Monday, October 29, 2012

Sharing an Everyday Miracle...

Hello all! I'm Felicity, one of the newbies here and this is my first post at SEM - so please forgive me if my nerves are the star of my little contribution. I’d like to share with you a simple miracle that I take for granted everyday until I stop to think about it. The miracle that I live with is acceptance, and this is how my story goes…

I come from an Anglo Saxon background with Australian parents and grandparents – so as you can imagine I am particularly fair. As a child I grew up in Springvale, a south eastern suburb of Melbourne during the late 1970’s and early ‘80s - one of the original ethnic melting pots of Melbourne. This is my Grade Prep photo, taken in 1979. I am in the front row seated 2nd from the right, with my home haircut and pretty dress that Mum sewed for me.


In this class of 31 children I can distinctly remember having friends who came from Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Italy, Israel, Finland, Vietnam, Cambodia, New Zealand and Yugoslavia (as it was known then), and they are the nations that come to mind over 30 years later, there may have been more. We shared our cultures, stories, our food and languages. This was our normal.

My family embraced this multiculturalism that my brother Adam and I lived amongst. By the time we were teenagers Adam had a friend, Cahn, whom he used to play basketball with every weekend. Adam has learning difficulties and special needs. Cahn accepted him as his friend. Adam never noticed that Cahn was Vietnamese. He accepted him as his friend. Mum and Dad did not bat an eyelid when Adam brought Cahn home for lunch one weekend, and then the next weekend, then much more frequently to dinner during the week until eventually he kind of lived at our house. My parents ‘adopted’ Cahn, since he was living in the care of the Wesley Mission, but what he really needed was a family.

Cahn had come to Australia on a rickety boat from Vietnam as a refugee, escaping the Viet Cong. He told us his harrowing and sorrowful story, leaving his parents and siblings behind and travelling here with his Auntie posing as his mother. Many fellow Vietnamese met their death on this dangerous journey; their lives being taken by illness, sharks and even pirates. As a child he lived at Enterprise, a migrant facility in Springvale to house the many hundreds of refugees that fled persecution. His Auntie had since married and there was no room for him in their new family. But we had plenty of room for him in ours.

Cahn went on to marry his High school sweetheart Olivia (from an Italian background) and they have a beautiful daughter Angelica. He runs a successful bakery and is happy. He calls me his sister, Adam his brother and my parents Mum and Dad.


It was not so long ago that my kids were looking at some photos and asked me why Angelica looked different. I wasn’t sure what they meant at first, perhaps that she was older now than when the photos were taken? When I questioned them they replied, “No Mum, why does she look a bit Chinese?” Then it hit me! Oh the joy! My children were seeing Angelica through Adam’s eyes. They did not see color or race. They saw another child, a little girl, their cousin - and that was all. When I explained how Angelica came to look different they were nonchalant and not at all interested. Who cares? I heard them say, she’s just our cousin…

I am just so proud of my children’s acceptance of others – seeing people for who they are, not the color of their skin, or their country of origin, their religious beliefs, disabilities or anything else. In a world that is often ignorant, angry and racist I am proud that my children look first with their heart, then with their eyes. This is the little miracle I would like to share with you, acceptance of people as they are, without judgement or fear. Imagine how much more wonderful our world could be if we were all just a little more tolerant, and looked at the world with fresh, innocent eyes.

Galatians 3:28
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Wesley Mission has a real mission – to minister to a community with real needs.
Their community includes the vulnerable and marginalised. It includes the lonely, hurt and fragile, the homeless, mentally ill, aged, disabled, unemployed. It includes the spiritually lost.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

It's so Cool I just have to Share...

Hello to all friends of SEM out there! Svetlana here. I am really excited to share something cool with you :-))
Less than a week ago, I returned home after 3 weeks visit to my dear homeland - Russia. I would say that this trip was not just an everyday miracle. To me it is not even every year miracle but it surely was filled abundantly with many miracles - every single day!
I know of many people who dream to visit Russia and I know of many people for whom this dream came true.  A visit to Moscow and St Petersburg as well as to some other smaller historical towns is an unforgettable experience.  I couldn't help myself but to pretend to be a tourist in the places that are familiar to me since my childhood. I found this approach to be a lot of fun. It gives one new appreciations of things that surround you. I think that it is a cool way of finding new miracles in your everyday life. There is always something new to see and there are plenty of pleasant surprises waiting for you to be discovered. 
I always loved autumn with its splashes of bright colors, grey skies and slow drizzles of rain. Many of you have opportunity to experience all of it year after year but I really missed that living in Africa where the seasons don't differ that much in appearance. And this year God gave me the most beautiful 3 weeks of autumn! 
But I don't think that all this splendor would be so great if it wouldn't become a background for me meeting many of my loved ones. I had time to spend time with my family, meeting some old friends (some of them have been in my life since I can remember myself!) and making new ones. What a pleasure it was to just sit with my mom in her tiny kitchen in that small apartment where I grew up and chat about all the little things that fill our lives! Or how cool it was to walk the streets of St Petersburg with a friend who became so close to me over the past few years but whom I met for the first time in real life! Again and again I realize how important and precious people are, how empty and boring our lives can be without no one to share it with.
I am thankful the most to every person who made my trip such an unforgettable experience. I am thankful to my family whom I missed very much while having this wonderful time - my dear husband who made it all possible for me and my little boys who were so sweet while I was away. And most of all I am thankful to God who brought all these people into my life!
I want to share with you this picture I took in St Petersburg - the skies over the city were so dramatic and breath taking that day!


Now I have more than enough memories and photographs to fill in my travel book I made a while ago especially for this trip :-))


I wish you all that every day in your lives will bring something really cool that you will want to share it with others!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Praise Post!

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
 
In Canada we celebrate thanksgiving in October, it also happens to be my favourite month. I live in an area that has many maple trees and they change colour this time of year. Beautiful reds, oranges and yellows all mixed together to paint the most breath taking picture. Every year I see this same picture and I never get bored of it. Year after year my heart is full of praise for this miracle of changing colours. It's such a great reminder that there is a season for everything and although the leaves are dying, I know that in spring there will be new life. This October I have something else to be thankful for when it comes to nature. Last summer we experienced a drought. During this time we had concerns about forest fires near our home as well as dried up wells. Many were left without water. Another concern that was not as important was that our front lawn died. This was very frustrating because we had paid a lot of money for it but more frustrating than the cost was that it totally depressed me. Every time I pulled into our lane way, all I saw was 5000 square feet of dead grass. I hated the site of it and the death of it was in my face day after day. I'm happy to report that the dead grass has been replaced and the green grass is like a burst of new life that I get to enjoy. Such a great reminder that I also have been given new life! The grass will soon be covered with snow but that will be beautiful too! I will enjoy our new grass for a short time and come spring I will look forward to the snow melting. The best part is that the Lord provided and it didn't cost us anything. I'm so thankful to Him who provides for all my needs and He even cared about my grass!
What everyday miracles are you noticing today?
In closing I wanted to share with you the view from my parents house. This photo was taken very early in the fall, before the colours were at their peak but it still shows God's handy work and His awesomeness!
 
 


Thursday, October 18, 2012

How To Make A Pie Chart

Hi everyone, Sherri here.  I recently tried this new technique, and am excited to be sharing it with you today.  I'm going to show you a quick and easy way to make a pie chart.  For use as a quick and easy embellishment on your layouts.  It's my understanding that if you have a Silhouette Cameo this technique can be done even quicker.  If, like me you don't have one to speed things up, this way will work just fine too.

I knew I wanted to have several charts in different sizes, so I pulled out my trusty old Creating Memories circle cutting system, and a scrap piece of 12x12 packaging.
 Using plates or bowls, or jar bases, or anything of the like will work perfectly also.
After I had all my circles cut out I divided them up like pieces of a pie (hence the name, go figure).

Using a ruler find the center point on your circle draw a line from one side to the other.  Rotate the circle, and do the same thing on the reverse side so you have a big "+" sign smack dab in the middle reaching from side to side.  Once yo have the "+" continue dividing up the circle leaving about one inch or so in between lines.  Your circles should now look like this.
Notice I made one pie chart off centered
Once you have all your pie charts divided up, it's important to number each sliver of the pie from #1 up.  This will help greatly in the re-assmebly.
 
Here, because I have so many sizes I used a system to remeber which slice went with which pie.  The largest circle is numbered 1lg (large) to 8lg.  The medium is number 1 med to 6 med, etc.  Now, because I used an extra piece of packaging which is sturdier than regular card stock, I have several templates to reuse at a later time.  Recycled cereal boxes, and the like would work excellently also.

Now all you need to do is trace the pie pieces onto patterned paper, and reassemble the pie chart.
At this point you can simply reassemble the pie chart directly onto your layout if you wish.  Because I knew I wanted to stitch on mine, I needed to reassemble it onto a scrap piece of cardstock.

Once I had them all reassembled I used my sewing machine to stitch a zig-zag pattern in between each of the pieces.

And here is the layout I came up with using my freshly made pie charts, and a cute quote I discovered on Pinterest.


I told you it was easy.  I hope you've been inspired to give something new a try.  Be sure to link us up if you give this technique a shot.  We'd love to come by and have a peek.

Happy Creating friends!

Monday, October 15, 2012

October Sketch Challenge

Hello ladies!

Here is the sketch for October by PageMaps


Scrap twist: Since this is the season of the Jewish New Year the twist will be to use red or green colors and shades on your layout (like the colors of an apple). One of the New Year's traditions is to eat an apple with honey: an apple so the year will be round, whole with no bumps or obstacles, and honey so the year will be good and sweet.

Here are the layouts from the Design Team members. Hover your mouse over each photo to see what each gal has to say about her project.













Our sponsor this month is Boys Rule Scrapbook Kits


Boys Rule Scrapbooks kits is a monthly scrapbook kit club for those of us who love to paper craft boy subjects. Care and consideration is key as each kit is assembled for the boys. Cool embellishments are paired with handsome papers you will love to play with each month.
Boys Rule Scrapbook kits also has exclusive embellishments with each kit....they are all different and very unique, and are included each month just for you.

It's fun to create when you have a complete kit that is designed for the memories of dirt, grunge and smelly things!

You can visit us
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Boys-Rule-Scrapbook-Kits/141282505950675


Link up a project by October 31st and you could win  a Mini Kit from Boys Rule!!!!!

Here is a picture of the awesome prize...Wow!

All projects must be linked up by October 31st 11:59pm PST.
Have fun creating!
Einat


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Heartfelt Thoughts from Tracey

As I prayed on what I would share in my first post, the topic became clear to me albeit it a difficult one. I want to share with you how one brave soldier brought out the best in my community and forever changed our lives.


This is Private Michael DeMarsico,just "Mike" to my son and the friends in his graduating class. It may be cliche, but he truly was a great kid from a large and loving Christian family.He joined the US Army as he always said he would and became proficient in detecting roadside explosion devices in Afganhistan. In August, we learned that his family's worst fears had come true. Mike was killed by a roadside bomb at only 20 years of age.

What followed in our city was an incredible wave of love and support for the family and drive to honor our hometown hero. As his body was escorted home, the streets of my town were lined with thousands, holding flags in their hands and respect in their hearts. I want to share with you an excerpt from the Facebook posting of the officer John LeClair, who escorted Mike home. Keep in mind,we live in a small city in the valley, only reached by mountain roads passing through even smaller towns.

"Today, I had the honor of escorting Pfc. Michael Demarsico, U.S. Army, home from Westover AFB, where he was flown from Dover AFB after being killed in action in Afghanistan on Aug. 16.

For those who turned out to welcome Michael back home along the route from Westover to the funeral home, I say thank you. It was an amazing tribute to such an amazing young man. You cannot understand the feeling of driving up to lone persons, small groups or thousands holding flags and signs in support of Michael and his family.

Some of you may have been only to see a little portion of the procession, but here are some things that will stay with me forever:

• The ceremony at Westover AFB when they moved Michael from the plane to the hearse. Shear, utter chills in 80 degree weather as the honor guard performed perfectly.


• The fire, police and EMS at every overpass along Route 91 who saluted and had flags displayed. The troopers working details who got out their cruisers and saluted as we passed.

•The lone women holding a flag, crying, saying thank you to us as she stood on the edge of the median at the Greenfield rotary just as we got off Route 91. I thought you are thanking us? No ma'am THANK YOU!

• As we drove around the rotary the huge, more than 1,000 person reception in Greenfield. Greenfield??? Oh my God what will North Adams be like? People lined three and four deep along the road, both sides, from Friendly's all the way past Home Depot. Greenfield fire, police; DEM Fire services, Montague, Franklin County sheriffs, too many to read, I can't keep up reading the little kids signs and the names on the emergency vehicles. Flags, flags, flags.

• Up to Shelburne and a sign on a store reads Our Hero Michael Demarsico. As we arrive in Shelburne we are greeted by police, fire and ems and then MSP on both sides of the road standing out of their cruisers saluting.

• An approximately 90-year-old man, dressed in what looked like a WWII Marine Corps era uniform, who stoodup slowly and obviously painfully, but saluted and held a flag as we passed.

• As we entered Charlemont the bridge crew who hung a flag from their crane over the road and then stood and took their hard hats off and placed them over their heart.

• A woman in her 70s who sprinted down her 200-foot driveway holding flag. She must have been standing in her window waiting for hours for us to pass. How did this woman in the middle of Charlemont know when we were coming?


• Throughout our drive over Route 2 cars travelling in the opposite direction pulled over stopped, got out their cars and saluted or placed their hands over their heart. N.Y., N.J., N.H., Wisc., how did they know? They were driving at 50 mph screech to a halt, and jump out to salute someone they don't know. When we stopped at Brown's Garage to unfurl the flags for the Patriot Guard, there were cars backed up for miles behind us. But not one passed the procession they all waited for 10 minutes…. RESPECT.

• As we got into Florida, more flags, flags over the road, the school children. The Hairpin Turn, Clarksburg police, fire, selectman.


• As we entered into North Adams I expected nothing less than the incredible turnout that this city would show to a hero ... a soldier ... a son. It was truly overwhelming from our perspective ... if you were there you were only able to see a portion ... "Proud to be an American" playing ... too many faces to focus and recognize, a blur.
For a cynical person like me seeing often only the bad things. Today, North Adams made me proud to call you my home. You saluted a hero ... in a way that will bring tears to my eyes every time I think about it."

Our pastor was requested to speak words of comfort at a candlelight gathering started by his friends. Our church was chosen to host the funeral. As our congregation prayed for strength and guidance in this emotional time, our Pastor reflected how earlier this year,we prayed earnestly for God to help us be a voice to the community and find a way to reach the younger generation. Because our church can only hold about 600, loudspeakers would broadcast the funeral to the hundreds lined outside our church. In the weeks following, many of Mike's high school friends,my son included, started attending church. My son accepted Jesus Christ as his savior shortly after.

Now, I wouldn't begin to simplify or pretend to understand or justify the reasons for this tragic loss of life. As a mother, my heart breaks for his mother. God's word does say that " we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. " Romans 8:28

All things..even awful,painful,devastating things for which we see no reason or purpose.

This is the last quote that Mike had posted on his Facebook page:



" Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."

John 15:13



Monday, October 8, 2012

GD Inspiration Post - October - Toni Herron

Good Morning and G'Day from Australia SEM lovers.
It's Toni here, taking up this amazing opportunity to be your Guest Designer for October.  I hope you will all find something inspirational with my LO's!

First of all, a little off topic, but Congratulations to the SEM team for the great and successful Blog Hop and Congratulations to all the winners! I'm sure you'll all love your prizes!

Ok, now on to the October main challenge.  
 *Focus on FALL.
with the twist to add paint.
To be honest I was super thrilled when asked to be your GD for October, but when I received the Challenge theme, I was terrified. In Australia we don't celebrate Fall (to us it's called AUTUMN!).
We don't have Thanks Giving and most don't celebrate Halloween, (which is in Spring here, so wouldn't fit anyway)..
So this got me thinking outside the box. And the further I went, the more excited and up for this challenge I was!
In Autumn the only thing that popped out to me that we as a nation celebrate is ANZAC day. 
 *Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.
This is actually a national public holiday for respect to those once serviced in our Aust Army and those currently active.

Below I have created my main LO with my Gran in mind. However, unfortunately I haven't been able to get my hands on the correct photo I wanted for this LO, so it still sits naked of a photo. I apologise! The heart peeking out under the tag is my paint twist for this challenge.


I also made a few more LO's celebrating not only Australian Heroes but a couple from Ireland too.



First up is my MiL's Dad.. Chief Petty Officer Victor Sutcliffe serviced on board the HMAS Voyager during the Koren War for the Royal Australian Navy.






These LO's are for my FiL, both of his parents served in the Nothern Ireland Military Army Services during WW2.

Jack was a worker in the Aircraft factory in Belfast.
And as mentioned on Norah's LO, there were 38,000 enlisted personal when the war finished. These were all Volunteer positions, unlike the rest of the UK.
The Republic of Ireland had declared themselves as a
"Neutral Country".

I found alot of inspiration with the challenge reading also with these LO's.. Deuteronomy 31:8 The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." 

As I was creating these LO's, I had just lost my grandmother. My Nan was a special and true lady in every sense of the meaning! Making these LO's gave me a little bit to concentrate on and helped me to feel a little closer to God in this tough time. Although we prayed for God to set Nan free and take her home with him to join the rest of our Heavenly family, its still very hard to not be a little bitter when he finally did. It helped to ease me though taking alot of reassurance knowing that Heaven gained the most beautiful Angel and that I am truly thankful to the Lord for allowing me and the rest of the world for having her in our lives as long as we did!
These ANZAC themed pages were a great opportunity for me to get to know and respect the contributions that my Husband's Grandparents gave to their countries in time of War, even though I have not had the chance to meet them. And I believe that God will help bring our current soldiers home very soon when own country's contribution is complete.
Well thats it from me for now. I thank you very much for sticking with me through that long post!
For more information and details (including close up pics) of these LO's feel free to drop by my own blog.
http://toniherron.aussieblogs.com.au/
Thank you again to the amazing Scrapping Everyday Miracles team for this great opportunity!
I can't wait to see what your creations are for this challenge and will see you again soon.. Toni.. xoxo

Saturday, October 6, 2012

World Card Making Day

Scrapping Everyday Miracles is so excited to particpate in the World Card Making Day.... 



Every year the first Saturday of October is World Card Making Day.  The holiday was created to kick off the holiday- card making season.  So how many of you make cards for the holidays?  Well even if you have never tried there is no better time to create and share handmade greetings.

So our design team have created some cards to share with you and to celebrate the creativity and fun behind making and giving handmade cards!
Nicole 
More fun cards can be found on my blog!

 Sherri


*I have a lot more card inspiration for you at my blog today--click on the link above*


For more information about World Cardmaking Day you can visit http://www.worldcardmakingday.com/index.html

Did you know there is a big World Cardmaking Day Contest that you can enter?  You can find the details here http://www.worldcardmakingday.com/contests/2012-world-card-making-day.html you have until October 15th to have your cards post marked...
Would you love to win this... I know I would!

If you have a card you have created and would like to share with us... you can comment with a link or share it with us on our Scrapping Everyday Miracles Facebook Group 

Winners!!

I hope you all are having a glorious October day, wherever you are! My family and I are blessed to be camping in Western Massachusetts at the Christian summer camp our church sponsors. 
This is what I woke up to this morning:


Thanks for letting me share! I wanted to also let you know about our SEM Facebook ChitChat Group where we visit, play games and share in fellowship.  We would love to see your scrappy creations and get to know you better! 
We loved admiring the creative entries in the September Challenges! Seeing all your entries and reading your stories about the husbands,sons and important "boys" in your lives was so inspiring.  I hope you share these with those "boys" so they too can see that they are loved and appreciated as blessings from God. 

Our generous sponsor this month is The Card Kitchen.
The ladies at The Card Kitchen have kindly donated a fabulous card kit as our prize for this month!


I combined all the entries from both challenges and...
Andrea Eason  you are the winner!
Andrea shared with us this adorable "Now and then" layout of her daughter's first day of school. Congrats, Andrea!


Next we have our Top 3 Winners. This is my first month voting and it was not easy!
 The Top 3 are:

1. Lynn
We loved seeing her page dedicated to her  loving husband. Check out the great stencil design and the creative distressed heart shaped picture !

2. Helen
See her layout dedicated to her husband as well. Such great colors and sweet pictures. You can really see how much he loves being a father.

3. Myra
We were so inspired by her story of her husband's transformation and success! 


Congrats to our Top 3! Please place our Top 3 badge on your blog to share! 
Thank you to all who played along!

Now, for the winners of our New Chapter Blog Hop! 
It was so great to be able to share our stories and read your thoughtful and kind comments.  
Thank you Jess,Toni and Helen for sharing your New Chapters with us as well!

So who did Random.org chose as the winner of this generous and FABULOUS Prize from Art Freckles?

Congrats Jessica and enjoy your fabulous prize package!

The winners of the RAKs from the DT blogs are:
Cara's blog winner is Connie
Marjolaine's blog winner is Tracey S.
Felecity's blog winner is Susan
Nicole's blog winner is Miriam
Tracey's blog winner is Paula J.
Sherri's blog winner is Faith Hope Cherrytea
Svetlana's blog winner will be announced Oct. 19th (she is out of town until then)

Congrats to ALL the winners! 
Please email us at scrappingeverydaymiracles@yahoo.com to claim your prize.  Those that won RAK on DT member's blog please contact that DT member.  

Thanks again to all who entered. We invite you to link up to our October challenges (our Main Challenge is already up on the blog and our Sketch challenge will be posted the third monday of this month)!!!!

Enjoy this weekend,(holiday weekend for the States and Canada) and remember to keep your heart open to seeing God's miracles all around you !
Have a blessed day!
Tracey

Monday, October 1, 2012

Challenge #21- Fall Miracles

Hi Everyone it is Nicole writing you from above the Arctic Circle in Norway.  Well Fall is in full force around here.  For this month's Main Challenge I want us to be inspired by the Fall season and to look for those everyday miracles around us at this time of year. There is so much happening around us the weather is changing, school has started back up, new jobs, new friends... all kinds of blessings.  I want to challenge you to really look for a special moment from the fall season.... maybe something that you could have overlooked or taken for granted.

Some of you live Down Under or are from a place that doesn't have a lot of seasons... I know this challenge can be hard for you.  I would suggest maybe taking a little twist on the challenge for example you could scrap about a "miracle" from this time of year no matter what season it is where you live. For me the Fall season is all about harvest and giving thanks so  no matter where we live there is always a season of harvest both in nature and in our hearts.... really look and you will see God's everyday miracles in your life!

So no matter what situation you seem to be going through this Fall embrace the crisp air and know that you have a God that loves you so very much!  He is right there with you through it all no matter how hard life is at times.  Deuteronomy 31:8 - The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."

Scrap Twist: This challenge I would like if you could use PAINT on your layout!  I know you might be afraid that you will mess it up but that is part of the charm of using paint on your layout!  Have fun and get creative!

I also want to encourage you that you do not have to do a layout, you can create mixed media projects, canvases or other projects that can remind you of those everyday miracles in your life.


And here are the layouts our Design Team created (hover your mouse over the picture to see what each Design Team member has to say about their project).



Our sponsor this month is Boys Rule Scrapbook Kits

Boys Rule Scrapbooks kits is a monthly scrapbook kit club for those of us who love to paper craft boy subjects.      Care and consideration is key as each kit is assembled for the boys.  Cool embellishments are paired with  handsome papers you will love to play with each month.   
Boys Rule Scrapbook kits also has exclusive embellishments with each kit....they are all different and very unique, and are included each month just for you.
 
It's fun to create when you have a complete kit that is designed for the memories of dirt, grunge and smelly things! 

You can visit us

Link up a project by October 31st and you could win  a Mini Kit from Boys Rule!!!!!
Plus the DT will pick their top 3 layouts from all the entries... those layouts will be displayed in our Winners post on November 3rd.

Here is a picture of the awesome prize...Wow!

All projects must be linked up by October 31st 11:59pm PST.