Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Finding Joy as Satan is determined to take it

"Shucks, you were going to have a swingset in your yard for the boys to play in all Christmas Day?"

"You mean you still don't have time to buy another?"

"You know you can go and just get a cheaper playground because you want the boys to have a fun-filled Christmas!"

Satan is a good liar! He likes whispering these things into my head as we walk past the toy aisle in Wal-mart. He loves trying to replace my joy with sadness, and every split second that I get just a little teary eyed I let him win that time frame. It's upsetting that the human mind can betray itself especially when you think you know yourself. I went back to my previous post and just reflected because I know that everything I wrote was true!

"Shucks, you were going to have a swingset in your yard for the boys to play in all Christmas Day?"
Sure, but you know what! As Reson pointed out we can take them to the park. Yea, I live in a country that offers playgrounds free to the public.

"You mean you still don't have time to buy another?"
Sure, I do! But then I wouldn't be following my heart of  "Whenever Christmas begins to burden, it's a sign that I've taken on something of the world and not of Christ."

"You know you can go and just get a cheaper playground because you want the boys to have a fun-filled Christmas!" Yea, I could, but then if Luk wants to buy:

a cow, 

or 20 mosquito nets, 

or 17 soccer balls, 

or 15 Chickens, 

or 10 Baking Supplies, 

or 8 Vaccinations, 

or 6 Educational Supplies, 

or 5 Kits for New Moms,

or 4 goats, 

or 4 water filters, 

or 4 beauty trainings, 

or how about 3 Bakeries, 

or even 2 Small Businesses,

or even a mechanics workshop 

 through Compassion. If I spend my money on a swingset, I couldn't do this for him.  I would be saying, "You know Luk, I told you we would be doing this, but you know, I really don't care about others in poverty I wanted to get Logan and you a swingset.

What kind of example is this? No, Satan my sad heart will not allow you to do this, to remove the joy that I have been having over this loss. No, because it has been a joy focusing on God and what he has graciously given to me and my family. We are blessed beyond measure, and it is our call to give to others that are not as fortunate. Christ came for the lowly, and he wants us to experience a sense of lowliness.

So... I'm thinking instead of a swingset we may invest a cow for a village in Kenya

and Luk... well, he told us he wanted to get the mosquito nets.
You want to know why? He relates to it. When he goes outside in the Florida heat, he and I both get eaten alive by those darned bugs. He and I both know that we would hate to try sleeping with that happening. Imagine it... being bitten all night long... with no relieve... you wake up every morning and you can't even tell where the new bites are because you have bites all over you anyways. My heart feels a conviction to get the water and kit for new moms. Why? Have you ever thought about what you live would be like without clean water, an element you need for survival. You would be sick all the time due to contaminates, you would be malnourished, and you may even die. A new mom, a small baby, no clean water, not enough food, no breastmilk flowing. You have NO idea how to keep your child alive because no one near has been able to do it.  This village would have clean filtered water, this new mom would have a Dr/Nurse to give health visits, vaccinations, and help to give this child a future.

These things are all more than I can give by giving my boy's a swingset. So, as Satan tries to create sadness in my heart, give me a bad day, I immerse myself in these things. If I didn't my heart would become hardened, my soul would begin to ache as my selfishness takes over. Is today a day, yes. Do I want to scream, yes. However, I will not let my joy be taken. I will sit for a bit, reflect, breath deep, and be joyful through it because I'm getting a cow for Christmas... it's just going to be living in Kenya it's whole life. Maybe one day I will meet it. =D

So... I ask you, what can you give this Christmas that means more than an iPod, or watch, or swingset? I don't know, you tell me because there is whole list stated above that can change a whole generation!

A Compassion Christmas: Gifts of Compassion

"Homes and offices are being decorated. Parties are being planned. Family get-togethers are being decided. And the malls are getting crazier than ever. Looking at the hard-to-navigate parking lots, long lines, and highly stressed customer service staff is enough to make even the most seasoned shopper sweat.

But it doesn’t have to be this way - and we can help.

A Gift of Compassion is the perfect gift alternative for your friends, family, co-workers and clients. No crowds, no lines, no stress - just a gift that will help make a difference in the life of a child living in one of the poorest communities of the world. Your gift will help provide clean drinking water, medical treatment, disaster relief, food supplies and much, much more for Compassion - assisted children and their families. Meet real needs and bring real joy with a Gift of Compassion."

Saturday, December 18, 2010

It's not fair...

Why wasn't I born in the Philippines or in Haiti? Why did God grant me this life of ease with a home, healthy family and friends, food, Christmas that so many think is about gift buying.... the list could go on.


I wish I knew, really. As I was in Wal-Mart this morning, I almost cried. There were aisles full of people many of them complaining and grouchy. People were rude, and the best part was while checking out a woman who almost hit me, accused me of "almost nailing her cart." I think I prefer going to Wal-Mart with my sons, sure it's ALOT more hectic on me, but it keeps my mind reeling... or is that how I should want my visit to go?

While going alone here were my thoughts:

- I want into a grocery store.

- There are shelves upon shelves of produce, canned goods, WATER, meats, bread...

- I can buy things to help cook my food, store my food...

- There are supplies to help my wounds or headaches, to bathe my children, and if I have chapped lips chapstick!

All in my head, these thoughts going on as I hear people complaining that they couldn't find the brand the butter they wanted (when there was plenty of butter just not the brand of their choice). There were people getting ugly at the workers who are not with their families, but dealing with people that are self-centered and superficial. I was getting angry. I wanted to give them a reality check of how lucky they are. You have a government that supplies things like food stamps, medical assistance, and unemployment. You have a country that has organizations that run toy drives and soup kitchens.

Yet, we complain. We treat people badly. We feel privileged. It's disgusting, really.

I am this way. I don't always catch myself, but I KNOW I'm am everything I just mentioned. Do I do it initially, no. However, I do it.

If I lived in Nairobi, my home would look like this:

or like this

As I write this I have a bottle of clean water right beside me. In these photos this is something they are fighting for, wells that will quench their thirst. Wanna help? Take a look at blood: water mission, the guys of Jars of Clay started this ministry for the purpose of getting people clean water. What a powerful mission. Their new album The Shelter is challenging to a Christian that thinks they are fine in their own little world. "In the shelter of each other, we will live, we will live..." can we truly say that as we see hundreds, thousands, millions, of people dying all around us.

Wal-Mart is a sad place... why... because of the people that walk in their everyday taking everything it offers for granted and on top of that treating people like they are below them. However, I have to say that God did give me a glimpse of hope and security as I walked out in the rain. He did. He had some the greatest friends I could ask for walking in, as I was walking out. If I remember he said, "Aren't we a pathetic group?" He had no idea I was thinking of the people I was leaving behind (not them) that he would be soon encountering. They are a great shelter to Reson and I.  

- something that covers or affords protection
- an establishment providing food and shelter (as to the homeless) 
- a position or the state of being covered and protected 

Can we really sing, "In the shelter of each other, we will live, we will live..."? From what I saw today, and what I witness everyday... NO! 
I think that should be a prayer we have, that this can be a true statement for us.
It's not fair that I get to live this life while so many have to live a life of true starvation. Can we say this:

Can we pray this? Are we okay with just getting by? Can we except that? Can we live paycheck to paycheck? Can we depend on God whole heartedly? There are millions of missionaries spreading the gospel of Christ to the lost of the world. They are giving their lives for this. They are giving up the comfort of what I have to go to the places you saw above to give these people HOPE!

A hope that they will get clean water, a hope that they will learn how to feed their children, a hope that a Heavenly Father loves them. When they have this revelation guess what? They live on nothing to nothing depending on Christ Jesus to get them through the day. They don't even thrive on a paycheck. They praise God for a goat, a mosquito net, a cow...

Yet we grumble and complain that the lines are too long, there aren't enough workers, how could they not have Parkay Butter!!! It is disgusting to think about this. We should be disgusted with our ungrateful spoiled hearts. I pray that I don't take these things for granted, and that when I give a prayer of thanks it is sincere and from the heart. I pray that when I give thanks it hurts my heart to know that so many are thankful for just a single loaf of stale bread and clean water, while I sit in front of my pork roast, potatoes, carrots, and corn bread.

May my heart genuinely hurt for these people. May I be satisfied living paycheck to paycheck remember that God brought me this far because I don't want money to cloud that reality.

It's not fair...

Friday, December 17, 2010

It could be worse...

I open the refrigerator. I take the chicken eggs out, and continue to take out the prepackaged already sliced pig bacon. I turn on the electric stove remembering I forgot to take out the already churned flavored and spreadable butter. I read two blogs that give me daily doses of reality and conviction for my own habits. The one prompting the above is called Sit a Spell, and how we really don't appreciate the things that we have on a daily basis. It was while doing breakfast that this reality was really hitting hard this morning. I was telling Luk how if we didn't live here in the United States that we would be hoping that our chickens laid eggs, that we even would own a pig to get pork meat, etc. He doesn't grasp the hardship that would be. I show him pictures, but he doesn't SEE it. So, I have to try to show him in some way.

Yesterday, Reson and I got back from a vacation. It was one that we didn't know we were going on, but it's funny how those unexpected things happen in your life. Scroll down to see the awesome postcard we picked up on our way back.

Isn't that great!? I'm sure by now you can sense the sarcasm in this part of my post. Yep, we are victims of a scam. A well done one if I may say so. Isn't that great? Actually, YES! There were a few things that I took from this experience. First, I want to clarify that my only heart ache is that I did involve someone else in the "deal" because I didn't want them to miss out on such an opportunity. I am grateful that they are God loving people who see that really it's a "that sucks" situation.

So, what did I get from this: ALOT!
1) It's interesting that I never even thought, "my poor boys, their Christmas is ruined!" No, I was upset that I let another group of people down with my judgment. What I got? I got that when you surround yourself with people that you care about that love you back you care about their feelings. It was actually an overbearing feeling. I bawled my eyes out thinking about it. 

2) The second blog I read posted this yesterday (the day we found out it was scam), "Whenever Christmas begins to burden, it’s a sign that I’ve taken on something of the world and not of Christ." Enough said, really. This year we were pretty minimal in our spending compared to last year. The scam did involve the big gift for the boys. I could have thought many things to get angry about it. I did get angry, but it wasn't a "how dare you" anger. It was referring to the anger that stemmed from the crying for what I wrote above.

3) On the scam-side: always go to a place like www.godaddy.com search out that website and see who it belongs to. If it says this: N4892 Nassau Bahamas Tel: +852.81720004 = SCAM. You put the URL in make a domain bar, it will say it is used, but you will see where it says "more info" click there and you will see where the domain came from. The site will look legit, have FAQs from customer, payment details to the last "T," and they will even put the pretty "secure site" logos on there.

4) Report it! www.scamchecker.com is a source that you can find scams or report one. I encourage you to do it.

5) Finally, one other person posted a report on the same scam. It was actually the same the day. She went on a tirade on how this ruined her kids Christmas, that they didn't spend the money on taking their children to some dance competition, and that how could these people do this to children, etc. I am again reminded that so many people in this world care to much about materials.

Final thoughts (this will be lengthy as this is my full reaction to the whole process):
I'm sad that people think that this is okay to do. I'm sad that I got someone else involved. I am, however thankful. I still have a home; I still have money for groceries; I still have two happy little boys that have NO idea that they were getting this gift, and lastly our year of minimalizing began NOW!

God has never hesitated on taking things away from Reson and me to show us that we need to refocus. Why were we waiting until next year to do our Christ-centered Christmas? Why did we purchase an expensive item when we wanted to be Christ seeking people all year round? I believe God was telling us no, you are going to seek this new traditional NOW! With that I am repentant that I thought next year was a good time. I am reminded again that God's time is the right time. We do already have six gifts for both boys. The full blown tradition will be three gifts, and looking through our Compassion Catalog to buy something for people who find JOY in God, health, family, food, and friendship. We are going to do the Compassion gifts this year, too.

We have our Jesse Tree going strong, and everyday we are reminded that God is control and His plan is the best plan for our lives. I lost money. It was basically like handing it to someone, and walking away. Deep down I'm hoping that they are using the money to help the people in their country, but the pessimist me knows it is mostly likely not. I could get angry. I could cry that it ruined my boys' Christmas, but I can't because it didn't. It didn't ruin my Christmas. I look to what Ann Voskamp wrote, "Whenever Christmas begins to burden, it's a sign that I've taken on something of the world and not of Christ." I look beyond Christmas though. If there is anything in this LIFE that can burden me, then I am surely looking to the world and not to Christ.

I have decided that I am upset that I didn't get a tan while on vacation in the Bahamas. Reson was upset that he didn't get to take photo while there. In all, we will not be going back to the Bahamas EVER, however something tells me if I say that God will find a way to put me there. So... I leave with saying I will not be going to the Bahamas if I had choice, but if be God's then I guess I will. =D

Merry Christmas! "Whenever Christmas begins to burden, it's a sign that I've taken on something of the world and not of Christ." I leave with us as we are today, JOYOUS!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas 2010

A sneak peek... if you get one the inside holds a sweet treat! These were my FREE cards for posting on my blog.

Family Wall Noir Christmas 5x7 folded card
View the entire collection of cards.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Truth Behind My Sons

Luk Aeron: Light, Enlighted: to sing

Logan Nathanael: Little Hollow, Gift of God

These are my precious boys. Luk is showing his "sad" face for having to wear his eye patch. Logan is practicing his temper tantrums at just 14 months. These are the beautiful moments that show their sinful nature. Disobedience, grumbling and complaining, and selfish behavior... I think about how I look like these pictures. Sure, it is not in my appearance, but in my mood or thoughts.
I am grateful for the mercy of God, and I pray that he will make me a woman of grace as I battle seeing the sinful nature in myself, my husband, and my sons. It is so easy to find fault in others and not look at yourself, but it is also easy to do the opposite and find fault in yourself and not in others. It is that spiritual wisdom that is talked about in the book of James.

James 3:13-18 Two Kinds of Wisdom
 13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.  17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

My boys they are precious, but they have characteristics of both Reson and me. Sure for a parent it is wonderful to see two beings having likeliness of their parents, however we are sinners and so comes the likeliness of our horrendous sin.  I will try to write a post about their positive traits, but for now a mom has to look at her boys for what they are: gifts of God that I pray God will reveal Himself to them because if not they will surely die for the sins they comment and live eternity in Hell. I thank God for His revelation in me because with that I will share His good news and life for the generations to come as he says to do in the book of Deuteronomy.

Deuteronomy 11:1-2
1 "You shall therefore love the LORD your God and keep his charge, his statutes, his rules, and his commandments always. 2And consider today (since I am not speaking to your children who have not known or seen it)  


Wednesday, December 8, 2010


As I mentioned yesterday SEEing God for who He is really unimaginable for our brains. He is just that holy, that omnipotent. However, there is a chance that we can hopefully get glimpses of who He is. This does not always mean that it is good. You can see that in scripture, but how can you see him in your life?

Music speaks to me in ways that my spirit understands. Reson uses a program called interlinc for the youth. It puts together music from Christian artists and puts them into real life illustrations and Bible studies. I'm not usually able to hear all the lessons nor all the music. There are three different "Flavors": Hot, Main, Mild. Hot is all hard/punk/metal rock, Mild is Contemporary, and then there's Main which carries top choices from Hot and Mild. We use Main because it really depicts our group of kids really well. They like it all.

Winter Theme for 2010-11 is Missions & Service. Well, this program has really brought to light some music that we have never listened to or we have only hard bits of these artists. For me, it has expanded my love for genres that I never thought I would like. Case in point: "Sent by Ravens." The other thing this has done for has gotten me to really see that no matter the sound I love the sound of the words coming out that speak truth. Manafest is one example, but for today the meditation has been on Lecrae.
I have heard of him, and I have heard some of his stuff. In this Winter Theme we got his new album "Rehab." Reson had me listen to the song "Background,"

I could play the background
I could play the background
Cause I know sometimes I get in the way
So won’t You take the lead, lead, lead?
So won’t You take the lead, lead, lead?
And I could play the background, background
And you could take the lead
It’s evident you run the show, so let me back down
You take the leading role, and I’ll play the background
I know I miss my cues, know I forget my lines
I’m sticking to your script, and I’m reading all your signs
I don’t need my name in lights, I don’t need a starring role
Why gain the whole wide world, If I’m just going lose my soul?
And my ways ain’t purified, don’t live according to Your Word
I can’t endure this life without Your wisdom being heard
So word to every dance, a foe, a pop star
‘Cause we all play the background, but mine’s a rockstar
Yeah, so if you need me I’ll be stage right
Praying the whole world will start embracing stage fright
So let me fall back, stop giving my suggestions
‘Cause when I follow my obsessions, I end up confessing
That I’m not that impressive, matter of fact
I’m who I are, a trail of stardust leading to the superstar
I could play the background
I could play the background
Cause I know sometimes I get in the way
So won’t You take the lead, lead, lead?
So won’t You take the lead, lead, lead?
And I could play the background, background
And you could take the lead

I had a dream that I was captain of my soul

I was master of my fate, lost control. and then I sank
So I don’t want to take the lead, ’cause I’m prone to make mistakes
All the folks who follow me, going end up in the wrong place
So let me just shadow you, let me trace your lines
Matter of fact, just take my pen, here, you create my rhymes
‘Cause if I do this by myself, I’m scared that I’ll succeed
And no longer trust in you, ’cause I only trust in me
And see, that’s how you end up headed to destruction
Paving a road to nowhere, pour your life out for nothing
You pulled my card, I’m bluffing, You know what’s in my hand
Me, I’m just going to trust you, You cause the dice to land
I’m in control of nothing, follow you at any cost
Some call it sovereign will, all I know is you the boss
Man, I’m so at ease, I’m so content
I’ll play the background, like it’s an instrument

I could play the background

I could play the background
Cause I know sometimes I get in the way
So won’t You take the lead, lead, lead?
So won’t You take the lead, lead, lead?
And I could play the background, background
And you could take the lead
I know I’m safest when I’m in Your will, and trust Your Word
I know I’m dangerous when I trust myself, my vision blurred
And I ain’t got no time to play life’s foolish games
Got plenty aims, but do they really Glorify Your name?
And it’s a shame, the way I want to do these things for You
Don’t even cling to you, take time to sit and gleam from You
Seems You were patient in my ignorance
If ignorance is bliss, it’s ’cause she never heard of this
I could play the background
I could play the background
Cause I know sometimes I get in the way
So won’t You take the lead, lead, lead?
So won’t You take the lead, lead, lead?
And I could play the background, background
And you could take the lead
I could play the background
I could play the background
Cause I know sometimes I get in the way
So won’t You take the lead, lead, lead?
So won’t You take the lead, lead, lead?
And I could play the background, background
And you could take the lead. 

I think that this really depicts my fears with my life. Do I try to do things by myself? Do I lead myself into destruction regularly?  I was asked recently why I don't go for a singing competition in our town... I didn't right away. My response: "I don't want to." I'm not it was 100% accurate because to me it is not a simple question to answer. I have a genuine fear that I would stop looking to the one that gave me the gift to sing. I do use my voice to glorify Him every Sunday, but I'm too fearful to what I would become if I did try to pursue it. 

Does this mean that I am not open to it? No, but I guess if it is something that is meant to happen it will when it is suppose to. 
- Maybe used to sign God's praises in Spanish to an orphanage in Guatemala, Casa Para NiƱos.
-Maybe in a worship team at a church. 

Whichever it be, I want to stay in the background because I'm dangerous when I trust myself because I am in control of nothing. I want Christ to lead me because I take the wrong turns and make mistakes. I did confess to Reson that this is the real answer to question I was asked. I do think that if I am meant to do music there will be two things to happen:
1) Though the fear should still be there, it will not be so prominent to stop me. 
2) God will make is evident and clear. He will open the door. 

I'm not sure it is me going out for a competition. It really is not in my personality. I'm sure it would be fun, but again not in my personality to do it. For right now, I will be headlining in a four bedroom two and half bath home to the audience of two little boys ready for a nap. Allow with the boys will be my "Rock Star" Dad taking the lead showing His glory, and it is sure to receive a standing "O." 

Until the next gig at tomorrow's nap, I'll be staying content playing the background as a happy singin' momma at home. =D

I Desperately

need You! If you listen to the song that is currently playing as you read my blog you will hear those lyrics.

I can finally see
that you're right there beside me.

I am not my own

for I have been made new.
Please don't let me go
I desperately need you.

 Adam Young from Owl City speaks a great deal in truth in the lyrics of this song. If there is one thing that will get me to listen to someone's music is hearing sound truth. Even though not all of his songs are geared to his relationship with Jesus Christ, he gives a strong presence in this song, in his blog, and in his other songs there is a great deal phrases that lean to his Christianity. 

The truth behind this song is one that shows these factors to me:
1) When we have that revelation that God is leading our lives and that He has chosen us to do His work it should stop us in our tracks. You see, as my pastor has said numerous times once you SEE you can't turn back. You see, once you know that something is bad and see it you can't not see it anymore. The Christian walk is one that once God reveals to you truth you have a higher responsibility. There is no more, well I didn't know. No, there is not more of that. You now must sincerely repent and persevere through this world of sin, and do what you can (through the grace of God) to glorify the Father that has given you life.
2) Now that I can SEE, I am not my own woman; I have been made new through the blood that Jesus shed for my disgusting black sinful heart. That crimson stain of His holy sacrifice has made me into a new person, and it should consume who I am. In our Advent study today, we discussed Joseph's beautiful coat, and how his brothers ripped it off his body and poured blood all over it to show their father he was dead. That blood washed over that coat just as Christ blood washes over our sin filled lives. It is a true cleansing of our body, soul, and mind. You are not your own. Your body has been covered with the blood of Christ upon your revelation and following of Jesus.
3) You SEE, you are covered with the blood of Christ so that you do not have to bore the wrath of God, and NOW you must SEE that you cannot do anything without God the father, God the son, and God the Holy Spirit. We desperately need His salvation to cloak our unrighteousness so that we can even show a glimmer of righteous to a God and Son that have the ultimate glory and holiness.

A book that changed my ultimate thought process on how I am to perceive God is "The Knowledge of the Holy" by A.W. Tozer. 1) I still can't wrap my brain around it even though I have read it twice. Going for the third after the new  year. 2) If you need a more "laymen's" version check out Crazy Love by Francias Chan (first chapter) and Louie Giglio's How Great is Our God. Even then this guys just don't touch the way Tozer makes you feel about God's Holiness. They illustrate His magnitude compared to our pitiful existence, but Tozer's eloquence in his description of God is just... WOW.

Here is a piece of chapter one:
That our idea of God correspond as nearly as possible to the true being of God is of immense importance to us. Compared with our actual thoughts about Him, our creedal statements are of little consequence. Our real idea of God may lie buried under the rubbish of conventional religious notions and may require an intelligent and vigorous search before it is finally unearthed and exposed for what it is. Only after an ordeal of painful self-probing are we likely to discover what we actually believe about God.

Read it again. Think about it. Absorb it. That's the way the whole book is. Again as Adam writes, when we SEE God (for really only what are embarrassing brains can conceive) will we grasp Him never want Him to leave, and ask that we get more!  My thoughts for the evening and trying to wrap my brain around it! 

Friday, December 3, 2010

"A Jesus Advent Celebration" by Ann Voskamp

At the Homeschool Convention this past May, I bought Binding Books Beautifully Kit. I had seen the kit the year before, and I had talked to my husband about it. So, we bought it this year. I have yet to make a book yet, however when I came across this Jesse Tree Advent Devotional "A Jesus Advent Celebration" by Ann Voskamp I knew I needed to bound this thing. It is free with subscribing to her updates (which is free, too). Here's her beautiful blog, A Holy Experience it is one wonderful experience shared day after day, and how she and her family's celebration of their traditions. The other beauty to this book is the pages that talks about Compassion, and the gift of giver verses receiving.  The devotional is 80 pages long with eight pages that have the ornaments you need for your Jesse Tree. What I love most about this project was that I can see it being something that my boys will want to continue with their families as they become adults.

Binding Kit

The Pages

Pages are divided into equal parts. The pages are put into the BBB wooden binder tool. 

The directions in certain areas are a bit ambiguous, but like I told my husband, "They expect us to be smart with this!" =D We started by only doing every other nail because the space is just close enough to make it difficult to hammer it straight.
The pages need to be clip on the other side for the process after this.

Once it is all nailed. The nails need to come up, and the holes will be perfect to sew.

Reson did the first half while I began sewing the bottom half of the pages.

Here is where the directions are quite ambiguous again. You need to savvy in reading/looking at picture to figure out the sewing pattern. I used a crochet thread for this because I knew that it was going to be a big book. When doing a smaller book you can use dental floss or thread doubled.

Another area that seemed vague was the book cover. I recommend you doing AFTER you have sewn the pieces together. We did it before and it was too big even though we measured it. So, do it afterward, and you will get better results.

Book Board (not card board) with a spine.

This was the most time consuming part. If you look closely you will see next to the white paper that there is masking tape. that space is where the needle goes through to connect the pages to the cover. It was very tedious and time consuming being it such a large book. Reson and I joked that the directions say to do your first book small, but why do that when you can do it BIG! LOL.

Here she is all done:

The beauty of this book is how you learn that the story of Christmas came from the very beginning when there was a universe of nothingness. It is beautifully written and deserved to be bound. I hope that this will be a wonderful keepsake for our family. I want it to be a tradition that my boys will grow to cherish doing year after year. Here is our Jesse Tree with the ornaments that we have done so far. Today we went over December 3.