Saturday, June 16, 2012

Saturday Creations - Travel Memory Book

Ok.  I'm getting corny...  But this seemed like fun. 

On Pinterest I saw someone who fastened a bunch of envelopes together in order to save scraps from special occasions... and I thought, that would be fun on our vacation!  I'm always picking up brochures, maps, stickers, tickets, etc, etc - and they all get stuffed in my purse and I end up throwing it all away.

So, I tried out this idea...

I bought large envelopes, decorated them with the best scrapbooking paper EVER - camping
themed!  Love it!

Added little note papers so I could write notes about each day.  Then, fastened them all together with a couple of rings - and ta da!  I'm ready to go!

I think I'll keep it in the glove box during the day - easy access to put away my "collections" and then as we sit around the campfire at night, we'll write down our favorite parts of the day.

Then, when I get back...  Just think how easy my blogging about the trip will be! 

I'm a dork.  I know.

I still love it.

Things I am thankful for today:

1.  Pioneer Woman's "lemon baked pasta."  (Hubby's out of town, so I went girly-food this weekend!)
2.  Starting to pack for our trip.
3.  All the laundry is done!  Woo-hoo!
4.  Dr. Bronner's soap.  Great for camping.
5.  A Minnesota gift for a friend.  I can't wait to give it to her!
6.  Finally framing a card we bought in Portland, OR, last spring.  Looks great in our bathroom!

7.  Paying off a bunch more debt this month.  Yes!
8.  Paying cash for our vacation.  Double Yes!
9.  A turkey on our patio.  (He was too skittish for a picture.  The little bugger!)
10.  Our dog misses her dad...  So sad.  But so cute.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Yumminess - Banana Almond Smoothie

Mmmm...  I saw this recipe on the TV talk show, "The Chew," and knew I had to try it!  I've been looking for a new yummy, healthy, smoothie recipe.

It's sweet, but not too sweet.  Filling, but not too filling.  And smooth.  And creamy.  And cold.  And delicious!

Banana Almond Smoothie from Daphne Oz on "The Chew"

1/2 cup vanilla yogurt (I use non-fat)
1 banana
1 Tbsp almond butter (I use slightly salted, creamy)
1 scoop protein powder (I use vanilla-flavored)
1 tsp psyllium husks (I use Metamucil- coarse, non-flavored)
1/4 cup almond milk

Blend it all together.  If you'd like it a little sweeter, add a dash of honey. 
Then, add a few ice cubes and blend again.

It's that easy!


Things I am thankful for today:

1.  These smoothies.  I look forward to them!
2.  My blender.  It makes us happy.  Smoothies and malts.  Yum.
3.  Strawberry vanilla jam.  Homemade.  Yes, please.
4.  Learning new things.
5.  Reading up on Yellowstone.  So excited for our vacation.
6.  The book, "Take This Bread," by Sara Miles.  Loved it!
7.  Highlighters and post-its.
8.  Living in a neighborhood with a nice pool.  I will miss this if we ever move.
9.  Google.
10.  My new picture ($5.99 at Michael's - and it makes me smile!).
("Find joy in the journey...  Relish each day as you live it.")

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Saturday Creations - Dad's "Wings"

I finished Dad's Father's Day gift - and I can post it, because we gave it to him early!  Phew!

In our family, we've always talked about the "roots and wings" that our parents raised us to have... 

The "roots" to know home, family, history, traditions, and the support and encouragement that comes with all of that.  Mom was the one who specialized in this, therefore her Mother's Day gift was a "tree."

The "wings" symbolized risk, adventure, dreams, wanderlust, and the ability to try new things (and know they'd be there to pick us up when we fell).  This was Dad's area.

So, wa-la!  Wings.

His gift is a collage of butterfly wings, made up of maps of many of the places his three daughters have lived or traveled so far...  (It was pretty fun to work on...  I had to leave a lot of places out - there were so many!  Pretty cool.)

Thanks Mom and Dad!  I'm very grateful for both the roots and the wings - they make my life the adventure it is!


Things I am thankful for today:

1.  Traveling.
2.  The beautiful places I've been...  Stunning reminders of God's glory!
3.  My sisters and the fun it was to get their lists of places.
4.  Dinner out with Mom, Dad, and Kayla at the "Crooked Pint."  Very fun.
(He liked it!)
(Mom's thinking, "My tree is so much cooler!")

5.  Youtube videos that make us laugh.  (Have you seen the one of a pug that can't run straight?  It even has it's own Irish theme song?  Hilarious!)
6.  An afternoon at the pool.  Lovely.
7.  The hubby telling me I looked great as we headed out for dinner.  Gotta love that!
8.  Hubby had another Lyme's disease scare, but things are lookin' up!  Phew!
9.  Our bright yellow lilies are blooming like crazy!
10.  Strawberries, strawberries, strawberries.  Yum.
(Picked at Afton Apple Orchard yesterday morning...  Glorious!  These will be jam very soon...!)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Thank You, Bishop Sally!

For all you who are Methodists, it may have been extremely painful to hear the outcomes of this year's Worldwide General Conference...  I know I read reports of the votes, the behavior, and the overall emotion of the conference with a broken heart.

I love the Methodist church.  I grew up in it.  I work for it.  It is my spiritual home.

But boy.  There are times I want to walk out and never look back.  There are times I don't think the worldwide connectional church will ever change enough to meet the needs of today's world...  There are times I don't feel like we live up to "Open Heart.  Open Minds.  Open Doors."  And it breaks my heart.

Last week, I had a long talk with my Pastor about my broken heart.  She understood and felt the same pain (which is funny, because she is still "becoming" Methodist, after a long journey as a Baptist!).  We talked about what it means to "keep on keepin' on."  What it means to live the love of Christ in our own church, in our own community,in our own lives and context in the world.  We talked about being faithful to God - and not to a written statement.

This video, posted below, is our Bishop, Sally Dyck, speaking at last week's Minnesota Annual Conference.  I was wondering if they'd say much about the earlier General Conference...  And I think she said what my heart needed to hear.  We just keep making the difference by being faithful, by loving and sharing, by making room for all of God's people.

The video is 33 minutes - but well worth it (especially if you're a Methodist with a broken heart).

Things I am thankful for today:

1.  Bishop Sally and all she has done for our conference over the last 8 years.  We'll be sad to see her move on in September.
2.  Hope for the future.
3.  Leadership that inspires.
4.  Purple pansies.  :)
5.  Mission Trip meetings full of laughter and fun.
6.  My Dad - for challenging me in my faith and for going on our mission trip!
7.  My Mom - for checking up.
8.  My nephew, Zion - for all his cute pictures that make me smile!
9.  Chocolate.
10.  Summer.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Saturday Creations (On Sunday) - Butterfly Gift

Today, a young woman from our church is celebrating her "One Year of Sobriety!"  We're so proud of all she's accomplished in this past year, all the ways she's begun a whole new life, all the ways her heart has opened to the love offered her - through others and through God. 

It's a big day!

So I decided to make her a little something...

"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over...  it became a butterfly."

I can't wait to see what God has in store for her next!

Things I am thankful for today:

1.  Our church's awesome 6th graders!  They got their Study Bibles today - which means they join the youth group next year!  So fun!
2.  Our church's high school graduates!  I felt like a proud mama in church today...  All four of them are beautiful people!

3.  AND I got to watch 3 of the graduates serve communion...  Beautifully. 
4.  Our lovely, "One Year Sober" lady gave a talk in church today, too.  Our whole congregation gave her a standing ovation - and not a dry eye in the house! 
5.  Finally, finished all my projects for work.  Now I can look ahead to the "big picture" things I've been wanting to work on!
6.  Hubby got home safe and sound from a weekend away.
7.  All my flowers are blooming!   Violets, orchids, shamrocks...  and the lilies outside are getting ready to!

8.  Hope.
9.  Tears.  So cleansing.
10.  New beginnings.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

A Reminder

Sometimes, God nudges you in funny ways...  Until you finally get the message.

I've been having a tough week.  And yesterday and today, the same quote appeared 5 different times throughout my days.

A Pinterest posting.
A magazine.
A book.
A note from a friend.
And today?  Another blog.

All right already!  I hear ya! 

It's a good one.  One I've loved for a long time...  Maybe it could help you today, too?

 "People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. 
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
 Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.
Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.
  Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. 
Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. 
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten. 
Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. 
Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God. 
It was never between you and them anyway."
-Usually credited to Mother Teresa or Kent Keith

Things I am thankful for today:

1.  Waking up to a happy dog.
2.  Sunshine!
3.  Bouncey houses - and the squeals and laughter they bring to little kids!
4.  Bubbles!
5.  Park events and petting zoos.
6.  A baby cow, named, "Norman" - of course!
7.  Chasing the "furry" chickens with Natasha.
8.  Em, Elly, and Sam visiting - and going for ice cream.

9.  Getting things ready for "Graduation Sunday" at church.  Fun memories of the youth that graduate this year - bittersweet, for sure.
10.  The hubby's phone call from Wisconsin...  Nice to be missed!
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