Christmas List ideas

If you don’t have any problem filling a page of items you would like for Christmas, then maybe this post isn’t for you.  But if you’re like me and forget what you actually want, or don’t know what to ask for without cleaning a wallet out, then read on.

Throughout the year I can find things and “dream shop” for things I want but never buy them and I can never remember them by the time people start asking you what you want.  Here are a few reminders that help me.

1.  Remember the movies (or music)

Recall or keep a list of movies you’ve seen that you would like to own.  I love having movies but do not enjoy buying them myself.  Or use the phone app, Shazam, to catalog all the music you’ve liked and ask for an iTunes gift card, or a specific album.

2.  Think of the Gadgets

Remember all those cool little gadget accessories that you see at Bed Bath and Beyond but don’t buy those either?  Those are a great stocking stuffer idea to mention for yourself or anyone who is hard to buy for.  It’s usually a safe zone.  I’ve also added a drawing tablet to my list, relatively cheap, but still a gadget I would like.

3.  Gift Cards

I know it’s the most impersonal gift that you could ask for but frankly I wouldn’t trust a grandmother to pick out clothes as a gift.  As long as your entire list isn’t made up of gift cards, I think mentioning one or two isn’t quite so bad.  For example, I have a fabric store gift card listed and a clothes gift card.

4.  Games or Books

Whether you’re a gamer or a board gamer, it’s always fun to mix it up a little.  Call of Duty vs. Apples to Apples, Assassins Creed vs. Chutes and Ladders etc.  If you’re a super nerd and haven’t (will not) upgrade to a reading tablet, you can always ask for books!  I still love asking for those giant informational books that you find at the library (Science, animals, movies, nature, etc.)

5.  Phone Accessories

I have an iPhone 5, so the possibilities are endless.  Whatever phone you have, find an accessory that you want.  Check out Etsy, they have amazing accessories.

6.  Final tip

My final tip is to shop around on Amazon.  It’s vast hoard of everything will give you insight to what you really want; or what you need.

Good luck and I hope that Santa brings you everything you’ve asked for!

80s skate night

Tonight my boyfriend and I are attending an 80s skate night charity event at our local skating rink.  I understand this concept from Pinterest:

True story

True story

But I can’t help it.  I’ve gone to goodwill and for $9 I purchased a gaudy hawaiian shirt for Jordan and a brightly patterned wind breaker for myself.

Jordan and I

Jordan and I getting ready to go!

Eye makeup

Some nice blue 80s eyeshadow

We arrive and meet up with friends:

All together now!

All together!

Katie and I

Katie and I

It was such a fun night!  No one fell, no one needed to go to the hospital, it was all great!  We did, however, find out that we need to practice skating more often.  Even though we didn’t fall down, it definitely wasn’t graceful skating.

 

Jesus says don’t be jelly

Here are some notes on releasing yourself from being jealous and/or envious.  Wade Morris was a guest speaker at Overflow, Port City Community Church’s college ministry, and it was an awesomely convicting service.

1. Realize  you’re not God

– God is in control – you are not.

2. Realize you need God

– Come to terms that you really cannot run your life on your own; you’re still not in control.

3. Trust God

– Trust that God knows exactly what you need in life.  Also, trust that God is with you through sorrows and joys.

4. Delight in God.  

–  Sit down, set aside time to be quiet and talk to God (write in a journal, pray, etc.)  Sometimes the quietest moments is when He speaks the loudest.

5. Commit your life to God 

–  It’s one thing to talk the Christian talk but it’s another when you actually walk the Christian walk.

 

This bible passage was given to go along with these notes during the service:

Psalm 37: 1-9 :

1 Fret not yourself because of evildoers;
be not envious of wrongdoers!
2 For they will soon fade like the grass
and wither like the green herb.
 
3 Trust in the Lord, and do good;
dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
4 Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
 
5 Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act.
6 He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
and your justice as the noonday.
 
7 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,
over the man who carries out evil devices!
 
8 Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath!
Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.
9 For the evildoers shall be cut off,
but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.
Two closing notes to tie it all up:
  • Envy & Jealousy come from not being completely satisfied with what God has provided for you.
  • Stop worrying about something that is going to come to pass anyway.

Unwanted Mentor

I have been involved in a mentor program at my church, Port City Community Church, for about a year now.  We are given a child that may have some issues with social skills or not enough attention at home.  I have lunch once a week with a little girl and for the sake of privacy, whenever I blog about our lunches, I am keeping all information scrambled (different names, school name, days, etc.)  It’s a great way to serve outside the church without having to go to a third world country.  I mentored, let’s call her Mary, last school year and I’ve requested to mentor her again this year; I’ll probably stay with her until she leaves elementary school.

Last year was difficult, we barely spoke each time we had lunch, I felt like she didn’t want me there.  Mary was most likely thinking “Why is she here?” So, I pushed through and carried on, acting like she did want me there and not caring about the eye rolls or the longing looks back at her friends.  Anyway, the school year ended, I gave her fun stationary and stamps so we could write back and forth over the summer but she never wrote.

When the new school year began I signed up to be her mentor again (instead of requesting a different child.)  I was dreading starting our lunches again.  Imagine, having lunch with someone (for a year) you want to pour your heart into and help and they don’t even care that you’re spending time with them.  I was praying all summer for God to watch over her and bring Joy into her life, and I was praying even more for something to talk about during our lunches and that my presence was helping somehow.

So, I showed up and as she saw me she ran to me and hugged me.  I thought “this is what it’s about,” the long run, not the short term results, but what happens over time.  Over our first lunch of the year she talked the whole time about what she did over the summer and that her mom didn’t think the Disney stamps I gave her were real and threw them out.  My heart was relieved that there was another reason for not writing, not because she simply didn’t like me.

Our conversations still hit some road blocks sometimes and I’ll have to bring her attention back to me or purposely start a conversation about nothing to keep her focused.  Even though I stress about keeping a conversation going, each lunch always works out and I leave feeling like I helped in some small way.

 

What can I do with my pebble loot?

I went to the beach today with my boyfriend, Topsail beach specifically, and found more pebbles than shells!  Lots of pebbles… I went crazy, I hunted and gathered pebbles as many as I could fit into each of my fists.  However, I’m making it sound as though I have a hoard of pebble treasure and let me assure you that I do not, see, here’s a picture..

The fruits of my hunt

The fruits of my hunt

Looks like I found a shell after all… Anyway, I was thinking of possible crafts and I need your help! In the future I will typically post DIY projects or tutorials that I’ve done on my own, but I want your input on what I should do with these beautiful pebbles.  I was thinking possibly painting them, hot-gluing them into something, etc.  It would be awesome if I could turn it into a christmas gift(s) for someone(s)!

I probably won’t use the possessed one that looks like the face, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to show you guys:

Demon pebble

The pebble sees into your soul

Okay, I do need your ideas, and when I decide on one I will take pictures of the process of the craft and turn it into another post for you all!  Maybe even turn it into a tutorial instead of a show-and-tell.

Here’s a poll for starters:

If the multiple choice isn’t cutting it, please comment on this blog post!  It is the quickest way to get my attention!  I also welcome links to Pinterest projects that you think are good ideas!

Depending on the responses, I will make my decision Monday or Tuesday on what I am to do and I’ll tag the person who’s idea I have chosen.

After a long day of pebble plundering, it was nice to sit back and watch the sky colors change with the sunset:

So pretty and relaxing

So pretty and relaxing

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I think I need my inhaler

Let me start by explaining that once a year my family vacation is trekking the 16 hour drive (yes we drive every time, in one day) to upstate N.Y. to our time share cabin in the Adirondack state park.  It’s absolutely beautiful there, almost like out of a book or fairytale, trees everywhere, no cell service, there’s “internet” 40 minutes away at a library and the best you receive is 3 bars of connection and I’m pretty sure it’s dial-up.

The cabin, looking up from the river (technically "the backyard")

The cabin, looking up from the river (technically “the backyard”)

Let’s get to the part where I almost needed my inhaler, I tend to be dramatic in some moments but this particular one, I think I deserved the want for open breathing.  While vacationing in the state park we rented paddle boards at Blue Mountain Lake, which is beautiful, as is most of everything in that state park.   My friends and I paddled around getting the feel and correct balance for it.  After we had practiced enough close to shore it was time to venture out and do some real exploring…

Look at me balancing and stuff.

Look at me balancing and stuff.Time to venture forth and explore!Time to venture forth and explore!

After some venturing and exploring we happened upon this…

Random rock...right? *cue suspense music*

Random rock…right? *cue suspense music*

Turns out this rock.. people jump off of.  Right now, from that picture, it looks like no big deal, but I’m about to be drafted by my friends to climb up and jump off into the abis of whatever is in this clear but also black water.  My heart is pounding right now just remembering that experience.  I’ll say right now that I’m glad I did it, I’d do it again, but it was the scariest thing I’ve ever done in my life so far.

There will be another picture and even a video of me jumping a little bit later on in this post.  Right now I want to talk about the experience.  So, why did I want my inhaler?  As I stood at the top and edge of this rock, contemplating the safety, I had locals telling me “it’s fine, you wont hit anything” which I was beginning to believe, beginning to make my decision to juuump aaand someone says “all the big fish swim deeper than you’ll go when you jump”.  My question was “what?? What kind of big fish???” Somehow that had not crossed my mind and I backed away for another 15 minutes of contemplation for my life.  The beginning of this day my thoughts were “Lake = no sharks” I was fine, but I hadn’t thought that jumping would be submerging me deeper than I would typically swim, therefore possibly touching a fish bigger than a minnow.  This whole time, deep breaths are not happening, probably because 1: All those thoughts were being processed at once and 2: I was still staring into the chasm of water below me.  Also, all the while my friends screaming “Jump, do it. Come on! Hurry up!” Anyway, a total of 20 minutes pass, in and out of hyperventilation (of course I didn’t bring my inhaler on a paddle board), heart beating in my eyes, and a young brother willing to jump too…  I finally…

Finally Jumping!

Finally Jumping!

My little brother, Parker, is on the left and I’m on the right, over prepared by holding my nose.   I actually survived!!!  No fish-sharks, no rocks hiding beneath the surface, but it was COLD.  Here’s a video of my jump!  This link will take you to the video that I posted on my personal Facebook (feel free to look through the photos from the rest of our trip, titled “Adirondacks ’13“)

Nothing can prepare us southerners for that level of cold water.  The photos were taken with my iPhone in a LifeProof (highly highly highly recommended) but that’s a different blog post.  I’m usually labeled as “the safe one” so I’m pretty excited of the photos and videos documenting the jump.  I still suggest checking your surroundings and below the surface surrounding, aside from that (safety) I suggest hiking up your trousers and making the plunge, it’s an experience you don’t want to miss.

Don't miss your opportunity to have a great story!

Don’t miss your opportunity to have a great story!