One seed can start a garden, one candle can light a room, one step can begin a journey, one conversation can start a friendship, one smile from a handmade card can lift one's SPIRIT!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas ~

Warning...this is picture heavy!!
Wow, what a fast couple of weeks...one week in Hawaii with my BFF...so much fun together, and then coming home to a MESS and barely any time to get everything organized for 80 people to come through on a Tour of Homes fundraiser for my church.
The Tour was a huge success,  four of us opened our homes and raised $2000 for the church!
Here are some pictures from Hawaii:
 Linda and I after eating dinner at the Kona Inn, we had a beautiful sunset!
 Did you all know the poinsettia grows wild in HI?  We were driving along (in our Mustang convertible...tee hee, DH reserved it as a surprise for us!) coming from the Painted Church and there were these large tree like shrubs growing along the side of the road and gosh they looked just like poinsettias!!  I had to pull over and take some pictures...sure enough that is what they were!!
Here is the inside of the Painted Church (St. Benedicts)...this is in Kona on the big Island.  The priest back in 1889 without any professional training bought regular house paint and built and painted this church...every space inside is painted with pictures, he used it as a way to tell the stories of the bible...they didn't read so much back in the day!  What you see here is the ceiling of the church.  And can I just say how friendly and hospitable everyone was?  We were greeted and given a "braided yarn lei" to put over our heads and after mass they asked all visitors to stand and introduce ourselves and tell where we were from!  Such a welcoming group!


Here is Linda with the church in the background and you can see the lei they gave us!
I took a selfie and you can barely see behind me are the Blue Helicopters...we were scheduled to take a 7 AM flight over the volcano and the waterfalls...nearly a 2 hour tour and 15 minutes before leaving they had to cancel due to weather.  We rescheduled for the next day at noon, but sadly that one was also canceled due to weather.  I guess we will just have to go back another time to get our helicopter tour!
So I took a flight home by myself and my friend got to stay another week with her son and his family.  I came home to get my house ready for a Christmas Home tour!
My DH had told me to just stay over there and come home just before the tour so I wouldn't pester him about things getting done!
Ha...I told him it was easier to trust God than to trust him!!
And sure enough, he calls me while I am there and says the frames for the lights he needs to put up in the ceiling (so we don't have these black holes in the ceiling) take 6 weeks to get!  Seriously people, I bit my tongue!!  I so wanted to say something, like I told you about this event one year ago...why oh why do you procrastinate and leave everything to the last minute?
5 days before the big event...this is what the living room looked like...furniture pushed aside, constructing the TV built in and shelving units in the living room...Can you see now why I was a little stressed?
completed shelving on the left of the fireplace!
Here it is nearly completed.  The cabinet maker didn't have time to make the bottom half, which is going to have doors with shelving...he took pity on me and stained a board and put it up so it would look good for the home tour.  And I was able to put out my Dickens Village.  That is a TV you see with the Christmas tree reflecting in the screen.
 
Our 9 foot tree on the left and on the right is the M & M Christmas story printed out on a 11 x 17 and then mounted on a foam core board.
I had a basket of 100 little favors to give out to all the guests that toured my home.  I placed about 25 M & M's into a glassine bag and stapled the story to the face of the bag. 
Of course I had to add some M & M's to a little Santa bowl for people to help themselves as they left the house.
Free printable here:
http://www.1morethan2.com/7-mm-christmas-story/
 
Here is the display in the entry.
About three weeks before this event I placed Paperwhite bulbs into white glass pots and they are over 20 inches long...it was amazing to watch them grow...it really was about an inch a day!  I placed these pots throughout the house.
 
This is our guest bathroom...a cute little shelf I picked up at Hobby Lobby...great place to have little things on display.  The vanity has a Paperwhite pot and a container I bought in Hawaii that was made out of palm leaves...so clever...it holds paper towels for guests.
 
 
 











Now I want to show you the outside of the house...Our Front Porch


A friend made the burlap wreath for me. And she loaned me the antique sleds and Santas too.   The skis in the left corner were made by my husband and his grandfather when he was a young boy..the bindings are very different from today's.
The green basket to the right is holding a string of white spongy plastic balls that look like snowballs...perfect for adding a little light and snow to the sled scene.
The lantern on the left I filled with Christmas balls and battery operated small Christmas lights

One final picture...my Master Bedroom mantle...I was able to use my Mom's Nativity Scene...all white porcelain ...so beautiful.  I made the "believe" banner and all the extra bulbs of Paperwhites went into a big Ikea white garbage can!  The mantle was put up on the Thursday before my event!  Lots of last minute stuff going on...including crown molding in guest bathrooms and in a hallway too!
 
Sorry for such a long post with lots of pictures, but thanks for taking a look, now I get to just relax and enjoy my house all decorated!!
 

 

6 comments:

  1. WOW!! Love all the pictures Colleen! Looks like you and Linda had a wonderful vacation together...even if the weather didn't cooperate for the helicopter ride! And your home is just picture perfect! What a great way to raise money for your church by opening your home(s). I'm glad you have a couple weeks to just relax and enjoy every bit of your beautiful home now! :0)

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  2. I'm so glad you got to make the trip with your friend. The church is really beautiful and what a wonderful story that goes with it. Your home is just gorgeous. I love the entryway. How nice of you to offer your home for the tour. I can see why you may have had a bit of stress five days before the event after seeing the living room! They did an amazing job for you and it is beautiful.

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  3. Wow...first, welcome home and I am sure you had a fabulous time with Linda. Second, your home looks so so beautiful, so much detail you put into your holiday decorations, I love it. Wish I lived closer to take the tour.

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  4. Thanks my friend for spending the week with me in Hawaii. That was such an awesome trip. And the pictures of your house are so beautiful. Glad I got to see part of it in person. Wonderful job.

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  5. I can't belive I missed this,as I was waiting to see pictures...guess I just got too busy with Cristmas.not sure how you could relax with all that needed to be done. Your home is gorgeous! Love all the stone,and gorgeous decorations! I am so glad you had a nice trip..the church looks beautiful! Merry Christmas and hope you have a blessed 2015

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