Another FUN Giveaway From Clear Scraps! **Word Album Fun**

 Clear Scraps has these awesome custom wordbooks that you can buy - choose whichever letters you want in the position you want and you can spell out any name, team name, city name, or word you want...the possibilities are endless.  I made this "Birthday" one awhile ago and I've also done "Soccer" for my kids' teams.  This week on their blog, the giveaway is a free CUSTOM book - you choose.  Check it out!

No more dead trees!!

I'm way behind on my Simple Joy photos fact, this week I'll do a post to catch up but I know I don't have photos for every day this month.  It's been an odd type of month and there's been a lot of emotional stuff going on - more than I was ready for, and so one of the things that's slipped this month is picture-taking.  But...there are some pictures, and there has definitely been JOY so I will catch up!

In the mean time, let me share this huge joy with you.  I accomplished something this weekend that I've been wanting to do for a long time.  In fact, I thought I'd be needing help with it but I was on a tear this weekend and I got it all done - by myself.  You have no idea how proud I am of the hard work I did :)

Here it is: We had these evergreen trees in our back yard.  They were transplanted from a friend's yard when they removed them due to a conflict with their fence.  They did OK that first summer but they've since all died.  All 8 of them. 

I wanted them out 2 years ago and it just never got done.  Then last summer I wanted help taking them out and it never happened...and it was suggested that I leave them over winter as a snow-break since our backyard backs onto a large church parking lot.  I agreed only on the condition that as soon as the snow was gone, they'd go.  There is something extremely ugly about 8 dead trees as the border to your yard that everyone sees.  Yuck.  

So, this spring, the backyard is still very wet and I thought that maybe the roots would be wet enough that they'd just pull out.  The first few were only about 4 ft. tall - and, just as I suspected, the roots were really wet, and really loose.  They only took about 10 minutes a piece to pull out.

The next few trees were a little harder.  They were taller and the roots were deeper.  I even broke my spade pulling out tree #3 or #4.
Then, my lovely neighbours offered me their big tree-branch-cutting scissor-tool.  I'm not sure what exactly it's called but it cut through the branches up to 2" in diameter like Buttah!  So nice.  If I had more trees to cut, I'd be buying one of those for sure.  I think maybe next weekend I'll borrow it again just to trim up some of my other trees (so I can mow the lawn without getting too scratched up).  
The last 3 trees were at least 7 ft. tall if not 8 or 9.  Having the cutting tool was great b/c I could chop the tops off and get a managable chunk to work with.  Those roots though, took a LONG time to dig out.  I'd put my spade (fortunately I had 2), down into the ground beside the roots and I could hear the water sloshing around in there but I could also feel these roots that were about 3" in diameter going out horizontally from the original root ball.  I think the last 2 stumps that I dug out took me about an hour - just for the last 2 stumps.  Sheesh.  Buy this time, the digging was not just about cleaning up the yard, it was about pushing through to see how strong I was and getting out some of the frustration I'd been feeling that was associated with the trees too.  Jillian Michaels would have been so proud of me LOL.  

Another cool part of this was lighting a bonfire in my fire pit and getting rid of all the wood at the same time b/c I sure didn't want my dead-tree-hedge to become a dead-tree-pile.  This way it's over and done with  (except for a few muddy holes).

And here's the finished picture.  No dead trees.  I think I might look into a nice willow hedge since it's still nice & wet back there every spring, but at least the dead evergreens are gone.  I'm sore and tired, and a little bit sunburned...but so happy, and definitely proud :)

The Lost is found!!

Photo reprinted from Day 30 of my Simple Joys record.

 Monday morning our cat escaped while the door was open during morning get-to-school processes.  We didn't actually realize it until after school when he didn't come running to give us lonely-day kisses.  
We did the MISSING CAT poster thing, 
the ads online thing, 
the driving around the neighbourhood blowing cat-kisses thing,
the walking around the neighbourhood calling his name thing, 
the Facebook plea thing, 
the email your friends thing...
and nothing.
No sign of him.

So, way past bedtime, I did the only other thing I could think of.  I put food and water and a blanket out in the garage, left the garage door open a small crack and went to bed. I was fully expecting to have a garage full of strays by morning.   
We had all been praying all evening long but bedtime was heartbreaking listening to my children pray that their cat would be safe and come home soon.  Especially listening to one child sob these deep, sad sobs as he choked out his prayer.  
Then I stood at my window for awhile before I went to bed too, searching with my limited sight out into the darkness of our backyard, praying and begging God,  "...they're just kids, much more can they possibly lose this year?"

And then...this morning when I went to turn the light on in the garage, there he was...sitting on the top step looking up at me like, "Help me!!" and a big old orange tomcat sitting behind him.  When I went to open the door they both scattered so I quickly closed the the big garage door to prevent another escape and I coaxed Wasabi out from under the van.  He wasn't muddy but he was grimy and scared.  It took him awhile to come to me and even after bathing him and snuggling him he took awhile to start purring (which is his default sound usually).  Now the other stray is gone and Sabi is washed and being loved on.....I even woke the kids up early this morning to rejoice with me.  

I think, for the kids, aside from their cat-prayers being answered...this may be a reminder in the future of how good God is.  When they're feeling like their prayers are not being answered, I can imagine God leaning low and whispering in their ears, "Remember Wasabi...?  Remember how I brought him back to you?  I care about you and I care about everything that happens to you."
I think maybe He'll whisper that in my ear too. 
 Welcome home, Therapy Cat!! (aka: Wasabi)

Clearly Inspired Blog Hop

If you've popped in here randomly, you've stumbled upon a Clear Scraps blog hop - lucky you :)
You may want to go back and start at the beginning:

If you've come here from Adora's're on the right track
We hope you are "Clearly Inspired" to get creative with the amazing Clear Scraps products.
As the Clear Scraps Design Team we know how fun it is to work with acrylic and want it to be fun and easy for you too, so hop along with Clear Scraps today and find your acrylic inspiration!

I used an Acrylic ATC on this card as my main embellishment.  It's a simple little piece of acrylic but because it's clear I was able to add a whole lot of layers to it.  I painted the back of it teal and then scratched some of it off.  Then I painted the back again with brown.   I added a brown (StazOn) ink border around the edge and some brown rub-ons for sentiments and images on the front.   A few brown pearls and it's all done.  Ready for Mother's Day. 
Leave me a comment here and then carry on with the Blog hop.
Your next stop is  Irene-

By the way...
Did you know that Clear Scraps has a special GIVEAWAY every Friday? This Friday is no different. Be sure to hop along to EVERY blog and follow for a chance to win the special prize posted on Clear Scraps!

(The prize is the Spiffy Mixable Album

More and more Joy!

Simple Joy 116:  New haircut.  

Simple Joy 117:  Produce/grocery shopping day.  Not my favourite event (the shopping) but definitely LOVE fruit!

Simple Joy 118: Time to make cards!!

Simple Joy 119:  Snow, after a week of hot.  Hmm.  Not sure it's completely joy I feel but I do trust a good God who only gives good gifts, so somewhere this must be a path to Joy.

Simple Joy 120: Leftover Easter chocolate :)  Oh yeah....who saved theirs?  ME!

Simple Joy 121: SlapWatch.  How fun are these things :)

Simple Joy 122:  Voting day!  I don't follow politics as much as some but I am still very glad to live in a country where we have this freedom.  I took the boys with me this year to show them the process.

Simple Joy 123:  I love these 2 verses that I got from Ann Voskamp's book - her Mom had them written on cards during a tough time in her life and they're definitely going on cards for this time in my life.
Isaiah 14: 24
 Amos 3:6

Simple Joy 124: After reading those verses from Ann's book, I really needed my own...and after following the links in my Bible to related verses, God gave me this one at 4:00 in the morning.

Haggai  2: 6-9

A new theme song

I think this might be my new theme song.....I couldn't embed the video but here are the lyrics and the link to the youtube video from:

The Desert Song (Hillsongs (Brooke Fraser))

Verse 1:
This is my prayer in the desert
When all that's within me feels dry
This is my prayer in my hunger and need
My God is the God who provides

Verse 2:
And this is my prayer in the fire
In weakness or trial or pain
There is a faith proved
Of more worth than gold
So refine me Lord through the flames

And I will bring praise
I will bring praise
No weapon formed against me shall remain
I will rejoice
I will declare
God is my victory and He is here

Verse 3:
And this is my prayer in the battle
When triumph is still on it's way
I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ
So firm on His promise I'll stand

All of my life
In every season
You are still God
I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship

Verse 4:
This is my prayer in the harvest
When favor and providence flow
I know I'm filled to be emptied again
The seed I've recieved I will sow

Desert Song