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Preparing for Christmas…cards and the Jesse Tree

A few fun things to share!

Aren’t you always baffled with how to beautifully display the cards of your friends and family??? I just hate to put them in a basket and not be able to see them ALL at once!!!! I’m always thinking of different ways to display our Christmas cards. Last year–we did this (it was completely FULL by Christmas and it was even hard to take down because we just LOVED seeing everyone as we walked out the door!!! BUT this year…we are going to use something else…

If you have been reading my blog for awhile, then you may remember this “memo board tutorial” from a post in January (also listed in the Craft section). THIS is what we’re hanging our cards on this year:) I can easily pop the cards on it with magnets as they come in the mail!!! And it’s only the 2nd day of December…thankfully we have TWO memo boards because one is already have full:). I HEART Christmas cards!!!

Here is the tutorial from January…
I bought sheet metal from Home Depot and I used fabric I already had. However, if you purchase fabric you will want to use THICK fabric as the sheet metal edges can be a little sharp (think curtain/drapery material)
Hot glue does NOT stick to metal well—but it DOES stick to fabric well. SO–I quickly hotglued my decorative fabric around the edges first (front main fabric)…
This won’t hold very long–so I quickly cut my burlap fabric that will go on the back and on the edges as a frame. Hot glue around the edges and then press on your fabric backing so it will hold…
Then I simply folded the edges and made a border using hotglue again…

Momma had what she thought was a brilliant idea to hang with ribbon–which would mean putting 2 holes in sheet metal. What made momma think she could put holes in sheet metal? Laney was highly entertained (and maybe even a little scared!) as she watched momma unsuccessfully drill holes in sheet metal! What did finally work was a hammer and big nails! She wanted to try…but momma wasn’t about to hold the nail and let big girl at it! But she did take part in the pretty bow making. And then we hung ‘er on the wall…
IMG_9921SOOOOO…I normally use this as a memo board…but for the holidays—we’ll be using it to display our cards instead!

Sweet Parker found an abandoned bird’s nest and placed it in our bird tree this week…something just speaks to my heart when I think of birds…how God even cares for them…how God provides families…how He sets the lonely in families. Every time I spot this nest as I pass through our foyer…I stop and think for a moment…

Last but not least–I wanted to share something I also shared this time last year–and many of you already do this…but one of the SWEETEST things we do is our advent nightly devotional with the Jesse Tree. We got ours from our Gigi…who bought it from precious ladies who make them here in our city–a portion of each tree goes to a charity. There is an ornament and devotional for EACH day. (To see where to purchase the one we have–just go under “Crafts”, look under Christmas and go to the Jesse Tree post).jessetree
Our tree is so sweet because our Gigi went to one of their worshops and MADE all of our ornaments!!! I love the hard bound book with the laminated daily devotionals…and the felt ornaments are PRECIOUS.

Now…if you want a free one–you can download one this year from the blog Holy Experience!!! She even has ornaments you can print and use!!! But my kids LOVE the felt and the shaped ones…but you could always make them to go with hers too! I was feeling a little inspired last night and I overheard my bestfriend say she wanted one…so I paid a trip to Hobby Lobby and I’m busy making one for her and my sister!

It has only taken me 2 nights to complete–so it’s totally doable!!! I’ll tell you though…you’ll spend $50 on supplies–so you might as well make two because you’ll have enough supplies for 2. OR you can save yourself the time and trouble and buy the one we have already made!!!!

Alright…this momma has jello to make for the birthday party on Saturday…lots of different flavors…so it will look like THIS (or this is what we are going for anyway!!!)…I’m putting the jello layers in mini-coke glasses with fun crazy straws for decoration:). Anyone guess what Laney’s requested theme is???

Remember when I made THESE last year…I think I totally might need to do this too! You can find the instructions for those here.

Off to watch water boil!!! Hope you all have a GREAT Friday!!!

P.S. Jesse Tree shopping list posted for Sara at You’ll need 1 yard red felt and 1/2 yard green felt from fabric section (for hanging tree), 1 wooden doyle, string (you probably already have something at home you could use to hang it with), glitter glue (I bought a pack that had gold, silver, green, blue and pink/red), and LOTS of felt 8×12 sheets (the stiff kind) in EVERY color they had – tan, white, black, light blue, dark blue, red, pink, black, green, orange and yellow and hot glue/hotglue gun.

ellen silva - December 2, 2010 - 9:45 pm

I love your blog more and more each post!! Love the jello and memo board and jesse tree…is she having a Wizard of Oz birthday?

Sara - December 2, 2010 - 10:14 pm

No lie, I was just thinking today that I needed something to share with the kids each day to share the real meaning of Christmas, not just advent surprises. Love the Jesse tree idea! How are you making the felt ornaments? Are you using a template? I just may have added something to my already busy weekend! Do you mind to share your shopping list?

Lara - December 3, 2010 - 8:18 am

You are too much, Andrea! We are doing Ann’s Jesse tree. I like it, but I really have to modify the devotionals for my wiggly three year old.

Julie Johnston - December 3, 2010 - 8:19 am

Andrea….we must have a lot of mutual friends:) We lived in Colorado for the first 3 years we were married….and I see our pastor’s son is one of the Christmas cards you have hanging! How funny!
Love the Jesse tree. My parents did this with us growing up…and now we use the same felt pieces for our kids!

Elle J - December 3, 2010 - 10:02 am

Your end results are so professional and you always write to make it sounds so easy. I am tempted one of these days to try out your ideas to see if mine turn out the same – I have my doubts. =) I am craft-challenged!!! LOL. Very excited to see this Jello – will you post the recipe with photo after the party? Have FUN!