Welcome! I'm Melissa Gross, a dynamic and interactive teacher and speaker called to lead and encourage Christian women in their walk with the Lord through classes, workshops and retreats incorporating Bible study, devotionals, illustrated Bible journaling, paper crafting and mixed media projects that merge faith and art bringing God’s Word to life so you can find renewed excitement to dive into the Word, use your creative gifts, and apply the Truth as you draw closer to the Lord and serve Him in your everyday life. This site is where I share my everyday adventures, Bible Journaling pages, scrapbook layouts, handmade cards, and other crafty projects, as well as information on my upcoming workshops and events. I also post photos, ramble about books I'm reading, stuff I'm organizing, and other FUN bits & pieces of my wonderful life.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Christmas Clutter Countdown Weeks 6 & 7

Christmas countdown banner

I have three sets of homemade gifts that I'm making this year for friends and family. I created a prototype for one of the Christmas gifts I'm making, refined it, and then gathered all the materials to make those gifts - a total of six in all. (Sorry I can't share it with you here - wouldn't want to spoil the surprise!)

I added two events to my December calendar, both of which I am really looking forward to. The first is the Annual Ladies’ Ornament Exchange that a friend hosts in her home. I will help with the invitations and also setting up the day of the event. I also ordered tickets for dear hubby and I to a performance of The Grinch Stole Christmas in mid-December.

The focus for these weeks was on getting our yards and home exterior ready for the upcoming winter. We really don't do anything differently outside for the winter - we don't store our patio furniture, it stays out year-round; we rarely unhook the water hoses and bring them inside; and we don't need firewood as our fireplace is gas powered. I decided to take time for a few landscaping projects I've been wanting to do in the front yard. I spent several hours working in the yard and was exhausted when it was all done, but I'm pleased with my progress.

I trimmed all the lower branches off the tree in the yard, trimmed both crepe myrtles and all the shrubs. Of course, I then had to tie up all the branches and put all the little items in a yard bag so they will all be picked up and taken to our city's composting center to be ground up.

I removed the stones that formed a flower bed around the tree since we don't use that bed for flowers (or anything else). This took some work as the stones are heavy and then I had to wheelbarrow them to the backyard. I smoothed the area around the tree to fill in the holes from the stones. I then removed the stones from one of the front flowers beds - I really didn't like the way this bed was shaped, so I basically straightened it out and turned it back toward the house sooner. I had to dig a new trench where I moved the stones to and then haul the extra stones to the back. I filled in the holes with some of the extra dirt and smoothed it out.

I had planned to move the stones from the flower bed on the other side of the sidewalk, however my energy gave out! I might get to it this fall, but if not that can be a spring project. I am happy with the progress I made and am very glad to have everything trimmed up before the holiday season! Plus, I got in a pretty good workout!

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