Friday, March 31, 2006

{21} Day 5

I do love this quote that Rhonna gave us - it felt empowering to me. So far so good on the "movin' and groovin' and I've done something every single day now - 5 in a row - woohoo! LOL!

Fun Fact Friday

"Tell us something fun, something embarrassing, something strange or something you don't think anyone will expect out of you... "

1. I still pull out my Nancy Drew books from time to time and reread them. HYPERS!

2. I was a Camp Fire Girl up until the 9th grade. (that shows my age since they don't use the word "girl" anymore)

3. I really dislike getting my hands dirty, which is why I've never gotten into the whole gardening thing. Kinda strange I enjoy so many of the paper arts since they involve inks and paints!

I think that's enough for now..... :)

Sweet Smelling Flowers and Pretty Pink Tableware

I was so surprised to look out my kitchen window and discover roses blooming. When we first moved into this house there were rose bushes in the back, but one negative aspect of dog ownership is their ability to ruin the "flora" and landscaping. But today when I looked out I saw a very leggy rosebush and actually roses blooming! What a wonderful blessing from God this was today. Regardless of any ugliness elsewhere we find stolen moments of sweet fragrance and beauty.

A similar thing happened this morning before work when I took Joe for a walk. On another block I suddenly smelled a beautiful fragrance and looked around to discover the source. I never did locate it, but it put a smile on my face for the rest of my walk.

About smiles - yesterday at work I had my usual breakfast of instant oatmeal in a styrofoam cup, eaten with a hot pink plastic spoon. Some of the girls there teased me about the flashy spoon and I explained that Party City had their tableware on sale and I got several packages in pretty colors for only 87 cents for 25 spoons. I told them that eating oatmeal in the middle of the day with a spoon of a beautiful color brings a smile to my face and that is worth it.

And in the midst of all the smiling and sweet fragrances comes a huge disturbance in my friendships and personal life. I have always handled strife and confrontations in the same manner - I bury my head in the sand or take the Scarlet O'Hara approach (I'll think about it tomorrow). Perhaps that is wrong, but I firmly believe that words spoken in anger are the hardest words to take back. And it is not serving me well this time around.

Health-wise - the x-rays from last Friday have still not been "interpreted" and the nurse this morning said she'd call me as soon as they had the results. I've been doing searches on the internet for the new infusion therapy I might be facing and so far, other than the obvious frightening aspects, all the outcomes look very, very good. Perhaps I'll just have to remember to bring sweet smelling flowers and pretty pink tableware when I go the first time. :)

~ Elizabeth

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. - Ecclesiastes 3

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Happy Birthday Beloved and Day 4!

First off - Happy Birthday to my Beloved today! Unfortunately he was up a large part of last night sick and still sick as a dog today, so no celebrating for him tonight. :( He did call me on the way to work though and said he loved the birthday card I made for him. :)

Day 4 of the 21 Day Challenge today. I'm happy to report that for 3 days in a row I've exercised - woohoo! And I'm on track so far for today. I'm sure my version of exercise is not like other's, but I'm really ok with that. It's not a race against others, it's a race against my negative thoughts. And so far so good!

Sorry for the poor picture quality, but only have my cell phone camera at work with me (note to self - scan this when I get home tonight!). I did notice that the poor girl's eyes in the picture look like she's mad and that really wasn't what I was going for!

Last night I made the decision to not go and get my hair colored and highlighted again. I love it and felt prettier after getting it done than I have in a long time. of my new big goals is to work towards me not working any more so that I can stay home and take care of my health. Spending that kind of money to get my hair done will not get me closer to that goal at all! And really, when I bought color at Sally Beauty Supply I still felt pretty and NOT GRAY, so I'm going to learn to appreciate that more.

And I walked out of the house this morning without my "fun stuff" bag, so no knitting at lunch, no music cd's, no nothin'. Makes for a long day.....

~ Elizabeth

Celebrating a birthday reminds us of the goodness of life, and in this spirit we really need to celebrate people’s birthdays every day, by showing gratitude, kindness, forgiveness, gentleness, and affection. These are ways of saying: “It’s good that you are alive; it’s good that you are walking with me on this earth. Let’s be glad and rejoice. This is the day God has made for us to be and to be together.” - Henri J.M. Nouwen

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

OTP Canvas

This is the project I made last night at OTP. I've seen people use canvas before and have been to afraid to try it myself, but what do you know - I did it! Started with a blank canvas, painted it, added the hinges, pictures and embellishments and now have a work of art. Keith is so impressed with it and that means a lot to me.

21 Day Challenge - Days 1, 2 and 3!

I've joined another challenge! This one is so perfect for me right now. It's on Rhonna Farrer's blog and is the 21 Day Challenge.

What *is* The {21} Challenge?It's a challenge that is based on 2 ideas:
1. The idea of creating or breaking (conquering) a habit in 21 days. Studies have shown that it takes 21 days to change. So, choose a habit you want to create or conquer in these 21 days. 2. The idea that art is therapy. We take the 'art journal' angle on this to create for 21 days & journal our feelings,triumphs, failures, etc. It makes the 21 days go alot faster doing something we love.

I'm lovin' this idea for many reasons! The habit I'm going for is exercise - to do SOMETHING each and every single day and become more active. Because of physical limitations I've tried and failed at this many times by trying to be like others. I need to learn that it's ok to do less than others, but more than I'm doing now. So in addition to the journalling each day, I have pages at the back of my book to document the exercise I do. I'm really quite psyched over this!

The journalling process is another challenge in and of itself to me. I used to always love to doodle just for doodling's sake. Now suddenly doodling is all the rage in the scrapbook world. So my art challenge is to only use my black marker on my pages and to doodle for expression's sake and not worry about being graded or judged. So far I've learned that I don't really care for the larger end of the pen!

The Card

This is the card I made for Keith's birthday tomorrow. It's not exactly a traditional birthday card, but our relationship is so wonderful and strong and when I saw this stamp set I knew it was right. And the most amazing thing about this card is that I came up with on my own! And even more amazing, I made it Saturday at retreat and when some of the other girls saw it, they borrowed my stamp set and made similar cards. That has to be the most incredible flattery in the world and I am lovin' it!

~ Elizabeth

Two angels met one day in heaven above, two kindred souls, attuned to perfect bliss. Attracted by subtle powers of love, lips greeted lips, and thus was born a kiss. And since that time on earth as in heaven, whenever faithful lovers meet or part, fond lips touch lips; a fervent kiss is given, that seals the vows of each devoted heart. - unknown

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Texas Cloth

WooHoo - actually finished a knitting project today at lunch! This Texas cloth is going to a gal along with many others from around Texas, then she'll stitch them all together to make a blanket for her "pending" grandbaby!

This was the first knitting lunch I've spent in quite some time and I'd almost forgotten how much I enjoy them. I take my lunch to a nearby park, open the windows and enjoy the day. It's almost like stolen moments in the middle of a workday.

Retreat, Retreat!

Still recovering from the FABULOUS time I had at the scrapbooking retreat last weekend! There were over 30 ladies there and the picture is half the room at about 6:30 Sunday morning. Since many of them didn't go to bed until about 4:00, it was pretty deserted when I got up at 6:00!

All I accomplished on Saturday was some serious socializing and extreme laughter, along with making Keith's birthday card and getting some rubber stamps mounted. Sunday though I worked on and almost have completed my 8x8 Christmas album from last year! Apparently retreat weekends work very well for me because there's plenty of time to talk and laugh and yet plenty more time to be productive.

This awesome scene of the cross by the lake was about 6:15 Sunday morning. I'm sure I looked a sight shuffling down there with my cameras and wearing my pj's, but it was oh so worth it.

~ Elizabeth

"Time spent with friends is the best time of all." - Unknown

Thursday, March 23, 2006

((( Thursday Blogger 3.23.06 )))

Challenge: Beautiful Books. 1. What is the most beautiful book you own? 2. In what way is it beautiful? Is it the illustrations, the binding, a combination of these, or something else? 3. How often do you look at it, browse through it, read it?

Today's challenge was very easy for me - The Bible. Though in the picture this particular copy might not radiate beauty to the casual observer, the real beauty is found within. This book gives me hope, joy and strength and I can't imagine my life without it.

I know that I don't spend near enough time reading it, but sometimes I can get lost within. This particular version is nice because there is a lot of study material in the margins and can give you reference materials and thoughts from others to help further understanding.

And I have to admit that one of the reasons that I like this particular version is that I received it as a gift from a friend years ago. She had one and enjoyed it, so she got a copy for me.

Cold Spring Morning

This picture was taken last week when we had such warm weather. Today it was 37 degrees when Joe and I took our walk! I suppose that means it was invigorating and he sure had a bounce in his step - very happy puppy!

I'm kind of on a roll lately with cooking disasters. Late yesterday afternoon I put a pumpkin bread in the oven since it's one of Keith's favorite. I decided it would be a nice treat for him to have a piece after church last night. Unfortunately, the center was not cooked and the edges burned. I really think that Paula Deen has no worries about me going after her job.

Tonight after work I'll be a busy little girl getting all my scrapbook stuff together for a retreat this weekend - my first! This one is pretty close to the house, so I'm not sure if I'll stay there overnight or if I'll come home to sleep. Either way, it will be great fun to spend time with friends and have no worries except for scrapbooking and eating! It's a strange feeling though as I don't think I've ever spent a weekend away from Keith just having fun with friends.

~ Elizabeth

"Believing in someone is the best kind of love." - unknown

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Humility, Clipboards and Weight Loss

Church tonight - YAY!!!

I did this clipboard about a month ago at our monthly scrapbook/teaching meeting and finally remembered to post it! Altered clipboards are something that I always assumed were way too hard for me and I found out I was wrong! The teacher's clipboard used the corkboard in the lower right with pushpins and as a clipboard. She also put a post-it pad on the lower left and said it was hanging in her cube at work. I want it to hang in my crop room, so decided to go with more pictures than functionality. I also discovered that I had a blast working with pictures of the kids when they were young, so I think I need to start scrapbooking some of those pictures and bring the "fun" back to my layouts.

It also hit me for a new reason today that I will always have pets. Obviously I absolutely adore having them around, but they also help to keep a person humble. How in the world can we be arrogant when we constantly are having to clean up cat vomit or dog droppings? Something to ponder on. ;)

And Friday morning I have my routine rheumatological appointment and am hoping he can do something with my right arm (sounds like I'm hoping for him to delete it or something!). I'm now having to wear a brace on it at all times and that is rather restrictive. I miss knitting and while that might seem silly to some, for me it was very soothing to have the rhythm of the needles and such a great stress reliever. Maybe there will be a magic pill or shot and all will be well again.

Oh and I have truly discovered the secret to weight loss! Last night's dinner was a new to me casserole recipe from the internet and sweet cream biscuits from the Rachel Ray magazine. The biscuits were very good and the casserole I declared to be "yuck" after two bites and ate no more. So the simple secret is to only have foods that are "yuck" and you will eat less!!! LOL!

~ Elizabeth

"God will not look you over for medal, degrees or diplomas, but for scars." - Elbert Hubbard

Monday, March 20, 2006

Insta Party!

We had a really fun, really fast trip to OKC on Saturday. First a drive by with mom, Gary and Michele and we all went to Chili's for lunch. The problem with short visits is that you leave still having so much to say and ask! I hope to not do short visits too many times and always stay longer. I guess the flip side is that short visits are easier to schedule. :shrugs:

Next we went to the in-law's house to celebrate my father-in-law's birthday with an "insta-party". The four of us (five if you count Joe!) spilled out of the truck wearing hats, lei's and blowing horns, ran into the house where he was sitting in a chair and starting blowing silly string all around! He laughed so hard his face was turning red! Then we went into the dining room and put up some birthday decorations, tablecloth and fun plates and served up birthday cake. A really nice time, topped off with eating dinner at a barbeque restaurant.

Coming home was a bit of a chore in the heavy rain, but we made it without a hitch. Hard to believe what drought the Dallas area has been in and in one fell swoop this weekend we got a lot of the needed water. Unfortunately there was much street flooding in Dallas and the Emergency Room of Baylor Hospital flooded.

~ Elizabeth

May you live a long life
Full of gladness and health,
With a pocket full of gold
As the least of your wealth.
May the dreams you hold dearest,
Be those which come true,
The kindness you spread,
Keep returning to you.
- an Irish Blessing

Friday, March 17, 2006

Orange Blueberry Muffins

Getting a slow start today, still just not feeling it! Anyway, this picture is what I see every day I work from home and every weekend morning. Meeko and Joe fight over the open window to see who can get there first. Meeko is the alpha dog in this relationship though, regardless of him being feline.

Last night I made a batch of Orange Blueberry Muffins from the Jan/Feb 2006 Paula Deen magazine and we loved them! The batter was even really good before going in the oven. ;) Now I will admit to changing her recipe somewhat, but not because I'm a better cook than Paula Deen. The recipe called for 1 1/2 cups of fresh blueberries and when I got to the store and saw that blueberries were $3.99 for the small container I knew that wasn't going to happen! So my version had about 3/4 cup instead. Silly Lynne' said she thought it was still too many blueberries!

I actually almost have a Texas washcloth finished knitting - woohoo! I've about decided since I hurt my forearms knitting socks as fast as I could that maybe I'll just stick with big pointy sticks instead of teeny tiny ones for awhile and let my arms heal. Lucky for me I have MANY pregnant friends and relatives right now, so I should be able to stick with baby blankets and such for the time being.

~ Elizabeth

"He that cannot forgive others, breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass if he would reach heaven: for every one has need to be forgiven." - Thomas Fuller

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Spring Break Cards

Getting my crop area all fixed up and it was so nice last night when I needed to make a card and had a space to do it! I've been very tired lately and not feeling creative, so I fell back on my standard card. This one is a masculine version, but by changing the pattern paper and sentiment it will work for any occasion. Doesn't show well on the scan, but there is a brown cardstock mat.

It's strange to stop and realize that it's spring break right now. My baby being 20 means that spring break isn't nearly the thing it used to be. She is on spring break from college this week, but it doesn't really change her schedule all that much. I remember in years past scheduling vacation time during this week to spend with the kiddos and run them to the zoo and movies and picnics. These times they are a changin'!

((( Thursday Blogger 3.16.06 )))

Today's challenge questions really made me think - and that's a good thing!

1. The biggest enemy to creativity is unrealistic personal expectations. We are now blessed with so many ways of seeing and reading about our favorite hobbies - the internet, magazines, etc. And there are some truly inspired artists out there that can just make you breathe a sigh of pleasure when you see their work. The unwanted side affect of that is that I want everything I create to be just as beautiful and awe inspiring. Sometimes I sit in front of a blank piece of cardstock and just freeze rather than move forward. I want to create such beautiful things for my children and family to see and love. And it's easy to lose sight of the real reason I started doing this in the first place, which was to preserve our memories. I fell victim to this same thing in a hard way when I was quilting and I can't believe I'm doing it again. Note to self - work on this!

2. The only thing I know for sure about the creative process is that it's an ongoing personal process. I'm not sure I've yet found my own personal style in scrapbooking as there are so many that I like. And that's ok. When I am in the right frame of mind and scrapbooking for my family I get so much done and enjoy the creative process so much. And more often than not I'm very pleased with my results. I do look back on things I did a few years back and think what I should've done differently, but they still are pleasing to me and make me happy. And that should be my goal.

~ Elizabeth - who is feeling rather deep this morning!

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against You. - Psalm 119:11

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Wednesday 2Peas Challenge

Challenge: List 5-10 of your most FAVE SNACK FOODS ( You know,the ones that make you say: " I JUST GOTTA HAVE EM!") and share any stories/why you love them so much!

Well now isn't this a fun challenge!

1. Reese's Peanut Butter cups - they make me swoon
2. Rotel & cheese dip with tortilla chips - especially when my mom makes it cause it's da bomb!
3. Raw veggies & Ranch dip - this one surprises me since it's healthy!
4. Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls - I don't even buy these anymore because I have no self-control when they're around
5. Soy crisps - another believe it or not! Wow these are good!
6. Ritz Extra Crispy Cheddar - whoa baby, you canNOT stop with just a few of these! I recently went to a 12 hour crop and there were several bags there belonging to friends. I tried one and was ready to dive into the bag.

Mustard Seed Faith

Of course I have to give Meeko his fair share of the spotlight! This is baby Meeko, shortly after we got him. Meeko will turn 11 years old this month and is rather hefty now. But he's still just as beautiful.

And today's Bible study actually came about because of my cat! He wakes me up every day around 5:00 like clockwork for his breakfast of Fancy Feast. Unfortunately he doesn't understand about weekends, but we're working on that! I rarely leap out of bed to attend to his every need right away and today was no exception. As I lay there waking up with a loudly purring cat curled up next to me, I thought about his blind faith in his daily meal. It would never occur to him that I wouldn't get up and give him Fancy Feast in the morning - he just knows it to be true. So why then is it so difficult for us to have faith in our Father - even in the bad times? The Bible says that if we have faith even as small as a mustard seed we could move mountains. And yet how many times on the evening news have you seen reports of moving mountains? (Yes, I realize the moving mountains doesn't mean literally a mountain, but you get what I'm saying.) Something to ponder on today....

~ Elizabeth

He replied, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." - Matthew 17:20

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Another Joe Layout

A very simple layout I did for a "black and white" challenge. The coolest thing about it is that I learned how to take a color photo, convert to b&w, then use some color for accent - and all done in Paint Shop Pro! And of course I learn a new technique and I have to do a Joe layout. ;)

Keith, Joe and I headed up to the lake on Saturday for some clean up. For some reason we always underestimate the time it will take us to do this each year. Keith and I raked and bagged leaves for five solid hours - and it's still not complete! We brought home about 15 bags of leaves (that's all that would fit in the back of the truck) and left at least that many at the side of the house there. It will all be worth it come summertime though.

And I actually started organizing the other half of the closet in the office/crop room on Sunday afternoon. I'm really looking forward to getting it all done - obviously! I have some power planning that I should be doing for a two day retreat next weekend, but I think it will be easier to get that all together when I've got everything in its place and am able to find things.

~ Elizabeth

I will be glad and rejoice in You! Psalm 9:2

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Baby Joe

Finally feeling a little more "normal" today after a slight setback healthwise. I even had to get my cane out again and that really makes me sad. But luckily it's been put away again and my strength is returning. And I know better than to work as much as what I have been recently.

Lynne' brought in this picture last night of Joe when he was just a baby. What a sweet little guy! It was fun to look through the pictures and see the plethora of skin he had then vs. the abundance of "plump" he has now.

And ever so barely I've started messing with my various crafts again! The room is a horrible mess right now and my personal deadline of getting it completely redone and organized before the start of summer is fast approaching. I know that once lake season hits I won't be around enough to do extra in there. But in the meantime we'll see what gets done.

I've started a Texas square for a community baby blanket. A lady in an online group I'm with is expecting her second grandchild and she asked us all to knit a square for her so that she could put it together as a blanket. What an absolutely brilliant idea! Our only parameters were to use Cotton Tots yarn, size 7 needles and whatever color we wanted. I cast on during lunch yesterday with grape yarn and have a good start on it. I really like knitting with Cotton Tots and made a charity baby blanket with it last summer after my surgery since the pattern required no thought. Then after we heard about this woman's grandbaby we discovered we had two moms to be with us, so two more squares. I really do love this idea and am happy to take part. It's also a nice, easy project to ease myself back into the crafting sphere.

~ Elizabeth

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever. - Psalm 118:1

Friday, March 03, 2006

Watch What You Say

Things like good words or hurtful words can obviously make a difference in another person's life. But even the "not so big" words can make a difference as well. My sister-in-law has been extolling the virtues of Paula Deen for quite some time. I've never caught her show though, so really had nothing to add to the conversation - and still haven't seen it. But when I was in the grocery story the other day - finally, we needed food! - I saw the Paula Deen magazine in the stand and decided to pick it up, largely because of my sister-in-law. Well this is a magazine I might really get some use out of! The recipes are "real" and things we might actually eat. I now have a new grocery list and will hopefully make it to the store this afternoon to try some things over the weekend. And the mac and cheese I believe is the one that Michele brought to our Christmas dinner and it was da bomb!

I did manage to work on some scrapbooking last night and my new plan of doing old pictures I think will be perfect. I pulled a box out of the closet labeled "Kids Before School" and Lynne' and I spent quite a bit of time going through them. So that will be my focus for awhile.

And I learned a new trick on Paint Shop Pro yesterday! I love the look of black and white photos where one thing is colored as a focus point and I did it - woohoo! Uploaded my new picture to Sams and went and picked it up last night and am just tickled pink over it.

~ Elizabeth

Yes you CAN teach an old dog new tricks!" - unknown

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Words in a Cloud

I finally took the time this morning to go and make a "word cloud" of my blog and that's it at the left. Kind of a fun thing to do and see what words I use. Thankfully they look to be good words!

Last night was a monthly meeting of a scrapbook group I belong to where everybody takes turns teaching a project to the group. This month's project was an altered clipboard and I love it! Of course I'm not finished with it as I need to add photos, but I'll post a picture as soon as it's done. This is the kind of project that I've seen pictures of before and it just looked too hard for me, but it was remarkably doable when it's broken down into steps. Both Keith and Lynne' were very impressed and I've already found a place in my crop room at home to hang it. Not sure what I want the photos to be of yet, but I'll figure something out.

And today is Ash Wednesday, so I'll be going to church tonight. The radio this morning had a reminder that today is a day for refocusing and recentering on the Lord. A time for remembering that there is Somebody so very much more important than the day to day things. A very timely thing for me to hear indeed.

~ Elizabeth

"It's never too late to start doing what is right." - Charles Swindoll