Days Until Christmas....

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Just A Quick Hello!

I wanted to say that I miss blogging this week, but I have my aunt visiting this week and we're spending it catching up on lost time since we don't live near each other.

I'll leave you to check out some of these Christmas Stockings.  You can find a variety of different denim stockings at my etsy shoppe.   I love to "reclaim", and denim is durable, and fun.  These stockings are cowboy tough!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Change Can Be Good.....

A few years ago, I found out I was diabetic.  Yep, 35 years old and the genetic genes of my father's side caught up with me.  I decided to do all that I could to fight having complications for a very long time.  I attended a Diabetic Education Class.  The instructors taught me to shop differently, cook differently, and definitely eat differently.  I began to walk on my treadmill and be more active with my children.   I turned my life upside down...but I also lost twenty pounds of weight that I'd held onto since having my children.  

In my struggle to eat differently, I realized I didn't want to pass this diabetic gene on to my children if I could help it.  So, my new diabetic lifestyle went full circle!  The whole family needed to get on board.  Thankfully, my husband is a great support.  And we all made some healthy changes for our lives.  

My family has joined me in eating more vegetables, and less sweets.  We eat whole wheat bread, choose organic fruit when we can, and have cut out sodas.  We eat "colorful" fruits and vegetables to give our bodies wonderful health benefits.  When we aren't very happy about eating that veggie, we support each other by reminding that it's going to benefit our body by keeping fighting diseases, building our immune system, and giving us strong muscles!   (The boys love the strong muscle thing....they're in Martial Arts. Good muscles and strength are a big deal to them!)

Sometimes we cheat.  We have to eat cake or a cookie now and then!  But we shoot for eating our best 85% of the time.  It doesn't sound like that would be too difficult, but when lives get hectic, it can be a struggle.  We're improving and doing our best day by day!  

I remind my guys that a few simple, but good choices now will hopefully help them avoid pricking their finger daily for glucose samples like Mom does. 

We try to live by these simple tidbits at our house:

*  If it needs SUN to grow, it's probably a good food choice.  (Snicker bars do not grow in a garden!)  
*  Food items with just a few ingredients at the grocery store are better than the ones with a long list of huge words that you can't pronounce (which are likely chemicals and preservatives). 
*  Drink water! (Add lemon or lime slices if you're bored with plain water.  Green Tea is good too). 
*  Make it all homemade.  Even a cake is better for you if it's made from scratch.  Pre-packaged has too many preservatives, trans/saturated fat in it.
*  Eat veggies!  Fresh, frozen, canned.  Whatever.  Just eat them.  Veggies should be the main part of the meal with the meat and bread as smaller sides.  
*  Exercise is good!  (This one is a big one for me.  I'd rather be creating a fascinating new ornament  than working up a sweat!)  

Well, there you have it.  Diabetes is not what I had in mind for this time of my life.  It did get my attention though.  It made me re-evaluate my priorities.  Once my diabetes was under control, I felt better.  I pushed myself to take off the first pounds that I had been hanging onto.  I still am working toward the perfect hour-glass figure, but I'm a work in progress!  Change has helped me, and I have faith that the changes we've made as a family will benefit my children's future health, too.  

Saturday, September 25, 2010

90 Days Until Christmas!

Time is flying by.  I can't believe it's already late September and next month we'll have even less warm sunshine in our days along with the earlier darkness each evening.  (Yes, even here on The Gulf Coast we get cold weather and freezing nights as we get deeper into Autumn).

90 Days until Christmas!  I love it.  It scares some, but it inspires me!  I want to get out my fabric, ribbon, needle and thread and start crafting like crazy for the full countdown!  

I'm currently working on Quilted Ribbon Ornaments.  I keep saying that I'm going to use all my ribbon up, but as I go I need this or that to finish the project, and honestly, my ribbon boxes have not shrunk at all. The inspiration continues though, and I have many handmade ornaments to show for it.  

The Quilted Ribbon Ornaments are constructed by folding and putting together many cut pieces of ribbon or fabric.  Each piece is pinned in perfect position with care into a styrofoam ball.  Each ornament takes 70 to 90 straight pins.  (I definitely recommend using a thimble!)  

Here are a few of my latest additions.  They really pop against a Christmas Tree.   

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Name "ChristmasGal"

Are you ready for Christmas?  My favorite part of Christmas is the preparation!  I know most people dislike that part, but I start early and go slow and steady.  If cards are ready to drop in the mail before December 1st, cookies are in the freezer, and gifts are purchased and wrapped, I can enjoy every single minute of The Season when it slips upon us!  .....It also helps that I love to make Christmas Ornaments year around.  That's how I chose the name ChristmasGal!  I can't wait for Christmas just for the reason that we get to get out the ornaments!

My fascination with Christmas Ornaments started when I was a child.  My mom took my brother and me to pick out one special ornament each year.  We often choose something that reminded us of an important event.  Other years, we simply chose one that interested us.  I remember the year I choose a vanilla ice cream cone with sprinkles on it (my favorite).  Another chosen favorite ornament: a small gift with a red ribbon and bow attached to it.  The tiny gift box is made out of squares of mirror.  My dad was a glass man at the time, (replacing windows and windshields) so that ornament reminded me of that.  I could go on and on!  The ornaments I chose over the years were given to me once I had my own tree to decorate. A whole set of ornaments full of love and memories to put on our tree the first Christmas after Tom and I were married.   

I have the same tradition with our two children.  They choose their ornaments with such care.  Each year when the tree goes up, it takes hours to decorate because we look over each ornament and reminisce over who chose it and where it came from.  We've also started the tradition of making one ornament each year.  The kids love that just as much as the ornament they have purchased!  

Through the years, I started crafting my own ornaments.   It turned into a hobby that I now enjoy all year around.  Sometimes it's a pretty "girlie" ornament that I've envisioned, and other times, it's something like this TaeKwonDo Ornament that I made for my boys, who love their Martial Arts TaeKwonDo class.  I made duplicates of each of their uniforms.  Each year I make new ones to show their current belt color.  They love to see them on the tree each year as they graduate to higher belt colors.  

And so the story continues.....follow me as I craft ornaments!    Tell me some of your crafting ideas and traditions.  

You can view more of my many ornaments on  

Meet the Family...

  I wanted to introduce you to our family.  Justin is our oldest son.  Aaron is our little red-head.  My Hubbie and I love to get out and travel with our family.  My husband works for an airline, so we travel stand-by everywhere we can!  We love traveling so much that we homeschool, so we can go-go-go as often as we can get away.  The boys learn about the world as we travel around it.  So far it's been an amazing adventure.

  We live in Florida, and have spent some of this year traveling around our own state, too.  When flights are full, we get in the car and explore the places that are closer.

  Our little guys love the beach, and since the Gulf Coast still (possibly) contains oil....we recently went to a place that has been on our Travel Wish List for a long time.  Amelia Island, FL.  We had a lovely time.  The boys loved the waves.  (We don't normally have a lot of waves near the beach on the Gulf).  You can see in these pictures that they enjoyed playing with their boogie boards in the sand  and the waves.  We only had one jelly fish sting, but nothing that would keeps us all out of the water for very long.  (Sooth with vinegar and keep having fun!)

Friday, September 17, 2010

And we're blog!

Today I finally gave in to my friend's urging and started a blog.  I can say, now that I've started, I feel a bit of freedom.  All of these blank spaces to fill in!  I hope to blog about life, family, homeschooling, and crafting!  Join me!  I look forward to new friends, and your comments along the way.