Sunday, October 21, 2012

Catching up . . .

I can hardly believe how quickly the month of October is flying by - didn't we just finish up LSNED? So far, this month has been a whirlwind of activity, so today I'm sharing a little bit about life around here this month. [Warning - this post is text & photo heavy, so if you're just looking for some crafty inspiration be sure to scroll to the bottom to see what I have in store for you this week!]

I enjoyed the second Crafty Tuesday at Ellyn's, where I worked on the journals for our ladies' retreat. I thought it was such a great idea to add tabs to these altered composition books . . . but by the time I adhered the final one (140 total tabs!), I was questioning my sanity. Luckily, one of the ladies from church volunteered to come over the next week and add the cover logo and adhered a schedule and 3 additional notes pages inside the journals.

Ellyn is a dear friend and wonderful quilter - she finished the binding on this beautiful quilt that day!

Of course, the big event this month was the ladies' retreat at our church that I've spent the past few months working on. The retreat went very smoothly and we have already received great feedback on the teaching and curriculum that I wrote (it was truly a message from the Lord, He just let me share it!). I spent the weekend teaching (notice the cute baskets in the photo below - filled with crafty goodies to make cards for our final session on Friday evening) . . .

and handing out door prizes (like this beautiful nativity my friend Becky brought from Kenya) . . .

and encouraging the ladies to use those journals . . .

and answering questions . . .

and occasionally not getting it quite right! I had put together a neat illustration using a photo of our church. I cut the church building up into pieces and each lady added her name & spiritual gift to one piece. I then put the pieces together to reveal the picture of our church. I had additional pieces surrounding the church (the sky, parking lot, youth building, etc) to add during my teaching session to represent the rest of our church, community, nation and world. However, I forgot to put my original pieces to the left of the page and ended up with my photo hanging off the edge of my background paper!

I was honored that my Mama came to the Friday evening portion of the retreat - this is only the second time she's ever heard me teach. The title of the retreat was God Is Calling You, and we had set up an area as a "photo booth" for participants to take fun photos. I love this photo of me and Mama and the telephones I borrowed from my parents for the event.

My friend Becky arrived back in the states earlier in the week (she and her husband Don are missionaries in Kenya, East Africa - check out my latest post on their blog here), and she spoke and shared examples of how God called them into missions. I so appreciated her helping me out despite the fact that she had not even had time to adjust to the time difference and was still battling jet lag. She and Don also joined us at church on Sunday where Don shared about the work they are doing in Kenya.

The biggest blessing of the weekend for me was the fact that Robbie was there. I needed someone to run the sound and video, so Robbie spent the entire time there helping. He said it was the best women's retreat he's ever been to (of course, it's the only one, too! LOL).

Surprisingly, we've also had time for a fun things this month. Robbie and I attended a nice luncheon for Brother Bill's Helping Hand.

We found a Xodiac colorform alien (just like the one Robbie got for Christmas when he was five-years-old) at the DFW G.I. Joe and Action Figure Show.

And spent a beautiful day at the Texas State Fair. Here's our very last photo with Big Tex who was 60-years-old this year. Unfortunately, an electrical short caused him to catch on fire a few days later, leaving only an empty metal frame! :(

We also took in the musical performance of The Addams Family that evening. No photos were allowed during the show, but here we are standing in front of some of the props from the original Addams Family TV show. (The show was very well cast, had a great story line, and fantastic props, however due to the inclusion of some rather racy costumes, lots of overtly suggestive language and the use of unnecessary profanity, we cannot in good conscience recommend this production.)

I also created a new blog this month for our ladies' group, which is called Pearls. We are beginning a Bible Reading Program tomorrow, reading through (almost all) the New Testament in the next 14 weeks. Click here to check it out and join in.

If you've made it through this long post (or scrolled down to see what's in store!), I have a fun week planned here at Daily Life - Bits & Pieces. First, let me say a huge thanks to all of you who commented that you were inspired during my Double-Page Layout Week. While I primarily create traditional 12x12 layouts (one or two page), I occasionally create other sizes or use divided page protectors. I like the way these layouts add variety and interest to my albums. This week I'll be sharing a variety of layouts in different sizes (8x8, 8 1/2 x 11, 12x12) and formats (divided page protectors, double-sided). So be sure to check back each day or some Not-My-Typical-12x12 inspiration!


  1. What a fun post . . . I love nativities (and the one from Africa is fantastic); and the story of Big Tex made me giggle.
    I've been doing lots of journaling and photography this last week, but I did come up with a plan for my gratitude journal. Can't wait to start working on it.

  2. You've clearly had an energetic and inspiring month so far! Ellen's quilt is very beautiful indeed, and Robbie, as ever, a real stalwart. :)

  3. You wore me out with all you've accomplished this month, and to think there are still 10 days left in October! Like Rinda, I love that nativity, and you must be very gratified to have organized such a meaningful event for the women of your church. That's a lot of work!

  4. As always, you put me to shame with your boundless energy and achievements Melissa! That nativity from Kenya is beautiful
    Alison xx

  5. Wow you had a very busy month and it's not over yet!

  6. can't wait to experience your retreat in "round 2" at my church! Thanks for posting my quilt, you're a peach!

  7. Congratulations on the successful retreat :) Lovely to hear all about it!

  8. glad the retreat went well, you certainly have been busy!!

  9. I thoroughly enjoyed every word of your wonderfully newsy post. It's so good to hear that you have been happy-busy rather than stressed-out busy!

  10. You have been very busy Melissa! I think that quilt is gorgeous and beautifully colored :) Are you taking any upcoming classes? I noticed a few a BPC that seem interesting.

  11. Wow, you do get around in a busy world don't you. Great photo of you and your mom - glad she was able to be there to see you teach - how proud she looks.

  12. So nice to catch up with what's been going on in your busy life! Glad the retreat went well, I know that is lots of work, but also a blessing, too. Lovely crafts and the quilt is beautiful!

  13. Your very busy month would make me collapse! Glad your retreat was a success.

  14. So glad to see all the news and that the retreat went well. Robbie's comment made me smile - I love it when Wookie comes with me to do technical support too - adds a certain dimension and he doesn't usually get to see me teach.

    Like so many others I like the Kenyan nativity and I'm bearing in mind your comment about the tabs. I'm changing my notes to say 'punch tabs for students to add' for the class I'm teaching next spring! ;)


Thanks so much for your comment - it's like a ray of sunshine in my day!