Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas





For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.


Isaiah 9:6

Blessings to you, may you feel the Peace of Christ this day!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Three

Three years ago, he was here, bright and early in the morning...red, chubby and with a very robust cry. Oh, that CRY!


The crying didn't last long, tho...he's been a peaceful, happy little guy ever since.


He has his own style and way of doing things, for sure! and is not to be deterred:






He absolutely adores his big brother and wants to be able to do the things his brother does:







He has always been extremely courageous (to the near stoppage of Mommy's heart!)






Except at the beach. THERE he preferred the safety of the sand:


He is the most loving, kind, polite and generous little guy. 

He's quite selfless most of the time. 

He likes peanut butter and jelly, chicken nuggets, french fries and orange juice. 

His favorite characters are Mickey Mouse, Bo from Bo on the Go (or Go on the Bo as he calls it), and Curious George. 

His favorite books and toys all have to do with cars, trucks, trains and things that go. He's a HUGE FAN of "mighty machines" aka front loaders, bulldozers, dump trucks, cement mixers, etc. 

He loves, loves, loves his daddy and his grandparents on both sides. In fact, if either Grandma is around, the rest of the world doesn't exist. 

We just cannot believe that its been three years!!!


But the pictures don't lie:


He's definitely getting to be a big boy!!

Happy Birthday, Boa!!!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

THANKFUL

So So SO many things to be thankful for today...I'm most thankful that my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ came from heaven to the earth for the salvation of mankind, while we were yet his enemies...


Thankful for a church family, a group of amazing people who have helped me learn and grow and reach and stretch.  


Thankful for this guy, my personal blessing from God.


Thankful for these amazing boys, and that God felt that they would be raised well in our home. They are the air I breathe and the joy in my heart.


Thankful for moments like this, where I get to see them love on each other.


Thankful for moments shared with my family at the beach this year. We don't get many days together in a year, but we make those we DO get count.






Thankful for in-laws who love me like their own and who love my kids with all their hearts.


Thankful for the beautiful women of Image Christian Preschool who have loved my kids, taught my kids the word of God and shown them how it put Christ into action in the world. LOVE these women!!!




LOVE my amazing friends, who have been my family and support system for years, who hold me accountable, who keep me grounded and who just love me unconditionally from around the world.





And I am thankful for my sound mind and body, and that my blessings are so abundant that I don't even have picturs enough to show them all to you.

May you all be Blessed this day!

Happy Thanksgiving!


Monday, November 19, 2012

Discipline

I woke up about 20 minutes before the alarm was supposed to go off...its an ungodly hour. 

Dark and so so quiet...

and earlier than most people could possibly imagine.

I've been told that the weather here where I live hits its low right about the time I get up.

Which doesn't actually surprise me this time of year.

My first thought was "It's cold."

Then I heard the heater kick on.

My second thought was "its a cardio day. UGH!"

Instead of getting up and getting dressed, I burrowed further down into the covers and tried to pretend I had an hour instead of 20 minutes.

I have basically two choices for wee-hours-of-the-morning-cardio - Zumba in my living room or my outside, extremely brisk, nearly jogging walking routine. Neither is perfect for me, but will do to build my discipline and resolve. 

I'm so very bad at the first that more of my time is spent trying to figure out how to make my body do "that" than is spent sweating. Its fun in theory. But I'm not good at it and don't feel like I get the exercise I could get if I was better at it.

And the first is subject to the whims of weather.

Let me be really clear here...I'm practicing a slow and steady lifestyle change approach to exercise. I'm not out running marathons or doing a couch to 5 K challenge. I'm just trying to do something sustainable each day to make my body healthy.

In the winter its harder....

I'm not a person who likes the cold...its why I've chosen to live where I live. Chilly weather for me is exciting if I can stay inside by the glow of candles, drinking hot tea or coffee and making soup and fresh bread.

Most everyone I know loves the snow, looks forward to it even. 

I would rather watch it fall from the glorious perch of my front window, wrapped in fleece and slippers.

Even the joy of my children anticipating snow and new mittens and warm jackets has not given me a desire for colder weather.

I read once that the great choreographer Twyla Tharp is constantly in pursuit of warmth, that she finds the most desirable of conditions when the skin was just perched on the edge of breaking into a glistening sweat, that she throws open all the windows of her home in July to let in the sweltering heat. 

Well...ok...I'm not THAT into the heat...but I do get where she's coming from.

I often judge the temperature during my morning cardio by how long it takes me to get warm, then how long to sweat and then how long before I have to take off my gloves, hat, or jacket. 

If I am still wearing full regalia by cul-de-sac 3 (or song 3 for Zumba), its cold. 

And then...

The alarm.

Time to go...

Time to move...

To zumba or to walk...

To walk or to zumba...

This morning it was cul-de-sac two

Not too bad.

Peace, ya'll!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Happy Birthday Baby!!!

Today, this sweet, smiley, happy, creative, smart, generous, crazy, fun, little guy:

Is SIX YEARS OLD!!! WHOAH!!!!

He's an extreme joy to be around.

He sings constantly, easily memorizing the words to nearly every song. Usually, its the reigning women of country - Taylor Swift, Jennifer Nettles, and Miranda Lambert. But today it was No Doubt - he's a Gwen fan for sure!

He loves to draw - usually people, and most often superheros. He makes very detailed drawings, including clothes, accessories, hair colors, eye colors, setting and weather in his drawings.

He's a Marvel guy...Iron Man, Spiderman, Hulk, Captain America, Ant Man and the Red Witch.

He would eat chicken nuggets and mini corn dogs for every meal if we let him.

He doesn't like cake, but he does like pumpkin bread.

Angry Birds is is current obsession - everything is about the Angry Birds.

Reading is an activity he has always loved. He digs books and being all snuggled up in a chair or in his bed reading a book.

He's killer at karate - and likes to "practice" for mommy!

He's the BEST big brother in the world, looking out for his brother, protective, sharing, indulgent, and sweet.

He loves school and everything that goes with it. I am fervently praying that this love of learning lasts forever.

Most of all, he's a snuggler...he will still crawl up in my lap and nestle in...this mama's heart LIVES for that! 

Happy Birthday, little man!!!

WE LOVE YOU!!!

Peace, ya'll!!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A little color inspiration

While its still 90 degrees here and my family is planning a trip to the BEACH no less, my mind hit the "AUTUMN is HERE!" stage this week...

I had a lovely trip to the mountains this last weekend- Specifically to Lake James near Nebo, NC...

It looked like THIS out my windows each morning:


Our first day there, the weather was warm and humid and very, very much like the rest of my August...sort of oppressive.

BUT over night the weather changed...and suddenly, overnight, it was autumn...

Crisp, and not humid, where the mornings smell like wood fire and a sweatshirt is required.

Of course, it got me immediately in the mood for Pumpkin Spice lattes and baking and having soup for dinner, though probably the idea of hot coffee and soup vaporize in the afternoon's 90 degree temperatures.

STILL, this weekend, I will be breaking out the Autumn decor, putting the proper seasonal wreath on my door and maybe getting some pumpkin bread going.

The nearly instant change also has me looking for some autumnal color inspiration for my scrapbooking and decorating.

Now, color inspiration can be found anywhere, but I happen to be addicted to a couple of different sites that regularly find their way onto my Pinterest Boards...so I went looking for something that made me feel like September...this is what I found:

From Design Seeds:


From Creature Comforts:



And another from Design Seeds (this is really rather Octoberish, but I couldn't resist!):



What colors, sights, sounds, and smells make you feel like autumn? Do you like this time of year? (its my fave!!!) What season do you like????

Have a beautiful (autumn!) afternoon!

Peace, ya'll!

Monday, September 10, 2012

10 on the 10th...


Ten things I've learned from having children:

1) Sometimes a ponytail IS a good hair day.

2) PB & J is better than I remember.

3) Childrens toys are made in frighteningly bright colors that all clash when placed in one room together.

4) Dr. Seuss books are hysterical.

5) A child's giggle is so amazing that you will do absolutely rediculous things to make it happen.

6) The power of a lollipop is not to be underestimated.

7) That awesome Pottery Barn play room picture?  Impossible if actual children are involved.

8) Furniture has an irrisistable quality that forces humans to jump on it like a trampoline.

9) Light up shoes = cool.

10) Adults accept a lot of really confusing and rediculous things as inevitiable or fact or just the way it is. When you have to explain the WHY of something to a 5 year old, you realize how absolutely insane some things are. For example - the tradition of the tooth fairy...WHY does she come to my house? How, exactly, does she get in? and WHY does she want my teeth? and WHY does she leave money? its weird.

Peace, ya'll!

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Heard at Our House - Noah's Almosts

Noah is at the lovely stage where words and expressions are ALMOST there...close enough to know what he is really saying, and super cute because they aren't quite right...

Here's a little sample: Can you guess what he's saying?

OOOO! Mommy! Wook at wainboat in da sky!

Mommy, I half chatsit on?

I wan quatriple kiss -  (I have to explain this one...we do this thing in our family where all four of us kiss at once. We call it a quadruple kiss....well...everyone but Boah. For him its a quatriple kiss)

I wan drawbreeze, not blue breeze. Not Pineaffle. Jus' drawbreeze.

Mommy? Boah half Donalds dinner?

Peas, Mommy?   Berry, berry peas?

Hoots, Mommy. Berry, berry hoots!

And finally, my favorite, when we get in the car, he will often say, "Want my window UP!" To which we say, "Your window IS up!" and he says, "Want my window DOWN!  PEAS!?!?!?!"  hee hee

Have an AMAZING DAY, ya'll!

Friday, August 31, 2012

WHAT do you MEAN its September!?!?!?!

When did that happen?

When did it go from June to September?

Sigh...

I took a few months to re-group...and like a bad boyfriend, I didn't tell you I was leaving or why.  

It just seemed like I had more ideas and work and less time than ever to do the things I love. 

So...I gave up what wasn't absolutely necessary.  Bad blogger, I know...

But now its time to get back into the swing of things...

Well...I will tell you that I'm delighted to be back.

This time of year is always the "new beginning" time...much more so than January.

Its in the autumn that I change routines, learn new things, set up new organizational systems, move my hours, try new recipes...

And this autumn - Tuesday to be precise - we started THIS:

 
In case you don't know...that is my oldest...on his first day of KINDERGARTEN!!! 

WHAT!?!?!

WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN!!!

Yes, he's a BIG kindergartener now and he loves the new school and his new teacher and just everything about this big step. He's so excited when he gets up that its all I can do to corral him into getting dressed and eating breakfast. I think he'd bolt right out the front door in his PJ's and run all the way to school barefoot first thing in the morning. Here's praying that he feels that way about school ALWAYS.

We also did this LAST week:



That's right, the little started HIS school...his first year without his big brother there. We are very interested to see how is little personality unfolds now that its just him. 

So...blogging...

I have some ideas...and some projects...and some tutorials...and lots of fun stuff to share with you..

I am planning on a fun little retreat and have an on-line shopping box, a potential organizational coup, and a shopping trip to Archiver's that I plan to share...

And this coming season, I'm going to try dig into my process more...how I define my style (with a little tools!), how my hyper-organized mind "does" creativity and perhaps some posts on how I turn my inspiration into real projects.

So...HI!  I'm BACK!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Grief


Before there were boys and scrapbooking design teams and North Carolina, I used this blog to explore spiritual themes in my life – scriptures that moved me,  songs I was working on and the life struggles of maturing and not seeing my dream life at the end of my tunnel.

It was very cathartic for me.

Sometimes I have moments where I wish I was using this blog that way all of the time…and then other times I know it would be weird to bare that much of my soul to people I don’t really know.

I am, tho, committed to being transparent…I find honesty and transparency in shockingly short supply in our world. And I’m not interested in painting the “always great” picture that blogs often paint. I know if I was stuck someplace in my life, reading about how everyone’s life was perfect would just send me over the edge.

So…today, a bit of transparency and using my blog to work  out…well…grief is I guess the proper word for it, but its not the right word.

On Saturday night/Sunday morning, my uncle Jerry died. He was the 4th of 5 brothers, the third to pass away.  Now only my own father and the uncle I knew and continue to know the best are left of a family that once had seven people in it.  Herein is the beginning of my grief.

But not for me. Not in the least for me. Which sounds cold and weird and somehow unkind.

You see, I haven’t seen nor spoken with this uncle in over 15 years. It seems strange to put that in black and white. Since the last time I saw this uncle,  I have divorced, remarried, moved across the country and had two children. An entire lifetime has passed since I last set eyes on his face.

That is where this all feels a bit off. My uncle was a gregarious salesman, a person who seemed to love engaging others in conversation. I learned just this morning that he was forced to take tap dancing lessons as a child and that he had an illness that caused his bones to be brittle. I know he had had two families. One I was well involved with that included the person I know as an aunt and a cousin I thought was the cutest little boy to ever walk the earth. The other was with a woman he remained partners with until his death, and with whom he had three daughters – cousins I would not meet until I was an adult and they were all either teenagers or nearly there.

But much of his life was enshrouded in secrecy. He kept much of his life fiercely encapsulated and, as far as I can tell, the parts did not bleed into one another. There is much about this blood relative, whom I should know more about, should have known better, that I know of only from rumors and conversations with other people, along with old stories my dad and uncles told upon those rare occasions we were together.

There are many who will say – and perhaps rightly – that I should have worked harder to maintain a relationship. But over time, I’ve grown an aversion to those who so fiercely guard secret lives. Beyond some point the distance of time alone can estrange two people and when one is so fierce about their secrets, it further drives wedges where there should be relationship.

So…that is why my grief is not really for me…my grief is for my own father, for my remaining uncle, for this man’s ex-wife, his partner, his children and his grandchildren. Where once there were five brothers, only two remain. Where once there was a partner, father, and grandfather, only memory is left. Its is with sadness that I think about their future without this person in their lives. They knew him. And loved him. And will now not have him on this earth.

It is odd, to me, that death brings about the coming together of family. It is sad that we allow relationships and friendships to decay to the ravages of time, the spear of hurt feelings, the slow, smoldering destruction of unacknowledged wrongs done in ancient times.  We get so wrapped up in our pride and our own goings on that we forget we are but one passenger on this train and that the train is FILLED with others looking for the reassuring touch of another soul.

And so, I guess there is a bit of grief for me in that. A fellow soujourner has moved beyond my reach, beyond the point at which I can share the journey.

Peace to you all, my family. Peace to you.


Thursday, June 07, 2012

What I'm Working On...

I’ve been dying, dying, dying to show you what I’ve been up to, but time is always a factor.

When I am faced with an hour or two of free time, do I do the work? Or…do I photograph and blog? What a decision.

Today, photos and blogging won.

It hit me pretty hard about two months ago that my oldest child would be heading to kindergarten this coming fall – what with lotteries and registration and all, it became an event I couldn’t ignore. He’s going to REAL school.

One thing about all the school pictures and school papers that paralyzes me has been considering what to do with all that paper while still trying to preserve the memories and stories related to school. My child has already been to 4 years of preschool and we have tons of papers built up. What happens when he’s 18? YIPES!

And then there is the fact that I have not one, but TWO boys to do this for. I really wanted something the same/similar for Noah.

So, I have been on the prowl for solutions to my problem, ideally getting 14 years of school into a single album with some meaningful record of the events of each year, a record of the cherished/dreaded school pictures (hard to scrap, these pictures!) and maybe a sampling of the work from each year.

In my searches, I’ve come across lots of options from Project Life to pre-made albums to yearly mini albums.

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of sketches. I use them for almost every single layout I do. I thought, SURELY one of my sketch resources would have an option for me…and I found JUST what I needed on Valerie Salmon’s Got Sketch blog.

They have a really amazing downloadable workshop called Ultimate School Album. Its AMAZING and flexible and has made the production of school albums for my boys super easy and enjoyable. In addition to the page sketches, there are printables to track your child’s favorites, friends, and handwriting  and some printable embellishments and other goodies.

There is a recommended supply list that uses the DCWV Grade School Paper Stack:


and the Brights Cardstock Stack.


Honestly, I felt those were a little too feminine for my rough and tumble boys…plus I wanted a blue/orange/yellow/red sort of color scheme.

After tossing around a number of paper lines and combos of paper lines, I decided to use American Craft Chap and some of the papers from Echo Park’s A Boy’s Life plus raid my scrap bin to create custom little additions:


I decided to do two of each layout, exactly the same and put them into American Crafts Modern Albums. Basically two identical albums to be filled as we hit the right years in school. Here is what I’ve accomplished so far…the white you see is matting for eventual photos.





Oh, and just in case you are interested in doing your own version , I saw on the Got Sketch? blog that they were offering the Ultimate School Album at 40% off until June 10th. How awesome is that!?!?!?

Peace, ya'll!