Monday, March 23, 2015

It's Here! It's Here! Spring! It's here!

It's Here!  It's here!  Spring!  It's here!  I'm SO excited to see the sun again!

And green grass,

and daffodils that wave a cheery hello!

The irises wait for their turn as their leaves get taller...

Even the little weeds in the back yard are bursting with teensy, tiny flowers to celebrate!
Look how tiny these flowers are next to my pinky.  

The tiny clover patch is beautiful shades of green and purple splendor.

The house is filled with decorations that say "Welcome Spring!"
The dining room table, where the pretty daffodils rest in the Spring vase; the colors bright...

The kitchen decor, where the "big guy" sits on the plant table,

 The front bath, where the bunnies sit on the counter with their basket of carrots,

and this one rests near the extra tissue...

Even in the blue bathroom (with its Americana theme), this bunny seems to be saying 
"I love America too!"

In the corner the tall bunny stands up in greeting.  He looks like he's come from England with his cheery basket of eggs,and I sometimes think he should have a bow tie.
For some reason I always 'hear' him give his greeting in a British accent.
"Ello!  'Ow are yew?"  

 The mama goose shines beautifully with her necklace of flowers and babies staying close.

And remember those little Easter Egg Magnets that we made here?  
Here they are on the welcome signs for the guest rooms with more fun magnets.

Ahh...the Spring air in the house, as the breeze pushes out the old, stale air ...

The back door beckons us to go out into the yard and enjoy!  And that's what I'm doing!

The dogs are even enjoying the nice weather.
Chloe, our daughter's mini-dachshund, lives up to her breed by listening...
and digging...for moles.
She looks so cute with her ears perked up, looking down at the ground.

And of course, hubby's dog Molli had to investigate.  
"Hmmm....any moles in this hole?"

Cute ... and they've gotten a mole or two before... but oh... the holes!  
"I'm just doing my job, Grandma!" she says when I tell her to stop digging.

Molli loses interest with no mole activity and finds a sunny spot...
and a chew or two on some limbs that have fallen.
Doesn't it look like she's smiling?

And apparently she feels she must bask in the sunshine - stick in mouth.
Crazy what nice Spring weather will do to you!  Ha!

I hope you are enjoying Spring in your little 'neck of the woods'!

Do what you must . . . but know you MUST . . . go outside and enjoy Spring!

Hugs and blessings to you!

This is what happens when life gets too hard to stand.

Do you ever just have those days when life just seems to get you down?  And those days turn into weeks?

I've been there recently.  Usually I'm careful about what I let roll around in my head on a daily basis, because I know that my thoughts can be a dangerous place for negativity to creep in.  But these last few weeks have been rough.

It started with the lack of sun.  So I wanted to blame the cloudy weather.  

We've had our share of cloudy skies and no sunshine for a while now.  Of course, when it's raining, I don't want to be outside for the obvious reason of getting soaked.  I don't really want to be outside if it's overcast and cold either.  The cold now makes my bones ache, and I get stiff. The cold, the rain, the lack of sun - all contribute to my bad attitude.

But I can't blame the cloudy weather.

I have to blame my own bad attitude.  If my attitude was right to begin with, the cloudy weather wouldn't have much of an effect on me.

The devil knows my every weakness, and knows that if he can prowl around my mind and get me headed in a dark direction he will distract me from God's light.

So I turned to scripture for the warning from the Lord about remaining alert.

1 Peter 5:8 "Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." (NASB)

I turned to the reminder from the Lord about keeping my thoughts in check.

Philippians 4:8-9:  "Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.  The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you."  (NASB)

It continued with the negativity in the news.  So I wanted to blame the state of our nation.  

My husband loves to watch the news.  He can tell you what is going on pretty much anywhere in the world, and just about anything else you want to know about the politics behind our nation's news and world events.  

He does landscape and lawn irrigation work, so when the weather is too wet or cold he can't work. Since that's been our weather for a few months now, he's home with me more. That means the television is set on the news more.  Which means that my brain is being permeated with more violence, more hatred, more news of terrorism, and more evidence of the downward spiral of our nation.  

And that means my mind begins to focus more on the negative world around me.  The more I hear, the more I ponder.  The more I ponder, the more negative my thoughts become.  The more negative my thoughts become, the more agitated I become.  It's a depressing state.

But I can't blame the state of our nation.

I have to blame my own negative thinking.  If my thought process was in tune with scripture and what God would have me focus on, then the state of our nation wouldn't have as much of an effect on me.

I turned to God's reminder of His almighty power and status.

John 16:33 "These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (NASB)

I found the reminder about praying to the Lord for His peace.

Philippians 4:6-7 "6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (NASB)

It came to to its pinnacle with debilitating back and hip pain.  So I wanted to blame my failing body.

I have degenerative arthritis in my lower back, arthritis in my knees, and a 'bum' shoulder. This makes it difficult to exercise.  It also makes it difficult to work for long periods of time. Along with that, I have fibromyalgia and live with pain every day.

I don't mention this to get sympathy.  I mention this because I've recently tried to exercise more, and unfortunately it resulted in my back becoming more irritated, which caused excruciating pain.  Pain that felt like someone was stabbing me in the back and that radiated out to my hips.  So bad that I woke up in the middle of the night in agony several times in the last week.

I had to stop exercising and only do my routine back stretches until my body decided to calm down. By the time I got done with my measly two-hour work shift, I went home and hobbled to the couch. Then sat there in pain....     In front of the news....     While it rained and stayed overcast outside. You get the picture of the cycle here.

Pity party - table for one.

But I can't blame my failing body.

I have to blame what Zig Ziglar would call "stinkin' thinkin'". 

I sat in the chair and thought "Why do I always have to be in pain?  Why can't I just exercise like a normal person?  I can't even work a regular shift anymore.  I used to be able to do so much more."  That, my friends, is "stinkin' thinkin'".   

I did what Zig Ziglar would recommend.  I turned the negatives into positives.  Instead of comparing myself to my former abilities, I began saying things like "I'm glad I can do these stretches.  I'm grateful that I can work for two hours each day and for the job that lets me do that.  I'm glad I can still walk.  I'm grateful that God still uses me for His kingdom work."

And with the change in my thought process, I turned to scripture for the reassurance that I can be used by God no matter what my physical limitations.

I sought out Job's words from when everything was taken from him and his foundation was God, to remind me I still have so very much when I have nothing but God.  I sought out the example of Paul, Peter, Silas, and so many others who were afflicted, imprisoned, and downcast, to remind me that I can find my hope, my purpose, and my light in Christ Jesus.

I found Paul's words to keep me in check and remind me of how, in spite of his suffering, he was used in a mighty way for the Lord's purpose.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10  7 Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself! 8 Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. 9 And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

I praised the Lord for His mercy, forgiveness and provision in my life.

Psalm 69:29-30  29 But I am afflicted and in pain;  May Your salvation, O God, set me securely on high.  30 I will praise the name of God with song And magnify Him with thanksgiving. (NASB)

I found that strange comfort in the refining process my suffering brings.

James 1:2-4  2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

And Hallelujah!  I found the reminder that because I know Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and have given my life to Him, receiving the salvation that only Christ can give, that one day there will be no more pain.

Revelation 21:4  and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”

And when I couldn't stand because life - figuratively and literally - got to hard to stand...

I got on my knees.

I repented of that "stinkin' thinkin'", and humbled myself before the Lord.  I asked for His forgiveness for my pity party.  And I stayed there for a while.  When it became too painful to stay on my knees, I lay prostrate on the floor, and cried out to Him.  And waited.  And listened.

And after He calmed my soul, I opened my eyes, stood up again, and smiled.  At His love. His Word.  His grace.  His provision.  His peace.

My prayer for you, dear ones, is that you will kneel before the Lord,
and let Him help you STAND. 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

These Easter Egg Magnets are fast and easy!

Here's a fast, easy, kid-friendly Easter craft for you and kids of all ages.

Sometime last year I picked up these little glittery wooden Easter Eggs.

Aren't they cute?

I decided to make magnets out of them for extra Easter decor.  This craft was super easy and fast, and would be great to do with children of any age.

So, I thought I'd share it with you. Really - you'll love how very easy this is!

First -
Gather your supplies.

1.  Glue
     - I used Aleen's Tacky Glue which I love.  It's versatile and has yet to disappoint me.
2.  Small, flat, wood Easter Eggs
     - I got these at Hobby Lobby and bonus - they were very inexpensive.
3.  Magnetic Tape Strips
     - You can use any kind of magnet you like.  I just happened to have these on hand.

(I have not been remunerated by Aleen's or Hobby Lobby or the Magnet Strip company in any way.  I just wanted you to know where I got my supplies and what I like to use.)

Second -
Cut and glue the magnetic strips to the back of the wooden eggs.

If you use magnetic tape strips, you'll need to cut them to the size you need.

These strips were self-adhesive and I tried to just use them just as they came, but they fell off.  So...I used glue.

If you cut your own strips, make sure to glue the side with the line on it - that also has the adhesive on it.  Otherwise, you'll end up with a tacky magnet instead of the smooth side.

After you put the glue on the tacky side of the magnets, put it on the back of the Easter egg and press firmly.

This is especially fun for kids.  They'll LOVE 'smooshing' (that's the technical term - ha!) the magnet and seeing the glue squish out on the edges.  And you do need to let the glue squish out so you can be certain to have a good bond.

Third -
Let the glue dry.  It was dry in a few hours, but I waited overnight to make sure it was completely set before putting them on the metal sign I am using.

Here they are!

Now it's your turn!  What is one of your favorite, easy, fast Easter crafts?
Leave me a link in the comments and I'll come take a look!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


When you have a lot of snow days, you get a little stir crazy.  And stir crazy leads to crafting - of course!

I've had this wonderful little display stand for a while, rescuing it from imminent doom in the trash dumpster.

As you can see in the picture above, I brought out the little stands and tiles I saved from what was left of an old Scrabble game.  I knew one day I'd use them for a good craft and this one was just perfect!

I had one problem though.  I didn't have all of the letters I needed for my idea.  So, I had to bring in a few more supplies.  My favorite ink: "StazOn - For Every Surface", acrylic alphabet stamps, and StazOn Cleaner.  I've used this type of ink on dominoes, these glossy wood tiles, glass, metal, and just about any other surface I can think of.  I love the stuff.

Fair warning though - you MUST use the StazOn Cleaner to get it off of your rubber stamps if you don't want to have them permanently colored from the ink.  I used an old rag/towel that didn't have any fuzz on it to wipe off my stamps.

(StazOn has in no part sponsored or endorsed this post.  The opinions contained herein are completely my own.)

At any rate, I stamped the backs of the tiles with black ink, using the letters I needed for my project, and let them dry.  Then I asked my husband to cut the little stands to the width I wanted for each line. He already had his power saw out for his own project, so he happily obliged, even sanding them for me.  Good man that he is!  When the tiles were dry, I glued them to the (cut & sanded) stands so I didn't have to worry about them falling off.

I unscrewed the bottom two shelves from the little "house" display stand and removed them.  Then I lightly painted over the holes and back of the stand with acrylic black paint to freshen it up a bit.

I placed my creation on the remaining shelves, added a wonderful little candle I adore to it, and voila!

This sits on the top shelf my husband put on the wall in my craft room, and I adore it.

What have you been crafting lately?