Monday, April 24, 2017

I walked outside this morning

and I smelled my Mama's house...
 I know I've shared the story of her roses over and over..
THAT smell is so wonderfully sweet
and brings so many great memories with it!
I LOVE that I have them growing in my own yard!
On a different note, the weeks have been busy 
and full of travel around here. 
I'm so glad I've taken the time to see family, 
a good friend for a lunch one day, 
and close friends for dinner this weekend. 
I'm learning that doing things for me 
is a good thing in the craziness of my life. LOL
Now, I've got to get packed and hit the road again --- 
Have a good week, y'all!

Friday, April 21, 2017

I'm so excited to share this

fun stitching project with you!
This is a photo of Julie's finished project!
It’s been years since I’ve done any embroidery, in fact, this may be the one and only time I
did something like this – in high school or college as a gift to my mom – Soon after that counted cross stitching became the rage and I seriously got into that for a while.
PHOTO fun work
But I became interested again when I started this little project in a class with Big Picture Classes a few years ago… it’s been set to the side too many times – I soooo need to pull this out and finish it because I think it’s adorable.]
Lately it’s been fun to see things with stitching out on the interwebs, many from Stephanie Ackerman with Documented Faith, so I wanted to give it a go for the class I taught at Scrapping for a Cure.
I created the base of my work in a word.doc [by inserting shapes, clip art {the bee} and text boxes.] So easy. Then I did a few free hand flowers before scanning it all for the hand out. After the first scan I wrote on the scanned document 
to show which stitches and colors go in each area. 
In class I showed how to use tracing paper to get your design on your fabric 
and then we started stitching!
  We decided it’s better if the yarn is separated into two strands before using. They asked how long it would take to finish it and I said they could be finished before dinner if they worked on it – in a week if they did it while watching TV.
And low and behold one of the ‘students’ came by later that day to show her completed project! Julie did a great job finishing it with a covered back and washi tape around the ring.
And that bow on top!
I’ve been busy, so I’m still working on mine, but I plan to have it DONE during some travel at the end of the month. I may even add some additional French knots to give it a bit more texture. Watch my Instagram for an update!
Oh – and lucky you – I have some kits for sale if you want one! $20 includes shipping. Just email me [] and let me know where to send a PayPal invoice and I’ll get one to you!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Y'all know I enjoy getting together with

a group of like-minded faith journalers each month, don't you?
I usually try to have a little inspiration to get us started - 
and I always LOVE to see how our work is uniquely our own!

This was our handout for this month - 
I've loved the story of the dogwood for as long as I can remember so I knew I wanted to have that in my Bible. This is from google images. I'm not too proud to say that I tucked this baby underneath my page and traced them out in pencil. Then I painted them before outlining in pen.

The one at the top is done in acrylics with a little washi tape added - and my giant date stamp.I'll also admit that I printed the text of "Arise" on the computer and traced it too. You see, I like the look of brushed lettering, but I'm just not the best at creating it... 
This one is watercolors -  a little softer look...
with a hand written verse from a favorite song...
You can see the bleed-through from the sermon notes on the back of the page... and my mostly over that and just say. "It is what it is." LOL
Another tip is to just put a bit of color on the insides of the petals and a little touch of brown on the 'thorn' marks ... and a few shades of green for the leaves. 
And like I said before - I love seeing everyone puts their own unique touch on their work ...
I LOVE seeing hand written journaling or notes for future generations, becasue I know how much I enjoy having things handwritten by my parents and gr-parents.
Some worked in Bibles, and others in their art journals...
Aren't these beautiful?
Some traced [like I did] and some drew their flowers free-hand... 
Tip: the petals are a little like hearts with a very small dip. 
The stems are thick and woodsy...
Some went with the white dogwood, like mine and some decided they wanted theirs to look like the pink dogwoods they love so much.... 
I love every single one of these!
We meet the second Saturday of each month and would love to have you join us if you're local. If you're not - feel free to copy and print out the handout and use it however you want in your own journals! 
If you share your work inspired by this, I'd love the tag #faithbasedpages !

Monday, April 17, 2017

Y’all know we have so

much fun at the Scrapping for a Cure – Cystic Fibrosis Crop each year! 
It’s a fund raiser and in the past we’ve raised between $5,000 – 10,000!! 
The awesome thing about the CF Foundation is that it sends 
all of the monies raised directly to research! 
So wonderful!!

Can you guess what this year’s theme was?
Tara, Rachel, et el do such a wonderful job making this crop extra fun! 
There's always costumes and table contests! 
There were a couple of GREAT free classes 
as well as several extra [paid] classes we could take 
[I plan to share more about one of mine this week -]


Terri always does such a great job with the theme – 
love this photo holder we made in no time at all! 
It’s always easier when someone else has pre-cut 
and gathered the supplies for you!

I love how Deonna thinks outside the box to create layouts 
so perfectly suited to our photos! 
The glitter and wispy clouds are perfect!
And the little holder was in our goodie bag!

And Marie and Debbie are CREATIVE GENIUSES. 
That is all. 
Thanks to them our table won best table! 
Look at Big Ben! And the rest of it was gorgeous too!
 Our group won best costumes too. 
[I’ll admit that I think we were really cute!]

Wendy was so perfect. This is a favorite photo of mine - 
Every little detail was themed to Neverland.

We all got a cute little Tinker Bell light in our goodie bag!
I can't say enough about how fun this crop is!! 
Once you get there you can create as much as you like -
 or enjoy the classes I mentioned above. 
Or just hang out and visit with friends!
The price always includes ALL the meals, and let me say - 
they feed us good - lol.
There's also a massage therapist and manicurist on hand 
to fix us up from all the hard work scrapping the weekend away!
I'd love to invite you to join us next year - 
April 13-14, 2018
NOTE: Photo Cred – some are mine, some are friends, and we’ve swapped and grabbed each other’s so much, I’m not even sure who each one belongs too - 
Thanks for sharing y'all!

Friday, April 14, 2017

My days have been

busy so I apologize for not keeping up with my blog posts -
I hope to share more in the next few days -
Because a lot of the 'busy' has been good -
But just so you know it's not all fun and games -
I'm dealing with THIS this morning -
and by "I'm" I really mean my sweetheart who is taking care of it for me -
as well as getting my brakes repaired too -
I know I could do it all on my own,
but I'm SOOO very thankful for him!

Friday, April 7, 2017

My work schedule is extra busy in the spring

with various training sessions throughout the state – 
so I try to make the effort to be intentional 
about enjoying our little traditions around home – 
Dim Sum at our favorite Chinese restaurant after Sunday services is ‘our thing’ these days. 
We used to eat here every Sunday when the boys were younger… 
but got out of the habit for a while… 
it’s still just as good as it was 25+ years ago 
in the old location over on the other side of town….
[And yes, we've become those people that the waiter just brings our meal since we go there almost weekly and always {{always}} order the same things...]

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Omgoodness - It's probably been a year ago

 that I shared a little bit about my pocket pages from our Florida Trip with MK –
So I wanted to share a bit more detail –
PHOTO CRED: some of these photos were taken by her parents – some were taken by my sweetheart – some were taken by Disney – and some were taken by me… 
[Glad that’s out of the way -]
So we started the week in Lego Land [in retrospect – I will probably change that 2016 to white letters – or yellow—so it will pop a bit more… 
[Do y’all do that too? Go back and change pages later?]
I think Lego Land was the perfect introduction to theme parks for MK - it was a bit smaller with less people and it was a lot of fun! 
You can see that I try to include bits of ephemera , if you will, 
our on-line tickets, parking, brochures, my pages -
One favorite thing I like to do is take a brochure and put one of our own photos on it –
See the flap on the map? 
I also like to include maps of the parks since we've learned from Disney 
that things change a bit over the years ....
I also tend to put embellishments OUTSIDE the pockets for a bit of dimension...
Here, I've left a blank card to go back and  journal a bit....
They stayed in the Lego hotel - so their room was pretty neat and it was cool for 
MK to 'meet' Lego characters in the lobby and at breakfast - 
They had a GREAT experience with the characters who took up lots of time with MK - 
We actually spent a couple of days at Disney before they joined us
[or we joined them at their room at the Polynesian.
"Aunt Judy, what's that noise?" - Apparently, I REALLY do snore - lol]
Dumbo was definitely a favorite place to be - we went back again and again.
We had a VERY rainy day at Animal Kingdom, so of course I had to 
add in the little bit of art we created together back in the room…

Also note – I use different sizes of pages – another favorite thing!
MK really loved Donald in Mickey's Philharmonic at the Magic Kingdom so when she met him 'in person' she was so excited! This was our first character meal at Animal Kingdom and we enjoyed the variety of foods available.
We had the Disney Photo Pass - or whatever they call it now - so we had lots of fun with all the add-ins - and of course, Pluto is always a favorite!
You can see this is a REGULAR 12x12 page.... because
I wanted to tell the story of one of my favorite memories…
MK LOVED the little Mermaid and was beyond thrilled to meet her...
Dare, I say - a little 'star struck'? 
I think she could've sat there and talked about all of her adventures all day!
It was precious.
Another favorite memory is finding ourselves just outside It’s a Small World 
as the fireworks EXPLODED right on top of us – 
I really think it's the best place to be if you LOVE fireworks.
And we basically had the area to ourselves 
since everyone else was IN FRONT of the castle.
Again, an 8x10 page here...
More photo pass photos... 
from Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Epcot, I think...
Another character Meal in the Magic Kingdom...
and the Crystal Place was as fun as we'd remembered...
And oops, this is where MK leaned over and
whispered a question to her mommy,
"Are there people in there?" But it was still magical!
We ended the week with breakfast at the Polynesian
[always good!] with Lilo and Stitch
and of course, The Main Mouse joined us too!
 The last few pages are more photo pass photos
- I'll admit, I really love some of them!!
And lastly you can see that, ahmm, 
I needed to buy some pockets to hold all of these vertical photos – 
which I did - and they are all nicely tucked away in our “Places we go -  Disney” album…. 
I really do LOVE the pocket systems to document trips / events where I have a ton of photos - and as you can see above, I almost always end up adding in different types of pages!

Monday, April 3, 2017

SoooOOOooo, Let’s open this can of worms…

I don’t know about you, but in my neck of the woods people have VERY different opinions about The Shack - both the book and the movie – 
So, buckle up, buttercup – here’s mine [for what it’s worth -]

Let’s get this out of the way first – this is FICTION, not the gospel truth – 
and let me just say that there are many “Christian” fiction books out there that I read and I may not completely agree with how they present or project The Gospel or 
what / how our relationship with God should be – but they are still good books that I enjoy…

 So there’s that.

I loved The Shack when I read it several years ago – 
and I re-read it again last month before going to see the movie –

Still loved it, still agreed with all the little notes and markings I put it in the first time around [may have even added some on the second go ‘round…]

Spoiler AlertIt’s about one man’s DREAM and how he came back to a relationship with God after an extremely tragic event in his life.  
It’s his perception of how God might be…

**Okay, so there were some things that were portrayed in a way that does not reconcile with the God I know and the theology I believe – 
But there were also so many things in this book that I loved - 
Should I share them all?
Why not?
NOTE: You may need to click on the photos to read the text in the book - 
It's worth it, I think...
This is a long post, folks...
Keep in mind that no one is forcing you to read this or to agree with me - 
These are the things that struck a chord with me 
[**or not, although I've chosen to not share a bunch of that here] 
and they may not mean a thing to you...
and that's okay - 

p. 76 “He knew he was driving straight into the center of his pain, the vortex of The Great Sadness that had so diminished his sense of being.”

And then he meets God [and yes, I know God is portrayed in a VERY different way than is normally thought of – but it's explained that God presented as someone Mack could relate to more than a man…] And don't you think that sometimes [many times!] it is in our pain that we begin to fully trust God?

p. 85, “My, my, my, how I do love you!” …”It’s okay honey, you can let it all out… I know you’ve been hurt, and I know you’re angry and confused. 
So go ahead and let it out. 
It does a soul good to let the waters run once in a while – the healing waters.”
“He felt the presence of love. It was warm, inviting, melting.' 
- Love this description of God's acceptance and love for us. 
I hope and pray that you have felt this love that only He can give.

p. 89 So after God, Jesus, and The Holy Spirit present themselves Mack asks,
“Which one of you is God?”
 “I am,” said all three in unison.” 
This is great in the movie too!

Chapter six – Speaking of the Spirit’s goodness, 
“…Even though you might not think it, the timing is always perfect.” 
And later, “You’re free to do whatever you like…
Go because it’s what you want to do, 
don’t go because you feel obligated…”

The message throughout:
 God is especially fond of us –

“Life takes a bit of time and a lot of relationship.” 
I love how it speaks of God giving us free will and how only God can set us free,
 “but freedom can never be forced” 
[We have to LET God into our lives - ] 
“Freedom is a process that happens inside a relationship with him” [Christ.]

“I never left you.” 
- “When all you can see is your pain, then perhaps you lose sight of me.”

p. 109 – ...Speaking devotions to God – I loved this! 
I don't remember it being brought out in the movie as much as I would have liked... How many times do we rush into prayer with all of our wants and needs – shouldn’t we always {{always}} first offer adoration and praise? Offer our devotion to Him, if you will…

p. 113 – Speaks to God’s intention for us is to be right in the 
very center of His love and purpose. - Love how it's described later too!

p. 128, Mackenzie, you cannot produce trust, just as you cannot ‘do’ humility. 
It either is, or it is not.  
Trust is the fruit of a relationship in which you know you are loved. 
Because you do not know that I love you, you cannot trust me.”

p. 129, Mack says, “I just can’t imagine any final outcome that would justify all this.” 
And God answered,  
“We’re not justifying it. We are redeeming it.”

p. 139 That is hard pill to swallow, choosing to live only in Me. To do that, you must know me enough to trust me and learn to rest in my inherent goodness.”

LOVE how the messy garden The Spirit and Mack were working in represents our lives… -- “wild and beautiful and perfectly in process.”
This was beautiful in the movie -  
Although, I wish The Spirit had been a little more 
glittery and floaty and ethereal like I imagined in the book...

Wading in the Water [WALKING] – chapter 10 – Although it was little different from the book, I LOVE how this was portrayed in the movie – 
How we KNOW in our hearts that Jesus is RIGHT HERE to catch us and walk with us and all we have to do is step out of the boat – 
Yet THAT takes a tremendous amount of faith, doesn’t it?

  p. 147, Have you noticed that even though you call me Lord and King I have never really acted in that capacity with you? I’ve never taken control of your choices or forced you to do anything, even when what you were about to do was destructive or hurtful to yourself or others… 
To force my will on you is exactly what love does not do.
p. 151,  "I came to give you life, real life, my life. We will come and live our life inside you, so that you begin to see with our eyes, and hear with our ears, and touch with our hands, and think like we do. But we will never force that union on you…If you want to do your thing, have at it. Time is on our side.”

**The separate character as the judgement of God bothered me – 
but it brought out good things – 
– I liked this better in the movie than in the book…
I think it does a good job explaining how evil is the cause of our troubles in this broken world we live in... and that God is not evil.

p. 175 – When asked why God left Missy – it was explained that He never left her – 
that she knew His peace. 
[I think God wraps our brains up and helps us block out traumatic things -]

Ahhh – and I loved this too, p. 181, “An awful lot of what is done in my name has nothing to do with me and is often, even if unintentional, very contrary to my purposes.”

And let’s go back to the basic premise of a relationship with Christ
– TRUST –  p. 182 

p. 184… after conversation with Christ about roads leading to Him, he states,
  "I will travel any road to find you.”
I do believe He seeks us out, over and over again…

from pp 189-191 “Honey, you’re a survivor. No shame in that. Your daddy hurt you something fierce. Life hurt you. Lies are one of the easiest places for survivors to run. They give you a sense of safety, a place where you have to depend only on yourself. But it’s a dark place, isn’t it? ...Take the risk of honesty…life is real enough without having to be obscured by lies. And remember, I am bigger than your lies. I can work beyond them.”  
[Be a truth-teller.] 
“People are tenacious when it comes to the treasure of their imaginary independence. They hoard and hold their sickness with a firm grip. They find their identity and worth in their brokenness and guard it with every ounce of strength they have…"

p. 192 
 and this, 194:

and finally p. 209 [although the book does not end here…]
 “I don’t just want a piece of you and a piece of your life. .. 
I want all of you and all of every part of you and your day…
 I don’t want to be first among a list of values. 
I want to be at the center of everything. 
When I live in you, then together we can live through everything that happens to you. 
Rather than be at the top of a pyramid, I want to be the center of the mobile, 
where everything in your life
 – your friends, family, occupation, thoughts, activities –
 is connected to Me but moves in the wind, in and out and back and forth,
 in an incredible dance of being…"
"And I, said the Spirit, am the Wind.”

 **Make no mistake – as I’ve gone through these places I’ve marked – I’ve also seen where I’ve marked things I strongly disagree with, and I choose not to share them here, because it may not be the same for you - 
And I"m okay with that. 
To be clear - I do not believe these are inspired words of God - 
but I DO believe God can use someone else's words to inspire me... 
Much like He does with devotional books [Jesus Calling, etc. -]
So my prayer is this - for everyone who reads this book, or sees the movie to feel God's presence and love in a way that they've never felt before, in a way that causes them to seek out a relationship to know Him better...
After all, He is especially fond of you -