Monday, December 15, 2014

Quick and Easy Christmas Crafts...

Christmas is quickly approaching and I generally start off the season with lots of BIG ideas of crafts and projects that I want to make for friends and family as gifts, or for a few craft shows and my Etsy store.


This year has been crazy, but just like other years I started off with tons of stuff I wanted to create but as the days slipped by I realized I was going to have to pair my list and my BIG ideas down to some cute simple gifts for giving this year! 
 

If you are feeling a little crafty this year but are short on time, here are a few quick projects for you to try out.  I didn't do any step-by-step instructions for these projects but they are pretty self explanatory and don't take much time... 





Wood Slice Ornaments...


My husband John is my problem solver, I needed some small slices of wood for these cute little ornaments and he found just the right piece in the woods behind our house and sliced it up for me!  They were quick and easy to make and I painted 25 in just one evening.  I drilled a hole in the top added a little twine to hang it with and a little glitter to make them sparkle.  I think they will look cute tied to a package, or hanging from a tree!





Hershey Bar Snowmen Treats...

I have seen other versions of these cute little giveaways on Pinterest and wanted to make one of my own.  I just wrapped a regular size Hershey bar in a plain white sheet of computer paper... made a little scarf out of bakers twine and brought them to life with a marker, a little powdered blush and a q-tip for their rosy cheeks and some colored pencils!  No special supplies needed to make these and they only took me about 10 minutes while I had some cookies baking in the oven!  I think these would make great stocking stuffers, name markers at your holiday table, teachers gifts or just special treats 
for special friends! 



Even if you don't have a lot of time or money, there are always quick fun ideas to share some homemade holiday cheer with friends and family!

Wishing you all happy crafting!

Sandy

Friday, November 14, 2014

Wedding Bells...

Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Justin Hwang

Genesis 2:18-24New International Version (NIV)

18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
19 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.
But for Adam[a] no suitable helper was found. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs[b] and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib[c] he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
23 The man said,

“This is now bone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
    for she was taken out of man.

24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

Well it happened!  Our family expanded by one, and we added a new son.  Our daughter Jessica married a great guy named Justin and we enjoyed a beautiful celebration of their union on Sunday, November 2, 2014.  It was such a special day, surrounded by family and friends and filled with love.

The wedding weekend began on Wednesday, when Justin's Mom and Sister flew in from California. We had a fun time getting to know each other when they came to our house on Thursday afternoon to wrap the caramel apples that were given to each guest as favors on the day of the wedding. Both Grandma Ginny and Grandma Shaw came to help us too, and it was a great opportunity to have some fun working together doing something for the wedding.  Following our crafty time, I made dinner for everyone and we had a nice relaxed evening to kick off the celebrations! 



Friday Kweeran (Justin's Mom) and I were invited to go to the Palate in Milford to enjoy dinner with her bridesmaids and girlfriends before they went back to her Maid of Honors house for her Bachlorette party! It happened to be Friday, October 31 and since it was Halloween, and  the girls decided to have a Pajama party, they all wore their PJ's to the restaurant! Dinner was so fun, and from the looks of the pictures, the after party at Leeannes was a blast too! 





Saturday morning we had the rehearsal for the wedding at 10 am. After running through everything a few times we headed off to the Uptown Grill in Commerce with the wedding party and their spouses and were treated to a wonderful lunch by Justin's family. The bride and groom passed out presents to the wedding party and us parents.  Jessy and Justin gave us a new Christmas ornament picture, with a bottle of red wine called "Brownie Points" (hahaha) and two wine glassed that said, "We Survived Our Daughters Wedding"!







Saturday afternoon after the rehearsal luncheon was finished, the ladies headed to a Nail Salon to get a little pampering before the big day.  The Salon closed up early so they could take care of our party of happy Maids, and Moms!  We enjoyed a little wine and cheese had a fun time getting Manicures and Pedicures!


The wedding and reception were all held at the Lazy J Ranch in Milford, and I would give them a three thumbs up.  Their staff was attentive to all of our needs the entire day, and they saw that everything flowed smoothly for us and that we had everything we needed.


We started early Sunday morning to get everything ready for the wedding.  John and I were able to borrow our friend Bob's van so we could transport all the decorations to the barn for the celebration. We left the house at 7:30 am, to meet our friends at 8 am at the Ranch to start setting up.  I was able to spend the entire drive out to the Ranch praying for Jessy and Justin, and our day ahead.  It gave me so much peace and calm and I am so glad that I was able to relax and focus before all the hecticness began!  We are so blessed with so many great friends that came out to help us. Jessy and Justin also asked Lisa, the Administrative Assistant at their church to act as the wedding coordinator for the entire day. She was absolutely amazing, and I did not feel stressed about anything knowing she was seeing to all the little details for us! We had many hands to unload and set up and were done by about 9:30 am! Thank you to all who came... you know who you are ;)!








I was able to make it home by 10am, and by then most of the girls were already at the house primping and priming!  We had the hairdresser and make-up artist come right to the house to do the bride, myself and some of the girls.  That was really nice because since it was Sunday morning not many salons were open! We enjoyed brunch and mimosas while getting ready and the house was filled with hairspray and laughter! Everyone was pretty calm including the Bride!









Once all dressed and ready the photographer came to the house to take some pictures of the girls before we left.  Luckily John had a little time to rake some leaves in the back yard before we went out there to take pictures!





Our caravan left the house for the Ranch about 1 pm for the wedding.  I left with Jessy, her Maid of Honor and our photographer Alyssa and made a quick stop at the Assisted Living Home where my Dad lives so he could see Jessy in her wedding dress and get a quick picture with him.  My Dad thought that it was better that he not go to the wedding because it would be too much for him, but Jessy wanted him to feel a part of it, so she wore a beautiful aquamarine ring that he had bought for her on her 16th birthday for her something blue, and she told him that he would be with her in her heart.  

Meanwhile the boys were doing their own thing... having brunch at a restaurant and then getting ready at the Best Man's house.  They got to the Ranch a little earlier than us for pictures where Alyssa's husband Drew met them to get started!


I was incredibly touched when I saw a picture that Justin sent Jessy via facebook, sometime during the morning with a picture of his shoes, and the wedding rings, and captioned it saying, "See you soon Darl'n"... it was so sweet (way to go son-in-law).




When we arrived at the Ranch we called ahead so they could put the Groom somewhere so he wouldn't see his Bride before the wedding.  After a few pictures at the barn with the girls, we headed to the brides room upstairs in the barn to wait!  Jes was amazingly calm the entire morning and we were able to spend some time praying over her. It was so exciting watching the guests arrive from the windows above the barn before the ceremony.



We had a beautiful sunny day for November 2, even though it was a little chilly.  We were hoping to have the ceremony outside but because the high was only supposed to be only 45 degrees  we decided to have the ceremony in the dinner barn with the big doors open overlooking the field behind so you had the feeling of being outside, it worked out perfect!








It was an amazing personal ceremony and I think it was everything they had hoped it would be with Christ glorified and in the heart of it.  They had an amazing time of music, worship, and prayer, which also included communion and a personal time of blessings with each set of parents. All of the groomsmen played the guitar during worship, which was absolutely beautiful.  She also had 2 of her bridesmaids sing at different times during the ceremony. Everything went off without a hitch and their Pastor Steve did a great job officiating it and making it very personal for them.  I don't think I have seen either of them smile as much as I did that day.  When it was over, they both just wanted to sign that certificate and make it legal!  They said let's just get'r done! 




During picture time after the ceremony the guests were invited to the Dairy Barn for appetizers and drinks, and also a hayride was offered for anyone that wanted to go.  We provide a basket of warm fleece blankets for the chilly ride! 




When dinner was called and everyone was invited back to the Dinner Barn where the ceremony had been held to eat.  My amazing friends stepped in again to finish setting up the tables with the silverware, favors, and gift bags for kids.  They had all the candles on the tables lit when we arrived back to the barn, and everything looked absolutely beautiful!



When the guests were all seated, the wedding party made their entrance to a fun song!  We enjoyed speeches from the Made of Honor, Best man, and my husband, but the best one was an amazing one by my son-in-law honoring his Father who could not be with us to celebrate because of his health. After the speeches were done, we enjoyed a delicious dinner and an amazing cake made by my dear friend Mary Kay.  The Bride and Groom wanted a cake that looked like a birch tree and she did an amazing job!








A fun time of dancing followed in the Dairy Barn, along with the traditional bouquet and garter toss! We also had a fun photo booth wall me and my husband had made for the guests to use during the night!








The happy couple along with their friends and family, danced and had fun the entire night! We were honored by guests from 9 different states, and were surrounded by a group of amazing friends and family to celebrate their special day... you could just feel the love surrounding all of us that special day. The newlyweds left with big smiles on their faces and I know they will have a wonderful life together!







Of course we all know that none of this would be possible if it weren't for Devin...











We received a sweet text message from our new son-in-law and daughter the next morning thanking us for the wedding and telling us how happy they are.  They are off to honeymoon in sunny California at the Villa Shopia and will end their week with another party that Justin's parents are having at a restaurant for their friends and family who couldn't make it to Michigan to celebrate!








Here are a few pictures of their LA reception with the Hwang family!





Blessings to them for a long and happy life together... we love you both!



XOXOXOXOXO,

Mom... aka The Blue Spotted Owl ;)