Thursday, April 25, 2013

April PTI Blog Hop

Hi all,
Today's post is for the papertrey ink blog hop.
This month we were challenged to create a project that features something tilted.  Position a frame at an angle, tilt your text, add a background strip diagonally, create a border that has an incline, slant a sentiment block, the sky is truly the limit!   
I inked up Rosie Posie and made my own background paper, then die cut some roses from the set as my focal point.  I decided to make my angle using banners diecut from my handmade patterned paper.  Since Mother's Day is coming up, I used my tiny tags mother's day sentiment to top it off.
Thanks for visiting and before you go, enjoy a little Boston humor as we Bostonians try to stay cheerful despite our heavy hearts over the events of last week.  
The geographical center of Boston is in Roxbury.
Due north of the center we find the South End.
This is not to be confused with South Boston which lies directly east from the South End.
North of the South End is East Boston and southwest of East Boston is the North End.
There is no school on School Street, no court on Court Street, no dock on Dock Square, and no water on Water Street.
Back Bay Boston streets are in alphabetical awddah: Arlington, Berkeley, Clarendon, Dartmouth, etc. So are South Boston streets: A, B, C, D, etc.
If the streets are named after trees (e.g. Walnut, Chestnut, Cedar) you are on Beacon Hill. If they are named after poets, you are in Wellesley.
Most people live here all their life and still do not know what the hell is going on with this one. Route 128 South is I-95 south and it is also I-93 north.
The underground train is not a subway. It is the T, and it does not run all night
(Fah chrysakes, this ain't Noo Yawk).
Order the cold tea in China Town after 2:00 AM; you will get a kettle full of beer.
Bostonians: think that it is their God-given right to cut off someone in traffic.
Bostonians: think that there are only 25 letters in the alphabet (No Rs, except in idear.)
Bostonians: think that three straight days of 90+ temperatures is a heat wave.
Bostonians: refer to six inches of snow as a dusting.
Bostonians: always bang a left as soon as the light turns green, and oncoming traffic always expects it..
Bostonians: believe that using your turn signal is a sign of weakness.
Bostonians: think that 63 degree ocean water is warm.
Bostonians: think Rhode Island accents are annoying.

How to pronounce these Massachusetts cities correctly:
Worcester: Wuhsta or Wistah.
Gloucester: Glawsta.
Leicester: Lesta.
Woburn: Woobun.
Dedham: Dead-um.
Revere: Re-vee-ah.
Quincy: Quinzee.
Tewksbury: Tooks-ber-ry.
Leominster: Lemon-sta.
Peabody: Pee-ba-dee.
Waltham: Walth-ham.
Chatham: Chad-dum.
Samoset: Sam-oh-set or Sum-aw-set, but nevah Summerset!

Have a great day.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Celebration Card and a great essay about disappointment

Hi all,

So I hit the craft room again last night to make a card for my mom.  She has been on weight watchers and is very, very close to her goal weight.  I remember how significant an event it was when I reached goal so I wanted to celebrate with her.

So, here is the clean and simple card I made for her.

I used my papertrey ink birdies and my cloud die.  It came out cute, just the way I wanted - clean and simple - but elegant also.

I will mail it this week (if she reaches goal tomorrow) or sometime soon.  She is only 1 pound away and is working really hard so it won't be long before she gets there. 

So, in addition to sharing my card, I wanted to share this message I read the other day.  I get a bunch of biblical messages in my daily mailbox feed.  One that I get is from Rick Warren.  The e-mail on Monday was especially insightful and I thought I'd share it with you all.  It spoke to me about the events of last week and the challenges I face (and hear others face) with disappointment.  We all so want the world to be a better place, but it is often unrealistic to expect it to be 'heaven on earth.'
“I observed everything going on under the sun, and really, it is all meaningless — like chasing the wind. What is wrong cannot be made right. What is missing cannot be recovered.” (Ecclesiastes 1:14-15 NLT)
Sin causes emotional distress and disappointment.
Solomon writes a lot about this in Ecclesiastes: “I observed everything going on under the sun, and really, it is all meaningless — like chasing the wind. What is wrong cannot be made right. What is missing cannot be recovered” (Ecclesiastes 1:14-15 NLT).
Solomon is saying that, as a human being, it seems pointless, because we cannot change the past and we cannot control the future. All the stuff that we’ve done wrong, we can’t undo. All the stuff that was done wrong to us, we can’t undo.
And, we can’t control the future. Most of the important things in your life you have no control over. The world cannot be fixed by human effort alone.
Can we go out and do good in the world? Yes. Should we? Yes. Should we relieve pain? Of course.
But the world is irreparably broken. We serve others to relieve hurt, to heal people, to help them make it through. But we’re not kidding ourselves. We’re not going to bring the Kingdom in on Earth. This is not Heaven. Our ultimate job is to get people into the perfect place, not try to make the world a perfect place. Should we try to make the world better? Yes. 

Should we expect it to be perfect? No. The damage is too deep for repair.
Because that damage is so deep, we get stressed out — because things don’t work right, we don’t have enough time to get everything done, things get in our way. There are delays and difficulties and dead ends and, of course, disappointments.
Did you ever plan for a big event and think, “This is going to be so great!” Then when it’s over, you think, “That was it?” I know people who’ve spent an entire year planning for a wedding. Then it was all over in an hour.
The fact is, we have the amazing ability to overestimate how happy we’re going to be with a person, an event, or a possession. We’re not just disappointed with events that happen in our lives or with people in our lives. We’re disappointed with ourselves.
Why? Because this is not Heaven. Everything on the planet is broken. Nothing works perfectly because of our sin.
Talk About It
  • Who or what have you blamed for the broken relationships and disappointment in your life?
  • What is the thing, event, or person you are anticipating will make you happier? How do you think God wants you to change your outlook?

Monday, April 22, 2013

2 Birthday Cards and thoughts on the Boston Marathon Bombing

Good morning,

Today I have two birthday cards to share with you and I feel compelled to comment a bit on the events of last week, since Boston is my city and I felt the impact of the Marathon terror, up close and personal.

My niece and cousin both have May birthdays and I found this darling sketch and decided to make both cards using the same sketch and color pattern.  Isn't it sweet how both images work for this card, but using a different image gives a different look?   My cousin Christie is a fun loving girl - a freshman at Potsdam State University in NY.  My niece is a nature loving high school senior.  So, using different images allows me to taylor the cards a bit to their personality.  Using the same sketch and color scheme means the cards come together in a snap.

So, what I can I say about last weeks events?  I have been feeling a nudge to blog about the events all week, but really had a hard time sitting down and actually writing about it.  Boston is my city.  It has been for over 20 years.  First let me tell you about the tradition of 'Patriot's Day' also known as 'marathon day' to set the stage for the events.  Just as Memorial Day is the unofficial start to summer, Patriots day is the unofficial start to spring in New England.  The snow is finally gone, flowers are starting to bloom and the kids are on the first day of spring break.  The Red Sox always play a home game (early) and lots of people take the day off, although few companies give employees the day off.  It is the day to go into the city, if you don't mind crowds.  The marathon route starts in Hopkinton (where we go to church) and winds through many towns before finishing in the heart of the city.  Our family (like so many others) would often go to our favorite spot (everyone has one) and cheer on the runners.  The full 26 miles of the marathon have fans at every inch of the race.

The day is a celebration and has no religious component, nor political component.  It is really just a day for spring family fun.  This year, with Eric and Sarah not at home, I did not take the day off so I was at work when I started hearing chatter from people around me about injuries, hospitals and explosions.  Checking facebook I saw a friend had posted a link and I read in horror about the events unfolding less than 15 miles from my office.  Many of my friends had been posting photos of the marathon finish line so I knew people I cared about were in harms way.  I texted those that I had known were at the finish line as spectators and was very relieved to hear back that they were okay and trying to get out of the city.

My son, Eric's girlfriends mother - Cindi was 10 yards away from the second explosion.  I talked to her Wednesday and she described that she felt like she had the flu, she was still so emotionally and physically drained from the event.  They were across the street and hurried to get out of the city.  Her friend was petrified and Cindi had bruises on her arm from her friend grabbing hold of her so tightly as they hurried out of the immediate area.  A girl I work with was running the marathon.  I heard the next day that she was near the finish line and didn't finish the race.  So many people near us were impacted but thankfully we did not know any of those hospitalized or killed.

Friends and family all called, e-mailed and texted us that afternoon and evening to ensure we were okay.  We assured them we were safe and thanked them for their concern.

We all muddled through the next few days, going about our business but with heavy hearts.  We watched the news like you all did and saw the hero's that acted swiftly to bring healing and care to those in need.  A friend of mine works at the city hospitals and described the incredible scene of walking through a line of swat team members as she entered Mass General on Tuesday.

Thursday was starting to get back to normal when they released the photos of the two men.  A friend I was talking to hadn't seen the photos and asked me to describe them.  I said they looked like friends of Eric's, skinny boys with dark hair.  I was amazed at how 'normal' they looked.  We went to bed Thursday before the manhunt started but it was frightening to wake up Friday morning at 5am to the radio alarm describing the events of the previous night and the manhunt that was going on.

We are moving to Waltham in a few weeks and Waltham was one of the towns in lock-down.  I sent a quick e-mail to our new neighbor and the people we are buying the condo from and told them we were praying for them.  They have a newborn and a 4 year old and I was imagining that they were quite afraid as the police and swat team went door to door on the hunt.

Bob and I both went to work, not at all fearful that the manhunt or chase would spread into our work communities, but it was hard to concentrate in the office.  Again, business went on, as usual, but all of us were on edge waiting for news that the suspect was captured.

As they found the suspect in a boat, we realized that this home was very close (only a few blocks away) from our new condo.  The Watertown mall where the media set up is where my new Target is.  It is a beautiful neighborhood, normally sleepy and suburban.  On that day, it was a war zone.  I watched home videos of families driving and encountering the police at the scene.  It was hard to believe.  It was also hard to believe that this 19 year old boy, the same age as my son, was a terrorist.  The stories were everywhere that he was a pretty normal kid.  I, like you, are waiting to hear what happened and why he got roped into this mess.

So today it is a week later and soon we will observe a 'moment of silence' to honor the victims.  You may wonder how I feel about this as a christian.  Was my faith shaken by this event?   The answer is a loud and clear no.  My faith was not the least shaken.  In fact, my faith was strengthened.  Around the world, events like this happen all the time.  For generations to come and for generations behind, events like this happen.  Evil exists on this earth.  The fact that evil exists does not in the leaset indicate that God does not exist and abound.  The bible says 'in this life you will have trouble.'  Jesus had plenty of trouble.  Old testament characters faced evil.  Sadly, evil exists.  But God's love exists as well and where evil is present, God's love is present as well.  I'm sure you've seen so many images of men and woman who ran into harms way to help people.  If we are simply evolved creatures, why would we go into harms way?  But we are more than flesh and bones.  We are created with compassion and even in the face of danger, God has placed compassion and love inside us and when we allow that to come out, we become the hands and feet of God to a suffering world.

So, how will I respond to the events of last week?  Well, I won't hide in fear behind closed doors.  As a matter of fact I'm more motivated than ever to be there next year.  Maybe I'll volunteer to help.  I am also all the more committed to showing God's love to a broken world.  I hope to be more likely to listen to a friend who is hurting.  I am more likely to bravely share the love of Jesus Christ with someone who I'm not sure knows Him.  And I am committed to follow-through on an idea I had a few weeks ago about serving my new community of Waltham.  I have been prayerfully considering how I will serve my community and learned about 'Therapy Dogs' a few weeks ago. These are dog owners who will train their dogs and bring them to places like hospitals and nursing homes to allow people to pet their dogs and temporarily forget their troubles.  I used to bring Joey and Tank to my Grandmother's and all the patients would stop and look. Many would pet them and it was joyful to see the happiness a friendly dog could bring them.  I am more committed than ever to get involved with the Waltham Therapy Dog organization - helping out in any way they need.  I heard that therapy dogs were involved in helping those impacted from the bombings. I want to be part of the healing of our community.

So, how will you react to the bombings?  I once heard that when we are hurting we have two choices.  We can raise a fist at God and yell 'why could you allow this?'  Or we can open our hand and ask God to help us.  I pray that you will open your hand and ask God to display His love in a real and tangible way today.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Denami Blog Hop 'Fancy Favors'

Hi friends,

Welcome to my blog and April's Denami Blog Hop.

The theme this month was fancy favors and I got out my gardening chickie for my project.  My kidlets are all grown and no grandchildren yet so the only party favors I'm making these days are things for grown-ups.  Who wouldn't love to get a potted plant as a favor for an event?

I also thought, hmmm, this could also work on a goodie bag - maybe filled with candy or seed packets.

There are lots of fun ways to use this little DeNami insert.  I had some clothes pins laying around and found it was a great instrument to use for a baggie or a plant.  Super easy and fun.

If you are wondering, the green gingham is actually fabric tape.  I used just a strip on the gardening chickie and then did several layers and die cut through the tape/cardstock layer for the sentiment.  That tape is super fun and clever.  You could do the same with washi tape.

Thanks for visiting my blog today.  If you leave a comment you could win a gift certificate from Denami.

Your next stop on the blog is Deb's Blog.

Monday, April 1, 2013

A Thank You card and news from the {empty} nest

Hi friends,

I missed you!  My goodness it's been a long time since I made a blog entry or made a card.  I'm happy to be back.  Things have been busy at our house.  We got an offer on our house on Tuesday March 19th - exactly 30 days after it went on the market.  We must have had two dozen families come through our house in that time and I think the family that bought it is going to love living here.  It was a little hectic having 3 or 4 showings each week.  And now that we have the offer we've been busy taking care of the items that came up from the inspection and getting ready for the move.

We will close on our current house on May 31st (if all goes according to plan) and then we'll head to a furnished apartment till July till we can get into our Waltham townhouse.  So, I've started getting identifying items for the yard sale, boxing up Sarah's things (that will be stored at her two grandparents houses) and getting organized.

Now that we are not showing the house anymore I pulled out my craft desk and set up a temporary place to craft.  The first thing I made yesterday was a fun, clean and simple, thank you card.

I love the clean lines of this card and the bright orange color.  I plan to make a few of these (maybe I'll mix up the colors a bit.)  I am participating in a Yogathon at the end of the month and many people have graciously sponsored me.  I want to send out thank you cards to them to let them know how much I appreciate their donation to Boston Children's Hospital on my behalf.  If you too want to support this great cause, click the link below, enter my name (Linda Monroe) and make a donation.  Any amount is welcomed!

Donate for Yogathon to benefit Boston Children's Hospital

Besides the move, things with us are good.  Eric is finishing up his final few weeks of classes and Sarah is busy working on a project to improve her schools' ability to teach English.  Spring has started to arrive and we are enjoying getting outside.  I've started running again (slowly - only twice a week so far) and I need to get back on track with my WW points.   I need to stay in control if I don't want to gain 5 pounds with the stress of moving.

So, what's new with you?  Leave me a comment if you can.  I'd love to hear from you.  Have a great day!