Friday, August 31, 2012

More Digital Pages

I finally tried my hand at making my own scrapbook pages and not use any sort of template. I do have to admit that these page ideas did not just come right out of my head. I scrap-lifted them from some layout idea pages that I had cut out from my scrapbooking magazines. I finally got around to trying some of them out!

I just feel so un-creative most of the time. I always want to try to copy (for lack of a better word) what other creative people have done. I use my own different elements and colors but I love the ideas that can be found in magazines and of course pinterest. Maybe one day I will be as creative as all these lovely people that I copy. LOL

Here are the inspiration pages from my magazine. I love single picture layouts because they are easy to crank out.

I loved the simple layout and the large title in the middle and the journaling.

I loved the super simple layout and I knew I already had one of those scalloped journal boxes. This is also a free set of papers that all coordinated together. I got them from DHD.

And here are my versions!

I used the exact layout but added extra embellishments. I loved the journaling they did. Pretty much sums up all the years. LOL

Love the colors in this one. Just trying to keep it simple.

As much as I love the simplicity of a template, it is nice to try to do my own thing every now and then. I plan to do more of that now that I've done a couple.

P.S. I know there is a typo on my layouts and I have fixed them. LOL Proof I'm not perfect.

Creations by Kara

Home Stories A2Z

Thursday, August 30, 2012


Wow! It is September already! Where has this year gone to? We have had such a busy summer that it is so nice to look at the month of September and not see anything planned. I am sure we will find things to fill our time and fun stuff to do but it's nice to not have any big committments of our time.

I love how the weather is giving us a break lately. The mornings and afternoons are mild and we still get some warm weather during the day. It has been nice to be able to play outside some in the afternoons instead of running inside because of the heat. In fact we alraedy have some leaves falling in our yard. This maple tree in our front yard always starts turning first. I love to see the colors but I hate that leaves are already circling around the yard and carport. I loathe having to rake leaves or sweep them off the carport.

This little guy has had a cold this week. Boo! I just had a touch of one and now Michael has a bad cold. Jonah is starting to feel better though. Lately he has been getting so picky about what he eats. Things that he used to really like (chicken nuggets) are like pulling teeth to get him to eat now. Of course you can't force them to eat but sometimes I feel like trying! LOL! At least he still LOVES any and all fruit. He used to love broccoli with cheese and seasoned green beans but lately he won't touch them. I've tried telling him he has to eat them to get big and strong like Dada. He likes that idea but I think he's figured out it's just a ploy to get him to eat. Sometimes we try having Michael take a bite and then Jonah has to take a bite. It works sometimes too. I guess he won't starve and at least he loves his breakfast oatmeal still. It could be worse I guess. Here he is eating his end-of-the-meal cracker. He loves plain saltine crackers.

This boy cannot get enough of his Daddy! He wants to be all up in whatever Michael is doing. I think it is too cute and I'm happy to let him tag along when Michael is outside working. One day in the distant future he will tag along with Daddy and Mommy will get to hang back and relax. Hahaha!

Jonah thought Dada needed help hooking the boat to the truck.

Jonah thinks he is big stuff when he is out in the shed with Daddy. He has to act like he has jobs to do too. And he loves to play on the lawnmower. One day buddy you will be mowing the lawn. LOL!

In other news, I have a few house DIY things I'm hoping (key word) to get done this Fall. I have had a two-piece, solid wood hutch waiting to be painted in the basement. I have had no time to work on it this summer and it's just been too hot to paint outside anyways. I am hoping to get it sanded and primed soon to the painting can happen. I bought the thing for just $25 so I really want to make it work for us.

I also want to work on converting our extra room upstairs (used as a mudroom now) into my office and move my current office out of our third bedroom. Michael and I need it to be an office for both of us since he has taken on a big job within our church that requires some computer work. We've got to move several things out of the room and pull up linoleum to see if we can refinish the hardwood underneath. We also have to paint the room. It's a big goal so we will see if we can do it.

Always something to do around here!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Free Fall Printable {My First Printable}

Hello! I am just popping in to share a new printable I made.

In case you can't tell, I am so ready for the fall weather and holidays. I tried my hand at making my own Fall printable this year. I have so enjoyed using other people's printables in the past. I just had to add a couple of Fall activites to mine that just really convey the meaning of Fall in Tennessee. Fall is not the same without smelling the tobacco barns smoking and going on a hayride and roasting marshmallows around a bonfire. I hope you all enjoy the printable (my followers) and share it with others.

You have to click HERE to get it.

Linking up at The 36th AVENUE
Home Stories A2Z
to share this too!

Thursday, August 23, 2012


This book has moved me and I know it has changed my thinking and perspective on so many things in this earth-life. I must share some of it on here but I recommend that you pick up a copy for yourself.

It is by no means an easy read and I want to read it again to really listen to what all it has to say. I picked it up at my local library because I had seen a lot of talk online about it and I thought "why not" since it's free. But I will be running to get my own personal copy soon. Ann Voskamp is a Godly woman if there ever was one.

Sure she has had some very hard trials in her past and carries that baggage, just as we all do. But the way she let the Word speak to her is just incredible.

I will shut up now and quote some of the passages from the book that hit me hardest.

Page 35: "Eucharisteo--thanksgiving--always precedes the miracle."

Page 88: "I read the faded ink below, and I remember what I felt the day I copied these words, "Does disaster come to a city unless the Lord has planned it?" (Amos 3:6). And I feel it again today and I breathe: A good God plans everything. Everything. So a good God can only...make plans for good? He only gives good gifts? A thing of evil cannot be created by a good God?"

Page 148: "Without trust in the good news of Jesus, without trust in the good news of God's saving work even in this moment, without an active, moment-by-moment trust in the good news of an all-sovereign, all-good God, how can we claim to fully believe? This is the trust I lack: to know that if disaster strikes, He carries me even there. Trust in the wholeness of the gospel--including this moment, good news too--and be saved. Choose stress, worry, anxiety, reject what God has given now, which is good news too --refuse to trust--and be condembed."

"I've just begun to feel around the edges of it, here in crumbling economics, the fretfullness of parenting, the dizziness of the twenty-first-century spin. Just begun to realize it, and it catches in the throat: If authentic, saving belief is the act of trusting, then to choose stress is an act of disbelief...atheism. Anything less than gratitude and trust is practical atheism."

Page 154:"Remember and give thanks? For what? What if remembering doesn't kindle gratitude? What if remembering just leaves third-degree burns? The words sear. I know their voices and I remember their faces and the sun spills from the window glass, slants gold across steering wheel. Eyes on the road, yellow dashing like a line on hold, I wait, just wait. In the wait, memories blister. And in the still, Spirit comes and He whispers my name. Christ. And I see a world through His lens: "He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?" (Romans 8:32 NIV). He gave us Jesus. Jesus! Gave Him up for us all. If we have only one memory, isn't this one enough? Why is this the memory I most often take for granted? He cut open the flesh of the God-Man and let the blood. He washed our grime with the bloody grace. He drove the iron ore through His own vein. Doesn't that memory alone suffice? Need there be anything more? If God didn't withhold from us His very own Son, will God withhold anything we need?"

Friday, August 17, 2012

Randoms & Current Faves

Well this week has not gone exactly according to "my" plans. LOL! But it has been a good one anyways. I had grand intentions of getting back on a workout routine by getting up at the butt-crack of dawn (5 a.m.) and walking on the treadmill. Well I did manage to get up and do it one day this week but not the rest of the days. Jonah has not slept well at all this week due to what I think it a final tooth pushing up. He started with a stuffy nose (not running at all) and a low-grade fever on Tuesday. This is his standard teeth-cutting symptoms so I am pretty sure that is what is going on. The fever only lasted about a day and never got high but he is still stuffy nosed. The problem is that he still wants his paci at naptime and bedtime so he wakes in the night looking for it but when he puts it in he can't breath well....Ugh! I think it's time to get rid of that thing but I can't bring myself to take it away yet.

I digress.

So I've had to pour a little extra coffee in the mornings due to the 5-6 hour sleepless nights (for both Michael and I). But I have got a lot of extra cuddle time this week. :)

Anyways, I wanted to share some of the really good books I have read recently. I have been on a reading kick lately. I think it's because all my regular shows have been off for a while.

I recently read my first Max Lucado book called Just Like Jesus. This book was something that I really needed to read. It's all about how we as Christians are to model our lives to be just like Jesus' life. It goes through the characteristics of Jesus and how we are to apply them in our own life. There were a ton of great quotes in the book and I really loved the message it kept repeating of how Jesus loves you just the way you are but he does not want you to stay that way. He wants you to be changed by the love of Jesus and that to be reflected in how you live your life everyday. Here is another quote from the book I loved.

“God rewards those who seek Him. Not those who seek doctrine of religion or systems or creeds. Many settle for these lesser passions, but the reward goes to those who settle for nothing less than Jesus himself. And what is the reward? What awaits those who seek Jesus? Nothing short of the heart of Jesus.”

So true. We are to always be seeking Jesus.

The next two books I read were Bloom: Finding Beauty In The Un-expected - A Memoir by Kelle Hampton and My So-Called Life As a Proverbs 31 Wife by Sara Horn.

Both of these books were quick and easy reads but nothing in them really stuck with me. I regulary read Kelle's blog Enjoying The Small Things so I already loved her writing style and what she writes about on her blog but the book did not really bring anything new to me that I didn't already get from reading her blog.

Sara's book was just ok. It is the one-year experiment that she underwent to try to be more like the woman described in the 31st chapter of Proverbs. I enjoyed reading what all she went through but it just was not as comical as I thought it would be.

I also recently listened to the audio book of The Lucky One by Nicolas Sparks and I really enjoyed that story. I have not seen the movie but I can't wait to now. I will have to say that the guy reading the book was not great. I almost didn't finish it becuase I hated his voice when he did Ben, Nana and Elizabeth. It really took a lot away from the story so that's why I want to see the characters come alive in the movie to get the full effect.

On to some of my current favorite things! I am loving all these new finds. Don't you just love when you come across something or try something new and it becomes an instant favorite?

Wal-Mart quit carrying my favorite hot cocoa (Coldstone Creamery brand) that I was putting in my coffee everyday. Boo! So I finally found something that I like just as much. I love the Internationl Delight brand Caramel Macchiato cream. It is not an overhwelming flavor at all.

I also tried a new recipe this week that Michael and I both loved. It's Pioneer Woman's Penne a la Betsy pasta dish. It is not the cheapest one to make with the cost of shrimp (even the frozen ones) but it is so good. I also did not use fresh herbs but used dried ones and it was still great! We are having leftovers of it tonight. :)

I am also loving the free app YouVersion on my new phone. It is Bible app that you can use to sign up for Bible reading plans. I am following along with the blog #SheReadsTruth and we are in the middle of studying the book of Proverbs. I love that it gets me into His Word everyday no matter what. Check it out!

I feel so much more fulfilled and balanced when I read His Word throughout the week. Why had I not been doing that more? Is it really so hard to go get my Bible and open it up? Honestly, it is hard to do that. But with the Bible being right there on my phone, it is always with me. When I don't try to sit and read a whole book and just take a small bite of it each day, I can really concentrate on what I've read.

Michael and I have been through some hard things this past month. We had a miscarriage at about 7 weeks. We found out about the possibility of this pregnancy not being viable in early July. I miscarried the weekend of Jonah's second birthday and I've had a hard time with it. We don't have answers for why these things happen but I know that God's love for me is the same as it has always been and I do not blame myself or God for why this happened to us a second time. I just trust that God will provide us another chld in His time and not in ours. I do know that going through hard times like these brings us closer to God and it has done that for me.

If you're reading this and you know me personally, please just say a prayer for us for God's healing of my body and his will in how our family grows. We have not publicly talked about this loss since we had not publicly announced our pregnancy. It was been our choice to manage this loss in private but prayers are always appreciated so that is why I mention it here on our life journal.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

It's Addicting....

I am officially addicted to this digital scrapbooking stuff. I have been hoarding digital kits for a while now but have not put any to good use yet. I actually won that My Memories Suite scrapbooking software from a blog giveaway (but I haven't used it yet) and some digital kit feebies as well. I have also bought several digital kits from Etsy in the past. But I still use my Photoshop Elements 9 to do my scrapbooking and I am trying to learn new things to do but haven't got very far on that front.

I love, love, love the free monthly 2-page templates that you can download from the Shabby Princess blog. Those templates are primarily what I use for my pages because I can just drag and drop my paper, elements and photos in and add my journaling.

I got this sunshine theme kit for free from the My Memories website
but it is no longer available. I just love the colors in it and the cute little elements. I did not use even half of all the elements it came with. It worked out perfectly for our playground pictures from last weekend!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

What We've Been Up To

Whew!! What a busy couple of weeks it has been for our bunch. But we are over the final hurdle, which was my brother's wedding, this past weekend. It was beautiful and we could not have had any more perfect weather for it. Clear skys and it was actually cool enough for a bon-fire the night of their wedding! Can you believe that in mid-August. It's just proof (not that I need it) that God listens and answers prayers because I know I for one prayed for the nice weather. Anyways just to catch up on happening around here, I have some pictures to share. The first couple of pictures are from two weekends ago when our church had a fellowship picnic at a local park and playground area. It was a scortcher that day but we all had a good time. Jonah loved the playground and getting in the water spicket as you can tell.

Also that same weekend I got a little crafty bug and decided to spray paint some yard sale frames I recently found. I am thinking the black one I will use for some type of Halloween printable. The turquoise one will probably end up in our living room. I am not sure what I'm going to do with the white one. I have more to paint but trying to round up my ideas for each one before I pull the trigger.

The last pictures are all fro this past weekend. Michael, Jonah and I went back to the playground on Saturday morning before all the wedding festivities began. We had the place to ourselves and I got some cute pictures of Jonah. He can climb up to that big slide all by hiself now and he thinks (knows) he is so big!!

This is a shot towards the water from the playground. It was a beautiful morning!

I could kiss those cheeks off!

I also have decided I need to get more organized around the house and mentally. So my first step is starting a home organization binder. Here is the beginning of it and I have printed off a ton of free printables such as menue planning sheets and weekly chore sheets. I hope it will help me in being more prepared each week for meals and housework so that we can enjoy time on the weekends. We will see how it goes. I love the binder though (LOL). It's from Target.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Scrapbook Pages

I just wanted to share some more of my digital scrapbook pages that I've been working on. I actually whipped this two-page layout up last night in just an hour and half. The free monthly templates for Photoshop from the Shabby Princess are the way to go for this kind of stuff. Just stick in your papers and pictures and you are done! And no mess to clean up is my favorite part.

I did however go to my local scrapbook store's annual scrapbook yard sale this weekend and stocked back up on lots of fun paper for really cheap. I still enjoy making cards and other small projects with scrapbook paper but I just cannot get into doing actual scrapbook pages. I never seem to finish them and that drives me crazy.

Anyways I hope you enjoy and check out those free templates!

Friday, August 3, 2012

My Bucket List

Life is short and that is scary to think about sometimes. There are so many tings I would love to be able to do in my lifetime. What better way to remember than to write them down. So here is my bucket far at least. Many of the items involve traveling somewhere, which I have not done much of, and all of those will cost money. Why do all the fun things have to cost money. Thank goodness the BEST things in life are FREE!

Bucket List for next 10 Years:

1. Make something that can be sent over to a third-world country. I am thinking maybe pillowcases or dolls for children.

2. Teach a women's devotional class. This would be more like a face-your-fear kind of thing as I don't enjoy speaking in a large group but I love to hear what other women face and how they manage. I love the bonding between wives, mothers, daughter and sisters that can span many generations and learning from each other.

3. Learn to make fried-chicken for the hubby. I feel it is my duty (yeah I just said duty) as a southern women to learn to do this at least once.

4. Make a quilt.

5. Run a 5k race. I hate running so this would be a really big goal for me.

6. Have a REAL white Christmas with piles of snow. We don't get that much in TN.

7. Catch Santa Claus on video for Jonah. My parents almost caught him for us one year and I have never forgotten that video.

8. Own a pair of $100 jeans just to see what all the hype is about and if they are really worth the $.

9. Keep my hair long for at least a whole year and make myself try different styles with it before I chop it off.

10. Learn to recover at least a chair myself. My mother-in-law has her own upholstery business so this should not be a hard one to do.

11. Take Jonah (and any other kiddos we have) to Disney World!!

Bucket List for 10 Years or More:

1. Own a claw-foot tub!!! My dream for as long as I can remember. I remember some friends of my parents lived in a really old house and we visited and got to look around and almost every bathroom had one of those in it. I've wanted one ever since.

2. Get laser hair removal done on my face. Maybe that is over-sharing but it would be awesome!

3. Got to NYC at Christmas.

4. Go to the endless yard sale that started in Jamestown, TN and just hit all the great sales. It's going on this weekend I believe.

5. Go on a mission trip with a big group to somewhere out of the country. I want to do this as a couple or as an entire family one day.

6. Complete a scrapbook every year for our family.

7. Go on a cruise.

Well there you have it. Maybe I will live to see a lot of these marked off my list...God willing!