Magnetic Scrabble letter Message Board


Scrabble letters are pretty popular these days. I think it is quirky way to spell out messages. Well before the scrabble letter craze my husband’s family members were scrabble enthusiasts, especially my father in law. As much as a I love writing and word crafting I just cannot stand the game. I haven’t quite figured out why, maybe because I am awful at spelling. Whenever they play I am on Peter’s team and am the designated letter-drawer because that is about all I am good for. As a tribute to his love for scrabble, I made this magnetic scrabble letter message board for my Father in law for Christmas.

It was easy-peasy and fun to make! (I had much more fun with this than the game, I must say.) All did was buy a big frame (14x10 I think) and spray the glass with magnetic spray paint. As a tip, if you have never used the magnetic spray paint, it takes A LOT of paint to get a strong magnetic connection. I did 8 or 9 coats of the stuff and was still a little disappointed at the lack of magnetic pull. So, if you attempt this or a similar project be ready to use nearly the entire can of the stuff. I found the scrabble letters online. All the listing said was “100 scrabble letters” so I was nervous that all the letters would not be included, you know that the shipment would come with all the letter “A” or something, but it was a complete set, even including 2 blank tiles! Then I cut pieces of self-adhesive magnetic strips and attached them to the back of the tiles. And viola! A Christmas present that screamed my father in law. He immediately began spelling words with it, a true scrabble maniac! He says he plans to practice on his trick words for the next family game night. Maybe this gift will backfire on me.


Christmas with the Gavendas


A letter to my son

B-boy, you turned 10 months old on Christmas Eve! I cannot even believe how much you have changed in the past month. Don’t even get me started on the fact that you are creeping up on a YEAR OLD! How is that even possible!?! You are such a fun little guy. You are playing more and more. I love your little games and your sweet, drooly smile. (Your chin is almost never void of drool.)Your hugs and kisses are one of the highlights of my day. You are so much more active, as well. You have a fascination with anywhere you are not supposed to be, mostly the kitchen which you are not allowed in unless someone is in there to keep you from killing yourself. Just the other day you knocked over the tote we had blocking the door to the kitchen (this is old news to you. It takes you about 2 seconds to move the tote) and also a chair we had put behind the tote to reinforce it. You then stood up and started walking pushing the tote and chair half-way across the kitchen. When you saw I was watching you, you just gave me one of your smiles and laughed.

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You also have a game which you play with Nana. Whenever she makes a kissy face and starts slowly coming toward you, you get a little smirk and then lean in the rest of the way so she can smooch your cheek. You are such a lover! You are pretty laid back and quiet as long as people are around. You just love to be around people. I hope that never changes about you because it is such a quintessential part of who you are now. I know God made you to be that way. You light up whenever one of us comes in the room and go nuts when Daddy comes home from work. You adore watching Hayleigh and when she plays with you, you are star-struck and on cloud nine. I love to watch you together and see how much you each love each other in your own little ways. It makes my heart smile.


You say three words now. Your first word was “Da-da”. I don’t know who smiled bigger when you said it, you or Daddy. You call me “Bob-Bob”, which I count as a word, because although its no “Mama” you use it to refer to me and you get so darn proud of yourself when you say it. Hayleigh always laughs hysterically and corrects you saying, “You don’t call her Bob-bob! Her name is Mommy! Say ma-ma, B!” You also say “hi” or actually “haaaaaaah” when you wave. I love to see your proud excited smile when you know you have said a word.


You still have just two teeth. I have been waiting for months for the next ones. I am writing this letter a day before you turn 10 months, so two days before Christmas, and I am wondering if maybe you will be like your sister a wait forever to sprout a tooth on Christmas. Your favorite foods are peas, squash, banana, cheese, and eggs. It is funny though because you don't show much of a reaction to foods as far as getting excited. You do love your protein though! In fact you won't sleep well at night without either eggs or meat for dinner. What a manly man! You love playing with your sillytown toy, your mirror stage and also cars. It is so funny how from very young you loved things with wheels. You can even push yourself across the room riding the ride on toy. You just need a spotter for some help with the occasional balance issue. You still do your "work-outs" where you grab onto something in front of you with both arms (like the ottoman or a shopping cart handle) and rock back and forth and yell. You also have the "hallelujah" dance move down pat where you put your hand up in the air and close your eyes, lower your head and shake your head along with the music. It is hilarious! I also think you are left handed. You eat with your left hand and are preferential to that hand in other things as well. Interesting. I will have to wait and see if you are a lefty like your Aunt Jayna and Uncle Aaron.
I love watching you learning, growing and developing. It never gets old. Your personality is so unique from your sisters and so incredibly lovable and irresistable. I love to just nuzzle and eat up your cheeks. There are really few things that give me more satisfaction than a good cuddle with you my sweet boy. You are such a light in our lives. I love to see your love for others and your happy, sweet disposition. I cannot wait to see how God continues to mold you and shape you into the person He plans for you to be. I love you so much.

10 months or 10 years?! Geez.

Merry Christmas!


Wishing everyone a wonderful, safe and memorable Christmas!

Unto us

One of my favorite things about spending Christmas with my family is our traditions. One of them is to read Christmas Devotions over brunch. We usually read the same two every year and sometimes sprinkle one or two new ones in as well. Let me share one of my favorites with you. It is from the book “The Glory of Christmas” which is a compilation of inspirational writings from Charles Swindoll, Max Lucado and Charles Colson.

Untethered by time, God sees us all. From the backwoods of Virginia to the business district of London; from the Vikings to the astronauts, from the cave-dwellers to the kings, from the hut -builders to the finger-pointers to the rock-stackers, He sees us. Vagabonds and ragamuffins all; He saw us before we were born.

And He loves what He sees. Flooded by emotion, overcome by pride, The Starmaker turns to us, one by one, and says, “You are my child. I love you dearly. I am aware that someday you’ll turn from me and walk away. But I want you to know, I’ve already provided a way back.”

And to prove it He did something extraordinary.

Stepping from the throne, He removed His robe of light and wrapped Himself in skin: pigmented, human skin. The Light of the universe entered a dark, wet womb. He whom angels worship nestled Himself in the placenta of a peasant, was birthed into the cold night, and then slept on cow’s hay.

Mary didn’t know whether to give Him milk or give Him praise . but she gave Him both since He was, as near as she could figure, hungry and holy.

Joseph didn’t know whether to call Him Junior of Father. But in the end he called Him Jesus, since that is what the angel had said and since He didn’t have the faintest idea what to name a God he could cradle in his arms.

Don’t you think their heads tilted and their minds wondered, “What in the world are you doing, God?” Or better phrased, “God, what are you doing in the world?”

“Can anything make me stop loving you?” God asks. “Watch me speak your language, sleep on your earth, and feel your hurts. Behold as the Maker of sight and sound as He sneezes, coughs and blows His nose. You wonder if I understand how you feel? Look into the eyes of the kid in Nazareth; that’s God walking to school. Ponder the toddler at Mary’s table; that’s God spilling His milk.

“You wonder how long my love will last? Find your answer on a splintered tree, on a craggy hill. That’s me you see up there, your Maker, your God, nail-stabbed and bleeding. Covered in spit and sin-soaked.

“That’s your sin I’m feeling. That’s your death I’m dying. That’s your resurrection I’m living. That’s how much I love you.”

Max Lucado
In the Grip of Grace

For to us a child is born,
   to us a son is given,
   and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
   Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
   Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Isaiah 9:6

Accessory holder from recycled window

I have known for a while that this is what I would make for my sister for Christmas. I was inspired by this project of Ashley’s. It is very different from my other window project I made for my mom, but some of the same principles applied. Rylie, my sister, loves jewelry and accessories, especially fun costume jewelry. She has everything stashed in boxes and bins though which is not practical or fun. So, I knew this would be a perfect gift for her because she will not only have easy access to her pretties but she can now have them all on display as well!
The process was pretty simple and because I was strapped for time (who isn’t this time of year?!) I did not take pictures as I went.
My mom found this window for me. I love the character of it. All I did was paint in black to fit Rylie’s taste and style. Then Peter broke the glass out of all the panes for me. (He said it was therapeutic after the week he had at work. I’ll give him that one.)
I cut and stapled screen behind two of the panes, perfect for hanging earrings. Then I stapled some fabric behind that to give it some color and pattern. I did not want to go overboard with the colors and patterns because I figured the accessories would add enough of that. I want this to kind of be a frame and the accessories the art.
Next I glued some wire to the back of the panes so she could hang her hair clips and barrettes.
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I also hung some hooks so she can hang necklaces, bracelets or headbands.
I envision this propped up on her dresser or hung on her bedroom wall. I also made her some fun accessories to go with it (not pictured). I really hope she likes it!


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