Monday, November 26, 2012

and just like that...

...the shift has occurred again. 
goodbye, thanksgiving.
hello! Christmas!

haha.  nathan is in his socks.  :)

while i've hardly digested the thousands millions of calories i consumed over the weekend from our thanksgiving feastS,  the pilgrims have come down and have been replaced with the much anticipated nativity set.  
and while i tucked away the last of the pumpkins, bittersweet and bits of harvest, the peppermint wreath is already being made, bing is set on pandora, and we are decking the halls like the rest of the country. 
how crazy FUN is that?!

but let's back up the train a bit.
we had a lovely thanksgiving with both sides of our family this year.  
and while i'm on the subject, i would like to give a shout out to my moms for being such amazing cooks.  
with that said, i really, truly, SERIOUSLY need to step away from the comfort food buffet line.
what is wrong with me?  i've totally traded my mostly raw diet for anything cooked, baked or loaded with sugar.


situations like the one below don't help, either.

instead of black friday shopping this year, my mom, sister and i, opted to do some holiday baking.
i can assure you that one of those pans of mixed nut bars(lower left) is already half gone.
we split the goodies that we made between the three of us, but still!
also, those walnut crescents in the upper left hand corner are my FAVE.  yikes. 
i'm totally in trouble with all of this taunting me in the basement freezer.
(that's where i do the laundry and the freezer is RIGHT next to the washer and dryer.  VERY convenient...and private...muahahaha!!!)
AND i'm not even going to explain henry and the bottle of sprinkles.  it pretty much sums up his existence.  :)

after school, we spent most of the day cleaning, packing away fall, and bringing up a few Christmas decorations.
that is, after i apologized to all of my children at least three times for losing my temper and yelling at them.
at the time, i did not know why it was so hard to round to the nearest hundred, sound out the long E sound, or put quotation marks around a quote.  
all day long i was edgy and i kept telling myself, "turn the volume down, mary!" (see?  quotation marks!).
because i wan't just yelling, i was YELLING!
thankfully, my children kindly forgave me and we proceeded with the Christmas cheer.  :)

this is the advent calendar i made last year.
i used an old cork board from the thrift store and covered it with fabric.
then i used some pretty ribbon to decorate it, and push pinned those little $1 boxes from michaels in.
the kids LOVE it.
i kinda do, too.

i tried my hand at chalkboard art today, and besides being time consuming, it was really easy!
check out how i did it, HERE.
i have been trying to find a home for my folk art carved wood chain(somebody seriously carved that thing out of a solid piece of wood), and the lyrics to O Holy Night came to mind.

Truly He taught us to love one another, 
His law is love and His gospel is peace. 
Chains shall he break, for the slave is our brother. 
And in his name all oppression shall cease. 
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we, 
With all our hearts we praise His holy name. 
Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we, 
His power and glory ever more proclaim! 
His power and glory ever more proclaim!

i think i may be a little addicted to chalkboards.  
especially when they deliver such a Wonderful message.
tomorrow we get to pick out our tree(nathan's home!), and dig up some more fun stuff from the basement.
it's always so fun to see what you have, remember your favorite things from years past, and find those that you have recently made or collected.

over and out, girlfriends.
when are you able to get together for a peppermint mocha and some cinnamon bread?
uh...i mean, veggies and tea.  ;)


Sunday, November 18, 2012


some of you may know that i have officially been the mother of a teenager for a good nine months now.
you know your life is coming full circle when your daughters pinterest boards are cooler than your own.  :)
i mean, do i really look old enough to have a teenager?  ------------------------------------------------->

this darling girl has been the recipient of all of my worst mothering mistakes.  she was my guinea pig. 
my heart's desire as a teenager(GASP! that's what she is!), was only to get married and have children.
seven was my 'magic' number.
after i had a few kiddos the number decreased, but by God's grace, i think it may just still be our number.
 but that's for a whole different post.  ;)

i got married to my love when i was 18, and one year and one month later, miss elly was born.
baby in arms...we were in LOVE.
now she's growing up on us.  *sigh*

as i look back at all of my naiveness as a young mother, and my millions trillions of mistakes, i see a story that is grace laced in every way. 
i was not always a great mother.  i was a very strict, demanding mama who required nothing less than perfection for a long time. 
of course, i know this is impossible, but it didn't stop me from trying.
i didn't give grace, and so that put a barrier between my very own daughter and myself.
as weird as it may seem, and as harsh as it feels to me, my daughter and i have not always connected in the way i thought we would.
it would take 13 years for me to fully grasp the gift that my daughter is to me and that she was specifically chosen for me.
what an honor and a blessing!

here are a few pictures of her birthday party this past february. 
it was a very bitter cold day, and her brother had a bad ear infection, but we had a great time just the same.
i know it seems late to post this, but i so badly want to document this vapor of a life.  :)

we chose a crafty theme for the maturing girl.
she requested fish tacos and individual nutella cheesecakes.  

certainly the ONLY way we ended up where we are today is by the grace of God.
and a whole lotta caulk.  because Lord knows, He had to fill in a multitude of gaps that i left along the way.
and He still is.

elly is so much like me it hurts sometimes.
i think that contributed to our clashing.  ok.  for surely it did.
she is a beautiful girl, inside and out, and she is just bursting with talent!
i'd like to say that she is a lot like me in her love of creating. ;)
we both come alive when we are able to 'make'.
she also has a very tender heart, the best kind.

can you even stand the wisconsin sweater?  i am SO making that but with the united states on it!
she did that all by herself, and the sewing is amazing!
also, she has been able to bless a few of my bloggy friends(and others) with these baby moccasins. 
aren't they the CUTEST?
she is a wonderful knitter, a gifted pianist, loving sister, daughter and friend.
family singspiration just would NOT be the same without her.

this season of my life with her has {by far} been the best ever.
we totally 'get' each other, we love to create together, and yes, we share favorite TOMS and certain clothes.
i can break out in, "i just say....i love youuuuuuu!" with fake mike in hand at target and she only gets mildly embarrassed.  :)
hey, that's my job!

so today, and every day, i'm so thankful that God chose ME to be her mother.
watching her grow up has been my privilege and i am keenly aware of how quickly time is fleeting.
we may only have her for a few more years, and i plan on enjoying every little bit.
eye rolls and all.

i hope she never forgets Who she truly belongs to.
she was bought with a price, a very high One, and my prayer is that she will radiate that Life to all those she meets.

Lord, i thank you so much for blessing me with this rare and precious jewel of a daughter.
may YOU shine brightly through her and continue to fill in all of my gaps!

mama loves you, elly grace.


Friday, November 9, 2012


i'm not gonna sugar coat this, dears.
this has been a hard week for me.
the results from tuesday were exposing my faithlessness in all sorts of ways.
one minute, i'd be walking on water{trusting!} and the next, i'd be in sackcloth and ashes{faithless!}...crying out to God.
as i was curled up in His lap late tuesday night, He calmed my fears, brushed away the tears, and i realized that THIS is what He wants from me all the time.
my complete attention and dependence.  
eyes fixed Above.

of course, all of this uncertainty and crazy turn of events is happening in the midst of the season of thankfulness, and there's nothing better to turn a frown upside down than a mile long list of blessings that are completely undeniable.
so here are a few of my #capturingourblessings from this week.
i have been playing along with rebekah on instagram and i am loving it!

first off, my privilege to vote.  i was able to give the kids a lesson in this as we went into our tiny town voters booth tucked in the basement of independent living apartments.  
there's plenty of old ladies with candy, and the cutest little americana curtains that i'm pretty sure one of them sewed to hide the old school write in voters stations.
i didn't get a sticker, but i felt a deep sense of pride knowing that i exercised my right to choose whom i feel would best represent this country with the morals and standards that are closest to those that God would be pleased with.
america is truly an amazing country.  we are blessed.

i captured this sweetness in the kitchen.  having a loving, Godly father for my children is an absolute joy and blessing.  He loves his children fiercely and always points them to Him.  always.
seeing the daughter/daddy love just about puts me into a puddle.


in typical God fashion, He had this package of blessings delivered right to my door step on wednesday.
wednesday would have to be the peak of my faithlessness this week.  
i mourned certain losses, and was melancholy at best.
a few weeks ago, i had seen a giveaway via one of my favorite blogs, Dreamy Whites, so i hopped over here to enter.
as it would turn out, i was the winner among many people who entered, and the timing was so appropriate.
His always is, you know?  He loves in the details.  and i love details.
maria is such a sweetie, and to say she has impeccable taste and incredible gifts would be an understatement.
in my package, i received a beautiful moroccan market tote, a monogrammed antique french linen sheet, two antique french linen pillow cases, soap, a lavender stuffed french grainsack pillow and a sweet sachet of lavender.
all of these treasures are my fave.  
head over to her shop to see more.

having a Bible believing, Gospel preaching, family of brothers and sisters in Christ is an absolute blessing.
we always go to prayer meeting on wednesday nights, 
but this night in particular i craved fellowship with my friends more than ever.
i needed love.
i needed encouragement.
i needed comfort and solace.
and that's exactly what i got.
if there is ever a time to seek God's face, it is now.  
Christians must band together and fight the good fight NOW.

this one may have been stretching it, but as i FINALLY sifted through ginormous piles of laundry, i couldn't help but be thankful for the bodies that fill these clothes that i so carefully fold into neat little piles.
you do not even want to see the mountains that remain, but i made a dent and that is always a good thing!

as i shake the dust off of my feet from this disappointing and rather difficult week, 
One thing remains the same throughout the crashing waves and uncertainty that lie ahead.
yesterday, today, forever, Jesus is the same.
all may change, but Jesus, NEVER.
glory! to His name!

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.
 Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
 Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
 For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
Psalm 100

we, as a country, may have changed and forfeited His blessings by choosing 
sin and self indulgence over obedience to Him and His Word, 
but those who have put their faith and trust in Him have no need to fear.
the events of the week have been a call to action, friends!
a catalyst to GO and BE the hands and feet of Jesus, fearlessly proclaiming His name 
God cannot use those who sit, paralyzed in fear and complacency.
i do not want to live in fear and with constant worry.
so i will trust, as well as i know how.
i will spread His hope and the Gospel to the unreached that need to know.

we are SO ready to
who do you know that needs to know?
are you with me?


vintage marquee 'GO' letters found at this fun shop!

a punk, a pumpkin and a peanut

Monday, November 5, 2012

our thankful tree

hello, darlings!
how have you all been?
i don't even know where in the world to begin.
i have had about a million posts in my head swirling around but nothing has made it over here.
do you ever write blog posts in your head when you are lying in bed at night?
or when you get a RARE quiet moment during the day?
i do it ALL the time, but they rarely make it to the big screen(haha!).
i know for a fact that the Lord has prompted me to tell you certain things that have been on my heart, but i have failed to do it.
i have sort of been using instagram as a mini blog, but it doesn't replace me sharing the thoughts that are constantly running through my head, the meaning behind each photo that i take, or the lessons that HE is teaching me along the way.
i could litralee write a blog post for each IG photo,
but i tend to get overwhelmed thinking about it and so i don't do anything at all.
well, not today!
i'm going to start right here. right now.
what we did today.
and maybe someday i'll rewind and share some other really special moments we've been having, too.
if you would like to follow me on instagram, my username is mary_krause.

so, today we made a thankful tree.
a simple and inexpensive way to count our blessings.
because you can never, ever give thanks too much.
i started with an antique cast iron urn and a fake branch that i bought at 50% off from hobby lobby.
i think it was $4.
i know there are oodles of free branches outside, but this one looked really real(hubby didn't know it was fake), and i can reuse it over and over again.  that's my justification.  :)
my girls balled up paper and shoved it around the stick in the urn and then we added river rock on top.
you could use a ball jar, galvanized pail or a pretty white pitcher, too.  anything goes!

then i took an old trixie belden novel we had been using for other projects, ripped out some pages, drew a leaf template and started cutting!
we hole punched each one and then tied string to some of them for variety.
it sure didn't take long for the attitude to change in our home once the kids and i started writing down our lists of gratitude.
there's definitely something that changes in the air when you turn your eyes off of what you feel you may be lacking and focus on the many blessings that we already have.

our tree is already SO full of leaves!
the kids just kept adding to it all day long and it did this mama's heart good to see them get excited about what God has given us.
it's only day one and the branches are bulging(there's more now than in the picture below).
that's a very good sign.  :)
i don't have time for big fancy projects, and this one definitely passes the, 'i-have-so-much-laundry-to-fold- my-head-is-going-to-pop-off-and-i-need-to-make-supper-and-you-need-to-erase-those-letters-again-and-redo-them' test for this mama.  for reals.

hope you make one, too.
you're gonna love it.


p.s.  want to know what i am really thankful for tonight?  living in a country where i can VOTE!  i am SO stinkin' excited to vote tomorrow i can hardly stand it!  i hope that you do, too!