stories 2017 | year in review


It's true.

When I get to the end of my life and I ask what have I done my prayer is the answer will be, 'you've done love!'

Don't you just love that endings are also beginnings?

These are stories already told.

Well - mostly.

There might be one ore two photos in there that I hadn't told a story, yet.

2017 was a good, hard year.

Jeff worked out of town half the year. Good - and hard.

Ashley and Brad moved to South Carolina, closer; so I can see my grandkids more. Good. And, hard because they are still hours away.

Ashley and I began studying the Bible together. Sooo good. And hard. Because anytime you really study the Word and let the Word take hold of you - well - it's hard.

We started pistol shooting. So good. But, it's not easy learning new skills.

John and Jarrod struggled with what to do, when to do it, why they are doing things. Hard. But, they both have driving licenses now. John enrolled in college. And, Jarrod has found a new direction.

I'm going to have to remember this 2-page, 12 x 12 layout come the end of 2018. I love it!

stories 2017 | let's go


I have noticed when I post pages such as these - heavy on the photos - to the Facebook communities I'm apart of that have to do with scrapbooking, people rarely like or comment. I'm guessing because it isn't about the design or how I've used scrapbooking products it is, simply, because I'm sharing photos. Like a photo essay. And, unless they are A-mazing photos pages such as these are hoo-hum.

However, I love them!

Lately, I haven't been scrapbooking this way because I've been making smaller-sized spreads, usually 6 x 8 or Project Life spreads which are photo heavy but also scrapbooking product heavy, too. People want to see how you have used the product.

Well, I did use product on this page. I used Ali Edwards Design GO Story kit plus a digital template from Yin Dgs (Simply Yin). I didn't have as many photos I wanted to us as the template had (22) so I modified the template to suit my photos.

I had been remiss in scrapbooking our trip to Columbia, South Carolina with Ashley and crew, when we visited the Riverbanks Zoo back in October 2017.

It was a long day but a really good day too. I've captured the essence of the trip so I'm probably going to call it good and leave it at this 2-page spread.

one thousand gifts | 2


14. I have been reading Adorned by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth. At the end of each chapter are action items. I prayed an answer for the question, "who can I ask to mentor?" God answered my prayer the very next weekend.

15. Seeing the sparkle in my meteorology students eyes when she got it! And, when I told her she could take home the hand-held weather instrument.

16. Warmer temperatures have come to Savannah and melted all the snow

17. John started his first day at Savannah Tech and sounds so excited about his welding classes.

18. Jeff making a pot of coffee in the morning; waiting for me when I come out to the kitchen

19. An extra hour of sleep because I went to bed early

20. Facetime with Ashley studying the life of David and the Word of God

21. Jarrod picking up a piece of our dinner from Walmart after making a recycle run - because he's driving now

22. Jeff returning to early Friday morning breakfast cooking with the guys again

23. Getting things done

24. Pistol shooting course; as a hobby; as a date night with Jeff; shooting well; finding a pistol that fits me

25. Beginning Financial Peace University and already experiencing peace

26. These really yummy brownies infused with a toffee and almond Symphony bar that are just - amazing!

27. Jarrod grilling pork steaks

28. Jarrod shifting his goals focus to something he knows he already loves and then finding out there is a school, locally, that is award-winning

29. hours of enjoyment scrapbooking digitally

30. regularly cold temperatures; good for snuggling or wrapping up in blankets and drinking coffee

31. new missionaries to give focus to, support, lift up in prayer, enable, give


light | 2

Ed5d87c3c3a739e0d27e08c04728a04cPhoto Source

In my year long word study of LIGHT - recall my One Little Word® for 2018 is LIGHT - I have already begun searching out ways - and words - to study light. I want to actively engage with my word. Be intentional. Because - although the sun will rise everyday, and light will shine in the darkness, light - in me - will not create itself. Whilst researching light, I came across this quote:

Keep your face to the sunshine and you can never see the shadow - Helen Keller 

Sunshine versus shadow intrigued me. Sunshine and light versus shadow and darkness, or darker. Knowing that Helen Keller was both visually and aurally challenged and yet was able to write those words fascinated me even more and I know there was significance for me and for others seeking light in her words. Because Keller was unable to see the sunshine or the shadows meant this quote had to be a reflection of something other than actually seeing sun and shadows.  Maybe, it reflected an inner experience of sunshine and shadow, of light and dark, of peace and rage, of truth and falsehood, of love and hate. While she may be able to feel the warmth of the sunshine she could not feel a shadow yet she was able to say 'keep your face to the sunshine and you can never see the shadow.' I can only assume she was talking metaphorically, or an outlook on life - maybe.

I took note that sunshine, light, is warm and bright, and nourishes the earth, and, yes, necessary for life to flourish. When looking, or keeping your face to the sunlight one cannot also be looking behind at the shadow at the same time, instead one looks ahead. Looking forward. To Possibility. To Hope. To the future.

That must be how Helen Keller had to see or visualize sunlight and shadows. In a time when others like her, with her handicaps, had little hope, she looked at the light instead of the shadow and did spectacular, brilliant things that guided those, like her, even decades later. A guiding light. She had a guiding light and became a guiding light.

As noted, sunshine and shadow are obviously being used metaphorically. It maybe that sunshine means love and goodness and truth. And shadow means that which is not - love, goodness, or truth. Keeping your face to love, goodness, and truth, fixing our eyes (whether we can see visually or not) on that which is...and moving in the direction of makes me think of... 

"So we don't look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever." - 2 Corinthians 4:18 NLT

Helen Keller had to have spiritual eyes. It was her spiritual eyes that saw light and not shadow.

How else would she know that when the shadows are at your back, and not in front of you, they cannot affect your vision or ability to see because she...

"Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise." Philippians 4:8 NLT




all about me | elevensies #2


You might have noticed I am 'filling' my ALL ABOUT ME album 2018. This is simply another page for my album. My plan is to make 'elevensies' pages, pages of lists throughout the year. It's a great way to add insight, simply, into about me.

This page highlights those movies I can watch again and again - and again, when I'm alone, when my guys are at campouts, or working, when I'm vegging in front of the television, when I've eaten way to much as I put movie after movie in well into the night - and morning. Love these movies!

For this page I mimicked the first 'elevensies' page I made (see below):


Project Life 2018 | Week 2


This was a really good week and ended with a great weekend, filled with good stuff. For these pages I used two unifying elements: a 'stories' brush set by Ali Edwards and a wood grain template set by Paislee Press. Keeping my goal of clean and simple. I knew if I wanted to keep up with Project Life this year I would have to keep it simple.


Big highlights for the beginning of the week: I began mentoring a lady from church. This came after I recently prayed for someone to mentor while reading the book Adorned - a book on mentoring. I received my One Little Word necklace - what I will wear to keep my word visual for the year. I made Symphony Brownies for The Sunshine Girls ministry (this is the ministry that goes into the clubs and ministers to the working girls in the clubs)


The weekend began early Friday morning with Jeff going to Band of Brothers men's breakfast where he is on the cooking team. He gets up crazy early (2:30am) so he can go and cook the eggs for 150+ guys who attend the Christian fellowship group each Friday morning. He hasn't been able to attend because he's been working out of town and he is thrilled to be back serving with the men.

Friday evening was date night! Jeff and I went Pistol shooting. I tried a Sig Sauer P938 compact handgun and I think I've found my weapon of choice. I loved the way it felt in my weak hands with no loss of strength the entire evening of firing. It was a challenging evening but I walked away so pleased with my improvements and identification of things I need to work on. I love that we have found a hobby that we both love.

Saturday was breakfast at Waffle House, errand running, an afternoon wedding and then family homemade pizza and a movie night! Great day! Sunday we began small group again for the new year and also began Financial Peace University. Super excited about the class.


stories 2018 | for the love of snow


Creating the last (I think) of the snow and winter wonderland pages, probably for the year. Because I highly doubt we'll see another measurable snowfall event that leaves Savannah covered in white.

This, of course, is a 6 x 8, 2-page of Jeff and I. And, while I think he could have done without the snow because he grew up with snow and had enough of snow, then, I, however have been dreaming of a white Christmas. If, simply, a white new year.

We were both exhausted after difficult days at work but we took time to play together when Jeff got home and before the sun went down.


Digitally, again, I am using a large photo to cover on side of the 2-page layout. Makes life scrapping crazy easy. But, digitally, I had to do a bit of clever fashioning to make the entire background of the photo snow.

I'm totally pleased with the results of the 2 pages. These will be going into our Stories 2018 album.

all about me | begin again


I am actively adding pages to my all about me album. Most are simple stories about me. Some, like this one, began with a thought. I want to re-read my J.D. Robb books from start to finish because I haven't read them all in years.

Because my reading goal is simply read 100 books without the new qualifier, I now have the grace in my goal to read the In Death series I love so much. I might even hold onto the February and September book releases as my last two of the year.

Digitally I used two Ali Edwards' Story kits: For the Love and READ, plus a One Little Bird big cork READ brush. This was such a fun 1- 6 x 8 page.

all about me | playlist


Today I'm sharing a 2-page 6 x 8 for my All About Me album called Playlist. These are the songs I go back to again and again when I'm praising and worshiping God. Love them! Honestly, it's not a true playlist because I don't have my phone set up for music (my hearing aids kind of get in the way), but besides His Radio, I can play song after song worshiping and hours will pass without even realizing it. It's awesome!


My time for worship is most often on my drive to and from work. But sometimes I get in the mood for a little praise and worship at the house and hours can pass with just me jamming to the Lord. My playlist is mostly top songs playing currently on His Radio but, man, I love it when I select old favorites from past years.


The River by Jordan Feliz is one of those crank-the-volume-up-and-jam past favorites. Favorites right now are Real Love by Blanca, Wonder by Hillsong United, The Comeback by Danny Gokey, and So Will I by Tori Kelly.

stories 2018 | winter wonderland


The first, and maybe the only snowfall, of the new year covered the southeast US including Ashley and Brad in Shaw AFB, South Carolina. Deemed a snow day, the whole family got out and played in the snow while it was still coming down, and for Samuel's first ever experience with snow.


Wyatt is always good for getting into his playtime and got in to the snow and made snow angels, looking content and joy-filled to lay in the snow.


Samuel is just started walking over these past couple of weeks and the unevenness of snow made it tough going for this little guy but daddy was their to keep him safe.

And, Samuel's jacket! I died when I saw it in the pictures.

It says John on his jacket because the jacket used to be his Uncle John's when he was Samuel's age. John is 20 years old now! I was so thrilled to see it being used.

Digitally, I adore these pages! They are so pleasing to my eye!