Sunday, March 25, 2012

Blog Makeover

I have been blogging for a few years off and on. During all this time, I'd change my blog look with every season. I had fun with it, but after a while I started to discover that I would spend more time trying to find "a look" I loved and I was never really satisfied.

As I blogged jumped and saw how successful some blogs were one of the things I noticed is that they all had a signature look with a signature button. And I decided I wanted to stop playing with "a look" so I can concentrate on writing about the things that the Lord has placed on my heart, so the search began.

I looked for several blog designers and found a few, but I had always loved the look of Sewn With Grace. I love vintage things, particularly anything in the Regency, Victorian, and Edwardian era, but had not found anyone with that I went to "Free Pretty Things For You." I sent Keren an email asking if she could take on a new customer to do a blog.  As I waited for her to write back I found another gal who also did blogs. As I looked through her portfolio I liked her work, but was almost sure she would not be able to capture what I wanted without a lot of explanation and tweeking..she had a lovely style, but it was different flair so I hesitated. I would wait to hear from Karen. You see, I had been following Keren's blog for quite some time and have seen her work. I love her stuff! When she said that she would be able to take me on I was excited!

Keren has a gift and I say this because I sent her one email telling her what I like and what I was looking for and I don't think it was very detailed at that.  She put together a draft layout that I absolutely loved! She tweeked a couple of things and before you know it I had my blog! When I showed my husband he said, "Wow, that is so you! She really captured who you are!"

I am thrilled with my blog and if you are looking for someone to personalize your blog with its own special look...well, look no further. Not only is she talented but she is probably one of the sweetest persons on earth. And did you know that she is a Shabby Blog team member? So, if you've ever used their blog templates...she has probably made one that you've used!

Forever in His debt,

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Simple Woman's Daybook - Pausing & Reflecting

There are many reasons I like doing The Simple Woman's Daybook post. To begin, it puts me in a place of reflection. I get to reflect on what I have been able to accomplish for the day no matter how small. Sometimes even the smallest tasks can be major victories when our day hasn't quite lined up with my expectations. Writing also allows me to appreciate the things outside my window, a picture thought, a scripture or a quote. And posting a few things that I have planned also allows me, however slight, to stay on mission for the week and keep even small goals.

I usually go back a few times during the week and re-read my posting just to quadruple check for spelling and grammar errors. Even though I double check and use spell checker, after going over it a few times, I still fail to catch obvious errors that I usually find later that week. When I look at "A Few Plans for the Week" it reminds me of a scene in the movie Cranford between Deborah and Mattie Jenkyns and Mary Smith, where they explain to Mary that when they were little girls, Deborah and Mattie's father used to have them journal in the morning about their plans for the day and then in the evening they were to go back to their journal and write about what really happened.

When I go back to my Simple Days journal entries during the week, I can see that I stayed on mission and other times, I just laugh or giggle and think of a few bible verses like Proverbs 16: 9 and 19:21. Last week, was a week that really drove those verses home in so many ways with the death our son's friend's father.

I had the privilege of meeting John only once...five years ago. And my, what an impressive man. What I saw was a man that was very eloquent, loved God, and loved his family. And although I would on occasion get to speak to his wife, Maria, or see his daughters at school, I knew very little about them. Our son, Matthew has been tutoring his daughter in a class they both have. Last week they had a standing appointment to Skype on Thursday for tutoring.  Matthew waited and waited...and growing a little weary, he sent her a text asking if they were still Skyping. His friend wrote back,"My dad is missing...I can't right now." When Matthew told me, I grew anxious for them. I hoped that it was a flat tire and a dead cell phone. We waited for a while together hoping to hear some news. I got to the point where I could not stay up so I went to bed and as I laid in bed I prayed. Later that night, Matthew came in and woke me up, "Mom, they found him..... he's dead."  I was horrified and shocked as was he.

Evidently, he was jogging and collapsed. We don't know the particulars and in the end, for the purpose of my personal reflection, the "how" is irrelevant. It is a huge loss.  My heart broke for Maria and the girls and their son. The oldest is graduating in May; John will miss that and all will miss his presence. There will be so many things that he will not be there for...and so many events that are yet to come in the near and the far distant future. It is never a good time for a parent to die and it is never a good time for your soul-mate and best friend to die. But his passing caused me to pause and reflect.

This week I looked at my husband with a greater appreciation and love. He is the love of my life and I am blessed to be his wife. I have gone to bed each night wondering if I could be as strong as I heard Maria has been. I've looked at my children and just cherished their faces, their hugs, and each moment I've spent with them even though at times is has been under the unpleasant task of doling out discipline. 

The services for John were remarkable I'm told. My son attended as long as he could and he said it was incredible - even after two hours people were still sharing the memories and impact this wonderful man of God had on their lives. Evidently, John was a man that left his mark wherever he went. His mark was the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Those that I spoke to all said the same, "There was a man that loved God, his family and shared the Gospel." A friend and I discussed the pain of his absence for his family and we agreed that it's never a good time to die especially when you are leaving family behind, but then she remarked that, maybe this was His race...and he ran it and ran it extremely well. In fact, he beat us all to the finish line and in his passing, goes the passing of the all of us (2 Timothy 4:7). Our challenge is to do the love God with all our heart, mind, and soul, to love our family, and to spread the Good News of Salvation in spoken word or in the silence of an act of love and kindness...because we may be the only bible someone will ever read.

Forever in His Debt,

Friday, March 2, 2012

For Today

Outside my window...a decent storm has subsided. It's dark and I'm ready to tuck my youngest into bed.

I am thinking...about my son's soccer tournament this weekend. Will it really happen? More storms are in the forecast.

I am thankful...that I got an inquiry about my homeschool books that are for sale. I was beginning to wonder.

In the kitchen...a box of chocolate chip cookies have been tackled...I've had three...I wonder if Gus the Glut Goose will sneak into the house tonight while I'm asleep. When he shows husband comes home from the fire house to a box full of crumbs. Poor him. :o{

I am wearing...fuzz! I've got my fuzzy pants, fuzzy socks, fuzzy top and fuzzy fUggs (faux Uggs).

I'm creating...a menu for Colonial cooking. We've got recipes to try out before my sister and nephew arrive.

I am wondering...if visitors will like by new "About Me" page. It's times like this that my insecurities come out, "did I say too much...or not enough?"

I am going.... to choose a blog designer in the next couple of days.

I am reading... the same two books. I am nearing the end of The Power of Blessing and it has so many gold nuggets in it. Do you ever wonder what a seemingly trivial thing like calling the person that cut you off on the freeway an idiot?  Some of our lack comes from the simple cursing (not to be confused with cussing) that we do in our daily lives. Get it. Read it. Unleash your blessings!

I am hoping...that I can devote some more time to putting my homeschool books up for sale.

I'm looking forward... to Easter and my sister's visit. I miss her so much.

Around the house...booms and youngest cannot get enough of Smash's much like Myth Busters.

A favorite quote for the day...when it comes to chores and homework I like, "The more you whine, the more I'll assign."

One of my favorite things...getting my little one to brush my hair. Although, at times it feels more like he's raking my hair...and that clearly tells me he's just not feelin' it.. :oP

A few plans for the week...nieces birthday, a dreadful root-canal for me, and a consult for our oldest son to get his wisdom teeth pulled. Oh joy. :o{

A peek into my day...I miss being able to grow these. They were one of my favorites in California. I couldn't wait to see all the fuchsia plants in the nursery department.

Forever in His debt,
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