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May 2016
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52 New Books in 2016 | 34


The Daniel Prayer: Prayer that Moves Heaven and Changes Nations

The title alone, prayer that moves Heaven, prayer that changes nations. Is it possible for my prayers to make a difference. Can I come before the throne of God and change - nations, change my circumstances, change my attitude, change my heart. Will heaven move through my prayers. I'd never read anything by Anne Graham Lotz but her writing makes it easy to read and she is spot-on in subject matter. The only time I've heard her is on her Daily Light spot on HIS Radio 91.9. But, man, this book had me taking page after page after page of notes for review and more importantly, application. I never once said, "Huh, that sounds questionable to me." But, instead, she was sound in Scripture and doctrine. And, while I've read other books on prayer, this one....this one is the best! I was inspired tremendously.

Anne breaks down and reveals verses of the Daniel Prayer within the manuscript with perfect timing and perfect clarity. I'd read a review from someone before reading the book (because I always read reviews in my decision-making to read or not read a book) that said Anne doesn't cover the Daniel Prayer verses by verses but she actually does cleverly, carefully, and effectively.

I've put this book on my for keeps shelf - for now - but, I'm certain I'll pull it out again and again.

Rating: 10.0

Friday, with a cup of coffee

290b01be095641821b87779ff122ed4cPhoto Source

Or a cup of goodness around the dinner table. This older article reminded me of days long past when our dinner table was something wonderful and provided such opportunity - for communication and conversation without biting and dissension. Maybe, just maybe, with some purposefulness I can solicit change in my home, even if it is only at my dinner table.

In light of the Sanford rape case, every boy, every man for that matter, needs to read Ann Voskamp's "about being real men..."

From a family we know who is on the mission field in the trenches, this post is what it's all about.

Seriously inspiring.

Here's an out-in-left-field-for-me article on Kate Middleton and Prince William's dinner with the President and First Lady. I love how, while their sitting room is chic and elegant, it still looks like a lived-in room with books and photographs and candles and drinks on the end tables.

An older article of Jennifer Garner - one classy lady. I've adored her ever since Alias..

Stories 2016 | i believe in you


Ali Edwards, scrapbook entrepreneur extraordinaire, creative genius that she is, designs monthly Story kits, both physical product kits and a digital kit, a collection of journal cards, stamps, chipboard, and embellishments, which I subscribe monthly. As a digital scrapbooker all my product for my pages are on my computer. Each month my Story kit goes into my digital files in my account with Ali Edwards and I download the kit to my computer. 

Thus, when I received her latest kit, Believe, rather than stew over the product, struggling to decide how to use the product or waiting until I'd seen others us it I got right to work putting together this I believe in You page of my grandchildren, Ella, Ian, Wyatt, and Noah, using photos from a recent family photo shoot that just happened to turn out amazing! Putting the page together was pretty darn easy. I used a Paislee Press photo template which gave me the white border around the photographs and make the black and whites pop. I used Ali's Believe kit (minus the background paper which is from One Little Bird): 1) I tucked a patterned journal card behind each photo, 2) The I BELIEVE IN: is a stamp which I added, 3) the chipboard piece YOU. I digitally changed the color of the chipboard to vary the colors and compliment the corresponding patterned journal card beneath the photo. Lastly, to finish the page, I added a piece of chipboard BELIEVE. 

Mind you, all of the pieces on the page are digital. I used shadowing effects so they appear as if they are slightly off the page, just as a physical page would look with physical photographs and products. Also, mind you, my Photoshop Elements skills are sorely limited, but I have learned some very useful techniques which I think have improved my pages immensely.

The only downside, if it is even, would be no journaling. But, then, these gorgeous photos, of these four beautiful children, somehow speak for themselves.

Project Life 2016 | May (Part 6)


Finishing up the last of the pages for Project Life May. Six, count 'em, six two-page spreads highlighting our month of intense activities and events. Pretty darn satisfied with all 12 pages. For these two pages I used Cathy Zielske 12x12 templates and two Paislee Press tiny templates and Ali Edwards journal cards. That's it! I patterned out the pages from the top to the diagonal carried over both pages. I see one pattern mistake but I'm calling it good and leaving it. I'm not sweating the small stuff!


Each photo has a tiny title and tiny journal spot with just some thoughts maybe of the time here or an overall feeling. Lots of photos of grandchildren inter-spaced with big children. My hearts full.


See all Project Life May  | Part 1  | Part 2  | Part 3  | Part 4  | Part 5



If I could stamp out the distance I would. If I could send myself through the mail to these two, I would. When John and Jarrod graduated high school, Ashley and Brad came home for the graduation. This meant I had a whole week with Ian and Wyatt. Wyatt with his sly sarcasm and quick wit which I can only assume he's picked up from his momma, who picked her sarcasm up from her father. And, Ian, who is sometimes in his own world, but when he loves someone he loves hard - and good. I have written them, penned them deep, on my heart as I only get time with them twice a year or so it is these precious moments I treasure up and hold on tight. 

I'm still going through May's photos telling little stories here and bigger stories there. This is just a little story of my two grandsons. Of me missing them. Realizing how much I think about them on any given day.


52 New Books in 2016 | 33


A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg

Phenomenal. A big part of my life is centered around food. Creating new recipes, our monthly menu and finding all the meals each month to include in the menu, small group desserts, Elevate breakfasts, little jokes from my husband that'll I'll get a couple more weeks because I put an okay dish on the table and by okay I mean fabulous and by a couple more weeks he means I did good and the recipe is a keeper. We've read books around the dinner table, we've eaten together as a family as long as I can remember and still do. Our date nights involve food. Food heals and helps. It's a conversation piece, and a builder upper.

So, when I came across Molly's book, A Homemade Life, and it wasn't technically a cookbook, although it has favorite recipes in it, interspersed with reflections of her life. It was a memoir. Of her life. Centered around food. The idea is brilliant! And I couldn't put it down. Molly's clever writing, inviting, breathtaking descriptions, and recount of her life that in some way involves the kitchen, and food, is magnificent. I enjoyed her voice and actually believed I was hearing her share her story and then asking me to join her in the kitchen to make the next delectable dish she is featuring, but it's not daunting with all of her helpful suggestions it sounds like she is cheering you on to make a difficult dish that she's created an easy recipe for you. In other words, I thought Molly was talking to me and I wanted to talk to her. Very inspiring!

Rating: 10.0  

52 New Books in 2016 | 32


Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowlings

After reading the first in the series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone I jumped in quickly to the second book, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. While I loved this book immensely there were enough slow places that had me saying in the back of my mind, 'come on, already,' thinking by using the hand gesture of move it along I'd get through it quicker and get to the next good part. Thankfully, those slow dreary parts were few and far between. Otherwise, a fairly quick read; it is a children's book after all!

"The Dursleys were so mean and hideous that summer that all Harry Potter wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. But just as he's packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange, impish creature named Dobby who says that if Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike. And strike it does. For in Harry's second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor, Gilderoy Lockheart, a spirit named Moaning Myrtle who haunts the girls' bathroom, and the unwanted attentions of Ron Weasley's younger sister, Ginny. But each of these seem minor annoyances when the real trouble begins, and someone--or something--starts turning Hogwarts students to stone. Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever? Could it possibly be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects...Harry Potter himself? - Amazon

I do love the relationship Harry has formed with the Weasley family and Rowlings is answering questions with this second book while leaving room for more questions and more answers. It's clever and fun.

Rating: 8.0 

digital pages


Amidst my May Project Life pages I also spent a time on more traditional digital pages for me and for Maggie and Reid (Tucker and Silas' Mom and Day). I'm still making them pages for their little 8 x 8 album, albeit not as frequently - just as I find the time.

This first page isn't Tucker and Silas. It is, however, my very own grandsons, Ian and Wyatt! I adore these little guys and on their last day visiting for John and Jarrod's graduation we went outside for some painting, and art! As we painted a canvas, we set up these two with their own canvases (poster board) and paints and they painted away. 

I walked by my sons' room (which has a short stairwell to their room) and there hanging on the stairwell wall was Ian and Wyatt's paintings. How cool is that?


This little man is Silas. Shhh!  He's my favorite! (Not really, but, yeah, he is) This little guy always is smiling. His face lights up when he talk to him. Love this digital paper by One Little Bird.


And this is Tucker. Shhh! He's my favorite, too! Talk about peace that passes all understanding. This sweet thing is the most laid back boy I've ever seen. Precious beyond words.


This is my big kid, John. John is on this page because - well - it's the only photo that came out of the three of us painting our very own abstract Jackson Pollack work of art. We hung this piece because we felt it was worthy enough to grace our living room. It's a pretty big canvas, too.


52 New Books in 2016 | 31


The More of Less by Joshua Becker

He's the guy who created Becoming Minimalist. While he didn't coin the phrase minimalist he sure had a big hand in giving minimalism a voice. With the numerous dog-earred pages ready for re-reading it is clear this is one helpful and inspiring book. I've tucked the book back on my bookshelf for further review and implementation. Somewhat of a memoir, but not really, it's how Joshua became a minimalist and how he's grown as a minimalist. I especially liked that his faith takes center stage in his minimalistic views. Short read, completed in just a day but good stuff!

Project Life 2016 (Part 5)


On our anniversary weekend we adventured out and wandered to the Poinsett Bridge built in the 1800's. Poinsett is also known for bringing over the first Christmas Poinsetta's to America. We talked with an older gentleman, at least a grandfather himself, who regaled us with the simple exploits of his own grandfather traveling over that very bridge and along the state road between Ashville and Greenville taking produce in a wagon in the early 1900's, recalling he'd learned it would take 3 days wagon ride one way. Amazing what we can learn when we take a moment to stop and listen.


Jeff and I were adventurous as we walked down to the river - ok, the creek - flowing gently through the arched opening where we also traversed over the wet slabs of rocks, carefully. It was beautiful under the lush canopy of trees strategically hiding the sun.


For these pages I used modified Cathy Zielske templates and Paislee Press templates and brushes.

Part 1 | Part 2  | Part 3  | Part 4  |