Monday, December 29, 2008

Floral Punch Calendars

Hi all, this is what has been keeping me busy the past couple of weeks. I took a Floral Punch class at Scrappily Ever After in Tyler taught by Susan Tierney-Cockburn (see post on 11-10-08). In one of these great classes she taught us to make the punch flowers in her book, Paper Bouquet, and to use them on the cutest monthly calendar. Each month has a flower of it's own.



I do not yet have all the punches to make the flowers yet so I had to improvise a bit and so a few of the flowers do not look exactly like hers in the book. Also, I had a Quick Kutz snowflake die that I was wanting to use for January and my Cuttle Bug leaf dies along with some of my leaf punches for November.







I cut the layered calendar scallops with my Nestabilities lrg scallop circle set using a light color for the smaller scallop where the calendar sticker goes so that it would be easily seen. The calendar stickers that were used in the class were from Pine Cone Press but I couldn't find them anywhere so, I decided to try to make them myself. I went to the office supply store to find clear printable stickers and left with a pack of 8 1/2 X 11 clear sticker sheets. Then using my Printmaster graphic card, poster etc. maker I laid out a monthly calendar on the sheet of stickers. Then I cut them out with my paper trimmer.



My goal was to make 4 sets to give as gifts and cut out all of the scallops quickly. Next came the flowers, that took a little more time. The monthly calendar scallops in the class sample were attached to a round metal cd tin with a small and very strong silver magnet. I liked this idea but since these were gifts I also had to think about storing the 12 flowers also. So off to Hobby Lobby I went and found these cute little white metal suitcase/handbag tins. All the flowers fit inside along the sides and bottom by magnet strips. The 12 calendar scallops fit nicely in a modified paper cd sleeve attached in the lid with 2 sided tape, the red one.



When sitting on a desk the tin's front lid becomes where you would attach the calendar scallops with the magnet and then the monthly flower. The flowers stick to the magnet by means of a small washer glued to the back. I had a lot of fun making these and now have to finish my set from the class! There were so many choices of flowers to use on the calendar and I'll have to find another project to try all of them!

Try it out and send me your versions, I'd love to see them.

Until tomorrow Shalom,
Sonya
Comments are always welcome, I'd love to hear from you!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

8th Day of Hanukkah


Hi all, sorry to be awol for a while. The once removed gallbladder is still giving me trouble and I focused all my engery on trying to ignore it and work on some gifts which I will post pictures of tomorrow. We have been celebrating Hanukkah all this week and tonight is the 8th day. We light our hanukkiah and say blessings, play the dreidle game with the kids and eat things made with or in oil to remember the miracle of the oil in the Temple.

To read a short history of Hanukkah and the miracle of the oil click on this link: http://judaism.about.com/od/chanukah/a/hanukkahstory.htm , and here for a believers perspective: http://christianity.about.com/od/biblefeastsandholidays/p/feastofdedicati.htm.

Hanukkah isn't one of the seven Feasts of the L-rd mentioned in Leviticus 23 but it was celebrated by Yeshua, John 10:22. You will see it in scripture as the Feast of Dedication. It is a civil memorial celebration to honor G-d and His providence, like our Thanksgiving. The cleansing of the defilement and dedication of the Temple again to the L-rd is a major part of the story of Hanukkah.

As messianic believers we celebrate Hanukkah with that goal, cleansing and dedication of ourselves to the L-rd. During these eight days we focus not only on the miracles that G-d did during the times of the Macabees but also what Yeshua and Shaul (Paul) teach us about cleansing ourselves of defilement and dedicating ourselves, as we are the Temple of the Lord's Spirit now, to Him, His will and service (1 Cor 3:16, 6:19; 2 Cor 6:16, plus more on this same theme).

It is also called the Festival of Lights and light is a teaching of Yeshua as well. He is the Light of the World and He tells us that we as Believers are that light now. Light is a major theme of Yeshua's teachings and we meditate on them during these days as well.

When we light the candles we say the blessing:

Barukh atah Adonai Eloheinu Melekh haolam shehekheyanu, ve-kiyamanu vehiggianu Lazman Hazeh - Blessed are you L-rd our G-d King of the universe, who has kept us alive, and has preserved us, and enabled us to reach this time.

Then while lighting the candles we say:

We light these lights for the miracles and wonders, for the redemption and the battles that you made for our fathers in those days at this season, through your holy priests. During all eight days of Hannukkah these lights are sacred and we are not permitted to make ordinary use of them, but only look at them; In order to express our thanks and praise your great name for your miracles, your wonders and your salvations.

And this:

"Rock of my salvation, to You praise is due. Establish Your house of prayer and let thanksgiving be offered there. The time will come when You will end all hurt and enemies will cease to be. Then I will sing and celebrate the dedication of Your sanctuary."

The Macabee's fought with zeal against the Greeks who ordered them to forsake G-d and His Word. During this season of the L-rd's salvation let us seek to cleanse and dedicate ourselves as His Temple. Let us also shine forth brightly as His Light in the darkness and to zealously serve Him in love.

Shalom until tomorrow,
Sonya

Comments are always welcome if you have the time, I love to hear from you!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It's Snowing in Houston!

I'm back after a 3 day hospital stay for my once removed gallbladder. I have been having flareups of pain just like I did just before I had it removed. This time it started on the day after our anniversary and after going to the dr. and her telling me to go to the ER if it didn't get better or if it got worse, I did, under much duress! My arms look like I have been in a fight with a drug dealer from all the IV attempts and blood draws, ugh! After many tests and torture they let me out today no wiser about the cause of the pain than when I went in. I should have stayed home!!!! I'll have to be unconscious or bleeding profusely before they will ever get me anywhere close to a hospital again!

But the bright side is that it was snowing when I left the hospital. Beautiful little white flakes floating down from the sky. We here in south Texas get excited even if it doesn't stick because we don't see it that often. I just went outside and it is snowing again and I looked on the radar and more is coming! Probably won't get to make a snowman but I feel like making snowflakes with my die cuter and get out the glitter to decorate them and hang them up!

I am going to start all my gift making tomorrow even if I don't feel well, hopefully it will improve my mood and make me forget the pain that is still there. I have to my sister's tag also, so until then,

Shalom,
Sonya

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

30 Years!


December 2, 1978



Today

I haven't updated the blog for a few days with all the cooking for Thanksgiving and kids in and out. Also because December 2nd was our 30th wedding anniversary. We took the travel trailer and went to a nearby state park to have a quiet celebration as we took our big celebration trip this summer to Israel. I can't believe how quickly these years have went by! We have had some great times and some rough ones and have a wonderful, loving (not perfect, which is a good thing, because he wouldn't have chosen me) husband, three great girls, one son-in-law, and three grandchildren. The pictures above are from our wedding 30 years ago and the black and white one is from this year. We have changed just a bit, he lost the mustache, sideburns and some hair, I gained more than a few pounds, but we still love each other very much.


Do I have any advice on marriage after 30 years? I'm still learning and here are a few of the things I have to pass on so far: Get your priorities straight - Your relationship with the L-rd first, your relationship with your spouse next, then your kids and then all else/everyone next. That includes your career, hobbies, extended family etc. Your marriage is a binding, life-long, non-breakable covenant, no divorce (barring true abuse)!


Marriage takes work, time and understanding. Becoming one does not mean that you no longer have individual personalities. Your own growing personal relationship with the L-rd will guide you in your relationship with your spouse and children making the joyous times more precious and the troubling times a time of growth and faith. Your spouse cannot read your mind! Communication is vitally important and know the difference between feelings and fact. Sometimes we women can "feel" something that doesn't have any bearing upon reality! Men don't relate well with emotions. They like to "know the facts" and to "fix a problem". Women relate "how they are feeling" in relation to a problem. These two differing ways of looking at a problem can cause a lot more problems than the original if you do not understand how men and women see the world. Pray, pray and pray some more, with your spouse and children. Build up your spouse, honestly and your children, do not tear down! Your home is your "safe haven" especially given to you by the L-rd, keep it that way. That safe haven will be a refuge when trying times come upon you, we all need one, with no criticizing, judgements and the like.


Leave your baggage at the door! Do not expect your spouse or your children to "fix" your childhood problems (real or imagined), past abuse, lack of self esteem, losses, past relationships or any other things you may bring to the relationship. Take them to G-d and let Him heal them. and to use them to His Glory. Last but not the least is that your growing 100% relationship with the L-rd will ensure that you will put in 100% into your relationship with your spouse. These lessons were learned the hard way and we are still learning! Love insn't just an emotion it is also a choice, a committment.

Below are two pictures from our trip to Israel. The first is a look towards the old city from the garden overlook and the other is us after we were blessed to get to pray at the wall! We put prayers for all of our friends and family in the cracks of the Western Wall. The trip was too wonderful to describe! There are over 900 pictures and 6 hours of video that we will show to anyone who wants to see! We were blessed to have walked where my L-rd has walked. To expierence the Land and it's people! On land that is ancient, modern, eternal and alive with His Presence. G-d has an eternal plan for His Land and people, and man's will and plan for it, will not prevail. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving with your friends and family, until the next post,






Shalom,

Sonya