Tuesday, January 31, 2012

American Pickers

Anybody see Pickers last night? So cool to see them in 'OUR' music store. Alli loves to go in that very room they were in last night & play all the Taylor guitars.


 January 31, 2012
Looking for God?
Mary Southerland
Today’s Truth
Praise the LORD! For he has heard my cry for mercy. The LORD is my strength, my shield from every danger. I trust in him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving (Psalm 28:6-7, NLT).

“The Message” translates the words of Paul in Philippians 4:4 this way, “Celebrate God all day, every day. Revel in him!” I love it! Paul is calling us to party! That’s right! We are to celebrate God every minute of every day for as many days as we have. “Revel” literally means “to party, to raise the roof” or, as my Mama used to say, “paint the town red.” Every day we have a CHOICE to make when it comes to our perspective on life. That choice then determines our attitudes which then lead to the actions that determine success or failure and the quality with which we live and serve.

Paul is serious about joy, and his instructions are clear. We are to be joyful - ALWAYS!! I know that many times, life makes it impossible to be happy but happiness is not what Paul is talking about. Happiness is a cheap imitation of true joy, depending totally upon man-made circumstances, while joy is an inside job and depends totally upon God’s presence in the midst of those circumstances. Nehemiah 8:10 reminds us that “the joy you have in the LORD is your strength” (GWT). Remember that joy is not a feeling but rather a CHOSEN PERSPECTIVE that recognizes the fact that God is in control. I am not talking about the power of positive thinking. I am talking about a real, honest-to-goodness transformation of the perspective from which we live. I’m talking about the power of God, active and present in every circumstance. Don’t settle for Pharisaical religion or slot-filling, box-checking church activity. Settle for nothing less than the unexplainable but undeniable power of God’s presence at work in your life.

Monday, January 30, 2012

A January Walk

Just thought I'd take a few pictures today when I went on my walk......

David Purvis' new addition to his house. I was hoping to walk up the road that way & get a better look, but Rocky would have none of that.
He's such a weenie-dog.....as soon as we got to the bottom of the drive & he could hear the men's voices & the tractor & what-not, he was literally digging in, refusing to go that way. So, I figured I was going to get any kind of walk in that we may as well turn around & head back to familiar ground. LOL!
I have been walking the fence line out in the fields the past few days (since there are no cows out front right now). So, off we went. Rocky was a happy camper now.
Although he did have to stop every few steps & smell things.
Coming up the hill toward the house. Just look at that amazing BLUE sky! I thought about Aunt Vada when I took this picture. ;-)
 Almost home.

Birthday Fun

Amy Bunner

Congratulations Amy....please pm me your mailing address and Email address and I'll get it to Jessica at Scraptastic Club right away!


This month we had seven (7) girls qualify for the $20.00 Gift Certificate provided by Jessica at Scraptastic Club.

There were a total of 204 Challenges completed in the month of December! Considering it was a holiday month and people were busy with that as well as family and friends, I think that that is an absolutely awesome accomplishment! Way to go ladies!!

Amy completed 22 Challenges this month, Bev finished the month with 17 completed challenges, Sherri finished the month with 16 completed challenges, Natalia finished the month with 16 completed challenges, Patti finished the month with 17 completed challenges, Sue finished with 17 completed challenges, and finally, Tamara finished the month with 17 completed challenges.....Congratulations ladies, you all did an awesome job! 

This is the picture of the awesome kit that I chose from Scraptastic. Now, to find me a little smidge of time so I can scrap! The really fun thing about this prize is that it showed up on my birthday, so that was an added treat for my day.

Lady Flames basketball game that we went to the night of my birthday. I was trying to get a picture of Sparky at the top of the pyramid, but I was a tad slow. Clay said I guess we know that Sparky was a 'Girl' that night. LOL! Let's hope so after seeing Sparky 'flirting' with a bunch of guys.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Yogurt Covered Pretzels

I so want to make these! Maybe for our Valentine's Day party.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Lemmings & Goblin Sharks

What we learned about in school today......

Lemmings are small rodents, usually found in or near the Arctic, in tundra biomes. They are subniveal animals, and together with voles and muskrats, they make up the subfamily Arvicolinae (also known as Microtinae), which forms part of the largest mammal radiation by far, the superfamily Muroidea, which also includes rats, mice, hamsters, and gerbils.


The goblin shark, Mitsukurina owstoni, is a deep-sea shark, the sole living species in the family Mitsukurinidae.[2] The most distinctive characteristic of the goblin shark is the unusual shape of its head. It has a long, trowel-shaped, beak-like rostrum or snout, much longer than other sharks' snouts. Some other distinguishing characteristics of the shark are the color of its body, which is mostly pink, and its long, protrusible jaws.[2] When the jaws are retracted, the shark resembles a pink grey nurse shark, Carcharias taurus, with an unusually long nose.
Mitsukurina owstoni is found in the deep ocean, far below where the sun's light can reach at depths greater than 200 m. They can be found throughout the world, from Australia in the Pacific Ocean[3] to the Gulf of Mexico in the Atlantic Ocean.[4] They are best known from the waters around Japan, where the species was first discovered.[5]
Goblin sharks feed on a variety of organisms that live in deep waters. Among some of their known prey are deep-sea squid, crabs and deep-sea fish. Very little is known about the species' life history and reproductive habits, as encounters with them have been relatively rare. As seemingly rare as they are however, there seems to be no real threat to their populations and so they are not classified as endangered species by the IUCN.[6

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Crop Chef

Do YOU have what it takes .... to be CROP CHEF? Come on over to the Cookin' Up Scrapbooking Creations forum in February and find out!

Our second annual CROP CHEF competition begins Thursday, February 2 here on the forum. This is a non-elimination challenge. Entrants earn points through their participation; and the person with the most points at the end of the competition will be named CROP CHEF! If you remember last year, we had a great time and saw some fabulous layouts created. We're hoping for an even bigger turn out this year.

There are a total of six challenges (on Thursdays and Mondays) over three weeks. Forum members will vote on their favorites, and points will be given. There will be other fun ways to earn points. At the close of the competition, the participant with the most total points will be named CROP CHEF!

There will be a prize package and the opportunity to be CHEF OF THE MONTH on the Cookin' Up Creations forum. More information and details will be available soon; and sign-ups will start Monday, January 23.

Monday, January 23, 2012

What an Amazing Birthday Devotion!

January 23, 2012
Sharon Jaynes
Today’s Truth
My lover spoke and said to me, “Arise my darling, my beautiful one, and come with me” (Song of Songs 2:10, NIV)
Friend to Friend
I was in college when I first eyed my husband. He was sitting on the floor at a friend’s Bible study gathering with his back against the wall, dressed in scruffy jeans and a red flannel shirt with the sleeves rolled halfway up his muscular forearms. His thick brown hair and chocolate-brown eyes left me weak in the knees. And the best part was that this handsome hunk of a man had a tattered Bible in his lap. He laughed easily, prayed humbly, and read intently. I was smitten from the first time I laid eyes on Steve.
After a few weeks, he finally asked me out on a date. We continued seeing each other over the next several weeks, but I was still accepting invitations from others as well. One night, Steve asked me to a college football game, and I agreed to go. Then he said, “Can I just ask you? Will you go with me to all of the football games for the rest of the year?”
“I’m not going to answer that question,” I replied. “You’ll just have to ask me each week.”
Looking back on those early days, what I was really saying was that I wanted to be pursued. None of this blanket invitation for the entire fall business. I wanted to be wooed and won. Even though he had me the moment I saw him sitting on the shag carpet floor, I didn’t want him to know that. I wanted him to show me I was worth putting forth the effort to capture my heart. Isn’t that the desire of every woman’s heart?
And nobody does it better than God.
I love what Simon Tugwell once said: “So long as we imagine it is we who have to look for God, we must often lose heart. But it is the other way about. He is looking for us.”
Oh friend, God has pursued and continues to pursue you every day. A sunset. A dandelion growing through a crack in a concrete sidewalk. A favorite song on the radio. He is pursuing you like a love-struck beau. Pay attention and enjoy His advances as He pursues you today.
Let’s Pray
Dear Lord, I swoon thinking of how you pursue me. Me, one so unworthy of Your advances. Help me to recognize Your love notes throughout the day. I am my beloved’s and He is mine.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Goodness, I didn't realize I had so much scrappy stuff that I hadn't posted. The cards above are shutter/flip fold cards. You can check out the tutorial HERE.
Another page in Clay's NY album. I think I might have about two more pages & then I'll be all done!!
Some cards I made for a challenge to use 'Bling'. It's hard to tell in the scan, but I've used some crystal glitter glue & then little pink pearls.
Another shutter/flip card.
More cards....for my stash & some for gifts.
I found this idea on Pinterest . I used this idea for my 'Friday Focus' challenge at CUC.......to use up your left-overs alphas.
The kiddos decorating the Christmas tree....not the best pics at all, but they capture the memory & that's what counts. I lifted the little folded tree idea from the front of Scrapbooks, etc Dec. 2011 issue.
And, last but not least.....This was Sarah's photo Christmas card & I just decided to scrap the whole thing as is. Her Christmas letter is on the backside of the layout too. ;-) This was for a cool folded circle border challenge at CUC. I love how simple it was to create & how it looks when complete. The perfect touch for this very simple layout!

One Happy Girl!

 We met Maw, Sarah, Anna, Daniel, Ella, Cori, Jesse & Taylor for Birthday lunch at O'Charley's on Friday. Such a nice time visiting together! 

We did our usual Friday rounds....Target, Michaels, Sams, etc. But Alli had one special request this week. She wanted to find the 'Western Ways' store over off 221 because she has been wanting cowboy boots forever now. And that's what she's been planning on spending her birthday money on. So off we went late that afternoon.....our last stop of the day. Now, those of you who know me, KNOW that I rarely make a spur-of-the-moment purchase. My intentions were purely to find this store & check things out. Take some mental notes about prices, etc. & then we'd go from there. To me, this was a total 'God Thing'.....that's the only way I can describe it. We walked into this store & the smell was heavenly! Oh, that wonderful leather smell was all around us. I told Alli that I thought I just might have to have myself a 'mid-life crisis' & get myself a pair of boots too....because truly I'd LOVE to have a pair of my own!!! But, back to the story.....We started looking & Alli had in her mind exactly what she wanted. And don't you know, that within 5 minutes she had found THE pair in a size 7 no less.......& just $104. Now, I know that sounds awful.....but compared to others we were looking at the prices ranged from $159 on up.....so right at $100 was looking pretty dang good. Leather soles & all!! She had gotten $85 for her birthday & so after a quick call to daddy, he said 'Get'em!' It was just incredible to me to walk in there & find that perfect pair within our budget & if you could've seen her face! Well, it was TOTALLY worth it!

Happy, happy birthday, my sweet girl!!
God is so good to us....to give us the desires of our hearts!

Never Once

"Never Once"

Standing on this mountaintop
Looking just how far we’ve come
Knowing that for every step
You were with us

Kneeling on this battle ground
Seeing just how much You’ve done
Knowing every victory
Was Your power in us

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Kneeling on this battle ground
Seeing just how much You’ve done
Knowing every victory
Was Your power in us

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Never once did we ever walk alone
Carried by Your constant grace
Held within Your perfect peace
Never once, no, we never walk alone

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Every step we are breathing in Your grace
Evermore we’ll be breathing out Your praise
You are faithful, God, You are faithful
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

You are faithful, God, You are faithful
You are faithful, God, You are faithful 
~lyrics by- Matt Redman
Sang this in church this morning..............LOVE this song!!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A House Full of Teen-Agers!

Yesterday was my Alli-Cat's THIRTEENTH birthday! Wow....how is that I now basically have a house FULL of teen-agers?! She just wanted a quiet celebration yesterday......cinnamon buns & coffee for breakfast, Pizza Hut for supper & then BD cake later while watching American Idol.

Breakfast cinnamon bun with a Happy Birthday candle!
Aunt Linda's handiwork.....it was delicious, as usual!
My Birthday Girl. Isn't she a beautiful teen-ager?!
We all giggled about this one little candle......the boys wanted to help me put the candles on & that's Michael's candle....it just did NOT want to go out. It was so funny!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Alli's artwork

Alli's first attempt at 'painting' a portrait....she usually sketches with charcoal.

Paper Flowers

This past Thursday I shared this challenge with the ladies over at Cookin' Up Creations.

Well, ladies, if you are like me...I love making my own little flower embellies for my LOs. Not only can you make sure they color coordinate with your page, but it's a really good way to use up all those little scraps we are trying to use this month. Here's a little tutorial that I ran across the other day.....I used this method for making the flowers on my LO below.

 This is my mom & dad celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary....pretty cool that I ran across this photo seeing as how we will be celebrating OUR 25th anniversary in less than two months!! Not sure if you can tell, but my large flower is made with 5 layers & the smaller one only has 3 layers. I inked all the edges before putting the flower together. I just think it adds some neat dimension to them. And the finishing touch....just a little pearl in the center & voila! So, my challenge to y'all today is to try some of the cute little flowers in this tutorial & use them on your LO or cards. Remember 1 layout or 2 cards to qualify for the end-of-the-month drawing!! Happy Scrapping, ladies!

Sandee will appreciate my day today!! LOL!

 Boy, what a 'Friday the 13th' we had!! * insert rolling eyes here* It all started  this morning when Clay realized that he had forgotten to set  his alarm clock....well, technically he DID set it, but just left it in the bathroom so no one heard it go off this morning. As soon as he got done in the shower, I hurried  in there so I could get ready to go to town for groceries, etc. About the time I got OUT of the shower....Clay comes tapping on the door saying the truck battery is DEAD....like couldn't even jump start it, DEAD....& that I was going to have to take him to work. *more rolling eyes* GEEZ! So, I threw my clothes on...hair kind of half-dried...at least I did have make-up on & out the door we went. That was all fine & dandy really, but I did have to hang around in town until he got off at 5:30pm. Which really wasn't THAT bad since I was doing BD shopping for Alli & I took my time at lunch with Danielle....we talked & visited & let her kids play & have ice-cream (we ate at Chickfila).....it was just the not getting home until 7pm that really stunk! It was dark & cold! And then having to unload & put all those groceries away. I was also starving by this time....my mid-afternoon snack was long gone. So glad to have my PJs on now.....seriously thinking about a nice cup of coffee & maybe a movie tonight. :wink:

Monday, January 09, 2012

There Should be a clever title here.......but I have nothing!

Today has been a cold, drizzly, sleety day.....perfect for staying inside cozied up by the fire. Besides folding a bazillion baskets of clean laundry & thought I'd share a couple pictures of what else I've done.

I made some granola bars for snacking on. Mine don't look quite like the ones I saw on Pinterest where I got the recipe from.....but anyway. They are more chewy than I thought they'd be, but they still taste good.  They were super easy to make. You can find the recipe HERE if you'd like. 

This is a little Granny striped purse that I made for Anna for her birthday. I need to get it wrapped up because we will be meeting them for lunch tomorrow.
And lastly another cowl that I made.....thanks, Alli, for modeling for me!

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Scrappy Sunday

I scrapped today! Yay me!!

Jan challenged us over at CUC to make some ATCs (artist trading cards). The perfect challenge for our month of 'Using our Stash'. For these cards, I cut apart a Christmas card that I received this year & used the cute little elements to make this set of cards.
More NY pages for Clay's album. I'm getting there.....ALMOST done....really I am. This was a very simple page of the cool Red Lobster where Clay ate one night. I used a sketch challenge for this one.

My scan is a little wonky on this one, but I just didn't feel like redoing it. :-P The pictures are kind of dark, but they are just some of the different theaters in Time Square. Sister Act, The Harry Potter car up on the roof of the building & then a couple shots of Wicked & Phantom........two shows I'd love to get to see on Broadway some day!

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Liquid Hand Soap

I felt a little like Granny Clampett today.....making her lye soap. Only I didn't make lye soap....I made my very own liquid hand soap. I was so excited!! It was SO easy to do & VERY cost-effective. I happened upon the idea/recipe on Pinterest......thought I'd share it here with all my bloggy friends.
The recipe:
8 oz. bar of soap
2 Tbs. glycerin
1 gallon of water
I just picked up two bars of this oatmeal & almond soap at Walmart for .97 each. These were 4oz. bars of soap, so I grated up two of them. I set the pot of water on to boil while I did the grating. Once the water boils....remove from the heat & add in the soap shavings & glycerin. Stir to dissolve.
This is what it looks like when the soap is dissolved. After it dissolves....let it sit for about 10-12 hours to thicken. It will begin to set up after just a few hours.
This is what it looked like later on this evening. I'm not sure exactly how long I let mine sit.....definitely not the whole 12 hours, but I just wanted to go ahead & get the kitchen all cleaned up & it seemed a good consistency to me, so I ladled it into my clean milk jug.
Voila....my first ever attempt at making liquid hand soap.

As far as the particulars go, like I mentioned above, I paid $1.94 for the soap (.97 each) & $2.98 for the glycerin.....which I will use MANY more times in the future. I forget right off hand how many oz. were in the glycerin bottle, but it's safe to say that for UNDER $3 I have a gallon of liquid hand soap. They also said this can be done for Body Wash too. Maw was telling me that she had seen other specialty scented soaps at TJ Maxx & Big Lots & would pick some up so we can do other scents too. I'm just SO excited.....can you tell how little it takes to get me excited? LOL! I'm thinking cute little gifts for the coming year. ;-)

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

New Year, New Scrappy Challenges

I had the first challenge of the New Year over at Cookin' Up Creations.

Wow...I'm honored to bring you the very first challenge of our brand New Year! Our focus this month is going to be 'Scrapping our Stash'.....using up all the lovely goodies that we have hoarded away. I was looking through my newest issue of Scrapbooks etc. & ran across this layout & immediately knew that it would be perfect for a 'Stash buster' challenge.

I loved the paper strips woven into a photo mat....a great way to add texture without alot of bulk....plus an awesome way to use up those skinny little scraps of paper!! So, my challenge to you is to use the above page as your inspiration & do a little paper strip weaving of your own. I'll be anxious to see what y'all come up with! Remember you must complete ONE layout or TWO cards to be entered into the drawing for the monthly prize. Below is my example....pretty simple & easy.....& I'm really happy with the way it turned out. What a great way to use up my stash!

Below is yet another NY page for Clay's album. I used today's sketch challenge from CUC for this one. Little by little I'm getting these pictures scrapped. ;-)
We have a few days into the first of each month to catch up on challenges from the previous month before all the layouts are counted & entered into the prize drawing. So......yesterday I did these cards......
The butterfly cards were done for the challenge to use LOTS of punchies...
...and these were done for the paper-piecing challenge.
Just a little close-up of my topiaries.....