Posts Tagged ‘journal’

Miss Potter Strikes Again

March 28, 2014

If you have been around MySister’sJar for any length of time longer than three days, you are probably aware of my fascination with the movie Miss Potter.  I  L O V E  it.  That is all.

All around me little hints of my favorite film show up to bring a smile to my heart if not also to my face.  A wooden hedgehog in a craft store yesterday.  My watercolor paint brushes standing lonely in a smudged jar.  A vintage, faded-yellow-with-time envelope that was mailed to my grandmother in 1928.  A stuffed Peter Rabbit in his blue jacket with brass buttons in TJ Maxx.  Everywhere.  Even at the river last Monday.  I took a picture of my shadow because it reminded me of Beatrix.

Verde River 012

I imagined Beatrix saying her first lines from the movie, “There’s something delicious about writing the first words of a story.  You never quite know where they’ll take you.  Mine took me here….” as she was sitting beside crystal blue water in the Lake District.  Here she is wearing the outfit for my shadow:

miss potter dress and hat

Okay, it was mostly the hat, but it DID remind me of my fellow author/artist/lover-of-nature bosom friend, a couple generations removed.  My nature journal brings joy to my soul.  I cannot draw nearly as well as Beatrix, but it is inspiring to try.  The smell of the eraser.  The rainbow of colored pencil crayons in the RIGHT order in my prisma-color box. The challenge of copying some little tidbit that God created in nature for US!  Yes, for us to admire and marvel at… and draw in our nature journals.  :o)

Do you have a favorite movie that shines reminders to you everywhere?

10 Days Past December

January 10, 2014

Usually I am a bit more up-to-the-minute on my New Years post with a review of the past and hope for the coming times.  2013 was put to rest none too quickly for my liking.  It was a hard and frustrating year due to the car accident and slow healing.  Glad that’s almost over!

On December 31st I pulled my journal from the bottom dresser drawer… the journal with the hot pink cloth binding and the swirly letter L with bling bling on the cover.  The journal contains my bucket list.  I usually don’t look at it but once or twice a year, so I’m pleasantly surprised when I get to highlight the completed items on the list!  In 2013 there were 2 1/2 items completed…. 1. Go on a girls road trip! CHECK!  2. Build a chicken coop and raise chickens. CHICK!  I mean CHECK!  And 1/2 of 3. See the Parthenon…. well, I did see the Parthenon.  The one in Nashville.  I didn’t even know there WAS a Parthenon in Tennessee!  It’s in far better shape than the one in Greece.  When I made the list, I meant the one in Greece, but I didn’t specify Greece…. so I half-way highlighted it with hopes of Greek Islands in my future still.

On the horizon for 2014, other than we should start getting fresh eggs come May, we have a few out of town weddings, a graduation, some missions trips and lots of excitement and hope!  I relish a fresh new year with no scribbles on the pages.

As far as resolutions go…. REZ#1: I’m going to lose the weight I gained while lying on the couch for months eating casserole after casserole that my homeschool peeps brought to feed our family! Believe me, I am SOOOO thankful for my community who surrounded us during that time!  What’s a bigger size of jeans?  Or 2?  But everyone plans to lose weight, right?

REZ#2: I am reading the Bible through again.  The Children’s Living Bible is the chosen translation again.  The best I ever did at reading the Bible through involved a plan that took weekends off.  I needed the weekends to catch up!  So I divided the number of yearly weeks by five days and then divided the number of pages in the Bible by that number.  Voila!  Brilliance!  Four and a half pages a day.  And it’s already January 10th and I’m ahead of schedule!  Oh Yeah!

REZ#3: Make a few more mind and life changing resolutions…. like spending time each day in silence, and spending time each day being artsily creative, and knitting (well, that is creative too), and spending time each day listening to good music.  “Good” by my standards, not my children’s.

What are your resolutions?  Did you make any?  Will you keep them?  Share the wealth!

Healing through Art

April 28, 2012

Tsi wiri lif. Tsi im kne her frrito. A lirogro got otobter fm toloba.

No, I didn’t start speaking and writing in Swahili again.  This is my little girl’s journaling page from this week.  She is what us edjamakated people call an emergent writer.  She has been speaking English for 13 months… and is reading at a beginner level.  Spelling and “sounding out” are a bit hard when English is your second language….. and you are EIGHT years old.

It reads: “This is where I live.  This is where I’m going here forever. A little girl got adopted from Colombia.”

First person.  Third person.  It doesn’t matter….. there are no mistakes in your daily journal.  Nothing gets corrected.  It’s where you share your heart and practice your art. 

It warms my heart that she is so open about her life and her understanding of her circumstances.  AND she’s really talented at drawing maps with coastlines.  This also warms my mama-heart because my eldest daughter has also seen the value in using art to reach kids where they are…. who might not have a voice about their circumstances without the avenue of crayons and felt pens and colored pencils.  Art Therapy.  I didn’t even know it existed a year or two ago.  This Fall I’m sending my daughter off to study to be an art therapist.  Amazing to me how God puts the pieces of the puzzle together for each kid right when they need it.

300,000 TODAY!

March 6, 2012

Yes, in the next hour or so, the hits on this humble blog, My Sister’s Jar, will surpass 300,000.  The number is astounding to me.  Let me give you some back history… several years ago (I just tried to figure out what year it was, but I’m 45 and can’t remember things like that… sigh) I attended a writer’s conference in New Mexico where there were several seminars one could take in.  I perused the list and chose several… the ones I recollect include: contract negotiations, writing the perfect proposal, selling your wares to publishers, adding humor to your writing and narrowing down your pitch to elevator length.  Distinctly I remember reading one particular description that caused me to guffaw and roll my eyes.  Ready?  It was simply titled “Blogging”.  My thoughts at that time included, but were not limited to the following: Who would spend all that time writing for invisible people?  Who would read some random person’s ramblings? How do people even find “online journals” to read? And WHY would anybody care what a stranger is writing? What is the purpose of blogging? And so on. And so on.  That was during my PBL (pre-blog life).

Upon my arrival home from the conference, my husband and I met with a couple whose lives are engrossed with computers and programming and podcasts and tweeting and a whole bunch of other techy stuff I do not understand.  BUT, he explained blogging to me… and I didn’t stick in one little toe to test the water… I did a cannonball into the deep end of the internet writing swimming hole. 

Those questions I asked myself earlier about blogging have not all been answered.  I still do not understand exactly where 797 people come from in a single day who read my blog.  It is inspiring to me, and quite humbling, to be frank.  I often ask my husband, “Who are these people?” When someone comments, I get a little hint as to who they are… where they are from… how they stumbled upon My Sister’s Jar.  But those are precious and few.

My prayer is that people will be inspired by stopping here to live life to the fullest and possibly take a jump into some of my favorite topics: family, marriage, laughter, writing, adoption, homeschooling, being a Christ follower, raising boys, sewing, traveling, gardening, losing weight, traditions, America the Beautiful, saving money, and being a mom.

I’ll wrap up this bit of blogging hysteria with a meek and awe inspired THANK YOU, to my dear readers who keep coming back to read.  It’s for YOU, invisible friend, that I keep rambling on (and it is cheaper than therapy for me!)  XOXO

My Bucket List

May 30, 2010

Tonight I pulled out a journaling book that I started in 2007… it has in it, among other gatherings of words… my Bucket List.  One hundred things I want to do in my lifetime.  It’s been at least a year since I went through the list… that only goes up to 72 at the moment.  When I accomplish a listed item I highlight it.  There were eight lines highlighted already.  Surprisingly, tonight I highlighted three items from 2009 that were accomplished. 

I read somewhere long ago that if you write down your goals your brain grasps onto them subconsciously and even if you’re not remembering them… you are drawn to accomplish them.  I’m not sure if I believed that until I was married about 14 years and came across my scrapbook from my senior year of high school.  There was a page for 1 year, 5 year and 10 year goals.  What 18-year-old has any clue what they will be doing when they are 28???  Please.  Unbelievably, all the goals that I wrote down had been successfully completed… without me remembering that I jotted them in my scrapbook in 1984

Back to tonight and my Bucket List.  In case you live in a cave, a movie came out a few years back called the Bucket List and the premise was about two old guys determined to live out life’s wishes before they kicked the bucket.  I never saw it.  Anywho…. I highlighted three lines on my list tonight.

#10.  Take the kids on a missions trip.  Larisa, Austin and I went to La Mision, Mexico last summer… and it was Austin’s first time seeing an impoverished city.  It changed him, as I knew it would.  My 11-year-old son still is on the list to go, but I highlighted it anyway.  I firmly believe every American kid needs to see poverty, desperate need, and the happiness that is still available in spite of living conditions.  We are so spoiled blessed.

#51. Live close to the church.  For more than 10 years we have driven 30 minutes to church.  When your kids want to get more involved… an hour round-trip is a long way.  When gas is over $3 a gallon, every little trip counts.  Little did I know that we would be changing churches in 2009 and the new one is 8 minutes away.  Glory!

#61.  Publish a book for married women.  Last September my book Learning to Laugh in the Midst of Marriage came out.  Sweet! The book was not even started when I made the list!  See…. subconsciously!

Some of my other entries include traveling to far away spots on God’s green earth that I have studied and long to see.  Others involve helping others, teaching the kids new tricks, taking an emergency truck ramp…. quit laughing… they are so tempting,  learning a few tricks myself and reaching many for God’s kingdom.  I believe 2010 will bring at least three more highlighted lines… maybe more!

Do you have a Bucket List?

Kids Even Got It Figured Out!

October 16, 2008

My nine year old son already has enough common sense to vote in a presidential election.  Here is his journal entry from school yesterday:

“What makes a great president is a president that cares for us unlike Obama would ’cause if he dosen’t care about (unborn) babies he wouldn’t care about us.  McCain is a good president.”

Yep, that about sums it up.

We’re studying the electoral process right now, as is only appropriate for this day and season.  We are having elections soon between two candidates from our homeschool group.  They are filming their campaign ads tomorrow.  Should be highly entertaining.  One of the slogans is “Vote Blond Not Brown.”  I suggested that this might not be a wise idea…. but what do I know?  The kids also still have to make ballots, the ballot box and the voting booth.  When all voting is completed next week, in turn they will be drawing the electoral votes out of a hat.  So we really won’t know who has won until the end…. just like the REAL election. 

Do your duty.  VOTE!

?#9 from My Sister’s Jar – More Time

March 24, 2008


(So we just finished the 12th week of the year…. and I’m only on question #9.  I have some catching up to do.)

What do you wish you had more time to do?

Quite a few things actually.  I’m getting rather efficient at saying “no” when asked to do extra things, but still my plate is very full.  I like it that way.  Busy people get things done.  I’m certainly the busy type….. on steroids.  I realize that I have the ability to MAKE the time to add these activities to my schedule, but I haven’t squeezed them in at this place in time.  Here’s my wish list:

1.  Learn Spanish.  I really need to get on this one.  I have the tools, but need to make the commitment.  I don’t want our adopted daughter to be the only Spanish speaking member of the household.  OK.  It starts tomorrow.  (Welcome to my accountability group…. so check up on me, OK?)

2.  Watercolor painting.  I did start this, but haven’t taken the time to paint lately.

3.  Read.  I love reading for recreation, and usually have about 5 or 6 books going at a time.  I don’t right now.  Anyone know a great book I should get at the library?

4. Garden.  I have a vision for a raised bed veggie garden in the far corner of our backyard.  It hasn’t happened, partly due to the lack of sprinkler lines running to that area of the yard.  Secondly, if I’m going to do it, I need to do it NOW.  It was already 90 degrees this week here in Phoenix.  Maybe I should assign the sprinkler addition task to my industrious son.  He was 9 when he drew the plans for the backyard drip system and installed it.  He’s a natural.

What do you wish you had more time to do?

?#8 from my Sister’s Jar – Smiles

March 4, 2008

april fools

“Don’t hate us because we’re beautiful!” ~ April Fool’s Day ’07

List ten things that make you smile. 

1.  A clean kitchen… especially after I’ve been away from the house and come home to a clean kitchen.  Ahhhhh.

2.  My kids laughing….. especially when it’s about something that is totally random.  I have etched in my mind a day when we had two guys come and trim our palm trees.  My two boys sat at the large, front window and burst into uncontrollable laughter with every palm frond that hit the ground.  Silly, but the memory still makes me smile.

3.  The movie line from Zorro when the woman is confessing that she has broken the fourth commandment, and Zorro, who’s hiding in the confessional replies, “You killed somebody?”  I don’t know why, but that is SO funny to our family.

4.  Deliciously stocked scrapbooking stores.  There is one in Mesa, Arizona to die for.  The paper room is larger than our master suite.  I think the name is Scrapbooks, Etc., but not positive.  It is the store where Heidi Swapp’s stock comes to from her manufacturer.  So EVERY blinging thing she created is there.  Excuse the drool.

5.  Reading funny stories.  Which is probably why I get a thrill out of writing funny stories, so others can smile.  I am reading Sound the Trumpet by Gilbert Morris currently set at the time of the Revolutionary War.  Larisa gave it to me for Valentine’s Day.  Anyway, I read a line last night that made me giggle out loud.  One of the characters is teasing a servant girl and she strikes him with her fist and says, “You — you blacksmith!”  He replies, “Blacksmith?  What kind of cussing is that? Maybe I better teach you something a bit stronger.”  O.K., it’s not quite as funny today.  Maybe I was tired last night.  :o)

6.  April Fool’s Day Memories.  For the fourth year in a row, I have been the victim of the April Fool’s Day Sink Sprayer Prank.  And 3 of the 4 years, I fell for it.  It started with Rick using a rubberband to hold down the trigger on the kitchen sink spray nozzle.  Then when the unsuspecting soul comes to turn on the water, they get sprayed.  The first year, I came into the kitchen and asked Rick, “Why is your shirt all wet?”  The kids were beside themselves with hilarity.  He set the trap and then fell into it.  However, the following 3 years, I have sprayed myself.  This last year, I walked into the kitchen and asked, “Why is there water all over the floor?” and then sprayed myself.  :o)  I then glanced over and noticed Larisa’s pjs were soaking wet too. 

7.  My husband doing the Bibleman dance.  He started this years ago…. to the soundtrack for the Bibleman show.  He turns backwards and puts his arms up in the air and shakes his booty incredibly fast.  I just laughed at the memory after I typed it. 

8.  Blooming flowers in my weedless yard.  Because of all the rain we’ve had, the weeds are, well, growing like weeds.  We have weeded about 70% of the way around the backyard.  But the colorful purple pansies, the royal blue lobelia, the yellow daisies and the hot pink Sweet William honestly make me smile.  God did good when he made flowers.

9.  Listening to my boys interact and play together…. at least when they’re being nice.  I think it is so cool that my boys are such close friends.  It was always our goal to have them fight back to back, defending each other, instead of face to face.  So far, so good.  They are so creative and I love hearing them make up stories or retell jokes.  They both appreciate humor.  They have a mental book being compiled of the 100 funniest things they have done.  Totally makes me smile.

10. When kids say the darndest things.  I always appreciate a good Mom story of something funny her kid said.  Kids are so imaginative and creative with their use of the English language!  When Larisa was 2 1/2 she was putting a puzzle together on the kitchen floor.  I noticed she was fitting a piece in the wrong place and I mentioned that it didn’t go there.  She hit it with her little fist and said, “Yep, it do.”

What makes you smile? 

?#3 from My Sister’s Jar – Grateful List

February 2, 2008

List 10 things you are grateful for.  Write the first 10 that come to mind.

1.  My crock pot.  I got it for Christmas probably 15 years ago from Dad and Mom Crosby – but I have gone through use/non-use phases.  I’m in a use phase currently.  Dinners done by 9 a.m. and the house smells scrumptious.

2.  Air-conditioning.  Hello?  We live in the desert… in Phoenix… the only place hotter is hell.  The inventor of a/c has a statue in the capital building.  Right on!

3.  Elastic.  Think where we would be without it!?!  Everything we wear “under” includes it.  It has magical qualities… like making a size 24 body into an 18.

4.  Taco Bell.  Where else can you get all of your daily caloric needs met in one meal for only $3.69?  It’s quick… it’s cheap… they have diet Pepsi.. and it’s Mexican.  Aaaahhhhh.  (Dined there yesterday.)

5.  Books…. really good books that take me away from the here and now… to the 1850s in a covered wagon with 1/2 naked Indians visiting… baking biscuits over the campfire… sharing them with the Indians.

6. Sales Racks.  There is something satisfyingly triumphant about buying $82 pants for $12.27.  It’s almost like you cheated the big guys somehow…. sweet victory!

7.  Rick Coming Home Every Night.  I look forward to his arrival every day… starting at about 9:30 a.m.  I look to the clock every other hour ’til his keys plop on the entry table.

8.  Laughter.  It truly does make you feel good.  I love laughing and making others enjoy a belly laugh.  Jill is really good at those.

9.  This Journal w/52 prompts. I haven’t written freely in years.  No spell check.  No grammar boo-boos.  Just me and the pen and pages waiting for an adventure.

10. Flowers.  I simply love them.  Vibrant colors.  Soothing aromas.  I love fresh-cut flowers on my kitchen table.  It just sings “a Martha Stewart lives here”….  (which is a good thing.)

Welcome to My Sister’s Jar….

February 2, 2008

My Sister’s Jar

Behold!  The original jar and journal, my Christmas gift from my sister, that inspired me to start a blog….this blog.  A moment of silence is completely appropriate at this time.  Also in the picture are my holy rocks from Lake Tahoe.  They just happened to be waiting for their inaugural photo op on the front porch table.  I’m not a nerdy rock collector (no offense to any rockhounds); I was simply inspired to bring the holy rocks to Phoenix to remind me of serene Tahoe moments in the cool summer air by the lake.

“What is in the jar?” you ask. Journalling prompts taken from a Heidi Swapp scrapbooking class that my sister participated in throughout 2007.  There are 52 slips of paper asking a question a week…. for a year.  I mean seriously, how else will my kids and grandkids ever know about our crazy family traditions, giddy moments of nonsense and aspirations of greatness?  If I don’t tell the story, who will?  My husband, Rick?  He didn’t even write half of his required papers in college that he turned in…. but that’s another story from another time.

I was so inspired by the journey through the jar, that I want to encourage you to write the answers to the questions for yourself, for posterity.  The jar is safe.  There are no wrong answers.  Welcome to my sister’s jar.