Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Sam's creative mind

Today, I went out to my mom's to cut her hair and we watched a movie together. From there, I went downtown to First Studio to pick up my artwork from the gallery since the exhibit is over. Max had a play date with a friend so I picked Sam up and took him to Walmart to buy fabric and felt. He has the most vivid imagination. He's either writing stories or drawing pictures or both. I had the idea of making his own creations out of felt using his drawings as patterns. So, today, we did the first one. I had planned to teach him how to do the sewing but he went with a pretty intricate creature for the first one. those limbs were not easy to do! They are so small! I told him we'd do a sewing lesson on another day. Anyway, he drew the picture and I then cut it apart and used the pieces as my pattern. I cut everything from felt so I wouldn't have to deal with turning pieces. He chose all the colors and was quite specific with every detail. He's yet to come up with a name for this guy though. This creature does, however, live in a volcano and shoots fire darts with his eyes. Now Max wants me to do one for him too! He's drawn a tiger but it's so small I could use yarn for the legs... gotta' make some changes! I promised him to do his tomorrow. If I can get him to redraw the piece, I could scan and enlarge it and then just print it for my pattern. We shall see. And now it's 5:00 so I better do something about dinner! The day flew by!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

I've been tagged

Well, I've been tagged by my friend Linda, to list 6 things about myself so here goes:

1. I have been a nail biter on and off my whole life. When I was 16 and got braces, I could no longer bite them and they grew like claws, which I faithfully painted nightly to match my outfit the next day. (I did my toenails to match too… even though no one would see them) Into my adulthood, I’ve gone through periods of biting and stopping, biting and stopping, etc.. I can sorta’ stop at will! I’ve been biting them since Max was born and then, a couple months ago, my bottom tooth chipped a piece off when I was biting my nails and now I have nice long nails again and thanks to a good dentist, my tooth is fixed too!

2. I LOVE board games, especially Scrabble. When I play games, I can get really competitive and almost obsessed with playing. When I was once really good at shooting pool. When I was in 8th grade, I played pool that summer from early in the morning until closing time at the base youth center. I got really, really good… however, I almost developed a major eating disorder because I quit eating so I could play pool! My mom nipped that in the bud pretty quick.

3.) I have a horrible fear of the ocean. Not being at it or looking at it, but being IN it! I mean, major panic fear. And it’s manifesting itself more now because I have kids that want to go in it. I almost can’t even sit on the beach and watch them. I’m a wreck. I was stung up badly by a nest of Portugese-man-o-war when I was I kid and that ended my ocean swimming forever.
4.) I love making up really goofy silly songs with my kids, especially in the car. Max will often go along with me and we’ll go back and forth singing our conversation instead of talking. Sam just thinks I’m weird. Although sometimes, he’ll ask me, “How do you know that song?” And I tell him I made it up!
5.) My first record ever purchased was Rick James “Superfreak”. I Love black funk and I love to dance to it. Through high school, the only music I listened to was done by all black artists. Although Earth, Wind, and Fire aren’t what I call “funk”, they were the first band I ever saw in concert. The most fun concert I ever went to, while in high school, was with a group of girls to see Kool and the Gang and Skye! Anyway, now that I’m older, now prefer complete silence whenever possible and my favorite music is instrumental, especially keyboards. I LOVE Jim Brickman! However, I still love hearing the funk music sometimes!
6.) I am part Choctaw Indian and no one would ever know. My cousin actually went to college on a grant because of it. I guess you have to be a certain percentage and prove the tribal relation, etc… she found out all the info and did it. I can just imagine them laughing me out the door of admissions…..

Now, I'm suppose to tag 4 people. Hmmmm, let's see... I really wish I knew how to make people's names clickable that would take you directly to their links... Linda, how the heck do you do that? Anyway, I tag Karen BP, DJ, Deryn, and Katie. Of course, they have to actually read my blog to know they are tagged, huh?

Monday, January 29, 2007

Shampoo hairdo's

Remember doing shampoo hairdo's when you were a kid? Well, I caught my kids in the act last night. Sam didn't want to cooperate so I had to sneak a picture of him. In case you are wondering what Max is doing with the mirror, he's playing it like a guitar!

Journal quilt in progress

Well, this year I am doing a quilted journal project. One 8-1/2 x 11 quilt per month. I plan to bind them into a book at the end of the year. Today, I finally worked on my January quilt and here it is almost February! This turned out quite different than I had originally planned but I'm liking it. I just got this part of the front done today. I'll work on the back this week and hopefully finish it by the weekend. For the first time, I printed onto fabric by first ironing the muslin onto freezer paper. It worked like a charm! The tree fabric in my background was a photo I took last week. The other photos used on the quilt were taken at the Franciscan renewal center last week. I chose to use Peltex instead of batting since it's thin and sturdy. I think it will make good pages. The verse is one that has been speaking to me all month. My quilt turned out much more simple than my original idea, I think because I've been struggling to slow down and simplify. However, in the process of making some changes, it's thrown me into a tailspin but upsetting my routine! I mean, if I sit down and actually play game or watch movies with my kids, then there's no one cleaning, doing the laundry, cooking dinner, washing dishes, etc... so these chores pile up and there's no dinner! I'm thrown all out of balance right now and I'm longing for peace and calm. Anyway, here's the piece in progress...


It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart. ~unknown

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Randy Thompson

I meant to post Randy's link for those of you interested in some great, heart music:

A new song

Today was the second week in our Prayer series and it was a powerful service. Our worship leader, Randy Thompson (who happens to have several CD's out) wrote this song and I just loved it. I snatched the words from him after church and wanted to share them. It's titled "Your Voice"

So often Lord, I come before you
with an anxious heart I bring my needs
So patiently you always listen to my prayers
And when I'm done, you watch me leave.

And even now as I approach You
My thoughts are more of me than You.
There are so many things I let get in the way
Of what I know is really true

Lord, I want to worship You with all my heart
Help me not get in the way
Lord I want to know Your glory
In Yourpresence I rejoice
Lord I want You to speak to me
Teach me how to hear your voice.

I am uneasy in the silence
I'm more accustomed to the storms
I tend to look for you in the thunder and the rain
And so I miss Your still small voice

And all too often I am guilty
of believing it all depends on what I do
Though You have made it all so clear so many times
It all depends on You

It was so pretty. It was done with just keyboards and Randy playing his guitar. If anyone is interested in hearing any of the messages from my church, you can go to the website and listen to them via your computer. The web link is: Gosh, I suppose if you listened to the message from last week, you'd hear me! But today's message was even more powerful. And the woman that spoke, Martha, is one of my small group women's Bible study teachers and I tell you, I had to practically sit on my hands when she finished speaking... I wanted to just up, throw my hands in the air, and scream "YES" to the top of my lungs!

Now, I'm fighting to keep my kids in bed and evil mommy is coming out... I'm sorta' like a werewolf ... I get really ugly at night. I need to eat and go to bed. Functioning at full speed on 6 hours of sleep is bad for me. I do better with at least 8 hours or more! And guess I need to be really putting into action what I heard this morning because I need help right now....

Saturday, January 27, 2007

self portrait photos

OK, so I've noticed several artists doing self portraits and I decided to play around with my boys. I did hold the camera for some but let them each try taking pictures too. Here are a few of our silly moments last night before bed:

So you tell me....

Do you see the resemblance? I wish I had a photo of Aunt Vertie when she was a little older for a more accurate comparison. If I didn't have to dig deep, I could come up with a photo of myself around the age she was in this picture but gosh, I hate the thought of what I'd have to dig through to find one. She was my dad's oldest sister and had she not died of breast cancer way back when, she would be oh, in her mid 70's now, I think. She was "famous" for her chocolate pie at family gatherings. If you didn't get a piece first off, before any other food, you didn't get any. Period.

Yet another death

OK, so this is getting morbid maybe. Then again, maybe not. Death for a Believer is a time of rejoicing! Today, my great-uncle Martis passed away. The last time I saw him, Sam was not quite 2 years old. Uncle Martis always had quite the sense of humor however, fromt he photo posted, you can't tell... but that sassy curl hanging down on his forhead gives an hint of mischief. Knowing him, I bet he was quite the stinker to raise! I wish I knew what year this photo was taken. Uncle Martis is on the left. My grandfather is on the right. I got my red hair from my grandfather, although his was actually auburn. Lots of the grandkids on this side of my family have really red hair like mine. I've been told my whole life how much I looked like my Aunt Vertilie... and until I saw a picture, I didn't believe it. But boy, it was almost scary! So, yes, I look more like the Hall side of my family even though my mom is also fair skinned and freckled. I'm thankful I didn't get those Hall ears though. The Lord had mercy. I can't remember how far apart these two were in age. My grandfather was the youngest but passed away several years ago of leukemia. I'll scan and post a picture of Aunt Verti later...


Well, I got the death dates of my grandmother's switched in my mind. My sister knows better than I do since her birthday falls in between so she corrected me. I really thought I had it right since my mom didn't mention what the date was when I spoke with her on the 25th. Well, mom, I'm sorry. I didn't forget....

Friday, January 26, 2007

happy and sad times

This time of year brings back many memories. Yesterday was the anniversary date of my Fraternal grandmother's death. Today, my sister celebrates her birthday but it is also the 10 year anniversary of the death of my best friend/mentor, Marty who was killed in a car accident and then buried on his 40th birthday. Tomorrow is the 6th anniversary of the death of my precious maternal grandmother who passed away of an accidental drowning. On Jan. 30, we then celebrate the birthday of father-in-law, my first nephew and his sister only a few days later which preceedes the anniversary death of my grandfather. It's a time of bittersweet memories. I can't wait to get to heaven for a big reunion. I often ask God to give my grandmother a big hug and tell her how much I miss her and that I love her. I loved both of my grandmother's dearly and was close to both of them. But I had a really special bond with my maternal grandmother and her death hit me really hard. I can't believe it's only been 6 years. It seems forever.

Friday Fun Day

Any day that I get to hang out with Fran is a guaranteed fun day. She got to my house by 9:00 and then we went and got our Starbuck's addictions and headed out to First Studio downtown where I have my first piece in a gallery show. It was interesting to see how other artist's interpreted the theme. And gosh, how people price their works is even more interesting! I had Fran take a picture of me with my artwork hanging!
Fran and I then hit a couple of antique stores and had the best time looking for treasures. And we got the biggest kick out of these funky, and I do mean funky shoes! Check these babies out!

By the time we made our way through two HUGE antique stores, we got hungry and decided to eat at My Florist Cafe. They have yummy food there... all this without having to drive anywhere! Both antique stores and the restaurant were all within walking distance of each other so that was great! Here's a picture of Fran at lunch. We cracked each other up as soon as we saw each other this morning. We aren't use to seeing each other with make-up on and even somewhat "real" clothes! We're always scrounged out when we are together! I did sorta' cheat and didn't do my hair today so that explains the hat but I did do make-up so that has to count for something! LOL!

While we were in the antique store, we got so tickled over the music playing because it gave us flashbacks of our childhood. We were oooing and ahhhhing of Andy Gibb! We found out that we both use to collage pictures of him from our Teen Beat and Tiger Beat magazines! We both started collage even back then!

Well, we had a great time out and now, I have to get my boys in the house because they have forgotten that it's Friday fun day. I have one movie for us to watch and then we may be playing some games. We got some fun books from the library yesterday so reading those will be fun too. I just noticed Max has ripped the knees out of yet ANOTHER pair of his pants! I swear, I'm going to have to go shopping again for pants because he's got almost none left with knees in them. And since he and Sam share clothes, that means the pants stash is going down drastically! They love wearing sweats and it's a good thing Walmart has them for five bucks a pair or I'd be in serious financial trouble trying to keep pants on them! Next fall, I think I'll have to put patches on the insides of all their pants before Max ever gets any wear out of them!

OK, I'm gonna' drag the guys in for play time. If they don't want to come in for a movie, playing a game outside would be cool since it's gorgeous outside today!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

A little creative stuff today...

Well, I got to do a couple of notecards today, which is the most creative stuff I've done in many days. They are not fancy, but actually very simple. One is done in watercolor/gauche and obviously, it is a gourd. I made this thank you card for Michelle, who taught me how to carve gourds a couple of weeks ago.

The other two cards are photo cards. I've always been drawn to cards that are simple with just a cool photo on them. So, I took photos of my cactus skeleton and created my own versions. One card actually has a small piece of the skeleton on the card. The other, I tried something "different" and just cut up the photo and reassembled it. I like them both. I really like black card stock! :) And by the way, the photo stuff is actually straight on the card but when I cropped the photos, they are a little crooked!

I just finished playing a game of Sorry with Sam and I beat him... barely. The boys are in bed now but not asleep yet so I can't really relax yet! I do have a couple more cards to do but don't know if I'll get to them tonight. I'm tired and ready to go to bed myself.

toilet paper

OK, so I thought that having a house full of boys would cut down on use of toilet paper. I'm finding this not to be the case. I think I use as much toilet paper cleaning off the seat so I can sit on it as I do using it for it's intended use. Does this ever change?????? Do I need to post giant red arrows above the toilet to remind them to lift the lid? Do I need to monitor pee sessions? Do they need to lose a priveledge if I sit in their pee? What do I have to do???? Someone helpppppppp!!!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Goodwill deal

Today, after Bible study, I took myself to lunch at Tokyo Express while I read some in "The Artist's Way", and afterward, I went to OfficeMax and had Sam's prize winning story copied onto card stock and coil bound into a little book. Then, I decided to stop at Goodwill before I had to pick up the kids. My great find for the day was this very cool cabinet card of a hispanic family! I've never seen one of a hispanic family and think I can do some fun artwork with this. It was in a gross plastic frame so I had the cashier take the photo out of the frame and I just left the frame there! I don't need one more thing cluttering up my house! I'm just happy to now own the photo! I was bummed that no info was written on the back side of the picture though. Even a date would have been cool... but nothing. Oh well. I'm ready for a hot bath. And tomorrow, I would like to get to stay home! Sam's best friend, Daniel, is coming over after school for a play date. They get out at 12:30 tomorrow. Sam was BEGGING for me to pawn Max off somewhere so he and Daniel could play alone. Chuck agreed to take Max out for a while so Sam is really happy. They had planned to do this last Wednesday but Daniel got strep. So they have patiently waited another week. So, tomorrow will be a short day for me at home... better make the most of it!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Sam's a winner!!!!

I'm so proud!!! In Sam's class at school last week, they had an assignment to write and illustrate a story about a cat. They would then be judged by a second grade class and a winner would be chosen for best story. Sam won!!!! His prize is this stuffed cat named Cozy. When I walked up to school to pick him up and saw that cat, I almost burst into tears because I knew how badly he wanted to win that contest! I don't know who was more excited, me or him! He's got quite an imagination and loves drawing too, which makes his mommy very happy! :) The story is supposedly being made into a little book to go in their library but I think I need to see if his teacher will let me run copies and make my own book!


This is Sassy. He is one of the ferral cats of a litter that was born under my storage shed last spring. With a neighbors help, all the cats were humanely trapped and spayed/neutered. See how Sassy has his right ear clipped? That is something they do let people know that he's a ferral cat but has been fixed. Sassy was the only one with long hair and, as you can see, he has an actual mane! He has a sibling with the same coloring but short hair whom we've named Sonny. There's also Ariel, a grey tabby, and Moonlight, a black calico. Sassy is the only one who has chosen to be tamed for petting. He is such a lover and I practically trip over him when I got out. He loves to be loved... and food enticing was not involved at all! He just wants love. I wish someone had him that was home all the time and could just let him be a lap cat! My husband isn't too thrilled with all these cats around but I just say,"ahhhh, what are they hurting?" :)

These are two of my sweet babies. Minya and Max are big buddies. In fact, Max says they are engaged! LOL! See the picture of Minya by herself... notice that big engagement "ring" he made for her! hehehe!

And this is my sweet Phoebe. She's mostly an outdoor cat since she won't use a litter box but she sneaks in for naps. Minya and Phoebe are both my little old ladies now. They are 18.

More prayer retreat photos

The photo to the left is one of my favorites. It is a cactus skeleton! I saved some pieces and plan to use them in my artwork, at some point.

This photo below, is one I thoughts I'd done editing to and rotated the photo, however, I see that didn't happen so just turn your head sideways! LOL! Aren't these the coolest colors in the cactus?
If someone can tell me how to move the pictures around within the body of composing the post, I'd be thrilled! This is frustrating! Anyway, I love the photo of the hand of the statue reaching to heaven. I love that it is open... whether in offering or receiving.

This little bird was a special surprise and not easy to photograph! I"ve never seen a bird like this here in the desert and do not know what it is. You can tell my the size of the rose how small the bird is. The tips of his wings actually had some yellow and light green on them. He moved very flighty and quick so I was thrilled to get a half way decent shot of him!

I have a fascination with trees... the bark, the branches, the leaves. I just love them. I love the texture and color of this peeling bark on this tree.

Franciscan Renewal Center

This is the entry of the Franciscan Reweal Center where my women's Bible study group had our silent prayer retreat on Saturday. There were 11 of us that were able to go and it was a wonderful time. How great to just be together and know you don't need to use words. We were all there for a purpose and it wasn't to be together. It was to be with God, taking time to observe him in nature and His creation as well as listening to what He had to say to each of us individually. We had times during the day of coming together and sharing what we were hearing God speaking to us and other times where we were on our own to wonder the grounds, sit in the warm room, lay on a bench, whatever. The weather was pretty cold that day and it had rained so everything was wet. I was out all morning but in the afternoon, I stayed in and journaled inside. More pictures to come later. I have to get my boys up for school. They did NOT cooperate going to bed last night and I think it will be like waking the dead this morning. Ugh....

Sunday, January 21, 2007

a busy week and sharing at church

Geez, has it really been an entire week since I've written? Wow, how time flies. I spent some "me" time this past week and it gets me through the crazy times. I went to breakfast one day ALONE and read my favorite Quilting Arts magazine. Another morning, I went to Starbucks for my most favorite coffee: pumpkin spice latte'! I sat and wrote my "morning pages", which is my daily assignment as I go through a class of 'The Artists Way'. IT was nice. I spent too much of my time this week in malls shopping for coordinating stuff for family pictures. I really don't like shopping! The weird thing is, we had planned to do family pictures today, outside... and this morning, it was pouring buckets of rain! My brother-in-law is a photographer and was in town just for the weekend. I had a friend pray with me at church this morning and she prayed for the sky to clear. And guess what? The clouds rolled back, the sun came out, and with just enough time for us to get outside near the mountains and take pictures... then the clouds rolled back in and it started raining again! Thank you God! And thanks to Donna for praying with me!

Yesterday, I went on an all day silent prayer retreat! It was soooo needed and a special blessing. I'll have to upload some pictures and tell all about my day.

This morning at church, we have finally started a teaching series on prayer which is leading up to our week of 24/7 prayer coming up next month. I was asked to be the sharer this morning. I was quite nervous as I know I'll cry and I hate crying in front of hundreds of people. After I did cry through the first service sharing time, I changed my prayer. I asked God that if he wasn't going to rescue me from the tears, which obvouisly have some purpose or He would have stopped the flow, then I asked that he'd at least make me be able to speak clearly through them so people would be able to understand what I was saying. THAT prayer he did answer faithfully, through all three services. I cried through every time I shared. I hate that but there was nothing I could do to stop the tears. I don't understand why I didn't cry when I wrote this part of my testimony out but boy, did I cry reading it. Tears are suppose to be cleansing though, right? Maybe they just went with the rain! Anyway, here's what I shared this morning:

For most of my life, I felt that other Christians seemed to “know” something about God that I didn’t, even though I’d been in church learning about God my whole life. I felt like there was a secret and I was the only one who didn’t know what it was. This left me feeling alienated from God. He seemed so far away. Gradually, this became more and more frustrating for me and I became very dissatisfied with my relationship with God.
A few years ago, I really began crying out to God. Angie Warren had written a song based on Jeremiah 29:13 and this song became my anthem that I found my heart singing even in the middle of the night. The words are: “If you seek me, you will find me. Search for me with all your heart, I will be found by you.” This promise from God was what I so longed for. God began showing Himself to me everywhere!
I then took a prayer class taught by Paula Walberer at Tuesday morning Women’s Bible Study. What I learned in this class blew God out of a box for me! I saw many misconceptions I had about prayer and about God. I slowly began to hear and understand God’s voice speaking to me. Prayer became a two way conversation! As an artist, God has been increasingly using my artwork as an outlet of expression of things He is or wants to teach me about His truth.
For the past year and a half, I’ve been attending another Tuesday morning Women’s Bible study led by Billie Filleman and Martha Wenzel. This class has been a powerful tool teaching me how to be intentional to continue bringing God out of the various little boxes I had him in as well as my own relationship with Him. I’m learning how to be in God’s presence in the moments of the daily grind of life as a stay-at-home mom and artist. Since God is always with us, the gift comes in the recognition and acknowledgment of His presence. Learning the fine art of “silence” has been both challenging and powerful. It is in the silence that God’s voice is the loudest and most recognizable. It’s in these moments that I feel the most peace.
As I continue to seek Him, I feel that I live in an almost continuous “Aha!” moment. I’m learning to “be still” before Him and allow Him to teach me about Himself through a prayer journey completely and uniquely mine and His, and it looks like no other.
The secrets I that I thought were being withheld from me are being revealed as I truly seek Him and come to know the One True God. His light is shining in the dark places of my heart and revealing the misconceptions I have about Him. He has let me in on the ultimate “secret”. It’s ALL about Him! But there never really was a secret. I was just looking in all the wrong places. I am coming to understand His truth and I am being set free! And after all this time, all I had to do was ask!

Now, my boys are waiting for me to watch a movie with them so I guess I"d better go. I"ll write more about my silent retreat later...

Monday, January 15, 2007

Catchin' up

Whew, the weekend flew by! Friday, when I picked the boys up from school, we went straight home and started our movie marathon for our newly founded "Friday Fun Day". We managed to watch 'Over the Hedge', 'Barnyard', and 'Andre' the seal', which was based on a true story and was a favorite for all three of us. Chuck came home just in time for a game of Trouble and Max came out the winner, fair and square. It was really fun. Max told me it was an awesome day, the best day ever. And the best part of the day was ME! Is he sweet or what? We will be doing this often, from now on. I'm trying to slow down and actually make time to SIT and do things with them and let other things go. Gosh, I mean, Sam will be 8 this year! How can that be? He'll be driving in the same number of years he's been alive! YIKES! And let's not think about dating! Well, actually, for Sam, I wouldn't be surprised if he went through high school never dating. He's quite shy and already swears he'll never get married. We'll see. Max, on the other hand, will be even more of a handful. I freeze in panic at the thought of him being a teenager. I need to be praying more for them!

Saturday, I took the boys over to visit my mom and step-dad. My mom has been ill since Christmas and, at some point, when illness just doesn't go away, you have to just do things anyway. I'm always trying to protect her when she doesn't feel well, by not bringing my kids over because I know they suck the life out of her, in a good way, but draining none the less. But after so long, she needed a dose of medicine that a bottle can't provide... laughter and hugs. So we went. The boys were beyond excited to go. They think there's no place on earth better than Granny's house and I thought the same thing about my Grandmother's, and still do! I got really lucky as a kid, in that both sets of grandparents were next door neighbors! So going to see one was getting to see all! LOL! It was great! My best, best memories were being at my grandparents homes so I'm glad my boys enjoy being at my mom's so much. I went head on into Scrabble matches all day. I played 2 games with my step-dad and one with my mom, winning them all! And let me tell you, my mom is a vicious player so beating her is no small accomplishment! hehehe! I am her daughter! :) I have to tell ya' though, I was totally cracking up because my step-dad swears that my mom must have some "special powers" or something because she's almost unbeatable. He was accusing her of cheating in a way not even possible unless you were superman with xray vision! And he would not budge on his assessment and swore off playing with her. I tried to tell him there was no way for her to do what he said she is doing but he wouldn't listen. It was hysterical! I found out though, that he gave in and played her yesterday and lost both games! I imagine he was a little ticked! LOLOLOLOL! Poor Fred! He makes some good words but needs to work on his strategy and he says he won't "play like that"... well, what can I say? Anyway, mom played games with the boys (Trouble again) and watched the second Garfield movie. It was a fun day.

Sunday, we went to church and then I had to clean up some things. Chuck's dad came over for dinner and to watch a movie with us. Chuck made beef stroganoff and borrowed "Hook". It was an enjoyable evening. That is one long movie though. It was over 2 hours long and the boys hit the bed at 9:00 and were asleep in less than 5 minutes. That's pretty late for them since normal bedtime is between 7-7:30!

My sweet friend Fran has been dealing with bad vertigo for the past several days, which is a byproduct of an auto-immune disease/disorder that affects her inner ear. She has to have infusions monthly and so far, the new treatment has been very successful but, the vertigo kicked in almost a week before her next treatment is due so, her hubby, who happens to be a Dr. in practice where she receives her treatments, hauled her into work with him today to have them give her the treatment a couple of days early. I've been really worried about her. She didn't even sound like herself when she called this morning. I can't imagine living with this, especially as long as she has. I think it's been about 20 years! She's had quite a battle with her health. Anyway, she can't drive, obviously, so I'm planning to pick her up when her treatment is over and take her home. I'm hoping Chuck will watch the boys so I can go alone. The treatment usually wipes her out, makes her sick, etc... sorta' like chemo. I may see about only going to part of Bible study in the morning and then going out to her house to check on her and just sit with her. I know when you don't feel well, sitting home by yourself all day has to be so lonely and make the days so long. I plan to be more involved in her treatment plan each month in the future. If all I can do is sit with her, then that is what I will do. I wish I could make it all be better. I will continue praying for her.

Well, I guess I should get busy doing a few things here in the house and gosh, I even need to get out of my pajamas, which I'd like to just wear as a daily uniform! LOL!

Friday, January 12, 2007

I"ve been tagged

OK, my friend Fran tagged me with a book tag. I am to reach for the first book within reach and go to page 123 and go to the 5th sentence and copy down the 3 following sentences. I have an entire bookcase just to the left of my computer... it's filled with books to tear up for art! This is the book that my hand went to when I reached: Words to Live By. It is a compilation of many writers works. OK, page 123 is written by Clifton Fadiman and it says: "We cannot love all our fellow men, except in the most abstract way. But we can at least not be indifferent to them. We can cultivate awareness;we can try always to connect. " So, there are my 3 sentences.

I think I'll tag, hmmmmm.... Linda at Take it away, Linda!

A new art addiction...

Well, I FINALLY got to do something creative yesterday! A friend from church is a gourd artist and I've wanted to go out to her house and learn a bit for a LONG time. She took off work this week so I headed out to her house as soon as I dropped the boys off at school! She lives WAY out west! I got there about 8:45 and she made us a yummy breakfast and then took me out to her workshop. She makes beautiful pieces! And she showed me all the different kinds of gourds, taught me how to clean them, and let me loose with her tools! This is my first piece in progress. As you can see, I still need to clean out the inside as well as do a little "artwork" on the piece itself, although it will not be a lot of detail of any kind. I love the natural color and markings on this gourd so much, there's no way I'll paint over it. However, I'm pondering the inside. The piece will be titled "The Offering" and once finished, the inside bowl will hold little slips of red paper containing prayers. I'm thinking of adding gold or silver leafing to the inside but think it would be way cool if they have leafing in reds. I want a sense of fire coming from within representing prayers being offered as burnt offerings to God. Around some part on the outside, I will be adding the many names of God in Hebrew... thanks to my friend Fran's mother-in-law who happens to teach Hebrew! Makes it quite convenient for me to get that list, huh? :) Anyway, now Michelle has created a monster and I was online for a while this morning investigating tools, comparing brands, prices, etc.... Now, I need my artwork to sell that I have in the gallery show right now so I can have tool money! LOL!
Today, it is GLOOMY outside! UGH, it's so YUK! I hate overcast days. I don't want to do anything, although I did work on a small watercolor painting for a bit and made a couple of sympathy cards this morning. I just came back from Blockbuster getting movies for my kids. I'm declaring today Friday Fun day so I'm going to do nothing the rest of the day except play games, watch movies with my boys, and each crap! hehehe! Got my raisinettes and popcorn ready. Got them some yummy things too. They'll think they died and went to heaven! I should do this once a month or something! I'd have to literally put it on my calendar to make it happen though.
I am reading THE best book! It's called "Three weeks with my brother" by Nicholas Sparks. It's a memoir he wrote about a trip he took with his brother around the world in yes, you got it, three weeks. He writes in present day logging things about their trip but also writes in flashbacks to their childhood. It's a really neat story about their relationship and it's pretty funny in parts too. I highly recommend it. I've wanted to read it for quite some time but I refuse to purchase a book, especially hardback, at full price because they are expensive and I"m such a fast reader, it's not worth the money. But, last Sunday, Sam and I were in Borders and it was on sale for $5.00! That's a steal for a hard copy so I snatched it. It's a great read.
Well, it's almost time to go pick them up from school. At some point, I'll recap stuff I wrote a few days ago that got wiped out... I'm still mad about it.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

I"m beyond ticked

After sitting here for at least an hour writing, when I added the photo of my boys snuggled up sleeping, I was trying to edit the text and almost my entire post disappeared! I just can't believe it! I mean, I wrote a LONG post! I just don't have the energy to rewrite it all tonight....grrrrrrr

Whew, I'm back!

Well, several days ago now, my 7-yr-old spilled grape juice on my keyboard rendering it useless. I kept thinking my husband was going to pick a new one up for me since he's always out running around but that didn't happen. So, I finally got to the computer place yesterday and got a new keyboard! So, I'm back... again!

It was a busy weekend and now, the kids have been back in school for 2 days so I'm getting back into the swing of things, sorta'. It's scheduled busyness now. Usually, I like staying home at least every other day between errands but this week, I seem to have stuff going on every day!

Yesterday, I was totally spontaneous (which is totally out of character for me) and met one of my best friends, Fran (, for coffee... which lasted until lunch! LOL! When we are together, hours become seconds! I can't even think of Fran without a smile spreading across my face! I believe, with all my heart, that our friendship is 100% orchestrated and ordained by God himself. We met in a class at Art Unraveled and then went our separate ways. I had misplaced Fran's business card and thought I had no way to contact her but thought of her often. She was such and encouragement in my class! Well, she ended up joining a yahoo group I'm in and I couldn't believe it! I mean, these groups have anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand members from all over the world in them and what are the chanced of Fran joining a group I was in with no knowledge that she'd find me there!?? Or I'd find her there! So, we have really only been friends for a couple of months that seem like our entire lives! She is like a soul mate sister and my friendship with her is a rare gift. In fact, I don't know that I've ever had a friendship quite like this. To describe it as a joy is such an understatement.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Crawling from the hole

Well, I haven't touched a single piece of paper yet this morning. I just had to take a break to catch up on some other things here in the house. My kitchen is now nice and clean and misc. stuff is picked up. I'm so ready for normal again. I don't do well with no schedule and it seems that school for the boys helps keep my schedule! Oh, and I actually got out of my pajamas today! LOL!

Since I am in an organizing/clean out frame of mind, everywhere I look is something that I want organized! I think a list is called for.

1.) clean out the top drawer in the kitchen with baking supplies in it.
2.) clean out underneath the kitchen sink
3.) clean out the bathroom cabinet
4.) clean out medicine cabinet
5.) go through linen drawers and reorganize

And this is just stuff in the living area! I still haven't figured out organizing my art studio so it always gets saved for last! At least I do have one art table somewhat clean and functional!

Well, back to laundry and then "the paper pit".

Monday, January 1, 2007

Going cross-eyed

OK, after sitting amongst PILES of paper, I'm totally vowing to stay on top of it this year. Oh, my aching back!!! If I succeed at nothing else for the entire year except this one thing, I will feel like queen of the universe! Once I got started on all this paper work, I quickly found that I wasn't just dealing with mail piles, receipts, and paper from 2006, but also 2005 AND 2004! Scary, huh? And to think of the space it has been taking up in my house... not to mention the stress it caused me ever single time I looked at the ever growing basketS of paper! Well, I've shredded like crazy, organized, etc... and I'm still not finished! I'll be working on this tomorrow too! BUT, when it's done, it's done. I think I'm going to sign up for a service to actually cut down on my excess junk mail... and have trees planted at the same time! I think the website is called, if I'm not mistaken. I just know I NEVER want to allow paper to so completely dictate space in my house and brain and my valuable time! Well, I'm taking a break now and playing Trouble with my kids!

Happy New Year!!!

Well, here it is 2007... where did time go? Since it's a day of new beginnings, I thought I'd start the new year with a new blog. I had a blog but can't figure out how the heck to access it! It had been many months since I'd written anything and now blogger has made changes so, when I updated changes, I could no longer find my existing blog. I'm not that computer literate so, out of frustration, I just made a new blog. I took the easy way out.

I don't usually do a bunch of New Years resolutions but I do want to make some goals for this year. Here they are:

1.) I want to learn to better "be still". I want my life to slow down so I can better hear God's voice and see him everywhere I look. I desire a teachable spirit.
2.) I want to take more time to just play with my boys. They are growing up so fast!
3.) I want to actually put Christmas things on a calendar for next year so I won't be caught with a million things to do the week of Christmas!
4.) I want to continue cleaning out and organizing my art studio, especially, but also the nooks and crannies of my house!
5.) Stay on top of the mail pile!
6.) Do more art for ME! Cut back on trades and collaborative projects. I want to get more things in gallery shows as well as something submitted for magazine publication.
7.) I plan to create a journal quilt for this year which consists of creating a small art quilt each month. I want my quilts to portrait something significant in my life that is happening, or I'm learning, etc... or to incorporate a new technique. I plan to bind them into a book. However, I could change my mind! :)
8.) I want to get back to my watercolor painting! I also want to venture into doing "real paintings" with acrylic as opposed to only using the acrylic as color in a mixed media piece... if that makes sense!
9.) Something I NEED to do this year is make a concentrated effort to create an actual "dinner time" in my house and cook! I do NOT like cooking but I want a sense of structure with dinner time for my family. I think I need to pray about this A LOT because it is something I really, really dread! For me, dinner time every day is like falling into a pit.... and the hole goes deeper as bedtime approaches and I have to get my kids in bed... and make them stay there! I need a change of heart!
10.) Lastly, and probably the most important, I will continue to learn and understand who God really is, not the one I have made up, and take Him out of the box I've had Him stuffed in. I want to know the REAL God and allow Him to be who He is and who He wants to be in my life. I will continue to seek Him with all my heart.

OK,these kinda' feel overwhelming now seeing them in a list! However, they are just goals that may continue for months, years, or even the rest of my life! I'm not striving for perfection, although I can only imagine the peace perfection would bring. I do know that it doesn't exist this side of heaven so striving for it only makes me crazy! This year, I will intentionally choose to focus more on the ONE who IS perfect and just know that I am loved by Him in my imperfection. I do pray that the pride in my heart continues to reveal itself as I offer it back to God. It is only in my weakness that I realize the reality of His strength, love, and power available to me.

Well, I started 2 days ago, working on all the GIANT mail pile that has accumulated over the past several months. I'm sorting, shredding, organizing, and filing receipts. My back is killing me bending over all this stuff but I'm determined to get it finished today so I can get things filed away for 2006 and start fresh with the new year. I also want to go through my boys school papers that have piled up for the school year thus far. Waiting until the end of the year is just too overwhelming. Ask me how I know.... I'll be sitting down and sorting their papers deciding what to toss or save in a notebook.

This Wednesday, I have to turn in a piece of artwork for my first gallery show, which opens Friday. I REALLY don't want to go to the opening receptions and feel guilty! I've not been able to find a baby sitter either so that adds to the stress of it. I'm thinking maybe going as a family, just so I can see the other pieces in the exhibit, and then coming home. We can maybe plan to stay for about an hour. That is pushing it for two active boys! The theme of the exhibit is Crossing the Line: an exploration of boundaries and borders. Anyway, I'm still thinking about going...The following morning, I will be doing hair for a bride for her wedding. It's been a while since I've gotten to do hair for a special occasion. Sometimes I miss doing hair, but mostly I'm too busy to miss it! My feet and back sure don't miss the hours standing though! This particular bride was one of my clients years ago. I remember doing her hair for prom! :)

OK, it's time to go eat breakfast. It is past 10:00, after all! I'm still munching on delicious pumpkin muffins with cinnamon swirl cream cheese made by my sister-in-law! They are so yummy!

Now, hopefully, I can be more persistent with keeping up my writing THIS time around!