Tuesday, May 30, 2006

For Molly and Abby

brittany (l) & molly (r)

abby (l) renee (c) Cortney (r)

No craft post today. I am working on something but can't post it yet.

We spend a long and miserably hot weekend at the softball field with Abby's team, in Conyers, GA. Then spent Monday just resting and relaxing in the AC.

I have seen this list on several blogs and decided to do a little different take on it. My girls mean so much to me and I want them to know that so here goes.


I AM: Your mom. And so proud of both of you.

I SAID: I would never be like my mom and dad. Parts of me still are and I can't help that. Parts of you will be like me and you can't help that.

I WANT: You to have a better life than I. (I think every parent wants this for their child.) You can do anything you want, just always be true to yourself.

I WISH: The best in life and love for you. Find the things you are passionate about and have them in your life at all times.

I HATE: That people will hurt you. That you will suffer disappointments. That you will make bad decisions and have to suffer those consequences. But you can survive all of that.

I MISS: The way you needed me for everything when you were little.

I FEAR: Something horrible happening to either of you.

I HEAR: The laughter in your voices. I hope I always will.

I WONDER: What you will tell your children about your years growing up.

I REGRET: That you never knew my dad. He would have brought so much to your life.

I AM NOT: Willing to live in the past nor am I willing to let you.

I DANCE: With you. Always remember how fun it is to dance and play.

I SING: With you. "I Feel Good" will always bring joy to my heart as I remember all the times we sang together. Can't make myself sing "Hangnails and Boogers". Dad will have to do that.

I AM NOT ALWAYS: As sure about myself and decisions as you might think.

I MADE: Sure that I LOVE YOU was a daily part of conversations with you. Everyone needs to hear that from a sincere person often.

I WRITE: This for you. You are beautiful girls inside and out.

I CONFUSE: Wants and needs. What we all really need is love, nourishment, shelter, clothing, and faith. Everything else is a want.

I NEED: For you both to love deeply, fully, and honestly.

I SHOULD: Try to protect you from some things in the world. Sometimes not be such a realist to you.

I START: Everyday thanking God for you both and praying that you will make good decisions about your life.

I FINISH: Everyday thanking God for you both and praying that you will make good decisions about your life.

I BELIEVE: In a loving God. and that you can do practicallly anything you choose.

I KNOW: that being your mom is one of the biggest blessings of my life.

I CAN: look back on your birth and life and know that I always tried to do right by you.

I CAN'T: Live in the past. I have to let you grow and expand your world as you are ready.

I SEE: Each of you becoming respectable and respectful young ladies. Be true to yourself and I will consider everything you do a success.

I LEARN: Something new from you everyday.

I READ: My Bible and try to apply those principles to my life. I read other literature to learn, to relax, and to be inspired.

I FIND: Humour in strange events and places. Every life should have laughter in it.

I LAUGH: With you, at you, and about you. Also with and about others and myself.

I LIKE: Knowing that you are my girls.

I LOVE: You both - no matter what. Fully, deeply, unconditionally, eternally.

I BLOG: Because I want to share this special relationship with this creative community. I want to have others know more about me and the people in my life. I hope to inspire someone to be better than they were before they read my thoughts. I blogged this because I am proud to be your mom.

I TAG: Every mother or father who read this, to share a list with your children. I am sure that I can add so much more to my list as I think about other things that my girls bring to me. Please leave a comment or link if you wish to share any of your thoughts or lists with my community.

Thursday, May 25, 2006


This is Abby - doing what she loves. She is first of all my beautiful baby girl. And one of the best surprises I ever received. Did not think we would have a second child. Long story, another post. She plays shortstop, center field, some first base, and catcher if needed. Great student. Kind, loving, compassionate. She is my social child, and alway has a group of friends around her. She has several best friends. She's also the one who has "GO" as her middle name. She is creative as well but spends less time doing that kind of activity because she would rather be going somewhere with somebody.
I really thought pictures of bruises would have been a boy thing but as an athelete we are proud of "battle scars". This bruise came from being hit by a pitch in her softball game. She plays travel softball and Dad coaches outfields and first base. Dad also keeps the website for these girls. See link on sidebar for that website. Add to the sports, soccer and basketball.
When we started this team, we had no idea how much fun and companionship we would gain as a family. Unlike rec dept. teams and school ball, this is a select team that will play together for years to come. We spend many weekends and evenings together as a group. So much fun. I want to say a special hello to all those parents and girls. As they have improved, we are winning more and more games. It is so much fun to see the girls skills and decision making on the field improve. We will be playing a national tournament in July.
As a group these coaches and parents are dedicated to providing good leadership and growth to these young ladies. All of the coaches have girls on the team. We want them first to learn life skills and then to become better athletes. There is not a parent assocaited with this team that I would not send my child with. It is not unusual for these girls to spend the night with each other. Several go to church together. The others are regular visitors to each others church. And all but 2 go to school together. So this fantastic group of girls and their families have become a support network for each other.

Starting this blog was a way of sharing my life. I can't imagine anyone finding what I do interesting but for some reason people continue to visit. I do know that I read others blogs and am inspired by them, both artisically and emotionally. So as this continues, I will introduce you to others who are important to me and hopefully you all will keep visiting and encouraging me and each other.

Soul Patrol

Blue Swap goodies - sorry there is no photo of the craft books that were gone the second they were opened.
Molly has been making bracelets and necklaces from the macrame books. So trust me - they are appreciated. So much fun to watch my girls discover their talents.

Crafty gal goodie from the UK. LOVE IN 4 PARTS. Thanks so much for my art book. I am so excited to get these snail mail packages of handmade goodness. The was also an ATC included with this. Thank you so much. The hearts are all folded & dimensional when you open the book. Every one is different. The ATC was immediately grabbed and put on display with other inspirational items. Sorry - I didn't get a photo of it. Thanks so much.

My Idol won. (Well kinda) I was a Chris fan all along and was stunned when he went home. I always liked Taylor for being a wonderful entertainer and was thrilled when he won. Last nights show was an incredible show as well. Hope a ton of you watched.

As promised, now that blogger is once again allowing me to post photos, here is the package from Theresa with all the paper and other goodies in it. To the far left is my FAVORITE part, the gift tags. I already had a photo of these on my wish book - so i was THRILLED !!!!!!! when I opened the envelope and those were there.

If you haven't been to Posy Gets Cozy blog and looked at her studio, you should. She is the true blog queen in my book. And her studio is amazing. I have the blog link on the side. All of those links are daily reads for me. All of those people are so talented and they share so much of themselves in their blogs.

I still struggle with this. But we are looking at creating me a space. And I will share that process with all of you.

Have a beautiful day.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Mailbox Overflows

I love a full mailbox. Especially when its full of swap goodies and notes and cards from all the creative ladies out there.

Blogger finally cooperated with the photos so a quick thank you catch up.

Buttons. These are from Alana - the photo is not clear but there is a local button in there from Toronto. I am going to use the HUGE fuschia one as a flower on a handtowel. You know the kind that you won't let your family use because its just to be pretty.

The other picture is of crocheted granny squares from Sarah and two cute pair of earring from MAA my secret (haha) Indie Pal. Can we do this again Sarah - just me and you - later in the summer?

Indie Pal has a wonderful style and the card that came with the earrings made me giggle. It says
"happy earrings in the mail day"

Thank you - Thank you.

I have had wonderful swap experiences with most people. I have had a few deadbeats - but I refuse to complain. I choose to focus on those who are pleasent and get rid of those who aren't. I will not focus on the let downs and I WILL celebrate those people who build others up, encourage, and inspire.

By the way - did any one else cry last night when Vince Gill gave away his humanitarian award to the precious little Make A Wish child?

I will be parked tonight in front of the TV for American Idol. Impromptu poll says Taylor is our new Idol - any comment on this?

ATC Update - Molly has made some - I will post photos later - first comment today gets her first set.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

ATC UPDATE - the list

Jen - yours are on the way. I just sent them to the post office. Once you receive them, please let me know and I will add a photo here.

Lisa - you are next.

I will use this post to keep the list for everyone so please come back here and check in.

Now for the comments I have about this project. I had no idea when I started how challenging this would be for me. I have started selecting the ideas for the 3 unit cards - quotes or words that go together - then images and colors to represent it - then what medium to proceed with - then embellishments - and even a title for each card. Part of the reason for this project was to explore different mediums as a part of the process. I find myself wanting to go back to "easy" mediums for me so that has presented itself as the biggest challenge. If anyone has ideas or comments on these challenges, please comment. Or if you just want to leave words of encouragement, do that too.

I hope everyone will look at this as an indulgence project with the outcome being a gift from me.

For those who are new to this project - I am on person #22 on the sign up list so send the info to your friends. I am not going to cut if off until July 1st or 50 sign ups.

ATC Indulgence Series

#1 of 150 LAUGH
#2 of 150 GIGGLE
#3 of 150 PLAY
_________________mailed to jen 5-23-2006
#4 of 150 FLY
#5 of 150 SOAR
#6 of 150 GLIDE
_________________mailed to lisa 9-11-2006
#7 of 150 REST
#8 of 150 RELAX
#9 of 150 RENEW
_________________mailed to heather 9-12-2006
#10 of 150 TRAVEL
#11 of 150 EXPLORE
#12 of 150 EXPERIENCE
_________________mailed to kristin 9-11-2006
#13 of 150 HOPE
#14 of 150 STRENGTH
#15 of 150 COURAGE
_________________hand delivered to tammie 9-20-2006
#16 of 150 WORSHIP
#17 of 150 REJOICE
#18 of 150 CELEBRATE
_________________mailed to dawn 9-20-2006
#19 of 150 RECLAIMED
#20 of 150 RECYCLED
#21 of 150 REUSED
_________________mailed to holly 9-21-2006
#22 of 150 DINNER
#23 of 150 DRINKS
#24 oF 150 A MOVIE
_________________mailed to laura hegarty12-20-2006
#25 of 150 HOME
#26 of 150 FAMILY
#27 of 150 FRIENDS
________________mailed to Katie Cannon 1-3-2007
#28 of 150 EARTH
#29 of 150 WIND
#30 of 150 WATER
_______________mailed to Catarina Filipe 1-3-2007

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Today - I Want to Dance

Today I want to dance. Sing. Celebrate. For personal reasons.

Why? I am going to give several reasons.

1. My girls are great students. Molly is home right now because she exempted exams based on her grades. Abby went to school but only to watch movies all day because she doesn't take exams either. Great girls, beautiful, smart, graceful, caring, athletic, friendly, loving, talented. I am so proud to be their mom.

2. We are planning trips - Molly's basketball team plays at a national tournament in December in Orlando, FL. Abby's softball team plays national tournament in Jackson, MS in July. The opportunites kids have now is so much greater than what I had. We are fortunate to be able to do these things with them.

3. I don't have to stay up all night with teenagers at our church lock-in Friday night. I will be out of town and others are doing it. (It really is fun to spend time with all those kids) I love each and everyone of them. We are fortunate to have a faith statement and a wonderful loving church.

4. I have a fantastic group of people around me. You all know who you are. Family and friends who have loved me, listened to me, held my hand, pushed me when I needed, picked me up when I needed, told me I was right, told me I was wrong, prayed for me and mine, built me up and tried to keep me from tearing myself down, laughed with me (and at me), cried with me (and for me) and so much more. Thanks to each of you from the bottom of my heart.

5. I have been cancer free for almost 10 years now and I was released yesterday into a regular yearly follow up routine. Cancer impacted me in many ways. If you are a survivor, of a day or many years, you know what that statment means. I did not want to be a cancer survivor, but as awful as the "c" word is, there were positives in this process. There will always be uncertainty in me, but I have grown through this in ways I may not have otherwise. I hope I can use my experience to be a positive influence on others.

So - TODAY I WANT TO DANCE. Please make a list of things in your life worth celebrating and dance with me. Share this beautiful day.

Have a great day.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


When I started with swaps I had no idea what wonderful people I would meet through them. I have received and sent items all over the world. I have linked to blogs all over the world. I have been inspired and encouraged by all of you.

I had no idea that starting my own blog would let people see into me like it already has. My Indie Secret Pal has been spoiling me so much. And the note that came with this envelope of goodies said that she looked at my blog and saw that I liked papers and trims, so she sent me some. There's lace, stickers, and paper --- wonderful stuff. And all stuff I would have bought for me so she was right on target. And a previous package had this wonderful wire and bead bookmark. (There have been many other goodies, cards, jewelry) I am so spoiled. Thanks you so much MAA. I hope to return this favor with RAK and send you some stuff.

Yesterday my oldest daughter, Molly, opened a swap package while on the phone with me. I talk to them when they get home from school everyday. Conversation went like this.

molly - Oh My God, Mom its paper.

me - Paper?

molly - Lot's of paper. It's all so pretty. And stuff the lady made. I don't see a name. Mom its soooo pretty . Can I use some of it?

me - Let me at least look at it first.

See - my girls are creative people too. Thanks Theresa Smythe from rock-paper-scissors for a HUGE package of scrapbook fever goodies. The funniest part is that she included a set of tags that I had already added to the birthday wish list for the family to get me. I hope this stack stays together long enough for a photo. It was wonderful.

Thanks to those who sent quotes for the ATC Indulgence. Thanks to all those who have left comments on my blog. Thanks to those who share themselves on their blog. ATC count today is 23 so keep telling your friends, I really would like to have 50.

As I scroll back - I see that a lot of these photos have the same background. I take most of these in the window at work. The light is beautiful and I have clear glass vessel lavatories hanging there so I have the colored light through them in the mornings. The wide window ledge is perfect for photos.

Monday, May 15, 2006

ATC Update

I have tried for two hours to upload photos to go with this post but Blogger just will not cooperate.

As of the time of this post - I have 18 sets to make. I will post when the 50 number is reached.

Thank you for the comments on the ATC post. Looks like I have some work to do. You can let your friends know about this challenge for me and "indulgence" for you. I have had some questions from my non-artist friends.

Tammie emailed me one of the most coherent descriptions of what a blog is. Technically it is a weblog - in my case a sporadic journal of creation, an ongoing record of events etc. As this goes on, I don't know what it will become, but it sure is a challenge to let this little bit of myself become so public. I still like Tammie's description " Heck, I'm not even sure I totally understand what a blog is other than a snapshot into someone's life."

As to those of my friends who asked what an ATC is. It is a tiny piece of artwork made just to share. The size is the same as a baseball trading card 2-1/2 x3-1/2 inches. Some people sell them but the truest definition is to trade or share with no monetary value. They can be art in any medium as long as they are the ATC defined size.

The challenge for me is visually telling a story in a single image or series of images.

Some people collect them in regular trading card albums - i have some of those - or frame special ones. Some artists make one original and create digital reproductions for printing. For this challenge each of you will receive original artwork. I will be saving the digital images but you get the original.

I am so excited to get started today on this. The first set will be for JEN B. Words only for this one.

Her words will be


Let's see what comes of these.

Have a great day.

Friday, May 12, 2006

An Indulgence From Me to You

Cloud Gate - Chicago 2006

If you are already checking in here, you know that I love words, phrases, quotes, and fonts. In addition to collecting these things, I collect creative supplies. Dining room looks like a bomb went off. (sorry - no photo - I am completely unwilling to expose that to the world) We do not eat there because we can't get in there.

When the USE WHAT YOU HAVE group formed in April - I jumped in and had a blast. I pulled out old stuff I had forgotten, mixed it different ways and was completely successful in not purchasing a single craft supply during April.

This is a crazy committment to the blog world but I am jumping in. This will also take me a while but if you are interested, I will make a set of 3 ATC for the first 50 people who leave a comment on my blog. The ATC will be of my own design with one commonality - each will use a word, phrase, or quote - AND I WILL USE ONLY WHAT I HAVE IN MY STASH TODAY MAY 12,2006 FOR THIS PROJECT. The ATC will be mailed to you regular US mail.

If you have inspirational quotes, words, or phrases to share with the blog world, please include them in your comment.

I will respond with emails and once I am working on your set I will send you an update on the project. I will also post regularly here.

I expect nothing in return for this, so even if you are just a friend who checks in with me just "cause, please leave a comment and you will be included.

Thursday, May 11, 2006


Just for fun. I found this site while i was surfing this morning its just fun. Create your own snowflake or download patterns for other designs.


Sometimes the things that grab my attention are simply mindless. I am a little off my game today and feel like I need to take some time just for me. You know - the desk is a mess - the house is a mess - teenager's activities are of top priority this week. Abby was at school on Monday night as an usher for 8th grade graduation, Tuesday night for her honors night (I am so proud of her), church last night, Molly has her honors night at the high school tonight, Abby has gifted program open house tonight, tomorrow night a birthday party for Abby's friend Morgan, then a softball tournament on Sat., Sunday is Mother's Day - just a really busy time in my life. Not sure when I can attack the house.

I'm thinking that running away somewhere would be such a relief. Any other mommies have that same thought on occasion?

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Recommended Reading

I love to read. I have repeatedly told my mom that I would have lots more disposable cash if I had never learned to read. But I did learn and everyone deserves that priviledge.

We always had books in the house. Mom never minded sharing those books. So there was always reading material for me and my sister.

Every now and then you get a lucky break on a quick decision. I was in Barnes and Noble on Friday before a softball tournament. Abby plays travel softball and sometimes we may play 5 games in a day. But there are often LOOOONNNNGGG waits between games. So I am cruising through the bookstore and looking at bargain books. I picked up this one and decided just from the jacket that I would read it. Here's the description

"Harry whitney is dying. And in the process, he's losing his mind. Afflicted with Alzheimer's disease, he knows his "good" time is dwindling. Wishing to be remembered as more than an ailing old man, Harry realizes the greatest gift he can pass on is the wisdom of his years, the jumbled mix of experiences and emotions that add up to a life. And so he compiles a book of his poems for his favorite granddaughter, Emily, in the hope that his words might somehow heal the tenuous relationships in a family that is falling apart.

But Harry's poems contain much more than meets the eye... As Emily and her family discover, intricate messages are hidden in them, clues and riddles that lead to an extraordinary cache of letters, and even a promise of hidden gold. Are they the ramblings of a man losing touch with reality? Or has Harry given them a gift more valuable than any of them could have guessed? As Harry's secrets are uncovered one by one, his family learns about romance, compassion, and hope -- and together they set out to search for something priceless, a shining prize to treasure forever. They may grow closer in spirit or be torn apart by greed... but their lives will be undeniably altered by Harry's words in his letters for Emily."

See my Grandmother had a disease that had some symptoms of Alzheimer's. She did not know us at the end. She was hospitalized from March until she died in October. We were there - sometimes around the clock. I stood by her bed all night one of those nights and softly sang hymns to her. It was one of the times she seemed to relax and rest. The care she received was impeccable, the emotional care my family received was wonderful.

Mind you, I am not complaining. It was a priviledge to be with her like that. When you love someone, you are willing to do what needs to be done. I have many tender memories of that time.

Reading this book has somehow changed me. I am much more focused on preserving "my story" for my loved ones. I want them to have tangible items that tell them who I am, how I loved, what I believe, what I hope for them, how proud I am of them, what a blessing each of them is to me, what I learned from my mistakes, and why passing this on to them is important.

My way is through words and images. Not necessarily just photographs - but entire artisitic images. I will share these as this blog continues.

Take time today to share with a loved one - send a note to someone who touched you - make a difference in someone's life.

Have a wonderful day.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Thank You

Photo below (l-r)
Abby (she's mine), Katie, Nicole, Molly (mine too)
Robert. Cataloochee Ski Resort 2006
To all those in my youth group. Thank you for everything. For entertaining me. For challenging me. For teaching me. For pushing me. For encouraging me. For loving me. For accepting my love for you. For sharing a walk of faith in our loving God with me.

You are moving onto a new phase of your life. You are growing into young men and young women. You are becoming the future. You are beautiful - inside and out. You can be anything you want to be. GOD LOVES YOU. Your families and friends love you. The people of Jones Chapel love you. I love you.

I am so happy to be continuing in the choir arena with those who have chosen to participate. Josh will be your new minister and I do hope you all will decide to give him all that you have given me and more as you grow. I also hope you will choose to find the path God wants for you and that you will each pursue that path with faith.

To everyone at Jones Chapel and those who supported me along the way, I hope you know how much your love, prayers, and support mean to me. I am going to miss being with these guys. Being their youth director was a part of me. I am excited about the changes ahead for them, for Josh, and for me.

To all the parents, please pray us through this transition. You each have wonderful children. I pray for each of them daily as do many others. Your support and encouragement for the youth and the people who will be working with them in the future are just as important now as they have been.

The years I have worked with these kids have been such a blessing to me. I have watched so many of them grow up. I look forward to being close to them as they go out into the world. I love these kids.

To my two, Molly and Abby, thank you for enduring the embarassment of having your mother be the youth director. Thank you for encouraging your friends to come and join us in this group. Thank you for participating fully. Thank you for being the great girls that you are. I love you, MOM.