Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas With My Siblings

My brother and his wife, and my sister and her husband (who is my husband’s brother), came for a “gathering time” to celebrate Christmas. We began with “family pictures” by the tree (a tradition begun by our Mamo before we were born). I had fun preparing the hand-made corduroy stockings that were stored in Mother’s things when she passed. They were from our Mamo and Grandad’s Christmases, since at least the mid-1950’s. All of Mamo and Grandad’s grandchildren had stockings that hung over their fireplace. They only had a couple of stains on them, pretty remarkable for their “age,” and they cleaned up nicely.

Russell and Barbara Ford

David and Janene Ford

Keith and Michele Wilson


Ready for Supper


For supper, we enjoyed Mother’s recipe of Lasagna Supreme.


The next morning, after a rather large brunch, Keith read the Christmas Story from Luke 2, and we sang carols throughout the story, closing with prayer. This tradition began in our parents’ home many years ago.


We “opened” our stockings. This year I “stuffed” them with nostalgia—things that were “always” in our stockings, and some toys of the era: orange, English walnuts and pecans, ribbon candy, candy cane, and jacks for the girls and a slinky for the boy! Then we shared gifts with each other (the drawing of names having been our tradition also for many years).

Stocking Contents 2014

stockings for the girls

Meanwhile, back at the ranch (in the lower level), the doggies have their own stockings (NOT from 1950’s).

We ate, drank coffee, ate, visited, shared memories, laughed, ate, and played a family trivia game (“our family sayings”).


Janene has her notebook of  collected “family sayings” for a trivia game. I won. (Keith, it’s my blog. So, I won.)


Maggie and Annie



Sassi loves her new toy from her cousins.

Wonderful time together. It seems so strange to realize that my siblings and I are now orphans, as Daddy passed in 1988 and Mother in 2013. But, we have each other and our spouses, and that’s a wonderful blessing.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Passages for a Crisis {Scripture Cards}

Scripture Cards Peace

Yesterday I faced a possibility that was out of my control and frightening. I didn’t know how long the crisis might last. I asked for prayer from some close family members. My daughter-in-law sent me some thoughts she had read in a devotional that morning. It was a reminder that God is ready to supply his peace to His followers, if we only ask. He, in fact, supplies ALL of our needs, all of the time, in every situation.

There were three Scripture passages referenced in the reading she sent to me. I memorized those three and added one of my favorites (Isaiah 26:3) and prayed those verses repeatedly during the 12-hour period until God resolved the crisis.

God did give me a sense of calm and peace. In the end, He answered all my prayers about the entire situation, in such a short matter of time. I was left, once again, in awe of His greatness, His mercy, His grace.

Inspired by Patter Cross at, I have decided to add to my “project areas” with Scripture Cards. These are like little miniature art journal pages. Mine will be done on 3 1/2” x 5 1/4” pieces of mixed media paper and stored in a binder with pocket page protectors. This is my first attempt, and I chose the four verses that have meant so much to me in the last couple of days. I collaged vintage music and vintage book pages on the cards and then stamped and painted.

These cards will always be a reminder of how God takes care of me. All the time. And how I don’t deserve His blessings. But then, that’s grace.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Christmas Ornaments & Trees

Ornaments Round 2

I made a second “batch” of ornaments for my Tag Tree. These started as clear glass (the hearts are plastic) ornaments from Michael’s.

Here is the tree (lower level in my home):

tag tree full

tag tree closeup

Tag Tree w teddy bears

Tag Tree closeup 3

Here’s the tree in the upper level Great Room:

great room tree 1

Here’s the tree in the Music Room (it has some little grand piano ornaments):

music room tree 1

This is a nostalgic room for me, because family around the piano is so much a part of my life. Looking forward to Christmas when the “kids” (and their kids) will be here to join me in this room!

christmas music on piano 2

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Pray Without Ceasing {Bible Journaling}

Pray continually

Usually I do my own lettering and drawing in my Journaling Bible. This page was done using some stamps created by one of my friends in the Bible Journaling Community, Stephanie Ackerman. These stamps are from two of her sets: Pray Continually and Key to Truth. 

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

I Thessalonians 5:16-18

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Project Catch Up and Little Primitive Girl {Art Journal}

Since our arrival back in Missouri, my days have been happily filled with holiday preparations (Thanksgiving and Christmas), catching up in scrapbooks and Smash journals, and a few other Christmas crafts. I was excited to learn several days ago that Creative Memories, my go-to company for scrapbook albums, is back in business, and that gave new life to that hobby, for me. I was really in a funk with unsuccessfully trying to find a suitable substitute for their albums. With the news from CM, I ordered new albums and completely revised my two 2014 albums. Yep, that’s how I roll.

I spent many hours on an Advent book (altered children’s board book), but because I was not pleased with what I was getting from that study, I completely repurposed the book using a study that I love (Ann Voskamp’s The Greatest Gift). I’m happy with the outcome and now have an Advent book/art journal that is meaningful for me. I sketched and painted a 2x2 inch tile for each of the 25 days, so that was very time-consuming. Here is my book with yesterday and today’s pages.

Advent 9 and 10

Incredibly, I am caught up with all those things (still have a few Christmas menus to finalize), including the gift buying and wrapping. So, today it was time for some mixed media fun. I was beginning to feel like I might not know what to do with a blank page in an art journal.

The little primitive girls that I learned to draw, in Mindy Lacefield’s Sunday Mornings class, have really grown on me. At first I felt they weren’t “cute” enough, but it really is fun to create one of these little girls, without worrying about “realistic” features. Besides, it really is more fun to work with acrylic than with watercolor (for me), and with the Primitive Girls, I can use lots and lots of layers of acrylic paint and stamps.

Star of Wonder Primitive Girl

I did have Christmas on my mind as I painted this spread, although the colors that popped out of my head were certainly not Christmas colors.

So now I’m all ready for my siblings and then my children to come home for Christmas. The three trees are up and decorated, complete with all the wrapped packages.

I am so blessed.

God must be crazy about me.

He really is.