Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Lazy Days of Summer

When we bought our lake property 30 years ago, we never dreamed about bringing our grandchildren to enjoy it with us -- and now that's a reality!

The 87 degree water feels just right on these hot and humid summer days.

We need to buy some stock in sunscreen and start our own worm beds too. We go through both of those so fast!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Caboodle Pregnancy Album

{Front cover of a six-inch accordian style My Creations album}

Hooray! Today I played in the studio all day!

I finished a My Creations six-inch accordian style album for a friend. Their ultrasound shows it's a BOY, so I used the colors in the Close To My Heart Caboodle paper packet (level 2) with a bunch of embellishments, including the easy peasy Stickease.

Some of the pages look quite empty...that's 'cause mommy and daddy can add their photos to the photo mats. On a few pages behind the photo mats, I tucked journaling tags and pull-outs for both mommy and daddy to write their thoughts and prayers.

The My Pages Talk Recorder is decorated (but not attached yet) to the back cover, so mommy and daddy can take it to a doctor's office visit and record their baby's heartbeat. OR they can record their love messages to their little guy. I just LOVE using this item!

Well, I just love using ALL the CTMH products!

Happy new week & thanks for stopping by & leaving me some love.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday

A few weeks ago I captured these sweet daughters of a friend
as we walked along the train tracks in an old French rivertown.
I love their playfulness! Sweeeeet!
The late afternoon shadows from the line of trees
helped keep us cool
on this Very. Hot. Day.
These girls really know how to dance on the rails!
And in flip-flops--something I didn't even attempt.

{No children, grownups, animals, flora or fauna
were in any danger during this photo shoot.
The RR tracks have been unused for quite a few years.}

Now dance over to Tracy's blog at heyharriet
to see many wonderful shadow shots
in her weekly collages!
Pick up your camera, watch for shadows,
and join this fun group!

Wonderful Wall Art for Wittle Kids

These beautiful creations are just some of the designs I found recently while surfing the net for kids' wall art ideas ... wish I COULD claim them as mine! Maybe someday I'll have gorgeous works of art to post and inspire others.

See more fantabulous ideas at or simply Google children's wall art.

Now you have to be inspired, right?

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Honey of a Helper

Anyone who's Lutheran knows this question well:
"What does this mean?"
VBS began this morning. My job is leading the Bible story apps (applying the story truths to our daily lives) for the K-Gr 6 kiddos.

I'm helping the kids figure out the answers to that short question.

Honey is helping me do that
through a variety of life-application activities.
Thanks, Honey!
You're a honey of a helper.

To read more about Planet Zoom and all the
zipping, zapping and zooming that's going on,
visit this site:

It's an amazing VBS curriculum full of BEE-lievable good stuff!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! 1 John 3:1

How great that we can call our heavenly Father the endearing name "Abba Father"! He hears our prayers, knows our needs, and well provides them. He keeps ALL His promises to us. He loves us unconditionally. No one else can do that. (Well, no one other than our dogs.) And the cherry on the cupcake is that He forgives us for Jesus' sake.

Happy Father's Day 2010 to all, whether you're giving thanks for your father still with you now or for your father who now lives with Jesus in heaven. What a gift God gives us in our Christian earthly fathers! Each is but a glimpse of the perfect love and care our heavenly Father gives us.

I thank the Lord for my DH, father to our daughters and grandfather to our grandgirls. He has an amazing attribute: he forgives and forgets. That's more than amazing. It's God-given. Since he's always busy forgiving and forgetting! He also always takes his time with EVERYthing...he's a thinker and an analyzer. That comes in very handy to balance my wacky, creative traits.

I thank the Lord for my Dad, now 88 years old, and a blessing to our entire family. He keeps his sense of humor, keeps Mom very busy, and loves to chat via amateur radio with people around the world. He's the king of the house, though he lets Mom wear the queen crown and defers to her most of the time. He's a quiet, gentle giant. Everything I ever learned I caught from my Dad ... and Mom. I'll forever be learning from them both.

Have I mentioned how much I love these guys?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday

DH with his lure in the White River ... anybody hungry?

The White River Fishing Guides' dock

Fishing boats at the dock

My shadow & the step shadows on the walk down to the river

Shadows -- reflections -- here are some of each from our week's stay near the White River in Arkansas where DH fished for trout.
The fish weren't very hungry. And unfortunately those that ended up striking and being reeled in were all brown trout under the 24 inch length requirement.
So we went to a local restaurant and had a fish dinner!
The best part of all was that this vacation was truly relaxing
and we came home refreshed.

Have a good new week, and thanks for stopping by my blog!

Thanks to Tracy (heyharriet) for doing a fantastic job with SSS!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Dark Clouds, Dark, Cloudy Days, and Hope

We've had a few very dark, cloudy, stormy days. Tornadoes have roared through the Midwest. On the day I took these cloud photos, flash floods rumbled through areas very close to us. People have been killed. Injured. Displaced. Why, God? Why so much tragedy? In my human sinfulness, I cry Why? Then I pray: Please hear the prayers of Your people, save us by Your mercy, and grant us Your peace. Your will be done.

Dark clouds and storms come in many shapes, sizes, and varieties. This week we've had the news of three deaths of our young neighbors' parents. We've received the news of four dear ones needing hospice care. Why, God? Why so much illness and heartache and loss? In my human sinfulness, I cry Why? Then I pray: Please hear the prayers of Your people, give healing to the ill, provide each a miracle, and grant us Your peace. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Last evening our small group Bible study focused on Luke 8. Our study goals were these--that by the power of the Holy Spirit working through the Word, we will:

* be strengthened in our faith in Jesus' power over sin and death;

* openly and without shame, ask Jesus for healing;

* turn to the Sacraments and the Scripture for forgiveness and strength; and

* live in hope, no matter what circumstances we face.

In the dark days and lowest of valleys, we wonder if the sun will ever shine again. What would we do without the promises of God, all "Yes" because of Jesus and what He's done for us on the cross? Without Him we would have no hope. God's Son is our best ray of hope.

Our study guide, "The Heart of Jesus" (CPH), written by Jane L. Fryar, emphasizes:
Remember your Savior and the power of His Word ... He is at work on your behalf right now--and just because you cannot see what He is doing doesn't change that fact. Hope in Him!

Let the Holy Spirit work confidence and trust in you before your skies darken and the earth shakes. Let Him teach you the truth: "In quietness and in trust shall be your strength" (Isaiah 30:15 -- NIV).

Another of my favorite verses is:

His anger lasts only a moment. His favor lasts a lifetime.
Weeping may last for the night, but there is a song of joy in the morning. (Psalm 30:5 -- God's Word translation)

Our hope is in You, Lord!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Our Lake Norfolk Vacation

Our cottage at Teal Point Resort, Lake Norfolk, Arkansas

View from our cottage porch of the pool, lake, and children's play area

Colorful flower beds always catch my eye

DH in the White River fishing for trout

Fishing some more ... we could see hundreds of brown trout in the water but not too many were hungry.

We enjoyed a week of relaxation, renewal, good grilled meals, beautiful weather, friends time, and everything vacation is supposed to be.
Don spent the majority of his time tying lines, deciding which lures and bait to use, walking up and down the river, fishing from the boat or the dock with Mike, setting his alarm for 3 a.m., and talking with other fishermen and women.
I spent my time at the pool. Swimming. Floating on my noodle. Listening to children and their parents as I drifted into half-sleep. Just love that feeling. When I wasn't at the pool, I was watching DH, boating with Mike and Kathy G, and taking photos. I must say that Kathy takes MORE photos than I do. That's almost unbelievable. But true. She could win a prize for her spider photos and sunset photos!
Now ... May I please have a vacation after vacation? Since we got home to the non-working A/C, I'm ready to leave again. The luggage is still packed. Let's get out the maps.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Jackpot June and Goodie Box Days from CTMH

Hit the jackpot and win free products!


Grab loaded goodie boxes at 50% off or more.

Enjoy each of these two types of deal days in June!

On goodie box days you can purchase one box filled with popular products at 50% or more off retail value. Each goodie box day will feature different surprise items, so you can hit the jackpot to receive a wide variety of current and recently retired products.

On jackpot days 5 products will be offered for sale at discounted prices. One of the 5 products is the mystery jackpot item for that day (but we can't tell you what it is, it's a SURPRISE!). If you happen to order the mystery jackpot item, we’ll reward you with one or more FREE Close To My Heart products, with shipping included on the free items! If you purchase all 5 products, you’re guaranteed to hit the jackpot! There’s no purchase limit—if you order multiple secret jackpot items, we’ll send you the same number of free items.

These special offers include discounted shipping/handling and are only available on my website. Check back EVERY DAY for the latest offer. Go to

These special offers include discounted shipping/handling and must contain only Jackpot June Items. Check back every day for the latest offer.

Offer is valid June 1–July 1 at 8:00 am (MDT), on MyCTMH website only. New deals are posted each day at 9:00 am (MDT).

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Gigantic Joy

Joy comes to us in a variety of people, places, shapes, sizes, sounds, and activities. One of my biggest joy-moments is creating with friends and family. Hardly a day goes by that I don't create something!
Even more joy comes to me when I can create something out of very little or nothing. One day last week, we declared a FUN time! Mom and our friend Connie and I gathered our scraps and adhesives and spent a few hours making cheery cards for people who are sick, suffering, and alone. Out of very little we made nearly 30 cards in three hours. Connie will mail them to the peeps on the church list who are in need of prayers and support.
I just love those smiles on Mom and Connie! Each of them is a gigantic joy in my life too.
An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up. Proverbs 12:25
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's people who are in need. Romans 12:12-13
The JOY of the Lord is my strength! Nehemiah 8:10

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Lilacs for My Parents

June 2, 1945 was a very special day -- A handsome young US Army veteran had been discharged recently from military service after serving in the WWII European Theater. He came home to heal and to rest. And to propose on this day 65 years ago to a young registered nurse who had faithfully written letters, captured his heart, and waited for him to return.

He didn't have a flashy diamond ring to give. But he gave her his heart with a bouquet of lilacs he picked from a bush outside her nursing residence hall. God's hand was at work. His fragrance was in the air!

She said YES! They were married the next Spring.

Mom and Dad, these lilacs are for you. Happy engagement anniversary today!

I want to share these verses today. Lilacs are so fragrant! But what is more fragrant and more important than the Living Word?

Thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him.

For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing ... to the other, the fragrance of life ... 2 Corinthians 2:15, 16

(Thanks to Ciao Bella Photography for the use of this beautiful photo to illustrate my story.)

Paper Art from StudioJane

Samples of my created paper art ...

Clear Acrylic Cards

Greeting Cards

Mix 'n' Mingle Album

Gift Albums

Memory Keeper Boxes

Art Keeper Boxes

Thank You Note Cards

Custom Gifts

Christmas Greeting Cards

Pregnancy Journals--Display Albums

For Baby

Floral Photo Note Cards