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!!


  1. Congratulations to Tanya and to you for creating another beautiful calender. Your artwork is so beautiful and inspirational. I hope you had fun on your CHristmas get-away. I think that sounds like sucha great idea!


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