Friday, July 6, 2018

This ‘n’ That {Bible Art Journaling, Art on the Rocks, 100 Days of Bible Promises}

Spending a lot of time with scrapbooking, and I don’t usually post pictures of those layouts on my blog.

Have done a few miscellaneous projects--

Bible Art Ps 50-11

Bible Art Journaling on Psalm 50:11—
God knows all the birds…

Rock Painting Fish & Ladybug

I’m doing some rock painting, hoping to build up a collection of rocks labeled #islastones (for a little girl named Isla in the UK who has terminal cancer, the #islastones Facebook group is to raise awareness of pediatric cancer) to hide along the way as we take an upcoming road trip from MO to WA.

100 Days My Day 13

I’ve completed 13 of the 100 Days (not posting all on blog). Determined to move along with this book but not be obsessed with completing.

#100DaysofBiblePromises #BibleArtJournaling #IllustratedFaith #RockPainting #PaintedRocks #ArtontheRocks #islastones

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Good Times with Siblings {My Family, My Heart}

My husband and I are so blessed to have such very special siblings (and their spouses). My sister Janene (15 months younger than I) married my husband’s brother David, and then there’s my only brother Keith and his wife Michele.

Our favorite quotes:

“We are awesome.”

“We amaze ourselves.”


Recently we enjoyed one of our regular intentional get-togethers, this time a weekend at the home of my sister/Russell’s brother.

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We enjoyed great food and wonderful weather which allowed for lots of outdoor activities on Fordland.There was lots of coffee, conversation, and laughter.

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Asking God’s blessings on the food.

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What a fun bunch!

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These guys are hilarious (Janene made them pose for this picture before they did some target practice…obviously they aren’t really shooting here, as their ear protection is not on). There was conversation about the upcoming Wild Hog Hunt in Texas in the fall (along with Keith’s son Matt).

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Sassi cuddles up next to my brother, the dog whisperer

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That weekend was April 27-29.

On May 25, David and Janene and Russell and I drove to New Salem Theatre (close to Springfield, IL) to see Keith play the role of the Secretary of the Continental Congress in the musical “1776.” He was the best!

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#FamilyTimes #FamilyLove #MySiblingsaretheBest #SiblingGetTogethers

Friday, June 1, 2018

Honoring Memory {HeartStrings, My Family, My Heart}

Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military.

 Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971.

Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades.

I can remember my Mamo placing a high priority on visiting the cemeteries (there were several where family members were buried, but all within the same area). In fact, my aunt tells about how as a child she remembers seeing her mother (my Mamo) load up the wagon with the flowers, and the horse and buggy would be her transportation to decorate the graves. It was called Decoration Day then.

Since our parents passed away, my husband and I have been honored to take flowers to their graves each May (if we are not out of state), just prior to Memorial Day, so the graves look nice for the holiday weekend.

We do this to show respect and to honor their memories. We of course know that, in the case of all four of our parents, they are in heaven, and the grave only represents the place where their physical remains were buried. They are no longer there. We don’t go there to talk to them. They are in heaven.

We do this because we live close enough for it to be practical for us to do it, and we do it out of respect.

We do it because it’s something we want to do, and in an odd sort of way, we actually look forward to the day each year and enjoy remembering them in this way.

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Daddy passed in 1988. Mother took care of decorating his grave until she died, in 2013. My sister Melody passed in 2001 (age 41).

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Russell’s mom passed in 2012 and his dad in 2016.

#MemorialDay2018 #Family

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Through the Eyes of Experience {HeartStrings, Out and About}

It’s one of those “life enigmas”—you know, like “once you can afford a big house, you no longer need one.” Once you finally are totally free to travel and take a vacation any time you want, you find you kind of really like staying home!

We do plan intentional getaways and trips, though not so much out of the country anymore, as we have come to feel that there are so many beautiful places to visit in our own country, reachable by car or RV (in other words, no need to fly!).

Visiting new locations and environments instead of staying in our own comfort zone adds spice to life (bonus: we enjoy home even more upon returning!).

So, we planned a short vacation to Hilton Head Island, SC, with a brief stopover in Savannah, GA. We changed up the route for the return, driving through the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Smokies. We were gone May 10-16.

It was a good time for this trip, as it was not unbearably hot along the way nor at the beach.

We enjoyed the travel and the destinations.

We stayed three days at the Hilton Head Island Westin Resort and Spa. Our beachfront room with balcony was very pleasant, and we enjoyed our view as well as time at the beach on both full days (under the necessary umbrella).

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Our room was in the wing on the right, third floor straight up from the beach.

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All our meals were at the resort, so our car stayed in the Self-Park for the entire stay.

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While there we had opportunity to observe life through the eyes of experience…from the two “destination weddings” we watched (some things never change—some things do) to the families on the beach.

It was good for us to see something other than each other (although no complaints about that) and to make some conclusions about our blessings.

Our second day on the beach, a family “parked” under the umbrella one over from us. A sweet and pretty family, mom and dad and three children (kids were probably all under 6), they were fun to watch. Mom was on her phone most of the time while Dad applied sunscreen (while calming the cries of the youngest). Then the children ran down close to the water to play in the sand and wade in the water, under the close observation of Dad and an occasional encouraging word from Mom.

Occasionally the children, especially the younger two, would run up to the parents to share something exciting. Then Dad joined the three children down by the water.

Shortly, all of them—Dad and all three children—came running up to Mom.

“We brought you a surprise. Look! It’s a sea snail!!”

They all crowded around, excited to see Mom’s reaction, while Dad opened his hands to reveal the prize.

“Oooooh,” Mom exclaimed, delighted.

“It’s not dead, is it?” Mom asked.

“Oh, no, we are going to put him back in the water. We just wanted to show him to you!”

Mom was appropriately impressed.

Mission accomplished, all three children and Dad walked back down to the beach to release the sea snail into the water.

Shortly after that, they all left for awhile to take a “nap” break. And then I took a picture of their chairs, to remind me of the story.

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I wanted to tell the mom, straight up:

“Remember this day, remember this moment, remember this time, when YOU were the center of the love and devotion of all of your children. Their primary desire in life is to share their finds, their excitement, their fears, their lives, with YOU, because you are the center of their universe. It will not always be like this for you. In fact, you will not believe how quickly this time of your life will fly by….Now, of course, it SHOULDn’t be like this forever, they should grow up and out and away from you…that is, if you have raised them to be independent and healthy young people and then adults. But, even though that’s the way it should be, and you know that, you will want to be able to look back, remember, and savor these simple times when, though it may be an exhausting task to be mom at this stage, it is miraculously wonderful to experience. Enjoy it.”

Yes, we (of my generation) could write many books about life through the eyes of experience.

Most of the time, these kinds of reminders leave me feeling thankful that I truly have enjoyed each stage of my life and the growing up years of my children.

But even someone like me, with an inherent awareness of the seasons of life and the need to enjoy each one as it comes, still, I know that there is no way, in the moment, I could have understood all the value of those seasons as much as I can now, in retrospect.

And so, as timing would have it, that day was Mother’s Day. I opened the gift from my son that hubby had packed away in the car, as it had come to our home with strict instructions not to open until Mother’s Day.

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It was a Willow Tree Mother and Son figurine (“the bond between mother and son”) with the sweetest note from him to me. Especially after the “family at the beach” experience, my heart was tender, and so the tears flowed when I opened the special gift.

The special day was capped by a nice FaceTime with my daughter and her family.

In Savannah, we visited Forsythe Park (USMC Memorial) and stayed a night in historic downtown, enjoyed a trolley tour and then dinner at The Olde Pink House (built before the Revolutionary War), recommended by my brother and his wife (it was awesome—the sweet little waitress took our picture, but she didn’t click on the right button, and so, no picture!).

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On the way home, we spent a night in Knoxville and enjoyed some truly great southern food (fried green tomatoes, homemade blackberry cobbler, for example)!

Great vacation, great to be home, and for both those things, I am thankful.

#Heartstrings #OutandAbout #HiltonHead #Savannah #TheOldePinkHouse #WestinResortandSpa #MusingsofaGrandmother

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Be Still and Know His Purpose {100 Days of Bible Promises, Faith Art}

(Note: All of these 2-day spreads in this devotional book require a “click to enlarge” in order to see the pages.)

In the Illustrated Faith devotional book, 100 Days of Bible Promises, Days 4 and 5 are actually linked in my mind. Day 4 is “Be Still” and Day 5 is “Your Desires, God’s Purpose.”

Day 4 Before My Additions

100 Days Original Day 4

Day 4 With My Art Journaling

100 Days My Day 4

I have always thought this admonition from Scripture, to “Be still and know that I am God” (Ps 46:10), was directed to me. Well, of course it is. The entire Word of God is directed to me. But, some parts of it seem more targeted….like this passage.

I am too busy, rarely slow down, and REALLY need the reminder to “be still.” Sometimes I think I may miss seeing greatness in the moment because I’m so intent on moving forward.

This verse from 1 Samuel 12:16 is also appropriate:

100 Days My Day 4

One of the results of being still is that I might even be able to more clearly see God’s purpose for me.

Day 5 Before My Additions

100 Days Original Day 5

Day 5 With My Art Journaling

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My favorite passage from Day 5:

“He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6

I agree with the prayer at the end of Day 5:

100 Days My Day 5

#100DaysofBiblePromises #IllustratedFaith #BeStillandKnow #HisPurpose #mixedmedia #artjournaling #FaithArt

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

God’s Colorful Creation {Around Peaceful Acres}

We have so enjoyed watching the birds come to our feeders. Who knew? We should’ve put feeders out a long time ago!

The most colorful birds are the goldfinch, cardinals, male grosbeak, and several varieties of woodpeckers. But just last weekend, we were visited by indigo buntings and Baltimore orioles. They have become regular visitors the last few days, so it looks like they are going to stay.

We read that they sometimes the Baltimore orioles only pass through, but may be enticed to nest if oranges are out for them to eat. They are stunning.

“Male and female created He them.”

We also have a young raccoon who has visited a couple of times. He hasn’t learned yet that he is not supposed to come out during the day. The seeds that have fallen to the ground are just too tempting.

I hope to soon capture some good photos of the remarkable indigo bunting and the beautiful male grosbeak.

#PeacefulAcres #BeautifulBirds #ColorfulCreation #MOWildlife