Saturday, October 24, 2015

Christmas countdown!

I'm so excited! Today I received Email #1 in Cynthia Ewer's Countdown to Christmas and this time I am actually going to do it! 

I love Christmas and I want to enjoy every minute of the holiday festivities - from Thanksgiving through New Year's! For a busy mom of 4, it takes some planning and preparation in order for me to truly enjoy "the reason for the season" and not get suckered into a frenzy of consumerism, stress, and unrealistic expectations.

If you would like to get started on an Organized Christmas too, head on over to Cynthia's blog and sign up for her email assignments. You can also download her free Christmas Calendar/Planner notebook!  Sweet!!


Thursday, October 8, 2015

Book Review: the life-changing magic of tidying up

I just finished reading "the life-changing magic of tidying up" by marie kondo.

I like this book because I crave simplicity and this book delivers ideas and inspiration for that. I also enjoy autobiographies and marie kondo is skilled at weaving her personal stories throughout.  

I do wonder how much got lost in translation the English version the author comes across as someone who is able to converse with inanimate objects. She has a sweet, unwavering belief that inanimate objects are real and my socks (among everything else in my household) have feelings.

And not just feelings....but conversations! And grievances....And burdens, apparently...from all the weight I'm putting on them all day.

I have four kids and a cat; I don't have time to worry about my socks' feelings.  But now, sigh, I do.  Read with Caution! 

On the plus side, my drawers are starting to look really good!

Monday, August 17, 2015

on quitting my Thirty-One business

Some things are better together.

Like peanut butter and chocolate.

Sunshine and coconut oil.

Snow and mittens.

Diet Dr Pepper and crushed ice.

Some things are better one at a time.

Like running a home business.

After 4 years with Thirty-One Gifts, I have come to the conclusion to close that chapter of my life and close my Thirty-One business.

I came on board Thirty-One when my former scrapbooking business was going through some major changes/restructuring.  I'm happy to report that has all been straightened out and Creative Memories is back with completely new ownership and management. Creative Memories is no longer a party plan business but I will be offering Workshops and Special Events throughout the year as well as my new YouTube channel where I will be sharing tips and ideas on memory keeping!  After 20+ years in the memory keeping business, it is good to be "back!"  

This past Fall I also started teaching Preschool part-time. Plus having 4 kids in 4 different schools...well, something had to give.  I was just being spread too thin!

My Thirty-One website will be up in August and September. I will have an Appreciation Event for my past Hostesses in October and then officially done.  I am actually super energized by this decision!  I should have done it earlier but I truly do love the Thirty-One products and people and I am eager to try to do it all.  But I would rather try to do a few things well than too many things weakly.  Memory Keeping fits right in with my other interests - such as writing, blogging, preschool teaching, helping, playing with paper and encouraging.

I learned a lot by being part of Thirty-One and I do not regret the diversion. It is a chapter of my life I will cherish (and probably put in a scrapbook)! Thank you to all my wonderful hostesses, customers, team, and upline leaders who made this possible. 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Cleaning house...

Sometimes things that are hidden come to light.

Sometimes those things break a mother's heart. And a child's innocence.
And a family's hedge.

Sometimes those things shake a foundation or threaten a faith.

After a personal "crisis" Sugar and I took down the Miniature House that had been collecting dust up on our stair landing . It had been placed there, high up and out of reach, because my 4th child (a Boy!) was a very active toddler (aka "demolition boy). Now he's an active, respectful boy and can be trusted with said Miniature house. 

Sugar and I took the Miniature house down with the intent of selling it.

We dusted it off, cleaned it up and found a project – Restoring the Miniature house to something beautiful. We both agreed that we didn't want to sell it. Instead we got busy making plans. 

Sometimes things that are hidden come to light.

Sometimes those things give healing to a mother's heart. And a child's innocence.  And a family's hedge. 

Having creative projects to do together can be a healthy distraction during difficult times. 

Shrinking our world down to one bitty corner of one miniature room ... 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day!

Feeling grateful on Father's Day....grateful my 4 children have a father who is hands-on, adventurous, faith-filled, hard-working, fun, fit, able to forgive, and able to ask forgiveness.

grateful my children have a father who loves his wife - aka their mama.

grateful that although their father travels around the world, he always comes home with a smile and a kiss and lots of hugs all around!  

I love doing life with him.

Happy Fathers Day, love!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Ghost Boy book review

If you are a physician, caregiver, teacher..... please read this short memoir, Ghost Boy by Martin Pistorius. (Actually every human should read this book!) This once healthy 10-year-old boy very quickly became sick to the point of being unresponsive. He basically became crippled and mentally incapacitated almost overnight. For years he was in this state with everyone 'assuming' his mind had regressed to a 2-year old level. 

And yet...many years later his mind slowly awakened to find himself trapped in his own body - unable to speak and no longer control his limbs, and under the mercy of "caregivers" who treated him as less than human. 

Except one...and it only takes caregiver who sensed there was more to this boy than a shell.  Without giving it all away, it involves her intuition, willing parents, keen testing, cutting edge voice technology, and a miraculous discovery that he was in there all along - with a full vocabulary and awareness of every conversation spoken over him (and every abuse perpetrated on him).

His escape from this 10-year prison will give you pause....pause to look into the eyes of those you may have previously dismissed. 

There is always hope.

I was especially encouraged that he didn't lose his Faith in God through his life fact, he says he felt God's presence during that time in a way that he can't describe adequately but it solidified his Faith. 

And I am encouraged that with his limitations he has gone on to do incredible things in society! Oh, you just have to read this book. It's super short - like just an evening you can devour the book. It skips around a bit but it's a powerful testimony!

God Bless You Martin! Thank you for getting Better and not Bitter. Thank you for sharing your story.  And God Bless your family as well as this was devastating to them - to see their vibrant 10-year-old disappear with no hope of healing. The way you described your father's faithful care, brought tears to my eyes. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Princess Tea

Sugar is 13 years old and wanted to host her own table at the annual Princess Tea this Spring.  She wanted to do a Little Mermaid theme with a live fish. She found some fun containers at the Dollar Store and I gathered some material remnants and burlap I had stashed at home. It turned out really sparkly and magical!  

The tables were simpler than in years past. I noticed a lot of the girls who attended years ago are wanting to host their own tables now. I love that! The moms were able to step back and let them decorate, bake and host. In fact, a few of our Middle School mentors held a meeting once/month for a few months leading up to the tea with topics such as: Picking a Theme, Table Decorating, Hostess Tips, Baking Cupcakes, etc..

Here are some of the fun table themes....from Belle to Cinderella....

 and the gorgeous cupcakes....

There was even a carriage photo-opp
for sweet friends!!

I wasn't able to attend (it was the same weekend I was attending Blondie's Mom's Weekend at her Sorority). I helped her set the table the day before the Tea but I missed seeing her actually host the table.  I think it was for the best though because I tend to reach in and take over sometimes when Sugar would prefer to do it herself and in her own unique, sweet way.  Her grandma and several of our friends were her honored guests. I am so very proud of sweet Sugar - the "Hostess with the Mostess" and my beautiful Princess.