Achievement Achieved!

One of my goals this Spring Break was to make some cards with the pile of Clear Scraps acrylic scraps that I have. Here's a collage of some of the cards that I was able to make :)

I used a lot of my Marvy & Zig Paint pens, some Ranger alcohol ink, StazOn ink, some Sharpies, some acrylic paint and a few other little things. I feel very accomplished. Look for more detailed descriptions of what I did this week in the days to come :) 

Spring Break checklist

It's the first day of Spring Break and my To-do checklist is going very, very well.

Gas up & wash the van - check
Farewell breakfast with in-laws - check
Buy groceries - check
Purchase new phones for the house - check (and by the way...on sale!!)
Clean & vacuum the house - check
Clean off Scrapdesk - check

Now, next on the list: this pile of Clear Scraps scraps.
I've been on the Clear Scraps Design Team for several years and over the years I've tried a few little techniques on smaller scraps of acrylic and then thrown them in a box when they either didn't work out, or I didn't end up using them for the project I was working on. So, my goal this week is to make cards with all of these little scraps. Some of them are pre-painted and pre-embossed...they should be easy. Others are blank slates...can't wait to see what happens with those.

I'll be back soon with some finished projects :)

Happy Spring Break!
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Humbling artwork from my daughter

 A few days ago I was having a bad day.  The morning wasn't going as planned, things weren't getting done before school, I was feeling a little alone in this business of running the household and I am sure that I took it out on the kids.  I do need to teach them to pitch in and be a part of the team that will make this family work, but I don't need to be so grumpy about it.  So, I had to apologize to them and acknowledge that I wasn't being the mom I needed to be that morning.  

Later that day, my daughter made this in school and today she gave it to me. 

When she told me which day she'd drawn it, I immediately was hit with a tremendous amount of guilt.  Wow, I thought.  That's me...the big flower hovering over her and dripping my anger and issues down onto my kids, and in turn, the little flower who I assumed was her, is bent over and drooping due to my insensitive blow-up.  I started to cry and apologized all over again for that horrible morning.  
Then came the humbling part.  
She looked at me and said, 
"No Mom, that's not at all what the picture's about.  
It's you and me, but you're not angry.  
You're shading me and protecting me from the sun.  
You're catching all the rain and watering me with it."  
OK, now I'm really crying.  
Somehow even when I lose it; even when I know I'm not being the mom I need to be....God is loving her through me.  Despite my failings, he makes her feel safe here and loved; cared for and at peace.   
These tears tonight were just one more reminder that God is carrying me and he is strong when I am weak.

Simple Joys 53-59

Where in the world did February go?
I can't believe it's gone already.
Here are my Simple Joy photos to round out the 2nd month of the year (days 53-59/365)

Simple Joy 53: I love that I can put my garbage at the end of the driveway and when I get home from school, it's been picked up.

Simple Joy 54: My daughter's cactus.  I love these makes me happy that I can't kill them.  I did however, have to kill a spider in this one which prompted re-tellings of the Walmart-spider's-nest-in-the-cactus urban ledgend.  Creepy.

Simple Joy 55: Someone anonymously brought me THE most delicious red velvet cupcake at school today....I found out later that a friend of mine is toying with the idea of staring a business like this...I just got blessed enough to be one of her guinea pigs :)  The cupcake, and a cup of coffee as I supervised "lunch club" today was Perfection!

Simple Joy 56: A stuffed mailbox

Simple Joy 57: My daughter and my youngest son curling together in a Bonspiel.  I got a little emotional watching her guide him and teach him during the game.  Considering he'd only curled about 12 times before this, he did great and they loved playing on a team together.

Simple Joy 58: Watching my boys (when they weren't watching curling) use their iPods to find oragami patterns and then make them out of discarded newspapers at the curling rink.  I love it when the technology inspires actual creativity in them.

Simple Joy 59: A card made almost entirely of Felt.  I was having 70's Sunday School Flannelgraph flashbacks while I made this :)

SO, I'm caught up to the end of February.  
I know I'm about 2 1/2 months behind already but my Project Life just showed up this weekend and I'm anxious to start.  I can see already in myself...just from the first 2 months, how much my photography has changed.  Not necessarily in technique (although I hope it's improving), but more in subject matter.  I'm finding that instead of having to really look for that one thing that I can cling to as a source of joy for the day, I'm seeing it in more and more places around me as I relax and allow God's gifts to come.  I'm looking forward to seeing the progression of it all in my Project Life book too (as well as on my blog).  

Thanks :)

Note-to-self, and the giveaway winner

Note-to-self:  Rememeber what Beth Moore said about self-pity being a form of pride??  And remember yesterday's devotions about considering all the trials in your life to be a source of Joy and how doing that would produce perseverance and maturity in your life?  

And now, remember how yesterday RIGHT after doing those devotions, school mornings took a long time (wahhh),  I had to car pool b/c it was cold and the other mom couldn't (grrrrrr), and I got to school and my youngest forgot both his backpack and his skates/helmet bag for skating at school today so I had to use up some banked time to run home and get it (sigh).  Oh, and my schedule at work changed 3 times before lunch, including postponing lunch by an hour (Growl - this time my stomach growling), not to mention a morning of getting yelled at and hit at school (ok, he's young and it didn't hurt but still....poor me), and then the basketball schedule (don't even get me started on that). I acted as if my life had been ruined by this schedule and obviously I could have done a better job of it....anyone could have.  

In the realm of facing trials and finding joy instead of complaining.. the words of my Junior High daughter...
Yesterday was a huge FAIL.  
And I'm sitting here this morning with the huge realization that: 
a.) Feeling sorry for myself b/c of all I have to endure, really is a manifestation of my pride
b.) God is so good...that he's going to give me a chance to do it all over again today, isn't he?? 
I am not going to screw this up today.   
Today I will remember this:
""The joy of encountering hardship 
springs from the knowledge 
that God is at work in our lives 
to make us more like Him."
(Cynthia Heald)

So, the winners:
I have 2 copies of Canadian Scrapbooker.  One each for:

The Biehns said... The everyday beauty around me brings me much JOY :)
The cool crisp air, blue sky and fresh fields of white...breathtaking.


Bev said... MY KIDS are bringing me truckloads of JOY these days. Watching them participate in various activities that they are now old enough to do, listening to their conversations that I used to think were beyond their years, seeing them interact with others...
Thanks for those notes about what brings you Joy....sometimes hearing about Joy in someone else's life brings an awareness of what's actually in my own life that I've been neglecting, missing out on, or taking for granted.  

I said in the earlier post that the layouts on my page in Canadian Scrapbooker, aren't mine.  In fact, all 3 of the Manitoba scrapbookers this month had our layouts mixed up and placed on someone else's pages.  Jackie, the editor has been apologizing left, right and centre and has more than made up for what little inconvenience it was in the first place, honestly.  It's a fab! magazine.  Please check it out.
Here you can read her apology blog post - and see a larger picture of me in my scraproom :)

Welcome to the new Clear Scraps Design Team!!

Join me in welcoming the New 2011 Clear Scraps DT:

A Brand New DT Coordinator:

Returning Designers:






New Additions to the team:


& Jennifer Priest

I've stepped down as DT Coordinator this year as you can see.  I'm really excited about what Pinky has to offer in this role - she's a dynamite!!  And for me, this means more playing with Clear Scraps which I love,  more time to devote to my kiddos, and maybe some new adventures on the horizon.  Who knows?  

Check The Clear Scraps Blog often this Spring.  We're going to be having lots of Contests, tutorials and of course, some giveaways!  

Speaking of Giveaways....don't forget to enter mine.
Tell me something that's bringing JOY in your life these days here on this post, and you could win one of my 2 extra copies of the Spring 2011 issue of Canadian Scrapbooker Magazine.  I'll choose the names on March 7th. 

Simple Joy 42-52

 I've been sorting files for Clear Scraps and the load of them on my laptop has been slowing down my photo-editing software so it's been awhile since I've been able to edit these....but...I'm done my project for them and back with some Simple Joys :)  

(for those of you just joining me, I'm trying to take a picture every day this year of something that brings Joy to my life....sometimes the Joy may be profound, but on most occasions it's the little things, the simple things in life that remind me how much God loves me and how he longs to give good gifts to his children.)

Simple Joy 42/365:  God & I have this deal.  I set my alarm for 7am so that I can get up and get my kids ready for school.  IF I am desperately in need of sleep (and He knows when I am), then I sleep right till my alarm.  If though, it's more important for me to spend some time with Him before I get up and ready (and this is almost always the case), he wakes me up sometime between 6:00-6:30.  And not only does he wake me up....he wakes me up with the cat.  I know that sounds a little crazy, but seriously...the cat comes to my room and jumps into bed with me and nuzzles my nose at 6am.  He's done that since the day I asked God to make my morning work like this.  I have no explanation except again....God knows what I need and chose the sweetest way to make it happen.

Simple Joy 43/365:  Creamy Onion and Garlic Soup.  I know, right?  It's amazing. 

Simple Joys 44/365: Again with the cat....I love the way he sneaks into the bathroom and drinks out of the dripping tap.

Simple Joy 45/365:  Watching my daughter play basketball....I am a proud 6' tall Mama of a gorgeous athletic going-to-be-6'-tall young woman!

Simple Joy 46/365:  My parents.  Not only do I never doubt that they love me....they show me in the most practical ways (Dad putting up towel hooks, Mom doing my dishes).

Simple Joy 47/365:  My son...dressed to win his Mayoral race at school, completing the illusion of a businessman off to work with a cup of coffee (hot chocolate) in the morning.

Simple Joy 48/365:  This is one of those Simple Joys that was way more profound than I'd expected.  This photo is taken on a Thursday night.  It was a no-school day the next day so I was anticipating sleeping in, I wasn't feeling well at all this evening and the kids let me go to bed super early this evening and they stayed up playing board games in the kitchen.  There is something overwhelmingly beautiful about falling asleep to the sound of your children playing well together.

Simple Joy 49/365:  Antique kitchen utensils :)

Simple Joy 50/365:  A new towel bar/hooks for my bathroom...built for me by a friend and her husband (thanks G&A!!) and installed by my Dad.  I love the organization and the way all our wet towels can now hang directly over the hot air vent :)

Simple Joy 51/365:  New Wave album from Clear Scraps. Not only does this new shape make me smile but it's one of my favourite projects from this past month.  

Simple Joy 52/365:  No school day Mondays - awesome.  A spontaneous trip to FIL/MIL's store for breakfast waffles - extra awesome.  Finding a box of Silly Bands for sale in said store - extra super awesome.