Saturday, August 30, 2008

Friends... time well spent!

My hubby & I have spent the last couple evenings with some good friends... last night we had dinner with 2 couples from church that have become really close friends. You know the kind of people you can be yourself around & it doesn't scare them away... you know what I'm talking about! We had a great meal & then we played "Skipbo"... that is a card game in case you didn't know that... in it you play teams of 3 against 3... we had a good time & lots of laughs in spite of that.

Tonight we had another couple over for supper that have become really good friends to us... Bill & Barb. Bill showed up with a flower for me... this is the second time he has given me a flower... he gave me a Lily at Easter & tonight he brought me this flower... you have to see it to believe it, so because of that I had to take a picture of Bill & Barb with the flower.

It is a gigantic sunflower... it almost looks like it is fake, but it's real... they said it was about 12 feet tall & he cut it just for me. We had a good laugh over that... I said it looked like it was a man eating flower. We had a good time with them & we are so thankful for their friendship. Thanks Bill for the flower!!! *Ü*

So tonight my friends are why I have a grateFUL HEART, carin

Thursday, August 28, 2008

just thinkin'...

I was listening this morning to a program I try to watch every morning... the host of the show and her guest were talking about living a life without fear. As a child I wasn't afraid of too many things, my mom wished I would have been a little more afraid of some things, but as I grew up I started limiting myself through my fear. I don't think I ever intentionally did it, but I wasn't intentional in not doing it either... do you know what I mean? One of the verses that keeps coming to my mind is:
II Timothy 1:7 (KJV)
"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."

Some days I'm not so sure about the "sound mind" part *Ü*, but I know that this promise is mine! A quote that I took away from this show was "facing your fears will make you fearless"... what does that say to you??? It says a ton to me... my fear is always worse than the reality of what I fear. The host said that "fear" can stand for:
F alse
E vidence
A ppearing
R eal

What things are you dealing with today that may be causing you to fear??? Becoming fearless is the best way to live the life God has planned for you and me...
And this morning His promises are the reason I have a grateFUL HEART, carin

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

lil' of this and lil' of that...

Here is a purse card I made for a very special recipient... happy birthday Sharon! Sharon & Barb, friends from church, & I went out for a leisurely lunch yesterday to celebrate Sharon's b-day. I had such a good time & I think they did too... besides we had cheese cake for dessert... what more could you want??? Our lunch started around noon & we didn't leave the table until 2:30... I think the waitress was glad she could get the table cleaned up after we were done yakking, ok, we are never done yakking but we did pause long enough to get out of the restaurant & get to our cars & on our way for the rest of the day. I have some great friends & I am thankful for everyone of you!

This was a very simple version of this card, but I thought it turned out cute... although the color in the picture seems to be a little off... oh well, you get the idea. Sharon has a vintage purse collection so I thought the purse card was appropriate for her.

It is a beautiful day here in northern Michigan... can't believe Labor Day weekend is almost upon us!!! yikes... where did the summer go??? I had someone send me an email today to remember to tell your friends how important they are to you... so I am telling you my ladies... whether you are my sisters by birth or my sisters by "new birth" I am so thankful for you always... and today you are the reason for my grateFUL HEART, carin

Monday, August 25, 2008

A little of God's handiwork...

It was such a nice evening to eat out on the patio... so that is what we did. While we sat there just soaking up the beauty a little "hummer" buzzed by & we watched him jump from bush to bush sucking up the nectar. My hubby was able to get some great shots so I thought I would share one with you all. I think that is a winning shot... if I do say so myself!
No matter what is happening in my life... it is things like this that make me have a grateFUL HEART, carin


I am excited that I was named on Allison's blog as a "newly discovered"... that was very nice... you can find that post & her blog at Check it out, she has some nice cards on there. Thanks Allison for the mention!

I have been trying to get at some paper stuff this afternoon, but just haven't found the inspiration... I am working on a project I started a few days ago, but I am not sure I like the way it is turning out, so I am dragging my feet because I don't want to have to start it all over again.

I was getting ready this morning to go clean at the church, when my electricity went out... mind you I had just washed my hair... so it was not looking its best... when life gives you lemons what do you do?... you take your blow dryer & curling iron to the church & finish getting ready there, which is what I did... God's house is my house. The funny thing is when I got there Bill, the maintenance man, said to me, "did you get your hair cut since I saw you, it looks really good". I don't know if he meant it or if he was just trying to make me feel good or if he is getting a little senile!!!! (just kidding)

I am missing out on my sister's SU Catalog Open House tonight & that really bums me out... I live over 2 hours away from her & all my family & I just couldn't go, but I am having a SU workshop on Sept. 27 at 11:00 a.m. if anyone is interested.

I guess I better stop procrastinating & get my project finished... and when it is complete that will give me one more reason to have a grateFUL HEART, carin

Saturday, August 23, 2008

carin's big adventure part 2...

ok, I said I would show you proof of my kayaking and here it is... it was such a beautiful day & a great experience... I would even do it again!!! This is really something for me because in the not too distant past I was not the one to jump out of the boat, so to speak. A change has taken place in me in the last 3 1/2 years -- I am not living for what is coming down the road in the future, but living more for the time that is here in the present & trying to experience different things that make my life fuller & ultimately more complete. WOW! did this kayaking thing take me down that deep path??? *Ü* Sorry I got deeper than the river was the other day, but I do mean everything I said.

The scenery was beautiful... it reminded me of the part of "The Shack" where Mack is walking through the beautiful meadow & he asks if this is what Heaven is like... just observing all the natural beauty around me really made me think about my Heavenly Father & what a gift He gave me in that day and everyday... and that is why I have a grateFUL HEART, carin

Thursday, August 21, 2008

"carin's big adventure..."

I did something today that in all my 43 years I have never done before... in fact something that I said I would never do... but I did & I'm glad I did... although I am tired & my shoulders are sore... I am still glad. What is this thing that I would call my "big adventure"? I went kayaking on the Manistee River. You may think why is that such a big deal? Let me back up & tell you a couple things about me... I am not what you would consider an outdoorsy kind of person, and I have somewhat of a fear of drowning... although my fear has to do with a car in water, but a kayak is a sort of transportation (stay with me this all makes sense in my mind!).

A friend of Luke's has been trying to get me to go kayaking for awhile now... he says we have so many nice lakes where we live & he wants for us to go kayaking & take advantage of the beauty... my answer has always been, "I don't think so, but thanks anyway". Well, last night at church a friend of mine asked me to go kayaking with her today... I gave her the same answer, "I don't think so, but thanks anyway". She kept talking & finally wore me down & I agreed to try it, and if I changed my mind she said that was ok she would not force me. I don't mind being prodded, but I hate to be pressured & she didn't pressure me. She was right we had such a good time! It was so beautiful & peaceful! What a chance to just see God's beautiful creation in such a serene setting. I feel so blessed that JoAnn asked me & even that she did a little coaxing, otherwise I would have missed out on the adventure. She took some pictures & when she emails them to me I will post one to prove to some of you that I actually did it! This may all sound silly to some of you, but for me this is one of the reasons today I have a grateFUL HEART, carin

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

an understanding person remains calm...

Yesterday I had a little incident with a customer service person on the phone... I let myself get irritated to the point of madness (almost). It has been awhile since I let someone on the phone get to me... it happened to be a condesending man... nothing gets me more fired-up than that. I know, for you that know me personally, probably just can't believe I could be like that...ok, well maybe some of you can (got to love my family). I tell you all this not because I am proud of my behavior, but because I wanted to share this verse I read in my devotions yesterday:

"The one who knows much says little; an understanding person remains calm." Prov. 17:27 (The Message)

The only thing I can say after that is... I don't think I was an understanding person at that point & time. And I will try to do better next time (or better yet if there wasn't a next time, but I am sure there will be) and by the way I never screamed at the man on the phone just cried a little (what a surprise)... and the good part of all this is that even when I am feeling at my witts end with someone... God is still there ready to restore my sanity. *Ö*
And for that I have a grateFUL HEART, carin

little mojo on wednesday...

It has been a couple busy days, but I am finally posting one of my creations... actually this card was done for "Mojo Madness Contest" on Poetic Artistry (see link to her blog on the right). I have never participated in a challenge before, so maybe that is a sign I have too much time on my hands!! *Ü* The stamp sets are from SU... called "The Art of Life" & "All Year Cheer I". The cardstock & inks are also SU, colors are Always Artichoke, Chocolate Chip, Rose Romance, & Very Vanilla. I also used some old SU DP (that was the one-sided stuff) & some "Vintage" antique brass brads.

How did I do? I always look forward to your comments!!!

with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Sunday, August 17, 2008

celebrating Sunday...

What do you get when you mix: a quiet breakfast on the patio with my husband, wonderful worship, fantastic message, a great lunch/brunch with my husband, a nice leisurely nap, fellowship & dinner with friends, and a beautiful almost full moon... I would say that is another close to perfect Sunday... just the way we like them in the north country... oh, by the way, this is God's country!!! *Ü* It also is why I write this with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Saturday, August 16, 2008

simple saturday...

it is a simple Saturday... it has been a pretty laid back day... the kind of Saturday I love, but don't always tend to take. I was up early & went to Cadillac to pick up a few groceries... I was at Meijers by 8:00 -- yes, that is a.m.! I like going to the store early for a few reasons... first, it really doesn't matter what I look like, because anyone I know would not be grocery shopping at that time of day; secondly, there aren't very many people in the store; and thirdly, the workers in the store are so friendly... probably because they haven't had enough people tick them off yet. I was back home & groceries put away by 9:15!
I did a little pruning/dead-heading in the flower beds, not my favorite but it needs to be done. Luke only works 'til noon on Saturday so we ate lunch, he mowed lawn & then it was time for a nap!!! Yes, a nap, I know people say naps are for little kids & old people... you can put me in what ever category you want to, but I love my naps on Saturday & usually on Sunday afternoons.
I have not posted in a couple days & I have felt a little lazy in the paper craft department... after supper I tried to put a card together... I think it turned out ok... it looks almost a little Asian inspired to me... what do you think... I know the picture isn't the best, but the metallic piece in the middle really gives off a glare. Anyway, it fits on this simple Saturday.

Busy day tomorrow at church... looking forward to see what God might have for me & what I can do for Him.

with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Thursday, August 14, 2008

God & Organization...

I am trying to get some things accomplished today... I like to keep my home in fairly good order, but it seems like when I am home everyday (remember, I don't have a job) I tend to let stuff go... thinking oh, I will get to it tomorrow. Like I have said in past posts I like to have things pretty organized... and yes, some of my so called friends find that to be amusing, just because they aren't oranized at all... well, I came across a verse today that proves God likes organization:

God made everything with a place and purpose; Prov. 16:4a (The Message)

Maybe I am taking that verse a little far when it comes to my OCD with organization. What do you think? Is there things that make you a little obsessive compulsive??? Sharing can be the first step to recovery! *Ü*

Seriously, I am thinking today is a good day to share some things I am so grateFUL for today: I am grateful to my Heavenly Father for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ; for my wonderful, supportive, loving husband; for being raised in a Christian home with loving parents; for my home; for my church & church family; for the sunny day; for the flowers that are blooming; and yes, even for being jobless. I could go on & on but I won't... what are you grateful for today?

with an abundantly grateFUL HEART, carin

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

quick little diddy...

I was checking out the SCS newsletter for the week ... came across a box on there which led me to another box on ... she had the "no adhesive box"... I can remember doing that one years ago (oh, I sound so old!)... anyway I took her box directions and made it to work to be a sweet treat home for the new Hershey's Bliss (have you tried those... they are too good!). I wanted to have a box with a window so the yummy treats could peek out... I put a scrap piece of acetate I have in my collection... never know when you might use it!

Here is my own lil' treat box... never know who might receive it???? *Ü*
with a grateFUL HEART, carin

choices, church, Chicago...

Wednesday already!!! I was having trouble remembering what day it is again today... for some reason I want to think it is Thursday, but then I got so excited to remember it is Wednesday & I get to go to church tonight!!!! We have a great Wednesday evening service... the last few weeks it has been packed to capacity +... good worship, great message... what more could you want???

I was reading this morning & came across this verse that I wanted to share...
"Congenial conversation—what a pleasure! The right word at the right time—beautiful!" Prov. 15:23 (The Message)

Wouldn't it be great if we could always follow that in our daily conversations... we can... it is a choice (so they tell me)... I keep reminding myself that some things just don't need to be spoken... the difficulty is knowing when to speak it & when to shut it!!! Why rehash things that make you angry, hurt or agrivated... why do we do that to ourselves? We can change it one choice at a time!

Exciting news... at least for me... our ladies ministry at church is taking a trip to Chicago in November... yes, I know it is still a ways off, but I am so excited... I have never been to Chicago, just through it very quickly. Do you have any suggestions of "have to see" places? Can't wait!

Plenty to do today, so make a choice to live today with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Happy Anniversary... (day late-dollar short)

Ok, I know it may be a day late (our anniversary was yesterday-11th), but I was so busy yesterday... the day came & went & I never did get this posted... I have been receiving a little grief from a couple people about not posting since Thursday... anyway, with that all out of the way I will get to a post for my loving hubby on this our 18th anniversary... (I am going to get mushy now so if you don't want to see that you better skip this part!)
In so many ways it seems like we have been together forever... I don't remember my life without you, but there is still that moment everyday that seems like it is all new... I still "twitterpate" when I see you come in the driveway or just come in to a room and I pray that feeling never ends. God gave me more than I could imagine when He brought you into my life and I thank Him for you everyday! I couldn't have done any better than you... or is that you were the best I could do? (wink) I love you with all my heart, my sweet, sweet Luke.
Ok, now anyone that had to turn away from all that lovey stuff can read on... let me explain about this picture ... my cousin from CA that stayed with us for a couple days wanted a picture of us with our cats... the cats were all on the bed so she said let's just take it there, so no we don't normally take pics of ourselves on the bed! *Ü* Aren't the kitties cute? and I guess we don't look too bad either. Thanks for sharing this moment in the life & times of me...
with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Thursday, August 7, 2008

another tidbit...

I was peeking at some of my favorite blogs once again this morning... I came across a gorgeous card on with this quote:

Though we travel the world over
to find the beautiful,
we must carry it with us
or we find it not.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Isn't that another great quote... it is deep, but it is what I wish all women could realize especially the young ladies in the world.

I have company coming today... so no time for stamping only cleaning, but for the company I do have a grateFUL HEART, carin

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

posting post-its...

Here are a "few" things I worked on yesterday... these are match book style mini post-it notes for some special ladies. It is very simple, but I think all 36 of them turned out good! (if I do say so myself) What do you think?
with a grateFUL HEART, carin

just a lil' tidbit...

I came across this on another blog today & I wanted to share because it touched my heart...

"True love is neither physical, nor romantic.
True love is an acceptance of all that is, has been, will be, and will not be.
‘Life isn’t about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain.’ "

If you have that... you should have a grateFUL HEART, carin

Saturday, August 2, 2008

what's in a title???

I just noticed this morning that I never put a title on yesterday's post... ooops! I guess it should have been "Fun? in the Thumb". Well, today will be a continuation of the "fun".

My parents & Luke & I went out for supper last night to a local place that is known for its fish fry on Friday nights... I wonder if Friday night fish fries are all over the country or is it just a Michigan thing??? Anyway, the place has a lot of character or is that characters??? It is an old hotel/saloon that has evolved over the years into a "family dining" establishment... although there are a lot of old patrons who don't really fit into the family dining pattern... um, my husband calls them "bar flies"... I am not so sure they might like that description. The food is good and let's face it... it is a good place to "watch people" which is one of my favorite pass times.

We are off to the 31st Annual Fish Sandwich Parade this morning... should be interesting as always... people will ask Luke & me why we bother to come home for such a small town thing, but we enjoy coming to the Thumb, if for no other reason that we get to see people that we use to see all the time when we lived here but now they get to tell us what is going on with them & how much they miss us *Ü*... it's always nice to be missed!

with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Friday, August 1, 2008

Yes, I am still at my parents... and having a good time (mostly)... I can tend to be a little obsessive compulsive about clutter & organization & my parents -- not so much... which after 5 days can start to wear on one a little... not sure if it is wearing on me more or am I wearing on them???? that is the question?????? *Ü* love you, Mom & Dad!!!

My mom & I have this thing with playing Scrabble ... whenever possible we try to get a game in... which isn't too often now that we live so far apart. Yesterday we played a game, it is Super Scrabble so it has more tiles & more places to play so a game can take hours... we also invited my mom's oldest sister to play with us (she needed to keep her mind busy yesterday). So here is the scenario -- me playing a 68 year old woman (my mom) & a 77 year old woman (my aunt)... may not sound like much of a competition, but they fought to the very end. I won, but my mom really creeped up close in the end. I don't believe in letting little kids win just because they are little & I don't believe in letting older people win just because they are older... OK, does that sound a little harsh???? What do you ever learn if someone lets you win???? By the way the last time Mom & I played was in May and she beat me!!!! Way to go Mom!

We had a gang here for supper -- 11 adults + 3 babies... I made spaghetti & fresh strawberry pie for dessert (yummy! thanks Ruth). The 3 babies belong to friends of our family... twin girls born in January 08 and another baby girl born in Oct. 07... they are so precious & very happy babies, but what a handful. How this couple ended up with 3 babies 3 months apart is a long, long, long story, but it is a story that has a happy ending! *Ü*

Here is a picture of the "happy ending" ... from the left is Skylar, Sarah & Sadie (Skylar & Sadie are the twins). They are so cute & they smell so good... you know that baby smell!

and today these are the things that give me a grateFUL HEART, carin