Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Priorities and Perspectives: Wants and Needs

Today I was looking back through my blog lookingfor a picture I had posted some time ago.  (And what a great trip along memory lane to read some of my older posts,)  Anyway, I came upon this post I made on our 43rd Anniversary.  I am a bit older now but everything I said is still right on, so I want to share it again with you.  As we all struggle with the economic crisis we are in in this country I think a different perspective is in order.  What do we really need?  What will bring us happiness?  Good questions to ask one's self at any time, but especially in today's climate.  Enjoy.

43 Years!
How can it possibly be forty three years! It seems like only yesterday we were just kids "playing house"! But, it is true, we've been married 43 years today! It has been a fun ride so far and I hope we make as far as Mom and Dad did...they were married 62 years and they still loved each other dearly! I know Dad still misses her sorely.

But now that we are becoming the older generation, it doesn't seem quite right. I don't think of myself as OLD except when I stop to consider my age; although since my health problems last year I know I have really slowed down, just don't have the stamina I used to. Age is one of those things that just creeps up on you when you are busy living your life, I guess. You do realize that you are getting old when your children pass into middle age though! And I now have two over 40.

I remember growing up I thought my parents and aunts and uncles were so old...looking back I realize that they were only in their 30s and 40s when I was a kid! That can't be old, I have kids those ages. All of this brings me to this point...We NEED to enjoy life as it goes along because time waits for no one.

We get so stressed about doing things that don't really count and no one remembers a moment after it is done. Not that we don't have to take care of the necessities, but we also need to stop and "smell the roses". Put the laundry off for a day and go play with the grandkids, take time to have lunch with a friend, take a few minutes to visit a shut-in, call your parents or grandparents on the phone, pause as you meet a friend and give them a hug instead of just a wave across the parking lot. These are the things that put the life in living, and they are the things that will matter when you are old and all you have left are your memories.

When I was young, I never remember people being so negative as they are now. I don't think all this negativity is good for us. For one thing when we only see the negative in things we don't recognize the blessings we have received; and we forget to be grateful. That is important, we must be grateful for what we have. Our attitudes affect our lives more than anything else and being ungrateful is a big part of that, otherwise selfishness creeps in. My mother always said, "Be thankful for what you have, there are children starving in China." Of course we always wondered how come we couldn't just send that hated food to them instead of having to eat it, but there is some truth in there somewhere.

Our parents had just been though a war, they had lived through the depression, they were poor according to today's standards... but they were grateful to be alive. And they were happy, genuinely happy. Even though they worked many more hours than most people do now, t
hey always found time to have fun. They often had friends in to play games or just to "visit", they made time to do things with their kids, siblings, parents and neighbors. And when they worked they did it with a happy heart because they knew the value of a job well done.

I think our priorities have gotten a bit skewed, we think we need more things, but really what we need is better relationships, with our neighbors, with our families and most especially with our God. We need to know that just by the fact that we are sons and daughters of God, that we have value. Who we are matters, what we have doesn't. When our kids were teenagers they thought they "needed" the right things to fit in...that certain brand of shirt, those special sneakers, etc. Are we not guilty of that too when we think we must have a bigger tv or a new car, a better house?

My parents raised six kids in a tiny one bedroom, one bath house with a full basement. Being the only girl, when I got big enough to need my own room, I got the bedroom and Dad made a master bedroom and a "boys" room downstairs for my five brothers. It was more like a barracks...two sets of bunks plus other beds, but it served the purpose and the boys shared it with the hired men too. Whenever company came, the kids slept on the floor so the company could have the beds. No one ever considered that we needed a bigger house, it kept us warm, we had enough to eat, and everyone else was in the same situation it seemed.

In this time of economic trial, I think it might help us all to step back and consider if we really need more things, or do we just want them. Will they bring happiness or just more stress as we try to figure out how to pay for them. We need to recapture the attitude our parents had of being happy just to be alive. To have sons and brothers home from the war. To honor the memory of those lost by being diligent, and patriotic, and cheerful. They had hard times but they didn't dwell on them, they looked forward to a better future and worked to try to build that for their children. Can we do any less? Do we not have a responsibility to pass that same legacy to our own grandchildren?

As I get "older" family becomes more and more precious to me, and things less and less. I wish I had caught that vision when I was younger and stressing over so many needless things. I hope our legacy to our children might be one of setting priorities and putting the people in your lives first, because you never know how long you will have them, and because time waits for no one...and because this is probably the best lesson I have learned in the last 43 years!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

My Irish Roots layouts featuring Got Luck by Karen Diamond Designs

Here it is almost Saint Patrick's Day, and even though we know everyone feels Irish on St Patty's Day, I really am Irish and proud of my Irish heritage.  Although I am American through and through, my ancestors did come to America in the 1700s and were true pioneers.  That is a heritage anyone can be proud of.

This week I had the chance to play with Karen Diamond Design's Got Luck kits.  They are such fun kits for St Patty celebrations, but for me they are especially appropriate because I can use them to celebrate my family history as well.

I had so much fun with this collection.  Love the colors, love the fun elements, awesome papers,  and  all the little extras too.  There are even styles and glitters to coordinate with this collection, so really consider grabbing the whole is awesome. And even better, Got Luck is on sale right now in Karen's Scraps-n-Pieces store.

Here are a couple of layouts I made with this kit.  You can see that it was perfect for my heritage pages.

I also made you a freebie cluster.  You can download it here.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Kid's Art - SNP Blog Train

It is time for the Scraps-n-Pieces Blog Train to make its rounds again.  This month our theme is Kid's Art and the palette has bright primary colors.

I made you a little minikit.  I hope you will enjoy it and can find some great examples of your own little one's art to "frame" with it.

I also have a free Quick page with clipping mask and a cute crayon frame
for you on my Facebook page Here

Be sure to visit each of the sites below to grab their portion. Together they will give you a huge collab kit all in this awesome palette.

Train stops:
True North Scraps
Prairie Song Scraps
Magical Scraps Galore
Karen Diamond Designs
AK Designs Scraps N Pieces
Shuckclod's Stuff Yez Designs
Triple J Designs
Gray Dragonfly
Busy Crafting Mommy Designs
Lorien´s Workshop
Scrappin' Is My Thing Ponytails Designs
...too busy to blog today
Stampgram's Studio
Janet's Digital Joys
Luiza Pires Designs

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Sneak Peak

The Train is coming.  In just a couple of days we will start the Scraps-n-Pieces Blog Train again.  Here is a little sneak peek to get you excited. :-)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Sunshiny Day

Did you miss LilyAnn's Week 1 entry into the Designer Darling Contest, Sunshiny Day?  If you did you could still pick it up at her store at SNP.

Are you tired of the cold winter days?  Are you ready for some sun?  This kit will take those winter blues away and bring some sunshine to your layouts. A Sunshiny Day will be 50% off until March 22 for $1.50!

Preview is linked to the store.

If you make a layout with this kit before March 22, you'll be entered into a drawing to get a $5.00 coupon to the A Fish Design store.  Layout must be posted to the A Fish Design's gallery at SNP.

Saturday, March 9, 2013


Busy Crafting Mommy Designs has a new kit out that is just "Wonderful"! A little bit traditional, a little bit shabby, and some awesome colors make this kit just what its name says, "WONDERFUL". And best of all you can find all this awesomeness on sale for 40% off in the Busy Crafting Mommy Designs storeat Scraps-n-Pieces right now.

I made a couple of heritage pages for  you.
I have been thinking a lot about moms. My mother would have been 90 years old yesterday. And just a month ago we lost my mother-in-law. So with both of them on my mind and having acquired some "new" old pictures I thought it would be fun to scrap these photos of our mothers with their sisters as teenage girls.  Both of them were very close to their sisters and life-long friends. My mom and her sister Joyce lived close to one another all their lives and our families were like an extension of each other. Whereas my mother-in-law immigrated to the US after WWII and only infrequently was able to have visits with her sister Lotte who remained in Germany. But they were still very close with lots of phone calls, letters and gifts going back and forth through the years. I enjoyed making these pages of them with this "Wonderful" kit and I hope you enjoy them too.

I made you a cluster freebie also.  You can download it HERE

Deer To Me

This week I had the opportunity to work with the lovely "Deer To Me" kit from Busy Crafting Mommy Designs. This sweet kit is perfect for scrapping all those Valentine photos as well and any romantic themes you might have.   It is available in the store at Scraps-n-Pieces HERE.


 This is my hubby's birthday month so I made a couple of pages celebrating him and our wonderful grandchildren.  This kit is so fun to work with.  I just love the colors and the adorable pieces.

I also made a free cluster for you.  You can download it HERE

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Pixel Scrapper Design Challenge

I am participating in the Pixel Scrapper Design Challenge this week. The challenge is to create elements to go with Marisa's Spring Fields kit.  Below is my contribution to the challenge.
You can download it HERE and you can find the portions from the rest of the participants in the Pixel Scrapper Forum HERE.

I also have a blog freebie to coordinate with it.  You can download it HERE