Thursday, January 29, 2009

Faithbooking, and other things

First, before I get too "deep" into my blogging, I want to thank my newfound friend Becky, who I met at Paper Craft Planet, for the Fabulous Blog award she gave me on Tuesday! Becky has her own blog called "A Diamond in the Rough," and you should DEFINITELY go check it out. She makes beautiful cards! Becky, thank you so much for this award! I am truly humbled and honored. Here's the award:
I'm supposed to tell you five addictions I have, so here goes:
1. The Newsboys/Phil Joel (big surprise there, huh?)
2. The Internet. Gotta have my morning CNN, FOXNews, local TV station news, local newspaper, comics hit, then later on it's the New Zealand Herald, the blogs I follow and then Paper Craft Planet. Daily. Without fail. Or I feel like something's drastically wrong!
3. Iced tea (decaf, artificially sweetened because of my various health issues). Right now the acid's getting to me, but I just ordered some drops that are supposed to de-acidify it, so hopefully that will work. It's been tough just drinking water!
4. Peanut butter. Yep. I am a peanut butter junkie. Fortunately, none of the peanut butter I love has been affected by the recent salmonella outbreak.
5. Talking to my mother. She lives down the street from me, but if I don't talk to her at least by phone every single day, I go crazy (she does, too!). My dad will say, "What could y'all possibly have to talk about for an hour on the phone? You just saw each other yesterday!" Men do not understand this mother-daughter connection thing. Besides, she's also my best friend!

Okay, so that's the five addictions I thought of off the top of my head. There may be others, but you'll never know, mwuhahahahaha! (I am, also, addicted to words, as you probably know. Reading, writing, talking, I love words. As the little "writing muse" my mom gave me a couple of year ago says, "I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions." James Michener said that, and I couldn't agree more!)

I will get to assigning the award to five bloggers soon ... gotta do major narrowing down!

Okay, on to paper crafting! I made a card yesterday for the upcoming SHINE challenge. This week I decided we would do cards/paper crafts that were reflective of our position in Christ, the "who we are" in Him, or that show our value to Him. So here's the one I made for the example:

I have always thought it so beautiful to think that God loves me so much He would write my name -- inscribe it -- on the palm of His hand! (Inscribing implies permanence to me, more like carving.) It ties in with the scars in his hands from hanging on the cross (although I know that, technically, those are more likely on His wrists because of the logistics of crucifixion). So I love the verse that says "See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands ..." The stamp here (from Heart & Soul Rubber Stamps, as is the image of the hands) is an adaptation of that same verse.

Card ingredients:
Stamps: Heart & Soul, Stampin' Up!, Inkadinkado
CS: Taken With Teal, Basic Black, Whisper White, Glossy White (SU)
DP: TAC (don't remember the name of the paper itself -- it's the teal strip)
Ink: Archival Black (Adirondack?); Taken With Teal Craft (SU)
Misc: Brads (Making Memories); Clear Detail EP (unknown)
Technique background behind the hands is called Faux Watercolor. I don't remember which colors I used -- it was a piece I'd done awhile back.

I honestly think the card is a little "busy" with the script bits in the corners. I had intended to play on the "writing" theme, but in the end it just was a bit much, I think. Oh, well.

SO, if there's anyone left still reading at this point, I have decided to start my Faithbooking project (technically called "Scrapbook Your Faith") over at Paper Craft Planet in the SHINE Christian Crafters Challenge group. It will begin on Monday, Feb. 2 (this Monday) for anyone of you who might be interested in participating. You would need to join PCP and the SHINE group to do it. If that's a problem and you don't want to do that for some reason, let me know and I might be willing to do it offsite, too. I will post weekly topics to scrap about (such as "This I Believe" or "Struggles and Scars"), and I'm planning on doing it for ten weeks, so we can have a nice little scrapbook started (and I think it would be a good size for anyone who wants to be done when it's over). Also, I'm going to come up with a "card book" sort of thing for the crafters who don't scrapbook, but who might want to participate, anyway. I'm going to figure out a way to just make the pages as a sort of card, but not something you would send to someone, rather something you would put together into a booklet when it's done. It's my hope that when the ten weeks are over, people will want to continue on their own (or even do a "Round Two" in the group), and make Faithbooking a part of their scrapping lives.

I think Faithbooking is a fabulous way to tell your faith journey, to explain to others why your faith (in this case Christianity) is important to you, how it shapes your life, and how you hope to pass it on to your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, neighbors, anyone who matters in your life who you hope will read your book someday. It's creative, and it's somehow "easier" than sitting down to write everything out. I'm just bad about not sitting down to do it. So I really hope this project will be my springboard, too! It will certainly get my little lazy behind off the sofa, because I'll have to make the pages ahead of time for examples!

Well, I kept Aidan home today because of his cough, and because our doc's office closes at noon on Thursdays and I really wanted to get him in. We couldn't see the Physician's Assistant who we really, really love, so I was a little worried the doctor wouldn't give him anything (the doc has a bit of a reputation for being stingy on the meds if you don't have fever or something obvious). I prayed about it beforehand, and blessedly, Aidan "performed" wonderfully the entire time he was at the doc's, coughing his head off and wheezing appropriately (not on purpose, BTW, that's just how bad things were at that point!) So the doc decided A probably is suffering a recurrence of the allergy-induced asthma he used to have when he was little. He did a broncho-dialator treatment on A while we were there, and that really seemed to help, so he gave A a sample "rescue" inhaler and a daily asthma inhaler to try in the hopes that this will help with the nasty cough. So far it seems to be working. He's still coughing, but not nearly as bad as the last few nights. I mean, I thought he was either going to burst a blood vessel in his head somewhere or cough up a piece of lung! (Okay, that last part is a bit of exaggeration, but I have heard of people who have died of severe coughing fits, so Freakout Mother Queen that I am, I was pretty nervous!) I do think he's also got a sinus infection, though (snotty nose, etc. -- trust me, I would know!) The doc says the only REAL way to tell if a person has a sinus infection is to x-ray their face. Um ...? The PA can tell on me just by looking up my nose. So I get antibios from her. Never from him. (See why I don't like to go to him? I also get the "antibiotic lecture" from him.) So Aidan will just have to tough out the sinus thing, and I'm not sending him to school tomorrow, either. He must feel bad with this (although no fever), because he was cool with staying home. Normally he says it's too much of a pain to make up the school/homework. My thinking? The girl he likes has been giving him a bit of a cold shoulder lately, so he's fine with not having to be there to deal with that!

Okay, I'm writing a book, and I really need to get over to the SHINE group and post the challenge for tomorrow.

DO let me know if you'd like to be in on the Faithbooking project (or just go over to Paper Craft Planet and the SHINE group and sign up!)

Happy scrappin/stampin!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My husband, my hero

It's really late and I meant to post this earlier, but I want to get it in before I go to bed.

I made this layout in honor of my sweet husband who gets up and goes to work every day, whether he feels like it or not, even when he'd rather go sailing, and faces all the usual unpleasantries of Small Software Company America. There are definitely good things about his job, but right now he's just in such a down period that I wanted to let him know how very much I appreciate all he does for Aidan and me. So here's the LO:

You can click on it to see it larger and read the journaling, if you're interested.

DP is Crate Paper. CS is (I think) DCWV and SU. I used the Cricut Solutions "Home Decor" cartridge, and the title is in a font I downloaded the other day and can't remember the name of off the top of my head.

It is FREEZING cold here today! We may even get freezing rain and sleet tonight, so there's a chance Aidan's school may start late tomorrow. Assuming he goes -- he's up there right now coughing his head off (I just know pieces of lung are going to start flying out any minute, he always coughs so hard!), and wheezing a little. He says he doesn't feel sick, and he doesn't have any fever (so far), so it may just be allergy-related asthma, but it makes this mother incredibly nervous! If it keeps up tomorrow he's going to the doc.

Okay, gotta get to bed. Hope everybody in the path of this ice storm is staying warm! (Oh, hush all you Aussies and Kiwis down there basking in the sun ...)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Cedar Fever Season is peaking ...

... which is why I haven't been getting much done in the craft loft. BUT I have been doing things toward scrapbooking (i.e. planning things), so I haven't been totally un-crafty.

And I did get a card made this week. That's the nice thing about being the "group mama" of a challenge group -- you have to have something ready every week, and I'd much rather it be something new than something I've dragged out of the archives. So here's what I did for this week's theme, which is "Congratulations!", in which the challenge is to make Congratulations cards with a Scripture or Christian-themed stamp:

This is the simplest design. Should have taken me ten minutes. But nooooo ... took forever to pick the papers, then I had to fiddle with my Nestabilities, then I had to come up with something to make the backing oval not look so BIG (I don't have the intermediate Nesties), so I had to take twenty minutes (or it felt like it) deciding on which Cuttlebug folder to use to give it some spice, then I had to pick a ribbon, etc., etc., etc. So it probably took me a good hour to do it. I guess there's nothing wrong with perfectionism in crafting, but it sure makes things take longer! lol

DP - K & Co.; CS - SU (Ruby Red, Summer Sun, Groovy Guava); Stamp - Eureka Stamps; Ink - SU Ruby Red Craft; Ultra Detail Clear EP (mfr. unknown); Cuttlebug "Swirls" folder; Ribbon - Papertrey Ink; Brad - Making Memories

Hey, I have discovered the COOLEST new "inspiration starter" for scrapbooking! It's this book:
The whole premise is to use calendar days and "special days" (like "National Hat Day") as springboards for layout ideas. And, listen, since I'm ALWAYS needing a creative kick in the pants when it comes to scrapping, I just think this is the most awesome concept! So I highly recommend finding a copy of this book and kick-starting your creative juices (or just sending them down a new road or two). I've spent the last two or three days just looking up holidays and special days on the Internet, and I have a pretty good list of them now. Something for every day of the year (even if it's just "National Cheese Day" or something). Obviously you don't have to use every single holiday/special day, but it's cool to have the inspiration there if you need it!

So I am working on a layout right now (well, today), and hope to have it finished tomorrow. It's the peak of Cedar Fever Season here (not true Cedar, but some kind of tree that's called a cedar around here) -- yesterday we had the highest "Cedar" pollen count that we've had in nine years! And, yep, I was feelin' it. You don't get much done with a sinus migraine, itchy eyes/throat/nose, sneezing, asthma and general "time to move to anywhere-but-here"-ness. (Like, Antarctica -- I don't think they have much pollen there ...) I'm better today, but a little hung over from all the pain meds that DIDN'T WORK. So -- y'all feel sorry for me now? ;-) lol

OH, BTW, before I forget: I'm thinking of starting a Faithbooking project over on Paper Craft Planet. I'd like to get a group of people together who would like to scrap their Christian journey and do weekly pages (with specific themes). If you're interested (even if you're not a member of PCP), please leave a comment and let me know!

Until next time ...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

In times like these ...

I needed a sympathy/encouragement card for someone who recently went through a terrible ordeal losing several members of their family in a terrible crime. She's not someone I know personally, but someone that is a friend of someone that I know through one of my paper crafting groups. So, what kind of card do you make for someone like that, someone you don't know but whose story has touched you and you want to let them know that, someone you want to encourage to keep going in the face of such devastating events? Fortunately, this woman is a strong Christian, and has had an amazing testimony of faith throughout the parts of her story I've been able to read online. That helps! I finally went up into the craft loft last night and this is what God inspired me to make:

I pulled out a 6"x6" Basic Grey "Urban Prairie" paper pad (gosh, I love this line!), used the Mojo Monday sketch for this week, and after a couple of hours of tweaking this and adding/subtracting that, the card finally came together. I've never been one for using a lot of DP on cards, preferring to stamp and make my own background papers using techniques, mainly because I'm never sure if I'm coordinating things well, but Basic Grey (which I have always loved since their first line came out) just makes coordinating so easy! In fact, I have a confession to make ... when I was out with Aidan this afternoon looking for him a new Bible for his Bible class (his got pulverized in his locker), I ran into Archivers for a quick minute (hey, it was just around the corner from the Christian bookstore!) and indulged myself in the 12"x12" version of the Urban Prairie paper pack. I know, I know, I wasn't going to buy any new stuff but just use what I had, but I blew that anyway the other day when I ordered some swirl stencils and a few other little things online. I guess I can't declare a TOTAL moratorium -- sometimes you have to have Giant Brads, y'know? Or chipboard swirls -- but I am going to stop buying scads of stamps (I don't have any more room on my shelf for any new UM storage notebooks, so, really, that's a good enough reason to stop, right there!), and I have SCADS of paper (except the new Basic Grey lines), so I can't see buying much more than just basics like 12"x12" cardstock (I have very little of that, surprisingly -- most of what I bought was the letter-size for card making). And, of course, adhesives. My problem is that I got online to browse layout galleries in several places for inspiration, and the next thing I know I'm thinking "I need more swirls! I need those brackty-shaped-edged papers! I need giant brads! Etc.!" It's hopeless, isn't it?

I got my new SU catalog today. I've only taken one look through it, but I was kinda disappointed. Maybe that's because I'm focusing on scrapping now, but there were very few stamp sets I swooned over. So much of it just looked like, well, all the other SU stuff lately. (I'm talking about the new stuff, here. Obviously a lot of it isn't new.) I was worried I would want a lot of it and need to really budget for it, but ... not really. HOWEVER -- I do love a lot of the new papers and accessories. So that's where I'll get nickled-and-dimed. Did I say I don't need new DP? Please erase that from your memories. I do. Really. It's in the new SU catalog. So what if I already have enough DP to last through all the photos I have waiting to be scrapped AND more? I mean, a girl can never have too much DP, can she? We can always use it to wallpaper the cardboard boxes we end up living in ... (rolls eyes at self).

Well, it's getting late and I am really tired. The one-year-old grand-nephew, his mommy and his granddaddy (my brother) are coming for a weekend visit tomorrow. They'll stay at my folks' house, but we'll be spending LOTS of time over there, I'm sure! I can't wait to see him ... uh, them. From what I hear, he's a VERY busy little boy. Any of you who feel inclined to pray for strength for me and my parents, feel free to do so! You know what a one-year-old boy can do to your endurance levels!

Please keep praying for my husband, too. He's really tired and very stressed these days. Why is it the house starts to fall apart when there are already other stressors going on in life?

Hope your weekend is great!

Monday, January 12, 2009

I Scrapped!!!

I am so psyched! I finally got to feeling somewhat better on Sunday evening and decided to get out my scrappin' stuff, and I made a layout! A two-page one, no less! I finished it tonight ... got stuck on the "frufy bits" last night, but solved that problem today. I'm really excited because now I think I'm getting on the right track and getting 2009 started off right! And, hey, I didn't go out and buy anything new, even though I was tempted to. I just used what I had. *pats self on back* ;-)

So here is the layout. You can click on it to see it larger:

When I was sorting pictures this weekend, I noticed that there were several pics of A at the beach in San Diego over Thanksgiving where he was just pondering. Now, I did the "photo essay" of him on purpose, because I had this total "mom thing" while we were out there, realizing that the next time we were out there for T'giving he would be a SENIOR in high school, that he was growing up too fast, etc. So that was meant to be the theme of the photo essay. But as I was categorizing these pics the other day, I decided this was really a better use for them (which is exactly the way the Library of Memories system is supposed to work!). They truly capture how he is sometimes (and the "scowly" one isn't really scowly ... he's just trying to look uber serious, I think).

Here's what the journaling says:
"Ever since you were a baby, A, I've longed to know what goes on in that head of yours! Now that you're a teenager and no longer tell me everything that comes to mind, I find that old familiar longing coming back, just to know what really goes on in the mind of my 15-year-old son. I'm very blessed that sometimes you will open up and tell me a tiny portion of the thoughts that swirl in your brain -- something cool about linguistics or con-worlding, or something that bugs you about school or the government. But there are still plenty of times -- like this day on the beach in San Diego -- when your thoughts are your own and I can only be left wondering what you've got going on in there!"

Of course, I don't really want to know EVERYTHING that goes on in his mind these days -- I'm sure some of it would freak me out. But you moms know what I mean!

I really like the way this turned out. I was following a sketch from the October 2008 Page Maps. And the frufy bits? Well, I decided to use a word cloud instead of one of them, and his age in chipboard instead of another (and I put it in a different place, too).

So here's the ingredients for the layout:
Cardstock: SU (River Rock) and Club Scrap
DP: Deja Views "Zach's Life"; Karen Foster (lined paper)
Stamps (yes, they're there on the journaling): "Grunge Collection" by Stempelglede
Inks: SU "Brocade Blue" Classic ink pad; "Brilliant Blue" marker; "Close to Cocoa" marker
Punch: Spiral edge from SU
"15" chipboard -- Basic Grey
Glimmer mists (on the chipboard) -- "Candy Apple Red" and "Oriental Poppy" (Tattered Angels)
Cricut cartridges: "Jasmine" and "George & Basic Shapes"
Alphabet stickers: Creative Imaginations & unknown

I made the word cloud over at this really kewl site called "Wordle" where you can make your own word clouds. You can print them out and/or save them to their gallery, but you can't save them to your own computer UNLESS you do a screen capture (which is what I did). It prints out the size of an sheet of letter-sized paper, but I shrunk mine in PaintShop Pro so it would fit on the page where I wanted it. It's a really fun site, and I'm already thinking it would make great backgrounds or something for other layouts.

I know there were a hundred other things I wanted to talk about, but it's late, I'm tired and just getting the layout done has trumped everything! Oh! I did spend almost the entire afternoon yesterday loading photos into a Picasa album so I could have a slideshow on my blog of my "stuff", if anyone who reads via e-mail update is interested in checking that out. Just for fun, no biggie.

Hope everyone has a great day whatever day it is you read this! Happy stamping and/or scrapping!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Awards ...

Well, darn it, I'm still under the weather, so I haven't been up to making anything. I'm starting to have paper-crafting withdrawal! I dream of adhesive runners and brads and designer papers. My confidence is faltering terribly. I really, really want my brain back (it's the brain fog that's the worst part of this, and the tiredness).

BUT fortunately this week I received an award from my dear Aussie friend Leonie at Stamp-a-latte. Actually, she had several rewards on her blog that she had received, then she posted who she was rewarding them to, so I'm not sure if I was supposed to pick one or more. But I decided to be humble and just pick one -- that seemed the right thing to do. So here is my chosen award:

I'm supposed to choose five other blogs to give it to ... that's always hard because I don't want to leave anyone out, and I'm always afraid I'll duplicate or that people aren't taking awards, but here goes:

Jamie at Brew Knits
Gunhild at Stempelglede
Nic Howard at "It's been one of those days"
Jacki Jones at The Card Castle

So, ladies, the award is now yours! Remember to pay it forward to five other bloggers.

I did manage to start pulling photos yesterday to put in my Library of Memories "file boxes" so I'll be ready to scrap when I'm finally feeling better (I already have a ton of photos in the boxes -- this round is from the last year or so). This involves taking photos out of their "holding" albums, deciding what category and sub-category the photo fits (i.e. "Things We Do" then "Computers" ... or "People We Love" then "Dan/Dad/DeDaddy"), then filing it in the proper box under the proper sub-category division. Then when I'm ready to start scrapping, I can decide what kind of mood I'm in, or what sounds like fun to scrap that day, pull those photos and go for it! The big problem is, I take a jillion photos sometimes (like there were 52 photos alone of my grand-nephew from his first visit to us when he was three months old!) and it's hard to weed out what I know I'll scrap and what I won't. In his case, I decided that whatever photos I'll have left over (and I know I will), I can make into a mini album for my mom. I don't put every single photo I take into the files for scrapping, but sometimes it's really hard to cull enough of them. So often the decisions end up being made as I'm making the page(s). Probably not as efficient as Stacy Julian does it, but it's the only way I've figured out that works for me (so far), being one of those "Oh, I hate to leave THIS picture out!" people. It ends up being a matter of what fits on the page.

I've GOT to get feeling better, because there is SO MUCH I want to do up in that loft! Grrrrrrr!

Well, that's really all I have for now, sadly. I was really counting on feeling better today, but I guess I overdid yesterday when I did feel better, and now I'm paying for it. That and the cedar pollen count is sky high today, so that might be part of it. Anyway, I'll quit whining now and get on with my day.


Wednesday, January 07, 2009

More deeeeeep breaths

We interrupt this blog for the following public service announcement:
Okay, people, this is very pathetic that I only have ONE "follower". I know I have subscribers, and I know there are others who read this blog at least on a semi-regular basis, so to boost my ego, would you mind going to the actual blog page to the sidebar and signing yourself up as a follower? It's not a requirement for friendship or anything, but it just looks so sad over there with just Jamie's picture. (Jamie, BTW, you ROCK!)
We now return you to regular blogging...

Well, I'm happy to report today that my DH is still employed. Yesterday things didn't look so good for that. His company laid off 1/3 of its employees, but by the grace of God that didn't happen to him. It was very, very scary there for awhile. He had to lay off his entire department (three people) which was incredibly hard for him to do. So now my sense of security has been rocked twice in just a few days. Please, God, no more drama for awhile! I know He's trying to teach me (us) to trust Him, and I'm finding out this is something I struggle with more than I care to admit.

So, these stressed-out days and the fact that I am now sick with some kind of very weird bug (no incredibly outward manifestations of anything, just a little sinus, and just a little queasy/crampy stuff going on, but nothing major), means I have done absolutely no crafting. Oh, and that resolution of mine about being more frugal? Um, yeah, let's just say that has been solidified into solid granite now. The way the economy is going, and that layoff yesterday really shook my "no worries" attitude about spending. The belt tightens ... drastically.

So, just for fun, I'm going to post a LO I may have posted waaaaaaaay back there, but couldn't find when I searched for it. The reason it came to mind was because of a post on a blog I follow about "photoblocking" (her term for it), which is kinda like colorblocking only with photos. She asked if anyone had any examples of that they'd like to share, so I posted this LO. It's two pages, and I don't feel like going in and attaching them together to post them here, so I'll post the left page first, then the right page. And, no big surprise, it's a Newsboys LO, from the concert we went to in 2006:

See? Phil is photoblocked all the way across the page (yes, I actually took those pictures, they're not from the internet!), and then I used individual frames from a movie I had filmed at the concert as a filmstrip across the middle, so that's "photoblocked", too! Ah, such talent! ;-) (Well, yeah, Phil is DEFINITELY talented, but I was referring to myself as a scrapper ... tongue in cheek, of course!)

I guess that's all I really have for today. Well, except that we did get our second Guitar Praise guitar yesterday (talk about feeling guilty for spending money, even if it WAS Christmas money!). And, of course, I feel too crummy to play. Figures. But we'll have heaps of fun with it once I'm better! Aidan can play lead and I can play bass!

Hope you're all doing well and surviving the whole stupid economy mess. Happy stampin'/scrappin'!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Deeeeeeeep breaths ...

I am in panic mode. I found out today that my son's school (private, Christian) has a serious budget shortfall because their controller made some incredibly bad choices (he has since been fired), and that one of the ideas they're tossing around for fixing this is to close the high school, effective the year my son is a senior (i.e., it would be closed at the end of his junior year). I am so upset about this I could throw up! This is THE PERFECT school for Aidan in so many ways, and honestly, I can't see him fitting in well anywhere else. And besides, to do that to a kid their senior year?

So I am trying very hard to pray and just trust God about it. We will definitely be attending the meeting the school will be having about it (and voicing our very strong support for the high school!). But in the meantime I am really struggling not to just fall apart about this! Aidan doesn't know about it, and I know he would be totally devastated if he were to find out (especially if they were to actually DO it). Did I mention that we love this school? I mean, we have poured so much money into this school, made our commitment financially, spiritually, emotionally, and I feel like the school has a commitment to us to do everything possible to educate our son and allow him to graduate from this school.

I confess I feel like a rotten Christian. I really should just dump all this on God and let Him do His will. But being a control freak, that's pretty hard for me. And I believe that He also expects us to do our part, not to just sit back and hope for the best, as it were. He did give us voices to speak with, to let our opinions and hopes be heard. If, in the end, God has a reason for the high school to be closed, then so be it -- His ways are higher than my ways, and His thoughts are higher than my thoughts. But if there isn't a really good reason for this high school to close, then I'm praying with everything I've got that they WILL NOT close Aidan's school. If you're so inclined, I would really appreciate your prayers, too! I need peace about it, because I have been just paralyzed by anger and worry all day.

So, yeah, I didn't get any crafting done today. I did go to the grocery store, and we did get the Christmas stuff taken down, but that's about all the useful stuff I've managed to pull myself together long enough to do.

Anyway, that's all I have for today. It's 8:00pm and I could go to bed right now, but I hate going to bed that early unless I'm sick. I have GOT to pull out of this horrible anxiety! God IS in control ... I'm just really, really having a hard time dealing with this.

Friday, January 02, 2009

2009 IS HERE!!

[This was supposed to have been posted on Jan. 1, but we had firewall problems, so it is getting posted on the 2nd instead ...]

Well, it's finally here -- the new (and hopefully much improved) year. I think for many of us 2008 was a bit rough. I know in my family, as in so many others, we left the year with fewer members than we started with (my grandmother), so I'm praying for all of us that we leave 2009 with exactly as many people as we went into it with (or more, if you're looking for a new little one in your family!). Nonetheless, we were still blessed in so many ways, and God proved so many times that He is always with us, never leaving nor forsaking us, loving us all the way through good and bad.

My New Years Resolutions (so far, lol):
1) Get myself and my family on a healthy eating plan. Hopefully for Bjorn and me that will involve losing weight. Hopefully for Aidan that will include actually eating vegetables.

2) Putting myself on a financial diet. My craft loft is SOOOOO full of things that I haven't even used yet it's ridiculous. It's time to start using and stop shopping. And that will be hard (especially the "stop shopping" bit). So I'm going to try ... no, I'm GOING TO spend much less this year and use what I've already got!

3) Scrapbook more. In fact, I'm calling this "The Year of the Scrapbook" (although it will really be several scrapbooks, since I do the Stacy Julian method of scrapping in categories instead of chronological). I'll still make cards and other stuff, but I'm really going to try to focus on scrapping this year. There -- I said it in public, so I hope y'all will hold me to it!

So, I've started the New Year off right in at least some ways. I can't say that I got on any sort of "healthy eating plan" yet. But I did eat my blackeyed peas for prosperity (if you're not from the South, you won't get that), I washed and actually PUT AWAY the clean clothes, I cooked us a healthy dinner, and I crafted (although it was a card)! And here is the result of that labor:

This is a baby card for a couple from our church who just brought a sweet little girl in to the world a couple of weeks ago. They named her Kaylie Joy – isn’t that such a sweet, sparkly, cheerful name? I love it! Kaylie Joy’s mother and I used to work together on the Praise Team until her mother took over the Children’s Church program at our church. (She – the mom – has since resigned to focus on some other ministries she and her husband have going.) So I wanted the card to be extra special for them. I’m also going to give them a frame with a mat that I custom decorated.

We’ve had a busy week since Christmas, playing with new toys (I LOVE “Guitar Praise” -- and plunked down over $80 to buy another guitar for it so Aidan and I can jam together!), hanging out, etc. We had a houseguest for a couple of days (a friend of Bjorn’s from his job back in Phoenix), then held an impromptu New Year’s Eve party last night with just a few friends.

Hey, I read about this great charity thing on CNN online the other day (no, they’re not my favorite news source, but I do read them from time to time), and it’s so simple, and such a neat thing that I thought I would include it here. For just $30 you can help a woman in the Sudan buy a highly energy-effecient cook stove that will keep her from having to go out and look for wood as frequently as before. Looking for wood is an extremely dangerous task for these women, since it often takes up to seven hours at a time to find enough, and they become vulnerable to rape and other abuses. So read the article and if you feel led to do so, donate to this awesome cause.

BTW, you can now "Follow My Blog" over in my sidebar (if you dare!!), and there's a poll about my blog music. I'm trying to find out if y'all hate it, like it, don't want it around, etc., so please VOTE! Poll ends on Feb. 2 at midnight.

I truly do wish you all a blessed 2009!