Monday, April 30, 2012

1000 gifts and then some...+ subway art

8 x 10 size - available in the shop as a digital download or a print

A Weekend of Contemplating...

I had time this weekend to sort through old files - and found the above quote saved...I remember placing it on a Christmas type photo at Christmas time; the quote was found on a blog encouraging us to focus on the truly important things at Christmas time, as opposed to the "perfect" Christmas...

But I found myself considering - the way we approach Christmas probably isn't different than the way we approach the rest of our lives...perhaps it is just illuminated at Christmas, the intensity of the season causing what is already within to be squeezed to the top of consciousness, where we cannot ignore it...

And being the birthday weekend, and seeing how sweet tweener is growing, I am so aware of how quickly time can pass - I want to grasp each and every moment - to savor these days like one savors the perfect cup of stop, look, listen - and record with images and words each gift....

So - I thought the quote was perfect for every day - and used this sweet gift of time to make subway art (which I love - a great modern way to capture words!) from the found Christmas quote - art for all year - art to remind me to choose the better path...

Pausing and giving thanks for these things:

the wonderfully restful weekend we had
sweet birthday for sweet tweener
husband spending most of Friday mowing and trimming and getting the acres of yard just beautiful
volunteer time on Saturday - celebrating birthday with volunteer friends
time to sort through old files - and organized on computer as well as papers
the life of sweet tweener!
rhythm of seasons and life
birthday cake
opportunities to grow
being "in Him, in whom we live and breathe and have our being..."


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Sweet Tweener turns 11 today!


I learned how to do "animated Gifs" in photoshop this week! (above).
This was really taken around Christmas time (you can see my full, messy counters in the background!  The lighting wasn't the best in these either, because she and I and her uncle were just messing around together...I loved the different expressions!

...and, our family has a slightly weird sense of humor - and thus this video featuring the number "eleven"...what can I say - its Scottish humor!  


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Simple Womans Daybook + Texture Tuesday

A peek into my day...for processing details click here...
At Clark Gardens on Friday's field trip - Angel and Sophia

FOR TODAY - April 24, 2012

Outside my window... sunshine, green grass - earth is full of lush hope, that new life brings...

I am thinking...about life changes, tweener having a birthday this Saturday!

In the velvet cupcakes for sweet tweener's special day...

I am jeans, white button down shirt, and a black and white floral print sweater.

I am creating...pathways for sweet tweener's success (boundaries, new opportunities, encouragement)

I am to "make the most of the days" (from Ephesians 5)

I am reading...a book about sensory processing issues...

I am hoping...for more personal growth throughout the year.

I am looking forward to...summer!

Around the house...more organization - cleaning out!

I am pondering...directions, God's purpose and leadings...

A favorite quote for today...rOne’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things – Henry Miller

One of my favorite things...vintage silverware, vintage dishes, vintage towels and table scarves.

A few plans for the rest of the week: a sit and sew with the smocking guild...

A Scripture to meditate on from this morning: 

You are to come to the place where ADONAI your God will put his name....which is where he will live (Deuteronomy 12:5)

Lectio Divina:
We read the passage slowly: lectio
We meditate on the Word or phrase: meditatio
We talk with God: Oratio
We are silent: Contemplatio
I think about how God places His name on our being, and when we receive Him, He lives in our hearts - and here He invites us to come to the place where He puts His name - an invitation to become comfortable, to come home to, our true self...and He wants this so intensely, He placed the encouragement to come to Him, come to where He is living, come into His Presence - in our own hearts and souls.  And I wonder how that might change us, our perceptions, the perspective from which we speak and act - if we really understood how His Presence is right here, in me, right now...

Sunday, April 22, 2012

One Picture 3 Ways - A Beyond Layers Assignment...

Our assignment for the past week in "Beyond Layers" was to take one photo and give it three different looks...this dianthus came out of our garden..and I have wanted to practice creating a soft effect on florals.  I'm not sure if I have "gotten" it yet or not - but I am definitely learning new skills...

I am using the trial version of RadLab, and played with the style-ettes - so I used two:  Clare-ify and  Flirt - love how they look together! 

Then, the top photo was processed using a levels adjustment + the "noise" technique that Kim taught us...

The middle photo was processed by adding a black and white adjustment layer to the first photo and then using a layer mask to bring back a little color to the blossom...

On the bottom photo I added a levels adjustment layer + 2 layers of kk_abstract; the first at color burn blend mode and the second at softlight with the texture removed from the bloom a little and of course, the text added at the end (I picked the color from the photo).

There are lots of incredible photos at Beyond Layers - check out the flickr group here (sorry, the class pages are password protected!)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Making Lent Linger - Part 3

My "B" cinquain

{Counting the Omer - Day 12}

I grew up knowing that there were 50 days from Easter Sunday till Pentecost.  

I grew up marking time from the Resurrection to the birth of the church.  In my young heart, it wasn't nearly important as Christmas or Easter, because children weren't showered with gifts on Pentecost...

And now that I am older - I think perhaps we have it all backwards?  Pentecost is a celebration of the most incredible gift - the one that Jesus couldn't wait to pour out upon His friends.
In the midst of longing somewhat for liturgy, being led into creating a liturgy of my own with the help of the Holy Spirit...part of the year of contemplation - liturgy (a form of public worship) and contemplation (a form of private devotion)...
My life IS my liturgy - that is what God says:
 Romans 12:1: Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, [a]acceptable to God, which is your [b]spiritual service of worship.
What I contemplate about - what I linger on in my thoughts, will, desires, emotions -  becomes my liturgy:
Probverbs 23:7:  For as he [b]thinks within himself, so he is.

The Liturgy of Life is offered by the  Canons of Contemplation.

The counting of the omer is another way to let the Spirit imprint His mark on me - counting days, looking ahead, feasting on the word, allowing the word, the Word that became flesh, permeate my being...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Simple Daybook - April 19, 2012 + Texture Tuesday


Close-up of the next wave of Texas Wildflowers - Antelope Horn comes to maturity just as bluebonnets are waning.  The Antelope Horn is really a softball sized mass of these beautiful lime-green flowers with white stamens and deep purple centers.  To the left of the full faced bloom is a flower bud - I love the lavender tinged star shape!  These are gorgeous and fragrant
Full view of the flower globe - processed with Kim's Texture "Now" with an "overlay" blend mode.

Outside my window... crisp clear air, stunning blue sky, the glory of the sun - antelope horns sending up a sweet, thick scent...

I am thinking...about how to keep the bugs from eating my vegetable garden.

I am thankful...3 things square: 1) abundant paper (8 1/2 by 11 is close to square! ; 2)  Raised garden beds (4' square); 3) a square book about children during the renaissance from the library {smiles}

In the kitchen...accumulating gluten-free recipes - tweener seems to be sensitive (I am finally figuring out!)

I am wearing...jeans (what else?!?) and a 3/4 sleeve black knit top.  My hair is pulled back in a loose ponytail.

I am creating...a list of ideas that are coming:  creating a path of beautiful womanhood for sweet tweener...

I am to best keep a calendar to schedule my online pursuits, Angel's writing, and my own...

I am reading...Psalm 119 - a section each day

I am looking forward to...The Clark Garden's Field Trip on Friday

From the learning room...Medieval history!  Knights and princesses!

Around the house...Keeping the kitchen and dining room neat and tidy - goals being accomplished!

I am pondering...what the Lord is saying to me today; how He might be "coaching" me!

A favorite quote for today...
"You use a glass mirror to see your face, you use works of art to see your soul.”
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

One of my favorite things...French Pressed coffee - mmmmmm

A few plans for the rest of the week:  Special Olympics Equestrian Competition this weekend - we are volunteers and we have never been before!

A peek into my day...

A Scripture to meditate on from this morning: 
73 Your hands made me and formed me;
give me understanding to learn your commands.

The Hebrew letter "yod" also has a meaning in and of itself... hand.  - and there is deeper meaning in the fact that every other letter and therefore every Hebrew word contains the yod.  It is the beginning of the sacred name of God (Yahweh) and the name of the Messiah.  Since Yeshua upholds the world by the Word of His power (Hebrews 1:3), and Yod is part of every Hebrew letter (and therefore every word), Yod is considered the starting point of the presence of God in all things - the "spark" of the Spirit in everything. (empasis mine) - Wow! 

Lectio Divina:
We read the passage slowly: lectio
We meditate on the Word or phrase: meditatio
We talk with God: Oratio
We are silent: Contemplatio

Monday, April 16, 2012

10 Days of...Series from iHomeschoolNetwork -

I am going to try to get to a LOT of these posts - they look so good!

From the

Join us April 16-20 and 23-27 for another round of almost 300 posts full of homeschooling activities and advice, child-friendly and specialized recipes, Biblical encouragement, and much much more! Brought to you by these lovely ladies…

  • 10 Days of Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Homeschooling

  • from Amber at A Classic Housewife
  • 10 Days of Accidental Unschooling

  • from Heather at Sprittibee
  • 10 Days of Pouring into Your Children’s Passions

  • from Heather at Blog, She Wrote
  • 10 Days of Math Games & Activities

  • from Jenn at Mama Jenn
  • 10 Days of Intentional Parenting

  • from Rachel at Finding Joy
  • 10 Days of Lasagna Learning – Teaching Multiple Ages

  • from Tricia at Hodge Podge

Friday, April 13, 2012

Making Lent Linger - Part 2

My alphabet cinquain to the Lord

A Little Background on First Fruits...
adapted from "The Voice of the Lord" 

In the Torah, we are told that on the day after the Sabbath during Pesach (Passover) week there is to be a special observance called Bikkurim (the Feast of First Fruits).  This holy day was to be a time of thanksgiving for the ingathering of the barley harvest, the first grain to ripen in Israel every spring. As part of the Temple ceremony, the priest was to take some of the barley, lift it up, and wave it to the Lord in the sight of all the people (Leviticus 23:9-14).
9The Lord said to Moses, 10“Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you enter the land I am going to give you and you reap its harvest, bring to the priest a sheaf of the first grain you harvest. 11He is to wave the sheaf before the Lord so it will be accepted on your behalf; the priest is to wave it on the day after the Sabbath. 12On the day you wave the sheaf, you must sacrifice as a burnt offering to the Lord a lamb a year old without defect, 13together with its grain offering of two-tenths of an ephaha of fine flour mixed with oil—an offering made to the Lord by fire, a pleasing aroma—and its drink offering of a quarter of a hinb of wine. 14You must not eat any bread, or roasted or new grain, until the very day you bring this offering to your God. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live.
While this ceremony would turn people's attention to the harvest aspect of the festival, Bikkurim was to also have a deeper, spiritual meaning.

This spiritual picture comes into focus when Yeshua tells his disciples that his body will be like the grain of barley that must die in order to produce more fruit. Yet he would also be lifted up in the resurrection and "waved" before the people for all to see. No wonder many in Israel were drawn to Yeshua, the living Redeemer! Yeshua not only died on Passover, but he rose on Bikkurim in perfect fulfillment of the Torah.

"First Fruits" begins another count, one of 50 days, leading up to the next appointed feast of the Lord...we are counting...this is what we are doing:

1) We have made a "count down" here to find a download of what we are using
2) Each day there is a reading from the Scripture -the first readings are from Psalm 119 - one letter of the alphabet each day (and the inspiration to post the artwork of the cinquains)- and after that, I will post what we are reading ☺♪
3) When we have finished the reading, we mark the calendar and place another stalk of wheat in a vase...we began with the stalk of wheat that traveled around the Lenten Calendar with us...

Related posts:
Making Lent Linger


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Making Lent Linger - contemplating the next preparation...

Our lenten season was full of pressing in closer to the Lord, and what He desired for us to receive...

I was determined to speak only kind words to sweet tweener, even in the midst of any "tweener storms", and I think she was really trying to give up "arguing" or "talking back" (tho' she believes she is simply sharing her heart when it happens - smiling) - she didn't tell me so, but I heard and saw her check herself on more than one occasion, and she alluded to something "she was giving up" for lent...

one of those things a mother ponders in her heart!

I didn't want to pry; I wanted her to enjoy her personal interaction with the Lord - so I still don't know...but there weren't any tweener storms, just little spurts of being irritated at what the other said or done - no doubt bouts of carnality in each of our hearts;

the very reason we each desperately need the Lord  -

we counted the days with a stalk of wheat around the Lenten calendar that we ordered and Caleb Voskamp made -

...but I'm not quite ready to let go of this marking of time;

I'm not quite ready to even examine if the Lord accomplished a work in my heart;

I just want to still be in this contemplative place...

And so we are still counting...

We started with the day that First Fruits was celebrated - we know that day by the name of "Easter" -

Yes, Easter is the celebration of the Lord's Resurrection, but it is also First Fruits - a separate feast from Passover yet connected intimately to it, appointed by the LORD, and celebrated faithfully by observant Jews - and I didn't even know about it for so many years...

Another time of joy that points to Jesus as our Messiah...and the beginning of another count - one of 50 days.  Perhaps an invitation to practice Resurrection into new life?  Not just to celebrate His, but to begin the journey of making it our own; that every day of our life in Him is a little resurrection in and of itself? 

We are into day 4 of the count...would you like to join us?  And contemplate along with us?

This is what we are doing:

1) We have made a "count down" calendar...

Click here to download the plain "Word" version...

Click here to download a jpg image of the calendar...

2) Each day there is a reading from the Scripture

3) When we have finished the reading, we mark the calendar and place another stalk of wheat in a vase...we began with the stalk of wheat that traveled around the Lenten Calendar with us...

Our vase today...

The first readings are from Psalm 119 - one letter of the alphabet each day -

There's plenty of time to...
         Join us!?

Sharing with Walk with Him Wednesdays                                 And Imperfect Prose here                      

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

{Now Me} + Texture Tuesday {Little Things Edition}

Assignment for Beyond Layers - a self-portrait
{several - so you know me just a little!}

Taken with my little point and shoots video feature, then freeze framed so things are a little blurry - but it was enough to get something!

I liked it in black and white more...and this is the one I use for my bio on the website ☺.

But I do like the idea of doing a "portrait" of me and my days - an autobiography in photos...I just need more time each day!

The mixed media piece below is really a self-portrait and a portion of it is what I use in most online places when I do put in an image...still being a little careful with putting a face "out there" that others might use in ways I don't want my face used!

I'm also playing with the Texture Tuesday bunch...this image is just an apple on our kitchen island (Gala variety - so sweet and I love them!) with two layers of "little things" - one set to darken and one to multiply in blend modes, with the texture brushed off the apple just a little and from behind the words a little.

Linking with 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Lamb of printable

I love the symbols of my liturgical roots...and I love the image of Jesus as the Lamb of God...I have been waiting for Holy Week to offer this as a free is sized at 8.5" by 11" and 300 dpi.  It does have a white frame around it.  The words are inspired by a post written by Ann Voskamp.  When you click the download link (my flickr account) there is another image with no text to choose if you like...

Please share with other who might like this?  And leave a comment letting me know(?) - I would love to know this is a blessing to you this week...

We are attempting to observe Passover customs in our house this week.  The lamb without blemish was to be taken into the house for about 4 days prior to the Passover...this gave the head of the house time to observe that the lamb was indeed without blemish and worthy, but it also insured a relationship with the sweet little thing would have begun...the slaying and eating of the lamb would have been a great sacrifice, and remorse would have been a natural emotion during the Passover meal...followed by the excitement and awe of being freed from bondage!  

We don't have any little lambs, and I thought of perhaps a stuffed animal, but my husband came up with the perfect idea - the traditional Easter lamb cake needed to be baked early, and kept around for a few days, then we would literally eat it for Passover!  So it is sitting on our kitchen island!  Baked, not frosted yet...and no image for you!  But just the idea...sweet tweener has been collecting walking sticks for herself for several weeks, and we will gather them to have as we prepare for our "journey"...

We are reviewing the final week of Jesus' life for Bible and some of our language and history is making this week very powerful as the emotional fervor rises in Jerusalem - and the epic tale grips our hearts as any good novel would - with one difference...this is for real, for eternity, for us!


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Simple Daybook - Holy Week

April 3rd, 2012

   A peek into my day...

Study and creativity - 
A Scripture to meditate on from this morning: 
 "...Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young--a place near your altar, O LORD Almighty...Psalm 84:3"

Lectio Divina:
We read the passage slowly: lectio
We meditate on the Word or phrase: meditatio
We talk with God: Oratio
We are silent: Contemplatio

Outside my window... Perhaps more rain?  Cloudy, cozy, contemplative...

I am thinking...about Passover, about redemption...

In the kitchen...the traditional lamb-shaped cake will be made today, to symbolize the lamb that was brought into the homes of the Israelite that first Passover...

I am jeans, brown loafers, and the neon green T-shirt sweet tweener thought I needed
                          {so sweet!}

I am creating...our first Passover Seder celebration...loving it!

I am going...perhaps to town to get eggs and other ingredients; perhaps nowhere and just staying home - tucked in and contented...

I am my life reflecting my faith?  Is sweet tweener able to "catch" and model it?

I am the present, only reading online blogs of friends...

I am hoping...I stay focused on what He desires especially for this week.

I am looking forward to...the Messianic Seder plate arriving from Dayspring!

From the learning room...delving into Passover and Jewish customs all week long...and pulling from that our subject work.

Around the house...continuing the deep clean and organization - it feels like the tradition of removing the leaven from the home!

A favorite quote for today...
If only you had known what would bring you peace…
You want comfort — and I offer you a Cross.
You want position — and I offer you purpose.
You want ease — and I offer you eternity.
God cries because His people cry for things that won’t bring them peace. - Ann Voskamp

One of my favorite things...rainy days {love them!}

A few plans for the rest of the week:  get the hiding eggs ready, Easter dinner and egg hunt with friends...

Monday, April 2, 2012

1000 gifts and then many bluebonnets {Smiling}

So much to be grateful for this week, things that produce joy, deep unspeakable joy - joy that has more depth than the reality of a grief that constantly makes itself known, that engulfs the truth of a diagnosis that is progressing, a joy that wells up during praise, that quiets the soul when the unknown comes knocking, that stills the heart to listen for His voice, that opens eyes to His gifts...

...The bounty of blooms

...sweet tweener getting to spend time with her best friend...
...renewed enthusiasm for school...

...did I say bluebonnets?

...the fragrance of bluebonnets -
    heavy in the morning air...

...looking across the property and the carpet of blue coming into view... in every direction...

...walking through knee high perfume...

 ...learning how to put a frame around all that blue easily...

...blogland friends...(each and everyone of you!)


...the abundant rains that ushered in
    all this beautiful blue....

...grace that is the soil for all these seeds 
    of joy being planted... empty cross


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