Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Scrapbooking | More 2-Page Scrapbook Kits Available

During my summer break, I did quite a bit of scrapbooking, including creating several new 2-page layout kits for our local scrapbook store (which also offers online ordering).

It was so much FUN putting these together and using some of the tools I hadn't done much with in a while. 

I'm still using my original small Cricut machine, which works great for creating title letters and embellishments like the ones on this Sweet Baby Girl layout.

I pulled out a couple of small dies and used the Cuttlebug Embosser and Die Cutter for the stars and footprints on the It's A Boy page.

And a large leaf die worked perfect for this Fall layout, along with a leaf border punch.

I pulled out a couple of rarely used stamps (journal box with lines & the word JOURNEY) to complete this yellow and brown layout that uses two inch by two inch squares along the bottom.

What older tools have you pulled out to create with lately?

Monday, September 27, 2021

Book Reviews | Healthy Living

Once again this year, my reading has leaned heavily toward really good fiction. However, as usual, there have been a smattering of healthy living books that I've read as motivation to make healthy choices.

A few were quick reads:
*21 Days to Better Fitness is a thin book that I've had in my personal library for many years that's filled with nuggets of wisdom for healthy living. One of my favorite quotes from this book states that "Reading articles and books on nutrition and exercise is an excellent inducement because it increases your knowledge of fitness and helps you maintain motivation." (You can read other quotes from my previous review HERE.)
*The Mayo Clinic Diet is a practical guide to losing weight by incorporating healthy eating and exercise habits while eliminating bad habits that sabotage progress. It is easy to read and offers recipes and menu suggestions as well as tips for overcoming challenges and obstacles that arise.
*I borrowed my physical therapist's copy of Bulletproof Your Should
er as I continue to strengthen my shoulder after a previous injury and frozen shoulder earlier this year. It was a concise look at the shoulder muscles with specific targeted exercises for the shoulder. (My physical therapist is amazing and I have been following her guidelines and exercises for the past six months and have regained all range of motion and eliminated almost all pain in my shoulder!)

By far, the most informative book I've read has been Master Your Core: A Science-Based Guide to Achieve Peak Performance and Resilience to Injury. This is an extremely dense book in form and content. The book itself (which I received free from TCK Publishing in exchange for an honest review) is a paperback that feels dense when you pick it up; it's well bound and hefty while not being over thick or unwieldy. The material is extremely well-written and easy to read, but it is filled with science facts, medical terms, and a wealth of information that makes it a slow read.

The author, Dr. Bohdanna Zazulak, is passionate about helping each person develop core strength and control in order to avoid injuries, build strength and improve overall health. Her Core BASE System involves Breathing, Awareness, Stability and Empowerment and incorporates an integrative holistic approach that involves mind, body and spirit. Rather than jumping into a list of exercises designed to strengthen the core, Dr. Zaz begins with an explanation of the importance of core strength and the research behind the system she has developed. She then begins with basic breathing exercises and meditation, posture improvement, and finally to lists and charts of exercises designed for maximum core strength and overall health. This was a good read that I'll definitely be referencing again as I work on strengthening my own core.

Do you read healthy living books for motivation to stay on track with your health goals? Which ones have you found most helpful?

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Sunday Musings | Have You Been With Jesus?

As we were heading home at the end of vacation a few years ago, Robbie said to me, “Your southern accent really came out these last few days.”

I hadn’t realized it, but it was easy to slip back into that distinctive Delta drawl when I was around my extended family in Mississippi (despite having grown up and lived in Texas for over 40 years now!). Just spending time with Aunt Betty and Uncle Adrian and my cousins brought out a dialect I rarely use. The words I spoke and the way I spoke them made it obvious who I’d been hanging out with; and, the more time I spent there, the more I sounded like them.

Similarly, when Peter and John were arrested and brought before the leaders to explain by what power they preached and healed, it was obvious who they’d been hanging out with. Peter spoke boldly proclaiming that Jesus Christ of Nazareth was the one that healed and offered salvation … and the leaders knew they had been with Jesus.

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus. ~Acts 4:13

Before Peter and John were arrested in Acts 4, they had spent three years with Jesus and then had an encounter with the Holy Spirit. It was obvious to those listening that they had spent time with Jesus!

Wow, wouldn’t it be wonderful if every time we spoke, others were able to tell that we had spent time with Jesus!

We don’t necessarily have to be boldly preaching or quoting scripture defending our faith. Maybe we display a sweet spirit and offer encouraging words to a friend in need or have a calm demeanor and comforting thoughts to share during a crisis. Maybe we show love in all our words and deeds and give the Lord credit for our many blessings.

But just like my Mississippi drawl is only evident when I’ve spent time with my family, the fact that we’ve been with Jesus will only be evident when we spend time with Him and His Word.

As you go about your week, take note of the time you spend with Jesus and ask Him to let His light shine boldly in your life so that others will know you’ve been with Him.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

God Hasn't Changed (Virtual Bible Journaling Class)

The theme of the 1994 Nederland (Texas) Heritage Festival parade was “Flash Back to the 50s.” The Twin City Church of God entered a flatbed float with a young “preacher” wearing rolled up jeans & a cardigan sweater at the podium in front of his teenage “congregation” balancing on wobbly wooden pews and wearing poodle skirts, saddle shoes, jeans and white t-shirts. Old-time hymns blasted from speakers, and the hand painted banner read, “Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.” It was an overcast day with a few glimpses of sunshine … and it’s a favorite memory of mine from the time I served as volunteer youth director in the church where I’d grown up.

I remember discussing the scripture in Hebrews 13:8 with the teens as we painted the words on that long banner. We talked about how clothing styles had changed and which music we should play/sing to go with the 1950s theme. I don’t think any of us could have imagined the many changes we’d see in the following decades – from clothing to hair styles to technology to globalization to the increase in megachurches and the advent of social media to living through a worldwide pandemic.

Yet, one thing remains the same … our Lord has not changed. He truly is still the same yesterday, today, and forever.

While I was on my blog break, I announced my next VIRTUAL Bible Journaling Class and there's still time for you to sign up! This class will be presented live via Zoom, so you can join in from anywhere as we dive into the Word and use our creativity to draw closer to the Lord. (Times listed are CDT.)

God Hasn’t Changed
Virtual Bible Journaling Class presented via Zoom
September 17 or 18, 2021 (Friday or Saturday)
10am – 12:30pm

Join me for a virtual Bible journaling class in September as we take a look at the importance of understanding and acknowledging His never-changingness in a world that is ever-changing. Your class fee includes Biblical teaching, illustrated Bible journaling technique demonstrations and ideas, a printable notes handout and a traceable image.

Please note:
* This class will be presented live via Zoom. Due to the interactive nature of these classes, replays are not available.
* Your spot is reserved once payment is received. The link to the Zoom classroom and the notes handout will be sent separately as we get closer to the class date.
* There is not a supply kit for this event. However, I will be sending a list of items you may want to have on hand during the class. You’ll definitely want to have your Bible and a pen on hand. Otherwise, I encourage you to use what you have available as you illustrate what the Lord is showing you through His Word.

Click the appropriate link below to reserve your spot today!

BTW - If you or someone you know could benefit from attending a class but the cost would be a hardship at this time, please contact me!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Goodbye Summer!

Labor Day weekend always feels like the end of summer to me, despite the fact that it doesn't officially end until September 22. So, as I wave goodbye to summer and end my blogging break today, here's the story of our summer 2021.

As vaccines continued to roll out, most businesses returned to normal operating hours, coronavirus case numbers declined and travel restrictions eased, we were cautiously optimistic as summer began. The month of June was similar to many past years as we enjoyed summer visits from our 11-year-old great-niece Mariah, 16-year-old niece Paige, and 11-year-old great-nephew Andrew. During those visits, we ventured out a bit, still practicing social distancing and wearing masks (not counting the couple of times I took one of the kids ice skating). It was a FUN month (except for those two days without air conditioning as we waited for the repair part to arrive).

Truly hot weather arrived in July, and we were able to escape for a weekend get-away to our favorite bed & breakfast to celebrate my birthday. Our suite was lovely and we enjoyed the Country Gourmet Breakfasts, Artesian Grazing Board, Chocolate Covered Strawberries, and Picnic Basket Lunch prepared by our friend Carol, the best innkeeper ever! Robbie had also called ahead and had a dozen roses and specialty birthday cake waiting when we arrived. We were the only guests at the B&B, so we were able to relax in the common areas and at the swimming pool as well. It was a much-needed and enjoyed get-away.

As July came to a close, the number of Delta variant cases began to increase throughout Texas and across the US. August brought news that my step-grandmother passed away from Covid, a flare-up of Robbie's back pain that resulted in several doctor visits, and the decision to cancel our planned trip to Ohio over Labor Day weekend. Honestly, I had a couple of weeks of the doldrums, feeling discouraged that we're still dealing with this pandemic and disappointed that we're not comfortable planning any travel for the foreseeable future. The news of fires and hurricanes and controversy over masks in schools and the rising number of children in ICUs obviously did not help my disposition.

So, we retreated to our habit of staying home except for weekly forays to pick up (curbside) groceries and the occasional library book. The heat (temperatures close to 100 degrees) kept us mostly indoors, but we were able to complete a few projects (cleaning out, decluttering and reorganizing a couple of closets and updating the layouts and display on our Memories shelf) and try some new recipes and watch several great movies. Plus we had a nice lunch and visit with Mama & Daddy this past weekend.

Don't worry - there was also lots of scrapbooking and crafting, the scheduling of Bible journaling classes (all virtual so you're welcome to join in from anywhere), and other bits & pieces that I'll be sharing about in future posts.

Throughout the summer, I've been scrolling blogs & commenting occasionally, but if I've missed anything you think I'll especially enjoy, please share in the comments & I'll pop around.