Monday, January 12, 2015

{One Little Word} Cultivate

Embarking on a New Journey
I've decided to bring the One Little Word® project into my heart and embrace it this year.  

Ali Edwards - One Little Word®
Ali Edwards is the source of this little project and this is what she says on her blog:
In 2006 I began a tradition of choosing one word for myself each January – a word to focus on, mediate on, and reflect upon as I go about my daily life. My words have included play, peace, vitality, nurture, story, light, up, open and thrive. These words have each become a part of my life in one way or another. They've been embedded into who I am and into who I'm becoming. They've been what I've needed most (and didn't know I needed). They've helped me to breathe deeper, to see clearer, to navigate challenges, and to grow.
So what do you do with this One Little Word®?You live with it. You invite it into you life. You let it speak to you. You might even follow where it leads. There are so many possibilities and no right or wrong way to approach the adventure.
The Quest for My Word
I've spent about a month trying to narrow down the word that needed to speak to me this year.  As I ended a year full of challenges and victory, I wanted something that would continue the quest of really embracing and allowing my spiritual journey to grow and  I wanted a word that encourages to focus on all relationships in my life, those at home, church and the workplace.

One night while pondering words and reading the bible I was led to the following scripture which really spoke to me:

Hosea 10:12 New International Version (NIV)
Sow righteousness for yourselves, 
   reap the fruit of unfailing love, 
and break up your unplowed ground; 
   for it is time to seek the Lord,
until he comes and showers his righteousness on you.

As I researched this verse, I came across a blog where this verse had also spoken loud and clear.  

This is what she said:
That verse contains so many layers of beautiful truths and promises, that I think you could meditate on it for quite a while and find lots in it to take away. But the phrase that struck me between the eyes and reverberated over and over again in my mind and heart was the phrase “break up your fallow ground”. You know those times when you know it’s the Lord speaking directly to you? Well, this was one of those times. I knew God wanted me to “get” this. To hear it. To think and meditate on it and take it to heart.
Break up your fallow ground! What areas of my life are fallow ground? Are there places in my life I’ve left unattended or neglected? Was there places in me that could become useful and much more productive? Were there ways God wanted to use me that He wasn’t able to before?
As I thought about the implications of this verse and how it all tied in to what I had been thinking and feeling about my goals and visions for the year ahead, the word cultivate came to me.
I couldn't have said it any better than that!  It was as if she took the thoughts and feelings right out of my soul and expressed them in words that I couldn't seem to find.

Continuing on with my research to learn more about what God was probing me to hear, I found another verse that focuses on cultivating:

It was clear, the word that I needed to focus on this year was Cultivate!  It spoke straight to me and at a season in my life where so many relationships were wilted as a result of neglect, hurt and is past time to cultivate them, to help them grow and produce great things in the coming year by doing so!

God is faithful, God is kind, God is loving, and God works all things out for the greater good. In doing so, he tends to our wilted crops, our hurting branches, and jagged roots.  He changes us and our circumstances so that we can glorify Him and reap the amazing benefits of his grace, tenderness, promises and truths.

Here's to a wonderful 2015 that is sure to produce an abundant supply of flowers after the rains my family has endured in 2014.

I hope you'll join me in selecting a word for you to invite into your heart and watch how God uses it to grow and strengthen your journey of faith!

Love in Christ,

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Happy Birthday to Us!

Has it really been over a month since I've posted anything? Oh my...I'm such a slacker!! I have things to say and pictures to post, just haven't posted for all to see!

Today's post is to celebrate the birthday of my sweet daughter and I.
-- 34 years ago today, at 11:45am, I was born.
-- 8 years ago today, at 12:08pm, Amanda was born.

It's a special day that I am blessed to celebrate every year. A day that I can reminisce about the pregnancy that led up to this day. The worry, wonder, and excitement. Awaiting for her arrival, was peaceful yet intense -- I'll never forget the feelings I had after she was born. She was ok with perfect 10 Apgar scores, I was crying tears of joy!

It's also a time to reminise about the last 8 years...

Last week it was her turn to be a celebrity at school. It was all about her. One assignment during the week was for us to write a letter to her which would be read to the class.

I sat there with a blank screen wondering what the heck to say! I decided to focus on our special day as it just seemed fitting with it right around the corner.

Due to the wonderful weather we had last week (not), Celebrity week was postponed to this week since school was closed for 4 days.

Her teacher read the letter and they all laughed and said that was the best one yet as nobody else had pictures included! I imagine she was grinning from ear to ear!

Since today is the day, I thought I'd share what I wrote to her and riminense (again) about the 8 wonderful years I've had with her so far!


Thursday, January 6, 2011

{Project Life} Birthday Card - Created by Amanda

I've slated Thursday nights as project night with Amanda for us to work on Project Life together (I promise...more is coming for her little book soon!) Anyways...

Tonight we digressed a little as tomorrow is her teachers birthday, so we first sat down to create a card for her.

As I sifted through the overflowing supply of scrapbook 'stuff' that's been collecting dust, I passed right by the 'perfect' embellishment. But...Amanda's eye caught it and said "Mommy, wait!...that's perfect!" and she proceeded to look back through the stack I had placed in the 'nah' pile.

When she found it, she held it up and exclaimed "See...LOOK! It's a Dragon with a birthday hat Mom and it says Happy Birthday...duh...Daulton Dragons!" (school mascot)

Oh my...yes my dear daughter of mine, you are right...that is perfect.

So she decorated and I captured the moment...she even had the creative idea to place music notes above the mice playing the trumpet and she was SO proud of herself!

The point to the story...stop trying to do for them and just let them do for themselves...they are growing up and mom's don't always have the 'perfect' idea for creativity. Lesson learned!

And...I put this same collage of pictures in the card for her teacher...the perfect gift!

{Project Life} Just Another Reason Why

This is so inspiring! Can you imagine finding something like this? Can you imagine if the images you're taking today had a similiar impact on those around you?

Street Photographer’s Work Discovered A Few Days After Her Death
Vivian Maier’s street photography was recently “discovered” just a few days after she died at the age of 83. The Chicago nanny took over 100,000 photographs and many say she may rank among the top street photographers of the 20th century.


Consider this...not only should we take the pictures and store them for safe keeping, we should be sharing the stories that go along with them. Project Life is the easy way to accomplish this. If you aren't a scrapbooker, that's OK! All you need is pictures, a pen (or a keyboard), and a story to tell.

Would you rather send future generations (of your family perhaps) on a wild goose chase to learn more about you so that they had a deeper undestanding of who they are and where they came from, or would you rather tell the story in your own words so they aren't left wondering?

This is your story...your will you choose to leave it behind for those that follow you? Will you leave it locked up on a hard drive or have stacks of photo albums somewhere without any names or stories to go with them?

Just some food for thought...

Note: The paper version of the Project Life kits are currently sold out...more are on the way and should be available in a few weeks! There is also a digital version available.

And no, I'm not affiliated with Project Life other than the fact I love and support the idea!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

{Project Life} Pursuit of Data Recovery

As I reflect on the eve of what would have been Brianna's 9th birthday, I'm reminded of a careless mistake I made in November 2005.

I was so caught up with what was going on with Jacob, (at least that was July onwards, can't remember the reason prior to that) I neglected to backup my hard drive from March until October/November of that year. The drive became non-bootable, unrecognizable. Most likely a mechanical failure.

You can imagine the heartbreak I instantly acquired:
  • 6-8 months of Amanda's life in pictures...gone
  • Pregnancy pictures of Jacob...gone
  • All of Jacob's life...gone (I was saved slightly on this one as a result of this blog. Documenting his life frequently in an online form provided me a backup of his precious images. Granted, it's not all of them, but it's at least some of them. If I didn't have at least this I probably would have paid whatever price they gave me in 2005!)
  • Not to mention tax documents and whatever else was important at the time

I researched data recovery options in November 2005 and was told the cost would be somewhere between $500-$2700 with a minimum fee of $200 if the attempt was unsuccessful. Not something I really could afford at the time.

Almost 6 years have passed now and as I look back at pictures, I'm reminded of the gap. Being a person that is all about capturing life through pictures, well, this just tends to eat at me.

Now I can't even remember all the memories and moments of those months. What pictures did I take? What activities did we do? What memories have been lost?

Today, I dug up the hard drive and I searched for data recovery services (again). I found one local where I can drop the drive off and not worry about it getting lost in the mail.

I even found the original emails I had sent to the other company in 2005 detailing the directories on the drive I was most interested in (I was surprised I still had this!)

With the make/model/size of the drive in hand, I submitted an inquiry at They responded within 15 minutes by email as well as called me. This is what they said:
  • The analysis is free
  • Cost range is $500-$1700
  • They will provide a quote and I can decide to pursue or not. If I don't pursue at this time, the drive will be returned in tact and all I pay is $25
Ok...great!, I think. Maybe I can finally get the 'what if I can recover the data?' answered. But what happens if I can? Where do I come up with the funds to pay for it? How much are these pictures worth (priceless right?).

So then I'm stuck with knowing I can get my hot little hands on those memories again and not knowing how to pay for it and when. I've waited this long to get the answer, what's another year if I have to save for it, right?

Sigh...what can we all learn from this? Backup your important data! Being in the computer industry myself, you think I would have done that, however, life can get in the way for us geeky folks too sometimes and that's what happened to me. I make the attempt? Do I find out at least if it's possible or do I just wait some some money and then figure it all out at once?

Knowing I can and not being able to get them now may be worse then just not knowing if I can!

{Project Life} Angry Birds

“Angry Birds” Hits 42 Million Free and Paid Downloads (as of December 2010)

What is Angry Birds?
The survival of the Angry Birds is at stake. Dish out revenge on the green bigs who stole the Birds' eggs. Use the unique destructive powers of the Angry Birds to lay waste to the pigs' fortified castles. Angry Birds features hours of gameplay, challenging physics-based castle demolition, and lots of replay value. Each of the 210 levels requires logic, skill, and brute force to crush the enemy.

Angry Birds on the iPad is so much more fun! This is just one example of how we spend our free time! Have a minute...angry birds...have 10 minutes...angry birds. It's fun, it's addicting, and it causes you to 'arrgggg', 'shooottt', and yell back at the screen! Now that is liberating!!!

Apps in the iTunes store is just one of the advances in technology these days. How did we ever live without all this technology at our fingertips? I wonder what the next great invention will be?!?

Monday, January 3, 2011

{Project Life} Gun Show, Nintendo, and Project Life for Kids

January 1 - Ken attended the gun show with Brian today...maybe he's coming home with a new toy...we'll see! I guess this is what happens when I buy him a years membership to a gun range! (verdict, he came home practically empty handed...just a mat to clean them...shew!)

January 2 - Blending the old and the new. Graphics and technology have come a long way since I played Super Mario Brothers on the original Nintendo, some 20 years ago! Watching Amanda play the 'old school' games really brought it into perspective for me!

January 3 - I wanted a way to include Amanda in the Project Life adventure as a means for us to have some quality time together doing something we both love...being creative. When I told her we were going to do a year long project together, her eyes beamed with excitement! Today we searched out the perfect album for her to capture her memories, a basic photo album to store the pictures until they make it into the perfect album and a few embellishments to go alone with it! She couldn't wait to get home and start on it right her's contagious!
(I'll be sharing more ideas on how I'll be helping her achieve this goal soon...stay tuned!)