Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Weekend in Jacksonville

What a great weekend. So rich, so much to look forward too. So MUCH FUN to be with all the saints together-singing, laughing. Thought I'd post a few piccies as that seems to be the trend these days.

Here's some of us singing on the first day:

Missy had bought Emma a nurses kit, and "Wuke" was so sweet to play with her, it warmed the very cockles of my heart. I get all coochie just looking at this picture. He looks like a handsome 18 year old to you, but to me he is a handsome 18 year old who was once my sweet baby. Being an aunt at 11 is something I consider one of the greatest privileges in my life. Thanks again, Miss, for keeping the kids.

Here are the Aussies and The Quebecois (hope I spelled that right) having a hilarious time posing for the "paparazzi." You can't see the palm tree in the back ground, but they really wanted that in the shot.
The Fabulous Vancouver Brothers, doncha know. Brittian, I know you're reading this, so comment, dang it! Jazz Hands.

Me and Marcie, who I so dearly love. Isn't she gorgeous? She is like no one else on earth. A treasure.
The brothers and the sisters from Bournemouth, England, and Gertine from Amsterdam, and Mark from New Zealand. I was so thrilled to meet Luke and Sue, and can barely believe how connected I feel and how much I miss them. It was great to see Matthew again and be treated to his Riverdance skills, and to meet Anna, who is, as Sues said, the perfect English rose, and who is utterly enchanting. I can't stand the idea of not seeing them again very soon. A story about Luke. We were having breakfast at Cheri's (the sister who kept us in Jax, and who was so wonderfully hospitable) and she invited us to prepare, eat and clean up the meal, and all the while, speak, sing and talk to/of the Lord only. This was a bit awkward at first, but became very natural as time went on. Luke was wonderful and very funny. I think I've said about 15 times since then "Lord, I thought it was bad when you cracked me open, but then....." He had gone on and on about being broken, and beaten, and mixed with others, and put over the fire, and chewed up, and then Bill started saying "Don't go any farther!!! Please!!" Hil-arious.
The ride home. These two children could not have been any better in the car. It was two full days of driving each way, and there was a only a total of two times that Bill and I had to get on to them about fighting or being loud. They were absolutely wonderful. (Yes, Emma is wearing a seat belt. She had fallen out of reach of the shoulder belt at that point.) Bill and I were about this tired, but there was so much to think and talk about that we only turned the music on for about 2 of the 17 hours in the car. So much in our minds, so much on our hearts, and so on the same page about it all. That really is a gift.

Came back to a home life that started in full effect the minute we stepped in the door. Full days of work today, and the next two, and laundry, and deadlines for the design team, and emails to write and Christmas to get started on....oh my. All the same old stuff, and all these new things happening. It's so exciting. I haven't slept well due to the cough that lingers, and is now beginning to take my breath away when it comes on. Headed to the doctor tommorrow.

So many people I have the priviledge to know, and to walk with in this life. Each one of you that I spoke with, new friends and old....my heart leaps with joy at the thought of each of you. How can it hold so much? All the time spent talking, questions and answers, help for each other, caring for one another. Really. It's just amazing. I'm so blessed. My heart sings.

Not only in the words you say,

nor in the deeds you do

But in the most unconcious way,

is Christ expressed by you.

Not in the beatific smile,

or holy light upon your brow,

Oh no I felt His presence while

Your laugh rang out just now.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

I am feeling a bit better now, thanks for all your warm thoughts! I really am grateful for this medium that has afforded me so many wonderful friendships, and a new way to connect with people I love.

Emma's party went well, thanks to all who came. She was quite sweet opening each present, gasping in delight and saying "Just what I always wanted!" then hugging and kissing each person after every gift.

Well, blogger dears, just wanted you to know that I will be off line for the few days to come....I hope everyone has a happy thanksgiving! The nurse story below is what I have to give you all!

MUAH!!!!! XO

Black Panther Thanksgiving

About two weeks before Thanksgiving, I got a new patient: a diabetic who lived in a housing project in southwest metro. One bright morning, I arrived at this particular project. It was on a steep slope, and seemed in good condition, perhaps built in the 80’s as opposed to the 50’s. It wasn’t a re-built hotel either. It looked like regular, low-income apartments. I felt pretty good about this. I wandered around for a bit, searching, found the apartment, and knocked. This was always such a tension-filled moment. Who will this person be? What smell will waft out to assault me? Will I be greeted with happy gratefulness that someone is coming to help them, or will I be met with suspicion?

A tall, solid lady with braids answered the door. There is a look that I have come to recognize in this business: the look of a poor black person when a professional white girl is standing at their door. Mistrust. Resentment. In that moment, I feel the burden of slavery, lynchings, segregation and separation of mothers from children, racial slurs, intolerance, and the despicableness of white supremacy. I have about 30 minutes to overcome all of that, and assure them that I am trustworthy, will not belittle them, and really am here to help. I smile through the insurmountable burden up into her brown eyes. I want to do this. I want to somehow, in a tiny way, break through the barrier that separates us. I know I am not capable, but I have to try. I am aware that I will never be able to enter this world, to understand it, to truly sympathize. Her history is not my own. The problems she faces on a daily basis will never be mine. There will always be the knowledge that there is a horrific chasm separating us. I cannot bridge it. But maybe I can drive a nail somewhere that might help someone else put the next board in. And perhaps they will be able to look beyond me and my poor efforts and see something Greater, some hope for the future.

“I’m Sarah-the nurse from home health. I’m here to see Mr. Franklin.” She opens the door a bit wider and asks me to come in. I see that the initial surprise is gone, but there is some reluctance clinging in the corners of her actions. “He’s back in his room. Come on.”

People’s homes are always surprising. This one, for instance. One whole side of the room was solid plants. All sorts of beautiful potted green indoor plants. “Wow!” I say, “You have some green thumb! These are beautiful!” “Yeah, I love plants.”
“I can tell. Wonderful!” We walk through the green glow of the room, the smell of dirt and leaves, the sheen of the light reflecting off the leaves, and turn a corner. In a second, it all changes.

I had walk into what feels like a tiny chapel of hate.

I am facing an enormous red poster of a man whose fist is raised in the salute of the Black Panthers. It is a dark wood-paneled room full of the brown haze of smoke. There were two double beds pressed against either wall, and in the right one sat a man with a cigarette in one hand, a book in the other, one leg missing, and huge brown eyes which would have been beautiful if they were not so filled with loathing and rage. He hates me. I know it. I imagine he spends his time sitting in this room, thinking, forming dangerous theories, stewing in hate and bitterness for the loss of his power, his life, his worth, finding someone to blame. His wife stands to the side, watching me somewhat fearfully. This is it. In this moment I can prove all the things he believes about white people, or I can help weaken the foundation of his belief. I am pretty sure its going to be the former. I feel scared and sick. He is not speaking. I cannot.

Then I notice his glucometer. I look again at his face. It is ashy. He turns to sit on the side of the bed, and his stump comes out from under the covers. Here is the task. “Can I sit on this bed?” I ask, pointing to the double bed on the right. He acts surprised. He nods curtly. So there we sit, facing each other, knees to knees, with his wife standing nearby, and the Black Panther poster hanging between us, discussing diet, medicine and things he can do to feel better and be healthier. I tell him laughingly that he needs to stop smoking. He looks incredulous. “I suppose it’s better than something else you could be smoking, and I know it is one of the few pleasures you have. But, I have to say it.” He nods. He is very suspicious, that never changes throughout the visit. I ask if they have family support, and they do. I say “Oh that’s nice. My family all lives elsewhere.”

Bolstered by some unknown thing that has occurred since I entered the apartment, the woman forgets herself and the burden of the possible disastrous situation and blurts out- “Oh, you poor thing! Come have dinner with us!” I look at her. This is the last thing I ever expected. The gratefulness I feel for her is overwhelming. At that moment, she has adopted me. I have become the needy one. She is the one entering my world, outnumbered and insufficient for the task. She is motivated by concern for something that is greater than either one of us. That each has a family to gather with. She wants to bring me into her world where she can give me what is most important there. Family. We have crossed each other’s lines by simply loving. There is incalculable worth in the moment that you step out with no preconceived plan, no ulterior motive, just that burning, courage-giving, impulsive yearning to meet a need. No, larger than that. The same impulse that causes the piercing, tearing, straining moment when the mother gives birth: the last action of a man who jumps in front of a bullet to save his comrades life: that pushes every frightened groom to blurt out the words “I do:”

These moments are afforded us every day. They are moments that have the potential to expand into wonder. Whether we embrace them depends upon many factors, not the least of which is self-consciousness. But when we forget ourselves and act out of love for someone else- that instant is Life. The aftermath, however, is rather uncomfortable. I wondered if she wanted to take it back- wondered if my surprise registered with her as distain or disgust, when it simply was surprise. I hated to tell her I had plans in case she thought I was just blowing her off, and at the same time, I longed to tell her I had plans to afford her a way out of this offer. The truth was that I did have plans. I told her in a moment of inspiration that I could ask the office to schedule me, and I would come out on Thanksgiving. That was fine with her. We both turned to the man. He shrugged- non-committal.

Two weeks later I went to the house on Thanksgiving, and wished I had not asked to be scheduled for that day, thinking that she was probably inside wishing the same thing. I had little hope for the connection that occurred, due to the pesky interference of common sense and reason. I walked in, said “Happy Thanksgiving” and bit my lip. She said “Happy Thanksgiving” and led me back to his room. No table set, no festive d├ęcor, just the greenhouse atmosphere, and a slight odor of sweet potatoes. I took his blood pressure, made idle chit chat, and became increasingly doubtful of what had occurred the week before. I checked his sugar, asked about his book, made a comment revealing my naivety and immaturity. Then the most marvelous and wonderful thing happened. He smiled and laughed. I laughed with pure delight mingled with relief. His wife, with a look of amazement, laughed. The moment had mattered. It had been counted and added as gain to all of us.

I was thankful.


I hope you find Joy in your Gratitude this holiday season.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

A Snotty Post


I'm gonna blog tonight, even though I'm wacked out dead tired and suffering from a cold. And a cold sore. Ooog. Luckily I had a script from the last time I got one of these suckers, and hopefully it's duration will be shortened.

Just newsy stuff and bits.

I have a cold. Oh yeah, I mentioned that already. Did I mention that I have a cold? And I'm tired? Ok. Well, I am. I feel like I have a big rock of pain in between my throat and chest when I cough. Nice. Bill is still coughing, and so are the kids. So much for my "Oh I NEVER get sick" stories. Well, I don't usually get sick enough to stay in bed, just sick enough to keep doing all that I have to do and feel miserable doing it. A day in the life of a mama, eh, ladies??
Bo is cracking me up. He thinks "snot" is a bad word, so he spells it out.
"Mama, I have alot of, you know, S-N-O-T."

I got an email from Legacy Magazine asking for one of my layouts for publication! That pretty much rocked my world!!! I got an email today saying they received the layout and may retain it for up to 8 months, but will let me know what issue it will be in. It was an effer dare. The last one. I love love love love those dares. Love them. I just hope they use it!!!!

My girl Jen got a layout accepted by Scrapbook Trends---I'm totally stoked for her! She has a really great colorful- fun style. She also has a cold. Which I do too, did I mention fatigue? Well, I'm feeling it, and she is too, I imagine.

Susie (Bill's Mom) is coming in town tommorrow for the weekend to celebrate Emma's birthday. We've got the final soccer game, and party, and Emma's birthday party, and a whole lot of shopping to do so it'll be cram-packed, and I need to sleep tonight! The good news is I got the house cleaned. Rest easy, Mom.

Over Thanksgiving we are going to a conference in Jacksonville with the church there. It should be really good. Really Important. The kids are staying with my sister, and are totally excited to be with their cousins and auntie for the time! We are leaving Tuesday night, (yes, we are DRIVING to Florida. No, we are not insane, just frugal) and I will have loaded days on Monday and Tuesday trying to see as many patients as possible, packing and getting ready. Not to mention the cards I JUST HAD to make to take to the conference. They look pretty sketchy in the photos. I'm so excited about hanging out with people from all over- Australia, New Zealand, Holland, Colorado Springs, Vancouver, HOORAY! It's going to a blast seeing all my peeps that I never get to see! And all together!!!!

Here's a couple of the cards....I couldn't wait for the kit, Em! They had the jumbo cards at Target for one dollar, and I just had to play with them! These are two of five that I have made.


Dear Santa,
I have been a very good girl this year.
Please send me a canon rebel or any digital camera
that doesn't take grainy pictures. And some brown
boots, and Designing With Paper, and some more
opportunites with scrapping. And photo shop.
And Bill wants a laptop.
As for the kids, I will have to get back to you on that-
I have no idea what they want. Probably toys.
Living in Fantasy,
Sarah
PS. Santa, Don't let these pictures fool you. I still REALLY NEED a camera.

Dear Lord,

You are everything I need.

Really.

Love, Sarah

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Now We Are Four


Happy Birthday to the sweetest girl in the whole wide world.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Ooooooh! Me Me ME!!!!!!!!

I got tagged, but only because I whined to Colleen. Yes, folks, Le Squeeky Wheel does indeed get Le Grease. And whilst I'm whining productively, I'd like to get in touch with the person that organizes all the birthday love on 2ps. I'm not gonna throw a card up like some understudy without being asked! If one of us is doing someone else, LET ME KNOW!!!!!!!

names you go by
1.Sarah
2. Mama ( I was once the proud owner of many nicknames, now displaced by this one all-consuming one)

two parts of your heritage
1. German
2. Scotch Irish

2 things that scare you
1. heights
2. conflict (but I'm getting SOOO much better at it!)

2of your everyday essentials
1. Diet Coke
2. email

2 things you are wearing right now
1. scrubs (very cool teal shirt with oriental pattern and black capris)
2. breast cancer awareness bracelet from Target (1$!!! Rocks!!!)

2 of your favorite bands or musical artists (at the moment)
1. Black Eyed Peas
2. been craving something new. Any suggys?

2 things you want in a relationship (other than real love)
1. Laughter
2. Connectedness

2 truths
1. I love sweets.
2. I bore myself when I talk.

2 things that appeal to you (in the opposite sex)
1. Intelligence
2. Sense of Humor (right on, Colleen, but they have to be combined, or I'd rather have "stupid" than "smart but not funny"!!!!)

2 of your favorite hobbies
1. Scrapping
2. Scrapping

2 things you want really badly
1. a digital camera for crying out loud!!!!
2. more money

2 places you want to visit
1. Greece
2. I'd go to Argentina again in a second, but for new? New Zealand. To see my chook. And Paris, cause my sisters and mom would kill me for not mentioning it, but I really only want to go if it's by way of visiting a church in Europe, like Albania, or Romania. Oh, I'll stay there for a while, and don't think for a minute I wouldn't jump at the opportunity to go!!!! I just would rather hit Europe as a whole, I guess you might say. I have alot of feelings about this topic apparently!

2 things you want to do before you die
1. have a digital camera
2. see people free to follow the Lord with no shackles.

2 ways that you are stereotypically a dude/chick
1. I cry when I'm REALLY happy or REALLY sad. Or only sorta happy or sorta sad, or moved...or well, you get the general idea.
2. I could easily spend all day shopping, and have (right on again, girl. Lets go.)

2 things you are thinking about now
1. Dang, I cooked spaghetti noodles, I guess we have to eat them.
2. I wish I hadn't done that.

2 Two stores you shop at
1. Scrappin' Corners!!!!
2. Target

people i would like to see take this quiz: Miss and Jen, cause they're my sisters, and new to the wwwonderful wwworld of blogging! Love ya!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

You are Wonderful

So many songs in my spirit.
So much richness we have been given.
Together. Him.
Knowing- and being known.
What a wealthy life.
"Life piled on Life."
There is nothing lacking.
Not in this living room, anyway.

Not in my neighborhood.

Praise Your name.
Here. Now. Eternally.
Rich with endless supply of the Father's love.
Our inheritance is His name.

Lord, we gladly call Your name.

Your name that is higher,
that is older,
that is greater.
Your name is Peace. Freedom. Joy. Sorrow. Solid. Hope. Rest. Living. All.
You are.

Friday, November 11, 2005

I don't do Flipping Anything.

"So I guess you could say...things are getting pretty serious. "
And yes, I do chat online with babes all day.

Kip
You are Kip Dynamite and you love technology.

Which Napoleon Dynamite character are you?
brought to you by

Thursday, November 10, 2005

A Scrapbook in Tip


This was handed to me this morning by a small lanky boy with a very sour expression. Apparently he was not too happy with me for rejecting his fabulous ideas (that he was shouting at me while I was otherwise occupied). I told him I wasn't going to do those things and he should do his own scrapbook page. He did. Once he had his idea fleshed out, I think he forgave me.
I was part amused, part annoyed and part ashamed. So really, I guess I felt like a mom. I mean, sure it's a great "scrapbook in tip" (read it really fast) but COME ON!!

We are all home sick today. Bill went in, but he probably should have stayed home. Ahhhh. 88 Degrees in November. Is that a recipe for illness or what? It's cooler today, thank You Lord!!!!

The busy-ness begins tommorrow. Hoping to use today to recover. I'm only giving it one day. Then, sick-be-gone! I am done with you! You can stay today, but tommorrow you are O-U-T!!!!!

ETA: Thank you, Mr. HarryTick for the editing of the paper so everyone could read it! :)

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Hair today, gone tommorrow.

Do you have stringy, straight, fall-in-your-face-everyday hair?
Do you long for a cute hairdo?
Then you are OUT OF LUCK.
This ponytail can be achieved in 47 complicated steps only to be blown to smithereens the minute you step out the door.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Girl Power.

I am a member of a design team. I don't think I'll ever get tired of saying that. For those of you who may be hard of seeing, I'll repeat myself "I AM A MEMBER OF A DESIGN TEAM." Anybody still having a hard time???? No? Ok.

Anyhoo, as a member of Good to the Last Crop, I recieve a kit every month. Apparently there's been quite a bit of hub and bub over "kits" these days. Having experienced the splendor of one of these beauties first hand, I must say I'm impressed at the ease with which one is able to scrap when the supplies are pre-coordinated! It's a great thing for people who walk into a scrapbook store and suddenly feel they have ADD due to the overwhelming selection.

The owner of this site, is a generous, hard working woman, who has built quite a business in the last two months. Doing remarkably well, as a matter of fact. The entire purpose of this post is to say .......

Women in business ROCK. Women who dig in, and make a company from the ground up, do the work, and take the hits, without the protection of a solid ego, inspire me completely. I may sound just a teensy bit stereo-typical here, but really. We woman do take a beating in the self-esteem department.

It's funny. I can say something cutting to Bill, like, "Man. You really screwed that up, didn't you?" and he looks at me like I'm crazy, and says "You have no idea what is going on! I'm really making headway here!" Now if he were to say something like that to me- I would droop, secretly cry, and believe that I not only screwed "that" up, but am a complete and utter failure at every thing I do. That's what I mean about the ego as protection.

I'm not really meaning to get into a rant about this. I just think that Women in Business are Heros. Uh Heroines. Whatever. It makes me really happy to see us walk that path that so many women before us toiled and sweated to forge.

It's a good thing.
Yes, even her.

So here are my layouts for the November Large Kit. Unfortunately, they are sold out, but the December Kit is a delight!!!! You should really check it out!!!!!!

I propose a toast. To Shawn, and to all brave and fearless business women, and to all brave and fearless women who work, and who raise children, and who do so much in their daily lives. To all women!!!! And to my mother, who is just too beautiful for words. I raise my ozarka bottle high!


Friday, November 04, 2005

Goth Mom


This is the biggest alteration in my appearance I have ever made in my life. We're all a little shocked at present. It's supposed to fade out some. That's good. I was going for funky, and I think it went a little too Career. I'm actually ok with it. It's alright. Better safe than orange, I always say! Plus, I had tried to do it myself, and when I went in, I said "yeah, it's a little grey." and the hairdresser at the next station said "Gray she says! I call that green!" So this is obviously better.

I am posting this picture inspite of my expression. This must be how I really look most of the time! Sheesh! No wonder people are always telling me to smile!

Note Bill's charming bare feet up by his laptop in the background. Yes, folks. This is where we spend all our spare time. If you could look through your computer screen right now, this is exactly what you would see.


TGIF. I'm off to scrap if I can summon up some creativity.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Circle Journal

Ok. Here it is in all it's splendiforous Glory.
The Wacked Out Circle Journal of Sarah.

Topic: If you could pick one person in History to interview, who would it be?

Me and cj's. Man, somehow they just manage to get me all psycho in the scrapbooking department. I go up and down the scale.

Exhibit #1:

Here we have the cover of the book. This is a nice 7 Gypsies journal covered in some lovely 7 Gypsies paper- nothing too out of the ordinary, acutally quite conservative. Looking at this, you think, "Hmmm, traditional, brown...she'll probably want to interview Jackie O. or George Washington, you know, that sort of person."

Exhibit #2:




Now you're thinking: "Well, lookie here. She's moved into some Foofala and Heidi Swapp. Gettin' a little funky there, eh, Sarah? Step back with the masking tape and staples! There is such a thing as excess, dear. Hmm, a splash of red to brighten up this neutral page. She'll probably interview someone practical with a bit of color like Ben Franklin or one of the Ceasars- Julius or Claudius, perhaps Livia! "

Exhibit #3:



You think: "Holy CRAP!!! Sarah ate her scrap stash and threw it up all over this page!!! What the heck is going on here???? She'll be interviewing Salvidor Dali or the Marquis De Sade! What a mess! Did she leave her sense of proportion in the car that day? Holy Toledo! Rip it out and start over before I have a seizure!"

Exhibit #4:


"Well, phew! She hasn't taken total leave of her senses. I'm not sure about the turquoise with the Captured Elements paper, but maybe if I were to see it IRL, it would look alot better! (;)) I do like the embossed Bazzill Circle with "well" stamped in it. It does look rather well-ish. The Samaritan Woman, eh? Rather odd choice, Sarah."

Well, reader dear, it is an odd choice, but one very dear to my heart. I am so curious about this woman. If you look at her story, there are missing elements and unsaid questions and answers I just ACHE to know. Who was she?

But.. I sorta know. She is every woman. Every thirsty woman with a past they'd rather not discuss, and a bleak future. And then in He walks and turns everything around, knowing full well who she is and what she's done. And not caring at all about any of that, just went out of His way to give her a drink, should she ask for one.

So that's it. Now I've let the crazy cat out of the bag. Please leave a comment to tell me if I really should do that sign-in page over. I probably won't cause I'm pretty lazy- just awfully curious. I used a highlighter, for crying out loud!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Obligatory

Surely, I cannot take my children trick or treating, and not post pictures of the event, can I? I cannot.



This one above is them trick or treating at Mom and Dad's house. Ah yes- the things that one will do for one's grandchildren that one will not do for one's children ;)
I do love that red door.

Bo was his usual chatty self at EVERY SINGLE HOUSE. At each house he told the same LONG story. "Trick or treat! Hey! You may think I'm a burgular, but I'm really a spy, I just look like a burgular, and this is my sister Emma-everybody says she is just adorable. She is a pink puppy princess, and this is my friend Aiden, he's a red ninja, and this is Colin, he's spiderman." He would usually tack on something about being a spy, or "nice jack-o-lantern. I bet that took a long time to carve. We carved one, and it took a long time, and we named him Strong Surprise, you know like Strong Bad or Strong Sad...it took a long time to carve, but I'll bet that took longer, you are really good at it!"

On, and on, and on that kid can talk! Whoo-eee. It's amazing we got to as many houses as we did!
Yes, our costumes were very handmade (felt crown pinned to Emma's Puppy {really bear} ears, and a "spy detector" made out of chipboard, black cardstock and silver paper. Bill's belt slung around his shoulder.)They couldn't have been happier if I had bought them the Costumes Extraordinaire. I could tell Bo thought he was every bit as awesome as Junie in Spy Kids, and Emma felt/acted like a princess. They invented what they wanted to be. I think that's cool. There were no other spys or pink puppy princesses out there, and for me originality wins a prize anyday!
So that's alot of yammering on about the kids.

HEY! I had a bottle of PUMPKIN ALE last night! That stuff totally rocks! Thanks for the tip, Klala!!!