Friday, February 29, 2008

SS Blog Challenge #6 - Superheroes

This weeks challenge is from Kelly Belle. The blog challenge this week is if you could be ANY superhero, who would it be and what special super-power would you enjoy using the most?

I often dream of being able to be invisible or being able to fly, but this week, I wish for something else. You see, we are moving. Again. It's okay though. I am not complaining. We will be so much closer to our church and friends - it's just exhausting!

Sooooo....if I could have some super power right now I would choose something that would help me to sort, organize, and pack in a flash. One of my biggest problems is that I will get started in a room, leave for some reason, get distracted and then start somewhere else. Not very organized. It's taking me forever, because I want to inspect every little thing. Should we keep it? Throw it out? Give it away? Save for Ebay? Aaaaaaaaaaaackkkkkkkkkkk!

I would also need to use those same powers to do all the unpacking, sorting and putting away once I get to the new house.

If only I could just wiggle my nose, or point my finger at something to make it happen. *sigh* Oh well, where was I? Oh, I was in the other room packing. I just stopped in to check my messages! Yikes, I better get out of here or I'll never get done...unless I wish hard enough....maybe..... =]

Painting found at this site.

How's Your Juggling Act?

Marco and I were talking about life yesterday. We were discussing our priorites. I, of course, am always talking about wanting to be more organized, get more done in the day, be a better teacher... We also started talking about our responsibilities at church. He mentioned this speech that he heard on the radio. I knew that I wanted to share it all with you here. It puts a lot of things into perspective.
Five Balls Of Life

This was written by the CEO of Coca-Cola Brian G. Dyson.It was used as Georgia Tech's Commencement Address:
Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them - Work - Family - Health - Friends - Spirit, and you're keeping all of these in the air.

You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls -- family, health, friends and spirit are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life. How?

1. Don't undermine your worth by comparing yourself with others. It is because we are different that each of us is special.

2. Don't set your goals by what other people deem important. Only you know what is best for you.

3. Don't take for granted the things closest to your heart. Cling to them as you would your life, for without them, life is meaningless.

4. Don't let your life slip through your fingers by living in the past or for the future. By living your life one day at a time, you live ALL the days of your life.

5. Don't give up when you still have something to give. Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying.

6. Don't be afraid to admit that you are less than perfect. It is this fragile thread that binds us together.

7. Don't be afraid to encounter risks It is by taking chances that we learn how to be brave.

8. Don't shut love out of your life by saying it's impossible to find. The quickest way to receive love is to give; the fastest way to lose love is to hold it too tightly; and the best way to keep love is to give it wings.

9. Don't run through life so fast that you forget not only where you've been, but also where you are going.

10. Don't forget that a person's greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated.

11. Don't be afraid to learn. Knowledge is weightless, a treasure you can always carry easily.

12. Don't use time or words carelessly. Neither can be retrieved.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Just DO...

I found this on Lee's blog, who found it on Ashley's blog, who in turn found it on another blog. Seems to be the way of blogs!

This is exactly what I need to bring me up out of this feeling of being overwhelmed. Do for others! It always makes me feel better, but sometimes we need a reminder or challenge! Thanks Lee!

"The idea of the exchange is: I will send a handmade gift to the first three people who leave a comment on this blog post requesting to join this PIF exchange. I don’t know what that gift will be yet, and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog - this means you must have a blog, sorry blogless readers.

"Who is it going to be? What is it going to be?

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Sad times...

Some one I knew passed away yesterday. She was only 20.

The scrapbooking board that I am a member of seemed to have an unusually high amount of bad news on their prayer board. Lots of sickness, deaths, financial troubles...

My car wouldn't start for me to go to a meeting I needed to go to. It was raining and I had all the kids in the car. Would.not.start. My husband came home later and started it right up. Weird. We get ready to go to Youth Group and I make arrangements to meet up with my advisor at a local McDonald's to cover the meeting that I missed earlier in the day. I drop everyone off at Youth Group, go to the meeting (with my baby in tow), get ready to leave - car won't start. I am about to cry at this point, but decide not to, because there is a group of teenagers hanging out directly in front of my car. They were listening to music, smoking, trying thier best to be cool... So I wait for my husband. He gets in and the car starts right up. Weird.

We are on our way home and we see an accident happen - actually did not see it happen, but heard it - on the freeway overpass. We get on the freeway. The rest of the cars are stopped behind us and we see another accident that has just taken place. Police were already there.

We are driving along, when out of nowhere, we see a huge tire coming full speed at our car! My husband can do nothing but let it hit us. It only clipped our bumper and went flying the other direction. Traffic stops in front of us. There was ANOTHER accident. This one was really bad. As we get closer to the scene, I begin to cry. My daughter who is 8 is also crying. You can see by the accident that it must be fatal. There were probably a total of 10 - 12 cars involved in this crash.

I know that things happen. I know that life happens, but sometimes you wonder. What if I had made it to the meeting in the morning? What if I did not have to be at the later meeting therefore putting us on the freeway later than usual? What if my car had started right away allowing us to get on earlier than usual?

The young lady that died was only 20. It looks like it may have been an oversight from a simple case of tonsilitis gone bad. What about her young husband that has a birthday today, but will not be celebrating?

I hugged my children closer. I told them that all of these things may have happened for different reasons, but for us - it should be a reminder. We need to love each other. Quit fighting over things. Be thankful for life and health. Realize that all things happen for a reason, even if we don't always understand why.

I Corinthians 13:12 says For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Double Happiness...

I got this from Lee's Blog and I liked it so much, I decided to take it for my blog. =] Thanks for sharing, Lee. This is good stuff!

40 Keys to Happiness and it kind of sums up how I want to live my life.

1. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. And while you walk, smile. It is the ultimate anti-depressant.

2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day. Buy a lock if you have to.

3. Try to get enough sleep.

4. When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement, 'My purpose is to____ today.'

5. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy.

6. Watch more movies, play more games and read more books than you did in 2007.

7. Make time to practice meditation, yoga, tai chi, or prayer. They provide us with daily fuel for our busy lives.

8. Spend more time with people over the age of 70 and under the age of 6.

9. Dream more while you are awake.

10. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.

11. Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, wild Alaskan salmon, broccoli, almonds & walnuts.

12. Try to make at least three people smile each day.

13. Clear your clutter from your house, your car, your desk and let new and flowing energy into your life.

14. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.

15. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.

16. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.

17. Smile and laugh more. It will keep the energy vampires away.

18. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

20. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

21. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

22. Make peace with your past so it won't mess up the present.

23. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

24. Burn the candles, use the nice bed sheets, Don't save them for a special occasion. Today is special.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: 'In five years, will this matter?'

27. Forgive everyone for everything.

28. What other people think of you is none of your business.

29. Time heals almost everything. Give Time, time.

30. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

31. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

32. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

33. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

34. The best is yet to come.

35. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

36. Do the right thing!

37. Call your family often. Keep in touch with them.

38. Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements: 'I am thankful for ___.' Today I accomplished ____.

39. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.

40. Enjoy the ride. Remember that this is not Disney World and you certainly don't want a fast pass. You only have one ride through life so make the most of it and enjoy the ride.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

SS Blog Challenge #5 Your Goals

This week's blog challenge was presented by Pamela in MA. Here it is:
As women we all spend time putting others first, worrying about them, taking care of their needs, scheduling their lives with little time left over for ourselves. For this week's challenge: What is your most important personal goal for the year? What are you doing that is just for you? How are you trying to improve yourself?

Wow. Why am I having such a hard time thinking of something for myself? I got this challenge on Monday and here it is, Thursday already, and I haven't completed it! I guess I feel the way that many mothers and wives feel - I live for my family. There's nothing wrong with that, right? What I have forgotten is all I learned from a book called - Woman First, Family Always by Kathryn Sansone This book does not teach you how to be a Supermom or Wonder Woman. This mother of 10 shares with us how she is able to raise these children, keep her home organized, prepare healthy meals for her family, be a loving wife and friend, and still take time out to take care of herself. If you aren't taking care of yourself, none of the other things are going to work. It makes total, why don't I have a goal? Well, I have things I want to accomplish this year, I know there's always need for improvement - I just never set an actual goal. So, thanks to Pamela, I will do it right now.

The things that I would like to achieve for myself are:
1. To get healthy. Not only to lose weight, but to actually get in shape enough to run again. I used to love playing sports and enjoyed sports. I still have that in me and I need to get to the point where I can do it without feeling like I'm going to kill over. Sometimes, I catch myself running or doing something and I realize that I probably look like the caterpillar from Bug's Life when he says, "I'm a Be-u-tiful butterfly!" He thinks he's flying when really, his friends are carrying his big 'ole body along.
2. To get organized. My family may laugh when they read this, because this has always been a quest of mine. It's just that I know what I want in that area and I haven't quite reached it yet. I want to be clutter free in ALL areas of my life. Many of you know that I lead a very busy and sometimes hectic life. Who doesn't, right? I need to clear my head. I want to feel like I am enjoying life, not zipping through it dropping papers and children along the way!
3. And finally, to be the mom, wife, teacher, and friend that I want to be. I think that I have the heart for it, I just need to refer back to number 2 and get it all together so that I may be a greater help to those around me.

I do have some things that I'd like to do for myself this year. There are the ever-present things that I've mentioned in the past such as losing some ton-age, catch up on my albums, paint and decorate the house and church (yes, those are for me) the way I'd like, but my biggest thing I'd like to do this year that I've never asked for is to go on a trip with a very close friend of mine. We've talked about going and leaving everyone behind to fend for themselves. No, not a Thelma and Louise type of trip, but just some college friends getting together without having to attend a conference, stick to an itinerary, and all that. We haven't said where or when, but it will happen in 2008.

There. Phew. That got kind of long, but you can't just wrap up your life goals with a snap, can you? That took some thinking. I had to really force myself to ask what I wanted for MYSELF. I think I still came close to wanting things that would also be for my family, but that is what I want. Nothing wrong with that, right?
It would of been easier to have goals like:
1. Finish off the 5 lb. burrito by myself for the prize at Burrito Grande
2. Let my hair grow out so that I could remember what my "natural" color really is.
3. Throw out all my skinny and "one day I'll get back into this" clothes and just wear pajamas every day. Of course I'd wear my matching sets to go out in public.
4. Buy matching sets of pajamas
and the list goes on...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

One Word...

Okay, here's your opportunity! If you had ONE word to describe me, what would it be?
A couple of the ladies on SS have done layouts based on one word descriptions. Theresa has thrown out this challenge to all of us to do the same.
So, here's my plea for descriptive words.
Thanks in advance :)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

How Sweet It Is...

I was totally out of commission yesterday. This cold has tried to get the best of me, but it will not have the victory...the way my voice sounds right now, I could yell this like a Spartan!

Anyway, we had our church Valentine's Banquet this past Thursday night. We reserved the Marie Callender's Banquet Room. Our church's theme for the year is "Emmanuel, God With Us". So, the banquet theme was "God In Our Sweet Relationship" and we did it in a candy theme. The colors were pink and brown. I (with the help of Hannah) made some really cute centerpieces.

We made giant candy, candy bars, and lollipops. They looked good enough to eat. I just wrapped styrofoam with colored tissue paper and cellophane. Easy! I also made little matchbox treats. You take a matchbox, ditch the matches, and then decorate the box. You fill each box with a mini candybar. Nice. Another inexpensive and easy thing to tie all the colors together were the candles I decorated. I took some of the paper that I was using on the other items, cut a strip to fit around the candle, taped it in place, and then added "love" words that I stamped.

The last thing I made was the famous Target mailboxes. You need to watch for these at Target every year in the $1 spot. They are fun and easy to decorate. The only tricky part - and I am nice enough to tell you the secret - is to use a 1/2" circle punch where the flag would go. Press the paper against the screw in the flag so that you know where you need to punch. Then punch the circle. Take your scissors and cut a slit to open up the circle. Then you slide the paper around the flag and Voila! it's ready to tape or mod podge down! Decorate with embellishments and fill with your favorite treats or notes.

We had 30 in attendance. That's great considering this is only our second one ever. We could choose from a menu of three choices: Tri-tip with grilled or fried shrimp, Salmon (Cajun or lemon-peppered) with grilled shrimp, or Lemon Garlic Chicken. All of the meals came with cornbread, salad, drinks, and pie. Oh yeah, that's what I'm talking about! Bring on the corn bread and pie!!...ehem...where was I?

Oh and we had fun games and fellowship and a very nice challenge from our Pastor (who happens to be very handsome =D ), and music from Moises, Maria and Jonathan. Over-all it was a great night. I am already thinking of ideas for next year. I want the couples to dress according to whatever theme I choose...this is going to be fun!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Valentine's Day has always been special to me. Eighteen years ago, Marco and I started dating. Technically we started January 26th of 1990, but our first real date was the Valentine's Banquet at the college we were attending. Has it really been 18 years? That is half of my life!

Eighteen years later and he is still surprising me with the most thoughtful things ever. I have been sick for the last couple of days. Really sick - Chest congestion, cough up a lung sick. Anyway, I took some Nyquil last night and went to sleep. All I remember is Hannah waking me up to say, "Mom, you should go downstairs." Marco was already gone to work. I vaguely remember him giving me a kiss and telling me to get better.

I went downstairs and the first thing I see are cards and candy on our entry-way table. He had left a treat and a card for each of the girls. Then I see a long tube filled with Chocolate covered strawberries, a tin of chocolate dipped Altoids (my favorite) and a card. "You're dad is so sweet.", I say to Hannah. Mind you, I still have one eye closed. "Mom, look down!" says Hannah. There in front of my feet is a beautiful Scrapbook tote on wheels. It is pink and brown and it matches the bag he got me at Christmas. I totally did not need it, but have been eye-balling it for a while. *sigh* The card was just perfect. I was wide awake now. He has been so busy with working two jobs and taking care of our church and our church people - how did he find the time? He's incredible.

You know, a lot of people complain that Valentine's Day is over-rated and made up for Hallmark to make more money. Oh, well too bad for them. For me, it reminds me of the many special things my husband has done for me in the past. He also remembers to treat me special on regular days too - but this day - well, it was made for us.

Monday, February 11, 2008

SS Blog Challenge #4 - Survey your kids!

This weeks blog challenge is from Beth (Basket Lady)

I finally finished reading Stacy Julian's The Big Picture a couple of weeks ago. I loved how she interviewed each of her kids, so I did the same with my older two in late January. I plan on interviewing them every year on their birthdays, just to see how their answers change.If you don't have children, interview a parent or a sibling.Here are Stacy's interview questions:

I decided to interview my two oldest since my 2 year old only giggled and my 6 month old just stared and drooled! =]

Hannah age 12 Taryn age 8

(1) What is something that mom always says to you?

"Shutty, shutty" LOL "Mom's know... [(and then I say EVERYTHING)]"

(2) What makes mom happy?

When we obey her and think about what she says. When I don't fight with Hannah.

(3) What makes mom sad?

Disappointments Talking back

(4) How does mom make you laugh?

Says the craziest things ever. When she acts silly.

(5) What was mom like as a child?

Sporty Active Tomboy

(6) How old is your mom?

37 or 38? 36?

(7) How tall is your mom?

I don't know, 5'6"? I don't know 6'5"?

(8) What is her favorite thing to do?

Scrapbook, umm.. Be alone and read.

(9) What does your mom do when you're not around?
Alters stuff, scrapbook...eats ice cream without us. Go on dates with dad!

(10) If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for?
Singing Being the best mom

(11) What is your mom really good at?
Everything are, trust me.

(12) What is your mom not very good at?
Nothing You're good at everything

(13) What does your mom do for her job?
She homeschools She teaches and Sunday School

(14) What is your mom's favorite food?
The sandwiches I make for you Mexican Food

(15) What makes you proud of your mom?
She's a good influence She spoiles me

(16) If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?
Trudy Proud Lucy from Peanuts

(17) What do you and your mom do together?
We scrapbook Shopping

(18) How are you and your mom the same?
Same shoe size and same interests We love reading!

(19) How are you and your mom different?
I don't like reading. I am brown and you are white

(20) How do you know your mom loves you?
'cause she tells us what's right and wrong You buy stuff for me, you pray for me

Friday, February 8, 2008

Hannah Montana Movie

Okay, so I took my girls to see the Hannah Montana 3D movie. Yup. We even took along a friend. I could not believe I was in there with all of those tweens! I started to get the giggles during the show, because I looked over at my girls and thought it was cute that they were so "star struck". The mom to the right of me must've heard me because she pipes in with, "I know, isn't Billy Ray a doll?" Huh, what? Okay, lady. That's pretty sad using your little kid to cover up your romantic feelings for Miley Cyrus' dad. LOL

Anyway, the girls had a blast and I actually enjoyed myself. It was a really good show...of course I only went so that I would have an excuse to eat Junior Mints!

Scrapbooking Survey

1. Name your two favorite scrapbooking topics:
My children and my children =]
2. Where are the two best places you’ve been to?
Greece and Washington D.C.
3. Name two things you do every day:
Pray and Surf the internet (SS, email, blogs, Facebook)
4. Tell us two things that pretty much everyone knows about you:
I love to laugh and laugh hard, I love my family
5. Tell us two things that everyone DOESN’T know about you:
I can still do a cartwheel, front roundoff and the splits
I homeschool my girls
6. Tell us two things that got you into the "hobby" of scrapping:
A grandfather that loved to save things "to remember".
A friend (Jill Smith) that introduced me to the new LSS in La Palma
7. Tell us two things that you want to accomplish in the next six months:
Lose 20+ pounds
Purge all the things I have been saving for yard sales, ebay, etc.
8. Name your two favorite scrapping tools:
My pens (all of them) and 12" cricut trimmer
9. Name your two favorite sources of scrapping inspiration:
Scrapshare and several blogs to which I subscribe
10. How has your scrapping changed since you started?
There is much more variety to the pages (they don't all look the same)
I have tried to capture more moments and everyday things rather than just "events".
11. What scrapbooking project have you yet to try but would love to?
Digital and BOM (Book of Me)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Mental Holiday - SS Blog Challenge

The challenge: Where do you go when you know you have to go somewhere but don’t have the time, energy or inclination to actually leave the house? Posted by Lee =]

As many families are these days, we are always on the go. Marco is a pastor and our church is at least 30 minutes drive one way. We are there twice on Sunday, once on Wednesday, once on Friday, and Marco even goes in on Saturdays. Now that he is also working a separate full-time job, he doesn't go during the day like he used to. By the way, each of the times we are there, it is for a different thing. Church service, kids club, youth night - whatever. I also homeschool my children. We are together all.the.time. There are definitely times when I feel like screaming, "Calgon, take me away!" I have been all over the world and can think of many places that would be nice to re-visit. Instead, this is what I do:

If I can only steal away for a moment, I will hop on-line and visit some of my favorite sites and blogs. There are a couple of sites I visit daily and many, many blogs that I read on all sorts of subjects every day. To be able to just sit and tune everything out is always a nice break for me.

If I have a longer stretch of time and some quiet (ahem...) I will let myself get lost in a book. My favorite reading is a good historical fiction piece. It could be about that crazy Henry the VIII or a young girl during the days of the Civil War. I love interactive books that have replicas of love letters, ticket stubs, passports, etc. that you can take out and actually see and feel what the real piece looked like. I have several books like this. Love letters shared between John and Abigail Adams, a book on slavery, and several others. I also love biographies and auto-biographies. I collect books on women in history. I figure I can learn something from everyone, right?

My next choice if I had - say, a whole day to myself - would be to go to a crop and scrapbook (if it were available) or browse a book store at my liesure. Bliss.

Lastly, my favorite anytime holiday is to cuddle up with one of my children and just be quiet with them. This is hard to do these days. My oldest is 12 and my youngest is 6 months old. I can get lost in the thought of them and what the future holds for them. Little Marco is at the stage of saying mamamamama (with a mouth full of drool) and I love it when he looks right into my eyes and does this. So sweet. Makes all the hustle and bustle of life just melt away.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Blog Challenge - Favorite Book/CD

SS Blog challenge:
Imagine that you have just joined a club. It is a FAVORITES book/cd club. When it is your time to make a suggestion you should suggest a book and cd that is your favorite –the one that you really connect with.Your goal is not to please the group but to convey something about yourself with your selection. Select the one book that you really connect with for whatever reason. Select the album/cd that you would keep if you were only allowed one for the rest of your life.Along with your selection please explain why.

This one is really tough for me. I mean, I love the idea of choosing a book selection for a book club, but choosing a book that I really connect with and convey something about myself in the selection? That's a little more difficult. I LOVE books. I LOVE reading. Do I always connect with what I read? No. Well, a challenge is a challenge. So I thought long and hard. All week to be exact. Here is what I've decided.

Anne of Avonlea by Lucy Maude Montgomery. I know, I know. Some of you may wonder why I am choosing a book that seems more intended for younger readers. The truth is that I just love the main character. Anne Shirley. Her adventures begin in Anne of Green Gables and do not end in Anne of Avonlea. She is comical, bright, a dreamer, a teacher, romantic, stubborn, determined, big hearted... When I read the book, I am taken back to a more simple time. I am taken back to a beautiful place and love reading about a young orphan girl who becomes a young lady, a teacher, a writer... I love her idea of a bosom friend and kindred spirits. I love that she loves Gilbert so much, yet fights with him relentlessly. It's a good read.

The CD selection was just as hard. I really don't buy CD's. I am more of an iTunes girl. The only CD's I own are Josh Groban, Michael Buble, Mercy Me, Norah Jones, and Clay Aiken. What is that? 5 CD's? The rest are soundtracks to motion pictures, broadway shows...hey, wait a minute. I know...

My CD would be the Soundtrack to Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea. It takes the music from the movies that were made from those books, by Hagood Hardy (incredible Canadian composer) and makes the story come alive as you listen to it. I could listen to it every day and not tire of it.