March 31, 2015

Lunchbox Love Notes

After I left the doctor today packing an antibiotic and steroid prescription, we stopped in a couple of stores to get some much needed food and other items.  Both of us were sick this weekend and didn't have a chance get out to buy groceries. . . Thanks, mom for the potato soup. It was delicious!
Anyway, look what I found!


Everybody needs a little daily kindness and these would be perfect not only for lunchboxes, but also as an insert into a snail mail card to a friend or to post on honey's bathroom mirror. Each 2.5" x 3.5" card, twelve in all,  has the appreciation sentiment on the front and the back is reserved for a quote. I purchased several packs of appreciation cards, but there are 10 categories of lunchbox love cards altogether -- good for all kinds of occasions. And the website is great too. Check out the free kindness list printable and the Family Kindness Challenge. I had fun looking up some the craft ideas (see lower side menu links of the Family Kindness page). 
> Happy Day! < 

March 23, 2015

You Are Made in the Image of the Creator

Have you ever joined a Bible study group and had to purchase a book, workbook, and/or a notebook to go with it? I have and they can get quite pricey. And then what do you do with it afterwards? I've got several around here that I haven't read again. Stephanie Ackerman's Documented Faith 2015 is FREE! She doesn't require you to purchase anything and you don't have to do all the artsy stuff if you don't want to.

Just a note though: Stephanie believes as I do -- that we all have creative bones, because we were made by a creative God. I have learned that the devil is sneaky feller. When I  feel intimidated or start comparing myself with others and thinking I can't because I'm not a good as they are, I have to watch out! I have to trust that God knew what he was doing when he created me! *smile* I have a different way of seeing things and a different style, however, I can be inspired by people God puts into my path like artists Mary Engelbreit or Stephanie Ackerman to go out and create.  As hard as it is sometimes, I can't let the devil win, because if I let myself believe his lies, than I won't and I'm defeated before I even get started.

"For you created my inmost being,
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
~~ <> @<>~~
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
~ Psalm 139:13, 14, 16. (NIV)

Stephanie is providing a focus word of the week/month, a memory verse and a small devotional. My husband has been printing out the weekly emails for me, so that I can follow along. Since I taught homeschool and Sunday school, I like 3-ring binder notebooks, but she purchased a planner book for herself. You don't even have to do that -- you could print out (by hand or computer)  the weekly memory verse she sends you by email and post it on the frig. When you are doing the dishes, repeat the verse to yourself and "digest it."
Here's a plain ole index card with the verse on it for this week. And the next one is my doodled one. If you need to see it larger, click on it (I have to work within the limits of this blog post template). On the left side, you can see how I hand-doodled some of the month divider labels too.
I designed a blank calendar in Word for myself a couple of weeks ago, but my husband hasn't been able to open it to print it for me, so to thwart the devil, I purchased a small, plain 8.5 x 11 inch desk planner calendar from Walmart for $3.57. Cheapest one I saw this weekend. I was hoping to find a calendar from the dollar store to cut up, but isn't it one of Murphy's laws that says when you are looking for a specific thing, you won't find it? LOL! I tore the calendar pad apart and put each page in a document sleeve. The calendar is to document your life. If you don't have regular appointments you must keep, then journal a line or two each day on the calendar like a mini-diary. The back is a good place to add more notes. I added in the focus word for this week and the reference verse after I received Stephanie's email this morning.

I also wanted to add photos to this notebook, so have been looking for a photo sleeve. Finally found some at Hobby Lobby by The Paper Studio. They were refill pages for 8.5 x 11 postbound or 3-ring albums for $7.99. They are about 1/4 inch too wide for my notebook, so I'll have to trim it a bit and punch new holes in the left side. There is a space for it.
I also purchased some other goodies while I was out shopping. I found an orange pencil pouch (did you know the Irish flag is green, white, and orange?), the new twistable coloring pencils, and a pad of phrase cards that you can cut down to fit your specific size sleeve. Most of the journaling cards I've seen at Michaels and Hobby Lobby were made for Project Life and are 3" x 4." I wanted something a little more flexible than that, so I pounced on this pad at Walmart.
I have an idea of how I want to decorate the cover, but I haven't found the thing I want use to decorate it with yet. I'm gonna keep looking and I'm trusting God that he will help me find it.  Stopped in at the Christian book store while I was looking and found some encouragement cards that I want to send my friends that I know have signed up to follow Stephanie Ackerman's Documented Faith 2015 focus group. By the way, I don't do Facebook, so you won't find me at her group there. However, I found a Youtube video interview of Stephanie.  She's a cute gal!
Oh, and I've got to tell you about two things that happened this weekend that could have been much  worse and I'm so thankful they weren't. First,  I let the dog out to do her thing yesterday morning. We have a leash law in our town, so I put her on her chain while I stepped away from the door for a moment and came back into the room when she began barking up a storm. When she begins to bark like that, I usually go investigate (they say mama's know their babies' cries LOL!). I'm so am thankful she got my attention, because standing in the middle of the road, in front of our house, was a 2 or 3 year old toddler wearing nothing but a diaper. She was as cute as a button with blonde curly hair and was totally unaware of how much danger she was in as two pickup trucks were barreling toward  her. They go up and down our street like it's the Indy 500 most of the time. Fortunately the two truck drivers saw her in time, stopped and began to honk at her, but she thought it was funny and giggled. My mind and my eyes were racing, like who does she belong to, and do I dare run out in the street to grab her in my nightie, etc? I stepped out on the porch and called "Baby, come see the puppy!" Immediately she turned and ran over to see our puppy. Just then a man ran into my line of sight and swooped her up, his terrified face as white as a sheet and all he could manage to say was "Thank you" as he ran back up the street with his precious bundle in his arms. My doggie was a good girl!
The second thing that happened this weekend is that my husband had an old nasty pain in his left side that didn't let up for 24 hours. Hubby was a puzzle even after the test results came back -- the doctor wasn't sure it was this but it might have been. You can tell when the doctors aren't 100% certain. LOL!   Anyway, the emergency room nurses pumped him full of pain killers and the doctor sent him home to rest. I'm thankful that it wasn't something that required a hospital stay or surgery. I like my guy at home!
What are you thankful for today?

March 17, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I hope you are wearing your green! And for your listening pleasure:
(Note: Click on the little square emblem in the right hand corner to enlarge to full screen size.
Click same area to make smaller.) 
I went out this weekend and obtained some more supplies  for my Documented Faith 2015 journal. Who says we have to spend gobs of money to document our Life and Faith anyway?

I got the plastic dividers into my notebook. Sorry for the blurry mess -- my camera doesn't take close up photos well. I purchased a couple of fine-line sharpies to label the dividers into months, but I'm gonna have to practice handwriting first. I've been typing so much, I think I've forgotten I can write. I took a mini-calligraphy class in high school from the Latin teacher and have been told I have pretty handwriting, but I need to flex the fingers to get the kinks out!
I found document sleeves to slide  Stephanie's devotional sheets and anything else I want to protect into. I found this package of new, unopened sheet protectors at the thrift store for 99 cents. Can't beat that!
And I bought a package of  these trading card protectors for journaling cards and for other things I might want to save.  These are smaller than the Project Life scrapbook sleeves that Stephanie used, but are along the same lines, however, these will only fit encouragement cards or photos or whatever that are 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" in size.
I have run out of primary colored cardstock, so I picked up a package of it at Walmart in the stationary department. I want to use one of Stephanie's doodled quotes for a title page in the front of my notebook, so I thought this might come in handy for background color behind it. You know, print, cut and glue it down, then insert it in a document sleeve to protect it. 
Then I picked up a few more supplies like decorative washi tape and ribbon. Stephanie uses fine-line markers and a white one when she doodles and writes in her planner, so I bought both a black and a white marker. It looks like I need a pencil pouch to carry my markers in, so I believe that will be a next purchase. The Project Life 12 x 12 scrapbooks at Michaels have nice brackets on the spine to insert a label, so when I saw these plastic notebook clips that you can write on on clearance, I grabbed 'em.
The girlfriend who persuaded me to sign up for Documented Life called one day last week and wanted to get together to practice our doodling. I've been saving some quotes I like to make ATC sized encouragement cards for my trading card sleeves.  The devil does everything he can to discourage us when we start a praise project like this  and she called the next day to say she was sick. Sigh! And then my computer has been freezing up and giving me fits, but God will give us the victory! Right? Donna! *smile* 
Christ beside me.
Christ before me.
Christ behind me.
Christ within me.
Christ beneath me.
Christ above me.
~ St. Patrick.

March 16, 2015

Precious Memories!

Jesus, sing along with me, "Precious Memories, how they linger . . ."
Jesus, do you remember where you slept when you were a boy and later as a man? Can you picture it in your mind, remember all the details of that place?  The sights, the sounds, the smells, the feel of your blankets and lumps where you lay?
I went to my grandmother's last night as I lay in my bed at home, nestled under a quilt grandma Maurine made for my high school graduation.
My inner eye and I roamed around in my grandmother's basement where we slept as kids during our Christmas break (two weeks) from school and during our summer break (one month) and then upstairs in her second bedroom when I was sixteen. Do you remember that Jesus? I felt so grown up as I was allowed to visit my grandparents by myself and to travel to Dodge City, Kansas by train where they picked me up. Thank you for being with me, protecting me along the way. My mother never said anything, but I'm sure she was anxious until I made it there and they assured her I was okay when we called her from their house. I was excited and homesick all at the same time.
I miss grandma and Papa. Jesus, do you remember when I called him that? He was Papa until I think I was in high school and felt I was too old for such a childish name for him. I miss being able to visit them, but last night, I pushed past my emotions and looked around the rooms in my memory while I lay snugly under my quilt.
Will you come along with me as I remember grandma's basement? It was a wide open space, except for where the stairs came down into the third end of the room.  Grandma had grandpa build a little storage room under the stairs and shelves on the left side of the stair wall for her pretties. She would rotate them as she got tired of looking at them or when the seasons or holidays changed. On the right side of the stairs there were the white metal cupboards they removed from the kitchen in the old house before it was sold and moved into town.
Grandma told me they began housekeeping in a 2-room house, which was still standing the last time I was down at the farm, then they purchased a two story house in Elkhart, Kansas and moved it to their farm in the 1940s. On the plains of the Oklahoma panhandle and southwestern Kansas where wood for building was scarce, my mom said it was a common practice to remove whole buildings to a new site. After 20 years of living in that house, Grandpa decided to have a 2-bedroom ranch house built over a basement in 1962-63, thinking it would be easier for Grandma to keep house.
Do you remember Jesus, that Grandma loved that old house as much I did? I don't know why she loved it, but I did because it was full of interesting nooks and crannies. It had a lot of character.
As I lay in bed, I swept my mind's eye around the room, feeling cozy and loved under my quilt. Beside me a few feet away, was Grandpa's office desk and chair. We kids loved that chair, do you remember why Jesus? We loved to sit in that wooden arts and crafts chair and spin each other just for the fun of it until mom would yell down the stairs and chase us out-of-doors to play. On the left side of Grandpa's desk was a bookcase where he kept his farm books mostly. After awhile, Grandpa brought home a huge metal safe to keep their photos and accounting books in. It was on the wall on the right side of the desk.
Remember the old living room furniture Grandma brought over from the old house – her scratchy old beige sofa, a braided area rug, an old blanket trunk, an old wooden kitchen chair with the black vinyl covered seat that wasn't fastened down and a end table arranged in a circle? In the corner, sat her old round oak dining room table. I loved that hefty pedestal table on huge claw feet and rollers as it could be pushed out from the wall a little if needed so all of us kids could crowd around (there was four of us and usually two or more cousins) to play games on it. Often times, when a blizzard blew in or it was rainy, we would play "house" down there. It was cool down there in the summer and warm in the winter.
Then there was the three double iron beds that we each slept in. One was mom's squeaky bed from when she was a girl. My sisters usually claimed that one, but my brother refused to sleep with me after he said I kicked him out of bed several times in a row in my sleep. Jesus, knowing my brother, he was probably being onery to me and I kicked him out in self-defense, but since I was asleep, I don't remember it. Jesus, did you have any pesky little brothers?
I remember the way the basement smelled, dusty. None of the basement walls or the floor was painted or sealed, so when we left, Grandma would cover the beds with plastic sheeting because that fine Oklahoma dirt would sift in through the basement windows, two on each wall whenever a storm would stir up.
Jesus, I felt so grown up as I lay in the upstairs bed in between the crisp white sheets where my parents usually slept when we came down during the Christmas holidays. Dad would take his two-week vacation time then and we would drive to our grandparents, usually during the night so that we kids slept on the way down in the back of the station wagon that mom and dad made up into a bed. Two at the top of the mattress and two at the bottom, with our legs and stocking feet meeting somewhere in the middle under the quilt. Sometimes I would just lay there, looking up at your beautiful night sky as the car rolled down the highway (eight hours one way). The sky didn't change much, but lower down, the telephone poles would flash by, one after the other. Thank you, Jesus, for that conjunction of Mars and Jupiter. There was much speculation that this was the star the wise men saw that year. Thank you for that precious memory.
Jesus, remember that new oak bedroom set that Grandma purchased in town when she moved into the new house for the second bedroom? The double bed was stationed under an aluminum drapery-framed window. Instead of opening from the bottom as our windows at home did, these slid open from the side. They were a wonder. My grandparents had air-conditioning, but sometimes they would shut it off during the night and open the windows to let in the fresh night-time breezes through the screen. Their air was dry, not humid like where we lived. The windows were shut before the heat of the day began.
The walls were painted white and the trim around the windows and doors were stained oak to match the bedroom furniture. Opposite the bed on the right side, was another window that looked toward the back of the house where the cement patio was. I always wanted a covered concrete patio like theirs. Their back door was constantly in use, unlike the formal front door.  Thank you, Jesus, for providing a home for my family with a small covered concrete porch.
Across the room, at the end of the bed, was the clothes closet and the exit door to the hallway. There was a beige carpet on the floor that led out to the hallway. And, facing me, as I curled up in the bed, was the oak bureau with mirror. As a good hostess, grandma kept two drawers empty so visitors would have some place to stash their stuff and a closet full of hangers. I can remember waking up at the crack of dawn and watching the sun come up, sometimes falling back to sleep until I heard my grandparents stirring in their bedroom. Once, grandpa, laughing, came to shake me awake. I guess I was talking in my sleep about horses! Jesus, the things I did in my sleep! I was rather embarrassed! LOL! Jesus, did you do anything funny in your sleep?
Jesus, I want to tell you  thank you for allowing me to have a relationship with my grandparents. Many of my friend's grandparents lived too far away or some had died before they were born, so they didn't know what they were missing. Grandma Maurine and I were close like this (holding two fingers up side by side); she was my best bud and a kindred spirit. All through my growing up years we corresponded by letter throughout the year.
Do you remember, Jesus, when my grandparents asked you to come into their hearts, to wash them whiter than snow? I bet your angels were rejoicing in heaven the day they did.
Grandma Maurine met Papa at a campmeeting in Topeka, KS. I don't recall how my paternal grandmother met my grandfather, but they were married in a pastor's home before Sunday School began. I expect that's why I'm a believer today, because they influenced my parents and thus me to follow Christ.
Remember Timothy, Jesus? He had a godly grandmother too. It says so in 2 Timothy 1:5 -- "I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also." Paul told him to guard the good deposit, all the good reading from the scriptures he received from his grandmother and his mother, from infancy up, and Paul's discipleship in evangelism.
I thank you Jesus, for the precious memories of my grandparents. See you in heaven, Grandma Maurine and Papa John. Until then. . .

March 10, 2015

Thank God for Spring and Husbands!

Sudden Spring
By The Marquise de Chambrun
When gilded head of crocus breaks the earth
And blossoms tremble on the almond tree
The sun is warmer on my aging back
And memories come crowding in to me.
The dragging winter months have lasted long
And chill has kept me prisoned to my hearth
My senses dulled by many months disuse
But suddenly it's spring again!
With eagerness I daily search them out;
Remembered signs and joys returned--
The first dark hidden violet,
The bursting gold of daffodil,
The early song of finch upon the bough,
The scarlet flash of cardinal,
And I am young again
I find a sudden spring.

Love you dear! Happy Birthday and may you have many more springs to enjoy!

March 08, 2015

Stephanie Ackerman's Documented Faith 2015

Stephanie Ackerman has journeyed to this Documented Faith 2015 focus group idea by being involved in many creative things -- from scrapbooking to  teaching many book workshops around the world, from creating things for her etsy store to doodling meaningful quotes that she obtained from Bible/book studies and online from and from being involved with similar projects like Documented Life to designing for Sizzix, which is pretty cool if you ask me. My friend has been following her for awhile, while I didn't know she even existed until right before the New Year!
Isn't it amazing how God brings people together? I'm gonna have to ask her sometime if her Valentine (DH)  knows my mother's first cousin who was a teacher out there where they live.
Anyway, not only am I reading her blog, but I'm also progressing on  getting myself organized. I have quite a few blank books I could use, but I decided to make it easy on myself this year, so I went out tonight and bought a notebook at Walmart and some dividers. St. Patrick's Day is coming up and the cool GREEN 3-ring binder  notebook (about $2.57) invited me to take it home, so I did.  I also purchased three packages of 5 dividers (67 cents apiece) to get me started -- one divider per month.  I want to get some plastic document sleeves to hold the calendar pages I made in MS Word. 
Humm! Which shall I print -- this one at 1 per month or . .
 this one. I will need 3 sheets printed off 
if I do it this way for each month. Really, I don't have
THAT much stuff going on in my life that I need more space to journal my life!
Thank you Lord, for giving me the idea to read Stephanie's blog. I feel like I'm starting to get a handle on what went before to get her to this nifty planner book idea.  And before I forget, I gave $10.00 FISH money in offering last week. I got a tip published in Scrap & Stamp Arts Magazine. I can't even remember when I sent that tip in, it's been that long ago, so they must have been hanging on to it for just the right time and I guess this was it! *smile*
Happy St. Patrick's Day!