Monthly Archives: October 2011

4 Reasons to Smile

A recent ladies bible study really got me thinking about smiling and cheerfulness . About how I should smile more. About the many reasons I have to be full of cheer. About how much better laugh lines will look than frown lines with my graying hair.

If you feel rainy, foggy, cold, or stormy on the inside today, try this exercise. Take a deep breath and smile…a genuine smile….for 15 seconds.

Now how do you feel? Did those endorphins respond? Did your mood suddenly improve?

Maybe you’ll be encouraged to read what the Bible has to say:

Truth springs up from the earth, and righteousness smiles down from heaven.
Yes, the Lord pours down his blessings. Our land will yield its bountiful harvest.

 Psalm 85:11-12 (NLT)

A joyful heart makes a cheerful face,
But when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken.

Proverbs 15:13 (NASB)

Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray.
Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises.

James 5:13 (NASB)

We can all come up with a million and one reasons to be grumpy, complaining, angry, bitter, disobedient and the like. But what one reason do you have today to smile?

I’ll start……the four kids I am blessed to have in my life…they are super cool, occasionally crazy, and very creative. It is an honor to have them as my family and I am looking forward to watching them grow into the life God has given them.

Now it’s your turn. Leave a comment and tell me what your reason to smile today is.

The men whom I have seen succeed best in life have always been cheerful and hopeful men, who went about their business with a smile on their faces, and took the changes and chances of this mortal life like men, facing rough and smooth alike as it came. – Charles Kingsley

P.S. For those who are wondering, we do still have our little guy, but privacy concerns will keep me from posting pictures of him until he is no longer in the foster care system.


It Started with Cats

In January of this year, I made a resolution. This would be my “year of art”. I have taken many art classes and I have been a graphic designer for over a decade, but I had lost my focus and my inspiration over the past few years.

So I started where all aspiring artists ultimately start, staring at a blank piece of  paper with a graphite drawing utensil in my hand. I soon discovered that I needed direction, a teacher, to help me start somewhere. So, I did some research and purchased Drawing Lab: For Mixed Media Artists by Carla Sonheim. I proceeded to spend hours drawing cats.

One of the first “labs” was drawing a cat. Mr. Sir and I took a trip to Elkhart, IN and I drew cats all the way there, in the hotel room while we stayed over night and, yes, most of the way back home. (Those closest to me know that I much prefer the drawing of cats to the actually presence of cats.)

Sometimes I tear pages out of my journal so I won’t have to reminded of their utter wrongness in the future. But I decided to keep these. They remind me of the place my “year of art” began, with crazy, not-so-great, mostly dumb looking cats.

DIY – Painted Pumpkins

Painting pumpkins is SO much easier than carving pumpkins with young children. Carving has its place – please don’t misunderstand. But when your children all are under the age of 7, painting is the way to go.

Things You’ll Need:

Newspaper – to protect your table
Acrylic/Craft paint – Apple Barrel worked well on our pumpkins
Paper plate for pallets
Water cups, napkins, and towel
Other Optional Items: Stencils, stamps, spray paint, paint markers

Within half an hour we had each finished painting our pumpkins.We had an Indian, a unique pumpkin face, a colorful abstract and a monogram.

For my monogrammed pumpkin, I used the end of a cork to make the assorted dots, the end of a paintbrush to make smaller white dots, and the tip of my index finger to make the red circles around the large circle. I did try to use a regular sharpie to add the lines, but a black paint sharpie worked much better.

And…bonus…I did not have pumpkin guts or pumpkin stink anywhere on my body.

We were all very happy and had a fun time.

So what is your favorite thing to do with pumpkins, carve them, paint them, or eat them?

If you want to get more inspiration for fancy painted pumpkins to decorate your home, check out these links:

Painted Patterned Pumpkins – Alisa Burke

Pumpkins with Panache – Cloth, Paper, Scissors

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