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what I learned | winter edition

This afternoon I am linking up with Emily P. Freeman for What I Learned  - the winter edition.



1. I read Isaac's Storm in January, which by the way was a really good book, and learned that because of the 1900 Galveston Hurricane, which is the storm the book centers around, meteorologists were able to forensically deduce that it is storm surge, and not wind as they'd previously assumed, that is the deadliest and costliest side of a hurricane. I think I remember from 30 years ago when I studied tropical meteorology that question was considered of high importance and was on my tropical meteorology final exam. Unbelievable how far the field of meteorology has come.



2. After receiving an unsolicited compliment, I learned wearing makeup smooths my face, evens out and tones my skin, and removes redness. At a minimum I now wear make up to church on Sundays. At this time, though, I have no plans to change my morning work day routine and will not be adding 'putting on makeup' to my day. It was very nice to receive the compliment, though:)


3. Duolingo is a sweet little site for learning [and re-learning], or learning what I should have learned in my college Spanish classes. They'll remind you via email. If you haven't visited in a couple days, they'll tell you they miss you. They give good praise reports. They, like it's an actual person, really, cheer you on. They want you to learn. I am a repetitive learner so I review, review, review, already previously-viewed lessons.


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4. David Balducci books are quickly becoming favorites. I'm just about done with The Innocent. I almost stopped reading it because the first couple of chapters just weren't my forte but, man, it turned the corner, just like that. So good! The Last Mile and Zero Day - awesome!

//Life Hacks//

5. Roasted red pepper sauce is amazing! It gives pasta a fresh kick, pop of flavor that blows tired, ole spaghetti sauce out - of - the - water!


6. Giving. A steady flow of giving, makes the heart beat, race, for more. More acts of service, more acts of kindness, more gift giving and making handmade gifts. When I began this nourishing a heart of giving project this year I had no idea the impact it would make on my spirit, my heart, my mind, the upwelling, the overwhelming joy I've experienced each time I have given away my time, my money, my service, my gifts. I am humbled to be apart of God doing something in me and through me. Giving. It's a beautiful thing.

Project Life 2017 | Week 8


I rocked out on Project Life Week 8. While the 2-page spread took some time to put together...I worked on it over two, however, went together smoothly, easily with the help of some great digital products by Ali Edwards and Paislee Press, two of my go-to digital designers. February products by both designers rocked the pink shades and with the help of a couple of my photos for the week everything coordinated nicely.


I used a Messy Week for the title card with one of my amazing morning skies photos. The Love Simple Joys is Ali Edwards, the journal cards are a mix of Ali and Paislee Press as well as the templates.

I've been reading quite a bit, we had our monthly family movie and pizza night this week (unfortunately Jarrod had to work. But, John was present and accounted for). We saw Hacksaw Ridge. Fabulous movie. Tears flowed; it wasn't pretty. But, it was a really good movie and the pizza was excellent.

How about that front door wreath? Jeff and I went on our weekly date Friday night and we picked out a Spring wreath from Kirklands. They didn't have a wide selection but I love the one we picked so it's all good. The best part is, I had been looking at wreaths online and they were all at least double or triple in price from what we paid. 


The crazy warm temperatures are bringing the dandelions out. Jeff tackled the living room ceiling with a fashioned wand brush/broom/duster and the shop vac. Worked like a charm! He went back to work this week on limited/light duty. He helped out some job sites with deliveries and was rewarded to lunch on the company with a great view of the Hilton Head lighthouse.

currently | february 2017


crawling this month. With Jeff off his feet from surgery on his toe, and my pain levels high; cold to hot, hot to cold rheumatoid arthritis plaguing my body running rampant. Like on Saturday when we were out shopping and there I am bee-boppin' into the store and wham! Just like that! My hips exploded in pain and swelling and I could barely walk; literally, had to shuffle to even move. And then the cold/flu, too - kicking my butt - since I think it may have turned to bronchitis.

considering going back to school for a master's in meteorology. discussed it with Jeff. He's okay with it if I save for the classes. It's just that I caught the bug for teaching when I taught meteorology to high school students. I wouldn't mind teaching college-age meteorology, physical science, environmental science, oceanography, etc. Can't do that with a masters in business administration. I need to define, or refine, my goal, before I commit to a year and a half of college. Going to have to stick this one at the top of the prayer list for careful consideration. There is such uncertainty with my present job situation and teaching college is something I'm positive I would enjoy.

reading plenty. Averaging two books a week and at that rate I'll read over 100 books in 2017. I've figured out what happens. I'll read a fiction novel and then I'll read a couple non-fiction books. I think it is because I prefer non-fiction over fiction. Unless, of course, J.D. Robb has a new book out. Then it doesn't matter what I've read last. I picked up her latest, Echoes in Death, and toot-sweet, finished that baby pretty-darned quick. I'm currently reading The Rembrandt Affair by Daniel Silva, Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin (in preparation for Lent), and In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume (this one is on my nightstand so I'm only getting snippets of it some nights before my eyes close), Chasing Slow by Erin Loechner, Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas and The Innocent by David Baldacci.

struggling to find my scrapbooking process, flow, groove - of picture taking and journal keeping. I know if I'm going to continue Project Life, even though I'm okay with the now of Project Life, but if I'm going to continue it throughout the rest of the year I'm going to have to take more pictures, document more stories during the week. Otherwise, it will be same 'ole, same 'ole. That is okay for awhile, but not forever. I've read from other pseudo-empty nesters who have experienced similar scrapbooking woes. I say pseudo because the boys still live with us but because they work their lives have pretty much become their own. The four of us are rarely, these days, together.

missing - the four of us. Being together, doing stuff, having fun.

studying Believing God by Beth Moore. It's good. So good! But, I'm planning on participating in an online Lenten study where I'll be studying the book of John so I'm doing a bit of preparation.

getting the all clear from the doctor after getting his stitches removed to wear his walking boot, Jeff is heading back to work this week, part time; he's also putting together a plan for a side job for a friend. It'll keep him busy for several weeks and beyond.

listening to Lauren Daigle's Come Alive (Dry Bones), Zack Williams Chain Breaker (after singing it in church), Hillary Scott's Thy Will, and Ryan Stevenson's In the Eye of the Storm. Loving still, when they come on the radio: Danny Gokey's There's Hope in Front of Me, Tell Your Heart to Beat Again, and More Than You Think I Am and Gordon Feliz', The River.

looking for some art work for our bedroom. Once the bookshelves are up on the walls, art will be the last piece of the decorating puzzle I think. Other than cleaning...and keeping it clean.

watching Season 13 of NCIS. It's been a couple years since we've watched this show on prime time television. Life happens. So, I thought we'd catch up. Of course, Season 14 isn't on Netflix, yet.

giving, as part of my 52 Weeks of Giving project, is on my mind all the time. I'm always on the look out for another way to give. I recently made a set of birth statistics for a friend and framed them; I'm helping another friend put together Mother's Day gift baskets for the refugee women in our city. This project, nourishing [my One Little Word] nourishing a heart of giving, is changing me from the inside - out.

Friday, with a cup of coffee | 21


Photo Source

Focusing on the one.  'Relationship is about the one."

Here's a great article on 5 important, maybe most important, steps or ways to raising healthy well-adjusted kids. 

For this plus size woman who desires to move more this is a great article. I need more motivations like these.

Amazing, feel good, go away being uplifted - quotes from inspiring children's books.

Doing a Beth Moore Bible Study right now Believing God...and talking about miracles...then I read this.

And this...this is what I believe!!!!

Mom's and Dad's read this!

I love Scouting magazine. It's on my Facebook feed. Here's a way to make the most of your walking workout.

Oh please! This is so true and needs to be shared.

52 Gratitudes 2017 | 7


I am grateful for John's servant heart. He leads worship for Kindergarten through 5th grade at Compassion Christian Church each Sunday morning at the 11 o'clock service. According to the Children's Pastor he does an awesome job of engaging the kids and he thinks John is having a positive impact on the elementary-aged boys who are seeing this 'big' boy getting up on stage and unashamedly worshiping and praising God with his whole heart.

As a mum, I loved receiving that affirmation about one of my kids. I am so grateful.

52 Weeks of Giving | 9


A simple, yet full filling blessing as I went through the drive-thru at Zaxby's one day this week I paid for the car behind me. I have no idea what they've ordered and I don't ask the salesperson how much their order is I just let the them know I want to pay for the person behind me.

I've had the same salesperson the past couple times I've done this and I think she has recognized me. I hope she sees compassion and a heart for giving in me. Maybe, one day she'll ask why I do what I do. Then, I can share Jesus with her. I hope she sees Jesus in me in the meantime.

Project Life 2017 | Week 7


Today I'm sharing my Project Life 2-page spread for Week 7. This is little stories within our lives that as a whole tell a much bigger picture over the course of a year. I'm pretty pleased with how these pages came together.

Digitally: I began with a Cathy Zielske template but re-sized it from a 1/2 inch border to 1/8 inch border. While I like white space on some things I wanted more room for more photo - journal than white space. For the journal cards I used an Ali Edwards 12 x 12 Days of the Week overlays, resized them way down to cover just the top of each card, re-colored the overlay and then finally, gave them a beveled appearance so they would stand out. I used a handwriting font and a handdrawn underline.

Across each of the photos I layered a word art/brush/stamp all by Ali Edwards. The title card is Paislee Press but the Give Love chipboard is Ali Edwards.


Overall it was a good week with a rough patch for Jeff and I but resolved after much forgiveness. And so, we move onward. I'm reading the Sacred Marriage and from it I was encouraged to make amends. Because I really didn't want to be specific I used an Ali Edwards brush/stamp 'Some Days Are Just Hard'. It is fitting! But, then the Love Wins chipboard on the next page (below) shows whose boss:)


Because I work in digital I took a photo of our movie tickets to add to this weeks pages. We hit the afternoon matinee after a late lunch at Carabba's (which was just okay). Both of those were for our weekly date 'night'; in this case, mostly afternoon.

Stories 2017 | Samuel at 6 months


A 6 x 8 2-page spread of my grandson Samuel. Ashley posted a couple photos on Facebook with a good long tell it like it is about Samuel so I was able to put together this smaller sized page set. I used almost all of Ali Edwards' NUMBERS Story kit with a piece here or there from a couple others.

The journaling for this little guy is his 6 months statistics plus his happy life goings' on! I love that he loves his bubba's - his brothers, Ian and Wyatt and that his face lights up whenever he sees them. He's his momma's littlest angel and his daddy's dude. Samuel tries to sit up by himself but can't quite make it. He eats all kinds of fruit, sweet potatoes and squash. Guess that means he doesn't much care for peas - you go Samuel! Way to take after grammy. 

Stories from the Files | Build


The other day Jarrod got a box in the mail. He had ordered (I still can't wrap my ahead around my sons placing orders on-line) a Lego set. Of any activity he and his brother still participate in, Lego's are my favorite. I think because they are not just for kids. Lego's have found their way into the hearts of adults for the very first time as adults. They are a classic toy. Much like putting puzzles together. Classic!

I was perusing older photos in a folder on my computer and I came across these photos of Jarrod from 2010. Seven years ago! Going back in time, Jarrod was putting a couple Lego sets together he'd recently received as gifts.

Or fast forward to the other day, Jarrod was putting a couple Lego sets together he'd recently received in the mail that he'd ordered. I need to do a companion scrapbooking page of Jarrod building the two 'new' Lego sets.

Digitally speaking: Almost every digital piece is from Ali Edwards Design Story kit BUILD, with a couple Sahlin Studio embellishments added in. I did use a Yin Digs template, modified.

Project Life 2017 | Week 6


I'm not sure I can describe the happy feeling I experienced when I completed this past week of Project Life. The clean and simplistic style made me smile. I used six photos from our week and six templates from either Sahlin Studio or Cathy Zielske , included a bit of documentation directly onto the photo [as part of the templates] and I'm calling this week so good!

I have such good intentions of journaling our day plus taking photos and then, bam, the next week rounds around and I've capture just a little of our week. But, I'm finding I am forgiving myself and moving on. I'm calling those bits and pieces of life documented as good enough. Because it is better than not recording anything.

It offers at a minimum a peek at our life.

And, this is good.

Project Life® is an ultra-simple, über-stylish solution for getting your photos off your phone and computer, out of boxes, and into albums