Friday, December 31, 2010

One Little Word

I posted earlier that I was participating in One Little Word again this year.

In 2010, my word was CULTIVATE

For 2009, my word was NURTURE.

For 2008, my word was RENEW.

I have to be honest…I don’t think I’ve lived up to any of my words…but this year, I’m changing it up a bit.

This year, I decided to sign up for Ali Edwards’ One Little Word Class. I think having that prompt in my inbox will be a fantastic reminder each month to really dig into my word and do something with it…

Plus the fact that we are making a project plays right into the word I’ve chosen for this year: BUILD.

In my faith, I come across the word “edify” often. It’s a word I love to use (it sounds cool, no?) Well, edify mans to build up, or lift up.  I wanted to use the word "edify" but it doesn't seem to me to cover all that I wish my One Little Word to cover.

The year of 2010 has been a year of “tear down” in my world. A year of confronting some things, getting down to the heart of the matter, really digging into the question “where do I go from here?”

And now that much of my life has been taken down to the foundation, it seems the right time to start a process of building again.

This is how BUILD is defined:

to construct by assembling and joining parts or materials
to establish, increase, or strengthen
to mold, form, or create
to increase or develop toward a maximum

Don’t all of these sound amazing???

It certainly a word that holds promise!!

So, what’s your One Little Word!?!?!?

Peace, ya’ll!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

As Magical As Snow *SFTIO December Wonder Kit*

As I close out December and my December layouts from the beautifulScrapbooking From the Inside Out December Wonder Kit, I'm taking a look at something I don't actually care for all that much: SNOW!

Now, I know that Jayden would love 10 feet of the stuff right about now...he wants to build a snow man and make snow angels and have snowball fights and wear his Tiger hat.

But me...Yea...I can do without it.

Last year, about this time, it snowed a heavy wet layer of snow - some of the little bit we get here in this part of the country. We realized that Jayden had never seen snow fall, only seen it after a snow had happened and the sun was back in force.

So, in the darkness, as snow was falling, we turned on all our lights outside and ran out to experience the falling snow...Jayden's very first.

It was truly magical.

I longed right then and there to see the world through his eyes, to marvel at its every wonder and new discovery.

Now, you don't often equate lavender with a boy's layout, but it is such a fabulous color to convey COLD and SNOW that it works:


I just love how it came out...and anyway, its about me and for my books, so his future wife won't have to look at him all surrounded by lavender anyway.

Have you ever used a color that seemed like it shouldn't work, but it worked brilliantly? Like a magenta kitchen or a neon green bed-side table?

What have you seen around you that made you look with fresh eyes at the world? Fresh flowers? New baby? Old wheelbarrow?

How have you explored the world in somebody else's shoes????

Its a great time to take a few moments to ponder something new and fresh and wonderful...you know that whole new year thing looming and all...

Have a GORGEOUS DAY!

Peace.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I Don't Top Ten

I'm a bummer, I guess...

In the time when it appears that nearly the entire world is looking back upon their top tens of 2010, I'm not interested.

Its been a banner year for me...there are way more than 10 worst and best things to list out, way more than 10 favorites for the year, way more than 10 shows, songs, foods, gadgets, whatever that I liked.

This last year, I tried using the Uberlist. I have to confess...I'm still working on my list. It was a year of many lists, but not much made it onto the uberlist once I got past number 100. I have plans for that in the new year.

This year, I also tried using ONE LITTLE WORD . My word was "Cultivate." The jury is still out on whether or not I can actually check that word off as "done." Again, I have bigger plans for the new year.

This year, I STARTED a Project 365 using Shutter Cal. That got as far as April. (Which means I think I answered my own question about the whole "cultivate" thing...) I have bigger plans for that too!!!

And all this to say...I'm not a failure.

 HA!

 I'm being transparent here. I did not complete any of these projects...but I did ever so much more! We have a baby in our house who turned a year old on 12/21...that was a significant achievement. And I've been on the Design Team for Scrapbooking From the Inside Out for the last six months. A complete dream come true that has also resulted in me completing more pages about myself in the last 6 months than I did in two years before that! I lead a Life Group that is the most amazing group of women ever assembled - HUGE amazing experience!! I'm also employed, have a relatively clean house, and manage a load of laundry or two and a grocery shopping trip each week.  Plus, I cook.

So, you see...I'm quite successful despite not having goals written out, not being able to get past 100 on the Uberlist, not working all that hard on my One Little Word and completely dropping the ball on the whole Photo a Day thing.

All this to say...I don't do top 10's. There is ever so much more to life than looking backward. (Just consult Lot's wife!) I, for one, would like to look forward.

Oh, all right, you twisted my arm...if you MUST have a Top 10, go look at Top Tenz. It is one of those sites with a completely irritating misspelling, but the top 10 lists are interesting.

Plus, there is something for everyone there...something no top 10 list of mine could ever provide!!!

Happy day, everyone!

Peace!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Monday Muse - The one with the Iceland Lagoon


 Today's muse is this gorgeous Lagoon Photograph by Mark Reimer. Its stunning, right???

I'm in love with all that blue...somehow in the dead of winter, it feels apropos.

So...what would you do with this muse?

Peace, ya'll!!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!



Image from 1st Web Designer.

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Cesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her first-born son, and wrapped him in swaddling-clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were in great fear. And the angel said to them, Fear not: for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people. For to you is born this day, in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign to you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling-clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will towards men.

And it came to pass, when the angels had departed from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even to Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known to us. And they came with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

~ Luke 1:2-16 ~

Merry Christmas, and Peace ya'll!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

How Did the Shepherds Know Where to Look?

Because they followed a star? Nope....

I read THIS and found it fascinating!

I've posted this before, but it never ceases to amaze me how God perfectly orchestrates all the tiny details!

Tonight we will read the Christmas Story from Luke and put out cookies and celery for benevolent Santa and say our prayers and sing Happy Birthday Jesus.

And after everyone is in bed, I'll make myself a hot drink and settle with my camera in front of the tree to take my annual Christmas Eve tree photo (see yesterday's post!).

I'm so excited to see what Christmas looks like with TWO boys!!!

Have a BLESSED DAY!

Peace ya'll!

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

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Oh Christmas Tree *SFTIO December Wonder Kit*

Oh, there is something about a CHRISTMAS TREE.

I cannot seem to get enough of of the myriad ways a Christmas tree can be decorated...they are all beautiful to me...

One of my personal and private traditions is to sit in front of the Christmas tree each year on Christmas eve. After all the presents are underneath and all the other living creatures have gone to bed, I sit and stare and enjoy a few personal moments of quiet reflection in front of the tree.

I take a picture every year...it almost always the same.

This layout using the Scrapbooking From the Inside Out December Wonder Kit explores what I find so wonderous about a Christmas Tree...see how all the shots are the same?


Believe it or not, I can tell the difference in the years from what is around that tree...

Do you have any personal private Christmas Traditions?

Is there anything about this time of year that you can't live without?

WHat do you seem to always record in your photos this time of year?

Have a BEAUTIFUL DAY!

Peace!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

One Solitary Life

I've posted this here often in my blogging time...it never ceases to amaze me how something that seem so very complicated is, in fact, something quite simple.

The credited author is Dr. James Allen Francis.

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!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Hippo, Birdie, Two Ewes....and a Boa!

One year ago today, this little thing was born....He was one pound bigger than his brother, but I still can't believe how little he was.


Now he looks like this, although usually he's moving so quickly that the pictures are blurry. We have to strap him down to get a good shot.


He and his brother get along pretty good...


Usually...(Yes, he IS pushing his much larger, more mobile and skilled in the fine art of brotherly fisticuffs BIG brother.  He doesn't care. He takes NO NONSENSE!)


Generally speaking, he's not shy about trying new foods, but this is the first time we've put something in front of him without tearing it into tiny little easy to swallow pieces. And it had chocolate...and sprinkles...He was not quite sure what to do with it.


He got over the confusion pretty quickly...That's my boy. Chocolate is GOOD!


There was carnage...


Although not as much as we thought there would be. Its no secret that Noah likes sweet things, but some of the cupcake actually made it out alive. The cake part only...the frosting suffered a darker fate.

What is it with my boys and frosting?

Happy Birthday, Noah Boa!

WE LOVE YOU!!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Monday Muse - The One With my Music and a Music Winner

Nothing like music to be a muse...I notice that my art and my attitude change when my music changes...If its up-tempo, I can create happy bright layouts, and the more contemplative stuff pulls out the deep journaling.

I'm a big fan of Christmas music. I'm extremely happy to report that I'm not the only one in my family - Jayden has been playing Christmas music since shortly after Halloween...He's a real fan too. His favorite songs, to quote him, are "Hark the Herald and I Wanna Hippopotamus" Well...I could skip the Hippopotamus song, but I'm down with most of the rest.

Some of my favorites this year...I don't believe that ANY of them are new, but I am enjoying them just the same!







Oh...and now for the WINNER of my CD giveaway...


Which means:


Wanda, send me your address and I'll pop this in the mail to you!!!

Peace, ya'll!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

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

I post this once a year...we firmly believe this way in our house...

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

Friday, December 17, 2010

On my Work Bench

Now that these precious things have already been given out, I can safely post them here.

Jayden and I made these for each of his class mates:


These little bag toppers atop bags of Hershey nugget candies for my co-workers: (SO EASY AND CUTE!)


And finally, some CD covers for a mix of some of my favorite Christmas and non-Christmas songs for the girls in my Life Group.


And, now...I have a little give away...

I have one extra CD for somebody who would like to have a little music mix.

If you would like to win this one, just leave me a comment with your favorite song...Christmas or other wise.

I'll draw a winner on Sunday night.


Peace, yall!!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

ornaments * SFTIO December Wonder Kit*

Oh, how I love a Christmas ornament!

I collect them.

We collect them for the boys....something to commemorate each year, something to remind them of what happened that year that was special.

I have so many that most of them don't even make the tree.

Especially not now that the boys have collections that are put on the tree first.

BUT I couldn't help myself when I saw the GORGEOUS Scrapbooking From the Inside Out Wonder Kit.

It is so glamorous and sparkley that I wanted to make some ornaments from it.

This is what I came up with:




There will be a tutorial on making these over on the SFTIO boards...

SUPER fun and REALLY simple...

What do you love about Christmas?

Peace, ya'll!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Glamorous Ornaments?

I have a tutorial for THESE:




That was posted over on the Scrapbooking From the Inside Out Blog.

For some reason, its always a surprise to see my name on other blogs and websites...I have to confess...it feels quite exciting!

Peace, ya'll!!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

My Boys *SFTIO December Wonder Kit*

I love exploring a new theme each month with my gorgeous Scrapbooking From the Inside OutKits.

It always drives me to dig deep when I have a theme to focus on for an entire month. I'm extremely appreciative that this month's kit is WONDER.

Christmas is such a magical time of year, but never more so than when you have children.

My oldest is getting to the place where he really GETS Christmas - letters to Santa, Baby in a Manger, singing Christmas Carols, making Christmas cookies, GETS...He's all about it. I LOVE so much that he is like me in that aspect. He even digs the lights.

It doesn't hurt that I have a little one who was born in December...he will be a year old just a few days before Christmas...nothing like the arrival of a new baby at Christmas to get you focused on what poor Mary must have gone through on the back of a donkey making a long journey. I didn't even want to get off the couch this time last year.

So, its fitting that I should find everything about my kids a wonder...and that they should be part of what I explore this month.


I really do run out of expressions to fully describe my feelings about being a mom. I'm "one of those" moms...that kind that is completely lost to the wonders of children...

Who'd a thunk!?!?!?

Happy Day, everyone!

Peace!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Some Layouts

I'm a journaler by nature...

Its how I wrote songs, its how I manage my life...I write things down.

These are a couple of layouts I did recently that are VERY journaling heavy...and, for me, fun...


Supplies:
Printed Paper: Bo Bunny
Cardstock: Recollections
Flower Stickers: KI Memories
Letters: American Crafts
Ribbon: American Crafts
Staples: Making Memories
Font: Chunk Type
Adhesive: Glue Arts Glue Glider Pro
Paint: Folk Art



Supplies:
Printed Paper: My Minds Eye, Bo Bunny
Cardstock: Recollections
Letters: American Crafts
Brads: Basic Grey
Font: Chunk Type
Punch: EK Success
Adhesive: Glue Arts, Scotch

Have a GREAT day, everyone!!

Peace!

Monday, December 06, 2010

Monday Muse - Letter's to Santa

Over the weekend, using the almighty internet, Jayden and I sat down to write a letter to Santa.

My boy was ever so excited to know that Santa has an email address...

Turns out he has several, in fact, but the one that caught our eye was: Email Santa. (i like it nice and simple like that!)

Turns out this site is super cute and you watch as Santa reads your letter, responds, sends and then BING you get the letter in you inbox.

Magical!

I was very lucky...Jayden only asked for Candyland, Legos, and a Nerf Gun.

We had a discussion about how not everybody dressed in a Santa Suit is actually Santa. I told Jayden that a REAL Santa sighting is a rare occasion indeed, and that he couldn't possibly attend every party he was invited to this time of year AND still make his Christmas Eve flight.

Sadly, there was a Santa at Walmart. Jayden, after sitting on his lap, confided in me that he was certain this was just one of Santa's helpers. Unfortunately, (for me!) he also confided that he told Santa's helper that he wanted a Leap Pad...AAAARRRRGGGGHHHHH!!

Anyway, on to the muse...

If you could sit in Santa's lap (and not feel weird for sitting in the lap of a guy with a fake beard in a red velvet suit with a fur collar) what would you ask him for?

What is YOUR grown up Christmas wish?

I have to be honest here...My list is topped by the Nook Color from Barnes and Noble.

But, if it doesn't find its way to my tree, I'm still good. I have not got my heart set on anything except time with my kids this year...I almost can't wait until Christmas morning...I want to see their faces light up and enjoy just getting down on the floor to watch them open gifts.

So, how about you? What do you want Santa to bring?

Have you ever included this sort of thing for yourself in your art? What would it look like???

Peace, ya'll!!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Fascination and AMAZING NEWS!!!


On, Tuesday evening, while sitting in a Bible Study, I got an AMAZING e-mail that said I'd been chosen to do another term on the Design Team for Scrapbooking From the Inside Out. WOOHOO!!!  I'm SOOOOOOO EXITED! I love these kits and this community!

Rachel says:


I'm here to remind you that you matter, too! Your story needs to be told by you, both for you as well as for future generations. One of the most important gifts you can give your children is the gift of you-who you truly are and what you think and feel.

And most importantly, in the process of telling your story, in all its beauty and depth, its glorious times, messy moments, and painful lessons, you will be transformed.

I am so thrilled to work with this team of EXTREMELY talented ladies!  Check out these great designers on the team:


And, of course, a lady I refer to often here:


I'm in great anticipation of working with this amazing group of women!

and NOW I want to show you my first layout for the new Scrapbooking From the Inside Out WONDER Kit

I'm often just FASCINATED by photos of myself...to me, they don't look like, well, me. I always feel like that is a different person than me. Does that mean I have an identity crisis? I'm not sure...

At any rate...I always wonder how it is that a photo can be so different than what I perceive in the mirror.


One of the things I LOVED in this kit were the not-so-typical colors...that peacock color is so amazing in person...and a little hounds-tooth check? Oh, be-still my heart.

Does anyone remember all that hounds-tooth and plaid I wore in high school??? Ahhh...memories!

PEACE, ya'll!!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

WONDER

Its December First...

Wait...

DECEMBER FIRST!?!?!?

Seriously...has this year FLOWN by or what?!?!?!

Its time for the latest amazing and BEAUTIFUL kit from Scrapbooking From the Inside Out.

This month the theme is WONDER...what a glorious theme to explore in the month of December!

Take a look a this beautiful kit...


And these beautiful trims...oh, I almost couldn't use them!!


If I had been really adventurous, I would have made some hair accessories with these...alas, you will have to head on over to the Design Team Gallery to see what I DID make...


This kit has lots of magical embellishments...its very glamorous.





OOOO...I can't wait to show you what I made with this one...stay tuned!

Peace, ya'll!!