Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Earrings

Growing up my mom had a pair of holly earrings that she wore every Christmas. These were not anything special. They didn't have any precious stones. I am not even sure that they were metal - it is more likely that they were plastic. However they were the only pair of holiday earrings in the house. Ear piercing was around but neither my mom or I had pierced ears. As the years passed it became more and more difficult to find clip on earrings so my mom became more and more protective as the possibility of replacing any lost earrings became less and less.

It was understood that on Sunday that she would wear those earrings to church during the holidays. I never would have asked to wear them. However as I became older and began attending holiday parties on my own - such as ones for scouts or at a friend's house - I began asking to borrow them. The answer was always the same, "No, you might loose one of them."

Without having any other festive earrings I got some of my own, but I never liked them as much as those holly earrings of my mom's. That didn't stop me from asking to borrow them though. Eventually, she did occasionally relent and let me wear them, but always with a very strict warning not to loose them.

One day I asked if I could borrow them and she said no. I didn't push it and just figured that she had her reason. After several denials, I got up the courage to ask why not. It was then that she had to admit that SHE had lost one of them. I did feel a little sad to loose the earring that I had coveted for years but the feeling of satisfaction that I was not the one who lost one felt even better.

As the years passed mom did eventually get her ears pierced and began collecting a many new earrings but she never threw out the one holly earring. I know that because when she died I went through her things and found the one lonely holly earring that had been without its partner for over a decade. Although it was steeped in memories I didn't feel the need to keep one lone earring so I got rid of it. Even though the earring is long gone, I still remember them and my desire every year to wear them.

Last night I was at a new Bible study. I have been attending for just over a month. It is fairly nice but I have not had the chance to get to know many of the ladies there. We had a cookie exchange and some holiday cheer so a few of the ladies were wearing seasonal clothes and jewelry. I happened to look at the lady next to me and to my great surprise, she was wearing the same holly earrings that had haunted my childhood.

I mentioned that my mom had a pair like that when I was growing up. I told her that my mom often forbade me to wear them because she was afraid that I would loose one and in the end she was the one who lost it.

As I was packing up to leave she gave me her holly earrings. That really touched me. A woman who is almost a total stranger gave me a pair of earrings because she thought that it would make me happy. My own mom wouldn't do that for me. I guess that is just another way that the Lord is seeing that I am taken care of by him (and those who serve him) so much better than I ever could have hoped for.

Monday, December 6, 2010

25 Things

25 Random Things

I saw this done on someone else's blog & thought it was a fun idea & so I've been putting together my list of 25 Random Things that you may or may not know about me. I like motorcycles. I rode one once and it was a great feeling. I have never driven one but I love to be on the back of one. I have heard from the drivers that I am a good rider. I guess that it just comes naturally to me after decades of riding a bicycle.

2. Raggedy Ann: I got my first Raggedy Ann on my first Christmas. I slept with her most of my childhood and I still have a doll that sits on my dresser (although not the original one)

3. Cocoa only: That is the only hot beverage I like. Keep you coffee and tea. I will have cocoa or nothing.

4. Homeschooling: now that I am in my 12th year of homeschooling it seems hard to believe but when I first read about homeschooling I thought that it was one of the weirdest things that I had ever heard of.

5. Cats: Three is the perfect number of cats for me. I have 3 now - Hope, Blackstone, and Copperfield.

6. Puppets: Yes I have been a puppeteer since I was 16, It might sound like an interesting and different job but in reality it's not. It is very similar to teaching but you have a sock on your hand.

7. Bible: It is the inspired inerrant word of God and I read it regularly. I am planning to read it start to finish again in 2011

8. Husband: I met Tom when I was 16 and he was 21. He seemed so OLD! but cute. I met him at a party but had no idea how to see him again. I knew that he worked in the wine department at the grocery store. I wanted to go there and knock a bottle of wine off the shelf and see if I could see him again, but I never got up the nerve.

9. Breakfast: I hate most breakfast foods - cereal. pancakes, eggs etc. So most of the time breakfast for me is a baked apple or cheese and crackers

10. Bread: I love making bread, rolls and bagels, but the first time I tried it, I didn't know that yeast could die and the package I was using was dead. The bread never rose and it was so terrible that not even the dog would eat it.

11. Applesauce: I will only eat home made. Don't even think of giving me that stuff that you buy in the store. It is simply gross.

12. Vegetables: The green ones are all disgusting. There are a few that I will eat (broccoli, spinach, green beans and some lettuces) but the rest of them are simply gross. It is better off just to avoid them all.

13. Bubble Baths: one of my favorite ways to relax is in a nice warm tub with enough bubble bath to act as insulation and keep it that way for at least an hour.

14. Jellyfish: they are gross and disgusting and I would be very happy if I never saw another one again - not even a picture.

15. Candy: I have a nasty sweet tooth and I love candy. Chocolates are my favorite, but they tend to melt and get on my scrapbooking so my second choice is either skittles or gummy worms/bears.

16. Reading: I love to read just about anything. My favorite book is the Bible but I also like sci-fi/fantasy and adventure

17. Movies: If I am lucky I will get to see about one a year in the theater. I have some of my favorites at home and have seen them so many times that I can practically recite them. They include Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Hunt for Red October, Princess Bride, Independence Day, and the Three Musketeers.

18. Shoes: I do not understand the obsession with shoes. I own a pair of tennis shoes, a pair of dress flats, sandals for summer and dress boots for winter. That is it and that is enough.

19. Travel: I would love to travel to many places around the world including most of Europe, Israel, Jordan, Egypt and Australia. I would love to, but as far is reality is concerned, the only countries I have been in other than the U.S. are Canada and the Bahamas.

20. Employment: The last few years have been an exception. I have only had 2 - 3 paying jobs at a time. For most of my life I had at least 4 jobs. Those are in addition to being wife, mom, and teacher.

21. Letters: When I am angry or upset, I write very nasty letters. (The girl scout council is my target most of the time) My kids quiver at them and say that they would prefer to be grounded than to receive one of my letters. They say it scares them too much.

22. Technology: I am a Luddite. I am so bad with technology that it is almost funny. I do not text (I really don't see a point in it any way if you need to tell some one something, just call them - you have the phone) and I have no idea what to do with a pager. I have my computer set up the way I like it and even though it is not optimized, I won't let anyone "improve" it because I don't want to have to learn anything more about it.

23. Film: Yes, I use and love my film camera. I had a digi one and hated it. I know that there are some good digi cameras out there, but not in my price range. The cheap digis all have a shutter lag that I just can't seem to get used to so I mess up the pics. Never do that with film so I will stick with film

24. Role Playing: I really like it. Even wen to a con this summer. Very fun, but I just don 't have enough time to really pursue it. If given a chance though, I will reminiss about past campaigns and games. D&D is my favorite. I think I like 3.5 best but I have played them all from 2nd edition to the present.

25. Friends: I have more cyber friends than friends I see with any regularity.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Making Dinner vs. Cooking Meat

I confess, I like to cook. I am challenged most of the time by a limited budget and picky eaters (myself included in that category) but I do like to cook. I do it most nights of the week. The worst part of cooking for me is not the actual food preparation - that is the easy part. The hard part is figuring out what to make. I hated that job so much that I made a deal with the older kids. They come up with and prepare 1 dinner a weed each and I will do the kitchen cleanup afterwards.

There is another player in this game about cooking too - my husband. He LOVES and I mean LOVES to grill. He is addicted to it. He is outside when the temperature is 20 below with a wind chill cold enough to cool off hell itself standing at the grill. I like that he grills but he doesn't cook dinner. He says that he cooks dinner but he doesn't. He just cooks the meat.

He will come in and say"The meat is almost done, what are we having with it?"

He thinks he is cooking dinner but he is cooking meat. Now rather than figuring out what to have I have the even tougher job of trying to figure out what will go with the eclectic spices, rubs and marinades that he uses.

Am I wrong? Is making dinner no more than cooking meat. If that is the case, I have been doing it wrong for years. I don't think I am. I just want to know, who told them that they were the same thing?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Such a Lovely Neighborhood

Well it was when we moved in almost 20 years ago. There were some of the nicest neighbors that anyone could want. There were kids playing and everyone at least recognized everyone else. No it was not perfect, but it was a nice place to live.

But that was 20 years ago and the world was very different. Now the neighborhood is basically made of transient renters who are not here long enough to get to know. I wouldn't mind so much if they were moving on to better things, but many of late seem to be moving incarceration.

The house next door has been a challenge for the better part of the last decade. The landlord that bought it did so just about the time we bought our house. He may not have been the best but he seemed to screen his applicants well and we always had decent people living next door. Then for reasons that I do not know he sold the house that that is when things started to slide.

The first thing that he did was raise the rent preventing the family who were living there from staying. The first renters were very quiet but by far, they have been the best who have lived there since the house was sold. I believe that they were Muslim and although they were quiet and reserved they were nice to have next door. I am happy for them that they inherited a house in the suburbs and moved to a really nice house. However that was the beginning of the slide down the slippery slope.

The people who moved in next were not too bad except for their somewhat illegal practice of raising dogs for dog fighting - pit-bulls no less. Although the dogs never threatened us in any way, I was never comfortable living next to 13 of them. I was saddened when most of the dogs died in the fire in that house. I may not have liked them, but they certainly did not deserve to die like that. Not surprising, those people found a new place to live after the fire and never came back.

That is when the real trouble started. The current landlord then hired some questionable men to rebuild the house including but not limited to the convicted child molester and rapist. Needless to say my feeling of unease only increased and I would have much preferred the dogs back.

Once the house was remodeled that man was kicked out. Now granted I didn't want him next to me, but they way he was treated was not fair either. I believe that if someone has served their time that they should be a part of society again but just like I don't think a recovering alcoholic should work at a bar, I don't think that working next to kids is a good fit for that man either. I do not know what he did after that, and honestly, I am glad of it.

The next tenant was an older man who was under house arrest. I do not know what his crime was but he was friendly enough. The problem was that because he couldn't leave the house, all his friends came to him. There were parties every weekend and some got a bit wild but nothing that caused any real trouble - for us at least. However we were blessed with that because New Year's Eve of 2009 the police were swarming next door around that man and the recked car that he had used to try and get away. He was removed to a jail cell and the house was up for rent again.

This house is a duplex so at any given time there are 2 sets of people living there. I am never sure who belongs to up or down but it seems as if often they are somehow related to one another. The sister of New Year's Eve is currently living up stairs and by far she is the best we have had in a LONG time.

Although upstairs is really nice by far the worst downstairs moved in this spring. He was loud and vulgar. I doubt that he could speak a sentence without profanity in it. I didn't know it at the time, but he was an ex-con as well. The parties and the violence was almost constant and I we were forced to call the police on multiple occasions. But the call that got signaled the end was not made by us but rather by upstairs.

They saw that downstairs was attempting to grow pot in the house. The police were notified and downstairs was forcibly evicted (but not before assaulting upstairs and firing a gun). We left all the "fun" for the authorities. I have since heard from upstairs that downstairs will not need to worry about where he will live for the next 25 years because he will be a guest of the state.

So down it has gone. From a place that although was not perfect was not bad to a place where my kids are afraid to be. I wonder what is coming next, and I pray that the Lord will keep up safe through it all.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Altering attitudes

I have to confess that I love scrapbooking. It is an obsession/addiction. At current count I have 24 albums full of scrapbooking pages (and I do mean full!) I really enjoy it. For me it is my therapy and my hobby and a big part of who I am and what I do.

When I became involved with online scrapbooking pages it did not take me long to discover that although scrapbooking was the main idea that there were others that went along with it. They use the same supplies and have similar appeal. Card-making, Stamping, and Altering are just some of these siblings to scrapping. It did not take long for me to embrace Card-making and even a bit of stamping, but I didn't care much for altering.

I am a VERY practical person. I enjoy making crafts of all kinds but only if they are "useful". I don't want to make something just because. It needs to have a purpose (other than one more thing for me to clean). My attitude to altering was taking something that is practical and making it totally decorative (thus something else to clean). I stuck with this attitude for a LONG time.

Now however I have discovered that it can be useful in some instances. I had to make a piece of altered art and I was stumped. Then I remembered a gift I had received once which was an altered candy bar cover. It just really made the candy bar special. I decided to give it a try. Here is the result:

I have to admit that it was fun. No, I don't think that it is ever going to take the place of scrapping or even card-making but at least I don't now see it as the enemy. AND I now have a great idea for gifts. Not only are they inexpensive but they are also very classy looking.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Impressions are EVERYTHING

Last night was a wonderful night. Tom and I found ourselves unexpectedly without kids for the evening. (Eva was at camp, Timothy was at youth group, and Emily was invited to a birthday party) Being the weekend Tom was of course going to grill. However having no kids and being extremely hot (Heat index of 104) I couldn't see the point. I called him and told him he was taking me out to dinner - and fortunately he agreed.

I decided that because this doesn't happen that often I was going to make the most of it. I really got dressed up. I have to admit that I looked really good. Loosing 40 pounds helped in that matter but it was just the start. I had a little black dress from Freecycle that I wore. I added a necklace that I was given as a bride's maid 20 years ago and a pair of ear rings that I inherited from my mom. Understand I really did look great and I didn't pay a dime to do it. I don't do that often (I don't often have the reason) but when I do decide to, I clean up very well.

It felt good to look good but that was not the best part. The best part were people's different reactions. We dropped Timothy off at youth group and the pastor was there. This was not the church that we regularly attend. It is the church were I work for Angelfood and had a casual Saturday night service that we attended. At one point in time the pastor, Eric, might have seen me in my Sunday clothes but he had never seen me really dressed up. The double take he did was priceless.

We went to a little restaurant in Tremont (Tremont is sort of Cleveland's version of Greenwich Village). We don't go out often, but if we do, we go there. When the owner of the restaurant saw us she did the same double take. They seated us right in the window. I am not sure if that was so we could see out, or the passers-by could see us.

The best part was after dinner when we went to do a little window shopping. I decided that I looked the part, so we were going to go into the jewelry store. The woman behind the counter just couldn't get to us fast enough. Without any provocation she was pulling things out of the cases and having me try things on. I have never been treated so well in a store. And I couldn't quit smiling. It was obvious that she thought that we were going to buy the store or at least something. Now in all honesty there were a few things that I would have liked, but nothing I needed at those prices. I just loved being fawned over line I was someone who mattered. I still grin just thinking about it.

In the end my lesson learned is that a good impression really does make a big difference. It is nice that I can make it once in a while too. However I am back to my old life of boring obscurity with the memory of a great evening.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Awana has several theme nights. This year they had an 80's night. I was not sure of this. I did graduate in 1985, but I do not feel old enough to be an oldie. I guess it just depends on perspective. I never thought much of it, but I guess the styles have changed (although not much for me as I still have some clothes that were from the 80's which Eva is wearing. The ensemble is complete with a big hair bow and hoop earrings.

We had her hair all poofed up but she took one look at it an vetoed going out in public like that. I can't say that I really blame her. I didn't wear my hair that way then - in fact my hair style is the same now as it has been since I was in junior high.
What we realized was that as far as fashion in the 80's went, clothes were not really worn but rather they were accessories. Emily chose to tie a sweater over her polo - with the collar up, of course - but that wasn't the only example. There were plenty of legwarmers and fingerless gloves.

So I guess that I am getting older because I don't think that most of the styles were that bad (with the exception of legwarmers which I never understood at the time either) At least my pants went up to my waist and my shirt hung below the waist leaving no bare midriff. I guess that time marches on though so I had better get used to it or I will be crushed by it - but that doesn't mean that I am ever going to wear pants and shirts that let any of my ample middle show.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Cry of my Heart

I find it amazing how much music moves me. I unconsciously have linked certain songs with certain places and times. Church is no different.

When Fairview started their early service I was the Sunday School Chair. I taught Sunday school as well as took my turn staffing the nursery. It was because of the nursery that I really enjoyed the second opportunity to worship. That meant that I didn't have to give up a service to serve. It was during that service that I became familiar with some of the Contemporary Christian music used in church.

One song in particular stands out in my mind. It was a version of "It is the Cry of my Heart" that I have never heard anywhere else. It was a somewhat island themed. There was even a steel drum solo in the middle. Jim, the minister, would often choose to play it in dreary days and it never ceased to bring a smile of to my face to think of worshiping Him on some white sanded beach under the palm trees next to the clear blue ocean as opposed to where I was in a overcast and grey Cleveland morning. It always got everyone there moving. That song more than any other reminded me of the wonderful blessings I received while attending those early morning service. It is always the song I associate with that church.

As we were searching for a new church home I only heard that song one other time. When I did it was of course not the arrangement I was used to. Rather than being uplifting and bringing a smile to my face, the result was the opposite. It reminded me exactly how homesick I was for the church that was no more.

That song however continues to be a blessing to me. We sang it today in church. I was not homesick any more because I was at last home. No it was not the same arrangement, but it still felt like home. And that is the cry of my heart - now and always to be at home with Him.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Buyer Beware

Confession time here. I am cheap. I am not just thrifty, but I am honestly cheap - and if I am honest, I am proud of it. There is nothing that makes shopping more satisfying than getting a really good deal on what I want. (and yes, it has to be both. It has to be a good deal AND I have to want or need it. If I don't need it then paying any money for it is a bad deal in my book.) Freecycle, Ebay, Goodwill, Angelfood and Craig's List are good friends of mine.

Because of this the first place I go to in any store is the clearance section. I am not averse to buying off season clothes or last season's hot scrap papers. A sweater is just as warm when I get it from a garage sale as when I get it from the mall. Well of course when I got the email that Scrap Supply was going out of business I had to have a look around. Being cheap though, I didn't get anything right away. When I got the notice that the discount was up to 75% I figured that it was worth a look.

I have to say that I was very proud of my purchase. For less than $30 (including shipping) I got some wonderful papers, a cartridge for my Slice - which of course was bought on Ebay - some embellishments and some rub-ons. I really like image rub-ons but I do not use them too often because you guessed it, they are not cheap. When I saw them marked down I decided to splurge and get some pretty ones. I don't use the rub-on letters much because I am always running out of the letters I need. (It is much cheaper to just use hand lettering or my dies) This was one of the rub-on sets that I purchased:

Most of the time, I do not wonder why things are marked down or cheap. Sometimes it is obvious - a dress has the wrong size so no one who it would fit ever tries it on or there is a button missing etc. Other times I just think that what I like is just a little off center of what everyone else likes. That can be both good and bad. Good in that I can usually find something I like in the clearance section, bad because I know that means that what I like will never look or be "normal". Oh, well, it is not like I am normal so I guess it doesn't matter much. I don't honestly think about it. If I need it and like it I will get it. I didn't think twice about getting the rub-ons. I was just looking at the images and thought that they would be great to use on my scrappy projects.

When my package arrived I was very happy to see what I got "live and in person". That is when I first noticed the quote on the rub-ons. Here it is:

Who thought this was a good idea? The first thing that came to mind was someone tucking in their kids with a shotgun. I guess that there is no real mystery why this particular set of rub-ons never sold well and ended up in the clearance section.

I can't imagine making a layout where I would ever use this saying, but you can look for the rest of the flowers and flourishes coming to this blog or one of the galleries at the websites listed to the right.

Happy scrapping!

Friday, March 26, 2010

One Sketch, Two Pages

One of the members of the Design Team, Robin Wade, made this sketch. They were running a contest thereto make a page using this sketch. It was one of my favorite kids of contests - the kind where you can enter multiple times. I managed to get 2 entries done.
This was my first entry. Eva's friend, Rose went with us when the youth group at church went sledding. They got rather silly. They exchanges coats, hats and one boot ?!? The journalling says: The kids Club at Trinity Church went sledding on President's Day 2010. Rose, Eva's best friend came with us. Eva and Rose has a lot of fun beyond just riding the sleds. The switched coats, hats and for reasons beyond my comprehension, one boot. They had fun and I guess that is what really matters.
I wanted to make a second entry as well but I never seemed to have the time. Then it was crunch time. It was the last day and I had literally an hour to make a second layout so I challenged myself and did it. I managed to get it done too. I am proud that the embellishments are hand made (Thank heavens for die cutting machines). I am finished but even better, I am very pleased with the results. I was able to scan and upload this at just the 9pm deadline. Now it is just a waiting game to see if I am able to win the prize. I have already won with the fact that I have two more pages made, but the prize would be nice too.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

It's Official

Emily has wanted to be baptized for quite a while. However, being that we were looking for a new church home that was not really practical. We didn't want to have her baptized somewhere and then never come back there so she patiently waited.

We found our new church on the first Sunday in Advent in 2009. We knew that is where we wanted to stay. As soon as we made it official Emily asked to be baptized. On February 28, 2010 she being the youngest of the 6 children and youth was able to make her public appearance as a Christian.

When Jeff, the minister, asked her why she wanted to be baptized she answered, "Jesus is in my heart. He has taken my sin away. I want to show the world that by being baptized."

"What is sin?" Jeff asked.

Little 8 year old Emily responded, " Sin is anything you do think or say that is not what God wants" Pretty wise for a little girl.

Now it is official. Emily is the first member that church in 2010. And she is now not only my lovely daughter but my sister in Christ.
I am a HUGE fan of Pagemaps. Those sketches just make scrapping and card making so much easier. I use them for just about every layout that I do (at least the ones that are not required to be original.) I am a real fan. I have every month printed out and put in a binder. Whenever I need an idea I just open my binder and find a sketch from the hundreds that she has come up with and I am scrapping happy.

I am not that much of a card maker but I was asked by Becky Fleck at Pagemaps where I am an occasional contributor to make a card for one of the card sketches at her site. This card is the result.

Page maps is one of my favorite sites and I was so honored to be chosen to make this card. If you haven't already, check out her maps and watch your creativity blossom. Here is the link:

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Blessed in order to Bless

Timing is everything. Last year Tom was offered a job which was out of the automotive industry. The problem with that was that he had driven a company demo for years and we only had one car. With 3 active kids and 2 jobs of my own sharing one care was not tops on our list of things to do. However, God is faithful. We did not have any money in savings and our credit was less than perfect. We did have a tax return and with that we were able to get a car for Tom to use for work.

Now a year later that job was not what we had hoped for. However, God is still faithful. He provided another job for Tom. He is back to selling cars. Which also means that he is back to driving demos.

We had a spare car now. We could have sold it. The new dealership offered that it could be put on the lot. We could have saved it for when the kids were old enough (and wanted to - which who knows how long that will be) to drive. In my heart however I knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to give it to someone who needed it. The question is who? All I really cared about was that whoever got the car needed it - not just some teen to take joyriding.

In Sunday school the minister always starts out by asking what we would like prayer for. One of the other woman was praying for her old car to be able to be fixed again. It was then I knew that she was the one who needed the car. She will be picking it up this afternoon.

Now I have a confession to make. I LOVE the fact that we were able to help another person. I am on high just knowing that we were able to bless someone. It is one of the greatest feeling that I have had in a LONG time. I consider myself so blessed because I am able to be part of something that gives glory to God! But I also have to confess that it makes me feel wonderful too.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Time for Everything

1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:

2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,

3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,

4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,

5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,

7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,

8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

I am trying to keep this in mind. It seems to be one of my favorite "go to" verses when life gets challenging. One of the only things that are constant is change - and things are changing right now. However the only thing that does not change is God so I will at this time go to him for the support that I can not get from my swiftly changing world.

On March 1, 2009 Tom stopped selling cars - which had been a good income at one point in time but over the past few years was becoming impossible to make ends meet. He began selling security systems. I know that he didn't like it as well as selling cars but he was making a consistent wage and was happy enough. I was however ecstatic. We were able to get out of debt. Tom, who had always been gone evenings and weekends, was actually home. I loved that job.

In the beginning of 2010 the company got a new president and things began to change very swiftly. He was limited to residential sales. He was given a territory that he could sell out of. His automotive allowance was cut and the pay was changed. Things were not going well and it didn't look as if it was going to bet any better any time soon.

So in just less than a year, Tom is back to selling cars. He is at a different dealership so is hopeful that the pay will be better. I hope so too because I do not want to sink back into the poverty we lived in for years. I can tell that he is happy there. I am glad of that but I am not going to be happy until I see that he can really make a living selling cars, which I honestly doubt.

During this turmoil things around home are very strained. I just need to keep reminding myself that no matter how much things change here and now that God is the same yesterday, today and forever. And even better that he is always with me - no matter where or if we are working.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Sometimes I think I live in a zoo

I guess by now it is obvious that I love to scrapbook. Which is good because I do. However as I was making some pages this month I noticed that my animal side was coming out.

Emily loves Beauty and the Beast. She was given a Belle dress last year and whenever it is time to dress up she wants to be Belle. But what would Beauty be without her Beast - the answer is of course she needs a beast. She decided that one of her teddy bears, Cookie, would be her beast.
Animals surround me. We have a dog and three cats and a few more strays that seem to find our house very inviting. With that many animals I guess that it was natural for Eva to want to be a cat for Halloween.
Here is an example of the real wild life. Eva was able to snap this picture of a little thief. It is just so cute. How could I stay angry at this little guy?

Worshiping his way

Kids are amazing - and I don't mean just mine. They are wonderful, special creations of God. If I take the time and look then I can learn so much from them. I love it when the child shall lead them all.

We are at a new church and there are many people that I still do not know. Sunday there was a little boy I don't know the age but I would guess he was about 3 who wandered up the aisle. We were singing Great is Thy Faithfulness and he was just so into it.

Where the aisle met the front is where he stopped and started dancing with sheer joy. He was just content to worship by dancing and clapping and praising the Lord in the best way he knew how. What a lesson. How often do I get all stuffy in church. I mean really it is a totally awesome God that I worship why do I feel as if I have to sit there as if I were in a straight jacket? It was so refreshing to see this little child worship the Lord with all he had - and VERY inspiring to me.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Cookin' Up Creations Blog Hop

Ever so slowly I am being pulled into the twentieth century - unfortunately, the rest of the world is in the twenty-first. Radical things are happening. We now have a working television. The kids got MP3 players for Christmas and now I am participating in a Blog Hop. Time is marching on and I am following in its wake.

Anyway welcome to the Cookin' up Creations "Winter Wonderland of Embellsihments" Blog Hop. The Cookin' up Creations Blog: Cookin' up Creations Blog was your 1st stop and you are now at the 8th stop of the hop. You should have come from Penny's Blog Random Thoughts It will not be long now and you will be back to the Cooking up Creations Blog.

The embellishment I have used is Magic Mesh this month and this is my example...

And now I have a challenge for you! I challenge you to make a layout or card using Magic Mesh. One of the things I love about Magic Mesh is that it is so earthy and adds wonderful texture to pages. So the theme of your layout or card needs to be one of nature. It can be a picture of the great outdoors (with or without people) or a card with a leaf stamp on it or anything that you can come up with that has to do with out side.

Please upload your creations into the Cookin' up Creations Embellishment Blog Hop Album before Friday January 22, 2010 at 5:00 EST to qualify for the prizes. File size should be no larger than 150Kb.

So leave a comment here, post your work in the gallery (You need to register ) then your next stop is Sandy's blog:

Happy Hopping!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Home at last!

After 18 months of searching and praying, we have finally found a new church home! There is something for everyone: Men's group, Women's Bible study, Kids club and Youth Bible study.

At long last we are home! It is amazing how good it feels. I didn't realize while we were looking what a drain it was to figure out every week where we were going to go to church (and it wasn't like I had any help - If I had not done the searching, I don't think we would be going to church). I had to decide if where we were going warranted another week. If it did, there was always someone who was not happy about it. If we didn't that meant hours of tedious hours on Google scrolling through poorly designed web sites and making phone calls to see if the information was accurate. I got to the point where I dreaded Sunday and the weekend because we had to go to another church. I think that all in all we visited 22 different churches over the last year and a half.

Now we are home though - and what a difference it makes. We meet the Lord and his people every week. I spend my week looking forward to Sunday rather than dreading it. Now Sunday morning is once a time of celebration and looking forward to spending time at a church that is HOME!

Coffee Can Card Holder

Growing up my mom had one of these that she used to display Christmas cards. I don't know what happened to it, but when I had to come up with something to make for a design team challenge I thought I would make my own.

coffee can or other large can
cardstock (optional)
yarn or string
hot glue gun
flowers or other embellishments

The first part is the hardest - finding a can of the right size. We are not coffee drinkers, and even if we were, coffee no longer comes in cans - so I found out much to my surprise. I ended up using a large soup can. I covered it with carstock using a glue gun. (you do not need to cover it, but I wanted to because I like the look.

The next step is to anchor the string or yarn on the inside of the can. Once again, I used hot glue.
The next step is to wrap the string around the can covering the top and the open end. It does not need to be perfect but try and cross in about the same place each time. How much string you use is up to you. The more you use, the more cards you can hold and the less of the base will be visible.
When wrapped to your liking, tie a knot at the bottom. Dab with some hot glue to make it secure. Embellish the top as you see fit.
To use, slide the card under one of the strings and display.