Archive for January, 2014

Christmas 2013

January 12, 2014

This year’s Christmas was a wonderful whirlwind of travel, family, friends, presents and fun; I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat. We were in Texas a total of 11 days, flying in to Houston first; we spent a day there and then drove to Rogers to spend some time with my family. I absolutely love the difference between our time in Houston versus our time in Rogers…In Houston we’re always all over the place, visiting every friend we can and going out often…but in Rogers the pace is slower, we spend most of our time outside, roaming the property with pellet guns, loving on the animals or just lounging around. The two environments couldn’t be more opposite but I love them both and always look forward to time spent in both places.

I just love the Christmas tree at my parents’ house, I think I could stare at its glow for hours. The mountain of presents underneath are pretty nice too ;)

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One of the most entertaining things that we did while in Rogers was rake all of the leaves from the trees in the yard into one gigantic pile. We honestly didn’t know what we were going to do with it when we were finished but we knew it was going to be huge so we did it anyway.

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Then we had an amazing idea…Sadie loves to play fetch so let’s throw the tennis ball into the leaf pile and see what happens…she leaped in every time as if she were jumping into water! It was the most hilarious thing to watch and we threw the ball over and over again.

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The crazy part is that she found the ball almost every time; she would root around in the pile, her wagging tail sticking up out of the leaves, until she sniffed out the ball.

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Mark got some pretty awesome pictures of Jack in his natural habitat. Actually he threw Jack up in a tree for these photos which explains the “what the heck is your problem?” look on his face, haha.

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We managed to snap a few nice family photos while we were there too. I think the last time we took a good family portrait I was still in high school so it was long overdue.

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Christmas in Rogers wouldn’t be complete without the Christmas Eve Barn Service. This has been something that our church has been doing since the 80’s and it’s one of my favorite traditions of the holiday season.

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The service was pretty packed this year and it was uncharacteristically nice as far as the weather goes; usually it’s raining or freezing or windy. There’s just something about sitting on hay bales, singing Christmas hymns and sharing communion in an uninsulated barn that really brings your focus back to the one who was born in such a place.

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On Christmas morning Mema and Papa came out and opened presents with us. It’s so nice to have them living closer now so we can see them more often :)

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We all got some great gifts, Mark’s favorite was probably the quad-copter that he and Ben both received. They had so much fun trying to fly them around the house and outside. My favorite gift was a new power sander!

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After spending the morning with my family we packed up, said goodbye and hit the road for our second Christmas of the day in Houston. We did presents with everyone around 4 o’clock and then had a yummy dinner afterwards.

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Mark and I had the pleasure of giving the “big gift” this year. We wanted to buy a car for Tricia since hers wasn’t very reliable. The funny thing is that we ended up finding a car almost identical to my Mazda, just a couple years newer with fewer miles and a pretty blue color. She was beyond thrilled and thankful and I only wish that we had done this sooner.

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After the craziness of Christmas Day, we unwound with a little shopping, golfing, puzzle making and fort building with this not-so-little 6 year old.

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The whole family spent one evening at TopGolf which is an awesome three story driving range that is set up kind of like a bowling alley. Each person’s name is on a screen and when it’s your turn to take a shot, your ball’s sensor is activated so the system can tell how far you hit it. They also serve food and drinks, like an upscale bar/restaurant/driving range…it’s loads of fun!

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And as per tradition we completed our third family puzzle; we also took a group shot to be turned into the puzzle that we will work on next Christmas!

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Holiday Projects

January 6, 2014

I’ve been keeping pretty busy over the past few months with various reclaimed wood projects. Usually I see an idea online or one comes to me then I get to work immediately and finish it within a couple days; nothing like immediate gratification :)

To add to my fall/autumn decor I built these two wooden pumpkins. First, I cut out the outline from a scrap piece of particle board then I screwed the boards into the back and trimmed the excess with my handy jigsaw.

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After a good sanding I attached part of a stick to each of the pumpkin tops to act as stems. They sat outside by our front door for a few months and held up great!

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My largest project to date was our Christmas tree. We originally wanted to buy a live tree like we did last year but due to the hassle of getting it into and out of our third story apartment, the $50-$60 price tag and the fact that it would only be up for a couple of weeks before we left for Texas, we opted for something a little more simple.

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I had a pile of leftover fencepost scraps from my brother that I hadn’t found a use for yet so I lined them all up from largest to smallest, creating a tree shape. Using the jigsaw I cut the ends of each board at an angle to form the limbs of the tree then I attached a long, vertical board down the middle to tie it all together. After drilling some holes I poked each individual bulb from a 100 light multi-color strand through a hole from the back. Right now the lights are just held in by friction but I’ll be making it more permanent with some glue or silicon caulk soon.

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And here she is in all of her reclaimed, multi-color glory! I think this was my favorite Christmas tree ever, probably because it was 100% free and I didn’t have to unpack, hang and repack my ornaments, haha.

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A few Christmas-y signs were also in order; I made a couple of each of these to sell and raise money for Team World Vision {the charity that Mark and I ran our half marathon for}. They all ended up going home with some of our small group friends…I’m probably going to have to make one of the NOEL ones for myself because I love it so much!

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The dream/hope/goal for 2014 is to open an Etsy shop and sell these reclaimed goodies online. We’re working on the initial logistics now…hopefully more news on that soon!