Welcome

Welcome to my little corner of the world. I am so honored by your visit today. My name is Kristi and I am married to my college sweetheart(I refer to him here as "Mr. Incredible"), momma to my 2 beautiful girls who are growing much too quickly, a high school computer teacher, photographer, and a gardener (at times~right now I'm growing weeds). I love to laugh, drink strong Starbucks coffee, take pictures, and be anywhere my family is. Jesus is my Savior and I try so hard to be the wife and momma that He has called me to be. I often fail but He lovingly picks me up, dusts me off, and encourages me that with Him all things are possible. Feel free to join me on this journey of faith, stop in and say hello, look around, and leave a comment~I love comments. Why "Kiki's Corner?" My nephews call me Aunt Kiki and I love that too.

Reflections and the New Year


Happy New Year to all of you! As I reflect on this past year and all that the good Lord and I have done together, my heart is simply filled to overflowing with love and gratitude for His great faithfulness. The Lord and I had such a sweet time together this morning and I want to share a little of it with you.
I Samuel 7:12 says, "Thus far the Lord has helped us." The devotion book Streams in the Desert continues:

"Whether through poverty, wealth, sickness, or health, whether at home or abroad, or on land, sea, or air, and whether in honor, dishonor, difficulties, joy, trials, triumph, prayer, or temptation--"Thus far has the Lord helped!""

It goes on to say: "Someone who comes to a certain point and writes the words "thus far" realizes he has not come to the end of the road and that he still has some distance to travel. There are still more trials, joys, temptations, battles, defeats, victories, prayers, answers, toils, and strength yet to come. So dear believer, "be strong and take heart" (Psalm 27:14) and with thanksgiving and confidence lift your voice in praise for:

The Lord who "thus far" has helped you
Will help you all your journey through."
This my song through endless ages,
Jesus led me all the way."

Taken from: L.B. Cowman Streams in the Desert 366 Daily Devotional Readings

I have to admit, I have a few anxieties about the new year. It's my last semester of school...where will the Lord lead me after this season? Where will He guide our feet to walk this year? What new opportunities does He have for us? What will He ask me to leave at His feet? This will be a new year filled with His new mercies and His amazing grace and faithfulness. I will choose to trust in His faithfulness...as He leads me all the way.

It's fun to look back at some of the joys and tears over the last year. He has been there through it all:

1. Driver's Education-be still my heart! Rachel is a wonderful driver. She is counting the days until her birthday in March.

2. Leaving a ministry that we deeply loved and trying to find God's place for us.

3. The delight of having a garden this year. The whole family enjoyed it.

4. The little stinker that visited our garage.

5. Hannah starting junior high-how can this be?

6. Mother of the year moments-ugh!

7. My crazy semester but God's goodness. Incredibly, I finished all 5 upper level English classes with my 4.0 GPA still in tact. He is so faithful!

8. This awesome salvation experiment that I was blessed to share with my children's ministry students and my oldest nephew.

9. Menu Plan Mondays, Tackle it Tuesdays, Word Filled Wednesdays, Thankful Thursdays, Photo Fridays and Friday Funnies...this blog has become such a blessing. Thank you for sharing in this journey with me!

May God bless you and keep you and cause His face to shine upon you in this New Year!

Joyfully,

Kristi

Where Did it Go?

Where did Christmas go? It seems that I blinked and it was over. Didn't I just put up the tree? Mr. Incredible asked me to please leave it up until New Years. Ummm....I love him dearly....so I'll try! I'm the kind of girl who likes to put it all back up in the attic the day after Christmas.

In our part of Texas it is suppose to be 70 degrees. The girls and I are going to take down the outside Christmas lights and maybe even get a tan...in December!

I hope that ya'll had a wonderful Christmas. Our family tried to treasure every moment together. Here are a few glimpses of our Christmas celebrations:

My brother, Uncle Tim, came to town. We were soooooo glad to see him! The girls couldn't wait to get my brother, who records his own music, to try Guitar Hero World Tour. He lived up to their expectations. He is amazing!


This Christmas was the year of the cameras. Mr. Incredible surprised me with my very own big girl camera! Now I can get shots of my girls on the court with my super duper telephoto lenses. I just hope that I can figure this out! I'm having fun trying. I only took 160 pictures in 2 days.
(Don't worry, I only posted a few of them!)
Here is Hannah receiving her first digital camera! She was so excited!


And...look at this surprised face...her second digital camera! Rachel received 2 also.
The girls are so loved. We plan to take one back and exchange it for a special something.


My Dad was given a cowboy hat. I think my Mom likes it!
Cue the George Strait music.

Uncle Tony came to visit. He stayed with us and we LOVED having him. I finally have someone to drink coffee with in the mornings. He doesn't like to have his picture taken but how can he say no when his great nieces are nearby?!

Here are a few shots of the girls learning to use their new cameras while I tried to learn how to use mine:


Here is Uncle Tim with the girls:

This is my youngest nephew:
(I'm starting to get the hang of using my new camera!)

and my oldest nephew hamming it up for Aunt Kiki.

Cousin love:

Santa dropped by for a visit:

This is Christmas morning. The girls had no idea what was in these packages:

Can you tell that they were surprised?

Christmas surprises are so much fun!


The Christmas tree is now asking me to please put it back in the attic but I am going to try to wait..for Mr. Incredible's sake. I think the girls and I are off to see Despereaux. Hope you have a wonderful day!

Joyfully,

Kristi

Happy Birthday Jesus!




May all of you have a blessed Christmas celebrating the absolute best gift we have ever been given. Happy Birthday Jesus! We are in awe of Your great love for us and we are humbled by your gift of salvation that You gave for all who will receive it.

I'm Getting Ready...Are You?

Christmas is almost here. My Uncle Tony arrived this morning and my brother comes in tomorrow. I can hardly wait to see him! The girls and I have been busy baking and cooking and laughing. It has been a blast!

I have a new addiction. Yep, I do. It's called: I am officially addicted to watching all of the Hallmark Christmas movies and all of the Falalala Lifetime movies. One day, I was watching 2 at the same time. That takes talent, let me tell you. Yes, I know most of them are cheesy but as Rachel says, "I have officially embraced my Christmas break from school."
The stress is just melting away in the deliciousness of these homemade cinnamon rolls that simply melt in your mouth. Oh, my heavens!
In the words of cousin Eddie from Christmas vacation....they are g-o-o-d!

We are having a meal together with Granny and Grandpa and Uncle Tony at my house tonight then we will be shlepping all of our goodies all the way across...the...yard...to my parent's house for our Christmas Eve celebration. We will have Christmas morning with our girls at our house and then Christmas Day with my in-laws and nephews. We are looking foward to having many treasured moments together this week. How about you?

I just had to share this Christmas video with all of you.
I purchased it from Sermonspice videos for our media at church. It's pretty cute and stinkin' hilarious!

His Extravagant Love... and Our Blessing

I just have to share something with you. My heart is just filled to overflowing and I am about to burst if I don't get to share this with you. But, I want to be so careful in my sharing, because more than anything, I want God to receive ALL of the glory!


Remember when Rachel was blessed to go to on a Mission trip this summer?
It was a life changing experience. She and several youth in our church really sought the Lord's leadership in starting some type of apartment ministry in our area.

God provided just the right place and my girls have fallen head over heals in love with the 20 to 25 children that come twice a month to the outreach.

Mr. Incredible was blessed with a Christmas bonus this year and we were so thankful. We desired to use part of it to bless others. Normally, we just pray about what God would have us do and then we do it. This year I felt like God was asking us to include our daughters in the process and ask for their input.

Without hesitation they mentioned the children who hold special places in their hearts. And I cried. I just love to see God at work in their lives and their desire to follow His leading.
We came up with the idea of making special treat bags for 30 children.


I got up early Saturday morning and shopped for items that the girls had listed. We never know which children will show up so we wanted the gift bags to not be gender specific.

The Lord and I found coloring books, crayons, scented bubbles, playdough, special Christmas pencils, Sour straws, candy canes, and Christmas stickers. It was such a fun shopping trip.

Together the girls and I decorated 30 sacks and then carefully placed the treasures inside.
We will pray over each sack before we have the ultimate blessing of delivering them Sunday afternoon. I plan to just watch the faces of the precious little children and the precious faces of my own daughters as they joyfully serve the Lord side by side.

Here are pictures of the sacks:






And a few pictures of the designs:







By no means are the gifts extravagant. But they are filled with extravagant love and it is our prayer that each child will come to know Jesus as their Savior one day and His amazing, extravagant love for them.



***Update: Hannah got sick and she and I stayed home while Rachel and daddy delivered the gifts. Bibles were added to the gift bags. Mr. Incredible said it was awesome to get to write the child's name in their first Bible. One little girl named Destiny, who is Hannah's age (11), was so thrilled to receive her first Bible. He told her how to find Psalms and Proverbs and the book of John so that she could read more about Jesus. She marked the passage and plans to read about Him at home. We are praying that the Word will become alive and active in her very soon!


Boxes Full of Goodness and Love

I needed a few gifts for teachers and friends and I had a little time to be creative. It felt so good to paint again. I have missed getting my creativity on.

Anyway, I thought I would share the process with you,
just in case you need a last minute gift idea.

I found these paper mache boxes at Hobby Lobby for 50% off. The large boxes were on sale for $1.50 each and the small ones only cost $1.00.


I had fun looking for some cute images to paint and I just used tracing paper to transfer the shapes onto the boxes.

Then I got out my tub of craft paints and painted to my heart's content while listening to Christmas carols.




After they dried I used a black Sharpie to outline the characters.
It just seems to make them pop a bit, don't you think?









I just love the big carrot noses.


Then I found a fabulous recipe in Gooseberry Patch's Jolly Holiday Cookbook.
It's called Comet's White Chocolate Crunch.
Start with 5 C of cheerios

Add 5 Cup of Chex Corn Cereal
10 oz mini pretzels
2 Cups of peanuts

Next add (my favorite part) 16 oz. of M & M's
we chose the Christmas blend for a little bit of festive goodness

Mix well.
Now, in a double boiler (I like to live dangerously so I just did this in a skillet)
melt 24 oz of white chocolate chips
with 3 T. of oil

When the chocolate has melted, pour over the cereal mixture.
Spread mixture evenly onto wax paper lined cookie sheets (I just lined my kitchen island and skipped the cookie sheet...it's just another thing to wash) and cool.
Yummy! Then I just used gallon sized ziplock bags and filled them up. I added a little tag with the name of the treat and a bright red bow. I think they turned out pretty cute and we can hardly wait to deliver them tomorrow at church.



Joyfully,
Kristi

Welcome to Our Home!

BooMamaChristmasTour

Welcome to our home! I am so honored that you stopped by.
I have to tell you that I have looked forward to BooMama's tour of homes since last year.
Oh, how I delighted in touring so many of the homes and secretly dreamed of a blog of my own. After meeting Sophie for a brief moment last August, I knew that I just had to be a part of the fun.

Make yourself at home!
If you were to drop by, you know for reals,
I might just serve you this delicious little cup of warm goodness:
Let the tour begin!
This is what you see when you come in the front door. It's our formal living room and dining room. I just love the lighted garland highlighting the drapes. (It is quite a sight to see us when Rachel and I are putting it up...let's just say, lots of giggles.)




The two dolls on the piano are special. They belonged to my precious Aunt Faye.


Here is the dining room where we had an amazing Thanksgiving surprise dinner this year!
I think it is fun to hang the ornaments from the chandelier.


I am blessed with several nativity sets but this one is one of my favorites. It belonged to my granny. Every year she would make a special snowball cake, place the nativity on top, light a candle, and then we would all sing happy birthday to Jesus.

My mom now makes Granny's special cake and we get to sing together with my daughters. I look forward to this tradition every year. My Granny would be so thrilled!


Here is the heart of our home, our kitchen:


My mom made this beautiful Christmas quilt. She is amazing!

And our Texas style family room:

Thanks to some amazing garlandy advice from Nester,

I now have full garlands on my mantle too.

Oh, how I love the sights and sounds of a roaring fire in the fireplace!



Mr. Incredible and I met at Baylor University many years ago. Two years ago, while on a trip to Ruidoso, New Mexico, he found this bear nativity set and surprised me with it. I love the angel bear wings! Too cute!

I love to put these pictures out every year. They are our Christmas family photo cards that we have sent through the years. It takes my breath away to see how much the girls have grown in what seems like only a few seconds. My mind is flooded with thousands of memories when I look at these pictures.

Here is our family tree. It is so hard to take good photos of your tree, isn't it?
We find a new ornament for our daughters every year. The ornaments don't match, but there is a story behind each and every one. I think the red ribbon is fabulous. My parents found it at First Monday in Canton, Texas.


We have non-traditional ornaments on our tree too. I saved a few pairs of baby shoes that I like to put on the tree.


And of, course, these Baylor Bear socks.
Melanie, if you happen to stop by, I am posting this picture in your honor...sic 'em bears!


Whew! I think that is all for now. You don't know how much your visit to my blog blesses me. May each one of you have a blessed Christmas filled with love overflowing for the One in whom we celebrate. Jesus is absolutely the BEST gift ever. What a joy to be called His child!



Joyfully,
Kristi
I am pleased to post this at hooked on houses too.