Scrapbooking Supplies

I know the Blog Hop is over, but I have a ton of things that need good homes. As we prepare to move and pay for tuition, it’s just time to let many things find their way to those who will love and/or use them. So this post is all about Scrapbooking; and I’ll add other things as I can, and just link all the posts.

Shipping on these is priority mail, based on weight and zip code. All boxes will be mailed from the east coast. All of the scrapbooking items are new unless noted otherwise. I am not a CM consultant; I just have way too much of this stuff.

Creative Memories Paper Carrying CaseCreative Memories Paper Carrying Case

Creative Memories Carrying Case – comes with six paper holders – three sections and shoulder strap – $15 – great condition, was used only to store paper, was not carried around.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creative Memories Disney Album

 

Creative Memories Disney 8×8 album, new but no celophane $35

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creative Memories Specialty Album

Creative Memories 12×12 Specialty Album – new in box $60

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creative Memories National Scrapbook Day

Creative Memories National Scrapbook Day Page Kit – $2 each or both for $3

 

 

 

 

Creative Memories Short Story Card

Get Together, Short Story Card; One package of six that’s unopened and one package of five where one has been removed. Total of 11 cards for $5

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creative Memories Stick with One Contempo

Creative Memories Stick with One; Contempo – $3

 

 

 

 

Creative Memories Combination Pack – Baseball, $5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creative Memories Combination Pack – Wilderness, $5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creative Memories Combination Pack - Wilderness

Creative Memories Combination Pack – Wilderness, $3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creative Memories Combination Pack - It's A Girl

Creative Memories Combination Pack – It’s A Girl, $3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creative Memories Done With One - Halloween

Creative Memories Done With One – Halloween, $3

 

 

 

 

Creative Memories Color Wheel

Creative Memories Color Wheel – $2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creative Memories Paper Pack - Raspberry Hearts

Creative Memories Paper Pack – Raspberry Hearts, $3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creative Memories Paper Pack - Evergreen Gingham

Creative Memories Paper Pack – Evergreen Gingham, $3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creative Memories Paper Pack - Dusty Rose

Creative Memories Paper Pack – Dusty Rose, $3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creative Memories StencilCreative Memories StencilCreative Memories StencilCreative Memories Stencil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creative Memories Stencils – I have three each of the White, Yellow, and Teal ones; and I have two of the blue one; $1 each

 

 

 

 

 

Creative Memories Fridge Frame

 

Creative Memories Fridge Frame – this was on a fridge at one point, $3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creative Memories Ideas

 

Creative Memories Ideas – Tips, Ideas, Advice, etc. Lots of these, did not count, $3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creative Memories Page Layout & Design Idea Book

 

Creative Memories Page Layout & Design Idea Book – Volume VII (7), $5, multiple copies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creative Memories Page Layout & Design Idea Book

Creative Memories Page Layout & Design Idea Book – Volume IV (4), $5, multiple copies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creative Memories Page Layout & Design Idea Book - Fast Formulas

Creative Memories Page Layout & Design Idea Book – Fast Formulas, $5, multiple copies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creative Memories Page Layout & Design Idea Book - Start Smart

Creative Memories Page Layout & Design Idea Book – Start Smart, $5, multiple copies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creative Memories Jumbo Great Lengths - Cabana Titles

Creative Memories Jumbo Great Lengths – Cabana Titles, $3

 

 

 

 

Creative Memories Magnet and Frame

Creative Memories Magnet and Frame – $1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creative Memories Snap Pack - Fun in the Sun

Creative Memories Snap Pack – Fun in the Sun, $5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creative Memories Mini File Folder

Creative Memories Mini File Folder – $2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creative Memories Tin - Paper Corners

Creative Memories Tin – Paper Corners, $3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creative Memories Tin - Stickers & Die Cuts

Creative Memories Tin – Stickers & Die Cuts, $3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creative Memories Photo Mounting Paper Pack - Comfort

Creative Memories Photo Mounting Paper Pack – Comfort, $3, there are two of these

 

 

 

 

Creative Memories Finishing Touches - Title & Journaling Boxes

Creative Memories Finishing Touches – Title & Journaling Boxes, $3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creative Memories Memory Keepers Club - Stationary Set

Creative Memories Memory Keepers Club – Stationary Set, $5

 

 

 

 

Creative Memories Mini Bag - Clear & Blue

Creative Memories Mini Bag – Clear & Blue, $1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creative Memories Picfolio Minutes Album - Green

Creative Memories Picfolio Minutes Album – Green, $10

 

 

 

 

Creative Memories Power Sort Mini Box

Creative Memories Power Sort – Mini Box, $5

 

 

 

 

Creative Memories Starz Album

Creative Memories Starz Album – 8×8, $20, there are two of these

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creative Memories Titletopia

Creative Memories Titletopia – $3

 

 

 

 

I’ll be adding more posts soon. Thank you for helping my family move lighter and pay for tuition!

Other sale posts: Post 1, Post 2, Post 3, Post 4, Post 5, Crafts, Home, Toys, Fairies

Clutter Free

I think I have always lived with clutter; I’ve never been accused of being a neat-freak!

Actually, I’ve always described it as an organized mess and most of the time I could still find what I was seeking. But recently my children and I were required to move into a very small space and clutter very quickly took its toll. It’s difficult to find places for things; and then equally difficult to find them again.

We are trying to find a new place to live; however, we must live in the allotted space until that new place is found. It is getting bad trying to make space for myself and two pre-teens, but Kathi Lipp has come to the rescue with her book Clutter Free and her 21 Day Challenge.

 

So I began today; and I invite you to join me on this journey. Will you? Will you take the challenge to be Clutter Free in 2015? You can start here: http://www.kathilipp.com/clutter-free-21-day-challenge

Here is some of what I’m working on…

 

Box ClutterGames & Crafts Clutter

 

The top image is of Box Clutter. Like I said, we are trying to move, so I am collecting boxes in anticipation. However, we don’t know when that’s going to happen, so the pile of boxes, bubble wrap, paper, air pockets, etc. continues to grow and take over the room.

The bottom image is that of games, craft supplies, bags of items I need when I take my Lilla Rose business to vendor events, etc. This is definitely a case of too much stuff and not enough space. It’s also a result of a bit of laziness on both me and Diva. Granted, given our current living situation, the containers lining the wall are necessary evils, but the clutter on top, around the bottom, hanging out, etc. is not necessary.

I decided to begin with the box clutter. I figured that once the boxes were sorted and organized; once the miscellany around the boxes is cleaned up, perhaps we can assign homes to some of the stuff in the other room (or at least begin to pack it in the boxes – ya know, the whole ‘kill two birds with one stone’ thing).

I was able to spend a little time on it this afternoon and it does look better. It’s not done yet, but things are more organized; and better yet? Some things are G-O-N-E!

Yep, gone. I assigned one of the boxes to be for those items I no longer want and can either sell or donate. I put some items in there, but I won’t count them until they actually leave the house. I also threw some things into the recycling bag. Those I counted and noted for later.

Wait. Why am I counting these things? Well, Kathi has challenged us to get rid of 2000 things over the course of the next year. Dare I attempt 2015 in 2015? I did this back in 2012 and was pretty successful at it. It can be challenging, but that’s what this process is all about, right?

And moving time is a perfect opportunity to start fresh. The only problem is that most of my ‘stuff’ is in storage and won’t be accessible until the move happens; but I will do my best with what I have. Too bad I didn’t count before I sent that bag off to ThredUp two weeks ago – but, wait, they will send me an itemized list, so maybe I will count that once I get that…

After one day’s work, I can sate that I eliminated (via the recycle bag) 28 items, plus a few crumpled up receipts that I didn’t count. Not bad.

Now… Who is going to join me? Who is going to take up Kathi’s challenge? Comment below and share your commitment to go Clutter Free. If you write up your own post about your participation, put your link in the comments and I’ll stop by.

C’Mon Ladies; We Can Do This!

 

* Disclaimer: If you make a purchase at Lilla Rose through my link, I will earn commission; if you sign up for ThredUp, I will earn clothing credit. As for Kathi’s book (Clutter Free), I received a free advance copy in order for my honest and willing participation (the link to amazon is an affiliate link).

 

I Am A Rebel

I am divorced.

And although I am the one who filed the paperwork, it wasn’t my choice.

And, I know this goes against popular thinking, but I was an abused wife who didn’t want the divorce.

Yes, that revelation is a tough pill to swallow personally, but it’s also tough to admit. I’ve always been shy, but living in an abusive marriage took away any bravery that I may have had. (Let me just state up front that the majority of my abuse wasn’t physical.) My daily life was filled with words and experiences designed to let me know that I wasn’t good enough; that I was less than acceptable.

I learned that nothing I did was good enough, so I had to try harder to be perfect. Maybe then the words would soften and I would be good enough for him.

I learned that I had to try harder to make him, and subsequently others, like me so I could please them. Maybe then the affairs and pornography would stop.

I learned that I had to try harder to get everything done that he wanted done. I started making lists of everything I did during the day so he would know I wasn’t lazy. Maybe then I’d be performing better so he wouldn’t be so embarrassed and maybe take me out, involve me with his co-workers, or let me invite people over.

Then I learned that trying harder to be perfect didn’t help. Neither did trying to please him or performing better. So I learned something else: procrastination. If none of these things helped anyway, why even try? I was going to get yelled at and called names anyway, why try?

My kids were going to hear me called names and put down regardless of what everyone did all day. They were going to see me in tears no matter what. So…

WHY

EVEN

TRY?

All of my years of trying harder to be what someone else wanted, which was unreasonable and unattainable, made me fall victim to several bullies. The first and foremost bully was my ex-husband. And it took a long time to re-learn that I was a valued and loved Child of God and that I was not the “things’ he told me I was.

But while that bully was one over which I have absolutely no control, the other bullies are ones I used myself. They were tools, and I use that word loosely, handed to me by the enemy to knock me down to a point where I would ultimately give up and not live out the life with which I have been blessed.

Now some may look at my life and ask, “How is your life blessed?” And from the outside they may have a point…

  • I’m a single mom.
  • I take care of two kids, one with special needs.
  • I homeschool my kids and their father rarely sees them, so I’m rarely alone.
  • Since I homeschool, I don’t have a full-time job, which means I don’t have full-time income.
  • I work four direct sales companies from home, so when I’m not teaching, I’m usually working in some capacity.
  • I’m living in someone’s living room. On. A. Couch.
  • It’s next to impossible to find an affordable place to rent in a safe area.
  • It’s almost impossible to to get a mortgage; again an affordable in a safe area.
  • There is no money, no extras.

So HOW is my life blessed? My God, through various people, helped me escape that abusive life and find the hope and love that was there all along. I have a family member who is willing to help. I have my kids! I get to watch them grow up; educate them; make sure my son gets everything he needs; show them what bravery looks like.

And here lies another blessing: friends! I have never really had friends. Like I mentioned earlier, I am relatively shy. I had a few friends growing up, but being a military family, I never had time to allow those friendships to become solid. But since my divorce, God has showered me with friendships with some amazing women – some I’ve met and some I haven’t. But I know that several of these women, even those I haven’t met, support me, pray for me, love me. I can’t believe that I am finally learning what friendship is in my 40s! This is one of the best blessings lately.

Two of the ladies I have had a chance only to ‘meet’ online have written a book on this very subject. And they blessed me with the opportunity to be a part of their Braver Living Rebellion. That’s right. I’m a rebel.

Rebel Princess

Yep, I AM A REBEL! I can kick Performancism, People-Pleasing, Perfectionism, and Procrastination to the curb! Buh-Bye!

The Cure for the "Perfect" Life

Sometimes we get so entrenched in our stinkin’ thinkin’ that it’s hard to find a way out. Sometimes it’s hard to know that there is a way out. Cheri Gregory and Kathi Lipp have teamed up to start the Braver Living Rebellion for those of us who are stuck with one or more of these P-Bullies. And honestly, Ladies, I don’t know a single woman who is not encumbered by at least one. Let’s be honest… it’s time to get rid of them!

So where to begin? How about a free chapter to get you started? Then you can purchase your own copy at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, CBD, or Family Christian.

I am grateful to Kathi and Cheri for their honesty in this book, for their friendship (even if we’ve never met face-to-face), for the opportunity to realize that I am brave, for allowing me to be a rebel, and for truly showing me that:

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! (Phil 4:13)

 

From “The Cure for the “Perfect” Life”:

Are you crumbling under the burden of perfection?

You know the expectations are unreasonable–even unreachable.

And when everyone else seems more together than you, where do you turn for help?

Meet Kathi, a disguised perfectionist always looking to put everyone else’s needs above her own, and Cheri, a formerly confused and exhausted poster girl for playing it safe.  They’ve struggled just like you–and found the cure. With unabashed empathy and humor, they invite you to take part in their rebellion against perfection. Step-by-step they’ll teach you how to challenge and change unhealthy beliefs. As they free you from always seeking more or needing the approval of others, you’ll discover a new, braver way of living. At last, you’ll exchange outdated views of who you should be for a clearer vision of who you are in Christ. 

The truth is you don’t have to be perfect.

You just have to be brave enough to read this book.

I received a free copy of this book. My post and endorsement are completely my own. Some of the links are affiliate links so when you purchase I may receive a small amount, but your price will not change.


Answer Me This #2

Alleluia! Christ is Risen! Happy Easter!

Answer Me This

1. What did you and your family wear to Mass on Easter Sunday?

I wore a pink blouse and black slacks, LegoFan wore his new green shirt and tie, and Diva wore a beautiful long, pastel dress with pretty pink flowers on it. She also added some pearl-colored sandals with chunky crystals on them – her new faves!

2. Easter Bunny: Thumbs up or thumbs down?

We never really focused on the bunny and always kept that casual. The kids figured that one out long before they began to question Santa. And we never had any photos taken at the mall. The costumes are never good and they really creep me out! But they still like egg hunts and a few surprises Easter morning; and so I oblige, with pleasure.

3. Do you prefer to celebrate holidays at your own house or at someone else’s house?

I’d prefer to celebrate at my own house – if I had one.

First, I enjoy entertaining. I enjoy having people over and creating a warm, family environment. But a very close second has to do with all LegoFan’s allergies and anxieties. It’s just better for me to have control over the food and lack of furry animals. It’s better for him if he’s in a setting where he’s familiar and comfortable.

4. What is your favorite kind of candy?

Is this a trick question? I think it’s impossible to come up with just one. I’ve always loved Brach’s Jelly Beans – not the Jelly Bird Eggs, not the Spiced Jelly Beans – just the plain ole, regular, original, Jelly Beans. But I really, really, don’t like the black ones and the red ones. Can we get bags made without those two flavors, please?

And then there’s the chocolate… M&Ms, Mounds Bars, York Peppermint Patties… I’m getting hungry!

Lastly, I love the eggs: mint, raspberry, marshmallow, and nougat. Love. Love. Love!

5. Do you like video games?

No. I don’t understand them. I can’t seem to play them. Much to LegoFan’s utter disappointment. He loves them: Mario, Zelda, Pokemon, anything LEGO. I just don’t see the fascination. But he’s good at them. So we have the Wii U in the house, the kids play the games, and I try to understand.

6. Do you speak another language?

I took three years of French in high school. I learned a little Italian when I went to Rome for World Youth Day 2000. And I tried to teach my kids a little Latin. So I guess the actual answer to this question is no. I can say and read a few words in several languages, but I cannot speak any of them other than English. And sometimes I question that ability!

Now join us over at Catholic All Year and play along!

Faith in Practice

I was blessed with the opportunity to model faith for my children today; and to teach them how to put their faith into practice as well.

We had to go to LegoFan’s Anxiety Disorder Group this afternoon. I had very little money in my account and needed gasoline in order to make it to the group. I left a little early and put $5 in the tank, and this should have brought up my available mileage up to about 35 miles. Knowing I didn’t have much more money and that it was only about 10 miles to the doctor’s, I set out.

However, I didn’t notice that my available miles never changed. When I got back in the car to return home, my available miles read 8. I’ll be honest that my initial reaction was one of a little panic because I thought I somehow didn’t get the gasoline I paid for. But I took some deep breaths – learned that from Anxiety Disorder Group – and started to pray. There were more miles between me and home than there were in my tank, with no gas stations in between.

LegoFan started to get very worried and was counting down the miles for me from the backseat – isn’t he helpful? Diva began to ask what would happen if we ran out of gas? Did I mention that it was cold and raining? I calmly told them how we would handle it if the car ran out of gas, and then I suggested that everyone pray.

I told them that Jesus could get us home. That we needed to have faith. I began to remember how long the oil lasted for the Israelites. I began to repeat to myself that I had faith and that I knew that Jesus would bring us home.

At each major milestone, we gave thanks. We made it around the Beltway – Praise God! We made it to the next stop light – Praise God! We made it to the final stop light before home, at which intersection there was a gas station – Praise God! The light was red, so I pulled out my phone and checked the balance on my account. I had $6.99 left. I was able to pull into the gas station and put $6 in the tank. We had made it.

But when I pulled out of the gas station, the available miles still read zero. I began to play with the buttons and eventually the available miles came around again, and it was 68 miles, more miles than should have been added when I put the $6 in the tank…

God is good – All the time! All the time – God is good!

Today was a great lesson in faith; and in modeling that faith for my children. Not only do I thank God for making it to the gas station, but I thank God for the opportunity (and ability!) to show my children where to turn in such situations. Thank you, Jesus!

Jesus

Answer Me This #1

Starting to get a hang of this link-up thing! I’ll get to more of my own posts soon, I promise!

This is week one of Kendra’s Answer Me This Link-Up – Yay!

Answer Me This

 

In this Link-Up, Kendra asks a few questions, and we answer them – simple as that! So, here goes:

1. What time do you prefer to go to Mass?

I am a night owl, so getting up for an early Mass is just not in the cards at this house! Our current Mass time is 11 am, and I think that’s perfect for us.

2. Would you rather be too hot or too cold?

The logical answer would be cold, because you can always put something else on. You can’t always take something else off… However, I hate being cold. Really, really, hate being cold. So I guess I’m going to have to defy logic and say I’d rather be too hot.

3. How many brothers and sisters do you have?

I have one of each biologically, and I am the oldest. My sister followed me, and my brother brings up the rear. We are very different, but I love them both dearly. I also have two brothers and one sister by marriage. And I’m still the oldest. The next in order of age would be my step-brother; however, he dies a few years back. My other brother and sister are twins, and they were born the year I graduated from high school. Ok, now I feel old! Next!

4. If you were faced with a bogart, what would it turn into?

Ya know, I’m really not sure on this one. I think it could take one of several forms. A big hairy spider might be one… Or maybe Big Brother?

5. Barbie: thumbs up or thumbs down?

Definitely a thumbs down for me. I don’t see how Barbie gives our girls any sense of what it means to be a woman. I do see how unrealistic she is; and how her image gives our girls unrealistic expectations. Diva and I both love the American Girl dolls. Even better are the Saint Dolls from Behold Publications (Ecce Homo Press), I think. She has the St. Therese doll.

St. Therese Doll

 

6. If someone asked you to give them a random piece of advice, what would you tell them?

I would say that love is a verb. It is an action, not a feeling. This is something I wish I had known several years ago; it would have saved me a lot of heartache.

We need to make the decision to love people every day, in both word and deed.

So that wraps it up for Week One of Answer Me This. Head on over to Catholic All Year to read answers from Kendra and her readers!

7 Quick Takes #2

— 1 —

Confession. Reconciliation. Penance. Good things happen there. Especially when you ask God to help you make a good, honest confession. Something enters your mind that you hadn’t considered mentioning. Apparently God had something to tell me.

God nudged me this afternoon; and, believe it or not, this post is part of it.

Crucifix

— 2 —

Psalm 41: 10-14 ~ (10) Even the friend who had my trust, who shared my table, has scorned me. (11) But you, Lord, have mercy and raise me up that I may repay them as they deserve. (12) By this I know you are pleased with me, that my enemy no longer jeers at me. (13) For my integrity you have supported me and let me stand in your presence forever. (14) Blessed be the Lord, God of Israel, from all eternity and forever. Amen. Amen.

Someone whom I trusted hurt me. A lot. This someone still jeers at me. A lot.

When I first read this, I looked at verse 11 and thought it sounded a lot like revenge. However, perhaps it means something a little different. Perhaps it is more about my attitude and outlook. When the Lord has mercy on me and raises me up, that in itself is the repayment this person deserves, in that I am not controlled by that person’s hurts and jeers.

I think there is a secular saying about this: Living well is the best revenge. I don’t wish revenge on this person; however, I do wish to live well. And it is by God’s grace and mercy, as well as my integrity, that I shall.

Decoupage Cross

— 3 —

Legofan saw his pediatrician this week, who was pleased with how well he is doing. He warned me to expect growth of approximately four inches over the next year. Ummm… can we do that all in the summer time so that the length of his pants doesn’t matter??? He’s already coming close to looking me in the eye. How bad does a 40-something year old woman look in these?

High Heel Boot from JustFab.com

— 4 —

One of the things I’ve been doing for LegoFan is giving him Plexus Slim and ProBio5

I actually signed up with the company so I could get the products at wholesale. The ProBio5 is a probiotic, which many doctors suggest for kids on the spectrum. The Slim was actually designed for diabetics, but has improved the lives of many by helping them get off various medications.*

*(Standard disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I cannot diagnose, prescribe, or treat anything. If you are interested in these products, not only will I make a commission, but I would suggest you talk to your doctor before using them. I am only sharing our experiences with them.)

LegoFan has shown some incredible improvements after using these two. In general, he has become more compliant and less argumentative. He has allowed himself to step out of his comfort zone and actually talk to people. And his art has improved! He used to rush through art and barely follow the directions. Now he takes his time and actually puts details into his creations. I love these positive changes we are seeing!

Bowling

— 5 —

Diva has been amazing me with her creativity and sewing ability. She watched a video about how to sew one of the Mario characters out of felt. This video came with a template and she set out to make it. Ever since then, she has been designing her own patterns! She has made Captain Toad, Waccas (your guess is as good as mine!), Benny the 80s Spacesuit Guy and a Micromanager from the LEGO Movie, and the Unknown (don’t ask me which one) from Pokemon. Most recently, she has designed a princess doll, but she’s not finished with this yet, so I don’t have any pictures. This girl is amazing!

LEGO Movie Benny
Sew - Captain Toad
Sew - Micromanager
Sew - Waccas

— 6 —

For me, I am loving that spring is finally here! Despite allergies, I am enjoying having the door open in the house, and the windows down as we drive. Flowers and trees are starting to bloom, and even parts of the city are starting to look pretty.

Flower Up Close

Rose

— 7 —

April is the month for Autism. Given that LegoFan is on the spectrum, and I run four different businesses, I decided to team up with some other vendors to do a fundraiser for an amazing group called Pathfinders for Autism.

LegoFan has benefited directly from their services, and we just love the ladies associated with Pathfinders! To that end, I am donating a percentage of my profits from all of my businesses to Pathfinders this month! So, if you are in the market for…

Hair Jewelry from Lilla Rose

Hair Jewelry from Lilla Rose

Personalized Jewelry from Origami Owl

Personalized Jewelry from Origami Owl

Health & Wellness products from Plexus

Health & Wellness products from Plexus

Essential Oils from Young Living

Essential Oils from Young Living

… please click on the photos and they will take you to my sites. You can order directly from there, and then come back and post your order number in the comments (I can delete order numbers so they don’t stay on the blog). That way I can track things and make my donations accordingly.

* Just in case I wasn’t clear, the links will take you to my websites, where I will make a commission off each sale. In this case, your purchases will not only help me keep my kids home, but they will also help a worthwhile organization, Pathfinders for Autism. Thank you for helping us!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Blessed

Blessed

For a few years now, I’ve been reading people’s “One Word” posts. I even wanted to select a word for myself. But last year, I had three words I liked and I couldn’t narrow it down to just one. So I did what any sensible person would do…

I just gave up on the idea.

Ok, not so sensible. But this year, as soon as I remembered the “One Word” idea, my word was there for me. There was no hemming and hawing. No deciding. It was just there.

BLESSED

Apparently I’ve been having too many pity parties over the last few months. Or maybe I just need to be reminded that, despite my current circumstances, I truly am blessed.

With this being 2014, I thought I’d kick off this year of the BLESSED with 14 blessings I can count in my life right now:

  1. My God ~ My Faith ~ My Salvation – This wonderful God blessed me with the gift of His Son; and, thus, the gift of salvation. This Son, Jesus, died for me, so that I might live. This photo is of my Origami Owl locket. In it is a plate that is stamped ‘Blessed,’ the word ‘Love,” and a cross – all to remind me of the love my God has for me!  Blessed Locket, Origami Owl
  2. LegoFan – I’m listing him first, not because he’s loved more than his sister, but because he was born first. LegoFan has been diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum, as well as a host of other things. He has taught me some much-needed patience. He has shown me true joy. I am blessed to know him and to be his Mama.  LegoFan Ornament
  3. Diva – Obviously, she was born second. She is developing into a beautiful young lady. She has brought femininity back into my life. She has humbled me. I am blessed to know her and to be her Mama.  Diva Ornament
  4. My Mother – I don’t have a photo she’d be happy with me posting, so this will just be text. My mother is one of the few family members who truly supports me in my endeavors to continue homeschooling the children, despite being a single parent. She has supported my decision in word and deed. I am so blessed to have her in my life and to know that she supports us.
  5. A Place to Live – We are not currently living in a place I would choose to live. But, my children have a safe place to be, play, and learn. We have a place that is warm and shelters us from the elements. We have something soft under our heads when we sleep at night. We are blessed to have somewhere to be each day. A Place To Live
  6. A Car to Drive – Earlier in 2013, my car was a mess. It had dents, a crack in the windshield, a hole in the floor from the driver’s heel, and had parts falling off of it. The worst thing? Two windows wouldn’t stay up and there was no heat. Then the brakes went out… It was time to send it to the auto graveyard. So I looked for used cars. I set my budget and was determined to stick to it. I made a list of cars available at a few different dealers in the area and we set out to look. We had struck out at most of the dealers and there were only two left. We drove onto the lot and were a little disappointed in this little lot with some broken down cars and a trailer for an office. They didn’t have the car I came there to see. But being the good salesman he was, the employee told me he had a few cars come in the night before that had not yet been advertised. He showed me one, but it wasn’t what we needed. Then he showed me another one. It would not have been my first choice, or even my 10th probably, but I gave it a chance. It was $500 less than my budget, that was a good start. He gave me the VIN and told me I could go run a CARFAX on it. I got on my computer and researched the make and model only to discover that it was one of the better made cars out there. I ran the CARFAX to discover that this car had no accidents or any other problems reported in its history. It seemed like this car was supposed to be for me. After I bought it I realized that I had asked God for something safe and reliable; and He delivered. But not only that, like Solomon asking for the right thing in Wisdom and getting more than he asked for; I, too, got more than I asked for. I got some features I’d only dreamed about having! I am very blessed to have been directed to this car; and it has grown on me too! A Car To Drive
  7. Food to Eat – Food has been something of a struggle for us. LegoFan has battled food allergies all of his life, and each time he’s tested, we find something new. This past year, we ended up going gluten-free, and change is not always easy. But we have found things to like, and new ways to prepare some of our favorite foods. It’s a journey. But we have food, and we are able to prepare and enjoy good things to eat. We are blessed to have our daily bread! Gluten-Free French Toast
  8. Clothes to Wear – I am definitely not a fashionista, and I’ve had a love-hate relationship with clothing over the years! So right now, my wardrobe consists of jeans and t-shirts. It’s not where I want to be, as I’d like to feel a bit more feminine most of the time. But I have something to wear. My children have things to wear. My mother sometimes picks things up for them too. And then there’s the time when I found jeans for LegoFan for $2.67 and blouses for Diva at $2 – what blessings! Then Cammie over at A Woman’s Place posted about her thrifty find called thredup. I went over there and found a treasure-trove of dresses for Diva at great prices (if you go over there via my link, you will get $10 off your first order with them, and so will I). We are truly blessed to have such clothing to wear. "New" Dresses
  9. Homeschooling – I love this blessing! To be able to be such an integral part of my children’s education is amazing. I get to see the light bulb go on when they figure out something new. I got to be the one to not only teach them how to read, but also the one to show them the joys of a good book. I was privileged to be there with Diva as she struggled through long division and came out victorious. I am able to encourage LegoFan as he tries to find ways to communicate his knowledge, even if they are a bit unconventional. It’s a road we travel together; one in which we learn and grow together as well. I am blessed with the freedom and ability to be my children’s teacher. Science Experiment
  10. The Internet – I know, this can be a blessing and a curse. It is both to me sometimes. But coming from the perspective of blessings, I have been reunited with friends from college, high school, and even elementary school through facebook. I have had the opportunity to meet like-minded individuals through twitter and facebook. I have the chance to write, explore my thoughts, and share parts of my life via this blog. I have found deals to save money on things we need, as well as ways to earn a little money. I have ‘met’ several wonderful ladies through blogs and homeschool groups. I am blessed by what I have chosen to use on the internet, and what it has to offer.
  11. My Plexus business – I recently decided to join Plexus to help improve my health and to help me earn a living to take care of my babies. This company is dedicated to natural ways to get your body in tip-top shape. Their most notable product is Plexus Slim and I just started taking it. I guess I will have to post before and after photos along this journey.  I am blessed to be in business for myself with a company that helps to improve others’ health.plexus_slim
  12. My Origami Owl Business – This was the first business I really joined. I fell in love with the concept of Living Lockets – I loved being able to design and re-design my own jewelry, and that it told my story! And it’s just plain fun – fun to wear and fun to present! I am blessed to be in a business that is fun and prides itself on being a “Force for Good.” Locket - Heart-Shaped
  13. My Lilla Rose Business – I just love my Lilla Rose business. I ended up joining Lilla Rose at roughly the same time as Origami Owl – and it wasn’t planned that way! Lilla Rose has the most beautiful hair accessories – I call it Hair Jewelry! But it’s not just that they’re beautiful, they actually hold my hair! All of it. All day. And NO headaches! But I got something else when I joined Lilla Rose: I got a Lilla Rose family! We have a group on facebook that is so supportive and encouraging, that it’s impossible not to succeed. I am very blessed to be a part of this company, to be able to wear these lovely products in my hair, and to be a part of the Lilla Rose family. Lilla Rose Flexi Clip
  14. God’s Majesty – God sends reminders of His blessings constantly. Sometimes it just takes me longer to see them. But they’re always there. God is the Master Artist and there is just so much beauty in His world. God’s Majesty fills me with awe. I am blessed to live in a world with so many beautiful sights, that He provides them for my (and your) enjoyment!

Fall GlorySunset on the WaterFlower Up Close

As this year continues forward, I know there will be difficult times. I know there will be days that I have a hard time remembering to be grateful. This post will serve as a reminder ~ and permanent record ~ that I have a lot for which to be grateful.

I am truly blessed!

What is your word for this year? If you’ve written a post about it, feel free to share a link in the comments.

* Disclaimer: Most of the links in this post are for my businesses, one is an affiliate link. All are ways to help me help my family. I am a single parent trying to keep my babies home and take care of them in the way I feel God wants me to. If you click on the links and make a purchase, you will be helping us, and I will be grateful.

This Is Autism

I first read about Suzanne Wright’s op-ed when I read John Elder Robison’s resignation from Autism Speaks. I couldn’t believe what I was reading, and I applaud Mr. Robison’s strength of character.

Her words included: “despair” ~ “fear” ~ “depleted”

I read that my exhaustion is going to make me ill and become broken, leaving my child with no one to care for him.

That may be the way that Suzanne Wright feels about people with autism, but it’s not how I feel about my son. I feel Blessed!

Locket - Autism

And I’m a single mother. And I have a son on the Autism Spectrum.

LegoFan BDay

I may be tired at the end of each day, but I am far from ill and broken. I do not live in despair. I am not depleted.

Driving Range

But there was a time when I lived in fear… It was when I was reading all books written by so-called experts. Like Cammie over at A Woman’s Place, I now focus on my own experiences and that of actual mothers & adults who live with autism day-in and day-out. They paint a much more realistic picture. This is where I read about things like:

“Hope” ~ “Love” ~ “Delight” ~ “Laughter” ~ “Intelligence” ~ “Break Throughs” ~ “Accomplishments” ~ “Amazing”

Cheer

When LegoFan was first diagnosed, I was told there was a possibility he would never leave home and probably never hold a job. I no longer believe that; however, even if it’s true I’d be happy to have him.

Comforting

LegoFan is truly delightful! Our house is never dull. In fact it is the complete opposite! It is full of life, smiles, laughter, and activity.

Bowling

Cammie mentions a cure in her post and it’s something I’ve thought about before. In fact, I told a friend shortly after LegoFan’s diagnosis, that if someone appeared on my doorstep with a magic pill that would “cure” his autism, I didn’t think I’d take it. The caveat to this is that if it would truly improve his quality of life, I might consider it. But at what cost? LegoFan’s contributions to our family are not something I’d like to live without. He is amazingly smart; he remembers things I forget, and he has an incredible way of making a room brighter just by entering it. His heart is huge; and his love is immeasurable.

Allergy - LegoFan

Ok, let me be real for you here. It’s not easy. It is challenging. I have my difficult days. In addition to being a single mom, I home school my children. So I am with LegoFan all day, every day. I am the only one who coordinates his meds and his appointments. I’m the only one who drives him to doctors and groups. So, yes, I am tired. But would I say I’m exhausted to the point of being ill or broken? Most certainly not.

Curiosity

Would I trade my LegoFan for anything? Hmmm…

Back To School 2013

What do you think?

Davidson Family Fundraiser

If you have not already heard, the Davidson family of Little Flowers Family Press lost everything recently in a devastating fire.  You can learn more about the details at the following links (the first is from Rita Davidson herself):

Little Flowers Family Press Blog

News Coverage

Local Story

Here is a facebook page that has been set up for their family – please ‘like’ it: Facebook Page

Three of the four Davidson boys are autistic, as is LegoFan. I know how difficult change is for children on the spectrum. This complete change in their way of life must be wreaking havoc in their young lives in ways many of us cannot understand.

I would like to help the Davidson family, but I am not in a financial position to do so. Last night I had an idea to use my direct sales businesses to help. While I admit it may not be much, I would like to donate 20% of my sales from Lilla Rose and Origami Owl so I have set up a party in each of them. If you are interested in helping in this way, please click on the links and follow the directions below. Most importantly, this family needs your prayers. Please join me in praying for them.

Origami Owl

Locket - AutismLocket - Forever FamilyLocket - FootprintsLocket - Grandma

 

To order Origami Owl Jewelry, please go to my website here. When your order is complete, proceed to check out. On that screen, there will be a section called “Party Information” where there will be a dropdown menu. Please select Little Flowers Family Press as your party then complete your order. What you order will be shipped shortly after payment.

Lilla Rose

FOTM Aug 2013 Tidepool Treasures 4Lilla Rose Accessories CollageLilla Rose Badge Clip CollageLilla Rose Collage

 

To order Lilla Rose Hair Accessories, please go to my website here and place your order. This is a party-specific link so your order will automatically be calculated toward the Davidsons’ total. Any order you place through this link will not ship until I close out the party (which I was planning to keep open until the end of September). However, if you would like your order to ship prior to that I have a way to do it, Please just leave me a comment and I will contact you.

Please feel free to ask questions in the comment section and I will answer them for you.  Also, please share this with anyone you think might want to help. Thank you, in advance, for helping this family and offering them a little hope.

for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me. Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these, you did it to me. Matthew 25:35-36, 40