Fun Easter Projects and Traditions…..

Easter is soooo early this year!

I’m not quite ready to think about it….but I better get with it.

Here are some of the fun projects we enjoy doing at Easter….you can click on the title of each to be taken to the post with the how-to’s, etc.

Just this weekend I gave these to a lovely group of teen girls that spent the weekend with us…..here’s the how-to….

Vintage German Easter Egg Treats

basket of vintage easter eggs 2

This is our favorite way to dye eggs…..I just love the colors:

Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

naturally dyed eggs on silver tray

Ever know the stories behind Easter Traditions?

I shared some in this post:

Easter Traditions

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We had fun making these last year, too….

Vintage Sheet Music Eggs

Vintage Sheet Music Eggs main

Here’s the recipe for

Easter Story Cookies

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Have you started looking for the

Pine Tree Crosses

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I shared about our

Easter Egg Tree …… and how you can make your own….

easter egg tree

And we love the yearly tradition of doing a

Passion Tree

passion tree 2011

Well…those are some of our fun yearly traditions that we enjoy…..do you have any special Easter traditions? I’d love to hear about them!

Blessings~

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Sharing with:  Tip JunkieBetween Naps on the PorchThrifty Decor ChickFunky Junk InteriorsDIY ShowoffHome Stories A to Z,  Serenity NowSavvy Southern StyleMy Romantic HomeJennifer Rizzo

Celebrating the Letting Go……

Today I received something in my inbox that spoke deeply to my heart….because for the past several weeks it is almost exactly what has been written in my journal. I will share it at the end of the post.

In the fall No. 1 Son went off to China. Several years ago when I helped him pack for one week of summer camp… I knew. I knew it would be the first of many letting go’s. He’s like me….he loves adventure, and travel, learning new things, and being exposed to all kinds of people in all kinds of places. We’ve always been kindred spirits in that way.

But the China trip was the first big trip without us…and it was for longer than a week. I wanted to let him go. But I didn’t want to. But I did. And I’m glad.

We’ve always travelled together as a family….and it has been a wonderful launching pad for a budding adventurer. We’ve been able to be there as he learned how to navigate foreign places, big cities, countrysides, planes, trains, taxis, subways. How to handle being out of his comfort zone in a strange place. How to relish and enjoy every minute…and work through the mishaps. We’ve been there with him…showing and teaching. And he’s a good student. It was still hard….that letting go.I wanted to go with him.

I’m told that a good mom works her way right out of job?

When he returned from China he was so excited to give me a present. He had spent hours in a pearl factory in China picking out just the right ones for me. {He’s meticulous with his gifts and always puts his heart in them.} They were expensive. He spent his hard-earned money.

When he went to get his suitcase it had been broken into by a worker at the airport. The insides were a shamble and the pearl necklace and earrings were gone.

Oh, his face. I know how much of his heart he put into that present for me. I mustered up every ounce of self-control I could muster and encouraged him [and reminded myself that murder is a sin]. Thanked him.  And shared with him how I had learned the same hard lesson when I began to go off on my own: to never put valuables in your checked luggage. That was on the outside….on the inside my eyes slanted, ears became pointed, nostrils flared, fangs grew, and I may or may not have had slobber slinging from my jowls. I’m a mom….and someone had messed with one of mine. Ages of children do not change this Mom Fierceness.

More letting go. For all of his life I have encouraged him. Given him pushes when needed and held him back when needed. {If I ever run into that airport worker…he may need to hold me back! ;)} I know his strengths and I also know his tender spots. I’ve been able to protect those tender spots…physically, tangibly; but over the past year or so I have had to let go and realize I am entering a time of only being able to protect them with prayer. {The  best protection, anyway….but, you know, I’m a Mom. I like to do it myself. I like to see to it.} I will have to work on my trust while letting go….many of my prayers for No. 1 Son lately have been “God, I know YOU will see to it. Thank you.” 🙂

For weeks now I have been sitting down with him filling out college applications. Now that the scholarships, offers, and options are rolling in I realize there will be another big letting go. Even if he stays at the university here….it will be a big letting go. He brings his essays for me to look over….he wants my opinion and corrections. Without even reading them I know they are incredible. He’s a wonderful writer. But he wants to make sure. He says they have to be perfect. I remind him that his excellence is more than enough.

There’s so much more I want to teach him! Did I remember to tell him to always wear black socks with black dress shoes? Have I made sure that he knows the One that he can always run to? Have I taught him how to choose his battles and how to know when to say ‘yes’ and when to say ‘no’?

This mom thing. This letting go thing. It’s exciting and hard all at the same time. I mean, can God really take care and protect him better than me, his Mom? Maybe even better?

Oh dear. It is such a wonderful, exciting, hard time!

As a boy-child…..Always by his side….teaching him the ropes…..

IMG_0001As a man-child……Letting him go…….and trusting in the One that created him…….

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Here’s the post that spoke my heart:

How to Be the Parent You Want to Be: 40 Things Every Child Must Know Before They Leave Home 

Learning to celebrate the letting go…….while wiping the slobber………

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New Year’s Mantel

What a great day we have had….doing nothing.

I love it….it has been a treat. I hope your year is off to a wonderful start.

Here’s some great New Year posts that I have enjoyed:

2013 Goals for Your Home

When You Don’t Want a New Year, But a New You

God Sized Dreams and the ‘Do What You Can’ Plan

20 Questions for Reflecting on Your 2012

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I hope you guys had a wonderful New Year’s Eve. We threw a little fun New Year’s mantel together to be ready for the countdown.

new years mantel

I went on a hunt for vintage clocks….couldn’t find even one! ha! I usually see them all over the place at my favorite haunts. None. None to be found when I needed them most. Humph.

mantel for new years

I did, however, find a really neat Brownie camera to add to my collection. {Score!}

Great things can happen when you’re trying to do something else.

brownie camera

I try to remind myself of that often. If I just keep working toward the visions and ideas that have been given to me…..I can find great treasure through the unexpected. The ‘not what I was looking for’. Sometimes when I’m working toward something I find that just what I needed was not what I was looking for…..but even better.

With mantels. And life.

mantel vignette

Hoping you find just what you’re looking for this year…..

{for your home. and your life. ;)}

Happy 2013~

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You can read about my word of the year for 2013 here.

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Christmas Journaling Day…..

I shared last year in this post how we have a family tradition…..A Christmas Journal.

art journaling

Each year we take turns writing an entry in the journal….whatever each of would like to share about the Christmas season that we just had. When the kids were little they would just scribble or draw pictures. It’s fun to go back and look over everyone’s entries.

That’s what we will be doing today….

Do you have any kind of family journal that everyone takes part in?

Blessings~

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Merry Christmas to All….and to All a Good-Night!

He’s waiting….and he’s ready……..91127592431780083_n4e8Jl0F_c{source}

I wish you all a wonderful Christmas filled with friends, family, heartfelt peace amidst the world’s craziness…..and much delight! I think delight is often left out of many people’s lives today….and I want you to have it to the full this Christmas.

Christmas Eve has such a wonderful energy…you can feel it. Something exciting is in the air……Santa’s coming!

But even more exciting than that…..a Savior came, and He loves you so very much.

Some of our Christmas Eve traditions:

Baking Jesus’ birthday cake

waiting for Nanna & Poppa to arrive!

having a fun lunch with them

heading over to the annual Christmas Eve party….one I have been attending since I was young…and now our 3 play the violin each Christmas Eve there.

Celebrating Christmas with my side of the family…opening gifts and enjoying being together.

Leaving the trees lit all night and special treats out for Santa. {Still!}

There are so many more special things that we do each Christmas Eve….what about you? How do you celebrate on Christmas Eve? Is it quiet and relaxing? Hustle  & bustle?

For Buddy, the Elf, smiling is his favorite. Whatever your favorite is….I hope you get to do a lot of it today!

Much Love and Merry Christmas~

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DIY Victorian Christmas Crackers……

As long as I can remember we have had Christmas crackers at each place on Christmas Day. You can find them at many stores…but we have always made ours. When you create your own you can put inside exactly what you want to!

diy victorian christmas crackers

Each year we have special ornaments for each family…and label them with the last name and the year, then put them inside the crackers. We have Christmas with my side of the family on Christmas Eve at my parents’ home; and then we have a big Christmas Dinner here at our house on Christmas Day for Handsome’s family.

ornaments inside crackers

Want to make your own?

You will need:

toilet paper tubes or paper towel tubes cut in half

fun little things to put inside {fun thins are ornaments, candy, paper crowns, small pens and pencils, fun words or wishes, etc.}

string or ribbon

any kind of paper or tissue paper

scissors

inside christmas crackers

How to do it:

Put all the fun little surprises inside the tube.

making christmas crackers

Roll the paper around the tube the long way and tape.

how to wrap a christmas cracker

Tie each end with ribbon or string and then trim the ends to the length that you wish them to be. Be sure to tie the ribbon or string tightly…close to the tube.

victorian christmas cracker

Put them at each person’s plate for a special dinner! We always include tissue paper crowns in ours…and everyone has to wear them throughout the meal.

tissue paper crowns

Christmas Crackers are something that everyone looks forward to each year…they have become part of our Christmas Dinner and Christmas Eve traditions with both sides of our family.

Do you have any special traditions that you started in your family?

Merry, Merry~

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Sharing with:  Tip JunkieBetween Naps on the PorchThrifty Decor ChickFunky Junk InteriorsDIY ShowoffHome Stories A to Z,  Serenity NowSavvy Southern StyleMy Romantic HomeJennifer Rizzo

Historical Christmas {House Tour}

This past weekend my three violinists provided the music for the Historical Society’s Annual Christmas Tea. It was held in a beautiful, historical home. I had so much fun wandering around {I’m a wanderer….just in case you ever invite me to your house, you might need to know…..but don’t worry, I don’t go through drawers or anything.} I’m so glad that the owner loves for people to wander around his home! {People with the gift of hospitality usually don’t mind at all if you wander…..they have made complete peace with the dust bunnies, imperfections…in fact, they’ve incorporated them into their style. :)}

I love history…so this home was such a treat to take in. It is not how I would want to decorate our home, but so wonderful to enjoy. And, even if you are in someone’s home that doesn’t have the same style as you…..you can always learn so much. There’s always inspiration to take away…..inspiration that you can put into your own style. I love that. You also learn so much about someone that puts their own style into their home. It’s warm, inviting, reflects them and their family, what they treasure….it’s a home that is full of things of meaning. So, I just love spending time in other people’s homes and learning more about them.

While No. 1 Son got himself and his sisters all tuned up….I began to wander…..

tuning

It was a treat just driving up to this lovely place…..

historical home

Aren’t the natural decorations wonderful? Nothing says South like magnolia greenery!

front door christmas decor

Since holly in the South is not always plentiful….it takes a really cold winter to produce lots of berries…..a great alternative is nandina berries.

outdoor christmas decor

Wonderful window decor with greenery and fruit……

christmas window decor

The owner of this lovely home is an avid clock collector…and piano collector. There were several pianos in every room!

clock

One of my favorite parts….you guys know I just love the falling apart ceiling! It shows the historical construction of the ceiling…..they don’t do ceilings like this anymore.

vintage ceiling

A gorgeous chandelier graced each room….this is the foyer one…..

chandelier 2 chandelier

Check out the wonderful woodwork, complete with fabulous ledges! We plan to do this in our bedroom when we redo it. {Really soon, right, Handsome? Right? ;)}

ledges on walls

Being a historical home…there was a fireplace in every room. Be still my heart…..

historical fireplace

This bathroom was incredible! The ceiling was stained glass..and, yes, that is a working leaded glass sink!

victorian bathroom

I really need this urn. It would be perfect for cider. Don’t you think I need this urn?

cider urn

The finial on the stairway….the main stairway reminded me so much of the Titanic! This finial was almost as big as me! OK, maybe I exaggerate. It was very large, though….about 2.5 feet tall…..

stairway finial

The main parlor fireplace……

fireplace in historical home

One of the many antique pianos…..

antique piano

Another wonderful light fixture…..

victorian light

All of the fixtures in the ceiling had special framing..each one unique and different. The details were amazing.

ceiling around light

And another……

vintage light fixture

I love this tip for houseplants…….fill the top of each plant with ice cubes, and as they melt the plant is watered.

houseplant watering tip

It was a great afternoon….such a treat.

violinist

Have you gone on any great house tours lately?

Christmas Blessings~

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