Friday, December 28, 2007

I've Been Browsing

on Amazon...and found these things that interest me today (in no particular order...

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Summing up Christmas

One hand-carved Santa and Deer from my amazingly talented father, Steve…


One Christmas Eve – house clean, quiet and finally, finally feeling like Christmas

One plate of cookies waiting for Santa’s arrival…


One quiet and peaceful, enraptured 14 month old listening to The Night Before Christmas and the amazing story of Jesus’ birth in Luke chapter two for bed-time stories

One amazing tree lit up and gorgeous just after Santa’s arrival…


One surprised little boy, whose face registered the awe and surprise of a beautiful tree, free of the gate and surrounded by brightly wrapped packages..


One present unwrapped entirely by they boy – the ONLY present he really unwrapped…he lost interest after this…I guess he felt it was too much work!


One joyful expression at the surprises it held…


One magnetic sketcher, one tiny stuffed monkey, one musical centipede, several new books…

One brand new boy-sized chair…


one easel and many art supplies, a Paul Bunyan wool jacket, one Cars boy-sized sofa that pulls out into a bed...

A Bob the Builder cell phone (Heeewwwooooohhhh?)…


Many new outfits…

And one Gingerbread house made solely for the boy to pull apart…


And these are just a few of his plethora of gifts!

Many, many wonderful gifts for us “big kids” - amazingly generous gift cards, books, my longed for new coffee cup, a gaming chair, a beautiful perfume bottle, new slippers, new Christmas ornaments…

A new rocking chair for the boy’s room,


The list of our Blessings goes on and on as well!

One amazing meal – roast turkey, dairy potatoes, green beans, corn bread stuffing, cranberries (the boys favorite AGAIN this Holiday meal!) and Holiday Bread Pudding with Amaretto sauce…really MUST share that recipe sometime.


Truly, truly, an amazing Christmas.

I pray yours was as blessed!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Joy of the Day

Today's Joy of the Day is something I've had for a few years now that just floats around on my PC until its time for Christmas.

It's supposedly by Dr. James Allen Francis and is titled One Solitary Life.

Here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another village. He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty. Then for three years He was an itinerant preacher.

He never owned a home.

He never wrote a book.

He never held an office.

He never had a family.

He never went to college.

He never put His foot inside a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place He was born. He never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness.

He had no credentials but Himself...

While still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. One of them denied Him. He was turned over to His enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed upon a cross between two thieves.

While He was dying His executioners gambled for the only piece of property He had on earth – His coat.

When He was dead, He was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.


Nineteen long centuries have come and gone, and today He is a centerpiece of the human race and leader of the column of progress.

I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that were ever built; all the parliaments that ever sat and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has that one solitary life.


Never underestimate the wonder that God can do with one simple and solitary life!

Peace, everyone!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Joy of the Day

Santa Is Alive & Well - And We Are On His Team

I remember my first Christmas party with Grandma. I was just a kid. I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her on the day my big sister dropped the bomb: "There is no Santa Claus," she jeered. "Even dummies know that!"

My grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her world-famous cinnamon buns.

Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told her everything. She was ready for me. "No Santa Claus!" she snorted. "Ridiculous! Don't believe it. That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad. Now, put on your coat, and let's go."

"Go? Go where, Grandma?" I asked. I hadn't even finished my second cinnamon bun. "Where" turned out to be Kerby's General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything.

As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars. That was a bundle in those days.

"Take this money," she said, "and buy something for someone who needs it. I'll wait for you in the car." Then she turned and walked out of Kerby's.

I was only eight years old. I'd often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself. The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping.

For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill , wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for. I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbors, the kids at school, the people who went to my church. I was just about though, when I suddenly thought of Bobbie Decker. He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock's second grade class.

Bobbie Decker didn't have a coat. I knew that because he never went out for recess during the winter. His mother always wrote a note, telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all we kids knew that Bobbie Decker didn't have a cough, and he didn't have a coat. I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobbie Decker a coat. I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real warm, and he would like that. "Is this a Christmas present for someone?" the lady behind the counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down.

"Yes," I replied shyly. "It's ... for Bobbie." The nice lady smiled at me. I didn't get any change, but she put the coat in a bag and wished me a Merry Christmas. That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat in Christmas paper and ribbons, and write, "To Bobbie, From Santa Claus" on it -- Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy. Then she drove me over to Bobbie Decker's house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially one of Santa's helpers.

Grandma parked down the street from Bobbie's house, and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk Then Grandma gave me a nudge. "All right, Santa Claus," she whispered, "get going."

I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded his doorbell and flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma. Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open. Finally it did, and there stood Bobbie.

Forty years haven't dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering, beside my grandma, in Bobbie Decker's bushes. That night, I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were: ridiculous. Santa was alive and well, and we were on his team.

Author Unknown


In the Krech and Kleeberger households, we're on his team too!

Peace, everyon!

Joy of the Day

Today's Joy is this neat little Christmas Trivia list I found in The Matthews Record :

1. Who yelled "Stop" to Frosty?

2. Who lost $8,000 in "It's a Wonderful Life"?

3. On every street corner you hear what song?

4. What was Scrooge's first name?

5. who wrote "A Christmas Carol"?

6. Who wrote "The Night Before Christmas"?

7. What "Saturday Evening Post" artist was known for his whimsical pictures of Santa Claus?

8. What does Alvin want for Christmas?

9. What is the last ghost in "A Christmas Carol"?

10. What as Rudolph's punishment for his red nose?

11. Who plays the dusty innkeeper in Charlie Brown's Christmas play?

12. What is the last line of "A Christmas Carol"?

13. What is the #1 Christmas single of all time?

14. Who starred as George Bailey in "It's a Wonderful Life"?

15. What "sad" Christmas song did Elvis Presley record in the fifties?

16. In "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," what biological shortcoming made the Grinch so mean?

17. What is Charlie Brown's complaint about Christmas?

18. What Emmy Award winning cartoon was based on a newspaper editorial?

19. Name the two reindeer whose names begin with a "C".

20. In what city did "Miracle on 34th Street" take place?

21. What did Harry Potter get for Christmas in his first semester at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry?

22. What American state was the first to make Christmas an official holiday?

23. What legendary actor narrated the TV special "How the Grinch Stole Christmas"?

24. What shape is the candy cane modeled after?

25. What was the name of the dog that belonged to the Grinch in Dr. Seuss' book "How the Grinch Stole Christmas"?

26. What was the name of Scrooge's dead business partner in "A Christmas Carol"?

27. What brought Frost the Snowman to life?

28. At Christmas, its customary to exchange kisses where?

29. What was pictured on the first stamp printed for the Christmas season?

30. Which star led the Three Kings to Jesus?

31. Electric Christmas lights were first used in what year?

32. In the movie "It's a Wonderful Life," how do you know that an angel has received its wings?

33. When and where did the Salvation Army Christmas collection kettle originate?

34. The stat songs of Maryland and Michigan use the melody of what popular Christmas song?

35. What was True Love's gift on the second day of Christmas?

Answers in the Comments section....How'd ya do?

Peace, everyone!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Joy of the Day…

Today, these are the things making me happy:

#1 THIS MOVIE is now a go…and I’m SO happy about it! Although, Jay will be 4 years old when the first movie is released…mmmmm…maybe this will be his indoctrination into my life-long love of Tolkien.

#2 The word du jour for Jay is “HEWOOOHHH?” with a little cell phone attached to his ear. I wish I could accurately convey how cute it is…and hysterical.

#3 This holiday Polo I got at Children’s place for $7!!! I love that my son will have on a little holiday outfit and that it won’t cost me a fortune!



#4 We are going to dinner and the Bobcats game tonight…love a little outing!

Peace, everyone!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I LOVE HUSHPUPPIES…

And other Joys of Today…

So…

I’m experiencing a little Holiday Season blues…

And a little bit of feeling overwhelmed that another year is coming to a close…

And, well, a little bit of I-don’t-want-to’s…

So..

I vowed to find the joy in TODAY…

To focus on the things today that make me happy and touch my heart.

Joy of Today #1 – I love hushpuppies – those that come with the Cod Fish Platter at Showmars , to be exact. And while I’m at it, I love the fries and Ranch too…healthy lunch, no?

#2 – the Christmas wreath with the red berries on my red front door.



#3 – Ms. Mary – because she is thoughtful, kind, generous, and HYSTERICAL!

#4 These two…who I miss from the moment I walk out the door to the moment I arrive back.



What are YOU joyful about?

Peace, everyone!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Before & After, New Skill and Christmas Fun

To get things started, cuz I’ve been gone so much, some fun Jay stuff:

Thanksgiving – Before the cranberries:



And After:



Christmas hat 2006:



And 2007:



For good measure, this was the Bug’s first Christmas cookie…he enjoyed it thoroughly.

And, I’m so proud to report, he is very good at sharing his Christmas bounty…

He gave the dog nearly ½ of the cookie MOST willingly and with a huge smile!



And our little boy has gained a new skill…brought on specifically by the desire to reach the Christmas tree, which has been gated…

So…at 14 months…

And with SIGNIFICANT determination and attitude…

Drum roll please…

I give you…

Our little climber (everyone cheer…cuz he LOVES it when you cheer for him!):

The step ladder:



The Christmas ornament boxes:



And the WAGON ON ITS SIDE, when all else was made unavailable to him:




The Christmas season is upon us…I decided that the majority if not all of our gifts would be handmade. Some of them I made my self and others I’ve purchased through etsy and other sources. I’ve found the BEST things…can’t really show a lot right now, because the recipients might see…but I can show you the things for the little one’s that I’ve gotten. Just click on the links below.

Some things I found there:

superhero cape

little red riding hood cape

child-sized messenger bag

chalk place mat

crayon roll

And that is just the awesome things I got for the kiddos!

We did some volunteering at church for Project Angel Tree this year. It was FABULOUS! I was in a HUGE room surrounded by toy after toy after toy. The number of toys and the number of volunteer was really significant. Though I was working in a comfortable room with other church members, it was really an amazing and life-altering experience. I absolutely love volunteering!

I’ve got more Christmas-y things to post…but we’ll start that tomorrow!

Friday, November 30, 2007

How did the Shepards know where to look?

Because they followed a star? Nope....

I read THIS and found it fascinating...

Most of her info comes from HERE :

I don't know about you, but for me, this is a revelation...it makes me even more amazed at God's profound ability to perfectly orchestrate all the tiny details!

PS...The star was for the Magi (Matthew 2:1-12).

Have a BLESSED DAY!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thankful...

I posted this someplace else as well...so if you are reading it for the second time, my apologies...
First of all, I'm thankful for God, for Jesus who died for my sins and for a Holy Spirit who still dwells in me despite my overwhelming lust for George Clooney.

I'm thankful for a first marriage to my knight in shining armor because it taught me that you really cannot judge a book by its cover.

I'm even more thankful that he has gone on to find his real soul mate and that I didn't damage him permanently.

I'm thankful for a second marriage to my God-ordained soul mate...and that no woman before me damaged him permanently.

I'm thankful for the internet because without it, I wouldn't have the God-ordained soul mate, frequent conversations with my mom, the ability to keep in touch so easily with people I love and the fabulous friends I've made here.

I'm thankful for coming to motherhood at 36 instead of 26...Gods timing is perfect. I could not possibly have given my son a home, stability, unconditional love nor any level of peace if I had been even one day younger than the day he arrived.

I'm thankful for my amzing son - who is truely probably no more wonderful than any other child on the planet. However he is MY most amazing teacher, MY direct line to God and MY purest joy...and if he had appeared earlier in my life, I could not possibly have appreciated the miracle he is.

While on the topic, I'm thankful for "mama, dada, mmmmma(grandma), mmmmmmpa(grandpa), oggy(doggy), ello(yello), ha!(Hi!), blah(blue), baba(bottle), shiss(shoes), ead(head), mo(more), ducky(ducky), baa(bath), tata(turtle), mmmmmwhaaa!!(kiss), hoo hoo hoo(what's a monkey say?), kaka(cookie)" and all the other amazing things he communicates.

I'm thankful for digital cameras...because all my pictures are good ones...HA!

I'm thankful that I have a house...I never ever thought I'd own a house...ever.

I'm thankful that my husband and I have the most amazing, insane, wild and crazy families...its fun, its funny, its an adventure and it sometimes teaches us how NOT to handle so many things...HA! HA!

I'm thankful that I scrapbook...and that I can continue to afford scrapbooking in terms of both time and money...because I love the stories and connecting beyond the span of my own lifetime.

I'm thankful for canned soup and chile and ready-made salad...Because I'm definately NOT Martha Stewart and most days I can barely manage to be Rachel Ray or Sandra Lee.

I am thankful that God has provided me with a healthy body, sound mind (sort of), sense of peace, and an awareness that happiness is a choice that I'm solely responsible for.

And finally, I'm thankful that I woke up today...As my husband says, "Any day above ground is a good day."

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Insanity, Mojo and the Life of a Single Parent

So…

I had my wonderful and crazy friends Berta and Deb over for scrapping day on Saturday. We had a blast…

It was an INSANE day.

The kind of insanity that can only come from three people under way too much stress getting together to talk about cats, children, Jesus, music and, of course, my mojo.

It was the kind of insanity that is fueled by far too many chocolate chip cookies, salsa and cream cheese dip, really great strawberries (in NOVEMBER, no less) and Diet Coke.

It was the kind of insanity that made Deb ask if they were actually going to be allowed to come back…

How could I refuse???? They know all my secrets now!!! 

Perhaps best of all, I think my mojo has returned out of absolute fear of leaving me all alone with Deb and Berta again….HA!

Seriously, they helped me make some decisions and I felt the warmth of my long lost mojo as it returned to my artistic soul…Did I mention it was an insane day?

As for being a single parent, my Dear Husband is off on a retreat for himself starting tomorrow. He really needs this time…however, that means that I will be a single parent for around 5 days…YIKES!

His mom has graciously agreed to be our “daycare” for the rest of the week…I say “daycare’ instead of daycare because its not really normal daycare when its your grandma you are with, you know? Jay will be pampered, loved on, snuggled, kissed, and just absolutely spoiled rotten for these three days. He will be absolutely delighted!

That said, I don’t really know how much I will be posting.

And I’m fairly certain that the insanity begun on Sunday will only continue well into the beginning of next week…

Ah…and then we begin the Holiday Season…

Yum…

Peace everyone!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Hello, Mojo????

I’ve apparently lost my scrapping mojo… I was thinking of popping in a video last night and doing some paper crafting, but after preparing dinner and cleaning up the kitchen, I found I had about zero energy to apply to the task…so…I gave Jay a bath and put us both to bed.

I just cannot seem to find my normal creative energy this week. I think I hit responsibility overload – you know…the I’ve-got-10-thousand-things-to-do-there-isn’t-enough-time-or-mony-in-the-world-to-accomplish-all-this-I-can’t-believ-its-only-6-weeks-until-Christmas-why-doesn-the-baby-sleep-through-the-night burnout.

So…I went looking for things that inspired and pleased me…

And in the process, completely overhauled and updated my links over there---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------->

The following really captured my interest today for whatever reason…please note: they may not be interesting at all…but they did capture my wayward attention:

THIS new creation from Ali really inspired me!

I don’t really do the witch thing on Halloween, but I just thought this was the greatest Girl’s Night Out” idea: Bewitching.

These are three really cool organization sites…I love them all. I’m thinking that the craft memo site will be one I will use:

Org Junkie

Craft memo

Back Pack It


I have my eye on these little things right now:





Sonda Tadlock is having an especially wonderful stamp raffle if you are into the stamping…check out HER BLOG for details. I totally covet the goodies she has in this raffle.

I was COMPLETELY inspired by my new friend Katherine…she and I did a Bible study on Tuesday that has had me thinking ever since about conversions, recognizing God immediately and dropping everything to follow him! I have been pondering on my faith, my willingness to lead where He follows, my ability to entrust the things of my world to God for safekeeping and resolution.

And one final inspiration from Captain Kangaroo: "If you want more time in your life, don't watch TV."

(Um….yea…that isn’t really working for me so far…I watch less tv…but still have NO MORE TIME!)

Peace, everyone!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Tag and my random desire

The fabulous Betsy Veldman tagged me with the 7 random things!!! WOO HOO!!! If you haven't checked out her blog, do give it a looksee...she is an AMAZING artist!

So…here we go:

1. I’m a wanna be Rock Star (right James?!?!??!?!?!?!?) I was in an amazing band called 4 ft deep, co-wrote all the songs, did a bunch of cools shows and recorded an amazing album. So…when I say “yea…I rock.” I MEAN IT!

2. I’m a SciFi Channel junkie – give me Stargate, Stargate Atlantis, Battlestar Galactica, Eureka, Dresden Files, whatever…I could watch that channel all day, every day.

3. I absolutely long to visit China and see this amazing country and all of its culture and architecture. I’m totally following Hiedi Swapp’s blog like a mad woman because of all the tidbits and photos about China.

4. Hot buttered toast and coffee is my favorite breakfast.

5. While you may know me as a red-head, I am actually a blonde.

6. One of my biggest pet peeves is people who do not use turning signals!

7. I met my wonderful husband on the internet!

And while we are on the subject of random...I'm totally in love with THIS...I WANT it!!! I NEED IT!!!



Ok...I tag Fabulous Karen and Beautiful Gina .

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I am SO FIRED!!!

As a blogger, I mean…As a mom, worker and wife, I’m hitting the marks…as a scrapper, blogger and artist…sigh…I just really need a few more hours in the day….do they sell hours on ebay?

Truly…has it been a month?!?!??!

Sigh…

First of all…my bug is ONE!!!



Yikers…

We had a great party – SO many blessings for this little boy. He was the greatest kid…no nap, all that excitement and stimulation, and literally everyone wanting his attention. He was a real trooper, though…smiled and toddled his way through it with very little drama.

He didn’t really like cake…too sweet, I think. He touched it and played with it but spit every last bit of it out!



Hopefully, this is a trend we can continue for some time with sweet stuff…other than fruit and cinnamon bread, he doesn’t really have a taste for sweet stuff.

He’s grown so much, I can hardly believe it!



We had all the family here for our party…Grandparents, Jay’s one an only Aunt Kellie, Scott’s Aunt Sue and GG – Great Grandma!!! It was busy and delightful and exhausting. I LOVED having my family in the house…I wished more than one time while they were here that they were closer. Can’t you please all move closer??? PLEASE!?!?!?! (Yes, this is me begging!)

Last weekend, we went to the pumpkin patch. Not really a pick-your-own. I’m having difficulty finding one of those here in NC that is a reasonable distance away. We went to a place that had all kinds of “sets” for pictures and loads of pumpkins laying out on the ground. He was pretty happy to just wander (sprint!) through the piles and touch and explore. It was fun for us to watch him explore and try new things.



Today, I begin a new Life Group. I’m so excited to see how God is going to bring together different women and work in their lives. Its truly exciting for me to see the process unfold and to be praying for each of the women who will be a part. In so many ways, I feel completely inadequate to this task…which, I think, is why God has me right here. Its time for me to really let go and watch Him work…I’m just here to organize the meetings…lol..

Hopefully, I’ll have some new scrapping things to show you after this week….My friend Sam sent me a really cute Book Worm paper piecing (Hi, Sam!!! I got it!!! Thank you SO MUCH!). She does amazing layouts you can see right here.

Well…on that note, I’m off on the adventure of the day…Paperwork! WOOHOO!

Peace, ya’ll!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Something new...

Taking over my workspace...





Some fun on a beautiful Sunday -

Got the windows open, the sunlight streaming in, Jay is playing happily between the living room and the play room...

And mama is playing happily on some Cookie Swap Invites...

Happy Sunday, Everyone!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Suddnely its here…

Suddenly, its cooler…much cooler…20 degrees cooler…than it was on Friday...

Suddenly the air is crisp and sharp in the mornings…

Suddenly the leaves are changing…a little yellow on the fringe here…a little red on the fringe there…

Suddenly, there are pumpkins in the grocery store…

Suddenly, there is comfort in warm socks and a blanket…

Suddenly, there are Pumpkin Spice Latte’s at the Starbucks…

Suddenly, long pants and a jacket are a good idea...

Suddenly…

Its here…

At last!

PS…YES…those ARE for birthday invitations….

Friday, September 14, 2007

Prayers for a Searching Heart...

This is not new…but I re-found it on my bulletin board the other day and its been stuck in my head…

I will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid,
more accessible,
to loosen my heart
until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance;
to live so that which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom
and that which came to me as blossom,
goes on as fruit.


And this one is drifting about the edges of my day today....

My Lord God,

I have no idea where I am going
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.

Nor do I really know myself,
And the fact that I think I am following
your will does not mean that I am
actually doing so.

But I believe that the desire to please
you does in fact please you.
And I hope that I have that desire in all
that I am doing.
And I know that if I do this, you
will lead me by the right road


Amen and amen...

Peace, everyone!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Fun Stuff:

Us over the weekend:



The Cove:





The Grove Park Inn:









Downtown Ashville:



And some of the boy:

Intense little stare:



A conversation with his current favorite friends:



And doing what he loves to do most:

Monday, September 10, 2007

Crazy Little Thing...



My wonderful husband made all the arrangements for a stunning and fun and amazing weekend...he arranged for Jay (who suddenly has two more teeth and can walk circles around our home!) to spend a weekend with Grandma and Grandpa Porter, and set us up for a weekend "away."

We went here for the weekend…an amazingly beautiful place, I must say….

No TV’s…1500 acres of trees and cool air and walking trails and just delicious lush forest, amazing lodges, amazing chapel, amazing training center, amazing food (all included and all made by The Cove staff...those people put on QUITE a spread!)…just amazing everything.

We went to participate in Art and Lysa TerKeurst’s Crazy Little Think Calls Love Marriage workshop…

Amazing speakers, a true girly girl and a true man’s man who have had a marriage they had to fight for…it was funny and inspiring and FULL of information and things to ponder…

Incidently, if you don’t recognize Art and Lysa, they were featured on Oprah for adopting orphans from Lyberia…they live in a town just south of where we live in North Carolina. Amazing story there too!!!

We did some sight seeing…I’ll put photos up of that later…

My biggest take away from the weekend:

Start where you are.
Use what you have.
Do what you can.

Remember who you are.

Be intentional.

Happy pondering, my friends!!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I wish I had words to truly express…

The joy I get from listening to and watching my son while he plays.

The immense pain I feel at knowing that I am less important than a computer.

The helplessness I feel when I want to help but can’t find a way.

The awe I feel when I see God work in somebody’s life.

The insignificance I feel when observing something perfectly played out in nature.

The frustration I feel when I cannot conquer something in my own strength.

The anger I feel when the spirit and soul of a child are crushed.

The isolation I feel when I long to share but there is no one there to share with.

The gratitude I feel when I lay my head on my soft pillow in my soft bed in my air conditioned home each night.

The freedom I feel when I’ve created something.

The satisfaction I feel when I know I’ve done a job well.

The confusion I feel when I know I’m being jabbed at and cannot figure out why.

The peace I feel knowing that no matter how much else I feel…God is in control.

Monday, August 27, 2007

That’s how I roll…

I picked up a copy of Artful Blogging last week.

Let me first say, if you haven’t seen this publication (it will be a quarterly publication from Stampington & Co.) you need to at least pick it up and flip through it.

The visual feast alone is worth the price…I flipped and flipped and flipped before I actually settled in to read some of the inspirations. It’s just gorgous…highly recommended!

I’m only about 2 or 3 entries into it and so far, they are all my favorite…

It has me reflecting on my blog and my style and whether or not what I do is “art.”

I’d say…hmmmm…maybe not…but…then again…maybe…

As I review my blog entries, I realize my blog is just so ME…

Its green….not that I’m GREEN in the literal sense…but…you know…I love trees and (some) bugs and that I can still see deer by the side of the road and hear the owl in my back yard and that I occasionally glimpse the box turtle that also apparently lives there… and that I absolutely despise the people that think that bricks and concrete and gas-guzzling honkin’ SUV’s are cool…

It’s practical…I tend to be a no-nonsense person…I like things neat and tidy and fully encapsulated. Strange that this point should follow the green point…but…such is the order of things. I believe nature has an order – a perfect order…and…Yes...I AM a box person..this into this box, that into that box…I will confess I get box bleedthrough…which leads me to my next point…

It’s about my spiritual and intellectual wanderings such as they are…I love to wander through my thoughts and use big words and explore topics and get up on my soap box and share my insecurities and thoughts with anyone who can tolerate it…so…there you have it.

It’s about scrapbooking – my passion…a passion I do not get to exercise enough because of my responsibilities…





Which of course leads me to my next point…

Its family friendly…meaning I talk all about my family and encourage you to talk all about yours…and, of course, its FULL of images and blathering about my son!!! Who…is the CUTEST thing EVER (says every mom in America!!!) PS…aren’t they ALL the cutest thing EVER!?!?!?!??! I just love the little buggers…who’d a thunk???\



It’s transparent…I frequently discover that I have a reader I knew NOTHING about…and it changes nothing about how I would present here. If you like it…come back…If you don’t like it…come back anyway – it will give you something to rant about on your own blog…and if you think its just freaky enough that you can’t look but that you can’t look away…well…in that case you don’t get out enough and you need to start setting up some interactions with real people.

I try to be funny…at which, I generally fail.

I try to be enlightening…at which I’m occasionally successful…

I try to share what art I do manage to create…again, occasionally successful.

I try to share how I’m frustrated because I don’t get the opportunity to make enough art to be more successful…

And I try to share my successes, insecurities, failures, fun, adventures, amazements, boredom, disbelief, etc with anyone who cares to read a bit… A little everyday life..

And the closest I’ll ever be to “famous.”

Hey…it IS my 15 minutes!!!

Peace, yall!!

PS…I don’t have a clue how any mom of 5 could move to China to support her husband’s dreams…kudos to her for the adventure, the just-crazy-enough-to-do-it attitude and the courage she must have to have to make that happen! You can read about it here:

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Where ever you go, there you are.

This is one of Scott’s favorite expressions…

Delightful multiple meaning phrase…

At first glance, your reaction is “DUH!”

The simplicity of it, though,,,

It can really get to you if you stop and think for just one moment…

It could literally mean, “there you are.” Well, good…there you are…

It could mean that no matter where you are, you still have to live with yourself. Mmmm….that’s powerful. I am, after all, the only person I have to face in the mirror each morning.

It can also mean that no change of venue can change who you are…

Meaning, of course, that if you do not consciously make different choices, you are doomed to repeat the same mistakes, no matter where you are. I have a wonderful friend who has a glorious point of view about this…

She proposes that life is like a spiral staircase…you go around and around and around…you see the same things, have the same issues, travel in a predictable pattern…the only difference is that your view is slightly higher up than it was the last time. If you never leave the staircase, you don’t really experience anything new, just the same things from different vantage points.

This, of course, is not to say that a change of scenery cannot jump start change in your life.

Could you not switch to a new staircase???? Now, that’s a thought….

However it requires paying attention.

It requires being in the moment…not getting caught up in our own crazy cycles or patterns…it requires enough of knowing who and where you are to make choices to be and go someplace new.

And then there is the courage to make those choices…

By the way, did I mention that Jayden is walking? A couple steps here and there. Not exactly doing the Walk for the Cure, but certainly venturing out on his own away from the furniture and the security of having something to “hold on to.”

Now there is a paradigm shift.

Peace, ya’ll!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Unspoken...

Have you ever awakened with words in your mouth the time for which has long passed?

Sometimes the enormity of a situation dumbfounds us…and things are left unsaid…important things…

I have a friend from LONG ago who found herself in a situation that would be less than desirable for any of us. And, try as she might, there were no words to make it all right again.

There was another individual involved who had even less desire to be there. He happened to have something that my friend didn’t have - a viable but less-than-honorable escape route. He took his chances with his honor and fled, leaving my friend with her words and her feelings and her confusion and her pain to sort out the details and try to find a way through.

Now, 15 years later, my friend has made her peace. She has lived up to responsibilities she might not have chosen, found a love she didn’t think she had in her, exhibited strength that most do not find and, in the process, managed to carve a peaceful and happy life out of the world. She found her way in her own time.

And yet, things remain unspoken. So many things left unsaid.

Today, she will get a chance to confront all those unspoken words. But, there will probably be no opportunity to actually voice them.

The words to be spoken now belong to some one else. They have a higher priority. They matter more.

The words that need to be spoken now will bring closure, open new channels of communication, bring understanding…and possibly disappointment. They will provide an opportunity for healing and for growth…and for moving on to the next thing – with or without answers.

These events have shined a light on some of my own unspoken words…

I’ve found myself focused on the closed-off parts of my heart…on the things I wish I had the strength, wisdom, and opportunity to say…on things that I’m sure would fall on deaf hears…On words that should have been spoken long ago to people who more than deserved my most humble apologies, my most profound wisdom, my deepest friendship, my greatest trust, the best I had to offer.

In those times, I could not manage to find the words to make it all right again.

And now, across the distances of time and wisdom and life experiences…well…I still don’t have the words to make it right…I understand that nothing can make it right…but…I do have the words to express my deep emotion, pain, regret, love, trust, understanding…an honest apology.

Sometimes your mouth gets full of words the time for which has long passed…

Will you listen to my story?
It’ll just be a minute.
How can I explain?
Whatever happened, dear?
I never meant to hurt you.
How could I cause you so much pain?
All the words that I come up with,
They’re like gasoline on flames.
There’s no excuse, no explanation
Believe me if I could undo what I did wrong
I’d give away all that I own.
If I told you I’ve been
Cleanin’ my soul,
And if I promised you
I’ll regain control,
Will you open your door,
And let me in,
Take me for who I am,
And not for who I’ve been?
When I say I’m sorry,
Will you believe me?
Listen to my story,
Say you won’t leave me.
When I say I’m sorry,
Can your forgive me?
When I say I will always be there,
Will you believe me?
Will you believe in me?


Peace, everyone!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Pleasant alternative…

I was reading Rebecca Sower’s blog where she quoted some things from this book:



One of the things she quoted was this:

"think of appreciation as a pleasant alternative to ownership"

My response to her blog was:

This struck such a chord with me.

I have shared once before the active (aggressive?) position I took some time ago to empty my life of the meaningless clutter and to really focus on what I need, on how my life had gotten a bit austere in the process.

I'm so struck by this because I have emptied my life of those things that I do not NEED and often find myself coveting things that others have. I find myself wishing I had this or that possession in my life...

Understanding intellectually that coveting another person's life is destructive doesn't always translate to a heart that longs for certain things. And the cylce of coveting often finds its way back to "here I am and it is what it is" with a disdainful attitude.

If I step back for one moment, I realize how amazing my life is...how amazing God's gifts to me have been...and gratitude is renewed. The key is that I have to remind myself to step back.

The thought of appreciating and being a good steward over what I have been gifted with is an immensely more rewarding thought than that of owning and the burdens of caring for what you own. It also instantly increases the value of this life I have chosen not to clutter with things I do not love, use or need.

When viewed from a perspective of appreciation, its a life of space and light.

And fewer things to dust!


I find myself very focused on this issue of having and having not and having too much and wanting to have everything. Many a blog entry has been placed here about finding a simpler life...a life of quality, not quantity...a life filled with things I love instead of things the media and the culture tell me I need.

There simply has to be a less expensive, more sane, simpler way to live a life that is rewarding and full without being full of disposable stuff.

I want to read this book.

After reading the Art of Possibility, I feel like this will be a wonderful expansive read. I’ll be checking in.

Peace, ya’ll!

Monday, August 06, 2007

The First Time...

The boy was up at 1:30…

AM.

He was generally awake from 1:30 to 3:45….

AM.

I cried…

Literally.

Why does this child awaken in the middle of the night, every night, and not go back to sleep?

I’m completely in tune with those wild-animal mothers who eat their young…

Completely.

At 3:45, he let out one more squawk.

I felt it was kinder to both of us to leave him alone and just focus on my breathing.

And with a final whimper, he gave up.

Hurricane Jayden sleeps.

No doubt exhausted from trying to wriggle, wrangle and wrestle his way out of his crib, my arms, the boppy, and everything else attempting to quiet and soothe him back to the land of Nod.

At 5:45 he was awake again.

Sigh…

So, one baby and one bottle made their way to the crook of daddy’s arm in our bed and all three of them nodded off together.

Then…

At the bright and shiny hour of 7:00…

He was awake.

Again.

He was chatty…

Happy…

Making that monkey sound he loves so much…

Oooooo…Oooooo…Oooooo…

I opened the door from the bathroom to the bedroom to witness the commotion…

There was a huge toothy grin.

Bright, shiny eyes.

Crazy hair...

Sitting up in the bed, looking at me with expectation and excitement.

Morning had indeed arrived

He flung himself over the pillows and covers of our bed…

Pumping those chubby little legs to get quickly to me…

I reached to balance him and give him some love…

And he said…

“Mama!”

Monday, July 30, 2007

What? I have a blog? Part Deux.

So…I’ve been SWAMPED…

I’ve not blogged…

Or scrapped…

Or much of anything, really, except work, spend time with the family and try really hard to get my little one to sleep through the night. Just for reference our slept-through-the-night-at-one-month-old child has decided that sleeping is over-rated and that he wants to wake up and have a go at playing in the wee hours of the morning. Mommy is not pleased….

I’ve been gathering new websites to put in my little inspiration sections over there----------->

I’ll be trying to update those over the course of this week…

I did manage to finish the last Harry Potter…great book…makes me want to go back to the beginning and read them all again.

Mr. Jay-man has been discovering a bunch of new things…like the tea drawer, which he ceremoniously empties of its contents at least twice a day, one tea bag at a time. (We buy those individually wrapped bags, so he can toss them all about the kitchen and get loads of laughs without actually ever touching or tasting the tea.

He’s also come up with a myriad of new noises to delight us…we have been quite pleased with this little question he seems to ask, “Aye????” with his little hand out, palm up…as if to ask, “Right?” He stood in the doorway to the back yard in the POURING rain on Friday night, getting his little fingers wet and then turning around to look at Scott and say, “Aye??????”

He’s getting good standing-still balance…he will definitely be walking WELL before his 1st birthday…sigh…sometimes I wish he’d just slow down.

Other than that, our life has been quite boring and not at all like the glamorous life I’d imagined for myself at this point in my life…ha!

Hope you all are well…

I’m going to be updating as the week goes on…perhaps I’ll actually post something inspiring, rather than all this drivel about my non-existent personal life…

It’s in the plan, anyway!!!

Peace, everyone!!!

Friday, July 06, 2007

New layouts...

I put some layouts in my gallery...

You can find it over there -------------------------->

This is the latest...

Mr Jay and the REMOTE!

(It runs in the family)

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Family Planning

Subtitle: No this isn’t about any more babies…

I received a wonderful e-mail shared by my friend Donna from the DailyOM. It was about what “Family Planning” means.

The challenge was to think of family planning far beyond the questions of how many children, when to have them and how do we afford it all. Instead, it encouraged us to think about what kind of people we would like to raise – what sort of qualities do we want to foster in our children.

This is an outrageously wonderful idea – especially in this age of technological fast-forward, the ME TOO mentality, the overwhelming greed and lack of moral fiber that seems to be pervasive in our current culture.

I’ve always said that the job of a parent is to raise an emotionally, physically, and mentally healthy adult. No small challenge, this concept.

Perhaps because we think of teaching our children all the things we learned – how to ride a bike, how to throw a ball, how to swim, how to do long division, etc. – we think of all the great things we have to offer a child. We focus on all of our good qualities and how much the world is a better place for us being in it.

It was sobering for me to remember that this process of teaching my children all the things I have learned could also include how to fight dirty, how to be easily offended, and how to speak disparagingly about myself or others. It could include how to shamelessly flaunt my body, how to consume alcohol in alarming quantities and act like a complete idiot, how to hurt somebody else with my words just because I can.

I’ve got these experiences in my arsenal of knowledge, just as I have how to properly balance a checkbook.

Sometimes the behavior I could teach would be neither good nor bad, just somewhere in the banal and inactive middle – talking about things that should be different but never having the courage to really change.

I think we all like to talk a big story about the “right” way to raise a child…we all have ideas, not least of which is avoiding the seemingly huge mistakes our own parents made.

The unfortunate reality is that children learn by living with us and observing how we behave rather than just doing what we tell them to do...

You see, my child will grow up thinking that the way things are in our household and in our extended family is the way things are in the world. We teach him how to respond to those things by how we respond to them behind closed doors. Hmmmmmmm….

So, this e-mail my friend sent was so refreshing because it approached the mechanism of training our children up in the way they should go.

And I thought with glee…I could grow MYSELF up this way too.

If I want a generous child, I can act in generosity and teach the concept at the same time. This might be making a dinner and taking it to somebody in need. It could be baking cookies for the people at work. It could be creating a scrapbook album for somebody from my heart and just because.

By incorporating enriching experiences into my own life, I can experience the art of living and teach my child to do the same. We can learn how to share, to form new friendships, to thoroughly nourish the old friendships, to appreciate music or art, to open our mind to learning and new ideas, to be a soure of support and encouragement to others, to try new athletic endeavors, to contribute to the health of our community, to develop healthy boundaries and respect the boundaries of others and the list goes on and on.

How exciting to think of all the things I can adjust, learn, and change within my own life all in the pursuit of teaching my sunny little boy how to live in a healthy and whole-person-building way.

Perhaps the coolest thing for me – who is afraid to look stupid while trying something new (darn that perfectionist attitude!) – I can try new things and laugh about my ineptness with my child all in the name of teaching.

And perhaps he will learn that the goal is not to worry about how good or bad we are at something, but to be seeking to find new and fun ways to make our world a better place to live.

Perhaps he will learn to laugh at himself and just keep going.

Perhaps he will learn that you never really stop becoming who you were meant to be.

And, I pray, he will learn that the saying “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Is more than just a saying…

Happy day, everyone!