Monday, January 28, 2008





Oh that Olivia! We're still into the sparkles - so we're sharing, sharing, after all we both were exposed to Sesame Street in our lives (Or was that Mr. Rogers?) Either way, we love to share. We figured since we gave you the INSIDE of the hearts we might as well give you the outsides.

Miles and I visited our friend Patricia yesterday in the hospital. Patricia is a friend and student at the school... and she's dying of cancer. Before Christmas break at school she had asked me if I would come install some software for her on her computer. After Christmas she now knows she has only a short time left to live... its that sudden and that progressed. She's our age. PLEASE uphold our friend and her family in your prayers. We spent a precious afternoon with her yesterday, as she spoke with candor and we shared a few tears, laughter and a prayer. Really brings home that any day could be our last...




Ooooh-lala! Our lake is frozen.

This is what I've been up to - our lake is actually frozen enough for us to skate on. This does not always happen folks. We awoke several mornings to find that all of a sudden it was a sheet of glistening ice. Actually, I found it was - Miles was at school. So I made plans. Soon as he was home from work I pounced on him and dragged him down to the lake to have a skate/weenie roast. It was a shiveringly good time, specially on his part as he has some skates that are so old they could be Vintage for all we know... couple this with them being on the smaller size, not accepting layers of 'woolies' socks and he wound up with very painful and almost frostbitten digits.



Some unusual frost formations on the surface!


The weather has continued to be phenomenal and cold and we've gotten out skating a few more times... in fact, we skated all the way to town - several kilometers each way! Its funny, but its almost faster than driving - guess the direct route cuts off a lot of time.



Beautiful reflections - almost mirrorlike!

It's so beautiful gliding over the surface, looking through the ice and seeing little fishes swimming (scurrying with fins) away from our shadows. We could see all the bottom and get a clear view of where its shallow and deep. It was very interesting. Unfortunately, we could also see some of the trash and debris on the bottom - including a shopping cart (the nearest store 2km away from it?) How sad.



God's fingerprint?

Whenever I see nature's intricate beauty I think of it as God's fingerprints... and so when I came across this bubble pattern in the ice it spoke to me. What inspires you to think of God? Because I love art and photography, and these things are both visual I find it easy to find evidence in God in the things I see... but what if one were blind... how would His majesty 'look' to you? It may be that it would be in the LIGHT which we have - but for someone who lives in total darkness what is that like? I found this poem which was written by Patricia McGavock who is blind:

Would I could see the beauty of the flowers
Whose sweet perfume pervades the summer air,
The grass so soft beneath my faltering footseps,
That thing called light I'm told is everywhere.

Then I could see the trees in Autumn glory,
The little birds that flutter to and fro;
The colours of the rainbow, sunset glowing;
The changing seasons as they come and go.

But I am blind and cannot see such beauty,
No moon or stars illumine my long night,
No dawn of day or sunrise in the morning
Can share with me the wonder of the light.

Yet I am glad, when each new dawn comes breaking,
To feel the morning air, the sun's caress,
To touch the gentle softness of a rosebud,
And breathe the fragrance of its loveliness.

The scent of rain upon a country footpath,
Soft music and a voice that sweetly sings,
God's hand in mine as He so gently leads me -
I need not eyes for all these wonderous things.

*****

Our friend Angie shared the following picture of Country Computer talk - which I thought was funny - I think if you click on it you can see it larger.






And lastly, my friend Marie shared this sentiment about being a BC'r... What defines you in the place that you live?

I am a British Columbian.... What it means to be A British Columbian

We love it here and wouldn't change it for anything.
1. You know the provincial flower (Mildew)
2. You feel guilty throwing aluminum cans or paper in the trash.
3. You use the statement "sunny break" and know what it means.
4. You know more than 10 ways to order coffee.

5. You know more people who own boats than air conditioners.
6. You feel overdressed wearing a suit to a nice restaurant.
7. You stand on a deserted corner in the rain waiting for the "Walk" signal.
8. You consider that if it has no snow, it is not a real mountain.
9. You can taste the difference between Starbucks, Esquires, and Tim Horton's.
10. You know the difference between Chinook, Coho, and Sockeye salmon.
11. You know how to pronounce Squamish, Osoyoos, Nanaimo and Tsawwassen.
12. You consider swimming an indoor sport.
13. You can tell the difference between Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean and Thai food.
14. In winter, you go to work in the dark and come home in the dark while only working eight-hour days.
15. You never go camping without waterproof matches and a poncho.
16. You are not fazed by "Today's forecast: showers followed by rain, "and" Tomorrow's forecast: rain followed by showers."
17. You cannot wait for a day with "showers and sunny breaks".
18. You have no concept of humidity without precipitation.
19. You know that Dawson Creek is a town, not a TV show.
20. You can point to at least two ski mountains, even if you cannot see through the cloud cover.
21. You notice "the mountain is out" when it is a pretty day and you can actually see it.
22. You put on your shorts when the temperature gets above 5, but still wear your hiking boots and parka.
23. You switch to your sandals when it gets about 10, but keep your socks on
24. You have actually used your mountain bike on a mountain.
25. You think people who use umbrellas are either wimps or tourists.

26. You recognize the background shots in your favourite movies & TV shows.
27. You buy new sunglasses every year, because you can't find the old ones after such a long time.
28. You measure distance in hours.
29. You often switch from "heat" to "a/c" in your car in the same day.
30. You use a down comforter in the summer.
31. You carry jumper cables in your car and your wife knows how to use them.
32. You design your kid's Halloween costume to fit under a raincoat.
33. You know all the important seasons: Almost Winter, Winter, Still Raining (Spring), Road Construction (Summer) & Raining Again (Fall).
34. You actually understand these jokes and forward them to all your friends in British Columbia or those who used to live here!





Thursday, January 24, 2008




(thanks Olivia)


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That 'ol Olivia... she's keeping me so busy that I roped her into sharing another goodie with you. We were having fun making sparkly, glittery stuff for another (she says hopefully...) Valentines/Love kit for sale at the SHOPPE. But because she is consuming so much of my valuable time I'm making her share the love – by sharing her elements with me and you. If she keeps taking up my time like this she will have to take over creating all my elements too! Don't be surprized to see our Sparkly Hearts included in her newest kit. These hearts are about 3 inches tall but could be shrunk and scattered all over the place to glitz up your layouts. Please enjoy, but notice that Olivia has included her TOU, so don't be pirating them off.



Speaking of Valentines kits, you are truly missing out if you haven't scooped Amy W.'s Love Letters kit (photo below in last day's entry) My SIL and I joined in at the DBD chat last night and had an absolute hoot. Besides that there was a sweet giveaway I'm dying to use. That clever Amy – she comes up with such inspiring ideas! I'm waiting with baited breath for her next Bingo Chat... I sort of find them a little easier because for me, trying to actually put together a layout AND chat... well does not really work. My head is swivellin back and forth at light speed just trying to keep track in the chat. So, sometimes I just come to chat and pick on people, right Amy? Don't forget to stop by her blog tomorrow for her next freebie update!



Also, I've got Kim B's newest Forgotten Not Kit downloaded and it is BEAUTIFUL and touching. As usual, Kim is giving you all a small taste of it – her generosity is amazing. You truly must buy this kit – it's also a tribute for a Mom in memory of her son, Andrew. What a sweet way to keep his memory alive. So 'Gwan over there and you may even find some more awesome giveaways there too. Leave LOVE when you visit these talented ladies - it makes their day, trust me!





turnovers made with my homemade Ruff Puff Pastry



I had SUCH fun making these turnovers on Monday. My dear friend Rose came for a very rare visit - and we ended up visiting from lunch till supper! I can't sit still - just ask anyone, so while we gabbed I tried out a recipe for Ruff Puff Pastry that I found on the net. It turned out awesomely - I highly recommend you take the plunge and try it for yourself. Its not near as scary as the tv chefs make it seem. You can find the recipe by clicking HERE. I did not have a pastry scraper, so I fashioned a crude one out of a plastic cutting matt I had, just sliced it to size.





all by myself - king of the tree!


As you can see, I had some visitors outside my window yesterday. Firstly, it was the young eagle who came to perch on this Ponderosa, a grand viewpoint to overlook the lake. He wasn't there long before another, mature eagle came and intimidated him into leaving. Not five minutes later, this eagle was joined by another, and the two stayed there for at least ½ hour. They're very majestic looking, aren't they?





along comes the big fella



I said "scram kid!!"




We'll just hang here and wait for something to pique our appetite...



I've been watching them down on the ice – too far away to get any sort of a photo. There is a small opening in the ice, way out toward the middle. There are some smaller birds (not sure what kind) – and quite a few of them, who are hanging around for the open water. Well, those two eagles fly over there, then land about 50 feet away... and just sit there... waiting. One wonders why they don't just dive in and get one of those silly birds.



*****




In my daily bible study, I've just been reading in Genesis and I have come away sort of chuckling. Whats set me off is this passage (Gen. 45:24 NIV) “Then he sent his brothers away, and as they were leaving he said to them, “Don't quarrel on the way!”


Now if you're not a reader then I will give you a brief recap of Joseph's trials with his brothers. Joseph was a favored child in his family. As a favored child he once recieved a coat of many colors as a gift and he had dreams that he would rule over his brothers and his brothers were pretty jealous about that. They were so jealous that when Joseph was sent out by their father, to meet them one day as they were out grazing the flocks, they decided this would be the perfect chance to 'ditch' him' – make him disappear. (Gen. 37:20 "Come now, let's kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we'll see what comes of his dreams.") Well, they throw him in a pit but rather than leave him there, they sell him to some transient merchants heading for Egypt and they figure thats the last they will hear of him.


'Course they took that nice coat before they were finished. They have to think up an alabi between them so they kill a goat and mess the coat up a bit. And they go home and show Dad and let him make his own conclusion. Dad is pretty broken up about all this.


Time goes on. Meanwhile, to make a long story short, Joseph gets tossed in prison, somehow gets an opportunity to use his gift of deciphering dreams – for the king, no less. The king is so impressed he not only frees Joseph but elevates him to star status. Joseph eventually has amassed power and riches and the support of the king – but he misses his Dad and family and longs to meet his youngest brother he has heard about. So he gets an opportunity to make the brothers come to him without them knowing 'him' is their brother they sold.


See, there's been a famine in the land, and the brothers are starving and come begging. So, Joseph uses this opportunity and (even tho the story is even more involved and interesting, but you'll just have to read that yourself) he gets the brothers to tell him his father is still alive and then extracts a promise they will get 'stuff' when they bring the youngest brother back to see him. They get back with the brother and then Joseph sets it up they are all alone together then does a '”Surprise, its really ME! Me, who you threw in a pit and then sold. But I'm not mad anymore.”


And he wept. He VERY loud. Everyone heard him. He wept on his brothers shoulders – how must that have felt, hey? And he tells them not to stress – he's not like them, he's got good intentions for them. So, he tells them to go home and get Dad – tell Dad how well I've done, and bring him back and we'll all live happily ever after.


And right before the end of the chapter, when he sends them back, he says “ Don't quarrel on the way!”


How well he knows these guys – what a perfectly funny thing to slip in before sending them on their way. Good one, Joseph.



*****



STRESS



I am not sure exactly how it works, but this is amazingly accurate. Read the full description before looking at the picture.


The picture below has 2 identical dolphins in it. It was used in a case study on stress levels at Mayo Clinic .


Look at both dolphins jumping out of the water. The dolphins are identical. A closely monitored, scientific study revealed that , in spite of the fact that the dolphins are identical , a person under stress would find differences in the two dolphins . The more differences a person finds between the dolphins, the more stress that person is experiencing.


Look at the photograph and if you find more than one or two differences you may want to take a vacation.


Monday, January 21, 2008




Hello and Happy Day! My friend OLIVIA has ANOTHER SET OF LOVE COUPONS up and ready to be downloaded over at the Sophia Sarducci Shoppe blog... just click HERE to be transported! Be sure to check out her awesome new kits and loads of other new products for Monday Madness in the Shoppe!


Saturday, January 19, 2008



OLIVIA DORAZIO'S LOVE COUPONS
8.5 x 11 jpg (300 dpi) ready to print, trim and give!


download


Well, since Olivia keeps pestering me (and Amy W.) to help her learn to make scrapbooking stuff, effectively preventing me from getting anything done for you here on my blog... I 'suggested' to her she should make something for you to give away here. She's been working very hard and created all sorts of pretties for the shoppe – they will be available on Monday, so mark it on your calendars! Here's a sneak of some of her newest creations! I'll post the link to her other coupons at the Sophia Sarducci Blog on Monday, when her kits come for sale! You can visit the store by clicking HERE.







And since I'm showing Olivia's stuff, I can't help but put out a 'toot' for Amy's newest upcoming kit too. Why not join Amy Wed 9 pm in the DBD chat room. Love Letters is the featured kit and will be on sale that day. Attendance and posting goodies. (I think she means scrapping goodies, not eating ones, cuz she's on a diet)




Amy W.'s upcoming Love Letters Kit

Mmmmm... since I'm talking food, I'll talk pizza. Seems like everyone is blogging food these long winter days, so who am I to deviate from a good theme. 'Cept Amy, perhaps, who's on a diet. Craaaazy... and I mean this in the nicest way. She has chocolate sitting around home. And not some cheapo cornerstore chocolate but a special kind she loves and got for Christmas. Good thing I don't live close or it would not be around for long!

Anyways, pizza is my husband's love language. You see, I make homemade. He loves my homemade. It takes me a good ½ day to make this thing. Its all the mixing and chopping and stuff. So this is a once or twice a month kind of pizza. What do we top it with? Well, it varies, but it usually involves a lot of fresh stuff. Pineapple, chopped and peeled just hours before, green peppers & mushrooms. Black olives. Hot italian sausage and pepperoni. I'd put shrimps on if it were up to me, but he's not so fussy about that. Then a whole lot of cheese(s). Mozza, cheddar, pepperjack, parmesan and asiago usually. And of course I make my dough from scratch. Its well worth the wait!

I'm working it all off with my own home-version of boot camp (ya, you inspired me Beans)... since I am not a 'gym-girl' I try to be creative right at home. Mainly right now I'm working with a skipping rope, recumbent bike, rower... and my two legs – walking. So, I don't set a time apart for it, it works around my schedule. The excersize equiptment lurks in the basement and if I have to go down there for something (which is MANY times a day) then I have to do several minutes on both machines. Really adds up! This, with going up and down the stairs numerous times and then a good ½ hour walk outside is keeping me from running to fat. Gosh, how I long for how we used to run, but my knees just can't take it any more.

I'm still working through the book “The Beautiful Fight” by Dr. Gary Chapman, and I'm enjoying and learning from it. I want to digest the entire thing, and then I will share an review here with you. In the meantime, it's really opening my eyes up to allow myself to be aware of Christ being alive in me not just when I pray or go to church, but to be vitally alive in me all day, every day, in even the least little thing I do.

Enough about me. I have a few great sites to share with you.

My husband and I love photography, and my friend Becky is a photgraphy enthusiast too – so when I came across the following link I just had to share. If you, like us, work with a limited budget but would like to get set up with lights, then this site is for you. If you're willing to be creative you might just be able to set up your own lighting for most situations. This website will give you some 'hacks' to help you make your own! Just click HERE to get there. I would love to hear what you do with these ideas.





photo altered using FotoFlexer

Another link I've been meaning and meaning to share and keep forgetting... (ya, like 2 seconds after I publish!) I think its the coolest – I've pointed some of the students from the school here, as again, its an online website that could prove invaluable. Actually, I've had a huge amount of fun here too. The site is called FotoFlexer and it touts itself as being the worlds most advanced online editor. IT IS pretty impressive. It has all sorts of features – ones you would find in programs like Photoshop Elements, or Gimp, only its all online. It allows you to import your photos from many accounts, like picasa and flickr, myspace, facebook and photobucket. I had fun playing with the photo preceding this paragraph, in fact. As you can see, it also allows you to add some sweet little cliparts and I believe it supports layers. One thing I should mention is that I worked with a pretty small picture, so unless you have a good connection and small pictures this might not be effective for you. Other than that, its a lot of fun. Hmmm, pretty cool I thinks! I don't know, though, if it alters your original photo unless you rename it when you save, be aware! Click HERE to check it out.


I found this list on the internet the other day, and it makes sense to me? I know some folks would not agree, but then again some will. At any rate, I found it sensible. What about you?


Rules Kids Won't Learn in School


Rule #1. Life is not fair. Get used to it. The average teenager uses the phrase "it's not fair" 8.6 times a day. You got it from your parents, who said it so often you decided they must be the most idealistic generation ever. When they started hearing it from their own kids, they realized Rule #1.

Rule #2. The real world won't care as much about your self-esteem as your school does. It'll expect you to accomplish something before you feel good about yourself. This may come as a shock. Usually, when inflated self-esteem meets reality, kids complain that it's not fair. (See Rule No. 1)

Rule #3. Sorry, you won't make $50,000 a year right out of high school. And you won't be a vice president or have a car phone either. You may even have to wear a uniform that doesn't have a Gap label.

Rule #4. If you think your teacher is tough, wait 'til you get a boss. He doesn't have tenure, so he tends to be a bit edgier. When you screw up, he is not going ask you how feel about it.

Rule #5. Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping. They called it opportunity. They weren't embarrassed making minimum wage either. They would have been embarrassed to sit around talking about Kurt Cobain all weekend.

Rule #6. It's not your parents' fault. If you screw up, you are responsible. This is the flip side of "It's my life," and "You're not the boss of me," and other eloquent proclamations of your generation. When you turn 18, it's on your dime. Don't whine about it or you'll sound like a baby boomer.

Rule #7. Before you were born your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way paying your bills, cleaning up your room and listening to you tell them how idealistic you are. And by the way, before you save the rain forest from the blood-sucking parasites of your parents' generation try delousing the closet in your bedroom.

Rule #8. Life is not divided into semesters, and you don't get summers off. Nor even Easter break. They expect you to show up every day. For eight hours. And you don't get a new life every 10 weeks. It just goes on and on.

Rule #9. Television is not real life. Your life is not a sitcom. Your problems will not all be solved in 30 minutes, minus time for commercials. In real life, people actually have to leave the coffee shop to go to jobs. Your friends will not be perky or as polite as Jennifer Aniston.

Rule #10. Be nice to nerds. You may end up working for them. We all could.

Rule #11. Enjoy this while you can. Sure, parents are a pain, school's a bother, and life is depressing. But someday you'll realize how wonderful it was to be kid. Maybe you should start now.

You're welcome.






Wednesday, January 16, 2008





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(exhumed from last year's virtual goodie vault!)



It was big. Real big.



We've had it for a while, and every so often I would come across it and think to myself “We should really use this.”


But I'd never dealt with one before. So I procrastinated.


I was afraid.


Then, last week an opportunity presented itself and I thought, “Hey, why not give it a go?”



I'm talking Prime Rib.


We bought a side of beef a while ago, and in among the assortment of the usual cuts was this BIG prime rib roast. The thing had to weigh 7lbs or better. Even with salmon colored freezer wrap on I imagined dinosaur bones beneath.


Growing up in a family of eight kids the only prime rib I ever saw was in glossy magazines or on tv or in movies in fine restaurants or movies about the British Royalty. No, when I was a kid the further removed from any type of meat that was minced, the rarer the sighting. Even these days, the cost would be prohibitive!


So, seeing this monstrosity in my own freezer kind of niggled in the back of my mind every time I went in there. I knew I couldn't cook it any old day, cuz it would be far too much for just me and my hunny. Then we were having company. It was very brave/stupid for me to attempt it for guests – either the meal was going to turn out to be a huge success or a failure, but even at that I knew it had to be memorable.


So I took the plunge.


I love finding recipes on the internet, mostly because I like to not only read the actual recipes, but I find the reviews of them give me a good indicator of the success rate. I mean its one thing to take a recipe from my trusty old Betty Crocker or Joy Of Cooking books, but I never really know if what I wind up with is correct or not.


So, a'hunting I did go.


There were all the usual recipes where you fuss and finick over the thing and stand over the stove and look at it and baste it and test it etc... but I'm a 'no fuss' type of girl and I like a recipe thats easy and different. I found just such a recipe. It goes like this:



Fully defrost roast.


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.


Put roast in pan, fat side up.


Season.

Poke a meat thermometer in it.


Put in preheated oven.


Bake 60 minutes.


Shut oven off. DO NOT open door.


Leave, door shut, for 2 – 4 hours.


Turn oven on to 375 degrees F. Roast for additional 60 mins.


Check thermometer for doneness ( I left mine in an extra 20 mins for medium)


Take out of oven. Cover with foil. Let rest for 20 min.


Carve.


Sigh with relief. Beam with pride.


I deemed the meal a success because the mom popped her head back in the house on the way out and said “My little one gave the biggest compliment – she said Mummy, that supper was nummy!” We all know that kids 'tell it like it is'


It WAS good. I want to cook another one already. I'm glad it was a big roast, for originally we had anticipated 2 guests. Then we added two. Then, three more. And I found out in a big hurry that our dining table stretttttttttttttttttttches. It gets big enough to fit 10 if we had wanted. Two guests were little people though so we smooshed them together with a big looker-after person to chase all their droppings. Another thing – we are like '2 People' company kinda people. Having more than two is an instance proportionate to finding a immense dino roast in the freezer...





Its amazing how far you can expand a meal when you're pressed. I'd made fresh bread the day before, thinking there would be some for all week's breakfastes and lunches – but it never made it past the company. Well, except for the ball of dough I sent home with a friend. I don't think, by the expression on her face, that anyone had ever presented her a ball of dough as a visting gift before. Imagine. Have YOU ever been given a ball of dough, uncooked? Its kind of a dough ministry for me. Go forth and bake.





Talking about food, I have a new favorite eat. These would be the mini honey mandarins. They come in a small box, a minature replica of the Chinese Mandarins you can buy at Christmas. They are soooo cute. Each one is the size of a walnut. The peels come off the same. They smell the same. And you can take each little one apart into teeny-weeny segments. Whats different is the taste. They are far more sweet and succulent. Worth every moment of peeling pleasure! And at $2.50 a box, they are as affordable as a coffee out – and far healthier!



Here's something else sweet – sweet if you live in Canada, that is... its Cadbury's Sweet Getaway Contest. Go enter, then I can blog about you winning, ok? To put your name in, just click HERE.




layout by blog reader Shirley

Thanks for sharing, Shirley.

Be sure to slip over to Shirley's to download her sweet freebie balloons!


credits:

Template is Closeknit by Kimb. designs

Heart element by Barb Derksen

kit The Magic of Christmas by Newlife's Dreams

font is Eurostile





I want to thank you all for your warm response on my last journalling on marriage. It is heartwarming to see you women stepping up to the plate to be good stewards of your relationships. For sure, it will be what you put into it. Although some marriages are genuinely unhealthy or one-sided, I believe a determined and gentle woman can revive and kindle the flames of love in your husbands. Thanks for your thoughts!



My husband and I were given a wonderful book which explores marriage and faith and... sex. This, coming from a young, newlywed couple yet! Kinda racey you might be thinking – but actually this was a deep, thought provoking, beautiful book which I'd highly recommend anyone read! I had to make myself read it sloooowly or I would have had it done in one night! It's so good that I've been asked to read it, one chapter a time, over the phone to someone in my life. How cool is THAT? The book is called SEXGOD and its written by Rob Bell. Go get! You can find more info, or order by clicking HERE. I'd love to know what you think of it. And... this would make a TERRIFIC Valentines gift to your love! (read it aloud, together!)



My SIL Judy sent me the following sentiments on housecleaning (shades of what I've been hearing you all muttering about on your various blogs, tee hee! 'Peshully you Kimb!) I'm sure you'll appreciate these:



PHILOSOPHY OF HOUSECLEANING!




I don't do windows because... I love birds and don't want one to run into a clean window and get hurt.


I don't wax floors because... I am terrified a guest will slip and get hurt then I'll feel terrible ( plus they may sue me.)


I don't mind the dust bunnies because... They are very good company, I have named most of them, and they agree with everything I say.


I don't disturb cobwebs because ... I want every creature to have a home of their own. I don't Spring Clean because. I love all the seasons and don't want the others to get jealous.


I don't pull weeds in the garden because... I don't want to get in God's way, HE is an excellent designer!


I don't put things away because... My husband will never be able to find them again.


I don't do gourmet meals when I entertain because... I don't want my guests to stress out over what to make when they invite me over for dinner.


I don't iron because... I choose to believe them when they say "Permanent Press".


I don't stress much on anything because... "A Type" personalities die young and I want to stick around and become a wrinkled up crusty ol' woman!!!!



Remember: A clean house is a sign of a broken computer!





Ok and for another good laugh, you just have to this site and click on the horses. Way talented they are! Just CLICK here to visit the farmyard!



I have a ton more great sites to share with you over the next little while. I wasn't feelinga bit sad and not too blog-happy for the past while, but I thing having a whip-creamy beverage and visit with my friend Becky has inspired me again. My fren' Becks is havin' a baby!!! I hope you get 'spired too, on your blog Becks. (once the poor girl gets past feeling sick all the time...)




Friendship is a precious gift,

that cannot be bought or sold.

but it's value is far greater,

than a mountain made of gold.

For gold is cold and lifeless,

It can neither see nor hear,

and in the time of trouble,

it is powerless to cheer.

It has no ears to listen,

no heart to understand.

It cannot bring you comfort,

or reach out a helping hand.

So when you ask God for a gift,

be thankful if he sends,

Not diamonds, pearls or riches

But the love of real true Friends.....

~ Author Unknown




Sunday, January 13, 2008



photo courtesy sxc


With tiny tears that glistened, my eyes were fixed on you,

And thinking of the life we'd share, we softly said "I do."

Our hearts were knit together from the time that we first met,

And memories were gathered, that we never will forget.

While daily living life with you, you saw the real me,

And still you chose acceptance, a lifelong mystery.

With many happy days gone by, and others when we cried

Some days we'd share so endlessly, while other days we'd hide.

With all the ups and downs we've had, in learning to be friends,

I know that in this heart of mine, I'd marry you again.

~ author unknown


*****


I've been praying for marriages this week, as promised. For your marriage, for my marriage – for the entire concept of marriage, really. I believe it's harder than ever for marriages. It seems to me that though my parents were busy, there always seemed to be more family time, more quiet time. Though both my folks worked, there were not the distractions we face today. Too much of a good thing, causing us to get casual with the amount of time we spend just getting to know or marriage partners. I know people who know more about television and movie actors than they actually know about their spouse!

Think about it – do you take time to simply talk to your mate? Do you go deeper than the casual conversations – daily? I'm not saying you even have to sit face to face, if that is impossible for you... but how about either leaving notes, or sending emails? When was the last time you ASKED your spouse what he/she would like for you to do? When you ASKED if they were happy – truly happy. I think sometimes we only go on what we can see... for instance, if every thing seems OK... well it probably IS... but what do you want your marriage to be OK, or GREAT? If it's great you are seeking, why not ask your spouse what would make your marriage that way – in their own words! Why do we wait until we've reached a point that forces us to have to do a lot of unnecessary work, just to get on track?

YOU are responsible for your marriage. If you are waiting for your spouse to change you are setting yourself up for disappointment. I'm sorry to tell you this – but its true. True change, in a relationship cannot be forced upon someone, for if its imposed, it's not coming of their free will and therefore will not endure. It may cause someone to 'be different' for a short while – but eventually they will slip into old habits. True change has to 'be inspired'. Unless the person you hope to convice to change sees YOU doing it first, then why would they even think to?

The biggest glue in my own marriage has been my faith. |For me, the recipe is simple – its as clear as using Ephesians 5:25 – 33 as a guide!

22Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.

23For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church,

his body, of which he is the Savior.

24Now as the church submits to Christ,

so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

26to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

28In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

29After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church—

30for we are members of his body.

31"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh."[c]

32This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.

33However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.



You know, its almost considered a dirty word these days, but you need to SUBMIT to your spouse. Now I'm not talking anything abusive – physically or mentally, but in the sense that your spouse needs to know that you are willing to work with them. How many times our pride gets in the way – for everywhere we turn in our lives the media shouts out messages of 'self love'. Well, when I don't know about you, but when I married my husband, I understood my vows to mean that I choose my husband over myself . Was my marriage different than yours? Did you understand your vows to really say – I'll still be #1 but next to myself I'll love my husband better than the rest of the world. What was in it for your spouse then – because really, you married yourself! The one thing I've learned in marriage is that 'submission' is a beautiful word. The more I focus on what I can give to my husband, the more contented I become.

The more he notices.

He feels VERY special.

I have the power to make him feel this way.

Because, we live in a real world. If I don't build him up and make him feel special, there are plenty of women who do that 'out there'. Is it wrong for him to expect me to give him 2x more than he gets 'out there'? When you build your spouse up, when you lavish him with love and praise then he's protected by it. When you starve him of it, then don't be surprized that when others fill that space - food looks mighty attractive to a starving person. If you leave our spouse vulnerable and unfulfilled – and he gets out there and is seduced by someone meeting those very needs, then YOU'RE partly responsible.

I'm not even talking anything physical here! I'm talking SIMPLE stuff here. Start with little compliments. Don't make stuff up – try to think of anything nice to say. It can be as simple as “You're a good driver.” “You make good coffee” “ I am proud of you for working to provide for this family”

Think about it – you MARRIED this person... surely there were many wonderful traits you admired about them, and surely they still possess some of them. You know, sometimes what happens over time is we become so familiar that we no longer 'see' our spouse. We just 'go on what we know', without accounting for them growing and changing. We assume we know everything about them. Thats why, sometimes, its shocking when someone will tell you something about your spouse you did not know. We are shocked! And our first instinct is to say “YOU never told me this!” - their general response is “Well you did not ASK”... and its true.

WHEN do we stop asking?

WHY do we stop?

A powerful thing happens when we make the choice to build our spouse up. I challenge you to try it... for a week! The first thing to happen is you will visibly notice what power your words have. Your spouse will respond. Unless they are made of rock, they will respond. They may even become suspicious – thats normal because, come on, we've all used praise to 'get something' before. But when you keep on pouring on the praise something really profound happens. Your spouse begins to change. And YOU change too. You recieve the blessing of seeing how mighty your simple words have and then you realize, that as you build your spouse up – you no longer see (and dwell on) your spouses weaknesses, bad habits etc... instead you start admiring them all over again. You forget about what was eatin' away at you. You focus on what you can give, rather than recieve.

Isn't it funny (and sad) to realize that we often already do this with our friends? Why? Because if we neglected and tore down our friends, they would toss us off. And so they should.

And how much more important is your spouse. Your BEST friend.

How about it. 7 days. Just one week. Build up your spouse. Love and treat them the way you would like to be treated. Deny yourself for seven days – and then if you come back and tell me that they did not change, then I may believe you.





Thursday, January 10, 2008




HAPPY BIRTHDAY ZACH!

credits:
sequins - kb party on sampler
paper: kb colorchallenge addon
(ya, both items created by Kim again!)

i KNEW i had something to do today...

check my TO DO list

DUH

Nephew Zach's birthday - upload card before the card has to be remade into a belated card. Happy Birthday Kiddo - hope you had a good time and got real spoiled. All our best wishes to you!




Wednesday, January 09, 2008





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Hope you don't mind me 'excavating' these 100% digitally created rocks for you, from my archives!





HAPPY BIRTHDAY PATTY!




credits:

Bow - kb party on sampler

QP - kb let's party

fonts - enchanted prairiedog. enter sansman




Happy birthday to our niece Patty. Yesterday you were a little girl playing grown-up... today you are the grown up with a giggling gaggle of beautiful girls of your own! Who knew? We enjoy as watching your lovely family raises up. We wish you every happiness for your special day.




CLOSE KNIT - layout by KimB



credits:

All elements, papers etc made by KimB
except the string heart made by... me! (cleverly recolored by Kim)


Thanks for sharing your BEE-YEW-TEE-FUL layout Kim, I am honored to have my element on your elegant creation! If you love this layout as much as I do you will have to scoot over to Kim's Blog to scoop it as a template, complete with stitching! Wow - you're too generous Kim. Please don't forget to leave some gratitude with attitude for the girl when you visit!



little garden angel


I'm so glad – I've managed to clean out and organize several drawers and cupboards about the house in between the rest of life clamoring about me! What a good feeling this is. Things are settling into a routine again. The students are come back to the school, me among them – everyone safe and sound and eager to learn.


I feel like life is one giant multi-task these days. I'm being pressed on every side – but I keep reminding myself that ALL things are possible through our Lord. The bible tells us to be anxious in NOTHING (Phillipians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.) And isn't this so true? Being anxious robs us of the Joy in the moment. It causes us to live in another moment than the one we are in now. It causes us to be either living in the past, or worrying about the future, which won't change it. All it will do is create a negative tension which will reside inside you.


If you have worries or seemingly insurmountable tasks facing you today, if you have things or thoughts in your life which are hindering you from experiencing all the goodness God has in store for you today – won't you simply give each and every item to the Lord, in prayer? Write down each thing and petition Him for wisdom and discernment as to what is essential today, right now. In a few days, look back and see how He answered your requests. You will be amazed. Keep in mind, if you think your prayer was not answered, look again, for often our requests were not answered in a completely physical or literal way, but they HAVE been answered. Our God is good ALL THE TIME.



Don't be always putting off

The things you mean to do,

Answering that letter,

Picking up the phone,

Speaking to an absent friend

Who's feeling all alone.



Tackle one job every day,

That's waiting to be done -

A job that you've been putting off

A job that could be... FUN!



It's interesting how in this poem that the writer does not seem to be talking about 'housework' jobs or chores! Those things will get looked after... or not, but if you died tomorrow, what would you like to be remembered for having gotten crossed off THE list... dishes, dust bunnies, or coffee and visit with a dear friend?



garden he-angel


I came across this funny little item yesterday I just have to share with you – a little thing about when we 'assume' things:



There were once four people – Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was asked to do it. Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but in the end Nobody did it. Somebody got very angry over this because it was really Everybody's job. Everybody thought Anybody would do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn't do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when actually Nobody had asked anybody.


I'm still working on a list of marriage related resources for you all – it will get done... sometime soon, I hope! In the meantime, I came across this marriage blessing from India which is beautiful:



Now for you, there is no rain

For one is shelter to the other.

Now for you, the sun shall not burn

For one is shelter to the other.

Now for you, nothing is hard or bad

For the goodness and badness is taken

By one for the other.



Now for you, there is no night

For one is light to the other.

Now for you, the snow has ended always

For one is protection for the other.

It is that way, from now on, from now on.

Now it is good and there is always food,

and now there is always drink,

And now there is comfort,

Now there is no loneliness.



(Is this how you make your spouse feel?)








Monday, January 07, 2008



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It feels so odd – today is the first day my husband is back at school, after being home for several weeks. I'm missing him already! I know it sounds strange, but he IS my best friend and I never tire of his company. What is wrong with this marriage? LOL! Come on now, I know some of you are thinking this is entirely too wierd. This just happens in books and movies... but truly, I would spend every moment with him and enjoy it. I DO love having 'girl time' with friends and I DO love meeting people, but my husband is the one I always run to to share my day, share my thoughts, share my heart.



photo courtesy of sxc

Having a good marriage gives me a heart for those who are not there just yet. Don't EVER give up hope, there is ALWAYS a way. I'm going to be praying for your marriages this week. I will lift your relationships up and I'm going to seek helpful resources for you. After all, the idea isn't to wait until Valentines Day and then suddenly spring out for chocolate/candy/flowers/pampering... these type of lavishments should be random, spontaneous – because real life does not follow a Calendar. Society sets aside special holidays to celebrate ideas, but really the ideas should be celebrated all year long!

*****

Well, it sounds like many of you, like me, have been launched into an early ‘spring cleaning’ whilst in the throes of packing Christmas away! Is it just me or does it seem like there are far more ornaments and knick knacks going back into the boxes than originally came out? Either this or someone hid some of my boxes on me... Our tree remains up but may get taken apart tomorrow, if I am feeling inspired.


*****

Boy the weather is menopaus-ish... going from cold to hotflushy (almost tropical feeling) to expecting cold again starting tomorrow. Well at least its not boring. The past few days have been so busy that I’ve not gotten actually out in the outside, merely observed from the comfort indoors. I need to get out! I was on a real baking spree the other day, whipping up a turkey, chili, cookies and a whole bunch of wonderful dishes which will give me some time off from the stove all this week.

I have an email I recieved from my friend Alicia which I’m sharing with you because I didn’t know this information. I had no idea there was a ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ way to forward emails. I only know that I’m careful, meaning some emails did not get read if I did not trust them. Thanks for sharing this Alicia – I always love good advice!


HOW TO FORWARD E-MAIL APPROPRIATELY

A friend who is a computer expert received the following directly from a system administrator for a corporate system. It is an excellent message that ABSOLUTELY applies to ALL of us who send e-mail. Please read the short letter below, even if you’re sure you already follow proper procedures.

Do you really know how to forward e-mails? 50% of us do; 50% DO NOT.

Do you wonder why you get viruses or junk mail? Do you hate it?

Every time you forward an e-mail there is information left over from the people who got the message before you, namely their e-mail addresses & names. As the messages get forwarded along, the list of addresses builds, and builds, and builds, and all it takes is for some poor sap to get a virus, and his or her computer can send that virus to every e-mail address that has come across his computer. Or, someone can take all of those addresses and sell them or send junk mail to them in the hopes that you will go to the site and he will make five cents for each hit. That’s right, all of that inconvenience over a nickel!

How do you stop it? Well, there are several easy steps:

  • When you forward an e-mail, DELETE all of the other addresses that appear in the body of the message (at the top). That’s right, DELETE them. Highlight them and delete them, backspace them, cut them, whatever it is you know how to do. It only takes a second. You MUST click the “Forward” button first and then you will have full editing capabilities against the body and headers of the message. If you don’t click on “Forward” first , you won’t be able to edit the message at all.

  • Whenever you send an e-mail to more than one person, do NOT use the To: or Cc: fields for adding e-mail addresses. Always use the BCC : (blind carbon copy) field for listing the e-mail addresses. This is the way the people you send to will only see their own e-mail address. If you don't see your BCC option click on where it says To: and your address list will appear. Highlight the address and choose BCC and that's it, it's that easy. When you send to BCC your message will automatically say "Undisclosed Recipients" in the "TO:" field of the people who receive it.

  • Remove any "FW" in the Subject line. You can re-name the subject if you wish or even fix spelling.

  • ALWAYS hit your Forward button from the actual e-mail you are reading. Ever get e-mail that you have to open 10 pages to read the one page with the information on it? By Forwarding from the actual page you wish someone to view, you stop them from having to open many e-mails just to see what you sent.

  • Have you ever gotten an email that is a petition? It states a position and asks you to add your name and address and to forward it to 10 or 15 people or your entire address book. The email can be forwarded on and on and can collect thousands of names and email addresses. A FACT: The completed petition is actually worth a couple of bucks to a professional spammer because of the wealth of valid names and e-mail addresses contained therein. If you want to support the petition, send it as your own personal letter to the intended recipient. Your position may carry more weight as a personal letter than a laundry list of names and email address on a petition. (Actually, if you think about it, who's supposed to send the petition in to whatever cause it supports? And don't believe the ones that say that the e-mail is being traced, it just aint so!)

  • One of the main ones I hate are the ones that say that something like, "Send this e-mail to 10 people and you'll see something great run across your screen." Or, sometimes they'll just tease you by saying something really cute will happen ... IT AINT GONNA HAPPEN!!!!! (Trust me, I'm still seeing some of the same ones that I waited on 10 years ago!) I don't let the bad luck ones scare me either, they get trashed. (Could be why I haven't won the lottery??)

  • Before you forward an Amber Alert, or a Virus Alert, or some of the other ones floating around nowadays, check them out before you forward them. Most of them are junk mail that's been circling the net for YEARS! Just about everything you receive in an e-mail that is in question can be checked out at Snopes. Just go to http://www.snopes.com/

Its really easy to find out if it's real or not. If it's not, please don't pass it on.

So please, in the future, let's stop the junk mail and the viruses.

Finally, here's an idea!!! Let's send this to everyone we know (but strip my address off first, please). This is something that SHOULD be forwarded.

I hope you found this useful! It was an eye-opener to me. I'm going to leave you with a few funny marriage type humour videos to brighten up your day! (YOU HAVE TO TURN YOUR VOLUME UP TO MAX FOR THE SECOND ONE!! its very quiet, but worth it!)














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