Friday, December 31, 2010

A Time to Reflect

This year I......

Wrote 213 Blog posts Posts
Organized a vast majority of our home
Tried many new recipes
Canned for the first time
Went to Colorado and lead a Disciple Now weekend
Bought a new-to-us car
Had our first garden
Celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary
Welcomed our twin nieces
Bought our first home
Welcomed and said goodbye to our first baby
Began my 3rd year teaching
Welcomed a long-term house guest
Was featured on the DIY Show Off
Celebrated Mr. Free's graduation
Was featured on iHeart Organizing
Supported Mr. Free as he began his career
Mr. Free got a contract
Celebrated my 26th birthday!

Quite the eventful year!

Thank you so much for reading this little blog.

So many of you have supported me, cried with me and celebrated with me.

This year has been such a rollercoaster ride, and I am very happy to put 2010 to end.

I'm praying for a truly joyful 2011!

Happy New Year readers!

Praying for a blessed 2011 for you all!

Monday, December 27, 2010

I must've been good this year...

Look what Santa (Mr. Free) brought me!
Isn't she pretty?!
She's JUST what I wanted!!!
She looks so nice on our counter and I even broke her in a bit!
Mr. Free....uhhh...Santa....also bought out Forever 21!
Look at those cute boots!
And remember this medic alert I had asked for from Etsy?
Well look what appeared in my stocking!
Mr. Free MADE IT!!!
I think it looks even better than the Etsy one!
I love all the wood grain!
My family spoiled us with gift cards for date nights : )
My family also got me Kitchenaid accessories, cookware, an apron, and even more gift cards!

But probably the best gift of all was this....
Mr. Free got a teaching contract!!!
I'm so proud of him!
He got the job!!!!!

The only thing that could beat this would be 2 pink lines....
But I'm not getting my hopes up there....

We still have another Christmas with Mr. Free's family next week
tomorrow's my 26th birthday!!!!

And being a 2 teacher household now, we both have the entire week off!
Can't beat that!

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas filled with the warmth of family and lots of laughter!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

My Christmas Wish to You

May you feel the warmth from family and friends

And experience the joy of giving to others
May the season be full of magic and joy
And delightfully sweet!
And most importantly, remember the reason for the our celebration.
"Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."

God Bless and have a

Jenny Free

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010


Do you do 'Santa' in your home? I know a few homes that do not have the jolly guy 'visit' their homes.
Instead they exchange gifts with one another, or even get gifts from Jesus.

The Free household does not have a conviction regarding Santa, so he visits our home.
We like the anonymity of Santa.
We were raised with Santa visiting our homes.

But, our traditions were very different.

My childhood:
Santa came on Christmas Eve and left the toys and filled stockings under the tree unwrapped.
We had two Christmas trees.
The 'pretty' one upstairs, where most of our gifts were and stockings, and the 'family' one downstairs that Santa left a family present under (a game, movie, etc.)
We would wake up bright and early Christmas morning and run down the steps and see the glory of all our gifts.

Mr. Free's childhood:
His Christmas day was so packed with family festivities, that Santa came a day early to his house!
Santa just knew!
So on Christmas Eve Eve, Santa would come overnight, and on Christmas Eve they would wake up to wrapped gifts from Santa and filled stockings.

So, though we both did Santa, it was very much different!

This year we talked about what traditions we'd want to do with our family.

Our Christmas Day is PACKED running all around KC to see all our extended family.
We feel it would be most practical for Santa to come on Christmas Eve vs. the real day.
This way we can spend the day enjoying our presents and not scurrying around.
We have also always wrapped our gifts....different from my growing up.
I do like the 2 tree idea and the 'family gift' under the 'family' tree that I had growing up.
Whenever we have a family room...I'd love to start that tradition.

So there ya have it....Santa in the Free household.

What do you do to celebrate?
Did you make some compromises when you got married and started a family?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Baking Part 1

I seriously love me some Christmas.
I'm starting to get sad that it's less than a week away!
I don't want it to be over!

Needless to say, I finally started in on my Christmas baking this weekend, and will continue it tomorrow with Mr. Free's family.

Here's what we made....
German Chocolate Cake Cookies

Aren't my slippers cute? Thanks mom!

Candy Cane Cookies
And some peanut butter blossoms to end up with this plethora
To take to our first ever Ugly Christmas Sweater Party
Where we played games...
...and people ruined pictures

And had to unwrap gifts with mittens on!
We even went outside at the end of the night to some snow on the ground!

I hope you all are enjoying the season as much as we are!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Cards!

About 2 weekends ago, Mr. Free and I (plus the pets!) had a little Christmas photo shoot with the goal of creating our Christmas cards courtesy of my mom and an iphone. (Only the best for us!)

Disclaimer: Mr. Free and I are weird.
And we like it.
We were going for a late 80's/early 90's 'classic Christmas'.
You know....from the good 'ol days.
When times were simpler.
: )

The pets got into the lights again.....
Oh always look so miserable!

So what do you think?
Do you go the traditional Christmas Card route?
Add a picture?
Or are you a little more "creative" like us?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Holiday Baking

Tomorrow night my mom and I are going to make some of these cookies.
Candy Cane Cookies

German Chocolate Cake Cookies

Then Monday evening Mr. Free's aunt, uncle, cousins and parents are going to come over to bake and decorate sugar cookies!

I love holiday baking!!!
What's your baking tradition?
Do you host a cookie swap?
Make cookies with your mom?
Have a cherished recipe?
Please share!!!
I'd love some new tried and true recipes!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Where I Struggle: Mary vs. Martha

Luke 10:38-42
38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

The other day, it hit me like a load of bricks. I hadn't even read this passage in a long time, but it suddenly overwhelmed me.

I'm a Martha.

The Martha that is so busy tending to her home and entertaining her guests that she doesn't pause and spend quality time with her Savior. The Savior that is right there waiting for her!

I have long admired the Proverbs 31 woman.

She is God's shining example of biblical womanhood.

But in that quest to be all that she is, sometimes I lose sight of the heart of the Proverbs 31 woman and focus on her actions.

I want to be a blessing to my husband, future children, family, friends and church body.

I feel like having a perfect little home, from-scratch dinner on the table every night and an open home for guests makes me a Proverbs 31 woman.

I get so caught up in making everything perfect that I forget the only One who is perfect.

Though my intentions are good, my heart needs to be in the right place.

Instead of frantically searching for one more recipe, I can spend time thanking the One who provides my food.

Instead of vacuuming the floors one more time before guests arrive, I can prepare my heart for godly fellowship and gratitude for a home to minister to others.

Instead of focusing on my outward beauty I can focus on the inward spirit God created and cultivates in me.

So dear friends,

Please learn from me that being a 'Mary' has eternal value. Spending time at the Savior's feet is worth so much more than a perfect home. Yes, God calls us women to be a blessing to our families and homes. But first comes our hearts. If we are filling our days with toils for a perfect life just to check it off our list, we are in the wrong. If we do those things with a heart of gratitude and to be a blessing to those around us, then we are doing as He has called us.

God has placed us all in our unique circumstances to bring Glory to Him and to bless those who are around us.

As this busy time of the year demands a lot of our time in preparation, I pray that you will spend some time at our dear Savior's feet, growing in your relationship with Him.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Break from the Holidays: Our Guest Room

I finally got around to taking some pictures of our guest room, so thought I better share them before I forget!

This room is put together with 98% items from our childhood or previously used.
We tried to pull it together with spending hardly any money.

The bed is mine from childhood.
The nighstand is from Mr. Free's childhood set.
The bedding was super clearance from Target.
The rug was a gift from Mr. Free's grandparents.

The nightstand has a wood and brushed nickel lamp I got from Target for $6.
It also has my great-grandmothers mirror and some old books.

We used Mr. Free's matching childhood desk as well.
We originally had this desk in our other room (now the wrapping room), but when our long-term guest came we thought a desk would be handy for him.
Now we love it in there.
It's great storage for our books and old magazines, plus a great quiet place to pay bills and write letters.
Unfortunately, we do not have overnight guests often, so using part of the space as an office is very practical for us.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Graduation Weekend!!!

Mr. Free is graduating tomorrow!!!!!!

I am so proud of this man!!!

We started off our marriage 3.5 years ago with myself finishing up my undergrad in Music Ed and him fresh out of the Fire Academy.

I was proud, yet terrified to be a Fireman's wife. (I should NEVER have watched Ladder 49...)

But I placed my husband in the Lord's hands to use him wherever He needed him. And I knew the risks involved.

But after a year volunteering with a Fire Department, Mr. Free felt the Lord calling him into a new career path.

I was overjoyed!

So we then began the track of finding schools and programs for Mr. Free to get his Bachelor's degree in Art Education.

We were both going to be teachers!!!

That thought had never occured to me when we got married. But I am so thankful God had other plans.

Mr. Free has worked so hard these last 2.5 years finishing school and substituting as well.

The Lord has blessed him with a long-term substitute position in Middle School Art until the end of the year, which is a HUGE blessing!

For the first time in our whole marriage we will have 2 paychecks!!!!!

Tonight we are having an Open House to celebrate his hard work and accomplishments.
Did I mention he is graduating Magna Cum Laude?
He is such a hard worker, amazing artist and compassionate teacher.
I am thrilled God has chosen me to be by his side as his encourager through this journey and can't wait to see the next chapter for him.
Congratulations babe, I love you so much!!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Dear Santa,

Here is what is on my wish list...


West Elm

A million dollar Starbucks card. : )


Anniversary Necklace




Kitchenaid Stand Mixer

Jenny Free

P.S. I've been really good this year. : )