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Since we are doing the three-fold cord in our ceremony, I decided to carry the theme to the wedding programs.  I still have a lot of wedding invites left, so I used those as background, printed out the information I wanted, attached it with two-sided tape and then hot glued gunned on a small braided cord using the same colors as the real cord.

These will sit on the chairs and each one will come with an envelope so that people can take it home with them.  I find that people like to keep wedding invites and programs so I really like the idea of giving guests an envelope for that purpose.

I’m pleased with how these turned out.  The wording is succinct but sufficient and the look is unique and fitting for our wedding.

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For over five years of our lives, we lived close to a grocery store that published an annual Halloween colouring contest in the local paper.  My boys dutifully coloured those pictures even though they didn’t particularly like colouring and knew that the chances of actually winning the contest were slim.  Their main motivation for participating was their mother who wanted free pumpkins.  Every child that handed in a finished colouring contest picture got to pick out a pumpkin free of charge.  Those were the days when I wanted to round up a few kids who weren’t my own because I happen to love pumpkins.  I didn’t so for over five years we had exactly two pumpkins adorning our front steps.

I haven’t found a grocery store out here that has that kind of offer.  Last year, we only had the tiny fake pumpkins and gourds that I had purchased years ago way after the season had ended and all of its decorations were in seriously reduced bargain bins.  I like those little fakies because they were such a good investment.  I can pull them out year after year and reuse them.  That’s not true of real pumpkins and maybe that’s why I have such a hard time investing money in them.  People can live without pumpkins and there are lots of other more important things that I can use my moulah for.  I know that but……I was standing behind a woman with five pumpkins in her shopping cart the other day….and well, all the good sides of the pumpkins must have been facing me because those pumpkins were really pulling on my heart strings and I could just picture where I could give those pumpkins a home for the short duration of their lives and I knew it would excite my boys to have pumpkins and….well….we went out and bought pumpkins.

D and P picked out big orange ones.  My eyes were drawn to the white ones probably because I read those decorating mags too much.  A little red-orange one also managed to sneak into my cart and I quickly wheeled away before I could change my mind about it.

The orange hued ones are parked in front of the house by the old broken chair left behind by the previous owners.

Looking at these photos, I just want to rip out the cement ring circling the base of our green number.  I’ll have to get to this or rake all the leaves that are falling on the yard and cover up that ugly eye sore.

My white pumpkin is nesting on my almost dead garden mums.  This was the first year I bought garden mums too and I’ve learned that this particular flower requires a lot of water.  I let mine drink every other day or so but that apparently wasn’t enough.  A good portion of the flowers turned a dried out brown colour.  Still, that dying plant makes a nice cushion for my trendy pumpkin.

My little fakies have also found perches.

Yeah…I definitely heart pumpkins!

I found out on the internet that an old Dutch custom at weddings was to have a wishing tree.  Guests at the marriage would write wishes for the bride and groom and attach them to a special tree.  After a lot of hmmming and hawing, I decided to try to make a wishing tree.

I started out by finding a branch out back and painting it pink with some paint the previous owners left behind.  This was just to see if I liked the idea of how it looked or not.  Now that I’ve decided I do like it, I think I will buy some dark pink spray paint and make this project a wee bit easier to replicate.

Once the branch was mostly dry, I put it in a pink plastic cup from the Dollar Store and used molding clay to make it stand up.  The clay is stuff from the Dollar store that I had bought years ago for some homeschool project.  It worked perfectly.  I covered up the clay with some balled up paper and then covered that with some Dollar Store glittery gems.  Then I tied the bow around the cup.  If you guessed that I got the ribbon at the Dollar Store, you’re very intuitive;  I did.  I then placed the cup on a circle cut out of a matching Dollar Store plastic placemat and sprinkled some of those glittery gems around it.  You have to imagine this on a crisp white tablecloth instead of on my dining room floor.  The different patterns of pink will come out much more nicely against white than brown I think.

Around each wishing tree I will place pieces of paper, pretty pencils and dark pink coloured clothespins.  I hope that each guest will write a prayer, a wish or a piece of advice on those pieces of paper and then stick their words on the tree with the clothespins.

I will put one wordy piece up on each tree that just gives some fun wedding trivia on it.  Hopefully, that will amuse the guests sitting around each tree and will spur some interesting conversation at each table.  Each tree will be unique with some different trivia on it.

Unfortunately, the lighting was really bad for these photos and you can’t make out what’s on my pink-edged addition to the tree.  If you could read it you’d know the length of the longest train for a wedding dress, the length of the longest engagement on record and the record for the most vows taken by one couple.

Since DA and I are getting married in a library, we cannot use the traditional unity candle as a symbol of our two lives becoming one.  Places that house books and open flames don’t make a good match, at least according to the people that manage the library and make the rules.  So, we decided to come up with a unity candle alternative.  I’ve heard that some people do a sand ceremony where different coloured sands are poured into one glass container to make something pretty.  If I was getting married on a beach I would love that idea.  It just didn’t seem to fit our wedding ideas so DA and I are going to try to braid a three-fold cord.  The idea is taken from Ecc. 4:12 which says that a cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

This frame will hang from the arbour and at first will just have a white sash hanging from it.  The white sash is meant to represent God.  DA’s parents will walk the aisle first and hang the blue sash next to the white one.  That sash will represent the groom.  My parents will follow and hang the pink sash on the other side of the white one.  That will represent the bride.

The sashes will hang there until after the vows and exchange of rings.  At that point there will be a solo and DA and I will braid the sashes together to signify the blending of our lives into one cord that, along with the Lord’s help, isn’t easily broken.  DA’s mom said that a two-fold cord is twice as strong as a single cord but that a third strand makes it fifteen times as strong.  I like the symbolism in this.  I like that you can still see the pink and the blue meaning that DA stays DA and I stay myself; our lives just intertwine.  Hopefully, at the end it will look like this:

I’m not sure that DA has done much braiding in his life and I’m sure that it’s harder to braid with two people working on it than it is to do it yourself.  We’ll have to practice but, God willing, we will work as one and we won’t be the only ones to get the meaning behind what we’re doing.

I was thinking today how in a lot of ways my house is like my life (or maybe it’s the other way around).  For instance, there are parts of my home that I really like.

These rooms feel complete to me.  I minorly tweak them as the seasons change but for the most part I am happy with them.  That’s true of certain areas of my life too.  I’m really happy to be a Christian and enjoy the church that I’m a part of.  Neither of those things are static but they aren’t in need of an overhaul either.

There are other areas of my home that need some investment.

The master bedroom and the T.V. room need upgrading.  Really they need a plan.  There is loads of potential for both these rooms but I need vision to see how to realize that potential.  There are parts of my life like these rooms.  I’m currently attending workshops at an Employment Centre to see where I could possibly fit into the world of work.  A plan is needed.  There is lots of potential for good with the time I have available to give to a job but I’m not sure yet what that plan would look like nor how it will be implemented.

Still other areas of my home are bare and need a little filling.  The big walls especially beg to be less naked.  I’m getting started on that.

The kitchen wall got a collection of flower photos in matching frames put on it.  It still needs more but what went up was a good start.  The wall by the front door got a Dollar Store lizard put on it.  That little critter adds a touch of whimsy in a spot that I felt could use some of that sentiment.  My relationships can be a little stark at times.  They need the addition of humour and some fresh deposits of love.

Making a house a home takes some doing.  Beauty doesn’t just happen without effort and thought.  Making my life a worthy one also takes some doing.  By default it won’t be.  I need to work at it and view it the same way I do working on my home.  I enjoy trying to make my home beautiful.  My life is infinitely more valuable than any house can ever be.  The words, “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and yet loses his own soul?” come to mind.  I will continue to do what I can in my house but I hope that it will remind me to invest where it really matters – my life.

Just thought I’d post a pick of DA’s ring.  If it looks huge it’s because it is!  My ring size turned out to be a tiny four and a quarter.  DA’s is a whopping twelve.  The band is like the man – big and plain but awfully handsome.

I’m moving onto Plan C for my wedding cake.  Plan A was to do artistically decorated cupcakes displayed on a tiered stand.  I found out that although I’m alright at baking cupcakes, I’m not very talented at squeezing icing out of one of those tipped cake decorator bags.  I’m sure that I could take courses to get better but seeing that my wedding date is looming ever nearer I don’t think that is going to happen.

Plan B was to try to make a tiered wedding cake myself.  I found a great recipe on line with step by step instructions on how to put the layers together.  That plan got ditched when I found out how much the needed cake tins cost.  I’m not likely to use these tins again so it didn’t seem like a very good investment to purchase them.

So now I’m on to Plan C which is a modified Plan A.  I’m still going to make cupcakes, ice them and display them on a tiered stand but instead of trying to decorate them with a cake decorator I’m going to top them with these:

They are made of melted pink chocolate.  Years ago a neighbour of mine moved and had to downsize her possessions.  She came over almost daily with free offerings for me and one of those offerings was a box of candy molds.  I pulled them out and found that there were a couple of pretty flower shaped ones.  It was really easy to melt the chocolate, pour it into the greased molds, freeze it and then pop out these adorable and edible pink flowers.  They will look nice atop my imperfectly iced cupcakes and will tie the dessert into my overall colour scheme.  This works for me.  I can still have a dessert that I like and I can make it look somewhat special and it won’t drive me to tears doing it.  That’s beautiful.

I want to introduce you to Easter Island Man.

This interesting character has been a part of our home for a few years now.  He used to reside with my “belle-mere” but then she decided to downsize from a house to a two bedroom apartment.  Easter Island Man didn’t make the cut of things to keep for her.  Being unwanted by my “belle-mere’s” children, he was brought to my attention for adoption.

Over the years, he’s sported a number of different hair styles.  His current look involves sticks.  I happen to love sticks.  I love them so much that I probably would be as happy receiving an interesting bouquet of tree limbs as I would be getting a posy of fresh flowers.

Today, his look got a bit of an upgrade.  He’s now sporting a more Native style.  I found a couple of turkey feathers while walking and just couldn’t pass them up.  I also have a thing for feathers, especially the long, brown-hued ones.

This is another thing that I do with bird plumes – stick them in an interesting vase.

Remember these add-ons that I got at a garage sale?

Well, look at what I found in one of the boxes from DA’s grandma:

Add a couple of these to the mix…

…and you can build yourself one of these:

Now imagine those tiers laden with scrumptious cupcakes and you’re envisioning a fancy dessert stand that cost under two dollars to put together.

I found a monarch caterpillar earlier this year.  I always seem to find the late bloomers and up until this time they had all been males.  Both male and female caterpillars look identical and they both form their chrysalis in the exact same way.  You can’t tell if you have a boy or girl until the monarch butterfly emerges and opens its wings.  The males have a different wing pattern than the females.  The most obvious difference is the males have two dark dots on the bottoms of their lower wings.  O.K.  That’s the science-y part of today’s blog.  Let’s move on to the beauty part.

Isn’t she lovely?  P was the first to discover that she had come out of her chrysalis and carefully brought her down for me to see on the end of a broken ruler.  I had guests over at the time and I’m sure they thought I was a bit nutty when Po (that’s what we named her when she was just an itty bitty caterpillar) opened her wings and I gushed over the fact that we finally had a girl.  They got a little science lesson (I’m still a homeschooler at heart!) and had a chance to watch her dry her wings and see me being very impatient with my camera wanting to get a shot with her wings open.  I’m sure that I looked like an idiot but I just had to get a shot of those wings with no black dots on them.

We carefully released her this morning but she’s still on the back deck letting me admire her for just a little longer.  It’s so easy to rear monarchs and they are just so gorgeous to look at in all their stages of life.  That and the opening of their wings for the first time can really make your day!

Ecclesiastes 3:11

He (God) has made everything beautiful in its time.