16 September 2011

It's suffering from a severe case of neglect...

the BLOG is, that is! 

Funny how that happens, isn't it?

Pinterest is addictive!  Have you discovered that craze yet?  It is such a simple concept and a simple process, but it is hard to break away from unless you make yourself!

I went to an awesome covered dish supper last night at church with my Sunday school class - the JOY class.  I picked up Mrs. Frances (she's 97 and was Momma S's neighbor and best friend).  The company was fantastic, the food was great, and we had two guest speakers that shared what they termed their 'God stories.'  I was moved to tears a few times.  The second speaker spoke of radical faith - and the stories she told were of just that - complete and total faith regardless of the circumstances.  In one instance I thought, why would you get yourself into that circumstance and expect God to bail you out of it?  I'm still struggling with my thoughts on it.  I think God wants us to use common sense in our decision making.  I know He also wants our total faith in Him in all things.  I may have to talk to one of my Sunday school teachers about it so I can learn something from it.   

About Mrs. Frances, she is one incredible lady.  She doesn't drive anymore, but she does everything else!  She lives alone, takes care of herself, cooks for herself, takes care of her cute little dog, she cuts and colors her own hair, and she will not leave the house without being completely put together - and this includes full make up!  She is a precious, lovely lady and I am fortunate to have come to know her better over the last 9 months.

D and I are still getting back to normal since Momma S went to be with Jesus.  It is a slow process, but a steady one.  We are so blessed beyond what we deserve!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!  Amen!

16 August 2011

My Sunday Morning

Sunday morning I went back to church. 
The second of the two times since Momma S got to the point where she couldn't go to church back in June.
I thought I would be tough.  I thought I would be okay.
I wasn't tough.  And I wasn't okay.
The ladies of the JOY class showered me with hugs and love and shared sadness over Momma S.
All I could do was cry...and cry...and cry...and they cried with me.
Somehow I made it through class.  Momma S's class.
This class is now MY class!  MY Sunday School home!
They have welcomed me as one of their own even though the class is supposed to be for 60+.
I am so thankful that God has put these remarkable ladies in my life.
I have so much to learn and they are ready and willing teachers.
I AM SO ABUNDANTLY BLESSED!

Getting back to me...

For the first seven months of this year, my husband and I shared the day-to-day care for Momma S while his brother took over at night.  All of our planning was around making sure she was taken care of, meals were planned and prepared, etc.  At the end of the day we were exhausted.  As a result, we pretty much did not take care of ourselves like we should have been taking care of ourselves and each other.

This week we are feeling more like ourselves and we're slowing getting back to "normal."  And, we've started going to the park after I'm finished with my work (I work from home).  Our county has some of the best parks - actually awarded best in the USA a couple of years ago by Sports Illustrated.  Last night, we did the 3.1 mile loop at Tribble Mill Park.  Tonight we did the 3.25 mile down and back at Harbins Park.  It wore me out.  My knee hurts, my shins ache, my thighs are sore, my tush is sore...BUT I FEEL GREAT!  Is that strange?  I don't think so.  Getting out there has been fabulous for my mental well being and over time it will be just as fabulous for my physical well being.

Please pray for us as we continue to heal from losing Momma S.  She would want us to take care of ourselves and get some good exercise.

Have a blessed, beautiful day!  Fall is on the horizon.  I hope you are feeling it too!

10 August 2011

I rejoice in the fact that she no longer suffers!

Momma S received her angel wings in the early morning of July 31st. 

We had a private interment and her memorial service on August 4th.

D and I have cried many times while talking about Momma, her life and her legacy.

My heart hurts for me, but it breaks for him as we get through these days.

Since Momma came home from the hospital in January, all of our planning involved her.

It is so strange and unsettling to have this time, to not have to over think or over plan.

We are struggling to get back to some type of routine and it is hard.

We know without a doubt that Momma is with our Heavenly Father.

Even while we mourn our loss, we celebrate her gain (Phil 1:21)!

13 July 2011

Melacholy and the Overwhelming Sadness

My mom-in-law came home from the hospital in January.

When she came home, hospice came with her.

With her illness, there were no expectations set with respect to how much time we would have with her.

Praise God she has been a real trooper for the last 7 months.

Lately there has been a tremendous change.

According to hospice, she is in the pre-active stage of death.

The pre-active stage of death can be 2-3 weeks, sometimes more.

Over the last few days, mom has told me she loves me countless times.

Over the last few days, mom has told me that I've been so good to her.

Over the last few days, mom has expressed abundant appreciation.

I am so thankful for this time with mom.

Selfishly, I want more time.

I need more time.

We haven't always been close.

There have been times when we didn't speak to each other for months.

I am filled with regret over the lost time.

I'm filled with sadness over what our relationship could have been.

What it should have been.

Sadly, a person got in the way...and we both allowed it.

There is no going back.

There is only here and now.

I will cherish this time that we measure, not in days but, in moments.

I will show her in word and in deed that I am here for her.

And I love her.

08 July 2011

Flying the Friendly Skies - the Hipstamatic Way.

I missed posting for Hipstamatic Monday on the 4th.  It wasn't because I was out celebrating too late or anything along those lines.  I was T.I.R.E.D!  Tired seems to be my constant state these days, but anyway...

I traveled to Boston on June 28th to spend a few days at the office.  Every time I fly, I try to get a window seat so I can snap pictures of the clouds.  Below are several of the cloud formations I encountered on my trip to Boston.

Waves cascading...





Pretty in pink...


Pools of clouds - see the circles?  They aren't so much in the foreground, but they are in the middle and upper 1/3 of the shot.


How about a moon walk?


Cloud eruption.



Layers of clouds - I love the blue sky between the layers.


Love the layers so much here is another shot.



Do you see Tony the Tiger in this one?  I sure do!  Look right in the middle - I see two eyes, two half circle ears, a perfect big cat nose, a proud chin and prominent jowls and whiskers on both sides of the face.  "They're GREAT!"  And I just noticed that right above his head there is a squirrel riding on a motorcycle.  His face is right in the center above Tony's head and the handlebars extend on both sides.  No, I haven't been drinking.


Getting closer to Boston...


Looks like an aerial shot of waves, but it is definitely clouds.



And on my flight home - my view was, well, non-existent!  See for yourself...


Yes, Airtran, that is a nice shade of blue, but I don't care to look at that for 3 hours.  It was bad enough that my row mate was Gidget the Fidget for the entire flight and the lady behind me had to read aloud to her husband every article she found interesting in 'Go' magazine.

27 June 2011

Just a Hipstamatic Monday...

Several of the blogs I follow have Instagram photography features each week.  I find that I am more likely to use Hipstamatic than Instagram, so I decided to start my own weekly feature called Hipstamatic Monday.

For my first feature, I took pictures around Momma S's house.  I also shook the camera to allow my lens and film to be selected for me.  I like the randomness of each photograph.

I love the typography on the face of this mantle clock.


This little owl was made by my husband when he was a little guy - not in June 81. 


This bright yellow dome umbrella just makes me happy.


Can you guess what this little brass turtle's purpose is?  He is a fire place match holder.  So cute!


I adore the top of this trinket box.


Pop's flag of honor.


One of mom's lovely tea sets. 

Hope you enjoy!!

08 June 2011

A gift for baby Chase!

A friend of mine (and her husband) just had a precious, beautiful baby boy!  His nursery is FABULOUS!  Check out Cristi's blog, Charm Home, to see pictures of Chase and his awesome new digs!

As soon as I saw pictures of the nursery, I wanted to make a gift for Chase that would tie in with his nursery.  I knew I either wanted to do a paper cut or try what would be my first attempt at hoop art.  I decided to go with what I know and stick with a paper cut...an owl for baby Chase!  I tried to draw a template, but just was not satisfied with how that was going!  On an unplanned trip to the mall for an eye glasses repair for my husband, I walked into the little shop next door...and there it was!  The PERFECT template...on a PURSE!  At that point, I probably did something that will make some people mad - I took a picture of it...I didn't buy it!

Pretty cute, huh?  I increased the size, printed the image on plain typing paper, and stapled it to another white sheet of typing paper.  Then, I whipped out my self-healing cutting mat and Xacto knife and settled in for a 5 hour project of cutting...cutting...and more cutting. 

When I was done cutting, the print out looked like this:

And Chase's present looked like this:
  
And now it looks like this:

Yes, the pictures are horrible - that's what happens at 1:00 in the morning when I am bleary eyed and using my iPhone to snap pictures. 

I love how it turned out!  I love owls!  And I LOVE that baby Chase is here and healthy!  Congratulations to Cristi and Billy!
------------------------------------------
With this post, I am participating in my first ever link party!  Please pop over to Carolyn's Homework and check out all of the other linked projects!

homework

30 May 2011

Remembering...

Today we remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Today we honor those who actively serve or have served.

Thank you for your selfless dedication to ensure that the USA remains a free country!

God bless America!

Just in our family:
Grandpa Clarence, Daddy George, Daddy Jerry, Butch, Greg, Grandpa Don, Uncle Roger, Uncle Buck, Uncle John, Uncle Wes, Uncle Ron, Uncle Donald, Uncle Joe, Uncle Leonard, Paul, Eric, Ron Jr., Adam - I'm sure there are more that I can't remember right this minute! 

25 May 2011

Something for the Little Ones

I have quite a few family members and friends that have either just given birth or are preparing to do so.  So, I have been inspired to put together a list for the little ones.  I have no idea if I'll be able to attach it to this blog, but I am going to try.    


I saved this in Word and .PDF format in a variety of colors (though BE is grey in all of them). I think it would look nice printed on crisp white cardstock and put in a frame.  If you would like one, I am happy to e-mail it to you.  Let me know what color combination you would like.  This could be really cute using a child's name, too. 

16 May 2011

Be Focused

Our Sunday School lesson this week was entitled, 'Be Focused.'

The scripture reference was Colossians 3:1-17, a letter to the Colossians from Paul. 

Read it.  It will change you.  At minimum, as a believer in Christ, it will change the way you think!

This really HIT HOME with me!  I have believed in Jesus for as long as I can remember.  I have even been saved and baptized, but I am realizing more and more that I haven't had the relationship with Him that He desires and deserves.  I am not living up to my full potential in Him.

What do Christians need to put off, and what do they need to put on?

Put OFF the sinful, earthly things lurking within you! (v 5-9, 13)
  • Sexual Immorality
  • Impurity
  • Lust
  • Evil Desires
  • Greed, which is idolatry
  • Anger
  • Rage
  • Malicious behavior
  • Slander
  • Lying
  • Dirty Language
I'm having MAJOR problems right now with anger toward another person.  This anger can put me in a quiet rage, and, sadly, a loud rage at times.  And can trigger at litany of foul language and a strong need to hurt that person.  I never say anything to the person.  I vent to my husband, which is so unfair to him!  I need to turn to my Heavenly Father and ask Him to help me and guide me.  I need to get in His Word and deal with myself, my anger and that person according to God's directive.

Put ON your new nature, be renewed in Christ!  (v 12-14)
Clothe yourself with the following:
  • Tenderhearted mercy
  • Kindness
  • Humility
  • Gentleness
  • Patience
  • Forgiveness
  • And above all, LOVE!
I feel like I have several of the characteristics He expects of me, but not all of them and not all of the time.  Jesus knows that I, as a human being, will struggle with living up to His expectations.  And He knows that I sin...daily!  He expects my confession and He deserves it.  I owe it to myself and to Him to acknowledge my sin and learn from it...and hopefully not repeat it!

In verses 15-17, we are told to let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts and to be thankful.  Share the message of Christ through teaching and admonishing one another with wisdom through psalms, hymns and songs from the Spirit; singing to God with gratitude.  We are to do all things, whether in word or in deed, in the name of Jesus, giving thanks to God. 

1 Peter 4:8
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.

Luke 6:32 (Jesus speaking)
If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you?  Even sinners love those that love them.

So, with this post, I ask you to pray for me.  I ask you to pray for my family.  And I ask you to look into your own heart and ask yourself if you are living the life that Jesus expects of you.  If not, I invite you to join me in focusing on His expectations for our lives as Christians.  And, I beg of you to hold me accountable.   

04 May 2011

A leap of faith...

An opportunity has presented itself for me to try to sell some of my art pieces.  There are details to be ironed out, but the potential is there.  I have never, ever even considered selling anything I have done - I have only given pieces away.  I have a diverse interest but I dabble in painting with acrylics, doodle drawing, and scherenschnitte (paper cutting).  I would never consider what I do to be fine art by any stretch of the imagination - it's just fun.  Anyway...thinking about taking a leap of faith just to see what happens! 

19 April 2011

Vacation Week

I took a vacation week April 11-14!  On one of the days, I took my mom, my niece, and D's mom to the State Botanical Gardens!  It was quite chilly, but we stayed in the tropical plant conservatory and enjoyed ourselves so much!  It was WONDERFUL getting Momma S out of the house.  She was so happy!  Of course that made ME happy! 



I made this collage using Picnik, which is recommended by Danielle Burkleo at take heart.  I follow Danielle's take heart blog faithfully.  You should too!  Go here!


I'm going to do another post of my adventures with Cassidy. We did face painting almost every day. We had ART day!! We went to the park several times. We even went to a couple of antique shops to look around.  And best of all, I got to love on my baby girl.

01 April 2011

Life, Love and Randomness

Right now, life is a little hectic, but I cannot complain.  I am blessed far more than I deserve to be.  Momma S is having really good days and a lot of them, Praise the Lord!  My house is a wreck, but I have a roof over my head, Praise the Lord!  My laundry is piled up, but I have clothes to wear, Praise the Lord!  My job is a little crazy, but I am employed and get to work from home, Praise the Lord!

Right now, I am loved far more than I deserve to be.  My husband, D, loves me with every fiber of his being and he shows it in big and small ways.  We don't have a lot of time together because we alternate days being with Momma S, but quality is more important than quantity these days.  I love my husband and look forward to every moment we have together.

Random thoughts:
  • My brain is in creative mode right now.  I want to paint, I want to sew, I want to draw, I want to cut paper, I want to take my new camera and hit the road taking photographs.  Do I sound like the girl on Willy Wonka?  I WANT IT NOW!  I have artistic ADD.  I float from one idea to the other based on my current inspiration.  One major project that I already have planned in my head and on paper is a gift for D.  The whole hectic/time thing is a bit of a road block at the moment.
  • I am taking a vacation week starting April 11th.  Our sweet 7-year-old niece, C, wants to spend her spring break with us!  C is like our child and we are thankful she wants to spend her break with us.  We know there will come a day when Aunt M & Uncle D aren't so cool.  We have plans that week; art day, botanical gardens, game ranch - no swimming because her arm is in a cast until April 20th.  I am probably more excited than she is about it.
  • The abundance of flowers in our area has been a real boost to my spirits!  There is an explosion of color everywhere!  I don't have a green thumb, but my planters are doing great.  The pansies are plentiful and it won't be long before the snapdragons bloom. 
  • My church, Hebron Baptist Church in Dacula, has a new senior pastor, Kevin Miller.  He is younger than D and me.  I have enjoyed his preaching.  It doesn't feel like the preaching I grew up with - and that is a good thing.  Pastor Kevin is challenging all of us to get out of our comfort zone, he actually says we need to get uncomfortable, and get busy for the Lord through prayer, service and invitation.  We are challenged to pray for opportunities to speak to people about Christ, pray for wisdom, courage and boldness for when (not if) the opportunity presents itself, and invite people to Christ.  Working from home presents a different kind of challenge, but social networking presents a different kind of opportunity!  If you are reading this and you are in the metro-Atlanta area, I encourage you to join me in worship at Hebron Baptist Church.  I promise you will receive a wonderful blessing.  At each service, there is baptism, Praise the Lord!  The congregation claps in celebration and I cry with joy every single time!     
  • We take our dogs to Petsmart in Loganville to have their nails trimmed.  The only groomer we allow to handle our girls is Maria.  She is incredible with them and they respond well to her touch.  She soothes them with her voice and she kisses them on the head.  If Maria ever leaves, we will follow her...seriously!   
  • Prayer Requests
    • Momma S. - please pray that she will continue to have good days.  That all of us will stay on the same page with respect to her care.  That the hospice team will have the wisdom they need to care for her in the best way.
    • G, L, and the girls - please pray for this family, my family.  They are going through a very difficult time and are so broken right now.
    • C - that her arm will heal and be as good as new.
    • T & R - please pray for this mother & daughter.  God knows the need.
    • K - please pray for this precious child as she battles cancer for a second time - and she is only 7.  I know God can heal her and that is my prayer.
    • S & J - please pray for safety and protection as they finish up their teaching year in South Korea.
    • L - please pray for this little one that her cancer does not return!  Praise the Lord she was given a 'clean bill of health' recently.
So, how is that for RANDOM?  Maybe I have more than artistic ADD?  Focus, girl, focus!

Be well and be blessed!
     

25 March 2011

Having a good day!

Today I celebrate the 44th birthday of the love of my life, D!

And, I also celebrate the fact that Momma S. is having a great week!  D has been taking her on what they call "field trips" this week to run errands.  Momma has LOVED getting out and about.  Typically, Sunday is her day of adventure with going to church.  I think D & Momma have a new plan for the weeks to come - at least one outing per week.  The boost to her spirit is amazing!

My cup runneth over!

04 March 2011

Feeling kind of blue...

Today I am in a funk.

I know the rain is contributing to this feeling.

But what really has me feeling sad today is that Momma S (my mom-in-law) seems to be sad today.

It is like the joy is zapped out of her. 

The light in her eyes that is normally there when I walk in to see her is gone. 

And she is very quiet. 

To understand how heavily this weighs on me, you have to know that Momma S is at home in hospice care and has been since January.

I can only imagine what is going on in her mind.

All of this has to be overwhelming for her.  It is for us.

And I feel helpless.

My prayer is for peace of mind for Momma S, for the joy to return to her spirit, for the light to return to her eyes, for her blurting out in conversation to return, and for her to keep on fighting until Jesus calls her to be with Him.

03 March 2011

Today...

I am thankful for an answered prayer.  It was for something so ridiculously simple, but has made a huge difference to my man.  Yay, God!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!  Also praise Him for the challenges we face.  And remember that HE is in control, not us!

02 March 2011

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, PATTI POO!

Wishing my AWESOME sister an AWESOME birthday!!

I love you, Patti, with my whole heart! 

XOXO

01 March 2011

Remembering my Granny Inez.

Today I am thinking of my precious Granny Inez.  She is no longer on earth, but I KNOW without a shred of doubt, she is in HEAVEN

My first memories of my Granny Inez are from when she came to visit us in Colorado back in the early 70s.  She came half way across the US to see us via a Greyhound Bus.  We made signs on cardboard and waited impatiently for the bus.  At this time in my life, I hardly knew my Granny Inez, but of one thing I was certain - I LOVED HER!  My momma told me that I was just shaking when Granny Inez stepped off that bus.  

During that trip, she and I went on an adventure in the field behind our house.  She chewed Red Man tobacco at the time (EEWWW, GROSS) and I was so intrigued by it she let me chew a little piece.  It was the nastiest nasty I ever put in my mouth.  But, it was bonding time and a quick cure for any thoughts I might have had at the age of 5 about tobacco being cool.  It's so not cool.

That night when it was time for her bath, I wanted to go in the bathroom with her.  I was a velcro child to the granny I rarely got to see.  My mom came to rush me out of there.  I desperately told my momma that I just wanted to look at her.  I think my sweet granny let me stay.

I loved my Granny Inez with all my might for all of the years we were together here on earth.  I honestly feel that she was my kindred spirit.  She loved unconditionally.  She gave of her time and talents unselfishly.  She and I had many hours of just being silly.  She and I had many hours of being serious.  She was one of my closest friends and one of my greatest champions.  She believed in me when I couldn't believe in myself.  She loved Jesus and shared His love with everyone - an angel on earth until she went to be with Him in January 1995 after a six month battle with brain cancer. 

I miss her so...

25 February 2011

My nerds...

Back in 2007, my husband and I started volunteering with a local, breed specific dog rescue.  Starting out it seemed pretty harmless.  We would help on adoption days and at other fundraising events, transport dogs as needed, coordinate dog washes, etc.  Then came fostering!  Fostering is not for the weak!

Our first foster, Libby, came from a home where they kept her tied to a porch with a three foot rope and made her wear a barking shock collar.  She was thin, had the saddest eyes, and was extremely afraid.  She was with us for only a week or two when the applications to adopt came pouring in.  I reviewed them all and found a reason why each home just wasn't the right place for her...until Katherine and Carlos.  I told my husband about their application and he said, "They can't have her.  She is our dog.  I knew it the first day she got into our truck."  And so it began...


Our second foster, Frannie, came to us from Dekalb County Animal Services.  I saw a posting on our local Craigslist that read, "if you are looking for a pure breed dog, DCAS has akitas, goldens, weimaraners, etc."  So, I looked on the DCAS website and found her.  Then I had to go and see her in person.  I looked through every single cage at DCAS to be sure she was the only one.  I broke her out of jail that day.  She was so scared she didn't want to come with me.  But she did...and she hasn't looked back since then...and neither have we.

Our third foster, Millie Sue, is a puppy mill rescue.  She was found extremely sick and starving at a pet store.  A group of kind ladies saw her and contacted rescue.  They were willing to pay for her if rescue would take her in.  My husband went to pick her up for what was supposed to be a weekend.  That was November 2007 and this has been an incredibly lllooonnnggg weekend!
     

Business Travel Observations!




Never, ever, EVER stop at the top of an escalator or at the end of the 'moving sidewalk.' You will get glared at, yelled at, or plowed over. This is like the keep moving lane on the highway - keep going and MOVE WITH A PURPOSE!

If you race up to security 15 minutes before your flight, there's a good chance you WILL NOT make this one. Don't get all huffy and impatient. You're the one that didn't allow enough time. Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine. Don't expect all of the other passengers to accommodate your stupidity!

It is important to understand that the sky cap under the airport is NOT the TSA. It is NOT a good idea to try to run through security to make that flight in 15 minutes. You WILL get tackled.

If you are staying at a hotel with a large group of teens, the elevators will stay occupied at ALL hours of the day and night while they are in the hotel.

If you have to go through the metal detector 3-4 times because you "forget" to empty your pockets, take off your belt, tell the TSA agent about the metal plate in your head, you should NOT be flying.

If the gate agent or flight attendant tells you that your bag will have to be checked, don't argue. Shut your mouth and comply. Perhaps you should consider purchasing a bag that will actually fit in the size/check dimensions contraption.



While riding the Park & Ride bus in Atlanta, stay off your cell phone long enough to pay attention to the driver. The driver will call out the row on the ticket and you will tell the driver what the make/model of your car is. The driver will deliver you right to your car. IF you are rude and spend all your time on your cell phone, the driver will move right on by your car. Do NOT pipe up and say, "hey, you passed me up." YOU passed up yourself by yammering on your phone at an inopportune time!



Also, while riding a packed Park & Ride bus in Atlanta, you do not need to take up two seats. Close your legs, put your brief case with the skinny side between your feet, and face forward...and hang up your cell phone, please!



Lastly, NO ONE WANTS TO SMELL YOUR STINKY FEET! Do NOT take off your shoes in the terminal at the gate, in your seat on the plane, or anywhere near other passengers!



Well, hello - it has been far too long!

So, I started this blog-venture last year. In my mind I was so gung-ho about starting a blog. And after two posts, I did absolutely nothing to nurture it. I didn't know what I was trying to accomplish other than I thought blogging was cool and I never was one of the "cool" kids, but could be...maybe.

Since 2010, I have started following several blogs and have learned a number of things!!
  1. You don't have to be a professional writer to have a blog. Misspellings and improper grammar are a-ok in the blogging world - though they drive me bonkers on a personal level.
  2. You don't have to be a Wordy Gertie to have a blog. The blogs I read the most are straight-forward and, dare I say, simple.
  3. The best blogs aren't glamorous - they are just every day musings and experiences...LIFE (see #2)...and it isn't always rainbows and butterflies!! People out there have hurt in their lives just like me!
  4. The best blogs don't have crazy requirements for their give-aways. Some blogs want you to go to the shop and then comment on what you like the most, then go 'like' the shop on facebook, then go 'follow' the shop on twitter, and then...well, you get the point. I understand the point - frequency of impression and exposure to the products will drive sales up! For a short while, I was one of those shopper, liker, followers - and it was exhausting! I encourage any blog that does give-aways to consider doing them like The Pioneer Woman or Young House Love. TPW and YHL do them just because.
  5. To be a "successful" blogger, you have to nurture it (which I haven't done in the past). And, you can define successful any way you want! As for this blog, I would consider it a HUGE success if there was a single comment (good or bad).