Friday, August 29, 2008

Thursday - We are sleepless in Seattle

Wow, we are really getting around in
the great Pacific Northwest...a few hours drive along beautifully scenic highways with noses to the windows and we find ourselves in Seattle.

The city is bustling with lots of activity. Pastor and Alice are a few hours from the best tourist attractions the Pacific Northwest has to offer, and oddly enough they go north, south, east, west. So we have been all around...literally.


You can't go to Seattle and not get a photo of the Sky Needle, so here it is.


About Seattle, one of our first sites is Puget Sound. The real estate in this area is a little pricey...OK VERY pricey. Like cough, a million bucks. And these are not super fancy, pieces of property. In Indy the same would cost a fraction of this amount.

So here we are at Puget Sound with the Seattle city scape behind us.


Next stop....Sleepless in Seattle. The house boat Tom Hanks "lived" in is actually in a house boat community. I didn't know such a thing existed. I did not get a great photo of that particular house boat but did find this one with the beautiful entryway. This photo shows the water around the house.


On to lunch at Iver's, wonderful fresh seafood on the water front, yummy. Clam chowder to die for. And an audience...sea gulls as large as chickens. We are talking very well fed birds that love french fries and make it known to all that are in ear shot.

Truth is...I had fun feeding the birds as did Alice.

On to downtown Seattle to the market. OK this was one serious bustling area, really people everywhere.

The market has many beautiful arts and crafts, but what really stood out to me is the flowers. The bouquets are huge, the flowers TOP grade and very vibrant, grown in the area and cost $5.00 a bunch. Win Win Win!!!

There are arrangements that cost more, like $10.00, but they are vast. My head was spinning at the endless row of beautiful flowers, delphiniums, dahlias, asters like I've never seen.

At the market we visit the world famous Pike's Place Fish Company and with perfect timing we arrive for the noon time "show". Fish flying, people smiling, good time.


We stuck our heads into the original Starbucks. Here you see their coffee bean pig. Not a great shot but it was suspended over my noggin in a very crowded room, my apologies, but this is as good as it gets.

Until tomorrow!


Wednesday - Taking it easy

Wednesday - Slow down the pace...just a bit.

I had typed this up earlier and Blogger ate it, hope my memory serves me well. There is a slight rain and the temperature is mild, feels very good to me.

We don't have an agenda today, Pastor and Alice need to go to the church and work. While they are there, we tidy up the house a bit and do a little laundry.

We met with the Pastor, Alice, and several people from the church for lunch at Taco Time, a franchise operated by a family from the congregation. The food is yummy and all ingredients fresh. Here we met Rita who answers the phones while Pastor and his staff are in meetings each Wednesday. I have already met Ruth, the children's minister and terrific scrapbooker, and Diane, Pastor's administrative assistant and talented computer repair technician.

In the evening we have dinner at the church...this was most impressive. Every Wednesday, a few of the ladies cook up a nutritious meal, complete with dessert for $5.00. How convenient is that? We dined in the company of Barbara, a lady of seventy that is raising two great-grandchildren, Jesus please bless her. And we meet Cheryl and her husband, Cheryl is a stay at home grandma, her husband works in the timber business. Cheryl has a ministry called "Apples of Gold", here they teach the ladies what I would categorize as home economics, i.e., cooking and household tips. The ministry encourages women, especially young ladies (I would imagine) with household issues and duties. They also have recipe sharing, which really appeals to me. If I lived there, I would be attending this class, the fellowship/relationship opportunity here is exponential.

At 7:00 we are off to Bible Study. I am a little anxious, after all we are new and haven't been to Bible Study for a long time. Our schedule just doesn't allow it, so I am not only anxious, but also excited because Mark and I have an opportunity to study together. Here we meet Ann, she has five children. She and her husband both come from very large families, if I remember correctly she has eleven brothers and sisters, her husband has twelve. We meet Louise, her eyes sparkle with life. We also meet Rev. Thurman and his wife. I detect a gentle and loving spirit from them.

Class was led by Mac. Mac taught from 1 John, chapter 1. This passage tells us about Jesus and who he is...and it also tells us about redemption. Interesting thing is, Mac shared with us...a personal situation that had occurred in his life and how he needs and loves his church family. Here he is so transparent, it makes it effortless to relate to him and to draw closer. Mac touched my heart and I learned we both have empathy toward people that find themselves in dire straits due to bad choices. And it is here, the grace of Jesus comes through and our Redeemer gives His mercy.

At class we also met Robert, he is wonderful. I saw a childlike love and reverence for Jesus shine through Robert. He had his purple cross and his baseball cap with "MFJ" on the front, which he explains to me means "My Friend Jesus".

Mac talked about things he and Robert had done through out the week and it is during this conversation that I realize, Mac and Robert are friends and that Mac is there for Robert. He looks out for him, makes sure he can get around, is there if he has a need. Mac loves Robert...and Robert loves Mac. The dynamics of this friendship touched my heart and I pray they both have a long lasting deep friendship serving the Lord all their days.

This post is post Wednesday and I am back home. Since my return I have been listening to Pastor's series called "Home Improvement". This series directly addresses what is up with us...meaning you and me. What are the issues we deal with continually that concerns us...separates us from God? Pastor teaches us the scriptural responses to these real and pressing problems. Earlier in this post I said my schedule didn't allow for Bible Study with Mark...and it doesn't. BUT, that does not mean I can't reclaim my MARGIN and get into one myself. I have resolved to do just that!

It refreshed my soul to spend time with God loving people and I feel renewed, ready to pick up the cross and press through, just like Mac. Thank you brother for your testimony and keep on being transparent, your testimony is powerful and encouraging, it exemplifies the grace and mercy God has for us....just for the asking.

Mt. Saint Helens

Tuesday - Today Pastor and Alice are working at the church in the afternoon. Joel is preparing to leave for college. Mark and I will be exploring alone today. First Alice and I take Pastor to church, then we go to the grocery, rush back to the house and prepare food for a cookout. We had a delicious meal and was visited by a humming bird. Now to the mountain...

Mt. Saint Helen's is approximately 1.5 hours away. We travel up Highway 5 to Johnston's Pass. We see a sign that says "Blast Zone", then drive for many more miles up the pass. The area the explosion affected (destroyed) is vast. Everything beyond the "Blast Zone" sign is new growth since the volcano erupted in 1980. Hard to believe it was that long ago, seems like it happened only a few years back.

Mark and I spent the day on the mountain and were in absolute awe of the enormity of what occurred here and the beauty that has emerged since that time. Several new species of plants have emerged since the eruption.

Speaking of the eruption, the volcano didn't erupt as we may typically think...i.e., spewing up, then flowing down. Instead, there was an enormous side facing explosion that blew out the side of the mountain. There was an initial blast, followed by heated gases that were 1,500 degrees, followed by a rock and mud slide, then lava.

Since this event occurred in modern times, scientist have been able to gain much knowledge regarding this type of volcanic eruption.

The semi-circular lookout is inscribed with the names of those that perished that day.

There are trees on the top of surrounding mountain tops yet today that show the direction of the blast. They look like matchsticks.

While the mountain looks rather close, it is actually five miles from where we are standing.

You can see the indentation in the middle of the mountain where the cap is forming...and growing.

We hiked a while today, there was a slight breeze and the temperature was cool, which makes hiking comfortable. It felt good to get some much needed exercise.

Still vacating....Monday

Monday - Mark and are traveling with Pastor and Alice to the Pacific Ocean. Now I don't want to sound like a country bumpkin (no offense intended) but I've never seen it. Quite frankly, I'm excited to see the ocean and dip my feet in it. Considering I've never seen the ocean, I wasn't sure what to expect but let me tell you....words could not have prepared me. The photos will explain...kinda.

First we meandered through Astoria and saw this column, a tribute to Lewis and Clark. The inscriptions are very intricate and the column very beautiful.
Our trip continued along the Columbia River, as it become much wider, it is clear we are approaching the ocean. We arrive to an outlook where we took additional photos, one of a rock called "Haystack", it is a behemoth! This particular area is where several movies have been filmed, like Goonies and Kevin Costner's "The Guardian". The area is very beautiful.

We travel from "Haystack" to Cannon Beach, looked as the beautiful foliage and shops then went to Mo's ocean side restaurant for dinner. While sitting at the table and gazing at God's glorious creation,

I saw a splash out in the ocean. I wasn't sure what I was seeing, turns out it was a whale. The whale entertained us the entire time we were there! Odd thing, I was as excited as a child about this whale.
The sun has begun to set and we need to start heading back to Longview. Before our journey back we all agreed that it is essential to get photos of the sunset. Isn't it beautiful? I love the photo of Mark standing on the beach and looking out at the horizon in what appears to be awe of the magnificent sight before him.

So, do you wonder if I will ever quit blathering about our trip to the ocean? Or are you curious
...."Did she put her feet in the Pacific"? Well the answer is, you bet I did and it was COLD but delicious!

Still on vacation - Sunday

Day two...we have arrived and have settled at Pastor and Alice's home. Washington looks awesome, Pastor and Alice have a lovely home. God has blessed them abundantly.

It is raining...a light steady mist of a rainfall. I've heard only tourist use umbrellas here....ahem, perhaps I should put my bumper shoot away.

Today we will be attending Longview Church of God, they are having a guest speaker. His name is Gordon Mote. Mr. Mote is a very talented pianist and performs with Bill Gaither. He spends time in the recording studio with Rascal Flatts, good old Church of God boys. He has been playing piano since he was three, which is quite remarkable considering he was born blind. I strongly recommend you visit his site and support this wonderful man of God. One of his songs that I found especially moving is called "Wake Up Dancing". Mr. Mote's ministry is very powerful and his music...very profound, moving really.

After Sunday service....we went to a steak house and ate toooo much. Many people from the church were there, felt like old times and I loved it. Mark and I have met several people from the church. They are lovely people, it is an honor to be in their midst.

In the evening we attended services and were blessed to hear Pastor Fischer deliver the message. He preached from Revelation 5:1, about the Book of Redemption with seven seals. The book contains the story of man's fall through sin and rise through Christ Jesus. Only the lamb, the lion....the Holy One, who is in the center of the throne is worthy of breaking the seals and opening the book. He can do this because of who He is...the Lion of the tribe of Judea. Where He is...the right side of the Father, and what He does...redeems us.

The scrolls of our lives and hearts can only be opened by Him as well. He is our Lord and Creator at the right side of God, standing in the gap for our sins...our advocate and intercessor. Just typing this makes me praise Him!!!! Thank you Jesus!!!!

It makes my heart swell with complete love of Jesus just thinking of His grace and mercy. How He loves us. That He suffered the cross, the most painful and humiliating death to take away the sins of the world. A fact that is so hard to fathom...what all encompassing love, for you and me. WOW! Oh yes, He is very worthy of our trust, praise, worship, and love! All we need to do is trust Him to open the seals of our lives.

After the pleasure of hearing Pastor's sermon, (I can't emphasis what a true pleasure it was)several from the congregation met for dinner at Dairy Queen. I loved extending my church family and meeting other brothers and sisters in Christ. My family just keeps growing.



Pacific Northwest Vacation - Saturday We Arrive

We are still in the Pacific Northwest...and the visit is awesome. We have been traveling a lot and seeing MANY sites.

For instance.... Saturday we arrived in Portland and saw this....

And while the sights are wonderful...time with our friends, Pastor and Alice is what this trip is all about. They have a forever place in our hearts. It is a pleasure to see them.

After visiting the falls, we went to downtown Portland, very interesting downtown area, if you are ever there it is worth the trip to explore the town and shop the Bridge Market.



Sunday, August 24, 2008 is a good thing

Hello! You will never guess where I am....yep I'm in Washington state. Flew into Portland Oregon this morning with my husband Mark, we were met at the airport by Pastor and Alice...explored Portland, saw beautiful sites and enjoyed the presence of our dear friends that we love so much. Ah, life is good and God's blessings are abundant.

Our flight was great, the sky and weather perfect. We saw Mt. Adams, Mt. Rainier, and Mt. St. Helen very clearly from our plane. We also saw a windmill farm from the sky...all of which was a first for both of us.

Had to pleasure of seeing Joel, he is such a wonderful young man. His smile melts my heart. There is something about Joel and Lauryn that is warm, loving, and endearing. They are precious. We met them while they were youngsters and have enjoyed watching them grow into beautiful young adults.

Portland is very interesting...the "MAX" (mass transit) in the downtown area is free. Unbelievable! Still trying to get my mind around transportation in the downtown area, wow! We took the "MAX" into downtown Portland and saw the sights, visited an Italian festival and an arts fair, bought a few pretties.

We went to Multnomah Falls, Oregon and enjoyed God's handiwork. The waterfalls tumbled over the mountain, creating a fine mist that was set ablaze in a delightful multi-faceted prism of colors. Ferns are everywhere and lush moss clings to the trees. We enjoyed lunch at the waterfall with a cute little ground squirrel.

After our visit to Portland, we meandered into Washington. If interested....I'll post some photos of the first day of our vacation. I am sure Mark got some great shots of the falls.

Now about this card...I posted it because it is my birthday! I gave myself a birthday treat by going to see my friends...Happy Birthday to ME!

The card has crackle paint, then Basic Grey's paper. The flowers are cut out and place on dimensionals that vary in depth. Used some red stickles in the center of the flowers. This card was messy to make but fun at the same time. Now to figure out how to get it into an envelope. Wish me luck.



Thursday, August 14, 2008

Let's Go Sailing

I made this card for my husband...I bought the SU set "Winds of Grace" especially for him. He loves sail boats, we used to have an 18 foot Hobie catamaran, the colors of the sail were the same as the sky in this was beautiful. We competed in the Indianapolis State Park Games and placed second twice...really wanted to win but it wasn't to be. Back to the card....

I stamped the boat with VersaMark then heat embossed with clear embossing powder. Punched out a 1 3/8 circle onto a Post It Note, stuck it where you see the sun. I used two Multi Color ink pads...the sky is Kaleidacolor Pastel, the water is Kaleidacolor Caribbean Sea. I brayered the sky first (with Post It Note in place). Placed a full sheet Post It Note on the newly brayered sky, then brayered the water. I layerd the image with Bazille paper, one is a pale yellow, navy blue, and a shimmery blue. Used SU HodgePodge and SU's beautiful but retired Bluebird grosgrain ribbon.

The inside sentiment reads, "The winds of grace are always blowing but is it ours to set the sails". That sentiment speaks to my heart, I really love it.

Blessings and good night.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

This card set me on a journey to find 6 X 6 envelopes....let me tell you now, they are at Archiver's....that little tip should save you bunches of time. I did find a template, but, it requires paper larger than 12 X 12, and well I don't have any. With that said, I did find a nifty site that tells you how to make your own envelopes...and I love it. My posts really don't show this, but I always decorate the inside of my cards and have matching envelopes that have been embellished.
This card has been cased....true. I saw it on Michelle Zindorf's blog and had to have it. And as my good fortune would have it...I had the SU stamp set....Touch of Nature, one of my absolute favorites. Also used the swirl stamp from SU's Doodle This set. Card stock is SU Chocolate Chip and off brand burgundy and tan. Ribbon is SU's satin burgundy ribbon, also used SU's ticket punch

This one is for my pal Glinda

My pal Glinda has a new toy...a Bind It All. As you can see, she has been playing. I love Glinda, she is a beautiful person, lots of fun, and has a loving and giving nature. Lucky for me...she calls me friend and as an added bonus...she makes pretties for me. And I can tell you I DO LOVE PRETTIES!

Glinda reads my blog and leaves encouraging words. She is very creative and makes beautiful cards and various paper crafts and you don't even want to know about her carrot cake....oh my, it is the BOMB! She is the best and I love her.

Back to the this case a Post It Notes holder, isn't it de-lish? I just love this paper? I love what Glinda has done here, she is a very talented lady.

When Glinda made this, she had my little "Sweet Pea" Emersyn in mind.

Speaking of is my introduction to you to my little angel.

Life is grand and God is good!


Wow, we are experiencing the best weather ever in has been the bomb. Recently I attended the "Women Of Faith" conference with a couple of friends and it was wonderful. If you haven't been to downtown Indianapolis, you need to visit, it is a great town, not to big...not to small. Walking around downtown enjoying the conference and the city was a treat.
The conference was wonderful, great messages and testimonies as well as over the top music (Nicole C. Mullen, Sandy Patty, and Women of Faith). It is just a good time, I recommend it. Anita Renfro was there and provided she quirky humor and told me what I already problems are all because of my thyroid. And to think everyone thought it was hormones!
The card I'm sharing today is from SU, the image is from "Thoughts of Father" the paper came out of my no name, but it is a muted shade of blue and a cocoa brown. The designer paper is Basic Grey's striped from the Mellow collection. The ribbon, Michael's dollar bin. Colored with pencils, the image took a little work due to the detail but I like it. Hope you do too.

My Garden

I had to share this....two long gorgeous rows of giant red cocks comb in our backyard (in front of our vegetable garden). I have always wanted to plant these flowers in front of the garden and this year I hit the mother load. They are breath taking, I wish you could see them in the early morning when the dew is wet on the ground and a faint mist is in the air with the sun shining through. It is awesome.

After the two rows of cocks comb, I have also planted a long row of giant zinnias. We have butterflies and humming birds buzzing around all the time. How glorious!

Time for some Orange and Penny Black

I would like to say, I'm done with Penny Black stickers...but that just isn't so. In addition to these beauties...I have stumbled upon "snowman" stickers. I will be playing with them soon.

Again, using diamond Stickles, Penny Black stickers, Basil glossy card stock, ribbon from my stash, SU's 2007 "Just Like You" set. Sentiment is from SU's 2007 Hostess Set. Name is missing from box, hummm. Wonder how that happened.

Have a lovely day!

More Penny Black - Yellow and Blue

OK, I went a little overboard with the Penny Black stickers...but they are soooo pretty. And easy to bling. I hope you like these...again, still playing with the "Tri-Fold" card. I love this color combination and again....used diamond stickles. The photo does not show a true representation of the bling and my camera is a little fuzzy.



Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Gotta Love Those Grandson's

Happy Birthday Joshua!!!! He is our little "Little League" champion, great basketball player, and soon to be Football superstar. That's our boy Joshua, the All American!

For his special day....a special card. would think so...but no, I found some Penny Black stickers that are irresistible. High gloss card stock (Basil), gold, bronze, and black, with a splash of yellow. Again, this is a "Joy Tri-Fold" card. It has additional "bug" stickers inside with an sentiment that reads..."It's your birthday. I hope you laugh so hard, cake and ice cream come out your nose." Josh had a great time at his party, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if he did have cake and ice cream coming out his nose.

I think Josh liked his Penny Black card....sports next year...Sport.

Love you!


Josh requested and received a pet hamster for his birthday....her name is Angel. He is pretty proud of his new rodent family member. I didn't see that one coming.

Flowers - Stickers - Penny Black

OK, I confess...I have been creating paper crafts and not sharing. Would blame it on being busy but the truth is...I'm busted. Just been playing and selfish. I did stumble upon something cool....Penny Black stickers. I never thought I would be a sticker kind of person, but here I am playing with diamond stickles and Penny Black stickers with glossy high quality "basil"? paper. Inside the cards are stamped butterflies and sentiments. Also, I used the die cut center at Archiver's and created matching envelopes for each card.

I have made a matching pink and gold box to contain these cards...nifty little gift don't you think? Each card is a "Joy Tri-Fold" card as recently published on Split Coast. Each card has a side embellishment that holds the flap down. I used lots of bling and layers to make these cards. They are pretty heavy. Hope you like. Will publish more soon.