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Archives for November 2015

Engagement Photo Idea: Include Heart Balloons!

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Mother of the Bride, don’t you love how fun and creative engagement photos are today? Sure, the photographer may have your soon-to-be Mr. & Mrs. pose for a traditional shot or two, but the more creative shots capturing the personality of the couple or the depth of their love are the ones you’ll love the most.

Pictured above is an engagement photo idea too cute not to pass along—heart balloons included in a shot where the couple is kissing. Isn’t this a super sweet photo? So much love expressed through the kiss as well as the hearts. What a fun shot filled with the promise of a lifetime of love. Romance and fun at the same time make this shot a winner, a real must-have photo to commemorate your little girl’s engagement.

So why not show this heart balloon idea to your daughter, MOB, and see if she and her honey would like to include something similar in their engagement photo session. After all, their hearts are already soaring in love. They might as well picture it, right?!

*You might also like to read Engagement Photos: Consider a Night Shoot, Engagement Photo Idea: Bike Fun!, Engagement Photo Idea: Playground Fun, and Engagement Photo Idea: Frame That Moment!

*Flickr photo by Bert Palmer, Creative Commons License

Undone by the Gift of Our Savior

4161935408_9b02a46dd9_zLast year at this time, my husband Don was enduring a season of pain like he’d never known before. On November 15, 2014, he fell roof-high from a ladder and fractured his spine in eight places. He was laid up at home for almost two months before he could attempt a return to a modified work schedule. He needed pain medication on a regular basis for a while. It was rough.

One day during December while I had a favorite Christmas cd playing and “Joy to the World” was wafting through the air, I went in to check on Don and he was crying. He was completely undone by the gift of our Savior.

He said, “He could have come down from the cross. He could have come down. But he stayed. He suffered. For me.” Because of the pain Don had been enduring, the fact that Jesus came to earth to die a painful death to pay for our sins took on a whole new level of meaning for him. Our “Joy to the World” came at a great cost. A cost Jesus was willing to pay.

As we listen to and sing the carols of Christmas this year, let’s listen and sing as if it’s the first time we’ve heard or sung them. Let’s be touched afresh by them. Let’s come undone by the gift of our Savior.

Why not start with “Joy to the World”? I’ll print the words below. Let’s glory in its message together today!

“Joy to the world , the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the world, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.”
*lyrics by Isaac Watts

*Has a carol of Christmas ever taken on special meaning for you?

*Flickr photo by jeffweese, Creative Commons License

Midweek Morsel: How Big Is Your God?

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*I’ll be taking a blogging break next week for Thanksgiving. What are some of the best blessings God has given you this year? I’m especially thankful for God’s gift of our twin grandsons, for my husband’s back healing well enough so he could go back to work early this year, and also for God blessing me with a book contract in August.  I hope you all have a wonderful week celebrating Thanksgiving with your families. See you November 30th!

Sometimes we need a reminder of how big God is. We need to remember that his love and faithfulness can’t be measured—and that they never fail. We need to hear once again that his justice and love and protection are for one and all. Yes, sometimes we need a reminder of just how big our God really is.

And so, my friends, be blessed by this reminder from God’s Word today:

“Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens,
     your faithfulness to the skies.
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
    your justice like the great deep.
O, LORD, you preserve both man and beast.
    How priceless is your unfailing love!
Both high and low among men
    take refuge in the shadow of your wings.”
                                                             Psalm 36:5-7

*When have you taken refuge in the bigness of our God?

*My photo (taken in Grand Teton National Park)

Craft a Bridal Keepsake Box

Bridal Box Teri made for Kristin

*Since the readership of the Mother of the Bride Blog is ever-changing, here is an updated encore post I hope will be helpful to those of you who weren’t MOBs when I originally posted it in January 2014. Also, I’ll be taking a blogging break next week for Thanksgiving. I hope you all have a wonderful week celebrating Thanksgiving with your families. See you November 30th! (In the meantime you might like to read A Mother of the Bride’s Thanksgiving Prayer.)

Mothers of the Bride, for those of you who are crafters—or have friends who are crafters (yes!)—delight your daughter with a gorgeous bridal keepsake box like the one pictured above. I’m not a crafter at all, but thank goodness my good friend Teri is. She made the beauty above for my daughter Kristin when she was a bride-to-be.

Start with an oval shaped box. Right away this makes it special by using a shape that’s not as common. Believe it or not, this box is actually a Harry & David Dark Chocolate Truffles box. And if you don’t happen to have one lying around the way I did (chocolate lover that I am!), go ahead and treat yourself so you can use the box later. That’s as good a reason to eat truffles as you need, MOB! :)

Think about what bridal-themed adornment might appeal to your daughter and cover the box accordingly. Teri and I chose a variety of lace, pearls, and pretty silk rosebuds for Kristin’s box. Teri then styled the box, using her trusty hot-glue gun as her right-hand man.

So why not give it a try, MOB? It’s fairly simple to do (if you’re someone like Teri!) and can be used to store any number of wedding keepsakes. Teri included homemade garters in Kristin’s box. Take my word for it, whatever you do, your daughter will treasure it.

*You might also like to read Knitted Bridal Bouquet and More , Sparkle Up the Bridal Garter, Turning the Ordinary into Keepsakes, and Wedding Decor: Craft It with Paper.

*Photo by Kristin

A Cranberry Salad Recipe for the Holidays

305095614_dd169d1ab0_zI don’t feature recipes on my blog very often, but there’s something about autumn, something about the holidays, that makes me want to share yummy food with you. I always try to offer soul and spirit refreshment and nourishment here, and I think a recipe can fit the bill every now and then. I don’t know about you, but something yummy has a way of refreshing my spirit!

Last autumn I shared my mom’s Old-Fashioned Dressing recipe, and this year I’d like to gift you with Mom’s Cranberry Salad recipe. It was a regular on Mom’s holiday turkey dinner menus. Mom has been gone for two years now, and we miss everything about her—including the delicious food she prepared for us all the time. So I’ll share this recipe today in honor of Mom. Hope you enjoy!

Mom’s Cranberry Salad

2 c. fresh cranberries
1 c. water
1 c. sugar

Boil for 10 minutes with lid (not too hard of a boil).

Add:

2 c. mini-marshmallows
1 pkg cherry jello dissolved in 1 c. hot water. (Add to cranberry mix after dissolved.)

Pour in serving bowl and start it to set up in the fridge.

When partially set, add:

1 c. finely chopped raw apple with peeling
1/2 c. chopped pecans.

Stir and then let it finish setting up. Keep refrigerated.

God bless as you prepare for your family’s Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. May your celebrations include not only yummy food, but love, gratitude, and lots of great memories as well. Be refreshed this season, my friends!

“‘Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way—now that you have come to your servant.’” Genesis 18:5

*What are some favorite items on your holiday menus?

*Flickr photo by Half Chinese, Creative Commons License