Friday, February 27, 2009

Puppy Love

This weekend will be a weekend of not many posts, comments, or emails coming from me to you. Mark and Benita (my husbands parents) came into town again to see us. We will be busy spending time together and I won't be spending much time on the computer. I decided to take a little time to throw up a post before I went and enjoyed some time doing my Bible study lesson.

Today, Chris worked a half day and got home just a little after his parents got into town. Plans were already made this morning to take a short trip to get a little something once everyone arrived. We went and did that and then had some errands to run this evening and were able to spend some time just relaxing before the day came to and end.

What's the little something we went a picked up? You really thought I'd just skip over that little detail?

This is our new little something....



We added a new member to the family and his name is Oliver. I haven't got out my other camera and set him up for his first photo shoot, but he slept pretty much all evening. I think I'll give him a couple of days before the real flash begins!

Oliver is a Yorkie and is 7 weeks old. He will be about 5-6lbs when he is full grown. He is the sweetest little thing and is very snugly. I think the trip home and to Petsmart completely wore him out and he pretty much slept in any position you put him in. Zonked out.

He woke up to play this evening with Aleeyah and is already rather attached. Every time she would jump up on the couch, he would whine until she came back down on the floor. He chased her around the house and they even got some tug-of-war play in.

I have some more pics of him today and I'll be back some time at the beginning of the week next week with pictures and an update on our first few days with Ollie!

Have a great weekend!!!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Girls and their tea parties!

Aleeyah and I put together a little tea party one night and invited Bear and Daddy. We had a great time and Aleeyah was all geared up for having another tea party the following night. She was quite the little hostess of the evening. See who was in attendance.....

The lovely Aleeyah


Myself (behind the camera--Jill I thought about taking my picture for ya, but well, I wasn't lookin' so hot!)

Bear


Bunny


and finally Mocoal and Ork--or who I like to call collectively Mork. Aren't they the cutest?


Then after our tea, Ork went for a run to loose a few extra grams!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

40 days of Water

My friend Gin sent me an email this morning about joining her in drinking only water for 40 days and donating the money that would be spent on other drinks to provide clean water to those who have none.

At first, I wanted to send an email back and tell her I would consider it. I mean, could I really give up everything else but water for the next 40 days? I thought about the things coming up in my agenda and thought about the trip in a couple of weeks with my friend Lisa. Could I only drink water while I'm away? In fact, water from another city that will taste different?

Then as I was typing those words, I quickly put my finger on the backspace key and I didn't let go until I got to the beginning of my email and even then-my finger remained for a few more seconds. My mind was lost and I was ashamed. I was ashamed because I thought of the reason why I would be doing this-to raise money for clean water. I thought of the people who live without clean water daily. The diseases that come from the dirty water. And I was about to say, I can't do it. I can't live on water alone.

I'm not telling you this so that you will feel guilty and join the effort for the next 40 days, but I am asking that you decide to do something about it-if you aren't already.

When looking a little around at dirty/clean water videos, I found this one. It was made by a church that decided to support blood:water mission.



Go to the blood:water mission blog and read about how you can get involved or I have copied it below:


We have the gift of choice: Freedom to choose on any given day what clothes we will wear, what work we will do, what food we will eat and what we will drink. In nearly a third of the world injustice threatens to take away these basic kinds of choices that we take for granted. In these places a woman can choose to drink the unclean river water or the unclean puddle water. She can choose to walk once for four hours to get water or walk twice for eight hours to get more water. She can choose to give her children something to drink that she knows may make them sick or she can give them nothing at all. She can persist or give up. You can help give her a real choice. [continue reading below]

We challenge you to make Water your ONLY beverage for 40 DAYS starting MARCH 1 and ending APRIL 9 in conjunction with the Lenten Season and World Water Day (Mar. 22). Gather your friends and join in solidarity with our African brothers and sisters in an effort to provide clean water for communities in need. As you do so, we ask that you keep track of what money you would have typically spent on other drinks throughout the day and save that money. At the end of 40 days donate what you saved to Blood:Water. Imagine, if you saved $5 a day just by cutting out a visit to your local bar or barista, then you’d save $200 in 40 days. That’s enough to provide clean water for 200 people for an entire year!

So ditch the morning coffee and o.j., leave out the lunchtime soda, and cancel the evening beverage. You won’t need an ark for this 40 Days of Water, but you will need a little self-discipline. But we know you can do it, because you know who you’re doing it for. Make the choice. Visit bloodwatermission.com/40days to find out more, download materials, and get started.

Wages in Ethiopia

I'm still working on a post, but haven't finished it. I say that like I have been diligently working on it. In fact, I've pretty much avoided the computer the last couple of days. The weather changing like it has been, is really doing a number on my system. I've had an earache, sinus issues, achy eyes, and overall woozy feeling for the past two days. Starring at a computer screen doesn't help so much.

Anyway-I did want to stop in and send you away for a little bit. No, not to any destination you wish, but over to a blog of a blogger friend, Tracy of Wages in the Making. You may remember me talking about her here on my post about Marta turning 8!

Tracy just got back from a sponsor's tour in Ethiopia! I've enjoyed reading her stories of her travel and of course, seeing those kids smiling faces just makes my heart happy.

If you scroll down a few posts (or click here) there is a picture of the lovely Tracy and Marta's doll at the Ethiopia main office!

So run over there and read about her travels and maybe throw in some comment love to let her know you are reading!!

Okay. Go! Now!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Come Passion

I'm spending today getting caught up on some email and reading some of my favorite blogs, but wanted to share this video that I found newly uploaded on Compassion's Myspace videos this morning. I'll let the video do the talking.



I may be back in later this evening for another post that has been put on my heart, but I'm definitely not promising anything today!

Friday, February 20, 2009

I'll show you mine if you show me yours!

or I'll just do the showing and hope that you do too!

Leave it to Jess to have a super fab post about the contents of her purse. Me-not so much. Basically, go over to her page and read all the fun stuff! haha!

Today, I give you a chance to do what guys know best not to do-look in a woman's purse. I can't say that I have completely moved over to being a full fledged purse carrier. I finally nixed the kid bag since we no longer need to carry sippy cups and diapers. I've had a bit of a purse identity crisis-almost like when I was younger and first started carrying a purse. You don't know what kind to carry and then once you get one-what do you put in it?

Here is what's in mine so far!



Bag: Target special-did I mention I was having a purse identity crisis?

Wallet: a Kohls special (does it bother you that it doesn't match?) filled with a bunch of nothing outside of library cards, unused gift cards with just a few dollars on them (just enough to keep me from throwing away, but too little to actually use them without feeling weird), insurance cards, my driver's license, my check card, and absolutely no cash what-so-ever!

Contents:

Baby wipes--yes, I can't manage to stop carrying those. They are just too stinkin' handy!

Izumi Sushi and Steakhouse take out menu--yum! yum!

Planet Sub punch card--which actually should be IN my wallet

Inhaler--well, clearly only half of my inhaler. Thanks Aleeyah! That should really do me some good when I need it! Maybe if I jabbed the end of it in my throat!

Purple Sharpie--me love me some Sharpies!!!

Black pen--much better than blue

Road ID
--my identification bracelet I wear running or biking. It has emergency contact phone numbers, Blood Type, Asthma, and Organ Donor(take the best, burn the rest!)-in the event that something happened to me. It's not typically in there, but I forgot to take it off the other day after going biking. I was out and about when I realized it-then took it off.

A pony tail holder--for all those moments I want my hair out of my face

My keys to my car, the house, mailbox, and my dad's house

Sunglasses--another one of those times where when you go shopping you don't know what to buy that is age appropriate.

Lip Gloss--that is beyond usable because the 3 year old likes to use it. The bristles are frayed and no telling what is actually shoved back into the tube.

Hand sanitizer--no, I'm not one of those people that use it ALL the time, but I do have some for those rare occasions.

Ring box--the box Chris gave me with my grandma's re-sized ring in it. The box just got thrown into my purse. It's not staying!

Checkbook--this is the rare occasion that I actually have a checkbook in my purse. Typically its at the house because I never use it except on Sundays.

Black Holderie thing? That would be a simple little bi-fold thing with a snap that holds my receipts.

Camera case--The case that I made for my little camera so that I would feel more comfortable carrying it in my purse all the time.

Last but definitely not least--

iPhone--no need for an explanation, just a girl and her phone.

So, that's it! Not so interesting, huh? Now, my m-i-l's purse-that's another story!!!

Okay now what is in yours?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Grandma

For Valentines Day, Chris took a ring of my grandmothers to a jeweler and had it resized to fit my finger. My grandmother had small fingers that seemed to fit just right on the keys of her piano. Nothing quite like the man hands that I own that I try to fit on the little keys of my laptop keyboard.

My grandmother loved to play the piano and I loved to listen to her play the piano. The music she made as her fingers gracefully slid across the keys, was beautiful. I have often tried to play it myself-maybe in a way, trying to bring back some of the good memories with her. Instead, my fingers remind me more of a child trying to quickly get away with typing on mom and dad's computer-fingers flailing across each key without understanding quite why.

My grandma died of cancer in July of 2002. It started as breast cancer and spread throughout her body. I remember when she was first diagnosed. I wasn't too scared because it seemed like not that long ago we went through the same thing with her mom, my great grandmother. My great grandma fought and won the fight against the cancer. I fully expected my grandma to recover and be with us many more years, but her cancer wasn't found early enough. By time we found out that she had it, it had spread all over her body and a cancerous tumor was pressing on the side of her brain causing half of her body to be immovable. It was a rough end for my grandma, but I prayed that she knew that she was loved by so many. She was a giver and overall a wonderful woman. She was buried next to my great grandma.

When Chris had brought my grandma's ring home from my dad's house, he also brought her jewelry box. One thing I've always know about my grandma is she liked jewelry and QVC, but I didn't expect to find what I did when I opened it.

As I opened the box, a faint smell appeared in the air. It was the smell of her perfume. A fragrant smell that was mixed with her aroma from her skinny cigarettes she smoked. Her rings were dirty and also smelled of her skin. It was like she was right there with me. My mind was taken back to the time that I talked to Grandma about how dirty her rings were. She admitted she never cleaned them. After using an old toothbrush and lathering them up with Colgate toothpaste, she smiled with delight and said that she had forgotten that they were so clear.

Among some of the things that I did expect to find, was a couple of angel pins and a BINGO bracelet. Both things she loved very much. There were rings and earrings in there of many colors. I also found her Eastern Star ring in the box. I spent hours researching her ring online and found it very interesting to read about their ideas and the reasons why certain things are on the ring. In the middle of the ring, it read F.A.T.A.L.--standing for Fairest Among Thousands, Altogether Lovely. I found that the Eastern Star organization primarily does community service which would be no surprise that my grandmother would fit right in. When I looked at her Eastern Star ring, I imagined her walking into the meeting room to be with her ladies. I imagined her helping others in her community. I imagined her dining out in one of her beautiful dresses with the women of her time.

I began cleaning each one ring, one by one. I questioned if I should be cleaning them. I didn't want her rings to loose the smell of her, but again, I was reminded of her smile and the happiness that came over her when rings found their sparkle again. As the brush clanged against the side of the rings, I heard her rings hitting each other as she moved her hands to talk. Her sweet voice rang in my ears. Her soft hands touched my arm.

My mind raced through so many memories. It was as if I was in a tunnel going back through time. Her laughter. Her touch. Her body so full of life and energy. I cried tears of happiness because it felt so real. I felt her sitting next to me...smiling.

So what did I see in the box that I hadn't expected?

Life. The life of my grandma.



(the little boy in the first part of the video with my grandma is my dad and then my grandma is the one in the white dress in the last part of the video. isn't she beautiful? i had more video to share from a bunch of old tapes that my dad had converted onto VHS and then DVD, but i was having technical issues)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Lions & Tigers & Bears...wait, where's the lions?

A couple of weekends ago, we took Aleeyah to the Kansas City Zoo. We hadn't been there yet and it was a nice little treat to have a beautiful day to go. Because it is still winter time, it was a pretty quiet day at the zoo for most of the animals. We also didn't get to see half of the zoo because they are redoing the Africa part of the zoo. I was disappointed because Aleeyah has really been interested in Africa since we started talking about Ethiopia. In fact, any time that she sees books or Africans, she says "Opia!!"-which is her way of saying Ethiopia. We began learning more about Africa and more specifically, Ethiopia when we started checking out books about them from the library. It's nice to be able to begin talking to her about other areas of the world and she actually understands a little bit of it.

So we missed Africa, but she was able to visit the Kangaroos in Australia. She has been talking a lot about Kangaroos lately so it was nice to get to see them again. For her birthday last year at the Little River Zoo in Norman, OK, she was even able to feed and pet some. Below is one of the pictures we took with the kangaroos on her birthday and there are more here.



We had a good time and enjoyed our first adventure (of many-I'm sure) to the zoo.
And now, I give you the good times in film...well, not film...but you get the idea!

When we first walked into the zoo we heard a bunch of barking sea lions. Come to find out-it was just 2.




This was Aleeyah's ride most of the time. She enjoys sitting way up top of her daddy's shoulders so that she can see everything.


She also enjoyed picking up leaves and relocating them. We began to wonder why we didn't just take her on the trails or to the park like normal because at times it seemed she was more interested in the leaves, trees, rocks, flowers, etc.




Where's Waldo Aleeyah?


Oh, there she is!


Randomness--




Here is a little kitty that I wanted to reach out and touch is sweet, little face! Too bad he probably would have bit my fingers off!!

Weekend Highlights

Whew! A whole week has passed since my last confessional....err....blog post. Things have been going great around here the last couple of weeks. We started our 2nd bloggers Bible study this week at living in His design. I'm so excited to be doing this study with all the women involved. We doubled our group this time even after loosing a few from the last group. I can't begin to write out all the reasons why I know, but I can see that God has had His hand in so much of the process. It's been amazing to be a part of a group of amazing women that no matter where we live or how old we are, we all still have so much in common. Stories are being shared, lives are being touched, and relationships with God are being strengthened. I never would have imagined that God would be using this study in the way that He has.

So things have been pretty busy trying to get everything up and going in the last couple of weeks. Of course, this last weekend was Valentine's Day and despite this being our first week of starting our new study, I really tried my hardest to stay away from my computer. Being able to receive emails on my phone and respond to the ones I needed to in order to start the Bible study this week, was a blessing. It allowed me to step away from the laptop and just enjoy my time with my family.

We had a great time! Aleeyah and I spent Thursday and Friday making all kinds of heart crafts. Saturday, we spent together as a family. The three of us and my dad went to go see a movie in the afternoon and enjoyed our time together. Unfortunately, Saturday evening called Chris to his computer to do his school work. Sometimes it seems that it's never ending.

I did get a chance to go shopping for a new dress on Saturday for our dinner reservations on Sunday night. I haven't been dress shopping in quite some time. I finally ended up with a nice black dress for the occasion.

On Saturday, sporting my fresh toenail/fingernail polish, heels, and new black dress, we dropped Aleeyah off at my dad's house and went out for dinner. We went to McCormick and Schmick's. WOW! Is all I can say about their food. It was good...a little too good. Too good because now I want to go back and our pocket book just won't allow it to happen more than once every 8 years. It was definitely lovely to get out and just look at my husband across the table without worrying about cutting up some little persons food or asking her over and over to sit down in her chair.

And can you believe I never even took a single picture this weekend?? Yeah, me neither. I've got nothing for ya! But I will be back some time today to post some pictures from the zoo we took a couple of weekends ago.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Mission Statements

Chris and I have been working on our family mission statement this last week. It will still be another couple of weeks before we have nailed it stone, but the brains are working and the processes and steps are being done.

What is a mission statement? Most organizations have some sort of mission statement that provides an explanation of their purpose. This helps guide their decisions in everything that they do.

Why do we feel our family needs a mission statement? For us, in the busyness of our lives, we some times forget what our purpose is. Our purpose as individuals, our purpose as family members, our purpose as parents, and our purpose as God's children. Our mission statement will be something that we can see as our backbone of why we do what we do. Doesn't it just make sense to have one as a family-the most important organization that you will ever be a part of in your brief time here?

How do you form a mission statement for your family?

1. We began with writing down our fears and concerns.
2. We then put those things in categories--things we cannot change and those that we can either change directly or indirectly.
3. Setting that aside, we began making a list of our roles as individuals. For example, I am a wife, a mother, a child of Gods, the accountant for my family, the house cleaner...you get the idea.
4. The next thing to do is to list out our goals in that role. For example, for me being an accountant for the family I would like to provide monthly budgets and reports to help organize our finances and become better stewards of His money in our lives.

Using these resources, we can begin to write our family mission statement that will, hopefully and prayerfully, shape our decisions for our family in the years to come.


All of this brought me to another thought that I'd like to share.

I've read or talked to other bloggers who struggle with their purpose in blogging. I too have been guilty of wondering why I do it. Like anything in our lives, there are days we question what the purpose of it. We wonder who is listening. We wonder who cares. Some will even ask the question-would anyone notice if one day I just vanished from the blogging world.

For those who don't blog-it may all sound a little silly. You may even say, it's just the internet. It's just some words. Who cares how many people comment. But yet, I know it is a struggle that many of us have faced from time to time.

For us, blogging is a form of communication and friendship. It's a place that you get to meet people that will some day become great friends although you will most likely never meet them face-to-face. It's a place that you say what you need to say. It's a place that when things go wrong and you need prayers, there are many standing around to be there. They may even graciously give you some link love to spread the need. Your blogger friends will be there to check up on you when you have been "quiet" lately. For those who get to meet their blogger friends face-to-face, it will be a bit weird to see their faces moving and their mouths talking with a voice that you hadn't expected, but yet, is so exciting to hug their necks the moment you finally meet them.

Our family mission statement has made me really stop to think about these very things. It makes me think of the friendships I have made and the opportunities that God has opened.

I began blogging as a way to inform family about what we are doing and share pictures with them as our family grows. I also thought it would be neat for our daughter to read one day about our adventures. More adventures than one could fit in a scrapbook.

Our family blog later became my blog and began to be a place that I could share our every day lives along with some deep thoughts through writing. It also became a place that I could share about the needs of children and their families living in poverty and ask for your help in making a change. Now, God has opened another door to share with others. Myself and a several others began our first bloggers Bible study at the end of last year. Friendships were gained, minds were filled, and hearts were changed. And yet again, another bond of sisters in Christ from all over are coming together to share our stories, read our Bibles, and grow in Him. We lost a few of our group members this time, but have doubled in size since our first group. It's amazing to see God working in our group.

I couldn't imagine not blogging any more-mainly because of the opportunity. Not the opportunity of getting a self esteem boost through comments or the opportunity to make a bunch of money through advertisements, but the opportunity to grow and help others grow in the process.

So, somewhere in there would be my mission statement for my blog. Although, I haven't narrowed it down to a few sentences, it has been good for me to ponder on it. Who knows, I may even make it part of my blog in the near future!

So what would your mission statement say?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Urgent Need in Ethiopia and Swaziland

Remember this post?

Well, Amy from Ethiopia or Bust just wrote a new post about an urgent need in Ethiopia and Swaziland. It is actually a copy of a post from Tom Davis' blog.

Go to his or her site to read about the urgent need. I know we don't always have the funds to do a lot of something right now, but we can spread the word about a need--a need that is putting children in danger right now.

In the same turn, they are still looking for some orphanage sponsors for one of the orphanages in Ethiopia. There have been enough sponsors to support one orphanage already and we will be receiving the names and information of our sponsored children in the coming month! It's exciting, but there is still more needing to be done.

Please be praying for all the orphans and other children living in poverty.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Happy Birthday Marta!

Today, is Marta's Birthday! She is 8 today. Who is Marta? Marta is a special little girl from Ethiopia whom I met just months ago through Compassion. One of her favorite toys is dolls. I was SO excited to be able to a doll I made with a blogger friend, Tracy, who is traveling to Ethiopia over the next few days and there she will get to meet her sponsored child, Amanuel!

Just like many little girls, two of Marta's favorite things to do are to singing and playing house. I remember how much I loved playing house at her age. I imagined doing the dishes, cleaning the house, taking care of the babies. Not much has changed in that department-just that it's no longer just an imagination.

It makes my heart smile when I think about her dancing and singing. With her torn shoes, mismatched socks, and dirty clothes that are too small for her, singing her favorite song, God is good.

Despite the trials this young girl has faced, she still sings that God is good and she prays for me.

It seems that when things go slightly wrong in our lives, we question God. We question His intentions and even at times, we blame Him for our misfortunes. We forget how good God really is.

We pray for the children, just like Marta, when some times we forget that we too need prayers.


Marta survived these statistics:

**One out of every 20 children born alive die in their first month of life

**One out of ten die before reaching their first birthday

**One out of six die before reaching their fifth birthday

BUT Marta still faces these horrible statstics:

**She could be one of the 4.6 million orphans in her area who have been forced to live without a mom and a dad because they've died of lack of food and water, crime, AIDS or other diseases.

**She could be one of 1 million children who die of Malaria.

**She herself could someday be one of 1.5 million people in her land dying of AIDS.

**One in five working people, earn less than $1 a day. Most in her area earn $17 a month. What will she need to do to survive as an adult?

The statistics could go on, but if you want to learn more you can read about them here.

They are easy numbers to spill out when you see them as numbers. But when you begin to look deeper-when you look at the faces of these children-how can your heart not hurt for them? How can we not say, I HAVE to do something?

Some say, "Where is your God?" "Where is the One who saves?"

Marta says she has a reason to sing that her God is good!

Could Marta and the other children like her say the same about us?

------

In a letter dated September 24, 2008, Marta says, "Thank you for being my sponsor".

You too could save a child like Marta. It will melt your heart the day that they write to you and say, I'm thankful for having you as a sponsor and I'm praying for you.

I have child packets right now-waiting for you make that decision. I'll be more than happy to help you choose one.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Giveaway Winners!

First of all, thank you to everyone who left their links or sent pics to my email. You guys have made some amazing things! I'm not even going to try to pick out my favorites.

Aleeyah helped me pick the winners. She was so excited to get to do it again, but had a horrible time reading my unreadable scratch writing!

And yes, there is an "s" on winners. We decided to draw 3 names!!!

BTW-Don't mind the crazy outfit she has on. Let's just say-no errands for us today!



And sorry-ramblings came out with a horrible Okie accent and I lost the "g" in there somewhere!!

25 Random Reasons I Need Jesus

Over on facebook, a 25 random things chain has been floating around. Basically, you are suppose to post 25 random things about yourself and then tag others to do the same. While trying to find some randomness about myself, my mind kept wandering back to some struggles that I face in my life. So today, I bring to you...

25 Random (being not ALL) Reasons I Need Jesus:

**EDIT:Just to clarify-this list isn't intended to beat myself up and I'm do not feel a sense of deep guilt. It is intended to provide some transparency in myself, a confessional, help others feel less alone in some of their own thoughts and feelings, and finally, give God the props for loving all of us even with all our faults. I promise--No Abbies were harmed in the making of this post**

1. I tend to give myself to Him only when it's convenient for me.

2. I have a hard time discerning what HIS will is for me and my life.

3. Every day I find myself doing things that I have to apologize to Him for later.

4. I've spent most of my life singing worship songs that I don't even know what the words mean.

5. I often find myself not knowing what God wants from me or how he is going to use me.

6. I've used His words to hurt others in the past-not understanding the damage I was doing.

7. There are times that I don't want to go to worship with other Christians. Not because of Him, but because of my own insecurities that causes issues when I'm around other Christians.

8. I struggle with diving into the Word daily because I'm too busy doing other things.

9. I often get so busy with the task, that I lose focus on the purpose.

10. I still have beliefs that I don't even understand why I believe them.

11. I have a hard time letting go of my bitterness about the way that Christians often treat others.

12. There are times that I forget that my purpose here, on earth, is not to get to heaven.

13. I often measure success by the reward instead of enjoying His rewards without without the success.

14. I put my relationship with my daughter and my husband before my relationship with Him.

15. I don't give enough of myself or the funds that He trusted me with.

16. I often tell Him I want to do more, but get scared when He actually opens the door.

17. I've been guilty of doing tradition over God's word.

18. I'm always fearful His purpose in my life is different than what I want.

19. I'm horrible about handing over my worries an fears to Him.

20. I tend to classify certain sins as being worse than others and then put on my judgment hat for those occasions.

21. I've been struggling lately with spending quiet, alone time with Him-even though, I know it's that time that I need the most.

22. Every day Satan tells me that I lack value-I'm not good enough-no one cares about me-that I'm ugly-God doesn't need me. And despite what I know about God, what I know about my friends and family, what I know about myself--I often listen and believe his lies.

23. Our purpose here is to bring others to Him, but yet it's one of the things I'm most frightened about doing. I can help others to do loving, Christ-like things, but actually helping them see that they need to give their lives over to Him-scares me.

24. There are times that I find myself walking the fine line of being bitter vs. guarded. More often times than not, I don't even know where the line is.

25. Finally, no matter what I do in my life or how much I do it, I will always need Jesus so that one day I can become perfect in Him.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Today is the last day...

to put your name in the hat for a custom painting! Midnight tonight to be exact!

If you have not put your link in Mister Linky,left a comment with a link to your picture, or sent me a picture of your craftiness-you have NOT been entered.

(click here for link to original post)

This is not just for wall art, but anything you do crafty.

SO, if you have ever made anything with craft supplies in your life and took a picture of it-send it to me!!!

Tomorrow, I draw....a name and then I draw something for the winner!!!

All the cool kids are doing it!!!

Monday, February 2, 2009

A tour of Aleeyah's room

Remember this post?

Well, today-I give you her room from an adult point-of-view. I have finally been able to finish up some things in there to get it the way I have envisioned. I'm working on an additional quilt to match her room and some pillow cases to cover the purple Hannah Montana pillow!

This is the view when you first walk into her room. The pom-poms above her bed are made using a Martha Stewart kit. They were easy to make and I think they add a lot to the room! Her blanket was made by my friend, Lisa. I made her zebra throw pillow out of some scrap zebra print fabric. Her curtains were a Target find a while back.


This is the wall on the right when you first walk in. Her dresser is one of those dressers that also holds a diaper changing pad. To me-a GREAT idea. Now we can use the dresser just as a dresser without having another piece of furniture that we need to get rid of because we are no longer using it. On it is her fish tank. We finally got 2 new fish and decided to get goldfish this time. She named them, of course, and their names are Shasta and Orangel. I would have turned off the TV for the picture, but she was watching it at the time. She didn't like it too much when I turned off her computer so I didn't push it with the TV. No, she wasn't using both of them, but in kid fashion-mom was cleaning and she wanted to play with whatever I was cleaning! haha! it does scare me that I have no idea what was on. Those characters look nothing like what we do watch on TV. To the left of her dresser is her table and new stool. (Yes, she has her own laptop, but it was free and she has several educational games she likes to play on it.) Above her table, is some shelves holding her crayons and map pencils. I made the memo board at our MOPS group. I had never made one before, but was pretty easy!


Shasta and Orangel


This corner of the room holds her craft easel and bookshelf. The door is to the closet. Her craft easel was given to us. The blue chalkboard that it once had was worn down and was difficult to write on. I had some black chalkboard paint and after a couple of coats of paint-it's like brand new! Also, I painted the once blue tray at the bottom to a hot pink to match her room. Her bookshelf hold her barbies and barbie gear, ponies, doll house stuff, legos, blocks, and Littlest Petshop toys! I LOVE those bins. You can hold so much in them and yet you don't have the messy look! The Diva/Princess clock....well, has a story all it's own! Short version-When Aleeyah was just a couple of days old, I sent Chris to the store to buy a clock for Aleeyah's room. I needed it while I was breastfeeding her in there. He came home with a clock that says Diva or Princess depending on what angle you are at! GREAT clock for a nursery! haha!!!


Now, here is where we hide everything! haha! I'm thankful she has a big closet so that most of her things can be hidden when they aren't being played with--even her toy box and bookcase FULL of books! Also, on the rare occasion that the door is closed, it is ventilated enough that we are able to keep Mocoal and Ork in there.




So there ya have it! That is the girl's room! It's definitely to a point of being almost finished....until we move! haha!

A craft filled weekend!

We had a great, relaxing weekend! Mine was spent mostly doing some craft projects that I had meaning to do. Aleeyah really enjoyed helping me with my projects.

On Friday afternoon, Aleeyah and I took a trip to JoAnn's (a craft store). I was so excited to actually find square canvases. Up until that point, I had not been able to find them in the stores. We found lots of stuff to keep us occupied. I was looking for a couple of different types of material for different projects I had in my head. Aleeyah knew we were picking out fabric for a blanket I've had in the planning for her. She kept pointing out fabric that she liked and when I picked up one for another project, she would promptly tell me it didn't match. There was even one that I picked up and she said it was to plain. She got a couple of laughs from the older ladies who were also shopping for fabric.

We ended up with a wooden box that we had found for a stool. My friend, made a beautiful quilt (pictured left) for Aleeyah's birthday and sent us home with some extra fabric that she didn't use. I have been trying to figure out how I was going to use it. She had suggested that I could make a fabric stool. I liked the idea, but have just been trying to think of the best way to do it.

We just happened to wander into the wood craft area. I always enjoy going over there and looking-although, I rarely find something I can't live without. I saw the box on the shelf and knew immediately that it would work for making the stool. We also picked up some padding for the top.

So we came home and got to work on our stool project. I forgot to take a picture of the beginning box, but here is it in the making. We started by attaching the fabric to 2 opposite sides of the box. We used a staple gun to attach the fabric to the wood.


After we finished the two opposite sides, we began working on the other 2 sides. I used white fabric underneath these sides so that the fabric from the other sides would not show through. I stapled the top and bottom on both sides and then folded in the corners to make a clean edge and stapled that down. Aleeyah then used the hammer to tap the staples in flush.


I stapled the padding and material to the lid and then glued the lid down in place. I found some ribbon in my craft supplies that matched perfectly and hot glued the green ribbon to the box edges to cover the staples and then added pink ribbon to finish the top.

Here is how it looks finished!


Yes, it already has something on it and that would be powdered sugar from this little one...


Once we finished the box, I immediately got started on finishing a quilt that I made for Aleeyah before she was born. I made it and a bumper pad. Here is the picture of the unfinished nursery and quilt.


I was so nervous about doing the back (because it was my first quilt ever) that I never actually did the back. Thankfully, you don't use comforters when they are babies, because it just never got finished. I've been meaning to finish it for quite some time and finally did on Friday!!! Her room decor has changed since then, but she still has been using it this weekend to cuddle with.


After that, I finally painted the table I made her. It was a present for her at Christmas. I had fully planned on having it completely painted and ready for her at that point, but seeing as how I finished building it on Christmas Eve it didn't work out that way. (You can see it painted in the picture above with her stool)

On Sunday evening during the game, I worked on painting her rocking chair. We got it free from someone else and it was painted red. It is a cute chair but the red paint was coming off of it and looked pretty worn. Seeing has how she has pink, green, black, and white in her room, I decided to paint it black also. It also needed a few places that needed screws and a bit of glue. Here is a pic of it with only 1 coat of paint.


After finishing up the chair, I began on another quilt for Aleeyah. I'm really excited about it which means that it should be finished in the next few days. Here is a sneak preview!


All in all, we enjoyed our time together. We managed to fit other stuff in there, but this was the highlight of mine and Aleeyah's weekend. I've really enjoyed the fact that she is beginning to be able to really help me with some of my projects!
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