Wednesday, December 17, 2014

My Christmas Prayer



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Listen to this...

While you read this...

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Scripture says that God so loved the world that he gave.  He Gave.  HE GAVE.

He gave his one and only Son.

He gave his one and only Son, that whoever.  Whoever.  WHOEVER.  believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

God, thank you for GIVING me your Son, Jesus.  Thank you for sending Him so small and tiny to Mary and Joseph.  I'm blown away that they took a risk to obey You by bringing YOUR FLESH to dwell among us.  Thank You that I can see Your glory and for daily filling me full of grace and truth.  This is why I CELEBRATE.  As for me and my house, we will CELEBRATE You.  Amen.

Sincerely,

Leigh


Monday, December 15, 2014

Gifting Christmas Arrangements


I made a big arrangement of fresh greenery for our coffee table.  I just used what we had around in the yard--snips of leyland cyprus, boxwood, and holly.  I stuffed them into a red vase (that I saved from the flowers Kevin sent to me on our 10 year anniversary) and added a few sticks of artificial berries.  It turned out so stinkin' cute (to be a slap-together project of things I already had around the house!)

We went to Mama and Daddy's Saturday to play and have an early dinner, so I made two more little arrangements to give to Mama and Allison.  I used the same greenery snips from the yard.  For the vases, I raided our glass recycling bin and pulled out two spaghetti sauce jars.  I washed them out and peeled off the labels then added some ribbon to dress things up a bit!  Again, they turned out so stinkin' cute!

Mama had the same idea (great minds really do think alike!)  She had made the most beautiful Christmas hanging baskets for her front porch (I regret not taking a picture of them) and was sweet enough to give me some of her left over magnolia leaves and fraser fir trimmings!

I used them to whip up 6 vases today.  These are tagged for a few neighbors and friends, so I splurged and bought new vases (they're from the Dollar Tree!  **wink**wink**)




I added green burlap ribbon around each vase and then tied them up with bakers twine (I don't do much these days without my bakers twine!)  So each arrangement ran me a whopping $1.00 (I already had the green burlap ribbon and bakers twine on hand.)

Add these sweet gift tags, and they're perfectly giftable!  I know I would love to find one of these on my front porch!


I've already delivered two today, and I'll deliver the remaining four tomorrow!  I've so enjoyed the arrangement on our coffee table, so I hope the recipients will love these, too!

I had a few trimmings left over, so I put them to good use beside the garage entrance!







Wishing you the merriest of Christmases!

Sincerely,

Leigh

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Sweet Little Remembrance Gifts

TJ Maxx has had the most darling Christmas soaps this year!

I absolutely love these oversized bath bars!  And the holiday scents are simply delish!




This one is Candy Cane, and it smells wonderful!  It has a creamy peppermint aroma (it reminds me of the Ghirardelli peppermint bark!), and I could almost sink my teeth into it it smells so good!  Pop the adorable soap box into a burlap Candy Cane gift bag (also from TJ Maxx) and you've got the sweetest little remembrance gift EVER!!  I know I would love to receive this!



I have two of these all packed and ready to go!  You just don't know how tempted I am to keep these all to myself, but I've already tagged them for two of the sweetest gals I have the pleasure of serving with at church.  They encourage me, keep me in stitches, and are a bright spot in my week!  


I picked these up, too.  They came in lots of scents, but the Peppermint and Gingerbread were my favorite!  I tied them up with bakers twine to give as hostess gifts for two different Christmas parties!




These would make precious gifts for teachers, babysitters, your cleaning lady, ME!  Whatever!  I like to wrap gift cards up with these jumbo bars, too, just to add a little something, something to the gift!  At $3.99 a bar, they make a sweet-smelling, little present!

Sincerely,

Leigh

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thanksgiving

Y'all, we've had the best little Thanksgiving this year, and I'm oh so very grateful for it.

It was just the four of us on Thanksgiving Day, so our celebration was small but deliciously sweet!








Olivia was such a doll helping me in the kitchen.  








Kevin was in charge of the turkey and gravy.  He used Ina Garten's recipe for Herb Roasted Chicken Breast, and it was super flavorful and juicy!  Delish!

We also had Macaroni and Cheese, Pioneer Woman's Green Bean Casserole, Grandma's Corn Bread Dressing, Pineapple Souffle, and, for dessert, Mocha Espresso Cream Pie!



Friday morning, we were up and out early for our annual trip to the Merry Christmas Tree Farm to find and cut down our Christmas Tree!



It was a beautiful, but cold morning!  Look at that blue sky--not a cloud to be seen.  It's my favorite kind of sky!

















We stopped at Starbucks on the way to the tree farm to get their new Chestnut Praline coffee (that I just can't get enough of) and their frosted snowman cookies for the kiddos ('cause what kid doesn't need a giganto snowman cookie for breakfast!?!)  

This is Davis on the way home after he destroyed a candy cane and then moved on to finish his snowman cookie.  This kid's a MESS!




Once the sun went down, we made our annual Christmas hor devours and snacked while we decorated the tree.









And to round out our Thanksgiving festivities, we spent today visiting with Granny and Papa and having Thanksgiving lunch at Mama and Daddy's.  On the agenda tomorrow...I can't wait to get to church, and then we're going to tackle the rest of the Christmas decorations around here!  

Sincerely,

Leigh

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Is it November Already!?!

Y'all, October was a rip-roarin', blink-my-eyes-it's-over, do-this-do-that, go-here-go-there kind of month!  We haven't stopped since my last post of Davis' birthday party way back in September!  So here's a glimpse of a few fun things we've had going on for the past month!

We went pumpkin picking on game day...




Celebrated Aunt Allison's birthday over lunch at Nana and Papas...






Kev's fam came up for a super fun visit!  It's always such a treat to get together with the "Florida Clarks" since it's not often we get to see them...


The bros:  Kevin
The bros:  Scott

The bros:  Jeff

Olivia and Anna
I have such wonderful memories of playing with my cousins when we were kiddos.  I was fortunate enough to see them all the time since we all lived in the same small town.  It honestly makes my heart sad that Olivia and Davis don't have that same privilege, so I treasure seeing them all together playing and making memories.


Davis and Molly

We all went up to the mountains to pick apples.  We had to show these Floridians what fall is all about!


Molly and the perfect apple she picked!





Olivia and Anna

I call this "Fall in a Basket"

Molly and Davis

Davis crashing Caroline and Molly's slumber party.

Reading stories with Uncle Scott
 Looking back on these pics, I realize we didn't take enough pictures of their visit.  I didn't get any pics of my sweet sis-in-law, Shannon, and I only got one picture of Caroline.  Kristina and Nick also made the trip up from Athens, and I didn't get a pic of them either.  The photographer is F.I.R.E.D!  All that aside, we're so glad y'all came!!

Immediately upon everyone's departure, Davis got a cold which turned into a pretty nasty double ear infection (must have been all that crisp mountain air!)  




The following weekend, Kevin and I went to Biltmore for a blissful 2 night stay at the Inn on the estate for our 10 year anniversary!!

On Saturday morning, we participated in a pumpkin carving contest at the Inn!  It was a lot of fun!  The Inn staff had a slew of pumpkins to choose from that were already cleaned out and ready for carving, and they had all the needed supplies (carving knives, sharpies, paper, paint, etc...)  Plus, we enjoyed a steady supply of fresh, hot apple cider!!  As we very quickly pondered what to carve on our pumpkin, we both said, "We need Shannon for this!"










This is the creation we came up with...


We carved leaves and acorns in the pumpkin, and I (very stealth-like) went on a scavenger hunt to pick fall foliage from around the Inn.  We used my finds to make an arrangement in the pumpkin.  

This was done by another couple that carved the Vanderbilt monogram into their pumpkin!  I L.O.V.E. this!




 All the other entries...



Our pumpkin creation didn't win.  We didn't even place (womp.  womp.)  Come on!!

The Inn staff also had pumpkin creations on display in the lobby.  

This one was done by the kitchen staff and was appropriately named "Eat Your Veggies" with its rosemary eyebrows, carrot nose, and onion peel hair.  I thought this one was pretty clever!







This is the view from the lobby down the grand staircase into the Dinning Room.  This is a MUST for dinner if you visit Biltmore!













One of our favorite things to do at the Inn is have hor dourves out on The Terrace.  

This is the view from The Terrace.  It looks out over Antler Hill Village and the Biltmore Winery (and the mountains, of course!)
















Once we made our way over to the house, we quickly breezed through a few floors and soaked in the view from the back terrace.  










The mum display in the Walled Garden never disappoints!





We never get tired of spending time at Biltmore.  It's truly our favorite place to visit, and we wouldn't have spent our 10 year anniversary anywhere else.  A big, hearty thank you to Grandma and Aunt Kristina for staying with the kiddos for us (not to mention a sick baby.)  Thank you, THANK YOU!!

Once back from Biltmore, I had to put it in high gear to get ready for Olivia's classroom Fall Party!  All the kiddos had a fun time playing Pin the Face on the Jack-o-Lantern and Halloween Bean Bag Toss and eating cookies until their heart's content!  This is the only picture I got from the whole party.  Davis quickly confiscated my phone immediately after I snapped this photo of Olivia and her friend M.  He then proceeded to pretend to take pictures of all the girls.  They were all standing around him giggling (by the way, the boys paid absolutely no attention to him.)  He's such a little ladies man, and it's just too stinkin' funny...for now!




Soooooooo...this bring us up to Halloween.  Frozen was represented!

Let me introduce Queen Elsa...


And Olaf...











And, surprise!  We woke up on November 1st to snow on the ground!  What!??









Oh, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Olivia's big milestone, too!  She lost her first AND second tooth! The first one she knocked out with her knee doing flips in the grass with her cousins, and the second one I pulled last week while she was sleeping.  (It was flapping in the breeze, people, and I couldn't stand it for another second!  It just had to come out!)



That gets me all caught up!  

Sincerely,

Leigh