I am so enjoying this time of year. I don't have everything done that I should but I'm not even feeling stressed about it... I'm simply enjoying the little things. As soon as Thanksgiving was over and K saw neighbors putting up their Christmas decor, she started begging to put up ours. So December 1 was the day that holiday decorations started coming out. She was thrilled!

There is something so special about walking around the house at night and seeing the glow of the Christmas lights on the tree and around the nativity... a sense of peace and joy.
I also love all the sparkles in fresh fallen snow. I think my husband thinks I'm a bit crazy how excited I get. :)

 K loves the snow and gets so excited for her Grandpa to make snow piles for sledding.

 And then there are the sweet Christmas programs.

 Kaelyn was so nervous to talk in front of a crowd at a newish church, but she did a fabulous job!

And once the weather warmed up a little, it was time to go sledding...

Kaelyn's countdown for Jesus's birthday is on. She can't wait to celebrate! :)



{Turkey by my little artist, Kaelyn ~ age 5}
 Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and continue to have a great weekend!
We spent quite a bit of road time on Thanksgiving but we were able to see a lot of family which was good! On our morning drive we had gorgeous views. My photo doesn't do the sun rays justice but I tried. :) Kaelyn said excitedly, "Mom, do you know what that is?! God's light is shining down!" I love witnessing how God is an important part of her life. So very thankful for her, my family and all of God's blessings... big and small.


Online Auction Going on Now!


If you follow me on twitter you probably already know about this online auction that is going on, but I wanted to get it posted on here as well. Again this year I am donating a print of choice to the highest bidder in the Ekubo Auction. They are raising money for the Children's Home in Uganda. Auction ends this Sunday night, November 24th at 11:59 pm (EST).
Sorry I didn't spread the word on the blog earlier... so much going on. For one I've been seeing my share of doctors this week. My sweetheart of a dad sat with me for several hours yesterday while going through more health tests and we were both busy reading for a good part of it. At first I wasn't sure what to bring with since one of the tests took 3+ hours alone. Well the one thing I had and knew would keep me busy for a long time was the Bible, and it gave me wonderful words for this post...
"If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor,
he too will cry out and not be answered." Proverbs 21:13
There are so many wonderful items in the auction. You can bid by leaving a comment. Sometimes the comment area may not show up if you are on Google Chrome or a Smart phone so try switching over to Internet Explorer and maybe try hitting refresh. Go check it out, you might get a really good deal on an item and you might find something that would make a great gift for the holidays.
Go HERE to check out the items!


Do not be discouraged...

Have I not commanded you?
Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified;
Do not be discouraged; for the Lord your God
will be with you wherever you may go.
Joshua 1:9
Sometimes I find it hard not to get discouraged. I suppose everyone has that feeling at some point.
As I go through more doctor visits and several more tests once again, I just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other, trusting and knowing that God is by my side through this crazy journey. He gives me the strength to keep going. He provides and cares for the birds, bugs and plants, he will do the same for his children... he will take care of me.


Tooth Fairy!

 Having her first loose tooth was harder on me than I expected... it is another step away from the baby stage. It pretty much hit me the same way as when she walked across the room at 10 months. I was happy for her, in shock, and sad to see my baby growing up so quickly. You can't dwell on the negatives so I was determined to make this event special. How could you not when she was excited about wiggling the tooth around and talking about the tooth fairy for about 2 weeks? So my first step was going through my craft drawers to find felt and thread to make a tooth fairy pouch. Forget under the pillow, with a hyper active sleeper and a tiny tooth, the fairy would never be able to find it! Plus the tooth fairy doesn't want to be squooshed bringing her surprise. :)
 Luckily the pouch was completed just in time. That same night K's tooth came out! It ended up being a bit more of a tragic event rather than exciting but at least she was happy making an adorable card for the tooth fairy.
 Really she could have cared less about the money, she just wanted to know the tooth fairy's name. :)
When I was making the pouch I was originally going to have the tooth part be a pocket, but then when K said she was going to make something for the fairy and the tooth fairy may want to leave something a bit bigger than money I decided on a double pocket. Since I didn't have any ribbon around I used some tulle to make a handle. (just hand sewed everything together)

One of my favorite details was the certificate left behind with the details of her age, when she lost her tooth plus a special note on the bottom just for her. Thanks to Mike Adair for creating the design and sharing it with the tooth fairy! :) Go HERE if you know a tooth fairy wanting to do the same. K's certificate was printed at about 4"x 5" and was digitally customized.



 K loves the pumpkin carving/painting tradition at Grandma Cindy's.
Kaelyn drew on the faces and had mom and dad help carve them. Sadly a hungry squirrel ate the face out of one as soon as we set it outside our house. We had one exasperated 5 yr old. Oh well, I'm sure the fuzz ball enjoyed it and luckily we still had one to light up. :)
Hope you have a fun filled night!


Logo Design

While attending college several years ago, we graphic designers were pushed hard on creating logos. It was redo after redo of creating logos. Nothing seemed to make our teacher happy... and then after what seemed like the 100th attempt on making the logo as clean and timeless looking as possible, we finally got his approval, and seriously after that approval you wanted to do a happy dance. Though somewhat hard to see at the time, I am very thankful for that "hard" teacher. I learned the most from him while attending college and I believe my work as a graphic designer shows his teachings. Recently I was given the opportunity to design a logo for the upcoming business, Agilify Group. It was a fun project and led me to look back at just a few other business logos I have designed...

Each logo is made to be unique and "fit" the business. A simple, clean look should give a timeless feel which can then be used for many years to come. If you happen to be interested in having a logo designed, rates range from $50 to $250. You can email me at enduringarts@gmail.com for more information. :)


Monday's Message

So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10
I am depending on these words... for Him to strengthen me and help me. I am very hopeful that we (me and Him) can get my health turned back around. I am leaning on God to help because I cannot do it alone. Due to my gut being in bad condition, I can no longer eat dairy, wheat, gluten, oats, rice, corn, fructose, sugar of any kind, anything processed, nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes...) plus more. I had given up most of it quite awhile ago, but oats and rice have been hard. I started a new meal plan today, I am excited and hopeful for good things to come. It will take time and I know it won't be easy. One of my prayers is to get better and then help others going through a similar situation to regain their health as well. That is what God wants us to do, help others.
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”
―  Hippocrates


House Tour

Just because we love unique details in a home...

Hope some of you gained some interior inspiration.
Have a great weekend!


Establishing Our Steps

Last week some energy returned (thank you God!), so I cleaned out a few areas in the house to move my art studio/print shop to a bigger space. As I was going through things I came across several little papers where I had written bible verses. It is funny how verses hit you differently depending on what you are experiencing at the time. This was one of my favorites I came across...

In their hearts humans plan their course,
but the Lord establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9
Our little family had a good, exciting weekend... we couldn't have planned it better ourselves. :)


Guide Me {mixed media painting}

First of all, thank you to those who read my last post and sent emails and texts of support. It means so much to know you care. I normally don't like to share the not so good things on my blog, but felt like I should in case someone else is going through something similar. I also don't mind the additional prayers. :)

Ok, moving forward, many of you probably remember seeing glimpses of this mixed media painting in progress. It has been finished for awhile but I just got prints made and I'm happy with how they turned out.

{"Guide Me" mixed media painting}
"Guide Me" is another one of my views of not being in control. A sailor cannot control the weather/wind just as we cannot control every aspect of our own lives. At some point in our life we realize (hopefully) that there is a bigger power guiding us. Which direction will you go? Only God knows the answer and your journey continues. Allow your sails to move freely. Yes, I find this extremely difficult to do, but I am to the point where I have no other option. I can't even guide my sails. He is in complete control.

"Be Still & Let God" was another one of my mixed media paintings that had a similar meaning.
The original piece measures 20 inches by 16 inches and was done in graphite and acrylic paint on wood. My dad was an avid Hobie cat racer when I was younger and pretty much always took home the winning trophy. He inspired this painting. :)
Prints available in the shop.


Struggling {Health & Faith}

 My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.  2 Corinthians 12:9-10
We all have struggles and weaknesses in this imperfect world. There is no way around them. Each person deals with these difficulties differently. Do you turn to the Lord or do you push against Him? For me, God's word is sometimes the only thing I have to give me hope. I'll be totally honest and say I have been very weak lately. My health has been dwindling for awhile now and it is scary. No matter how hard I try and fight it doesn't seem like enough. The only place I can turn to for encouragement is the Bible. I know I have grown so much in the Word since first being diagnosed with Graves Disease, and for that I am thankful. It is crazy to think that some need struggles in their life to make them focus on the Lord. I have always been a believer but I hadn't been one to really study the Word. As my health continues to spiral down I often wonder why? Why God can you not help me get better? We have been attending a new church and I find myself hanging on to so much that is said. One Sunday they showed a video of some of the church's youth kids and they were talking about things that were important to them. I won't forget that one of the girls said that she welcomed brokenness, so she could get to know the Lord better and become closer to Him. Wow! Those words coming from a young girl were so powerful! I can't say I have ever looked forward to difficulties in my life. I want things to go smoothly and easily... who doesn't? But then who will really grow in Christ? Hardships are like a test; do we get mad at God and turn our backs on Him for allowing such awful things to happen to us or loved ones, or do we choose it to be a learning experience and hold on to the hope of His promise that better things are coming, that He is here for us and loving us through the entire journey?
 Since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord
Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.  Romans 5:1-5
It is so hard to rejoice during times of suffering, but I know there is so much growth that is happening because of it. I am working on focusing on the hope. The hope keeps me going.

What helps you get through struggles in your life?


New Mixed Media Painting { Spirit }

Here is my latest piece...
{Spirit ~ 24"x20" graphite and acrylic painting on wood}
I often get images in my head of what I want to create, sometimes there is an immediate story that accompanies the image and other times there isn't. When there isn't a story right away there is usually a stirring inside of me, like a nudging telling me to find what the piece is supposed to mean. On this piece, I knew I wanted a mostly white space with a light, dreamy horse emerging. When the artwork was almost complete I felt pushed to look into the bible for a verse that would go along with the image. Sure enough, this is what I found...

I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse,
whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war.
Revelation 19:11


August Adventures

August was a good, full month. We spent a good part of the first half traveling & sightseeing around Las Vegas and California. Our adventures continued when we returned to South Dakota. We had to make the most of our family time before school started.

 Here's my bicycle that I found at a curbside sale a couple years ago. I was so excited!
She may be pretty old, but she still works great!

 This kiddo is always up for a race. :)

Ok, maybe she won't race down steep hills.
The sun was at the perfect spot for capturing sunflares. ♥

David's Outland Challenge triathlon got changed last minute to a duathlon since the wind was so crazy. Although it was a ton of work to bike and run against the wind he did awesome and came in fifth place overall!
My garden has been producing like it's on steroids! I am thankful for it especially with our special diets due to allergies/intolerances. I have never grown so many different things before, so it has been a lot of fun (and work). This is just one of the small loads.

Kaelyn was given a tiny plant at the end of preschool and shortly before
kindergarten started it bloomed! It's been fun watching it grow.

More art related posts are coming soon!