Thursday, December 25, 2008

For God so loved the world...

"...that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)


The Christmas Story

"And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.

An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.

But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.

This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

(Luke 2:8-14)

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

(Isaiah 9:6)

Merry Christmas Dear Friends!

May the wonder of that blessed night shine in your hearts and homes, not only today, but every day! May the Prince of Peace Himself bring peace in your life as only He can. God loves you so very much and He has a precious purpose for your life. May this coming New Year be one of discovery, joy, purpose, and peace in Him!

Hugs and Blessings to you all!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Catch-up

(Our Christmas tree - 2007)


I wish I could say that that is what our tree looks like THIS year, but alas, I cannot...because we did not decorate this year... Gasp! Say it isn't so! Ah yes, sad but true. There was just no way it was going to happen this year. Because of all the craziness and upheaval that is happening and is about to happen, it just wasn't prudent to spend the kind of time it takes to decorate...then undecorate. I still cannot share all of the upheaval details yet, but I will just as soon as I can. Please know that all is well with sweet Hubby and I and the kids and grand kids and my family and our health and's job issues that are behind this. But since God is our source, not a job, we are not worrying. In fact - we are downright excited to see God's hand in all this and to anticipate the adventures ahead!

Meanwhile, I am sharing several photos of happenings and sweet goodies from the mail from the past few weeks - a bit of Christmas catch-up, if you will...


As I mentioned in my previous post, I participated in the Siesta Ornament Swap 2008, but I had yet to post photos of the glorious goodies that my sweet swap partner Connie. Well, here they are...technically before Christmas even ;o)

The box of ornaments was wrapped oh so cute-ly! (is "cute-ly" a word?) I love snowmen!

Here's an overall view of the awesome, fun presents...

Delicious soup mix...and a package of gorgeous recipe cards with a Christmas theme...

A jar of homemade Pumpkin Butter (how yummy is that?!), a wonderful "Let Heaven and Nature Sing" banner ornament, and a gorgeous Christmas card...

And that little vintage-y postcard ornament is just the neatest thing...I LOVE it...the vintage bird and pine bough image are perfect! Checkout the message on the back of the "postcard" in the 2nd photo...

(click the image to see the message more clearly)

And look at this little snow guy below - isn't he just fabulous?! He is exactly my colors and will look wonderful on our tree NEXT year!!

Oh, and yes, that is a hand written lemon cookie recipe that Connie included with the set of recipe cards - so thoughtful...and sounds so delicious!!

Thank you again Connie for your thoughtfulness and generosity! It was a real pleasure being your swap partner and getting to know you!!


Weeks and weeks ago, I ordered and received 2 handpainted teacup ornaments from my super-talented artist friend Celeste at La Rea Rose. I just couldn't resist their incredible cuteness from the photos on her Etsy shop. I was tickled pink to receive the two ornaments (which are PERFECT!!), and if that wasn't enough, sweet Celeste included some tiny handpainted ornaments, which are adorable, as well as a sweet, beautiful hand painted rose notecard and divine homemade lavender sachet! Here's my official belated thank you to Celeste for her generosity and sweet spirit! These gorgeous ornaments will definitely have a cherished spot on our Christmas tree next year!(and the teacups will hang in my office year-round!)


Sweet Hubby and I were so very happy and proud to be able to attend his second oldest daughter's graduation from Louisiana State University (LSU) this past weekend in Baton Rouge. Tanya has made us all so proud with this incredible accomplishment. She achieved this awesome milestone over 5 years as a 30-something year old Mom with 2 active kids and a hard working husband! She now has her Bachelor's degree in Education and will be looking for an elementary school teaching position for either the spring or next fall.

Way to go Tanya!!!!

Her sweet Hubby Travis was teary and so very proud...

And to say that my Hubby, her Daddy, was proud would be an understatement - he was busting buttons all over the place. Here they were exchanging sweet words and tears of joy!!

Congratulations Tanya!!! We are so proud of you!!!

On our way over to Louisiana on Wednesday, we made our usual overnight stop at the home of our dear friends Connie and Buddy and their family - this night was especially special because it was Buddy's birthday!! Happy Birthday Bud!! It was great to get to spend it with you and yours this year. See photos of it here on Connie's blog...

We also had Christmas with Hubby's kids and grand kids, which was wonderful as usual. Because of Johnny's injured finger and 2 surgeries as well as Hurricanes Gustav (hitting them) and Ike (hitting us), we were not able to see the whole gang as much as we would have liked this year, but we hope to remedy that in 2009... I will share photos from the Schultea family Christmas next week when we return from out of town.

We are headed tonight to a lake house for 4 days for our annual family holiday get away with my side of the family. On either Thanksgiving or Christmas each year for the past several years, my immediate family (Mom, Dad, and siblings) and their families, have forgone the exchanging of gifts and instead opted to spend extended time together at a vacation rental. Our beloved Hula Hut beach rental was destroyed by Hurricane Ike in September, so we found a new place at Lake Livingston that we hope will be just as fun. I'll let you know how it all turned out...complete with photos of course, when we return on Monday. I'm off work through the rest of the year, so I hope to have more time to tend to my neglected blog and other neglected things next week....


Finally, I wanted to share another illustration from my soon-forthcoming 2009 "Wisdom and Whimsy" calendar - these illustrations have been taking up all of my spare time since late October, but it has definitely been time well spent. When it's all complete, I will have another 12 designs to add to my portfolio and send to art directors for potential licensing or freelance illustration jobs (as well as sell online). This calendar features my more cutesy, cutout, scrapbook-y style which I hope will appeal to a different set of art directors and publishers than my more realistic style from last year. I love both looks and hope, now more than ever, that the combination of the two will cover a fairly wide range of tastes and illustration needs...we shall see...

This is the design for to enlarge


Tonight, before leaving for the lake, I will pre-post the illustration I did for December (hopefully it will post at Midnight). I will extend the message of that illustration to all of you as my Merry Christmas greeting, so please be sure and check back in sometime over the next few days for your little Christmas blessing from me....!

Enjoy Christmas eve with your family and friends - be safe - and remember the Reason for the Season - Jesus! May His light and love bring you joy and peace tonight, tomorrow, and all throughout the year!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Outta Town, Outta Time!

Hi guys,

Ack - so sorry it has been so long between posts, but this has been the craziest of all Decembers for me. All is well, but there are just a few too many things going on at once for my little brain to function well. And now, we are about to head to Louisiana for 4 days to attend Hubby's daughter's college graduation (yay!!) and see all the kiddos and grandkiddos for Christmas (yay!!), so I just HAD to take at least a minute or two to check in and let you know I was alive and well (pretty much).

To my sweet Siesta Ornament Exchange partner Connie, I issue a public apology for still not posting the photos of the lovely ornaments and yummy goodies she sent me...she posted about mine days and days ago - sorry Connie. Posting them before Christmas is my new goal..we'll see!

I will definitely be back before Christmas to fill you in on some of the behind the scenes happenings that have kept me so well as photos from the Louisiana trip!!

I miss you all, and hope that your Christmas Season has been a bright and peaceful one so far!!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

A December to Remember!

Happy December, Y'all!!
It's redundant to say, again, how fast time has flown, so instead I will just say that I am going to try to slowly savor the last little bit of this year - December - Christmas - the most wonderful time of the year!! And yes, it will be a December to remember!
To say that a lot has been going on in my life of late is a true understatement. I will certainly be sharing more details about this soon, but for now I'll just briefly be able to say that things may be happening on the job front soon that will bring new opportunities for me. I wish I could tell you more, but for now, suffice to say that it is a scary but exciting time...
Meanwhile, I just wanted to share a bit about what else has been keeping me so busy of late. I have been steadily working on my new calendar for 2009, and I am previewing a few images for you to give you more of a feel for the style of this year's designs... (click on any image to see more detail)



I'll be sharing more designs very soon, but hopefully that gives you a little taste of the "Whimsy and Wisdom" Calendar for 2009! I will do my level best to have this ready by Christmas time...I'll keep you posted...

However, the "My Cup Runneth Over" Calendar is now available for 2009 too - it is already set up in my CafePress store - you can order one here!! (in plenty of time for Christmas gift giving!!) It is the same artwork as the 2008, but since there were just a handful of those sold, I decided to make it available again...You can also order 10 or 20 pack sets of notecards featuring each of the 12 designs from the calendar...

I will reveal more very soon about all the changes coming - it's all good, God is in control, but it can be just a bit stressful at times. I can't thank you enough for coming by, looking around, and leaving comments - it is so encouraging to me to know you are listening as I share my heart and life, and as I read about what's going on in your hearts and lives too... I just love it and I am so grateful for all of you!!

May this be a December to remember for us all!!!