Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A dear friend, Another Blog and a Freebie

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I'm so proud today to introduce you to a new blog I've been working on for a while. I was giving it some time to work out any kinks, and to give the members of my church - Osoyoos Christian Center - time to warm up to the idea, to let it evolve a bit. I'm comfortable at this time to open it up for sharing, so I'd love it if you found the opportunity to check it out! Comments welcome! Just click on the banner and you'll be transported!

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I also chose today to reveal it because I cannot help but want to share my dear friend Kaye with you all. Though our church body is blessed with several senior ladies - each one a true inspiration to me, I thought I would start with an introduction to Kaye - then I will work my way through to all of us eventually so we can come to know and appreciate each other the more!

This blog coordinates, and is in addition to a meeting which we women have online on a chat on Wednesday nights! Its been such a blessing, specially with everyone's busy lives. So the chat is a place we can all count on to be. A nice way to connect for sometimes we don't get to Church every Sunday. I've been very impressed with the attendance of the chats and Wednesdays have become a highlight of my week! I can count on my sisters to be there for me if I have a prayer request or want to share.

One thing that surprised me and struck me is that Kaye found the Lord at the age of 53! I've not even lived this long - so thats very powerful to me ... especially because she had so much life previous to compare what its like to live to compare it to living in the Grace of God. How wonderful!

My friend Rose chose the subject for us to study via our blog these past two weeks and it's proved a very interesting one for me. It is "A Timely Word"

Beyond what I published a week ago at the OCC blog, I have another few thoughts here too. The first is a sentence I found in a very old book I got from the thrift store - just a novel - called Kitty, but this bit jumped out at me.

'Silence bears heavily upon a chatterer'

Ha! Its so very true. Have you ever sat out someone who's just blustering on - someone who spews out words just to fill up a silence? They usually give out FAR too much info. Right there is a good reason to share a TIMELY word, not LOTS of words.

The second thing revealed to me comes from Streams in the Desert:

'A word spoken pleasantly

is a large spot of sunshine on a sad heart.

Therefore, "Give others the sunshine, tell Jesus the rest."

So true!

The third item I would like to share is... well, sometimes I know that I have to be creative and NOT use words at all. Sometimes its better just to be 'Timely' but in a different way. And it is said that a picture is worth a thousand words... So recently I discovered a way to communicate something wordlessly to my sweet husband, about what to do with his yard work shoes. My words were beginning to degenerate into nagging...


Proverbs 19:13

A foolish son is his father's ruin,
and a quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping.


So, after putting my thinker on, I discovered how to ask him to put his shoes away where they belong - via email, without words!


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I also need to acknowledge an award I received from talented designer (and sister to world famous KimB) Gaye, who gifted me with this thoughtful tribute:


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and says "Mrs. Miles who always puts a smile on my face with her messages and wishes"

Well, I'm DELIGHTED I put a smile on your face, Gaye - its a reflection, don't ya know? Ever notice this... try it sometime, instead of waiting for smiles, try one on and test them on people... it comes back 9 x out of 10 I've found! Now, Gaye is about to find out I'm an award hogger most of the time. I'm supposed to be working on my BIG PROJECT right now, but instead I'm here... so I thank you so much, dear friend - for the sweet thought and tribute. I'll award it forward someday in the future! I wonder what goodies both KimB and GAYE have up on their bloggies... hmmm, always SOMETHING pretty to enjoy - lets scoot over and check!

I'll leave you with these sweet duckies I took out of old treasure chest and dusted off! There are two versions, one filled and one line art. Personal Use only, please.


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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Day of Rest

 

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photo credit: Roger Richardson

I hope you all find some way to just rest in the Lord today! 

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Show and Tell (putting my hand up!) and a CU Freebie



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Well, I've really missed taking part in Kelli's Show and Tell Fridays, so being as I actually am organised I will share something this week. If you would like to join in the fun you can by posting an item you would like to share, then visiting Kelli's blog and adding yourself to the links list. She's got a STUNNING embroidered pillow on display - a gift she won from her friend Jackie's blog! Blog land is so wonderful.

Today I'm sharing an item I bought yesterday at the local thrift store. I actually spent $8 there, which broke down into about 12 items, but I don't want to overwhelm so I will just display my funnest buy.


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Such a cool little item - comes in a plastic container, with a recipe booklet. Well perhaps I can't really imagine myself making as many of these things as is displayed on the cover, but still...


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Each little cutter has a plunger on the end, so that the shapes don't get stuck in the tubes.


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Four fun shapes - I think these will be great for veggies, fruit, bread cubes (croutons) dough items or even cheese. I can also see cutting shapes out of beeswax for crafting!


And how much did this set me back? What would you say if I 'fessed it cost me 25 cents?


And since I've not created anything for a while, and because I'm feeling inspired and because my friend KIM B's Commercial Use Items ROCK... I'm giving you some sweet eggs for you to use in any way you wish. I've been playing with Kim's Commercial Use items and having a BALL. If you are a designer, or even a daring personal use scrapper who wants to lend your own flair to things, you simply MUST visit Kim to find out more about her many Commercial Use Products she has available.


I must confess, I forgot to include Kim in my TOU for the eggs but I DID use her lace and the ribbon for these eggs!

I'd LOVE to see how you use the eggs, if you would be so kind as to let me know, send me a jpg, layout etc? I'd feature you even!

(eggs are aprox. 5 inches high!)

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Monday, March 23, 2009

My Fastest Post Ever & the answer is NO!



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This will be my fastest blog post ever as I have a dear friend coming over to craft and PLAY with me today.

I WON! - and I did not really know I'd entered to. Haha! My dear friend JanMary was hosting a St. Patrick's Carnival on her blog this past month and offered up all sorts of fun treasures as prizes. I'd not thought I'd enter for I received a LOVELY bag (and chocolate) from her last year. I just love to visit her blog as its always filled with encouragement, craft ideas, wit and fabulous photography. I just pop in there to 'get my fill' when I see a new post - so, imagine my surprise when I received an email saying I'd won this Irish Cook Book. I will surely enjoy it! Thanks JanMary!


And ... NO!

Mr. Miles is on the second week of spring break. He's spent the first week clearing up all sorts of projects - both work related and around the house and income tax and I don't know what-all... for I told him I'm taking the phone away from him and he's not to do anything but .... well, whatever he WANTS to do (which I suspect involves making music) So, we KNOW that we will be asked to do all sorts of things this week... but I'm going to be firm and say NO from the 'get go'

I'm taking the week to play too - so if you don't hear/see me, you'll know I'm not 'gnorning you, just playing.

Hope you are having a good day!




Saturday, March 21, 2009

Is Spring Sprung?

 

Its not just all ice anymore! 

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I even saw some small mayfly or mosquito like insects rising in the air, and...

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Yay!!! A new baby in the family!

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credit: tag by Kristin CB – lil boys kit

 

I’m an Auntie! 

Congratulations go out to Samantha and Cory on the birth of their new baby boy – Ethan.  I won’t spoil all the good news, rather will point you to (very proud and beaming) Grandma Judy’s blog and to Samantha's blog too!  Judy’s loaded the blogs up with pics and info! 

Squee, Squee (and yes, Nina, the kazoo!)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

 

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Today belongs to the Irish – I can think of no better place to learn about and celebrate than over at my friend JanMary’s  (from Ireland) blog, where she’s hosting her own St. Patrick’s Day Blog Carnival.  Just click on the image to be transported!

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Saturday, March 14, 2009

In Prison - willingly

 

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photo credit: saavem@sxc

She has a ministry inside a prison in Panama (she does not live in there, is not incarcerated)  She tells us these women come from all over the world and the average age is… young.  She says that even with a language barrier – that the language of LOVE speaks louder than words ever can. 

She tells us about the appalling conditions these women live in.  She is very ‘real’ about what its like without making us feel responsible for how it is.  Its just the way it is.  Working there has changed her life – and has most definitely changed theirs.  She says that over time these women have fondly come to call her “Mamma” and love to share a big hug when she spends time amongst them.  

Her goal this trip from her visit back here in Canada includes taking a guitar back so she can worship with them – its something which seems to minister in a way that nothing else can. 

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“She” is Colleen Guskjolen and she with her husband James are LAC Ministries – that's short for Latin American Ministries.  They serve the Latin America and Caribbean areas. They left the comfort and security of Canada – sold off all but a few personal possessions to fulfill the desires of their hearts to reach out to those in need. 

Must be quite a change for Colleen to find herself ‘behind bars’ when she used to have a good position in the banking industry here in Canada!

Can you imagine, James and Colleen pray for US, here in Canada as well?  They tell us that the needs are JUST as important in Canada and sometimes even harder to effect – so they are not looking for us to take our focus off our needs at home.   They also do not want us to feel guilt and shame to live in the affluence that we are blessed with – rather they assure us that because we are so blessed we have a power to help and affect others through their ministry!  What a unique outlook!

Their communication with us (held in the home of our Pastor) opened our hearts and gave us a new hope in a mission which is radically different from what we suppose is the usual way to reach those in need.  To put it in a nutshell, (besides the programs they already have in place to meet the needs of the poor and impoverished)  they have a goal to reach the small percentage of ‘haves’ – those people in key positions of power and authority in these impoverished countries, for through a change in the key players (‘movers and shakers’) it will cause a trickle all the way DOWN to those most in need. 

See, we always see the very visual need in the masses – the 80% in most countries… and when we help them, we help them for a time, but eventually the cycle starts all over again.  The trickle very rarely goes UP!  So, though their ministry will continue to help and feed the needy, they will also focus on training and vocation – and to woo and evangelize to the rich and influential.  For Jesus did not tell us to go out and make disciples of just the poor …

Matthew 28:19

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations

Sometimes we forget this.  Somehow our minds allow us to think the wealthy don’t need anything, or are unwilling to listen. 

So it was refreshing to hear James and Colleen’s take on things – to share in their vision of having people come on board whether through finances (which is one way we can all help, this is the power each one of us has) but also through the EXCITING ministries they are working with – such as already established and to be established vocational training institutions and by providing micro-loans to help people start their own businesses.

I could go on, for I am very enthused and encouraged about what they are doing – instead you can find out more about their work by clicking HERE.  

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The very fact that you are reading this post and live in a country of wealth and comfort may the be very thing which could unlock the gates to assist those less fortunate, by not only helping to feed but to educate and assist.  And of course we can all offer up prayer for James and Colleen as they fulfill their ministry.

 

photo credit: craigPJ@sxc

As my husband and I sponsor a little girl in Guatemala its encouraging to know these sorts of things might be available to her as well. 

UPDATE – I just tried to leave a comment using the form on James and Colleen’s site and it did not work for me.  I am emailing them now so if you would like to contact them let me know and perhaps they can get their form functioning again on the site. 

I  have so much more to share – unrelated to this subject,  but have run out of time so I’ll post again in the next day or so.  In the meantime, here’s an element which I created from a photo that Donna took of a building – I thought the cherub woud be perfect to add to a layout!   You can visit Donna’s blog by clicking HERE – she takes some lovely photos!  Thanks for allowing me to turn it into this pretty element.

 

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

My Sister Inspires Me

I keep telling my sister her cards inspire – so funny that today I decided to go for a walk instead of working out on a machine… seeing as how the sun has graced us once again – and lo and behold as I passed this grove (is this the proper term for it?) of bullrushes, I simply had to stop and snap a ‘roll of film’ – or do we call it something else these days with digital?

You will know what I mean if you hop over to Nina’s blog and check out her card of the day. Haha, you are SO fortunate Sis, I was about to stuff a bullrush into my pocket and ship it off to you, but I got so covered in fuzz that I realized some things are beyond polite humour.

Here are a few of my favourite snaps, and I’ll post a slideshow of all at the bottom of this post.

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Free Pledge

 

Seriously, if you live in Canada you can get a can of Pledge for free – its supposed to be a new formula too which cleans and shines better. 

You will also find MANY more coupons here as well for $$$ off some pretty popular products.

Just click on the image below to be taken to the coupons.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Nummy Cheese Sticks

 

I decided to document and share my version of bread sticks.  I first of all mix up a batch of the Peasant Bread from the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day cookbook – but I alter it by adding some flax seeds, a tablespoon of molasses and a teaspoon of soy sauce.  I LOVE the bread recipe – it gets mixed up ahead of time and I can turn it into all sorts of wonderful baked goods when I decide.

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Once I have the dough rolled out (you can gauge the approximate size by comparing it to the rolling pin and pastry brush next to it)  I lightly roll the dough to about 1/2 inch thick.  Then I brush it with some flavoured oil.  I used a garlic oil in this case.

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Next I put sprinkle on a mixture of cheese – in this case a sharp cheddar and mozzarella.

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Then, I fold it in half.

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Now, just using my hands, I try to square the sides off a bit into a rough rectangle.  I also brushed this exposed side with more garlic oil.

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Next, I take a pizza cutter and slice about 3/4 inch slices, lengthwise.  I twist each stick by holding one end and then the other.

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Ready for the oven!  I’ll bake these at 450 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until a lovely golden color.  I also put a shallow metal pan in the oven (like the Artisan cookbook recommends for some recipes) and I toss a little water in to make steam.  This ensures these cheese sticks are crun-chewy!

 

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Out of the oven and cooling on the racks.  They were too much temptation for the Mr. who ‘snitched’ one on his way by…

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An attractive and delicious addition to any table.  I think children would especially find these fun in the lunchbox!

Monday, March 09, 2009

My Thrifty Buys

 

We took a quick trip down to the coast this past weekend to spend some time with our folks.  Our Dad wanted some help from Mr. Miles to move some stuff off to the dump and various things so it was a good opportunity to do this.  We drove down on Thursday afternoon and were fortunate with good weather the entire way. 

Mom always feeds us like there is no tomorrow – this weekend was no exception.  We devoured an entire turkey and trimmings together over the few days, along with our Sister and kids. There was Chocolate Cream Pie and Strawberry Slice and Chocolate Chip cookies, and Peanut Butter Cookies and little almonds in their soft shells that you can peel with your fingers, and baby manderin oranges and… you get the picture {groan, work out all week!}

While Mr. and Dad were busy, my Sister in Law and I tore up the pavement going to yard sales and stores, something that bonds us like nothing else can. hehe.  The following are some of my terrific buys!

 

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Pretty Ribbons – can never get enough now that I’ve gone hybrid with making cards, right?  I paid about $2 for 8 rolls.

 

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Gorgeous lace – this stuff is something like 6 inches tall.  I can TOTALLY see a strip of black lace incorporated in a sympathy card.  {on the other hand its sort of sensuous too?}  These cost $3 – about 5 yards of each.

 

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Nice, soft and pretty stationary set.  Perfect for a quick spring note!  Yes, only $1.

 

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And these lovely waxes would make a stunning finish when sealed on the back of an envelope!  Would you believe a mere 25 cents?

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And while I am scrapping away… some nice music to listen to.  Ok, I’ve not confessed this here before, but I have been guilty of downloading and ripping music from like other CD’s etc?  Ahhh … for instance the library?  For instance I always found some way to justify it?  Until about three weeks ago, when I suddenly found I could not listen to and enjoy the music anymore.  I just could not feel right about it anymore.

So, I prayed about it and then deleted every single music file off my computer and ipod that I did not personally buy.  Yep, several THOUSAND songs.  And yes, my poor ipod seemed so vast and empty afterward, but I have given it to the Lord – He will supply!  And how cool to find 9 CD’s for $9 this past weekend. 

 

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This will be something fun for me to do with my Mr. one cold day.  {like in the next few days as we are having record low temps!}  I don’t think I’ll manage to get him to wear the little foot socks though. 

 

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These were the HIGHLIGHT of my shopping spree, for sure!  Two brand new Sugoi biking shirts for me and Mr. – matching!  They have a mountain scene on them and the pockets on the back to tote water and snacks.  These were a paltry $2.50 apeice.  Really.

 

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These are the FUNNEST thing I bought.  They are little toothpick things that have an eensy weensy ‘bottle brush’ end on them with a wire in the middle.  They come with a cap with air holes in it so it dries out in between uses.  Interesting alternative to regular toothpicks.  Oh yes, these cost a whole 25 cents too – from a discount store.

This is the end of my little show session.  Have YOU found any treasures lately?

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Silver Deco returns from the “Virtual Vault”

 

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Personal Use

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I had a request from K’lynn to dig deep back into time to dust of my Silver Deco elements for those of you who may have missed it last year.   There are three Denim – Colored papers included – the color really sets the Silver off. 

Thanks for asking – if there is an element you’ve missed, please let me know and I’ll head to the vault and seek it out!   

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