Just posting this under the wire

Merry CHRISTmas to you!  I rejoice that the God of the universe saw mankind could not reconcile to Him by obeying the law described in the old testament of the Bible.  So He sent the Word, His Son, to earth to pay for our sins.  Jesus chose to empty Himself of His glory and come to earth in the form of a man for our sakes.  He didn't have to do it.  God could have wiped out mankind and started over or given up on mankind.  But that wasn't His plan.  Instead He sent us a wonderful gift through His Son!

I pray that you know all about that gift and have accepted it so you may rejoice with me!  If not, please seek a Bible believing church in your area to hear the message of the Gospel of Christ.  It is life changing to all who hear and believe.

In Jesus name, Amen

<^..^> Lori


Christmas Treat

I did make some time to create a little Christmas gift for the pastors wives this week.  I had bought some dollar bin chocolates from Target with the idea of dressing them up for a Christmas gift.  I almost forgot about them but I spied them last night.  So I put them in glassine bags and prettied them up for Christmas.   I made 6 of them.  They are similar but not exactly the same.  I haven't figured out how I am going to label them yet but I decided to get a picture of them before the thought fell out of my brain.

<^..^> Lori


Some Christmas Cards that cannot easily be mailed

I did make Christmas cards this year.  Unfortunately they are too bulky to mail but I used them for people locally that I can hand deliver or put in their mailbox at church.  I cased the card from a Pin I made this year from a blog called Understanding Blue.  I created my own version of the Merry using my Silhouette and a font I thought was close to the one she used.

Here is my version:

For those cards I need to mail out, I will be sending boxes flat cards as they can be mailed with one stamp.  I did get a holiday news letter finished so I will be including it with my cards.  I so so so need to get them finished and into the mail.

<^..^> Lori


Dessert Theatre for 2013 is over

Last week was our church's big Christmas Dessert Theatre production.  I say big because it takes a lot of people a lot of time and a lot of energy to make it happen.  We do it as a labor of love for the Lord to share His timeless message of salvation to our community.

It was the first year since we started in 2008 that we repeated a performance.  It was changed up a little to accommodate cast changes and music.

My part is to set up the tables.  Here is a picture of the finished product from the last night of the performance.  I kept forgetting to bring my camera.

In addition to transforming the auditorium into a beautiful dinner theatre setting, the hallways are decked out in lovely Christmas decorations to put everyone in the mood.

  As I said at the beginning, it is a big job…and a labor of love.

I hope you get to hear the message of the Gospel this Christmas with fresh eyes and a tender heart!

<^..^> Lori


Snowman stacked jars

I saw something in a Michael's ad that I thought was really cute.  I searched the Internet for a good picture but I didn't find one.  I found versions of this idea but not the exact one I saw in the paper Michael's ad.  So I cut it out and took a picture of it.  I want to make these as a gift for someone that loves snowmen.  He makes me smile.

<^..^> Lori


Follow up on the Awana pumpkin patch

We set up the pumpkin patch for the Awana club tonight.  I told you about this project earlier in the month so I thought a picture of the finished patch would be nice.

<^..^> Lori

Clementine pumpkins (part 2)

They look so cute in the mailboxes at church that I have to share a photo.  So many people give their time and attention to the Awana program.  We hope this gives them a smile and encourages them to continue to serve the Lord in this ministry.

Here are the leftovers in our fruit bin at home.  My daughter is already eating them.  She loves clementines.

<^..^> Lori


Clementine Pumpkin Awana leader treats

I pinned this idea about making jack-o-lantern faces on clementine oranges with the idea of using it for an Awana leader treat.  Tonight I made them.  It didn't take long to put faces on the clementines.  I made up three of the 3 lb. bags.  That made about 60 little clementine pumpkins to give the leaders this Wednesday.  The kids are getting pumpkins too but they will have chocolate in their paper pumpkins.  I really like how this turned out.  I plan to give one to each leader with a note attached thanking them for their dedication to our church's Awana program.

Originally I thought I would cut faces out of vinyl but a sharpie was faster and easy to do a simple jack-o-lanter face so I went with it.

<^..^> Lori


Imitation BakedBree Chocolate Chip Layer Cake

One of the blogs I read regularly is BakedBree.  Wonderful recipes are found there.  Of course, it takes more than a good recipe to make the dish.  Some people just have the knack for it and I think Bree definitely has the knack.  I saw this recipe for Chocolate Chip Layer Cake.

Isn't that lovely?

I decided to make it for a get together we are having tonight with the Grenada missions team.  Ta-da!  It looks good.  I hope it tastes good when we cut it tonight!

<^..^> Lori


We have a toilet monster

I spent years teaching my kids not to be afraid of the toilet.  Well, now that they are teenagers and we have no danger of set backs, I have decided to put a little fun into our fall decor.  I pinned this from Crafts Unleashed with hopes of trying my own version of it and tonight I did it.

I cut it out of vinyl using my Silhouette Cameo using a simple triangle and then added some monster parts from the Silhouette store.  Now that is not a phrase I ever thought I would type out.  You can get monster eyes, hands, feet, etc.

Let's see who notices our new little friend first...LOL!

<^..^> Lori


More ideas for Pastor Appreciation Month

You don't need to be elaborate with your gifts of appreciation.  This bag contains a package of fall napkins and some cookies.  I got the napkins on clearance from my local IGA.  I got the cookies from Target.

I decorated the bags but you don't have to do that bit.  I just love creating those little crafty extras.  I cut their names out of tags using my Silhouette.  I backed the tag with some green card stock then filled in the letters with Stickles.  I embossed some fall stamps with gold embossing powder then put on some distress inks.  I added some ribbon that says grateful to each tag.  The rosettes were left over from a project I did last year with Bazzill textured card stock and some great fall fabric brads.

We really don't have 6 pastors serving in our church.  I may have mentioned this in years past, we have several retired pastors as well active pastors.  I like to include them all in my gifts of appreciation for their faithfulness.  They certainly are leaving good legacies from the lives they lead.

Do a little something for the pastors in your life this month.

<^..^> Lori


October is Pastor appreciation month pumpkin tin

It's that time of year again.  I love October as Pastor appreciation month.  I was inspired by this Oriental Trading ad to make my own version.  I had a package of Wilton 15 ct. favors that I purchased on clearance from Michael's for $3.  I don't know when I bought them but it was a few years ago.  I always check out the wedding aisle there for clearance favor tins and boxes.  They can be customized for any occasion.  I also had gotten some Halloween bling on clearance for $1 last year.  I used scrap black vinyl and my Silhouette Designer Studio to cut out the pumpkin face features from Samantha Walker's 3 jack-o-lanterns.

Here is my take on how to put it together.

I didn't have enough orange M&M's to fill the tins today.  My kids often raid the stash.  ;)  I will need to get more but you get the idea.

I hope it puts a smile on the pastors in my life.

<^..^> Lori

Customize the back of your cell phone with vinyl scraps

I was inspired by a Jeana's post on the Silhouette blog.  I get so much inspiration from this blog that I check it a couple of times per week!

I may change it out to something else but for now my phone looks like this...

The cut is from Lori Whitlock but I had to stretch it a bit to fit my phone.  Easy peasy with Silhouette Designer Studio software.

<^..^> Lori


October Awana Treat to encourage the kids to invite a friend

I am working on a project for Awana.  Last year Halloween fell on our normal Wednesday meeting night so we had a special Trunk or Treat night for the kids.  Halloween falls on a Thursday this year so we will change things up. 

The kids will get loads of candy on Halloween so we will give the kids a smaller candy treat of three Hershey kisses inside a 3-D pumpkin.  They will also get a glassine bag.

The bag will have an orange marker we got through NAEIR and a two sided card.  One side of the card is for the kids to color.  The other side has an invitation for the kids to give a friend.   If they get a friend to come with them, they will both get a special out of this world treat.  I am going to get large Milky Way bars for each of them with a flag on it that says "Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

The 3-D pumpkin idea was from my partner in teaching 1st graders at Awana.  She had a pattern but I wanted to be able to make it a little larger and to cut it with the Silhouette.  I found this pumpkin with free pdf download.

I altered it just a bit in my Silhouette Design Studio to make it large enough to hold 3 Hershey kisses and have holes to threat the twine through the top for tying.

Because I cut them out of 12 x 12 orange and fall colored paper, I had space on the sides that I didn't want to waste.  I added "toothy pumpkin" by Sarah Bailey in those spaces.  I glued the toothy pumpkins on the outside of the glassine bags.  You can see a couple of the glassine bags in the photo.

The kids will get to pick a pumpkin treat from a table set up as a pumpkin patch.  Each pumpkin was cut from paper on my Silhoutte Cameo.  Three Hershey kisses are inside each pumpkin and the top is held together with twine.

If the kids have friends attending Awana they are more likely to come each week.  It isn't about numbers.  It's about having fun as we learn about God's truth.  I pray the Lord will bless our efforts.

The Ladies Missionary Fellowship group will help to put this all together at next month's meeting.  I am so grateful for the willing hands on projects like this one. 

<^..^> Lori


Slow cooker party beans

At the same church Classics event where I took the Easy Ice-Cream Sandwich dessert that I posted, I took a slow cooker full of beans.  The basic recipe came from The Shady Porch blog.

slow cooker party beans
I did double the beans as she suggested.  I used a full bottle 20 oz. of Famous Dave's Sweet and Zesty BBQ sauce.  I also browned about 1 lb.  of ground sirloin and 1 lb. of sausage.  And my last twist on this recipe was to add to add 5 fresh blanched peaches for last 30-45 minutes of cooking time.  After blanching, they were peeled and chopped.  Added just the right sweetness in the end.  

My son even ate them as leftovers the next day.  I was in shock!  He doesn't go for beans but he ate these.  I will make them again!

<^..^> Lori

Redfly Easy Ice-cream sandwich dessert

I found this recipe on Redfly and made it for a church Classics event.  It was a yummy and a hit!

I used Mrs. Richard hot fudge and Mrs. Richard caramel topping.  I used crushed Heath bars for my candy.  It was a very easy recipe to make.  

<^..^> Lori


Truth doesn't change just because we want it to change

I read this in a daily devotion from Ron Hutchcraft Ministries.  I really like to read his daily take on God's Word and today it had an exceptional message to me.

God's truth has never been decided by a vote, and God's truth hasn't changed-and it won't.

This is so true and it is so comforting to me.

<^..^> Lori

Look at this clever idea from Gretchen on Dollar Store Crafts-Dinasaur Serving Dish

I just think this dinasaur serving dish is a great idea for a kid's party or to inject some conversation into a church potluck.  I love to see the clever ideas people come up with...it reminds me that we are made in God's image.  God is infinite and so are His ideas.  I love this serving dish idea.  It could be made with lots of objects but having to fight a T-Rex for a cookie?...priceless!  Ok, I am going to have to find a T-Rex and try it out. 

Dinosaur Serving Dish

<^..^> Lori


Be Different

I was inspired by this cool artwork on Rachel's blog post at "Harding (family) happenings".  Originally I asked her if I could print it and frame it for my Sunday School class.  She was so gracious to give me permission.

Then I got an idea to do it on a bigger scale in vinyl on the wall.  I couldn't reproduce it exactly but I think I have the spirit of the piece.  Here it is...

I used arrows that I either made with Silhouette Designer Studio or bought from Lori Whitlock.  It turned out okay but I really like Rachel's version better.  This wall is outside of the youth room at church.  The one "different" arrow is pointing into the youth room.  I think it works well there.

<^..^> Lori

Lightning strikes twice in our yard

About 4 years ago, lightning hit one of the two big pines in our back yard.  It travelled through the ground into the house.  It knocked out a basement window.  It killed a printer.  I was amazed that more was not damaged.  It happened in September.  We waited until the next spring to decide if it would survive or not.  We ended up having the top 10 feet or so removed and left the rest of the tree up.

1st tree was hit 3 or 4 years ago by lightning

2nd pine tree to be hit by lightning

large strips of bark laying in the yard
Last night lightning hit the other pine tree.  I hope they survive.  The first one looks a bit worn but still strong.  The second tree seems to be missing some bark but in pretty good shape.  I guess time will tell.

<^..^> Lori


More flowers are blooming in my yard

I decided to take pictures as flowers started blooming in the yard to remind me of the beauty long after it fades away.

yellow Coreopsis

Johnson's Blue Geranium and orange Tiger Lily

<^..^> Lori


VBS 2013 part 3

More room decor pictures.  This is from the 2-3 year olds room.  Great handmade art work, a homemade tent, too.

<^..^> Lori


VBS 2013 part 2

More pictures of the VBS decorations!

Primary classroom
 Primary classroom
 Hallway to the Primary classroom
 Entrance to Sir Gavin's Games (gym)
 Junior classroom
Pre-primary classroom #2
Pre-primary classroom #2
Pre-primary classroom #1
Pre-primary classroom #1
Pre-primary classroom #1
Middler classroom
Middler classroom
 Prize store area
 Puppet stage
 Puppet stage
 Puppet stage
Puppet stage

Craft area

Craft sampler display

<^..^> Lori