Christmas Pinterest Party Open House 2014

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I am beyond thrilled to share with you the invitation and RSVP link for the 2014 Christmas Pinterest Party Open House.  We will be gathering together on the weekend of November 22nd and November 23 to create 3 lovely projects.  

In order to accommodate as many people as I can that weekend, we will once again be doing the party “open house” style.  You are free to come any time during the afternoon to complete your projects.  

I would plan on the three projects taking you about 2 hours.  I will be providing some Christmas desserts and drinks, so no need to bring a dish this time since we are doing more of a drop in format.

Now for the important part…..the projects!  I am so excited about this year’s projects.  I tried to chose things that were different from what we have done in the past.  For those of you who came to the Fall Pinterest Party, thanks for voting on your favorite projects.  I love having your input.  


Joy Wall Hanging


I think this is my most favorite thing that I have EVER made!  I am SO in love with it.  I originally saw the Pin for this wreath:


How cute, right?  

There just was no space to fit this in as a large wreath for the Fall Pinterest Party but I was playing around with it on a 8 inch wreath form that I had laying around and thought how fun it would be to use it as an “O” and so I created this project!  The “J” and the “Y” are 9.5 inches tall, so it makes a really good size piece when combined. 

You can use yours to sit on a shelf of mantle or attach a string to it to hang it on the wall.  I will have brown and white paper bags, so you can pick what color you want your “O” and then you can paint your wooden “J” and “Y” any way your little heart desires. I will also have lots of Christmas picks, berries, greenery and ribbon.  I used a few sprigs from a Christmas Pick and a small bow and I could not be more excited about how it turned out. 

“Chalkboard” Ornaments

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(Each person will complete 3 ornaments)

Aren’t these SO cute?  And I have a secret to tell you if you promise not to tell anyone else….they aren’t really written with chalk!  We all know that chalk smears and wipes off and is not going to look fabulous after it’s been hanging on your tree for a few days, let alone in the years to come.  These are done with permanent chalk markers.  You can free hand your design or wording but I will also have lots of stencils and outlines for you to pick from.  I will have a mix of log slice sizes as well as some various porcelain ornaments.  I will already have them painted black so you can get right to lettering and not have to wait for paint to dry. 

Christmas Gift Tags 

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I wanted to add something into the project list that you could use while giving gifts this Christmas season and I thought these would be PERFECT!  Plus, they are super fun and easy to do!  

The people who receive them will think you spent FOREVER on them and feel extra special that you added this handmade touch.  Each person will be making 10 tags and you can use the ones above as examples or totally create your own!  I will have tons of blank tags, patterned paper, shape cutouts, buttons, ribbons, stickers, stamps, markers, punches, jewels and more to get your creativity goin. 

Open House Details:

Our Home

Saturday, November 22nd

Sunday, November 23rd

12:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Supply Fee : $20.00 for all three projects


I’ve Got 99 Problems….And A Cleaning Schedule Ain’t One

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Ladies.  Gentleman.  My people.  Ya’ll need to stop it.

For real, stop it already with your Cleaning Schedules.  The Basic, Weekly, Monthly, Busy Mom’s, Stay At Home Mom’s, Working Mom’s, Seasonal, Weekend, Deep Cleaning, Special Occasion, 10 Minute A Day, 30 Minute A Week, Printable, Pinterest-able, Have A House Like Martha But Love Jesus Like Mary, Proverbs 31 Women Cleaning Schedule.

Just don’t.

Look, it doesn’t take much for many of us to look around and feel like we are failing big time by the world’s standards.  Pinterest, while I love it on so many levels, can also make us feel like the things our friends pin to their boards are the truest versions of themselves.  

Like when we gave our kids cereal and a frozen pizza for dinner and then see that your friend down the street just pinned a gourmet spread under “Dinner Tonight” that involves ingredients not found at Wal Mart and requires kitchen equipment you have never heard of before.  

You go from feeling like offering cereal and pizza was a parental win by adequately covering the dairy, grains, fruits and veggies and proteins food groups to feeling like maybe you aren’t fit to actually raise children.  Or laboratory mice.

So Let’s Just Keep It Real.  Remember when we talked about that last year?  

Remember when we all made a pinky promise to stop believing that to be good moms we had to be perfect moms and instead we decided to encourage each other to just be authentic and when we all did that, we would decide that Roseanne always had way more fun than Carol Brady.

So, in keeping with that theme, I would like to present to the you the Team Patterson Cleaning Calendar For A Remotely Clean Home That Might Not Sparkle But Probably Won’t Give You Tetanus.  Maybe.

Catchy, huh?  You are probably gonna wanna pin that one.

Let’s start in the kitchen:  

This is the heart of our home and also the place most prone to looking like the remnants of a party that you would see in the movie Revenge of the Nerds.  

At some point this century, we decided that stainless steel would be a great choice for our kitchens so we made EVERYTHING stainless steel which means there are fingerprints on EVERYTHING!  Leave them.  For real, you will drive yourself crazy trying to keep up with keeping them gone.  Plus, on the bright side, you can always threaten to use them as evidence.

As for the counter tops, you could use a cereal box to make an origami paper holder and then decoupage it with vintage wall paper and label each part.  

Or you could use an old wooden pallet to make a family command center where each person has their own slot for keys and papers and mail and such.  But you are really only going to use it for about a week.  Or a day.  

So just accept that your counter will be the go to place everything.  “Mom, I can’t find my iPad charger.”  Check the kitchen.  “Babe, I brought home a post it note 7 weeks ago with only three numbers written on it and now it is the most important thing in the world that I find it!”  Check the kitchen counter. Keys, school papers, car titles, Wendy’s coupons, birthday candles, lunch boxes, receipts, buttons, cash and occasionally a shoe. They all end up on the kitchen counter.  Let go and let God, my friends.

As for the things in the kitchen to actually focus on, they are simple:

  • When you can smell the trash, take it out.
  • When you have run out of cereal bowls, do the dishes.  We used to go with “when the sink is full, do the dishes” but let’s be honest, that is not always the case.  Big things like roasting pans and crock pots and cookie sheets can fill the sink and there is no need for immediate panic because in all likelihood, those things will not be needed again for some time.
  • When you can no longer walk on the tile without shoes on because things stick to your feet, mop it.

Easy, peasy! Let’s keep this momentum going.

Next up, the bathrooms:

I live in a house with 3 boys, well technically one man and two boys, but there really isn’t much difference. The bathroom can be a place where you could spend hours and hours and hours cleaning, but let’s be honest, you are completely wasting your time.

There are a few things about bathrooms that I have come to know to be true.  One, there will always be toothpaste somewhere it was not intended to be such as the light switch, the mirror, the floor or the shower curtain.  Just leave it.  Anyway, it’s much easier to clean off once it is good and dry.

Two, you can have all of the towel bars, hooks, clips, shelves and hangers in the world and the towels are still gonna end up on the floor.  You could get really upset about it or your could let your inner genius shine and decide that since they were on the ground already and probably still damp, you might as well use them “mop” the floor and by “mop’ I mean step on them where they are laying, use your leg to make broad sweeping motions across the floor and then place them in the hamper, full of dirt, dust, hair and water from the last person’s shower.

As for the toilet, it’s really a lost cause.  The only rule we have for that once it begins to smell like a truck stop bathroom urinal cake, it’s time to clean it.

Oh, and just one word of advice here on the whole toilet in a house full of boys thing.  They are never going to hit it all of the time.  

Like ever.  

So do yourself a favor and go ahead and eliminate all of the things that are in your bathroom that are bound to become in the line of “fire” at some point.  

Fancy little rug that goes around the toilet that matches your shower curtain.  


It will basically act like a sham wow for you know what.  Nobody wants to deal with that.  

Cute little trash can next to the toilet.  Move it.  Trust me on this one. What doesn’t splatter on the outside of it will land on the inside of it and that just isn’t something you want to collect. 

Adorable tissue box cover on the back of the toilet?  Yes. It has to go, too.  I don’t know how but they do manage to even get it up there, but I can promise you they will.  And often.   

Save yourself the heartache and adopt the “sterile” theme for your bathroom with only the basics. Trust me on this.  I know what I am talking about.

Let’s move this party to the bedroom, shall we?:

These can be tricky places to keep picked up, especially if you still have children living at home. There are toys and clothes and shoes and books and Lego’s and video games and string cheese wrappers and Capri Sun pouches, and that it just the first few steps into the room.  Here is how we handle it here at the Patterson Homestead.

Shut the door.  Quickly.

If there are not things crawling out from under the door, outta sight outta mind, friends.  

At least until you can smell things from under the door, and then it is clear that the only option you have here is to hide all of the iPad chargers until they clean up after themselves and get their st*#f in order. 

The last stop on this tour of insanity is the laundry room:

You could do a load a day or have a laundry party on the weekend or wash whites on one Wednesday or all of one child’s laundry at a time and then fold and put it back in their rooms the same day.  

Or you could do it our way which basically means you worry about it when no one has clean underwear left. The rule used to be that I worried when there were no clean underwear or socks, but let’s be honest, socks are kind of over rated.

You could search Pinterest and print out a chart about the appropriate temperatures and wash settings and how to treat every stain from wine to Cheetos and if jeans should be turned in side out or right side out or upside down for washing……or you could just throw it all in at once, accepting the fact that as dirty as the top of the inside of your washing machine is and with all of the stuff crusted around the bleach cup and the fabric softener dispenser, it’s really just an act of God that things actually come out cleaner rather than dirtier than when they went in.  Bless them.

The only big exception to the laundry rule is on bed sheet day.  Every Friday we take all the bed sheets and blankets off the beds to be laundered.  And sometimes it is every other Friday.  Or every 7th Friday, but what is important is that they get cleaned and the beds promptly remade that same day.  

Of course, occasionally you will remember that you took ALL the sheets off of ALL the beds when it is approximately 27 minutes past bed time and these kids have got to go to bed now.  Right this second.  While they can still move on their own.

In this case, it’s perfectly acceptable to grab some throw blankets and a beach towel and make the best of the situation until you can get to them on Saturday morning.  Or Wednesday afternoon.  Just….whatever.

That is it, friends.  And while you may not have seen this scheduled pinned to Pinterest a gazillion times, I am guessing that it is quite similar to the model that you have adopted for your own homes although you have made the necessary changes needed to fit your unique family conditions.

Use it if you want, don’t use it if you don’t want to, feel free to decline if we invite you over for dinner, but just promise me this….. relax.  Take a deep breath.  

You are doing a great job.  

Let me say that again and with emphasis for those of us who are a little slower on the uptake.


So let’s just decide to be on the same team and let’s encourage each other to be real instead of being perfect. Let’s win this one for Team Not Perfect But Perfectly Capable of Doing A Pretty Darn Good Job

Now, on the count of three let’s bring it in for a Go Team.  Ready?  One, Two, Three…..Go Team!

60 Days Stronger

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60 days.

That is how long it’s been since my friend used meth for the last time.  It was about 4 O’Clock On A Friday afternoon.  I have told you the story about her addiction and a little bit about the intervention and you can read it here in case you missed it.

There are so many things about that weekend and the 60 days since that I still can’t wrap my mind around but one of the biggest things that I have struggled to understand is why in the world God let me be there.

God could have chose anyone to be there that weekend.  He could have used anyone to speak through or He could have chosen to do it completely on His own, in the quiet of her own heart with no other witnesses.

But He didn’t.  He picked me to see it.  To experience it and feel it and live it.

When I read or hear the stories of Jesus performing miracles during his time on earth, I always wonder how it would have felt to be someone who was in the crowd.  What it would have been like to have been in the room when He touched the man on his mat and he got up and walked?  What it would have been like to have been standing near the one who touched His robe and was healed?What would it have been like just to catch a glimpse of life being changed?  What did the people in the crowd do next?  Did they run and tell everyone that they knew?.  Everyday for the next week and the next 30 years did they tell the story to anyone and everyone who would listen?

And I guess the only logic I can come up with for why God let me stand in the creek with this girl and walk with her and talk with her and cry with her and fly with her that weekend is that He knew I wouldn’t be able to be quiet. He knew all about my style, loud and dramatic and with a tendency to over share.  Maybe He let me be there that weekend because He wanted to make sure that I didn’t let people forget about that one time my God rescued a girl and maybe He knew if I saw it once, I’d learn how to recognize that He does it daily.

60 days ago I walked through the woods with a girl who was high meth.  She had been abused and used and was the very image of what it meant to be broken.  She didn’t care if she lived or died, and if she would have kept using, death would have been her only option.

Today she’s nearly half way through her rehab program.  For 60 days she has fought to be clean and she’s worked on dealing with all the reasons and the ways she got to that point.  None of it has been easy and it probably never really will be, but she’s 60 days stronger than she was.

If God can take her life and reclaim it, if He can take what was empty and fill it up again then I have no doubt that He can do the same for me and for you.

Friends, I saw it with my own eyes and I made God a promise that weekend to never let anyone forget that He still takes broken things and makes them brand new.  He did it for her, He’s done it for me and He can do it for you, too.

Here’s to another 60 days, my sweet friend!



The Heart Behind “Collective Call: A Community of Prayer”

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My grandmother lived with us from the time I was in first grade and she, along with my mom, were instrumental in modeling for me the ways of Jesus. 

I can remember her often getting phone calls during the day to let her know that someone in our church family had requested prayer and her spending the rest of the afternoon on the phone, calling the other members of our church to call into action of community that would intercede in prayer on behalf of the person requesting it.  She called it her ‘prayer chain’ and I can’t even begin to fathom the works The Father has done over the years as a result of her faithfulness and at the asking of her community of the faithful. 

I guess I grew up always knowing the power of prayer but not until recently have I really come face to face with the all changing and all encompassing power of people petitioning God on the behalf of another. 

I’ve told you the story about the intervention I was involved with nearly a month ago and I’ve told you the story about how God rescued this 19 year old girl who was addicted to meth, but I haven’t told you the how, partly because I am still trying to wrap my mind around it and partly because I’m still so in awe of it that I can’t find the words. 

Everything about that weekend.  Everything about the weeks and months leading up to that moment in time.  Everything since, has all been a result of the power of God displayed through the asking of His people. 

Not the cliche “I’ll pray for you” kind of sentiment that we often give to people when we don’t know what to say and then forget about them the minute we walk away, but the real thing.

Prayer. Communion with The Father. Face to the ground.  Fervent. Heart felt and full of longing.  Refrains offered up to the One who always hears.  Calling out and calling on and falling on God.  The kinds of prayers that are formed with words and the kinds of prayers that are formed from tears and just saying the name of “Jesus” when the words just won’t come. 

Prayers of a community.  The collective call of those who’s desire is for nothing less than the Kingdom of God to be present on the Earth as it is in heaven. 

And in the days and weeks since witnessing the resurrection from death of this girl, I just can’t bear to think of all of the ways that God is waiting to move in the lives of those around me.  And in my own. And that maybe He is just waiting to be asked.  

And I’ve wrestled with God for the past 38 years and for the past 4 weeks and what I wanted to hear from Him was “Well done my good and faithful servant, your reward awaits in heaven” what I have heard Him say is “Now what?”  What I’ve heard Him say is “How can it be that you have seen me move and you still aren’t convinced enough? How is it you can settle back into your routine of life and forget?  Forget that I was and that I will be and that I Am?” 

And for you I am sure that He uses sweet words and the brush of angels wings but for me, because He knows there is no other way, He shakes me and He says “You stupid girl. Wake up.  I AM.”

And so that is really the cry of my heart.  That I would wake up.  That we would wake up.

While my grandma’s prayer chain might be a thing of the past, I believe with all that I am that God is stirring my generation.  A generation of people who are broken and in need of being rescued. And in some little teeny, tiny way,  I think He’s asked me to be a part of that by using the one thing I am best at, social media.  

I know.

I’ve had the same conversations with God over the last few weeks about how silly it sounds.  About the plight of our country and our nation and about the suffering we see on tv and in our kitchens and in our hearts and that maybe asking people to “simply” pray for each other seems like it’s not enough.  

And then God reminds me of a girl who is in rehab right now who should have been in the ground and He reminds me that He is always enough. 

And so that’s where this new project comes in.  Collective Call. Imagine it to be a 2014 version of my grandma’s prayer chain.  A place where people can lay down the burdens of their hearts and know that a community of people will pick them up and carry them to The Father on their behalf.  A place where broken people come to intercede with broken people knowing that in their own strength and left to their own devices, they are useless, but being confident in the transforming power of the One who longs to transform the dust of our lives into something beautiful.  

I’d love it if you would join me.  I have created a space on Facebook where people can leave their prayer request.  You are free to share as much or as little as you are comfortable sharing.  It can be a request for yourself or a family member or your city or our world.  It can be descriptive or unspoken, it doesn’t matter.  

And maybe by you sharing your real struggles and prayer request, you will give someone else the courage to share theirs. 

And then together, as a community, a Collective Call, we will pray with and for you.  Maybe as you are praying for someone you want to share some written words with them as a way of encouraging them and letting them know you are praying.  

Maybe you just want to click the “like” and let your “thumbs up” be a sign that you are interceding on their behalf, again, it doesn’t matter how, just that you do. 

I’d love it if you would “like” the Collective Call page on Facebook so that you can follow along with the requests and check there often.  I would also love it if you would share this post with everyone that you know so that it can reach as many people as it can.  Our community of prayer will be made stronger. 

Collective Call: A Community of Prayer 



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