Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Happiness is…

A new swing set….


With lots of big people to push…


A climbing wall built for little legs…


And a sand box…


Hope you all had a happy holiday!

I know we did...when's the next one? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Peace!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Selective Memory

From this:






In my twenties, when I was a disc jockey, we used to play oldies, and people
who called in to request those songs often commented that music used to be
better than it is now. The reality is that in the old days we played good and
bad records, but the bad ones faded quickly from memory just like the bad ones
do now. No one ever asked us to play the music that bombed. The good songs make the former times seem great, as if all the music was outstanding. In reality, there was bad music thirty years ago or fifty years ago - in fact a lot of bad
music. The same is true with experiences. We tend to forget the negative and go
back to recapture pleasant events. The reality is, we have selectively
remembered - and just as selectively forgotten.


This struck a chord with me...

Selective memory.

Because I was trying to remember learning to ride a bike...I know I learned with training wheels. I think I had a red bike. But I honestly cannot remember.

I know we lived in a house while I was in kindergarten and first grade. I've even seen it several times since we lived in it. I know my room was in the back of the house. But the only real memories I have of that room are of the "tommy knockers" (not the Steven King kind, but the mining myth/lore kind), Brit jumping on top of me and licking my face with a vengeance, and one Christmas eve where I was sure that I saw Santa Clause's shadow outside my window.

I don't really remember the rest.

I remember a double-wide trailer...the living room, the dining room, the kitchen, the muddy back yard, a living room...but I could not tell you much about the front yard, or the experiences we had. I know we had company...I even remember bringing home crawfish from the creek and putting them into that kitchen sink....but much of the memories are vague or missing details.

So...what's my point in all of this?

I'm not really sure...just mostly that I'm a scrapbooker with a story and I cannot remember what it is. And the fact that there is a bunch of my life before Leadville, Colorado that I cannot recall is somehow odd to me. I believe I had a joyous childhood full of experiences that were fun. I remember the experiences. I remember Mount Rushmore, fishing trips, hunting excursions, school programs.

I even remember the songs they used to teach me my multiplication tables and the lesson on brushing our teeth that I got in the 3rd grade.

But I don't remember the everyday stuff...Like...my favorite outfit, my favorite afterschool pastimes, the snacks we had, the tv we watched, the toys that I couldn't do without.

Its weird what I do and don't remember...and virtually everything that I remember was an "event" of some kind...a break from the routine.

And I'm wondering if this is normal...what do you remember? Do you remember specific things? Do you remember your every day?

hmmmmmm....

Peace, y'all.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Do you know you are going to Heaven?

WARNING: This might be heavy…but I encourage you to read anyway. I’m going to say up front that I hope I don’t lose people with this…but I feel moved to post this and, since this is my blog, here it is.

Several things have converged in my little world that have once again got me amazed at how God works and how I change each time He moves.

First of all, the tragedy of the Steven Curtis Chapman’s family on Wednesday has had me weepy and literally with an aching heart. I cannot possibly imagine the loss of a child, and cannot for one minute understand what God’s plan in this is or what this family might be going through as a result. But I hurt at just the possibility and have been brought to tears many times over the last two days at the thought of the pain this family must be enduring.

Second of all, I’ve been reading this:


Now, I’m a huge skeptic about people who say they’ve gone to Heaven and come back to tell about it. But this book has me wondering and believing and telling everyone I know about what this man saw in Heaven. And…well…I’m not at all skeptical about his story.

And Third of all, our friend Rhonda told a story of her mother who died on the operating table and had to be brought back to life. Her mom told the family that she saw a man in all white long johns. She told him that she wasn’t ready and wanted to go back to her family. He told her he would grant her wish.

So…I’ve never been a skeptic about us actually going to Heaven. I believe that the saved will go to Heaven.

I also believe that the people we see in Heaven may surprise us…because only God knows the condition of a heart at the time of death.

But all of this has gotten me to a point…there are a whole lot of people whom I know have not invited Jesus into their hearts.

Notice I did not say “know about Jesus.” Because, well, frankly, even Satan “knows about Jesus.”

Notice I did not say “Believe in Jesus.” Because, again, frankly, even Satan believes in Jesus.

Here is my question to you…do you know that you know that you KNOW that YOU KNOW that you are going to Heaven? Are you CERTAIN?

If you ARE, then halleluiah!!!!

If you are not, then let me be honest with you…REALLY honest with you. Let me love you enough to share some things with you! These are things the Bible is very clear about.

Do you hope you will spend eternity with Jesus? Nowhere in the Bible does it say you can hope your way into Heaven. The Bible says that we are given hope through Jesus. 2 Thessalonians 2:16 says, “May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.”

Do you think that you will be “good enough” to get in? Or that "good" people will automatically end up in Heaven becuase of their goodness? Deuteronomy 2:7 says, “The LORD your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands” but it also says in Ephesians 2:8-9:
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” You cannot work your way into Heaven with all of your good deeds alone. Your good works will be blessed, but they are not your key to heaven. God has made it so that you can not ever boast that you alone through your own good deeds have earned your way. You simply cannot earn it. You must accept the gift of Jesus.

Do you think that there are many roads into Heaven or that you could get in on a wide range of qualifications? There are not. There is one way. By Grace through Faith in Jesus Christ. The Bible even tells us explicitly in Matthew 7:13-14 that the wide road leads to destruction not salvation: “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

Do you think you know better than God himself about who can and cannot get in based upon your understanding rather than on what God says? You don’t. You cannot assume you will go to heaven simply because you know about heaven. Its God's heaven and He gets to say how to get in. And He tells us explicitly what the conditions of admission are in the Bible. And you cannot choose not to meet those conditions and still expect that you will be granted entrance. In reality, I think that our narrow human judgement would exclude a lot of people who are actually already in Heaven. God knows the condition of a heart and I think that Heaven’s guest list may be surprising when we acutally get there. All of the "good" people we know may not be there...simply becuase they thought that they knew better how to get into Heaven and didn't do what the Bible told them to do.

Do you think that its too simple? Too black and white? It is simple, it is black and white (don’t let religion confuse you…just read the Bible) and yes, that is the way it works. Believe in Jesus, confess that you are a sinner, ask Him to be your personal Savior, trust that his Blood bought you entrance and then read the "play book" for this game we call "life." Its all in the blessed book...its all in the Bible.

Does it just not make sense to you? Well…guess what…There are things about it that are confusing to every Christian. There are things that we simply are not supposed to understand. That is the way God designed it. To think that we could understand the ways of God is arrogant and decieved. In much of the world, human beings cannot even understand each other. Yet so many think that they know better than God what's up. God tells us explicitly in Proverbs 3:5 not to lean on our own understanding. He knew when He inspired the Bible that we would try to figure it all out, that we would want to understand it all and He told us ahead of time to forget all that rubbish. He told us not to even try to rely on our understanding.

So…do you KNOW you are going to Heaven?

Do you want to KNOW you are going? For CERTAIN?

E-mail me.

We will talk!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Summer's Here



Jayden: GASSES!

Mommy: yes, glasses.

POOPOOL!!

Yes, purple glasses.

STAHS!!!

That's right, buddy! Can Mommy help you put on your glasses?

mmmmmmmmmmm...YES.

Can Mommy help you put on your lei?

mmmmmmmmmm.....YES!

Mommy wants to take your picture. Can Mommy take your picure?

mmmmmmmmmm....YES!

Ok...ready?

YES! CHEEEEEEEEEEEESE!!!

Does anyone else think he looks like Elton John?

Peace, y'all!!!

Monday, May 19, 2008

How to....

Give a great performance:

1. Clap your hands.


2. Take a minute to appreciate the crowd...let them appreciate you.


3. Clap some more.


4. Wave your hands in the air.


5. Do the Chicken Dance...(those are his wings...can you tell?)



This boy surprised us all at his end of year program at school...

Honestly, he's one of the youngest in the class, and not the biggest boy either. We thought he'd be shy or just stand there in awe of all those people watching.

But, this boy, who is so much like is Daddy in most ways, has a bit of him Mom in him. He loves to sing and dance and put on a show. I have to say I was so proud I cried.

I cannot stop smiling at this little, little guy, who started to bounce the minute he heard the beat and concentrated so hard on all the moves and the words.

And the crowds don't seem to phase him all that much. There was certainly no fear, just a bit of curiosity.

He stopped mid-performance to check everyone out. But, then he got right back to the business of the Chicken Dance, Itsy-Bitsy Spider and Head-Shoulders-Knees-and-Toes.

And now, at last, I understand what all those hand gestures and singing were about at home...he was practicing!

Peace, everyone!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Plans and reality…

I PLANNED to have a Saturday morning celebrating with friends and an afternoon with the girls to scrapbook.

REALITY was that I was beat from Friday’s illness ordeal with the boy and the boy was still on the mend…so, we got some scrapbooking done, but that was about it.

I PLANNED to have an inspiring post about Mother’s Day and all its joys on Sunday.

REALITY was that the husband got sick. So, the boy and I had breakfast together, watched some movies, went to the grocery and took care of a sick daddy. So – for Mother’s day – I was just every day mom plus nurse.

I PLANNED to have a full and exciting Monday of meetings, notes and just generally getting things done, followed by a fun evening with Scott’s men’s group having some social time.

REALITY was that I ended up sick too on Sunday night and spent an entire Monday in bed moaning and sleeping and being very ill..

It was not the most stellar weekend.

And…frankly…I was NOT at all happy about how it all turned out. Most of what I’d looked forward to all week got overrun by illness and just trying to keep things generally together.

Still, I suppose the lesson is this: Be flexible and be content. I mean, nobody had to go to the hospital, right?

Now, I’m PLANNING to send the boy to Pre-School in a sterile bubble. I’ve never had more illness in my house in my life than in the last 4 months.

REALITY is that I can barely get him to keep his shoes on, let alone a sterile bubble.

Peace, blessings and health, everyone!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Its Date Night…

We will be taking Mr. Jay to the Parents Night Out event at his school. His school is a Christian Academy attached to a church. The church youth group organization stages these Parents Night Out events to raise funds and give their youth some volunteer experience. Many of the normal teachers participate, so for the kids it’s a recognizable environment. We LOVE it because we get the night “off” for $10, our child is in a safe and regular environment, AND they wear the little bugger out so he goes right to bed when we get him home! Bliss, I tell you, Bliss!

We are going to dinner here.

And then to see this.

Frankly NOT my favorite movie choice…but I DID get to choose the restaurant. Mexican food. YUM!

Tomorrow, I have a wonderful morning planned celebrating the expansion of Amy’s family.

Then a scrumptious Saturday afternoon of scrapbooking with Berta and Debbie.

There will be some sort of Mother’s Day celebration…I’m secretly praying for a sleep-in-great-breakfast-don’t-have-to-do-any-of-the-work day of playing with Jay and relaxing with Scott (who will be doing all the work, of course!) :-) I’ll let you know how all that goes!

Peaceful day, everyone!

***EDIT to UPDATE***

No date night.

Boy came down with a virus over night and we have both been scrambling all day to stay ahead of throwup, clothing and diaper changes and the general chaos of not sleeping from 3 am on...sigh...

Maybe next week.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Today

This is the beginning of a new day.

You have been given this day to use as you will.

You can waste it or use it for good.

What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it.
When tomorrow comes this day will be gone forever; in its place is something that you have left behind...


let it be something good.
<----Amby Nic Montage---->

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

20 Things to Remember

From my friend Heather...

My favorites are 1, 2 and 20.

1. Faith is the ability to not panic.

2. If you worry, you didn't pray. If you prayed, don't worry.

3. As a child of God, prayer is kinda like calling home every day.

4. Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.

5. When we get tangled up in our problems, be still. God wants us to be still so He can untangle the knot.

6. Do the math. Count your blessings.

7. God wants spiritual fruit, not religious nuts.

8. Dear God: I have a problem. It's me.

9. Silence is often misinterpreted, but never misquoted.

10. Laugh every day -- it's like inner jogging.

11 The most important things in your home are the people.

12. Growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional.

13. There is no key to happiness. The door is always open. Come on in.

14. A grudge is a heavy thing to carry.

15. He who dies with the most toys is still dead.

16. We do not remember days, but moments. Life moves too fast, so enjoy your precious moments.

17. Nothing is real to you until you experience it; otherwise it's just hearsay.

18. Its all right to sit on your pity pot every now and again. Just be sure to flush when you are done.

19. Surviving and living your life successfully requires courage. The goals and dreams you're seeking require courage and risk-taking. Learn from the turtle, it only makes progress when it sticks out it's neck.

20. Be more concerned with your character than your reputation. Your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Back to Basics

I’ve been watching Ali Edwards Words and Photos series and it has generated lots of thinking on my part.

Yesterday, Ali's post was about getting back to the basics of scrapbooking – just photos and words and no other embellishment.

This concept set my brain on fire – not just for scrapbooking but for LIFE.

Here’s why: What would happen in my world if I got rid of the embellishment and got back to basics?

First of all, I’d have to do some serious filtering to determine what is “basic” and what is “embellishment.”

What can I live without? TV, sugar, scrapbook shopping (at least for awhile), magazines...

What are my basics? God, Scott, Jay, family, friends, work…my list of “things to do” takes on a very different look and feel if I focus on the basics.

By working through this, life becomes simple on purpose. When I stop trying to keep up, fit in, look just so, make the mark, my life really takes on a more comfortable feel.

Perhaps the most profound thing about it all is the reality that simple is better. SIMPLE IS BETTER.

A more complicated question becomes, how do I do this? Where do I start?

I suppose like the Nike ad says, “Just Do It.”

And I think that in some respect we already have…by making some decisions about our financial future together, Scott and I have already started this process…we want out of debt. That is a simple thing. It requires simple measures practiced regularly to accomplish.

Wait….lightbulb….there is the key.

It requires simple measures practiced regularly to accomplish.

This dovetails so nicely into my commitment to renewal this year.

By the way – renewal, rebirth – it’s a painful process. If you think about birth without the drugs, you get the idea.

If I renew without the “drugs” of TV and credit cards and keeping up so I can feel like I fit in, well…it can be a painful process!

Some time back I posted some things we had learned in a marriage conference . There was a series of phrases that I picked up that I still keep in front of me to be conscious of renewal and conscious simplicity:

Start where you are.
Use what you have.
Do what you can.
Remember who you are.
Be intentional

And practice simple measures regularly.

Peace ya’ll!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Standing in the Foyer

After a plethora of social engagements – the sort of engagements I love where women gather and support one another, share wisdom and the things they’ve learned, offer generosity and prayers, and just generally be what God calls us to be as women – I’ve reached a rather saddening realization.

In the majority of my relationships – all but two if I want to get really honest – I’m standing in the foyer.

I’ve made it past the front door. I’m not longer outside, knocking, trying to get it. I’ve been granted entrance.

But I’ve not been invited into the living spaces.

I’m not a heads-together, call-you-in-the-middle-of-the-night, share silly intimacies, called-you-just-because, help-I-need-your-advice, knowing-glance sort of friend.


I AM a bring-your-gifts, make-a-meal, we-SHOULD- get-together, nice-to-see-you sort of friend.

I’m a come-on-into-the-foyer sort of friend.

But I’m not in the living spaces.

I feel pretty blessed to be past the front door. Many people in this world never get that far.

However, I feel as though I work really hard to be a living-spaces sort of friend. I call. I write. I share my blessings. I pray regularly for these women. I listen. I offer support. I allow myself to be transparent and I trust that when somebody says they will call that they WILL CALL. When I get an invitation, I accept and bring gifts or food or talents or whatever I have to share. I make myself available (which – as most women know – can be very hard to do!)

Am I a fool?

Or am I doing something wrong?

Am I too….something….for them?

Do I expect too much reciprocity?

Do I choose the wrong people to attempt to be friends with?

It’s something I’ve been pondering since the beginning of December. And…well…I’ve not figured it out.

Maybe I’m not supposed to figure it out.

I don’t really know.

Because, frankly, I just don’t get it.

And its kinda getting lonely being in the foyer.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Scrap Crap Shopping Extravaganza

Well...hello again!

I've been brewing several spiritual blogs...but so far none of them seem ready for publication...I'm still struggling and...well...working them out with God.

I thought maybe I'd give you my opinions on Barak, Hillary, John and the rest of the zoo that we call a Presidential election...but I've heard its better not to discuss politics...

There was also the possibility of sharing some of the cool mom sites I've been collecting. But I decided to save that for when I can do a really cool post - I've only found three that I'm moved to share.

So...I'm going to talk about shopping...it was that or celebrity gossip...and I'm just not up on celebrity gossip...

Ok...seriously, I kind of AM up on celebrity gossip...but since you can get that stuff at the grocery store check-out, I'm not going to bother.

and...lets just be clear...I'm not going to talk about real shopping...because, while Mom and I shopped while she was here, we just didn't get very far.

Onward to the shopping I AM going to talk about...

Last week Deb and Bert and I went on yet another shopping trip (we planned four of them this year! hee hee) In fact, at this time last Friday, I was plotting the map and the time we had to leave and where the closest Starbucks is for appropriate sustinence for a Scrap Crap Shopping Extravaganza...

I was particularly excited about this one because I had on gift card from Mom and one AMAZING gift card from work...and I had a long and thorough list of things that I wanted to get.

This is how I normally shop for scrap stuff...complete impulse OR I make a long wish list ***I actually make THREE long lists at THREE different on-line stores that I keep updated regularly incase somebody wants to buy me a gift!*** and I print out my long list - WITH PICTURES - and bring it with me on the trip. This time, my list had 38 pages...WHEW! (and isn't that just like me...to make a list! So So SO SO type A crazy Felecia personality to make a 38 page Scrap Supply shopping list!)

Well...I got lots of NEAT things that I wanted and a few really super cool things that were NOT on the list...oh...and I crossed a number of things off the list becuase when I saw them in person I just didn't care for them...so...here are the results of my spree...

First up, some Cosmo Cogsmo - I got the Crafting Kit at Hobby Lobby for an amazingly good price and then supplemented with a sticker set, a Blackboard album and some really cool Bazzill.


Next a set of Karen Russel cream and black...another set that I got for a great price at Hobby Lobby...but the BoBunny Brads and the neat textured flowers were some of my surprise finds.


A little Animal Crackers from MM along with some Bazzill (I should say here that this shopping trip I "kitted" everything. I found so much great stuff that I just got three sheets of several matching cardstock colors to go with...it will make scrapping with the PP much easier!)


This is Rusty Pickle Pop Star...these papers are SO SUPER CUTE! and double sided - so if you don't like the mostly white pattern on one side, there is an equally doodly black pattern on the other. I don't know where I will use these, but they were entirely too cute to leave on the shelf!


I've become endlessly fascinated with the die-cut papers...Bert found these Karen Russell's and I had to have some of each color...as well as a KI lace paper and more of those special textured flowers as a bonus.


I found these Prima Dude collection papers and Fancy Pants rubons...and of course matching Bazzill..I'm going to use at least one of these to scrap the infamous boots .


I found these super sweet Heidi Grace papers (and matching Bazzill) for a pretty little adoption album I'm working on. I don't do girl stuff very much, so it was a challenge to even pick the right papers for it. The Bo Bunny brads make yet another appearance (I love these things...they are so cute!) as well as a bunch of Irene's Flowers.


A tiny bit of Basic Grey - I'm sure I can find a use for these awesome colors and the great rub-ons.


A little Fancy Pants - this line is SO NEAT. I thought it would work well with pictures of Grandpa Steve and Jay.


And finally, I have another adoption album I'm doing for another sweet little girl. This girl, though, isn't a newborn and also has a little spunk and adventure. Her mom posts regular pictures of her, so I have the advantage of knowing the colors in all the pictures...this is KI Memories Eye Candy, some BoBunny chipboard, Queen and Co felt, Doodlebug flowers and HS butterflies. I've been wanting to use some butterflies, so this is my big chance!


I also bought Ali's Life Artist book, a bunch of Hambly transparancies, a bunch of Fancy Pants Transparancies. All in all a GREAT shopping trip!

But once again, I have to say...If only I had more time to scrap!

I leave you with this joyful picture - Hey Mom and Kellie - remind you of anyone? Think BBQ ribs!!!



Peace, ya'll