life is beautiful

Thursday, December 1, 2011

It's been fun...

I've had a lot of fun with this blog in 2011, but it's time for me to re-prioritize and keeping up with this blog is something that needs to go.  I'll miss you and wish you the best in your search for beauty in God's lovely creation!
You can still follow our family at www.thepabodys.com and I hope to spend more time/energy over at www.teachingofkindness.wordpress.com.
Merry Christmas, and because I can't resist.... I have to tell you that

Baby Sock Advent Calendar (Garland)

Image taken by my little guy!
On the day after Thanksgiving our sweet, innocent 4 year old woke up (and stayed up, mind you!) at FOUR (4) AM because he was SO excited for Christmas!  
I'd had this cute twist on an advent calendar in mind, but it became a necessity when we realized he was going to wake up early and excited every single day until his Christmas dreams came true!
Most of these sweet socks were actually worn by my babies, (some of them are colorful hand me downs from a very special friend - you know who you are!) and some of them I shamelessly scavenged from the 25 cent bin at our favorite consignment shop because of their radiant and whimsical patterns!  I didn't go ahead and fill each sock (to help keep temptation at bay) but each night I put a little scrap of paper with something special we've planned for the next day and a little treat in the appropriate sock so it's ready for the next morning.  
I've done some necessary activities like "decorate the entry" or "put up the Christmas tree" and other very simple ones like "take a walk tonight to see neighborhood Christmas lights."  Later in the month I have some more serious ones like "help a hungry person eat a hot lunch," and "give away too small coats to kids who need them," and there is a daddy-son and a mommy-son date to be snuck in for our oldest.  I put activities that we were already planning ("Tonight is our church's Christmas musical!" and "Bake & decorate Christmas cookies with sprinkles," etc.) as well as some surprise events ("Invite some friends for hot chocolate and a movie at our house this afternoon") to keep him guessing, and it's turning into a great way to keep him happy but not overwhemingly excited for the Big Day.
As for the treats, last year I bought a cute ready-made calendar from Ikea and it was basically a plastic candy mold covered in pretty cardboard with windows over each candy for the days of December.  After the holiday I tore off the cardboard and kept that adorable candy mold!  So this year I'm making a few candies at a time with it (each has a different design - adorable) and putting 2 in each sock at night.  (Gotta love re-using/repurposing! Yay!)

Now if you're inspired to make your own, here are some ideas:  I've seen lots of cute sock advent displays, but my favorite (and first...) was Sara'sLove it!
image from www.sara-mincy.blogspot.com

And of course there's this adorable one (that's been pinned 5 kajillion times!) by the lovely Martha.

Image from www.marthastewart.com
And there's this one from Little Bit Funky that I like a lot, too!  I looovve how she uses other things (including some of her favorite outsized baby clothes on the garland to make white and solid-colored baby socks festive for Christmas.
image from www.littlebitfunky.com
Here's a sweet "stocking countdown calendar" from Family Fun Magazine with a TON of cool ideas and suggestions for sock stuffers (riddles?! get out of chore free cards?! a new pair of socks - ha! guess mom took them all for the garland!).

 Sooo, now that you're all inspired just give Pinterest a little search and see what ideas you get.  And if you get busy, I'd love to see what you do! Happy month of joy!

Christmas Cookies and JOY

We're having a blast already with sparkly decorations and sprinkley sugar cookies...

Aaaaaaand... you can grab some FREE print-out "joy" right here!

Happy December!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christmas Printable

FREE, fresh, seasonal "art" for your home! Here on the Betty Crocker Wannabe blog.

This free printout is from last year, and now the blog's author is writing over at A Simply Klassic Home, where she has kazillions of amazing current Christmas ideas happening.  Stop over and check her out! :)
Starting Thursday, December 1 she's even kicking off "12 Days of Christmas Printables" (I'm so excited!!!!!) AND she has a heart for showcasing the less commercial, less secular aspects of our beautiful upcoming holiday!  I'm SO excited to see what she has to offer!  Stay tuned.... and have a happy day!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sunday is Special - Give Thanks and Praise the LORD!

Psalm 150 

Praise the LORD!
    Praise God in his sanctuary;
        praise him in his mighty heavens!
    Praise him for his mighty deeds;
        praise him according to his excellent greatness!
    Praise him with trumpet sound;
        praise him with lute and harp!
    Praise him with tambourine and dance;
        praise him with strings and pipe!
    Praise him with sounding cymbals;
        praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
    Let everything that has breath praise the LORD!
    Praise the LORD!

(Psalm 150 ESV) (Listen here!)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Psalm 100

    Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth!
        Serve the LORD with gladness!
        Come into his presence with singing!
    Know that the LORD, he is God!
        It is he who made us, and we are his;
        we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
    Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
        and his courts with praise!
        Give thanks to him; bless his name!
    For the LORD is good;
        his steadfast love endures forever,
        and his faithfulness to all generations.

(Psalm 100 ESV) (Listen here!)