Sunday, December 26, 2010


This year, Christmas was marked with many blessings for our family! Health is definitely near the top of my list of blessings. But probably at the top is our family. The children have been so sweet this year! When I asked Rob how his Christmas was he answered that it was great. His specific list was a new phone, Jesus and snow! I think our children realize that the truly important event is the birth of Christ, not just a bunch of presents.

I wish there had been more time to prepare for Christmas this year! I felt overwhelmed by a project I took on and wished that I did not have it looming over me so much. Oh well! Next year should be better. Now we will be working toward Fiddler on the Roof and maybe The Mikado too. I hope to get things going creatively again too. It must be time to start thinking about resolutions again. Hmmm. Going to have to work on those this week. I'll get back with you!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Beautiful Crochet Scarf

Check out this beautiful scarf. The pattern is free at Coats and Clark! It seems like a great way to use up yarn bits making the flowers...

Monday, December 20, 2010

Gotta have some of these!

I found these flower ornaments this morning and now I want to make some of these too! I sense that I might have a flower obsession going! Shhh.... don't tell!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

And another one - different technique

This time I used a lesson I found on fabric yo-yo's to make the black satin flowers. The small one is the back (smooth) side of the yo-yo and the large one is the gathered side. I used fancy brads I found in the scrapbook aisle for the centers. Quick and easy! My kind of project!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

and a second headband

Here is a look at the second one of the braided fabric headbands that I made. It is flatter than the first try as I wound it differently.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas crafting

The wreath is still a work in progress! Yikes! Cutting a bazillion circles is making me crazy already!

But I found this cute headband the other day thanks to tip junkie ( I love that page! ). This is the link:

I immediately set about to find fabric that my girls would love. This is the finished product from my first attempt and DD #1 quickly claimed it as her own and wore it to school!

I think I will make the next one differently and see how it goes.

Monday, November 29, 2010


I found this cute wreath thanks to my friend Laurie who told me about tip junkie on facebook. Go like tip junkie for yourself! You'll be glad you did!

I am so heading out to get the supplies I need to make on of these for myself. And then I think I will make a couple more of them for different seasons. I just love it!

I'll post pictures when I get mine done!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

We now interrupt our regular scheduled programming...

To take a side trip on some newly "improved" intersections in our fair city. I have come to the conclusion that the streets engineering department has totally run amuck. I first noticed this at Pulaski Pike and Poplar. They have relocated the stopping point for north bound traffic to be further back on Pulaski Pike. This has some advantages for large vehicles such as buses that have to turn from Poplar to Pulaski Pike but it really creates problems for those trying to turn from Pulaski to Poplar.

This particular intersection may be my pet peeve so excuse me please. Here is the problem as I see it. Poplar is home to the Academy of Academics and Arts. This magnet school for k-8 draws children from all over our city. Some children ride the buses in to the school but many children are delivered by their parents. To get to Poplar from points south and even east, a left turn is required to get on to Poplar. A driver can go to the school by turning on a street west of Pulaski Pike but then must turn left on to Poplar while negotiating traffic approaching from at least 2 directions and usually 3. It can be quite difficult since Poplar is higher in elevation and cars parked on the street can block the view. The only solution I have found for a protected left is to go past the school and turn up the neighborhood street and then turn right on Poplar and wait for the crossing guard to provide the protected left into the school. That works great in the morning but not so well in afternoon when left turns are not allowed at the crossing guard. I can think of no other school that does not provide better protection for its students. If you know of one, please feel free to share.

The second 'improvement' is a Govenor's and California. Fortunately, I do not live in the Blossomwood area and do not have to deal with the city's wonderful design work there. I fail to see how the new design is better than what was there before. I trust that we will see more improvements when the project is finally finished.

That brings me to the third and latest 'improvement'. OMG!!! They have finally reopened the intersecton of Meridian at Monroe. What seemed like an intersection that functioned well has now been mangled beyond recognition. I stumbled into it before striping was done and was totally confused. What used to be a direct route from my church to Monroe and then 565 has become a mess. While I recognize that the path Meridian took was quite crooked, I fail to see how changing the intersection to this monstrosity is a suitable correction. It seems obvious to me that someone has let the traffic engineers run amuck with creating the most convoluted solutions they could come up with. This city has a huge population of engineers! Surely we could find some who know how to create intersections that work. The only thing worse would have been another round-a-bout.

Now back to our regular scheduled programming....

Monday, November 15, 2010

Feeling a little bit like a holiday mood!

So it is a chilly damp morning here and I have Christmas music on the stereo! I love the music and it is just what I need to jump start my day! I have Christmas on my mind! I have an idea for the beaded copper ornaments I have made and need to go visit my print shop and get a rubber stamp made. I was inspired by the music at church yesterday!

I usually attend the early service and the choir does not sing for that service. But yesterday we went to the last service as DD2 was singing with the LOGOS choir. The music was wonderful! I love our new choir director! It is amazing how God puts all the pieces together to make something wonderful! The calling of our staff members, the choices for yesterday's worship all were wonderful. I hope that your worship experience was just as blessed!

Feel free to join me in putting the Christmas music on the stereo!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

So much drama...

Sometimes drama is absent and sometimes it feels like I am surrounded by it. Somewhere in the middle or even less would be fabulous! My chest has felt like a huge weight has been on me for a couple of weeks!

It lifted a little yesterday when my mom came through surgery well. I'm not permitted to say any more than that in a public place. My sweet DH has been a rock for me which I greatly appreciate.

My kiddos had call backs last night for Fiddler and I got the call this morning that all 3 have been cast. My oldest DD will play Golda and DS will be the rabbi and DD the youngest will be a Russian. I am excited for all of them! DD (the oldest) will be thrilled in particular!

Monday, October 25, 2010

A first attempt...

I have made my first attempt at creating a badge. Not entirely successful yet but I did figure out how to put the picture up here on the page as a gadget which works for now! I am hoping that you will join me on the journey to keep the focus of the Christmas season where it belongs. Feel free to take the image for your own page as well. (I know it is not much at this point but it is meant to be shared!)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Thinking ahead

I was checking my facebook feed and a local business that I follow was advertising some Christmas products that they make and sell. Really? You would want an Alabama or Auburn stocking? Or ornaments for your tree?

Maybe I am just getting old!!!!! (I did just have a birthday!) I think that the message of the season should be foremost in our minds and school spirit is not really part of the message. Maybe you missed that part of the lesson. I suspect the business makes and sells these items precisely because they sell! What a sad commentary on the people in this state.

I am going to pledge to you that I will do my best to keep Christ in Christmas this year. Want to take the pledge too? I'll see what I can do about creating a badge for this. It really is important!

Sunday, October 10, 2010


As a person who loves numbers, I think it is interesting that people care about dates such as today's. I must be too practical to be caught up in ther fervor. I do not believe that one day is inherently more lucky than any other because of the numbers that identify it.

Today was glorious here and a gift from the Lord to be enjoyed! The arbitrary numbers assigned by man don't really affect His gift! Did you do anything to mark the day? It is has not even been mentioned in my family!

The most interesting thing I heard is that 101010 in binary is 42 which means that today is the answer if you are a fan of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Southern cooking - oh my!

All over town, you can find the new cookbook by Christy Jordan called Southern Plate. It looks fabulous and I congratulate her on a job well done! Much as I love Southern cooking, I don't indulge in it much myself. I think it is because I see Southern cooking as inherently unhealthy! Need some bacon fat? How about some more butter? Maybe you begin to see what I mean... I love bacon! I really do! I no longer buy it regularly though. I try to stick to a minimally processed ham but it really does not equal bacon. It is just healthier for us all. I love butter too. I used it last night when I made mashed potatoes for dinner. The other thing I added to the mix? Feta cheese! Yum! Somehow the two things go oh so well together!

With all the challenges my DH presents in terms of his diet, it would be nearly impossible for me to make most things from the Southern Plate. No beef, no beans, no msg, low sodium, low fat and very balanced for a diabetic diet. Last night was balsamic chicken and feta mashed potatoes. I needed a green veggie but did not have any on hand. Tonight will probably be homemade pizza which lets us control fat and sodium. Other favorites in heavy rotation, though not necessarily grouped, curried chicken, rice, vegetable soup, grilled cheese sandwiches, fajitas (beef for the kids and chicken for DH), pumpkin pancakes, french toast, bbq chicken quesadillas with pineapple.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


As DH and I were heading out to meet friends for supper tonight, I got a call on my cell. It was the mom of the friend whose house I had just dropped DS off to play. She said we need to come check DS, he had been kicked in the nose. Well! You can imagine that a kick in the nose would not be good! We got there and yes, his nose is clearly crooked where it was not before. Some swelling and bruising but not too much at this point which is good. He was very brave but decided he wanted to go home and have some medicine and put ice on it at home. So we returned him home.

I did some research on broken noses and have learned that if it is within the first 14 days, it is possible to have it adjusted. It was not clear to me what that would mean if he has a deviated septum which he might now. So now it looks like I will be going to see the doctor this week to get further guidance on what to do. Of course, he has a show coming up in a week so we really don't want him to have a swollen, bruised nose for the show!

As for how the kick occurred? It was truly an accident! His best friend was running up the stairs and DS was right behind him but going up on all fours. So obviously, his face was too close to the friend's foot. I'm going to file this under boys will be boys and be thankful that it was not something worse.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


I tried a new recipe today for soup. I am having to adjust my cooking a bit for DH so I did not follow the recipe exactly. I used Pioneer Woman's roasted vegetable minestrone as the base recipe. I left out all of the seasoning except for the tumeric and I had to leave out the cannellini beans too. DH's digestive track is not what it was it would seem. Red meat is gone from our diet and now beans are leaving too. I love beans so that will really be missed. I still cook red meat occasionally and will cook chicken at the same time for DH. The kids and I enjoy having steak every once in a while. The kids also love having meatball subs or spaghetti with meatballs.

So back to the soup - mine turned out not to be very soupy! The pasta absorbed most of the soup but it was still good. I need to look for more soup recipes that are veggie rich and low sodium and low fat. If you have a favorite soup recipe, please share!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Think Pink

All around me today the world is pink. The newpaper is pink, the firefighters are wearing pink, trees are wrapped in pink ribbons. This happens every October for breast cancer awareness month. But this year is different for me. I will schedule my mammogram and go have it as always. However, someone I know has done the same thing and had a report come back as suspicious for cancer.

For most people that would be a call to action. For one of my aunts it was. She was diagnosed and has been clear now for about 13 years. Now another aunt is choosing to ignore her doctor's advice. Her reply was that she'll come back next year and have another mammogram.

No one can understand why a very intelligent woman would make such a choice. We all have our own theories about it but we cannot understand. So this year it feels more like a heavy pink cloud is hanging over me. Her children and siblings, neices and nephews have all tried to speak with her about the wisdom of her choice without changing her mind. I will continue to pray that the Lord will open her heart and mind to the wisdom that would come from having a biopsy at least. Then we would all know whether this is cancer or something else. I truly feel that her daughter deserves to know at least this.

If you have ever dealt with a similar situation, I would love to hear how you resolved it. And remember to get your mammogram!

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Grand Experiment

We began our grand experiment a month ago. While it might sound like a noble cause, it really all came down to our budget which we wanted to tighten up a bit. So after much consideration and discussion, we called the cable company and turned off our cable TV. At the same time, we ordered a free month of netflix. It took the cable company quite a while to come out to the house to turn it off. I was beginning to think they had forgotten about the order it took so long! Netflix started right away and we took only 1 disk at a time so that we could have the entire month free. Now we have upgraded to 2 at a time. We still are saving about $45 a month on this arrangement. But the best thing is the improvement we have seen in the attitude of our son! It is like night and day! He does his chores (usually) without reminding. He is pleasant most mornings too! It is such a joy!

The funniest part of the experiment is walking into the bedroom to find my DH staring at the blank screen which is that tv. We do not have tv in that room for now. He is working to put a netflix compatible pc in there but it hasn't happened yet so all he has is the blank screen of the old tv! I think we have all enjoyed netflix and hulu is another great source of entertainment for us. I would highly recommend the grand experiment for other families. And if you try it, I would like to know how things turn out for you a month down the road!

Update: Read more here!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A bit of a funk...

I took my youngest to the bookstore today to get a present for a friend and I took advantage of the time to go look at magazines. I pulled 4 from Stampington to look through and found myself rather disappointed. Belle Armoire Jewelry left me quite uninspired which is unusual. I checked out the Apprentice and that might have been the most interesting on of the bunch. Holiday and Home were not what I was expecting either. I suspect it is me and the mood I am in currently. I normally love almost everything I have read from Stampinton so I have a hard time believing that nothing was worth my purchasing.

Then I had a bead society meeting tonight. I had ordered some of the supplies for the project they were going to be working on tonight but I wound up not having the time to stay. I had planned to purchase my supplies and not work with the class but sit with the girls and work on my kumihimo project. I have not had the time to attend any of the meetings now that they have moved to evenings. I am seriously thinking about dropping out of the bead society now. I am in such a different place than most of the other members that I have a hard time relating with many of the members. Then the lack of time is another factor. But what does this mean for my creativity?

I feel drawn to fiber currently. I want to sew, felt, crochet and embellish!!! This is a new path to explore but I don't want to abandon jewelry completely either. But my role as mom has to come first!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

a new adventure

Today starts our church's 10th year of LOGOS! I am thrilled! We have worked so hard to build this program to where it is today. My own kids would not want to miss it. And this year, I will be teaching Bible to 6th graders. It looks like we have a class of girls and they all have real hearts for Jesus which will make this fun. I am teamed with our pastor who thinks we can just wing it on the curriculum! I'm a little nervous about that! His plan is to use the book of John as our basis so that is comforting as I know the book of John fairly well thanks to BSF. We don't really have a plan for tonight that I know of so I will start with bringing an ice breaker to help us get to know the class better. Not sure that we will use it, but we will have it as a backup plan anyway!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day!

What a glorious weekend we have had! God has given us truly wonderful weather for the whole weekend. We have worked outside on Saturday and again today. Yesterday was more of a day of rest. I took our oldest DD and went to church to usher at the 10:30 service. Then followed that with a long afternoon nap!

Today we began working on the door which will become a desk for the girls. The molding strip has been removed and sanding has been done on the top and all four edges. I need to make a trip to home depot to research and maybe purchase some supplies to finish this project. Paint for one thing, and plexiglass for the top, two more legs as well and some sort of strip to finish the front edge of the door and that should complete the project!

DD #1 is hard at work on a project for her English class (9th grade honors). She has had it for almost a week but just got started today! I want to wring her neck! (No! Not literally!) Learning to balance her time is going to be a challenge. She has too many classes that require a significant amount of effort to be slacking off like this!

I started a project today that I have wanted to do for a bit. I am embroidering the inside of my jeans' pocket! The way the pocket is cut and assembled, the lining usually shows when I sit. It is a very plain piece of cotton that is dyed from the indigo of the jeans. Not the best picture here but I'll try for another one later...

Saturday, September 4, 2010

a week of moments...

I have had a week of moments. Not any one huge thing but lots of little moments that made things interesting. Some failures and some successes through the week but overall I feel closer to God which must be a success of the highest magnitude!

Mark Stearns of the Lincoln Village Project is teaching a Sunday School class for adults at my church and it has been eye-opening to say the least! We are blessed in so many ways and I praise God for those blessings! I am trying to be more reliant on Him and less trying to do it all myself! I had time this week to read through the book that Mark has put together and it is a profound story that can change a life with God!

So with that as my background thoughts all week, I was truly struck by how fortunate Huntsville is and how much excess is around us. I am appalled by kids driving luxury foreign cars. I have seen teens driving jags and ferraris and mercedes. What do you have to work for when these things are available to you at 17 or 18? And yes I know that some of my friends' kids drive very nice vehicles and I still feel this way.

On to more mundane things - I did three, yes three, loads of laundry today and cleaned the garage fridge. Some sorting of papers also happened. The kids went to rehearsal and I shopped for groceries and got gas for my van. Totally mundane but I feel very good about getting things done!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Mmmmm .... coffee.....

How beautiful is the coffee plant? I love this image from the graphics fairy! See my link on the side to find her site. Coffee makes my world go round most mornings!
Thanks again graphics fairy for the beautiful images you share!

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Some days you are the windshield and some days you are the bug. Today I am the bug and I have been tossed against the windshield over and over!!! Ok - maybe I exagerate slightly. I may be having a drama queen moment! It has been a long day with much stress though.

I attended middle school open house tonight and feel like such a failure! I have no idea how other parents are making things work. Between being a homework tutor, a chauffer, a housekeeper and chef - I am exhausted. Somehow I was supposed to be able to get desserts to the school tonight for a fund raiser as well. That did not happen. I sat through a meeting about the choir uniforms thinking they have lost their minds. My budget is shot with all the fees we have been hit with this year.

High school class fees - $120
PTA memberships -$20
suggested PTA donations - $150
Camp McDowell trip - $150
Choir fees x 2 - $70
Uniform fee - $13
Art fee -$10

That is $533!!!! I'm supposed to come up with $533 dollars on top of all the supplies that they needed???? Something is going to have to give!!!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

oh to be somebody

I wish getting an audience to my blog would be easier! I imagine a place where gifts just show up at my door. "A new kindle? Just for me? Why thank you so much!" " What could this box marked android possible be? For me? Why shucks!" Can't you just see it too? No? Oh well... I may never be as famous as the Pioneer Woman or have the traffic of my favorite blogs but I still enjoy my little corner of cyber space where I can freely express my opinion. Maybe someday someone else will actually read my ramblings and join in the conversation...

transformation yoga and centering prayer

I am so happy that my church sponsors a yoga class on Tuesdays called transformation yoga and centering prayer. We have an awesome teacher too! I admit to having only attended once but what I learned has stuck with me and I do intend to return now that school is in session and my schedule should be getting lighter. My favorite thing is remembering to lift my heart to the Lord! Wow! This one simple visual cue helps me have better posture and use my core muscles which are very weak and need all the help they can get! Next time you find yourself slouching, remember to lift you heart to the Lord and see what a difference it can make.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Division in Huntsville

I will start by saying that I love Huntsville, AL! It is a wonderful town to live, work, raise a family, worship and prosper. But I have serious concerns about our school system. The horrible rift that surfaced this spring and summer is very discouraging to me. Then this week I read an article about the budget planning session that happened on Thursday. It is clear to me that the administration is not supportive of the magnet programs that Huntsville offers.

Our magnets are not like those in other places. The magnets in Huntsville were created following a court order for desegregation of the school district. The DOJ court order still stands and the system seems unwilling to do what is required to fix it. I am the first to admit that I am a huge fan of the magnets here.

My children have attended the Academy for Academics and Arts for years now. My oldest has just left after 9 years there to attend high school. This school has afforded my children an education that is not available anywhere else in the city. They have had art, dance, music, drama, strings and all of the academics as well. I know there are flaws at AAA. There are some programs that are stronger than others, but I see a group of educators and parents working together to make things great. We chose not to send our oldest into the high school magnet for arts because we knew she had a great foundation for arts already and it was truly time to concentrate on academics. She is enrolled in the IB program at another school. This program is not part of the DOJ order but its feeder school is part of the magnet system.

I'm very fortunate to live in a town that has choices outside of our district schools. Not everyone has a choice. And not everyone who has a choice will exercise it. I would encourage parents to really look hard at what these magnets offer your children. It can be a great foundation for your child. I really feel for the parents of Johnson and Butler who are eligible to transfer their children based on the low test scores of the children.

I found myself very upset this week with the article in the Huntsville Times in which the finance director for Huntsville City Schools really seemed to drive a wedge between the schools in this city. His comment about how the magnet high school would have more teachers than mandated by the state while another school would have less seemed very hurtful. Also comments about how the two top high schools were too full to accept transfers seemed suspicious to me. The only choices then left for the parents trying to transfer from a low performing high school are the magnet school or the high school where the IB program resides. On the plus side for these students, they have the opportunity to find a quality education. They may not be accepted into the magnet or the IB cohort but surely they will find a better school.

The magnet schools exist because of a court order but they provide an exceptional education for the youth of our city! To belittle them in this way seems wrong. Because our city has not done anything to remediate the situation that the magnets address, they will remain. But to treat them as second class schools will only perpetuate the problems that brought about the court order. Lee High School is home to the arts magnets but kids who excel in these arts are also able to excel in academics. If we do not support the academics in these schools, smart parents will not choose them for their children. Why would you want to send your child to a school that only excels in the one area? Children deserve to receive a complete education. Even now, many parents are supplementing the education that their children receive and I know that occurs in schools other than magnets. Smart parents look at all the options for their kids and try to make the best choices.

We chose IB for our oldest because it promises to be a wonderful way to further her academic career. She is already taking an AP course as a freshman and with hard work, will have college credit at the end of this year! This program came to Huntsville because of our military and civil service families. Kids that are educated overseas are frequently in these programs. It is also quite prevalent in the DC area suburbs. She may very well have a full year of college credit by the time she graduates high school and hopefully several scholarship offers! We are also supplementing her education with private voice lessons. She has a lovely voice and was accepted into the vocal magnet but she also a terrific brain and was accepted into the IB cohort class. The cohort class is very small, probably under 40, but what a great transition that made!

So sorry for the rant but I'm truly a concerned parent trying to make the best choices for my children. Selling my house and moving to another district is not an option at this time any more than paying for private school would be. Hence my rant. If you should read this, please consider all the issues confronting our schools, not just the one in your own district. We are a community that deserves to have top notch schools all over the city. Our children deserve a quality education. Vote accordingly in the school board elections!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

This is one of the things that I have made this summer. It is a bracelet made with 6/0 silver lined seed beads and sterling findings using a braiding technique called kumihimo. My sweet friend Sheila taught this technique at the July meeting of the Huntsville Bead Society. Now I'm hooked on this! The results are stunning and the projects work up fairly quickly. A perfect combination in my book!

Friday, August 20, 2010

I loved this quote from OU President David Boren. I certainly sense a lack of faith within the leadership of our country. I know that our youth are so strong in their abilities and in their faith in God. We can have an even better America with leaders who value their country and its strengths.

"We are locked in a struggle for the future of this country to maintain
greatness of this country. There are people who believe that the
greatest days of this country are behind us; this is a challenge that is set
before all of us. It is a challenge especially set before you."

- David Boren speaking August 19th, 2010 at New Sooner

Friday, August 13, 2010


Oldest DD has informed me that she wants to go to the homecoming dance. It only costs $20! Huh? I admit it has been 3 decades since I left high school, but really? $20? Oh my! So how does the date thing work? Are boys expected to pay the $20 for their dates? I cannot imagine how that works! Of course there is no date in sight for DD. I'm inclined to say 'NO' for this one! I never went to a homecoming dance because I never was asked... I'm thinking things may be different but not that different surely? Somebody give me some feedback please!!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Fall schedule but it definitely still feels like summer!

Hard to believe that my children have started back to school this week! If only it felt like fall! The triple digit temperatures are so hard to deal with for everyone. Much prayer is taking place in my life. Praying that I have made the right choices for my kids, praying for their teachers, praying for a new job for me, and just in general praying!

This school year brings many changes in our lives. Our oldest DD is starting her high school career! We decided on the IB program for her. This means we are supplementing her schedule with voice lessons on Fridays and music theory on Thursdays. The voice lessons start next week and I am anxious to see where she will go with them. Every fourth week will be a performance class so we will get to watch the changes! Our DS has made the show choir, choir and dance company at school! That is what he wanted. The show choir is planning a trip to Disney this spring so every one wanted to be in it! Then our youngest DD is committing to viola and planning to continue for years! None of the others have had the interest so we are thrilled!

I am hoping

Friday, April 23, 2010

trusting in Him

This is the one time of year that rivals Christmas for sheer busyness! It is the end of school rush and it is here in full force at our home. All of the extra curricular activities want to have big end of year events and then there are the concerts and recitals that follow too! This year our family has an extra big event - the confirmation of our oldest child as she prepares to become a member of the church! Tomorrow will be her examination by the session. The confirmands are always somewhat nervous about this process. They had a retreat to study last weekend but Katie had to miss most of it due to her All-State Choir Concert on the campus of Samford University.

Once this portion is complete, the confirmands actually join the church in May. We are excited for her and the rest of the class as well. It is a large group of kids this time which have been together for the most part since they were quite young.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Spring Break

My how time has flown by! Life has been busy in our household with two children in two different plays on the same weekend but that has ended and spring break has begun. What a blessing to have this down time for the kids! It is not a downtime for me workwise as that continues as does the stress!

I have just picked up a writing job that I am very excited about. I have to take care of a few details before I can announce it fully so keep watching this space for more news! It should be a nice supplement for my other endeavors and I can hardly wait to get started. My big web project is on hold again but I am using this time to research some options and try new things. It has really been a blessing for our family and I would love to pick up more jobs like it where I can use my training and experience in a meaningful way. It makes for a very full plate but I love it!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Today I am praising God for providing to me the opportunity to support my family. He is so good! I am learning to live in my faith and it is a day by day process. I feel stronger each day in my faith. Some days are crazy and I have to really work to stay sane and strong in my faith. Today is one of those days! But still I will praise him for my opportunities and rejoice in His goodness.

One of my blessings today is that my weight loss is continuing in a very strong manner. I exceeded my 5% goal today! That means I have lost 5% of my starting body weight. It is a huge step on my way down. Another way to look at this number is that I have lost over 10% of what I want to lose! Yeah me! Summer is looking much thinner if this keeps up!

Another blessing is that my DH is suddenly very interested in his health. He wants to watch the amount of carbs that he is eating and is exercising much more! We walked together yesterday morning and it was wonderful! I look forward to a time when he and I can walk together even more.

So I pray that you can look around you and see your blessings today and rejoice also in God's goodness for he is always good and wanting what is good for us!

Thursday, February 18, 2010


This past couple of weeks have been rough in my hometown. First there was a school shooting in the small town that is our neighbor / suburb. It involved two ninth graders and one lost his life. Then if that was not enough, we were hit the following week by a shooting at the university where three people were killed. It has stunned our whole community I think. I know I feel overwhelmed by this and I don't even know anyone directly involved. I do have indirect ties to the shooter (her son attends the same school as my children), a professor who lost her life (neighbor to my friend's mother) and a survivor (who is another friend's boss). It just leaves so many questions unanswered and so much talent has been lost.

Add to these the events the stress of my own life and it feels crushing at times. I know God is good and is not going to give me more than I can handle but oh my it is a heavy load at times. I will be glad when the media can drop this story. We saw a "news broadcast" last night where they literally tried to make this shooter look evil by changing her eyes to yellow and photo shopping the heck out of her picture. I think we can safely assume that her trial will not take place here but rather, somewhere else in the state where they haven't seen the demon picture. Truly, it only lacked horns!

I hope that your week has been better than mine. Not that mine was bad... I think it is more the case that it lacked balance. The current events seemed to weigh too heavily and my family events were not in proportion. So this week I need to work on that proportion and try to bring life back into perspective. It is particularly important to me with the beginning of Lent. I have not made a decision to change anything at this point. But perhaps I need to make more time for God (not really a perhaps kind of statement there!) and make that my Lenten goal this year. Have you made plans for Lent? Would you care to share what you are doing?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Well my DD made Alabama's All State Choir for SATB. This was her first time to audition for the choir and we really were not sure that she would be accepted so we are thrilled that she made it. The actual days for All State are April 15 and 16 and it will be held in Birmingham. Now we find ourselves planning for a quick trip to Birmingham! We will probably try to go down on the 16th for the concert. We are so proud of her and recognize that her voice is a gift that is all her own and given by God. Neither of us sings like she does!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

valentine gift

This is a painting I made years ago for a Valentine dinner at our church. There was a vellum overlay with the program on it. I think this one was a reject from the project. I suspect that most people did not realize that they had been given an original piece of art but that is okay. My art is simple at best but it was from the heart. So why am I sharing my imperfect valentine with you? I suppose to show that I am in no way perfect. Also because I love this piece in all of its imperfectness. There is only one perfect Creator and all my efforts pale in comparison! It reminds me that we all have flaws but our Creator loves us despite those things. How wonderful it is to be loved!


A week has slipped by in the blink of an eye! I found myself in Decatur, AL on Thursday driving 5 girls and another mom over for all state choral auditions. We are still waiting to hear how the kids did but they were told by the judge that it might be this week when they hear. That would be nice. I will have much planning to do (and saving I might add) if Katie makes the choir.

This week also found us finishing up the 2009 employer's taxes on Monday. That is never a favorite job but it is done now and I will have to think about it again in April. Now it is time to get our personal taxes filed and get that money back from Uncle Sam! Woohoo!

The high light of the week for me though has to be the results of my dieting! Down 5 pounds from last Monday! I posted about my WW goal but figured out that I needed to revise the goal to be more accurate. So I still have 5 pounds to go to reach the 5% goal. That means I will have lost 5% of my weight when I started. Not 5% of what I want to lose, but 5% of what I weighed! I have already started to notice that my clothes are getting big on me which is a thrill! I have tried on pants that have never really fit and suddenly they are starting to look good. I find that the WW online program is really good for me. I am enough of a private person that I do not want to join a group of other people on this journey. I do have 2 friends that are doing WW right now too and that helps. One of the things I really enjoy about WW right now is it is one of the few things I have any control over. I am in total control of what goes into my body! My oldest DD is also trying to lose weight and is using SparkTeen. It is free and seems to be motivating to her. I am hopeful that my setting an example plus her program will be what she needs to get losing!

Monday, February 1, 2010

New week, new month!

It is hard to believe that it is already February 1! That being the case, I am going to make sure I do a goal check. At the top of my goals is health and I can say that yes, I am working on health and have lost about 4 pounds since the beginning of December. Not a lot of weight but considering that the holidays were in the middle of it, I think I did okay. I'm still on track and trying to lose another 6.5 pounds to hit my first WW goal. I'll be thrilled if I can make that by Spring break! Next on the goal list is promoting arts and crafts in Huntsville and see my previous post on that one! It is on track too. I'm working on keeping better records for TRB this year and got that started yesterday too. Over all, I am very pleased with how things are going this year ... I know only one month but that is how we do it... one month at a time. I still need to work on my spiritual goals but I do find that FB is actually helping me there. So many of my friends are Christians and put their faith out there for all to see and it helps me too! So thanks to my FB friends for being the people you are!

So have I gotten you to think about your goals for 2010? I hope so and I hope that you find you are well on your way to accomplishing the things you desire for 2010.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Handmade Huntsville

Did I tell you about Handmade Huntsville? It is a facebook group and fan page that I started for local artists and crafters. The group is for the creators themselves and the fan page is for everyone who loves handmade things. I will be featuring a local artisan twice a month at this point. The first artist interview is up on the fan page in the discussions tab already! My sweet friend Rita agreed to go first and I am so excited to have this opportunity! I think of it as "being the change I want to see". I want Huntsville to do even more to support the local arts community that really struggles in tough economic times. I invite everyone to go check out Handmade Huntsville's fan page and join the group if you are a maker of handmade goods. We are stronger by joining forces and working together! Hope to see you at Handmade Huntsville!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Remember the Valentine ideas I mentioned? Well here is one of them! I made a felted coffee sleeve. I found the blue fabric on sale at Hancock. It is a wool / rayon blend of unspecified percentages! I washed it in hot sudsy water and one side of it then resembled boiled wool. I cut 2 of my pattern and felted the top layer with wool roving and a felting needle. It was not hard to felt, but the hard part is making the roving do what you want it to do. For the finishing, I used a blanket stitch to join the two blue pieces together. I think it turned out pretty well for a first attempt. I hope to make a few more for teacher gifts as well. Thanks to Anne Peters for the great photo!

Monday, January 25, 2010

It is January 25th but I have a Christmas post to share

I found this site while stumbling and was absolutely charmed by this tree! They spent 6.98 on lights and that is it!!! What a beautiful way to spend Christmas! Making ornaments with children out of recycled materials. Love, love, love it! Please go check it out!

Update: Sadly this site has disappeared from the net.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

part 2 of the vision

So today was another great Sunday. Our sermon today was about using the Bible as a rock for our church. It is nearly impossible for me to conceive how some pastors think Jesus is not the only way to salvation. If all scripture is God breathed and useful for teaching and reproving, then surely we can trust and stand on this solid rock! This was the second part of a three part vision for our church. I cannot wait to hear the next part of the vision. In almost all sermons, I can feel myself being convicted and today was no exception. I do not spend nearly enough time in my Bible lately. Without being in a Bible study, I do not go there every day. We were strongly encouraged to get involved in a Bible study either at our church or out in the community. I am not in a Disciple class this year or in BSF! I do so miss my weekly Bible study and hope to return next year.

I made a curried chicken and sweet potato dish for supper tonight and it was fabulous! Patak's makes a wonderful Jalfrezi curry sauce that we really like so it is really easy to make this quickly. And I made it in the crock pot which is another time saver (blessing).

Katie and I went to bell rehearsal this evening too. I am afraid of what our choir will sound like at festival. The pieces are so hard this year! There are several pieces where we have to switch quickly between bells and chimes and it is nearly impossible to do it all! It can be very tough on an experienced ringer but with the number of new people we have, it is extremely hard! Poor Katie is really struggling but it has been good for her sight reading skills and learning to count and really read the notes. I'm not sure she realizes just how good it is for her!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

singing praises today

I lightened my stash today and sold my kiln and all of my metal clay lumps. That relieves much of my guilt for purchasing the equipment 6 years ago and never using it much! It has gone to a good home where it will get plenty of use and be a blessing for someone else. I could not ask for anything better and my family is blessed in return!

But this leads me to think about what other gifts / blessings I might be missing and need to do something about! I suspect there are many things that I do not use to their fullest potential and so I need to really either use the blessings or get rid of the stuff that holds me down! Hmm... another metaphor. If I am to soar with eagles and be my best for God, I cannot be weighed down with the extra stuff / guilt. I know this is probably not a revelation to most of you, but for me to see this with my own eyes and recognize it with my brain is something like a miracle! A feel a turning point coming on! I am weighed down physically by my body which I want to release and I am weighed down by too much.... books, magazines, baby stuff, old clothes... this list could go on and on. Time to make some more changes!

I hope you were blessed today and that you too are working on soaring with the eagles....

Friday, January 22, 2010

after the storm

It feels like we were so blessed last night. A tornado passed very close to our house but our main damage seems to be debris from other people's homes. All around us, large trees were pulled up by the roots or had their tops twisted out. Shingles and siding were blown away as well. I ignored the warning sirens at first because it is never for my area. The sirens blow and usually have a warning for a different part of our county. I finally went to check the TV and saw the meteorologist showing the funnel cloud heading for my neighborhood. Very scary indeed! I quickly abandoned my dinner plans (meatloaf in the makings) and took the kids down to the basement and my DH shut down all the computers upstairs before heading down as well. We lost power and did not have it back for 12 hours. This morning, our road was blocked and we had to find an alternative route to get the kids to school. There were many blessings for us in this event and I am so thankful for them all.

I hope you were able to feel God's blessings yesterday, today and will feel them in the future.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

thinking about (some of) my valentines

I am in dire need of a girl's night out!!! The men in my life are making me crazy and I need to go spend some quality time with my girlfriends! I think as wives, we all go through this to some degree. My DH is, without a doubt, my best friend. He loves and supports me in so many ways. But there are days that I just shake my head and ask myself, "What was I thinking?" which really translates to "I have no idea where he is coming from with this stuff! I will never understand the male thought process!" For me, the best answer is often found in a time spent with my girlfriends who understand to some degree what I mean! We have different experiences, but we all have men in our lives who we adore and who adore us. We just don't always understand them. Today, I am very thankful for my girlfriends who are there to say "I know exactly what you mean!" and do so in a spirit of Christian fellowship and love. Do you have girlfriends who mean the world to you? I think it is time to think about Valentine's for these precious girlfriends. And I have just the idea for them too... Stay tuned to see what a creative mind comes up with!
ps. thanks again to the graphics fairy for the beautiful vintage valentine!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

pardon my construction mess

I have been playing with the design of the blog today. It is still very much a work in progress but I want it to be welcoming and a reflection of me. So excuse the mess while I continue to try to get what I want here. Anybody know how to make the title better? I think if I could figure out how to add text to the jpg file that is the header, things would be so much better! Any ideas how to do that? I have elements 5.0 and can not seem to make it work with these files.

fresh wind

Loved today's sermon! I am praying for a rushing wind to be within our church that we might be Spirit led and poised to grow in that Spirit. What a blessing it will be to have the gentle breeze which is there now grow into a full, rushing wind! Taking time to listen to the Spirit's direction and immersed in God's Word will be the key.

I learned today that the average Christian in the USA spends about 10 minutes with God and 4 hours watching TV each day! What an upside down ratio that is! I confess that my upside down ratio is not the TV but rather the computer and social media and probably more than 4 hours. Yikes! I try to justify the time as needed for building my "brand" but really? Sounds like I need another goal doesn't it? Do you have an upside down ratio when it comes to your time with God? If not, what have you done differently? If so, are you prepared to make a change? Share with me and come along on the faith journey to a Spirit led life.
ps - credit to the graphics fairy for the beautiful clip art that reminds me that surely if God takes care of the birds in the field, he will care for me too.

Friday, January 15, 2010


I was at Sam's this morning and saw that they have wiiFitPlus for under $19!!!! It is just the disk and requires that you already have the board and the motion plus addition for your remote. Now I have to save my pennies so that I can get this maybe. I still need to go online and read some detailed reviews to make sure it is worth the extra money. Ps. Sam's has chocolate truffles in 2 plastic candy jars for 1.91! Incredible! I think the jars alone would be worth the price but to get chocolate too - a no brainer!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

getting serious

It is time to get serious about some goals for 2010. First I need to tell you that getting healthy and losing weight is at the top of my list. I rejoined Weight Watchers online and have been doing okay with that but it is time for the exercise portion to kick it in to high gear. Do you have Wii Fit Plus? Did you get it after owning Wii Fit? I am curious! We have WiiFit the original and I am wondering about upgrading and what the benefits would be. I love WiiFit and how easy it is to use and be motivated. And the privacy really works for me too. So please chime in if you know anything about the differences between the two versions. I wish there was an upgrade path.

Another goal is to finally get this house organized! It seems like we are drowning in papers and stuff. Not fun at all. It makes it hard to do the things we need to do and want to do. Who knew 5 people in one house would generate this much stuff?!?! We are about to burst at the seams so much of the junk has to go!

Career wise, I want to return to work this year. My sweet DH plans to set up a unix machine for me to brush up on some key skills. Things like perl, c, and c++ are at the top of my list. I think it will not take long to get back into the swing of it.

Now for the holding myself accountable portion of the goal setting. That may be the hardest part yet. I am praying that I will make it through this year with many things accomplished from my goal list and ready to tackle a new set of goals for 2011! Easier said than done though....

Monday, January 11, 2010


I have to tell you that I was so moved by last night's contemporary service. Thank you Gann for a wonderful testimonial. Thank you Bill, Jeff, Katie, Laura and Gwen for outstanding music leadership! What a blessing it was to be among the believers there last night! I admit I was dancing in the back row with my youngest too! I just loved everything about this worship experience. I so look forward to a time when it is part of our regular Sunday schedule and not just monthly. The people gathered are so happy and the Holy Spirit is there moving amongst us. What a privilege! And now reflecting on it is a great way to start a Monday morning. I hope your morning is off to a great start and that you might have been in such a body of believers this weekend. May God bless you and keep you!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

the dialogue

I heard my first dialogue sermon today. Our interim associate pastor wrote the script and she performed it with our new senior pastor. It was an inner dialogue from King Herod and a wise man. I think she did an excellent job writing the script and we are very blessed to have both of these pastors working in our midst. Our interim associate, Laura, is a very tiny person. I think Maggie may be taller than Laura! To watch her play King Herod though, you forgot about her stature and saw a King who wasn't particularly pleasant, even downright evil at times. Mark, our senior pastor, brought a bit of freshness to the wise man too. It was entertaining and educational at the same time! God reaches out to us in many ways if we only have ears, hearts and minds that are open to Him!

I hope you had a chance to worship today and be blessed by that experience.

Friday, January 1, 2010

a few more images

Wanted to share a few more images from today's craftyness! Final products for the three of us...

Happy 2010

So today we started working on our books for our goals. I found these three section books at Target a week ago and thought they would be perfect. The girls and I have made ours and this may be a new tradition for our family too! We have all enjoyed the process. Most of the supplies were already in the house and I used a gift card to get the rest! So now the fun of actually setting our goals is here. Katie has already started writing hers down and I have been mulling mine over in my mind as well. I'm hoping we can support each other in reaching our goals for this brand spanking new year!

The work in progress....

And the finished product!

Happy 2010 to all!