Friday, December 26, 2014

The Close of Christmas & New Year's Resolutions

I looked over my blog post drafts and for the past three years I have three identical drafts, "Christmas Is Over." All the drafts have about a paragraph written and then they were abandoned, unfinished. But, this year I'm determined to hit "Publish."

For those of you who know me, you know my love of Christmas, really my love of Thanksgiving and Christmas starting November 1st through December 25th. I love taking down my normal, everyday home decorations and putting up the girl's festive Christmas art work I've had framed. I love the smell of winter candles. I love hanging the stockings I sewed a couple of years ago. And, I love, love, love taking down our tall, skinny artificial tree, fluffing it and re-living our travel adventures while hanging each Christmas ornament I've picked up along the way. And, the memories that flood back from the ornaments my mom kept for me that I made during my school-aged years at elementary school and Sunday school. It's the best. Christmas time is the best. Spending time with our family is the best. Buying gifts for my loved ones, even though I wish I could do more, is the best. Attending work and church Christmas parties is the best! I LOVE CHRISTMAS.

But, for me, the day after Christmas and the month of January was always filled with depression and sadness. I know, it is as horrible as it reads. But, this year there's been a change. Instead of sadness that the neighborhood will no longer be lit up with twinkling lights on each house and instead of depression that all the fun is over I am reminded that Jesus is not only the reason for the season, but the reason for our entire life! Jesus says, "I came that they may have life and have it abundantly!" I have always known this but for me I made Christmas time extra special when I should make every day extra special; life lived abundantly; not just November 1st - December 25th. After Christmas I felt the world grew dark again, even though it does once all the lights and bright holiday displays are put away, but, it's up to Christians and believers to continue to shine His light throughout the year. I kick myself for years past where I got depressed over Christmas being over and not continuing the fun festivities throughout the year. So,  here's my New Year's Resolution:
  • Continue my BSF and daily devotionals. I really do get so much out of my time with God, exactly the way it is meant to be, but I need to keep Him my TOP priority no matter what life throws at me. I'll be better prepared for whatever life throws at me too! 
  • Take time at least twice during 2015 to host a family get-together. We don't have to exchange gifts but come together to play games and have a good dinner. Take time to laugh with one another and just enjoy each others company, all in His name. Just like at Christmas.
  • Send special gifts throughout the year to those who touch my life, help make my life easier, my friends, my family I only see maybe once a year. Or, even just send a hand-written note, just something to let someone in my life know I'm thinking of them.
  • Lose weight (that's like mandatory on every resolution list right? But, I really need to!)
  • Work out at least three times per week (I am serious about this one)
  • Feed myself and my family better
I think that's all I'm going to commit to for now. I hope I can stick to it. And, here are some photos that recap our month of December!
Here's my baby, cutting up a deerhe killed in the backyard {Jerky!}

My niece Brinley got a bunny, Peanut. Macy is obsessed with this tiny lop-eared cutie!

Day-trip to Johnson City, TX for the beautiful lights at PEC

I got a lot of monogramming done! Cute matching sweatshirts for the girls with their monogram

Anna got her ears pierced!

Looking through photos and Anna happened to look a lot like our Elf, "Tink". Tink sat in the same place all month.

We loaded up in the car, stopped by sonic for some shakes
and drove around and looked at lights!

Macy got her first "padicure" as Anna called it when she got her first pedicure!
{this was an at-home, mom-given pedi!}

Our Advent Tree. We only got through maybe 10 days but this was way better than I had planned! Anna really wasn't into too much this year so I would finish the ornaments she started. So, I'm really looking forward to it next year because I think a year will make a big difference in this area! But, it was fun and she got her own tree to decorate which she found fun!

$10 Angel Costume in 30 Minutes {Plus Travel/Shopping Time}

Twas the night before the performance and all through the house not a piece of the costume was ready, not even the robe! {the best I could come up with} This being a teacher thing is pretty crazy busy with holiday performances and special meetings for parents that I almost forgot my own child's Christmas performance at her day school! My daughter was assigned to be an angel and I had nothing. I was on my way home the evening before her performance and I figured that Dollar Tree might be able to help, hopefully they at least had some gold tinsel left that I could hot glue to the bottom of an old dress. But, I found some even better finds!

Now, this "recipe" for an angel costume will only work around the holidays but I think that's probably when you'd really need an angel costume...maybe. Anyway, I'm sure you could find the "ingredients" for the costume from online retailers or thrift stores during other times of the year. Also, the title is a little misleading because it was less than $10 but, just go with it for me. :)

Here's what you need:
(2) table runners
(4 pkgs) Gold tinsel
(1 pkg) Gold "rope" tinsel
(1) Gold tinsel wreath
(1) fairy wings

Materials you probably already have:
hot glue gun and glue sticks
sewing machine or permanent fabric adhesive
1 foot of elastic

The table runners were cream colored. I would've preferred white but last minute beggars can't be choosers, right? I got two and sewed them together in the middle to form a hole at the top for the head to go through. You can leave the sides open and let it drape or sew up the bottom part of the sides to leave the arm holes. You can also use some permanent fabric adhesive if you don't want to sew or don't have a machine.

I picked up 4 packages of gold tinsel and a pair of fairy wings and hot glued the tinsel on both the front and back of each wing segment. They were so sparkly and beautiful! The gold tinsel wreath I stumbled upon on a different aisle away from all the Christmas decorations. It looked like a small wreath or candle ring but it had a plastic base with a hole and I knew I could tie some elastic to it to make a halo. And, the gold "rope" tinsel I used to tie around her waist. You could also wrap it around her chest and back like a Grecian look but I wasn't that talented.

And, this is what you get for about $10 in about 30 minutes!

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Only Way to Deal with a Temper Tantrum

Anna was screaming from the back seat about not being able to go to gymnastics. Macy was screaming from the backseat just because she was in the back seat, strapped down. She hates it. I was about to start screaming from the front seat because I was close to losing it.

When I went to pick the girls up from day school everything started out fine. Anna was in a good mood, listening and obeying well. Then, something horrible happened in her little world. Putting her right foot in her leotard before her left foot was catastrophic. It was the start of the torrential downpour of tears, shouts and disrespect. I wasn't having it so, no gymnastics.

We were about half-way home, granted we only live 4 miles from the day school, but it was 4 miles too far for me and my temper and patience. I wanted to turn around and drop them back off at day school and tell them how nice it had been but, "I'll see you in about 20 years." But, I settled on drowning out the two precious miracles God had given me out and started to pray, "why are these two precious gifts so horrible sometimes?" No. I didn't pray that. But, I did start off with, "God, I need you." The song, "Lord, I Need You" immediately came to mind and I started singing pretty loud,

"Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You!
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You!"

I kept singing the song over and over and as I sang the cries and wails from the back seat started to grow softer and softer. I glanced in my rear view as I was in full-on praise mode, one hand on the wheel, one hand in the air singing away and Anna was looking at me like I had in fact gone crazy. "I am back here crying and you're singing?" It wasn't the reaction she expected.

I started to laugh each time I sang the line, "My one defense..." because it is so simple but so true, God is my one and only defense in any and every situation; parenting especially. I can't do anything without him and it was amazing how one little prayer set to song, declaring my weakness and my wholehearted need for Him could calm me and my two temperamental tantrum throwing toddlers in the back seat.

The rest of our 2 minute drive home was enough time to calm down. We all got out of the car, I prayed with Anna, sent her to her room for a time-out and that reset the afternoon. Does everything go this smoothly, even other times when I have prayed? No, but knowing that I have the greatest defensive coordinator in the game called life/parenting is so reassuring and exactly what I need every hour. 

 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Phil. 4:13 

That was one of the first Bible verses I remember memorizing by myself. It wasn't a Sunday School teacher telling me to but me sitting down with my Bible deciding to put it to memory. But, it was only after being a parent that I really got it. I can do all things THROUGH Christ. It isn't about me doing all things just because I am a Christian. It's me, totally surrendering myself and going through Christ can give me strength. I have to go through Him to have patience to get me moment by moment through a tantrum (multiplied by two).  Without Him, by myself, I can do nothing but through Him I can do all things. That's the best defense any person can have.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Sunday School Teacher Appreciation Gifts

I recently took over the role of Children's Ministry Director at our church and there was a date on the calendar that had already been planned that was given me anxiety just looking at it: Servant's Ball. Servant's Ball was planned to hold an appreciation event for the Sunday school teachers and volunteers. Now, don't get me wrong! I DO appreciate every single one of my teachers and volunteers, more than they will ever actually know, but the vision for what had been planned wasn't mine and I wasn't sure how to go about it all. It was a fancy sit-down dinner with the kids performing a skit/song as the entertainment. Oh, I love to sing! Give me a karaoke machine and some Judds and I'll go to town but teaching kids how to sing, dance and act on stage? You'll want to call the next person on the list! I just wasn't up for that challenge.

As time does, it marched on and we kept flipping through the months of our calendars and the Servant's Ball kept getting closer, and closer, and closer. Finally, I went and talked to a mentor on staff and told her my concerns. She told me, "Change it up! Do it your way! Make it your own." And, with that I felt like I had the permission to do just that and I decided to change it up! I scoured pinterest and google'd lots of appreciation event ideas and decided on a fun, relaxed, family-style movie night in the sanctuary on the big screen.

Instead of pews our church has stacking chairs so I was going to set a few of the up like couches for the kids, tell them to bring pillows and blankets, and bring in three over-sized, comfy chairs from home. From the church I was going to bring my sofa from my office (my husband was willing to carry it down the stairs even!!) and use some wing-back and soft side chairs from the Welcome Center to create a relaxing at-home style set-up. There was going to be hot dogs and popcorn with a candy bar for people to sweeten-up their salty, buttery popcorn!I even found a red carpet to throw down to welcome them! I had a few other things planned for decorations and was getting excited now!

But, like a lot of my grand plans, life gets in the way. All of the teachers and my schedules weren't synching up so instead of setting up a movie night at the church, I created a movie night in a popcorn bag for them to enjoy at home! It's filled with the movie we were going to watch the evening of the event, "Moms' Night Out," a popcorn bag with a printable from Pinterest I found, some of their favorite candy and a family game.

I sent out an email a couple months prior asking teachers to fill out a survey (Print the PDF version here) of a few of their favorite things so I'd know what they liked for sweets. This also comes in handy the remainder of the year to reference for birthdays and random gifts of appreciation. I also added a Melissa and Doug "Faith Edition" Family Dinner Box of Questions for families to enjoy throughout the years. It's got conversation starter questions like, "What do you think Heaven will be like?" and "What is your favorite story about Jesus and why?" I figured the mini size would fit better in the bag and it would fit in the "junk drawer" every kitchen has (admit it!!) for families to pull out and have some quality time together around the dinner table. It will be neat to see how the kids answers change over the years too! If you are filling up another size bag or using for another gift idea there is a regular size game too. And, of course a bag of popcorn to pop before they start the movie.

Then, to wrap it all up I used my cricut to cut out 3" circles, some in solid red and some with red and white polka dots, and 2" letters in a shimmery yellow of their first initial and tied them up with cute yellow polka dot ribbon. The candy and the popcorn I got at the grocery store and the white fluffy filler and ribbon I picked up at Hobby Lobby.

*This post contains affiliate links

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Pomp and Circumstance

Yay! It's official!!! I am a graduate! It only took me 13.5 years but I have my Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Development from The University of the Incarnate Word to show for all those on and off years of hard work!! I have been going on and off since graduating high school but while I was working for a company that paid for its employees education I knew I had to finish. A free degree? Yes! Oh, I have a mountain of debt from the on and off years but the last two or so years are debt free. That is a good feeling!

I am cracking up at Dot the Dog in the photo
Today was UIW's graduation ceremony and part of me wanted to go and part of me didn't. I was excited but now having a family of my own, not really being college age and making fun memories with my college friends (I did that for 2 years right after high school) I decided  to ask my mom to make her pot roast and potatoes and hold a ceremony at her house while my family was in town. It was perfect! My girls got to play and hang out with their cousins while everyone got everything ready and we could all relax. It was everything I wanted! And, I got my name published with all the other 800+ graduates from UIW in the San Antonio Express News!

My amazing, supportive husband Blake and our girls
Here's some pictures of the day and my mom, sister, brother, their kids and spouses did an amazing job setting up my graduation and having my girls make me a precious poster. When I walked up on the deck they were all holding signs and smiling. When I "walked the deck" they had horns and confetti poppers and it was all fun! My brother-in-law, Dr. Chris Morrow, is a principal and has performed many a ceremony so he performed mine! You can check out my funny graduation here

My nieces and nephews
Me and my little family

My brother Joshua, his wife Laura and my parents

My mom and I

Me and my sister

My mom and dad and I

My brother Josh and sister Laura

Me and my Macy Jane

Our family!!

My Anna wearing the mortarboard that was on my cake!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Real Life Restoration

"The LORD says, "I will give you back what you lost to the swarming locusts...." Joel 2:25 (NLT)

I love "junkin'" I love taking something old and bringing new life to. I also love to buy things that other people have put elbow grease and time into to make beautiful! No matter the years something is loved there is nothing that a little bit of sanding and a fresh coat of paint can't fix! But, nothing can take away the history of the piece. No matter how restored and refinished a piece is there's still a story and I love hearing about them!

Just like furniture we all have some fixing up that needs to be done. There's nothing a little sanding of the soul and of our sometimes rough personality can't fix! But, just like furniture, nothing can take away our history and back story. Satan loves this. He loves to throw our mistakes, failures and bad decisions up in our face. He loves to remind us of the chips and dings we've made in our hearts that now live on as regrets. No matter how much make-up we put on to cover-up flaws, working out we do to boost endorphins, spending money we do to buy the next "happy," reading of self-help books we do to better ourselves, we can never be made into a perfect human being.  But, there is hope. Jesus! I joked with some ladies in a Bible study that if you ever fail to know the answer to a question in church or Bible study, just say Jesus! We all got a good laugh because saying "Jesus," always works and it's always the truth! Teacher: "The only one who can make us new is? Student: Jesus!

In John chapter 3 a man named Nicodemus, a Pharisee, a member of the Jewish ruling council, came to talk to Jesus and the scripture tells us it was at night. Maybe Nicodemus was scared or embarrassed but at any rate he found Jesus and said, "“Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”  and Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again." Nicodemus' response was basically, "Huh? How's that even possible? You know where babies come from right?" Ha! Jesus went on to explain that the only was to be born again, to have a new life, is to be born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. (John 3:6)  The only work we need to have done to be made new is a soul work and that can only be done through the Spirit of the Lord.

In the book of Joel, God sends a swarm of locusts and they leave nothing in their path. Everything is destroyed to dust. But, after this swarm of destruction God is still there and the only thing God wants is restoration with his people. He promises to give them back what they lost to the locusts and all they have to do is return to Him. There's nothing that we can do to fix ourselves. We are all headed for the grave and the only living water that's ever been offered, for free, not some mid-night telemarketer's introductory special price, but free is Jesus. However, this everlasting water is only offered for a limited time. Jesus is coming back and we have to come to the end of ourselves, fall on our knees in front of God, and simply ask for him to forgive us and come to Him. There is not a guaranteed tomorrow and we will ALL stand before the throne of God and be judged for what we have done. But, there is hope. That hope is Jesus Christ. Will He stand there and claim us as His or will he leave us to our sin because we are too scared of a little restorative work?

My prayer is that I always have a bit of sandpaper, God's Word, in my heart and on my tongue. That I am always willing to use it and measure my life up to His Word for how to live. And, that I am willing to step aside for whatever God has in store for my life. I want to give my tools of restoration, the tools that rust and break in my hands, to God and put my life in His hands to restore my broken heart and pieces of my life.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Then an Angel of the Lord Appeared! Do You Trust or Doubt?

Then an angel of the Lord appeared! Do you trust or doubt? That seems like a silly trick question, right? You think, "No brainer! If that were to happen to me then I'd most definetly trust, no doubt!" But, in the same chapter of Luke, Luke Chapter 1, there are two juxtaposing reactions from two different people when an angel appeared to them. Both messages from the Lord were blessings but there were some definite challenges from a human standpoint...

Christmas time for me is all because of one main story, the story of Jesus and his virgin birth. We have all heard it from the time we can remember; Gabriel, an angel of the Lord visited Mary and brought her the news that she is going to have a baby! “He will be great and will be called the Song of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” (Luke 1:26-38) Can you even imagine?! For me just to see a plus sign on a pregnancy test would have me jumping for joy! (You? Maybe not! Ha!) Here an angel of the Lord is telling you you’re pregnant and your son is going to be the Son of the Most High. God! But, there were some parts of that story that could cause Mary some worry. She wasn’t married. Her fiancĂ© Joseph could literally have had her stoned to death according to custom and laws when they were living. How would her friends and family react? How would the people of her town react? But, what was documented wasn’t her worries and doubt. Mary said, “How will this be…since I am a virgin?” (Luke 1:34) Her first response wasn’t to spout off any one of those countless reasons why this simply wouldn’t work. Her reaction was, “How?” It wasn’t, “Impossible!”

In the same chapter of Luke, just a few verses before Gabriel appeared to Mary in Luke 1:5-25, scripture tells us a story of an angel of the Lord visiting the priest Zechariah. Zechariah was the father of John the Baptist, Jesus’ cousin. Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth were old and childless. The angel told Zechariah, “Your prayers have been answered and you are going to have a baby! A son! He will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born and will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God.” (Luke 1:12-16) Zechariah's immediate response was one of doubt. He questioned the angel that was sent by God and said, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” (Luke 1:18) He showed doubt and disbelief from the moment he heard the news. Because of this Zechariah became mute until after his son was born. Now there! That’s a time-out from God if I ever saw one! Since you didn’t believe and the only thing that came from your mouth was doubt, I’ll just quiet you down. Literally! 

Whenever I read the story of Zechariah I laugh because I think, “Hello, dude!!! An angel of the Lord is before you! What else do you need?!” But, in my own life I’ve done the same thing! I’ve never been visited by an angel of the Lord but I have had prayer after prayer answered and opportunities opened up to me yet I still doubt. Recently, I prayed for a new job, a pretty specific job, teaching, and quickly I had an interview lined up and then the job offer came. And, this was my reaction: “Well, okay. I prayed for a new job, in a pretty specific field, and now I have the job offer but how can I be sure this is it? Give me another sign, God.” How silly I was! My head was in all the wrong places. I was worried about money, about what my family would think and about my family. In the end none of that mattered. And through trusting him with our every need he has blessed me in more ways than I can count. 

We will probably never personally have an angel of the Lord visit us but there are two reactions we can have to God’s nudges and direction for our lives: We can have that of Mary’s, “How is this going to happen? I am the Lord’s servant and you’re your word be fulfilled!” Or, that of Zechariah’s, “How can I be sure of this?” The difference is trust and trust equals obedience; when we don't trust, we are being disobedient. God wants to use you in wonderful ways. Even if it doesn’t make sense. Even if doesn’t seem possible, everything is possible with God. Is my reaction going to be that of Zechariahs? Am I going to say, “How can I be sure of this? I’m too old…too young, too poor, too sick, too tired, too shy, too whatever!”

God wants to bless us but too often we get in the way of those blessings. We side-step them and they pass us by. The challenge to myself is to stand firm in what I know is from God. No wavering, no other question but, “How? God, show me what to do and where to go. Lead my steps. I’m your servant and your will be done.” I want my life to be intentionally faithful so His will is always done.  

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Boerne Stocking Stroll - Dickens on Main

I hate to admit it but living in Boerne for over two decades means that I take for granted our charming little town and adorable shops on Main Street. But, at least once I year I visit almost every shop and that's around Christmas time when the Boerne Merchant's come together to host Dickens on Main. If you haven't experienced Dickens on Main in Boerne I highly suggest packing up the family and heading to the Hill Country of Texas for a family fun Christmas experience.

Here is a picture of my oldest daughter sitting on Santa's
 lap that I found on Dickens' flickr account! Oh, the memories!!
 Dickens kicks off the Christmas season in Boerne with the shops staying open late, holding sales, Boerne Market Days which brings in more vendors that set up around the town square and throughout main street, live music at different spots down Main and food vendors selling kettle corn, gorditas, beer and wine and even hot chocolate shakes!! Santa makes a stop too to visit the little kids and hear all of their wishes and the town is festively decorated for the holidays. The Stocking Stroll is one event that coincides with Dickens and is like Christmas trick-or-treating in super cute stores and shopping all rolled in to one!
To participate in the Stocking Stroll you have to buy a big red bag! They are $20 and went on sale around the 1st of November and are available from local merchants until there aren't any left! There's only a limited amount so you have to hurry and grab one once they go on sale. The bag has a piece of paper stapled to it that lists all of the participating stores and when you visit the store and get your gift they stamp or hole punch their store name to know you've been there.

Big Red Bag! $20 sold from November 1st until they are sold out.
Which is fast!
Overall, I'd definitely participate again! The only suggestion I have is to include a small little map with dots where the stores are up and down Main Street. Between my mom and I we knew where each store was but I think for visitors that'd be a good thing to include.

As far as the gifts go I wasn't expecting anything super expensive or fancy but a few of the goodies happily surprised me! Hunting and Gathering's gift was a gorgeous glass blown ornament. I liked Calamity Jane's and Daisy Pearl Boutiques gifts that worked together with cookie cutters and sugar cookie and sugar cookie icing recipes tied to them. My girls love cookie cutters! Merle Norman gave a lot of great beauty samples and who doesn't love free beauty samples?! Read on to see all the goodies we got! (Forgive me for the bad pictures!) A lot of the gifts are cute and perfect for stocking stuffers! Stocking Stroll...stocking stuffers! I get it. Ha!
My mom and I got a late start heading out around 2:30 pm. The Stocking Stroll starts at 11 am and goes through 5:00 pm so today we really did only go to the stores that were participating so we missed looking and shopping in quite a few of the stores that weren't participating. Maybe next year we will a) get an earlier start and b) more stores will participate. Oh, and c) cooler weather will be in the forecast! It wasn't miserable and was a beautiful day but it's Christmas. I need cold! Or, a chill in the air. But, that's south Texas for ya'!  
The stores that participated this year were: 259 Home Market, Alley on Main, Calamity Jane's, Celeste, Cutie Patootie, The Christmas Shoppe, Daisy Pearl Boutique, The Flower Shop, Hunting & Gathering, La Te Da, Lillian's, Merle Norman, Red Bird Retro, Soda Pop's/Sugar Shack, Son of a Brave, and The Red Rooster.
The following gifts aren't pictured because my mom took them for my daughter's and my niece Brinley's stockings! :) La Te Da gave out bubble bath in little containers that looked like Christmas lights. Celeste gave out ADORABLE felted pens in the shape of animals like pigs, monkeys, bears, roosters, giraffe, antelope and some others. We picked a monkey and a bear. They are just adorable!! And, Cutie Patootie gave out Christmas scented votive candles. That is already in one of my red votive holders on the mantle. :)

From Red Bird Retro: jingle bell cup filled with candy
(That I can neither confirm nor deny may have already been eaten),
a candy cane notepad and a candy can pen)
 In the background you  can see part of the beautiful ornament from
Hunting and Gathering (One of my favorite Main Street stores. Gorgeous!)
Also, in the far background you can see part of the Christmas card from Son of a Brave.

From The Flower Shop we got an artificial rose tied with a  red ribbon.
From Lillian's we got some cute nail polish and a coupon to use on something
in the store. They have some cute clothes and accessories!  
From Soda Pop's/Sugar Shack we got a cute Jelly Belly lollipop
(Anna will find this in her stocking!) and also a $3 off coupon on a purchase.
We used the coupon immediately once we found out they carry Dublin sodas.
I'm still so sad that Dr. Pepper bottling Co. won't let Dublin Bottling Co. make Dublin
Dr. Pepper but the Black Cherry Dublin Soda tastes pretty close.
From Calamity Jane's and Daisy Pearl Boutique we got cookie cutters
and each had a recipe for sugar cookies and sugar cookie frosting attached.

From Merle Norman we got a lot of samples and a coupon to
use later. There was a foundation sponge, lip gloss, lip
gloss applicator, eye shadow applicator, stretchy bead ring,
foaming facial cleanser, wrinkle smoother, and wrinkle smoother
lift and firm samples. I love samples of those types of beauty things!
From The Christmas Shoppe we got a cute wooden ornament.
From The Red Rooster we got a cute snowman notepad!

From Son of Brave you can see the Christmas Card we got with
a beautiful winter (that we don't get to experience in South Texas)
From Alley on Main I got a set of super cute, big pearl earrings!
My mom got another par of earrings that were really pretty
gold and cz sparklies.
From Hunting and Gathering we got a beautiful glass ornament.

From 259 Home Market (Another Main Street Favorite)
we got a little linen bag filled with super
cute Christmas charms. A snowman, a Peace round charm,
a believe gift tag charm, a dove and olive branch,
a little crystal, and a stocking. Cute, cute!
My mom and I went to Hobby Lobby afterwards for some
things and she got a necklace to put hers on. I haven't
decided what I'm going to do with mine yet.
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