Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sweet Savannah

My husband has been away on a business trip - but today he is back - yaaa! In his absence, guess what I've been doing?! It has been fun revisiting some baby pictures and doing some long overdue scrapping. Here's a layout I did last night of our sweet, silly Savannah - wasn't she an adorable baby?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

We Love Mexico!

I am all over the place with my scrapping - hence the need to finally finish this layout from 2004! I would really like to do some serious catching up over the next few months... Hopefully it won't take as long for me to do the journaling!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Something to Think About

I don't have a lot of time to be on my computer tonight, but I did want to share something that really spoke to me at our ladies' study this evening. I am very aware of the sovereignty of God and intellectually know that nothing that happens in our lives is a surprise to God, nothing catches Him off guard, and even if we don't "feel" it, He is intimately involved and in control of all of our circumstances. I "know" all that - but sometimes my emotions don't follow my knowledge. At times I struggle with God's will, His sovereignty, and what part I play in the process....why some things happen the way they do......why some people act the way they do....and why I am forced into directions at times when I quite frankly would prefer to go another way. In our study tonight, the speaker mentioned a quote regarding God's will that got me thinking and will give me much to ponder as I continue to mull it over in the coming week.

"God's will is what I would choose for myself if I knew what God knows."

Something to think about. Until next time!

Allie Brown is the best!

Many of you know Allie Brown's amazing work. What is even more amazing is her willingness to share her creativity with so many people she does not even know! Well, she is sharing again and having a great giveaway - drawing on 9/27 - you can check it out here....good luck!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What a Month So Far!

We have been busy! Not much time for hobbies around here right now; but I can post the card the girls and I made last week for my father in law's birthday. (That was a picture of him on the front of the card :)) He loved it (but loves anything from his grandkids) and we put more pictures on the inside for him too.

We followed last week's Friday Sketchers sketch - but got so busy I never posted it in time...Oh well!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sassy Signs by Andrea

This is a long overdue post and thank you to Andrea! (Yes, I did already thank her directly :)) I love getting mail ("happy mail" that is) and imagine how happy (and surprised) I was to open the mailbox and get a package! (and I hadn't even opened it yet!) Our sweet friend Andrea sent the girls adorable signs that she makes for others to enjoy (like me). She must have secretly interviewed my children the last time she was over, or just had that mommy-daughter intuition since they also have a 'princess', but it seems she knew the perfect characters to choose for each girl! This gift not only made my day - but makes me smile each time I look at them. Talk about a "random act of kindness"!

Check out Andrea's Etsy Shop because her creativity does not end with princess signs. She has variety of home signs, signs for girls and boys, all kinds of styles - and they are all handmade and personalized! My current favorite is the monogram door plaque. So, if you are planning to invite me to a baby shower or housewarming party - you can expect a Sassy Sign from me!

The pictures don't really do them justice...but aren't they cute?


I am FINALLY updating the blog candy list on the side of my blog and have happened upon some other really great chances to get some fabulous goods!

Mariska I love seeing her beautiful card creations!! And she has two great stamps to give away as blog candy!
Nikki has some adorable Christmas blog candy celebrating 20,000 hits! I can see why she has so many visitors too!
Suzanne is giving away a stamp that I have been eyeing all week - from Whiff of Joy. It is SO pretty and she has paired it with some other great goodies!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Awaiting the Tooth Fairy....

Tonight is the big night! Kylie has been waiting for another tooth to fall out (she lost her first one a few months ago). This was a very special occasion since she had two teeth fused together, she lost two teeth in one shot! So, we were sure to take pictures to commemorate the event and last night I made her a tooth pillow for these and future teeth. She loved going to the store and picking out the fabric and lace. Fun times at our house!

This pillow ended up being 6x6 - kind of big for a tooth pillow! But it was important that all the fairies were showing! :)

Sketch Saturday - Sketch #15

This is my card for Sketch Saturday

Friday, September 5, 2008

I Need A Break!

For me personally, I know that the time I spend alone and time I devote to the Lord, prepares me for the time I spend with others. In the past, I would put off spending time alone and felt if I stole a few minutes away from responsibilities, it was a ‘guilty pleasure’ or something I could afford to do once ‘everything was done’ or I was ‘caught up’ (which is never!)

I have come to a realization this past year, one I desperately wish hadn’t taken me so long to get. I have realized that I can’t afford not to take time for myself. I am a better person and am better equipped to deal with what life sends my way if I take some time out. I need time to spend in prayer, reading God’s Word so that He can speak to me, self-reflection and just relaxing if only for a minute so that I can “recharge” and “refuel”. If I make these things a priority, I am not taking away from my family and my responsibilities – I am investing in them because I consequently have more to offer.

At times it is easy to put so much focus on the many things we need to “do” for our family, friends, and other commitments and justifiably so. Yet, even those things we do in service to the Lord can be less effective if we are not making our relationship to the Lord the first priority and allowing our service to Him to be an outpouring of that relationship.

A while back I wrote about weeds and the spiritual application I saw in my own life. Part of the problem with weeds is how deep and strong their roots are. On the flip side, it is very important that the good plants in our life DO have deep and strong roots. A plant is only as healthy as the root system beneath the surface. I love how this topic is addressed in the book, A Woman After God’s Own Heart. It talks about how a plant can enjoy all the right conditions above the ground, but if there is something missing in the root system, the plant will suffer because it cannot get the proper nourishment.

“We must be devoted to nurturing a root system! Roots make all the difference in the health of a plant, and their presence or absence ultimately becomes known to all. The plant either flourishes or fails, thrives or dies, blossoms or withers. The health of anything-whether a garden plant or a heart devoted to God reflects what is going on (or not going on!) underground.”

The book also discusses icebergs and how the portion that is visible above the water is a very small fraction of the whole. Typically, only 10 percent of the icy mass is above water with 90 percent of it lying beneath the surface. The major strength of an iceberg – which sailors revere and are in awe of - is not even visible above the water. Likewise, “we want our strength in public to be explained by what goes on in private between us and God. If we faithfully nurture what is beneath the surface of our life, people will marvel at what they see of God in us!”

I love this quote by Ray and Anne Ortlund in their book, The Best Half of Life:
“the greater the proportion of your day - of your life – spent hidden in quiet, in reflection, in prayer, [in study,] in scheduling, in preparation, the greater will be the effectiveness, the impact, the power, of the part of your life that shows.” “The impact of your ministry to people will be in direct proportion to the time you spend away from people and with God. “ I believe this applies to family also. I am more loving toward my family when I have taken time to allow God to fill me with His love.

I have to schedule time to relax – sounds ridiculous, but if wait for 'spontaneous relaxation' it will not happen! I have to purpose to read my Bible and pray. I have to plan to do something I enjoy like reading or scrapbooking (or sitting and writing this!). I don’t do these things at the expense of my responsibilities – but so that I have more to put into my responsibilities! If I make it a point to do the things I feel make me more complete as a person (the person that God made me), I have more to offer those around me. I have more love – and energy - for my husband. I am more patient with and kind to my children. I have more discernment when it comes to things I can or cannot do for others outside the home. It is a win-win situation.

In the New Testament, we see that Jesus often drew away from others to spend time alone, to spend time in prayer, etc. He did not shirk his responsibilities, he did not lack compassion for others, He did not shy away from serving. I believe that in everything Jesus did, He was modeling life for us. I believe his actions showed the importance of quiet time set aside from the busyness of life and that we would do well to follow His example.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

National Stamping Month Means CTMH Specials!

In celebration of National Stamping Month, Close To My Heart is offering the stunning new Just Because Card Kit or the fabulous new My Acrylix Friendship Alphabet large and small stamp set free or at a great discount!!
The beautiful card kit that includes everything needed to create 16 cards (2 each of 8 different styles) FAST! The kit includes it all!:

D Size My Acrylix 'Just Because' Stamp Set (terrific set!)
Cardstock & B&T Duos papers (cocoa, colonial white & new tulip shade)
2 Mini Stamp Pads
Step by Step Instructions (so easy and fast!)
Designer Ribbon and Sparkles
Magnetic Closure Designer Box (pretty "keeper")

Here is the link to take a look: Close To My Heart (I am listing this link because they have not updated the individual consultant's sites yet with the current flyer.) Here is the link to my site if you want to browse the catalog (the fall/winter idea book will be out soon!)

This card kit can be purchased for $34.95 (usa) or
If you spend $75 the kit is $15 (usa) or
If you spend $125 (usa) the kit is FREE!!

The large stamp set is $34.95 (usa) and the small is $18.95 (usa)
If you spend $75 both sets are $15 (usa) or
If you spend $125 (usa) both sets are FREE!!

This special runs through the end of September!

Let me know if you want me to email you a larger view of either the kit or the stamp sets. I love both of them! I'll try to post pictures later......

Monday, September 1, 2008

Thank you Roxy!

I got a wonderful surprise from my SBS Sister, Roxy and it made my day! Be sure to visit her blog - she creates some terrific cards!

I have people to nominate in return - but will do that when I have a little more time (a rare commodity these days! :) ) Thanks again Roxy!!

My Patriotic Blog Background

I love the blog templates/backgrounds I have been able to use (for free!) from Allie Brown - she is soooo talented. But.....she is having a problem with her site (and consequently the links) so I went in search of a new place to get backgrounds in the interim. I found another great site at The Cutest Blog on the Block. In a hurry (as usual), I just looked at a few and scooped up one of the first ones I liked. I thought it was appropriate considering it is the week of Labor Day, the Republican National Convention and a time that we are keeping our friends and family in prayer during the current stormy weather!