Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Tips, Tricks and Techniques with Cara

I am responsible for arranging crafts for my MomsNext group, and while searching for fun Fall ideas on Pinterest lately, I found this idea and loved it so much, I wanted to share it with you...

(With American Thanksgiving fast approaching, this is the craft that I found to make for our group BUT for those of you in other countries, you could still use it as a decor item to go in your home, it's still such a wonderful idea)

Make a THANKFUL Tree...

Why?
It's Easy and Fun (would be great to make with your kiddos too) and a Great Way to Remember to Be Thankful to God for all He Has Blessed You With!!
...AND you can use items you have already.

What you will need
*paper scraps for the leaves
*branches you find in your yard
*a vase or other vessel you already have on hand
*twine or ribbon to tie on leaves
*small hole punch
*markers (to write on your leaves)
*if needed, fill it with small rocks or dry beans to hold it in place
*a leaf punch (or just cut out leaf shapes on your own, 
or use this one I found on Pinterest from the Cranial Hiccups blog)
it looks like this...

Here are three examples of Thankful Trees I found on Pinterest...

(from the Happy Housewife blog)

(from Better Homes and Gardens: bhg blog)

(from Over the Big Moon blog)

*Start by securing your branch(es) in your vase/vessel. You can paint the branch(es) if you want or keep them natural.
*Then cut out (or punch out) your leaves out of paper, or cut out from the template. 
*Punch holes in your leaves and make a hanger with twine or ribbon. 

How to Use your Thankful Tree:
Throughout the month of November, have one person in your family write something or someone  they are thankful for on a leaf each day--take turns. Then on Thanksgiving Day read all the different leaves to your group.
 -OR- 
Use your Thankful Tree as a centerpiece and have everyone who attends write a thankful message on a leaf (make sure you have markers there). Then share the responses after the meal. 
-OR-
 Leave it up (you can adapt it to your own decor) for a fall decor piece.

Just remember to be thankful for all He has blessed you with...
(also, if you haven't already, see Karla's post from a few weeks ago about this)

~Cara





Wednesday, October 21, 2015

MY EVERYDAY MIRACLE

Happy Wednesday!  

Paula here with our latest miracle...

Our God is SO good! No matter what things are looking like in our circumstances He can turn it all around for us in an instant.

That is how things have been here for me...


I have a really bad living situation. The complex we live in has not had regular maintenace staff in about a year.  Apparently they forget to pay them.  Every appliance in my kitchen other than the refrigerator is broken - many of them for 6 months to a year.  All they care about is harrassing you for extra fees for all sorts of unrealistic things.  There are no outside lights in any of the vestibules in close to 100 apartments on my side of the complex.  

They were threatening us with eviction because I was disputing one of those charges.  

I am disabled and I am raising a teen son whose father died last year. We struggle financially as we are on a fixed income and my work is limited to once or twice a month.  I didn't know how we were going to move or to even find a place because I have credit problems from a disreputable debt consolidation firm I used 2 years ago that ruined my credit score with bad advice.  

The apartment has mold which I am highly allergic to and I have been in the ER twice in the past 3 months.

Pretty grim so far right?


Well, I got boxes not knowing where we would go or how we would pay for a more expensive apartment and to have all the fees you need to get into a new place.  I continued to pray (and am continuing still) to know where God is leading us to. And I continue to pack.

My son came home a few weeks ago during the worst of this and handed me an envelope.

Our loving friends took a collection and in the envlope there was enough cash to help us find somewhere to go as well as to pay the fees they were charging which I am going to have to sue for in small claims court. 

We have not found a new place yet but the harassment has stopped for the most part (although they towed my sons car yesterday for $200) but I have found an agency that helped me with advice on my credit score and contacts of an agency that will help me do that and locate affordable housing. 

I know that all of this is answer to prayer.  My God always listens and always answers...I just need to pay attention as the answers often come in surprising ways. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

In The Word Wednesday!

Karla here today for the In The Word Wednesday post. Since it was Thanksgiving this past Monday here in Canada, being thankful is definitely on my mind. As a rule, I try to look on the bright side and focus on the positive because I think it's too easy to get caught up in the bad stuff that happens in our lives. I also think that no matter what I'm going through, there's someone else who is worse off, and I really do need to be thankful for the amazing things I have.

This bible verse on being thankful is from the NIV, and I used the Rhonna Designs App to create a pretty photo featuring it.


I also found an interesting article from the Greater Good website on tips for keeping a gratitude journal, which is a great way to remember to be thankful for both big and little things. Here's a list of the tips in the article-
  • Don’t just go through the motions. Research by psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky and others suggests that journaling is more effective if you first make the conscious decision to become happier and more grateful. “Motivation to become happier plays a role in the efficacy of journaling,” says Emmons.
  • Go for depth over breadth. Elaborating in detail about a particular thing for which you’re grateful carries more benefits than a superficial list of many things.
  • Get personal. Focusing on people to whom you are grateful has more of an impact than focusing on things for which you are grateful.
  • Try subtraction, not just addition. One effective way of stimulating gratitude is to reflect on what your life would be like without certain blessings, rather than just tallying up all those good things.
  • Savor surprises. Try to record events that were unexpected or surprising, as these tend to elicit stronger levels of gratitude.
  • Don’t overdo it. Writing occasionally (once or twice per week) is more beneficial than daily journaling. In fact, one study by Lyubomirsky and her colleagues found that people who wrote in their gratitude journals once a week for six weeks reported boosts in happiness afterward; people who wrote three times per week didn’t. “We adapt to positive events quickly, especially if we constantly focus on them,” says Emmons. “It seems counterintuitive, but it is how the mind works.”
I find scrapbooking and Project Life also help me to be thankful and keep track of those gifts that I sometimes take for granted. Here's a layout I created with my photos from Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday in the Project Life App. I then used the Rhonna Designs App to add some text and digi stamps. 



Thank you so much for joining me today! I hope you're inspired to write down something you have to be thankful for, whether it's in a journal, a scrapbook page or just sending a thank you card to a friend to let them know how much they mean to you! 



Tuesday, October 6, 2015

WINNERS! WINNERS! WINNERS!

Today is a great day for a few lucky ladies!

I am announcing our September challenge top 3 and prize winner, our birthday bash grand prize winner and our individual blog winners where offered and conditions met.

So first we have our Top 3 (in numerical order)  - actually this month there was a 4 way tie...
by Design Team selection - 

#1 Giorgia Rossini

#3 Toni Herron

#4 Toni Herron

#5 Granmargaret

Here is a button for your blog -

and our September prize winner -

True Random Number Generator  4Powered by RANDOM.ORG

#4 Toni Herron


Birthday Bash Winners

Individual Blog RAK winners-
Challenge #1 - Bev  - winner - Melissa Gross
Challenge #2 - Paula  - winner - Melissa Gross
Challenge #3 - Karla - Sam Clark
Challenge #4 - Katy - winner - Carol Burger
Challenge #5 - Debbie - no prize
Challenge #6 - Cara - no prize

And our Birthday Bash Grand Prize Winner by Random.org.

True Random Number Generator  2Powered by RANDOM.ORG

#2 Melissa Gross


Congratulations to all the winners.  

Toni and Melissa be sure 
to message me on Facebook -
 (Paula McLane Jennings) 
within 7 days to claim your prize.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

HAPPY FALL Y'ALL!!!

Welcome to our October challenges!

I hope you all enjoyed our Birthday Bash. Winners will be announced in the few days.


We have some exciting news - 


Another new Designer has been added to the team!  Please join us in welcoming Linda Harvey to the team.  


Here is a bit about her - 

My name is Linda Harvey. I live in beautiful northeast Alabama--nestled in the mountains on the Tennessee River.  My husband is a pastor and I am very active in church ministries. We have four children and fifteen grandchildren (that means lots of pictures to scrap). I have been scrapping for eighteen years. I enjoy it as a creative outlet and a way to preserve history for my family. I currently teach a "once a month" card class...it is a joy to share with others!

and now onto the challenges - 

Layout sketch - 

Linda

Karla

Paula
(rotated 1/4 turn clockwise!)

Card Sketch

Alicia

Debbie

Scripture Inspiration - 

Have Faith in God.  ~Mark 11:22

Cara

So now that we have inspired you, we would love to have you inspire us by trying out one, two or all three of our challenges.  You will get a chance to win the monthly prize with each entry.