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Monday, October 31, 2011

They Came

They came alright! Lots of them---all sizes and all kinds of different costumes. My last visitors were these 2 tiny fairies who attend one of the schools I work with. So cute and sweet!

I have to admit that I assisted in emptying the bowl by eating a few of the non-WW friendly Reese's Pieces. At least there aren't any left to tempt me!

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Will They Come?

It's Halloween and candy is a requirement, isn't it?

In addition to the ordinary candy that kids love, I made a few few quick and easy ghosts based on this simple tutorial.

I hot-glued a tootsie-roll pop onto a coffee filter and added a face with a Sharpie and now I have a bowl full of goblins waiting for costumed guests.

For a few of my very special neighbors, I made treat bags. I used some ofsthe free Halloween printables offered by The Celebration Shoppe and stapled them to the top of a ziploc bag.

So the candy is ready.

Will they come?

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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Windows Of Blessings

It's been a while since we had a "Women's Event" at church, but I spent the morning enjoying a nice meal with friends, good conversation and preparing needed household items for some needy families. Be sure to check out the Re-Nesting Project, founded by my friend Noel (you can "like" them on Facebook to hear updates). It is an awesome project that furnishes and decorates homes of people moving out of homelessness. They have been up and running for just over a year and have already done AMAZING things!!

I agreed to decorate one of the tables several weeks ago, but as the time got closer, I found myself overwhelmed with other things and little time to pull things together. Somehow I missed the instructions to decorate in a fall theme,

so instead I did my own "take" on the theme for the day---Windows of Blessings.

I decided upon a white color scheme, accented by natural elements and symbols of my own blessings. While I longed for some new white plates like the ones pictured here or even here, I just couldn't justify the cost for something I would use so infrequently. Since our food for the day was going to be served on clear plastic plates anyway, I came up with a really low-cost solution that turned out pretty cute. I picked up a pack of solid white dinner plates and dessert plates at Wal-Mart ($.94 a pack = $1.98) and set to work with a silver paint pen and ultra-fine line Sharpie. I lined the edges with the silver paint and then wrote the featured scripture, Malachi 3:10, around the edges. I repeated the silver trim on the dessert plates, and wrote the word "blessings" around the edges.

I had planned to make some new linen place mats, but instead settled for just cutting them out with pinking shears (I can sew them together later for my own use).

Dollar Tree had these great white ceramic pumpkins---they had kind of a bluish tint to them, so I wiped a little bit of rust-colored acrylic paint on them before writing the word "Blessings" on each one.

The dollar bins at Michael's yielded some natural colored journals and pretty white pencils with a little bling on the end, so I used my paper stash to cover them as a favor for each person.

I used my collection of apothecary jars to showcase a few of my personal blessings. I included some pictures of my family (copied in B/W on my scanner), a rolled up piece of music from a hymnal, a bird's nest and feather, a glass cross, a poetry book, and lots of things from nature (acorns, magnolia cones, pine cones, leaves, etc.)

I finished by scattering a few tulle flowers I made several months ago for a shower and some linen circles. Again, I'd planned to sew these linen pieces together to make flowers, but that never happened, so I just scatter them about.

I was pleased with the end result and felt like it portrayed a sense of calm and peace that many of us need in our busy lives. I hope that my guests enjoyed it as well.

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Weekend Wrap-up---GGM Style

This past weekend was a CRAZY one! I had Friday off for Fall break, but ended up spending almost the entire day at the church getting ready for the Greater Gift Market, our annual fair trade market. I took my new camera with me to document all the activities, but failed to bring along the memory card, so I ended up using my iPhone instead. So here is a round-up of the weekend---GGM style.

Some of the treasures from SERVV :

Artwork and scholarships from the Noel Community Art Program:


Beautiful hand-woven purses from Mayan Hands:

and some beautiful pottery from master potter, Brenda Snider:

The sale went very well---great crowd and lots of fun. Balancing the books proved to be quite a bit more stressful, however. Here's what our table looked like after several hours of calculating:

The brightest spot of the weekend did not involve the church or the market for me. Callie was playing with the Longview Symphony and I was able to drive over to hear the concert. They played Beethoven's 5th and it was wonderful! A great way to relax and enjoy!

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Friday, October 21, 2011

Cool Weather Food

Cooler temperatures mean a return to cold-weather food. Baked potato soup---YUM!!!

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Saturday, October 15, 2011


Yesterday, Callie and Jordan drove down to Cheneyville to pick up Dan for me while I went to work and then therapy. They ran into a few "hitches", but made it back safely and I soooo appreciate their help---that means just one round-trip for me this weekend.

This morning, after breakfast, we headed up to the church to work in the food pantry. Business was slow, which I guess is a good thing, but we managed to keep ourselves fairly busy loading groceries and carrying them out. This afternoon, the Elliotts joined us north of town at the Country Fun Corn Maze. The weather was great, although a little hot, and there was quite a crowd at the farm.

After a quick picture, we tackled the first maze.

With Dan leading the way, we ventured into the second maze. This one was much more challenging with lots of twists and turns. Let's just say that we back-tracked more than once----or at least I think we did. Every corner looks just like the one before it.

Anna burned out fairly early in the second maze and slipped out one of the emergency exits to wait for us on the outside.

The rest of us persevered and we made it out, too.

After a refreshing drink and brief rest, we loaded onto the wagons for a ride out to the pumpkin patches. We traded our wooden nickel tokens for the opportunity to pick our own pumpkins.

This year, the crop is a few weeks behind schedule due to the drought,

so instead of orange pumpkins, we brought back green ones.

Supposedly, we can wipe them with lemon juice and place them in direct sunlight to facilitate a change in color.

The highlight of the trip for Dan definitely came at the end. The very end. In fact, I thought that everyone was going to have to leave except the two of us. Prior to the pumpkin patch jaunt, we'd spotted a guy with a really large snake that Dan wanted to talk to. I assured him that we would find him after the pumpkins, but when we got back, he was no where to be found. FINALLY, Dan spotted him

and we took a few pictures with the 50 pound albino Burmese Python.

I didn't hold him --- I volunteered to take pictures. :-)-- but Dan will be talking about this for months!!

It was a really nice day----a bit hot, but otherwise great. And it was fun to have a chance to try out my new camera (on auto for now).

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Friday, October 14, 2011

Insta Friday

Wrapping up the week, I have a few instagram photos from the last couple of days. I'll be linking up over at Life Rearranged again so why don't you join us.
My newest wrist "contraption". Not sure exactly how this stuff works, but it seems to be helping the swelling a bit and giving me a little support in the most painful spots. Kinesio-tape---oh how I love thee!

The Head Start Center I work with celebrated this week with a balloon send-off. Unfortunately, preschoolers + letting balloons fly away = lots of tears ( I could have told them that)
The balloons were pretty though, as they floated through the air.
up . . .
UP . . .
AND AWAY!!! . . .
Toms and TV--perfect.
I've switched back to Blogger for writing my posts. Live Writer just seemed too cumbersome to me---I'm fairly proficient on Blogger and was having to look up every little step on Live Writer, which just wasn't worth it.
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