Monday, September 30, 2019

SPSH 2019 | Maine-New Brunswick-Prince Edward Island-Nova Scotia

To celebrate my 50th birthday in July, we flew to Bangor, Maine, then rented a car for a two-week road trip to New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia, Canada. Robbie and I both had our eyes open for items on this year's Summer Photo Scavenger Hunt (hosted by Mary-Lou of the Patio Postcards blog). Here's a look at our favorite finds for each of the items on the list.
1. An Outdoor Clock
In the little town of Machias, Maine, when we drove through on our way from Bangor to Campobello Island.

2. Single & Pretty
At the Bideford Parsonage Museum (where L. M. Montgomery lived when she taught at the Bideford School) on Prince Edward Island.

3. Repetition
At the Hilton Saint John, New Brunswick.

4. Blurred Vision
On the Bay of Fundy during our ferry ride from Deer Island to the Canadian mainland.

5. The Word Summer
At the Confederation Centre Library in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.

6. An Umbrella
Cabot Beach on Prince Edward Island.

7. A Curving Path
Hiking trail at Irving Nature Park outside Saint John, New Brunswick.

8. Shells
A Sailor’s Valentine at the New Brunswick Museum

9. A Bridge
Entering the Haunted Wood at the Anne of Green Gables Heritage Site, Cavendish, Prince Edward Island.

10. Something Made of Stone
I stacked these on the beach at Irving Nature Park outside Saint John, New Brunswick.

11. Fish
Fried haddock we had for supper in Brewer, Maine.

12. Something Crooked
At the MacNeill Homestead where L. M. Montgomery grew up in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island.

13. Two Colors of the Rainbow
Red & green define the burial site of L. M. Montgomery in the Cavendish Cemetery, Prince Edward Island.

14. A Handwritten Sign
In two languages at the New Brunswick Museum.

15. Broken Chair or Bench
Outside COWS (ice cream parlor) at Avonlea Village on Prince Edward Island.

16. Out of Season Treat Being Enjoyed
Soup in the summertime!

17. A Sail
Inside Market Square in Saint John, New Brunswick.

18. Something That Should Be Found In Pairs
Showing off  my birthday gift from Robbie while relaxing at the Hilton Saint John, New Brunswick.

19. A Funny or Meaningful Bumper Sticker
This trailer has traveled far and wide!

20. A Favorite Seasonal Scent
Steamed mussels at the New Glasgow Lobster Supper, Prince Edward Island.

A. Bird or Bee House
At the New Brunswick Museum - two birdhouses ... one is made from an old milk carton!

B. Fresh Local Produce
At the Saint John City Market, New Brunswick.

If you've been following along here this summer, you'll know this is my fourth set of photos for this year's photo scavenger hunt! I've thoroughly enjoyed taking time to find this FUN list of items in Ohio, (with my nieces) at the library, (with friends) around Dallas, and on our summer vacation. Sending a huge thanks to Mary-Lou of the Patio Postcards blog for hosting this seasonal scavenger hunt.

Did you join in the hunt this year?

Monday, September 23, 2019

Children's Book Lessons Are Good For Adults Too

It's no secret that I am a huge fan of children's books - especially picture storybooks, early readers, and chapter books. In addition to the simple joy of reading these stories of FUN and adventure and challenges and triumphs, I am particularly drawn to the lessons that they teach. While these lessons are geared toward children, they are often just as relevant for us as adults as we learn or are reminded of important lessons through the themes addressed in these books.

In fact, numerous times I have shared a children's picture storybook during an illustrated Bible journaling class or at a ladies' Bible study class as a way to reinforce a lesson or open a discussion. This past weekend I read aloud The Little Rose of Sharon by Nan Gurley. This parable of self-sacrifice is so beautiful in its portrayal of the little rose that sacrifices her petals to save a baby dove (and The Creator's comments that His son would one day sacrifice all that He had to save all of humanity) that many of the ladies in the class were teary eyed at the ending!

Another favorite is The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. I've used this book about friendship and giving in Children's Church sessions, middle school classes, home group gatherings, and women's Bible study meetings. It also lends itself nicely to the creative activity of drawing, painting, or coloring a tree and leaves. :)

Max Lucado's You Are Special is perfect for reminding us we are special no matter what anyone else says. We are cherished just the way we are by our Creator. The Other Side and Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson address segregation, bullying, how small acts of kindness can change the world, and friendships.

I recently completed a new early-reader chapter book (which I received free from B&H Bloggers in exchange for an honest review) that is designed to teach lessons about money management. The Great Lemonade Stand Standoff follows the adventures of Jake, Sophia, and Brody as they slide into an underground headquarters and become secret agents who must help their classmate raise money for the local pet shelter. In this fun adventure tale, these friends learn an important lesson about giving. This is actually book one in The Secret Slide Money Club Series. You can watch a very short video of the author discussing this series HERE.

The 40-book Left Behind:The Kids series follows four teenagers and their adventures after they are left behind when the Lord raptures His church. These teens quickly realize that they were left behind because they had not accepted Christ as their Savior. As new Christians, they ban together to face the seven year tribulation period that is described in the book of Revelation. These books may be geared toward tweens and teens, but I learned so much reading them as an adult!

I could go on and on, but I'd love to hear from you instead. What are your favorite children's books and the lessons they teach?

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Big Birthdays & Bucket Lists & Me (on Stacy Julian's podcast!)

A few months ago, I mentioned that Stacy Julian had a new podcast called Exactly Enough Time. Have you listened to it yet?

I've enjoyed each episode, but I'm especially excited about today's episode (#34) because I got to be Stacy's guest as we discussed Big Birthdays (I turned 50 in July) and Bucket Lists (like my 50 Things To Do Before I'm 50 list) ... and it was so much FUN!!

If you've been following along as I worked on my list of things to do the past five years, you'll likely hear a few familiar stories. You'll also get to hear Stacy define what a bucket list is, share a few items on the list she's creating for herself, and maybe even (like me) add a new movie to your to-watch list!

Here are links to a few of the things we discussed on the podcast:

My Library of Memories System - I wrote this post (on my then very new blog) explaining how I set up my Library of Memories system during that first class I took from Stacy back in 2010.

It Wasn't On My Bucket List mini-album - The album that sparked the idea for my 50 things list.

My 50 Things To Do Before I'm 50 List - Here you can find each item on my list with links to the posts about the items I completed. Obviously we did not have time to discuss each item on the podcast, but it was so much FUN to share about our minion Easter eggsour glamping adventure at Raven's Nest Nature Sanctuary, not really learning how to play the piano, going on an Alaskan Adventure and a trip to Europe, keeping a gratitude journal, and reading the Bible (again) and all those Pulitzers.

My Book Recommendations:
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom

50 Things To Do Before I'm 50 6x12 mini-album - The papers for this album are actually We R Memory Keepers (not Authentique like I mentioned on the podcast).

After listening to the podcast, I hope you'll be inspired to create a bucket list of some sort - whether it's for five years or six months or any time period that works for you! I'll be sharing more about my one-year While I'm 50 Bullet Journal in an upcoming post.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Upcoming Class | A Thankful Heart Gratitude Journaling Event (Allen, TX)

I'm excited to announce that registration is open for my next all-day event - check out all the details below!

Join me for a BRAND NEW ALL-DAY EVENT as we discuss gratitude and having a thankful heart every day of the year! We will dive into the Word, learn and practice illustrated journaling techniques, create a gratitude journal, and enjoy lots of fun and fellowship as we spend the day MERGING FAITH AND ART in a way that allows us to worship and draw closer to the Lord!

A Thankful Heart Gratitude Journaling Event
Saturday, October 26, 2019
10am - 6pm
Hyatt Place, Allen TX

*Do you want to cultivate a thankful heart and discover what the Word says about gratitude?

*Would you like to try illustrated Bible journaling but you’re not yet sure where to start?

*Do you already enjoy illustrated Bible journaling and want to try new techniques and spend a day with other women who enjoy diving into the Word and using their creativity to draw closer to the Lord?

*Would you enjoy creating a journal to record gratitude scriptures and journal your thanks to the Lord?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this event is for you!

Our purpose throughout the day will be to worship the Lord through the times of learning, discussion and creativity. No artistic skill is necessary for this event!

Your registration fee includes:

*Four Sessions incorporating devotional teachings, discussion, crafting & illustrated journaling demonstrations, and creative time.

*Gratitude Journal Kit that includes a freestanding album, pocket page protectors, stickers, papers, washi tape & more!

*Goody Bag filled with surprises.

*Additional Supplies provided for you to try and use during the event.

*Bottled Water & Snacks provided in the event room.

*Three feet of table space for your creative workspace throughout the day.

*Two extra hours after the event to work on your own journaling projects.

Additional details for the gratitude journaling event:

*You will create a gratitude journal; however, you are encouraged to bring your journaling Bible, a hymnal, or a worship journal to work in as well.

*Along with the gratitude journal kit you will receive, I will have supplies available for you to use in your journaling. You are welcome to bring along some of your favorite supplies as well - there will be ample opportunity for using your creativity throughout the day!

*I will have snacks for us to enjoy. You are welcome to bring your own snacks or a snack to share if you like (completely optional).

*Bottled water will be provided. If a hot beverage or ice cold soda enhances your Bible journaling & crafting time, please feel free to bring that along with you. (There are options to purchase food and beverages at the hotel as well.)

*Lunch is not provided. We will take a break for lunch, so you'll have time to grab something at the hotel or head to one of the nearby restaurants. You may also bring a lunch with you to enjoy in the meeting room during the lunch break.

*There are only 22 spaces available for this fun and meaningful event, so register today to reserve your spot. Within 48 hours of payment, you will receive a confirmation email, and a detailed timeline for the day will be emailed mid-October.

Are you ready to get away and have a full day for using your creativity to worship and draw closer to the Lord?

*If you are registered and unable to attend, please let me know before October 12 for a full refund or transfer of fees to a future class. Cancellations after October 11 are nonrefundable; however, I will be happy to mail you the event kit and goody bag.

*If you receive a notification that the event is sold out & would like to be added to the waiting list, please email me.

*Registration does not include hotel accommodations, which can be booked separately at the hotel’s website HERE! If you would like a roommate, please let me know & I will try to set that up (although there's no guarantee). 

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Sunday Musings | Consider the Lilies

There are several instances in the New Testament when Jesus reminds his disciples (and all future Christians) not to worry because He will provide all our needs. In Luke 12:27, He says, "Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these."

This scripture gives us a simple way to remember the promise of His provision - just look at some beautiful flowers! 

So, next time worry is consuming your thoughts, notice the flowers around you - whether's it a field of wildflowers you're driving by or the blooms in the flowerbed outside your window or a single bud in the vase on your desk or the arrangement in the painting hanging on the wall (or even the ones you take time to draw and color yourself). Let those flowers remind you that the Lord is your provider!