Monday, February 28, 2011

Blessings to end February

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” — William Arthur Ward

Giving thanks...

- a fun, new lens
- Friday night dinner in the Kettle with the Bjorks and Drosts, 
and meeting sweet Caroline!
- hopeful dr. visits
- soft snow flurries
- brunch with Becca, Tara and Ken-Ken
- maternity hand-me-downs
- quiet nights
- a visit from Cole, his delight in Dmitri
- Mexican lunch date with Katie
- Charlie's movie message
- finding a great Schwarma place in Salem and having a Schwarma party with my fam
- oodles of Brian-time
-every single little movement in my tummy
- Big C's generosity
- a fun, restful February vacation
-my dear friend, Lianna and her birthday
- March!

Saturday, February 26, 2011


These lovely mini Daffodils are presently cheering Sea Kettle's kitchen and reminding us that spring may just come yet! It's still February and I'm already longing to get my hands in the dirt...

Friday, February 25, 2011

This Moment

A brunch (turned all-day!) reunion of old friends... 
{this moment} - A Friday ritual
Joining with SouleMama

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Books by Color

Ever since I saw this post at my friend Jodi's, I've had a hankering to organize my own books by color.  I've been nervous to try it, since both Brian and I thought that it might be hard to ever find our favorite books again, since they won't be organized by any other genre. Despite my trepidation, I was caught in one of those must-clean-or-organize-something moods and I decided to bite the bullet.  

To my surprise, I soon realized that it was actually easier to find my books this way, since I know generally what color most of my books are... And it's just plain pretty! We love how our bookshelves are now more of a design element in our living room, rather than just a storage area.  I'm afraid there are times I can be found sitting idly on the couch, just staring at my bookshelves. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

More babies...

...more baby bouquets! 
(for a little tutorial, check this out)
(unfortunately, not the greatest picture, but congrats anyway, Mary!)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Ok, last valentine post, I promise!
Last week, I created this pillow as part of my valentine gift to Bri.  I found an old bandana in the scrap bin as well as some muslin I used for last year's Easter skirts and the batting I used for my vintage sheet quilts.  I embroidered the quote onto the muslin and used the bandana for the borders and back; I filled it with batting and voila!  Nothing fancy and didn't cost a thing...but very heartfelt and he seemed to like it. :)
(I couldn't help but take a couple shots of my stately sewing companion in his beautiful long winter coat...)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Monday Blessings

This week I'm full to the brim of thanks and praise...

- brunch with old, good friends
- Big C's birthday
- the fun and freedom of February vacation!
- a newly organized craft room
 - Valentines fun; flowers, a couples' massage, dinner with my love
- sitting in quiet
- kitty's entertainment
-waffles, real Vermont maple syrup and fresh berries
- feeling flutters
- seeing baby James again!

Sunday, February 20, 2011


(thanks to my husband for the beautiful bouquet,
 and for loving me so very deeply)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Naming Baby

The other day I announced to my students that I'm having a baby. "Wows", big smiles and lots of questions ensued.  When the excitement died down a bit, they immediately began a list of names for me to consider. Here's what they came up with:

Lord Elizabeth Duffindore (my personal favorite)
Pixie, Dixie and Mr. Jinx 
Jericho II
Norrin (apparently some sort of evil alien)
Brian Jr. 

So, what do you think? Any winners?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Just Basking

There were so many wonderful moments this week; too many to count. Unfortunately, it seems I wasn't very good at capturing them! I'm afraid all you get today is my late-thursday-night-basking-in-the-glow-of-a-wonderful-week moment...
{this moment} - A Friday ritual
 Joining with SouleMama

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mr. and Mrs. Mugs

I was inspired by this post over at A Holy Experience and decided to make my own "Mr. and Mrs. Mugs"(sorry DaySpring!).  I thought this would make a perfect addition to my valentine's gift for my mister. And it was a great opportunity for a sister date. 

Unfortunately, I didn't realize that the pottery place would take a whole week for the firing process, so I had to give Brian an "IOU" and pictures of the "unfired" pieces until we pick them up on Friday. Hopefully they'll turn out ok!
Katie working on her piece for Matt...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Kiss Flip-Book

Here's a fun valentine idea I found a while back. Since I made mine a bit differently than she did, I'll give my own little step-by-step. I took a picture of myself blowing a kiss using a tripod against a blank wall. I printed about twenty 3 1/2 x 5 pictures, then drew the hearts with a red sharpie.  I punched holes in each photo and tied them together with a ribbon.  A cute gift for a family member or significant other, especially if they live far away!
In action!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine Mail

This week I have some Valentine projects to share.  I know it would have been more helpful to post them BEFORE Valentine's Day, but unfortunately I would have ruined too many surprises! Perhaps they'll give you some ideas for next year. Hope you had a lovely day of love with your friends, family or significant other. Enjoy!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Counting my Blessings: Valentine Edition

I'm thankful this week and always for my valentine, Brian James....

- his kindness and patience
- his voice
- his creativity and passion
-how we are the perfect match
- how he makes me laugh
- his strength
- his sweet and thoughtful tokens
- our endless fun
- his music and poetry
- how he always makes time for me
- how he romances me
- his provision
- his smile
- his spiritual leadership and maturity
- his selflessness and humility
- his wisdom
- the sweet years we've spent together and the years to come

-him and everything God made him to be.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Rich Young Man

Sharing our most recent scripture collaboration..

Voice and Guitar: Brian James
Art: Kerrie James

The others:

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Love Note Story

(A repost from the archives, in honor of Valentine's Day)

A day after I started dating Brian, I received my first love letter.  He has always had a way with words.  It was long, beautiful, heartfelt and Christ-filled.   This first letter was written to me as I napped beside him in a van full of noisy teenagers on the way back from a mission trip to the sticks of Tennessee.  We were a young 17, but it was here we realized that we never wanted to part.

Throughout the 5 long years of dating, we wrote each other at least once a week (we lived 5 minutes apart from each other).  They were long hand written notes;  and love, hopes and dreams filled each page to the brim.  Even though we'd surely see each other that night, we'd continue to lick postage stamps and send them on their way to the other side of town.
I guess  we just couldn't believe how much our hearts and beings seemed to fit together so perfectly, how God has chosen for us such a wonderful match.  We loved to write about it.  And read about it.  (We will often open the pages of those letters on an anniversary and smile as we remember those early feelings of young love and infatuation.)

When Brian asked me to marry him,  along with my ring, he gave me two handmade boxes.  Mail boxes.  He made them with scraps of wood and hand picked sea glass.  With a wood burning tool, he etched "Beloved Wife" and "Dear Husband" and our initials.  It was a perfect summation of our early love and a wonderful symbol for acts of love to come.  Promises were made to keep writing throughout our lives together.

* * *

The mailboxes now sit on our respective bedside tables. A mite dusty, but well-used.  Beside them, a stack of paper and a pen.
There have been times in our marriage when life overwhelms us and these notes become more sparse.  We quickly pass each other through the rooms in our house, busy with things we must do and things we must think about.  But, a little "I love you" and a quick passing kiss in the hallway, just doesn't do for us.  

We always come back.   We come back to the paper and the pen.  We sit long and carefully craft the words with which we can try to express our hearts.  And we scratch those words of love and longing again and again.

Through these careful, slow, thought-out,  unexpected, love notes, left secretly in dusty mailboxes, we are harkened back to early love.  The words, the romance, the intentionality. But we are not only remembering "the good old days".  We are slowly and consistently building up a love that is maturing and becoming sweeter and more strong every day.  Written word by written word.
Why not try writing to someone you love this week? Whether it be your husband, friends, or kids, there aren't many things in life that are more cherished and meaningful than heart-felt words of love and encouragement. I have the boxes of letters to prove it! 

Friday, February 11, 2011

This Moment

Music enrichment day at school; a west African drummer taught us some sweet beats on the Djembe!
{this moment} - A Friday ritual
 Joining with SouleMama

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Simple Valentine Decor

I try not to over do it, but I can't not decorate at least a bit for Valentines Day.  Growing up, we always had so much fun making piles of heart-shaped paper decorations and valentine mailboxes to celebrate this day of love. These days, I tend to riffle through my craft room, pull out all of the purple, pink and red paper, scissors and a glue stick and have at it. Here's what I did this year...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

My Favorite Valentine

I was looking through the craft room shelves the other day and stumbled upon the valentine that Brian gave me the year we were engaged.  I couldn't help but marvel at it just as much as the day he gave it to me.  I mean, the boy made a 3-d model/pop up card of Doane's Falls, the place he asked me to marry him. I remember being so amazing at his ingenuity and utter sweetness. It meant so much that even though he wasn't naturally a crafty person, he spent the time to make something that he knew I would find so special. That guy is such a keeper, I still can't believe he chose me
The road, the path, the falls and the rock where he proposed, it looked just like this... so clever!