Multitude Monday - November 29th

Once again it's been awhile since I've posted.  My "weekly" Multitude Mondays have become monthly at best.  But...I'd love to change that. For those of you just joining me LOL....this is my attempt to share 1000 things that I'm thankful for. Some are deep, some are funny, some are everyday and some are miraculous but I really do have so many things to be thankful for that I would easily be able to come up with a thousand.  Now, if I could only get around to blogging about them on a more regular basis. 
I'm up to 150 so let's dive in and start at #151.

I'm thankful for:

#151:  Maria.   This woman is an amazing friend.  How is it that you're only making my list here at 151?  We have a weekly coffee/crafting/chitchat date and when we missed the last 2 weeks it nearly broke keep me sane.

#152:  Sewing.  I'm thankful to my Mom who taught me to sew early in life and I'm thankful for a good sewing machine.  A couple of weeks ago I found this very large selection of thread at my thrift store and I can't wait to get some of these funky colours on some cards and layouts.

#153:  A zero balance.  I cut up a whole whack of credit cards about 2 years felt so good to pare down the wallet.  Then with all the changes around here, I had to do some paying off and get a card in my own name....and here's my latest bill: 
 I feel like skipping back from the mailbox when I see stuff like this....or doing one of those off-to-the-side cowboy jumps :)  

#154:  Starbucks.  How is it that we're such a big town/city and we still don't have a Starbucks?  It's probably a good thing actually....I don't need to be tempted every single day - but I am growing a cute little collection of all-things-Starbucks.  I found this beauty at....where else?...the thrift store, a couple weeks ago.  It's gigantic....seriously - probably a litre of liquid would fit in here - perfect for those :late-night-gotta-get-it-done" sessions....or those "early-morning-wish-it-was-a-snow-day" days. 

 #155:  Homemade gifts.  I actually had a birthday during my little no-blogging month and one of my co-workers at school....a very thoughtful friend gave me these 2 little jars filled with coffee she chose for me.  Yum.  If you've ever done the "5 Love Languages" you'll understand that gifts are some people's love language - that's how they feel loved.  It's not mine.  I like gifts, don't get me wrong, but it's not getting gifts that makes me feel most loved.  Having said that - I love gifts like this - not extravagant, just enough to let me know you are thinking of me.  This gift, I'm absolutely sure, came with a great deal of care and prayer behind it - those are the best kinds!  Thanks L!

#156:  A perfect fit.  Renovating my basement is going to be a much longer endeavor than originally planned which means my little dream of built-in cupboards under my stairs are a long, long way from coming to fruition.  Still, I needed to make good use of this space - especially if I'm leaving my scrapbook room with a closet and moving out here into the Rec room.  So....I took my measurements and, armed with a tape measure, I went to my favourite furniture store - the MCC store.  I found this old kitchen cabinet piece.  It looked really funny, odd shelf set up, etc...and I couldn't quite figure it out, but it measured right and it was nice & deep, so I picked it up.  When I got it home, I chopped out 2 of the shelves to make 2 large shelves instead of 4 short ones.  I also pulled the countertop off and snapped off the backsplash.  When I brought it downstairs is JUST fit.  Just.  In fact, it was about 1/2 cm. too tall and I couldn't figure out how to get it in there and then my youngest son said (as he watched me struggling to shove this under the stairs) - "'s too bad you have carpet on the floor there because I bet if there wasn't carpet, it would fit"  Duh! So, I rolled back the carpet there (it's only a temporary roll end anyway), slid the cupboard in and trimmed the carpet to fit.  Done.  And, the counter top slid right in on top. 
 Oh, and when I finally had it set up and cleaned.....THAT's when I realized it actually fit my 12x12 albums.  Yesssss!

 #157:  Fun crafts.  I've been saving Kool-aid jammer bags from my kids lunches for a long time and finally found a pattern to make this cute little bag.  It's going to be my lunch bag for school :)

#158:  These photos.  My friend Maria's Dad is an amazing photographer and this is the second time that he's given us his time and talent and taken family photos of us.  It was so fun to do this...again we chose a chilly November day but still - very fun.  

#159:  GLEE.  What a crazy concept for a show.  I wish it was a little more kid-friendly b/c I think for the most part the kids would love it.  I've shown them several of the music portions of the show and they love it - especially Mica who is finding singing to be a great part of her life right now.  I loved the wedding last week - watched it several times and bawled through both of the Bruno Mars songs - I'm such a big baby :)

#160: Blog Simplicity.  I just recently pared down my life a little but moving both my blogs together into this one.  A.) it's one instead of 2 to keep up and B.) it's under my correct google ID so I don't have to keep logging in and out to check my email or blog.  Sheesh...what a pain.  I'm applying the KISS (keep it simple, stupid) theory to my life right now - and I'm loving how it's all working out :)

There you go. 10 more.
I could go on but I'm actually very much looking forward to getting to bed early tonight!

Operation PJ Day

Do you ever feel like you're just one step behind all day long? I've been feeling like that for a couple of weeks now - partly it's because there's been one or more kids coughing through the night for about that long which means Mama doesn't get a full night's sleep either; partly it's because it's this season where everything piles up (concerts, rehearsals, work, gatherings, shopping, etc., etc.); and partly it's just trying to get my footing doing this season by myself here at home.
Whatever the reason, I've been feeling just slightly behind on everything.
And I notice it in my kids too.
Mica actually articulated it to me the other day by saying, "I just feel like this mom," and then she proceeded to run on the spot, slightly tipping forward like she was about to lose her balance. "I hear ya baby, I hear ya!" I said....and we talked a little about the changes this time of year is going to have in it....and how we can pare things down a little and make life workable.

SO, as per our conversation that we had a PJ day. We skipped church. We never did end up getting dressed (although there were some play dress-up clothes later on in the day). I had to answer the phone once and the doorbell once but it was a friend from down the street with some product we'd ordered together so that was a nice surprise to have it arrive already. Plus, she's seen me in my PJs before so there was no need to stress :) And, our day consisted of whatever we wanted to do. We watched a movie, we played a game, we made our first batch of Christmas cookies, I made cards for awhile, we set up our Christmas tree, we watched most of the Grey Cup and ate snacks, we did art together. I even had a nap at one point with the kitten :) What a great day. We did miss a tobaganning invite from some friends but I'm hoping that will work out again soon and that this day of getting rested and healthy will pay off so we can enjoy more outings like that soon!

These are our favourite Christmas cookies. Some people call them "Grandma cookies." If you're from around here at all or have Mennonite in your history, these are also called "Plain White Cookies." Creative, I know....but the cool part is decorating them - yummy icing and whatever sprinkles the season demands. We went with green sugar crystals this time around but they've been known to have pink hearts for Valentine's day, yellow & purple at Easter, even black on orange icing for Halloween. Absolutely no nutritional value here, people...just pure, unadulterated Christmas cookie goodness.
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Welcome here!

If you're reading this post, you have most likely successfully navigated your way here from one of my two previous blogs:  My far  and   My far.  
With my life in purge-mode right now, 
one of the things that I've been hoping to do is cut down to one blog that I need to maintain.  
And so...aptly named...this is: 
All of me... (my life, and art) so far.  
This blog will definitely still showcase the art I'm creating - layouts and projects for magazines, cards that I'm selling, simple therapy art and whatever else happens to come from happy, happy time spent in my scraproom.  BUT, this blog will also be the place you hear about my life:  my 3 amazing kids, my job as an EA, my adventures with friends, the neighbourhood I live in, and my journey with God.

This post will eventually fall to the bottom, I know so I'm going to put this verse in a sidebar eventually as well but I have to share it here - the verse that is encouraging me every single day as I live in expectancy of what God will do with my life.  It's from kind of an obscure book of the Bible...not one that I would normally turn to first.  And yet somehow, when I stumbled across it - it rang true to me.

"Look at the nations and watch--and be utterly amazed. 
For I am going to do something in your days 
that you would not believe, even if you were told."
Habakkuk 1:5
I love knowing that God is in control...and that he has a plan for my life that includes drawing me closer to him and surprising me with blessings I could not imagine.
Thanks for finding me, or finding me again, and for joining me on this journey!

A deep thought from my morning

I went out of coffee with a group of my co-workers last night to celebrate my up-coming birthday. They're so sweet. It's not something we do for every EA that works at my school....but this group of women have surrounded me these days and are making sure I feel wanted, special and loved. I love you guys too!! They shouldn't have - but 2 of them brought me gifts. I'm using them both as we speak :) Coffee, really-really good coffee from one friend and a brand new coil-bound journal from another. I was almost done my current journal but, like I told them last night - it isn't a coil-bound one and it doesn't feel right in my hands. I'd been considering just ending it and going out to buy a new one that felt right when I was holding it - there's something about the feel of The Right journal. Anyway....the last few pages of my old one will remain empty and the new one is now broken in!!

I'm reading this book right now

and wanted to share a passage of it with you because I'm re-reading this passage for the 3rd morning in a row to try to get it to sink in. I've added italics and bold in some places for emphasis.

"It's hard to hear, but it is important to know that God is not committed to supporting our ministries, to preventing our divorces, to preserving our health, to straightening out our kids, to providing a livable income, to ending famine, to protecting us from agonizing problems that generate in our souls an experience that feels like death.

"We cannot count on God to arrange what happens in our lives in ways that will make us feel good.

"We CAN count on God to patiently remove all the obstacles to our enjoyment of Him. He is committed to our joy, and we can depend on Him to give us enough of a taste of that joy and enough hope that the best is still ahead to keep us going in spite of how much pain continues to plague our hearts.

"God's intense desire is to intimately relate with us. For His desire to be realized, He must remove the obstacle within us that, more than any other, stands in the way of intimacy with Him.

That obstacle is this:
When we feel bad, when our internal experience as we live in this world is different from and less than what we know we were created to feel, we assume there is no higher value than to change that experience. We therefore devote our central energies to feeling better and to justifying whatever does the job.

The belief that there's no higher good than feeling better now, and the top priority URGE to feel better now - these represent the single biggest obstacle to our enjoying God's Presence. The Bible calls it The Flesh.

Whew....a lot for me to consider - what in this world have I been using to make myself feel better, even justifying it as a blessing from God, that is in fact doing the opposite and dulling my desire for pure unadulterated intimacy with God Himself?

Win some holiday acrylic from Clear Scraps

This Clear & Chip line from Clear Scraps is one of my absolute favourites! It comes with both - acrylic & chipboard 12x12 sheets of punch out shapes to make ornaments, a mini-album, embellishments on your layout pages...whatever you want. Wanna win some?

Go here to the Clear Scraps blog to enter to win some Christmas chipboard and acrylic.