Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Diner Love

Do you love diners? My family loves them! We try to avoid chain restaurants, preferring to explore the local gems instead.

Isaly's is conveniently located just a few doors down from my favorite local stamp shop, Stamp Fanci!

Look at those vintage colors!

We were there, bright and early, for breakfast one morning recently. I love a place that serves breakfast all day long. And coffee. Lots of coffee!

When you move to a new city, you have to replace all of your old favorites with new haunts. We went to a new diner after church this Sunday, and my husband said it may be a new weekend tradition. :)

Tell me, what's your favorite local restaurant?

Monday, September 15, 2014

Koalas For The Birthday Boy

Sam loves koalas. I think it must be a comic book/manga art kind of thing. When birthday boy turned eleven on Friday, I knew I would have to pull out the koala from the Lawn Fawn stamp set Critters Down Under! I used the grass die below, and used the stitched sunshine die to make a sunny statement in the corner.

I decided to fussy cut the koala so that he'd stand out against the leafy backdrop. To tell you the truth, sometimes it is easier to fussy cut a simple shape than it is to get it stamped exactly on a diecut. All it takes is a good pair of scissors, like Stampin Up's paper snips, and you are good to go.

After making the card, I felt totally Koala-fied to make another surprise for Sam. A stuffed sock koala!

You may have seen quite a few sock monkeys, but how many sock koalas have you spotted? This one is a total original of my own design.  I simply shortened the legs and arms, made some big floppy ears, and used felt to add the distinctive nose, white ears, and white belly. Buttons for eyes, a bow tie to give the head its form, and voila! I gave him raw edges, which adds a little shabby flair to this fellow. Sam loves him, and he's dubbed him "Limes".

I may have to market this pattern. After all. I have the koala-fications! LOL!

Happy Monday, cafe friends!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Pumpkin Spice

My son, Luke, showed me this one. I laughed out loud!

Yes, pumpkin flavored everything is here.

Brace yourself...I even have a new pumpkin spice car!

Ready for adventure!

Maybe an autumnal road trip, with a pumpkin spice latte at hand.

Orange you glad you visited the cafe today?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

When Kindness Matters

We've been visiting a new church for the past month, and things are looking promising for this one.

Yes, it's a forty minute drive from our home, but it's also a lovely drive through farm country, with views of rolling hills and golden fields along the way. We pass farmer's markets loaded with bushels of apples and nursery centers with rows of colorful mums. I can only imagine how inspiring this drive will be when the leaves are in full color this fall.

I noticed something about our new Sunday drives to church this week. Somehow, some way, this deliberate action of making the trek to church has turned our ordinary Sundays into Sabbath days.

We talk on our long drives, as a family, without interruption of televisions and laptops and cell phones. And after church, we make a point of going out to eat for brunch somewhere along the way. After that, we might just explore a shop along our new route, too. And before we know it, church is not a thing to cross off our To Do list. IS the point of our entire day.

Last week, we received a very sweet card from the pastor. And this week, we were able to talk to him after services. We told him briefly about our journey to find a new church this past year. And that's when he said the kindest, most amazing thing.

"Two in the morning, two in the afternoon. No matter the time, if you have a care or concern that needs a pastor, I hope you will think of me. I know how hard it is to be without a church home, and until you find yours, I hope you will consider us your church family."

His words brought tears to my eyes. So gracious, so humble. What a servant heart!

Looking back at this year long journey, I can see how God has provided for our little family in ways big and small. This week, I know for certain that He answered my prayer, this desire of my heart.

Prayer changes everything.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

PS Anything Goes: That's Nuts!

I needed a fun birthday card today, something that expresses the sentiment "You're 60? Impossible!" Naturally, I went for the fall leaves and acorns!

I made this for the Paper Smooches Anything Goes Challenge!

I did a little paper piecing on the acorn, then used the leaf die to make a negative image on the polka paper. Another leaf for the top, and there it is!

I stamped the sentiment with Paper Smooches Alphadots, which is probably my favorite alphabet set of all time. So simple, and you never have to worry about lining just works, magically, every time.

{Today's Brew: Falling For You (Paper Smooches), Alphadots (PS), PS leaf die, Simple Stories Harvest Lanes papers, PTI card stock, SU woodgrain embossing folder, button twine, Prisma markers}

And while I was photographing this card on my sidewalk, I looked around...fall leaves everywhere! Sorry, sisters, the calendar may say end of summer, but the trees don't lie!

Autumn...coming soon to a town near you!

Monday, September 1, 2014

It's Here!

It's here! It's here! It's finally here!

Apple season!

I went to the orchard this week and bought the first crop of early apples...Ginger Gold. Mmm! Crisp and tart! Soon, the macs and the golden delicious will be harvested. Oh the joy!

My dog, Maggie, loves apples. We share them in the afternoon...a slice for me, a slice for the dog. When you are nearly fourteen years old, you cherish the simple, drool-worthy things in life, like apple time with mama.

I made this apple card, today! My friend, Marylynn, reminded me to get out my flip card dies and put them to use this week! I pulled out some papers from Stampin' Up (gotta love that clearance rack!), and paired them with the stamps from Papertrey Ink's Fruit Fusion: Apples.

Apple season is probably my favorite part of autumn. What's yours?

Happy Monday, cafe friends!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

No Words

Some days, when I approach the throne of grace in prayer, I feel a little like Ralphie in A Christmas Story, dumbfounded that he is actually, finally sitting on Santa's lap. He knows what he wants to ask Santa for (Red Rider BB Gun!), but suddenly, he has no words.

No words.

I don't ever want to treat God like Santa, with a long list of wishes to be granted. I do know, however, that my heavenly Father wants to hear from me and that He has only good things in store for me. He wants me to pour out my cares and worries and big dreams before Him. But there are days when I have a hard time articulating what is in my heart.

I can't help but laugh when I think of the story my sister, Jenny, shared with me. She was in a catechism class filled with students, and the Pastor was leading the prayer. And then he bounced that prayer around the room for others to add in, and when that open ended prayer came to my sister, she said with all honesty
"Sorry, Pastor. I've got nothin' !"

Yep. I've got nothin'. But the truth is, I have so much that I can't even begin to put it into words.

Moments like this:

And this:

First day of school moments.

Sons making long road cars...that they will be driving...moments!

Where do I start?

Is God honored by my really creative prayers? Seriously? The creator of the universe is going to give me a better grade because I came up with a new way to combine consonants and vowels that has not been thought of since the beginning of time?

I don't think so.

It is times like these that I go to the prayers that I have memorized and tucked away for just such occasions.

And when even those prayers are hard to grasp, I go here:

My Pastor in Indiana gave me this sweet book of prayers when we became members of the congregation. It is filled with prayers for just about any occasion, along with four weeks of morning and evening prayers. I find myself increasingly turning to this little book as my prayer prompter. And invariably, the daily prayer will speak to me in a fresh way.

Like today.

"Keep me humbly dependent on You for every good and perfect gift, for You are my Father, and I am your child."


For when I have no words.

I couldn't have said it better myself.