Happy Thanksgiving

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day!  Really?  Already?  Life continues to be hectic, yet full of blessings.  The kids are out of school for Thanksgiving break, so we spent the day cleaning – oh, what joy, oh, what fun…!  But at least it’s finished and we can spend the rest of the break enjoying our family and friends!

I’m super excited to celebrate the holiday with my husband (who is unfortunately sick right now… and who hopefully feels better tomorrow – prayers please!), with my three-bies, and my parents.  Then, we’ll also get the chance to celebrate with Gregg’s parents and his sister this weekend.

While scrubbing tubs and toilets this afternoon, I got to thinking about all of the things for which I’m thankful – I mean, you kind of have to think about joyous things when elbow-deep in clorox and comet…  to keep the spirits up!  The Lord has richly blessed me, so much so that the tubs and toilets are a breeze!

To give a brief update for the month of November (any further back and I’d be writing a book!) I’ve concocted some photo collages:

We were HAPPY to participate in Operation Christmas Child again this year!!!  It’s one of our favorite events because the kids enjoy packing shoeboxes FULL of fun items for underprivileged children.  It warms the heart to know that a child, somewhere around the world, who might otherwise not receive a single thing for Christmas, will wake up to open a shoebox packed with not only physical toys, toiletries, school supplies, etc., but a shoebox packed with the Gospel message of Christ, a shoebox filled with love by those who packed it!

Which leads to me to the boxes that I put in the mail yesterday…  boxes filled with sock monkeys for Craft Hope (that I personally fell in love with and that my kids hugged and snuggled to infuse them with even more love for their future recipients).  I’m not going to lie…  it was difficult to let them go…  but I know that they are going to special children who need them more than I do!

This collage was made to commemorate Alex’s musical performance at school.  She auditioned for a singing part in the song “Edelweiss” and got it!  She sang with four other little girls.  Alex also had a dancing part as a scarecrow during the song, “If I Only had a Brain!”  She did such a good job that we had to celebrate at Orange Leaf after the show!  My girl is slowly but surely coming out of her shell!

We celebrated two birthdays:  Alex’s 8th and Christian’s 7th, which entailed some Pirates of the Caribbean, Justin Beiber, chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting…

some mini-golf, rock wall climbing, and go-karts!  Each kiddo got to celebrate in their classrooms with special snacks AND they each got taken out to lunch on a school day this week, so I think that they are sufficiently spoiled rotten for yet another year!

Here, a collage showcasing my new ornaments that have inspired a new theme for my Christmas tree!!!  The BFF, Sara, found these ornaments while browsing Target online, and thought that she heard them screaming my name – she was SO RIGHT!!!  They are awesome with a earthy, crafty, organic, wood on felt-look that I have immediately embraced for a small 4 1/2 ft. tree in my family room.

There are some things that could easily be purchased at my “home away from home” Hobby Lobby, like burnt orange, teal blue, and shades of green ornament balls.  To add even more pizazz, I found some gorgeous starburst-esque garland at Johnson’s Garden Center (half off in the fall decor).  To add my own little touches, I made a few things:

Yarn covered ornament balls!!!

Yarn comes in so many wonderful, vibrant colors and adds to the crafty, earthy, organic theme that I’m striving for.  If you’re looking for a non-traditional, funky color scheme to decorate your Christmas tree, look no further than the yarn aisles at your craft store!

I started with some hot glue on the very bottom of the ornament ball, coiling the yarn around and around, hot gluing every once in a while.  You don’t have to cover the entire ball in hot glue, just on an “as needed” basis, but make sure that you work quickly so that the glue doesn’t harden before you get your yarn pulled tight and put in place.  Also, I quit about halfway up the ball, cut the yarn, and secured the end piece with hot glue.  Then, I started at the very top of the ball and worked my way back down towards the middle until the whole ball was covered.  Believe me, it worked out a lot easier doing it in two steps.  And, take my word for it, mod podge is NOT the way to go here….  hello, horrible messy, glue covered workspace and fingers…  good-bye, two whole ornament balls to the trash pile…  Use your glue gun!

And, what tree would be complete without a matching/coordinating tree skirt?!?  I felt that this project was a necessity to “finish the tree”, so headed to the craft store and found these delish fabrics to make my own custom tree skirt.  There’s probably an easy way to make one?  But, I don’t follow directions well and I don’t know how to read patterns, so I sat down with some brown kraft paper (on a roll) and started designing.

It took some time and effort to attach the ribbons…  but they just give some extra polish and POP!  I layered a sheer ribbon on top of a solid one for this side.

And, dah, dah, dah, dah!  Yes, this tree skirt is double sided with a lovely layer of thin cushiony batting inbetween.  This side sports an orange rick rack layered on top of a solid teal ribbon.

I am beyond ecstatic with the finished product!!!  I know that this tree is up and decorated before Thanksgiving…  Our family’s tradition is to decorate the day AFTER Thanksgiving, but this was a new tree (bought it on super duper after-Christmas clearance last year), so of course, I’ve been anxious for an entire year to pull this baby out.

And, I’ve been content to sit and stare at this tree for the past couple of days and dream about the holidays!  HAPPY Thanksgiving and HAPPY holidays!!!

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About cjbolinger

I am a stay-at-home mother of three children (Ben, Alex, and Christian), a wife who is head-over-heels in love with her husband of 13 years (Gregg), a hobbyist photographer, and a lover of everything crafty! Follow my attempts at domesticity as I cook, clean, and craft for my family...
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