I really wanted to attend a scrapbook retreat several weeks ago. It was held at Camp Sumatanga . ..one of my favorite places. It was not meant to be. I was disappointed but I know that I made the right choice. I needed to do a couple of family things . . .but I was still disappointed. I've never been to a crop or to a scrapbooking retreat or to a scrapbooking party or even just to someone's house to scrapbook together. I'm actually a little hesitant to put some of my recent pages on the blog . . .because what if I'm not doing it right. What if my pages look really stupid compared to everyone else's pages? Well, who cares, right? So here are some of my recent pages. I've been trying to branch out and I've been checking out some of the websites where you can actually see layout drawings but I never like any of them just like they are . ..so I add or subtract and mix and match papers . . .until I get something I like. The first pages are of Amy's baby shower at work. We love to celebrate together. We actually just love cake. Actually, I just love icing. Who cares about the cake?? Amy's pages aren't matchy matchy because Amy is not a matchy matchy kind of person. This is the first time I've ever mixed lots of patterns on a page but I didn't want the pages to be "too girly" because Amy is not that way either. I cut the title and the pregnant silhouette using my silhouette SD machine. I sure do wish I had the cameo. That is the newest machine and it cuts on 12 X 12 paper.
I had a really hard time with this layout. I kept working and kept working and Laura even helped with this one. It is pretty simplistic but it turned out ok.
I enjoyed making this one about our supper club. I love rick rack and so it was fun to use rick rack and also to cut the big white rick rack using my silhouette SD.
I made this layout a few week's ago. This is my niece, Grace. This is the first time that I have used a banner on a scrapbook layout. Last night, I was reading a scrapbooking blog and found out that banners are "all the rage" right now. Well, I'll be. I did something "in style" and didn't even know it!!
I love this layout. This is the first one that I finished during the weekend of the retreat (that I didn't attend). I just marched myself right upstairs and sat down at my table and made a layout. I pulled the colors from Laura's shirts. The journal block tells that she and Dustin went on 180 mile ride between Christmas and New Year's. I loved the swirly shapes that remind me of bike tires!!
This layout is also very simple. I think I just like simple layouts. It is not that I'm not capable of putting 42 different papers and lots of flowers and things made out of coffee filters and all sorts of others things on my pages. I am. For some reason, that does not give me pleasure. I think I'm a minimalist at heart. I don't have a lot of things sitting around on tables - you know . . .doo dads, knick knacks, chotchkies (I had to verify the spelling on that one and according to Urban Dictionary - a chotchkie is a small piece of worthless crap, a decorative knick knack with little or no purpose.) I don't have a lot of those sitting around. My scrapbook pages don't have a lot of those either. I think they are just fine and lovely when I see them but I just can't get into them. I may do some layouts with old photos of my parents this year and on those, I might use a little more stuff so they don't look so modern.
Not sure what pictures I will scrap next . . .I have a million, I believe!!
I have a million pictures - not really - but at least 100 . . .so I'll only bore you with a few. I've been thinking about my bucket list. There are a few really big things on my list -- I really want to see the northern lights and I would really like to go to Ireland, and if possible, I would like to have a dream kitchen some day. There are also a few smaller things ...I've always loved the Harlem Globetrotters. Really loved them. Anytime I would see them on tv, I would think, "I'm going to see them some day." They came to Birmingham last month and I bought my ticket (yes, one ticket - not two or three or four or five) - as soon as they were on sale. As much as I love to laugh, I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I would love their game/show. Why would I only buy one ticket? Well . . . I knew that I wanted to laugh out loud - as loud as I wanted - and as often as I wanted . . .and I thought I might embarrass my family :-) I even thought about purchasing the special ticket . . . the one where you had a meet and greet with the team and there was also a special photo op . . .but common sense won out and I had plenty of fun.
The night finally arrived and I drove to the local college and parked. You wouldn't believe how far away I parked. Just let me say that I parked a long distance from the event and it was uphill all the way and it was hot that night because we have never had winter this year - straight from summer to summer. By the time I arrived, I was a hot and smelly mess and I feel sorry for the old man sitting beside me. But I was there and I enjoyed every single moment. I laughed really loud. I probably even snorted a little. . . and I've completed one item on my bucket list . . .and really had a good time. I did wish mightily for a little boy because there were so many little boys and I thought about Glenn . . . and what a fine man he is . . .and not a little boy . . .and got a little nostalgic.
I grew up in a denomination that did not celebrate Lent. That was fine because that was all I knew. For all of my adult life, I've been a United Methodist and we participate in Lent. We begin the season of Lent on Ash Wednesday. At our church, we have a service early in the morning and then we have a large service on that night. I found this on Wikipedia - "The minister marks the forehead of each participant with black ashes in the sign of the cross, which the worshipper traditionally retains until it wears off. The act echoes the ancient Near Eastern tradition of throwing ashes over one's head to signify repentance before God (as related in the Bible). The priest or minister says one or both of the following when applying the ashes:
Remember that thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return.
Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel.
We move through the days of Lent spending more time in prayer and worship - more time focused on God. Our church always offers a bookmark with scriptures for each day and a little prayer guide. I always start a new prayer journal just for Lent.
Then we come to Holy Week. On Palm Sunday, our children wave palm branches all the way down the aisle and place them around the altar - just like when Jesus entered Jerusalem. Our choir sings music worthy of a parade (this year's was exceptional) and we celebrate that triumphal entry. All too quickly, our hearts begin to hurt. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of Holy Week, we have noon day services with special music and sermons. Then on Thursday night - Maundy Thursday - we wash hands (instead of feet) and we take communion. Just like Jesus tied the towel around his waist and washed the feet of the disciples. We are reminded that we are to serve others - just like Jesus told the disciples.
Then we arrive at Good Friday. Trinity participates in the Way of the Cross. A large cross is dragged from church to church and there are scripture readings at each church. On Friday night, we have the service of darkness. Even though this service is incredibly sad . . .it is one of my favorite services of the year. The church is always packed. A member of the next door Baptist church called this year wanting the time of the service. After I told him, he whispered into the phone, "I'm a member at "church down the street" and we always come to this service."
The cross is draped in black. The altar is covered with black. The candlesticks are black. It truly feels like the time when the whole world turned dark. . . yet just outside the sun has been shining all day.
The acolytes enter and even that cross is draped in black. The candles around the base of the cross are lit and the service begins. The scriptures are read of those last words of Christ. A scripture is read, the choir or an ensemble sings a song, a candle is snuffed out and a hammer bangs against a large nail three times. The sound echoes through the church.
One of the songs is "Draw me nearer" and the youth choir circles around the cross as they sing. Always brings tears to my eyes.
This service lasts about an hour and 15 minutes or more but I never find myself looking at my watch or phone. I am riveted to the words and music and as the sanctuary gets darker and darker, my heart begins to hurt. Each time that nail is hammered, I realize that I am such a sinner. Finally, there is only one candle - the Christ candle. All of the other lights in the sanctuary are either totally off or just barely dim. Our senior minister picks up the Christ candle and one of the associate ministers picks up the big Bible on the altar and SLAMS IT SHUT. That sound also echoes through the church and I have to bite my lip in order to keep myself from crying out. The light of Christ and the Bible are carried out of the sanctuary and we all leave (over 800 of us!) in total silence. My mother-in-law and I walked all the way to the car without speaking - as did most of the other people. At that moment, I have a tiny inkling of how the early followers of Jesus must have felt. He is my savior and he has been snuffed out.
I love Easter Saturday - as I cook, I usually think about what the men and women were doing back then. Were they weeping continuously? By that time, had they wept themselves dry? Were they telling funny stories like we do when someone dies? Have you ever noticed that? We always tell funny stories about the person who has died. Tears and laughter go together. Were they pondering all that Jesus had taught them?
Then finally, Easter morning arrives. During the night, many hands have been working in our sanctuary. There are flowers all over the church - lilies and roses and carnations. The black cloth has been removed from the cross and replaced with a white cloth because HE IS NOT THERE!! HE has risen from the dead. He is alive!!!!
The older I get, I realize that I cannot fully experience Easter without Holy Week. I need to be reminded of all that Jesus went through FOR ME!!!
I am a new creature in Christ. I am a part of the group of folks called Christians -- I am an Easter person!! Thanks be to God!!!
(photos are courtesy of my friend, Susan - I don't think she is a reader but if she is - thanks so much!!!)