Sunday, November 8, 2009

Cooking Up a Challenge

I love using sketches, but I do not often make them. This one was an exception. I had made this one for the sketch challenge at Cooking up Creations. You can see the challenge here:
Even when I am the one who makes the sketch, I can't leave well enough alone. Of course when it came to making the LO I just can't follow directions with out doing something different. I used the sketch, but I turned it 90 degrees. So on the right is the layout made from the sketch.
Any way, come on over to the site and let me see what you can do with the sketch.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Pneumonia is no fun

Ok, so I don't think that anyone would think that it is, but I just want to confirm that in fact it is not.
I am glad to say that the worst is over and that I am definitely recovering, but it is annoying at how long it is taking. I remember trying to get back into my walking routine which even before I got sick was not all that strenuous. I would walk between 30 to 40 min 5 days a week. That was before. Today I feel proud that after a week of trying I made it up ton 25 min today. I hate that it takes so long.
But I guess what matters is that I am recovering and getting a little more energy every day. The medications are all gone now and I am trying to move forward.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Cards cards cards

It is that time of year - the only time I really think about cards. And just in time, Cookin' up Creations is having a whole month of card challenges - a different one for every day of the month.
This is the card that was made for the Nov. 2 Challenge. I was not much of a card maker before, but the challenges are great and who knows by the end of the month, I will not only have 30 new cards in my stash, but I think I will have developed a liking for making them as well. If it sounds like fun (and it really is) you can check out the details here:

54 days til Christmas

I know that in one way that seems like forever, but in another, it will be here in no time at all. I am not the type to start listening to Christmas music til after Thanksgiving (Thanksgiving gets lost in the Christmas rush and the true meaning of Christmas gets minimized) BUT this year I am making at least some of the cards that I am sending out. I can't wait til mid December to do that so I started this weekend. This is an example of what they look like.

Monday, September 28, 2009


There are times when I overhear things. I am not eavesdropping. I am not spying I just happen to hear a snippet of a conversation and those jems are just too funny. Here are some of the things that I have overheard over the years....

"Here, honey, have some Twizlers. You can't just eat chips all day."
We were at the beach. I was lying down for a little nap when the mom next to me told that one to her son.

"This is the first time we've been out since you chained me up and tried to shoot me"
Honestly I did hear that one when Tom and I were out at a steakhouse. I dont' know the context, I but even after years of trying, I still can't make out why anyone would say that?!?

"She is the only woman that I ever loved. When I went to jail she cleaned out my bank account and dissapeared but she is going to come crawling back someday"
When I heard that one I just wanted to cry. How far from reality was this guy???

"Put the gun down and no one gets hurt"
Said by a child sitting in the back seat of a car - alone

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Another One Bites the Dust

I am thinking about a new career - a church killer.

I am sure that there would be some demented people who would pay for services like that. I don't work quickly but I do work. My biggest problem is that although I have that job, I hate it. Here is my resume:

Church number one was an old church in Cleveland. With the flight of most families to the suburbs the decline began. I stayed there as it was the only church I ever knew til almost the bitter end. If it were just me, I would have stayed, but I had kids to think about so I moved on.

The next church I will call church one and a half. It was the church I attended while I was in college. I was still a member of church number one but I did attend just about every Sunday I was in college for 4 years. That church was fortunate as I wasn't there long enough to completely kill it. But it did have a very nasty split that may have finished the job since I have gone.

Church number two was the one I joined 10 years ago and closed just a year ago starting me on this odyssey. I believe that church will be my church home in my heart for the rest of my life. So much happened there that even though I only spent 9 years there they were the most intense and spiritually growing years in my life. To this day when someone says "church" that is the one of which I think.

There is a church 2 and a half too. I never "officially" attended there but my kids do participate in the Awana program there. I guess that is close enough for my kiss of death - or almost. About 6 years ago that church split as well. (I am not even going to start in with how many different Awana Commanders I have seen come and go.) The church is still going but it is no way the same church it was before the split.

For the past year we have been searching for a new church and for all the details you can read this blog. One thing that had helped us in this search is that we had was some stability was that although any given Sunday morning was a toss up we were able to attend a Saturday night service. This church was small and struggling. Because of that we know that it was not where we could stay. They were just missing some of the things we were looking for namely a place for our teens. It may not have been perfect but it was at least something like home. Until my ability strikes again.

They are closing the Saturday night service. I feel it so deeply that I am almost numb. I want a church home any family to but that is the problem - I have no where to go. I know that this is just another attack of my enemy but I don't' mind saying that it hurts and I am tired of it.

So I am off and looking again. I am tired of the search, but I am truly afraid that if I do find another church that I will have to keep doing this again and again. However the Lord is too important to really believe that I cause these problems. I know that there is somewhere he wants all of us and we will keep looking til we find it.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Called by name

I remember the first time it happened. It was a Sunday morning. I was in my devotional time with the Lord. He spoke to me and called me by name. There was no other experience like it - the Creator of everything knows my name. It was humbling and exhilarating at the same time.

It was wonderful when the Lord did it. It is wonderful when my friends or family does it. But I don't think that it should be done from the pulpit during a sermon.

We visited a church. There were quite a few things we liked about it. There were a few things that we weren't quite comfortable with but nothing that was too objectionable - until about half way through the sermon. It was at that point that the minister actually called by name one of his congregants whom he has obviously counseled.

" Look and Mary (Not her real name - I don't even remember what it was) and all the problems that she has", he said.

I couldn't believe it. I have been to different ministers for issues. If any of them had even mentioned me I would have wanted to sink into the floor. But then I thought that maybe there had been some sort of arrangement - even though "Mary" didn't look like it. I was almost ready to say that I was being too sensitive.

Then he said, "Look at John (once again not his real name). Can you believe the sins he has committed?"

Twice in one service he called out specific people and basically aired their dirty laundry. I felt so shocked I didn't know what to do. But one thing I do know, I am never going to give them a chance to call my name out as a poor example of Christian living. I can assure anyone who asks that I will never be stepping into that church again.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

old home week

Tonight I went out with a group of ladies from my old church. One has moved to Iowa a number of years ago and was back in town visiting friends. The women's group from church decided to meet with her. It was nice to catch up. And the really great part was that Baker's Square was having free pie tonight so it was cheap too.

I thought it was appropriate that I had made this layout earlier today. The sanctuary was always so pretty, especially at Easter. The pictures were taken 5 years ago - long before we knew the future of the church.

Just as getting together with the ladies of the church was bittersweet so was the memories of my church home. The journalling under the picture says, "Lent is a time of reflection and preparedness for the coming Easter Season. This year Jim preached on preparing our hearts by dealing with some of the sin which was in fact the cause for the necessity of Christ’s death and resurrection.Each week during Lent the cross was used during the service to do just that. Confessions were nailed to it. Fears and failings were lovingly but seriously confronted. It was intense, but also the most moving Lent season ever experienced."
This and many of my other most recent layouts can be found here:

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Still Scrapping

Yes, even though I have not posted everything here, I am still a scrapping fool this month. I am involved in a cybercrop at Cooking up Scrapbooking Creations

This was a layout made for a scrap lift challenge.

Looking for food in the kitchen of someone who dosen't cook

I have been in that kitchen. Yes, there is food. No, I won't starve. BUT there is nothing to make a meal with. There are just random items, a jar of peanut butter, some cheese, a quart of orange juice and some garlic salt.

That is what looking for a church has been like. I am searching for spiritual food and all I get is a snack. There is nothing wrong with snacks, but it is not the meat that I crave either. There is no consistency when the menu changes every week. I get just enough to almost last me through the week but I am never really satisfied.

Every week is about the same. I look hopefully to Sunday. Will this be the church? Will this be the one where everyone will be content and fed? And so far, the answer is no.

The church we attended today was an example. It was just what I was hoping for - at least on paper. They had Christian education for everyone. The music was pleasant. The people were friendly and the sermon was Biblically based. It has all of that but it was only half alive. There was no meat there. Once again another Sunday morning and rather than being fed a meal which I could chew on most of the week I left only having had a snack that barely will hold me through the day.

Here is hoping that the menu will be more satisfying next week.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Church Should NOT Hurt

Our "official" church search began again today. It has been a year since our church closed and although we have found a church that was "nice" we were hoping for something more so we are officially looking again.

The day started out nicely enough. The people were friendly enough. It is a small church, but we don't mind that. In fact, I would prefer a small healthy church to a large one. The kids all loved Sunday School. Timothy even liked it - he actually said "like" not just ok.

Unfortunatly that was about where the positive experience ended. The Sunday School Tom and I attended can be summed up best by Tom's description - it was like a trip to the dentist. Getting any one to say anything was like pulling teeth. But at least there was novicane. It was uncomfortable but it didn't hurt.

The same can not be said for the church service. That was like going to the dentist without any novicane. The sancturary was more the size of a chapel. It was approximatly 20 feet by 40 feet. I don't mind a small space in fact for the number of people there it fit. The problem lies with the sound system.

Going to church should not hurt. I don't mean that it is always comfortable. There have been times when I have been convicted of my sin and that is not comfotable. I have heard sermons that I swear were aimed directly at me. Once again I feel ill at ease, but I do not phiscally hurt. That was not the experience today.

The sound system which could have easily served a room 3 to 4 times bigger than the one it was in was cranked up to high. And the worst part is that there was no balance. I think that everything was just turned on to the max. The worst was the drum set. It wasn't just a snare and a bass but a full set. I really think that just about any rock band would have loved to have. It just about drowned out everyone else. Literally we could not hear any voices at all and the piano was drowned out entirely. The keyboard and the gituar were putting up a fight to be heard but it was a loosing battle against the drums.

We were situated near the front so I couldn't see the reactions of the other people. But I did see both the daughter of the worship leader and the daughter of the minister sitting with their fingers in their ears. It was so loud that it was actually painful. I am all for exuberant worship, but this was not worship at all - it was just playing Christian songs as loud as possible. I may be wrong but I know that the last thing on my mind was worship. I just wanted to stuff something in my ears so I wouldn't be deaf before the service was over.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

There are a few rare occasions where the kids will permit me to take their pictures - so I have to take advantage of it.
When we were in Newark for the NJHS induction the kids let me take pictures of them in the park outside the theater where the ceremony was held. Although they are not the best picstures in the world, they are pictures that I will treasure just because I have them.
These and many other of my current creations are for the cooking up a challenge cyber challenge. My other work (no I have not posted it all here) as well as the work of other talented artists can be seen here:

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Counting my blessings


The Lord - He loves me the way I am but too much to let me stay that way

Tom: The only person who understands me

Timothy: Inspires me to dream and make my own path

Eva: Shows me where vision and the courage to follow can lead

Emily: Constantly shows me how much fun life can be.

Becky: A reminder that frindships can last a lifetime

Cindy: A true role model of what a wife and mom are

Sharon: Always willing to help

Patsy: proves the Christians can and do have fun

The Pets: They silently add so much to life

With a wild week of celeberties dying unexpectedly the challenge for this week was to make a top ten list about something for which you are thankful. I am most thankful for the people in my life so I made this. This and other challenges can be found at:


The challenge at Cooking up Creations for 7/7 was to use 7 wallet photos and 7 words of journalling. The hardest part was finding the 7 wallet pictures. I ended up using pictures of myself spanning from about 6 months to 16 years.
The journalling that I used was my titles at that time. That got me thinking. Who was I then? Did those titles matter to me? How have they changed - well most of them are now obsolete at least as a title. No one will ever call me niece, daughter or granddaughter anymore as I have no living aunts, uncles parents or grandparents.
That of course got me thinking about who I am now. I think of all that has happened in the invervening years and how many things have changed and how some things have stayed the same. Some were for the better, some were for the worse. Each and every one though has made me into the person that I am today,
As you might have guessed, part of who I am is an avid scrapper. You can check out the rest of my current creations at this site:

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

One of the challenges at Cooking up Creations this month was to scrap something that was new - Scrap a layout about starting something... starting school.. starting a new job... starting a new phase in your life.
Having kids certainly is a new phase - especially at Christmas. There are toys to buy, things to assemble, gifts to wrap and the seeing of Santa. Before children we were in bliss full ignorance of all of these.
Yes, it was a challenge but since that first Christmas with kids we have since repeated it another 15 times and adding 2 more kids into the mix. At times it has been a challenge, but we have survived and in fact even learned to enjoy Christmas morning with our biggest blessings.
Here is the link to Cooking up Creations to get involved in the fun:

Monday, July 6, 2009

Discovery Days

We use a virtual school = Ohio Virtual Academy. Every spring they sponsor Discovery Days. In Cleveland that means a trip to the Great Lakes Science Center. It is a great museum with all sorts of hands on exhibits. we went this year in May and the above are some of the pictures I took of the kids learning and having fun.

This is a link to the gallery where you can see these and many other of my scrapping layouts:

Back in the Saddle again

We have been attending the same church for about 6 months. It was the one we were happiest with of all the ones we looked at. However we don't want to "settle" for something. We want to be where the Lord is leading us. Right now we do not know exactly where that is but we feel that at least for the present, he is leading us away from that church.

SOOOOO exactly a year after this process began we are in the active part of searching for a church again. I really do not think that I am being too picky we have a short list of "have to haves" but we just can't seem to find a church that has everything. Just to show that I am not being nit-picky here is the list:

1. Well delivered, biblically based sermons.
2. Sunday school for EVERYONE (Tom and I too).
3. Opportunity to worship as a family (children are present for at least part of the service)
4. Bible study (at least most of the year - I can live with it if they take the summer off, but I am still looking in the Bible to see where it says that Satan takes a vacation between Memorial Day and Labor Day. I haven't found it yet)

Sure there are LOTS of other things that would be nice - pews instead of folding chairs, a combination of traditional and contemporary music, VBS, congregation the "right size" etc. but none of them are deal breakers.

So we are off and searching, again.

Awana Awards

I took a ton of pictures at the Westlake Bible Fellowship Awana Awards - and I have finally done something with them. Here is Emily at the awards ceremony - with her part and receiving her award.
Here is the link to where it is posted if you want to read the journalling:

Friday, July 3, 2009


Jeffrey is Tom's Godson and was born when Tom and I were still dating. Because of that, I have had the pleasure to be able to watch him grow up. I took this pictur last Thanksgiving. It struck me when I saw it how much he has really grown.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Growing up

Emily is growing up there is not doubt about it. She is in second grade now. She flew up from Daisies to Brownies. She is no longer the youngest kid in the neighborhood. So please tell me, where did my little girl go?
This layout has pictures from the Girl Scout ceremony. It was made for Cooking up Creations.

One of the worst things about summer

The challenge was to make a lay out about something I didn't like about summer. I chose sand. Here is the journalling:




This and my other crations for this month can be found here:

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I am scrapping again!

Yup it is time for a cybercrop and I am up and running.

this one is for a wonderul website called "Cooking up creations" which was started by a friend of mine - and what could be better friends and scrapping. Of course I am there. You can be too here is the link:

I have already started scrapping. This lay out was my first for the cyber crop. I hope you like it.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Awana awards #1

Last night we attended the Awana Awards ceremony and Westlake.

As was usual, they served dinner. Last night was rigatoni with meatballs and sides of salad, garlic bread and applesauce. We had cheesecake for dessert. This Awana serves more food than any I have ever heard of. In the year that we have been going there they have had "Thanksgiving - Awana style" as well as pizza for the grand prix, an indoor picnic, and Western night with bbq . What is really amazing is that they never charge for any of the dinners -they don't even collect dues.

After that the awards were given. Both of the girls got their trophies from the Grand Prix. Emily got her Hiker Review patch, and her workbook pin as well as her second book award ribbon. Eva got the Trek Milestone award.

We are proud of them - look for pictures coming soon!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Welcome May

April is gone - and as far as I am concerned, good riddance!

May is promising to be a busy month - we have scout camp, scout projects, an Awards dinner at Awana, There should be a court of awards in there somewhere too, a baby shower, the starting of Angel food,VBS planning and the list goes on and on. I guess that I will look at the bright side - thing of all those opportunities to take lots of pics. I should have enough to keep my busy for a while. (But do I really need to try and do that?)

So hopefully April showers are gone and I can look to the blooming beauty of May

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Where there is smoke....

There wasn't fire - until Tom opened the oven.

I guess I should explain...I wanted to make a meatloaf. I have a really good recipe that makes a meatloaf that is like Swedish meatballs. Very yummy! I don 't make it that often because it takes over an hour to cook and usually I am in and out of the kitchen in about half that time. Yesterday though I just wanted some so I made it.

I don't know what the exact problem was - maybe I used meat with too much fat (but that is what is cheap and I can afford). Maybe the loaf pan was too full. I don't know. I put it in the oven and about 45 min into the cooking time I heard the sizzling of the grease but didn't think much of it.

Tom came home and went into the kitchen and saw some steam or smoke coming out of the vent in the oven. He opened the oven to see what was going on. That was a big mistake. Opening the oven allowed just enough fresh air in for the grease to actually ignite. (As well as letting the smoke out) We closed the oven and turned it off and went out to dinner.

This morning I used the oven's self cleaning option and stunk up the house even worse. However with a fan and some open windows it is back to normal here. I even managed to salvage the meatloaf and we are having it for dinner. Somehow it just doesn't seem as appealing tonight though....

Thursday, March 19, 2009

You'r a Tease

You heard me - that's right. You are a real teas and that is not right.

I admit that I am tired of winter. We had snow - plenty of it. There were winters that barely seemed like winter but this wasn't one of them. We had snow -about 3 feet of the beautiful, but oh so cold white stuff. Winter came and now it is time to make way for spring.

I said that it was that time, but you are being a tease. It was beautiful for a few days. It even got close to 70. then every time you have to let winter back in the door. That is just not nice.

So spring, please, come and stay

Monday, March 9, 2009

Spritual Mutt

One of the churches we are currently attending is on Saturday night. It was the first one we visited when we began to look. We liked it, but there was nothing there for the older kids so we sadly crossed it off the list. This fall they began a Saturday night service and we began attending then. We still make sure to get the kids to church on Sunday, but Tom and I really like the intimate evening service.

This week's sermon was on Freedom from Religion. One of the points made was that many people just follow the rites and practices prescribed by whatever church they are going to and think that makes everything "right" with God. They also get the idea that there is one way - whatever they are doing - and that everyone else is wrong.

It was then I realized how much of a spiritual mutt I am. I was raised in the Christian church - Disciples of Christ. I went to a United Church of Christ youth group growing up. I married a Catholic with both his priest and my minister presiding over the ceremony. When that church closed I found an American Baptist church (the one place that has felt like home more than any other). I attended MOPS at a Lutheran church when my kids were young. My kids began attending Awana at a Southern Baptist church. They grew out of that Awana program so we began going to a different Awana at a church that I don't even know what the "official" denomination is. When scouts came along they met at churches, Timothy at a United Methodist and the girls at two different Catholic parishes. Then the search for a new church was upon us. I won't even list all the denominations that we looked at briefly. Now however we are attending and Assembly of God on Saturday night and an Evangelical church on Sundays.

With all that church background I have managed to sort out what is really important to me and my walk with the Lord. It isn't a certain kind of music, or a particular translation of the Bible or even the way a church is set up. Being a spiritual mutt, I have discovered what is the most important and that is HIM - everything else is just earthy trappings of religion.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Two Winners

Emily's Car: She won second place in the race for her age group.

Eva's Car: The artistic award was for all ages. She took fourth place in that. Although it is not clear in the photo the "crayons" tell the salvation story and the 3:16 stands for John 3:16 which says, "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish but have everlasting life." rather than the number of crayons

Today was the Awana Grand Prix. I am not usually fond of this because of the way it was run at the Awana that we had gone to in the past. There was no classification by age etc. The youngest kids always won, because other than possibly picking the color they had nothing to do with it and just by looking you could tell that dad did all the work.

Add that to the general insanity of my house that is doubled at race time and I really don't care for the Grand Prix. It is tough enough to get the cars cut (which we didn't really do this year - just check out the pictures) and painted. Then Tom, being in the car industry, has to obsess and make one too - but his is always "special" and I just dread it.

This year things were different. The church where the girls are now attending Awana really seems to know what they were doing. They broke the kids down according to age and the races were much more fair because of it. We went for very simple designs because we missed the week where the kids could use the tools to cut them so we worked with just blocks.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Times they are a-changin'

Almost 15 years ago Tom began to sell cars. That in it self has been an economic challenge for the entire time. There have been some good times, but even more so there have been even more lean times - and as you can imagine this is one of the leanest.

A friend of ours recommended Tom when his company needed a new salesman. Tom applied and was hired. But hired into an industry he knows very little about.

All the employees there have training so Tom is no exception. The training is in Toledo and will last for 2 weeks. I am sure that he will do great. Product knowledge is his speciality. Tomorrow he leaves.

That leaves me at home with the kids and no more "usual". In truth, this week is normally the auto show which always raised havoc with the schedule so although it is a little different and a little longer maybe it isn't that unusual after all.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

God is good---All the time

Yes, God is good. I know that in my head but if I am being honest, I don't always live like that. When things are not so good, I complain and I gripe and I forget to look at what I do have.

Now, though, things are going well - and I am practicing what I know to be right. I am not going recognize that He has sent good and not just think that it was "about time" or "I deserved it" I am concentrating on really giving him the glory for all the things - especially the good that is going on right now.

So what is the good right now? Let me tell you what God is doing in my life!

A friend of ours saw that they needed a new sales man in his company. He recommended Tom for the position. Just yesterday we found out that Tom got the new job. It has the real possibility of doubling or tripling (or even more) our income! It would be so nice to get out of the poverty zone! There was only one real concern about taking the job. We have only owned one car for over a decade - my van. Tom always had a demo from whatever dealership at which he was working.

That brings me to the next thing that I have to praise - I did the taxes yesterday. We are getting enough to get a car (Not a new one certainly but one that will run til we have the money to get a better one) for Tom.

There are several other things going on as well that have an effect on my life - for the good - but as they are not directly connected to me, I am not going to write about them. But rest assured that I am going to give thanks for them as well. Right now all things in that all things verse are working together for good - and I am seeing it live and every day. And I am going to give praise and thanks to Him who made it possible.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day Cards

Tom's Card:
Eva's Card

Timothy's Card

Emily's Card

This year I challenged myself to make cards for every member of my family for Valentine's Day. I am glad to say that even though cardmaking is not where my passion is, I am very happy with the results. Here they are

a new home

One of the first churches we looked at, Tom and I liked, but they really did not have anything for the older kids. So that one went off the list right off the the list. However, in November they started a Saturday evening service.

We decided to attend that, and I am so glad that we have. As you might expect, it is fairly small - but then again it is a small church. They have a class for Emily too so she comes with us. It is really a winning situation all along. Tom and I get to go to church and have made some new friends. Emily gets to go to Sunday school, and The other 2 can just be teens.

Tonight, being Valentine's Day they had a movie - Fireproof -after the service. We had heard alot about the movie but had not seen it yet so we made it a date night for Tom and I. Knowing that it was going to be a late night we left Emily home.

It was during the evening that I really began to realize how comfortable we have become there. At this point everyone knows who we are and it dawned on me that for the first time since I began this process of looking for a new church, I have found someplace where I feel comfortable and even somewhat "home" and that is a GREAT feeling.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Football is EVIL!

Ok, I am going on the record to say I HATE football. I have a number of reasons and I intend to vent and lay them out here, so strap on your seat belts and get ready to go...

First of all I grew up in a house where football was a sacred event. No one ever bothered to explained how the game worked and if I would try to ask I was neatly and clearly put in my place and told to be quiet they were watching the game - and we all know that the football game is more important than I was.

When I arrived in high school I was in the marching band. I didn't particularly want to be in the marching band, but if you wanted to play in the concert season, you had to play in the marching season as well. This meant that I was at every football game every Friday night for 3 years. I was bored to tears as I either fried or froze in my band uniform sitting on the sidelines. The one advantage of my experience is that I was finally around people who were willing to answer my questions about how the game was played and didn't just tell me to be quiet.

So as the years pass, living in Cleveland, I came to the sad conclusion that football would always be a part of living here. After all, although we never had a winning team, routing for the Browns was an experience akin to nirvana here for most people. Then there was a glorious day! Art Modell moved the Browns out of Cleveland to Baltimore. I have rarely experienced such bliss! I remember the day well. It was the same day that Yitzak Rabbine was assassinated, but you barely heard that on the news here because everyone here thought that football was much more important than the assassination of a major political player who was in the leadership of one of the most important countries of the world - but who wants to know about that?

Alas for me we got the team back. Cleveland has one of the worst school systems in the country. It is one of the poorest cities with some of the highest national foreclosure and unemployment rates. So everyone can see that we should ignore the failing school system, and pretend that the temporary jobs that were created to build the new stadium (because of course we couldn't use the old one) would fix the job problems. So the new Browns arrived in town a few years back.

Over the years I have learned that I am just about alone in my viewpoint. But that doesn't mean I have to like it or that I have to be quiet about it. Neither of which I am going to do.

Church is VERY important to me. I really wish that the superbowl was not on Sunday. It ruins the day - that is all anyone talks about. If however having a superbowl party is more important to you than being in church then, STAY HOME! I was just appalled as a couple in our church was whispering in a very loud whisper during communion as well as the sermon of everything that they had to do for their party. I do not doubt the faith of this couple but I see the poison that this obsession when chips and dip become more important than worshiping and communing with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Not much has changed over the years. I still feel like Jeremiah - a lone voice calling in the wilderness. This year one of the churches where Emily goes to Awana the commander is one of the Browns. He is the first person I have ever met that seems to have put football in the correct perspective - behind God. I really look up to him for what he is trying to do. However I also see him failing at it. I used to look forward to going to Awana on Wednesday nights. I had met and become friends with other moms there and we would talk and chat during the meeting.

Now everything has changed. It is no longer the moms who bring the kids but rather the dads. I don't pretend that they are the least bit interested in Awana or even what their kids are doing. The only reason that they are there is because the commander is a football player. It is funny and sad to see a bunch of middle aged men following the poor commander around like puppies. The commander seems almost as annoyed with it as I am.

There is a reception area with a couch in that church. It is where my friends and I used to sit and chat. This week the commander was not there so all the football dads ended up there. Unlike the welcoming women I knew for years the guys sat and talked about football.

All of my life I have hated the game. I see how it has destroyed a family, a city and a church. So I can not help but believe that football is EVIL!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Making a gift box

This tutorial was made for Jean's Art Dolls. Please check out this site and all the talent and wonderful ideas there!

The first step is to choose the paper. I have used both cardstock weight and lighter. I use these boxes most for candy etc. and I like the heavier weight better. It will work with just about any paper though.

Once you have the paper you will want to determine the size you want. I usually use a 12x6 size but any paper with a 2:1 ratio (8x4, 10x5 etc) will work. Obviously the bigger the paper, the bigger the finished box

Once your paper is cut you will want to mark the half way points on each side. Your first fold will be in half legenth wise.

You will then fold from the center mark on the width to the center fold of the paper. It is not a tricky fold but sometimes the paper will tear a little of your are too rough. Note that happened on mine but it is not really noticeable on the finished product.
If you wish to decorate the box, now is the time to do it. You can see where all the folds are and can embellish the box accordingly. Things like doodles or stamps can be put right over the seams and folds but thing like flowers or bling would be better on one of the flat surfaces.

Now the sides will overlap and you can use a hole punch at the center to punch a hole for the thread or ribbon to go through. I have done this both with and without using eyelets in the hole. If you choose to use eyelets, make sure that they are big enough for you to get the ribbon through. Also you do not want to seal the sides with eyelets as then you will not be able to put the items in the box.

Now and open the box and put your contents in. You will then string your ribbon through and tie it in a bow.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Store up Treasures in Heaven

It seems as if there is no in between for me. Either everything is right or everything is wrong.

Tom got up and was on his way out to work. He opened the door and just stood there. This did not make me happy as it was COLD out there and as he stood there with the door open it was getting cold inside too.

Then after a second he said,"Where's my car?"

Needless to say, I forgot about the heat at that point too. Sure enough the only thing left in our drive was the freshly fallen snow. There was no car - not even any tire tracks just a vast expanse of white.

We have two cars - mine and his. Mine is just that mine. Literally it is all paid for and everything. I have the title and it is all mine. Tom's car technically isn't his. He gets a demo from the dealership and that was the car that was stolen. Yes, I felt very bad that it was gone, but at the same time I was also rejoicing in the fact that it was not OUR insurance that needed to foot the bill or that we would be without a car for long. So although it was not a good situation, I could easily see the good side of it. First blessing.

The car that was stolen was a Dodge Charger. With that kind of car if you are lucky you find the remains of the frame and everything else stripped. Tom was most concerned about the contents of the car - which were not much but they were ours. There was a car seat for Emily and a few music cd's and it was the latter that most upset him.

I came across a few extra bucks in my Christmas shopping money. Though we had agreed not to exchange gifts, I thought it would be a nice treat to get him a Michael W. Smith disc that I knew that he wanted. I searched long and hard for that disc - literally calling every store I could think of that might have it and until the last one, came up empty handed. Finally, I was able to find it. Tom got it for Christmas.

When all was said and done and the police had finally got here and made there report it was then that Tom realized, "My disc is gone!"

It is with that somewhat forlorn note that I dropped him off at work. On my way home I realized that even if we didn't' get the disc back that I could get another and I even know where not to look for it. We usually listen to books on tape/cd in the car. We don't buy them but get them from the library. I was so thankful that if a disc had to be lost that it was one of ours and not one from the library that we would have to pay to replace. Next Blessing.

Life settled down to normal and Tom called this afternoon. The car had been found! But how was just want made me see God's fingerprints all over it.

One of Tom's customers called him and asked, "Why is your car parked in front of my house?"

What are the odds that someone would leave the car somewhere where it would be recognized. Also it wasn't actually the car that was recognized, but Tom's dealer plates. What are the odds that even recognizing the dealer plates and know who to call? Think the blessings are working over time today!

They are going to tow the car into the dealership and it doesn't look like there is too much damage. The front grill is missing, the back bumper has some marks on it, and the spare tire is on it but that is all the physical damage that is apparent. The steering column wasn't even stripped! The car is going back to the dealership so they will not have to worry about dealing with the police impound either. More blessings!

After all the excitement I was thinking and that was when I realized all the blessings that had come our way today. It was also a valuable lesson ( and as lessons go a fairly painless one ) on looking at where my heart is. AND I passed the test! I was not concerned about the car and I could clearly see God's handiwork all over the day.

So in reality, I am wrong it was not a bad day after all.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Happy New Year

It is a new year and I can't help thinking what does it mean...Yes we have a new month on the calendar and I need to pay attention to write 2009 on my checks but in reality what other difference is there?

I have heard of it referred to as a new start but is it really? I was overweight in 2008 and you know when that calendar page moved, the pounds sure didn't. You know all those lovely bills that I owed in 2008...yup you guessed it they are still due now.

I guess is what I am trying to say is that the turn of the page may give me a new perspective but in reality nothing much has changed. And I know that the biggest changes in my life came not at the turn of a calendar but at other unscheduled personal turning points. (none of which were at the start of a new year or in fact, even a new month) They were a time when I met the Lord in a new and different way and that was more than a new year, it was the birth of a totally new me.