Monday, April 27, 2009

Artist...or just "Crafty"?

*"In Love with the Sun"...found on Google images.*

I was over at Lee's blog this morning and as most times, came away pondering and searching. However, this time it was different. For some reason, I can't move away from it. From how I feel.
Her post today brought a cry to my throat. You know. The kind that comes up and then gets stuck right there where it makes it hard to swallow? As I followed the link she posted, the cry started to come up - just a bit, as tears welled in my eyes.
I watched video clips and read. Then I cried. Not a big Boo-Hoo, all snotty-nosed and the like, but a quiet, hot tears streaming, coming to realization kind of cry.

I know that I have always been "creative". I've always had an interest in color, music, writing, photography, papers...always. Before the world wide web, I'd flip through books, magazines, drool over works of art, take pictures of things that only I thought were neat. Now that I have the whole world at my finger tips, I can and do surf from page to page and appreciate and crave and long to be and make the kind of art that I see.

I see something as simple as a painted rock with a word of affirmation on it and a story behind it and I think - "Wow. I've been doing that for years. I had no idea that somebody else might appreciate it." Recently, I was going through somebody's gallery and I noticed that there really was no "outward rhyme or reason" to her work and remembered when I had done something similar once and found it later in the garbage and was told that "oh, I thought it was trash..."

I think I let something get crushed. I thought that I was not the type of person that would let adversity or anything like that get in my way, but as I sit and type and ponder, I realize that if it is something that is personal to me - I am very afraid that it would not be good enough and if it can't be perfect, I better avoid it all together. I believe now that I know where it comes from, but even now I don't think I can get into something so raw and personal.

I am very good at following rules. Rules keep you safe. You do what you're told and nobody can blame you if something goes wrong. It's like the first time I started (or thought I was just starting) to scrapbook. I learned to scrap a certain way - at first with strips and triangles and coordinating stickers that were "approved". Oh, and for heaven's sake don't even think of putting that piece of metal on that page, just because you think it's cool. If you are going to put a piece of memorabilia in your album, you better make sure there is a barrier of magic paper around it that can not in any way, shape or form touch your picture. After all, you have no idea where that item has been. LOL

Anyway, I was happy that I had my albums in order and my pictures were "safe", but I still felt like I needed more. More of what? I had no idea. I have since broken away from those rules and now own paints and flowers and beads and...but I still don't really know what to do because I am kind of haunted by the "rules".

I have been fortunate to find blogs and sites where the women are incredibly talented and real. I feel myself so inspired by them. I look at their art, photography, writing and I just want to burst - I know I have it in me. My fear? My fear is that I've buried it away so deep and just stayed safe as a "crafter" and now I can not find the *whisper* artist within me.

I had even vowed earlier this year that I would "just do it". I chickened out. What do I do? How do I take the lid off of this? I feel like it's all been so safely pushed away and the lid screwed on so tightly that I can't even budge it. I literally can feel my chest tightening up and I feel like somethings going to blow. Is that a good thing? Do I just need to let it happen?

A couple verses just came to mind that I can find comfort in. May I share them with you?
Psalm 139:14~"I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well."
This verse of affirmation tells me that I am very special. I am made in the image of the Master Artist. He made color, shape and shades. Why do I fear?
Proverbs 3:6~"In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."
I think I need to realize that I am created to be creative. It is in me. I am allowed to feel this way, but more importantly, to act upon my feelings. much to meditate on today.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Photo Hunt...PROTECTION...

This is a weekly meme called PhotoHunt...

This week the theme is PROTECT(ION).
Here's a couple cute pictures I took this morning, but more will follow!
If you want to play along, the key is in my side bar.

Little Marco is not fond of this gate, but we love it!

Our fearless protector, Oso. =]

Even Naomi feels safe with him around!

As promised, here are a few more pictures. Many of you long time readers know that my Hannah had another pug named Chowder. Sadly, he got sick with parvo and passed away. =[ Not too long ago, she got a new pug. She is VERY protective of her (Panini) and wants to try and make sure that nothing will harm her. =]

Here she is giving Panini her first treat and new collar.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday Fill Ins... and a praise!

Aren't these lovely? I bought these at Trader Joe's and they were all closed - I love watching them bloom "before our eyes".

Getting back in the swing of things here. Here are my Friday Fil Ins. My words in bold.

1. Apparently there's some sort of promotion at Chick Fil A this week. They are giving away free breakfast EVERY day. No purchase necessary - one per person. The school kids are loving it!

2. I love a sunny day, but really love it if it's not super hot.

3. I've been trying to focus more in 2009 and so far, I have been able to do so. I've blogged about it a few times, but I am FOCUSING more on my spiritual, physical, and mental self. I am FOCUSING more on being organized, because that always leads me to being more's a good thing!

4. What was the name of that lady? Oh, yes. Susan Boyle - that was it. She reminded me how much I love the music from Les Miserables.

5. For too long, I've been worried about what others think and it's high time that I do and be what I know to be right for me. I believe that if I feel that God would accept me the way I am, why should I care about anyone else?

6. I am not obsessed with Facebook or Blogging; I am not! =]

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to getting together with some great friends, tomorrow my plans include spending the day with my family and Sunday, I want to pray and worship with my awesome church family!

I also have a praise that I wanted to share with all of my bloggy friends.
Many of you have been sending up good thoughts and praying for my former student, Michael Chandler. After being in the hospital with heart failure and later pneumonia for almost two months, he is HOME! We are talking about someone who the doctors thought would not be alive today!! Yesterday, he stopped by the school where I teach to thank the students and staff who have been praying for him.
He is still a bit weak and shaky, his voice sounds horrible because of the ventilator and tuves that have been down his throat and he's lost a lot of weight. However, his spirits were up and he is alive! Praise God.
He is having trouble absorbing potassium, which apparently, is very important for his heart. Here is the picture of his visit yesterday:

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Rock Buddies!!! You know you want one!

Look at that adorable pendant! These little rock buddies come as a pendant or just as a "pet". Each one comes to your home with his/her own personal story. Great unique gift. You can probably even ask for special colors or themes I bet. =]

Head to Etsy and check them out. Here's the link: Rock Buddie

Wordless Wednesday: Summer or Spring?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Photo Hunt...PURPLE...

This was supposed to be posted on Saturday, but I had some trouble with the Uploader... Here's my favorite take on the purple assignment. =]

I think I will start posting more than one starting next week.

Check out the Photo Hunter button in my sidebar.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My version of the CPK Lettuce Wraps...

So, as some of you know...I've been trying to lose some weight, get in shape, get get the idea. Well, I've never been able to go to Weight Watchers or anything like that where you learn to count calories, points...whatever.
The only thing I understand is low-carb. Now before any of you start screaming...don't worry. I am not stuffing my gob with high fat meats and cheese and Diet Coke.
I occasionally eat salad, too. LOL Just kidding.
Anyway, here is a meal that I came up with that reminds me of the lettuce wraps at California Pizza Kitchen. Have you ever tried those?? Yum!
So, here's what I did to throw this together.
4 - Boneless skinless chicken breast
1 - Handful of shredded carrots
2 - Small cans of water chestnuts (chopped)
1 - Chopped Red bell pepper (mostly because I had it and for color)
1 - Tablespoon of fresh, minced garlic
2 - Tablespoons toasted sesame seed
3 - Heads of endive (red or yellow...I used both)
Sesame Seed Oil
Light Sodium Soy Sauce
Rice wine vinegar
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Okay, so I just eye-balled all of this and made it up as I went, but you'll figure it out.
Cut up the chicken breast into thin strips.
Add minced garlic - keep it don't want to burn garlic. Yuck!
Sautee in olive oil
Add carrots. Cook until slightly tender.
Remove and when cool enough - chop into very small pieces (I used the Pampered Chef chopper)
Return it to the pan and add bell pepper and water chestnuts.
Continue to sautee. Add soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice vinegar to taste.
Turn off heat, cover and let sit for about 5 minutes.
Add toasted sesame seeds as a garnish.
Serve in a bowl with separated endive leaves (or you could use the small leaves of a romaine lettuce)
Even my kids loved this!!

Monday, April 13, 2009

April 12 of 12~ Happy Resurrection Day!

All the baskets left for the bunny to hide. Hope he's strong! They are packed full! =]

Beautiful Easter morning!

Marco stayed up so late preparing for church, Easter stuff for the kids, etc...yet he was still up early enough to make the coffee. Love him!

Oso got an Easter treat too! The ham bone from Easter dinner the night before. I gave it to him this a.m. and he went right to work on it! =]

My 4 kiddos all dressed and ready to go to church.

The two men in my life. Little Marco is enjoying a Mexican sweet bread called "concha". It resembles a sea shell and that's what it means.

Now he's eating beans with crema (served with fried platano, but he didn't want that) and fruit. We had a wonderful church service. Highest attendance we've ever had, I think. It was expected to be crowded because it was Easter services, but wow! Great day with worship, music, friends and fellowship.
My Taryn used all of her money to buy her sister Hannah the Deluxe Edition of Twilight. She's so generous. Of course, we all had to watch it this afternoon. I fell asleep though. Nothing like a good Sunday nap. =]

Alma brought in the most beautiful centerpiece for the Lord's Supper table. I am not sure what this flower is...Chrysanthemum maybe? I just had a flashback of Anne of Green Gables spelling that. LOL There were pink ones, blue, lavendar...I think they were all died with colored water though. Anyway, it was very nice!

Another arrangement by Alma. That's me peeking out from the top.

This is my dear, sweet friend Lorany. She is due with her first baby any day now. We are all excited about Joshua's arrival.

My oldest baby and I at the end of a long, but blessed day!
Well, there you go. Awesome day. We love to celebrate the Lord's Resurrection, but we like to remember all He's done for us on a daily level. He became man on earth to not only die for us and pay for our sins, but to live and feel and be able to empathize with us. He taught us all how to live. Full of love, compassion and mercy. Thanks be to God!
To see other 12 of 12, you can go to Susan's Blog!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Dippin' Eggs!

We dip eggs to leave for the Easter Bunny every year. =] It gets more interesting with the more kids and the different ages. No matter what, it's always a fun time!

At first, Naomi was only interested in dying her eggs pink. That quickly changed once she saw all the other options.

Some of the fun paints.

Naomi getting creative.

The speckled eggs were a cool surprise.

Ready for stickers, drawings, whatever!

Nasty, right? Marco was very involved in his project. It kept him quiet, so we let him have at it. Are all boys like this? I don't remember any of the girls ever doing this type of thing. Yuck. LOL

He even got sick of looking at it and pushed it to the side. He's screaming for a new egg. =]

I painted this egg with a tooth pick. Fun!

Hannah's egg...

Some of these were taken to church, but most were for us. =]

Friday, April 10, 2009

What a beautiful sight...

I wonder how many of you saw this same moon on Wednesday night? I just had to pull out my camera! It's times like this that I really wish I had a fancy-schmancy type of camera, because these pictures don't do the beautiful moon justice. The clouds were just perfect. Of course, there is a scientific explanation for all of it, but I just thought it was beautiful. I could get lost on Google looking at moon images.
Shoot the moon!

"How like a queen comes forth the lonely Moon From the slow opening curtains of the clouds Walking in beauty to her midnight throne!"~~George Croly

"Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.”

"Slowly, silently, now the moon
Walks the night in her silver shoon."~~Walter De La Mare Silver

“When I admire the wonder of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in worship of the Creator."

“The day, water, sun, moon, night - I do not have to purchase these things with money.”
~~ Titus Maccius Plautus

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Little Member...

You might be expecting to read about my youngest child because of the title...but there's a smaller member that I am referring to.
It is the tongue.
What? Yes. The tongue. My pastor (AKA my hubby) has been teaching from the book of James during our mid-week prayer service.
Now, whether you are a follower of Christ or not, I think you should read on.
I was so enlightened last night. I've read the passage that he taught on so many times, but I must've really needed to hear it just then, because it sure struck a nerve.
Have you really ever thought about your tongue? It is such a small member of the body, yet it can do much good or it can do much harm!
James 3:2-5 says:
"2For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.
3Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.
4Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.
5Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!"

James compares the tongue to a bit in a horses mouth or the helm on a ship. He says that like those small things that control a much larger thing, so is the tongue! I shudder to think how many times I could've used my tongue to control the rest of myself to be a better person. How many times could I have used my tongue to be an encouragement or comfort, but instead, I was a stumbling block.

James goes on to say:
7For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:
8But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
9Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
10Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
11Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?
12Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.

How is it that so many of us can be so sweet and kind and then so nasty all at once? I have met many wonderful people that do not profess to be Christians, yet they have a better control of their tongue and actions then some that do. On the other hand, I've met people that say they don't want anything to do with Christianity because of this person or that person that was such a bad example. That always makes me feel bad, because obviously, that person they are referring to must have other issues and unfortunately professes to know Christ. This is not what Christianity is and unfortunately, we've gotten a "bad rap" because of those that try to speak of Christ and with the same tongue, curse men.
James also says:
13Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
14But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
15This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
16For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
17But the
wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
18And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

Isn't that an eye-opener? Are you sharing your wisdom without being boastful? Are you following verse 17? Refer to verse 16. No wonder there are people who are confused about Christians.
Now, I am a Christian. I follow Christ and try to let others see that in me. However, I make mistakes, I get angry, I get envious, I am partial, etc. BUT as a Christian, I know it is not right and try to make it right. I try to have mercy on those that do it to me and I don't want to hold grudges and grow bitter.
This brings us to verse 18 - THEM THAT MAKE are you spending your time? Are you sharing loving and kind words with those you come in contact with? Nobody's perfect and certainly can not go around with a "Pollyanna" attitude all the time, but it would be better than an ugly, I am the victim, nobody likes me, here's what's wrong with YOU attitude all the time.
Think about it. What has your "little member" been doing lately? A bit that has been ill fit or a helm that is not functioning properly can cause a lot of damage. I have seen churches, families, friendships, businesses...destroyed and it started with just a "little member". I have also seen children that grow up with a wonderful spirit and attitude on life, husbands that feel like they are worthy, wives and friends that are validated, businesses and churches bloom and grow because of a "little member".
It all depends on how you use it. Your choice. Own it.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Manic Monday...

My sweet boy! He loves to brush his teeth - thank goodness. =]

How often do you change your toothbrush?
I guess I don't actually have a "schedule". I know I should, but I just eye ball them every once in a while and if they look like they need to get thrown out - I chuck 'em and by new ones. My two youngest LOVE to brush their teeth, but my sweet boy loves it even when I brush his teeth. =] He tilts his head back with his mouth wide open and just enjoys it. Love him!
What is your favorite item of clothing to shop for?
At the moment, I don't enjoy shopping for any clothing for myself. =[ Hopefully, it won't be long before that changes. Of course, then I'd be able to shop in my own closet for all my favorite items that I haven't been able to wear in a loooooooong time! lol
I do love shopping for my children's clothes although, it's always a treat when I get to buy them brand new clothes!
Do you use social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.)? Which do you use most often?
I do! I use Facebook and I love it. I love to keep in touch with my family and friends by seeing recent pictures, status updates, etc. It can be a time sucker, but I've gotten to where I don't add hardly any applications or games, but just scan new updates, comments and photos.
I'm still not sure what Twitter is, but if it's something for the phone - that is why I don't have it. No internet on my phone. =[
If you want to play along with this meme, just go to Manic Monday (clicky)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Photo Hunt...STRIPES...

So, I thought I'd start playing along with a weekly photo hunt that you can also participate in. Just head over to this blog and you can be a photo hunter too! =] She gives a theme and you can post as many pictures as you want and interpret the assignment however you want.

This week it's STRIPES.
I love this Americana flag that I have hanging in my dining room.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Friday 5...

Friday 5 for April 3: More Questions about Food and Drink
You can find this meme over at Friday 5

1.What is your favorite fizzy, bubbly drink?
My favorite fizzy or bubbly drink would have to be Mountain Dew and when I see a Sonic (closest one is probably an hour away), it's the Cherry Limeade!! I know! Isn't that terrible? Well, that's what is WAS, I should say. As of late, I have been abstaining from fizzy drinks and only consuming water. So far, so good!
2.What is your favorite deep-fried food?
I used to tell my students that I could probably eat an old boot if it was deep fried. *sigh* So sad. Anyway...this is another thing that I am trying to stay clear of, but when I do eat something deep fried, my favorite would be anything from Long John Silver's. Now I take my seafood grilled, broiled or baked. Way better, right?
3.What is your favorite hot beverage?
4.What is your favorite really messy food?
Whole Crab. Whenever we go to San Francisco, we always stop at Fisherman's Wharf and I choose a whole crab for them to boil up right there. I have gotten very good and getting every bit of edible meat out of the crab without looking too crazy! =]
5.What is your favorite recipe for a blended or mixed beverage?
I love making fruit smoothies - especially in the summer. Here's a good one:
Banana-Strawberry Fruit Smoothie Recipe

1 banana, frozen
6 strawberries, frozen
1 1/4 cup water
1 tbsp. skim milk powder
1 heaping tbsp. high- quality protein powder (optional)
1 tsp. flax oil (optional)
In a blender, process all the ingredients until thoroughly mixed and serve!
Have a delicious weekend!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Esther's Etsy Shop....Tender Moments....

Isn't this blanket adorable?? My sister, Esther, has finally opened up her own Etsy shop. I loved all the burp rags and things she made for my son and now she has taken it to a whole new level!
If you are looking for a baby gift or maybe you just need one for yourself - run, don't walk, to her shop - Tender Moments.
She only has a few listed there at a time, so grab yours while you can! She will also have something really cool in her shop soon that I have been waiting for. Don't want to give that away, yet. ;] So, check back often.
Anyway, just wanted to give my baby sister a little shout out! Let me know what y'all think. =]