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.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Apples For Breakfast

They come every morning for breakfast. Twin fawns, sweet as can be, until they start eating my flowers. And then they're not so sweet.

They've grown a lot this summer, too. It must be the steady diet that my flower garden provides! Now that the crab apple trees are loaded with ripe apples, they come every morning for their breakfast. Even though Mama Doe is not in sight, you can be sure that she's not far behind. She keeps a watchful eye on this pair. If they get too curious and come to close, she gives a warning twitch of her ears and then they leap back to her side.

Aww! Such a sweet speckled fawn!

I had to make a deer card in her honor!

{Today's Brew: Lawn Fawn stamps, papers, and dies, PTI card stock, prisma markers}

I used Prisma markers to give the fawn that speckled look!

I used the stitched cloud dies to make the toppers for my trees!

Hope your day is filled with sweet surprises!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Return Of An Old Friend

It came very subtly this year. We've become accustomed to the cooler than normal temperatures this summer. And cool evenings signaled the trees to switch into autumn mode.

Apples on the trees. Colorful leaves swirling around the patio. A shifting of the light and a crispness to the air.

Subtle. But significant.

Autumn may be early, but it is certainly here!

Sam will start the new school year on Thursday. Just as the sun shifts in the autumn sky, my calendar shifts into the ebb and flow of routine. Packing lunches and PTA. Book bags and Bible studies. Homework and hot soup.

Hello, Autumn! I'm so happy you're back!

I made this card for the Clean and Simple Coloring challenge at Splitcoast Stampers.  I pulled out my really really old Watercolor Wonder crayons from Stampin Up for this card!

{Today's Brew: Stamps and dies from Lawn Fawn, card stock from PTI, WW crayons from SU!}

Thanks for visiting the cafe today!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Practicing Hospitality

We have been hosting a lot of out-of-town guests this summer. Wave after wave of friends and family have come and gone. This was our summer of the stay-cation. We stayed here at home, while others considered us their vacation destination.

My husband and I have gotten pretty good in our respective hosting roles. I prep and clean and shop and cook. He plans the adventures and entertainment. I put out clean sheets and fresh towels. He packs bikes on the rack and water bottles for the trail. I make a pretty good espresso. He makes us laugh.

God's word encourages us to practice hospitality. And it does take practice. Hospitality means opening your home and saying "Here we are, with all of our faults and imperfections. Here you will probably find a cobweb in a neglected corner, a weedy patch in the garden, a carton of creamer that may be past its expiration date. But hopefully, you will also find love and laughter, comfort and joy."

We so treasure our time with family and friends. Mornings at the table, piled high with cookbooks and magazines. Dinners at local restaurants. Desserts on the patio with candles flickering in the darkness. Conversation and confession. Bread and wine. Communion.

It has been a busy, crazy, spontaneously planned kind of summer, the kind of summer that we will look back on in the snowy days of winter and say to each other "Wasn't that fun?"

"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms." 1 Peter 4:8-10

Friday, August 8, 2014

A Simple Change For The Birds

Last month, I moved our bird feeder. Not a big move, really. Just closer to the house so that I could see the birds from the kitchen window without having to grab my binoculars.

The bird feeder relocation had a huge impact! Suddenly, birds were flocking to the feeder all day!

Sam has been finding some really pretty feathers in the garden. Bright yellow feathers from the gold finch, blue feathers from the blue jay. Precious.

This card was inspired by those fancy feathers! I tried my hand at embossing paste with a stencil, and it was a lot of fun! I like the results, and will definitely have to try this again.

{Today's Brew: stamps from WPlus9, PTI card stock, embossing paste, memory box stencil, Distress Markers, button twine, SU burlap ribbon}

Thanks for visiting the cafe today! Make sure you visit Monday's post to see what items I have listed for the big Summer Sale!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Summer Sale!

Hello, Cafe Friends! It's time for a Summer Sale! Stamps and dies from Papertrey Ink, Stampin Up, My Favorite Things, Pure Innocence, and Amuse! Add $1 for shipping, or free shipping on three or more stamp sets. Shipping to US only. I accept Paypal. Please send inquiries to

Papertrey Ink:

Background Basics Stars (some staining) (reg. $24) $10
Beautiful Blooms (some staining) (reg. $24) $10
Christmas Poinsettia w/ dies (reg. $23) $15
Merry and Bright with dies (reg. $30) $15
Polka Dot Parade  #5 (bird has staining) with dies $6
Polka Dot Parade #10 House ( has some staining) $3
Tiny Treats Valentine (barely used) (reg. $24) $15

Pure Innocence:
Regularly $9 each, now only $4 each!
Four Leaf Clover $4
Flurry of Love $4
Making A List $4
Mud Buddies $4
Presents For You $4

My Favorite Things

Spring Sprouts $5
Die-namics Polka Dot Label dies  $3 each

Amuse Art Stamps:
Coffee Break  $5

Stampin Up:

Baby Blossoms (clear mount) $8
Bliss (clear mount ) $5
Clearly For You (clear mount ) $8
Timeless Treasures (clear Mount) $8

FILOFAX Pocket Piazza Red Leather! Retails for $80, selling for $50! Great for doing a little pocket size journalling on the go! Get ready for back-to-school and scheduling with this portable planner!

Homage to Tenia Sanders- Nelson!

This morning, the Clean and Simple challenge was a super fun one! Pick something from this gallery as your inspiration and make a card.

But this isn't just any gallery. Nooo! This is THE one and only Tenia Sanders-Nelson's gallery!

woo hoo!

Tenia may be a jazz musician, but to me, she is a ROCK STAR! I love her creations! She is the queen of CAS, and her style looks so effortlessly amazing. You have to wonder, does she ever have an off day? Nope. Every card is wonderful!

I chose this awesome card from Tenia:

And I used it as my inspiration to make this card:

I swapped out vellum paper for the clear acetate window sheet, rounded the lower left corner and embossed the card front, just like Tenia!

{Today's Brew: Mama Elephant stamp, PTI card stock, Lawn Fawn paper and flowers, My Mind's Eye enamel dots, SU embossing folder, baker's twine, Graphite glimmer mist}

Thanks for visiting the cafe today! And make sure you visit Tenia's gallery for a creative boost!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

With The Turn Of The Calendar

Nobody panic! I have some news.

August is here!

Aaack! Panic!

It seems impossible, but it's true. With the turn of the calendar page, we have moved from carefree summer time months to back-to-school months.

Sam and I were shopping at Barnes and Noble this week. It's a mother's sly attempt to get her son interested in summer reading. Aren't book stores wonderful, magical places? It transformed my son from the "I just want to play video games" boy into the "Ooh, new books from my favorite authors!" boy.

We wandered into the calendar and stationery section, where Sam found me this awesome new planner from Punctuate. He told me that this one was totally me, and he was right.

A good purse size, with plenty of room to write in appointments or do a little journalling.

A coordinating sticker sheet to jazz up the pages.

A zipper compartment that holds a little notepad and bookmark, where I also stashed a few extra appointment stickers from Lang.

These little planners have a cult following! Pinterest boards are filled with ideas on how to decorate your pages with stickers and washi tape. It really is fun! And how much did this little planner with all of its contents cost? Only $9.95! Or only $8.95 if you are a Barnes and Noble member like me.

Of course, Sam talked me into purchasing the matching desk top planner...

...and the matching journal.

It's so much fun shopping with Sam!

I spent the evening with my planner and the school websites, making note of all important dates, no school days, holiday vacations, etc.

August may have sneaked up  on me, but I feel a little more prepared to handle the days ahead.