Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Time of Change

Have you sensed my restless spirit lately? Sometimes you can't quite put your finger on it but things just seem to be changing at a swirling pace all around you. It has been a challenging time for me trying to keep up in the midst of frustrations, illness, questions, sadness. Most of this change is good. This change is growth. It's time for something new.

Please come visit me at Stitches of Grace. I'll keep my other blogs (links at right) and any home education friends can join us at Pathfinder Academy.

Thanks for the journey everyone. I've enjoyed it here, but I'm looking forward to a new adventure! I hope you'll join me in the next phase!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thanks on Thursday

It's time for another Thankful list.

1. I said it last week, but I'll say it again. I am thankful for God's Word. It bears repeating. In the midst of an ever changing world, His Word is unchanging and stands forever! This week we purchased an MP3 Bible, hoping to soak our souls with the Word as we go about our days.

2. I am thankful for FREE things available on the Internet. I find so many things for school just by searching on search engines. There is a free Turkey Cookbook available at Natural Mom's Recipes that I downloaded and will read and Freebie of the Day is a great source for interesting and unique home school resources. And for knitting fans, how can you beat Knitty?

3. I am thankful for Home School Legal Defense Association who tirelessly fought for my right to choose the mode of my children's education and continue to be available to my family and others around the world.

4. I am thankful for my Nikon DSLR camera that allows me to record what I see and feel as I explore God's world.

5. I am thankful for The Christian Artisans List where we go through growing pains from time to time like any family, but where I am able to fellowship with women who share my love of Jesus and the fiber arts!

6. I am thankful for Blogger who lets me have fun on the computer for free.

7. I am thankful for the beauty of fall's colors that soothe and comfort me as we ease into winter.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Proud of Veterans!

Bruce - Foster brother serving in Navy since 1992
Jack - Step brother, re-enlisted in the Army and served in Iraq about 1 year
Anthony - nephew serving in the Army about 2 years
Jim - Kimberly's husband who just safely returned from a 1 year deployment - Praise The Lord!
Kyle and Kelly - My college Pastor's sons serving in the Marines
All the men and women currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces around the world. And to all the families who wait at home and pray. I am proud of you!
Mark - My cousin who flew many years with the Navy and later served in top security positions.
Dan - My cousin Jan's husband who has given his life to the US in military service and recently retired from the Pentagon, having narrowly survived 9/11.
Billy Pelton - My Dad's best friend from childhood who was killed in Vietnam.
Larry Sundquist - My cousin who died a hero in Korea on his 18th birthday. His death saved his unit.
Andy Glick - My Step Dad who raised me and served in both the Korean Conflict and the Pacific front during WWII as a Navy navigator. And to his brothers Fred and Hank who fought on the continent.
Mr. Porter - A Family friend who lost his legs in WWII.
Ron Jones - My cousin who served in the Marines during WWII and after.
Philip Hopkins - My Uncle who served in the Navy in WWII.
Alden Hopkins - Who could not go to war but worked a dairy farm in Carnation, Washington as an "essential worker" so that the farmer would be able to go to war.
Evelyn Larimore Wilson - My Grandma's sister who was a "Rosie The Riveter" in the shipyards during WWII.
Ray Beigle - My Grandpa's cousin who welded ships during WWII.
Albin Johnson - My great Grandpa who was born in Sweden but served his chosen country in WWI in France, Belgium and Germany with the 101st Engineers.
Fred Tisdale - My great Grandpa who tried to serve in WWI but was not accepted due to age. He worked with the YMCA and relieved a male teacher so that he could go to war.
Alexander Burczinski Smith - my gg Grandpa from Poland who served in the US Army in the west in the 1870s and 1880s.
William Wadsworth Hopkins, George Hopkins and Dan Gilbert Hopkins - Three brothers from my Michigan family who served in the Civil War. Dan never came home from the Battle of South Mountain, William (my ancestor) died afterwards of Typhoid Fever and George went on to a political and military career including adjutant to Alger, the Secretary of War of the United States.
Silas Wolcott, Consider Hopkins, Abraham Crittenden, Andrew Parker, James Larimore, Jonathan Kellogg and countless other familiy members (ancestors) who fought for freedom in the Revolutionary War and before.
To all of YOU, I am proud and thankful. You are all fine examples of what happens when we work together for a cause. God bless you!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Sewing Sensibility

I have never tried a downloadable pattern before, have you? Now I have an opportunity. All I need to do is tell you about some beautiful patterns now available for download at Sense and Sensibility Patterns. I have been drooling over these historic costume patterns for a long time. I love the beauty of 19th century clothing and now I have the chance to download. Now I have to decide if I will order the Regency gown pattern, the Regency dress for children or the Edwardian Apron, because the Edwardian period, which is really 20th century, has some of the loveliest clothes in my opinion. Hmm.... now where would I wear a Regency gown? Anyone hosting a ball in the near future? :o)

Pray For The Persecuted

Voice of the Martyrs has called all Believers to pray for those who are being persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ. More information can be found here. Persecution of Believers occurs on a daily basis and even though it is rarely shown on the secular media. Do not embrace apathy, Liberty is maintained only through vigilance and in the US, Christians face attack in different ways. Pray for the persecuted and the families of the Martyrs and pray for the maintenance of Liberty and the Freedom to share His Word around the globe! A hat tip goes to Amanda who wrote an article at Growing In Grace, an online magazine for Christian young women for making me aware of this important cause.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Thankful On Thursdays

Well, I planned to do gratitude lists this month and I knew I wouldn't be able to do it every day and keep up. Then I would feel guilty about missing. So I am doing seven things each Thursday this month.

1. I am so thankful to see God working in my children's hearts and that God gives me glimpses of that work to encourage me in what some days feels like an eternal up hill battle.

2. I am grateful that I can still home school my children in spite of legal attacks this year.

3. I am thankful for digital scrapbooking which has given me a stress releaser and a lot of creative fun.

4. I am thankful for all the health changes we have made this year and that even though I am stuck on a plateau at the moment, I have made a lot of progress!

5. I am thankful for my Bible and God's word that comforts, teaches and guides me every day.

6. I am thankful for the apple seeds growing on my kitchen windowsill (homeschool project).

7. I am thankful for the man who calls me Mrs. L and loves me in spite of all my ideosyncrasies, but continually encourages me to better myself.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Heritage Scrapbooking

To those who know me, or are getting to know me :o), it will be no big surprise that my favorite type of scrapbooking is heritage. From the time I was a little girl, I have loved to hear stories about the "olden days" and began researching my family history when I was 14 years old. I felt like Tasha Tudor - that I was born in the wrong century. I don't have any romantic ideas about the "olden days". It was tough and I love my modern conveniences, like this computer I'm pecking away at. But still I longed for a time and place where I would have fit in more. That is probably why I enjoyed all the hours I spent with my two grandmothers.

This layout is a baby picture of my Great Grandma Beatrice Estelle Smith who was born in Carp Lake, Emmett County, Michigan in 1905. As a child I thought it was odd that my great grandmother was only ten months older than my Grandma Hopkins. I had a lot of fun doing this layout, which is the left side of a two page spread. The journaling with further information will be on the right side. I used Verena Karolyi's Tenderness kit, which I loved for the purple and green but also the flower elements. The tag comes from another kit, but I can't recall the name. I learned a lot doing this layout and ended up re-doing some of it after I learned that it is best to keep important elements 1/2" away from the edge for printing purposes.

In high school, many moons ago, I was involved in two journalism classes - newspaper and year book. These classes taught me a lot that has helped me in scrapbooking. When I taught heritage classes, I shared some of this information with my students. Most scrappers and artists tend to be eclectic. Why not? It's fun to experiment and "play" with a lot of different medium! But, when you are preparing a book (or newspaper), there needs to be some type of uniformity. This could be in the page layout, the colors, the design or other elements. Something needs to take your eye through the whole book thinking that it all belongs together as a whole. For me this is often accomplished with color.

For my Smith family, or at least the branch that goes with Grandma Bea, I have chosen to use purple and green and a cottage/shabby chic with a hint of Victorian design style. In addition to Verena's kit, I have chosen A Vintage Dream by Penny Springmann and Champs de Lavande by Teri Hanson at Digizines. You can see how they have similar styles and colors. A nice book can be made with one kit. However, I find that if you mix kits appropriately (i.e. you wouldn't likely use Victorian on one page and modern graphics on the next), this will keep the eye and mind visually stimulated with subtle differences as you move throughout the book without looking monotonous or homogenous.

Since I am new to digital scrapbooking, I wasn't sure what I would find for heritage scrapbooking papers and elements, but I am pleasantly surprised by what is out there. Most of the galleries and forums have a "heritage" section that is filled with amazing art and ideas. Some even have heritage challenges, which I would like to participate in, in the future, when I am a little more oriented with what I am doing. I thought I would list a few options here:

Digizine DigiShop is a great first stop. Teri Hanson and Jean Daugherty are incredible artists. I highly recommend Jean's Heritage Chest kits. Volume one has pages where you can fill in your pedigree and awesome tree "stamps" that make gorgeous patterned papers using blending modes in the layers palette. It's quite easy to do and if you get this kit, I will help you if you need assistance. For me it would have been worth it for the lovely tree, which reminds me of the 500 year old oak trees in northern California. The tree could be used on other papers if you did not like the papers in the kit, but she does include the papers in several color families so you are likely to find something that works.

As I mentioned above, I am using one of Teri's kits for my Smith line, but she has many other beautiful ones as well. I could drip all kinds of adjectives, drooling on my keyboard as I go through their site. They have some great sales going on right now for digital scrapbooking day, but they will not last long! While you are there be sure to check out Teri's and Jean's family heritage blogs. Be sure to check out Teri's links and layouts and Jean is currently highlighting layouts from the Heritage Chest kit I mentioned above. At the moment, each has a free gift to download too.

Heritage Scrap is a bit like the "mall" of heritage scrapbooking resources. You can stroll through the aisles and see heritage appropriate kits in several artistic styles. In addition to shopping they have galleries, forum and blog. This is where I first learned about Jean and Teri and another designer...

Lynn Griffin at Digital-Scrap-Boutique. She and Linda Cumberland have a similar style and I loved almost everything I saw there.

Dusty Bear is a charming little shop I found on the Treasure Hunt this weekend. It's worth a second look!

The Dapper Doxie is another little shop I came across on the Treasure Hunt. How can you resist a cute shop like that? She doesn't have a lot, but what she does have is nice. I have bookmarked her to see what she comes up with in the future.

Scrapper's Guide has many wonderful kits that would be suitable for heritage, including the recent October kit and one earlier this year called English Garden (June I think).

While KB And Friends is not an heritage specific site, I found lots to love there. The Little Jake collection of papers and elements have a lot of potential for heritage layouts and I chose Mother's Kitchen as a starting point for a family history/cookbook project.

Digital Scrapbook Place has a heritage section and also appropriate elements all throughout the shop. They have a lot of smaller kits too. The quality of their kits varies by designer, so look closely.

Designer Digitals has so many lovely kits. On their site you choose to look by designer. Katie Pertiet has some fun vintage childhood designs and her botanicals kits would be marvelous! I have one with her roses that I will use in pictures of Grandma Hopkins who loved anything pink, but especially roses. Several designers there have a 70s retro look - and some people scrapbooking right now - the 70s is their heritage! LOL Kellie Mize has an architectural kit and some nice botanicals that would also work well.

2Peas In A Bucket has extensive galleries. Search for "heritage" and you will have lots of inspiration.

Scrapbooking Heaven and Weeds and Wildflowers are great places to get photo realistic flowers to decorate your pages.

Jen Ulasiewicz also has photo real flowers, but look at her "stamps" ! Aren't they awesome for heritage pages?

Stone Accent Studios has a good heritage selection.

Digital Resource Heaven has some cute vintage clip art looking sets. I like the Thanksgiving one.

Well, I'm sure I've missed something, but it's hours since I posted this and now it's time to sleep! :o) This will get you started.

Another Source

If you would like to watch (seeing is believing - in some things!), You Tube has some decent videos on digital scrapbooking. Just type "digital scrapbooking" into their search engine and enjoy! Remember, as always, use discretion.

Digital Scrapbooking Magazines

Well, Digital Scrapbook Day/Weekend continues. I was able to complete all five of the treasure trails, which was fun. The only frustrating part was that 4 shared was down this weekend.

We are all dragging and it was a long day with plumbing issues from start to finish. Praise God they were able to be taken care of for $12 including a $6 flashlight and Hubby's elbow grease. Wouldn't you know, we had record rainfall yesterday! LOL By the time he got done, he really deserved the HOT shower that he worked so hard to make possible! We also had toilets overflow. We're not sure if it was girls who like T.P. or because of the storm and we are at the end of one of the lines.

So, today we have chosen a Sabbath of Rest. We do that from time to time, and no, we don't feel guilty about it at all! :o) Sometimes it is necessary. Hubby starts back up a full, long day tomorrow with his regular job, his tutoring job and teaching at U of P at night, so I'm glad he's resting today.

Now, wasn't this post titled "Digital Scrapbooking Magazines"? LOL

Having been a big fan of Simple Scrapbooks, I became a charter subscriber to Digital Scrapbooking Magazine. Soon I became discouraged because mostly it just showed layouts and what kits they used but very little how to. I think they now include more. And it would have probably helped if I had known a little more too. At the time it was all a big overwhelming mystery! I see now their website has a gallery, community, shop, etc. I will give them another try.

Scrapbook Dimensions is a new to me magazine that I tried for the first time this week. I really wanted Weeds and Wildfowers' whimsical new kit Just Earthy. It's on special now for $5.60 and normally is $8. They had a note on the description (wonderful of them!) saying that the kit was also available in Volume 2, Issue 3 of Scrapbook Dimensions. You subscribe online and it says that you can save a pdf (which didn't work for me?) or print (way too many pics!). But it is available until March 4, 3007, so I think I will have time to access it! :o) Normally it is $7.99 an issue (yearly rates also available), but this was on special for $6 and included a FREE download for the Just Earthy kit!

Inside there was an article about the Weeds and Wildflowers gals - a Mom and her two daughters, how neat! I loved the fact that the mom didn't allow the girls to have coloring books... only white paper to draw and color and use their own imaginations. She exposed them to art and theater in the Seattle area and always played music. Gee, she could have been a Charlotte Mason homeschooler! :o) It was fun to hear the background of someone whose designs you appreciate.

In addition to Justy Earthy, there is another digital kit and lots of tutorials, so it was definitely worth the $6.00. Now I just need to get used to the online format.

Digital Artisan Notebook is the only digital scrapbooking magazine I have subscribed to at this point. You join the Digital Scrapbook Artisan Guild and the magazine comes with it. Several vendors also offer singles issues for sale. The kits that come with it are incredible works of art, no cheap freebies there! Membership can be purchased in 3 month increments, which is nice. There are articles, tutorials, free downloads and coupons. Each issue can be downloaded in pdf format.

Bella Scraps is a little less graphic, softer, gentler on the eyes than some of the digital magazines. I received a free January 08 issue at one of the scrap stores online, but I'm sorry to say that I do not remember which one! Same types of info - free kits, articles, how tos etc. This magazine can be downloaded in pdf format.

Digital Artist Magazine was the first magazine that I downloaded in pdf. There is so much in this that I haven't finished reading! It has the same type of information as the others, but seems to be more advanced.

Ready-Set-Create is another magazine that I would describe as simpler. That's not a derogatory term. There are different focuses in art. Some are really WILD! Some are complex, some simpler. What I like about this magazine is that it describes a lot of different uses for digital scrapbooking besides just pages for a scrapbook AND it is inexpensive. As a matter of fact, you can try it right now in the next couple of days for $2. You download it as a pdf and enjoy!

If you have any other recommendations... I'm all ears!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Digital Scrapbooking Blogs

The following are listed in random order. I have not read every inch of each of these blogs, so use discretion (as you should with any blog!).

Amanda Thorderson

Colie's Corner

Digizine Shop Blog This displays only the current post, so make sure you check out other links. Great heritage ideas.

Kathryn's Digital Designs

Lifesong Creations by Karla This designer is a Christian.

Sweet Shoppe Designs Store Blog

Cat Scrap Shop Blog

Becky Higgins She is primarily a paper scrapper, but I have been following her for 10+ years. She has a clean but artistic style and is highly organized. Her scrap room is "to die for". I highly recommend her layout sketch books which gives ideas for layout designs based on the amount of pictures you have 1-20+! These work no matter your artistic style. They are available in scrapbook stores, at the Creating Keepsakes site and sometimes on Amazon.

Creative Dreams


Kreative Karma A faithbooker

Willro N Company Another faithbooker

Digital Scrapbook Place

Joanne Brisebois She designed the beautiful October kit for Scrapper's Guide

Julie Marie Designs

Mellow Butterfly

Michelle's Heritage Scrapbook Pages

My Little Blog

Shabby Princess Shop Blog


Being Me

Nature Gals Jen Ulasiewicz' blog

Altogether Too Happy (I would be too! Did you see the big brownie on her header, yum!) This is Stacy Julian, founding editor of Simple Scrapbooks magazines and author of the design book I used to use in teaching basic scrapbooking concepts. She is primarily a paper scrapper, but has awesome ideas for using pictures and emphasizes telling the story!

Amy Edwards

Anna Aspnes I can say I knew her when! LOL Though she wouldn't have a clue who I was. I loved the layouts she did on 2Peas in a bucket using MS Digital Image Pro from her time being stationed in Japan. The photography was so beautiful and her layouts had the appearance of being in a big glossy, expensive magazine! I wrote and asked her a few questions and she was really kind in answering. Now she's a designer with a fesh graphic style and she also blog about her life with an Asperger's Syndrome child.

Blogging Life As It Comes

Cherish Each Day Designer Katie Pertiet

Creative Gigis

Dianne Rigdon

Digital Creations From Millstream Cottage Brenda Mascari, she has an awesome Navy benefit kit.

Heather Ann Melzer

Heritage Scrap Shop Blog

Sprague Lab Jessica Sprague

Altered Scrapbooking

Le Digiscrap

LivE Simply Tons of Freebies

Paislee Press

Scrapbook Ideas

Shutterfly Digiscrap Blog

Create Kate, Living Life The Creative Way

Simply Me, Donna Downey

Steinway's Mom

Tangie Baxter Designs

Wholly Scrap

Verena Karolyi One of my favorite designers

With A Russian Dutch Flair I see her November 1 post has a list of freebies!
Yesteryear Memories A New Zealander with lots of heritage layouts.

Phew! That's enough for now. It should provide you with some inspiration.

Some Fun Sites

One of the fun things for me in learning digital scrapbooking is exploring my eclectic side. Those of you who know me IRL know that I am pretty conservative and a nerd! But I have a fun playful side that usually only those who know me best have witnessed. In my creativity, I struggle with being rigid, keeping things neat and just so. I am trying to "loosen up" and push the envelope a little and slowly it's coming. My work is far from avante garde, but I am playing with some grungy things, some whimsy and a little bit of what is called "realistic" (Generally incorporating a "real" photograph of something into the design, like having a picture of your child looking through a design element which is an actual window. It's hard to explain, but actually quite simple). Now I'd like to share a few sites that let me get my eclectic urges out:

Weeds and Wildflowers I love that their real pressed flowers are all about the lovely things their Grandma made with flowers from her own garden!

Scrapbooking Heaven is a German site with all kinds of funky stuff. A little bit of her stuff goes a long ways for me. The key word is moderation. But it's wonderful. I used her work on my Legacy of Love layout. Be sure to click on the British flag to read the site in English! :o)

Digital Scrapbook Art is another German site (with English available).

Jen Ulasiewicz has a Polish name but this site is American! She has a unique style of her own and I love it! Check out her brushes which would be great for heritage layouts. I have been learning how to blend these to create unique and interesting background papers. She has a lot of live images of flowers and leaves that are very beautiful too.

Most of these sites are having specials for the weekend in honor of National Digital Scrapbooking Day. Check them out.

Why Digital?

Some people have wondered why I would want to do digital since scrapbooking is such a tactile art. That is one of the reasons I will probably always do some paper scrapbooking. If you only knew how many boxes and boxes and boxes of memorabilia and photographs I own!!! This winter and spring I hope to go through all my scrapbooking supplies, photographs and memorabilia so that they can be organized in a sensible manner and I can decide which things to keep and which to pass on or sell and also which to scrap with paper and which to scrap digitally.

Digital scrapbooking offers the following advantages:

1. You can use items or elements on a page that look 3D like a collage, that you would never use in a paper scrapbook, or at least I wouldn't. I know there is a lot of crazy stuff in scrapbooks these days, but if you are trying to preserve photos, that stuff is counter productive. It looks cool though. Now I can use those things on a digital layout. Lumpy bumpy items, real flowers, metal items and poky things can all look wonderful in a collage setting but be damaged to actual photographs.

2. It is easier to share copies of your work. For me this is important because I am the family historian in our family.... on all sides. I am the keeper of the "stuff". This way I can put together actual books and have them printed without having to do it over and over and over.

3. I already take digital pictures. This form of scrapping allows me to use them from my camera and size them any way I wish. I don't have to wait until I can afford to get them printed to start playing.

4. As I learn how to do more things in the photo editing software, I am able to make some of my own elements and backgrounds.

5. I feel more free to experiment. It doesn't cost me anymore because I don't have to print if I don't want to. I won't damage materials if I don't like what I initially chose.

6. When I don't have space to work or store lots of materials, I can still work on scrapbooking... it's right there on the computer! :o)

7. The sky is the limit! I can grow and grow and grow with this format.

Getting Started

Ruth wanted to know about getting started... good point. In this post I mentioned briefly that I am using Photoshop Elements 6 and the CD course from Scrapper's Guide. This week we updated to Photoshop Elements 7 for two reasons. The first is that there are some advanced photo editing abilities in the new version that were previously only available in the full Photoshop, which we can't afford. The second is that Costco has an awesome deal right now - $79.99 for the software which includes Scrapper's Guide's new training CD which includes a "My Story" set to tell your own personal history. I believe the CDs sell for about $29, so if you were wanting to buy one and don't have the photo software, now would be the time.

For general photo editing and most scrapbook page building, all of the major softwares are pretty equal. If you are doing more advanced photo editing, look into Adobe's products. They are popular for a reason. They work! My opinion, but I am joined by a lot of professional photographer's in that. I have seen some amazing work done in Microsoft's Digital Image Pro. I would say second in popularity is Paint Shop Pro and I have seen quite a few people use ACDSee. Some people have used GIMP which is a free software imaging program. I have no experience with that - Amy do you want to weigh in? Both Microsoft and Adobe offer free trial versions, generally for 30 days. Others might as well.

Two Peas In a Bucket has great articles on getting started. I have had my current account there since 2003 but have been hanging out there since they started about 1999. They draw from a wealth of knowledge in the scrapbooking community (paper and digital, photography, arts etc.). It's a fun place to spend some time. Yes, you can spend money there as well, but they have a lot of free kits and their information is free.

For help on Photoshop Elements, I can not recommend highly enough, Scott Kelby, who is my favorite photo guru. :o) How can you not love a man who in each of his books credits his Lord Jesus and the Mama of his babies (his wife)?! He is considered THE Photoshop guru and has online photo courses that Hubby and I plan on taking. This book is what I use with my PSE 6. The instructions are with photos of what he is actually doing and the instructions are step by step and make sense. His books are a little expensive, but they are WORTH about 5 of the other books available on the same subject!

When getting started doing digital, for me "seeing is believing". Watching Linda do the different steps made sense. Others might learn by reading. You might check your library. Also CK Media has put out several special issues on digital scrapbooking and have a Magazine. Most of the major scrap sites do have free tutorials.

I'm NOT an expert, so I don't want to come across as a "know it all", it's just that many have commented on wishing to learn about it. I thought it would be fun to do together. By all means, give me any suggestions, tips etc that you have found. I'm all ears! :o)

More Tips On Free Or Discounted Digital Scrapbooking Kits

I thought it might be helpful to make a list of some of the ways that you can receive free digital scrapbooking kits and elements.

In the previous post, I provided several links. Here are ways that I found them:

1. Use a search engine for the web and type in "free digital scrapbooking" and you can be checking links for hours... maybe days!

2. When you like the style of a particular designer or shop, sign up for their newsletter. Usually they send out coupons, discount codes and email you whenever they are having a sale.

3. Find out when your favorite designer or site releases new kits. Generally at that time, they are on sale for 10-30% off.

4. Find out if your designer or shop has a specials day. For instance, once a week Sweet Shoppe sends out an email for their Saturday specials. Some I have seen pretty much every day but Sunday and Monday covered at this point.

5. Book mark the blog of your favorite designers and shops. Many times they will release freebies there or will have add-on and mini kits that coordinate with those they sell.

6. Enter contests and challenges on digital sites, blogs and forums.

7. Read threads on the forums. Sometimes designers post there for loyal users.

8. Look at the coupons and announcements that are included in each kit. Sometimes they include discount coupons or links to free add-ons.

9. Purchase a digital magazine, which usually comes with free designer kits. More on that in a separate post.

Some notes on Freebies...

Free or not, they are COPYRIGHTED. Make sure you read the Terms of Use (TOU) which will tell you what legal ways you can use it. Just because it is free does not mean you can pass it along to your friends. Instead tell your friends where the link is and they can download it themselves. You might not agree, but it is the law and using or copying outside the intended purposes is ILLEGAL and considered PIRACY. So please don't ask me to share. (I also don't copy my knitting and sewing patterns or books and music as a photographer and creative explorer, I respect others' work.)

Second, be careful. There is such a thing as "too much of a good thing." Download it if you like it or know you can and will use an element or paper from it.

Third, not all freebies are equal. Sometimes freebies are a designer's first efforts and they are trying to get their good work out there. Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's not. Some freebies are JUNK! Some freebies are beautiful art. Sometimes the old adage of "you get what you pay for" rings true!

Digital Scrapbooking... Next To Nothing

I started this post last week. I'm not going to finish it! LOL It grew and grew and grew and grew... and I could spend days making it grow more. There are a lot of generous designers out there. If you are just getting started in digital scrapbooking, you can do a lot with the free kits and then once you know what you like and how to do it, you will know what you would like to buy. Also, If I like a designer and I use a lot of their freebies, I think it's only fair to repay their generosity by buying a kit or two from them. Likely, most of them are Moms and small businesses, not corporate big wigs and they are working hard to grow their design business. Have fun looking at the links.

Faith Sisters is a great site of Christian designers. Many kits have Scripture word art or papers themed to life events in the church, like baptism, communion and missionary service. They also carry regular themed kits as well. They have 84 Freebies in a variety of categories and currently have 34 items in the dollar bin. Their Sisterly Love mega collaboration kit is $10 but the money goes to their World Vision child, Genesis and her family.

Digital Scrapbook Art, a German site, which you can view in English, is one of my favorite sites and I have used several kits from Verena Karolyi, a designer featured there. Currently, if you spend $10 you will be sent a coupon code to receive their Autumn Harvest Mega Kit, free! Check out the Specials Page for some incredible deals! Their Limited Freebies Page has some free page kits which are fun to use when you are just getting started.

Shabby Princess is a charming little shop where the downloads are free! The kits are of a nice quality and worth downloading.

Digi Scrapbook is a French Canadienne store (if it comes up in French, there is a place on the lower left to switch to English). This links to two pages of free sets and quick pages. They have some lovely sets in their regular store, including several pages in their dollar section . The dollar kits are actually slightly less than a dollar in American $. One thing to note, a few of the files come in a zipped format from a different type of software. When I tried to open, Windows Solutions gave me a site where I could download a trial use of the software that opened it. I then unzipped the file and kept a copy of the unzipped kit for future use.

When you sign up for RAK Scraps you receive an email each month for a free download that is available from the 15th to the end of the month. Sometimes the kits are really neat and sometimes I could honestly pass. But these are given as RAKs so I am thankful people are willing to do something like this. Check out the site for free tutorials as well.

I think Scrap Wow is a sister site to RAK Scraps as I first signed up here and then learned about RAK from them. You purchase a year membership which was $19.99 and with that you receive a lot of freebies initially including some ebooks and mega kits. Then each month there is a new kit. This was a good way for me to start out, but now after finding all the cool sites, I don't know that I would sign up for it again. That being said, I have received some lovely kits from here from designers who I have seen on the bigger sites. I surmise that many designers start out with places like RAK and Scrap Wow, then move on as they improve and become more well known. Noteworthy on this site are the beginner tutorials.

Cottage Arts has a Simply $1 section filled with goodies.

Digital Scrapbook Place has a newbie 101 that answers some questions and if you sign up for an account you can access downloads through their "Freebie Gallery".

Shabby Pickle has a section called Free With Purchase so that you can see which ones of their designs come with exta freebies. Usually it is something like buying the kit and getting an extra set of embellishments free or extra papers or a quick page. Don't forget to check The Pickle Barrel for bargains!

Scrap Artist is another of my favorite haunts. They have beginner forums with lots of free tutorials and a Freebie Section. Check out their galleries for some awesome art!

Of course I can't leave out Free Digital Scrapbooking

National Digital Scrapbooking Day

Hello Everyone! Today, November 1 is National Digital Scrapbooking Day, who knew? :o)

I have been participating in a Treasure Hunt at Pixel Guild and there is also a huge shop hop with great sales.

As I can today I will be posting information about digital scrapbooking. Have fun!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Faith on Friday

This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

11 Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. 12 It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, "Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?" 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, "Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?" 14 No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.
15 See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. 16 For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.
17 But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, 18 I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.
19 This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Deuteronomy 30:11-20

16Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man's sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.
18Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. Romans 5:16-18

6Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Yes, I Actually Still Knit!

My friend Tina from Take Heart Farm and my Christian Artisans group surprised me with a lovely box full of fibers to spin and three skeins of her own handspun. You could have knocked me over with a feather, I was so surprised. Some of the lovely fibers were things I have never spun, but have wanted to, like Teeswater and Cormo and there was the most luscious gray Shetland I have ever seen!

The photo doesn't give justice to this beautiful yarn. The colors changes are softer and more subtle but the flash sharpens that all up. I started making a Calorimetry (head band from Knitty) and as I saw how the colors unfolded, I knew it had to become something else... can you guess what it is? I'm starting with the variegated and finishing with the natural brown. I need to find out from Tina what fibers are in this. It's so soft.

Ooh! Too bad I can't have any more babies... this would be a beautiful Baby Surprise Jacket (from Elizabeth Zimmermann).

Wellness Wednesday

Well, it's Wednesday and I survived. Phew! What a day! I am happy to report I am down another pound. This is especially exciting since I was given the go ahead to start my exercising again and then was unable to start due to some other medical things going on and some increased pain. Today the PT Assistent gave me some different exercises to do and I go back next week to speak with the actual Physical Therapist. After that my Hubby and I will pray about the next step as far as whether or not to do surgery. As uncomfortable as the knee continues to be, it's the bursitis because of knee malfunction and lack of exercise that is actually the most painful! So, no exercising this week... but hopefully soon. I am so missing it!

After the appointment the kids and I went to a park nearby. It was nice to sit outside and not sweat or broil, though the sky still has the tannish smog cast to it, hanging over the city. We are expecting a rain storm coming in and I am actually excited and energized. Crazy I know, but I love the refreshing that comes.

So, nothing else new on the wellness front, BUT, I have to tell you that my Mom has continued to walk with the Leslie Sansone DVD and she has LOST 16 pounds!!!! Way to go Mom! I am so PROUD of you. She is new to blogging, why don't you go over and congratulate her! (I don't think her comments are set up to be able to answer, but I know she will appreciate the encouragement!)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

On Faith and Politics

While I openly share my faith here, I do try to avoid politics. In general I hate them and consider them a "necessary evil." I hate the lies, the compromising, the system - it doesn't matter what candidate or party, you have to admit, politics are basically "dirty". My Mom sent me something though that reflects what I've been reading on different blogs and hearing in discussions. This list by Pastor Mark Cox of Sterry Church in Roswell Idaho, hits the nail on the head as far as I am concerned.

Ten Predictions No Matter Who Wins The Election

1. The Bible will still have ALL the answers.
2. Prayer will still work.
3. The Holy Spirit will still move.
4. God will still inhabit the praises of His people.
5. There will still be God anointed preaching.
6. There will be singing of praise to God.
7. God will still pour out blessings upon His people.
8. There will still be room at the cross.
9. Jesus will still love you.
10. Jesus will still save the lost when they come to Him.

How Great Is Our God by Chris Tomlin

VERSE(1):The splendor of a King,Clothed in majesty
Let all the earth rejoice,
All the earth rejoice
He wraps himself in light,
And darkness tries to hide,
And trembles at his voice,
And trembles at his voice

How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God,and all will see How great,
How great
Is our God

Age to age he stands
And time is in His Hands
Beginning and the End,
Beginning and the End
The Godhead, Three in one
Father, Spirit, Son
The Lion and the Lamb,The Lion and the Lamb

How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God,and all will see
How great, How great
Is our God

Name above all names
You are Worthy of all praise and
My heart will sing how great
Is our God

How great is our God,
Sing with me
How great is our God,and all will see
How great,
How great
Is our God

How great is our God,
Sing with me
How great is our God,and all will see
How great,
How great
Is our God

Pray and Vote. Vote your conscience. Our HOPE is in God.

Psalm 62
For the director of music. For Jeduthun. A psalm of David.

1 My soul finds rest in God alone;
my salvation comes from him.
2 He alone is my rock and my salvation;

he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.
3 How long will you assault a man?

Would all of you throw him down—
this leaning wall, this tottering fence?
4 They fully intend to topple him

from his lofty place;
they take delight in lies.
With their mouths they bless,
but in their hearts they curse.


5 Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
my hope comes from him.
6 He alone is my rock and my salvation;

he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
7 My salvation and my honor depend on God;

he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
8 Trust in him at all times, O people;

pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge.


9 Lowborn men are but a breath,
the highborn are but a lie;
if weighed on a balance, they are nothing;
together they are only a breath.
10 Do not trust in extortion

or take pride in stolen goods;
though your riches increase,
do not set your heart on them.
11 One thing God has spoken,

two things have I heard:
that you, O God, are strong,
12 and that you, O Lord, are loving.

Surely you will reward each person
according to what he has done.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

El Shaddai

Today in church we had special music when K, R and MJ played guitar and sang El Shaddai by Michael Card. It has to be on my top list of favorites of all time. The hauntingly beautiful music and lyrics have been part of a soundtrack of my walk with the Lord. This was recorded by Amy Grant (as well as others, including the author Michael Card) and I don't know if it was written for her, but it suits her voice perfectly. I have sun this song in jubilant joy and in agonizing desperation. Considering this Friday's Faith on Friday post, I felt it fitting to choose a song about "the God who really sees."

El Shaddai, El Shaddai,
El-Elyon na Adonai,
Age to age You're still the same,
By the power of the name.

El Shaddai, El Shaddai,
Erkamka na Adonai,
We will praise and lift You high,
El Shaddai.

Through your love and through the ram,
You saved the son of Abraham;
Through the power of your hand,
Turned the sea into dry land.

To the outcast on her knees,
You were the God who really sees,
And by Your might,
You set Your children free.

El Shaddai, El Shaddai,
El-Elyon na Adonai,
Age to age You're still the same,
By the power of the name.

El Shaddai, El Shaddai,
Erkamka na Adonai,
We will praise and lift You high,
El Shaddai.

Through the years You've made it clear,
That the time of Christ was near,
Though the people couldn't see
What Messiah ought to be.

Though Your Word contained the plan,
They just could not understand
Your most awesome work was done
Through the frailty of Your Son.

El Shaddai, El Shaddai,
El-Elyon na Adonai,
Age to age You're still the same,
By the power of the name.

El Shaddai, El Shaddai,
Erkamka na Adonai,
I will praise and lift You high,
El Shaddai.

El Shaddai, El Shaddai,
El-Elyon na Adonai,
Age to age You're still the same,
By the power of the name.

El Shaddai, El Shaddai,
Erkamka na Adonai,
I will praise and lift You high,
El Shaddai.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Faith On Friday

This week's journey with Abram brings us to Genesis chapter 16 and the story of Hagar. My friend Susan has a great post today on waiting for God. I don't think it's possible to be alive and not experience waiting for God at some point in time. Through the years, I have lost count of how many times I have sat in God's waiting room. Yet again, here we sit, waiting for his word on whether or not we can move back to Washington. We've been waiting about 9 years now. Still, I would like to hope that my Husband and I would not go to the measures that Abram and Sarai took!

Naturally, in our day and age and in our culture, we would not find it acceptable for my Husband to acquire a concubine like Hagar. But, can you say that you have never taken an action to rush God's timing or will? Put in that perspective, I feel humbled. Some of the biggest messes I have found myself in, have occurred when I tried to take over from God and figure things out myself.

The mess Abram and Sarai find themselves in is a result of Abram's earlier lies and adventures in Egypt. Hagar, an Egyptian slave, likely was one of the maidservants gifted to them by Pharaoh. Can you imagine how you would feel if you had to share your home and husband with his mistress? In Sarai's shoes, I think I would have wanted to scratch Hagar's eyes out. Hagar may have taunted Sarai, but her conception of a child with Abram was not a sin the culture of the day. She did as her mistress commanded her. The law of the time allowed Sarai to punish Hagar, but not kill her.

Admittedly, I find it hard to relate to Hagar, but God showed amazing compassion and love (in spite of liberal interpretations of the Bible saying that the God of the OT was a misogynist!) to her. She must have felt alone, abandoned, lost, scared and that quite possibly she could die on her way to Egypt or when she arrived.

God heard Hagar's cry. He met her in the desert and spoke with her face to face. Our pastor said that this is the only place in the bible where someone gives God a name - El Roi - The God Who Sees Me! The name He gives her son - Ishmael - means God hears.


He sees me.

He sees you.

How powerful is that? I have spent most of my life feeling "invisible", insignificant and misunderstood, but the God of all the Universe sees me! Doesn't it feel good to know that we are not really invisible, forgotten and misunderstood. The God who created us is watching, working things together for good in our lives and sees our needs even before we can verbalize them. My job is to trust that He does know what He is doing and to wait for His will and His timing.

This is the lesson that Abram and Sarai had to learn in heartache and trial. We would do good to watch their missteps and not re-create them, but it seems like it is human nature to learn through mistakes.

Do you see a theme here? Abram/Abraham needs to learn to trust God. It doesn't come naturally does it? There are trials in life that test our trust and faith. In the end (see Hebrews) Abraham is considered faithful and his faithfulness is credited to Him as righteousness. Our righteousness comes from Christ alone, but it is no less important for us to believe, trust and walk in faith. For me there is comfort in knowing that Abraham was not successful in his first test, but that he improved in time. That means there is hope for me! :o)

Pastor Mike has done an excellent job each week summarizing how we can apply the Biblical truths in each lesson to our lives today:

1. We should wait patiently on God's timing to fulfill His promises. (2 Peter 3:8-9) If we are waiting there is a good reason. God isn't just "twiddling" His thumbs.

2. We should not think that God needs our help to fulfill His promises. (Ecclesiastes 3:11) He makes everything beautiful in His time.

3. We should trust God to fulfill His promises even if it will take a miracle. (Genesis 18:14a)

4. We should be comforted by this reminder that God sees our troubles and desires to rescue us.

Lastly, he shared a quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a wise Christian martyr:

"But everything has its time, and the main thing is that we keep in step with God, and do not keep on pressing a few steps ahead - nor keep dawdling a step behind. It's presumptuous to want everything at once..." (Letters and Papers From Prison, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, page 169)

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Some of you who are just getting to know me may not realize that scrapbooking is not a new "obsession" for me. As a matter of fact, I have a long history with scrapbooking - not surprising since I have a long history with creative crafts and photography as well. In the 1890s my Great Grandpa Tisdale took photography classes at Hamline University in Minnesota. A few of his photos remain, which I think is really incredible!

Not surprisingly, he passed on the love of photos to his daughter, my Grandma Holly. She never really pursued it, perhaps due to lack of finances, but she always enjoyed looking at her daughters' and grandchildren's photos. As a young woman she took photographs of her adventures and family and of course her sweetheart, the man who would become my Grandpa, Alden Hopkins. I love this above quote, in my Grandma's exquisite and precise hand, which is on the first page of her photo album, which is about 11 x 7 in size. Currently I am scanning it. I plan on making an album using the full page to preserve her journaling. I will also extract certain photographs and photo edit them to restore or improve them and feature them alongside her pages. Added to that, I will fill in the blanks of information that I know from family history, chats with Grandma and my genealogy research. I think this will be a really fun album and I am looking forward to sharing that with my family.

If you click on this, you might be able to see the photographs better, but they are small in person too. Amazingly, my Grandmother's handwriting remained exactly like this until nearly the day she died about 75 years after this page was written! These photos are from her climb of Mount Baker in July 1926. She went with a group from Bellingham Normal School, which is now Western Washington University. It looks like they must have climbed from the Heliotrope Ridge trail, which I will have to hike some day myself. The same summer, Grandpa Tisdale, her father, climbed Mt Rainier. No small feat at any age, he was 56. I believe that it was the same week. Poor Grandma Tisdale! She must have been on her knees praying.

Well, move ahead some years and I began taking pictures. My first efforts are blurry and foggy from minuscule 110mm and 126mm negatives with a few Polaroids thrown in for good measure. My Aunt Grace and my Grandpa Johnson were both good teachers and even though my equipment was poor, I learned excellent composition techniques. Grace took a million pictures of everything, many gorgeous, many throw aways, many just for memory or to use in teaching her painting courses. Grandpa, like many male photographers I know, took his time photographing just a few shots and most of the ones he got were just right! I find that I fit somewhere in between the two.

In the course of putting all my photographs into magnetic (UGH!) albums, I felt that the pictures would be much more interesting if there was a story to explain. So, I began using strips of Scotch brand "magic" tape - the kind with the matte finish you can write on - and I labeled my photos, adding as many details as I could find. Whenever we went somewhere, I also picked up brochures and postcards to add to the mix. In 1977, I was 11 and went to visit family in North Dakota for the first time. How fun to take pictures of my grand adventure! At the end of the album I cut out "THE END ND '77". Later, in 1984, I was fascinated with the old fashioned scrapbooks in Germany that held bound pages of acid free paper with interleaves. I purchased one that now holds all my postcards, pressed flowers from hikes, stickers, beverage mats and other memorabilia from my first European experience.

Things progressed and I began using card stock and 8.5x11 sheet protectors with pigment ink pens and photo safe stickers. I cringe when I think of some of those creations. Next on the scrapping journey comes post bound albums and then Creative Memories, whose high quality albums I will continue to use for my paper scrapping.

In 1997 I began teaching classes at Treasury of Memories, which is still the awesome-est scrapbook store I've visited in 4 states! First I taught beginner classes and then I began developing a heritage album class, which incorporates more of my passions - family history, genealogy and old photographs! When I came to California in 1999, I developed the class further and taught at Scrapbook Station until I became a Mommy. About that same time I was excited to have some layouts published - a "My State" layout representing Washington in a contest run by Memory Makers magazine and a couple that were in their Quilted Memories book. My favorite from that was a layout about Grandma Hopkins entitled "All I needed to know in life I learned from a kindergarten teacher" playing off of the famous poem similarly named. On the layout and around the quilt square I listed all the things that I had learned from Grandma Hopkins. I'll have to find that some time and share.

While I was pregnant with D, I scrapped over 500 pages! Phew! That was a lot of fun too. After his birth, you can imagine how things began grinding to a halt and screechingly so when I had three babies under 18 months of age! lol

Enter my current phase - digital scrapbooking. It's such a delight to be able to work as I can, in pieces without having to worry about picking up a mess, keeping little hands out of it or finding room to work.

I can't wait to see what the future holds! :o)

An Apt word...

Thank you to those who have shared so kindly. Several of you wrote me Scripture to encourage me and I looked them up and appreciated that so much - words from the WORD, alive, living, vibrant, healing.

Last night I was able to spend some time talking with my wonderful God-Gift of a Husband, pouring out my heart and praying with him and that really helped.

I appreciate you! I'll leave you with a Scripture that has long been a comfort to me:

22 Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 24 I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him." Lamentations 3:22-24 courtesy of

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wellness Wednesday

Hello Everyone. I weighed in today for the first time in a few weeks. 309# I was so happy to see that in spite of my decreased activity I have not gained any weight. Admittedly though I have been feeling a little bit depressed that I have not been able to keep working on my health in a more active way. My physical therapist has given me permission to SLOWLY begin walking with my Leslie Sansone DVDs, but since then I have had the type of migraine that does not want me jumping and moving around!

My knee is progressing. I do not have to wear the immobilizer, though if I do not use a cane in public, I have difficulty maintaining balance. My therapist wants me to focus on not "hobbling", but no matter how hard I try, my left knee/leg stays straight and does not follow through in a normal walking motion. In addition my left hip bursitis is worse. So, my Hubby and I are praying about the possibility of knee surgery in November. Initially we had planned to review the situation then, anyway. The surgery appears to be very easy with little recovery time. My concerns in having surgery are related to how they may or may not anesthetize me because of past medical experiences and my asthma.

Lately I have been having some possible depression and/or anxiety compounded by pain, sick kids and a few other difficult situations. The political scene, both politically and on a national level are concerning me as well. I am left with an overall feeling of being out of control of all the situations in my life. Moment of Truth! I am not in control of my life and maybe it would be a little easier if I "Let go and Let God"! I'm not talking about letting go and giving up, but striving against God. From several sources lately I have been reminded to "Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10.

Whine, whine, whine! That's not my intention. From the beginning on Wellness Wednesday I have strived to be completely open and honest. Would it be genuine to offer sunshiney encouragement to everyone else when I am feeling buffeted by the winds of life? So, I am sharing this here today so that maybe we can be of an encouragement to each other. I refuse to give up. I am pouring out my concerns here and then when the kids go to bed, I'm going to spend some time alone with Hubby and talking to God. Then I'll pick myself up and keep on going in His strength, not mine.

On the bright side, I am truly encouraged that I have not gone up in weight. In the past, after losing, then being dormant, my weight goes back up to the point where it was before. Apparently, my "setpoint" has been reset and I am looking forward to seeing it go down further!

Will those of you who pray, please pray for me in these things? Thank you.

And if you have made it this far, I want to leave you with a treat. My friend began a new blog called Teresa's Table and I am looking forward to trying out several of her recipes!

Thank you! I truly love my readers!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Sweet Peas

First the stats: This came from Digital Scrapbook Art, a German site (click on the Brit flag for English, but I have fun refreshing my German!). One of my new favorite designers is Verena Karolyi. I bought several of her sets because in celebration of her daughter's 5th birthday, she had a 5 day sale at 50% off. I bought the A Whisper of Romance kit for approximately $2.48 and then this page is made primarily with her free quick page. It was a horizontal page but I rotated it for this picture and added the tag, ribbon and ribbon flower from the kit. I still need to work on the tag a little because I haven't learned how to change the amount of drop shadow on my elements.
Even though I love rich color, texture and heritage type layouts, I don't generally like a lot of what I call "frou frou". Somehow this picture just screams for something special. I am going to be trying it out in several different layouts, so you will likely be seeing it again.
My Mom took this picture in color when the girls were about 1.5 weeks old and it's my FAVORITE!!! I desaturated the color leaving just a little hint of pink. At this point they still needed and wanted to be very close to each other as they had in the womb. If only they could be this sweet and quiet today! LOL This picture makes my Mama Heart ache in a million different ways and I sigh every time I look at it. After I try a few layouts, one will be chosen to be printed out and I will frame it in my room.

Faith On Friday

This week I have had sick children, sick me, doctors appointments for me and physical therapy. I was unable to go to church or Bible study and by the end of this type of week... I am dragging! Yes, I'm dragging physically because it's just hard, but I'm also dragging spiritually. If I kept in contact with my Husband the way I sometimes do with God, then I would probably be divorced!

In my youthful days as a Christian, I believed all the teachings of "thou musteth getteth upeth at 4:30eth and readeth thineth Bible..." etc. Now if you do this, that's awesome. For many of us that is just not possible! That doesn't mean I think I don't need a daily devotional time - I do! But having a devotional time with God can happen in many different ways. How you do it today doesn't have to be the same way you did it yesterday or how your Pastor does it or how your friend does it. God created each of us uniquely and we each worship and share with Him in a unique relationship.

Some days the Holy Spirit may prompt you to pray - be obedient. Other times you are nudged to look up a specific topic and research it. Perhaps you just want to sit quietly and absorb one Psalm. At various times in my life when I became overwhelmed, I put a praise CD in, sat on the floor and rocked and sang my heart out until the tears fell, release came and His peace flowed over me. I was thinking about my previous post when J said she'd "snuggle" with Jesus. I think the above is an example of how I can snuggle with Him!

However you do it, take time out to be with your Father God, who loves you more than anyone on earth ever could, who understands, who listens, who cares, who works everything together for good and in His purpose. He does not "need" us - He is God, but He desires us! Do you hear Him calling?

This week we began establishing a spiritual rhythm in our school time. We always have prayer and devotion, but I wanted to put in something special to train them in the way they should go. Our 24 Family Ways is an awesome tool to use in helping your children develop, not only faith, but compassionate, respectful traits in interacting with other people and the world. The 24 family ways are separated into areas concerning authorities in our family, relationships in our family, possessions in our family, work in our family, attitudes in our family and choices in our family.

My children are 5.5 and 7 and occasionally one of the questions is difficult, but not hard when explained. I would say it would probably work preschool to high school. There are thought provoking questions each day which put the concept into the perspective of the child's life and world. There is a time to read the Bible and then there are 2 or 3 questions after reading with an application time where the child prays and asks God to help them attain the character traits discussed. This usually takes about 20 minutes unless the children are extra talkative! :o)

The first family way is "We love and obey our Lord, Jesus Christ, with wholehearted devotion." I will leave you with our memory verse:

Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' 38 This is the first and greatest commandment." Matthew 6:37-38

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wellness Wednesday

Hi Everyone. Still not much to report. Our whole family has been down with either virus or stomach bug and we are all dragging. I'm behind on answering email. I am a bad friend. I have been learning how to digital scrapbook instead! Sorry!

Digital scrapbooking has saved my sanity this week. I have been overwhelmed by kids who are super emotional when they are sick and my nerves are raw. The other night I knew I just needed to spend some time in the Word - the best wellness tool I know of! I took my Grandma Hopkins' Bible, which I love to read because of all her notes in it, and read the first couple chapters of Ephesians, making a list of all the things God has done or blessed me with as a Believer. I highly recommend this. It's pretty eye opening.

Today during devotionals in school, we had a question about what we would give Jesus if he was here right now. D answered immediately, "some" of his Legos! LOL The girls, at 5 couldn't quite understand. So, I said, "If Jesus was sitting on the couch with you, what would you give him or do for him." J said, "I'd snuggle with Jesus!" Out of the mouths of babes. Couldn't we all use a snuggle with Jesus? I know I sure could!

What picks you up when you are down?


Playing with train sets in the bedroom, the girls are discussing the people they are using. J wants one brother. A wants more. J says, "One brother makes sense. More brothers don't make sense!" A says, "I want more!" J says, "That DOES NOT MAKE SE-E-E-E-ENSE!" (at the top of her lungs). A, quietly but firmly, "I don't want to make sense!"

LOL J needs her world to be ordered and "right" just like big brother D and Mommy. :o) She has one brother whom she adores. It just doesn't make snese to have more! lol

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Six Generations

Left Side

Right Side

These were fun layouts to do. My Grandma Hopkins had her wedding bouquet pressed and behind the glass of a serving tray. This always hung on her wall in the dining room. My Aunt Grace, who is an oil artist, painted color onto the aged blooms. I'm not sure where this 78 year old treasure is, but likely my Aunt has it. I was looking at a German site, Scrapbooking Heaven and liked some of her work, but it is too bright for my usual tastes. I tend to like muted, soft or jewel tones, not bright and for fabric and paper I like an old fashioned or shabby chic kind of look with a little touch of country and a smidge contemporary - in other words eclectic, but not bright and wild eclectic! When I saw the Cherished Memories kit and Cluster package it reminded me of Grandma's wedding bouquet.

I have long wanted to do a page layout with the six generations of married women on my Mom's side. When my daughters marry that will be seven! It's so neat to have these pictures and I wanted to do something special with them. This won't go in my regular heritage album, but may go into an album that I want to create about the people who have influenced me in my life and faith. This took a long time and I probably won't do many of these "fussy" pages, but it was gratifying to accomplish something, even though we were all too sick to do much else today!

Monday, October 13, 2008

More Birthday Scrapbook Pages

This was a fun page to do because it was just playing around with the photo and the art. I used the Enjoy The Journey kit from Mary Ann Wise at Designer Digitals.

When I saw this Crusader kit by Faith at Shabby Pickle, I had to have it! D is so into Indiana Jones Legos and when he saw these pages I made, he was very pleased. You can click to read the page.

I plan on making D his own page with just his pictures and rope that he can frame and put by his bed. He really loved this and I had fun making it.

These are the left and right pages for D's birthday dinner when we went out to Red Robin. Everybody started getting sick on his birthday and it seemed to be hitting here. We had a few tears when D learned we were all going to take a much needed nap before opening presents after dinner, but the ice cream sundae helped! :o) He is highly motivated by sweets, much to Mama's chagrin since I am trying to get us eating healthier.