What do you want to do?

This post has been inspired by a couple of things.  The fact that I am turning 33 in a couple days and a new show that is on (of all places) MTV.  The show is called 'The Buried Life' and is similar to 'The Bucket List' in that it is a list of things this group of guys want to do before they die.  I realize that in itself this is not such a novel idea.  What caught my attention, however, was that when they travel from city to city, they stop and ask people what one thing they want to do before they die.  They then pick one person to help make their dream come true.

The fact of the matter is this - I don't know what I would say?!?  I mean Jesus changed the WORLD by the time he was 33 and I still can't seem to get my priorities in check!  Of course I realize I am by no means Jesus -but it has made me sit back and think about what it is HE wants me to do with my life while I'm here.  My mind immediately goes to big 'Mother Teresa' type things or famous 'sing on Broadway' type things but what keeps coming back to my mind is the fact that not everyone can be a Mother Teresa or Julie Andrews.

But ya know what?  We can all be that volunteer at the food bank who makes the single mom feel a little less embarrassed about asking for food.  Or the sender of an anonymous check to a family we know is in need.  Or the counselor on the other end of the phone at a crisis pregnancy center.  Or the mom who is there to pick up her child when they fall and scrape their knee.  God has different plans for each and every one of our lives and although we might not all have our names on the side of a building, we can make a life-changing difference for every person put in our path if we keep our eyes and ears open to His leading.

I never thought I would say this, but thank you MTV.  Thank you for making me think about my everyday life and how it does or does not make a difference on that list of 'before I die'.  So my question to you is this....what are the things you are doing before you die?   In what ways have you allowed God to use you in the lives of others.  We all have a great story to tell and I want to hear them, so bring 'em on!

"Every little action of the common day makes or unmakes character and that therefore what one has done in the secret chamber, one has some day to cry aloud from the house-top."
Oscar Wilde

I ♥ Valentine's Day!

I LOVE pink, so naturally I love Valentine's Day decorations, paper, stickers, you name it!  These are some mailboxes I made for the kid's teachers and grandparents last year.  We put little notes inside that said "The Top 10 Things I Love about Mrs. ______".  They loved them so much, I think I'm going to do it again this year.  I bought the mailboxes at Target (the best place in the world) and added the paper and ribbon.  They really weren't too hard but I'm going to try modge podge this year so I'll post pics when I get those done.
These were also fun to make with the kids.  It's so fun and simple to do, especially when you are snowed in!
First you use a pencil sharpener to sharpen the crayons onto wax paper.  We used red, pink and blue.
Then using the iron on the cool setting, iron the sheets together.  You might put the sheets between a towel so you don't ruin your iron.
Let them cool, cut out heart shapes and voila!  You have a great Valentine's window treatment! :)
Just be prepared for the big mess you will have to clean up!

As for me and my house....

At the forementioned leadership retreat, we were challenged to make a prayer journal.  Our leader not only supplied us with the idea but also the notebooks and scrap stuff to make one!  We had so much fun putting them together but more importantly it has given me a way to keep track of answered prayer and God's faithfulness even when we may not get the answer we want.  I thought it was such a great idea I would share it with you and maybe you can start your own!
You will have to tilt your head because I can't figure out how to turn the pic!  ha ha  Anyway, this is the cover of my notebook - of course you can be creative as you want.  I'm sure some of you scrapbookers could come up with adorable things!
I made different sections using sheet covers and labeling them for each person I wanted to pray for.  I want to eventually put a picture of them on their tab but haven't gotten to that yet.  Also, I will pray for certain people certain days so I don't get totally overwhelmed and quit! 

Here are the tabs I have made: Chris (husband), Sydni and Colby (kids), family (mom, dad, sister, brother, etc) and friends.  Then I put an 'immediate' tab for things like the earthquake in Haiti yesterday.  And a 'thanks' tab so I don't forget to thank God for all his blessings.  And finally a 'notes' tab to write down insights he gives me while I'm reading scripture and praying.  Eventually I'm sure I will add more tabs but for now I'm excited about using this small tool to become a prayer warrior (princess ;) )!

What does your blinker sound like?

When I am driving anywhere, anytime, my car is noisy!  Whether it is the kids yelling, singing, arguing, the radio blaring, or just a conversation I'm having on my cell phone.  It's all noise, all the time.  I don't make noise on purpose, it just kinda happens.  If I get in my car, the radio goes on without a second thought.  I went to a leadership retreat this weekend and our leader was talking about 'abiding in the Lord' and do we even know what that means?  Through prayer, bible reading and study, worshiping, uplifting conversations with friends about the Lord - sure - I know that.  One thing I forget about is the SILENCE part.  We can abide in the Lord simply by sitting in his presence (or driving as the case may be) and doing nothing but being quiet!  What an unbelievable idea!  I don't have to DO anything, just enjoy Him!  So I tried it yesterday while I was running errands.  No radio, no cell phone.  And guess what?  I heard what my blinker sounded like for the very first time!  It's a pretty typical sounding blinker but let me tell you - it was a beautiful sound to me because it meant I was sitting quietly in the presence of my God, even if it was only as long as it took to get to Target!

Beating the Winter Blues

Cold weather can make things seem a little....BLAH!  One of my favorite things to do after Christmas (besides buying a new planner) is do a little "winter" decorating.

Using pinecones around the house makes me feel like I live in the mountains of Colorado in a little log cabin.

I also like using some of the things I had out for Christmas as well.  These are a couple of snowmen from my collection that I just couldn't bear to pack away yet!  They make me smile every time I walk in my kitchen.
I'm always trying to come up with ways to use the beautiful Christmas cards I'm sent each year.  Among others, one of the ideas is framing them to enjoy a while longer. This one sets the perfect winter theme.


One of the best things about after Christmas sales are the "Christmas" decorations that are 75% off - like this amazing centerpiece I found at Gordman's last year.  I think I paid like $4 for it!


My scentsy is one decoration I love having all year round!  With scents like 'Toasted Caramel Sugar' and 'Cinnamon Cider' my house always smells so wonderful when I walk inside.  If you don't have one you should definitely find a distributor!  I still love burning my candles too but these are great for those of us who forget to blow them out sometimes!

Of course I love having a touch of spring somewhere as well, to remind me of God's beauty and warmer days to come!!

Midnight Snackin'

So we had a very low key New Year's Eve this year. All of our friends and family were out of town so it was just us and the kids. We had "junk food night" for dinner/snacks throughout the evening and had a lot of fun hangin' out together. Way too much food for four people but I wanted it to feel like a party! :)

We had poppers and blowers, tiaras and hats but most importantly....the sparkling grape juice. Colby was asking me before Christmas how many days until New Year's so we could have the juice (guess I should buy it more than once a year)! We toasted at midnight and are looking forward to a great 2010!!

Peace that passes all understanding.....

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:6-7

I have read this verse many times since I was a kid. It's always been one of my favorites. Maybe because I worry too much. Maybe because I long for that deep in your soul, nothing can shake you kind of peace. Maybe it just sounded too good to be true. But it isn't! And today I witnessed this verse come to life.

I work part time, decorating at a retirement village. I am blessed to get to know the residents and enjoy them so much. They have such a wisdom that only comes from life experiences. My favorite is Gene. From the minute you meet Gene you know he loves the Lord. Not because he walks around carrying a Bible or quoting "all things work for good" when you're having troubles. But because he is ALWAYS ready with a word of encouragement and praise on his lips, whether for you or his God. He asks people if he can pray with and for them and I know he really does it! When he sees you, you feel like he's been waiting just to see you all day. I think that may have been a little how Jesus was when he was here. My life is better because I know Gene.

Today he was telling me of a recent tragedy in his family. His great-granddaughter delivered a 1 lb. baby girl over the Christmas holiday. She lived for a short 25 minutes. Anyone can imagine the pain going on for the whole family right now.

Gene cried as he told me the story, understandably overcome with grief. He explained how the funeral home owners called the young, financially struggling couple and let them know that all expenses, minus the tombstone, were taken care of! This relieved just one small burden for these young parents. But Gene said the most amazing thing, "No one can tell me that God doesn't take care of his children, sweetheart. You always remember that." In the face of such tragedy and heartache he was praising the name of the Lord! I was so awestruck by his certainty in the love of God despite the circumstances and the peace that flowed from that.

That is what we long for in this life people! That is what God offers us when we let go of control and really trust him with our lives. THAT is the peace that passes all understanding!

Here's to trying new things.....

I never really write out a list of resolutions for the new year, however I do let some ideas roll around in my head of how I would like my life to be different. This year one of the things that made my internal list was finally doing some of the things that I've been putting off FOREVER. I am a perfectionist and along with that comes procrastination - if I can't do it all at once and do it perfectly, why even start?!?! Which is why I have a closet full of scrapbooking stuff that has yet to be used. I've been told perfectionism is a good thing, I figure it is only when it pertains to cleaning your house. All that being said, I have always wanted to blog. Blog about things that happen with my kids or family. Blog about cute crafty things I make or awesome garage sale finds. Blog about friends I meet and adventures I have. So this is it!! I'm not going to let it bother me that I haven't picked out a cute background or added any pictures - I have come up with a name and made my first post....I am ON MY WAY!! Hopefully my next post will be before 2011. ;)