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!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Way Back When-sday: 1978


The night air was cold, humid. It was going to be perfect duck hunting weather. My dad, 40 at the time, my little brother, 9, and a black Labrador named Sugar were heading down the bayou in the bass boat at 8:30 pm on November the 10th, 1978 - heading for the hunting camp. My older brother and uncles were to meet them early the next morning. My dad had been complaining to my brother that evening about a headache. It must have been a bad one, because Daddy rarely complained of pain. Suddenly, in the middle of the bayou, Dad convulsed, vomited, collapsed. He said to David that he was having a stroke...Dave didn't know what that meant - but he knew it was bad. Dad stirred, tried to move, slumped his entire upper body over the side of the boat, headfirst into the water. Dave pulled him out. laid him back down in the boat...and waited.

From 8:30 PM to 4:30 AM they floated...surrounded by nutria rats and alligators. Dave called out for help (there were no cell phones). He cried out in the night to anyone who might hear. Only the lonely cry of geese overhead was heard in return. He tried to keep the swarms of mosquitoes off Daddy. He was glad to see Dad breathing, but he didn't know how long he would...

At 6:00 AM on Saturday morning, November 11th, the phone rings, waking me out of a deep sleep. It was the Fall of my senior year in High School. It's my uncle on the line, "your Dad's had an accident" he said. "He's been taken to the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston - come as soon as you can". My Mom and I drove down there in tears, praying.

It was a massive cerebral hemorrhage - that's what the doctors told us. They told my Mom to gather the family - Daddy wasn't going to make it through the night...

Well, he did make night, then a week, then a month, then a year...and he is still with us 30 years later this month... I can hardly believe it has been that long...

Daddy would never return to his job as a programmer at NASA. He had to learn everything over again - how to talk, walk, eat, read, everything... Here's his badge photo from the late 60s when he began his career at NASA - he was brilliant...

Yet, lurking in his brain was, we later found out, a birth defect - a tangled mass of veins that grew larger and larger. A time bomb they said. I love this photo of my Dad goofing off when he and Mom were dating. The image was a bit of foreshadowing it seems...

Months and months of experimental procedures ensued through the end of 1978 an on into 1979 - this was uncharted territory - no one survives this - how do we treat it? Traction, steel pellets inserted in the brain to shrink the mass, endless tests, some improvement...

Finally, 14 hours of brain surgery were required to remove the mass. The chief neurosurgeon was just 28 years old...but he too was brilliant. And God's hand was on him - no doubt. 2 weeks later, with his shaved head and big smile, my Dad attended my High School graduation ceremony. It was a miracle in every way...

Though never able to return to programming, Daddy eventually worked again. My Mom had gotten a job with some family friends who had begun a business creating Christian giftware and selling wholesale to Christian bookstores. Dad tagged along with her and took out the trash - cleaned up - anything to feel productive. He ended up as the production supervisor there for 5 years. By this time, my older brother, his new wife, and I all worked there as well. I was the product designer. I love this sweet, funny photo of Daddy and me in my office at Christian Enterprises during those years. He was snoozing, but even so, he was behind me...supporting me...praying for me...proud of me...

He always has been...he still is...

So, on this, the eve of Thanksgiving 2008, I want to say Thank You to my heavenly Father for giving me my earthly father - and for giving him back to all of us 30 years ago when we were sure he was gone. I don't know why he stayed with us and others with similar medical issues don't make it... I guess at 70, Daddy still has things yet to do...

In future posts, I will share photos of some of the awesome birdhouses and other woodworking projects my Dad makes now. Hopefully, in the coming months, we will be launching a website where he and my Mom can sell his creations. I'll definitely keep you posted...

I wish you all a blessed Thanksgiving Holiday. Give your loves ones and extra hug and tell them you love them - this life is so fragile... I know I have someone to give an extra big hug to - thank you Lord for my Daddy...


"Therefore I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; My God will hear me. When I fall, I will arise; When I sit in darkness, the LORD will be a light to me."
(Micah 7:7,8)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

And we have a winner...!

Please say hello and congratulations to...

Suzanne of Sugarloaf Cottage!!

Suzanne, thank you SO MUCH for participating in my little giveaway! I'm happy to say that you were the giveaway winner!! - I have had a lovely time reading all through your blog an getting acquainted with you and your new hubby and your charming small town life! So fun!!

Here's what Suzanne said she was thankful for:

"I am so thankful for the blessings of this past year, my husband and having a place for all my things. For the first time in many years, all of my things are unpacked and God is restoring all that I had lost. I have so much to be thankful for this year!"

So sweet Suzanne - I am very happy for you and the blessings in this special time of your life!!

Well friends, as you can tell, I never posted the photos of the other goodies in the giveaway- sorry about that! It'll have to be a surprise until Suzanne receives them, then I will share photos. Meanwhile it'll be a Thanksgiving surprise that I hope will be a fun blessing!!

Thanks to ALL of you sweet gals for participating in the giveaway and for sharing what you were thankful for - it really touched me!! I am THANKFUL for all of you, and for the friendships we are fostering and joys and struggles we are sharing - it's wonderful to be able to touch one another's lives in this unique way!!
Hugs to you all - we'll talk again soon!

"Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God."
(Philippians 1:3)

Friday, November 07, 2008

I'm Thankful for Thanksgiving Giveaway!!

I'm Thankful for Thanksgiving Giveaway!!

Hi friends!! Well, in true Becky-style, I do not have the photos for the giveaway ready and we are leaving town shortly for the weekend - BUT - I am still officially kicking off the giveaway today and you are all welcome to participate!! (I just did not want to promise a date and not follow through again...ugh). I promise the prize package will be a great one!!

So here's how it works - between now and Thursday November 13th at 5:00 PM Central Standard time, simply leave a comment on this post AND list at least one thing you are thankful for, and you will be entered to win!! Easy-peasy!

Here's a little preview of the prize package:

A Siesta Fiesta Cookbook - just in time for Thanksgiving meal planning!

A set of notecards featuring the November artwork from the Calendar.

My 2009 "My Cup Runneth Over" Calendar (same images as the 2008 - just placed in a 2009 template - these are available now from my CafePress store)

In addition, I will be including some cute glassware and china serving pieces, vintage embroidered linen pieces and other cuties for your holiday table...and much more!! (I will share photos of all the giveaway goodies when we return from out of town late this weekend)

I hope you'll participate in the giveaway, invite your friends, and even post about it on your blog if you'd like! I can't wait to celebrate God's many blessings with all of you!!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Welcome November! (just a tad bit late)

(click any image/photo to enlarge)

Actually November came right on time, but I'm the one that's late :o) I know I say this every month, but I can scarcely believe that we are so close to the end of 2008 - it has flown by so incredibly fast!
I am actually really happy to see November here already - I have always loved November... In Texas, that's when we typically have more cool days than warm ones , yay!! It's when college football gets really exciting, leaves are steadily falling, craft fairs abound, and maybe, just maybe, you can have a fire in the fireplace without having to run the air conditioner extra cold!

It is also, of course, the month where we celebrate the beloved holiday of Thanksgiving. I really can't stand it when we tend to skip over Thanksgiving in our headlong rush to Christmas...don't get me wrong...I LOVE Christmas. I just think that poor Thanksgiving gets shorted sometimes as Christmas decorations go up in the mall now right after Halloween (when did THAT happen?) and snowmen and candy canes outnumber turkeys and pilgrims at every turn. I think Thanksgiving needs a new PR person :o)

Well, I for one, will attempt to do my part to slow down and give Thanksgiving the full attention that it is due. I will be hosting an "I'm Thankful for Thanksgiving" Giveaway!!! Please check back on Friday as I officially kickoff the's gonna be fun. The prize package will be a great one - you don't want to miss out!!! (rumor has it that a calendar and cookbook may be included!)


Meanwhile, here are a few photos of a teeny touch of fall decorating in my entryway as well as some recent garage sale goodies on further down. (plus you'll want to read further to finally hear the story of what happened to the cute space we had in the Antique shop)

I've had this little fall vignette up for a few weeks but am just now getting around to posting... This is mostly simple fall floral decor from our local home decor discount store plus a thrifted vintage "God Bless our Home" framed needlepoint, some super sweet birdies from a Hallmark store I think, and a beribboned apothecary jar with a vintage earring touch of bling for fun...


Finally, here's the story of what happened with the Antique shop... During Hurricane Ike, the Antique shop sustained water damage (my stuff was OK though) but the owner decided to close down the shop and move on to another building in a better location nearby. However, instead of moving over with the new shop, Hubby and I decided that we were temporarily going to leave the antique was taking way too much time with too little return on investment. We decided for now that concentrating my extra time away from work at my day job on illustration was the much better plan, and ultimately has been (and hopefully will be) the better return on investment for the long run.
However - this has NOT stopped us from Junkin' ...oh no...that's too much in our blood....though we have significantly slowed our pace :o) Here's a collection of things from a recent weekend of treasure hunting - be sure and click the photos for a better look...

Quilt, lampshades, vintage apron, framed art, painted wooden shelves, covered cake plate, candlesticks, etc, etc...

Loved this poem called "To My Husband" sweet and SO I am a sucker for anything with sunflowers...

Love the glass birdie...and those tiny vintage crocheted cherry earrings are precious...

This pink rose lamp went perfectly with one of the off-white lampshades I found separately...

I can hardly ever pass up a good cheap cutter quilt ...but this $2 full size beauty is all feedsack so there was no way to walk away from it!

We DO have plans for all these vintage lovelies that we have accumulated -we just don't have all the pieces of the puzzle together just yet as to timing and venue...but the Lord knows and we are trusting Him for direction...and He is faithful!!!
"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps."
(Proverbs 16:9)
Please stop back by tomorrow to sign up for the giveaway and hopefully tell your blog buddies too!! I'm looking forward to visiting with you again!!