Saturday, February 28, 2009

Week 1 update

On Wednesday I started listening to the New Testament on MP3. It's only 28 minutes of listening per day and by Easter I will have heard the entire New Testament! Pretty cool, huh? You can download your own free copy here: Faith Comes by Hearing. (Or click the new button in my sidebar.)

I'm also fasting from food from after dinner on Wednesdays until breakfast on Friday. I used to do a 1-day/week fast every week, so this wasn't as hard for me as it might be for others. I have been having a lot of headaches and dizziness lately (unrelated to fasting) and these were worse all day Thursday. Hopefully it won't be as bad next week. (One drawback - I was invited to a veritable feast at my friend's church for Ladies Bible Study and I had to turn it down since it was on Thursday night.)

The hardest part was the fasting from negative words, which I knew it would be. Luckily I have quite a few accountability partners (Thank you, Michelle, darling!) and so they are keeping me focused.

What about you?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Reflection

"Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God to seek from Him a straight and right way for us, our little ones, and all our possessions." Ezra 8:23

I love this translation because it really hits home that our actions (including our prayers) have effect on everything around us - including our children.

Fasting has been heavy on my heart for a while. Our church body is called to fast from food on Thursdays because that is the night we have healing services and intercessory prayer. For a while I was doing really good at this, but I really slacked off this year. Stress, worry, etc - I've just given in. Additionally, our pastor has called our church into a 40-day fast from negative words for this Lent season.

Wow. It really hit me hard because although I'm usually really good about not being negative at work, and socially - I am without a doubt HORRIBLE in this area with my poor husband! Mind you, it's often give-and-take, but I can sure be a pill. I am a bottler - I hold everything inside until it bubbles over, and Mike usually gets wet. Acknowledging the problem is the first step, right? :)

For Lent (and hopefully forever) I am making a covenant to fast from negative words in all areas of my life. I will start back up with fasting from food on Thursdays (from Wednesday after dinner until Friday morning). AND I will be more diligent in my abstinence from caffeine. I started that a bit over a year ago and have done quite well, but every now and then I slip.
The purpose of fasting is to give up something and when the thoughts about and desires for the things come up, you should turn to prayer instead.

I'm going to be one prayed-up gal.

Oh, and I'm ALSO going to be doing the New Testament in 40-days. Faith Comes by Hearing is an organization trying to get audio copies of the Bible into the hands of everyone around the world. Check out their website to download a FREE copy of the audio New Testament in any one of over 200 languages! You can also purchase a Bible stick (an MP3 player pre-loaded) for the Old Testament, or the Kids version. The New Testaments audio is formatted so that you can listen to each track (28 minutes long) one per day, for 40 days and you will have heard the entire New Testaments. How awesome is that?! I'm going to buy the kids version for my kiddos (not a 40-day format - but it's Bible stories and songs).

So - what about you? Are you fasting from something? Are there any areas of your life that need change? Come on, honestly we ALL have some mopping up to do! :)

I'm going to update on here every Saturday with how I'm doing with my fasting. Feel free to join me - leave your comments every Saturday evening and we can be prayed-up together.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Scope for Imagination

"You'd find it easier to be bad than good if you had red hair... People who haven't red hair don't know what trouble is."
- Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

When I saw this stamp set in the new Spring-Summer 2009 Idea Book & Catalog I knew I had to have it! It's called A Kind Word and it immediately made me think of Anne of Green Gables. I've always adored those books, and now that I have my own little red-headed niece and nephew that quote makes much more sense!

And isn't it true that stamping gives you scope for imagination? Not only do you get to bring your own unique touch to the images, but the possibilities are limitless. For me it's also my therapy! I'm so busy these days I don't get many free minutes to just sit and stamp - but when I do it's completely relaxing. :)

I used another new SU! product for this card - if you click on the image to enlarge it you might be able to see it better. In the new catty are the SU! Texturz Plates to use in the Big Shot. I used the small dots plate on my designer paper. I then took my sanding block and sanded the tops of the raised dots to give them a distressed look - and the white core shows through. It gives it a nice subtle touch.



I'll try not to leave you hanging for a whole week again - we were just so overwhelmed with everything going on. Oh, and our computers were down for a few days. Our DNS server (no, I don't know what that means) has some sort of brand new virus (really, it just came out in January) and my poor husband has been slaving over it all week.

I love having my personal IT man. :) My computer is fine, and he finally got it connected back to the Internet on Wednesday. But, I'm way behind in my blogroll reading. I'll try to catch up this weekend. Maybe I can find a challenge to try. Or maybe I'll just take a nap!


Materials (all SU! unless otherwise mentioned)

Card stock: Old Olive, Pink Pirouette, Watercolor paper
Designer Paper: Candy Lane

Stamps: A Kind Word
Ink: Staz On Black, Old Olive
Other: 2-way Glue, Stampin' Dimensionals, Blender Pen, SU! Markers, Copics, Stamp-a-ma-jig, Mini Glue Dots, Sponge, Paper Snips, Pink Gingham Ribbon, Scallop Rectangle Nestabilities, Felt flowers, Snail Adhesive, Yellow button (craft supply), Big Shot, SU! Texturz Plate (small dots), sanding block


Sunday, February 15, 2009

I'm not good at this

Today I sat down to make the sympathy card for my friend who lost her infant son on Thursday; it was one of the hardest cards I've ever had to make. My cards are almost all bright and cheerful - I love whimsical stamps and happy themes. So, not only was it out of my style, but I had to choke back tears while making it.

I didn't really know Taeden very well - I have held him several times, and oohed and ahhed over his adorable pictures with his proud Grandma and Grandpa. I'm not even really close to the mama - she's more of an acquaintance, but we see each other often at her parents' house. She lived there when my daughter was there, so Chloe knows her better than I do.

But, I just feel so terribly awful for her. I have very close friends who have been through pregnancy and infant loss. I have friends who have lost adoptions that were moments from finalization. And I have been through more than one pregnancy loss. So at moments like these all that raw emotion spills out.

It's easy to push it down - life goes on and to heal you have to move forward. But every now and then I feel a deep sadness and realize that it's around the time of one of my own losses. Due dates never realized...

And so I sat down this afternoon to make this card. I hope that its recipient does find the peace and comfort she needs right now.



The stamp is by Stampabilities, card stock and half pearls are by SU!, the cord is from my craft stash, and I used my SU! Big Shot to cut with my Nestabilities and emboss with my Cuttlebug folder.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A brief interruption

Chloe and I were enjoying a little mother-daughter craft time together - she's making a gift for Grandma for Valentine's Day. She needed some glue, so I turned away from her for a moment to go get it.

Then she started crying - her "ouch-I'm-in-pain" cry. I turned back toward her and her head was down and shaking with her sobs. I asked her what was wrong and she looked up at me. I quickly saw the problem and immediately tried to fix it.

My fingers couldn't fix it. But, three cheers for the SU! Crafter's Tool Kit and its lovely pair of tweezers.

Here's my baby post-trauma.


And here is what was causing the problem.


Yes, that's a watch battery. Yes, it was in her nose. And, NO, I didn't get a picture of it in its wedged condition, because even mommy bloggers know when it's time to act, and when it's time to take the picture. :)

Happy loves and kisses!

Today is a bleary, rainy, gray day in Houston. But, there is nothing but hearts, flowers, and chocolate in my house. :)

Mike and I stayed up late cuddling and watching one of the new BluRay movies he got for his birthday last month. And the kids actually slept in until 7 today! (Sad that 7 is LATE, huh?!) My mom is coming over tonight to hang out so Mike and I can go out to eat, too. We are excited because we hardly ever get to go out sans kiddos.

Chloe enjoyed her Valentine's Day party at school yesterday, and all her friends loved the little lollies she gave them. She said her teacher loved her card, too. We stopped by Bradley's day care yesterday just to love on Robbyn and Chooch and give them their valentines and the ones for the rest of the kiddos. Chloe isn't the only craft kid at our house!

These are the cards Bradley helped make:


I cut, stamped, and glued everything together, but HE colored them. The stamps are from the SU! set Pun Fun and I just stamped them with Black StazOn on Whisper White card stock - then 2-way glued it to a 3x3 piece of Real Red. He colored them with Crayola colored pencils. :) I helped him write his name on the backs and we put them in baggies with candy and play-doh for all his little day care friends. He was really proud of them and it was a lot more fun than store-bought cards!

Well, I'm going to go get some more snuggles from my kiddos - it's "rest" time and they are watching Wall-E on the couch.

I hope your Valentine gave you lots of love today!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Heavy hearts

My kids have been blessed to go to a wonderful in-home day care center. Chloe started when she was 15 months old and stayed until this year when she started Pre-K. Bradley started there when he was around 8 months old and is still there. Chooch and Robbyn are an amazing husband-and-wife team with seemingly endless energy and love. We adore them.

Today at noon my office phone rang and Chooch was on the other end - he was sobbing and managed to say that, "The baby died." My heart dropped to my feet and I asked which baby (my 18 month old niece also goes there). He said that his grandson had just died. His little grandson, Taeden, was only 11 weeks old. I immediately called my mom and she left to go get Bradley and Alyssa. I left work and rushed to my sister's house to check on the kids, and then drove by Robbyn and Chooch's to see if they needed help with any kids still there - but everyone was gone.

Apparently their daughter went to check on the baby during his morning nap and he was blue and not breathing. The 9-1-1 operator stayed on the phone with her while she performed infant CPR until the paramedics arrived. Sadly, it was too late. He was pronounced at the hospital.

I am just absolutely overwhelmed with emotion - I cannot even imagine what they are all going through. Even with all of my pregnancy losses, I just do not know what I would do if anything happened to either of my kids. I think I would just stop breathing.

Please take a moment and say a prayer for this family as they are grieving the loss of their precious baby.

Beauty School Drop-out

My friend, Stephanie, and I have been friends since 9th grade (and have been through a LOT together!) and we are now blessed that our two youngest go to the same day care. So, when I saw her a couple of weeks ago picking up her little one she had to tell me about her latest drama - her oldest (in 1st grade) had cut her bangs...AGAIN. She is now sporting one of those classic 80s angled bang looks. I *tsked* and smiled - Steph was a wild child and now she's just getting her just desserts. Thank goodness *MY* angel of a child would never. Ever. Do. Something. That. Stupid.

*Ahem*

Mike picked her up yesterday (since Wednesdays are my grad school night) and was informed of her inappropriate use of fine motor skills. So, when I got home I talked to her about it...

Me: Chloe, did something happen to your hair today?
Chloe: Nope!
Me: It looks a little short in the front...
Chloe: Yeah! My hair FELL off!
Me: It just FELL off, huh? Nothing helped it?
Chloe: It got pulled.
Me: What pulled it?
Chloe: Scissors!
Me: Did you cut your hair?
Chloe: No! The scissors did!

So, we talked about good choices, proper use of scissors, etc... And she has promised to never cut her hair again.

And mommy will try not to be so smug again.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Birthday Bloggy Goodness!

Kristine is celebrating her birthday this week and in honor of her big number 29 <*wink*> she is offering some YUMMY goodies as blog candy. CHECK IT OUT HERE! Kristine is one of theose people you just can't help but love. I often wish she lived next door to me!! She has a kind and giving spirit, a great sense of humor, and is an amazing artist. I hope she has a fantastic birthday!! :)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Chloe's Valentines


Chloe and I made 12 of these little lollie holders this weekend. She is going to use them for her Valentines for her friends at school. I don't remember where I first saw these, but I had to come up with my own pattern because I searched and search but couldn't find a template! Oh well - kudos to whoever first came up with this idea. It's adorable!

Chloe helped punch all the scallops (she LOVES punches) and she wrote her name All By Herself on all of them. I can't believe she's going to be 5 years old this summer. I might have a breakdown....

Anyway, we used retired SU! paper that is a couple years old. Pretty in Pink card stock, mini glue dots, circle and scallop circle punches. And a LOT of 2-way glue (really easy for kids to use, BTW). I also made a few extra to give to some of my friends. :)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Roses are red, Rockets are blue

Courtney challenged us to make a Valentine card with a more masculine feel. I went for masculine - just YOUNG masculine. :) My son LOVES this card, so I think that part of the challenge worked. Of course, he's only 3....

You can pull the tab and the rocket blasts off - how much cooler could that be?

I even managed to use some bling, despite being for a boy! I used Taylor's Tiny Twinkles - black on the rocket and crystal for some random stars. :)






Materials (all SU! unless otherwise mentioned)

Card stock: Apricot Appeal, Night of Navy, Old Olive, Watercolor paper
Stamps: Pun Fun
Ink: Craft White, Stazon Black
Other: 2-way Glue, Stampin' Dimensionals, Mini Glue Dots, Paper Snips, Word Window Punch, Crystal Effects, SU! Markers, Blender Pen, Black and Crystal Twinkles (Taylored Expressions)

Friday, February 6, 2009

What a week!

This week was INSANE. I've never had so much go so wrong in so many different areas. I'm just glad I get to come home and see this....

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