DIYP {Last Minute Christmas Decor & Ideas}

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I’ve saved some good ideas just for that last-minute burst of inspiration:

Impromptu Centerpiece

I love taking dollar items and things I have and creating little Christmas inspirations!
Small wreaths from the Dollar Store and glass plates can make a really cute centerpiece:

The options are endless. Just stack a cake stand (or plate on top off glass) and add the wreaths. You can add red berries or small ornament balls around the wreath to make it even more festive!
A Spot of Color

Inexpensive glass/plastic ornaments in a bowl add a splash of color against my white dishes. 
Bring the Snow Indoors

Grab a glass jar, hurricane or vase. I’m using the one from my dining room table.
Buy a can of spray snow.  I got mine at Wal Mart for .99 cents.  
Put stickers around the base of your glass jar. I used snowflake stickers. 

Spray the snow on the bottom half of the glass, covering the stickers.
Carefully remove stickers after the ‘snow’ sets up some.

I added a candle and red berries and pretended that it’s snowing again in my part of Texas.

Personalizing Ornaments
I saw these rub on decals at Wal Mart for a couple of dollars. I loved the damask design.

I thought they would make really elegant ornaments. I cut out a design (I had to use the small ones on the ornaments) and taped it to the surface. 

I love the elegant feel this inexpensive project gave my funky silver tree in my dining room!

Adding fancy stickers to a plain ornament can really personalize it too.
Christmas Card Holder
I’ve never had a great place to stick my holiday greeting cards. I thought the little thrift store shutter propped on my dresser might work. I used screwed small cup hooks into the wood, punched holes in my cards and hung them! 
I love how it looks.  I think it will be a great place to feature my kid’s latest artwork after the holidays.

GoodWill

A sweet friend of mine (Hi Jen!) sent me an email about a special little girl.

She is dying.
And she has a Christmas wish.
Her mother died three years ago of breast cancer. She spends her remaining days in bed being cared for by her grandmother. She has lost most of her motor skills and is unable to play with the gifts thoughtful people have sent her.
But there is something she wants. She loves receiving cards that her grandmother reads to her. She loves looking at the pictures people include in the cards.
Her room is decorated with dozens and dozens from church and school groups and people just like you.
Her dream is to receive as many cards as possible.
At the heart of Christmas, is goodwill.
Will you help me make this simple last wish of a dying child come true?
Here is her Caring Bridge Page to learn more about her.
Please mail cards to:
Hannah Garman
704 Orchard Rd
Lititz, PA 17543
{Don’t forget to enter my fun Christmas giveaway! It ends on Saturday at noon}

I Caught Santa {BIG Christmas GIVEAWAY!}

*Updated* Congrats to the following winners: I am not your mother , Bubba’s Sis, The Eck LifeFried Okra and There Must be More to Life than Laundry and Dishes!  Please email me and I’ll tell you what to do!
We believe in Santa around here.  
My nearly 9 year old has asked some pointed questions this year and while we haven’t directly misled her, we’ve told her to follow her heart.
She wants to believe.
And I think believing is good.
Look who came to our house a little early this year…..
Um, yes, that is SANTA sneaking around my house!
My hubby spotted a billboard on the way to work that read, “I Caught Santa!”
He told me about this great site that puts the seeing in the believing.
The good people at I Caught Santa want you to visit their site and imagine Santa in your living room.  FIVE people will randomly be chosen to receive a personalized photo of Santa in their house! You can read the details here.
It’s so realistic, I think it might be real.
That’s because I still believe.

Leave a comment, five winners will be announced on Saturday morning. You better get that photo of your living room ready ($17.95 value, expires Jan.5).

I Can’t Forget {Sincerely ‘Fro Me to You}

{Carnival guidelines}

Tomorrow, I will turn 36 years old.
Today, I remember.
Because I can’t forget.
Two years ago, I celebrated my 34th birthday, in a hospital bed. 
My children, hubby and sweet mother-in-law (who dropped everything to help us) came bearing presents, balloons, cans of silly string and Bubba teeth.
We got quite the raised eyebrows from the nursing staff about the silly string hanging from the ceiling. 
And from my I.V.

My family did there best to cheer me up and they tried very hard to make if feel like my birthday.
But it didn’t. 
Because my gift was lying in the ICU.
She was 32 hours old and she was born too early.
This week she turned two. She’s perfectly healthy and a picture of God’s power.
And when I think of my birthday, I can’t really think of anything I want. Because I have it all.
I can’t forget.
But that’s because I don’t want to.
{The ‘Fro will be taking a 2 week-perm break for the holidays, I’ll still be posting, but I won’t resume Sincerely ‘Fro Me to You until January. Please let me know in the comments if you want me to continue this carnival ‘o mine. I have fun with it, but I want to quit it before it stops being fun for everyone else!} Updated at 7:00 am…The ‘Fro will live on—

The Letter

Today is my 14th wedding anniversary.

And guess what I got from my hubby?
A letter.

And it came in this:
When I saw my name engraved on the box, I burst into tears.
I knew my hubby had been reading Letters from Dad, a book that encourages and teaches fathers the importance of writing letters and leaving a legacy for their children thru the written word.
The author encourages fathers to start the tradition by first, writing a letter to their wife.
And unbeknownst to me, that’s what my hubby has been doing by the moonlight on his laptop.
(Work, ha!)
I love words. I love writing. I love letters.
And my new box with it’s precious content moved me deeply. (And it will contain all future letters!)


My Kristen,

          There is something distinctly you that resonates deep within my soul.  It is your character.  Your confidence.  Your purity.

         My distant memories of you at Southwestern ring true to your soft, strong personality.  You were like no one else.  Your confident, quiet stare screamed purpose, conviction and integrity.  Many of the people we brushed shoulders with, both male and female, were less than genuine in both their interpersonal behavior and their walk with Christ.  It was like the difference between Diet Coke and the real thing.  Five minutes wasted with one of these individuals quickly revealed emptiness.

        
You, however,…what a breath of clean fresh oxygen.  The hours spent playing cards, driving to church, and sitting on the porch swing at Collins Hall seemed like mere minutes.  There was something about you that drew me to you.  Before I knew that I loved you, my soul loved you.

You were my princess!

         Foolish immaturity allowed you to slip through my grasp.  It’s dumbfounding, my inability to see the treasure that was standing before me.  Thankfully, providence could not be denied.

         I remember the moment I realized I was deeply in love with you.  We weren’t seeing each other.  We had never kissed.  It was a night in early June of 1994 and I left a message on your answering machine.  My heart was pounding so hard, I could barely leave a message to tell you that I was thinking of you.  (Really, I was longing for you.)  My deepest fantasy was that you too were in love with me.  How could I have ever known that this fantasy would come to life?  

         On December 17, 1994, I married my best friend.  True to character you presented yourself to me, a spotless bride.

         Though the past fourteen years have shaped and molded the both of us, the core of who you were then is still intact today.  Your pristine beauty, integrity, and pure love are the qualities that are infused within me.

Outstanding Mother

Purposeful Homemaker

Servant of God

Constant Companion

Faithful Friend

Kindred Spirit

Beautiful Soul

Proverbs 31:28-29  says this about you,

Her children arise and call her blessed;   her husband also, and he praises her:  

“Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”

         You are woven and intertwined in the deepest parts of my flesh, mind, spirit, and soul.  To breathe, is to love you.

Happy Fourteenth Anniversary 

And this is the letter I wrote to him: (I might add, it pales in comparison)
Dear Hubby, 
Fourteen years ago we walked down the aisle of an ugly church (I never got over the burnt orange pews). 
We were young. Nervous. Naive and crazy enough to get married on my Christmas break from teaching the first grade.  
Two days before my 22nd birthday.
You were a Youth Pastor. Remember when we drove off in my highly-decorated and oh-so-offensive car?
I can still remember the look on the Pastor’s face with the condoms dangling from the muffler.
My brother had quite the sense of humor.
Ahem.
And I still feel bad about the piles of birdseed we dumped from our underwear in the restrooms of Dairy Queen.
But this is our week.
Our busy, crazy, expensive week.
Who knew 2 out of 3 children would also be born during the hectic holiday season? 
This is a busy week for us, but I wanted to pause and tell you that if I could change anything, I wouldn’t.
Not a thing.
Because even though we’ve faced some tough challenges, we are in this place today because of those difficulties.

And though these are trite words, I’ve never meant them more than I do today.
I love you. Happy Anniversary.
Don’t plan anything for Friday night, I’ve found a new unsuspecting babysitter.
And, I found 14 more images of me giving you that look loaded on my Mac this morning.
I thought I’d include it in your letter.  Because you know what it means.

Let’s put the camera away, k?
The end.

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