you have a fabulous final week of 2008!

Friday, December 26, 2008

~ My Husband Rocks! ~ Sharing Life


Click here to read about why I started MHR Fridays!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Good morning, and welcome to another week of ~ My Husband Rocks! ~ Fridays!!! I hope that you all enjoyed a most wonderful Christmas! I know that we have so far! We had a somewhat harrowing (at the beginning) yet thankfully uneventful drive out to Colorado to spend the holidays with my family. Thanks to my amazing hubby and the fact that we had another friend riding with us, I did not have to drive at all (which I greatly appreciated)!

I am so thankful for my fantastick husband this week! (I'm thankful for him all the time, but there's just something about Christmas that makes everything all warm and fuzzy, you know?) I am so appreciative that he brought me to Colorado to see my family for Christmas! This has been one of the greatest gifts for me! I have also been reminded very intensely of the blessing we have in the form of his financial savvy! Because of his skill in this area, and great blessing from the Lord, we are able to have and do and experience so many things that I never would have imagined possible! I also love how he is able to make people laugh in almost any situation! He is also so hand that he was able to fix my parent's vacuum, and my niece's (well my cousin's daughter's) Elmo doll :)

One moment of this past week really sticks out in my mind as a reason why my husband rocks! After the Christmas Eve service at my parents' church they had my grandparents and their new neighbors over for supper. Their neighbors moved to Colorado from Texas, and the wife is originally from Germany. They have led fascinating lives, and we had a great time talking to them. At one point they both stated that they sincerely enjoyed traveling alone - and had done so many times before they were married. Austin said that he would rather have someone to share it with, to which they responded that you take in so much more of the sights and culture when you are there alone. Austin's response just melted my heart: "I would rather miss some of that, and have someone to share it with." Later on we were talking about this, and he told me, "Life is meant to be shared!" I am so very grateful that he chose to share his life with me, and that I get to share mine with him! Thank you so much, hunnybear! I love you!!!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Be sure to check in with the other ladies who are bragging on their rocking hubbies today by clicking on the "My Husband Rocks Participants" button in the left sidebar.

(if you would like to add the MHR Fridays button to your sidebar, use this code ).


<a href="http://honestandlasting.blogspot.com/2008/06/my-husband-rocks-friday.html"><img src="http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn135/katylinvw/mosaicmhrf.jpg"/></a>


If you're not a blogger, but still want the world to know about your amazing husband (or wife, or husband to be, or wife to be, etc.) leave a shout-out in the form of a comment! If you're unable to comment, e-mail me at katylinvw [at] yahoo [dot] com and I'll add your shout out to this post!

As always, on Fridays From*me Tees will refund your shipping on any order of two or more items if you mention the great adventure and ~my husband rocks! Fridays~ in the "how did you hear about us?" section of your order form, so run on over there and check them out, too! Thank you From*me Tees!

Thanks for reading, everybody! Have a fantastic weekend!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas!


Photobucket

Delightful views of nature, dressed by art,
Enchant no longer this indifferent heart;
The Lord of alll things, in his humble birth,
Makes mean the proud magnificence of earth;
The straw, the manger, and the mouldering wall,
Eclipse its lustre; and I scorn it all.

Canals, and fountains, and delicious vales,
Green slopes and plains, whose plenty never fails; . . .
Rocks, lofty mountains, caverns dark and deep,
And torrents raving down the rugged steep;
Smooth downs, whose fragrant herbs the spirits cheer;
Meads crowned with flowers; streams musical and clear,
Whose silver waters, and whose murmurs, join
Their artless charms, to make the scene divine;
The fruitful vineyard, and the furrowed plain,
That seem a rolling sea of golden grain:

All, all have lost the charms they once possessed;
An infant God reigns sovereign in my breast;
From Bethelehem's bosom I no more will rove;
There dwells the Savior, and there rests my love.

~ Madame Guyon ~


I hope you all enjoy a most blessed Christmas and a wonderful, relaxing time with your family and friends. Austin and I head to Colorado today, but I will definitely be back for MHR Friday! (Although, we will not have an inspiration post this week.)

Merry Christmas Eve Eve!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas 1 Corinthians 13 Style

Photobucket

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family. I'm just another cook.

If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home, and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir's cantata, but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.

Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband.

Love is kind, through harried and tired.

Love doesn't envy another's home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.

Love doesn't yell at the kids to get out of the way.

Love doesn't give only to those who are able to give in return, but rejoices in giving to those who can't.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails. Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust... but giving the gift of love will endure.

~Author Unknown~


I found this over at Katie's place! :) Merry Christmas everyone!

Friday, December 19, 2008

~ My Husband Rocks! ~ Christmas Letter


Click here to read about why I started MHR Fridays!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Happy Friday everyone! One more weekend before Christmas!!! By way of announcement, I wanted you all to know that I will not be posting a prompt next Thursday (Christmas Day), but I will most likely be posting on Friday (unless things get crazy with family, lol)! I hope you all have the most wonderful and blessed Christmas, adn I cannot wait to read all about your celebrations!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I decided that I want the actual letter contents to be private between Austin and myself (sorry to anyone who was dying to read it, lol), but here's my inspiration list :)

~ He takes an interest in the things that I enjoy
~ He is as cute as can be!
~ He protects me and he is concerned about my well-being
~ He is very observant and thoughtful!
~ He is outgoing and friendly
~ We have so much fun being silly together!
~ He is a wonderful spiritual leader
~ He is a man of principal anc conviction
~ He is absolutely, 100% genuine
~ He takes good care of me by being very responsible with our finances
~ He is such a hard worker
~ He has many skills, and is willing to teach me - even when I'm a slow learner
~ He is hillariously funny

These are just some of the many reasons why my husband rocks! :) Hope you enjoyed our little trip down memory lane!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Austin also rocks because, this week we have been having some minor issues with our car that I drive most of the time. The battery has been giving us fits, so in the midst of his busy week, Austin took the time to contact the dealership, pick up a new battery, find out that that battery was the wrong one (even though the dealership told him that they only had one option for our make/model), call the dealership again and get them to order the right battery, pick it up (all the way in Des Moines), and install it!

During this process, my car needed to be plugged into a charger so that it would start in the morning. Becuase of the electrical outlet situation, this meant that it needed to be parked right next to the garage (about 75 feet away from our back door), so Austin not only went out to start it for me in the morning, but also took the time to move it so it was right next to the back door and I did not have to walk very far at all :) He's a sweetie!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Be sure to check in with the other ladies who are bragging on their rocking hubbies today by clicking on the "My Husband Rocks Participants" button in the left sidebar.

(if you would like to add the MHR Fridays button to your sidebar, use this code ).


<a href="http://honestandlasting.blogspot.com/2008/06/my-husband-rocks-friday.html"><img src="http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn135/katylinvw/mosaicmhrf.jpg"/></a>


If you're not a blogger, but still want the world to know about your amazing husband (or wife, or husband to be, or wife to be, etc.) leave a shout-out in the form of a comment! If you're unable to comment, e-mail me at katylinvw [at] yahoo [dot] com and I'll add your shout out to this post!

As always, on Fridays From*me Tees will refund your shipping on any order of two or more items if you mention the great adventure and ~my husband rocks! Fridays~ in the "how did you hear about us?" section of your order form, so run on over there and check them out, too! Thank you From*me Tees!

Thanks for reading, everybody! Have a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

MHR Inspiration #3

Christmas Gifts

Photobucket


Holy Moly, another week has come and gone, and next week this time will be Christmas Day! Can you believe it??!?!

Sarah Mae, one of my sweet blog friends and the founder of the 5:16 Club, has recently written a 4-part series entitled "Marriage is Hard."
~ * ~ Part One: Pursuing Godliness ~ * ~
~ * ~ Part Two: Advice From Wise Women ~ * ~
~ * ~Part Three: A Challenge ~ * ~
~ * ~ Part Four: A Refuge ~ * ~

She is a very talented writer, and a great example of a woman who loves the Lord and her husband and strives to be more like Jesus every day. I would encourage you to take the time to read each of these posts; however, our prompt this week comes directly from Part 3.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Prompt/Theme for Friday, December 19, 2008

"This Christmas, give your spouse something eternal - a gift of affirmation:
Write your husband a letter that details (very specifically and genuinely) why you respect him."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I know that in the state of our economy, we are all looking for inexpensive ways to show our friends and family that we love them during this Christmas season - here is a gift that will cost you nothing but the time it takes you to write it! (That and the paper upon which you write it, and the ink from the pen, or the lead from the pencil, lol!) And Sarah Mae is absolutely correct when she calls it "eternal." I am positive that this will be a gift that your husband will treasure forever. If you want to go all out and print it on fancy paper, or even mount it or frame it, that would be a nice touch, too :)

There are probably parts of the letter that you will not want to share with anyone other than your spouse, so if you would rather post some of your reasons in list form, that would be awesome as well!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

By way of reminder:

1) Writing to the prompt is not required. We are not really all about adding more rules and regulations, lol!

2) Writing to the prompt is not a reflection of trouble in your marriage. Anyone who is honest with themselves would agree that marriage is not always easy, and as such, creating a weekly post about the object of your affection, and sometimes frustration, can be difficult as well. The purpose of having the prompts, articles, and quotes in these posts is to help us to think about our spouses from a positive perspective - even when we don't feel like it.


Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

O Christmas Tree!




Tip Junkie's Christmas Tree Contest


Photobucket


The custom of erecting a Christmas tree can be traced to 16th century Germany, though neither an inventor nor a single town can be identified as the sole origin for the tradition; in the Cathedral of Strasbourg in 1539, the church record mentions the erection of a Christmas tree. In that period, the guilds started erecting Christmas trees in front of their guildhalls: Ingeborg Weber-Kellermann (Marburg professor of European ethnology) found a Bremen guild chronicle of 1570 which reports how a small fir was decorated with apples, nuts, dates, pretzels and paper flowers, and erected in the guild-house, for the benefit of the guild members' children, who collected the dainties on Christmas day.


Photobucket

Our Christmas Tree theme is snowflakes and snowmen, and my color scheme is white and silver and gold. :)


Photobucket

In 1846, the popular Royals, Queen Victoria and her German Prince, Albert, were illustrated in the Illustrated London News. They were standing with their children around a Christmas Tree. Unlike the previous Royal family, Victoria was very popular with her subjects, and what was done at Court immediately became fashionable - not only in Britain, but with fashion-conscious East Coast American Society. The English Christmas Tree had arrived!

Photobucket


Photobucket

Sparkling white and gold snowflake ornaments (thank you Bryce & Thelma).


Photobucket


White and silver "Let it Snow" ribbon garland.

Photobucket


Glittery gold ribbon garland.

Photobucket ~ * ~ Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket ~ * ~ Photobucket

Several paper snowflakes that I made last year complete the tree.

Photobucket


Our tree skirt is actually a lap blanket that we received from my grandparents as a wedding gift - I love the gold feathers! :) It's a perfect fit with the color scheme!


Be sure to check out all the beautiful trees at Tip Junkie's Christmas Tree Contest!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Why we celebrate . . .


Jesus Is The Reason

In Bethlehem, God gave to us
The source of Christmas joy;
A star shown on a miracle:
The virgin birth of a boy.

He was born both God and man,
A Savior for us all,
The way to get to our heavenly home,
If we just heed His call.

So as we shop and spend and wrap
And enjoy the Christmas season,
Let's keep in mind the sacred truth:
Jesus is the reason.

By Joanna Fuchs

Photobucket

The Real Reason

It seems like it's party time filling the air;
Special lights bring brightness and glitter;
Christmas carols are sung everywhere;
Stacked presents can make a heart twitter;

But the lights and the trees and the parties
All add and don't take away
From the birth of our Savior, Jesus,
The real reason for this holiday.

By Karl and Joanna Fuchs

Kimba's Holiday Open House



Christmas decorations are definitely some of my favorite things, and the lovely and talented Kimba has given us all an excuse to share our holiday pretties with everyone today! :)

One of my favorite decorations is new this year! It's one of my favorites because Austin and I made it together!


Photobucket



I do not have any good pictures of our tree yet, but will post them as soon as I do :) - the tree is the best part of decorating, I think, and ours sits in our front window so it is visible from the street!

This small nativity screen graces the coffee table in our front living room:


Photobucket


It is a very traditional nativity scene and it has scripture written on each of the different pieces pertaining to the respective character.

We are trying the "decorating with presents" approach this year, so our dining room centerpiece is made up of three packages that will actually be given away on Christmas Eve Eve (tee hee!)

Photobucket



This little guy sits on the half-wall behind our stove. The top of his hat holds a tea light candle, and he makes me smile :)


Photobucket



Photobucket


More decorating with presents on the coffee table in the family room, these ones are accompanied by a stuffed snowman, who sings and dances when you squeeze his hand. (Not Diddy's favorite decoration, but awfully comical to watch, lol!)

My absolute, number one favorite Christmas decoration is our Willow Tree Nativity Scene:


Photobucket

I love them so much that I keep them out all year round!


Photobucket

But I keep the different figurines scattered throughout the shelves of my Willow Tree collection . . .
Photobucket

And only bring them all together for the Christmas season!


Photobucket

O come let us adore Him!
O come let us adore Him!
O come let us adore Him!
Christ, the Lord!

Thanks for coming to my little corner of the blogosphere to share in Kimba's Holiday Open House! Be sure to check in with all of the fantastic hosts and hostesses!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 12, 2008

~ My Husband Rocks! ~ Christmastime


Click here to read about why I started MHR Fridays!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As I told you last week, Austin and I met at Bible college in Dubuque, Iowa. That year, we each went to our respective homes (Austin in Iowa, and me in Colorado) at the start of Christmas break.

That Christmas I made and mailed to him a special shadow-box collage with a picture of me and stickers/embellishments that represented things that we had discussed and dreamed about for our future together.

The day after Christmas, he got in his Toyota Carolla at 9:00 at night and drove straight through the night to Colorado to meet my family. He met my immediate family and myself at my aunt and uncle's home in Westminster, Colorado. He pulled up their street right as my family and I arrived at their home, and got out of his car carrying a beautiful bouquet of multi-colored daisies. He had stopped at a convenience store to freshen up and bought me the bouquet. We put the flowers in water inside the house, made initial introductions, and the two of us went to Subway for lunch to get caught up on Christmas happenings. He gave me my Christmas gift at that point. When I got in the car with him I noticed a massive, wrapped box in the back seat, and he let me open it before we went in to get our lunch. It was a "Girls' Night In"-in-a-box. Very cute and thoughtful. He had made me one of the fleece tie blankets with purple and white layers, and inside the rest of the box was a gorgeous mug with hot chocolate mix, the movie Serendipity on DVD, and a pair of fuzzy slippers.

After our lunch date, and without even a nap for my sweetie who had been up driving all night long, he went with us to prepare and serve a wedding rehearsal dinner for the son of a friend.

My parents decided right after they were married to alternate which family they spent the actual Christmas day with every year. That year, we spent Christmas day with my Mom's family, so we celebrated Christmas and exchanged gifts with my Dad's family on New Year's Eve Day. Austin was in town, and that was his first experience with my cute and quirky extended family. :)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This year, my husband rocks because he is taking time off of work to drive me twelve hours to visit my family so that we can be in Colorado on Christmas Day! He has never been away from home on Christmas day, and his family is very close, so I know this was not an easy decision for him. Thankfully, he loves my family, too, so he is not bummed about being there with them, we both just wish we could figure out how to be with both families at the same time.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Be sure to check in with the other ladies who are bragging on their rocking hubbies today by clicking on the "My Husband Rocks Participants" button in the left sidebar.

(if you would like to add the MHR Fridays button to your sidebar, use this code ).


<a href="http://honestandlasting.blogspot.com/2008/06/my-husband-rocks-friday.html"><img src="http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn135/katylinvw/mosaicmhrf.jpg"/></a>


If you're not a blogger, but still want the world to know about your amazing husband (or wife, or husband to be, or wife to be, etc.) leave a shout-out in the form of a comment! If you're unable to comment, e-mail me at katylinvw [at] yahoo [dot] com and I'll add your shout out to this post!

As always, on Fridays From*me Tees will refund your shipping on any order of two or more items if you mention the great adventure and ~my husband rocks! Fridays~ in the "how did you hear about us?" section of your order form, so run on over there and check them out, too! Thank you From*me Tees!

Thanks for reading, everybody! Have a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

MHR Inspiration #2

Hello and happy Thursday everybody!

Can you believe that Christmas is only two weeks from today!??!?! Where has this month gone? Where has this entire year gone?

In the spirit of the season, this week's article is about how the Christmas Season affects our relationships - specifically our marriages. This was very timely for me, and I hope you enjoy it as well!

Christmas Can Be Hard on Relationships


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


By way of reminder:

1) Writing to the prompt is not required. We are not really all about adding more rules and regulations, lol!

2) Writing to the prompt is not a reflection of trouble in your marriage. Anyone who is honest with themselves would agree that marriage is not always easy, and as such, creating a weekly post about the object of your affection, and sometimes frustration, can be difficult as well. The purpose of having the prompts, articles, and quotes in these posts is to help us to think about our spouses from a positive perspective - even when we don't feel like it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Prompt/Theme for Friday, December 12, 2008

Tell us about the first Christmas you spent together, dating, engaged, or married. Or share your favorite Christmas memory with your spouse.


I hope you are all enjoying the Christmas season, and I look forward to reading about some rocking hubbies tomorrow! Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

* Christmas Cookie Exchange *



Jan and Tom are hosting a Christmas Cookie exchange today. To see all of the other recipes, click on the picture above!

One of my all time favorite holiday cookies are these lovely holly leaves and wreaths. I can remember making them with my mom & grandmothers growing up, and they are quick and easy to make now for any holiday get together!

Photobucket
source


1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 stick butter
1 bag sm. marshmallows
4 c. corn flakes
Green food coloring (I also use a little yellow)
Red hots cinnamon candies

Melt marshmallow and butter in large bowl in microwave, stirring occasionally. Add vanilla and food coloring. Gently stir in corn flakes while marshmallow mix is hot. Drop onto greased wax paper. Can be formed into wreaths if you like. Garnish with red hots (the "berries" of the holly leaves).

Photobucket
source


I'm off to find some new fun Christmas cookie recipes to try this season! Hope you enjoy browsing the other blogs as well. Remember you can get to Jan & Tom's place by clicking on the picture at the very top of this post! :)

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas Questionnaire

I found this fun Christmas meme over at super tweaky and I just had to play along!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Both, but I prefer wrapping paper - I just love getting creative with paper & bow styles :)

2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial, pre-lit :) very easy!

3. When do you put up the tree? Usually the day after Thanksgiving, but this year not until last weekend.

4. When do you take the tree down? Typically (teehee Michele) we have done it on January 2nd.

5. Do you like Egg Nog? Love it!

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Easy Bake Oven, hands down, no contest :)

7. Hardest person to buy for? I think everyone is hard to buy for because we don't want to just buy something to have a present, so we try to get something that we know the people we are buying for will LOVE - makes for a little stress :)

8. Easiest person to buy for? The dogs :)

9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes! One of our first Christmases, Austin got me the whole Willow Tree nativity set! Gorgeous!

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail! Fo sho!

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? hmmmm . . . that's a hard one . . . I cannot think of one at the moment - sorry :)

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? I think it's a tie between White Christmas and Christmas Eve on Sesame Street

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Day after Thanksgiving - usually far too long before the sun comes up!

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I plead the fifth :)

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas and favorite Christmas dessert? Thelma's Oreo balls!!! MMmmmmmm!!! Makes me hungry just thinking about it.

16. Lights on the tree? Absolutely - I love white twinkle lights.

17. Favorite Christmas song? Way too many to list. Please see playlist at left :)

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Travel to visit family some years, home with the other side of the family other years.

19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer’s? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen & Rudolph :)

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Gorgeous glass star!

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Growing up it was Christmas Eve. With hubby's family that's heretical! One present on Christmas Eve and the rest on Christmas morning.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Christmas music playing in stores before Thanksgiving!

23. Favorite ornament theme or color? I love silver and gold and sparkly white - snowflakes :)

24. Handmade ornaments or store bought? Combination of the two. Many of our ornaments were gifts, but I have also fashioned some ornaments out of the silk flowers we used in our wedding.

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? I always want clothes, or gift certificates to go clothes shopping :), I also have a lot of books on my list this year. My dream wishlist includes an iPod and a Macbook :)

Hope you enjoyed the Christmas fun! If you decide to play along, please let me know so I can read your answers!

Thanks for reading!

Amazing Christmasy Weekend :)

We had a fabulously fun winter/Christmas time this past weekend, so I thought I would give you the pictorial tour:

My very first official MHR shirt came in the mail! :)

Photobucket


Hootenanny Pancake for supper:

Photobucket + Photobucket =

Photobucket
on our gorgeous Christmas dishes! :)


Then the lighted Christmas parade:

Photobucket
Photobucket

Santa herding Christmas geese


Photobucket
Toy Train float


Photobucket
Side View of the float entered by the company that I work for.


Photobucket
Our float driving away (rear view)


Photobucket
And of course, no Christmas parade would be complete without Santa! In ours he was hitching a ride on the local fire engine (the sleigh must be getting a tune up for the big day, lol)!


All of that happened on Friday night! Saturday we went shopping in Des Moines, not Christmas shopping, as we are nearly done with that (thanks to the wonders of modern Internet technology), but we did pick up some necessities that we needed for some house projects, and got some great deals at Harbor Freight (that store is better than Christmas morning for Austin, I think, he's like a little kid in a candy store, lol)! Before we came home we enjoyed lu-pper (that's a combination of lunch and supper) at CiCi's Pizza! Yummm! We had picked up Season 3 of the Prison Break DVD's at the library before we left town that morning, so we started watching those when we got home!

Sunday morning we went to church with Tyler and Emma, and Chris (both Tyler and Chris work with Austin), then we went home and finished watching Prison Break Season 3 on DVD (we are almost caught up, Ashley!)

This week we will hopefully finish decorating the house - this is the latest date ever in the history of my life that I have yet to get the tree up! We also need to get Christmas card pictures taken so we can get those printed and mailed out PRONTO!!! We are also hosting our first family holiday party at our house the weekend before Christmas, so I need to get our menu and shopping lists squared away - I am also planning on starting all of the baking this week! I know I sound harried, but I just love all of these tasks, so they are not really chores!

Pastor Jeff's sermon this week was a great reminder to slow down in the midst of all of the hustle and bustle and enjoy the season, but not only that, to be thankful for the true reason we celebrate! What are you doing to remember Jesus' birth this season? I am looking for a good Advent calendar/reading/schedule, so would welcome any suggestions! :)

Hope you are all enjoying this Christmas season as much as I am! :)